News Briefs

Postal Worker Appreciation

TRUCKEE

In response to Moonshine Ink’s article Truckee’s Tottering Mail Delivery, members of the Rotary Club of Truckee showed their appreciation with pastries for the understaffed postal workers. Shift manager Lynn was in tears at the small show of gratitude. Thank you to Moonshine Ink for bringing the state of the post office to light.

~ Sara Dube, Rotary Club of Truckee

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Snowboard and Freeski Association Awarded Sponsorship

TRUCKEE/NORTH TAHOE

United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association announces partnership with Visit Truckee-Tahoe. USASA was awarded a Sustainable Truckee sponsorship from the organization to promote the North Tahoe Series and Futures Tour and to invite athletes to learn and practice sustainable behaviors while traveling. Athletes are encouraged to support the sustainable mountain town by booking lodging with Truckee’s 12 hotels, inns, and lodges and over 1,200 mountain homes.  

Truckee is thrilled to welcome the North Tahoe Series, a ski and snowboard event series held at resorts in the Truckee/Tahoe region. The series culminates with the Futures Tour at Northstar California Resort from Feb. 27 to March 3, a stepping stone to the Olympics that attracts world-class youth athletes across the nation. With Sustainable Truckee sponsorship, the Futures Tour prize purse will increase to $8,000, the most of any USASA Futures event.

Committed to sustainability, Truckee has set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals of 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2040, 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and 100% renewable energy by 2050 — establishing itself as a mountain town leader dedicated to climate action. 

“This sponsorship showcases Truckee’s commitment to providing premier athletes with a sustainable mountain town experience,” said Colleen Dalton, CEO of Visit Truckee-Tahoe. “Sustainable Truckee’s presence at USASA events will show athletes how Truckee is affecting positive change within the winter sports community, and how they can help too.”

~ Visit Truckee Tahoe Press release 

TART CONNECT THIS WINTER: The winter micro-transit pilot program begins this week in Truckee. Courtesy photo

TART Connect Microtransit Returns for Winter

TRUCKEE

The Town of Truckee and partners at Visit Truckee-Tahoe, Glenshire Homeowners Association, Tahoe Donner Association, Tahoe Forest Hospital, and the Truckee Tahoe Airport District, are excited to announce the return of the microtransit service TART Connect to Truckee.

Building off the success and enthusiasm of the summer pilot program, the town will be operating a winter pilot program beginning Dec. 15 through April 2, from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily. The four-wheel-drive vehicles will provide free door-to-door/point-to-point on-demand rides. Users can download the TART Connect app to enjoy the ride-share service. 

The areas of service will include Tahoe Donner, Glenshire, the downtown area, the Tahoe Forest Health System district, Brockway Road through to the Truckee Tahoe Airport, along West River Street and to Alder Creek Middle School. After the winter pilot, the town and its partners will evaluate the system’s ability to serve the entire community on a more permanent basis, in a cost effective and sustainable manner.

Each vehicle will be equipped with ski and snowboard racks for hassle-free travel to and from the ski areas in Tahoe Donner. It will not go directly to the other ski areas in our region but will provide a connection to regional TART services to get to mountain resorts and North Lake Tahoe. Well-behaved dogs will be welcome on TART Connect and families who wish to bring young children will need to provide their own car seats. 

While customer and community feedback is always welcomed and encouraged, feedback during the pilot is especially critical to inform what transit looks like in Truckee for years to come. Please be sure to fill out the rider surveys and/or contact us at truckee@townoftruckee.com to provide your feedback on the TART Connect 2023 Winter Pilot.    

~ Town of Truckee press release 

Board Approves Amendment to Agreement for Lake Tahoe Bike Path Project

INCLINE VILLAGE

The Washoe County Board of Commissioners approved an amendment to phase 4 of the Lake Tahoe East Shore Path Project, a paved path from Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park along Lake Tahoe’s east shore. The amendment adds improvements, including approximately 30 parking spaces north of the existing Tahoe East Shore trailhead parking along State Route 28 in connection with planned Nevada Department of Transportation roadway improvements. The amendment extends the term from the end of this year to Dec. 31, 2026.

~ Washoe County press release 

Placer Awarded Grant to Develop Biomass Facility

NORTH TAHOE

Placer County has been awarded $2 million in grant funding made possible by Cal Fire to develop the Cabin Creek biomass facility in North Lake Tahoe.

Biomass facilities can create renewable energy by burning wood scraps left over from forestry operations or residential defensible space clearing, helping remove a hazardous source of fuel for wildfires. They also generate heat and a byproduct called biochar that could be used as fertilizer and in water filtration processes.

A plan for a biomass facility at the county’s Cabin Creek property near Truckee was approved for a conditional use permit in 2012 and the Board of Supervisors renewed its commitment to exploring the feasibility of a facility at the site earlier this year.

Currently, public agencies employ various tactics to reduce wood scraps left on the ground during routine healthy forest maintenance, including open pile burning. This is necessary to reduce fuel loads, especially in the absence of a regional biomass facility, but can create temporary smoky conditions and also releases carbon into the atmosphere.

Biomass facilities, on the other hand, can trap carbon and other pollutants, helping agencies reduce even more fuel loads, which decreases the risk of wildfire and is better for the environment.

A recent study conducted by the North Tahoe Truckee Biomass Task Force with funding from the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and its member agencies also affirmed the need for additional biomass facilities in the region.

This work helped secure the Cabin Creek grant as well as a $2 million grant for the Northstar Community Services District, which is located between Truckee and Lake Tahoe, to develop its own small biomass facility.

~ Placer County press release 

Cal Fire Releases Updated Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map 

SACRAMENTO 

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has begun a public comment period for the regulatory adoption process to update the existing map that captures Fire Hazard Severity Zones, which is a comprehensive map that ranks California’s State Responsibility Area or rural, unincorporated areas based on the likelihood different areas will experience wildfire.

After years of work to develop a sound scientific basis and methodology with a range of experts and stakeholders, updates to this map bring this valuable tool and statutory requirement current in a way that accurately reflects today’s reality for wildfire hazard throughout the state. 

This current revision only updates areas in California’s unincorporated, rural areas where wildfires tend to be frequent — called the SRA or State Responsibility Area. This does not include cities or large urban areas.

This process does not change rules or requirements for homes or properties in these areas related to wildfire prevention, preparedness, and mitigation.

The last Wildfire Hazard Severity Zone map was updated in 2007. Using the best available science with academic researchers and others, this updated map reflects the impacts of a changing climate and includes a variety of other key factors.

This is the beginning of a nearly two-month public process. A total of 57 public hearings will be held throughout the state. The public may submit written comment at the address below or through email at FHSZcomments@fire.ca.gov. Information on the hearings can be found on Cal Fire’s website at osfm.fire.ca.gov/FHSZ.

~ Cal Fire press release 

SNOW PLOW NAMERS: The winners of the 2022 Name our Snowplows competition. From left to right: Town Manager Jen Callaway, Street Maintenance Manager Riley Morrison, Isla Porter, Makenna Davies, Mayor Courtney Henderson, Maile Lynch, Zoe Carlson, and Alder Creek Middle School Principal Hien Larson. Courtesy photo

Name Our Snowplow Winners

TRUCKEE

This year the Town of Truckee held its very first Name Our Snowplows competition. There were 294 unique name submissions from Truckee students from TK all the way up to grade 12 from every school in the area. The town’s public works department, the ones who oversee all the snowplow operations for the town, then narrowed down the entries to 13 finalists. The public then had the opportunity to vote — 1,400 people did so.

The winning names of the competition are Blizzard of Oz, Chilly Chilly Bang Bang, Scoop Dogg, and Austin Plowers.

These four most popular names will be the official names of Truckee’s four main plows for the next two years. The names are being printed onto the side of the plows and will soon show up on the digital map on our website. All four names came from students at Alder Creek Middle School. Mayor Courtney Henderson, Town Manager Jen Callaway, and Street Maintenance Manager Riley Morrison met the students at their school to celebrate their selection on Dec. 7. They presented them with a certificate, a Sustainable Truckee gift certificate, and a personalized ornament with their unique snowplow names on them. 

Isla Porter and Makenna Davies had a joint entry of Blizzard of Oz. Zoe Carlson entered Chilly Chilly Bang Bang. Lastly, Maile Lynch entered several names and two of her entries were selected and chosen by the public as winners for Scoop Dogg and Austin Plowers. Scoop Dogg came in with a whopping 728 votes.

~ Town of Truckee press release 

Rancheria Nisenan Tribe Gains Momentum in Bid for Federal Recognition

NEVADA CITY

Grass Valley City Council took firm steps forward during November’s Native American Heritage Month and adopted Resolution Number 2022-81, codifying support for the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe’s petition for Federal Recognition.

The Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council is especially thankful to City Manager Tim Kiser and Council Member Bob Branstrom as well as the entire city council of Grass Valley for this motion.

Shelly Covert, tribal spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria and executive director of the tribally guided nonprofit California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project, shared the the significance of this announcement made in agreement from all people involved: “Restoring Federal Recognition to the Nevada City Rancheria is at the top of our priority list. The resolution from Grass Valley leadership is one more vote in a growing chorus of voices who are stepping up to restore some semblance of what was taken from the tribe. Originally recognized by executive order in 1913, the tribe held 76 acres of Federal Trust land as the ‘Nevada City Rancheria.’ Unfortunately, the tribe was terminated in 1964 and the land was sold at auction. Without federal recognition, the ability to self-govern and provide for our people is extremely limited. Our people have always been here and we have survived a pretty horrific past.”

~ California Heritage Indigenous Research Project press release 

Nevada County Superior Court Announces In-Person Self-Help Services

TRUCKEE

The Nevada County Superior Court is pleased to announce a return to in person self-help family law facilitator/small claims advisor services at its Truckee branch, located at 10075 Levon Ave. Self-represented litigants will now be able to receive in-person assistance at the Truckee courthouse the second Wednesday of the month beginning on Jan. 11. Walk-in assistance will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. until noon. Afternoon assistance will be available by pre-appointment only. Appointments can be made by email to selfhelpcenter@nccourt.net or by calling the self-help office at (530) 362-4309, option 4.

The self-help/family law facilitator and small claims advisor can help you with legal information and procedure. Staff can assist all parties to a case, provide court forms, help prepare court orders after a hearing, provide resources for you to do your own research, and make informed decisions. Assistance is provided with civil case types including small claims, family law, probate, conservatorships, guardianships and general civil matters. It is not provided for federal matters.

Staff cannot give you specific legal advice, represent you in court, monitor your case, inform you of future dates or deadlines, predict or guess an outcome, or have a confidential or attorney-client relationship with you. If you need or want any of those things, consult a private attorney. Staff cannot assist you if you have an attorney.

~ Superior Court press release 

MIND THE SIGN: Restoration in progress, be mindful of where you sled. Courtesy photo

Sledding and Snow Play at the McIver Dairy Meadow 

TRUCKEE

The Truckee River Watershed Council restored the McIver Dairy Meadow in 2019. Formerly used as a dairy operation, the meadow was highly degraded and released 2 tons of polluted sediment annually into the Truckee River. In partnership with the Town of Truckee, TRWC restored the meadow by removing fill, reconnecting the local creek to its meadow floodplain, and reintroducing native plants. This restoration effort improves carbon sequestration potential, increases the quality of the water running into the Truckee River, and provides more habitat for native plants, birds, and wildlife.  

Due to the restoration efforts, sledding at McIver has been relocated away from the sensitive site to allow for rehabilitation and preservation. Please respect signage keeping activity away from the sensitive habitat. 

Every year the town receives a significant number of complaints about trash in this area. Trash includes broken plastic sleds, disposable water bottles, pet waste, and food debris. Staff encourages environmental stewardship, awareness, and accountability. Please be prepared when planning a trip for sledding and snow play to take your trash to your car.

Parking is available in the downtown parking district, just a short walk from the sled hill. Please do not park in front of businesses on Donner Pass Road near the sled hill or in front of the sled hill itself. Parking is prohibited in the street right-of-way to enhance safety and to ensure street snow removal and maintenance.

~ Town of Truckee press release 

Sierra Health Foundation Invests $1 Million in Community Resilience

SACRAMENTO

The Sierra Health Foundation announced its investment of $1 million across 13 California organizations. The awards span the foundation’s core priority areas: children, youth and family; economic stability and opportunity; land, water, climate equity; and policy and systems change. These strategies focus on moving from recovery to resilience in communities that experience continuous public and private underinvestment.

Local groups Sierra Business Council and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation received funding for the following:

  • Economic Stability and Opportunities, Sierra Business Council: To increase participation by disadvantaged, low income, communities of color and disinvested workers in regional programs such as Community Economic Resilience Fund, US Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge and Sierra Partnership, which is a regional landscape restoration program.
  • Land, Water and Climate Health Equity, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation: To work at the intersection of climate change and health equity in the Tahoe Truckee region.

~ Sierra Health Foundation press release 

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

MATT RUGE RETIRES: Ruge (center) moves on from the Truckee Sanitary District. He celebrates with board members Marcus Waters (left) and Dennis Anderson (right). Courtesy photo

Sanitary District Celebrates Ruge’s Retirement

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Sanitary District is proud to announce the retirement, after 26 years of service, of Matt Ruge. He was a collection systems maintenance supervisor for the district for the past five years. Ruge’s last day was Nov. 30. He started working for the district in 1996. 

The board of directors adopted a Resolution of Appreciation on Dec. 1, acknowledging his contributions to the district, Truckee community, and sewer industry. According to district General Manager Blake Tresan, “Matt was always looking for ways to improve and was instrumental in the invention of a manhole product, Hercules Shutout, which is now marketed nationwide and for which the agency was awarded the 2021 Operator Ingenuity Award by the Water Environment Federation.” 

At the retirement celebration, Ruge expressed tremendous gratitude to the agency and community and indicated that he looks forward to spending more time with his family and playing more golf.

~ Truckee Sanitary District press release 

Business Briefs

RECORD STORM: One of the snowiest 24 hours on record. Courtesy photo

Sixth Largest Snowfall in 24 Hours

OLYMPIC VALLEY

From Dec. 6 to 12, Palisades Tahoe received 69 inches of new snow, with a total of  7.5 feet since Dec. 1. From Dec. 10 to 11, the resort received more than 35 inches of snow, the sixth largest snowfall total in 24 hours  on record. For more information, check out the operations update

~ Palisades Tahoe press release

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