Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2015

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Sam Skolnik

Story Archive

For mayor, unusual disappointments
Goodman’s preferred candidate defeated, pet projects imperiled
Friday, June 26, 2009
Mayor Oscar Goodman is accustomed to winning.
Church plan helped Anthony prevail
He had not taken a stand, but opponent had voted in favor
Sunday, June 21, 2009
A more localized issue than the controversial new city hall proposal — a proposal for a large church with an 85-foot tower in the western part of the ward — may have been what provided Stavros Anthony with his super-slim 10-vote victory.
Goodman: Economy could kill City Hall project
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Mayor Oscar Goodman said the stalled economy might claim his new City Hall project.

Goodman said Thursday at his weekly press conference that he has asked his top managers to review whether the plan is still economically feasible. A decision could be reached at the City Council’s next meeting on July 1, he said.
How city came by millions for projects
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Facing declining revenue, a $150 million shortfall over the next five years and an inability to sell municipal bonds, city leaders were in a quandary last year over how to pay for their favorite downtown redevelopment projects.
Hands off city’s redevelopment money, for now
Defeat of critics unlikely to make them go away
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The Culinary Union lost its battle to transform how the Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency spends its money, when the state Supreme Court deemed two Culinary-sponsored ballot measures invalid.
Woman owing city fines on property has a theory on curious fire
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Dedra Edmond has long dreamed of rebuilding on the West Las Vegas site on which her pioneering grandfather, beginning in the early 1940s, built a house, a malt shop and a small hotel. But first she has to untangle the lien placed on her property by Las Vegas, the result of a record number of code violations — and potential fines — because of chronic neglect. But her problems began before that. Three years ago a mysterious fire damaged the old family home.
New courts will stress treatment of gamblers
For criminal cases, law lets counties set up system similar to drug courts
Monday, June 1, 2009
The only significant statewide study on the topic, in 2002, showed that about 6.4 percent of the state’s adults were either problem or pathological gamblers — almost one in 15 Nevadans. And Gamblers Anonymous has more active chapters in the Las Vegas Valley than in any other metropolitan area in the world.
Obama: 'There's nothing like a quick trip to Vegas'
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
WASHINGTON — Vegas just got a new slogan. Right there in an otherwise policy-wonkish speech this morning, President Barack Obama delivered a one-liner to make civic boosters proud. “There's nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week,” the president said. No apology over what had been said before about the city. No dwelling over what was being said now.
All sides of Oscar
Mayor's office and desk as eclectically bedazzling as The Strip
Monday, May 25, 2009
The items in Oscar Goodman’s office, taken together, reflect the sometimes warring parts of the persona of the “Happiest Mayor in the Universe.” There are the obvious if joking bows to the man’s outsized ego, including a dozen bobblehead dolls; the ornate Bavarian replica throne he sits on; and not one but two bejeweled crowns (one is a “traveling crown,” he quips, for trips). When Goodman leaves office in 2011, the items will leave with him. Most will be auctioned to benefit local charities, he said. “Let’s put it this way,” the mayor said. “My wife says I can’t bring anything home.”
Union Park’s new name music to city officials’ ears
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The name change of Union Park to "Symphony Park" is set to be ratified at today’s City Council meeting — timed to precede groundbreaking for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts later this month.
Advertising heats up Ward 4 battle
In mailers, council hopefuls attack each other’s judgment
Sunday, May 17, 2009
If voters are to believe the negative campaign fliers attacking both candidates in the Ward 4 Las Vegas City Council race, their choice is stark as early voting begins this weekend.
F Street: Taking on the Road to Nowhere
Senator proposes city pay to get West Las Vegas reconnected
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The group opposing the permanent closure of F Street has felt nothing got the attention of the state and city officials it blames for closing the street connecting the historically black neighborhood to Union Park. But Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford has introduced an amendment to mandate that the Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency foot a bill as large as $70 million to reopen the street.
Smith Center contractor upsets labor
Some subcontracts will be granted to companies that don’t use union workers
Saturday, May 9, 2009
When bids came in two years ago to determine which company would be the main construction contractor for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts -- the largest cultural public works project in the city’s history -- one out-of-state company had home-field advantage.
Will city take bite of fire union after nibbles at others?
Biggest benefit givebacks may come from last group
Friday, May 8, 2009
Months ago Mayor Oscar Goodman warned the four unions that represent city workers that future Las Vegas employees would have to accept smaller benefits packages than those currently enjoyed by workers.
Ban of glass bottles, booze likely in parks
Change would bring Las Vegas in line with other cities in valley
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Las Vegas officials say the largely unrestricted drinking in the parks results in myriad problems, from DUIs to workers being injured by broken beer bottles they have to clean up.
Audit critical of oversight of fire code inspectors
Monday, May 4, 2009
As Las Vegas firefighters prepare for their hot and busy season, an auditor’s report has questioned whether inspectors charged with making sure structures meet fire code regulations are being properly managed.
City seeks to end special bus service
Talks with RTC aim to ensure needs of seniors, poor will be met
Monday, April 27, 2009
For two decades Las Vegas has provided low-cost bus service throughout downtown geared toward seniors and low-income residents. City Ride has never made any money. In fact, in recent years it has cost taxpayers about $850,000 annually.
Culinary-city case crawls way to state high court
With print deadline for ballots near, why so slow?
Thursday, April 23, 2009
The state Supreme Court must resolve once and for all the legal fight between Las Vegas and the Culinary Union. But with a deadline this week to begin printing ballots for the municipal election, almost everyone involved in the case is wondering whether the court will get the case and rule on whether the union’s initiatives should be included on the ballot in time for its decision to matter.
Criminals could get help for gambling, not prison time
Bill would let judges send some to treatment as is now case with drug, alcohol users
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The Legislature is en route to passing a bill to allow judges to send convicts who are problem gamblers into treatment instead of prison. There is no such option for the state’s estimated 53,500 adult pathological gamblers, some of whom commit crimes to support their addictions.
Judge rules against Culinary Union over ballot questions
Friday, April 17, 2009
District Judge David Barker today refused to order the city of Las Vegas to put two redevelopment ballot measures backed by the Culinary Union on the municipal ballot. Culinary Research Director Chris Bohner said the union would appeal the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court.
City, Culinary make final arguments; Friday ruling likely
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Attorneys for the city of Las Vegas and the Culinary Union took what might be their final chance to argue whether two union-sponsored ballot measures, designed to change the way the city pursues its development efforts, should make it onto the city’s ballot.
Theatrics ahead in city’s legal battle with Culinary
Thursday, April 16, 2009
After all the legal briefs and court arguments, the heated allegations and news conferences, it comes down to this: Mayor Oscar Goodman has decided to take the stand today at the Regional Justice Center, promising to rail about what he claims is the Culinary Union’s “real reason” for trying to change the way city pursues its development agenda.
Redevelopment czar for Vegas?
City official will ascend to new post, pending the council’s approval
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Today the City Council is set to create a high-level leadership position — chief urban redevelopment officer — as part of its focus on revitalizing downtown Las Vegas.
Taking the anti-tagging message to youth
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Las Vegas officials and Metro Police will visit city elementary schools this month with a stern message: Tag, and you’re out.
Parties to ballot fight see chaos if they lose
City, Culinary Union make pitches to high court
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Many of the same leading players in the dispute over a new city hall were in attendance, but the scenes couldn’t have been more different.
Candidate draws praise but not endorsements
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Though a half-dozen candidates signed up, the Ward 4 Las Vegas City Council race has looked for months like a two-man contest between Stavros Anthony and Glenn Trowbridge.
Growing homeless settlement vexes business, Goodman
Problems arise in city's 'homeless corridor' as tents return
Friday, April 3, 2009
The epicenter of homelessness in Las Vegas is again on Foremaster, between Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard and south of Owens Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue. It isn’t a new issue for the city and nearby businesses and advocates. Up to 250 men and women eat and sleep in dozens of tents — and sometimes do drugs, pick fights, even urinate and defecate in nearby alleys or in the street. Concern about the homeless in an area known as the “homeless corridor” has surfaced again.
Six questions for Betsy Fretwell, Las Vegas city manager
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Betsy Fretwell could not have picked a more dramatic moment to assume the job of Las Vegas city manager.
Development bills rebuff the logic of Vegas’ tax breaks
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
One of the central premises of the Culinary Union’s attempt to rein in the Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency is that the city is giving huge tax breaks to developers when it should be using those resources to better fund vital government services such as schools.
P.R. title bout on city hall looms
Facing opposition from a major union, city’s private partner in the proposed project hires a local public relations firm
Monday, March 30, 2009
A government building plan rarely needs its own P.R. firm. But as the Culinary Union takes measures aimed at reining in Las Vegas' redevelopment agency, a public relations battle is looming. Las Vegas voters can count on being bombarded with ads.
Its development stuck in limbo, what's next for Kyle Canyon?
How a race for a City Council seat could affect its future
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Before the local economy soured, Las Vegas and developer Focus Property Group had big plans for Kyle Canyon Gateway, 1,712 acres of largely undeveloped land near Mount Charleston. The development plan provided for as many as 16,000 homes, retail and commercial properties, and a large hotel, 15 stories or taller, on the site both northeast and southwest of the Kyle Canyon Road exit on U.S. 95.
Anti-city-hall sentiment could alter council ranks
Two wards’ primary races have candidates who oppose mayor
Monday, March 23, 2009
Depending on whom the voters choose, the Las Vegas City Council could soon become a very different place to do business.

Car rentals short city on money for Smith Center
Council will use bond sale to make up difference
Thursday, March 19, 2009
When backers of a yet unnamed downtown performing arts center went to local leaders in 2005 looking for seed money, the solution was a car rental tax hike on tourists.
Long shot in city hall war: Compromise
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Clearly, neither side in the battle over Las Vegas’ proposed city hall has embraced the Abraham Lincoln quote: “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.”
Vegas closer to having a veterans memorial
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Local activist Peter “Chris” Christoff's demand has been plain: Las Vegas needs to build a veterans memorial where people will see it and can pay respects to those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.
Tower of proposed church is point of contention
Neighbors in city’s Northwest say its too tall for the area
Monday, March 16, 2009
Though their numbers were small, neighbors had made their opposition to the sizeable proposed church next to Lone Mountain clear to the Las Vegas Planning Commission.

Beleaguered Moulin Rouge lives to fight another day
Old hotel's problems legion, but owner holds out hope for rebirth
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Despite its auspicious beginnings, the odds have been stacked against the Moulin Rouge, the historic former casino, for as long as many can remember.
City-union legal debate: Are issues fit for voters?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The petitioners gathered the requisite numbers of signatures, which were certified as valid. So why shouldn’t Las Vegans be allowed to cast ballots for or against the two measures sponsored by the Culinary Union?
Culinary vows to sue over ballot questions
Council’s refusal to put measures before voters draws threat of court fight
Friday, March 6, 2009
The Culinary will go to court to challenge the Las Vegas City Council’s refusal to place two union-sponsored measures on the ballot for the June 2 election, a union attorney confirmed late Thursday.
Can’t afford a glitzy condo unit?
Many in workforce can’t, so developer has plans to build housing for them
Thursday, March 5, 2009
After downtown developer Sam Cherry finished building his two high-priced Las Vegas condo towers, SoHo Lofts and Newport Lofts, a couple of the buildings' doormen asked him to consider building "a nice place downtown where we can afford to live." He has plans to develop two downtown apartment buildings to provide workforce housing and to appeal to young professionals and artists who live downtown.
What led to plan to build city hall absent voter OK
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The chain of events leading to Las Vegas’ efforts to build a new city hall without voter approval began in 2005, when a pair of New York real estate investors started assembling property in a blighted part of downtown.
Scramble is on for right to word questions — if they reach ballot
Monday, March 2, 2009
As the city’s Election Day approaches, the Las Vegas City Council is gearing up the machinery to bring to the ballot two questions it doesn’t want asked and is opposing as strenuously as possible.
Business group set to take on Culinary
Its goal is to defeat ballot issues backed by the union, seen as anti-redevelopment
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
A coalition of downtown’s biggest businesses, alarmed at the Culinary Union’s attempts to clamp down on the city’s redevelopment agency, has decided to fight back.

Lonely voice against mountains of debt
Woman implores council to scrap city hall plan, but council’s support is firm
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009
The woman waited quietly for her turn to speak, her hands clasped in front of her, her head unbowed. Save for a couple of exceptions, it seemed the whole room was aligned against her: politicians impatient to tout their idea of a new city hall, hundreds of out-of-work laborers and their supporters eager to work on the project. Rochelle Abram was one of the few who spoke against the project at Wednesday’s Las Vegas City Council meeting.
Union cheers agreement to fund city hall project
Hundreds from Laborers Local 872 turn out in support of plan
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
A local laborers union showed up in force today to support the Las Vegas City Council in its efforts to fund and build a new city hall. The council unanimously authorized a “lease-purchase” agreement to fund the project, which is estimated by the city to cost between $150-$267 million. About 350 members of the Laborers Local 872, most wearing black shirts with the union’s name and logo, jammed the council chambers to seating capacity.
Golden Nugget runs against economic winds
Hotel continues with renovation plans despite deepening recession
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
There are moments when it seems Mayor Oscar Goodman is all alone with his insistent visions of downtown redevelopment, including a robust gaming scene.
Woman’s mission: Get Ross unseated
Councilman, ‘neighborhood activist’ have clashed for years
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009
The reelection race of Ward 6 Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross has become personal.

Mayor 'hot' over Obama's remarks, backtracks on apology demand
Goodman criticizes president's characterization of Vegas 'junkets'
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009
Mayor Oscar Goodman said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that he was “hotter than fish grease” when he heard President Barack Obama recently contend that corporations using federal bailout money should stop visiting Las Vegas.
Vegas comes to battle armed
Study commissioned by city says efforts to fight blight have been rousing success
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009
As the city fights for its ability to sponsor redevelopment projects without having to submit them to voters for approval, city officials are touting the results of a study they recently unveiled.
Complicated deal, powerful partner
Forest City Enterprises is accomplished, but hit by torrent of bad news
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009
At a City Council meeting last year, several councilmen went out of their way to praise Forest City Enterprises, the primary developer in the deal to build a new Las Vegas city hall. Since then, Forest City has been hit by a torrent of bad news, both in Las Vegas and nationally. The Culinary Union, locked in a battle royale with the city over new city hall plans, has accused Las Vegas of lavishing Forest City with millions of dollars in unnecessary financial incentives to take on the project.

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