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NEWS BRIEFS | May 12 - June 8, 2017

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Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

Homewood Mountain Resort Names Lisa Nigon as Marketing Director


Lisa Nigon will now oversee all marketing operations for the Lake Tahoe ski area, West Shore Café, and Homewood High & Dry Marina. Nigon has been with Homewood Mountain Resort since June 2014 when she was hired as the marketing manager for West Shore Café.

Plumas Bank Promotes Sherina Kreul to Vice President


Plumas Bank recently announced that Sherina Kreul has been promoted to Vice President, Branch Manager of the office in Tahoe City. Kreul has more than 20 years of banking experience and joined Plumas Bank in 2013 as Assistant Vice President, Financial Services Officer.

Summit Restaurant and Bar Proprietor Retires


After 16 years in business, Marina Montano, owner/operator of The Summit Restaurant & Bar on Donner Summit, has announced her retirement. The restaurant and bar served customers for the last time on April 30. Sugar Bowl is now accepting inquiries and proposals from potential new operators for the business.

Allen Riley to become Squaw Valley’s New Fire Chief


Captain Allen Riley has been selected as the new Fire Chief for the Squaw Valley Fire Department. Riley began his service to the community of Squaw Valley in 1993 as a volunteer, and starting in July will assume the role of the department’s fifth fire chief in its 47-year history, taking over for former chief of 36 years Pete Bansen.

Local Engineer Retires


Ken Foster moved to the North Shore in 1971 as the manager of engineering for the new Northstar Ski Area. He subsequently worked in Squaw Valley and at the Tahoe Truckee Sanitation Agency and opened K.B. Foster Civil Engineering in 1978. He will be retiring this year.

County Creates Uproar Over Changes to NLTRA


At the end of March, Placer County staff proposed a change to the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association that would remove its responsibility for infrastructure and transportation funds and shift it to the county. The county would establish a new committee comprised of business organization representatives and stakeholders to review and prioritize county investments in North Lake Tahoe projects. The changes would leave intact the NLTRA’s marketing committee and its control of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and Tahoe North Visitors and Convention Bureau. Placer County expects to save about $300,000 each year by reducing duplicative coordination efforts and associated administrative costs, and hopes the new committee will be more geographically inclusive and help the county to better directly engage with North Tahoe communities. However, the proposal has met resistance from the NLTRA and community members, who are concerned it could be a power grab on the part of Placer County and dilute local control over TOT (transit occupancy tax) spending. Any proposed changes to the NLTRA and its budget must be approved by the Placer County Board of Supervisors.

Placer County will host an open house on the issue on May 12, Squaw Valley Public Service District conference room, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Placer County and Town of Truckee Collaborate on Community Trails


On April 24 the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pair up with the Town of Truckee to jointly apply for funding to build two additional sections of the Resort Triangle Trail Network totaling 62 continuous miles between North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. They will submit a funding proposal to the California Federal Lands Access Program for $3.65 million to supplement a combined $1.09 million from the two districts. A joint proposal will increase the likelihood of obtaining the funds, and the new trail sections meet federal funding requirements by enhancing public access to federal lands and linking key economic centers in the region.    

TRPA Approves new Area Transportation Plan, Free Transit and Digital Apps on Horizon


The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board finalized and unanimously approved a new regional transportation plan called Linking Tahoe on April 28, updating regional goals and commitments through 2021. Key goals include making Tahoe’s public transportation free to the user while beefing up transit schedules with 30-minute intervals between arrivals, reducing the current 60-minute wait. The plan expands service to popular tourist destinations like Emerald Bay and Zephyr Cove, and proposes the creation of a new digital app to help residents and visitors keep track of transit schedules.

Liberty Utilities Launches new 50MW Solar Energy Facility


Liberty Utilities, which supplies power for more than 20,000 customers in El Dorado, Placer, and Nevada counties, unveiled the Luning Solar Energy Center on April 19 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony open to the public. The 50MW plant, located in Luning, Nevada, will supply 25 percent of their Tahoe customers’ energy needs. Liberty renegotiated their contract with NV Energy in 2015 to exclude coal-generated power whenever possible, attempting to come in line with California’s renewable energy mandate, which requires 33 percent of California power to come from renewable sources by 2020, increasing to 50 percent by 2050.

No Barriers Summit to Bring Record Crowd to Squaw in June


How do you experience hearing without sound or sewing without sight? The 8th annual No Barriers Summit comes to the Resort at Squaw Creek June 1 to 4, for a festival that encourages people of all ability levels to transcend boundaries and push themselves beyond the limits. Co-founder Erik Weihenmayer, a world-renowned blind adventurer, says that the summit is all about breaking out of comfort zones, trying new things, and feeling empowered. More than 1,000 attendees are expected for this year’s summit, the largest turnout in its history. Info:

Travel Back to the Winter of 1846 With a Local Historian


This winter in Tahoe was one for the books, but another famous winter in 1846 trapped 81 men, women and children on their way through the Sierra Nevada. Join Dr. Richard F. Kaufman at the Donner Memorial State Park Visitors Center on May 13 as he recounts the incredible story of these travelers’ escape, chronicled in his recently released book Saving the Donner Party. Doors open at 5 p.m., a $5 donation is suggested.

Forest Service Announces Decision for West Shore Fuels Reduction Project


The U.S. Forest Service made its final decision on May 2 to authorize fuels reduction on Tahoe’s West Shore. The process could take up to 10 years depending on conditions, and will treat 4,875 acres of forest extending from Emerald Bay to Burton Creek State Park. The thinning process will utilize hand and mechanical methods of removal, and materials will be used for saw logs and biomass. Short-term impacts to recreational areas and long-term visual alterations to the forest are possible during the fuels reduction process.

An “Endless Season” at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows


Squaw Valley Ski Resort plans to remain open indefinitely this year, prolonging the ski and snowboard season as long as conditions permit. The resort will be open to visitors from July 1 to 4 and every Saturday thereafter for the remainder of the summer, marking the first time in Squaw’s history to remain open beyond Independence Day. The valley currently has a base snow depth of 20 feet, the result of a record-breaking winter season that brought 10 major storms and 714 inches of snow to the area. For those hoping to hit the slopes after the Fourth, a 2017/18 Tahoe Super Pass is required.

Governor Brown Signs Gas-Tax Bill Into Law


Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial gas-tax bill into law on April 28, which will bring $52 billion in tax revenue to the state of California over the next decade to repair roads, revamp public transit systems and fund new transportation projects. A 12 cent/gallon gas excise tax will go into effect in November 2017, which may mean consumers see a price hike at the pump. “Safe and smooth roads make California a better place to live,” said Brown in a statement. (There’s more to the bill and you’ll see it in your car registration fees, here.)

Nevada County Needs Rural Jurors


Would you like to play a larger role in your local government? Nevada County is seeking another grand juror for the 2017/18 jury year. Grand jurors devote approximately two hours for three days a week to jury sessions and off-duty work is also a portion of the job. Sub-committees look into county departments including the school district, county government, law enforcement and finance, and submit reports about any problems they find to the parent organizations on behalf of the county’s citizens. Info:

School District Recognized as Green Ribbon School District


Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) was recently recognized at the gold level as a Green Ribbon School District by the U.S. Department of Education. To earn this distinction, TTUSD demonstrated exemplary achievement in the U.S. Department of Education’s three key areas:
Pillar 1: Reduce environmental impact and costs
Pillar 2: Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff
Pillar 3: Provide effective environmental education that teaches many disciplines and is especially good at effectively incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, civic skills, and green career pathways.

North Lake Tahoe Fire Wheels Out Five New Gurneys


The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District was able to purchase five new state-of- the-art Stryker auto-load gurney systems, thanks to a grant the district received from the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool (POOL/PACT). Currently, the Stryker Power-LOAD system is the most advanced available system of its type, and takes a significant lifting strain off the users while speeding up the evacuation process. The grant award of $89,687 funded 75 percent of the equipment cost, leaving 25 percent, or $29,900, for the Fire District to fund.

Innovation: TEDx Comes to Truckee June 1

EDITORS NOTE: Update, May 18, 2017: TEDxYouth@Truckee has been postponed until Nov. 1, 2017


The Town of Truckee, Truckee High School, and Tahoe Expedition Academy (TEA) will be hosting a TEDxYouth@Truckee event at the Truckee High School Theater on June 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. The event’s theme will be centered around innovation, with speakers answering the question, “What about our world do you want to make better?” TEDxYouth@Truckee is now open to speaker applications for anyone under the age of 19 as of June 1, 2017. The deadline to submit is May 12. Info:

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June 14, 2018