Rock Climber Sentenced to Life; Female Pilots to Race; Bike Month Events; Summer Transit Service; More

News Briefs

Professional Rock Climber Sentenced to Life in Prison

SACRAMENTO

Charles Barrett, 40, was sentenced June 4 to life in prison for two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact that occurred during a weekend in Yosemite National Park, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

“Barrett’s long history of sexual violence supports the imposition of a life sentence,” said Talbert. “He used his status as a prominent climber to assault women in the rock-climbing community, and when his victims began to tell, Barrett responded by lashing out publicly with threats and intimidation.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in August 2016, the victim went to Yosemite for a weekend of hiking, and Barrett, who was living and working for a private business in the park, sexually assaulted her three times. During trial, three other women testified that Barrett also sexually assaulted them. These assaults were not charged because they were outside federal jurisdiction but were admitted at trial as relevant to the charged assaults.

According to court documents, in 2017 — 7 years after he assaulted one of the victims who testified at trial — Barrett purposely climbed at a rock-climbing gym where the victim attended. She then disclosed Barrett’s assault on her to the gym owner in the interest of protecting other women. Barrett responded by harassing and threatening her for several years. In August 2022, he was convicted for criminal threats he made in January 2022.

While in custody on the present case, Barrett made hundreds of phone calls. On these calls, he threatened to use violence and vindictive lawsuits against the victims, claiming they designed a conspiracy to ruin his life.

Barrett lived in South Lake Tahoe in 2019. He had three restraining orders issued against him in Placer County in November 2008 and then again in February and March 2014 for the same woman. She also received a criminal protective order against Barrett in Inyo County in 2009.

This case was the product of an investigation by the National Park Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael G. Tierney and Arin C. Heinz prosecuted the case.

~ U.S. Department of Justice press release, MS

Legislative Committee to Meet at Lake Tahoe

STATELINE

The next regular meeting of the Nevada State Legislative Committee for the Review and Oversight of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Marlette Lake Water System will be held at the TRPA office in Stateline on Friday, June 7, at 1 p.m.

The committee of the Nevada legislature holds multiple meetings every other year during the interim session to discuss the work of TRPA and state agencies in the Lake Tahoe Basin and to provide oversight on issues important to Nevada citizens. Today’s meeting will be the fourth of six hearings scheduled during the 2024 interim.

The body is comprised of six legislators, three from each house, to review agency budgets, programs, and activities and to communicate with members of the California Legislature to achieve the goals set forth in the Bi-State Tahoe Regional Planning Compact.

Agencies will provide informational presentations to the committee on the Environmental Improvement Program, forest health and wildfire prevention, evacuation planning, and the Marlette Lake Water System. Earlier meetings covered transportation, destination stewardship, affordable housing, growth management, and land-use planning.

TRPA and Basin fire agencies formed the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team in 2008 to help improve coordination, increase the pace of forest fuel reduction projects, and streamline homeowner defensible space. Evacuation planning is progressing at the regional scale as well. TRPA secured $1.7 million in federal funding earlier this year to help facilitate integrated evacuation planning and critical upgrades to communications and transportation infrastructure needed during emergencies.

For more information, email tahoe@lcb.state.nv.us.

~ Tahoe Regional Planning Agency press release

Summer Transit Service from Incline to Sand Harbor

INCLINE VILLAGE

Tahoe Transportation District announced the return of the East Shore Express Service beginning June 28. This season, hourly paid parking will be available at the Tunnel Creek parking lot at 1102 Tahoe Blvd. at the Tahoe East Shore Trailhead.

EAST SHORE EXPRESS: Riders can take advantage of a continuous transit loop between Incline Village and Sand Harbor State Park this summer. Courtesy graphic

The free transit service will operate daily from 10 a.m. to approximately 6:30 p.m., starting June 28 and run through Sept. 2. The service will operate as a continuous loop with multiple designated eastbound and westbound bus stops. For additional information, visit eastshoreexpress.com

Eastbound stops: Incline Village to Sand Harbor 

  • Continuous loop service begins at 10 a.m. 
  • Route start: 76 gas station (corner of Northwood Boulevard and Tahoe Boulevard/SR 28) 

Westbound stops: Sand Harbor to Incline Village 

  • Continuous loop service begins at 10:30 a.m. 
  • Route start: Sand Harbor Visitor Center 

TTD encourages all residents and visitors to take advantage of the East Shore Express and other public transit options to reduce congestion and environmental impact in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The transit app remains the preferred method for accessing Tahoe’s public transportation network, offering real-time updates and trip planning assistance.  

For schedules and additional information on Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transportation services, visit tahoetruckeetransit.com. Riders can also download the TART Connect app for convenient curb-to-curb rides and transfers to the mainline bus system on the North Shore. 

Before planning a visit to Sand Harbor, TTD, and Nevada State Parks, advise checking the state parks Facebook page for parking availability. Timely updates will ensure a smoother experience for all travelers.  

Sand Harbor is closed to incoming visitors after 3 p.m. The last bus from Incline Village is also at 3 p.m. Starting at 3:30 p.m, there are only westbound stops. The last bus from Sand Harbor leaves at 6 p.m. 

For details on Tahoe Transportation District and its current projects, visit tahoetransportation.org or call (775) 589-5500.   

~ Tahoe Transportation District press release

Local Female Pilots to Compete in National Air Race

TRUCKEE

The 2024 Air Race Classic, the only all-female air race that brings together over 100 female pilots and spans over 2,400 miles in the U.S., will feature the Tahoe Turbulence Team, consisting of two local aviators, Raj Karwa and Sarah Krammen.

Karwa, who lives in Incline Village, is a computer engineer who began flying in 2013, flying over Lake Tahoe in a weight shift control trike. She hones her aviation skills in her Cessna 182 in the backcountry and is looking forward to pushing her skills further by racing. Committed to fostering community and inspiring youth, she volunteers with local nonprofits, including EAA Young Eagles, Lake Tahoe 99s, Sierra Community House, and at local schools. Karwa also enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and twins.

PILOTS Raj Karwa and Sarah Krammen (left to right) will race as the Tahoe Turbulence Team in the upcoming Air Race Classic. Courtesy photo

Krammen, who lives in Truckee and is a math teacher at Truckee High, transitioned into a professional pilot after her discovery flight over the Kenai Peninsula glaciers in Alaska. She is now a multi-engine commercial pilot and a certified flight instructor at Truckee Tahoe Airport. She has her sights set on conquering the new challenge of an air race and wants to continue inspiring others to live their dreams. She also enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, and volunteering with Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue.

The 2024 race will take place June 18 to 21. Pilots start in Loveland, Colorado and finish in Carbondale, Illinois. Learn more about the race at airraceclassic.org. To track the race as it happens, visit airraceclassic2024.maprogress.com.

The Tahoe Turbulence Team is sponsored by Truckee Tahoe Airport District, Dreamline Aviation, Lake Tahoe 99s, and local community members.

~ Tahoe Turbulence Team press release 

Donors Fund Accessibility Ramp in Tahoe Meadows

INCLINE VILLAGE

Plans to create accessible access to more than half a mile of boardwalks in Tahoe Meadows off Mt. Rose Highway are moving forward thanks to support from the NV Energy Foundation, Keyser Foundation, Steven and Sandy Hardie, and dozens of Tahoe Fund donors. With this funding now secured, construction is slated to begin this fall on these major accessibility improvements.

On June 5, project partners from the Tahoe Meadows Access Ramp Committee, Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation, and the USDA Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest joined Tahoe Fund donors at the meadows to celebrate this milestone. At the event, the NV Energy Foundation presented a $35,000 check to the Tahoe Fund, the final funding needed to meet the $75,000 match provided by Steven and Sandy Hardie, bringing the total raised for the project to over $150,000. 

FROM STEPS TO RAMPS: Currently, the Tahoe Meadows boardwalk is only accessible by stairs. This fall, work will begin to convert the stairs to a ramp, making the area more accessible. Courtesy photo

Located off Mt. Rose Highway, Tahoe Meadows has a boardwalk trail that provides visitors with sweeping views and signage about the local flora and fauna. Access to the boardwalk is currently limited to those who can successfully navigate two sets of stairs. The accessibility ramp will help everyone enjoy this area.

The Tahoe Meadows Access Ramp committee will work alongside the Truckee Meadows Park Foundation and the US Forest Service, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Carson Ranger District to build the ramp. Construction is anticipated to begin this fall. 

Learn more about the project at tahoefund.org/tahoemeadows.

~ Tahoe Fund press release

June is Bike Month

TRUCKEE

This month, the Town of Truckee is celebrating Truckee Bike Month to encourage more people to try biking, showcase the many benefits of bicycling, and celebrate the regional bike culture. The event features activities and several raffle opportunities to earn prizes from local sponsors, including RMU, Bike Truckee, and Start Haus.  

Truckee Bike Month incorporates multiple events and challenges that offer participants a  chance to connect with the community and directly support the Truckee Town Council’s goal of promoting alternate forms of transportation. These include: 

  • Bingo challenge: Each completed bingo earns participants a prize plus an entry into the raffle for a grand prize.
  • Bike kitchen: From 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., learn repair and maintenance skills from mechanics from the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition.
  • Free bike valet: Truckee Trails Foundation will host a free bike valet this month and throughout the summer at Truckee Day, Music in the Park, Truckee Thursdays, and the Truckee Tahoe Airshow.  
  • Team registration: Create a team and ride a bike to work or school, around town, or just for fun, tracking rides over the month to earn points. 
  • Pledge to bike everywhere: Commit to riding your bike everywhere around Truckee on June 26. Participants will be entered into a raffle and are encouraged to stop by a refuel station for water refills, air, and a swag bag with discount cards and goodies from local shops. The Eagle Plaza refuel station will be located in downtown Truckee at the corner of Donner  Pass Road and Spring Street from 3 to 6 p.m. The Bike Truckee refuel station will be located near the Truckee River Regional Park from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

For more information and a complete calendar of events, visit keeptruckeegreen.org/bikemonth.

~ Town of Truckee press release

How to Run for Office, Part Two

TRUCKEE

After the success of the first How to Run for Office Workshop, the Truckee Chamber of Commerce and Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe Political Action Committee announced a second workshop focused on campaign strategy. Potential candidates are invited to join on Friday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a campaign strategy and fundraising workshop.

The workshop will feature interactive sessions covering:

  • Why run: Presenters will create a conversation around how to talk about plans to improve things for constituents, conflicts of interest, and reasons why voters might choose to vote for or against a candidate.
  • Workload expectation: Discussion on the expectations surrounding campaign efforts and service efforts required of candidates.
  • Campaign strategy: Learn about messaging and theme development, crafting the Candidate Statement of Qualifications, budget and outreach planning, and fundraising strategies.

The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to ask current and past elected officials how they got elected, what it is like to serve the community, and more.

Space is limited. Visit truckee.com/events to sign up. Lunch will be provided. 

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Over Half Million Dollars Invested for Free Transportation

TRUCKEE

Visit Truckee-Tahoe announced a milestone in its commitment to sustainable destination management. With funding totaling $570,195 to date over 3 fiscal years, VTT played a pivotal role in helping Truckee’s TART Connect get off the ground. The free, on-demand microtransit shuttle serves both visitors and residents of Truckee.

Truckee TART Connect offers door-to-door rides through an app and operates 7 days a week in all Truckee neighborhoods. VTT’s funding contribution to the Town of Truckee, who oversees TART Connect, aligns with VTT’s 2-year Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2023/24 to 2024/25, which emphasizes sustainability and destination management.

While this initiative has only been in operation since summer 2022, key metrics indicate that TART Connect is making a positive impact. Town of Truckee’s most recent study indicates:

  • Projected 2024 ridership will exceed 200,000 trips. Before the launch of TART Connect, public transportation ridership was 32,000 trips in a year. 
  • Ridership continues to grow and is currently averaging 590 trips per day, with a monthly average 16,327 trips in 2024.
  • Most riders are residents (56% to 61%) or second homeowners (18%). Overnight visitors made up 11% to 13% while day visitors made up 2% to 4%.
  • While TART Connect is primarily used by local residents, ridership for overnight visitors has grown from 6% in the first year to 13% in 2024.

“We know there is still work to do to increase usage and we’ll continue to educate visitors on the convenience and benefits of the service,” said Jackie Calvert, director of tourism marketing and management for Visit Truckee-Tahoe. “As community members, we can continue to help spread the word to house guests, visitors, and friends to take advantage of this incredible service.”

Learn more about TART Connect and about Visit Truckee-Tahoe’s 2-year Strategic Plan here.

~ Visit Truckee-Tahoe press release

Celebrate California State Parks Week

TAHOMA

The Sierra State Parks Foundation invites the community to the Howdy Neighbor! Open House at Sugar Pine Point State Park on June 15 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as a part of the statewide State Parks Week which runs June 12 to 16. 

STATE PARKS WEEK: Interpretative rangers Katie Sullivan (left) and Kaytlen Jackson (right) leading an educational program at Sugar Pine Point State Park. Courtesy photo

The day’s activities include:

  • Free coffee and donuts at the gazebo from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
  • Historic house tours of the Hellman Mansion. Half-price tickets will be available for purchase at the park store. No reservations needed.
  • Free junior ranger programs at the Nature Center at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  
  • A free 2.5-mile guided hike from 1 to 3 p.m. through the nature preserve. Meet at the Nature Center.
  • Free plein air art class for beginners from 1 to 3 p.m. Registration required.

For more information about the Sierra State Parks Foundation, visit: sierrastateparks.org. To learn more about California State Parks Week and events, visit castateparksweek.org.

~ Sierra State Parks press release

Founder of Tahoe Research Group to Present  

INCLINE VILLAGE

On Tuesday, June 11, UC Davis TERC will host a lecture, Adventures in Limnology and a World Water Crisis, featuring limnologist and UC Davis Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Charles Goldman. The in-person event will be held at the Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village.

Goldman has devoted his career to studying the effects of environmental pollutants on lake ecology. He developed the first UC Davis course on limnology and oceanography and taught at UC Davis for 52 years. His single most important and sustained contribution is the 5 decades of research on Lake Tahoe. He founded the Tahoe Research Group at UC Davis, now known as the Tahoe Environmental Research Center, and has pursued long-term ecological research at Lake Tahoe since 1958. He has served as an advisor to presidents, governors, senators, and countless other leaders about the environmental health of Lake Tahoe. Professor Goldman’s career work has been honored with the 1998 Albert Einstein World Award of Science, presented at a formal ceremony held in New Zealand. The Einstein Award, given annually to a single individual by a council of eminent scientists that includes 25 Nobel laureates, recognizes those who have accomplished scientific and technological achievements that have advanced scientific understanding and benefited humanity.

Doors open at 4 p.m. and the presentation begins at 4:30 p.m. at UC Davis Tahoe Science Center, 291 Country Club Dr. in Incline Village on the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe campus.

There are limited UC Davis parking spaces available with a temporary parking pass required (obtained inside the lobby of the Tahoe Science Center). Paid parking is available in the campus parking lot.

~ UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center press release

Tour de Manure Raises Record $30,000

SIERRAVILLE

The 13th annual Tour de Manure in Sierraville saw a sellout crowd of 500 bicyclists on June 1 to pedal various Sierra Valley routes, dodge the occasional cowpie, and be rewarded afterwards with beer, BBQ, and live music. The ride was organized by a team of locals and Tahoe/Truckee transplants to raise a record $30,000 for volunteer firefighters and EMTs from the Eastern Sierra Firefighters’ Auxiliary. “It’s a community event in the spirit of the Great Ski Race,” said co-director Nanci Davis. “But it’s not a race. Our average rider was over 60.” Also this year, e-bikes were seen in greater numbers than ever before.

~ David H. Fenimore, special to Moonshine Ink

Nonprofit Receives $50,000 for Adaptive Equipment

SACRAMENTO

Achieve Tahoe, a nonprofit organization that provides sports and recreational programs in Northern California to people with disabilities, was awarded a $50,000 grant from The Hartford’s Adaptive Sports program for new adaptive sports equipment. The grant enabled Achieve Tahoe, a member of the Move United Network, to enhance its adaptive sports programming through the purchase of additional equipment for kayaking, archery, hiking, and climbing programs to better serve individuals with physical disabilities. The Hartford also surprised 19-year-old Bass Mansour with an adaptive waterski. This custom-fit adaptive sports equipment will help Mansour reach his goal of completing a waterski slalom course while spending more time on the water with his family.

BASS MANSOUR (center), Achieve Tahoe Executive Director Haakon Lang-Ree (left), and Move United Senior Events Manager Huarya Garcia-Gomez with Bass’ new adaptive seated waterski that he was granted thanks to Move United and the Hartford. Courtesy photo

The Hartford has been inspiring human achievement through adaptive sports for nearly 30 years. As a leading provider of disability insurance, the company has seen firsthand the positive impact sports can have on people and is dedicated to making adaptive sports and equipment more accessible. This includes equipment donations to local sports clubs nationwide, raising awareness about equity in sports in partnership with its world-class Team Hartford athletes, and hosting The Hartford’s Competition Series.

~ Achieve Tahoe press release

Fundraising Event To Benefit Land Trust

TRUCKEE

Tahoe Modern, a furniture showroom and interior design firm in Truckee, is hosting a fundraising event in conjunction with the Truckee Donner Land Trust on June 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Tahoe Modern showroom on Pioneer Trail. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation to TDLT when they enter the showroom with Tahoe Modern matching all donations up to $2,500.

Representatives from TDLT, which focuses on preserving open space in the region and building trails, will be on site to answer questions. Tahoe Modern’s team of designers will also offer advice on home interior design. There will be a raffle for a Tahoe Modern gift card. The fundraiser also coincides with a relaunch of the store’s showroom. 

“We opened about a year ago and we’re already seeing new trends emerge, so we completely revamped and redesigned our showroom with a brand new look and feel,” says Bristol. “We want people to be able to come in, walk around and see some of these new techniques and trends in real life, as opposed to scrolling on social media. Hopefully they will find some inspiration to bring back to their own homes.” 

~ Tahoe Modern press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

New Chief Fiscal Officer 

NEVADA CITY

Erin Mettler has been appointed as Nevada County’s chief fiscal officer. She has served as the county’s health and human services chief fiscal and administrative officer since 2020, managing over $180 million budget and has 23 years of experience in managing budgets and programs in local government. 

“Within her 4 years at Nevada County, she has been instrumental in important initiatives such as establishing the Western Nevada County Local Housing Trust Fund, which has funded projects such as Cashin’s Field in Nevada City and phase two of Lone Oak Senior Housing in Penn Valley, bringing over 80 new housing units online,” said Nevada County’s executive officer Alison Lehman.  

ERIN METTLER has been appointed as the new chief fiscal officer for Nevada County. Courtesy photo

Nevada County’s former chief fiscal officer, Martin Polt, is retiring in July after 11 years in the role and 19 years working with Nevada County.

This role also serves as an integral part of the county’s executive team as the deputy county  executive officer. “What appeals to me most about this job opportunity is the potential to build  upon a solid foundation of fiscal prudence and stretch our skills around innovative financing  models for key projects and board priorities,” said Mettler. “Having grown up in Nevada County  and now choosing to raise my own family here, I have a significant vested interest in its  success.” 

Before joining the county, Mettler spent 19 years working in several roles within the City of  Stockton’s police, housing, economic development, and redevelopment departments. She  worked on several capital project bond issuances, managed the downtown marina expansion,  navigated her departments through the city’s bankruptcy, and implemented a local tax measure to restore police services.  

Mettler holds a master’s degree in leadership for the public sector from Saint Mary’s College of  California and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of the Pacific. She is a  California State Association of Counties (CSAC) credentialed senior executive and a 2022  graduate of Nevada County’s Community Leadership Institute. She lives in Grass Valley. 

~ Nevada County press release

Business Briefs

Truckee Tahoe Lumber Expands

RENO

Andrew Cross, president and CEO of Truckee Tahoe Lumber Co. and Design Center, announced the expansion of the company to include structural building components through the acquisition of the assets of NVO Construction Components, a manufacturer of floor and roof trusses, prefabricated wall panels, panelized floor and roof cassettes, and prefabricated stairs. The transaction will be effective July 1 to create the Truckee Tahoe Lumber Co. Truss and Component division. 

“Our goal is to offer our framing customers the entire framing materials package,” said Cross. “Once we saw the NVO operation and talked with our mutual customers, we were very excited about the opportunity to take on an operation that not only offers trusses, but also manufactures additional prefabricated components which provide framers with a full array of products that complement our lumber offerings to meet their production goals.” 

TRUCKEE TAHOE LUMBER expands offerings through the acquisition of NVO Construction Components. Courtesy photo

The acquisition includes a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing facility located in the Stead area of Reno. Serving customers since 2021, NVO has provided building components for single-family and multifamily homes as well as commercial wood-frame construction. 

Taylor Adams, CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada called the integration of the two companies “a real success story for our region.” He continued, “Bringing a 93-year-old local company together with a Reno-based manufacturing start-up is big news in any case but the fact that this combined company is serving the local market, supporting local causes, and providing great jobs for our residents is a tremendous win for all. Across the country, the building materials industry is experiencing rapid consolidation so it’s refreshing to see a Reno-based company growing and innovating while keeping the fruits of their labors right here in our community.” 

According to Cross, TTL plans to continue to grow and expand the products offered currently by NVO.

~ Truckee Tahoe Lumber press release

Arsonist Sentenced for Blocking Firefighters During Dixie Fire; Stroke Resources; Educational Circumnavigation of Tahoe; More

News Briefs

Former Professor Sentenced for Setting Fires Blocking Dixie Fire Response Efforts 

SACRAMENTO

Gary Stephen Maynard, 49, of San Jose, was sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $13,081 in restitution for three counts of arson on federal property, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

“Maynard went on an arson spree on federal land while California faced one of the worst fire seasons in history. He intentionally made a dangerous situation more perilous by setting some of his fires behind the men and women fighting the Dixie Fire, potentially cutting off any chance of escape,” said Talbert. “It is only because of the quick response by the U.S. Forest Service — and the actions of civilian witnesses — that those fires were extinguished as quickly as they were. Today’s sentence underscores the danger that Maynard’s fires created and serves as a reminder that federal law enforcement takes seriously the threats to life, property, and our national forests caused by arson.”

According to court documents, Maynard set a series of fires in the Shasta Trinity National Forest and in the vicinity of the then-ongoing Dixie Fire in the Lassen National Forest. Maynard admitted to setting the following fires during this arson spree: the Cascade Fire (July 20, 2021), the Everitt Fire (July 21, 2021), the Ranch Fire (Aug. 7, 2021), and the Conard Fire (Aug. 7, 2021).

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cal Fire, the California Highway Patrol, and the Lassen County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. attorneys Shea J. Kenny and Sam Stefanki prosecuted the case.

~ U.S. Department of Justice press release

Software Platform to Streamline Defensible Space Process

TAHOE CITY

With support from the Tahoe Fund and Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, every local fire agency in the Tahoe Basin now has access to Fire Aside, a software platform that makes defensible space and home hardening evaluations significantly faster to carry out and risk mitigation recommendations easier for residents to implement. 

WILDFIRE RESILIENCE SOFTWARE: A defensible space inspector takes photos at a residence with an iPad. Courtesy photo

Fire Aside’s Defensible Space Evaluation software makes it easier for fire agencies and residents to conduct inspections by replacing manual forms and checklists with an interactive digital platform. Through the software, fire inspectors are able to share clear, actionable information with residents about their property, including photos of vulnerable items and associated risk levels. This helps residents receive information quickly and prioritize action items. It also helps fire agencies create home hardening prescriptions more efficiently, reducing over 50% of office hours that could be better spent in the field engaging with the community.

This Basinwide expansion of the Fire Aside software follows a successful pilot in 2023 with the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District funded by Parasol Tahoe Community foundation, who expanded their funding to the rest of Nevada in 2024. A grant from the Tahoe Fund’s Smartest Forest Fund helped expand the software to the entire California side of Lake Tahoe.

Fire Aside has been successful in other regions, leading to a five-time increase in wildfire prevention actions among residents. In addition, over 81% of residents who used Fire Aside in 2023 credited the platform for motivating them to remove hazardous vegetation.

For more information on preparing Tahoe’s communities for wildfire, visit tahoelivingwithfire.com

~ Tahoe Fund press release

Pipeline Project Enters 2024 Construction Season

INCLINE VILLAGE

The second summer of construction on Incline Village’s long-awaited pipeline replacement is underway. Motorists can expect to see large piles of materials and traffic delays as 9,800 linear feet of pipeline are replaced between now and Oct. 15.

As part of its provision of utility and recreation services to the Incline Village/Crystal Bay community, the Incline Village General Improvement District operates wastewater collection, treatment, and effluent export systems. Per the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, wastewater in the Tahoe Basin must be collected and pumped out. 

The IVGID effluent flows by gravity from the east end of Incline Village to the Spooner Pump Station near Sand Harbor State Park. From there, the effluent is pumped over Spooner Summit on State Route 50 to its eventual outfall within the IVGID wetlands facility in the Carson Valley.

Approximately 30,000 linear feet of the 20.5-mile long existing effluent pipeline have reached the end of their useful life (over 50 years old) and are undergoing restoration.

The ongoing construction project this summer will replace a section of pipeline from Sand Harbor to the Douglas County line, about 1.5 miles north of the SR 50 interchange. This section of pipe is the last remaining section of the original 1970 pressure pipeline within the Tahoe Basin.

The first phase of the project was completed in 2023 by Granite Construction and included approximately 5,500 linear feet of new pipeline put into operation. The total schedule of the project extends into the summer of 2026.

The project will impact the traveling public on SR 28 as the two-lane highway will be reduced to a single lane through the construction zone. Flaggers will be positioned to direct stop-and-go traffic as required. The work is scheduled to take place 24 hours per day this construction season, from Sunday at 7 p.m. until Fridays at 12 p.m. This schedule will vary slightly to accommodate holiday weekends, special events, and potential unidentified situations such as weather, unknown underground facilities, or general emergencies that may affect construction progress.

No additional impacts beyond the travel delays are anticipated as the new pipeline is confined to the travel lanes within the existing SR 28 paving extents. Regular construction updates will be available on the IVGID website (yourtahoeplace.com/ivgid).

~ AH

Hospital Designated as Primary Stroke Center

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

Tahoe Forest Health System announced that the Sierra-Sacramento Valley EMS Agency (S-SV) recently designated Tahoe Forest Hospital as a Primary Stroke Center and Stroke Receiving Center for the local emergency medical services region.

This designation allows TFH to receive patients with stroke-like symptoms, provide a rapid assessment of their condition, and coordinate with local EMS and tele-neurologists to provide expeditious treatment.

BEFAST is the screening tool for the warning signs and symptoms of a possible stroke. Courtesy graphic

TFH’s Stroke Program includes a performance improvement program that tracks stroke patient data for the purpose of improving treatment times and overall care. This data is submitted to the American Heart Association and the State of California. The program also includes educating the community on how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and how to respond to it. TFH provides education and training for paramedics in the local EMS region.  

The Tahoe Forest Health System encourages everyone to learn the stroke warning signs. BE FAST is the acronym to refer to as the warning signs that can help save a life from stroke: B for balance unsteady, E for eyes blurry, F for face drooping, A for arm weakness, S for speech difficulty, and T for time to call 911. The quicker stroke is treated, the more likely the person is to recover.

For more information about the stroke program and other emergency care services at Tahoe Forest Hospital, visit tfhd.com.

~ Tahoe Forest Health District press release

Fire Management Resources

TRUCKEE, INCLINE VILLAGE/CRYSTAL BAY, EL DORADO COUNTY

Building on the success of 2022 and 2023 wildfire prevention division developments, Truckee Fire is once again launching a robust set of programs and initiatives aimed at reducing wildfire risk and enhancing community resilience. Truckee Fire urges residents and homeowners to join forces in taking proactive measures against the threat of wildfires.

WILDFIRE DEFENSE: A grapple truck removes green waste to mitigate wildfire risk. Courtesy photo

In its first season, the Measure T-funded programs witnessed significant engagement and yielded tangible results, underscoring the community’s commitment to wildfire prevention. However, Truckee Fire acknowledges the importance of greater participation by residents and homeowners to fortify the region’s defenses against wildfires.

Programs available include:

  • Free defensible space inspections to homeowners, residents, and community members. Learn more at truckeefire.org/dspace.
  • Free green waste removal programs and dumpster rebate programs to aid homeowners in fire prevention efforts. Details at truckeefire.org/greenwaste.
  • A $500 home hardening rebate program involves using non-combustible building materials. Learn more at truckeefire.org/hardenyourhome.
  • Up to $500,000 in wildfire prevention grants for projects focusing on forest fuels reduction, forest health, community preparedness, or wildfire prevention education. Requirements at truckeefire.org/grants.
  • The Ongoing and Comprehensive Community Wildfire Protection Plan serves as the roadmap for wildfire resilience and project area prioritization. It is in its final form and will be signed into action by the implementing agencies and organizations this summer. 

For more information, visit truckeefire.org.

Meanwhile, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors  proclaimed the period of May through October 2024 as Wildfire Awareness Season as a call for residents to prepare for wildfire. The proclamation can be found here. In 2023, the county adopted a Wildfire Strategy that promotes the creation, coordination, and maintenance of fire adapted communities throughout the county. 

And in Incline Village/Crystal Bay, seasonal open burning (wood, slash, or needle pines) is closed effective May 31. Recreational fires (wood or charcoal fire within a non-combustible container with a 1/8” mesh screen) are still allowed with a permit.

Barbecue grilling is still allowed under certain guidelines, found at nltfpd.org/outdoor-burning. Please note: no open flame of any kind is allowed during Red Flag Warnings.

~ Truckee Fire, North Lake Tahoe Fire, El Dorado County press releases

Town Organizational Assessment Planned

TRUCKEE

The Town of Truckee has contracted with Baker Tilly to conduct an independent, best practices review of the government agency. The organizational assessment, which analyzes three key service delivery components — people, processes, and systems — kicked off on May 14.  

Town manager Jen Callaway believes the organizational assessment is a responsible next step for the relatively young organization. With extensive experience in California and local government, the project team from Baker Tilly will help the town strategically organize, staff, and implement processes that will enhance service delivery to the community.

Baker Tilly will conduct internal interviews, facilitate community and stakeholder engagement sessions, analyze the town’s business processes, service delivery methods, staffing levels, structures and policies, and perform equivalent agency comparisons.

The report outlining recommendations is scheduled to be completed in January 2025, and Baker Tilly plans to conduct a variety of community engagement opportunities starting this summer. The Town of Truckee will provide updates and information about engagement events as they are finalized.  

~ Town of Truckee press release

Area Plan Community Workshops

EL DORADO COUNTY

El Dorado County is hosting a series of four in-person community workshops for its Tahoe El Dorado Area Plan (TED) effort June 3 through 6. The TED is a long-term planning document that will update and incorporate the Meyers Area Plan and other communities in the Tahoe Basin area of the county. The goal of the TED is to create a single document to simplify permitting and streamline environmental review, allow the county to control land use policies and decisions based on each community’s needs, and incorporate Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Code and state law updates — ultimately, establishing a better framework to advance affordable housing and economic development. 

​The county will be holding workshops the week of June 3 in the communities of Tahoma, Meeks Bay, Meyers, and Fallen Leaf Lake. “These workshops will give the public a chance to identify housing, recreational, and transportation needs within each community as we plan for the future,” according to Brooke Laine, County of El Dorado District 5 Supervisor. “The workshops provide folks a great opportunity to share their future vision for the unincorporated areas of the county in Tahoe.”

  • Tahoma: June 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Marie Sluchak Community Park
  • Meeks Bay: June 4 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meeks Bay Fire Station 67
  • Meyers: June 5 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meyers Elementary School
  • ​Fallen Leaf Lake: June 6 from ​6 to 7:30 p.m. at Fallen Leaf Lake Community Center
  • Virtual: June 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 

Visit the project website at tedareaplan.com to sign up and learn more.

~ El Dorado County press release 

Lake Tahoe Circumnavigation

LAKE TAHOE

Kayakers are invited to join the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center for the fourth annual Circumnavigate Lake Tahoe fundraiser (TERC CIRC 4) supporting science around the lake and beyond. TERC CIRC 4 will take place over 7 days, beginning Monday, June 17, and concluding Sunday, June 23.

PADDLE AND LEARN: UC Davis professor Dr. Alex Forrest lecturing at Whale Bay, Lake Tahoe as part of the Circumnavigate Lake Tahoe fundraiser. Courtesy photo

Many people have paddled Lake Tahoe, but this event is unique. In addition to each day’s spectacular shoreline paddling, kayakers will see, share, and learn about Lake Tahoe’s ecology, geology, and emerging challenges, as TERC’s scientific experts provide daily on-shore and on-water talks illustrating the science being used to restore and protect Lake Tahoe.

Each day’s route is set near shore and extends between 6 and 13 miles, with halfway rest stops on all but the shortest day. Experienced, professional kayak guides will lead the fleet. The odyssey starts at Sand Harbor and proceeds counterclockwise around the lake. (Daily details are provided after registration.) Paddlers are shuttled by bus from takeout to put-in each day, to retrieve their cars. Multi-day paddlers are also provided with onshore boat storage at each takeout. On the final day after paddling, there is a gala party where paddlers can help to support TERC and bid each other farewell until next year. 

The event is limited to 50 paddlers, and at this writing a few places remain. Visit tahoe.ucdavis.edu/events/terc-circumnavigation-2024 for registration and more information.

~ UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center press release

Library Core Partners Announce Community Engagement Events to Shape New Design

TRUCKEE

As part of the ongoing efforts to enrich community involvement in the development of the new Truckee Regional Library, the core partners (Nevada County, Town of Truckee, and Friends of the Truckee Library) are excited to announce a series of in-person engagement events throughout June and July, inviting residents to contribute their ideas and feedback toward the design of the new library.

The in-person community engagement events are scheduled as follows:

  • June 1st – Truckee Community Clean Up Day BBQ
  • June 22nd – Truckee-Tahoe Airport Airshow & Family Festival
  • June 27th – Truckee Thursdays
  • July 10th – Music at the Park

These events will provide residents with a platform to share their vision for the new library, offer input on desired features and amenities, and engage in meaningful dialogue with project organizers and designers.

Following the initial round of engagement events, additional opportunities for community input will be available in the coming months as the project progresses. Residents are encouraged to stay informed and engaged through the Friends of the Truckee Library’s official channels and website.

For more information and updates on the new Truckee Regional Library project, including details on upcoming engagement events, please visit truckeefol.org. To participate in the community engagement survey online, please visit surveyhero.com/c/TruckeeCommunitySurveyRound1

~ Truckee Library core partners press release

Celebrating 50 Years of Philanthropy

TAHOMA

For 5 decades, the Sierra State Parks Foundation has partnered with California State Parks to address critical needs and projects through private philanthropy, volunteerism, and strong partnerships. This ongoing collaboration ensures that local and state parks continue to benefit the community and visitors today and for generations to come.

CELEBRATE 50 YEARS: Through an effective mix of private philanthropy, volunteerism, and strong partnerships with California State Parks, the Sierra State Parks Foundation carries on the legacy of the Hellman-Ehrman mansion with ongoing restoration and preservation efforts. Visit it during the Golden Anniversary Celebration. Courtesy photo

To commemorate this milestone, the community is invited to the Golden Anniversary Celebration at the Hellman-Ehrman estate on June 26. Guests are encouraged to wear a touch of gold.

Event highlights include:

  • Music by Sacramento’s Potential Jazz Ensemble
  • Food by Mountain Lotus Provisions
  • A signature Pine Needle Punch cocktail
  • Wine, courtesy of Darcy Kent Winery
  • A silent and a live auction

RSVP is required due to limited space. For more information, visit sierrastateparks.org.

~ Sierra State Parks press release

Volunteers Invited to National Trails Day

LAKE TAHOE

On the morning of Saturday, June 1, volunteers of all ages will gather at the 64 Acres Trailhead in Tahoe City to maintain a stretch of the Tahoe Rim Trail and clean up litter from walking paths from Tahoe City to Commons Beach. The event is co-hosted by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and the League to Save Lake Tahoe in celebration of National Trails Day, an annual opportunity to give back to local trails, protect the environment, and improve access.  

The TRTA will lead a team of volunteers to widen the trail corridor and clean drainages along the Tahoe Rim Trail. The league will get participants geared up to remove litter along popular walking paths. The public is welcome to take part in one or both activities. 

After a morning of impactful work, volunteers are invited to an after-party with complimentary beer and appetizers at the Tahoe National Brewing taproom.  

TRTA and the league are partnering with Drink Coffee Do Stuff, Tahoe City Downtown Association, Tahoe National Brewing, and the U.S. Forest Service to host this event. 

To register for trail maintenance, visit tahoerimtrail.org/event/national_trails_day_2024.

To register for litter cleanup, visit keeptahoeblue.org/trailsday2024

~ Keep Tahoe Blue press release

Legacy Fund Nominations

TRUCKEE

The Jeff Hamilton Legacy Fund is accepting nominations for the 2024 Juniper Awards beginning June 1. These awards celebrate locals who demonstrate commitment, imagination, and fearlessness in their work, craft, trade, or sport. The $3,000 no-strings-attached monetary awards will be given to recipients across six categories: art and performing arts, the trades, medical caregiving, writing, community impact, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team athletes. 

JUNIPER AWARDS: Nominations are open for the Jeff Hamilton Legacy Fund’s Juniper Awards. Courtesy graphic

One heartfelt nomination is all it takes for a nominee to be considered; recipients will never be chosen based on the number of nominations they receive.

Jeff Hamilton, who died of pancreatic cancer in January 2023, created this fund with the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation because he believed individuals are the roots of the community. He wanted to recognize and financially support individual potential after he was gone.  

Nominations close Sept. 15. For more information and to nominate, visit jeffhamiltonlegacyfund.com, or contact the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation or Carolyn Hamilton at carolyn4hamilton@gmail.com.

~ Jeff Hamilton Legacy Fund press release 

Flute Flights of Fancy

OLYMPIC VALLEY

North Tahoe will play host to two flutists and a rising star of the piano. Known as the Queen of the Flute, Carol Wincenc’s ensemble includes Ráyo Furuta, known as the Rock Star of the Flute, according to Informador de Guadalajara, and Yamaha pianist Alexandria Le. Presented by Tahoe Music Alive, the concert, Flute Flights of Fancy, will take place July 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Olympic Valley Chapel. For tickets, visit tahoemusic.org.

MUSICAL TRIO: Carol Wincenc, Alexandria Le, and Ráyo Furuda (left to right) will perform in Olympic Valley on July 6. Courtesy photo

Wincenc shares her musical talents throughout the world, traveling to South Korea, France, Poland, Germany, and Finland to mentor other flutists. She has plans to conduct a master class on July 7.

Furuta is a Burkart artist and performs exclusively on a handmade Lilian Burkart 9k gold flute. Through his Mas Amor Arts initiative, Furuta promotes creativity, community, and more for underserved communities, including local juvenile detention centers and engaging in collaborative endeavors that benefit unhoused women of color and California farmworkers.

Le’s Pro Musica Award and Yamaha sponsorship have allowed her to perform in schools, hospitals, incarceration facilities like Rikers Island, assisted living facilities, and homeless shelters in New York City.

The concert is sponsored in part by Dan and Charlene Simmons, in honor of Charlene’s mother, Jean Wear, a flutist and teacher.

~ Tahoe Music Alive press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

County Executive Officer Appointed

AUBURN

The Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on May 28 to appoint Acting County Executive Officer Daniel Chatigny as the county’s next CEO and authorize a 3-year employment agreement.

DANIEL CHATIGNY has been appointed as Placer County’s next CEO. Courtesy photo

Chatigny began working for Placer in 2019 as the finance and budget operations manager, earning a reputation for developing solid budget processes that ensured board and department priorities were clearly identified. Chatigny was also instrumental in implementing a series of responsible budget practices and is credited with helping the county reach a healthy 10% general reserve with a balanced budget in each of the past four budget cycles. 

He was promoted to deputy CEO in April 2022 and assistant CEO in January 2024. In February, Chatigny was appointed acting CEO due to a leave of absence by then-CEO Jane Christenson, who retired May 4. 

Chatigny is an accomplished administrative and fiscal manager with more than 25 years of professional experience, including program and human resource management, contract and compliance management, and business analysis. 

A longtime resident of the Sierra foothills, Chatigny worked for the County of Nevada for more than 13 years as the chief fiscal administrative officer for its community development agency before coming to Placer County. Chatigny holds a bachelor of arts degree in government from Sacramento State University and an executive master of public administration from Golden Gate University.

~ Placer County press release

Hospital CEO Put on Leave; Washoe Works to Purchase Back Ancestral Lands; How Smoke Impacts Lakes; More

News Briefs

Washoe Warrior Society Launches Land-Back Campaign

TRUCKEE

Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu (Washoe Warrior Society) announced the launch of a fundraising campaign accompanied by a virtual launch event, Strength in Solidarity: The Power of Collective Action with Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu, scheduled for May 29 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Generations after the displacement of Wašišiw from the Truckee/Tahoe region, the time has come for the return to ancestral homelands. With the opportunity to purchase land in El Dorado County, the Truckee/Tahoe community has a unique chance to support the Wašiw journey home through the creation of Wašiw Than-Nu Ungal (The People’s House, in the style of the California roundhouses).

Formed in 2009 by Wašiw elders, Wašiw Zulšiš Gum T’ànu strives to promote healing and cultural revitalization in their communities, addressing the trauma of forced removal and cultural erosion. Facing challenges such as substance abuse, violence, degenerative disease from western food systems and medicines, suicide, environmental threats to the lake, invasive species, and pollution, they are advocating for reclaiming stewardship for the healing of the land, water, and people.

“I’ve dedicated over a year to volunteering with this organization. The chance it presents for Truckee/Tahoe to reconcile with our settler history and drive meaningful change is truly unique,” expressed Marissa Rudder, a resident of Kings Beach. “Every contribution, regardless of size, brings Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu  closer to achieving its goal.”

BUY BACK LAND: Washoe grassroots nonprofit, Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu (Washoe Warrior Society) fundraising campaign to buy land in Tahoe Basin. Courtesy graphic

This virtual event offers concerned citizens and activists an opportunity to engage in a unique land-back effort. It provides a platform for citizens to support the return of land to Indigenous community members. Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu aims to raise 40% of the down payment needed to secure the first plot of Washoe-owned land, dedicated solely to sacred ceremonies and cultural revival.

The campaign will commence with events, including community forums and community listening sessions. Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu invites individuals, businesses, and organizations to join hands in this collective effort to drive impact and leave a lasting legacy of change. This event is free to attend. Sign up at shorturl.at/37941. Learn more about Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu at wzgt.org.

~ Washiw Zulshish Gum Tahn-Nu press release

Hospital Adds New Service Lines

INCLINE VILLAGE

Tahoe Forest Health System announced the addition of three new service lines at the Incline Village Community Hospital. The additions include a weekend walk-in clinic, orthopedics and sports medicine clinic, and mammography.

The Weekend Walk-in Clinic is now available to treat patients with minor injuries and illnesses on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Offering bone, joint, and muscle care, orthopedics and sports medicine doctors are available for scheduled, same-day, and walk-in appointments. To schedule an appointment, call (775) 831-6200.

This June, IVCH will begin offering 3D mammography screenings at the state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging suite. The Genius AI™ 3D Mammography™ is the latest breakthrough in breast cancer detection and the only exam rated by the FDA as superior for women with dense breast tissue.

For more information about the health care services offered at Incline Village Community Hospital, visit inclinehospital.com or call (775) 833-4100.

~ Tahoe Forest Health System press release

$10 Million Matching Challenge

TRUCKEE

The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation announced that Braddock Philanthropies has committed $10 million in support of TTCF’s strategic plan over the next 5 years. Braddock Philanthropies makes this gift with a matching challenge to the Tahoe/Truckee community to reach another $10 million in any area within the scope of TTCF’s mission.

“With this gift, we hope to inspire other part-time homeowners to recognize the need for their financial support to enable TTCF to address critical needs in the Tahoe/Truckee region even though it is not their primary home,” said Dr. Scribner, executive director of Braddock Philanthropies. “We all have different reasons for loving this place, and TTCF’s mission addresses them as interconnected, so the match is open to any funding contributions to TTCF.”

The Braddocks are multi-generational Northstar vacation homeowners who have prioritized Tahoe/Truckee in their charitable endeavors for more than 40 years. Since its inception, Bob Braddock has worked closely as an advisor on TTCF’s Forest Futures campaign, which has raised $5.75 million and granted nearly $3 million to regenerative solutions for forest health.  

Primary residents of San Leandro, Robert Sr. and Lois Braddock were early investors in Northstar where they built their second home. Recently, the Braddock family has consolidated their charitable efforts under the name Braddock Philanthropies. 

The $10 million gift will be structured as grants and impact investments for TTCF’s Forest Futures campaign. The Forest Futures Impact Strategy addresses the forest health crisis and mitigates the threat of catastrophic wildfire. The grantmaking process for Forest Futures supports regional nonprofits that address the following areas of the Forest Futures Impact Strategy: protect communities, build a forest economy, and/or accelerate market solutions.

This is the largest matching gift in TTCF’s history since the community met William Hewlett’s original matching gift to establish TTCF in 1987. Help meet the $10 million challenge by visiting ttcf.net

~ Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation press release

Event to Raise Money for Volunteer Fire Department

SIERRA VALLEY

The 13th annual Tour de Manure returns to the Sierra Valley on June 1 after a 1-year hiatus. The Tour de Manure is a supported metric century bicycle ride in Sierra Valley. Three routes are available to registrants: a 62-mile ride around the valley, a 42-mile ride that cuts through the middle of the valley on Marble Hot Springs Road, and a 30-mile out-and-back from Sierraville to Loyalton along Highway 49.

“For 12 years volunteers from the Sattley and Sierraville fire stations produced the event and used the proceeds to help purchase new and upgraded response vehicles and other specialized equipment,” said Laura Read, who’s running marketing and promotions. For the first time this year, the Tour de Manure will be hosted by a new nonprofit, the Eastern Sierra Firefighters’ Auxiliary.

“It’s about doing anything to help support the local volunteer fire department,” said Sara Wright, chairperson of the recreation association. “They are so incredibly important to the welfare of small communities.”

MANURE TOUR: This year’s Tour de Manure tour in Sierra Valley will benefit the Eastern Sierra Firefighters’ Auxiliary. Courtesy photo

More than 80 volunteers help make the event possible. Live music will be provided by Michael Hogan and the Simpletones, who have played at the event since its inception. When Pigs Fly BBQ and Los Dos Hermanos will provide food. Sierraville Hot Springs and Drifters’ Table are event sponsors this year. Alibi Ale Works, The Brewing Lair, FiftyFifty Brewing, and Ronin Fermentation Project will provide beer.

Raffle prizes include tickets to a San Francisco Giants game and a 49ers game. Anyone can buy raffle tickets. For more information about the raffle contact nancidavis212@gmail.com or (530) 574-8331. 

Race registration is sold out; however, drop by the Sierraville fire station between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to enjoy the Tour de Manure party and live music. Lunch is available for $20 per plate.

For more information, visit tourdemanure.org.

~ Tour de Manure press release

Presentation to Cover Inclusivity for Small Businesses

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce June Lunch & Learn will take place on Wednesday, June 12, from 12 to 1 p.m. at Truckee Town Hall in the Town Council Chambers.

BECKY BARTON is scheduled to present at the next Lunch & Learn, which will explore diversity, equity, and inclusion policies. Courtesy graphic

The event will focus on where to start with drafting and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, with a special emphasis on small businesses and organizations. Becky Barton from People415 will present. This is an opportunity to acquire insights and strategies aimed at fostering inclusivity within the workplace.

Lunch & Learn is a monthly event hosted by the Truckee Chamber of Commerce on the second Wednesday of the month. Bring lunch; the chamber provides beverages and desserts. Free for members; $20 for future members.

Secure a spot by visiting truckee.com.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Study Examines Impacts of Increased Smoke on California Lakes

CALIFORNIA 

As much as 70% of California was covered by wildfire smoke during parts of 2020 and 2021, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The study, published May 22 in the journal Communications: Earth & Environment, found that maximum smoke cover has increased by about 116,000 square miles since 2006.

The study measured lake responses to wildfire smoke in 2018, 2020, and 2021 — the three largest fire seasons on record in California. It found the lakes were exposed on average to 33 days of high-density smoke between July and October, with August and September having the highest number of smoky days.

The extent of wildfire in California has quintupled since the 1970s, the study notes. Yet little is known about the impact of smoke on lake ecosystems. To answer questions, scientific instrumentation needs to be present in lakes when and where wildfire smoke occurs to measure effects.

As smoke settled over the state throughout the 3 main study years, scientific sensors in 10 lakes were taking note of the changes. The lakes stretched from Castle Lake in the Klamath Mountains, to Lake Tahoe and Emerald Lake in the southern Sierra Nevada, Clear Lake in the Coast Range, and a site in the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta. 

The study verified that wildfire smoke does change light, water temperature, and oxygen in lakes — the basic drivers of lake function and health — but those changes are as variable as the unique lakes studied. Lake size, depth, smoke cover, nutrient levels, and more dictate how a lake responds to the changes. But lakes are changing.

“We’re seeing changes — often decreases — in photosynthesis and respiration rates that drive almost everything else,” said lead author Adrianne Smits, a research scientist in the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. “Food webs, algal growth, the ability to emit or sequester carbon — those are dependent on these rates. They’re all related, and they’re all being changed by smoke.”

More research is needed to understand how the scale, scope, and intensity of recent and future wildfires affect lake ecosystems. 

Read the study here

~ UC Davis email communication 

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Hospital CEO on Paid Administrative Leave

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

At the direction of the Tahoe Forest Hospital District Board of Directors, president and chief executive officer, Harry Weis, has been placed on paid administrative leave. Further details have not been finalized at this time. The board directed chief operating officer, Louis Ward, to serve as acting chief executive officer.

~ Tahoe Forest Hospital District press release

Two Long-Term Employees Retire

The Truckee Sanitary District announced the retirement of two long-time employees, Kara Raymer and Eric Sundale. Raymer, whose last day was April 26, worked for TSD for over 24 years. She started with TSD in 2000 as a bookkeeper and went on to become the senior accounting technician. Raymer, who lives in Truckee, is looking forward to gardening and traveling with her husband. 

SAYING GOODBYE: Kara Raymer and Eric Sundale, who are retiring from the Truckee Sanitation District after years of service, with the TS Board. Pictured from left to right: Denny Anderson, director; Kara Raymer; Eric Sundale; Catherine Hansford, director; and Jerry Gilmore, director. Courtesy photo

Sundale started with TSD in 1999 and worked his way up from maintenance worker to supervisor to operations and maintenance superintendent. He also served on the board for the Sierra Section of the California Water Environment Association for 6 years. Sundale, who lives in Truckee, indicated that he is looking forward to spending more time traveling with his wife, hiking, biking, visiting family, and volunteering. 

At their retirement celebrations, TSD Board Director Denny Anderson presented them with  Resolutions of Appreciation and wished them the best in their future activities. 

~ Truckee Sanitation District press release

New Main Street Manager

INCLINE VILLAGE

Incline Village Crystal Bay Association announced the promotion of Jonathon Gardner to Incline Village main street manager. Gardner is a fourth-generation Northern Nevadan. He earned a master’s in business administration from Brigham Young University and has experience building and launching companies as the former director of a venture studio. Other experience includes working in real estate, where he’s been involved in industrial development projects. 

Main Street USA is a nationally recognized program for revitalization and redevelopment in small towns across the United States. Incline Village Main Street is a member of Main Street Nevada. Washoe County supports the Incline Village Main Street program with a community reinvestment grant.  

Incline Village Main Street will work with IVCBA to revitalize Incline Village across the four points of community transformation outlined by Main Street USA, which are economic vitality, design, promotion, and organization.

Incline Village Main Street is currently focused on a beautification campaign, Inclined to Bloom, encouraging locals to participate on June 1 in the Incline Green Clean community clean-up day. Businesses are encouraged to clean their commercial zones and beautify through landscaping, particularly along Tahoe Boulevard.

~ Incline Village Crystal Bay Association press release

Golf Course Under New Management

INCLINE VILLAGE

The Golf Courses at Incline Village announced the new leadership team taking over golf operations at the award-winning Incline Village Championship and Mountain Golf Courses for the 2024 golf season.

Timothy Sands, PGA, was recently hired as the general manager of golf operations for the Incline Village General Improvement District, which owns both courses. Sands plans to focus on maintaining the high level of customer service the Incline Village courses have been known for while making operations more efficient.

In addition to Sands’ hiring, the Golf Courses at Incline Village have promoted Robert Bruce, PGA, to the role of senior head golf professional. Bruce has served in various roles at the golf courses the past 9 years, most recently as the first assistant golf professional.

ON THE GREEN: This golf season welcomes a new leadership team at the Golf Courses at Incline Village. Courtesy photo

The Incline Village golf courses are also happy to welcome Donny Ohu back for a second season as the assistant golf professional at the Mountain Golf Course. Ohu has over 10 years of experience in the golf industry.

Finally, Ashley Wood, PGA, returns for another season as the head of player development for the Incline Village Golf Academy. Wood oversees all instruction and golf clinic development, including private lessons and popular programs such as Get Golf Ready, Women’s Chip & Sip clinics, the PGA Junior League, and Junior golf camps. New this season, she has introduced a number of fun, non-traditional golf clinics designed to appeal to a wide range of golfers and potential golfers.

~ Incline Village Golf Courses press release

Business Briefs

Wine Shop Changes Ownership

TRUCKEE

The Pour House, a wine and cheese shop in downtown Truckee, has recently changed hands. Linda Baumgardner, a single mother who has lived in Truckee for 7 years, has taken over ownership of the shop.

Originally from Sun Valley, Idaho, Baumgardner learned from her father’s experience as a business owner. “I have come to appreciate how business owners are such an important part of the fabric of small communities,” she wrote in an email. 

Baumgardner brings to Pour House a background in events and education, as well as a love of wine and cheese. She wrote that this purchase is a “dream come true.” She has spent extensive time exploring the world of wine through winemaker dinners, tastings, and tours, constantly learning and discovering new flavors. Baumgardner plans to maintain the high standards and excellent value that The Pour House is known for, while also introducing some updates, such as computerizing operations and freshening up the website and social media presence.

THE POUR HOUSE: Linda Baumgardner recently purchased the Truckee wine and cheese shop from long-time owners, Christa Finn and Dean Schaecher, who will still be involved with the business. Courtesy photo

Christa Finn and Dean Schaecher, who opened The Pour House in March 2005, will continue to be involved with the business, with Dean remaining as the resident expert and wine buyer. Their guidance and expertise have been invaluable to Baumgardner as she transitions into her new role.

The transfer of ownership was finalized on April 1, after several months of escrow. Linda has since been shadowing Finn and Schaecher, learning about the shop, its wines, producers, distributors, and regular customers.

“I love what Dean and Christa have created, and I am grateful that they are keeping their talent and heart in the business for the foreseeable future, while also gaining a bit more freedom,” wrote Baumgardner.

To celebrate the transition and thank customers, The Pour House will be hosting a special event in June, with details to come.

~ TC

NTBA Terminates Executive Director; Skatepark Secures Land Lease; Home Kitchen Ordinance Seeks Feedback; Plaque Commemorates Chinatowns; More

News Briefs

Skatepark Secures Land Lease

TRUCKEE

At the May 15 Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Education meeting, trustees voted to allow a community skatepark constructed on district property. The decision means TTUSD staff will work with Tahoe City Public Utility District to change the use of the existing dog park located at 211 Grove St. in Tahoe City to the skatepark, which will ultimately be managed by the Scotty Lapp Foundation.

“The unanimous decision by the TTUSD board to give the Scotty Lapp Foundation a path forward was a huge step in the over 2-year process of looking for a home for a permanent skatepark in Tahoe City,” said Amy Lapp, co-founder of the foundation. “This means so much more than just building a skatepark; this is showing the youth of North Tahoe that the district sees and cares for them and their needs.”

Lapp also said she was humbled to see the boardroom overflowing with people to support their cause. 

The foundation was created in honor of Lapp’s son, Scotty, who died in a ski accident when he was 16 years old. A 4,000-square-foot temporary skatepark, located behind the old Blue Agave in Tahoe City, is now in its third summer and will most likely be gone by the end of the year.

~ TC

Public Input on Home Kitchen Ordinance Sought 

NEVADA CITY

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors is considering adopting an ordinance that would  allow residents to operate restaurants or sell meals out of their homes. 

Called microenterprise home kitchens, the small businesses would have to prepare and serve  meals the same day and could serve up to 90 meals per week. They would not be subject to  unannounced health inspections like traditional restaurants; all inspections would be by  appointment, and they would not be required to remodel their home kitchen to commercial  kitchen standards/requirements. The county does not currently allow these businesses. 

On May 14, the board accepted a $50,098.51 state grant to solicit public feedback about the proposed ordinance. The Environmental Health Department is planning to hold meetings with restaurant owners and other interested residents, as well as conduct a survey on whether the public wants to allow microenterprise home kitchens. Interested residents can sign up to be notified of meeting or survey opportunities at nevadacountyca.gov/homekitchens.  

The pros of allowing microenterprise home kitchens are that individuals could start their own  businesses with little to no overhead expenditures and potentially make up to $100,000 a year.  Currently, there are approximately 50 such businesses operating illegally in the county, and this  could provide a way for them to become legal. The cons are the possibility of an increase in  foodborne illnesses if foods are not prepared correctly. 

Since the state opened the door in 2019 for local jurisdictions to allow such businesses, nine  local government entities have adopted ordinances allowing them, including Berkeley, Alameda,  and San Mateo. 

Supervisors will consider public feedback before making a decision sometime in 2025 about  whether to go forward with an ordinance. 

~ Nevada County press release

Defensible Space and Chipping Services Available

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

Prepare for wildfire season and sign up for defensible space evaluations and curbside chipping services. For more information and to register online, visit nltfpd.org.

For curbside yard debris collection dates and information, visit yourtahoeplace.com/events/yard-waste-collection.

Allow 2 weeks for responses to defensible space evaluation requests. Chipping requests are taken as they are received and completed as crews are available. Keep in mind they respond to wildfires and may not be able to get to chipping piles right away. Provide all requested information in the online form. 

Taking every precaution to protect homes from wildfire by getting a defensible space evaluation. The fire district can issue free tree removal permits for fire hazard trees, but removal must accompany complete defensible space treatments.

~ North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District press release

Plaque Commemorates Chinatowns

TRUCKEE

On Friday, May 10, a crowd gathered at Truckee’s Old Jail  Museum to witness the dedication and unveiling of a plaque commemorating one of Nevada County’s newest landmarks. Truckee’s Chinatowns were declared a county historical landmark by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors last June at the recommendation of the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission. May 10 was the 155th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, instrumental in the development of Truckee and its Chinatowns.  

The principal speakers were Supervisor District 5 Hardy Bullock, Truckee Councilmember Courtney Henderson, and Alyce Wong, Chair of the Tahoe Forest Hospital District Board of Directors, who spoke about the history of the Chinese experience in Truckee. Truckee Donner Historical Society President Greg Zirbel and member Heidi Sprout unveiled the plaque and read its text.

CHINATOWN: A new plaque honoring Truckee’s former Chinatowns was unveiled at the Old Jail Museum on May 10. Courtesy photo

This plaque will be featured in the commission’s interactive map at nevadacountylandmarks.com and in the next edition of its book, Exploring Nevada County, a guide to all the county’s historical landmarks.

~ Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission press release

Fuel Reduction Projects to Enhance Forest Health

TRUCKEE

This summer, residents and visitors to the Truckee region of the Tahoe National Forest can expect to see fuels reduction work in various locations. Planned treatments include mechanical thinning, mastication, hand thinning, and prescribed fire. This work will protect crucial water supplies for the Reno metropolitan area, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the Sierraville and Truckee regions, protect thousands of nearby recreation areas, residences, and businesses, and enhance overall forest health.

These projects are being collaboratively undertaken through the Middle Truckee River Watershed Forest Partnership, composed of Truckee River Watershed Council, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, The Nature Conservancy, National Forest Foundation, and Tahoe National Forest.

Upcoming project areas include:

  • Tahoe National Forest Roadside Fuel Breaks: Tahoe National Forest fire and fuels personnel will conduct prescribed burns along various Forest Service roads near Sierraville and Truckee.
  • Ladybug Project: The 2,200-acre Ladybug Project footprint extends from just north of Boca Reservoir and east of Stampede Reservoir along the western slope of the Verdi Range. Planned treatments include forest thinning, mastication, and prescribed burning.
  • Cabin Creek Project: Project will result in some recreation closures to popular mountain biking trails. This project is expected to take 3 years and is the first phase of the Tahoe National Forest’s 6,000-acre Five Creeks Project. Planned treatments include forest thinning, meadow restoration, aspen enhancement, mastication, and prescribed burning.
  • Alder 89 WUI Project: This project is located along Highway 89, north of Truckee, Alder Creek Road directly adjacent to the Tahoe Donner subdivision and west toward Prosser reservoir and Hobart Mills. The project is expected to be completed within 3 to 4 years.
  • Big Jack Targeted Grazing: Targeted grazing will occur in the area surrounding the Sawtooth Trailhead above the Sierra Meadows neighborhood in Truckee. This project will accomplish 60 acres of critical fuels reduction. Residents and recreationists near the trailhead can expect to see goats, livestock protection dogs, and electric fencing.

Over the next 10 years, the Middle Truckee River Watershed Forest Partnership will work to restore over 60,000 acres of Truckee-area forests. Learn more about the partnership and upcoming projects at truckeeforests.org.

~ U.S. Department of Agriculture press release

Emergency Alert System Launches

KINGS BEACH

In collaboration with surrounding cities and counties, Placer County announced the launch of TahoeAlerts, an emergency notification system locator.

Using GPS technology, TahoeAlerts simplifies emergency notification registration for residents and visitors throughout the Tahoe region. Online visitors can simply log on to tahoealerts.com, and enter their address or location to locate the emergency notification system in their immediate area.

This one-stop resource for the various emergency alert systems is available in different regions, encompassing Placer, El Dorado, Nevada, Douglas, Alpine, and Washoe counties, as well as Truckee, Carson City, and South Lake Tahoe.

“With so many jurisdictions around Lake Tahoe, it can be difficult for the community to know which government entity is responsible for sending emergency alerts in their area, and where to go to sign up for those alerts,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Troy Morton. “This is an extremely beneficial tool the public can use to easily obtain that information.”

Sign up for emergency alerts throughout the Lake Tahoe region at tahoealerts.com

~ Placer County press release

Coalition Confident Voters will Reject Vacancy Tax

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

A coalition of South Lake Tahoe residents, small businesses, and taxpayers announced the formation of a campaign to defeat the proposed vacancy tax in South Tahoe, saying they’re confident voters will reject the measure once they get the facts about the proposal. According to the El Dorado County Registrar of Voters, the measure has been certified to have received sufficient signatures to qualify for the November 2024 election.

“We’ve assembled a strong local coalition of residents, local small businesses, and taxpayers who will defeat this horribly flawed, divisive, and unaccountable measure masquerading as an affordable housing proposal,” said Steve Teshara, co-chair of Stop the South Tahoe Vacancy Tax. “When voters hear the truth about this measure, we have no doubt they’ll vote no!”

“After all the promises from the backers of this measure, voters will be shocked to hear that nothing in this measure requires the city to produce a single new unit of affordable housing, or even to spend a single penny on housing affordability at all,” added Sharon Kerrigan, co-chair of the campaign. “We all want to address housing affordability in South Tahoe, but this measure is not the answer, and will likely make things worse.”

Teshara and Kerrigan point out that while proponents of the measure promised residents that this measure would solve housing affordability when they were collecting signatures, the truth is that nothing in the measure requires the city to produce affordable housing or spend tax on housing programs.

“The first call of dollars on this measure is not housing, but on the legal defense of the measure and the massive bureaucracy the city will have to set up to enforce and administer the tax,” Kerrigan said. “It is literally a tax that will pay for the administration of the tax.”

The campaign leaders said the divisive nature of these and other proposals from the vacancy tax backers had united the community like never before to promote South Tahoe values. They said their campaign website will be launched soon at stopthesouthtahoevacancytax.com

~ Stop the South Tahoe Vacancy Tax press release

New Bear Display Raises Over $100,000

TAHOE CITY

Twenty-five new engraved bears are now hanging from the railings in Tahoe City’s Heritage Plaza through a partnership with the Tahoe Fund, Placer County, and the Tahoe City Public Utility District to raise money for trails in North Lake Tahoe. Since launching the new program this fall, more than $100,000 has been raised for trails through the generosity of private donors. 

The engraved bears, originally available along the popular Tahoe East Shore Trail, have been embraced by those who want a way to memorialize their investment and commitment to improving the Tahoe environment. Bears were chosen for this location to celebrate the proximity to the iconic Penny Bear statue in Heritage Plaza.

The bear plaques are available in two sizes. For $5,000, the mama bear plaque measures 13 inches tall and 20 inches wide and has space for a 40- to 45-character message. For $2,500, the baby bear plaque measures 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide and has space for a 20- to 25-character message. 

For more information and to purchase a Tahoe City bear plaque, visit tahoefund.org/projects/active-projects/tahoe-city-bear-plaques.

The Tahoe Fund also offers engraved trout plaques and bear pavers along the East Shore Trail, a 3-mile paved path from Incline Village to Sand Harbor. To learn more, visit tahoefund.org/projects/active-projects/tahoe-east-shore-trail.

~ Tahoe Fund press release

New Children’s Book About Lake Tahoe Released

LAKE TAHOE

Kevin Sullivan, author and part-time resident of Incline Village, released his newest children’s book, Tahoe 123. It is the companion book to Good Night Tahoe, a book about the Reno/Carson City/Tahoe region’s places, animals, and activities. In this new adventure, Beary and his friend, Cheeky, count some of the wonderful sights and experiences of Tahoe.

Sullivan is a writer and educator. He has written several Hawaii-themed books for young readers and is passionate about raising awareness about protecting the environment, particularly the Lake Tahoe Basin and its flora and fauna. He has many fond memories of Tahoe ski trips and rafting the Truckee River with his family.

Michael Furuya, the book’s illustrator, is an accomplished fine artist and graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is passionate about environmental education. He was part of ‘Ohi’a Productions, which produced plays and a series of award-winning picture books for the children of Hawaii.

Upcoming book readings and signing events:

  • Wednesday, May 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. at Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center
  • Friday, May 31, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Sand Harbor State Park

~ Kevin Sullivan press release

Event to Feature Wá∙šiw (Washoe) Voices

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce announced a special 2-hour edition of Good Morning Truckee scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, honoring the Wá∙šiw, who will be sharing Wá∙šiw history and providing updates to the community.

The chamber is honored to welcome three esteemed members of the Washoe (Wá∙šiw) Tribe: Tribal Council Chairman Serrell Smokey; Dr. Lisa Grayshield, executive director of the Washiw Zulshish Gum T’anu (WZGT); and Darrel Cruz, retired tribal historic preservation officer for the tribe. Speakers will share insights into Washoe (Wá∙šiw) history and ongoing landback efforts across the Truckee-Tahoe Basin.

The program starts at 8 a.m. and will run until 10, allowing speakers extra time to share their stories and fostering open conversation.

Good Morning Truckee is a community forum providing timely, relevant information on various topics. Open to the public, this event is held the third Tuesday of every month at Truckee Town Hall from 7:45 to 10 a.m. Attendees can join in person or watch a recorded version. Ticket prices are $15 for the general public and $10 for Truckee Chamber members, which includes a continental breakfast, coffee donated by Mountain Brew, and a chance to win a door prize by bringing a business card.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Provide Feedback About North Tahoe Projects 

TAHOE CITY

Placer County is inviting the community to Discover and Discuss: Projects and Programs Shaping the Future of North Lake Tahoe on Thursday, May 30, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach. 

County staff and community partners will present at this open-house style event which provides an opportunity for the public to learn more and provide feedback about impactful projects and programs in the region aimed at supporting a healthy and vibrant community.

Attendees can talk to regional experts about upcoming infrastructure projects, like Tahoe City’s Mobility Project or the Tahoe Basin Area Plan, policy and program updates to enhance workforce housing opportunities, like the Workforce Housing Preservation Program, emergency planning efforts to prepare for wildfire, and more.

“This is the first of more planned events to provide new and important information to our community and really get residents involved,” said Placer’s Deputy County Executive Officer Stephanie Holloway.

Sierra Community House will provide Spanish interpretation as well as children’s activities to ensure families can attend. Food and beverages will be provided. Registration is not required, and attendees are welcome to come at any point throughout the evening.

Find more information here.

~ Placer County press release

Dance Festival Returns

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

The 12th Annual Lake Tahoe Dance Festival, taking place July 23 through 26, kicks off with an opening night gala in Tahoe City, followed by Tahoe City Community Night, Kings Beach Community Night, and concluding in a closing night gala in Incline Village, featuring new commissions and performances from artists from New York City Ballet, Broadway, L.A. Dance Project, Boston Ballet, and more. For more information and ticketing, visit laketahoedancecollective.org/laketahoedancefestival.

The Lake Tahoe Dance Festival was started by longtime friends Christin Hanna and Constantine Baecher in 2013 to present the finest professional dance and dance instruction in North Lake Tahoe. As the festival enters its second decade, Lake Tahoe Dance continues to commission new works and present rarely-seen classics alongside fan favorites danced by high-caliber artists.

Performances featured at the festival include an excerpt of Erick Hawkins Dance Company’s Greek Dreams Nymph Solo, first performed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1973, with dancer Kristina Berger wearing the original costume on loan from the Library of Congress; a new commission from Daniel Baudendistel and Valerie Madonia, performed by Ethan Price and Kate Loxtercamp; an excerpt of Susan Stroman’s Contact, performed by Stephen Hanna Ashley Fitzgerald; an excerpt of William Foresyth’s Blake Works, performed by Lia Cirio and Paul Craig; Needle & Thread (working title), a new commission choreographed and performed by Daphne Fernberger; and a new commission from Maxfield Haines and Dwight Rhoden that explores identity and selfhood.

~ Lake Tahoe Dance Collective press release

Experience 3D Reconstruction of Asian American Site

TRUCKEE

The Library of Congress has launched a series of virtual installations at the campus in Washington, D.C. and five historic Asian American sites around the country, including Truckee.  

Using a cell phone, the public can go through “hidden portals” to experience an immersive 3D reconstruction of these neighborhoods, developed with the help of archival photos and records from local and library collections. Jeffrey Yoo Warren, library’s innovator in residence, was able to reconstruct some of these forgotten Asian communities using the library’s collections. The public can view this work using portals that are similar to virtual reality. During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month from May 1 through 31, members of the public can follow maps to experience the five Hidden Portal sites around the U.S.

The five communities featured in Hidden Portals were selected because of their historic significance, as they witnessed how Chinese American and Korean American communities once thrived. They include: Providence, Rhode Island; Portland, Oregon; Hanford, California; Riverside, California; and Truckee, at Donner Pass Road and Spring Street.

Learn more and access the portals at libraryofcongress.github.io/seeing-lost-enclaves/portals

~ Library of Congress press release

Events Scheduled to Celebrate 20 Years of Art Hikes

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

Trails & Vistas is celebrating 20 years of Art Hikes that blend art experiences with being immersed in nature. Upcoming events will feature award-winning musicians, dancers, and installation artists working with this year’s theme, Elements. This is an invitation to unplug and create sensory experiences within nature. The Art Hikes start at the Summit Station of Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort and walk along a 2.7-mile single track moderate rated hiking trail through meadows and pine forests. 

Some upcoming events include:

  • Art Hikes, July 27 and 28: Visual and performance art accompany a 2- to 3-mile walking trail in the Sierra Nevada region. Participants select guided small group hikes. Art Hikes will be hosted by Royal Gorge/Truckee Donner Land Trust. 
  • Art in Nature student field trips, The Dreaming Tree, in September feature an interactive art hike along a nature trail showcasing professional musicians, storytelling, team building, visual art, and environmental studies designed for third grade students. The event will take place at Donner Memorial State Park and Sand Harbor State Park. 
  • World Concert, Aug. 7: Music in the Park will feature world music and dance at the Truckee Regional Park with music by SambaDa’ and Tsurunokai Taiko Drummers in celebration of Trails & Vistas’ 20th year.
  • Arte e Vistas: Trails & Vistas, along with Sunshine Tahoe and Christina Stoever Young, is supporting an invitation to create an international artist residency and castle art and architecture tour on Aug. 31 in Northern Italy.

Learn more about these and other events at trailsandvistas.org

~ Trails & Vistas press releases

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

NTBA Executive Director Terminated

KINGS BEACH

The North Tahoe Business Association Board of Directors announced that it has made the decision to terminate its executive director, Alyssa Reilly, for failing to follow the bylaws, policies, and procedures of the organization.

Through NTBA’s volunteer board’s review of financial statements and in communication with vendors the NTBA had contracted with, it came to attention that the organization’s bylaws, policies, and procedures were not being followed. The NTBA board took immediate action to launch an official investigation, involved the appropriate authorities, and is evaluating next steps for the organization.

The board is actively evaluating how to best support the North Tahoe business community and ensure planned events, like Music On the Beach, occur as planned this summer.

Updates will continue to be shared.

~ NTBA press release

Business Briefs

New Music Festival to Feature Sublime

TRUCKEE

Soaring Seven, an experiential company founded in Truckee, announced the first Truckee Music Fest in partnership with Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District. On Aug. 9 and 10, several artists will take the stage at the Riverview Sports Park. 

Friday night features multi-platinum singer/songwriter Kip Moore; Charles Kelley, founding member of country band Lady A; and A Thousand Horses, an American country music band.  

Saturday night’s headliner features Sublime, with Jakob Nowell, son of Sublime founder Bradley Nowell, as front man. He will be playing alongside his father’s original bandmates, Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson.  

“We are thrilled to be chosen as one of the few stages in 2024 that will feature Sublime,” said Stacey Larson, managing partner at Soaring Seven.

Saturday night also features Makua Rothman, world champion surfer and musician who brings the rhythmic island grooves of his native land, Hawaii; and G Love & Special Sauce. 

Tickets are available at truckeemusicfest.com, with several ticketing tiers available, including a pricing package for locals. Attendees are encouraged to ride bikes to the event. Those who do can take advantage of the free bike valet and will receive a $5 food/beverage incentive each day. Parking info is available on the website.

Doors open at 4 p.m. In addition to the festival, the event will have a food and spirit’s pavilion featuring specialty foods, shopping, and community outreach from local businesses.

~ Soaring Seven press release

Hospital to Lease Former Rite Aid; Winter Vehicle Recreation Land Designated; North Tahoe Trail Construction Moves Forward; Student Activists Win Award; More

News Briefs

Hospital Secures Lease at Former Rite Aid

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

Tahoe Forest Health System announced a secured long-term lease on the space formerly occupied by Rite Aid Truckee in the Gateway Center. The 21,000-square-foot building, located at 11230 Donner Pass Rd., has been vacant since Rite Aid closed its doors in December 2023.

“In our continuous pursuit to make health care convenient for our community, we are excited about the possibilities this new space opens up for us,” said Harry Weis, president and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “This building will give us greater flexibility in providing a larger array of servic

es to the public. And it has the additional benefit of being centrally located, with easy parking and access.”

Plans for the space have not yet been announced; however, the health system is working to determine which services will be most beneficial to the community at this location.

~ Tahoe Forest Health System press release

TDPUD Board Approves Electric Bill Credit for Customers

TRUCKEE

At Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s May board of directors meeting, the board approved an electric bill credit under the new Power Cost Adjustment rate, approved a water infrastructure project in Tahoe Donner, and held a workshop to review TDPUD’s new Emergency Operations Plan.

A Power Cost Adjustment rate option allows electric bills to reflect changes in electric resource procurement costs in order to adapt to short-term price changes in real time, without requiring a permanent rate change. The PCA is calculated and implemented quarterly and is a new line item on customers’ monthly bills.

During the first three months of 2024, power costs were about $325,500 less than TDPUD budgeted for, which will result in a credit to customers of $.0088 per kilowatt hour on their bill for May, June, and July. The exact credit amounts to an average residential credit of $7.36 per month.

Power costs were under budget due to lower prices on natural gas, landfill gas, and wind. Additionally, with this year’s mild winter, customers used less energy for heating than was anticipated. Under the PCA rate option, TDPUD doesn’t keep that overage in reserves. If there is a quarter where power costs exceed budget, the result is a subsequent overage charge for customers.

In other TDPUD news, the Ski Run water tank and pump station serve customers in the upper elevations of Tahoe Donner. This tank is 50 years old, and after inspection, rehabilitation was not recommended because the tank is undersized for the system’s current needs. It also does not meet current industry standards, which have changed since its construction. The cost of repair is close to the cost of replacement. Construction will begin this month and is anticipated to be completed in October.

TDPUD staff also presented the board with its new Emergency Operations Plan, which describes how TDPUD will respond in an emergency.

Information about TDPUD board meetings and access to agendas, minutes, live streaming, and archived video can be found at tdpud.org/boardmeetings.

~ TDPUD press release

Over 414,000 Acres Designated for Winter Vehicle Recreation 

NEVADA CITY

The Tahoe National Forest has designated 414,721 acres for winter over-snow vehicle use, including 373 miles of trails, of which up to 247 miles will be groomed for motorized recreation use. This designation will help to ensure the health and safety of all recreationists, prevent damage to natural and cultural resources and will protect threatened, endangered, and sensitive wildlife species. The decision has been finalized after several years of analysis, consultation with tribes, and robust public engagement with interested groups, individuals, and agencies.

Each forest designates over-snow use roads, trails, and areas. Designations also help to ensure the health and safety of all recreationists, prevent damage to natural resources, such as to water and soils, and protect wildlife, particularly those deemed endangered or threatened.  

OSV users can continue to recreate in popular wintertime areas on the Tahoe National Forest including Sierra Buttes/Lake Basin, Robinson Flat, Donner Summit, Yuba Pass, Carpenter Ridge, White Rock Lake, and more. 

Best management practices for water quality will be applied to minimize the impact of snowmelt runoff on road surfaces and mitigate adverse effects to soil, water quality, and riparian resources from OSV use. Additionally, OSV use will continue to be off limits in key deer winter range, important habitat for the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout population at Independence Lake,  and critical habitat areas for the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog. Use will also be limited in some areas of the forest to protect nearby historic structures. 

OSV designations will be implemented prior to the 2025 snow recreation season. More information on Tahoe National Forest’s Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation Project, including the final environmental impact statement, record of decision, and maps are available at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45914

~ Tahoe National Forest press release

Grant Awarded to Construct North Tahoe Trail Segment

NORTH TAHOE

Placer County’s North Tahoe shared-use trail was one of two projects awarded a community sustainability and climate resilience grant at the California Tahoe Conservancy Board meeting.

The project received $1.2 million for the construction of the first of three remaining segments. Segment 1 will connect North Tahoe Regional Park to Carnelian Bay with 2.52 miles of paved Class 1 shared-use trail. This new trail segment will expand the North Shore shared-use trail network and provide alternative transportation options.

“Our goal is to have more recreation opportunities and encourage people to get out of their personal vehicles,” said Placer County project manager Andy Deinken. “It’s one part of a larger effort to reduce traffic congestion throughout North Lake Tahoe.”

SHARED-USE TRAIL: The project received $1.2 million to build the first of three segments of the North Tahoe shared-use trail. Segment 1 will connect North Tahoe Regional Park to Carnelian Bay. Courtesy photo

The 8-mile connection between North Tahoe Regional Park and Tahoe City includes three remaining phases to be constructed. The first portion of the trail will begin construction at the park and head southwest up the ridge around the shale outcropping to offer views of Agate Bay. While multiple alternatives were considered, the trail’s current alignment offers the most protection for riders and pedestrians by avoiding main highways.

The trail will merge at Carnelian Bay Avenue, providing unpaved access north to Brockway Summit and a future connection west to the Dollar Creek Trail.

Since 2014, the trail has been reviewed by Placer County’s Board of Supervisors six times. This project has been highlighted at additional public meetings including one in March of 2022 to discuss the environmental review.

When complete, the North Tahoe shared-use trail will connect the North Shore communities of Tahoe Vista, Carnelian Bay, and Tahoe City. The trail is Placer County’s portion of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s plan for a continuous paved path circumnavigating Lake Tahoe.  

Learn more at placer.ca.gov/8884/north-tahoe-trail.

~ Placer County enews

Over $2 Million Approved for Projects

TAHOE CITY

Four investment projects in eastern Placer County, amounting to nearly $2.7 million, were approved by the Placer County Board of Supervisors to advance regional goals, including improved transportation and recreation.

Revenue from Tahoe’s Transient Occupancy Tax is being used to fund the projects, which were solicited, vetted, and recommended through the North Tahoe Community Alliance Board of Directors, the TOT committee, and the Capital Projects Advisory committee, and moved forward via the TOT-TBID Dollars at Work annual grant cycle.

The board approved a total of $2,680,000 in TOT funds for the following projects over the next year:

  • $250,000 for the North Tahoe Recreation Access Plan project led by Placer County in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to improve the existing infrastructure at the site located off Thelin Drive in Truckee
  • $2 million to construct Martis Valley Trail Segment 3F via the Northstar Community Services District, which will complete the trail from Northstar Castle Peak parking lots to the Village at Northstar
  • $400,000 to construct Phase 2 of the Tahoe Cross Country Lodge project overseen by the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association
  • $30,000 to construct North Tahoe Mountain Biking Trails/FS 73 Bypass via the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association in partnership with U.S. Forest Service to connect the bottom of the Antone Meadows area to the Whoop-de-doo Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail Painted Rock section.

Learn more about TOT funding and projects in North Lake Tahoe at placer.ca.gov/8199/transient-occupancy-tax.

~ Placer County press release

Student Activist Team Wins National Challenge

TRUCKEE

The Tahoe Youth Action Team, the youth division of the North Tahoe chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, won first place in CCL’s national Great School Electrification Challenge. This contest called for student groups to work to get their school district to pass a decarbonization resolution to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced from school buildings and operations.

“The Great School Electrification Challenge provides a framework for students to engage civically in their own communities. As the most important users of school buildings, students have both a unique stake and a unique power to advocate for change,” said Sharon Bagatell, CCL’s youth action coordinator.

At the beginning of 2023, TYAT, led by Truckee High School senior Keira Scott, made a strategic decision to convince the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District to increase its commitment to sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Shortly thereafter, CCL’s National Youth Action Team announced the Great School Electrification Challenge, which TYAT entered. Their work in drafting and presenting a  resolution to the TTUSD board and building community support for it was so skilled, respectful, and effective, they were invited to present to last June’s national CCL conference in Washington, D.C.  While there, Scott and junior Sophia Martin also lobbied Congress with 1,000 other CCL volunteers from around the country to urge strong legislative action on climate change.

TYAT students are continuing discussions with TTUSD on the goals of the proposed resolution. They urged the school district to create a dedicated sustainability director position, which the district has done. They are now planning to urge the sustainability director to undertake, with community input, a greenhouse gas inventory and a climate action and sustainability plan for the district.

~ North Tahoe Citizens’ Climate Lobby press release

Demonstration Shows Effectiveness of Wildfire Mitigation

ROSEVILLE

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, in collaboration with Cal Fire Office of the State Fire Marshal, showed the effectiveness of research-based wildfire mitigation during a live burn demonstration conducted as part of Wildfire Preparedness Week. 

Based on the latest research, IBHS’s Wildfire Prepared Home program provides a system of actions Californians can take to meaningfully reduce their home’s chance of ignition from embers, including creating defensible space.

The demonstration highlighted the importance of maintaining a noncombustible 5-foot buffer zone, termed Zone 0, around residential structures to mitigate the risk of ignition during wildfires.

Emphasizing the significance of this effort, IBHS CEO Roy Wright said, “While moving shrubs five feet from your home may not be the traditional method of landscaping, it provides the best opportunity to have a house to come home to when a wildfire comes through. It limits your exposure to embers. And the good news is there are attractive ways to do this so that homeowners can both mitigate their wildfire risk and maintain curb appeal.”

DEFENSIBLE SPACE: A recent demonstration showed the effectiveness of maintaining a noncombustible 5-foot buffer zone to prevent structure ignition. Courtesy photo

State Fire Marshal Chief Daniel Berlant further emphasized how this demonstration should encourage Californians to take steps to harden their homes and create defensible space around their property. “Although California received a substantial amount of rain this past winter, we must prepare ourselves for peak wildfire season now as the grass is already growing tall across the state. This demonstration showed how vulnerable a home can be and how much of a difference taking steps to prepare for wildfire can make,” he said. “Now is the time to prepare your home for peak wildfire season. A few quick steps to take include removing all combustible materials, like vegetation and mulch, within 5 feet of your home, clearing your roof and gutters of leaves and debris, and repairing holes or gaps greater than 1/8 inch in exterior siding, including vents.”

For more information on the importance of home hardening and defensible space, visit readyforwildfire.org. To learn more about Wildfire Prepared Home, visit wildfireprepared.org.

~ Cal Fire press release

Workforce Scholarships for In-Demand Careers

TRUCKEE

From May 15 through June 30, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation will accept applications for workforce scholarships. Applications are open to young adults pursuing in-demand careers, such as education, vocational career paths, aviation, and science, technology, engineering, and math, that benefit our region. All scholarships are awarded via a single online common application provided and facilitated by TTCF. Applicant eligibility and requirements can be found at ttcf.net.

Richard and Theresa Crocker provide substantial scholarship funds through TTCF to help students pursue careers in counseling, education, and more.

The S.H.E. Foundation Scholarship is for those pursuing a career in teaching or education. It offers scholarships to both high school seniors attending college for education ($15,000) and adults pursuing education or teaching via its workforce scholarship for $20,000.

The Steve Shippy Vocational Scholarship is for those pursuing vocational career paths; $20,000 is available for awards of at least $5,000 each.

YULISA MENDEZ, a Tahoe local, received a workforce scholarship to attend graduate school to become a bilingual counselor. Courtesy photo

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District Aviation/STEM Career Path Scholarship, of which $40,000 is available, aims to help those pursuing aviation and STEM careers.

Professional organizations and individuals can contribute by donating through TTCF’s workforce scholarship fund, a donor-advised fund, or by opening a scholarship fund. To learn more, email phyllis@ttcf.net.

~ Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation press release

Fentanyl Crisis Campaign Report

PLACER COUNTY

The Placer County 1 Pill Can Kill Placer campaign released its annual update reaffirming the county’s collective commitment to fighting the fentanyl crisis. Key campaign updates: 

  • Distribution of new opioid settlement funds countywide  
  • A new dedicated position to the District Attorney’s Community Outreach Unit to support continued education in schools and community 
  • Placer County Sheriff’s Office new Opioid Response Team dedicated to investigating fentanyl cases  
  • Placer DA’s Special Prosecutions Unit has filed five fentanyl death cases; three received convictions, two are pending  
  • Over 8,800 naloxone kits received from the state by Placer County organizations including health and human services, which is also expanding treatment infrastructure

The 1 Pill can Kill Placer campaign is an example of how collective partnerships with local public health, bereaved and grieving families, county agencies, local schools, community leaders, and law enforcement can help fight this crisis.  

To date, this effort has reached 17 high schools and 15 middle schools, has conducted 59 assemblies, and reached over 30,000 students. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office, committed to fighting the fentanyl epidemic, issued a public service announcement which has reached over 66,000 people.

Placer County is also expanding access to substance use treatment. Local organizations, including law enforcement, schools, and nonprofits, are providing Narcan through the state’s Naloxone Distribution Project, which provides free supplies to community organizations after they complete an application process.   

As the county works to address the demand side of the fentanyl crisis through education and prevention, it is equally critical to address the supply side through enforcement. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office’s newly formed Opioid Response Team, the Placer Special Investigations Unit, and the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Team have been critical in removing fentanyl from the streets and the supply destined for the community.   

Learn more about the campaign at 1pillcankillplacer.com.  Learn about the fentanyl crisis at placer.ca.gov/fightingfentanyl. To find a local location offering community distribution of naloxone, call 211.  

~ Placer County press release

Inaugural World Cultural Day Planned

OLYMPIC VALLEY

Creekside Charter School, a public TK through eighth-grade school in Olympic Valley, announced their inaugural World Culture Day celebration that will take place at Bar One at Palisades Tahoe on May 28 from 12 to 2:30 p.m.

WORLD CULTURE DAY: Creekside Charter School will host its inaugural World Culture Day celebration on May 28. Courtesy graphic

Aimee Suzara, a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer based in Oakland, is the event’s keynote speaker. She will speak about her heritage and the importance of culture and identity. 

Creekside students will also speak at the event about their heritage and culture:

  • Annika Shah, fourth grade, will speak about Indian culture
  • Isabel Olen Hernandez, fourth grade, will speak about Chilean culture
  • Sienna Milem (fourth grade) and Kelly Milem (kindergarten) will speak about Japanese culture
  • Roger Sievert, kindergarten, will speak about Filipino and Wisconsin culture

Participants can enjoy a Brazilian capoeira dance performance and class. Volunteer families will offer various food choices from all over the world, including India, Chile, Japan (tea ceremony), the Philippines, Brazil, and more. Students and families will also present cultural items at show-and-tell stations. A raffle will benefit the charter school. 

The goal is to increase knowledge about different cultures represented at the school. The hope is to offer this free event annually. The public is welcome to attend. 

~ TC

Chamber Mixer Partners With Old Greenwood, Barracuda

TRUCKEE

PUTT, PUTT: Old Greenwood will host the May Truckee Chamber of Commerce mixer in partnership with the Barracuda Championship. Courtesy photo

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce’s May networking mixer is set to take place on May 23 at the newly renovated event space at Timbers at Old Greenwood in partnership with the Barracuda Championship. 

Attendees can connect with community members, enjoy food and drinks, enter to win prizes, and test putting skills with Barracuda Championship’s golfing activities.

Attendance is free for chamber members and $10 for future members. RSVP at truckee.com to secure a spot. Bring business cards for networking and to participate in the door prize drawing.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Macias Brothers to Present at Envision Tahoe Talks

INCLINE VILLAGE

During the 2023 Envision Tahoe Venture Summit, entrepreneurial brothers Martin and David Macias generated rave reviews for their breakout session focused on the challenges and achievements they experienced while entering the workforce, working in the building trades, finding a market need, and launching their business, Macias Power Washing Solutions.

THE MACIAS BROTHERS, Martin Macias (left) and David Macias, will speak at the next Envision Tahoe event at Alibi Ale Works in Incline Village. Courtesy graphic

The brothers will share their story during an Envision Tahoe Talk at Alibi Ale Works in Incline Village on June 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition to reflecting on their professional path, the Macias brothers will discuss the barriers and opportunities for Spanish-speaking residents in the community. Register at tahoeprosperity.kindful.com/e/envision-tahoe-talks-2.

~ Tahoe Prosperity press release

Environmental Document Publishing Moving to Digital Format

AUBURN

Placer County will no longer print paper copies of environmental review documents that have traditionally been available at county offices and libraries for public review. The county will transition to an all-electronic publishing format beginning May 15.

The change will help Placer County reduce the use of paper, reduce costs, and potentially speed up the release of important documents.

Placer County residents interested in reviewing California Environmental Quality Act documents, including negative declarations, mitigated negative declarations, notices of preparation/initial study checklists, draft environmental impact reports, and final environmental impact reports, can access them on the Environmental Coordination Services page on the county’s website at placer.ca.gov/2479/environmental-coordination-services.

The documents can also be accessed via computer kiosks at Community Development Resource Agency offices in Auburn and Tahoe, the county clerk-recorder’s offices in Rocklin and Auburn, and at all county libraries. 

Hard copies can be purchased from Environmental Coordination Services. The current cost is 50 cents for the first page and 25 cents for each additional page.

~ Placer County press release

Contractors Organization Offers Members Retirement Plan

TRUCKEE

The Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe announced a partnership with 401GO and Western Level Advisors to provide 401(k) solutions to its California and Nevada members.

Through this partnership, CATT members will gain access to a range of bundled 401(k) solutions, access to 116 competitive investment options, enrollment support, employee education, and a dedicated relationship manager. CATT members will be able to establish a custom, confidential 401(k) plan tailored to their business and employee profile.

“We are excited to partner with CATT and 401GO and offer a low cost, accessible retirement plan solution for small businesses in the Truckee Tahoe region,” said Jon Fritzinger, founder of Western Level Advisors.

For more information, visit ca-tt.com or contact Jon Fritzinger at jon@westernlevel.com.

~ CATT press release

Awards Dinner to Celebrate Trails, Volunteers

TAHOE CITY

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association announced the annual awards dinner an event celebrating the accomplishments of 2023 and setting the stage for the 2024 trail season. Held at Granlibakken Tahoe, the gathering will be one of camaraderie, recognition, and festivities.

On May 18 from 4 to 7:30 p.m., the awards dinner will welcome all stewards of Lake Tahoe, including hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. It’s a time to honor the dedication of volunteers who tirelessly contribute to maintaining and enhancing the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the trails community, participate in a trail-themed silent auction, and hear from guest speaker, Liz Thomas, a triple crown thru-hiker and friend of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Tickets are $55 for TRTA members and $65 for non-members. All ticket and auction proceeds will be directed towards operations and maintaining the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Secure your tickets at tahoerimtrail.org/event/awards-dinner

~ Tahoe Rim Trail Association press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Sierra State Parks Foundation New Executive Director

TAHOE CITY

MICHAEL MYERS is the new executive director of the Sierra State Parks Foundation. Photo courtesy Michael Myers

The Sierra State Parks Foundation Board of Directors has named Michael Myers as the new executive director.

Myer’s background in collaborating with government agencies and nonprofit partners and promoting inclusive stewardship will help to further advance the mission of the organization that is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Myers will manage operations for the foundation and park (visitor centers and historic house tours), fundraising programs, and will coordinate projects in progress with state parks.

Myers served as executive director for Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy in Virginia and Friends of Black Rock-High Rock in Nevada. He began as a conservation, development, and outreach coordinator (AmeriCorps member) with the Friends of Black Rock-High Rock and rose to an executive position after gaining a master of nonprofit management. In addition, he is a certified interpretive naturalist and an avid birder. Myers’ combination of fundraising skills and understanding of public lands space is the perfect fit for the Sierra State Parks Foundation.

For more information about the Sierra State Parks Foundation, visit sierrastateparks.org.

~ Sierra State Parks Foundation press release

CEO Retires

PLACER COUNTY

After more than three decades of service with a number of local government agencies spanning the West Coast, Placer County Executive Officer Jane Christenson announced her retirement, which went into effect on May 4.  

Christenson was first hired by Placer County in January 2019 as the assistant county executive officer and then promoted to county executive officer in November 2022. She has been instrumental in moving forward the county’s strategic initiatives and facilitating interdepartmental communication and coordination. 

While next steps are being evaluated by the board of supervisors, Daniel Chatigny, will continue to serve as the acting CEO.

~ Placer County press release

Reno Jazz Orchestra New Music Director

RENO

Dr. Greg Johnson was selected as the Reno Jazz Orchestra’s new music director. “After having four music director candidates lead the Reno Jazz Orchestra, we chose Greg Johnson to be our new music director,” said board president Chuck Reider, who led the orchestra as its music and executive director for 16 years. “He is a gifted composer, arranger, director, and saxophonist.”

Molly Rose Lewis, regional representative and healthcare manager for U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen, presented Johnson with a Certificate of Congressional Commendation at the introduction ceremony in recognition of his new commitment to the arts and culture community of Northern Nevada. She also commended the Reno Jazz Orchestra for its 27 years of legendary performances and youth jazz education programs.

Johnson grew up in Pennsylvania near Penn State University. His grandmother, Kim Kimberly, was a big band singer who worked with Mel Tormé, an American musician and singer.

NEW JAZZ DIRECTOR: Reno Jazz Orchestra’s new director, Greg Johnson (left), and Tim Young, RJO executive director (right), receive Certificates of Congressional Commendation from Molly Rose Lewis, regional representative and healthcare manager for U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen. Courtesy photo

Johnson knew he wanted music to be his life early on. To hone his craft, he attended the University of Northern Colorado and received his doctorate at the University of Southern California. His distinctive saxophone sound has found its way into multiple genres of jazz, classical, and popular music. As a saxophonist, Johnson has appeared in concerts and on over 40 mainstream recordings with jazz artists Curtis Fuller, Billy Taylor, Bob Mintzer, and more. He has released seven recordings under his name and has contributed dozens more.

Johnson has a new album, The Naked Truth, slated for release in July 2024, featuring a nonet. He is also a dynamic teacher of ensembles and improvisation and has kept an active schedule as a clinician and guest composer/saxophonist. He is praised for his relatable, organic approach to music. 

Johnson believes that diversity is what makes jazz fun to listen to, that you do not need to understand music to enjoy it, and that musicians must be community members.

~ Reno Jazz Orchestra press release