Tahoe Project Podcasts

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Synopsis

Tahoe Project is an independent, non-profit journalism venture that supports solution-oriented learning, critical-thinking and productive dialogue about local, regional and global issues relevant to Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe Project seeks to engage minds in productive dialogue and collaborative problem solving and to empower parties to negotiate toward actionable outcomes by promoting critical thinking and knowledge-based discussion. We are driven by the conviction that answers to Tahoes most challenging problems exist in the ideas and energy of the worldwide community of people who care about this unique place. In the tradition of journalism in the public service Tahoe Project aims to underscore and stimulate positive change in a non-partisan, non-ideological framework. We are committed to high standards of journalistic impartiality, accuracy, fairness and transparency. Tahoe Project does not lobby, nor ally with politicians or advocacy groups. We examine issues over time as they unfold. We host dialogue about the environment, governance, the economy and community. We translate scientific information for practical consumption.

Episodes

  • Maintain Roads and Infrastructure for a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kraatz (3)

    Maintain Roads and Infrastructure for a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kraatz (3)

    18/04/2013 Duration: 13min

    “Living in the Tahoe Basin is a privilege,” says Peter Kraatz, Deputy Director of Public Works at Placer County. “If you go back a hundred years there was a big push to turn it into a national park. It is not a national park. It is a sensitive landscape though. It got developed the way that it did. We are trying to correct the way it got developed in the past and make it a better place,” he says. Kraatz sees private property owners as stewards of the Tahoe Basin, in partnership with local government. He says, “I feel like in the Tahoe Basin we really should put a lot of emphasis on the fact that we live in a very special, place, in a very sensitive environment that has a higher bar for protecting the environment. If we want to continue to live around an incredible gem of a water body and still keep the economy going we have to look to ourselves for the solution.”

  • Maintain Roads and Infrastructure for a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kraatz (2)

    Maintain Roads and Infrastructure for a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kraatz (2)

    18/04/2013 Duration: 10min

    While operation and maintenance of roads is the critical element for the next decade in the strategy to meet the Clarity Challenge and restore Lake Tahoe clarity it is not evident how funds to do the work will be secured. Peter Kraatz, Deputy Director of Public Works at Placer County says in this interview, “I get a lot of complaints about the condition of our roadway surfaces which also adds to the water quality dilemma. We’ve got a lot of roads in Placer County that are already pretty beat up, pretty alligator cracked. That is a reflection of a fund source that just can’t keep up with our road condition, the snow removal we do, all of the things that we do to keep our roads safe. We are maxed out. It goes back to this question of where we find additional funding sources—not only to keep our roads in good condition, a safe riding surface, but also to do the things that we need to for sediment reduction and restoring Lake Tahoe clarity.”

  • Maintain Roads and Infrastructure for a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kraatz (1)

    Maintain Roads and Infrastructure for a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kraatz (1)

    18/04/2013 Duration: 11min

    Public Works professionals throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin are striving to meet the Clarity Challenge—to reduce the number of ultra-fine sediment particles that get to Lake Tahoe every year by one-third by 2026. This is no small task. Among them is Peter Kraatz, Deputy Director of Public Works at Placer County. In this 2012 interview Kraatz talks about the “preferred design approach” engineers use to design systems that reduce the transport of ultra-fine sediment to Lake Tahoe.

  • Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (5)

    Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (5)

    18/04/2013 Duration: 08min

    We now have the tools to understand how to prioritize. We know that doing everything everywhere is not the best strategy and now we have the tools to strategically make prioritization decisions for Lake Tahoe water quality. It doesn’t make sense to put our implementation dollars toward areas that don’t connect hydrologically to the lake. “The prioritization is critical,” says Bob Larsen, Staff Scientist at the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. “We have the tools to be able to assess where to put our dollars to make the biggest difference—to address the real problems. The actions we are taking under the Total Maximum Daily Load are directly addressing water quality. We can now have a conversation about the relative cost-benefit of taking one action over another,” he says.

  • Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (4)

    Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (4)

    18/04/2013 Duration: 06min

    “We all depend on the benefits of transportation infrastructure so we all have a role to play in mitigating the impact of that infrastructure on water quality,” says Bob Larsen, Staff Scientist at the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. He says, “Everybody who is living in and enjoying this Tahoe basin has the responsibility to deal with the problems that result from the infrastructure we all use. We all need to be part of the solution.”

  • Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (3)

    Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (3)

    18/04/2013 Duration: 08min

    On a dollar for dollar basis annual operations and maintenance activities are more cost-effective at reducing pollutant loading and are cheaper than large-scale capital improvement projects, otherwise known as infrastructure projects. In this interview Bob Larsen, Staff Scientist at the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board points out that, “the challenge that we have right now is to figure out how we can help local government do the more cost-effective operations and maintenance activities that are needed to improve water quality.” Funds for capital improvement projects have historically been easier to secure in the Tahoe Basin than have been funds for ongoing operations and maintenance. This situation is not unique to Tahoe, jurisdictions across the country are seeking revenue sources to meet the need for operation and maintenance of existing infrastructure.

  • Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (2)

    Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (2)

    17/04/2013 Duration: 08min

    Roadways, in particular the state highway system and some of the other high traffic roadways, are a disproportionate source of the ultra-fine particles that are causing the decline in Lake Tahoe clarity. In this interview Bob Larsen, Staff Scientist at the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, talks about the central question for today’s road managers in the Lake Tahoe Basin, “How can we better manage roads to reduce the amount of traction abrasives and roadway products that actually make their way into the stormwater and into Lake Tahoe?”

  • Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (1)

    Cost-Effective Steps to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Larsen (1)

    17/04/2013 Duration: 08min

    Bob Larsen is Staff Scientist at the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. In this 2012 interview he says, “I think the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) provided us with the opportunity to be more involved in the process [of solving Lake Tahoe clarity decline], to engage with the scientific community and our implementing partners to figure out, to better understand, the problem and to better understand what the potential solutions might be—to be a more-active partner in the restoration of Lake Tahoe’s transparency.”

  • Clear Path to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kouyoumdjian 2012 Interview (2)

    Clear Path to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kouyoumdjian 2012 Interview (2)

    17/04/2013 Duration: 07min

    “I am inspired by the collaborative spirit at Lake Tahoe,” says Patty Kouyoumdjian, Executive Officer of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. “I am very optimistic that if there are challenges I think that we are going to meet those,” she says. And there are challenges to executing on the plan to restore Lake Tahoe clarity. In this interview Kouyoumdjian reflects on the challenge of “being able to financially pay for some of these measures, not just in the short term but in outgoing years.” She also notes that while collaborative culture is an asset, the mechanics of coordinating across local, state and federal agencies can be a challenge unto itself but is essential to success. “We can’t solve our problems in the Basin with the work of just one or two agencies, there are other decisions and other actions that need to occur,” she says. “There are mechanical challenges to getting local governments and other leaders together and solving problems as a group,” notes Kouyoumdjian, but her outlook ove

  • Clear Path to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kouyoumdjian 2012 Interview (1)

    Clear Path to a Clear Lake Tahoe, Kouyoumdjian 2012 Interview (1)

    17/04/2013 Duration: 07min

    There is a clear path we can take to restore Lake Tahoe’s clarity according to Patty Kouyoumdjian, Executive Officer of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. She says, “I think we are very clear on where the sources of pollution are and I think we are relatively set on what actions need to happen to improve lake clarity”. In this 2012 Tahoe Project interview Kouyoumdjian emphasizes the “true and hard and real measures that we have to reach,” talking about the reductions in ultra-fine particles that have to be made at Lake Tahoe by 2026. She says, we now have “a very clear roadmap of what we need to do,” to accomplish our goal of water clarity at Lake Tahoe.

  • 2012 Interview with Claire Fortier, Mayor, City of South Lake Tahoe (2)

    2012 Interview with Claire Fortier, Mayor, City of South Lake Tahoe (2)

    12/12/2012 Duration: 08min

    How well are investments in the environment performing? Monitoring is conducted in the effort to answer this question. In this interview, Claire Fortier, Mayor of the City of South Lake Tahoe, argues that monitoring is useful when deployed in a targeted context, where the objectives are defined. In this conversation Fortier shares a little bit about the hefty price tag of monitoring and the drive for continual improvement based upon the monitoring results.

  • 2012 Interview with Claire Fortier, Mayor of the City of South Lake Tahoe (1)

    2012 Interview with Claire Fortier, Mayor of the City of South Lake Tahoe (1)

    10/12/2012 Duration: 08min

    Claire Fortier is the Mayor of the City of South Lake Tahoe. In this interview she talks about monitoring. Monitoring—conducted in an effort to determine how effective projects have been in achieving the environmental goals of the Basin—has been a key topic of discussion at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board meetings in this month before the vote on the Regional Plan Update. Here Mayor Fortier gives us some context on the topic of monitoring from the local government perspective.

  • 2012 Interview with Joanne Marchetta, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (4)

    2012 Interview with Joanne Marchetta, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (4)

    08/12/2012 Duration: 03min

    The Tahoe Region is updating its vision of its communities and the way they will work in the twenty-first century. Discussions are now underway in the local communities around the Tahoe Basin about what they will look like and what their interface with the environment will be. Residents, part-time homeowners and visitors to the Tahoe area are invited to participate in these future-planning opportunities, says Joanne Marchetta in this fourth-in-the-series interview with the Executive of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

  • 2012 Interview with Joanne Marchetta, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (3)

    2012 Interview with Joanne Marchetta, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (3)

    23/11/2012 Duration: 10min

    “Let the system focus on the places where you get the biggest environmental bang for the buck,” this is the advice that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency took from the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). "The flexibility that we have built into the system is based on this new paradigm that says: focus on the locations where you can get the greatest pollutant load reduction," says Joanne Marchetta, TRPA Executive. The pollutants at issue are ultra-fine sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus. Creating the regulatory flexibility to enable jurisdictions to go after these pollutants is a high-priority undertaking in the Tahoe planning process.

  • 2012 Interview with Joanne Marchetta, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2)

    2012 Interview with Joanne Marchetta, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2)

    19/11/2012 Duration: 08min

    In this interview segment Joanne Marchetta, TRPA Executive Director, responds to the question, "What is the role of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) in relation to incentive and means in the private sector?" In response Marchetta highlights how the TRPA is shifting into a more-regional role than it previously played. She says, “…[local government] knows that the way to protect themselves is to protect the environment here.” She underscores how the new regional plan envisions place-making happening in the hands of local citizens and local government, where TRPA plays a role in approving the plans and ensuring their consistency with the environmental sideboards set by TRPA while leaving local character to be determined by citizens.

  • Joanne Marchetta Interview 2012 (1)

    Joanne Marchetta Interview 2012 (1)

    15/11/2012 Duration: 10min

    Joanne Marchetta is the Executive Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The agency is bringing forward the Tahoe Regional Plan Update to its Board of Governors in December 2012. This Plan update has been the focus of much debate for nearly a decade. Will the Board vote its approval? Will it proceed without litigation as the governors of Nevada and California have sought? In this interview Marchetta shares her perspective on what is at stake.

  • Norma Santiago, El Dorado County Supervisor, Part 2

    Norma Santiago, El Dorado County Supervisor, Part 2

    07/11/2012 Duration: 05min

    The Meyers Community at Lake Tahoe is updating the Community Plan document which describes the desired future of the area. Toward this end a community workshop, open to the public, is being hosted at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, November 7th at 2211 Keetak Street, behind the Lake Valley Fire Station. An update to the general plan for Tahoe Paradise Park will be an important aspect of discussion.

  • Norma Santiago, El Dorado County Supervisor, Part 1

    Norma Santiago, El Dorado County Supervisor, Part 1

    05/11/2012 Duration: 09min

    Norma Santiago is the District 5 El Dorado County Supervisor, representing South Lake Tahoe and Pollock Pines in El Dorado County. In this interview Santiago talks about the Tahoe Regional Plan Update and the constituency she represents, highlighting the need and opportunity to build trust and solutions.

  • Allen Biaggi Interview (3)

    Allen Biaggi Interview (3)

    26/09/2012 Duration: 07min

    Allen Biaggi is a member of the board of the Tahoe Fund. In this interview Biaggi talks about the Fund whose goal is to build broad support and funding for public projects.

  • Allen Biaggi Interview (2)

    Allen Biaggi Interview (2)

    24/09/2012 Duration: 08min

    In this second segment of the 2012 interview with Allen Biaggi he talks about water quality, the advances made in Nevada with regard to water quality and about the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) which he calls, "a huge step forward because previously we had more of a shotgun approach … we now know through a rigorous scientific process, where the problems are, and can focus our scant resources toward that end. We can now spend our money wisely toward those reductions in fine sediments."

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