Wife, Daughter of NTHS Alumni Lost in Kobe Bryant Crash
Sarah and Payton Chester were victims in the helicopter crash that killed NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. They are survived in part by Chris Chester, husband and father, a former North Tahoe High School student.
Backcountry Public Access Secured
In a unanimous vote on Jan. 19, the Donner Lake Woods Homeowners Association decided to lease a vacant lot at the base of the Donner Lake Run on Washoe Road to the Truckee Donner Land Trust for $1 per year. The lot will serve as public parking for backcountry skiers and snowboarders, alleviating the issues of parking and trespassing. Plowing will be covered by the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance. The homeowners association and nonprofits were brought together by Truckee Mayor Dave Polivy.
~ TDLT website
Charter School Goes Solar
Creekside Charter School installed 74 solar panels on its roofs with funding from Proposition 39 California Clean Energy Jobs Act, which allocates general funds to allow charter and public schools to pursue energy efficiency and renewable projects. Simple Power Solar, a locally owned and operated company, managed the installation of the 29.23-kilowatt project, which is expected to almost entirely offset the school’s annual usage. The custom design provides much-needed shade for many of the buildings, and also sheds snow away from the classroom walkways and entrances.
~ Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows press release
NLTRA Seeking Board Members
The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association elects board members during February and has asked for qualified members to submit applications to become a board member until Feb. 3. To qualify, a candidate must be an owner or manager of an active, current business, be a member in good standing with the Chamber of Commerce (or the designated representative of that member), and be licensed in both the state of California and the county of Placer. The NLTRA general election began Feb. 11 and will extend through March 10 until 5 p.m. with results announced the following day.
~ NLTRA newsletter
Life-Saving Cat Program at HSTT
The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe has been selected to participate in the 2020 class of Cat Pawsitive, a life-saving initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to cats in shelters and rescues. Supported by the Petco Foundation, this innovative program aims to increase feline adoption rates and maintain cat “mojo.” Highlights of the program include maintaining cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, increasing adoptions, and decreasing length of shelter stay.
~ HSTT press release
Point in Time Homeless Count
Nevada County’s Point in Time (PIT) homeless count took place on Jan. 29. The annual count is coordinated by the Nevada County Regional Continuum of Care, the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras, and the county’s Health and Human Services Agency. This year’s PIT count focused on collecting a detailed “sheltered” count, whereas odd-numbered years focus on both sheltered and unsheltered individuals and families. Results will be released in the coming months.
~ Nevada County press release
Supervisors Approve Sustainability Plan
The Board of Supervisors approved the first-ever Placer County Sustainability Plan, a road map to meet California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and reduce the county’s vulnerability to climate risks like worsening wildfire severity. The plan is designed to mitigate and avoid such emissions associated with county operations and community activities in the unincorporated areas of the county. It addresses emissions from buildings, land use, transportation, water consumption, and waste generation.
~ Placer County press release
Call for Artists Complete
Since its opening in June 2019, the Tahoe East Shore Trail connecting Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park has quickly become an attraction for both residents and visitors interested in exploring Tahoe’s famed East Shore on foot or by bicycle. To augment the natural beauty of the immediate surroundings and transform a utilitarian tunnel into an enjoyable, relevant art experience, the Tahoe Fund and Tahoe Public Art, with financial support from Raley’s, have joined together to commission a mural that will be unique to the space. Following an official call for submissions, the deadline for consideration expired as of Feb. 1.
~ Tahoe Fund press release
Decade of Service Celebrated
The North Tahoe Fire Protection District Board of Directors recognized the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program for a decade of service to and began recruitment efforts for new members at a late-January meeting in Tahoe City.
The program began as a response to the 2007 Angora and Washoe fires. An “After Action Review” of the incidents prompted the hiring of a public information officer and the formation of a team of volunteers prepared to assist with the information gap resulting from a large-scale event. In 2009, the Citizen Emergency Information Team was officially organized with 12 volunteer members on the North Shore, and over the years evolved to a district-wide FEMA-Certified CERT program with nearly 50 members.
For information on becoming a member, visit ntfire.net/cert.
~ NTF press release
Update on Frishman Hollow Project
Town staff has prepared an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration to evaluate potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed Frishman Hollow project. The document is now available for review in the Community Development Department, Planning Division (10183 Truckee Airport Rd.), and online.
Potential significant environmental impacts identified include air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, hydrology and water quality, transportation, and tribal cultural resources. However, the town has incorporated mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate the potential impacts. The public review period for the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration began on Jan. 27 and ends Feb. 25. The Planning Commission hearing will be Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.
~ Town of Truckee press release
Mountain Life Gallery Exhibit
North Tahoe Arts is collaborating with the Alpenglow Sports Mountain Fest to showcase local artists’ depictions of how they live “mountain life.” Submissions were accepted during January. The exhibit runs through March 3 with a public reception taking place Feb. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m., at which time the winners will be announced.
~ North Tahoe Arts newsletter
Alpine Meadows is Wildfire-Prepared
Homeowners in the Alpine Meadows community were recently recognized with the National Fire Protection Association’s designation as a Firewise USA community. The Alpine Meadows Fire Safe Council coordinated with North Tahoe Fire and the Placer County Fire Safe Alliance to fulfill a rigorous set of criteria required to participate in the national program. Stakeholders completed a community wildfire hazard assessment and developed an action plan to guide their efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire in their community.
~ North Tahoe/Meeks Bay fire protection districts press release
Funding Supports MAP Advocacy Work
Mountain Area Preservation received a grant from the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Nature Fund grant cycle to support the expansion of its advocacy work. MAP will use the funds to advocate for sound land use planning, open space protection, and meaningful affordable and achievable housing opportunities. MAP often serves as the environmental voice at public hearings, hosting outreach and education programs focused on development applications, writing letters, and mobilizing the community to participate in the public process.
~ MAP press release
Tahoe Fund Reaches Goal, Plans Renovation
An outdoor learning center will be built this summer at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care’s new 27-acre property in South Lake Tahoe thanks to the support of the Tahoe City-based nonprofit Tahoe Fund and a $15,000 matching grant from Tahoe Blue Vodka, bringing the total grant to $30,000. The center has a long history of rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing over 16,000 of Tahoe’s injured and orphaned wildlife.
Tahoe Fund is also planning to renovate facilities at Spooner Lake, and is seeking $300,000 from private donors to name a new amphitheater onsite. These funds will help unlock $2 million in public funding to complete significant improvement projects at the park.
~ Tahoe Fund press releases
Adopt a Mile of Tahoe’s Shore
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Local nonprofit Clean Up the Lake is seeking donations for Adopt-a-Mile, a 72-Mile scuba clean-up program along the shores of Lake Tahoe. Funds raised will help procure equipment and engineer special tools, provide logistical preparation, support months of staff planning and collection research, purchase dive gear and surface support vehicles, provide wages for employees and contractors, and other project needs. Info: charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/cleanupthelake.
~ Clean Up the Lake GoFundMe page
MOVING IN, MOVING UP, MOVING ON
Resort at Squaw GM Steps In
Resort at Squaw Creek has announced that Greg Gooding will oversee hotel operations as the resort’s general manager, including its six on-site restaurants, golf course, and spa. Gooding comes from Litchfield, Arizonia, where he served as vice president and area managing director for The Wigwam. He has 15 years of senior executive hospitality experience.
Resort Association Announces New CEO
NORTH LAKE TAHOE
After conducting a nationwide search to fill the vacant CEO position at North Lake Tahoe Resort Association/Chamber of Commerce, a hiring committee assembled by the NLTRA Board of Directors has selected a final candidate to take the helm. With extensive tourism and economic development experience in California’s High Sierra region, Jeffery Hentz will start in late January as the organization’s new CEO. The position was previously held by Cindy Gustafson, now District 5 Placer County Supervisor.
Hentz will relocate to North Lake Tahoe from Mustang Island, Texas, where he served as president/CEO of Mustang Island/Port Aransas Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber Foundation since 2016.
~ NLTRA press release
School District Superintendent Leaving
On Feb. 5, Superintendent Chief Learning Officer Robert Leri announced his retirement as head of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Leri has served in the position for over eight years, and said he is proud of the growth and accomplishments that have come about. His retirement will be effective July 2020.
~ TTUSD newsletter
Doherty Hired as Full-time Housing Manager
Building on the work of the Planning Division, the Town of Truckee is adding Seana Doherty as a full-time housing program manager to study and manage a wide array of potential new housing activities such as: incentives for accessory dwelling units (also called granny flats), incentives for long-term rentals, assistance to new strategic affordable housing projects, down payment assistance, exploration of short-term rental options, employer-based housing solutions, deed restriction programs, and exploration of town-owned properties.
~ Town of Truckee press release
Airport CEO Retiring, Search Begins
The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) Board will conduct a national search to hire a new president/CEO for the 66th busiest airport in the nation in the wake of current President/CEO Marily Mora’s November announcement that she will retire June 30.
In a special meeting, the RTAA Board unanimously voted to conduct a national search to replace Mora. She has served as president/CEO for six and a half years and helped lead an air service renaissance since she was named CEO in July 2013. During the economic downturn and before her hiring, RNO lost 36% of its flights. Over the past six years, Mora has rebuilt the air service schedule. Major flights added during her tenure include JetBlue to New York, Volaris to Guadalajara, Mexico, and daily service to Atlanta. RNO now serves 4.5 million passengers per year.
~ RTAA press release
Changes to Tahoe Fund Board
The Tahoe Fund recently announced that founding board member and former board chair Art Chapman will step down from his role and join the Tahoe Fund’s Council of Special Advisors alongside former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and former Tahoe Fund board member and longtime Tahoe advocate Steven Merrill. This change comes at the same time that Meg Sandman, a seasoned technology and operations executive with significant experience in fundraising, has joined its board of directors.
~ Tahoe Fund press release
Outdoor Recreation Administrator Selected
The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced the appointment of Colin Robertson as the inaugural administrator for NDCNR’s Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation. As its first administrator, Robertson will help build the new division with a focus on enhancing Nevada’s unique outdoor recreation experiences and promoting a healthy and sustainable outdoor recreation economy that centers on protecting Nevada’s natural landscapes. Robertson assumed the role of administrator on Jan. 27.
~ NDCNR press release
Main Image Caption: RAYS THROUGH THE GRAY: Creekside Charter School recently installed solar panels in an effort to pursue energy efficiency and renewable projects. Courtesy photo