Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales

The words, "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales," are used by the California Library System to describe the animal theme set statewide for summer children programs. "Rocks and Dirt" might just as well be added to this intriguing phrase to describe the current situation at the Markleeville Library and adjacent park. Markleeville Park is undergoing extensive renovation by the Alpine County Public Works Department.

Alpine County Librarian Bessie Platten is keeping her cool about the unfinished state of Markleeville Park and going ahead with her plans for Storytime in the Park to be held next to the library 5-8 p.m. Wednesday.

"As long as the pile of dirt will be moved from the library parking lot, our evening program should be perfect," Platten said. "We are so thrilled to be presenting a guest storyteller."

Weaving lively tales at libraries is James Cogan's passion. His performances link folklore, fables, legends, myths, history and personal memory with animated storytelling skills.

"These skills are basic to comprehending, analyzing, selecting, synthesizing and creating an individual identity in a world bombarded by images," Cogan said.

It will take six weeks to finish up work at the park, according to Alpine County Director of Public Works Dennis Cardoza.

"Among other improvements, we're placing rocks in dirt, and we'll be tearing out the old chain link fence to make Markleeville Creek more accessible and visible," he said.

Yet to be installed are wrought iron fences, a climbing rock with a bridge that children can scamper over, a shaded picnic area and a ramada (Spanish for shelter), constructed to cantilever over the stream bank.

"Judy Molnar, assistant to the Alpine County Board of Supervisors, was instrumental in obtaining grants from California Parks and Recreation to renovate various county parks, including our projects for the Markleeville Park, the Perry Walther building in Bear Valley and Turtle Rock Park between Woodfords and Markleeville," Cardoza said. "John Jackson has donated pavers for us to install at the library and museum, and Ted Doyal has donated extra time to work at Markleeville Park. I think it is neat seeing people work together."

Fun-filled Storytime in the Park will not only feature storyteller Cogan, but also music by Gardnerville's Acoustic Solution and Indian tacos by Dale Bennett. The storytelling and music entertainment are free. A taco and a can of soda are $5. A good portion of the entertainment on Wednesday will be derived from observing the status of "Rocks and Dirt."

Storytime in the Park is actually the kick-off for two summer children's programs:

The activity program is open to children, ages 4-6 years. This will be held at the Markleeville Library every Thursday morning from 10-11:30 a.m., July 6 - Aug. 10. Admission is $2 per day, per child, to cover the cost of supplies. The library staff has wonderful stories, crafts and activities related to "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales."

The reading program is open to young people, ages 1-18. The beginning of the program is June 15, and it ends Aug. 15. Parents may read books to children who are too young to read. Kids are awarded different prizes based on the number of books or number of pages they read, depending upon their age group. Children who complete the program will be treated to a special pizza party hosted by Ruggero and I on the Villa Gigli lawn, Aug. 18. The library staff urges, "Come and register your child now!" Phone the Markleeville Library staff at (530) 694-2120, or drop by the library for more information about either of these programs. Storytime in the Park is also an Alpine Kids family outing. Families in the Alpine Kids program will have an opportunity to experience an educational and fun activity right in Alpine County and register in the library's summer reading program.

n Gina Gigli is a Markleeville resident. Reach her at

Alpine Events

a Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24 at the Early Learning Center. Fifty Plus Club Yard Sale.

a Wednesday, June 28, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Markleeville Community Park. Storytime in the Park will feature storyteller James Cogan and live music by Acoustic Solution. Dale Bennett will serve her Indian tacos.

a Thursday, June 29, 3 to 6 p.m. at Woodfords Fire Station. Vaccinating and Licensing Pet Clinic, sponsored by the Sheriff's Department. For information, phone 530-694-2231.

• Tuesday, June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Turtle Rock Park. The U.S. Forest Service and the Carson Water Conservancy will hold a public workshop about future management of the Upper East Fork of the Carson River.


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