News Briefs

New Health Supply Vending Machine

TRUCKEE

A new vending machine providing free and confidential county health products is now located at the Joseph Center in Truckee, located 10075 Levon Ave. The vending machine will follow Joseph Center hours and be available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (outside of holidays). Products available through the vending machine include: Naloxone (Narcan) and fentanyl test strips, medication and sharps disposal kits, adult and children’s oral health, first aid, hygiene and grooming kits, safer sex kits, and more. View the full list of products in English and Spanish here.

All products are free and can easily be accessed with a pin number after registering online here. Those interested can also contact Devin Bradley at devin.bradley@nevadacountyca.gov to request paper copies of the application and pre-labeled vending machine cards. 

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~ Community Collaborative Tahoe Truckee e-bulletin

Poisoned Trees, Tree Trimming Raises Concerns

INCLINE VILLAGE

Incline Village General Improvement staff continue to keep an eye on six trees poisoned by diesel at Burnt Cedar Beach this past August. This was the second batch of trees in two consecutive summers to be poisoned. The first six were all cut down last summer. Speculation in the community is that someone is poisoning trees in the park to improve their view of Lake Tahoe.

This last group of trees that were poisoned this year, [most of] those seem to be recovering from the incident,” said Steven Phillips, IVGID parks superintendent. “They’re not showing signs. We went ahead and removed all the soil around the trees and … had the soil analyzed to make sure it was diesel and nothing else. Having that soil removed helped a lot.”

Two of the smaller trees, he added, will likely need to be cut down in the future.

Regarding security, there are some cameras installed around the park, though there is an ongoing need for more.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the situation, and confirmed no tips have been received. Those with information on the matter should call the Secret Witness line at (775) 322-4900.

Some Incline Village residents pointed out on social media a row of trees just outside Burnt Cedar whose branches have been trimmed up to a certain point. The screen capture below shows these trees, as well as some adjacent that have not been trimmed.

These five trees are not on IVGID property; they’re on Washoe County’s.

The county informed the Ink that the trimming of the branches are not a development code issue. “There are no regulations governing the cutting/trimming of trees except that we might actually require a property owner to trim branches if they blocked the pedestrian [right-of-way, or ROW] (e.g. lower than 6 feet) or if it is a sight visibility issue at an intersection,” shared Chad Giesinger, planning manager for Washoe County

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency sent out a compliance manager late last week upon Moonshine’s questions about the situation. “We looked at them for possible utility line protection, if any work would have been exempt or required a permit, and possible view enhancement,” wrote TRPA public information officer Jeff Cowen in an email. “Overall, there doesn’t appear to be a violation in this case. The trimming would have been an exempt activity and would not have required a permit because limbs were removed only from the lower one-third of the trees.”

TRPA’s Code of Ordinances exempts removal of any tree limbs, dead or alive, in the lower third of a tree’s height. 

“The trees were close enough to power lines for the limbs to be a safety issue, but that doesn’t mean it was utility work,” Cowen continued. “Both power companies operating in the Tahoe Basin have memoranda of understanding, or MOUs, with TRPA for tree management and that kind of maintenance doesn’t require a permit even if it exceeds the lower one-third limit.”

It’s unclear if the limbs were removed for view enhancement, Cowen said. “Due to the apparent killing of trees on [IVGID] property, the agency will continue monitoring trees in this area.”

~ AH

Take This Qualify of Life Survey

TRUCKEE

The Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT) requests resident participation in a confidential survey. The survey will measure quality of life, community engagement, and behavioral health needs. Participation will help local organizations develop programs to better address the health needs of community members. The survey is open until Feb. 16, 2024.

Responding to data gathered in past surveys, the region has bolstered mental health treatment, ran community campaigns to reduce stigma around mental health and seeking help, and significantly raised awareness of the available mental health resources.

“Data and stories from the community help inform policy and funding decisions as well as collaborative efforts. By taking this survey, you provide vital information that we use to create a comprehensive picture of our region’s needs. This helps us address and prevent mental health issues as well as provide pivotal treatment to our community members who need a little extra support throughout the year,” said Kristina Kind, CCTT program director.

To participate, visit prcsurvey.com/begin/NorthTahoe2024. CCTT is also partnering with the national research firm PRC to conduct 350 phone surveys in the region between January and February. Households will be selected at random, and the survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

This is a follow-up to the 2020 and 2022 community engagement and behavioral health survey. The information will be valuable data used to identify any community health trends and support CCTT’s recently released regional behavioral health roadmap.

~ TTCF press release

Short-Term Rental Update

WASHOE COUNTY

Washoe County Community Services Department provided an update on items within the county code related to short-term rentals (STRs) and requested guidance from the board of county commissioners on streamlining permitting and enforcement. The key points of the update include:

  • Limiting STRs to one per parcel in the Tahoe area; prohibiting STRs in accessory dwellings.
  • Clarifying requirements for STR permit relinquishment.
  • Removing the outdoor fireplace permit requirement from Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.
  • Allowing pro-rated permitting fees.
  • Requiring a new STR permit upon property sale.
  • Allowing a grace period for renewal permits in select circumstances.
  • Addressing trash and noise citations from other agencies as STR violations.
  • Removing the notarization requirement for STR permit renewal applications.
  • Clarify that one-year suspensions for permit revocations are applicable to the property owner, not the parcel.
  • Allowing STR permit revocation for unpermitted construction activity on the property.
  • Updating appeal timelines for stop activity orders.
  • Increasing fines for STR violations.
  • Exploring potential reductions in STR permitting fees for partial home rentals.

“This has been a process. From the moment I got into office, we’ve been looking into this ordinance,” Chair Alexis Hill said. “We’ve had over 12 public hearings on this process, have brought it back to the board to really refine it and make it better for the neighbors and better for the owners. I think staff has done a really admirable job at that. Overall, I hear approval from the community on these recommendations.”

~ Washoe County press release

Kitchen Safety Reminders for the Holiday Season

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

Cooking-related injuries increase during the holiday season. The most common injuries are cuts, burns, and illnesses from improper food handling. Tahoe Forest Health System Medical Director of Urgent Care, Dr. David Lemak, shares tips on how to stay safe in the kitchen during the holidays.

To avoid a cut this holiday season:

  • Don’t leave knives in the sink.
  • Only cut on cutting boards or stable items.
  • Cover sharp objects you have thrown away.

To prevent a burn injury:

  • Don’t wear dangling jewelry or sleeves.
  • Keep handles on the stove pointing inwards.
  • Always keep hot pads nearby.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common forms of food poisoning are Norovirus and Salmonella. Avoid getting sick with the following reminders:

  • Thaw frozen items thoroughly, but not on the counter — defrost in the refrigerator.
  • Clean up meat fluids thoroughly.
  • Wash raw fruits and veggies.
  • Use a working thermometer to confirm cooked meat temperatures.

If an injury occurs, follow these steps:

  • Clean wound under cold running water.
  • Apply pressure and cover with clean paper towels.
  • Bandage with clean bandages, if necessary.
  • If you feel that the injury or illness requires medical attention, visit your nearest urgent care.

Tahoe Forest Health System has three urgent care clinics located in Truckee, Tahoe City, and Olympic Valley (Palisades Tahoe). The Truckee and Tahoe City urgent care clinics are open every day, including holidays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Olympic Valley urgent care clinic is open every day during ski season, including holidays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit tfhd.com/urgent-care.

~ TFHS press release

New Competitive Youth Nordic Ski Team

AUBURN

Tahoe Endurance, a new, local competitive youth nordic ski team coached by Quinn Lehmkuhl and Julien Bordes, participated in its first Far West Nordic competition at the Auburn Ski Club on Dec. 16 and 17. 

TAHOE ENDURANCE ATHLETES: Britta and Niki Johnson leading the pack of women’s racers. Courtesy photo

On Dec. 16, in the women’s sprints, Tahoe Endurance had six competitors finish in the top 10: Britta Johnson, first; Niki Johnson, second; Alice Jowers, thirrd; Sierra Strecker, fifth; Aili Scott, sixth; Annika Johnston, 10th.

In the men’s division, four competitors finished in the top 10: Dane Karch, first; Luka Karnickis, sixth; Elio Adriani, eighth; Leyton Roberts, ninth.

Dec. 16 results can be viewed here.

On Dec. 17, for the women’s 50-kilometer sprint, Britta and Niki Johnson again took first and second place, followed by Aili Scott, sixth; Alice Jowers, seventh; Sierra Strecker, eighth; and Annika Johnston, ninth. Dec. 17 results can be viewed here.

For the men’s 5-kilometer, Dane Karch again took top place, followed by Luka Karnickis, third; Elio Adriani, fourth; and Leyton Roberts, eighth. Results can be viewed here.

Britta and Niki Johnson, Annika Johnston, and Dane Karch are now heading to compete in the U.S. National Championships in Soldier Hollow, a qualifier to represent the U.S. Ski Team at the Scando Cup and World Juniors.

The organization will continue to evolve, and has hopes to become a nonprofit.

~ Tahoe Endurance

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: The Steel Sparrows, Matt Axton & Purple Curtain, and Down the Rabbit Hole will duke it out in a fundraiser to support music education in the community. Courtesy graphic

Battle of the Bands Fundraiser Supports Music Education

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

Tahoe Truckee School of Music invites the community to its Battle of the Bands 2024 fundraiser event on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024 at the Truckee Community Arts Center. The musical line-up features the Steel Sparrows, Matt Axton & Purple Curtain, and Down the Rabbit Hole. Advanced tickets are $10 and will support youth music education. Tickets can be purchased at tahoemusic.net

“Music plays such an important role in the lives of children, and we believe every child should have access to music education and the opportunity to learn and grow through music,” said Ben Martin, founder and executive director of the school.

In addition to the performances, there will also be wine and beer available for purchase, sponsored by Good Wolf Brewing and Grocery Outlet. Attendees will also have an opportunity to participate in a raffle and silent auction of prizes donated by local businesses.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door.

~ Tahoe Truckee School of Music press release

UC Davis TERC Internships for Scholars Program Accepting Applications

TAHOE

The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) has conducted research and monitoring of Lake Tahoe for over 50 years. The summer internship program offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to be a part of the research tradition. TERC interns will work as part of a team to conduct science research and to complete a specific project that will contribute meaningfully to the mission of TERC. As part of the eight-week internship there will be weekly group meetings, seminars from environmental managers and scientists, instruction on lab and field safety, opportunities to explore Lake Tahoe and its surroundings, and a capstone presentation of research results to a public audience. Interns engage with and learn from environmental leaders in the Tahoe community and have the opportunity to attend the annual Lake Tahoe Federal Summit, where state and federal elected leaders convene at Lake Tahoe.

TERC INTERNSHIPS: Forest ecology intern Abi presents his soil moisture and microbiomes project at a public event. Courtesy photo

Specific research topics will be developed with mentors, but could include areas such as lake biology, microplastics, temperature stratification, lake nutrients, forest ecology, and science communication. 

A minimum of 32 hours per week is expected, and timing will be determined with a mentoring researcher. To be eligible, applicants must be available June 25 through Aug. 15, at least 18 years of age, and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

To submit an application please send a resume, unofficial college transcript, contact information for three references, and a cover letter specifying career aspirations and potential project ideas to antoy@ucdavis.edu. Applications close Feb. 1, 2024.

For more information and to see examples of previous summer projects, please visit our website tahoe.ucdavis.edu/interns.

~ TERC press release

SHOW UP FOR THE ARTS: Ways to support the arts locally this holiday season. Courtesy graphic

Show Up for the Arts This Holiday Season

NEVADA COUNTY

The Nevada County Arts Council, Grass Valley–Nevada City Cultural District, and Truckee Cultural District invite locals and visitors to Show Up for the Arts! this holiday season. 

“In Truckee, we are encouraging our community to Show up for the Arts! by attending a performance, gallery opening, artisan faire, or downtown festive Fridays. Our December calendar is chock-full of amazing holiday events. Let’s especially support our performing arts community, rich with offerings at this time of year,” says Kellie Cutler, Truckee Cultural District program manager.

Find a full list of local arts organizations and see the full calendar of events at Nevada County Arts Council website at nevadacountyarts.org

~ Nevada County Arts Council press release

Mountain Lion Aviation Gives Back

TRUCKEE

Every hour flown by Mountain Lion Aviation this year has helped the Tahoe Fund get more work done on the ground to improve the Lake Tahoe environment.

At the beginning of the year, the private aviation charter company teamed up with the Tahoe Fund to donate funds for every hour flown. They have contributed nearly $17,000 to support projects that are helping lower and sequester carbon emissions, including:

  • Forest health projects that help reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and its polluting emissions. Funds will be channeled to the Smartest Forest Fund, which supports innovative projects and new technology to improve forest health.
  • Transportation projects that reduce vehicle miles traveled and carbon emissions, such as the TART Connect program.
  • Watershed restoration projects that help improve lake clarity, reduce the prevalence of aquatic invasive species, and strengthen habitat and ecological health, especially in the Greater Upper Truckee Watershed, the largest and most impaired watershed in the region.

This partnership is part of the Tahoe Fund’s $1 for Tahoe program. Created to offer a simple way for those who love Tahoe to help make it even better, the $1 for Tahoe program raises money to restore and improve the environment and enhance recreational opportunities.

Proceeds from the $1 for Tahoe program support the efforts of the Tahoe Fund in its mission to improve the Lake Tahoe environment for all to enjoy. To learn more about how to get involved, visit tahoefund.org.

~ Tahoe Fund press release

2024 Core Values Fund Grant Recipients

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce announced the 2024 core values fund grant recipients. This community event fund, established in collaboration with the Town of Truckee and administered by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, is designed to support local nonprofits in the region, or events that partner with nonprofit organizations, by providing essential marketing resources. Events must occur within Truckee’s town limits and align with at least one of the five Truckee Core Values: healthy lifestyle, family-friendly, natural beauty, community-minded, and arts, culture, and history.

The 2024 cycle had more than 30 applications. The recipients are:

  • Sierra State Parks Foundation for Donner Memorial State Park Legacy Day
  • Truckee Community Theater for Mean Girls, Jr.
  • Slow Food Lake Tahoe for Seeds, Sips and Songs
  • Elevation Truckee for Elevation’s Annual Art Show 2024
  • Tahoe Institute for Natural Science for Truckee Core Values Natural History Outings
  • Tahoe School of Music for Celebration of Women in Music
  • Achieve Tahoe for 2024 Foam Fest
  • American Legion Truckee Post #439 for Truckee Veterans Day 2024
  • Arts For the Schools for the 4th Annual Mexican Heritage Festival
  • KidZone Museum for Family Farm Festival
  • Truckee Arts Alliance for Truckee Artist Lofts 9848.Gallery TAL Earth Day event
  • Truckee Community Cares for 2024 Distribution Day-Truckee Community Cares
  • Truckee Dirt Union for Stewards of the Loam
  • Truckee Downtown Merchants Association for downtown Holiday Festival & Bud Fish Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • Truckee Optimist for brewfest
  • Truckee River Watershed Council for 2024 Truckee River Day and Fair
  • Truckee Host Lions Club for Latitude 39 | A Mountain Music Experience

All core values fund events will be posted on truckee.com and promoted through multiple channels to help ensure community engagement. Visit truckee.com/corevaluesfund to learn more.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

TRPA Advances Workforce Housing Solutions

LAKE TAHOE

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board approved a package of affordable and workforce housing incentives. The targeted changes to Lake Tahoe zoning regulations will lower the cost to provide affordable and workforce housing, benefit water quality, and reduce traffic and vehicle use.

Following three hours of public testimony, the board adopted the policy changes with refinements based on community and board member feedback.

Rising property values are only part of the housing crisis affecting Lake Tahoe communities, according to TRPA. With a limited amount of new development allowed under the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan, major renovation, redevelopment, and new projects must achieve multiple goals. Existing incentives encourage water quality and transportation improvements on commercial and tourist accommodation properties. Extending additional incentives to deed-restricted multi-family projects is a key priority for the agency.

The approved policy changes require a high level of stormwater best management practices to protect water quality. 

Highlights on the new housing incentives:

  • They apply only to projects close to transit and services that provide permanently deed-restricted units for lower income and local workers.
  • Projects in town centers can apply for more flexible building designs with additional land coverage, up to 9 additional feet of height, more units allowed within the building envelope, and reduced parking if the project will implement alternatives like a car-share or shared-parking agreement.
  • Smaller projects in surrounding multi-family residential zones can apply for similar, stepped down incentives to encourage more duplexes, triplexes, and accessory dwelling units.

Within a year, local governments are required to align the changes with their local area plans. Area plan updates also allow local communities to tailor the extra allowances as long as they work toward regional housing goals.

Starting in early 2024, TRPA staff will initiate a multi-year effort to more comprehensively integrate housing, equity, and climate goals into key land-use and water quality programs.

To get involved, visit trpa.gov/housing.

~ TRPA press release

Funding for Six Investment Projects Approved

TAHOE CITY

Six new projects in eastern Placer, designed to improve trails, transportation, and workforce housing assistance, have received funding to move forward.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors authorized spending a total of $4.2 million for the projects using revenue from Transient Occupancy Tax collected in North Lake Tahoe. 

The board approved TOT funding for a total of 13 investment projects during its Oct. 16 meeting. The projects are intended to advance regional goals including workforce housing and improved transportation within eastern Placer County. 

The board approved $2.2 million in TOT funding for three projects led by local organizations:

  • The Tahoe City Public Utility District will receive $1.6 million for the reconstruction of 2.25 miles of the North Shore Trail to replace aged and failing infrastructure in the trail system;
  • The North Tahoe Public Utility District will receive $100,000 to plan and design an extension of the Pam Emmerich Memorial Pinedrop Trail;
  • The Sierra Community House will receive $450,000 for its Workforce Housing Direct Assistance Program.

The board also approved $2 million in TOT funding for three Placer-led projects:

A $200,000 allocation will fund 2.5 miles of the North Tahoe Trail Segment and connect the existing Pine Drop Trail in Tahoe Vista to the trail entry point of Carnelian Bay Avenue.

The board allocated $875,000 to the state Route 89 and state Route 267 adaptive corridor management/transit priority lane project, which is part of the resort triangle transportation plan. This includes strategic implementation, consultant planning, permitting, and proposals over the next three years.

The board also allocated just over $1 million to the Kings Beach Western Approach Project over the next three years. This project will convert the Kings Beach intersection at state Route 28 and state Route 267 into a roundabout. 

~ Placer County press release

Nevada Cadet Receives Spaatz Award

TRUCKEE

Cadet Col. Gerald Mon Père was presented the General Carl A. Spaatz Award during the Tahoe/Truckee Composite Squadron Christmas dinner and awards banquet on Dec. 14, at the squadron’s headquarters in Truckee. Col. Deborah Pierce, former Nevada Wing Commander, presented the award.

Cadet Mon Père became the 22nd cadet in Nevada Wing and the 2,492nd cadet to receive the Spaatz Award since its inception in November 1964. The award represents the pinnacle of the Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program — fewer than one-half of one percent of all CAP cadets will attain it. It comes after climbing the cadet program’s 16 achievements and passing a rigorous cumulative battery composed of a strenuous physical fitness exam, argumentative essay on a perennial moral debate, and two 60-question cumulative exams on aerospace and leadership.

EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Cadet Col. Gerald Mon Père receives Civil Air Patrol’s top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award. Courtesy photo

Cadet Mon Père joined the Tahoe-Truckee Composite Squadron shortly after turning 12 years old. The honor cadet of the 2016 Nevada Wing Encampment, he has also attended Noncommissioned Officer School, National Emergency Services Academy, Cyber Defense Training Academy, and is a distinguished graduate of both Cadet Officer School and the National Character & Leadership Symposium. Most recently, he graduated from Class 045 of the Pararescue & Survival Orientation Course as its honor cadet.

From 2020 to 2022, he served as the cadet commander of his squadron, the unit he has belonged to since he joined. He currently serves as the chair of Pacific Region’s Cadet Advisory Council, overseeing California, Nevada, Alaska, Hawai’i, Oregon, and Washington. At encampments, he has served as a flight commander, squadron commander, cadet safety officer, adjutant, deputy commander for operations, and more. Cadet Mon Père has served on staff at seven encampments and is currently preparing to serve as group superintendent for another this winter in Oregon. He has been decorated five times with the Commander’s Commendation Award for service. 

~ Civil Air Patrol press release

Business Briefs

Palisades Tahoe Park and Ride Program Returns

OLYMPIC VALLEY

Palisades Tahoe’s Park and Ride program is back for the 2023/24 ski season. This initiative aims to provide convenient transportation options, making it easier for visitors to access the resort.

This season, Palisades Tahoe teamed up with TART to offer park and ride shuttles from two key locations: Tahoe Truckee Unified School District in Truckee and the Tahoe City Transit Center/64 Acres. Find detailed schedules and maps of the park and ride locations here. These resources provide comprehensive information on shuttle timings and the designated pick-up and drop-off points.

The park and ride program is designed to offer a hassle-free transportation solution, allowing guests to focus on enjoying their time on the slopes. By choosing the park and ride option, guests can avoid making a parking reservation, cut down on fuel emissions, and save money on gas.

~ Palisades Tahoe press release

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