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NEWS BRIEFS | June 13 - July 11, 2018

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Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

Whitelaw to Retire from NTPUD


Duane Whitelaw is retiring as general manager of North Tahoe Public Utility District on June 15, following three decades serving the community in multiple positions, including park and recreation director at NTPUD and fire chief for North Tahoe Fire Protection District.  In over 30 years Whitelaw secured millions of dollars in grants for local projects and purchase of land — boat ramps, beaches, bike trails, parks, playgrounds, and fire stations.

Alison Lehman Named Next CEO of County


Alison Lehman, currently Nevada County’s Assistant County Executive Officer, was named as Rick Haffey’s successor for County Executive Officer of Nevada County on May 10. With a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkley, and a Masters of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge, Alison Lehman has more than 20 years of experience in government and community nonprofit settings.

Phebe Bell Named Nevada County Director of Behavioral Health


Former county CEO Rick Haffney named Phebe Bell as the new director of behavioral health on May 18. Since December of 2017, Bell has been serving as interim director of behavioral health providing oversight for a multi-million dollar budget with a staff of over 30 people, while leading the department through a transition period.

Liz Bowling Joins North Lake Tahoe Resort Association


Liz Bowling recently joined the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association I Chamber of Commerce I CVB in the newly created position of director of communications and membership. Bowling has been championing North Lake Tahoe businesses for the past five years, working to promote the destination on a national level through marketing campaigns and public relations tactics.

Community Center Opens


Washoe County officially opened its doors May 18 to the new Incline Village Community Center. Targeted toward seniors in need, the social spaces in the center will host senior and community activities in Incline Village, removing isolation and service access barriers that directly affect quality of life for those populations. The center is in the space of the old Incline Village Library, though seniors will still have access to the new library located next door. Info:

Citizens Debate Future Legality of Brothels


The board of county commissioners is having a meeting to “provide staff with direction to develop an advisory question for the 2018 general election asking the voters to determine whether or not Title 5 Chapter 3 should be rescinded in order to end legalized prostitution in Lyon County.” This initiative is being pushed by which is paid for and operated by the ETAP PAC, or End Trafficking and Prostitution PAC. In Nye County on April 17 a referendum was filed with the county clerk by citizens wishing to repeal the county ordinance, which allows for legal brothels to operate within the county borders.

Tahoe Keys Testing New Technology to Combat Spread of Weeds


As part of ongoing efforts to control aquatic invasive plants, the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association, working with the League to Save Lake Tahoe, is testing out new technology never used before in Lake Tahoe. Called a bubble curtain, the device installed on May 12 creates a barrier of bubbles in the water column across the west channel between the Tahoe Keys lagoons and Lake Tahoe. While used in other locations around the world (including places with currents, tides, and swells) to prevent debris from moving through an area, this is the first time this technology has been used to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants. The association has also purchased two Sea Bins — autonomous devices designed in Australia to collect debris in the water — that will be placed on either end of the bubble curtain to capture and remove fragments as they are corralled. Info:

Beacon Parking Lot to Be Temporarily Relocated


The two-hour public parking lot commonly referred to as the Beacon Lot located on Donner Pass Road in downtown Truckee, behind the Beacon gas station, will be closed for construction-related activities. Two temporary parking lots are being constructed to replace those parking spaces. One is located directly adjacent to the Beacon Lot in a northeast direction. The second is located approximately 200 yards east of it. These two temporary lots will still be for two-hour maximum parking, but will also be available for employee parking all day with the appropriate employee parking pass, and as overnight parking areas.

Harmful Algal Bloom Season Begins


With the summer season nearing and recreational activities about to ramp up on the state’s lakes, rivers, and streams, the State Water Board is reminding the public to be aware of harmful algal blooms. These blooms can produce toxins, and taste and odor compounds that pose health risks to humans and animals. Dogs are particulary at risk because of the amount of water they swallow while swimming. While visiting your local lake or river, be aware that toxins can be present even though a bloom is not visible. Heed all advisory signs posted near water bodies. Harmful algae blooms can be a variety of colors such as green, white, red, or brown, and may look like thick paint floating on the water. Cyanobacteria blooms have a grainy, sawdust-like appearance of individual colonies. Info:

Liberty Utilities Address Tree Mortality


With an increase in the number of dead and dying trees in the Lake Tahoe region, Liberty Utilities has tripled the number of inspectors identifying trees that pose a risk to the utility’s infrastructure. The inspection program and subsequent removal of hazardous trees are designed to reduce the risk of power outages and potential wildfires, and to comply with state regulations. Liberty Utilities hires qualified tree inspectors who are currently working along the 57-mile length of the utility’s power line that serves the Tahoe City area.

Placer County Urges Hantavirus Precautions After Recent Death


Health officials have confirmed that a Placer County resident who recently died tested positive for hantavirus. The resident likely contracted the virus from rodents in a private residence in the Lake Tahoe region where the resident lived and worked.

To minimize the risk of hantavirus infection, follow these simple measures:

• Avoid contact with all wild rodents, their droppings, and their nesting materials.

• Before entering an enclosed area that may be infested with rodents, allow it to air out for at least 30 minutes.

• Do not dry sweep or vacuum areas that rodents have potentially contaminated.

• Surfaces that rodents may have contaminated with urine or droppings should be made wet with a 10 percent bleach solution or a commercial disinfectant following label directions before mopping up.

• Promptly dispose of all cleaning materials when done, and thoroughly wash hands and clothes.

• Examine the outside of all buildings and seal any holes or other areas that would let rodents get inside.

• Store all food items securely in rodent-proof containers.

More info:

Martis West Decision Appealed


Although Placer County Superior Court issued a ruling in March to rescind approval of Martis Valley West due to its failure to address wildfire evacuation concerns, League to Save Lake Tahoe, Mountain Area Preservation, and Sierra Watch have appealed the decision with California’s Third District Court of Appeals stating that the ruling did not address their other concerns about the project. First and foremost of their concerns are impacts the project would have on the Lake Tahoe Basin. The three conservation organizations filing the appeal seek to ensure the project’s environmental threats are addressed and that a precedent is set that Lake Tahoe is to remain protected.

Town Considers Taking Over Library Operation


In 2010, Friends of the Truckee Library hired a consulting firm to explore alternative funding sources and governance of the Truckee Library. At the time the Town decided that it was not the right time to explore this option, but in 2017 the Town conducted a Library Management Feasibility Study. The library is currently run by Nevada County, and the options explored in the study include the Town fully taking over operation, a collaborative effort, and the county remaining in control. Results of the feasibility study can be found on the Town’s May 8 agenda. The Town Council voted on what path to take during its June 12 meeting, as this edition of Moonshine Ink was going to press.

Squaw Proposes Transportation Micro-District


Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is in progress of an application to form a Tourist Based Improvement District (TBID) that would fund its proposed micro mass transit service.

Squaw has submitted a draft management plan for the service and is now working on securing signatures from the lodging providers and the ski resort, who would fall under its jurisdiction, requiring approval by at least 50 percent of those providers (based on share of total funds that would be collected, not one vote per entity) plus one to proceed with their application.

Placer County will review Squaw Alpine’s petition for accuracy and then bring forward what’s called a “resolution of intention” to form the district to our Board of Supervisors. The County says that will happen in July, likely at the board meeting on July 10. Formation of a district like this requires three public hearings, of which the July 10 meeting would be the first. The second would likely be at the board’s meeting in Tahoe July 23 and 24. And the board would be asked to approve the district in August. If they do, the TBID could begin collecting the assessment right away, and the new service could start as soon as this winter season.

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January 10, 2019