July 2015 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

President Armand on Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix

Summer has arrived with warm-to-hot temperatures, depending on where you live, and CA is officially in drought-mode. I’m trying to stay within my allotment of water usage (as dictated by SJ Water) and hopefully everyone else is on the same bandwagon. Once again the weather forecasters are calling for an El Niño for this year but only rains in November and December will prove that true.

Our annual Membership and Luau Picnic was well attended and everyone had a great time. There was plenty of food, the weather was very nice, and there were new faces that hopefully will become members.

Here’s a call for all you super-athletic types that would like to participate in a very worthwhile cause – Live Love Survive Dragon Boat Races. The Live Love Survive group is looking for strong-armed athletes to join the Dragon Boat team. Originally this was event was for cancer survivors but it is open to anyone that would like to support the Dragon Boat team. See the flyer for details, or contact Tina Woo (twoo1@aol.com)

SF Stairway Hike July 12th

Hoyt Nelson and David Schultz are leading the SF Stairway Hike on July 12th. This is a very popular hike so be sure to gander at the flyer for details.

 Mt. View Obon Festival July 18th and 19th

This festival is right around the corner and we still need a few more volunteers for Saturday and Sunday. Contact either Karen Soo (tripdirector@niseiskiclub.org) or Judy Hom (newsletter@niseiskiclub.org) if you’re interested in participating in this fun and worthwhile event.

Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

I’ve been receiving applications for the Park City ski week so if you haven’t signed up yet then what are you waiting for? Members of the Asian Ski & Board Club Los Angeles (ASBCLA) have sent in sign-ups and I’m not quite sure how they found out about our trip, but they’re more than welcome to join us. Southwest Airlines has opened up bookings for February so there might be airline changes depending on what Southwest can offer so stay tuned for the latest updates. And, it’s not too late to get the Tahoe Local Pass (http://www.skiheavenly.com/plan-your-trip/season-passes/season-passes-explorer.aspx), which will be good for five days of lifts at Park City/Canyons as well as Heavenly Valley, Northstar and Kirkwood. And if you ski a sixth day then your lift ticket will be half-price.


July 2015 – Editor’s Musings

Food is an important part of our NSC events. Last month, we had the annual Thank You picnic and an abundance of food. Coming up July 18-19, there is the  Mountain View Obon  and its delicious foods: tempura, manju, udon, and more! Next month on August 22, there is the BAC fundraiser, pre-game BBQ, and Dennis Heffley’s famous chocolate chip cookies.

Speaking of food, the Dragon Boat Festival is one of my favorite Chinese food holidays. Did you notice that the Live Love Survive Dragon Boat team is open to all interested paddlers?

The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated with zongzi (sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) and of course, dragon boat racing. The origin of the festival is attributed to the great Chinese poet Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC), who drowned himself to protest government corruption. The local people raced out in their boats to retrieve Qu Yuan’s body and zongzi was thrown into the river so the fish would eat the zongzi and not Qu Yuan’s body.

The festival is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. The lunar calendar is based on a 28 day  month. It does not match the Western calendar and lunar dates fall on a different date each year. Before the days of the internet and its instant information, I used to page through the special calendar with Chinese dates to find the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. Nowadays, I just search for “Dragon Boat Festival 2015″ and the answer is June 20, 2015!

Western calendar with Chinese dates

chinese calendar 2015


Zongzi are sticky rice packets with delicious fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. Fillings will vary from region to region. My favorite fillings are the ones that my mom put in her packets, which included dried shrimp, peanuts, chestnut, salted egg, lop cheung (aka Chinese sausage), fatty pork, and ham. Below is a picture of her beautifully wrapped zongzi.

Making zongzi is time consuming and requires lots of preparation. However, the results are worthwhile and delicious.


So, where am I going with this? Everybody likes good food and NSC events always have good food. So, attend an upcoming NSC event and enjoy the food.


July 2015 – Membership Corner

Greg Wong, Membership Chairperson

It’s that time of the year to renew your memberships. For those that took advantage of the early sign up discount, congratulations!

Memberships help support future trips. Activities are planned and based upon the number of members in the club.   I know last year ski season in Lake Tahoe was terrible, but hopefully next year will be a El Nino snow year.   There are still plenty of non-ski activities that the club has to offer. So come on back and join the club.

Welcome to the returning members and 4 new members this year:

  • Pia Sanda
  • Jennifer Chin
  • Calvin Han
  • Edward Levin

Stairway Hikes in August and July

SF Stairway Hike #7 – St. Francis Wood/Mt. Davidson area

Sunday, August 16, or August 23, 2015 (Date is set for August 16th. August can be hot and if it looks hot, then the hike will be re-scheduled for August 23rd.)

Hoyt Nelson and David Schultz will be leading this hike. This is a new stairway hike in a new area of San Francisco for NSC. The hike explores the area between Mt. Davidson and Stern Grove and covers posh neighborhoods, mountain trails, fabulous panoramic city views and of course, lots of stairs. Link to flyer: Stairway Hike #7 – St. Francis Woods/Mt. Davidson. For more information or to sign-up, send email to stairs7@niseiskiclub.org.

mt davidsonst francis woods

 Meet at Ulloa Avenue and Kensington at 10am on August 16


SF Stairway Hike #5 – Forest Hill/Golden Gate Heights area

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hoyt Nelson and David Schultz will be leading this hike. The club hasn’t done this hike since 2009 so it’s about time to do it again. The highlights of this hike are the Bernard Maybeck designed homes (said to be the largest concentration), the beautifully tiled Moraga stairs, and the elegant Pacheo stairs. Link to flyer: Stairway Hike #5 – Forest Hill/Golden Gate Heights. For more information or to sign-up, send email to stairs5@niseiskiclub.org.

moraga stairsPacheco stairs

Meet at the Pacheco Stairs (Pacheco and Magellan) at 10am on July 12


July 2015 – Volunteer for Mountain View Obon

NSC provides volunteers for beer booth at the Mountain View Obon Festival every year. We need a few more volunteers for July 18-19! The beer booth is fun and you get to meet lots of people. Most importantly, the proceeds will benefit the Mountain View Buddhist Temple. To see the available shifts, click here.

2013 Mountain View Obon Festival Girl

The Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. The festival has been celebrated at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple’s current location since the temple was completed in 1957. The Obon is the Mountain View Buddhist Temple’s biggest event of the year.

Link to Obon information: Mountain View Obon 2015

Besides the beer booth, you can volunteer for other areas that need help: pre-bazaar help, tempura booth, chicken teriyaki booth, udon booth, take-out booth, and post-bazaar help. Please contact Karen Soo or Judy Hom if you can volunteer.

Summertime Activity – Join the Live Love Survive Dragon Boat Team

The Live Love Survive dragon boat team is open to all who are interested in dragon boat paddling and not limited to cancer survivors. Practices are on Saturdays in Foster City. Dragon boating is a 2,000 year old sport and is great fun and exercise.

It was founded in 2005 by veteran dragon boat racer Jennifer Eng. The Live Love Survive Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team has devoted its energy to creating awareness of cancer, supporting people living with cancer and their caregivers and welcoming everyone affected by cancer to join our cause.

For more information, contact Tina Woo or visit www.livelovesurvive.org.


Sun and Summer In Sunnyvale

NSC Thank You Picnic on June 28, 2015

Alex Kami

Mission accomplished! I’ve been assigned this article since I won the “$3 Elimination Game.” Back to this topic in a moment.

On June 28th, NSC held a successful and extremely enjoyable picnic on the grounds of Las Palmas Park in my hometown of Sunnyvale with over 50 attendees. Because of my dormancy from skiing during the past few years, this is the one event I seem to attend on an annual basis, and I was overjoyed to see so many friends still active in the Club. In addition to catching-up on everyone’s great lives, I learned that polonium does wonders in eliminating invasive berry vines; sorry, you needed to be there to understand the point.

Of course, as with every NSC event, the food was abundant! We had BBQ ribs/burgers, pot stickers, salads, etc. – better than a post-game spread in the Warrior locker room. One of the ingenious contributions came from Greg, our membership chair, who provided a do-it-yourself tortilla wrap bar complete with guacamole, sour cream, veggies, and shredded pork.

The diversity of the attendees highlighted the success of the event. We had men, women, babies, and our four legged family members including Judy’s Captain Kirk with a distinct personality. Even Superman walked by, but he was going to our neighbor’s birthday party. The weather was perfect – not too hot, not too cold. NSC couldn’t have picked a better venue – Sunnyvale, a town with (in addition to good weather) lots of parking, open space and for you ladies, eligible, handsome men.

As I went around talking to different people and getting up to speed on the Club, I am thankful for the veteran members keeping NSC going strong. To Armand for continuing to lead the group and being our glue, to Judy for returning as our newsletter editor after we retired her jersey, to Sandy for returning to the Board and being an interface to the BAC, and of course to Karen for continuing to lead the ski trips even during this frustrating period of a California drought. Oh, and thanks Hoyt, our VP, for bringing the Tiki figurines since most of us didn’t read the “Hawaiian theme” for the picnic.

Okay, back to the mission being accomplished. As an annual tradition, the picnic culminated with the “$3 Game.” Not enough room here to explain, but in general, each participant starts with three Georges, stands in a circle with other competitors, throws dice, and at some point only one person remains with at least $1 in his or her hands. This person wins everyone else’s contributions, and that was me this year.

But, winning wasn’t the accomplishment. You see, in the past years, the husband-wife duo, Amy and David, have dominated this game. Prior to the picnic, I was approached by a dude in dark sunglasses, a hat and a trench coat who instructed me, “Whatever happens, you need to knock this duo out.” Mission accomplished.


Thanks to Bill Lee for the group shot

June 2015 – President’s Message

June has arrived and that signifies the start of the 2015-2016 NSC season. I’m really excited about this new season because following the elections we now have new board members to help guide NSC through this season. At our May board meeting the new board members were introduced, although most needed no introductions because they’ve been with NSC for a number of years and have served on the board in the past. One new member, David Schultz, is serving on the board for the first time and will be helping Hoyt Nelson with upcoming hikes. And Sandy Kiyomura was initially responsible for the Alameda Bike event held on May 30th.


Upcoming Events

Once again Hoyt, with assistance from David Schultz, is leading the SF Stairway Hike on July 12th. This is a very popular hike so be sure to gander at the flyer for details. The week after is the Mt. View Obon Festival on July 18th and 19th. This is an annual volunteer event that NSC participates in and is always a fun event. After all, there’s a variety of food, carnival-style games, cultural events, lots of people, and the famous Beer Booth. There’s room for a few more volunteers to work the Beer Booth so look for information in the newsletter or contact Karen Soo (tripdirector@niseiskiclub.org).


NSC Annual Membership Meeting and Luau Picnic, June28th

Mark this down in your calendar for the NSC Annual Picnic on June 28th at Las Palmas park in Sunnyvale (same place as last year). See the flyer in the newsletter and the Evite invitations have already been sent out. If you didn’t get an Evite in the mail then please let me know (president@niseiskiclub.org).


Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

Plans are moving smoothly for the Park City/Canyons ski week trip for 2016. Take a look at the flyer and make that all-important decision to be on this trip. You might also consider getting the Tahoe Local Pass (http://www.skiheavenly.com/plan-your-trip/season-passes/season-passes-explorer.aspx), which will be good for five days of lifts at Park City/Canyons as well as Heavenly Valley, Northstar and Kirkwood.

FWSA Cortina d’Ampezzo Ski Week 2016

As a member of NSC you are eligible to participate in any of the FWSA/BAC ski trips. For 2016, FWSA is going to Cortina d’Ampezzo, onCortinaChalete of Italy’s most famous and extensive ski towns. It boasts interesting slopes for all levels of skiers, 1200 kilometers of skiable terrain, 140 kilometers of ski trails and 43 lifts. This is one trip I’m planning on taking, along with a second week in Florence and Rome. If you’re interested in joining me on this trip then contact me for details (president@niseiskiclub.org). And, yes, this trip is after our Park City/Canyons trip.


June 2015 Newsletter – I’m b-a-a-a-a-a-c-k

newsletter-editorIt seems that one is always part of the Nisei Ski Club. There are a lot of good things about the club that keep bringing me back. I met my husband Winston through the club and I’ve made some lifelong friends. So I’m serving as your newsletter editor for the umpteenth time and as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, “I’m b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-c-k!”.

Thanks to Dan Lew for his work as newsletter editor for the past 4 years. Enjoy your break, Dan because you may be coming back in the future. Wink. Wink.

NSC 2016 Ski Week Trip to Park City/Canyons, UT

park city 2016Jake the Ski Fool says “follow me to Park City/Canyons for our 2016 ski week trip.” For the 2015-16 season, Park City is combining with The Canyons to bring you over 7300 acres of skiing. NSC has not been to Park City since 2001 and it’s time to make a return trip. There’s a new gondola that will take us to Canyons for additional skiing at no extra cost.

Dates: February 20 – 27, 2016
Price: $1375 (Senior – $1310)

Trip price includes:
• Roundtrip airfare from San Francisco to Salt Lake City on United Airlines
• Roundtrip charter bus from Salt Lake City to Park Station Accommodations
• 7 nights stay at the Park Station condominiums (one block walk to Town Lift)
• 5 of 6 day lift ticket (6-day optional, senior (65+) also available) for Park City and Canyons
• Farewell Dinner
• NSC Souvenir
• Mid-week activities at additional cost:
o Winter Zip Tours
o Heliskiing
o Sleigh Rides
o Guided Snowshoe Tours
• Price does not include Baggage Fees. See United Airlines current baggage fees
o Baggage fees as of May, 2015: $25/first, $35/second. Boot and ski bag are considered a single bag.

Price and availability guaranteed for 40 seats only. Sign up now. Link to flyer and sign-up form: Park City 2016 flyer.
Sign-up deadline: October 10, 2015