Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels: Next stretch of freeway ready to open

The Nevada Appeal's "Silver Dollars and Wooden Nickel" feature recognizes positive achievements from the capital region and, when warranted, points out others that missed the mark.

SILVER DOLLAR: The date has been released and we can't wait. The second phase of the Carson City Freeway will open by Sept. 25, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Magruder said last week.

The $50 million stretch will extend about two miles to Fairview Drive when opened. And if you want to walk the stretch before driving it, you have your chance; a free 5K run will be at 8 a.m. Sept. 19. After the race, the freeway will then be opened to cyclists and pedestrians until 11 a.m.

WOODEN NICKEL: While newly appointed school board member Stacie Wilke-McCulloch has the experience and we are sure she will do a fine job, a wooden nickel to the lack of applicants for the job. Wilke-McCulloch, who served on the board from 1998-2002, was the lone candidate and was rightly appointed to the vacant seat Tuesday night.

Becoming a school board member is a way to ensure the school district is keeping the children - our future - in mind when making the decisions. Even Wilke-McCulloch was disappointed in the lack of interest in the job. After all the uproar about school district budget cuts earlier this summer, we expected higher interest in our children's education.

SILVER DOLLAR: A silver dollar to Dawn Gibbons and every one of the causes she continues to spend countless hours supporting. It would have been very easy for the first lady to fade away after husband Gov. Jim Gibbons filed for divorce, but Dawn keeps a full calendar. The anti-methamphetamine task force that Gibbons has been working on for years recently became nationally syndicated; 17 states are now using the Crystal Darkness campaign.

SILVER DOLLAR: Something old and prestigious, such as a silver dollar enjoys other historic items. On Saturday, the Nevada Governor's Mansion celebrated its 100th anniversary with an open house. After not having a mansion for the first 45 years as a state, the state Legislature finally got a bill passed to build the mansion in 1907 at a cost of $40,000. Gov. Denver Dickerson and his wife Una moved into the Mountain Street residence on July 13, 1909. You can relieve the history of the mansion with a new coffee-table book entitled, "100 Years in the Governor's Mansion," by Jack Harpster. The book will raise money for Nevada Families for the Treatment of Autism - a cause supported heavily by Dawn Gibbons.

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