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July 24, 2014

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Alexandra Berzon

Story Archive

Perini seeks union givebacks
CityCenter, Cosmopolitan contractor looks to workers to cut projects’ costs
Saturday, March 7, 2009
CityCenter and Cosmopolitan general contractor Perini Building Co. has asked building trades unions to take pay cuts and make other concessions as they work to complete the financially troubled projects, according to several sources familiar with the negotiations. In meetings Thursday, Perini Chief Executive Craig Shaw and top executives of the CityCenter and Cosmopolitan projects asked for $2-an-hour wage decreases from about 11,000 trades members on those jobs, say sources involved in the discussion who did not want to be identified because the meetings were confidential.
Labor, builders unite to endorse bill to require training
But union leaders fail to turn out for hearing on proposal to strengthen OSHA’s role
Saturday, March 7, 2009
A bill that would require 10 hours of safety training for construction workers received support from union members and contractors who turned out in Carson City and Las Vegas for an Assembly committee hearing Friday.
Strip deaths sent message on safety, OSHA chief testifies
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The head of the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration told lawmakers Wednesday that the run of construction fatalities on the Las Vegas Strip “was a tragic situation that I believe caught everyone off guard.”
Solar industry, unions heading for clash on jobs
Titus postpones visit to Boulder City plant
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009
The appointment on Rep. Dina Titus’ calendar last Saturday didn’t appear controversial at first glance.
‘Veterans deserve a natural green cemetery’
Legislators sponsor bill to preserve grass despite conservation pressure
Friday, Feb. 27, 2009
To Mark Manendo, the ground cover that surrounds his father’s gravestone is fraught with meaning.
Construction worker dies in accident at McCarran
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
A construction worker at the new Terminal 3 roadways project at McCarran International Airport died Monday afternoon. The man was a laborer working for Las Vegas Paving Corp., said Randy Walker, Clark County director of aviation.
Hopes lowered for workers’ comp overhaul
Labor-friendly legislature aside, business will press recessionary concerns
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
To hear the leader of the Nevada AFL-CIO tell it, the workers’ compensation system in Nevada is a crime, cheating employees out of treatment for legitimate injuries and all but encouraging employers to fire injured workers.

Resumes get scant inspection
Clark County does not routinely verify work histories of those it approves to inspect sites
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009
One of the CityCenter inspectors who failed to spot serious errors at the Harmon high rise was approved by Clark County to monitor complex construction projects after submitting a curious resume.
Perini heeds safety critique
Audit of hazards is met with promises to improve Strip sites
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009
Perini Building Co. will take a number of steps to improve workplace safety, including responding more quickly to safety concerns and establishing a phone number for confidential reporting of safety problems. Eight deaths have occurred at CityCenter and Cosmopolitan, massive adjacent projects.
Reports suggest fixes for CityCenter safety problems
Researchers put together safety audit based on surveys, interviews
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
The Center for Construction Research and Training unveiled a series of reports Wednesday that aim to diagnose and recommend fixes for safety problems endangering workers at the CityCenter and Cosmopolitan construction sites.
CityCenter work often precedes approval of plans
Ultimately, county says, it ensures compliance with codes
Monday, Feb. 16, 2009
In hundreds of instances, construction at MGM Mirage’s massive CityCenter project has moved forward based on unapproved engineering, a Sun review of reports issued by private inspectors at the work site shows. In those cases, inspectors on the project reported that contractors were working from last-minute drawings that affected the structural integrity of the building but had not been approved by the county. In some cases, the engineer of record also had not approved the drawings.
Big Apple’s big lesson on safety training
It should be backed up with strict enforcement
Friday, Feb. 13, 2009
Faced with the same predicament as Las Vegas — a string of construction deaths — New York City has turned to worker safety training.
Dana Wiggins, labor relations manager of Associated General Contractors
Reflections on the construction boom and its fallout
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009
Las Vegas-native Dana Wiggins has lived through many a construction boom. But nothing prepared him for what he witnessed the past few years as towers rose rapidly on the Strip and off.
Perini redirects blame for errors at Harmon
Company president: Design flaws mishandled by subcontractor, inspectors
Monday, Feb. 9, 2009
Perini Building Co. is disputing Clark County’s claim that construction problems alone — and not design problems — led to the faulty installation of reinforcing steel at CityCenter’s troubled Harmon tower.
County wants proof CityCenter structures are free of defects
Friday, Feb. 6, 2009
Clark County has ordered MGM Mirage to verify that CityCenter’s towers are structurally sound six months after significant structural defects were found in one of seven buildings at the company’s project. The problems were repeatedly missed by third-party private inspector Converse Consultants, hired by MGM Mirage to ensure the complicated tasks were properly executed.
Little bending in lending
Bailout hasn’t shaken loose enough loans, critics say
Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009
Nevada State Bank and other recipients of federal funding from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, aren’t loaning enough to satisfy some critics.
Optimism, tempered by realism at Preview Las Vegas
Friday, Jan. 30, 2009
At last year’s Chamber of Commerce cheerleading session known as Preview Las Vegas, local business leaders suggested the looming recession could be prevented by pretending it didn’t exist.
Industry leaders continue dialogue on safety
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009
Safety professionals, union representatives and injured workers at a roundtable discussion of construction worker safety Wednesday agreed that a shift in construction safety in Las Vegas is under way.
Harrah's ranked among top workplaces for gays
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009
Harrah's this week was the only Nevada-based company listed among the top workplaces for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people by the Human Rights Campaign.
A day to honor 2 for bravery on the job
Survivor of ’07 accident at the Orleans, co-worker who died tried to save colleague
Monday, Jan. 26, 2009
On Feb. 2, David Snow plans to drag his battered body to Travis Koehler’s graveside.
Snow’s and Koehler’s names will be always intertwined. The two fell unconscious together two years ago in a manhole at the Orleans in an accident that killed Koehler and another maintenance worker, Richard Luzier. Snow recovered after weeks on life support.
Law gives new FedOSHA boss few sticks
Agency has little leeway in assessing worker safety penalties on state bodies
Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009
If confirmed, labor secretary nominee Hilda Solis will oversee an Occupational Safety and Health Administration that many workplace safety advocates expect will become tougher on employers who put workers at risk.
Watchers were not watched
County failed to spot-check inspectors’ work as flaws developed at CityCenter
Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009
Clark County’s Development Services Department has no record of its monitors ever visiting the Harmon construction project at CityCenter during the period last year when faulty rebar was installed in the tower, department officials said.
Construction worker safety meeting rescheduled
Monday, Jan. 12, 2009
Snowed out once before, a public meeting on the safety of construction workers has been rescheduled.
How did CityCenter tower flaws persist?
Failed safeguards puzzle county inspections official
Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009
Clark County is investigating the consultants hired by CityCenter owner MGM Mirage to inspect the structural integrity of construction work at the site, after faulty rebar caused massive problems in the project’s Harmon tower.
On appeal, OSHA loses most of Monte Carlo fire case
Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008
The construction company cited by the state for worker safety violations in connection with the January fire atop the Monte Carlo was largely cleared of responsibility in an appeal decision this month. The state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration had fined Union Erectors, a structural steel company, $18,000, saying the company had violated nine workplace safety laws. But the OSHA Review Board overturned all but one of Union Erectors’ citations, reducing the fines to $3,500.
Employers finding way around OSHA’s tougher stance
Companies increasingly appealing safety violation cases to a review board, and winning
Monday, Dec. 29, 2008
No one saw Michael Taylor fall to his death at the Cosmopolitan construction site nearly a year ago.
Evidence of change: Six months, no fatalities
Union safety rep says all involved have contributed to improvement
Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008
Twelve workers died in accidents at Strip construction sites during the first 18 months of Las Vegas’s current building boom. In the past six months, not one worker has died.
Setting record straight on Elliott case
Gibbons’ office says it wrongly attributed ‘vindication’ claim
Friday, Dec. 26, 2008
Gov. Jim Gibbons’ office says it erred when it issued a news release last week stating that an investigation by the attorney general had vindicated a top political appointee in her role in a workplace safety case.
Bridge contractor shows it’s willing to fight
A California case suggests Nevada OSHA will have a tough time in its probe of the death of worker on the Hoover Dam bypass bridge
Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008
Six years ago, while working on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, carpenter Kevin Noah fell 50 feet to his death.
State clears Elliott in Orleans probe
AG says Gibbons official’s role in probe of two workers’ deaths does not constitute misconduct
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008
The involvement of a top Gibbons administration appointee in the investigation of a double fatality at the Orleans last year was not illegal, the Nevada attorney general’s office has ruled.
Safety meeting canceled due to snow
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008
The Construction Safety Roundtable scheduled for 5 p.m. today has been canceled due to snow.
Contractors to propose training initiatives
Slowing the pace of work on the Strip not an option, group’s vice president says
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008
Not wanting to show up empty-handed to a public meeting about construction safety tonight, contractors on Tuesday unveiled a wish list of proposals they say will promote safer conditions on Las Vegas work sites.
Suit names Boyd in Orleans death
Mother of worker says company ignored manhole dangers
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008
The parents of one of two maintenance workers who died last year after entering a toxic manhole at the Orleans filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Friday seeking damages against Orleans owner Boyd Gaming. Workplace accident lawsuits against Nevada employers are extremely difficult for workers and workers’ families to win.
After 6 die, OSHA finds violations
Summer sweep by federal, state agencies uncovered dozens of serious problems
Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008
State and federal safety inspectors found 42 serious violations last summer during a sweeping review of the CityCenter construction site that followed a string of fatalities there, a review of recently released documents shows.
Follow-up to Round Table on safety finally scheduled
Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008
At the first Construction Worker Safety Round Table meeting held at the Clark County Government Center, building trades honcho Steve Ross painted a dire picture of the worker safety systems in the state.
Construction industry drying up, and not just in the desert
Jobs in Canada gave hope to local workers, but those are vanishing, too
Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008
Just weeks ago, Harry Tostowaryk was in Las Vegas from Edmonton, recruiting ironworkers to apply for visas to work in the upper reaches of Canada.
A sentence ending in a question mark
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008
O.J. Simpson will spend how many years behind bars? Pick a number.
Dealer closes; town feels pain
In small Nevada burgs, car stores are big businesses
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008
In Nevada, four dealerships have closed or stopped selling new cars, including two in the Las Vegas area and one in Winnemucca. Through September, auto sales in the state were down 17.5 percent for the year. It’s a scene taking place across the country as dealerships abruptly close, succumbing to a tight credit market that has dried up car financing and low consumer trust in Detroit’s big three auto companies, whose executives will be back before Congress today asking to be bailed out by taxpayers.
Six Questions for Chris Giunchigliani
Clark County Commissioner, District E
Monday, Dec. 1, 2008
Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani convened a task force in June to brainstorm ways to improve worker safety on construction sites. Local officials concerned about the rash of worker deaths on the Las Vegas Strip heard a wide range of policy concerns and suggestions.
Road, water, transport projects are ready to go
If stimulus money flows, Nevada agencies say they can put people to work fast
Monday, Dec. 1, 2008
As President-elect Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress signal that they want a new economic stimulus package to include federal money for public works projects, officials at agencies across Nevada are imagining the possibilities.
Work cut out for next OSHA chief
Even with optimism that comes with new president, many battles to be fought
Monday, Nov. 24, 2008
Frustration permeated a Washington hearing room in June as a House labor committee took testimony on construction safety that focused on fatalities in Las Vegas and other places.
Reports: Perini’s safety wanting
Analyses fault resort contractor for hazards, congestion, lax follow-up after accidents
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008
Two stinging reports say there’s more the Perini Building Co., the general contractor of the CityCenter and Cosmopolitan construction sites, can and should do to create safe work sites.
Pols debate future of rural voter influence
Monday, Nov. 10, 2008
Barack Obama’s campaign in Nevada put unprecedented effort into courting rural voters.
Historic victory no win for some
In Elko, residents fear effects on jobs, taxes, gun laws
Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008
As it turned out, there was no dancing in the streets of Elko on Tuesday night.
Black and passionately for Obama in red Elko
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008
Among Elko voters at the Convention Center on Tuesday, there was no way around it. Julie Embry stuck out.
Where the economy isn’t No. 1
In prosperous mining town, voters can afford to take the Iraq war, social issues into account
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008
Obama or McCain? The conservative mining town of Battle Mountain, insulated from the economic downturn by high gold prices, provides a glimpse of what this election might have looked like had Wall Street not melted down.
Palin energizes Elko crowd on final campaign stop
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008
"God bless America. God bless Nevada." With those words Monday night, the whirlwind two-month journey that sent a nearly unknown figure from the governor's mansion of Alaska to the set of "Saturday Night Live" and every swing state in between made its final stop before Election Day.
Democratic wave felt even in staunchly Republican Elko
Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008
As Alberia Sanders and her sister, Cristina Martinez, stepped out of their car Saturday morning to canvass in the heart of Nevada Republican country, clipboard and Barack Obama paraphernalia in hand, a man raking leaves looked up and laughed.
A low political profile
Valley Muslims say they don’t want to inflame GOP’s false claims about Obama’s faith
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008
Muslim leaders interviewed by the Sun over the past week say they are keeping a low profile in what has been a difficult election season, even though they want to become a stronger presence in civic groups and politics.
Laissez-faire loses luster
Public begins to shed distaste for regulation, but can Nevada afford more of it?
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008
Two years ago, as Gov. Jim Gibbons prepared to move into the Governor’s Mansion, his thoughts about government followed Republican political canon.

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