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Special LTCC program helps incarcerated students succeed, get degrees

Lake Tahoe Community College aims to reach underrepresented populations with its programming.

One population the college has focused on is incarcerated and justice system-involved individuals.

The Incarcerated Student Program was first piloted in 2015 and received funding in 2017. In its years of helping students, it’s been successful.

It aims to reach inmates in California’s correctional facilities by providing an enhanced one-on-one pedagogical approach.

“We want to help them evolve as humans,” said ISP Director Shane Reynolds.

The program reaches nine facilities in Northern California within two hours of LTCC.

Reynolds said it’s important the facilities they work with are within driving distance because he and his staff make regular visits.

“I want to see the students, face-to-face,” Reynolds said and added working with students in person helps humanize the students. “We all want respect, they want to be treated like humans.”

The ISP’s first student, Erin Boetzer, chose LTCC for her college studies because of the face-to-face interaction the program offered.

“I feel like they went above and beyond for me,” Boetzer said. “They treated me with more respect than anyone else.”

Boetzer was arrested and sentenced to Santa Cruz County Jail when she was 18 on drug-related charges.

“I started off my life really normal,” Boetzer said, adding she had a good family, good friends and played sports.

The summer before her freshman year, she was raped and her life spiraled down.

“I didn’t tell anyone it happened, I started drinking and hanging out with the wrong crowd,” Boetzer said.

ISP has helped Boetzer turn her life around, though. She said all the resources they gave her helped her succeed.

Students are given the course load upfront, then they get tutoring, individualized feedback, bi-weekly face-to-face visits and video broadcasted lectures.

Most students can qualify for the Board of Governors fee waiver which gives them access to free textbooks and other course materials.

Students in the program can earn an associate’s degrees for transfer in sociology.

The Associates in Art for Transfer degree allows students to transfer to a four-year college or university as a junior.

Part of the goal of the program is not just to have students graduate, but to have them move on with their education upon their release.

Upon Boetzer’s release, she attended a community college in Santa Cruz to get an associate’s degree in business. She’s now in her junior year at Cal State Monterey Bay getting a bachelor’s in business with an emphasis on marketing.

She’s not the only one who’s had success with the program. So far, ISP has had 21 graduates and a “significant amount of dean’s list and honor roll students,” Reynolds said, including Boetzer who earned a 4.0 throughout the whole program.

Reynolds thinks part of the reason the students do so well is because they want to prove they can turn their lives around.

“They want to be good role models and rebuild relationships with their family,” Reynolds said.

Boetzer said not only did she start seeing herself as worthy because of this program but she saw others around change the way they viewed her.

“My parents were proud, my teachers were proud, even the correctional officers were proud of my success in the school,” Boetzer said.

Studies show that education while incarcerated helps inmates succeed in the future.

A 2018 study done by Rand showed that inmates who participated in educational programs are “28% less likely to recidivate.”

Rand also showed in a 2013 study, the cost of educational programs is between $870,000 and $970,000 less than the cost of re-incarcerating the inmates participating in those programs.

LTCC is working to expand the ISP program. They recently teamed up with ADVANCE Network for a culinary boot camp.

ISP has recently connected with LTCC’s Wilderness Education & Outdoor Leadership program to connect the Juvenile Treatment Center in South Lake.

Reynolds said he wants the youth at the center to “feel the trust and love from LTCC.”

“We’re bringing education to them so when they’re released a bridge has been built,” Reynolds said.

The goal is to help youth navigate academia so they choose to continue their education.

“It’s about providing access no matter what the student’s story is,” Reynolds said.

Boetzer said the program is great not just because it helps them with education but with life.

“It gives them a sense of worth, they’re learning time management, responsibility,” Boetzer said. LTCC recently awarded Boetzer a $1,000 scholarship for her continued education and success.

To learn more about the program, visit www.ltcc.edu/academics/specialized_programs/incarceratedstudentprogram.php

Game and Grub: Big game of the week and where to watch it (Opinion)

Football is back. Each week of the pro season, we’ll pick one must-watch game to clear your calendar for and a great place where you can catch it.

Game of the Week: Baltimore at Seattle

Not too long ago this could have been considered a bare knuckle brawl given the two defenses. While times have changed, this still shapes up to be an entertaining matchup.

For Baltimore, it’s all going to be riding on the arm (and legs) of their young quarterback. That’s it for them in a nutshell. It’s what it has been all season and it’s not gonna change for this matchup.

What I just said about the Raven’s QB, same here – except Russell Wilson has been ballin’ like David Copperfield this season performing trick after trick to a standing ovation. I’d be shocked if the Seahawks lose at home. Regardless, it should be fun to watch and just maybe, the smarter birds will prevail. For everyone who doesn’t know, that’s the Ravens.

Where to Watch: Vinyl

We all know the best way to listen to music is through vinyl. But what you probably don’t know is that Vinyl is also a great way to experience Sunday football. Yes, the same place that is built around delivering great live music experiences is also sports central when it comes to watching the games.

Not only do you have four 75” TVs and five 65” TVs set up around couches and tables, but there is also a super screen the size of Mount Everest. Combine that with a sound system that is designed to deliver top notch music listening, and you’ve got yourself a man cave/she shed away from home – only on steroids.

Whether it’s just you and a friend or a large group, it’s like your own private viewing party – only it’s free to experience. Just come early to stake your claim because it’s first-come first-serve.

Vinyl is located right next to the William Hill Sports Book so if putting a little scratch on the game of choice is numero uno for you on Sundays, check.

As great as this all sounds, that might not be the most appealing feature of this game day experience. That trophy may go to the food and drink specials.

One. Dollar. Beers. Yes, you read that right. You can choose from three different beers, but that gives you penny pinchers no excuse not to go check it out. And if the suds are not for you, there’s a dedicated full bar just for you.

Food specials on the day range from $3 – $7 and include your game day fare of things like enormous pizza slices and gourmet hot dogs (check out the jalapeno dog if it’s on the menu).

Vinyl is definitely an experience worth a spin.

Vinyl is located inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at 50 Highway 50 in Stateline, Nev. For information, visit them online at hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com or by calling 844-588-7625.

This content is brought to you by Lake Tahoe Action’s food and dining partners.

Man arrested after altercation in Round Hill

A Carson City man was taken into custody on Thursday morning, Oct. 10, after an altercation at a home in the Round Hill community of Lake Tahoe.

Stephen K. Milaeger, 35, was booked on charges of burglary, battery, preventing someone from reporting a crime, false imprisonment and trespassing.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called at 8:45 a.m. on a report that Milaeger was trying to break into a home.

When deputies arrived, they found a man who had Milaeger restrained at the bottom of the stairs.

According to the report, the man said he was warned that Milaeger was in town and he was locking doors and windows when he turned up.

Milaeger allegedly broke a window to get in and forced his way in while the other man was trying to call authorities.

Milaeger allegedly took the house phone and the man’s cell phone away from him.

Milaeger allegedly had the man in a wrestling lock while he punched him in the face, struggling for 20-30 minutes before the victim got the upper hand.

Milaeger will face proceedings in Tahoe Township Justice Court.

Lady Warriors soccer team battling for playoff berth

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — The Whittell Lady Warriors soccer team has just a few games remaining in the season and is fighting for a playoff spot.

The Warriors find themselves in fourth place in the Northern League B standings and the top three teams qualify for the postseason.

Whittell is also competing in 3A against schools not all that close in size to the school that normally competes in 1A.

The Warriors are coming off a difficult week where they suffered back-to-back one goal losses to Yerington and Fernley, teams that are second and third in the standings.

The Warriors have four games remaining on their schedule, including three league games against teams below in the standings.

Whittell (5-4-2) played a non-league clash against Quincy Wednesday and host Pershing County (2-7-1 Northern) and Battle Mountain (0-8-2), Friday and Saturday.

The Warriors close the season with a clash against fifth-place Dayton (4-3-2) on the road which could decide the fate of both teams.

Ava Campbell and Kyla Rippet have been providing most of the offense for the Warriors.

Campbell has scored 21 goals in 11 games and has recorded a goal in every single game this season. She also has 11 assists.

Rippet, who was Maxpreps.com player of the week in Nevada last week, has scored 19 goals in 10 games, including two games where she totaled nine goals. She has 18 assists and leads the team with 56 points, Campbell has 53.

Northern B Standings: White Pine 11-1 33 points, Yerington 8-2-1 25, Fernley 6-2-2 20, Whittell 5-4-2 17, Dayton 4-3-2 14, Pershing County 2-7-1 7, West Wendover 1-10 3, Battle Mountain 0-8-2 2.

Callie’s Cabin: Tahoe Friendly Tostadas (Recipe)

Ever notice how living at Lake Tahoe changes yet stays the same? This week I passed by a former neighbor’s home. She moved back to Southern California several years ago. But feel-good memories at the home linger. I miss the fun and convenient home away from home right around the corner.

One chilly late fall afternoon I brought my late Brittany Spaniel over to her home for a play date with her Rat Terrier. We left the fun-loving dogs and drove off the hill to run errands. Then, we stopped for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I ordered my favorite tostada, chips, and salsa. I ate half and saved the rest for later.

That night the boys continued to rough house, I munched on my spicy meal, and we watched the disaster film “10.5.” A soak in the hot tub followed. At midnight under the full moon I walked my dog home. It was a perfect day for two dog women and two canines.

These days, I’m still working on books and have a different dog. But neighbors come and go in this mountain town. I confess that I miss many of the folks, including the warmhearted, rugged Polish man, down-to-earth surrogate mother, and mom young enough to be my daughter.

So, this homemade quick vegetarian tostada recipe is for my friend with a friendly dog; and my memorable South Shore neighbors who were like family.

Tahoe-Friendly Tostadas

2 flour tortillas, whole wheat honey oat

1 teaspoon European style butter

1 cup kale mix, pre-shredded and packaged

2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

Olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste (3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar works well)

1 Roma tomato, chopped

½ cup cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)

¼ cup cheese, Monterey Jack, shredded

1/2 cup salsa (Fresh Killer Salsa available at Safeway)

1 lemon

Parmesan shavings (garnish)

Sour cream (garnish)

Place tortillas on a plate. Drizzle with butter. Heat for 1 minute in the microwave. Remove and turn tortilla over. Repeat. It should be crispy. You can oven bake or fry but this is easy and works. Set aside. In a bowl combine kale mix, onion, tomato, and olive oil and vinegar. Set aside. Nuke crucifers in the microwave for a few minutes (or stir fry with a bit of olive oil in a skillet). Place tostadas on a plate. Top with salad mixture. Top with cheese, salsa, and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on each tostada. Top with a shavings and a dollop of sour cream.

Yep, I’m a vegetarian/semi-vegan. You can add chicken or fish to this recipe. Or not. Also, if you have neighbors that you love to hang with, this recipe can easily be doubled. To make it more versatile add more toppings and put them in bowls. Let everyone choose what they want for their tostada. Also, go ahead and buy store bought tortilla chips. Dip ‘em in my favorite Killer salsa to live for — it’s that good.

So, yeah, that saying, “You are where you are supposed to be” makes sense to me. But sometimes, I get a bit nostalgic for the friendly neighbors with hearts of gold that were once here… and now have moved off the hill. But this familiar warm meal and vivid recollections fill the cool autumn air of the neighborhood.

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, and Essential Oils) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is www.calorey.com.

Put a price on carbon already; Proud of council for supporting HR 763 (Opinion)

We participated in the recent climate strike and were moved and inspired by the large crew of South Tahoe students that hiked the four miles from the high school to Lakeview Commons with a clear and unified demand for climate action.

It is also encouraging to live in a city that has resolved to transition its entire electrical grid to clean energy by 2032, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below baseline by 2040.

While the city’s 100% Renewable Committee, Liberty Utilities, and others around the basin work to ensure the city’s resolution is implemented,

We are proud to report city took more action Tuesday at its council meeting and joined other municipalities around the United States in passing a resolution supporting comprehensive national climate policy in the form of a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend.

The 2019 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) is the most recent example of bipartisan legislation that would put a fee on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas and then distribute the money collected by the fee in equal shares each month to the American people. Independent researchers estimate that implementation of the act would reduce America’s emissions by at least 40% in the first 12 years as well as create 2.1 million new jobs.

Our mountain town’s endorsement is another message to our locals, visitors, and political representatives that South Lake Tahoe recognizes the myriad threats climate change poses to the basin’s forests, animals, lake, snow level and general way of life. We can do our part to seek and support policies to reduce the fossil fuel consumption lying at the root of our problems.

While individuals can take actions to reduce their carbon footprints, it will not be enough to affect the scale of impact that is necessary in the coming decade. Community-level, collective action is necessary to produce the level of effectiveness in mitigating carbon emissions in the most meaningful timeframe. So is state and federal action. Effort now is much more valuable than effort later because of feedback loops and irreversible potential effects.

City council voted 4-1 in favor of supporting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763). We would like to congratulate the council on taking this meaningful, community level action.

If any of the readers are ready to take action locally, please reach out via Facebook at “100% Renewable Tahoe.”


100% Renewable Committee of South Lake Tahoe

Vail Resorts releases EpicPromise Progress Report

Vail Resorts Inc. released its second annual EpicPromise Progress Report this week which highlights progress toward the company’s sustainability goal, Commitment to Zero, and details its ongoing community and employee giving programs.

The report, which covers the 2018/19 season, outlines wins in energy efficiency and waste reduction as well as $14.5 million in community and employee grants, according to a press release from the company.

Since the last progress report, Vail Resorts has added 19 resorts across the country and Australia to its portfolio and intends to incorporate each into Commitment to Zero.

“Our company is growing and so is our commitment to preserving the spectacular places in which we live, work, and play,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts in a press release. “We are encouraged by our progress over the last year, inspired by our learnings, and excited to think even bigger. Our growth allows us to have more of an impact in investing in mountain communities, more of an impact in supporting employees, and more of an impact in preserving the environment.”

Commitment to Zero

Vail is on track to reach its goal to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Announced in 2017, the three pillars of this commitment include (1) zero net emissions by 2030 with 50% progress toward this goal by 2025, (2) zero waste to landfill by 2030 and increasing waste diversion to 50% by the end of 2020, and (3) zero net operating impact on forests and habitat. Key highlights from this year’s progress report include:

— Energy efficiency: Vail invested $2.4 million in energy-efficiency capital to upgrade its snowmaking operations across several resorts and to continue its efforts to switch to LED lighting. In total, this year the company launched 168 low-energy, high-efficiency automated snow guns to create more snow, with less energy, in less time. These upgrades decreased energy use this year, which puts the company 25% toward its energy-efficiency goal.

— Waste diversion: In total, Vail diverted more than 11 million pounds of waste from landfill over the last season through recycling and composting. Those efforts allowed the company to achieve 44% waste diversion, beating its 42% goal for this year and coming in seven percentage points ahead of last year’s diversion numbers.

— Reforesting habitat: Vail addressed 100% of the forests impacted by the company’s operations over the last year by reforesting 10 acres on the Western Slope of Colorado that had been impacted by the bark beetle.

Community and employee investment

In addition to its commitments to the environment, Vail provides ongoing support to preserve the vitality of the communities in which it operates. The company is also dedicated to supporting and investing in the development of its now 55,000 employees. Key highlights from this year’s progress report include:

— Community Giving: Vail donated $14 million and more than 24,000 volunteer hours to 350 non-profit community partners across 12 regions. Every dollar of community giving is locally driven, which means the resort leadership teams and employee groups work with local leaders to identify grants that are most needed in each community.

— EpicPromise Employee Foundation: The foundation achieved its annual goal of giving nearly $1 million in educational scholarships and emergency-relief grants. Of this $1 million, $500,000 is donated by Vail and $500,000 is covered by employee contributions and fundraising. With these funds, the foundation granted 119 educational scholarships and gave 240 emergency relief grants during the 2018/19 season.

This year, Vail was honored for its Commitment to Zero program with several environmental awards, notably the Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence from the National Ski Areas Association and the Colorado Governor’s Award for Outstanding Sustainability Initiative.

To read the report, visit epicpromise.com/media/2202/epic-promise-progress-report-fy2019_final.pdf.

The backbone to envision a new future for the South Shore of Lake Tahoe (Opinion)

Time magazine once described U.S. Highway 50 as the “Backbone of America.” That means that we have an iconic piece of Americana running right through the middle of the South Shore here at Lake Tahoe.

In the days before modern interstate highways crisscrossed the country, Highway 50 was a coast-to-coast connector, a ribbon of asphalt and concrete that threaded and stitched together the continental United States. Stretching from Ocean City, Maryland, to California’s capital in Sacramento, Highway 50 spans some 3,000 miles.

One of the longest roads in the nation, Highway 50, covers some spectacular ground and provides access to amazing sites. To travel along the highway is to discover the American experience firsthand — from ground level — at a pace and scale where one can appreciate the small towns and communities that pop up along the route while feeling the diversity of a great nation.

You most likely know about the plans here on the south shore to relocate and revitalize a 1.1-mile stretch of this historic highway. Plans call for rerouting Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe and Stateline behind the casino core, turning what is now a highway into a quieter and less trafficked street. This new main street will greet locals and visitors with wider sidewalks, more open green spaces, landscaped islands, and fewer trucks and cars.

While there are concerns about what’s colloquially called the loop road project, there are many folks who support this revitalization plan. TRPA believes that this is more than a mere road project — rather, it’s a renaissance project that can transform our community for the better. The project will build upon the improvements of the Heavenly gondola and Village. And in the end, provide a wonderful sense of place for the community and visitors to gather.

If you spend an evening strolling down the sidewalks from the casino core through the Heavenly Village, you’ll notice several things. The sidewalks and the outdoor seating areas are bustling with people enjoying themselves. But the hum of conversations and laughter is drowned out by the din of passing big rigs, delivery trucks, and the vast number of drivers making fast tracks from one side of town to the other. Routing Highway 50 behind the casinos eliminates multiple stoplights for pass-through drivers and moves noisy traffic that interferes with the walkability of our town center.

We can look to many other places that have chosen their community over a road. Carson City is a prime example. Taking in the beauty of Nevada’s Capitol and grounds or having dinner at one of Carson’s new restaurants is a much more enjoyable experience today than it was a few years ago when a four-lane highway ran through the town center.

Think of what we’ve already improved on the south shore. Twenty years ago, this stretch of Highway 50 through Stateline was little more than a rundown row of dilapidated motels — the world’s smallest Taco Bell — and scores of T-shirt shops. Today the Heavenly Village is a major draw for locals and visitors and a downtown shopping destination generating revenue for city coffers. The Heavenly gondola now offers walk-up access to the mountain without skiers and boarders needing to drive up to the mountain by car.

While there is still a remnant of the Great Recession’s “hole in the ground,” failure provides opportunities. The community is regrouping now to imagine a thriving main street corridor with links to the beach and the Van Sickle bi-state park.

Before any of this can happen—before a single shovel of dirt is turned to divert the highway—109 replacement units of affordable housing will be constructed for those uprooted by the new Highway 50 alignment. These will be deed-restricted, modern, energy-efficient, safe housing units that will replace the aging housing infrastructure that exists today.

For those living in the Rocky Point neighborhood, we understand that this is a difficult and emotional proposition. Our partners in this process know that the removal of existing housing can never be taken lightly. That’s why TRPA, the Tahoe Transportation District, and the City of South Lake Tahoe have held and will continue to hold multiple public outreach meetings. We are listening, and including the voices of those most affected, and doing everything we can to answer concerns.

Partners will be offering packages, with many years of rental relocation assistance, when the time comes for affected residents to move. On Nov. 20, TRPA will host another open house at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This third stakeholder meeting will allow residents to review the main street plan, and let the public have a say in how the final design will look.

We’re committed to seeing infrastructure improvements in the Rocky Point neighborhood like sidewalks, lighting, and community parks where kids can gather and safely play. TRPA conditioned these improvements in the permit for the Highway 50 project.

Like all projects of this magnitude, it will require us to partner and collaborate every step along the way. And like all the important issues we’ve tackled during our recent history, we’ll go on this journey together. When all is said and done many years from now, let’s hope we transform our 1.1 mile of America’s historic connector highway into something we can all celebrate that makes Tahoe proud.

Joanne S. Marchetta is the executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Good Samaritans to raffle off restored convertible, camper combo

The International Good Samaritans Safe Ride Club 2019 Fundraising Vehicle Raffle drawing happens this weekend during the final car show of the season at Heavenly Village.

Some lucky person will win a fully restored red 1954 Ford convertible with a restored 1957 Westerner camping trailer hitched to the back at the drawing Sunday, Oct. 20.

The club has been selling raffle tickets for months and some may be available before the drawing.

Raffle winners do not need to be present and there are nine other prizes aside from the grand giveaway.

For information, call Tom Argo at 530-541-5300.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe to host winter season hiring mixer Saturday

RENO, Nev. — Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe will host its winter season hiring mixer from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 in the Timbers Bar at the resort’s Main Lodge.

The resort is hiring for all positions for the 2019-20 season, including part-time and full-time, in departments including lift operations, ticket sales, rental shop, parking, food service, ski and snowboard school, snow surfaces (grooming, snowmaking) and more.

Not all positions require candidates to ski or snowboard.

“We are looking for candidates with a passion for delivering high quality guest experiences — no matter what department they’re working in — all season long,” said Mike Pierce in a press release. Pierce is the director of marketing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.

The resort is accepting online applications for part-time and full-time seasonal positions, including weekend and holiday work.

Candidates attending the hiring mixer are encouraged to complete an application online in advance, as well as bring a copy of their resume to the event.

Applicants must be ages 16 and older to work at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.

Candidates will have an opportunity to meet with hiring managers from all departments and learn about the advantages of working at a ski resort.

Candidates will have a chance to win raffle prizes, sip local craft beers for candidates 21 and older, and enjoy live music from The Connor Party while mingling with current and future team members after the interviews.

Being part of the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe team includes free skiing and snowboarding all season long, free lessons and equipment rentals, discounts on retail items and at resort food outlets.

Mt. Rose’s close proximity to Reno offers a variety of convenient, affordable housing options, and also makes it possible for local high school students to work part-time on weekends or holidays in a recreation-based atmosphere.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is targeting an Oct. 25 opening, weather and conditions permitting.

Learn more or apply for an open position at www.skirose.com/employment.