By Tim Hunt
Workers are scrambling in the aftermath of Caldor FireUploaded: Nov 18, 2021
We got away to South Lake Tahoe last week during what’s truly a shoulder season—no snow for skiing, golf courses closed for the year (except in the Carson Valley) and very few tourists in town.
We took Highway 88 both coming and going—there was some roadside snow at the higher elevations, but what was striking was seeing the effect of the Caldor Fire that stretched from Highway 50 to 88. Driving by Caples Lake where the dam stopped the fire, trees were literally scorched carbon sticks. It spoke to just how intense the heat was when that area burned.
We also ventured up Echo Summit on Highway 50. There was one-way traffic for about a mile as crews cleared burned trees and another crew prepared to blast. There are two other areas on Highway 50’s two-lane section that also have one-way traffic Monday through Saturday. Crews are hustling to stabilize burned areas before the heavy snows (we hope) fall.
Sierra at Tahoe, our favorite resort near the South Shore, will not try to open before Christmas and hopes to open in January. One key lift, the Grandview Express, is awaiting a new tow rope coming from Europe, while there’s no plan to open the intermediate heaven that is served by the West Bowl Express. With the exception of a maintenance shed, Sierra’s buildings survived the blaze that went through the resort—not so for some lifts.
There’s also the challenge that the resort is the first ski area ever to burn in a major fire so there’s no playbook for the operators or the Forest Service on how, where and what to replant. They will be making it up as they go.
The redistricting maps for both Alameda and Contra Costa counties look like they will be good for Tri-Valley communities. Preliminary maps, subject to public input, show Supervisorial District 1, currently represented by David Haubert, continuing to include Dublin, Livermore and a portion of Fremont. Supervisor Nate Miley’s sprawling district that runs from Oakland to Pleasanton looks to include those same communities.
In Contra Costa County, Supervisor Candace Anderson’s District 2 would add Blackhawk, Alamo and Tassajara to the rest of the San Ramon Valley. That adjustment will be good for residents with the possible exception of those living on the northside of Alamo who may identify more closely with Walnut Creek than the San Ramon Valley.
The Contra Costa shifts are necessary because District 3 that includes much of the east county has added 35,560 residents.
Here's hoping the boundaries stand once the final votes are cast in the coming weeks.