March 2016 – Fine Dining at the Park Station Condos

Sandy Kiyomura

If you read Armand’s message, you have already heard about the scrumptious potluck everyone enjoyed. Amy and Judy suggested that condo teams choose a theme and provide appetizers, salad, a main dish, and dessert for 12 people. There were four different themes: American, Persian, Mexican and “favorite home recipes”.

Elaine, Matt, Amy, David Tsuhako, and Jenny’s condo hosted the Persian dinner. It consisted of Panir Sabzi, puree eggplant, potato pancakes, Kiibudeh Kebab, roasted tomatoes and pear custard pie (made by Ken Takata). Matt introduced his team to Persian cooking and this group made their dinner into a culinary and learning adventure.

The Mexican meal was hosted by Armand, Andrea and Rick who made chicken enchiladas and Sangria. Liz and Dave made Calabacitas and the “Dave Condo” (David Shultz, David Tom, Dan Lew and Lieu Shultz) brought the margaritas, salsa and chips and flan.

Greg, Sandy and Lansing’s condo hosted the “favorite home recipes”. Judging by the number of requests for her recipe, Sandy’s peanut butter and jelly salmon was a hit. Greg made teriyaki beef, mashed potatoes, and carrots. Lansing (who is quite a baker) made a pear tart. The back story on Lansing’s tart is that he couldn’t find a rolling pin so he used a wine bottle to roll out the dough.

The American dinner was hosted by Joanne and Ron Nishimura’s condo. There were two kinds of chicken, mac and cheese, salad, fruit, chocolate cake and apple pie.

Total number of calories unknown!

As you know, food (and spirits) bring people together. The 40+ participants on the trip were able to enjoy great food and company after a hard day of skiing. Amy and Judy, thank you for organizing this potluck. If you have never experienced a week long ski trip with Nisei ski club, make sure you plan for next year’s trip. Come for the skiing, stay for the food.


Sandy’s peanut butter and jelly salmon and Greg’s steak


Lansing’s pear tart


Food and spirits bring people together


Food for all!

March 2016 – Trip 1: It Wasn’t So Heavenly After All

Karen Soo, Trip Director

trip1-karen at heavenlyIt’s been over 5 years since the Nisei Ski Club went to Heavenly. There’s never a dull moment with these Nisei Ski Club weekend trips. We actually got a bus load of 36 people. Eight people were on our trip for the first time. Some found us on the internet. NSC members brought new friends and 2 boarders from Santa Cruz Ski Club joined us. Social media does work.

We started our adventure with the same routine. The bus picked up half the group from San Jose and made its way to the El Cerrito Community Center to pick up the other half. Grady was our gracious and skilled driver. After our skis and luggage were stowed away at the El Cerrito stop, we were finally on our way. We served a delicious dinner – chicken Thai green curry over rice with mango pudding as our dessert. The Nisei Ski Club ski trips are all about the food.

Luckily, there was no chain control on our way to the South Shore so we arrived at the Blue Lake Inn by 12:15am. Room keys were distributed and everyone scurried off to their rooms. On Saturday morning, lift tickets were distributed and everyone walked 150 yards to the gondola to find out that the gondola was not running.  Everyone had to squeeze into the crowded shuttle bus and take the lift chair from California Lodge. We also found out that the entire Nevada side of Heavenly was CLOSED DOWN.

I was the one of the last people to depart from the motel and I did not get my first run in until 11:00am. What was the problem here? We heard there were high winds at the higher elevation and a tree had fallen over a transformer, which caused the power to go out. You can just imagine the swelling crowds and lines getting longer and longer. Many of us jumped over to the singles line to help add runs to our day. I barely skied a total of 7,800 vertical feet for the day.

At the end of the day, everyone made it back to Amy and David Tsuhako’s room where we broke out the beer, wine and snacks. Imagine squeezing in 36 people into a motel room!

We heard from the locals that the Nevada side was going to be closed again on Sunday. We decided not to take that chance and voted to go to Sierra-at-Tahoe. Hmmmm…..maybe it was the locals way of telling us to go somewhere else.

Thanks to Sandy Kiyomura, our BAC Benefits Director, who made a few phone calls and sent a few quick emails so that group rate lift tickets were ready for us when we arrived at Sierra-at-Tahoe. We all got on the mountain by 9:30am and we had fresh POWDER. Sierra was very accommodating and it definitely made up for Saturday’s skiing fiasco.

When we left Sierra, it was snowing and it took an hour just to get out of the parking lot. By the time we were on Highway 50, Amy served her dinner. A new recipe – sesame chicken pita wrap with pickled carrot, daikon, onions, lettuce, and cilantro with a squirt of hoisin sauce and sriracha mayo, plus a side of edamame beans and a cream cheese brownie for dessert. She definitely went all for our hungry patrons.

It was smooth sailing home but took a bit longer than expected. We got into El Cerrito at 10:30pm and the bus arrived at San Jose around 11:15pm.

We all made it home safely. No skiing accidents were reported. We met some new people and we all had a great time.

Unfortunately, NSC Trip 2 is cancelled due to lack of sign ups. For the few who signed up for Trip 2, we are planning a car caravan trip. Stay tuned for next month’s article about this adventure.


Waiting for the shuttle at Heavenly – Santa Cruz peeps Aryeh + Nicole, Amy + David



We’re finally on the slopes: Wes, Margaret, Curtis, Morgan, Greg


Snowboarders Andrea and Rick


Powder ski day at Sierra-at-Tahoe: Sandy + Sarah


Co-tour leader Amy is still smiling



Powder ski day at Sierra-at-Tahoe: David M

Check out this short video of Curtis skiing down the Gunbarrel run at Heavenly.

February 2016 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

Happy Chinese New Year!

monkey-characterWelcome to the Chinese Year of the Monkey! Yes, the Chinese New Year started February 8th and if you were born under the sign of the Monkey then you are quick-witted, curious, innovative, and mischievous. And this is exactly how monkeys behave, and they certainly can be quite mischievous. Do you know anyone in the club that fits the characteristics of a monkey?







First Weekend Trip

Due to poor snow coSierra powdernditions, it’s been several years since NSC hosted a weekend ski trip. Now that Tahoe has been receiving a lot of snow, compliments of El Niño, the first Heavenly weekend ski trip went up at the end of January with a busload of skiers. I checked the Heavenly website and the weather conditions weren’t the greatest with high winds, and all lifts on the Nevada side were out due to a power outage on the first day. Sunday’s weather had less windy conditions and power was restored to the Nevada side and all lifts were operational. However, the group decided to head over to Sierra-at-Tahoe for the second day where they enjoyed lots of freshies. With temperatures in the mid-20’s that should make for light and fluffy snowflakes (see photo). I’m sure that those that didn’t know how to ski powder got a chance to improve their skills. Given the weather conditions at Heavenly and the powder at Sierra I’m sure there will be plenty of stories after this trip.


Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

The Park City/Canyons trip is moving along well and we currently have 47 signups (yes, we had a few late signups in January). The Park City/Canyons Orientation Meeting was held Saturday, February 6th, and was well attended by our seasoned veterans as well as few new members. Everyone enjoyed basking in the sun in the backyard talking about the Park City/Canyons trip and other ski adventures. There was a minor change in our flight itinerary and an email was sent to all Park City attendees, as well as the Park City/Canyons pamphlet.


February 2016 – Fundraiser for Disabled Sports USA, now “Achieve Tahoe”

Sandy Kiyomura

There is a very special ski school located at Alpine Meadows. The “Tahoe Adaptive Ski School” was started over 48 years ago by a few Vietnam War Vets who were learning to cope with their disabilities. They were taught to ski by Jim Winthers, a World War II Veteran of the 10th Mountain Division and Director of the Soda Springs ski school. They use specialized adaptive equipment and teaching methods to offer persons with any disability the experience of being on the snow. Their mission is “to provide affordable inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence”.

I had the privilege of working as a volunteer ski instructor for this organization for over ten years. By teaching, I learned to ski better. But working for “Achieve Tahoe” taught me more than how to ski better. It gave me lessons in patience, gratitude and humility that I may not have learned anywhere else. I learned to appreciate things I often take for granted. When I have a sore knee, I think “at least I have a leg”. When I’m having a bad day, I remember all the challenges my students have in daily life. Seeing their joy in skiing made me happy.

Their motto is:

If I can do this, I can do anything.

This is the reason behind this fundraiser. Although I no longer teach for the Tahoe Adaptive Ski School, AKA Disabled Sports USA, now Achieve Tahoe, I would like to raise some monies for them. I was the lucky winner of a California Gold Pass (fully transferable, good for 27 California ski areas) and decided to “rent” it out. On a weekend bus trip with Nisei Ski club, I raffled off use of the pass. That bus trip raised $250 and so far, I have raised over $500.

There were four prizes offered on the bus trip. Three were for use of the pass for a day for $50. The “Grand” prize was for use of the pass for a day for free. Santosh, Sarah Lowe, and Margaret Wong won the $50 a day pass. Then Margaret also won the grand prize! Lucky lady.

If you are interested in donating to “Achieve Tahoe” (or using my pass), please contact me at Thank you to all who have contributed or will contribute.

For more information about Achieve Tahoe, visit the Achieve Tahoe web site.

February 2016 – My Positive Experience with Achieve Tahoe

Len Bridges

Hello everyone. My name is Len Bridges. I am a new member of Nisei Ski Club and recently enjoyed the fun and pleasure of skiing with Sandy Kiyomura and Greg Wong of the club, and with Bill Wong who we are hoping will join the club. I am both visually and hearing loss impaired. Sandy with her connections with Achieve Tahoe located near Alpine Meadows arranged for me to take a lesson from this organization. I was pretty impressed with the program and Sandy asked me to contribute an article about my experience, and so here it is.

First, a young lady at reception helped me to fill out the paper work. I didn’t have close distance reading glasses with me so I was unable to effectively read what seemed to be very tiny print. Once I had completed the paper work with her help, an individual by name of Haakon discussed quite extensively my medical health, hearing loss and visual situation.Then, I was turned over to the care of two lovely lady interns, Kristin and Taylor — their photo is on the Achieve Tahoe interns page. The lesson was to be 2 1/2 hours. This team of two young ladies would provide evaluation, instruction, and umbrella coverage for my safety on the snow.

It was indeed a blessing to me to have them provide evaluation and instruction to me while at the same time being sensitive to, and providing effective accommodation for my visual and hearing loss. In addition to providing me training as a student, they both also were open to, and positive about learning from me about my hearing loss and visual impairment, and how they might incorporate that knowledge and experience into their service as interns and as they move on to their professional careers of a medical and rehabilitative nature.

The instruction they provided was open ended with no strict pattern. Kristin and Taylor adapted the lesson content to bring my focus on the use of pole planting to improve my skill in making turns. As I learned to ski as an “older than dirt” guy, I did not develop muscle and brain memory of skiing, and thus, I ski out of my head, constantly thinking of what I need to do and how to do it. Along with this goes the extremely high “fear factor” that shoots out of orbit in the event I find myself on something too steep, going too fast, and facing the disaster of losing control. They helped address this by taking me down what seemed a totally vertical slope using a side step, which I call the slippy slide, and we descended down together, both Kristin and Taylor looking quite graceful, and me, well not so much. However, it was a great learning experience and confidence builder exercise. In addition to the value of the lesson, I had a lot of fun and the time flew by so quickly, well maybe not fast enough on that vertical part.

This program is exceptionally outstanding. They have special equipment, special talent, and special people to provide those of us with compromised mental, physical, and sentient functionality an opportunity to participate and learn in a caring, friendly, and supportive environment. They are truly angelic beings on the mountain.

February 2016 – Skiing and Chinese New Year


El Nino is bringing a lot of snow to the Sierras. The snowpack is over normal averages. Don’t miss out. I want to remind you of the different ways to go up and how to get discount lift tickets:

How to go up

1. Ride share – join in on the chatter to see who is giving a ride and who wants a ride. This is open to all NSC members. If you haven’t joined, click on the link on the right hand side of the page. For more information about how rideNSC works, read the article from the December newsletter.
2. NSC weekend trip – the next trip is March 11-13. For more information, see the Trip Schedules page.

Discount lift tickets

1. Sierra at Tahoe discount – you can get discounts of 22-28% from Sierra at Tahoe. Read the information on how to get your discounted tickets
2. Rent Sandy’s California Gold Pass – Read her article on how to rent it
3. BAC discount – BAC has a race league but you don’t need to race in order to get discount tickets. Show up at 8:30am where the racers are. Visit the BAC open league racing web site for more information about the racing schedule.

Chinese New Year


Chinese New Year is February 8th. It’s the year of the monkey, which is the 9th animal in the Chinese zodiac. People born in the year of the monkey are intelligent, curious, and clever. If you’re looking to be a matchmaker for the monkey, the zodiac signs most compatible with the monkey are the rabbit and the ox.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is one of my favorite holidays. For Chinese-Americans, it ranks right up there with Christmas. Here’s some of the New Year traditions that my family observes:

doc418 1. Lai see: When children wish their elders Happy New Year “Kung Hei Fat Choy,” they receive a red envelope with lucky money. This is called lai see. Only unmarried children are eligible for lai see. When I was a little girl, I would spend my new year money very carefully because it had to last until the next year.


orange-and-tangerines2. The orange and tangerine display: Mom always puts out a plate of oranges with tangerines on top. The tangerines have to have their leaves attached. Tangerines without leaves are not acceptable. To Chinese, oranges represent gold and the Chinese word for tangerine sounds like good luck.  Oftentimes, lai see is nestled inbetween the fruit.


3. Chinese New Year feast: This is my favorite part of the new year. Chinese select certain dishes for the new year because the food sounds like a lucky word or is selected for its significance. For example, chicken is a must have dish because gai (chicken) sounds like ho sai gai (prosperous business) and the sea moss is called fat choy which means prosperity. Not only are the foods lucky and symbolic, they are delicious too.


peacefulness-throughout4. Lucky papers: Red paper with Chinese poetry is taped next to the doorway. The poems often wish for fortune, prosperity, and wealth.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous new year!

January 2016 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it’s 2016 already? I trust everyone had a Merry Christmas, a safe and Happy New Year’s celebration, and perhaps a few ski-related new year’s resolutions. There’s plenty of snow up at Tahoe and if you haven’t signed up for the first weekend trip to Heavenly then now is the time to do so. We need you to sign-up quickly to ensure that there are enough participants going and to prevent cancellation of the trip. Heavenly is always a good trip because you won’t need to take the bus early Saturday morning (sleep in a little?), and there are plenty of runs on both the Nevada and California sides to keep you busy.

Mystery Resort

Once again, no one correctly identified the resort shown in this photograph for a free lift ticket for one of the weekend ski trips. The correct answer would have been Alpine Meadows.


NSC Ride Sharing

The NSC Ride Share on Yahoo Groups is up and running and several members have already taken advantage of finding rides up to Tahoe for some skiing. If you haven’t signed up then now is the time to do so. The more members that sign up, the better are your chances for either finding a ride to Tahoe or you can offer a ride and get some members to go along and share the costs. To join, just send Sandy Kiyomura (the moderator) a request to join at

Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

The Park City/Canyons trip is moving along well and we currently have 45 signups. An orientation meeting is planned for either late January or early February so keep that in mind.

January 2016 – We need more sign-ups for Trip 1!

Karen Soo, Trip Director

Do I sound like a broken record? We need more sign-ups for Trip 1!


Happy New Year! What a way to start a new year! After 4 years of drought conditions, we are finally getting a nice base of snow in the Tahoe area. Our first weekend trip is scheduled for January 29 – 31, 2016 for Heavenly / Heavenly.

The bus company and hotel are requesting deadline commitments by January 13, 2016. So we need you to send in your checks. We will be skiing 2 days at Heavenly and staying at the Blue Lake Inn, which is practically a block away from the gondola. Breakfast is available from the hotel. Amy Tsuhako and I will be your trip leaders.

I know the Christmas holidays might have put a dent in your wallet. If you want to send in the money later, then I will allow you to do this provided you are a loyal NSC member and that I know your word is good. Just email me if you are joining us or not at

The snow is great right now. This is what we all have been waiting for. It’s also a good way to get in some runs in before the NSC weeklong Utah trip. So stop thinking about it and send in your money along with your sign-up form now.

Did you know Nisei Ski Club has a ride share group? If you have available transportation or want to share a ride with someone from our club, this is the place to be. It’s an open communication forum for our members to go skiing with another NSC member. Sometimes it’s a one day trip or an overnight trip. We ask that you pay for the gas if the other is driving. Or if you are able to drive, then your passengers will pay for the gas. The more people sharing the ride, then the lower the cost.

Lodging is available for overnight trips. Please email Sandy (the moderator) at if you want to be added to this list.

See you on the slopes.

If you have any questions, please email Karen Soo at

January 2016 – Skiers used rideNSC and enjoyed great skiing

Sandy Kiyomura

A group of skiers used the rideNSC Yahoo Group to arrange rides to Tahoe. We skied Northstar for 2 days. The snow and the skiing were simply awesome.

To join the NSC ride share group, send a request to me (Sandy Kiyomura, the moderator) at


Left to right: Allen Hu, Greg Wong, Hong Chin, Armand Gutierrez





Sandy Kiyomura

January 2016 – Calling All Racers

Sandy Kiyomura

I am starting the NSC race team. Who’s joining? We only need a few skiers. Information about how the ski league works is in my December article. NSC will supplement $25 of your fees and you will be skiing at your own level.


I will be participating in the January and March races. Use the rideNSC Yahoo Group to arrange a ride. Contact Sandy Kiyomura at if you are interested. It’ll be fun!