Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels: Positive financial news is a welcome change

The Nevada Appeal’s Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels feature recognizes achievements from the capital region and, then warranted, points out other acts that missed the mark.

SILVER DOLLAR: After some lean years, it’s great to see some positive financial news. With less than two weeks left in the fiscal year, the Public Employees Retirement System portfolio is worth a record $29.6 billion. That’s up from $25.2 billion at the end of fiscal year 2011. The state’s number of new unemployment claims was down 1 percent between May 2012 and last month. And Nevada was one of 25 states that saw their unemployment rates dip in May, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Our state’s jobless rate was 9.5 percent last month, its lowest rate since 2008. That’s great news; however ...

WOODEN NICKEL: We’ve still got the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Let’s hope our numbers continue to improve.

SILVER DOLLAR: Congratulations to Carson High School students Jesica Cacho, Erica Gallegos and Jake Jones, who placed 13th nationwide in the group documentary category at a recent National History Day competition. The group also was awarded the best Nevada entry at the event, held at the University of Maryland. Kayla Kennison also competed, in the individual exhibit category. Teacher Nicole Fagundes said students endured plenty during the trip — evacuating an airplane for a tornado warning, a lack of air conditioning in their dorms, torrential downpours and high humidity. They overcame plenty and did Nevada proud.

WOODEN NICKEL: The federal government continues to cut wildfire-prevention funding. The U.S. Forest Service says it expects to treat 1 million fewer acres next year than it did last year, and President Barack Obama has proposed a 31 percent cut for the Hazardous Fuels Reduction Program. Potential wildfires threaten all of us in Carson City, and we need more help to fight fires, not less.

SILVER DOLLAR: Many might view the 2013 Legislature’s performance as mixed or worse, but Carson City benefited in some ways. City lobbyist Mary Walker told the Board of Supervisors on Thursday that passage of Senate Bill 3, which limits how much counties must spend on long-term indigent care, saves Carson City about $630,000. That’s a nice chunk of change.


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