Letter: ‘Let’s cut to the chase’ about city council candidates | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: ‘Let’s cut to the chase’ about city council candidates

Let’s cut to the chase. Are these really the choices we have for our city council? Is that really their comments, concerns and/or plans for our community?

I am referring to the piece on page 2 of last Friday’s Tribune in regards to our transportation issue — we are not Park City, Steamboat, Vail or any other ski area. We have that giant blue mass in the middle of the basin. I believe some call it a lake. Not just any lake, the most rare, spectacular lake in my opinion (I’m pretty sure locals share my opinion) that has ever existed. So free transportation shouldn’t even be a conversation. Clean transportation however should be.

Bringing up a idea like that and not having a plan? Come on, candidates! Giving Heavenly Mountain Resort kudos for anything accept making money sounds like a candidate that is being backed by the Company. Not having Tahoe’s best interest in mind. A couple smart things said is, yes our factory is the environment that surrounds us. It is our money maker. So let’s protect it!! And yes we are facing the beginning of a major housing crisis. So before we rip out 80-plus residential homes to create a Loop Road, because traffic is bad for a few months out of the year, let’s fix our existing roads and bike paths. Let’s protect our local population, with highly regulated vacation rental laws. No multi family properties, allow a certain percentage of homes in each neighborhood be granted permits, and in order to retain one you must not only pass inspection, you must show your taxes that you have paid the appropriate TOT tax to the community. Let’s get radical, let’s get smart, and be different. Because we are.

Jade Hemsley

Stateline, Nev.

Aaron Lewis plays at Harrah’s

Former Staind frontman Aaron Lewis makes a stop at Stateline this weekend with a solo performance headlining Harrah’s Lake Tahoe on Friday, Sept. 30.

“Lewis’ introspective, personal and relatable lyrics are proof that country music is about lifestyle and values, not necessarily where you were raised.

“Lewis attributes country as something that has always inspired him. Growing up in rural Vermont the singer/songwriter spent summers with his World War II veteran grandfather hunting and fishing. During that time, he developed a love for the land, the woods and the simple life, which still permeates everything he does,” states the artist’s Facebook biography.

Lewis’ debut solo release “Town Line” premiered in 2011 and quickly climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Album Chart. “Country Boy,” his first solo single, earned him multiple Country Music Awards nominations.

“I was raised on Country music. My grandfather listened to Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Hank Jr., and all of the greats,” Lewis states in his Facebook biography.

“Those influences are evident on stage in his new songs and in Staind hits he often performs, such as ‘Outside.’ ‘It’s Been Awhile,’ and ‘So Far Away,’” states the biography.

During his time with Staind he recorded seven studio albums and notched five chart-topping singles.

Lewis’ Stateline show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age. Harrah’s Lake Tahoe is located at 18 U.S. 50.

For more information, visit www.ticketmaster.com.

— Lake Tahoe Action

Lake Tahoe Community College launches Culinary Boot Camp

It’s a season of change for Lake Tahoe Community College. In addition to the school’s new global business management degree, it is housing adult education program ADVANCE’s new Culinary Boot Camp, which debuts in October.

“The feedback from [restaurant] industry partners in town has been A) they can’t fill jobs, and B) the people that do come in are underprepared and don’t have basic skills [employers] would expect,” said Josh Sweigert, ADVANCE’s hospitality, tourism, recreation and retail coordinator.

Created alongside South Shore restaurant industry leaders, the boot camp’s intent is to raise the level of the culinary applicant pool and help locals receive access to better employment.

“The real big picture goal is to raise the level of prosperity and our reputation here. The perception is South Lake Tahoe is a funky place that doesn’t live up to the culinary scene in Colorado and other places. We want to raise that by starting on the ground floor to turn out top tier service and employees,” Sweigert said.

Boot camp participants will receive hands-on culinary training in LTCC’s commercial-grade kitchen, learning necessary skills to seek and obtain local culinary employment. The program goes both ways — it also helps local businesses by equipping their applicants with adequate training for a career in the industry.

The 40-hour program offers teaching in basic skills, terminology and practices in a professional kitchen. Students will learn about topics such as kitchen sanitation and safety, knife skills, butchery and more, in addition to preparing various meals in the LTCC kitchen. Each step of the food preparation process is covered, from planning to completion and cleaning. Off-site visits at restaurants such as Harvey’s are currently being planned.

“It’s designed to feed [course] completers straight to hirers. This isn’t like, ‘You’ve completed the course — good luck.’ It’s, ‘You’ve completed the course, and here are four companies ready to hire you,’” Sweigert said.

To comply with interested participants’ varying schedules, the boot camp will be offered in two sessions. One runs for five weeks, held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. beginning on Oct. 18 and lasting until Nov. 16. The second option is a one-week, full-on intensive option, where participants attend Saturday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Nov. 5-9.

The course is available at no cost for adults aged 18 and older who are interested in pursuing or advancing a culinary career.

For additional information or to apply for the Culinary Boot Camp, contact Josh Sweigert at 530-541-4660 ext. 672 or sweigert@ltcc.edu.

Fall Fish Fest fun: U.S. Forest Service’s annual event returns to South Shore

Fall is the prime time to see Kokanee salmon spawn right here on the South Shore. On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit hosts its annual Fall Fish Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

“There are activities for all ages to learn about the variety of fish species that live in Lake Tahoe. We changed the name to Fall Fish Fest a couple years ago. We wanted it to be a little more inclusive, not just about Kokanee salmon, but also about other fish people might not be aware of,” U.S. Forest Service public affairs specialist Lisa Herron said.

These additional species of fish include the federally threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and little-known smaller fish, such as the speckled dace. The U.S. Forest Service is currently working on reintroducing the Lahontan cutthroat back into the streams of Lake Tahoe.

“The [event] highlight is probably seeing the fish actually spawning — it’s quite a display. The salmon, when they’re in Lake Tahoe, they’re a blue color. When they spawn, they turn bright red — it’s a beautiful display. Typically there are hundreds, if not thousands, of fish,” Herron said.

Attendees will have the chance to learn about the various species of fish and their interactions with the ecosystem through an array of activities, including a treasure hunt and visits from festival mascots Lulu the Lahontan cutthroat trout and Sandy and Rocky Salmon. There will also be a special appearance from Smokey Bear. Vendors and additional activities will also be present.

If you’re of an active spirit, Tahoe Mountain Milers will host Kokanee Trail Runs, offering half marathon, 5k, 10k and trot options. Registration and fees apply. Learn more at www.tahoemtnmilers.org.

For those planning to attend, early arrival is recommended, as the Fish Fest takes place during the same time as Camp Richardson’s Oktoberfest and limited parking will fill quickly.

“It can get really busy out there. It probably is the single biggest event we have aside from Fourth of July. On those two [Fish Fest] days we’ve had as many as 12,000 people visit the center,” Herron said.

Public transportation and biking to the festival are encouraged. Event entry is free.

The Fall Fish Fest is held at Taylor Creek Visitor Center. Additional information is available by calling the center at 530-543-2674 or visiting the U.S. Forest Service website.

At the movies: ‘The Magnificent Seven’

In 1960, John Sturges remade a 1954 Japanese mournful beauty, “The Seven Samurai,” as “The Magnificent Seven.” That remake was made noteworthy by several soon-to-be stars (Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn), signing on to follow silken-voiced, smooth-pated Yul Brynner on an impossible mission to save a Mexican village from a gang of well-armed bandits. The film worshiped the redemptive quality of heroic machismo while providing each gunslinger his moment in the cinematic sun.

Similarly, director Antoine Fuqua’s re-re-make, aims to do no more than the same, despite offering a potentially interesting major twist — casting Denzel Washington as the Seven’s leader, Sam Chisolm. Fuqua combines two of his longtime favorites, Westerns and Washington, the latter of whom stars in three of the director’s films. In Fuqua’s recent “Equalizer,” Washington stepped into another role formerly played by a white male. There as well as here, Washington’s character becomes the dark-skinned savior or executioner to a passel of light-skinned folks.

Because no racially-primed life experiences are referenced in either role, Fuqua invites us to be colorblind. In theory, that works, but in the context of the Seven’s late 19th century setting, following the Civil War and recent abolition of slavery, it’s an interesting circumstance left unaddressed within the dialog. A bounty hunter certified in no less than seven states, Chisolm is clearly sharp with a gun; and more importantly, he’s always the smartest guy in the room.

After a greedy gold baron (a petulant Peter Sarsgaard) demonstrates his willingness to massacre Rose Creek’s citizens in order to steal their potentially gold-laden farms, townie and newly widowed Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) decides to hire gunmen as defenders. To that end, Emma rides into a nearby town where she meets Chisolm, and tosses the bounty hunter a bag of money that contains “everything we have.” Washington sprinkles the implications in his reply like magic dust, “I’ve been offered big money before, but no body’s ever offered me everything.”

While Fuqua declines to comment on Chisolm’s race, he pays close attention to Emma’s gender. Her revealing tops and form fitting outfits make her difficult to miss amidst the sea of men.

To help him defend Rose Creek, Chisolm has to take who he can get. They include: Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), a wisecracking gambler good with dynamite, a Confederate sharpshooter calling himself the Angel of Death (a scruffy Ethan Hawke), a half-delusional trapper (an even scruffier and portly, Vincent D’Onofrio), a Korean knife-fighting master (Byung-hun Lee), a Comanche warrior ostracized by his tribe (Martin Sensmeier), and a handsome Mexican bandit (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo).

There’s little chemistry between these warriors, all of whom emerge from dark pasts and are prone to make their livings swindling or doing harm to others. What camaraderie exists arises from appreciating one another’s specific weapons’ skills. Emma sometimes shoots affectionate glances in Chisolm’s direction while we wait for them to develop into something more. Is Chisolm too practical for such a dalliance? We never find out because acknowledging such feelings would require exploring interracial romance at a time when there was little or no tolerance for it.

Instead, shots ring out, things go boom, and bodies pile up in the streets. Bad things happen, especially to the gold baron’s thugs, all of whom are little more than cardboard cutouts. Passable, but wholly unremarkable, ultimately, “The Magnificent Seven” neither advances nor detracts from the western genre. It’s just there.

Olympian Jamie Anderson disappointed with lack of female representation in Champions Plaza statue

The prototype of a large bronze statue commissioned for South Lake Tahoe’s Champions Plaza in celebration of local athletes has sparked a discussion on gender representation.

At the Sept. 20 city council meeting, artist Gareth Curtiss presented the clay prototype of the statue he created, featuring three male figures emerging from flames and reaching for a ring above them.

“My concept is a statue that represents the elements of competition. The figures themselves are like tongues of flames that are leaping up in the air after the ring,” Curtiss told mayor and council.

“So you have three figures— only one has his hand on the ring. The other two are very close.”

A selection committee, with input from local art teachers, artists and others in the industry, chose Curtiss’ “Spirit of Competition” from 10 proposals submitted last year.

Curtiss operates a studio in Shelton, Washington, and a foundry in Fortine, Montana.

During the selection process, the subject of gender representation was never brought up by those assessing the proposals, said City Manager Nancy Kerry.

Mayor Pro Tem Austin Sass, however, was the first at the council meeting to bring up the fact that there were no women depicted in the statue.

“We talked earlier about how there are three men on there, but just for the public’s information, can you explain why you did not incorporate a woman?”

Curtiss said it was something he had debated over.

“I thought, if I created a woman in the statue is she going to have her hand on the ring? Is she going to not have her hand on the ring and is that going to cause an issue?” explained Curtiss.

“So I thought well, I’ll take a different tactic. Basically these are just elemental spirits as opposed to representing actual people.”

“When you create a work of art, you can’t please everybody,” he added.

Councilmember Tom Davis spoke up twice in support of incorporating a female figure into the statue, which will ultimately be 10 feet tall and cast in bronze.

“Most of our gold medal winners in town are women. So I’d just like you to think about that and consider that seriously. I do think there should be at least one woman incorporated in that,” noted Davis.

Lake Tahoe native Jamie Anderson, who won a gold medal for slopestyle snowboarding at the 2014 Winter Olympics among numerous other accolades in her career, heard about the statue’s lack of female representation from a friend. The situation is disappointing, she said.

“They should definitely showcase women a bit more clearly and represent us as we are, three kick-ass Olympic women athletes,” said Anderson, referring to fellow Olympians and snowboarders with South Shore roots, Maddie Bowman and Hannah Teter.

Kerry later told Tahoe Daily Tribune that Curtiss is considering the input.

“He said he would take that into consideration, and may be looking at making one of them more like a women. We want him to determine what is best as an artist,” said Kerry.

The statue, which will be the focal point of the plaza, is expected to be installed next summer. It cost the city $75,000 and is part of a push to incorporate more public art.

Kerry said the city is currently working to finalize how they will display the names of prominent local athletes at Champions Plaza, which is located at the corner of Lakeview Avenue and Highway 50.

This week’s action: German beer, fall fish fest, rockstars and more (opinion)

Beer, beer, BEER! Oktoberfest returns in all its autumnal glory. It’s hosted at Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2.

The Tribune’s own Autumn Whitney will be at the event, sampling the many good tasting foods and drinks — and possibly partaking in a yodel. (We’re looking forward to hearing all about it, Autumn.)

Here are three more weekend picks:

1. FISH FEST

Fall Fish Festival returns to Lake Tahoe as well this weekend. It’s planned for Taylor Creek Visitor Center on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2. ART DISPLAY

Check out “Music Through the Camera Lens” at Lake Tahoe Community College. View 20 images, which were taken at concerts put on at Harveys Lake Tahoe, through Dec. 3.

3. MUSIC

Fun around the lake, including a variety of musical performances, can be eyeballed in Lake Tahoe Action.

Lake Tahoe Action is an entertainment publication published Fridays, available around the South Shore of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe Marathon returns to South Shore for 21st year, brings fun to running

More than 1,500 runners will flock to the Tahoe for the 21st Lake Tahoe Marathon weekend next Friday through Sunday, Oct. 7-9. At an array of distances during the three-day event, most of them won’t be aiming for a top time.

“This is not a personal record course, it’s a PW course — personal worst,” event director Les Wright said. “People come here to have a good time, they’re not going to get a good time.”

The weekend’s title event begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, and runs from Homewood through South Lake Tahoe before ending at Lakeside Beach. The Lake Tahoe Marathon is one of 12 races during the weekend, in addition to a health and fitness expo Friday and Saturday at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel.

“It’s special because of the scenery,” Wright said of the races. “We keep it friendly and low-key — we have a lot of fun with it. It’s a great event.”

The weekend kicks off Friday morning with the Lakeside Marathon, which takes runners from Lakeside Beach to Incline Village. Friday also features the Nevada Half Marathon that starts at Spooner Summit, a historic fun run to Nevada Beach with Neal Chappell and the expo from 5-8 p.m.

On Saturday, the Cal-Neva Marathon from Sand Harbor to Homewood kicks things off at 7 a.m. The Carnelian Bay Half Marathon hits the ground at 9 a.m., and the Midnight Express 72 Mile Ultra starts in the dark 12 hours later — the expo runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The weekend comes to a close with six events Sunday, including the Edgewood Tahoe 10K and Super Hero 5K Pumpkin Run at 8:20 and 8:30 a.m. The course for both races features stretches on the scenic South Shore golf course, and those running in costume for the 5k event get a one-minute head start.

The kids race begins at 10 a.m. near the marathon’s finish line at Lakeside Beach, and is open to children between the ages of 1 and 10. The free event hosted by Optimist Club features distances that vary by age, from 30 yards to a half-mile.

“If folks in town have kids, bring them on down to run,” Wright said.

Some participants will aim to tackle a marathon each day to earn the “triple marathon” distinction by the end of the weekend. Those that attempt a half-marathon each day are recognized with a “trifecta” medal.

“We have a lot of people come back every year, and they come from all over the country and around the world,” Wright said, adding that this year’s field includes runners from Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Taiwan. “We have the usual suspects coming back.”

For the second straight year, Sunday’s marathon will run through South Lake Tahoe before finishing at Lakeside Beach. Wright suggested Lakeview Commons as a good site to view the race — nearby Revive Coffee and Wine will serve mimosas for spectators and offer obliging runners wine samples as the event passes by.

“It’s a nice little city course,” Wright said. “Anybody out in town that wants to come and help, we’ll find something for them.”

For more information on the Lake Tahoe Marathon weekend, visit www.laketahoemarathon.com. Those interested in volunteering at the event can contact Wright at leswright@sbcglobal.net or 530-559-2261 for more details.

South Tahoe volleyball hangs with league leading Truckee, falls in four sets

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe volleyball team battled a big-time opponent with a big hitter at home Wednesday, Sept. 28. In their first home match in three weeks, the Vikings hung tough before ultimately coming up short.

The Vikings fell to league-leading Truckee in four sets 21-25, 19-25, 25-18, 21-25 at the Blue Gym on Wednesday. The loss ended a six-game winning streak for South Tahoe and kept its rivals undefeated in 3A Northern League play.

“We definitely battled,” Vikings coach Kelly Racca said. “I can see that we’re there — we’re on that bell curve about to hit the top.”

South Tahoe (12-4, 5-2 3A Northern) had an 8-6 lead in the first set before the visitors took control. Truckee (12-5, 7-0) went on a 6-1 run and didn’t trail for the rest of the opening frame to take an early lead.

The Wolverines opened the second set with a kill from Maia Dvoracek as part of a 6-0 run — and stayed ahead the rest of the way. The Cal Poly-bound senior and reigning league Most Valuable Player was a force for the Wolverines throughout the match, turning power into points from the right side.

“In the first and second sets, we were a little bubbly and that’s what stopped us,” said Vikings senior Zoe Mosedale, who finished with 25 assists and three kills. “Once we clicked and realized they were stoppable, we really powered through it — a lot of it was nerves.”

After falling behind by two sets, the Vikings responded in the third. Senior Maya Brosch opened the frame with a kill and South Tahoe didn’t trail the rest of the way — Truckee pulled within two at 15-13, but the hosts reeled off four straight points after a timeout to stay in control.

“We were getting them out of system a lot,” Racca said. “Our game plan was to attack the right side so Maia had to take a second ball and it took her out of swing — when we did that it was great.”

Kills from juniors McKenna Brewer and Novel Moses on consecutive points put the Vikings a point away from taking the third set. On South Tahoe’s first set point Dvoracek unleashed a powerful swing from the left side, and Brosch got under it on the back line.

Brosch’s dig went back over the net in the direction of Dvoracek, who wound up and hit the ball into the net. The Vikings took the set, and were suddenly back in the match after becoming the second team to take a set off of Truckee in league play.

“I was pretty stoked,” Brosch said. “I was back there and thinking, ‘She’s coming to me right now.’ I knew it.”

The fourth set began in back and forth fashion, and the Vikings appeared poised to continue their comeback. With the scored tied 9-9, a communication error allowed Truckee to take the lead and spark a run of five straight points — from there, the Wolverines closed out a seventh straight league victory.

“They were discombobulated and out of sorts,” Racca said. “If we could have just passed and given it to them, we would have had that set too — but we couldn’t do the things on our side we needed to do.”

Moses finished with seven kills, 14 digs and an ace Tuesday while Brosch tallied seven kills, 12 digs and a solo block. Brewer filled up the stat sheet from the middle with six kills, two aces, five digs and two solo blocks.

“It was definitely a step up from other games,” Mosedale said. “We had more connections and our passes were on point.”

Defensively, senior Ashley Bricker had a team-high 20 digs to go along with two kills and two aces. Senior Brynna Hembree finished with nine digs and three aces while sophomore Layne Hembree added three solo blocks and two kills.

For South Tahoe, passing made the difference against the Wolverines. The Vikings passed at a 2.0 in the fourth set — giving the setter two options — compared to a 1.6 average in the three they lost.

“When we pass well, we can run anything we want,” Racca said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”

South Tahoe concludes the first round of league play Monday, Oct. 3, when it hosts Fernley. First serve in the Blue Gym is scheduled for 6 p.m.

South Tahoe boys soccer blasts Fallon 9-0, notches second league victory

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe boys soccer team lit up the scoreboard with an unrelenting attack Wednesday, Sept. 28. The Vikings beat Fallon 9-0 in a 3A Northern League match at Viking Stadium, scoring a big win with a season-best offensive performance.

South Tahoe (2-6-1, 2-4-1 3A Northern) had goals from four different players in the first half Wednesday, and added five more after the break. The Vikings had scored eight goals total in their first eight matches, and exceeded that number in 80 minutes against Fallon (0-9, 0-7).

The Vikings opened the scoring in the 20th minute when senior Dillon King tapped in a shot at the far post off a corner kick. Three minutes later, junior Kevin Nunez put home a breakaway chance to make it 2-0.

Just before halftime, South Tahoe scored two goals a minute apart to take a commanding lead. Senior Gybran Marquez dribbled through the Greenwave defense following a turnover and scored in the 38th minute, then senior Lex Merrifield found the back of the net a minute later to make it 4-0.

After the break, South Tahoe extended its advantage to 5-0 in the 53rd minute. The Vikings scored five times in the last 27 minutes en route to a nine-goal win over Fallon.

SOUTH TAHOE GIRLS SOCCER BEATS FALLON 6-0, GARCIA TALLIES HAT TRICK

FALLON, Nev. — The South Tahoe girls soccer team delivered a season-best offensive output and pitched a third straight shutout en route to road victory Wednesday, Sept. 28. The Vikings beat Fallon 6-0 in a 3A Northern League match, led by a hat trick from senior Ana Garcia.

South Tahoe (5-4, 5-2 3A Northern) scored three times in each half against the Greenwave. Garcia had three goals in the win, junior Lulu Gutierrez scored twice and junior Jocelyn Barajas added one.

Senior Claudia Janese stopped two shots in the Vikings’ shutout of Fallon (0-5-4, 0-5-3). South Tahoe won decisively despite missing four players and starting senior Emma Dayberry at center back instead of her usual role in attack.

Both teams conclude the first round of league play Friday, Sept. 30, against North Tahoe. The girls host the Lakers at Viking Stadium while the boys travel to Tahoe City — both matches are scheduled for 5 p.m.