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Southern Nevada receives F grade for social distancing

Social distance

Nevada’s D+ in top third among states

By Frank Geary

In the year since the pandemic started, Southern Nevada has been just as horrible as much of the country at social distancing, according to a database that tracks travel and interaction.

Clark County received a grade of F for its lame efforts on social distancing, according to a review this week of the Unacast database that has tracked social distancing across the country since shortly after the pandemic started a year ago. Friday, on deadline, the county's grade had jumped to a D- for that day.

The state of Nevada, meanwhile, received a D+ grade from Unacast this week, which was better than the D- given the United States overall.

The poor performance, while similar to many parts of the country, might be a worthy consideration if Southern Nevada sees case numbers rise again as COVID variants pick up pace, and as local and state officials review their performance over the past year and prepare Nevada for the next pandemic.

The grades have been similar for much of the past year, but Nevada’s report card puts it in the top 16 among the 50 states. Twenty-one states received an F grade.

Two rural counties buoyed the state, with Lincoln County receiving a state-high grade of B and Mineral County receiving a B-. Nevada’s second most populated county, Washoe County, received a D+ like the state overall.

Unacast, which uses cellphone and other data to track the movement of people, has been used by media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post and Forbes magazine, according to the website.

Unacast’s grades are based on performance in three categories.

They are: change in average mobility, based on distance traveled; change in nonessential visits; and difference in encounter density.

Grades are updated daily for the country, each state and for dozens of counties across the United States.


If everyday were Christmas

Not surprisingly, the county and the state had a gold star day when families were at home Christmas Day.

When looking at the database on Change in Average Mobility, that was a special day.

They received much higher grades from Unacast than on any other day since the state lifted the lockdown that was in place in March and April 2020, according to the database.

When looking at Change in Average Mobility, as measured in distance traveled, Clark County received a B grade on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.

Before the holidays, the last time the county received such a high grade in Average Mobility was the last two weeks of April when the state lockdown was still in place, according to the Unacast database.

In March 2020, when the lockdown was ordered, the county’s grades day to day in that category ranged from B to D. In April, the county received its best grades of the pandemic, ranging from A to C.

After the lockdown was lifted in May, the county started the month with C grades each day before they turned to D grades later in the month.

For the ensuing five months, the county consistently received D grades for Average Mobility until it averaged closer to a C day to day in November. From December through February, the county received about a C grade, according to Unacast.

The state of Nevada, meanwhile, received roughly a D grade day-to-day in six of the months from March 2020 to February. The state received an F grade in four of those months and a D- in August and a D+ last month.

In the other two categories included in the database, Clark County and Nevada didn’t do as well.

The grades in Change in Essential Visits were dismal, but they were even worse in the category, Difference in Encounter Density.

For Change in Essential Visits, during the lockdown a year ago, the county received grades daily that ranged between A and F in late March 2020 before receiving a consistent A grade in April.

After that, the grades nosedived. May started out with Bs and Cs before D grades took hold. For the following nine months, the county consistently received a grade of F, according to Unacast.

The state received roughly a D in March 2020 and a C in April during the lockdown. After that, the state averaged about an F grade every month since, according to the Unacast database.

For Difference in Encounter Density, the county consistently received grades of D and F throughout the pandemic, according to Unacast.

The state received roughly a C- and a B- in the months during the lockdown.

For the ensuing six months, the state averaged day-to-day about a D before the grades started upward.

In November, the state averaged about a C- before receiving roughly a C in December, a C+ in January and a B- in February, according to the database.


Nevada’s D+ in top third of states

Clark County joined more than 50 other counties in receiving an F grade. They appeared to represent between 20% and 25% of all the counties listed.

Other well-known West Coast counties that received an F include Maricopa County (Phoenix), Los Angeles County, Orange County, Sacramento County, Santa Rosa County, Denver County and Honolulu County.

Others include Miami-Dade and many others in Florida, Wayne County and Dallas County.

In contrast, the only three areas that received a grade of A are rural areas in Alaska, each of which has between 5,700 residents and 7,700 residents in an area with between 14,116 square miles and 40,750 square miles.

In Clark County, there are 2.26 million people across 8,061 square miles.

First on the Unacast list, the Kusilvak Census Area, does not have a county seat. The largest city in the area is Hooper Bay on the Bering Sea, and it is considered the fourth poorest county in the country based on per capita income of its residents.

Two of the four counties that received a grade of A- also are located in rural Alaska and at least one of the counties that received a B grade is in Alaska.

In looking at states, Nevada was one of eight states that received a D+, including Utah, Colorado, Washington state and Wyoming.

Eight states scored better than Nevada, and 34 states scored lower than Nevada.

The highest was a grade of C, which went to Vermont only. Seven states received a C-, including Montana, New Mexico, Idaho and Oregon.

Eight states received a D, including Arizona and California. Five states received a D-, including Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois.

Twenty-one states received a F grade, including several on the East Coast and in the Southeast.

They include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island and, in the south, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, according to Unacast.

Published March 12, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Thursday, Mar. 4, to Wednesday, Mar. 10

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic Design by James Geary
  1. Robbery 3:52 p.m. Tue., March 9, 2300 block Satellite Beach Drive

  2. Two incidents at 1900 block Trail Peak Lane: Assault 12:42 p.m. Mon., March 8; Disturbing the peace 4:22 a.m. Wed., March 10

  3. Indecent exposure 1:47 p.m. Fri., March 5, 9500 block Trails Center Drive

  4. Burglary 3:59p.m. Wed., March 10, 1800 block Wincanton Drive

  5. Disturbing the peace 2:08 a.m. Thu., March 4, 9600 block Trailwood Drive

  6. Auto burglary 5:32 p.m. Thu., March 4, 1600 block Clark Point Court

  7. Assault 8:54 p.m. Wed., March 10, 10600 block Jeremy Pointe Ave.

  8. Burglary 3:42 a.m. Wed., March 10, 1600 block Enclave Court

  9. Disturbing the peace 2:23 a.m. Thu., March 4, 1200 block N. Town Center

  10. Disturbing the peace 5:45 a.m. Fri., March 5, 1300 block N. Town Center

  11. Disturbing the peace 8:18 p.m. Mon., March 8, 1100 block Sable Mist Court

  12. Disturbing the peace 3:20 a.m. Thu., March 4, 11000 block Desert Dove Avenue

  13. Burglary 2:20 a.m. Wed., March 10, 0 block Brigola Street

  14. Robbery 2:36 a.m. Fri., March 5, Rossi Avenue and Sistine Street

  15. Burglary 10:51 a.m. Fri., March 5, 600 block Town Center Drive

  16. Larceny (not robbery) 1:45 a.m. Fri., March 5, 11000 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  17. Auto theft 10:39 a.m. Sun., March 7, 10300 block Juniper Creek Lane

  18. Distubring the peace 4:43 p.m. Thu., March 4, 10300 block W. Charleston Boulevard.

  19. Disturbing the peace 10:54 a.m. Fri., March 5, 9200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

Proposals take shape in Legislature

Summerlin lawmakers: contraceptives, ballots, evictions, class size, car seats

For the Sentinel's Opinion Click HERE

State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro

State Sen. Marilyn Dondero Loop

Assemblyman Gary Matthews

Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbrary Axelrod

Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama

Assemblywoman Brittney Miller

By Frank Geary

Women in Nevada would no longer need a doctor’s permission to get birth control under a proposal introduced last week in the state Legislature.

State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, a Democrat who represents Summerlin, on International Women’s Day introduced her bill while she and colleagues took time to honor famous women like journalist Ida B. Wells, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, slain Civil Rights activist Viola Gregg Liuzzo, Nancy Sullivan Gomes, a longtime Nevada advocate for families and children, and former Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley, of Las Vegas, who in 2007 was the first woman to serve as Assembly speaker.

“Her 17-year legislative career demonstrated that women can govern, effectively, and with compassion, achieving results and showing true leadership," Cannizzaro said of Buckley during Monday's session according to the Journal for the State Senate.

Cannizzaro’s name is the first of 10 primary sponsors of Senate Bill 190, all of whom are female and include State Sen, Marilyn Dondero Loop, a Democrat from Summerlin.

The proposal is the same as one the majority leader introduced in 2019, when Nevada has the first female majority for a state Legislature in the country. After passing the Senate, the measure died in the Assembly when a committee didn't consider it before the session ended.

The legislation would spare women the hassle and expense of obtaining a prescription to get birth control, and would make contraceptives more available to women who can't afford health insurance and doctor visits. The added bother prompts women to turn to less reliable contraception, such as condoms, supporters say.

The law is consistent with regulations approved in other states, including neighboring California and Utah.

The proposal would authorize the state’s Chief Medical Officer to issue a standing order authorizing pharmacists to dispense “self-administered hormonal contraceptives” to customers.

In addition, the bill would require Medicaid and “certain health insurance plans” to pay for the contraceptives, which include the pill, the patch and the ring.

Also, the bill would require insurance companies to cover birth control products and services not included in the law presently.

Included is the “voluntary sterilization of women.” Sterilization is the most common form of birth control among married couples, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

More than twice as many couples choose female sterilization over male sterilization; even though male sterilization comes with fewer risks and better results, according to the American College.

The proposal comes at a time when Nevada has a female majority in the state Legislature, and Democrats hold the majority in both houses and the governor's office.

The Legislature is about a third of the way through the 120-day session that started Feb. 1.

The bill is one of several authored by Summerlin’s two state senators and four Assembly members, which were among the legislative proposals introduced in the week prior to the March 15 deadline for submitting bills.

Here is a look at some of the others.

State Sen. Marilyn Dondero Loop, a former Clark County teacher, has authored a bill requiring state standards for libraries at public and charter schools, and another that demands individual schools develop plans to reduce teacher-student ratios.

The library proposal would apply only to Clark County and Washoe County schools, and would require schools to hire an employee to oversee the library who is a licensed teacher who also is certified as a “professional school library media specialist” by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Another of Dondero Loop’s proposals would expand the definition of disability to include children suffering from trauma or emotional and behavioral concerns.

And, another would allow trustees of school districts and charter schools to submit to the state plans to address the “loss of learning” as a result of the pandemic.

Assemblyman Gary Matthews, a Republican who represents Sun City Summerlin and parts of northwest Las Vegas, introduced a bill that would allow government labor negotiations to be open for the public to see.

For decades, contract and other negotiations between local government agencies and public-employee unions have been conducted in closed session where the public can’t witness twists and turns in the talks.

Another proposal would “revise” provisions related to: absentee and mail voting; the verification of mail and absentee ballots; the counting of those ballots; the act of assisting a voter fill out an absentee or mail ballot; and someone returning those ballots on the part of a voter.

Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray Axelrod, a Democrat whose district runs along both sides of the Summerlin Parkway, wants older kids to be harnessed in a car seat and pre-teens required to sit in the back seat.

Among her proposals is one that would raise the age of children required to use a carseat from five years to seven years old, and it would get rid of the 60-pound weight limit for kids in car seats.

In addition, the bill would require children between 8 and 13 years old to ride in the back seat rather than the front seat. Vehicles without a back seat would be exempt, and children would be allowed in front seats only if the back seats are filled with children younger than 13, according to the bill.

Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama, a Republican who represents much of Summerlin North and Summerlin West, wants to stop state judges from delaying eviction proceedings into the summer in response financial uncertainty tied to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Assembly Bill 203, which Matthews and other Republicans support, would set a May 31 deadline on court-issued stays of eviction.

Other bills from Kasama involve economic development and election reform.

Assemblywoman Brittney Miller, a Democrat who represents Summerlin South, wants the state to establish an office of the State Inspector, which would investigate fraud, waste and abuse in local government and state agencies in Nevada.

Another proposal from Miller, a school teacher, would require public and charter high schools to provide students help in filling out the federal application for student aid to help pay college tuition.

Other bills address bullying and cyberbullying and class size reduction.

Published March 12, 2021

Field overhaul in final stages at Palo Verde

Resurfacing of the football field at Palo Verde High School progressed this week before the recent rainfall. The turf had been laid across most of the field with a new surface designed to reduce injuries. Summerlin's public high school is one of 29 Clark County high schools expected to receive new turf as part of a $45 million overhaul launched last year, while sports are canceled and students learn from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the rain, the project was expected to be completed this month, and spring sports teams are scheduled to resume play early next month. Below, are photos of the football field under construction in late November (left) and early last month. Photos by James Geary

November

February

Summerlin Shorts

Town hall on evictions, legal aid & rental assistance

The public is invited to participate in a virtual town hall on the eviction moratorium, legal aid and rental assistance in English and Spanish on Wednesday, March 17.

Clark County Commissioners Tick Segerblom and William McCurdy II, Las Vegas City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, and representatives from the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Clark County Social Service will lead the discussion. To attend, log in to Zoom at 5 p.m. for the English session. The Spanish session will immediately follow about 6 p.m. Use the link bit.ly/2PCb9ui.

Meeting ID: 931 2023 9114

Passcode: 891701.

Both sessions will be carried live on Clark County Television (CCTV), online via YouTube,

https://www.youtube.com/user/ClarkCountyNV/live, and via www.Facebook.com/ClarkCountyNV.

CCTV is available in the Las Vegas area on Channel 4/1004 on Cox cable and on CenturyLink on Channels 4 and 1004. CCTV also streams on devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV via the YouTube app.

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.

Published March 12, 2021

Deer enjoy winter in Red Rock

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

To see slideshow CLICK HERE

Doctors vary on vaccine disclosures

Some cite privacy laws, others disclose vaccinations

Image by Pexels - CDC

None in survey show vaccination cards to patients


For the Sentinel's Opinion CLICK HERE

By Frank Geary

Doctors’ offices in Summerlin this week offered a hodge-podge of responses when asked whether their nurses, receptionists and other staff had been vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I cannot disclose that information,” said a staff member at a dentists’ office on Town Center Drive.

“We are all vaccinated,” said a receptionist at a pediatrician’s office on West Lake Mead Boulevard.

“I can’t give out that information. That violates our rules under HIPAA,” said a staffer at a physician’s office on Rampart Boulevard.

“Everyone has been offered the vaccine, and the two doctors definitely have been vaccinated,” said a person at another dentists’ office on Town Center.

The informal survey was undertaken Tuesday and Wednesday, and involved 25 offices of primary care physicians, pediatricians, dentists, eye doctors and a podiatrist.

It involved three or four questions, being put on hold for long periods, staffers ill-equipped to respond or being told to expect a return phone call that never came.

The varied responses come as employers grapple with workplace and liability laws that are murky in connection with COVID-19, and as health experts can’t say whether immunized people transmit coronavirus to others not yet protected.

Involved with the Sentinel’s informal survey were large, corporate agencies - with a dozen or more doctors - and smaller offices with two or three doctors.

Most of the larger organizations said their policies prevented them from releasing information to patients.

Smaller offices, in general, seemed more forthcoming while not completely transparent.

For instance, two offices which said staff had been vaccinated, either said they did not require staff members to verify vaccinations by showing their federal vaccination card, or said that the office would not share with patients their employees’ vaccinations cards.

The varied responses come two months after state officials announced that home healthcare workers and employees at outpatient offices could get vaccinated alongside seniors over 70 years old and other “front-line workers.”

At one Summerlin office, a doctor’s 16-year-old son was vaccinated after identifying himself as “an intern” at the office where his parent works.

As in other states, Nevada healthcare workers were allowed to move ahead of seniors and others waiting for their first dose. The rationale was that healthcare workers were at higher risk of infection, and to allay fears that an overdue doctor visit was as dangerous as a discretionary visit to the barber or fast-food restaurant.

However, in Summerlin, this week, that was not the case. There seemed more confusion and inconsistency than clarity.

Responses a mixed bag

Some offices cited federal privacy laws, which forbid the release of medical information about particular patients, as their rationale for not disclosing whether employees had been vaccinated.

Other offices, which shared some information, said privacy laws apply to the medical history of a specific person, not the percentage of unnamed staff who are vaccinated.

When pressed about laws shielding the release of information, an employee at a foot doctor’s office said, “That is absolutely correct.”

An employee for a pain-management office in Summerlin disclosed without hesitation that the doctors had been vaccinated.

Of the employees, however, she said, “I can’t release that because, by law, they don’t have to let us know if they were vaccinated.”

Some offices said vaccinations are “an option.” Others said doctors are not permitted to require staff to be vaccinated, or to even ask if employees are protected from COVID-19.

At nearly all the offices, receptionists acted as though they had not been asked previously if their staff was vaccinated.

And, with nearly every phone call, the front-line worker had to put the call on hold - for as long as 10 and 15 minutes - to get a response from a supervisor or doctor.

Others said they did not have an answer, often because the supervisor with the authorized response was “with a patient” or would not be available for several hours. Messages left seeking a response had not been returned two days later.

Some receptionists acted as though they were insulted by the question, or that asking about vaccinations was an invasion of privacy.

"WHO IS THIS?" some asked with indignation. "Well," said another, "we don't give out that information."

"I can't tell if our office is requring them to get vaccinated," said a receptionist at a pediatricians' office.

When asked about the state fast-tracking vaccinations for healthcare employees, some office personnel said they appreciate the courtesty but said employees cannot be compelled to get vaccinated before they are comfortable.

Others acknowledged that the prioritization program didn't achieve the results as planned. Some employees have chosen to not get vaccinated, leaving doctors unable to assure patients their staff won't infect them with coronavirus.

"These are questions, sir, I cannot answer," said one receptionist.

Doctors have duty to get vaccinated

Doctors have an ethical responsibility to get vaccinated, and are expected to provide a safe setting for patients, according to a November article by the American Medical Association.

In November, at a special meeting of the American Medical Association, its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs released a report. It updates the association’s advice on “The Routine Universal Immunizations of Physicians” for all viruses including COVID-19.

One of its recommendations states that doctors “have an ethical responsibility to encourage patients to accept immunization when the patient can do so safely, and to take appropriate measures in their own practice to prevent the spread of infectious disease in health care settings.”

Legal experts, however, say laws presently are unclear with regard to employers and what they can expect of employees when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.

However, in healthcare, there is a “heightened” reason for employees to get vaccinated, according to an article by Alston & Bird, an Atlanta-based law firm that was rated one of the best in the country last year by U.S. News and World Report.

“Employers in the health care industry and related industries (such as senior care) have a significantly heightened basis for requiring or strongly encouraging employees to get vaccinated now,” states the article, which provides advice to employers on COVID-19 in the workplace. “This position would also be consistent with many states’ plans for certain priority groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

As with public schools, federal law allows employers to require employees to get vaccinated against historic viruses like the flu, according to Alston & Bird.

Although, according to the Southern Nevada Health District, in Nevada there isn’t any law or regulation that requires hospitals to ensure that employees are immunized against the flu virus.

However, the state does require hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities to provide to federal authorities the vaccination rate for its personnel.

Federal law also requires that employers “make accommodations” for those workers whose religious beliefs or medical conditions truly prevent them from getting vaccinated, according to Alston & Bird.

With regard to brand new COVID-19 vaccines in particular, there are several questions the courts have not addressed since the pandemic arrived a year ago.

For instance, employees may have a right to refuse the vaccine because the Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked development through the Emergency Use Authorization process rather than its traditional, much-longer process.

As a result, in the eyes of the law, it could be that employees are justified in their reluctance to get vaccinated.

Published March 5, 2021

A year later, back to school

Teachers and students at Summerlin's Bonner Elementary School, near Crestdale Lane and Oxford Cross Drive, practice social distancing using balloons on Tuesday, the second day kindergarten through third-grade students returned to campuses in the Clark County School District. Students wore masks and practiced social distancing even outdoors for recess and gym class. For lunch, students ate outdoors and were separated by more than six feet on one side of portable, wheeled tables with each teacher or staff member monitoring six to seven students at a time. Photo, courtesy of parent of Bonner Elementary student.

Flu down dramatically during pandemic

Hospitalizations and deaths a fraction from year ago

Image by Pexels - Pixabay

By Frank Geary

Coronavirus killed hundreds in Southern Nevada this winter, but the flu has virtually disappeared in response to precautions that apparently weren’t as successful stopping the more virulent COVID-19.

With the current flu season, the latest information is nearly a month old. It shows that there were 108 cases of the flu with 29 hospitalizations and two deaths as of early February - five months into the typical flu season, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

The cases are less than 10% of a year ago, and hospitalizations and deaths from flu are a fraction of where they had been.

At the same time last year, before coronavirus appeared, there had been 1,167 cases of the flu with about the same number of hospitalizations and 40 deaths.

In early February 2019, there were less than half the number of cases as in 2020, but nothing close to the utter drought experienced during the pandemic.

Two years ago, there had been 481 cases with about the same number of hospitalizations and 19 deaths.

Typically, flu season in Southern Nevada starts in late September, but not this year.

Amid rising coronavirus cases, hospitalizations for the flu started to trickle in at the very end of November - which was two months later than flu cases registered a year earlier, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

As with COVID-19, flu data from the health district apparently takes time to compile. The last full review and analysis of annual flu data available this week was from the 2018-2019 flu season two years ago.

It shows that there were 968 people in Southern Nevada hospitalized for the flu, and that three of the 39 deaths that season were children under 17 years old.

Of those hospitalized, 158 (16.3%) were admitted to the intensive-care unit and 86 (9%) were placed on a ventilator, according to the health district.

Among those hospitalized, 774 (80%) had one or more underlying conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes. The most common condition was heart disease, which accounted for half of those with a condition (40% of hospitalized).

In Nevada, there isn’t any law or regulation that requires hospitals to ensure that employees are immunized from the flu, according to the health district.

However, the state does require hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities to provide to federal authorities the vaccination rate for its personnel.

Published March 5, 2021

  1. Burglary 8:19 a.m. Mon., Mar. 1, 10400 block Shoalhaven Drive

  2. Disturbing the Peace 6:22 p.m. Fri., Feb. 26, 10600 block Sky Meadows Avenue

  3. Disturbing the Peace 9:51 a.m. Fri., Feb. 26, 10600 block Grand Cypress Avenue

  4. Assault 4:15 p.m. Sat., Feb. 27, 1600 block Queen Victoria Street

  5. Disturbing the Peace 6:51 p.m. Tues., Mar. 2, 8700 block Red Brook Drive

  6. Vandalism 6:57 a.m. Tues., Mar. 2, 11300 block Redpoint Drive

  7. Burglary 3:00 p.m. Thu., Feb. 25, 400 block Winery Ridge Street

  8. Assault 1:19 p.m. Thu., Feb. 25, 600 block N Town Center Drive

  9. Assault 7:40 a.m. Mon., Mar. 1, 10700 block Balsam Creek Avenue

  10. Burglary 9:15 a.m. Sat., Feb. 27, 9000 block Alta Drive

  11. Auto Burglary 9:59 a.m. Fri., Feb. 26, 700 block S Rampart Boulevard

  12. Burglary 11:22 p.m. Thu., Feb. 25, 800 block Sir James Bridge Way

  13. Auto Theft 2:18 p.m. Fri., Feb. 26, 10300 block W Charleston Boulevard

  14. Disturbing the Peace 11:47 p.m. Sat., Feb. 27, 11000 block W Charleston Boulevard

  15. Disturbing the Peace 2:59 p.m. Fri., Feb. 26, 9500 block W Charleston Boulevard

  16. Person with a Knife 1:51 p.m. Sat., Feb. 27, 9200 block W Charleston Boulevard


Recognizing, wrestling grief difficult in pandemic

Simultaneous crush of isolation, job loss, uncertainty

By Frank Geary

Angry, frustrated, looking to punch someone?

Not surprising.

Worried about loved ones, your career, your marriage?

Join the club.

Sleep deprived from dwelling on the pandemic, and how it will influence your child?

Isolated for months, are you convinced it may never end?

You are not alone.

Depression, anxiety and anger are on the rise nearly a year into the coronavirus pandemic with no signs of slowing even as COVID-19 cases drop and vaccination rates climb.

As the nation mourned this week 500,000 American deaths from COVID-19, one Summerlin expert on grief said people have suffered in myriad ways, and that they can’t grasp what is wrong because unknowingly they’re experiencing losses other than the death of a loved one.

Although many do not recognize their anger or fear as grief, they are burdened all the same, said Michele Bates, a therapist who specializes in grief with Summerlin-based Transform Through Therapy.

In the year since the pandemic started, it could be the loss of a person’s job or career, or their marriage, or their traditions, or their lifestyle, or their friends, or their church or community.

Or worse, at this time in particular, a crippling combination of two or more factors.

“We have never experienced a period of time in which we are losing all these things at the same time, and with no end in sight,” Bates said. “COVID is like a never-ending train ride into nowhere.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a guide to help people, including children, cope with various forms of grief and loss.

With the milestone in deaths, the Sentinel set out to ask how grieving has changed with the sick dying in isolation and loved ones at gravesites surrounded by so few.

The path, however, took a turn beyond the confines of the assignment desk and its preconceived notions.

Three Summerlin people, who help neighbors suffering with grief, and who approach their work from different viewpoints, shared their experiences and offered suggestions for coping with COVID-19 and the emotional toll it has exacted on many in Summerlin.

In addition to Bates, a licensed therapist, there is Rev. Tom Unke, pastor at the Summerlin Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Rosie Walisever, facilitator for Compassionate Friends of Summerlin, a support group for parents who have lost children.

Michele Bates
Therapist and chief executive, Transform Through Therapy

Without Nazis, who is to blame?

With the pandemic, there is not a clearcut enemy to rally against unlike other tragedies such as 911 and World War II.

After Pearl Harbor, men enlisted with enthusiasm, women built weapons, people bought bonds and rationed food - all to defeat the “Axis of Evil.”

“If you think of World War II, you had the Nazis. You had something to focus on and you had someone to be angry with,” Bates said this week. “But, now, you don’t know where to put that energy and that is hard to cope with.”

The other aspect, that distinguishes the pandemic from other conflicts, is that people aren’t sure when or how it will truly end.

In addition, the pandemic has crippled the economy, and political and racial tensions are heightened, Bates said.

“People are not just dying. For many, their way of life is dying as well. They are dealing with multi-faceted grief,” Bates said.

“It’s that hopelessness that is troubling for us in the mental health field because it’s hard to battle it when you don’t know where it is going.”

Bates tells clients to try their best to focus on positive aspects of life, such as more time with family, and to calibrate expectations accordingly given the circumstances.

“Depression and anxiety can come from the difference between what should have happened and what has happened. Enjoy the moment and stop feeling the need to know everything to be happy,” Bates said. “People need to find peace one day at a time. … Focus on things that are OK now.”

One change in behavior has been indulgence. Some are spending more on retail purchases than before, while others have turned to baking with more time at home.

“There is a lot of bread,” Bates said.

While households have trouble coping in close quarters, Bates is most concerned for those who live alone.

“It is immensely better than the isolation of being alone,” Bates said of family life.

Humans are social and tribal. While Zoom and Facebook are helpful, people need a hug even if they do not realize it, Bates said.

And, compounding the loneliness, is that people can’t visit family, especially elderly parents in isolation.

“We are talking about really, intense isolation,” she said. “This is what I am most worried about. It makes you doubt yourself and you think that you could just disappear.”

Some clients are hurting in direct response to the pandemic. However, others, it turns out, are wrestling with long-suppressed emotional and psychological issues that have surfaced in response to the crisis, Bates said.

“People are coming in for the first time and getting help, and that help is changing their lives,” she said.

When asked about the long-term impact of COVID-19, Bates said each person will respond differently given their personal makeup.

With the internet allowing people to work, shop, socialize, exercise and go to school remotely, people had been “slowly moving away” from one another before the pandemic struck, she said.

Social distancing has hastened and heightened that sense of isolation.

Bates is hopeful the loneliness has reached a point that people will crave interaction more than ever once they can reunite.

“It is really an amazing opportunity (pandemic) to understand what we need to be happy and to seek it," she said. “Now, we know how important community is."




Watching worship not like being there


Rev. Tom Unke has comforted several church members, who lost loved ones during the pandemic to causes other than coronavirus, he said.

For two weeks, on a daily basis, he spoke with an elderly man who could not visit his wife in hospice at a Summerlin hospital.

“He was frustrated to the point of tears,” Unke said. “He didn’t care at all about getting sick. He cared about being at the bedside of his dying wife.”

And, church members were deprived of having extended family at funerals for loved ones.

“He didn’t get to share that message and give thanks at the time of passing,” Unke said. “... It comes down to taking away our freedoms.”

In response to social distancing rules, Unke held services online before the church was permitted to have in-person worship last year. Attendance since has returned to about 70% of where it was pre-pandemic, he said.

Unke said that online services were not the same because christianity “is designed” to be an in-person, communal experience.

“There is a difference between watching worship happen and being there to participate in worship,” Unke said. “It was a detriment to the faith of a lot of people.”

Church members struggled between their faith and their health, and many chose to forgo in-person services in response to an “unhealthy fear” of COVID-19, he said.

People heard the message that you have to stay in your homes,” Unke said, “and some people found it strange that preachers like us were saying ‘You can trust in the Lord.'"

As with public-health matters in the past, Unke said, people adapt to dire circumstances rather than let fear alter their way of life.

“I think there is a happy medium and there always has been,” he said.


Rosie Walisever

Facilitator, Compassionate Friends of Summerlin

Group resumes for parents who lost children

Many this week will turn another page on the calendar, and wonder how much longer the odyssey of COVID-19 will continue.

For Rosie Walisever, the past year has been a mere detour in the marathon of life since her beloved son, Adam, killed himself years ago.

“For some people, I hope the past year has been a blur,” Walisever said of parents like her. “COVID was just another thing to deal with while we are still dealing with the loss of our children.”

The golf enthusiast from Sun City Summerlin this week reconvened for the first time in months the twice-monthly meetings of Compassionate Friends of Summerlin, a support group for parents whose children have died.

It is the local chapter of a national organization, and Walisever has served as volunteer facilitator for some time.

“We gave birth to them. We took care of them and we nurtured them, and, now, they are gone and they are not coming back,” she said. “This is something we don’t get over. This is something we have to move with for the rest of our lives.”

The support group started up again Thursday evening after shutting down for several months in response to the pandemic and social-distancing rules.

Walisever is concerned for members she has not heard from in weeks, but new people have contacted her eager to attend meetings, she said.

“They were dealing with COVID-19 and they are dealing with the loss of their child,” Walisever said. “They are eager to meet with people who have walked in their shoes.”

When the pandemic first struck, Walisever suffered an unexpected relapse of sorts that left her with the same depression she felt after her son’s death.

“I felt the same as back at the time that Adam passed away,” she said. “I felt very alone spiritually, physically, mentally - in every way possible.”

After about two weeks, Walisever recalled how crippling the depression had been after her son’s death, and she was determined to not let that happen again.

“It encapsulated me. It threw its arms around me and wouldn’t let me go,” she said.

Walisever got back on the golf course, and reached out to members of the support group because she needed them as much as they needed the group.

“I need them too. Part of my journey depends on helping them,” she said. “These are folks with other resources, such as therapists. But, I feel the one-on-one, and talking to someone who has walked in their shoes, is the key.”

In the spring, when public health experts predicted the pandemic would be over by summertime, Walisever held the group’s meetings in her yard and other outdoor locations.

They met in the evenings, and would conclude by watching the sunset and holding a “goodnight ceremony for our kids.”

However, as the pandemic grew more dire and people started to realize it wasn’t going away, some members chose to quarantine at home rather than attend meetings.

“There are a lot of people I have not heard from,” Walisever said. “I am hoping they found something that suits them online.”

Published February 26, 2021

Students' back-to-campus timeline

After-school sports, performing arts part of plan

For the Sentinel's Opinion click here

By Sentinel Staff

The Clark County School District this week announced the timeline for students' return to in-person classes and hybrid learning March 1, and shared plans for athletic and extra-curricular activities.

Superintendent Jesus Jara said Gov. Steve Sisolak's easing of COVID-19 restrictions for gatherings last week provided an "expedited route to open our schools." He said schools will follow the health and safety procedures in the district's Hybrid Instructional Model Implementation Guide.

It requires students be divided into three cohorts. Students in Cohort A attend school in person Mondays and Tuesdays and via distance education on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Students in Cohort B attend school in person on Thursdays and Fridays and via distance education on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Students in Cohort C remain in full-time distance education.
We will continue to offer a full-time distance education option to our families who feel more comfortable keeping their children at home,” Jara said. “I ask for your patience as I continue to work with the Board of School Trustees to bring back all students and staff to face-to-face instruction safely.”
He said the district will post updates online at reconnect.ccsd.net.

Return to campus timeline

  • March 1 - All Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 students can return to face-to-face instruction under the hybrid instructional model.

  • March 22 - Grades 6, 9, & 12 can return to face-to-face instruction under the hybrid instructional model.

  • April 6 - Grades 7, 8, 10 & 11 can return to face-to-face instruction under the hybrid instructional model.

  • April 6 - Pre-Kindergarten through grade 5 can return to five days a week face-to-face instruction.

Athletics & Extracurricular Activities

CCSD plans to allow students to participate in the following athletics and extracurricular activities. No spectators will be allowed at any CCSD athletics events. School athletics will follow all guidelines from CCSD, the state, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA).

Spring Sports

    • Sports include: boys and girls track, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls diving, baseball, softball, boys golf and boys volleyball

    • Practices begin April 3, 2021 and competitions begin April 16, 2021.

Intramural Fall Sports

April 5 - May 1, 2021

      • Football: Full contact competition.

      • 20 days of practice culminating in a one hour intrasquad competition.

May 3 - 22, 2021

      • Sports include: boys and girls tennis, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country and girls volleyball.

      • Sports will be staggered to avoid forcing students to choose a single sport.

Performing Arts

    • Performing arts classes will have the option of streamed concerts.

    • Students will be permitted to participate in activities and rehearsals, such as marching band, drill team, theater.

Published February 26, 2021


COVID cases continue to plummet in Summerlin

Sentinel Staff

The number of COVID-19 cases in Summerlin dropped by a third in the past week.

Across three zip codes in Summerlin North and Summerlin West - which have a combined population of about 60,000 - there were 49 new cases for the seven-day period that ended Wednesday, Feb. 25.

The two previous weeks, 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 drop in cases comes as the vaccination rate continues to climb over the past month across Southern Nevada.

For a closer look at which of the three Summerlin zip codes had more new cases than the other two combined, click here for the Sentinel’s COVID-19 Update.

For a look back at last week’s story on the dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases since January, click here.

Published February 26, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Wednesday, Feb. 18, to Tuesday, Feb. 24

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic Design by James Geary
  1. Burglary 12:58 p.m. Mon., Feb. 22, 10200 block Camborne Avenue

  2. Disturbing the Peace 11:29 a.m. Sun., Feb 21, 1600 block Queen Victoria Street

  3. Disturbing the Peace 5:52 p.m. Sun., Feb 21, 10300 block Mountain Lodge Place

  4. Weapons 9:32 p.m. Sat., Feb 20, 400 block Winery Ridge Street

  5. Assault 8:49 a.m. Sat., Feb 20, 600 block N. Town Center Drive

  6. Disturbing the Peace 10:34 p.m. Thu., Feb 18, 200 block N. Rampart Boulevard

  7. Robbery 5:16 p.m. Fri., 19, Park Vista Drive/Juniper Breeze Lane

  8. Burglary 1:09 p.m. Tue., 23, 9000 block Alta Drive

  9. Burglary 9:22 a.m. Thu., 18, 10900 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  10. Two incidents at 11000 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Disturbing the peace, 1:26 a.m. Sat., Feb. 20; Motor Vehicle Theft 7:45 p.m. Tue., Feb. 23

  11. Three incidents at 9500 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Disturbing the peace, 11:46 p.m. Sat., Feb. 20; Burglary, 7:58 a.m. Mon., Feb. 22; Motor Vehicle Theft, 12:20 p.m. Mon., Feb 22

  12. Two incidents at 9200 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Disturbing the peace, 5:44 p.m. Sat., Feb. 21; Motor Vehicle Theft 8:10 a.m. Mon., Feb. 22

Research to save fragile, desert plants

Sticky Buckwheat The plant is threatened by invasive plants, like Sahara mustard Mediterranean/Arabian grass, and from development and off-road vehicles. It can reach nearly 16 inches in height, and its branches are sticky and often covered with sand. It was first classified in Nevada in 1941 near the Virgin River. It flowers in late April and produces fruits about three weeks later.
Threecorner milkvetchSimilar to sticky buckwheat, it was discovered near the banks of the Virgin River in Clark County. Also, it faces many of the same threats in the same setting, and flowers in April with fruits two to three weeks later. One study found a wide range in the number of fruit for each plant, with a mean of about 54 fruit per plant.

Sentinel Staff

Botany experts are about halfway through a project to preserve five fragile desert plants and understand better how habitat, heat and weather influence their reproduction.

Clark County’s Department of Environment and Sustainability last month revised scheduling details for the Rare Plant Propagation Research program, which started last year just as the pandemic took hold.

The $141,000 undertaking is expected to collect seeds from five rare plants, and study and cultivate them in a nursery before reintroducing them into areas where each may prosper.

“While surveys and monitoring have documented species occurrences and population trends, complete knowledge on seed ecology and seeding establishment is lacking,” the county report states.

The project is overseen by the county’s Desert Conservation Program, which wishes to learn more about the seeding of the five plant species.

The campaign complements efforts to preserve habitat for the five rare plant species.

Cultivating the seeds in a nursery setting will help bolster the spread of seeds in the wild by increasing the population of each, and allow for controlled experiments looking at the best soil and other factors that help each plant thrive.

“The goal of this project is to investigate the reproductive ecology of and develop successful propagation techniques for five of Clark County’s rare plant species,” states the program report, “so that nursery stock can eventually be established and utilized for conservation purposes.”

Methods for preserving and procreating are particular to the needs of each species, and in some cases, rely somewhat on data available from past research.

For the Las Vegas bearpoppy, for instance, researchers are expected to review research already available, and make recommendations for spreading the species.

However, for the other four species, much more hands-on research has been required since the project started last year.

For the Blue Diamond cholla, experts are expected to collect seeds and stems in the wild, and then test different soils, water schedules and other factors to determine optimal seeding conditions.

When determined the plant is viable, fruit from it will be tracked and seeds collected for further testing in the lab, according to the report.

The process for procreating the other three rare species - the Three-corner milkvetch, sticky buckwheat and the White-margined penstemon - are a bit messier.

For the milkvetch and buckwheat species, researchers will collect seeds from plants found in the wild and nearby soil samples. Afterward, pollination and germination tests will be done in a nursery.

If the process produces sufficient seeds, they will be placed in “nylon seed bags” and planted and observed at regular intervals, according to the report.

For the penstemon species, a similar process will be followed other than the collection of seeds. Rather, researchers will collect soil samples before tests are undertaken.

Published February 26, 2021

Las vegas bearpoppy Found in areas with Creosote bushes, the plant is known by several names; the California bearpoppy, Las Vegas bearpoppy, golden bearpoppy and others. The plant flowers in mid spring with deep yellow petals, and fruit arrives in early summer. It’s primary habitat - which is in Southern Nevada - is declining. Contributing to the scarcity is the fact that a particular bee, the Mojave poppy bee, which pollinates only Las Vegas bearpoppy, is also dying off in connection with the plant. Development, gypsum mining and cattle grazing have all hurt the poppy bee.
Blue diamond chollaThis compact cactus with thick 2-inch joints can be 2.5 feet in height. The plant flowers in early summer and its yellow fruit appears mid-summer. It grows on dry, limestone hillsides in just a few locations, such as the west side of Red Rock Canyon and the Desert Wildlife Range.
White-margined penstemon The plant lives in the Mojave Desert, including in the Ivanpah Valley, which was slated at one time for construction of a regional airport west of Las Vegas. It does not appear to require rainfall to flower because it stores water and energy in its long taproots. The plant’s small seeds do not travel far given they are spread by ants, rodents and water flow in the desert. One study said seeds were found within 15 centimeters of the parent.

Summerlin Shorts


Sun City picks two incumbents, one newcomer

Sun City Summerlin voters on Tuesday picked the two incumbents and one newcomer to fill seats on the Board of Directors of the Sun City Summerlin Community Association, Inc.

Board Treasurer Gerry Sokolski, longtime board member Leo Crawford and John Berthelsen, of the Community Areas Property Committee (CAPS), which makes budget recommendations, were elected to three-year terms.

Sun City Summerlin, located between the Summerlin Parkway and Cheyenne Avenue and the 215 Beltway and Rampart Boulevard, has more than 7,700 households and is one of the largest homeowners associations in the state.

Sokolski received the most votes. He was followed by Crawford and Berthelsen, according to Sun City.

The victories come as the community grapples with the effects of the pandemic, and a year after voters approved term limits for board members.

‘Business Hub’ opens at West Sahara Library

Small business owners can learn more about free services - such as recruiting, training and hiring incentives - with a visit to the West Sahara Library, 9600 W. Sahara Avenue, east of Hualapai Way.

The center, one of two Employ NV Business Hubs in Las Vegas, is free and designed to help businesses recover and prosper during and after the pandemic.

Workforce development professionals help local employers access no-cost solutions offered through the public workforce development system, such as talent recruitment, training assistance and financial incentives for hiring Nevadans.

For more about the Business Hub, visit EmployNVBusinessHub.org.

The Business Hubs are a coordinated effort between Workforce Connections (Southern Nevada's Local Workforce Development Board), the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR), the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, the Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.

Crossing Guards Needed


Clark County is recruiting 675 paid crossing guards to start Monday, March 1, when elementary school students return to the classroom. The pay is $15 per hour.

School hours vary across the valley, but crossing guards typically work from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The county will provide training and equipment including face masks. Successful applicants must be 18 years old, pass an agility and balance assessment, and complete a criminal background check.

Officials say prospective crossing guards need to apply as soon as possible to ensure the county can staff all school crosswalks as soon as possible.

For information, call All City Management Services at (702) 675-3135 or visit https://acmssafety.com/crossing-guards/.

Published February 26, 2021

COVID cases just 22% of peak late last year

For the Sentinel's Opinion Click HERE

By Frank Geary and Luke Geary

The rate of COVID-19 cases in Summerlin has nose-dived to levels inconceivable just a month ago.

In Summerlin North and Summerlin West, combined, there were 75 new cases identified during the week that ended Wednesday, Feb. 17, and there were 72 new cases a week earlier .

It was the first time the area of about 60,000 people has seen just a double-digit weekly increase in three-and-a-half months, when there were 95 new cases the week ending Nov. 3.

More recently, the new-case total is just 33% of the 240 news cases reported in the week ending Jan. 13, based on data from the Southern Nevada Health District, which is overseeing the region’s response to coronavirus.

And, the new cases reported last week are just 22% of the peak of 328 new cases reported for the seven-day period ending Dec. 2 across the two zip codes in Summerlin North and the one in Summerlin West.

The drop in cases does not appear to be a one-time apparition. Instead, it is a milestone on a downward trend that started with the new year.

The health district provides for each zip code in the region a day-to-day accumulation of cases, which shows the total number at any one time. The Sentinel analyzed data for Summerlin for this report.

Data on hospitalizations, recoveries, deaths or demographics of patients is not broken down by zip code.

After the Thanksgiving-time apex in cases, Summerlin’s week-to-week increases ranged from 200 to 262 for the ensuing seven weeks.

There were 194 new cases in Summerlin North and Summerlin West - combined - the week ending Jan. 20. That was the first time the number dropped below 200 since the middle of November.

One week later, the number dropped another 30% to 135 new cases.

A comparable 129 new cases were reported two weeks ago; before that figure on Feb. 11 jettisoned a startling 44% to 72 new cases reported.

The welcome relief comes at a time when cases across Clark County, Nevada and the country are on a similar downward trend, and in a month in which the federal government has increased by 30 percent the supply of vaccinations shipped to the states each week.

On Wednesday, the health district’s most recent data on vaccination rates was a week old.

It states that 203,477 people in Clark County had received the first dose of the two doses needed when taking the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. There had been 40,420 who had received the second dose.

The vaccines first arrived in December, and the pace of vaccinations has increased week to week - although somewhat sporadically - since then.


November was the worst

In looking at weekly case increases in Summerlin, dating back to September, the highest surge by far was in November.

New cases for a week in mid-September totaled 30, but the rate ticked up markedly in October.

New cases more than doubled; from 44 the week ending Oct. 13 to 95 the Halloween week ending Nov. 3.

Fast forward a month to the week ending Dec. 2, the number of new cases grew 245% to 328.

Here is a closer look at how a snowball turned overnight into an avalanche of COVID-19.

Two weeks after Hallloween, the new-case total in Summerlin had jumped 44% to 137 cases for the week ending Nov. 17.

One week later, the total skyrocketed another 82% to 250 new cases for the week ending Nov. 25 - the day before Thanksgiving.

And, the following week, the total went up another 31% to the all-time peak of 328 new cases for the week that ended Dec. 2.

The 89144 zip code - between Charleston Boulevard and Summerlin Parkway and the 215 Beltway east to about Rampart Boulevard- has a population estimated at 18,714. The area saw triple-digit increases three consecutive weeks starting Nov. 11.

Meanwhile, the 89138 zip code in West Summerlin, with a population estimated at 12,118, hit triple digits once - during the last week of November.

That same week, the 89144 zip code hit an all-time high of 99 new cases. That zone, which includes Sun City Summerlin and other areas north of Summerlin Parkway, experienced smaller weekly increases even though its much larger with an estimated population of 29,040.


Hospitalizations, deaths ride same wave

Health district data does not break down by zip code deaths or hospitalizations caused by coronavirus.

Hospitalizations in the region follow the same trend seen in weekly case numbers in Summerlin.

The 7-day moving average for daily hospitalizations was 20 on Sept. 9.

It took about six weeks for that to jump to about 30 per day, but only two weeks more for it to skyrocket past 40 hospitalizations per day in early November, according to health district data.

Hospitalizations per day increased to 50 by the middle of November and to 60 by the end of the month.

Hospitalizations peaked at about 72 just before Christmas before dropping faster than they had climbed in the weeks earlier.

A month later, hospitalizations were down to 45. They were at 27 on Feb. 9. Four days later, they were at 19 per day and they were down to a mere seven per day on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

With deaths across Southern Nevada, the 7-day moving average was more than 10 in early September following the summer surge across the southwestern United States.

Daily deaths dropped gradually to a low of 2.3 per day in the middle of October before gradually increasing.

Deaths doubled by the end of October and were back to about 10 per day by the middle of November. Deaths jumped to about 20 in early December and climbed past 30 a month later.

The 7-day moving average of deaths hit a high of about 33 on Jan. 12 before dropping like a rock over the past five weeks or so.

By Jan. 30, the daily rate was about 22. It dropped to 15 on Feb. 11. It plummeted to below 10 by Valentine’s Day, and was below 3% on Wednesday, Feb. 17, according to health district data.

Published February 18, 2021

To see the COVID-19 Update Click HERE

New law allows bicyclists to leave right shoulder

Image by Pexels

County Commission gives unanimous approval

By Frank Geary

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday enacted a new law that allows bicyclists to leave the right shoulder if they feel unsafe or decide they are traveling as fast as traffic.

The proposal from Commissioner Justin Jones, a Democrat and bike and transit advocate who represents Summerlin, was enacted unanimously without any discussion of its merits or consequences.

“It's really intended for roadways in which there isn't any shoulder or any bike lane," Jones said when asked if the new rules would allow bicyclists to leave the right shoulder.

"It would be dependent on the circumstances you are talking about," he replied. "Just as an example, on Fort Apache, there is a whole lot of saw-tooth roads that go back and forth and there is no shoulder whatsoever. And, so, we are trying to make sure that it's clear that the bike should be in the roadway and not have the motorist honking at them."

However, the vague, one-sentence report that accompanied the proposal and the new law, itself, fail to mention a distinction between county roads with bike lanes and those without bike lanes. It doesn’t make any mention of “saw-tooth” sections of Fort Apache Road or other particularly troublesome county streets.

Instead, the new law states that bicyclists no longer will be required to ride on the right shoulder if they are turning left, feel unsafe or are traveling as fast as surrounding traffic.

The new law states bikes do not have to be on the right shoulder “when traveling at a lawful rate of speed commensurate with the speed of any nearby traffic.”

Las Vegas police and Nevada Highway Patrol, two agencies responsible for traffic safety in Southern Nevada, did not provide any input on the new regulations after being contacted by the Sentinel two weeks ago. A statement from Las Vegas police last week said the department is considering the measure.

Last month, Jones said he wanted to look at bicycle safety in part because of recent high-profile incidents.

Presumably, one of the incidents involved several bicyclists who were killed when an allegedly intoxicated motorist plowed into them. Another involved thrill seekers who pushed a bicyclist off the road by hitting her with the open door of a moving vehicle. The bicyclist and the passenger in the vehicle were killed, and the driver is facing possibe prison time on felony charges.

However, the amended bike law says nothing about drunken driving or mayhem provoked by thrill seekers. There is not any mention of treatment options for those arrested for drunken driving. There is no mention of stiffer fines or mandatory jail time for drunken drivers. There is not any mention of enhanced sentencing - as for hate crimes and crimes against seniors - for thrill seekers who kill bicyclists.

The revised law amends a county ordinance on "obligations of persons operating a bicycle."

Before Tuesday’s unanimous, silent approval, the law required bicyclists to "ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. "

The revision also permits bicyclists to leave the right lane to make left turns, and when the biker decides the right lane is not safe.

Unsafe conditions include parked or moving vehicles, animals, “surface hazards,” or when bicyclists determine the right lane is too narrow to travel safely alongside a vehicle. The law also says that safety hazards are not limited to only those listed specifically.

In addition, the new rules no longer require bicyclists to have a horn or audible device for safety.

Published February 18, 2021


Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Wednesday, Feb. 12, to Tuesday, Feb. 16

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic Design by James Geary
  1. Auto Burglary 9:34 a.m. Tue., Feb. 16, 10600 block Huntington Hills Drive

  2. Disturbing the peace 11:56 a.m. Wed., Feb. 10, 1300 block N. Town Center Drive

  3. Disturbing the peace 10:28 a.m. Thu., Feb. 11, 10200 block Via Roma Place

  4. Disturbing the peace 11:31 a.m. Sat., Feb. 13, 100 block Park Vista Drive

  5. Disturbing the peace 3:48 p.m. Mon., Feb. 15, 10800 block Aire Drive

  6. Stolen vehicle recovered (Calif. plates) 9:43 a.m. Mon., Feb. 15, 10600 Esk Drive

  7. Disturbing the peace 9:33 p.m. Fri., Feb. 12, 500 block Playa Linda Place

  8. Auto Burglary 12:43 p.m. Tue., Feb. 16, 300 block Magnolia Arbor Street

  9. Auto theft 6:21 a.m. Sun., Feb. 14, 200 block N. Rampart Boulevard

  10. Disturbing the peace 2:43p.m. Mon., Feb. 15, 9100 block Worsley Park Lane

  11. Auto theft 10:16 a.m. Sat., Feb. 13, 9000 block Alta Drive

  12. Burglary 8:53 a.m. Wed., Feb. 19, 700 block S. Rampart Boulevard

  13. sDisturbing the peace 11:47 a.m. Thu., Feb. 11, 700 block S. Hualapai Way.

  14. Stolen vehicle recovered 7:26 p.m. Sat., Feb. 13, 11000 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  15. Assault 12:30 p.m. Thu., Feb. 11, W. Charleston Boulevard and S. Hualapai Way

  16. DIsturbing the peace 8:54 p.m. Fri., Feb. 12, 9500 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  17. Disturbing the pea ce 9:35 a.m. Wed., Feb. 10, 600 block N. Town Center Drive

Streamlining services prompted by pandemic

Image by Pexels

Calls for consistency on marijuana, liquor policies

Sentinel Staff

Local officials are considering measures that would streamline services prompted by the pandemic, such as alcohol delivery and drive-thru dispensaries.

At the moment, alcohol delivery is permitted permanently on the north side of Charleston Boulevard, but not on the south side because it is in Clark County.

East of Summerlin, on the south side of Charleston Boulevard, dispensaries are permitted to have drive-thru, but not those on the north side because they are within Las Vegas city limits.

The Clark County Commission and Las Vegas City Council this week moved forward with measures that would allow both services across city-county boundaries like Charleston Boulevard.

The City Council on Wednesday advanced a proposal to permit drive-thru dispensaries, which have been permitted temporarily to offer curbside pickup during the pandemic.

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday forwarded a proposal from Commissioner Justin Jones, of Summerlin, that calls for the commission to “discuss” adopting alcohol delivery permanently, as it has permitted during the pandemic.

The suggestion comes a month after the City Council unanimously approved a proposal from Councilman Stavros Anthony, a former police official who represents Summerlin.

It allows liquor stores and other establishments with a liquor license to deliver alcohol to residences and businesses. However, it prohibits delivery to resorts or other businesses that have a liquor license.

The city’s proposal to consider drive-thrus dispensaries comes six months after Clark County lifted a similar ban, and more than three years after the Pauite Indian tribe opened a drive-thru dispensary on its patch of sovereign land near downtown Las Vegas.

The dispensary upgrade would amend existing city laws that forbid drive-thrus and require customers to enter and exit from one doorway.

The city’s move is somewhat overdue, considering a drive-thru dispensary has been operating near downtown Las Vegas for three years.

The Paiute Indian tribe, which owns land near downtown Las Vegas, operates a large dispensary. Since tribal land is not subject to city ordinances, it could ignore the drive-thru ban.

The city of North Las Vegas for some time has allowed drive-thru windows at dispensaries, which only take cash and require customers to go online to place orders and to schedule the pickup.

County officials last summer allowed dispensaries within unincorporated areas to open drive-thru windows, in part because the pandemic limited occupancy in the dispensaries.

Dispensaries across Southern Nevada have offered curbside pickup, and some have provided delivery services since last spring.

According to one county official, last summer the only source of tax revenue showing a profit in the pandemic was marijuana sales.

Before the coronavirus hit in March, the cannabis industry in Nevada was expected to blast off based on a study done before the crisis crippled the local economy.

Marijuana sales in Nevada had been expected to jump more than 50 percent; from $629 million in fiscal year 2019 to an estimated $956 million by 2024, according to the 2020 Marijuana Economic and Fiscal Benefits Analysis: Nevada, done for the Nevada Dispensary Association.

According to the study, marijuana sales in Nevada increased 20 percent from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2019. The industry accounts for 8,200 jobs in “licensed cannabis” and 2,000 ancillary positions.

Published February 18, 2021

Summerlin Shorts

Crossing Guards Needed


Clark County is recruiting for 675 paid crossing guards to start March 1, when elementary school students return to the classroom. The pay is $15 per hour.

School hours vary across the valley, but crossing guards typically work from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The county will provide training and equipment including face masks. Successful applicants must be 18 years old, pass an agility and balance assessment, and complete a criminal background check.

Officials say prospective crossing guards need to apply as soon as possible to ensure the county can staff all school crosswalks by the start date.

For information, call All City Management Services at (702) 675-3135 or visit https://acmssafety.com/crossing-guards/.

City offers spring break fun for kids

Las Vegas children can enjoy activities, from camps to music, theatre and art workshops, while school is out for spring break. Social distancing and other safety guidelines mandated by the governor’s directives will be in effect. To register, visit www.lasvegasnevada.gov/camps.

Spring Break Camps (K-8th grade)

7 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 29 to April 2

Cost: $100/child for full week.

Veterans Memorial Community Center, 101 N. Pavilion Center Drive.

Camp activities will include arts and crafts, sports, games, music, life skills, and physical fitness, with trained adult supervision. Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Health screenings, face masks and social distancing will be required. For information, call 702-229-PLAY (7529).

Rainbow Company Youth Theatre Spring Break Workshop (ages 8-12)

9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., March 29 to April 2, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 3

Cost: $135/youth for full week.

Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.

This workshop includes sessions that build trust, courage, self-esteem, creativity, communication, and social skills. Students conclude this week-long workshop with a presentation of their theatrical skills. Students should bring lunch, snacks and water. Face masks and social distancing will be required. Registration is open through March 30, or until full. For information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787).

Broadway Spring Break Musical Theater Camp (ages 10-18)

Co-sponsored with Contemporary West Dance Theatre

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., March 29 to April 2

Cost: $210/youth for full week, includes a camp-provided t-shirt to wear each day.

Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.

This musical theater camp will highlight moments captured from some of Broadway’s most prominent musicals, “Hairspray,” “Hamilton,” and “The Lion King.” Students will commit to a week-long session led by Broadway musical theater artists who are based locally. Students will learn acting, voice, dance and costume design, and will create their own Lion King headpieces for the final presentation. The program will conclude with a final performance presentation Friday, April 2. Youth should bring lunch, snacks and water. Face masks and social distancing will be required. Registration is open through March 30, or until full. For information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787).

Sports sidelined, work continues at Palo Verde

Image by James Geary

Work crews Tuesday on the football field at Palo Verde High School, near Pavilion Center and Alta drives, lay down base material as part of a project to replace the grass with manufactured turf designed to curtail injuries. Summerlin's public high school is one of 29 Clark County high schools expected to receive new turf as part of a $45 million overhaul launched last year, while sports are canceled and students learn from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo by James Geary

Image by Pixabay-Pexels

Las Vegas police say little about bike proposal

County Commission to hold Feb. 16 public hearing

To see the Sentinel's Opionion Click Here

Sentinel Staff

Two law-enforcment agencies - responsible for traffic safety in Southern Nevada - had litte to say this week about a proposal that would permit bicycles in the middle of Clark County roads.

A proposal from Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, a bike advocate who represents Summerlin, would no longer require bicyclists to ride on the right shoulder if they are turning left, feel unsafe or are traveling as fast as surrounding traffic.

The proposition states bikes do not have to be on the right shoulder “when traveling at a lawful rate of speed commensurate with the speed of any nearby traffic.”

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday, Feb. 16, is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the measure.

However, neither Las Vegas police nor the Nevada Highway Patrol had much to say about the merits or consequences of the proposal. NHP did not respond this week, and Las Vegas police, in a statement, said "at this time, our department is looking at the proposal and how it would impact residents."

The suggestion would amend a county ordinance on "obligations of persons operating a bicycle."

Presently, the law states that bicyclists shall "ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. "

Jones' proposal also would permit bicyclists to leave the right lane to make left turns, and when the biker decides the right lane is not safe.

Unsafe conditions include parked or moving vehicles, animals, “surface hazards,” or when bicyclists determine the right lane is too narrow to travel safely alongside a vehicle.

In addition, the new rules would no longer require bicyclists to have a horn or audible device attached to their bike for safety.

Clark County Commission meetings aired live on the county's YouTube channel, Facebook or on the county television station, which is Channel 4 for some residents.

Published February 11, 2021

Data: Quality of life good in Summerlin South

Graphic by James Geary

By Frank Geary

A recent study found that residents in unincorporated county areas, like Whitney, Winchester and Paradise, are not doing as well as neighbors who live in Las Vegas and other Southern Nevada cities.

Unincorporated Summerlin South, not surprisingly, doesn’t fit the mold.

The large, county area - south of Sahara Avenue along the 215 Beltway- is better off than other unincorporated areas, according to the study.

The consultant’s review, Mapping the Future: An Analysis of Clark County’s Communities and Economy, was done by SRI International, Center for Innovation Strategy and Policy, on behalf of the county.

“There also remains significant variation in socioeconomic status among Clark County’s unincorporated areas,” states the report. “Poverty rates range from 6.8% in Summerlin South to 21.9% in Sunrise Manor. Work remains to be done to close the socioeconomic gap between the various unincorporated areas.”

The study was undertaken before the pandemic hit, and was presented last month to the County Commission.

In addition, Mapping the Future compares other demographic distinctions - housing, employment, education - among seven unincorporated areas in the Las Vegas Valley.

Summerlin South outpaced the other six in most of 12 quality-of-life metrics, and was near the top in others.

A chart compares the areas, and highlights the three worst off for each subject; poverty or education or home ownership, for instance.

The two most prosperous areas never highlighted were Summerlin South and the county town of Enterprise.

Highlighted more often than not were the more-distressed county towns of Sunrise Manor and Winchester.

The Sentinel did not consider data from rural Laughlin or Moapa Valley in its calculations or averages.

With regard to education, about 4% of adults over 25-years-old in Summerlin South do not have a high school diploma.

In neighboring Summerlin North and Summerlin West, the numbers are similar at 6% and 3% respectively.

In the six other unincorporated county towns in the Las Vegas Valley, the combined average was about 17%. In two, 25% or more did not have a diploma.

The unemployment rate in Summerlin South was just below 5%. The average across the other six areas was 8%. Two towns had rates above 10%. Unemployment data was not available for Summerlin North and Summerlin West.

The poverty rate in Summerlin South was below 7% compared with an average of 17% in the other unincorporated county areas. Two towns had poverty rates above 20%.

Poverty rates were not available for Summerlin North and Summerlin West.

With regard to earnings, Summerlin South’s median household income of $88,969 is 34% higher than the average of $66,242 across the other six areas. Two of those areas were below $42,000.

Median household income in Summerlin North was $68,329 and in Summerlin West it was $112,605.

Median earnings in Summerlin South were $57,614, or 85% higher than the average elsewhere in the county of $31,071.

Earnings in Summerlin South were more than double the earnings in two other unincorporated areas.

With housing, in the other areas combined, about 47% of homes are owned or have a mortgage. The other 53% are rentals.

In Summerlin South and in Summerlin North, 68% of homes are owned or have a mortgage. In Summerlin West, 66% of homes are owned or have a mortgage.

Published February 11, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Wednesday, Feb. 3, to Tuesday, Feb. 11

  1. Assault 3:14 p.m. Sun., Feb. 7, 9600 block Ann Arbor Lane

  2. Vandalism 8:34 p.m. Mon., Jan. 8, 9300 block Mist Flower Circle

  3. Assault 3:32 p.m. Mon., Feb. 8, 10600 block Grand Cypress Avenue

  4. Burglary 9:08 a.m. Thu., Feb. 4, 1600 block Saintsbury Drive

  5. Disturbing the peace 7:56 p.m. Mon., Feb. 8, 1600 block Queen Victoria Street

  6. Assault 6:16 p.m. Mon., Feb. 8, 9600 block Trailwood Drive

  7. Burglary 7:34 p.m. Sun, Feb. 7, 10600 block Englewood Cliffs Avenue

  8. Disturbing the peace 1:14 p.m. Tue., Feb. 9, 10000 block Benjamin Nicholas Place

  9. Disturbing the peace 8:54 p.m. Sat., Feb. 6, 1200 block N. Town Center Drive

  10. Disturbing the peace 3:23 p.m. Mon., Feb. 8, 400 block Bloomingdale Court

  11. Vandalism 12:01 p.m. Mon., Feb. 8, 700 block Peachy Canyon Circle

  12. Vandalism 11:32 a.m. Mon., Feb. 8, 500 block Lacabana Beach Drive

  13. Burglary 1:26 a.m. Tue., Feb. 9, 600 block S. Town Center Drive

  14. Burglary 9:04 p.m. Thu., Feb. 4, 9200 block Tudor Park Place

  15. Assault 2:54 p.m. Tue., Feb. 9, 9100 block Worsley Park Place

  16. Auto burglary 1:51 p.m. Tue., Feb. 9, 10900 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  17. Disturbing the peace 1:29 a.m. Mon., Feb. 8, 11000 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  18. Auto theft 6:21 p.m. Sat., Feb. 6, 9700 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  19. Auto burglary 1:57 p.m. Sun. Feb. 7, 9700 block W. Charleston Boulevard

Libraries evolve for post-pandemic uncertainty

By J. Geary


Robotics labs, do-it-yourself makerspaces, high-tech job training and computer coding centers will define how post-pandemic libraries use their buildings to help the jobless get back on track.

After nearly a year of contending with COVID-19, pivoting to online services, Summerlin Library branch manager Tom Sommer says libraries will figure prominently in helping the public prepare for post-pandemic jobs.

“We’ve known since the last economic crisis that Nevada has to diversify its economy,” Sommer said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in January estimated 11.5% of Las Vegas workers were unemployed in November. According to the report, the jobless rate in Southern Nevada ranks highest among 51 cities with 1 million or more people.

“Big tech is coming, professional sports have arrived, health and medical services are expanding, and libraries are right in the middle,” he said. “We want to stay on top of whatever industries want, and understand what our patrons will be looking for to be informed, educated and ready for those jobs.”

While online access to programs and services grows, the Summerlin branch is re-imagining how to use its physical spaces, Sommer said.

Classrooms and meeting spaces could be converted to robotics learning labs and “makerspaces,” where people can learn to use 3-D printers and other high-tech tools, he said.

“If the budget allows, these are all part of the strategic plan for the Summerlin branch,” Sommer said. The Summerlin branch’s 2021 annual budget is about $1.4 million.

Sommer’s plans follow trends identified by the American Library Association in its 2020 State of America’s Libraries report, which states libraries will be “at the forefront” of building skills for the 21st-century workforce. The association also refers to the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs” assessment, which notes 65% of children entering elementary school today will be employed in jobs that do not yet exist.

Sommer said supporting the workforce is not new to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. Libraries, including Summerlin, provide a range of online adult education, career training and social services -- all intended to help locals re-enter the workforce. These include online career high school, adult basic education and Limitless Learning, which offers students from kindergarten to high school help with science, technology and math.

From home, the public can use the library’s website to log onto state services, including the Nevada Career Explorer, a database that allows users to take a self assessment and find a match among more than 1,000 available jobs. It provides training and tips for obtaining those jobs. A laid-off casino valet, for example, might find an opportunity to train for a new job as a delivery service driver.

Meanwhile, Molly Dudek sees first hand how the library fills gaps in education, especially as public school students continue to learn online.

“We offer early student hours, where we open the doors early at 7:30 a.m. for students who need to come in and start studying or get access to wifi,” said Dudek, who has worked as a circulation assistant at the Summerlin branch since 2012. “We’ve been doing as much as we can to support parents who find themselves helping their young children learn from home.”

Dudek said she and her team assemble “take-and-make” kits that furnish parents with supplies for children's art projects. They also work to reduce browsing time by putting together children’s book bundles based on themes and genres.

Dudek said her team makes kits for adult-level art projects popular among senior citizens.

“Adults can come and get packages with all the materials they need to make things like suncatchers or paintings,” Dudek said. “We’ll provide the paint, brushes, canvass, everything. Then, you just grab and go.”

The circulation desk, she said, continues to handle the brisk business of book reservations for pickup.

“We have about 1,000 books on reserve at any given time,” Dudek said, noting that while the service is not new, it has expanded since the pandemic. “At one point we were running up to 10 curbside appointments an hour, and where we had 36 shelves set aside for books on reserve, we expanded to 72.”

Published February 11, 2021

Las Vegas considers drive-thru dispensaries

Sentinel Staff

Las Vegas city officials are considering lifting a ban on drive-thru marijuana dispensaries.

The proposal comes six months after Clark County lifted a similar ban, and more than three years after the Pauite Indian tribe opened a drive-thru dispensary on its land near downtown Las Vegas.

Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michelle Fiore, a former Republican state lawmaker who represents northwest Las Vegas, last week asked her colleagues to consider allowing drive-thru windows at dispensaries. The council is scheduled Tuesday to consider the matter again.

The proposal comes three weeks after the City Council permanently threw out a ban on alcohol delivery; a service which has proved popular during the pandemic with customers and businesses alike.

The dispensary upgrade would amend existing city laws that forbid drive-thrus and require customers to enter and exit from one doorway.

The City Council referred the matter to the city’s Recommending Committee for consideration before coming back to the City Council for further action.

The city’s move is somewhat overdue, considering a drive-thru dispensary has been operating near downtown Las Vegas for three years.

The Paiute Indian tribe, which owns land near downtown Las Vegas, operates a large dispensary. Since tribal land is not subject to city ordinances, it could ignore the drive-thru ban.

The city of North Las Vegas for some time has allowed drive-thru windows at dispensaries, which only take cash and require customers to go online to place orders and to schedule the pickup.

County officials last summer allowed dispensaries within unincorporated areas to open drive-thru windows, in part because the pandemic limited occupancy in the dispensaries.

Dispensaries across Southern Nevada have offered curbside pickup, and some have provided delivery services, since last spring.

According to one county official, last summer the only source of tax revenue showing a profit in the pandemic was marijuana sales.

Before the coronavirus hit in March, the cannabis industry in Nevada was expected to blast off based on a study done before the crisis crippled the local economy.

Marijuana sales in Nevada had been expected to jump more than 50 percent; from $629 million in fiscal year 2019 to an estimated $956 million by 2024, according to the 2020 Marijuana Economic and Fiscal Benefits Analysis: Nevada, done for the Nevada Dispensary Association.

According to the study, marijuana sales in Nevada increased 20 percent from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2019. The industry accounts for 8,200 jobs in “licensed cannabis” and 2,000 ancillary positions.

Published February 11, 2021

Summerlin Shorts

Summerlin HOAs meet this month

Community Associations in Summerlin, which consist of residents elected in each neighborhood, are scheduled to hold meetings in February, according to the Summerlin Council.

Summerlin South Community Association, which represents residents south of Charleston Boulevard, is scheduled to hold its next meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. For more information go to www.summerlink.com. Meetings are subject to cancellation so best to confirm by calling 702-791-4600.

The agenda for the meeting is expected to be available online Friday, Feb. 12, according to Summerlin South.

Summerlin North Community Association, which represents residents north of Charleston Boulevard, is scheduled to meet via Zoom at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. The agenda for the meeting is scheduled to be available Feb. 22 at www.summerlink.com, according to Summerlin North.

Meetings may be canceled, so its best to call 702-838-5500 to confirm.

Library board to fill three openings

Clark County is accepting applications from residents interested in serving on the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Board of Trustees.

The County will be filling three positions on the board as current board members’ terms are expiring.

Applicants must reside within the library district, which includes the cities of Las Vegas and Mesquite, and the unincorporated areas of the county.

The application is available online at http://clarkcountynv.gov/LVCCLibraryDistrict and must be submitted to the county by 5 p.m. on Feb. 17.

The County Commission is expected to appoint the new board members on March 2.

The library board comprises 10 members, five of whom are appointed by the County Commission plus five appointed by the Las Vegas City Council. Board members are appointed to four-year terms and are limited to serving two consecutive terms.

Two of the county-appointed board members whose terms are expiring may apply again. The third board member whose term is expiring has already served two terms.

The library board oversees the library district, including its 25 branches, and a collection of 3.1 million items including books, movies, music (including streaming and downloadable), and online resources; and appoints the library district’s executive director.

Anyone with questions about the application process may email AdministrativeServices@ClarkCountyNV.gov


Correction

In last week's Summerlin Sentinel, Sun City Summerlin Community Association Board of Directors candidate John Berthelsen's name was misspelled.




Election underway for powerful Sun City Board

By Sentinel Staff

Sun City Summerlin

Households: 7,779 for residents 55 years and older

Population: 12,000 to 13,000

HOA fees: $137 monthly/$1,644 a year

Amenities: three 18-hole golf courses, three community centers with swimming pools and fitness gyms, restaurants, golf-cart paths, softball fields, tennis courts, a theater, security force, billiard rooms, woodworking shop and space for dozens of clubs

Sun City and 89134 zip code

Median household income: $61,561

Median home value: $223,900

Median age: 63

Racial makeup: White 85%, Asian 6%, Black 4%

Households without children: 86%

Households with no earnings: 56%, full-time: 26% part-time: 18%

Homes with mortgage: 56% paid off: 30% rent: 15% vacant: 9%

Source: United States Postal Service

Five candidates seek three seats


Each of the five candidates for the influential Board of Directors of the Sun City Summerlin Community Association feels his business experience and fiscal restraint will serve the 55-plus community well.

The two incumbents and three challengers said they support the association’s decision to pursue a forgivable COVID-19 relief loan from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Plan.

Incumbent Leo Crawford said the PPP loan was necessary to keep open golf courses and other facilities, and that the board should pursue a second federal loan.

“We did that because we didn’t know what are COVID costs were going to be,” Crawford said. “Our costs have not gone down. We have to pay our expenses. Unlike the federal government, we are required to have a balanced budget.”

However, some opposed the board’s decision last month to spend tens-of-thousands of dollars on renovations and upgrades at a time when revenues remain uncertain in response to the pandemic.

Challenger John Berthlesen is a member of the Sun City Community Areas Property Committee (CAPS), which reviews proposed projects and makes recommendations to the board.

The revised budget dictated that budget reserves would be used only for emergencies, but the board, instead, approved discretionary and cosmetic upgrades that he believes were not true emergencies.

“Why does that qualify as an emergency?” Berthlesen said of some of the costly upgrades. “If it were your money, would you be spending it this way?”

Meanwhile, Sun City residents said the community voted last year for term limits, in part because incumbents had become fixtures for a decade or so.

While the new rules permit them to run, residents said sitting board members should heed the will of the voters and step aside.

Term limits, which take effect this year, limit board members to three terms of three years each.

“Incumbents need to respect the voters’ wishes and take off a term or two,” said one resident, who asked to not be identified.

Board members have said Sun City's population is between 12,000 and 13,000, which is similar to a small city. For perspective, Boulder City has about 15,000 people.

The five candidates are vying for three seats on the board.

Ballots for the Sun City election were scheduled to be mailed to each homeowner last month. Ballots must be returned to Mountain Shadows before 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 23.

Board members are volunteers who do not receive a salary or stipend of any kind.

The board oversees the association’s annual budget, and its facilities such as three golf courses, swimming pools, fitness gyms, tennis courts, walking paths, a softball field, a theater, workshops and other services and dozens of clubs.

Unlike most Summerlin residents, who pay $50 monthly for parks and other amenities, each of Sun City’s 7,779 households pay $137 a month for community services.

With more than $1,600 in annual fees, many residents were frustrated with paying the full rate while not receiving services equal to past years due to the pandemic and occupancy limits.

One-time candidate Erik Braun, with the Neighborhood Preparedness Team, chose not to run, he said last week.

Published February 4, 2021

Gerry Sokolski catalyst for federal loan

“Sun City has provided so much joy in our retirement years. I have been on the Board, serving as treasurer the past two years and would like to continue to help the Association with its financial responsibilities.”

Sun City Board Treasurer Gerry Sokolski proposed the board seek the $823,096 PPP loan that kept golf-course and other personnel on the payroll when facilities were shuttered for weeks in response to a state lockdown.

“I am up for reelection,” Sokolski said. “My strengths are in the financial and accounting area, and that is why I think I can help the association.”

Board President Dick Clark and others praised Sokoliski for being innovative, aggressive and prudent in securing the PPP loan.

Sokolski kept track of the changing rules in the early days of the massive, federal COVID-19 relief program.

After federal officials updated rules to include homeowners associations, Sokolski quickly navigated Sun City through uncharted territory.

He deciphered the federal rules and found a loan broker, who found a bank to issue the government loan.

A forgivable loan is like free money, in that it doesn’t need to be paid back at all.

Although Sokolski and the board are still awaiting confirmation the loan will be forgiven as expected, Sokolski last week said Sun City will pursue a second PPP loan under the allocation approved by Congress late last year.

“There is nothing bad about it.” Sokolski said. “We are being fiscally responsible to apply for it (PPP). … To ignore it, would be giving money away.”

In addition, when faced with the fiscal uncertainty during the state shutdown last spring, Sokoloski played a pivotal role in impromptu budget hearings that led to a scaled-back spending plan that has proved prudent, supporters say.

If reelected, Sokolski said the board should do more to “market” Sun City to nearby residents and out-of-towners in their forties and fifties.

In doing so, they may be more inclined to consider Sun City when choosing a spot to retire years later.

“We need an influx of young people to keep things going,” he said last week.

Published February 4, 2021

Larry Cohn wants transparency on board

“My goal is to support the needs of every member of our community and all involved in keeping our community running smoothly in a transparent and open manner.”


Larry Cohn, who moved to Sun City Summerlin in September, said he - at age 65 - has something to offer the board in addition to youth.

Cohn, who spent last week converting 30 businesses to paperless operations, said the fact he still runs his business full-time is an asset to Sun City rather than a distraction.

He also serves on the boards of three charitable organizations and two industry-related associations, Cohn said.

“My input could help them manage the money or oversee operations,” he said. “It’s an advantage to an organization to have me as a member.”

Cohn said he doesn’t know details of the PPP loan, and was not aware the association is considering a second loan application presently. However, he said, he received a PPP loan for his private business.

“I am not someone who wants to take money from the federal government just because it’s there,” Cohn said. “If it (loan) is needed, and you can justify the forgiveness of the PPP loan, then OK. That’s what it is there for.”

When asked about the expensive renovations and upgrades last month, Cohn said some board members are too hands-on in the day-to-day operations of Sun City.

They should act more like board members, and delegate operations to Executive Director Mitzi Mills and her staff.

“You are not helping yourself by trying to do too much,” he said.

Published February 4, 2021

Dick Gluch pushed reforms after embezzlement

“I believe it is one of the best managed HOA communities in the country. … In our time here, we have experienced a continued improvement in the professional management of this community.”


Dick Gluch, who served on the board previously, wants to reunite with like-minded fiscal conservatives already on the board to finish some of the work he started.

“Sun City is very well run. We have good volunteers (board members),” Gluch said. “I am very pleased with what they have done. I just want to keep it going down the road in a good way.”

Gluch ran for the board several years ago in response to sloppy bookkeeping, which culminated with a staff member embezzled association funds.

He oversaw the implementation of safeguards to make certain money was not stolen again, but those precautions are not established - or codified - in writing in the association bylaws like they should be, Gluch said.

Gluch said he suggested to Board Treasurer Gerry Sokolski that Sun City pursue the first PPP loan, and that a second loan is appropriate because the 55-plus community qualifies.

He also said it was prudent for the board to spend reserve funds to pay for renovations and upgrades last month despite the fiscal uncertainty posed by the ongoing pandemic.

Most of the capital expenditures were included in the budget forecast at the start of the calendar year, and it’s prudent to upgrade facilities to avoid higher repair costs in the future, Gluch said.

“Most of the items they are spending money on were allocated for in the reserve fund,” Gluch said.

Residents who clamored for rebates when activities were curtailed by the pandemic were short-sighted, he said. Rebates would have hurt the long-term financial viability of Sun City.

“If you look at any area across the country, you would not find a better deal than what you get here," he said.

Published February 4, 2021

John Berthlesen not a rubber-stamp

I want to “use my business experience and knowledge to assist in making Sun City a progressive, 21st Century community. … I will be fiscally responsible in controlling both costs to residents and assessments.”

John Berthlesen, who believes his business experience is an asset, is well-acquainted with Sun City’s budget constraints given his role on a key oversight committee.

Bethlesen ran his own business for 35 years, and served on foundations for a hospital and a scholarship fund, he said.

Like other candidates, Berthlesen backed the board’s pursuit of the PPP loan, and generally believes the board has served the community well.

However, Sun City voters implemented term limits recently, and he believes long-serving incumbents should step aside even though the new rules permit them to run for years to come.

“I have attended committee meetings and have studied the budget,” Berthlesen said. “It gives me a good understanding of where we are (financially) in the community, and where we can go in the future.”

As a member of Sun City’s CAPS Committee, he opposed some of the board’s recent renovations and upgrades at golf courses, swimming pools, restaurants and other facilities.

He believes some projects could have been postponed, and that some expenditures were inconsistent with voter-approved budget constraints.

The community in June voted to revise the annual budget in response to the pandemic and the potential loss of revenue, he said.

A pivotal provision was that only emergency projects would be considered.

The board, he said, approved several projects that he and a minority of CAPS members opposed. The board did not listen to them.

“Things (revenues) were going better than they expected,” Berthlesen said. “The board passed things that I didn’t agree with.”

Published February 4, 2021

Leo Crawford brings board experience

“Being a board member is not an easy job; to be a successful board member you must spend many hours every week working for the community, have common sense and have experience that relates to the needs of our community.”

A year after Sun City voters enacted term limits, longtime board member Leo Crawford couldn’t recall last week if he had served three or four terms on the board.

Crawford, in addition, said the most immediate concern for Sun City is getting residents the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible without having to leave the community.

Vaccinations were scheduled to start this week for the community’s oldest residents, he said.

“We are doing all we can,” he said. “We have people lined up to drive neighbors who can’t drive themselves.

Crawford said the board navigated well through the pandemic, and that the PPP loan was pivotal to keeping facilities open without raising fees.

“We were definitely the tail on that dog,” he said of state restrictions on occupancy limits at Sun City pools, club rooms and other facilities. “What we can do in public? What we can’t do in public? And how many people can we have in places?"

He said board members held hearings and asked residents to vote on budget revisions in response to the pandemic.

Revenues rebounded during the summer and fall in response to the board’s prudent budgeting, the board moved ahead last month with renovations and upgrades that had been put off.

Further delays would have pushed up costs, he said. Routine upgrades, for instance, on resurfacing tennis courts saves money that would be needed eventually to replace them.

“The alternative to the PPP loan is that we would have had to close one or two of our facilities, and that would have been a killer for us,” Crawford said. “We would have had to lock our doors.”

Published February 4, 2021

COVID raises stakes for Summerlin lawmakers

Region represented by both parties

By Sentinel Staff

Democrat lawmakers start work Monday with a consecutive royal flush for the first time in decades, but the donkey ride may prove steep given Nevada has been pummeled by the pandemic.

As in Washington, Democrats control both houses in the state Legislature and the governor’s mansion at a time when state revenues are hobbled and costs are climbing in response to the pandemic.

The Democrats have a commanding 26-16 edge in the state Assembly and a 12-9 advantage in the Senate following the November election, in which Nevada backed President Joe Biden.

Two new Republicans were elected to represent Summerlin in the Assembly, and the Democatic Senate Majority Leader will take the helm after another narrow victory in a divided district.

Meanwhile, Summerlin’s two Democrats in the Assembly are set to serve as chair and vice-chair of the influential Education Committee.

The session is scheduled to start Monday, 11 days after Gov. Steve Sisolak gave a grim recap of the past year and forecast dark skies ahead.

“This disease has touched us all. And the truth is, we still have a ways to go,” Sisolak said in his State of the State address Jan. 19.

“Nevadans are battle born. We face our challenges head on. And we will get through this difficult time together, because the State of our State is determined, resilient and strong.”

In addition to $149 a day for expenses, lawmakers elected in 2016 are expected to receive wages of $150.71 a day; and those elected in 2018 receive $159.71 a day, according to ballotpedia.

Each of the 21 Senate districts has about 128,598 people, and each of the 42 Assembly districts holds about half as many. Senators serve four-year terms and Assembly members run every two years.

Here are brief profiles of the lawmakers representing Summerlin and surrounding areas in this year’s six-month legislative session.

-Photos and maps, courtesty of Nevada Legislature-

Summerlin senators among most influential

Cannizzaro, Dondero Loop in leadership

Senate Majority Leader has had wild ride

Democrat Nicole Cannizzaro has had anything but a calm, comfortable four years in the state Senate.

Last November, she was narrowly reelected to a second four-year term following a contentious battle against Republian April Becker in a northwest Las Vegas district that includes Sun City and areas north of the Summerlin Parkway.

Before that, she blasted to the top of the state’s Democratic Party following an unexpected promotion, and a Republican recall crusade that echoes in events of recent weeks.

Cannizzaro, a Las Vegas native, was made Senate majority leader weeks after the last session had already started in 2019.

The promotion was unexpected following the resignation of predecessor, Democrat Kelvin Atkinson, after he pled guilty to campaign finance irregularities.

Before that, state Republicans targeted Cannizzaro and two other like-minded lawmakers with recalls - which were unsuccessful - at a time when Democrats held a thin majority.

Democrats, now, enjoy a more convincing advantage in the Senate, and Cannizzaro is the second most powerful behind Senate President Kate Marshall.

However, the session isn’t likely to be a celebration given the devastation done by COVID-19 to the state’s economy, public education and the overall quality of life.

The rough boundaries for the district are Alta Drive north to Lone Mountain Road and Highway 95 west to Red Rock Canyon. It includes the Summerlin Parkway, Summerlin West and Summerlin North.

According to the Legislature, Cannizzaro, a Clark County prosecutor, is vice chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and a member of the Finance Committee and the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee.

Little information was available this week about legislation proposed for this year’s session other than short, vague descriptions.

For instance, place holders for Cannizzaro, state “revises provisions relating to employment” and “revises provisions relating to utilities” and “revises provisions relating to criminal justice.”

Other proposals involve the dispensing of contraceptives, business and labor and employment, according to the state Legislature.

Dondero Loop represents Summerlin South

Marilyn Dondero Loop, the co-whip of Senate Democrats, represents Senate District 8, which includes Summerlin South and Downtown Summerlin.

She is halfway through her first four-year term. Prior to 2018, she lost a Senate race in 2014 after serving in the Assembly starting in 2008, according to ballotpedia.

Since that time, Dondero has won tight races with less than 52% of the vote all but once. Her battleground district has a mere 1.3% Democratic edge and 17% of voters not loyal to either party.

The district’s rough boundaries are Torrey Pines Drive and Rainbow Boulevard west to Red Rock Canyon and Alta Drive south to Flamingo Boulevard and Desert Inn Road.

The Democratic whip is responsible for rounding up members’ votes, and they stand in for the majority leader when needed.

It’s not a surprise Dondero is assigned powerful positions and assigned influential committees.

She serves as chair of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, vice chair of the Education Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, according to the Legislature.

Legislation proposed by Dondero, a former teacher who works in textbook publishing, includes placeholders with vague descriptions.

They include measures pertaining to education, mental health, child welfare, workforce development and apprenticeships and the collection of debts tied to medical care, according to the state Legislature.

Dondero Loop lost to Republican Patricia Farley in the 2014 race for District 8 after receiving 39% of the vote.

Prior to Farley, the district was represented by Republican Barbara Cegavske, current secretary of state for Nevada.

Dondero Loop is the daughter of legendary politician Thalia Dondero, who died in 2016. In 1974, Thalia Dondero was the first woman elected to the powerful Clark County Commission, where she served for 20 years before becoming a University Regent, according to her online obituary.

Long odds for Summerlin’s rookie Republicans

Democrats enjoy edge in State Assembly

Newcomer Kasama represents much of Summerlin

Heidi Kasama, Republican, represents state Assembly District 2, which encompasses much of Summerlin North and Summerlin West.

Kasama, a freshman lawmaker, in November defeated Democrat Radhika Kunnel convincingly. In June, she easily defeated four others in the GOP primary.

Kasama is a Summerlin real-estate broker and former president of Nevada Realtors.

She is scheduled to serve on the Assembly’s Revenue, Judiciary and Commerce and Labor committees, according to the Legislature’s website.

Little information was available this week about legislation proposed for this year’s session other than short, vague descriptions for each.

For instance, one Kasama proposal “revises provisions governing eviction proceedings” and another “revises provisions governing election reform.”

Kasama’s other proposals involve economic development and making electronic records more “tangible.”

Kasama’s campaign literature touches on issues of concern to families, such as health care and education.

On health care, Kasama hopes to give everybody what they want.

She supports policies that attract the”best and brightest” doctors to Nevada, and that also will “improve the quality of health care in Nevada while reducing our out of pocket costs.”

On the economy, like most, Kasama supports policies that “generate job growth”. But, as a “strong conservative advocate,” she believes increasing taxes or the state’s minimum wage will hobble job growth.

On education, Kasama laments the Clark County School District’s student-teacher ratio as one of the nation’s worst, and says too much tax money goes to administrative overhead.

Kasama is “focused on finding ways to get more money directly into the classroom,” according to the literature.

Kasama is a real-estate broker in Summerlin, who oversees dozens of sales agents.

Bilbray Axelrod to chair Education Committee

Shannon Bilbrary Axelrod, Democrat, represents Assembly District 34, which is bordered roughly by Alta Drive north to Smoke Ranch and Lake Mead boulevards and Torrey Pines Avenue west to Rampart Boulevard and Hillpointe Road.

She is the daughter of former House Rep. James Bilbray, a Democrat who represented Nevada’s first congressional district from 1987 to 1995.

Bilbrary Axelrod has served in the Assembly since she was first elected in 2016.

Last November, she received 58% of the vote in defeating Republican nominee Jay Carlson; a similar outcome to her previous two victories.

She is scheduled to serve as chairwoman of the powerful Assembly Education Committee in the session that starts Monday, Feb. 1.

In addition, she is set to serve on the influential Judiciary and Revenue committees in the lower house, according to the Legislature’s website.

In prior sessions, Bilbrary Axelrod served as vice chair on the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee and as a member on the Government Affairs Committee and the Growth and Infrastructure Committee and the Transportation Committee.

There was limited information about legislation she is authoring this session. More is expected in the weeks ahead.

She is the sponsor for bills relating to wildlife, the safe transportation of children in vehicles, veterinary medicine, libraries and the conduct of agents representing athletes, according to the Legislature’s website.

The district represented by Bilbrary Axelrod includes the Tournament Players Club Summerlin golf course, the Las Vegas Indoor Soccer complex, the library and post office in Summerlin and both sides of Summerlin Parkway from Town Center east to U.S. Highway 95.

Miller on powerful Ways and Means Committee

Brittney Miller, Democrat, has represented Assembly District 5 since 2016.

The district is bordered roughly by Alta south to Desert Inn and Flamingo roads and from Rampart/Fort Apache east to Rainbow Boulevard.

In this year’s session, Miller, a Clark County School District school teacher, is scheduled to serve as chairperson for the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee.

She also is set to serve as vice chair of the Assembly Education Committee and as a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, according to the Legislature’s website. Ways and Means examines all department budgets, appropriation requests, and appropriation bills.

Miller, a Detroit native with a master’s in Public Administration, received 54% of the vote in defeating Republican Mack Miller in November.

Bills that Miller plans to author lack any description at this preliminary stage.

They include proposals pertaining to school teachers, bullying and cyber-bullying, assistance for low-income families, financial aid for college students and the establishment of an Inspector General for the state, according to the Legislature’s website.

Assembly District 5 includes All American Park, the Canyon Gate Country Club, Rainbow Family Park and communities near Lake Sahara.

Freshman Matthews to represent Sun City

Andy Matthews, Republican, represents state Assembly District 37, which includes Sun City Summerlin and northwest Las Vegas between Cheyenne and Lone Mountain avenues east to roughly U.S. Highway 95.

Matthews, a freshman lawmaker, in November received less than 51% of the vote for a narrow victory in a two-person race over Democrat Shea Backus.

Matthews lost in the 2016 Republican primary in the race for Nevada’s third congressional district. The Massachusetts native, and former journalism student, lost to GOP nominee Danny Tarkanian.

Previously, he served as president of the conservative think tank, the Nevada Policy Research Institute, in Las Vegas.

For the upcoming legislative session, Matthews is assigned to the Government Affairs Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee and the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee, according to the Legislature’s website.

As with all lawmakers, details of Matthews’ proposed legislation was not known this week.

They involve provisions relating to: people in custody, governing of public records, public employment, and elections.

According to ballotpedia, Matthews said, “My chief objectives are to rein in the size and scope of the federal government; restore government to its proper, constitutionally ascribed role; and expand individual liberty.”

Peregrine falcon rules skies over Summerlin

Predator uses stealth and aerial acrobatics

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


By James Geary and Luke Geary

The peregrine falcon, often seen scanning for prey from atop light-poles in Summerlin, is the fastest bird on the planet at almost 200 mph during a dive.

In the wide-open wilderness, peregrine falcons nest in cliffs like they have for centuries in Red Rock Canyon, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife .

As construction of communities like Summerlin - bright lights, cement, human beings, automobiles - encroach on the falcons’ historic habitat and hunting ground, they have adapted to urban lifestyle.

Whether at Oxford Park, which looks downhill at Bonner Elementary, or on the fields atop Sig Rogich Middle and Palo Verde High School, dog walkers, ball players and others know falcons are the predator from above.

Like most skilled hunters, they remain still and hide among the long shadows at dusk and dawn. Until, suddenly, they strike with aerial acrobatics across open spaces in pursuit of their next meal.

Falcons are known to attack birds in flight, and are not known to feed on pets such as cats or small dogs.

Pigeons are easy prey during the day and lights in the evening attract bats, making Summerlin a perfect fit for these predators.

So common and historic to the area, several neighborhoods honor the falcon with names like Falcon Ridge, Talon Pointe and Talon Peak.

According to the wildlife department, falcons, which were endangered, have long lifespans. They can live up to 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.

A female peregrine is about 19 inches tall while the male is 13 inches. They are large and light, with an average weight of about 1.5 pounds and a wingspan of 3.5 feet.

Peregrines pick mates for life, who work together to protect their brown, spotted eggs.

Both the male and female help to incubate the eggs. It is one reason, experts say, their population has bounced back.

“It was listed as endangered in North America, but is now delisted due to reintroduction into many areas,” the department of wildlife states on its website.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, peregrines were put on the endangered species list in 1970.

At the time, the pesticide DDT was harming the falcons’ eggs. The chemical made the shells thinner, and caused them to crack during incubation.

DDT was banned in 1972, and peregrines were taken off the endangered list in 1999 after the population recovered.

Although no longer endangered, government officials from across the world are still protecting these extraordinary birds.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects falcons and other birds across the world. The act was established with Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia.

It prohibits killing, capturing, selling, trading or transporting the protected species.

Demand jumps at Desert Springs food event

Cars line Greenmoor Lane during Saturday's drive-through food distribution at Desert Spring United Methodist Church, at the corner of Pavilion Center Drive. The church started the food bank in December with donations from Three Square Food Bank and other charities. Three Square estimates 18% of people living in Summerlin are hungry. Dan Harper, director of the church resource center, said 147 vehicles received food on Saturday, an increase of about 50 percent since the first event last month. Each vehicle receives four meals for a family of four. The church will hold its next food distribution with the Culinary Academy at 9 a.m. on Feb. 5 in the parking lot, 120 N. Pavilion Center Dr. For more informaiton, contact Harper at dscresourcecenter@gmail.com or call 702-256-5933.

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Wednesday, Jan. 20, to Tuesday, Jan. 26

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic Design by James Geary
  1. Vandalism 3:26 p.m. Thu., Jan. 21, 2300 block Pine Bluff Court.

  2. Person with a gun 11:20 a.m. Thu., Jan. 21, Summerlin Parkway at 215 Beltway

  3. Disturbing the Peace 10:04 a.m. Tues., Jan. 26, 1800 block Village Center Circle

  4. Disturbing the Peace 9:38 a.m. Fri., Jan. 22, 10200 block Penith Avenue

  5. Disturbing the Peace 1:56 p.m. Mon., Jan. 25, 10000 block Benjamin Nicholas Place

  6. Assault 10:39 p.m. Thu., Jan. 21, 1400 block N. Rampart Boulevard.

  7. Auto Theft 6:28 a.m. Fri., Jan. 22, 11000 block Sonoma Creek Court

  8. Assault 12:30 p.m. Sun., Jan. 24, 600 block N. Town Center Drive

  9. Disturbing the peace 3:37 a.m. Sat., Jan. 23 Anasazi Drive and N. Town Center Drive

  10. Assault 12:20 p.m. Fri, Jan. 22, 11200 block Gibbs Hill Avenue

  11. Vandalism 1:13 p.m. 10700 block Sprucedale Avenue

  12. Auto theft 12:28 a.m., Thu., Jan 21, 9000 block Alta Drive

  13. Two incidents at 11000 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Disturbing the peace, 12:37 a.m. Sat., Jan. 23; Assault 10:32 p.m. Sun., Jan. 24

Pandemic alcohol delivery made permanent

Las Vegas OKs alcohol delivery to homes, businesses

By Frank Geary
Liquor stores, convenience stores and restaurants in the city of Las Vegas can deliver alcohol permanently to homes and businesses under a new law enacted Wednesday.

The Las Vegas City Council unanimously approved a measure that will usher in permanently a pandemic provision that has been popular with residents and local businesses alike.

Three-term City Councilman Stavros Anthony, who proposed the new law, said much of society is likely to change over the next 20 years in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alcohol delivery is a logical step in the right direction, Anthony, who represents Sun City Summerlin, said.

“The crux of it is someone at home that wants a 12-pack of beer delivered to their house would be able to do that,” he said. “That person gets the delivery and the business makes a little bit of money and helps them stay afloat.”

Under the proposal, a person licensed under the new law “may provide for the delivery of such beverages to the premises requested by the provider.”

Since the pandemic started, Boca Park- based Lee’s Discount Liquor and Total Wine & More, for instance, provided delivery service.

City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, who represents much of Summerlin within city limits, and others opposed one proposal, which would have allowed for delivery to only residences.

She said businesses should be allowed to have alcohol delivered, and other opponents said that particular proposal would put businesses in the uncomfortable and time-consuming predicament of distinguishing between commercial and residential addresses.

The City Council shot down that proposal, and passed a version that allows for delivery to businesses other than large resorts and bars and restaurants that already have a license to sell liquor.

Councilwoman Michelle Fiore, who represents the northwest area of the city, said liquor stores oppose the new measure, in part because it allows convenience stores to deliver beer and wine and cut into their revenue.

“Until I feel like everyone that will be affected by this is comfortable with it, I can’t support it,” the fickle Fiore said. According to minutes of the discussion, at first, Fiore opposed the measure, but later in the meeting asked that her vote be reversed.

Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, a school teacher who represents southeast Las Vegas, said she was concerned about public safety, and was uncomfortable that the City Council had not taken more time to explore the potential “unintended consequences” of the new law.

“I am already thinking of the potential public-safety side effects that can come from allowing too many folks to offer this service,” Diaz said before ultimately supporting the proposal.

A bar owner and a lobbyist at the meeting assured Diaz that drunk driving would decrease if customers no longer had to pick up their own alcohol. Delivery people will be vetted for criminal behavior, will be required to deliver to the address where the delivery was placed and be responsible for not selling to underage drinkers.

Virginia Valentine, executive director of the Nevada Resort Association, which represents casinos, had opposed an original proposal, but said the association would support a law that clarified that alcohol delivery would be prohibited “wall to wall” at all resorts that already serve alcohol.

Representatives of grocery and convenience stores, and a representative of delivery services including Amazon, expressed support for the proposal.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman, wife of former Mayor Oscar Goodman, who often declared himself “The Happiest Mayor on Earth”, said she wanted to make certain restaurants were protected from having customers order alcohol to be delivered from outside the premises.

City staff and a local bar owner pointed out that any establishment can prohibit customers from bringing in their own alcohol, and that some charge a “corkage fee” for a customer who, for instance, wants to bring in their favorite gin.

At that point, Goodman recollected that her husband “only likes Bombay Sapphire (gin) and he will not drink whatever other gin is there.”

Published Jan. 21, 2021

Library district hires new executive director

By J. Geary


Las Vegas libraries will have a new executive director beginning Feb. 16.


Following a national search, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District this month appointed Kelvin Watson to oversee the $71.5 million budget for 25 libraries and 342 full-time and 387 part-time employees. The library district serves 1.7 million people over 8,000 square miles.


“Kelvin Watson is one of the most highly respected thought leaders in the library industry,” Felipe Ortiz, chair of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Board of Trustees, said in written statement. Watson's proven track record for fund raising and expertise in bridging the digital divide are essential for expanding public access to free educational services in Southern Nevada, he said.


Watson's annual salary will be $220,000.

According to the library district, Watson's most recent experience includes serving as director of the Broward County Libraries Division in Florida, where he managed over 700 full-time employees and a budget of more than $70 million.


“During this challenging time for our economy, the free resources offered by our community libraries have become more important than ever,” Watson said in a written statement. “Libraries are here to help children and adults pursue their dreams and build better lives through skills development, educational and digital access, and exposure to the arts and culture."


During his time in Broward County, the Florida Library Association named Watson the 2019 Librarian of the Year; and the American Library Association named the Broward County Libraries as the Library of the Future


Prior to his work in Broward County, Watson, served as COO/senior vice president for Queens Borough Library in New York City. He also worked for the USDA National Agricultural Library, Ingram Library Services, Borders Group and The Library Corporation.


Watson replaces Fred James who has led the library district in an acting capacity since May 2020. James plans to retire when Watson takes the helm.

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Wednesday, Jan. 13, to Tuesday, Jan. 19

Graphic by CrimemapGraphic design by James Geary
  1. Disturbing the peace 1 p.m. Thu., Jan. 14, 10100 block Hunter Springs Drive

  2. Auto burglery 3 p.m. Tues., Jan. 19, 9800 block Button Willow Drive

  3. Vandalism 3:36 a.m. Wed., Jan. 13, 9400 block W Lake Mead Boulevard

  4. Vandalism 9:35 p.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 2400 block La Sierra Street

  5. Auto burglary 2:50 p.m. Tues., Jan. 19, 2400 block Bloomington Drive

  6. Disturbing the peace 9:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 9900 block Trailwood Drive

  7. Burglary 4:19 p.m. Sun., Jan. 17, 1500 block Cardinal Peak Lane

  8. Stolen car recovered 3:22 a.m. Sat., Jan. 16, Vegas Drive/ N. Rampart Boulevard

  9. Person with a Gun 8:35 p.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 1200 block Benicia Hills Street

  10. Auto Burglury 5:41 a.m. Sun., Jan. 17, 10500 block Beachwalk Place

  11. Disturbing the peace 10:28 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 1100 block N. Town Center Drive

  12. Disturbing the peace 11:00 p.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 600 block Pinnacle Heights Lane

  13. Disturbing the peace 4:17 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 11300 block Redpoint Drive

  14. Auto theft 10:51 a.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 800 block Bernini Street

  15. Auto burglary 3:41 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 100 block Park Vista Drive

  16. Disturbing the peace 4:03 p.m. Wed., Jan. 13, 10900 block Sutter Hills Avenue

  17. Disturbing the peace 1:43 p.m. Thu., Jan 14, 700 block Joshua Star Court

  18. Disturbing the peace 3:38 p.m. Tue., Jan.19, 800 block S. Pavilion Center Drive

  19. Disturbing the peace 6:06 p.m. Sat. , Jan. 16, 10600 block Amber Ridge Drive

  20. Two incidents 10900 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Burglary 10:12 a.m. Fri., Jan. 15; Assault 4:37 p.m. Fri., Jan 15

  21. Auto theft 7:00 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 10700 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  22. Burglary 1;17 a.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 10200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  23. Burglary 11:39 a.m. Tue., Jan. 19, 9500 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  24. Disturbing the peace 9:35 a.m. Tue., Jan. 19, 9200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

Graphic by CrimemapGraphic design by James Geary
  1. Disturbing the peace 1 p.m. Thu., Jan. 14, 10100 block Hunter Springs Drive

  2. Auto burglery 3 p.m. Tues., Jan. 19, 9800 block Button Willow Drive

  3. Vandalism 3:36 a.m. Wed., Jan. 13, 9400 block W Lake Mead Boulevard

  4. Vandalism 9:35 p.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 2400 block La Sierra Street

  5. Auto burglary 2:50 p.m. Tues., Jan. 19, 2400 block Bloomington Drive

  6. Disturbing the peace 9:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 9900 block Trailwood Drive

  7. Burglary 4:19 p.m. Sun., Jan. 17, 1500 block Cardinal Peak Lane

  8. Stolen car recovered 3:22 a.m. Sat., Jan. 16, Vegas Drive/ N. Rampart Boulevard

  9. Person with a Gun 8:35 p.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 1200 block Benicia Hills Street

  10. Auto Burglury 5:41 a.m. Sun., Jan. 17, 10500 block Beachwalk Place

  11. Disturbing the peace 10:28 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 1100 block N. Town Center Drive

  12. Disturbing the peace 11:00 p.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 600 block Pinnacle Heights Lane

  13. Disturbing the peace 4:17 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 11300 block Redpoint Drive

  14. Auto theft 10:51 a.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 800 block Bernini Street

  15. Auto burglary 3:41 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 100 block Park Vista Drive

  16. Disturbing the peace 4:03 p.m. Wed., Jan. 13, 10900 block Sutter Hills Avenue

  17. Disturbing the peace 1:43 p.m. Thu., Jan 14, 700 block Joshua Star Court

  18. Disturbing the peace 3:38 p.m. Tue., Jan.19, 800 block S. Pavilion Center Drive

  19. Disturbing the peace 6:06 p.m. Sat. , Jan. 16, 10600 block Amber Ridge Drive

  20. Two incidents 10900 block W. Charleston Boulevard: Burglary 10:12 a.m. Fri., Jan. 15; Assault 4:37 p.m. Fri., Jan 15

  21. Auto theft 7:00 p.m. Fri., Jan. 15, 10700 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  22. Burglary 1;17 a.m. Sat., Jan. 16, 10200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  23. Burglary 11:39 a.m. Tue., Jan. 19, 9500 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  24. Disturbing the peace 9:35 a.m. Tue., Jan. 19, 9200 block W. Charleston Boulevard

Last-minute for Little League in Summerlin

Today is deadline for Summerlin South

Like a catcher stealing third, you’re running late.

While definitely 11th hour, baseball players in Summerlin are not too late to join a team for the spring season.

Summerlin South Little League and Summerlin North Little League are still signing up players from tee-ball to the high school level.

Summerlin South Little League: Late registration closes TODAY, Thursday, Jan. 21, for Majors, Minors, AAA and AA baseball divisions.

Register online at www.summerlinsouthll.org.

Late registration closes Jan. 29 for all Softball divisions, Minors A baseball, Tee Ball divisions and Juniors level.

Players who do not sign-up by the deadline will be placed on a waiting list, according to Summerlin South Little League’s website.

Evaluations, or tryouts for teams, are scheduled starting today, Thursday, Jan. 21.

Children who live or go to school within the boundaries for Summerlin South are eligible to register.

Parents can use Little League’s mapping tool to determine what chapter of Little League is nearest their home.

Neighboring Little League chapters include Western, Spring Mountain, Cheyenne and Lone Mountain.

Students from the following Clark County School District schools are eligible for Summerlin South: Vassiliadis, Givens, Goolsby and Ober elementary schools; and West Career and Technical Academy.

Private and charter schools include Faith Lutheran Academy, Solomon Schechter Day School, Alexander Dawson, Doral Academy Red Rock, Faith Lutheran Jr./Sr. High School and Bishop Gorman High School.

Summerlin North Little League is holding registration online for its spring season.

Registration is open until Feb. 1 for children who live or go to school within the boundaries for Summerlin North Little League.

Parents can use Little League’s mapping tool to determine what little league they can join.

Children who attend one of the following public schools are eligible for Summerlin North: Lummis, Staton, Bonner or Bryan elementary schools; Becker and Rogich middle schools; and Palo Verde High School.

Children who attend the following private or charter schools are eligible to register: Adelson Educational Campus, Discovery Charter School, the Meadows Schools, Shenker Academy, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Merryhill School on Snow Trail and the Merryhill School on Alta Drive.

The rates for the spring season are as follows for each age group: Tee Ball $125; Rookies $150; Minors $200; Majors $200; Intermediate 50/70 and Juniors and Seniors $225.

The registration fee pays for a complete uniform, which includes personalized jersey, belt, socks and cap.

Also, the season fee pays for: field time for practices and at least 12 games; time at the batting cages for each team; field preparation for games; umpire fees; game balls; insurance and awards.

For more information about the spring season, sponsorship opportunities, and guidelines for bats, equipment, please visit the Summerlin North LIttle League website.

Published Jan. 21, 2021

Election worker settles lawsuit over miscarriage

By Frank Geary

A former employee received an $80,000 settlement this week after claiming the Clark County Election Department terminated her for taking unpaid time off after a miscarriage.

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday approved the settlement with Sonia Grive, who reportedly was an exemplary employee for 10 years.

The federal lawsuit states administrators retaliated against her when she asked for additional, unpaid time off shortly after returning to work from an unpaid year off to recover from an unrelated medical condition.

“Their (Election Department) conduct was despicable, has subjected plaintiff to oppression, and it warrants an award of punitive and exemplary damages,” states the lawsuit.

Grive’s attorney, Michael Balaban, declined to comment on the case.

Damages include lost wages and benefits. She has depression, anxiety and suffers from recurring nightmares and “loss of enjoyment of life,” according to Grive’s lawsuit.

Election Department administrators “terminated her because of plaintiff’s pregnancy and failed to provide accommodations for her pregnancy” in violation of her civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, states the complaint.

In August 2015, Grive started exactly one year of unpaid leave approved by supervisors under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

She returned to work early; at a time the Election Department was busy in between the June 2016 primary election and the general election in November 2016.

In the first three weeks of August 2016, Grive’s life was turned upside down, according to the complaint.

She suffered a back strain at work Aug. 2. She received a diagnosis from a doctor and asked for more unpaid time off to recover.

Grive returned to work a short time later.

On Aug. 16 she went to the hospital with stomach pain and bleeding.

The next day, she was told for the first time she had been pregnant and that she had miscarried, according to the lawsuit.

Grive took more unpaid time off to recover. County Human Resources notified her at home that the time off would be considered “unscheduled.”

When Grive returned to work, she was given a reprimand for taking unpaid time off, and she was terminated Aug. 29, according to the lawsuit.

More than four years later, the case was settled.

Published Jan. 21, 2021

School groups meet as virtual semester starts

SOTs monitor budget, staffing

For parents, who haven't gotten involved at their child’s school, now is the time.

Clark County School District schools in Summerlin have School Organizational Teams (SOTs), which meet monthly to review current and ongoing budget and staffing matters at each campus.

Unlike before the pandemic, the meetings are virtual on Google Meet or Zoom and can be watched live from the comfort of the kitchen, living room or home office.

The teams are composed of parents, teachers and school staff who are elected by their peers at each school.

The West Career and Technical Academy, a magnet high school that serves students from Summerlin and elsewhere, is located near Red Rock Canyon.

The school held its SOT meeting Wednesday, Jan. 20, but others are upcoming.

Palo Verde High School, 333 Pavilion Center Drive, is scheduled to hold its next SOT meeting at 2:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.

SOT members include Chairperson Frank Messina, teacher representative; Vice Chairperson Thomas Steinlein, teacher representative; Secretary Clara Bordelon, teacher representative; Vice Secretary Carolyn Wheeler, parent representative; Richard Eurich, teacher representative; parent representatives Shanna Ohlson, Jennifer Carvalho, Jeff Warnick, Kristin O’Connor and Tiger Helgelien; support-staff representatives Koni Whitaker and Amanda Ford; and student representative Bella Waite.

Becker Middle School is scheduled to hold its monthly SOT meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Parents interested in attending the meeting must send an email to herria@nv.ccsd.net to receive log-in information to attend the virtual meeting.

Sig Rogich Middle School is scheduled to hold its next SOT meeting at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26.

The members include Suzie Harrison Rollins, a school administrator, parent representatives Beth Diedrich, Kristina Havill and Christopher Hayes; teachers Jill Leider and Claudine Robinson; and school support staff Dannine Pritchard

Ethel W. Staton Elementary School, 1700 Sageberry Avenue, is scheduled to hold its monthly SOT meeting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27.

At Staton Elementary School, the SOT members are Chairman Robert Hollowood, science teacher; Secretary Jennifer Katz, fourth-grade teacher; Staton Principal Lindsay Tomlinson; Julie Hosea,office manager; and parent representatives Leigh-Anne Mateyka, Shannon Ohlson and Brian Cook.

John Bonner Elementary School, 765 Crestdale Lane, is scheduled to hold its next SOT meeting at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, according to the school website. The meeting agenda was not yet available

The SOT at Bonner includes Chairperson Rachael Howerton, support staff representative; Vice Chairperson Derek Weeks, teacher representative; Secretary Jasmin Churchill, GATE teacher extraordinaire; and parent representatives Stephanie Heppler, Melissa McDonald and Annie Ostler.

William R. Lummis Elementary School, 9000 Hillpointe Road, is scheduled to hold its next SOT meeting at 8 a.m,. Tuesday, Jan. 26.

SOT members include teachers Jodi Bolinger, and Shelby Ayson; support staff representative Angela White; and members Magin Amoia, Coleen Duncan and Marissa Wright. Principal Lisa McKenrick attends meetings.

Billy and Rosemary Vassiliadis Elementary School, 215 Antelope Ridge Drive in West Summerlin, is scheduled to hold its January meeting at a date uncertain, according to the school website.

The next scheduled meeting is 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

SOT members include teachers Melanie Danzeisen and Alexis Kamp-Berger; Rosie Salazar, support staff representative; and parent representatives Sophie Ladd, Stephanie Valdez and Karen Wisan.

Published Jan. 21, 2021

Sun City Summerlin

Households: 7,779 for residents 55 years and older

Population: 12,000 to 13,000

HOA fees: $137 monthly/$1,644 a year

Amenities: three 18-hole golf courses, three community centers with swimming pools and fitness gyms, restaurants, golf-cart paths, softball fields, tennis courts, a theater, security force, billiard rooms, woodworking shop and space for dozens of clubs

Sun City and 89134 zip code

Median household income: $61,561

Median home value: $223,900

Median age: 63

Racial makeup: White 85%, Asian 6%, Black 4%

Households without children: 86%

Households with no earnings: 56%, full-time: 26% part-time: 18%

Homes with mortgage: 56% paid off: 30% rent: 15% vacant: 9%

Source: United States Postal Service

Summerlin officials combat animal cruelty

Hunting ban, abuse laws examined

For the Sentinels Opinion click HERE

By Frank Geary

Summerlin's local elected officials this week took aim to protect animals, both in the wild and closer to home.

Clark County commissioners echoed concerns raised Tuesday by Commissioner Justin Jones, who represents Summerlin, about competitive predator hunts, in which hunters compete for points while luring and killing - or harvesting - coyotes, bobcats, foxes and other predators.

"This is not a prohibition on hunting in any way," Jones said at Tuesday's meeting.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony, who represents Summerlin south of the Summerlin Parkway, asked Wednesday for a review of the city's laws against animal cruelty to livestock, cats and primarily dogs. The review is intended to upgrade cruelty laws if prudent.

In particular, he asked city staff to consider prohibiting dog owners from leaving their pet chained up in a yard unsupervised - such as when the owner goes to work.

In addition, Anthony urged animal-control officers - come budget time in the spring - to request as much funding as needed to upgrade their efforts to protect pets and other animals under an owner's care.

"I want you to have whatever you need to protect our animals," Anthony said.

Jones, who represents Summerlin South and Downtown Summerlin, asked county offcials to denounce competitive predator hunts in Southern Nevada.

Animal-rights advocates in recent years have pushed lawmakers in western states to outlaw the hunts. An advocate at the commission meeting said such hunts are growing more popular in Nevada, in part because other states have banned them.

Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Commissioner Jim Gibson, who represents the Henderson area, said they are from families of hunters, and that the predator hunts are nothing like true hunting. They both agreed that the hunts are inappropriate.

"The hunting experience is more than hunting and killing," Gibson said. "This does not amount to hunting in my opinion."

Hunting advocates, meanwhile, oppose such measures; pointing out, for instance, that 80% of coyote complaints the Nevada Department of Wildlife received in 2018 were from urban areas - like Summerlin. Humans - not livestock - were threatened, they say. The last coyote attack on a human in Nevada was December 2018.

Bicyclists, dog walkers and others who frequent Summerlin's streets, bike paths or parks in the morning are familiar with coyotes this time of year. A woman in the Trails area reported seeing a pack in her gated community late last week on the NextDoor social-media platform.

Currant Creek Outfitters, based in Elko and Ely, Nevada, coordinates competitive predator hunts. The company takes pride in the number of coyotes killed - or “harvested,” according to its website.

The group, which for years has provided scouting services for hunters, won the 2004 world championships “with over 40 coyotes called in and 26 harvested in two days.”

“This is a very exciting hunt for those who have never experienced it,” according to the Currant Creek website, “and very educational to those who want to learn more. Coyotes are the majority of animals called in during daylight hours. Bobcat and Fox are night hunts in counties where it is legal.”

At Wednesday's City Council meeting, Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, who represents much of Summerlin within city limits, 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 often 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 that 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 February 4, 2021

Neighborhood Watch

Calls to Las Vegas Police Wednesday, Jan. 27, to Tuesday, Feb. 2

Graphic by CrimeMapGraphic design by James Geary
  1. Disturbing the peace 9:59 a.m. Sat., Jan. 30, 10600 block Grand Cypress Avenue

  2. Burglary 7:03 a.m. Wed., Jan. 27, 2200 block Barbers Point Place

  3. Auto burglary 4:31 p.m. Thu., Jan. 28, 9400 block Grenville Avenue

  4. Disturbing the peace 2:04 p.m. Wed., Jan. 27, 1900 block Faywood Street

  5. Burglary 1:22 p.m. Sun. Jan. 31, 1000 block Miradero Lane

  6. Burglary 10:22 a.m. Tue., Feb. 2, 600 block N. Town Center Drive

  7. Auto burglary 4:45 p.m. Mon., Feb. 1, 300 block Autumn Palace Court

  8. Burglary 8:40 p.m. Mon., Feb. 1, 500 block Doletto Street

  9. Auto theft 10:47 a.m. Fri., Jan. 29, 500 block Poplar Leaf Street

  10. Disturbing the peace 1 p.m. Thu., Jan. 28, 11200 block Hidden Peak Avenue

  11. Auto theft 8:25 a.m. Sat., Jan. 30, 10100 W. Charleston Boulevard

  12. Disturbing the peace 3:45 a.m. Mon., Feb. 1, 9900 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  13. Auto theft 7:37 a.m. Mon., Feb. 1, 9500 block W. Charleston Boulevard

  14. Vandalism 4:44 p.m. Tue., Feb. 2, 900 block Coatbridge Street

Sun City to pursue second COVID relief loan

Forgivable, free money would total $1.6 million

By Frank Geary

Sun City Summerlin plans to pursue a second, COVID-19 relief loan from the federal government, which would bring its forgivable debt to $1.6 million.

Several members of the Board of Directors of the Sun City Summerlin Community Association, which oversees one of the largest homeowners associations in the state, said the free, federal money helps balance the budget.

The proposal follows Sun City receiving an $832,096 loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Plan - or PPP - in August to pay for personnel costs at the community’s golf courses and other facilities.

Sun City last spring had to close facilities in response to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s 78-day shutdown of many businesses and public facilities.

Without the financial aid, the association would have had to consider closing facilities or charging more to homeowners, whose activities already are hampered by occupancy restrictions.

“We would have had to lock the doors … that would have been a killer for us,” Leo Crawford, board member, said of the first loan.

Even though Sun City’s lender hasn’t forgiven the first loan as is expected, the board is pursuing another loan for the same amount, board Treasurer Gerry Sokolski said.

The money is needed for day-to-day operating costs, and to restore money taken from the reserve fund to help cover costs during the spring lockdowns.

“Our costs have not gone down,” Crawford said. “We have to pay our expenses. Unlike the federal government, we are required to by law to have a balanced budget.”

Sun City Board President Dick Clark said last month that Sun City is entitled to have the loan forgiven because the association used the money as required.

Unlike most businesses, a homeowners association has a steady revenue stream - in good times and bad - from customers compelled to pay for fear the association will place a troublesome lien on their property. Under Nevada law, it is called a Super-Priority Lien and allows the association to foreclose on a property if a homeowner fails to pay association dues.

Conversely, customers at most small businesses have a choice whether to pay for products and services.

Clark said association dues pay a portion of costs for all of the facilities and services provided in the vast retirement community, but facilities also receive cash out-of-pocket from residents and their guests for meals, pro-shop and other services.

The loan proposal comes 10 months after one of the richest communities in the country made national headlines after it received a $2 million Paycheck Protection loan, according to press accounts at the time.

The homeowners association for upscale Fisher Island, which is near Miami and is considered one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country, quickly gave back the loan.

It was returned after press reports surfaced, and angry residents of the island paradise said the loan shouldn’t have been pursued and insisted the money be returned. Some residents suggested each property owner pay an additional $5,000 to cover pandemic-related losses at the island's hotels, golf courses, restaurants and other facilities.

Last month, the Sentinel asked members of Congress about the Sun City loan approved under the PPP Congress approved to help businesses crippled by the pandemic.

Only Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada’s senior senator, responded.

A statement from her office reads, “The Small Business Administration and lenders that extended PPP loans are responsible for ensuring all PPP borrowers have met the loan criteria set forth in the CARES Act.”

It continues, “Our office is not aware of the details of individual loans beyond the limited scope of what is publicly available and therefore cannot speak to legal questions about specific loans or the financial condition of the individual organizations that used PPP.”

Published February 4, 2021

Proposal to permit bicycles in middle of road

County Commission to hold Feb. 16 public hearing

Sentinel Staff

Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, of Summerlin, is proposing bicyclists be allowed to drive in the middle of the road.

A proposal from Jones, a bike advocate who represents Summerlin South and Downtown Summerlin, would no longer require bicyclists to ride on the right shoulder if they are turning left, feel unsafe or are traveling as fast as surrounding traffic.

The proposition states bikes do not have to be on the right side “when traveling at a lawful rate of speed commensurate with the speed of any nearby traffic.”

Without discussion, the Clark County Commission on Tuesday scheduled the matter for a public hearing at its meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The suggestion would amend a county ordinance on "obligations of persons operating a bicycle".

Presently, the law states that bicyclists shall "ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. "

Jones' proposal also would permit bicyclists to leave the right lane to make left turns, and when the biker decides the right lane is not safe.

Unsafe conditions include parked or moving vehicles, animals, “surface hazards,” or when bicyclists determine the right lane is too narrow to travel safely alongside a vehicle.

In addition, the new rules would no longer require bicyclists to have a horn or audible device attached to their bike for safety.

Clark County Commission meetings aired live on the county's YouTube channel, Facebook or on the county television station, which is channel 4 for some residents.

Published February 4, 2021