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Looking Back, Backup and Going Back
by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  April 10, 2008 - reprinted with permission

 TODAY I WRITE THIS ON APRIL 6, MY 87TH BIRTHDAY.

   I donít know about anyone else, but as I age I seldom ever think about it except to once in awhile think about my grandfather on my motherís side who lived to age 100 and fished every year except for his last three years when he no longer was physically able to get out any longer. I used to like skiing but my younger pals quit so I couldnít go any more. What else did I give up? I had to give up golfing if that is what you could call it as far as my playing is concerned. I donít know if I have given up scuba diving yet because the family and I have not gone scuba diving the last half dozen years. We arenít giving up our fishing trip to Queen Charlotte Island, the most northern point of the Canadian Pacific. That fishing trip is always one to remember when I get together with the two sons and three grandsons who are collage students. Nothing is more exciting than going up there catching wild Pacific Salmon. They run in size from 18 to 60 pounds. I canít complain about my 87 years on earth. It has been and is an interesting life I love. I must say though with the changes taking place in Las Vegas that life here isnít getting better. Everyone wants more money but the more we give the less we seem to benefit from it. Why have they gotten on this one quarter percent sales tax grab that runs into the millions? At least now with a slow down in the economy it seems their spending spree is giving the politicians and government employees less to waste. Twenty five years ago this was one of the nicest and most pleasurable places to live. I wish it had stayed that way. So anyway happy birthday to me and the same to you if you have a birthday now.

 DO YOU HAVE ANY RIGHTS WHEN METRO SHOWS UP AT YOUR DOOR?

   That is the 64 dollar question. This past week a neighbor opened his door to be confronted by a Metro officer who questioned him if he had kidnapped his mother in law and was holding her in the house. This is a very tough charge to be made and not one you would ever expect to be charged for. In most cases you would think if anything you would be charged with not letting your mother in law in the house. This charge is made by a daughter living in Arizona. It started by the charge being made in Arizona where she has a home and property. When the officers came to the door in Arizona they were going to break the door in but the pool person told them that the lady of the house wasnít there but in Las Vegas with her daughter and son-in-law. So then the police notified Metro about it and that is how Metro in Las Vegas got into the act. When the officer came to the door and notified the son-in-law who said give me a minute and I will have her come down stairs and talk to you. Then the officer called for another officer for back up. The neighbor asked the officer to stay at the entrance in the porch while he went to get the mother-in-law. The officer did not react well to this request but did wait, but at the same time advised the neighbor that he could come inside if he wanted to. That is where there seems to be a dispute. If you remember we have all heard that our home is our castle. Well it seems like to a degree our castle is still our home but only if we work around some of the things our legislators have made into law. In cases with us older folks it seems there are laws which allow the police to even break into our homes under such circumstances. If this were my situation I would think that I had the right to keep the officers outside while I went for the mother-in-law but that might be wrong given what the legislators have done. I did talk to an officer and he tried to explain to me how the situation was lawful for the police to enter uninvited. His advice was to go to the Metro office and read the policies they operate under in such a situation. Now how do I get to the Metro office to see what is lawful under the circumstances? Even if I wanted to, Metro does not have a convenient web page to even find out what their policies are under the circumstances. Now a second issue came up when the second officer showed up he began to walk into the house and nose around to look at some interesting things the neighbor had as photographs on the wall. Again the neighbor ask this officer to step out of the living room and stand back at the door way. I told my neighbor that took a lot of guts under the circumstances with two officers with guns and clubs at the ready to take him out if they had a mind to do so. I know we old timers appreciate any help we get from the legislators but given all of the crime and who knows but what some would have the guts to even dress like officers and play that off on you to get into your house. We put a steel mesh door over our regular door so at least one does have a little better chance of the options one has when such a situation comes up. Iím sure this could lead to a some what heated discussion but it could be handled. Folks I am frightened of any officer who carries a gun because they have the upper hand and how do I know what kind of a night that officer had when they stopped me. Until recent years I never had such thoughts and I am sure they would tell me I had no reason to be concerned. But if one remembers all of the police killings one canít help but think about such a possibility.

 THIS BRINGS THE QUESTION WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THE POLICE QUARTER CENT SALES TAX?

   If you remember several years back we were asked to vote on a quarter cent sales tax that started about two years ago with another one quarter percent to be added about in 2009. Have any of you heard anything about the issue other than a few words when it was started. As I recall there was also to be legislative oversight on the tax but again I have heard nothing from the legislature. Maybe it is time that we ask the questions from our city and county governments as well as from the legislative oversight committee and see what is happening with our money. I for one have seen no more police service by Metro in our neighborhood. It would be nice for a change to have a black and white go thru the neighborhood slow enough that you could flag them down and talk to them if you had need to

 THOUSANDS GOING BACK SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

   By chance have you seen that twenty plus thousands of people from south of the border are going back where they came from because the jobs have dried up here in Las Vegas? In a way it is very sad to see what is happening to the illegals and I suppose some even here with legal rights are in the construction industry. I wonder how these poor people will be received when they get back to their own country. Letís hope that their country wakes up and decides to take care of their own people and give them a life in their own country. They have oil and plenty of natural gas that must be doing their country some good. What have they been doing with all of that money? Maybe we should give them jobs building the fence so that their country would have experienced hands when they decide to build their own fence on their southern border where they have so many illegal immigrants entering their country which, by the way, they donít like.

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