News Briefs

Placer County Launches a Child Abuse Resources Webpage


In observance of National Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center, a joint program with the Placer County’s District Attorney’s Office and Health and Human Services, has launched a new child abuse resources webpage to support victims of child abuse in Placer County.

The new webpage hosts a multitude of resources such as information on the interview center, an introduction to various resources throughout the county, educational materials and more.


The Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center of Placer County was founded in 1993, partnering with law enforcement, child protective services, medical professionals, mental health, and advocacy to establish a child-friendly forensic interview center for children who may have been abused or witnessed a crime.

In 2021, MDIC served 232 victims and provided over 402 services for the community. California Victim Compensation Board is a state-wide program dedicated to providing reimbursement for crime-related expenses to eligible victims. In Placer County, a devoted team of claims specialists processed over 157 applications for child abuse victims and their families, providing funding for invaluable resources such as mental health services, security equipment and relocation services.

~ Placer County press release

Tahoe 10th Grader Adds Voice to National Discourse


Where does America go from here? It’s a question with no easy answers, but one Tahoe Expedition Academy student was recently recognized for his thoughts on the matter. Tenth-grade student Cameron Tatara placed second in a national essay contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. More than 60,000 students nationwide entered the “Voices of Democracy” audio essay contest which invited students to address America’s future in 650 words or less.

TEA ninth and 10th graders took on the challenge, using the school’s mission, vision, and values to analyze the issue. They considered questions such as: How do we fight for a just and equitable world? How do we tackle today’s messy and important problems? How do we enact positive change in the world? Their responses ranged on issues from gun control, to education, to equality and justice for all. Tatara’s essay, entitled American Dream, earned second place out of all of the national applicants. Here are some excerpts:

“The ‘American Dream,’ what does that mean? It’s a term that is used a lot in our society. It is something that our country has fought in wars for, lost lives for, and continues to seek out. Living in the land of equal opportunity is the premise for this idea, but how has it come to be? Has it ever truly been achieved? 

If we all begin to think of ourselves as allies, not enemies, and look for common ground with each other, our country can finally find real unity, not the kind that is preached to you by politicians trying to get elected. This divisive strategy is not something that can continue. Having real conversations with people about important topics does more than any policy change could ever. If we can do this, we can finally call ourselves, ‘We the People,’ and truly live the American Dream.”

The VFW contest was established in 1947 to provide high school students with the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democracy and patriotism. Each year, more than $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives are awarded through the program.  

To read the entire essay, click here.

~ TEA press release

Targeting Catalytic Converters


Thieves in Placer County continue to target catalytic converters. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has received over 20 reports of such thefts since December, bringing the number of stolen converters to over 100 since January of 2021. Staff believes there are many more thefts that have not been reported. 

Did you know thieves can steal catalytic converters from vehicles in about five minutes, and the resale price on the street can reach up to a thousand dollars? This is a reminder to park vehicles in well-lit and well-populated areas. 

The sheriff’s office also invites residents to participate in the catalytic converter engraving program launched last year. PCSO has partnered with several auto repair shops around the county to offer a service that engraves owners’ license plate numbers or VIN numbers onto their converter; the goal is to make the converter less appealing for thieves to saw off. A marked catalytic converter can also help detectives identify who it belongs to in the event it is stolen. Some auto repair shops also offer additional services to secure catalytic converters to further deter thieves. Below is a list of participating auto repair shops below:

Knutz Auto & Truck

901 Placer Blvd., Ste. C

Rocklin, CA 95765


The Master Technicians, Inc.

12209 Locksley Ln., #15

Auburn, CA 95602

(530) 889-9682

Sierra Auto Care

3270 Swetzer Rd.

Loomis, CA 95650

(916) 652-6196

~ PCSO Facebook post

Tahoe National Forest Seeking to Fill 50 Recreation, Archaeologist Positions


The U.S. Forest Service is hiring for hundreds of positions in recreation and archaeology across the nation. Jobs listings opened April 6 and will remain open through April 19. The positions are available in many locations, including Nevada City, Sierraville, Truckee, Camptonville, and Foresthill in the Tahoe National Forest.

For a list of positions at each duty station, please visit the USFS Recreation & Heritage Jobs Story Map and the Tahoe National Forest employment page. Depending on the role, recreation specialists and technicians may have outdoor or office-based duties, which could include trail repair, campground maintenance, visitor information, wilderness protection, and even patrolling on skis. Archaeologists work to learn about, interpret and protect the historical and cultural treasures of our country and are often involved in field investigations, site evaluation, and coordination with American Indian Tribes.

If you are interested in applying, please note:

  • Applications are only accepted through
  • The job announcements will not list specific duty locations. Qualified applicants will be prompted to provide their location preferences prior to the interview phase.
  • Apply early as some of the announcements will close after 800 applications are received.
  • Helpful hiring tips and additional information about career opportunities are available here:

~ TNF press release

Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

Airport GM Departs


Truckee Tahoe Airport District General Manager Kevin Smith is moving on after 12 years in the position. His tenure will end May 6.

Smith informed Moonshine that he will be working as a western market leader in aviation planning for Mead & Hunt, a national planning and engineering company.

I want to thank each member of the board of directors for their friendship and support they have extended to me as well as my family during my tenure as general manager,” Smith shared in a TTAD Facebook post. “… I also want to express my deep appreciation to our wonderful TTAD staff team which I have had the privilege of working with. I am very proud of this team, and know the airport is in very good hands and set up for future success.”

~ AH

NEW DIRECTORS ABOARD: Pictured from left to right are new and continuing members of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Associaton’s board of directors: Tony Karwowski, Alyssa Reilly, Ray Villaman, Dave Wilderotter, Samir Tuma, Deirdra Walsh, Melissa Siig, Jim Phelan, Jill Schott, Stephanie Hoffman, Stephanie Holloway. Photo courtesy NLTRA

Local Business Leaders Elected to NLTRA Board


Six North Lake Tahoe area business leaders were recently elected by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association/Chamber of Commerce membership to join the volunteer board of directors for the resort association. The new members will each serve a three-year term. 

The NLTRA board of directors guides the work of the organization in its responsibilities under the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District and in contracts with Placer County that focus on destination management and marketing, housing and transportation, and destination stewardship initiatives. 

 The members who assumed their board positions at today’s meeting include: 

  • North Shore lodging/property management seat: Jill Schott, Tahoe Moon Properties (first term) 
  • Food and beverage businesses at-large seat: Tom Turner, Gar Woods Grill and Pier (returning) 
  • At-large seat: Dave Wilderotter, Tahoe Dave’s (returning) 
  • Palisades Tahoe Ski Area: Mike DeGroff (first term) 
  • Squaw Village Business Association: Dan Tester, Granite Peak Management (returning) 
  • Resort at Squaw Creek: David Lockard (returning) 

In addition, the full board selected its new executive committee today: 

  • NLTRA board chair: Deirdra Walsh, Northstar California 
  • Vice chair: Sue Rae Irelan, Placer County appointee 
  • Secretary: Dan Tester, Granite Peak Management 
  • Treasurer: Ray Villaman, Northstar Business Association 
  • Past chair: Samir Tuma, Tahoe City Lodge 

The TBID Advisory Committee will be responsible for advising the NLTRA board in implementation of the Management District Pan as it relates to the total TBID budget and how it is allocated and spent within its nine areas of focus. Committee members include: 

  • Tom Feiten, Palisades Tahoe 
  • Jerusha Hall, Northstar California 
  • Jim Phelan, Tahoe City Marina 
  • Danny Scott, Restaurant/Northstar/Palisades 
  • Laurie Munos, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe 
  • Dave Wilderotter, Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards 
  • Johnny Roscher, Za’s 
  • Katherine Hill, Tahoe Weekly 
  • John Melrose, Tahoe House 

The Zone 1 Advisory Committee will make recommendations on the use and implementation of funds specifically allocated to Eastern Placer County lakeside communities generated primarily by assessed lakeside lodging businesses. Committee members include: 

  • Jill Schott, Tahoe Moon Properties 
  • Haley Packard, Packard Realty 
  • DJ Ewan, Granlibakken Tahoe 
  • Alex Mourelatos, Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort 
  • Connor McCarthy, Homewood Mountain Resort 
  • Jim Phelan, Tahoe City Marina 
  • Melissa Siig, Tahoe Art Haus 

Learn more about the NLTRA, its board of directors, and committees at

~ NLTRA press release

Business Briefs

$100,000 IN 20 MINUTES: At a March 23 annual Chase International meeting, $100,000 was raised toward a fire rescue helicopter for the Tahoe Basin. Those interested in contributing to Chase Cares – Tahoe Douglas Fire District Helicopter Fundraiser can visit Photo courtesy Chase International

Chase International and EKN Development Raise $100,000 in 20 Minutes


What started as an annual company meeting for Chase International turned into an unprecedented 20-minute event that raised $100,000 to support Operation Save the Tahoe Basin, a fundraising project to purchase a fire rescue helicopter.

During every annual meeting, Chase International sets aside time to unveil its yearly project as part of the “Chase Cares” company-wide mission to support the communities in which they live. For this annual meeting, Chase invited Scott Lindgren, fire chief for the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, to educate the agents and staff about his district’s (and others in the Basin) initiative to raise money to purchase a fire rescue helicopter.

Within moments after Lindgren’s presentation, Dunn announced that if every agent donated just $62 that Chase International could raise $20,000. He then revealed that EKN would match that amount if that occurred. To add to the sizzle, Shari Chase, founder and CEO of Chase International, announced that Chase Cares would match every dollar raised by the people in the room. Twenty minutes later, agents and staff of Chase International, Chase Cares, and EKN raised $100,000.

Chase International unveiled Chase Cares – Tahoe Douglas Fire District Helicopter Fundraiser the following day. For specific details and to donate to the fire rescue helicopter project, visit

~ EKN, Chase International press release

New Member of Mountain Hardware and Sports Family


Village Ace Hardware in Incline Village is now part of the Mountain Hardware and Sports family. 

Since its opening in 1974 by the Falke family, Village Ace Hardware has been a steadfast supplier to the Incline Village and surrounding communities. The new Mountain Hardware and Sports location will see an expanded product selection in coming months, including more expansive hardware and tools, footwear, patio furniture, home decor, outdoor apparel, and sporting goods selections. The store’s footprint will expand into the existing Pet Station location once the pet supply store moves to its new location.

A temporary shopping solution will be made available to Incline Village customers in the early part of summer. Toward the end of this year and into 2023, patrons will see Mountain Hardware and Sports Incline Village take shape.

The same staff members from Ace Hardware are expected to work at the Incline Village store.

“I’m excited for the employees here,” said Bill Lassaline, general manager of Ace Hardware. “We’re now going to be part of an employee-owned organization and I think it’s a great fit. The motivation is a little bit different, we make a difference. We expect more of each other — it’s going to be a good thing.”

This is Mountain Hardware and Sports’ fifth location.

~ Mountain Hardware and Sports press release

RAMEN & DONUTS: White Rabbit Ramen is a new dining establishment in Northstar Village, serving ramen, donuts, and boba drinks. Courtesy photo

Contemporary New Restaurant in Northstar


White Rabbit Ramen & Donut is a new dining establishment in Northstar Village that serves — you guessed it — ramen, alongside donuts and drinks. Locals patronizing the spot will receive a 25% discount at all times.

Scott Baird is the manager and head chef of White Rabbit, located at 7001 Northstar Dr., Ste. 7115,  in Truckee. He owns other food and drink ventures in San Francisco and Nashville. “I just want to eat good food, natural food, organic food … I’m hoping that resonates with people that are up there,” Baird told Moonshine Ink

Bringing White Rabbit to life happened in an extremely short time frame: Baird received a phone call around Christmas 2021 from a friend who was working with EKN Development, the owner of the space. The development group — which also owns the forthcoming Tahoe Luxury Resort and Residents in Crystal Bay — was looking for someone to open a restaurant in the spot. Baird said yes, and by the end of January, White Rabbit was looking for staff.

The roll out of the restaurant has been slow purposefully. Donuts became available for purchase at the beginning of March, ramen popped up a couple weeks later.

“The way this has come together, I didn’t need it to be perfect from day one,” Baird said. “… I want to see what people want first, see how people engage first.” Soon sides, specials, and poke bowls will be available to customers. The variety of menu items, Baird added, offer a year-round appeal to customers.

White Rabbit’s space is filled with mirrors and bright colors. Contemporary music also adds to the funky vibe.

Baird says he wants to keep the place open during shoulder season and that the staff working at White Rabbit is phenomenal. “I’m proud of the food we’re making,” he said. “It’s really good. A lot of love, a lot of care [went into it].”

For more information, visit

~ AH


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