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NEWS BRIEFS | August 10 - September 13, 2017

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Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

After Three Decades, O’Gorman Retires from Recreation and Park District

Recreation Superintendent Dan O’Gorman retired at the end of July, after more than three decades at the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District. O’Gorman started at TDRPD in 1986 as a youth and adult sports coordinator, and met his wife Rosemary while umpiring a softball game in 1990. He also helped with the development and opening of the Community Recreation Center and the community swimming pool, and has long supported the Buddy Werner Youth Ski League and Adult Softball programs.

Dr. Loretta O’Brien Joins Team at Incline Health Center

Dr. Loretta O’Brien will join the team at the Incline Health Center, on the second floor of the Incline Village Community Hospital. Dr. O’Brien completed her residency at the Travis Air Force Base David Grant Medical Center, and has extensive experience in primary and urgent care with patients of all ages.

New Orthopedic Surgeon Joins Tahoe Forest Orthopedics

Dr. Paul Haeder, an orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in sports medicine, will join the orthopedic team at Tahoe Forest Health Center. Dr. Haeder is a board-eligible orthopedic surgeon, and specializes in joint replacements, fractures, and sports medicine surgery.

Supervisors Approve $1.78 Million Contract with Resort Association


In May, Moonshine Ink covered the aftermath of Placer County’s decision to halve the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s duties and responsibilities. In July, the board of supervisors approved a transitional contract with the NLTRA for $1.78 million. The transitional period is intended to help NLTRA and Placer County refine community goals and responsibilities for the agency. The contract, in effect until Jan. 31, 2018, allows the county and NLTRA to continue to engage the community about investment priorities in eastern Placer County as outlined in the Tourism Master Plan and include feedback in a longer-term strategy for the partnership. County staff expect to return to the board in December to present that strategy and seek approval for a longer contract with NLTRA for the coming year.  

UC Davis Releases State of the Lake 2016 Report


UC Davis’ Tahoe Environmental Research Center released their annual State of the Lake report in July, summarizing key lake measurements, such as clarity, water ecology, and invasive species. Additional areas of research were added to this year’s report, addressing the recent drought and its affect on tree mortality in the basin, threats posed by climate change, and an analysis of how boating is increasing algal blooms in the lake. The report, aimed to inform nonscientists in easy-to-understand language, is available in full at

Town is One of California’s Premier Cultural Districts


The Town of Truckee has been selected as one of 14 premier cultural districts in the state of California by the California Arts Council in July, in a new program that will highlight cultural diversity and artistic identities within the state. A cultural district, as outlined by the program, is a well-defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities. The 14 districts that comprise the program’s first cohort were selected with variety in mind and intended to help tailor the program to meet the complex needs of a state kaleidoscopic in nature.
Truckee Cultural District will receive the designation for a period of five years, per state legislation. Under this pilot launch of the program, it includes benefits such as technical assistance, peer-to-peer exchanges, branding materials, and promotional strategy. The California Arts Council has partnered with Visit California and Caltrans for strategic statewide marketing and resource support.

Tahoe Forest Health System Reduces Measure C Bond and Tax Rate


On July 27, the Tahoe Forest Health System board of directors voted unanimously to reduce the Measure C general obligation bond to $19.78 per $100,000 of assessed property values, down from $23.48 in 2016. The vote comes after the hospital district decided to utilize 75 percent of their tax revenue reserves to pay the $4.85 million debt requirement in 2017/18, needed to update hospital facilities to be in compliance with Senate Bill 1953, state legislation passed in 1994 mandating hospitals to meet new seismic requirements. The general obligation bond has also helped to modernize the Women and Family Center, the 24-hour emergency department, and supplemented the construction of the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center.

Effort to Restore Tahoe Forests Ignites as Tree Mortality Doubles


The Tahoe Fund announced in July that it would partner with UC Davis scientists to improve forest health in the Tahoe Basin. In spite of a record-breaking winter, tree mortality due to bark beetle infestation and drought has more than doubled, from 35,000 trees in 2015 to 72,000 in 2016. The partnership aims to repopulate the hardest-hit areas along Tahoe’s North Shore with native sugar pine trees. The campaign, named the Sugar Pine Reforestation Project, needs to raise $36,000 to implement restoration efforts. Donations can be made at

Ultraviolet Light to Combat Invasive Aquatic Species in Lake Tahoe


The Tahoe Resource Conservation District, in partnership with Inventive Resources announced in July that they will test ultraviolet light in the waters of Lake Tahoe in an effort to eradicate aquatic invasive species. A grant from the Tahoe Fund made this testing possible, through their Environmental Venture Trust program, which seeks to promote projects that address the degradation of Lake Tahoe’s watershed. The pilot project, slated to wrap up in 2018, uses ultraviolet-C light to damage DNA structures within the invasive plant life.

Local Middle School Girls Receive Scholarships to Attend STEM Camp


Alder Creek Middle School students Isabella Guerrero, Alyssa Hynes, and Olivia Prisco, as well as Sierra Expeditionary Learning School student Alondra Sanchez, were awarded scholarships this summer to attend the American Association of University Women’s Science and Math Camp, known as Tech Trek, held at UC Davis in July. The camp’s goals are to create inspiration and confidence for science and math in young women about to enter eighth grade. Hands-on activities and guest speakers fill the camp’s STEM curriculum. All scholarship funds came from the AAUW Truckee Donner Branch. Info:

Grant of $75,000 to Build 200-Mile Trail Highlighting Local Landmarks


The county was awarded a $75,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In partnership with Burning Man, Washoe County will create a public participatory experience highlighting the cultural, historic, and artistic landmarks along a 200-mile trail, passing through the small towns and tribal lands of Washoe County. The route will follow the Truckee River through the cities of Reno and Sparks, north to historic Pyramid Lake on Paiute tribal land, and continue to Gerlach in the far northern region of Washoe County. The project is estimated to take two years to complete and allows for community input, art project proposals, and implementation.

Volunteers Collect 1,676 Pounds of Litter After Fourth of July


Following the Fourth of July celebration, 320 community members gathered with the League to Save Lake Tahoe (aka Keep Tahoe Blue), collecting 1,676 pounds of trash along 5.6 miles of Tahoe’s beaches and trails. Volunteers joined the League at six meeting spots to help clean up litter from some of the hardest-hit beaches. While this was an initiative to clean the beaches, the League also gathered statistics about the trash entering the lake for future prevention. The top trash items removed were cigarette butts (5,242) and plastic pieces (6,357) — plastic pieces include plastic bottle caps, straws, and polystyrene pieces. Volunteers also collected more than 1,100 food wrappers.

Troubled Trail to Receive Major Overhaul


The Truckee Tahoe Airport board approved an $85,000 funding partnership at their July 26 board meeting for the construction of a multi-feature trail in Kings Beach. The project will upgrade a current OHV trail, located off Beaver Street in Kings Beach, into a trail for use by mountain bikes, motorbikes, hikers, and equestrians. The trail currently has major erosion issues, and the project — backed by the US Forest Service, volunteers from the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA), North Tahoe Public Utility District, and the Tahoe Fund — will help reduce erosion and sediment flow into Lake Tahoe. The project will mirror the Corral Trail in South Lake Tahoe, which has similar erosion issues. With a comparable trail redesign, they have seen a 90 percent reduction in erosion.


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