GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

2017-09-07 - Las Vegas Weekly

Las Vegas Weekly

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B Y L E S L I E V E N T U R A I'm afraid of catching re at the gas pump. Ridiculous, you say—but if you knew how oddly static-ridden I am, maybe you'd understand. See, it's rare that I slide out of my car without hearing the snnaaapp! of static electric- ity. I shock myself on door handles constantly. My pants and couches simply do not get along. Perhaps I should change my brand of dryer sheets—but for now I'll stick to worrying about gas res. On days when I know I'll have to stop at the gas station, I try not to wear shoes that produce an excess of static, and I sure as hell don't wear poly- ester. As I roll up to the pump, I unplug my phone from its USB cord and ground myself by touching something metal … multiple times. Some call it superstitious; I call it wanting to live long enough to see the next season of Grace and Frankie. So when I saw video a few weeks ago of a car ablaze at my neighborhood Circle K, I freaked. I've never actually seen a gas pump fire, but watching that clip felt like witnessing a real-life nightmare. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the incident got me thinking more about my fear of these terrifying incidents. How common are they? Should I really be afraid, or is this just un- substantiated anxiety? I reached out to Clark County Deputy Fire Chief John Steinbeck to quell my nerves, and to my delight, he says gas pump res aren't common. "We do not respond on them very often, due to a thorough inspection program and gas stations fol- lowing proper industry safety procedures," he said. I might be the only one in Southern Nevada with this strange fear, but Steinbeck has some tips for not getting lit at the gas station nonetheless: Turn o your vehicle; never smoke or have any open ames while fueling your car; don't over ll or "tap-o " the tank; and never ll a portable container that isn't on the ground. He also advises avoiding sources of static, like electronic devices, or getting in and out of your car. "If a re starts, do not try to stop the ow of gasoline," Steinbeck says. Instead, "evacuate immediately and report spills to the attendant." A local gas pump re stokes a pre-existing anxiety For the fi rst time in UNLV's history, students living in the residence halls for the 2017- 2018 fall semester had the option to sign up for a LGBTQ-themed fl oor. Named Stonewall Suites after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the hall was the brainchild of resident assistant Sawyer Spackman, who spent last semester working up a proposal, with help from Residential Life Coordinator Andrew Lignelli. The fl oor is UNLV's fi rst gender-inclusive living environment, meaning those residents "may have roommates of a different gender than themselves," Lignelli says. All 36 residencies are currently fi lled—an- other fi rst for UNLV's special-interest housing halls—and there's currently a waiting list in case rooms become available. Lignelli says having Stonewall as an option has been especially positive for non-binary and trans students. "Housing placements can cause a lot of stress, so for these students it's a positive place where they can be their authentic selves." –Leslie Ventura LGBTQ STUDENTS GET THEIR OWN DORM FLOOR AT UNLV + FEAR FACTOR intersection A N D L I F E M E E T intersection A N D L I F E M E E T (Photograph by Mikayla Whitmore/Photo Illustration) L A S V E G A S W E E K LY 0 9 . 0 7 . 1 7

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