News Briefs

Lawsuit Declares Agency Violated Lake Tahoe Compact, Defense Planned

SACRAMENTO

Mountain Area Preservation filed a lawsuit on Feb. 9 against the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, declaring the federal agency is in violation of the Tahoe Regional Planning Bi-State Compact, the regional plan, and TRPA regulations. Under the compact, TRPA must ensure that new development will not exceed or impede environmental threshold carrying capacities adopted to protect water quality, air quality, scenic views, and other Tahoe resources. 

Under the compact, TRPA must prepare and consider a detailed environmental impact statement (EIS) before deciding to approve or carry out any project that may have a “significant effect on the environment.” An EIS from TRPA is required to use “a systematic, interdisciplinary approach,” and TRPA must consult with relevant public agencies and provide a minimum 60-day public comment period on an EIS. 

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Since TRPA’s last EIS for its regional plan update in 2012, the lake’s health has deteriorated from, among other things, record amounts of microplastics and new invasive species. Lake Tahoe also has special status under the Clean Water Act. Designated an Outstanding National Resource Water, Lake Tahoe is now “listed under Clean Water Act Section 303(d) as impaired by inputs of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment.” In addition, local conditions have been negatively impacted by substantial increases in visitation, proliferation of short-term vacation rentals, and escalating populations in adjacent cities. 

MAP’s lawsuit contends that TRPA failed to comply with the compact and TRPA regulations by adopting amendments to the regional plan and TRPA code that will increase height, density, and coverage limits without fully considering the impacts of intensified land uses, including evacuation safety in the event of a major wildfire. By failing to prepare an EIS, the agency deprived the public of information pertaining to impacts on environmental resources and mitigation and alternatives to reduce these impacts, as well as skirting procedural safeguards for public review. 

The TRPA is planning a defense of the lawsuit, TRPA general counsel John Marshall said.

The planning agency noted that recent policy changes created additional incentives for affordable and workforce housing close to transit and services, along with increased requirements for stormwater treatment to protect the lake’s clarity and measures to promote walking, biking, and transit use.

Unfortunately, litigating affordable housing solutions under the guise of environmental protection is becoming a common tactic in communities across California and the nation, and is a major reason why shortages of affordable housing continue,” Marshall said. “In the case here in Lake Tahoe, these litigants are blocking both affordable housing solutions and progress toward lake clarity.”

~ MAP, TRPA press releases

Series of Winter Storms Expected to Impact Holiday Travel

MARYSVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Caltrans is alerting motorists about a series of winter storms in the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada that will create challenging travel conditions through the President’s Day holiday weekend..

Motorists should be prepared for chain controls, reduced visibility, additional travel times, and delays. Caltrans advises to pack extra supplies in the event of an emergency or if traffic is held for an extended period of time. Those supplies should include extra snacks, water, a blanket and a flashlight.

After a brief break in the wet weather, two additional storms are expected to impact travel starting Friday through Tuesday, Feb. 20. Early forecast estimates show 12 to 18 inches of snow at Donner Summit and 6 to 8 inches at Echo Summit. 

Motorists are encouraged to check Caltrans’ QuickMap before traveling for current road conditions and chain requirements or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play. Road information is also available on Caltrans’ website or by calling the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at (800) 427-ROAD (7623).

Caltrans District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. The department will issue updates on X @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook CaltransDistrict3.

~ Caltrans press release

Cheeses Sold in Nevada Recalled, Linked to Listeria

RENO/SPARKS

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a recall of dairy products from Rizo Lopez Foods due to a multistate outbreak of infections due to Listeria monocytogenes. The items include queso fresco and cotija cheeses, yogurt, and sour cream, as well as products made with these recalled food items sold at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, and more stores in Nevada and throughout the U.S.

CHEESE RECALL: A sample of recalled products sold in Nevada. Photo courtesy Centers for Disease Control

Illnesses have been linked to 11 states, including one reported illness in southern Nevada. Some recalled products were shipped to Trader Joe’s and Costco locations in Reno and Sparks, but those retailers have removed them from store shelves.

A full list of all affected products, with additional information, is available at the FDA’s website and the CDC’s website.

Infections due to Listeria, called listeriosis, are the third-leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the United States, and these infections are most likely to sicken people who are pregnant, newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms usually start within 24 hours after exposure, but may not appear for up to two weeks, and include fever, flu-like symptoms, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and even seizures.

Those who are pregnant are at greater risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

Northern Nevada Public Health, formerly the Washoe County Health District, encourages residents to follow federal guidance to check for any recalled items, and discard any that are found. If you or anyone you know has eaten any of these recalled items and are experiencing symptoms, visit your doctor for a lab test. Most people with intestinal listeriosis illness recover without the use of antibiotics, while more serious infections may require antibiotic treatment. During pregnancy, prompt antibiotic treatment might help keep the infection from affecting the baby.

~ NNPH press release

VOTER BALLOTS: The deadline to register to vote in the March 5 Presidential Primary Election is Feb. 20. Courtesy photo

Register to Vote by Feb. 20

STATEWIDE

Feb. 20 is the deadline to register to vote in the March 5 Presidential Primary Election and  receive a ballot in the mail. Register to vote at registertovote.ca.gov

Those who miss the deadline may still vote in the election, but will have to conditionally register and vote in person at the Rood Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City; Truckee Town Hall, 10183 Truckee Airport Rd., or at one of Nevada County’s seven other vote centers. Placer County voting centers are listed here; El Dorado County’s, here.

Voting is underway now. Voters may immediately return their completed ballots in the mail, put them in a drop box or vote in person at the Rood Center or Truckee Town Hall. 

Check voter registration status at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov. Check ballot status at  wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov

~ Nevada County press release

Parasol Foundation Grants $15,000 for TNSAR Transport

TAHOE CITY

Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue has received a grant award from the Community Fund of the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation as part of the team’s campaign to raise funds for the purchase of a much-needed multi-passenger van for use in search, training, and community education activities.

TNSAR is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization of men and women who are called upon to search for and rescue individuals lost and/or injured in the Tahoe area backcountry and surrounding counties, often in the worst possible winter storm conditions. Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation is the oldest and largest community foundation dedicated to cultivating community philanthropy and enhancing and preserving the quality of life at Lake Tahoe. PTCF has previously supported TNSAR and has always been an important partner in keeping TNSAR trained and equipped, and response-ready to conduct searches and save lives.

Since TNSAR’s formation in 1976, the team has conducted more than 400 searches and located more than 700 individuals in the backcountry.

Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation’s grant award of $15,000, when combined with grants and donations from six other organizations, foundations, and individuals, will be used to purchase and equip a vehicle that will facilitate the transport of team members before and after searches, allowing for active planning time enroute and ensuring that shared gear is readily accessible. Traveling together is an efficient way to ensure all team members arrive simultaneously without risk of delay in commencement of search efforts. Such a vehicle also enhances team safety after long and strenuous search and rescue shifts by having a single, designated driver rather than multiple, tired drivers in separate vehicles.

Learn more about TNSAR at tahoenordicsar.org and more about the Parasol Foundation at parasol.org.

~ Laura Read, Special to Moonshine Ink

ASC Biathletes Shine at World Winter Masters Games

SODA SPRINGS

Eight biathletes represented Auburn Ski Club (ASC) and the USA in Vermiglio, Italy at the 2024 World Winter Masters Games January 11 to 21.

The team posted solid results. Members Kim Harris, Ted Hulbert, Deborah Howell, Michael Swan, Mischel Twining, and Dan Warren were among the U.S. contingent in a field of athletes from 15 countries. Teammates and mother-son duo Ren Sessler and Sam Zabell coached.

WINTER MASTERS: ASC World Winter Masters Games biathletes at Seiser Alm. Courtesy photo

Twining brought home a silver medal in the sprint and a bronze in the individual event. In the relay, Twining teamed up with fellow ASC biathlete Howell and 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics competitor Deborah Nordyke from New York, with the team earning gold in the women’s 60 and over category.

~ Auburn Ski Club press release

Tahoe Fund Challenge for Nevada Nordic

INCLINE VILLAGE

The Tahoe Fund is asking community members to help unlock $10,000 to support Nevada Nordic’s grooming efforts. 

“If you love cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, this challenge is for you,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “If 100 community members donate to the $10,000 Challenge, the Tahoe Fund will give $10,000 to support Nevada Nordic’s nightly grooming of 19 kilometers of free trails.” 

Located off the Mt. Rose Highway, 4 miles west of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and 6 miles east of Incline Village, Nevada Nordic provides the closest groomed trails to the Reno and Carson City areas. Thanks to its 8,100-foot elevation, Nevada Nordic’s trail grooming can often continue longer than any other cross-country area in the region. 

KEEPING TRAILS ACCESSIBLE: Nevada Nordic’s groomed trails are free to use, thanks to community support. Photo courtesy Tahoe Fund

“Our mission is grounded in making sure our trails are available at no cost, and it’s the community support that makes this possible,” said Meghan Pry, Nevada Nordic board member. 

Nevada Nordic maintains its trail system year-round, including removal of downed limbs, trail debris, and dog waste. A team of dedicated ambassadors helps visitors get the most out of the trail system, and school groups, local school ski teams, and students from the Boys & Girls Club are regularly welcomed to Nevada Nordic’s freshly groomed trails.

The first 100 people to donate $25 or more by March 15 will unlock the Tahoe Fund match. Give at tahoefund.org/10kchallenge.

~ Tahoe Fund press release

New Tech Workforce Initiative for Teens

TRUCKEE

The Town of Truckee, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Tahoe Forest Health System, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, and the Truckee Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of Truckee North Tahoe Tech Teens (TNT Tech Teens), a new workforce initiative focused on promoting the diverse range of tech-related jobs available to Truckee and Tahoe students.

This month-long series, starting April 11 and running weekly through May 9, will expose Truckee/North Tahoe high school students to a variety of technology sectors, highlighting their practical applications in different career fields. The goal is to inspire and prepare students for diverse opportunities in the region.

“We are excited to unveil the hidden systems that keep Truckee running,” says Chris Hardy, program creator and chief information security and technology officer for the Town of Truckee.

Over the five weeks, students will experience hands-on learning at key locations and explore technologies such as air traffic control towers at the Truckee airport, surgery robots at TFHS, and policing technologies in action at the Town of Truckee. The TNT Tech Teens program culminates with a career-building workshop, equipping students with valuable resume and interview skills. Students who complete the full program will receive a certificate of completion from the Town of Truckee mayor. 

TNT Tech Teens is open to all high school students living in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. Students interested in participating in the program must apply by March 15. The application can be found at bit.ly/tnttechteens. For questions regarding the application process, reach out to Jessica Penman, president and CEO of Truckee Chamber of Commerce, at jessica@truckee.com.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

Safe and Sober Grad Night Fundraiser

TRUCKEE

A fundraiser for Truckee High School’s Safe and Sober Grad Night will be held March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Community Arts Center, 10046 Church St. The event, A Night in Milan, will feature Truckee High School seniors modeling clothing provided by Truckee retailers. The evening will include an online silent auction with items that include a stay at a Park City, Utah condo, a 2024/25 Palisades Tahoe season pass, and more. Food will be provided. Beer and wine will be available for purchase from FiftyFifty Brewing Co. and San Martin Winery. 

“Our goal with Safe and Sober Graduation is to bring graduating seniors together in a celebratory atmosphere while safeguarding them against the risks of alcohol, drugs, and vehicle accidents,” says Carolyn Gallagher, event co-chair. “We are calling on our community to rally behind this cause and help ensure a safe transition for these kids as they move beyond high school.” 

Tickets are $60 for adults and $20 for kids under 18 and can be purchased here

Sponsorships are also available. For more information, contact Beth Ham at skinorthstarcondo@yahoo.com or Kate Fanter Byus at katebyus@gmail.com. Checks are also accepted for sponsorship or donations and can be mailed to: Truckee Boosters DBA Project Grad, P.O. Box 583, Truckee, CA 96160.  

~ Truckee Boosters press release

Truckee Fire Seeks Collection and Disposal Contractor

TRUCKEE

Truckee Fire Protection District released a request for proposals (RFP) on Feb. 9, for 2024 to 2026 curbside green waste services. The district is seeking qualified and interested contractors or organizations to provide green waste collection and disposal services in residential areas across the 125-square-mile district. 

Tahoe Donner Association will be included in the district’s green waste service area. Truckee  Fire anticipates this program will generate a need to service approximately 5,000 piles annually. The RFP has a not-to-exceed budget of $600,000 annually, or $1.8 million total. 

Information and forms are available at truckeefire.org/projects. Proposals must be received no later than 3 p.m. on March 5, at which time they will be publicly opened and recorded by  Truckee Fire’s administrative office. 

Contractor questions must be submitted electronically to wildfire prevention manager Eric Horntvedt at erichorntvedt@truckeefire.org no later than 3 p.m. on Feb. 23.  

For more information on Truckee Fire, Measure T, and Green Waste Services, visit truckeefire.org.    

~ Truckee Fire press release

STATE PARK EMPLOYMENT: Opportunities are available at 27 Nevada State Parks. Courtesy graphic

Nevada State Parks Hiring 

CARSON CITY

Nevada State Parks announced job opportunities in any of the 27 Nevada State Parks.

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit parks.nv.gov/about/employment. The hourly rates for these positions range from $15.18 to $19.14, depending on the role. Some parks offer seasonal housing, and the park may be willing to work around school schedules, making this opportunity accessible to a diverse range of candidates.

For more information, contact Tyler Kerver at tkerver@parks.nv.gov or (775) 684-2745.

~ Nevada Division of State Parks press release

North Tahoe Fire Receives Grant for CPR Device

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District (NLTFPD) received a FEMA grant for $80,000 to purchase five Zoll AutoPulse NXT resuscitation systems. The portable, battery-powered devices provide high-quality automated CPR to victims of sudden cardiac arrest, potentially increasing survival rates by up to 50% compared to manual CPR.

“We are thrilled to be the first fire district in Nevada to have these life-saving devices,” said assistant fire chief Russell Barnum. “They will undoubtedly play a crucial role in our efforts to provide the best possible care to our community members experiencing cardiac arrest.” 

In 2014, Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a proclamation to the fire district for being the first Heart Safe Community in the state of Nevada.

The AutoPulse NXT system uses advanced technology to measure chest size and resistance before delivering precise, uninterrupted chest compressions. This frees up firefighters and paramedics to attend to other critical tasks, such as administering defibrillation or airway management.            

~ NLTFPD press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Emerging Leaders Council New Members

GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA

The Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE) announced the newest members of its Emerging Leaders Council last week at its annual conference in Garden Grove, California.

The council was formed to identify and recognize future leaders in WACE and the chamber of commerce industry.

Members of the council will be asked to provide program feedback and ideas and will serve as advisors to the association’s board and president. 

Included in the new chamber CEOs and staff professionals named to the WACE Emerging Leaders Council for a two-year term is Jessica Penman, Truckee Chamber.

NEW MEMBERS: Chamber professionals, including Truckee Chamber of Commerce president Jessica Penman (seventh from left, front row), are named for a two-year term on the WACE Emerging Leaders Council. Courtesy photo

WACE is an association of chamber of commerce executives and staff professionals with members in 21 western states and Canada designed to promote and enhance the professional development of chamber of commerce executives. With approximately 800 members, WACE is the largest state or regional association of chamber of commerce executives in the U.S.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

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