Ask the Mayor – Summer 18

Q: What are some of the dangers that are involved with transporting nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, and how does that affect not only Nevada, but also the whole country?

A: The dangers, first and foremost, have always been of a potential spill or breach of container causing catastrophic accidents that could occur from point of origin to any repository located in any state in the nation, much less to Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. The most alarming reason for this is that the nation’s infrastructure has aged throughout the decades and have been assessed at a D level by many reputable civil engineering organizations.  Tunnels, bridges, roads, and rail lines are antiquated in every community, and the Department of Energy refuses to advise or alert communities as to when, where, how much waste, or truthfully, what level of waste will be transported throughout each state.  Highways, tunnels, weakened bridges and railways are vulnerable, and the DOE also refuses to disclose upon which routes the radioactive or nuclear waste shipments will take!  Having been deeply involved in this endeavor for seven years (following my husband’s 12 years of efforts), I have seen the maps showing the multitude of alternative routes that the waste could take.  They run through so many states, so many rural areas, towns, communities, and cities, that ‘alarm bells’ should toll loudly for us all.  As a member of the U. S. Conference of Mayors, I have been alerting all mayors that each needs to take a stand against transportation of these waste products, for an accident could happen in their state/community and create potential devastation.  Each of these past years, resolutions have passed telling the Feds, “deactivate, repurpose, recycle and put funding into research so storage and transport are not needed.”  As an aside, and of additional concern, no community has been trained to deal with radioactive or nuclear waste spill or accidents.  Nevada does not stand alone.  This is a nationwide concern, and making jobs, getting money for providing a repository from the Federal government, is pale in comparison to protecting human life.  I might add, to date, no funds have been received (though promised) by acquiescing states for their sites.

Q: How will the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center impact Las Vegas, which is already the number one trade show and convention destination?

A: Las Vegas is known worldwide as the premiere destination for conventions and meetings, the entertainment capital of the world, and is renowned as the hospitality kingdom. Competition from cities throughout the country to be Number 1 and to gain these titles and reputations is ongoing and intense.  Thus, Las Vegas does more, expands, and seeks cutting-edge improvements to stay at the top and be able to serve the growing demand for bigger and better facilities and accompany top-of-the-line technology.  As LVCVA expands, it will address and stay ahead of the demands and competition, in its continuing first-class efforts.

Q: This issue we feature the 2018 Top 100 Doctors and Dentists. As a growing community, how will the Las Vegas Medical District continue to evolve and provide medical education, economic development with more jobs in the medical field, and better overall health in Southern Nevada?

A: The Las Vegas Medical District is, quite simply, the future of medicine in our community. It is the place where the doctors, specialists, nurses, and technicians of tomorrow are being trained, while at the same time, remains the home of Nevada’s only Level-1 Trauma Unit. The community is ecstatic about the new University of Nevada Las Vegas Medical School, and its buildings that will soon be constructed in the District.  Included will be a new garage, much-needed medical facilities, offices, and housing/apartments to complement the needs that are in the works.  As you could recall in the past, residents seeking healthcare frequently left Las Vegas for other cities around the country, and we now know that we are seeing change as neighboring state residents now come here for highest quality assessment, care, and treatment.

Q: Most doubted Las Vegas, saying, hockey doesn’t belong in the desert, and now The Vegas Golden Knights are perhaps the best expansion team in NHL history. What do you think attributed to the overall success of our first Major League sports team and how do we keep that momentum going when we clinch the Stanley Cup this year and for years to come? 

A: In Las Vegas, the only ice we knew was in the martini shakers, and look at us now!  Of course, we are so proud of and love our Vegas Golden Knights! It has been an incredible story that Hollywood could not have written any better. I think it just shows that what we have talked about since Oscar was first elected in 1999– that Las Vegas is ready for major league sports. The Golden Knights have proven that fact with a run that is certainly the greatest sports story of the year, with people from all over the country realizing that you never bet against Las Vegas. This team is Step One and just the beginning.  We have the Aces, WNBA, the Lights (USL) and soon to come, the Raiders.  I guarantee you all that after that, we will have an NBA franchise and, sometime in the near future, an MLS team. It is only a matter of time.

Q: Summer is upon us and it’s hard to beat the heat in the Vegas valley, what are some ways and places you suggest for our locals and visitors alike to keep cool during this hot summer?

A: We love the heat.  Where else but in southern Nevada have even gas stations always been air-conditioned? Beautiful weather without a cloud in the sky every day, so what could be better for outdoor fun? The city boasts such a variety of activities to enjoy: hiking or camping in higher and cooler elevations at Red Rock and Mt. Charleston; swimming in our multitude of municipal or hotel, YMCA pools, each with water play areas and slides for all to enjoy. So many of these sites offer swim lessons where parents offer their children Red Cross swimming skills programs. We also offer water play areas at many of our parks, and those are always a big hit. For everyone and especially our more vulnerable populations of the very young and the elderly, lots of sunscreen, lots of hydration, and just a reminder not to overdo it!!! Whatever is your choice, even staying home and reading a good book, I want to wish everyone a great summer here in the city of Las Vegas!