LAS VEGAS — Out in the American West, it’s not hard to find ranchers who’ll tell you that federal land agencies and U.S. Justice Department lawyers have in recent decades been working to destroy family ranching as a way of life.
Late last month, however, those ranchers — ignored and discounted though they’ve generally been — got, for their argument, some very high-powered ammunition.
Naturally enough, it came right out of the heart of the decades-long, high-profile litigation between the U.S. government and the family of the late E. Wayne Hage, author and property-rights advocate.
LAS VEGAS — Has the Lake Tahoe Compact been saved?
Do the announced compromises between Nevada and California — repeatedly hailed by lawmakers in Carson City following the May 14 agreement of the states’ governors — stand any genuine chance of solving the Tahoe Basin’s longstanding economic, governance and water-clarity problems?
Or have deep and fundamental conflicts between the two states and between Tahoe environmentalists and most lake residents merely been papered over — soon to return in an even more virulent form?
LAS VEGAS — A high-stakes amendment intended to keep Nevada in the controversial bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) was proposed today by Gov. Brian Sandoval, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick and State Sen. James Settelmeyer.
All three, during the 2011 Nevada Legislature, had supported Senate Bill 271, the bill to take Nevada out of the TRPA Compact unless California agreed to change the terms governing the agency’s control over Lake Tahoe planning.
Sen. Settelmeyer was a primary author of the legislation, and Speaker Kirkpatrick had — notwithstanding criticism from “green” groups — supported it. Gov. Sandoval, once the bill had been approved by both legislative chambers, had signed it.
Carolyn Davis wanted to start a moving company in Las Vegas, but instead got caught in a sting operation by the Nevada Transportation Authority. Davis describes the NTA's rigorous licensing process while a NTA attorney defends it.
Phil Regeski owns P.R. Engineering, a civil engineering and construction services company in Las Vegas. One of Regeski's clients, the Pioneer Saloon, located in the small town of Goodsprings, Nevada, has waited 5 years and spent over $500,000 trying to get construction permits approved by Clark County.
LAS VEGAS — The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, also known as the Mob Museum, fell well short of its original 300,000-to-600,000 visitor projection, but did meet revised attendance projections with over 250,000 visitors in its first year of operations. It fell dramatically short of former mayor Oscar Goodman’s optimistic 800,000 projection.
“They tell me not to say that I believe 800,000 people will be down here, that I’m only supposed to say 500,000 or 400-to-800,000 people will be here,” said Goodman during last year’s grand opening.
The museum, which received $42 million in tax money from various local and federal funds, has a $3.5 million operating budget, according to Jonathan Ullman, the museum’s executive director. The average ticket price is $14.96, so 250,000 visitors allows the museum to make and surpass its breakeven target.
LAS VEGAS — Sarkis Arshakuni opened Hookah Masters lounge in April 2012, hoping to establish a new nightlife spot on Las Vegas’ west side.
Eight months later, the City of Las Vegas realized it had made a mistake in Arshakuni’s licensing process and pulled his special use permit, denying his business its nightclub and thousands of dollars in revenue.
“[City officials] checked one box instead of the other,” said Arshakuni. “Without any warning, they told me the license was being pulled. Not for something I did wrong, but because they had made a mistake and they finally found their mistake after eight months.”