What Makes a Local?


Ponderings and conversation about rights, responsibility, and privilege seem to swirl among us humans and our inhabitance of “our” pocket of the Sierra.

This month’s question is: What does it mean to be a Truckee/Tahoe local?

Leighanna Pillgram-Larsen, Truckee
Mom to three girls


Anybody who wants to come up here and live and take care of the land and be respectful to our neighbors.


Tony D., Tahoe Vista
Earth local

A true local is someone born and raised here. But other than that I would also consider someone who has been a resident for over a year and through at least one big winter.

Kenny Kehoe, South Lake Tahoe
Community member

Dirty feet, sunburns, and dog hair.


Heidi Euer Martin, Truckee
5th generation Truckee local

Loads of memories from the Truckee/Tahoe area


Nicole Benter, Sierra Meadows
Therapeutic mentor, Gateway Mountain Center

I prefer to not get too hung up on the definition of a local, and instead focus on treating other people and the environment with respect and love and understanding, which I think Truckee people do pretty well. I kinda wanted to throw something in with nature — having a sense of awe for these amazing, natural surroundings.


  • Ted Coakley III

    Lived: OH-TX-OK-CA-NY-CA Visited (work and/or non-work): many states all over the U.S., MX, Canada, Central & South America, Asia & Europe. High on my wish list is Ireland, all over Africa, New Zealand, Russia, Norway, China, Iran, Bhutan, Ecuador, Iceland, Bali, Baja .... well, okay, any/everywhere would be great to visit. Worked: photo, film/video, manual labor, high finance, menial, profound. Someone recently asked me, "You like to talk to people that others don't like to talk to?" I answered that I do like doing that, as much as talking to anyone else, but it's not "a thing" for me that I'm especially into. A day or two later, it struck me why I was asked that - because a lot of people are not like that ... not like me in that way. I'm glad I'm not like others in that way. ¡All for fun and fun for all!

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  1. My definition has changed over the years. Now, it’s not about how long you’ve lived here it’s about how involved you are in the community. I know many who live here part-time yet support our local kids and buy everything with just a knock on the door, show up for local fundraisers, and always chip in when the neighborhood needs a helping hand. I’ve also known many a full-time resident whose door is always closed and will never help a neighbor. Yes, they live here but do they really LIVE here?