Weekend Reading: Your guide to the week’s best Tribune stories | TahoeDailyTribune.com

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 short Tahoe gardening season, a crawfish crook and the new National Geographic series on the company behind many Tahoe terrain parks.


They say it takes faith to move a mountain. Maybe faith is part of it, but Snow Park Technologies could make a good argument that it all comes down to the right equipment and the right crew.

Snow Park Technologies, or SPT, sends its crew into acres of exposed and icy terrain. The average office temperature is below freezing, and the average workday is 24 hours. Avalanches, severe storms, heavy machinery and big personalities all come with the territory.

Mountain Movers is a new adrenaline-packed documentary series that follows Gunnarson and SPT through a construction season as they transform metal, wood and snow into jaw-dropping features at the biggest snow competitions in the world. The first episode, “Stairway to Hell,” aired Thursday at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.


The senior-loaded Whittell softball team waited too long for this kind of season to leave any doubts on the field Friday.

The No. 4 Warriors swept No. 5 Incline in the first round of Division III playoffs, a doubleheader on Friday at Whittell High School. With Amanda Harris on the mound and Emily Harris behind the plate, Whittell cruised to a 9-1 win in Game 1 and a 12-2 mercy win in Game 2. The back-to-back wins advance the Warriors to the next round of playoffs in Ely, Nev., which took place Friday, and end Incline’s playoff run.


The City of South Lake Tahoe isn’t expected to experience additional job cuts this year following some positive signs in the local economy.

The city’s hotel tax, known as Transient Occupancy Tax, for the first six months of the fiscal year is up 26 percent compared to last year, according to numbers presented to the City Council by City Manager Nancy Kerry Tuesday. Sales tax for October through December is up 13 percent over 2011 numbers, according to the figures.

Following budget adjustments approved by the council Tuesday, the city expects a budget shortfall of $252,732 for the 2012-13 fiscal year, a decrease from an anticipated $806,000 gap.

Kerry told the council the local economy is still very dependent on the recovery of the global economy. The city can maintain its current, critical staffing levels, but the rising cost of employee benefits continues to be a concern, Kerry said.


Tahoe Lobster Co. traps have continued to disappear from Lake Tahoe, threatening the lake’s first commercial crawfish harvest operation.

Tahoe Lobster Co. Owner Fred Jackson said 160 traps have gone missing since last fall, a loss of more than $21,000 including the lost crawfish haul. Four sets of 10 traps disappeared late last month from their location off the northeast shore, he said.

“This year it hurt us pretty bad. We’ve sunk everything we had into this business,” Jackson said. “What these guys are doing is craziness. It leaves me speechless. If they hit me again, it’s not sustainable. I’m about ready to throw down the towel. I don’t know what to do,”

But Jackson said he won’t be driven away. On Tuesday, he pulled the crawfish traps from their current location between the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village, Nev., and Sand Harbor and relocated south to the waters off Skunk Harbor.


Plaques line the walls of South Tahoe Middle School, silver and gold dots connecting a 38-year musical history at the district.

It’s an era that will end next month when longtime music teachers J.J. Clause and Linda Kurek retire from Lake Tahoe Unified School District, but they don’t plan to sever ties with the program they’ve nurtured since the early 1980s.

The two music teachers — who together have more than 70 years of experience in LTUSD — built the award-winning musical legacy from a rural community program. Accolades include multiple gold medals from the Anaheim Music Festival at Disneyland Resort, a command performance at the Northern Nevada Band Festival and a berth at the 1986 Vancouver International Exposition.


The Lake Tahoe Basin planting season has arrived, but whether it sticks around through May is all part of the spring “roller coaster” gardeners face when it comes to backyard farming at elevation.

While the weather forecast looks ideal for producing herbs and vegetables, experienced basin gardeners know an unexpected spring cold snap could always dash their hopes of homegrown food.

“We have a roller coaster in the spring that’s crazy,” Aspen Hollow Nursery owner John Fellows said Thursday. “That’s our problem up here. We don’t know when we’re out of dormancy,” Fellows added.

Establishing plants indoors as winter recedes, so they have a jump-start on the short growing season, was a recommendation that came from several people. Being able to move or cover plants, to protect them from freezing temperatures and limb-snapping snow, was also a common sentiment.

— Compiled by Axie Navas

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