Daily Archives: June 19, 2009

Nevada Gets $21 Million Gift — for a Science Museum!

With business bankruptcies, closures and layoffs predominate in the news, it’s refreshing to learn that Henderson City Council in Nevada has transferred funds last week from the sale of city land to help spur development of the science museum on a 160-acre site on U.S. Highway 95 near Russell Road.  

It’s a dream come true for Henderson, with talks about building a museum a leading topic for the past 15 years. 

The money is considered a gift to the Henderson Space and Science Center Board, which was formed by the city earlier this year to oversee the nonprofit corporation that will plan and run the attraction. 

The $21 million gift comes from the city’s land fund, which can be used only for capital improvements or the acquisition of property, buildings, furniture and equipment. 

Several years ago the land was to be a spring training facility for a Major League Baseball team that never came to pass.

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Nevada Films Goose State Revenue

Although Nevada tourism slumped in 2008, producers and directors of film and television projects spent $110 million shooting and finishing shows in Nevada in 2008.  The results surpassed the $103.3 million the Nevada Film Office counted in 2007, when a writers’ strike in November and December brought production to a nationwide halt. 

Among the film projects in Nevada in 2008, were such major movies as “The Race to Witch Mountain,” released in March, and “The Hangover,” a paean to Vegas-based bachelor parties, scheduled to open this month.  

But the real revenue bang accruing from Nevada filming comes from television shows.  Programs including “America’s Next Top Model,” “American Idol,” “My Super Sweet 16,” and “Bridezilla” all were taped in Nevada in 2008.  “The Jerry Springer Show” and primetime dramas including Fox’s “Prison Break,” and CBS’s “CSI:  Las Vegas” were all filmed in Nevada, as well as countless music videos, commercials, student films and other media projects. 

Approximately 95 percent of the Nevada filming has occurred in Las Vegas. 

Since 2000, producers and directors have filmed or taped more than 4,500 projects in Nevada, for an economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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Wild Wolfs Roam Las Vegas Compound

Wolfs of the wild, furry and four-footed variety are taking up new digs in the Las Vegas Valley. wolf

Keilli Caracci, 32, a part-time nanny, has just moved her nonprofit wolf sanctuary from Pahrump, Nevada to a site south of St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, Nevada, creating the only wolf sanctuary of its kind in Clark County. 

Known as the Ba’cho Nowhidee Wolf Sanctuary, the 4-acre site houses 15 wolves, with room for five more. The animals come as beleaguered orphans that are too skittish to be adopted and too tame to be released into the wild, making a sanctuary their only viable home. 

“They’ve been hurt. They’ve been abused. They’ve been abandoned,” Caracci said.  All were born in captivity and are mixed with dog breeds. 

The sanctuary looks like a compound, with two layers of steel fencing around the 8-foot-high enclosures where the wolves are kept. Within the pens, wolves can roam, play and climb on wooden platforms. At the center stands a mobile home where Caracci and her husband, Chris, an ex-Navy SEAL who trained dolphins to detect underwater mines, live. 

The couple, who have cared for wolves since 2005, don’t plan to open the sanctuary for public tours, except maybe school groups. In fact, the outer fence is shrouded to hide the site from passers-by. 

“They’re not these mean, horrible, aggressive beasts,” Caracci said. 

In the past 300 years, documented wolf attacks on people in the North American wilderness have been sporadic. Healthy wild wolves have maimed humans only a couple dozen times and might have killed a Canadian man in 2005, though opinion is split on whether he was mauled by wolves or a bear. 

Wolf-dog hybrids kept as pets account for most of the serious attacks on humans in recent decades. The animals can make good pets as long as owners understand how they differ from full-blooded dogs, Caracci said. 

A human scent sets off a wolf’s defenses, so a person who wants a pet wolf must invest the time to bond with it, Caracci said. When she adopts a wolf, Caracci sleeps with it outside for a week. 

Some misguided people adopt wolves as guard dogs, which fails miserably, she said.”Strangers come, and they retreat without question.”

Wolf breeds are more willful and moody than dogs and can never be completely domesticated, she said. They resist attempts to manhandle them. 

“If you pick them up or if you try to take control of them, they’ll let you know that you’re not in control,” she said. “It takes knowing the animal to protect yourself and the animal.” 

Caracci doesn’t plan to expand the sanctuary beyond 20 wolves, because she would have to hire a helper, who might get flustered and yell or slap at a wolf, traumatizing the animal. Regaining a wolf’s trust can take years, she said. 

Limiting the shelter’s size means turning down requests to rescue wolves, something she hates doing because she knows they will be euthanized. It breaks her heart, she said, but she can only save so many. 

“The happiest day the sanctuary would ever have is if it closed its doors because it’s not needed anymore,” says Caracci. 

For more information, contact the Caraccis at 775-253-4444 or visit www.ourbrotherthewolf.org

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