News Briefs

Scotty Lapp Foundation Proposes Skatepark Build on TTUSD-Owned Land

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

At the April 24 Tahoe Truckee Unified School District regular board meeting, Amy and Jason Lapp from the Scotty Lapp Foundation presented a proposed project to construct a regional skatepark in downtown Tahoe City in memory of their son, Scotty Lapp. The foundation requested that the TTUSD Board of Trustees support a joint use agreement with the Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD) that would allow the skatepark to be constructed on a TTUSD-owned land parcel at 211 Grove St. in Tahoe City, adjacent to existing ball fields and Tahoe Lake Elementary School, a staff report said.

The specific site is on the eastern edge of the school property, directly off Grove Street where an existing community dog park is located, operated by TCPUD. The agreement proposes the dog park be removed and the space converted into a 10,000-square-foot skatepark. The project location has existing lights that turn on between dusk and 9 p.m., public restrooms on-site, and public parking available.

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The Scotty Lapp Foundation was created in honor of Scotty Lapp, who died in a ski accident at Alpine Meadows when he was 16 years old. The Lapps told the board that Scotty enjoyed skateboarding in Tahoe City, but recognized there was nowhere for skateboarders to legally skate, as the closest skateparks are in Incline Village and Truckee. He expressed interest in building a skatepark that was accessible to Tahoe City youth. 

The foundation constructed a 4,000-square-foot temporary skatepark, now in its third summer, which will most likely be gone by the end of the year, according to Jason. It is located behind the old Blue Agave in Tahoe City. Amy said the park attracts 30 to 80 users a day.

The foundation has raised over 75% of the funds needed to build and maintain the park. Letters of support have been received from District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, the North Tahoe Community Alliance, Tahoe City Downtown Association, Tahoe City PUD, and Tahoe Office of the County Executive Order. 

The board heard from community members and the Tahoe City PUD director of parks and recreation, Indra Winquest, who commented that the TCPUD staff and board support the skatepark.

The TTUSD Board came to an agreement to create an action item to bring an official vote to the May 15 board meeting. 

~ TC

Health Services Temporarily Closed

TAHOE CITY

On Monday, April 22, the building that houses Tahoe Forest Health System clinics at 905 N. Lake Blvd., Suite C, in Tahoe City sustained damage due to a small fire. At the direction of the authorities, the building closed for operations. 

The laboratory is expected to reopen Monday, April 29, at 7:30 a.m. at 925 N. Lake Blvd. Patients are asked to call (530) 582-3270 to register upon arrival.

 The health system is working to restore physical therapy and wellness services in Tahoe City.

Patients can call (530) 582-6205 for additional information, alternate service locations, and to reschedule existing appointments.

The Tahoe Forest Urgent Care and Primary Care clinics at 925 N. Lake Blvd., Suite B, in Tahoe City remain open at this time. However, patience is requested at these clinics, as the outage has affected their computer systems.

Please check tfhd.com or call (530) 582-6205 for up-to-date information regarding the closure.

~ TFHD press releases

Recreational Nitrous Oxide Use Raises Concerns

NEVADA COUNTY

Last month, doctors at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital reached out to Nevada County with concerns about an increase in patients being seen at the emergency department and other settings due to complications from recreational nitrous oxide use. Complications are often neurological and include tingling in the extremities, loss of sensation, significant weakness, and long-term neurological damage. 

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, noz, or whip-its, is a colorless gas commonly used for sedation and pain relief in medical settings, but is also used recreationally. In medical settings, nitrous oxide is highly regulated and typically administered along with oxygen for safety. When used recreationally, it is often ingested at much higher concentrations. 

In response to the concerns from medical providers, Nevada County Public Health and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital have developed educational resources at knowoverdosenc.com that includes a webpage, fact sheet, and education toolkit with health and safety information about recreational nitrous oxide use, including potential long-term neurological issues related to heavy use.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw an increase in substance abuse for many reasons,” said Dr. Tyler Hill, Chief Medical Officer for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. “In Nevada County, we have seen the devastating impact of nitrous oxide abuse. Numerous individuals have required hospitalization due to significant neurological impairment, including the inability to walk and care for themselves on a daily basis. These neurological effects are often irreversible, requiring long-term care of the individuals affected. One of our biggest concerns is the use of nitrous oxide in our youth.”

Those interested in treatment for nitrous oxide or other drug use, can visit knowoverdosenc.com/local-resources or contact Nevada County Behavioral Health at (530) 265-1437. 

Anyone experiencing the effects of heavy nitrous oxide use, including nerve damage, should consult a medical practitioner as soon as possible, as research shows early treatment improves the chances of recovery. 

~ Nevada County press release

Speed Limit Change Proposed for Donner Pass Road

NEVADA COUNTY

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors is considering changes in speed limits, including reducing the speed limit on Donner Pass Road. The board is scheduled to take a final vote on the changes May 14.

At the April 9 board meeting, the public works department proposed decreasing the speed limit on Donner Pass Road from 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour between Interstate 80 and Donner Drive.

State law requires that speed limits generally must be placed at the nearest 5 mile-per-hour increment to the speed 85% of the public feels comfortable driving. The exceptions are if there are specific safety concerns related to the proximity to bicyclists, pedestrians, or residential development, as is the case with the Donner Pass Road segment.

~ Nevada County enews

Workforce Housing Program Back Online

TRUCKEE/TAHOE

The Tahoe Truckee Housing Hub is creating opportunities to accelerate the production of accessory dwelling units and advocate for reducing barriers for the construction of small housing projects. Learn more at tahoehousinghub.org.

Up to $150,000 is again available to eastern Placer workers looking to buy a home in the North Lake Tahoe region. The Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a relaunch of the Workforce Housing Preservation Program following updates to the program’s guidelines and loan documents.

WHPP helps local workers secure housing by providing 16% or up to $150,000 of the home’s listing price. In exchange, the home is deed restricted for 55 years so that only qualified local workers can occupy the residence. This financial assistance does not need to be paid back and the deed restriction restarts with each sale or transaction of the property.

The program, which has been on hold for 8 months, does not have income caps for applicants and can significantly reduce mortgage payments for North Lake Tahoe employees.

Homes considered for the program must be located in unincorporated Eastern Placer County. An eligible candidate must have at least one member of their household who is 18 years of age or older and employed with full-time status at a location within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District geographical boundary. Workers who work remotely within the TTUSD boundaries must also work for an employer whose principal place of business is within those boundaries.

Learn more and apply for the Workforce Housing Preservation Program at placer.ca.gov/7130/workforce-housing-preservation-program.

~ Placer County enews

Prescribed Fire Projects to Begin

NEVADA CITY

Tahoe National Forest plans to begin spring prescribed fire operations as early as April 29, dependent on fuels and weather conditions. Planned burn locations and timelines to complete projects may vary across the forest. 

Each prescribed fire operation follows a specialized burn plan, wherein temperature, humidity, wind, vegetation moisture, and smoke dispersal conditions are considered daily before a prescribed fire is implemented. All this information is used to decide if and when to burn. 

Prescribed fires help reduce fuels and overgrowth, which reduces the severity of future wildfires. Prescribed burns also restore forest health and diversity and provide added protection for surrounding communities in the event of a wildfire.

WILDFIRE PREVENTION: A low-intensity prescribed underburn on the Tahoe National Forest near Bassetts. Low-intensity fires restore the forest to a more resilient state and reduce wildfire risk by removing ladder fuels and overgrowth. Courtesy photo

Smoke produced from planned prescribed burns is less than unplanned wildfires. Prescribed fire now can prevent the impacts or spread of wildfire later.

Upcoming prescribed burns include the American River Ranger District and Yuba River Ranger District. The Sierraville and Truckee ranger districts include East Zone Roadside Underburn: 400 acres of underburning along Forest Service roads across both districts.

Sign up to receive prescribed fire alerts and news from the Tahoe National Forest at bit.ly/tahoenews. Prescribed fire project timelines, updates, and images will also be shared at inciweb.wildfire.gov. The Tahoe National Forest Fire information line is (530) 264-8309. News and updates are also available on Tahoe National Forest’s X and Facebook pages.

~ Tahoe National Forest press release

Demand for Veterans’ Services Soars

AUBURN

Placer County’s Veterans Services Office helped file a record 5,208 veteran claims last fiscal year — a more than 40% increase from the previous year, which itself was already a record high, according to data presented to the board of supervisors.  

Those claims led to a record $11,592,954 in awards for local veterans in 2022, another record and nearly five times the dollar amount awarded just a few years prior. This March, the VSO surpassed its monthly record, with more than $1.6 million awarded. The dramatic increase is in part due to the enactment of the PACT Act, which has expanded Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. Recent PACT Act updates are expected to further increase eligibility and demand.

Placer County has an estimated 25,000 veterans, and the county’s local VSO assists them free of charge in filing claims and maximizing their VA benefits, from pensions to healthcare to education. Services are also available to veterans’ family members.

Placer County’s VSO is also among the top-performing in the state on a per-capita basis when looking at subvention funding, recent data show. Subvention funding is money the county receives from CalVet based on its workload.

The VSO offers office hours in both Rocklin, Auburn, and by appointment in Carnelian Bay. Learn more at placer.ca.gov/veterans or by calling (916) 780-3290.

~ Placer County press release

Fourth of July Parade Theme Announced 

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce announced this year’s Fourth of July Parade theme, Throwback Thursday. The theme encourages parade entrants to showcase the spirit of bygone eras, whether it’s through vintage attire, classic automobiles, or iconic cultural references. The theme was submitted by community member Ali Jenkins. The Tahoe Forest Health System is this year’s Grand Marshal, commemorating TFHS’s 75th anniversary. 

For a parade entry application, visit truckee.com/authentic-mountain-town/4th-of-july-truckee-style.

Trophies will be given for best-of-show and for winners in each of five categories: commercial (representing a business), youth group (18 years old and younger), classic auto, open (for groups that don’t fit into any other categories), and nonprofit.

Sponsorships ensure the community can continue to enjoy this Truckee tradition. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Jessica Penman, president and CEO of the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, at jessica@truckee.com. 

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce produces the parade in partnership with the Town of Truckee and logistical support from Big Blue Adventure. For more information on getting involved in the Fourth of July parade, contact the Truckee Chamber of Commerce at (530) 587-8808 or email info@truckee.com. 

For more information, visit truckee.com/news/4th-of-july-parade-activities/

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Youth Commission Seeking New Members

NEVADA COUNTY

The Nevada County Youth Commission is seeking new members for the 2024/25 school year. Members should be ages 14 to 19, live in Nevada  County, and/or are enrolled in a Nevada County school system. The group serves as a bridge between young people and the board of supervisors and identifies, connects, and advocates for issues facing Nevada County youth. 

Commissioners serve a 1-year term. There are six openings available. 

“Being a part of the youth commission is such an enriching experience and rewarding thing to  be a part of,” said Chair Mackenzie Rist. “I have been given such amazing opportunities and  acquired many skills and an abundance of knowledge that many people don’t get until much  later in their lives. As a commissioner I truly feel like I have been able to begin creating positive  change among my age group and most importantly, my community.” 

The deadline to apply is May 7, with interviews scheduled May 16 to 21. Offers to serve on the  commission will be made May 29 to 31. The board of supervisors is scheduled to confirm the  appointments June 25. 

Learn more at nevadacountyca.gov/youthcommission or email Jeff Dellis at jeff.dellis@nevadacountyca.gov. 

~ Nevada County press release

Music, Poetry, and Mindfulness at the Artist Lofts

TRUCKEE

Nearly 3 years after its opening, the Truckee Artist Lofts, a mixed-use affordable housing community founded in 2021, hosts its first exhibition combining resident TAL artists with guest artists from the greater Truckee/Tahoe/Reno region. On Saturday, April 27, TAL resident artist  Patricia Eagan will present the Fortnight Salon Collective, a collaboration of fine artists cultivating an appreciation for the arts through practice and engagement. 

Based on the Parisian salons hosted by artists Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Fortnight Salon Collective will take place in TAL’s resident showroom, known as 9848.Gallery, for an Earth Day Art Salon and exhibition. For its salon, TAL artists will present works displaying the tension of where nature and industry meet as a way of examining micro-local places — and purpose — for sustaining planet Earth. The thematic exhibition will include photography, painting, mixed-media, and mosaic.

Literary artist Patricia Eagan will introduces additional members of the Fortnight Salon Collective: Tahoe musician and Tahoe Truckee School of Music instructor Alice Osborn, Reno  poet and University of Nevada assistant professor Joanne Mallari, and Truckee Artist Lofts artists Joanne Corso, Rebekah Masters, Love Andreyev, and Donna Snow. 

Live music will begin at 4 p.m. A generative writing workshop will begin shortly after 4:30 p.m. Following the workshop and a short animated film, guests will be invited to share their poetry for an open mic performance at 5:30 p.m. The first six children in attendance will be invited to decorate a flower pot and plant a succulent. This event is free and open to the public.

~ PKaye Creative press release

Grow Your Own Festival Returns

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

A group of Tahoe/Truckee nonprofit organizations are teaming up for the second annual Grow Your Own Festival featuring gardening demos and a high elevation seedling sale. This free community event shares the benefits of growing food in high elevation regions with emphasis on watershed-friendly practices.

Event dates:

  • May 31 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center’s Tahoe City Field Station 
  • June 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Slow Food Lake Tahoe Gardens in Truckee
  • June 8: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe 

At each location, attendees will have the opportunity to pick up seeds/seedlings each selected for their abilities to perform during the short growing season.

UCCE Master Gardeners of Lake Tahoe will be providing informative hands-on demonstrations and will be available to answer questions about what grows best in the region. Topics include site selection, soil preparation, and pest control. Learn about volunteer opportunities at the event, and tour gardens at each site. Additional demonstrations include container gardens, raised garden beds, compost, kids’ activities, and more. 

View the schedule of events at each location and reserve high-elevation edible garden seedlings at slowfoodlaketahoe.org/events.

Organizations and vendors interested in showcasing at the event can reach out to: 

  • Tahoe City: antoy@ucdavis.edu 
  • Truckee: info@slowfoodlaketahoe.org 
  • South Lake Tahoe: christyfarms@icloud.com 

~ Slow Food Lake Tahoe press release

Mothers, Music, and Thanks

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

Two mothers whose love of music and diligence in providing music lessons for their children created a lifelong love of music that is now benefiting North Lake Tahoe. 

Two concerts in the 2024 Tahoe Music Alive series are dedicated to mothers who encouraged music lessons, practice, and enjoyment. The July 6 concert by Julliard flutist Carol Wincenc, also known as the “queen of the flute,” is sponsored by Charlene and Dan Simmons in honor of Charlene’s mother, Jean Wear (1920 to 1992), who played the flute, gave flute lessons, and mentored student musicians. The Oct. 13 concert by Insight Chamber Players is sponsored by the Banzett Fund for Music Arts, in honor of Lorelle Banzett’s mother, Edna Teresa “Terry” Anderson (1917 to 2011), an artist working mainly in watercolors who also sang in choirs into her 80s.

Tahoe Music Alive is committed to bringing world-class musicians into local schools, beginning with the Brazilian ensemble Duo Violao Plus Percussion. The ensemble will give a concert in Kings Beach on May 4 and play for the Truckee High School band earlier in the week. Student tickets for the concert are $10.

Tickets for Tahoe Music Alive concerts are available at tahoemusicalive.org/events or eventbrite.com/tahoemusicalive.

~ Tahoe Music Alive submission

BLOOD DRIVE: Donate in Incline Village; hosted by the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District. Courtesy graphic

Donate for Moms Blood Drive

INCLINE VILLAGE

The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District will be hosting a community blood drive on Tuesday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the main fire station at 875 Tanager St. Food and beverages will be provided courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Resort, Spa & Casino and Mofo’s Pizza.

To make an appointment call (775) 329-6451 or visit donors.vitalant.org.

~ North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District press release

Summer Concerts Return

TRUCKEE

Summer Concert on the Green returns to Tahoe Donner July 5 and 6, featuring two nights of live performances by top tribute and dance bands. Tickets are on sale now and are expected to sell out.

On Friday, July 5, kick things off with Deckheads, a Caribbean cowboy band, followed by headliner Pop Fiction, delivering hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

On Saturday, July 6, Decoy, a local band producing high-energy rock, pop, and country hits, opens for headliner Jumping Jack Flash, a Rolling Stones tribute band.

Summer Concert on the Green is an outdoor, family-friendly event held on the Tahoe Donner Driving Range, located adjacent to Trout Creek Recreation Center. Concert attendees may bring picnics and low-back lawn chairs. The food truck zone will offer menu options from local vendors. Dogs are not allowed.

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE: Attendees at Tahoe Donner’s Concert on the Green enjoy live music by regional bands. Photo by Kyle Kelly

Gates open for general admission at 4:30 p.m., with music from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children ages 3 to 12. Toddlers ages 2 and under are free.

Purchase tickets and learn more at tahoedonner.com/summerconcert. All ticket sales are nontransferable and nonrefundable.

~ Tahoe Donner Association press release

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