Monday, January 28, 2008

SLT City Manager's report -- Jan. 22, 2008

Electronic Version

January 22, 2008


“The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” Albert Einstein

In this Edition:
The Planning Hierarchy in the Basin
Doing our Part to Define the Carbon Footprint
22,000 Prisoners Proposed for Release


There are a number of planning activities and special studies underway in the Tahoe Basin and within the City limits. Deciphering what the planning process means can be daunting.

Listed below is a brief and non-inclusive summary of the major current planning processes underway in the Basin and City limits. The results of these important planning processes will have long term and lasting impacts on the region and the residents of South Lake Tahoe.

The Tahoe Regional Plan – The Regional Picture

In the planning hierarchy, the Regional Plan is the most important planning document. TRPA is responsible under the Inter-State Compact between Nevada and California (that was approved by Congress) to update and revise the existing regional plan for the entire Tahoe Basin. The process involves examining the current environmental conditions, determining how the Basin has done to meet environmental thresholds over the last twenty years, establish new environmental thresholds, and adopt a regional plan document that will be a guide for the region over the next twenty years. Ultimately, all planning efforts underway by all planning agencies will need to be consistent with the approved Regional Plan.

City General Plan – The City Picture

The next planning update on the City General Plan will be presented to the City Council on January 29, 2008.

California law requires all 478 cities to have a comprehensive general plan to serve as the “constitution” of all development for a period of twenty years. Unlike any other city in California, South Lake Tahoe’s General Plan must be consistent with the adopted Tahoe Regional Plan. In addition to the regional planning process, the Inter-State Compact that created TRPA contemplated a vigorous local planning process implemented through the adoption of a City’s General Plan that focuses on lands within and adjacent to the City limits.

City elected leadership has embraced a vigorous local planning process contemplated in the Inter-State Compact and have not abdicated their planning responsibilities. Vigorous local planning gives more public input and the ability to shape City planning in ways that are flexible to meet changing local conditions and needs as long as the changes are consistent with the City General Plan goals and policies and the Regional Plan. The City General Plan will have eight elements which address the seven State mandated elements as well as three optional elements:

• Land Use and Community Design Element *
• Transportation Circulation Element*
• Housing Element (that must be updated every five years)*
• Natural and Cultural Resources Element (includes open space and conservation) *
• Health & Safety Element (includes noise) *
• Recreation and Parks Element
• Economic Development Element
• Public/Quasi-Public Facilities and Services Element

• * Required General Plan Elements

Tahoe Valley Community Plan (TVCP) – The Gateway Project and Picture

The Tahoe Valley Community Plan is a specific planning process that was initiated before the Regional Plan was in full swing and the City’s General Plan process had begun. This planning process is a more specific planning process that involved the work of the TVCP Advisory Committee, a Design Charette, and the development of different land use options/alternatives for the gateway to South Lake Tahoe.

At the present time, PMC is preparing an environmental impact report for City government in collaboration with TRPA to examine the various land use options for this area. This planning process is expected to be completed later this year.

CEP – The Specific Development Project Picture

This is a special TRPA-initiated program developed to inform the Regional Plan update by processing mixed use projects that revitalize their sites by using existing land coverage and development rights in a creative way to accomplish environmental as well as socio-economic objectives. The CEP is a competitive process where land owners throughout the Basin compete to propose projects that will provide environmental enhancements and make improvements to the physical appearance of their property. In South Lake Tahoe, the owners of the Mikasa site and the owners of the K-Mart site have entered the competition to obtain incentives such as additional commercial floor area and height.

Originally, I recommended that this process be held off until planning had been approved and completed in the TVCP Area. TRPA staff and officials believed that waiting was not a good idea because it would stall land owners who wanted to make improvements now.

The New Redevelopment Plan – The Financing Tool

After a TVCP is agreed on and approved, how does it get implemented or does it become like so many other ideas just a shelf document that collects dust?

A new redevelopment project area (No 2) is being studied to determine if the study area (survey area) in whole or in part qualifies to be designated a redevelopment project area. The City has one area already. The new area would focus principally on the area in and around the Y. The RDA Study Area is usually a larger area than a project area. A project area can be smaller than a Survey Area but not larger than it. Once a redevelopment project area is established it helps (through tax increment financing) to pay for the costs of various improvements in the area that are consistent with the TVCP and City General Plan. A redevelopment plan and new project area can only help implement what is already approved in the TVCP or City General Plan…it cannot do whatever it wants to do.

A new redevelopment project area would not have the power of eminent domain. It cannot and will not take privately owned property for a public or private use. It would not increase taxes. It would not force people to do things they do not want to do. It would provide the financial tools from tax increment to make defined public improvements and assist property owners interested in fixing up and improving their properties. Thus, unlike the other planning activities above, a new redevelopment project area is a planning implementation tool to help implement agreed upon planning


The Governor of California, The California Legislature and the State Attorney General have expressed their serious concerns with greenhouse gas (as part of AB 32) and are encouraging local planning efforts to examine the issue carefully.

With City government proceeding now with active planning efforts that are described above, how can South Lake Tahoe do its part to examine the potential of green house gases from local planning now underway and come up with reasonable and responsible steps to address the issue?

I asked the City’s General Plan Advisor Dan Amsden, AICP of Mintier & Associates, for his thoughts on the matter, and he offered the following comments and observations:

“Identifying ways to reduce a City's carbon footprint in relation to Global Warming is a very new issue relative to General Plans. The State (OPR specifically) has been tasked to prepare guidelines for global warming requirements applicable to General Plans as a result of AB 32. However, these guidelines are still a few years out at best. In the meantime, the Attorney General's office has been very proactive… to make sure cities and counties in California address ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the General Plan…

We are dealing with this issue in all of our general plan projects, and have been in close contact with numerous environmental planners and attorneys in the past few months to gain their insights into how this should be addressed. The only clear-cut direction that has been received so far from the State is in relation to threatened lawsuits against San Bernardino County and San Diego. The AG's office released a letter to both these jurisdictions that outlines policies and measures to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are using this as the temporary benchmark for now until OPR prepares the official State guidelines.

We will address Global Warming in the General Plan's Policy Document and Environmental Impact Report. This will include specifically ways the City can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage energy efficiency. Because this is becoming such a large issue in State law, we have been including this discussion as its own section in most policy documents/EIRs.”

The issues of global warming and carbon footprint will be addressed in the City’s environmental documents for the General Plan and TVCP.


At last week’s League of California Cities Community Services Policy Committee meeting in Sacramento, a representative from the Governor’s Office was present and discussed the Governor’s proposed early release of 22,000 individuals who are presently in the State prison system as part of the Governor’s proposal to trim the State budget.

Kurt Wilson told us that the program involves the release of prisoners who were convicted on non-serious offenses, are non-violent, and non-sexual predators. Persons scheduled for release will be returned to their County of origin. He said that each prisoner’s record is being carefully examined by the State before the release is completed to ensure their suitability for release. In addition, prisoners released under this program can be searched by law enforcement. This latter provision will require State legislation to implement.

When I asked him if the State plans to provide funds for job training or re-entry services into the communities, he said that there are presently no such proposals on the table. Releasing 22,000 prisoners into the State’s population in a tight job market and with them having no training or re-entry programs is something City and County officials need to examine closely. There is no doubt that State prisons are overcrowded and costly to operate. What is unknown is the impact these releases will have on communities to whom they are sent.

City Manager

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jan. 29 mortgage crisis workshop

California Legislature


January 23, 2008 (916) 319-2004


Aims to help sub-prime borrowers avoid foreclosure

SACRAMENTO – With many local families holding sub-prime mortgages in danger of losing their homes, Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, today announced that he will be hosting a “sub-prime mortgage workshop” for residents on Tuesday, January 29 in Roseville . Gaines will be co-hosting the event with Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks and the Office of Governor Schwarzenegger.

“I have great empathy for those struggling to make ends meet during these very uncertain economic times for our state and our country,” Gaines said. “My sub-prime mortgage workshop will be an excellent opportunity for homeowners to learn about all the mortgage options available to them, so they can avoid running into trouble and facing the nightmare of foreclosure. I encourage local residents concerned about their mortgage to attend our forum and work with their lender if they are having trouble making payments.”

According to the latest national figures, 43% of metropolitan areas with high foreclosure rates are located here in California . Another 500,000 homeowners in California will see their interest rates and mortgage payments significantly increase over the next two years when their adjustable-rate mortgages reflect changing interest rates.

Assemblyman Gaines’ sub-prime mortgage workshop will be held on Tuesday, January 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Maidu Community Center in Roseville , located at 1550 Maidu Drive . Homeowners are encouraged to bring their loan documents and other relevant financial information to the workshop with them to discuss their options with
on-site loan counselors.

Assemblyman Ted Gaines represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all or parts of Placer, El Dorado, Alpine and Sacramento Counties.

# # #

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Free mammograms

For more information, call (530) 543-5537
For an application, stop by the Barton Community Clinic,
located at 2201 South Ave., South Lake Tahoe
(directly across the street from the hospital main entrance)
Mammograms save lives by detecting breast cancer before it’s even
large enough to feel.
Whether you are uninsured or underinsured, not being able to afford
an annual Mammogram is no reason not to have one.
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and
the Barton HealthCare System team up to offer
FREE Mammograms to anyone, male or female, who qualifies.
You may qualify for a FREE mammogram Are you at
risk for
breast cancer?
■ I am a woman.
■ I am a man.
■ I am getting older.
If you checked 2 of these 3 boxes,
you are at risk for breast cancer.

Jan. 17 Angora burn area to reopen


South Lake Tahoe Calif. Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron of the USDA
Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, has signed a forest
that will reopens the Angora Fire burn area to public access effective
After midnight, Thursday, January 17, 2008.

The burn area was closed to the public through a Forest Order last
to reduce resource damage and erosion potential following the June 2007
Angora Wildfire. The closure also reduced public safety risks from
trees, and protected erosion control treatments until a significant
pack arrived. Recent snows are sufficient enough to protect the area
spring. When spring arrives, the burn area will be reassessed for
actions, which might require localized closures depending on the

Individuals entering the burn area or other steep sloped backcoutry
are advised to check on local avalanche conditions by visiting where a link to the Sierra Avalanche
can be found on the front page. While in the burn area, try to avoid
areas with exposed soils to minimize your impact.


Order No. 19-07-04

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Termination of Angora Fire Closure

Pursuant to Title 36 CFR 261.50(a), the prohibitions listed in the
Order number 19-07-04 applicable to the Lake Tahoe Basin Management
signed November 30, 2007 by Terri Marceron, are hereby terminated as of
midnight on January 17, 2008.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jan. 14 SLT city manager's report

Correction to the Joint Facilities Report Contained in the January 14, 2008 Management Observations Report Regarding Joint Facilities

The contingency used in the estimate was 15%, or $4.3 million, but they also said that they had not looked at the site work needed yet and this % might be reduced once they do.

Soft costs were 23.8%, or $6.8 million (for permits, fees, testing, inspection, furniture, equipment, etc).

Christine M. Vuletich
Director of Finance
Electronic Version

January 14, 2008


In this Edition:

State Budget Update
Workforce and Affordable Housing
Highway 50 Project
Joint Government Facilities
Bijou Erosion Control Project


In 2007 the community faced major challenges and opportunities. The Angora Fire, its impact and aftermath demonstrated clearly the terrible consequences of neglecting fuel reduction in the forest and the need for accelerating fuels reduction in the forest and City. The best fire suppression is fire prevention.

The response to the fire also demonstrated the outstanding support our community receives from other governmental agencies that helped us fight the fire and respond to the need of victims. The fire and its aftermath demonstrated the love and charity of our community to help victims of the fire. We are blessed!

In 2008 we look forward to an active and productive year. There are many initiatives in place to improve the community and they all need to be carefully evaluated and explained to the community. The City’s General Plan, the Tahoe Valley Community Plan and its implementation, the 56 Acre Project, workforce and affordable housing, fuel reduction on public lands, the feasibility of joint government facilities, fire and growing the local economy are but a few of the important issues.

We must work as a community to build understanding and consensus on important policy issues, and City staff stands ready in support of the City Council and the community to do so.


After experiencing a series of low-snow years, South Lake Tahoe finally received large amounts of snow that should dramatically help our tourist-based economy. South Lake Tahoe fared far better than many communities from the major storm fronts. City emergency response personnel were ready for the worst and cooperated with County, State and neighboring agencies. We were ready, and they did a great job!

Once the snow came, Caltrans and City snow removal crews did a fantastic job keeping our streets and highways clear and our neighborhoods accessible. These snow crew members worked long hours and did so with a positive attitude. They know that unless streets and highways are clear, people do not get to work, visitors cannot come here, children can’t get to school, and emergency vehicles cannot provide service when it is needed. My personal thanks and appreciation is extended to all emergency personnel and to the fine Caltrans and City snow crews that kept our community open and safe.

STATE BUDGET UPDATE – The Governor Makes his Proposal

Even though the State Constitution and law guarantees to local governments funds from the local sales tax, property tax etc, these funds are controlled in their distribution principally by State government that has the power and ability to “borrow” funds earmarked for local governments. For this reason, I am printing for you below the entire analysis done by the League of California Cities as a way of giving you all current budget-impact information.

“Governor Outlines Solutions to Fill Current Year Budget Gap and Address Projected Deficits for FY 2008-09 (LOCC Report of 1/11/08)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released his proposed budget Jan. 10. He began by declaring a fiscal emergency and calling for "true reform" of the budget process to provide the state with a permanent solution to the systemic structural deficit.
Echoing his remarks in his State of the State address Tuesday, Jan. 8, Gov. Schwarzenegger unveiled his Budget Stabilization Act, a constitutional amendment that would establish a mechanism to cap spending when revenues are high, helping prevent future deficits.
The Governor outlined a two-pronged approach to deal with both the projected budget deficit for the current fiscal year (2007-08) and the structural deficit in FY 2008-09.
Governor's Proposed Solution to FY 2007-08 Imbalance
In the FY 2007-08 budget the Legislature passed last August, the Governor projected a $4 billion surplus at the end of the year. However, because of the housing slump and sub prime mortgage crisis, state revenues have dropped to such a level that there is no surplus, and the state lacks funding to fulfill its current financial obligations.
To close this gap, the Governor announced that he will sell the remaining $3.3 billion in Economic Recovery Bonds (ERB) by February 2008. For local governments, the effect is that the anticipated sunset of the triple flip mechanism will be delayed several years, to 2012 or beyond.
The triple flip mechanism was established by Proposition 57 (2004), the Economic Recovery Bond Act. It involves taking a quarter-cent of the local sales tax to repay these bonds and reimburses local governments' losses on a dollar-for-dollar basis with property tax.
As another means to address the projected shortfall, the Governor proposed cutting $217 million from state agencies. The 10 percent across the board to state agencies and programs cuts Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed will take effect March 1, 2008. He is also seeking to delay payments on $6.24 billion in funding intended for a variety of existing programs including; K-12 schools, state teachers' supplemental benefits and various Medi-Cal and other health programs.
Proposal Includes Delay in Highway User Tax Payments
The Governor is proposing to delay payment of approximately $500 million of payments of Highway Users Tax (per gallon Gasoline Excise Tax) payments to local governments. Cities and counties receive about $100 million per month of these revenues. The Governor has proposed to suspend these payments for a five-month period (April-August 2008) to be paid in full without interest in September 2008. The League is analyzing this proposal for impacts on cities.
The Administration is citing the authority to delay payment pursuant to Section 6 Article 19 of the California Constitution, which permits borrowing of these funds under certain conditions but requires repayment either within 30 days of the adoption of the budget bill for the subsequent fiscal year or within three years. (At this point, the proposal is suggesting the shorter pay-back period.) This section of the Constitution also authorizes the Legislature to establish a loan program to offset the temporary losses experienced by local government.
Note that these are revenues from the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax (also called the Gasoline Excise Tax or the Highway Users Tax) allocated among local governments and state transportation funds pursuant to California Streets & Highways Code §§2104-2108. These are not revenues derived from the Proposition 42 sales tax on gas.
Governor's Proposed Solution to Fix FY 2008-09 Imbalance
For the fiscal year that begins July 1, the Governor proposes to cut funding across all state agencies by 10 percent. These cuts have many significant impacts on state programs, including education, with the suspension of Proposition 98. Gov. Schwarzenegger has not proposed to take property taxes from local governments under Proposition 1A (2004), nor has he proposed to taking any transportation funds under Prop. 42, protected by Proposition 1A (2006).
Across the Board Cuts Impact Public Safety Programs
Payments to counties for Local Detention Facilities (Gov Code Sec 29552) have also been reduced by 10 percent to $31.5 million. Current law stipulates that in any year the budget appropriates less than $35 million, counties may impose booking fees on cities in proportion to the under appropriation.
For additional information please see
Funding for Gang Abatement Programs: Included in the budget proposal is funding for gang and youth violence prevention including:
• $1.3 million to establish the Office of Gang and Youth Violence Policy
• $5.3 million to fund the Department of Justice's four existing Gang Suppression Enforcement Teams permanently
Transportation Funding
Proposition 42 Fully Funded: Following two Prop. 42 gap years, cities and counties will statutorily receive these funds again beginning in FY 2008-09. The Governor has proposed fully funding the program including $594.2 million specifically for cities and counties. This amount is a significant increase in prior allocations due to the statutory elimination of funding for the Traffic Congestion Relief Program.
The budget proposes to fully fund Prop. 42 at $1.5 billion which includes:
• $594 million for the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)
• $297 million for cities (local streets and roads)
• $297 million for counties (local streets and roads)
• $297 million for the Public Transportation Account (PTA)
Proposition 1B: Prop. 1B, which passed in November 2006, included $2 billion in funding for transportation projects. The 2007 Budget Act appropriated $950 million of these bond funds. However, no additional Prop. 1B bond funds for local streets and roads are proposed to be allocated in FY 2008-09.
The proposed budget does include $4.7 billion in bond allocations for the following:
• $1.547 billion for Corridor Mobility Program
• $350 million for Local Transit Program
• $1.186 billion for State Transportation Improvement Program
• $500 million for Trade Corridor Program
• $200 million for State/Local Partnership Program
• $216 million for State Highway Operations and Protection Program
• $65 million for Grade Separation Program
• $108 million for Highway 99
• $21 million for local seismic retrofit projects
• $73 million for intercity rail
• $250 million for air quality
• $101 million for transit security
• $58 million for port security
Public Transportation Account: The proposed budget allocates $1.343 billion to the Public Transportation Account (PTA) for a variety of transit purposes. This amount includes $455 million of "spillover" revenue. The total spillover amount projected for FY 2008-09 is $910 million, half of which will be transferred to address non-transit programs as established under SB 79 in last year's budget.
The Governor's budget proposes $771 million in Proposition 1C funding for FY 2008-09. This funding includes:
• $200 million for Regional Planning Housing and Infill Incentive Account
• $95.5 million for the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund
• $30 million for the Housing Urban-Suburban-Rural Parks Account
• $96 million for Transit-Oriented Development Implementation Fund
Over the last decade, environmental programs at the state level have largely been funded through special fees and ballot measure. Because of this, budget reductions in the General Fund do not typically impact these programs. Impacts may be felt in time delays for the processing of state permit applications such as National Pollution Discharge Elimination System and Local Coastal Plan Amendments.
In addition, there are a few areas specifically that may have city impacts including:
• The budget proposes to reduce funding for the Subventions for Open Space (Williamson Act) by $3.9 million.
• The potential closure of 48 state parks may increase pressure on local emergency responders and law enforcement.
Flood Protection: The proposed budget includes $598 million from Proposition 1E to fund a variety of flood response and levee improvements.
Proposition 84: The budget proposes the expenditure of $1 billion in Prop. 84 funds for a variety of natural resource programs.
Governor's Wildland Firefighting Initiative
The Governor is proposing legislation that would enact a 1.25 percent surcharge on residential and commercial property insurance policies to fund the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission created after the 2003 Southern California fire storms. The projected $125 million generated annually over six years would fund various programs including expansion of the Office Emergency Services engine flee, GPS systems, a reverse 911 system for counties that do not have one and a state-wide warning system.
Mandates Reimbursement Funding
The FY 2008-09 proposed budget includes $139 million for reimbursement claims for costs incurred prior to July 1, 2007. Of this amount, $75 million is proposed for the third payment of reimbursement claims owed to local governments for cost incurred prior to July 1, 2004.
Additional Infrastructure Bonds Proposed: During his statement Thursday, the Governor discussed additional bond measures as part of his Strategic Growth Plan to expand the state's water supply and fund K-12 and higher education facility improvements and courthouse repairs. The League will provide additional information on these proposals at a later date.
Budget Negotiations Will Continue
There is a great deal of action expected this year on the budget. The Legislature, in accordance with Proposition 58, has 45 days to respond to some of the Governor's proposals to address the declared fiscal emergency.
The proposed across the board cuts are sure to trigger many other discussions about how best to address the state's deficit. The League will continue to analyze the many details in the Governor's proposed budget and provide updated materials to city officials.
A copy of the Governor's budget can be accessed at “


Officials of the Lake Tahoe Community College and Barton Hospital are collaborating to examine the feasibility of building workforce housing on the LTCC campus for staffs of these organizations in order to help retain qualified people. They are in the preliminary stages of review to determine project feasibility and project parameters, and City staff is assisting and will assist them in this feasibility effort. This collaborative effort and discussion has been part of initial discussions of the Workforce Housing Committee that includes key members of City staff and chaired by Council Member Ted Long. LTCC and Barton officials are to be commended for looking for ways to collaborate on this important matter.

In a related matter the City Council approved at its last regular meeting allocating up to $850,000 in restricted RDA housing set-aside funds to fill, to the extent necessary, the financial gap for the Senior Plaza II Project. The Project consists of the construction of 33 units of affordable senior housing. It is estimated to cost $8.5 million. The project is expected to begin construction in May 2008.

The breakdown of financial partners is as follows:

• CalHFA Construction Lender
• Federal Home Loan Bank
• State/Federal HOME Funds
• City Redevelopment Agency 20% Set-Aside Funds

In addition to the inherent benefits of the project, the project developer to the extent legally possible has committed to the City Council to do the following:

1. Give a preference in the selection of tenants to persons already living in South Lake Tahoe or who have relatives who live here. The list already has over 100 individuals on it.
2. Give a preference to using qualified contractors with businesses inside the City limits where price is equal or better.
3. Give preference to the hiring of qualified local labor; and
4. Give preference to suppliers of building materials and products where cost and quality are equal or better.


It is clear that project costs exceed revenues to undertake and complete the entire project from Stateline to the Y. Over thirteen years, project costs have accelerated and funds for the project have not kept pace with rising costs. As mentioned in previous Management Observation reports there are many reasons for this situation.

The project as originally conceived has water quality, road improvement, pedestrian, bicycling, lighting and landscaping components. The project was supposed to be the region’s highest priority for SNPLA, other Federal funds and State funds. Unfortunately, full funding for the project was not requested in the past by Tahoe regional agencies and Caltrans nor allocated for the project from any of these sources. In addition, the project involves acquisitions of many properties from private parties and the cost of these acquisitions is making even a smaller project hard to deliver.

As currently scoped, the project has been downsized to now only include sidewalk, landscaping, lighting behind the curb from Trout Creek to Ski Run only on the mountain side of the roadway. The current scope also includes a Class II bike trail on both sides of the roadway for that same section. There is however a $3.2M funding shortfall for these improvements according to Caltrans officials. Caltrans will not move forward with the project until additional funding sources can be provided.

I am told that at a recent meeting of the Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) one member of the TTD Board from Placer County expressed the opinion that there should be no further support for any additional funding until at least 2011. In addition he said that any Highway 50 shortfall should to be made up by local property owners as they did in the North Shore (Kings Beach) project. I understand that no other TTD Board members voiced agreement with this opinion. The other option for the project is to further reduce the scope of work to meet current budget. If additional funding is to be realized from State and Federal sources, the first step is to convince the TTD of the need and wisdom of the expenditure and get their help and that of Caltrans in requesting full funding from the State and Federal governments for the entire project. What does being the No. 1 Project in the Basin mean if full funding is not associated with it?

When built, the project will definitely improve water quality and create pedestrian, cycling, and aesthetic amenities to this Federal owned and State maintained roadway for the section between Trout Creek and Ski Run only.

City staff will continue seeking full funding for the project and a favorable decision from Caltrans to get a segment of the project out to bid (Trout Creek to Ski Run) and make as many of the improvements as possible with available funding in this segment. By demonstrating the benefits of building this segment to the community, regional, State, and Federal agencies, we expect a better reception and environment for building the complete project.

I will have a full report and update presented to the City Council at your February 12, 2008 City Council meeting.


On January 9, 2008 a meeting was held at which School District, City, and County representatives participated (the latter by telephone). Mr. Downs, the architect attended the meeting as well. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the status of the proposed joint government facilities project.

The preliminary construction number by the ANOVA Architects of almost $40 million for City, District and County facilities is too high. The estimate includes a 27% contingency that adds almost $10 million to project costs. The size of the building and its costs must be re-evaluated and reduced for the project to approach being feasible. In the alternative, additional grant funds must be found to assist in paying for the project,.Those present at the meeting indicated that the following steps are needed:

• County representatives agreed to review the architects report and provide their comments to the District and City before the end of January 2008.
• Grant funds for the joint-use project (e.g. School District, OES) need to be tracked down, identified, and verified. What might grant funds bring to the funding table and what is timeline for getting these funds? If obtained, would the project be financially feasible?
• What value can be assigned for the sale of City-owned property on Tata Lane with proceeds going toward the City portion of the project?
• What are financing costs for the project and what is the General Fund impact on an annual basis for the (to be determined) City portion of the project?
• An examination of partnering with the private-sector to build the project needs to be examined. Could a facility be part of a larger private-sector facility as done in other communities?
• A determination must be made about the value of District land for the project and this cost factored into mix for the potential partners. New architects must be identified to assist in this next phase of planning.
• Until more details are known about costs, who will be the partners, financing etc, those present agreed that a new MOA should not be entered into by any of the parties.


Annually the City of South Lake Tahoe must pay the County property taxes for property it owns outside of the City limits. All properties are currently vacant. The cost to the City annually in tax payment is approximately $11,000.

Staff is exploring the process and cost to annex these non-contiguous publicly owned lands to the City under State law consistent with rules set forth by LAFCO. The LAFCO Executive Officer recently told me that LAFCO would likely look favorably on annexation but this is a decision of his Board. City staff is examining the cost to process this annexation, and then I will alert the City Council to the cost and the opportunity for annexation.


Sarah Hussong Johnson, P.E. City Associate Civil Engineer, informs us of the following: “The Bijou Area ECP continues to progress through the watershed planning process. Currently, the Consultant and City engineering staff are responding to questions on the project alternatives put forth by members of the Technical Advisory Committee (i.e., CTC, Lahontan, TRPA, etc.) In parallel, we are working through the alternatives evaluation process, which includes preparing summaries to assist the TAC/public in understanding the improvements/modifications to the existing conditions based on the implementation of each alternative. Each alternative will be ranked against a set of 15 criteria established for the project (i.e., water quality cost, cost, operations and maintenance, etc.). We expect to have a draft of the alternatives evaluation memorandum ready by the beginning of February.

We are still waiting to hear back from the (State) Department of Water Resources regarding our flood control grant application for the proposed channel from the outlet of Bijou Meadow to Lake Tahoe. We hope to know whether our proposal was selected for funding in the next month or so.

City Manager

South Lake Season of Peace and Nonviolence events

64 days of peace and nonviolence

By Kathryn Reed

Peace and nonviolence are two of the ideals Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. embraced, lived, preached and went to the grave fighting for.
Both died from assassins’ gunshots. Their respective deaths signify the beginning (Jan. 30) and ending (April 4) of the Season for Peace and Nonviolence.
This marks the 11th year of the international celebration started by the Association of Global New Thought ( and the sixth that the South Shore has come together to spread the word of two of the 20th century’s most revered voices for peace.
It’s not about being against anything – not even war – it’s about being for peace, according Hillary Bittman, who is helping co-chairs Stew Bittman and Karen Martin with this year’s events.
“My personal goal is that we wouldn’t need a season, that we would be living this way,” Martin said. “It causes us to rethink how we interact with everyone and ourselves. We can talk and listen in a nonviolent way.”
Festivities are starting a few days early this year thanks to James Crawford. In the four years that the 66-year-old has lived here he has realized MLK Day is not a big deal.
“I lived through that era. I was very much a part of that era. I am a product of that era,” Crawford said.
His efforts have brought about a celebration on Jan. 21 at St. Theresa Church from 1-6 p.m. for people of all colors, religions and beliefs. “His Light Shines On” is the theme of the festivities that will also act as opening ceremonies of the Season for Peace and Nonviolence.
Various choirs from the area will sing inspirational songs, Trey Stone will share the stage in the later afternoon, while various clergy will talk from the pulpit. Rosemary Manning will speak to the Peace and Nonviolence aspect of the day.
Crawford says it will be like an open house where people can come and go as they like. It costs nothing to attend.
“I just thought there should be a place for those who want to celebrate and appreciate the movement and the many blessings from that,” Crawford said.
The local Peace and Nonviolence group is continuing to bring the cause into the South Shore California schools via pamphlets and essay contests. (Money, printing costs and the need for volunteers prevents a wider distribution of information.) The essay theme is “How did Martin Luther King Jr. make a difference in my life”.
A four-week class titled “Wisdom of Gandhi” will be taught each Monday in March from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Star Lake Office across from the Attic on Lodi Avenue near Highway 50. Donations will be accepted.
Details of the closing ceremonies were not defined as of press time, but in years past Lake Tahoe Community College hosted a large celebration in April.
For information about any aspect of the Season for Peace and Nonviolence, contact Stew Bittman at (530) 577-7135.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jan. 14-15 bi-state fire commish agenda

The Resources Agency Nevada State Capitol
1416 9th Street, Suite 1311 101 North Carson Street
Sacramento, CA 95814 Carson City, NV 89701

Monday, January 14, 2008
Community Fire Safety Committee (9:00 a.m.),
Wildland Fuels Committee (9:00 a.m.), and
Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration Committee (1:30 p.m.)
Sierra Nevada Community College,
999 Tahoe Boulevard,
Incline Village, Nevada
(Committee’s Notice/Agenda on page 3)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 9:00 a.m.
Commission Meeting
Sierra Nevada Community College,
999 Tahoe Boulevard,
Incline Village, Nevada
(Action may be taken on those items denoted “Action”)
Public comment may be limited to three minutes per person at the discretion of
the Co-Chairs. Times listed are estimates provided for planning purposes only.
Items may be taken out of order and may take more or less time than
1. Call to Order and Roll Call. (15 minutes)
2. Discussion and Adoption of Minutes – Action
a. October 12, 2007
b. December 14, 2007
3. Staff Report – Discussion/Action
a. Status of Commission Work Plan
b. Status of Findings and Recommendations
4. Proposed Committee Structure Change-Discuss alteration of Scope of Work and membership of the
Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration Committee; and change of Committee name to Legislative
and Funding Policy Committee - Action
5. Committee Reports
a. Wildland Fuels Committee Report - Discussion/Action
i. Status of Findings and Recommendations regarding:
1. Permit streamlining
2. Prescribed burning and air quality issues
3. Biomass utilization of vegetation fuel reduction products
4. Other Findings and Recommendations
ii. Other issues.
b. Community Fire Safety Report - Discussion/Action
i. Status of Motions previously adopted
ii. Status of Findings and Recommendations regarding:
1. Defensible space and water quality best management practices (BMPs)
2. Levels of service for wildfire protection in the Tahoe Basin
3. Fuels treatments on state and federal urban lots
4. Homeowner education
5. Other Findings and Recommendations
iii. Other issues
c. Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration Committee (or renamed committee) Report-
i. Status of Findings and Recommendations regarding:
1. A Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration for the Tahoe Basin
2. TRPA Compact
3. SNPLMA funding process
4. Other Findings and Recommendations
6. Working Groups Report – Discussion/Action
7. Public Comment - Discussion
8. Adjournment
Committee Meetings
January 14, 2007
Sierra Nevada Community College
999 Tahoe Boulevard
Incline Village, Nevada
A. Community Fire Safety Committee – 9:00 a.m.
1. Call to Order
a. Roll Call
b. Review and approval of minutes – Action
c. Review of Agenda – Discussion
2. Review of previous actions taken – Discussion 9:30 am
USFS (Joe Millar) will respond to questions posed at October 11, meeting. The committee will
then review all previous actions taken on October 11, 2007 and will discuss any requests from
committee members to take further action on topics discussed on October 11, 2007 Agenda.
Break (15 minutes)
3. Defensible Space 10:45am
Presentation by Ed Smith: Developing and implementing a program aimed at promoting
homeowners acceptance of responsibility in taking action aimed for creation of defensible space
around their homes.
Presentation by John Picket: Alternatives for first 30’ around homes in Tahoe Basin.
4. Findings and Recommendations - Discussion 11:45am
The committee members will discuss findings and recommendations regarding the subject
matters discussed.
Lunch 12:00pm
5. Findings and Recommendations – Action 1:15pm
The committee members may make findings and recommendations regarding the subject
matters discussed and may take action on recommendations to the Commission.
6. California’s Wildland Urban Interface Building Standards - Discussion 1:30 pm
Presentation by California Office of the State Fire Marshal on new building code standard that
goes into effect January 1, 2008.
Break (15 minutes)
7. Open for suggestions - 2:45 pm
8. Findings and Recommendations – Discussion 3:45 pm
The committee members will discuss findings and recommendations regarding the subject
matters discussed.
9. Public Comments (30 minutes) 4:00pm
The sub-committee will hear comments from the public. Public comments will be limited to 3
minutes per person with a maximum of 30 minutes. Public comment cards will be accepted and
called upon in the order received.
10. Findings and Recommendations - Action 4:30pm
The committee members may make findings and recommendations regarding the subject
matters discussed and may take action on recommendations to the Commission. The committee
may also identify key performance measures and develop due dates for future work.
11. Adjournment 5:00pm
B. Wildland Fuels Committee – 9:00 a.m.
1. Call to Order
a. Roll call
b. Review and approval of minutes – Action
c. Review agenda including adjournment time – Discussion
2. Presentation on an upcoming Workshop – “Vegetation Management in Sensitive Areas of the
Lake Tahoe Basin”
3. Dialogue (to include invited subject matter experts) - Discussion
a. Air Quality Working Group
Public Comments on Air Quality
Findings and recommendations on Air Quality– Discussion/Action
b. Permit Improvement Group
c. Stream Environment Zones
Public Comments on Permit Improvement and SEZ’s
Findings and recommendations on Permit Improvement and SEZ’s –
4. Other Findings and recommendations – Discussion/Action
Public Comments
5. Upcoming meeting schedule – Discussion/Action
6. Adjournment
C. Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration Committee – 1:30 p.m.
1. Call to Order
a. Roll Call.
b. Review and approval of minutes.
2. Continue discussion on suitable findings to support an emergency declaration.
3. Discuss proposed alteration of Committee's scope of work and membership; and possible name
change to Legislative and Funding Policy Committee
4. Other Findings and recommendations – Discussion/Action
5. Adjournment

Arnolds' state of the state address

Prepared Text of Governor Schwarzenegger’s 2008 State of the State Address

Lieutenant Governor Garamendi, Speaker Núñez, Senate President Pro Tem Perata, Senate Republican Leader Ackerman, Assembly Republican Leader Villines, my fellow servants of the people, ladies and gentlemen ...

When I was last here, little did we know that California would be engulfed by the largest firestorm in its history. It turned the night sky an eerie, disturbing orange and the day sky black. It drove hundreds of thousands of our citizens from their homes.

In response, the Army of the Inferno – 140 aircraft, 1,600 fire engines and 15,000 firefighters – mobilized to battle the flames. It sounds like a scene from a movie but it was real...and people died. People lost their homes. Peoples' lives changed.

That first Monday night during the height of the fires, I went to Qualcomm stadium in San Diego , which by now became an evacuation center. I wanted to see for myself if the people had enough food, water, necessities. I talked to the people there. They were worried, of course, but they were in good spirits. They felt their government had responded.

Then I heard there were people at Del Mar racetrack, so I went unannounced to see the situation for myself. I found 300 frail, elderly people who had been forced from their nursing home by the fire.

It was here that I met a volunteer named Paul Russo, a nurse practitioner who appeared to be running the place. Paul, who's also in the naval reserve, had a military command of the situation. His clarity and control were impressive and I noticed this gave people confidence.

He knew that the nursing home residents – sitting in wheelchairs and lying on mattresses on the floor – had to be moved to facilities where they could get dialysis and medicines and other things they needed. Paul and a couple other volunteers were calling hospitals and ambulances trying to find places and means of transportation.

Their commitment moved me, so I said to Daniel Zingale, one of my senior advisers, "We're not leaving until we help them take care of these people." So, I got on the phone, too.

And together, we found beds for emergency situations at a nearby military base. We found a school district that agreed to send special education buses.

I left, but Paul stayed up all night and had everyone moved by the next afternoon. What Paul and the volunteers did, what the police and firefighters did and what state and federal agencies did...was this: They responded to the needs of the people. They led. They acted. They did not wait.

From bottom to top, everyone knew this was their moment. They resolved, without a word being said, that this would not be another Katrina.

President Bush and the entire Federal Government could not have been more supportive, and I want to thank the President and Secretaries Chertoff and Kempthorne for their great help.

The President said to me more than once, "If there's anything you need, give me a call." In fact, I did call him back just to check it out – and sure enough, he got on the phone. He was there for California .

Paul Russo was there for California . And this evening, I want to recognize Paul, who represents a devotion to the greater good in a time of crisis.

In addition to the volunteers, firefighters, police, and state, local and federal employees, let me tell you another group that deserves recognition – the general public. People came together. They cooperated, they evacuated, they rescued, they contributed. They were exemplary citizens. And so, I would like to express my profound appreciation to the people of California .

Ladies and gentlemen, working together, people can accomplish remarkable things.

In April, a fiery truck crash melted the Bay Area's 580 freeway exchange. Hundreds of thousands of Californians who depended on that interchange foresaw months of delays and stress.

Yet it didn't take the normal 150 days to repair. Caltrans, working with contractors, cleared the span in 10 days and then built a new bridge and opened it up in a record 16 days later.

Government can work. It can be efficient. It can lead.

Even though we're not suffering a serious economic downturn, still, the risk of foreclosure threatens many Californians with the loss of their homes, and thus the American Dream.

So we took action and reached a voluntary agreement with major lenders to freeze interest rates for homeowners most at risk. This could help keep more than 100,000 Californians in their homes.

Government can lead.

This last year, we took on other tough issues – the very contentious issue of prison reform and rehabilitation, the world's first low carbon fuel standard and the most comprehensive health care reform in the nation.

Let me explain why health care reform is so important.

Here in California , the health care system is collapsing under its weight, its costs, its gaping holes, its injustices. Millions of people can't afford – or can't get – health care.

Our emergency rooms are crowded or closed. 60 closed in the last ten years.

Medi-Cal patients are being turned away at hospitals.

Businesses and families are experiencing double-digit increases in health care costs.

Medical bills are the number one reason people file for personal bankruptcy.

All this is weakening our economy and contributing to our budget deficit.

But let me make this more personal and real – through a true story about a 51-year-old, self-employed San Diego man named Todd.

Todd had been on his wife's insurance plan, but after a divorce, he found a policy with a well-known company. Five months later, he started feeling tired, and soon learned he had lymphoma.

The insurance company then went back through all his records looking for a reason to cut him off. They pointed to a minor knee problem unrelated to the cancer. They noted that he now weighed less than he did when he applied for the insurance.

Well, of course, he did. He was now sick with cancer. But they cut him off.

One month after he got sick, the company cancelled his insurance. Todd died eight months later.

We are taking action so that what happened to Todd will not happen to any other Californian.

Now, I understand the concern that we have a deficit, and that our plan is too daring, too bold, too expensive. But sometimes you have to be daring, because the need is so great.

You want daring?

FDR didn't ignore the problems of the Depression because times were tough. He addressed those problems in big, visionary ways because times were tough. He saw the problems and he acted on behalf of the people and the nation.

For example, to give America jobs, he created the WPA, which built 650,000 miles of roads, 78,000 bridges and 125,000 buildings. All these things we are still enjoying today.

We, too, must act boldly on behalf of the people and the state. And I want to thank the Assembly for its action on health care. When the Senate finishes its deliberations, I am confident the people of California in November will approve the most comprehensive health care reform in the nation.

In any number of areas, we've tackled politically risky things that no one in the past wanted to touch. To me, this is progress. And now, we must make progress on another problem that's been put off for many years. Professor Schwarzenegger is now going to explain the economics of our budget problem.

Our budget problem is not because California 's economy is in trouble. In spite of a weakness in housing, other areas of our economy continue to thrive. We remain a powerhouse of technology, agriculture, advanced research, venture capital, international trade and innovation. And we continue to have job growth.

So, our revenues this coming year are not going to be lower than last year. They're simply going to hold steady.

The problem is that, while revenues are flat, automatic formulas are increasing spending by 7.3 percent. Even a booming economy can't meet that kind of increase. So, the system itself is the problem.

Also, for example, the rich in California by far pay most of the income taxes, but we only have so many rich people. The top 10 percent of our population – those making more than $119,000 a year – pay nearly 80 percent of the taxes. So, our whole revenue system, its ups and downs, is based on whether the rich have a good year.

That's no basis on which to run a government. We need more stability.

Another thing…some people say, " Arnold , you're part of the reason we have this deficit – because you stopped the car tax increase."

Yes, I did do that, and I would do it again. It's not fair to punish people who can barely afford the gas to get to work, and on top of that ask them to pay for a tax increase to cover Sacramento 's overspending.

I said it back during the Recall and I'll say it again, "We do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem."

We have to fix the system. The first year I was here, I tried to fix the system. I tried to get the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment to limit spending, but it did not pass. Then, in 2005, I tried to convince the voters to pass a constitutional amendment to control the budget, but that failed, too.

So, for several years, we took actions that balanced the budget as long as the economy was booming. For several years, we kept the budget wolf from the door. But the wolf is back.

It used to be that Sacramento plugged deficits by grabbing money everywhere it could – pension funds, local governments, bonds, gas taxes meant for transportation. But we tightened the noose by taking away those options. We passed Proposition 1A, Proposition 58 and Proposition 42.

We now have no way out, except to face our budget demons.

To address next year's $14 billion deficit, in two days I will submit a budget that is difficult. It does not raise taxes. It cuts the increase in spending. And it cuts that spending across the board.

As governor, I see firsthand that the consequences of cuts are not just dollars, but people. I recently brought leaders and advocates of various communities into my office to tell them about what we faced financially.

I had to look into their eyes and tell them.

Talking about fiscal responsibility sounds so cold when you have a representative for AIDS patients, or poor children, or the elderly sitting across from you. It's one of the worst things about being governor.

Yet fiscal responsibility, like compassion, is a virtue, because it allows the necessary programs in the first place.

What I find most troubling is the erratic ways we treat those who need our help. Up one year and down the next. We cannot continue to put people through the binge and purge of our budget process.

It is not fair. It is not reasonable. It is not in the best interests of anyone.

So I am again proposing a constitutional amendment so that our spending has some relationship to our revenues. It is modeled after the process used in Arkansas . When revenues spike upwards, the amendment I propose would not let us spend all the money that rushes in when the economy is good. Instead, we would set some of the good year money aside for bad years.

When revenues jumped 23 percent in 1999-2000, or when they jumped 14 percent in 2005-2006...those were sugar highs. I remember how everyone here was so enthusiastic and so hopeful and so creative about how to spend that money. Everyone was saying, now is the time to do this, now is the time to do that. All good causes. If not now, when?

Then the sugar is gone and we come down off our high. We spend it all one year and can't sustain it the next. We need to budget more evenly.

Also, the way things are now, when we see a budget problem developing during the year, we don't have a way to stop it. We just keep the spending accelerator to the floor. What kind of sense does that make?

We need some brakes. We need an alternative to crashing. It's like a slow motion crash. You can see it happening, but you can't do anything about it.

Like right now, we're spending $400 to 600 million more a month than we're taking in. And we can do nothing to stop it.

This amendment would do something. It would trigger lower funding levels if a deficit opens up during the year.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have faith that working together we can give California a budget system worthy of the people who rely on it.

Which brings me to public education. It makes me proud as governor that a recent survey found that 23 out of the top 100 public schools in the nation were in California . I would like to congratulate the teachers, principals, administrators and all who are responsible for these remarkable schools.

There are other good things, too. The number of high school students taking advanced math and science courses has increased 53 percent since 2003. That's terrific for our high-tech future.

And we have other good education news, but as you know, it is not all good.

Our dropout rate is between 15 and 30 percent. We don't even know.

This is not just a statistic. These are children lost in a black hole of ignorance, poverty and crime. Our schools have 30 percent fewer teachers and half the number of counselors than other schools in the U.S.

Everyone knows that to dramatically change our education system we have to undertake reforms, and we have to fund those reforms. In light of the current budget situation, this is not the year to talk about money.

I do believe, however, we still must undertake reforms right now in the schools that need our help most.

To varying degrees, 98 school districts in California are out of compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. According to the Act, after five straight years of noncompliance by a district, the state is required to take action or lose federal funding. We have identified several districts that on the whole have persistently failed to educate children.

I am announcing tonight that California will be the first state to use the powers given to us under the No Child Left Behind Act to turn these districts around. We will be working with Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, the teachers, the administrators, the parents and elected officials to make these districts models of reform.

No more waiting. We must act on behalf of the children.

Likewise, on infrastructure, I will continue to push for action. We have a water system built decades ago for 18 million people.

Today we have 37 million people. In 20 years, we will have 50 million people. We have to get going.

Already homes and businesses are facing mandatory cutbacks. Farms are unable to irrigate crops. Building permits are being denied.

And yet raging flood waters run wasted into the sea because they can't be captured. We must expand water storage. We must build new water delivery systems. We must fix the Delta and restore its ecosystem.

And I will continue to push you on this, because California needs water now – and 20, 30, 50 years from now.

Over the next 20 years, we have $500 billion worth of infrastructure needs to be met. As we head into this new century, we also need digital infrastructure to keep our economy growing.

So how do we meet all these needs? There isn't enough money in the public sector to do all of it.

We need to expand partnerships where government and the private sector work together to meet the needs of the people. These partnerships can often deliver infrastructure faster, better and cheaper.

For instance, in British Columbia , public-private partnerships are common for building highways, bridges, rapid transit, water treatment. Everyone is happy. The political leaders are happy, business is happy, the public is happy, the economy is happy, the future is happy.

In the weeks ahead, I will send you legislation to make these partnerships more available to our state and to our local governments.

We will also continue to make California the world's environmental leader.

We are leading on climate change, low carbon fuels, energy efficiency – and on clean, green technology. When it comes to cleaning our air, preserving our oceans, protecting our environment, California will continue to be the foremost advocate for change.

And if we have to sue the federal government to get out of our way, we will do so.

Now, I will be submitting to you many legislative proposals – on energy and the environment, on infrastructure, on education.

And I will also submit a proposal on behalf of our returning veterans. They deserve not only our gratitude and respect, but a more open, welcoming door to civil service and education benefits.

Let me close by saying that last year I talked about post-partisanship. A few cynics made fun of that idea. But that is how I tried to conduct my Administration over this past year. It's how I intend to conduct business over the coming year.

Speaker Nunez, Senate Leader Perata, Senator Ackerman and Assemblyman Villines, I cannot fix the budget alone. I can't build the roads and bridges alone. I can't improve education alone.

You are my partners. All of you sitting here in this chamber are my partners.

This coming year will test us in very hard ways.

I like something that Paul Russo said when he was asked why he didn't go home and get some sleep that night at Del Mar. He replied, "When you have a job to do, you get it done."

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a job to do for the people of California . Let's get it done.


Guv OKs aid to El Dorado County

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gov. Schwarzenegger Proclaims State of Emergency in Four Additional Counties Due to Extreme Winds and Heavy Rain

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today proclaimed a state of emergency for Colusa , Del Norte, El Dorado and Sierra Counties in response to the extreme winds and heavy rain beginning January 3, 2008. Since Saturday, the Governor has proclaimed an emergency in Butte , Glenn, Kings, Placer, Sacramento , San Francisco , Sutter, Yuba and Yolo Counties due to the storms.

The Governor’s emergency proclamation allows the Office of Emergency Services (OES) to deploy additional emergency personnel, equipment and facilities and provide local government assistance under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act.

The text of the Governor’s emergency proclamation is below:


WHEREAS a series of winter storms that commenced on January 3, 2008, has brought extreme wind conditions, unusually heavy rains, and high snow levels throughout the state; and
WHEREAS on January 5, 2008, I proclaimed a State of Emergency in the Counties of Glenn, Kings, and Sacramento to address the conditions of emergency as a result of the winter storms; and
WHEREAS on January 7, 2008, I proclaimed a State of Emergency in the Counties of Butte, Placer, San Francisco, Sutter, Yuba, and Yolo to address the conditions of emergency as a result of the winter storms; and

WHEREAS these and other areas of California continue to suffer the impacts of the winter storms; and

WHEREAS the storms caused downed trees and power lines, which continues to disrupt electrical power and communications; and

WHEREAS the disruption of electrical power and communications continues to threatened critical public services, including government services, public safety and medical care, and water treatment; and

WHEREAS the Counties of Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, and Sierra have now declared local emergencies and requested a state proclamation of emergency as a result of the conditions of emergency as a result of winter storms; and

WHEREAS the circumstances of the storms, by reason of their magnitude, are or are

likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single county, city and county, or city and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist due to these events.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California , in accordance with the authority vested in me by the state Constitution and the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California Government Code, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist within the Counties of Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado , and Sierra.

Pursuant to this proclamation, I extend the directions, orders and authorities of the January 5, 2008 Proclamation of a State of Emergency to include the Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, and Sierra.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 9th day of January 2008.


Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor of California



Secretary of State


El Dorado County residents can get aid from storms

El Dorado County Sheriff Office
Press Release
For Immediate Release Sgt. Bryan Golmitz
Emergency Declaration Update
The County of El Dorado is in the process of working with the State Office of Emergency
Services (OES) with the hopes of acquiring additional State and Federal assistance for the public
and private property damages that occurred during the January 04, 2008 severe weather event.
Key to receiving additional assistance is the Federal Government determining that public and
private property damage in the County of El Dorado is severe to the point that Federal relief
assistance is needed for individuals and business owners to recover.
The State Gubernatorial Declaration we received earlier this week addresses only public property
belonging to cities, counties, and special districts. If El Dorado County receives Federal
approval, Federal relief assistance may become available to those individuals and business
owners who suffered property damage.
So that FEMA, Small Business Administration (SBA), and other Federal officials have a clear
picture of the damage that occurred as a result of the severe weather event (flooding-mudslidetrees
into homes etc.) we are asking residents with damage losses to report that information as
outlined below. This information will in turn be shared with State OES and Federal officials for
their assessment. Please understand that the information you are providing here is not an
application for relief assistance, nor is it a guarantee for such relief. This is simply information
gathering to assist FEMA with their damage assessment.
Should we receive Federal approval, County OES will coordinate with FEMA to establish
Disaster Assistance Centers (DAC) throughout the county. We will utilize local and regional
news agencies to inform the public about the dates, times, and locations of DAC centers so
Federal relief applications can be made. We will continue to update this web page as well as our
County OES information line at (530) 621-5866.
Persons wishing to report their damage can do so by e-mail at Utilizing
our Web page would be the most efficient and convenient method for us to retrieve this
information, and so we hope you will use that method. If you do not have access to e-mail you
can leave the information on our above listed OES information line.
We would like to know the following information:
1. Name, address, and daytime contact phone number for the owner of the property that was
2. A description of the damaged property that includes:
a. Street address of where the damage occurred
b. What was damaged and how
c. Approximate cost to repair the damage to original state
d. For businesses please include an estimate of lost sales, and how that occurred
(example: unable to rent rooms because of extended power outage)
Again, please send this information to

Political insight from a high school English teacher

The following is from a friend in response to a column in last week's NYT by Gloria Steinem and the email letter being circulated by Michael Moore:

If I had the time to start my own blog, I probably would be forwarded around the country among the other disenfranchised middle aged white men who have become the newly marginalized voters in this increasingly gender and race conscious nation. How does one choose? Consider the field:

"Elect me, I am a Latino, and I know what it feels like to be pushed to the side...or at least my Mom did and she even knew how it felt to be discriminated against for both race and gender!" (although Bill has since dropped out as of today)

"Give me your vote. I am the only candidate who has thirty five years of leadership experience telling my husband how to lead. Besides that, I have the anatomical apparatus to make my election a truly historic event!"

" I deserve your vote because no one else does, and it is time for a change of leadership in Washington. Although my heritage is not one of racial oppression, my skin tone suggests that it is."

"No one has got your back like I do. 9-11! 9-11! 9-11!"

"Sure corporate America has a firm grip on the leadership in America, and nobody knows corporate America like I, a Mormon fat-cat demagogue with just a tint of gray at the temples!"

"America OWES me a chance to do to it what the NVA did to me for five years!"

"Who would JESUS vote for?"

"I'm not really a leader, but I have played one on TV."

So who are you going to vote for? And really, does it make a
difference? As Moore so aptly points out, it doesn't necessarily change the outcome of the election who garners the greatest popular vote. It is really more about the electoral college isn't it? Imagine, Shrub edged out Gore and Kerry in the electoral college, and daddy didn't even have to buy them a new science building. Or did he?

It's all your fault Kae. The kids trudged out of her thirty minutes ago, and I have been ranting ever since. I hope you are pleased with yourself.

I think I'll go home and see who NPR says will be the next president today.

Oh, by the way, NPR did tell me that should Huckabee somehow, though some divine intervention, garner the nomination, Steven Colbert has a lock on the #2 spot on the ticket. Now THERE is a reason to be hopeful.

Hope you are enjoying the weather.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

LT Federal Advisory Committee meeting Jan. 11


USDA Forest Service
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe CA 96150
(530) 543-2600

Date: January 7, 2008


Incline Village, NV…The Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory
Committee (LTFAC) is scheduled to meet from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., January 11, 2008 at the Sierra Nevada College, Assembly Room 139, 999 Tahoe Boulevard,Incline Village, NV 89451. LTFAC will address issues related to federal activities at Lake Tahoe.

Items on the agenda include a review of the Southern Nevada
Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) Round 9 hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire prevention projects, and an update on the SNPLMA Round 9 capital project nominations, followed by a Public Comment period.

LTFAC consists of 20 members representing a broad array of
constituencies. The Secretary of Agriculture chartered the first LTFAC in July 1998 to advise the Federal Partnership on programs and projects within the Lake Tahoe Basin. LTFAC’s charter has been renewed every two years with the most recent renewal occurring in June 2006. All Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend. Issues may be brought to the
attention of the committee during the open public comment period at the meeting, or by filing a written statement with the committee through Arla Hains, USDA-Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150. For more information on the Lake Tahoe
Federal Advisory Committee, visit the Forest Service web site at

Carson Valley-Tahoe bus service info

For Release Immediately
January 7, 2008


Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV - Commuters who make their way to South Lake
Tahoe over Kingsbury Grade each day now will have the option of leaving
their cars at home, thanks to a new express bus line scheduled to go
into service next week.
BlueGO's Kingsbury Express will run between Carson Valley and the
Stateline Transit Center seven days a week from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. and from
3:30 to 7:30 p.m. beginning Tuesday, January 15. The service, which is
in part funded by a $1 million donation from former Google executive Ray
Sidney and a federal clean fuels grant, fills an important public
transit service need in the Tahoe Basin.
The express bus run will connect Lampe Park and Gardnerville transit
stops to major employers at Stateline, and will be operated by Aztec
Transportation Services of Carson City, NV.
An official kickoff party is scheduled for Friday, February 1, at the
Harvey's casino transit center. A new Kingsbury Express bus will be on
display at the event, which will feature prizes, refreshments and an
appearance by Sidney, a Stateline resident.
"This new service provides an important connection for commuters
between Carson Valley and Stateline who in the past have had limited public
transportation options," said Nick Haven, Principal Planner for the
BlueGO board. "By expanding public transportation opportunities in the
Tahoe Basin, we are helping improve air quality and reduce congestion - and
helping commuters save money and reduce stress at the same time."
Stacy Dingman, Chair of the BlueGO board, said the new service will
make it easier for major employers in the basin to encourage their workers
to use public transportation.
"Our employer surveys tell us that there is ample demand for a service
like this along the Kingsbury corridor," said Dingman, Quality
Assurance Manager at Lakeside Inn and Casino. "As the Kingsbury Express becomes
established and known, we anticipate that demand will rise."
A round trip on the shuttle will cost $5. Free transfers are available
to other BlueGo routes. Ten-ride passes are available for $22, monthly
passes for $90, and three-month passes for $260. The service runs
seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Kingsbury Express passes are available to the public at the Douglas
County Parks and Recreation Department offices in Gardnerville and at
Lakeside Inn and Casino in Stateline. Employees may obtain passes through
the human resources departments at major Stateline area casino resorts
and hotels. As a kick-off promotion, riders may obtain free 10-ride
passes good for the month of January by having their employer contact
Aztec Transportation.
A copy of the Kingsbury Express schedule and other information about
the service is available on the BlueGO website,, or the Kingsbury Express website:, or by calling


Jan. 10 SLT General Plan meeting

PC/GPAC Meeting Annoucement

Joint Planning Commission/General Plan Advisory Committee Meeting
The Planning Commission and General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) will hold a joint meeting to discuss the Draft Policy Guidance Package on January 10, 2008. The Draft Policy Guidance Package includes recommendations made by members of the public. This document is designed to be used by the South Lake Tahoe City Council, Planning Commission, and staff in the near term as a policy reference in reviewing proposed plans and projects. It will also be used as the starting policy base for the update of the South Lake Tahoe General Plan, and as input into Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's Pathway 2007 process.

January 10, 2008
3:00pm to 5:00pm
City Council Chambers, Lake Tahoe Airport
1901 Airport Road

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tahoe storm first person

Slush was the word for the day on Friday ... snow is the word for the day Saturday. The gunk turned to snow about 4pm Friday. In the heart of South Lake Tahoe about 18 inches fell overnight ... so more than an inch an hour. A lull in the storms lasted a couple hours. The white stuff is coming down again. The winds have are non-existent right now.

Power is on here, but that is not the case in many parts of the state. For instance, my parents in Paradise, near Chico, have been without power since last night. A gas stove is keeping them warm and dad is using the car to charge the cell phone because phone service is also out.

Local plow drivers are doing a good job keeping up with snow removal. It would just be nice if they'd stop leaving the tall berms in front of houses that are clearly occupied.

Area ski resorts are boasting several feet of snow, with Kirkwood saying they have up to 6 feet .. which is possible since they get so much more than the South Shore.

Highway 89 around Emerald Bay is closed ...typical with a storm like this.

More later ...

California stormin'

Storm buffets California, millions lose power
Fri Jan 4, 2008 8:21pm EST Single Page | Recommend (-) [-] Text
Fierce storm hits California, millions lack power
California snowpack low, showing less water supply

By Kathryn Reed

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., Jan 4 (Reuters) - A fierce storm swept through central and northern California on Friday, cutting power to more than 1 million homes and businesses, closing major roads and canceling flights at several airports.

The storm may dump as much as 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.5 metres) of snow through the weekend in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, and up to 2 feet (0.6 metre) at the popular tourist spot of Lake Tahoe, forecasters with the U.S. National Weather Service said.

Southern California braced for possible flash floods and mudslides in areas that burned in the October wildfires. Total rainfall could reach 5 inches (12.5 cm) in Los Angeles and 10 inches (25 cm) in the mountains of Southern California -- the most significant rainfall in the region since January 2005, and on the heels of the driest year on record.

"It is very important, since there is so much land that has burned, that we are prepared for mudslides," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said after being briefed by the Office of Emergency Services.

There have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries, the office said.

In San Francisco, winds blew scaffolding off buildings and temporarily shut the main thoroughfare, Market Street, while the landmark Alcatraz Island, the former prison and now national park, was closed to visitors.

Big trucks were barred from the Golden Gate Bridge, where winds reached 55 mph (90 kph). The nearby Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, which connects two of the state's major highways, was blocked most of the day by a toppled truck.

"There is a lot of rain coming down in the valleys, a lot of snow in the mountains and there is a lot of wind with speeds of 100 miles to 150 miles (160-240 kph) per hour in the Sierra Nevada," Schwarzenegger added. "So please be very cautious."

Near Lake Tahoe, home to the state's most popular ski resorts, a stretch of the main road connecting northern California and Nevada was closed down.

Many of the resorts were closed on Friday due to the high winds. (Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall and Mary Milliken in Los Angeles and Adam Tanner in San Francisco)

Storm update from El Dorado County

El Dorado County Sheriff Office
Press Release
For Immediate Release Sgt. Bryan Golmitz
Storm update and related information
Per the Weather Service the current storm will subside by this evening (Jan. 4). There will still
be some light to moderate rain with snow levels creeping down to perhaps the 4000 foot
elevation by Saturday morning. Winds will be decreasing; however, sierra ridges will still have
100 plus mph wind gusts. Moderate rate of rain and snow will continue through to Monday with
snow levels varying between 2,500 and 5000 feet.

The sheriff's dispatch center has so far fielded 250 plus calls reporting storm damage. Our
deputies were kept very busy responding to weather caused alarms, 911 incomplete calls, and
various other assignments to assist DOT and CHP with traffic and scene control.
Residents that require sandbags can obtain them at their local Fire Stations.
Emergency / General Contact Information
9-1-1- Emergency - In case of emergency dial 9-1-1.
In a non-emergency situation or for general information, the following phone numbers and/or
websites are available for use:
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department (530) 621-6600
El Dorado Cal Fire (530) 647-5220
Caltrans 1-(800) 427-7623 (Current Highway Conditions)
Pacific Gas and Electric (800) 743-5000
South Lake Tahoe Police Department (530) 542-6100
South Lake Tahoe Fire Department (530) 542-6160
Sierra Pacific Power Company (SPPC) 1- (800) 782-2506
Southwest Gas Company (SWG) 1- (800) 772-4555
South Tahoe Public Utility District (Sewer/Water) (530) 544-6474
Weather Report – National Weather