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Appreciating athletes and a call to Caltrans

Norm and Alan Nicholls
Caring About Truckee

I (Norm) had the privilege of coaching youth sports in Truckee for 23 years. I have coached Little League, Buddy Werner Ski Racing, California Youth Football, AYSO soccer (just the little guys), high school junior varsity baseball and high school junior varsity and varsity softball.

Watching and coaching kids from a young age through their high school years has been incredibly rewarding. The challenge to coaching is to try to make each individual the best he or she can be, and in the case of team sports, to group these individuals together to form a competitive team.

Over the years I have been asked by parents whose children are just entering youth sports programs, what should they do to prepare their little ones for this new experience. I tell the parents that “they” need to attend as many games as possible, to be positive, and to cheer their children on regardless of the result. The rest will take care of itself. I remind them that at the beginning ages, the most important things for the children are the parade, the uniforms, and the treats.



As I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics many things went through my head. I reflected on the successes, the disappointments, the medal winners, and also the fact that most of the athletes’ efforts weren’t even televised or recognized. I started thinking that for many of the hundreds of elite athletes who worked so hard to get to this pinnacle of winter sports, their rewards, too, were the parade, the uniforms, and the special treat of being part of something special. They are all winners, and we salute them.

Alan, Alice my wife, and I went to see the University of Nevada, Reno vs. Akron basketball game on Friday, Feb. 17. On the way to Reno it was beginning to snow and the forecast was for heavy snow later that evening. The Wolfpack played a great game and won by more than 20 points. Since the game ended about 8 p.m., we decided to stop for some sushi prior to our return trip home.



Later, as we were heading towards Boomtown, one of the freeway advisory signs said “Chains required ahead over Donner Summit.” About another mile down the road, another sign said to tune the radio to the local Highway Advisory Radio Station channel. As I tuned in, the message was in progress and we heard “due to numerous spinouts, all westbound traffic is being turned around at the stateline. This message will be updated as conditions change.” The message recycled and began again stating “This is the highway advisory network. As of 3:30 p.m. due to numerous spinouts …” It was now 10 p.m.!

Being locals, we decided to proceed to stateline to see what actually was going on. There was chain control, but no closure. We wonder how many cars had turned around and people’s holiday weekend plans interrupted, based upon Caltran’s failure to update their message.

This was the second time this season we have gone through chain control. Both times the radio messages were dated and erroneous for the current conditions. If anyone from Caltrans reads this column, we hope you will pass this information on to your superiors and to those who are in charge of the advisory network. Your commitment and the technology of the equipment you use to keep the roads open are to be applauded. But your efforts to keep the driving public informed of conditions leaves a lot to be desired.

The answer we were looking for to last week’s question was Vail’s Pharmacy located on Donner Pass Road, where Tahoe Forest Hospital currently houses its administration and billing departments. We had a record 19 correct responses with Denise Hastings being the early bird winner earning her three chances at our raffle.

Longtime locals Bea Rogers, Pat Northrop, Jeanette Harrigan, Verna Painter, and Annie Raber joined 85-year resident Mary De Lisle in identifying Lloynd’s Drug Store in downtown Truckee as being the predecessor to Vail’s. “It was located west of the Sierra Tavern,” said De Lisle. She also thinks that there might have been a Rexall Drug Store downtown even earlier.

Other winners included Lillian Richards, Ray Craig, Sandy Watters, Karen Myrtle, Joan Jones, Bette Meslis, Betty Baker, Donna Bergot, Leah Krone, Steve Lindroth and Rick Hauff.

Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Road.


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