News briefs: LTCC forums, streetlight outage, gas rates, fire area closure |

News briefs: LTCC forums, streetlight outage, gas rates, fire area closure

Residents and students are encouraged to attend forums next week to weigh in on the hiring of a new president for Lake Tahoe Community College.

The new hire will replace Guy Lease, who announced his retirement at the beginning of the school year.

The LTCC Board of Trustees hired Pamila Fisher, CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees, to conduct the forums, which will be held at 3 p.m. Monday in the LTCC College Board Room and at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the Aspen Room.

The forums will be used to gather information from the public to develop an announcement for the open position, which then will go to the board for approval.

Along with hiring the consultant, the board has appointed a hiring committee with Trustee Roberta Mason as chair. The committee includes students, community members, faculty, classified staff and administration.

Drivers along Highway 50 from the South Lake Tahoe “Y” to Viking Road will notice streetlights in the area will not be operational for approximately two weeks.

Sierra Pacific Power Company will be completing its work to convert electric overhead lines to underground along the roadway and will be installing 17 new, forest-green colored lamp posts to illuminate the area.

No other customers will be affected by this outage, which began Thursday, according to the power company. Customers in the area served by this stretch of overhead electric line already have been converted to underground lines.

The work is being done to improve the appearance of the area, and the existing wooden utility poles will be removed as soon as wires and cables belonging to other utilities are removed.

A buck is a buck, especially these days.

And that’s what the typical Nevada natural gas customer will get back, plus some change, beginning Saturday, thanks to a decision Wednesday by the state’s Public Utility Commission.

The commission approved a 1 percent decrease in average residential natural gas rates. Small commercial rates will decline by a similar amount.

The same decision also will lower liquid propane gas rates by 33 percent for several hundred customers in the Lockwood area. Typical Sierra residential customers who use 92 therms of gas a month in the winter will see their monthly bill decrease from $119.42 to $118 as a result of the decision.

In making its decision, the commission determined that Sierra’s gas purchasing policies were prudent, and the company paid a fair market price for gas supplies, according to a news statement.

The PUC also decided to merge Sierra Pacific natural gas customers with 410 liquid propane gas customers who reside in the Rainbow Bend development near Lockwood.

PUC Chairwoman JoAnn Kelly, who presided over the meeting, said combining the customer classes was more efficient in the long run and would cost Sierra Pacific’s 146,000 natural gas customers about 5 cents per month.

U.S. Forest Service officials of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit have extended the public closure of most of the Angora fire area until Jan. 31.

The lack of snow cover to date leaves the area sensitive to disturbance and damage that may lead to erosion. The extension does not apply to the urban lots managed by the Forest Service.

The purpose of the closure is to allow for the emergency treatments, particularly the hydromulch, to remain undisturbed until significant snowfall reaches the area, and to maintain public safety in light of post-fire hazards, particularly tree falls.

The Forest Service treated more than 600 acres using aerial hydromulching. The mulch material can be peeled away easily by people hiking or biking on it, which then allows water to run beneath it or wind to flake it away, undermining the treatment’s ability to stabilize the soil.

The Angora fire started June 24 from an abandoned illegal campfire. The fire was contained July 2, declared controlled July 20 and declared out Nov. 15.

The largest wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin in more than a century, the Angora fire scorched just less than 3,100 acres, and destroyed more than 250 homes.

Emergency treatments were immediately implemented to protect life and property, as well as minimize environmental damage and water-quality impacts on Angora Creek and Lake Tahoe.

For more information, contact the Forest Supervisor’s Office at (530) 543-2694. The closure order, as well as a map of the area affected by the closure, will be posted on the Forest Service LTBMU Web site at

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