News Briefs

Gray’s Crossing Car Wash Appeal Hearing Scheduled For Tuesday

TRUCKEE

On March 12, the Truckee Town Council will hear an appeal to the Truckee Planning Commission’s January decision to approve with minor modifications the construction of a car wash within the Village at Gray’s Crossing.

Appellant Michelle Black (of Carstens, Black & Minteer in Hermosa Beach, California) filed on behalf of the Fairway Townhomes Association, 17 residences located within the Village at Gray’s Crossing in the Prosser neighborhood. The formal appeal can be viewed here.

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Concerns from residents center around adequacy of the environmental review process for the car wash — in particular, impacts from traffic, hydrology, noise, and environmental justice and community equity. “In addition, the appellants identified concerns with the application process and the proposed project’s consistency with the Gray’s Crossing Specific Plan,” according to the public notice.

“The car wash project being proposed by the developer is not what was referenced in Gray’s Crossing Specific Plan,” shared Fairway Townhome resident Teresa Toller with Moonshine Ink. “In the specific plan, the developer requested to build a gas station and convenience store with an appurtenant [or auxiliary] car wash attached to the gas station. That appurtenant car wash was supposed to be 500 to 700 square feet. A 3,883-square-foot, stand-alone automated car wash that can service 45 cars per hour is materially more severe an impact to the land and fundamentally different.

“Furthermore,” Toller added, “while a gas station was analyzed in the [Gray’s Crossing Specific Plan Final Environmental Impact Report in 2004], a car wash was not even described. (Editor’s note: emphasis added by Toller.)

At the Jan. 16 planning commission meeting, commissioners were not expected to determine whether the car wash was a permitted use in the specific plan, but to “ensure consistency with the specific plan and development code standards, ensure consistency with the 2025 general plan since this was deemed complete before the 2040 general plan was adopted, and then review the site layout and design of the document,” said Yumie Dahn, principal planner with the town.

Town staff has proposed the project is exempt from additional environmental review per Public Resources Code Section 21083.3 and State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15183 because the project is part of a community plan that already underwent environmental impact reporting.

Staff’s recommendation to town council is to deny the appeal.

~ AH

Election Results Continue to Be Updated

REGIONWIDE

Election workers continue to process ballots from Tuesday’s Presidential Primary Election. 

Unofficial Nevada County election results are available at nevadacountyca.gov/march5election. Supervisor Hardy Bullock, who currently represents District 5 (including Truckee), ran unopposed and will retain his seat.

Placer County’s unofficial election results, available at placercountyelections.gov/election-results, show current District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson winning, with 48.99% of votes. Wayne Nader is in second, with 24.80% of the votes. Nearly 18,000 District 5 residents voted according to the latest results. Should Gustafson break 50% of the votes, she’ll win outright. If she doesn’t, she and Nader will move on to November’s General Election.

Elections offices have until the end of the day March 12 to accept any ballots returned in the mail and postmarked on Election Day. The elections offices have up to 30 days to certify the election and may finish sooner than the statutory deadline.

~ Nevada County press release, AH

Lake Tahoe Clean-Up Efforts Proven to be Long-Lasting

INCLINE VILLAGE

Clean Up the Lake (CUTL) recently completed a 2-year monitoring effort on Lake Tahoe. CUTL conservation dive teams revisited 20 litter hotspots in the 0- to 25-foot depths along the Nevada shoreline that were identified during their 72-mile cleanup of Lake Tahoe in 2021.

The primary purpose of this project was to observe changes in litter accumulation and perform surveillance for aquatic invasive species (AIS) that may have progressed since 2021. By revisiting places that were already cleaned, the data collected helped determine the status of litter accumulation in Lake Tahoe, its rate of change since the 72-mile cleanup, and the efficacy of CUTL’s SCUBA-enabled cleanup methodology.

A secondary purpose was to perform 40 additional deep dive surveys between the 35- and 70-foot depths near each hotspot location to better assess litter loads and AIS at deeper depths.

“The findings of what is very likely one of the largest freshwater submerged litter studies in the world are proving to yield extremely promising results, and I could not be any more excited to share our findings,” said Clean Up the Lake founder and CEO Colin West.

The 0- to 25-foot zone of these 20 hot spots around Lake Tahoe’s Nevada shoreline produced 2,937 pounds of litter in 2021, compared to only 879.5 pounds of submerged litter in 2023. The totals from the initial clean-up and monitoring efforts indicate that CUTL divers removed 77% of the litter in the 0- to 25-foot zone of Lake Tahoe’s nearshore environment in 2021. The monitoring data suggests that the 72-mile SCUBA cleanup has proven to be long-lasting.

The organization has concluded that a high concentration of litter still exists in Lake Tahoe within the 35- to 55-foot zone. These findings have already begun to inform future CUTL projects.

~ Clean Up the Lake press release

Give Input on Wildfire Mitigation

KINGS BEACH

Placer County residents are invited to participate in a series of upcoming community forums focusing on mitigating wildfire risk to communities, improving water quality, and protecting recreational opportunities and other critical assets.

The forums will focus on Land Tender, a digital platform facilitating community involvement in land management scenarios. Through Land Tender, residents can contribute their perspectives to shape the county’s approach to managing forested areas and mitigating wildfire risks.

Hosted by the Placer County Regional Forest Health Division, these forums will provide residents with an opportunity to share what is most important to them regarding the protection of property, water systems, transit routes, recreation areas, and more from the risk of severe wildfire.

Information collected from residents will help clarify priorities and speed up planning for preventative projects like thinning hazardous and overgrown timber, clearing fuels from roadsides, and conducting prescribed burns.

The Tahoe community forum will take place on Wednesday, March 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 N. Lake Blvd., Kings Beach.

A virtual session will take place on Tuesday, April 2, from 6 to 8 p.m.online via Zoom at placer-ca-gov.zoom.us/j/92559592689.

The virtual session and in-person meeting will present the same information.

For more information about the Land Tender Community Forums, visit the Placer County Regional Forest Health website, placer.ca.gov/9582/forest-health, or contact the Regional Forest Health Division at (530) 889-7372 or placerrfh@placer.ca.gov.

~ Placer County press release

Excellence in Education Scholarship Opportunities

TRUCKEE

Excellence in Education Foundation announced two scholarships available to graduating seniors in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. The McGinity Scholarship and the new Rising Educators Scholarship are both available through the Tahoe Truckee Community Scholarship Portal here. Applications for both scholarships are due March 31.

Rising Educators Scholarships: Excellence in Education has announced the Rising Educators Scholarships, new this year, to support TTUSD graduating seniors who are pursuing a degree in education or early childhood development with the intention of becoming classroom educators. Up to three scholarships of $5,000 each will be awarded and payable over 2 years ($2,500 per year).

McGinity Scholarship: Excellence in Education is again offering the McGinity Scholarship, awarded annually to a TTUSD senior dedicated to pursuing higher education in the healthcare field. Established in honor of Sean McGinity, the scholarship commemorates his ambition and the significant contributions of his parents, Shelley and Joe McGinity, to the foundation.

Sean McGinity, a 1986 graduate of Truckee High School, received a bachelor of science degree from UC Davis and was striving to attend medical school when he tragically died in a car accident. Each year, Excellence in Education awards $1,000 to a deserving student, perpetuating Sean’s legacy of academic excellence and commitment to healthcare.

Previous recipients of the McGinity Scholarship include Leila Busch from Truckee High School (2021), Juan Camacho-Morales from North Tahoe High School (2022), Daniel Joslin from North Tahoe High School (2023), and Frida Quintero Vivas from Truckee High School (2023).

Learn more about the Excellence in Education Foundation here.

~ Excellence in Education Foundation press release

Deadline Extended to Apply for Local Steering Committee

TRUCKEE 

The River Revitalization Steering Committee (R2SC) is seeking dedicated individuals passionate about enhancing our community’s well-being and environmental stewardship for two new action teams that are forming this spring. 

The action teams, or subcommittees, seeking recruitment are:

River Health and Access:

  • Anticipated to meet four to five times annually.
  • Seeking community members with expertise in riparian ecosystems, hydrology, or related fields.
  • Responsibilities include reviewing and providing input on river health assessments, recreation access inventory, and action strategies.

Community Economic Vitality:

  • Anticipated to meet five to six times annually.
  • Seeking community members experienced in business operations, economics, or related fields.
  • Responsibilities include reviewing business stakeholder assessments, financial models, identifying barriers to revitalization, and recommending incentives for community revitalization.

All meetings will be held in-person at Truckee Town Hall.

Recruitment is open until Friday, March 29. Email Hilary Hobbs at hhobbs@townoftruckee.com to apply with a description of relevant experience and passion for the work that the action team will undertake. For more information visit townoftruckee.com/river.

~ R2SC press release

Saving Lives and the Landfills 

TRUCKEE

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) has been saving lives for 30 years and is now saving landfills, too. HSTT opened Thrifty Tails Boutique Thrift Store in August 2023 with two goals in mind: generate income to help pets in need and keep second-hand items out of the landfill. 

Thrifty Tails offers gently worn and used goods; however, not all items they receive are re-sellable. Those non-sellable items can accumulate quickly, and with keeping second-hand goods out of the landfill as one of Thrifty Tails’ priorities, the team looked for alternative ways to recycle those items. 

Anything that is wearable with minor wear/stains goes on the Thrifty Tails dollar rack. Warm clothing that cannot be sold in the store is re-donated to the warming center in Truckee. In addition, Eco World Trading Company collects unsellable items from the store and repurposes them through its recycling programs so nothing goes to waste. Items better suited for a different resale model are re-donated to other thrift stores. On occasion, children’s and women’s clothing that cannot be sold in the store are re-donated to RISE, a domestic violence shelter in Sparks.  

SAVING ANIMALS AND LANDFILLS: Thrifty Tail Boutique, a fundraising endeavor of the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, sells gently used items and donates what can’t be sold in order to keep items out of landfills. Courtesy photo

While it is HSTT’s hope that community members will review its acceptable donation list and find other places to donate items that Thrifty Tails doesn’t accept, with these policies in place, most of the unsellable items it receives will most likely avoid the landfill. 

HSTT is always looking for more volunteers to help run the store. If interested, reach out to Erin Ellis at erin@hstt.org. For more information about the thrift store visit hstt.org/how-to-help/shop/thrifty-tails-boutique.  

~ HSTT press release

Fundraiser Benefits Local Firewise Communities

NEVADA COUNTY

The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County invites all county residents to the Firewise Festival on Saturday, June 1, from 4 to 9 p.m. to benefit the work of Firewise Communities in Nevada County. The event will be held at Commodore Park in Lake Wildwood and will include happy hour, a catered western BBQ dinner, live band, vendor and education booths, first responder displays, and an auction.   

“This event focuses on recognizing and rewarding Firewise USA® Communities and all the hard work they have completed to help increase fire safety in Nevada County and provide funding to help them do even more,” says Fire Safe Council board member Steve Eubanks. 

All profits from the fundraiser will go to participating Firewise Communities in Nevada County to support the vital work they do to reduce wildfire hazards for their residents. 

“Nevada County has 96 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-recognized Firewise Communities, more than any other county in the United States and more are being recognized every month,” says Jamie Jones, executive director of the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County.

Discounted tickets are available through March 31, with prices increasing as the event draws closer. Tickets and more information can be found at areyoufiresafe.com/events-1.

~ Fire Safe Council of Nevada County press release 

Plans for Fourth of July Parade Announced

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Chamber of Commerce announced plans for the annual Truckee Fourth of July Parade. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the west end of Donner Pass Road at Truckee High School and progress into historic downtown Truckee. Spectators can expect a display of creativity and community spirit as the parade features a colorful array of floats, lively performances, and artistic expressions that reflect the unique character of Truckee. 

A pancake breakfast will be hosted by the Truckee Fire Protection District at Station 92 from 7 to 10 a.m. The breakfast is free, and donations are appreciated. 

The Firecracker Mile Fun Run, an Auburn Ski Club Training Center fundraiser, starts at 9:45 a.m. 

A TRUCKEE TRADITION: Spectators and participants enjoy the Truckee Fourth of July parade and Firecracker Mile. Courtesy photo

The parade will begin after the Firecracker Mile. Local businesses, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to join in the festivities by participating in the parade and showcasing their creativity. This year’s parade theme is being determined by the community. To add an idea, complete this survey by April 15.

VIP seating, hosted by the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, is available for $20 per person. Space is limited to 30 seats. Visit truckee.com for details.

New this year, the Truckee Chamber is asking for volunteers. Reach out to Jessica Penman, president and CEO of the Truckee Chamber at jessica@truckee.com.

Parade float entry applications are available at truckee.com/authentic-mountain-town/4th-of-july-truckee-style.

~ Truckee Chamber of Commerce press release

NTCA Seeks Advisory Committee Members

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

The North Tahoe Community Alliance (NTCA) is seeking candidates for two volunteer committees that provide valuable input and help guide the work of the NTCA: the Tourism Business Improvement District Advisory committee and the TBID Zone 1 committee.

The TBID Advisory Committee is responsible for advising the NTCA board of directors in implementation of the Management District Pan (MDP) as it relates to the total TBID budget and how it is allocated and spent within areas of focus that include: sustainability and mitigation of tourism impacts; economic development, transportation and other opportunities; Zone 1-specific services; business advocacy and support; visitor services and visitor centers; and marketing of responsible travel and stewardship initiatives, promotions, and special events.

The TBID Zone 1 Committee makes recommendations on the use and implementation of funds specifically allocated to Eastern Placer County lakeside communities generated primarily by assessed lakeside lodging businesses.

Committee positions require a 2-year commitment, with typical committee meetings taking place once per month and lasting 1 to 3 hours in duration per meeting. In total, five seats are currently available:

NLT-TBID Advisory Committee:

  • Assessed business — must own or represent an assessed business in the tourism business improvement district 
  • Assessed business — must own or represent an assessed business in the tourism business improvement district 

TBID Zone 1 Committee:

  • Assessed Zone 1 lodging business — must own or represent an assessed Zone 1 lodging business 
  • At-large
  • At-large

Interested community members are invited to express their interest in committee participation by completing this form by 5 p.m. Friday, March 15, to be considered for either committee. 

Applicants will be notified by Friday, April 5, if they have been recommended to the committee for NTCA Board of Directors approval at the April 10 meeting. For questions on the application process, email anna@northtahoecommunityalliance.com.

~ NTCA press release

TDPUD Receives Award 

TRUCKEE

Truckee Donner Public Utility District was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. The award was given in recognition of TDPUD’s annual comprehensive financial report for the 2022 fiscal year.

TDPUD’s 2022 financial report was judged by an impartial panel and found to meet the high standards of the program, which include demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story. 

“We are honored to receive the certificate of achievement from GFOA, and I am grateful for the team’s hard work,” said Michael Salmon, chief financial officer. “This award recognizes our dedication to transparency and high-quality financial reporting.”

~ TDPUD press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

IVGID Board Appoints Bobby Magee as District General Manager

INCLINE VILLAGE

At a special meeting on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, the Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) Board of Trustees approved a 2-year contract with Bobby Magee to become the new district general manager. Magee has worked for the district for the past 8 months as the interim finance director and therefore has a deep understanding of the district and its needs.

Magee started his career in government with San Joaquin County as the assistant fleet manager, before moving into the county administrator’s office, which is the executive office of the county. For almost 10 years, he was assigned to an executive position, in charge of the oversight of various county divisions including parks and recreation, public works (utilities, water and wastewater) and special districts (much like a Nevada GID), where he provided significant operational and fiscal oversight to each division.  While in this role, Magee managed a budget of over $500 million. 

Following Magee’s departure from San Joaquin County, he began consulting with various governmental entities in California. In this capacity, Magee has assisted many different entities with policy and procedure development, fiscal oversight, financial and procurement development, and governmental reporting standards.

Most recently, Magee was at the City of San Bruno, California, filling the role of interim finance director until a permanent replacement was found. After that contract ended, IVGID contacted Bobby for help with the oversight of its finance division, ultimately appointing him as the interim director of finance for the district.

The IVGID board expressed unanimous support for Magee.

“I am honored to have been appointed to this position by the board of trustees,” Magee said. “I am excited to take on this new challenge, to provide guidance and support to district staff, and to assist the board of trustees with ensuring their directives and initiatives are completed timely and with the excellence this district has come to expect from its dedicated and hardworking employees.”

The IVGID board would also like to thank Interim General Manager Mike Bandelin for his willingness to provide the district with exemplary leadership while staff and board sought candidates for the GM position.

~ IVGID press release

Business Briefs

NV Energy to Eliminating Coal from its System

NEVADA

NV Energy will move forward with plans to eliminate coal from the company’s portfolio and add additional transmission infrastructure throughout the state. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved the decision. 

The projects were included as part of the fifth amendment to the company’s 2021 Integrated Resource Plan and went through a rigorous public process with the commission before the decision was made.  

The order allows NV Energy to move forward with ceasing coal operations at North Valmy Generating Station, the company’s final coal plant in its portfolio and transition to a cleaner natural gas-fueled plant by the end of 2025. Refueling the North Valmy Generating Station with natural gas allows NV Energy to reduce carbon emissions from this facility through the elimination of coal while ensuring the company has a facility located in that part of the state that can operate around the clock to meet the energy needs of customers.   

The order also approved NV Energy’s plan to build additional transmission infrastructure to support continued growth in the state, including in the Apex area in the city of North Las Vegas. 

NV Energy also received conditional approval to begin developing the Sierra Solar project, a 400-megawatt solar powered site with a 4-hour battery storage system in Northern Nevada that will provide renewable generation for customers throughout Nevada.

~ NV Energy press release

New Art Installation at Reno-Tahoe International Airport 

RENO

On March 6, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport introduced a public art installation to the terminal building. The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees unanimously approved the airport’s first ever public art installation agreement to commission a public art piece in the newly designed ticketing hall.

Materials arrived in four crates, weighing over 1,300 pounds collectively. These crates house an eclectic mix of materials, including strips of aluminum, Dibond aluminum composite panels, and Terralon DreamScape wall coverings.

Artist Dixie Friend Gay was commissioned for this unique project she titled Repeated Refrains. The installation is located on the overhanging wall above the airline ticket counters. Gay’s inspiration for the 450-foot long wall is rooted in a meditative awareness of the natural environment. “Nature-based art in urban settings creates moments of visual pause, reflection, and mindfulness,” Gay said.

REPEATED REFRAINS: Dixie Friend Gay’s new art installation at RNO celebrates the natural environment. Courtesy photo

Repeated Refrains weaves elements inspired by northern Nevada’s diverse environment, from forested mountains to vegetation-covered hillsides and dry desert valleys. The wall is divided into four sections, each dedicated to a different season, portraying the rich colors and diverse ecosystems found within a 100-mile radius of Reno. The artist collaborated with plant specialists, regional experts, and local landscape artists to identify native flora and fauna. Geological maps form the underlying elements, providing a visual journey through the region’s natural beauty.

Art will continue to play a prominent role as RNO undergoes a transformation through the MoreRNO program. With the recently approved Art Master Plan and construction continuing at the airport for several years, the opportunity to celebrate the vibrant culture of the region through art is at the forefront of each project.

A grand unveiling is scheduled to take place in spring 2024. For more information, visit Arts at the Airport.

~ Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority press release

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