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KUNR Today: Tahoe Ski Resort Changes Name, California Voters Decide Whether To Recall Newsom

Palisades Tahoe logo
Palisades Tahoe

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.

New Name, New Era For Famous Tahoe Ski Resort
By Noah Glick

An iconic ski resort in Lake Tahoe has announced a new name, joining other organizations nationwide that are moving away from derogatory terms used to describe Native Americans.

Dee Byrne is the president of the new Palisades Tahoe, formerly known as Squaw Valley.

“Palisades are unique rock formations that we have at both the Alpine and the Olympic Valley side,” Byrne said. “And they’re really emblematic of the freeskiing and skiing heritage here that is important and unique to us.”

The term “squaw” is a derogatory term originally used by white settlers to describe women in the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. Byrne said it’s important to move past that ugly history with a name that better reflects the community.

“I think the social reckoning that we’ve seen in our country has motivated a lot of us to get going and do the right thing,” Byrne said. “It’s a hell of a lot of hard work, but it’s work that is worthwhile and we finally said, ‘It’s time.’ ”

The Washoe Tribe has commended the move. In a statement, Tribal Chairman Serrell Smokey said, “The Washoe Tribal Council recognizes the significance of the name change, and on behalf of the Washoe people, expresses its great appreciation for this positive step forward."

Officials at the resort say most major signage will be replaced by the start of this ski season.

Washoe County Accounts For Quarter Of Average Daily COVID-19 Cases In Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

High rates of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still being reported in Nevada. There are more than 1,000 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the state.

Nevada officials are also reporting an average of nearly 950 daily cases over the last two weeks, with about a quarter of those cases stemming from Washoe County.

More than 53% of eligible Nevadans are fully vaccinated. Masks are required to be worn indoors in all Nevada counties regardless of vaccination status.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada, or view the state and Washoe County COVID-19 dashboards.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Judge Digs Deeper Into PG&E’s Suspected Role In Dixie Fire
By The Associated Press

A Pacific Gas & Electric troubleshooter spent nearly two hours in federal court Monday fielding questions about whether the utility could have turned off the electricity sooner on a power line suspected of sparking the monstrous Dixie Fire two months ago. The grilling came before a federal judge who is overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation after the utility’s gas lines blew up part of a suburban neighborhood in 2010. The judge is weighing whether he should impose more stringent conditions on PG&E before his authority expires in January. PG&E says it shares the judge’s concern for safety.

Property Tax Relief For California Homeowners With Property Damaged In Wildfire
By Lucia Starbuck

If your property was damaged by California wildfires, you may be eligible for property tax relief.

California residents are being asked to file a claim with their county assessor. The damage must be greater than $10,000 to qualify. The property will be reassessed and taxes will be adjusted according to the damage.

Property tax relief is available to California homeowners, businesses and people who have lost vehicles like boats and aircraft.

More information can be found on the California State Board of Equalization’s website.

Nevada’s Pandemic Relief Spending Plan For Schools Approved
By The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Education on Monday approved a plan submitted by the state of Nevada to spend $1.1 billion in pandemic aid earmarked for K-12 schools. The approved plan outlines Nevada’s strategy to reopen all schools for in-person learning in the current school year, directing districts to use funds to close opportunity gaps for underserved students, expand access to technology, and enable distance learning. The funding is a massive windfall for Nevada, which spends roughly $3.3 billion in state and local funds annually on K-12 education and has long ranked near the bottom of the United States in per-pupil spending.

GOP Pushes Unfounded Fraud Claims Before California Recall
By The Associated Press

Republicans led by former President Donald Trump are raising unsubstantiated claims that California’s recall election against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is rigged. That messaging poses a problem for Republican Party officials, who are encouraging everyone to vote while maintaining concerns about the state’s election security. GOP officials have vowed to watch over the race and possibly sue to challenge any irregularities. As of Saturday, 7.8 million ballots have been cast, or 35% of registered voters. The secretary of state says California has the nation’s strictest voting system security requirements. Much of the GOP criticism of California’s elections has focused on the wide use of mail-in ballots.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America focusing on community reporting and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local community issues are her passion, including the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, a lack of access to healthcare, protests and challenges facing vulnerable communities in northern Nevada.
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