News Briefs

Resort Association Awards Over $250,000 for Events


LOCAL EVENTS: Event partnership and sponsorship funding will support popular locally produced and larger off-peak season events. Courtesy photo

Over $250,000 in funds generated by the businesses that voted to form the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District will support events taking place in the region in 2023. Upon recommendation of the partnership funding selection panel and the tourism development committee, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association board of directors approved the funding requests.

Funding will support marketing and promotion of the Alpenglow Speaker Series, Tahoe City Downtown Association’s Food & Wine Classic, The Great Ski Race, Snowfest, TaHoe Nalu, Skate the Lake, Lake Tahoe Paddle Racing Series, Lake Tahoe Dance Festival, and the TCDA Oktoberfest.


In addition, $210,000 in event sponsorship funds have been approved in support of large events that occur primarily during off-peak season times of year and contribute to North Lake Tahoe’s year-round economy. Historically, these events are human-powered sports, cultural, culinary, and health and wellness focused.

2023 event sponsorships approved by the NLTRA board include: Palisades Tahoe World Cup, WinterWonderGrass, Broken Arrow Skyrace, Concours d’ Elegance, and Highlander.

~ NLTRA press release

GID Eligible for a Finding of No Significant Impact


The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Office of Financial Assistance has determined a project for Incline Village General Improvement District is eligible for a Finding of No Significant Impact as defined by the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445A.6758 to 445A.67612.

IVGID currently operates a publicly owned wastewater treatment facility in Incline Village. IVGID serves a population of about 9,462 persons with 8,010 connections within its service area. The IVGID effluent pipeline has a total length of 21 miles. The section affected by this project is approximately 33,000 feet in length, or 6.25 miles. The existing steel pipeline has experienced multiple leaks and failures due to corrosion and has been partially replaced in other segments in ongoing projects. In addition to the benefits to the population of the IVGID service area, rehabilitation of the pipeline will benefit the environment of the Lake Tahoe watershed by reducing the risk of wastewater effluent spillage. IVGID is eligible for a traditional loan of $52,740,000 from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund as outlined in Nevada’s Intended Use Plan, available online.

Consultation with appropriate cross-cutting agencies will be completed prior to signing a final commitment of financial assistance. No wetlands, floodplains, agricultural lands, or significant fish or wildlife species or habitats are affected by the project. No national landmarks or property with nationally significant historic, architectural, prehistoric, archeological, or cultural value will be affected by the project. The State Historic Preservation Office concurrence will be obtained prior to commencing the construction of the project. Native American entities that may have interest in the general project area will be given an opportunity to provide their comments and feedback. Best management practices will be utilized during construction.

~ NDEP press release

COOKING FOR A CAUSE: Soroptimist International gave Sierra Senior Services $6,000 toward a new stove. Courtesy photo

Sierra Senior Services Awarded Funding for New Stove


Soroptimist International gave Sierra Senior Services $6,000 toward a new stove. The nonprofit organization prepares over 800 meals per week for more than 125 people, including those in Meals on Wheels, the warming center for homeless individuals, and others. In addition, during Covid-19 Sierra Senior Services provided free meals for anyone over 60 who was medically unable to leave their home. The 55 volunteer drivers provide meals and a warm smile to seniors in our community who are homebound. Over 60% of the recipients are women.

SITD President Denise Trani-Morris said in a statement,, “Sierra Senior Services serves hundreds of the most vulnerable in our community. We are pleased to help them purchase a new stove so they can continue their work.”

~ SITD press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Appointment of Richard Pallante as General Manager


Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency has announced the appointment of Richard Pallante as general manager, effective Dec. 1. 

Pallante was appointed interim general manager at TTSA in June 2022. An ad hoc committee was established in July 2022 to consider the recruitment process for a future general manager. After much thought and consideration, as well as direct-report feedback, the board of directors appointed Pallante as the permanent general manager at its Nov. 30 board of directors meeting.

At a recent employee staff meeting, Pallante shared his vision and goals for TTSA moving forward, some of which include: ensuring environmental regulatory compliance, promoting a safe work environment, fostering a collaborative work environment, developing future leaders within the organization, developing short- (three-to-five year) and long- (five-plus year) term strategic plans, fiscal responsibility to ratepayers, reestablishing the agency in the community, and establishing the agency in the wastewater community.

Pallante began his career in public service at City of San Bernardino in 1988 as a maintenance plumber, and later transferred at the City of San Bernardino Water Department as a wastewater maintenance mechanic before being promoted to lead wastewater maintenance mechanic. In 2003, he accepted employment at the City of Riverside as a senior mechanic, later promoted to mechanical supervisor. He served a short time at Victor Valley Water Reclamation Authority as a maintenance supervisor, before returning to Riverside as an operations manager, where he oversaw operations and environmental compliance. While at City of Riverside, he served as interim plant manager on two occasions. He played a major role in the $200 million plant expansion and upgrade. He was hired by TTSA in April 2018, and immediately stood out as a manager possessing excellent people skills that understood the importance of equality, fairness, and acceptance within the workplace.

~ TTSA press release 

Business Briefs

Dickson Realty Agents Receive Industry Honors


Dickson Realty announced that several of its agents were elected to board positions for 2023 with the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors and the Tahoe Sierra Multiple Listing Service Board. The announcement came at the recently held Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors annual installation dinner at Tahoe Palisades.

Anna Grahn-Nilsson, a licensed realtor and property manager for Dickson Realty in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe, will serve as treasurer and past president for the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors. Phoebe Landre, a licensed realtor in the Truckee/Lake Tahoe area, will serve as president. Allyson Raber, a licensed realtor in Truckee, was inducted as president-elect.

Barb Wilkinson, a licensed realtor in Truckee, will serve her second year as director. Wilkinson was also honored as the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors Realtor of the Year. The award recognizes her commitment to not only her profession, but the numerous nonprofit organizations in the community.

Lil Schaller, a licensed realtor since 1990 and who manages the Dickson Realty Truckee office, received the Bud Jones Distinguished Service Award for her more than 20 years of service to the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors and Multiple Listing Service Board, as well as her dedication to serving numerous organizations within the Truckee community. Schaller has been selling real estate in Truckee since 1990 and has been managing the Dickson Realty Truckee office since 2007.

Find the full list of board members online

~ Dickson Realty press release

CHRIS WATKINS: New executive chef at Stella inside Gravity Haus. Courtesy photo

Meet Stella’s New Chef, Chris Watkins


Executive Chef Chris Watkins took the helm at Stella inside Gravity Haus Truckee-Tahoe in November, bringing decades of experience and innovation to the 49-seat farm-focused restaurant.

Watkins is currently shaping the progressive menu experience with regionally sourced seafood, ranch fare, California produce and surprise elements, aspiring to reveal Stella’s new winter menu by Christmas. 

The father of two grew up in San Luis Obispo, landing in Breckenridge at age 22, and working his way from dishwasher to sous chef within a short year at Breckenridge Brewery. Colleagues urged him to attend culinary school and Watkins headed to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland. He then interned at a restaurant in Switzerland before spending the next decade honing his craft in San Francisco at restaurants like Coi by famed chef Daniel Patterson and the coveted mod-French Jardiniere.

Realizing every moment outside of the kitchen was spent commuting to and chasing powder in Tahoe, Watkins jumped at the opportunity when a friend called and asked if he’d like to cook at local French-inspired lakefront spot Christy Hill. He came to work for the spring and never left. That was 12 years ago. 

He’s always held a hopeful spot on his resume for Stella. And now, that dream has been realized. 

Watkins is working closely with his team of three chefs to cultivate a progressive menu at Stella, one that begins with smaller bites to share among loved ones and leads into premium beef, seafood, and vegetarian plates paired with an impressive worldly wine list, playful brews and creative cocktails, and desserts. His menu will impart California-meets-Mediterranean flair, leaning away from Stella’s former Latin nods. 

~ Gravity Haus enews


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