Amy Westervelt | KUNR

Amy Westervelt

Amy Westervelt is a former contributor at KUNR Public Radio.

Tahoe's Missing Middle

Dec 1, 2016

 

Tahoe communities have been grappling with a worsening housing crisis for several months. Although housing has always been an issue in the region, the situation has reached something of a tipping point in recent months, affecting both low-income communities and,increasingly, working class and middle class residents as well.

As more and more landlords convert their properties to lucrative short-term vacation rentals, and developers continue to push for new neighborhoods filled with second homes, locals are struggling to stay in the community.

American Advisors Group / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Local business owners are feeling the pinch of a housing shortage in Tahoe. Our Tahoe reporter Amy Westervelt has that story.

The news has been full of stories about the issues that arise when police don't live in the communities they serve. That includes everything from slow emergency response times to excessive force.

Our Tahoe reporter Amy Westervelt spoke to one Truckee police officer to learn his story.

There is a small wave inbound on a sandy shore of Lake Tahoe while large rocks are peaking out of the emerald water. A hill covered in trees is visible in the background. A snowcapped mountainscape is visible in the far background, too.
Will Stone

Affordable housing doesn’t seem like an obvious topic for the Tahoe Summit, but housing and lake clarity are linked. Our Tahoe reporter Amy Westervelt has that story. 

Marcus Lavergne

The annual Lake Tahoe Summit celebrated its 20th year the way it began, with a presidential visit. But the event is not just a media stunt, it actually has deep significance for the health of the lake. Our Tahoe-based reporter Amy Westervelt has that story. 

Most locals think of the Tahoe Summit as a simple celebration of the lake they call home. But the summit has actually had a big impact on conservation efforts, as Senator Harry Reid explained at this year’s event.

A study of housing in Truckee and north Tahoe released this week reveals some troubling realities about the region. 

The results of the Truckee-North Tahoe regional housing study, commissioned by the Truckee-Tahoe Community Foundation, are unsurprising to locals: A third of Tahoe residents spend more than half their income on housing, and close to 65 percent of houses in the region are vacation homes. 

Elevate Blue

Some tech companies are opting to open offices in Tahoe rather than Reno these days. Our reporter Amy Westervelt talked to a few to find out why.

Tahoe is full of Bay Area folks every weekend, looking to get away from the rat race and relax.

“There were a bunch of people who said, ‘You know, I’m here. So if there was an office, I would actually work here even though I might be in San Francisco four days a week.’”

Natalie Van Hoozer

In the latest installment of our ongoing series, Behind the Battery Boom, we take a look at what happens when we have more lithium-ion batteries to dispose of. Reporter Amy Westervelt has that story.

Courtesy Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Squaw Valley Resort’s expansion plan has passed another hurdle on its way to approval. With a thumbs up from the Placer County Planning Commission, the project moves this fall to the County Board of Supervisors for final approval. Our Tahoe-based reporter Amy Westervelt has that story. 

Julia Ritchey

One of the biggest promises Tesla has made to Nevada is its commitment to hire thousands of people for well-paid jobs at the gigafactory. In the latest installment of our series Behind the Battery Boom, reporter Amy Westervelt looks at how the company will deliver on that promise in the face of a looming labor shortage.

I’m standing in what will soon be the new advanced manufacturing lab at Truckee Meadows Community College. Jim New, the school’s dean of technical sciences, is showing me around.

Steve Jurvetson, Flickr

As part of our ongoing series on Tesla, Amy Westervelt takes a look at the state of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and whether or not it’s easier to get around without gas these days. 

Business and construction are booming in Reno, and that means even more students for the already-overcrowded Washoe County School District. In the latest installment of our series Behind The Battery Boom, looking at Tesla's impact on Northern Nevada, we break down the complex relationship between economic development and local schools. 

Whitney Powell

As part of our series Behind the Battery Boom, we’re taking a look at a key element of the factory: batteries. Lithium-ion batteries to be exact, and whether the electric vehicle industry’s multi-billion-dollar bet on the technology will pay off.

The Town of Truckee has unveiled a new logo. Based on signs for Old Forty, the scenic road that runs up and over Donner Summit, the logo is a key part of the town's re-branding efforts, as is its corresponding tag line. 

Adam Piotrowski, Flickr Creative Commons

A study out today reveals that California kids have unhealthy levels of flame retardant chemicals in their bodies. 

Amy Westervelt

The Placer County Planning Commission voted last week to reject the Martis Valley West development in Tahoe.

The controversial project would bring 760 new million-dollar homes to the Brockway ridge, between Kings Beach and Northstar.

Like many local residents, Peggy Nicklaus of Carnelian Bay was concerned about this project and others.

Wikimedia Commons

California will vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana come November. Our California-based reporter Amy Westervelt has that story.

Wikimedia Commons

The League to Save Lake Tahoe is organizing a massive beach cleanup on Tuesday, one of the largest of the year. Our Tahoe-based reporter Amy Westervelt has the story.

For the League to Save Lake Tahoe, the annual beach cleanup isn’t just about keeping Tahoe beautiful.

“We’ve been doing this the last five years, and collecting data, with a plan," says deputy director Jesse Patterson. “The plan was to find solutions to the hot spots and the most common trash, to hopefully avoid them continuing to show up on our beaches.”

Courtesy Drone America

The Federal Aviation Administration released its new regulations for drones this month, much to the excitement of Nevada companies. The new regulations open up air space for drones and lift onerous requirements around who can fly the unmanned aircraft. 

A public meeting to discuss a proposed new development in Tahoe got pretty heated when hundreds of locals turned up to voice their concerns. Our Tahoe reporter Amy Westervelt was there.

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