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Community Clean-Up Day and Block Party

May 29, 2024 | John Crockett

Written by John Crockett of the Incline Village Library

A block party has all the sights, sounds, and smells emblematic of a summer day: grilling food, music from outdoor speakers, games, laughter, and to meet and talk with your neighbors. Block parties are also about community pride, and this Saturday, the community comes together at the Incline Village Library for the 2nd Annual Summer Reading Kickoff Block Party from 11 am to 2 pm. This year, the library partners with IVGID Waste Not and IHS National Honor Society to host the Incline Green Clean from 9 am to noon.

This year’s summer reading theme is “Adventure Begins at Your Library.” By reading 20 minutes a day, students can avoid the summer slide. Sign up for the summer reading challenge, choose a free book, and earn more by tracking minutes read and completing activities. Include reading in all your summer adventures and set your children up for academic success.

The Block Party features over 20 information booths from our non-profit and community partners, including the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, IVCBA, and Washoe County Human Services.  Visit with many more great agencies, non-profits, and community groups dedicated to serving all of Incline Village.

Visit the used book sale to find your next great read, with sales supporting library events. The new library bookmobile will make its Incline Village debut, and kids can read in the garden with the Paws4Love therapy dogs.

Refreshments, including hot dogs, chips, and soda, are generously provided by the hard-working team at Raley’s and the grillmasters at The Rotary Club of Incline Village and Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline, the “get stuff done” service groups of our town. Enjoy summer grooves from DJ Castillo and DJ Twist and tour the newly reopened Incline Village Justice Court and Community Center.

In addition to the fun and information at the booths, we have a slate of great activities including face painting, a graffiti art demonstration with Incline High’s Mr. Dominguez, soda bottle rocket launches, and a community group photo.

And don’t forget—it’s early primary voting time, too!  Cast a vote for the primary election, register to vote, or update your voter information in the library meeting room.  Complete election information is on the Washoe County Registrar website.  

The Block Party and Incline Green Clean are not only great community events, they are part of the Main Street Incline Village Beautification Campaign.  This campaign aims to beautify, unify, and revitalize the heart of Incline.  Through initiatives such as Inclined to Bloom flower boxes, roudabout improvements, lighting, and public art, we can grow this sense of community pride and stewardship, inspiring all who visit and make Incline Village their home to care for our town.  

And with an engaging children’s area, natural light, murals and galleries, park and museum passes, as well as a collection and events for everyone, the library is the place to come together.   

See you at the Block Party this Saturday to help clean up, enjoy some food, music, and fun, sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, and kick off the best summer ever with our neighbors!

Schedule

Incline Green Clean – 9 am to noon

Bookmobile, Book Sale, Local Non-profit Booths – 11 am to 2 pm

Face Painting – 11 am – 12:30 pm

Graffiti Art Demo – Noon

Bottle Rocket Launch – Noon and 1 pm

Hot Dogs – Noon – 2 pm

Communty Group Photo in lower parking lot – 1:15 pm

Non-profit Booths

Incline Village Enhancement Fund

Tahoe Connection for Families

Friends of the Washoe County Library System

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church

Sierra Community House

Open Door Foursquare Church

IVGID Venues & Jobs

Waste Not

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office

Incline Village – Crystal Bay Justice Court

Washoe County Foster Care

American Association of University Women

Lake Tahoe School

Incline Education Fund

Incline Elementary School

Washoe County Human Services Agency

Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe

NLTFPD Fuels Prevention

Washoe County Search and Rescue Hasty Team

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Block Party at the Library

May 26, 2023 | John Crockett

Saturday, June 3rd, the Incline Village Library invites you to our neighborhood block party and summer reading kickoff! There will be outdoor games and activities, free hot dogs, book sale, community information booths, a fire truck, and much more!

More Info >

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Casey Jennings & Lake Tahoe Volleyball Academy

April 12, 2023 | John Crockett

Launched in 2022, the Lake Tahoe Volleyball Academy led by local coaches Casey Jennings and Tacy Kelly provides a club team experience for local female athletes seeking to develop skills on and beyond the court.  The academy is the first club team in North Lake Tahoe and is a chance for Casey to pass on his decades of elite team and beach volleyball experience to a new generation of athletes.  

While local middle and high schools field volleyball teams, the school season is a sprint of just over 2 months, limiting practice time and competition.  After coaching the Incline High team with Tacy and observing their progress and potential, they saw the need for a local club team.  

Casey says the coaching he received as a teen had the most impact on his future success.  And that is what motivated him to start LTVA and work with youth.  “I’m so excited to give back to that age group.  The time is right and I’m excited for the future.”

A native Nevadan, Casey began playing team volleyball in his hometown of Las Vegas.  Spending summers in Incline, he and his brother would play on the sand at Ski Beach from morning until dusk.  As part of a state championship team, he credits high school coach Bob Kelly with instilling the discipline and accountability that set him on a path to future success.  

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank him enough for the lessons he taught me,” says Jennings.  “I don’t think I would be where I am today, making a living and traveling the world, without him.  Now it’s my turn to pass those lessons on.” 

Jennings’s resume includes winning a Junior College Championship at Golden West Juior Colege, the 1999 NCAA National Championship at Brigham Young University, an international gold and several silver and bronze medals on the FIVB World Tour, seven Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) beach volleyball tournament wins, and AVP accolades including Best Defensive and Most Improved Player awards.  

Last fall, Casey and Tacy held well-attended tryouts and fielded teams for three different age groups.  The club competes throughout the region with the season culminating in late April at the Far West Qualifiers in Reno.  The LTVA staff is complemented by coach Grace Hubrig who works with the under 13 and 14 teams and manager Ryan Shuff.     

The LTVA coaches want to instill fundamentals in their players but also the importance of a sport, school, and life balance.  “If you don’t come to practice because you have piano lessons, school work, or another sport, tell your parents, ‘Good job.’  Stay involved in multiple activities because it makes their approach to volleyball that much better,” says Jennings.  The coaches can also leverage their expertise by bringing in specialists in yoga, footwork, and nutrition.   

“Casey is big at teaching life lessons,” says Shuff, a friend of Casey’s for 35 years.  “He is so impactful on these girls that they will remember the skills and mindset they are learning for the rest of their lives.  The coaches work so well together and provide a great experience for the team.”

Nevada is home for Casey and his wife Kerri Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and they are raising their three children in Incline Village.  With all of his experience, Casey must know what makes a great team work.  “It’s all about trust.  Every student athlete will miss a practice here and there.  As a coach, you know the commitment by the consistency of showing up,” which leads to team success both on and off the court.  

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Member Profile – Rosie Webber & The Sanctuary Tahoe

April 10, 2023 | John Crockett

Step into The Sanctuary Tahoe, a community wellness center on Stateline Road in Kings Beach, and you can feel your pulse lower.  The two-story wood frame building has been a yoga and massage studio for many years but the energy and vision of new owner Roseanna “Rosie” Webber is what transforms the space into something unique.  “You immediately feel this warmth of positive energy…as you embark on a journey inward,” says Yoga Manager Brooke Haley.    

The Sanctuary provides a full range of services and experiences including yoga, massage, esthetics, and acupuncture.  But Rosie’s integrative approach to wellness combines her health and nutrition expertise with mindset counseling, homeopathy, and leadership training.  What starts as a yoga class or massage is the first step on a personal journey to wellness.  

“What I really want is people feeling what I feel in the Sanctuary and have been for twenty years.  The greatest compliment is when someone says, ‘The minute I walk in here, I can feel it.’”

Rosie first came to The Sanctuary as a massage customer before offering health and wellness coaching part-time.  Following her retirement after nearly 40 years as a surgical nurse and a desire to see The Sanctuary re-emerge following the pandemic, Rosie took the leap to acquire the business.  

“This is what I really love and my vision is to bring more wellness to the community.”

With deep experience in the medical field, it wasn’t until a breast cancer diagnosis in 2014 that Rosie fully embraced integrative medicine.  “I’m 8 years cancer free but this journey led to becoming certified in health and nutrition coaching.  We can live such a better life through diet and exercise.  I had many reasons to take my health into a broader space.”    

A New York City transplant that arrived in Lake Tahoe in 1990, Rosie and the Webber family, proprietors of The Village Pub, are well-known in the community.  She even teases a possible mayoral run if the opportunity presents itself.  You may also see Rosie at Azzara’s Restaurant where she has been waiting tables for 29 years.  “I keep trying to leave but it’s family.”  

“She is a pillar in the Lake Tahoe community,” says Haley.  “She is one of the hardest working women I’ve ever known and truly leads by example.  She is always available to support each and every one of her staff, students and clients,” including hosting the staff for a monthly “sangha” or gathering.

The Sanctuary offers yoga classes across all levels seven days a week.  Try the signature Vinyasa Flow or a Slow Flow and Stretch après ski.  Other new offerings include yomassage, a full body massage and yoga class all in one, as well as sound healing workshops.  This summer Rosie will once again expand classes beyond the Sanctuary with yoga on the beach at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.  An introductory special for locals features unlimited classes over 30 days for $75.     

The Sanctuary will also soon offer yoga for those undergoing or in remission from cancer treatment.  During her treatment, she remembers being desperate to stay in yoga classes.  “I came out of class upset rather than rejuvenated, I was crying because I couldn’t do it.”  Rosie recently became the first certified instructor in the area and the program uses modifications and props to accommodate students.

With the support of family and friends and her network of wellness professionals, Rosie has learned much from her journey.  “If you can take something positive and give that to other people, then you should.  One person can change things and that’s what I’m trying to do here in this community.“

Get the latest updates on the schedule and offers by signing up for The Sanctuary’s newsletter thesanctuarytahoe.com.

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Zoom Rooms Now Available at the Library

February 1, 2023 | John Crockett

Washoe County Library is excited to announce the arrival of new Zoom ROOMs. These soundproof pods offer a private, connected workspace for virtual meetings, online interviews, and quiet or collaborative study. Designed by ROOM, Zoom ROOM pods are now available for use at multiple library locations on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Incline Village Public Library is a great space to work and study, and the Zoom Rooms allow people to attend a remote meeting or job interview without disturbing other patrons.  Anyone can use the sound-proof room for up to 2 hours per day and it has been used for meetings, interviews, doctors appointments, as a recording booth, and as a quiet space to work or think.  These rooms are in support of Washoe County Library System’s strategic plan goal of supporting workforce building by providing virtual spaces for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and anyone working remotely.  The Zoom Room in use every day and patrons can stop by the Information Desk to sign up to use it.

One library user said, “The Zoom Room at Incline Village Library was a life saver for my 1.5 hour interview.  Our house is too small and noisy to concentrate with young kids so thank you, thank, thank you for this space!”

Funds for this project have been provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records.

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Incline Village and Crystal Bay Housing Update

July 27, 2022 | John Crockett

Lofty prices, low inventory, and a fast rising cost of living are housing market factors that are not unique to Incline Village.  While these conditions exist nationwide, additional impacts from second home owners now occupying properties year-round and the beauty magnet that is Lake Tahoe place additional strain on buyers.  As interest rates continue to climb the number of listings are increasing, some with price cuts, although a seller’s market persists in Incline Village and Crystal Bay.     

Currently in Incline Village and Crystal Bay, there are 102 single family residences and just 49 condominiums on the market, according to Gail Krolick with Alpine Realty.  At a time when the market is seasonally more active, these figures surprise Incline Board of Realtors President Brad Lewis.  “Pre-2020 we would see at least 75% more inventory listed in the single family residence category.”  And for condominiums?  “There ought to be closer to 90 of those property types listed.  The market has gone haywire.”

Also lower compared to pre-pandemic is the average days on the market for these listings.  In past years, a listing in Incline Village and Crystal Bay area could be on the market for 100 days or more, given the smaller base of buyers and higher tolerance on both sides of the transaction.  “The tolerance has shifted,” says Lewis.  “Everything is turned upside down.  The numbers show that things are selling much more quickly.  The pace of which, particularly in the condo category, units are going on the market and flying right off…it’s quite interesting to watch.”  The average number of days on the market is 35 days for single family residences (52 days for condos), a mark well below historical averages for the area.

The Bay Area and San Diego are traditional feeder markets for Incline Village and Crystal Bay but Lewis is also seeing more buyers coming from the pacific northwest and Texas.  “Buyers coming from out of market are saying, ‘It’s the time.’  The world has had this paradigm shift and if I can work remotely, why not the paradise that is Incline Village,” says Lewis.  

Krolick has also noticed more second-home owners occupying their properties.  “People were leasing their homes that they were using once or twice a year.”  But after 2020, “they’re living here now, they like Incline, and are here year-round.  But it’s still a seller’s market.”  

And as with other resort communities in the west such as Bear, Breckenridge, and Jackson, the area has experienced substantial median price increases.  The median sale price for a single family residence went from $1.1 million in 2020 to $2.47 million in 2022 (a 125% increase), while condos rose from $500,000 to $765,000 over that time (a 53% increase).  Combine rapid appreciation with rising interest rates and buying power is reduced for those who may not have the buying power of those driving this voracious market.

“The monthly mortgage payment today compared to that same home a year ago, the effect of cost increase, between appreciation and interest rates, is actually 55% more expensive this year.  That’s a compounding factor, it’s really significant,” says Lewis.  In terms of housing affordability in this community for locals and employees, “there are forces beyond our control.”

Gail Krolick does see the challenge for buyers looking to break into the Incline market.  “I do worry about first-time home buyers but there are options.  If you save properly, you can make it happen.”  This decrease in buying power will be exacerbated by another interest rate increase announced today by the Federal Reserve at their July meeting.  As more buyers give pause, expect to see more listings, some price cuts, and a slight increase in the number of days on the market for the Incline Village and Crystal Bay housing market.       

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Community Profile: Alan Tiras/Incline Village-Crystal Bay Township Justice Court

April 1, 2022 | John Crockett

On a Wednesday morning, the Incline Village-Crystal Bay Township Justice Court has a full slate of cases.  The day’s schedule begins with Judge E. Alan Tiras working with clerks, lawyers, and the defendants before him.  And today he hears pleas and issues sentences for misdemeanors that occurred within Incline Village and Crystal Bay.   However, most of those appearing in court today are not within the township, they are before the court virtually.  

An Assistant District Attorney checks in to the hearing by Zoom from the Truckee Meadows.  The defendant is in custody in Reno but appears and participates virtually.  A defense lawyer joins with a blurred background.  Seated on the bench, Judge Tiras conducts this hybrid in-person and online court with the skill of a symphony conductor.  As camera focus shifts to those speaking at the time, the judge turns on and off mics confirming that all parties can hear and understand the proceedings.  One defendant requires a translator and Tiras calls on a court clerk to join in, adding to the complicated but smooth interaction.  

At the end of one case, he wraps up by confirming the defendant understands everything that has transpired.  “Now, don’t take this the wrong way but I hope I don’t see you again, at least not in this setting.”

Since 1980, the Incline Justice Court has provided a venue for residents and visitors to settle matters including traffic violations, evictions, and temporary protection orders, amongst others.  Tiras, who was elected to this position in 2006 and took office in 2007, explains that Justice Court is considered the people’s court.  

“The vast majority of interaction of courts and the public is at our level,” says Tiras.  “Generally speaking, we’re dealing with people that haven’t messed up too badly yet.  And it gives us an opportunity to help them so they don’t continue down the path to something more severe.” 

While the court hears citations and misdemeanors, cases can also involve more serious charges including felonies.  “What’s important is how can we help people…so they’re not making those same wrong decisions.  Punishment is a tool in the tool box but it’s the last one we want to use.”  

For Tiras, this position allowed him to continue a life of public service to the community.  In addition to his “wonderful relationship” with his wife of 41 years, Tiras credits his uncle as being, “a catalyst for my interest in public service.  His philosophy is that if he can work to make the community a better place then he is the beneficiary.” 

Following the public service lead of his uncle, Tiras served on the City Council of his hometown of Seminole, Oklahoma and was honored as Citizen of the Year.  Serving as an elected judge is “my way of trying to make things better,” says Tiras.

First visiting Incline Village in the mid-1980s, he decided to make it home, moving here in 1990 with his wife, Natalie and two young children. Judge Tiras thinks the community is a great place to raise children.  “They had amazing educational opportunities and could participate in extra-curricular opportunities as well,” he says. 

“When we first decided to move here, we loved the mountains, trees and, of course the Lake, but what keeps us here is the people,” Tiras says.  “We met many of our best friends through the schools and school events.”  He continued to follow his passion for public service by taking on leadership roles with Rotary of Tahoe Incline and the Incline Village Chamber of Commerce among others.

Judge Tiras also participates in We the People:  The Citizen and the Constitution Program of which Incline Village High School’s team is a perennial state and national contender.  He finds assisting program advisor Milton Hyams “very rewarding” but also educational.

“Not a week goes by when they don’t teach me something,” he says.  “It’s interesting watching the student progress from uncertainty to true constitutional scholars.”  With students learning to research, speak, argue, and support their positions with evidence, some former We the People students may soon be representing plaintiffs or defendants before Judge Tiras’s court.

In 2019, Incline Justice Court became the first court in the state to offer virtual options for traffic court defendants.  Holding court virtually was initially challenging but the process was gaining momentum before the COVID-19 pandemic suspended court services state-wide.  With experience gained from virtual traffic court, Judge Tiras and his team soon took the full court calendar online, becoming the only one in the state for several months.

“The virtual program is an unqualified success,” says Tiras.  He questions why defendants should take time away from work or their families to plead not guilty to a parking ticket.  “I don’t need to make it inconvenient to them to have access to justice.”  Defendants might attend during a lunch break at a job site or when they are physically unable to travel to Incline.  If the parties are participating and present wherever they are, the court can adjudicate the matter.  

“At this level we have the opportunity to figure out what we can do to help them.  It’s a really rewarding position to be in,” says Tiras.

Michael McNulty is a licensed drug and alcohol counselor whose clients have appeared at Incline Justice Court.  He says the benefit of having a local court in Incline is, “the efficiency of justice being satisfied promptly.”  McNulty states that Tiras offers, “kindness but with a firm hand.  I often hear him encourage defendants to use all of the resources that the Incline Justice Court affords,” such as attending counseling or participating in victim impact panels.

With the success and benefits of virtual court proceedings will there continue to be a need for the physical location of Incline Justice Court?  Due to a lack of technology access, virtual is just not an option for some parties.  “We need to be accessible to those people too.  There needs to be a physical space for live trials, hearings, and payment windows,” says Tiras.

More changes are in store for the court this year.  In February, the Board of County Commissioners voted 3-1 to abolish the office of the Incline Constable through an amendment to Washoe County code.  Constables provide court security, pre and post trial services such as drug testing, and process serving in addition to other duties.  The move by a Commissioner outside of District 1, which includes Incline Village, surprised Tiras.  “What bothers me is the process,” says Tiras.  He thinks the change to abolish the office of the constable is not good governance.  “Let’s talk to the stakeholders, find out what the goals of this change are.”

Some see the elimination of the constable office by the County Commission as a step towards eliminating the Incline Village township and therefore the court.  “I don’t think it would be appropriate for a judge not from Incline to adjudicate Incline matters,” says Tiras.  “They don’t have the understanding of the community, the community standards, the geography.  It would be a huge step backwards if we didn’t have a local judge.” 

The court will also move to a new location at 855 Alder Ave., the former library building and current Incline Village Community Center.  Since 1982, the court has held space at the Centerpoint Executive Offices building at 865 Tahoe Blvd.  The court will now move into a county-owned building for the first time in its history.

As the Incline Village-Crystal Bay Township Justice Court deals with transitions over the coming year, the court continues to take each opportunity to help its constituents.  “Consistency is fair.  And justice is that people are treated the same throughout the process,” says Tiras.  By using innovations like holding court virtually, Judge Tiras can offer the consistency of access to justice from Incline Village that reaches beyond the community.      

*This profile appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of LIVE.WORK.PLAY. magazine.

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