Study Proves Tahoe Housing Crisis Is Real

Aug 28, 2016

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. 

Squeezed Out, Part One: A Look Beyond The Lake In Tahoe

May 17, 2016
Courtesy Domus Development

The Reno-Tahoe area is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing, impacting everyone from families to employers to even the police force. In this first story of our series on the subject, "Squeezed Out,"  Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt visited a side of Tahoe most people don't see. 

"I just kicked a liquor bottle, in a park where there are unfortunately a lot of kid bikes."

That's Heidi Hill-Drum, executive director of the Tahoe Prosperity Center, showing me around one of the few affordable housing options in King's Beach: a run-down trailer park.

Grooming The Next Generation Of Tech CEOs In Tahoe

Apr 18, 2016
Courtesy Sierra Nevada College

We’re headed into graduation season soon, and Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt has the story of one local college student who has already scored a CEO gig. 

By the time Sasha Severance celebrates her graduation from Sierra Nevada College in May, she’ll have been a CEO for about three months.

Severance owes that opportunity to Elevate Blue, a tech accelerator in Incline Village, which essentially builds companies around great ideas.

Courtesy Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Placer County released the final plan for the expansion of the Village at Squaw Resort last week. Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt brings us this update. 

The final proposal for Squaw's expansion is not noticeably different from the draft plan released last year. According to Squaw CEO Andy Wirth, that's because it's solid as-is.

"All our development plans are to improve upon not just disturbed land, but 90 acres of asphalt."

Squaw Expansion Update: What About The Traffic?

Mar 14, 2016
Squaw Valley Real Estate

Squaw's controversial redevelopment is continuing to make its way through the planning process. We caught up with folks on both sides of the issue for this update.

Proponents of the proposed expansion of the Village at Squaw say the development will make it a full-service resort.

Kathryn Rees, a Sacramento lobbyist who owns a condo at Squaw Lodge, explains. "When we come up and it's raining, guess what? There's absolutely nothing to do, other than watch TV or go to the bar."

Coalition Aims To Make Extreme Sports Safer

Feb 28, 2016
Go Bigger Coalition

Tahoe area psychologist Robb Gaffney is worried about the focus on taking big jumps -- and big risks -- in today's action sports community. "We just keep seeing people get injured and die, in a way that we just didn't 40 years ago."

That's particularly true of teens, according to Gaffney. In response, he's brought together a group of athletes, ski coaches, and concerned local parents to form the Go Bigger Coalition. :  The goal is to teach parents how to talk to their kids about risk-taking, the social pressure that leads to it, and how to be safe without missing out on fun.

Sierra Nevada College

Sierra Nevada College, in Incline Village, hosted its own version of Shark Tank this week. Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt was there to hear the winning pitch.

Apparently, Canada has a coin problem.

"We do not have a one dollar bill. So what this means is every time you get 4.99 back in change? It's all in coins.  It's just ridiculous. Personally, I went through my car the other day and found $17 worth of Canadian coins in there, and I don't even live in Canada anymore."

Olympic Valley Offically Ends Bid To Become A Town

Dec 6, 2015


The effort to incorporate Olympic Valley into its own town has ended. Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt has been covering the proposal and has this update.


After trying for nearly three years to turn the unincorporated community surrounding Squaw into a town, the nonprofit Incorporate Olympic Valley officially pulled its application yesterday. The Placer County Commission overseeing the application declared the town financially unviable last week, making it difficult for the effort to continue. 

The bid to incorporate Tahoe's Olympic Valley into its own town was dealt a potentially fatal blow last week. 

After months of back and forth, the Placer County commission charged with overseeing Olympic Valley’s bid to become a town made a big decision last week. Finding that the town would face too many financial challenges, the commission proposed to vote on terminating the incorporation application as soon as it legally can.

"It's actually the only incorporation proposal in the state at the moment."

Local Company Says Women's Skis Don't Have To Suck

Nov 18, 2015
Courtesy Coalition Snow

Women’s skis are generally softer, smaller versions of men’s skis. But according to Jen Gurecki, CEO of Tahoe-based startup Coalition Snow, it doesn’t have to be that way. As part of our look this week at female entrepreneurship growing in the region, I met with Gurecki to find out more.  

Coalition Snow's tagline sums up everything you need to know about the company:

"We make women's skis and snowboards that don't suck"

Chris Beck, courtesy Squaw Valley Resort

Olympic Valley residents who want to incorporate their town had a big win this week, but they’ve got a long road ahead, and not everyone in the community wants a new town. 

For the past three years, some Olympic Valley residents have been pushing to incorporate the small mountain community surrounding Squaw Valley into its own town. Currently, Olympic Valley is unincorporated, which means big decisions get made in Auburn, the Placer County seat.

Back-Country Boom Leads To Increased Avalanche Risk

Nov 5, 2015
By Derrick Coetzee via Wikimedia Commons

With the season’s first snow, the local Sierra Avalanche Center is gearing up its education efforts. 

Back-country skiing is booming in the Reno-Tahoe area.

“I don’t want to blame it on this, but like Go Pros, and social media? They have incredibly boosted a lot of, how should I say it -- you know … gusto, courage, armchair courage.”

Squaw Valley Resort

Squaw Valley developers have revised a controversial expansion plan to address community concerns, but opponents say the changes don’t go far enough. 

Squaw’s planned expansion of the Village at Squaw Valley has received more than 300 public comments, most of them negative. Critics cite the development’s impact on traffic, natural resources, and scenic views as top concerns.

2015 Sierra Snow Pack Was Lowest In 500 Years

Sep 16, 2015

We all know snowfall in the Sierras has been light in recent years, but new research reveals that 2015 marked a 500-year-low for snowpack in the region.


  A report detailing the state of Lake Tahoe was released on Thursday, raising concerns about the continued impact of low water levels. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

A packed conference room listened raptly as Geoff Schladow went over a few of the most salient points in this year’s report at the Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village.

Schladow directs the the University of California-Davis’ Tahoe Environmental Research Center. He says some of their main concerns are increasing amounts of microscopic algae and the rate of evaporation.

As Tahoe warms, oxygen and clarity could decrease

Aug 14, 2014
Will Stone

In the lead up to next week’s Tahoe Summit, researchers are taking stock of how warmer temperatures are impacting the lake’s iconic clear waters. Earlier this week, we looked at concerns about water quality near the shore. But, as it turns out, climate change may also affect oxygen levels in the lake.