News Briefs

Applications for STR Workforce Housing Token Pilot Program


The Short-Term Rental Workforce Housing Token Pilot Program is a new and innovative approach to workforce housing creation in Truckee. The Truckee/North Tahoe region is experiencing a significant shortage of rental and for-sale housing that is affordable to people with jobs in Truckee and surrounding communities. The token program is intended to incentivize the creation of workforce housing by offering in-kind payment in the form of tokens, which are redeemable for a transient occupancy (short-term rental) registration certificates.  

Interested token program participants should apply through the request for proposals process. Applicants may propose to offer either existing housing units or newly constructed housing units as workforce housing for this program. The workforce housing unit must be located within the Town of Truckee boundaries, may not have any open code violations, and may not have an existing similar deed restriction in place.  


Selected proposals will require participants to deed restrict the workforce housing units for a term of 15 years to receive the token incentive. Each token is valid for the 15-year length of the corresponding deed restriction, entitling the token holder to one transient occupancy registration certificate. The value of a token is that the token holder may receive a certificate without being subject to the waitlist. All other short-term rental program requirements will still apply. During the token’s term, the token may be re-used between eligible short-term rental properties and can be transferred (ie. sold, traded, or otherwise conveyed) to another entity. To learn more about the deed restriction requirements, use of tokens, and selection process, visit  

Proposals are due on June 28, and must be delivered via electronic format to Please direct all questions regarding the RFP to Lynn Baumgartner, program analyst 2, at or 530-582-2492. Questions must be received by May 15.

~Town of Truckee press release

Design Phase Begins for Downtown Access Improvement Project


North Lake Tahoe residents will soon be able to conceptualize parking, traffic, and pedestrian improvements taking shape in downtown Tahoe City.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors has authorized the Department of Public Works to execute an agreement with Stantec Consulting Services to provide design services for the Tahoe City Downtown Access Improvement Project.

The total cost of the contract is $227,903 and will be funded through the North Lake Tahoe Business Improvement District’s grant funds in cooperation with the North Tahoe Community Alliance.

The project proposes to construct parking and traffic flow improvements as outlined in the Tahoe City Mobility Plan, including the expansion of existing parking options at Grove Street from 61 stalls to 96 parking stalls, including two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant parking stalls. Plans also call for the addition of three electric vehicle charging stations, public safety lighting, two loading and delivery areas, stormwater drainage improvements, and construction of a half-mile section of a class one multi-use trail. When complete, residents and visitors can expect improved traffic circulation and pedestrian and bicycle access to Tahoe City’s commercial, business, and recreational amenities. 

The expansion of the existing public parking facility will serve residents accessing the nearby dog park, ball field, and the Tahoe City Golf Course, as well as other nearby businesses.

For more information about the project, visit the project webpage here.

~ Placer County press release 

Record Snowpack Could Impact Grading Season Start


Grading and digging season for permitted projects at Lake Tahoe begins May 1, although the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is cautioning that some projects and sites may be delayed this year due to unseasonal amounts of snow and wet conditions. Property owners and project managers should plan ahead for delays to the start of grading activity and pre-grade inspections.

Grading and digging activities are confined to drier months to protect Lake Tahoe from sources of erosion and sediment that have been tied to decreases in clarity. During the normal grading season (May 1 to Oct. 15), grading and digging can proceed in dry conditions, but are not allowed when a project area is covered with snow, when ground is saturated, muddy, or unstable, and during periods of precipitation.

The past winter has been a record-breaking season and many sites may still be impacted by snow on May 1. There is a potential for delays and in some cases required pre-grade inspections may not be completed until all snow has melted from the site and the site is dry. 

Although all grading must stop in wet conditions, not all digging requires a permit. More information is available at

~ TRPA press release

Frequent ADA Lawsuits Filer Sentenced for False Tax Return


Scott Norris Johnson, a Sacramento attorney and filer of thousands of disability discrimination lawsuits, was sentenced to 18 months home detention as part of a 30-month term of probation, and ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution and a $50,000 fine, for filing a false tax return on which he underreported the income he earned from many of those lawsuits. The sentence included the terms that while on probation, Johnson may not reapply for reinstatement to the California Bar, and that during the period of home detention he may not leave home for the purpose of seeking violations of the ADA or Unruh Act in order to file suits in federal or state courts.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Johnson, 61, of Carmichael, owned and operated Disabled Access Prevents Injury, a legal services corporation. First using DAPI, and later using a law firm, Johnson filed thousands of lawsuits in the Eastern District of California and elsewhere under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and related California statutes, naming himself as the plaintiff.

Under the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, payments related to lawsuit settlements or awards are taxable unless paid on account of personal physical injury or physical sickness. Johnson, who worked as an attorney at the IRS earlier in his career, was required to report the taxable portion of the lawsuit settlements and awards he received. He nonetheless intentionally underreported this income on his 2012, 2013, and 2014 tax returns. By understating the lawsuit settlements and awards, Johnson and DAPI paid little to no income tax for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014. Johnson caused a loss to the IRS of more than $250,000.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine T. Lydon and Assistant Chief Matthew J. Kluge of the tax division prosecuted the case.

~ Department of Justice press release 

Tennis, Pickleball Courts Coming to North Tahoe Regional Park


Construction of new tennis and pickleball courts at the North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista will begin soon after a critical funding component was approved.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors authorized the Department of Parks and Open Space to allocate $750,000 in Park Dedication Program fees to the North Tahoe Public Utility District to help fund a portion of construction for the new facility, which will include three tennis courts and six dedicated pickleball courts.

“We heard our residents express the need for these new facilities loud and clear during the county’s recent Park and Trail Master Plan process that was completed in 2022,” said Andy Fisher, Placer County parks administrator. “It takes great partners like ours at the North Tahoe Public Utility District to come together and give our residents and visitors the robust recreational offerings that make Placer County a great place to live and play. We are excited to be a part of this project in an incredible park that serves our entire region.”

Located at 6600 Donner Rd., North Tahoe Regional Park serves residents and visitors of Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Carnelian Bay, and the greater North Lake Tahoe area. The park offers captivating lake views and boasts a variety of year-round recreation activities for visitors of all ages, including sports fields, a dog park, an 18-hole disc golf course, a playground, 6 miles of forested hiking and biking trails, the Tahoe Treetop adventure course, a sled hill, and groomed cross-country skiing trails during the winter. 

The county’s allocation provides the final funding needed to complete the $2.2 million construction project. 

For more information about the North Tahoe Regional Park, visit

~ Placer County press release 

 Circumnavigate Lake Tahoe for Science

To celebrate the summer beauty of Lake Tahoe and raise awareness of the work of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) in its research into the lake, the center is sponsoring its third annual Circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe for Science, a seven-day kayaking journey dubbed TERC CIRC 3. The event, which combines science education by UCD faculty and TERC staff with fundraising for the center, will run from June 19 to June 25. Paddlers see the lake from a unique point of view as they travel and learn about Lake Tahoe’s ecology, biology, geology, limnology (lake motions and clarity), and emerging challenges.

The experience will showcase TERC’s ongoing research in the Lake Tahoe Basin and at the same time provide a water-level experience of the lake. “The best way to truly understand the fragile beauty of Lake Tahoe is to be on the water in a kayak and slowly progress around the shore. Every part of the lake is unique, and each part has different ecological challenges,” according to Dr. Geoffrey Schladow, UCD professor of limnology and director of TERC.

All paddlers who are interested in the event have the option to choose from seven separate day trip segments — including the full tour. Each day will feature 6 to 13 miles of spectacular shoreline paddling through the crystal blue waters of the lake, and each day will provide an illuminating scientific presentation.

~ TERC press release 

ALL VETERANS SURVEY: Nevada County Veterans Services Office hosts fourth annual online survey. Courtesy graphic

All Veterans Survey


Nevada County’s Veterans Services Office has launched its fourth annual online All Veterans Survey. The survey will help shape the VSO’s strategic plan for serving the veteran community. Approximately 500 veterans responded to last year’s survey, which informed the 2022/23 VSO Strategic Plan.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our services and to reach as many veterans as possible to ensure that no veteran in Nevada County slips through the cracks,” said Veterans Services Officer David West. “Last year’s survey has led to new collaborations with community partners, including collaboration with Guitars 4 Vets.”

Nevada County veterans can take the survey online through May 15 at Request a mailed paper copy of the survey by calling (530) 273-3396 or pick one up at the Nevada County Veterans Services Office, located at 988 McCourtney Rd in Grass Valley. All veterans living in Nevada County are encouraged to take the survey to help the VSO continually improve veterans services in Nevada County.

The input collected from this survey will be shared with local veterans service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, and more.

~ Nevada County press release

Fourth of July Parade


The Truckee Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce that plans are underway for the annual Truckee 4th of July parade. This year’s parade theme is  “There’s No Place Like Home.” Parade participants, both in the parade and on the sidelines, are encouraged to think about what really makes Truckee “home” to so many people, whether it’s full time or for a short time, and why we wouldn’t want to call home anywhere else. 

The chamber of commerce is looking for businesses, clubs, associations, nonprofits, and individuals to make this the best parade yet. Get your group together and create a float that embodies what “There’s No Place Like Home” means to you. Every year, parade entries surprise and delight crowds with imagination and creativity. Head to for parade entry application. 

Truckee’s 4th of July parade begins at 10 a.m. at the west end of town (with staging at Truckee High School), and progresses 1 1/2 miles down Donner Pass Road into historic downtown Truckee, ending around noon. Avid parade spectators put their folding chairs out at their favorite spot right at daybreak.

Pre-parade festivities start with the Annual 4th of July pancake breakfast put on by the Truckee Fire Protection District. The Firecracker Mile Fun Run is a one-mile, gravity-fed,’ fun event for all ages and abilities. The race starts at 9:45 a.m. just before the parade at U.S. Bank on Donner Pass Road and finishes downtown at the train depot in the heart of all the crowds. 

The Truckee chamber could not put on this tradition without the help of sponsorships from the community. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, reach out to Jessica Penman, president and CEO of the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, at

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release 

Assistances to Businesses, Residents Affected by Mosquito Fire


Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by the Mosquito Fire that occurred from Sept. 6 to Oct. 27, 2022, announced Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman of the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA assistance is available in El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, and Yuba counties in California; and Washoe County in Nevada. 

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent, or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.04% for businesses, 1.875% for private nonprofit organizations, and 2.188% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. 

The deadline to apply for property damage is June 5. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Jan. 4, 2024.

~ SBA press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

New TTUSD Superintendent Appointed


At the April 12, 2023, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board meeting, trustees unanimously approved to appoint both Kerstin Kramer as the new superintendent chief learning officer and Logan Mallonee as the assistant superintendent of educational services, effective July 1. This follows the recent resignation by Superintendent Ghysels, who accepted a position as the superintendent of the San Rafael City Schools for the 2023/24 school year. 

Kramer most recently served as assistant superintendent of educational services for TTUSD, where she led a team focused on providing a comprehensive standards-based curriculum and high-quality instruction to all students. She has also been a middle school teacher, teacher on special assignment, and principal of Glenshire Elementary for six years, contributing to 30 years in the field of education. 

Mallonee began her career in education in 2006 as an elementary teacher with the San Francisco Unified School District. From there, she transitioned to TTUSD in 2008 and has been a valuable member of the staff ever since. Mallonee served in a variety of positions during her tenure within the district, including as a middle school teacher, an academic coach and teacher on special assignment, and assistant principal at both North Tahoe High School and Truckee High School before becoming the principal of Truckee High in 2018. 

~ TTUSD press release 

Tahoe Fund Welcomes New Members to Advisory Council


The nonprofit Tahoe Fund announced that four leaders have joined its advisory council. Invited because of their extensive experience as the heads of the Tahoe Fund’s public agency partners, these new advisors will support the organization’s board of directors as they work to improve the Tahoe environment.

The advisory council provides invaluable knowledge of public agency challenges and opportunities as it relates to the Tahoe Fund’s goal of improving the Tahoe environment for all to enjoy. The new members appointed to the advisory council include:

Dominique Etchegoyhen, Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Julie Regan, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Jason Vasques, California Tahoe Conservancy

Erick Walker, U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

The Tahoe Fund is a nonprofit organization that supports environmental improvement projects that restore lake clarity, expand sustainable recreation, promote healthier forests, improve transportation, and inspire greater stewardship of the region. Learn more about the Tahoe Fund and its current and completed projects at

~ Tahoe Fund press release 

Heba El-Guindy as County Public Works Director


Heba El-Guindy has joined Nevada County as director of public works, bringing nearly 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors.

“I’m excited to work with the community and our public works team on the complex projects and programs that come with living in a rural area,” shared El-Guindy. “Rural communities have unique challenges in creating a safe transportation system that’s also walkable, bikeable, and aligns with the community’s vision, but I’m passionate about it. I’m looking forward to bringing my expertise in safe multi-modal transportation to projects in Nevada County. I believe in public works’ role to serve the public and meet their solid waste, wastewater, and road needs.”

Most recently, El-Guindy was acting director of the Program and Project Delivery Department of San Mateo County Transportation Authority, managing infrastructure projects with over a $700 million budget, including express lanes, complete streets, and interchange projects. She has held management positions in several Bay Area cities and worked as a civil and traffic engineer for the City of Ottawa, Canada, before moving to the United States in 1999.

El-Guindy is a California-licensed traffic engineer, and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in civil and environmental engineering.

Nevada County’s Department of Public Works strives to provide excellent customer service to maintain public health and safety within the six divisions of public works: engineering, fleet services, road maintenance, solid waste, transit, and wastewater. These divisions work to provide the critical infrastructure and services that keep Nevada County residents and our natural and man-made assets as safe as possible.

~ Nevada County press release 

MIKE WHITE retires from the Truckee Sanitary District. Courtesy photo

Sanitary District Celebrates White Retirement


The Truckee Sanitary District is proud to announce the retirement of 35-year employee Mike White. A senior field inspector for the district since 2016, White’s last day was Friday, April 14. He started working for the district in 1988 as a laborer. 

At a special retirement lunch at the district offices, White was presented with a Resolution of Appreciation from Board Vice President Marcus Waters, who stated, “Mike was a true asset to the District during his 35 years of service and was a coach, mentor, and friend to many in the community. Mike will be missed.” 

Blake Tresan, general manager, added. “Mike was instrumental in the implementation of the private lateral testing program, and fine tuning of the district’s Fats, Oils and Grease Program. He has a tremendous work ethic and commitment to protecting the public health and environment of the Truckee area. I wish him well in his retirement.” 

Mike, who lives in Sierraville, indicated that he looks forward to spending more time with his family and going fishing.

~ TSD press release 

Business Briefs

New Boutique Hotel Now Accepting Reservations


The Incline Lodge, a 38-room mountain modern inspired boutique hotel, will debut early summer as Incline Village’s first and only boutique hotel property. Located adjacent to The Hyatt Regency Hotel on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, the family-owned Incline Lodge is poised to provide a new year-round accommodation option and is now accepting reservations with availability starting July 1 for Lake Tahoe travelers and locals alike.

Formerly The Parkside Inn, The Incline Lodge has undergone extensive renovations complete with a sophisticated mountain modern aesthetic, custom designed finishes, enhanced acoustical treatments, and AC in every room. The property will also feature three exceptional amenity spaces including a new 1,000-square-foot lobby offering beer, wine, and elevated grab & go food, a downstairs concierge lounge that can accommodate private parties of up to 39 people, and an indoor heated pool. Guests will also enjoy a technology driven guest journey with contactless check-in along with kind and knowledgeable staff. 

“Our priority is to provide quality accommodation and excellent customer service,” said VP of Operations, Kevin Schiesz, and General Manager Andrew Gauthier. 

“Whether that means sharing hiking trail insider-tips or making a reservation at a locally owned restaurant, it’s all about connecting guests with our slice of Tahoe paradise,” added Andrew Gauthier, a 15-year Incline Village resident.

~ The Incline Lodge press release 

710 INCHES: Palisades Tahoe has had the most snow in a 25-year period this season. Courtesy photo

Palisades Tahoe Makes the 700 Club


Palisades Tahoe has received 700 inches of snowfall this season, marking it one of the snowiest years since the turn of the millennium. On average, Palisades Tahoe receives about 400 inches of snowfall per year, meaning the current total of snowfall is at 175% of the yearly average.

This season has had the most snowfall in 25 years, with 710 inches of snow at Palisades Tahoe. 

The resort announced that the Alpine side will be open for skiing and riding on July 4. Moreover, 2023/24 IKON Passholders are able to ride at the resort as of April 10.

~ Palisades Tahoe press release


  • Alex Hoeft

    Alex Hoeft joined Moonshine staff in May 2019, happy to return to the world of journalism after a few years in community outreach. She has both her bachelor's and Master's in journalism, from Brigham Young University and University of Nevada, Reno, respectively. When she's not journalism-ing, she's wrangling her toddler or reading a book — or doing both at the same time.

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