Representatives of Douglas County’s “golden geese,” or big community investors, gathered in front of local decision-makers Thursday to praise a long-discussed plan to realign Highway 50 around the back of the Stateline casinos at Tahoe.


This rendering shows possible modifications to the casino core under the U.S. Highway 50 South Shore Community Revitilization Project.

STATELINE, NEV. — Representatives of Douglas County’s “golden geese,” or big community investors, gathered in front of local decision-makers Thursday to praise a long-discussed plan to realign Highway 50 around the back of the Stateline casinos at Tahoe.

The large support from many of the region’s key private investors — including Edgewood Companies, Heavenly Mountain Resort and nearly every Stateline casino — was prominently displayed at the meeting, where county commissioners heard a second update on a countywide connectivity plan.

The plan aims to accomplish many of the transportation projects outlined in the county’s Master Plan, 2011 South Shore Vision and 2013 Valley Vision. The approximately $70 million Highway 50 realignment, also known as the loop road project, is only one of them.

“There are some declines occurring certainly in my industry — no doubt about it — and we’re trying to revitalize it,” John Koster, Harrah’s regional president for Northern Nevada, told the commissioners. “We believe that this loop road project… is going to be a great part of that.”

Helping revitalize the county and making it a more attractive destination for both visitors and locals is largely what the connectivity initiative is about. But improvements won’t come without a cost.

Champions of the plan are exploring utility operator fees, gas taxes and sales taxes as the three revenue sources to get the job done. And with that, they say the cash generated — about $4.4 million per year — would allow the county to obtain even more money through a bond and move forward with proposed road projects.

Ultimately, the local funding boils down to $4.84 per month per resident, said Jacques Etchegoyhen, a co-champion of the connectivity plan and former county commissioner.

“We talked about ‘is it possible to raise $4.4 million locally from generated taxes and fees?’ And the answer is yes, if there is desire to,” Etchegoyhen said at the meeting. “And certainly there are other mechanisms, but for simplicity’s sake we’ve used these three (funding sources) because those are the ones the Nevada legislature empowered to county commissioners.”

But County Commissioner Greg Lynn doesn’t expect the fundraising would be easy.

“When we are asked to implement a gas tax, a utility operator fee and a sales tax increase, I would expect every single one of you folks who spoke here today to come up there and give us a boost on that against the absolute hurricane — let me emphasis this (in) capital, big red letters — hurricane of opposition that we will get in the valley with the implementation of any tax that will mean a nickel (we) can spend at the lake.”

Carson Valley isn’t being left out of any plans, however. The Nevada Department of Transportation is proposing almost $400 million in improvements in the Valley over the next 15 years, and according to The Record-Courier, most of those funds would be used to improve Highway 395 between Carson City and Minden.

While the loop road project was the most discussed proposal under the connectivity plan Thursday, other projects in the initiative include the Ranchos Connectivity path in Gardnerville, the Pony Express Trail project, the Stateline-to-Stateline bikeway and identifying an alternate truck route to remove heavy Highway 50 truck traffic out of Minden and Gardnerville,

No action was taken on the plan Thursday, but it is expected that commissioners will revisit the connectivity initiative soon.

In other business, commissioners also heard a presentation on the Tahoe Basin Recreation and Tourism Plan.

The plan puts a focus on identifying, improving and expanding recreational opportunities on the Tahoe side of Douglas County, including the possibility of further developing the Kahle Community Center and creating “low impact” activities in the basin.

It is expected that commissioners will take action and possibly approve the recreation and tourism plan next month.

11 arrested NYE at Stateline Nevada Street Party

statelineAlthough the crowd was small at Stateline, 11 people were arrested New Year’s Eve.

Charges included battery, domestic battery, disorderly conduct, minor consuming alcohol and possession of a dangerous drug. Three arrests were related to traffic offenses and driving under the influence.

Highway 50 was closed for about 30 minutes as revelers began to fill the street about 10 minutes before the New Year.

Crowds in this area of the South Shore have dramatically decreased in recent years with the introduction of SnowGlobe and Heavenly Holidays – both in South Lake Tahoe. There was a time when Stateline crowds topped 60,000 people.

Hard Rock casino to replace the shuttered Horizon in South Lake Tahoe?

hard rock

Hard Rock casino to replace the Horizon in South Lake Tahoe?

By Kathryn Reed

Say goodbye to the Horizon.

Hard Rock casino to replace the shuttered Horizon in South Lake Tahoe?

While it isn’t going to be bulldozed, it is going to be gutted after the lease with LV Casino LLC expires March 31.

Taking over operations is Warner Hospitality Group out of Las Vegas. The company is under contract with the owners to remodel the dilapidated Stateline casino. It will be a multi-phase project, with the first phase slated to open in June.

The Park family has forever been the property owners. Family members were having disagreements on how to manage the business that includes cattle in the Carson Valley, the Horizon and MontBleu casinos, Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course and the future Edgewood Lodge so they opted last year to divide holdings among family members.

hard rock casino lake tahoe

Called “The Ho” by locals, the Horizon hotel-casino is about to undergo a remodel.

Jon and David Park now own the Horizon and the cattle company. Neither is returning phone calls.

Horizon Stadium Theaters operators have been told they will be out of business at the end of the month. Reservations for the hotel are not being accepted beyond the night of March 30.

“We are in the dark,” a reservation specialist said of his future and the property’s after this month.

Warner Gaming officials declined to say anything other than a plan is being worked on.

A person close to the changes, but who could not speak on the record, told Lake Tahoe News,

“They’re looking to do some Hard Rock-related stuff with the Horizon, but some licensing stuff has to be worked out, including what to do with the corporate owned Hard Rock in Harveys.”

Warner runs the Hard Rock hotel-casino in Las Vegas and is developing one in Sioux City, Iowa, among its other properties.

The Hard Rock inside Harveys is a concessionaire for the casino company. This means Caesars Entertainment, parent company of Harveys, does not have a say if a Hard Rock-themed hotel goes in next door. Nor have Harveys officials been approached about what Horizon plans to become.

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Video surfaces of the Stateline, Nevada beating of Mike Burnhart by various law enforcement including SLTPD, EDSO and the Douglas County Sheriff

Mike Barnhart beaten at Stateline by cops

Mike Barnhart beaten at Stateline by cops

Video surfaces of the Stateline, Nevada beating of Mike Burnhart by various law enforcement including South Lake Tahoe Police SLTPD, El Dorado Sheriff  EDSO and the Douglas County Sheriff. DCSO

According to Mike Barnhart, he was just shooting some video of the  Douglas County Sheriff blocking the road.

The cops falsely claimed there was a “crime scene” and attacked Mr. Barhhart. Somehow the South Lake Tahoe Police sltpdSLTPD, El Dorado Sheriff  EDSO got involved and Mike Barnhart was arrested and charged for obstruction and resisting arrest.

The whole thing is in the Justice Court, Judge Richard Glasson presiding, at the Stateline, NV courthouse.

Supreme Court Inaction Boosts Right To Record Police Officers

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/27/2012

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the enforcement of an Illinois eavesdropping law. The broadly written law — the most stringent in the country — makes it a felony to make an audio recording of someone without their permission, punishable by four to 15 years in prison.

Many states have similar “all-party consent” laws, which mean one must get the permission of all parties to a conversation before recording it. But in all of those states — except for Massachusetts and Illinois — the laws include a provision that the parties being recorded must have a reasonable expectation of privacy for it to be a crime to record them.

The Illinois law once included such a provision, but it was removed by the state legislature in response to an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that threw out the conviction of a man accused of recording police from the back of a squad car. That ruling found that police on the job have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

The Illinois and Massachusetts laws have been used to arrest people who attempt to record on-duty police officers and other public officials. In one of the more notorious cases, Chicago resident Tiawanda Moore was arrested in 2010 when she attempted to use her cell phone to record officers in a Chicago police station.

Moore had come to the station to report an alleged sexual assault by a Chicago cop, and says she became frustrated when internal affairs officers allegedly bullied her and attempted to talk her out of filing the report. Moore was eventually acquitted.police_brutality

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is planning a police accountability project in Chicago that will involve recording police while they’re on duty. The organization wanted to be sure its employees and volunteers wouldn’t be charged with felonies.

The 7th Circuit Court found a specific First Amendment right to record police officers. It’s the second federal appeals court to strike down a conviction for recording police. In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruled that a man wrongly arrested for recording cops could sue the arresting officers for violating his First Amendment rights.

That decision also found a broad First Amendment right to record on-duty government officials in public: “Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting ‘the free discussion of governmental affairs.'” And in fact, in that it strips police who make such arrests of their immunity from lawsuits, it’s an even stronger opinion. Of course, the police themselves rarely pay damages in such suits — taxpayers do.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to grant certiorari in the case doesn’t necessarily mean the justices endorse the lower court’s ruling. But it does mean that at least six of the current justices weren’t so opposed to the ruling that they felt the case needed to be heard.

The 1st and 7th circuit decisions mean that it is now technically legal to record on-duty police officers in every state in the country. Unfortunately, people are still being arrested for it. Police officers who want to make an arrest to intimidate would-be videographers can always use broadly written laws that prohibit public disorder, interfering with a police officer, or similar ordinances that give law enforcement wide discretion.

The charges are almost always either subsequently dropped or dismissed in court, but by then the innocent person has been illegally detained, arrested, sometimes jailed, and possibly paid expensive legal fees.

Journalist Carlos Miller, who has been arrested multiple times for recording police, documents such cases on a daily basis. He has also documented countless cases in which police officers have deleted incriminating video from cell phones — a crime in and of itself.

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