Opinion: A final farewell as LTN goes dark


By Kathryn Reed

This is it. It’s time to say goodbye.

These past nine years have been an incredible journey; one I would never trade. So many friends have been made. So many interesting people interviewed. So many exciting events to cover. So many stories – and not all of them saw the light of day.

I want to say thank you one last time to everyone who has been part of the Lake Tahoe News team – which includes all of you readers. After all, if no one is reading, what is the point of writing?

For the immediate future I will be paying to keep LTN up so it can be used as an archive. There will be a small fee to access the content. This is just a way to help offset the expense of hosting the site and for basic maintenance costs.

I believe all credible news sources become an area’s history. To “pull the plug” on Lake Tahoe News felt wrong on so many levels, so that’s why it will remain as an archive. There just won’t be any new content after today; unless it sells or something.

What I worry about most going forward is the lack of news Lake Tahoe will be receiving. It’s not that LTN is not replaceable. But the fact that no one in the basin is doing the kind of news LTN does – hard hitting, investigative, daily, in depth series – well, it will take some time to fill the void that LTN will leave.

This means it is going to be up to you, the residents and others who care about the Lake Tahoe Basin and Truckee to become more involved. Start by signing up for the information that the various public agencies send out. This includes meeting alerts and recaps of meetings. Just know that the recap is their biased slant on what happened. There is no reason to say you didn’t know about a meeting. It is easy to get advance notice about them. Read the agenda, become engaged.

Some meetings are online, others are covered via the public access station on cable TV. Seeing them in person is better; you get to witness how the electeds and others play with each other. A psychologist could have a field day watching these people interact.

The electeds who sit on other boards almost never give a recap of what happened so even their colleagues don’t know what is going on. I can’t remember the last time Councilman Austin Sass or Commissioner Nancy McDermid or Supervisor Sue Novasel reported back to the South Lake Tahoe City Council, Douglas County commissioners and El Dorado County supervisors about what happened on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board or Tahoe Transportation District? Yes, it would lengthen meetings if these recaps were provided, but don’t the other electeds and the public deserve to know? It’s been a pet-peeve of mine for years that these elected officials represent the city or county on another board but seem to do so in a vacuum, as an individual and not as a representative of the city or county. It’s one of the procedures I wish I could have gotten changed because I believe it would have brought more accountability to more agencies.

Read the legals in the non-daily Tribune, Record Courier, Sierra Sun, and Mountain Democrat. Yes, really. That’s all the small print in the back of those publications. (All are available online.) Public entities are required to post almost all of their meetings in the newspaper of record. Those four cover South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado, Douglas, and Placer counties. There is a trove of information in the legals.

Read those publications as well as the Tahoe Mountain News, Moonshine Ink, Reno Gazette-Journal and Sacramento Bee for local and regional news. The Las Vegas Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun do a better job of covering Nevada politics, gaming and other news. In California, take a look at the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register. They all have real journalists who understand how to ask tough questions, have ethics and are not bought by advertisers. They are in print and online.

The number of pages a print publication has is based on a formula that starts with how many ads there are on a given day. The news hole is then derived by a ratio of ads to editorial content. So, the more advertising, the more potential for local news. The more advertising, the more reporters who can be hired.

If you want your news sources to stay, advertise. If you don’t have a business, frequent the advertisers in the publications and tell them you saw their ad in X publication.

When you see the donate button – donate. When the number of free stories expires, actually pay to read the publication. In fact, just pay for it from the beginning.

If you don’t somehow contribute financially to a news organization, it is not going to stay in business. It’s your choice.

If you want something done, do it. Government is the people. Remember that.

There is also so much that can be done outside the constraints of government. Get involved. Look at all the good the Meyers Community Foundation has done, the arts groups are doing, the business districts on the North Shore keep doing.

Remember, requesting public records is something the public has a right to do. It’s not just the media. And if you don’t get them, make a stink.

Write letters to the editor so more voices get heard. Suggest stories to the publications. Hold the publications accountable as well as the decision-makers.

There are so many aspects of this job I will miss. But it really is time for something new.

Thank you again for everything.

Hasta luego,



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Comments (36)
  1. Keith says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you for providing the news these past nine years.
    I will miss my daily updates on the real happenings in Tahoe.
    Wish you well and thank you once again.

  2. Toogee Sielsch says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you Kae. LTN will be missed, but I wish you the brightest of futures!


  3. Renee Gorevin says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you Kae!

  4. Jeanne says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you for providing investigative skill and local news and specifically raising awareness about mental illness.
    Thank you for encouraging individual advocacy and perspective on accountability. and seeding ideas for change.

    Change is the only constant. Enjoy your next endeavor.

  5. Lisa says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    I will miss you and your heard hitting news, Kae. Well done. The first thing I’ve done for the last nine years is to read your newspaper before getting out of bed or even coffee. Thank you. Enjoy the new adventure.

  6. Kay Henderson says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you for all you have done for the community in your years here and for this thorough list of suggestions for keeping informed. Wishing you well!

  7. Nancy Doak says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank You Kae. LTN was the first thing we read every morning, you will be missed!
    Best of luck with whatever you choose to do from here.

    Jeff and Nancy Doak

  8. Shirley says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Sorry to see you go it was nice getting the local news since I moved off the hill 7 years ago. Thank you and good luck in what ever you do.

  9. bruce grego says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Dear Kae: Keeping government accountable is the most important role of the Press. Your contribution in this effort has been significant. The best of luck in your future endeavors. After a while, I believe you will miss Lake Tahoe News, and I look forward to the day that our community will celebrate your return. Bruce Grego

  10. tony grasso says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you Kae. You will be missed. I know how hard you have worked and have enjoyed reading especially when I have been out of town. Good luck in the direction that you go.

  11. jay muir says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    thank you kae your insight on how the city runs is a example of how government is run at the city, county, state, national level for them its me me me and to hell with the people.
    good luck for future!

  12. Lisa O says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Kae, thank you for your service! I wish you and AJ many adventures and lots of happiness on the next step of your life’s journey.

  13. Virginia Glenn says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thanks Kae and as I said yesterday – have a wonderful new adventure. ¡Buena suerte y que le vaya bien!

  14. Kelly Shanahan says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you for shining a spotlight on our community. Enjoy whatever the future brings.

  15. John S says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thanks for your effort. We’ll miss the LTN (aka Kae!) After a break, hope to see you back in some capacity.

    And I’d add John Ralston’s THE NEVADA INDEPENDENT as another good source of Nevada news.

  16. Heather says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you Kae. So sorry to see LTN go. I have enjoyed my daily updates to keep informed.

  17. Bob Sweatt says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    We will miss you Kae. Your articles, reporting and investigations have been very refreshing. Wishing you the best in your new adventures as well as your new locale.
    Bob Sweatt

  18. Dennis Liebl says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Kae, thank you so very much for the past 9 years of dedicated reporting on the news of Lake Tahoe and beyond. I moved away from South Lake Tahoe in 2010, but I never stopped reading about it in your Lake Tahoe News daily reports. I will miss this important tether to the area happenings and am so grateful to you for all you have reported on. Enjoy your new found time and much success to you in whatever you determine is your new adventure!

  19. Karen Fornight says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Kae, thank you for all you did to just get the story right. Oh lordy how some people just didn’t like that others told you the truth and how relentless you were in tracking down the story. I can’t wait to see what you do next. Book? As Tahoe turns? Revealing all the other stories you didn’t write the first time? These comments are right, thank you for calling us to advocacy. It’s on us, Tahoe. Stop the pettiness in politics, rise up and be counted, run for office and conduct yourselves well.
    Kae, we’ll all miss you.

  20. Paul Reder says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you, Kae, for all the years of hard work. LTN has been a daily part of my in-box for years and will be missed. Best of luck with all your future endeavors.

  21. Michael Lee says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Good luck Kae and enjoy the ride…My Costa rica home is open if you’d like to use it..i plan on developing some more down there soon and having more Tahoe folks coming and going so it is good thing.
    There are three of us long time local families with a home down there right next to me.
    If you like birdwatching,the ocean, surfing, and fresh produce and can be a great place to write.. i am usually there November to April..
    Thanks for the journalism and all your community support.
    This is why i offered my home to you, your good people and CR is a pretty cool thing to be able to share with friends and family..

  22. lou pierini says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Kae, Thank You!

  23. Joy Curry says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you Kae, You will be missed as
    part of my daily life! Your articles were always complete and fair. I wish you the best.

  24. CHARLOTTE PINSKY says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you for having provided my morning coffee companion for all these years and for your comments above. You will be missed?

  25. CHARLOTTE PINSKY says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you for having provided my morning coffee companion for all these years and for your comments above. You will be missed?

  26. Marcia Schultz says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    thank you for all of your hard work keeping us all informed! I will miss reading your email every day.

    I wish you good luck in the future!..

  27. Frank Abernathy says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Who is now going to shed light on the city shenanigans. You will be greatly missed.

  28. Judy Mc says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    You will be missed~best wishes in whatever the future holds for you!

  29. Karen Fornight says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Everyone has said it, but goodbye is kind of hollow. We’ll miss your writing, your investigative journalism, your willingness to stand up and be counted, while the rest of us got by with reading your hard work. We should have supported this publication as well as the others more directly. The basin will surely miss you. I personally am sorry to see you go.

  30. Bill Davis says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    I never cared about the city council when I lived off Boulder Mountain. Now I’m in town and need to pay attention and be informed. Your insight will be missed as it cut through all the BS I find in my mail box.

  31. Kelly Sammons says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Thank you, Kae! Sad to see you go but look forward to reading your next chapter!

  32. Claire Fortier says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    All the best, Kae. Few know how very difficult your job could be. It’s never easy asking the hard questions and expecting accountability. You gave Tahoe nine years of serious reporting. Thanks for all you did to keep Tahoe informed and involved.

  33. Patricia Banner says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    You will be missed for sure. I, for one, will miss that connection to Tahoe. I admire you for all the hard work you did all these years. But you deserve a break and I hope you really enjoy your next step in life.

  34. Brooke Laine says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Kae. Thank you for holding me and other elected’s accountable. I always feared your phone calls and emails for you always asked the hard questions. You always did your homework. And you always verified your information. I appreciate your ethics, honesty, and professionalism. You will be greatly missed!

  35. norine says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Ditto to all the sentiments above. I will miss your in-depth reporting. Thank you for your 9 year reporting-commitment to our community.

  36. Keith Cooney says - Posted: July 31, 2018

    Kae, thank you for your nine years of reporting. I wish you the best in your future endeavors. May you find peace, joy and happiness.