New-to-Tahoe Invasive Species Discovered; Incline’s Grocery Outlet Now Hiring; Chinese Contributions to Truckee; Tahoe Fund CEO Recognized Nationally; More

Briefs: Sept. 22-28, 2023

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News Briefs

Invasive New Zealand Mudsnails Discovered

LAKE TAHOE

Divers monitoring Lake Tahoe have discovered invasive New Zealand mudsnails in areas off the South Shore, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) announced on Sept. 21. This is the first time the species has been detected in the Tahoe Basin.

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program includes comprehensive monitoring of Lake Tahoe for aquatic invaders. Contract divers with Marine Taxonomic Services surveying invasive weeds on the South Shore discovered tiny snails on the bottom of the lake nearly a half mile offshore from the mouth of the Upper Truckee River. Consultation with experts and a DNA lab analysis confirmed the species is New Zealand mudsnail, an aquatic invasive species (AIS) that has been detected in nearby waterways including the Lower Truckee River downstream from Lake Tahoe near Reno. No other AIS, such as the destructive quagga and zebra mussel, have been detected, according to the agencies.

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Following rapid response protocols under the federally approved Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan, TRPA convened an incident team composed of staff from TRPA and Tahoe RCD and partner experts. The team is deploying scientists, beginning with lake-wide dive surveys to determine the extent of the infestation and sharing all available information with state and federal wildlife managers through the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinating Committee.

As climate change continues to affect Lake Tahoe’s native ecosystem, the threat of new invasive species taking hold in the region is increasing. Under the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, the AIS Program is helping protect water quality and native species and is a key program to improve the climate resilience of the region, according to TRPA.

Invasive species can be carried on boats, fishing gear, paddle craft, life vests, and beach toys, according to the national Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign. The most effective way to prevent their spread is to Clean, Drain, and Dry boats and gear before entering a new waterbody.

Tahoe agencies are using critical federal funds to address the New Zealand mudsnail introduction.

~ TRPA press release

Cal Fire Issues Urgent Warning Regarding Incursions of Drones

SACRAMENTO

Cal Fire, alongside its cooperators, wishes to issue an urgent warning regarding the incursion of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, into firefighting airspace. 

These incursions have raised serious concerns as they have led to the temporary suspension of critical aerial firefighting operations on a half-dozen incidents so far this year. The FAA regularly implements Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) around wildfire areas to protect the safety of aircraft participating in firefighting operations. All aircraft, including drones, are explicitly prohibited from entering these restricted areas unless they are operated by an agency directly involved in wildfire suppression efforts. Even when a TFR is not in effect, drone pilots are strongly urged to avoid flying near wildfires as it is considered a crime to interfere with firefighting operations. 

When drones are detected near wildfires, fire response agencies will ground their aircraft to mitigate the risk of a midair collision. This delay in airborne response poses a significant threat to the safety of firefighters on the ground, residents, and properties in nearby communities. 

Additionally, it can allow wildfires to expand, putting more lives and resources at risk. Individuals who operate UAS without proper authorization over wildfire-affected areas may be found in violation of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances, regardless of whether a TFR is in place or not. Those who are determined to have interfered with wildfire suppression efforts and/or endangered manned aircraft or people on the ground with a UAS may face severe consequences, including civil penalties of up to $20,000 and potential criminal prosecution.

~ Cal Fire press release

Supervisors Approve 2023 Housing Ordinance Amendments

NEVADA CITY

On Sept. 12, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the 2023 Housing Ordinance Amendments to remove barriers to housing production in unincorporated Nevada County; this reflects the planning commission’s June 26 recommendation.

The amendments to Nevada County’s Land Use Development Codes (local ordinance for Nevada County development including zoning, subdivisions, and other related activities) are intended to bring codes into compliance with recent changes to state law and to continue to remove barriers to housing production while fostering a rural quality of life. The amendments build from recent state legislation and Nevada County policies, which require planning department staff to evaluate density increases and to identify and remove constraints to housing development.

The improvements in this amendment include allowing every residential property to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), also known as a granny unit or in-law unit, or a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU), a smaller type of ADU that is up to 500 square feet within a home, as long as septic capacity allows. Other changes in the amendments include allowing ADUs to utilize the existing septic system for the primary residence if it has adequate capacity and creating streamlined permitting processes for duplexes and other housing types, in-home daycares, and residential solar.

The changes will go into effect on Oct. 13, but in the meantime, people can review the adopted changes on the planning department’s website at nevadacountyca.gov/planning or reach out to the planning department to see what types of housing they can build on their property.

~ Nevada County press release

​​Explore Untold Stories of Chinese Contributions

TRUCKEE

The Sierra Speaker Series, a monthly event aimed at connecting individuals with the rich cultural and natural history of the Sierra region, is set to offer a captivating presentation on the often overlooked role of Chinese laborers in Truckee’s history. The event will take place at the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center, providing an excellent opportunity for community members and history enthusiasts to learn and engage.

Event Details:

  • Date: Oct. 14
  • Time: Doors open at 5 p.m., presentation starts at 5:30 p.m.
  • Location: Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center, 12593 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, CA 96161
  • Admission: Suggested donation of $5
  • Refreshments: Light refreshments will be available
  • Parking: Free parking after 5 p.m.
  • Registration: No registration required

The presentation, titled A Brief Look at the Chinese in Truckee, will delve into the untold aspects of the Chinese community’s vital role in Truckee during the late 19th century. Little is known about the Chinese in Truckee and the environs, who worked on logging ranches to provide wood for the local mines and the Central Pacific Railroad, made charcoal for fuel, and established a small Chinatown. They also worked on the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, Virginia and Truckee railroads, and other standard- and narrow-gauge lines in the area. This presentation will delve into some of the unknown aspects of their lives and experience in the late nineteenth century as revealed in archival materials and recent publications. A question-and-answer period will follow the 30-minute PowerPoint presentation.

About the Speaker: Sue Fawn Chung was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. She taught for almost 40 years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the author of The Chinese in the Woods: Logging and Lumbering in the American West (2015), In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West (2013), The Chinese in Nevada (2011), and Chinese American Death Rituals: Respecting the Ancestors (2005). She is currently working on a book about Chinese railroad labor contractors. She has written numerous articles and during the pandemic, has appeared in numerous Zooms (some available on Youtube), BBC programs, and television shows. 

For more information about the event, please visit sierrastateparks.org or contact info@sierrastateparks.org.

~ Sierra State Parks press release

BERRY GOOD: Tahoe Fund CEO Amy Berry was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller-Udall Award by leaders of America’s State Parks during the 2023 National Association of State Parks Directors Conference. Courtesy photo

Tahoe Fund CEO Honored at State Parks Directors Conference

CARSON CITY

Nevada State Parks is delighted to announce that its nominee, Amy Berry, has been chosen to be the recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller-Udall Award by leaders of America’s State Parks during the 2023 National Association of State Parks Directors Conference, hosted this year in Lake Tahoe. Named in honor of Laurance Rockefeller and Stewart Udall, this award celebrates an individual who has a legacy of unwavering dedication to enhancing America’s state parks in a meaningful capacity, be it on the national, regional, or local scale.

As CEO of the Tahoe Fund, Berry has raised more than $20 million from private donors to fund more than 130 environmental improvement projects, working with more than 50 partners. Under Berry’s leadership, the Tahoe Fund has provided vital support for various capital improvement projects, played a pivotal role in the restoration efforts of Lake Tahoe, and generated several strategic planning documents that will guide the Tahoe Basin for decades to come.

The Tahoe Fund’s essential role in the Lake Tahoe Basin stems from its commitment to fostering partnerships, actively engaging with the community, and cultivating innovative ideas centered on problem-solving. Berry’s ability to bring together businesses, nonprofit organizations, individuals, and government agencies to secure funding, formulate plans, and tackle the challenges facing the Lake Tahoe Basin is what has led to the success of these efforts. Ranging from the East Shore Trail to the Spooner Lake and Backcountry Visitor Center & Amphitheater, among other vital projects, the generous funding provided by the Tahoe Fund will have a lasting positive impact on park visitors for years to come. 

~ Department of Conservation and Natural Resources press release

Fifteen Years of Mountain High BNI

TRUCKEE

BNI is a business networking and referral organization that encourages professional development and helpful relationships between business members. In October of 2008, Truckee’s chapter of BNI launched: Mountain High BNI.

On Oct. 3, the Mountain High BNI chapter will be hosting a meeting at Liberty Bell Smart Homes (10072 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee) to celebrate 15 years of existence and honor the longevity and commitment of its members and chapter.

“We as local entrepreneurs have been meeting weekly to exchange qualified business and to keep business local,” wrote local BNI member Carmen Carr in an email. “The focus is to build each other’s business one qualified referral at a time.”

Original and long time successful members of our chapter are Elisa DiNallo – DiNallo Design; Jim Easterbrook – Easterbrook Painting; Steve Torres – Torres Construction; Scott Thompson – Scott Shot’s Photography; and Carmen Carr – Residential Real Estate.

Mountain High BNI is part of BNI’s California Capital Region. For further information, please contract Carmen Carr: (530) 448-1643 or carmen@carmencarr.com

~ AH

Nevada State Parks “Fee-Free” on Saturday, Sept. 23

CARSON CITY

Nevada residents and visitors are invited to celebrate Nevada Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, with a “fee-free” day at Nevada’s State Parks. Park fees, including entrance, camping (Saturday night), and boating, where applicable, will be waived at state parks throughout Nevada. This includes Sand Harbor in Incline Village.

Nevada Public Lands Day encourages Nevadans to discover the many exciting and affordable recreation opportunities right in their own backyards.

~ Department of Conservation and Natural Resources press release

Tahoe League for Charity Has Given Back Since 1999

TAHOE CITY

Tahoe League for Charity, a nonprofit organization, has given back over $330,000 in grants and scholarships since 1999 to the Tahoe community. 

Grant recipients for 2023: 

  • Allison Edwards, development director from Sierra Community House
  • Coralin Glerum, executive director of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care
  • Julia Powers of the Kings Beach Library
  • Sharon Romack, executive director, and James Bartlett of Sierra Senior Services
  • Priscilla Mills, President of North Tahoe AAUW
  • Megan Seifert, PhD, of Headwaters Science Institute

Receiving grants but unable to be present were: Girls on the Run and Tahoe Institute for Natural Science.

TLC meets the second Monday of each month in Tahoe City. Those interested in learning more about this group, please email johnnieleedon1@gmail.com.

~ TLC press release

TAHOE LEAGUE for Charity, a nonprofit organization, has given back over $330,000 in grants and scholarships since 1999 to the Tahoe community. Courtesy photo

Lahontan Neighbors Raise Money for Local Nonprofits

TRUCKEE

Thanks to an outpouring of support from more than 30 local businesses, restaurants, and service providers, the Lahontan Community Foundation’s largest fundraiser, the Community Cup, recently raised nearly $150,000. The partnership between local business owners and the LCF signifies the symbiotic relationship of neighbors and businesses working together to support those in need.

The LCF Community Cup fundraiser is in its 21st year and features a two-day event allowing the Lahontan membership to join together to raise money that will be granted to nonprofits serving the Truckee and North Lake Tahoe region. 

The Lahontan Community Foundation Fund is held at the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since its inception, the LCF has awarded local grants totaling more than $2.5 million. For info, please contact LCF president Janet Lowell at je.lowell@verizon.net.

~ LTC press release

Education, Training Funds Available for Single Working Mothers

TRUCKEE

Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner (SITD) is accepting applications for The Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education & Training Awards for Women. The program provides cash grants to women who are working to better their lives through additional schooling and skills training.

Those eligible to apply include:

  • Women with primary financial responsibility for themself and their dependents.
  • Those attending an undergraduate degree program or a vocational skills training program.
  • Those with a financial need.

Applications are due by Nov. 15 and should be submitted online here.

The Live Your Dream Award involves three levels of cash awards. The program begins at the local Soroptimist club level. SITD provides scholarships up to $4,000. Local level award recipients become eligible for region level awards of either $3,000 or $5,000. Region level award recipients then become eligible to receive one of three international level awards of $10,000.

SITD holds monthly club meetings at 12 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Truckee airport. All are invited to join as a guest by emailing info@sitd.info. For more information, visit sitd.info or contact Cathy Leibow, president, at president@sitd.info. SITD hosts the “Oldest and Best” Wine and Restaurant Faire each year (June) and Soroptishop, an evening of wine, food, and shopping featuring local artisans (Nov. 16). Go to the website above for ticket information or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Soroptimist (soroptimist.org) is an international volunteer service organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner (sitruckeedonner.org) is a 501(c)(3) organization.

~ SITD press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Hyatt Regency Welcomes Pascal Dupuis as General Manager

INCLINE VILLAGE

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino announces Pascal Dupuis as general manager. Dupuis joins the property from Andaz Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico. In his new role, Dupuis oversees the daily operations of the 422-room resort, including the full-service Stillwater Spa, 65,000 square feet of functional meeting space, and multiple on-site restaurants.

“I am thrilled to join the incredible team at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, and to being a part of the Incline Village community,” said Pascal Dupuis, general manager of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino. “I look forward to leading the resort’s team as the property embarks on a new chapter with a major renovation expected to begin in spring of 2024. It is my goal to continue to provide our guests with unparalleled service, unforgettable vacation moments, and new and unique experiences during this exciting time.”

Originally from the French Riviera, in the region of Nice, France, Dupuis developed a passion for travel and hospitality at a young age. As a child, he spent holidays with his grandparents at luxury hotels and destinations, and always enjoyed cooking and helping his mom in the kitchen. With his organic interest in the industry, Dupuis attended the Hotel & Management School in Nice where he obtained his Brevet Technician Hotelier, a national diploma of higher education in France.

Following his graduation in 1990, Dupuis worked in hotels and destinations around the globe. He has extensive international experience in luxury travel and has held hotel leadership positions in the United Kingdom, Mauritius, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Prior to his role at Andaz Mayakoba, Dupuis was the general manager of The Address Boulevard in Downtown Dubai.

Dupuis moves to Incline Village with his wife, Natalie, their two cats named Yop and Eclypse, and their puppy, Gucci. His daughter Heloise is also a member of the Hyatt family and currently works as a human resources officer at Hyatt Regency Churchill in London. In his spare time, Dupuis enjoys golf, tennis, go-carting, and watersports. He looks forward to discovering everything there is to see and do in North Lake Tahoe.

Info on the Hyatt: hyattregencylaketahoe.com, or (775) 832-1234.

~ Hyatt press release

Business Briefs

Save Mart to Close Store After 50 years Due to Lease Non-Renewal

TAHOE CITY

After more than 50 years of serving the Tahoe City community, the property landlord of the Save Mart store in Tahoe City has not renewed the lease. Following is a statement on behalf of The Save Mart Companies:

“Despite our best efforts, the property landlord of the Save Mart store in Tahoe City has chosen not to renew our lease, forcing the store to vacate. We have proudly served the Tahoe City community for more than 50 years and are deeply disappointed in this decision. The Save Mart store will close on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Tahoe City Save Mart associates will be offered job opportunities at other stores at The Save Mart Companies. We are actively exploring other locations so that we can continue to serve the Tahoe City community.”

~ Save Mart press release

New Grocery Outlet to Host Hiring Fair

INCLINE VILLAGE

Incline Village Grocery Outlet is now hiring for the new location opening in November. There will be a hiring fair on Sept. 29 and 30 at Mountain Workspace, 885 Tahoe Blvd., in Incline Village from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Grocery Outlet is hiring for all positions, including lead positions. Flexible hours, vacation pay, competitive wages, health benefits, and 401k apply. Applications can also be requested by sending an email to inclinevillage@groceryoutlet.com

~ Grocery Outlet email

Mountaineer Expands 2023/24 Winter Microtransit Service 

OLYMPIC VALLEY, ALPINE MEADOWS

Mountaineer, the service that offers free, on-demand winter transportation in Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, will expand its operating schedule for the 2023/24 winter season. Daily service in Olympic Valley and between the two valleys will be extended by 30 minutes until 11 p.m., and in Alpine Meadows, an additional day and another hour of service has been added to offer five days a week (Thursday through Monday) service until 6 p.m. 

This winter, Mountaineer will operate its nine-passenger, dog-friendly vans equipped with ski/snowboard racks between Dec. 8, 2023, and April 7, 2024, as follows:

  • Daily in Olympic Valley from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with service until 2 a.m. during WinterWonderGrass (April 5 to 7, 2024). Early morning service will also be offered beginning at 5 a.m. for the World Cup, Feb. 22 to 25, 2024.
  • Thursday through Monday in Alpine Meadows from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with additional service offered on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 19 to 20, Dec. 26 to 27, 2023 and Feb. 20 to 21, 2024.
  • Daily between Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Passengers can request rides through the Mountaineer app, which is free to download in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Inter-valley transportation will continue to be provided between the two Palisades Tahoe base areas by the Base to Base Gondola, which operates daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Placer County’s TART Connect free on-demand microtransit service between Olympic Valley and Tahoe City, and between River Ranch and Tahoe City is offered daily from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight. Request these rides through the free TART Connect app.

A service created to benefit the environment, reduce traffic congestion and improve the guest experience, since its inception in December 2018, Mountaineer has taken 49,495 cars off the road and reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 83,556 miles. This was accomplished in 506 operating days (16.6 operating months). Learn more about Mountaineer and its operating schedule for the 2023/24 winter season at mountaineertransit.org.

~ Mountaineer press release

Fifth Annual Mountainfilm on Tour Returns

TAHOE CITY

Alpenglow Sports brings Mountainfilm on Tour back to North Lake Tahoe, this time for two nights, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11, for inspirational, social, cultural, environmental, and adventure film programming. The event is made possible by Peak Design.

Each year, the staff at Alpenglow Sports curates a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films curated from the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado.

The two-night Mountainfilm on Tour event kicks off on Friday, Nov. 10, at 5:30 p.m. at Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City. The intimate, in-store experience is limited to 60 attendees and will showcase an inspiring program with a focus on nonfiction stories about the environmental, cultural, climbing, political, and social justice issues facing the world today.

At the conclusion of Friday’s programming, Alpenglow will welcome Mr. Chuck Dickerson from the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA). The inspiration for one of the evening features, The Orchestra that Chuck Built, Mr. Dickerson will be joined by a string quartet of ICYOLA students for a live performance that is not to be missed. Food from MOGROG Rotisserie will be provided with a $25 ticket purchase, doors open at 5:30 p.m., and films begin at 7 p.m. The event is family-friendly and all members of the family are encouraged to attend. 

Mountainfilm on Tour North Lake Tahoe continues on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Palisades Tahoe’s Olympic Village Events Center in Olympic Valley. This energetic night of adventure films will highlight the indomitable human spirit and a curated selection, chosen specifically for the North Lake Tahoe adventure audience. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy an evening of fun, games, and dinner before the show. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be available from MOGROG, for purchase.Tickets for Mountainfilm on Tour are required for entry and non-refundable, and are available for presale on Alpenglow’s website here. Tickets will be available on the evening of the event and do not increase in price.

~ Alpenglow press release

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