State Business Owners Required to Provide Retirement Plan
An important deadline is on the horizon for California business owners. By June 30, employers with five or more employees are required to have a retirement plan in place for workers, either through a private-market option like a 401(k), or through the state-run CalSavers Program.
CalSavers is California’s new retirement savings program that will offer millions of workers in California the opportunity to get on track for the future. CalSavers is available to California workers whose employers don’t offer a workplace retirement plan, self-employed individuals, and others who want to save extra. Savers contribute to an Individual Retirement Account that belongs to them. Employers who don’t offer their own plan will register for CalSavers by the deadline and facilitate their employees’ access to the program.
More information about the program can be found at calsavers.com.
~ NLTRA enews
Tourism Cares Meaningful Travel Summit Comes to North Lake Tahoe
As part of its mission to champion environmental stewardship initiatives for Lake Tahoe, the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau encourages tourism professionals and local leaders with a commitment to the future of Lake Tahoe to participate in the upcoming Meaningful Travel Summit, happening May 18 to 20. The three-day event is a partnership with national nonprofit Tourism Cares and other local stakeholders. Those interested in participating can register on the Tourism Cares webpage.
The Meaningful Travel summits are travel industry-specific convenings supporting destinations worldwide through meaningful social impact experiences, inspiration exchange, and volunteering, leveraging the influence of travel businesses to make the greatest impact within a destination. The event will bring together 150 tourism professionals from around the country to share actionable best practices in destination stewardship and sustainability. The summit will also focus on hands-on volunteer activities in partnership with local changemakers.
The three-day event will bring tourism professionals from a wide range of companies to North Lake Tahoe and create genuine connections around shared commitments to sustainability. Participants representing major tourism partners include Brand USA, AAA, Allianz, Colette, the Travel Foundation, and many more. A list of participating organizations can be found here.
Tourism Cares with North Lake Tahoe will focus on climate change, conservation of our natural resources, and the critical role sustainability plays holistically for a popular tourism destination. Participants will contribute directly by taking part in several local volunteerism projects including clearing brush to protect homes from wildfire with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and supporting the UC Davis Environmental Research Center by helping with interpretive sign installation or the installation and maintenance of raised beds in the demonstration garden. A full list of volunteer activities can be found here.
The event is co-sponsored by North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, the League to Save Lake Tahoe, UC Davis Environmental Research Center, and the Tahoe Fund/Take Care Tahoe.
~ IVCBVB press release
Traffic Enforcement to Increase Under New Contracts With CHP
Speeders beware: The California Highway Patrol will step up traffic enforcement on county roads after the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved new contracts for the expanded service on April 19.
The approvals follow recent requests from residents for increased speed limit enforcement in communities spanning the county.
Traffic enforcement on the more than 1,000 miles of county-maintained roadways is the responsibility of the CHP, but the agency has limited resources for the large geographical region it patrols. The expanded enforcement on county roadways will be provided by off-duty CHP officers, avoiding impacts to its existing enforcement service in Placer County, which will also continue.
Contracts with the CHP’s Auburn and Truckee divisions will fund up to $190,000 in increased services for one year, starting June 1. A separate agreement up to $10,000 with the Gold Run Division is still being negotiated.
While enforcement areas may shift depending on community and county staff input, efforts will initially be focused on the unincorporated roadways with high traffic volumes and where the county’s Department of Public Works has received concerns about speeding from residents.
Traffic safety in Placer County is the shared responsibility of the CHP and the Department of Public Works. Public works continually evaluates and implements safety measures like speed limits, intersection controls and speed bumps, and works to educate the community about safety concerns.
~ Placer County press release
Nonprofits, Public Agency Team Up To Tackle Underwater Construction Debris
Monique Rydel-Fortner and Seth Jones have seen more of what lies underwater at Lake Tahoe than most. Unfortunately, that includes trash and lots of it — from drones, car batteries and sunken boats, to plate glass windows and enormous sheets of metal siding. For more than a decade, the SCUBA divers and co-founders of the Tahoe-based nonprofit Below the Blue have removed more than 100,000 pounds of foreign objects from the lake. Over countless dives, one source of submarine trash stands out as persistent but preventable: debris from shoreline building projects.
In cooperation with the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the underwater environmentalists are working to stop the illicit practice of using Lake Tahoe as a construction site dumpster. Below the Blue has recovered building materials ranging from wood and Trex decking to electrical and hazardous waste at sites where homes and piers are being renovated or replaced.
For shoreline construction debris, TRPA clearly recognized the problem. The agency responded swiftly and decisively by strengthening its permit process for construction projects along Lake Tahoe’s shoreline to manage the issue beforehand.
As of Jan. 1, the process for securing a shoreline construction permit requires the applicant to provide underwater visual documentation of the site prior to construction and once the project is complete. Prior to the recent change in permit language, TRPA code prohibited the disposal of construction material in the lake, yet the permits lacked accountability measures to ensure construction debris wasn’t discarded.
In addition to the new requirements for pre- and post-construction visual records, Below the Blue is working with TRPA to identify problem areas from past and ongoing construction projects, so that pollution can also be addressed.
~ Below the Blue, League to Save Lake Tahoe, TRPA press release
Tahoe Forest Hospital Now a Level III Trauma Center
Tahoe Forest Health System is proud to announce the American College of Surgeons has recently verified Tahoe Forest Hospital as a Level III Trauma Center.
This verification means the Tahoe Forest Hospital emergency medicine team has consistently demonstrated its ability to provide advanced trauma life support, evaluation, stabilization, and diagnostic services. It allows them to prioritize severely injured patients throughout their entire course of care.
The level of a trauma center refers to the kinds of resources available and the number of patients admitted yearly. As a Level III Trauma Center, Tahoe Forest Hospital provides 24-hour immediate physician coverage, incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program, has transfer agreements in place for patients requiring care at a higher level trauma center, and offers continued education for the trauma care team.
For more information about emergency care services at Tahoe Forest Hospital, visit tfhd.com.
~ TFHS press release
Nevada and Placer Counties Provide Microbusiness Grant Updates
NEVADA CITY, AUBURN
Nevada County has awarded $57,500 in relief funds to 23 microbusinesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. All microbusinesses received $2,500 in grant funding.
The 23 awarded businesses hailed from Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Rough and Ready, and Truckee. Diverse business types included graphic design, creative media, transportation, digital services, retail, illustration, forestry, hair styling, bodywork, performers, photographers, artists, childcare providers, and language and music educators.
Twenty microbusiness grants are still open on a rolling basis until filled. Eligible Nevada County microbusinesses are encouraged to apply for the grant funding as soon as possible. Microbusinesses are eligible to receive up to $2,500 in grant funding.
Find a complete list of eligibility and application information and frequently asked questions on Nevada County’s microbusiness grants website.
Placer County is launching the second round of grant funding for microbusiness owners who may have missed their opportunity for a $2,500 grant in the first round.
New applications for the Placer Micro Biz Program will be accepted starting April 25 through 4:49 p.m. on June 10.
The state provided Placer County with a total sum of $412,500 in relief funds to award microbusinesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Placer launched the first round in February and in April awarded a total of $137,500 to 55 recipients. The remaining sum of $275,000 may be awarded during the second round.
Similar to Nevada County, microbusinesses in Placer may be eligible for up to $2,500 in grant funding.
To qualify, businesses must have five or fewer employees and a household income of less than $50,000 a year. An eligible business must also have been in operation by the end of 2019. There are a few additional eligibility requirements so please review before submitting an application.
Grant program eligibility requirements, applications, application assistance, and frequently asked questions are available on the Placer Micro Biz website at placer.ca.gov/bizgrants.
The program is made possible by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate and the California Microbusiness Covid-19 Relief Grant program. Both Nevada and Placer are partnering with Sierra Business Council to administer an easy application process and responsive customer service to applicants.
~ Nevada County, Placer County press releases
Lake Tahoe Wildfire Awareness Campaign Begins in May
EL DORADO COUNTY
At the April 19 El Dorado Board of Supervisors meeting, District 5 Supervisor Sue Novasel recommended the board approve and authorize Board Chair Sup. Lori Parlin to sign a proclamation declaring May to October 2022 as the Lake Tahoe Wildfire Awareness Campaign. The year’s banner theme is Tahoe Wildfire Ready, and the proclamation encourages residents to prepare for wildfire by ensuring proper vegetation management around homes and by preparing a go-bag and family evacuation plan. All five county supervisors approved the proclamation’s passage.
North Tahoe Arts Names New Executive Director, Slots Kings Beach Opening
On April 5, North Tahoe Arts named Le’a Gleason as its new executive director. Gleason has a background in marketing and nonprofit work and is passionate about living in and helping support a vibrant community. She personally enjoys art, music, and performing, and holds a degree in performing arts. Her professional work history includes several roles as communications director and in administrative positions at nonprofits.
NTA is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to promoting exposure to art throughout the communities of North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. The organization was originally named the Sierra Artists Network and was created in 1985 by Madeline Bohanon. Almost 40 years later, NTA operates a thriving art gallery in Tahoe City and is soon to open another in Kings Beach.
Each summer, NTA’s Kids Art Camp returns, with this summer to be another full season. Patrons can visit the Tahoe City location to view and buy art, while the new Kings Beach Art Center will be home to an art gallery, exhibit space, dedicated workshop space, and large backyard for art openings and camps. Gleason is set to help NTA roll out its summer programs as well as release a new logo. The Kings Beach facility will open to the public on June 17.
To learn more about NTA’s programs, visit northtahoearts.com.
~ NTA press release
New Tahoe RCD Executive Director, Director of Board
Mike Vollmer has been named the new executive director of the Tahoe Resource Conservation District. As executive director, he will be responsible for carrying out Tahoe RCD’s mission along with managing and directing the internal business operations.
Vollmer is the former Fire Adapted Communities program manager at the Tahoe RCD and works as the Central Sierra Zone shared stewardship advisor. He is also a California Registered Professional Forester and ISA Certified Arborist with over 28 years of experience in natural resource management. Vollmer will be transitioning into the position over the next few weeks.
The district also recently announced Kat McIntyre as the new director of the board.
Since 2019, McIntyre has been working as the forest health program manager with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Her position deals with collaborative restoration projects across the Basin, including being a TRPA lead for the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership, vegetation management, forest health, and cross-divisional endeavors. McIntyre also serves as the project manager for the Taylor Tallac Aquatic Invasive Plant Removal Project, which is aimed at removing AIP from the Taylor and Tallac creeks and marsh ecosystems. She officially joined the Tahoe RCD board on Feb. 28.
~ TRCD press releases
Alpenglow Sports’ Community Book Initiative Returns
Alpenglow Sports kicks off its second annual Community Book Initiative on May 1, during which 100% of proceeds will benefit the local nonprofit organization Tahoe City Friends of the Library. The month-long event will highlight 20 books, chosen in collaboration with 10 respected community members, admired for their mountain, community, environmental, and/or social leanings. The theme for the 2022 Community Book Initiative is resilience.
Whether environmental, emotional, physical, social, or adventure related, the chosen Community Book Initiative titles all exhibit extreme resilience. The goal of the event is for the 20 community-recommended titles to elicit inspiration, conversation, and connection throughout North Lake Tahoe at large.
See the list of 20 books at alpenglowsports.com/community-book-initiative. Books are available for purchase both online at Alpenglow’s website and in-person at the store in Tahoe City.
~ Alpenglow press release
Red Dog Retires
The Red Dog Express chairlift at Palisades Tahoe ski resort will be replaced by a high-speed six-pack for next winter. Red Dog was upgraded in 1989 from a two-seater to a three-person lift. The upcoming installation will be able to transport 3,200 people per hour, up from 1,800 that the three-seater was managing.
According to the resort, this summer “the [Red Dog] base terminal will be moved east to a new location that gives skiers and riders direct access to the lift from the parking lot. The new lift will pass over the Far East Express and end in the same location it does now. Construction on the project will begin later this month, and the new Red Dog is slated to spin for the 2022/23 season.”
Construction progress will be documented on the Palisades’ operations blog.