Hopes for Hurricane Katrina victims | NevadaAppeal.com

Hopes for Hurricane Katrina victims

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

I turned 26 this week, a time when the nation is stunned by the Gulf Coast disaster.

Not a ripe time for celebrating, not that 26 marks any particular milestone. I survived 25 at the Nevada Appeal. Every day has been utter joy. I’m closer to 30 now than 20. Four years left before the “what have I done with my life meltdown.”

This past week it’s been hard to think of anything but the thousands dead, the orphans, beloved animals starving and homes destroyed. Everything else seems trivial in comparison. Now that it’s sunk in, I’ve come to see that there is some hope in this.

New Orleans will be rebuilt (I firmly believe that they will try again) with a modern and effective levee system.

Low- and middle-income communities will be built on higher ground and the homes will have higher structural integrity, something only the rich once enjoyed.

Cities across the nation will make evacuation plans (if they haven’t already) and publicize them.

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The reconstruction effort in hundreds of Southern cities will lift the economy.

Evacuees will experience generosity like they never have before, and be forever changed by it.

Those who live, work with or meet those from the disaster area will be able to share in the suffering and survival of someone who had once been a stranger.

Our children and teens will see the truth about poverty. They’ll see that prosperity has nothing to do with owning a cell phone and IPod.

Parents and children will see the importance of an extended family, whether it comes in the form of blood relatives, total strangers or religious affiliation.

Those who did nothing when New Orleans was slipping into the water will be held accountable.

Those are my hopes. Now I just have to tackle this whole 26 thing.

Employers Insurance Group pledged $12,000 to the Salvation Army to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. EIG, which maintains corporate headquarters in Reno, also is collecting additional donations through its six Western states as EIG employees respond with individual contributions to a company wide call.

The Nevada Independent Insurance Agents, a statewide trade association, also donated $3,000 to the Katrina Disaster Recovery Fund. That donation will be split among the three state associations. In addition, they have set up a “buddy system” to help aid the processing of claims filed by hurricane victims.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners made a national pledge of $25,000 to the American Red Cross Special Hurricane Fund to assist with hurricane recovery efforts.

Property and casualty insurers throughout the hurricane-hit New Orleans and Gulf Coast areas are expected to be inundated with insurance claims as hurricane recovery efforts continue, and as residents attempt to recover from both property loss and personal tragedy.

The Bliss Mansion Bed and Breakfast is the first AAA Four Diamond property in Carson City.

The mansion, across the street from the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City, has five grand suites. It was built in 1879 by Duane L. Bliss, a Tahoe lumber and railroad tycoon. Over the years, the bed and breakfast has been restored and now features all the modern comforts of life in addition to the nostalgia of Victorian splendor.

Some of the amenities include fireplaces, hand-carved mahogany beds with pillow-top mattresses, claw-foot tubs, down pillows and comforters. Room rates range from $165 to $225.

Prudential Nevada Realty announced that Leslie Cain received the Prudential Real Estate Affiliates’ distinguished eCertifieda designation. The Prudential Real Estate Network awards the designation to sales professionals who meet the extensive criteria and complete the eCertified program training. The training and certification process is designed to prepare sales professionals with the technological and “e-Based” business skills necessary to service the emerging market and changing needs of today’s online consumer.

Business Bank of Nevada hired Sherri Blanchard as the new customer service manager of its Carson Valley branch in Minden. Blanchard replaces Stephanie Hettrick, who is now pursuing a career as an interior design consultant.

Blanchard joins Business Bank from US Bank, where she served as assistant branch manager at Incline Village for the past five years. She spent the past 21 years with US Bank serving in a variety of positions, including branch manager, district operations officer and customer service manager.

St. Mary’s Art Center will host an open studio every Tuesday. For the first time in 40 years, the center is opening up its doors from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Starting Sept. 13 anyone interested in bringing their sketch pads, sewing, paints, easels or just a good book can come and share time with other creative people.

According to the center, the area is perfect for many types of activities. The kitchen can be used for a small book discussion group, knitting group, putting together a puzzle or card game. The large second-floor studio can be used for painting or quilting.

The first floor hallway has a piano. The new classroom under the front porch can be used for woodworking, tying flies or jewelry making.

The cost of the open studio is $5 per visit for center members. Silver Membership is $36 a year. With a $100 Gold Membership there is no charge for the open studio. Nonmembers will be charged $8 per visit.

If you itemized your motor vehicle privilege tax as an itemized deduction on last year’s tax return that will start to be mailed out next month, then you might have to report the DMV rebate check as extra income.

“Most Nevadans are unaware that their rebate check is taxable income,” said William Puchert, Jackson Hewitt Northern Nevada Marketing Manager.

The Jackson Hewitt Tax Course is an opportunity to learn how to accurately report this income plus any other extra money you earned, help you avoid overlooking deductions and walk away with a marketable skill that might help them earn money in the tax preparation industry. The course begins Sept. 12.

Once the basic course materials are taught, students go on to learn more detailed topics, such as: gains on stocks and bonds, employee business expenses, small business income and more.

To find out about an upcoming class near you, call Jackson Hewitt Tax Service office at 356-1655.

For the fourth year in a row, a survey of real estate professionals has found CB Richard Ellis to be a leading brand in U.S. commercial real estate. The company has topped the list every year since the survey’s inception in 2002.

The survey, conducted by The Lipsey Company, explores how commercial real estate brands are perceived. About 20,000 professionals from U.S. Real Estate Investment Trusts, institutions, lenders, commercial brokerages, asset managers, property managers and international firms participated in the survey.

“This recognition is a testament of CB Richard Ellis’s commitment to Northern Nevada and to the quality of our people as well as our continuing investments in brand equity,” said Michael Schnabel, managing director of the CBRE office in Reno. “We are honored that our clients and peers continue to recognize the power and excellence of the CBRE brand.”

The Lipsey Company provides training and professional development services to the commercial real estate industry.

– Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.