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May 3, 2013
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Weekend Reading: Your guide to the week’s best Tribune stories

In this weekly round-up, we scour our website for the week’s best articles. In this edition we focus on the subtle beauty of high school baseball plays, new aerial snow surveys and the possibility of lowered tuition rates at Lake Tahoe Community College.

HIGHT’S NEW WEBISODE SERIES DEBUTS

The first webisode in the new series “New Hights” featuring South Lake Tahoe’s Elena Hight is now live online.

The local U.S. Olympic snowboarder stars in the four-webisode series produced by Rockstar Energy. The series follows Hight during her 2013 winter season, from rehabbing a hip injury to making history with her groundbreaking X Games Aspen trick.

The premiere episode of “New Hights” recaps Hight’s summer in Southern California. It then follows Hight to her first competition in Breckenridge, Colo., for the Winter Dew Tour. The episode closes with Hight in her hometown of South Lake Tahoe for a Rockstar trip to Sierra Mountain.

To watch the webisodes, visit Rockstar energy’s website.

VIKINGS FALL SHORT IN ACES SHOWDOWN

There were no fence-clenching bombs or game-ending rallies. Nothing fancy really, just the subtle beauty of crisp plays and a few well-placed singles into a field that has nurtured some of baseball’s greats.

Truckee made the most of its four hits Tuesday, inching along to a 3-1 win over South Tahoe at Aces Ballpark —home of the Triple-A Reno Aces.

Aside for the satisfaction of winning the final Mount Rose League game to end the regular season, the outcome also impacted playoff position. The No. 5 Wolverines will now face No. 4 Fernley instead of No. 2 Lowry in Round 1 of playoffs Friday. The No. 6 seeded Vikings played No. 3 Fallon Thursday.

TRPA WITHDRAWAL DISCUSSED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Efforts by both California and Nevada that could unravel decades of bi-state planning at Lake Tahoe were among the items discussed at a joint meeting of South Lake Tahoe City Council and Douglas County Board of Commissioners Monday.

Nevada Senate Bill 271, passed in 2011, would allow the state to withdraw from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency by 2015. Separate California legislation, Senate Bill 630, would establish the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency as the entity for approving projects on the California side of the lake if Nevada doesn’t rescind SB 271 during this legislative session.

“We need to keep the TRPA together,” said South Lake Tahoe Mayor Tom Davis, adding he was surprised to be supporting the TRPA. An appointed CTRPA would not work in the best interests of the local jurisdictions, Davis explained.

COLLEGE MULLS HIGHER EDUCATION COMPACT

A new bill moving through the legislature would allow certain Lake Tahoe Community College students living in Nevada to pay tuition at California rates.

Senator Ted Gaines introduced Senate Bill 329 in February to amend an existing section in California’s education code. The bill would exempt students who live in designated communities on the Nevada side of the Lake Tahoe Basin from paying the nonresident tuition fee.

The college is now tasked with working on a memorandum of understanding between regional higher education centers in both states, LTCC President Kindred Murillo said.

In June 2011, the Nevada Board of Regents voted to end the Good Neighbor Policy that allowed students living in Nevada to pay the California resident full-time rate of $1,395 annually. The board claimed the practice cost the state $6 million a year, and Nevada students’ tuition rose to $7,950.

SUGAR PINE FOUNDATION PLANTS LAST OF 8,000 SEEDLINGS

For Maria Mircheva, sugar pines are the most charismatic trees in the forest.

The largest pines in the world — the conifers reach nearly 200 feet and grow 24-inch cones — dominate a swath of territory from Oregon to Baja California, Mexico, but their numbers have dwindled alarmingly over the last two decades due to an invasive fungus called blister rust. The pines, which once constituted 25 percent of Tahoe forests, now account for less than 5 percent of local trees, Mircheva said.

The environmental advocate wanted to help save the behemoths, and in 2007 she began work as the executive director of the Sugar Pine Foundation. The group restores natural regeneration of the sugar pines, hosting plantings with professional crews and volunteers in the spring and fall to combat the fungus.

They’ve planted more than 60,000 blister rust-resistant seedlings over the last five years.

AERIAL SNOW SURVEYS COULD BE BOON FOR BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

NASA could soon help backcountry skiers and snowboarders plan their next tour.

Aerial snow surveys of the Tuolumne River Basin began a month ago as part of an effort to give California more accurate estimates of the water held in the Sierra Nevada snowpack.

Researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Department of Water Resources showed off the technology at Lake Tahoe Airport Thursday morning.

Because of the precision of the technology and its nearly real-time availability, the information gathered could have a wide range of unanticipated uses, including wildlife management, wildfire preparedness and even recreation, Chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program Frank Gehrke said. For example, someone backpacking the Sierra Nevada would be able to see how much snow is left along the Sierra Crest.

­— Compiled by Axie Navas


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated May 3, 2013 08:37PM Published May 3, 2013 06:00PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.