Palisades Tahoe Team Member Death
At some time in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, an incident occurred on the Alpine side of Palisades Tahoe resort that resulted in the death of a Palisades team member while crews were performing overnight snowmaking operations. Palisades is cooperating with California Highway Patrol, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, and California Division of Occupational Safety and Health as they investigate the circumstances of this accident.
~ Palisades Tahoe statement
TRPA Committee Advances Affordable Housing Policies to Governing Board
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board Regional Planning Committee advanced policy changes on Wednesday designed to help create more affordable housing in the Tahoe region. Following nearly two years of stakeholder and public input, the proposed housing amendments will now go before the full governing board for consideration at its Dec. 13 meeting.
The proposed amendments would only be available for deed-restricted housing units in and near town centers and close to transit and services. The flexibility would apply to building height, land coverage, parking, and the number of units allowed per parcel.
The committee recommended the full governing board consider approving the amendments at its next meeting, Dec. 13, with technical changes on local employment requirements.
Learn more about the proposed amendments and other solutions to encourage affordable housing at trpa.gov/housing.
Aquatic Invasive Species Update
The TRPA Governing Board also heard an informational presentation from staff about the aquatic invasive species (AIS) program and the ongoing response to invasive New Zealand mudsnails discovered in Lake Tahoe in September. TRPA cooperatively leads the Lake Tahoe AIS Program with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) to prevent, detect, and control invasive species, which are an increasing threat to Tahoe’s fragile ecosystem.
Priorities of the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program are to build upon the New Zealand mudsnail response to contain the current infestation, establish sustainable, long-term funding for both prevention and control, and continue progress on the design and construction of permanent inspection stations near the current locations at Spooner Summit and Meyers.
Learn more about the regional response to the New Zealand mudsnail and what everyone can do to stop their spread at trpa.gov/new-zealand-mudsnail.
Destination Stewardship Plan Update
Members of the newly formed Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Council from the Tahoe Fund and Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority joined TRPA Government Affairs Manager Devin Middlebrook to provide an update on the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan. According to the plan, more than 2 million unique visitors spend nearly 17 million visitor days in the region, generating $4.5 billion in direct spending last year.
Information on all items heard at the meeting are available at trpa.gov/meeting-materials.
~ TRPA press release
Managing Winter Storm Impacts for Wildfire Resilience in Nevada County
In the immediate aftermath of the severe winter weather of early 2023, the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services (OES) launched the Winter Storm Hazardous Vegetation Cleanup Project. This program was designed to ensure that 100 miles of county roads were cleared of storm debris, highly impacted communities were able to remove hazards from private roads, and residents were offered opportunities to dispose of green waste. Staff worked closely with Firewise Communities to leverage local knowledge and identify priority relief needed at the community level.
In March, as snow accumulated throughout the region, trees unable to withstand the weight of the snow fell into power lines, onto roadways, and across properties. Not only did this result in an immediate challenge as much of Nevada County was without power, it created an extensive mess on public and private property that would become a fire hazard in the warmer months.
Understanding the fire risk this material would pose in the summer, OES and Cal Fire quickly got to work. Together, they identified ways to address hazardous storm debris along critical public evacuation routes and in Firewise Communities faced with the highest volume of accumulated vegetation.
This summer, OES partnered with Firewise Communities to stage large roll-off dumpsters which were used by property owners to dispose of green waste. At the program’s close, funding from Nevada County and Cal Fire will have removed debris from nearly 100 miles of county-maintained roadways, positioned 54 green waste bins in 25 locations, and supported eight highly-impacted communities in addressing wildfire mitigation concerns. By removing flammable vegetation, this program improves defensible space, firefighter ingress, and resident egress in the event of a wildfire.
Wildfire preparedness is truly a year-round effort and the past two heavy winters have highlighted this fact. “OES encourages everyone to visit readynevadacounty.org/winterpreparedness for tips to get ahead of extreme weather this winter,” says Craig Griesbach, director of emergency services for the Nevada County OES.
~ Nevada County press release
Washoe Storytelling and Watching Science Catch-Up
On Thursday, Dec. 7, UC Davis TERC will host a lecture with Herman Fillmore and Helen Fillmore of the Washoe Tribe: Washoe Storytelling and Watching Science Catch-Up. The in-person event will be held at the Incline Village Library.
Join the Fillmore siblings as they tell the legend of how Washoe trickster brothers Puwecili and Damalali shaped the Tahoe Basin. Herman is the director of the Cultural and Language Resources Department for the Washoe Tribe. Helen has a master’s degree in hydrology and is one of the chemists at TERC. Together they will discuss how this story aligns with the geomorphological history of the Tahoe Basin (spoiler: it involves a tsunami) and its implications on Washoe resilience, current-day land management perspectives, and the underrated role of human experiences in scientific endeavors.
Admission is free but limited to 60 people. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 6 p.m. at the Incline Village Library.
For more information call (775) 881-7560 or visit tahoe.ucdavis.edu/events
~ UC Davis TERC enews
Two Local Movies Get Major Recognitions
Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche, a documentary from Alpine Meadows-based Realization Films, was purchased by Netflix in May and made its debut on the streaming platform on Nov. 8. Within a week it had jumped to the number six movie on Netflix. Buried, which chronicles the tragedy and aftermath of the 1982 avalanche, has won multiple film festival awards, including at Bend Film, Austin Film Festival, Mountain Film, and Whistler Film Festival. The movie is also available for rent on Amazon and Apple TV.
In October, the Buried director/producer team of Steven Siig and Jared Drake were honored by the American Avalanche Association with the Sue Ferguson Award at its awards ceremony in Bend, Oregon. The Sue Ferguson Award recognizes individuals for their contribution in media communications about snow and avalanche sciences. “This is a massive honor and we are so proud of our community and project to be recognized in this way,” said Drake. “This type of impact is why we made this movie — to help push the conversation around the importance of avalanche education and build recognition for those that keep us safe.”
Realization Films also announced that its female-led ski comedy, Weak Layers, was picked up by Greenwich Entertainment, which distributed Buried and Free Solo. Weak Layers was directed by and stars Katie Burrell, and was filmed at Palisades Tahoe and around the West Shore and Alpine Meadows last winter. Numerous local athletes and residents are in the movie. Weak Layers had its premiere at the Banff Mountain Film Festival on Nov. 3, and will be released to theaters Jan. 5. Look for dates at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema.
“When we set out to make movies years ago, our only goal was to tell stories for and from our community,” said Drake. “To have audiences and people worldwide respond and relate to these movies has been surreal, and a testament to the beauty of this place and the people who live here.” For more information, visit buriedfilm.com and weaklayers.com.
Consultant Selected to Help County Update General Plan
Placer County took another step toward updating its general plan as the board of supervisors took action to approve a $3.5-million contract with a consultant team headed by PlaceWorks to assist county staff with the comprehensive general plan update.
The county’s general plan is a policy document used by the public and decision makers to set a new vision for the unincorporated area of the county in areas such as land use, housing, mobility, natural resource protection, climate change, environmental justice, and more through the year 2050.
With over 400,000 people, Placer County is one of the fastest growing counties in the country. The state of California requires a general plan to guide long-term growth and development. The last comprehensive update to the Placer County General Plan was in 1994.
The process, which is expected to take three-and-a-half years, will include multiple opportunities for community input through surveys and community workshops beginning in early 2024. There will also be public updates at the county’s municipal advisory councils, planning commission and board of supervisors meetings.
The community can get involved by visiting the general plan website and access information about public meetings and workshops will be posted throughout the process. The site also has an email signup page for those interested to request updates on the process.
~ Placer County press release
South Lake Tahoe Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography
Timothy Mackey, 42, of South Lake Tahoe, was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release for distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Mackey was a member of chat groups that shared child pornography on the social media platform LiveMe, including a group named “No Limit!!!” On two occasions in February 2020, Mackey, using the username “bag of rock,” posted nine images of child pornography in the “No Limit!!!” group. Mackey was also the administrator of at least one LiveMe chat group devoted to the exchange of child pornography, meaning he moderated the chat and was able to decide who entered the chatroom.
Mackey had worked as a snowboarding instructor and applied to become a foster parent prior to his arrest in April 2020.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and South Lake Tahoe Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise N. Yasinow prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.
~ U.S. Department of Justice press release
Return of Northern Lights Festival
Incline Village and Crystal Bay have announced the return of the beloved Northern Lights Festival. This cherished winter festival not only kindles the holiday spirit but also shines a spotlight on local businesses and offers an array of family-friendly events. The festival schedule can be found at ivcba.org. Most events are free for all to enjoy.
The festivities commence with the much-anticipated “Christmas Comes to Incline Thrift Shop Open House” at the five area thrift stores on Nov. 10 and 11. The season continues with the inaugural “Sip and Shop” event at the Village Center, featuring Glasses Wine Bar, Tahoe Fitness Loft, and the new Grocery Outlet.
Prepare for the Tahoe Film Fest (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4); Candy Cane Village at UNR Lake Tahoe (Dec. 2); “Brunch with Santa” sponsored by Tahoe Family Solutions and the Incline Village General Improvement District on Dec. 9 at the Chateau; and TOCCATA’s Messiah on Dec. 10 at Cornerstone Church.
“Sip and Shop Saturdays” encourage patrons to support small businesses. Make sure to visit Country Club Mall (Dec. 2), Raley’s Plaza (Dec. 9), Village Plaza (Dec. 14), and Christmas Tree Village (Dec. 16) for exclusive specials and engaging activities.
The “Deck the Halls Lighting Contest,” invites both businesses and residents to adorn their properties with captivating light displays.
Other not-to-miss events include opening day at Diamond Peak on Dec. 7, Village Ski Loft’s Annual Pray for Snow Party on Dec. 17, Bridget Giroux’s Holiday Sip & Shops, concerts in the Crystal Bay Club’s Crown Room and Alibi Public House, as well as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Hanukkah services at our local churches and temples.
For more information, event details, and updates, please visit ivcba.org.
~ ICVBA press release
Coming Soon: The African Children’s Choir
The African’s Children’s Choir is coming to Truckee’s Deerfield Community Church, 11605 Deerfield Dr., on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. as part of the international nonprofit organization’s Music for Life 2023 U.S. African Children’s Choir Tour. The tour will include over 50 stops across the country. The African Children’s Choir is sure to melt the hearts of audiences with their performance of popular children’s music, traditional spiritual songs, and African cultural pieces.
The 2023 tour is much more than a concert. The African Children’s Choir is composed of African children, aged 10 to 12 years old, who come from vulnerable backgrounds and have faced hardship and lack of education. However, they represent the potential of the African child to become leaders for a better future.
“The African Children’s Choir proves just how powerful music can be,” says Tina Sipp, choir manager for the African Children’s Choir. “These concerts provide hope and encouragement, not just to our audiences, but to the children whose lives are forever changed by their experiences with the choir.”
~ African Children’s Choir press release
Tahoe Fund Issues Call for 2024 Projects
The Tahoe Fund announced the opening of its annual call for projects. The nonprofit is seeking projects for its 2024 portfolio that will increase the pace and scale of forest restoration, improve lake clarity, expand sustainable recreation, provide innovative solutions to transportation challenges, and create more stewards of Lake Tahoe.
Public agencies, nonprofits, and environmentally focused businesses are invited to submit proposals for projects that require $5,000 to $1,000,000 in funding. Projects with the ability to leverage additional public funding as a result of Tahoe Fund support will be prioritized.
Since its inception, the Tahoe Fund has worked with more than 30 partners to support over 130 projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Some highlights include the building of the Tunnel Creek Singletrack Trail on Tahoe’s East Shore, scholarships for the Lake Tahoe Community College Forestry program, Basin-wide programs that provide free bikes and bike safety gear to residents in need through the Lake Tahoe Bike Coalition, adaptive summer activities for people with disabilities and their families through Achieve Tahoe, and scuba cleanups of litter hotspots by Clean Up the Lake.
All submissions will be reviewed by the Tahoe Fund Board of Directors, which is tasked with developing the Tahoe Fund’s project portfolio. Projects submitted for consideration may receive immediate funding or be selected for a Tahoe Fund project campaign in 2024.
Project submissions are due by Jan. 31, 2024. Guidelines and the request for project submission form can be found here.
~ Tahoe Fund press release
Sharing Holiday Cheer With Local Seniors
In partnership with Sierra Senior Services, it’s that time of year where the community expresses gratitude to all of the incredible seniors in the community through Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation Adopt-A-Senior Program. The community foundation is distributing gift cards to seniors in need, which allows them to shop from the convenience of their homes. So often, local seniors are without close family members and are on a limited budget. By donating to this campaign, a local senior will receive a thoughtful holiday gift to lift their spirits and feel valued in their community.
Please help the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation meet this year’s goal of $12,000 by Nov. 22. Any amount is appreciated.
Donate here to adopt a senior: ttcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create/fund?funit_id=1334.
~ Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation press release
Unveiling Shadyside: Your Cozy Haven with a Modern Twist on Classic Mexican Flavors
Shadyside Lounge, nestled at 1770 West Lake Blvd., has officially opened its doors, inviting locals and visitors to experience a blend of cabin core coziness and redefined après lounge allure.
In a seamless fusion of eras, Shadyside Lounge’s interior design transports visitors to a nostalgic haven — ‘As if the walls could speak.’ This captures the warm, welcoming ambiance that envelopes patrons, offering a unique and unforgettable dining experience.
Shadyside Lounge offers a menu highlighting classic Mexican flavors, featuring standouts like the grilled shrimp macha skillet, house-made tortilla chips, and the crowd-pleaser Plato de tacos. Complementing these are signature drinks, including the house margarita with fresh-squeezed lime juice, the Shady Lady martini with a playful pickle juice twist, and diverse canned cocktails like the Lounge Lizard and Shady Spritz, along with the house-label 16-ounce beer, the Porch Pounder.
The driving force behind Shadyside Lounge is a dynamic team led by business partners Carmine Bove, Doug Hartline, and Scott Zumwalt. Playing pivotal roles in the culinary and managerial realms are Chef and GM Quinten Frye and Sam Leroque, supported by Zumwalt, Amanda Kasper, and their exceptional staff. The interior conceptualization and design, masterminded by Presley Doyle at Mint Condition, were brought to life and realized with precision through collaborative efforts with Hartline Construction and Evolve Design Works.
For updated hours and more information, visit Shadyside’s website or follow them on social media @tahoeshadyside.
~ Shadyside press release
Rite Aid Set to Close
Rite Aid in Kings Beach is scheduled to close permanently on Nov. 27. According to the Associated Press, the closure is one of over 150 scheduled as Rite Aid moves through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. The biggest impact will be felt along the East and West Coasts and include stores located in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and Washington. Rite Aid is also expecting to shutter store doors in Michigan and Ohio.
A recent Rite Aid Securities and Exchange Commission filing indicated that the company lost about $1.3 billion in the first half of its fiscal year — more than double what it lost during the previous fiscal year. Lawsuits over opioid prescriptions are contributing to Rite Aid’s financial difficulties.
Historic Community Event Space Reimagined
Old town Truckee has a newly renovated venue centered around wellness and community, now enhanced by the launch of Mountain Lotus Café. Owner Scott Fitzmorris’ vision is to provide a space where the community can come together around events, health-oriented classes and now delicious food. This addition to the Mountain Lotus event space makes it a great asset to the town as a venue for private, cultural, and community events.
In the cafe, Chef Raymond Applegate’s dishes are inspired by the “Blue Zones” of the Pacific Rim and highlight the diverse local food systems of the northern Sierra Nevada region. His Meatless Monday Supper Club offers a three-course prix fixe menu exploring the distinct flavors and regions of the Pacific Rim. Guests can order online each week by Thursday at midnight and either pick up their meal or dine on Mondays between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The cafe features a rotating elixir menu, local beers, and natural wines.
In addition to the new cafe, the 1,750-square-foot space also features a deluxe hot yoga facility, a state-of-the-art sound system, and specially-designed acoustics and stage lighting. Other features include ample parking, a spacious on-site Airbnb and beautiful views of Trout Creek, all within steps of downtown.
For more information and to inquire about private bookings, visit mountainlotusyoga.com/private-bookings.
For a list of upcoming events, visit mountainlotusyoga.com/events
~ Mountain Lotus Yoga press release