News Briefs

Palisades Tahoe Avalanche Incident

OLYMPIC VALLEY

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 10 at Palisades Tahoe, an avalanche occurred on the Palisades side of the ski resort above the GS bowl area of KT-22.



Olympic Valley Fire Department responded to the ski resort, recruiting allied agencies and pooling resources in support of Palisades Ski Patrol efforts: OVFD, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, and Palisades Tahoe. Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue was activated along with allied agency partners and assets from the west side of the resort. 

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The avalanche caused one fatality, identified as 66-year-old Kenneth Kidd, who is a resident of both Point Reyes and the Truckee/Tahoe area, and one injury. No further missing persons were reported.
More than 100 Palisades personnel participated in a beacon search, and two probe lines were completed. The avalanche debris field was approximately 150 feet wide, 450 feet long and 10 feet deep.

Another avalanche occurred the next day, Jan. 11, at the resort. No missing persons were reported.

~ PCSO media advisory

$175,000 in Defensible Space Grant Funding Approved

AUBURN

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the acceptance of $175,000 in grant funding for the development of a defensible space fuels reduction program, aimed at assisting low-income senior and disabled residents in eastern Placer County.

The program will provide qualifying residents with assistance to improve defensible space around their homes and properties to reduce the risk of loss of life and property in the event of a wildfire. The funding is made possible by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Forest Futures program. 

Eligible participants must reside within the boundaries served by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, in the eastern portion of Placer County. 

To learn more, visit the Placer County Defensible Space Fuels Reduction Program webpage here.

~ Placer County press release

Sanitary District Announces Resignation of Board Member 

TRUCKEE

Truckee Sanitary District (TSD) Board Member Nelson Van Gundy announced his retirement from the board effective Jan. 1. Van Gundy served as a director since 2011. At TSD’s December Board Meeting, the Board adopted a Resolution of Appreciation for Van Gundy’s longtime service to the district and the community. 

Marcus Waters, current TSD board president, stated, “Nelson wanted the best for Truckee. He was extremely committed to safeguarding Truckee’s public health and environment as well as finding ways to collaborate with other agencies on projects for the betterment of the community. I wish him well in his future endeavors.”

As a result of Van Gundy’s resignation, a seat on the TSD board is open. The district is soliciting applications from interested community members through Jan. 31. Applications and additional information can be found on the TSD website, truckeesan.org.

~ TSD press release

Far West Nordic Athletes to Represent at U.S. Nationals

SOLDIER HOLLOW, UTAH

Cross-country skiers from Tahoe Endurance, Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Academy, and the Auburn Ski Club were successful in the U.S. Cross-Country Ski National Championships held at the 2002 Olympic venue of Soldier Hollow, Utah. While many athletes posted personal best results, Niki Johnson of Tahoe Endurance earned the right to represent the U.S. at the U18 Nordic Nations Cup Championships to be held in Falun, Sweden.

Johnson, a Tahoe City native, will compete against the best under 18-year-old cross-country skiers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and the U.S.

Races at the Nordic Nations Cup kick off on Jan. 19.

Former Auburn Ski Club and Sugar Bowl Ski Team stand-out Matt Seline, of Truckee, earned a chance to represent the U.S. at the FIS World Junior Cross-Country Ski Championships in Planica, Slovenia. 

The FIS World Junior Championships begin Feb. 5.

~ Far West Nordic press release

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION NEEDED: Register for workshops to give feedback on Nevada County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Courtesy graphic

Help Shape Community Wildfire Protection Plan

NEVADA CITY

The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services (OES) is updating the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), and wants to hear from the community. OES will host in-person and virtual community risk reduction workshops this January and February for the four CWPP Forecast Zones: Higgins/Penn Valley, Grass Valley/Nevada City, Tahoe National Forest Area, and Truckee/Donner. 

A CWPP identifies and prioritizes areas for hazardous fuels reduction, addresses community preparedness, and recommends actions homeowners and communities can take to reduce structure ignitability. Forecast zones were developed based on fire environment and community identity to serve the unique needs of the communities residing in Nevada County’s varied landscapes. These zones help to more acutely understand the differences in fire hazards across the county and identify zone-specific wildfire risk reduction opportunities.

KNOW YOUR ZONE: Find your zone and register for workshops to give feedback on Nevada County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Courtesy graphic

Alessandra Zambrano, OES county wildfire coordinator, says, “Input from the folks who live and work here will help us craft an authentically community-centered document. This will allow Nevada County’s CWPP to serve as a roadmap for the next five years, guiding how we collectively approach wildfire preparedness and mitigation to protect our communities and all the other things that make Nevada County home.”

Find forecast zones and register for in-person or online workshops that take place Jan. 17 through Feb. 13 at readynevadacounty.org/cwpp.

~ Nevada County press release

Nevada County Public Health Mobile Unit

NEVADA COUNTY

Nevada County Public Health Department (NCPHD) is taking immunizations and other services on the road in a new mobile health unit.

“We have areas in our community where access to health care can be difficult. Our goal is to make immunizations and other public health services more accessible to our community. By utilizing our mobile health services unit, we will be able to reach clients in rural areas of our county, like North San Juan and the town of Washington. We also plan to take the mobile unit to Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, and Truckee to provide flu shots and other health services to remove barriers to accessing these services,” said Kathy Cahill, public health director. 

The funding for the mobile health unit was provided by the federal Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) COVID-19 grant. Learn more about NCPHD’s services here.

~ Nevada County enews

LGBTQIA+ Craft Workshops

TRUCKEE

In continued efforts to be an inclusive and safe space for all makers in the community, the Truckee Roundhouse Community Makerspace will launch a monthly workshop series geared at engaging local LGBTQIA+ makers starting February 2024. The makerspace identified a need for this programming, recognizing there are few formal opportunities in our area for the LBGTQIA+ community to gather. 

These free to low-cost workshops aim to provide queer creatives with a space to generate ideas, explore, learn, and be supported in the community. Expert mentors and instructors will guide activities focused on creative play, exploration, and self-expression, including hand-sewn upcycled tiny stuffed animals, custom vinyl shirt designs, tie-dying, encaustic painting, and a woodworking project. 

The first two classes in the series are:

  • Creature Comforts: Hand-Sewing Tiny Stuffed Animals on Feb. 12
  • Melting Meditation: Encaustic Painting on March 4

All classes are open to students ages 16 to adult at any experience level. Reserve online at truckeeroundhouse.org/schedule

This project has been made possible through generous grants from the Martis Camp Foundation, the Richard Reed Foundation, and the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund. 

~ Truckee Roundhouse press release

Tahoe Rim Tour Returns

NORTH TAHOE

The Tahoe Rim Tour, presented by Alpenglow Sports, returns Jan. 28 to lead skiers from Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area to Northstar California Resort. The 26-kilometer tour is the only point-to-point ski race in the Far West region.

With views of the Tahoe Basin, the racecourse follows a climb along the Fiberboard Freeway, then drops down to Northstar, taking racers from Tahoe City to Truckee. While there are divisions for both skate and classic skiing in the tour, the classic division is the second longest-running classic ski race in the Far West region after the annual Snowshoe Thompson Classic at Auburn Ski Club. An addition this year is the Tour Division, designed for those who want a little extra time to take in the view and complete the course at their own pace.

A new shuttle option will be available to take racers from the Northstar Castle Peak Lot to North Tahoe High School prior to the start of the race. This bus will depart at 7:45 a.m. and arrive at North Tahoe High School at 8:15 a.m.

Awards, raffle prizes, and a hearty lunch will be available at the post-race party at the mid-mountain Nordic Lodge at Northstar. 

Register online by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, to get early bird pricing: $55 for Far West members; $60 for non-members. Youth early bird pricing is $25 for Far West members; $30 for non-members. Online registration closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27. Find more information at farwestnordic.org.

~ Far West Nordic press release

Tahoe Forest Health Receives Award

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

Tahoe Forest Health System has been named a 2023 Human Experience (HX) Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey. The awards are part of Press Ganey’s annual ranking of the top hospitals and health systems in the country, according to performance in patient and employee experience.

As a winner of the Press Ganey HX Guardian of Excellence Award®, Tahoe Forest Health System’s Emergency Department and Inpatient Services are in the top 5% of healthcare providers in delivering patient experience in the last year. Additionally, the Incline Village Community Hospital is among the top 5% of healthcare providers in delivering employee experience, also earning the Guardian of Excellence Award.           

Press Ganey works with more than 41,000 healthcare facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality, and experience of care.

To learn more about Tahoe Forest Health System’s Emergency Department and Inpatient Services, and the Incline Village Community Hospital, visit tfhd.com.

~ TFHS press release

TEA SPEAKER SERIES: Michael Thompson, author of The Pressured Child, engages with youth. Courtesy photo

TEA Launches New Speaker Series

TRUCKEE

The Tahoe Expedition Academy (TEA) announced the inaugural TEA Speaker Series supported by a grant from the Martis Camp Foundation. Events will offer an opportunity to engage with speakers in an intimate setting on TEA’s campus. 

Three events are set for 2024:

Tuesday, Jan. 23: Michael Thompson, an advisor, speaker, and author. He will be speaking from his book, The Pressured Child

Monday, Feb. 12: Reyna Grande is the author of The Distance between Us and A Ballad of Love and Glory, documenting her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant.

Tuesday, March 5: Moose Mutlow has nearly four decades of traditional and alternative education experience around the globe, including Outward Bound instructor training, more than 2,000 days of field instruction in a wilderness setting, and more.

To reserve a spot, visit tahoeexpeditionacademy.org/speaker-series.

~ TEA press release

Meeting for Idaho Maryland Mine Project 

NEVADA CITY

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a special meeting on Feb. 15 to hold a noticed public hearing and take final action on the proposed Idaho Maryland Mine – Rise Grass Valley Project. The meeting may continue to Feb. 16 if needed. 

This special board meeting follows the May 10 to 11, 2023, planning commission public hearing where the commission recommended that supervisors deny the project and the Final  Environmental Impact Report. 

At this upcoming meeting, the board of supervisors will hear presentations from staff and the  applicant as well as take public comment. The board is expected to ask questions of the staff  and the applicant before entering deliberations on whether to approve or deny the application to  reopen the Idaho Maryland Mine – Rise Grass Valley.  

The clerk of the board will issue a formal Notice of Public Hearing for the special meeting of the board of supervisors at least 10 days before the meeting.  

Interested residents can subscribe for updates and notifications on the proposal at nevadacountyca.gov/immrise

When: Thursday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and may continue to Friday, Feb. 16, beginning at 9 a.m., if needed. 

Where: Eric Rood Administration Center Board of Supervisor Chambers, located at 950 Maidu  Ave., Nevada City. 

~ Nevada County press release

New Human Trafficking Law 

ROSEVILLE

The Placer District Attorney’s Office, Placer County Probation Department, and Placer County Sheriff’s Office report that Senate Bill 14, a law to hold human traffickers accountable, went into effect on Jan. 1.  

“The Placer County District Attorney’s Office will continue to hold human traffickers accountable, and this new law will assist in those efforts,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire. “Human trafficking is one of the most depraved crimes, often hiding in plain sight in our communities. Our prosecutors will use every tool available to us to remove traffickers from our streets.”   

Authored by Senator Shannon Grove, Senate Bill 14 makes the crime of sex trafficking of minors a serious felony, or a strike, under California’s Three Strikes law. Due to that change, repeat traffickers may be imprisoned for life. 

California consistently ranks first in the nation in the number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Despite that statistic, in the past decade the state has lowered penalties for traffickers and enacted policies that make it harder for law enforcement to protect trafficking victims. SB 14 is a step in the right direction. 

To raise awareness, the district attorney’s office is joining the Placer County Probation Department, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Placer County Board of Education, Placer County Children System of Care, and other community partners to kick off Human Trafficking Prevention Month. A list of events can be found here and the Placer County Human Trafficking Resource Portal can be found here.

~ Placer County D.A. press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

New Chair for Placer County BOS

AUBURN

District 4 Supervisor Suzanne Jones was chosen by fellow board members to serve as the next chair of the Placer County Board of Supervisors for 2024. District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore was named as vice chair. The leadership gavel is traditionally passed during the first meeting of every new year and follows a rotation that provides supervisors with an opportunity to lead the board once during every four-year term in office.

Jones is entering the last year of her first four-year term and represents District 4, which encompasses all of Granite Bay, a portion of Roseville, and portions of the foothills.

As vice chair, Gore will be responsible for filling in as chair in Jones’ absence and will be in line for board chair in 2025. Gore has served on the board of supervisors since 2019 and just entered the second year of her second term in office.

“Important discussions will take place in 2024 around challenging issues like homelessness, affordable housing and economic development,” said Gore. “I am looking forward to assisting in a leadership capacity as we address these and other complex issues.”

~ Placer County press release

Business Briefs

Palisades Tahoe Athletes Headed to International Competitions

OLYMPIC VALLEY

Four Team Palisades Tahoe freeride athletes have been invited to compete in the Yeti Freeride Junior World Championships in Kappl, Austria in late January 2024. Based on their IFSA standings from last season, Indy Boyer, Mia Jones, Curran Hall, and Sam Briggs will compete alongside other junior athletes from around the world. Learn more here

READY TO COMPETE: Aiden England, a Team Palisades Tahoe athlete, is headed to the Youth Olympic Games. Photo courtesy of Palisades Tahoe

Team Palisades Tahoe athlete Aiden England is a nominee for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Ski Cross team headed to the Youth Olympic Games. The competition is set to take place in Gangwon Province, South Korea Jan. 19 through Feb. 1. A senior at Truckee High School, England will represent the U.S. as one of two distinguished male ski cross team members selected nationwide. Learn more here.

~ Palisades Tahoe press release

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