Happy holidays (and be safe)! | SierraSun.com

Happy holidays (and be safe)!

Nick Cruit
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE ” Little things can often go overlooked during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

As you plan your holiday travel arrangements, cooking plans, and gift ideas, things like safety and charity might not be high priorities.

Here are a few points to ponder during this holiday:

Be alert for crowded highway conditions during the official Thanksgiving holiday driving period which begins Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m. and continues through midnight, Nov. 30. During this time the California Highway Patrol will be implementing the Maximum Enforcement Period, putting every available officer on the road.

Inclement weather is an obstacle motorists may encounter. Rain, fog, wind and snow can cause frustrating and hazardous conditions for drivers. Those traveling through the mountains should carry chains on their vehicles.

Last year, during the Thanksgiving Enforcement Period, 41 people died in 4,337 collisions that occurred in California. More than half of the vehicle occupants killed were involved in alcohol-related collisions.

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1,628 people were also arrested by California Highway Patrol officers for driving under the influence.

AAA is offering its “Tipsy Tow” program from 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to 6 a.m. Friday to help keep drunk drivers off the road. Drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to five miles.

The latest craze in poultry preparation is fun and delicious, however, safety is an issue if you plan to fry your turkey this Thanksgiving.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 1998 to 2007, there were 138 incidents involving turkey fryers, which caused 36 injuries and more than $7.8 million in property loss. The total includes five incidents in 2007, none of which resulted in injuries, but they were associated with about $500,000 in property loss.

When frying a turkey it is important to only use fryers outdoors and away from buildings or material that can catch on fire.

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dried before adding to the oil; water and ice crystals can cause the oil to splatter or spill over.

Make sure there is at least two feet of space between the liquid propane tank and the fryer burner.

If any smoke at all comes from the heating pot of oil, turn the burner off immediately ” this means the oil is overheated.

In case of a grease fire do not use water as it will violently react with the grease. An all-purpose fire extinguisher can be used if you have one ready.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department, North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Coldwell Banker and other businesses in the North Lake Tahoe Area are collaborating once again to connect needy children with toys for Christmas.

Last year, new toys were gathered and distributed to more than 550 children in the community. This year, expectations are even greater, but the community’s assistance is needed.

Citizens may contribute to this great cause by donating a new toy at one of the following locations:

Tahoe Maritime Museum: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 5205 West Lake Blvd., Homewood

Tahoe City Chiropractic: 645 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

Coldwell Banker Cobblestone Center: 475 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

Placer County Sheriff’s Office: 2501 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

La Petite Styling Salon: 8160 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach

North Tahoe Conference Center: 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach

North Tahoe Business Association: 8645 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach

La Mexicana Taqueria will be providing cooking oil and grease recycling during the Thanksgiving weekend. The grease recycling bin is located on the west side of the restaurant at 8515 Brook Ave, Kings Beach. Participants may either pour the cooled cooking oil into the grease recycling bin or they can pour the cooled grease back into the original container, seal, and drop off next to the grease recycling bin.