Inaugural TEDx South Lake Tahoe comes to The Loft | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Inaugural TEDx South Lake Tahoe comes to The Loft

TED Talks are coming to Tahoe. Yep, you read that right. On Wednesday, Oct. 5, The Loft at Heavenly Village hosts nine individuals who have up to 18 minutes to present stimulating ideas on a particular subject. It’s new to the area, exciting, and scratches your brain — TEDx South Lake Tahoe.

“I’ve been a fan of TED Talks, and the inspiration that it brings to the community of which they serve. I thought it’d be a great thing for South Lake Tahoe, to bring the community together to talk about ideas that are meaningful.

“The biggest goal is to use the talks to inspire action and taking the ideas and thoughts from the talks and bringing the community together to listen and connect, and then inspiring some kind of action from those talks,” said Robin DeSota, who led the effort to bring TEDx Talks to South Shore.

The nine participants will cover topics ranging from philanthropy to why art matters to using music festivals as a model for sustainability and even why failure should be on everyone’s bucket list.

“Pat Moore will be talking about confronting your fears and embracing your fears when doing anything in life, using his own experience with snowboarding around the world — it’s sort of a metaphor for why each of us needs to confront our fear and learn about it,” DeSota said.

The participant pool is mixed — not all are local, but according to DeSota most have some connection with the Tahoe Basin. Speakers were chosen by a review board comprised of South Lake Tahoe locals.

“We wanted folks from a variety of disciplines, variety of backgrounds, variety of ideas. We wanted to pick ideas that were different and meaningful and that would have an impact,” DeSota explained.

The event is sold out, but don’t worry — you can still catch TEDx South Lake Tahoe online via the organization’s live webcast, found at www.livestream.com under the search “TEDx South Lake Tahoe.”

The stream is accessible to anyone and everyone, so watch it at home or with your friends. The Loft — venue of TEDx South Lake Tahoe — is also hosting a live webcast mixer for those wanting to be closer to the action. Meet the speakers, network with the TEDx South Lake Tahoe community and enjoy the live webcast in the lounge.

If you’re unable to make the event or catch the live stream, fear not — the team behind the event is interested in making this an annual South Shore endeavor.

“We would love to make this an annual event.

“We’re very happy and excited to be putting the event on and we hope that they’re connecting, inspiring and bringing people to action based on what they’ve heard here. We’re just really excited,” DeSota said. For now, they’re focusing on the event at hand.

TEDx events are independently organized conferences modeled after nonprofit organization TED’s Ideas Worth Spreading campaign. Their goal emerges from the TED experience — to engage leading thinkers from the area to create discussion on how to enhance the community.

Want to learn more? Visit www.tedxsouthlaketahoe.com.

Get your groove on: dance convention comes to South Shore for first time

Tap, jazz, funk and more — passionate local dancers, rejoice! For the first time, a two-day dance convention will come to Stateline, offering intermediate to advanced dancers the chance to receive instruction from local and celebrity high-caliber teachers.

Prestige Dance Experience, as it’s known, comes to MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22-23, focusing on dancer encouragement and intimate quality training for ages 6 and up.

“Because we don’t have these events [in Tahoe] I wanted to highlight the community aspect. It’s a weekend of classes with celebrity and local choreographers.

“There’s a bunch of extra little experiences that little kids would not normally be able to partake in. It’s an all-inclusive workshop weekend,” Prestige Dance Experience owner Madeline Feldman said.

Feldman, who currently resides in Zephyr Cove, grew up dancing in Lake Tahoe and experienced first-hand the lack of local conventions. She had to travel extensively in order to attend various dance workshops, and wanted to make the experience more accessible to those living in the area.

Dance is an expensive sport — in addition to studio membership, convention travel costs are coupled with workshops themselves, resulting in steep prices not all families can afford.

“I don’t know whether it’s an unsecure market or too small — but for whatever reason, we’d always travel. Each studio picks one to four conventions they travel to, mostly in the Bay Area or Los Angeles.

“Why not bring the training to us? I saw it was something the community would really benefit from, from a training standpoint,” Feldman said.

At Prestige Dance Experience, a variety of classes will be offered — contemporary, hip hop, jazz funk, tap, locking and breaking, in addition to specialty classes and more. Attendees are divided into groups based on level, rather than age.

The conference can accommodate approximately 300 people. Tentative hours are currently 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22-23. A definitive schedule will be released approximately two weeks prior to the event.

“One of the coolest parts of the experience is the scholarship we’re giving away — a year of paid tuition to the dancer’s home studio.

“There’s no scholarship like that. Most conventions give you a free pass to come back to the convention. We’ve made it about the dancer and their family and what their needs are,” Feldman said.

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, enrollment in Prestige Dance Experience is required. Details on the scholarship application process are provided upon registration to the event.

To register and receive additional information, visit www.prestigedance.rocks. Get $50 off Prestige Dance Experience registration price by entering the discount code “TRIBUNE”.

‘Snow equity’ from 2015 driving winter bookings; plus another record setting summer

After a record-setting summer in terms of occupancy and revenue, winter bookings are beginning to roll in for resort towns in the Far West region, according to DestiMetrics data.

DestiMetrics compiles and analyzes figures submitted by resorts in mountain travel destinations spanning six states, including California and Nevada.

“The Far West is going to have its fifth consecutive all-time season for occupancy and revenue this summer,” said Tom Foley, director of operations at DestiMetrics. “The summer period is May through October.”

Occupancy rates are up by 2 percent, while revenues are up by 8 percent, according to data compiled May 1 through Aug. 31 and released this September.

“That’s a result of marketing efforts,” noted Foley.

The Consumer Confidence Index shows a positive shift in the market, with an increase of 4.6 percent during August to close at 101.1 points. This is the first time it has moved over the 100-point mark since Sept. 2015.

“Recent reservation patterns in mountain destinations reflect the more confident consumer and this mood has been a major contributor to this summer’s expected record,” observed Foley.

Destinations in the Far West, including Lake Tahoe, are also beginning to see growth in revenue and occupancy in September and October, formerly categorized as low shoulder season months, said Foley.

Though it is still early, booking for the 2016-17 winter season are beginning to roll in across the U.S.

As of Aug. 31, the aggregated data from participating destinations revealed that compared to this time last year, bookings through Feb. 2017 are up 10.9 percent.

“There are occupancy gains on the books taking place across the industry,” said Foley. “But the Rockies, Far West, and the industry as a whole is actually struggling somewhat on rates for the peak months. Their revenue isn’t as high as they’d like it to be.”

The average daily rate for November through February is essentially unchanged from last winter, according to DestiMetrics data, but double-digit gains in occupancy are reported for all four months.

Moreover, roughly 28 percent of all room nights booked for last season have already been booked for the upcoming winter season.

Foley noted that after several years of poor snow, last year’s good snow in the Lake Tahoe Basin is translating into more winter bookings.

“El Niño did some good and created what we call ‘snow equity.’ It’s when you had a good snow year and it carries forward — people remember that. Tahoe and areas are reaping the gains of positive snow equity in occupancy,” said Foley.

Though room rates are down, revenues are up due to higher occupancy, he added.

But there are two factors that could squash these positive predictions for winter.

“Winter has a massive wildcard and that is snow. If no snow comes, the skiers don’t come and they forget the positive snow equity. The drought isn’t over and there are some concerns about what will happen with the La Niña this season,” said Foley.

“The next wildcard is the presidential election, and that does impact consumers. This one is unique. and we don’t know how it will impact consumers.”

In support of Nancy Dalton for LTCC Board seat

When Nancy Dalton informed me she was running for the Lake Tahoe Community College Board seat from Trustee Area 4, I was extremely pleased. Since there is no incumbent in that area, it is important to have someone who understands both education and out community; Nancy fills these requirements extremely well. She has been involved in education at many different levels, most recently being the chair of the math department at South Tahoe High School last year.

She has been involved, with her family, in our community for many years including in the construction business with her husband John. I first met Nancy when we were both members of the Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe over 30 years ago. Since then Nancy has organized and participated in many community activities and events. She dedicates herself to any endeavor she undertakes. She has already been attending LTCC board meetings for 8 months so she can be prepared to hit the ground running since the college has many projects and new programs in the works.

I whole-heartedly endorse Nancy Dalton for LTCC Trustee Area 4 and urge those residing in Area 4 to vote for her on November 8th.

Roberta Mason

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A SPIRITED JOURNEY

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.

WHAT MAKES KOSHER KOSHER?

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.