F Street closing called biased

Folks from West Las Vegas once called F Street the gateway to their community.

A dirt wall on F Street near Bonanza Road now separates this historically black neighborhood from the rest of the city.

Outraged West Las Vegans said they believe the city has lowered an "Iron Curtain" over F Street, meant to segregate this community from downtown.

But the dirt wall also supports northbound Interstate 15 as it passes over F Street and is an integral part of the Nevada Department of Transportation’s ongoing $240 million I-15 north widening project.

On Tuesday, residents Ora Bland and Estella Jimerson along with the local chapter of activist Al Sharpton’s National Action Network filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court seeking to shut down the project until officials agree to reopen F Street.

Redoing F Street midway through the three-year project could cost millions of dollars and mean continued congestion for the 170,000 motorists estimated to use this section of the interstate on a daily basis.

Besides, there are other access points to West Las Vegas, including D Street, which is only 1,000 feet away from F Street, transportation officials said.

Attorney Matthew Callister, who is representing Bland and Jimerson on a pro bono basis, called the permanent closure of F Street "the worst incident of race-based segregation" he had seen in Las Vegas.

Callister said the city and the Transportation Department must reopen F Street under I-15 or pay residents for any lost property value because of the closure.

He explained that closing F Street blocks emergency services from getting to West Las Vegas, denies residents access to government buildings and hampers redevelopment prospects for this often neglected part of the city.

The lawsuit contends the Transportation Department and the city did not adequately give residents an opportunity to comment on the project as required by law or inform them of plans to permanently close F Street.

Scott Magruder, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, said the state is confident that all the public meeting and public comment requirements for the widening project were met.

He added that permanently closing F Street was not the state’s idea.

But when city officials asked for the permanent closure, the state obliged, Magruder said.

Las Vegas officials would not comment on the lawsuit or why city officials asked the Transportation Department to permanently close F Street, city public works spokeswoman Debbie Ackerman said.

Attempts to reach Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Barlow were unsuccessful. Barlow’s office said the councilman was unavailable until Jan. 5.

Gene Collins, state chairman for the National Action Network, said Tuesday he remained puzzled about why city officials didn’t want West Las Vegans to have access to downtown, Las Vegas City Hall, or the Clark County Government Center via F Street.

Collins said it seemed to him city officials were "purposely" trying to deny government access to black residents.

Collins said city officials told him months ago that the permanent closure was called for after a fatal mo-ped crash at F Street and Bonanza Road and complaints from one resident of the rumblings of construction trucks up and down F Street.

Collins did not find either explanation reasonable, he said.

And since residents have begun organizing against the closure, the city has been mum, Collins said.

Callister believes city officials wanted to "wall off" West Las Vegas, which has been considered a lower-income and high-crime area, from planned development at Union Park on Grand Central Parkway.

The $6 billion Union Park development calls for hotels and casinos, a performing arts center, professional office and residential buildings, as well as retail space.

Collins said a protest march is being planned for Jan. 7 and he plans on asking Sharpton, the head of the National Action Network, to lead it.

"He said if we need him, let him know and he would come," Collins said.

Meanwhile, the cost of redoing that section of the I-15 project could cost taxpayers millions of dollars extra, Magruder said.

The entire section of interstate probably would have to be reconfigured and realigned, he said.

But if the project is allowed to go forward, residents would find that an improved D Street, which is about 1,000 feet east of F Street, will act as a better gateway to West Las Vegas, Magruder said.

This is not the first legal threat to a Transportation Department road project.

The U.S. Highway 95 north widening project took nine months longer than expected because of a lawsuit by the Sierra Club that contended the state did not adequately consider health risks from air pollution. The suit was settled out of court, and state officials said the delay cost taxpayers an extra $20 million.

Callister said a judge will likely review the lawsuit in a couple of weeks.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2904.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive Remembrance Wall
(Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive
Vitalent hosts a blood drive at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shootings. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October sunrise remembrance ceremony in Las Vegas
Myanda Smith, sister of Las Vegas shooting victim Neysa Tonks, speaks at the sunrise remembrance ceremony at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‪Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to crowd at Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬
‪Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to the crowd at the Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father of Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim talks about college scholarship in his daughter's memory
Chris Davis, father of a Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim, Neysa Tonks, talks about a college scholarship in his daughter's memory to assist the children of those who died in the shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Oct. 1 survivor Malinda Baldridge talks about life after the shooting
Malinda Baldridge of Reno attended the Route 91 Harvest festival with her daughter, Breanna, 17, and was shot twice in the leg when the gunman fired on the crowd.
Route 91 survivor talks about lack of progress in gun legislation
Heather Gooze, a Route 91 survivor, talks about lack of progress in gun legislation since the Oct 1. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas/Review-Journal) @reviewjournal
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Museum opening "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials"
The Clark County Museum is opening an exhibit "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials" of items left to honor the victims killed in the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Memorial service for former RJ lawyer Mark Hinueber
Mark Hinueber, the Review-Journal's former lawyer and defender of the First Amendment, died in Las Vegas on Aug. 23. Hinueber, who was 66, worked at the RJ and other newspapers for 42 years. On Saturday, his friends and family gathered for a memorial service.
Army veteran honored in Henderson event
Army Sgt. Adam Poppenhouse was honored by fellow veterans in an event hosted by a One Hero at a Time at the Henderson Events Center.
Michelle Obama and Keegan-Michael Key urge Nevadans to vote
Former first lady Michelle Obama and comedian Keegan-Michael Key urged Nevadans to vote at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas Sunday, Sep. 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like