Oktoberfest/ Solarfest
October 15
Neal and Sue Mock and their kids Sydney and Keenan invite everyone to a gathering the late afternoon of October 15 to celebrate six years of clean, renewable energy production. Their 3.2 kW photovoltaic power system has provided two-thirds of their electrical energy wants, and offset 23 tons of carbon dioxide already in its short life. No moving parts exist to wear out except the power meter when it spins backwards when the system is producing more than the home loads are asking. Because the brain of the system is a Sunny Boy inverter from Germany, the Mocks thought it would be appropriate to have some German beer and call the whole thing an Oktoberfest/solarfest event. Look for the house with 20 PV panels on Brook Lane in Truckee.

Second Annual Bicycle Film Festival

October 16
This year’s Lake Tahoe Bicycle Film Festival features the documentary ‘Single Track Minds,’ which examines the conflict between hikers and cyclists on Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais. The film has been selected because it offers an informed look at shared-use on mountain trails. Also see a state-of-the art cycling film, ‘Seasons,’ that is one of the best action mountain biking films of the year. Local award-winning photojournalist Rick Gunn will share his awe-inspiring photography and the heart-lessons he learned cycling 25,000 miles around the world over a three-year period. One hundred percent of the $10 admission benefits the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition (LTBC), a bicycle advocacy organization in the Lake Tahoe region. Pedal There Thursdays will host a raffle with all proceeds going to LTBC. The Sawtooth Ridge Cafe will offer an early-bird dinner with preferred seating at 5:30 p.m. Film Festival from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. 877 North Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City, tahoebike.org, 530-583-2880.

SiGBA Green Building Tour in Truckee
Oct 18
Sierra Green Building Association is hosting a Green Building Tour in Truckee Saturday, October 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration for the tour is at 8:30 a.m. at the Truckee Donner PUD at 11570 Donner Pass Road in Truckee, and the bus will depart at 9 a.m.. This is an opportunity to explore the new green ideas for remodeling and new green construction, talk with homeowners and their design and construction teams, see their projects and learn about their experiences. The tour is  $25 for members and $40 for non-members. events@sigba.org.

Flint Knapping
Oct. 18
Celebrate Archeology Month (October) at a free program at Placer County’s Bernhard Museum Winery  (291 Auburn Folsom Road, Auburn) on Saturday, October 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. U.S. Forest Service Archaeologist Nolan Smith will discuss dating methods and rock types used in tool making, and will demonstrate flint knapping (stone tool making). The demonstration will include audience participation, so bring your sense of adventure! 530-889-6500.

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Native Plants: Friend or Foe?
October 23
Lesley Higgins, Ph.D. describes the most common native plants and their growth characteristics, plus tips for maintaining these plants in a fire-safe landscape. In the absence of fire, shrubs and ground cover degenerate or become overcrowded, increasing the risk for catastrophic fire Higgins will also discuss the value of native plants to birds and other animals to promote a greater understanding of the natural landscape in the Tahoe Basin. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Lecture begins promptly at 6 p.m. $5 donation requested. No-Host Bar. Assembly Rooms 139 and 141, Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, 291 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, terc.ucdavis.edu, 775-881-7562.

Alpine Meadows Trail Name Contest Results
Alpine Meadows renamed three of its popular mountain trails, thanks to more than 1,000 suggestions from the community. Red Trail has been renamed Dancefloor, a trail name from Alpine’s yesteryear which is often heard from the mountain’s tenured skiers. Blue Trail has been renamed Werner’s Schuss, in honor of Werner Schuster, the legendary Director of Ski School from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s who continued his career as Vice President of Marketing through 1997. Green Trail has been renamed Boomerang for its direction and shape, if viewed from above. The winning names were contributed by Greg Jellinek (Dancefloor), Melanie Jackson (Werner’s Schuss), and Daryl Nolch (Boomerang). Winners received a sunset Snowcat ride for up to eight people, a midweek pass for winter 2008/2009, and a full-day mountain tour for up to five people including line-cutting privileges. skialpine.com, 530-583-4232

2008 Placer Farm & Barn Tour
October 12
The Placer Farm and Barn Tour celebrates Placer County’s agricultural heritage and the family farms that feed us. Every year this tour brings people of all ages to the beautiful Placer countryside. The self-guided tour allows you to experience working farms and ranches at your own pace, and to meet the farmers and ranchers who grow your food. $10 for adults and children, students and seniors are free. Get tickets and map, Monday through Saturday from 9:3 0a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Placer County Visitors’ Bureau, 13411 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-887-2111.10 a.m. to 4 p.m. placerfarmandbarntour.com, 530-889-7336.
 
44th Annual North Tahoe Ski & Snowboard Swamp
October 25
The economy is in the dumps, but you needn’t let that stop your winter fun. The North Tahoe Ski and Snowboard Swap is your ticket to affordable gear. This huge ski swap offers mountains of gear, including new and used skis, snowboards, boots and poles, clothing, helmets, goggles, kids’ stuff, and more. Volunteers needed. If you have items to sell, bring them by at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 24.  9 a.m. to 3 p.m., North Tahoe Middle and High School Gyms, Tahoe City, 530-581-7050 x4344.
 
Truckee Treasure
The KidZone’s Treasure Chest Children’s Thrift Store has gotten a facelift and is now under new management – Chileans Romina Branje and Ignacio Gomez bring a wealth of experience to our local trading post where children’s clothes and gear can be recycled for a full life and where parents can re-stock without going broke. They are currently gathering backpacks, toys, clothes, and supplies for the Sierra Teen Education and Parenting Program (STEPP) which helps teen mothers to stay involved in school through their pregnancy and into motherhood. All merchandise (excluding new) is 50 percent off on the last two open days of the month. Books are always 49 cents. They accept donations of clothing, gear, and toys for children ages birth to10 during regular business hours. Donations are tax deductible. Gently used clothing, toys and gear must be freshly washed/cleaned, stain-free, complete, and in working order (no missing parts or buttons, broken zippers, etc.) and intact (without rips or holes). They are not accepting consignment items at this time, but are always looking for volunteers. All proceeds from Treasure Chest benefit the KidZone Museum. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Sunday. 12030 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, kidzonemuseum.org, 530-587-8732.

Boat Inspection Launch Rules
November 1
New regulations requiring that boats be launched only at facilities where qualified aquatic invasive species inspectors are present will take effect November 1 at Lake Tahoe. The rules, approved unanimously by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board, also require that vessels be decontaminated should inspectors determine they are at risk of introducing invasive species such as the quagga or zebra mussels, which have invaded lakes across the nation with serious environmental and economic consequences. They are carried over land between water bodies via watercraft that are not adequately cleaned, drained and dried. TRPA is working with agency partners, the boating community, marinas and other ramp/launch owners and operators to develop an implementation and finance plan for this program. The goal is to inspect every boat that enters the lakes of the Tahoe Basin while not curtailing access or impacting businesses dependant on boating activities. The agency is also working to mobilize volunteers to help ramp up the inspection program. trpa.org, 775-589-5235.

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