Forest Service offers tips for safe Labor Day weekend at Lake Tahoe

Heading to Lake Tahoe for Labor Day weekend to celebrate the unofficial end of summer? Please keep the following in mind for a safe and fun-filled holiday weekend.

Illegal campfires continue to be the leading cause of wildland fires in the Tahoe Basin. National Forest lands at Lake Tahoe are under year-round fire restrictions and campfires/charcoal are prohibited in most areas due to the fire risk they pose to our communities, wildlife and forests.

Read the Camping and Campfire Restrictions Forest Order at go.usa.gov/xVD45 and remember campfires/charcoal are only allowed within metal fire rings in campgrounds listed in the forest order. Campfires/charcoal are not allowed in Desolation Wilderness or Meiss Country, on National Forest beaches, along the Tahoe Rim Trail or Genoa Peak Road or in any existing rock fire rings.

Portable pressurized gas stoves are allowed in all areas with a valid California Campfire Permit obtainable online at www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/.

Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices including sky lanterns, exploding targets and incendiary or tracer ammo are always prohibited on all public lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. 

Bear canisters are recommended in the backcountry and be sure to remove all food, garbage and scented items from your vehicle before heading out. In campgrounds, visitors are required to store food in bear resistant containers (storage lockers/bear boxes), dispose of trash in dumpsters and close and lock these containers or risk fines, jail time or both.

Expect crowded conditions on local roads, highways and parking lots. Because of the basin’s high elevation, expect intense sunlight during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. If planning to camp overnight, be sure to make reservations ahead of time at www.recreation.gov.

Due to the influx of visitors, mobile device networks may be overwhelmed and mobile phones and other devices may not work in some areas. Develop an alternate plan to contact family and friends and have an emergency plan in place in case you cannot call for help.

Consider public transportation as holiday traffic and road construction make for extremely crowded roads and parking areas. Walk, carpool, or bicycle to avoid limited parking in crowded recreation areas. Where parking on the side of the road is allowed, be careful to not park on vegetation as this can cause damage to the environment and can spark a wildfire.

Please respect the rules on where dogs are allowed. Dogs are not allowed on National Forest designated swim beaches including Nevada, Pope, Baldwin, Meeks Bay, and William Kent. For information on where dogs are allowed, visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/Dogs.    

Last but not least, please remember to pack out all garbage and Leave No Trace on your public lands. Carry extra trash bags in case trash cans and dumpsters are full. Do not leave trash outside of the receptacle, take it with you! Learn more about Leave No Trace principles at lnt.org.

The Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe is closed on Monday, Sept. 2, in observance of Labor Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, Sept. 3. 

More information on staying safe when visiting your National Forest is available at http://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go

For the latest information and updates, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LakeTahoeUSFS/ and Twitter at twitter.com/LakeTahoeUSFS

Stay safe out there and have a wonderful Labor Day.

This article was provided by the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Learn more here.

Tahoe Talks at Incline Village Library: Human trafficking

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and one of the most devastating forms of abuse is human trafficking.

According to a United Nations report published in January, human trafficking is increasing around the world and sexual exploitation is the main driver. Especially horrifying is that 30 percent of these victims are children and most of them are girls.

Almost daily, incidents of human trafficking are reported by news outlets. Yet, there is a distinct difference between human trafficking and human smuggling that is often not delineated in these reports.

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) defines the differences as: "Human trafficking involves exploiting men, women, or children for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Human smuggling involves the provision of a service — typically, transportation or fraudulent documents — to an individual who voluntarily seeks to gain illegal entry into a foreign country. These are not inter-changeable terms. One is transportation based; the other exploitation based."

The Department of Homeland Security estimates that human trafficking generates billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

"Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement.

Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings," according to DHS.

The Incline Village Library's Tahoe Talks series will address the topic of human trafficking, its impacts and prevalence in the region on Tuesday, April 9, from 6:30-8 p.m. Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life.

Guest experts for this community conversation will include:

Darin Balaam, Washoe County Sheriff

Sheriff Balaam's career includes more than 21 years at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. He held every rank from deputy sheriff to third-in-command as an assistant sheriff. His experience encompasses all three bureaus: operations, detention and administration.

Melissa Holland, founder and executive director of Awaken

Awaken, a Reno nonprofit whose mission is to increase awareness and education surrounding the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and to provide housing and restoration for its victims.

Imelda Valdez, bilingual advocate in the residential and transitional housing program for Tahoe SAFE Alliance.

Jessica Moore, social worker at Renown Medical Center

Her primary focus is working in the Emergency Department where she interacts with multiple populations and their families with complex needs. She has partnered with Awaken and local law enforcement on several projects and cases that come into the ER regarding trafficking.

Celebrate National Library Week

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — This week, the South Lake Tahoe Library joins libraries of all types in celebrating the many ways libraries build strong communities by providing critical resources, programs and expertise.

April 7-13 is National Library Week, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and communities. Libraries are at the heart of their cities, towns, schools and campuses. They have public spaces where people of all backgrounds can come together and connect.

Library programs encourage community members to meet to discuss civic issues, work together using new technologies like 3-D printing or learn alongside one another in a variety of classes. Library staff also partner with other civic and service organizations to actively engage with the people they serve, always striving to make sure their community's core needs are being met.

The South Lake Tahoe Library helps lead the community by offering a variety of programming and resources. The staff lead early literacy programs for children and caregivers. The library provides space and materials to learn new skills and connect with others. The library frequently hosts community based groups for trainings and meetings that strengthen the people living and working in our community.

"Libraries are cornerstones of democracy, promoting the free exchange of information and ideas for all," said Katharine Miller, branch manager. "They also foster civic engagement by keeping people informed and aware of community events and issues."

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

For information, visit the South Lake Tahoe Library at 1000 Rufus Allen Blvd., call 530-573-3185 or see the library's website at http://www.eldoradolibrary.org. Library hours are Mondays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This article was provide by the South Lake Tahoe Library.

South Tahoe High grad receives numerous honors

South Lake Tahoe native Kylee Lyons was honored with the Distinguished Appointed Board Award, first place in Mei Po Wong Overall Service, and second place in Outstanding Total Service Hours at the California-Nevada-Hawaii Circle K International (CKI) District Convention this past weekend in Los Angeles, California.

Lyons was the 2018-19 Small-Scale Service Chair of the CKI chapter at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she is studying to obtain a bachelor's degree in Psychobiology, aspiring to become a Physician Assistant (PA).

"Kylee truly lived up to the 'lead by example standard.' Not only did she plan numerous service events per week, but she also attended these events in addition to other events. She was very present in the club, regardless of what else was happening in her life that week," said Tyler Saunders, the 2018-19 treasurer. "At nearly every event, you would find Kylee there, with a smile on her face. She didn't let obstacles get in the way of her passion or her vision for the club. If there was low turnout for an event she planned, she'd personally reach out to members to try and fill the spots. If someone dropped out of an event last minute that she wasn't going to, she'd go herself. If someone needed a driver for an event that no one else could attend, she'd humbly offer to go."

At the district convention, UCLA CKI placed in five competitive award categories with a total of 16 award acknowledgements, including Distinguished Club and Second Place in Outstanding Total Achievement in the Platinum Division (chapters with more than 110 members).

A 2016 graduate of South Tahoe High School, Lyons began her experience with the Kiwanis Family in the high school branch, Key Club, and served as the 2015-16 Club President, before attending UCLA. This is her first time to be recognized at a California-Nevada-Hawaii CKI District Convention.

This article was provided by Circle K International at UCLA. Circle K International is the largest collegiate service organization in the world, with more than 13,000 members in 17 countries. Chartered in 1974, the UCLA chapter falls into the California-Nevada-Hawaii district of the organization, where more than 3200 members serve the community and raise funds for charities. For information on UCLA CKI, please visit uclacki.org.

Tahoe Parents Nursery School celebrates 60 years

The Tahoe Parents Nursery School is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a fundraiser and book drive to help it transition to its new, permanent home on the campus of Lake Tahoe Community College.

All community members and parents are invited to TPNS' 60th anniversary "adult social" with lots of good friends, food, drink, and memories, taking place on Saturday, March 30, from 5:30-9 p.m. in LTCC's Creekside Room and Student Center.

Tickets for this event are $55, with proceeds going toward the development of a new playground for TPNS' new, permanent home at LTCC. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.eventbrite.com (search for TPNS). Each ticket includes heavy appetizers from Tallac Catering Company, beer and wine, plus a commemorative glass. Raffle tickets for prizes and Tahoe Blue Vodka signature cocktails will be available for sale.

In memory of TPNS teacher Judy Simmons and her 29 years of dedication to South Lake Tahoe's children and the families of TPNS, attendees are asked to please bring a new, favorite hardcover book to donate to the TPNS library, which will be dedicated as the "Teacher Judy Library" at the anniversary celebration.

Bookplates will be available to add your name as a donor at the event. Attendees can also make a donation of money for the purchase of books. Donated new hardcover books can also be dropped off at TPNS' current address, 1100 Lyons Ave., anytime between Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

For information about this event, contact LTCC Director of Childhood Development Programs Leslie Amato at 530-541-8767, or email amato@ltcc.edu.

TPNS started as an idea back in January 1958, when 10 local mothers got together to consider creating a compassionate, high-quality preschool for South Lake Tahoe's youth. After eight months of fundraising, enough was raised to pay the rent on a property and file the paperwork needed to create a nonprofit. The school opened later that year with 26 children, becoming the only cooperative preschool program in South Lake Tahoe.

TPNS strives to graduate well-adjusted and well-prepared students into the Lake Tahoe Unified School District and into the community. Many of TPNS' current parents were preschoolers there themselves, creating a multi-generational community link that has helped TPNS to grow, evolve and maintain its base of involved parents and community members.

Former city councilwoman and LTUSD board member Wendy David, whose children attended TPNS and who also served as its co-director, sees TPNS the way many other local parents do — as much more than just a school.

"TPNS is the best thing that ever happened for me and my family," said David. "We began as parents after moving to South Lake Tahoe in 1973, and were fortunate to hear about and be able to join the school. Because it is a co-op, we immediately made friends through working at the school, carpooling, sharing childcare and attending night meetings and socials. The friends we met then have become more than friends; they are family."

Aileen Yure, a longtime employee at TPNS who retired in December 2017, added, "TPNS has given over 2,000 local families a positive and enriching start to their children's education. As a cooperative preschool, TPNS parents are an active part of their children's first educational experience. In the 24 years I have been a part of this amazing program as both a parent and a teacher/director, I have watched children blossom, parents become more confident, and friendships of both young and old develop into lifelong relationships."

This article was submitted by Lake Tahoe Community College.