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A tasty MAC fundraising idea

Here’s a different, and potentially delicious, fundraising idea from the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC): the “Week of 100 Dinners.”

A group of museum boosters called the MAC 200K Club is hoping to convince 100 hosts to hold dinners at their homes the first week of October. Each dinner party will have at least 10 guests who will agree to contribute $100 each to the museum’s general operating budget.

If this all works as planned, this drive would raise $100,000 to help overcome the MAC’s well-publicized budget issues.

If you want to be a host, sign up by emailing to Mac200kclub@gmail.com or call Charlotte Lamp, (509) 536-4303 with questions.

By the way, you don’t have to hold a dinner party. It can be a breakfast party, a cocktail party or a beer and pizza party – although I would suggest that it should probably include above-average beer and pizza.

The MAC evades death

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) has escaped the death sentence.

We just received word that the museum received $2.965 million in the state budget, which is a cut of five percent. That's far less severe than feared.

The museum will have to trim some services or operations — but will be able to remain open. Watch for an SR news story soon with more details.

GSI site gives voters a way to contact legislators, voice support for the MAC

State voters and taxpayers who want Washington's legislators to keep funding the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) can find a quick link to an online letter form at the Greater Spokane Incorporated's YourPolicyVoice.org.

The letter is a quick form that allows people to support the MAC, which faces possible closure due to major cuts proposed by the governor's 2011-2013 biennial budget. The message there will be forwarded to legislators based on selections the letter-writer chooses in the online form.

The MAC is dependent on state funding, plus grants, private support, memberships and exhibit sponsors.

The museum houses the Inland Northwest’s largest art and history collections, exhibitions, and historical records. 

GSI's Yourpolicyvoice.org site gives citizens quick ways to contact elected officials on important policy decisions.

MAC attack turned partly back…

This one’s of interest mainly to readers in Spokane. From tomorrow’s paper:

OLYMPIA _ A controversial proposal to merge the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture with its Western Washington counterpart appears to be dead.

One of the state’s most powerful lawmakers said Thursday that the Senate will not be approving the plan, which was proposed in December as a cost-cutting move by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

“The bill is on my desk. It’s not going to be introduced in the Senate,” said Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane.

So it’s dead on arrival, a reporter asked.

“It is,” responded Brown.

The bad news: torpedoing the merger won’t necessarily shield the museum and its operations from state budget cuts. Gov. Chris Gregoire in December proposed cutting the MAC budget by $524,000 over the next two years, which is about a 13 percent cut. And the state’s budget picture is now believed to be much bleaker.

Stopping the merger, however, would keep the MAC as a distinct organization, separate from the Tacoma-based Washington State Historical Society.

Brown’s comments came on the same day that MAC officials were in Olympia, urging skeptical House lawmakers not to allow the merger or deep budget cuts.

“Simply saying that it’s going to be hard or that it would be impossible is falling on our deaf ears,” state Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, warned CEO Dennis Hession and development officer Lorna Walsh Thursday. “…We’re looking at just the most dire of budget circumstances.”

When Gregoire called for the $524,000 cut, state budget writers thought they faced a shortfall of

Detailing the cuts…

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s two-year budget plan, released Thursday, suggests closing a $5.7 billion budget shortfall with deep cuts.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest cuts, local cuts, and some new local spending:

Education:

-do away with cost-of-living raises for teachers and other school staffers for the next two years: $349 million.

-eliminate a variety of school pilot programs, including the reading corps, civics curriculum, and math helping corps: $23 million.

-”suspend” about a quarter of the money for class-size reduction: $178 million.

Higher Education:

-across-the-board cuts of up to 13 percent at four-year colleges and 6 percent at community and technical colleges. The colleges can decide what to cut, although effects may include cutting faculty, cutting support staff and offering fewer classes. Savings: $342 million.

-doing away with faculty and staff cost-of-living raises at community and technical colleges: $33.4 million.

Human services:

-do away with the Adult Day Health program, which serves about 1,900 elderly and developmentally disabled people: $20 million.

-reduce nursing home reimbursement rates by 5 percent: $46 million.

-shrink mental health funding for Regional Support Networks: $31 million.

-toughen accountability for welfare recipients and push them into jobs quicker: $30 million.

Health care:

-stop buying vaccines for children not covered by Medicaid: $50 million.

-cut the state’s Basic Health Plan for the working poor by 42 percent and shrink the things it will cover.

-halt plans to let parents buy state-subsidized health coverage if they’re between 250 percent and 300 percent of poverty level. For a family of 4, that’s $53,000 to $63,600 per year. Savings: $6 million.

-eliminate General Assistance for the Unemployable, which provides health care and issues checks of up to $339 a month to thousands of people. Savings: $251 million.

-cut hospital reimbursement rates by 4 percent: $47 million.

Natural resources:

-close 7 fish hatcheries: $7 million.

-close 13 state parks, plus other parks during off-peak seasons: $5 million.

Law enforcement:

-shortening probation and eliminating probation supervision for misdemeanors and low-risk felonies: $69 million.

-shrinking drug and alcohol treatment: $11 million.