| SierraSun.com

Snowy crash injures two on Interstate 80

Two people were seriously injured and multiple vehicles were hit after a big rig lost control on Interstate 80 near Nyack Road Friday morning, authorities said.

The crash happened on westbound I-80, west of Yuba Gap, just before 9:45 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol website.

“There had been multiple collisions prior to this,” said CHP Officer Tim Brown.

Two vehicles had collided, causing minor damage, and both drivers had stopped on the side of the highway and gotten out of their vehicles to exchange information. A third vehicle then stopped to see if they were OK, with the female driver also standing on the side of the road, he said.

A big rig that did not have chains came around a curve and was going too fast. The driver hit the brakes and jack-knifed, hitting multiple vehicles and two of the people standing on the side of the road, Brown said.

The woman who was driving the third vehicle sustained major, but not life-threatening, injuries, while a man sustained moderate injuries, Brown said. Both were transported to regional hospitals.

The big rig hit a total of six vehicles, Brown said.

“Never stop on the freeway if you don’t have to, especially in the snow,” he said. “Drive to the next exit and stop there.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

Alpine wine: Sample vino at one of these Sierra wine bars

Though you may be far from the vines, Lake Tahoe is home to eclectic joints known for their wines. From an 80-foot yacht launching from the South Shore to a cozy bar with knitting nights and board games on the North Shore, choose from thoughtful wine selections brought to you by passionate proprietors.

The Idle Hour

Come for the wine and stay for the views at The Idle Hour’s lakefront tasting room and wine shop in South Lake Tahoe. With a selection of over 200 bottles, The Idle Hour specializes in boutique wines with a healthy representation of California, that you won’t find elsewhere. Nestle into one of the plush seating areas inside by the fireplace or on the heated deck with sweeping views of Big Blue, enjoy an 8 or 10 glass flight alongside a heaping charcuterie board.

“In wintertime, we have our hot spiced wine, which goes like crazy,” says Mark Winberg, manager of The Idle Hour. “We have to refill it a couple of times a day. It’s a secret recipe I’ve had for 30 years.”

With wine trinkets and accessories, as well as some Tahoe-themed art, The Idle Hour has a charming, relaxed atmosphere that you won’t want to leave.


Safari Rose

While other boaters pull their vessels out for the winter, the Safari Rose floats on with its twice daily cruises to Emerald Bay complete with a complimentary glass of wine (or champagne and beer). The 1959 yacht boasts a dining room, a salon with a fireplace and bar, a cozy enclosed fantail, and an upper-level sundeck for taking in 360-degree views.

Throughout the summer, the Safari Rose hosts California vineyards for tastings, but during the cooler months, guests can visit the full-bar to choose from an impressive selection of domestic and imported wines. The popular evening cruise to Emerald Bay is a great way to see the stunning sunsets courtesy of winter storms as the boat swings by the famed Vikingsholm castle and Fannette Island before returning to Ski Run Marina in South Lake Tahoe.

“Dress warmly and bring blankets so you can enjoy the views from outside,” suggests Shelly McCarty, operations manager of the Safari Rose. “It’s still a great time of year to be out on the water.”


Uncorked Tahoe

With locations in Truckee, Squaw Valley and Tahoe City, Uncorked Tahoe strives to “take the seriousness away from the wine, even though we take it seriously,” says Chris Barkman, who owns the trio of wine bars with his wife, Kelsey. From a seat at the inviting wood bar, choose from a rotating selection of wines for a flight while admiring the artful wall display of bottles.

“We’re very, very methodical about every bottle that goes on the wall and each wine is up there because it is the very best representation of that region, that appellation, that varietal,” notes Barkman.

With an upscale-meets-mountain-casual vibe, it’s the perfect spot to hunker down with a glass, buy a bottle for later, or even partake in a wine class for schooling on 5-6 wines from around the world.


Glasses Wine Bar

Kathleen McInnis-Martens and Rob Martens want you to think of their Incline Village wine bar, Glasses, as your second living room.

“We decided we wanted to make a coffee shop for wine because neither of us drink coffee, but we wanted that ambiance,” explains Kathleen. “We have couches and books and games, and even sell reading glasses. It’s a chill atmosphere.”

With 26 bottles of wine by the glass and roughly another 75 to choose from by the bottle, Glasses offers wines at all prices points. The wine bar also brings in live music and hosts book clubs, knitting nights and painting parties. The large chalkboard feature displays bottles as well as a “Buy a Friend a Drink” list for regulars.

“I really want to help people understand wine without the snobbishness that we hear some other places have,” adds Kathleen. “We want everyone to be really comfortable here.”


Black Bear Lodge

Located in the heart of South Lake Tahoe but with a middle-of-the-woods feel, Black Bear Lodge is a favorite spot to grab a glass or two for locals and visitors alike. After perusing the rotating list of small scale California vineyards, sip your Syrah in an oversized armchair beside the 32-foot river rock fireplace in the enviable mountain modern lobby. The room features floor to ceiling windows that show off the lodge’s tree-filled property and standalone cabins.

“We wanted to feature wines solely from California to give visitors and locals a taste of the area. There are vineyards as close as Apple Hill and all the way up-and-down California,” says Rachel Carson, who owns Black Bear Lodge with her husband, Greg. “There is really nothing more magical than sitting by the fire, sipping wine with friends and watching the snowfall out those great windows.”


Puppy adoptions, Give Back Tahoe Campaign highlight Giving Tuesday

From raising funds to adopting more than a dozen puppies, organizations and individuals were in the giving spirit on Tuesday, taking part in the global event geared toward generosity.

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe said within 5 minutes is received more than 100 adoption questionnaires for its 15 puppies up for adoption on Giving Tuesday. The humane society also said it’s raised more than $50,000 of a goal of $75,000, which will go toward continuing its programs. Donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar for the remainder of the day and can be made at www.hstt.org.

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundations kicked off Giving Tuesday by beginning its annual Give Back Tahoe Campaign. Through Dec. 15, donations can be made to a nonprofit of choice, which go toward the foundations challenge grants. The Give Back Tahoe challenge grants award nonprofits additional funding for pulling in the most money raised through the campaign. As of Tuesday, Achieve Tahoe leads the large organization category, Truckee Roundhouse is in first in the medium tier, and Headwaters Science Institute holds the top spot in the small organization branch. To donate to a nonprofit, visit www.givebacktahoe.org.

“This year we’re just really trying to stress that any amount can make a difference,” said Caroline Craffey, communications manager during Tuesday’s North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club forum. “We just know it’s been a tough year for the nonprfts and they can really use our help.”

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association also has a Giving Tuesday campaign, which will be matched up to $5,000. Donations, which go toward maintain and building trails in the Tahoe Basin, can be made at www.tahoerimtrail.org.

The League to Save Lake Tahoe also has a fundraiser going on today. Every dollar raised today, up to $30,000, will be matched and go toward the league’s restoration programs, combatting pollution, and halting invasive species. Donations can be made at www.keeptahoeblue.org.

The Tahoe Forest Health System is also joining in Giving Tuesday. For a $25 donation or more through the remainder of the day, Tahoe Forest is offering a chance to win an Epic Tahoe Local Pass for the upcoming ski season. To donate, visit www.tfhd.com.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

Lake Valley Fire’s Holiday Engine will be in driving through neighborhoods

Lake Valley Fire Protection District’s Holiday Engine will be driving through the community neighborhoods next month. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Holiday Engine will not be handing out candy canes this year.

Residents can wave and say hello from a safe social distance.

The schedule is as follows:

Dec. 11: Echo View Estates, Tahoe Mountain Road, Mule Deer Circle

Dec. 12: Lake Tahoe Blvd from Boulder Mountain Drive to Grizzly Mountain Drive

Dec. 13: West side of North Upper Truckee from Zuni Street to U.S. Highway 50, Chiapa Drive

Dec. 14: East side of North Upper Truckee from Grizzly Mountain to West San Bernardino Ave.

Dec. 15: Christmas Valley from Highway 50 to Grass Lake Road

Dec. 16: North side of Highway 50 in Meyers (lower Apache, Magnet School), behind Station 7 (Cornelian Drive, Navahoe Drive, Cheyenne Drive).

Dec. 17: North of Pioneer Trail from Highway 50 to Elks Club (Southern Pines Drive, Tionontati Street, Meadow Vale Drive), Player Drive

Dec. 18: Upper Apache Drive and Mandan Street

Dec. 19: Pioneer Trail from Busch Way to Washoan Blvd (Glen Eagles Drive, Hekpa Drive)

Dec. 20: Pioneer Trail from Washoan Blvd to Jicarilla Drive (Apalachee Drive, Nadowa Street, Susquehana Drive)

Dec. 21: Kokanee Estates (Marshall Trail, High Meadow Trail)

Dec. 22: Golden Bear Trail, Meadow View Estates (Plateau Circle, Cattleman’s Trail)

Dec. 23: Cold Creek Trail, Del Norte Street, Black Bart from Pioneer Trail to Meadow Crest Drive

For more information, call 530-577-3737.

New tool makes rural cell, Wi-Fi possible for Nevada County authorities

Nevada County’s rugged landscape can make communication for first responders difficult when emergencies strike in river canyons and parts of the county with limited telecommunications infrastructure.

Radio coverage can be spotty, and many times cell and data service are non-existent. Until now, the Incident Command Post in the field was not able to reliably share real-time data with the Office of Emergency Services nor the Sheriff’s Office Command Staff overseeing the incident.

Thanks to funding from a Federal Homeland Security Grant, which made this purchase possible, the Sheriff’s Office now has a device which provides critical cellular and Wi-Fi communications via satellite.

“Of paramount importance to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and the citizens of Nevada County is the protection of lives and structures from the threat of wildfire, and the safety of fire and law enforcement during wildfires. This tool will help us maintain real-time communications during an evacuation scenario, a remote rescue, or any other critical incident where communication is vital,” said Office of Emergency Services Emergency Operations Coordinator Sheriff’s Lt. Bob Jakobs in a news release.

Last spring, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office identified a critical need for consistent and reliable voice and data communications during emergencies and disasters, such as wildfire evacuations, throughout the entire county. The purchase of the SatRunner mobile satellite communications system provides that reliable connectivity anytime, anywhere.

The procurement of the SatRunner was made possible by the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) which is facilitated by the Office of Emergency services and supports the training and equipping of Public Health & OES personnel as well as county and municipal law enforcement and fire agencies.

For more information and to see the SatRunner in action, please visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nevadacountysheriffsoffice) for a video.

Source: Nevada County Sheriff’s Office

Shoppers, businesses brace for unique Black Friday

With Black Friday looming, local businesses in the Truckee-Tahoe area are left juggling the balance between discovering deals and battling through heightened regulations.

That’s led many local businesses to gear up for one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season.

“We know that during COVID times, it’s important for you to feel safe,” said Tahoe Mountain Sports’ Siobhan Kenney. “That’s why we are offering 30- or 60-minute private shopping appointments.”

Along Tahoe’s North Shore, regional businesses have teamed up to help make the holiday season more rewarding by offering a five-week scavenger hunt in order to drive locals and visitors to compete in shopping-related challenges.

“Many local businesses are struggling to survive, and employees may be laid off as we approach the holiday season,” said Jeffrey Hentz, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “I urge everyone to commit their support for small businesses and give gifts from the talented artisans and unique retail stores that comprise North Lake Tahoe’s five districts. Our shopping and dining choices are hugely impactful to local business success.”

The contest will kick off Saturday, and be held on the Goosechase app, which is free to download. Once users join the contest they will see more than 100 challenges to complete with awards being given out to teams and individuals. At the end, Shop Local customers will be eligible for a grand prize.

Along the North Shore, officials have swiveled their focus toward online shopping ahead of Thanksgiving.

“We have pivoted our marketing and communication strategies significantly,” said Liz Bowling, director of global communications & media relations for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “In past years the pre-holiday timeframe was an opportunity to promote travel to the region with a goal of supporting local businesses through shoulder season. This year we (the Marketing Cooperative) are focused on educational content that is rooted in COVID safety measures but also maintains a level of support for the restaurants and retailers struggling with new waves of restrictions. We have put together a comprehensive Know Before You Go Guide, which stresses the importance of planning ahead. We also recently launched the Takeout Tahoe initiative to highlight dining to-go options in North Tahoe.”

Read more about the shop local campaign on page 10.


Currently, shoppers in Placer and Nevada counties are under the state’s most restrictive tier, which prohibits gatherings and all non-essential activities between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

“We know from our stay-at-home order this spring, which flattened the curve in California, that reducing the movement and mixing of individuals dramatically decreases COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a news release. “We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly. Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.

“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge. We must be strong together and make tough decisions to stay socially connected but physically distanced during this critical time. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting public health officer. “It is especially important that we band together to protect those most vulnerable around us as well as essential workers who are continuing their critical work amidst this next wave of widespread community transmission across the state. Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again.”

Cases in the state have spiked by roughly 50% during the first week of the month, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom and California’s public health officials to heighten restrictions for local businesses and organizations.

Under the purple tier, of which 45 counties fall into, the state allows hair salons and barbershops to remain open indoors. Bars, breweries, gyms, places of worship and restaurants are required to serve patrons outdoors. Retail spaces including shopping malls can be open at 25% capacity.

To find more information on local restrictions, visit www.cdph.ca.gov.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

Truckee Tahoe Airport District grants $125,000 to Downtown Truckee Park Project

The Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe (CATT) has announced that their sister nonprofit CATT Community Project (CATT CP) has received approval of an agency partnership grant in the amount of $125,000 from the Truckee Tahoe Airport District (TTAD) to help fund the Downtown Truckee Park project.

Mark Tanner, president of Mark Tanner Construction, is driving the revitalization project in collaboration with CATT CP and a number of other local companies and organizations including the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District (TDRPD).

“We’re thrilled to have the airport’s support for the Downtown Truckee Park,” said Tanner. “With these funds in place, our next step is to launch the Buy A Brick Campaign – providing a chance for community members to be part of the legacy of this greatly needed, central downtown gathering spot.”

The Buy A Brick campaign kicks off Dec. 1, also known as the annual Tuesday Giving Day. Individuals, families and businesses can join in the movement by purchasing a personalized, permanently engraved paver brick for $300 each. The pavers are approximately 8 x 4 inches and will be installed on pathways that wind through the park. This fundraiser is the last piece of the puzzle needed to begin construction of the park.

Truckee-based High West Landscape Architects designed the park, which will be built on the TDRPD’s Community Arts Center property. The park will include an outdoor amphitheater, sensory garden, picnic area, benches and natural boulders that will creatively function as play structures.

The ADA-accessible park will serve as a welcome respite spot for people of all ages.

Upon securing the TTAD grant, Kellie Cutler, CATT’s executive director, marveled at what can be accomplished when community members come together to embrace a vision to replace an aging playground with something that offers so much more. “I’m hopeful that area residents will join us in supporting the creation of what will be a very special place,” said Cutler.

To purchase a commemorative brick, log onto DowntownTruckeePark.com.

The Contractors’ Association of Truckee-Tahoe Community Project has a mission to be a conduit for funds, materials, volunteerism and project coordination with the goal of restoration and construction of selected structures that are deemed beneficial to the community. Over the past 21 years, CATT CP has completed 25 projects assisting local nonprofits as a resource for a wide range of construction needs. CATT CP coordinates volunteer draftsmen, general contractors, suppliers and other professionals to meet community requests which are reviewed monthly by a seven-member board of directors.

Based in Minden, Nevada, with a satellite office in Truckee, Mark Tanner and his experienced team of professionals are at the forefront of the esteemed Lake Tahoe building community. The award-winning company is one of the most respected and established in the region. From remodels and renovations to ground-up construction of custom homes, it is Tanner’s goal to create livable, workable, flexible spaces unique to each client’s lifestyle. The full-service company also offers custom cabinetry and woodworking, a metal shop, and home care management service. For more information, go to MarkTannerConstruction.com or call 530-587-4000.

For more info visit DownTownTruckeePark.com.

Tahoe Institute for Natural Science celebrates 10 years: Organization brings people closer to nature through education, research

The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) is celebrating 10 years of connecting people to nature and inspiring new generations of stewards for the wonders of Lake Tahoe. Since 2010, the organization has engaged with over 56,000 students through in-school natural history programs, field trips and nature camps. They offer programs for people of all ages – hosting hundreds of presentations and guided nature outings for thousands of participants. All of their programs are supported by a foundation of important, ongoing biological research. In fact, TINS researchers have banded over 6,500 birds as part of local, regional, and world-wide migration studies.

“Tahoe is a global treasure that needs understanding and protection,” said Co-founder and Executive Director, T. Will Richardson, Ph.D. “Our ultimate goal is to create a community that cares about, and cares for, the natural world at Lake Tahoe and beyond.”

TINS has launched a new website to mark the anniversary: www.tinsweb.org, and the organization continues to deliver relevant and timely nature science programs despite the challenges of the current pandemic. TINS has pivoted to virtual classrooms and published free TaHome Nature Science curricula and a new Tahoe Nature Activity Book for students. TINS is working to ensure the community retains a meaningful connection to nature so vital to people’s well-being.

How to Get Involved

In conjunction with Giving Tuesday, TINS is inviting the public to join their efforts by supporting core nature education and research programs that inspire greater understanding of and connection to our natural environment. Connecting people with nature helps promote greater health and wellness in our community, especially during these stressful times. They welcome members to get involved, get outdoors, and join us in growing a community of caring for conservation of our natural resources at Lake Tahoe.

To become a member, donate or volunteer, click here: www.tinsweb.org/support-our-work.

California Highway Patrol preps for Thanksgiving maximum enforcement period

As Californians plan for the Thanksgiving holiday during the ongoing pandemic, the California Highway Patrol reminds everyone the rules of driving safety are just as crucial as ever.

To encourage safe travel, the CHP will enact a Maximum Enforcement Period beginning at 6:01 p.m. Wednesday, and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. During this time, CHP officers will be actively looking for unsafe driving practices as well as helping motorists in need.

“This year has presented us with many unforeseen challenges, but safety is still our priority,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a news release. “If you choose to travel this Thanksgiving weekend, our goal is to help motorists arrive at their destination without incident.”

Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic may be a bit lighter, but this is not an invitation to speed to your destination. The rules of the road still apply, and motorists should avoid driving tired, impaired, or distracted. Additionally, in an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission, Gov. Gavin Newsom has instituted a limited stay-at-home order from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., as well as a travel advisory, encouraging people to only go about essential activities during those hours and to self-quarantine for 14 days if they are arriving from another state or country.

Those who must be on the road, remember to buckle up. Proper seat belt use is the single most effective way to save a life in the event of a crash. When you are traveling for the holiday, or any time of the year, make sure everyone in the vehicle is safely secured before even starting the car, and that includes children being in the correct child safety seats.

During the 2019 Thanksgiving enforcement period, 42 people died on California roadways. Of the 27 who died within CHP jurisdiction, 11 were not wearing seat belts. The CHP also made 867 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of safety, service and security.

Source: California Highway Patrol

Truckee Optimist Club keeps tradition alive with Christmas Tree sales

The Truckee Optimist Club will once again be selling Christmas Trees at their lot at Crossroads Center located on the corner of Highway 89 south and Deerfield Drive. The lot will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 and daily through Dec. 23, or when the last tree is sold.

“We are hoping to make this Christmas as traditional as possible in spite of the COVID virus that has affected us all,” said Dan O’Gorman, Optimist Club Christmas Tree Chair. “At the same time, we will be raising money for the many youth organizations and activities that club supports.”

“The Optimist Club has been selling Christmas trees for well over 40 years, and this year the Truckee Optimist Club will be celebrating its 50th year of service to our community and our Truckee youth,” said Stacey Justesen, Optimist Club President.

There will be new procedures and COVID-19 protocols in place to keep customers, club members and volunteers safe. This may slow down the purchasing process at the lot, but the club is implementing these new sales techniques to minimize social contact.

“We will absolutely develop and enforce protocols for the protection of our customers and our workers,” said Justesen. “We are currently developing a drive-thru plan and we will constantly monitor State and Federal mandates and adjust our procedures accordingly.”

The club will also take orders over the telephone and will do home deliveries (at an additional charge) right to your driveway. This order and delivery service will be provided (once the lot is open) every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

For further information and lot hours, visit http://www.truckeeoptimist.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TruckeeOptimistClub.

For specific questions and orders, please call and leave a message on the club telephone number at 530-582-9062.

All proceeds from the sales of the trees go directly to the Truckee Optimist Club annual budget to fund scholarships, youth activities (educational and recreational) and grants for programs for Truckee Youth.

Source: Truckee Optimist Club