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EDITORIAL: Things to remember about 2018 … or not

The year 2018 has exited stage right — but not before providing Nevadans with plenty of “what were they thinking” moments. With apologies to humor writer Dave Barry, we are not making any of this stuff up.

Las Vegas law enforcement officials celebrated the recent holidays by ramping up nuisance citations issued to those trying to feed the homeless in areas where people living on the street tend to congregate. … The Clark County School District allowed campuses to use a “minimum F” policy, under which students may receive no worse than a 50 on a scale of 0-100 even if they don’t do any work. … On a related matter, Nevada test scores revealed that just 31 percent of fourth-graders scored high enough on standardized tests to be considered proficient in math. The proficiency number was also 31 percent for reading. By eighth-grade, tests showed that state students had lost ground in both subjects. …

A national survey found that only one in three Americans can pass a multiple choice test consisting of items taken from the U.S. Citizenship Test. … A Clark County District judge overturned the result of a primary election because one of the candidates was late with his campaign finance reports. … Thanks to generous union contracts, Clark and Washoe counties are on the hook for almost $610 million in unused time-off benefits for public employees. … Clark County spent thousands of dollars on an investigation into harassment allegations against the head of the public defender’s office — and then refused to reveal the results to the taxpayers who paid for it. …

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority gave outgoing CEO Rossi Ralenkotter a $455,000 platinum parachute after he retired during an investigation into his misuse of airline gift cards. … The Clark County School District created a new marketing position — paying $117,000 a year — in an effort to persuade parents not to send their kids to local charter schools. … A Boulder City judge issued a gag order in a misdemeanor traffic case that prevented a defendant and his lawyer from criticizing the city attorney. …

A Washoe County student was disciplined when he wore a T-shirt with a pro-gun message to school. … The Clark County district attorney’s office paid $55,000 in taxpayer money to avoid a lawsuit after it sought to conceal from taxpayers certain payments it made with taxpayer money to witnesses. … The Washoe County School District lost almost $90,000 on school lunches after it instituted a policy that allows elementary school students to run up unlimited debt for food and includes no consequences for parents who don’t pay. …

Finally, amid all this folly, a certain first-year expansion team made the Stanley Cup Final. Perhaps that’s enough to balance the ledger.

Happy New Year.

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