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04 Table of Contents A Christmas Day family hike along

Donner Ridge above Tahoe Donner




Snow-less Holiday Fun Reader submitted moments


Community Spotlight Dick Gander


A New Way to Travel Share the ride - ZimRide


A Bright New Year The new



President’s Message Weather extremes


Monthly Calendar Something for everyone


General Manager’s Message Start of winter


Important Member News Seeking candidates


Let’s Get Together TD events & happenings


Bulletin Board Update your home


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




February Deal at Pizza Buy two get one FREE

Snow Chains and Silver Lining Lake Tahoe golf in January

Snowman Contest - Update Time to get creative


VOL. 13, NO. 2


FEBRUARY 2012 EDITORIAL AND PRODUCTION STAFF Amanda Birchenough Brittany Felton Amanda Wallace Kirt Zimmer



Suzan Knisley,

Vice President

Tom Johns,


Steve Miller,


Ron Wulff,


Jay Lempinen,

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 Tahoe Guide is the exclusive advertising representative for the Tahoe Donner News. Call (530) 448-3065 or (530) 587-1393

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. 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.

On the Cover Amanda Wallace throws a snowball during the first snowstorm of 2012. Photo by Tahoe Donner Association.

SUZY KNISLEY | PRESIDENT Everyone has snow on their mind, and so I did a little research on the extremes of our annual snowfall in the Sierras and how unpredictable it can be from year to year. The Central Sierra Snow Laboratory in Soda Springs maintains the recorded history of both the annual “Total Snowfall” and “Maximum Snow Depth” from 1879 to 2011. The largest total snowfall in the Sierras was recorded in 1938, with the second largest in 1952 at over 2000 centimeters or approximately 70-75 feet of total snowfall. That was followed by 1880, 1890 and 2006 at just under 2000 centimeters. 2011, while reaching only somewhat over 1500 centimeters of total snowfall, nearly matched the maximum snow depth for those extreme epic snow years just mentioned. In January 1911, no measurable snow could be found on Donner Summit. However, later in the month at elevations above 5000 feet, downbursts of snow were estimated at 12 inches an hour and the year finished with an average snowfall.

In January 1959, there were serious concerns about the next year’s 1960 Olympics because the ground was dry that January at the base of Squaw Valley. But the February storms pattern dumped 104 inches in 10 days, bringing great relief and a total record snowfall for a single month of 189 inches (15.75 feet). Also in 1959, the US Navy launched a Vanguard II rocket into orbit, the first US weather satellite designed to photograph storm cloud formations from space - initiating the three to five day weather forecast. I remember being in Tahoe Donner in January of 1981, warm enough outside for just a t-shirt, working on completion of my cabin, and there was no snow or skiing to be found. The following winters of 1982-83 saw the biggest snowfalls I remember in the Sierras. A series of powerful snowstorms hammered the Sierras with a two-day total of 80 inches recorded at Echo Summit. I had rented my cabin to a family that wanted to know what it was like to live a winter in the Tahoe basin before moving there. That January 1982 marked the second greatest one-day snowfall recorded of 67 inches. The family had to tunnel into the front door, the snow reached above the second story window and with power lines down they had to heat and cook on the wood stove. In the 20s and early 30s, Lake Tahoe fell below its rim eight years in a row and the Truckee River dried up. The most extreme low total snowfall years, below 500 centimeters (16.4 feet) were 1881, 1885, 1924 and 1977. Snowfall from the Sierra Mountains provides homes and farms with one third of their water usage and this year’s recent recorded electronic reading of snowpack statewide is finding this season among the driest to date: 81 percent lower than normal and the fourth driest in the past 30 years. Echo Summit reported one-seventh of an inch. Fortunately, we have most of the winter ahead of us. With a history of extreme

(Continued on pg.5)

February 1 4 T U E S D AY

7 T U E S D AY

Valentine’s Day Special Tuesday, February 14 @ The Lodge Restaurant and Pub

Full Moon Snowshoe Tuesday, February 7 Meet at 6 p.m. @ Trout Creek Recreation Center Enjoy the full moon on a scenic snowshoe hike. Please pre-register 24 hours before the event by calling the front desk at Trout Creek Recreation Center (530) 587-9437. The cost of the hike is $7.50. Snowshoe rentals are $7.50. We suggest participants dress in warm layers and bring a hat and gloves, headlamp or flashlight, and water. The group will meet at Trout Creek and caravan together to the hike destination. *If there is no snow, we will take a full moon hike.

Spend the holiday with us. Take advantage of our No Corkage Tuesday and impress your sweetheart with a sentimental bottle of wine. Also enjoy our special Valentine’s Day menu. Please call (530) 587- 9455 to make your reservation.

Valentine’s Day Sunset Snowshoe Tuesday, February 14 Meet at 4:30 p.m. @ Trout Creek Recreation Center Grab your sweetheart and join us for a romantic sunset snowshoe from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. We suggest participants dress in warm layers, bring a hat and gloves, headlamp or flashlight and water. Meet at Trout Creek Recreation Center and we will caravan to our hiking destination. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. Call (530) 587-9437. Cost is $7.50 for hike. Snowshoe rentals are $7.50. *If there is no snow, we will take a sunset hike.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE! Wii Night Sundays, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Test your skills on the 150 inch screen! Enjoy a pizza from Pizza on the Hill while challenging competitors in Wii tennis, baseball, golf, bowling, Mario Kart and much more. Free! @ Northwoods Clubhouse Trivia Night Thursdays, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Join in the fun at trivia night. Enjoy a pizza from Pizza on the Hill, show off your brain power and win cool prizes. Free! @ Northwoods Clubhouse Family Movie Night Fridays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Bring your favorite pillow and blanket, kick your feet up, and enjoy both classic and new G and PG rated movies. Free! @ Northwoods Clubhouse

2 5 S AT U R D AY Children’s Glowstick Parade and Carnival Saturday, February 25 @ Downhill Ski Area This event is a kids’ version of the Torchlight Parade with glow sticks for children 10 and under who can ski or ride unassisted in the dark on our Snowbird run. Come early to secure a spot in the parade and get glow sticks by playing our free carnival games. Carnival starts at 4:30 p.m. with parade at 6:30 p.m. Parade sign-up starts at 4:30 p.m. in the base lodge. |



ROBB ETNYRE | GENERAL MANAGER Winter 2012 is just starting, so get out those skis, goggles, and gloves – Tahoe Donner’s winter activities are open! After record snow levels this past winter, followed by an extremely wet spring and only three months without snow in the middle of the summer, we were also challenged with no precipitation in December or early January. Luckily, our membership has continually embraced these challenges with a positive attitude and strong inclination to take part in outdoor adventure - whether with an extra jacket on the golf course, or mountain biking and hiking when they would normally have been well engaged in winter sports. I’m also very proud of the Tahoe Donner team that has embraced the many challenges of this past year and adapted to every changing condition to provide a wealth of programs and services to our membership, particularly over this past holiday season. So, now that the snow is here, let’s all get out and enjoy the winter fun. I would be remiss if I did not mention the negative fiscal impact the lack of snow this winter, particularly over the holidays, has had on our operating budget. As you may recall, Tahoe Donner operates a userbased 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 $4.5 million or 33 percent of annual operating cost, requiring management to generate the remaining $8.8 million to successfully provide the wide range of amenities and services our membership enjoys. So, for 2011, while we


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

were on budget as of the beginning of December, the lack of winter revenue resulted in a preliminary net operating result loss of approximately $250,000 beyond budget for 2011. However, as a matter of policy, Tahoe Donner does maintain a minimum operating fund contingency of $500,000 to cover these types of uncontrollable weather impacts to our operating budget. Additionally, as we started the new fiscal year of 2012 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 I’m aware of in the United States. 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 with 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 financial practices.

WELCOME (continued from pg. 2) weather pattern changes, we are all hoping for a big snow storm soon and plenty of spring skiing, my favorite. In the meantime, Cal Fire has announced a ban on fires in the mountains because it is dry enough for a forest fire, even in winter. Take care to not dump any coals from the fireplace or wood stove onto the ground outside. The coals can burn for hours in the dry pine needles and reach your house or wood deck and unexpectedly catch fire. The weather is great for hiking and you can get in shape for skiing at Trout Creek Recreation Center with lots of programs for when the snow does fly this winter, so enjoy the beautiful Sierra Mountains and activities in Tahoe Donner. With ownership of the Euer Valley and major building replacement projects planned, this is a good year to consider the influence you could have in Tahoe Donner by running for the Board of Directors in 2012. Look for me enjoying dinner at The Lodge thinking about snow flurries.

TAHOE DONNER CONTACTS Member Communications (area code 530) Member Services


General Manager


Contact Member Services to be transferred to other administrative departments.

Amenities Alder Creek Campground 587-9462

Beach Club Marina


Cross Country Center


Downhill Ski Area


Equestrian Center


Forestry 587-9432 Golf Course


The Lodge


Pizza On The Hill


Recreation Info Hut


Tennis Center


Trout Creek Rec. Center


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

Elections, Nan Carnal

Finance, Jim Stang

General Plan, Dick Gander

Tahoe Donner Association Chartered Club Presidents Bridge, Sharilyn Nelson

Friends of TD Trails, B.R. Levine

Rowing Club, Dot Mace

Senior Alpine Ski, Jeff Bonzon

Tahoe Donner Green, Sue Sorensen

Tennis, Linda Stewart

Nordic Ski Club, Carol Ozimek

9-Holers, Hilary Ward

Mens Golf, Ralph Shindler

Women’s Golf, Denise Kosak

Hiking Club, Robin Reese

Quilt Club, Linda Brush

Have your home featured sm The Top website for Tahoe Donner Real Estate! Jul 15-Jan 15 # of Houses Sold 2011 123 2010 134 2009 138 2008 105 2007 81

Average Sales Price $551,905 $567,047 $606,812 $712,314 $767,476

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back: Dave Donnelly, David Wright, Pete Griffin, Bob Colquhoun front: Jessica Ferguson, David Hipkins, Bruce Watkins Affiliated with Keller Williams Boice Realty. Each office is independently owned & operated. *Statistics are based on TSBOR MLS data for Tahoe Donner Single Family Homes. |


MEMBER NEWS: ASSOCIATION SEEKS CANDIDATES FOR THE 2012 TAHOE DONNER BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION One of the most effective ways to contribute to the success and vitality of Tahoe Donner Association is to volunteer to serve on the board of directors. The restated bylaws establish a five-member board with each director elected for a three-year term. This year, one (1) of the five seats on the board is up for election. Owners with the appropriate interest and qualifications are encouraged to seek election to the board of directors. Applications will be available April 1, 2012; the deadline for submitting completed applications is May 1, 2012, at 4 p.m. 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 an elected board of directors. The directors are elected by owners and oversee the financial management and general operation of the organization. The annual budget of the association, including revenue, expenses, required reserve funds, and annual assessments are 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/architectural standards that create the unique character of Tahoe Donner. Fiduciary relationship and responsibility Members of the board of directors have a fiduciary relationship with the owners of the association. This fiduciary relationship imposes obligations of trust and confidence in favor of the association and its owners. This responsibility requires members of the board to act in good faith and in the best interests of the owners of the association. It means that board members must exercise due care and diligence when acting on behalf of the community and it requires them to act within the scope of their authority. The fact that the association is a not-for-profit corporation, or 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? 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 appeals from association members who disagree with rules enforcement efforts, gives guidance to the association’s committees on topics ranging from financial planning and fiscal monitoring to what, if any new rules should be established. Important items for review over the next two years include: continued implementation of the 2030 General Plan, fiscal monitoring of the association’s amenities, Maintenance Facility Project, and utilization of open spaces. Qualifications of directors Article VII, Section 2, 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 candidate is eligible 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; no employee of the association shall be eligible to serve on the board; and no owner can serve for more than two elected consecutive terms of office.


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

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 management, finance, 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 director’s position on the board. 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 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 from 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 times and number of 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.




Reliable, experienced, professional cleaners available seven days (and nights) a week.

To schedule an appointment call:

530-414-8850 References available

What is involved in running for the board? First, you must submit an application by May 1, 2012, 4 p.m. Applications will be available April 1, 2012, 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 very 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 to serve their fellow neighbors while protecting and enhancing the assets of the community. It is serious business and also a responsibility worth doing well in order to safeguard the investments of every owner.




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Downtown Truckee:

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| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

When you’re stuck in traffic on the highway, it’s a disturbing sight: all those cars with one driver clogging the lanes. In fact, 75 percent of automobile seats are empty on America’s highways. But keep the faith: a Bay Area company is doing its part to lower that number and get folks to and from Tahoe more quickly. Zimride is a web site that matches drivers with riders. Let’s say you live in El Cerrito and want to head to Truckee for a weekend of skiing. Zimride shows drivers near you who will be making the trip at times that might work for you. Does it seem a little creepy to get in a car with a stranger? Zimride allows passengers to get background on their potential driver, using information from Facebook. In fact, you might even notice that some of your other friends know the driver. Similar to eBay, you can see what other people’s experiences have been with the driver. “Good dude, good conversation – thanks again!” John H says of Chet M on the web site. You can also get a little insight on the vehicle you’d be riding in; Chet’s rig is a “Tahoe proof” Ford F-150 4x4 with plenty of room for your gear. This is no free ride, and that’s the appeal for drivers. Picking up a rider can more than cover the cost of your trip. Passengers enter how much they are willing to pay for the trip. Before committing, both parties can send messages back and forth to work out the details and get to know each other a

little better. For passengers, it’s almost always cheaper and more convenient than renting a car, not to mention more interesting. “The reality is that lots of folks are making strong social connections on these trips and become close friends,” says Zimride COO John Zimmer. “It’s fun to have someone to talk with on a long trip and maybe introduce each other to new music.” If all those benefits weren’t enough, for a limited time Zimride is sweetening the pot with up to $40 of free gas for drivers. That’s in addition to what the passenger pays. That starts to put it in the “no brainer” category for many people. No wonder Zimride is really hitting its stride, with $6 million in venture capital and a quickly growing user base. The company has already helped users travel over 100 million miles and created over $50 million in savings in vehicle operating expenses. The service has been particularly popular with corporations and college students. The goal is to hit 300 universities by the end of this year. Check it out for yourself at tahoedonner. Maybe we’ll soon all be zipping down I-80 with big smiles on our faces, chatting with our new friends about how bad the traffic used to be.

share the ride

“The reality is that lots of folks are making strong social connections on these trips and become close friends,” says Zimride COO John Zimmer.

FREE SKI SHUTTLE SET FOR PRESIDENTS WEEKEND The Truckee-Tahoe Free Ski Shuttle mentioned in last month’s issue ended up being cancelled for Martin Luther King weekend due to the unexpected dry weather and subsequent lack of riders. But things are looking much better for President’s Week, and the shuttle is scheduled to run February 18-20. The shuttle will take skiers from Truckee to Northstar California Resort or Squaw Valley, and back again at the end of the day. Two park and ride lots will be set up. Shuttles will run from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on those days with pick-ups every 30 minutes. The park and ride lot dedicated to Squaw Valley will be located between the Truckee High School (11725 Donner Pass Road) and the Sierra Mountain Community Education Center, also known as the former Sierra Mountain Middle School. The entrance to this lot can be accessed via a driveway that runs past the fire house, which sits adjacent to Wild Cherries Coffee House. The other park and ride lot, for skiers headed to Northstar California Resort, is located at the Truckee Town Hall, 10356 Truckee Airport Road, which is just off Route 267 on the way to Northstar. For more information, visit |








TOGETHER Friday Family Movie Night











Kids Night Out at Northwoods Clubhouse 5 - 9 p.m. Friday, February 3 Kids 4 – 9 years old are invited to join in the fun with crafts, dinner and a movie as well as cookies and milk. Registration must be made at least 24 hours in advance by calling (530) 582-9646. Cost: $15 per child.


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

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. Movies in this series are rated G and PG. Here is this month’s Family Movie schedule: February 3 Mr. Popper’s Penguins February 10 Hoodwinked Too! February 17 The Wizard of Oz February 24 Underdog For more information, please contact Trout Creek Recreation Center at (530) 587-9437.

Full Moon Snowshoe February 7 Join us for a fun guided snowshoe hike from 6 – 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7. We suggest participants dress in warm layers, bring a hat and gloves, headlamp or flashlight, and water. We will serve hot chocolate. Meet at Trout Creek Recreation Center and we will caravan to our hiking destination. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance by calling (530) 587-9437. Cost of the hike is $7.50 with your own equipment, or $15 with snowshoe rental. *Please note: if there is no snow, we will take a full moon hike.

Tahoe Donner Senior Alpine Ski Club If you are a senior Tahoe Donner alpine skier, want to enjoy year-round sports activities and a great social environment, the Tahoe Donner Senior Alpine Ski Club (TDSASC) is for you.

TAHOE DONNER WEB SITE GETS A MAKEOVER Have you seen the new The site has been redesigned, reorganized and offers new functionality for users. Navigation for the site has been greatly simplified. The VISIT area includes a number of pages that are designed to help you plan your trip to Tahoe Donner. PLAY leads to all of Tahoe Donner’s amenities, neatly categorized for public and members-only. DINE leads to The Lodge Restaurant & Pub and Pizza on the Hill, as well as banquet event information. MEMBERS has a deep focus on association business affairs. TDSASC focuses on organizing over 20 ski days at reduced rates around the Tahoe basin, skills and racing clinics at Tahoe Donner Downhill, and ski trips through the country and Europe. We are also planning a cross country and snow shoe day this February. Monthly potlucks are always fun and a great way to meet the other ski members. Off-season activities include day hikes, ski conditioning workouts, bike and kayak trips, tennis and golf tournaments, BBQ’s and holiday parties. The club welcomes all Tahoe Donner Alpine skiers, 55 years and above, who ski at a proficiency level of intermediate, advanced, or expert. (An intermediate skier is defined as one who can comfortably ski the Tahoe Donner Downhill.) Membership information, forms and schedule of events can be found at We are not just a winter club. Come join the fun!

Live Chat still links to a Tahoe Donner staff person (during office hours) who can answer your questions in real time, right on your screen. You can also easily subscribe to weekly email updates of all the great events at Tahoe Donner and more. A calendar of events is now on the home page for you to easily view what’s going on. Need to know how to get to a certain amenity? All addresses on the web site link to Google Maps, giving you detailed directions from any location. Our ski facilities have new interactive trail maps on the site. You can easily break down maps by trail type and difficulty, to give you more information and plan out your adventure. Tahoe Donner homeowners are encouraged to visit and use the “Update Your Profile” page in the Members section, so the association can be sure all your latest information is on file. Once you’ve cruised around the web site for a while, let us know what you think. A questionnaire is on the home page. Thanks for your feedback as we continue working to improve your web experience!

(Continued on the next pg.) |



Please note this is a tentative schedule and is subject to change due to weather conditions.

Please visit for the most current schedule. NER DON E February 4: Tahoe Donner O TA H







VAT E A M Tuesday - Glenn IEldrige Wednesday - Gary Schmitt NER Thursday - Chauncey Parker R DON E NTE O Friday - Andrea TA HMiller N C E



PU BLIC EK R EMoon C February 7: Full Tour and dinner R E D AL Limited seating. Call (530) 587-9484 for reservations.










(Continued on the pg. 14)


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012











N EN PU E DO B AM February 8:L I CNight 5 kilometer freestyle race AHO PR



RE S D February 12: Paco’s WO OValentine’s 15 kilometer freestyle race H T R starts 10 L Registration at 8:30 a.m. a.m. N ORace POO NER DON February 15: Night 5 kilometer freestyle race E S O TA H ARD Race starts at 6 p.m. Registration at 5 p.m.E G U LIF B E ER E AT T H E H N N February D O 26: Free Demo Day!* E O C SSalomon, Fischer, Rossignol, Atomic and Madshus. TA H T Ifrom Equipment A U AQ*Trail pass required. Race starts at 6 p.m. Registration at 5 p.m.













EEK R C Instructor Schedule R UT TRO CENTE Monday - Nancy R E C Fiddler



E R Carnival February 25: Children’s Glow Stick Parade and ONN

D HOE TA This event is a kids’ version of the Torchlight Parade with glow sticks for children 10 and under who can ski or ride unassisted in the RE P Nsecure TA L S & R dark aEspot in the parade E Rour Snowbird run. Come early to Non N O E Dand get glow sticks by playing our free carnival games. Music and AHO snacks will be provided in the bar area prior to the parade. Carnival R N N E sign-up starts at OParade E at 4:30 p.m. with parade at 6:30 p.m. starts D BE H T E O AT T H E VEN TA H E 4:30 p.m. in the base lodge. L IA














PR EN E Rfun points I VAT E A M N N Join us for this series race. Prizes are awarded at each R O E T ED E Nseries H Oand C TA race the overall winners will get their names engraved on N RIA Tpermanent S the plaque in the base lodge. Sign up at the start of the race E I E Q U course. N E R side by side N N E P U This O is a dual GS race format, so you can compete BLIC AM ED AHO against your friends or family. The T time that counts for the race is the combined time of your first run on each course. Make I as many runs as EN you want after that for bragging rights. P U B L I C A M Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Cost: $5 for two runs, $1 per run after that.





NIS TEN TER N GS February 11: Tahoe Donner Points Series C–EDual









N Join us for a fun Ppoints series UBLIC A ME N A O E D race. Prizes are awarded at OE AR TA H SKI L each race and the overall series L NHI W O I winners will get their names D S EN PU BLIC AM BER engraved M E M on the permanent D T T M E E plaque in the Base Lodge. Sign up at the start of the race course. This is slalom race format. The time E SH that counts for the race is the combined ofE Ryour first two runs. Atime RE INT Make as many runs as you want after that for bragging rights. Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Cost: $5 for two runs, $1 per run after that.





Points Series – Slalom O




NNE E DO O H TA SKI L February is a great month to tune L I NH up your skiing technique. D OW WeP Uare M E N I LIC A offering new 7 a.m. clinics for Bseason pass holders. Packages are $55 and include four one-hour clinics.



February 29: Night skiing 5 - 7 p.m.






Trout Creek Massage - Valentine’s Day Special Valentine’s Day is around the corner and Trout Creek Massage is offering a special Valentine Rose Oil Massage! Love this holiday with a full body massage that will melt your tension away and relax your mind with the warm aromatherapy of blended rose oil. Book a treatER ment for yourself, your O N Nloved one or spend time together and indulge D E O in a couples TA Hmassage. Trout Creek Massage Therapists offer a range of services including relaxation, deep tissue, sports massage, prenatal P V massage andR Oenergy Treat your body. & E G R A M S work. Schedule your appointment today. Call (530) 587-9437. S





** February Special **

Buy two pizzas and get one FREE! Pick up your 3 for 2 Deal coupon at Trout Creek Recreation Center, Downhill Ski Area, Cross Country Ski Center, The Lodge, Member Services office or ask for a coupon when you first arrive at Pizza on the Hill. Coupon must be presented for this special deal. Complimentary pizza must be of equal or lesser value. Deal cannot be combined with any other coupon or offer.

(See more dining options and specials on the next pg.) |


DINING OPTIONS The Lodge Restaurant & Pub

Super Bowl Party, Sunday, February 5

Opens at 5 p.m. daily. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (530) 587-9455.

The Pub opens at 3 p.m. for the game. Enjoy Happy Hour specials through the entire game and stay for dinner in the dining room, which opens at 5 p.m.

Happy Hour at the Pub Drink specials and 25 percent off tasty starters, soups and salads from 5 – 6:30 p.m., Sunday – Thursday. Offer only valid during non-holiday periods.

No Corkage Tuesdays* Bring your own bottle of vino to enjoy with your meal and we’ll waive the corkage fee on Tuesdays nights. It’s the perfect time to enjoy that favorite bottle of wine you’ve been saving at home. Offer only valid during non-holiday periods. *Not valid February 21.

WildER Wednesdays* Happy Hour specials all night long in the entire restaurant! Enjoy 25 percent off small plates, soups and salads, plus drink specials. Offer only valid during non-holiday periods. *Not valid on February 22.

Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14 Spend the holiday with us. Take advantage of our No Corkage Tuesday and impress your sweetheart with a sentimental bottle of wine to enjoy with our special menu. Please call (530) 587- 9455 to make your reservation.

Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Party, Tuesday, February 28 Join in the Cajun fun with live music from 6 – 9 p.m., $4 hurricanes and a special New Orleans menu, just for the party. Wear your most outrageous Mardi Gras outfit. Prizes will be awarded. Plus, we’ll have plenty of beads to hand out. Get your dancin’ shoes ready! We promise a grand old time.

February 18 – 25 – Special Hours and Events The Pub will open at 4 p.m. and offer food from the small plates menu until 5 p.m. The Lodge opens at 5 p.m. and guests can order from the full menu. Don’t forget about Happy Hour from Monday – Thursday, which will be an extra hour from 4 – 6:30 p.m. during this special time.

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DRE#00313415 ©2009 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC.


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

Pizza on the Hill

Sunday Half Price Pizza Hour

Open from 5 – 8:30 p.m., Thursday – Monday. Open for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays once the snow falls.

A family favorite! Order a cheese, pepperoni or veggie pizza for half price from 5 – 6 p.m. on Sundays. Offer valid for take-out only, limit 10. For more information, or to place your order, please call Pizza on the Hill at (530) 582-9669.

Happy Hour Specials from 5 – 6 p.m. every day. Stop by after work to catch up with friends and relax with $3 Coors Light drafts and $4 glasses of house wine.

Superbowl Party, Sunday, February 5

Mexican Mondays

Watch the game on our 120 inch HD projection screen with Happy Hour specials and half price nachos. Join the football pool and win great prizes. Party starts at 3 p.m.

Every Monday with $1.95 beef and bean tacos and $10 pitchers of Pacifico.

February 17 – 24 – Special Hours and Events

Thursday Night Trivia

Pizza on the Hill will be open every day during this holiday period. Swing by for a tasty pizza pie or delicious Mexican entree.

Test your trivia skills from California history to sporting events. You never know what questions are going to be on the list from week to week. Trivia is from 6:30 – 8 p.m. and the winner receives a certificate for a free pizza!

Don’t miss our Pizza on the Hill Special Deal of the Month

Sunday Wii Night

See details on page 13.

Play a friendly game of Wii on the big screen each Sunday from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Northwoods Clubhouse. |


SNOW-LESS HOLIDAY FUN Despite no snow over the holidays, many Tahoe Donner members still found plenty of fun outdoor activities to partake in. Ice skating on glassy lakes usually hidden by snow, mountain biking on dirt trails, casting a line and hooking a fish in the sunshine and playing spring like tennis after the New Year are just a few of the things members did to pass the time. Take a look…

y 16 ice sk at ing on expe rie nc e! Ja nu ar e im et lif a in ce A on Na tio na l Pa rk . ea dows , Yo se mi te M e mn olu Tu in Te ny a La ke

Dec em ber 28 mo unt ain bik ing on the Em igra nt Tra il. “It wa s a gre at rid e.” - Jas on Wo ole y.


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

th e M on da y ol at e br ea k on oc ch t ho a ng G ro up enjo yi er lo ok . Ne gro Ca ny on ov ar ne e k Hi n oo Ja nu ar y 9 Fu ll M

M at th ew R it te rb us h’s

bi g ca tc h o n Pyram id L ak e.

Couldn’t ask for a bet ter sunset for the New Year’s

hi s cl ub s k du st ed of f Ch is M cC or m ic ar y. ro un d in Ja nu an d pl ay ed a

Eve sunset hike.

TD k id s to ok a fr ee pl an e rid e w it h th e Yo un g E ag le s Pro gram . S ub m it te d by De ni se Br un |


Ne w Ye ar ’s Da y hik e on to p of Do nn er S um mi t.

catch To m m y’s & w re d - An Ja n u a ry 6 Lak e. a t Don n e r


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

con tes t; We sta rte d a sn ow fal l did n’t wo rk. ala s, our sn ow wis hes


Logan and Taylor Snow hiking at the

Emerald Bay overlook on New Year’s Eve.

S in ce th e Ne w Ye ar ha s be en w it ho ut fr es h sk iin g an d th e sn ow fo r te m ps ar e sp rin g- lik e, a fe w Ta te nn is pl ay ers ho e Do nn er fo un d th eir w ay to th e co ur ts Ja nu ar y 3, 20 12 on . Th e ph ot o in clu de s Em ily Fa rr ell Bo nn ie Fr en ch an , Le sl ie Ka hn , d Bo bb i Spe ch t.

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| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Take a gander at the new chairman of the General Plan Committee Story on the next page. Photo taken while hiking off of Glacier Way. |


TAKE A GANDER... (continued from pg. 21) The new chairman for Tahoe Donner’s General Plan Committee (a.k.a. “the GPC”) is very accustomed to tackling major projects. After all, once you’ve helped some of the world’s largest companies solve their problems, what we have here doesn’t seem quite so complex. Dick Gander is retired now, but not so long ago he was a “global client partner” for the German business software company SAP. (If you’re looking for a comparable company, think Oracle.) In that role, he worked with the company’s biggest clients such as Apple, Intel, Chevron and Conoco Phillips. Before that, he was a partner with Ernst & Young Consulting. At SAP, Gander worked on a wide variety of projects like supply chains, points of sale and customer relationship management systems. As he says in his own understated way, “The breadth of business issues was substantial.” Gander and his wife Karolyn bought their Tahoe Donner home in 1995, as a getaway from their busy lives in the Bay Area. “We must have looked at 100 houses,” he recalls. “But we just kept returning here because it had everything.” It was also about what Tahoe Donner didn’t include: stress. “As part-timers, we’d come up weekends and holidays and it was largely about decompressing and doing a few things,” he says. “We didn’t take advantage of all the activities that we do now… fishing, skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, Trout Creek and just getting to know people.”

Back in ’95, there was only one house on Gander’s street that was occupied by a fulltime resident. Now the Ganders are among three such families on the street. They have connected with their community by getting involved with the Senior Alpine Ski Club and through Dick’s involvement on the General Plan Committee. Gander praises his colleagues on the committee as “mostly longtime homeowners, with a lot of passion about doing the right thing for the membership.” The committee recently saw the first year of its 2030 General Plan approved by the board of directors, with “provisional” approval of the remaining years which is broader in its direction. The plan is a conceptual document that guides the development and replacement of Tahoe Donner’s facilities and infrastructure. Already the committed volunteers who crafted it are seeing how it might play out differently than they’d originally imagined.

“The cross country skiing building is tied in with other things like the equestrian center, the Euer Valley, day camp programs and bike rentals... what we’ve had to do is take several projects that were amenity based and look at them as a whole.” “The cross country skiing building is tied in with other things like the equestrian center, the Euer Valley, day camp programs and bike rentals,” says Gander. “What we’ve had to do is take several projects that were amenity based and look at them as a whole.” The building for Tahoe Donner’s Forestry Department is another example of a project that changed from the original concept.

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| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

Instead of creating a new building on existing Tahoe Donner land, the board and staff listened to member feedback and purchased a new piece of land with an existing building – all at a substantial savings to the association. While Gander and the General Plan Committee don’t have the authority to make final decisions on funding or facility details, they do provide much of the background research that informs those decisions. “It’s kind of like life as a consultant,” Gander says. “You make your recommendation on the best solution, and there’s a certain bit of selling, but it’s their decision.” Gander has been around Tahoe Donner long enough to learn from previous capital projects that eventually came to be seen as flawed in some way – such as The Lodge, which is regarded by many as undersized for the membership’s needs. Combined with his professional experience, the past will influence how he plans for the future.

Tahoe Donner is fortunate to receive a great deal of free advice from experienced professionals like Gander and his predecessor as GPC chairman, Chris Nelson. For more information about Tahoe Donner’s committees, visit the Members section of All members are encouraged to get involved. Most who have done so consider it interesting and fun.

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| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012



opefully by the time you read this, Truckee will have received enough snow for Tahoe Donner to open the Downhill Ski Area and Cross Country Ski Center. As I sit down to compose some thoughts about the upcoming golf season, I can’t help but wonder what is going on with the weather and how it significantly influences both winter and summer amenities at Tahoe Donner. Regardless of where one stands on the subject of climate change, there is no doubt that the weather continues to act unpredictably across the planet with dire consequences for many regions. As a golf professional, I have worked for 14 years at three different mountain golf courses and have never experienced a dry winter like this. I have also never experienced summers like the past two where the golf course did not open until June because of too much snow on the ground. In fact, last year we couldn’t open all 18 holes until June 24 - the latest in the history of Tahoe Donner! If there is a silver lining to these unseasonably dry conditions, it will hopefully be to help us open the golf course at its scheduled time of May 25 – or perhaps even sooner. It’s still too early to determine the timing and effect of our winter and spring storms. When you think about it, the factors that lead to exceptional revenue generation at the ski amenities - abundant snow and fortuitous timing of storms - frequently conspire to handicap financial performance at the golf course and bring late openings and a slower than normal turf recovery and growth process. Conversely, a dry winter and/or an early spring can lead to a longer golf season, which equates to more golf rounds and increased revenue at the course, but at the expense of the ski amenities. The golf season is still several months away, and hopefully TD skiers will still get to

enjoy at least two months of skiing, but when May rolls around, we are banking on a longer golf season in 2012 compared to the past two years. I’ve been reading the tea leaves and see reasons to be optimistic. According to online and print reports substantiated by my golf industry contacts, the golf courses in the San Francisco Bay area and the Sacramento region exceeded budgeted rounds in December and January due to warmer and drier days. This makes sense because mild, pleasant weather encourages people to participate in outdoor activities, such as golf, especially if skiing isn’t widely available. When people are golfing at Old Greenwood in the dead of winter, you definitely have to suspect that something strange is going on with our local weather. On that note, if you are wondering why Old Greenwood could open for 11 holes of golf in January but Tahoe Donner remained closed, I simply respond with two words: altitude and ice. The extra 500+ feet makes a world of difference in terms of climate, conditions, snow cover - we still have some - and the amount of ice on the course. You might think that the overall lack of snow might be helpful for the golf course, but ironically it poses a potentially serious threat to the quality and health of our greens. A layer of ice in varying degrees of thickness - up to 2 inches - has formed on many of our greens. This is a byproduct of the snow we received back in November, which continues to melt during the warmer days and re-freeze each night. The greens are particularly vulnerable to ice damage due to their low height. Believe it or not, a well-timed blanket of snow is a blessing for the golf course. The snow insulates and protects our greens over the winter, provided enough snow remains on the greens through spring. Ideally the snow melts by early May.

(Continued on pg. 26)

Kevin and his crew devised a plan to clear the greens using a walk-behind aerator with solid tines to break up the ice, followed by snow blowers and shovels. Kevin’s crew even made snow chains for the aerator so that it can drive on the ice. |


Believe it or not, a well-timed blanket of snow is a blessing for the golf course. The snow insulates and protects our greens over the winter... Since we did not get that beneficial blanket of snow in November or December, we are dealing with the consequences. Superintendent Kevin Kuehne has suffered many sleepless nights lately worrying about the most appropriate course of action that will protect the greens, or at least minimize the amount of ice damage. As you can see in the accompanying photo, Kevin and his crew devised a plan to clear the greens using a walk-behind aerator with solid tines to break up the ice, followed by snow blowers and shovels. Kevin’s crew even made snow chains for the aerator so that it can drive on the ice. This process

has improved the situation; however, the fact remains we are concerned about what condition the greens will be in when we reopen the golf course this spring. The fact that our stellar reputation is based in large part on having arguably the best putting surfaces in the High Sierra makes protecting these assets even more critical. By the way, ice damage is a concern every winter at any mountain golf course in the country, but the current amount and severity is beyond what any of us have witnessed in recent memory. Rest assured that Kevin, Jess and Roy are investing the necessary time, energy

and strategies to ensure that the greens come out of winter in the best possible shape considering what they are up against. In light of the anemic ski season, it is understandable that people are turning their attention to golf, among other activities. Winter, however, is far from over and I have joined others in doing my own snow dance with the hope that a portion of the ski season will be salvaged. In the meantime, I continue to make preparations for a successful 2012 golf season and look forward to providing a stellar preview of what’s in store in the May TD News. Wax your skis!


OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK - 530-550-0110 M-F 9-6:30 | SAT 9-6 | SUN 11-4 12047 Donner Pass Road - West Truckee Phone orders gladly accepted w/ Sears Card


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012



ue to limited amounts of snow, we are revamping some of the details to our popular Snowman Contest. It’s time to really get creative. We know you’re up for the challenge! We’re altering this year’s contest so that snowmen can be made out of lots of different items including bags of leaves, flower pots, wood piles and even items you might intend to throw away. The only guideline your creation must meet is that it must have a face like a snowman. The rest is up to you! Email a photo of your creation along with a short story about how you came up with your idea to Submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 9. Prizes will be awarded to the best creations. Top-ranked creatures will be featured on Facebook and Tahoe Donner News. |


TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES SUMMARY JANUARY 21, 2012 • Consent Calendar: Approved 4-0 (Director Knisley absent) ·· Property casualty insurance renewal 2012 ·· Senior Alpine Ski Club bylaw revisions ·· General Plan Committee resignation (Gelwicks) ·· General Plan Committee alternate appointment (Werschky) ·· Elections Committee appointment (Dundas) ·· Elections Committee charter revisions ·· Trout Creek locker fees • Director of Finance and Accounting report: No Action The board received a report on the Preliminary December Financials and took no action. • Committee tasks for 2012: No Action Discussion took place regarding tasks for the Covenants Committee for 2012.


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

• Euer Valley Operating Plan: Direction Given Discussion took place regarding proposed “Operating Rules” for the Euer Valley. The board suggested revisions to the proposed rules and placed this item on the February 25 board meeting agenda for further consideration.

• Development Fund Policy: No Action The board was provided with a presentation on a new Development Fund Policy. Following discussion, this item was placed on the February 25 board meeting agenda for further consideration.

• 2012 Board of Director Elections: Approved by Consensus The board was provided with a presentation on a new Development Fund Policy. Following discussion, this item was placed on the February 25 board meeting agenda for further consideration


W These summaries are intended for general information purposes only. The minutes are available at, upon request in the general manager’s office or by calling (530) 587-9431. A copy of the minutes and current agenda are posted outside the Member Services Office in Northwoods Clubhouse.

e are focusing on reviewing the maintenance of homes in Tahoe Donner. Each year, we look at the siding and roofs of homes (if we can see them) to ensure that metal roofs are not showing any shiny metal, that the rest of the house is not in need of stain or paint, and that there are no other obvious maintenance needs. The C&Rs and ASC Rules state that homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their residence and/ or lot. If, in our travels, we see that some maintenance is needed on your property, we will notify you of our observations. Our goal is to establish a dialog with you that will ensure your property is brought into compliance in a timely manner, serving both the association’s needs and your own. We realize that this is not the season for repairing roofs, painting and staining, so we will be looking for compliance in late spring or early summer, depending on the weather. If you have any questions or comments, please call us at (530) 5879407, fax us at (530) 587-9427, or e-mail us at

ENID LONGO | ARCHITECTURAL STANDARDS OFFICE Minutes of Tahoe Donner Board of Directors meetings are available to members at They can be found on the Board of Directors page in the Members section. Alternatively, members may request that a hard copy be sent to them via the postal service. To make the request, contact Bonnie Watkins at (530) 587-9431.

HOMES ON THE RISE The Architectural Standards Committee reviewed the following plan in December 2011: Unit/Lot 02/124

Street Address 11624 St Bernard Dr.

Square Ft. Project 1,450 House |


HOW TO MAKE AN ORIGAMI HEART Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. We can’t think of a better way to show your affection for someone than to make them a few origami hearts! Get creative use a picture of a friend or loved one, maybe a piece of newspaper for great texture, or maybe some traditional pink or red paper is more your style. Any square and any size will do. We suggest making multiple hearts in all different. Once you finish folding it’s nice to add a personal touch with a message written in marker. If you want to get tricky, write your message on your unfolded piece of paper and then make your heart. This is also a fun project for kids to make with their parents, instead of buying the typical cartoon-themed, store-bought valentine variety that are distributed in most classrooms. This year be unique and create something handmade!

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Fold in half top to bottom, side to side, then unfold.

Fold the top point of the paper to meet the crease in the center.

Fold the bottom point to meet the top.

Fold the right side to meet the crease in the center. Then repeat on the opposite side.

Step 5:

Step 6:

Step 7:


Now you can see the basic heart! Flip over and proceed.

Fold the side flaps of the heart inward.

Fold the top flaps of the heart down.

Flip over your heart and ta - da! Add a personal touch. Maybe a note with a marker?

Supplies List: 30

| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012

Square piece of paper



Jill Richardson visited the Schonbrunn Palace - the summer palace for the Habsburg royals, while on a cruise on the Danube River.

a AustrtaSalmi uelson caught


a Wa lt & P ff Liza rd reading o ir e th n o up a rrier e Great B th in d n Isla stra lia. Reef, Au

Dave and Betty Pinsky in front of the castle in Heidelberg, Germany, on their recent Rhine River cruise.

Italy Sharon, Bruce, Louie, Elle and Eddie Ferrigno on the Pont Vecchio in Florence, Italy.


A pair of Tahoe Donner homeowners visited Juneau, Alaska.||



Susan Domin go we Picchu nt to M for a 14 achu days t cally t our sp o be th e cifie re for aniver the 10 sary o 0 y e f its di ar July 2 scover 4, 1911 y on , by H iram B ingham . 

cid Lake Pla tside ff Fulmer ou

Je Margot and Placid. mits of Lake li ty ci e of th

Tahoe Donner

Not very far from home. In fact just around the corner at the second annual Brookstone block party at the Cross family home house.


e Disbrow at Marily n and Stev y stops, Jerash, one of man Petra. on a recent visit to

Email your “Where in the World” photos to: Please submit only .jpeg 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.


| Tahoe Donner News | February 2012


Located in the Heart of Tahoe Donner

17400 Northwoods Boulevard 530.587.7474

©2012 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. DRE License # 00313415






February Tahoe Donner News  

Tahoe Donner News is the official monthly publication of Tahoe Donner Association, which is located at 11509 Northwoods Blvd., Truckee, CA 9...

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