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The Local Lens: Memorial Day

May 25, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

You can count on our Veterans Club to hold a Memorial Day celebration. This year, like most, it is on Burnt Cedar Beach Jetty at 10 am. Take a moment to reflect on those who served our country in the military. The IVCB Veterans Club, as well as the Military Officers Association of America, actively support veterans throughout the year. Watch for the patriotic celebrations over the 4th of July as part of the Local Heroes weekend celebration

Growing up in the Midwest, we visited the cemetery every Memorial Day and laid flowers on the graves of our loved ones. Cemeteries are uncommon in the mountains, although we do have a columbarium in St. Patrick’s Episcopalian Church. Some of the longtime residents that have passed away in 2022: 

Tatyana Floam

Ginny Hestmark

Sharon Kirby

Jim Nadeau

Ben Solomon

Peter Van Dyke

Bob Wolf

They will be remembered for their many contributions to our community. Apologies to those who passed and are not recognized here. 

Two Celebrations of Life will be held in June:

Ben Solomon – June 16, 1-3 pm at Sierra Nevada University

The Founders’ Monument will be dedicated to Ben and Margaret in recognition of their significant contributions to SNU.

Bob Wolf – Saturday, June 25, 2 – 5pm at Aspen Grove

Bob was a founder of the Children’s Cabinet (now Tahoe Family Solutions) and a former IVGID trustee.


We are looking for Parade & Community Fair participants and volunteers for Saturday, July 2! Would you like to help decorate the parade route? Can you help at check-in to stage parade floats, vehicles, and walking groups?  Will your youth group or business put a float or a vehicle in the parade? * 

Learn more and sign up at 4thofjulytahoe.com!

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Business Profile: Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ Gives Back

May 25, 2022 | Mike Danahey

If you’ve dined out in Incline Village, chances are you’ve stopped by Austin’s for some comfort food, FUMO for breakfast or dinner and drinks, Cool Mess for ice cream or coffee or Gus’ Open Pit Barbecue for some smoky Santa Maria-style deliciousness.

Those spots are all part of Nellie and Jonas Saia’s Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ business. By supporting them, patrons keep their dining dollars local while satisfying their appetites.

They also help nourish Incline’s young minds, as Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ frequently lends support in a number of ways to Incline’s public schools.

“We continue to be thankful for the support of the community and want to be a part in helping make this community strong,” Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ Office Manager Lisa Richards said.

In February, the company’s various spots donated gift cards for the Incline Elementary School Mardi Gras fundraiser. For the auction at Incline High’s Annual Crab Feed March 19, Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ is offering a NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 package, a private party for up to 50 guests March 24 at Gus’s, with some special guests and food included.

Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ restaurants have also provided eats for celebrations like Teacher Appreciation Week. Cool Mess donated gift cards to be used in the public schools’ positive behavior rewards program.

“The business has encouraged guests to give via a QR code at the tables in its restaurants,” Richards said. “We also tried to assist the Incline Education Fund with a Dollars for Scholars promotion late last year.”

“We are eager to see what opportunities there are to participate in future IEF giving campaigns,” Richards said. “They do such great work for all our schools, and we are happy to assist their efforts.”

Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ restaurants also provide jobs for a handful of Incline High students to give them real world work experience.

Richards said, “Many of our team members have attended Incline schools, come to work for us during summers, or to support themselves once they graduate and are attending local colleges. The Sais’s have two children of their own attending IES, “who were blessed to be born and raised here,” Richards said.

Visit the restaurants online

Austin’s  Cool Mess FUMO Nevada Jane

**This article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of LIVE.WORK.PLAY., IVCBA’s magazine. See it and read other stories and issues here.

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The Local Lens – Calling All Local Heroes – Get Involved for the 4th!

May 18, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

4th of July in Incline means a parade, pancakes, picnics with family on the beach, and fireworks. Some things have changed! Events are no longer organized under a single entity like they were in the past with Red, White, and Tahoe Blue. However, one website, 4thofjulytahoe.com  includes all events for the Local Heroes 4th of July Celebration. Go there to find all the latest updates. The biggest change is the drone Sky Show on the Incline Middle School ballfields instead of fireworks on the beach. Much safer and better for the environment. Please donate and help make it a success. Learn more by visiting ivcbskyshow.org

THE LOCAL HEROES PARADE AND COMMUNITY FAIR are looking for participants and volunteers! Right after the pancake breakfast at the NLTFPD fire station, the parade starts at 893 Southwood, crosses Village to the Incline Bowl, and turns right on Incline Way to the Rec Center and Village Green. The Community Fair starts immediately after the parade, around 11 am.


It’s lots of fun to be IN the parade. Join the bike parade, and make a float with your family, church, school, or other organization. Classic cars, walking groups, street performers…be creative!

BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BUILD A FLOAT…. I didn’t either until I started Dress The Party, the costume and party store years ago. Now I am the go-to expert! Start with a trailer, cover the bottom with floral sheeting, and the sides with garland and fringe. Voila!  No costume and party store anymore, BUT Amazon has everything now, including patriotic decorations. It’s not that hard to make a float and your kids will love it. The more creative, the better!


We keep the same theme every year because it is patriotic and so versatile. Veterans and active military personnel who have defended our country ever since the Revolutionary War are always honored on the 4thof July.

However, heroes are found all around us and you can change out the heroes you are celebrating every year. Was this the year you got acquainted with the hospital because of COVID? Go for health care workers. Aren’t we all grateful for firefighters after last summer? Thanks to Dave & Cheryl Duffield, a fully funded Sheriff’s Office Incline Substation makes Captain Solferino’s team of peace officers so much more visible in the community. Teachers are at the top of the list too, showing such dedication to our youth through the last couple years of the pandemic. Community workers, moms, dads, whoever your local hero is, July 2nd is the day to honor them. P.S. superheroes are welcome too!


IVCBA and IVGID are bringing back the Community Fair. Sign up for tent space if you are a community organization, business, or someone who wants to meet the community on the 4th of July. Go to 4thofjulytahoe.com to sign up or to volunteer to help that day.

The Community Fair is bound to be well-attended because it is right after the parade and across the street from the beach. Share information about your organization, hand out freebies, especially beverages, or offer a game or entertainment. Kids needing a break from the beach will be happy to do a quieter activity or get their faces painted.


IVGID is organizing field and relay games run by the Incline High School sports teams. The Jambulance and Ryan Broliar will entertain us with interactive music and fun for everyone. 

Not to be missed is the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Meet and Greet. Sheriff Balaam, Incline Substation Captain Solferino and his sergeants and deputies will be on hand. All the Sheriff’s emergency and SWOT vehicles will be there, plus the mounted unit and the K-9 unit.

If you grew up here, or just happened to be a longtime local, you probably remember the Optimists Carnival on Incline Beach with its dunk tank and old-fashioned carnival games. The Community Fair has its roots in this very popular event run by the Optimists Club, which no longer exists in Incline Village. Red, White, and Tahoe Blue carried on the tradition, moving the Community Fair to the Village Green. 


We need you! We need strong younger people to decorate the parade route and set up the pop-up tents. We need experienced retired folks who can share their time and expertise at the Community Fair. Seriously, if you don’t have a ton of family coming up for the weekend, we could really use the help.

Did I mention where to sign up? The Local Heroes website, of course! Go to 4thofjulytahoe.com

To participate in the IVGID Bike Parade which kicks off the entire parade register here

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Local Resources for Building or Reconstructing a Home in Tahoe

May 17, 2022 | Kayla Anderson

As we get into the summer building season, you may be thinking about how to begin that bathroom or kitchen remodel you’ve been dreaming about, or that deck or chimney you need to get rebuilt after last winter’s wet and heavy snowstorms. Or maybe you just bought a plot of land that you want to build a custom home on or are planning a full renovation. 

Therefore, if you need an excellent architect, engineer, or building company to help you get started (or even accompanying services such as a commercial cleaning/sanitizing crew), one that understands what works and doesn’t in the North Lake Tahoe environment, we have some recommendations of prestigious firms that are right here close to home: 

Greenwood Homes

Licensed to build homes in California, Nevada, and Hawaii, Greenwood Homes is an award-winning general contractor that specializes in creating gorgeous custom homes all around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond. Just look at its 6,000-sq.-ft. “Fairway Modern” home in Incline Village that won the 2019 Tahoe Quarterly Mountain Home Award with its light-filled simple beauty, and you’ll see what sets Greenwood Homes apart from the rest. 

James Costalupes General Contractor, Inc. 

James “Jim” Costalupes and his team have been conceptualizing and building homes in Lake Tahoe for more than three decades, all while keeping its stellar reputation for maintaining honest communication and giving forthright advice to its clients as it meets local and regional regulations down to the final walk-through. Headquartered in Incline Village, Jim prides himself on keeping a company that provides utmost craftsmanship and knowledge while keeping budget in mind. View James Costalupes’ portfolio online.

Smith Design Group

Based in Incline Village right on Country Club Boulevard, the Smith Design Group is an architecture and planning firm that has worked on everything from the Jack Rabbit Moon building to the Incline Skate Park. Along with dedicating themselves to enhancing and enriching the local environment for all of the community to enjoy, Smith Design Group has worked on the architectural projects for residential homes including “Pinecone” featuring knotted polished floor-to-ceiling wood finishings and sleek stone fireplaces to the interior bathroom remodel of a Mays Boulevard location that has a contemporary stand-alone bathtub, double sinks, and glass encased shower like what you would find at a five-star resort. Visit the Smith Design Group online.

Elise Fett Architect 

Integrating aesthetics, site characteristics, sustainable housing methods, and structural integrity in every project that it engages in, Crystal Bay’s Elise Fett & Associates specializes in architecture, engineering, and TRPA consulting for residential homes in the Lake Tahoe area. Along with building new homes, Elise Fett can provide cost-effective blueprints for home remodels that reflect their inhabitants’ personalities and lifestyles. “The construction process can be intimidating and full of unexpected surprises, but if you work with us, the one thing you know for sure is that we will listen to you and design a space that truly reflects your style,” the company proclaims. Learn more about Elise Fett.

Other Accompanying Services

After building or remodeling your custom Tahoe home, you may need some final additions like a keyless entry system or a cleaning company to help keep your Tahoe haven peaceful and secure. Here are some Incline Village/Crystal Bay property services that are great to work with: 

North Lake Tahoe Cleaning 

Whether you own one property or several, North Lake Tahoe Cleaning group is a professional commercial cleaning business that handles carpets, linen service, and sanitizing spaces so that you don’t have to. Working with property management companies, second homeowners, and short-term rentals as well, North Lake Tahoe Cleaning has spiffed up more than 2400 homes in its 38 years of business. As it says on its website, “You live and work in North Tahoe to ski the slopes of Northstar and paddle the beaches of Incline Village- not to hang out after work cleaning your office. Leave that to us.” 

Lake Tahoe Lockshop

Based right there in the Christmas Tree Village sandwiched between Crosby’s and the new Happy Tiers Bakery, Lake Tahoe Lockshop is your one-stop-shop for everything security-related. Padlocks, latches, key blanks, store-a-key lockboxes, and miscellaneous key accessories can be found in the store, along with high-security ASSA locks, keyless entry systems, and Schlage/Kwikset/Baldwin combination code keypads. If they don’t have it, they’ll order it, and you can install it yourself or Lake Tahoe Lockshop can do it for you. It’s open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm. Visit Lake Tahoe Lockshop online

Sierra Mobile Storage

Many homeowners find they need extra storage as they approach a building or renovation. Luke and Staci Stevenson’s Sierra Mobile Storage offer portable, attractive weatherproof storage and moving containers in two sizes and two styles, including a Tahoe-forest themed wrap. Storage containers can be delivered to remain onsite so you can access all your belongings and materials during the project or moved to their secure storage yard until you are ready to have them delivered back to your project. Think Inside the Box! Call Sierra Mobile Storage at 775-549-3333. Visit online to see the Tahoe wrapped version.

Additional Information About North Lake Tahoe Construction Season

To help preserve Tahoe’s natural environment, there are regulations and restrictions about new construction projects and upgrading existing homes. Along with going through the usual procedure of getting permits through the building department, the TRPA (Tahoe Regional Planning Association) decides if you can even build a home and if so, how big it can be. Permits to build a new house from the ground up can cost $25,000-$35,000 alone for a 1500-3000 square foot space, so that’s something to consider when launching your project. The window to complete new construction (because of weather) is between May 1-October 15. For more information about this process, click here.

Happy Building!

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The Local Lens: Local Artists & Sustainable Tourism

May 11, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

For a mountain, outdoor-oriented community, Incline Village has a surprisingly large number of local artists. Most restaurants display local art, particularly photography and there are a few galleries around too. The Holman Art Center, part of Sierra Nevada University is one. Another is the Incline Library, currently displaying art from Incline High School students. The Visitor Center has a display from our historical society. Other places to see and purchase art are Handmade at the Lake (Centerpointe Building), the Potlatch, Village Interiors, and Sierra Verde in Village Center. The HIVE is an artist’s co-op in Harland Plaza, next to the big Wash Laundromat.

IVCBA promotes local artists by running the Mountain Workspace Gallery at 885 Tahoe Blvd. The artist reception on Thursday, May 12 welcomes Lisa Jefferson, Franny Ramirez, and Barbara Trifletti from 4:30-6 pm. The gallery is open daily and the art on display can be purchased. We are looking for the next set of artists for July/August. We are thinking it should be Burning Man artists…. Email Linda if you are interested. 

Piper Johnson, long-time Incline resident and Plein Air artist, recently moved to Truckee. She exhibits other artists as well, including Incline artists Mary Nagel Klein, Molly O’Mara, Liz Paganelli and Lisa Jefferson. Her grand opening for the new location of the Piper J Gallery is this Saturday, May 14. The address is 10153 W River Street in Truckee.


What’s one of the biggest complaints we hear in Incline? The tourists who leave trash on our beaches and trails! (News flash…it’s not just tourists who leave trash). Education is key and the Visitor Bureau works hard to be sure everyone, whether they live here or are just visiting, understand how to “Take Care Tahoe” and what responsible tourism means. TRPA and the tourism industry have migrated to a “destination management” philosophy that is focused on sustainable tourism. 

By the way, Incline resident (and IVCBA member!)  Jacquie Chandler has spent her years at the Lake dedicated to her nonprofit Sustainable Tahoe. Visit her website for inspiration and to take her Earth Walk around the Visitor Center.

PLEASE JOIN the public workshop on Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan on Tuesday, May 17 from 5:30-7:30 at Parasol. The goal is to balance the needs of Lake Tahoe’s environment, businesses, visitors, and local communities. TRPA, the Visitor Bureau, and the Tahoe Fund are among the organizers. The workshops are being held around the Lake. Register to attend here


If you want to be proactive about picking up trash, consider joining or starting a Tahoe Blue Crew, part of the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s “Keep Tahoe Blue”. The next big clean-up is July 5 on the beaches. More information and sign up.


Why am I mentioning this? 2022 marks the last graduation of the college that was taken over by Ben and Margaret Solomon 52 years ago. It has been an integral part of Incline ever since the first campus was built on College Way. The campus is now located on Country Club and Tahoe Blvd. As of July 1, Sierra Nevada University is slated to become part of UNR, an effort that has taken a year to accomplish. Ben Solomon passed away at the end of February. A monument is dedicated to the work of Ben and Margaret who so committed their lives to Sierra Nevada College and making it an integral part of Incline Village. Make a date to walk through the campus to see the monument and the Demonstration Garden founded by Margaret and now run by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. Margaret still resides in Incline Village.


Have you driven by the old Wildflower Café on Tahoe Blvd lately? Those buildings came down fast! The site will become the home of Natural Grocers. You can preview it by shopping at the one in Reno, off Kietzke Lane. 

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The Local Lens: Celebrating Teachers and Moms

May 4, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

Never did I appreciate teachers as much as I did when I was a mom with school-age children! This week marks the national Teacher Appreciation Week as well as (Hallmark’s) Mother’s Day on Sunday. Teachers are found in and out of a classroom and not all mothers are biological. Let’s celebrate all the loving caring people that nurtured us through childhood and along our path through life.

Teaching was my first career out of college. I taught for seven years in Minnesota before realizing that my life was not falling into the traditional marriage and children routine in my twenties that I had expected. What I learned about teachers by being one, is that most of them care deeply about their students. They work hard to instill not just a love of learning and the ability to think, but also the life skills to get along with others and be responsible citizens of the world. As many parents work longer hours to provide household basics, a teacher connecting with a young person can make a huge difference in their life. Teachers do work long hours, so do most people. But I found the emotional toll of being involved in the lives of lots of students much more stressful than the careers I had in business. Teachers need that time off in the summer to recharge!  

 It took Richard and me eight years to realize we were meant to be married and raise children in Incline Village.  I was sure that my teaching background made me uniquely qualified to be a parent. Boy, was I wrong! As an older parent, I was clueless. I didn’t know the characters of Sesame Street, how many batteries it would take to run all those toys, and what a “time-out” meant to a 2-year-old.  I was quickly “schooled” by Nicole, Kirk, and Katelyn, all born between 1990 and 1993.  But I also learned to appreciate that not all learning takes place in school, and that “teachable moments” apply to growing up as well as learning math. Readiness for reading varies among children, and so does readiness for life. Moms, and by moms, I mean the primary caregiver, wear a lot of hats. I was a business manager (running the household), in charge of procurement (aka shopping), ER nurse (bandages and kisses for owies), referee, coach, therapist…. all of the jobs that parents take on. As my dad used to say, “Parenting is a job for which there is no training and no pay.” 


Mark your calendar for May 12…the date of the next Artist Reception at the Mountain Workspace Gallery. Help us welcome Lisa Jefferson, Barbara Trifletti, and Frannie Ramirez. 

We are just about to launch The Local Heroes website, where you will be able to learn all about the 4th of July events for 2022! We are looking for participants and volunteers for the Parade and Community Fair.


The Pet Station is now open in its new location with Village Ski Loft at the intersection of Tahoe Blvd and Northwood. 

The Mehfil Bistro, serving Indian Cuisine is now open, right next to Happy Tiers Bakery and Coffee Shop in the Christmas Tree Village.

I hear there is a “speakeasy” in town, but no one will tell me where and I don’t know the secret password. Miles at Incline Spirits might know.

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Business Profile: Rockwood Tree Service 

May 4, 2022 | Kayla Anderson

In business since 1986, Rockwood is a full-service tree care and removal company specializing in stump grinding,

tree trimming/pruning, tree removal, and defensible space compliance. Owner Beth Moxley says that there has been a lot going on lately with wildfire danger which is why collaborating with people on their defensible space is a priority for them. 

“The most important thing is to rake all your pine needles once a year in the spring for defensible space and contact the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District and have a defensible space inspection done. There’s a $1,000 rebate available, and each year they choose a specific area. Each homeowner is eligible for that $1,000 rebate in that area,” Moxley explains. Inspections through the NLTFPD are free, and the fire department is very helpful and accommodating. 

Moxley says it’s also important to clear any dead or diseased trees, as Incline Village has a big bark beetle problem right now. 

“The red turpentine bark beetle is aggressive. The top of the pine tree goes first, and if you don’t take care of that, then you’ll lose all your other pines around it. 

She adds that there’s a lot to do in the spring, and the best way to get your property ready is to get a jump on those pine needles and consider talking to your neighbors and ordering a 30-cubic-yard dropbox from Empire Contractors. You want to rake your entire property and keep a 30-ft. clearance around your home year-round. 

“I believe it’s $565 for a dropbox, and they drop it off in your neighborhood. All your neighbors can rake and load the dropbox and share the cost and they come to pick it up, and they take it to the dump. It’s a very cost-effective way and encourages your neighbors to get compliant with defensible space. The more neighbors that comply the safer your neighborhood will be. 

“We want people to take the opportunity to educate themselves about wildfire danger, especially when it comes to bonfires and firepits,” Moxley adds. 

Visit Rockwood Tree Service online: www.rockwoodtreeserviceca.com

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