Survey Says: Foothills, Mountain Towns Hit Hardest By Fire Insurance Nonrenewal
A new Placer County survey confirms what ongoing resident feedback suggests: fire insurance cancellations and nonrenewals have greatly impacted mountain towns and foothill areas. In fact, 50% of the 2,156 respondents in those regions reported their fire insurance being canceled or nonrenewed, while an additional 15% reported substantial increase in premiums. More than 34% responded that their new policy cost them more than double their previous one, and several standout respondents reported increases of more than 500%. Only 14% of those whose policies were nonrenewed had an insurance provider conduct a site visit beforehand. Following a July letter of concern sent by the county Board of Supervisors, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara participated in a community town hall on insurance challenges on Aug. 28.
Smartest Forest Presented By Tahoe Fund
A new forest restoration initiative by the Tahoe Fund will provide seed funding for public and private sector innovation for a rapid restoration process for forests in the Tahoe Basin. So far, the Smartest Forest Fund initiative has approved grants for three projects: $30,000 to use acoustics to monitor spotted owl populations; $35,000 as a joint project with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Planet, and Salo Sciences to build the California Forest Observatory which will specialize in real-time wildfire risk mapping; and $30,000 to support the Nevada Division of Forestry reopening the Carson City biomass facility to offtake excess timber less than 20 miles from the Tahoe Basin.
Placer County Proposes New Housing Rules
New zoning regulations to encourage town center living and allow for tiny houses on wheels as secondary or primary housing in more cases are up for public comment until Sept. 27. The new rules, which are currently undergoing an Environmental Impact Report, will also be up for discussion at an upcoming community meeting on Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. in the Placer County Community Development Resource Center. Public comments can be made at the meeting, sent via letter, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speedboat Beach Closed Through Summer
Improvements to Speedboat Beach including new metal signage, portable restrooms, and a revamping of the wooden staircase from Harbor Avenue mean that the beach will be closed through the end of the summer. Residents can expect quiet construction starting at 7 a.m. on weekdays with general construction beginning at 8 a.m. The project was approved in May by the county with a budget of $560,000.
TRPA Announces Boating Navigation App for Tahoe
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has announced a new way for boaters to navigate Lake Tahoe’s waters. The Tahoe Boating app informs boaters and paddlers about Lake Tahoe, no-wake zone boundaries, area attractions, and ways to enjoy the lake safely and responsibly. Tahoe explorers can download the free Tahoe Boating app from either the Apple or Android app stores or at tahoeboating.org. Interactive mapping in the app provides users with real-time location and direction of travel on the lake. Location information allows boaters to see their position in proximity to Lake Tahoe’s no-wake zones, which require boaters to stay under 5 mph within Emerald Bay, 600 feet of shore, 100 feet of swimmers and paddlers, and 200 feet of structures.
Hantavirus Case Confirmed
The Washoe County Health District confirmed a case of the Hantavirus in South Reno. This is the first reported case of the virus, which manifests itself as a rare respiratory disease, in Washoe County since 2017 when two cases were reported. The virus is spread by breathing in or touching viral particles after contact with certain rodents, usually deer mice, in this area. There is no known cure for Hantavirus, but Washoe County encourages infected individuals to seek medical help immediately, as early recognition and treatment has been known to improve symptoms. The county encourages caution when hiking in backwoods and the use of gloves and urges precaution when dealing with rodent remains, dwellings, and waste.
I-80 Boreal Westbound On-ramp Will Be Closed Sept. 5-23
Caltrans is currently working on emergency repairs to the concrete slabbing on the westbound onramp at Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Road. The repairs are to fix deep ruts caused by winter chains and heavy traffic, and vehicles will be rerouted via detour signs to the Donner Lake exit. Though repairs are scheduled to be completed by Sept. 23, Caltrans warns that weather and delays could postpone the on-ramp’s reopening and will be posting updates on Twitter and Facebook at Caltrans District 3.
Capital Public Radio TahoeLand Podcast Launched
In the first episode of a new Capital Public Radio podcast focused on Tahoe research and climate change and other threats to the lake, UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center Director Geoff Schladow speaks with host Ezra David Romero and researchers Adrianne Smits and Steve Sadro. The inaugural episode, titled That Blue Hue, will be followed by a continued exploration of Tahoe as a unique case study with its millions of visitors each year, and lessons that can be learned from the region in combating climate change. The first episode is out now, and can be found along with future episodes on capradio.org, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
North Lake Bike Sharing Program Takes Off
NORTH LAKE TAHOE
Placer County announced the approval of an agreement with Zagster, a company that specializes in “micro-mobility solutions,” for a three-year bike sharing pilot program consisting of a fleet of 15 bikes. The bikes will be available at five drop-off and pick-up locations along the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. The program expands on an existing partnership between the bike sharing company and the Tahoe Truckee Airport District. Proposed locations in Kings Beach are the Brook Avenue parking lot and the plaza along state Route 28 at the Coon Street roundabout. In Tahoe City, bikes are proposed to be at the Placer County Administration Building, Heritage Plaza, and the old firehouse. Bikes can be rented via a smartphone app or by purchasing barcodes at local stores, and membership gives you an hour with the option of paying hourly for further use.
TDPUD Warns of NV Energy Power Outages During Extreme Fire Danger Season
The Truckee-Donner Public Utilities District is urging NV Energy customers to prepare for prolonged power outages. The warning comes as part of a new program under Public Safety Outage Management (PSOM) in which NV Energy will de-energize power lines into Truckee during extreme wildfire danger periods. Details on the PSOM can be found at nvenergy.com/safety/psom, alongside best preparation practices for potential outages.
TDPUD Hiring New GM, Seeking Input
The Truckee-Donner Public Utility District is seeking input from the community during the process of hiring a new general manager. In a crowd-sourced workshop on Sept. 18 at 11570 Donner Pass Rd., the TDPUD will seek in-person feedback from the community on what skills they hope the agency will prioritize in a new manager. The position of general manager and their staff are responsible for all district administrative affairs including budget, organization, operations, procedures, controls, and all matters pertaining to staffing. Feedback from the community at the meeting will be incorporated into the job description and hiring process, a move which Shanna Kuhlemier, TDPUD District Clerk, told Moonshine Ink has never been done before in Truckee. “We’re really trying to dive in to have the public have input on those skillsets for the next general manager,” she said. “We’re really excited to let this process go through and let the board hear from their constituents on this one.”
Kings Beach Elementary Upgrades Complete
From the last day of the 2018-19 school year and throughout the summer, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District worked on the final phase of modernization of the core area of Kings Beach Elementary School. Improvements include the new installation and repair of existing roofs, new windows in the multi-purpose room, interior and exterior paint, a new kindergarten playground, landscaping, new main corridor flooring and ceilings, and fire alarm system upgrades. A new classroom wing opened up for back-to-school Sept. 3.