Announcements for South Lake Tahoe and South Shore areas

World Book Night set for Wednesday, April 23

April 18, 2014 — 

Friends of the Library and the South Lake Tahoe Library are celebrating World Book Night on Wednesday, April 23. Throughout the day, volunteer book lovers will be seen in various locations giving away free books. A wide array of titles, from classics to bestsellers, young adult to large print will be handed out.

For more information on World Book Night next year, visit

Learn more »

South Shore briefs

April 17, 2014 — 

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South Tahoe Refuse hosts Easter food drive

April 17, 2014 — 

South Tahoe Refuse and Recycling completed its first “Christmas Cheer All Year” food drive just in time for the Easter.

For almost two months South Tahoe Refuse co-workers helped those in need by collecting non-perishable, non expired food items to be donated to Christmas Cheer.

Learn more »

Aging series addresses veterans’ benefits

April 16, 2014 — 

The Aging & Caregiving Series discussion on Monday will provide information on the benefits of being a veteran.

All classes in the series are from 1-3 p.m. Mondays at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel (formerly Embassy Suites) at 4130 Lake Tahoe Blvd. To register, call El Dorado County Family Caregiver Support Program at 530-621-6151 or 800-510-2020.

Learn more »

Births for April 16, 2014

April 15, 2014 — 

Anderson, Jacob Lee, a son was born April 11, 2014, to Jeffrey and Hannah Anderson of Coleville.

Bataille, Chloe Sana, a daughter was born April 9, 2014, to Jean and Megumi Bataille of Coleville.

Learn more »

South Shore news in brief

April 15, 2014 — 

Douglas Senior Center hosts poker games

Texas Hold’em will take place at 2:30-5 p.m. Wednesdays and at 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and 12:15 to 3 p.m. Fridays at the Douglas County Senior Center, 885 Highway 50 in Zephyr Cove. For more information call David at 530-600-1087.

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Pet of the week: ‘Momma’

April 15, 2014 — 

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Food drive to help St. Theresa pantry

April 15, 2014 — 

The food pantry at St. Theresa church is in need of non-perishable items to hand out to the needy in the community. ReMax Realty is collecting canned food at their locations at 2568 Lake Tahoe Blvd., and 182 Highway 50, Zephyr Cove. Donations can be dropped off anytime between 9-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday through April 25. The Re Max Truck will deliver the food directly to the Pantry on Friday, April 25.

Suggested sustainable items: Tuna fish, peanut butter and jelly, rice, beans, cereal, canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned soups, pasta, pasta sauce, dry pet food. Keep in mind that many recipients do not have cooking facilities.

Learn more »

Celebrate Easter on the Lake

April 11, 2014 — 

The M.S. Dixie II is offering an Easter Brunch Cruise for the whole family. The cruise departs from Zephyr Cove Marina at 11 a.m. April 20. Enjoy Easter favorites such as apple-wood smoked ham and Belgium waffles while cruising beautiful Lake Tahoe. The brunch menu includes a carving station as well as a buffet line.

Additionally, kids ages 3-12 will be able to enjoy an Easter egg hunt during the cruise.

Learn more »

South Shore news in brief

April 10, 2014 — 

Submit entry forms now for the El Dorado County Fair

Whether your peach cobbler is the best on the block, your pig the plumpest in the barn, or your web design simply “stellar,” now’s the time to submit your entry form to participate in the 2014 El Dorado County Fair.

Learn more »

Soroptimist awards grants to eight Tahoe organizations

April 10, 2014 — 

Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe on Wednesday awarded eight local organizations a total of $25,000 in grants at Harrah’s.

This year’s recipients were selected from 18 applicants. Members of the SISLT Community Grant Allocations Committee reviewed all of the qualified applications and selected finalists whose applications were evaluated by the entire club. Nine projects were selected and made presentations to the club’s membership, which is comprised of nearly 100 local business and professional women.

“We were overwhelmed by the wonderful work so many groups do in our community,” said Brenda Knox, SISLT’s Grant Allocation chair. “Our members work very hard throughout the year to raise funds for grants to help support the community.”

The following organizations were awarded grants: Tahoe Youth & Family Services, “The Girls Project” and the “Drug Store Project;” Tahoe Arts Project, “Performing Arts in our Schools;” Tahoe Tallac Association, “Valhalla 2014 Music on the Lawn;” El Dorado County, “Ag in the Classroom;” Girls on the Run, “South Lake Tahoe Program;” El Dorado County Search & Rescue, “Arizona Vortex Tripod;” Live Violence Free; Christmas Cheer “Christmas Toy and Food Distribution Project 2014.”

To learn more about the SISLT grants or how to become a member, visit

April 10, 2014 — 

Toccata’s annual Passion concert series begins Saturday

April 9, 2014 — 

Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus continues its Winter MusicFest with the ninth annual presentation of J. S. Bach’s masterpiece, The Passion according to St. Matthew. The first concert of the four concert series will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church in Carson City, 3680 Highway 395 South, 775-267-3680.

The program will feature selections from Part two of the Passion, and will be performed in English. Soloists include Daniel Paulson as the Evangelist, Stuart Duke as Jesus, John Rabben as Pontius Pilate, and Chris Nelson as Peter. Katharine DeBoer, Anna Helwing and Joy Strotz, are the soprano soloists, with Liudmilla Mullin, mezzo soprano soloist. Scott Deupree performs as the High Priest, with MaryAnn Helman, Linda Mitchell as the false witnesses. David Brock will play harpsichord continuo, along with Nicholas Haines, cello. Maestro James Rawie will conduct all performances.

The St. Matthew Passion will be repeated on Palm Sunday at 4 p.m. April 13, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Reno, located at 501 California Ave. 775-329-0696; and at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16 at St Theresa Catholic Church in South Lake Tahoe located at 1041 Lyons Ave.530-544-3533. The final concert will be on Good Friday, at 7 p.m. April 18 at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Incline Village located at 341 Village Blvd. 775-831-1418.

Tickets are available at the door or online at General admission to all concerts is $25 adults, $20 seniors, $5 students aged 19 to 23 with valid ID. Preferred seating is $35 and $15 for youth/students. Youth under 19 years of age are admitted free, in non-reserved seating, to most regular season concerts in 2014. All performances are supported by the Kling Family Foundation.

TOCCATA’s 9th Summer MusicFest kicks off on June 20 with the Solstice Serenade, featuring Josue Casillas performing Bach’s Orchestral Suite in B minor and David Brock performing Leo Sowerby’s Organ Concerto #1. For more information or preferred seating, call 775-313-9697, email, or visit

Births for April 9, 2014

April 8, 2014 — 

Adlard, Jordaan Bella Rose, a daughter, was born April 6, 2014, to Andrew Adlard and Alexandra Davi of South Lake Tahoe

Buzzard, Ollie Lawrence, a son, was born March 27, 2014, to Warren and Ginger Buzzard of Coleville.

East, Dominic Kyle, a son , was born April 5, 2014, to Spencer East and Kyla Yeoman of South Lake Tahoe.

Hunt, Noah Bradlee, a son, was born April 7, 2014, to Joshua Hunt and Blanca Aguirre of South Lake Tahoe.

Krieger, Leeland Anthony, a son, was born April 4, 2014, to Jarrott Kreiger and Alicia Finken of Zephyr Cover.

Lufkin, Robert Irving, a son, was born April 8, 2014, to Joshua Lufkin and Patricia McCarthy of Stateline.

Martin, Cole Hendrix, a son, was born April 8, 2014, to Joshua and Mackenzie Martin of South Lake Tahoe.

Rodriguez-Flores, Genesis Aylin, a daughter, was born March 31, 2014, to Sergio Rodriguez and Estefany Flores of South Lake Tahoe.

Shasha, Walker Carl, a son, was born April 5, 2014, to Nathan and Melanie Shasha of South Lake Tahoe.

Van Hee, Alyrica Love Kepler, a daughter, was born March 28, 2014, to Jeffrey Van Hee and Ashley Kepler of South Lake Tahoe.

South Shore brief: Fundraiser Saturday for woman who lost daughter

April 8, 2014 — 

Push Fitness will host a fundraiser from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12 for their massage therapist, Luisa, who is recovering from the loss of her daughter, Audrey Genesis Rugamas. Her coworkers hope to raise funds for living expenses so she can take enable her to take time off work.

The event will include face painting, fitness pictures, karate show, waxing and sugaring, cut-a-thon, chair message. Funds raised with these services will go toward Luisa’s expenses.

A silent auction includes donations of Personal Training sessions, Sport performance chiropractic exam, Lake Tahoe Chocolate Shop-Basket, Sunsational Tan-Basket, 986 Hotel-two night stay, Harrahs show tickets, photo from Brad Scott Photography, South Shore Bikes gift certificate, Frankcos Boxing training and a Bath and Body Basket.

Anyone who would like to help can call 530-544-9111.

Sugarloaf Stampede raises over $17,000

More than 140 runners braved the unpredictable weather on March 29, and participated in the inaugural Sugarloaf Stampede benefitting the Sugarloaf Station Foundation — a nonprofit organization that grants partial scholarships to students who attend the Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp during the summer. Students, parents, teachers, community members and their families ran or walked 5k, 10k and 10-mile courses on the El Dorado Trail and afterwards enjoyed food, vendors and raffle prizes.

The El Dorado County Office of Education organized the fundraiser. A combination of entry fees, event sponsors and supporters produced over $17,000 for the foundation, which has awarded more $264,000 in scholarships in the last 14 years.

EDCOE also administers the Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp located at the Sly Park Environmental Education Center in Pollock Pines. The camp celebrates its 53rd birthday this year. During the weeklong camp, students between grades five and 12 expand their skills in visual arts, theater, video, vocal, textile and various other arts such as photography.

For more information about the camp, visit

US 50 Yard Sale dates set

The 15th Annual “Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale” has been announced for May 16-18. Stretching 3,000 miles from Ocean City, Maryland, to Sacramento, Calif., the sale is the longest annual yard sale in the world.

Individuals living along U.S. 50 are welcome to participate — and it is free. Registration is not required, although sellers are reminded to adhere to any local regulations and to be mindful of such concerns as safety and parking.

The sale varies from community to community. In some locations the sale may be more formally organized on the local level. These communities are invited to list their activities on the national site at In other communities it is more informal and just a matter of individuals living along U.S. 50 having their own yard sales during that weekend.

Re-use is also the purest form of recycling, so the event is also considered environmentally friendly.

Those wanting more information may contact Tom Taylor, National Coordinator, at

Barton Health announces 2014 grant applications

April 8, 2014 — 

Barton Health announces the opening of its 2014 grant cycle. Barton Health Grants fund proposals that make a difference in the health and wellness of individuals in the South Lake Tahoe community. A maximum of $25,000 in grants will be awarded to organizations that serve underserved populations and have a lasting impact on the community’s well-being.

In this grant cycle, Barton Health will fund programs that address the South Lake Tahoe community’s most pressing health needs. Based on the 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment, the top three health concerns are substance abuse, access to healthcare and mental health.

The objective is to fund projects that serve a large portion of the South Lake Tahoe community. In past grant cycles, between five and 10 organizations were selected.

Barton Health will award programs that aim to break cycles of negative behavior, particularly for young people up to 26 years old. Priority will be given to programs or projects that have a long-term impact and educational benefit. Innovative programs and projects that inspire collaboration will be highly considered. When reviewing proposals, the need for the population served and per person cost also will be important factors.

Grant applications will be accepted now until June 27. Grantees will be notified in September and grants will be awarded at the National Philanthropy Day celebration on Nov. 7.

Barton Health Grant proposals are initially reviewed by the Barton Community Advisory Committee, a collaborative group of community stakeholders. Final grant recipients will be selected by the Barton Foundation Board of Trustees. Funding for Barton Health Grants is provided by Barton Health through donations from the Barton Foundation.

Grant applications and details are available online at Submit proposals electronically or in person to the Barton Foundation at 2092 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 200 in South Lake Tahoe. For more information, contact Kindle Craig, director of the Barton Foundation, at 530-543-5612. To view Barton’s 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment findings, visit

Tahoe Fund launches new giving campaigns to increase impact

April 8, 2014 — 

Tahoe Fund hopes to encourage new donors with Stewardship Circle and Friends of Tahoe campaigns.

The two new giving campaigns that are designed to help grow the donor base of the nonprofit organization so that it can provide more support to environmental improvement projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“We are eager to connect with more of the people who love and cherish this amazing place,” said Tim Cashman, chairman of the Tahoe Fund. “With their support we can increase our impact and expand our ability to support critical environmental projects that will restore and improve the Tahoe environment.”

The Friends of Tahoe campaign hopes to leverage the support of the millions of visitors and thousands of residents who want to support preservation of the Tahoe environment. Donations of any amount are welcome.

For those interested in an ongoing partnership with the Tahoe Fund’s efforts to preserve and restore the Tahoe environment, the Fund is introducing the Stewardship Circle. Annual gifts of $5,000 or more pledged for a three-year period qualify for the Stewardship Circle. Information on all giving levels and associated benefits can be found online at

Founded in 2010, the bi-state organization has funded high priority watershed restoration projects such as the Blackwood Creek/Eagle Rock Trail restoration on the West Shore and the Incline/3rd Creek Restoration on the North Shore; segments of the Tahoe Bikeway in Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe; the Van-Sickle Bi-State Park in South Lake Tahoe; and the UC Davis “State of the Lake” report. The Tahoe Fund supported four 2013 Signature Projects that included beach improvements at Sand Harbor State Park, Asian Clam control in Emerald Bay, a mile of bike trail along the West Shore, and a new bridge across Angora Creek in the Washoe Meadows State Park. The Tahoe Fund 2014 Projects will be announced in late spring.

The mission of Tahoe Fund is to restore and enhance the natural environment of the Lake Tahoe Basin by building broad support and funding for projects and programs that increase the enjoyment of the region for current and future generations. The Fund focuses grants on the core areas of conservation, recreation and education/stewardship.

For more information on the Tahoe Fund and how you can help make an impact, please visit

Jazzercise raises funds for Make-A-Wish

April 8, 2014 — 

Jazzercise recently joined forces with the Golden State Warriors to raise money for Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. The event raised $77,319 to support the efforts of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

South Lake Tahoe Jazzercise instructors Shelly Higgins, Dana Dose, Jodi Stewart, Sherry Baiocchi and 13 of their customers participated, raising $8,500.

“This event is always so much fun,” Higgins said. “What makes it really special is we have fun performing at the game while doing something beneficial for the community.”

Two hundred and seventy-five Jazzercise instructors and customers collected pledges in order to perform a specially choreographed dance routine for the Golden State Warriors halftime show. The event took place March 22 at the Oracle Arena where the Golden State Warriors played San Antonio.

For more information or to refer a child for a wish, call 415-982-9474 or visit

For more information on Jazzercise, visit or contact 800-FIT-IS-IT.

South Shore news in brief

April 5, 2014 — 

ReMax food drive to benefit St. Theresa food pantry

The food pantry at St. Theresa Church is in dire need of nonperishable items to hand out to the needy in the community. ReMax Realty is collecting canned food at their locations at 2568 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe and 182 Highway 50, Zephyr Cove.

Donations can be dropped off at their office anytime between 9-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday to April 25. The Re Max truck will deliver the food directly to the pantry on April 11 and April 25.

Suggested nonperishable foods include: canned tuna, peanut butter, jelly, rice, beans, cereal, canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned soups, pasta, pasta sauce, dry pet food.

Please keep in mind that many recipients do not have cooking facilities. Your donations are appreciated.

For more information, call the ReMax office at 530-541-0200.

Property taxes due April 10

The second installment of secured property tax is now due and will be delinquent if not paid by April 10, El Dorado County Treasurer-Tax Collector C.L Raffety says.

The mailing address for property tax payments is P.O. 678002, Placerville, Calif., 95667-8002. There’s also an on-line payment option at collector

The website also provides answers to the most frequently asked property tax questions, Raffety said. Taxpayers also can call the Assessor’s Office at 530-621-5719 for information on assessed values; the Auditor-Controller’s Office at 530-621-5470 for information on tax computations; and Raffety’s office at 530-621-5800 for questions on total amounts to pay.

TRT offers summer hiking programs

Whether you want to hike the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail all in one go, or take on a different segment each week, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association can help you to make it happen.

This year, the TRTA is partnering with Shuttle Around Tahoe to bring the brand new Segment Shuttle Program. In this program, participants will follow the official TRTA Segment Hike Schedule and be transported to trailheads around the lake to hike a different segment on their own each week. The Segment Shuttle Program eliminates the hassle of coordinating a ride to the trailhead. And plus, hikers get to go at their own pace.

The 2014 schedule is:

Segment Shuttle Program – Thursdays, June 12–Sept. 18 ($350)

Segment Hiking Program (guided) – Wednesdays (June 18–Sept. 17) or Fridays (June 13–Sept. 19) ($550)

Annual Thru Hike (Guided 15-day backpack) – Aug. or Sept. ($1,650)

Visit the TRTA’s beautiful new website at for more information or call 775-298-4485.

Women’s group gathers for encouragement, self-exploration

April 5, 2014 — 

If you are feeling stuck in life, you’re not alone. Women are invited to participate in workshops of self-exploration and mutual support facilitated by Karen Jaime, a certified professional coach and graduate of Fowler Wainwright International Institute.

Le’Femme Power, presented by Dreamweavers begins at 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday. The workshops are designed to be an avenue for women supporting women.

Have you lost your passion? Are you unmotivated? Do you want to be inspired? Are you unsure of your future? Are you fearful about important life decisions? Are you feeling emotional blocks? Has love become stagnant? Are you trying to find your niche? Are you compromising your own needs? Are you on the right path? Do you struggle with getting organized? Do you have mental clutter? Do you worry about finances? Are you wondering where your journey will lead you? Are you on a journey? Are you following your dreams? What are your dreams? Are you tired, feeling board? Have you lost your enthusiasm? Are you feeling spiritually bankrupt? Do you have the life you want?

Participants will begin to work out the answers to these questions together.

Discover who you really are and why we are here. It is never too late to begin to reinvent yourself, though it may take time to think it through.

Learn new strategies to re-ignite passions, be inspired, find individual uniqueness, realize inner strengths and possibilities.

Come join in on the fun and pledge to be accountable to each other to support, collaborate, network and encourage success.

Space is limited. For more information and to reserve a spot, contact Jaime at 530-416-1396 or

Young Professionals Weigh In: STR employees are fabric of the community

April 5, 2014 — 

Like to get up early and watch the sun rise? You could be a garbage man. Like to break new trail through the fresh snow? You could be a garbage man. Like to start the day with a good run and some free weights, a little cross-training? You, too, could be a garbage man or a garbage woman for that matter. Dirty, cold, wet, hard work? You bet, but busy, lively, humorous and satisfying, too.

It’s not a job for everyone, though, especially if you’re not an early bird. With start times from midnight to 5 a.m. to a leisurely 8 a.m., our employees at South Tahoe Refuse and Recycling work the crazy hours that keep our 24-hour town on time and ready to roll. But, for early birds, there are plenty of year-round jobs to learn and do. By promoting from within, employees gain skills and capabilities that contribute to ever expanding operations and programs. That experience, in turn, leads to employment that can last a lifetime. Eleven of our current employees have been with us for more than 20 years, three of those for more than 30 years. Over half of our employees have been with us for 10 years or more. Employment turnover is less than 5 percent.

The 104 employees of South Tahoe Refuse and Recycling do so much more than often meets the eye. Operations on our streets and at our facilities require a wide range of skills and abilities; truck drivers and mechanics, equipment operators and front office staff, recyclers and welders, cashiers and maintenance personnel.

The employees of STR are the company. They make the company valued in the community. They are the arms and the strong backs that handle our materials reliably and responsibly. They are the voices that answer our questions and arrange our pickups. They are the hands that weigh our bags of aluminum and pay us for recycling our cans and bottles. They are a helping hand at the Transfer Station and a much anticipated dog treat from the hand of a Transfer Station Cashier. Work is brighter for the smiles, the jokes, the high-fives and the knuckle bumps.

The employees of STR also are all about Tahoe. Along with company family members, who grew up locally, STR employees are by and large, home-grown from local schools with strong family and community ties. They are raising their children here, involved in school and worship communities and volunteering in community programs from sports to food banks to youth organizations and environmental events. They shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants and dance in our clubs They ride their bikes to work and compete in the bike challenge. They play soccer and basketball and softball with enthusiasm and skill. They are on paddle boards and kayaks and snowboards and skis. They hike and fish and enjoy those amazing Lake Tahoe thunderstorms and sunsets. They are woven into the fabric of this community. They are our most valuable asset.

John D. Marchini, member and sponsor Tahoe Regional Young Professionals.

Chabad Jewish Center to offer public Passover Seder

April 5, 2014 — 

For more than 3,300 years, Jewish families from all over gather around the festive table on the eve of Passover to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and celebrate the “Seder” feast.

This is no ordinary meal; the Passover Seder (which actually means “order”) incorporates 15 multi-sensory steps that reach deep into the human psyche in every way possible and all at once: Rich melodies, dynamic visuals, prayers and stories, even the visceral senses of taste, smell and touch are part of the interminable tradition.

The Seder is a time to retell the story of the Exodus and the history of our nation’s birth, but also much more. The observances at the Seder-table allow one to actually re-experience a modern-day Exodus; facilitating one’s own spiritual rebirth and enabling him or her to forge a new path toward a life of holiness and spiritual meaning. The Seder is a whole-person experience, empowering each man, woman and child with a renewed sense of inner freedom and spiritual resolve.

The Passover Haggadah, which records the Seder’s narrative, says that in each generation man must see himself as if he had personally gone out of Egypt. Judaism teaches that Egypt and its nefarious Pharaoh symbolize the negative forces that constrict man. The slavery in Egypt represents the emotional and psychological shackles that confine and enslave the human spirit, constraining one’s ability to live up to his or her fullest spiritual potential.

Each year on Passover, as nature experiences its own season of springtime renewal, we participate in the Seder tradition and experience our own renewal and rebirth. At the Seder table we commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and the birth of the Jewish nation over three millennia ago — and at the same time embark on a modern-day journey to spiritual freedom.

This year, in Lake Tahoe, the Chabad Jewish Center is opening its doors for a first-ever community-wide public Passover Seder. This special event is open to all, no membership required, regardless of affiliation, or financial means. RSVP is required.

Held 7 p.m. April 14 at the Chabad Jewish Center, the unique Seder experience will be led by Rabbi Mordey and Shaina Richler and will feature explanation and commentary based on mystical and Kabbalistic insights, humor and song. A sumptuous four-course holiday dinner will be served with hand-baked Matzah and choice of wine.

Suggested donation: $50 for adults, $25 for children

For more information, call 530-314-7677, or visit

South Shore community briefs

April 4, 2014 — 

Al-Anon meets tonight

Al-Anon meetings give support and understanding of alcoholism to loved ones struggling with others’ drinking. Meetings are at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays, at 1170 Rufus Allen Blvd., at the corner of Lyons Ave. For more information, call 775-348-7103.

Food drive to help St. Theresa church

The food pantry at St. Theresa church is in need of non-perishable items to hand out to the needy in the community. ReMax Realty is collecting canned food at their locations at 2568 Lake Tahoe Blvd., and 182 Highway 50, Zephyr Cove. Donations can be dropped off anytime between 9-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday through April 25. The Re Max Truck will deliver the food directly to the Pantry on Friday, April 11 and Friday, April 25. Suggested sustainable items: Tuna fish, peanut butter and jelly, rice, beans, cereal, canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned soups, pasta, pasta sauce, dry pet food. Keep in mind that many recipients do not have cooking facilities.

What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Spring is in the air: It’s time for biscotti and tea

April 4, 2014 — 

April is a time when spring is in the air, and lighter eating is on the brain. Enter Italian biscotti and tea. This sophisticated twice-baked cookie is a long-shaped crunchy stick-like biscuit. I admit I have had my fill at our local Starbucks to ready-made boxed biscotti at Safeway. These cookies aka “cantuccini” are fun to dunk in tea or coffee, but are even sweeter to the palate if home-baked.

Several years ago, when I wrote the original book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, I met a dear elderly woman who sent me her cookbooks, and taught me about Mediterranean fare. She is Italian, and part of a family-owned olive oil company located in central California. One autumn for my birthday she home-baked several types of biscotti and sent them to me. Since fall is my favorite season, I was moved by her kind gesture and hard work. I transcended into biscotti heaven when I opened the package left on my doorstep. I took my first bite of the crumbly-like shortbread and I was hooked.

As time passed, I never did try my hands at baking biscotti for fear of failure. It seemed too hard—making the dough, rolling it, twice baking. I resisted. But this week I finally took the plunge. Making this Italian cookie is checked off my list of phobias. The process was fun. Throughout the week I prepared for D-Day. I collected items from almonds, anise (a licorice extract used to flavor cookies), dark chocolate, and parchment paper. I was ready to make it happen despite I was entering unchartered waters, so to speak, on an early spring afternoon after my morning swim.

Italian Almond Biscotti

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup European style butter (you can use ¼ cup fruity olive oil)

1 cup white sugar, granulated

3 large organic eggs

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon anise

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups chopped almonds

In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer bowl at high speed until mixed well, add eggs. Mix in dry ingredients, add extracts and almonds. Put flour on your hands, shape dough into two logs 8 to 12 inch long, 2 ½ inches wide and ½-1 ½ inches thick. On a parchment covered cookie sheet place rolls. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes for a less crumbly cut. Slice rolls into ½ inch strips. Place cut sides up on fresh parchment papered cookie sheet. Put back into a 400 degree oven and bake till golden brown. Cool. Makes approximately 30 cookies (the amount varies depending on how big or small you slice the logs).

Icing: Mix ½ cup dark chocolate chips with ¼ cup half-and-half. Melt in microwave. Add ½ to 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Dip side of cookies into chocolate. Roll in almonds. Place in fridge till icing hardens. Store in container. Freezes well.

After the biscotti was done I sat down in the living room. With a cup of hot black tea I tried the rustic-style biscotti. (My cookies were not perfectly uniform like store-bought ones.) It was chewy with a slight crunch. I dipped it into the tea and it was a softer texture. My mind raced: “I can make different flavors — chocolate, lemon, macadamia, even peach.” I felt a sense of novelty and accomplishment in the Sierra season when new things can happen.

Motto: Face your fear factor when baking. It will boost your culinary skills and make your spring come alive.

Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. Her website is

‘Hand Guy’ named Barton’s Doctor of the Year

April 4, 2014 — 

The votes have been tallied and Daniel T. Robertson, MD, has been selected as Barton Health’s Doctor of the Year.

Robertson is an orthopedic surgeon for Tahoe Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Known as “the hand guy” by one voter, he specializes in treating injuries of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.

To honor Doctor’s Day, Barton employees and physicians vote for the Doctor of the Year. A special recognition ceremony was held March 31.

Dr. Clint Purvance, chief medical officer, praised Dr. Robertson for the “remarkable job” he does for patients.

Robertson received votes across many different Barton departments. In the ballots, peers recognized Robertson for providing “exceptional patient care every time.” He goes above and beyond his duties and “always makes himself available even when he is not on-call.” One Barton employee said that Robertson is a team player who “appreciates that we are all on the same team and all here for our patients.”

Robertson also received kudos from his patients. One patient described him as a “cool cat.” Another patient, who was visiting from out of town, said “I was so lucky to get Dr. Robertson as my surgeon. He stayed late to get me into surgery the same day … I feel like I’m in the best hands.”

Ask Hopeful Henry: Three keys to properly socializing your puppy

April 2, 2014 — 

Dear Hopeful: I just got a new puppy and I’ve herd the phrase “Puppy Socialization.” I know basically what it means but can you clarify. Thanks. — William

Dear William: Puppy socialization is very important to a new pup. The goal is to teach puppies how to interact with people, other dogs, their environment and social situations.

Puppy socialization is important because behavioral problems are the main reason dogs get surrendered by their owners, early socialization and training is essential and will help keep dogs out of shelters and save lives. This learning also will make your pup more secure, predictable and self-confident.

If you have a puppy you should start the socialization process during the social development period of a puppies life, which is between 3- and 14-weeks. At this age they are most accepting, less cautious and very curious about their environment. If you have adopted an older dog socialization still can be achieved. It will just be a slower process and you, the owner needs to be patient and aware of the time it may take prior to adopting an older dog.

There are three key ways to properly socialize your pup. First provide positive controlled experiences. A puppy’s earliest interactions shape its behavior forever, so make sure they are positive. Always have small treats ready to reward them for good behavior. Handle your puppy by doing things like looking in ears and mouth and handling their paws. This will make your veterinarians’ job a little easier and save you and your dog stress.

During your experiences it is important to look for signs of stress like tucked tail, licking lips, yawning, shaking and ears back. If you see any of these signs remove your pup from the situation so they do not associate that experience with fear. The second thing is to go for multiple brief encounters. Try for 90 different situations that are associated with pleasurable experiences in the first 14 weeks. Keep encounters short at first, as your puppy develops they will become more confident and comfortable and able to enjoy longer experiences. Lastly offer a variety of experiences. Engage your puppy with different types of people, places, animals, walking surfaces, noises and other situations.

Some ideas for places to go or things to do is to enroll in a puppy preschool class to start training early, sit on a bench with your puppy near a school or where it is active with people, take your puppy to a public park or beach where there is a lot of activity like jogging, roller blading and biking, show your puppy how fun water can be with a baby pool and take your puppy in the car when you run errands or go through the drive-thru but make sure you don’t do this when your pup has a full stomach. Make sure you don’t leave your puppy in the car in warm weather, always keep safety a top priority.

If you need more help with this topic I highly recommend this website provided by UC Davis.

Submit your questions or letters via email to or by mail to P.O. Box PET, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. Visit the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA on Facebook at You can also become a Facebook friend of Hopeful Henry at

South Shore news in brief

April 1, 2014 — 

Donations sought for fundraiser to help family of accident victim

A fundraiser is planned for April 12 to help the family of Audrey Rugamas, 21, of South Lake Tahoe, who died in a Carson City hospital after being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Rugamas was a passenger on the motorcycle which collided with a pickup.

Audrey’s mother, Luisa, works at PUSH Fitness in South Lake Tahoe as a massage therapist. PUSH is gathering donations of any kind to help the family. The public has been dropping off cash donations and the gym is also hosting the April 12 fundraiser.

The fundraiser will consist of vendor booths and activities with revenues generated being donated to Luisa and the family. Any local businesses or individuals that would like to take part in the fundraiser are asked to call Kim Horn, PUSH manager, at 530-544-9111. She will be taking silent auction items as well.

Book signing planned for author of ‘Saving Lake Tahoe’

Local author Michael Makley will deliver a presentation revolving around his new book “Saving Lake Tahoe: An Environmental History of a National Treasure,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Galena Creek Visitor Center.

Makley’s book portrays the changing interactions between man and the Lake Tahoe environment through the years, and documents past and present struggles to protect this treasured landscape.

Copies of Makley’s book will be available for purchase and signing.

Michael Makley has penned several books about western U.S. history, including the Comstock era and is the co-author of “Cave Rock: Climbers, Courts, and a Washoe Indian Sacred Place.”

A $5 donation is suggested for this community program. For more information, call 775-849-4948 or email

The Galena Creek Visitor Center, located at 18250 Mount Rose Highway, is a partnership between Washoe County, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Great Basin Institute.

BloodSource plans April blood drive

BloodSource will hold a South Lake Tahoe Community blood drive to meet the community need for blood and blood products from noon-6 p.m. April 7 at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel in the first floor ballroom.

Walk-ins are welcome. Blood drive participants will receive a parking validation for the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel (formerly Embassy Suites Hotel Lake Tahoe) parking lot. The hotel is located at 4130 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Participants earn MyBloodSource rewards that can be redeemed online for items such as movie passes

The blood drive is sponsored by the Barton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. BloodSource provides blood to Barton Memorial Hospital as well as Sacramento-area hospitals.

Donating blood is safe, easy and takes about an hour. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 17 years old (16 with a signed BloodSource Parental consent form) and be generally healthy. There is no upper age limit for blood donations. Donors must bring a photo ID and should drink plenty of fluids before donating. Potential marrow donors can register for Be the Match through BloodSource.

Find more information at

For more information about the South Tahoe Community blood drive contact Dan Kerr at (775) 781-5343. For donor eligibility questions call BloodSource at 1-800-995-4420.

El Dorado Senior of the Year nominations sought

Do you know an outstanding older adult or married couple 60 years or older who have performed exemplary work in El Dorado County as a volunteer? Consider nominating them for the Senior of the Year Award.

The annual “Senior of the Year” award will be presented by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on May 20 at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 330 Fair Lane, Placerville, hosted by the El Dorado County Area Agency on Aging and the Commission on Aging.

Nominees must be an El Dorado County resident with active community service within the last two years. Nomination forms are available at the Placerville Senior Center or on-line at For more information, call 530-621-6255 or you can email Submissions must be received by April 28.

Residents and contractors reminded to call before you dig

April marks the seventh annual National Safe Digging Month, reminding residents to call 811 two working days before beginning any digging project.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors at Lake Tahoe are connected to USA North, the region’s 811 call center. USA North notifies the appropriate utility companies, which send professional locators to the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both.

Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, from installing a mailbox, planting a tree or building a deck, warrants a call to 811.

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

For information about safe digging procedures, visit

National Safe Digging Month is formally recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and state governors across the country. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and the Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance, sponsor of National Safe Digging Month in Nevada.

Pet of the week: Nacho

April 1, 2014 — 

My name is Nacho and I am 2-year-old male kitty with long hair. I was surrendered by my owner who could no longer take of me. I love to be loved and am a friendly kitty who gets along with small dogs and am good with children. Please come visit Nacho at The El Dorado County Animal Services, 530-573-7925. For Spay-Neuter services and other support, call the Lake Tahoe Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 530-542-2857.

Barton facilities go smoke-free

April 1, 2014 — 

All Barton Health facilities and grounds are now 100 percent smoke-free.

The smoking and tobacco ban includes all Barton Health facilities, parking lots, grounds, and Barton Memorial Hospital, according to a press release. The changed took place April 1. All patients, visitors, medical staff, vendors and employees will not be allowed to smoke at Barton. This includes the use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, marijuana smoking, and smoke-free tobacco products such as chewing tobacco.

To celebrate going smoke-free, Barton staff will pick up cigarette butts and other refuse around the Barton grounds when the snow clears. Clean Tahoe has provided bags, gloves, and trash grabbers.

Barton Health provides smoking cessation clinics to help people kick the habit. The next series starts on Thursday. It runs for seven weeks and the course prepares participants for their quit day in the middle of the program.

The class will run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and is open to employees and the public. For more information, visit or call Gina Morros at (530) 543-5882.

Email reminders about tax payments available

April 1, 2014 — 

C. L. Raffety, El Dorado County treasurer and tax collector, said Tuesday taxpayers can sign up for property tax reminders. These free email notifications can help act as a friendly reminder of tax due dates. To subscribe to the tax due dates reminders, visit and click on the email subscription links at the bottom of the page.

Taxpayers can sign up for as many email addresses as they would like.

Taxpayers will receive a reminder one week to 10 days before the due date and one week to 10 days before the delinquency date. If the tax still needs to be paid, the interactive links will let you pay the tax with electronic check or credit card.

These notifications will be strictly for regular secured and unsecured property taxes. Notifications for other types of special bills will not be available.

If there are any questions regarding this new service, call 530-621-5800.

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