Tahoe Icemen look for fresh start, turnaround in 2016-17 season | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Icemen look for fresh start, turnaround in 2016-17 season

The Tahoe Icemen junior hockey program enters the 2016-17 season under new leadership and with a new approach. In the franchise’s fourth season in South Lake Tahoe, it is starting fresh with the aim to build a successful program.

“I want to change the mindset and the culture,” said Mickey Lang, the Icemen’s new head coach and general manager. “We brought in a bunch of young, hungry guys that want to get better at hockey — it’s a whole different group in here.”

The Icemen’s new head coach grew up in nearby Reno, Nevada, and played hockey collegiately at Manhattanville College from 2007-11 before four seasons in the CHL, ECHL and AHL. The 30-year-old Lang was the ECHL’s Most Valuable Player for the 2013-14 season while with the Orlando Solar Bears, and last played in 2015.

“I just got done playing so I know what each player is going through as far as certain situations they’re going to face and deal with throughout the year,” Lang said. “I can relate to all of them — from the guy on the fourth line to the guy on the first line.”

Lang moved back to Reno after his last season with Orlando, and wanted to stay around the game of hockey. When the Icemen job opened up in the spring, he quickly jumped at the opportunity — his coaching staff includes Ryan Shmyr and Rich Garcia.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been fun work bringing guys in,” Land said. “I look forward to the challenge of being part of a team again and being in a different role.”

The Icemen franchise was founded in 2012 and spent a season in San Francisco as the Bay Area Seals before relocating to Tahoe. Lang is the program’s fourth coach in four seasons, and will look to turn around a club that won seven games in 2014-15 and finished 2-50 a year ago.

“We talked about it on the first day and we won’t talk about it again for the rest of the year,” Lang said of last season. “We’re all looking for a fresh start.”

In addition to success on the ice, Lang aims to build a program connected to the hockey culture in Tahoe. To that effect, the Icemen’s 2016-17 roster features South Shore products Jackson Oleson and John Moffat along with Northern Nevada natives Reed Lequerica (Reno) and Colby Boucher (Sparks).

“My No. 1 goal is to build Tahoe hockey, build Reno hockey and have players coming out of here consistently playing college hockey and professional hockey,” Lang said. “I think we’re headed in the right direction and that’s a process I’m looking forward to. I’m excited to have the local guys here.”

On the ice, a group of three seasoned players will lead the Icemen this season — forwards Colton Langowski and Matt Psaras along with defenseman Austin Naylor. All three have experience in the Western States Hockey League, with Langowski and Naylor each playing for the Icemen last season.

“They’re going to be playing big roles for us — they’re leaders and they’re older guys,” Lang said. “We’re going to rely on them a lot to steer our younger group and we’ll utilize them in every situation during games.”

Lang wants the Icemen to play a relentless style characterized by speed and effort this season. During training camp and preseason, the focus has been on intensity and effort as much as strategy.

“We want to be relentless in everything we do — pursuing pucks, in the offensive zone, in the defensive zone — just a relentless team that never plays the score and plays the same every game.”

Tahoe opened its season Friday, Sept. 30, at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena against the two-time defending Thorne Cup champion Idaho Jr. Steelheads. The three-game series continues Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and is the first of four straight home series to open the season.

“We’re so pumped and we’re all excited,” Lang said. “Everybody is ready to play games and we’re ready to get the season going.”

The Western States Hockey League is in its second year as a United Hockey Union Tier II junior league, and features players between the ages of 18 and 21. The Icemen play in the Northwest Division along with Idaho, the Bellingham Blaze, Butte Cobras, Seattle Totems, Southern Oregon Spartans, Vancouver Rangers and Whitefish Wolverines.

Mac the Naw: Plenty of fish — for viewing — at Kokanee Salmon Festival on South Shore

Hello fellow anglers; I can tell you where there will be plenty of fish this weekend. The Kokanee Salmon festival will be held at Taylor Creek Visitor Center, located on Highway 89 on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2. Leave the fishing pole at home and bring the camera to watch kokanee salmon start their fall run up Taylor Creek.

All rivers that run into Lake Tahoe will be closed to fishing Oct. 1. This includes the Upper Truckee River, Trout Creek and Taylor Creek. For those that want to fish, here is your local report:

LAKE TAHOE: Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Best action has been off the Tahoe shelf out of Tahoe City or Carnelian Bay to Cal/Neva Point. Start out early morning in 120 feet and move out to 180 feet as the sun comes up; by 9:30 a.m. the bite will have dropped off dramatically. Blades or flashers with a live minnow have been most productive. Kokanee action has been hit and miss. Most anglers have been fishing off Camp Richardson in 300 to 400 feet of water, with the kokanee suspended between 60 and 100 feet. The Cave Rock boat launch is scheduled to open Oct. 15 if construction goes well.

SILVER LAKE: Water level is down and the boat launch is still open; I would recommend against large boats using the launch facility. Be aware of prop-eating rocks when the water level is this low. Mackinaw action is good this time of year off the points and drop offs with Rapalas or Kastmasters.

CAPLES LAKE: Fishing has been fair for trollers using Rapalas in deeper waters or flashers and a nightcrawler closer to shore. Shore anglers have had better luck off the dam with inflated nightcrawlers. The EID public boat ramp will stay open until the weather changes, and Caples Lake Resort will close down for the season Oct. 15.

For those that would like to pay their respects, there will be a celebration of life for John Voss at 2 p.m. Saturday at Red Cliffs Lodge in Kirkwood. The owner of Caples Lake Resort passed away Aug. 10; in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations in John’s memory can be made to Stanford Cancer Institute.

BLUE LAKES: Lake level is down and fishing has been fair for small rainbows. Salmon eggs or small spinners in the morning and evening have produced a few trout. Beware of yellowjackets this time of year.

RED LAKE: A few reports of small rainbows have come in for anglers using salmon eggs by the dam area.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Lake level is lower and weeds are still abundant; fishing has been fair to slow. If you have a float tube or small boat, fish out past the weed line and just off the bottom with a nightcrawler or Powerbait. Shore anglers have had been doing fair between or over the weed line. Fly anglers have had the best luck in the evening on the northwest side of the lake with Woolly Buggers right over the tops and between the weed beds. The campground is scheduled to stay open toward the end of October, weather pending.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK (California): Fishing has been very slow and the water levels are very low. Anglers fishing the harder-to-reach walk-in pools have caught a few rainbows with salmon eggs. Due to water levels, neither California Department of Fish and Wildlife nor Alpine County Fish and Game Commission will plant here for the remainder of the season.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK (California): River is flowing great, and fishing has been very good the last couple weeks due to the recent fish plants by Alpine County. Geary and Deanna Ness from Minden fished here last weekend and caught eight trout between them, with the biggest at 2.5 pounds. They were using a small split shot with Powerbait. Renee and I fished the river a couple weeks ago; we kept three fish and released 12 others. The largest fish was 25 inches long and caught on a small Panther Martin spinner. Many other anglers have checked in with many limits of nice rainbow trout.

TOPAZ LAKE: Saturday is a sad day for many anglers, because Topaz Lake closes to fishing until Jan. 1. If you can get out on the last day, I would suggest fishing the south end with Rapalas or a No. 2 Needlefish lure. I fished here last week with a friend, and we worked hard and caught three fish each with the largest coming in at 18.5 inches long.

HEENAN LAKE: Located on top of Monitor Pass on Highway 89; open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the end of October. This is a no-kill lake, for catch-and-release fishing with artificial lures or flies only with barbless hooks. Fishing has been good in the early morning and evening for anglers using yellow/silver blade Panther Martin spinners. No motors are allowed on the lake, but you may use electric trolling motors on small carry-down boats. Float tubes are a favorite way of angling on this lake; it sometimes looks like a bowl of Cheerios when the fishing is hot.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a photo of your catch, send it to dprice@recordcourier.com. If you have a question or a report in our local fishing area, call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

Belt brothers: Escobar Training Grounds fighters Church, Cocores win title fights at WFC 60

STATELINE — At World Fighting Championships 60, two local fighters brought home championship belts in front of a hometown crowd. Cameron Church and Chris Cocores won title fights in the event held at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa on Saturday, Sept. 24, as part of a strong showing from Escobar Training Grounds.

“It’s very special. This is where I grew up and where I came from,” said Cocores, who won the 145-pound WFC Mixed Martial Arts title fight. “It gave me a different motivation, and there was a different fire inside of me to fight in front of the home squad.”

Cocores delivered Escobar Training Grounds’ first hardware of the night by winning the 145-pound MMA title fight. Cocores forced his opponent Calob Ramirez to tap out with a rear naked choke 2:41 into the second round.

“It’s just the start for me,” the 25-year-old Cocores said. “I’ve been doing this for six years now, and I feel like I’m just getting started.”

Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, Cocores felt the love from the sold out crowd at MontBleu. In the ring, the local’s versatile fighting led to him outwrestling Ramirez on the ground to end the fight.

“It was comforting more than anything,” Cocores said of fighting on the South Shore. “Sometimes you feel like you’re going to get overwhelmed when you walk out there — then you feel everybody’s love and the pressure isn’t there as much.”

Church won the 170-pound WFC Muay Thai title in the night’s main event, beating Brennan Mishler by technical knock out 1:08 into the third round. In his third career fight, Church beat the coach of his first two opponents by ultimately punching him into defeat.

“All my hard work paid off,” Church said. “Training every day for four hours a day and busting my ass made it all worth it.

“I had all my family and friends from Tracy right up in the front row, and I could hear them more than I could hear my own corner. They were practically in the ring with me.”

Joshua Meno was the local studio’s third winner Saturday. The Lake Tahoe Community College Student won a 170-pound MMA fight against Jonathan Carroll with a rear naked choke tapout 2:32 into the first period.

Erik Searcy (140-pound MMA) and Cris Montenegro (125-pound MMA) each came up short in their fights Saturday night. Searcy fell by technical knock out due to strikes while Montenegro lost a three-round split decision.

“I gave it everything I had,” Searcy said. “I almost had him toward the end of the first round, and really put everything I could into finishing him — but he was a tough guy and gutted it out.”

Saturday’s 17-fight card drew a capacity crowd inside the MontBleu Theater. WFC 60 featured MMA, Muay Thai and Brazilan jiu-jistu fights, and also handed out a Muay Thai 147-pound title belt to Gabriel Ramirez from Vacaville, California.

The five local fighters trained in a nine-week fight camp leading up to WFC 60 at Escobar Training Grounds, which can now lay claim to four champions. When they weren’t fighting Saturday night, the ETG products were throwing support each other’s way.

“We came in there with a bang and left with a bang,” Cocores said. “I’ve never fought somewhere and felt so surrounded by brothers — it’s dope.”

For official results from WFC 60, visit www.worldfightingchampionships.com. Escobar Training Grounds is online at www.etgtahoe.com.

South Tahoe tennis caps regular season, boys finish undefeated

The South Tahoe tennis teams wrapped up regular season play against Fallon on Thursday, Sept. 29. The Vikings’ boys team completed an undefeated campaign with a 14-4 win over the Greenwave, finishing unbeaten in 10 3A Northern League matches.

South Tahoe’s boys team (10-0 3A Northern) led 4-2 after the first round Thursday, and took all six second-round sets to win the road match. After beating Truckee 10-8 in their season opener Aug. 30, the Vikings won their remaining nine matches by at least eight points.

The Vikings won seven sets on both the singles and doubles sides against Fallon. No. 1 singles Jonathan LaRue split the first two rounds 6-7 (1), 6-1, No. 2 singles Matthew Barnett delivered wins of 6-0 and 6-1, and No. 3 singles Sam Satin went 6-0, 6-1, 1-6.

In doubles, South Tahoe No. 1 Louis Marin and Mickey Sullivan won 6-1, 6-0 in the first two rounds before being subbed out. Vikings No. 2 Quinn Proctor and Peter Sullivan played tiebreakers in the first two rounds with scores of 6-7 (4) and 7-6 (6) while the No. 3 team of Bryin Schouten and Jackson Kuzmik swept its sets 6-1, 7-6 (6), 7-5.

The Vikings girls team (6-4 3A Northern) lost 10-8 to the Greenwave at STHS Tennis Complex on Thursday. South Tahoe took only one set in the first round and couldn’t fully recover, ultimately falling one set short of forcing a tiebreaker.

South Tahoe took six singles sets against the Greenwave, led by a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 sweep from No. 2 Allyson Cromwell. No. 1 Lyndsey Allen took two sets with scores of 2-6, 6-3 and 6-0 while No. 3 Theresa Sandborn scored a 6-1 win in the last round.

On the doubles side, only the Vikings’ No. 1 team of Abby Burns and Gabbi Fisher delivered points Thursday. After falling 2-6 in the first round, the all-junior team bounced back with wins of 6-3 and 6-0.

Both teams begin postseason play in the 3A Northern Region semifinals Thursday, Oct. 6. The Northern Region championships are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7, at Reno Tennis Center’s Plumas Courts.

Wine Ink: Keeping kosher­ — a California winemaker’s journey

Monday, Oct. 3, marks the observance of the first full day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Many Jews will celebrate, as they have for centuries, with a glass or two of kosher wine, drinking only those wines that have been made in accordance with Kashrut, the laws that dictate how kosher foods and wines can be made.

Fittingly this year, the joyous holiday coincides with the birth date of a California winemaker who is committed to the production of the world’s finest kosher wines. Jeff Morgan is perhaps best known for the plethora of features and articles he penned as West Coast editor of Wine Spectator in the 1990s. But for the past 14 years, he has devoted himself to making great kosher wines under the Covenant label.

Covenant sources grapes from iconic Napa and Sonoma vineyards and then makes wines using “Sabbath observant hands” that meet the strict requirements for the kosher designation.

But not only are they kosher, they are also extraordinary California wines reflecting the terroir of vineyards, such as Block 4 of the Rudd Oakville Vineyard and Scopus, high atop Sonoma Mountain. It is a combination of quality sourcing, contemporary winemaking practices and an ancient spiritual tradition that make the wines from Covenant distinct.


Morgan’s path to his current calling had serendipitous beginnings.

“The first piece I ever wrote for the Spectator in 1992 was on kosher wines,” Morgan recalls with irony. “Tom Mathews (now editor of Wine Spectator) had seen a piece I had written in the New York Times on agriculture. He knew I was working at a Long Island winery — and knew I was Jewish — so he put the three parts together and said ‘here’s your chance, kid.’

“I didn’t know anything about kosher wines, and I was not a very observant Jew at the time. But I made a few calls and the story came out as a five-page spread. Just in time for Passover.”

That led to an eight-year stint in San Francisco with the Spectator, where he profiled the growth of Napa cult wines and the emergence of star winemakers, all while immersing himself in the industry.

Now, nearly a quarter century later, Morgan is in partnership with noted Napa wine, food and spirits entrepreneur (and Aspen resident) Leslie Rudd, producing nearly 7,000 cases of 18 different kosher California wines and launching a new venture in Israel to make wines for the American market.

“I worked for Les (as he calls his partner) at Dean & DeLuca (the gourmet food and wine shops that Rudd owned) as wine director. We would occasionally have an informal tasting session with some friends who are Jewish and pour some kosher wines,” he remembered. “That’s when I had what I call a ‘chutzpah’ moment. ‘What if we could make the greatest kosher wine in 5,000 years of kosher wine?’ I asked.”

While Rudd would not provide fruit from his esteemed vineyards at the start, he liked the concept enough to invest and a covenant was formed. And in 2003, the first kosher Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon was released.


On the one hand, the wines that Morgan produces at Covenant are no different from the myriad wines that are made by other high-end California winemakers.

He begins by finding the best possible grapes for the label’s single-varietal and blended wines. He initiates the same protocols he would use if he were making non-kosher wines, including his personal penchants for native yeasts, no filtration or fining and a preference for single vineyards.

But to receive the tiny, nearly imperceptible kosher symbol that appears on the back of each bottle, the wines must be made only by individuals who are certified as “Shabbat-observant Jews.”

Once the grapes arrive at the winery and the crush process begins, the wine can only be touched by those who have the appropriate designation. This means that Morgan himself cannot touch the wine, the juice, the machinery, even the buttons that control the machinery in the winemaking process. That work is left to a small, specialized and certified team that works with the wines to Morgan’s exact specifications.

“There is great symbolism in making wines this way, and I believe that the spiritual nature does have an effect on what is in the bottle,” Morgan said. “This is the oldest continuous winemaking tradition on Earth, and it is one that gives the wines something special, something unique.”

Morgan’s quest has taken him beyond the vineyards and wineries to a place of more inspired personal spirituality.

“I watched the people who made the wines. Saw how they prayed. How in touch they were with the process and their religion,” he shares.

While he was born Jewish, Morgan was never bar mitzvahed. That will change on Nov. 5, when a 63-year-old California winemaker comes of age.

L’ Chaim.

Kelly J. Hayes lives in the soon-to-be-designated appellation of Old Snowmass with his wife, Linda, and black Lab named Vino. He can be reached at malibukj@aol.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

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.

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.