Silver Dollars and Wooden Nickels: Many No. 1 rankings recorded, but not all are good

The Nevada Appeal's "Silver Dollar" and "Wooden Nickel" feature recognizes the positive, and sometimes dubious, achievements from the Capital region.

Silver dollar: The Nevada Commission on Tourism honored Sherry Rupert, executive director of the state Indian Commission, earlier this month.

The commission recognized Rupert with its VolunTourism Award for her work to create a self-guided tour of the Stewart Indian School, a former American Indian boarding school, in Carson City. She is now working on a cultural center that will display artifacts from the school and celebrate the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes and their 27 colonies in Nevada.

Silver dollar: Another local tourism official, Candace Duncan, also received an award from the state commission on tourism.

The Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director received the Statewide Excellence in Tourism Award for her efforts promoting tourism throughout the state.

She has marketed golf in both Carson City and Southern Nevada, secured grants for many rural towns and helped organize the Save Nevada Tourism coalition to fight proposed state budget cuts.

Silver dollar: Darlene Ricco works for a private company that has a contract with the state to help disabled people to live independent lives. She works with 11 clients in Carson City, handling tasks that include monitoring medications, helping people budget money and teaching clients to read food labels and plan menus for a healthy diet.

In recognition of her work, the American Network of Community Options and Resources recently named Ricco its 2009 National Direct Support Professional of the Year.

Wooden nickel: Once again, Nevada achieves a top ranking for something not so great.

According to a recent survey by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal Washington, D.C., think tank, Nevada faces the largest budget deficit in the country for the upcoming fiscal year.

Nevada will have a 30 percent gap between spending and revenue, edging out Arizona, which faces a 29.8 percent deficit, according to the survey.

Editor's note: Do you have a suggestion for a Silver Dollar or Wooden Nickel award? Send your idea to


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