Tahoe Forest Hospital Gives CEO Bonus

The Tahoe Forest Hospital Board gave CEO Bob Schapper a $52,500 bonus at the end of November, raising his annual compensation to $456,777.

”I think his performance speaks for itself in connection with the economic viability of the hospital — the fact that he has transformed the EMR (electronic medical records) system, and he has utilized the bond money to its utmost potential,” said board member John Mohun.


The unanimous vote of the board comes at a time when the hospital’s monthly operating revenues are down and expenses are up, which Mohun attributed to the hospital’s labor-intensive electronic medical records conversion and changes in the “payor mix,” the ratios of commercial insurance, Medicare, and other payment types the hospital receives.

But board members noted in their review that Schapper had met all the financial performance criteria outlined for him the previous year and had, in fact, more than doubled the hospital’s earnings targets for the year.

“Mr. Schapper’s overall performance has been outstanding,” Board President Ken Cutler said in his evaluation letter at the Nov. 27 meeting. “During the past year, we have opened the Cancer Center and received national recognition as one of the top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in America. We are especially pleased with his leadership and vision in addressing the multitude of challenges associated with healthcare reform and his leadership with the rural health initiative and our improving alignment with the physician community.”

Director of Marketing and Communications Paige Nebeker Thomason also noted that while Schapper did not meet his performance goals for philanthropy, the hospital has seen “a record amount of philanthropy from all forms of gifts ($2.6 million over the past two years, while median range for other hospitals our size is $468,500 annually.)” The majority of fundraising was philanthropy for the new Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center. ~ Jackie Ginley/Moonshine Ink

Truckee CHP Station Plans New Radio Towers

The Truckee CHP station is seeking approval to build a 120-foot-tall radio tower at its location on Highway 89 South adjacent to Bank of America.

The project, which also includes an underground equipment vault and an underground utility line, is intended to upgrade the CHP’s radio communication and provide a backup to the agency’s radio communication in case of an emergency disruption in radio service.

The project has released a draft environmental impact report, and the comment period lasts from Nov. 7 to Dec. 21. The draft EIR concludes that the project “would result in significant, adverse, and unavoidable impacts to the aesthetic character of the project site and vicinity.” Comments can be submitted to: Brian Wilkinson, senior environmental planner, State of California, Department of General Services, environmental@dgs.ca.gov.

ruckee River Legacy Trail Gets $2.9 Million

The Truckee River Legacy Trail will receive $2.9 million in funding from the California River Parkways grant program. These funds will enable construction of another 1.5 miles of trail from its current terminus to the eastern side of Martis Creek, including a bridge to cross Martis Creek. With only $1.5 million more needed to complete the trail to the Glenshire subdivision, the Truckee Trails Foundation is now fundraising and working with the Town of Truckee to secure the funding for the completion of the trail to Glenshire by 2014. Info: truckeetrail.org

Northlight Financial Buys Old Greenwood

Private equity firm Northlight Financial has bought the remaining real estate assets of Old Greenwood from East West Partners.
Fractional ownership townhomes and parcels for future development are included in the sale. The investment was made through a trust managed by Northlight.

“We see substantial value in the Old Greenwood community — a highly sought after property in the Tahoe-California area. East West Partners has done an outstanding job creating an exceptional living atmosphere with great charm, personality, and an established, luxury brand,” said Ben Gerig, head of Northlight’s real estate investment and management.

Northlight has invested in several fractional resort properties across the West Coast, including two in Arizona, Seven Canyons in Sedona and Quintero Golf and Country Club outside of Phoenix; Wyoming’s Snake River Sporting Club near Jackson, and The Residence Club at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.

Tahoe Mountain Resorts Real Estate will continue to serve as the exclusive listing brokerage for Northlight at Old Greenwood. Tahoe Mountain Club will continue to own and operate Old Greenwood’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and The Pavilion. Info: oldgreenwood.com, northlightfinancial.com

Independent Nonprofit Finds Biomass Facility Would Improve Air Quality

The proposed Cabin Creek Biomass Energy Facility will likely improve community health through improvements in air quality and reductions in risks from wildfires, an independent health impact assessment found. The Sequoia Foundation, a public health research nonprofit, conducted the study, which looked at air quality, wildfires, traffic, water quality, noise, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic and energy security. The purpose of the study was to take an independent and objective look at both the positive and negative aspects of a biomass facility.

Placer County is proposing a biomass energy facility in an effort to reduce wildfire risk. The biomass facility would turn wood biomass into energy using gasification technologies, which use extremely high temperatures to produce a fuel similar to natural gas. The wood to supply the facility would come from nearby forestland within a 30-mile radius, including material that would otherwise be burned in open piles.

The Placer County Planning Commission will consider the proposed Cabin Creek Biomass Energy Facility minor use permit on Dec. 20 at Planning Commission Chambers, 3091 County Center Dr, Auburn.

No Sewer Rate Increase for TCPUD Customers

In November, the Tahoe City Public Utility District Board of Directors approved and adopted the district’s proposed 2013 annual budget. Overall operating budget for 2013 is $8.2 million, a 2.7 percent decrease from 2012’s budget, and includes a pay down of $820,000 in debt.

The base rate for water for residential customers remains unchanged. However, the tiered consumption rates will increase, mainly for the higher tiers of consumption. Sewer rate increases have been rolled back again for 2013 and will only increase by $2.86 per month. This is $13.32 per month less than the approved increases through the Prop. 218 rate process.

“As we go through the budget planning process, the board struggles to find the balance between affordable rates and managing the budget while providing safe and reliable service,” said Board President Judy Friedman. Info: tcpud.com

Public Shows Its Support of TRPA Regional Plan Update

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board completed its two-day meeting on the final draft Regional Plan Update in mid November, leading up to the decisive meeting on Dec. 12 when it is scheduled to take final action on the plan and associated documents.

The meetings spurred extensive public input on the final draft documents. A total of 78 people addressed the governing board, with five to one in support of passing the update. In total, 64 spoke in support of the final draft plan and 14 spoke against.

Joe Lanza, a 40-year North Shore resident who raised his nine children in the Basin, reminded the governing board that, “Every one of us is an environmentalist. As a board, it is important that you set an example and pass the Regional Plan.”  

“I am pleased that everyone on the governing board had a chance to be heard,” said E. Clement Shute, Jr., chair of the Regional Plan Update Committee, “and that we are on target with our goal of delivering a Regional Plan Update by the end of this year.”

Info: Kristi Boosman, kboosman@trpa.org, (775) 589-5230

Tahoe Fund Donates $10,000 for Lake Restoration

In November, the nonprofit Tahoe Fund donated $10,000 to the Lake Tahoe Resource Team in support of the Third Creek and Incline Creek watershed project. The grant finances a pedestrian bridge over Incline Creek to allow for safe, stabilized foot traffic across both creeks and to diminish stream bank erosion.

The Incline Village General Improvement District, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Nevada Division of State Lands completed the first two phases of the collaborative interagency project in 2009 and 2010. Portions of Third Creek were restored, culverts were replaced, and new bridges were built. The final phase includes stream restoration improvements on Third Creek from Lakeshore Drive to Lake Tahoe, and on Third and Incline creeks from Incline Way to State Route 28. Info: tahoefund.org


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