The New Year is a perfect time to reflect on all that has been accomplished in the past year and all that we have planned for the future. With the help and committed efforts of Ward 5 residents, community volunteers and my great staff, we accomplished so much in 2008.
When elected as your city councilman, I promised to take a strong stand against neighborhood blight through my Clean Ward 5 Campaign. This initiative has been a wonderful success. The amount of property maintenance issues, abandoned or inoperable vehicles, trash, debris, abandoned shopping carts and graffiti within our neighborhoods has been significantly reduced. I plan to continue this initiative in 2009 and beyond. Additionally, several groups and organizations dedicated to Ward 5 beautification efforts assisted me with neighborhood improvement projects including neighborhood and graffiti cleanups, the remodeling of the United Fire Fighters of Southern Nevada Community Center, and painting fire hydrants and red curb areas in need of refreshing. Their hard work through countless hours of volunteering has made a huge impact on the quality of life for many.
Throughout the year, my staff and I planned many community events to help enrich the lives of Ward 5 residents and provide opportunities for you to get to know each other. Activities included “Make a Difference Day” projects, Safe Summer Nights for our youth, Back to School Fairs, a food drive for the Jude 22 Senior Nutrition Program, and field trips with our senior citizens. A special thanks to all of the residents and groups and organizations who assisted. As a team, we have really made a difference and I am committed to continue providing these opportunities in the years to come.
In 2008, two very special projects were completed. I worked diligently with the city’s Redevelopment Agency to bring a grocery store to Edmond Town Center. On Sept. 24, 2008, Buy Low Market opened its doors in West Las Vegas. I am very proud to be a part of bringing this much needed service to the community along with100 jobs to area residents. The employment opportunities have been a real boost to some of our families during these trying times. On Oct. 22, 2008, Doolittle Senior Center reopened its doors with a newly renovated facility. The improvement project expanded the facility by approximately 4,700 square feet and features rooms for fitness and games, arts and crafts, health services, dance and exercise. Our senior citizens deserve a nice place to socialize and meet new friends and these new additions provide this for them. Next year we anticipate the completion of the Lorenzi Park expansion and the Martin Luther King widening project.
Building and maintaining strong neighborhoods will continue to be my priority in 2009. I plan to continue working closely with Ward 5 residents, businesses and other groups and organizations assisting with issues and concerns. Your input is very valuable to me. No one knows a neighborhood better than those working and residing in them. My staff and I are committed to serving the needs of Ward 5 and look forward to working with you. All issues, no matter how big or small, matter to us.
Happy New Year! I wish you and your family a wonderful 2009.
Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow
NEW CITY HALL PROJECT TO CREATE JOBS AND ADDITIONAL REVENUES
The new Las Vegas City Hall project is part of a downtown redevelopment plan that maximizes the use of city property to create 13,441 new jobs, $4.1 billion in new private investment and $16 to $20 million per year in new tax revenue. About 20 percent of the new tax revenue will go to education and public safety. Likewise, if there is no project, there will be no new tax revenue or jobs.
The project is funded from new Redevelopment Agency (RDA) revenues that are privately generated and is built on land that the city acquired in an exchange at no cost to the city.
This project funding, like all RDA projects, does not take money from education or other critical public services. Actually, education and critical public services receive a significant share of RDA revenues. As RDA revenues grow, the share going to education and public services grows too. In the past five years, the RDA has developed projects totaling $2.9 billion in private investment which created 7,543 permanent jobs and 9,711 construction jobs, and tripled RDA tax revenues.
For more information on the RDA and RDA projects, visit http://www.lvrda.org/.
WARD 5 TO RECOGNIZE OUTSTANDING EDUCATORS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
The following outstanding educators and business owners in Ward 5 will be honored before the City Council during the month of February. Outstanding African-American educators, who will be recognized Feb. 4, include Raeshawn Taylor from Western High School, Verona Robinson from Gibson Middle School and Zandra Richardson from Brinley Middle School. The outstanding African-American business owners will be honored Feb. 18 and include Roxanne McCoy, Wendy Welch, Trina Giles, Cornelius Eason, Lou Richardson and Kelvin Haywood.
UPCOMING PET FAIR AT DOOLITTLE COMMUNITY CENTER
Residents are invited to bring their cat, dog or ferret to a free pet fair being offered by the city of Las Vegas Department of Detention and Enforcement, Animal Control Unit. The pet fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Doolittle Community Center located at 1950 N. J St. Dogs must be leashed and cats must be in their carriers. Please bring one pet per household and do not bring sick pets.
The pet fair will feature:
• Free food and drinks.
• A dog obedience demonstration.
• Free pet licenses for the first 30 pets (limited to one pet per household).
• Free rabies vaccinations (limited to one pet per household).
• Sign-ups for free spay/neutering.
• Raffle for free animal grooming.
Owners of dogs, cats and ferrets are encouraged to have their animals licensed. By purchasing a license, owners have a much greater chance of recovering animals that become lost. City code requires that any dog, cat or ferret over the age of four months living in the city limits of Las Vegas be licensed.
The event is being offered in conjunction with Clark County Animal Control, the Lied Animal Shelter, the Heaven Can Wait organization, and the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society. For more information, please call 229-6167.
NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING ON THE D AND WILSON STREETS RECONFIGURATION
At the City Council meeting on Jan. 20, the City Council approved Councilman Barlow’s motion to hold in abeyance a supplemental interlocal contract between the city of Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission. The contract pertains to the reconfiguration of D Street and Wilson Street to provide access to Grand Central Parkway and Interstate15.
The Las Vegas City Council and Councilman Barlow invite you to a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Doolittle Community Center to learn more about the proposed reconfiguration. The center is located at 1950 N. J St.
The supplemental interlocal contract is scheduled to appear again before the City Council on Feb. 4, 2009. For additional information, please contact Councilman Barlow’s office at 229-6405.
UPCOMING NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS
All meetings begin at 6 p.m.
Fong Elementary School, 2200 James Bilbray
Thursday, Feb. 5
Brinley Middle School, 2480 Maverick St.
Tuesday, Feb. 10
Masonic Lodge, 2200 W. Mesquite Ave.
Thursday, Feb. 19
Paul Culley Elementary School, 1200 N. Mallard
Tuesday, Feb. 24
Mabel Hoggard Elementary School, 950 N. Tonopah Drive
Thursday, March 5
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT MEETING
Detwiler Elementary School, 1960 Ferrell St.
Monday, Feb. 9
NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT GRANTS AVAILABLE
The city of Las Vegas is now accepting applications for Neighborhood Partners Fund Grants through Monday, March 15. Grants of up to $5,000 are available for neighborhood improvement projects that are planned and implemented by neighborhood associations registered with the city’s Neighborhood Services Department. Applicants are also required to match requested grant funds with volunteer labor, funding or other matching resources.
Applications are available at free how-to workshops on developing a successful Neighborhood Partners Fund project are available. Residents interested in the grants are encouraged to call 229-6681 to register for one of the workshops, which will be held at the following city of Las Vegas facilities:
Saturday, Jan. 31 – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Doolittle Community Center
1950 N. J St. (at W. Lake Mead Boulevard), 229-6374
Tuesday, Feb. 3 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Centennial Hills YMCA
6601 N. Buffalo Drive, 229-1702
Thursday, Feb. 5 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Durango Hills Community Center (YMCA)
3521 Durango Drive (at Cheyenne Avenue), 240-9622
Tuesday, Feb. 17 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Leisure Services Center
101 Pavilion Center Drive (north of Alta Drive), 229-1100
Saturday, Feb. 28, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Mirabelli Community Center
6200 Hargrove Avenue, 229-6359
Tuesday, Mar. 3 – 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
East Las Vegas Community Senior Center
250 N. Eastern Avenue, 229-1515
Applications must be submitted to the Neighborhood Services Department, by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 15, at 400 Stewart Ave., second floor, Las Vegas, NV 89101 for consideration. All applicants will be required to make a 10-minute presentation to the Neighborhood Partners Fund board as part of the grant evaluation process. The board is scheduled to make its recommendations to the City Council on June 17, 2009.
CITY OFFERS FORECLOSURE INFORMATION
The city of Las Vegas has set up a Web page and Help Line to assist struggling homeowners who may be facing foreclosure. The Help Line at 229-HOME(4663) is an avenue to access available resources, programs and/or contact information such as qualified credit counselors, nonprofit agencies working on the foreclosure crisis and address other related questions.
The Web page - www.lasvegasnevada.gov/foreclosure - provides information and resources homeowners can use to prevent or deal with the prospects of foreclosure. Those who would like to be updated when new information is posted on the foreclosure page are encouraged to sign up for an RSS feed by clicking on the RSS feed icon on the right side of the foreclosure page.
The city recently hosted a foreclosure forum and is working on scheduling additional ones in the future. Dates for those upcoming forums will be posted on the Foreclosure Web page.
NEW CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG EXHIBIT OPEN AT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Families and children from all over the Las Vegas Valley can experience a book coming to life with the new exhibit, Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog, at the Lied Discovery Children's Museum. The exhibit is locally sponsored by Target and Vegas PBS.
Inspired by Scholastic Entertainment's top-rated TV show Clifford The Big Red, the exhibit offers numerous immersive "paws-on" adventures. A nine-foot Clifford greets visitors in his backyard outside his doghouse. Children can take a seat next to Emily Elizabeth on the giant paws of her big red best friend and slide down Clifford's tail. Kids can "be responsible" by helping fill Clifford's giant dog bowl using a bone-shaped conveyor belt to keep the crimson canine's giant dog bowl full of bones.
Lied Discovery Children's Museum is located at 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North, across from Cashman Field. For information, visit http://www.ldcm.org/ or call 382-3445.
The exhibit continues through May 2009.
COUNCILMAN BARLOW TO HOST UPCOMING AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE SUMMIT
Councilman Barlow will be hosting the African-American Males Making a Difference (AAMMAD) summit during Black history month on Feb. 18, 2009 at City Hall. Councilman Barlow realizes that there is an epidemic with young black males. They continue to be the group that is mainly incarcerated and the least educated. There is a growing need for young African-American men who have become successful in one way or another to establish a mentoring relationship with younger African American’s. Thus, Councilman Barlow will host a summit with students from Rancho High School and the 100 Academy of Excellence. The summit will partner African-American professionals in every field with a student from each school. We hope this will be the beginning of a lasting relationship between the two and will help these young boys realize they can achieve anything they believe.
ART CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
On Jan. 6, the winners of the second Annual Operation Lasting Peace "What Peace Means to Me" art contest were announced at the Bolden Area Command First Tuesday meeting. Councilman Barlow will be recognizing the winners along with the runners up at the Feb. 4, City Council meeting. Youth from Shade Tree along with students from Wendell Williams, Kermit Booker and Matt Kelly elementary schools participated. All art from participating students will be displayed at the West Las Vegas Art Center during the month of February.
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES GRANTS FOR 19 STUDENT PROJECTS
The City Council recently approved grants for 19 projects that will contribute to the community. A total of $20,000 will serve as seed money for the impressive array of projects that range from tutoring and environmental programs to a “wall of hope” for veterans. The youth will bring nearly $200,000 worth of matching services to qualify for the grants.
The grants are part of the city of Las Vegas Youth Neighborhood Association Partnership Program (YNAPP). This is the eighth year the city has offered the grants. So far, recipients have stepped up with more than $1 million in matching services to improve Las Vegas communities. Grants of up to $1,000 each are available annually to youth in Las Vegas who present positive ideas for community improvement projects.
Projects this year include:
• Arbor View High School DECA Chapter - Direct the Way Marketing Project.
• Centennial High School - NJROTC Peer Tutoring, SAT Tutoring, Peer Mentoring.
• Critical Kondition - “An Afternoon of Hope” brunch/lunch for Shade Tree.
• College of Southern Nevada - National Honor Society Operation School Bell.
• College of Southern Nevada - Student Council Books for School Bell.
• Doolittle Youth Council - Neighborhood community action.
• Fremont Middle School - Family writing project/mural anthology.
• Hyde Park Middle School - Geometry Panther Putt-Putt.
• Imagine Students - Recycle Mania.
• Kids Teaching Kids - Community/school renovation and beautification.
• Mirabelli - S.W.A.T. Team healthy senior luncheon and fitness fair.
• Mirabelli - Youth Council Spring Fling Luau.
• Multicultural Team- Fong Elementary School - multicultural fair.
• Park Elementary School - Green Thumbs park garden project.
• Rancho Springs Youth Team - Neighborhood beautification.
• Teen Leaders for the Future - Luggage of Love for foster care.
• Teens By Teens – “Say What?” mentoring program.
• Veterans Memorial Youth Council - Walls of Hope.
• R.U.1.2 - Vegas Speaks Out project.
CLEAN WARD 5 CAMPAIGN
In February 2008, Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow conducted eight neighborhood meetings which prompted his plans to roll out the Clean Ward 5 Campaign. Councilman Barlow worked closely with Neighborhood Services to take proactive steps to find and paint over graffiti along the streets and in the neighborhoods. Rapidly removing graffiti discourages vandals from tagging a site repeatedly and this belief has proven success.
As an update of those concentrated efforts, the Clean Ward 5 Campaign not only abated graffiti, it addressed property maintenance, abandoned or inoperable vehicles in neighborhoods, trash and debris, vandalism and abandoned shopping carts. Councilman Barlow received willingness to cooperate from residents, organizations, and businesses alike through the collaboration of our active neighborhood associations.
The Clean Ward 5 Campaign has reshaped the vision of Ward 5 and we will continue to do all through 2009. We are pleased to say “Welcome to Fabulous Ward 5: Historic, Proud, Progressive.”
Through the city’s partnership with Republic Services, Councilman Barlow announces the following neighborhood clean-ups to promote the Clean Ward 5 Campaign in city parks and neighborhoods.
Saturday Jan. 31, in the Berkley Square Neighborhood
Friday, Feb. 6, between Rancho and Tonopah and between Owens and Washington avenues
Friday, Feb. 20, in the Diamond Point Neighborhood
Friday, Feb. 27, in the Rancho Manor Neighborhood
Neighborhood Association Leaders Meet and Greet
Councilman Barlow would like to thank the neighborhood association leaders who participated in the “Meet and Greet” luncheon on Dec. 4, 2008 at the Las Vegas Golf Club. All Ward 5 homeowners associations and neighborhood associations were invited to share information about their respective areas. Councilman Barlow took the opportunity to learn more about the concerns that currently trouble neighborhood residents and the goals that would benefit Ward 5 and Las Vegas as a whole. The discussion centered on ideas and efforts to benefit neighborhoods. In addition, Councilman Barlow shared information about exciting developments and activities within Ward 5 and welcomed the involvement of neighborhood leaders.
Councilman Barlow would also like to extend thanks to the Las Vegas Golf Course for the good food and service that contributed to a successful luncheon.
Councilman Barlow would like to reach out to more neighborhoods. If your neighborhood is not registered with the city, please contact the Ward 5 office so we can connect you with neighborhood planning staff.
Ward 5 Holiday Events
Councilman Barlow hosted several Ward 5 events during the recent holiday season.
The massive Feed the Children event took place on Nov. 24 at Doolittle Community Center. Six semi-trucks distributed food and personal care items to more than 2,400 Ward 5 families. Families received a 26 pound food box with enough non-perishable food to supplement them for the entire week, and 18 pounds of personal care and hygiene items to support them for one month. Deserving families were identified by local charities and through the city of Las Vegas Ward 5 community centers.
Councilman Barlow hosted numerous senior Thanksgiving lunches. The luncheons took place at 12 senior complexes in Ward 5. Mr. Louis Conner, of Seven Seas Restaurant, catered more than 600 senior lunches, which included the traditional Thanksgiving meal with all of the fixings. Councilman Barlow dished up smiles as he had the pleasure of serving meals and dessert to the seniors.
In addition to providing the seniors with lunches, Councilman Barlow and his staff delivered more than 500 turkeys to seniors. The turkeys were purchased from Buy Low Market and were personally hand delivered by the Councilman. The overall need was overwhelming and it was a great pleasure to provide turkeys to the seniors.
Three hundred children from Wendell P. Williams and Lilly Fong Elementary schools were selected by the principal and teachers to receive a coat, toys, backpack with school supplies and a live Christmas tree. An additional 20 families within the community also received Christmas gifts. The children and families who participated may not have otherwise received gifts.
The Ward 5 Christmas events were broadcast over the radio waves. Radio station Hot 97.5 KVEG continued their long-term relationship of partnering with Ward 5 by hosting a toy drive. Radio Power 88.1 KCEP participated as well. Councilman Barlow gave away a total of 500 Christmas trees to the community.
The Ward 5 Christmas events were successful this year and Councilman Barlow would like to thank Windemere Realty, Starbucks, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Department, Hot 97.5 and citizens for their contributions, generosity and concern for the children. The slowdown in the economy has been taxing on the community and the overall need in 2008 was broad. This could not have all been possible without a community effort.
Many other partners assisted and recognition was not expected; this could have not come into fruition without the many partners in our community.
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES 22 GRANTS TO HELP SCHOOLS
The City Council recently approved the allocation of $73,060 in grant funds to enhance student learning through parent involvement at 22 elementary schools. The Parents as Learning Support (PALS) projects will generate a volunteer match worth more than $850,000. The funding will go to improve parent and school communication, health and safety, parent development and training, and academic reinforcement with projects including:
• Meeting Annual Yearly Performance one benchmark at a time
• Science fairs
• Operation Lasting Peace - Students Against Violence Everywhere
• Home literacy and study skills project
• Parent-student tutoring program
• Literacy, mathematics and science nights
The funding for the projects comes from an annual entitlement of Child Care Block Grants (CCBG) that the city of Las Vegas receives from the state of Nevada. To qualify for PALS, funding must be matched at the schools with volunteer time and donations.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIOR C.J. WATSON HOLDS BLACK HISTORY ESSAY CONTEST
Golden State Warrior C.J. Watson, the son of the city’s Leisure Services Department Employee Cathy Watson, and product of Ward 5, sponsored a black history contest at Wendell P. Williams Elementary School. C.J. felt that historically many Americans have been treated differently based on the color of their skin, where they were from and the way they looked. Students were asked to write an essay entitled “Yes We Can!” about an event in black history that they felt most changed or influenced America’s way of life.
C.J. Watson congratulated both winners, 10-year-old Darzell Stringer and 11-year-old Lenin Ocampo, both fifth-graders from Wendell P. Williams Elementary School for an excellent essay. “I am very excited to welcome these two youngsters from my hometown of Las Vegas to the Bay Area,” said Watson. “They achieved a goal by winning this contest and hopefully this trip will inspire them to set more goals in the future and work hard to achieve them.”
Because of the contest, the Golden State Warriors are set to welcome two youth winners of the C.J. Watson Essay Contest, presented by Southwest Airlines, to the team’s game versus the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, Feb. 2, at ORACLE Arena, and allow them the opportunity to meet their hometown hero. Additionally, they will be honored in an on-court ceremony during the game.