Restored Animal Welfare Services Coming
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Through restorative efforts and careful consideration of what would best serve the community, the Lake Tahoe Humane Society board of directors has decided to transition services for the South Lake Tahoe area to the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) and dissolve the organization. This solution will immediately restore animal welfare services in South Lake Tahoe — which have been missing for the last two years — while creating a circular support system of shared resources for comprehensive care of pets in the entire Tahoe Basin. Both organizations have a strong mutual respect, aligned mission, and long-term vision to best support area pets and their owners. Moving forward, LTHS board members will join the HSTT team to deliver top-notch services to animals in the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond, stretching as far north as Sierra County and as far south as areas in Douglas and El Dorado counties.
Moratorium on New Shorezone Structures Lifted
On Jan. 9, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) released a series of updated permit applications for shorezone projects and activities under the recently adopted Shoreline Plan that is taking effect this year. The plan sets development caps and regulations for new shoreline structures such as piers, buoys, and public boat ramps and creates a framework for marinas to enhance their facilities if they incorporate environmental improvements into the project. It also creates new programs to ensure shoreline structures and boating activity do not harm the environment, scenery, or recreation experiences at Lake Tahoe. Adopted by TRPA’s governing board in October 2018, the Shoreline Plan lifts a longstanding moratorium on new shorezone structures including private piers and buoys at Lake Tahoe. The plan authorizes up to 12 private piers permitted every two years, with a cap at 128 total. Info: trpa.org/permitting/permit-applications/
$80K for Restoration of Popular Tahoe Rim Trail Section
Thanks to the generous contributions of private donors, the nonprofit Tahoe Fund has achieved its $40,000 fundraising match goal to allow further restoration of the Tahoe Rim Trail within the Desolation Wilderness, meaning $80,000 in total will be contributed. One of the most scenic hiking, horseback riding, and backpacking sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail, the section of trail in Desolation has been significantly degraded over time. This is due to increased use combined with extreme weather events impacting safety, recreational experience, and water quality. Over the next three years, the plan is to have two Tahoe Rim Trail Association volunteer trail crews and one American Conservation Experience worker on the trail each summer. Plans also include replacing all of the signposts along the co-located Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail in Desolation Wilderness, approximately 20 posts. Info: tahoefund.org
Land Trust and Service District Pursuing Acquisition of 30-acre Olympic Meadow Property
Roughly 30 acres of property owned by one of the valley’s founding families might be preserved by a unique joint effort between the Truckee Donner Land Trust and Squaw Valley Public Service District. The Olympic Meadow property has been owned by the Poulsen family since 1942, and the district is working with the Truckee Donner Land Trust to acquire the property within a very short time frame. With a contract signed to move forward, the land trust and district will work with the Poulsen family to set a final price. If you are interested in hearing more about this project and being involved in the public process, more information will be available at the next district meetings, all held in the community room at 305 Squaw Valley Rd. in Olympic Valley.
Airport Considers New Traffic Control Technology
The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is studying the possibility of implementing ADS-B at KTRK, known as the Truckee Airport. Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) is the Next Generation (an FAA initiative to modernize its practices) solution mandated by the FAA for air traffic control in the national air space across the U.S. skies by Jan. 1, 2020. It’s designed to act as a data network of satellite and ground station coverage painting a full traffic picture for pilots and air traffic controllers. The district has been working to gain FAA permission to add ADS-B surveillance service at KTRK for the past two years. Staff expects a contract and a final plan for installation, pending final board approval in early 2019. The advanced air traffic control system is estimated to cost approximately $2 million.
While Real Estate Median Price Continues to Cimb, Overall Sales Falter in 2018
According to Chase International, million-dollar home sales were the foundation of the Lake Tahoe real estate market in 2018. Homes sold for over $1 million increased by 19 percent, raising the median price of homes in the region by 12 percent to $652,750. While the overall dollar amount that homes sold for increased by 18 percent, the actual number of homes sold decreased slightly by 3 percent, which reflects the current market’s rising home prices and limited inventory. The Reno-Sparks real estate market saw a slight decline in sales in 2018. Overall sales volume dropped 1 percent and the number of homes sold dropped 13 percent. Million-dollar home sales drove the market and saw a 52 percent increase from last year. The number of homes sold for under $1 million declined 14 percent.
WinterWonderGrass Raises $5,000 for Camp Fire Relief
In response to the devastation caused by the Butte County Camp Fire in November 2018, WinterWonderGrass announced that $10 from every ticket sold over the month of December would be donated straight back to the communities affected. Thanks to the overwhelming response by festivalgoers, WinterWonderGrass donated over $5,000 to the relief efforts of its local partners, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Klean Kanteen.
Tahoe Forest Health Rolls Out New Financial Customer Service Program
Tahoe Forest Health System (TFHS) announced a new financial customer service program to assist patients in the navigation of financial matters involving their care. The program consists of a team of trained professionals who can assist a patient with any questions or concerns related to billing, insurance, and payment options. Representatives are available to explain charges and answer questions about their bill, accept payments or set up payment plans, add or remove coverages, explain insurance benefits, research refunds, create itemized statements, resolve disputes, provide cost estimates for a medical procedure or office visit, screen for financial assistance, answer questions about MyChart, update patient information, and complete release of information forms.
Most Affordable Homes in California
In California, it has been found that even the most affordable areas in the state are still not considered affordable. Homearea.com recently created the Cities in California With the Most Affordable Homes ranking using the most recent Census Bureau data of cities with a population of 60,000. Cities were ranked on a scale of 1 to 15, with lower values equating to more affordable housing. Anything under 3 is considered affordable. The California median multiple is 7.1, which is higher than the national median multiple of 3.6. Here is a list of the top five cities with the most affordable homes and respective ratings:
1. Visalia, 3.6
2. Clovis, 4.1
3. Bakersfield, 4.2
4. Hesperia, 4.3
5. Victorville, 4.3
AlertTahoe Funding in Newsom’s First Budget Proposal
Gov. Gavin Newsom called for $105 million in increased wildfire safety funding on Jan. 8, also including a large chunk of funding for early detection technology like the AlertTahoe system that has been installed across the basin in an initiative driven by the Tahoe Fund and other partners. The proposed budget includes “$9.7 million general fund for dedicated staff to review data gathered via remote sensing technology, situational awareness software, and satellite imagery, which will support CAL FIRE’s incident commanders in developing more effective initial and extended attack fire suppression strategies during wildfire events, and 100 additional fire detection cameras that will be linked into the existing command centers to provide additional data on conditions.”