Air Pollution Increasing in California Forests; Tahoe Donner GM Resigns to Head Local Golf Club; Burning Man Barricade; More


News Briefs

Nevada County’s Draft Accessory Dwelling Unit Guidebook Available for Review


Residents are invited to give feedback on the draft accessory dwelling unit (ADU) guidebook being created specifically for Nevada County. Please review the guidebook online at and provide comments by Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. by emailing Coming later this fall, the planning department will release a full suite of ADU resources, including the final ADU guidebook and cost calculator.

ADUs (also known as “granny flats” or “in-law units”) come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can range from prefabricated units to brand-new additions that are attached to or detached from the main home; and range in size from a 150-square-foot studio to a 1,200 square-foot unit with multiple bedrooms. Local jurisdictions see them as a cost-effective means to more affordable housing. 


To encourage ADUs throughout the region, the guidebook and associated tools are being developed through the Mother Lode ADU, a partnership between the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, and Nevada. This project is funded by the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Regional Early Action Planning grant.

Residents and homeowners are also invited to attend Nevada County’s Collaboration Day, where community resources, local business owners, and members of various county agencies will be available to answer questions and share their expertise in county programs, fire preparedness, and land development. This event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, at the Rood Center, 950 Maidu Ave., in Nevada City. Interested residents and homeowners will also be able to visit a prefabricated ADU, learn more about the Mother Lode ADU planning tools, and visit with members of the planning department who can field input and feedback on the ADU guidebook.

If you have an ADU or are considering building an ADU, please review the guidebook on the website ( and provide feedback on the materials being created specifically for Nevada County by Sept. 18 at 5 p.m.

Mother Lode ADU Resources:

Those interested in learning more about ADUs, should bookmark the website and stay tuned for more resources coming later this fall (guidebook, cost calculator, website, contractor list, and development checklist).

The new Mother Lode ADU website will walk people through all the steps needed to build an ADU, and includes a host of tools that will make the process easier.

~ Nevada County press release

$6.14 Million Approved in Road, Storm Repair Projects


Work on 14 miles of road surfacing and asphalt overlay projects is set to begin in the coming weeks as the Placer County Board of Supervisors took action recently to approve three contracts totaling $6.14 million for road work and storm repair projects in more than 20 unincorporated Placer County locations.

Contracts approved include just over $2.4 million with All-American Construction for hot mix asphalt overlay projects on Eureka Road from Barton Road to Auburn-Folsom Road and Wellington Way to Barton Road in Granite Bay. The contract also covers projects in the Tahoe area on Alpine Meadows Road from Deer Park to Bear Creek Bridge and Olympic Valley Road from Russell Road to Christy Hill Road.

A full list of locations of these projects can be found here.

~ Placer County press release

Help Define Wildfire Resilience By Taking This Survey


Truckee Fire Protection District has contracted SWCA Environmental Consultants to update and expand the Truckee Fire Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The district is looking for the community’s help in identifying and prioritizing future measures to reduce wildfire risk and hazards to life, property, and natural resources within its boundaries. This is an opportunity for community members, neighbors, and networks to provide input for this community-driven plan. The CWPP supports the region in taking action to protect property and livelihood from wildfire. 

The CWPP Survey is available through Sept. 30: Truckee Fire Protection District CWPP Community Outreach Survey.

Engagement and collaboration with local fire managers, emergency managers, land management agencies, nonprofits, the community, and other invested stakeholders are key components of the CWPP development process. The CWPP will include planning efforts around wildfire protection, hazard mitigation, and evacuation. Furthermore, it will serve as the guide for prioritizing wildfire risk reduction activities throughout the Truckee and Donner Summit area. 

The survey takes about five minutes to complete and is open to residents, property owners, and workforce within the Truckee Fire Protection District.

Those with any questions, please check out or reach out to the Wildfire Prevention Division at (530) 582-7888.

~ TFPD press release 

Wildfire, Soil Emissions Increasing Air Pollution in Remote Forests


Satellite data from across California’s landscapes reveal an increase in nitrogen dioxide levels in remote forest areas, and wildfire and soil emissions are likely the reasons why, according to a paper from University of California, Davis, published Aug. 29 in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Nitrogen dioxide is short-lived in the atmosphere but plays a central role in the formation of the pollutants ozone and particulate matter, which can lead to respiratory issues and asthma in humans, as well as harm plants and crop yields.

The researchers looked at summertime surface and satellite concentrations of nitrogen dioxide between 2009 and 2020 and found that levels decreased by 2% to 4.5% per year in urban areas across California, while rural concentrations remained relatively constant, and remote forests experienced an increase of roughly 4.2% per year.

“Forested areas show a steady, rapid rate of increase in summer,” said bio-micrometeorologist Ian Faloona, who is senior author on the paper and a professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. “The trend is alarming.”

Controls on internal combustion engines and other fossil fuel emitters have reduced levels of nitrogen dioxide in urban areas, where most air pollution monitors are placed. Continuous satellite data helped fill in the picture in less monitored regions and found that effect is not mirrored in rural areas and remote forests. There, wildfires and emissions from soils, particularly agricultural soils with fertilizer use, correlate to an increase of nitrogen dioxide levels, Faloona said.

The findings could help inform future policy decisions as regulators seek additional decreases of the pollutant. As current emission management actions continue to reduce fossil fuel emissions, regulators will need to address other sources that have historically been overshadowed by traditional internal combustion sources. Those will play an increasingly important role in future air quality policy.

Yurun Wang in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, who is now at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and former UC Davis professor Benjamin Houlton, who is at Cornell University, contributed to the research.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded the research.

~ UC Davis press release

Health System Integrates Community Wellness Programs Under One Roof 


Tahoe Forest Health System recently moved its array of wellness offerings under one roof — the Tahoe Forest Center for Health. This move comes after outgrowing previous locations due to the local community’s expanding interest in wellness services over the last decade. Now at 10833 Donner Pass Rd., Ste. 102, the Tahoe Forest Center for Health conveniently houses all wellness classes, nutrition services, fitness, perinatal, and lifestyle change programs.

The community services previously known as the Wellness Neighborhood, Authentic Wellness, and Rethink Healthy have all been absorbed under the Center for Health name.

Now open, the Tahoe Forest Center for Health is located in the Levon Building. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Info: Tahoe Forest Center for Health, (530) 587-3769,

~ TFHS press release

BURNER BARRICADE: Drivers heading to the annual Burning Man event held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert were stalled on Sunday, Aug. 27, when environmental activists blocked State Route 447. A ranger of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe eventually rammed through the barricade, and is under investigation for his actions. Courtesy photo

Protesters Block Road to Burning Man, Tribal Ranger Conduct Under Review


On Sunday, Aug. 27, environmental activists set up a barricade at mile marker 34 on State Route 447, a main road to reach Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, where the Burning Man festival is held each year.

Members of the Seven Circles Alliance, a coalition of activist organizations, gathered to protest “capitalism’s inability to address climate and ecological breakdown,” stated a post on the group’s Instagram account. “The blockade was also in protest against the popularization of Burning Man among affluent people who do not live the stated values of Burning Man, resulting in the commodification of the event.”

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe rangers were dispatched to address the blockade, which was causing a traffic back-up of several miles. Upon arrival, the rangers informed the activists to clear the roadway. One ranger used his patrol vehicle to clear the banners, trailers, and lock-ons forming the barricade from the roadway; his conduct is under review, according to the Paiute Tribe press release. The five activists were each cited and released.

A video showing the activists and their set-up, as well as the ranger driving through the barricade can be viewed here. Content warning for language.

~ AH

SOBER RETREAT: Oct. 25 to 29, Crow’s Nest Ranch has partnered with Elevated Martial Arts to bring Jiu-Jitsu Professor Tom DeBlass and psychology master and Buddhist teacher Noah Levine to Truckee for a five-day, four-night all-inclusive sober jiu-jitsu retreat. Courtesy infographic

A Tahoe-Style Sober Retreat for Local Sober Living


Oct. 25 to 29, Crow’s Nest Ranch has partnered with Elevated Martial Arts to bring Jiu-Jitsu Professor Tom DeBlass and psychology master and Buddhist teacher Noah Levine to Truckee for a five-day, four-night all-inclusive sober jiu-jitsu retreat.

Attendees will have the opportunity to book a single private room or share a room with fellow participants while enjoying daily jiu-jitsu training sessions, daily guided meditations and dharma talks with Noah Levine, chef-prepared meals, sauna, cold douse, hot tub, steam room, bike rides, hikes, trips to Lake Tahoe, and more. To book your stay go to, select “SOBER JIU-JITSU RETREAT” on the site menu, and follow booking instructions.

Set to open in the Summer of 2024, Crow’s Nest Ranch will be a 12-bed sober living facility offering residents employment opportunities within the community while creating a strong foundation for their newfound healthy lifestyles. ‘The Ranch’ will prioritize the well-being of tenants and focus on accountability by providing amenities such as regular alcohol and drug testing, weekly outdoor excursions, meditation training, fitness and yoga sessions, diet and nutrition support, Muay Thai boxing and Jiu-Jitsu training, direct access to farm animals, an onsite community garden, and much more.

With an emphasis on healthy habits, community support, and employment opportunities, Crow’s Nest Ranch is poised to make a lasting impact. Consider booking a room for this retreat or donate to the scholarship fund and be part of the journey to empower individuals on their path to recovery.

The Crow’s Nest Ranch memorial fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax-deductible in accordance with federal tax law.

~ Crow’s Nest press release

2023 Community Grant Cycle is Open


The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation annual, consolidated Community Grant Cycle is a streamlined process making it easier for nonprofits to request the financial support they need. It also provides TTCF with an opportunity to see the big picture of what is happening in our community and how nonprofits are responding to emerging needs and trends.

TTCF utilizes a simplified and streamlined granting process. Nonprofits need only apply once to a consolidated grant cycle offering at least $300,000 in available funds. Grant committee members from Open Competitive, Maris Fund, Nature Fund, Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, and Tahoe Donner Giving Fund will then jointly review proposals and direct them to aligned funding sources for further consideration.

The foundation is broad based in its funding interests and applicants must show community benefit in their mission and programs, including: 

  • animal welfare
  • arts and culture
  • community improvement
  • education
  • environment, conservation, recreation
  • health and human services
  • youth development

TTCF awards various types of grants:

  • mission driven
  • program/project
  • capacity building

To learn more, review the 2023 grant guidelines here.


  • Aug. 15 to Sept. 15: written application submission window
  • Sept. 15 to Oct. 20: committee review and decision-making
  • Mid-November to December: recipient notifications and award distribution

Grant applications will be accepted through the grant application portal until Sept. 15 at 5 p.m.

In cases of hardship, barriers to applying, or a request for technical assistance, applicants should contact TTCF as soon as possible. For additional information, email or

~ TTCF press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Tahoe Donner GM Departs for Lahontan Golf Club


Tahoe Donner Homeowners Association’s general manager, David Mickaelian, finished his last day on Aug. 29. Mickaelian will head up the Lahontan Golf Club as its general manager.

Mickaelian first began working for Tahoe Donner in July 2020 after serving as the city manager of Healdsburg, California. “During his tenure, the board established a five-year strategic plan, which is being carried out by a well-qualified and experienced senior team,” noted an association statement to residents on Mickaelian’s departure. “This same senior team will continue in their leadership, serving members and providing the exceptional member experience that you expect and enjoy.”

David is leaving Tahoe Donner much stronger than when he found it. We are grateful for everything he did to improve this Association,” Board Vice President Benjamin Levine said during an Aug. 25 board meeting.

Director of Administrative Services Annie Rosenfeld will serve as interim general manager while the board of directors seeks a permanent replacement. Rosenfeld has worked for Tahoe Donner since 2003 in a variety of positions.

Concurrently, the board has initiated the search for a permanent general manager, issuing a request for proposals on Aug. 25 for professional recruiting services to assist in a search.

“As I depart in the coming days, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the community’s support,” Mickaelian shared in a statement. “Thank you to everyone who volunteers their time to make this a better place. I also want to thank the staff, whose dedication, expertise, and commitment are unmatched. I’m very fortunate to have worked alongside such a wonderful team who will continue to serve the membership and pursue the mission of Tahoe Donner.”

~ AH

FROM HUB TO CHAMBER: The Truckee Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of Marissa Yakaitis as the new membership and programs manager. Marissa has demonstrated her commitment to community development through her previous roles, most recently as the executive director of the Tahoe Food Hub. Courtesy photo

Chamber of Commerce Welcomes New Membership and Programs Manager


This week, the Truckee Chamber of Commerce announced the appointment of Marissa Yakaitis as the new membership and programs manager. With her dynamic background in community engagement, event management, and membership growth, Marissa brings a wealth of experience to this pivotal role.

As the membership and programs manager, Marissa will be responsible for enhancing and expanding the Chamber’s membership base, fostering valuable relationships within the Truckee business community, and curating innovative programs to enrich the local business environment.

Marissa has demonstrated her commitment to community development through her previous roles, most recently as the executive director of the Tahoe Food Hub. She shows a passion for creating impactful connections and an innate ability to understand the needs of local businesses.

Marissa’s role will involve working closely with existing chamber members while also reaching out to potential new members who can benefit from the chamber’s networking opportunities, advocacy efforts, and resources. She will play a crucial part in designing and executing programs that empower local businesses to thrive in an ever-evolving market landscape.

With Marissa’s enthusiasm, expertise, and commitment to excellence, the Truckee Chamber is poised to continue its tradition of excellence in fostering a robust business ecosystem and strengthening community bonds.

For more information about the Truckee Chamber of Commerce and its programs, please visit

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Business Briefs

NV Energy to Perform Work Along State Route 28 Using Helicopter


NV Energy will be replacing poles, removing hazard trees, and replacing equipment along State Route 28 beginning on Sept. 5, through mid-late September. This work is related to the NV Energy Resilience Corridors Project and the company’s Natural Disaster Protection Plan, which is aimed at protecting the community from the increased risk of wildfires and other natural disasters.

Due to the nature of the work, a helicopter will be used as trucks are unable to access the steep and unstable slope where equipment is located. Beginning Sept. 5, customers and visitors to the area can expect to see the helicopter working overhead. There are no anticipated power outages during this work.

On Sept. 18 and 19, intermittent closures will take place along State Route 28 (between Lakeshore Blvd and Sand Harbor State Park) and the East Shore Bike Path to allow for the safe flyover of helicopters and equipment. Closure should last no longer than 15 minutes at a time while the helicopter flies overhead to set new poles. Other than the intermittent closures, there are no other anticipated road closures related to this work.

“Replacing poles, equipment, and the removal of hazard trees in this area is critical work to ensure our infrastructure is prepared ahead of extreme weather events to continue to serve customers in this area of the state and avoid potential natural disasters,” said Jesse Murray, NV Energy vice president of electric delivery and natural disaster protection.

To stay up-to-date and receive notice for upcoming work, be sure to update your contact information at MyAccount at You can learn more by visiting

~ NV Energy press release

Bulky Item Pickup Available for Residential Service Customers


Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal is now offering free bulky item curbside pickup for TTSD residential customers in Placer County.

The new service comes with convenient features that make disposing of large and unwieldy items hassle-free for TTSD customers:

  • Each TTSD customer will be entitled to two free bulky item pickups per year. Additional curbside pickups may be scheduled for a fee.
  • A maximum of one item per pickup, weighing up to 200 pounds, can be scheduled for collection.
  • Accepted items include but are not limited to household tables, chairs, couches, BBQs, refrigerators/freezers, mattresses, and rugs.
  • If the item to be picked up is a fridge or freezer, customers must pay an advance freon removal fee to ensure environmentally responsible disposal.
  • Items should be placed curbside on the scheduled collection day by 6 a.m.
  • Items of unusual shape and size, such as large ladders and inflatables, may need to be broken down prior to collection.
  • Freon removal fees and charges for additional pickups can be paid by credit card when the pickup is scheduled.

Customers must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a TTSD customer in Placer County.
  • Must have active service with an account in good standing.

To schedule a pickup, customers should contact TTSD by calling (530) 583-7800. 

For more information about the bulky item pickup service or other waste disposal solutions offered by TTSD, visit

~ Placer County press release

NV Energy Opens Enrollment for Expanded Solar Access Program 


Beginning Sept. 1, NV Energy will accept applications for the company’s Expanded Solar Access (ESAP) program.  

Businesses and residents who participate in this program receive solar energy from a utility-scale or community-based solar resource, as opposed to installing a private solar system on their property. Low-income eligible customers are guaranteed a lower rate for energy than the standard rate, and other customers will likely see a credit on their bill as part of participating in the program.  

In 2023, ESAP participants have seen an average savings of 10% to 18% on electric consumption.  

Applications open online at beginning Sept. 1. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. Current ESAP participants will receive correspondence to update their documentation to remain in the program for 2024. 

Applying to ESAP does not guarantee enrollment. Each ESAP customer category has a set annual kilowatt-hour (kWh) capacity limit. If NV Energy does not receive enough eligible applicants to fill the capacity limit (based on each customer’s 12-month usage history), all applicants will be approved and enrolled in the program. If the number of eligible applicants exceeds the capacity limit for a category, a lottery will be held in December to select applicants to participate in the program. 

~ NV Energy press release


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