Dangerous Nevada: How the Silver State was victimized by bad journalism

Image courtesy of .v1ctor Casale on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/
Image courtesy of .v1ctor Casale on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/

Image courtesy of .v1ctor Casale on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/

In case you missed it, Nevada recently was dubbed by Gannett’s USA Today as one of “the most dangerous states in America.”

Nevada was ranked number two in the most crimes for 2013, just under Tennessee, which takes the top spot, according to the article’s authors. The origin of the claim is the 2013 release of the FBI’s annual crime statistics.

The USA Today, along with dozens of other media outlets, was regurgitating 247WallSt.com when listing statistics like this for Nevada: Violent crimes per 100,000 people in the state are at 607.5. The poverty rate is 16.4%. The percent of Nevada’s population with an undergraduate degree or higher is 22.4%. And: Property crimes per 100,000 residents are the 23rd highest in the U.S. at 2,809.4. The exact words from 247WallSt:

“Nevada ranks among the worst in the country for its robbery rate, motor-vehicle theft rate and aggravated assault rate. It also ranks high in categories like burglaries and forcible rape. Much of the crime, state officials maintain, comes from the swarms of tourists who visit Las Vegas, Reno and other cities with casinos and related entertainment. Factor out the casino traffic in Reno, and local crime rates are similar to the rest of the nation, Emmanuel Barthe, a criminal justice professor at the University of Nevada Reno, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Nevada also has among the lowest high school and college graduation rates.”

What’s unfortunate about the news media’s characterization, and choice of statistics to list together – crime, educational attainment, poverty rate – is that analysis of these trends relies on only one source who isn’t even cited in the article as supporting the listing of these figures altogether.

Most egregious, the reporters ignore the specific recommendations from the FBI about drawing too many conclusions from the crime data. The exact caution issued publicly by the FBI is available here. Here’s the first paragraph:

“Each year when Crime in the United States is published, many entities—news media, tourism agencies, and other groups with an interest in crime in our nation—use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rankings, however, are merely a quick choice made by the data user; they provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction. Consequently, these rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.”

In short, don’t do exactly what the news media did. They comingled select and incomplete statistics that weren’t in the original FBI report. And they used only one expert source to provide context for their article.

To their credit, the authors cited a UNR professor who helped explain Nevada’s statistics, but that didn’t stop them from making grand claims about which states are “the most dangerous” based on incomplete datasets.

Had the authors been paying attention in their social sciences courses, they would have perhaps remembered a source such as this one, which explains the shortcomings with the FBI crime report’s methodology.

The most obvious is that Uniform Crime Reporting presents only part of the picture of crime in the U.S. Another measurement is the National Crime Victimization Survey, “which ask(s) victims of crimes about their experiences … partly in response to the inability of the Uniform Crime Report to provide accurate estimates of the dark figure of crime.”

The article made for a nice headline and a two-day media blitz. But at the end of the day, the news reporting was mostly meaningless as to the complexity of the serious issue of crime in America, and in Nevada. It also created a false and widely asserted impression that Nevada is a highly dangerous place to visit.

That is what’s dangerous: Because if supposedly informed journalists can’t reliably filter public information, how can we expect their consumers to also reliably understand it?

Bob Conrad, Ph.D., is co-founder of ThisIsReno.com and author of Spin: How the News Media Misinform and Why Consumers Misunderstand.

Summer exhibits in Dayton, Nevada, champion young artists and musicians

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DAYTON, Nev. — Cheyenna Burrows of Dayton, 17, is the official curator for a series of changing art exhibits at the Dayton Valley Community Center this summer titled “Emerging Artists.”  Burrows says she’s learned a lot – and  quickly-  about the submission process, reviewing proposals, promoting exhibits, and new trends in art.  The opening for the first exhibit on June 28 included a diverse range of art by Brandi Gontang, Chantel Dean, Sara Cornwell, Cheyenna Burrows and Lettie Lynch, and will run through July 10. The next opening reception, featuring emerging artists like Savannah Parsons, Jason Clark, Cheyenne Shoup and Laycie Corley, and others, is this Thursday, July 12 from 3 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

Burrows is working closely with exhibit designer Morgan Claypool, 15. Claypool took the challenge of showcasing local beginning artists and musicians and showed exceptional talent for organization and design during the first show last week. She said she plans to attend UNLV and study Business and Hotel Administration with the goal of becoming a convention planner.   The July 12 exhibit will allow her to put into practice her skills as a designer and planner with an entirely different group of artists.

Emerging Artists You’ll Meet at the July 12 Show:

Tim Taylor, 17, Dayton: One of Tim Taylor’s pieces was chosen from among entries throughout Nevada to hang in U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei’s Reno office. His was woodcut, “Chill,” was among the award winning pieces in the  2012 Congressional Art Competition for the 2nd Congressional District. Tim Taylor has been the recipient of a number of  other art awards as well, including the Nevada Museum of Art Scholastic Art Awards

Chantel Dean, 18, Dayton: Chantel is majoring in art at BYU -Idaho beginning in September. Her work includes acrylic and water color paintings, oil pastels, and pen and ink drawings, as well as mixed media. She has won awards through the Nevada Museum of Art Scholastic Art Awards.

Jason Clark,31, lived most of his life in Dayton, NV and will be showing paintings and photography. He notes, “I’ve never shown my photos but I believe its time. I studied art at both Western Nevada College and at the University of Nevada,Reno. Many have defined my art as graffiti-like with a contemporary touch. My work is currently being exhibited in Reno at Eye Candy and was exhibited at Brewery Arts Gallery in Carson City in June 2012. I’m also a current member of the Nevada Artist Association and hang art at the Brewery Arts Center.”  He says inspirations for his work are artists like Christian Reese Lassen, Bansky, Walfrido Garcia, and Nathan Oda.  You can find more about Jason at his website:

http://www.bluecanvas.com/JASONCLARK

Savannah Parsons, 17, was born in Salt Lake City but has lived in  Dayton most of her life. You’ll see her acrylic paintings, oil pastel drawings, watercolors, and pen and ink art at the exhibit, as well as some of her poetry. Savannah notes that her aunt, grandmother, mother and father have been very supportive of her interests in art, and states, “My aunt, grandma and mom are some of the most creative people I know.” Savannah has won art awards through the Nevada Museum of Art Scholastic Art Awards

Cheyenne Shoup, age 17, Silver City (in Lyon County 7 miles from Dayton and 4 miles from Mound House).  Cheyenne’s work includes charcoals and sketches. She writes, “Really I have never been much of a painter or canvas artist. My sister inherited those genes from my father and I was blessed with exceptional stick figures. It wasn’t until a few months ago when one of the fellow artists in this exhibit Sara Cornwell, who happens to be my best friend, gave me some tips and helped me discover what could do. Mainly, I think I was always afraid of art because I was embarrassed of what I would make or because it didn’t look as good as what other people produced. It took me a long time to realize that art isn’t how well you do something, it is how you make an idea, a part of yourself and inspiration into something that is moving, noticed and above all something unique to the human eye”

Lettie Lynch, 17, Dayton: Lettie’s unique art attracted the admiration of staffers at Congressman Amodei’s office this spring during the  Congressional Art Competition for the 2nd Congressional District.

Laycie Corley, 21, graduated from Dayton High but lives in Carson City now. Corely has an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts. Her work includes oil paintings and charcoal drawings.

Mini- Arts Incubator for Emerging Artists: This summer Healthy Communities Coalition and its partner Community Roots are championing the region’s young artists and musicians by providing opportunities for them to produce and actively participate in the Arts. Youth from Lyon and Storey towns are creating their own art shows and performances, and participating in field trips and workshops.  These emerging artists will have opportunities to show their work or to perform in public spaces, to design art exhibits and organize opening receptions, to learn more about the business side of the Arts, to visit area museums and art installations, and to meet established professional artists and learn more about organizations like the Holland Project, Captial City Arts Initiative, St. Mary’s Art Center, NadaDada Motel, Raw Artists, Nevada Arts Council, and Reno Collective.

The Coalition will also work with a number of different groups and individuals this summer to offer area teens chances to visit the Nevada Museum of Art, Shakespeare at Sand Harbor, and Artown events, and to take a workshop on the business side of selling and marketing their art and music.

Purpose: Christy McGill, director of Healthy Communities, explained that the purpose of the summer project is to “spark creative thinking and output – there’s a lot of creativity in our midst. But there needs to be a social infrastructure that supports and values this kind of “creative capital.”  One of the goals of the Coalition is that people not only view and listen to the arts, but also have more opportunities to actively participate and produce their own art, music, theatre, and film. There’s a growing awareness in the world that arts and culture are not luxuries, but essential to fostering assets like intellectual, creative and community capital.”

Next Events: An opening reception for the next exhibit in the “Emerging Artists” series takes place on Thursday, July 12 from 3pm-8:30pm at the Dayton Valley Community Center at 170 Pike Street. The event is free and includes live music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and meet-and-greet opportunities with the artists and musicians. This exhibit closes on July 26.

Contact: Young artists and acoustic musicians from Lyon and Storey Counties who are interested in performing acoustic music or submitting art for future events can contact Cheyenna Burrows through the Facebook group page “Community Center Art Shows”:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/355040694565641/ or  Quest Lakes at 775-287-7598 for more information.

Nevada provides best viewing locations for annular eclipse

Photo credit: NASA.gov

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

CARSON CITY, Nev. – On Sunday, May 20, eclipse-chasers will have to travel to the western United States to view the spectacular annular solar eclipse, and Nevada will get the lion’s share of eclipse viewing.

Too bad for those on the East Coast – the sun will have already set for them by the time the eclipse happens. But for those along the eclipse’s routeacross the United States – sweeping southeast across the top corner of California, right

Photo credit: NASA.gov

through the width of Nevada, a sliver of southwestern Utah, the northeastern corner of Arizona and New Mexico into central Texas – the sun will show as only a “ring of fire” around the moon.

Several locations around Nevada are welcoming visitors to viewing parties and events. Reno is one of the few U.S. cities directly in line with the eclipse, which will start in the Biggest Little City at 5:15 p.m., be at its greatest at 6:31, and end at 7:37. (check out this photo guide to see what to expect)

The Fleishmann Planetarium, located on the University of Nevada campus in northern Reno, is hosting a free viewing party from 5 to 7 p.m. at its MacLean Observatory. Visitors can bring a picnic dinner or purchase food at nearby restaurants.

The Nevada Historical Society will be hosting a free viewing party at the University of Nevada Redfield Campus on the south end of Reno. Visitors are invited to gather from 4 to 7 p.m.

The eclipse will also cross the southern tip of Pyramid Lake, and the absence of light pollution and the mystique of the ancient lake will provide the adventurous types an unforgettable view of the eclipse. The town of Nixon is about 45 miles northeast of Reno and has full services. Take a short drive out to the lake, and just look up into the sky around 5:30 p.m.

Great Basin National Park, near the border with Utah and about four hours north of Las Vegas, will have 10 telescopes set up at its visitors center in Baker, Nev., from about 3 p.m. and will broadcast live video of the eclipse on a large screen.

Nevada’s state parks along the eclipse path are also great places to spend the day and then witness the unusual phenomenon in the evening sky. Check out Fort Churchill near Fallon, Berlin-Ichythosaur right in the middle of Nevada and Cathedral Gorge on the eastern edge of the state for ideas on where to view the eclipse.

Las Vegas is just off the eclipse path, but visitors to Las Vegas can join a viewing party at the College of Southern Nevada Planetarium from 4 p.m. The planetarium will present “Secrets of the Sun” in the theater at 4:30 p.m. and telescopes will be set up at the Student Observatory for public viewing. The Astronomy Store will be selling solar-viewing glasses for $2.50 to make viewing of the eclipse safe for the eye.

The best viewing for those in Las Vegas will be by taking an excursion to Grand Canyon West. Visitors will experience one of the most dramatic solar events at one of the planet’s most breathtaking landmarks. The eclipse occurs near sunset at approximately 7:30 p.m. Visitors that mention “eclipse” while booking online by calling 1-888-868-9378 will be given 10 percent off any Grand Canyon West package.

During the day leading up to the event, visitors can enjoy all three viewpoints at Grand Canyon West including Guano Point, Hualapai Ranch and Eagle Point where they can walk the Skywalk, watch Native American performances, tour a Native American Village and more. There are limited overnight cabins available at the Hualapai Ranch, so those visitors looking for accommodations after the eclipse will need to book as soon as possible because it is first come, first serve.

Nevada’s dark night skies are also a perfect place to see the transit of Venus on June 6. Check out the town of Tonopah any night of the week, all year long, for the best stargazing in the United States.

For more information on adventures to be had in Nevada, visit www.TravelNevada.com.

-end-

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. NCOT promotes and markets Nevada as a tourism destination through its marketing and advertising programs and by coordinating partnerships between public and private entities in tourism-promoting activities. NCOT administers a grant program for local entities to promote tourism and publishes Nevada Magazine.

 

Lee Alverson in Tribute to Elton John, Billy Joel and Jerry Lee Lewis at the Carson Valley Inn July 8, 9

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MINDEN, Nev. — Gifted stage performer Lee Alverson will be doing special costumed tributes to Elton John, Billy Joel and Jerry Lee Lewis in the Carson Valley Inn Cabaret Lounge on Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9. As with all Cabaret Lounge Entertainment at the Inn, there is no cover charge and no drink minimum – enjoy it for free!

Lee has the ability to captivate audiences with his singing and his dazzling rock ‘n’ roll piano playing. He has performed well over 3,000 shows with appearances in 38 states including clients such as Intel Corp, Universal Studios and Coca Cola. For the past 10 years, Lee has taken on the role of “Tribute Artist” becoming one of the most successful Elton John Impersonators in the world with endorsements by United Tribute Artists International and The Elton John International Fan Club. He also

Lee’s 8 p.m. shows each night will start with a Jerry Lee Lewis tribute and end with a Billy Joel tribute. His Elton John Tribute begins at 10 p.m. both nights.

The Carson Valley Inn (www.carsonvalleyinn.com) is located on US Highway 395 in Minden, NV near the start of State Highway 88, 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe’s south shore and 45 minutes south of Reno.  The property includes a recently remodeled casino, 153-room hotel (including seven just-remodeled suites and 40 just-remodeled deluxe rooms), 74-room motor lodge, 59-site RV Park and a convenience store with Shell gas and diesel fuel.  Three dining facilities include Katie’s, Job’s Perk and CV Steak, a Nevada-style steakhouse featuring steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta and more.

When a Renoite leaves the country, part 2

bridgetMeade_042

Bridget Meade (photo by Calvert Photography)

PART II: I have to pay for this trip?

On June 23, I will board my flight to Rome. It wasn’t until Friday, June 10 that I knew for sure my trip would be funded. Part of the requirements to be able to travel was that I receive financial aid to study abroad. As one can imagine, graduate school and a mortgage do not allow for travel funds. It turned out be a lesson in persistence and patience.

When I first consulted UNR’s financial aid department, they informed me I would be eligible for summer financial aid as long as I enrolled in five graduate level credits. Between my internship credits and the graduate level travel writing course I’ll be taking in Viterbo, Italy, this wasn’t a problem. The clerk at the desk handed me a couple of forms to fill out and return.

In early May, I returned those forms along with a completed FAFSA. At the time, the clerk told me I should be able to receive ample funds due to my December 2011 graduation date (they would pull funds from Spring 2012 because I won’t be in school. She commended me on seeking financial aid early. “We have so many students who ask about summer financial aid in the middle of June,” she said. “By then it is too late.”

I didn’t expect any news for a few weeks. For financial reasons, I originally planned to delay the purchase of my plane ticket even though I’d paid a large deposit toward USAC. I was locked in as far as they were concerned. After telling my mom about it, she took pity on me (or maybe she was just tired of hearing me worry) and loaned me the money for my ticket. Even though I knew my purchase was close to the time of my departure and during peak travel season, I was shocked at how much it cost. When I first traveled abroad, my tickets were $600-$800. This time, I paid $1,900.

When a few weeks passed and I hadn’t heard anything, I began to get nervous.  I contacted my financial aid advisor via e-mail, asking if my file were complete, and if so, when I could expect news as to what type of aid I would receive. She replied the next day: “All students had to wait for Spring 2011 grades to post before they could receive an offer for summer. You will receive an offer letter in the mail once it is processed and those will begin going out next week. The adjustments will be visible in ePAWS on your Financial Aid Offer and Student Disbursements pages once the information is available to view.”

My grades had posted and I had done well last semester. I assumed from her email that my file was complete. I was wrong. I followed up the day after Memorial Day as I still had yet to hear anything. The clerk at the desk informed me that my USAC class was listed as an undergraduate class and that I was ineligible. I called USAC while in the financial aid office to inquire. The coordinator informed me that the teacher listed for the travel writing class was unqualified to teach graduate students as he/she did not have a PhD. My anxiousness was already high because I was concerned about my funds and her words made my anxiety skyrocket. I knew my thesis advisor from the Reynolds School of Journalism was supposed to be teaching the class in Italy. I told the coordinator this and asked why their standards were different than the UNR.

“Oh,” she said. “I think something is wrong in my system. I’ll put you in another graduate level class so you can receive your financial aid offer letter and we’ll get this worked out.”

When I checked with the financial aid department two days later, they told me USAC had placed me in a graduate class in London. They wouldn’t process my loans until I was registered in a graduate level class in Viterbo, Italy. I was furious. I called USAC’s coordinator who explained the Viterbo class was previously for undergraduate students only and that they needed approval from several departments on campus to change my registration.

“Excuse me,” I snapped. “Your brochure said this was a graduate level class. I don’t understand why this wasn’t taken care of before. How long will this approval process take?”

I knew USAC’s deadline for proof of financial aid was less than a week away. When I reminded her of the impending deadline she said, “I’ll see to it that it gets resolved by Friday. Let’s not panic until Tuesday or Wednesday next week.”

The funny thing is, I was already panicking and someone telling me to not do so until the day of an important deadline isn’t a way to calm my nerves. I sent an email to USAC’s accounting department explaining my problem and hoped it would be resolved in time. I didn’t have a choice but to let it go.

By Friday, my class situation was resolved. I called the financial aid office that Friday afternoon to verify my file was ready to be processed.

“We don’t see your loan applications in our system,” they told me. “They are due today…”

I arrived at their office two minutes before closing time. On the way there, I reminded myself that losing my temper would be counter productive. As I filled out my paper work, the clerks apologized for my trouble when I told them losing my paperwork was unacceptable. This time, I made sure to get date-stamped copies of everything.

“Our financial aid advisors are in Vegas for a conference,” the student employee told me. “They’ll start reviewing files Monday. Your original paperwork is probably on someone’s desk in the back or we lost it. We think some advisors also took paperwork with them to Vegas.”

This caught my attention. Before my return to school, I worked in human resources and while I was irritated that my paperwork was not properly handled, I understood how it happens. Between statewide budget cuts and President Glick’s unexpected death, the University of Nevada Reno had a tough semester. Things get misplaced when people are stressed and overwhelmed. Summer sessions require quick in their turn around time and they are transitioning from registration system ePAWS to MyNevada. I knew this was a situation where mistakes are bound to happen.

What I didn’t understand is why files are being transported out of the office.  I sent an email to my financial aid advisor and the head of the department regarding my issues and have not received a response. I hope the student workers were mistaken with their information. Considering the rampant identity theft problems in today’s society, it seems this is bad protocol if it isn’t already against university policy. Either way, this experience taught me to get copies of everything I turn into their office and to follow up in person. Email inquiries seem to be disregarded and I’m not patient enough to be on hold.

By last Wednesday, my family agreed to help out with expenses that financial aid wouldn’t cover. I felt bad, as I was confident at the beginning of my planning that I could finance my trip without family assistance. Thursday night, I received financial aid sent me an offer letter stating that I would receive the necessary assistance.

When I turned in direct deposit forms to UNR’s cashier office Friday, I admitted that the financial aid department probably groans whenever they see me approach the desk. I know I was a bit of a pain.

“I’m really nice until someone misplaces my forms and I’m a few weeks away from leaving the country for 5 weeks,” I told the lady behind the counter. She laughed and told me she didn’t blame me.

Now that my biggest obstacle has been resolved, I’m counting the days until June 23. I’ve stopped hyperventilating when people ask me if I’ve started packing. Instead, I laugh and say it’s on my to-do list.

Bridget Meade is an Interactive Journalism graduate student at the Reynolds School of Journalism. She decided to pursue her Master’s in Journalism after she discovered personal blogging several years ago. As a result of online communities like 20-Something Bloggers and the new friends she met all over the world, Bridget’s interests expanded and she redefined her personal and professional goals. Her interests are in social media, specifically Twitter, technology, and networked news. She enjoys snarky humor, the ocean, all things Italian, wine, and time with her 90 lb German Shepherd, Keo.

Reno Air Races names Marie Bodman 2011 Person of the Year

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RENO, Nev. The Reno Air Racing Association Board of Directors announced Marie Bodman, president of Breitling USA, as the 2011 Person of the Year.  Breitling has been a sponsor for the National Championship Air Races for the past eleven years.  As president, Marie continues to invest the company’s effort in the Air Races, providing dedication, commitment and support for the continuation of the event.

“The “Person of the Year” award singles out an individual who has made a major contribution to the success of the Air Races,” said Mike Houghton, President and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association.  “Marie joins a long list of aviation notables such as Bob Hoover, Moya Lear, Bill Stead and Herb Kelleher, to name few, who are members of our Hall of Fame, as well as members of our Board of Directors.”

Marie Bodman was born in France and immigrated to the US in 1975. She began a career in the watch industry and was hired by Breitling in 1989 to re-introduce the brand to the US market.  For the past 21 years, Marie has worked diligently to build Breitling’s presence through a retail distribution of just over 300 doors to the opening of the Flagship boutique in Manhattan this month.

In 2004, Marie chose to expand Breitling’s relationship with the National Championship Air Races by becoming a presenting sponsor.  This partnership has proven, year-after-year, that a successful business partnership can only be achieved when the people behind it truly believe in each other’s products. Under her leadership, she introduced John Travolta to the Reno Air Races which helped launch a worldwide ad campaign featuring John Travolta in Reno. That campaign has spread the Air Race brand to many countries.  Despite her demanding responsibilities here and in Europe, Marie continues to evolve the relationship with Breitling USA and the Reno Air Races. Recently, Marie and Breitling pledged their support for the National Championship Air Races through the 50th Anniversary in 2013.

“The relationship with Breitling is one that we are honored and humbled to have experienced,” said Terry Matter, Chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association.  “Their continued support has allowed us to produce this event for our incredible fans and aviation enthusiasts around the world and we look forward to another thrilling year.”

The 48th annual National Championship Air Races is the premier air racing event in the world.  The air races take-off on Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept.18, 2010 at the Reno Stead Airfield.  For more information, please 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 per year and has 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, obtain media credentials or purchase tickets for next year’s event, visit www.airrace.org.

Catholic-Muslim-Hindu-Protestant-Buddhist-Jewish leaders connect in dialogue

Left to right: Imam Abdul Rahim Barghouthi, Rabbi Teri Appleby, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Buddhist priest William Bartlett, Episcopal Rector Emeritus V. James Jeffrey, and Catholic Pastor Charles T. Durante during the interfaith dialogue.

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SPARKS, Nev. – In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Catholic-Muslim-Hindu-Protestant-Buddhist-Jewish leaders on Saturday, Jan. 8, had a dialogue in Sparks to explore connections among Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.

Left to right: Imam Abdul Rahim Barghouthi, Rabbi Teri Appleby, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Buddhist priest William Bartlett, Episcopal Rector Emeritus V. James Jeffrey, and Catholic Pastor Charles T. Durante during the interfaith dialogue.

This annual conference, titled “Born in God’s Image” and organized by Catholic Diocese of Reno, also compared, contrasted, and commented on similarities and differences between Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism as viewed through humor in their respective traditions.

Father Charles T. Durante, Pastor of Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Church of Carson City, facilitated this dialogue, and the interfaith panel explored some of the humor that lied within sacred texts and religious teachings of various faiths. “If we are born in God’s image, then laughter is surely an action of God”, announcement said.

Besides Durante, the participants included Episcopal Rector Emeritus Reverend V. James Jeffrey, Imam Abdul Rahim Barghouthi, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Buddhist priest William Bartlett, and Jewish rabbi Teri Appleby. About 250 Catholics were in the audience.

Rajan Zed has congratulated the Catholic Diocese efforts in reaching out to other religions for a dialogue. “Religion is a complex component of human life. Dialogue helps us to see interconnections and interdependencies between religions and even similarities in doctrines,” Zed adds.

Besides interfaith dialogue, this two-day Catholic conference which concluded on January eight  also included workshops on Parenting, Ethics of Infertility Treatment, Imagining God, Using Media Technology in Ministry, Embracing Our Dying, etc., in addition to Sanskrit chants and an exhibition. This annual dialogue tradition would continue in the years to come, Durante added.

Catholic Diocese of Reno, established in 1931, covers 70,852 square miles spread in eleven Nevada counties in addition to Carson City. Before 1840, this area was under the Diocese of Sonora in Mexico, when it came under the jurisdiction of Bishop Moreno of California. Current Bishop is Most Reverend Randolph R. Calvo.

School of Medicine presents free aging seminar in Sparks

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RENO, Nev.— The University of Nevada School of Medicine’s Nevada Geriatric Education Center presents a free training seminar entitled “Aging: It Could Happen to You” on Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This seminar is supported by, and will be held at, The Arbors Memory Care, 2121 East Prater Way in Sparks, Nev. Lunch will be provided.

Objectives of this seminar include discussing strategies for improving communication with persons with hearing, speech or vision deficits, describing how it feels to have losses and challenges as the result of aging and reviewing community resources for the aging population.

Anyone with an interest in the field of aging is invited to attend.

Continuing education units are available. Please register by January 20 by contacting Diann Jones at (775)682-8470.

As the state’s only public medical school, the University of Nevada School of Medicine has been a leader in healthcare, medical education and research in Nevada since 1969. The School of Medicine includes 16 clinical departments including family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, surgery, and psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and five nationally recognized departments in basic science including microbiology and biomedical engineering. The more than 185 doctors of University Health System, the school’s clinical practice, offer care in more than 40 medical specialties and subspecialties with eight physician offices in the Reno/Sparks area and seven in Las Vegas. The school is committed to a best practices approach to medicine and is dedicated to exceptional healthcare for Nevada now and in the future. For more information visit www.medicine.nevada.edu.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is sworn in to office

Nevada’s 30th governor, Gov. Brian Sandoval, is sworn into office on Jan. 3, 2011, at the state capitol.

Honor veterans by celebrating Veterans Day at the Veterans Guest House

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RENO, Nev. – This Veterans Day honor those that have served our nation and celebrate the Veterans Guest House by joining them for a ceremony and open house. On Thursday, Nov. 11, the Veterans Guest House welcomes the public to attend a special orange balloon release in honor of those exposed to Agent Orange. The national tribute of releasing balloons will take place at 10 a.m. on the front lawn of the Guest House at 880 Locust St.

The Guest House has provided temporary overnight accommodations for veterans and their families who are receiving medical treatment in the area for the past 16 years.

After the balloon release, the Guest House will participate in the City of Reno Veterans’ Day Parade. The Guest House will also host an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11. The public is welcome to visit the Guest House, for a cup of coffee and a treat and learn about the services they provide and hear about upcoming expansion plans. Military vehicles from the Military Restoration Group will also be available for viewing.

Visit the Guest House at www.veteransguesthouse.org.

The Veterans Guest House provides United States Military service veterans and their families’ temporary overnight accommodations when receiving treatment at a medical facility in the Reno/Sparks area. It also accommodates veterans traveling to Reno for outpatient medical care.  The majority of guests receive treatment at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC).  The VAMC covers 100,000 square miles from Bishop to Auburn, Elko and Ely.  The Veterans Guest House is located at 880 Locust Street in Reno, Nevada.