Friday, March 30, 2007

Auction Raises $475,000 for Olive Crest

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Olive Crest Homes and Services for Abused Children held its 6th annual ‘One Life at a Time” Gala Auction on March 3 at the Westin Bellevue. The 360 attendees of the spring-themed event enjoyed an evening of live and silent auctions featuring a wide variety of items, including a Harley Davidson, scooters, numerous trips to exotic locales, and artwork created by foster children served by the Bellevue-based agency.

Covestic Inc., a leading business and IT consulting company based in Kirkland, was the presenting sponsor, providing financial support for the event that raised a record $475,000 for furthering programs and services for children and their families.

Covestic CEO John Schaffer is a committed Board of Trustees member for the nonprofit which, among other services, places severely abused and neglected children in therapeutic foster care.

“The general population is relatively unaware of the crisis level our culture is experiencing with child abuse, which is why Covestic has embraced the cause," said Schaffer. "Through public awareness, we can make great strides in breaking the cycle of abuse that affects so many children.”

Olive Crest continues to promote the safety and wellness of children and families through innovative programs including specialized education, foster and adoption, family preservation, and residential homes. Olive Crest’s outreach serves California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest. For information call 1-800-74-FOSTER or visit the Web site.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Private Groups To Perserve College

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - The Associated Press reports that Sierra Nevada College will partner with two private groups that will infuse the nonprofit college with money and help broaden its online curriculum to attract more students.

The private, liberal arts college, founded near the north shore of Lake Tahoe in 1969, will receive up to $15 million over the next five to seven years under an agreement with Knowledge Universe Learning Group LLC and Cardean Learning Group LLC. Officials said the partnership will help the school achieve its goal of 1,000 undergraduate students by 2014. Currently, it's enrollment is 230.

"A year ago, many questioned whether Sierra Nevada College would survive," said Larry D. Large, acting president. "Today, that uncertainty has been replaced with an exciting future that's as deep and clear and inspiring as the college's spectacular alpine setting."

Knowledge Universe Learning Group develops educational services and products for preschoolers to postgraduates. It is affiliated with Knowledge Universe Inc., co-founded by former Wall Street junk bond trader Michael Milken, an Incline Village resident.

College trustees began looking for a partnership last year after determining that the school could not survive on its endowment, at the time estimated at $4 million. For more details, visit the source article at Reno Gazette-Journal.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ACES Bar & Grill To Aid Ultimate Fighter

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas native and ultimate fighter Gray Maynard is scheduled to appear at Aces Bar & Grill for 12 consecutive Thursdays, beginning April 5th when Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter 5” airs at 8 p.m. Aces Bar & Grill will be accepting donations to forward on to paralyzed bouncer Tom Urbanski and his family.

“We want to kick-off a fund-raiser for Mr. Urbanski and his family since this terrible incident has touched the hearts of the Las Vegas community. The funds will go to the bank account for helping this family through this terrible tragedy," said Lynn Pangallo, spokesperson. "We know that they must have medical expenses and we would like to help in any way possible and pray for his healing. We hope that others will join us.”

The series features one weight class, the lightweights (145-155 lb) and they will be divided into two teams. The winner will get a six-figure contract with the UFC and a chance to compete in a fight at The Palms Hotel on Saturday, June 23 to be televised.

Aces Bar & Grill is located on the corner of Warm Springs and El Capitan. Call 702-579-3330 for information. Aces Bar has big screen TVs and will offer drink specials of a Corona and Jagermeister shot for only $3, match play, and raffle prizes. Donation are accepted on behalf of Tom Urbanski anytime.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Multiple Companies Support The WPO

Las Vegas, Nev. - The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) Nevada Chapter will host a new member reception on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at the Gerrity Group’s showroom located at 5193 West Oquendo Road in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The WPO is a nonprofit membership organization for a diverse group of women presidents who have guided their businesses to at least $2 million in gross annual sales ($1 million for a service-based business). According to the WPO, the organization is supported by companies like Avis, BDC, Chubb, IBM, ING, Merrill Lynch, Prudential, American Express, American Airlines, Wachovia, UPS, Key Bank, and others.

For more information about the organization, visit WPO or to attend the above mentioned event as a potential member, contact Shelia McKay at 702-658-4559.

The 10-year-old WPO has more than 1,000 members and 68 chapters located throughout the US and in Canada. Local WPO chapters are coordinated by a professional facilitator and meet monthly to share business expertise and experience in a confidential and collaborative setting.

Monday, March 26, 2007

AT&T Announces 2007 AT&T Excelerator Grants

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., today launched the 2007 AT&T Excelerator competitive technology grant program. In its sixth year, AT&T Excelerator will provide $9 million to regional and local nonprofit organizations in 22 states for projects that use technology to build stronger communities.

The 2007 AT&T Excelerator grant program will award individual grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 that are one year in length. Collaborations by two or more organizations will be considered for grants up to $50,000 for one year. AT&T Excelerator grants help nonprofit organizations improve their operations and build stronger communities through:

•  Internet Access. Networked, high speed access to the Internet and e-mail.
• Data Networking. Network connectivity enabling easy sharing of database applications and information systems.
• Online Outreach. Interactive, Web-based applications that support activities such as service delivery, volunteer recruiting, and e-fundraising.
• Staff Technology Capacity. Technology-training programs for nonprofit staff members.
• Pooled Technology Resources. Programs that work to address the technology needs of multiple nonprofits.

To qualify for an AT&T Excelerator grant, an organization must emphasize education, community development, health and human services, or arts and culture. Grant funds may be used for data communications services, hardware, software, technology training, personnel, and application development. Additionally, no fewer than 50 percent of project grant funds must be used to target underserved populations, including racial and ethnic groups, low-income populations, seniors, or disabled persons.

Interested organizations can apply for this year's grant by downloading a copy of the 2007 request for proposals (RFP) from http://www.att.com/excelerator . All proposals must be received no later than May 4, 2007. Additional guidelines and restrictions are available for review in the 2007 AT&T Excelerator application.

The AT&T Excelerator program is a key component of AT&T AccessAll, a $100 million philanthropic initiative to provide technology access to the organizations that work to strengthen underserved communities. Helping nonprofits integrate technology into their operations and community outreach, AT&T Excelerator grants also place technology tools in the hands of the underserved populations they work with -- providing resources such as Internet access, computer training, math and reading programs, and job-skills development.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reno-Gazette Journal Recognizes The Bain Family

RENO, Nev. — Kudos to Lenita Powers at the Reno-Gazette Journal for her article that captures the power of human kindness. While the article represents the qualitative side of personal giving (as opposed to business giving), it serves as a reminder that if one family can make a difference, then one company can make dozens or hundreds or thousands of differences.

Here is an exert from the piece:

Kathy and Dave Bain always seem to have room for one more.

In the past seven years, they've opened their home and their hearts to dozens of foster children who have been victims of physical abuse, were born with fetal alcohol syndrome or whose parents were in prison.

So last fall, when they learned eight brothers and sisters needed to find one home so they wouldn't be separated, the Bains' found room for them as well.

"We never had planned to take care of this many kids, but when eight children came up, it was like, 'Oh, my God, they need a family to keep them together, get them to school and just be there for them," said Kathy Bain, an assistant manager at a Reno bank.

On Dec. 29, the Bains became the foster parents of Mariano, who turns 12 later this month, Angie, 11, Lupe, 9, Ofelia, 6, Andrea, 5, Bidi, 4, Francisco, 3, and Gabriel, 2. The couple already has three adopted children -- Jennifer, 15, Tyler, 6, and Jesse, 5. They also are the foster parents of two children, ages 2 and 9, who can't be identified because their parental rights have not been terminated.

Not counting their biological son -- 19-year-old Mitchell, a student at Simpson University in Redding, Calif. -- that adds up to a total of 13 children who are now part of the Bains' household. Snowflake and Noble, a white cat and a husky-mix dog adopted from the local shelter, round out the family.

"We go to Costco and Sam's Club the way other people go to 7-Eleven," said Dave Bain, who trains foster and adoptive parents for Washoe County.

The family goes through seven loaves of bread and 14 gallons of milk a week and can put away a 6-pound bag of chicken at one meal. A heavy-duty Kenmore washer and dryer get a workout three times a day to handle the 25 loads of laundry done each week. "And sorting the socks is like doing a 1,000-piece puzzle," Kathy Bain said.

continue reading...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spike's Junkyard Dogs In Las Vegas?

Providence, R.I. — Spike's Junkyard Dogs, which got its start in Providence on Thayer Street, has been recognized by AOL City Guide as one of the best hot dog restaurants in the nation. Besides serving the best hot dogs anywhere, it has long been raved about in New England as a community partner and icon.

There's even a bit of a buzz back East because Linda and Bob Andreoli plan to sell their Spike’s Junkyard Dogs franchise on Branch Avenue in Providence and move to Las Vegas, where they want open the first Spike’s out West that would cater to gamblers and tourists. The Andreolis opened the first franchise of Spike’s, the hot dog concept restaurant originated by David Drake, the New Jersey transplant and self-named Top Dog of the company.

Drake said that, typically, a franchise costs $25,000 and the location, build out and other costs run $200,000 to $250,000.

The original Spike’s is on Thayer Street in Providence. Others have opened in Cranston, Smithfield, Warwick, Coventry and the University of Rhode Island campus. Out-of-state locations include three in Boston and one on the U.S. Navy base in Groton, Conn. With luck, their presence could increase local restaurants to be more community minded, assuming they make the move.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

FHLBank San Francisco Assits Latino Homebuyers

FRESNO, Calif. — Rep. Jim Costa (D-20th CA) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) announced on Saturday that an innovative financial literacy initiative is helping Latino families throughout rural California become homeowners.

The Spanish-language initiative, "Camino A Tu Casa" (Road to Homeownership), used radio broadcasts to reach prospective Latino homebuyers and follow-up workshops to educate them about the process of purchasing a house. Rep. Costa lauded the program at a Fresno event on Saturday, saying, "Through community outreach, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and its partners have increased homeownership." Rep. Costa also said that, along with Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and other members of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, he would continue to advocate for greater housing opportunities for more people.

Although the program is in California, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco members—its shareholders and customers—are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, thrift and loans, and insurance companies headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada. It delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Six Dealers Join State's Stove Rebate Program

RENO, Nev. — The Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) of the Washoe District Health Department along with the Nevada’s Small Business Development Center’s Business Environmental Program are teaming up to offer cash rebates on the purchase of EPA certified wood, pellet and gas stoves. Washoe County residents that have a woodstove or pellet stove manufactured before 1992 may qualify to receive up to $600 as a rebate on the purchase of a stove from participating retailers (enclosed).

Retailers who have joined the program include: Buck Stove and BBQ Inc. (Reno), Fireplace Distributors of Nevada, Inc. (Reno), F. Rodgers Specialty Contractors (Sparks), Garage Door Center (Sparks), Victorian Stove Shoppe (Sparks), and Woodstove Distributors, Inc. (Incline Village).

The program was started because wood smoke, which is a result of incomplete combustion, contains Benzene, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Polycyclic organic matter, CO, NOx and SOx. Old woodstoves are often poorly sealed, improperly vented, and what’s outside often comes inside via HVAC so both the indoor and outdoor air may be affected by these older stoves.

The newer stoves with their highly efficient combustion systems create the conditions needed to burn the smoke BEFORE it leaves the appliance thereby alleviating the poor air quality conditions mentioned. They are certified as “low emission” by the US EPA and burn safer and cleaner which reduces air pollution and saves money.

For additional details, including qualitification as a Washoe County resident, please visit visit the Nevada Small Business Development Center or call the Business Environmental Program at 775-689-6670.

Friday, March 16, 2007

TWACS Supports VEA In Pahrump

ST. LOUIS — Distribution Control Systems Inc. (DCSI), a subsidiary of ESCO Technologies Inc., announced that its TWACS two-way access communication technology is supporting Valley Electric Association (VEA), a nonprofit cooperative in Pahrump, Nevada in their first domestic solar-powered water heater (DSWH) pilot program.

The yearlong pilot program that began in January 2007 will work in conjunction with energy efficiency data collected from High Efficiency Water Heaters (HEWH), HEWH with a timer, and standard water heaters equipped with the TWACS system for comparisons. The VEA will then determine financial feasibility for VEA and its members in an effort to begin a full-scale program that may involve rebates or other incentives for installation of the water heaters.

Collecting the data that measures energy consumption for a yearlong pilot program can traditionally be expensive and difficult. However, Cornelius Morris, a meter-tech in VEA's apparatus and testing department had an idea. "I thought it made more sense to use the TWACS system we already have in place instead of spending an average of $600 per household to set up testing."

VEA entered into agreements with selected customer participants that stipulate that the member would pay for half the cost of each DSWH system. The pilot program could prove that if more residents use solar power to supplement their power needs that it would effectively decrease the demand for conventionally produced power and may help stabilize rates for everyone.

"If enough DSWH systems were installed, it could enable the co-op to purchase less higher-cost market power. This is especially important during peak hours of energy use, for example when the sun is shinning and energy costs are high", said Joe McCauley, member services representative for VEA. "VEA will now develop fact-based data instead of relying on information derived by rule of thumb to determine what incentive program should be offered to our members."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NCMEC Says The Media Saves Abducted Infants

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Since 1983, there have been 248 infant abductions, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This number includes abductions by non-family members from healthcare facilities, private homes, and other places.

Of that number, 121 abductions, or 49 percent, were from healthcare facilities. Within healthcare facilities, 56 percent are taken from the mother's room, 14 percent are taken from the nursery, 14 percent are taken from pediatrics, and 16 percent from elsewhere in the facility. Texas and California have had the largest number of infant abductions with 33 abductions each (a breakdown by state is listed below).

Any time a child is abducted, there is an immediacy to getting as many people looking for the child and/or the abductor as possible. We know the first hours are the most important in locating a missing infant and facilitating safe return. The news media plays a critical role in working with law enforcement anytime an abduction takes place.

"In the past 24 years, 95 percent of abducted infants and newborns have been recovered safely," said Ernie Allen, President & CEO of NCMEC. "Overwhelmingly, that success has been because of the power of the media to mobilize the eyes and ears of the public."

The release listed one abdunction in Nevada. For more information, visit Missing Kids

According to U.S. Department of Justice research, nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States, more than 2,000 every day. Of the total number of missing children, 200,000 are abducted by family members and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Barber Raffles Guinn Portrait For Charity

CARSON CITY, Nev. — According to the The Nevada Appeal, Adam Baker, a Carson City barber, visited every state Capitol in the nation on an unusual quest to have his painting of Gov. Guinn photographed in a bathroom inside each of those buildings, including the capitols of Hawaii and Alaska.

Baker was protesting that a Nevada artist was not chosen to do the official portrait of Gov. Kenny Guinn. The distinction was given to Washington state artist Michele Rushworth. Baker said the choice was a snub for Nevada artists, but does rate Rushworth's work highly.

He wrote his official statement in a letter: "I think Michele Rushworth really captured Guinn's disloyalty to the portrait artists of Nevada, 'chuckle.' All joking aside though, Michele Rushworth is an amazing artist and should be congratulated."

Now, Baker is raffling off his painting for charity, namely the Nevada Legacy Corp., which exists to give breaks to those serving as caregivers for family members.

The raffle will be on St. Patrick's Day at Baker's business, Les' Barber Shop, 256 W. Winnie Lane. You can see the painting and buy $5 raffle tickets at the barbershop until that time.

Baker's quest took him a total of one month and nine days done over four trips. At each Capitol, he would simply carry his 24-inch by 36-inch painting into a bathroom, photograph it and leave.

"Everyone thought it was hilarious," he said.

As he began to enter the Capitol in New Jersey, however, a security guard saw Baker approaching and told him he wouldn't be admitted inside the building carrying the painting. Baker had an easy solution, and asked if he could quickly use the restroom before leaving. Of course, that's the only room Baker was interested in anyway, and he got his photograph.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Nonprofits Should Target Boomers

WASHINGTON D.C. — With Baby Boomers potentially increasing older adult volunteers by 50 percent in the year 2020 (and doubling the number of older adult volunteers by the year 2036) non-profit organizations might consider doing a better job at targeting Baby Boomers says a study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The first-ever study to track volunteering among a large sample of Baby Boomers from year to year, "Keeping Baby Boomers Volunteering," found that Americans born between 1946 and 1964 want higher-skill assignments to keep them engaged, and it advised nonprofit organizations to re-imagine roles for that emerging crop of volunteers. The report also found that Baby Boomers are volunteering at higher rates than their predecessors — including the Greatest Generation — and that those who volunteer 12 weeks or more annually are most likely to serve year after year.

The Corporation's "Volunteering Among Older Americans: Population Projections, 2007-2050," released along with the report today, forecasts that the number of older Americans will continue to rise sharply for decades because the youngest Baby Boomers will not reach age 65 until 2029.

"The Boomer wave signals one of the largest opportunities the nonprofit sector has ever had to expand its pool of resources," said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation. "Only the nonprofits that retool their ability to engage citizens will reap that reward."

The report, which used Current Population Survey data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau in 1974, 1989 and from 2002 to 2006, found that three out of every 10 Boomers who volunteer today leave their organizations each year. It outlined key characteristics that lead to greater retention. The study found that:

• Boomers in their late 40s to mid-50s are volunteering at higher rates than members of the Greatest Generation and Silent Generation did at the same age. Boomers were volunteering at lower rates than their predecessors while in their 30s, but that trend has reversed.
• Three volunteer activities appear to hold considerable appeal for Boomers. In particular, three-fourths of Baby Boomer volunteers who engage in professional activities -- such as managing people or projects -- continue volunteering the following year. Activities with the second and third highest volunteer retention rates were music or some other type of performance (70.9 percent) and tutoring, mentoring and coaching (70.3 percent).
• Volunteering appears to be a virtuous cycle -- the more often Baby Boomers volunteer, the more likely they are to volunteer again. Volunteers who serve 12 or more weeks per year have a volunteer retention rate of 79 percent vs. 53 percent for those who serve two or fewer weeks per year.
• Baby Boomer volunteers who engage in general labor or supply transportation regularly drop out of volunteering (with only 55.6 percent continuing to volunteer the next year).
• Underscoring the important connection between working and volunteering, the report found that remaining in the workforce increases the likelihood that a Baby Boomer will continue to volunteer: 60.5 percent of Baby Boomer volunteers who leave the workforce continue to volunteer the following year, compared to 69.3 percent of those who experience no change in their labor status. Baby Boomers increasing their work hours are slightly more likely to continue volunteering compared to those who decrease their work hours (71.6 percent vs. 68.4 percent). If many Baby Boomers retire later and work longer than past generations (working into their 70s), as some studies indicate, that trend could actually translate into a larger number of older American volunteers.

"The Baby Boom generation gives our nation an unprecedented opportunity to increase the breadth and the scope of volunteering," said Robert T. Grimm, Jr., Director of the Corporation's Office of Research and Policy Development. "If we use the right approach, this population will continue their service and change the face of volunteering in America."

Grimm said nonprofit organizations should examine charitable and human resources models for retention -- cultivating volunteers the way an organization would a donor and providing professional development as many employers do for their staff. Since other studies predict that trillions of dollars will be given to charities in the coming decades and that volunteering and giving behaviors are related, he said encouraging substantial volunteering makes good business sense for nonprofits because such efforts also could result in considerable monetary gifts to organizations that serve needs.

Baby Boomers' relatively high volunteer rate today is tied to their education level and propensity to have children later in life. Previous studies have found education and having children are two key predictors of volunteer levels, which accounts in part for the fact that the volunteer rate for Baby Boomers is peaking later in life than past generations. In fact, mid-life adults (age 45-64) are three times as likely to have a four-year college degree today as they were 15 years ago (from 11.5 percent to 29.5 percent). Once their children leave, Baby Boomers could maintain relatively high volunteer rates because of their higher education levels, expectations that they will work later in life than previous generations, and good health.

Eisner released the report today in Chicago at the Joint Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging to highlight the Corporation's continued commitment to engaging Americans born between the boom years of 1946 and 1964. The Corporation, nonprofits, and private-sector organizations launched the "Get Involved" campaign at the White House Conference on Aging in 2005 to promote national awareness and recruitment of Boomers. Last year, the Corporation unveiled its Strategic Plan, and one of the goals is harnessing Baby Boomers' experience.

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Providing service opportunities for millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds, Corporation programs include Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. The Corporation supports a national goal to recruit an additional 10 million volunteers by the year 2010. For more information, visit National Service.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

NEA Awards Translation Grants

According to the Boston Globe, The National Endowment for the Arts gives out International Literature Awards, grants for nonprofit presses to publish and promote translated books. The endowment is righting a translation trade imbalance. Many books written in English are translated into other languages. ("Harry Potter" is an example.) But far fewer foreign books are translated into English.

Precise counts are hard to find, but researchers tallying reviews in Publishers Weekly found that in 2005 only 3.5 percent of reviews were of foreign books, a figure that's consistent with other estimates. Translating literature is tricky and fascinating, a matter not simply of getting the words right, but also of conveying the sense, tone and associations.

Another challenge is getting foreign books noticed in a world of IM-ing, Web-surfing, television-watching Americans. The endowment's grant is a good start. This year's newly announced $10,000 grants go to three publishers:

Archipelago Books, in Brooklyn, is publishing "Vredaman," a novel about a young boy written by Unai Elorriaga, a Basque writer. The translation is being done by the writer Amaia Gabantxo. Her translations have appeared in journals and in a book published by the University of Nevada Press, "An Anthology of Basque Short Stories."

Dalkey Archive Press, in Normal, Illinois, is publishing "I'd Like," a collection of linked stories by Greek author Amanda Michalopoulou. The stories are being translated by Karen Emmerich. On its Web site, Dalkey's director, John O'Brien, says the goal is to be a permanent home to world literature. An international coalition of individuals and foundations helps pay for this house of books.

Etruscan Press, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is publishing "Amerikaniki Fouga" (American Fugue), a novel by the Greek author Alexis Stamatis that takes place in the United States. Stamatis worked on the book during a residency at the University of Iowa. The translation is being done by writer Diane Thiel and her husband, Constantine Hadjilambrinos.

All the world is a book group — or it could be if more Americans knew what people across the oceans are reading.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Micro Matic Donates Refrigerator

NEW ORLEANS — At an event for foodservice and hospitality executives that was held January 29-30 in New Orleans, Micro Matic USA Inc., a manufacture and distributor of draft beer dispensing equipment, donated a walk-in refrigerator to The Brantley Baptist Center, an urban ministry located at 201 Magazine St., just a few blocks from New Orleans' historic French Quarter.

"It made perfect sense for us to donate the walk-in refrigerator, which we had shipped to New Orleans to use as an Exhibitor at the Cheers Conference, to a local organization that has done so much for victims of Hurricane Katrina and could benefit from its use," said Peter Muzzonigro, Micro Matic President.

The Brantley Center is a 250-bed shelter that provides a variety of services for homeless people and others in need. Since it first opened its doors in 1927 during the Great Depression, the urban ministry has provided food, overnight lodging, hot showers, laundry facilities, employment assistance, counseling for drug and alcohol dependence, mail services, and worship opportunities to the people who pass through its doors. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Brantley Center also served as a dormitory, providing food and shelter for volunteers from all over the country, who had come to New Orleans to assist in rescue, clean-up and rebuilding efforts. In the year before Katrina struck New Orleans, the Brantley Center typically served about 165,000 meals to the chronic homeless population of New Orleans and sheltered between 75,000 and 80,000 homeless men and women each year.

The 6x8x10-foot walk-in refrigerator, which is typical of those used in full-service restaurants, has a galvanized steel finish, and aluminum exterior and interior walls. After the conclusion of the Cheers Conference, Micro Matic had the unit disassembled, moved to The Brantley Center, and reassembled onsite.

Micro Matic USA is comprised of three operating divisions: Dispense Service, Manufacturing and Industrial. Part of its operations are based in Reno, Nevada where a proprietary range of closed liquid transfer valve systems for the specialty and commodity chemical markets are manufactured.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Women's Fraternity Donates To First Book

WASHINGTON - Pi Beta Phi, a national women's fraternity (with a chapter in the University of Nevada, Reno), donated $125,000 to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children from low-income families. The funds were donated by Pi Beta Phi collegiate and alumnae members, friends and families during a six-week long First Book Virtual Book Drive, a branded online initiative, that culminated on the 50th birthday of the classic children's book, The Cat in the Hat. The contribution will provide 50,000 new books to children in need nationwide.

Launched in conjunction with Pi Beta Phi's 2007 Fraternity Day of Service, the online campaign challenged individual members, collegiate chapters and alumnae clubs to help raise enough funds to donate 50,000 new books as part of The Cat in the Hat birthday celebration. The St. Louis, Missouri Alumnae Club made the largest single donation of $10,000.

"We are thrilled with the success of the Pi Beta Phi Virtual Book Drive and the enormous generosity of their members and friends. It clearly demonstrates their ongoing commitment to literacy causes," said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. "With the support of organizations like Pi Beta Phi, First Book can continue to combat the literacy crisis and provide books immediately to the children who need them most."

"The success of this book drive is testament to Pi Beta Phi's almost 100 year commitment to the cause of literacy. We are thrilled to partner with First Book in order to distribute more than 50,000 books to kids in need," said Emily Tarr, Pi Beta Phi President.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Ski-Resort Owner To Go "Green"

DENVER - Vail Resorts Inc., which owns Heavenly at Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, plans to unveil a new environmental initiative Monday, March 5.

In 2006, the company started using wind power to generate all the electricity at its ski areas, hotels, retail locations and new corporate headquarters at Broomfield's Interlocken office park. The resort owner says it's now the second-largest U.S. company to use 100 percent wind power.

In addition to its new wind-power initiative, Vail Resorts has water conservation, recycling and wildlife habitat management programs. The company works with the National Forest Foundation, a nonprofit group affiliated with the U.S. Forest Service, to fund conservation projects such as improving White River National Forest.

The resort owner now gets its power through wind-power broker Renewable Choice Energy Inc. of Boulder, Colo. Vail purchases wind energy credits from Renewable, since wind farms can't physically deliver wind-powered electricity to Vail properties. Renewable, in turn, buys credits from wind farms nationwide, including ones in Colorado.

Vail Resorts' use of wind power cuts some 211 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Vail Resorts also owns Colorado's Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts. The resort company also owns the Grand Teton Lodge Co. of Jackson Hole, Wyo., and luxury-hotel operator RockResorts.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Earthwatch Supports Academic Collaborations

Chico, Calif. — Professor Michael P. Marchetti, Biology, California State University, Chico is the most recent additions to a collaboration of universities across the country who hope to further conservation efforts on the central Pacific coast of Mexico in La Manzanilla, Jalisco.

The coastal research project is a collaboration among the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR); the Great Basin Institute; the University of South Florida; the University of Guadalajara; California State University, Channel Islands; and CSU, Chico, with financial and volunteer support from Earthwatch Institute.

Earthwatch has provided the group with $76,000 over the next three years for research and conservation efforts. During that time, the program will combine undergraduate coursework, graduate research and on-the-ground volunteers to further the group’s conservation and management plan.

Faculty and students from the universities, along with Earthwatch volunteers, will conduct physical, chemical and biological studies to examine the dynamics of the imperiled mangrove ecosystem. The interdisciplinary and community-based project integrates ecohydrology, botany, aquatic ecology and fisheries biology with citizen monitoring in order to promote a long-term community management program for the region. The research aims to provide greater understanding of the function and importance of these mangroves to the local environment as well as to the local community.

In January 2007, Marchetti joined a team of six faculty, 10 graduate students and two undergraduates to develop the initial research study design. For two weeks, the team worked in the mangrove system to establish research methodologies and develop training protocols for future monitoring efforts.

"The research," said Marchetti, "is hands-on conservation biology at its core, illustrating how conservation scientists, when faced with imminent ecological threat, develop real-world workable solutions that involve the local populace."

Marchetti joined biologists Sudeep Chandra (UNR) and Zeb Hogan (UNR) to direct both the aquatic ecology and fisheries research teams. One of their goals is to examine and quantify human-induced changes in the local fishing harvest by determining the mangrove food web structure as it pertains to fisheries and crocodiles, an endangered species found in abundance in the mangrove.

"The next three years will be critical for establishing viable monitoring protocols that will ultimately inform regional land use policy," said Jerry Keir, director of the Great Basin Institute, a nonprofit environmental field studies organization located on the UNR campus. "Increased commercial and residential development in this region continues to pressure coastal and upland habitat, and our research will model the implications of such impacts."

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