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Soroptimists give $3,600 in scholarships, honor women for Truckee service

Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner hosted its annual Celebration of Women at the Community Arts Center in March with over 60 community members in attendance.

Four women and one high school girl were honored.

“These honorees are remarkable women who inspire us to give more to our community and have the courage to overcome obstacles that we face,” Soroptimist President-Elect Pati Johnson said.

Three Live Your Dream awards were given (to women who are head of household pursing higher education):

Mariela Bolanos is pursuing a degree in special education at Western Nevada College. She has worked for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District for the past 11 years as a paraprofessional. Her career goal is to become a teacher. She is the mother of four children. She received $1,500.

Adela Ortiz is a junior at UCLA (currently on the Dean’s List). She is completing her bachelor’s degree in sociology and plans to go to law school. Her future ambitions include making Truckee an even more vanguard community particularly for vulnerable women. She received $750.

Brandi Dalton is majoring in psychology and is completing her third semester at Sierra College. Her career goal is to be a child psychologist. She is the proud mother of 16 and 17 year old sons. She received $750.

The Violet Richardson Award is given to a high school girl who volunteers in the community and that was awarded to Megan Dalicandro. She inspired the Soroptomists with her volunteer efforts for suicide prevention and as a Renown Hospital volunteer. She received $300 for herself and $300 for the nonprofit of her choice.

A Woman of Distinction award is presented to a strong and compassionate woman who through her professional and personal efforts is making an extraordinary difference in the lives of women and girls. Alison Schwedner accepted the award after a moving tribute from River Coyote, last year’s winner.

Source: Soroptimist International of Truckee Donner

Area skiers impress in Far West season finales

Local youth skiers wrapped up the Far West alpine season earlier in the week with competitions at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Northstar California Resort and Sugar Bowl.

The annual Far West Tech Finals were contested at Northstar and Sugar Bowl, bringing more than 200 skiers to the resorts for the final events of the season.

Racing began March 29 with women’s slalom and men’s giant slalom at Sugar Bowl.

Misel Marovt, of Sierra Nevada College, skied to the slalom win with a combined time of 1 minute, 35.22 seconds. From there, athletes from Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy took over, posting the next five fastest times. Georgie Sullivan (1:35.91) led the way, followed by Abigail Larrabee (1:36.86), Elizabeth Scott (1:37.05), Sage Piper (1:38.83) and Maddie Welling (1:39.24).

Women’s racing continued the following day at Sugar Bowl with another round of slalom. Sugar Bowl’s Sullivan would edge Marovt by 0.05 with a combined time of 1:30.96 to take the slalom victory. Larrabee was again third with a combined time of 1:31.37.

The competition shifted to Northstar on Sunday for the first of two days of giant slalom racing. After not competing in slalom, Northstar Ski Team members Zoe Huml and Zazie Huml went one-two to open racing at the resort. Zoe Huml posted a combined time of 2:11.72 to claim first. Zazie Huml finished with a combined time of 2:12.09 for second. Sugar Bowl’s Sierra Kim (2:13.60) landed on her first podium of the Tech Finals with a third-place finish. Sullivan (2:14.05) was fourth.

The Far West season then concluded last Monday with another round of giant slalom at Northstar. Zoe Huml would duplicate her performance from the day before, racing to a first-place finish with a combined time of 2:07.37. Sullivan came in second with a combined time of 2:08.32, finishing her Tech Finals with a first-place finish and a pair of second places. Teammate, Sierra Kim was third with a combined time of 2:08.32.

On the men’s side, Squaw Valley Ski Team’s Jordan Cashman put on a show during the weekend, taking first place in three of the four events and second in the other.

Nickco Palamaras, of Las Vegas team Longhaul Sports International, edged Cashman by 0.02 during Friday’s giant slalom race at Northstar to pick up the win. Palamaras would race to a second-place finish the following day at Northstar. Sugar Bowl skiers Jack Schaffner and Dylan Thomas each skied to a third-place finish during the two day’s of racing at Northstar. Thomas went on to finish second during Sunday and Monday’s slalom events at Sugar Bowl. Sierra Nevada College’s Vidar Widing was third during Sunday’s slalom event, and Sugar Bowl’s Isaac Mozen was third in the following day’s race.

Squaw boys sweep U12 Championships

Local youngsters were in action last week at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area for the U12 Championships.

Skiers from the boys’ Squaw Valley Ski Team swept first place during the four events, and were led by Oscar Whelan, who posted the fastest combined time to win last Thursday’s slalom race. Whelan was second the following day in slalom, and then closed the U12 Championships by winning last Sunday’s giant slalom event. For his performance, Whelan was named the winner of Far West Skiing’s Allan Cup, which goes to the top male and female athletes.

Squaw’s Florian Standteiner took wins in slalom and super-G. Standteiner was also runner-up during the opening round of slalom races. Squaw’s Macallan Rocco posted a pair of podium finishes, taking third in Thursday’s slalom event and third in super-G. Sugar Bowl’s Dreyson Rahlves also landed on the podium in two events with a second-place finish in super-G and a third-place finish in slalom. Squaw Valley’s McKinley Mercer was second in giant slalom, and Kirkwood Ski Education Foundation’s Kash Van Kirk was third to round out the podium finishers on the boys’ side.

In girls’ racing, Squaw Valley’s Chloe Ronning posted the best result of any local skier, claiming first place in last Saturday’s super-G. Mammoth’s Maya Eisner was second, followed by Squaw’s Julia Cunningham in third. Eisner and teammate Ashlynn Parsons were first and second, respectively, in last Thursday’s slalom event.

Squaw’s Esme Roberts landed on the podium the following day with a second-place finish in giant slalom. Roberts was also third in slalom. Kirkwood’s Autumn Ellingford won the event. Ellingford also won giant slalom and was third in slalom to win the Allan Cup on the girls’ side.

Squaw Valley Ski Team’s Simone Dessens was awarded the Marco Sullivan Cup for reportedly coming to the aid of a teammate who was buried in the snow. Dessens found the downed skier and cleared an airway, possible saving her teammate’s life.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.

Principal’s Corner: Meeting the needs of all students at Truckee’s Glenshire Elementary

At Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, every student is different. Their needs are different, and the way they learn is different. Each school focuses on the individual and adjusts instruction to meet their students’ needs. But what does this look like?

At Glenshire Elementary, the math accelerated learner program is one way we adjust instruction to meet the needs of our students. This program is offered from third to fifth grade through flexible student groupings. Pre-assessments are done before each math unit in third through fifth grade to determine the level of understanding of concepts, as well as the level of mathematical thinking, using the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Can students solve problems in multiple ways? Can they explain relationships in problem situations? Are they able to critique the reasoning of others, constructing viable arguments, and using appropriate tools strategically? Based on these assessments, a student may stay in the classroom for one unit, while in another unit, the student travels to a different class for extension lessons. One of the classrooms a student may travel to is accelerated learner with Mrs. Donahue.

In the accelerated learner program, students dive deeper into math concepts and work to apply the math to real-world situations. They ask questions like “How many students will fit on the playground?” Then they use Google Earth to capture authentic data to answer the intriguing question.

In a different scenario, students become video game developers for Mojang, the developers of the popular Minecraft game. Mojang has recently been receiving many bug reports about their crafting table feature and has hired the students to resolve the problem.

Fifth-grade students in the accelerated learner classroom apply the concepts of volume to a real-world packaging problem. They calculate the smallest box possible for the items ordered. No more gigantic delivery boxes with one tiny item if these students were in charge!

When students are appropriately challenged, they get excited about what they are learning. In our accelerated learner math classroom you will hear comments like “Oh, class is over already? I can’t wait for tomorrow so we can finish this project.”

Thanks to our Parent Teacher Organization, we offer a wide range of before and after school enrichment classes as well. Classes include violin, guitar, ukulele, drumming, hip hop, chorus, martial arts, yoga, science and track. With the academic support and opportunities to extend learning during the school day and beyond, we are able to meet the needs of our students.

I feel so lucky to be part of this amazing school. Our students have a sense of joy when they come to school; they are engaged and want to be here. Our staff is passionate and dedicated, and they create the caring environment we are known for. We put kids first, and students thrive as a result!

Kerstin Kramer is principal at Glenshire Elementary.

North Tahoe’s Ferre, Mercogliano among NIAA’s top student-athletes

Two of North Tahoe High School’s top student-athletes have been recognized as among the best in Northern Nevada.

Seniors Thomas Mercogliano and Jillian Ferre were recently named Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association / One Nevada Credit Union Top 10 Student-Athletes of the Year for Northern Nevada, and will each receive a total of $1,000 in scholarships from the association and credit union.

The annual award, according to the association, is given to not just the top high school athletes in Nevada, but to those students who exemplify total school and community involvement. Mercogliano and Ferre will be recognized at a banquet at the Peppermill  Reno Hotel Resort on Tuesday, April 30.

“This is an outstanding event which recognizes student-athletes who exemplify what high school activities and athletics are all about,” said Executive Director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Bart Thompson in a statement. “While the requirements sound restrictive, we know these student-athletes exist … it is our goal through the Top Ten program to find and honor these superb individuals.”

Mercogliano is a three-sport athlete this season, having played football, skied, and is now on the Lakers track and field team. The North Tahoe senior owns one of the most prolific stat lines in Nevada high school football history and was named Class 2A Northern League MVP this past season. He is also an Eagle Scout, and volunteer at Project MANA.

This past football season, Mercogliano, who was also named first-team all state, threw for 1,960 yards and 19 touchdowns, and led the Lakers with 1,378 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

For his career, the four-year starter will go down as one of the most productive players in Nevada high school history. Mercogliano is one of four players, regardless of class, to surpass 10,000 total yards of offense, finishing his high school career third all time with 10,806 yards, which is the most ever by a Class 2A player.

Mercogliano then transitioned to skiing this past winter and helped the North Tahoe boys’ alpine team to a third straight combined state championship.

Mercogliano is also set to have his No. 12 football jersey retired, becoming the second North Tahoe athlete in school history to receive the honor. He will head to Occidental College next fall, joining the Tigers football program as a quarterback.

Skiing, cross-country, track, soccer — Ferre has done it all at North Tahoe

Ferre has excelled in every sport she’s participated in this past year.

The Lakers senior led the North Tahoe girls’ cross-country team to a fifth straight state championship last fall, finishing the state championship race second individually to capture silver. Ferre took first place at the Class 2A Northern Region Championships, and won the Yuba-Sutter Invite.

North Tahoe’s Jillian Ferre was named to the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association / One Nevada Credit Union Top 10 Student-Athletes of the Year for Northern Nevada.

On the slopes, she is one of the area’s top up-and-coming alpine skiers. Ferre spent most of the winter competing nationally, racing in the North American Cup and in other International Ski Federation events. During the season she’s had several top-five finishes. Her best result came at a National Junior Race at Alpine Meadows where she finished second in slalom.

The two athletes selected from North Tahoe are the most for school since the award was first handed out in 1996. Mercogliano and Ferre are the seventh and eighth student-athletes chosen from North Tahoe. Coach Warren Mills was also selected from the school in 2014.

Nevada County supervisors implement new rules for accessory dwelling units

Owners of “granny units” can’t turn them into short-term rentals under new rules passed Tuesday by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors made the change, one of many to the county’s accessory dwelling unit ordinance, in their attempt to bring more affordable housing here. Other tweaks include removing a requirement that the property owner live on land with a granny unit, and defer certain fees, if the unit meets specific requirements.

The changes become effective in 30 days.

Check back for more on this story.

‘A quick and successful rescue’

The Town of Truckee Police Department and the Truckee Fire Protection District rescued a 7-year-old girl, who had fallen between the side of a house and several feet of snow.

“(The family was) on vacation; she was playing outside on the snow,” said Sgt. Lisa Madden. “Where they were staying in their vacation rental, the heat from the house had made this little cave area, which went all the way to the ground.”

The youngster reportedly fell into the crevice between the house and approximately 6 to 8 feet of snow. Truckee police were the first to respond to the incident, followed by the fire protection district.

Crews worked for roughly 30 minutes, according to Madden, to free the young girl.

“She put her own harness on, put her own helmet on and they pulled her up,” said Madden.

“Really it was the fire department that did the work. They had all of the equipment.”

As spring storms continue to impact the area, and the snowpack melts, the department cautioned locals and visitors to be aware of their surroundings.

“We want to remind everyone of the dangers of these ‘snow cave’ areas, and with the warming temperatures we advise to stay clear of these areas, as they can be very unstable,” the Truckee Police Department posted to its Facebook account.

“Thanks to Truckee Fire for a quick and successful rescue.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.

Truckee to move more focus to housing update

The lack of affordable housing in Truckee continues to be a large focus with the town council, which is moving forward to dedicate more resources to the Housing Element in the General Plan update.

“This is one of the community’s priorities,” said Denyelle Nishimori, community development director. “More than half of our residents are paying more than they should be for housing and we should be concerned about that.”

Committing more of the town’s resources to completing the Housing Element update may involve using currently contracted consultants to do a more detailed update. According to a staff report, dedicating more resources to the planning division would allow the town to do the necessary environmental work and rezoning to increase capacity on key housing sites.

It would also allow the town to make more educated decisions about which housing projects are right for Truckee, the report said.

“We need to be looking at this creatively,” said Council Member Anna Klovstad. “Our community really believes that maintaining Truckee as an authentic mountain town, where people are able to live, work and play, is critical to our identity. This is the path forward.”

“More resources for the housing element is absolutely the right way to go,” said Council Member Morgan Goodwin.

The town has held two housing workshops, one in November and one in February, to gather community input on future housing. The workshops presented four focus areas with the potential for future housing projects. These included the downtown area, the Gateway area near the Tahoe Forest Hospital, the Brockway corridor that includes Joerger Ranch and Soaring Way, and the North 89 corridor that includes Gray’s Crossing parcels.

Out of these four areas Nishimori said participants in the workshops favored more housing in downtown Truckee than other focus areas. Additionally, a diverse housing range was also a popular topic raised among the participants.

While town staff is still trying to determine what the community wants, Nishimori said “we’re not afraid of change.”

Currently, the town is on a tight deadline as they must adopt a Housing Element by August or face penalties from the state. If the town goes out of compliance with state regulations it may lose some of their regulatory authority, according to Nishimori. For example, a project that would normally go through review through the Planning Commission would be streamlined and only be subject to staff review to ensure it meets General Plan criteria before it is cleared.

Contrary to the previous Housing Element update, which was a four-year period, this update will last for eight years. According to Town Manager Jeff Loux, staff will be able to revisit the Housing Rlement down the road to update it, if necessary.

“We have to continually pay attention and modify even through this eight-year timeframe,” said Nishimori. She said this will ensure that the town is ready to meet the state’s expectations, as well as that of the community during the next cycle.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.

20 candidates looking to fill Montgomery’s Placer County supervisor seat

Placer County has received 20 applications from candidates looking to fill Jennifer Montgomery’s seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Candidates seeking the board’s appointment are Jason Adair (Auburn), Gordon Ainsleigh (Meadow Vista), Steve Aldridge (Auburn), Jim Gray (Auburn), William Groth (Auburn), Cindy Gustafson (Tahoe City), Kevin Hanley (Auburn), Anders Hauge (Meadow Vista), David Johnson (Colfax), Christopher Kershner (Auburn), Gary Mapa (Applegate), James Nieto (Auburn), Joseph Offer (Applegate), Aaron Rudnick (Tahoe City), Timothy Sands (Auburn), Paul San Gregorio (Foresthill), Dennis Schlumpf (Homewood), Dan Warren (Tahoe Vista), Richard Warren (Auburn) and Mark Wright (Colfax).

A candidate must be appointed unanimously by the remaining board members within 30 days of the vacancy and be a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to their appointment.

The board will hear the issue at their April 9 board meeting. If a unanimous vote can’t be made the appointment will be forwarded to an April 22 meeting. If the board cannot make a unanimous vote by May 1, then the Gov. Gavin Newsom will select a supervisor.

Montgomery announced earlier this month that she is stepping down to accept an appointment by Newsom as director of the state’s Forest Management Task Force.

Montgomery concluded her service as supervisor on March 31 and began her new position on April 1. Her current term as supervisor will expire in 2020.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.

LOCALS ONLY? Developer: Housing for local residents coming to Truckee this fall

Housing units built exclusively for local residents will be opening up to tenants this fall with construction of a 138-unit residential project at 10470 East Jibboom Street nearing completion.

Though the planning process has been ongoing for two years, developers finally broke ground in late 2018.

“To work on a project for two years then finally see it go vertical is awesome,” said Mike Foster, a partner with Triumph Development, the company building the units.

The apartment buildings will have a total of 33 studios, 54 one-bedroom units, 42 two-bedroom units, nine three-bedroom units, with barbecue and picnic areas, a bocce ball court, a volleyball court, playground and rooftop decks.

In addition to the residential units, the project will include a 114-room SpringHill Suites hotel on a 2.8 acre parcel. Triumph turned the hotel development over to Glacier House Hotels; it is expected to be done by September, according to their website. The hotel will include an exercise room, pool room, small market, prep kitchen with breakfast center and a meeting room and offices.

According to a town staff report the hotel will provide 40 to 42 jobs.


Of the 138 apartment units, six are proposed to be income-restricted workforce housing units for the hotel with the rest to be deed restricted to full-time residents.

Foster said that all the tenants must be working 30 hours a week in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District boundaries.

“We were trying to figure out a way to achieve the locals housing but not have to meet that certain threshold of income,” said Foster.

With new building complexes came a need for new infrastructure, Foster said, some of which the Town of Truckee took on, including the installation of a roundabout at Jibboom Street and Donner Pass Road.

“We said if you do that, we’ll deed-restrict 100 percent of our units,” said Foster.

Additionally the developer will be expanding Jibboom Street 600 feet to the west, creating sidewalks and extending water, gas and electricity lines.

During the planning process, Foster said he had 50 meetings with residents, the chamber of commerce, the downtown business association, and other community groups to ensure that the project met the community’s needs.

“We were telling them what we were doing and getting feedback so we could create the best project possible for the town of Truckee,” said Foster.


Despite gaining approval from the town Foster said there were still hurdles to get over before breaking ground.

“It’s a difficult place to build. Truckee and the Tahoe area have a lack of housing. Going through this process you can understand why,” he said.

One challenge for developers in California are energy-efficiency regulations set forth by the state in Title 24.

“I know what it’s trying to achieve but it makes it tough for a developer trying to make a project come to life, and still make the bottom dollar work,” said Foster.

The development company originally planned on breaking ground during summer of 2017 and completing the project by spring of 2018. However, Foster said the funding they were relying on through the Department of Housing and Urban Development fell through.

He said 13 months into the process the department did not approve financing for the project as they did not believe Truckee qualified as an area in dire need of housing.

“Because we’re doing 100 percent deed restricted in a market that we know needs housing as bad as it does, we thought we had the perfect project for them,” he said, adding the need to find other routes of financing delayed construction until fall of last year.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.

Nevada County woman says Joe Biden inappropriately touched her while working in his U.S. Senate office

A Nevada County woman has added her voice to a recent spate of allegations that former vice president and possible presidential candidate Joe Biden touched her when she worked in his U.S. Senate office.

Alexandra Tara Reade said that in 1993 she was in her mid-20s when Biden, then a senator from Delaware, touched her several times making her feel uncomfortable. Reade said her responsibilities in the senator’s office were reduced after she refused to serve drinks at an event — what she called a desire of Biden’s because he liked her legs. Reade said she felt pushed out and left Biden’s employ in August 1993 after some nine months.

A spokesman for Biden couldn’t be reached for comment.

“He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck,” Reade said. “I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that.”

A confidant of Reade’s at the time, granted anonymity by The Union, confirmed that Reade relayed the story shortly after the events occurred.

“Back then, back there, things just happened,” the friend said.

Reade is the most recent woman to publicly share her story about uncomfortable encounters with Biden. Time.com states former Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores told her story last week. Flores said Biden approached her at a 2014 campaign rally and kissed the back of her head. A second woman, Amy Lappos, said Biden touched her face and rubbed noses with her at a 2009 fundraiser.

Caitlyn Caruso said Biden put his hand on her thigh and hugged her at a university event. D.J. Hill said Biden in 2012 touched her shoulder before moving his hand down her back.

Other women have defended Biden in the wake of recent allegations against him. Stephanie Carter, wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, appeared in a photo used in a misinformation campaign against Biden. She called the former vice president a close friend in a USA Today story.

Biden in a Wednesday tweet said he understands social norms are changing.

“And I’ve heard what these women are saying,” Biden’s tweet states. “Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”


Employment documents provided by Reade show that she worked in Biden’s office from December 1992 to August 1993.

Reade recalled a handful of times Biden touched her. On one occasion they were before a group of interns when he put his finger on her neck. She doesn’t remember how many times Biden touched her in that manner, she said.

“I was trying to be seen as a professional,” Reade added.

Reade said her expulsion from Biden’s office stemmed from an early 1993 staff argument over the suggestion she serve drinks at an event. According to Reade, Biden wanted her to serve because he liked her legs. Reade didn’t hear Biden make that suggestion, instead learning of it through his staff’s argument. Reade opted against serving drinks, a move she believes sidelined her career.

The friend in whom Reade confided at the time said they discussed Biden. Reade asked her friend if she should take any action. Being young and relatively new to D.C., she wondered if anything was wrong with Biden’s behavior.

The confidant said she asked if Reade would let her younger sister work in the office. When Reade said “no” to the hypothetical question, her friend said Biden’s actions weren’t appropriate.

Reade said she spoke to U.S. Senate personnel about her concerns. Word got back to Biden’s office.

“My life was hell,” Reade said. “This was about power and control.”

“I couldn’t get a job on the Hill,” she added.

In June 1993 Reade found herself in an office without windows. Two months later she left Biden’s office, she said.

Reade said Biden’s senior staff protected the senator. She was considered a distraction. Reade said she didn’t consider the acts toward her sexualization. She instead compared her experience to being a lamp.

“It’s pretty. Set it over there,” she said. “Then when it’s too bright, you throw it away.”

Reade said she tried to share her story when she worked for Biden, but was told to say nothing. Then Biden ran on Barack Obama’s ticket. Reade thought he may have changed.

Reade said she rethought her years-long role as a foot solider for the Democratic Party when she learned of Flores’ disclosure.

She wants more than “Sorry” from Biden.

“‘I changed the trajectory of your life,’” she wants to hear him say. “‘I’m sorry.’”

Contact Alan Riquelmy at 530-477-4239 or at ariquelmy@theunion.com.