NASA Space Apps Challenge takes off in The Biggest Little City


Header-LogoIn March, Reno was selected by NASA as one of 80 host cities around the world for the 2014 International Space Apps Challenge. Starting tomorrow, area software developers and programmers will begin their “attack” on five areas — human space flight, technology in space, robotics, asteroids and Earth watch — as part of the Biggest Little Space Apps Challenge hackathon.

The city of Reno is a sponsor of the event, which launches on Wednesday, April 9, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Reno Collective in downtown Reno. There will be a kickoff happy hour, challenge review, team formation and discussion of the plan for the two-day main event.

The main event will take place at the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. On Saturday, April 12, there will be hacking from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. This will resume from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 13. From 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, projects will be presented and judged.

Biggest Little Space Apps Challenge schedule:

April 9 – 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Reno Collective – Kickoff happy hour, challenge review, team formation and planning session
April 12 – 9 a.m.-10 p.m.  – UNR – Hack on a challenge
April 13 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m – UNR – Resume hacking
April 13 – 4-6 p.m. – UNR – Present challenge project and judging

Sandoval issues statement on BLM roundup of cattle in Clark County




LAS VEGAS — Governor Brian Sandoval made the following statement today:

“Due to the roundup by the BLM, my office has received numerous complaints of BLM conduct, road closures and other disturbances. I have recently met with state legislators, county officials and concerned citizens to listen to their concerns.

“I have expressed those concerns directly to the BLM. Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution.

“To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately.

“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.

“The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”

Celebrate National Library Week at a county library April 13-19


library-cardWashoe County Commissioners proclaimed April 13-19 as National Library Week at their April 8 meeting.

According to the ALA, libraries have historically served as our nation’s great equalizers of knowledge.  Today’s libraries help level the playing field by making both print and digital information affordable, available and accessible to all people.  The strength of libraries has always been the diversity of their collections and commitment to serving all people.

“The Washoe County Library System provides a wide range of opportunities for people with diverse needs and interests,” according to Library Director Arnie Maurins “That means providing the community with a tailor-made collection along with programs and services for people of diverse backgrounds, language abilities and technological skills.”

We invite you to join us during the week of April 13 in this celebration of libraries, a place where we all belong, and where we have something for everyone.  A snapshot of programs includes the following:

  • The Community Foundation of Western Nevada and KNPB’s Its Your Estate Series continues
  • Washoe County 4-H Program and the Cooperative Extension present Teens and Money offering tips for savings accounts and establishing a credit history responsibly.
  • Meet the Easter Bunny
  • Food for Fines, Story Times, E-Book Cafés, computer classes job seeking resources and much more; please check us out.
  • Library Board of Trustees will recognize the efforts of the 446 volunteers who donated over 13,000 hours to their local library in 2013.

 Programs are not limited to National Library Week; visit your local library anytime and find what you need.  For specifics on locations and times, please visit us online at or pick up a calendar of events at your local library.  Proclamation linked here.

City of Reno to ensure continued safety following loss of fire funding


Reno Fire Department

Image: City of Reno

The city of Reno has been notified that due to funding limitations our request for a Federal Department of Emergency Management Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant will not be funded, which will likely result in changes to Reno Fire Department operations.

“While this news is disappointing, the Reno Fire Department will continue to provide a high level of service to the citizens of Reno and support the priorities of the City Council to provide safe and livable neighborhoods and provide efficient and responsive city services,” City Manager Andrew Clinger says. “We knew this was a possibility, and we’ve been working on a restructuring plan for some time to ensure the continued safety of our citizens.”

The restructuring plan includes the following components:

  • Station Number 10/North Virginia Street will be added to the two stations currently being browned-out on a regular basis (Somersett/19 and Skyline/7).
  • Based upon data-driven workload analysis, we are confident that the districts currently being served by any stations required to be browned out will continue to be served within acceptable response times.
  • This plan will allow the operational flexibility to open all stations when conditions warrant.
  • Notice of layoffs of up to 35 personnel will be initiated on May 1, giving the employees impacted 60 days notice prior to separation of service.

“Our primary concern in this situation is for the 35 firefighters and their families who will be directly affected by these decisions,” Clinger says. “Impacted employees will be connected with an internal transition team to provide them with support resources.”

SAFER grants were created to provide federal funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters available in their communities.

County registrar prepares for primary elections

"Vote here" sign


"Vote here" signThe Washoe County Registrar of Voters Office is planning for a busy primary election coming up June 10. Early voting begins in Washoe County May 24 and will run through June 6 at 10 early voting locations throughout the county.

The registrar will have polling locations open Sundays again this year. The exact hours and location of the early voting sites will be posted later this week on the front page of the registrar’s website and listed under 2014 election information.

The Washoe County registrar, Luanne Cutler, said the staff will be studying the results. “Voter turnout on Sundays has historically been very low during the primary election season so we will be monitoring the numbers, as we always do, and prepare for the future with this data.”

To be eligible to vote in this year’s primary elections citizens can register by mail or at outside agencies like the DMV by May 10. After that citizens can register to vote May 10-20 in person at the Registrar of Voters Office at 1001 E. 9th St., Reno, or on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website.

Cooperative Extension presents weed-control education April and May

Cheatgrass is one of many invasive weeds that will be discussed at the Weed Extravaganza in Elko, Nev., April 29 – May 1, and at the Weed Warriors Basic Training May 21 – 22 in Reno, Nev. (also available in Carson City, Gardnerville and Winnemucca via videoconference).

Cheatgrass is one of many invasive weeds that will be discussed at the Weed Extravaganza in Elko, Nev., April 29 – May 1, and at the Weed Warriors Basic Training May 21 – 22 in Reno, Nev. (also available in Carson City, Gardnerville and Winnemucca via videoconference).

Cheatgrass is one of many invasive weeds that will be discussed at the Weed Extravaganza in Elko, Nev., April 29 – May 1, and at the Weed Warriors Basic Training May 21 – 22 in Reno, Nev. (also available in Carson City, Gardnerville and Winnemucca via videoconference).

UNCE NEWS — With this year’s drought, opportunistic weeds are expected to pose major challenges to those managing parks and recreational areas, public lands, ranches, farms and landscapes. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with other partners, has set the dates for two of its annual weed management educational events, with presentations planned to help Nevadans deal with this year’s weed challenges with the latest information available.

“Invasive weeds can out-compete native vegetation, crops and livestock forage. They can also pose fire hazards, lead to erosion and water quality issues, and impact wildlife habitat,” said Natural Resources Specialist Kent McAdoo with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, who is coordinating the first educational event, the Weed Extravaganza. “It’s important that everyone has the latest information to identify and control these weeds to minimize damage to our lands, wildlife, crops and economy.”

Weed Extravaganza: Elko, Nev., April 29 – May 1
The Weed Extravaganza workshop will be offered April 29 to May 1 at the California Trail Interpretive Center, 8 miles west of Elko, Nev. The workshop will discuss a wide range of topics aimed at giving land managers, ranchers and agricultural producers the latest information on controlling invasive weeds.

The event begins with the Elko County Weed Summit on April 29, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Range Professor Barry Perryman, from the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, will give a keynote presentation on “Using Fall Livestock Grazing for Cheatgrass Control.” There will be various updates on weed regulations, species and mapping from weed management associations, the Bureau of Land Management, the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. McAdoo will host an afternoon field trip demonstrating how to identify weeds during their vulnerable growth stages.

As part of the Weed Extravaganza, the Pesticide Applicator Training/Weed Identification and Management Workshop will be offered the next day, April 30, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This workshop is tailored for those seeking restricted-use pesticide certification. Topics will include weed identification and management, pesticide regulations, recordkeeping and equipment calibration, and worker protection.

The April 29 and 30 workshops are free, and participants attending both sessions can earn 14 continuing education units. Those planning to attend on April 29 are encouraged to RSVP to Candie Kevan at or 775-738-7291 by April 25 so that complimentary lunches can be provided for all participants that day. Certification exams will be offered at 7:15 a.m., May 1. The exam fee is $25 at the door. Nevada Pesticide Applicator Training Manual sets may be obtained for $15 at Cooperative Extension offices, or free online, at

The California Trail Interpretive Center is located just off I-80, at Hunter Exit 292.The Weed Extravaganza is sponsored by Elko County Association of Conservation Districts, Humboldt Watershed Cooperative Weed Management Area, the Nevada Department of Agriculture and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. For more information, call 775-738-7291.

Weed Warrior Basic Training: Reno, Carson City, Gardnerville and Winnemucca, Nev., May 21 – 22
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will offer an introductory-level weed-management training, the Weed Warriors Basic Training, 1 to 5 p.m., May 21 and 8 a.m. to noon, May 22 at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno. The workshops will also be available via videoconference at Cooperative Extension offices in Carson City, Gardnerville and Winnemucca.

This eight-hour, two-day training introduces participants to the principles of Integrated Weed Management and focuses on identifying and managing noxious weeds of local importance. There are more than 30 volunteer-staffed Cooperative Weed Management Areas in Nevada, and Cooperative Extension’s Weed Warrior Program provides the training for many of their volunteers.

At the May 21-22 training, more than 30 species will be discussed, with a focus on 12 high‐priority invasive weeds. Topics will include weed law, identification, biology and control. The fee for the two half-day sessions is $50 and includes program supplies, a binder of weed identification and control information, and refreshments. Preregistration by May 2 is required, and certified pesticide applicators can earn eight continuing education credits for attending. The workshop is supported by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the Truckee Meadows Weed Coordinating Group. Contact Melody Hefner at or 775-336-4881 for more information or to register.

Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to attending any of these weed management educational events.

Concrete canoe team dominates regionals with first-place win

UNR logoMonths of weekend trainings and more than 3,000 man hours of design and construction work paid off in a big way for the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Engineering concrete canoe team last weekend. Thirty-nine civil engineering students competed in the two-day Mid-Pacific Regional Conference hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers and California State University, Fresno in central California. Competitions included concrete canoe, steel bridge, transportation, water research, water treatment and geo-wall.

In the concrete canoe competition, teams competed for the highest score in four areas: a composite of five races, canoe aesthetics/final product, design paper and oral presentation. The co-ed races were cancelled this year due to weather. The University’s canoe team, Alluvium, finished first in all categories and was named the overall winner of the concrete canoe composition, which was announced during the awards banquet Saturday, April 5.
“Our paddling team dominated in the men’s and women’s endurance races and the men’s and women’s sprints,” Josh Wang, the University’s 2014 President of the ASCE-AGC Student Chapter, said. “We did great competing among the likes of Berkeley, Sacramento State and Tongji University and we want to thank everyone for their support of the University’s ASCE chapter.”
The University’s water-treatment team took second place for both design paper and oral report. Throughout the competition, students also participated in athletic and team-building activities such as volleyball and tug-of-war, and engineering events like bowling, where students designed and created their own bowling balls made out of concrete.
“Congratulations to our students and faculty who continue to exemplify excellence, commitment and exemplary team work that has led to another first place in the Mid-Pac competition,” University of Nevada, Reno College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis said. “This brings reputation and credibility to the department, the College and the University and makes all of us very proud of our students and their accomplishments. I wish you the best in the national competition.”
The University’s concrete canoe team started in 2005 with a fifth place at the regional competition. Since, the team has placed first at regionals in 2007, 2008, and from 2010 to 2013. The team has also been an annual contender at national competitions since 2006, finishing in first place in 2008 with the Argentum team.
“Congratulations to President Johnson and the University’s ASCE Student Chapter, Faculty Advisor David Sanders and Practitioner Advisor Kelly Doyle for all their hard work in continuing the University of Nevada, Reno’s tradition of excellence at the Mid-Pacific Regional Conference,” said Tony Lau, ASCE Region 8 Governor

Rounds Bakery announces new ownership


RoundsBakery-FinalLogoSesamePoppyReno’s supplier of bagels, doughnuts and deli sandwiches announces new ownership and an extended product line.

Shortly after the grand opening of its new and expanded facility, previous owner Zak Gilbert made the decision to sell Rounds pursuing other opportunities outside of northern Nevada. Business partners, Anton Novak and Sean Cary, bought the brand and baking facility in March offering the same menu, while adding new items to reach a broader range of consumers.

“We’d been looking for a baking facility to produce our line of gluten-free products,” said Cary. “When we saw that Rounds was for sale, we were delighted. Luckily, for us, Zak stayed on for the first couple of weeks to help with the transition. We wish him the best of luck with his new endeavor.”

Novak and Cary are actively expanding Rounds’ product family to include an entire line of gluten-free breads, rolls and a signature pizza crust; plus a whole line of Paleo Diet-friendly items are currently under development.

To learn more about Rounds Bakery, visit them online at, follow them on Facebook at or visit them at 294 E. Moana Lane, Reno, Nev.

Zed to highlight European Roma apartheid at ‘Day of Remembrance’


Rajan Zed. Photo by Debbie McCarthy.Religious statesman Rajan Zed will speak about the apartheid conditions faced by Roma (Gypsy) people of Europe at the University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on April 7. Zed’s talk is part of the second annual “Day of Remembrance” organized by UNR’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Other speakers include Dr. Emily Hobson of UNR’s “Gender, Race and Identity Program”; Dr. Fred Holman, UNR’s vice provost; Lydia Lebovic, Auschwitz survivor; April Voytko Kempler and Paul Kempler, relatives of a Holocaust survivor; Ric Thompson, son of a World War II veteran; and Daniel R. Sanchez, interfaith youth leader.

“As we remember all whose lives were lost or forever altered by the Holocaust and by genocides around the world, we are challenged to think about what might motivate us to respond to warning signs of genocide today. History teaches us that genocide can be prevented if people care enough to act,” the event announcement says.

Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, will highlight the sufferings European Roma face, including social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse and racist slogans on the Internet.

Zed points out that it is simply immoral to watch this around 15 million population of Europe continually suffer and face human rights violations since their presence in Europe going as far back as ninth century CE, and do nothing.

The event, starting at 5:00 p.m. at UNR’s Knowledge Center Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

County displays students’ artwork from Fair Housing poster contest



WashoeCountyDistrictHealthDeptLogoThe Silver State Fair Housing Council (SSFHC) recently completed its 18th annual Fair Housing Poster Contest, and many of the student submissions will be on display at Washoe County buildings throughout April.

The contest theme was “Welcome Home,” and entries were received from more than 200 students in grades 1-8 from the Washoe County School District. Posters will be on display during the month of April in the County’s 9th Street Administration building lobby, and the winning posters will be on display at the Downtown Library in Reno. Reno City Hall will also display some of the artwork.

SSFHC designed the contest to help students understand the federal and state fair housing laws. Under these laws, all residents of Nevada have equal access to housing regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, family status, disability, ancestry, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

All students who submitted a poster will receive a certificate of participation, and an awards reception will be held to publicly announce the winners and celebrate National Fair Housing Month in April. Prizes include passes to the Nevada Museum of Art and inclusion in SSFHC’s Fair Housing calendar.

WHAT: The Silver State Fair Housing Council 18th annual poster contest with more than 200 participating school children.

WHERE/WHEN: Washoe County Administration Building Lobby, 1001 E 9th St., Reno, beginning Tuesday, April 1, and at the Downtown Reno Library, 301 S. Center St., Reno, beginning Thursday, April 17.

For more information on SSFHC, visit

View the poster winners online: Bethany, Kylie, Zandra and Grace.