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NEWS BRIEFS | August 9 - September 12, 2018

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Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

NTPUD Announces Brad Johnson, P.E. as General Manager/CEO

NORTH LAKE TAHOE

Brad Johnson, P.E., was announced as the next general manager/CEO of the North Tahoe Public Utility District at the July 17 board of directors meeting. Since 2007, Johnson has served as the director of engineering and asset management for the Incline Village General Improvement District. This announcement preceded the news that Duane Whitelaw, who retired after four years as NTPUD general manager on June 15 and 42 years of public service, passed away on July 23 after battling cancer.


Steve Teshara elected CALCOG Board President

CALIFORNIA

Steve Teshara will serve as the president of the California Association of Councils of Governments (CALCOG) for the upcoming year, representing the Tahoe Transportation District. CALCOG’s membership includes 47 regional governments that are involved in the planning, funding, and development of the state’s transportation infrastructure. They range from large entities like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area and Metro in Los Angeles, to rural county-based agencies like the El Dorado County Transportation Commission and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency.



The New Face of the Placer County TOT Budgets

NLTRA Funding and Scope of Work Approved

PLACER COUNTY

On June 26, an updated contract, budget, and scope of work for marketing services provided by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association was approved by the Placer County Board of Supervisors. According to Liz Bowling, NLTRA director of communications and membership, over the past year significant changes have been made to rectify the relationship between Placer County and the Chamber/Resort Association/CVB. The new arrangement is the result of work by new NLRTA CEO Cindy Gustafson, Bowling said. Gustafson has expanded the NLTRA board of directors to better represent the full scope of Eastern Placer County, ensuring a diverse business presence. She has made staffing changes within the NLTRA for better efficiency, strengthening the organization and improving its accountability to Placer County. The stronger partnership is also a result of successful collaboration between Gustafson, the NLTRA board, and Erin Casey, principal management analyst for Placer County, Bowling said.


First CAP Committee Projects Funding Approved

PLACER COUNTY

The first round of funding for the recently formed Capital Projects Committee was approved on July 24 by the Placer County Board of Supervisors in the amount of  $4,997,179 to be used for various projects recommended by the committee. The committee was presented with 29 applications for funding to the tune of over $36 million in total requests. The committee ranked these projects by priority to be presented to the board of supervisors. The largest chunk of approved funding, over $3.5 million, is for sections of the Resort Triangle Trail System, a planned multijurisdictional loop connecting Truckee/North Lake Tahoe from Kings Beach to Tahoe City to Truckee.

Cohousing Project Closes Land Deal

TRUCKEE

On July 15, a group of Truckee residents celebrated the purchase of 7.9 acres of industrial redevelopment property on West River Street and the future site of their cohousing neighborhood, a community designed and financed by local residents. The Truckee Cohousing group, comprising approximately 20 member families, has been meeting regularly since mid-2017 and recently formed as Truckee River Commons, LLC. Prior to closing on the property, the cohousing group was engaged in impromptu work parties to clean up the site. The group has hauled off three large dumpsters and about 100 yards of junk and trash. Info: truckeecohousing.com


Placer County Hears Public Comment on Squaw Transportation District Formation

OLYMPIC VALLEY/ALPINE MEADOWS

On July 24, Placer County Board of Supervisors held a public meeting on the formation of a transportation Tourism Based Improvement District (TBID) for Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. The district would be a micro mass transit district, an evolution of the traditional TBID, but specifically based to provide transportation services. The proposed district will consist of a 1 percent lodging tax increase, as well as 1 percent of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings’ lift ticket revenues. It would have a five year life, and would implement a fixed-route micro mass transit shuttle service that would deviate from the route at the request of the rider.


Tahoe Fund Announces 2018 Signature Projects

LAKE TAHOE

The Tahoe Fund has three new projects. The fund is currently seeking donations to the Desolation project that will help fund the Tahoe Rim Trail Association to rehabilitate a section of the trail, improve safety for trail users, and reduce the flow of sediment into alpine lakes and streams. Every dollar given to the project will be matched up to $40,000 through the end of 2018. The Tahoe Fund has a goal of raising $15,000 to benefit the Kings Beach Trail, which aims to transform a current off-highway vehicle trail with major erosion issues into a multi-feature trail for use by mountain bikes, motorbikes, hikers, and equestrians. The third project has a goal of raising $15,000 for the Sugar Pine Foundation in an effort to plant 100,000 seedlings around the Basin. Volunteer plantings are scheduled at the Emerald Fire and Angora Fire scars as well as at Spooner Summit, Sand Harbor, and Tahoe Vista, and along the new bike path from Incline Village to Sand Harbor. The Tahoe Fund also launched its new Take Care Tahoe website on July 2. Info: tahoefund.org, takecaretahoe.org


Celebrate Town of Truckee’s 25th Anniversary

TRUCKEE

On Sept. 8, Truckee community members are invited to a town picnic at the Donner Lake West End Beach to honor the 25th anniversary of the Town of Truckee’s incorporation and 155 years since its establishment. All residents are welcome to celebrate the Truckee Way with music by The Berm Brothers and Richard Blair. The town urges residents to ride their bikes and use the free bike valet, or use free bus transportation from Truckee neighborhoods to West End Beach, where a new community photo will be taken. Info: 25thanniversarytruckee.eventbrite.com


Placer County Purchases Dollar Hill Property for Achievable Housing

PLACER COUNTY

The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted on July 24 to initiate the $3.6 million purchase of an 11.4-acre parcel in the Dollar Hill area of Tahoe City, referred to as the Nahas property, to pursue a housing project. The unanimous vote of approval sets in motion a project that could deliver much needed affordable housing to a community that is in the grips of a severe housing crisis.  On Aug. 1, Placer County and the Mountain Housing Council’s community meeting in Tahoe City gathered input on all elements of the project, and will include that feedback in its request for proposals from developers. Info: mountainhousingcouncil.org


West Nile Virus Confirmed in South Meadows Area

RENO

The Washoe County Health District confirms that mosquito samples from the Damonte Ranch and Hidden Valley areas have tested positive for West Nile Virus — the first positive tests in Washoe County in 2018. When the virus identification is confirmed, the health district increases mosquito surveillance and conducts controlled early-morning insecticide fogging in the area. Take steps to avoid exposure to mosquitoes this summer: Wear proper clothing, use repellent, and minimize standing water near your home.


Ozone Air Pollution at Worst Level in 10 Years Due to Wildfires

WASHOE COUNTY

Several wildfires in Nevada and California have caused air quality to deteriorate. Health officials in Washoe County Health District’s Air Quality Management have reported that the county experienced the highest level of ozone air pollution since 2008. Recently, an Air Quality Index for ozone was 140, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. The highest ever for ozone in Washoe County was an Air Quality Index of 164 in 1984. Ozone and fine particulates in the air can harm health. Info: ourcleanair.com


Great Basin Bristlecone Pines Found to Repel Pine Beetles

CALIFORNIA

Great Basin bristlecone pine is the longest-lived, non-clonal species in the world, capable of living for more than 5,000 years. A new study found that these trees not only repel mountain pine beetles, but also don’t support the survival of the beetle’s offspring. “This has implications for how we can help protect other trees,” said Barbara Bentz, co-author of the study and a research entomologist with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. “These unique defenses could be used to develop strategies to protect other high value trees from mountain pine beetle attacks.”

 
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October 11, 2018