I hope you are all enjoying the start of summer! We have had another successful last few months in Ward 5, and there are even more exciting events in store for the months ahead! We are working diligently to keep the residents abreast of what is happening in Ward 5 and I encourage you to visit my Web pages, including a page relating to the reopening of F Street and the Historic Westside school.
The Las Vegas City Council will be taking public comment on a proposed Community Residence Ordinance at the June 16 City Council meeting in Las Vegas City Hall Council Chambers, located at 400 Stewart Ave. The council meeting begins at 9 a.m. The City Council will be hearing the proposed Community Residence Ordinance (formerly known as Group/Recovery Homes) to discuss necessary changes related to the zoning ordinance, building and fire codes and business licensing. For a copy of the proposed ordinance or a detailed matrix comparing the current and proposed ordinance, please visit the city's Web site or call 229-2330/229-6629 for more information.
Residents Invited To Safe Summer Nights Celebrations
I invite all of you to participate in Safe Summer Nights celebrations that will celebrate the season and give you the opportunity to get to know each other while enjoying free entertainment and food. Join me, your neighbors, face painters and a DJ for music, children's games, refreshments and fun. Free hot dogs, chips and chilled water will be served (while supplies last).
You are also invited to learn about summer youth activities, health services, community safety, money management programs, adult education opportunities, living assistance and much more at these summer events. Safe Summer Nights events will be held at the following dates and times:
- Thursday, June 24, 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Matt Kelly Elementary School, located at 1900 N. J Street.
- Thursday, July 22, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Matt Kelly Elementary School.
This year's Safe Summer Nights celebrations are being hosted by the Nevada Youth Alliance and Sunrise Children's Foundation and done in partnership with the city of Las Vegas and the Clark County School District.
Our first celebration was held on May 26 at Kermit Booker Elementary School. More than 400 residents attended and enjoyed the festivities and gathered valuable information about resources available to them.
Ward 5 Movies In The Park – "Monsters vs. Aliens"
I invite everyone to join me and my family for the next Ward 5 Movie in the Park at the beautiful, newly renovated, Lorenzi Park, located at 720 Twin Lakes Drive. Free popcorn and bottled water will be provided while supplies last. There will also be food vendors with various treats available for purchase.
The next featured movie is "Monsters vs. Aliens," rated G, which will be shown on Thursday, June 24. Gates open at 7 p.m. and the movie starts at dusk.
For more information, please call 229-5443. We are very excited about having this free event in which the entire family can come out and enjoy spending a summer evening with me and their neighbors. We hope to see you all there!
New Businesses In Ward 5
I'd like to invite you to help me welcome Ashley Furniture to fabulous Ward 5! The Ashley Furniture store on Martin Luther King Boulevard is the latest acquisition of Michael Jedlowski. Almost $2 million was invested and three months worth of renovation work was completed to refurbish the former Levitz Furniture building, which sat vacant for approximately three years. Ashley Furniture store is expected to open its doors late this summer and will give a boost to our local economy by hiring up to 50 employees in the near future and another 50 workers within the next several months. Earlier this week we held a very successful job fair, which solidified Ashley Furniture's commitment to the residents of Ward 5. I'm extremely excited that Ashley Furniture is moving into Ward 5 and bringing much-needed jobs to the community.
The store will offer two floors of furniture with the first floor showcasing themed collections and value-oriented furniture. Jedlowski noted that value-oriented furniture currently is selling particularly well due to the economic downturn. The second floor will feature mattresses, as well as dining and conference room furniture. Please take some time to visit the store and welcome our Ashley Furniture to Ward 5.
I am also happy to announce the latest retail store opening in West Las Vegas, Rainbow Apparel. Rainbow Apparel is a leader in popularly priced apparel and a national chain that specializes in junior, plus sizes and children's apparel.
The store opened last month in Edmond Town Center and joins other businesses such as the 43,000 square-foot Buy-Low Grocery Store, Auto Zone, Wells Fargo Bank, Urban Wear, Save 99, Instant Tax, Executive Barber Shop and Amaya's Beauty Supply. Edmond Town Center continues to serve the West Las Vegas market by providing new retail businesses in a difficult economic climate.
I have been working diligently to attract new businesses to West Las Vegas and have been traveling around the United States speaking to various retailers about development opportunities in Ward 5. Through my relationship with John Edmond and by assisting with following up on various development leads, a partnership with Rainbow Apparel was able to be forged.
This opening of Rainbow Apparel affords residents the opportunity to shop right inside of their neighborhood versus going outside of their neighborhood, which will generate new dollars right inside our community. Rainbow Apparel will be a welcome addition to the center.
On The Move
On Wednesday, April 28, I left my car at home and rode my bike to work in celebration of the first ever Nevada Moves Day. The special day, designated by the Nevada Department of Transportation, encouraged Nevadans to walk and bicycle to work and to school. Then, later the same day, I was joined by Regional Transportation Commission General Manager Jacob Snow and Ward 5 Bicycle Coalition representatives at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, 1201 W. Lake Mead Blvd. The coalition is made up of representatives of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Traffic and Bicycle Units, the Clark County School District Safe Routes to School Program, the Look Out Kids About Safety Organization, the Las Vegas Bike Club, and Bikes Belong - Interbike. Coalition members talked with students about bicycle safety, the new bike lanes near the school and crossing streets safely. It was a beautiful day and six lucky students received a prize of a new bike, courtesy of the coalition!
The ride also allowed me to test out and draw attention to the city of Las Vegas' ambitious bike lane installation program in Ward 5. With a $100,000 American Recovery And Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-R), bike lanes are being installed on Vegas Drive/Owens Avenue, between Rancho Drive and Bruce Street; on Washington Avenue, between Rancho and Martin L. King Boulevard; and on Smoke Ranch Road, between Rancho and Rainbow Boulevard.
City Unveils Donations Stations To End Homelessness Program
I, along with Mayor Goodman, Councilman Wolfson and Councilwoman Tarkanian, recently helped unveil the Donation Stations to end homelessness program by cleaning out some of our pocket change into bright green parking meters that you can find throughout the downtown area and Ward 5. These recycled parking meters are a great place to empty pocket change and provide an opportunity to change lives. Donations will directly help with transportation, shelter and other essentials for the homeless.
Another goal of the program is to increase public awareness about the complex issues of homelessness and channel the funds into means that will end what is a vicious cycle. According to the 2009 Homeless Census, an estimated 13,338 individuals are homeless in Southern Nevada.
The city of Las Vegas is coordinating Donation Stations at select locations. Businesses and community organizations can participate in this opportunity to change lives by sponsoring a Donation Station and/or providing a station location. To learn more about becoming a Donation Station sponsor, contact the city of Las Vegas' Neighborhood Services Department at 229-2330 or visit the city's Web site.
Donation Stations will be at these convenient locations:
- City Hall Plaza, 400 Stewart Ave.
- City Hall Sky Bridge, 400 Stewart Ave.
- Port of Subs at the corner of Stewart Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.
- Regional Justice Center, Marriage License Bureau (northwest corner of Third and Clark).
- Arts District (northwest corner of Charleston and Casino Center)
- Fremont East (northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street).
- Fremont West (southeast corner of Main and Fremont Streets).
- Northwest corner of Third and Ogden
- Las Vegas Premium Outlets bus line on Grand Central Parkway
- Northwest corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard.
Las Vegas Certified As A National Keep America Beautiful Affiliate
The Las Vegas City Council proudly announced on May 5, 2010, that the city has been certified as an official Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliate. Being an official affiliate of KAB, the nation's largest nonprofit community improvement organization, will open the door to grants and resources that will help Las Vegas be a sustainable, world-class city.
The Keep Las Vegas Beautiful (KLVB) consortium, a Las Vegas chapter of KAB, includes representatives from the city of Las Vegas, Republic Services, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Recycling Program, Don't Trash Nevada, Nevada Conservation League, Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Bank of Nevada, the Nevada Banker's Collaborative and the Nevada Department of Transportation. The Las Vegas chapter will benefit from the established KAB framework for community education and hands-on stewardship that reduces litter and waste and promotes grassroots volunteerism, to make sustainable improvement.
More than 580 cities, towns, counties and states and international communities are implementing the KAB system as certified affiliates of KAB. Many cities have reaped significant economic benefit from establishing an improved environmental strategy.
The newly-minted Las Vegas affiliate has already been busy getting residents on track to achieve a clean and sustainable community. A litter index was part of the certification process. Seven teams hit the streets to survey, log and document what they observed in the community to establish a baseline for improvement. Cleanups have been conducted in neighborhoods across the city.
Youth education and involvement will be a high priority for KLVB. Anti-graffiti banner signings are just one of many activities to get young residents on the path to keeping Las Vegas beautiful.
Las Vegas Students Participate In Pledge Against Crime Of Graffiti
Students in schools across Las Vegas joined signing ceremonies to pledge not to commit the crime of graffiti. DARE officers also joined the ceremonies to educate the students on the downside of the gateway crime.
The signing ceremonies are being used as awareness tools for elementary school students to stem the tide, at an early age, of this growing crime. Last year, the Las Vegas City Council, in partnership with the Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition, declared April as graffiti awareness month.
Graffiti has been recognized as the most expensive property crime in the city of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. Approximately $30 million is spent each year to clean up the vandalism in the Las Vegas valley. Each crime of graffiti decreases the value of a neighborhood, creates an atmosphere of violence and increases the likelihood of more criminal behavior. An important message that is conveyed to the student participants is that permission is the difference between graffiti and art; if you don't have permission to paint an area, it's a crime.
To report graffiti in the city, please call the graffiti hotline at 229-6615. You may remain anonymous. Wiping out graffiti is just one of the many ways the city of Las Vegas works to strengthen communities. To learn about neighborhood organizing, workshops or other community programs call the Neighborhood Services Department at 229-2330 or visit the city's Web site.
13th Annual Neighborhood Partners Fund Program Offers Matching Grants To Neighborhood Associations
The 13th Annual Neighborhood Partners Fund (NPF) application process began in April 2010, offering registered city of Las Vegas neighborhood associations the opportunity to apply for a maximum of $5,000 to help improve the quality of their neighborhoods. The NPF, a real "do-it-yourself" program for neighborhoods, allows the city to support citizen creativity, empowerment and responsibility. The deadline for applications is June 14.
Some of the projects that qualify under the NPF grant process include landscaping and beautification projects, lighting and safety projects, mural projects, or other proposals related to community improvement. Neighborhood associations need to match the city's contribution in cash, volunteer time, or through in-kind services and goods. What an opportunity for residents to approach neighborhood businesses for support! Projects are required to take place within city limits and neighborhood boundaries, and include direct resident involvement in all phases of the projects.
For more information on this neighborhood opportunity, contact Maria Castillo-Couch at 229-6681. NPF applications are available at City Hall, Neighborhood Services Department, 2nd floor, or through the city of Las Vegas Web site. The application process is easy, and technical assistance will be provided to explain the program. It's all as easy as a phone call!
Sarann Knight Apartment Complex In West Las Vegas
I, along with Mayor Goodman and project officials, recently celebrated the grand opening of the new Sarann Knight Apartment Complex, an 82-unit development that will cater to low income individuals and families. The grand opening celebration was held on May 25, 2010. The new development is located at 1327 H Street and is the first of three phases of development planned.
Despite these challenging economic times, by working together we are achieving a major affordable housing success for Las Vegas and, particularly, for West Las Vegas. I am proud to be part of the partnership that made the Sarann Knight development become a reality.
The remaining two development phases will be for senior living, making the site a total of 158 apartment homes when completed. Each 1,017-square-foot apartment features two bedrooms and two baths with ceiling fans, ceramic tile floors throughout, central heat/air, built in microwave ovens, covered patios or balconies, along with washer and dryer hookups, and walk-in closets. The common areas include covered parking, picnic tables, a kiddy pool, workout facilities, computer room, large gathering room and a laundry room on each floor.
Helldorado Days 2010
Helldorado Days took place May 13-16 and what a wonderful event it was! This was an outdoor community event celebrating Las Vegas' tribute to the Wild West and produced by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge No.1468. Helldorado Days which began in 1935, is the longest running civic event in the history of Las Vegas, originally created as a means to encourage tourism to the city upon completion of the Boulder Dam.
With more than 40,000 people in attendance, Helldorado Days offered a four-day pro rodeo, a parade, carnival, treasure hunt for gold, whiskerino contest, golf tournament, poker tournament, art show and auction, trail ride, exhibits and food. For four days, downtown Las Vegas was transformed into Helldorado Days as the event took over several vacant downtown blocks. A rodeo arena and carnival were built from the ground up.
Helldorado Days is a non-profit community event that truly offers an out-of-norm festive occasion. The members of Elks Lodge No. 1468 spearheaded this successful event and are committed to assisting children and veterans in need. They have given back more than $75,000 in 2009 and more than $4 million to the community since 1935. I would like to commend the very committed members for continuing the Helldorado tradition in Las Vegas and encourage you to mark your calendars for next year's celebration!
I had the opportunity to visit several Ward 5 senior residential communities in April and May to play "Barlow" BINGO. Many seniors are familiar with "Barlow" Bingo, in which I put my style and twist on the game by making up my own rules. The seniors absolutely love it!
This is a joyous event for me and seniors alike. Many seniors have limited family support and visitors and they appreciate the fun, laughter and smiles from my staff and me. The seniors are able to enjoy the entertainment brought directly to them in the comfort of their own residential complexes.
I use this time to also provide seniors with everyday necessities in order to assist and supplement their limited incomes. I am looking forward to continue playing "Barlow" Bingo. This game has created a culture of followers and it remains one of the most requested events from seniors as well as the staff of various centers around Ward 5.
Vegas Heights Great Las Vegas Cleanup
On April 10, the Las Vegas Dynasty Basketball Youth Organization and the Pearson Center Project 180 Youth Group participated in the Great Las Vegas Cleanup. More than 50 volunteers scoured the Vegas Heights neighborhood in search of trash and debris in an effort to help beautify the community. Additional partners included Pearson Center staff members and NVCCU Recycling Division. NVCCU provided rolling containers and gloves for participants and assisted with pickup of trash collected by the volunteers.
ZAP has arrived! The public art project that will captivate your imagination as you drive through the Historic West Las Vegas neighborhood has begun to appear. Eight gifted artist are painting murals on utility boxes around the West Lake Mead Boulevard, Martin Luther King Boulevard and J Street neighborhoods. Each artist went through an intense selection process and is presenting a variety of original, creative, new age and spectacular artwork to the community. As you drive, walk, or ride your bike through the community, please enjoy the fascinating pieces of artwork.