By Mia Sims Las Vegas Review-Journal
Carmen Beals of Summerlin has a love for Las Vegas deeply rooted in the heart of the Historic Westside, she said. She and her husband moved to the area to help it grow in a cultural way, she said.
“My husband grew up here,” Beals said. “We want to do our part. We have a voice. We have a rich history here and we helped build the city to what it is today. We have to preserve that.”
Beals was one of over 20 people at Starbucks at 1925 N. Martin L. King Jr. Blvd. on June 27 who were meeting up for coffee with Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear. Beals spoke to him about preserving the Historic Westside on behalf of the Nevada Museum of Art. Many in attendance were business owners and leaders of nonprofit organizations.
“I’m president of the Las Vegas Senior Softball Association, (which has had its) home for nearly 30 years at Lorenzi Park,” said Laurie Buchman, 67. “We are trying to appeal to the different ward council people to help us find enough land to do a fourplex to accommodate a quality of life for us. Our program starts at the 50s and goes up to the 90s and we currently have 350 members. We want to be able to properly accommodate them.”
Buchman said the fourplex would allow the organization to teach multiple classes for different age groups at once. The meeting with Crear gave her a chance to speak with him face to face, she said.
“The fourth Thursday of every month, we go out to the community and hear their concerns and they get to talk to me one on one, which is extremely important to me,” said Crear, who represents Ward 5. “Most of the people who come out just want to know what’s going on. Today was a good turnout. Many talked about just some concerns of cleanliness of the community — which specific areas we were focusing on. It was mostly positive.”
Crear said the meetings won’t be held in July and August, because many residents are out of town for vacation.
“It’s important for them to know what we’re doing and for me to hear firsthand what they’re looking forward to,” Crear said.
Bill O’Connor, who has co-owned Mario’s WestSide Market across the street from Starbucks for almost 25 years, said it’s important for people to know they have access to their councilman.
“We like to get engaged with events like this,” O’Connor said of his partner and him. “This environment is much more comfortable for us to talk to him in.”