Propane Problems

With more than 20 feet of snow in some areas of eastern Placer County and Donner Summit, snow loads on residential propane tanks are at an extreme – and pose possible risk of leaks and/or explosion.

In 2011, when similar snow loads were a concern, propane leaks in the Serene Lakes area were widespread, triggering evacuations and the disconnection of power to homes. One leak caused an explosion that completely destroyed a home.

“Snow loads on roofs and decks are a problem throughout the Sierra right now, and everyone should take care to clear those. But the loads on propane tanks are an especially serious concern,” said Placer County Office of Emergency Services Manager John McEldowney. “Residents should dig out and inspect their tanks as soon as they possibly can and call 911 if they smell any gas at all.”

In cooperation with local fire districts, Placer County has issued an emergency alert for the greater North Lake Tahoe area west to Cisco Grove using the Placer Alert system to warn residents of the risk and urge quick action to remove snow from tanks, gas lines and regulators.

Access to all types of propane tanks should be cleared, including underground, sheltered and stand-alone tanks. Residents should contact the Placer County Department of Environmental Health office in Tahoe City at 530-581-6240 before digging into the ground. Residents with questions about safely clearing or de-icing any of their tank components should contact their propane provider.

Placer County encourages all residents to sign up for the Placer Alert emergency alert system to receive the fastest possible notification of dangers near the places they care about – by text, email or phone. Sign up at www.placer-alert.org 

“I’m Bored!”

Not a phrase you hear often here, but sometimes, it can’t be helped.  Maybe you are new to the area and don’t realize all that is available to you in which to participate. Well, we have the answer(s) for you! Whether you like to hike, or enjoy other outdoor activities, it’s here for you.  Like art?  theater? dance? music? It’s all here!  One of the best compilations of area activities can be found here, courtesy of local publication, Tahoe Weekly.  So, get out there and ENJOY!1new

Tying Up Loose Ends

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You can feel the change in the air.  The weather is starting to turn and there is a crispness to the days. While autumn is not far off, there are some late summer activities in which you can still partake.  The last of the Summer Movie Series will take place over Labor Day weekend, on September 3rd at 7:30pm at the Homeowner’s Beach (also known as Lot 1).  There will be s’mores and popcorn to go with a fun family movie.  A great summertime treat for the kiddos.  If you have questions, email Sharon Ruffner at sharonruffner@yahoo.com

And although winter snows are not too far off, there is still an extreme fire danger situation here in our area.  For 2016, the Serene Lakes Property Owners Association is once again paying the costs of chipping green waste generated by property owners when they clean up their lots with defensible space work.  There is one last chipping date on Monday, September 19th that owners can take advantage of to make sure your lot is in tip top shape.  The chips generated can be blown back onto properties to use as mulch or ground cover.

You must sign up for the chipping program.  It does not happen automatically.  To sign up, go to the Fire Safety page on the SLPOA website and complete the chipping program form.  You must sign up at least one week in advance of the chip date in which you wish to participate.

If you have further questions, you can email lmcashion@yahoo.com, this year’s program coordinator.

And, it probably goes without saying but defensible space is a crucial element to keeping all Summit residents safe.  It improves not only the fire safety and overall look of our community but also our forest’s health.   Stay fire safe!

Summertime Adventures on the Summit

thSummer’s coming!  While planning your vacation or trip up to your cabin this summer, there’s a great option to consider for the younger members of the group.  When hanging with the grown ups ceases to be fun or you are just in the mood for a bit of adult time, check out the camps for kids at Sugarbowl.  They are offering Summer Adventure camps in partnership with the Gateway Mountain Center. Gateway is a leader in outdoor experiential adventure activities.  Their mission is to open young people’s hearts and minds to the natural world; we engage, impel and empower them to become knowledgeable, passionate, conscientious stewards – of themselves, their communities, the environment and our world.

Executive Director, Peter Mayfield, has an amazing resume.  He has designed and delivered creative and successful outdoor educational programs for thousands of California youth.  Peter has served as Chief Guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School, and as Chief Examiner for the Professional Ski Instructors Association (Far West). As the founder and General Partner of CityRock Gym, the first large urban climbing gym, Peter was a catalyst for the growth of indoor climbing in North America. As a consultant Peter has designed and developed adventure programs for Disney, Discovery Communications, and Posades Resorts.  As a creative mountaineer Peter has succeeded on first ascents on Yosemite’s El Captain and Half Dome, climbed new routes in Peru, Patagonia, and the Alaska Range, and pioneered difficult snowboard descents.  And he has amassed an equally impressive staff.

Camps are arranged for specific timeframes and for specific ages, so that the activities will be age appropriate.  Campers can start as young as four years of age with a nature camp combining easy hikes, water play fun and nature art, storytelling and yoga.

Older campers can enjoy spectacular hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking , stand up paddle boarding, swimming, and whitewater rafting or inflatable kayaking.

And for the oldest age group there is also  an Adventure, Leadership, and Stewardship camp.  In addition to the fabulous outdoor adventures the campers will learn to become a thoughtful citizen of the world . The leadership portion will focus on communication, teaching skills, goal setting, becoming role models, and problem solving. Stewardship themed activities include, a conservation project, studying and employing Leave no Trace practices, teaching younger kids, and learning about sustainability and personal stewardship.

You can find all the information on the camp offerings here. Have a great summer!

Winterization Tips

pic 016 (2)Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Homeowners in the Truckee – Lake Tahoe Area

(This list may not be complete and is to be used as a guideline only.)

Preparing for Winter Weather Tips for All – Both Primary & Secondary Homeowners

1. Disconnect hoses from outside water spigots. Most homes in our area have “freeze proof” exterior water spigots. Thus, you only need to disconnect hoses from the water spigots so that water does not collect and freeze. Some older homes may not have “freeze proof” spigots. If you are not sure which type your home is equipped with, consult a local plumber for specialized instructions. Also, be sure to drain irrigation and sprinkler systems.

2. Caulk and maintain weather stripping. Ensure that your doors and windows are air tight; this will help reduce your heating bills. Maintain weather stripping around doors and use caulk on openings or outlets around pipes, foundation, windows, etc. For home use, four varieties of caulk: butyl, latex with silicone, acrylic with silicone, or tripolymer. (Don’t use just [straight] silicone caulk.) You want to stop any migration of water and air.

3. Insulate water lines. Put foam rubber insulation around hot and cold water pipes, you’ll increase efficiency and save energy. (You can buy it in a home store.)

4. Maintain heating units. Make sure your heating appliances are cleaned and serviced and ready for winter. Make sure your furnace filter is clean. Check that venting is clear and open.

5. Maintain chimneys and stovepipes. Have chimneys and stovepipes inspected & cleaned. (Be sure you have a high-quality chimney cap.)

6. Repair roof as needed. Check the roof of your home for missing shingles, shakes, or damaged materials (metal). Also, be sure to check around roof vents for any damaged materials. Repair as needed.

7. Close foundation vents. Clo se foundation vents when colder weather begins and reopen again in the spring for proper ventilation. (Some contractors suggest that you leave at least two sub-area vents, for cross ventilation, open year round for proper ventilation.)

8. Check your home insurance. For cold-weather homeowners, winter is a season that can bring damage from snow and ice, so it’s a good time of year to look at your homeowner’s policy.

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