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Standley White

Reno / Tahoe

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Reno / Tahoe Easter Egg Hunts and Easter Sunday Dining

Wednesday April 16, 2014

On Easter weekend 2014, take the kids to an Easter egg hunt at one of these Reno or Sparks locations. There will be a variety of both church-sponsored and non-denominational Easter egg hunts and events from which to choose. If you are going to be up in the mountains for the weekend, there are several Easter egg hunts and other Easter activities at various places around Lake Tahoe. Note that most of these Easter egg hunts will be on Saturday, April 19, the day before Easter Sunday.

Easter Egg Dash at Idlewild Park in Reno, Nevada, NV
Easter Egg Dash at Idlewild Park in Reno, Nevada.
Image courtesy The Bridge Church

Easter weekend also presents opportunities to enjoy some special dining with family and friends, and there are numerous choices. Before you decide where to go on Easter Sunday, though, check out these selections - "Easter Brunch Dining in Reno and Sparks" and "Easter Brunch at Lake Tahoe". You just might find something attractive you didn't know about.

If I missed mentioning an event you know about, let me know and I will include it in my list of community Easter events. You can either post your information as a comment to this blog or send me an email - renotahoe@aboutguide.com. Be sure to include date, time, location, what activities will be available, website address if there is one, and a contact phone number for people who want to call for more information.

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Spring rolls out at Galena Creek Visitor Center

Monday April 14, 2014

For fun family activities during April, 2014, check out the offerings at Galena Creek Visitor Center in south Reno.

Galena Creek Visitor Center near Reno, Nevada, NV
Logo image courtesy Great Basin Institute

Organized activities include spring guided treks, programs for kids from toddlers on up, bird walks, information about Lake Tahoe, plein air painting, growing vegetables, wildfire safety, and more. Coming up are the Great Basin Naturalists Summer Exploration Camps, providing educational fun for children and teens while they are out of school.

You don't have to join an organized activity to enjoy visiting Galena Creek Visitor Center and Recreation Area. The park is open daily until dusk for things like hiking, snowshoeing, picnicking, and bird watching. During winter, the Galena Creek Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Summer season hours begin on May 1 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday). Parking is free and there are no park entry fees.

Galena Creek Visitor Center and Recreation Area is part of Galena Creek Regional Park, located at 18350 Mt. Rose Highway in south Reno. For more information, call (775) 849-4948.

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Medical marijuana sales now legal in Nevada

Saturday April 12, 2014

For a state with legal prostitution and 24/7 gambling and drinking, Nevada has been remarkably reluctant to embrace liberalizing its marijuana laws. That situation changed for the better on April 1, 2014.

Medical marijuana in Reno and Sparks, Nevada, NV
Medical marijuana.
Photo David McNew / Getty Images News

Medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada since 2001. However, there was a glaring omission in the law - no provision was made for dispensing marijuana to patients legally registered to receive it. If you needed the medicine, you had to grow your own. Obtaining it by any other means made patients, registered or not, criminals under Nevada law.

That began changing with a law passed by the 2013 Nevada Legislature, which set up the framework for medical marijuana sales, growing, testing, and taxing. The new law is being administered by Nevada's Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Regulations for setting up legal marijuana operations were released on April 1.

The state regulations allow local governments to ban the establishment of medical marijuana facilities in their jurisdictions. Some places in Nevada are doing so, but Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County are moving ahead with getting regulations in place to accommodate medical marijuana. The big issues seem to be zoning and licensing - i.e., where marijuana dispensaries, food preparation, and growing facilities can be located and how the businesses will be licensed. All three local governments say they are working on this. Estimates I've seen indicate things should be ready to go by the end of 2014 or thereabouts. Look for more information as it becomes available.

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Save big bucks at Reno area thrift stores

Thursday April 10, 2014

These are not your grandfather's thrift stores, where you had to root through haphazard piles of not-so-clean stuff, hoping to find what you were looking for, or perhaps a hidden treasure.

Assistance League Thrift Store in Reno, Nevada, NV
Assistance League Thrift Store in Reno, Nevada.
Photo © Stan White

Today's thrift stores have evolved, becoming places where people from all walks of life shop, not just those down on their luck with little money to spend. People looking to save money, which is just about everyone these days, freely patronize Reno area thrift stores. In many cases, whether they know it or not, shoppers are also supporting a wide variety of charitable causes in the community.

Joining traditional thrift stores, such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army, are a new generation of stores specializing in the latest fashions and buying items from individuals in order to keep fresh merchandise on the racks. "Gently used" is how they describe their stock and they are in it for a profit, which doesn't mean you won't save a bundle over brand new stuff from the big box stores. A couple of these are Plato's Closet and Clothes Mentor, both part of multi-store chains. Junkee Clothing Exchange operates on a similar model, but it is locally owned and not a chain or franchise.

Other places to shop for bargains (except clothing) are Reno and Sparks pawn shops. These too have changed and aren't the shady establishments often portrayed in popular culture. Check them out for things like tools, jewelry, and collectibles.

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Sierra snowpack mighty thin

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Late season snow and rain added measurably to dry conditions we've experienced through the 2013-2014 winter season. That's the good news.

Truckee River flowing through west Reno, Nevada, NV
Truckee River flowing through west, Nevada.
Photo © Stan White

The bad news is that the Sierra snowpack is still way below normal and subsequent runoff through the summer will be significantly reduced for northern Nevada. In fact, this may be the driest year on record, ever. According to water officials, runoff in area streams and rivers will be from 30 percent to 50 percent of normal. Our water company, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) says "Supplies will be adequate from the (Truckee) river throughout the summertime."

Even as desert dwellers used to living in a dry place, we should be a bit more vigilant in conserving water during 2014. And be on extra alert for wildfire danger once the heat cranks up this summer. Vegetation is going to be extremely dry.

Here are the numbers at the end of March - Lake Tahoe Basin at 60 percent of normal, Truckee River watershed at 52 percent of normal. By comparison, the extra dry years of 2012 and 2013 were both 69 percent and 63 percent respectively.

Sources: Reno Gazette-Journal, National Weather Service.

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April hands/ON! - A Wild Rumpus at the Nevada Museum of Art

Sunday April 6, 2014

The free monthly event for families and children at the Nevada Museum of Art (NMA) - hands/ON! on 2nd Saturdays - will be on Saturday, April 12. It's also a day of free admission for all NMA visitors.

hands/ON! on 2nd Saturdays at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno
Image courtesy Nevada Museum of Art

The April theme for hands/ON! is "A Wild Rumpus." The April schedule for hands/ON! is in my article about events and activities at the NMA. This month's hands/ON! has some special activities, including a showing of the movie "Where The Wild Things Are." Remember, free admission to the NMA includes hands/ON! on 2nd Saturdays and all current exhibits, so be sure to check my article for many more things to see and do at the only accredited art museum in Nevada.

While enjoying hands/ON! on 2nd Saturdays and free admission to the NMA, be sure to see the exhibit titled "Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works." This is a an exhibition of 50 select artworks by the late author, artist and illustrator Maurice Sendak, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication Where the Wild Things Are, his revered children's book. There are several other activities at the NMA during April related to the Sendak exhibit and many others for you to enjoy during your visit.

The Nevada Museum of Art is located at 160 W. Liberty Street in downtown Reno.

Source: Nevada Museum of Art.

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Reminder - free tax help still available

Friday April 4, 2014

This is a reminder that you still have time to take advantage of free tax filing assistance if you are struggling with this annual chore. The 2014 deadline for federal income taxes is Tuesday, April 15. This is also the date for filing an extension if need be.

Two free tax preparation programs being offered at various branches of the Washoe County Library. One is conducted by IRS Certified VITA/TCE Volunteer Preparers. Refer to my "Free Tax Filing Help at the Washoe County Library" article for dates, times, and library branches.

Another program is offered by the AARP Tax-Aide Program. "Free Tax Help for Reno Seniors" has sessions in local library branches as well as at area senior centers. Both of these programs are staffed by trained volunteers.

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Food truck events in Reno and Sparks

Wednesday April 2, 2014

The original Food Truck Fridays is no more, but fear not, it has been replaced by several similar food truck events across the Truckee Meadows.

GourMelt food truck in Reno, Nevada, NV
GourMelt food truck in Reno, Nevada.
Photo © Stan White

Among the new Reno food truck gatherings are the South Reno Food Truck Fest at Damonte Family Event Center and Feed the Camel at McKinley Arts and Culture Center. The Sparks Food Truck Drive-In will be setting up at Victorian Square. All of these are family-friendly affairs and many include other activities in addition to the wide variety of dining choices. Check all of these out at "Food Truck Events in the Reno Area."

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Spring 2014 Residential Dump Days in Reno and Sparks

Tuesday April 1, 2014

Residential Dump Days for spring 2014 will be on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6. This is your chance to get rid of that accumulated junk, trash, and yard waste with cheap and free dumping at two Reno transfer stations. Be sure to read my article to get details about what items are accepted during this event.

Reno Transfer Station, Reno, Nevada, NV
Reno Transfer Station.
Photo © Stan White

You can dump bulky items and many household appliances for free. These are things like couches, mattresses, and refrigerators that are commonly dumped illegally out in the desert around the Truckee Meadows. Other items and trash will be accepted at reduced rates. There will also be free dumping days at the Lockwood Landfill during April. This event is for residents only - commercial customers will be charged regular rates. Electronics and hazardous waste are not among the acceptable items.

Take advantage of this free dumping event and help keep our fragile desert and open spaces free of the blight of illegal dumping so we can all enjoy the beautiful northern Nevada landscape.

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Grow a garden in the Reno area

Saturday March 29, 2014

Grow vegetables and fruit in the Reno area? Don't laugh, it can be done, and this series of classes will teach you how.

Gardening in Reno and northern Nevada, NV
Gardening in Reno and northern Nevada.
Photo © Stan White

The classes are through the Grow Your Own Nevada! program from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE). If you happen to be reading this from another place in Nevada, you can also access these classes at local UNCE offices in several other locations.

The spring 2014 series of classes will be held weekly on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. They will be at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office at 4955 Energy Way in Reno. There will be 8 classes starting on April 3. You can attend any class individually if it is of particular interest or sign up for all. The fee per class is $15. You can save quite a bit by enrolling in all classes for $60. The topics cover a wide variety of gardening interests, from fruit trees to beekeeping. Get all the details from my "Gardening in Nevada classes from UNCE" article.

With spring coming, this is also a good time to get acquainted with the many excellent nurseries and garden centers in the Reno area. These folks have knowledge, plants, gardening equipment and supplies to get you on the right track to growing your own and creating beautiful landscaping.

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