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Washoe County Website Plans Upgrade, Finds Sunshine Review Request Unusual

Washoe County has the most transparent website out of all Nevada’s counties, according to the Sunshine Review.
The transparency organization awarded the site with a grade of “B-“ for its comprehensive information on county budgets, audits, meetings, taxes, elected officials and administrative officials. The site was criticized, however, for its lack of information on contracts, lobbying and public records requests.
According to Washoe County Community Relations Director Kathy Carter, every comment or suggestion that the county site receives is read by either her or the site’s webmaster, Chris Matthews, and they look for ways to improve the site in any way that citizens suggest. No citizen had ever requested any of the features that the Sunshine Review penalized the site for omitting, she said, but she acknowledged that adding such features should not be difficult.

“We are continually looking at ways to improve the site with the goal of making it as accessible and transparent to the citizens as possible,” Carter Said.
Carter found the Sunshine Review’s request for disclosure on whether Washoe County belongs to a taxpayer-funded lobbying organization unusual, saying that she had never heard of a website disclosing such information. She did not think such a disclosure would pose a problem, however, and added the county does not belong to any such organization. Matthews, who was one of the founding members of the National Association of Government Webmasters, also had not heard of government sites disclosing such information, though he said he has begun to look into other government sites’ handling of the issue.
Like its less-transparent Clark County counterpart, a revamp of Washoe County’s website will go live this summer. The new design is intended to give citizens easier access to the site’s most-used features, such as video streaming of public meetings and property look-up information. The new site will embed the video streams on the front page, and allow citizens to find all the property information they need in one place.
The new site will also address the issue with public records by providing an online form that allows citizens to make public records requests, which also will track all requests to ensure that those responsible for fulfilling the requests do their job properly.
Matthews said that transparency is “incredibly important” to Washoe count and that citizens have the right to know everything about the county government.
“We are their employees,” he said. “As their employees, it is our responsibility that they are as informed about the county’s processes as they want to be.”

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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!.

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The National Endowment for the Arts will award $768,500 in grants to the Nevada Arts Council, the Western Folklife Center, the Churchill Arts Council and the Nevada Ballet Theater as part of the second half of NEA’s fiscal year 2014 funding, Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced Thursday.

The NAC was awarded $663,500 for the third year of its Partnership Agreement Grant, which supports the agency’s programs, outreach activities and various grant categories.

Get an early start on Easter egg hunting Friday when Skyline Estates Senior Living hosts its Easter egg hunt for all ages at 2 p.m. Organizers invite children, parents, and grandchildren to attend. Skyline Estates Senior Living is located at 2861 Mountain St., in Carson City.

Restaurant inspections are made weekly by the Carson City Health and Human Services Environmental Health Division. 
Inspections through April 16, 2014 include several bars and lounges, convenience stores, restaurants and fast food restaurants.

See report below.

Lyon County Manager Jeff Page presented a State of the County report to the Lyon County Board of Commissioners at its Thursday meeting. Public safety tops the list of where 2014 general fund money is being spent, making up 42 percent, followed by general government expenditures, Lyon County judicial courts, culture and recreation and public works.

Economic development authorities, nonprofits and towns in rural Nevada that want to support rural business or create a revolving loan fund for business may now apply for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant. An estimated $82,060 is available. Applications are due by June 30, 2014.

The purpose of the RBEG is to support the creation and growth of sustainable rural business opportunities and jobs. Eligible entities are public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, rural development authorities, and federally recognized tribes. Individual businesses are not eligible.

We just recently helped a client close down and liquidate a corporation that was no longer wanted or needed. Since the stockholder had invested in the corporation stock when it was formed and it had suffered losses, the stock qualified for a special tax benefit as Section 1244 stock.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors meet today in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center. The meeting began at 8:30 a.m. Go here for the agenda and here to watch it live.

A 5.4 pound bear cub is the newest guest at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care. The female, about 10 weeks old, was dropped off at the front door of the Bear League without a note or any word on where the bear came from or where her mother may be.

The cub is just learning to walk, but according to LTWC, she doesn't quite have the hang of it. They say her overall condition is good and she is eating pretty well, even with being so young.

A 22-year-old Carson City man was booked into the Carson City Jail on Wednesday, 4:45 p.m. on a misdemeanor warrant charge of violation of a suspended sentence. The warrant was issued Jan. 23, 2013 out of Carson City Justice Court for failure to appear. Bail: $3,000.

In other arrests: A Carson City woman was arrested Wednesday, 7:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of North Curry Street on a contempt of court warrant charge, issued out of Carson City Justice Court.

When The Greenhouse Project opened on the Carson High School campus in 2011, 20 students participated in the programs offered.

After a quick general meeting, the last of the pre-primary Candidate Forums will be held April 24, 6:30 p.m. at Silver State Charter High School, 788 Fairview Drive in Carson City. This month's forum will consist of:

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the removal of a state controller candidate from the June primary ballot because he doesn't meet residency requirements.

The Carson Tahoe Health Auxiliary hosts a rummage sale Friday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, May 3, 8 a.m. to noon at the Eagles Lodge, 1380 E. 5th St. (between Roop and Saliman streets) in Carson City.

Donations for the sale are also needed. Items can be taken to the Eagles Lodge, Wednesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Auxiliary members will be there to accept your donations. NO LARGE APPLIANCES, COMPUTERS, OR EXERCISE EQUIPMENT PLEASE!

For more information, call Gwenn at 775-220-6116.

Carson City Cadette Girl Scout Troop 196 hosts a free Outdoor Education and Safety event May 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Washoe State Park.

This event is part of the troop earning their Silver Award, which is the second highest award a girl scout can earn. The event is geared toward school-age children, but everyone is invited.

What a wonderful surprise! My husband and I arrived at our home to a find a beautiful display of red sparkly hearts arranged all over our front lawn. Also displayed on our lawn was a sign that read, "You've Been Love Tapped By The Carson Rainbow Girls." Oh how fun

"So how long do these stay on my lawn," my husband asks. We found a piece of paper on our front door. This was our "notice." We must contact the adult advisor of this fundraising project to have the Love Tapped display of love removed for a donation of $10.

Mothers will be the star passengers Sunday, May 11 on a special edition train ride from Nevada's capital, Carson City to the 1860s boom-era mining town of Virginia City.

Tickets are on sale now for a window seat into Nevada's Old West aboard the historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad. The ride features storytelling, history and lore, shopping, a long stem rose for mom, and brunch opportunities in Virginia City.

Carson City Fire Department responded Wednesday afternoon to a traffic accident at Robinson and Stewart streets. At least one person was seriously injured in the crash in which Care Flight has been ordered.

Firefighters had to extricate of one of the victims. Arriving personnel reported the vehicles had major damage. The landing zone for Care Flight was going to be the Carson Nugget parking lot.

The crash was reported at 3:13 p.m.

Ben Masters, 13, travels Saturday to University of California, Berkeley to participate in an official World Cube Association competition at Wheeler Hall.
Ben, who has been practicing his “cubing” skills about five months, has a personal best time of “about 17 seconds,” which has been perfected as he has practiced during his free time through each day and has worked up to doing five or six “solves” per hour, he said. He attends eighth grade at Dayton Intermediate School.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office would like to advise the local community that a representative from L.A.W. (Let’s All Work to Fight Drug Abuse) publications will be in the area for the next two weeks selling ad space to produce the latest edition of their magazine which is customized for Carson City.

The ad space purchased is not only used for the purchase of the latest L.A.W. publication, but also pays for materials for crime prevention, teen related material, coloring books, and other safety related materials.

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada, Northern California and the Sierra. This report is for the week of April 16-22, 2014. Opening day for most fishing on California waterways is Saturday, April 26.