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NEWS BRIEFS | March 10 - April 13, 2017

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Bigger is Better at Virginia City’s Testicle Festival


Would you believe there is actually a dryland oyster that can be found across the landlocked regions of the West? It’s such a rare delicacy that Nevada City has been holding the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry for 26 years now in honor of this intriguing dish. Seriously, Nevadans go nuts over this protein-rich snack, and more than a dozen cooks will assemble to fry, chop, grill, or sauté their package of oysters in order to achieve the prestigious title of “Best Oyster Fry Cook in the West.” Other events include the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Ball Breaker Saloon Crawl, a fun stroll through Virginia City’s various saloons offering samples, discounted beer, and specialty drinks throughout the day, in the hopes that some liquid will give you the balls to choke down a land-variety oyster.

Tahoe Mountain Resorts Offers $50,500 in Scholarships to Local Students


Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation (TMRF) is offering seven scholarships totaling $50,500 to eligible graduating seniors from the class of 2017 at Truckee and North Tahoe high schools who are applying to a four-year college. Applications will be accepted through April 3, with recipients to be notified at each high school’s awards night. One four-year scholarship is available annually in the amount of $30,000. TMRF provides six additional scholarships; one for $10,000, one for $6,500, and four for $1,000. Requirements are outlined in the TMRF scholarship application. Info:

Master Plan Approved by Board of Supervisors


The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted 5 - 0 in favor of the Northstar Mountain Master Plan in February. A roadmap for the next two decades, the plan is designed to help lengthen current guest stays and solidify Northstar as a premier destination resort. The plan includes approximately 293 acres of new ski trails, more than 700 acres of new skiable terrain, the addition of seven new lifts, snowmaking advancements, and skier services improvements. The final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the master plan was completed in 2014. Info:,

Kidzone Museum Requires Immediate Repair to Stay Open


The nonprofit KidZone Museum in Truckee suffered major structural damage during the powerful storms this winter, and without immediate repair it will need to be closed indefinitely. The KidZone Museum’s short-term goal is to raise funds to repair the damage to the tent structure. Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation has contributed a total of $15,000 in support of programming and the museum’s emergency request. A CrowdRise fundraising campaign has been established for those who are interested in contributing to structural repairs. To donate, visit

Placer County Approves Final Touches for Core Improvement Project


The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved plans and specifications on Feb. 21 that will complete the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project, including parking and landscape improvements, installation of railings, replacement of damaged bollards, and the correction of a drainage problem. The funding will construct a 29-space lighted parking lot at the west end, providing free public parking and connecting to pedestrian corridors by new sidewalks.  The total expected cost is $800,000, and the county estimates that half of that amount will come from the State Transportation Improvement Program. The remainder of the funding will come from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, transient occupancy tax, and Placer County traffic impact fees. The project is estimated to be completed by this fall.

TRPA Releases Blueprint for Transportation System


The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) released its Draft 2017 Regional Transportation Plan on Feb. 22. The long-term plan is updated every four years as a blueprint to prioritize and guide investments that will improve Lake Tahoe’s transportation system over the next 20-plus years. The major focus of this 2017 update is provision of seamless, more frequent, and free-to-the-user bus transit service throughout the Lake Tahoe region, as well as major improvements to Lake Tahoe’s active transportation network of trails, bike lanes, and sidewalks. TRPA produced the plan through significant collaboration with the Tahoe Transportation District and other local, state, and federal transportation partners, as well as public input from stakeholder groups and hundreds of Lake Tahoe residents. The draft is available online at

Transient Occupancy Tax to Fund New Trails, Transit System Upgrades


The board of supervisors approved Feb. 21 to fund 14 new projects in eastern Placer County to improve amenities for visitors and residents alike. The new projects, ranging from trail restoration to transit system improvements, will be grant-funded with $2 million from eastern Placer County transient occupancy tax revenues, with no cost to the county general fund. With this investment, Placer County has crossed the mark of $35 million in investments and leveraged more than $220 million worth of other monies for reinvestment in the visitor experience, as well as improved quality of life for eastern Placer County residents. Info:

Musician Gives Back to Community


Ian Ethan Case, former Truckee Nordic skier and multi-instrumentalist, and his wife Stephanie held a benefit concert in Truckee, which raised $1,700 for Mark Nadell, the Alder Creek Middle School Nordic coach who recently passed away. Case performed selections of his compositions on his double-neck guitars, a fretless electric guitar, several other guitars, and on a kalimba. He introduced his newest double-neck electric guitar, aptly named “the beast,” which took seven years to custom build. With Stephanie working Ian’s sound technology, together they create stunning works with live looping. Funds raised went to the Mark Nadell Memorial Fund and will support the ACMS Nordic program. Anyone interested in contributing to the fund may donate at Plumas Bank, 11638 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee.

What Traits Should a Town Manager Have?


The Town has launched a project to determine community feedback on what traits the incoming town manager should have, following the retirement of current Town Manager Tony Lashbrook. Find the survey at

Whistleblower Hotline Launches


The county has long had a fraud policy to assist employees with reporting suspected fraud, waste and abuse, but not in a confidential manner. However, under a $6,500 contract with Convercent, a compliance services provider, employees will now be able to report anonymously by phone and online 24/7. The contract as well as the county’s whistleblower program will be managed by the auditor-controller’s office. The hotline is expected to become available in early March.

Best in Basin Nominations


TRPA will be accepting nominations for their Best in Basin awards through March 31. The awards program was created to recognize projects that demonstrate exceptional planning and design and compatibility with Lake Tahoe’s environment and communities. There are five award categories for projects completed in 2016: building and general construction; water quality restoration and erosion control; defensible space and forest health; public and Environmental Improvement Program projects; and sustainability actions and projects. Find past award winners, nomination forms, and more info at

Resort Association Donates $5,000 to #Kylastrong


The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA) donated funds on Feb. 23 to support the Yorkey family, a cornerstone in the community in all aspects — from fostering small businesses to providing consistent neighborly support. Scott Yorkey has been a permanent fixture in the North Lake Tahoe culinary scene for more than a decade as the executive chef at Jake’s on the Lake in Tahoe City. In December 2015, his 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter Kyla was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and has since spent much of her time in the UC Davis Children’s Hospital receiving blood transfusions and chemotherapy treatments. Info:

Local Inspires Change at Women’s Policy Institute


In 2016, local social justice champion and Truckee resident Penny Morris was accepted into the Women’s Policy Institute of California. During her time there, Morris was on the domestic violence team, and her group was successful in getting important legislation passed to allow survivors of domestic violence to access expedited CalFresh services and be exempt from work training requirements. Starting in January, victims of domestic violence are now able to access this important safety net service with much greater ease. Morris is the children’s program manager at Tahoe SAFE Alliance. Info: California Partnership to End Domestic Violence,

School Administrators Recognized for Outstanding Leadership and Commitment


On Jan. 30, the Placer County Charter of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) recognized Nanette Rondeau and Milan Slikkerveer from Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) for their outstanding leadership. Rondeau, TTUSD’s transportation director, was named the 2017 Placer County Administrator of the Year. She has been part of the district for the past 20 years and has served as the transportation director for 13 years. The district’s executive assistant to the superintendent, Slikkerveer, was named Placer County’s Confidential Employee of the Year. She has been with the district since 1995.

Best for Women Award Celebrates Girl Empowerment


Soroptimist International of Truckee-Donner will be holding a Celebrating the Best for Women awards ceremony at the Community Arts Center in Truckee on March 16. The event will honor women for outstanding achievements through their professional, business, educational, and volunteer activities in keeping with a commitment to empower girls and women in the Truckee community. Recipients include Sophie Moeller for the 2017 Ruby Award; Baldamera “Mary” Rojas for the Live Your Dream Award; and Isabella Bono for the Violet Richardson Award. Info: March 16, 6 to 8 p.m., 10046 Church Street, Truckee.

Inaugural Sierra Poetry Festival Features Incredible Lineup


Nevada County Arts Council (NCArts) will present the inaugural Sierra Poetry Festival on April 1, an all-day event at Sierra College in Grass Valley. With partial support from the California Arts Council, activities will include a keynote address by California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia and an array of local, national, and international poets and performers. Among the lineup are Al Young, Kazim Ali, Genny Lim, Molly Fisk, Pablo Frasconi, Maya Khosla, Charles Entrekin, Gail Rudd Entrekin, Sands Hall, Gayle Brandeis, MK Chavez, Mel Pryor, Jahan Khalighi, Kirsten Casey, and more. Info: or

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June 14, 2018