Olive oil — El Dorado County’s latest gold rush

Annette Schoonover invites patrons to “bring your own bottle,” but what she pours at the tasting bar is for dipping, not sipping.

Winterhill Farms’ shop on Placerville’s Main Street represents El Dorado County’s nascent olive oil industry. Since 2000, a handful of olive orchards have been introduced into the foothills agricultural scene. 

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Low lake level closes boat launch

Sand Harbor, one of Lake Tahoe’s most popular entry points, was closed to boat launching earlier this month due to falling water levels.

The ramp was closed to all motorboats but remains open only to carry-in boats like kayaks and canoes, said Jay Howard, supervisor of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park.

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Tahoe-Reno Olympic bid pushed back

The United States Olympic Committee deflected media reports that other American cities are hopeful to put forward efforts to land future Olympics by saying its main focus was to have Chicago host the 2016 Summer Games.

“While it is always encouraging to see enthusiasm for the Olympic Movement, the USOC has been on record for more than two years in proclaiming that there will be absolutely no consideration of any future bids – winter or summer – from the U.S. while Chicago is on the international stage,” said USOC CEO Stephanie Streeter.

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54 holes in a day Tahoe style

The golf season is short all around Lake Tahoe, which provides the golf nut a fine excuse to play 36 holes in a day: Do it now to make up for all of the golf one cannot play with the snow falling in December.

Besides, think of the money one would save. Rather than play golf two days in a row, thus requiring two nights’ lodging, and rather than spending nongolfing time, and, thus, money, in casinos, one can totally immerse oneself in the chase of the dimpled white ball.

OK, now that the rationalizing is complete, pack up the clubs and come along – preferably with three other like-minded golf nuts.

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Dismal economy spurs shared living

INCLINE VILLAGE — Renting out a room in his home was both a financial necessity for Christopher Paulsen and a hedge against loneliness.

“It was like empty nest syndrome, and I thought I could use a few bucks to offset costs,” said Paulsen, 48, of Incline Village, whose youngest son left home last year.

Paulsen placed an ad on Craigslist and got many responses. He chose an AmeriCorps volunteer to take over the room for a year in his two-bedroom townhome in this small town at Lake Tahoe. “I don’t want to raise kids over again, but this means I have someone around the house and helps pay the bills,” Paulsen said.

He is one of many homeowners in a down economy who are making extra income by renting out rooms in their homes.

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Workshop about turning a business green

As part of its Chamber EDucation program, the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Sierra Economic Development Corporation is hosting a “Grow the Green by Going Green” workshop Sept. 7 from noon to 1:30pm at the Tahoe City Public Utility District Boardroom, 221 Fairway Drive in Tahoe City. Deadline to register is Sept. 5.

Attendees will learn about what it means to be green and how to grow your business by being green. They’ll also explore green marketing techniques, including sustainability efforts and cost-effective social media to target new and existing customers. The class takeaway is a basic toolkit of checklists and resources to get started.

The cost is $55/person (payable in advance by mail or credit card), and participants need to bring their own lunch. To register, call the Sierra Economic Development Corporation at (530) 823.4703 or email info@sedcorp.biz.

This class will also be repeated Oct. 20 at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort in Tahoe Vista.

Farmers’ market coupons available for seniors

Senior farmers’ market coupons are back. Coupons are available for those older than 60 years of age and meeting income guidelines (one person household with annual income less than $20,665, or a two person household less than $27,991).

Each eligible senior will receive coupons redeemable for the purchase of fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, cut herbs and raw unprocessed honey.

Distribution dates:

June 26 from 8am to 1pm, American Legion, South Lake Tahoe Farmer’s Market, 2732 South Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe;

July 7 from 8am to noon, Placerville Farmer’s Market, Ivy House Parking Lot at the Corner of Main Street and Cedar Ravine, Placerville.

Quantities are limited and coupons are distributed on a first come, first served basis so be prepared to wait in line. Coupons are good at all authorized farmers’ markets.

CHP to be out in force during long weekend

As motorists plan to get away this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the California Highway Patrol is reminding those headed out on road trips to buckle up, don’t drink and drive, keep your vehicle at a safe and legal speed and eliminate distractions.

Memorial Day weekend is a Maximum Enforcement Period for the CHP. To help keep things safe on the roadways throughout the holiday, CHP offices will deploy every available officer from 6pm May 27 through 11:59pm May 30.

Memorial Day weekend 2010 saw a significant decrease in the number of people killed in collisions on the state’s roadways. According to CHP statistics, there was a 62 percent reduction from the previous year.

During last year’s holiday weekend, 17 people were killed in a crash in California; among those that died, 12 were vehicle occupants within CHP jurisdiction. One-third of those individuals were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay

The 46th annual DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay, the oldest distance relay in the United States, is June 12.

The start and finish is in South Lake Tahoe near the Y.

Runners go around the 72-mile lake.

The cost is $320 per team. Proceeds benefit area high school running teams.

April DeCelle Carter, race director, may be contacted at TahoeRelay@gmail.com.

Ultimate Boarder event coming to Northstar

The 3rd annual Ultimate Boarder Championship is March 13-20. It kicks off with the surfing stage in Seaside Reef, then moves to Northstar-at-Tahoe on March 19 for the snowboarding stage and onto the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno on March 20 for the skateboarding stage and crowning of the champion.

For more information, click here.