| SierraSun.com

Tony Commendatore appointed to Truckee Town Council

Tony Commendatore, a managing partner at Aegis Insurance Markets in Truckee, was appointed to fill the vacant Truckee Town Council seat on Tuesday night, with a three to one vote. 

 “I want to leave my fingerprints and make this a better place than when I got here,” said Commendatore. “With my fresh viewpoint and background I think I’d be a great addition to the town council.”

Commendatore was up against former Council Member Patrick Flora, who had served since since 2012 but chose not to run in the November 2018 election, and Truckee Planning Commissioner Jan Zabriskie.

He will serve until the November 2020 election. The seat will then be up for grabs in that election and the winning candidate would serve until the November 2022 election. With three seats open in the 2020 election, candidates will have to specify if they are running for the four-year term seats or the two-year term seat. 

The applications received by the town were reviewed by a committee of Council members David Polivy and Jessica Abrams and town staff. Candidates who made it past the initial review process went before council on Tuesday.

Sand Harbor to close for several hours Aug. 7 for 2018 Lake Tahoe Summit

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Since the presidential forum in 1997, the annual Lake Tahoe Summit has become an important yearly gathering of federal, state, and local leaders dedicated to restoring and sustaining Lake Tahoe as one of our most precious environmental treasures.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the 2018 Lake Tahoe Summit, hosted by U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and the Tahoe Fund, will be held at Sand Harbor State Park. Registration is required to attend the summit.

Additionally, registered attendees from the general public will be required to take the shuttle to access the event. Visit tahoefund.org for information.

Sand Harbor will be closed until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, and the East Shore Express will not be entering the park during the event.

Only registered guests attending the Lake Tahoe Summit will be permitted to enter the park during this time.

The park will re-open to the general public at approximately 1 p.m.

To learn more about Nevada State Parks and discover your next adventure, visit parks.nv.gov.

Truckee Sanitation District celebrates longtime employee’s retirement

The Truckee Sanitary District recently announced the retirement of longtime employee, Lee Wright.

Wright started with the district in 1990 and over a career spanning 28 years worked his way up from maintenance worker to supervisor and eventually to O&M superintendent.

At a celebration, Board member Denny Anderson presented Wright with a Resolution of Appreciation, thanking him for his years of service and work ethic. General Manager Blake Tresan complimented Wright for his commitment to protecting the public health and environment of the Truckee area and wished him well in his retirement.

Wright, who lives in Sierraville, said he plans on remaining in the Truckee/Tahoe area and looks forward to spending more time with his family and continuing to grow his catering business “When Pigs Fly BBQ.”

The Truckee Sanitary District is the public agency responsible for the collection and conveyance of wastewater in the greater Truckee Area. The district holds board meetings on the third Thursday of each month at its Administration Building, 12304 Joerger Drive, Truckee.

For more information, call 530-587-3804 or visit www.truckeesan.org.

Source: Truckee Sanitary District

New website launched for Lake Tahoe ecotourism seekers

It only takes one click to get closer to Lake Tahoe’s unique natural environment thanks to more than 20 environmental organizations in the Tahoe Region.

Take Care is a group of organizations that loves Lake Tahoe and strives to make it easier for people to find fun and interesting ways to learn more about Tahoe. Working together, the group launched the newly redesigned and easy-to-use Takecaretahoe.org – a single information source for all environmental education activities. The funding for the new site was made possible by a grant from AT&T.

“We’re excited to see the launch of this great new tool for people to get involved in taking care of Lake Tahoe,” said Marilee Movius, community engagement manager for the League to Save Lake Tahoe and a member of the Take Care Tahoe team. “People are passionate about this special place, and now there’s an even easier way for them to find out how they can help protect it.”

Beach cleanups, wildflower hikes, insightful discussions, and environmentally-friendly festivals are just a few of the opportunities people can find on the new site. Timely information on all the latest environmental events and volunteer opportunities around the lake is also available, with a search feature that allows people to find activities during specific timeframes. People can also discover information on more than a dozen centers where they can spend time learning more about the science, history, and environment of Tahoe.

“There are so many wonderful ways for visitors and residents to connect with Tahoe, but it hasn’t always been easy to find these opportunities in the past,” said Amy Berry, CEO of Tahoe Fund and a member of the Take Care Tahoe team. “We developed this site to help make it easier for people looking for this information to be able to find it. It is a great tool for our tourism industry.”

Training is available for front-of-house staff that would like to know more about the site for their interactions with guests and visitors. If you have an event to share or ideas for the new site, we would love to hear from you. Please send training requests, and questions or comments about the site to Adam Jensen at (775) 589-5251 or ajensen@trpa.org.

Take Care Tahoe is a collective group of more than 20 organizations that loves Lake Tahoe and strives to see more people connect with its beautiful natural environment. Take Care Tahoe believes Lake Tahoe is an environmental success story and a global role model for sustainability. We’re here to connect more people to the Tahoe environment and nurture that culture of sustainability.

Source: Take Care Tahoe

Truckee Elementary hosting groundbreaking ceremony

To celebrate the final phases in an array of construction projects, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony at Truckee Elementary School on Wednesday, May 2 at 4 p.m.

The elementary school renovation will be the last project to be completed, following similar projects at Truckee High School, Alder Creek Middle School, Glenshire Elementary and Sierra Expeditionary Learning School.

Truckee Elementary was first constructed in 1957 and was last modernized in 2001, shortly before construction of the gym in 2002. With a total budget of $27,917,457 the project includes construction of new classrooms to replace old modulars, expanding and relocating the library, construction of a new cafeteria and kitchen, an upgrade of the fire alarm systems and security system installation. Construction is expected to be completed in October 2020.

The renovation projects were made possible by the approval of Measure U by voters in November 2014, which aimed to fund facility upgrade projects in Truckee area schools. Since the measure’s passing nearly every project has been completed with exceptions to Truckee Elementary and Truckee High School which is estimated for completion in December 2019.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Truckee Sun. She can be reached at hjones@truckeesun.com or 503-550-2652.

Truckee Sun’s picks for top events

Here are the Truckee Sun’s picks for top events not to miss in coming days:

Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to Truckee

Celebrate Earth Day with Mountain Area Preservation at the Downtown Community Arts Center for an evening full of award winning films focused on adventure, activism and conservation.

This is the third Wild & Scenic Film Festival hosted by MAP in Truckee

When: 5-9 p.m. today

Where: Downtown Community Arts Center, 10046 Church St., Truckee

Info: www.mapf.org

Open Mic Night at Art Truckee

All levels welcome of singers, actors, poets, and more. Sign up early for your time slot or just show up.

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Art Truckee, 10072 Donner Pass Road (second floor)

Info: www.arttruckee.com or 530-448-3423

Live Music with Pete Charles & Gary Stutz

Every Friday Night enjoy live music with Pete Charles and Garry Stutz in the Olympic Valley.

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Auld Dubliner Tahoe, 1850 Village S Rd, Olympic Valley

Info: aulddublinertahoe.com or 530-584-6041

Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival

The Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival is a volunteer-run, nonprofit event to recognize, celebrate and promote the region’s unique beauty. Enjoy live music and entertainment, and learn how to preserve and protect our local and global natural resources.

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

Where: The Village at Squaw Valley, 1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley

Info: www.squawalpine.com or 800-403-0206

Multi-Color Screen Printing

Learn all the basics of screen printing: how to create and cut out a stencil, pull a successful print and how to layer and register stencils to create multi-color prints.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Atelier, 10128 Donner Pass Road, Truckee

Info: www.ateliertruckee.com or 530-386-2700

Michelle Moonshine plays Moody’s

Michelle Moonshine shares her original songs rooted in her Honky Tonk heroes of the past and tone reminiscent of a young Emmylou Harris. Michelle and company (John Davis / Electric Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica & Bronk Onion /Upright bass, Vocals) deliver a performance that feels both raw yet refined.

When: 8:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats, 10007 Bridge St., Truckee

Info: www.moodysbistro.com or 530-587-8688

TDPUD staff member receives Distinguished Service award

Stephen Hollabaugh of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership and support of public power.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals for their many years of commitment and contributions to their public utility as well as their support of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and other public power organizations. He was recognized at the recent 2017 member meeting of UAMPS.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this award by my peers in public power. UAMPS does a great job serving their member communities and we all succeed based on shared interests and joint action,” Hollabaugh said.

Hollabaugh directs electric operations at TDPUD, and he has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry. He first worked with Pacific Gas and Electric Comopany, and then with the Truckee-Donner PUD for over 23 years. He also developed Truckee Donner’s power supply and transmission infrastructure. He is aslo responsible for electric operations and management of the district’s transmission, distribution facilities, GIS, IT, and power supply resources.

UAMPS is a joint action agency, established in 1980, providing wholesale electricity and electric energy services to 46 public power utility members in six western states.

The TDPUD is a nonprofit, publicly owned utility agency created in 1927 and overseen by a locally elected board of directors.

Kelsie Longerbeam is the news, business and environment reporter for the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. She can be contacted at klongerbeam@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram @kelsielongerbm.

Free spay and neuter services available to combat Nevada County’s ‘cat crisis’

Nevada County’s feral cat population is out of control, and Sammie’s Friends is preparing to combat the problem, said Joanne Castles, a volunteer and board member for the organization.

Sammie’s Friends, a nonprofit, runs the Nevada County Animal Shelter. Castles said the shelter was home to over 250 cats last month — 150 more than it can comfortably handle. About 900 cats per year are brought to the facility.

Castles said the cat population is “hectic and overwhelming,” and something must be done.

Castles and her husband Dan have partnered with Cheryl Wicks, also with Sammie’s Friends, to help curb the ever-growing issue. Together, they have pledged to match any donations to a fund that will pay for spaying and neutering Nevada County cats.

Beginning this week, low- income residents can call any local veterinarian and make an appointment for a cat to be spayed or neutered. Castles said residents should ask, when scheduling appointments, for the service to be paid for by the “2017 Nevada County Cat Crisis” fund. The appointments will be completely free for residents, and vets will be reimbursed by Sammie’s Friends, Castles said.

So far, community members have donated $10,000 to the fund. Castles said she hopes to raise a total of $50,000 for the program, and that number will be matched.

The ultimate goal, Castles said, is to spay and neuter every cat in the county.

The program will operate until funds run out, she said.

Tax-deductible donations can be made through the Sammie’s Friends website at sammiesfriends.org. Contributors can also drop off checks at the Nevada County Animal Shelter, 14647 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, or at Sammie’s Friends Nifty Thrift Shop, 627 E Main St., Grass Valley. A “GoFundMe” pagecalled “The 2017 Nevada County Cat Crisis” is also available for donations.

For questions or concerns, contact Castles at sammiesnifty@gmail.com.

Volunteers sought for July 5 beach cleanup

Calling all Lake Tahoe lovers: The League to Save Lake Tahoe is hosting several beach cleanups July 5 in an effort to make sure any trash left behind from this year’s festivities ends up in the right place.

All visitors are encouraged to leave no trace, which means to pack out whatever is packed in. Litter can pose a threat to wildlife and have a negative impact on Lake Tahoe’s famous crystal blue waters, yet every year it shows up.

Volunteers cleared 1,600 pounds of trash, including 5,266 cigarette butts during the 2015 July 5 beach cleanup. In 2014, they collected 2,300 pounds of trash.

This year’s events are being held at Nevada Beach, Regan Beach, Kiva Beach, Commons Beach and Kings Beach from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Volunteers are asked to bring a reusable water bottle, gloves if they have them and any friends who may be interested in participating.

Visit keeptahoeblue.org/july5 to find out more.

Road construction projects halted for July 4th holiday in Lake Tahoe region

The California Department of Transportation is halting construction projects in the city of South Lake Tahoe and on the West Shore for the Fourth of July holiday, the department announced Friday.

CalTrans is in the first year of a three-year project on U.S. 50 in South Lake Tahoe from the “Y” intersection with California Highway 89 to the Trout Creek Bridge. Work on the $57 million project includes a new drainage system to filter out pollutants from stormwater, rebuilding curbs, gutters and sidewalks, widening the highway to provide 6-foot shoulders, and resurfacing.

It’s CalTrans’ final project as part of the multi-agency Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program. Work could resume by Wednesday, July 5 at 8 p.m., but likely won’t start again until Thursday morning, July 6.

CalTrans is in the final few weeks on another water-quality improvement project on California Route 89 from Tahoma to Tahoe City. The $70.1 million project started with preliminary work in 2012 and is scheduled to wrap up by the first week of August. New drainage systems, curbs and gutters have been constructed, the highway has been widened and resurfaced. The final half-mile of the nearly 9-mile project is being built in the Sunnyside area.

Work on the 89 project won’t resume until 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 9.

The Nevada Department of Transportation also announced that work on its Nevada Highway 28 shared-use path, water quality and safety project near Incline Village would halt for the holiday weekend as well, resuming Wednesday, July 5 at 6 a.m.

Motorists traveling to Lake Tahoe over the weekend or for the Fourth of July are encouraged to use CalTrans’ QuickMap at quickmap.dot.ca.gov or download the QuickMap app on iTunes or Google Play for real-time traffic conditions and estimated travel times. Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623). Travelers can text “TahoeRoads” to 99000 to opt in to receiving text message updates on travel conditions in the South Lake Tahoe area.