Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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ANSWERS: CLARK COUNTY:

Commissioner forces issue on recycling ‘pilot programs’

Chris Giunchigliani

Chris Giunchigliani

Time is up for Republic Services, trash hauler for Clark County residents, Chris Giunchigliani says.

Time is up for what?

Giunchigliani said she has waited years for the company to evaluate recycling “pilot programs.” Now she will try to get the commission to force Republic Services to begin a single-stream recycling program — instead of one requiring separation of recyclables into separate bins — without taking away one of the two trash pickup days county residents now enjoy.

“They’ve got the money to do it, they’ve been collecting (fees) for recycling since 1991, and now they need to be told to make it better and leave our regular trash service alone,” Giunchigliani said.

To that end, Giunchigliani will ask county staff Tuesday to draft an amendment to start single-stream recycling at the start of 2011, and establish a program that gives homeowners recycling incentives, such as credits that can be redeemed at local businesses.

What does Republic Services think about that?

Bob Coyle, the company’s vice president of government affairs, said he wants to meet with the commissioner before Tuesday’s meeting to better understand what she wants. He added that the company would be happy to provide the level of service Giunchigliani seeks.

“But we’ll need a rate increase,” he said.

Sounds like battle lines are being drawn.

•••

Former Lt. Gov. Lonnie Hammargren wants to get Clark County off his back, arguing that the county has no right to keep going after him about all the “stuff” on his property.

What does the county want?

In July, the county filed “nuisance” orders on Hammargren’s property, a 17,200-square-foot home near Sandhill and Flamingo roads. His home is full of various tidbits of Las Vegas history and oddities such as slot machines, casino signage, a Liberace piano, a headless cow — and too much more to mention.

The nuisance violations notice followed a County Commission meeting in January, where some neighbors fought zoning changes that Hammargren sought to increase the height of the wall around his property by one foot. He was ordered to remove some signs. Hammargren’s attorney, Dirk Ravenholt, said the county asked him to do more to clean up the property and Hammargren complied.

But later, he said, the county issued nuisance violations to Hammargren. Ravenholt said that amounts to double jeopardy — punishing Hammargren twice for the same offense — even though he had complied with the county and spent “thousands” doing so.

County officials would not discuss the case because it is pending in court.

Some of the things Hammargren has been asked to clean up or fix include boards, cans, an “Olympic torch runner,” a front-yard manikin, an artificial cannon, a broken gargoyle and a junk television.

Now what’s going to happen?

Ravenholt has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the county. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6 in District Court.

•••

As director of public communications, Erik Pappa is the quiet figure behind the curtain who oversees and facilitates relations with the news media for Clark County government.

But there’s a little-known side to Pappa that comes out when anyone brings up garden gnomes, fjords and St. Olav.

Pappa is also the president of the Vegas Viking Lodge.

Is that an off-Strip casino?

It’s a fraternal organization dedicated to the preserving Norwegian culture in North America. So Pappa and fellow Scandinavians — the 2000 Census put their numbers at 56,301 locally — are loudly tooting their bukkehorns about a troupe of two dozen Norwegian accordionists, along with guitarists, washboardists and singers — known as Lindesnes Trekkspillklubb, which an online translator said means something like “draft play club” — which is playing in Las Vegas.

When and where?

7 p.m. Monday at Community Lutheran Church, 4720 E. Tropicana Ave. Tickets are $10, or $5 for children under 12.

Pappa said he isn’t sure Las Vegas “has ever seen anything like this.”

The band is playing in five American cities on this tour, including two in Norwegian-laden Minnesota.

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