News Briefs

Massive Drop in Amount of July 4 Trash, Record Number of Volunteers

TAHOE/TRUCKEE

July 5 in North Truckee/Tahoe is normally filled with sunburns and happy memories, just like the national celebration on the day prior. As people rise on the morning of the 5th, they once again gather their sunscreen and head to the beach, but for a different purpose. This year, a record-breaking 774 volunteers headed to the shores of Tahoe to pick up Fourth of July trash.

On the organized day of cleanup, the beach volunteers were joined by a hard-working, trash-cleaning robot called BEBOT, as well as divers, who cleaned beneath the surface. Despite the increase in the number of volunteers, the amount of trash collected — 1,866 pounds — wasn’t even a quarter of what was removed July 5, 2023. This success wasn’t entirely due to the volunteers’ abilities. Last year, Zephyr Cove and Zephyr Shoals were trashed badly enough to catch national attention, creating a disheartening atmosphere around Tahoe. This year, locals implemented extra measures, including prohibiting outside alcohol and increasing staff to assist in the holiday’s activities.

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These ideas for improvement were provided by the Tahoe Blue Beaches Program, which aims to provide visitors with a path to make the right choice, the easy choice.

Although there were six organized beach cleanups by Keep Tahoe Blue, an organization dedicated to keeping the lake clean, many individuals tackled Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake beaches on their own. Jessica Wurzelbacher, a young Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District lifeguard, headed to her familiar shores of docks 12 and 13 on Donner Lake to collect litter.

“This is where we live. If we or the visitors trash it, it won’t be the same. We have to keep it beautiful. It’s where I grew up,” she said. A few of her friends joined Wurzelbacher to collect the leftover trash, and she hopes to join the volunteers at Tahoe in the future.

As the 5th comes to a close, Tahoe advocates are sure they will be heading to the beaches once again this weekend, but they are beyond proud of what they accomplished in just one day.

~ Lola Barta, Special to Moonshine Ink

Settlement Reached in Workforce Housing Litigation

LAKE TAHOE

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Mountain Area Preservation reached a settlement agreement in early July to resolve a lawsuit filed by MAP in February. The lawsuit challenged the affordability requirements and environmental impacts of TRPA’s Phase 2 housing code amendments, adopted in December 2023.

As part of the settlement, TRPA agreed to consider policy options in Phase 3 to improve workforce housing in the area that do not require new construction, such as short-term rental caps or bans, incentives for homeowners to lease their houses to locals, down-payment assistance, and other innovative programs. TRPA also agreed to evaluate an income cap for future deed-restricted achievable housing units, as well as potential impacts on scenic resources and public safety for new development.

The settlement reinstates the requirement that 50% of the units allowed under the updated bonus unit criteria be reserved exclusively for affordable housing and mandates stricter stormwater collection and treatment requirements. 

MAP will be invited to join other organizations on the Tahoe Living Working Group that TRPA formed in 2020 to advise on housing policies. “We look forward to engaging Mountain Area Preservation in a more productive dialogue along with the full range of stakeholders,” TRPA Executive Director Julie Regan said.

“We’re also glad to note that TRPA has committed to preparing an Environmental Impact Statement that relies on current conditions as the baseline of its analysis as part of its next round of updates to its housing codes,” said Alexis Ollar, executive director of MAP.  

~ Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Mountain Area Preservations press releases

Group to Hold Town Hall in Opposition to Proposed Measure 

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

Leaders of the No on Measure N, the proposed South Lake Tahoe vacancy tax, will hold a campaign town hall, Wednesday, July 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 2307 James Ave. in South Lake Tahoe.

“We continue our work to educate people about this unfair, misguided tax grab that in reality provides no real solutions to the challenge of affordable housing in our community,” said Steve Teshara of Tahoe Chamber, a campaign co-chair. “What it would do is create an expensive, complex administrative and enforcement burden on the City of South Lake Tahoe, which is why the majority of city council members opposed going in this direction.”

The town hall will feature updates from campaign leaders and a Q&A session about the efforts to defeat the measure in this November’s General Election. The program will be available via live-stream and playback. 

For more information, visit stopthesouthtahoevacancytax.com

~ Stop the South Tahoe Vacancy Tax press release

Candidate Filing Details for General Election

AUBURN

With the Nov. 5 General Election just a few months away, the Placer County Elections Office is in full swing preparing for one of the most highly-anticipated presidential elections in decades.

For those considering a run for any office listed on the November ballot, candidate filing will begin at 8 a.m. on July 15 and will close at 5 p.m. on Aug. 9. During this time, interested parties can access filing services Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Placer County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Office at 3715 Atherton Rd. in Rocklin.

Those closer to the Tahoe area can access filing services at the Tahoe Customs House at 775 North Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 30 to Aug. 8.

The Placer County Elections Office highly recommends that all prospective candidates make an appointment to file their candidacy paperwork at their preferred filing location by visiting placercountyelections.gov/candidate-filing.

Potential candidates are invited to attend the Placer County Elections Candidate Workshop to review the requirements for running for public office, learn which offices are up for election and the basics of running a political campaign. The workshop will be conducted in person in the training room of the Placer County Elections Office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. For additional information and remote attendance options, visit placercountyelections.gov.

~ Placer County press release

School District Offers Free Summer Meals

TRUCKEE

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District is offering free summer meals for children 18 years of age and under and disabled adults through the Seamless Summer Option program.

Running every Monday from July 1 to Aug. 12, the program provides nutritious and convenient grab-and-go breakfast and lunch options. 

No enrollment is required to participate. On Mondays, families can visit any of the designated delivery locations at the set time to receive a week’s worth of meals — five breakfasts and five lunches. Depending on the menu item, the meals will either be frozen, chilled, or at room temperature. 

“We understand that food insecurity can be a concern for families during the summer months,” said Kat Soltanmorad, TTUSD director of food and nutrition services. “This program ensures that all children in our community have access to healthy meals throughout the summer break.”

Monday delivery schedule and locations

  • 9:15 to 9:35 a.m. at Henness Flats Apartments, Truckee
  • 9:15 to 9:35 a.m. at Donner Creek Mobile Park, Truckee
  • 9:50 to 10:10 a.m. at Truckee Pines Apartments, Truckee
  • 10:00 to 10:20 a.m. at  265 Bear St., Kings Beach
  • 10:20 to 10:40 a.m. at Village Green, Truckee
  • 10:50 to 11:20 a.m. at Tahoe Vista Mobile Home Park, Tahoe Vista
  • 10:50 to 11:10 a.m. at Sierra Village Apartments, Truckee 

For more detailed information on the delivery locations and the program as a whole, visit ttusd.org/food.

~ Tahoe Truckee Unified School District press release

Summer Parking Management Inspired by Winter Programs

KINGS BEACH 

The Placer County Board of Supervisors provided direction to county staff at its June 25 meeting to begin implementation of the county’s North Lake Tahoe Parking Management Program in Kings Beach, starting with improved enforcement of parking rules. 

One goal of the North Lake Tahoe Parking Management Program is to better manage existing parking supply for the Kings Beach commercial core and some residential grid streets that experience high volumes of summer visitor parking.

The county’s Christmas tree lot, located at 8676 North Lake Blvd. in Kings Beach, is the first test lot to temporarily implement paid parking in the county. The pilot program will run this summer beginning as soon as July 15 and conclude by Sept. 30.

Revenue generated from the parking program will first be used to fund parking equipment costs and enforcement operations, while surplus proceeds will be spent locally on Kings Beach’s mobility and transportation infrastructure, such as new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and expansion of transit services. 

Planned future efforts will include the addition of residential parking permits and voluntary shared parking management agreements for inclusion in the county’s paid parking program, with county provided enforcement.

Last year, Northstar California Resort and Palisades Tahoe implemented winter parking reservation systems at their ski resorts for weekends and holidays. At the June 25 board meeting, representatives from Palisades Tahoe reported a 130% increase in park-and-ride usage last year and reduced traffic commutes from 3 hours to approximately 35 minutes on average last year. Northstar reported that 60% of its parking reservations last year were carpool reservations while noting the resort saw an 81% reduction in arrival delays. 

An email has been established for North Tahoe parking enforcement comments and concerns: ntparking@placer.ca.gov. 

For more information about the North Lake Tahoe Parking Management Program, visit placer.ca.gov/8857/parking-management-program.

~ Placer County press release

Heat Mapping Projects Seeks Volunteers

RENO

Scientists from the Desert Research Institute and the University of Nevada, Reno are recruiting volunteers to conduct a 1-day campaign to map extreme heat across Washoe County.  

On July 27, community volunteers will fan out across the county to collect thousands of temperature and humidity measurements from early morning through evening, taken over three 1-hour periods. The project will distribute sensors, which volunteers will attach to their vehicles before driving along predetermined routes. Volunteers can serve as drivers or navigators.  

The project aims to increase understanding of how the urban heat island effect — the tendency for urban environments to concentrate and amplify heat — impacts communities throughout the county. The information will then be used by city planners and community groups to plan for street trees, shade structures, and other resources. A recent study by Climate Central found that climate change and urban development have made Reno the fastest warming city in the nation. The city’s annual average temperature has increased by 7.6°F since 1970, more than double the national average temperature increase of 2.6°F.  

The team is placing strong emphasis on using this campaign to support disadvantaged communities, particularly in heavily urbanized lower elevation areas of the community where temperatures are often the highest and air quality is the worst. 

Interested volunteers can visit mwerdann.wixsite.com/reno-sparks-heat-map. Resources are available in English and Spanish, and Spanish-speakers will be available the day of the event to help coordinate with Spanish-speaking community members.

~ Desert Research Institute press release

Video Shows Paddlers How to Protect the Lake

LAKE TAHOE

While inflatable paddle boards are easy to carry and can help alleviate parking congestion, they can also spread aquatic invasive species (AIS). Many paddlers are unaware that the water that collects in the folds and carrying bags can transport AIS that threaten Lake Tahoe’s ecology and water clarity. This standing water can also cause mold and mildew and weaken the seams of paddle boards.

To help prevent the spread of AIS in Lake Tahoe, the North Tahoe Community Alliance invested Tourism Business Improvement District marketing funds to produce and distribute a new Lake Tahoe Water Trail How to Protect Lake Tahoe and Your Paddle Gear video in partnership with Sierra Business Council. The video is the cornerstone of the Water Trail educational campaign that promotes lake access, stewardship, safety, and Tahoe/Truckee paddle businesses. The video and campaign are being distributed both locally and by REI stores to educate paddlers and all lake users to clean their gear before they arrive.

Watch the video to find the steps to ensure gear is clean, drained, and dry to prevent the spread of AIS and to protect gear. Find it at laketahoewatertrail.org/how-to-protect-lake-tahoe-and-your-paddle-gear.

~ Lake Tahoe Water Trail press release

Climate-Smart Policies Approved

LAKE TAHOE/STATELINE

On June 26, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board made a range of approvals to help address Lake Tahoe’s housing, climate, transportation, and forest health challenges and reflect the top priorities of the governing board, the agency said.

Climate-smart policies include:

  • Solar energy system project allowances and rooftop solar project permit exemptions.
  • New or improved parking lots must be capable of electric vehicle charging.
  • Dark sky protection standards
  • Large events must include transportation strategies.

Tahoe living and community revitalization policies:

  • 10% of residential units in new condominium projects must be a mix of affordable- and moderate-income housing.
  • Mixed-use projects will follow best practices for pedestrian-oriented design and the amount and location of commercial space included in the project.
  • Technical clarifications to existing policies reserve 50% of TRPA affordable and workforce housing bonus units for affordable housing projects. Of the remaining half, 25% are reserved for affordable- or moderate-income housing and 25% can be applied to deed-restricted affordable-income, moderate-income, or achievable housing.

Keeping Tahoe moving and sustainable recreation:

  • Approval of the final phase of Nevada State Parks Spooner Lake Front Country Improvement Project to add a non-motorized watercraft launch and wildlife viewing pier to the lake. 
  • Data and analysis report on regional transportation and sustainable communities strategies. 

Forest resilience includes approval of a 252-acre forest fuel reduction project at Homewood Mountain Resort. 

The board also approved the agency’s overall workplan and budget for the coming year and received reports on forest health projects and priorities.

~ Tahoe Regional Planning Agency press release 

TDPUD Adopts Wildfire Mitigation Plan

TRUCKEE

At Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s June board of directors meeting, the board adopted the agency’s annual Wildfire Mitigation Plan, approved the audited financial report for fiscal year 2023, approved contracts needed to deliver on crucial capital projects and heard a workshop presentation from the Northern California Power Agency on the state’s energy policy.

Wildfire Mitigation Plan: This document outlines the steps TDPUD takes to reduce the risk of fire ignition from its equipment. Key changes in the 2024 plan include new tracking metrics, like vegetation management data and tracking the number of red flag and high wind days in a season.

Audited Comprehensive Financial Report: TDPUD is required to have its financial records audited by independent auditors every year. The auditors gave the highest level of assurance an auditor can provide relative to the fairness and accuracy of the financial statements being presented. 

The regulatory burden on TDPUD is getting more complicated and costly as the regulations dealing with clean energy procurement, greenhouse gas reduction and electric vehicles move into later stages and requirements increase. Today, a lack of available clean energy resources and long construction timelines for new generation resources has presented a new hurdle to meeting these mandates. Since all California utilities must meet increasing renewable percentage requirements in the coming years, they are competing for the same resources, which at this time are limited. TDPUD must consider these obstacles when planning for Truckee’s energy future.

The board also approved a number of contracts and procurements for TDPUD’s electric department. 

Information about TDPUD board meetings and access to agendas, minutes, live streaming and archived video can be found at tdpud.org/boardmeetings.

~ Truckee Donner Public Utility District press release

Film Explores Mental Health Challenges Faced by Men 

TRUCKEE

On June 25, Truckee welcomed filmmaker Drew Petersen back to town for a special screening of his latest work, Feel It All. The private event, held at Lift Truckee, brought together 48 local mental health advocates, community leaders, and media for an evening focused on promoting dialogue and awareness through film.

The 34-minute film explores mental health challenges faced by men. It resonated with audiences for its authentic portrayal of personal struggles and resilience. Through Petersen’s lens, the film not only raises awareness, but also encourages empathy and understanding. The documentary has garnered attention from Powder Magazine, 5280 Magazine, and the Colorado Sun. The event commenced with a mix-and-mingle session featuring mocktails, munchies, and musical performances by John Kedzie from the Tahoe School of Music. The ambiance set the stage for meaningful conversations before the screening.

DREW PETERSEN presented his film Feel it All at a private screening event at the Lift in Truckee. Courtesy photo

Following the screening, Petersen engaged in conversation with attendees that allowed for a deeper exploration of mental health issues and strategies for community support.

The evening concluded with a call to action, rallying support to bring Feel It All back to Truckee/Tahoe for a public screening in September. Community leaders and advocates pledged to collaborate on initiatives that promote mental wellness and destigmatize conversations about mental health.

For more information about Feel It All, and to get involved in planning upcoming screenings, including the public event in September, visit tahoelifeline.org/events.

~ The Speedy Foundation press release

Students and Alzheimer’s Patients Make Music Together 

TRUCKEE

Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging in many ways. Over the course of the fall semester, Tahoe Expeditionary Academy’s middle school choir class learned about the power of music when it comes to tackling Alzheimer’s and dementia; and how, especially for people with Alzheimer’s, it can tap into memories that are otherwise inaccessible. One of TEA’s main tenets is to encourage students to put what they are learning in the classroom into action in the real world. TEA students chose and rehearsed a set of songs to perform for residents at the Stone Valley Assisted Living Home in Reno.

POWER OF MUSIC: Students at Tahoe Expedition Academy connect with Alzheimer’s patients through music. Courtesy photo

After the performance, residents and students got together in small groups to talk about the songs that held special meaning for them in their lives. At the end of the project, students crafted custom playlists for the residents to capture the essence and joy of the experience. 

~ Tahoe Expedition Academy press release 

Palisades Tahoe Development Project to Release Impact Report

OLYMPIC VALLEY 

Placer County planning officials announced that it will soon release the Final Environmental Impact Report for proposed development at Palisades Tahoe. They will hold public meetings in Olympic Valley Aug. 15 and 17.

For nearly 13 years, Alterra Mountain Company has tried to secure approvals for a development that would include a series of upscale highrise condo hotels and a 90,000-square-foot indoor water park in the Olympic Valley.

According to the environmental review documents, it would add 3,300 new daily car trips to Tahoe traffic, demand 78,263,299 gallons of water annually from the local watershed, and threaten the clarity of Lake Tahoe.

First proposed in 2011, the project ignited an ongoing struggle that pits Alterra against a grassroots movement of local residents and Tahoe visitors.

While Placer County officials first approved the project in 2016, Sierra Watch secured a court order to rescind those approvals in 2022. Also in 2022, Alterra filed a request for a new round of entitlements and Placer County released a Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Public response was overwhelming: regulatory agencies, conservation non-profits, and thousands of citizens have sent letters to Placer County to comment on the plan. Of the 2,629 letters submitted over a 60-day comment period, only eight expressed support for Alterra’s project.

Increasing opposition to the project extends beyond concerns over wildfires. According to public documents, Alterra’s new development would affect the availability of workforce housing and loss of clarity in Lake Tahoe.

More information about the proposed development can be found at Placer County’s project website at placer.ca.gov/8213/village-at-palisades-tahoe-specific-plan. And to get involved in the movement to keep Tahoe Truckee True, visit sierrawatch.org.

~ Sierra Watch press release

BioBlitz to Count Plant, Animal, and Bug Species

INCLINE VILLAGE

For those who love plants, bugs and other animals, participating in a bioblitz is the perfect opportunity. A bioblitz is a 1-day event where participants explore a specific area to search for and count unique species of plants, animals, bugs, and birds. The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science is again hosting this year’s Truckee-area BioBlitz at the Sagehen Creek Field Station.  

Species that participants may get to see include mountain birds at the peak of their breeding season, dozens of flowering plants in full bloom, colorful butterflies, jumping spiders, parasitoid wasps, two species of carnivorous sundew plants, and the primitive black petaltail dragonfly. 

There will be naturalists, scientists, and other experts on hand to lead groups of 5 to 10 participants to search and record biodiversity. The main event will be on the morning of Saturday, July 13, starting at 8 a.m. Participants will head out into the field and make observations until noon.

For more detailed information and to register visit tinsweb.org

~ Tahoe Institute for Natural Science press release

Business Briefs

Gambler’s Run Music Festival 

CRYSTAL BAY

The second annual Gambler’s Run Music Festival will be taking place at Crystal Bay Casino July 26 to 28. A diverse group of artists will headline, bringing a blend of funk, rock, and improvisational jam to the outdoor 72 Mile Spirits stage. The event features 16 bands, including Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with Karl Denson, Jackie Greene with Eric Lindell, and The Wood Brothers. Festival grounds open at noon daily with local food and craft vendors, followed by live entertainment from 2 to 10 p.m.

As part of its ongoing efforts to make Gambler’s Run Music Festival a sustainable and environmentally conscious event, the Crystal Bay Casino will go plastic-free for the event. Stainless steel GRMF souvenir cups, single-use aluminum cups, canned water, and two stream trash receptacles will be available. The CBC has also partnered with The League to Save Lake Tahoe and Sierra Nevada Alliance in order to bring this vision to a reality. Both nonprofit groups,  along with others, will be onsite to help facilitate sustainability efforts throughout the event. 

THREE DAYS OF MUSIC: The Gamblers Run Music Festival at Crystal Bay Casino has partnered with local nonprofits to keep the event sustainable. Courtesy graphic

The Tahoe Food Hub will host the Gambler’s Market, featuring stone fruits and other locally sourced organic products.

Tickets prices vary. Tickets for the kick-off party, featuring Samantha Fish on July 25 at 8 p.m. in the Crown Room are available here. All other tickets, including a 3-day pass, can be purchased here

All events are general admission, 21-years and older, and standing room only.  

For information on sponsorship, contact Eric Roe at eroe@cbc-nv.com or (775) 298-7821. Sponsorship packages include stage naming rights, VIP access, complimentary food, social media mentions, inclusion on print marketing materials, and more. 

~ Crystal Bay Casino press release 

Boat Club Expands Fleet and Introduces New Membership Option

INCLINE VILLAGE

Elevated Watersports Boat Club announced the latest addition to its fleet: the state-of-the-art Cobalt R6 Surf. The club is also introducing a new weekday membership option that will offer more flexibility and accessibility to its members.

The Cobalt R6 Surf is renowned for its design, advanced technology, and performance, and features a spacious layout, surf technology, and luxurious amenities. Whether members are into wake surfing, wakeboarding, or just cruising, the Cobalt R6 Surf offers versatility and excellence, making it a valuable addition to the Elevated Watersports Boat Club fleet.

The new weekday membership option is designed for individuals who prefer to enjoy the water during weekdays, avoiding the weekend rush. This option provides access to the club’s full range of boats from Monday to Thursday. This membership option is in addition to the full access gold membership and corporate memberships offered.

Elevated Watersports Boat Club invites all water sports enthusiasts to explore the benefits and flexibility of boat club membership. For more information or to schedule a demo on one of the boats, call (775) 391-6622 or visit elevatedwatersports.com/boatclub.

~ Elevated Watersports Boat Club press release

New Yoga Festival Announced

RENO

The Inaugural Wild Lotus Yoga Festival will take place Saturday, July 13, at the North Tahoe Events Center in Kings Beach and will offer a full day of live music, meditation, dancing, and yoga classes. Food trucks and local artisan vendors will also be in attendance.

“I started this festival as a way for people to embrace their inner wild, their mysticism and remember that they are divine beings,” says festival creator and owner of Wild Soul Events, Kellee Rich.

YOGA FEST: Lake Tahoe talent for the Wild Lotus Yoga Festival includes Amber Campion. Courtesy photo

Festival features include:

  • Morning stand-up paddle board yoga classes
  • Opening ceremony with Washoe Tribe land acknowledgement
  • Tea lounge with workshops, speakers, and a guided ceremony
  • Yoga classes with a DJ
  • Lounge with sound healings and transformational breathwork
  • Guided meditation and yoga nidra
  • Sunset concert with MC Yogi and DJ Drez 

Festival attendees are encouraged to take advantage of all that is offered at the festival, which is intentionally curated to offer an environment that brings the community together and inspires collaboration. Tickets are $129 and participants are encouraged to donate to Washiw Zulshish Goom Tahn Nu at wzgt.org. Tickets can be purchased here

~ Wild Soul Events press release

Energy Company Implements Emergency De-Energization Measures

NEVADA

NV Energy has implemented an additional safeguard to its wildfire safety measures. When an active wildfire moves too close to NV Energy equipment, an emergency de-energization of the power lines will take place. This allows NV Energy to make the most effective decisions, avoid additional fire risk, and protect first responders.

Customers will experience more frequent outages from emergency de-energizations related to wildfires. These outages will vary in duration based on the size, direction, and location of the wildfire in question. Due to the rapid response for an emergency de-energization, it may not be possible to send an advance notification.

Restoration times will depend on conditions on the ground, such as wildfire containment, speed, and direction, potential damage to power lines and equipment, and accessibility.

 NV Energy encourages customers to prepare for outages by updating their contact information and signing up for alerts. Learn more at nvenergy.com.

~ NV Energy press release

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