77°F
weather icon Clear

Homelessness must be addressed

The United States currently spends more on health care than any other industrialized nation. Yet, the U.S. trails in life expectancy, infant mortality and unmanaged diabetes.

Politically, about half of the voting population feels that it should be an individual responsibility. Less fortunate, disabled, unemployed, underemployed, pre-exisiting and mentally compromised (people) — they are a just few out of luck in a country that has declared corporations having the equal rights of humans in our society.

Homelessness is on the rise where 50% of our workers did not receive a pay increase in the last year. As a result, federal and state support for health care is tenuous at best, and foisted upon municipalities, like our small town here on the outskirts of Las Vegas, to fend for themselves.

Sadly, there was a recent media article sympathetic about someone living in a mine nearby our city, and it noted authorities decided a hands-off approach would be policy. How naïve. I can only imagine the liability those decision makers may face in the future, when considering health issues, sanitary issues and the safety of the homeless, and also the general public who come in contact with them or their debris.

The ecological destruction is another whole issue. All my riding and running friends are well aware of the homeless issue around the trails at Railroad Pass. But it gets worse. In the last two days, I have encountered ecological destruction at two camps: one at the Arizona Hot Springs, and a far worse site in Bootleg Canyon, just above the Mother’s trail.

The once gorgeous barranca in the middle of one of our finest assets now has a debris field of a few hundred yards long, including tent material, mattresses, splintered plastics everywhere, empty bottles of drugs and a bevy of rotting insulated carriers from Albertsons. It is a sad blight in the middle of what last year was a favorite hike.

The desert will not cure itself for many years to come, without help. Well beyond my personal ability to clean it up, it will take a concerted effort to rehabilitate the area. The filth and sanitary conditions need also to be identified and remediated and are well beyond any volunteer’s scope.

I ask the city to take proactive stance on homelessness before we are overwhelmed by disregarding its existence. Ignoring it hasn’t worked in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake (City) or Vancouver. I humbly ask the city administrators to consider the following:

1. Immediately clean up the damage in the middle of Bootleg Canyon, including an assessment of any health concerns.

2. Create a network to identify and address homeless camps rather than benignly accept them throughout our town and surrounding areas.

3. Consult with health care professionals and ancillary agencies to formulate a plan to administer care to the homeless, and stop the destruction to our environment by them.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Guest commentary: Yes votes will raise funds for pool, not taxes

Broadbent Memorial Park encompasses five acres of recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, tennis courts and green space for picnic and play areas. The Boulder City Pool offers healthy, affordable, enriching and fun programs.

Police need our support

In 1962, President (John F.) Kennedy signed a proclamation, established by a joint congressional resolution, designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor all peace officers who were killed or disabled in the line of duty. The week of May 15 was designated as National Police Week. This year, National Police Week is May 9-15.

Legislature accomplished much, but more to do

It is my honor to serve as the Assembly Republican caucus whip in the 81st legislative session. The caucus fought to open the building to the public long before session began. Our pressure was eventually successful in opening the building. It has been a pleasure meeting with some of my constituents inside my office who made the journey up and I look forward to seeing more.

Vaccines necessary for return to activities

Spring has arrived with warming temperatures along with the usual winds. We are also beginning to see the warming of our local businesses with the downward trends of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents’ passion for city blazed during primary

Congratulations are in order for Councilwoman-elect Sherri Jorgensen and Cokie Booth and Matt Fox, who will face off for the second City Council seat in June’s general election.

Mask use, types raise many questions

Along with the mask mandates and protocols, I am fascinated by the many different mask designs. Aside from those that are medically proven, those that adhere to the face in such a way that no air whatsoever can escape around the mask, generally speaking, the majority of masks do absolutely nothing, especially those made of cloth.

Attorney selection not surprising

Is history repeating itself? It certainly seems to be the case.

Series shares impact of fraud

Does everything always come down to how much money will be made? Do we know what truth is? Does truth still matter?