South Lake Tahoe seeks to fill 2 seats on planning commission

The city of South Lake Tahoe is in need of two new members for its planning commission.

The openings follow resignations from commissioners Jamie Orr and Jesse Dwyer, both of whom moved outside city limits, making them ineligible for the commission.

"It has been a pleasure serving for the past year and working closely with city staff and my fellow commissioners," Orr wrote in a resignation letter to council. "I am thankful for the confidence of the members of city council in appointing me to this role and hope that I have fulfilled my duties to the residents of the city."

Dwyer, who is moving out of the country, shared similar sentiments in his resignation letter.

"The theme of the resignation is just one of gratitude: I learned so much in this short time from you and Kevin [Fabino] and others, and the example you set is nothing short of inspiring."

City Clerk Susan Alessi will be accepting applications for the two open seats until Tuesday, April 24, with City Council expected to make the appointments at its May 1 meeting.

Applications can be picked up at the clerk's office at 1901 Airport Road between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications can be emailed, mailed or faxed upon request to the clerk's office. Completed applications must be returned no later than 5 p.m., on April 24.

Contact Alessi at 530-542-6004 for more information.

Valhalla Tahoe announces Art, Music & Theatre Festival lineup

Valhalla Tahoe's annual Art, Music & Theatre Festival celebrates its 39th year with live entertainment that kicks off in June and lasts through October. According to a press release from Valhalla, it's the most diverse and ambitious festival since the tradition began.

"The lineup provides a little something for everyone! Between the great performances and the natural setting you can't beat Valhalla Tahoe for one of the best experiences on the lake. This year should be more fun than ever," said Sharon Romack, the new executive director of Valhalla Tahoe.

This year the Art, Music & Theatre Festival offers musical and dramatic theater, comedy shows, concerts and more. The summer-long fun begins on Friday, June 22, with Little Faith, an R&B, soul and gospel collective.

Other performers scheduled to headline Valhalla's season include: the Tahoe Improv Players (June 30, July 10, 24 and 31); Broadway in Blue — a revue featuring songs from classic and contemporary Broadway shows (July 5-8, 12-15); Capoeira, Dance and Drumming Workshops with SambaDa, a Brazilian dance band (July 17-18); Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty — a one-woman show about life and love in the White House (July 19-22); James Garner's Tribute to Johnny Cash (Aug. 1); and Ultrafaux with Evan Price — a concert highlighting Balkan folk, gypsy swing, be-bop, funk and more (Sept. 5).

Additional entertainment is expected to round out the current lineup. Visit http://www.valhallatahoe.com for information and a full schedule.

Letter: There must be a difference between politics and administration in local government

Cause of Stateline explosion still under investigation

The cause of a blast in Stateline that left a giant crater in the middle of U.S. 50 is still under investigation.

Around 5 a.m. on Sunday, April 1, a power component caught fire and exploded under the highway outside the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel. No injuries were reported.

As NV Energy continues to repair the underground electric systems, eastbound lanes remain open, but westbound traffic is being diverted around the casino corridor.

Drivers should expect some delays due to the detour.

"The cause is still under investigation," said Kristen Saibini, spokesperson for the utility company. "Work by NV Energy in that area is scheduled to be ongoing over the next two weeks to finalize permanent repairs."

NV Energy also will make the roadway repairs with a final inspection by the Nevada Department of Transportation "to ensure that is meets all roadway standards and specifications for driver safety," according to NDOT spokesperson Meg Ragonese.

Prescribed burns in Lake Tahoe ahead of next storm

South Lake Tahoe City Council declines to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day

South Lake Tahoe will not join the growing list of cities opting to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day.

City Council declined to take up a measure on April 2 that would have established the newly named holiday. Currently 95 cities in the U.S. recognize Indigenous People's Day, according to a city staff report. Several council members cited an informal survey that showed an overwhelming amount of respondents opposed to renaming the holiday.

Asked if they supported replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the city of South Lake Tahoe, nearly 38 percent of the 594 survey takers said "yes," while 63 percent said "no." A majority of the survey takers, nearly 74 percent, said they had heard of Indigenous People's Day.

"I don't think it's a topic that has yet risen to the level that this community is interested in making the change right now," Mayor Wendy David noted. "I don't want to negate at all the meaning behind that … that we live in an area that's rich in Native Americans and that we have the greatest respect for them I hope in everything we do in Tahoe and for their history here."

However, resident Reid Reichardt said the poll should be tossed aside because it did not provide the necessary context.

"The survey was misleading in not providing the background information … my personal opinion is the survey should be completely disregarded unless people are re-educated …"

Reichardt attended multiple City Council meetings urging the city to rename the holiday.

He created a website, KeepTahoeTrue.org, that made the case for re-naming the holiday. Specifically, the page points to Columbus' participation in the slave trade and other atrocities as a need to correct "mis-written history."

Former City Councilman Bruce Grego spoke against renaming the holiday, saying the proposal was "political" and an effort to pit one group against another.

"You have to look at history as a transition from bad to better … to try to put standards today against Columbus or other historical figures I think is wrong. … I don't support the change."

Reichardt said one person's opinion should not sway council, to which council member Jason Collin clarified it wasn't Grego's comment swaying the council.

Collin, like David, pointed to the survey and suggested the question might be one that Reichardt and other passionate community members put before voters.

"If the community wants this the community should vote for it," he said.