Chamber execs weigh in on SnowGlobe

By Kathryn Reed

SnowGlobe can be a divisive topic even in the heat of summer. For those who are bothered by the electronic music festival, their angst never really goes away.

Tami Wallace of the South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and Steve Teshara with Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce flanked South Lake Tahoe Mayor Wendy David during her monthly “conversation” at the senior center on Wednesday. The purpose of the gatherings is for members of the community to ask questions about any topic, though usually there is a theme to start with.

The chamber presidents couldn’t escape having to weigh in on SnowGlobe.

“We are in support of SnowGlobe to an extent,” Wallace told the group. “We think it is absolutely in the wrong venue.” She said she’s tried to find a location other than the ball fields, but has been unable to.

Teshara said his chamber supports the event, but recognizes the impacts it has. He is hoping the changes made by the promoter for this year will bring significant improvements to those who are bothered by the noise.

One attendee at the July 18 conversation asked if the chambers could sponsor a gathering for business owners who have been bothered by SnowGlobe. So often all that is reported is how businesses support SnowGlobe and see it as a positive.

The woman who spoke talked about how she does everything she can to prohibit concert-goers from renting her vacation rentals, saying SnowGlobers are bad for business. She said there are enough families wanting to come to the South Shore at New Year’s that the music festival is not needed any more.

Others pointed out how the event has made Stateline less of big deal; and that it’s easier on public safety resources.

In responding to a question about why the casinos don’t do something interesting on New Year’s Eve for the crowds, Teshara said the reasoning is that so many who spill out into the highway at the bewitching hour are underage. The casinos don’t have any desire to attract more young people.

Vacation home rentals and the beach at Beach Retreat/Timber Cove were other topics.




Art and science come together in perfect poetry

Charles Goldman on July 18 at the unveiling before about 50 people. Photo/Kathryn Reed

By Kathryn Reed

The love Charles Goldman has for Lake Tahoe goes much deeper than the depths of this cobalt blue body of water.

His relationship with the water and somewhat the land is much greater than most beings.

Goldman first came here in 1958 and a year later began what would become a decades-long career of research. He is considered the godfather of limnology, the study of fresh water.

It’s not just scientific papers that he has authored, though there are plenty of those. Many of which led to policies that affect the lives of those who live and visit here on a daily basis.

The 86-year-old Goldman has also written two children’s books and is in the process of writing another book about the adventures of limnology that will be geared toward the non-scientist.

A while ago he penned a poem about what Tahoe means to him. Now it is visible for all to see at Ski Run Marina on a 48-inch by 70-inch piece of art that was unveiled July 18 near Riva Grill.

Charles Goldman next to the mural with his poem at Ski Run Marina in South Lake Tahoe. Photo/Kathryn Reed

I dream of Tahoe wherever I may go

I dream this dream of Tahoe in sunshine or in snow

I see the cobalt waters in the alpine afterglow

Where pine and aspen forests take many years to grow

And I’ll return to Tahoe from wherever I may go

Yes I’ll return to Tahoe despite where winds might blow

And although my travels wander across the land and sea

My memories of Tahoe will always stay with me

The air is clear and brilliant where Sierra meets sky

It fills me with a sadness when I must say goodbye

But if we keep its blueness this lake will never die

And the children of our children will never have to cry.

Local artist Abner Rivera camouflaged the word “love” into the sky behind the poem to capture the feeling so many have about the lake. Goldman is then seen standing on the top of Mount Tallac looking out to Lake Tahoe with Cascade Lake and Emerald Bay below him.

It was marina owner Elie Alyeshmerni who came up with the idea of adding this layer of art to his center. He and Goldman only met about a month ago, but it was friendship at the get-go. It all came together that fast.

Speaking at the dedication on Wednesday night were Darcie Goodman Collins with the League to Save Lake Tahoe and Geoff Schladow with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. Both have worked with and for Goldman, and revere him. They single Goldman out, recognizing him as the one to sound the alarm to begin protecting Tahoe if it were to have a chance to remain the iconic body of water that it still is.




High meadow a bike ride back into history

Old buildings are the reward at the end of the 4.5-mile trek. Photo/Bob Sweatt

By Bob Sweatt

After reading a recent article about the Forni Meadows land acquisition from private ownership to the U.S. Forest Service, I, along with a couple friends, decided to check it out. The transfer of ownership included 835 acres nestled above Highway 50 off Wright’s Lake road.

The Forni family used the meadow for cattle grazing during the summer months. There are still remnants of the cattle ranch along with four small cabins standing, one of which is supposed to have been built in 1862. Although all these cabins looked the same and it is hard to see how one of them would survive so many hard winters, I will go with the information that was published. It is also possible that the original cabin is in another location, but most all of the meadow is visible. The article did say there were buildings as well as two barns; I didn’t see any barns, only four small buildings.

The Eldorado National Forest took possession of the land this month. Photo/Bob Sweatt

Finding the road to start the trek was relatively easy. I simply went to Google earth, found the Meadows (upper and lower) and went back to Wright’s lake road where an old road split off at the top of the grade going up Wright’s lake road. This is approximately 25 miles from the Y in South Lake Tahoe. It is FS Road 11N28Y.

The road up to the meadows is a typical mountain road, with lots of ruts and debris. By the way, you will only be able to go about 0.3 miles before running into a gate, so you might as well park on Wrights Lake since there is a marker there saying no motorized vehicles.

We elected to take our bikes and ride the 4.5-mile trek. The grade is a little steep at first with a lot of sand, so take it easy. Toward the top, about 1.5 miles from the meadow, the road levels out and is much easier. Along the way you will be treated to wildflowers and views of meadows and mountains. The elevation at the meadow is 7,560 feet, so the flowers were still pretty good, however a trek two weeks earlier would have been much better for the flower display.

Views are delightful for most of the way. Photo/Bob Sweatt

There is one little spring that runs across the road when you get to the meadow. On the way out I was pleasantly surprised to see something jump in front of me which had a lot of yellow. At first I thought it was a salamander, but after finding it, it turned out to be a frog. Hmm, I wondered, could this be the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog which is supposed to reside here? Well, when I got home I sent a pic to a friend who did identify it as the rare little fella. What a way to exit the meadows.

Another treat was running into a covey of quail on the way up which had to include, I’m thinking two dozen little chicks. These guys were small enough that they had recently hatched. Mom and dad were not very happy with us, and kept very close to us to make sure we didn’t get any closer.




SLT outlines financial impact from VHR ban

By Kathryn Reed

It’s official – the voters of South Lake Tahoe will decide in November the future of vacation home rentals outside the tourist core area.

Per the city staff report on July 17, “The initiative would ban VHR rentals in residential zones following a three-year amortization period, with exception of qualified VHR rentals totaling less than 30 days per calendar year. The initiative has no effect on vacation rentals in commercial zones and the tourist core area.”

There are roughly 1,300 VHRs outside the tourist area and another 450 in the tourist area. The tourist area includes much of the area from Ski Run Boulevard to the state line. The Gondola Vista condos being built by Van Sickle Bi-State Park would be considered tourist core VHRs, as are units in the Marriott properties, and residences scattered in the neighborhoods.

While backers of the initiative are seeking to get the rentals out of neighborhoods, they have ignored the residents near the state line. Through their ballot question they are essentially allowing unlimited units to go in this area. There are many who believe that limiting the land available for VHRs will in fact impact an area with lower income people who don’t always have a voice in city politics.

The tourist area is also seen as town centers; therefore, more developed and commercial.

This approach to putting VHRs in these areas is the opposite to what Douglas County is doing. As that jurisdiction looks to revamp its ordinance, the goal is to keep VHRs in residential areas and out of town centers. This is because their definition is the buildings are residences, not commercial entities.

The South Lake Tahoe City Council on Tuesday was faced with the decision whether to put the initiative that would ban short-term rentals over the course of three years or to implement it immediately. The electeds opted to send it to the voters; with Councilman Tom Davis recusing himself because of his business.

Prior to the vote the council heard a report from Hilary Roverud of the Development Services Department about what some of the impacts of the ordinance could be. With there being so many unknowns, like what people would do with their property if a VHR is no longer an allowed use, the actual ramifications are unknown.

Roverud said it’s estimated the city will lose more than $2.4 million a year in transient occupancy tax. This is one of the three main revenue sources for the city. TOT that was going to be dedicated to recreation could be cut by more than $450,000 a year. The Tourism Improvement District, which is made up of hotels within the city, could lose about $360,000 a year. Today that money is used for marketing this area. Vacation home rental permit fee collections could drop by close to $800,000.

If the ordinance passes in November and the city were to ignore the will of the voters “the city could be faced with a writ or injunction compelling it to implement and enforce the ordinance,” according to interim City Attorney Nira Doherty. She explained to Lake Tahoe News this would be done by “a citizen lawsuit to compel the city.”

The ballot language states that if someone were to operate a VHR after Dec. 31, 2021, the city could fine the property owner up to $1,000.

What remains to be seen is if the ballot question passes is if those who use VHRs will instead choose to stay in a hotel. It’s unknown if property owners will sell, operate illegally, keep the dwelling as a second home, rent it out full time or some other scenario.

There is one theory that the VHRs will be filled with full time residents, which will fill schools. On the flip side is the belief the schools will be hurt by this initiative as will businesses tied to VHRs because there won’t be jobs.

It people want to unload the VHR because they can no longer use the house as they desire, this could detrimentally impact the housing market by flooding it. The resulting impact to the property tax, another key revenue source, is unknown.

The initiative says that after 2021VHRs will not be allowed on multi-family properties.

The staff report says, “There are currently 119 single-family residential units in the commercial zones and 371 condominiums and 37 single-family residential units in the tourist core area, a total of 527 units, which would have the ability to become VHRs if permitting requirements are met.”

Assuming voters want to ban VHRs, there is nothing to stop other people from coming back with a different ballot proposal to undo all of this – with the voters backing.




Bus system on South Shore limping along

By Kathryn Reed

STATELINE – While the word “bankruptcy” has not been floated publicly among the Tahoe Transportation District staff and board, the bus system it runs on the South Shore is sputtering to stay solvent.

Interestingly, Carl Hasty, who manages the bi-state transit agency, mentioned at the July 13 meeting that it was eight years ago this month that TTD took over for the now defunct South Tahoe Area Transit Authority, or STATA. That nonprofit ended up in bankruptcy court and collectively costing local member agencies hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Many of the same complaints that were heard eight years ago and longer are still being voiced today – from all sides. Money still is at the crux of most of what ails the bus system, which then impacts routes and frequency.

How funding works it is not just a free handout from the states or feds, so to speak. George Fink, who manages the buses, said $687,000 more in fare box revenue is needed to meet the requirements.

TTD realizes it needs to figure out a better revenue stream. That is why the board has agreed to hire a consultant, maybe more than one, to provide a suite of options.

While the ski shuttles are a huge draw, with about 358,000 rides in a good winter, no fare box is collected from them. There were people at the meeting wondering why the tourists are not charged.

Heavenly Mountain Resort has been subsidizing this amenity for years.

Andrew Strain who works for the ski resort in government affairs is also on the TTD board. He did not participate in the board discussion, but instead spoke during public comment. He said given the planned cutbacks to the winter buses, Heavenly is looking at how it can provide service to its customers and to coordinate with TTD. He admitted the resort doesn’t have firm plans right now.

Heavenly doesn’t have enough parking if everyone were to drive themselves. There is also the fact many people would not be comfortable driving up Kingsbury Grade to Boulder or Stagecoach lodges. Plus, many who travel on ski vacations are used to excellent bus service in other locales, which is also often free.

Tahoe’s problems are confounded by not being able to hire enough drivers for the routes. They either can’t pass a drug test or can’t afford to live here. Housing, though, is an issue for nearly every employer in the basin.

At last week’s meeting the board put off final decisions on revamping the system for another month, with comments being taken into August as well. As of July 8 the district has received 95 comments since May 11, with them divided into those supporting specific services or making general comments about TTD or transit.

Early last week the district was surprised with good news. It received $1.6 million from the Nevada Department of Transportation for the 19X route, which goes between the lake and the valley. This is huge for commuters to the lake as well as those who take transit to the valley for medical appointments.

The plan is for staff to come back to the board at the August meeting with a modified action plan for routes 23 and 20 that include 19, continue to work with the Ridge and Heavenly, and to relook at how it is dealing with CEQA based on comments from the League to Save Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Exactly how the changes will impact door-to-door bus service still remain to be seen. As it stands now about 16 riders in the North Upper Truckee and Christmas Valley areas could be out cut off.

“I’m here to be the voice for the disabled and the elderly who live in North Upper Truckee. I have a son with disabilities,” a mom said. “This transportation is critical to his life.”




Opinion: Time to oust some Tahoe incumbents

Updated 3:45pm:

By Kathryn Reed

Today is one of the most important days on the calendar. In many places it is the official start of the election season.

California candidates for races in November may take out papers today; this includes in South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County and Placer County.

There are myriad offices to run for. Just on the South Shore there is the South Lake Tahoe City Council, South Tahoe Public Utility District, Lake Tahoe Unified School District, Lake Tahoe Community College, Lake Valley Fire District, Tahoe Paradise Recreation and Park, and Tahoe Resource Conservation.

I admire anyone who runs. It takes guts to put yourself out there, to have your personal and professional lives scrutinized, to be criticized, and basically be a verbal punching bag for the next several months. And then someone has to lose; and losing is never easy or fun no matter the contest.

Something to think about when evaluating incumbents is what they have accomplished in the last four years, as well as their entire tenure. Attendance is another criterion. No local board meets more than twice a month unless there is a special meeting.

Of the 25 meetings from July 6, 2017, through July 5, 2018 – Kelly Sheehan missed six meetings, Chris Cefalu five, Duane Wallace three, and Jim Jones and Randy Vogelgesang each one. It is the seats of Cefalu, Wallace and Jones that are up this fall.

According to the STPUD board policy, “Members of the board of directors shall attend all regular and special meetings of the board unless there is good cause for absence. After a total of three consecutive absences the board president will discuss any problems with the offending director.”

On the council it is the seats occupied by Wendy David, Tom Davis and Austin Sass that are up this November. Earlier this year I advocated for the removal of all three. I still stand by that belief. All have indicated they intend to run for re-election.

The deadline to file is Aug. 10. That will be extended to Aug. 15 if an incumbent does not file. This is true for all the races.

Unfortunately, I was wrong in my prediction that David wouldn’t run. She is the only one of the three to have publicly declared her intention to run. She made the announcement earlier this month via social media.

She has been mayor or mayor pro tem the four years she has been on council. This is highly unusual, especially in a first term. Those two positions have more access to the city manager, are more involved in the agenda planning, and have early insight into things. “Just” councilmembers have to do a little more leg work, don’t know what is on the agenda until it arrives in his or her in box at the same time it is available to the public. So, David has had it a bit cushy this term.

One would expect her to be a little more versed on how things work, especially since she spent eons on the LTUSD board – many of those as president. But there isn’t a meeting that goes by that she doesn’t appear to be in over her head.

Then look to the demise of the relationship the city had with the former city manager and how it cost taxpayers more than $200,000. The finger-pointing goes to all five council members for that. For now, though, only three can be held accountable.

To this day there have been no straight answers explaining why Nancy Kerry isn’t the city manager of South Lake Tahoe.

It is common for councils to tire of a city manager, want to go in a new direction, seek new blood. There is also a professional way to go about parting ways. The council managed to do so with Dave Jinkens. That didn’t happen with Kerry. Instead, Kerry’s name was dragged through the mud, and her reputation tainted for no apparent good reason. If Kerry had done something so egregious, she would not have been paid out what she was owed per her contract.

The settlement agreement prevents her from explaining to potential future employers that the city clerk who was in rehab is the one who brought her down, along with a weak mayor – that would be David, and Sass, a councilman who has issues with women and wants to be the supreme ruler of South Lake Tahoe.

And yet every council member still has his/her job as does the city clerk.  

Before voting for the incumbents you should demand they each explain why they chose to get rid of Kerry, why it was worth more than $200k.

I don’t trust this council to do the right thing. They didn’t with Kerry. I’m fine with getting rid of her, but be professional in how you conduct yourselves and the business of the city, and be forthcoming with the public who has put you into office.

South Lake Tahoe deserves better than it is getting today. Run for office. We need people who are smart, engaged, honest, have integrity, follow the law, make decisions for the greater good, and aren’t in it for their ego, the perceived prestige, the health care benefits or some other perk. And be sure to vote out the City Council incumbents.

 




Candidates Morse, McClintock square off

By Sage Sauerbrey, Moonshine Ink

As the California 4th Congressional District campaign stretches into July, incumbent Tom McClintock and challenger Jessica Morse have yet to square off in a public debate. Moonshine Ink recently reached out to both candidates and they both agreed to a virtual debate using written responses. Each responded to a different selection of three of the six separate questions, and their answers were forwarded to the opposing candidate for rebuttal.

Q: California has, of late, run against the grain of the national trends. Its sanctuary state policies run counter to federal law, Kevin De León is pushing a single party healthcare system, and Governor Jerry Brown has repeatedly stood up to President Trump on climate change. Do you think California is ahead of, or behind the curve, and why?

McClintock: How are those policies working? California now has the highest effective poverty rate in the nation, the 13th highest violent crime rate, is 10th from the bottom in education, has the seventh highest electricity prices, despite the highest income, sales, and gasoline taxes in the country. Compare that to our success in Washington in reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on Americans: unemployment is the lowest since 2000, consumer confidence the highest since 2004, with the economy expanding at more than twice the rate we averaged under Obama. Which direction we want to take as a nation is the fundamental choice before us in November.

Morse rebuttal: Tom McClintock is a career politician who has spent decades collecting a paycheck from California taxpayers, all the while choosing to lay blame and sow division rather than address any of the serious challenges facing our district. Rather than supporting measures to help our struggling families, Tom McClintock voted for a tax bill that raises taxes on the majority of families in our district, those making under $100,000 per year. Rather than supporting our seniors, he wants to raise the retirement age and just voted to cut more than $400 billion from Social Security and Medicare. Rather than making it easier for the next generation to have high paying local jobs, Tom McClintock cut funding for vocational training and proposes eliminating all financial aid for higher education. Tom McClintock has not passed a single piece of meaningful legislation during his decades in politics and is actually harming the people of our district by voting against our values and our pocketbooks. I’m sick of career politicians playing political games rather than coming up with solutions. That’s why I will work with both parties to implement real solutions to the real problems facing our district.

Read the whole story




Opinion: SLT city clerk defiant with public’s trust

By Kathryn Reed

South Lake Tahoe’s city clerk is obstructing the public’s access to public records.

On July 8, Lake Tahoe News asked the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office to get involved.

Deputy DA Jim Clinchard responded to LTN by saying, “Potential [Public Records Act] violations are not criminal conduct which would be investigated by the District Attorney’s Office.

“However, if there is a claim that a public agency may be purposefully and willfully trying to subvert the transparency laws covered by the PRA, then it may fall under the purview of the El Dorado County Civil Grand Jury. As advisors to the civil grand jury, we may be able to assist them in looking into this matter. If you believe the agency is purposefully and willfully trying to subvert the transparency laws, please send us any and all evidence or documents which would support this claim and we will review the matter and if appropriate discuss it with the newly impaneled civil grand jury.”

I forwarded them information/evidence.

Timing, though, doesn’t work in the public’s favor. The 2018-19 grand jury was just seated on July 1. Traditionally reports are released in June as their year of service concludes, which is 11 months from now.

Alessi will be long gone by then because she has said she is either going to retire before her term ends or won’t run for re-election in November. So whatever hand slap and written scolding the grand jury might come out with will have little impact. Maybe, though, their findings would make the next clerk think twice about not doing his/her job.

Lake Tahoe News and other entities earlier this year requested various records from the city. Requesting public records usually isn’t any big deal; anyone can do so. A California public agency has 10 days to provide the records, unless there are extenuating circumstances. The volume of records or the need for redaction would be reasons to not meet the deadline.

It wasn’t surprising it took longer than the 10 days.

Still, this started months ago – April for the latest request.

On June 1, City Clerk Suzie Alessi emailed LTN saying, “Retrieval of the voluminous records subject to your public records request is nearly completed. If not all records are retrieved/received by early next week, the City will provide the records it has in its possession and the remainder will be provided to you as soon as received.”

To date not a single record has been provided to LTN. In fact, Alessi has had zero communication with LTN since then regarding these records.

The California Department of Justice website says, “Californians have the right under the state Public Records Act and the California Constitution to access public information maintained by local and state government agencies, including the Department of Justice.”

Lake Tahoe News is tired of being screwed with by this lousy public servant. Obviously she didn’t like what was in the public records. After all, part of what we requested were her text messages. If she wanted to “talk” smack about people, she should have been doing it on her personal phone, not the city issued one. If she wanted to talk about her alcohol problem and not make it a public record, she should not have done so on her city issued phone.

You see, the records have been gathered. She even admitted to some being in her possession in her email to LTN last month. Others employed by the city have seen the documents. Alessi has joked about what’s in some of them with city staff. How unprofessional.

It is the clerk – and only if she is elected, which this one is – and the city attorney who may redact information from a public record before it is given to the requesting party. Alessi wants more struck from public purview than the city attorney is comfortable with.

The public deserves to have access to public records. The public deserves to have a city clerk who works for the public. With this position being elected, the officeholder is only accountable to the public – not the city manager, not the city attorney, only the electorate.

Alessi is an abomination and a disgrace to South Lake Tahoe; as are those who continue to protect her.

This records request doesn’t end with Lake Tahoe News. I’m letting the world know I’m requesting them as an individual. I already have another publication ready to publish them if they are produced after this month.




Celebrity golf madness takes over Edgewood

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles on July 12 signs an autograph for Nicholas McClelland. Photo/Kathryn Reed

By Kathryn Reed

STATELINE – Steph Curry wields a golf club better than the average player, but what he excels at over most is performing at a high caliber in the raucous atmosphere known at the American Century Championship.

He said playing professional basketball in boisterous arenas, especially on the road where there are thousands of people booing him has helped train him to stay focused on the job at hand. The Golden State Warriors’ star said he thrives in an electric setting like the Tahoe celebrity golf tournament.

Things are much different for Curry compared to when he first showed up at this tournament in 2010. Then the Warriors weren’t much to brag about and Curry was far from a household name. Now the Warriors hold claim to being the NBA champions three out of the last four years and Curry is easily the most heralded athlete in the Bay Area, with a following that extends to Tahoe and beyond.

Dell and Steph Curry talk golf and basketball. Photo/Kathryn Reed

Curry is in town this week on a quest to do better than his fourth-place finish in 2017. The three-day tournament, now in its 29th year, starts today. For the past few days there were practice rounds and a pro-am at Edgewood Tahoe in Stateline.

For the McClelland family of Fresno they have been coming here for a handful of years just for this tournament.

Nicholas, 10, was doing his best to gather as many signatures as possible. Curry, though, is his favorite.

Three years ago the youngster called out to “Mr. Curry,” and was then called onto the course by his idol and given an autographed dollar bill.

For dad Jeff he was pretty excited that year to have Curry pose with all three of his sons. “That was pretty special,” the elder McClelland told Lake Tahoe News.

Former NFL star Charles Woodson practices his long game; with his golf club cover seeming to watch the action. Photo/Kathryn Reed

Autograph seeking is a big part of what enthralls fans.

Chris Webber, who had two short stints with the Warriors but who is better known for his playing days with the Sacramento Kings, was darting from the driving range area to the putting green on July 12 when fans tried to sidetrack him. He signed a few autographs before saying he’d be back and get to everyone.

Most of the 80-plus athletes, Hollywood stars, and other celebrities at the tournament are good about accommodating their fans as much as possible.

Charles Barkley has a unique swing. Photo/Kathryn Reed

Only a few are serious golfers, like former quarterback Tony Romo, who with former pitcher Mark Mulder are favored to win the event. Mulder has won the ACC the last three years.

At the driving range on Thursday Romo was one of the more serious athletes. Not far from him though was the antithesis — Charles Barkley. Oddsmakers give this former basketball great 6,000-to-1 odds to win this year.

Barkley was telling his caddy he needed 18 balls for Thursday’s round. He didn’t appear to be joking.

—–

Notes:

·      For details about the tournament, go online.




Bass buys TWC building; legal issues continue

By Kathryn Reed

After much legal wrangling, Cody Bass is the official owner of the center that houses his Tahoe Wellness Cooperative in South Lake Tahoe.

The paperwork was recorded July 9.

Still to be determined is who will own the house that was once the home of pioneer family Neal and Patty Olson. Patty Olson moved from the residence near Timber Cove a few years ago, with the family trust still retaining title.

Bass and Bob Hassett are battling over that parcel in court. Hassett has long operated the nearby marina operations and owns an apartment complex in the vicinity.

“As much as I would like to comment, due to ongoing litigation, I cannot,” Bob Hassett told Lake Tahoe News.

Bass said Hassett “colluded” with Olson’s son in a deal to get the residence. Patrick Olson has at various times been in charge of his mother’s estate, with many of the belief this was to her detriment. Bass believes he will prevail because he had an option to purchase the residential property eight months prior to Hassett’s offer.

Olson had long owned the property where TWC is located. It ended up in bankruptcy a few years ago, which kept it from being foreclosed on. Bass had wanted the property in order to have more control over the future of his medical marijuana business and to be able to expand.

“Such a sale would not impact Cody’s lawsuit against the city. The lawsuit challenges the decision of the City Council to uphold the prior city manager’s determination not to renew his dispensary permit. In making its decision, the court will only consider evidence that was before the council at the time the council made its decision,” interim South Lake Tahoe City Attorney Nira Doherty told Lake Tahoe News. “Therefore, if escrow indeed closed … that evidence would not be something the court would consider when deciding whether or not the City Council and prior city manager abused their discretion.”

Bass said he sued the city after being denied a permit to operate his collective. The city says he didn’t have a signature from Olson, the landlord, to be there. He said he did. The court has allowed him to continue to operate as the proceedings keep going.

Doherty said the last hearing was two weeks ago and that she expects a ruling within two to six weeks. Bass said there is a status conference scheduled for this Friday, and said it could be quite a while before there is resolution within the courts.

Bass said he would like to settle with the city, but prior to doing so wants a final count from El Dorado County regarding the initiative he is trying to get on the November ballot. He is hoping for final numbers on Friday. He also said keeping the lawsuit active would be beneficial to his legal issues with the residential property.

If the city were to allow TWC to operate at its present location and to have the licenses for adult use marijuana that are equivalent to what it is doing with medicinal pot, Bass said the lawsuit and initiative would disappear.

Bass has been in business going on 10 years. The present council wants him to go through the same application process as all potential recreational marijuana businesses instead of letting him have permits to coincide with his medical operation. Most cities in California grandfathered in existing pot shops. South Lake Tahoe officials say the Bijou location doesn’t meet zoning regulations for cultivation and extraction, even though TWC has been allowed to perform these deeds for nearly a decade.

Bass has plans to improve the building he just closed on, including putting on a second floor for his operation. In 18 to 24 months he’d like a second level where cultivation and extraction would be located. The bottom floor would be expanded to handle recreation sales.

Cody Bass, owner of Tahoe Wellnes Cooperative

For now, he’d like to fill the former bank slot with an office supply store or some white collar business. Then in three years or so he wants to put in a market/deli along the lines of the West Shore Market.

Bass also intends to create a hallway from TWC to the bank vault.

“As we get to a higher volume we need the vault to comply with regulations,” Bass told Lake Tahoe News.

He envisions a restaurant replacing the former music store and coffee shop.

On top of all the legal issues and becoming a landlord, Bass has also been dealing with changes to state law that has affected supplies of medicine. This has been a conundrum for all dispensaries in California. Rules changed July 1 affecting labeling, which affected distribution.

TWC on July 1 had seven products; normal is 287. As of July 11 there were 38, with the hope of having more than 100 by Friday, and then for the issue to fully correct itself.