Business Briefs | August 13 – September 9, 2020


Homeschool Support for Preschoolers


If you’re not feeling comfortable about sending your little ones to in-person preschool this September, Conecta Preschool has a homeschool option that just could be the perfect fit for both you and your child. Many parents shudder when they hear the word “homeschool” but Conecta is offering support to equip parents to be the best at-home teachers they can be.

While Conecta is continuing to offer in-person preschool programming, modified to adhere to strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols, founder Abbie Lara has also created a homeschool program that will ease the process for parents and students alike. The program is unique in that it will follow the same model as that found in the classroom, while offering support in the areas of nature-based learning, following the child’s interests, responding to behavior with respect and kindness, developing teaching skills, and creating the best curriculum for your child.

“We want to make sure your children are not missing milestones,” said Lara, who has 16 years in education under her belt. “This is very unique in that way because we’re doing what we do in the classroom but are moving the program online.”


The program will include livestreamed morning gatherings, pre-recorded presentations, instructional videos, and resources for parents to help enrich the homeschool experience for both their children and themselves. There will also be a monthly question and answer session in which parents can seek guidance from the school’s professionals.

Conecta values the whole child, and student-driven studies propel the curriculum, and teachers weave in math, science, the arts, literature, reading skills, and other academic skills. Natural objects from the environment are used indoors, outdoor play is sacred, and their school environment is prepared to suit developmental stages and individual needs. Children are guided in solving their own problems, rather than being provided with solutions, helping them to understand and cope in other situations. Find more information about in-person and homeschool-based preschool at

~ JD

Electric Outages, Customer Preparedness


People who live in Truckee (or visit frequently) understand that power outages caused by big storms and the natural environment are part of mountain living. Truckee Donner Public Utility District works to prevent power outages and respond quickly when they do occur. While the causes of winter outages are somewhat obvious (i.e. big winter storms and the aftermath), the causes of summer outages can be harder to understand. These outages occur primarily for the following reasons: weather including thunderstorms and high winds; animals getting into equipment; NV Energy transmission outages; and changes in operations to prevent wildfires.

TDPUD is a transmission dependent utility of NV Energy. This means that power is not generated locally and TDPUD relies on NV Energy’s transmission system for electrical supply. While NV Energy’s reliability is generally good, transmission outages do occur and are beyond TDPUD’s control. For example, a transmission outage was the cause of recent outages which impacted customers in Tahoe Donner and Donner Lake. In addition, TDPUD wildfire mitigation safety practices increase the duration of power outages during wildfire season, extending into the summer and fall months. New California laws and regulations require that TDPUD modify operations to minimize the chance of ignition. In many cases, TDPUD is required to visually patrol all circuits in an outage to ensure that restoring power does not cause a fire. The end result is longer outages during wildfire season.

“TDPUD takes reliability very seriously and has made significant improvements over the years” said Joe Horvath, TDPUD electric utility director “Unfortunately, outages do happen and necessary wildfire mitigation safety practices mean somewhat longer outages as we keep our community safe during wildfire season.”

Customers can get outage information online at or by calling customer service at (530) 587-3896.

~ TDPUD press release

Implementing Tobacco-Free Policies


As we continue on the road to COVID-19 recovery, Carson City Health and Human Services, Southern Nevada Health District, and Washoe County Health District encourage all businesses to protect the health of their customers, staff, and community through voluntary tobacco-free policies. Evidence has shown that smokers are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and experiencing complications from the virus.

These voluntary measures are allowed under the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act and would protect both patrons and staff. Businesses cannot adequately reinforce the proven risk reduction strategy of wearing face coverings while also allowing smoking.

~ Washoe County Health District press release

Brewforia Announces Closure


In a statement put out on social media, Brewforia Cafe & Market announced they are closing their doors Aug. 16, just about three years after they opened. The reason stated is that they were unable to come to a lease agreement moving forward. The Brewforia team is hopeful, however, that they will be able to find a new location, stating in a farewell message on their Facebook page, “We’re incredibly sad to be saying goodbye but rest assured, we’ll be back and better than ever. Our plans are to find a new location with an actual kitchen so we can do the things that we always wanted to do. Yeah, brunch comes back, Fish Fryday, some of those dishes from the Oktoberfest, Fat Tuesday and Key West menus full time. Bigger draft selection expanded cocktail program.”

~ Brewforia platforms

Arts Center Expands Offerings Despite Losing Ticket Revenue


The Center for the Arts brings a wide variety of arts and cultural experiences to Nevada County through performances, art exhibits, and through California WorldFest, its annual world music festival. Even as mass gatherings and events continue to be put on hold, the center is “determined to hold true to its mission while being advocates for public safety, but won’t be able continue this pace without income from ticketed events,” according to a statement.

The center relies on revenue from performances, events, and venue rentals that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff were fortunate enough to receive a PPP loan, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and $150,000 from the Economic Disaster Relief Fund.

Find out how the center is modifying programs still available to the public at

~ The Center for the Arts press release

High Altitude Fitness Building New Gym


A new fitness and climbing center, six years in the making, is under construction on Donner Pass Road with estimated completion currently in April. The facility will ultimately be over 26,000 square feet and include rock climbing; bouldering; weight, fitness, and cardio rooms; yoga, group fitness, and cycling studios; an outdoor fitness area; and an indoor/outdoor childcare center.

This is the second location of High Altitude Fitness, with their current climbing gym located in Incline Village. Owner Jason Burd wrote in a press release that the company is “unique compared to other fitness facilities is that we provide fitness for all ages. High Altitude Fitness offers summer camps, after school programs, and a competitive climbing team. Our climbing team has sent multiple athletes to national competitions to compete against other gyms all throughout the country.” Visit for construction updates for the new Truckee location.

~ High Altitude Fitness press release

New Mountain Hardware & Sports Store


The new Mountain Hardware & Sports location in Truckee is a 12,000-square-foot store in the Soaring Ranch shopping center.

The local sporting and home goods staple’s new location holds the same hours as the Donner Pass Road store, open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The store also offers customers choices for curbside pickup, online shopping, and delivery.

~ BL

Welcome, welcome: Carmen Ghysels has been selected as the new superintendent chief learning officer for the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District. Photo courtesy TTUSD

Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

New TTUSD Superintendent in Town


The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board announced its selection of Carmen Ghysels as its new superintendent chief learning officer, taking Dr. Robert Leri’s place.

Ghysels is a bilingual educational leader with over 30 years of experience in public education. She has worked in various schools and districts in several states. Her vast experience, commitment to students, strong and collaborative leadership skills, and curriculum expertise make her the perfect fit to lead our district in this next chapter.

Her previous leadership position was deputy superintendent in the Mountain View Whisman School District. In addition to teaching, Ghysels has been a principal in two schools, the director of special education, and a chief human relations officer.

Ghysels began her position on Aug. 1 and will have a few weeks of overlap with Leri.

~ TTUSD newsletter


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