Friday was a cold day in Carson City, but a bit warmer over it as a couple from the community got a hot-air balloon ride stemming from a silent auction in February 2011.Jeff Haliczer of Empty Pockets, LLC, pilot of his balloon Synchronicity, took Dr. Mehdi “Matti” Vazeen and Ashley Vazeen for a morning ride from the parking lot behind the Department of Motor Vehicles building to a north Carson City neighborhood.“We ended up just north of College (Parkway) in a neighborhood,” said Haliczer, a certified balloon pilot and a special education teacher at Reno’s Wooster High School.“We took it up to not quite a thousand feet,” he said.Though it was below freezing on the ground at takeoff, he said, it was “normal that we have an inversion layer” and so the temperature was about 10 degrees warmer when they reached 250 feet above ground. The couple had gotten the ride via a silent auction in February 2011, to benefit St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School, according to the pilot, but scheduling conflicts delayed it until now.Haliczer, a pilot since 2002 and a rider or student pilot since 1983, said he doesn’t charge for rides. He does it for friends and charitable events like the silent auction for the school. After the ride, he said, he and the couple enjoyed breakfast at the Villa Basque restaurant on North Roop street near Walmart on the city’s north side.
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