Page 1


Mitchell Gunn/ESPA


8 features Board of Directors Electing two positions


Olympic Dreams Local athletes set sights high


Let’s Get Together February events


New Cross Country Center Final planning phase


Summer Program Registration Begins March 3


24 Justin Brendecke Changes at Pizza on the Hill 26 Join a Cross Country Ski Program You’ll love it! 29 Transit Occupancy Tax What you need to know 30

In Remembrance Michael Leary



President’s Message Pray for snow


Monthly Calendar February events


General Manager’s Message The association’s strategic goals


Architectural Standards Office New ASO manager


Where in the World is TD News? TD News travels the world



VOL. 15, No. 2 February 2014


EDITORIAL AND PRODUCTION STAFF Alyson Stetz Brinn Talbot Gretchen Sproehnle Jenny Kendrick Joanie Engel

COVER Ryan, Natalia and Cassique (7) Williams, Tahoe Donner residents since 1996. See page 9 for a family bio. Photograph by Alyson Stetz


Tom Johns,

Vice President

Jim Stang,


Steve Miller,

President’s Message


Dick Gander,


Courtney Murrell,

Board of Directors

Postmaster Send address changes to Tahoe Donner News, 11509 Northwoods Blvd., Truckee, CA 96161 530-587-9400, Fax 530-587-9419


Advertising Sales Creative Concepts + Media is the exclusive advertising representative. 775-327-4200.

Publishing Information Tahoe Donner Association holds the exclusive service mark right to “Tahoe Donner.” Any unauthorized use of such will be regarded as an infringement of that service mark right and is prohibited. The inclusion of advertising in this publication does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Tahoe Donner Association or its board of directors of the products, services, or views contained therein. Tahoe Donner News (ISSN 1550-6061) is the official monthly publication of Tahoe Donner Association, which is located at 11509 Northwoods Blvd., Truckee, CA 96161. Each membership parcel receives one subscription to a domestic address. Additional subscriptions are available at the cost of $25 each. Cost to produce and distribute this publication is offset by advertising revenues. Periodicals Postage Paid at Truckee, CA, and additional mailing offices. Member letters to Tahoe Donner are published in the Members section of, where publishing guidelines are available.

If you spent time in Tahoe Donner over the holidays, and I hope most of you were able to, you know we had less than optimal snow conditions. Some would call them abysmal snow conditions. Our great staff did outstanding work in order to open Cross Country Ski Center, the learning area of the Downhill Ski Area (great lessons were given) and Snowplay. The staff even resorted to hand-shoveling to make conditions acceptable. Thank you to all our staff who made these extraordinary efforts. As I write this letter in mid-January, our conditions are still less than optimal and, with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend coming up, there are no significant storms in sight. This will have a considerable impact on our revenue and the operating fund. Management is taking every step possible to reduce expenses and control cost. Please see our General Manager Robb Etnyre’s letter in this issue of Tahoe Donner News. We faced a similar situation two years ago and management’s actions made a meaningful difference for the year. A number of homeowners have noticed a large increase in the amount of gunfire that is heard in Tahoe Donner. This gunfire is not coming from within Tahoe Donner or even the Town of Truckee. There are three locations this gunfire is potentially coming from: 7C property at the west end of Euer Valley, an informal firing range at Boca Reservoir, or another off Alder Creek Rd. on Carpenter Valley Rd.. The last two locations are in U.S.

Forest Service (USFS) land and it is legal to shoot in these areas as long as it is 150 yards from any waterway, building or structure and providing it is done in a safe manner. Management has contacted the USFS, but there is little we can do to curtail this activity. However, the board and management will continue to monitor the situation, and you may contact the USFS directly at 530-587-3558, if you wish to make your feelings known. As with gunfire, fireworks were again set off within Tahoe Donner on New Year’s Eve. As a reminder, even in winter, fireworks are prohibited in Tahoe Donner and homeowners can be fined between $1,000 and $5,000 for breaking this rule. On a happier note, there are still many activities available at all of our amenities. Please watch for our member news emails for specific details and updates. The Cross Country Ski Center, Downhill Ski Area learning area and Snowplay will open as conditions allow. Please see the article on page 18 in this issue of Tahoe Donner News on our new Cross Country Ski Center to be built this year. Hopefully, by the time you read this article, Karen and I will be tired from shoveling snow off our decks, and we will be back on track for a great ski season. I hope to see you at one of our amenities soon. Pray for snow.

TOM JOHNS | Board President



Valentine’s Day at The Lodge Enjoy Valentine’s Day specials at The Lodge Restaurant & Pub. See page 17.


Kids Club - Valentines Day Work out while your children enjoy special Valentine’s Day themed crafts, games, stories and healthy treats. See page 16.


Tahoe Donner Downhill, DECEMBER 1994, IMAGE by LONG PHOTOGRAPHY Children’s Glowstick Parade Ski or ride in the dark with glow sticks for kids 10 or younger. See page 11.


throughout FEBRUARY

SNOWSHOE TOURS Take-N-Bake at Pizza on the Hill

Full moon, afternoon and Valentine’s Snow-

Take $3 off the regular price - then take it

shoe tours are available throughout the month

home to bake in your own oven. See page 17.

of February. See pages 12-15.

For ADDITIONAL FEBRUARY EVENTS and information SEE let’s get together on pAGE 11.




The association had a solid holiday season this past December with strong membership visits across all the amenities. Members took advantage of the programs and services we had available despite the limited snow accumulation in December. I’m very proud of the Tahoe Donner team that has embraced the many challenges of this winter and adapted to every changing condition in order to provide a wealth of programs and services to our membership over this past holiday season. Particularly noteworthy was the herculean effort to move snow at the Cross Country Ski Center by both staff and volunteers to keep a solid trail system open! Downhill was able to use all the available snow to create a quality learning area in order to provide first-time lessons during the holidays, and Snowplay expanded their normal sledding activities to include a wealth of grass play activities. So, with our high precipitation months of February and March still ahead of us, let’s all get out and enjoy some more winter fun in the mountains. I would be remiss if I did not mention the negative fiscal impact the lack of snow this winter has had on our operating budget, particularly over the holidays and into the new year. As you may recall, Tahoe Donner operates a user-based amenity system, allowing each individual member to decide how to spend their money on each activity and amenity, while also allowing some amenities to be open to the public to assist in revenue generation. Overall, the association only assesses $5 million, or 33 percent, of the annual operating cost, requiring management to generate the remaining $9 million to successfully provide the wide range of amenities and services our membership enjoys. So, for 2013, while we were well ahead of budget at of the beginning of December, the lack of winter revenue resulted in a Net Operating Result (preliminary) only just ahead of budget for the year. However, as a matter of policy, Tahoe Donner does maintain a minimum operating fund contingency to cover these types of uncontrollable weather impacts to our operating budget. Additionally, as we start the new calendar and fiscal year of 2014 without snow, I’m reminded of how our Tahoe Donner business model underscores the importance of sound and timely management practices focused on the members and our public customers in a far greater manner than any other common interest development that I’m aware of in the nation. While it is too early to predict how the entire year will play out financially, I want the membership to know that the Tahoe Donner management team has taken immediate proactive steps to reduce unnecessary operating expenses associated with the lack of early winter revenue. However, while the entire team shifted gears to realize necessary early-season savings, we will also be shifting back into full winter programs to provide our membership and the public alike the best experience possible in our great mountain community. As we move through the balance of the winter, we will continue to review our long-term financial projections for the year to ensure we can continue to deliver quality customer service and programs to benefit the membership, while also following timely and responsible management and


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

financial practices. On another note, as we approach another association election cycle in just two months – candidacy applications will be available in April for two open board director positions – I thought it might be useful to review our strategic goals for the association. Tahoe Donner is a recreational-oriented mountain residential community, whose mutual benefit association of 6,500 owners provides for the standards, regular operation and long term maintenance of programs, facilities and open space. Through continuous improvement, customer service, and fiscal accountability, the association maintains leading standards of natural resource stewardship, facilities, programs and services to benefit the owners/members. Organizational effectiveness and innovation within the association is sustained by maintaining a highly professional board of directors, staff, and homeowner committee volunteers, while also engaging the local community in an effective and collaborative relationship. In order to execute our mission while also striving to achieve our collective vision to be a vibrant and desirable mountain community with modern recreational facilities, events, and programs, we have developed nine broad strategic goals. 1. Execute the board-approved capital projects on time and within budget. 2. Optimize operating revenue, while controlling expenses, in

order to limit future operating fund annual assessments. 3. Establish leading year-round association events and programs to

benefit the membership. 4. Establish an engaging approach to maintaining association community, architectural, covenants, and communication standards. 5. Establish an effective core full-time/seasonal employee relationship and staffing plan to provide the most cost-effective service to the membership. 6. Develop effective information technology services to support and integrate all resort operations to support the membership. 7. Establish a proactive approach to maintaining the health of our natural resources and defensible space. 8. Promote efficiencies in energy and water use to align with

national, state, and local community efforts for greater selfreliance and energy independence.

9. Work in partnership with the Town of Truckee and special dis-

tricts to maximize the return on homeowner tax dollars. While each of these nine strategic goals are broad in nature, they each have a variety of supporting targets and measures developed as part of the annual budget cycle each year that establishes specific supporting efforts to achieve these overall goals. If you have interest in volunteering or working within a California Corporation Code and Davis-Stirling Act board of director framework with your fellow elected board members, committees, owners, and management team to help achieve our association strategic direction, the opportunity is now! For futher information, please don’t hesitate to contact any board member, our elections committee chairman (John Sorensen), or myself. I’m proud of the improvements we have made these last few years across the entire association, but there is plenty more work to do. With a diverse community of interest encompassing 6,500 owners and 25,000 members–over 75 percent of whom are part-time residents–

your voluntary participation on a committee, the board of directors or at a minimum by voting for a candidate that best represents your interest is paramount to our communities long term success. Board leadership is critical, particularly as we weigh future improvements and consider how to best integrate them into this great community of Tahoe Donner. Last, I want to ensure that all our membership is aware of the planned improvements to our Cross Country Ski Center for 2014. After two years of plan development and membership review of this General Plan project, the final submission of our architectural and site plans to Dickson Corporate Logos replace our Cross Country Ski Center are on the verge of review by the Town of Truckee Building Department and Planning Commission on Dickson Realty Logo March 4. Additional information on this project, including important details on how you can support this project, can be found in this issue (see page 18) as well as at

Robb Etnyre | General ManageR Corporate Blue Logo: Can be used on white or light photo background

Tahoe Donner CONTACTS

Unacceptable Uses of Dickson Realty Logo

Member Communications (area code 530) Member Services


General Manager


White Lo Can be u backgrou ground

Contact Member Services to be transferred to other administrative departments.

Amenities Alder Creek Campground 587-9462

Beach Club Marina


Bikeworks 582-9694 Cross Country Ski Center 587-9484

Downhill Ski Area


Equestrian Center


Dickson Corporate Logos Dickson Realty Logo

Forestry 587-9432 Golf Course


The Lodge


Pizza On The Hill


Recreation Info Hut


Tennis Center


Dickson Realty Tagline Corporate Blue Logo: Can be used on white or light photo background

Trails 587-9432 Trout Creek Rec. Center


Tahoe Donner Association Committee Chairs Architectural Standards, Jason Wooley Covenants, Al Noyes

Elections, John Sorensen

Finance, Jeff Bonzon

General Plan Committee Co-Chair, Michael Fajans General Plan Committee Co-Chair, John Stubbs

Tahoe Donner Association Chartered Club Presidents Bridge Club, Diane Rowe

Friends of TD Trails, B.R. Levine

Rowing Club, Dot Mace

Senior Alpine Ski, Jim Pyle

Tahoe Donner Green, Sue Sorensen

Tennis, John McGregor

9-Holers, Barb McCabe

Men’s Golf, Bob Moore

Women’s Golf, Diane Kalliam

Hiking Club, Robin Reese

Quilt Club, Linda Brush

Junior Golf Club, Jean Lai

Unacceptable Uses of Dickson Realty Logo

Dinny Evans Realtor®

DRE #01126819



You cannot change what you are, only what you do.

Dickson Realty Tagline Philip Pullman

White Logo: Can be used on Corporate Blue background or dark Corporate Blue Logo:photo background Another change happened me Can be used on white or light for photo Bluemy Logo atbackground the end ofCorporate 2013. I left old

White Lo Can be u backgrou ground w

Northwoods address where I had been working from since 1997. It was time for a change and I have joined the wonderful crew at Dickson Realty. Interestingly, sometime this summer I’ll be back at the location where I started in 1992 at Dickson’s new office building!

Tahoe Donner sellers: I’m here and ready for you, give me a call!


The Golden Compass

EMAIL Corporate Blue Logo: Can be used on white or light photo background Corporate Blue Logo White Logo: WEBSITE Can be used on Corporate Blue background or dark photo background with White Logo |


2014 TAHOE DONNER BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION Seeking Candidates for Two Director Positions

must exercise due care and diligence when acting on behalf of the association, and it requires them to act within the scope of their authority. The fact that the association is a not-for-profit corporation and that the members of the board are volunteers and unpaid does not relieve them from the high standards of trust and responsibility that the fiduciary relationship requires.

What sort of issues come before the board?

2014 is an important election year for the Tahoe Donner board of directors. Two (of five) director leadership positions are up for election. Application forms will be available April 1, 2014 in the Member Services office at the Northwoods Clubhouse. The deadline for submitting completed applications is May 1, 2014 at 4 p.m. If you are interested in contributing to the success and vitality of the Tahoe Donner Association, consider running for one of the open board seats. The following questions and answers provide an overview of the board’s role and responsibilities as well as specific requirements to serve as a director. What is the board of directors? Tahoe Donner Association is governed by a five-member board of directors. The directors are elected by property owners and govern the financial management and general operation of the association. The annual budget of the association, including revenue, expenses, required reserve funds, and annual assessments, is in excess of $18 million per year. Operations include the physical management and maintenance of the association’s common areas, operation of the resort amenities, and enforcement of the land-use restrictions and architectural standards that create the unique character of Tahoe Donner.

Fiduciary relationship and responsibility Members of the board of directors have a fiduciary responsibility to the owners within the association. This fiduciary relationship imposes obligations of trust and confidence in favor of the association and its property owners. It requires members of the board to act in good faith and in the best interests of all owners. It means that board members


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

Within applicable legal constraints, the board determines everything from the amount of the annual assessment to which major projects should be pursued by the association. It governs the general overall operation of the association in conjunction with the association’s general manager. It decides on appeals from association members who disagree with rules interpretation or enforcement. It gives guidance to the association’s committees on topics ranging from recruiting and retaining employees, to which auditor to hire, to defining any new rules that should be put in place. Important items for the board to review and decide upon over the next two years include: continued implementation of the 2030 general plan, fiscal monitoring of the association’s amenities, establishing appropriate funding levels for the association’s reserve and development funds, and utilization of open spaces.

What are the qualifications for directors? Article VII, section two of the restated bylaws requires that candidates for election to the board satisfy the following qualifications: • Be an owner of at least a 25-percent separate interest (residential property) within Tahoe Donner. • Be in good standing with the association, meaning that all assessments with respect to all separate interests owned have been paid current, and the candidate is not subject to any suspension of membership privileges. No property owner is eligible as a candidate if: • A co-owner (another holding an interest in a property of the candidate) will be serving on the board at the same time as the candidate. • He or she is an employee of the association. • He or she has served two elected consecutive terms of office.

Your fellow owners will be looking for and will vote for candidates with qualifications they feel will best support the association’s interests and welfare. Direct experience in leadership, management, finance, and resort operations are all experiences that would serve the needs of the association well. Those with other skills, experience and knowledge relevant to association operations and governance would also be welcome candidates for the open directors’ positions on the board.

What is the Time Commitment? Being an effective director does require time. Regular board meetings are held once per month, normally on the third Saturday. A briefing packet is prepared by the Tahoe Donner staff for each meeting, and a significant amount of time is required to review and research information, including occasional meetings with staff to clarify particular issues, in order to be well prepared for the board meetings. Monthly board meetings usually last most of the day, depending on the agenda items and number of member appeals of enforcement actions taken. There are also occasional special meetings to review items that cannot wait until monthly meetings. Additionally, each board member serves as liaison to one or more of the committees serving the association; this involves additional regular meetings. The scheduling, time periods required and number of committee meetings are held at the convenience of the committee chair and depend on the particular task being addressed.

Is it necessary to be a permanent resident in Tahoe Donner to serve on the board? There is no requirement to be a permanent resident of Tahoe Donner.

It is desirable to have representation from owners who are part-time residents. However, the time commitment may make that difficult for some owners. The association is equipped for teleconferencing for those times when it may be difficult to attend meetings.

What is involved in running for the board? First, you must submit an application by May 1, 2014, 4 p.m. Applications will be available by April 1, 2014 in the Member Services office at Northwoods Clubhouse or can be mailed to you on request. Second, you must submit a candidate’s statement that will be reproduced and included in the board election packet sent to property owners in late May. Third, you may participate in a candidates’ night where you will have the opportunity to directly present your ideas about serving on the board to property owners and answer property owners’ questions.

The bottom line! Serving as a director for Tahoe Donner Association carries many of the same duties and responsibilities as overseeing any other large business. Being a board member is a valuable and rewarding experience that should be undertaken by those who see it as an opportunity and have the time to serve their fellow neighbors while protecting and enhancing the assets of the community. It is serious business, but also a responsibility worth doing well in order to safeguard the investments of every owner.

JOHN SORENSEN | Elections Committee Chair 530-550-1353

Living and Working in the Heart of Tahoe Donner sm Since 1990 David Wright, Realtor®

Boice O’Neal Realty

530-412-1241 CA BRE #0168250 Immersed in the Tahoe Lifestyle! |




(Above/Right) Hannah Halvorsen skiing with her mom at Tahoe Donner. Images

By Megan McClelland

courtesy of the HALVORSEN FAMILY. (Left/Below) Jordan McElroy, part of the Vermont Army

Editor’s Note: In this third installment of our three-part series on Winter Olympics, we introduce you to more Tahoe Donner athletes. These talented young individuals may not be on the road to Sochi, but they do have international competition firmly in their sights. Watch them over the next four years as they compete in their respective sports and maybe even earn a spot on Team USA for 2018. Of all sports, winter or summer, it can be argued that competitive Nordic skiing is one of the most athletically challenging. Not only does the sport require the engagement of nearly every muscle in the body, but it is also one of the toughest cardiovascular workouts that an athlete can perform. So how can young children be convinced to pursue such a rigorous sport? The answer is to start early and make it as fun as humanly possible. Jordan McElroy and Hannah Halvorsen, Truckee-raised Nordic skiers, can certainly attest to the physical and mental demands of Nordic competition. However, the two can also agree that they continue to compete in the sport because it is fun and because they love it, despite its difficulties. Through endless games, group skis on and off the groomed trails and even some jump building, McElroy and Halvorsen learned to have fun on their skis before they took their skiing to a competitive level. It also probably didn’t hurt that both started skiing at around the same age they were learning to walk: Halvorsen at a year and a half, McElroy at age 3. Both skied at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center through the Parks and Recreation program – now managed by Tahoe Donner and referred to as TD Nordic Kids. Twentyyear-old McElroy is currently serving in the Vermont Army National Guard and races for the National Guard biathlon team. For those


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

National Guard. Images courtesy of the MCELROY FAMILY.

unfamiliar with the sport, biathlon combines Nordic skiing with target shooting. Biathletes shoot targets that are set 50 meters away from two positions: prone (lying down), and standing. Prone targets are only 4.5 centimeters in diameter; standing targets are slightly larger at 11.5 centimeters. With an elevated heart rate, being able to focus and steady a rifle enough to hit the targets with accuracy requires intense concentration and is one of the most challenging aspects of the sport. McElroy, young and aspiring, set his goals for the season high, hoping to win a few National Guard Championship Races and to be competitive with his international racing. Fifteen-year-old Hannah Halvorsen now races for Sugar Bowl Academy and has already accomplished one of her biggest goals of the season. She recently raced in the U.S. Senior National competition in Soldier Hollow, Utah, a qualifying event for many high level and extremely selective races. Halvorsen, young for the qualification standards of international competition, placed among the top six junior competitors at the event and earned a spot on the U.S. Scandinavian Cup U18 (under 18)

team. She traveled to Finland at the end of January, a truly impressive feat for any young skier. This year, Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center offers more junior programs than ever before in hopes of exposing and engaging young skiers to the sport. The TD Nordic Kids program is now offered to children as young as age 5, with the primary objective of having fun. For older children who are interested in an early start to competition, Tahoe Donner now offers two junior racing programs with the objective of preparing young skiers for racing at the middle school level. Also new this year is a very popular laser biathlon program, introducing youngsters to the somewhat obscure sport, with the hopes of developing more young biathletes such as McElroy in this region. It is the Tahoe Donner Cross Country staff’s goal to foster and facilitate the same type of passion and enthusiasm that McElroy and Halvorsen openly expressed for their sports to our local youth. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll witness some of these kids achieve their own Olympic dreams some day in the not-toodistant future!

Countdown to Sochi Giant Slalom Specialist Tim Jitloff sets sights on podium

Mitchell Gunn/ESPA

On The Cover Ryan, Natalia and Cassique (7) Williams Tahoe Donner Residence: Skislope Way Ryan and Natalia Williams have been residents of Tahoe Donner since the winter of 1996 when they met on Skislope Way. As current residents on Skislope Way, they love the expansive views, immense sunshine and snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking right out the front door. The Beach Club Marina is one of their favorite amenities with its awesome access to paddle boarding, beachfront BBQs and parties with their

Growing up in Tahoe Donner, Alpine Giant Slalom (G.S.) specialist Tim Jitloff learned to ski by chasing his older brothers around the mountain, following in their ski racing footsteps. He eventually surpassed them, ratcheting up impressive results on the international junior ski racing scene and then earning a spot on the U.S. Ski Team. “Since I lived in Tahoe, I grew up freeskiing all my youth and I found that I enjoyed the thrill of racing. I’ve been doing both ever since.” The World Cup skier began skiing at age 2, raced and trained for the Alpine Meadows Ski Team, and competed locally on the Far West circuit. In 2005, after winning the World Junior Combined title, the 19-year-old Truckee High School grad was named to the U.S. Development Team, and moved to Park City, Utah, to pursue a more serious commitment to ski racing. He joined the team there to train with rising ski racing stars like Ted Ligety. In the following years, the results just kept getting better. At the U.S. Nationals last April at Squaw Valley, “Jit” skied his way to the top of the podium with a G.S. title — his fourth in the last six years. And just last December, Jitloff posted his best finish yet – fifth place in a World Cup G.S. in Alta Badia, Italy. But he’s

daughter’s friends. Ryan moved from Milwaukee, Wis. and Natalia moved from Laguna Beach, Calif., as professional snowboarders on the world team for Burton, Volcom and Arnette. By 1998 Ryan had received a Silver Medal in the X Games and Natalia had helped launch the Volcom Girls snowboard line; both were featured in dozens of international publications as well as Warren Miller and Standard Films movies. Today Ryan and Natalia are proud parents of their 7-year-old daughter Cassique. For the past decade Ryan has

not settling. His impressive results only motivate him to perform better, and the promising athlete now is perfectly poised for a podium (top three) result. This is not his first Olympic appointment. Jitloff was named to the Vancouver Olympic team in 2010, but was beat out of a G.S. start position by teammate Bode Miller — tough competition indeed. Four years later, he is ready for Sochi. “I don’t want to just be an Olympian,” he says, “I want to be a medalist.” Though the athlete’s hometown is now Reno, Nev., where his parents currently live, Jitloff splits his time between his home in Bergen, Germany and the United States. With most training and racing taking place in Europe, American ski racers live on the road (Continued on p. 10)

been prominent in the Truckee community, helping businesses and families create financial security with investments, life insurance and disability insurance with Northwestern Mutual. Recognized for community involvement, Ryan is a proud board director, endowment fund manager, and partner of the non-profit High Fives Foundation. He is also a member of the Tahoe Forest Hospital Sports Medicine/Orthopedic Advisory board, Truckee Rotary, Thrive Tahoe and previously the Kidzone Museum director of the board. Natalia owns a successful media production company emphasizing commercial artwork, private commissions and photography. Her latest work was purchased by the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. Accordingly, Cassique loves snowboarding, swimming, reading, painting and adventuring with her friends and family around the world. |


(continued from p. 9) and out of suitcases, sleeping in hotel beds and, often, eating heavy restaurant meals. Jitloff’s home away from home allows for a good night’s sleep and a home cooked meal — and possibly a performance edge over the competition. Proud parents Pam and Alex Jitloff – their son’s biggest fans – say the road has not been all smooth traveling. Several years ago in a ski race in France, Jitloff suffered a seasonending torn ACL — a knee injury that often plagues Alpine ski racers. “Mentally, he’s a really strong individual,” said Alex Jitloff. “I think this is how he was able to bounce back and continue. He skis with a lot of confidence, and just concentrates on positive results.” Though at press time the U.S. Alpine Olympic team has not yet been named, Jitloff is ranked 24th in the world in G.S. and is the third highest ranked U.S. skier. All indications point to a spot on the team — with a G.S. start this time. Though his parents opted not to travel to Russia to watch the race in person, they are thankful for the high-tech communications capabilities available and will be watching for real-time results from their computer. “It’s going to be exciting; he’s having a

good season so far,” Alex said. “He’s ready to do his thing!” We’ll be watching, Jit, and we wish you the best of luck! AN INTERVIEW WITH TIM JITLOFF What’s the hardest part about being a ski racer competing at this level? What’s the best part?

Just like any athlete at the top of their sport, it is very tough to finally reach the highest peak. It is so hard to win on the tour, but the best part is when you have good days that make all the hard work worth it. How do you feel an Olympic year differs from other years?

The Olympics, honestly, aren’t something I think much about because first you have to qualify just to go. That means I need to be skiing really well on the World Cup, which is my day job. I think it will hit me only when I arrive there that it is really happening. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment to date?

I recently was fifth in the World Cup Giant

отсчет времени до Сочи


Opening ceremonies begin Feb. 7, and after years of planning, preparation, and construction, Sochi will debut their much-anticipated Winter Olympic Games. We promised a few Russian lessons to get you ready for all the action. Previously, you learned “hello,” “goodbye,” “please,” and “thank you.” You’re practically fluent! Now we take it to the next level.

Как Вас зовут? What is your name? (“Kak vas zavoot?”) Меня зовут Boris. My name is Boris. (“Men-ya zavoot Boris.”) Я из Truckee. I’m from Truckee. (“Ya iz truckee.”) Whether or not Sochi will have enough snow to pull off this huge international event has been a hot topic (pardon the bad pun). For those of you lucky enough to go to Sochi, impress your fellow travelers and locals alike with the following translations.

В т́ ом году́ снéга нé было до января́ . It didn’t snow until January this year. (“Vyeh eh-tom gah-du snega bila da yan-varya”) Из такóго снéга мóжно сдéлать снеговикá. You can make a snowman out of this snow. (“Iz tak-aga snega mozh-na sdel-at snega-bika”) Or, if you’re feeling snarky: Из такóго снéга нé мóжно сдéлать снеговикá. You can’t make a snowman out of this snow. (“Iz tak-aga snega nye mozh-na sdel-at snega-bika”)

Slalom in Alta Badia, Italy. That is known as one of the toughest races in the world. I am very proud of that result. What are your goals for this season and beyond?

I want to finally make a podium on the World Cup. Beyond this year I can’t say because I just take everything day by day. Like any athlete, I just want to win! What ski racers did you admire when you were younger? Who else influenced you while growing up?

I admired Daron Rahlves. He was an unbelievable athlete. He made me want to go out and do it too. Otherwise, my brothers were my major influences. They were the ones I saw every day. They helped me become who I am. They pushed me. (Ed. Note: Older brother Erik Jitloff is a paramedic firefighter in Truckee and lives in Tahoe Donner.) What did you like best about growing up in Tahoe Donner?

I liked Tahoe Donner in those days because there were not very many houses where I was. I felt like I grew up in the forest. It allowed my brothers and me to explore and have fun all through our childhood. When I’m home, I love a lot of the great local Mexican food, and swimming off of the docks at Donner Lake. What do you do in the off-season?

I am still training a lot to prepare for winter, but I like to play electric guitar and to travel. Any advice to young Far West ski

About our translator: Ben Sumers, who taught skiing at Tahoe Donner Downhill last season, is now a grad


student at Stanford University in mechanical engineering and a part-time coach with the Sugar Bowl Ski

Do it because you love it! Have fun and be free.

Team. In his junior year of college, he became interested in learning about Russia, and took a Russian language class for a quarter. Thank you, Ben!


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014


















Here at the Downhill Ski Area we have high hopes for a “fabulous February” to really get NI this ski season rolling and a “miracle March” T E N TE to top things off! Please note, all events are CPE N RIV ER AT E A M N Nwill R conditions subject to change and O T Eheld Nbe OE D E C TA H permitting. Check the website at tahoedonner. RIAN E ST U I Q E com/downhill-ski or Ecall 530-587-9444 for upN PU BLIC AM to-date information on all events. Following the President’s Day holiday, the Children’s Glowstick Parade and Carnival is scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Downhill Ski Area. This is our kid’s version of the Torch- D O N N E R OE RKS TA H10 O light Parade, but with glowsticks for kids W E B I KRin or younger who can ski or ride unassisted EN EP R TA L S & R E N N Snowbird run. Be sure to come Othe D the dark on E S O RD TA H UA earlyE toG sign up. Sign-ups and carnival start at F I L4:30 p.m. BE withH Ethe parade starting at 6:30 p.m. AT T H E This is a free event. TY






























































Mark your March Calendars March 1 marks our Winter Beach Party complete with tropical fun, live music, food and games starting at 12 p.m. The 10th annual I-Did-A-Run dog pull race takes place March 9. If you have never been to this event, you must make a point of coming out this year as it is truly a spectacle and fun for all ages! Bring your own dog or cheer on the other pooches as they compete in one of four categories based on weight for the speediest finish while pulling a sled. A raffle benefiting the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe will also take place with tickets for $1 each.

Farewell Good Friend We are sad to report that we lost a dear Tahoe Donner employee this year: Michael Leary, who had worked at Tahoe Donner Downhill since the beginning operations in 1971. He was an amazing part of our Ski School staff and brought a smile to everyone’s face with his loud belly laugh. Michael Leary will be missed. See the tribute to Michael on page 31.

ALYSON STETZ/ tahoe donner JAN. 15, 2014

See you on the slopes!

Robert Mcclendon | downhill ski area manager |



















OW I D N route selection and PU M E skiing. BLIC A

Members of The Bay Area Orienteering club will teach you the basics the morning of the event and advise you which difficulty of course to choose. See for R NNE R details. E DO NTE

































DATE: TBD between Feb. 11-13

Ski Orienteering

TIME: 5-8 p.m.

Organized by The Bay Area Orienteering Club. A different way to challenge yourself on skis, and a great workout, too. Ski orienteering is a big sport in Europe combining navigation,

COST: $10 for adults, $5 for 18 and

Serving Truckee/Lake Tahoe Residential • Commercial

under, free for passholders

A short and fun relay course suitable for all ages and levels. Make a team of three and join in the fun. Dinner and drink specials after the event. Guaranteed fun for the whole family, regardless of age or ability! DATE: Feb. 15; TIME: 6 p.m. COST: $15 for adults; $8 for 18 &


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

under; $20 for adult passholders; $15 for 18 and under passholders. Add $5 if registering the day of the event. See the link on our website to register via

A Sunday morning program for our weekend skiers has already kicked off with the first session in December. It’s not too late to join (as long as space permits). There are three sessions left this season: Feb. 2, Feb. 16 and March 9. Open to intermediate skiers ages 7-12 who are comfortable skating and striding blue trails.

Fun Olympic Night Relay


COST: $35 for adults; $25 for 18 and

Watch the moon rise from the trails. Moonlight ski and snowshoe tour, dinner and wine tasting.

under, Purchase at ShopTD

PO Box 11107, Truckee, CA 96162 BONDED & INSURED • CA LIC #764916

DATE: Feb. 23; START TIME: 10 a.m.


COST: $45 adult; $30 for 12 and

Interior and Exterior Specializing in Staining Wood Restoration Superior Finish Painting Remodels and New Construction

to win some great prizes. Sponsored by Paco’s Bike and Ski.

Full Moon Ski and Snowshoe Tour and Dinner

DATE: Feb. 14; TIME: 5-8 p.m.




Winter fun continues at the Tahoe Donner PR EN I VAT E A M Cross Country Ski Center during this Olympic O TA H N C3E month, and we have many great clinics and DATE: Feb. TRIA S E I events planned during this much anticipatedE Q U EN PU BLIC AM EEK R C global event. Please E Rnote, all events U N D and clinics Euer Valley Moonlight ALD R Owill G are subject to change and be held condiSkiing P I C A M P U theM ECross N tions permitting. Call Country Ski During this week, a specific BLIC A Center at 530-587-9484 for up-to-the-minute night with the best conditions ER information. will be selected for an advenONN OE D H A RKS O ture encouraging folks to skiT W B I KR EE PROGRAMS the Euer Valley by moonlight. EP N TA R E LS & R O N N soup and salad after as Our popular masters and ladies programs O E DEnjoy S RD TA H A as have been postponed to start in February and E G U well drink specials. One date will be chosen F L I B between E R will now be four weeks long. See details on Tuesday, Feb. 11, and Thursday, H E E AT T H E NN E DO S page 26. TA H O Feb. 13.; call the Cross Country Ski Center for AT I C AQ U updates.




















under; see our website to register via

Tahoe Donner 40/20km Challenge A tour or a race – you choose! Select between the 40-kilometer course for the adventurous, or a shorter 20- kilometer course. Great preparation for those entering the Great Ski Race. Delicious lunch and raffle prize drawing for participants included in your entry. Everyone is welcome and all participants are entered in the raffle for a chance

Weekend Junior Racers

DATES: Feb. 2, Feb. 16 and March 9 TIME: 10-11:30 a.m.; COST: $30 (prorated) per session

Clinics A trail pass is required for these clinics; $15 discounted trail passes are available for clinic participants. Sign up by calling 530-587-9484 or in person at the Cross Country Ski Center, unless otherwise noted. All clinics are subject to change; please call ahead for updates.

Refining Striding Technique Improve your grip and glide, and explore efficient double pole and double pole kick techniques. DATES: Sunday, Feb. 16; Saturday, March 8 TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30






Advanced Classic (Striding) Skills

mum of three required 48 hours in advance to run the clinic.

This class is a tune-up for advanced skiers that includes a focus on striding, double pole and double pole kick refinement.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 8; TIME: 9 a.m. -11 a.m.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 1; TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

COST: $225. Sign up on Shop TD

NEW Laser Biathlon Clinics

Last minute tips for classic skiers doing the annual Great Ski Race on March 2. Learn how to handle a mass start and survive the downhills, plus pick up tactical and pacing skills.

Biathlon combines skiing and rifle marksmanship. After range instruction and practice with our new laser biathlon rifles, you will ski or snowshoe a short loop and try to hit the targets with an elevated heart rate, just like at the Olympics!

WHEN: Saturday, March 1; TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

DATES: Saturday, Feb. 8; Monday, Feb. 17; Saturday March 1;

Tips for the Great Ski Race

Sunday, March 16

Refining Skating Technique

TIME: Adults (13 and older): 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; juniors (7-12):

Skating “Gears” for Different Terrain: Once you have the basic coordination of skating down, you are ready to learn the different gears for different terrain. Explore and refine V2 and V2 alternate for maximum efficiency.

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15; TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

Improving the V1 Techniques for Climbing Improve your climbing skills for faster, easier climbing.

COST: $30 (trail pass required). Sign up on Shop TD

Snowshoe Lessons/Tours Snowshoeing is easy to learn and is a great activity for the whole family to experience together. We offer lessons and tours for ages 13 and up throughout the season to learn the basic skills and learn about the local flora and fauna from one of our knowledgeable guides.

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 17; TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

DATES: Sunday, Feb. 2; Sunday, Feb. 16; Saturday March 1

Advanced Skating

TIME: 10:30 a.m.-noon

Work with one of our top instructors to take your skating to new levels of efficiency. WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 9; TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

and March 15 COST: $30 (tour only); $59 (tour/rental/ trail pass)

sally jones | CROSS COUNTRY ski CENTER manager

Need more Downhill Control? Speed control can be one of the biggest challenges for novice skiers, so here’s a clinic that focuses on improving control and turning skills. WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 2; Saturday, Feb. 15; Sunday, March 2 TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

Intermediate Downhills and Cornering For skiers with basic control and turning skills who want to gain more confidence and speed. WHEN: Saturday, Feb 22; TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

The Telemark Turn Telemark turns - the classic turn for free heels –are not as easy as they look! Note: for this clinics, skate skis are recommended as it is easier to learn on skate skis than classic. WHEN: Saturday, March 15; TIME: 9 – 10:15 a.m.; COST: $30

Waxing Learn to wax your skis with a pro. These private one-hour wax clinics include low-fluorinated wax (high-fluorinated wax costs extra). WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 22; Saturday, March 1 TIME: By reservation COST: $55 for the first person; $20 each additional

Fitness An on-snow lactate threshold test to learn more about the effectiveness of your training and fitness plans with Dr. Andy Pasternak from Silver Sage Sports Performance. Group analysis of results Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. (or by phone). Mini- |








Regular hours of operation are Fridays 1:30-4:30 p.m. and Saturdays BLIC A and Sundays 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. We will have extended hours for the B President’s holiday week: Open Feb. 17-21, 9:30-4:30 p.m., conditions C LU H C permitting. EA NA I





V AT E A N Ia few questions on our snowshoe We have been getting quite outings, TEN R E T N so this month we have compiled a list of FAQs for those considering CPE EN R I V great joining us for one of these events. Hope to see you out there! AM A E T ER ME



ENT AN C I Full Moon Snowshoe Tour FAQs N ME TY



Q: What should I bring and wear? A: Dressing in warm waterproof layers is suggested, including hat,

gloves and sturdy snow boots. Participants should also bring water, a snack and a headlamp or flashlight. ER ONN OE D H A T Q: Do the tours ever get cancelled?


A: Yes. RWePrequire a Vminimum of five guests to be signed up. Tours may S


DS OO A: Cost is $7.50 per person with your own snowshoes, or $15 with W H T snowshoe rental. NOR POOL ER ONN S a tour? OE D Q: How do I register for R TA H O K W E A: Guests may register by calling the Trout Creek Recreation Center BIK I VAT E A M








Q: How much does it cost?


at 530-587-9437 or by logging onto A 48-hour advance registration is required. A




E LS & R


























& E

RAMS be cancelled due to insufficient registration and/or adverse weather or snow conditions. We attempt to provide notice of cancellation within 24 hours of departure time.

FEBRUARY SNOWPLAY EVENTS All events are subject to change and will be held conditions permitting; visit our website at or call 530-5879437 for rates or more information.

Q: What is the tour? A: Guests will experience a fun, scenic and educational snowshoe tour under the glow of the full moon and stars.

Night Tubing

Q: When are the tours?

Dates: Friday, Feb. 7

A: Tours are offered on selected Saturday nights throughout the winter,

Tube under the lights! Snowplay will remain open until 6:30 p.m. for night tubing. time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.

coinciding with the full moon calendar. A special sunset tour is offered on Valentine’s Day.

Groundhog Day Scavenger Hunt

Q: Where and when do we meet?

Where is that sneaky groundhog? Join us in the big search for the groundhog to see if he casts a shadow.

A: Meet at the Trout Creek Recreation Center on Northwoods Blvd.

Arrive at least a half hour before the scheduled time to sign waivers and be fitted for snowshoes if renting. Guests will caravan to the trailhead on Glacier Way. Q: Where do the tours take place? A: Tours are conducted on Tahoe Donner property adjacent to Sunrise

Bowl. The tour traverses across open meadows to the Glacier Point overlook above Donner Lake. Guests will enjoy a panoramic view of the lake with Mt. Rose to the east and Castle Peak to the west.

Dates: SUNDAY, Feb. 2; time: 1 p.m.

Valentine’s Day Snowshoe A wintry outing with romantic sunset views. For times, visit Dates: TUESDAY, Feb. 14

Full Moon Snowshoe Join us for a full moon snowshoe. For times, visit snowplay/events. Dates: WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15

Q: How long is the tour? A: Tours last two hours (depending on pace of group and snow con-

Snowman Building Contest

ditions) and cover approximately three miles with about 500 feet of elevation change.

Dates: SATURDAY, Feb. 22

Q: How many people will be on the tour?

Snowshoe Rentals

A: Group sizes vary, with a maximum of 30 people. We maintain a

maximum guest-to-guide ratio of 10-1.

Snowshoe rentals are available for kids and adults for use on Snowplay property during operating hours. Enjoy s’mores and warm up by the fire pits after a day of fun.

Q: Is the tour suitable for children?

COST: $7.50 for two hours

A: Yes, children must be at least 12 years old and in good physical



| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

Create a snow masterpiece! Judging begins at 2 p.m.
















REC S D OO THW L P O O Friday Family Movie Night







FREE! Bring a pillow and blanket, kick your feet up and enjoy either a classic or new movie starting at 6:30 p.m. every Friday at Northwoods Clubhouse. Friday Family Movie Night movies are rated G and PG. Don’t feel like cooking? Order a pizza dinner from Pizza on the Hill for the perfect family night out. While we can’t publish movie titles, you can call Member Services at 530-587-9400 to find out what’s playing.

Admissions showcAse Thursday, march 6, 2014 6:30-8Pm Join us to learn more about our college preparatory curriculum for students in grades 5-12. Discover the difference our school can make for your child.

Dates: Fridays, 6:30 p.m.; Cost: Free

Trivia Night FREE! Enjoy a pizza from Pizza on the Hill while showing off your brain power. You may even win a free pizza! Please note, event will be cancelled at 7:15 p.m. if there is insufficient attendance by that time. Dates: Thursdays, 6:30 to 8 p.m.; Cost: Free

Kids Night Out Tahoe Donner hosts an evening of games, dinner, arts and crafts, a movie and even a bedtime story at the Northwoods Clubhouse from 5-9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month for children ages 4 – 9. Space is limited; please make reservations at ShopTD. Call 530-587-9437 for more information. Date: Friday, Feb. 7; Time: 5-9 p.m. Where: Northwoods Clubhouse 775.852.6222 ext. 509

Cost: $20 per child; advance reservations required |













How are your new year’s resolutions holding up? We have some great offerings for those needing a little extra inspiration! For more NER D O Nany questions information or if you on O Ehave ON TA H T Ithe Acall E the following programs, Trout Creek R R E CP EV D S Recreation CenterRatO G 530-587-9437. RAMS &









Intuitive Eating Workshop Forever change your relationship with food, nutrition and dieting and join us at the Trout Creek Recreation Center for the revolutionary Intuitive Eating workshop. This 10-week workshop will be conducted by well-known local registered dietician Betsy Taylor who will guide us through the Intuitive Eating philosophy. The Intuitive Eating philosophy has become the go-to program on rebuilding a healthy body image and making peace with

food. We’ve all been there—angry with ourselves for overeating, for our lack of willpower, for failing at yet another diet. But the problem is not us; it’s actually the dieting itself, with its emphasis on rules and regulations, which has stopped us from listening to our bodies. Together we will journey with Betsy as we transform our thinking and learn: • How to reject the diet mentality forever • How our three eating personalities define our eating difficulties • How to find satisfaction in your eating • How to feel your feelings without using food • How to honor hunger and feel fullness • How to follow the 10 principles of “Intuitive Eating” • How to achieve a new and safe relationship with food and, ultimately, your body DATES: March 12– May 14 (10-week workshop). A minimum of 6 participants will be required to conduct the workshop. Trout Creek Recreation Center guests

CARPET • UPHOLSTERY Call for your FREE Estimate

DRY IN 1 HOUR! • Environmentally Safe • Pet Friendly • Satisfaction Guaranteed

Truckee/Northshore 530.550.1252


Call 800.452.3060 •


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

Kids Club punch cards make a great gift for Valentine’s Day! Show your love by giving your honey a break from the little ones and a few hours to themselves. We are open seven days a week: Thursday – Monday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Call the Trout Creek Recreation Center for more information at 530-587-9437.

TIMES: Wednesdays, 5:30-7 p.m. at COST: $175 for members, $200 for

Woman Owned Business

Give the Gift of Love: Kids Club Punch Cards

Kids Club Kids Club at the Trout Creek Recreation Center invites your kids to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Trout Creek’s Kids Club on Feb. 14. Work out while your children enjoy special Valentine’s Day themed crafts, games, stories and healthy treats. Drop by any time during our regular Kids Club hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to join the festivities. Regular rates and restrictions apply.

Members 2 hours for $16 10 hours for $72 20 hours for $120 Guests 2 hours for $24 10 hours for $80 20 hours for $140 *Must purchase in blocks of two hours or more. Late fees apply after two hours.

Dining Options The Lodge Restaurant & Pub Open nightly at 5 p.m. with artisan-crafted cuisine and spirits. On Super Bowl Sunday, The Pub will open at 3 p.m. For more information, call 530-587-9455 or to see our menu, visit

WildER Wednesdays Happy Hour specials will be offered all night long in the entire restaurant. Take 25 percent off shared plates, soups and salads, plus enjoy drink specials. Not valid Feb. 19.

No Corkage Tuesdays Bring in a special bottle of wine from home to savor in the dining room and the corkage fee is waived on Tuesdays. Every other day of the week, bring in a bottle of wine from home and the corkage fee is waived when you purchase a bottle from our extensive wine list. Not valid Feb. 18.

Pizza on the Hill Regular hours are Thursday through Monday from 5 - 8:30 p.m. We will open at 2:30 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, and during the President’s holiday week, we’ll be open every day Feb. 13-24. For more information, please call 530-582-9669, or visit us online at

NEW! Take-N-Bake Pizza New at Pizza on the Hill, make dinner a hassle-free affair and grab one of our take and bake pizzas to “take-n-bake” at home. You can order any pizza off our menu or create your own. Come in to order and sit at the bar while we make it to your specifications. Don’t have time to wait? Call ahead to 530-582-9669. Either way, take $3 off the regular price - then take it home to bake in your own oven. Great for busy weeknights or game day!

Happy Hour A great way to quench your thirst! Get $2 Coors Light drafts, $3 seasonal draft beers, $3 house cabernet or chardonnay by the glass and half-price wings at Happy Hour from 5 - 6 p.m. Not valid Friday or Saturday. Not valid Feb. 14-22.

Happy Hour Enjoy drink specials and 25 percent off shared plates, soups and salads from 5–6:30 p.m. Happy Hour discounts valid SundayThursday in The Pub only. Not valid Feb. 14-22.

Valentine’s Day For Valentine’s Day, Friday, Feb. 14, enjoy Valentine’s Day specials at The Lodge Restaurant & Pub. Go to the-lodge to view the menu.

Super Bowl Fun Visit The Pub Feb. 2 for Super Bowl fun! The Pub will open at 3 p.m. for drinks. Happy Hour will be offered throughout the entire game. The Pub menu will be offered at 4 p.m. and the dining room will open at 5 p.m. *Offers listed are valid during non-holiday periods and are not valid with any other promotions or coupons. Offers subject to change.

Sunday Half-Price Pizza Pizza on the Hill offers half-price pizza all night every Sunday. This offer is valid for cheese or pepperoni pizzas for dine-in or to-go orders! Limit 10 pizzas per group. Valid after 5 p.m. on Feb. 2; not valid Feb. 16.

Let Pizza on the Hill cater your Super Bowl Party! Bring the party home! Order a cheese, pepperoni or veggie pizza for only $10 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Super Bowl Party Watch the game on our 120-inch HD projection screen or our three other flat screen TVs while enjoying Happy Hour specials during the Super Bowl. Offering half price wings at 10 for $6, 20 for $9.50 or 40 for $19. Drink specials include $8 Coors Light pitchers, $2 Coors Light drafts and $3 house wine by the glass. Join the free football pool to win great prizes (must be present to win and must be on game board by beginning of game). Starting at 5 p.m., get half-price pizza (see above). *Offers listed are valid during non-holiday periods and are not valid with any other promotions or coupons. Offers subject to change. |




All renderings courtesy of dale cox architects


fter years of research, feedback, collaboration and planning, Tahoe Donner’s new Cross Country Ski Center is on the verge of final approval, with construction slated to begin this May. Nearly six years in the making, the final plans and application have been submitted to the Town of Truckee building and planning departments, and will be reviewed at the town Planning Commissioners meeting on March 4 at 5:30 p.m., one of the final approvals needed before construction begins. In the early 70s, when the current structure was built, it was designed solely as an equestrian barn. It was later modified to handle a wintertime cross country operation and subsequently expanded multiple times to sufficiently accommodate the growing popularity of Nordic activities. “We are known for putting out a great product, with reasonably priced tickets, quality lessons, superb terrain, and trail grooming beyond compare,” said Sally Jones, Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center manager. “Over the years, Tahoe Donner Cross Country has grown more steadily than others due to our quality grooming, variety of trails, and, in part, due to the easy access available to the large number of Tahoe Donner Association members,” she added. All signs point to increasing growth of the sport of cross country skiing. Even with other distractions—which are numerous in our recreational community—the Nordic world continues to gain popularity. The advent of skate skiing in the 80s, the evolution of equipment design, the national trend toward personal fitness and a societal need to get back


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

Southwest view to nature in wild mountain surroundings have all contributed to the continued growth of the sport over the last three decades. More signs of strength include sell-out youth programs both at Tahoe Donner and region-wide, well-attended weekly adult Masters and ladies groups, and the über-popular middle and high school Nordic ski teams. Then there’s the relatively new Far West Elite Team — a group of athletes devoted to improving their own results while also supporting both the development of local junior skiers and the quality of Master skiing. Add to this the fact that the U.S. Women’s Cross Country Ski Team, now making international headlines, has become a success story in its own right. No wonder the sport is flourishing! As the sport of cross country skiing continues to thrive at Tahoe Donner, current usage has outgrown the facility. With limited space for retail, rental equipment, administrative offices, and a small kitchen for food and beverage services, Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center has operated at or above capacity during peak periods over the last several years. For many years, Tahoe Donner management, staff and residents alike have been engaged in ongoing discussions regarding a new building to replace the dual-use Cross Country/Equestrian Center facility. When the 2030 general plan was approved by the Tahoe Donner board of directors in 2011, a new, improved facility moved higher up on the priority list. With input gathered from town hall meetings, General Plan Committee meetings, demographic surveys, and direction from the steering committee, management began to form an outline of the

desires and needs for a new structure to meet the changing and growing needs of the community. According to Forrest Huisman, director of capital projects at Tahoe Donner, the first step was to create a wish-list of features for the project. Topping the list were a passholder locker room, expanded rental operation, larger kitchen, expanded retail space, more seating both inside and out, a new multi-purpose room for educational purposes, and ample room for programs during winter and summer operations. Other requirements included better parking and improved accessibility. During the formal planning phases, Tahoe Donner began to work with local consultants, planners, and researchers including Blue Rock Development out of Incline Village, Nev., SCO Planning and Engineering from Grass Valley, Calif., and local Truckee firms Kelly Biological Consulting and Dale Cox Architects, among others, to bring the project to fruition. The team synthesized all the input and began working on detailed schematic drawings. “For the architectural vision, we created plans for a mountain lodge with timbers, stone, and wood siding that reflects and contributes to the neighborhood and our mountain location,� Huisman explained. The energy-efficient building was also designed to be environmentally conscious. “We recognize that the project is surrounded by wetland zones, so our architects and consultants have proceeded (Continued on p. 20) |


(continued from p. 19) in ways that prevent parking lot runoff in order to improve the future water quality of Alder Creek.” In March 2013, upon completion of the schematic design phase, management presented project information, draft floor plans, and other drawings for additional member input at a series of public meetings. Plans were then revised and submitted to the Town of Truckee to begin the final approval process. The final step in this process will be the Planning Commissioners review, next month. “We’re very excited about the potential of a larger, more efficient space to be able to service our guests,” said Miguel Sloan, Tahoe Donner’s director of operations. “The new facility will offer an improved experience for all of our customers, both winter and summer,” he added.

NORTHwest view

The center is designed to continue to be a public facility for the greater Truckee community, provide a training hub for school ski teams and season-long youth and adult programs in the winter, plus a family-friendly equestrian and mountain biking center in the summer. Both seasons allow access to the extraordinary trail system of Tahoe Donner and the remote beauty of Euer Valley. The new center will also be a key venue capable of attracting larger sporting events—such as last spring’s SuperTour international Nordic racing event—bringing additional tourism dollars to the entire Truckee region. Events like this deliver trickledown revenue to the dining, lodging and retail sectors of our community, and provide exposure on a larger scale that continues to keep Truckee on the map. The project, estimated to be approximately $6 million when completed, will be paid for out of the capital funds portion of the association’s budget. Every year, a percent of each member’s annual dues is set aside into the development fund; projects that are identified by the board are eligible for such future funding and paid for from this fund. No special assessment will take place now—or ever—to complete this project. “Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center is one of the most wellknown and respected Nordic centers in the country,” Jones remarked. “This project will transform our operation and enable us to provide an enhanced customer service experience that will equal the quality of our world-class terrain.”


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014


“It’s very exciting to be in the final permitting stage,” said Huisman. “All the consulting, research, and planning spent thus far has created a reasonable expectation of moving forward,” he added. The goal is to begin construction in May, with the anticipation of completing the project partially in time to open in November, and the expectation of full completion in 2015. Huisman explained that alternate summer operations are planned to accommodate equestrian and mountain biking use, as well as trailhead parking. Please support this important project! You may help by writing an email to (please note: emails sent to this address will also be sent to all the Town of Truckee Planning Commissioners, town council members, town staff, and Tahoe Donner staff ). Several advocacy letter templates are available; email comdep@ to obtain copies. Additionally, informational evening events are planned in February to take place at both Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center as well as off-site in Truckee (dates TBD; see or watch your member news emails for updates). Finally, you can plan to bring friends and family members to the Town of Truckee Planning Commissioner meeting on March 4, at 5:30 p.m., as a show of support of the project. For additional information, see, or for project-specific comments, email With your help and support, we look forward to a fantastic new facility or 2015! |



Eat + Drink = Happy A new column by Tahoe Donner Food and Beverage Director Mike Peters Some of you may know me from my previous position as The Lodge Restaurant & Pub’s general manager, or maybe you have seen me around Tahoe Donner at one of the numerous events hosted around the association. As the newly appointed food and beverage director, I am going to take this opportunity to begin a monthly column and share with you the tidbits and helpful hints from the wonderful world of food and drink. I will do my best to expand only your knowledge, not your waistbands, but I can make no promises. With February upon us it is time for the holiday that we all love or hate: Valentine’s Day. But one thing we can all agree on is everything is better with bubbles, bubbles, bubbles. As the legend goes, in the late 15th century a Benedictine monk by the name of Dom Perignon (does that name sound familiar?), did not follow the normal process of fermentation and left his wines to sit in a cave over winter. During the following spring, with warming temperatures, yeast and sugar in the wine began producing carbon dioxide that became trapped in the bottles; all but several bottles exploded from the pressure. When opening one of the bottles that remained intact, voilà! Champagne was discovered. Dom Perignon was quoted as exclaiming, “I am drinking the stars!” Whatever the real story may be, the fact is that Champagne (named for the region where it is produced), or sparkling wine, is a


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

great way to celebrate any occasion. There are a number of great Champagne choices, but I would like to discuss some less expensive alternatives. With that, we head south of the border to Italy and Spain. Italy’s alternative to Champagne is Prosecco. It is created using the Charmat method of fermenting in pressurized steel tanks as opposed to in the bottle. This preserves the taste of the grapes, which gives the wine a crisp, fruity flavor with a hint of almond and citrus. Pair it with prosciutto, stuffed mushrooms, creamy sauces, seafood, spicy Asian entrees or even potato chips. This is a very forgiving, foodfriendly sparkling wine option. As an alternative, you can also mix it with peach purée to create a Bellini cocktail. From Spain, try cava, Spanish for “cellar” or “cave.” Named after the cellars in which it is produced, it originates from the hilly region on the outskirts of Barcelona. With the area’s limestone soil and extensive underground caves, the bottle fermentation process is reminiscent of the process used in Champagne, France. Like Champagne, everyone wants to know how the bubbles get there. White wine is bottled and then a mixture of sugar and yeast is added; the bottles are then transferred to a cellar with a temporary stopper. The yeast causes a secondary fermentation as the sugar creates carbon dioxide. During this process the bottles are turned occasionally, allowing

the yeast to collect in the neck. The neck is then frozen; this freezes the portion of liquid with the yeast sediment. By slightly warming the ice, it is forced out of the bottle and the bottle is recorked immediately. Cava should be served very cold, in chilled flute champagne glasses so that the bubbles last longer, since they must travel farther before they break the surface. Its hints of floral, citrus and notes of minerality make it ideal with Spanish tapas, seafood and American-style appetizers. With the spicy qualities of many Mexican and Asian dishes, cava can be served as a cold, refreshing counterpoint to the heat. Whether you are celebrating, having a romantic evening for two, or just enjoying a Mandarin hamachi tartare and spicy tuna roll with a glass of Zonin Prosecco at The Lodge Restaurant & Pub, step it up with some sparkling white wine and you too will be “drinking the stars!” Insider Tip:

When you are trying different styles of red wine, at a dinner party or wine tasting event, sometimes your palate can become overwhelmed. Try a couple of sips of a sparkling wine to restore your taste buds and cleanse your palate.

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units sold at year e



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2013 vs 2012

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overall market sta

Delightfully remodeled condo with a VIEW of the Tahoe Donner Ski Bowl right off the deck! Extensively remodeled throughout with slab granite, acacia wood floors, new bathroom/windows/doors, this lovely one bedroom unit is ready for its new owner! Light, bright and a turnkey opportunity! Conveniently located - just a short walk to the ski lifts in winter; pool and Tahoe Donner amenities year ‘round. $169,000

TaHoe DonneR Tahoe Donner Market Statistics – 2013


Units Sold At Year End 2013 Volume 100 75




25 0

Units median Price average Price Units Under $1 mil

49 16


$0 $249,999

$250,000 $499,999

$500,000 $749,999

$750,000 $999,999

Over $1,000,000

Units over $1 mil



$162,799,806 $141,104,485



273 $545,000 $596,336 257

270 $483,500 $522,609 259

1% 13% 14% -1%

Units median Price average Pric Units Under




Units over $5

Single Family

*Sales statistics based on TSMLS sold/pending properties 12/31/13

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JUSTIN BRENDECKE a new asset to pizza on the hill Justin came to work for Tahoe Donner this past summer as the kitchen supervisor at our newly-renovated golf snack bar, the T-9 Grill. He was an integral part of raising the standard of the food we were serving to both our golf community and also the patrons of The Marco Polo Grill at the Trout Creek Recreation Center’s pool. He introduced a number of new and interesting specials that were well-received. Time and time again we would hear comments of praise from golfers who had enjoyed their grilled spicy Santa Fe chicken wrap with freshmade guacamole or one of our grilled ham, arugula and fontina cheese sandwiches (those who have tried this can attest that it is truly a sinful delight). “As we wrapped up our golf season, we had to find a way to keep this young man around,” said Michael Peters, director of food and beverage. “After analyzing some of the challenges we experienced at Pizza on the Hill this summer, it was a no-brainer to give him a shot at implement-

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| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

ing improvements at our family restaurant. Justin has since undertaken raising the level of service and standards at Pizza on the Hill with great passion.” Brendecke, with the help of our executive chef, Lew Orlady, has streamlined the menu in order to provide better and faster service. He has introduced some wonderful new menu items, like our fried mozzarella, made of handcut wedges of mozzarella, breaded in crushed cornflakes, herb bread crumbs, and fresh seasonings, flash fried and served with house-made marinara sauce and raspberry preserves. Or our garlic cheesy bread made with French bread, fresh-shaved garlic and smothered in Grana Padono Italian Cheese, served bubbly hot and golden brown with a marinara dipping sauce. But make sure you save room for our house-made, hand-rolled cannelloni: sheets of fresh pasta cut and hand rolled around creamy ricotta cheese, sautéed spinach and mushroom, topped with marinara and melted parmesan cheese. As Peters says, “You can’t tell where the pasta stops and the ricotta starts. It will literally melt in your mouth.” So check out the new menu online, or stop in at Pizza on the Hill and you too can sing some praises of your own. If you’re in more of a hurry, grab one of our new Take-N-Bake pizzas for home. We’d love to hear if you like the changes we’ve made. Fill out a comment card next time you’re here, or e-mail us your thoughts at


Get Ready for Summer Fun! Summer Program Registration Begins March 3 With the bright, sunny weather we have been experiencing here in Tahoe Donner, it is hard to ignore the fact that summer will be here before we know it. As we all know, it’s not truly a summer without some quality time spent enjoying all that Tahoe Donner has to offer. Once again, in an effort to assist our members with their summer planning, Tahoe Donner will open registration for the 2014 summer day camp and swim lesson programs beginning in March. There are separate registration dates for day camps and aquatics, as well as for members and guests. Here are some important registration steps to help assist in completing the process:

Member Registration Member registration begins on Monday, March 3, at 8 a.m. for day camp programs and on Monday, March 10, at 8 a.m. for aquatic programs. To register as a member, each participant must be identified in the Tahoe Donner profile, even if they are 6 years old or younger. Additional members can be added to member profiles at the Member Services office, located in Northwoods Clubhouse. Members can also send an email to to add a child to their profile. In the email include member’s name, Tahoe Donner address, child’s name, birthday and relationship to owner. 1. Create a login at To do so, members will need to enter their name and member ID number exactly as they appear on the member ID card. If the member completed the registration process last summer, the login for the member should be the same. Both previous and new users should log in and make sure all additional members added to the member’s property appear on the online registrant’s profile. 2. During the checkout process, links to waiver forms will be provided which will need to be completed and submitted to Tahoe Donner.

Guest Registration Guest registration begins on Monday, March 17, at 8 a.m. for day camp programs and on Monday, March 24, at 8 a.m. for aquatic pro-


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

Day Camps Registration Members: Monday, March 3 Member guests: Monday, March 17 Aquatics Registration Members: Monday, March 10 Member guests: Monday, March 24 All program registration opens at 8 a.m. on their given day

grams. To register as a guest, either a transferable guest card ID number or a member card ID number must be obtained. 1. Create a login at 2. During the checkout process, links will be provided to waiver forms, which will need to be completed and submitted to Tahoe Donner. 3. For all programs restricted by age, guests will be required to provide an accurate birth date for the child. If the birth date entered is found to be inaccurate, the child will be removed from the program and no refund will be issued. Please visit or watch for our Summer Fun Guide, due out in April, for the complete schedule of day camp and aquatic activities for the upcoming summer. For questions about the registration process, please contact Member Services at 530-587-9400. Please note: If the child member turns 7 years old prior to registration this year, Tahoe Donner members may be required to pay applicable member fees for them to be considered a member. Also, please be sure to check the status of the children well before the registration date so any issues can be resolved in advance. |



Join a Program at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center This Season JENNY KENDRICK Tahoe Donner Adult Programs Q + A With Andrea Miller What is a “Masters” cross country ski program? A Master is just an age group designation. Age 30 and over qualifies as a Master skier; however, Tahoe Donner Cross Country’s adult Master programs will accept participants 18 and over. Does a Masters cross country ski program have anything to do with cross country ski racing? Sometimes. In the past, we have had a mix of racers and non-racers in our program groups. The common goal is to improve technique and fitness to become more efficient skiers, which usually leads to skiing faster. Sometimes participants get so excited about their skiing and fitness improvement that they decide to start racing. Others are excited to feel more efficient, comfortable and confident on their skis. We encourage both types of people to enroll in the programs and learn from each other as well. What if I’m the slowest skier in the group? We ask that participants determine that they are able to ski at an intermediate (green


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

and blue) trail level in classic and skate skiing when enrolling in an intermediate level program. There is usually a spread in the group, but we establish a stopping/meeting point and re-group regularly. I have taken many cross country clinics over the years and I remember that in the first clinic I took I happened to be the slowest in the group. I worked hard that season and ended up taking the same clinic again the following year. That next year, I was the fastest in the group. If someone is really uncomfortable in the group, we have other options and can easily assign another clinician and divide the group. This year, we also offer a Skating 101 program for beginner skaters, which would be useful for working on the basics and maybe changing the habits that are slowing you down! Are you offering anything new this season? Yes! We will be using “Coaches Eye,” a video analysis application on a tablet to give you instant visual motion feedback to your skiing. We are also welcoming two new clinicians, Holly Whitney and Beth Taylor, current and previous Far West Elite Team semi-professional skiers with very strong NCAA racing backgrounds. What ARE THE PROGRAMS and when are sessions available? Skating 101 is new and is offered Mondays

from 10-11:30 a.m. Learn and master the basic and most essential skills of skating. During the sessions, instructors will teach you how to cruise the flats, climb the hills and control the downhills on skate skis. Basic cross country or downhill skills recommended. This program started Jan. 6, but there is still room for new skaters. The cost is $80 for 4 sessions or $30 drop-in. Women’s Intermediate and Advanced Skating Group is on Wednesdays starting Feb. 5 from 12-1 p.m. This program is four weeks of fun, fitness and skate technique improvement. The cost is $80 for 4 sessions or $30 drop-in. Improve your skills and confidence on cross country skis by joining the Masters/Intermediate and Advanced Skating program. Take your skiing and fitness to the next level

on Sundays starting Feb. 2 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and Thursdays starting Feb. 6 from 12-1 p.m. The cost is $80 for 4 sessions or $30 drop-in. Sign up in person, by phone, or by logging on to shop. All clinics are subject to change and will be held conditions permitting.

5 reasons to join a program At tahoe donner cross country

1. Cross country skiing is one of the best possible ways to increase cardiovascular capacity and tone all muscle groups.

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2. Our adult programs are not just for racers – masters programs

cater to beginners through advanced skiing levels. 3. The Tahoe Donner Cross Country teaching staff includes

PSIA Level 3 instructors and recent collegiate and semi-professional racers, all up to date with teaching tools, movement analysis, and advances in the sport and technique.

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4. New “Coaches Eye� software enables technique feedback and comparison on snow and on the big screen. 5. Improvement is guaranteed as Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center’s clinicians carefully consider individual goals, current fitness levels and past injuries.

Build your snowman and participate in the seventh annual Tahoe Donner Snowman Contest! A family favorite and one of our most popular contests, families and kids definitely don’t want to miss out on this fun contest! To participate, simply build your own snowman or snow creature, take a photo with you in it and email the photo with a short story about your snow-building adventure, including names of everyone in the picture, to Please submit only .jpeg files of 300 dpi or higher for printing.


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New Architectural Standards Office Manager Sheryl Walker Sheryl Walker has joined Tahoe Donner as the new Architectural Standards Office (ASO) manager. Walker will be responsible for planning, organizing and directing building plans checks, permit processing and building inspections to ensure compliance with Tahoe Donner’s bylaws and covenants and restrictions (C&Rs) and all supplementary board of directors, architectural standards committee (ASC) and covenants committee rules and regulations. Walker will also serve as the liaison with the ASC and covenants committees. “Sheryl has immense management and field experience as well as academic schooling in the property management and valuation industry. This, in addition to her customer service expertise in the resort world, will support her in her role as the new ASO manager,”

said Annie Rosenfeld, director of Facilities and Risk Management. “She will be a great leader and asset to the Tahoe Donner team.” Walker was previously a team leader in the appraisal division at Clear Capital where she worked for 3 1/2 years prior to accepting her new role as ASO manager at Tahoe Donner. Walker is a native of New Zealand where she acquired a master’s in business studies and also majored in evaluation and property management. Walker is looking forward to being involved in and overseeing the development process as the ASO manager.

“I’m excited to work face-to-face with the homeowners,” said Walker. “I look forward to meeting the community including the homeowners, local architects and contractors.” In her spare time, Walker enjoys spending time in the outdoors skiing, biking, wakeboarding and when she’s indoors, she likes to spend time baking. She keeps busy raising her three children with her husband Dave, who manages Tahoe Donner Bikeworks in the summer and runs the ski school at Tahoe Donner Downhill in the winter.

Homes On the Rise The Architectural Standards Committee reviewed no plans in December 2013.


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| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

Bulletin Board

Your guide to the T.O.T. The small tax that does big things The Transit Occupancy Tax (also known as T.O.T., or bed tax) is one of the Town of Truckee’s largest annual sources of revenue, and it helps pay for many of the programs, services and special amenities that residents and visitors have come to love, such as trails and bike paths. T.O.T. is a 10-percent pass-through tax added by property owners or commercial operators to the bills of Truckee visitors spending 30 consecutive nights or fewer in a hotel, house or rented room. Operators are required to register with the town and to collect and submit T.O.T. taxes quarterly. Registration is simple and visitors are encouraged to patronize only T.O.T.-compliant establishments. T.O.T. tax is not a personal tax; it is a tax passed on to visitors who use the infrastructure of Truckee. Without this tax, homeowners and business owners would bear the burden of our seasonal increases in population due to Truckee being a tourist destination. The T.O.T. is a fair and important tax to assure both locals and visitors can safely enjoy our mountain lifestyle. Many jurisdictions mandate the collection of T.O.T. on short-term rental accommodations. A report recently released by the Center on Policy Initiatives, a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in San Diego, Calif., indicated that of 10 California cities studied, T.O.T. rates ranged from 10-15 percent. This study included San Francisco (14 percent), Sacramento (12 percent), and Anaheim (15 percent) among others. North Lake Tahoe and Nevada County both have approved T.O.T. rates of 10 percent. Truckee’s rate was established by a Town Council decision in 1993 when the rate was set at 10 percent. Who must register?

Any owner or short-term lessor of a private residence who rents out or intends to rent out all or part of the property to visitors, friends or locals for lodging or sleeping on a short-term

basis (30 consecutive nights or fewer), and hospitality businesses, including but not limited to hotels, motels, inns, guest houses and bed-and-breakfasts must register. Once registered, owners will receive a registration certificate that must be posted in a visible place on the premises. If owners intend to rent out multiple properties, a separate registration will need to be completed for each address. Properties can be registered online at or by mail. How do I file?

The Town of Truckee mails tax returns to registered property owners as a courtesy on the last day of each quarter. Completed returns and tax payments (if any) are due on the first day of the following month. Returns must be filed quarterly for all active properties whether or not the property was rented within that quarter.

online audits of properties posted on sites such as VRBO, AirBnB, and Craig’s list. You may be contacted through owner email. Being T.O.T. compliant is the law. Don’t get caught; being compliant is simple. Just register and fill out the form which is mailed every quarter. Audits began in January; those who register now will avoid penalties. Do your part to make Truckee better



March 31

May 1

June 30

August 1

September 30

November 1

December 31

February 1

The Town of Truckee is making active enforcement of the T.O.T. a priority in 2014. Periodic sweeps of online rental advertising will be made to identify unregistered properties, and visitors will be encouraged to report noncompliant operators. Do your part. The T.O.T. isn’t just good for Truckee — it’s the law.

Amnesty and Fines

For the first time, the Town of Truckee is granting amnesty for properties not registered but active in 2013. This is a short window, and all are encouraged to take advantage of it. There are steep fines for those who are caught or reported as noncompliant. Simply register your property and remit appropriate tax by May 1, 2014. Don’t wait—register today and save big. Register Now; Avoid Penalties

The Town of Truckee will be conducting

REGISTER TODAY: MAIL FORM TO: Town of Truckee Finance Department 10183 Truckee Airport Rd. Truckee, CA 96161 QUESTIONS? See FAQs at or call 530-582-7700 |



In Remembrance of Longtime Employee Michael Leary Sadly, we recently learned of the passing of a longtime valued employee, Michael Leary. Leary was the longest-serving employee in the history of Tahoe Donner. He signed on with Tahoe Donner as an instructor with the ski school team at the Downhill Ski Area in 1971, the year Tahoe Donner opened and worked with us for the next 32 years! From 1971 to 2004, Leary taught ski lessons on weekends and holidays at Tahoe Donner without a break. Leary worked as a professor of Imaging Science at San Jose State University and West Valley College from 1967 – 2004, and for eight of those years, he also served as the Dean of the language arts division. Commuting from San Jose, Leary would leave after class on Friday evenings and drive to Tahoe Donner to teach ski school. He would teach Saturdays and Sundays, returning to San Jose on Sunday evenings. Bright and early on Monday mornings, he’d be back in the classroom at 7:30 a.m. In a 2008 article in TD News, Leary expressed his dedication and love for teaching at Tahoe Donner. “I drove up every weekend,” Leary recalled. “I loved teaching at the college level and for a lot of those years I was also an administrator, which was very time consuming and stressful.” Like many of us, Leary found skiing to be a great way to relax and relieve pressure. “Teaching skiing was a way to get away from that stress and leave it behind for a little while. It was also a good way to enjoy my weekend and not have to worry about my Monday through Friday job. And in a way that’s what really kept me going over the years.” Over the years Leary inevitably stepped into different roles beyond ski school instruction and, at one point or another, ended up helping out with everything from selling tickets, fitting rental equipment, conducting clinics in the ski lodge for the public, and even running the annual Torchlight Parade on New Year’s


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2014

Eve. Leary also led skiing trips to Sunrise Bowl for the public and organized games such as baseball on skis, obstacle races, and more. When the ski area was first constructed, many of the roads in Tahoe Donner were upaved, which rapidly turned to deep mud in wet weather. One of Mike’s duties was to drive a tracked vehicle, called a Tucker, to ferry customers in sleds from Northwoods Clubhouse to the ski hill. After retiring from teaching in 2004, Leary taught skiing three weeks out of every month that the Downhill Ski Area was open during the winter, and finally retired from Tahoe Donner in 2013. “I have always loved to teach,” said Leary in 2008. “Being a college professor has allowed me to bring my teaching abilities to Tahoe Donner, helping with the students and the younger ski instructors. I have especially enjoyed interacting with our foreign instructors. These interactions have provided me with friends all over the world.” Leary was a respected employee and friend to many of us at Tahoe Donner and will truly be missed.


I-Did-A-Run A timed dog pull race to benefit the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe






Bring your own dog or come cheer on all the pooches at Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area for the 10th Annual I-Did-A-Run! Race fee is $20; prizes will be awarded for the speediest finishers. All participants receive a “doggie bag” containing treats and goodies! There will be four weight categories for dogs: 0-25 lbs., 26-50 lbs., 51-75 lbs., 76 lbs. + HELPFUL HINT: you can bribe your pooch with anything and everything on race day, but remember, pulling your canine during the race will disqualify your dog.

Raffle tickets for great prizes will be sold at the event for $1 to benefit the Truckee Tahoe Humane Society. Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area’s grill will be open, 11 - 3 p.m., and the food court will be open until 4:30 p.m.

For more information call Ali Kovach at 530-587-9424 | |



a (9), Finn Anet te, Ja n, Ca mill at teberg in (7) and Sonja (4) Br June 2013 Ba rcelona, Spain in . ell at Gaudi’s Pa rk Gü s exploring We spent two week Northeastthe Costa Brava in journey ern Spain with the . na ending in Ba rcelo


Keith, Anna, Eric and Danielle DeBrine vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts


Erin and Zack Lovell at the Roma n Forum in July 2013. They enjoyed learning about the Roma n Empire as well as their daily dose of gelato while touring Italy.


Hailey and Katie Clark with Mitch, Peter and Nicky Jensen at Portland Head Light in Portland, Maine, August 2013. Built in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in Maine.

Email your “Where in the World” photos to: Please submit only .jpeg files of 300 dpi or higher for printing. Photos must include a copy of TD News. Please list the names of everyone in the picture, where and when it was taken, and a short description of your captured experience. Note: please be patient; it could take up to six months to see your photo published due to a large number of submissions.


| Tahoe Donner News | January 2014

Know your value.

2014: What will it hold for you? For us at Chase International, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wonderful opportunity to help you reach your real estate goals. We are fortunate to live where we work, and we understand the special value that Tahoe Donner offers. Let us be your Tahoe Donner real estate consultants. Call us today for a property evaluation, and find out what the Chase Advantage can do for you.

Heath Spencer

Sally A Kleffman

Robbie Huntoon

Trinkie Watson

$34,441,653 2013 Tahoe Donner Sales Volume*

Alison Elder

Christina Soloski

Global Reach

Office locations Zephyr Cove Glenbrook Incline Village

Luca Adriani

Neil Morse

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Reno South Lake Tahoe Tahoe City Truckee Squaw Valley Graeagle London

Julie Riggs

Ross Collins

Marcelyn Cohune

* Includes buyer and seller represented properties. Informatuion gathered from the Tahoe Sierra MLS for Tahoe Donner.

Truckee 530 550 2464 10164 Donner Pass Road, Suite 3



Tahoe Donner News - February 2014  

Tahoe Donner News (ISSN 1550-6061) is the official monthly publication of Tahoe Donner Association, which is located at 11509 Northwoods Blv...

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