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Nevada Looking Hard At Copying Utah Business, Job-Creation Model

By Andrew Doughman / Nevada News Bureau
CARSON CITY – Ted McAleer says he’s got a silver bullet for creating jobs in the Silver State.
McAleer is with a unique University of Utah-based jobs research program, and lately he’s become the toast of Nevada. He wowed public officials when he spoke at the Nevada 2.0 economic development conference in Las Vegas. Now many of those same public servants have gone to Carson City to talk about the unique Utah program that uses the business community, universities, local agencies – and millions of tax dollars – to create high paying jobs.

Senate Democrats could introduce a jobs bill this week based McAleer’s model.
Model could provide jobs for Nevadans
The basic idea in Utah was to build research teams at universities that could turn a small investment into millions of dollars in federal research grants.
It’s called Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, or USTAR.
Steven Wells, president of the Desert Research Institute, explained it like this: “Let’s focus on three or four key areas that we can be really competitive in and then bring in top flight faculty to work with current faculty.”
From there, the “top flight” team would develop an idea into a marketable product.
Often, these discoveries languish on dusty shelves. So the state would help connect venture capitalists with researchers to bridge the so-called “valley of death” between invention and innovation.
Entrepreneurs in the tech market would then try to develop a marketable product. With venture capital and intellectual property centered in one area, the areas around Reno or Las Vegas could become the next Silicon Valley.
This would diversify Nevada’s economy while also providing jobs and creating or expanding Nevada businesses.
The initiative idea does all that — on paper at least.
Proposal might require new spending
But copying Utah’s model and applying it in Nevada could also mean new spending. Indeed, in Utah the legislature signed off on giving $179 million to the effort.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, however, is proposing $163 million in cuts to the higher education budget.
So where’s the money?
“We’re looking at what necessary funding needs to be in place,” said Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, who chairs the Senate Finance committee. “We want to work with the Governor to find the right funding mechanism.”
Nobody has yet defined a specific funding source.
But Robert Lang of Brookings Mountain West, who had invited McAleer to a Vegas conference, told a Senate committee that private investment money is already in the state if the state can initially supply funding.
“We have a lot of venture capital specialty in the state in places like Incline Village,” he said. “Incline Village is a colony of ex-Silicon Valley retirees. Those folks are looking to do good here as well and invest in the Nevada economy.”
A “no-cost stimulus”
In some form, what Utah has embraced has been going on for decades throughout the country.
Robert E. Litan of the Kauffman Foundation explains in the current issue of The American Interest that commercialized university research led to barcodes and the Internet.
He calls commercialization the “no-cost stimulus” available to all states with a major research institution.
He cites two figures: Entrepreneurs launching start-ups have created “virtually all new jobs” in the U.S. economy since 1980. Later, he cites National Science Foundation figures that $90 billion in federal research grants flowed through U.S. universities during 2009.
Large public research universities like the University of Washington were able to net $800 million of that money, more than any other American public university.
That’s compared to $63 million at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the same year.
Building on what Nevada has
Legislators rushing to use a USTAR model may note that Nevada already commercializes research.
For example, UNR has a Technology Transfer Office that takes intellectual property developed at the university and transfers it to the private sector.
“Essentially what happens in tech transfer is that the faculty do the research that they want to do,” said Ryan Heck, director of the transfer office. “It’s not necessarily tied to anything that’s industrially relevant.”
Faculty direct their own research. Some of it ends up at Heck’s office. He then tries to market it as best he can. That’s led to about four or five start-up companies during the past decade.
But that’s not exactly a USTAR-like model. Could Utah’s plan take root in Nevada?
Desert Research Institute’s Wells says it’s not likely this year.
“I don’t think you can do USTAR with what is being proposed to be cut,” Wells said. “You have to think about, if you’re trying to lure people in … why would they want to come here if they know that the investment in higher education is going to be cut?”

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On your “Must Not Miss” list, is the popular Downtown Wine Walk – held the First Saturday of every month from 1- 5pm. For just $10 (which supports the Downtown Business Association you’ll receive a commemorative wine glass and endless reasons to sip, stroll, and shop, the afternoon away, through Historic Downtown Carson City. Bring your wine walk glass with the Carson City Logo on it and pay only $8. Don't forget the after Wine Walk raffle prize party, 5:00pm, at the Cabaret Lounge, Carson Nugget Casino!

Tickets can be purchased at Bella Fiora Wines, Cactus Jack’s, Carson Jewelry & Loan, Carson Nugget, and Horseshoe Club, where you will receive hand stamps, glasses, and maps.

Sponsored by the Carson City Downtown Business Association, our goal is to carry on a local tradition, hosting an event which showcases a monthly Downtown celebration. It’s a Saturday stroll with a glass of wine through historic downtown Carson City where boutiques, local shops, galleries, restaurants and casinos, pull out all the stops to awaken your taste buds and tantalize your senses... experience a Downtown taste sensation!.

Carson’s full-service casino featuring:

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  • Poker Room
  • Keno
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  • Weekly live entertainment
  • 80 recently remodeled hotel rooms
  • Complete banquet facilities

Day R. Williams scored top of his law school class in Evidence and Constitutional Law, and he wrote for the Law Review. He is known as a fine legal writer. Day has practiced solo for more than 20 years in Carson City. He has handled contract disputes, personal injuries, bad faith by insurance companies, probate, estates and trusts, appeals, and a murder case. Day has tried cases and appeared in court in Carson City, Reno, Minden, Yerington, Ely, Fallon, Pahrump, and Las Vegas, and he has argued before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was a driving force in the first citizen-initiated grand jury in Nevada’s history.

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The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Inc., also known as RSVP, has a limited number of free Farmers Market coupons for fresh produce to offer to Carson City low-income seniors through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

More than 100 state workers were evacuated from the Nevada Capitol in Carson City when a fire alarm sounded this afternoon.

Two black bears trapped Tuesday were released back into the wild by Nevada Department of Wildlife wardens. So far, 11 bears have been safely released back into the Sierra since July 1.

Both bears were tagged, tattooed and micro chipped in order to identify them in the future should they come back in to contact with humans. Neither bear had previously been handled by NDOW.

The Wa She Shu It Deh Native American Arts Festival returns to Valhalla at the Tallac Historic site this weekend, July 26-27. The festival celebrates the Washoe's ancient lifeways and their Lake Tahoe homeland.

The festival features traditional American Indian dancers and drum performers, basket weaving displays, art, and great food. Sponsored by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, this event is free to attend, and open to the public. The festival runs 10 a.m. am to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Valhalla’s Grand Lawn.

In honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday, the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission invites all Nevadans to participate in choosing the design for the fourth Sesquicentennial commemorative medallion.

This medallion, the final in the series of four being produced throughout the year, will feature the winning design voted on by Nevadans. Voting begins today, Wednesday, July 23, which marks 100 days until Nevada Day, and ends Thursday, August 7, 2014.

NV Energy has petitioned the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada with the hopes of recovering $78 million in costs associated with implementation of electric and gas smart meters in Northern Nevada.

A hearing on the matter is set for today, Wednesday, July 23, at 6 p.m. in Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, 1150 E. William St. in Carson City.

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada and Northern California. This report is for the week of July 23, 2014.

Carson City fire and ambulance are responding tonight to a motorcycle crash in the area of Rabe Way. The call came in at around 7:40 p.m. Care Flight has been ordered and will land near the scene of the accident.

Traffic in the area is being diverted.

CARSON CITY - Eight Airmen from the Nevada Air National Guard joined 160 people from seven nations Monday to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Tonga as part of Operation Pacific Angel-Tonga.

The mission will continue until July 26. Tonga is Nevada National Guard's partner in the National Guard's State Partnership Program, the Department of Defense program that links a state's National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.

UPDATE: Carson City firefighters responded this afternoon to a 50-year-old woman struck by a vehicle in the area of Stewart and Washington streets. The woman had injuries to her leg, arm and hip areas. She was taken by Care Flight to the trauma ward at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

Emergency crews treating her at the scene said she was conscious and alert. The accident happened at around 3:20 p.m.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei’s bill known as Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe – Fish Springs Ranch Settlement Act, by a bipartisan voice vote.

The bill, H.R. 3716, would ratify an agreement between the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Fish Springs Ranch to resolve a dispute over water rights near Reno. It is expected to be passed by the Senate and signed into law.

July is BEAR Logic Month, a time to teach residents and visitors how to live and recreate in bear county. When a bear in its own habitat is exhibiting normal bear behavior, it’s unlikely to be a cause for concern. NDOW cautions people to never to approach or attempt an interaction with a bear. Of course the best option is to never have a bear encounter in the first place.

The Nevada Performance Academy plans to open this fall despite the passing of founder and former Nevada state superintendent, Gene Paslov who died June 8, 2014 at the age of 80.

The academy currently has 70 applications and is seeking to enroll another 50 students grades 7 through 12 who want to be a part of an innovative school that will work towards a student’s academic success as well as cater to their talents and special interests. The school is located at 1600 Snyder Avenue in Carson City.

We’re not out of the woods with wild weather yet. The National Weather Service says to expect severe thunderstorms around Northern Nevada this afternoon.

According to a special weather statement, a there’s a strong upper level disturbance that will move across northeast California and northwest Nevada.

Abundant moisture and strong winds aloft are favorable for the development of thunderstorms this afternoon with a few becoming severe, according to the weather service.

A Carson City couple were arrested Monday on felony charges after being found engaging in sex acts outdoors where people could see, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said.

Steven Helton, 28, and Tracey L. Johnson, 44, were arrested at 5:41 p.m. in the grassy area near the DMV at South Carson and Stewart streets.

According to the arrest report, officers responded to a 911 call of a couple having sex in public. Officers met with the caller who pointed to a grassy area south of the DMV and north of Office Depot.

UPDATE: The Chamber Travel Club meeting has been changed to Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. at Red's 395.

Carson Now focuses on local news, but for eight days next spring, we will expand our view all the way to China.

In cooperation with the Carson City Chamber of Commerce, I will be embarking on a tour of China with a group of Carson City residents and businesspeople on April 7-15, 2015.

The Congressional Research Service, a policy research arm of Congress, recently told Congress 76 U.S. corporations have shifted their tax domiciles out of the United States to other countries since 1983 to avoid U.S. taxes.

Moving the tax domicile is known as an “inversion." It is still rare, but it is becoming more common. The Congressional Research Service said 47 such deals have been done in the last 10 years and more are in the works.

Carson City firefighters have a new tool to teach fire safety. "Fire Safety Day," an easy-to-read children's book, follows Owen as he comes home to tell his mom what he learned in school that day.

The book will be featured during two Storytime sessions at the Carson City Library beginning at 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on July 24.

Parents and children can simply show up at the library for Storytime and get a free copy of the new book in English or Spanish.

The Fuji Dog Park will be closed to the public as a dog park in Carson City during the NV 150 Fair. This will be from Monday, July 28 to Tuesday, August 5.

The park will reopen as the dog park on Wednesday, August 6. The city parks and recreation department notes it regrets any inconvenience this may cause, and during this time the public is encourage you to visit and enjoy one of its many other “dog friendly” park facilities. Those are:

— Long Ranch Park, Longview Way & Waterford Drive. Dogs are allowed on or off-leash in designated areas of the park.

UPDATE: Strong thunderstorm being tracked 13 miles northeast of Virginia City.
***
National Weather Service meteorologists were tracking two strong thunderstorms this Monday afternoon.

As of 4:21 p.m. the first storm was southeast of Smith Valley moving northwest at 15 mph. The other storm was 18 miles southwest of Yerington and moving northeast at 15 mph.

Lightning is associated with the storms as well as moderate rain and small, pea-sized hail and gusty winds to 50 mph.