February 15, 2012 


Last week, I attended the Nevada Department of  Transportation's (NDOT) latest public hearing on Project Neon. Project Neon is a redesign of the I-15 corridor between Sahara Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl. The meeting focused on proposed updates to the project and the expected construction timeline. 

Information from the public hearing is included on the Project Neon website here. The public comment period will remain open until 5 p.m. Friday, March 9, 2012. You can e-mail your comments, or send them directly to C. Mortensen, Nevada Department of Transportation, 1263 S. Stewart St., Carson City, NV  89712.

NDOT is initiating Phase 1 of Project Neon. The Federal Highway Administration issued a Record of Decision on Project Neon in October 2010, officially approving the project's final Environmental Impact Statement. 

Through the end of 2012, the focus will be on property acquisition and major utility relocations. Under the Uniform Act, the NDOT Right-of-Way Division will ensure that affected property owners receive fair market value for any acquired property. Select sewer, water, gas and transmission lines, as well as poles and utilities sharing the poles, will be relocated as needed. The process could take as long as 18 months or more.

Depending on how NDOT chooses to move forward with design and construction, Phase 1 could be under final design and construction as early as 2013 and last from three to 3.5 years. The major elements of Phase 1 include:

  • Western-Grand Central Parkway connection;
  • U.S. 95 to HOV I-15 express lanes connection;
  • HOV direct connect to Wall Street;
  • Charleston interchange reconstruction;
  • Alta slip ramp;
  • Martin Luther King to Desert Lane connection;
  • Sound walls.

I encourage residents in Ward 1 to pay close attention to project updates and take advantage of opportunities to provide input. 

The city of Las Vegas will be moving into the new City Hall Feb. 17-26, 2012. Please note that City Hall will be closed Monday, Feb. 20, in recognition of the Presidents' Day Holiday. The new City Hall is located at 495 S. Main St. This is located between Main and First streets and Bonneville and Clark avenues. 

Beginning March 7, 2012, City Council meetings will take place at the new City Hall. Beginning March 13, 2012, Planning Commission meetings will take place at the new City Hall.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the following departments will be located in the new City Hall:

  • City Clerk - 2nd floor
  • City Attorney's Office - 6th floor
  • City Auditor - 6th floor
  • Human Resources - 2nd floor
  • Economic & Urban Development - 6th floor
  • Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services - 5th floor.

On Monday, Feb. 27, ALL City Hall departments, including those listed below, will be located in the new City Hall:

  • City Clerk - 2nd floor
  • City Attorney's Office - 6th floor
  • City Auditor - 6th floor
  • City Manager - 7th floor
  • Communications - 7th floor
  • Cultural Affairs - 4th floor
  • Economic & Urban Development - 6th floor
  • Finance - 4th floor
  • Human Resources - 2nd floor
  • Information Technologies - 5th floor
  • KCLV - 1st floor
  • Mayor & City Council - 7th floor
  • Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services - 5th floor
  • Sewer Bill Payments - 4th floor

The parking garage servicing the new City Hall is located at 500 S. Main St., on the west side of Main Street between Bonneville and Clark. Visitors will receive a ticket upon entering the garage. Before leaving the facility, payment should be made by visiting one of the payment machines located on the ground floor by the elevators. Payment machines accept cash and Visa/MasterCard debit and credit cards. Once the parking fee has been paid, the ticket will be returned and will need to be used to exit the garage. Parking rates are as follows:

 Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  
 0-10 Minutes  Grace period - no charge
 11-30 Minutes $   .75 
 31-60 minutes  $1.50
 Every 30 minutes after  $  .75 additional
 Daily maximum  $9.00 (6 hours @ $1.50/hour)
 Lost ticket  $9.00
 Evenings / weekends  $3.00 flat rate







Public Contract Parking
Prepaid Card:  $5 per day.
Monthly Access: $60/month.

Parking for Official Council Meetings
Free with a validation.

Jason Petty & Carolyn Martin in "Country Royalty"

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m.
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 on event day.
Charleston Heights Arts Center Theatre, 800 S. Brush St., (702) 229-6383.
Jason Petty and Carolyn Martin present a musical tribute to Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. Petty has teamed up with one of the best singers in the business to bring two legends of country music together. Enjoy some of country's greatest hits, such as "Crazy," "Hey Good Lookin'," "Sweet Dreams," "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Walking After Midnight," "I Fall To Pieces" and many more. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 229-6383 or visit http://www.artslasvegas.org/.

Tuck & Patti in Concert
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m.
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 on event day.
Charleston Heights Arts Center Theatre, 800 S. Brush St., (702) 229-6383.
You are either a fan, or you haven't heard them yet! From their beautifully composed originals to rearrangements of hits from the worlds of rock, soul, jazz and modern pop, husband-and-wife duo Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart have the ability to wow audiences in everything they do. Andress' guitar playing is amazing. Complimented with Cathcart's deep, rich, soulful voice, Tuck and Patti are able to fill any room with awe-inspiring sound. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 229-6383 or visit http://www.artslasvegas.org/.

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, March 31, so you and your canine companion can join me at the Ward 1 Puppy Love event at Woofter Park on the northwest corner of Rock Springs and Vegas Drive.  

There are two sides to every story - and then there's the truth. Uncover the real life battle between organized crime and law enforcement at The Mob Museum, which opened to the public on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, the museum reveals an insider's look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle. True stories of mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments. Admission is $18 plus tax for adults ages 18 and over; $12 plus tax for children ages 5 to 17 and students ages 18 to 23 with proper identification; $14 plus tax for seniors, military, law enforcement and teachers; and $10 plus tax for Nevada residents of all ages. Museum hours will be Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, go online.

NV Energy is committed to building strong, healthy and diverse communities and believes that a strong community has an educated and productive workforce at its base. To support attainment of a higher education for youth, NV Energy is offering the Power Partnership Scholarship Program. One-time scholarships of $1,000 are awarded based on the program's selection criteria and on the number of applications received. High school seniors in public or private high schools or those who are home-schooled are encouraged to submit applications before Feb. 29, 2012. For more information, please visit NV Energy's website.

Whether you're driving home or taking transit, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) can help you get up-to-the-minute information on your commute via text messages. The RTC has launched a new mobile SMS text service, rideRTC, enabling transit riders to find out when the next transit vehicle is scheduled to arrive at their stop by sending a text message to the RTC from their mobile phone.

Riders will find that using rideRTC is easy. Simply send a text message to 41411 and type in the body of the text message rideRTC followed by a space, and then the bus stop identification number that can be found on the shelter or on signage at the stop. For example, riders would text 'rideRTC 292' to 41411. Within seconds, the rider will receive a reply text message with the arrival times of the next three scheduled vehicles at that location. With this new text messaging service, riders can obtain schedule information without having to carry a hard copy of the RTC transit guide. Additionally, rideRTC will provide scheduled arrival information for any transit stop in the valley, while the transit guide provides schedule information only for certain timepoints along a route.   

The RTC also provides alerts and information regarding traffic and incident reports on I-15, U.S. 95 and the 215 Bruce Woodbury Beltway via RTC FAST Freeway Traffic Alerts sent by e-mail or text message. Commuters can sign up to receive both e-mail and text message alerts at the RTC's website. Drivers are reminded to check messages before they get behind the wheel to drive. Standard text messaging rates apply for both rideRTC and the FAST text message alerts.

The Southern Nevada Health District provides these useful tips for reducing rats in and around your home:

  • Weatherproof your home's windows and doors (eliminate light from around doors).
    o Seal outer openings, pipe chases and wire entrance gaps with steel wool, aluminum, or wire mesh.
    o Secure pet doors at night.
  • Eliminate any unnecessary clutter, material, brush or foliage from your property.
    o Keep bushes trimmed and clean out leaf litter and clutter that collects below bushes.
    o Remove landscaping debris quickly.
    o Stack firewood 12 inches off the ground and keep the area clean.
  • Keep trash cans (plastic or metal) covered.
    o Do not put out "food" garbage in plastic bags.
    o Place sealed plastic bags in trash cans.
    o Do not leave pet food outside overnight.
  • It is recommended that rodent control be conducted by a commercial pest control company that is licensed by the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
    o After rodent-proofing, glue and snap-type traps are effective in reducing rodent numbers.
    o Do not place traps where they may be accessible to children or pets.
    o Over-the-counter poison baits also can be useful, provided the label directions are followed, but should not be used in households with children or pets, unless under the direction of a licensed pest control company.

If you believe you have a rat infestation, contact your local pest control company. If you have any questions regarding rodent proofing your home, contact Vector Control at 759-1633.

The following laws apply to animals and their owners within the city of Las Vegas:

  • Restraint Law - It is a misdemeanor for any animal to be at large within the city limits of Las Vegas. 
  • Sanitation - Pet owners are responsible to keep their private property clean and free of animal waste and odor. Likewise, pet owners must promptly clean their animal's waste from public property or the property of others. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.
  • Barking Dogs - The owner of a dog that barks excessively, or any noisy animal, may be criminally prosecuted if the problem is not corrected. If talking with the owner has not solved the problem, contact Animal Control. Please provide an exact address. On the first complaint, Animal Control will send a letter to the owner. On the second complaint, an officer will be sent to the owner's home and issue a written notice of correction. After the third complaint within six months, both parties will be referred to the Clark County Neighborhood Justice Center in an effort to resolve the problem. If mediation fails, you will be asked to provide a written voluntary statement detailing the complaint, including, but not necessarily limited to, documenting dates, times and duration of the excessive noise. Your statement must be corroborated by at least one additional person who lives in the neighborhood. All persons submitting a written statement must be willing to appear in court.
  • Biting Animals - The owner of a biting animal is often civilly liable for personal injury, and depending on circumstances, can be criminally prosecuted. Animals with a history of biting may be declared dangerous, with restrictions being placed on how the animal is maintained by the owner. Animals that bite after being declared dangerous, or those that have caused serious injury may be declared vicious. Vicious animals are unlawful to keep in the city of Las Vegas, and in the State of Nevada. This means euthanasia for the animal and potential criminal charges against the owner. All bites inflicted by warm-blooded mammals must be reported to the rabies control authority, which, within the corporate city limits of Las Vegas, is the Animal Control Unit. Anyone with knowledge that an animal bite has occurred is obligated by law to report it to Animal Control. This includes the victim, medical facility or the pet owner. Keep the rabies vaccination record for your pet handy. Biting animals must undergo a 10-day quarantine for health observation. Animal Control would prefer to home quarantine, providing the rabies vaccination is current, and the owner can provide a secure area to keep the animal confined.  If the above criteria are not met, the animal must be impounded for observation at the Animal Foundation.

Animal Control recognizes that urban pigeons can be a source of annoyance to many people and local businesses. Urban pigeons are considered unprotected feral birds. The urban environment provides an ideal accommodation for pigeons, mainly because of a plentiful food supply, made-to-order sheltering facilities and a lack of natural enemies. Please consider the following when dealing with nuisance pigeons:

  • Eliminate the food sources by covering trash receptacles, pick up refuse or discarded food products. Don't feed your pets outside or leave food dishes outside.
  • Pigeon-proof your structure by enclosing the openings to vents, attics, eaves, garages and around air-conditioning units with screen material. Flat surfaces at roof edges may be fitted with a beveled piece of wood to make perching difficult.
  • Purchase an artificial predator such as an owl, hawk, snake or cat, and post in the area where pigeons congregate.
  • Population reduction:  Most pigeon infestations occur on private property and it is the owner's responsibility to attend to the problem. Sometimes the infestation is so great that eradication is the only viable solution. Many private pest control agencies are knowledgeable and licensed to handle pigeon infestation. Follow-up preventative maintenance is absolutely necessary in order to eliminate the possibility of reinfestation. Shooting pigeons or using explosive devices to scare pigeons is unlawful within the city limits of Las Vegas.

Families can explore 2.2 miles of trails at the Springs Preserve on two (or more) wheels with a bicycle rental program. Bike rentals are available at the Exploration Loop Trailhead, across from the Springs Preserve Amphitheater. Cyclists can enjoy various historical stops, shaded ramadas and views of the Cienega and natural areas on our trails. Bike rentals now are available on weekends and school holidays from 10 a.m. to dusk. Members receive early access, beginning at 8 a.m.

Rental Fees and Policies

  • Members: $6 per hour, $3 each additional half-hour.
  • Non-members: $8 per hour, $4 each additional half-hour.

Helmets are included with rental (and required for those age 12 and under). Child carrier rentals are available for $4 (members) or $6 (non-members). No more than 20 bikes will be rented per hour to maximize enjoyment of the trails. Individuals are not allowed to bring their own bicycles on Preserve trails or property.

The City Clerk has suspended the acceptance of passport applications through Monday, Feb. 27, due to the office preparing to move into the new City Hall, located at 495 S. Main Street.

The city of Las Vegas offers U.S. Passport services through its City Clerk's office. Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 28, passport applications will be accepted on the second floor of the new City Hall building, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Fees payable to the U.S. Department of State must be by check, money order or cashier's check only. The separate execution fee to the city of Las Vegas may be cash, check, credit/debit card or money order. The processing time for a passport is currently six weeks. Expedited service is taking between two and three weeks. For more information on passport services offered by the city of Las Vegas visit www.lasvegasnevada.gov/passports.

Southern Nevada cities and Clark County launched an emergency alert website that allows residents, businesses and visitors to receive free emergency alerts via their cellular phone and e-mail. Sign-up is quick and easy. Visit the website and enter up to three phone numbers and two e-mail addresses. You can also choose what kind of alert you want to receive, including extreme temperatures, flash flooding, earthquakes, air quality advisories, winter storms and hazmat incidents.

Hyde Park Middle School's Future City team won first place at the Southern Nevada Future City competition sponsored by the Southern Nevada American Society of Civil Engineers Jan. 21, 2012. Eighth-graders Lyle Carrera and Luisa Skouson, seventh-graders Cassidy Gurske, Matthew Hambacher, Eyasu Shumie, Guy Tannenbaum, Lucas Shaw and Herman Wu and sixth-grader Christopher Hambacher also captured the Outstanding Model, Best Essay and Best Oral Presentation trophies at this event. These students, their chaperones and advisors Susan Zajack and Bonnie Pilaro, will be at the national competition in Washington Feb. 17-22.

As part of the Future City Competition, students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future.  Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges. The topic for this year was "Fuel Your Future." Students were tasked with imagining new ways to meet a city's energy needs and maintain a healthy planet.

You found the perfect couch at a flea market, hauled it home and now you're itching like crazy. It's important to remember that when you buy used furniture, you might bring home more than you bargained for. Your purchase could have squatters - bed bugs. Despite what their name implies, bed bugs can be found in any soft or upholstered furniture, bed frames, headboards, box springs, drapes, behind wallpaper, under rugs, even under door frames. They don't like light and hide themselves very well. Because of this, they are not usually visible to the naked eye and may be lurking in the seams of your second-hand leather ottoman or that irresistible damask armed chair you practically stole from your neighbor's garage sale.

If you purchase used furniture of any kind, the Southern Nevada Health District offers these tips:

  • Buy from a reputable source, like a reliable consignment or second-hand store.
  • Be especially diligent if you purchase upholstered items, headboards and bed frames.
  • Before bringing the new purchase inside your home, inspect it carefully with a bright flashlight. Check the seams and folds of all upholstered items, shine the light into all crevices, remove all drawers and inspect them thoroughly.
  • Look for any indicators of bed bugs:
    o Any live or dead bed bugs (they look like small black seeds);
    o Small dark spots, which indicate fecal spotting;
    o Small white dots (eggs) in crevices of hard furniture;
    o Skin casts.

Bed bugs can be difficult to eliminate once you have an infestation.  The recommended course of action depends upon your specific situation. If you suspect an infestation, and you are a:

  • homeowner, contact a certified pest control company.
  • motel/hotel guest, contact the health district's Vector Control office at 759-0697. The health district has the regulatory authority to respond within 72 hours to inspect the room and any associated pest records. The facility is responsible for closing the room and treating it. However, if the facility is despondent, health district staff will intervene.
  • tenant, first contact your landlord in writing. A landlord has 14 days to provide a "habitable dwelling." The health district has limited authority to respond to tenant complaints, and will only provide an abatement order when the issue has become a public nuisance.

There is always a risk when purchasing anything second-hand. To minimize the risks associated with used furniture, take the necessary precaution of conducting a thorough inspection before bringing it into your home. Make sure your "new to you" furniture is clean, safe and free from any pesky freeloaders.

NV Energy is an investor-owned corporation, whose operating subsidiaries are engaged in energy and utility services. Through its foundation, NV Energy distributes charitable contributions throughout its northern and southern Nevada service territory. Recipients of foundation grants must be nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) status from the IRS and be located within NV Energy's service territory. Grants are focused on five philanthropic areas:

  • Education - The NV Energy Foundation seeks to develop strategic partnerships with educational institutions and other 501(c)(3) organizations that have demonstrated a history of delivering effective educational programs that produce measurable results.
  • Youth - The foundation supports youth-oriented programs and organizations, including those that focus on strong prevention and/or intervention activities and which empower young people to gain self-confidence, personal independence and personal growth.
  • Environment - The foundation supports programs and organizations that foster a safe and sustainable environment and address concerns such as renewable resources, energy conservation, air, land and water quality, wildlife habitat, open space, parks and trails and waste recycling.
  • Arts and Multicultural - The foundation supports programs and organizations that expand access to public participation and awareness in the arts, including those that place special emphasis on bringing arts and cultural opportunities to underserved populations in both urban centers and rural towns.
  • Health and Human Services - NV Energy focuses on support of the United Way and its mission to improve the health and welfare of all Nevadans. In addition, the foundation provides limited funding for health and human services programs that concentrate on improving the overall health and quality of life in the communities it serves.

For more information, please visit the NV Energy website.

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