Norm Nicholls: Penning a column from Kidd Lake |

Norm Nicholls: Penning a column from Kidd Lake

By Norm and Alan NichollsWednesday column

I am writing part of this column at Kidd Lake on Donner Summit. We are camping with a group of friends enjoying this little known lake that is so close to Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. This camping tradition began nearly 20 years ago and there has only been one year when we were unable to secure reservations (they need to be made in early February).Kidd Lake is a man-made lake owned and managed by PGandamp;E as part of the Drum/Spaulding Hydroelectric System. The storage of water in Kidd Lake, Cascade Lakes, and other Sierra Lakes helps insure enough flow through the power houses downstream. This year the lake level is quite high, the water is warm, and we are having a great time. Different families cook dinner each night, so the chores are spread amongst us and we all get ample time to enjoy this nice little lake that is only 35 minutes away from Truckee. It is also close enough so working stiffs like us can enjoy the afternoons and evenings, sleep over, then get back to town the next morning for work. Times are tough … Admittedly our local economy, especially in the construction and related trades and businesses, has been greatly affected by this recession. Most every household has been affected in some way, unemployment is up, our schools have been affected, the volume of real estate sales has been affected, our tax base has been affected, tourism has been affected, our services have been affected and unfortunately some of our friends and neighbors have been forced to move elsewhere in order to make ends meet.It is tough times, but the spirit of our communities continue to be high, and it takes times like these to fully appreciate how important it is to have good friends, neighbors and colleagues, and to fully appreciate just how beautiful a place we live in. I recently got an e-mail from a friend from Galveston, Texas. As you may remember, Galveston took a direct hit from Hurricane Ike last year. Not a lot was reported about this destructive hurricane since the news media was preoccupied with the Obama/McCain presidential debates.My friend, Amelia Collins (78 years old) wrote on July 7: andamp;#8220;Norm, yes we had a lot of tourists over the 4th of July holiday. We hope they left lots of money. There are still thousands of people (including her) that have not been able to return to their homes yet. Insurance companies have been very slow in getting money to those affected and FEMA’s regulations have made the situation worse. Currently our population has gone from 67,000 to 42,000. The city is hurting, businesses are still closed, schools are having problems, and there are not enough people paying utilities and taxes to keep the basic infrastructure afloat.andamp;#8221; So folks, it could be worse. Time to help our Seniors … As many of you know, Sierra Senior Services has also been affected by these challenging economic times including reduced funding and a decrease in donations. Per their recent information release, andamp;#8220;While demand for our services has increased by 32 percent the past year, our ability to raise funds has decreased and our collective revenues and donations are down about 30 percent.andamp;#8221;Currently a challenge grant by an anonymous donor has been made in support of Sierra Senior Services hot meal programs. Up until July 31, this donor will match, dollar for dollar, all donations made to the Seniors. We hope you join us and other members of the community in maximizing this generous donation and to keep the Meals-on-Wheels and the Senior dining room open for as long as possible.Contact Sarah Deardorff at (530) 550-7600 or mail your donation to Sierra Senior Services, P.O. Box 4152, Truckee, CA 96160 today! All donations, big or small, will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!Great job … The Donner Pass road/bike lane project along the north shore of Donner Lake came out great. I was originally skeptical about spending so much money in order to develop a bike lane. The result, however, not only created a bike lane, but also made the road way and drainage along the side much safer for bikes and autos alike. Also it looks like the property owners fronting Donner Pass Rd. still have stair access to their homes which, at one point, was somewhat in doubt. Good job.Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty in Truckee at 11500 Donner Pass Rd.

Last week’s question … Keith Nikkel is the former owner of Ponderosa Deli in downtown Truckee who now bakes the many varieties of Truckee Sourdough Bread and distributes this scrumptious bread to many stores and restaurants in Northern California and Reno. Dean and Robie Litchfield, Mike Barna, Norm and Karen Justesen, Eileen Lyon, Mary De Lisle and my daughter, Christy Nicholls were this week’s winners. Christy used to work for Keith at the Deli some 20 or so years back. Fabulous bread, Keith, keep up the good work!This week’s question … What was the original name of the hotel/casino built in Incline Village, which is now the Hyatt? Bonus question: Where did the money come from to finance the original hotel/casino? Call us at (530) 550-5035 or e-mail us at with your answer.

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