Tuesday, September 15, 2009

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

PR -- Nevada receives federal energy grant

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2009

Carson City - Governor Jim Gibbons today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Nevada a $438,573 grant. The grant comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Package). The Governor’s Energy Advisor, Dr. Hatice Gecol, applied for the grant. The money will be used to hire or retrain people and expand state-level capacities to address challenges to Nevada’s electricity system, including readiness for emergency situations such as blackouts or service interruptions due to natural disasters or other infrastructure failures. “Nevada must be prepared for any emergency or disaster,” Governor Gibbons said, “And that includes making sure our power distribution system is studied and plans can be created to make sure Nevadans have continuous electric service.”This grant program follows a pledge from the U.S. Department of Energy to make America’s electric grid more reliable.

PR -- Sierra-at-Tahoe and TransWorld Snowboarding team-up


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - August 12, 2009 - Sierra™ Resort, Forum, Snow Park Technologies and TransWorld SNOWboarding photographer Ian Ruhter worked together on Environmental Awakening, a video and photo shoot submission for TransWorld SNOWboarding's first-ever Team Shoot Out.

The Team Shoot Out was a secret competition between four of the best teams in snowboarding hosted by four of the elite resorts in the west. The innovative project focused on creativity - but not just snowboarding creativity. "As media leaders, TransWorld challenged the invited board teams - Burton, DC, Forum and Rome - to produce the ultimate terrain park shoot and document it in video and photos to showcase the visual possibility in snowboarding," - from the TransWorld Team Shoot Out web site.

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Sierra's segment - Environmental Awakening.

The Concept:
Photographer Ian Ruhter had the vision to create a submission that was both artistically edgy and had a powerful message to benefit the snowboard industry. Environmental Awakening is meant as a wake-up call to riders everywhere that actions have consequences. Litter, air pollution, green house gas emissions, and forest fires - they all impact the environment where we ride.

Once the concept was established, Forum brought a team of incredible riders to the table and began to conceptualize actual features. Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Snow Park Technologies built all of the features, turning the vision into reality. "It was awesome to be part of the Forum team and to be able to work with Sierra Resort. Sierra has one of the best park building teams in the industry and Ian's vision was a perfect match for the values of the resort. It was a great partnership all around," said Mike Bettera, SPT Senior Project Manager.

The Features and Riders:
The appliance jib was one of the first features shown in the video and symbolizes the accumulation of used equipment for which we have no disposal plan. Thirty dishwashers, laundry machines, dryers and more were stacked up to create a take-off for the riders. Most of the appliances were acquired from dumps, garage sales and used appliance stores. The back of each appliance was then drilled out and a light installed inside to create a visual effect for the shoot, which was done entirely at night. Nic Sauve is featured on the appliance jib.

The pond skim to pole jam was a rider favorite. A pond was built on the deck of a jump and an old lift tower protruded from the front of the pond so riders could skim across the pond, rail slide the old lift tower and drop to the landing. Dry ice was put inside the lift tower for effect. The litter that is in the pond was generated by the riders and crew during the week-long shoot. The whole feature was a metaphor for industrialization and the degradation of our natural environment. Daniel Ek was featured on the pond skim to pole jam.

The dry ice wall ride was one of the most visually stunning features and produced the single best image from the entire shoot. The infrastructure for the wall ride was recycled from an old park feature at Sierra Resort. The blocks of dry ice measured 1' x 2' x 4' and weighed 300 pounds each. There are 45 blocks in the wall ride, which were stacked up and then carved out to create a quarter pipe. The wall ride was lit from behind for visual effect and symbolizes the melting polar ice caps. Pat Moore, Cameron Pierce and Nic Sauve were all featured on the wall ride.

The burning trees were also a visual thriller. This particular feature hit close to home for a lot of Sierra Resort locals as a reminder of the recent Angora fire that burned close to 3,000 acres and destroyed 254 homes in South Lake Tahoe. The Sierra and SPT crew collected old christmas trees from South Lake Tahoe and staked them out on the deck of a jump. With professional forest firefighters close by, the trees were ignited. A winter storm at the resort made this shot particularly challenging for the film crew (hitting a jump through burning trees is nerve-rattling enough without high wind and blowing snow). Cameron Pierce was featured on this jump.

It was awesome to be part of the Forum team and to be able to work with Sierra Resort. Sierra has one of the best park building teams in the industry and Ian's vision was a perfect match for the values of the resort. It was a great partnership all around.

Press Contacts:
Kirstin Cattell530.543.3132kcattell.st@boothcreek.com
Jessica VanPernis530.562.3866jvanpernis@boothcreek.com
Kristin Mettler775.831.4422kmettler@malenandmettler.com

The Superpipe is one of Sierra Resort's signature terrain parks and the Forum team was excited to incorporate it into the shoot. Oil barrels were stacked along the deck of the Superpipe, filled with scrap wood, and set on fire. Dry ice and targeted lighting also helped create the visual effects. The Superpipe feature symbolized the air pollution from green house gas emissions. Pat Moore was featured in this segment.

To create Environmental Awakening, the film crew worked 16 to 24 hours per day for seven straight days. The filming and photography took place at night and the concept and builds were kept top secret to maintain the integrity of the contest.

TransWorld's vision to rethink the typical snowboard video, making it about more than just great tricks and riding, has created a new paradigm of what snowboarding videos can be. It will be interesting to see how skiers and riders respond to the new artistic standpoint - that it's about the actual image produced.

The entire Team Shoot Out video is available for download on iTunes while the photos created are featured on page 80 of the September issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort: Keepin It Real

Recognized by Transworld Snowboarding as a "Best Value" and a "Best Vibe" resort and known for its wind-protected slopes, incredible tree skiing, family programs and parks and pipes that are among the best in the nation, Sierra Resort is a bastion of the authentic California ski experience. Easy to get to and always laid-back, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort welcomes skiers and snowboarders to escape from everyday life and enjoy the simple pleasure of winter in the mountains. Sierra Resort and the Eldorado National Forest are partners in recreation.

The closest major resort to Sacramento, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort is located just 12 miles west of Lake Tahoe and receives an annual average of 480 inches of snowfall. For more information, visit www.SierraAtTahoe.com or call 530.659.7453.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Food -- Olive oil -- a new gold rush in El Dorado County

Autumn Cruz / acruz@sacbee.com
Annette Schoonover refills a bottle of olive oil for a customer at her Winterhill Farms shop in Placerville. With 33 acres planted in El Dorado County in 2008, olives moved from the "minor and miscellaneous crops" category to a listing of their own in the county's annual crop report.

By Cathy Locke clocke@sacbee.com

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 - 12:00 am Page 2B

Annette Schoonover invites patrons to "bring your own bottle," but what she pours at the tasting bar is for dipping, not sipping.

Winterhill Farms' shop on Placerville's Main Street represents El Dorado County's nascent olive oil industry. Since 2000, a handful of olive orchards have been introduced into the foothills agricultural scene.

With 33 acres planted in 2008, olives moved from the "minor and miscellaneous crops" category to a listing of their own in the county Agriculture Department's annual Crop and Livestock Report.

Although the total value of the olive crop in El Dorado County was $38,000 last year, far below the $5.8 million for apples and $5.2 million for wine grapes, olive growers see theirs as an up-and-coming industry.

Like many of the county's vintners, the olive growers came to agriculture from other professions. And like winemaking, producing a quality olive oil is a mix of science and art.
Schoonover and her partner, Richard Wolf, planted olive trees six years ago on 40 acres in the Somerset area. After 30 years as an art director for a South Lake Tahoe advertising agency, Schoonover said she wanted to get back to the earth.

She attributes her interest in raising olives to her Italian heritage.

"I have relatives still living in Sicily," she said.

In addition to 300 trees on their El Dorado County property, she and Wolf manage two orchards in the Oroville area. Not wanting to inconvenience neighbors on their privately maintained road, they decided to forgo ranch marketing and instead sell their oil at farmers markets and area wineries.

Two years ago, they opened the Main Street shop, featuring Winterhill olive oil, imported balsamic vinegars, and an array of jams, glazes, honey, teas and salves, as well as arts and crafts by area entrepreneurs whose farms and workshops are off the beaten path.

As in a wine-tasting room, patrons can sample varietals and flavored olive oils, dipping bread cubes into cups of the amber liquid, progressing from the mild to more robust. The oil is sold by the bottle and in bulk. Customers who bring their own bottles receive a 40 percent discount.
Herbalist Laura Owens developed teas made with olive leaves, as well as an all-natural, DEET-free, insect repellent containing olive oil, eucalyptus and lemon grass. Chris Lee's Bees supplies honey, and Betty Albert provides chutney and breads.

"Our theme is products with passion," Schoonover said. "We seek out the people that love what they do."

Bob and Amy Day share that passion. After traveling through Europe, they imported more than 3,000 olive trees, including 28 varieties from France, five from Italy and one from Spain. They planted them among the oaks on their 150 acres on the Georgetown Divide and market olive oil under their Mad Dog Mesa label.

Bob Day is a former management consultant, and his wife is a financial analyst. Most of what they know about raising olives they learned from books and the Internet, he said. They and other growers process their olives at mills outside the county, but Day said he hopes to install the first local mill.

Olives typically are harvested in November and December and pressed within 24 hours after they are picked. Unlike wine, the oil is best when fresh and should be used within two years.
Day sells his oil primarily at farmers markets in El Dorado County.

Education is key to the marketing process, growers say. "The American palate is not used to extra-virgin olive oil," Schoonover said.

Touted for its health benefits, olive oil is gaining popularity. Studies of extra-virgin oil indicate that its low acidity creates high antioxidant levels.

Day credits John Tillman of Gold Hill Olive Oil Co. for giving a public face to the industry in El Dorado County. Tillman's orchards, tasting room and farmhouse-turned-retreat-center are prominent along well-traveled Gold Hill Road.

Tillman, whose weekday job is general manager of Sierra Disposal, said he has closed his tasting room for the summer because of the poor economy. But the retreat center continues to draw visitors seeking a rural getaway, and who are eager to sample the region's oils as well as its wines.

News -- Dismal gaming revenue report; South Shore in the cellar

by Geoff Dornan, R-C Capitol Bureau

Statewide $10.78 billion -13.72%
Carson Valley $105.9 million -9.88%
South Shore $263.9 million -17.42%
North Shore $31.5 million -16.8%
Washoe County $867.2 million -12.99%
Reno $628.8 million -12.8%
Clark County $9.1 billion -14%
Las Vegas Strip $5.65 billion -15.27%

Nevada casinos suffered their worst year on record in Fiscal 2009 with total gaming win finishing 13.7 percent below the previous year.

Frank Streshley, chief of tax and licensing at the Gaming Control Board, said the $10.8 billion statewide win is the lowest total in five years. Three of those previous years , he said, raked in more than $12 billion.In fact, the largest previous drop in fiscal year win was 2002 following 9/11 at just 3.7 percent.

As a result, Budget Director Andrew Clinger said gaming tax collections, which make up 30 percent of revenue to the state General Fund, are already $2.17 million short of the projections used to build this fiscal year's budget.

The area hardest hit was Mesquite in southern Nevada where win fell 18.9 percent.That was followed by South Lake Tahoe at 17.4 percent for the year but Streshley said south shore's problems are more complex than just the economy. Win there was down just 8.9 percent the first six months of the year but fell dramatically — 27.3 percent — the second six months. The difference, he said, was the opening of the Redhawk Indian casino on Highway 50 in California. Total win for south shore over the year was just $263.9 million.

The Carson Valley Area, which includes valley portions of Douglas County, saw a 9.9 percent drop for the year to $105.9 million in winnings. It was Carson's third straight year of declining win.North Shore casinos reported a 16.8 percent decline for the year to just $31.5 million. That follows a 13.2 percent drop the year before for a total reduction in casino win of 30 percent in just two years.Streshley said two thirds of total statewide win came from slot play — $7.2 billion.

The remaining $3.5 billion was from game and table play.Altogether, gamblers wagered a total of $147.1 billion — $118.7 billion in slots and the $28.4 billion on games. Those totals were down 10 percent and 8 percent respectively.

The Las Vegas Strip was down 15.3 percent to $5.7 billion in win, its lowest total in four years.

The picture was worse in Washoe County which, like south shore, is competing with major Indian casinos in California. There total win fell 13 percent to $867.2 million, the lowest reported win for Washoe in 15 years.

The June numbers which finished the fiscal year mirrored the rest of FY2009 with total win down 13.8 percent from the previous June. Total win was $949.3 million with nearly all reporting areas in double digit decline.

That also matches the gaming tax collections reported by the state which totaled $45.68 million — a 13.5 percent decrease.June numbers weren't helped by the fact there were no major events to draw tourists during the month.

Commentary -- City manager speaks about Kelly Ridge opening

The following are the comments made by South Lake Tahoe City Manager Dave Jinkens at the Aut. 11 opeing of Kelly Ridge at 1447 Herbert Ave.







PR -- USFS prepares to restore Tahoe's aspen stands

Date: August 11, 2009

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.-- The Forest Supervisor for the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) has approved a project to restore aspen stands at moderate to highest risk of loss throughout many areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

The Aspen Community Restoration Project will address approximately 2,391 acres of National Forest System Lands, and include both aspen stands and surrounding areas.

The project will proceed in phases as funding becomes available. Aspen stands are found throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin with the largest number of stands in the watersheds along the west shore. Other areas include the northeast slopes and several areas near the south and southeast shores.

Natural aspen stand regeneration has declined due to factors like historic grazing and most importantly, decades of fire suppression. Over time conifers encroached on aspen stands and came to dominate the canopy and severely suppress aspen regeneration.

Today, 65% (by area) of aspen stands on the LTBMU are at moderate to highest risk of loss.

The loss of aspen stands greatly diminishes plant and animal species dependent upon healthy regenerating aspen communities. In order to reverse the loss of aspen and promote regeneration, the project includes removal of encroaching conifers both mechanically and by hand crews. Treatment also includes some aspen removal and other methods to promote root stimulation and stand regeneration.

Prescribed fire will also be used for fuels reduction and restoration goals where appropriate. In some cases, treatments may extend beyond the perimeter of an aspen stand to prevent remaining, adjacent conifers from shading the aspen stand and suppressing aspen regeneration. The woody material from the treatments will be processed on-site (e.g., chipped, masticated, lop-and-scattered, or piled for burning) or removed from treatment areas.

No permanent roads will be constructed for this project, and all temporary roads will be restored after treatments are completed. Some areas may experience temporary closures for public safety. The overall project will be conducted over several years as conditions and funding allow. Implementation may begin as soon as conditions permit.

A full description of the project can be found in the decision memo posted on the LTBMU website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/projects/ under Aspen Community Restoration. The decision memo is also available for viewing at the Forest Supervisor's Office, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the phone number is (530) 543-2694.

Info -- Heavenly does what it can to prevent fires

Heavenly Mountain Resort has installed mesh screens in its gondola cabins after two fires this summer burned small swaths of land. Although the cause of the fires has not been officially determined, it’s highly possible that like in 2002 when more than 600 acres burned, a cigarette was tossed from the gondola. Heavenly will use signs in the cabins and around the base area, as well as having eco rangers stationed at each terminal, to educate people about fire prevention.

PR -- Taylor Creek open house Aug.12; permanent stucture possible

Taylor Creek Visitor Center may become a permanent structure if the U.S. Forest Service gets approval.
The two temporary rental trailers on the Highway 89 site past Camp Rich would be replaced by a 3,800-sqare-foot center. Such a building has been talked about since the 1960s.
About 100,000 people visit the center each summer, rendering the current structures inefficient and inadequate.
An open house at Taylor Creek Visitor Center patio will be Aug. 12 from 4-7pm.
Aug. 28 is the deadline to submit comments. For information, contact Jackie Faike at (530) 543-2600 or go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/projects.

Event -- Lake in the Sky Air Show Aug. 29

Press Release
Aug. 11, 2009

(South Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev.) The 20th Annual Lake in the Sky Air Show takes flight at Lake Tahoe Airport (TVL), Saturday, Aug. 29, featuring some of the world’s top aircraft and aerobatics performers as well as new radio-controlled aircraft demonstration, Navy H-60 Seahawk helicopters and an Air Force C-17 Globemaster static aircraft display.

The affordable, family-friendly event complements the natural spectacular beauty of the lake, a plethora of outdoor recreation, headliner entertainment and comfortable summer temperatures to make for a memorable getaway to South Lake Tahoe (http://www.BlueLakeTahoe.com)...

News -- El Dorado County woman dies from swine flu

August 11, 2009

A 52-year old El Dorado County woman has died after being hospitalized with the Novel H1N1 flu virus (also known as swine flu), El Dorado County health officials confirmed yesterday. Pre-existing medical conditions were a factor in the woman’s death. She is the first person in El Dorado County to die from the H1N1 virus.

”We would like to extend our sympathy to the family of this individual,” said El Dorado County Health Officer, Olivia Kasirye, M.D.

To date, there have been 19 confirmed cases of H1N1 infection including this one in El Dorado County; however only hospitalized cases are being tested at this time. The California Department of Public Health reports 892 hospitalizations from H1N1 flu virus and 92 related deaths statewide as of August 5th. Dr. Kasirye notes most of the cases of H1N1 infection in El Dorado County have been relatively mild.

“The good news is that most people who become sick with H1N1 do recover. Unfortunately, for a smaller percentage of individuals with underlying medical conditions, the virus develops into a life threatening illness.”

El Dorado County officials continue to see unusual flu activity for this time of the year, and recommends the community continues taking steps to prevent catching the flu.

Everyday actions such as frequent hand washing and avoiding sick individuals are simple but highly effective in preventing respiratory disease, according to Dr. Kasirye.

“Individuals who become sick with flu-like symptoms should stay home from work or school, and avoid contact with others. People who have severe flu symptoms, and especially those individuals who begin to have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing should speak to a healthcare provider right away. Pregnant women who become sick with flu-like symptoms are also advised to speak with their healthcare provider.”

Everyday steps to prevent H1N1 infection include:
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissue in the trash.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without use of fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care or for other necessities. Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

Officials from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated that they have developed a new vaccine to prevent H1N1 infection, which is now being clinically tested. Distribution plans are being discussed to make sure that high risk individuals are able to receive the vaccine first.

El Dorado County health officials are continuing to monitor local, state and national H1N1 activities. Information on H1N1 (swine) flu has been posted on the El Dorado County Health Services Department website at www.edcgov.us/publichealth.

Monday, August 10, 2009

News -- Reno-Tahoe bid for Winter Olympics pushed back

Monday, Aug. 10, 2009

By Sports Network - The Sports Network

The United States Olympic Committee deflected media reports that other American cities are hopeful to put forward efforts to land future Olympics by saying its main focus was to have Chicago host the 2016 Summer Games.

"While it is always encouraging to see enthusiasm for the Olympic Movement, the USOC has been on record for more than two years in proclaiming that there will be absolutely no consideration of any future bids - winter or summer - from the U.S. while Chicago is on the international stage," said USOC CEO Stephanie Streeter.

"Let me reiterate that position in the most adamant terms. Chicago is not only our current bid city, it is our only bid city, and it is the sole focus of our efforts," she said. "We are now 52 days from the decision on the 2016 host city. All of our hopes and dreams for bringing the Olympic Games back to the United States are anchored in Chicago 2016 and the IOC decision on October 2."

U.S. Olympic Committee leaders have reiterated their support for Chicago's bid to land the 2016 Olympics, saying it is the federation's sole focus.

USOC CEO Stephanie Streeter released a statement Monday in the wake of recent reports that Pittsburgh might explore a bid for the 2020 Summer Games.

Also, the deadline for submitting formal proposals for the 2018 Winter Olympics is in October, and cities such as Denver and Reno, Nev., have been mentioned in the past as possible candidates.

Bid process gets underway for 2018 Winter Olympics

The International Olympic Committee launched the bid process for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in 2018 on Friday.

Potential host cities will have to submit bids for the games by October 15, 2009, and the IOC will decide by the end of June, 2010 which bids have been accepted.

Over the following year, the IOC Evaluation Committee will assess each bid and decide on a host city on July 6, 2011 in Durban.

USOC closer to staying in Colorado Springs

The U.S. Olympic Committee moved closer to keeping its headquarters in Colorado Springs on Thursday when the board signed off on revised terms of a deal with the city.

The board agreed to give the USOC management team permission to extend its commitment to stay in Colorado Springs from 25 to 30 years in exchange for having the city take responsibility for $16 million in improvements to the Olympic Training Center.

The $16 million is part of a $53 million agreement that also includes building a new USOC headquarters and new offices for a number of national governing bodies. The original deal fell apart when the lead developer dropped out.

IOC opens bidding for 2018 Winter Games host

The International Olympic Committee launched the search Friday to find a host for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The winning city will be chosen on July 6, 2011, by IOC members meeting in Durban, South Africa, according to a timetable published by the IOC on Friday.

Potential candidates include Annecy, France; Munich, Germany; and Pyeongchang, South Korea, which is entering for a third straight time.

USOC honors 2 Oklahoma training sites

What once was an empty ditch south of downtown Oklahoma City is now recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as an official training site for rowing, canoeing and kayaking.

USOC acting CEO Stephanie Streeter announced Tuesday that the 2,000-meter race course and National High Performance Center along the Oklahoma River had received the designation.
The site hosted the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials for canoeing and kayaking.

While Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo are finalists to host the 2016 Olympics, the deadline for cities to formally submit proposals to host the 2018 Winter Games is October 15.

"With less than two months to go before the IOC's decision in Copenhagen, two months in which it is essential for us to capture the attention of the global Olympic Family, it is equally essential that the USOC sustain a 110 percent focus on the needs of Chicago 2016," said Streeter. "So, with all due respect to those cities that are dreaming about one day bidding for the Games, now is not the time. This is Chicago's time."

Pyeongchang, South Korea; Munich, Germany; and Annecy, France; have been the cities confirming bids to host the 2018 Olympics. Denver, Reno-Lake Tahoe, and Salt Lake City previously announced interests in hosting the 2018 Winter Games, but those efforts have essentially been pushed to the 2022 Olympics.

News -- Bear problem or people problem?

Aug 9, 2009 12:37 pm US/Pacific

(CBS 5 / AP) ―

After a wet spring that kept bears in the backcountry, bruins are again making their rounds in Lake Tahoe neighborhoods in search of food. California and Nevada authorities said 13 black bears have been euthanized so far this season after breaking into homes or causing other problems -- 10 in California and three in Nevada.

Ann Bryant of the BEAR League said her bear advocacy group has been getting five to 10 calls daily about bear break-ins around Tahoe. She blames the problem on tourists and residents who fail to stow garbage properly and fail to discourage bears from coming into neighborhoods.

Bryant said bears are becoming so bold that they're beginning to crawl under people's decks for use as daytime beds. The bruins also are starting to figure out how to turn door knobs, testing to see if doors are locked, she said.

"They're showing signs of being more intelligent than residents and visitors, and that's how we lose the battle," Bryant said, adding people should throw rocks, make a lot of noise and let bears know they're not welcome in neighborhoods.

On the Nevada side of the lake, bear activity is still relatively slow compared to past years, said Carl Lackey, a Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist. He attributed the slowdown to a wet spring that produced a lot of natural food for bears, and the recession that has kept many tourists away from Tahoe.

"It's picked up but nothing compared to past years," Lackey told Truckee's Sierra Sun newspaper.

But on the California side, bear activity started picking up in July, said Jason Holley, wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game.

"It's ramped up to be relatively busy with lots of calls," Holley said.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons last week declared August as Bear Awareness Month in northern Nevada, and urged residents to take precautions to reduce human-bear conflicts. Among other steps, Gibbons said residents should not stash their trash until the day of pickup and not leave their pets or pet food outside.

While a smaller number of human-bear problems have been reported in Nevada so far, there still have been some problem areas such as Caughlin Ranch residential area in Reno and Incline Village on Tahoe's north shore.

Travel -- 54 links in one day? Yes, in Tahoe

The golf season is short all around Lake Tahoe, which provides the golf nut a fine excuse to play 36 holes in a day: Do it now to make up for all of the golf one cannot play with the snow falling in December.

Besides, think of the money one would save. Rather than play golf two days in a row, thus requiring two nights' lodging, and rather than spending nongolfing time, and, thus, money, in casinos, one can totally immerse oneself in the chase of the dimpled white ball.

OK, now that the rationalizing is complete, pack up the clubs and come along - preferably with three other like-minded golf nuts.

Getting there

If you're nuts enough to play 36 in a day, surely you're inclined to take a break during the drive up to the lake and play 18 en route. There are plenty of options in the Sacramento area. Check out the golf pages at http://www.visitcalifornia.com/ for some ideas.

A perfect day of golf immersion

5:50 a.m.: Slather on sunscreen, get in the car and head over the Kingsbury Grade down to Genoa. Bring an energy bar, unless you're staying at the Black Bear, where inn co-owner and South Tahoe Mayor Jerry Birdwell got up to serve me coffee, fruit and a muffin. The snack bar is not likely to be open at the golf course at this hour.

6:30 a.m.: Tee off ahead of the crowds and walk your way around Genoa's Lakes or Resort courses. The Lakes, designed by Peter Jacobsen and John Harbottle, is considered the better of the two choices; the Resort, once a fine alternative, underwent some detrimental tweaking a few years ago to make room for houses. They're both well cared for, with good clubhouses and friendly service, and early morning is the time to beat the heat and the wind - and there's a discount if you play both in the same week.

10 a.m.: Oh, there's a bonus hole - No. 19. We're heading for one of the most gorgeous anywhere - get back in the car and drive just over the hill to Edgewood Tahoe.

10:30 a.m.: Settle in at Brooks' Bar and Deck, one of Golf Digest's top 19th holes in the United States, and enjoy the lake and golf course views with breakfast (lunch, if Jerry cooked for you this morning) and a breakfast cocktail.

11:30 a.m.: Take half an hour to work on whatever part of your game gave you trouble in the morning. Edgewood is a much tougher test than any other course in the area, and the greens confound even the members.

Noon: Tee off at Edgewood. Take a cart this time - a round of golf here in high season at this time of day is bound to take at least five hours. Enjoy the scenery, the service, the company. And when you get to the signature hole - No. 17, a lakeside par-3 that outshines even the big stars at the annual American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament - take a few photos to remember the day.

5 p.m.: Play that 19th hole, or, if we're counting properly, the 38th, with adult beverages and snacks wherever you're staying. This would be the time to soak in the hot tub and take a refreshing shower.

7 p.m.: A great day like this one deserves a fine meal at the end. It's doubtful that even the best cook in the foursome feels like standing in the kitchen: We had spectacular fried green tomatoes, pasta and fish at Cafe Fiore (save room for the house-made white chocolate ice cream). If opting for one of the north lake pairings and staying up at Truckee, I'd go into town for fine dining at Moody's or perhaps try the new Moody's spin-off at Northstar's Village, Baxter's.

9 p.m.: There's still time for some miniature golf at Magic Carpet! But hurry - the last start time at the Carnelian Bay course is 9 p.m., at South Lake Tahoe, 9:30.
Heading home

How about a quick nine at Old Brockway in Kings Beach on Tahoe's north shore before you hit the road? It's a full nine with two par-5s and boasts of being the site of the first Crosby in 1934 - that's the tournament that eventually became the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. It remains busy enough to charge $45 for nine, $75 for 18 this time of year.

If you go
Play 36
We paired Edgewood at sunrise - gorgeous! - with Genoa's Lakes course in the afternoon - hot! - and learned that this pairing would best be enjoyed in reverse. Other pairings would probably be great in any order: Edgewood and Incline (views all day, with swift putts breaking to the lake) with a west or south shore base; Coyote Moon (with no houses and lots of wildlife, this is not to be missed on the north side) and Old Greenwood in Truckee; Northstar and Timilick (new, meant to be private, but taking paying customers in a tough economy) in the Martis Valley.

Prime-time, high-season green fees for these courses start at $80 for Northstar and top out at $220 for Edgewood Tahoe, with some discounts to be found for afternoon golf and also for lodging packages. Check http://www.golfthehighsierra.com/ for details on and links to all of the courses above except Northstar ( http://www.northstarattahoe.com/) and Timilick (http://www.timilick.com/). Or go to the state's tourism Web site, http://www.visitcalifornia.com/, and navigate to the golf section, where the official 2009 golf publication can be accessed.

If you're part of a foursome with two sleeping-together couples, the Hyatt Residence at Northstar is a great new option, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence with full kitchen and living room, plus a couple of outdoor hot tubs. Rates this time of year begin at around $350 a night. (888) 298-3156, http://www.northstarattahoe.com/.

On the South Shore, I enjoyed the hospitality, serene gardens and outdoor hot tub at the Black Bear Inn, which has three cabins, one of which could be shared by two couples. With only one bathroom, this could feel crowded; the lodge also has individual cabin rooms, and guest rooms in the beautifully designed main building. Rates begin at $210 for a room, $455 for the two-couple cabin. 1202 Ski Run Blvd., South Lake Tahoe. (877) 232-7466, tahoeblackbear.com.

Cafe Fiore. Dinner nightly, expensive. 1169 Ski Run Blvd., South Lake Tahoe. (530) 541-2908, cafefiore.com.

Moody's Bistro and Lounge. Dinner nightly, expensive. 10007 Bridge St., Truckee. (530) 587-8688, http://www.moodysbistro.com/.

Baxter's. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun., expensive. In the Village at Northstar, Truckee. (530) 562-3200, http://www.northstarattahoe.com/.

Good to know
In high season (mid-June to mid-September), most courses will accept paying customers at first light - as early as 6:15. So it might be possible to play 54 holes in a day.

E-mail comments to travel@sfchronicle.com.

PR -- Northstar-at-Tahoe's summer fun

Summer may be flying by but there is still plenty of time to get your vacation in gear. Head up to Northstar® Resort where adventures, premier summer and fall events, and fun family activities abound in a beautiful alpine setting.

Signature Events for All Your Senses

You haven’t experienced all that Lake Tahoe has to offer in the summer until you’ve taken part in these signature Tahoe events:
Autumn Food & Wine FestivalMark your calendars for the premier Lake Tahoe wine and food extravaganza September 11 - 13. Toast to three full days of grape stomping, wine walks, seminars, cooking demonstrations, mountain chef cook off competition, grand tasting, the Tahoe Plein Air art show, and more! Buy your tickets today for the best savings.

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare FestivalReserve your seats for the best of the bard on the beach, set in one of the most scenic venues in the world! Northstar Resort is a proud sponsor of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival featuring Much ado about Nothing and Measure for Measure through August 23. Receive 25% off all seating levels for Shakespeare shows Tuesday-Thursday: NSTARSHAKES. Or 50% off all seating levels for their Monday night music shows: NSTARMUSIC. Type in the discount code at LakeTahoeShakespeare.com.

Northstar Mtn. Trail Run
Tahoe Star Tours
Wine Walk
Cooking Class at Baxter's
Street Fair & Sidewalk Sale
Northstar Tennis Open
Big Blue Adventure Race
Retro Skate Nights
Free Guided Hikes
Free Guided Bike Tours
Kid's Adventure Program
Live Music

A Village like No Other
The Village at Northstar™ is overflowing with delicious treats, shopping bargains and a feast of fun activities. Here are some of our favorites:
TGI Thursdays - From $3 fish tacos at Big Wave Burritos & Wraps to 3 course menu for $34 at Baxter’s Bistro Lounge, there is a tasty deal for all taste buds every Thursday night thru October 8.
Outdoor Movie Nights - Enjoy family classics and top blockbusters on the big screen under the stars with your friends & family every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night through August 27.
NEW Village Specials - 15% off select stores in the Village with hiking/biking pass or round of golf or earn $5 Butterbox Bucks with $20 purchases.
Friday Art Walks - Savor fine art & epicurean delights at the new Friday Art Walks.
Freebies for Our Lodging Guests
Tempting deals on our lodging packages make alpine action even more alluring. Spend two nights at Northstar Resort now and get the below for FREE:
3rd night stay
Scenic lift ride tickets for hiking and sightseeing (2 tickets per stay*)
Balls for the driving range (1 bucket per stay*)
Free roller skating and complimentary skate rentals
Access to the Recreation Center with outdoor pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, game room & more!
» Check Availability
*Request at front desk when checking in.
Sharpen Your Riding Skills
Been wanting to learn or sharpen your mountain bike riding skills? Partake in one of the below programs based on your level, interest and ability.
Giant Women's Ride & Retreat
Aug. 14-16
Try this two day weekend of mountain bike skills sessions, thrilling rides, hanging out with cool girls and relaxation in beautiful Lake Tahoe!
BetterRide Downhill Mountain Bike Camp
Aug. 14-16
For racers who would like to shave off minutes from their race times, Greg Minnaar, one of the fastest racers in the world, is ready to show you how by focusing on core skills, course inspection, finding the fast "pro" lines, and mental preparation. Only a few spots left!
Luna Chix Downhill Mountain Bike Clinic
Aug. 22

Aug. 23
Join Team Luna Chix Tahoe and LUNA Pro Marla Streb for a women's only downhill mountain bike clinic to learn the technical skills needed to improve your riding ability.

Private Mountain Bike Lessons
For one-on-one personal attention, private bike lessons are available at Northstar Resort with professional mountain bikers, who will use elite-level coaching and training methods.
Need a bike? Score top-of-the-line men's and women's GIANT demo mountain bikes at deep discounts at Plaza Bikes Gear + Rental Shop's annual summer GIANT Demo Bike Sale.
» See what's on sale
See you soon!Your friends at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort

Event -- Geotourism workshops this week

The El Dorado Geotourism program has two meetings coming up this week.

KIRKWOOD...Searching for authentic sense of place... the snow, the stars, the flowers and pioneering history

Event Details:
Date: Thursday August 13th
Time: 3-4:30pm
Location: KCA Meeting Room
Call: 209-258-8181 or Email: raejeanfellows@gmail.com

On Wednesday, August 12
from 8 am to 10 am
at the Cary House Hotel
Downtown Placerville

YOU are invited to join community members of Placerville to a map quest to learn
how to:
~ Identify assets: sites, events, activities and stories that make your
community special
~ Develop sustainable tourism to protect what you love most
~ Nominate El Dorado County geotourism assets at

Facilitated by the GeoSierra team of:
Jacquie Chandler, Penelope Curtis & Peter Brumis

Brought to you by: El Dorado County’s Geo/Eco Tourism program

RSVP: geotahoe@gmail.com or call 530.798.5955
What do you treasure in Placerville ?
What makes this place worth visiting?
Program sponsored by: El Dorado County & Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce
What makes El Dorado County special?

Politics -- Lt. Lovell tapped as undersheriff by sheriff's candidate

For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Reikes
August 7, 2009 530/759-0995

El Dorado County Sheriff candidate and retired CHP Chief Stan Perez has announced Sheriff’s Lieutenant Les Lovell as his choice for Undersheriff if elected.

“I believe in a ‘no-surprises” style of command structure, and ensuring that our county has the most qualified personnel in positions of leadership and responsibility will be a priority if I’m elected Sheriff,” said Perez who as a CHP Chief was responsible for over 1,100 officers and staff throughout 13 counties.

After speaking to law enforcement leaders locally and regionally, and community leaders throughout El Dorado County, Perez found Lovell to be uniquely suited to the position of Undersheriff – who works directly with the Sheriff in areas of policy, command strategy, and management.

“Throughout my years as a Military Police officer, and my 26 years with the California Highway Patrol I’ve believed in service and selflessness,” Perez said. “Les Lovell has demonstrated those characteristics throughout his nearly three decades of frontline service, and the continuity he will bring to the Sheriff’s Department will be invaluable.”

Like Perez, Lovell began his career as a line level peace officer wearing a uniform and protecting his community. “Having a range of experience within the ranks of law enforcement and demonstrated leadership is ultimately what makes good officers. It’s that type of experience that makes great organizations,” Perez concluded.

- 30 -

PR -- Camp Rich opens coffee-confection shop

Aug. 6, 2009 (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) – Summer just got sweeter with Camp Richardson's new Coffee & Confectionary Shop, (http://www.CampRichardson.com) featuring gourmet coffee & espresso drinks, desserts, pastries, and barrels full of "old-time" candy, treats, ice cream floats made with the old-fashioned sodas and coffee related accessories and gifts. Kiva White Carmel, Valhalla Tuxedo and Mt. Tallac Mocha are a few of the creative concoctions available along with organic coffee and iced coffee.

The Coffee & Confectionary Shop offers old time favorites like salt-water taffy, Grandma’s Fudge, Dad’s Root Beer, cream sodas and the Mt. Pluto Espresso Sundae – vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of espresso. The hickory colored bar stools, wooden floors and counter tops complement the resort’s generations of history and tradition. The coffee shop is located next to the Ice Cream Parlor and is open daily at 6:30 a.m. A Tahoe favorite of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Camp Richardson’s own old-fashion ice cream parlor provides generous helpings to satisfy sweet tooth cravings for kids of all ages.

Since the 1920s, families have visited Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina on the south shore of Lake Tahoe to celebrate life and nature. The resort’s lively summer events, charming lake front lodging and favorable weather make it a popular vacation destination. The summer season continues with live music and theater, cultural events and outdoor activities that make for an affordable Lake Tahoe getaway in today’s economy. Lakefront cabins, hotels rooms and the Richardson House are still available for Labor Day Weekend, call 800-544-1801 for reservations.

Throughout summer, the full-service marina operates with boat, jet ski and stand up paddle board rentals, fishing and sailing. Family activities include hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, biking, live music and relaxing beachside.

Camp Richardson’s popular lakefront restaurant, The Beacon Bar & Grill, offers a comfortable dining atmosphere with breathtaking views, with lunch from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; brunch on the weekends from 10:20 a.m. – 2 p.m.; limited lunch menu 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to close. Wild Wednesdays offer The Beacon’s infamous Rum Runner all day long for $5 each. Live music is featured Wednesday - Sunday throughout summer. Parking is free when guests dine at the restaurant; otherwise parking is $7. Reservations are accepted after 5 p.m., call 530-541-0630. In addition, the General Store is open daily and offers snacks, breakfast and deli sandwiches before hitting the trails or lake.

California's rich and famous built their elaborate summer estates in the late 1800s and the early 1900s in the secluded woods along the beaches of the Tallac Historic Site. The Valhalla Boat House Theater and Grand Hall are a part of the Tallac Historic Site and throughout the summer both venues offer film nights, open mic nights, live music and theater. For event details, dates and times visit www.valhallatahoe.com.

To celebrate Indian summer, Camp Richardson is heating up with a variety of lodging deals. To receive alerts on exclusive lodging packages sign-up for Camp Richardson’s e-specials. Save the date for Camp Richardson’s Annual Oktoberfest, October 3-4. Book early for fall vacations with rates starting at $65/night.

For real time updates on Camp Richardson events, promotions and news, follow the resort on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CampRichardson.

For information on summer recreation, lodging and packages call 800-544-1801 or visit: www.CampRichardson.com.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

PR -- TY&FS expands counseling services to Gardnerville

Tahoe Youth & Family Services is bringing counseling services to Gardnerville:
• Alcohol and Drug Outpatient treatment for youth ages 10-17
• Individual, family and group counseling
• Supportive services for runaway and homeless youth, throw away
youth and youth at risk of homelessness and exploitation.

The new office is located at:
1422 Mission St., Gardnerville
It's behind Aladdin Flowers in the old Carson Valley Accounting Building next to Enterprise.

Prior to the official opening, TYFS has a great need for all types of office supplies and furniture.
Call or email to donate.
Contact Julie at (775)782-4202 x 104 • (530)541-2445 x 104 • julie@tahoeyouth.org

Event -- 12th annual Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day Sept. 12






League to Save Lake Tahoe
955 Emerald Bay Rd.
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150(530) 541-5388 - info@keeptahoeblue.orgwww.keeptahoeblue.org

PR -- Bringing artists to life through video

Mark Wright (www.videoloca.com) recently completed a video profile of award-winning photographer Bill Jackson, a close friend of his who he calls an intriguing artist. You can check out the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm4lkvwdvJo.

This is the first of a series of video profiles Wright plans to do about emerging artists in and around the Bay Area. If you have a likely candidate whose work you find interesting -- painters, sculptors, musicians, what have you, as long as it is visual or audial -- let Wright know. (mark@videoloca.com)

PR -- Bicycle Achievement Award nominations sought

Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition wants to recognizes those whohave made significant contributions to the advancement of cycling in the region. The categories are: Business, Agency (public), Organization (nonprofit), and Individual.

Last year's winners were: Tahoe Daily Tribune, California Tahoe Conservancy, Tahoe Rim Trail Association, and Curtis Fong.

Submit nominations in any or all categories. Include a biography, press clippings, and/or description of the contribution(s) your nominee has accomplished to advance cycling in the region. Photos are also encouraged. Send your nominations to BikeTahoe@aol.com or mail to: LTBC, PO Box 1147, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448.

The deadline is Sept. 4.

Meeting -- LTUSD board meets Aug. 11

Lake Tahoe Unified School District board of ed meets Aug. 11. Agenda is at http://ltusd.csbaagendaonline.net. Chief Financial Officer Deba Yates will give an update on the 09/10 budget; Facilities Director Steve Morales will bring the board to speed on the current construction projects at the high school, and financial advisors Charlie Feinstein and Joanna Bowes will explain the process for applying for a $10 million bridge loan which will tide the district over until the dtate releases the matching funds for construction which are currently frozen.

Friday, August 7, 2009

PR -- Best in Basin nominations sought

For Release Immediately August 7, 2009

Lake Tahoe, CA /NV – The nomination period has opened for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s 2009 Best in the Basin awards program, which annually recognizes the best designed, planned and implemented projects in the Tahoe Basin that also stand out as environmentally compatible.

The Best in the Basin program calls attention to projects of all categories – from natural restoration to commercial or residential construction – that carry with them environmental net gains for Lake Tahoe and its communities.

For two decades, the Best in the Basin program has recognized those property owners, contractors, architects and planners whose work and investment should be held up as examples to follow.

“We are privileged to enjoy Lake Tahoe ’s natural beauty as a backdrop for our day-to-day lives,” said Dennis Oliver, Best in the Basin program coordinator. “With this awards program, we recognize those whose stewardship is reflected in their work and who set an example for us all.”

The nomination period ends Friday, September 18. Categories are:
􀂃 new residential
􀂃 residential modification
􀂃 rebuild projects
􀂃 new commercial
􀂃 commercial modification
􀂃 commercial rebuild
􀂃 shorezone
􀂃 green building
􀂃 public service
􀂃 erosion control
􀂃 restoration
􀂃 BMP retrofit
􀂃 defensible space
􀂃 mixed-use project
􀂃 green remodel.

To qualify, projects must be complete or near completion. For an entry form and information about last year’s winners, go to www.trpa.org.

Winners will be selected by a panel of area professionals in the fields of architecture, landscaping, planning, engineering, and resource management.

Those selected to receive awards will be publicly honored by the TRPA Governing Board in January 2010. Photographs and summaries of the projects will be displayed in the public meeting area of the TRPA administration building at Stateline until the following year’s winners are chosen.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency cooperatively leads the effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region now and in the future. For additional information, call Dennis Oliver at (775) 589-5235 or email to doliver@trpa.org.

News -- SLT woman dies in Mendocino County

The Times-Standard
Updated: 08/06/2009 01:15:24 AM PDT

A 21-year-old woman who had been attending the Reggae Rising music festival last weekend was found dead early Monday morning, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Lt. Rusty Noe said Molly Donovan, of South Lake Tahoe, was found dead shortly after midnight Monday morning in her camp, which was located near the festival and just across the Mendocino County line.

Noe said the festival's medical team was first called to the scene, but quickly determined that Donovan was deceased, and called the Sheriff's Office.

Noe said Donovan's cause of death hasn't been determined, and likely won't be known for some weeks, pending toxicology test results.

Calls made to Reggae Rising organizers were not immediately returned Wednesday.

PR -- Gov. Gibbons applauds Reno airport improvements

For Immediate Release: August 7, 2009

Carson City - Governor Jim Gibbons toured the new air traffic control tower at Reno-Tahoe International Airport yesterday. “ I am very impressed with the new tower facility,” Gibbons said, “When it is operational, air travel to and from Reno-Tahoe International Airport will be safer and more efficient.”

Governor Gibbons toured the new tower with Nevada Homeland Security Director Rick Eaton
and the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Lynn Hettrick. Reno FAA Administrator Donald Brooks conducted the tour.

The new tower at RTIA is three times the height of the tower presently in use. This new height advantage will provide air traffic controllers with a much better view of the airport and the approach areas around the airport. The new tower will also house new highly upgraded equipment. All this will provide greater safety for the flying public. According to FAA officials, the new tower will likely be ready for use within 6 month to a year. Some equipment is already being moved into the new facility.

“Clearly, this new tower will provide a new measure of safety at Reno-Tahoe International Airport,” Gibbons said, “As a former airline pilot, the level of visibility will improve sightlines for air traffic controllers and the electronic equipment will bring the technology of the tower into the 21st century.”

Governor Gibbons was an enthusiastic supporter of the efforts to fund and build the new control tower while he was a United States Congressman.

PR -- Romantic Tahoe hotels

For Immediate Release

NORTH LAKE TAHOE HOTELS SET THE SCENE FOR LOVE(NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nevada) – With the grand peaks and serene forests embracing blissful blue waters, it’s clear that North Lake Tahoe completes the scene for love stories big and small. Lovers can fulfill their storybook escapes at intimate inns, grand resorts and chic lodges, all as unique and individual as love itself.

The Shore House at Lake Tahoe in Tahoe Vista is the epitome of a romantic inn. Ask any North Lake Tahoe local for a good romantic inn and the Shore House is sure to come to mind. Guests are treated to a gourmet breakfast and lakeside wine and appetizers in the evening. On-site massages are also available.Each of the nine guestrooms is encompassed with knotty pine walls and adorned with custom-built log furniture with private outdoor entrances and gas log fireplaces. The inn’s grounds, with lakeside hot tub and river rock fireplace, are just as inviting. The location is ideal for small weddings, with owners Marty and Barb Cohen personally performing more than 750 weddings at the Shore House.

The sleek design of Truckee’s Cedar House Sport Hotel gives lovers the opportunity to experience the sophisticated side of mountain romance. The European-style hotel fuses innovative architecture with contemporary design while promoting green living and sustainable development. Rooms have an open, modern feel with a merlot and camel color scheme, emphasizing functionality and an organic edge geared toward comfort. The property also features a full bar and outdoor spa. Couples can bond over food with the hotel’s hands-on Stella Cooking Club. Evenings at Stella, multi-course meals paired with wine and accompanied by chef commentary and demonstrations, are also scheduled throughout the summer.

With expansive views of Squaw Valley’s towering peaks and peaceful meadow, the Resort at Squaw Creek’s fireplace suites are set to host the perfect rendezvous. Guests can spoil each other at the full-service, on-site spa then linger over a romantic dinner at Six Peaks Grille. The Resort’s signature Romance in the Sierra Package includes accommodations for two in a fireplace suite, room service breakfast for two, dinner at Six Peaks Grille and a “sparkles and sweets” champagne amenity.

With a private beach, lakeside fire pits, grand casino, upscale dining at the Lone Eagle Grille and luxurious Stillwater Spa, couples can indulge completely at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village. Amour Packages are available and include full breakfast, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries and late check out. Spa specials include a Couples Fireside Romance (footbath rituals, calm mind treatments, warming tea service, mulled spice herbal body wraps and extended Stillwater massages in a fireplace suite) and Couples Stillwater Romance (side-by-side massages and candlelit aroma-bath).

For a more intimate lakeside tryst, there’s the West Shore Inn. Boasting a sophisticated atmosphere, the suites feature fireplaces and private balconies offering sweeping views of Blackwood Ridge, Sugar Pine Point and Mount Watson. Continental breakfast is included and the exquisite menu from the adjacent West Shore Café is conveniently available for in-room dining. Lovers opting to leave their room can enjoy their meals in the café’s craftsman-style dining room or on a pier overlooking the lake.Romance also exudes from the Chaney House, a historic lakefront stone home exemplifying Old Tahoe with a private beach on the West Shore.

Sunnyside’s Cottage Inn features fireplaces in every room, private entrances, sauna, a private beach and is steps away from Tahoe City’s shops and restaurants. The Shooting Star Bed and Breakfast in Carnelian Bay prides itself on comfortable luxury and casual elegance and pampers guests with homemade fare from original recipes.For a complete list of lodging options in North Lake Tahoe, from large scale properties to romantic inns and budget-friendly accommodations, click to the North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus’ website at www.GoTahoeNorth.com.

North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. For lodging reservations, recreation and event details, call North Lake Tahoe at 1-877-949-3296 or visit www.GoTahoeNorth.com. Visitor information centers are located at 380 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village. The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus, Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, work together to promote North Lake Tahoe as a premier, year-round destination.# # #

Outdoors -- Scenes around Tahoe

The whacky weather of late has provided for some interesting photo opportunities. The shot of Emerald Bay was taken from a moving vehicle in the late afternoon of Aug. 6. Storm clouds dumped a dusting of snow at the higher elevations, and rain/hail/sleet at lake level.

It's still cold today, but temps are supposed to be back in the 70s this weekend.

The meadow/mountain shots were taken this morning (Aug. 7) at Squaw Valley.

I was not quick enough with the camera to get the bear when he/she was on her hind legs trying to get into the garbage container at Camp Rich. The bruin walked in front of the truck, almost right across the pedestrian walkway. Then she sauntered off behind the buidlings. I'm sure some of the campers were in for a surprise.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

PR -- El Dorado County names health officer

August 6, 2009

The El Dorado County Health Services Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Olivia Kasirye to the position of Health Officer for El Dorado County. Dr. Kasirye will provide medical expertise and oversight on a variety of community-wide public health issues impacting El Dorado County residents, including communicable disease control. She will also actively work with local doctors and other healthcare providers on public health clinical, preventive and policy issues. Dr. Kasirye is both a physician and an epidemiologist, and is board certified in public health and preventive medicine. She holds a masters degree in epidemiology from UC Davis.

“I’m delighted to be here and look forward to working with all of our community and agency partners,” said Dr. Kasirye. Before coming to El Dorado County, Dr. Kasirye served as the Medical Director for Sacramento County’s Maternal Child and Adolescent Health, and Child Health and Disability Prevention programs. She also served as the Communicable Disease Controller for the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently an active member of the Sacramento Sierra Valley Medical Society.

California law requires that all health departments maintain a health officer to enforce health and safety codes and to provide medical direction and oversight. According to Dr. Kasirye, the field of public health offers unique opportunities for physicians such as herself. “I enjoy working in public health because I like to engage with the community and to have a variety of projects that can positively influence the health of our residents,” said Dr. Kasirye. “I have seen first hand how public health prevention and intervention activities can make a real and lasting difference in people’s lives.”

Dr. Kasirye, who is originally from Uganda, has lived in the United States for over twenty years. She is a current resident of El Dorado County and is married with two teenage children. She can be reached at (530) 621-6156 or via email at Olivia.kasirye@edcgov.us.

Weather -- Summer temps expected to retun this weekend

Rain has been spotted throughout the Lake Tahoe region and into the Carson Valley today. It's time to put the tops up on convertibles. Gray skies are the norm. About noon in South Lake Tahoe a mix of sleet/hail came down and the temps plummeted faster than the stock market did last fall.

From Zephyr Cove resorts:
Zephyr Cove Marina will be closed today due to high winds - We will resume operations tomorrow morning at 8AM.
The Tahoe Queen will be Off-line for minor repairs.

From www.weather.com:

Forecast for South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 6 Tonight
Windy with scattered thunderstorms early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 37F. WSW winds at 20 to 30 mph, diminishing to 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Aug 7 Tomorrow
Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 68F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
Aug 7 Tomorrow night
Clear skies. Low 38F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Aug 8 Saturday
Mainly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 40s.
Aug 9 Sunday
Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 40s.
Aug 10 Monday
A few clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 40s.
Aug 11 Tuesday
Sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 40s.
Aug 12 Wednesday
Sunshine. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the upper 40s.
Aug 13 Thursday
Sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the upper 40s.
Aug 14 Friday
Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the upper 40s.
Aug 15 Saturday
Sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 50s.

News -- Tahoe woman resigns as head of California Fish and Game Commission

By Matt Weiser mweiser@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009 - 1:14 pm

The president of California's Fish and Game Commission has resigned on the eve of a critical vote to approve new marine sanctuaries, possibly throwing that vote into deadlock.

Cindy Gustafson filed her resignation letter Friday and it was effective immediately. It came in response to an opinion from the state Attorney General's Office, which Gustafson requested, finding that her job conflicts with her role on the commission.

Gustafson is general manager of the Tahoe City Public Utilities District, which provides water, sewer and recreation services for a portion of the Lake Tahoe community. Her job is defined under state law as an "officer" of the organization, which creates a "conflict of loyalties" with her appointed post on the Fish and Game Commission.

According to the Attorney General's opinion, Gustafson said, this conflict of loyalties is more difficult than a simple conflict of interest. It prevents Gustafson from simply recusing herself from individual votes that conflict with her work.

"I want everyone to know I raised this question myself," Gustafson said. "It's a huge disappointment. It was definitely heart-wrenching to leave."

The Fish and Game Commission, at its meeting tomorrow in Woodland, is scheduled to vote on whether to create 30 new marine protected areas between Santa Cruz and Mendocino. The project, which aims to protect marine habitat and restore fish stocks, has been in the works for two years.

Gustafson's absence means the decision may deadlock in a 2-2 vote, as commissioners Dan Richards and Jim Kellogg are known to have concerns about adopting more marine sanctuaries in the midst of a state budget crisis.

News -- Leadership change at Nevada Seismological Lab

Aug 4, 2009 08:36 PM PDT

After 11 years as director of the Nevada Seismological Lab, John Anderson has stepped down from the position to focus on teaching and research. "I never meant this to be my last job, to be director for life,' he said. "It's part of my long-term plan; it's someone else's turn now."

The new director, Graham Kent, is settling in after arriving two weeks ago from UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where for the past 13 years he's been a research geophysicist at their Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. More recently, for seven years he has been director of the Visualization Center at Scripps. He is now a professor of geophysics in the University of Nevada, Reno's Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering.

"I predict that he'll be a fantastic director for the lab, and look forward to collaborating with him when I get back to Reno next summer," Anderson said.

Anderson, who has been part of the University's Seismology Lab and the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering for 20 years, is currently working on a project with the prestigious University of Tokyo, one of the leading seismology universities in the world. The project seeks to improve seismic hazard evaluation techniques utilizing their extensive earthquake recording networks.

Anderson said he enjoyed his tenure as director, and despite some landmark seismic events, such as the Mogul swarm, the 2008 Wells earthquake and the very unusual and historic deep earthquakes under Lake Tahoe in 2003, Nevada was unusually quiet during his tenure.
"Those have been some scientific highlights for sure, but we had extraordinarily low seismicity while I was director," he said. "We went for 14 years without a magnitude 6 earthquake, which is very unusual. We expect one every three or four years."

Anderson is proud of the work the department has done in expanding the monitoring and reporting of earthquakes and he's proud of the work done by the lab during the Mogul Sequence of over 1,500 earthquakes last year.

"We can learn more about earthquakes now than we could 10 years ago," he said. "But after foreshocks early on in the Mogul-Somerset area, we concluded that the message to get to the public was preparedness. It wasn't a prediction, but a reminder that this is a seismically active area and we don't know when they will happen."

Kent is well-known to researchers in Nevada. He's been studying the tectonics of western Nevada for 10 years, including earthquake fault hazards in the Lake Tahoe Basin (including Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake) with sonar profiling. Kent and his colleagues from Scripps developed the field of underwater paleoseismology at Lake Tahoe, which has now been applied in several locales, including the Salton Sea, the Great Salt Lake, San Diego Bay and the Borderlands of California. His research interests also include the Walker Lane, a geological region roughly aligned with the border between the states of California and Nevada.

He studied geophysics at San Diego State University, where he graduated and was Valedictorian of the Class of 1985. Soon thereafter, he entered graduate school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography receiving his PhD in 1992.

"I'm excited to be here. There's a lot of opportunity for answering grand science questions in this region, which requires a variety of different seismic techniques," Kent said. "I'm a hi-tech geek at heart and hope to bring the ability to work on some of the larger National Science Foundation-driven science questions, such as formation of the Sierra Nevada mountain range."

"Researchers tend to rely on computers and satellites. Maybe we're losing the ability to go out and measure, to go out on a boat or in a four-wheel drive and see things in the field up close. And, we can find things unrelated but profound, such as when mapping at Fallen Leaf Lake where we found the submerged ancient trees that yielded valuable climate data. We have to go out and make observations."