Letter — School appreciates donated supplies | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter — School appreciates donated supplies

During these uncertain times it is comforting and reassuring to have the support of Meeks in Meyers, Associated Mortgage and Barton Memorial Hospital for their generous donations which have allowed Al Tahoe Elementary School to assemble our “Shelter-in-Place” emergency buckets in all our classrooms. Meeks donated rolls of black visqueen, which has been cut to the size of all our windows and doors. The generous financial donation by Associated Mortgage has allowed our staff to purchase five-gallon storage buckets and a variety of items to be placed in the buckets, duct tape, water and treats. First aid supplies and blankets were donated by Barton Memorial Hospital. Our staff, students and parents truly appreciate your kindness and support. Thanks to you, our children will be in a safe and secure environment in the event of an emergency. Al Tahoe Elementary School

Snowstorms bury Tahoe mailboxes: Heavy snowfall is impeding delivery

When residential mailboxes get buried in snow and ice, letter carriers suffer. The recent storms in the Lake Tahoe area dumped feet of snow on residential mailboxes, burying them and making it hard for postal workers to deliver mail to them. Delivery supervisor Janet Twyman, who works at the Al Tahoe Post Office, said half the boxes are buried on their routes. Her post office branch has 15 routes and serves 400 to 500 houses. “We can’t access them,” Twyman said. “We appreciate people keeping their mailboxes clear.” Twyman said letter carriers must be able to easily access mailboxes from their vehicles and drive away. To prevent falling on snow or ice, carriers don’t leave their vehicles. Twyman said customers are responsible for keeping their mailboxes clear and driveways and street areas free of excess snow. “The carrier shouldn’t have to climb through 4 feet of snow,” she said. “Keep on top of it.” Twyman recommends forwarding mail to a post office box if customers don’t want to deal with winter mail-delivery issues. “I delivered mail the last three days in a row, and I’ve been experiencing how rough it is on carriers and customers,” Twyman said. Twyman explained that undeliverable mail is brought back to the post office and retained through a “snow hold” for 30 days. Customers also can set up a temporary mailbox. Twyman recommends setting up a portable bucket outside the house to collect mail.

Record 113,411 fans watch college hockey match

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The moment everyone was waiting for finally came during the third period, when fans at Michigan Stadium found out for certain they’d set a hockey attendance record. Carl Hagelin, a Michigan forward, paused to savor the atmosphere. “I think we all got goose bumps,” Hagelin said. “It was just amazing to see all those people – probably the loudest environment I’ve ever been in.” Hagelin scored two goals in the Wolverines’ 5-0 victory over Michigan State on Saturday, but the final score was only part of what made this a memorable experience. The crowd, which filled the outdoor stadium’s expansive bowl, set a world attendance record for a hockey game. Michigan announced the attendance at 113,411 during a brief stoppage in play in the third period, although Mike Janela of Guinness World Records said his organization hadn’t determined its official count yet. Janela did verify that the attendance was more than enough for a world record. The previous mark for a hockey game was 77,803 at this year’s world championship in Germany. “Ten years from now, I’m probably going to remember the most fun I’ve ever had on the ice,” Michigan State’s Torey Krug said. “Look at these 22-year-old men and they’re like little kids.” The game – dubbed “The Big Chill at the Big House” – took place nine years after the same two teams played another outdoor game at Michigan State’s football stadium. Since then, the idea has been copied at the college level and by the NHL. The huge crowd made this edition unique. The school’s announced attendance would make this the largest crowd to see any sporting event at Michigan Stadium, surpassing the 113,090 for a football game earlier this year. “I don’t know where they found the new seats,” cracked Michigan coach Red Berenson, whose normal home venue holds 6,637. “It’s good for the state of Michigan. When you have a game like this in a state where the economy is bad, it gives you something to feel good about.” The “Big Chill” nickname was a bit of a misnomer, with the temperature in the low 40s at the beginning of the game. With the lines on Michigan’s football field still clearly visible, the Olympic-sized rink stretched from one 15-yard line to the other. Instead of adding even more seats for fans, organizers kept the area around the ice clear so fireworks could be set off after goals and again after the game. “We were in trouble if it rained,” Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said. “We could handle a little snow. In fact, I thought it would be kind of festive to have a little bit of snow, and temperatures – we could really handle a fair variant of temperatures. Warmer was better for the ice, but we were going to be fine unless we had rain. Rain and sleet, that would have been dangerous for the players.” The sky was fairly clear when the Michigan band began performing in the north end zone before the start of the game. Then Jon Merrill opened the scoring with a shot from the point in the first period, and the crowd let loose with a roar normally reserved for touchdowns in this venue. Microphones were placed close enough to the ice to amplify the normal hockey sounds of the puck hitting the boards and players skating swiftly back and forth, making it easier for those seated far away to feel like they were part of the action. An Olympic-sized rink, which is wider than an NHL version, was used to make the sheet look a little less small on top of the football field. Although wind and rough ice can always cause problems at events like this, the game wasn’t too sloppy. Merrill added a second goal before the end of the first period, and then Hagelin added one in the second and another in the third. David Wohlberg completed the scoring for Michigan. Shawn Hunwick finished with 34 saves for the Wolverines. Brandon said the event is unlikely to become an annual tradition, but it could potentially be played in four-year cycles “in such a way that every student-athlete that plays hockey here could get a chance to participate in something like this.” Janela said Guinness would need a bit longer to come up with an official attendance figure, possibly using detailed photos of the crowd to make a final count. Guinness receives over 1,000 record applications a week, although only about three percent are approved. “People really latch on to one I did in Mexico for the largest serving of roast pork – over 3,000 pounds,” Janela said. “I’ve always wanted to come to the Big House. I never thought it would be for a hockey game.”

Sharks prepare for Blackhawks in conference finals

SAN JOSE – On a team filled with Olympians, All-Stars and Stanley Cup winners, it was a rookie who spent more time on planes flying back and forth from the minors than he did on the ice who gave the San Jose Sharks the final point of the season that earned them home-ice advantage. Logan Couture’s shootout goal in the season finale against Phoenix gave San Jose 113 points for the season – one more than Chicago had at the end of the season. With the Blackhawks holding the tiebreaker, that point proved to be very crucial as the teams meet in the Western Conference final that will begin in San Jose. “There were plenty of other shootout goals like that in the regular season, but it just happened to be the last game so everybody thinks it’s that,” Couture said Wednesday. “But it’s pretty cool.” The Sharks held their first practice Wednesday since finding out their opponent in the conference final and talked about how impressed they were with Chicago’s speed. The Blackhawks took the day off after clinching their second-round series with a 5-1 win in Vancouver in Game 6. After spending the night in Vancouver, the team flew to the Bay Area and will resume practice on Thursday. As of now, the teams do not know when they will begin their series. The league is waiting until after the Eastern Conference matchup is set to release the schedule, although most signs point to the Western Conference final starting Friday or Sunday because of a concert at HP Pavilion on Saturday night. “It’s all right,” forward Patrick Kane said after Tuesday night’s win. “We’ve been on long road trips this year. It almost just seems like another one. We get a couple days (off) here and then we’ll get going again. But we’ve been pretty good all year on the road.” That’s been especially true in the playoffs, meaning home-ice advantage might not end up being a big factor in this series. Chicago won 23 of 41 road games in the regular season and has been even better in the playoffs, The Blackhawks won two of three games in Nashville in the first round and all three games in Vancouver in the second round, clinching both series with road wins in Game 6. “We come to these road games with the right mentality,” captain Jonathan Toews said. The Sharks have been just as strong at home in the playoffs, winning five straight since losing Game 1 in the first round to Colorado. They look forward to the extra time in their own beds and the support from a loud crowd that helps make the Shark Tank the most difficult arena in the league, according to a recent survey of NHL players by Sports Illustrated. “Our fans have been very loud but I think our team has been able to feed off it in a positive way,” captain Rob Blake said. “When you can use that to your advantage, the home ice is an advantage. When you start running around and you’re in the penalty box because you’re so up, that’s when it can hurt you.” Couture played a key role in keeping San Jose at home this week despite spending much of the season on the Worcester shuttle, taking numerous cross-country flights as he bounced between the NHL and San Jose’s American Hockey League affiliate. Couture was called up eight times during the season, including once for just a day to play a game against Chicago. “I flew in the night before and flew out right after the game,” he said. “It does get tiring. It takes a toll on your body going coast to coast.” The Sharks made the frequent moves with Couture and other rookies like Jamie McGinn and Jason Demers as they tried to manage the salary cap while also making sure they had enough healthy players. Couture had five goals and four assists in 25 games with the Sharks, while also being picked for the AHL all-rookie team after recording 20 goals and 33 assists in 42 games at Worcester. He was called up for good on March 16 and had four goals and three assists in the final 13 games. His biggest regular season contribution came in the final game of the season when his shootout goal gave the Sharks 113 points for the season – two more than Chicago at that point. When the Blackhawks lost to Detroit in overtime the following day, the Sharks earned the top seed by one point and home-ice advantage in this round. Couture has since played an even bigger role with three goals in the playoffs, including the game-tying score at Detroit in Game 3 that gave San Jose a stranglehold on the series. While Couture is fitting in well in the NHL, he still has those moments where he can’t believe he’s playing at the sport’s highest level “You try not to think about it, but it creeps into your mind that you’re sharing the ice with some of the best players in the world,” he said. – AP freelance writer Kevin Woodley in Vancouver, British Columbia, contributed to this report.

Youth hockey playoffs start this Saturday

The youth ice hockey playoffs at South Lake Tahoe Ice arena start this Saturday with the No. 2 seeds in each division battling the No. 3 seed to determine who will take on the league leader in the finals. In the 11-and-under division, the Rink Rats will host the Ice Hogs on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. The Rats finished regular season play at 2-4-2, while the Ice Hogs went 1-6-1. The Rats will likely rely heavily on Payton Guttry, their leading scorer with 11 goals and three assists. He’s also the third leading scorer in the league. Teammate Chris Rogesky isn’t far behind with eight goals and three assists. The Hogs have an ace in the hole with the league’s second-leading scorer Devyn Hotho, who’s racked up 16 goals and four assists. The Whalers won league play at 7-0-1 behind the strong skills of Cooper Stanley, who leads the league with 20 goals and five assists. The Rats, however, are knocking on the door, having lost to the Whalers 4-3 last weekend. In the 13-and-under division, the Sharks (4-2-1) will play the Avalanche (0-8-0) on Saturday at 8:15 a.m. The Sharks have two scorers in the top three, including league scoring leader Ross Kelly with 14 goals. Teammate Mason Stanley has nine goals and five assists. The Avs have Hotho, who plays in older league as well, where she has seven goals. Also coming on for the Avs is Jared Arnold with three goals and as many assists. The league champion Kings (6-1-1) boast No. 1 point leader Jacob Echeverria with 10 goals and eight assists and Spencer Trapp with two goals and six assists. The Kings and the Sharks also have the two best goalies in the league. The Kings’ Christopher Marchant has allowed only 12 goals in 185 shots. The Sharks’ Ty O’Neill has allowed 16 goals out of 113 shots. In the finals, the Kings will likely face the Sharks, who they defeated in the last game of the regular season in an overtime shootout, 2-1. In the 17-and-under division, the Capitals (4-4-0) host the Penguins (0-8-0) at 6:45 a.m. and will likely move on to face the undefeated Rangers (8-0-0). The Rangers have the top five leading scorers in the league with the Zastre brothers, the Wear brothers and Mark Sassi. The Capitals are closing in with the next three point leaders: Brandon Lewis, Michael Trute and Evan Sarosik. The Penguins’ Charlie Donnatin has scored three times, with as many assists, but the Penguins are the definite underdogs. They’ve struggled on defense, allowing 75 goals.

Volunteers hit the sand for weekly beach cleanup

Down on the beach at Lakeview Commons Monday morning, a few families bobbed in the water, a couple children ran haphazardly along the rocky shelves, and a small group of volunteers picked their way through the sand. "I would say the most common thing we're picking up is cigarette butts," said Leslie Schultz, who volunteered her time to pick up garbage after the holiday weekend's crowds. "You'll find a lot in little spots. You can tell someone just sat there for a few hours and smoked." A handful of volunteers led by Schultz and Rob Giustina of On Course Events have made the beach cleanup a weekly endeavor. But after this past weekend, anyone embarking on a beach cleanup had their work cut out for them. "I can't really move a foot without finding more," Schultz said, carrying a grabber and an orange 5-gallon bucket nearly full of trash. "I'd say the most interesting thing we find is shoes. I've found two pairs." Giustina, whose company On Course Events uses the beach for his weekly concert series Live at Lakeview on Thursday, reasoned that Mondays are the best day for a beach cleanup. "We figured it's best we come out on Monday," he said. "That way, we clean up after the whole (weekend) party, rather than just our event." Roy Foster, who lives in the Al Tahoe neighborhood near Lakeview Commons, joined Giustina and Schultz to pick up the mess. "I think some people think the whole world is an ashtray," Foster said, as he used a grabber to dig a butt from the sand and load it into his bucket. The group said smaller bits of garbage is a big problem at the popular spot. Common finds were cigarette butts, small plastic wrappers, bits of broken glass and the occasional bottle cap. "It's just a shame that people can see the lake and they still throw their cigarette butts," Giustina said. Schultz, who also works for the League to Save Lake Tahoe, said a another group led by the League came out to pick up trash on July 5. They collected more than 300 pounds, she said. But even a small group, like Monday's, can get a lot of garbage in an hour, she added. Giustina said he hoped the city would step in and begin issuing citations for littering at the beach. He thinks the shame of getting a littering ticket would keep people from tossing their trash, he said. "If you got a parking ticket, you'd whine and whine, but if you got a littering ticket, you wouldn't tell your wife," Giustina said.

CASA Corner: How full is your bucket?

One of the best parts of my job as a governing board member for Lake Tahoe Unified School District is hearing and learning from students about the significant projects they are instituting in their school. Last week I was introduced to a project at South Tahoe Middle School based on the children's book, "How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids" written by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. Tom Rath, with Dr. Donald Clifton, co-authored the adult counterpart years ago, "How Full is Your Bucket?" a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. The introduction to the children's version states, "Each of us has an invisible bucket. When our bucket is full, we feel great, when it is empty, we feel awful. Yet most children (and many adults) don't realize the importance of having a full bucket throughout the day." The story evolves around Felix and his invisible bucket that drips out water each time he treats others badly or is treated badly by others. Conversely, his bucket fills with drops every time a kindness is directed his way. Felix's mood changes drastically between how despondent he feels about himself and others when his bucket is dripping, as opposed to how he sees himself and his world when is bucket is full of drops. There are 850 paper "buckets" now at STMS. Students, teachers, and all staff can put positive messages or "drops" of kindness in anyone's bucket. Our middle school students, on their own, are finding ways to counteract the "drips" of bullying behavior while developing a culture of kindness. As a CASA volunteer, I realized that much of what a CASA does is about helping of fill the bucket of a child. A child that has been removed from their family, "drip, drip," their home, "drip, drip," and often their friends and school, "drip, drip," all made necessary because of the neglect of abuse by a family member, "drip, drip, drip," has a very empty bucket when they enter the court system. A CASA volunteer can help to add the "drops" back into their bucket. Compliments, hugs, consistency, caring, advocating, spending one-on-one time, help to fill the leaking buckets of children that are hurting, scared and angry. How full is your bucket? Is it leaking or are you filling your bucket each day by practicing kindness? The words we say, the actions we take, the attitude we project are each drops. These drops fill our own bucket, those of a child in need and those who don't even know their bucket is empty. There are so many ways to fill our buckets. Become a CASA volunteer, a mentor, teacher, coach, friend or the most loving parent you can be. Your bucket will always be full.

Don’t kick the bucket fulfilling your list

Climb every mountain? Actually don't. I blame Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman to some extent for popularizing the "Bucket List" phenomenon. A man who spent his life performing Search and Rescue missions alerted me about another movie coming out based on a young woman's survival in the wilderness. With the buzz about the bucket list and fulfilling all dreams before death, many people are, well, kicking the bucket. Our desire to connect with nature, and at times conquer it, also lends too often to tragedy. Just this week an American businessman tried to scale Mont Blanc with his with his 11-year-old-daughter and 9-year-old son. He wanted to beat a world record that is held by another 11-year-old. His son could have made that happen. His son could have also died, which he nearly did. This father-of-the year rolled video as his offspring were caught in an avalanche in the "Corridor of Death." The video is posted on YouTube. They survived. They plan to try again. His son is ready to give it another shot before he is too old to beat the record. Hundreds have died attempting to climb Mount Everest. In recent years, lack of preparation has been the main reason. On Wednesday, my daughter Miranda told me about people who are taking "extreme selfies." In other words, there are people so voracious with vanity, they are climbing statues and monuments harming historical areas and injuring, even killing themselves for a photo. I have some advice for those folks. Instead of damaging irreplaceable relics and possibly killing themselves, consider buying a Photoshop program. Also, do live your life to the fullest. Challenge your boundaries. See the world, but respect its treasures. Learn, research, train and follow that old Boy Scout motto – be prepared. "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." — E.B. White Mandy Feder is the Managing Editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune and can be reached at mfeder@tahoedailytribune.com.

Ice fishing: A matter of where you drill the hole

The ice creaked and crackled underneath a pale blue sky – cloudless and serene. On the frozen water of Red Lake, surrounded by the mountains, some fishermen had drilled holes through the ice and dropped their lines. Ice fishing does not require the skill of fly-fishing or deep-sea fishing. It is more a matter of luck. It is where you drill your hole. “Sometimes you can catch a fish in one hole and 5 feet away nothing,” said Karl Marchegger, who was fishing at Red Lake with his wife, Marika. Despite the solid block of ice that separates the brook and rainbow trout of Red Lake and the Mackinaw of Caples Lake from the outside world, some have said the weather plays a role in the fortunes of an ice fisherman. “When it’s sunny, the fishing isn’t good,” Marchegger said. According to him, stormy weather makes for good ice fishing. Despite the sun, Marchegger managed to catch a 13-inch brook trout. The fish was a real fighter and Marchegger had to make an extra effort to catch the fish, which had loosened itself from the hook and jumped back into the hole. “They seem to have a smell for the holes,” he said. “I had to dive for this one.” He threw the captured fish on the ice about 10 feet from the hole before gutting it. “You open up the stomach to see what the fish is feeding on, and then you try to use that,” he said. But for Marchegger and his wife, catching fish is not the main objective. Karl sits on a bucket and Marika on a foldout chair. Karl does not even use a fishing rod, just a fishing line with a baited hook – worms or salmon eggs. This frees his hands to eat some food that he might cook on his propane stove, to smoke cigarettes, or to drink beer. “I’m not here so much for the fishing,” he said. “I’m here for the serenity. If they don’t want to bite, I’ve got no quarrels.” Marika, too, is there to enjoy the outdoors. “I don’t fish,” she said with a smile. “I just cook it and relax and sunbathe and breathe the fresh air. That is my job.” Les Nagy, who presided as mayor of South Lake Tahoe in 1971, also was on Red Lake. Fishing through a single hole, Nagy, 90, sat on a foldout chair and patiently held his fishing rod. “Sometimes you’ll come out here and they’ll be boom, boom, and other times you’ll come out here and get nothing,” he said. For Nagy on this day, there was nothing, but it didn’t seem to bother him. “I like to come out here,” he said. “I don’t care if I catch any fish or not.” But, he said with a bit of optimism, “There are some big fish in this lake.” Rick Muller, a partner at The Sportsman, a sporting goods store in South Lake Tahoe, said people have been catching brook trout between 8 and 20 inches and Mackinaw as large as 15 to 20 pounds. “It has been real good,” Muller said. But he said the best months are usually January and February. “For a lot of these fisherman, it is just a way to get rid of cabin fever, to get out of the house,” he said.

Lake Tahoe is an adventure-seeker’s paradise, but if you’re not careful, you could pay the ultimate price

Editor's note: This story first appeared in the 2014-15 winter edition of Tahoe Magazine, a product of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Sierra Sun, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Lake Tahoe Action. The magazine is available now throughout the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region. People don't conquer mountains, they climb them to get a glimpse of the landscape from the peaks, absorb the terrain and vegetation and challenge themselves mentally and physically. But, people do not conquer mountains. They get lost in the vast wilderness, lose track of time, fall down, get sick, overexert and get turned around. The Tahoe area offers amazing opportunities for outdoor adventure-seekers, but nobody wants to kick the bucket trying to fulfill a bucket list. According to El Dorado County Search and Rescue, novice outdoor enthusiasts are the people who typically get in over their heads and need help getting out of dangerous situations. Search and Rescue Units comprised of all volunteers in the Tahoe area have snowmobiles, rope rescues and swift-water teams in addition to basic search-and-rescue crews. Search and rescue teams advise adventure seekers to take the following precautions before heading out. Winter Warnings: Check conditions before embarking on a hike. Winter backcountry exploration presents dangers that exceed those of hiking in the summer. Heavy snowfall followed by slow warming trends and rain can progressively load and stress buried weak layers creating avalanche conditions. Be aware that navigating an area can become difficult when it is blanketed with snow. The landscape may begin to look uniform and landmarks or signs may be covered. Let someone know before you go: Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. If your plans change provide that person with updates. Winter hikers should wear layers of clothing made of materials that keep moisture away from the body. They should keep sensible mileage goals and turn around when conditions are beyond their skill or energy level. Live life to the fullest. Challenge boundaries. See the region, but respect the power of nature. Learn, research, train and follow that old Boy Scout motto – be prepared.