Peaks & Valleys: Bright spots and challenges in South Lake Tahoe (commentary)
It’s always good when the wait for the start of the ski season gets cut short. Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort are set to open Saturday, Nov. 14, with Sierra-at-Tahoe likely to follow before long. Dust off those skis and make some November turns.
• Tahoe Chamber helps entrepreneurs
Tahoe Tactical Team, a Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce program, continues to help business owners, like Julie Balentine of Tahoe Massage Company, be successful. The program provides free one-on-one coaching with professionals and workshops for new and current business owners. Only residents or business owners of South Lake Tahoe or Douglas County are eligible for the program.
• Tahoe Chamber’s Blue Ribbon awards
A full house celebrated South Lake Tahoe’s business community with a chamber-sponsored awards ceremony. Awards were given in the following categories: Geotourism (Heavenly Mountain Resort), Tourism (Harveys Lake Tahoe), Experience (Rock Tahoe Half Marathon), Customer Service/Business (Salvador Delgado, Echo Lounge at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel), Customer Service/Public Agency (Janelle Thomas and Tony Angelopoulos, Nevada Department of Transportation), Entrepreneur (Brian and Angela Luke, Artemis Mediterranean Grill and Artemis Lakefront Cafe) and the Wendell Award for Green Business or Program (Lake Tahoe Golf Course). The inaugural Ambassador of the Year award was given to Allegra Boyd. The Tahoe Daily Tribune was pleased to be an event sponsor and participate in the South Shore’s annual celebration of local business.
• Locals support Hounsell children
The City of South Lake Tahoe donated $5,000 directly to the four children of South Lake Tahoe police officer Mark Hounsell and his wife Jeanne at its Nov. 3 city council meeting. The Hounsells, along with family friend Laura Fisher, died in an Oct. 17 vehicle rollover east of Fallon, Nevada. A separate GoFundMe account established for the children raised almost $116,000 as of Wednesday, Nov. 11.
• Unemployment rate falls
South Lake Tahoe’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in September, down from 7 percent the same time last year.
• Big Brothers Big Sisters comes to town
Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County expanded its program into South Lake Tahoe. The nonprofit provides mentors for children that it identifies as being at-risk or coming from a disadvantaged background.
• Wade out as Coyotes head coach
Ben Wade was let go as head coach of the Lake Tahoe Community College soccer team with the nationally ranked Coyotes wrapping up the postseason and preparing for the playoffs. The details of his dismissal are still unclear, but it’s a blow to the program he had coached for the past two seasons.
• El Dorado supervisor recall
El Dorado County supervisors Sue Novasel and Michael Ranalli were served notices of intention to circulate recall petitions on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at a regular board meeting. The notices came from a local group — El Dorado County Total Recall. It was reported that the group intends to recall all five supervisors for not representing county residents. This is yet another unfortunate distraction for local government and its constituents. It leaves us wondering — what is the true backstory here? More to come …
NOT SURE YET
• Joint Powers Authority must regroup Lake Tahoe Unified School District pulled out of a planned recreation Joint Powers Authority with the city of South Lake Tahoe and Lake Tahoe Community College because of possible increased maintenance requirements. The new partnership would rehabilitate the current Al Tahoe community field and build two additional fields beginning in 2016. The college will take over the maintenance needs. It’s yet to be seen how this will impact the community.
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