Sandoval appoints Kacin and Porter to court vacancies


CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval announced today he has appointed Nancy Porter and Alvin Kacin to fill the judicial vacancies in the 4th Judicial District Court.

“Nancy’s breadth of experience, her commitment and desire to serve in a public capacity and her individual strengths – confidence, respectfulness and unflappability – will provide the foundation for a successful judgeship,” Sandoval said. “Al’s experience, upbringing and the mechanisms he has imposed as a judge to make his court more efficient in the service of the people, including new forms to dispense with the need for certain hearings, will serve him well in the District Court,” Sandoval added.

Porter, an Elko native, is currently a solo practitioner. A member of a family with a long history in Elko County, she has worked mainly in the areas of criminal law, family law, civil litigation, wills and probate. A graduate of Willamette University College of Law, Porter also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Admitted to the Nevada bar in 1989, Porter has practiced in the Second, Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Judicial District Courts, as well as the Nevada Supreme Court and several justice courts in the past five years. In addition to her practice of law, Porter has served as a mediator on a number of occasions, usually mediating disputes at the request of local attorneys, and she has handled a number of pro bono cases.

During the last five years, Kacin has served as Elko Township Justice of the Peace. He was appointed to be Elko Municipal Judge in 2007. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Kacin attended Gonzaga University School of Law and was awarded his juris doctor degree in 1994.

Admitted to the Nevada bar in 1995, Kacin has previously served as an Elko County Deputy District Attorney, where he prosecuted felony, gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor criminal cases. During his last five years with the Elko County District Attorney, Kacin tried close to twenty jury trials to conclusion and more than 100 non-jury trials to decision.

Following law school, Kacin clerked for the Judge Dan Papez of the Seventh Judicial District Court. From 1995 to 1997, he worked with the firm of Puccinelli & Puccinelli, handling civil and criminal litigation matters.

Prescribed fire operations begin on West Shore

U.S. Forest Service fuels management crews are scheduled to begin prescribed fire operations in the Tahoe City area tomorrow December 13, 2011.  Operations may continue through the week.

Residents and visitors can expect to see smoke from the prescribed fire project area.  The Forest Service strives to minimize the impacts of smoke on local communities.  Smoke-sensitive residents should consider staying indoors and keeping doors, windows and outside vents closed.   To directly receive prescribed fire updates, send an email to  Forest Service staff will post road signs around areas affected by prescribed fire, and update the local fire information line at (530) 543-2600, #6.   Other federal, state and local fire management agencies may also be conducting prescribed fire work during this period.

For more information, visit our website at  To learn more about the efforts to reduce catastrophic wildfire risks in the Tahoe Basin read the Lake Tahoe Basin Multi-jurisdictional Fuel Reduction Plan found at

Take a few moments to visit an excellent web site and learn about Prescribed Fire vs. Wildfire at:


Fire season contracting opportunities announced


The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest reminds interested fire season contractors of the present Department of Agriculture/Forest Service solicitations for fuel tenders, potable water trucks, gray water trucks, and trailer-mounted hand washing stations.


These solicitations were issued on November 14, 2011, and offers are due on February 15, 2012.  Learn more about the process by visiting the following website:


Key word searches on the internet include: VIPR, potable, gray water, fuel tender, and trailer-mounted hand washing stations.


All solicitation questions may be directed to Kimberly Luft, Forest Service Contracting Officer, at 303-275-5405.  Luft’s email is


Additional assistance is available at little or no costs through the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) at the following website:


The above program was created by Congress to specifically help businesses successfully compete in federal, state, and local contracting.  Maria Boshch is the Las Vegas contact, Kathy Agree-Dow is the contact for the rest of Nevada, and the above website lists several contacts for California.

Another resource is the Small Business Administration (SBA); the SBA offers a variety of information on small business loans, grants, bonds, and other financial assistance.  Their website is:


Nevada (except Las Vegas) Judith Hepburn

David Leonard



Nevada (Las Vegas area) Marsha Daigle 702-388-6611
California (Fresno Area Office) Lori Lesher

Pete Estrada

559-487-5791, ext. 2704

559-487-5791, ext. 2703

BLM defers parcels due to sage grouse concerns for oil, gas lease sale


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada is holding a competitive oil and gas lease sale on Tuesday, Dec. 13.  The sale room opens at 8 a.m. for registration and bidding numbers and the sale begins at 9 a.m. The sale will be held at BLM State Office, 1340 Financial Blvd., in Reno.


At the request of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, 14 parcels are deferred and nine parcels are partially deferred because those areas are within sage-grouse population management units where there is insufficient data available to determine potential impacts to sage-grouse habitat.  Accordingly, an amendment to the sales notice reduces the number of parcels from 151 to 137 and reduces the number of acres from 333,816 to 293,057 acres.  The parcels offered are located around the state: five in the Carson City District; 13 in the Winnemucca District; and 119 in the Battle Mountain District.


The notice, a parcel list, associated stipulations, and amendment are available in the Information Access Center at the BLM Nevada State Office at 1340 Financial Blvd., and online at the BLM Nevada website at:  The website also provides a Geographic Information System shapefile of the parcels.


Annual rental for an oil and gas lease is $1.50 per acre for the first five years, and $2 per acre for any subsequent year.  Additional environmental analysis would need to be conducted to receive an application for permit to drill.

City will monitor Santa Pub Crawl


The city of Reno’s Community Safety and Service Team will be visiting downtown businesses to ensure Saturday’s Santa Pub Crawl is a safe and fun event for everyone.

CSAST will be out monitoring businesses to make certain that efforts are made by business staff to inform patrons it is illegal to consume or carry alcohol outside of a business establishment as well as putting forth efforts to prevent patrons from leaving with alcohol in their event cups.

Additionally, CSAST will be ensuring there is not any sale or furnishing of alcoholic beverages to minors and ensure fire codes, such as not exceeding posted occupancy, are followed.

“The businesses are great to work with and understand the importance of making sure everyone is following the rules,” advises Reno Police Lieutenant Bill Rulla. “We want everyone to enjoy themselves and create a safe environment for this successful event.”

The CSAST was created to ensure departments within the city work collectively with business and property owners. The team consists of representatives from the Reno Police Department, Code Enforcement and Reno Fire Department plus will include other agencies when needed.

CSAST contacts businesses to educate on required rules and regulations and provide corrective actions to ensure compliance with those rules along with proactively working with business owners in problem-solving endeavors in order to minimize continued or potential problems.

The joint approach provides for minimal contact for the business/property owner with different agencies, avoids contradictions between agencies and ensures all issues are addressed with the intent to provide for a safe environment for all visitors and residents within the city. This initiative will also assist in reducing calls for service to establishments, minimizing the strain on public safety resources.

The concept of the team was developed from the work done by the Downtown Alcohol Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives from downtown residents, business owners and officers from the Reno Police Department. The DAAC provides input and recommendations to City Council regarding alcohol related issues within the boundaries of Keystone Avenue, Wells Avenue, Interstate 80 and California Avenue.

GBWN water resolution approved by Nevada Wildlife Commission


The Nevada Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a resolution on Dec. 2 in Reno asking the State Water Engineer to deny Southern Nevada Water Authority’s applications for water in Spring, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar Valleys in White Pine and Lincoln Counties.

The resolution, proposed by Great Basin Water Network), asked for the denial based on “damages to Nevada’s wildlife, habitats, and hunting and fishing.” The resolution was also supported by representatives of county wildlife advisory boards from across the state.

“Entering into an agreement with SNWA is like shooting yourself so you can pick out what color coffin you want to be buried in,” said Wildlife Commissioner Scott Raine from Eureka. “When we are talking about mitigation, it will be impossible to reverse the effects of the groundwater mining,” said Raine.

Representatives of Great Basin Water Network testified in support of the resolution, expressing concerns about the move by the Nevada Department of Wildlife to give up their water protests and enter into an agreement with SNWA for monitoring and mitigation of wildlife in the pumping target area, which is the size of the state of Vermont.

“SNWA’s promises of wildlife mitigation remind me of a comment made by a Lincoln County farmer to the State Engineer last month,” Rose Strickland of GBWN said. “The farmer said, ‘You can throw lots of money at a dead horse but it won’t get up again.’ I can add in response to monitoring pumping impacts, you can monitor the vital signs of a dead horse but it will never get up again.”

“It’s not a mitigation plan,” GBWN board member Abby Johnson said. “At best it is an evacuation plan for wildlife; at its worst, an extinction plan.”

Susan Lynn, GBWN coordinator, said that the amount of water being demanded by SNWA from the four valleys (123,000 acre-feet, or more than 40 billion gallons, per year) is equivalent to two-thirds of the Reno/Sparks annual allocation from the Truckee River.

The Wildlife Commission resolution was approved and transmitted just hours before the State Engineer’s deadline for written comments. The State Engineer is expected to issue a decision in March.

Animal Control officials issue clarification on recent abuse report


While still restricted by state law from disclosing specific information about animal abuse cases, officials at Washoe County Regional Animal Services want to give the public some additional information about a recent animal abuse report by a contractor at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, Animal Services officials were contacted by the Airport Authority regarding a suspected case of animal abuse.

Animal Services housed the animal at its facility for four days, while its condition was evaluated by a licensed veterinarian, after which time the animal was returned to the Airport Authority. The Airport Authority made arrangements with the registered owner of the animal to have the animal returned to him in Texas.

Washoe County Regional Animal Services takes all complaints of abuse seriously and investigates each report fully. If sufficient evidence of abuse exists, Animal Services contacts the appropriate authorities to recommend prosecution.

Under Nevada Revised Statute 574, only a peace officer may seize an animal. Animal Services officials currently have no authority to seize or hold an animal suspected of being abused except under the direction of legal authorities.

According to Nevada law, animals are considered personal property, and private property owner’s rights apply to animals as well.

Reid praises key step for Lake Tahoe Restoration Act


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Sen. Harry Reid today hailed passage of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2011 (LTRA) out of the Environment and Public Works Committee. The act, which Reid sponsored in 2009, would restore and protect the ecological integrity of Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Basin. This year, Reid is co-sponsoring the bill with California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

The LTRA will protect Lake Tahoe’s exceptional natural resources and ensure that the area remains a premier tourist destination.

“We must take every step possible to protect the international treasure that is Lake Tahoe,” Reid said. “Over the past decade, we’ve made progress by reversing the declining water clarity of Lake Tahoe, but we cannot let up. This legislation will protect Lake Tahoe’s unique ecosystem and ensure that it remains a top-notch tourist destination for years to come. I look forward to taking the next step that will boost our economy and improve our environment.”

The Lake Tahoe Restoration Act builds on successful restoration work already happening in the Tahoe Basin by authorizing $415 million over ten years to improve water clarity, reduce the threat of wildfire and restore the natural landscape.

The LTRA would specifically fund high-priority projects focused on aquatic invasive species prevention, storm water management, watershed restoration, Lahontan cutthroat trout reintroduction and hazardous fuels reduction. The bill also allows for increased scientific study of long-term trends in the Tahoe Basin to help better understand how to manage this precious resource.

Supporters of this bill include a broad coalition of businesses, local agencies and recreation and conservation organizations around Lake Tahoe.

Not only is Lake Tahoe a spectacular natural resource; it’s also an important economic driver for Nevada and California. According to a study published in 2008, more than 23,000 people living in the Lake Tahoe region are employed by the tourism industry and earn more than $1.8 billion in income from tourism and tourism-supported jobs.

Forest Service seeks volunteers for 2012 Winter Trek Express



SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. –The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is looking for volunteers to assist with the Winter Trek Express environmental education program for fifth-graders Jan. 9 through March 30.

This three-hour environmental education program takes place at 9,000 feet of elevation at the Heavenly Ski Resort via the Gondola. U.S. Forest Service rangers lead the class through the wilderness to learn snowshoe skills and discover winter-adapting animals.

This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals who wish to gain experience in the environmental education field and have a strong desire to work outdoors and give back to their community. The ideal applicant should have experience working with children, good communication skills, an outgoing friendly personality and the ability to commit to a minimum of one day a week for 12 weeks. The Forest Service will provide a uniform, training and snowshoes if needed. Volunteers should provide their own winterized boots.

Prospective volunteers should submit their resume electronically by Sunday, Dec. 11. Interviews will take place beginning the week of Dec. 12. For more information, contact Jean Norman at (530) 543-2673.

Washoe County celebrates 150 years today


On March 2, 1861, Nevada became a territory of the Unites States. On Nov. 25 of that year, the new territorial legislature created the original nine Nevada counties, including Washoe County, and the first Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting was held on Dec. 10, 1861. The meeting was held in Washoe City, the first county seat.

Washoe County will celebrate 150 years of public service from 3 to 5 p.m. this afternoon, Thursday, Dec. 8, in the foyer outside the current County Commission Chambers on 9th and Wells in Reno.

What: Washoe County Celebrates 150 Years of Public Service

When: 3 – 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8

Where: In the foyer outside the Commission Chambers of the County Administration Building, Ninth Street and Wells Avenue, Reno

The commemorative event includes displays of historical materials and memorabilia from throughout the 150 years of some of the county’s first Offices, including the county clerk, assessor, treasurer, recorder, district attorney and sheriff.

Activities include a proclamation from Gov. Brian Sandoval (presented by Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert), a display of historical public works equipment and an opportunity to meet and mingle with county dignitaries past and present.

Members of the Sparks Heritage Museum will portray period characters in costume, and former Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs Director Dr. Michael Fisher will portray Gov. John Sparks.

Refreshments include a special anniversary cake sponsored by the Washoe County Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association.