July 2009 

Coffee with the Councilman

How well do you know your Ward 5 City Council representative? Why not enjoy the opportunity over a cup of that famous Starbucks java! Please join Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow for coffee on the first Thursday of each month.  If you live or work in the northwest area of Ward 5, we recommend you have coffee with the councilman Aug. 6, 2009, at the Starbucks location on Rainbow and Lake Mead in the Best in the West Plaza shopping center from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

On Sept. 3, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., at the Starbucks at Rancho Drive and Bonanza Road, you will have the opportunity to meet your Ward 5 city council member to discuss outstanding concerns in your community, just say hello and introduce yourself, or suggest your neighborhood be selected for a cleanup. Each month Councilman Barlow will alternate between the two Starbucks locations to offer ample opportunity to chat with your representative. His staff members will be standing by to assist with community contacts and ensure your matters are addressed in a timely manner. We thank Starbucks for truly working as community partners with Ward 5 and we hope to see you the first Thursday of the month.

Aug. 6   Lake Mead and Rainbow Starbucks in the Best in the West Plaza
Sept. 3 Rancho/Bonanza Starbucks
Oct. 1 Lake Mead and Rainbow Starbucks in the Best in the West Plaza
Nov. 5 Rancho/Bonanza Starbucks
Dec. 3 Lake Mead and Rainbow Starbucks in the Best in the West Plaza

Ward 5 Residents Invited To Stay Cool At Annual Summer Splash

Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow is inviting Ward 5 residents to join him for his annual Summer Splash pool party on Saturday, July 11, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Doolittle Pool, located at 1950. N. J St.

 The Summer Splash is free and all are invited to splash and play in the cool pool.

“I want everyone to join me for a fun day at the pool,” Councilman Barlow said. “The Doolittle Community Center and swimming pool are beautiful facilities and I want all the residents of Ward 5 to make sure that they are taking advantage of the amenities that the city of Las Vegas offers.”

The Doolittle Community Center is the city’s oldest center, and was completely remodeled in 2003. It is located on a campus with the West Las Vegas Arts Center, Kianga Isoke Palacio Park at Doolittle Complex and the Doolittle Senior Center. The center includes two gymnasiums, a fitness room, computer lab, classrooms and a swimming pool.

The city of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services offers many programs, activities and classes at the center. For more information visit the city of Las Vegas Web site at www.lasvegasnevada.gov or call (702)229-6297. For more information about Ward 5 events visit  www.lasvegasnevada.gov/ward5.

Neighborhood Meeting

The city of Las Vegas invites you to a community meeting regarding Group and Recovery Homes from 9 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22, in City Hall Council Chambers located at 400 Stewart Ave.

The meeting will include discussion of proposed changes to the local codes and licensing requirements in relation to federal rules and regulations pertaining to “group homes” including Alzheimer’s homes, homes for recovering addicts (drug and/or alcohol), and homes for the elderly.

Space is limited, so please call (702) 229-2330 by Friday, July 17, to R.S.V.P.

Safe Summer Nights Celebrations

The Nevada Youth Alliance, in partnership with Councilman Barlow, Matt Kelly and Kermit Booker elementary schools, Wal-Mart and the Las Vegas Centennial Optimists, held their first two Safe Summer Nights events on May 2, 2009, and June 6, 2009.

Safe Summer Nights celebrate the summer and give residents the opportunity to get to know each other while enjoying free entertainment and food.  Face painters, a DJ and kids games are all a part of the fun.  Free hot dogs, chips and water are served, and local vendors offer information about community resources.  A third Safe Summer Night will be held on July 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Matt Kelly Elementary School, located at 1900 N. J St. (corner of J & Doolittle). 

Youth Neighborhood Association Partnership Program (YNAPP)

The YNAPP grant program encourages youth to take ownership of their neighborhoods and work with adults and local businesses to improve their communities by sharing their talents and getting involved. In conjunction with the West Las Vegas Arts Center, YNAPP recipients hosted the “Young Men’s Leadership Conference,” focusing on leadership, education and mentoring. The conference was a huge success, with more than 160 young men and 30 mentors in attendance. Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow was a featured panelist and shared his wisdom with the grateful attendees. 

For more information on YNAPP, or to be placed on the interest list, contact Kelly Woods at (702) 229-6269 or via email at kwoods@lasvegasnevada.gov.

Parents as Learning Support (PALS)

The PALS grant provides funding support for parental engagement through school and community connections. PALS funding supported Ward 5 school efforts with the “Celebrating Booker” family event held at Kermit R. Booker Sr. Elementary School, and the Lilly and Wing Fong Elementary School Multicultural Fair, where more than 800 students and parents were introduced to various cultures through food, fun and hands-on activities. 

The departments of Leisure Services and Neighborhood Services joined together to provide youth and parental engagement opportunities at Brinley and Gibson Community Schools. Gibson Community School hosted the Music Exchange and the Teen Entrepreneurs of Las Vegas (TEOLV) programs. The Music Exchange program provided young students with an introduction to music education in a hands-on environment and the TEOLV business education program taught young student attendees how to start their own businesses.

At the Brinley Community Center, entrepreneurial Chef Beverly Lee provided two successful workshops: “Powerful Beyond Measure,” an adult and young women’s tea and cooking experience, and the “We Are One,” adult and young men’s teamwork summit. 

For more information on the PALS program, or to be placed on the interest list, contact Kelly Woods at (702) 229-6269 or via email at kwoods@lasvegasnevada.gov.

Green Jobs Initiative

Councilman Barlow facilitated a town hall meeting on May 2 at the West Las Vegas Library Theatre to share information with residents about the Green Jobs Initiative. The Green Jobs Initiative would take advantage of incentives contained in the recently signed federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The initiative would provide job training, apprenticeships and employment opportunities in the areas of weatherization, energy retrofit and energy audits to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in Nevada. Under the bill, employers would be required to pay prevailing wages and offer health care insurance for employees and their families. For more information contact the councilman's office.

School Education and Safety Opportunities

The office of Councilman recently has been invited to work closely with the principal at Kit Carson Elementary School, Ms. Carolyn M. King.  King conducts monthly parent meetings that take place at the top of the morning, allowing parents to drop their children at school and stay for an additional hour to discuss ongoing concerns. While the meeting is casual, topics include updated school district policies, the Kit Carson campus, neighborhood concerns, and, of course, education. With the involvement of Councilman Barlow’s office, Kit Carson has been the recipient of much-needed information regarding educational grant opportunities and community partners willing to assist with ongoing parent involvement. Kit Carson is located at 1735 N. D St. D Street had become quite the main drag for detoured traffic, affected by ongoing street improvement projects on our city streets. Upon listening to the concerned parents, Councilman Barlow urged that our Public Works Department preserve the safety of our students by installing flashing school zone lights and proper signage deterring large construction trucks from using D Street. In addition, we have scheduled time for the crosswalks to be repainted for better visibility. If you believe that another Ward 5 school could use additional resources, please take the time to contact Councilman Barlow’s office. Education and the safety of our children are of utmost importance, and we will commit to working closely in order to make the difference. We commend Ms. King for her creative efforts to engage parents and provide a learning environment fit for outstanding Ward 5 students.

Smoke Ranch Maintenance District Pool Party

The Smoke Ranch Maintenance District held a pool party for its residents on Saturday, May 9. The homeowners’ association invited Neighborhood Services staff to meet with residents and respond to neighborhood concerns. The association’s board of directors provided food while families relaxed at the pool. The event gave residents a wonderful opportunity to meet one another, talk with their association board members and learn more about the city’s programs and services.

Councilman Barlow and Neighborhood Services take part in numerous neighborhood events throughout the year. The council office welcomes invitations from neighborhood associations and requests at least one month’s advance notice of upcoming events.    

West Las Vegas Plan Update

The West Las Vegas Plan is being updated in accordance with Objective 2.3 and Policy 2.3.2 of the Las Vegas 2020 Master Plan, which requires Special Area Plans to be updated periodically and provide direction for the West Las Vegas area. The previous update of the West Las Vegas Plan in 2006 incorporated recommendations of the Las Vegas 2020 Master Plan, the 1994 West Las Vegas Plan and the 2002 West Las Vegas Neighborhood Plan.

The West Las Vegas Land Use Plan area is north of U.S. 95, south of Carey Avenue and Lake Mead Blvd, east of Rancho Drive and west of Interstate 15.

The proposed amendment (GPA-33721) to the West Las Vegas Plan expands in detail and illustrates a clear direction for implementation items in Land Use, Infrastructure and Historic Preservation sections. The detail is provided on areas such as streetscape and median improvements, community identity markers, historical resource preservation and improved neighborhood livability.

The amendment also reflects the input that emerged through the American Planning Association Community Planning Workshop on April 27, 2008, which engaged community leaders, citizens, stakeholders and guest planners to propose specific solutions to urban planning challenges. The proposed revisions of the plan also include the comments from two neighborhood meetings where staff from Neighborhood Services, Public Works and Planning provided assistance.

At the May 28, 2009, Planning Commission meeting, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the General Plan Amendment (GPA-33721).  The item is scheduled to be heard by City Council in July.

Information Fair at Levy Gardens Senior Complex

On April 30, 2009, seniors at the Levy Gardens senior complex of the Las Vegas Housing Authority enjoyed meeting representatives from government agencies, non-profit organizations and the business sector who staffed 29 booths during an information fair.  These organizations included AARP, Arise Medical, Catholic Charities, District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Center, Public Guardian’s Office, the Medicare/State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), and Yesnick Low Vision care, to name a few.  Many residents checked their blood pressure and had their eyesight screened.

Coordinated by staff from the Neighborhood Services Department and members of the Las Vegas Senior Citizens Advisory Board, the fair attracted almost 70 participants from this facility and from Sartini Plaza and James Down Tower complexes.  Staff from Councilman Barlow’s office were on hand to assist seniors, respond to queries and distribute gifts during the drawing. Thanks to Councilman Barlow, who donated more than 30 T-shirts and crystal items and to the business representatives who also provided special gifts for the drawing. Plans are under way to coordinate other senior information fairs in the next 12 months.

Ward 5 Neighborhoods Awarded Funding Through the Neighborhoods Partners Fund Grant Program

The Las Vegas City Council on June 17, 2009, unanimously approved $55,000 in Neighborhood Partners Fund grants for 24 projects that will improve safety, beautify or otherwise enhance neighborhoods across the city. The recipients are neighborhood associations registered with the city of Las Vegas Neighborhood Services Department. Residents from these neighborhood associations will provide more than $248,386 in matching labor and donations to improve their neighborhoods. Of these totals, four Ward 5 neighborhoods will receive $7,900 to implement the following: (1) a communication outreach project to inform residents about community activities; (2) a cultural project that demonstrates holiday traditions for different cultures; (3) youth summer activities through the purchase of pool passes; and (4) security bars for a room where canned and dry food and commodities are stored.  These items are distributed to residents in need.

  Neighborhood Association Grant Amount Neighborhood Match Amount

Neighborhood Association


Match Amount


Vera Johnson Manor A
Summer Fun in the Sun (children’s pool passes)




Bonanza Village N.A.
Communication Outreach




Cultural Corridor Coalition
A December to Remember




Sherman Gardens Resident Council
Security Bars for Commodity Room





The Neighborhood Partners Fund matches up to $5,000 for projects to improve the quality of life in registered Las Vegas neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Partners Fund serves as incentive for residents to become involved in their neighborhoods and address issues of concern (i.e., traffic, neighborhood preservation, crime). Residents match the grants through volunteer labor and other types of donations.  Residents can register their neighborhoods with the Neighborhood Services Department to take advantage of these benefits by calling 229-2330 or visiting the city’s Web site at www.lasvegasnevada.gov to learn more. 

Bikes Belong

Bikes Belong is a national coalition of bicycle suppliers and retailers working together to put more people on bicycles more often. Its commitment to putting more people on bikes will help enhance the quality of life for citizens of Ward 5 and help us to teach young people the joy and health benefits of riding a bike at an early age Councilman Barlow partnered with Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy to conduct an informational neighborhood meeting May 21, 2009. The city is coordinating efforts with the residents of Ward 5, the Las Vegas Valley Bike Club, Metropolitan Police Department Downtown and Bolden Area Commands, the Regional Transportation Commission, Wendell P. Williams Elementary School, Matt Kelly Elementary School and Doolittle Community Center to install bike lanes on roadways in Ward 5. During the meeting, staff from city Public Works provided bike lane details and showed maps/photos of proposed bike lanes. The proposed lanes would encompass 3.2 miles – H Street, Bonanza to Miller, and J Street, Washington to Carey.  The bike lanes have a reflective component to the paint, with a lifespan of six months to a year. For more information on the Bikes Belong coalition, go online to www.bikesbelong.org.

Students Pledge Not to Commit Crime of Graffiti

The Las Vegas City Council, in partnership with the Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition, declared April as graffiti awareness month. Students in schools across Las Vegas attended signing ceremonies promising to care for the community and pledging not to commit the crime of graffiti. The signing ceremonies were part of many events planned to stem the tide of this growing crime and to promote community pride.

Councilman Barlow and the Neighborhood Services Department held signing ceremonies in Ward 5 on April 14 at Wendell Williams Elementary School, April 16 at Kit Carson Elementary School, and on April 25 at the Hip Hop Culture Festival at the Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza. More than 200 Ward 5 students participated and learned the importance of community pride and taking an active role in the care of their neighborhood.

Graffiti has been recognized as the most expensive property crime in the city of Las Vegas. Approximately $30 million is spent each year to clean up the vandalism in the Las Vegas valley.  An important message conveyed to the student participants was that permission is the difference between graffiti and art; if you don’t have permission to paint an area, it’s a crime. 

To report graffiti in the city, call the graffiti hotline at 229-6615. Callers may remain anonymous. Wiping out graffiti is just one of the many ways Councilman Barlow works to strengthen communities.

New Community Health Center Open

Matt Kelly Empowerment Elementary School celebrated the grand opening of a new Community Health Center that will provide free medical services to students. The celebration was held on May 8, 2009, at 1900 J St. and included a ribbon cutting and tours of the health center services room and parent center.

The University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) Department of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Nevada Youth Alliance and the Clark County School District, will provide free healthcare at the school to any Matt Kelly student in need. One of the main goals for the collaboration was to make healthcare accessible to youth who don’t have access and are affected by circumstances that create obstacles to their success.
UNSOM also will teach health education and disease prevention to students and parents, including physical, dental and mental health, hygiene, asthma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and smoking cessation.

Sierra Oeste Neighborhood Cleanup Success

On April 4, Councilman Barlow’s staff and the Neighborhood Services Department assisted the Sierra Oeste community with a neighborhood cleanup that was very successful, thanks to the help of numerous volunteers. The Starbucks staff from Rancho and Bonanza, more than 50 youth volunteers from the Alpha Men and Divas of Tomorrow Youth Program, UNLV students who are members of the Nu Alpha Kappa fraternity, and even students from Harlem, N.Y., collected excess debris, painted red curbs and yellow fire hydrants, repainted the entire perimeter block wall and even repainted parking stalls on each four-plex property.  The mood was fantastic and the weather made it possible.  Having residents and property owners assist is the exact spirit we want for all neighborhood cleanups.  Councilman Barlow initiated the Clean Ward 5 Campaign, which helps Ward 5 remain free of trash, glass and debris and also rids the walls of graffiti.  The momentum of these philanthropic efforts has given this community the additional push to rebuild its character, and we commend the residents and owners for working with the city. Many thanks also to the collaboration of volunteers, youth organizations and business partners, such as Starbucks, for helping Councilman Barlow to make a difference in this community.

Las Vegas City Council Approves Name Change from Union Park to Symphony Park

The Las Vegas City Council voted to approve a name change of the 61-acre, city neighborhood development of Union Park to Symphony Park on May 20, 2009.  The name change was approved just days before the scheduled groundbreaking of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts – Las Vegas’ first world-class performing arts facility that will be located within the heart of this downtown community. The decision to change the name to Symphony Park was the result of considerable research and careful deliberation about the development’s connection to the local community.  Symphony Park better reflects the neighborhood’s art-centric focus and serves as a powerful metaphor for the many and diverse facilities, uses and experiences that ultimately will be created here.

Symphony Park is anchored by two key projects, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. As such, it enjoys an impressive commitment to leading-edge medicine, as well as a substantial art influence.  In addition to these two catalytic facilities, Symphony Park will be the future home of The Charlie Palmer, a luxury boutique hotel developed by renowned chef Charlie Palmer and City-Core Development; the World Jewelry Center, an important centralized marketplace for the international and domestic gem and jewelry trade developed by Probity International; a boutique-style business hotel; a first-class casino/hotel with significant retail space developed by Forest City; abundant street-side retail offerings; a two-acre park; and an estimated 2,090 urban-style residences developed by Newland Communities.  For more information about Symphony Park, please go online to www.symphonypark.com.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts Celebrates Its Groundbreaking

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts celebrated its groundbreaking with a ceremonial carillon bell casting and ringing Tuesday, May 26, 2009.  A 4.75-acre complex housing the Nevada Ballet Theatre and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, The Smith Center will become the cultural hub of Las Vegas when it opens in Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas in early 2012. The Smith Center worked with The Verdin Company and Mobile Bell Foundry to cast a commemorative bell on-site at Symphony Park, beginning Sunday, May 24, 2009.  The brass bell was then poured and polished at the construction site during a series of celebrations set for Memorial Day weekend, culminating with the first ringing of the bell during the official groundbreaking ceremony.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public/private partnership that will serve as the living room for the community — a place that will educate, entertain and excite the citizens of our great city. Designed to address the needs of local residents, The Smith Center will offer a blend of performances by local arts groups as well as first-run touring attractions. It will feature music, theater, and dance companies who celebrate cultures from all over the world. For more information about The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, please visit online at www.thesmithcenter.com.


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