Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Secondhand Smoke

Hope you saw my story on Secondhand Smoke Dangers. We talked to a woman who worked at Caesars Palace as a dealer for 25 years. She was instrumental in getting the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to do a study on the effect of secondhand smoke on non poker dealers. Non poker dealers were chosen since many poker rooms, including the one at Caesars, are non smoking. Thought I'd pass along a couple emails from viewers after the story aired.

I have been a dealer at Caesars for many years and knew Terri Price. She was an excellent dealer and a perfect vision of courtesy that we want a tourist to remember Las Vegas for. It is a crying shame that these corporations, especially Harrahs, has ruined our industry and taken away the pride that we felt working for Caesars Palace. Jan Laverty- Jones lied when she said that improvements had been made to our ventilation system, when in fact, we can hardly get enough air turned on to cool the place much less a continuous circulation of air. Our total working conditions and environment is continually deteriorating. There has been over 50 dealers and/or casino workers at Caesars that has had cancer, most died, and that does not include all the dealers that retired or left that we are unaware of. A very large percentage of the dealers now have respiratory problems such as asthma. With that said, our VP of Casino Operations, Jimmy Wike, had the audacity to tell us we could not wave the smoke out of our face when the customer intentionally blows it on us. Why are we treated as sub-citizens for the almighty dollar? The corporate management certainly does not work in a smoke filled environment as they take all the money from our local economy. It is time for Americans, especially front line casino workers, to wake up and demand their working conditions improve.This type of mentality and greed is why the dealers at Caesars Palace voted in the union two years ago.
A long time dealer!

and this one...

It is very popular to attack smokers and defend all against them. It is also not a very smart choice when it comes to the economics of running a business. Terry should have been fired for offending a guest. When Terry applied for her job was she so ignorant that she did not know people smoke in casinos? If so she should be terminated for ignorance.

Legal brothels hire women who should know there may be some sex involved in their job. Should they be able to sue when it happens? People need to be responsible for their own choices. If the casino cannot get applicants because of the job conditions they will change on their own. When all the nannies get out of business we may recover. It’s pretty clear the nannies have it now and will do their best to stifle commerce.

Yes, I am jaded. I do enjoy a smoke. I never have and never will go anywhere to spend my recreational dollars at a business that hates me because I do enjoy a smoke.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Beware the $9.95 Special!!!

Auto Repair is one of the most common complaints the Nevada Consumer Affairs Division receives. Unfortunately, due to budget issues, Consumer Affairs was downsized. If you need to find out where to go for help, they are still there. 702-486-7355.

This email I received acts as a warning for anyone getting an oil change. Keep in mind these auto repair places will try two and three times to sell you more services. According to this viewer .. they were things she didn't need!!! They can suggest all kinds of things they claim you need, but you don't have to approve them. Remember the $9.95 special is just to get you in the door, often to sell you additional items.

Here's the email:

I just went to a "Econo Lube N' Tune" to get one of their $9.95 oil changes. I was told I needed the $29.95 service because I need a different weight of oil. Since I was already there I agreed. But then they came back a little while later and said I needed to flush the following:
Brake system, power steering, coolant and transmission. Plus I needed to replace the air filter and do a 2-step fuel system cleaning.
Just 8,000 miles earlier I had my car serviced at a dealership and they flushed the transmission fluid and checked everything out. So I checked the transmission fluid myself and it was pink, not brown like Econo Lube said and my husband just replaced the air filter just 1000 miles ago. Is there anyway we can warn the people about these ripe-off artist?

Consider yourself warned!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Questions About Fraud?

Here's your chance to get some good information about Fraud. The Nevada Fight Fraud Task Force is holding a series of gatherings at local libraries. I highly suggest you take part! Here's your chance to ask questions, or to let the Task Force know about something you think is fraudulent.

What is the Task Force? A group made up of local law enforcement, IRS, Department of Justice, Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection, BBB, Division of Mortgage Lending, The Postal Service .. and many other groups and agencies.

Seminars: All are from 7 to 8 pm.

Sunrise Library
Thursday, June 11

Enterprise Library
Thursday, June 25

West Las Vegas Library
Wednesday, July 15th

Clark County Library
Thursday, July 23rd

West Charleston Library
Thursday, August 6

Learn more at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Air Conditioning 101

With the hot weather here, at some point you're going to have an air conditioning issue.
My advice: spend a couple minutes doing a little research NOW on which company you'll be calling when the A/C goes out. Believe me, you won't want to do the research then.
Rather than just rely on the phone book or an internet search .. try this. Ask your friends who they use. Also call the Better Business Bureau and ask them what they know about the company you've chosen. The BBB rates air condtioning companies based on consumer problems, length of time in business, how they resolved complaints, etc. Companies are given a grade from A to F, and you will find out why the BBB has given them a particular grade.
One question you may want to ask, are the repair people sent to your home paid hourly, or are they on commission? If they're on commission they may be more likely to find a more expensive fix.

Here's what the BBB recommends:

Get 3 bids.
Ask friends for a reference.
Make sure the company and repair people are licensed and bonded.
Companies doing A/C repair work need to have a business license AND be licensed by the State Contractor's Board.
Do the companies provide workmen's comp coverage to their employees? (If they don't, you could be liable if they fall off your roof)
Check out the BBB's site here
If you have a problem with an A/C company, let the BBB know about it. You can file a complaint against a company and the BBB will get involved.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The World of On-Line Dating

If you know someone looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right ... you'll want to check out the story the News 3 Investigators did.
You can see it by clicking here.

Several days before the story aired I tried to contact for a comment. When the company did respond, they made no mention of what I asked them. Specifically, how often are customers being hit up for cash by people they've recently met on the site. I know they have this information, because the woman in our story filed a complaint with and one of the questions asked on the complain form is "Did this person ask you to send them money?".

Here's the official response.

In regards to your email, we are terribly sorry to hear about this members' situation. In addition to employing an excellent Customer Care team that constantly monitors, investigates, and removes fraudulent accounts, we also provide all of our members with valuable online dating safety tips that can be found here: makes no mention of Romance Fraud. But that looks like what happened to the woman in our story.
Romance Fraud: when a person befriends someone on line, pledges their love, and within a week or two makes a plea for money. It was one of the top scams on the 2007 Internet Complaint Center Annual Report.
This shouldn't stop you from trying to meet someone. But keep these things in mind.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


There are two bills aimed at the Out of State Plates issue circulating in Carson City.

Assembly Bill 291 increases the fine for failing to comply with the registration law up to $1,000. (The absolute minimum would be $250 if a person, after being cited, shows he or she did register their car.) As it stands now, an officer told me many of the citations are simply dismissed once someone finally shows they registered their car.
The bill would also allow Constables to demand and view the certificate of registration for any vehicle and to request information to determine whether a vehicle should be registered in the State. We've checked with Metro and they will only ticket a person for not registering their car if they are, say, pulled over for another reason. Metro will not ticket parked cars. A.B. 291 passed through the Assembly.
Senate Bill 218 does basically the same thing as A.B. 291. It could pass through the Senate as soon as today.
We've heard from a lot of you about this story. Some have reported businesses who are using out of state plated cars in the Las Vegas area to save money on registration. Another person reported a member of my home owner master association who lives here, sits on the board of a well known bank in town, and drives a car registered in Idaho? I don't know the guy .. but I'll ask him what the deal is.
Hopefully if these two bills pass, or they're combined into one, there will someday be a way for you to report people who are knowingly ignoring the law and not paying their fair share.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


If you didn't see our piece on out of state license plates, click here to see it.

We heard from a lot of you about the story. Some loved it, others .. not so much.
Some people in the military feel attacked, although we pointed out the exceptions to the law. By mistake, that was not made clear in the 11pm version, for which I apologize. It was noted on the 5pm version, the on-line version, and the version that ran in our Noon newscast.

(Active military and their family, out of state students who come to school here and part time residents, as long as they are not employed.)
Here's what the DMV says on its website:

You must be a Nevada resident and provide a Nevada street address to obtain a driver license.
Active duty military members, their dependents and others living temporarily in Nevada are not required to transfer their license and registration. If you obtain non-military employment, however, you become a Nevada resident and must obtain a Nevada license and registration.
Licenses are not issued to visitors, out-of-state students or foreign exchange students. Other foreign nationals may or may not be eligible for a license depending on their specific immigration status.
Other viewers say this is a complaint they've had for years and suggested places to look for offenders.
Here are portions of some of the many emails I received:

"I just watched your story tonight on the out of state plates. I have another place to look and I believe you will find alot. Look in the Casinos' Employee Parking Lot."

"I have a issue with my neighbors who live at Red Rock Country Club for over 5 years that still do not have Nevada plates on the cars. They have at least three cars that are here at all times."

"I think your news spot on 12 Mar about out-of-state license plates was absolutely unfair to military families. By law military members have the right to register their vehicles in their home state. You should have clearly pointed this out to the general public."

"I recently watched your broadcast concerning people who have out of state license plates but live in the state of Nevada, is there a number that one can call to report people of this nature.......I personally think it is unfair for those to have plates from states with lower rates then ours does...........i have a neighbor how has lived here now for close to 5 yrs and still has Washington plates on there vehicle, wish u would do more reporting on this subject, maybe it would scare people to abide by the law."

"I'm afraid my wife and I could have told you this six years ago. When we moved here in 2002 we registered our two cars right away. It was after that we noticed vehicles around us still had the out of state plates. Not for a month or two or three, but for years. Some vehicles STILL have them on. I don't know if the Nevada Department of Transportation doesn't care or there's nothing they can do about it."

"I understand you are doing a piece on the out of state vehicles in the valley. It's about time someone did. I've lived here 33 years and the out of state vehicles are getting out of hand. I've even seen vehicles with stickers from local schools that brag that their kid is an honor roll student. I understand that NHP had a program in place some years ago but dropped it. I don't know why."

We've got some updates planned on this .. so stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lobbyists & The Bailout

Here's something that you may find interesting. Despite all the trouble many banks are having these days, and the government money many of them have received .. they still found a way to spend dollars to lobby. An article from TheHill says JPMorgan Chase & Co. spent about $87,000 on lobbying lawmakers since November 2008. (including $5,000 to former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, $5,000 to Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $5,000 to the New Democrat Coalition.)
Chrysler's political action committee spend $62,500 in campaign contributions in December .. no doubt some of it went to those who agreed to bailout the company.
Since mid-November money spent on lobbying: American Bankers Association $132,000, Independent Community bankers Association $106,000.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Warning for Manufactured Homeowners

If you own a manufactured or mobile home ... we've got a warning for you.
Nevada's Department of Business and Industry says be wary of the "free" home inspections you might be offered.

Here's something else to keep in mind. Any company or person wanting to do work on your manufactured or mobile home must be licensed. There are two license options: General Services license or Specialty Services license. A General Service license allows a person to do repairs in all trades .. except air conditioning. Specialty license holders can do repairs only in the trade in which they're licensed .. like plumbing, electrical, etc.

Before anyone does an inspection .. even a free one ... call the Department of Business & Industry's Manufactured Housing Division 486-4590 to verify the license, and the business name!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hall of Shame!

Channel 3 viewers has passed along many suspicious emails, letters, and texts. And we thought they could be used as learning tools. So many people are reporting they received an email from their bank .. claiming their "personal information" needs to be updated. Banks don't send you emails to do that. It's part of something called "phishing". it's how people simply try to fool you into giving them your personal information.
We want to let you know we've assembled something called the "Hall of Shame". It's a collection of these bogus phishing attempts. So check it out. The more you know, the better off you are! See it HERE.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

State Budget Battles

A lot of talk about budgets. You may have heard the Governor say in his State of the State address he will cut his own salary by 6 percent, if state worker salaries are also cut, as he has proposed. He also asked his Constitutional officers to match his voluntary cut.

I called representatives for the other 5 Constitutional officers. Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki will do whatever is necessary if the legislature deems it's necessary to cut state employee salaries.

Secretary of State Ross Miller will also take a cut if the legislature decides to go that route. But, Miller believes the pay cut for state workers is not the best way to deal with the budget situation.

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto had this to say:
"A 6% cut to state employees is a short term solution to a long-term budget problem. It is shortsighted and fails to contribute to a sustainable fiscal policy for our state. If the legislature chooses to cut state employees salaries by 6% then I would be willing to stand in their shoes."

A representative for State Controller Kim Wallin said Wallin is on vacation and will provide a comment when she returns on Friday.

State Treasurer Kate Marshall says she will honor the 6% cut request if the legislature decides to cut state employee salaries.

If you are curious as to what these people make .. here you go:

As of January 2007, Governor's salary is $141,000.
As of January 2007, Lieutenant Governor's salary is $60,000.
As of January 2007, Secretary of State's salary is $97,000.
As of January 2007, State Treasurer's salary is $97,000.
As of January 2007, State Controller's salary is $97,000.
As of January 2007, Attorney General's salary is $133,000.

And for those of you curious about the salaries of Nevada Supreme Court Justices. Some of them are paid $140,000 and others are paid $170,000. Justices do not receive pay raises in the midst of their term. It kicks in when they are re-elected, or when a new person is elected to the position.