What Is The Pole Pedal Paddle Bend & Why You Should Go

The festive Pole Pedal Paddle in 2016

Ah, spring – the season of surprises! It’s a golden opportunity for multi-sport activities: skiing, climbing, running, hiking, biking… even kayaking! And there’s no event that captures this spirit better than the Pole, Pedal, Paddle. While there are a few of these events across the nation, one of our favorites is the Selco Pole Pedal Paddle in Bend.

Inspired By Jackson Hole

Held every late May, it was started by Jenny and Dave Sheldon back in 1975, inspired by a similar event in their original town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While Jackson Hole’s version was cancelled in 2023 due to weening popularity, Bend’s version has grown immensely over four decades, attracting a huge following.

What Is It?

Old Mill District in Bend on a cloudy winter's day
Walking into the Old Mill District – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

Finishing up with a party in the Old Mill District not too far from the Riverbend Park, this annual tradition is the BIGGEST event of the year for the area. Over 10,000 people descend upon Bend to taste everything the region has to offer in the Pole Pedal Paddle Bend event. It starts on the snow-covered slopes of Mt. Bachelor and flows downhill finishing up on the Deschutes River. Depending on how fit you are, you can either attempt to do all six legs or enjoy it as a team relay race.

Keep It Mellow Or Get After It

One of the main reasons why it’s so popular is the flexibility of how you can enjoy the Pole Pedal Paddle Bend race. If you’re a fierce competitor or just a soul surfer, it can be an easy jog or a strenuous workout. It’s all up to you. Based on that, the course can take anywhere from an hour and 45 minutes to four hours.

Team Category Options

team at the Selco Pole, Pedal, Paddle event
Image appears courtesy: Mt Bachelor Sports Education Foundation

In regards to team categories, there’s a LOT to choose from. If you’re in it for a chance to win a cash prize, the Elite Individual category is the one for you. It’s the only category with cash prizes, which are $1,000, $500, and $250. The next option is a two-person team. Your team can be all female, all male, or coed. These two person crews will have one person per leg, with each member alternating. If you’re looking for a more intense experience and still only two people, check out the tandem category. While some of the legs you’ll be able to alternate, there are some that you must do together like using a tandem bike or a two-person kayak. To keep the races more competitive for everyone, another unique two-team category is the Clydesdale pair. Each member must weigh a certain amount:

  • Males must weight 200 lbs.
  • Women must weight 160 lbs.

Last, but not least is the most popular – the team race. Each crew must include three to seven members (there are six legs, but you can have two people in a canoe or one in a kayak).

How It Works

nordic skiing segment at Mt Bachelor for the Pole Pedal Paddle Bend race
Image taken by: Stephen Badger


Compared to other pole, pedal, paddle races, this one doesn’t have just three legs but a whopping six categories. They are as follows:

1 Alpine Ski

This leg starts at the top of Mt. Bachelor’s Red Chair, sprinting uphill then skiing down the LeeWay run.

2 Cross-Country Ski

The XC is an 6 km skate ski and goes to Mt. Bachelor’s Nordic Lodge parking area.

3 Bike

Biking consists of a 22 mile beautiful ride into Bend along Century Drive.

4 Run

This leg is a 5 mile, single track trail run along the Deschutes River and starts at the Athletic Club.

5 Canoe/Kayak

The water portion goes downstream 1/2 mile, then upstream for a mile to the NEW take-out point at Farewell Bend Park, on the opposite side of the river.

6 Sprint

The last segment is a 0.4 mile sprint that crosses over the bridge that connects Farewell to Riverbend and finishes at the Riverbend park.

Why You Should Go

corn snow at Mt Bachelor in May
Corn is ready for harvest off of the peak at Mt Bachelor – Photo by: Local Freshies®

We’ll let you in on a secret – skiing in April or May could be the best-kept secret in the ski industry! While the crowds flock to the mountains during mid-winter, true mountain enthusiasts know that this is the ideal time to visit. If you’re anywhere near the Pacific Northwest, we urge you to stop by not to just cheer these people on but actually get a few laps on Mt. Bachelor.

Skiing in May on this dormant volcano isn’t just good, it’s phenomenal! In fact, it’s home to what might be considered the BEST corn snow on the planet. So, slap on some slush wax, grab your decks and head to Bend for what most of us will call the final hurrah. If you want to learn the in’s & outs of skiing in spring, what gear to bring, & why it’s our favorite time to go on a ski vacation, check out our comprehensive spring skiing guide. And for those that want to be more of an active participant, check out the registration link below.

Event Details:

When: May 18th, 2024
Where: Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort and Bend, OR
Registration: PPP Bend Website


The post What Is The Pole Pedal Paddle Bend & Why You Should Go appeared first on Local Freshies.

Going Cog Wild For Bend Oregon Mountain Biking

Mountain Biker overlooking the Tumalo Creek canyon in Bend Oregon

As the sun rose across the high desert, a day brimming with adventure awaited us. Bend has been a long-time favorite of ours for spring skiing, consistently surpassing our expectations including numerous powder days even in late April. This time, however, we were about a different kind of outdoor fun: Bend Oregon Mountain Biking. Would it be as fun as the skiing? We were about to find out.

Tetherow – Gateway to the High Country

Typically when we visit Bend, we stay near the Old Bend neighborhood. It gives us the opportunity to ride bikes or walk to dinner and get a cold brew. However this time, we opted for a change and booked a spot that was closest to Mt. Bachelor and the high country – Tetherow Hotel. Among the newer properties in Bend, we soon discovered during our stay that this wasn’t just any ordinary lodging. It was multi-award winning. Countless publications, including Conde Nast Traveler, have showered it with accolades, ranking it as the No. 1 Resort in the Pacific Northwest and the No. 28 Resort in the World.

What Makes it Special

I’m always skeptical about awards. Is it really THAT good? Immediately at check-in it became evident that their attention to detail is what puts it above other places. Instead of a conventional front desk experience, we were warmly welcomed and guided to luxurious chairs to comfortably discuss our stay. Then there are the rooms. It felt like I was entering a grand suite instead of a typical hotel room. The spacious entryway provided ample room for storing shoes and gear. The living area boasted a high-quality king-size mattress for a restful night’s sleep, along with a Nespresso machine for coffee enthusiasts. They even thoughtfully provided to-go cups in the room. Adding to the charm, a balcony offered picturesque views overlooking the Audubon Society golf course.

Early Start

Wild birds enjoying the Audubon Society golf course at Tetherow
Quail and Chuckers giving their approval of the Aubudon Society Golf Course – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

Sipping on a freshly brewed coffee from the Nespresso machine, we soaked in the breathtaking scenery. In the gentle glow of dawn, the golf course teemed with quail and chuckers. The chuckers resembled plump chickens frolicking about. Beyond, the distant peaks of the Cascades beckoned. It was our destination for the day. After a swift breakfast at the lodge, we loaded our gear into the truck and zipped across the road to our shuttle pickup point.

Pulling around the LOGE Bend, we reached the rear of the property where Cog Wild operates. Renowned as the top choice for mountain biking shuttles in the area, we later realized the shuttle was so close we could have easily biked there from Tetherow.

Meeting Our Guide

Cog Wild information booth at their offices in Bend Oregon
Basecamp for Cog Wild in Bend Oregon – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

In the stillness of the morning, we peeked around the buildings to locate our contact. Inside a converted ocean container, boasting floor-to-ceiling glass panels, stood a petite, blonde woman with pigtails. With an enthusiastic smile, she greeted us, her voice tinged with a subtle accent, “Hi! Can I help you?”

Our Free Spirit of the Mountains

We let her know that we were here for a guided tour. “Ah, you’re my group today! I’m Pia.” With a firecracker persona, her small but fit frame was a testament that she spends a lot of time outdoors having fun. We soon learn that she’s been with the company for over thirteen years. In fact, the longest serving guide they have.

European Born But Worldly

Pia pointing out our next trail we’re about to hit – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

A Danish woman, she’s been everywhere. She spent time in Maui when it was but a surfing village. Before mainlanders built multi-million-dollar homes. When it was a place where locals lived off the avocados, bananas, and taro. As changes swept, she decided it was time to move on and lived everywhere from Boston, Vail, Hood River, Bellingham, Costa Rica, and Paris. While she experimented with the urban life, it never quite fit her.

Bend Came Calling

She finally set roots in Bend and has been here for more than two decades. Although it didn’t have the best skiing or the best mountain biking, it offered everything at her fingertips. And most of all, a strong community to raise her son.

Dutchman Flat or Swampy Lakes

Biker putting on his bike on the Cog Wild Shuttle in Bend Oregon
Putting on the bikes for the Cog Wild Shuttle – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

As she set us up with Santa Cruz bikes to demo, she asked how long of a day we wanted in the saddle. We could start up near Dutchman Flat across the street from Mt Bachelor for a full day or pick a more leisurely tour and begin at Swampy Lakes. After two BIG days of more than 2,500 vert of climbing in Hood River, we needed a sip of fun instead of diving headfirst into another full-throttle adventure.

Overview of our Route for the Day


Last In, First Out

Joined by a few other cycling adventurers, our van swiftly exited the parking lot and ascended towards our destination. Among us were a handful of Europeans and even a couple from Texas. While the others were bound for the summit, we started our day at the Swampy Lake Trailhead. Pia mentioned that this trailhead is a great option if the snow hasn’t melted at higher elevations.

As we pedaled away from the trailhead, the air was crisp and invigorating, with a slight hint of chilliness. The damp, tacky dirt beneath our tires offered a reassuring note that today was going to be fun. We began with a brisk ascent up a fire road, leading us to the entrance of South Fork, one of the area’s more technically challenging trails.

Although the trail system boasts clear signage, making it easy for you to navigate, first timers may want to opt for a guide otherwise you’ll miss out on the unique sights along the way. From changes in vegetation due to elevation to breathtaking views of the Cascades, these hidden gems you will not find on your own.

South Fork

mountain biker on South Fork trail near Bend Oregon
Some of the fun switch backs on South Fork Trail – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

With around 1,100 feet of descent over three miles, South Fork ranks among the more challenging trails in the Bend Mountain Biking trail system. Throughout its steepish descent, you’ll find a swoopy banked slalom flow with roots and even a few rocky segments to enjoy. There’s also a raised wooden walkway that goes across a marshy section, adding an extra touch of adventure to the trail. However, the standout feature of South Fork is undoubtedly a cut log serving as a bridge, spanning a creek more than six feet below.

Note: Mid-summer, this trail is very buggy but great for the spring and fall.

Don’t Miss the Falls

Tumalo Falls on a beautiful fall day
Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

No matter how you design your Bend Mountain Biking adventure, there’s one must-see attraction that should always be on your itinerary – Tumalo Falls. Situated off North Fork, these impressive falls are accessible by bike, and if time permits, you can even complete a full loop around them. Just be prepared for a challenging ascent to reach the top. After soaking in the beauty of the falls, we hopped onto our next trail.


While the Bend Mountain Biking shuttle bike ride provides a slow descent back to town, there’s one segment that does feature climbs to access the next segment of the trail system – Skyliner.

It kicks off with a punchy rock-strewn climb as if it was an old-school roller coaster ratcheting up to the first drop. After a quick downhill reprieve, it transitions back to a steady 4-mile ascent. Though not steep, it’s interspersed by enjoyable downhill sections, giving riders a chance to catch their breath before the next climb.

We Learn When to Visit

As we sat on a log, enjoying the mouthwatering sandwiches provided with our tour, Pia mentioned that while many visitors flock to Bend in the summer, the prime time to enjoy its mtb trails is in the fall. Gone are the crowds and scorching dusty days. It’s then replaced by cooler temperatures and pristine trail conditions. This is Pia’s favorite season. A chance for her to seize the day. While her summer schedule doesn’t afford her many days off, tomorrow she’s gearing up for a big ride in the high country – from Dutchman’s Flat to Sisters. A hefty 40-mile journey with nearly 4,000 feet of climbing ahead.

Surfer At Heart

We discover that Pia’s true joy lies in spending time outdoors, whether it’s for work or pleasure. From skiing during the winter and spring to surfing and mountain biking in the summer and fall, she embraces each season’s activities. And yet surfing holds a special place in her heart, and she makes it a priority to visit the coast as often as possible.

Bend’s Signature Trail – Whoops

As we hop back on our bikes, we swiftly notice the landscape transforming from the lush high country near Mt. Bachelor, with its hardy pines and rich soil, to the rock-strewn, arid trails ahead. This marks the beginning of Bend’s signature trail – Whoops. Rolling and rocking the low angle terrain allows you to pick your speed based on either coasting or pedaling. It’s a bit of MTB Enduro blended with BMX style features. Tabletops, banked turns and even pump sections that you can float big airs over. Yet, it’s designed to be enjoyable for riders of all skill levels, with no mandatory obstacles to contend with.

Phil’s Our Favorite

Crafted by Phil Meglasson back in the mid-1980s, he stumbled upon it while exploring the area. What began as a single game trail has since evolved into a multi-option network, allowing riders to either bypass or tackle certain challenging sections. The highlight of Phil’s for us was navigating the enjoyable mini rock garden features, rated as blue, that wind through a canyon. Though there are expert features like Chicken Rock Pile, they require some hunting to find.

Chicken Rock Pile on the Phil's trail network in Bend Oregon
The name fits! The Chicken Rock pile – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

After a day of riding, we relaxed with some cold brews, reflecting on the day’s adventures, our bikes, and our life aspirations. While Pia will always consider Bend home, her restless spirit constantly craves wanderlust. Together with her partner, they dream of finding a place where they can indulge in warm-water surfing, mountain biking, and skiing—a challenging combination to find in one location. With big smiles, we bid each other farewell, hoping our paths will cross again in the future, whether on singletrack or the skin track.

The Rundown of Bend’s Mountain Bike Trail Network

bend mountain biking the C.O.D. mtb trail in Bend Oregon
Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

Describing Bend’s mountain biking scene as “big” is an understatement. With over 600 miles of trails in the region, expanding to more than 900 miles when you include Oak Ridge and other outlying areas, the scale is impressive. All of these trails are managed by a single organization – the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA). Even our “short” ride from Swampy Lakes encompassed over 22 miles and boasted more than 3,100 vertical feet of descent.

Shuttle Area

Bend’s shuttle offers an ideal solution for those that are just getting into mountain biking and want to make that big leap out to a larger tour. The shuttle access points are situated to the west, within the national forests between town and Mt. Bachelor. The natural topography facilitates descent and makes it a bit easier to navigate.

Ticket to Ride Loop

Based at Tetherow, it made it easy for us to go for a morning ride the next day before we left. There are a bunch of quick hits you can enjoy but the nice XC loop called Ticket To Ride had some fun rolling terrain that a first timer would love and an intermediate would enjoy.

The post Going Cog Wild For Bend Oregon Mountain Biking appeared first on Local Freshies.

Breaking down the stigma of addiction

It’s likely you or someone close to you has been affected by addiction. In fact, one in seven Americans aged 12 or older reports experiencing a substance use disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Addiction is not a personal failing or something to be ashamed of; it’s a health condition that requires treatment just like other health conditions. Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their use of substances like drugs, alcohol, or medications.

When people use substances, the brain is flooded with chemicals that take over the brain’s reward system and can cause them to repeat behaviors that feel good, but aren’t healthy. The desire to recreate those powerful rewards can create an irresistible craving that feels necessary to function, resulting in repeated use.

There is not a single driving factor that leads to addiction, though some carry a predisposition and are at a higher risk of becoming addicted. Others may use drugs or alcohol recreationally or to cope with stress, trauma, chronic pain, or other health-related issues, then become dependent on those substances.

Addiction is difficult to discuss with others, as it is commonly associated with feelings of shame, guilt, or failure. Around 80% of people suffering from addiction never seek or receive substance use disorder treatment.

Breaking down the stigma of addiction and showing support and understanding is one of the most important things we can do to help people get treatment. As a family member or friend, let them know they are not alone in their journey — being present in the person’s life can help curb feelings of isolation and loneliness associated with substance use.

The language we use is also a powerful tool. Like diabetes or arthritis, substance use disorder is a health issue and should be approached as such. Words like “addict” or “user” should be avoided because they are stigmatized, and being defined as such is a proven barrier to an individual’s motivation to receive care or treatment. Instead, non-labeling terms and phrases such as “struggles with addiction” and “substance use disorder” are supportive terms that show respect to people with addiction and their families who are impacted.

Treatment and recovery will look different for every person. There are many treatment options including inpatient and outpatient care, in-person counseling, and telehealth support in both group and individual settings. Depending on the treatment plan, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapy may be prescribed.

The return of a disease or the signs and symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement, often called relapse or recurrence, is always a possibility and should be approached with care. Recurrence may be a sign that more treatment or a different treatment method is needed. One’s treatment plan may need frequent review to determine whether another method could be more effective.

Substance use is a disease, not a moral failing. The recovery journey will be different for every person, and there is no shame in seeking treatment. If you or someone you know needs help for substance use, talk to a healthcare professional. Everyone can play a role to help their loved ones recover from substance use disorder.

Azzy Soave is a certified Substance Use Navigator with Barton Health, providing evidence-based treatment for substance use with support of the California Bridge program. For more information about the Barton Health Medication Assisted Treatment program, visit BartonHealth.org/MAT.

A message from the Keep Community First coalition


Housing affordability is a serious concern for South Lake Tahoe, but the proposed residential Vacancy Tax won’t do anything meaningful to help address this challenge for our community. On many levels, it will do a lot more harm than good. Please read on.


A Vacancy Tax won’t increase the housing supply since existing homeowners won’t make their homes available to rent for six months at time while preserving time to use their homes during prime periods of the year. Similarly, renters typically don’t want to rent for just six months or a partial year and then have to move. In our opinion, the proponent’s claims that the Vacancy Tax will make more housing available are clearly false.


For those homes subject to the potential tax, there is no guarantee in the measure that a future city council would use any of the money collected, estimated at $34 million, to develop affordable housing. The city does not have the best track record of spending money for the purposes promised to voters. It is often easier to make promises then to keep them.


Even if the tax were to work as proponents claim, little if any affordable housing would actually be constructed, certainly in any timely manner. The fact is that developing affordable housing at Lake Tahoe remains a complex and time-consuming process. Land costs are high and the environmental requirements add significantly to both the complexity and timeline. Even projects like Sugar Pine Village, which we actively supported and for which the State of California donated the land, has taken years to develop. Our locally-based coalition and most South Tahoe residents support more affordable housing. The proponents “pie in the sky” hope that simply infusing money will change reality is neither realistic nor true.


The ballot initiative highlights the costly bureaucracy the city would need to establish to continually investigate who is subject to the tax and to enforce and collect the tax. The city will also incur significant legal defense costs as, if the initiative should be approved by voters, most everyone expects the unfair, unjust and illegal tax to be litigated. The administrative and legal defense costs will be paid by the city (and taxpayers) and will be the first call on tax revenue. This will be a financial drain on the city as well as reduce any “new” money for affordable housing.


The proposed Vacancy Tax is unfair to many members of our community. It treats all second/vacation homes the same, whether it be a small condo, a home that a middle-class family scrimped and saved for years to afford, or a larger home used periodically by families.

Fundamentally, at its core, the Vacancy Tax is taxation without representation.

Families who own second homes in South Lake Tahoe appreciate their opportunity to be part of the fabric of our community. They contribute to the financial well-being and sustainability of our city, our special districts, local businesses and help keep many of our residents employed.

These are the core reasons our Coalition is actively opposing the proposed residential Vacancy Tax.

Keep Community First

Steve Teshara, Tahoe Chamber; South Tahoe Restaurant Association

Duane Wallace, South Tahoe Chamber

Sharon Kerrigan, South Tahoe Association of Realtors

Jerry Bindel, South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association

Joby Cefalu, Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association

Mountain chickadees have remarkable memories. A new study explains why

RENO, Nevada — Lost your keys? Misplaced your glasses? Can’t remember where you parked the car? You may wish you had the memory of a mountain chickadee.

In warmer months, these half-ounce birds, with brains slightly larger than a pea, stash tens of thousands of food items like seeds in tree bark, in lichens and crevices on the tree branches across the mountains. When winter arrives, they can recall the exact locations of their caches, a skill that helps them survive the bitter cold and deep snow.

In a new study published on April 17 in the journal Current Biology, researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno and CU Boulder identify nearly a hundred genes associated with the birds’ spatial memory, or ability to recall the locations of objects. The paper also suggests a potential trade-off may exist between having a solid long-term memory and being able to quickly ditch old memories to form new ones.

The findings could help biologists better understand the evolution of spatial memory in animals, including humans.

Vladimir Pravosudov is a professor of biology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and has studied the chickadees in the Sierra Nevada for 25 years.

“Using a field system of testing spatial learning in memory in wild birds we’ve been using for many years, we teamed up with collaborators to parse out which genes might influence how well a chickadee can learn and remember spatial locations,” Pravosudov said.

To evaluate the spatial memory of wild mountain chickadees, Pravosudov’s team designed a clever test. They hung multiple feeder arrays, each with eight bird feeders with seeds in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Each feeder has a gate with a radio frequency reader that can detect a tag researchers put on chickadees. The team then programmed each of the eight gates to only open to certain birds, so that the chickadees had to remember the location of the correct feeders that would open to them.

Pravosudov and his team then measured the birds’ spatial memory by counting how many times each chickadee landed on the wrong feeders before they recalled the right one – birds with better spatial memory have a lower error rate.

Using blood samples, the team at CU Boulder also sequenced the entire genomes of 162 tagged chickadees that have been tested for their spatial learning and memory ability using the smart feeder arrays, creating the largest dataset ever collected for evaluating the genetic basis of chickadee cognitive ability. By comparing the birds’ genomes with their performance on the feeder test, the team identified 97 genes associated with chickadees’ spatial learning and memory. Birds with specific genetic variants at these genes made fewer wrong attempts before landing on their designated feeders compared to those without them.

A large proportion of these genetic variants are associated with neuron formation in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s responsible for learning and memory, according to Sara Padula, a co-author on the paper and a Ph.D. student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU Boulder.

“Understanding the genetic basis of this trait will allow us to understand how the trait evolves,” Scott Taylor, the director of CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station and associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, said.

According to Taylor, the common ancestor of all North American chickadees cached food. But of the seven species of chickadees now found in North America, two do not cache food.

“They live in a milder environment where food is generally available year-round. Now that we know the gene regions that underlie spatial memory, we can look at what variation looks like in these species that have lost caching,” Taylor said.

“This study substantially advanced our understanding of the genetics of spatial memory in birds and behavioral genetics more broadly,” said Georgy Semenov, the paper’s co-author and a research associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

A trade-off

Chickadees that have exceptional spatial memory can live up to eight or nine years, which is a long time for a small bird, Taylor said. But having good long-term memory may come at a price.

After running the initial task for a few days, Pravosudov’s research team assigned new feeders to the birds to test how well birds can learn new locations after they have been consistently rewarded at a different feeder, a test usually used to assess cognitive flexibility.

Interestingly, chickadees from harsher higher elevations seemed to always perform worse on this ‘reversal’ test despite having better spatial learning and memory abilities compared to birds from lower and milder elevations. They seemed to have a harder time abandoning their initial memories and creating new ones.

“In a more variable environment, what our collaborators found suggests that chickadees with good long-term memory may have a disadvantage,” Padula said. 

A shifting climate

Like many other habitats, mountains experience rapid changes in climate characterized by more rapid shifts between extreme drought and extreme snowfall and it is not clear how birds can adapt to such changes and how such changes may affect memory ability.

“Because of climate change, we might expect these selective pressures that have been shaping chickadee’s special memory for thousands of years to shift significantly. Understanding the genetic basis of the trait will allow us to track changes in their genomes over time,” Taylor said.

“Tracking genetic changes associated with spatial cognition will allow us to better understand the evolutionary process associated with climate change,” Pravosudov said.

Pravosudov will continue to work with Taylor’s group at CU Boulder. The team has already set up the same experiment in the Rocky Mountains, where another population of mountain chickadees resides that has been evolving independently from the chickadees in the Sierra Nevada for the last million years.

The researchers will also look specifically at genes associated with spatial memory and learning to understand how frequencies of certain versions of a gene, or alleles, related to cognitive abilities change over the years with differing climates.

“We can test if selection for certain alleles is stronger in snow years and weaker in drought years, and also see changes throughout many years,” Pravosudov said.

Using these methods, the researchers will be able to study climate-related evolutionary processes by focusing specifically on cognition and genes underlying cognition.

“We have a beautiful model we can use to study evolution of cognition in our mountainous backyards,” Pravosudov said.

The University of Nevada, Reno is a public research university that is committed to the promise of a future powered by knowledge. Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University serves 21,000 students. The University is a comprehensive, doctoral university, classified as an R1 institution with very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Additionally, it has attained the prestigious “Carnegie Engaged” classification, reflecting its student and institutional impact on civic engagement and service, fostered by extensive community and statewide collaborations. More than $800 million in advanced labs, residence halls and facilities has been invested on campus since 2009. It is home to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Wolf Pack Athletics, maintains a statewide outreach mission and presence through programs such as the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Small Business Development Center, Nevada Seismological Laboratory, and is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Through a commitment to world-improving research, student success and outreach benefiting the communities and businesses of Nevada, the University has impact across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.

Television Star and Restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump Hosts Grand Opening of Wolf by Vanderpump at Harveys Lake Tahoe

STATELINE, Nev. – Friday nigh, April 19, television star and restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump hosted a wild and star-studded opening of her latest restaurant in partnership with Caesars Entertainment, Wolf by Vanderpump at Harveys Lake Tahoe.  To commemorate the occasion, the television icon surprised guests with an extravagant “white carpet” arrival alongside her dog, Marky, as they made their way into the venue where guests were treated to a taste of the stunning new restaurant. 

Vanderpump was joined by some of her famous friends, including fellow Bravo TV star Garcelle Beauvais, as well as “Drag Race” star Trixie Mattel, singer Leona Lewis and actors Jesse Bradford and Andrea Watrouse. The cast from Vanderpump’s latest show, “Vanderpump Villa,” also joined the celebration. 

“We are so excited to open Wolf in stunning Lake Tahoe,” said Vanderpump. “Wolf is visually so different from any of my other restaurants and has become a passion project for both me and my design partner, Nick Alain. We are delighted to take elements from the incredibly beautiful locale and incorporate them into the aesthetic – it’s bold, playful and luxurious – everything a wolf is and more. We can’t wait for guests to get the full Wolf experience.”  

Designed by Vanderpump and long-time design partner Nick Alain, Wolf by Vanderpump immerses guests in the majestic beauty of Lake Tahoe. Dominated by bold statements, the furniture and light fixtures are custom-made by Vanderpump and Alain’s celebrated design line, Vanderpump Alain. The stunning 47-foot marble top bar, the longest bar in Lake Tahoe, is adorned with bespoke brass lamps and dominated by two oversized white marble wolves coming out of iron cages in the center. The grand room boasts two massive water features with stone columns topped with glistening icicles trickling with water, embracing the nature of Lake Tahoe while enjoying the luxury of the Vanderpump experience.

“It has been a pleasure to watch this space transform into this gorgeous restaurant and a true honor to work with Lisa and Nick to help bring their vision to life,” said Karie Hall, SVP and General Manager of Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe. “Wolf by Vanderpump is an incredible addition to our offerings at Harveys and further elevates us as a culinary hotspot in Lake Tahoe.” 

The cocktail menu, created by Vanderpump family mixologist Pandora Vanderpump Sabo, features never-before-seen creations that will only be available at Wolf, including the signature Sheep’s Clothing, a jalapeño vodka and strawberry martini with notes of lime and jalapeño honey and a fluff of cotton candy featuring 18-karat edible gold flakes on top, the Huff & Puff, a blood orange old fashioned served in a unique sculptured wolf decanter with a touch of smoke and the Bitch in Heat, a cactus ancho chili margarita served with chargrilled shishito peppers. 

The menu features bold classic dishes with a playful twist, elevating comfort food for a delicious and decadent experience. The menu begins with playful appetizers like the Wolf Signature Bread stuffed with pull-apart herb and cheese, hickory smoked cornflake crusted Bourbon Chicken Wings, and Lobster Crisps and continues with hearty dishes like Ken’s Guinness Fish ‘N’ ChipsWolf’s Signature Double Smash Burger and a Bone-In New York Stripwith smashed potatoes and blue cheese cream. Guests can top off the night with the signature Ganache Pinecone, a unique dessert featuring rich chocolate mousse with cinnamon crunch petals in the shape of a Tahoe pinecone.

Following the success of Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace and Vanderpump à Paris at Paris Las Vegas, the restaurateur and television star is set to open her fourth collaboration with Caesars Entertainment (and third Las Vegas restaurant) Pinky’s by Vanderpump at Flamingo Las Vegas later this year. 

“I am so thrilled to continue my relationship with Caesars Entertainment with our third and fourth venues this year,” said Vanderpump. “They are incredible partners to allow us the freedom to create and design and have our dreams come to fruition, and it means the world to us. They have made this experience one for the books.” 

Wolf by Vanderpump is located on the Harveys Casino floor next to HELL’S KITCHEN and opens at 4 p.m. nightly. For more information, please visit https://www.caesars.com/harveys-tahoe/restaurants/wolf-by-vanderpump.



Businesswoman, TV personality, author, and philanthropist, Lisa Vanderpump hails from London, England. Lisa and her husband Ken Todd have been entrenched in the restaurant and nightclub industry since they started their partnership over 30 years ago. Their four very successful restaurants and bars in Los Angeles (SUR, Villa Blanca, PUMP and Tom Tom Restaurant and Bar) as well as Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace Las Vegas and Vanderpump à Paris at the Paris Las Vegas, are just a peek into their joint ventures; Wolf by Vanderpump marks their 37th restaurant and bar. Vanderpump became known for the hit Bravo TV series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as well as her spinoff show Vanderpump Rules, of which she is an Executive Producer. Her unique mix of sparkling glamour and down-to-earth style has appealed to thousands of viewers. Her newest shows, Vanderpump Dogs on Peacock TV gives viewers a peek into her 501(c)(3) dog rescue organization, and E!’s Overserved with Lisa Vanderpump documents her penchant for entertaining, while hosting a plethora of celebrity guests. Most recently, Lisa stars in the eponymous Vanderpump Villa on Hulu, and also acts as Exec Producer. Additional endeavors include: her celebrated lighting and furniture collection in collaboration with designer Nick Alain, Vanderpump Alain, a highly successful Podcast, All Things Vanderpump, and a pet accessories line at VanderpumpPets.com. Vanderpump also has her family’s signature Vanderpump Vodka, Vanderpump Wines, and Vanderpump Sangria in both on-premise and off-premise locations worldwide. In 2017, Lisa and Ken launched The Vanderpump Dog Foundation to help end animal abuse on both an international and domestic level, which opened the doors to its first rescue and adoption center and has since rescued over 2300 dogs domestically, as well as hundreds more internationally. 


Owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment, Harveys Lake Tahoe is located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake, central to unequaled year-round beauty and America’s largest concentration of ski resorts. 

Located across the highway and connected to Harrah’s by an easy-access tunnel, Harveys Lake Tahoe is the oldest ongoing casino operation at Lake Tahoe. Founded in 1944 as a small café and gas station with three slot machines, Harveys Resort Casino has grown to become Lake Tahoe’s largest casino. With approximately 88,000 square feet of gaming space, guests at Harrah’s & Harveys will find more than 1,200 of the most exciting slot machines; nearly 100 live-action table games as well as Northern Nevada’s first restaurant by Chef Gordon Ramsay, HELL’S KITCHEN and Lisa Vanderpump’s Wolf by Vanderpump. Additional benefits to playing and staying at Harrah’s & Harveys Lake Tahoe include Caesars Rewards, the famed Caesars Entertainment national casino players’ card program that rewards guests for playing at all Caesars Entertainment properties, including Harrah’s and Harveys Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe’s minimum wage must be a living wage

An equitable community is one in which all who work here, can afford the opportunity to live here. The minimum wage should therefore be sufficient for all who work full-time to afford safe, quality housing – in the community where they work. Today, in the City of South Lake Tahoe, this is not true, and the City Council bears the responsibility to fix it.

Tahoe’s skyrocketing housing costs have wildly outpaced wages. TRPA’s recently published Destination Stewardship Plan – with data approved by both the Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, and the South Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority – shows that between 2018 and 2022 (the last year for which data is available), accounting for inflation, regional tourism industry real profits are up by 10%, but average tourism wages are down by 15%. All the while housing costs have very nearly doubled.

The results have been acute. Our workforce and families have fled as jobs no longer pay living wages. Since 2000, South Tahoe (all of zip code 96150) has lost 25% of all working aged adults – some 4,000 adults aged 20-50 have left town. Their children have left with them; in that same time South Tahoe has lost 35% of its youth population – some 2,500 kids no longer live here – this is not just school enrollment, but population, enrolled or not. This is unsustainable.

Many have asserted that those making minimum wage are merely high-school students living at home and working summer jobs, or servers who, with tips, can make a living wage. These arguments paint a convenient picture of who makes below-living wages, but it’s mostly not true. The real engine of Tahoe’s tourism economy is a small army of mostly unseen, unconsidered, and often non-English speaking “back of house” workers in jobs ranging from dishwashers to hotel housekeepers. School-aged teenagers are not washing dishes or folding linens on Tuesday mornings in April – nor should they be.

Yet, a coalition of the Tahoe’s special interests, consisting of the Chambers of Commerce, the Hotel Lodging Association, the Realtors Association, and the Tahoe Keys Homeowners Association (calling themselves, absurdly, “Keep Community First”), who have already opposed every effort to increase funding for affordable housing, are now opposing even a discussion on increasing wages. Without affordable housing or living wages, the alternative now on the table is bussing low wage workers up from the Carson valley to work in service during the day and sending them back at night. This is elitism, bordering on bigotry. We should expect better from our local institutions.

All who work to support our economy, deserve a living wage, nothing less. We need to raise the minimum wage, here, in South Lake Tahoe.

Cities that have raised their minimum wages above the state minimum have wide flexibility, and those wages can be adjusted for job categories that make significant tips, as well as youth employees who live with their parents, or jobs that provide health benefits. Cities can and have adjusted local minimum wages by business size and revenue as well. A few examples cannot be an excuse for paying non-living wages so many in our workforce.

No fewer than 44 cities in California have higher-than-state minimum wages. Including tourist destinations such as Sonoma. Indeed, a number of local businesses, large and small, including local restaurants, already pay living wages to their non-tipped workers. Just recently, the state began to require that large fast-food chains in California pay a living wage minimum of $20/hr, as does Vail Resorts. Clearly, paying living wages is possible, including here.

The core intent of the minimum wage is, and always has been, to provide a living wage for all who work. Nothing less. On his signing of the first federal minimum wage in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was explicit, writing:

“It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By “business” I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white-collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level – I mean the wages of decent living.”

Wages are, of course, one half of the problem. The cost of housing is the other, and locals are being squeezed from both ends. Affordable housing costs money, either to build, renovate, or incentivize. More is badly needed and fast. Which is why it was so disappointing that despite an incredible 70% public support, the Council voted down, 4-1, a small increase in the tourist tax. The proposed 2% hotel room tax increase would have made a $200/night hotel room cost all of $204 but could have provided $3M/year in long-term, recurring funding for critical needs – particularly affordable housing and local public transit.

A healthy community is one that respects its workforce, and which ensures that all who work here are both welcome and able to live here. Currently, we are racing in the opposite direction, and we must change.

Raise the minimum wage in South Lake Tahoe to a living wage – a wage to live here.

Earth Day brings community and environment together

The commitment we all share to protect and restore Lake Tahoe exemplifies the very essence of Earth Day. The global event celebrates actions big and small to save our planet and expresses the interconnectedness of people, communities, and the environment.

Cared for by the Washoe Tribe for generations, today the watershed is nearly 90 percent public land and shared by two states, five counties, one city, and the Washoe Tribe, as well as 55,000 full-time residents, thousands of part-time homeowners, and millions of visitors annually. Unlike an untrammeled wilderness, protecting and restoring Lake Tahoe means harmonizing the natural and human environments. The states of Nevada and California established a collaborative, regional framework nearly 55 years ago through the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact—an act that in some ways embodied the environmental movement. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and the Bi-State Compact share their anniversary with Earth Day.

A top priority for TRPA and the agency’s 15-member Governing Board is to achieve watershed restoration and lake clarity goals while supporting vibrant communities. Staying true to its mandate, TRPA is guiding environmental progress while providing for orderly growth and maintaining caps on development in the region. Through the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, more than 80 partner organizations are completing major environmental restoration, forest health, and transportation improvements, which in turn are being met with stormwater and erosion control improvements on private properties in the basin.

The Lake Tahoe Regional Plan also provides incentives for environmental redevelopment to guide more of Tahoe’s remaining development rights into town centers to improve walkability, support transit, and provide more workforce housing. This triple bottom line approach is not just desirable but essential in a place like Lake Tahoe, where the environment and communities are reliant on one another.

Even as the Tahoe Basin faces new challenges, the Governing Board and agency leadership are keeping the big picture in focus. The new Destination Stewardship partnership is working to improve the way outdoor recreation and tourism are managed so that the lake, residents, and visitors all together benefit from the region’s main economic driver. Also, transportation partners are expanding microtransit programs and advancing projects like the Chimney Beach trailhead parking improvement project on the East Shore and a new segment of the North Tahoe Shared Use Trail between Kings Beach and Carnelian Bay. These and many other projects

that are reducing climate-harming emissions, improving air quality, and providing safer options to get to work and school.

Tahoe is also a place where workers, families, entrepreneurs, and adventure-seekers come to put down roots and become the next generation of Lake Tahoe’s keepers, which makes the deepening crisis of affordable and workforce housing all the more troubling. The lack of affordable housing options has led to increased commuter traffic and vehicle emissions as well as substandard living conditions and hardships for essential workers. To better serve the lake and ensure Tahoe’s workers can afford to live in the basin, a host of affordable housing initiatives are being pursued throughout the region. For its part, TRPA has been guiding a public process to modernize land use polices that aim to reduce housing costs while supporting lake clarity improvements.

Since the first Earth Day, the Bi-State Compact protecting Lake Tahoe has shown not only how we can preserve this special landscape, but how we can be a part of it too. By supporting environmental redevelopment, revitalizing communities, and embracing collaborative restoration projects, we can ensure that Lake Tahoe remains a shining example of environmental stewardship for years to come.

From the regional scale to our own daily decisions, there is more we can all do. Take Care Tahoe is leading the Tahoe Earth Week Challenge next week with a schedule of simple actions you can follow every day to help make Tahoe and the world a better place. There are festivals you can attend including Tahoe-Truckee Earth Day April 20th at the Village at Palisades Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe Earth Day April 27th at Lake Tahoe Community College. Join in to experience how each of us can take steps to reduce our individual impact and help our communities match our incredible natural surroundings.

Cindy Gustafson is Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board Chair and Placer County District 5 Supervisor.

Investment Corner: Money and your Kids, Part 1: Spend it or save it?

As the parents of two young boys, my wife and I are right in the thick of figuring out how to handle money and spending with our kids. Research shows that the money habits kids develop when they are young very much influence how they will handle their finances as adults.

This first article in my series “Money and Your Kids” focuses on spending and saving. What is the right strategy to teach your kids when they get money? Should they save it? Spend it? Donate it to charity? Something else?

Normally I say “it depends” when I’m talking about money things, but in this case there are a few universal things that we should all try to do for our kids:

1. Start early. Introduce basic concepts of money and saving as soon as they can understand. Use real world examples as much as possible.

2. Lead by example. Let’s face it, our kids learn a lot of things from watching us as parents. If we demonstrate responsible investment habits, our kids are more likely to learn those same habits for themselves. Budgeting, saving and charitable giving are three important habits you can demonstrate.

3. Involve them in financial decisions. This can help them understand real world financial situations and develop critical thinking skills.

Now to our big question. Finding the right balance between saving, spending and giving with ultimately depend on your family’s values and financial situation. In our home, we’re currently in the camp of 50% spending, 25% saving and 25% donating to charities or those less fortunate. I say “currently” because this may change as our kids get older, take on more responsibilities and work roles, and have changing spending needs and wants. Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, that’s just what we’re doing right now in out home.

A related—and equally important—question is how you define the term “spending.” If you’re daughter gets $100 for her birthday, do you let her immediately head to the toy store to spend 50% of it? In our case, we want to encourage our kids to save some of their spending money so that they can buy something more meaningful in the future, instead of spending it all on the first thing they see. The concept of delayed gratification is typically very difficult for kids, but so important! It is truly a skill that you want your children to learn for a lifetime.

You can create your own tracking system to encourage your child to delay a purchase. At a minimum, my wife and I ask our kids to wait 24 hours before making a purchase.

In addition, there’s some cool technology available to help with this. The mobile app “Ketshop”, created by two Lake Tahoe locals (and free to use), is a great tool to help kids save up for things that really matter to them. “iAllowance” is an app that lets you track your child’s chores and

allowance. Very cool. “Piggybot” is another app that lets your child manage their saving and spending.

However you choose to teach your kids to handle money, help them invest early and smartly, and invest well!

Larry Sidney is a Zephyr Cove-based Investment Advisor Representative. Information is found at https://palisadeinvestments.com/ or by calling 775-299-4600 x702. This is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Clients may hold positions mentioned in this article. Past Performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial advisor before purchasing any security.

Incline High’s “We the People” team wins national Division C award

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Incline High School’s “We the People” team brought home a Division C award for their performance after the first two days of the grueling national competition in Virginia. The annual event tests the Constitutional knowledge of students from top U.S. schools.

“I could not be prouder of our small team that competed on the national stage,” said Milt Hyams, a government teacher from Incline High School who coaches its “We the People” team. “Their collaborative and supportive nature is what made them successful and are a model to us all about how to balance complex issues and agree to disagree while proposing solutions. During this time of disinformation and hyper-polarization, it is imperative that we train our young citizens to have factual, reasoned, civic discourse. Now more than ever we need students and citizens that are willing to engage in these difficult conversations in a constructive way.”

In the 2024 state “We the People” competition, Incline High placed second under Hyams and U.S. history teacher Amy Henderson Eitz’ instruction.

Incline High School has been to the national finals 15 times.

“We are tremendously proud of our students and staff members who work so hard throughout the year to represent WCSD with pride at the local, state, and national competitions,” said WCSD Interim Superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill. “I have participated in these events as a judge, and I know how rigorous and demanding these competitions are. Our students and teachers devote untold hours of study, preparation, and practice to their presentations, and then compete against some very accomplished teams from across the nation. We congratulate them on their outstanding accomplishments.”

“We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals” is a yearly competition for U.S. high school students. The national finals simulate a Congressional hearing at the National Conference Center and in congressional hearing rooms on Capitol Hill.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education.

The team is divided into six units composed of three to six students. Each unit focuses on an area of Constitutional interest from philosophical underpinnings and the Constitutional Convention to the Bill of Rights and modern-day implications, according to Wikipedia.

Students are judged on criteria such as their understanding, reasoning, responsiveness, and use of constitutional applications.

To prepare, students learn about government and study the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

In each class, the groups prepare four-minute opening statements in response to three congressional hearing questions. Afterward, judges ask students questions to test their knowledge in a six-minute question-and-answer period.

During the national finals, more than 1,200 students from 56 classes testify before 72 judges, in panels of three, according to Wikipedia. The judges are history, political science, law, and others with a knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The national finals take place over three days. The top 12 classes from the first two days advance to the final round of competition in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill.

During the first two days of the competition, each unit testifies on two hearing questions. The classes with the 12 highest combined scores go to the final round on the third day.

The top 12 places are determined by combining the scores from the first two days and a weighted final round score.

Some questions students discussed as part of this year’s competition were:

  • What was the impact of early experiments with representative democracy, such as colonial assemblies and town meetings, on the development of the American political system?
  • How does the tension between protecting individual rights and promoting the common good manifest in the structure and language of the Constitution?
  • Why did Thomas Jefferson say “Revolution of 1800” to describe that year’s presidential election? What aspects of the election and its aftermath led to its characterization as a “revolution”? How did it signify a transformative moment in American politics?
  • How has civil disobedience evolved in American history in terms of its nature, methods, and motivations? What are some historical examples of these changes?
Incline High School wins a Division C award at the national “We the People” competition in Virginia.


LAKE TAHOE — JULY 12– Palm Tree Crew & Another Planet Entertainment presents Palm Tree Music Festival, featuringGryffin Disco Lines, DRAMA (Club Set) and Vandelux (DJ Set), performing live at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys – Friday, July 12, 2024. 

Tickets will be available Friday, April 19th at 10am PT at ticketmaster.com & apeconcerts.com

Following a nonstop tour of international installments and the brand’s recent announcement of the return for its summer kick-off event in The Hamptons, Palm Tree Music Festival is bringing the party to Lake Tahoe for the first time ever! This July, Palm Tree Crew is bringing the party to Lake Tahoe for a festival experience at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys! Curated by Kygo and his Manager Myles Shear, the most sought-after destination of the season will be fully reimagined to fuse together an unmatched feeling of summer in paradise with majestic lakeside vibes and unparalleled performances from global music icons.

On Friday, July 12, Palm Tree Music Festival will bring fans from around the globe together for one night only to share their love of carefree never-ending summer nights and world-class musical talent while enjoying signature craft cocktails by Tequila Don Julio. Also, melin, the most premium headwear in the world, will showcase their HYDRO Collection at PTMF Lake Tahoe.  Come experience melin at their Mobile Customer Experience Lab (MCEL) all festival weekend. The festival will be headlined by Gryffin and will feature additional performances by Disco Lines, DRAMA (Club Set) and Vandelux (DJ Set).

Founded in 2016 by Kygo and Shear, Palm Tree Crew first came to life when the pair began gifting palm tree necklaces to their inner circle as a symbol of community. Today, Palm Tree Crew is a diversified holding company that owns and operates a consumer brand, a global live events business and a multi-product investment platform, all within one unified ecosystem that embodies the care-free vibe of an endless summer.

Palm Tree Music Festival Lake Tahoe

Performers: Gryffin, Disco Lines, DRAMA (Club Set) and Vandelux (DJ Set)

Location: Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys

Date: Friday, July 12, 2024

Palm Tree Music Festival Hawaii is produced by Palm Tree Crew and Another Planet Entertainment

Presale begins Wednesday, April 17th at 10am PT

General on sale begins Friday, April 19th at 10am PT with tickets starting at $89.50. 

VIP and Palm Club Table Packages will be available as well.

For more information on all ticketing, please visit https://www.palmtreemusicfestival.com/.


About Palm Tree Crew:

Palm Tree Crew, originally founded by Kygo (Kyrre Gorvell Dahll) and his manager Myles Shear, is a diversified holding company that owns and operates a consumer brand, a global live events business and a multi-product investment platform, all under one unified ecosystem. Palm Tree Crew harnesses the power of business builders, investors, strategic advisors and celebrities who know how to build global brands.

For more information, please visit https://palmtreecrew.com/

About Another Planet Entertainment:

Established in 2003, Another Planet Entertainment (APE) is the largest independent promoter in the U.S. and has produced and promoted thousands of events with artists as diverse as Radiohead, Neil Young, Kendrick Lamar, Adele, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Lizzo, Metallica, Bruno Mars, twenty one pilots, Bruce Springsteen, Mumford & Sons, Zedd, Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine and Olivia Rodrigo. Named Top Independent Promoter (U.S.) by Billboard Magazine in 2015 and 2016 and Top Independent Promoter (Worldwide) in 2017, APE is the exclusive promoter for the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, the Fox Theater in Oakland, the historic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, The Independent and Castro Theatre in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys as well as co-promoter of The Bellwether in Los Angeles. APE also operates private events division Another Planet Event Group and an artist management arm, Another Planet Entertainment Management, with a roster that includes two-time GRAMMY-nominated artist Tycho. In addition, APE produces award-winning festivals – Outside Lands (since 2008, ranked #4 on Billboard’s Top 50 Festivals of 2022) in San Francisco. 

For information, please visit https://apeconcerts.com/

Family-friendly casino areas contain unhealthy levels of second-hand smoke, new study finds

RENO, Nev. — Second-hand smoke in indoor casino areas is up to 18 times more harmful than outdoor levels, according to a University of Nevada, Reno study published this month in the Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology Journal.

According to the study, led by University Associate Professor Eric Crosbie, all indoor casino locations, including family-friendly locations that are designated as non-smoking such as arcades and restaurants, measured unsafe levels of second-hand smoke, even when only a small proportion of smokers are actively smoking in a casino. 

The research found that ventilation systems do not work in preventing unsafe levels of second-hand smoke from drifting to areas where smoking is not allowed, and this finding has nationwide implications for any indoor facility that allows smoking, as there is no safe level of second-hand smoke regardless of the age, size or ventilation systems.

“People should be aware that when they go into any establishment that allows smoking, there is an unhealthy level of second-hand exposure, especially for those individuals who have acute risk factors,” Crosbie said. “The only way to eliminate involuntary exposure is to prohibit smoking in all indoor areas.”

Crosbie and his team of researchers measured the amount of PM 2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter) levels present, which consistently exceed safe thresholds. PM 2.5 levels, when compared with the more commonly known Air Quality Index, rank within the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category. Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart disease, stroke and lung cancer among nonsmokers, and even brief exposure can cause harm, including heart attacks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The study calls for policy changes to protect minors, casino employees and other vulnerable populations exposed to unhealthy air during a casino visit.

“Establishing comprehensive smoke-free casinos is the only way to protect against the harms of second-hand smoking,” Crosbie said. “Given that several casinos in the Reno-Sparks area advertise their establishments as family-friendly, they should be aware that even during brief visits by minors in smoking and non-smoking areas, minors may be exposed to harmful levels of second-hand smoke. These findings underscore the critical need for immediate action to create healthier indoor environments.”

Other studies have also found PM 2.5 levels in casinos, including those located in Nevada. A study published last year by the CDC and the University of Washington examined casinos in Las Vegas and found that average PM 2.5 levels were 5.4 times higher in gaming areas where smoking is allowed when compared with a smoke-free casino in Las Vegas. That study also concluded that tens of thousands of casino employees and tens of millions of tourists are exposed to elevated levels of secondhand smoke in Las Vegas casinos each year, and the only way to protect people from this known health hazard is to prohibit smoking in all indoor areas. 

Crosbie recommends that Nevada policymakers amend the Nevada Clean Indoor Act and prohibit smoking in all public places, including casinos and bars statewide

About the study

Crosbie and his team visited 14 casinos and 18 distinct types of indoor casino locations throughout Washoe County, Nevada. High levels of tobacco smoke markers were found in casino locations even when zero or a small percentage of active smokers were observed.  

The research team observed a relatively small portion of active smokers (1.4% to 20%) in casinos that allowed smoking. Consistent with these findings, a small proportion of smokers can still contribute to high levels of PM 2.5 and contaminate non-smoking areas. 

This was also the first-known study to use the AtmoTube, an off-the-shelf, low-cost, user-friendly consumer device with custom mobile apps that measures real-time personal exposure.

– @unevadareno –

The University of Nevada, Reno is a public research university that is committed to the promise of a future powered by knowledge. As a Nevada land-grant university founded in 1874, the University serves 21,000 students. The University is a comprehensive, doctoral university, classified as an R1 institution with very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Additionally, it has attained the prestigious “Carnegie Engaged” classification, reflecting its student and institutional impact on civic engagement and service, fostered by extensive community and statewide collaborations. More than $800 million in advanced labs, residence halls and facilities has been invested on campus since 2009. It is home to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Wolf Pack Athletics, maintains a statewide outreach mission and presence through programs such as the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Small Business Development Center, Nevada Seismological Laboratory, and is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Through a commitment to world-improving research, student success and outreach benefiting the communities and businesses of Nevada, the University has impact across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.

Earth Day events in Tahoe

GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA, Calif./Nev. – Multiple Earth Day events are coming up throughout the Tahoe region. You can join one or all and even participate in a week-long challenge. Here’s your guide to Earth Day festivities in Tahoe.

Tahoe Truckee Earth Day April 20

Kids and adults can learn about recycling, composting, alternative energy, and sustainability with hands-on activities. The free event is open to residents and visitors who want to learn more about environmental issues impacting North Lake Tahoe and the Truckee Region. There will be live music music provided by local bands.

  • Saturday, April 20
  • 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Village at Palisade Tahoe

Clean Up The Lake Earth Day Celebration April 22

This celebration is hosted by Clean Up The Lake and AlpenGlobal Capital. Trash grabbers and buckets are provided for cleanup activities. There are planned youth activities as well as opportunities to learn about scuba. The day ends with Happy Hour at Jakes on the Lake.

  • Monday, April 22
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • 700 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA 96145 (In front of the Tahoe City Marina)
  • Happy Hour at 4:30 p.m.

Sand Harbor Shoreline Sweep April 22

Sand Harbor State Park is hosting its first annual cleanup event. Volunteers can work alongside Rangers to clean Sand Harbor’s beaches and spaces. The trash collected will become a part of a new display at their visitor center. Arrive early to get a bucket and grabber.

  • Monday, April 22
  • 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sand Harbor Visitor Center

9th Annual Keep Tahoe Blue Earth Day Cleanup April 22

The League to Save Lake Tahoe is hosting its annual Earth Day cleanup in South Lake Tahoe. Participants can sign up to be a part of the effort.

  • Monday, April 22
  • 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Lunch provided
  • Stateline, NV

South Tahoe Earth Day Festival April 27

Learn about environmental issues impacting South Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe takes on plastics in Keep Tahoe Blue’s booth themed Lake Tahoe vs. Plastics. There they will discuss litter initiatives and cleanups with a hands-on activity for people to learn about plastics. The free community event will have food and music in addition to its Earth Day activities.

  • Saturday, April 27
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Lake Tahoe Community College

Take Care Tahoe’s Earth Week Challenge

Celebrate Earth Day all week long with daily challenges throughout the week, beginning Monday and ending Saturday, April 27, just in time for the South Tahoe Earth Day Festival. Challenges include joining cleanups and filling your reusable water bottle.

  • Monday-Saturday
  • April 22-27

Safeway Open to Purchase Offers; TART Celebrates 1 Million Rides; Volunteer to Clean Up Local Beaches; TDPUD Adopts New Plans; More

News Briefs

TART Connect Has Provided Over 1 Million Rides


The Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit micro-transit service TART Connect has now provided over 1 million rides in the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee region. The service was originally rolled out in Placer and Washoe counties in June 2021 and implemented throughout the North Shore and the Town of Truckee in the years since. It relieves traffic congestion by offering curb-to-curb, on-demand service.

TART Connect is available throughout the North Shore and Truckee with four zones in Placer County, one in Incline Village and Crystal Bay, and one in the Town of Truckee.

Last summer, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Tahoe Downtowner to continue TART Connect service through June 30, 2024. A total of $2,685,526 in transient occupancy tax funds was approved to serve the Placer County zones in the North Lake Tahoe region through the TOT-TBID Dollars at Work Program.

TART Connect expanded into Truckee in June 2022. Thanks to an expansion, TART transit system’s ridership in Truckee has increased by over 500% from 2 years ago.

To use TART Connect, download the mobile app or call (530) 553-0653 to reserve a trip and be picked up in as few as 15 minutes. 

Learn more about micro-transit in the region and TART Connect here.

~ Placer County press release

Rocker Memorial Skatepark Receives Large Grant


The Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation presented the Truckee-Donner Recreation and& Park District (TDRPD) with a $100,000 check at the March meeting of its board of directors. The funds were awarded as a part of the foundation’s 2024 grant cycle, and are specifically designated for construction of the Rocker Memorial Skatepark (RMSP), a grassroots effort underway in partnership with TDRPD.

RMSP is working on building a 25,000-square-foot expansion of the existing skate park in the Truckee Regional Park that will create a world-class facility for action sport athletes of all abilities with modern skating elements. The existing skatepark is 7,000 -square -feet and was constructed in 1999. Participation in action sports has increased exponentially since its construction, resulting in the overcrowding and a lack of diverse terrain options. 

GRANT FOR ROCKER: Colin Robinson, Taylor Carlton, Jasmine Watts, and Shelby Jones (left to right) of the Rocker Skateboard Park Initiative were presented a check from the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation. Courtesy photo

RMSP is completing the permitting process with the Town of Truckee, after being approved in June of 2022. Volunteers from RMSP have been working for years to get through this process, proving the skatepark can be built. Bolstered by this progress, fundraising efforts are experiencing a renewed vigor by project supporters. The grant award by the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, along with committed community support from local businesses (in-kind donations of materials and labor), helps the project work towards the funding level necessary to start construction. 

RMSP will continue to raise funds in partnership with TDRPD through donations, sponsorships, grants, and fundraising events. The Rally for Rocker, a backcountry banked slalom sanctioned by Tahoe National Forest, is being held on Saturday, April 27, on Donner Summit. Funds raised from this event go directly towards funding goals. Event sponsorships are available.

~ RMSP press release

Call for Environmental Achievement Nominations


The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is calling for nominations for projects completed in 2022 or 2023 that display outstanding environmental design for the 31st Best in Basin awards. Nominations are due by May 17 at 5 p.m.

TRPA’s annual Best in Basin awards program showcases projects and programs around Lake Tahoe that demonstrate exceptional planning, implementation, and compatibility with the lake’s natural environment and communities. The categories are:

  • Water Quality and Watershed Restoration
  • Climate Resilience and Sustainability
  • Affordable Housing and Community Revitalization
  • Transportation and Sustainable Recreation
  • Forest Health and Defensible Space
  • Science and Innovation

For more than 3 decades, the Best in Basin awards have recognized property owners, contractors, architects, and planners in the public and private sectors whose work and investment stand out as excellent examples of environmental design.

Only projects completed between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2023, are eligible. Winners will be selected by a panel of local professionals in the fields of architecture, landscaping, planning, engineering, or resource management. For the nomination form and information about past winners, visit trpa.gov/how-we-operate/awards.

~ TRPA press release

BEACH CLEANUP: Join the community in a clean-up of Sand Harbor State Park. Courtesy graphic

Shoreline Sweep at Sand Harbor State Park


Join Sand Harbor State Park this Earth Day, April 22, for the first annual clean-up event with rangers and other community members to clean Sand Harbor beaches. Trash collected will be utilized in a new display at the Sand Harbor Visitor Center in collaboration with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at the Sand Harbor Visitor Center to check in. Park entrance fees will be waived for volunteers. Participants should let park staff know they are there to volunteer.

A limited amount of buckets and trash grabbers will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be a brief introduction at 9:30 a.m. The sweep will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

Contact Marisa Cook at (775) 831-0494 or marisa.cook@parks.nv.gov for more information. 

~ Nevada Division of State Parks press release

New Planning Effort Launched


El Dorado County is requesting public input while it develops the Tahoe El Dorado (TED) Area Plan. The TED Area Plan 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 density, look, and character of a community are defined by a variety of land use planning documents. In the Tahoe Basin, land use falls under the El Dorado County Zoning Ordinance and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Regional Plan. Currently, the land use policies and zoning designations in some areas are in conflict with each other. This creates confusion about what is allowed and what can be built on these properties. Conflicting land use policies constrain new projects on those sites.

The goal of this planning effort 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 TRPA code and state law updates — ultimately, establishing a better framework to advance housing and economic development.

The county has created an interactive website, tedareaplan.com, which features a survey and mapping tool to gather feedback on community attributes and opportunities.

The county will also be holding a series of workshops on the TED Area Plan. There is a Planning Commission workshop scheduled for Thursday, April 25, and a board of supervisors workshop on Tuesday, May 14. Additionally, the county is hosting four in-person community workshops in Tahoma, Meeks Bay, Meyers, and Fallen Leaf Lake.

  • June 3: Tahoma, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Marie Sluchak Community Park, corner of Pine Street and Wilson Avenue
  • June 4: Meeks Bay, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meeks Bay Fire Station 67, 8041 Hwy 89
  • June 5 : Meyers, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Meyers Elementary School, 1095 E San Bernardino Ave.
  • June 6: Fallen Leaf Lake, ​6 to 7:30 p.m. at Fallen Leaf Lake Community Center, Price Lane

~ El Dorado County press release

TDPUD Adopts Resource Plan and Approves Stewardship Efforts


Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s board of directors oversaw a packed agenda at the April board meeting. After adopting TDPUD’s first-ever integrated resource plan, they also reviewed TDPUD’s report on electric power purchased in 2023. On the water side, they received the annual Consumer Confidence Reports detailing TDPUD’s water quality and approved two efforts that focus on local watershed stewardship.

Integrated Resource Plan: The board voted to adopt TDPUD’s new integrated resource plan. An IRP is a powerful tool for an electric utility; it outlines the anticipated power demand and supply for our community for the next 15 years.

To learn more about TDPUD’s energy planning efforts, visit tdpud.org/energy.

Purchase Power Review: The board also received the annual purchase power review for 2023. While the final portfolio stats for 2023 won’t be finalized until the fall, TDPUD is projected to have increased its percentage of renewable/clean energy to 64%, over 60% in 2022.

Water Consumer Confidence Reports: The California State Water Resources Control Board determined that TDPUD had “no reportable violations” in 2023, meaning Truckee’s tap water continues to be of the highest caliber.

Martis Valley Groundwater Basin Management Plan: The board awarded a contract to analyze the plan to GEI Consultants, with local Balanced Hydrologics as a subcontractor, to complete the 5-year GMP update. The community will have an opportunity to engage with the partner water agencies and consultants at a public meeting following the completion of the plan update.

Truckee River Watershed Council Partnership: The board approved a memorandum of understanding between multiple local water agencies with an interest in responsibly maintaining the Martis Valley Groundwater Basin and working together toward shared stewardship goals. TDPUD, Truckee River Watershed Council, Northstar Community Services District, and Placer County Water Agency will sign on to the MOU in an effort to formalize and expand on existing partnerships, which will better position the agencies to seek outside funding for stewardship projects.

~ TDPUD press release

New Advisory Committee Seeks Members


The North Tahoe Community Alliance is seeking candidates for a new Transient Occupancy Tax Advisory Committee. The committee is being formed to merge the responsibilities of the former TOT and Capital Projects Advisory (CAP) Committees, streamline efforts to direct the roughly $10 million of TOT revenues generated by overnight stays in local hotels and short-term rentals in North Lake Tahoe, and broaden community input based on the seat make-up.

The TOT Advisory Committee will comprise 13 regional business and community representatives who will recommend TOT funding for projects and programs aligning with community priorities of the TOT-TBID Dollars at Work Program. This includes economic health, community vitality, and environmental stewardship. Funding recommendations will be made to the NTCA Board of Directors, who then vote to recommend expenditures funded by TOT to the Placer County Board of Supervisors for final approval.

Committee positions require a 2-year commitment. Community members are invited to learn more about the committee, the application process, and apply online here by 5 p.m. Friday, May 10, to be considered. Applicants will be notified by Friday, May 31, if they have been recommended to the committee. The NTCA Board of Directors will seat the new committee at their Wednesday, June 5, meeting.

Email tara@northtahoecommunityalliance.com with questions about the application process. For information on all of the committees convened by the NTCA, visit northtahoecommunityalliance.com/who-we-are.

~ NTCA press release

Highway Construction Season Begins


Caltrans is alerting motorists of the potential for extended delays along Interstate 80 stretching between Colfax to the Nevada state line as several projects and emergency repairs get underway for the 2024 construction season.

Once all projects are active, delays across the corridor may reach up to a maximum of 2 hours. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, if possible. The schedule is subject to change or be delayed.

PLAN ACCORDINGLY: Construction is set to begin in several locations on I-80. Courtesy graphic

Crews are returning to the same areas as last year for emergency wheel rut repairs and concrete slab replacements. Work is currently underway within Location 1 between Colfax and Alta. Additional work within Locations 2 and 3 are expected to resume next week, followed by Locations 4 and 5 by the end of the April.

Additional projects within the corridor include the Monte Vista and Soda Springs pavement rehabilitation projects, and the Yuba Pass Separation overhead bridge replacement project. Crews will also replace the water lines at both the eastbound and westbound Donner Summit Rest Areas, which will require both facilities to be closed for the entire season. For more information visit the project page on the Caltrans District 3 website. The total cost estimate for all projects is more than $500 million.

The department will issue construction updates on X @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app.

~ Caltrans press release

Water Bottle Sales Give Back to Lake Tahoe


Starting this spring, Tahoe Artesian Water is donating $1 from every case of still or sparkling water sold to the Tahoe Fund’s $1 for Tahoe program. 

SIP AND GIVE: Tahoe Artisan Water has joined the Tahoe Fund’s $1 for Tahoe program. Courtesy photo

“With plastic bottle bans taking effect in the Tahoe region, now is the perfect time to choose glass bottles or cans from Tahoe Artesian whenever you can’t get Tahoe tap,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. 

Tahoe Artesian Water is high quality, naturally alkaline, and sustainable. Sourced from a family-owned artesian well in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Tahoe Artesian Water spends decades being naturally filtered through the earthen layers of the mountains. It is bottled to order in Eco Glass high in the Tahoe National Forest. 

Donations collected through the $1 for Tahoe program contribute to the Tahoe Fund’s efforts to improve the Lake Tahoe environment, including supporting hiking and biking trails, watershed restoration projects, environmental stewardship programs, open spaces for wildlife habitat and scenic views, and more.

View Tahoe Artesian Water’s store locator for a list of locations to purchase, or buy online at tahoeartesian.com. Learn more about the $1 for Tahoe program and the Tahoe Fund at tahoefund.org.

~ Tahoe Fund press release

Thirteen Events Funded Through TBID Funds


At the recommendation of the volunteer Business and Chamber Advisory Committee, the North Tahoe Community Alliance (NTCA) Board of Directors awarded $192,500 in funding generated by the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District (NLT-TBID) to 13 events scheduled to take place in North Lake Tahoe later this year.

The events that received this latest round of funding include:

  • Passport to Dining, hosted by the North Tahoe Business Association
  • Labor Day Drone Show, hosted by the North Tahoe Business Association
  • Tahoe Nutcracker, hosted by the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective
  • Great Gravel Race, hosted by Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association
  • Tahoe Music Alive
  • Tahoe Film Festival
  • Tahoe Trail 100, hosted by Northstar California
  • CA Enduro Series, hosted by Northstar California
  • Lake Tahoe Concours d’ Elegance, hosted by the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation
  • Lake Tahoe Reggae Fest, hosted by PR Entertainment
  • Oktoberfest – The Village at Palisades Tahoe, hosted by the Palisades Village Neighborhood Company
  • Tahoe City Oktoberfest, hosted by the Tahoe City Downtown Association
  • Tahoe Literary Fest, hosted by Range of Light Media Group

Scoring and funding prioritization was based on how the events contribute to and benefit economic health, community vitality, and environmental stewardship. Each event’s traffic management and sustainability plans were also evaluated, with organizers responsible for identifying and outlining how they will mitigate the impacts of tourism on the community and environment.

Learn more about the events funded here, which collectively total $652,000 in support of 31 events taking place in 2024, and about the TOT-TBID Dollars At Work program here.

~ NTCA press release

Help Clean Up the Lake


Clean Up The Lake and Alpenglobal Capital will be hosting an event in Tahoe City for Earth Day at the Tahoe City Marina on, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn about Clean Up the Lake’s youth educational activities, meet the team, join clean-ups, and get involved in litter categorization and sorting. Participants will also learn about conservation dive projects in Lake Tahoe and other nearby lakes.

~ Clean Up the Lake press release

GET INVOLVED: Learn about Clean Up the Lake’s dive efforts and help with litter removal on Earth Day. Photo by Ludovic Fekete, Clean Up the Lake

Winter Fundraising Program Raises Over $100,000 for Local Schools 


The Excellence in Education Foundation announced the successful conclusion of its Skiing for Schools program, which raised $138,000 thanks to the generous participation of Northstar California/Vail Resorts EpicPromise, Homewood Mountain Resort, Palisades Tahoe, Tahoe Donner, Tahoe XC, Alpenglow Sports, Pacos Truckee, and Tahoe Dave’s.

Throughout the season, skiers and snowboarders were able to pre-purchase reduced-rate lift tickets, allowing people to hit the slopes while supporting local education. The proceeds from this year’s Skiing for Schools program will directly benefit public education within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

The funds raised will help fund grants for schools within the district, providing literature, STEAM supplies, art and music equipment, social-emotional support, and more. 

For more information about Skiing for Schools and other fundraising programs at Excellence in Education, or to learn how to support the foundation’s efforts, visit exined.org.

~ Excellence in Education press release 

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Forest Supervisor Departs Tahoe National Forest 


Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Eli Ilano is departing after 14 years. Ilano will join the Forest Service’s national office to lead the agency’s timber and biomass utilization initiative.  

During his tenure, Ilano had a particular focus on building partnerships between the Forest Service and a wide range of organizations and government entities. 

“Eli Ilano elevated the partnership between the County of Nevada and the U.S. Forest Service to new heights during his tenure as forest supervisor of the Tahoe National Forest, which occupies 195,000 acres of our heavily forested community,” said Nevada County executive officer Alison Lehman. “Together, we tackled not only forest health and wildfire prevention but also major recreational initiatives.” 

“With Eli’s innovative leadership the Tahoe National Forest has demonstrated an effective model of landscape-level shared stewardship, a model being adopted by forests across the west,” said Matt Millar of the National Forest Foundation. 

Ilano served as forest supervisor on the Tahoe National Forest from 2016 to 2024. Previously, he worked as deputy forest supervisor for both the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Ilano also served in an acting role as deputy regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region.  

Previous to the Forest Service, Ilano served in roles for the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Senate, and in the nonprofit sector.  

As the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region conducts recruitment for the Tahoe National Forest Supervisor role, Matthew Jedra will serve as acting forest supervisor. Jedra joined the Tahoe National Forest as deputy forest supervisor in 2020. 

~ Tahoe National Forest press release

Six Community Leaders Join the NTCA Board 


Six local community leaders were elected by the North Tahoe Community Alliance membership to join the volunteer board of directors. The seated board will help make recommendations about how to leverage TBID and TOT funds generated in the community. Each will serve a 3-year term.

2024 NTCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Pictured from left to right: DJ Ewan, Mike DeGroff, Jim Phelan, Sue Rae Irelan, Doug Burnett, Samir Tuma, Nicole Gorman, Kevin Drake, Jill Schott, Amy Ohran, Harry Hirsch, Stephanie Holloway. Not pictured: Dan Tester, Colin Perry, Ray Villaman, Dave Wilderotter, Devin Middlebrook. Courtesy photo

The NTCA board of directors guides the work of the organization in its responsibilities under the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District (NLT-TBID) that focus on destination stewardship and management, responsible tourism development, housing and transportation, and other stewardship initiatives.

The board includes six seats that are nominated by organizations and elected by members, and 10 designated seats also elected by members.

 The members who assumed their board positions at April’s meeting include:

  • North Tahoe Business Association (organization designated seat): Kevin Drake
  • Homewood Mountain Resort (organization designated seat): Harry Hirsch
  • Everline Resort & Spa (organization designated seat): Nicole Gorman
  • Placer County Board of Supervisors (organization designated seat): Sue Rae Irelan
  • At-large Activity, Business Sector: Jim Phelan, Tahoe City Marina
  • At-large #1: Samir Tuma, Tahoe City Lodge

In addition, the full board elected its new executive committee, with Sue Rae Irelan named as board chair. Jill Schott will serve as vice chair, Ray Villaman as board secretary, DJ Ewan as treasurer, and Samir Tuma will contribute to the executive committee as past-chair.

 The balance of the NTCA board includes:

  • North Shore Lodging/Property Management seat: Jill Schott, Tahoe Moon Properties
  • Northstar California seat: Amy Ohran
  • Northstar Business Association, Doug Burnett
  • Olympic Valley Business Association seat: Dan Tester, Granite Peak Management
  • Palisades Tahoe seat: Mike DeGroff
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: Colin Perry
  • West Shore Lodging/Property Management seat: DJ Ewan, Granlibakken
  • At-large Food & Beverage seat: Ray Villaman, Tahoe Restaurant Group
  • At-large seat #2: Dave Wilderotter, Tahoe Dave’s Skis & Boards
  • Placer County (non-voting advisory member): Stephanie Holloway
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (non-voting advisory member): Devin Middlebrook

Learn more at northtahoecommunityalliance.com.

~ NTCA press release

Business Briefs

Safeway Begins Accepting Bids for Property


In mid-March, Safeway started accepting bids to purchase its property in Tahoe City, a 3.2-acre, 50,024-square-foot building that currently houses a Safeway grocery store. Safeway will vacate its 28,631-square-foot portion at the end of this year to move into the former Save Mart building at the opposite end of Tahoe City, which the company purchased last fall. According to Dan Wald, Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director, the commercial real estate company has received eight bids for the property so far, and is anticipating more offers. Wald expects Safeway to review the offers over the next few weeks and make a decision around the end of April.

The property, which is valued at $12 million, has three other main tenants: the Lighthouse Spa, Tahoe National Brewing Co., and A Sante Lakeside Fitness. Wald said all tenants will continue to operate under their current lease with the new owner, and that there is currently no deed restriction in place to prevent another grocery store from occupying the space.

“Safeway is open to all offers. They want to see what shows up offer-wise, then they will make a decision,” Wald said.

~ MS

Keep Community First launches website

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Tahoe Chamber, and colleague organizations of Keep Community First, announced the launch of their website at keepcommunityfirst.org.

Get information on this site about why this coalition of business and community organizations oppose the proposed residential Vacancy Tax (an initiative petition currently being circulated) and the City Council’s upcoming discussion of a proposed minimum wage standard of $23 per hour.

According to a press release, “The proposals, individually or in combination, will completely upend our local economy, leading, among other consequences, to the loss of businesses, jobs and existing City revenues. There will be no winners. The arguments proponents are using to advocate for these economic and community body blows are misleading and misguided.”

Website sections include: What our Community Members are Saying, What We are Saying, and What Other Communities and Experts are Saying.

The members of our coalition are Tahoe Chamber, South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association, South Tahoe Restaurant Association, South Tahoe Association of Realtors, South Tahoe Chamber, and the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association.

Visit the site at keepcommunityfirst.org

‘Plastics are not the Tahoe way’

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The City of South Lake Tahoe’s single-use water bottle ban goes into effect for commercial vendors on Earth Day, April 22.

The League to Save Lake Tahoe, known for its slogan, Keep Tahoe Blue, has supported the ordinance and hopes the change inspires sustainable thinking.

“I think when we put the best foot forward in Tahoe by not offering single-use plastic water bottles for sale,” says the league’s Marilee Movius, “it really shows to the people in our community and that are visiting, that plastics are not the Tahoe way.”

The Tahoe way, the Senior Community Engagement Manager says, is using alternatives to single-use plastic, choosing reusables, drinking Tahoe tap, leaving places better than when they were found, and picking up litter.

“All of these actions,” she says, “really help keep Tahoe blue and protect the lake for future generations.”

City Council updated its ordinance in October 2022, banning the sale of single-use plastic water bottles within city limits, with an exception for emergencies. The ban applies to bottles less than one gallon and does not include sparkling or flavored waters.

The city implemented the ban in phases, starting last year on Earth Day for city facilities, city-affiliated events, and city concessionaires.

The next phase goes citywide for all commercial vendors on Earth Day this year.

Fines for violating the ordinance are up to $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second, and $500 for each additional violation within one year.

South Tahoe’s Sustainability Coordinator, Sara Letton, doesn’t anticipate any issues with the transition. “Community sentiment seems to be very supportive, overall,” Letton says as the city, in partnership with the league, has been engaging the community with door-to-door education campaigns at local businesses, providing mailings, emails, and conducting social media campaigns.

One message to residents and tourists has been encouraging them to choose to refuse single-use plastics and, as the billboards and signs say, “Drink Tahoe Tap” instead.

The Tahoe Water Suppliers Association provides Tahoe tap from minimally treated rain and snowmelt. The award-winning drinking water provided at no cost at refill stations is music to the ears, especially if you listen to the song about it, “If you find yourself in Tahoe, turn on the Tap. It’s the finest drink of water in the world and that’s a fact…”

With the help of city grants, businesses are installing refill stations to dispense Tahoe Tap as they get ready for the ban. This places them on the Tahoe Tap map, where the thirsty person can find the closest refill station near them.

The younger generation has gotten involved in outreach efforts, including the SOS Outreach youth and mentors, South Tahoe High School Climate Crew students and South Tahoe High School Key Club. Together with the league, Americorps fellows from South Tahoe Public Utility District and South Tahoe Refuse, and an intern from Drink Tahoe Tap, they were able to visit 97 businesses between December and March.

In order to visualize the magnitude of single-use plastics, Americorps fellows Katie Sloan and Lily Summerville asked South Tahoe Refuse’s Recycling Buy-Back Center to accumulate plastic water bottles. Over the course of one morning, about four hours, employees filled a two cubic yard dumpster full of them. Sloan says, “It is pretty astounding the amount of volume that STR processes.”

Single-use plastic water bottles collected over the duration of one morning at STR’s Recycling Buy-Back Center.

Summerville says although there are plenty of other plastic single-use bottles out there, changing consumer commercial habits can be challenging. Starting with single-use plastic water bottles can have a grand effect on the litter problem, “It was at the helm of this litter problem and the best target, at least to start with,” she says.

The issue with single-use plastics, Movius explains is, “They’re used for just a few minutes, but then they remain in our environment forever, if they’re not properly discarded.”

Plastics don’t bio-degrade and instead break down into small pieces, leaching chemicals that can damage water quality and turn into microplastics.

It’s daunting knowledge considering the league and volunteers picked up 20,100 plastic bottles, 31,300 plastic caps and 163,800 unidentifiable plastic pieces from 2014-2023.

“It’s really critical to stop this litter at its source,” says Movious, who adds that the ordinance allows businesses to become sustainability leaders.

Safeway says they are prepared to comply with the ordinance, come April 22, and are listed on Drink Tahoe Tap’s map with a refill station.

Grocery Outlet is in the process of converting its current water fountains into refill stations. They say they’ve always had a good selection of reusable water bottles and more are coming.

“I think just spreading that environmentally conscious mindset is just one of the most important things,” said Summerville.

The mindset has spread across the lake and beyond. The Town of Truckee recently adopted a similar ordinance in January. The ban goes into effect there on Earth Day next year. Breckenridge Colorado’s single-use plastic water bottle ban goes into effect in July.

“I think it just really shows that the City of South Lake Tahoe,” Summerville says, “has become a leader in sustainability and it’s really great to see these efforts coming to fruition.”

Jurisdictions aren’t the only ones the league hopes the ordinance inspires.

“I think this really gets people starting to think differently,” Movius says, “on how they can take individual actions in their daily lives, including choosing reusables instead of single-use plastics.”

There are plenty of events ushered in by Earth Day for those who do find themselves inspired and wanting to do more.

South Tahoe Earth Week begins on Earth Day, Monday, April 22 with a cleanup on Mother Nature Monday and ends with an Earth Day Festival on Sustainability Saturday. Each day of the week lists multiple earth-friendly activities you can participate in that are as simple as turning off outside lights.

Learn about recycling, composting, and alternative energy at Tahoe Truckee’s Earth Day Festival. The free event on April 20 at the Village at Palisades Tahoe has many educational booths you can attend.

The South Tahoe Earth Day Festival takes place on Saturday, April 27, at Lake Tahoe Community College. This year’s theme is Lake Tahoe vs. Plastics with booths on topics of litter initiatives, cleanups and hands-on activities.

The League to Save Lake Tahoe has a full list of upcoming events on their website.

Bert’s and Ernie’s: two Tahoe dining institutions forever tied together  

As either a parent or a child, if you’ve ever tuned in to the television show “Sesame Street,” then the characters of Bert and Ernie are probably engrained in your memories. Perhaps the pair doesn’t resonate as much with the younger generation nowadays, but that doesn’t stop the connection of the name association happening daily with two long-standing South Lake Tahoe restaurants: Bert’s Café and Ernie’s Coffee Shop.  

The two restaurants, which are located on Emerald Bay Road less than a quarter mile of each other, are often asked if they are affiliated. And while the restaurants are not directly affiliated, the history between the two is very much intertwined.  


Ernie’s Coffee Shop was established in South Lake Tahoe in 1968. Before settling into it’s current location, it was previously located in the space that is now occupied by Bert’s Café. Bert’s Café opened its doors in 2002 in the location where Ernie’s Coffee shop now resides. If you’re head is already trying to keep up, just wait, it get’s more complex.  

Frank’s Restaurant, which was established in 1954 by Frank Lyons, was located in the location of current Ernie’s Coffee Shop before being renamed to Bert’s. It was purchased in 2002 by Paul and Judy Bruso, who at the time, also owned Ernie’s Coffee Shop (still at the old location, which is the current Bert’s Café), while under lease for that location.   

“Paul owned the property where Frank’s was and he wanted to develop it into the new location for Ernie’s but was a year or more out to get it off the ground with all the permits,” said Bueno Ketelsen, co-owner of Bert’s Café.  

Bueno and Marty Ketelsen standing in front of the Old Bert’s Cafe before it was leveled.

According to Ketelsen, Bruso had known Frank was retiring and he needed someone experienced and hard working to help take over Frank’s, and ultimately, take over the building lease in the old Ernie’s location while the new location was being built … But first, they needed to rename Frank’s.  

“We thought of a whole variety of names,” said Ketelsen. “Everything from High Mountain Café to Emerald Bay Café, but Bert’s and Ernie’s was pretty much the first to come out.”  

Ketelsen and his wife Marty helped run the Bert’s location for about a year before closing down to allow for the demolition of the old building and construction of the new Ernie’s. During that time, Bert’s was closed for approximately seven months to allow for the building and by Ketelsen’s account, the old Ernie’s closed on November 30, 2003, and opened at the new location December 1, 2003 – never missing a day of operation. The new Bert’s location (formerly Ernie’s) was given a slight remodel and re-opened its doors the third week of December in 2003.  


While you can’t really tell the story of Ernie’s Coffe Shop without the mention of Paul and Judy Bruso, who owned the establishment for about 35 years, the current owners (Kent Baer and brother-in-law Nathan Bergner) purchased the restaurant from the Bruso’s in 2015.  

Baer, who was born in South Lake Tahoe in 1978, was raised around the Bruso family and was quite close with their son from high school.  

Nathan Bergner, left, and Kent Baer when they took over ownership in 2016.
Jack Barnwell | Tahoe Daily Tribune

“It’s surreal for me to look back. I’ve known this restaurant my whole life,” said Baer. “They served the same hamburger we serve here today.” 

As the Brusos were looking to retire, they turned to Baer and Bergner with the opportunity to take over, and ultimately, the two agreed. 

“The lure of knowing the restaurant was part of it, but it really was the trust in the previous owner,” added Baer. “I knew it was going to be good for my family, but it came down to trust and staff longevity and also the relationship with the community. When they bring in hard earned dollars, they know we’re going to treat them with good service and a good product.”   

The Ketelsen’s found their way to Tahoe when Bueno was tabbed to help open the Chart House towards the top of Kingsbury in 1976. After additional stints at Los Tres Hombres, Buenorico’s and Genoa Lakes, the opportunity for Bert’s Café came at the perfect time.  

Nathan Bergner and Kent Baer
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

“As we were going through that first year, we learned we were good at breakfast,” said Ketelsen. “Not only is it unique, it’s pretty good. That is our business plan: quality. I’ve been in rest business whole life and that’s been my operational motif forever.”  

Even though Ketelsen’s wife Marty has been a part of the restaurant the entire time (whom Ketelsen credits for all their systems and procedures), it wasn’t until about 10 years ago when Ketelsen added a co-owner to the business, his daughter Tracy Phelan.  

Tracy, Bueno and Marty Ketelsen

“Tracy grew up in the restaurant business – always trooping around,” added Ketelsen. “Once she got out of college, she came back and started waitressing and figuring out what to do. She’s been around it forever.”  


It’s not every day you find two family-owned restaurants with similar approaches to food and people, essentially are next door to one another, that are both over 20 years old, and the owners still work day-to-day at the business itself.  

“The fact that we’re here operating hands on is amazing to a lot of people, and maybe even to me,” said Ketelsen.  

And even though Baer doesn’t quite have as long a history with the restaurant, he knew how important the story of family was with the previous owners.   

“Their children worked here. When we started we were told today you start as dishwasher and then did every job. Taking out trash everyday with our employees makes a difference in morale. Longevity of the staff is rare within the restaurant industry, and the town. It’s been a big part of our success and customer base.” 

Ketelsen has a similar approach.  

“We’re proud of what we have. It’s enjoyable to walk up to a table and ask how was everything was and they pat you on the back. It’s things like that makes it all worth while. We have great employees and that’s part of our success.” 

And while the people that make up the uniqueness of each restaurant, part of the success also rests on the shoulders of the food they serve.  

Baer added, “Our regular customer like traditional breakfast but you’ll see a lot of hamburgers served at lunch. Every Wednesday we have a long tradition called Burger Day, where we have low price on burgers, fries, drink and slice of cake or brownie. The whole place fills up at noon for that reason.”  

For Bert’s, you probably can’t ask for a recommendation without mention of their huevos rancheros.  

“I’ve always said we have the best huevos rancheros in the world. We’ve had loyal customers go on vacation and looked for better and haven’t found it,” added Ketelsen.   

While each establishment has their share of dedicated regulars, they also know they have customers that will patron both restaurants – and that’s part of the fun. Sure, they still get the question about their names, the references to the popular characters, and the curiosity on the history, but at the end of the day they embrace the tradition of supporting the community on multiple fronts.  

Baer added, “Busing a table can be very thankless when you do it every day but when you do it around customers that return to you and show appreciation, it can make all the difference in the world. We try hard to return that.” 

Both Bert’s Café and Ernie’s Coffee Shop are located off Emerald Bay Rd. in South Lake Tahoe. For further information on each institution you can reach them at bertscafe.com (530-544-3434) and erniescoffeeshop.com (530-541-2161).  


November 7, 1940 – December 19, 2023

With sadness in our hearts, we have lost our beloved mother Ethel Loraine Aubrey. Everyone who knew her adored her. Most remember Ethel as a little pistol, firecracker, social butterfly, most of all “Bella Of The Ball.” Ethel was part of South Lake Tahoe & Douglas County Senior Centers, Lake Tahoe Community College Choir, and the Lake Tahoe Ukulele Group. Ethel loved to perform, dance and sing. She would volunteer at multiple events with her daughters like, Soroptomist, Barton Skilled Nursing Facility, Barton Foundation, Senior Care Center, and American Legion. Ethel was a world traveler, always dolled up and on the go, she would wave across the room just to say hello to someone. She is now with God, and singing in his choir.

Ethel’s Celebration Of Life, for all who loved Miss Ethel.

April 27th,2024 (10:00am-1:00pm)

American Legion Post 795

2748 Lake Tahoe Blvd

South Lake Tahoe, CA.96150

Obituary: Charles W. Maas

July 10, 1938 – March 18, 2024

Charles W. ‘Chuck’ Maas of Los Angeles, California, aged 85, passed away on March 18, 2024, in Placerville, California, due to an advanced infection. Chuck was married to Dorothy Maas and previously to Glenita Maas. Chuck worked in sales and marketing for most of his life, a career that took him throughout California, to Latin America, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom. He was enthusiastically drawn to moonshot business ideas and saw value in unlikely places. Chuck developed strong friendships that he nurtured for life, beginning in his early years in the neighborhood of Bell, during high school at Cantwell – Sacred Heart of Mary, and at UCLA, where he was actively engaged in student life and was a proud member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Chuck was a rugged outdoorsman who enjoyed hiking, camping, and fishing and could often be found with the simplest of setups, happily sleeping under the stars. He lived life to have fun and contentedly remarked at the time of his passing, ‘Isn’t life great!’.
Chuck made friends wherever he went, happy to share his time, stories, and a pint. People didn’t forget meeting Chuck. He often moved, residing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kentfield (California), London, Gullane (Scotland), and South Lake Tahoe, where he worked for Lake Tahoe Accommodations for 24 years until retirement in 2018. Chuck was surrounded by his children Jocelyn, Kim, Stuart, and Andrew at his passing. Chuck is also survived by his wife Dorothy, his former wife Glenita, his brother Alan, and his three grandsons, Matt, Chase, and Spencer. They ask those who wish to honor Chuck to do so by committing to making everyday fun. Chuck would have appreciated that.

Obituary: Karen Dillow

December 21, 1946 – April 9, 2024

Karen Dillow, a 47-year resident of South Lake Tahoe, passed away April 9, 2024 from natural causes after a short stay in Barton Memorial Hospital.
Karen was born December 21, 1946 in Vallejo, California to Donald and Alice Blomgren, and grew up in San Pedro on the Southern California beaches. She attended San Francisco State during the turbulent late sixties, finishing her studies at Cal State Dominguez Hills. In spring of 1971 she met her love, Rollie M. “Mick” Dillow.
In Mick’s words: “In 1968 I moved from LA to Aspen, Colorado with friends. While visiting back in SoCal I met Karen. We both fell for each other, but it was time for me to return to the rocky mountains. When I asked if she would come with me, she immediately quit her job and packed her suitcase.
” We enjoyed the rockies, also spending two summers in the Hamptons on Long Island, working evenings in Montauk and lying on the beach during the day. But the traveling was too much, so we moved to the lush Sonoran Desert of Tucson. After four years we decided that we missed the snow and changing seasons, so we made the move to South Lake Tahoe in 1977, where we both landed jobs at Harrah’s, back when Bill Harrah was still running the show. Karen enjoyed the hiking, camping, and most of all paddling the canoe on many Sierra lakes over the years. Retirement brought relaxation, traveling in the RV whenever we could, and just enjoying each other’s company.
“Farewell, love, we’ll meet somewhere in the future.”
Karen and Mick Dillow had fifty-three wonderful years together – for pet lovers that’s nine dogs and three turtles. There are no services scheduled.