WNC News & Notes: Lockheed retiree makes special donation to Davis Observatory

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One space memento begets another, for the Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College. After a news article appeared about WNC's recent gift of a thermal tile from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's shuttle program, Carson City resident William Ravenelle, Sr. decided to make a donation of his own.

While attending a Saturday evening star viewing party at the observatory, Ravenelle presented Observatory Director Robert Collier with a plaque featuring a small American flag and a patch that traveled on NASA's first shuttle mission, STS1. In addition, it includes the signatures of astronauts John Young and Bob Crippin.

Ravenelle worked as one of the first analysts and engineers at Lockheed Corporation and was a member of the research team that developed thermal protection tiles for the space shuttles. He was awarded the plaque in 1981 as a gift for his years of service.

"I thought it was appropriate to give the plaque to the college so that others would have the opportunity to experience something that traveled around the earth," said Ravenelle.

Collier said, "We are proud to add this historic plaque to our collection of space shuttle memorabilia. Bill contributed to the space program through his work, and we are grateful that he is extending that contribution toward the advancement of science education for our observatory visitors and students."

The plaque can be viewed at the Jack C. Davis Observatory, WNC Carson City.

Basic internet class will include Spanish assistance

Western Nevada College is offering an introduction to the Internet for those who may need assistance with English. Basic Internet (CA 144-1003, #94815) will provide the Latino community a comfortable

environment for learning

fundamental Internet navigation skills. The class is taught in English with bilingual lab assistance on Saturdays, Sept. 17 and 24, 1-5 p.m., at WNC Carson City. The .5-credit class costs $46.63 for Nevada residents. Contact: Lupe Ramirez, 445-3344.

Meet the artists at public reception

The Western Nevada College galleries will host an artists reception Thursday, Sept. 15, 5-6:30 p.m., in the Bristlecone Building. The public is invited to meet the artists of the current exhibits, "The Culture of Burning Man" and "Mostly Perididdle: a look around." Admission is free.

The two exhibits show through Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Bristlecone Building at WNC Carson City. The galleries are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 9 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., excluding holidays.

Observatory Star Parties Beginning Earlier

As the days shorten, the Jack C. Davis Observatory at WNC Carson City will begin Saturday evening stargazing and slide lectures at 6:30 p.m. The events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, Mike Thomas will tell the story of a famous comic book hero in his lecture, "Flash Gordon, Spaceman." Since the 1930's, this character has captured the imagination of both adults and children. The lecture will cover the influence comics had on a nation crippled by the Great Depression, and how comic adventures motivated young people to engage in the new technological world.

Learn the business side of farming at workshop

Western Nevada College's Specialty Crop Institute will offer a QuickBooks workshop to help small farm owners learn accounting fundamentals. "QuickBooks Accounting for the Small Farm" meets Friday-Saturday, Oct. 7-8, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at WNC Fallon campus, 160 Campus Way. Cost is $85 when registering before Friday, Sept. 30, and $95 after Sept. 30. Lunch is included. Space is limited, and early enrollment is encouraged.

Participants will learn to set up and use QuickBooks software to keep track of farm finances, and generate reports and data for business planning and farm management. QuickBooks software will be actively used during the workshop, with time for questions/answers throughout, in an interactive learning environment. A QuickBooks handbook will be provided, and attendees will have the option of purchasing the software at a discounted price.

The workshop will be led by Marie Gibson, an Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor, university instructor and member of Intuit's National Speaker/Writer Network. She brings more than 25 years of business experience, and is a professional educator, speaker and author. Gibson comes from a ranching family in Northern California, and holds degrees in Animal Science, Agricultural Economics and Business Administration.

"There are multiple reasons why farmers should use computerized recordkeeping," she said. "With records and reports at their fingertips, QuickBooks users can make management decisions without guessing about income or loss."

The WNC Specialty Crop Institute is an innovative program that teaches alternative farming methods. Funding for this project was provided by the Nevada Department of Agriculture and USDA/AMS through the Specialty Crop Block Grant. Information/registration: contact Ann Louhela at 775-351-2551 or louhelaa@wnc.edu.


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