Meet Your Neighbor |

Meet Your Neighbor

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunGeorge Koster

I started coming here as a kid at the 4-H camp in South Shore. I grew up on a farm outside of Stockton, so I was in 4-H. I fell in love with Lake Tahoe. I moved up here full time in 2002. I was living in the Bay Area and worked for ebay. We bought a house in one of the oldest areas in North Lake Tahoe. The deed says the house was built in 1926. We found [out] it was rotted. We took all the rooms down. You couldn’t save it.

I bought a Squaw Valley Olympic participant’s pin. It’s hard to find original stuff.

I do an annual calendar each year with the historical society. I have always had a love of history. In addition to the 4-H Club, I was in the Boy Scouts’ Order of the Arrow. I did several papers on native Indian tribes in California. That is one thing that is missing. We’re starting to identify that people want an authentic experience [when they visit Tahoe]. If people wanted to find out about the Washoe, you’d have to go to the museum in Tahoe City. We want to do a Washoe Indian audio tour. Keith Voigt is trying to do that. We’re trying to get satellite museums. We’re trying to get a museum in Squaw Valley on the Olympics. That was a piece of history that put Lake Tahoe on the map. It’s one of those cultural assets that people have identified, but it is just sitting there.

I see us working as a region. What we’re missing is a regional vision. People come here to visit the whole region and we need to think as a region. How do you link it all together? Twenty years from now wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a train from San Francisco to Truckee to Reno? You wouldn’t need a car. I would love to see to see higher density walkable communities. I would love to see small business incubation. … I would love to see waterborne transit. One of the things I would love to see in 20 years is affordable housing. That’s why I’m on the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe. I would also love to see the new junior college being an incubator for a small entrepreneurial program.

I care a lot about the place. I am on the board of the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society, WHATT and the North Tahoe Business Association’s Main Street Program Economic Restructuring Committee. I also donate a portion of all my real estate transactions to Project MANA and the League to Save Lake Tahoe. It’s all about giving back to the community. We try to get agents to give back. Some of our agents give to Tahoe Women Services.

I do try to bike a lot. I like the whole idea of historical redevelopment. We’re trying to do re-development of Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Truckee and Reno. What would be wonderful is to take public transportation and put your bike on and go to another place. We’re so car-centric here. I do more road biking. One of the things I’ve been playing with is riding around Genoa.

I love the blues. One of the things I did in college was DJ. I was on the radio for 10 years. I got my FCC radio license when I was 16. What would be great is to have a low watt FM station here that is accessible to the community.

The Sun’s Kara Fox interviewed Koster for “Meet Your Neighbor.” Please send suggestions for “Meet Your Neighbor” to, subject Meet Your Neighbor.

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