Residents of Las Vegas and much of Southern Nevada can readily view on a digital map whether registered sex offenders live near their homes or even places of work. It’s a public awareness effort that anyone with a computer and Internet service can easily access as per NRS 179B.250. Furthermore, any citizen can sign up for updates via e-mail alerting you that a known sexual offender has moved into your self-designated neighborhood. It can be accessed at www.LVMPD.com, clicking on ‘Sex Offenders’ and following the directions. The program itself is called ‘OffenderWatch.’ For a few years now, I have subscribed to this free public service.
What surprised me is when I recently received several e-mail alerts. Concerned about several notifications of sexual offenders moving to the Sunrise Manor – Stewart Place area, I went online and conducted a search of known, convicted and registered sex offenders in the surrounding area. What I found, surprised me even more.
While there was a smattering of offenders strewn throughout various neighborhood streets, there were two clusters nearby that concerned me. The larger of the two clusters with six registered offenders was at 5250 Stewart Avenue, an apartment complex about 500 yards away, next to the Chuck E. Cheese family pizza parlor, and surprisingly close to the nearby elementary school Richard Rundle. Of the six, one was listed as sexually abusing a child and three are convicted of lewdness with a minor under 14.
Click here for map of the area and brief listing – Sex Offenders in the Neighborhood
Under the impression the registered sex offenders were not allowed to live so close by, I inquired with a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department representative from Crimes Against Youth & Family about how it works – and how it doesn’t work. Unfortunately, there is nothing preventing the nearby cluster of sex offenders – not the cluster, not the proximity to the elementary school, or family restaurant. As for the clustering, the representative said it was simply a natural byproduct of a higher-density of housing, or more people live in closer proximity in apartment complexes.
This information is also available through the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at http://www.nvsexoffenders.gov/. It provides broader information and for those outside of Clark County. Searching their mapping database called ‘Family Watchdog’, there are clusters that are clearly visible including downtown Las Vegas, parts of Boulder Highway, in particularly near several daily-weekly motels, part of MLK Boulevard, part of Nellis Boulevard and Twain Avenue.
The key is the level of the sexual offender, whether Tier 0, Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III. Tier III is the worst. Information on Tier 0 and Tier I offenders is not allowed by NRS to be shared with the public. And of course there are those that do not register as required by law and are unaccounted for. According to the DPS statistics page, nearly 3,000 in Nevada do not follow parts of the registration tracking program. In total, the state lists some 16,000 plus sexual offender cases.
From the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety -
Tier 0 (No assessment required)
Convicted sex offenders who are required to register; however, they are convicted of a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or crime against a child, and are not subject to community notification. These offenders are not subject to a risk assessment and therefore the identities of these offenders will not be posted to this Website because their offense is not listed under NRS 179D.620.
Tier 1 (Low risk)
A convicted sex offender who is assessed as posing a possible risk of recidivism and threat to public safety. Notification shall be provided only to persons authorized to receive criminal history record information. Typically, this includes law enforcement, prosecutors and courts. Assessment information is not intended for the general public therefore the identities of these offenders will not be posted to this Website.
Tier 2 (Moderate risk)
A convicted sex offender who is assessed as posing a probable risk of recidivism and threat to public safety. Requires notification to law enforcement and organizations in the community, including schools, religious and youth organizations, as well as prosecutors and courts. Nevada state law (NRS 179B.250) permits the Nevada Sex Offender Registry to release certain information about all Tier 2 Level offenders. The information shared with the general public, if available, is on this Website and includes the following:
· The offender’s name, including any aliases
· Tier Level
· Year(s) of birth used by the offender
· Physical description
· Residential address, block number of the address of the employer, and block number of the address of
the school of the offender
· Name offender convicted under
· City / County / Township of conviction
· Description of conviction
· Penal Institution / hospital committed for sexual offense
· The offense for which the offender was convicted
· The date and location of each conviction
· A photographic image of the offender, if available
All Tier 2 offenders are listed on this Website.
Tier 3 (High risk)
A convicted sex offender who is assessed as posing a substantial risk of recidivism and threat to public safety. Requires notification to law enforcement, organizations in the community, including schools, religious and youth organizations, prosecutors and courts and general community notification. The same information listed under Tier 2 is also available to the public on Tier 3 offenders. All Tier 3 offenders are listed on this Website.
After five days of a 500-yard stretch of Stewart Avenue, between Marion Avenue and Oakford Street, missing any semblance of street lights, light was finally restored today. Speaking with a City of Las Vegas employee, he noted that the City of Las Vegas responded the same day they were notified, i.e. on the 5th day of the outage. The cause of the outage laid with a power malfunction which he said was common over time. In turn, the City of Las Vegas notified Nevada Power, or NV Energy, which fixed the power problem.
One of the key parts involved in this power and light disruption is what is often called a power box but which is more properly termed a pedestal. Inquiring further, the emergency response employee noted the many light glitches experienced on this same stretch are likely something altogether different when the lights are on during the day, and off at night. This problem occurs when the optical sensor is either accidentally or purposely covered and disrupts the light cycle. The location of the sensor can be anywhere depending on how and when the light system was installed or upgraded.
Recently, the City of Henderson City Council passed a measure formally declaring pigeons a public nuisance (http://www.lvrj.com/news/henderson-declares-pigeons-unwelcome-130251278.html).Numerous undersides of bridges, e.g. US 93/95, older buildings, signage, and especially rooftops within the older parts of the City of Las Vegas, are infested with pigeons, and yet the overly-permissive language and inaction remains.
After contacting the City of Las Vegas Animal Control at 229-6444, it appears that the major difference is that the City of Las Vegas is far more passive in pigeon control, not citing those who constantly feed the ‘feral’ pigeons while the City of Henderson will do so. According to the recent article, the pigeons carry some 60 diseases. The source did suggest however, that if the pigeons would constantly defecate on
another person’s property, that property owner could call and complain whereby an Animal Control officer would respond. The decision to cite would then be at their discretion.
One indicator of how little importance this health problem is taken can be gleaned by the light language and ineffective myths, e.g. artificial owl, cat, that are proposed on the website.
From the City of Las Vegas website, Animal Control (obtained 10/24/11) (http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/information/4189.htm)
Animal Control recognizes that urban pigeons can be a source of annoyance to many people and local businesses. Urban pigeons are considered unprotected feral birds. The urban environment provides an ideal accommodation for pigeons, mainly because of a plentiful food supply,made to order sheltering facilities and a lack of natural enemies. Please consider the following when dealing with nuisance pigeons:
It was about 6 pm last Saturday (10/15/11) evening and very quickly I noticed my faucet water didn’t work, nor did the kitchen sink faucet. And flushing my toilet, it would work once and sound quite different than normal. Looking outside, I saw nothing wrong with my sidewalk connection. Next door had the same problem.
And so I called the Las Vegas Valley Water District who informed me there was a break at Sahara Avenue and Lamb Boulevard with “a 12-inch pipe” that would affect about “1,000 people” within “a small area no further than Charleston …”. The representative added some commentary such as the phrase “Act of God” meaning that it was their fault, and that it was an antiquated water line.
Hmm … I live adjacent to Stewart Avenue. This isn’t matching up. So I went to the source and this is what I saw. But first, not seeing it on the Internet, I gave the tip to a local reporter around 6 pm. (http://www.lvrj.com/news/broken-line-in-eastern-valley-leaves-more-than-1-000-without-water-131929328.html)
In the end, the information provided by the water district was slightly off, perhaps minimizing the initial significance of the size of the broken water pipeline, 24-inches, not 12-inches, and definitely affecting far more than 1,000 customers. The good news was that the emergency crews were fortunate because the break was far more accessible than at first thought and water service was restored later that night.
(Additional photos may be seen in the October 26, 2011, Sunrise/Whitney Ranch edition of The View.)
Signs of government efficiency.
A simple right-turn indicator clearly marking the street. What about the above-ground signage? What would that look like?
Well, let’s place a sign that is clearly readable … errr … oops. Okay, scratch that. Let’s take it down and place it further along and clearly visible. There we have it!
Well, okay, perhaps someone forgot to take down the partially visible. Leaving a partially visible sign up and not properly moving it to a fully visible sight – not smart; letting the general public pay – priceless, i.e. if you are the government entity.
Thousands of cars pass by each day the fenced-in, now-defunct El Capitan mobile home park on Bonanza Road near Nellis Boulevard, and probably no one realized what was behind that temporary fence. In fact, until this past week, there was a massive illegal tire dump so large, numbering some 2,000 discarded tires, that it could clearly be seen from satellite photo imagery on Google Earth. (see link below)
Two weeks ago, returning home by way of Bonanza, in front of me sat a fire engine from Station 16 and an ambulance parked at the entrance of the former mobile home park – and the temporary fence was down. Presumably there had been a health concern with one of the resident homeless individuals. And there it was. Past the old clubhouse that served as a homeless cabin of sorts, were rows and rows of dumped tires, some sorted, some piled six feet tall – all illegally dumped in our neighborhood.
Nevada state law, under NRS 444A, requires that all tires be properly disposed ofby each county and not placed in a dump. In fact, each tire customer at legitimate tire businesses in Nevada pays a disposal surcharge up front. In turn, each tire business pays a fee to have those tires properly disposed of by an entity that will essentially recycle into running paths, playgrounds, parks, et al., and not place a hazardous material, a tire, that won’t break down for decades, into city landfills. Some of the hazards associated with waste tires are the high potential for fires that spew toxic chemicals in the air and are difficult to extinguish on a large scale. Other hazards include breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.
The entity that is charged with enforcing the State provision within Clark County and selecting adequate disposal alternative for discarded tires is the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). According to the list at SNHD, only Phoenix Recycling Technologies and Lunas Construction Cleanup, can recycle.
To report possible violations, call 799-0600. To learn more about the SNHD and how it handles tire waste, visit http://www.cchd.org/solid-waste/waste-tire-regs.php.
But that is not where the story starts or ends. Several important questions remain. Who dumped the tires? Will the tires be properly disposed of? Will anyone be held accountable?
I reported the violation to SNHD the following day, #SW 11-1210, and there was no prior record of it. It had seemingly escaped the attention of thousands of surrounding people for several months if not years. I was provided the contact information for the investigating officer and e-mailed the damning photo evidence. It was only a few days later, over the weekend, that the investigator contacted me and
we exchanged information.
In fact, the site had been spotted by a city official a few months prior and was clearly violating City of Las Vegas codes. SNHD was contacted in regard to the illegally dumped tires. But because the issue involved homeless people, I was informed that charges were highly unlikely. But that’s only half of the equation. What about the nearby llantera on Bonanza, where the tires presumably came from? It was suggested the tires were carted a few yards down from the llantera to avoid the legally required dumping fees for which the consumer had already paid.
Of note, when I took the photos I was approached by an individual who asked me not to photograph the Lunas workers. Responding in Spanish, I asked the obvious and he nodded in the affirmative.
As of the posting of this, the cleanup has concluded but the investigation has not.
To view the Google map, click on: