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The Internet of Things

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There has never been a more elevated time in communication. Culture can be created and destroyed in hours online, where a kid in Japan can argue with a kid in Florida about the merits of a kangaroo punching a person in Australia only an hour prior. But this is not to say the Internet is all garbage. Online forums and YouTube channels helped my wife and me piece together our home projects. still provides an excellent home to super nerdy ski kids arguing over whether a cork 180 is possible. Side note: It is, but it needs to be on the right jump. It goes without saying our community is a passionate one. Perhaps due to our proximity to Silicon Valley we are also a tech-savvy one. When passion and technology meet, a whole slew of creative, cool, and foundation-rocking projects can take flight. Or it can cause a massive trash-talking storm of localism. I imagine cave people sending smoke signals to one another until one guy toking too much peace pipe pushes the logs just right to say, “I’ve been here longer than you.” At times these communication miracles are a little exhausting. Rather than focus on this unfortunate breakdown of interaction possibilities, let us instead look at some ways we can be productive, positive members of the North Lake Tahoe community this summer. Yes. Let’s go offline. I find it is widely accepted that actions speak louder than words, an ironic statement to be making in, of all things, a newspaper column. But it is true. Below you will find a list of things to do this summer to help make our town a better place. If you would like to bitch about this story, please send an email to

League To Save Lake Tahoe

Aka Keep Tahoe Blue. Putting a sticker on your vehicle helps, but volunteering goes even further. Their July 5 cleanup morning is a feel-good way to cure a hangover and heal the lake after America celebrates its exceptionalism. Info:

Tahoe Institute for Natural Science

These people are great, with a long-term goal of bringing a nature center and educational facility to the Tahoe region. They host bird walks on most Thursday mornings as well as many other activities. Info:


Like mountain biking? Me too, sort of, but not as much as my neighbor. Lake Tahoe is becoming an international destination for riding, and our beloved trails are seeing more use. Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association is dedicated to the stewardship of our trail networks. This is a cool, legal way to build and repair trails. Info:

Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” ~ Robert Kennedy. The Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe offers a helping hand to the next generation of mountain kids. Info:

Project Mana

I volunteered with this group shortly after last year’s election. I was shaken by how many of our fellow citizens do not have the means to feed their families, let alone themselves, three meals a day. This isn’t a political organization, it’s a human rights one. Info:

Sierra Business Council

There is a good chance if you live in Tahoe and aren’t working a 9-to-5 or picking up service industry shifts, you have been successful in your career. Or you’re really good at ski-bumming. Serving as a mentor for local business start-ups is an often-overlooked way to make a difference in a community. Info:

Arts For The Schools

Founded in 1984, this organization is offsetting the decline of art programs in California public schools. Info:

High Fives Foundation

I used to joke that you couldn’t spend 50 cents at a garage sale without High Fives getting at least 5 cents of it. We can get lost in the fun events that High Fives puts on, but as a community we should focus on what they do with their funds — supporting people, whom they rightly refer to as athletes, with life altering injuries. They are one of the backbones of our community. Info:

Alpine Initiatives

Founded by J.P. Auclair, this organization is focused on the betterment of mountain communities. We rely on people like you — yes, you, the one reading this column — to make suggestions to us about where money should go. We want to support small, grass-roots organizations.

In no way is this a complete list and there are plenty of for-profit organizations and neighbors who would appreciate a helping hand. Have a great summer. Do some good in town, and if you feel the need, post it on the Internet.

In lieu of compensation, Moonshine Ink will donate Mr. Rogge’s word rate, at his request, to the nonprofit Alpine Initiatives. To learn more, please click-in to

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July 12, 2018