SIGN OF THE TIMES
This is one of those ideas that makes you think, “Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?” The Nevada Taxicab Authority has started posting banners at the airport showing estimated taxi fares to Strip hotels in an effort to curb longhauling by cabdrivers. Visitors arriving at McCarran International Airport have seen their fares padded by as much as $12, according to the authority’s own calculations. County, airport and taxicab authority officials have battled charges of longhauling for years, if not decades, but have yet to find a solution to the problem.
WASN’T ALL ABOUT METRO
While the Metro police and Clark County Commissioners haggled over the sales tax increase that would bolster the ranks of the police force, what is almost forgotten is the impact the tax would have had on the other police forces in the county. Henderson would have been able to hire 38 more officers to its 327-strong ranks, while financially troubled North Las Vegas could’ve added 20 to 30 officers. That city has 262 officers, but hasn’t added a new officer since 2009. The force was at nearly 330 before the recession. Mesquite would’ve added two more officers to is 28-officer force, while Boulder City would’ve added two to its 30. While Sheriff Doug Gillespie did most of the heavy lifting before the County Commission, surrounding communities watched the outcome carefully.
MOBBED UP NUMBERS
Remember when the city, state and feds were lifting $42 million of your tax dollars to make the former-mob-lawyer-turned-Mayor Oscar Goodman’s dream of a Mob Museum downtown a reality? Remember that the museum was going to bring in 800,000 visitors per year, justifying the money grab? Well, those visitor numbers were off. Way, way off. According to museum officials, as told to the Review-Journal, the museum saw 223,000 visitors in 2012 and 2,000 more in 2013. This year they are projecting a robust jump to 250,000, based on some apparent pie-in-the-sky formula where 1 + 2 = 7. So, will the city start to see any of its $6.6 million it was supposed to be repaid? Officials claim yes, but they haven’t filed a tax return since November 2012, so, again, we’ll take their word for it. Didn’t the mob used to whack people over situations like this?
NEW PROGRAM, NEW FRAUD
The state Department of Motor Vehicle’s facial recognition system has found a “significant increase” in potential fraud cases since the new driver authorization card was made available. While no arrests have been made, and its too soon to submit fraud cases, the DMV’s Southern Nevada Fraud Unit found 32 records requiring further investigation from Jan. 6 to Jan. 13, 24 coming from the driving card program. The DMV investigated 30 fraud cases per month before the driver cards, which allows Nevada residents who are not U.S. citizens to drive legally. And allows The Man to keep tabs on you.
Sue Lowden is apparently close to clearing her financial deck to make way for her run for lieutenant governor. The Republican has been slow to pay her bills from her unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2010 (she lost in the primaries to Sharron Angle. Yipes!). She has submitted a debt settlement plan to the Federal Election Commission to pay $196,771 to settle $451,968 in bills owed to 14 companies or individuals hired for that campaign. The Las Vegas businesswoman is trying to brush aside the money problems as not a big story, but we are sure state Sen. Mark Hutchinson of Las Vegas will find traction with it during the primary.
Some how, some way, Family Court Department C Judge Steven Jones has found it within himself to run for re-election. Despite facing a federal fraud indictment. Despite being found to have committed professional misconduct by the state Commission on Judicial Discipline for failing to excuse himself when his girlfriend, former Deputy District Attorney Lisa Williamson, had cases in his court. The late Williamson was found dead in her Henderson home by Jones on Dec. 26. Jones will have plenty of time to work on his campaign because he’s not doing bench work, having been suspended. But he is still collecting his taxpayer backed salary. Not surprisingly, five candidates also filed for that seat.
Our friends at Channel 3 have one of them-there really super-unscientific online polls asking for your opinion on the “more cops” sales tax increase. About 38 percent say “yes,” 57 say “no,” but 5.4 percent say “undecided.” Here’s our two-part question: There’s been literally years of debate on this issue. Do the 5.4 percent need more time? And also, if you don’t have an opinion, why bother to participate in a poll? Does clicking on any random key serve the same function?