Fight for Nevada ~ Education Funding ~ Petition

When I got into work this morning I found an email from Eli Reilly, President of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada asking fellow Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends to take the time to visit their website and sign the a petition to fight for education funding.

Fellow Students, Faculty, Staff, and friends:

The educational system in Nevada (K-12 and Higher Education) is at risk of receiving massive budget cuts from the state. The students of the Nevada System of Higher Education have created an online petition to support education in our state and help convince our elected officials that cutting the budgets of education is NOT the answer to solving our state’s problems. All further budget cuts will do is worsen the social and economic problems in Nevada.

Please take the time to visit our website and sign the petition: www.fightfornevada.com.

It takes less than TEN SECONDS.

Eli Reilly
President
Associated Students of
the University of Nevada

“Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.” Aristotle

For those of you outside of Nevada or for those of you who are just not paying attention…here’s part of an article from Nevada News that was written on Thursday, February 18, 2010 (link to the full article):

Last week’s town hall was attended by more than 300 faculty, staff and students with another 270 participating online.

“Candidly, our world changed on Jan. 22,” Glick said in his town-hall remarks about the state’s announced $881 million budget shortfall.

A proposal released by the Governor’s Office this week is being reviewed by University budget officials, but early estimates place the total impact in the range of 10-15 percent. Previous potential budget cuts to higher education of up to 22 percent had been reported.

Glick said a 10 percent cut would mean approximately $54 million would be shaved from the University’s budget. A 22 percent cut would total $79 million.

Noting the University has already cut 15.5 percent or $33 million from its annual budget, Glick said, “Every cut we make does damage to the University.”

For the University, budget reduction scenarios include:

:: Across-the-board salary reductions;

:: A declaration of financial exigency, which would essentially mean the campus would be declaring bankruptcy and would sell its assets, cut programs and lay off faculty;

:: Curricular review, which would follow guidelines set forth by the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents and provide a process by which certain academic programs would be reviewed and possibly closed.

Of the three, Provost Marc Johnson said the campus would likely meet mandated budgets cuts through “a mixture of program closure and some opportunistic cuts such as not filling certain positions.”

Johnson noted the goal will be make all final announcements regarding closure of programs no later than the end of the fiscal year at the end of June.

“The advantage of curricular review (rather than declaring financial exigency) is it’s under our control,” Johnson said, noting that curricular review will give terminated employees up to June 2011 to find new employment. “Unlike financial exigency, we will have a little more time to give notice.”

Glick said he didn’t support financial exigency as a way to balance the higher education budget in Nevada.

“You become the poster child for a failed university,” he said of the national reaction to such a budgetary move. “It hurts the reputation of the University long-term and your ability to recruit students and faculty. I think financial exigency hurts everybody.”

Whatever the mode chosen, Johnson said the process will be even more painful than previous rounds of budget cuts, which have seen 281 positions eliminated and the reduction and elimination of several programs and departments. Tuition has also increased 28 percent over the past two years.

If possible, Glick said, the cuts will be made with the overriding philosophy of not doing irreversible damage to the University’s quality.

“This would result in a narrower University, but hopefully it will be done in a way to maintain the quality of the University,” he said. “Protecting our quality … I don’t see any other choice.”

In remarks given at the beginning of the two-hour meeting, Elliott Parker, chairperson of the Faculty Senate, reminded the audience that the University, even in a time of severe budget reductions, represents one of the most important assets the state possesses.

“I think this University is the finest thing about this whole state,” he said, drawing strong applause from the crowd.

A special session of the Nevada State Legislature will convene Feb. 23, by proclamation of the Governor, to consider specific matters related to the state budget. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have criticized Gibbons’ proposal for addressing the shortfall by cutting too deeply into education.

Photographs from the Mark Vollmer Fieldtrip to Washoe Valley

Well ~ Saturday we all met up at TMCC’s Meadowood building and carpooled down to the south end of Washoe Valley. Our first stop (besides Wendy’s so Colleen could buy a hamburger) was the wildlife viewing area with the boardwalk.

Very windy (what’s new for Washoe Valley, eh?!) down there. Not much to see but blackbirds ~ both red-winged and yellow-headed. You can’t see far into the lake from the viewing platform unless you have a telephoto lens that goes to as least 200mm…mine only goes to 72mm. So I took lots of fence pictures ~ 😀

Washoe Lake Boardwalk Platform
Downed Fence

We saw a flock of pelicans towards the enterance of Washoe Valley State Park so three of us headed back to see if they were still there. Parked at the trailhead of Deadman’s Creek trail and walked over to state park. No pelicans, but there was a redtail hawk sitting in her nest, who flew off once we were close enough for pictures. The bugger. I walked down to the beach while my sister and mom stayed under a couple of bird nest. Colleen got GREAT photos of a Western Tanager…and continued to get great pictures while teasing me with none.

We then went back to the trailhead to wait for the rest of the group ~ took a few pictures in the bottom part of the trail. Figured out the stupid macro on my camera there. 🙄

Deadman Creek TrailheadDesert PeachMormon TeaBark hanging off tree

Lots of Phlox, Indian Paintbrush and Alpine Lupine on the way up to the top and at the top where the gazebo is. Sunset wasn’t that great, but pretty none-the-less.

Alpine LupineDaisiespaint brushphlox

And here’s a picture of Mark Vollmer setting up his shot of the sunset ~

Mark Vollmer

DESERT IN BLOOM SLIDESHOW ~ I put most of my pictures (I took over 200 so I’ve narrowed it down some) onto my webshot’s album ~ I’m nv_michelle there.

All photos taken with a Canon Powershot S2 IS.

Copper Hammering and Photography Class

It’s Thursday…and I have my photography class tonight through Truckee Meadows Community College. Capture Desert's Spring Colors ~ taught by Mark Vollmer. Can’t wait. The field trip is on Saturday…wonder where we’re going to go take pictures!?

I’ve been having lots of fun hammering and wire wrapping copper during the evening this week. Decided to practice on copper as it’s much cheaper than sterling silver…will wait to work with that wire.

All of my soldering tools are outside in the backyard shed/tool shop, and I haven’t had any desire to go out there at night so I’ve been sticking to wire wrapping the pendents. After hammering, beading and wrapping I put them in a tupperware with LOS (Liver of Sulphur) for oxidizing.

Here is what I’ve done so far ~

Capture Desert’s Spring Colors ~ Photography Class TMCC

My sister just emailed me Truckee Meadows Community College’s (TMCC) spring 08 Photography class schedule ~ we signed up for Mark Vollmer’s Capture Desert’s Spring Colors that will be taught in May. WooHoo!  I love photography.

Class description: 

Help your photos mirror the desert’s spring majesty in this combination lecture and photo field trip class. Using his own award winning work as examples, the instructor will demonstrate ways you can create powerful springtime photographs in your own backyard or abroad. In addition, bring two prints and get personalized advice from the instructor to strengthen your work’s impact. This class is useful for both film and digital users.

Instructor Biography: Mark E Vollmer

Mark Vollmer is an award-winning photographer who has studied under legendary photographers Galen Rowell and Frans Lanting. His coffee table book, The Tahoe Rim Trail, broke sales records in area bookstores. An instructor since 1995, Vollmer received TMCC’s Teaching Excellence Award in April 2007.