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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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Be sure to check out and/or respond to older post (scroll down, hit older post) or items linked in the right hand column. There should be something for every one's interest or taste. Plus you may submit your own content ideas, links or writings by sending them to

Also feel free to comment on the SAG Actor blog or provide feedback on my home page (use tabs above).

Stage Combat Training

Dueling Arts Vegas Faction We are having a stage combat workshop March 18, 19, & 20 Get registered now!! Stop by our Facebook page for details!!

Brown paper wrapping tied up with strings

Studies show that response to a gift that is not wrapped is better than one that is wrapped. Also avoid the fancy gift wrapping, as it raises expectations. The reason according to the studies is that we have been trained by advertising to expect diamonds or very high end gifts in fancy gift wrapped packages.

Dial down the effort, time and details you put into gift wrapping and keep it simple.

State of the Union Address Video and Coverage

A reflection of apathy and of the division of America is that the lowest audience of any recent presidential speeches viewed Tuesday's State of the Union Address, only an estimated 48 million out of population of over 300 million Americans.

Are we so intolerant that we do not even listen anymore, or are we simply resigning our government and letting corporations and professional marketing people run this country? What are your views?

To view the 2011 State of the Union Address for yourself go to:

McHales Navy Reunion at SAG Awards


SAG Awards® to be Simulcast Sunday, Jan. 30 on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 26, 2011) – Tim Conway will introduce the tribute to Screen Actors Guild’s 47th Life Achievement Award recipient Ernest Borgnine at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, executive producer and director Jeff Margolis announced today.

Conway joins a growing roster of actors who will honor their colleagues at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards that already includes Scott Bakula, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Rosario Dawson, Josh Duhamel, Angie Harmon, Eva Longoria, Cory Monteith, Amy Poehler, Hilary Swank, Betty White and SAG President Ken Howard.

The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® ceremony will be simulcast live coast-to-coast on TNTand TBS on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT) from the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. An encore presentation will air on TNT at 10 p.m. (ET) 9 p.m. (CT), 8 p.m. (MT) and 7 p.m. (PT). Prior to the televised ceremony, the SAG Honors for television and film stunt ensembles will be announced during the live and webcasts from the red carpet which begin at 6 p.m. (ET)/3 p.m. (PT).

Screen Actors Guild is honoring Ernest Borgnine for his career achievement and humanitarian accomplishments.  Past recipients of SAG’s Life Achievement Award include Betty White, James Earl Jones, Charles Durning, Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple Black, James Garner, Karl Malden, Clint Eastwood, Edward Asner, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford and George Burns.

Film and television legends Borgnine and Conway first starred together in the 1960’s during the popular World War II sitcom, “McHale

Deep Budget Cuts planned by Governor will impact CSN Students

This morning’s RJ includes an excellent article by Richard Lake on how the proposed cuts to higher education are calculated, how tuition at four-year institutions might be raised, and other reactions to the governor’s executive budget recommendations.  I thought, however, you might like to know more about the impact on CSN.

There are several ways to calculate the budget cuts being recommended.  Gov. Sandoval stated in his State of the State address on Monday night that his proposed budget would reduce higher education funding by 17% over the biennium, which includes the federal ARRA funds that are no longer available.  We have analyzed the proposal and its impact on CSN, using real money and actual funds available.  CSN receives $91.4 million from the general fund. Under the governor’s proposed budget, that allocation would be reduced by $15.5 million in 2012 and $11.3 million in 2013 for a total cut of $26.8 million over the biennium. This represents a budget reduction of 29.3% for the college.  This number includes the 5% salary rollback recommended for all employees.

Can we raise tuition and fee to cover this cut?  Using undergraduate tuition and fees from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), Nevada’s two-year institutions charge $2,243 per academic year.  The average in the 11 western states (excluding California) is $2,834, or 26% more than what Nevada is currently charging.  Assessing higher tuition and fees would indeed help cover the recommended cut. But I have serious doubts that we could raise fees high enough to sustain our current level of operations without pricing out thousands of students who could no longer afford to attend CSN. In addition, under current policy, the first 10% increase in tuition and fees would be subject to the 76/24 mandate:  that 76 cents of every dollar would have to be returned to the general fund.  Increases beyond the 10% would be retained at the campus.

This Saturday, lawmakers will hold a  town hall on the state budget in the South and North from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students, staff and faculty are planning to attend the Southern hearing, which will be held at the Grant Sawyer Building in Rm. 4401 (555 E. Washington Ave.) There will also be a rally specific to higher education at 8 a.m. in front of the Grant Sawyer Building. If you can make it, I hope you will attend to show your support for our students and for education in this state.

On February 3, a special meeting of the Board of Regents will be held at 1:00p.m. in the Third Floor Rotunda at DRI in Las Vegas.  The primary agenda item is the NSHE biennial budget.

On February 7, the Legislature will convene, and we look forward to working with lawmakers and the governor’s office to make our case for investment in higher education funding. It’s going to be a long 120 days during which one of the only things we can be certain is that we will hear many budget reduction scenarios.

Now is the time to begin to contact your legislative representatives. We have updated our Budget Issues site, located on the home page with new information, and we will keep you informed as the process continues.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  Should you have questions, please contact me.


Michael D. Richards, Ph.D.
College of Southern Nevada
(fax) 702-651-5001

Cutting the "F" word from Kings Speech, the human costs of going mobile, Olbermann loss gains MSNBC ratings,

Controversy doesn't help "Skins." So much for the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Despite tons of media coverage about its racy content, which includes teens drinking, drugging and having sex, MTV's "Skins" saw its audience fall by more than 50% from its premiere numbers. Its ratings were dropping faster than clothes off the characters. In the meantime, advertisers continue to succumb to pressure from the Parents Television Council and are dropping out of the show. More from Entertainment Weekly.
Cutting the king's speech? Now that the Oscar nominations are out, studios are trying to figure out how to goose a nomination into both an award and bigger box office. The Weinstein Co., in what to me sounds kind of tacky and desperate, is considering reediting "The King's Speech" so it loses the R rating (for one scene that has lots of F-bombs) and perhaps can get bigger box office. Here's a tip: A period piece about overcoming a speech impediment is never going to be a commercial hit, so why spoil it by hacking it up? Your going to win Oscars, trust me. The story from the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal looks at which movies will benefit financially from nominations, and Variety tells us who got snubbed.
Keith who? MSNBC's ratings went up Monday night despite the absence of Keith Olbermann, who left the news channel after Friday's show. The audience for Lawrence O'Donnell's show, which replaced Olbermann's program, grew by almost 50%. Some curiosity was likely a factor for the big (for MSNBC) numbers, and it will be at least a week until MSNBC can really determine the fallout from Olbermann's exit. More on the numbers from the New York Times.
Disney's not playing games. Walt Disney Co. is making big cuts in its digital media group, laying off about 200 people. The move is part of what the Los Angeles Times describes as a "sweeping reorganization of the unit's games and online groups." The plan is to move away from console games to focus on mobile and online entertainment. Additional coverage from Bloomberg.
Bob's building blocks. Bob Greenblatt has not officially taken the reins at NBC Universal, but he's already busy ordering scripts and pilots. Of course, the word is that the former head of programming from Showtime wants to push the envelope (is there a more tired expression than that one?) in terms of content. That always sounds good, but NBC doesn't need risque content, it needs content that will appeal to as big an audience as possible. A network can take chances from a position of strength a lot easier than it can from a position of weakness. When CBS was struggling years ago, a little family sitcom called "Everybody Loves Raymond" was what drove the turnaround. Story from the New York Post.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on the lack of diversity in Tuesday's Oscar nominations. Start planning now! Here's the lineup for the Hollywood Bowl.