Summerlin Sentinel

An independent source for news serving Summerlin

Playground ready for art show

Workers on Thursday afternoon put the finishing touches on playground equipment that was replaced this week at Bruce Trent Park, on the southeast corner of Rampart Boulevard and Vegas Drive in Summerlin North. With the scent of fresh paint filling the air, about five workers installed wood chips underneath climbing equipment while others did landscaping to prepare for an Art in the Park event scheduled 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17. The city budgeted $615,000 for the playground upgrade, but the actual cost may be lower than expected. Photo by Luke Geary

City can’t say how far transit line will go

Company eyes Charleston for public transport


(Editor’s note: A month ago, the Sentinel considered writing about the Axios transit line. We did not pursue it further because publicly-posted agendas for City Council meetings March 17 and April 7 stated the proposal did not affect City Council Ward 2 in Summerlin. The documents apparently were mistaken, and the oversight was corrected verbally at the start of last week’s City Council meeting. In looking at the minutes of that meeting, the Axios item still includes the original information. The Sentinel regrets the delay.)


For the Sentinel's Opinion Click HERE

By Frank Geary

Las Vegas City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman this week declined to say how far west into Summerlin a proposed private transit line should run on Charleston Boulevard.

She would not say whether it was OK for the Axios company’s proposed transit line to run west of Buffalo Drive, or west of Rampart Boulevard or beyond Town Center Drive or past Pavilion Center Drive.

Instead, she said it could be years before the city learns more about the private company’s plans for West Charleston Boulevard in Summerlin.

“The city of Las Vegas is always interested in improving transportation for our residents,” reads a statement from Seaman issued by City Hall on Wednesday. “The exclusive negotiating agreement gives a company a chance to research the Charleston corridor and present their findings to the City Council. We will not know if the project is right for the community until we have the chance to review their findings in the coming years.”

The City Council last week initiated an “exclusive negotiating agreement” with a transportation company known as Axios, which is considering construction of a privately operated public transit service - similar, perhaps, to a train or bus - along an undisclosed section of Charleston Boulevard.

In response to the vote, Axios will develop privately the preliminary plans for such aspects as the route, the design, the schedule, the acquisition of right of way, coordination with existing buses on Charleston Boulevard and impacts on surrounding areas, according to documents filed with the city.

However, the proposal does not specify whether Charleston Boulevard through Summerlin will be affected, or whether it will involve other portions of the major roadway through the city.

The proposal doesn’t mention whether it includes adding more buses to Charleston, or whether it involves a light rail line alongside the road, or whether it involves something new, such as air taxis or some sort of high-speed underground transportation.

In addition, City Council agendas in the past month have created further confusion on the prospective whereabouts of the proposed transit line.

Publicly posted agendas for council meetings in the past month have listed the council wards affected by the Axios proposal. Each time, the agendas listed wards that did not include Summerlin’s Ward 2.

As a result, local residents had no reason to think the proposed transit service would come to Summerlin. In fact, they were given reason to believe that it was never intended to impact Summerlin.

It wasn’t until the start of the April 7 council meeting, that the confusion was cleared up verbally. Mayor Carolyn Goodman stated for the first time that the agenda was mistaken, and that the Axios proposal would affect constituents in Ward 2.

This week, City Hall spokesman Jace Radke declined to answer questions from the Sentinel regarding the apparently mistaken agendas. He declined to say whether the apparent oversight was the result of human error, computer error, a typo or some other miscue. He also declined to explain why the City Clerk's office did not catch the mistake after it appeared on the March 17 council agenda and correct it before it appeared again on the agenda for last week' s meeting.

Published April 16, 2021


COVID-19 count hits highest level in two months

There were 79 new cases of COVID-19 reported across the three zip codes in Summerlin North and Summerlin West this week. All three saw sizable jumps in the past week. All three areas saw their highest weekly case count in the past eight to nine weeks despite vaccination rates in Summerlin are higher than many parts of Southern Nevada. Graphic by Luke Geary

City won’t say if fatal DUI disclosed

What was known before the vote?

By Frank Geary

Las Vegas city administrators this week refused to say if the City Council issued a temporary liquor license to a Summerlin restaurateur knowing he appears to be the driver involved in a fatal DUI.

The council last week authorized a temporary liquor license for the new Boston’s Fish House and Bar in the Tivoli Village complex even though a quick internet search found the restaurant’s key representative has the same name as the driver in a DUI that killed a 20-year-old college student.

City Hall spokesman Jace Radke, in an email response to Sentinel questions, on Wednesday refused to say whether the city’s liquor-license investigators knew of the arrest and conviction of Nicholas Sord before the license was issued.

He declined to say: if investigators failed to disclose the information to the council before the vote; whether the council knew of the legal problems or whether investigators and the council members, themselves, failed to conduct a brief Google search on the liquor-license applicant.

He did not provide a shred of specifics about the circumstances surrounding the Tivoli Village liquor license.

Radke did verify that Nicholas Sord, who also owns and operates the Sunny Side Up restaurant in Summerlin’s Boca Park, does not hold any other liquor licenses issued by the city.

And, the spokesman explained the process undertaken, in general, when regulating a liquor license.

Summerlin West and Summerlin North, south of the Summerlin Parkway, are represented by City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, a former state lawmaker and one-time GOP congressional candidate. North of the parkway is represented by City Councilman Stavros Anthony, a former Las Vegas police administrator and member of the Nevada Board of Regents.

“This was a temporary license which is standard procedure while a complete background check is taking place,” states the email from the city spokesman. “This will come back to the City Council along with a full background investigation when completed so that the council can vote on whether or not to issue a permanent license. So the city is completing the full background investigation and when it is done it will be before the City Council for appropriate action.”

The City Council on Wednesday issued a temporary liquor license to Boston’s Fish House and Bar in Summerlin’s swank Tivoli Village complex, across from the Suncoast Hotel and Casino on Rampart Boulevard at Alta Drive.

The revision issued the license to LVLOCA 2021, which is owned by Bryan Sord, a restaurateur from Orland Park, Illinois, and West Summerlin resident Nicholas Sord, who serves as the local face and legal representative for the family-owned company, according to state records.

According to press accounts, a one-time Orland Park, Illinois, man named Nicholas Sord, the son of a prominent Illinois restaurateur and developer named Bryan Sord, was convicted in 2014 of a fatal drunk-driving accident.

Sord apparently lost control of his vehicle on New Year’s Eve 2009 and crashed into a pole. His passenger, Jessica Mejia, 20, and a former girlfriend of Sord’s at the time, was killed in the wreck, according to the press.

Nicholas Sord’s blood-alcohol was tested at 0.236, which is nearly three times the legal limit, according to press reports at the time.

Police tests also showed that Nicholas Sord had opiates in his bloodstream, but his attorneys had drug-related charges against him dismissed after showing Nicholas Sord had a prescription for the painkillersm according to press accounts.

Sord was sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison for the crash, but was expected to serve less than two and a half years, according to press reports.

This week’s approval of the liquor license in Las Vegas was temporary to allow the city’s liquor-license regulators to investigate the license-change before making it permanent.

The temporary license was transferred from a company, known as TCB Las Vegas, to a company formed in December and called LVLOCA 2021, which opened Boston’s Fish House in January, according to records from Wednesday's council meeting and from the state.

A phone call to Boston's this week confirmed that it has been serving alcohol for about a month.

Nicholas and Bryan Sord in April 2020 opened Sunny Side Up, a breakfast place, in the Boca Park shopping center, just south of Tivoli Village at 750 S. Rampart Boulevard, according to Las Vegas press accounts.

The family was featured a month later in the local press when they donated about 100 breakfasts to workers at a COVID-19 testing site at the UNLV School of Medicine.

Nicholas Sord pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in 2014. He had also been charged with reckless homicide, according to press reports.

Sord and Mejia had broken up in August of 2009 before she entered college at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sord told Cook County sheriff's investigators that he was out drinking with friends before he went to Mejia's home that night and picked her up. He said they were headed to his house.

Mejia's family filed a civil lawsuit against Sord and his family.

The Mejias also filed a lawsuit against the Cook County Sheriff's Department, accusing deputies of taking nude photos of Mejia by the side of the road.

The family also filed suit against several bars where Sord was drinking.

Sord was 22 at the time of the crash, according to press accounts at the time.

The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that Sord was partnering with Blackhawks legend Denis Savard to open a restaurant in Indiana. Shortly after the crash, Savard pulled out of the partnership.

Published April 16, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Thursday, April 8, to Wednesday, April 15

  1. Disturbing the Peace 12:51 p.m. Tue., April 13, 2700 block Valley Downs Drive

  2. Burglary 9:14 p.m. Tue., April 13, 2300 block Bloomington Drive

  3. Burglary 11:02 a.m. Wed., April 14, 10200 block Alessandro Avenue

  4. Burglary 1:54 p.m. Sun., April 11, 2100 block Spring Water Drive

  5. Burglary 1:58 p.m. Tue., April 13, 10400 block Cogswell Avenue

  6. Disturbing the Peace 10:15 a.m. Fri., April 9, 11300 block Redpoint Drive

  7. Auto Theft 10:00 a.m. Wed., April 14, 1300 block N Town Center Drive

  8. Disturbing the Peace 10:08 p.m. Sun., April 11, 1200 block N Town Center Drive

  9. Two incidents at 600 block N Town Center Drive: Disturbing the Peace 11:29 a.m. Fri., April 9; Assault 11:27 a.m. Tue., April 13

  10. Burglary 3:45 p.m. Mon., April 12, 400 block Grand Augusta Lane

  11. Burglary 12:21 a.m. Sun., April 11, 400 block Sonoma Valley Street

  12. Disturbing the Peace 8:29 a.m. Mon., April 12, 900 block Baronet Drive

  13. Auto Theft 11:28 a.m. Sat., April 10, 600 block S Town Center Drive

  14. Burglary 12:13 p.m. Sun., April 11, 700 block Point Ridge Place

  15. Disturbing the Peace 9:00 a.m. Fri., April 9, 10100 block Park Run Drive

  16. Disturbing the Peace 4:47 p.m. Wed., April 14, 200 block N Rampart Boulevard

  17. Auto Theft 6:36 a.m. Fri., April 9, 9700 block Foxtrap Avenue

  18. Auto Theft 12:36 p.m. Sun., April 11, 9500 block W Charleston Boulevard

  19. Burglary 5:05 p.m. Sun., April 11, 1100 bock Daytona Lane

City Hall and Indian tribe pursue land swap

City to get 1,000 acres closer to Mt. Charleston

By Frank Geary

Almost 40 years ago, the Paiute Indian tribe acquired 4,000 acres for its reservation about 18 miles north of the tribe’s ancestral home near downtown Las Vegas.

Well, Southern Nevada’s idigenous people may be on the move again.

A proposal, which has been negotiated for weeks between city and tribal officials, would transfer to the Paiutes' federal land north of the reservation, and the city would lease from the tribe 1,000 acres of reservation land to continue development north alongside the U.S. Highway 95 corridor near Mount Charleston.

The Las Vegas City Council last week officially authorized city administrators to pursue ongoing negotiations with the tribe, and to reach out to Nevada’s congressional delegation for its support in transferring to the tribe the federal acreage north of the reservation.

“The Tribe and the City acknowledge the expansion of the Snow Mountain Reservation to mitigate development of the lands referenced in this agreement is required for the Tribe’s support for its implementation,” states Article One of the authorization.

The city would lease the 1,000 acres for economic development and a so-called “Job Creation Zone” aimed at increasing the number of jobs available in an area swallowed up in recent years by construction of new homes.

The proposal also calls on the city and the tribe to work with NV Energy to develop a 130-foot wide corridor for energy transmission in the area south of the reservation.

The agreement, according to city administrators, comes at a time when much of the land north of the reservation has been designated for sale.

City officials have asked the federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees vast tracts of federal land, to conduct a “direct, noncompetitive sale” of 633 acres north of the Snow Mountain Reservation north of Las Vegas.

In addition, according to the proposal, the federal government holds “in trust for the public” another 3,200 acres north of the reservation. Southeast of the reservation, in the Upper Las Vegas Wash, are 933 acres of federal land that the city has asked the BLM to put up for sale to developers.

The city has already started working with a development company, Olympia Companies, to start planning for the development of the Upper Las Vegas Wash, according to the proposal with the Paiute tribe.

The measure also states the city’s support for NV Energy’s Green Link West, which requires a right-of-way to be designated in the area.

“The city desires to support NV Energy’s Green Link West, a transmission and renewable energy initiative that will transform Nevada’s clean energy landscape, create thousands of jobs, promote economic development and position the City to achieve its environmental and carbon reduction goals,” the agreement states.

Published April 16, 2021

Summerlin Shorts

Expired meds to be destroyed

Seniors and others with unnecessary prescription medications around the house can drop them off to be destroyed 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24.

Expired or unwanted pills can be dropped off at the Las Vegas police Northwest Area Command, 9850 W. Cheyenne Ave. in Las Vegas.

The event is part of a nationwide effort by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency known as National Pill Take Back Day, according to Las Vegas police.

Bring pills only. They should be kept in their original containers with the name of the patient blacked out. Liquids, aerosols, needles or other medicine or equipment that is not in pill form will not be accepted.

For other disposal options, contact CARE Coalition at 702-463-1415.

Register for Summer Camps at Veterans Memorial

The city of Las Vegas invites you to “Discover the Fun in 2021” at this year’s summer camp at Veterans Memorial Center at 101 S. Pavilion Center Drive in Summerlin.

Online registration opened Thursday, April 15, for all city of Las Vegas summers, with walk-in registration available.

There are several options for youth ages 3-16. For details, visit www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Camps.


Last Week's Sentinel


Two-day project squeezes Summerlin Parkway

Annoyance at Anasazi Drive

Summerlin motorists get stuck in traffic Monday on the eastbound Summerlin Parkway between the interchange with the 215 Beltway and Anasazi Drive. Traffic slowed to a crawl from the interchange to Town Center Drive all of Tuesday as well while construction crews undertook a paving project eastbound between Anazasi and Town Center. The parkway resumed normal operations Wednesday. Photo by Luke Geary

City gives liquor license to driver in fatal DUI

Permission temporary, subject to probe

By Frank Geary

Las Vegas city officials this week issued a temporary liquor license to a Tivoli Village restaurateur, who appears to be the same man sent to prison after being convicted in a fatal drunken driving accident seven years ago.

The City Council on Wednesday issued a temporary liquor license to Boston’s Fish House and Bar in Summerlin’s swank Tivoli Village complex, across from the Suncoast Hotel and Casino on Rampart Boulevard at Alta Drive.

The revision issued the license to LVLOCA 2021, which is owned by Bryan Sord, a restaurateur from Orland Park, Illinois, and West Summerlin resident Nicholas Sord, who serves as the local face and legal representative for the family-owned company, according to state records.

According to press accounts, a one-time Orland Park, Illinois, man named Nicholas Sord, the son of a prominent Illinois restaurateur and developer named Bryan Sord, was convicted in 2014 of a fatal drunk-driving accident.

Sord apparently lost control of his vehicle on New Year’s Eve 2009 and crashed into a pole. His passenger, Jessica Mejia, 20, and a former girlfriend of Sord’s at the time, was killed in the wreck, according to the press.

Nicholas Sord’s blood-alcohol was tested at 0.236, which is nearly three times the legal limit, according to press reports at the time.

Police tests also showed that Nicholas Sord had opiates in his bloodstream, but his attorneys had drug-related charges against him dismissed after showing Nicholas Sord had a prescription for the painkillersm according to press accounts.

Sord was sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison for the crash, but was expected to serve less than two and a half years, according to press reports.

This week’s approval of the liquor license in Las Vegas was temporary to allow the city’s liquor-license regulators to investigate the license-change before making it permanent.

The temporary license was transferred from a company, known as TCB Las Vegas, to a company formed in December and called LVLOCA 2021, which opened Boston’s Fish House in January, according to records from Wednesday's council meeting and from the state.

A phone call to Boston's this week confirmed that it has been serving alcohol for about a month.

Nicholas and Bryan Sord in April 2020 opened Sunny Side Up, a breakfast place, in the Boca Park shopping center, just south of Tivoli Village at 750 S. Rampart Boulevard, according to Las Vegas press accounts.

The family was featured a month later in the local press when they donated about 100 breakfasts to workers at a COVID-19 testing site at the UNLV School of Medicine.

Nicholas Sord pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in 2014. He had also been charged with reckless homicide.

Sord and Mejia had broken up in August of 2009 before she entered college at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sord told Cook County sheriff's investigators that he was out drinking with friends before he went to Mejia's home that night and picked her up. He said they were headed to his house.

Mejia's family filed a civil lawsuit against Sord and his family.

The Mejias also filed a lawsuit against the Cook County Sheriff's Department, accusing deputies of taking nude photos of Mejia by the side of the road.

The family also filed suit against several bars where Sord was drinking.

Sord was 22 at the time of the crash, according to press accounts at the time.

The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that Sord was partnering with Blackhawks legend Denis Savard to open a restaurant in Indiana. Shortly after the crash, Savard pulled out of the partnership.

Proposal would include bars next to highway

Taverns crowded around on and off ramps?

Restaurateurs with property next to U.S. Highway 95 would have easier access to liquor licenses under a proposal presented this week to the Las Vegas City Council.

Councilwoman Michelle Fiore, a former state lawmaker who represents northwest Las Vegas, proposed the City Council be given discretion to exempt taverns from the city’s distance requirements for liquor licenses if the establishment is within 1,500 feet of U.S. Highway 95.

The highway runs through Fiore’s council ward, and is surrounded on both sides by massive residential and commercial development of Skye Canyon and surrounding areas north of the highway's 215 Beltway interchange, which is still under construction more than a decade after it started.

In addition, the proposed amendment to existing liquor-license rules could reach beyond the highway corridor.

The proposal also calls for the council to have discretion to allow taverns to take root “adjacent to a right of way of at least 200 feet in width that is not a freeway or an expressway.”

A freeway and an expressway, according to state regulations, are defined as divided roadways of at least 150 feet in width that accommodate “high speed traffic.” A freeway, however, has off and on ramps not at grade with the roadway, while expressways have at-grade crossings with intersecting city streets.

The 215 Beltway and the Summerlin Parkway would seem to fit those descriptions.

Rights-of-way typically refer to roadways, but also include stretches of property dedicated by the government for railroad tracks, electric transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, bike paths or a canal.

The proposal would establish another exemption the council can use to approve liquor licenses for taverns that don’t fit the existing requirements. Those rules prohibit taverns from being located in close proximity to schools, parks and other bars.

Presently, the council has discretion to grant exemptions to those rules for about six different reasons.

They include a tavern inside a regional mall, or inside a residential building with a store or restaurant site, or inside an historic building, or inside a commercial area with little or no homes nearby, such as Fremont Street and the Symphony Park area not far from downtown Las Vegas.

Published April 9, 2021

COVID resurfaces in two zip codes

This week's case count highest in a month

For more click HERE

The number of new COVID-19 cases this week in the Summerlin West zip code of 89138 and the Summerlin North zip code of 89144 increased to their highest levels in about a month after dropping two weeks ago to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago. Cases in the Sun City Summerlin zip code of 89134 last week decreased below the earlier low point two weeks ago, according to data from the Southern Nevada Health District. For more on the spread of COVID-19 in and around Summerlin, turn to the COVID-19 Update. Graphic by Luke Geary

Things to do Sunday

Change orders hit 30% for Summerlin bridge

$800,000 for bike trails ‘beyond’ interchange


By Frank Geary

Design costs for Summerlin’s highway interchange will climb to 30% above the original price under a proposal that provides for bike trails and bridges “beyond the interchange.”

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday approved an $800,000 change order to an engineering-and-design contract for the next step in construction of the interchange at the Summerlin Parkway and the 215 Beltway.

The vote pushes the cost of change orders to $1.2 million, or nearly 30% of the original $4.2 million contract price reached two years ago.

Change orders are deviations from the original, agreed upon project, and typically total between 10% and 15% of the original contract price for construction projects, according to industry experts.

In addition, this particular change order appears ancillary to the contract for design of the highway interchange, given it involves bike trails and bridges not in the immediate area of the interchange.

According to the proposal, the upgrade is needed to “provide additional design for the city of Las Vegas bicycle and pedestrian trail and associated bridges necessary for the future trail extension beyond the interchange.”

The revision is the second since the design contract was signed, and is considerably more than the first $450,000 revision enacted last year.

The first modification concerned design work needed to widen the Summerlin Parkway bridge, and to make changes to the westbound and northbound loops of the interchange, according to county records.

The contract is for engineering and design work, which is considered a professional service like those provided to a government agency by a software consultant, lobbyist, attorney or auditor.

Unlike actual construction work, the contract was not subject to the county’s competitive bidding process and rules. As a result, change orders and deviations from the established scope of work might not draw similar scrutiny.

Had competitive bidding been required, the county would have been compelled to choose the lowest bid for the work to save money for taxpayers. In this case, the company was chosen from a list of contractors approved by county administrators, according to county records.


Bike trails in "auto-oriented" Summerlin West

The additional funding for bike trails comes: as the county issues tens-of-millions of dollars annually in long-term bond debt paid for with an ongoing 9-cents per gallon tax on gasoline; months after a $13-million bicycle bridge was completed over the Summerlin Parkway east of Rampart Boulevard; and at a time when Summerlin has more than 150 miles of trails.

Also, in Summerlin: there are few jobs and limited public transit available to complement bike travel; residents face a 25-minute commute by car on average; and between 95% and 99% of residents own a vehicle, according to the proposed city of Las Vegas 2050 Master Plan.

Summerlin West will continue to be “auto oriented” in the years ahead, according to the community blueprint for the next 30 years.

Residents in 95% of homes in Summerlin West have a park within a half mile, which is well above the city average of 56%. However, when it comes to getting to school or home from the store, it’s not that simple, according to the proposed master plan.

Only 18% of Summerlin West residents live within a half-mile of a school, below the city average of 31%. And, in the area, 4% of residents live within a half mile of a retail or grocery store, well below the city average of 19%.

The master plan also seems to suggest that Summerlin West residents, who make an average of about $112,000 per household, use bike trails for recreation but not for their commute to work or to run errands.

In the area, 98% of residents live within a half mile of a “bike facility”, compared to 80% on average across the city of Las Vegas.

And, yet, 99% of residents in the area own a vehicle while the citywide average is 90%.

One reason is that there are very few jobs nearby for Summerlin West residents compared to other parts of the city, according to the master plan.

Given their proximity to more jobs, for residents in neighboring Summerlin North, the data is somewhat different.

In that area, for every home, there is more than a half of a job available in close proximity. In Summerlin West, per household, there is less than one-tenth of a job available nearby.

In addition, all the residents in Summerlin North live within a half mile of a bike facility. And, unlike Summerlin West, 40% of Summerlin North residents live within a quarter mile of a bus stop, which is higher than the 35% average across the city.

As with Summerlin West, the percentage of Summerlin North residents within a half mile of a park is higher than the city average, but is below the average when it comes to residents who live near a store or school.

Published April 9, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Thursday, April 1, to Wednesday, April 7

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic Design by James Geary
  1. Auto theft 1:04 p.m. Mon., April 5, 1900 block Verbania Drive

  2. Disturbing the peace 3:46 p.m. Tue., April 6, 9800 block Ridge Creek Place

  3. Burglary 11:34 a.m. 1400 block N. Rampart Boulevard

  4. Two incidents at intersection of Anasazi Drive and Far Hills Avenue: Assault 3:33 p.m. Fri., April 2; Disturbing the peace 3:12 p.m. Tue., April 6

  5. Disturbing the peace 3:59 p.m. Thu., April 1, 11700 block Feinberg Place

  6. Burglary 11:15 a.m. 100 block Park Vista Drive

  7. Distubring the peace 9:58 a.m. Thu., April 1, 11000 block Sonoma Creek Court

  8. Disturbing the peace 7:38 p.m. Sun., April 4, 10900 block Sutter Hills Avenue

  9. Burglary 4:53 p.m. Wed., April 7, 10700 block Silver Pyramid Court

  10. Disturbing the peace 9:49 p.m. Sun., April 4, 400 block Royal Ascot Drive

  11. Stolen vehicle recovered 9:26 a.m. Fri, April 2, 10800 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  12. Assault 1:18 p.m. Mon., April 5, 9500 W. Charleston Boulevard

  13. Vandalism 9:59 a.m. Fri., April 2, 9200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  14. Disturbing the peace 8:53 p.m. Sat., April 3, 700 block S. Rampart Boulevard

  15. Disturbing the peace 9:51 a.m. Sat., April 3, 9000 block Alta Drive

Awareness, preparation key to pool safety

Between 54% and 72% of near-drowning incidents in Clark County occurred in back yard residential pools, of which there are hundreds in Summerlin. More often than not, toddlers have been the victims of fatal drownings during the past five years, according to data from the Southern Nevada Health District. Graphic by Luke Geary

Reservations no longer required at Summerlin pools

For the Sentinel's Opinion click HERE

Sentinel Staff

With public swimming pools across Summerlin opening up to larger crowds this month, and private pool and spa owners hosing off their filters for a new season, drowning experts are emphasizing adult supervision.

“Spring is a good time of year to remind the public about the importance of drowning prevention and water safety awareness,” said Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck. “Unfortunately, drownings can happen in a matter of seconds, without a sound. It is important that everyone makes sure children are always supervised any time they are around water and to make sure kids cannot gain access to your pool when adults aren’t present.”

Nevada, with its warm weather, was ranked 12th among the 50 states for its drowning rate of 1.9 people for every 100,000 people, according to USA Health Rankings, a database that collects data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from county health agencies across the country. The state’s population of about 3 million ranks 32nd among the 50 states.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4. One high-profile Las Vegas drowning received national media attention in June 2010. The 2-year-old son of former football star Randall Cunningham died after being found floating in the family's spa. Cunningham had played for the UNLV Rebels and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Data on the number of pools in Summerlin was not available. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, in 2017, there were more than 1,600 building permits issued for new pools in unincorporated Clark County, North Las Vegas and Henderson combined. Permit data did not include pools in the city of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Pavilion Center Pool last week celebrated its reopening, and the Summerlin Community Association opened association pools April 1, without the need for reservations.

The drowning prevention initiative, led by the county’s Fire and Parks and Recreation departments and health district, offers the following tips for pool safety:

1. Patrol – Always designate an adult to supervise children in the water, including pools, bathtubs, or other bodies of water.

2. Protect – Install barriers around the pool to ensure safety, including fences, door alarms, locks and spa safety covers. Lock doggie doors so children can’t crawl through them.

3. Prepare – Create a water safety plan. Enroll children in swimming lessons, take adult CPR classes, and be sure to use proper safety equipment including life jackets, personal floatation devices and rescue tools. Call 911 in case of emergency.

For more information, visit the health district’s website at https://tinyurl.com/ws3sjyfj, or view the public service announcement on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/duwpt284.

Published April 9, 2021

Summerlin Shorts

Volunteers Join Councilwoman Victoria Seaman To Rebuild Park Playground

New playground equipment is expected to be installed this weekend at Summerlin's Bruce Trent Park, 8851 Vegas Drive, according to the city of Las Vegas.

“I am committed to improving and beautifying all the Ward 2 parks, and this new playground is a great start,” said Ward 2 Councilwoman Victoria Seaman.

Finishing touches will be done next week. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Saturday, April 17, at 9 a.m., to be followed by the park’s first free “Art in the Park” community event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bunnies, bunnies everywhere

With the arrival of Easter, parents, boyfriends and others purchase more rabbits than at any other time of the year. In Summerlin, however, the prolific breeders are not a rare, holiday sight. Instead, they are a rather routine part of the landscape at parks and on golf courses and trails west of Anasazi Drive and elsewhere. The desert cottontail and the black-tailed jackrabbit, which is a hare, are indigenous to Red Rock and Summerin. For more on local rabbits, see a story below. For more on efforts to control feral rabbits, see the Opinion page. Image by Sentinel Staff

Swimmers celebrate Pavilion Pool renovations

Summerlin Association opens up pools at Vistas, Trails and Willows

Swimmers splash into spring at the newly renovated Pavilion Center Pool on Thursday. The city of Las Vegas will hold a grand-opening swim party on Friday, April 2, from noon to 2 p.m.
Images by Luke Geary

Sentinel Staff

Las Vegas Pavilion Center Pool on Thursday reverberated to the music of synchronized swimmers rehearsing in the deep end, while junior lifeguards practiced rescue techniques in the shallow end, and others splashed around for fun or took to the lap lanes.

It was the first day many of the swimmers had visited the pool, 101 S. Pavilion Center Drive, since the pandemic took hold, and since the city had closed it for months of renovations and maintenance.

“We haven’t been here in more than a year,” said Jennifer Applegarth, who was there with her two children, Kyle, 16, and Kirsten, 13. “A couple years ago, we came every day for swim team or for open swim.”

Applegarth said she hadn’t noticed the renovations but that her son noticed right away.

“Everything looks good,” she said. “But the high-dive is gone. That's the first thing my son noticed.”

Meanwhile, the Summerlin Community Association announced this week that association pools across the region opened Thursday, April 1, without the need for reservations.

City officials said the Pavilion Pool renovations included new tile, decking, deck drains and starting blocks. The work, which cost $725,000 from the city’s general fund, included re-plastering the pool and repainting the building exterior.

The city also replaced the 3-meter diving board with a 1-meter board at the large pool.

Benoit Beaufils said he was pleased to see the high-dive removed. As coach for the junior Southern Nevada Desert Mermaids synchronized swim team, he said the high-dive took up deck space his team needed to kick off its routine.

“For us, the high-dive was in our way,” Beaufils said. “Now, we have more room to position the start of our routines from the deck. The pool now is a real pleasure to swim into.”

City spokesman Jace Radke said that prior to renovations, the 1-meter board was used far more often than the 3-meter board. In addition, the ladder system for the 3-meter board needed to be replaced. By going to a 1–meter board the city saved the additional cost of the ladder system, he said.

James Barney, 73, said he had not noticed much was different, but was thrilled to be back at Pavilion Center Pool.

“Mostly, I love that it’s open,” he said. “It’s inexpensive, they have an assortment of hours, the service is great. I have no complaints.”

Harley Arimado, 56, echoed the sentiment, adding, “I just hope it’s open for good and we don’t have any more lock-downs because of COVID.”

City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, Ward 2, will hold a ribbon-cutting and free community celebration Friday, April 2, from noon to 2 p.m., to celebrate the pool reopening. The event features free swimming and light refreshments, DJ music and raffle prizes.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, social distancing and other safety guidelines will be observed. Maximum capacity at Pavilion Center Pool is 250 persons during the pandemic emergency. Showers, locker rooms and water fountains will remain closed; restrooms will be open. All guests should arrive in appropriate swimming attire. Prior to being admitted into the facilities, temperatures of guests will be checked. Face coverings are required to be worn at all times when not in the water by guests over 2 years of age.

Daily fees for pool use are $3 for ages 18-49, $2 for ages 4-17 and 50+, and free for ages 3 and younger. Monthly, three-month and six-month passes are available for purchase. For information, call (702) 229-1488.

Outdoor swimming pools operated by the Summerlin Community Association and open to residents include the Vistas Pool, 11322 Parkside Way Las Vegas, NV 89138, the Trails Pool, 1920 Spring Gate Lane Las Vegas, NV 89134, and the Willows Pool, 2775 Desert Marigold Ln Las Vegas, NV 89135.

The pools are scheduled to be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to the association.

Reservations are not required and residents are not under time restrictions, however guests are not allowed. Masks and social distancing are still required at the pools.

If crowding becomes a problem, the association will reevaluate its plans. Hot tubs will remain closed per the state order.


Published April 2, 2021

City compromises on Howard Hughes exemption

Gateway to Red Rock

Summerlin West - which is expected to grow 300% in the years ahead - stretches from Charleston Boulevard north to Cheyenne Avenue and from the 215 Beltway west to Red Rock Canyon (white area). The massive development is expected to add an estimated 20,250 homes, a shopping area, office space, parks and resorts when complete, according to the city of Las Vegas. Master developer Howard Hughes requested zoning allowances from the Las Vegas City Council for homes to be built on raw land zoned for 10 homes per acre. The density is greater than the 3.5 homes per acre, and six homes per acre, permitted in neighborhoods already established around Alta Drive.

Graphic by James Geary

Measure updates design in dense areas

By Frank Geary

The Las Vegas City Council last month permitted the Howard Hughes Corporation, master developer of Summerlin, to deviate from citywide standards in the construction of new homes in Summerlin West.

City planners who oversee long-established construction standards for Summerlin recommended against Howard Hughes’ proposal, but the council unanimously approved a compromise proposal crafted by city planners.

According to city records, it was the first time city staff opposed Howard Hughes’ request to revise development standards in the area. Since Summerlin West was first proposed in 1997, city staff has concurred eight times with the developer’s requests.

“Staff finds that the proposed Major Modification is not consistent with single family residence design principles and corner side yard setback development standards found throughout the rest of the City,” states the recommendation from city planners, “Therefore, staff recommends denial of this Major Modification request.”

City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, who represents much of Summerlin within city limits, made the motion to approve Howard Hughes’ proposal with compromises recommended by city staff.

Summerlin West, between the 215 Beltway and Red Rock Canyon and Charleston Boulevard north to Cheyenne Avenue, is represented by Seaman south of the Summerlin Parkway and by Councilman Stavros Anthony north of the Parkway.

The measure revised setback lines for corner lots and revised standards for side entrances on homes yet to be built in areas zoned for greater density than in existing, nearby neighborhoods.

The accommodation comes a month after the Las Vegas real estate market saw the most sales activity it has had in 14 years, according to recent press reports.

In 2007, home prices topped out at their highest level before, a year later, values plummeted overnight to a fraction of their previous worth.

The banner month comes amid ongoing high unemployment, business closures, layoffs, furloughs and other signs of long-term economic turmoil.

A search of state campaign-finance records for “Howard Hughes” yields 277 campaign contributions dating back many years worth $628,500.

According to just the records found in a search: third-term Councilman Anthony received nearly $20,000 among eight contributions between $1,000 and $5,000; Mayor Carolyn Goodman received $15,000, with $10,000 donated during her 2015 reelection campaign against Anthony; Councilwoman Michelle Fiore received $6,000, most when she was in the Legislature; and Seaman received $1,000 while running for the Legislature.

The Hughes proposal affects some of West Summerlin’s areas zoned for greater housing density than many of the gated and non-gated communities already built at the gateway to Red Rock Canyon.

The setback reductions would only affect homes yet to be built in areas zoned as Single-Family 3.

According to the Summerlin Development Standards, adopted by the City Council in 2004, Single Family 3 zoning calls for up to 10 homes per acre. Earlier home projects were Single Family 2, which calls for six homes per acre, and Single Family 1, which calls for 3.5 homes per acre.

Howard Hughes suggests its proposal to reduce setbacks between corner residences and the street will align the city’s development standards for Summerlin West with the setbacks authorized previously by the Summerlin Design Review Committee, which reviews such matters in the community.

“The intent of item #1 is to revise the language in the Development Standards so that it aligns with the way in which the Summerlin Design Review Committee (SDRC) has enforced corner setbacks,” states the proposal from Howard Hughes. “... This modification will align the Development Standards with SDRC’s village design criteria and eliminate the need for future deviations.”

However, city staffers didn’t see it that way.

“This request conflicts with how setbacks are determined throughout the rest of the City, where setbacks are taken from the property line of the residential parcel. This proposal will create a scenario which will allow the residential structure to be much closer to the right-of-way on the corner side of the lot, which will have a negative impact on the aesthetics of the street frontage.”

In its argument for an exemption, Howard Hughes says the newly designed entryways will be well built, and that they will offer an alternative to homes with larger yards in West Summerlin.

“By allowing entry portals only as part of original construction, HHC and the city of Las Vegas may ensure that they are proposed, designed and installed in the best manner possible,” states Howard Hughes’ proposal.

“This information will update the Summerlin Development Standards to meet the needs of current residential development which upholds Summerlin’s commitment to aesthetics and home buyers.”

City planners didn’t agree, according to city records.

In their recommendation to the council, staffers said the “development standard” proposed does not align with the city’s long established design standards.

Staff also expressed concern that drainage from the roof gutter of one home could adversely impact the neighboring home given the proximity of one to the other.

“This development standard can create a scenario,” states the staff’s recommendation, “where the front façade of the single family residences will appear to be connected by the entry portal as the development standard does not require the side of the entry portal to alternate from home to home; which will creating (sic) the illusion of there being one large connected structure from the street frontage.”

Published April 2, 2021

COVID-19 numbers inch up again

Despite neighbors out of town for spring break from school, the number of COVID-19 cases increased slightly this week after dropping last week to their lowest level in months. For more on the increase in cases in and around Summerlin, see this week's COVID-19 Update. Graphic by Luke Geary

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Thursday, March 26, to Wednesday, March 31

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic Design by James Geary
  1. Disturbing the peace 11:50 a.m. Fri., March 26, 2400 block Twin Flower Circle

  2. Disturbing the peace 4:29 p.m. Sat., March 27, 9400 block Aspen Glow Drive

  3. Auto burglary 10.04 p.m. Thur., March 25, 9500 block Summer Rain Drive

  4. Disturbing the peace 3:26 p.m. Tues., March 30, 10200 block Los Padres Place

  5. Burglary 7:00 a.m. Fri., March 26, 2300 block Sun Cliffs Street

  6. Disturbing the peace 8:57 a.m. Fri., March 26, 10500 block Jeremy Pointe Avenue

  7. Disturbing the peace 10:08 p.m. Wed., March 31, 11100 block Whooping Crane Lane

  8. Disturbing the peace 12:52 a.m. Wed., March 31, 11800 block Kindle Corner Way

  9. Auto theft 8:36 a.m. Fri., March 26, 1300 block Swanbrooke Drive

  10. Vandalism 10:40 p.m. Wed., March 31, 600 block Jade Cliffs Lane

  11. Disturbing the peace 10:56 a.m. Mon., March 29, 1200 block N Town Center Drive

  12. Burglary 8:09 a.m. Mon., March 29, 1100 block N Town Center Drive

  13. Auto burglary 3:45 p.m. Tues., March 30, 200 block N Rampart Boulevard

  14. Disturbing the peace 9:05 a.m. Wed., March 31, 10500 block Pine Glen Avenue

  15. Assault 3:28 p.m. Mon., March 29, 600 (851) block S. Pavilion Center Drive

  16. Assault 11:07 a.m. Mon., March 29, 800 block S. Pavilion Center

  17. Auto theft 6:22 a.m. Fri., March 26, 11200 block Hidden Peak Avenue

  18. Burglary 8:54 a.m. Sat., March 27, 11200 Hidden Peak Avenue

  19. Disturbing the peace 12:33 a.m. Sun., March 28, 10800 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  20. Two incidents at the 11000 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Auto burglary 11:40 a.m. Mon., March 29; Assault 6:01 p.m. Sun., March 28

  21. Auto burglary 12:06 p.m. Mon., March 29, 900 block Canyon Bluff Court

  22. Assault 12:11 p.m. Thu., March 25, 10400 block W, Charleston Boulevard

  23. Auto theft 12:37 a.m. Sat., March 27, 9900 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  24. Assault 8:19 p.m. Sat., March 27, 9200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  25. Auto burglary 2:53 p.m. Thu., March 25, 9000 block Alta Drive

Rabbits more than Easter treat in Summerlin

Indigenous and prolific, pests are common problem

(The following is one in a series on wildlife, plants, insects and other creatures that live in Summerlin, Red Rock Canyon and nearby areas.)

For the Sentinels Opinion Click HERE

By Luke Geary and James Geary

At this time every year, hundreds of rabbits are purchased as props for Easter.

For many in Summerlin, however, the four-legged furballs are hardly a holiday happenstance.

In Summerlin, with Red Rock Canyon next door and homes built where burrows were dug uninterrupted 30 years ago, there are plenty of rabbits west of Anasazi Drive and elsewhere.

They are prolific at dawn, whether on the manicured trail from Arbors Tennis and Play Park to Staton Elementary School, or yards and golf courses in Sun City or on the ballfields at Vistas Park in Summerlin West.

There are two members of the rabbit class among the family of small herbivores indigenous to Red Rock, according to Friends of Red Rock, a local nonprofit organization.

Unlike neighbors, such as the antelope ground squirrel or kangaroo rat, rabbits and hares are not classified as rodents because they have four upper incisors. As a result, they are classified as “Lagamorpha”, which is translated as “animals of rabbit-like form.”

Rabbits live about nine years, and survive on a diet of weeds, grasses, clover, wildflowers, and flower and vegetable plants.

In Red Rock, the desert cottontail - with its distinctive hindquarters - is a rabbit. And, despite its name, the black-tailed jackrabbit is a hare known for its large ears.

Both cottontails and jackrabbits are prolific. According to the Las Vegas rabbit advocacy group, Bunnies Matter, breeding season for most rabbits lasts nine months and ends in about October each year.

According to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center, one female can produce 800 babies, grandbabies and great-grandbabies in a year.

Rabbits differ from hares in several ways other than appearance. Rabbits are born naked and blind, and hares are born with fur and sight.

To avoid the desert heat, the black-tailed sits in “forms,” which are depressions at the base of plants where soil and air temperatures are cooler. Large ears help to keep it cool by providing a surface for heat loss, according to Friends of Red Rock.

The desert cottontail prefers brushier areas, such as rocky canyons, floors of dry washes and river beds. Unlike jackrabbits, the cottontail retreats into burrows to escape the desert heat and predators.

Rabbits live in groups within a burrow system, which can be nearly nine-feet deep and cover a large area with many entrances, according to www.rabbitmatters.com

The interconnecting tunnels run off in all directions and include living quarters, nesting areas and emergency exits.

Predators include foxes, badgers, stoats, weasels, buzzards, cats and humans.

They survive by burrowing, moving in a zig- zag motion. If captured, they kick with their strong back legs.

If a rabbit spots danger, it will warn its community by thumping with a hindfoot.

Published April 2, 2021

Summerlin Shorts

Clark County captures mountain lion

Clark County Animal Control on Thursday responded to a mountain lion sighting in the Summit Club residential community in Summerlin, west of Town Center Drive and south of Flamingo Road.

On arrival, animal control officers observed a female mountain lion weighing about 60 pounds, about 15 feet up in a tree. Nevada Department of Wildlife officers were notified and arrived shortly thereafter.

Animal control and wildlife officers, sedated the mountain lion using tranquilizer guns, then transported the big cat to the Spring Mountains foothills. There, wildlife officers administered medicine to reverse the effects of the tranquilizer. After about 90 minutes, the mountain lion recovered and returned to the wild. Officials believe the mountain lion is the same one that has been reported in the area in recent weeks. Clark County posted a video of the release.

Delays expected on Fort Apache Road

Detours to Hualapai or Durango

Sidewalk improvements on Fort Apache Road between Desert Inn Road and Charleston Boulevard will interrupt traffic for the next month.

Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, according to the city of Las Vegas.

Traffic will be restricted to two travel lanes in each direction, north- and southbound between 3 p.m. and 9 a.m., and will be reduced to one lane in each direction between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Hualapai Way and Durango Drive are recommended as alternative routes.

The work involves replacement of curb and gutter and sidewalk ramps not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the city.

Mikon Construction is the contractor on the project. The estimated cost of the project is $500,000, funded by the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission’s Fuel Revenue Indexing tax.

Vistas Center offers free COVID-19 testing

Residents can schedule a free COVID-19 test after they return from spring break at the Vistas Community Center, 11312 Parkside Way, in Summerlin West.

The free, scheduled tests will be available April 5 to April 9 and on April 2 and 13 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Las Vegas City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman’s office. Residents can register for an appointment on Eventbrite here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-covid-19-pcr-testing-tickets-148065448743. Walkup testing is not permitted.

Everyone tested will receive a $5 gift card to either Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. For more information call (702) 229-2420 or email Ward2@LasVegasNevada.Gov.


COVID cases disappearing in Summerlin

Twenty new cases this week across three zip codes

For the Sentinel's opinion click HERE

By Sentinel Staff

Cases of coronavirus in Summerlin dried up to levels not seen since the pandemic’s infancy a year ago, according to the most recent numbers available Thursday from the Southern Nevada Health District.

Across the three zip codes that make up Summerlin North and Summerlin West, north of Charleston Boulevard, there were a total of 20 new cases over the seven-day period.

There were single digit increases in each of the three areas.

The virtual disappearance comes at a time when vaccinations are being administered quicker than before, as Southern Nevada public agencies step up vaccination and testing efforts and as federal aid for COVID relief has arrived or is on its way.

The number of cases in Summerlin continued to nose-dive, as they have since mid-January after all-time highs for weekly figures in November and December.

A month ago, there were 49 new cases for the seven-day period that ended Feb. 25. The two weeks before, there were 72 and 75 new cases, which was down significantly from the 200 to 260 new cases per week from the middle of November to early January.

The 89144 zip code, which stretches from West Charleston Boulevard north to Summerlin Parkway east of the 215 Beltway, saw an increase of two cases in the past week, according to Health District data. The 89138 zip code for West Summerlin recorded an additional nine cases. Meanwhile, the 89134 zip code, which includes Sun City Summerlin and areas north of the parkway, had an increase of nine cases in the past week, according to Health District figures provided by zip code.

With vaccinations, the rate of shots in Summerlin continues to outpace other areas of Southern Nevada, according to health district vaccination data.

It appears between 5,000 and 10,000 residents have been vaccinated in each the 89144 zip code and the 89138 zip code. Between 10,000 and 15,000 have been vaccinated in Sun City’s 89134, according to health district data available Thursday.

Meanwhile, there are tens-of-millions of dollars in COVID-29 relief money for small business loans, rental assistance and other services, and public agencies are developing innovative strategies on other fronts in the ongoing battle to stop the spread of COVID-19.

County administrators said earlier this month the county is expected to receive nearly $440 million in federal aid from the recent $1.9 trillion federal relief package approved in Washington D.C. They said Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson will be receiving separate allotments from the federal aid package.

The county is expected to receive the first half of its money in May and the second half about a year later - just in time for budget season for the county and city.

Meanwhile, Southern Nevada public agencies are working together to vaccinate homebound seniors.

A newly-formed Mobility Branch of the Clark County Incident Management Team is providing new options, now that the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available, according to a notice from the Summerlin Area Command of the Las Vegas police.

A homebound senior citizen is anyone 60 years or older who must use a cane, crutches, a wheelchair or is bedridden.

Through a transit project with the Regional Transportation Commission, the management team will coordinate bus service for senior communities or living facilities that want to get their residents vaccinated, according to Summerlin Area Command. At the site, vaccinations will be given on the bus, so residents do not have to congregate with others or stand in line.

Any community/organization wanting to arrange this service can email vaccinetransit@clarkcountynv.gov

Through a joint project with the nonprofit agency, Meals on Wheels, the management team will soon begin to allow a vaccination team to coordinate vaccinations with meal deliveries.

Community resources and access to services can be provided by dialing 211 or texting your zip code to 898211.

Meanwhile, in Summerlin at the Vistas Community Center, 11312 Parkside Way in Summerlin West, residents can schedule a free COVID-19 test after they return from spring break.

The free, scheduled tests will be available April 5 to April 9 and on April 2 & 13 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Las Vegas City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman’s office. Residents can register for a mandatory appointment on Eventbrite here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-covid-19-pcr-testing-tickets-148065448743. Walkup testing is not permitted.
Everyone tested will receive a $5 gift card to either Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. For more information call (702) 229-2420 or email Ward2@LasVegasNevada.Gov.

Published March 26, 2021

Stiffer penalty for animal abuse

Image by Humane Society

Proposal bans violators from owning pets

Sentinel Staff

People who abuse or kill pets would be banned for two years from owning a pet, caring for animals or even living in a home with pets under a proposal aimed at curtailing animal cruelty.

The city of Las Vegas Recommending Committee next month is expected to take public comment on the proposal before forwarding it to the City Council for consideration.

The more severe penalties for people convicted of animal abuse or death were drafted at the request of City Councilman Stavros Anthonny, who represents Sun City Summerlin, with the support of City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, who represents much of Summerlin within city limits, and others on the council.

The current city code defines abuse as a misdemeanor, and it allows the municipal court to order jail time for people who mistreat an animal. However, it requires only that the owner surrender the abused animal to authorities.

The new provision would keep violators from being around animals for up to five years.

It allows the court to prohibit the pet owner from owning, possessing or controlling a pet in any way. It forbids violators from working with pets or volunteering to help pets, and prohibits violators living in a home where a pet lives.

For those found guilty of mistreating a pet, the prohibitions could be put in place for “up to four years.” In cases in which the abuse or neglect led to the death of an animal, the order to stay away from animals could be enforced for “up to five years” with a set minimum of two years.

The proposal seems to address a concern Seaman expressed last month when Anthony asked the city attorney's office to recommend changes to the city’s animal-cruelty laws aimed at curtailing abuse and neglect of animals.

Seamsn expressed concern that the city's 15 animal-control officers do not take pets away from owners when they respond to complaints of animal cruelty.

Officers explained that most cruelty complaints - such as the 116 complaints last year - turn out to be unfounded, or are corrected with a warning to the owner and/or a followup visit a week or so later to check on compliance.

Meanwhile, the city attorney's office said it handled 113 misdemeanor cruelty cases over five years. About half were complaints regarding the feeding and care of animals, and most of the others were tied to dogs left in hot cars.

Also, they said, Las Vegas police and county prosecutors handle more serious felony cases that involve the killing, torturing maiming, poisoning or other "willful and malicious" treatment of an animal - such as organized dog fighting.

The city attorney's office presented a comparison between Las Vegas' cruelty laws and those in Clark County and surrounding cities. It found that the county has rules specific to hot weather, such as leaving dogs in hot cars or crates. In the city of North Las Vegas, according to the review, city officials can require psychiatric counseling for someone found to be "hoarding" animals on their property.

In response to constituents' concerns, Anthony asked the attorneys and officers to consider expanding mandatory-minimum punishments to include more offenses. Mandatory sentences for cruelty violations include six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and community service.

Anthony also requested they consider outlawing the practice of tethering - or chaining - a dog that is not supervised; such as one left tied in a yard when the owner goes to work. Anthony said he was told other cities have similar rules.

Consistent with Seaman's concern for abused animals, Anthony also asked the city to consider prohibiting owners from ever having a pet again if they are found guilty of severe animal cruelty. A deputy city attorney said he was not aware of a city that had a lifetime ban on their books.

Published March 26, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Thursday, March 18, to Wednesday, March 25

  1. Disturbing the peace 3:44 p.m. Mon., March 22, 9400 block West Lake Mead Boulevard

  2. Auto burglary 12:03 p.m. Mon., March 22, 2300 block Pine Bluff Court

  3. Burglary 10:54 a.m. Sun., March 21, 9900 block Glenrock Drive

  4. Disturbing the peace 2:24 a.m. Wed., March 24, 10000 block Moon Valley Place

  5. Burglary 10:38 p.m. Fri., March 19, 9900 block Moon Valley Place

  6. Burglary 7:32 a.m. Sun., March 21, 9900 block Laurel Springs Avenue

  7. Assault 12:56 p.m. Tue., March 23, 1900 block Spring Gate Lane

  8. Disturbing the peace 8:49 p.m. Wed., March 24, 1900 block Village Center Drive

  9. Assault 6:18 p.m. Wed., March 24, 800 block Sistine Street

  10. Indecent Exposure 5:37 p.m. Mon., March 22, 11000 block Piedmont Valley Avenue

  11. Disturbing the peace 3:02 p.m. Mon., March 22, 1000 block Trophy Hills Drive

  12. Disturbing the peace 3:50 p.m. Thur., March 25, 10900 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  13. Auto burglary 1:32 p.m. Wed., March 24, 10700 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  14. Five incidents: 11000 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Disturbing the peace 9:48 p.m. Fri., March 19; Disturbing the peace 10:17 p.m. Fri., March 19; Fight 9:33 p.m. Sat., March 20; Assault 2:22 p.m. Wed., March 24; Assault 7:22 p.m. Wed., March 24

  15. Auto theft 11:43 a.m. Wed., March 24, 1300 block Spruce Park Drive

  16. Burglary 7:41 p.m. Fri., March 19, 1100 block S. Hualapai Way

  17. Disturbing the peace 6:13 p.m. Wed., March 24, 9700 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  18. Disturbing the peace 11:41 p.m. Tue., March 23, 9500 block Spanish Steps Lane

  19. Disturbing the peace 7:55 p.m. Thu., March 18, 9500 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  20. Recovered stolen vehicle 11:19 a.m. Tue., March 23, W. Charleston Boulevard and Apple Way

  21. Disturbing the peace 11:31 p.m. Mon., March 22, 9200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  22. Assault 8:01 a.m. Sun., March 21, 9000 block Alta Drive

  23. Auto the ft 10:04 a.m. Fri., March 19, 400 block S. Rampart Boulevard

Hash House approved for liquor license

City extends flexibility during pandemic

Sentinel Staff

Soon, customers at one of Summerlin’s newest around-the-clock eateries might be allowed to dine with Margarita, Bloody Mary or Jack Daniels.

The newest outlet for the popular Hash House A Go Go chain, on West Charleston Boulevard at Pavilion Center Drive in Summerlin, last week received approval for a liquor license.

The Las Vegas City Council unanimously approved the transfer of ownership over a liquor license to Hash House from the previous Claim Jumper restaurant, which was demolished in 2019 on the southeast corner of West Charleston and Rampart boulevards.

The location is centralized near many of Summerlin’s other establishments that serve alcohol such as the neighboring Distill and at Red Rock Resort, Casino & Spa and at restaurants in nearby Downtown Summerlin.

The business-friendly gesture was approved at the same meeting the City Council extended a temporary courtesy that has provided some flexibility to struggling businesses that serve or sell alcohol in the city.

The Claim Jumper has since been replaced with a Chick-fil-A restaurant and a retail building.

Hash House, which replaces Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks at the Shoppes at Canyon Pointe, is part of an 11-restaurant chain and a hit on television food programs for its large offerings any time of the day.

The menu includes sage fried chicken and waffles, giant pancakes, stuffed burgers, house hashes and scrambles, according to media accounts.

Although unrelated, the transfer was approved the same day the council extended a temporary measure aimed to give businesses flexibility while occupancy limits are in place during the pandemic.

The council in August approved a proposal that allows businesses with a liquor license to trade or exchange their license for a different type of license that allows them more flexibility to operate during the pandemic.

The temporary measure expired at the end of last year. The council’s unanimous approval allows the liquor-license program to continue through June, according to city records.

“The program is intended to give relief to such businesses by alleviating some of the operating restrictions associated with their existing licensing and allow them more flexibility with their business needs,” states the measure.

Published March 26, 2021

Summerlin Shorts

Safekey registration open for elementary school

Online registration for Safekey, a before- and after-school program, is open at www.lasvegasnevada.gov/safekey for students kindergarten through fifth grade.

Program availability at each school within the city of Las Vegas is contingent on enrollment. Attendance calendars for booking dates through online Safekey accounts will open after a site has met the minimum enrollment requirement. At the earliest, attendance calendars will open on March 30.

A list of operating sites will be updated every Friday.

The annual registration fee is $20 per participant. The daily cost is $7 for before-school and $10 for after-school. Registration fees will be refunded if a site does not open.

Financial aid for Safekey may be provided by Las Vegas Urban League, Desert Regional Center, Inter-Tribal Council of Southern Nevada, Inc., East Valley Family Services and Employer Child Care Reimbursement for families that qualify. These organizations provide families with a certificate or agreement as well as instructions on how to apply funds to a city Safekey account. For more information on the financial aid process, call 702.229.KIDS (5437) and press 3 for Safekey then 1 for financial assistance.

For Safekey, call 702.229.KIDS(5437) or visit www.lasvegasnevada.gov/safekey.

Published March 26, 2021

County owes $5.6 million to Summerlin residents

Clark County is expected to reimburse Summerlin property owners from money collected but never spent for a Special Improvement District that expired in December after 23 years. The map shows streets in the area and the amount of money residents are expected to receive in those areas. Graphic by James Geary

Hundreds to share surplus from defunct tax district

By Frank Geary

Hundreds of Summerlin property owners are due refunds worth as much as $200,000 from Clark County after a special improvement district expired with money to spare.

A tax district set up to finance landscaping and other beautification efforts south of Charleston Boulevard expired in December.

It was established 23 years ago, when Summerlin was in its infancy; long before construction of the Summerlin Parkway, 215 Beltway or the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, Downtown Summerlin, Palo Verde High School, Painted Leaf or Garden parks .

As a result, owners of what are now approximately 4,660 different parcels are eligible for a portion of $5.6 million.

Most of the properties appear to sit in the 89135 zip code and appear to be in unincorporated parts of the county from Charleston Boulevard south beyond Desert Inn Road.

The list seems to include some properties on Hualapai Way and hundreds west of there, but not others on Hualapai or neighborhoods east of there.

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday authorized County Treasurer Laura Fitzpatrick to reimburse land owners the money left in the longtime tax fund.

The assessments were collected until 2016, and the final payment on the debt service was paid in February 2020, according to the treasurer.

“Surplus funds in the amount of $5,590,000 are to be reimbursed to the property owners of record on December 29, 2020,” states the county report.

The County Commission’s order instructs the treasurer to notify property owners by mail and that a notification is to be printed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal at least once a week for several weeks.

Property owners have 60 days from the date of the mailing to recover their money, and they must file a claim with the treasurer’s office at the Clark County Government Center, 500 Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas 89155. It is located at the corner of Bonneville Drive and Grand Central Parkway near downtown Las Vegas.

After the 60 day deadline, the county will be “barred” from refunding the money, according to the report.

The list of property owners provided to the County Commission Tuesday is not arranged alphabetically, but homeowners and landlords can search by name for their properties.

Instead, it lists the properties in sequential order based on the parcel number assigned each property by the Clark County Assessor. The 233-page list contains 20 properties per page, which is approximately 4,660 different parcels owned by hundreds of different people.

Property owners can find the assessor’s assigned number for each parcel using the assessor’s website to search for the property using the owner’s name or the address.

The properties on the long list include Downtown Summerlin, the Las Vegas Ballpark, the City National Arena skating rink, private schools and the surrounding residential areas south of Charleston Boulevard.

The average refund is about $1,199.57, but some landowners are well above average and so is their refund.

The Howard Hughes Corporation, Summerlin’s master developer and original landlord, is due refunds on 32 properties. Combined, Clark County owes the Hughes Corporation about $771,314, which is an estimated 14% of the total to be reimbursed.

Another property owner due a hefty reimbursement is Station Casinos, owner of Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa at 11011 W. Charleston Boulevard, adjacent the 215 Beltway.

For two parcels on that same block, NP Red Rock, which is owned by Station, is due $200,436 from the county, according to the treasurer’s list.

Across Pavilion Center Drive from Red Rock is the large building owned by Charleston Pavilion. The county owes the company $22,605.

The Alexander Dawson School, a private school at 10845 Desert Inn Road, is set to collect $68,275.

Others won’t receive such a windfall in the coming weeks.

It appears owners of the UPS store and other businesses on Lavender Hill Drive, which enters Downtown Summerlin off Sahara Avenue east of the Trader Joe’s store, are set to receive $993.24 from the county.

Property owners on Wallflower Avenue and Antique Rose Drive, south of Desert Inn Road east of the 215 Beltway, are each due $326.23.

Homeowners on Fair Bluff Street, south of Garden Park, are due to receive $476.38, according to the county.

And, land owners of retail shops on Turlington Lane in Downtown Summerlin are set to receive $1,039.32.

On Stanberry Avenue, just east of Summerlin Centre Community Park, homeowners are due to receive $773.28.

Published March 19, 2021

Local study finds anti-Asian sentiment on rise

UNLV research: hostility higher in pandemic

For the Sentinel's Opinion click HERE

By Frank Geary

With national headlines and politicians decrying anti-Asian violence, local researchers recently found there is cause for concern.

A year into a worldwide pandemic some blame on China, and others call the “Kung Flu,” local research has some in Las Vegas concerned there could be an up-tick of anti-Asian sentiment, harassment and hate.

A study completed last month by researchers at UNLV found that Asians surveyed had experienced more racism than white people before the pandemic, and that the rate of incidents has increased in the past year despite social isolation. Nationally, experts have seen a 150% increase in anti-Asian harassment and violence during the pandemic compared with the year before it struck.

The UNLV survey of Asian Americans and others asked: How were you treated compared to others? Did people act afraid of you? Were you treated as though you were less intelligent? Were you called names?

The slights, comments under the breath, name calling, laughing are known as microassaults, and lower caliber acts of disrespect are referred to as “microinsults” in the study.

“In comparison to Whites, Asian Americans experienced more microassaults before and during the pandemic,” states the UNLV study, Asian Americans Experience Microassaults During the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Asian Americans saw a significant increase in microassaults during the COVID-19 pandemic when compared to Whites. This suggests that the microassaults towards Asian Americans increased significantly after the onset of the pandemic.”

The study comes as Nevada Democrats join others in offering gestures opposing racism, xenophobia and harassment against Southern Nevada’s growing Asian population, even though the area has not seen the killings and other high-profile, videotaped violence that have pushed the issue into the national spotlight.

The Clark County Commission this week instructed county administrators to prepare a resolution opposing discrimination against the estimated 220,000 Asian Americans in Southern Nevada.

The number of Asian Americans in Southern Nevada has nearly tripled since 2000, making it the fastest growing ethnic group, according to press reports. They represent about 10% of the county's population, but in Summerlin they represent a higher percentage than in other neighborhoods.

“Fortunately we haven’t seen visible, public signs of this happening in Las Vegas,” Commissioner Tick Segerblom said Tuesday of anti-Asian violence, “but 10 percent of our population is Asian and I think it’s important to be proactive and let them know that we stand behind them.”

In Washington D.C. and Georgia, the chorus against Asian violence reached maximum volume this week following a mass shooting at two massage parlors in Georgia. Six of the eight victims were Asian women, and the lone suspect is a white man.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris today, Friday, March 19, visited Asian-American leaders in Georgia to highlight concern surrounding violence against the United States’ growing Asian community.

And, the national Anti-Defamation League and a rights group, known as the Committee of 100, released a statement sympathizing with Asian Americans who have felt targeted and condemining anti-Asian violence and sentiments.

"We are united with all of our Asian American brothers and sisters in standing up against hate, xenophobia and violence,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief exective of the Anti-Defamation League, said in the statement. “Violence towards any minority group is not the answer. The anxiety and fear in the Asian American community is palpable, and we grieve with and support the millions of Chinese Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the U.S. who feel targeted. "

UNLV researchers surveyed nearly 500 people. In doing so, they tried to measure “the subjective beliefs and perceptions of the respondent based on observable aspects of discrimination,” given how they are treated in public.

The study surveyed two groups. There were 221 UNLV students and 285 people from other parts of the country, who responded online.

Of those included in the survey, 150 were Asian, 42 were white and 214 were non-Asian POC (people of color). The respondents were between 18 and 78 years old with a mean age of 28.

They were asked several questions and asked to rate their experience in response to each inquiry.

Each respondent rated their response either “never,” “rarely,” “sometimes” or “often.”

“The findings from our study suggest that Asian Americans experienced an increase of microassaults during COVID-19 compared to before the pandemic,” the study states.

This study states it is important for community leaders to recognize growing anti-Asian sentiment of varying degrees - from violence to being ignored on a public bus - and it highlights issues of inclusivity, awareness and compassion.

“Moving forward, it is important that we are aware of social influences on race-related experiences among Asian Americans, and other marginalized communities,” states the study.

Published March 19, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Thursday, Mar. 11, to Wednesday, Mar. 17

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic design by James Geary
  1. Vandalism 10:26 a.m. Thu., March 11, 9900 block Trailwood Drive

  2. Assault 8:33 a.m. Sat., March 13, 1900 block Village Center Circle

  3. Disturbing the peace 10:14 a.m. Sat., March 13, 1200 block N Town Center Drive

  4. Disturbing the peace 5:17 p.m. Tue., March 16, 600 block N Town Center Drive

  5. Disturbing the peace 5:11 a.m. Wed., March 17, 11000 block Piedmont Valley Avenue

  6. Auto theft 4:58 p.m. Sun., March 14, 1300 block Spruce Park Drive

  7. Auto theft 11:24 a.m. Sat., March 13, 10200 block W Charleston Boulevard

  8. Auto theft 1:07 p.m. Wed., March 17, 1100 block S Hualapai Way

  9. Disturbing the peace 1:56 p.m. Wed., March 17, 9700 block W Charleston Boulevard

  10. Disturbing the peace 12:57 p.m. Thu., March 11, 9200 block W Charleston Boulevard

Poverty grows alongside population

Appoximately 140 cars lined Greenmoor Lane earlier this year during a one-day food bank at Desert United Methodist Church in Summerlin. The church gives away food each month.

By Frank Geary

Residents of Las Vegas are more educated, more prosperous and more likely to be white and own a home than residents in areas of unincorporated Clark County, according to a recent study.

Among the report’s findings, poverty in Southern Nevada has increased alongside a 14% jump in population since 2010.

“This increase has been most marked among Clark County’s population without a four-year degree, following national trends that indicate higher education levels can lead to higher levels of income,” states the study.

The population of Clark County from 2010 to 2018 increased by 280,000 to about 2.2 million.

The 14% jump was double the national average, according to Mapping the Future: An Analysis of Clark County’s Communities and Economy. The study was done by SRI International, Center for Innovation Strategy and Policy, on behalf of Clark County.

Southern Nevada transplants, however, largely have been older people and those who do not have a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Clark County in 2019 hired SRI International after it established the Department of Community and Economic Development to initiate and enhance economic development in unincorporated county areas “in a form comparable to its municipal counterparts in Southern Nevada.”

The consultant’s study will help the county develop “strategic action steps that move us closer to realizing long standing community goals such as diversification of our economy.”

Among similar metropolitan areas, Clark County ranked sixth in overall population growth from 2010 to 2018.

However, it ranked third for growth among people over age 65 and ranked 10th for people between 25 and 44 years old, which is considered prime working age.

“The region has struggled to attract those that may be considered ‘prime working age,’ or those that are aged 25–44,” states the SRI report.

Meanwhile, poverty has increased in Clark County as the population has jumped since 2010.

Each education group has seen swelling in poverty, especially the less educated.

Residents without a high school diploma living in poverty increased from 18% to 21%. Those with a diploma living in poverty jumped from 9.4% to 13.8%.

Residents who attended college or acquired an associate’s degree, living in poverty increased from 7.2% to 10.2%. Meanwhile, those with a bachelor’s degree living in poverty have increased only 1.4% to 6%.

The situation is somewhat perplexing, though.

Some data strongly suggests Southern Nevada is better off economically, but overall that is not the case, according to the study.

A separate study by the Economic Innovation Group, shows the number of people living within “distressed” zip codes in Clark County has been cut in half while those living in “prosperous” zip codes has increased 14% from 2010 to 2018.

“One way to interpret these data is the concentration of Clark County’s lower-income populations into smaller areas of the county, whereas other areas of the county are seeing greater income growth,” states the study. “Distress is concentrated in several unincorporated places, while other areas are relatively prosperous.”

Published March 19, 2021

Summerlin Shorts

Landline phones down in Sun City

Landline telephones in the Sun City Summerlin retirement community went down twice this week.

The historic telephones - which connect into that wall jack that baffles younger generations - went out due to a problem with local landline provider, Cox Communications, according to Sun City residents who contacted The Sentinel using a device other than their phone.

The phones went out Tuesday from about 9 a.m. and were restored about 2:30 p.m., and they went out Wednesday in the morning and lasted until about 3 p.m., according to Sentinel readers in Sun City.

Free public art workshop series

Art and public transportation may not seem a likely combination, but Clark County’s public art workshop, Full Scope, at 1 p.m. on March 23, brings together two experts to discuss how the two go hand-in-hand to promote community and culture. Mark Salinas, who is based in Reno, is a board member for the Art Spot Reno, the City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission, and the Nevada Arts Council. Jen Krava is the director of programming and new initiatives for Forecast Public Art, a Minnesota-based non-profit that started in 1978 to promote partnerships among decision makers and artists and to select, curate, fund and commission public art projects.

Full Scope is a free professional public art workshop series that helps local artists network and learn skills that can help them compete for public art projects in Southern Nevada.

This event will be online via Cisco WebEx Meeting. Follow the link below to register.

Event Address: https://tinyurl.com/xvx4ksue

Event Number: 187 044 5480

Event Password: publicart

Clark County’s public art mission is to promote, encourage and connect the community with culture and public art around the valley. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/8zempry7 or visit Facebook and Instagram @CCPublicArts.