Reno Chamber Orchestra Presents Derby Day May 5

Derby Day, a celebration of the Kentucky Derby benefiting the Reno Chamber Orchestra, will take place on Saturday, May 5 at 12:00 noon at the Peppermill’s Tuscany Ballroom, 2707 South Virginia Street in Reno.

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Orchestra’s Derby Day, a “day at the races” that includes live and silent auctions, luncheon, mint juleps, prizes for the most creative hats, a wine raffle, and the 138th Kentucky Derby viewed on big screen televisions. The auctions will include fine art, celebrity dinners, dinners at the region’s finest restaurants, and more. All proceeds benefit the Reno Chamber Orchestra, which has been bringing chamber orchestra music to western Nevada for thirty-eight years.

Tickets are $70. Tables of 8 and 10 are also available. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Orchestra at (775) 348-9413, or online

Moana Nursery announces April seminars


Moana Nursery, Reno’s premier nursery, presents April 2012 gardening seminars for the public.  All seminars are free and held at Moana Nursery, 1190 W. Moana Lane, in our Landscape and Design Center.  Seminars begin promptly at 10 a.m. and last one hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early, as seating is limited to 60 and is first come, first served. Visit or call (775) 825-0600 for more information.

April 7:  Waterfowl . . . Ducks for the Whole Family10 AM – Noon – Who knew there were so many different varieties of ducks in Reno?  Join local birding guru and longtime Audubon Society member Alan Gubanich for a slide show and pointers for identifying various duck species, followed by a field trip to Virginia Lake to practice what you’ve learned!  For children ages 8 and up with a parent or grandparent.  Meet in the Landscape and Design Center.  Bring your binoculars and bird guides if you have them.  If not, binoculars will be loaned.  Free cracked corn will be supplied.  Birdwatching is a great educational family activity that costs virtually nothing, so this is a great way to get started.

April 14:  Water-wise Gardening Doesn’t Mean Zeroscape!  Yes, you can grow a beautiful garden with four seasons of interest and have reasonable watering bills with water thrifty plants.  Join Master Gardener Catherine Hancock to learn the basics of water-wise gardening – from how to select plants that will thrive in the high desert to how to install them for maximum interest and water efficiency. 

April 21 –Organic Vegetable Gardening Made Simple – Based on years of experience with his own high desert organic “market garden,” urban farmer Craig Frezzette will teach the basic steps of creating and tending an organic garden – from living soil and seed starting to providing weather and critter protection.  Craig sells his produce to local restaurants, the public and the Reno food co-op and is passionate about the local food movement.

April 28  Beginner’s Guide to Bountiful Tomatoes – Join Plant Doctor and long time high desert gardener Jon Bruyn to learn how easy it is to successfully grow and enjoy (harvest) tomatoes and other complementary warm season vegetables in the high desert.  He’ll discuss varieties and proper care throughout the season.  While this presentation is tailored to the novice gardener, it will cover many tips that advanced gardeners will find useful.

Since 1967, locally owned Moana Nursery has been serving the landscape and gardening needs of northern Nevada and the high desert from three locations in Reno/Sparks: 1100 West Moana Lane, 11301 South Virginia St. and 7655 Pyramid Highway. Moana Nursery also specializes in both residential and commercial landscape design and installation, at 1190 W. Moana Lane . . . its Landscape and Design Center. The Moana Lane garden center offers unique garden and home gifts, an outstanding selection of greenhouse plants and a full-service florist. The South Virginia Street garden center is also home to Tree Land (5 acres of specimen trees), Moana Rock and Moana Waterworks, which specializes in water feature design/installation. The Pyramid Highway garden center is a full service nursery that specializes in Moana-grown high desert plants. Visit the nursery website at for more information.

Moana Nursery has three Wild Birds Unlimited stores in Reno and Sparks, which are a part of the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with over 300 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in expert information and offers an exclusive line of products designed specifically for the hobby of backyard birdfeeding. Visit for more information.

Easter Sunday dining at the Carson Valley Inn


MINDEN, Nev. — With two spacious restaurants, Katie’s and CV Steak, Easter dining options at the Carson Valley Inn on Sunday, April 8, include a variety of selections plus plenty of value and capacity!

CV Steak, the Carson Valley Inn’s Nevada-style steakhouse, is open for dinner on Easter Sunday (and every Wednesday through Sunday) from 4:30 p.m. offering a selection of steaks, chops, seafood, chicken, pasta dishes and more.  In addition to the regular CV Steak menu, two Easter dinner specials will be offered for $28.00 each:  Roast Cornish Game Hen served with wild rice stuffing, cranberry salsa and fresh vegetables or Smoked Prime Rib of Beef, au jus, served with choice of double-stuffed potato, potatoes au gratin or baked potato and fresh garden vegetable. These specials – and all CV Steak entrees – include table-side tossed house salad.  For CV Steak reservations, call 775-783-6650.

Katie’s is open 24 hours and the regular Sunday dinner special is “The Chandler” Chicken Dinner including southern fried chicken with mashed potatoes and cole slaw for the incredibly-low price of $5.99.  On Easter Sunday, Katie’s is also serving Glazed Baked Ham with raisin sauce, sweet potatoes and vegetable of the day plus choice of soup or salad for $10.99 and Roast Leg of Lamb with minted pan gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetable of the day and choice of soup or salad for $12.99.  Both of these specials will be available from 4 to 9 p.m. on Easter Sunday.

Katie’s popular 24-hour $5.99 Hamsteak and Eggs is served every day in April including Easter.  Enjoy a giant hamsteak, two eggs any style, hash browns and toast – an overflowing plateful and an incredible value at just $5.99.

Both Katie’s and CV Steak offer children’s menus.

The Carson Valley Inn ( is located on US Highway 395 in Minden, Nev., near the start of State Highway 88, 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe’s south shore and 45 minutes south of Reno.  The property includes a recently-remodeled casino and 153-room hotel, 74-room motor lodge, 59-site RV Park and a convenience store with Shell gas and diesel fuel.  Three dining facilities include Katie’s, Job’s Perk and CV Steak, a Nevada-style steakhouse featuring steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta and more.

Live Entertainment at the Carson Valley Inn


MINDEN, Nev. — The Carson Valley Inn features ongoing nightly free live entertainment in the Cabaret Lounge with no cover charge and no drink minimum.  Entertainment hours are Sunday through Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m., Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Dale Poune, March 25 – 28 and April 22 – 25: Dale plays guitar, dobro, mandolin and bass. An accomplished vocalist with a variety of musical styles, he has performed with the Fortunes, Buddy Miles, The Coasters and The Drifters – and is currently working with Lacy J. Dalton.

Escalade, March 29 – 31: Band leader Jeff Odom and his hand-picked band play classic and current Rhythm & Blues.  They perform the top tunes of many of the legends of Motown such as The Drifters, Coasters, Temptations and Four Tops plus the hits of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.  You won’t be able to stay in your chair… and dancing at your slot machine is OK!

Craig Fletcher, April 1:  A popular regular at a Carson City restaurant and bar for the last 10 years, Craig brings his variety and showmanship to the CVI Cabaret Lounge for one night as he performs “everybody’s favorites!”

Paul Covarelli, April 2 – 4:  Veteran musician Paul Covarelli is a talented guitarist and vocalist. He started the group Jo Mama over 20 years ago and also plays with other groups in the area covering jazz, swing, blues, Latin and more styles.

The Motifs, April 5 – 7:  Featuring brothers and lead vocalists Al and Phil Velasquez, The Motifs have been entertaining Nevada audiences for over 30 years with a variety of music including current hits, 50′s and 60′s medleys, country (old and new), pop, big band hits and some great Salsa songs.  The Motifs have worked every town in Nevada including some of the top casinos in Las Vegas, Tahoe and Reno.  The Motifs captivate their audiences with their great smiles, personality, charm, sincerity, showmanship and professionalism – a combination that creates a fun and feel-good evening!

George Pickard, April 8 – 11:  George is an accomplished performer, believable impressionist, captivating entertainer and successful song writer. He co-wrote “What Did You Do with Your Old Forty Fives” for Bobby Vinton and he backed up many acts from the fifties and sixties including The Shirelles, The Diamonds and The Platters. He was also one of the Kingsmen (Louie, Louie) for awhile. George has played the Fillmore in San Francisco with acts such as Santana, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Jefferson Airplane.

The Sterling Silver Band, April 12 – 14:  It’s all about the music with The Sterling Silver Band as this group of long-time musicians from the Rio Vista area brings the timeless classics to life.  With incredible harmonies and infectious enthusiasm, they perform the best of the rock & roll era and romantic slow ballads.  Whether it’s Motown, today’s country or Sweet Caroline, you’ll love the tunes, the blending of vocals and especially the memories!

Paul Covarelli, April 15 – 18:  Veteran musician Paul Covarelli is a talented guitarist and vocalist. He started the group Jo Mama over 20 years ago and also plays with other groups in the area covering jazz, swing, blues, Latin and more styles.

After Dark: April 19 – 21: Playing your favorites from the 50’s through today, this high-energy rock n’ roll band will get you out of your seat and on your feet.  After Dark’s band members have a collective 125 years of performance experience and the group has a continually growing song catalog.

Melissa Dru, April 26 – 28: A singer and songwriter, Melissa Dru has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Melissa and her band cover a wide mix including classic rock, R&B and a bit of country; everything from Pink Floyd to patsy Cline. A natural performer and entertainer, Melissa will delight you with her unique vocal style and sense of fun. Don’t miss this popular songbird in action!

The Carson Valley Inn ( is located on US Highway 395 in Minden, Nev., near the start of State Highway 88, 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe’s south shore and 45 minutes south of Reno.  The property includes a recently-remodeled casino and 153-room hotel, 74-room motor lodge, 59-site RV Park, free nightly entertainment in the Cabaret Lounge and a convenience store with Shell gas and diesel fuel.  Three dining facilities include Katie’s (recently remodeled), Job’s Perk and CV Steak, a Nevada-style steakhouse featuring steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta and more.


Valley Ballroom Spring Concert Lineup

Michael Martin Murphey – Friday, April 13

Dave Stamey, Juni Fisher, Jim King – Thursday, April 26

The Lettermen  – Friday through Sunday, May 18 – 20

Collin Raye – Saturday, June 16


Saint Mary’s wellness and class offerings for April 2012


Saint Mary’s vascular screening—April 4
Heart attack and stroke, caused by a build-up of fatty plaque in the walls of arteries, are leading causes of death and disability. Risk factors for vascular disease include diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, family history and age. For $120, lower your risk for vascular disease by getting screened on Wednesday, April 4. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 770-7600 schedule your appointment.

FREE joint replacement pre-surgery education class – April 11 and 25
Learn how to prepare for a knee or hip replacement surgery and what role you play in your recovery by attending a free education class hosted at Saint Mary’s. Classes will be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All classes are presented by an orthopedic nurse, physical and occupational therapists and a case manager. The next two classes will be held on Wednesday, April 11 and 25. For more information and to register, call 770-7100.

Community WellCheck- April 19
Monthly Community WellChecks offer a wide variety of affordable health screenings and immunizations to help identify potential health risks. All screenings are held from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at Saint Mary’s Center for Health, at 645 N. Arlington, 3rd floor. Cost varies. Ask about Saint Mary’s Health Plans discounts. To schedule an appointment, call 770-7100.

Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition hosts National Infant Immunization Week –April 21 to April 28
The Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition (NNIC) will partner with various local organizations to present National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) beginning Saturday, April 21, through Wednesday, April 28. During the week, organizations will collaborate to promote the annual “Give Kids a Boost” event. The event is on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sun Valley Neighborhood Center at 115 West 6th Ave., Sun Valley. During “Give Kids a Boost” more than 45 vendors and non-profit organizations will provide Washoe County families with free health and safety resources, including immunizations. The 2011 fair was very successful helping more than 1,600 people. For more information, visit

Hands-on grocery store tour – April 24
Saint Mary’s team of registered dietitians is offering a hands-on Grocery Store Tour on Tuesday, April 24, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Scolari’s at 1300 Disc Drive in Sparks. Tours will provide participants with budget-wise shopping tips that can be used to purchase healthy, nutrient-dense foods. The cost of the tour is $10. To register, call 770-7100.

Health and wellness coaching – appointment required
Want a personal wellness coach to help you reach your health and fitness goals? If so, Saint Mary’s Health and Wellness Coaching is the perfect solution. Registered nurses, dietitians and specialists in diabetes, nutrition, fitness, tobacco cessation and behavior change will give you the tools needed to live a healthier lifestyle. Through this new program, coaches will help you develop an individualized wellness plan, hold you accountable and motivate you, give you confidence to create and sustain change and give you the ability to decide on your goals. Coaching sessions can take place in person or by phone with Web support. All coaches are certified though Wellcoaches Corporation, the only wellness program endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine. Cost is $40 per 30-minute coaching session and $75 per one-hour coaching session. Call 770-6210 for more information or to make an appointment.

Sports physicals offered at The Clinic at Walmart – evening and weekend hours
Saint Mary’s Medical Group offers sports physicals at both of its Clinic at Walmart locations: 5065 Pyramid Highway in Spanish Springs and 4855 Kietzke Lane in Reno. Cash cost of the physical is only $40. Additionally, insurance is accepted if a specific plan covers the physical. Hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 770-7664.

Lung cancer CT screening
Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer offers a safe low-dose CT screening for detecting lung cancer. The new technology reduces cancer deaths by 20 percent compared with traditional chest X-rays. Ideal candidates for this screening are those ages 55-74 years old with a history of smoking. Screenings require a physician order and cost $199, which includes the CT exam and radiologist interpretation fees. To learn more, call 770-7775.

ER services for senior patients
A line of emergency services is available to senior patients visiting Saint Mary’s ER. The re-designed ER includes nurses who have specialized training in the care of seniors, nurse coaches who monitor follow-up care and a home health liaison who can provide home care options for patients. Additionally, Saint Mary’s ER is more comfortable and accommodating for all patients. For more information, call 770-3000.

Celebrate Easter at the Grand Sierra Resort

Let the Grand Sierra Resort host your Easter Sunday with special dining options throughout the resort. Celebrate the holiday with a memorable culinary experience from one of the resort property’s four participating restaurants.  For complete menus, please visit

Briscola, Charlie Palmer’s Italian restaurant, will be serving guests a three-course meal from 5:30-9:30 p.m.  Featured selections include “Briscola” margarita pizza followed by your choice of roasted leg of lamb accompanied by roasted fingerling potatoes and mint gremolata or basil crusted sea scallops with asparagus risotto in a toasted garlic pan sauce. Rhubarb and strawberry crisp with crème fraiche ice cream with mint essence tops off the Briscola dining journey.

Café Sierra offers a more casual dining experience with a dinner special from 4-10 p.m. Guests can start their evening with either a soup or salad selection followed by prime rib roast entrée served with blue cheese gratin of russet potatoes and balsamic grilled baby asparagus.  Finishing off the special dinner is 7-layer carrot cake with cream cheese and grand marnier icing.  Cost is $24.95 per person.

For a memorable dining experience, visit Charlie Palmer Steak. Delight your taste buds with a three-course menu starting out with lobster stuffed baby artichokes accompanied by arugula, tomatoes and Meyer lemon vinaigrette.  Select from roasted leg of lamb with Brandy soaked cherries and roasted fingerling potatoes or basil crusted Hawaiian swordfish with grilled asparagus and morels.  Sweeten the evening with Rhubarb and strawberry crisp with crème fraiche ice cream with mint essence. Dinner special is served between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Visit The Lodge Buffet for Easter Brunch being served between 7 am and 3 pm.  Whether it’s breakfast or lunch, The Lodge has a variety of Easter favorites including prime rib, orange glazed ham, peel and eat shrimp or cheese blintz, French toast, fresh salads, pastries and desserts and everything in between.  Cost is $19.99 per person.

The Lodge will also serve an Easter dinner from 4 to 9 pm.  Enjoy Atlantic snow crab legs, carved prime rib, salmon with lavender mustard, roasted cod, grilled New York steaks, a variety of pastas, salads, a south of the border station, bountiful assortment of salads and desserts with homemade pastries. Cost is $19.99 per person.

Visit or call 775-789-2000 for details.

Black Rock Press poets Melanie Perish and Tom Meschery to read at Sundance


What: Sundance Books and Music will host a poetry reading for Tom Meschery and Melanie Perish. Meschery will read from his latest book of poetry Some Men (Black Rock Press). Perish will read from her new book of poetry Passions & Gratitudes (Black Rock Press). The reading will be followed by Q&A and book signing.

This event is part of Sundance Books and Music’s month-long celebration of National Poetry Month.

Where: Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., Reno.

When: Tuesday, April 10, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

About the poets

Melanie Perish is a writer, student, and teacher.  She is Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Melanie is a member of Poets & Writers, Inc., has done Poets in the Schools in New York and Utah, and has served on the Scholarship Committee of the Women’s Writing Workshops in upstate New York (1978 – 1983.)  Her chapbooks include Notes of a Daughter from the Old Country (Motheroot Publications) and Traveling the Distance (Rising Tide Press). Her poems have appeared in Utah Holiday, Calyx and Sinister Wisdom.  Melanie lives in Reno and cannot imagine a life that does not include the Sierra Nevada and the grace present in their sky.

Tom Meschery was born in Harbin, China, of Russian emigrant parents who settled in San Francisco, where he grew up. He attended St. Mary’s College of California, where he was an All-American basketball player. He played NBA basketball for the Golden State Warriors and the Seattle Supersonics from 1961-71. Following his retirement from basketball, he attended the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he received an MFA in creative writing. Meschery published his first book of poems, Over the Rim, in 1970. After receiving his teaching credentials at University of Nevada, Reno, Meschery taught high school English in Reno until his retirement in 2005. His second book of poems, Nothing We Lose Can Be Replaced, was published by Black Rock Press in 1999. Meschery currently lives in Sacramento, with his artist wife Melanie Marchant, where he continues to write poems, fiction and essays.

Since opening its doors in 1985, Sundance Books and Music has been dedicated to the service of books and book lovers. As a local, independent bookstore, Sundance is committed to strengthening and contributing to both our local and global communities.

Wild Island Breaks Ground on New Attraction for Summer 2012


The first day of summer isn’t until June 20, 2012, but that isn’t stopping Wild Island Family Adventure Park from gearing up for the opening of the 2012 summer vacation season by breaking ground on a new attraction at its water park –  the only water park in Nevada.  Construction is underway on “Zulu,” a water slide that allows up to four people to race against each other on mats.  The ride has been in the works for more than 18 months and is the  first ride at Wild Island to accommodate groups of people at once, so a family or friends can experience the ride together.  Below is a news release with more details or click here.

The investment comes despite the continued sluggish economy, as Wild Island looks to continue to freshen up its product and stay current with a quality entertainment product for locals and visitors.  Zulu is expected to open on or around Memorial Day.

Please contact me if I might arrange at time for you to meet with Scott Carothers, general manager at Wild Island, about the new attraction and how one local business is re-investing in its product so guests get the greatest ROI for their discretionary dollar (that’s tighter and tighter these days).  Local construction crews will be working all week.

Author launches mystery series based in historic Reno


“Reno in 1949 was a hot town, with legal gambling, quickie divorces, legal prostitution just up the road – and gangsters, too, who kept a low profile,” says Nevada author Maggy Anthony about the historic Reno she knew and loved as an impressionable teenager. Anthony’s red-hot Reno of the 1940s and ’50s plays a starring role, alongside a small-town P.I. named Hank Faro, in her new mystery series launched this month with its first book, Death is a Crapshoot – A Hank Faro Mystery.

Full of well-researched details and first-hand accounts of such well-known Nevada luminaries as “Pappy” Smith of Harold’s, Lincoln Fitzgerald at the Nevada Club and Bill Harrah at Harrah’s, Anthony’s series brings Reno alive for history – and mystery – buffs.

“In 1953, as a teenager, I came to Reno from San Francisco with my mother when she moved here to get a divorce from my father,” Anthony said. “We stayed at a place owned by a retired brothel madam, Scottie’s Guest House just north of downtown, and experienced a whole new life. At 17, dressed-up, I was able to go to the clubs and see the action; the town and people fascinated me. I was mesmerized by the clubs and by their owners, who always seemed to have a presence in their clubs. In 1974, as a young divorced mother myself, I returned to Reno and went to work at the Nevada Club as a keno runner. ”

Now a retired family therapist, Anthony wrote her first book, Jung’s Circle of Women: The Valkyries, in the 1990s as a nonfiction chronicle of the women she encountered during her studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich. “I’ve published several books about people and places that intrigue me, and have always wanted to write about Reno of the Fifties,” she says. “Researching and writing the Hank Faro series has given me the opportunity of showing the Reno that had so attracted me, including the mix of characters in town from all walks of life and cultures. Death is a Crapshoot is the first of a planned series, intertwining the gambling and other aspects of Reno which made it the town it is.”

Anthony is also widely published as a novelist, poet and playwright, whose one-woman play, “Impossibly Blonde: Marilyn at 80,” premiered in 2004 and has been performed at the Nevada Museum of Art and in San Francisco. Anthony has taught extensively on mythology, dreams and issues of creative exploration, at Esalen Institute and the University of California, San Francisco, and in Reno at the YWCA’s Center for Living Well.

For more about the first Hank Faro mystery, which is available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook, and other books by Maggy Anthony, visit or Her blog is at For more information, call Maggy Anthony at (775) 830-8212 or email

Shaun T. Griffin to read poetry and prose at Sundance Books and Music


What: Shaun T. Griffin reads from his forthcoming book of poetry, This Is What the Desert Surrenders, New and Selected Poems (available from Black Rock Press, fall 2012) and from his forthcoming memoir Braiding the Wind – Thirty Years on the Comstock (also available from Black Rock Press, publication date TBD).

This reading is part of Sundance Books and Music’s month-long celebration of National Poetry Month.

Where: Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., Reno.

When: Tuesday, April 3, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

About Shaun T. Griffin:
Shaun T. Griffin is the co-founder and director of Community Chest, a rural social justice agency serving children and families in northwestern Nevada since 1991. For over 20 years he has taught a poetry workshop at Northern Nevada Correctional Center and publishes a journal of their work, Razor Wire. His most recent book of poems is Woodsmoke, Wind, and the Peregrine, from Black Rock Press in 2008. This Is What the Desert Surrenders, New and Selected Poems, will be published by Black Rock Press in the fall of 2012. He recently completed editing a book of essays on the late poet and critic, Hayden Carruth: From Sorrow’s Well. He received the Rosemary McMillan Lifetime Achievement in Art Award in 2006, awarded by Sierra Arts Foundation, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1995.

Since opening its doors in 1985, Sundance Books and Music has been dedicated to the service of books and book lovers. As a local, independent bookstore, Sundance is committed to strengthening and contributing to both our local and global communities.