Hitting Pause on Incorporation Petition
On June 16, we completed a scientific survey of local residents that confirmed our community’s shared conviction to have more local control and accountability, build more pride of place, and solve housing issues among other important local problems.
Unfortunately we have now paused our plans to do the City of Incline Village incorporation petition drive this summer. The community appears to be somewhat distracted and divided over a just-launched recall petition for IVGID trustees. We will not run our city incorporation petition at the same time as a recall petition.
We know this delay is disappointing to everyone, but in the meantime we will continue moving forward with initiatives to improve community awareness and our capability for self government, such as with free Citizen Academy-style training on how good governments work. This will provide a preview of how the City of Incline Village will be designed to serve the public better than other local governments. Watch for an announcement soon!
We appreciate your continued support and look forward to launching the incorporation petition drive sometime in the near future. Please continue to spread the word about our initiative.
~ City of Incline Village blog
Lower Secline Water Quality Project
In an effort to improve lake clarity and reduce sediment loading from roadway runoff to protect the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe, Placer County is moving forward with construction of the transformative Lower Secline Water Quality project in Kings Beach.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors recently authorized a contract award of $580,951 to F.W. Carson Co. out of Incline Village for construction of this vital water quality improvement project — located on Secline Street south of state Route 28 and encompassing the western portion of Brockway Vista Avenue in the Kings Beach commercial core.
“We’re excited to see construction begin on this project because it’s vital for protecting the lake,” said Placer’s Public Works Deputy Director Rebecca Taber. “Both Secline Street and Brockway Vista Avenue are in poor condition and only about 200 feet from the lake, so sediment washes right down to the beach during major storms. This project will stabilize and protect exposed soil and provide treatment of this runoff to alleviate that concern.”
Moreover, this undertaking brings additional benefits for the community, including the formalization of 14 existing parking spaces, which currently exist on dirt and gravel surfaces and contribute to water quality issues. The project also includes the installation of a sidewalk along the western side of Secline Street connecting to the commercial core, improved access to the North Tahoe Public Utility District’s lift station located at the end of Secline Street, and provisions for a future 10-foot-wide shared-use path as identified in the Tahoe Basin Area Plan.
Funding for this initiative is being provided through Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act water quality funds administered through the U.S. Forest Service and water quality mitigation funds through the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Construction is anticipated to begin later this summer and will be completed by Oct. 15, 2023.
Learn more on the project webpage here.
~ Placer County press release
Widow Wendy Wood Takes Her Own Life in the Wake of Husband’s Homicide
WEST LAKE TAHOE
Two years after the shocking homicide that killed her husband, Wendy Wood, succumbed to overwhelming grief and took her own life.
As reported by Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle in ‘The Killer Killed Her Too’: Mystery That Rocked Tahoe Led to Another Tragic Death, “On March 9, in a senior home where she’d been slowly regaining strength, Wood killed herself. She was 70, the same age as her husband when he died.”
Robert Spohr and Wendy Wood were both shot several times in June 2021 when an intruder infiltrated the couple’s lakeside home. Spohr died on site and Wood survived with severe injuries. Wood’s heroic act of dialing 911, despite her injuries, saved her life but could not prevent the heart-wrenching aftermath. The weight of the tragedy eventually became too much for Wood to bear, leading to her suicide according to Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan .
While law enforcement authorities have made progress in their investigation, the case remains challenging to crack. Adrienne Spohr, the couple’s daughter, remains hopeful, acknowledging the efforts of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. The family has taken matters into their own hands, offering a $150,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer or killers.
As the search for justice continues, Spohr urges anyone with information to come forward. The family’s website, homewoodhomicide.com, serves as a platform for tips, emphasizing the importance of community support.
“She couldn’t handle it, the loss,” Spohr told the San Francisco Chronicle. “She missed my dad like crazy. She was just stunned. It was like the killer killed her too. When we bring that person to justice, I certainly hope they are held accountable for both deaths. They are very much responsible for both.”
Board Acknowledges Workforce Housing Plan
The 2023 Washoe Tahoe Housing Partnership’s (WTHP) Housing Roadmap is intended to address workforce housing challenges in Incline Village and Crystal Bay.
The WTHP was formed in 2020 by a coalition of residents, nonprofits, business owners, government representatives, educators, and other local leaders, and in 2021 the WTHP released a housing-needs study for the Incline Village/Crystal Bay area. A key finding was that an estimated 785 below-market housing units and 420 market rate units will be needed over the next five years to address housing shortages for local residents and employees in Incline Village/Crystal Bay.
The 2023 WTHP housing roadmap, recently presented by Tahoe Prosperity Center CEO Heidi Hill Drum, outlines a partnership framework and range of priority goals and actions to address these needs. The roadmap’s creation was a collaborative process funded by the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, Reno Housing Authority, Offerdahl Foundation, and Washoe County. The Tahoe Prosperity Center served as project manager for development of the roadmap.
In January 2023, the board of commissioners directed that the county’s FY 2024 strategic plan include initiatives focused on increasing the availability of affordable housing in unincorporated Washoe County. This roadmap is a tool that will support those efforts in the Lake Tahoe region.
The board was asked to acknowledge the roadmap, and staff will return with a future agenda item seeking to assess and prioritize the roadmap’s recommendations as part of a broader discussion on the strategic plan initiative and the county’s overall efforts related to affordable housing.
~ Washoe County enews
Over $2.5M Reinvested in North Lake Tahoe
Revenues generated by local businesses and North Lake Tahoe visitors continue to positively impact the community. Over $2.5 million in funds generated by Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District (NLT-TBID) were allocated in the second half of the fiscal year ending June 30 to initiatives that are making progress on workforce housing, regional transportation, economic vitality, trails, recreation, and tourism mitigation.
The North Tahoe Community Alliance recently launched a Sponsorship and Multi-year Funding Program as part of the new Community Vitality and Economic Health Investment Program and will roll out an annual grant program to support projects, programs, and services that are suited for annual funding this fall. The program provides a framework to evaluate projects, programs, and services that TBID and TOT funds generated in the community will be used to support.
A complete NTCA annual report will be released in fall 2023, however what follows are some of the initiatives that have received funding during the second half of the fiscal year (January through June 2023).
Key Initiatives Supported by the TBID
Over $1.2 million in TBID revenues have been allocated to:
- Incubation of the Housing Hub, a new nonprofit organization being formed to simplify and streamline the process and time it takes to create workforce housing
- Local event sponsorship and annual partnership funding to support marketing and promotion of 2023 events (view the full list of events that received funding here)
- Sponsorship of the Lake Tahoe Ambassador program, which engages local youth to spread the word about environmental stewardship at highly impacted beaches and trailheads through the peak summer months
- Marketing campaigns that are focused on stewardship education and responsible travel for both residents and visitors; this includes efforts with regional event planners to highlight and encourage stewardship among event attendees
- Funding of the important work conducted by the Tahoe City Downtown Association and the North Tahoe Business Association in support of local businesses, plus select programming such as summer flower baskets and winter downtown lighting
- Sponsorship of bike valet services at local events to encourage stewardship and human-powered transportation
Key Initiatives Supported by TOT
A total of $1.38 million was recommended by the NTCA Board of Directors, the TOT Committee, and the CAP Committee in support of:
- Continuation of the free, on-demand microtransit service that is being offered year-round through TART Connect
- Funding in support of the North Lake Tahoe Express Airport Shuttle
- Continued funding of the Placemate program that incentivizes vacation homeowners to rent long-term to the local workforce
- Support for pre-development efforts related to the Tahoe City Downtown Access Improvements that will include parking and traffic flow enhancements
Funds generated by TBID assessments are managed by the NTCA with oversight from the NTCA Board of Directors and committees of representatives from assessed businesses. Annual TBID revenues are used for responsible travel and stewardship education, efforts to offset tourism impacts, bolster a year-round economy, and support local businesses.
Learn more about TBID and TOT dollars at work and the projects they support at northtahoecommunityalliance.com.
~ North Tahoe Community Alliance press release
New Three-Year Plan for Mental Health Services
The Placer County Board of Supervisors adopted a new three-year plan shaping mental health services through 2026. Developed over the last year with input from more than 700 residents, the plan lays out how Placer’s allocation of state mental health funding will be used to support existing and new programming for the county’s growing population.
California voters passed the Mental Health Services Act, or Proposition 63, in November 2004. MHSA places a 1% tax on personal incomes over $1 million. Counties receive funds through the state with the goal of enhancing the public mental health system to better serve the community. While funding fluctuates, Placer County averages nearly $16 million in MHSA funding annually to serve people with mental illness. The new three-year MHSA plan was developed with input from community members and providers, including representatives from the local Campaign for Community Wellness.
The three-year plan focuses the bulk of MHSA funding, 76%, on treatment and recovery services that serve more than 3,400 residents annually, including full-service partnership programs that provide wraparound support to clients, many of whom have serious mental illness. These programs have demonstrated success: a 44% reduction in psychiatric hospitalizations, 45% reduction in incarcerations, and 29% reduction in rates of homelessness for clients enrolled at least two years. The plan includes additional funding directed towards prevention and early intervention services; innovation; training and other key priorities, all with a focus on measurable outcomes.
The plan will bring several new mental health programs onboard for Placer residents:
- Two new peer outreach workers who will work with the existing homeless liaison team;
- A new prevention coordinator working for Placer County Health and Human Services who will develop outreach and education related to substance use and mental health;
- A preventative coaching program for young adults called Revive to Thrive;
- Be WELL, a work-based program to empower teens and young adults through community projects and volunteering along with education and services; and
- Parent Empowerment Group, providing mentoring services for parents whose children have recently been detained by child welfare to support the reunification process.
MHSA will continue to fund many existing services as well, and will expand a handful of successful programs, many serving youth and young adults. This includes expanded wraparound services for youth needing intensive mental health supports, expanded wellness centers and social workers in the Tahoe/Truckee area, and additional behavioral health strategies for schools.
~ Placer County press release
Alternatives to Burning
On June 26, Cal Fire suspended outdoor residential burning in Placer County. This yearly burn ban usually takes effect in the early summer months due to increased fire danger and lasts until sufficient precipitation moistens vegetation.
There are several alternative options to residential burning available to Placer County residents who want to dispose of their vegetation during the summer months such as chipping, composting, green waste bins, and self-hauling stations.
Eastern Placer County
North Lake Tahoe
The North Tahoe Fire Protection District hosts a curbside chipping program for residents who live in its jurisdiction. Requests can be made until Oct. 9.
Olympic Valley residents are eligible for 100% reimbursement for green waste dumpster rentals from the Eastern Regional Landfill. Residents can also drop off green waste loads in the lot across from the Olympic Valley Fire Department on specified drop-off days.
Truckee Fire Protection District
TFPD offers residential curbside green waste pick-up free of charge from May to October. TFPD also offers a $75 rebate for the cost of a 6-yard green waste dumpster rental from Eastern Regional Landfill available until July 31 for Placer County residents while funds last. There is also a FireWise Community Green Waste Dumpster Rebate for FireWise Community Workday events.
Composting is easy and can be done at home. Contact the UC Davis Master Gardeners’ Hotline at (530) 889-7399 for information on how to compost.
~ Placer County Air Pollution Control press release
SOS Outreach Launches Career Development Program
SOS Outreach, a youth development nonprofit that provides mentorship through outdoor programs and community engagement, has introduced its Career Development Program to participants in North and South Lake Tahoe. Through this summer program, teens ages 15 and up are placed in paid apprenticeships at Northstar California and Heavenly Mountain Resort after completing a two-week training intensive that focuses on interview skills, resume-building, technology, professional communication, and inclusion in the workplace. Through guest speakers, community service and site visits, participants learn the importance of core values and how to put them to practice.
“Though I currently have a job, I never had a resume or learned interview skills until this program,” says Juli, 11th grade participant. “After doing a few interviews at Northstar, I learned that the person interviewing you is also human and they are not trying to make you nervous. If you don’t immediately know the answer to a question, it’s okay to ask for more time to think. I feel so much more confident about how to act in the workplace and am really looking forward to the first step of a career in the outdoor industry.”
With a large part of SOS programming focused on skiing and riding, this program originated as a way to keep youth engaged all year long and to also show them how to turn their passion into a career. After success in Colorado and Utah, SOS Outreach has been working to expand the program and was able to do so in Tahoe with the support of Vail Resorts and the Tahoe Fund.
“We absolutely love this program,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “With the current shortage of outdoor recreation workers, it is so smart to expand the relationships these kids have with the mountains into a meaningful career path. This will pay off for everyone in the long-run. Kudos to SOS Outreach for expanding access and inclusion on the ski hills and in the workforce.”
~ SOS Outreach press release
Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up
IVGID Appoints Mike Bandelin as Acting General Manager
Mike Bandelin, appointed by the Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees to fill the role of acting general manager for a period of time while the district begins the recruitment process to fill the role permanently. Mike has been with the district since November 1984, when he was first hired as a parking attendant for Diamond Peak Ski Resort. Through the years, Mike has filled a number of roles at Diamond Peak before his promotion to ski resort general manager from his previously held position of mountain operations manager. Throughout Mike’s 40 years of service with the district, he has and continues to exemplify its core values: teamwork, integrity, responsibility, excellence, and service.
Additionally, the board of trustees has appointed Bobby Magee as interim director of finance.
Prior to his departure, former Director of Finance Paul Navazio worked closely with the audit committee to identify candidates to help fill the void while continued efforts in sourcing a more permanent candidate were ongoing. After thorough review, Paul selected Bobby Magee for the role of interim director of finance. Magee comes to IVGID with strong municipal finance director and governmental procurement experience. He was formally hired on June 26.
~ IVGID press releases
CoralTree Hospitality to Manage Everline Resort & Spa
CoralTree Hospitality, one of the top independent hospitality management companies in the United States, adds Everline Resort & Spa in North Lake Tahoe to its growing management portfolio. Just minutes from Lake Tahoe in the heart of Olympic Valley, the 405-room resort offers ski-in, ski-out access to Palisades Tahoe, an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. championship golf course, an award-winning spa and more.
CoralTree will manage Everline as a franchised hotel under the Destination by Hyatt brand.
“We are excited to continue our affiliation with Hyatt through a franchise agreement under the Destination by Hyatt brand,” said Tom Luersen, president of CoralTree. “Managing mountain resorts is part of CoralTree’s DNA and we are excited to add Everline to our growing collection of hotels and resorts across the United States.”
~ CoralTree Hospitality press release
NV Energy to Continue Work to Reduce Wildfire Risk
Beginning this week and throughout the coming months, NV Energy and partnering agencies will continue to implement measures to reduce wildfire and natural disaster risk throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and Southern Nevada as part of the Natural Disaster Protection Plan.
NV Energy is working to protect the community, equipment, and the environment from increased risk of wildfires and other natural disasters.
Work in the Lake Tahoe Basin begins this week and will continue through the end of summer and into fall as NV Energy works to reduce vegetation that poses a wildfire risk along overhead power lines and improve infrastructure to minimize the chance of infrastructure caused wildfires and protect our communities against extreme weather events. The Lake Tahoe Basin is a high priority due to the region’s extreme fire risk conditions.
Work will begin this week in Kingsbury and northeast of Incline Village along State Route 431. While work is underway, residents and visitors can expect occasional delays in the area, including along hiking and mountain biking trail and should prepare accordingly.
Local fire district crews will begin vegetation treatment and will use mechanical equipment. In limited circumstances, such as steep slopes and sensitive environments, helicopters will be used to remove trees and vegetation.
NV Energy will notify customers and nearby residents directly impacted by projects where power may need to be turned off for short periods of time when work is being done. Impacted residents can expect to receive notifications when work occurs.
~ NV Energy press release