On the Hill: Sierra-at-Tahoe Huck Cup (Video) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

On the Hill: Backcountry touring on Carson Pass (Video)

On the Hill is brought to you by the Tahoe Center for Orthopedics Breakdown: On the Hill host and Tahoe Daily Tribune reporter Sebastian Foltz gets in the backcountry on Carson Pass. BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE DANGER A CONCERN FOLLOWING STORM FULL STORY: http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/20694429-113/winter-storm-brings-avalanche-concerns-to-tahoe-basin Weekend Weather: Sunny skies and warmer temperatures are expected through the weekend. Area resorts have reported receiving up to two feet from storms this week. More information is available at http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org.

Lake Tahoe news in brief

Tahoe City Music festival needs volunteers The Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival is gearing up for its 23rd season with nine concerts scheduled every Saturday and Thursday night from July 17 through August 13. Music, mountains and majestic settings set this Festival apart, bringing more than 10,000 attendees each year to enjoy a variety of concerts. Volunteers are an integral part of the festival’s success and this year, the festival is seeking a volunteer coordinator to be responsible for recruiting, scheduling and staffing of volunteers. This paid position will begin part-time in the late spring, moving to full time during the concert season. Also needed is an associate volunteer coordinator. This volunteer position will assist the volunteer coordinator. The festival is also seeking a full-time administrative assistant for its office. Please call the Lake Tahoe Music Festival office for more information at (530) 583-3101. Auburn Martis plan hearing set Conservationists and Placer County will present their differing opinions on the Martis Valley Community Plan’s legality on Monday in Auburn. The legal arguments over the plan are set for Monday at 9 a.m. at the DeWitt Center. Conservationists who sued the plan in early 2004 won an early victory this month when a judge tentatively ruled the plan illegal. The oral arguments from both sides will be followed by a formal judgment by the court. The Martis Valley Community Plan was adopted in 2003 by Placer County. While the county contends the plan will only allow approximately 6,000 new homes to be built, environmental groups say the plan provides loopholes that could result in much greater development that has not been analyzed by the plan’s environmental review. Incline Village Cause of death revealed in crash Trauma to the head was what killed Leonard J. Sturm, a 69-year-old Incline Village man, Wednesday at about 12:45 p.m. after his 2000 Dodge Durango went off the road on Country Club Drive near the intersection of Village Boulevard and into a tree, authorities said. “Preliminary results indicate that alcohol was not a factor,” said Dep. Darrin Rice, public information officer for the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Country Club was closed for about four hours Wednesday while authorities investigated the incident. -Tribune news service Stateline Police accuse pit clerk in theft Grace Cabristante, a 24-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of creating false information to receive complimentary cash credits she would use to buy food and merchandise at Caesars Tahoe, a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy said. Cabristante worked as a pit clerk at the casino. A security supervisor interviewed her on March 2 when she reportedly admitted to the crime of theft, the deputy said. During the interview, Cabristante allegedly told the deputy she obtained $2,500 in the past year for her purchases. It is not known how long she worked for the casino. Cabristante was booked into Douglas County Jail at $10,000 bail. -William Ferchland, Tribune staff writer

Let the media report the news

Red flags are immediately raised when any group wants to bar journalists from attending a meeting. We realize private organizations have a right to conduct business in private. This is much different than public groups like a school board or city council that must allow the media to attend when a majority of the members are in attendance. The latest media ban is from the Strategic Research Institute. At the two-day stem cell conference next month people will discuss intellectual property, cloning and stem cell biology. The announcement of the ban comes in the same week that Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation that permits stem cell research to be conducted in California. This is a much broader approach than President George Bush took. He has limited federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research to a specific number of existing cell lines. Those in support of the research say that one day scientists may be able cure chronic diseases. Opponents are against the research process because they contend it is murder to destroy a human embryo. Stem cells are found in human embryos, umbilical cords and placentas. They can divide and become any kind of cell in the body. The research is going forward whether people believe it should or should not. The important thing is that the public know what is going on. In order for the public to know what is going on the media needs to be allowed to report on the issue. This includes the media attending the October conference in San Diego. Journalists know how to work with on-the-record and off-the-record information. Journalists have long covered topics of national security. Trust us to cover a medical conference. Explain to us what trade secrets should not be published. But also trust us to print the truth. The public deserves to know what is going behind closed doors especially because a representative from the president’s Council on Bioethics will be at the conference.

Clock ticking on judicial appointment

Gardnerville, Nev. — While no deadline exists for the governor to appoint a new judge for the Ninth Judicial District, Friday will be 30 calendar days since he received the names of the three nominees. That's important because if he doesn't make an appointment to the seat in 30 days, he may make no other appointments to public office until he does, according to Supreme Court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer. The three candidates include Genoan Tom Gregory, Carson City resident David Sarnowski and Reno resident Douglas Rands. Gov. Brian Sandoval has the final decision on which of the three will replace Michael Gibbons, who was selected to serve on Nevada's first court of appeals. The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection made its choice out of 13 attorneys on Feb. 25. In order to be considered, attorneys had to have two years of residency in the state and 10 years of legal experience. There is no requirement that applicants live in Douglas County, but anyone selected would have to move here in order to stand for election. For applicants biographies, visit http://www.recordcourier.com/news/15199963-113/genoa-resident-only-douglas-attorney-among-judge-finalists Retired District Judge Dave Gamble has been serving in the seat since Gibbons was appointed.

Lake Tahoe ski resort report

TRUCKEE/TAHOE – Below is an update of snow conditions, lift information and operations at 15 regional downhill and cross-country ski resorts, as of Tuesday morning. Please check with individual resorts for latest conditions and operations. ALPINE MEADOWS http://www.skialpine.com Open lifts: 3 of 12 Open trails: 20 of 32 24-hr Snow Total: 9 inches lower mountain, 14 inches upper mountain Upper mountain snow: 92 inches Lower mountain snow: 49 inches Snow condition: Groomed slopes BOREAL http://www.borealski.com Open lifts: 2 of 6 Open trails: Not available 24 hr Snow Total: 10 inches Upper mountain snow: 67 inches Lower mountain snow: 60 inches Snow condition: Machine groomed packed and open powder DIAMOND PEAK (Opens Dec. 16) http://www.diamondpeak.com Open lifts: 0 of 6 Open trails: 0 of 31 24-hr Snow Total: 6 inches Upper mountain snow: 54 inches Lower mountain snow: 44 inches Snow condition: Powder, packed powder, machine-made and machine-groomed snow HEAVENLY http://www.skiheavenly.com Open lifts: 8 open, 10 on hold, 12 closed, of 30 Open trails: 85 percent 24-hr Snow Total: 6 inches Upper mountain snow: 54 inches Lower mountain snow: 44 inches Snow condition: Skier-packed powder, machine-made and machine-groomed snow HOMEWOOD (Opens Dec. 10) http://www.skihomewood.com Open lifts: 0 of 6 Open trails: 0 of 65 24-hr Snow Total: 2 inches Upper mountain snow: 70 inches Lower mountain snow: 49 inches Snow condition: New snow KIRKWOOD http://www.kirkwood.com Open lifts: 5 of 15 Open trails: 60 percent of Trails Open, 20 Trails Groomed Groomed Trails: 20 24-hr Snow Total: 12 inches Upper mountain snow: 48 inches Lower mountain snow: 48 inches Snow condition: Groomed in parts KIRKWOOD XC 24-hr Snow Total: 12 inches Open trail: 60 percent of trails open, 20 of trails groomed Snow base: 48 inches Snow condition: Groomed in parts MOUNT ROSE http://www.skirose.com Open lifts: 4 of 7 Open trails: 7 of 9 chutes open, trail information not available 12-hr Snow Total: 7-9 inches Upper mountain snow: 31 inches Lower mountain snow: 54 inches Snow condition: Open Powder and Machine Groomed Packed Powder NORTHSTAR-AT-TAHOE http://www.northstarattahoe.com Open lifts: 9 of 19, (beginner 11, intermediate 34, advanced 32) Open trails: 77 of 92 Groomed trails: 48 24-hr Snow Total: 10 inches Upper mountain snow: 71 inches Lower mountain snow: 36 inches Snow condition: Powder ROYAL GORGE CROSS COUNTY (Closed Tuesday through Thursday) http://www.royalgorge.com Open trails: Not available Groomed trails: 60 of 195 kilometers 24-hr Snow Total: 0 inches Upper mountain snow: Not available Lower mountain snow: Not available Snow condition: Not available SIERRA-AT-TAHOE http://www.sierraattahoe.com Open lifts: 4 of 12 Open trails: 43 of 48 Groomed trails: 29 24-hr Snow Total: 8 inches Upper mountain snow: 68 inches Lower mountain snow: 26 inches Snow condition: Machine groomed, powder SQUAW VALLEY USA http://www.squaw.com Open lifts: 9 of 33 Open trails: Not available 24-hr Snow Total: 11-13 inches Upper mountain snow: 93 inches Lower mountain snow: 52 inches Snow condition: Groomed, powder, packed powder SUGAR BOWL http://www.sugarbowl.com Open lifts: 6 of 13 Open trails: Not available 24-hr Snow Total: 12 inches Upper mountain snow: 84 inches Lower mountain snow: 70 inches Snow condition: Powder, machine Groomed TAHOE CROSS COUNTRY http://www.tahoexc.org Open trails: 15 of 20 24-hr Snow Total: 2 plus inches Snow: 30 inches at trailhead, 48 inches upper trails Snow condition: Groomed TAHOE DONNER CROSS COUNTRY and DOWNHILL SKI AREA (Opens Dec. 10) http://www.skitahoedonner.com Groomed cross-country trails: Not available Open downhill trails: Closed Open lifts: Closed 24-hr Snow Total: 0 inches Upper mountain snow: 56 inches Lower mountain snow: 36 inches Downhill snow condition: 56 inches Cross country snow condition: 36 inches

Thursday Lake Tahoe Road Report

Road construction activity continues on roads throughout the South Shore. Main arteries from Highway 207 Kingsbury Grade to Highway 50, westbound to Echo Summit have some form of road construction, according to Caltrans and the Nevada Department of Transportation. Here is what to expect in your commute: n Caltrans reports that motorists should expect one-way controlled traffic at various locations from 0.5 miles west of  Twin Bridges to “G”  Street in South Lake Tahoe from 7 this morning until about 2:30 this afternoon. Expect delays of up to 10 minutes.  n There is one-way traffic at various locations from 1.6 miles east to 2.6 miles east of Meyers that began at 5:30 this morning and is expected to last until at least 7 p.m. tonight. n Expect one lane traffic and some brief delays along Highway 207 Kingsbury Grade this morning in both directions as utility work continues. n Grading work continues in the basin, particularly at the redevelopment area at Stateline. Expect traffic stops and minor delays as trucks move in and out of the area. Lake Tahoe Marathon The 13th Annual Lake Tahoe Marathon is scheduled for Sunday. Residents and visitors on the West Shore traveling northbound should plan to arrive in Tahoe City before 8 a.m. or wait until after 10 a.m. as traffic will be held at many West Shore neighborhoods for runners. The Marathon starts in Tahoe City at 8:30 a.m. and the road typically opens behind the participants at a rate of 11 minutes per mile. Sunnyside to Tahoe City is usually open at 8:52 a.m. in both directions, and Homewood to Tahoe City is open at 9:36 a.m. in both directions. In South Lake Tahoe, Highway 89 northbound traffic will be closed three miles north of Camp Richardson at Spring Creek Road from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Highway 89 southbound traffic will be open, however, motorists are subject to 30 to 45-minute delays. For more information about road delays, call (530) 544-7095 or visit http://www.laketahoemarathon.com. The website is also home to a course map and profile, event descriptions and 2006 race results. XTERRA Incline Village will host this weekend’s XTERRA USA Championships, a multiple off-road triathlon Sept. 28-30. Police officials will be stationed throughout Incline on Saturday and Sunday. A portion of Lakeshore Boulevard will be closed for roughly an hour both days to make way for the start of Saturday’s XTERRA Nevada triathlon and Sunday’s XTERRA USA Championship triathlon. The road could be closed as late as 10:15 a.m. Eastbound traffic from Country Club all the way down to the entry to Ski Beach will be closed. Incline Way will be closed to through traffic from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. People will be allowed access to the Recreation Center, just not via driving. Officials from the Nevada Highway Patrol will be stationed on State Route 28 near the Ponderosa Ranch, where cyclists will cross the highway for both events Saturday and Sunday. The highway won’t be blocked for a specific time frame, only when riders approach to cross.

South Lake Tahoe Crime Report

The following incidents were selected from among those reported to area law enforcement and fire protection districts. Wednesday Aug. 1 7:35 a.m., 1300 Keller Road, South Lake Tahoe – grand theft. A $450 air compressor was stolen from a construction site. Kirk David, 23, of South Lake Tahoe said he last saw his compressor Tuesday at 5 p.m. Police said David left the piece of equipment chained and locked. 7:36 a.m., Friant Court and Murietta Drive, South Lake Tahoe – auto theft. Police arrested Jerry King Jr., 20, and Sean Winn, 19, both of Brentwood, Calif., after officers found them asleep in a stolen 1991 blue Jeep Wrangler. The car belonged to Amanda Veglahn of Livermore, Calif. Thursday Aug. 2 1:42 a.m., 3892 U.S. Highway 50, South Lake Tahoe – burglary. Martin Shatz, 56, of Sacramento had a video camera, a locked aluminum suitcase and a leather satchel stolen from his room at Brooke’s Lodge. Officers believe someone used a ladder to enter a rear window of the motel room. Total loss was estimated at $10,000. Friday Aug. 3 10:28 p.m., 2600 block of Chris Avenue, South Lake Tahoe – burglary. Someone forced open the front door of a home and stole $100 in cash from Dana Taylor, 25, of South Lake Tahoe. Police said the crime occurred between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday Aug. 4 2:25 a.m., 1 Lake Parkway, South Lake Tahoe – burglary. Two room safes were broken into overnight Friday at the Forest Inn. One guest told police that he noticed nothing missing but found his safe pried open and his clothes and personal items scattered around his room. Police said Lilian Ibarra, 32, of Sacramento, had $42 in cash stolen from the safe in her room. 4:09 p.m., 2100 Eloise Avenue, South Lake Tahoe – attempted burglary. A storage facility had several exterior locks cut from several of its units. Police said burglars could not gain entry because the units also have interior locks. 8:11 a.m., 2700 bock of U.S. Highway 50, South Lake Tahoe – embezzlement. A manager at USA gas station mistakenly left $700 on an office counter when her shift ended. She told police she realized the cash was missing the next morning. Secret Witness offers cash rewards for anonymous tips leading to the arrest and conviction of crime suspects. Anyone with information about crimes reported in California is asked to call (530) 541-6800. In Nevada, call (775) 586-7295.

Ken Gerrard on pace to finish Boston Marathon

Ken Gerrard of South Lake Is on pace to finish his first Boston Marathon today. The 52-year-old Gerrard has completed 30 kilometers of the race in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 27 seconds. Given his pace, he’s projected to finish the 113th running of the event in 3:46:11.

Which invasive weed threats exist? Find out Friday in the SouthShore

A self-guided tour in South Lake Tahoe this week will offer a look at the threat invasive plants pose to the Lake Tahoe Basin, including several species recently identified by U.S. Forest Service scientists as poised for rapid spread after the Angora fire. “Burned areas provide opportunities for invasive plants to establish quickly because of disturbed soil, release of nutrients, and lack of competition,” according to the forest service’s Burned Area Emergency Response report. One station will host a presentation on the early detection of invasives, while four other stations on the tour will focus on specific plants, like Scotch broom. Because of the invasive ornamental plant’s volatile oils, it can create a fire hazard, but is still widely available at nurseries outside the basin. “Scotch broom is really a flammable plant that could pose a high risk in the future,” said Jenny Francis, backyard conservation resource planner for the Tahoe Resource Conservation District. “We’d like to let people know what to look for.” Talks will start at all five stations promptly at 9 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and noon. Each talk will be repeated at each station five times during the morning, beginning at the appointed times. Tour participants will be given directions to each site and can visit all or part of the presentations in any order. Those interested in carpooling should meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District Office at 870 Emerald Bay Road. Registration for the tour is free and can be completed on-line at http://ucanr.org/lake-tahoe-weed-tour-form or by calling the Invasive Weed Hotline at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (530) 543-1501 ext.113. Registrants will receive a confirmation, including directions to the tour stations.