Family-unfriendly Hoa’s

Do you live in a neighborhood kept nice and tidy by a homeowners association? This is a good thing when it means little pocket parks for late-night dog-bladder duty. And a great thing when it means that the neighbor can’t permanently park his bug-spray van—the one with the ladder on top and the recluse-spider side mural—in front of your house.

But it is a less good thing when it means that your children cannot play sports in their own backyard. One of the unfortunate things about the most American of American sports—that’s basketball, not baseball, pal—is that it requires a 10-foot-tall piece of equipment. And many of our family-friendly Southern Nevada communities believe that such equipment brings irreparable damage to the family next door—you know, the absentee retirees maintaining a vacant investment property.

A common set of rules looks something like this: The hoop must be approved by both the association and the sub-association, which means the folks on all sides of your home must sign off, and that the hoop must be visible from nowhere in the universe, save from the sky directly above it. If it is visible, a “vegetation screen” not less than 10 feet tall must be planted to block out the offending equipment from innocent eyes.

So if you plan on getting your little Rebel a hoop for Christmas, be aware that it may necessitate the planting of about $5,000 worth of mature trees in the dead of winter. Translation: Buy the kid a Wii.

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By Mike Grimala

It looked like UNLV was in serious trouble on Tuesday night. Playing at Portland without one of the their best players, injured junior Mike Moser, the Rebels struggled through the first 20 minutes and it appeared as though they might actually lose to a Pilots team that entered the game with a 3-4 record. But thanks to a spirited performance from a pair of backcourt stalwarts, along with a frontcourt fill-in, UNLV rallied to secure a hard-fought road win.