Wild Island Breaks Ground on New Attraction for Summer 2012


The first day of summer isn’t until June 20, 2012, but that isn’t stopping Wild Island Family Adventure Park from gearing up for the opening of the 2012 summer vacation season by breaking ground on a new attraction at its water park –  the only water park in Nevada.  Construction is underway on “Zulu,” a water slide that allows up to four people to race against each other on mats.  The ride has been in the works for more than 18 months and is the  first ride at Wild Island to accommodate groups of people at once, so a family or friends can experience the ride together.  Below is a news release with more details or click here.

The investment comes despite the continued sluggish economy, as Wild Island looks to continue to freshen up its product and stay current with a quality entertainment product for locals and visitors.  Zulu is expected to open on or around Memorial Day.

Please contact me if I might arrange at time for you to meet with Scott Carothers, general manager at Wild Island, about the new attraction and how one local business is re-investing in its product so guests get the greatest ROI for their discretionary dollar (that’s tighter and tighter these days).  Local construction crews will be working all week.

Author launches mystery series based in historic Reno


“Reno in 1949 was a hot town, with legal gambling, quickie divorces, legal prostitution just up the road – and gangsters, too, who kept a low profile,” says Nevada author Maggy Anthony about the historic Reno she knew and loved as an impressionable teenager. Anthony’s red-hot Reno of the 1940s and ’50s plays a starring role, alongside a small-town P.I. named Hank Faro, in her new mystery series launched this month with its first book, Death is a Crapshoot – A Hank Faro Mystery.

Full of well-researched details and first-hand accounts of such well-known Nevada luminaries as “Pappy” Smith of Harold’s, Lincoln Fitzgerald at the Nevada Club and Bill Harrah at Harrah’s, Anthony’s series brings Reno alive for history – and mystery – buffs.

“In 1953, as a teenager, I came to Reno from San Francisco with my mother when she moved here to get a divorce from my father,” Anthony said. “We stayed at a place owned by a retired brothel madam, Scottie’s Guest House just north of downtown, and experienced a whole new life. At 17, dressed-up, I was able to go to the clubs and see the action; the town and people fascinated me. I was mesmerized by the clubs and by their owners, who always seemed to have a presence in their clubs. In 1974, as a young divorced mother myself, I returned to Reno and went to work at the Nevada Club as a keno runner. ”

Now a retired family therapist, Anthony wrote her first book, Jung’s Circle of Women: The Valkyries, in the 1990s as a nonfiction chronicle of the women she encountered during her studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich. “I’ve published several books about people and places that intrigue me, and have always wanted to write about Reno of the Fifties,” she says. “Researching and writing the Hank Faro series has given me the opportunity of showing the Reno that had so attracted me, including the mix of characters in town from all walks of life and cultures. Death is a Crapshoot is the first of a planned series, intertwining the gambling and other aspects of Reno which made it the town it is.”

Anthony is also widely published as a novelist, poet and playwright, whose one-woman play, “Impossibly Blonde: Marilyn at 80,” premiered in 2004 and has been performed at the Nevada Museum of Art and in San Francisco. Anthony has taught extensively on mythology, dreams and issues of creative exploration, at Esalen Institute and the University of California, San Francisco, and in Reno at the YWCA’s Center for Living Well.

For more about the first Hank Faro mystery, which is available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook, and other books by Maggy Anthony, visit http://www.maanthony.com or http://www.amazon.com. Her blog is at http://www.maggyanthony.com. For more information, call Maggy Anthony at (775) 830-8212 or email grammadragon@yahoo.com.

Shaun T. Griffin to read poetry and prose at Sundance Books and Music


What: Shaun T. Griffin reads from his forthcoming book of poetry, This Is What the Desert Surrenders, New and Selected Poems (available from Black Rock Press, fall 2012) and from his forthcoming memoir Braiding the Wind – Thirty Years on the Comstock (also available from Black Rock Press, publication date TBD).

This reading is part of Sundance Books and Music’s month-long celebration of National Poetry Month.

Where: Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., Reno.

When: Tuesday, April 3, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

About Shaun T. Griffin:
Shaun T. Griffin is the co-founder and director of Community Chest, a rural social justice agency serving children and families in northwestern Nevada since 1991. For over 20 years he has taught a poetry workshop at Northern Nevada Correctional Center and publishes a journal of their work, Razor Wire. His most recent book of poems is Woodsmoke, Wind, and the Peregrine, from Black Rock Press in 2008. This Is What the Desert Surrenders, New and Selected Poems, will be published by Black Rock Press in the fall of 2012. He recently completed editing a book of essays on the late poet and critic, Hayden Carruth: From Sorrow’s Well. He received the Rosemary McMillan Lifetime Achievement in Art Award in 2006, awarded by Sierra Arts Foundation, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1995.

Since opening its doors in 1985, Sundance Books and Music has been dedicated to the service of books and book lovers. As a local, independent bookstore, Sundance is committed to strengthening and contributing to both our local and global communities.

Statement by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Affordable Care Act


Statement by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Affordable Care Act:

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the law that gives hard working, middle-class families the security they deserve.  It’s only been two years, but we’re already seeing that the law is making a difference in the lives of Americans.

It’s helping seniors. New data shows that more than 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare saved over $3.2 billion on prescription drugs because of the health care law. That’s about $635 per person in average savings and money back in the pockets of America’s seniors.

It’s helping women. Because of the Affordable Care Act, 45.1 million women – including 20.4 million women with private health insurance and 24.7 million women with Medicare – can receive recommended preventive services without having to pay a co-pay or deductible.  Important preventive services, like mammograms and Pap smears are free. And in 2014, insurance companies can no longer charge women higher premiums just because they’re women.

It’s helping young adults. Because of the law, 2.5 million more young people have health insurance coverage.

It’s reducing premiums and lowering costs. Your insurance company can no longer raise your premiums by double digits without justification. And the law helps you get the most from their premium dollar: The health care law requires that premium dollars must be spent primarily on health care, not administrative costs like overhead or CEO salaries. So far, an estimated 74.8 million people have been protected by this new requirement.

And the law is protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions such as cancer or asthma. Already nearly 49,000 people have enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, and it is now illegal for children under 19 to be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. The law also eliminated lifetime dollar limits on coverage for over 105 million Americans—they no longer have to live with the fear that if an illness strikes, they could max out their health coverage.

There are many more benefits to come from the law, too. Until then, learn more about the benefits, protections and programs of the Affordable Care Act at www.healthcare.gov. You can also see the stories of how Americans from across the country are benefiting from the law at www.healthcare.gov/mycare.

Artown Selects Local Artist and Welder for 17th Annual Festival Artwork

Local artist Montana Albitre was selected by Artown and a committee comprised of local arts representatives to create the signature look for the 17th annual Artown festival, held July 1-31 in Reno, Nev.  Each year Artown solicits local artists to submit their work for consideration and this year continued to prove the popularity of the honor with a record number of artists participating in the process – 19 in total.  Montana’s art serves as the foundation for Artown’s 2012 marketing components that include the annual poster, website and collateral including the Artown calendar, t-shirts and more.

The 26-year-old is a Reno native and works as a welder by trade. Although he has no formal artistic training, Albitre attributes his self-taught art to influences ranging from politics and religion to nature and beyond with a painting technique typical of oil portraiture, using several layers and glazes.  His paintings and sculptures have been featured in a number of regional galleries including: Nevada Museum of Art and Holland Show Space in Reno, Nev.; Northstar California in Truckee, Calif.; Patrick Painter Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif.; Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles; and Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the Artown commission, Albitre has received honorary awards and recognition including two Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and two awards for editorial cartooning in 2002 and 2003 from the Society of Professional Journalists.

For more information on Artown, visit www.RenoIsArtown.com or call the office at 775-322-1538.


Benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Nevada

DHHS logo


For too long, too many hardworking Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors.

The Affordable Care Act gives hardworking families in Nevada the security they deserve. The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition.

All Americans will have the security of knowing that they don’t have to worry about losing coverage if they’re laid off or change jobs. And insurance companies now have to cover your preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings. The new law also makes a significant investment in state and community-based efforts that promote public health, prevent disease and protect against public health emergencies.

Health reform is already making a difference for the people of Nevada by:

Providing new coverage options for young adults
Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family’s coverage, and, thanks to this provision, 2.5 million young people have gained coverage nationwide. As of June 2011, 22,640 young adults in Nevada gained insurance coverage as a result of the new health care law.

Making prescription drugs affordable for seniors
Thanks to the new health care law, 24,892 people with Medicare in Nevada received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. In 2011, 22,193 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount resulted in an average savings of $553 per person and a total savings of $12,274,764 in Nevada. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.

Covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay
In 2011, 230,891 people with Medicare in Nevada received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 477,000 in Nevada.

Providing better value for your premium dollar through the 80/20 Rule
Under the new health care law, insurance companies must provide consumers greater value by spending generally at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries or marketing. If they don’t, they must provide consumers a rebate or reduce premiums. This means that 615,000 Nevada residents with private insurance coverage will receive greater value for their premium dollars.

Scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases
In every state and for the first time under federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Nevada has received $5 million under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.

Removing lifetime limits on health benefits
The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits. Already, 937,000 residents, including 329,000 women and 269,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.

Creating new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions
As of the end of 2011, 579 previously uninsured residents of Nevada who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law. To learn more about the plan available in Nevada, check here.

Supporting Nevada’s work on Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Nevada has received $20.3 million in grants for research, planning, information technology development and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges.

· $1 million in planning grants: This grant provides Nevada the resources needed to conduct the research and planning necessary to build a better health insurance marketplace and determine how its exchange will be operated and governed. Learn how the funds are being used in Nevada here.

· $19.3 million in exchange establishment grants: These grants are helping states continue their work to implement key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Learn how the funds are being used in Nevada here.

Preventing illness and promoting health
Since 2010, Nevada has received $7.5 million in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. This new fund was created to support effective policies in Nevada, its communities and nationwide so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives.

Increasing support for community health centers
The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers in all 50 states, including the 28 existing community health centers in Nevada. Health centers in Nevada have received $3.7 million to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas, enable health centers to increase the number of patients served, expand preventive and primary health care services and support major construction and renovation projects.

Strengthening partnerships with Nevada
The law gives states support for their work to build the health care workforce, crack down on fraud and support public health. So far, Nevada has received more than $41.3 million from the Affordable Care Act. Examples of Affordable Care Act grants not outlined above to Nevada include:

· $161,000 to support the National Health Service Corps, by assisting Nevada in repaying educational loans of health care professionals in return for their practice in health professional shortage areas.

· $700,000 to help Nevada reduce health care fraud by identifying efficient and effective procedures for long-term care facilities to conduct background checks on prospective employees, thereby protecting its residents.

· $200,000 to support outreach to eligible Medicare beneficiaries about their benefits.

· $191,000 for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs.

· $400,000 to support the Personal Responsibility Education Program, to educate youth on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.

· $400,000 for disease demonstration projects, to test approaches that may encourage behavior modification among Medicaid beneficiaries and determine solutions.

· $2.4 million for maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting programs. These programs bring health professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and connect families to the kinds of help that can make a real difference in a child’s health, development and ability to learn – such as health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention and nutrition.

Governor’s mansion to go blue tonight


CARSON CITY – First Lady Kathleen Sandoval is pleased to join first ladies across the country in lighting the governor’s mansion blue this evening, March 21, in support of the “Light the Way” campaign, which helps spread awareness of recent revolutionary advances being made to empower individuals with Down syndrome.

“Brian and I are honored to help spread awareness of Down syndrome by lighting the mansion blue,” first lady Kathleen Sandoval said. “We believe that small acts like this can truly make a difference in the lives of our fellow Nevadans.”

The first lady joins New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie, who began the campaign.

Water and Rails Pond and Garden Railroad Tour to benefit ALS of Nevada


Visit more than 25 of Northern Nevada’s most spectacular ponds and garden railroads during the unique, two-day Water and Rails Pond and Garden Railroad Tour June 30 and July 1 and help a good cause.

Organized by MacLean Financial Group and Rail City Garden Center, the tour is now in its seventh year. Tickets are $25 for two people (children age 12 and younger are free).

The family-oriented Water and Rails Pond and Garden Railroad Tour event presents self-guided tours of serene gardens, koi-filled ponds and model trains that travel more than 1,000 feet of track, under tunnels and through miniature towns. It’s a fun day for all ages.

The self-paced tour allows you to visit as many of the ponds and gardens as you like. Pick up tips from the homeowners on the tour for your own garden.

Proceeds from the event benefit ALS of Nevada, an independent nonprofit organization serving ALS patients and their families in the Silver State.

ALS is a motor neuron disease and is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease after the New York Yankees baseball icon that was diagnosed with it in 1939 and died two years later.

ALS Nevada provides programs that offer emotional, physical and financial assistance to ALS patients and their families. Programs include home visits, medical equipment loans, counseling, a resource library, support meetings and more. ALS is progressive and always fatal. It affects the cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement.

Tickets are available at the MacLean Financial Group, 1325 Airmotive Way, Suite 390 in Reno and at Rail City Garden Center, 1720 Brierley Way in Sparks.

For more information and a full list of additional Water and Rails Tour ticket outlets, visit www.waterandrails.org or call 775-329-3041, extension 125, or 775-355-1551.

Tickets for 49th annual National Championship Air Races now on sale

Air Races logo 2012


The Reno Air Racing Association is now selling tickets for the 49th annual National Championship Air Races. In January, the organization announced that the 2012 event would take place Sept. 12-16, 2012, at Reno-Stead Airport. Tickets are available online at www.airrace.org or by calling 775.972.6663.

“The National Championship Air Races have provided a fun-filled racing experience for hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the globe for nearly half a century, and we are committed to preserving this historic and unique aviation event,” said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the National Championship Air Races. “The continued support of our incredible fans from within the northern Nevada community and around the world has been overwhelming, and we plan to put on a powerful and emotional celebration for them this year.”

In light of the tragedy of last September, the Reno Air Racing Association is planning a world-class memorial and tribute, as part of this year’s event, to those who lost their lives and for their family and friends. More details will be announced later this year.

The 49th annual National Championship Air Races will feature David Martin, Kent Pietsch, Patty Wagstaff, Jim Pietz flying a Bonanza and the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet. Additionally, the L-39 Patriot Jet Team will return to awe crowds with their recognizable red, white and blue smoke system and the notorious “Tail Slide” where the aircraft slides backward toward the ground.

The National Aviation Heritage Invitational will be on-site to recognize and celebrate some of the most well-known and historic restored aircraft from around the world. Pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike have the opportunity to cruise through the extraordinary display.

To purchase tickets for the 49th annual event or for more information about the National Championship Air Races, visit www.airrace.org or call 775.972.6663.

About the National Championship Air Races

Held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world.  In the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 200,000 spectators annually and generated more than $80 million a year for the region’s economy.  The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations. For more information on the National Championship Air Races, visit www.airrace.org.

ELKO: Applegate Trail Adventure at the California Trail Center



ELKO – This Wednesday, March 21, Elko City Manager Curtis Calder will present “A Modern Day Applegate Trail Adventure” at the California Trail Interpretive Center beginning at 7 p.m. This free presentation chronicles Calder’s motorcycle trip last summer along the historic Applegate Trail.

In 1846 Jesse and Lindsey Applegate were looking for a safer and more direct route into the Willamette Valley of Oregon. They blazed a route that became known as the Applegate Trail. Calder retraced this route from today’s Rye Patch Reservoir across the Black Rock Desert and through the High Rock Canyon to present day Cedarville, Calif. with a motorcycle-mounted video camera. Calder will present a travelogue featuring video along with narration.

The California Trail Interpretive Center, operated by the Bureau of Land Management, is eight miles west of Elko at I-80 Hunter exit 292. The center is closed for exhibit installation but will be open for special events, school groups and prearranged tours and meetings. The Center’s Grand Opening will be June 2, 2012 as part of the 9th annual California Trail Days. Visit www.californiatrailcenter.org or on.doi.gov/CTCElko or call (775) 738-1849 for more information.