Julie Brown
Julie Brown
Journalist, writer. Contributing editor at @sfgate covering Lake Tahoe. Likes: small towns, big ideas, tall trees.Source
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'Completely emaciated': The tragic, traumatic fate of Tahoe's Safeway Bear

'Completely emaciated': The tragic, traumatic fate of Tahoe's Safeway Bear

Remember the Safeway Bear? Last summer, at the height of Tahoe’s over-touristed pandemic, a 500-pound black bear in Lake Tahoe discovered the grocery store. The story sounds like the beginning of a joke: “So a bear walks into a grocery store …”California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials captured the notorious bear and released him into the wild, far away from grocery stores and Lake Tahoe. This week, officials revealed the fate of Safeway Bear. His story ends in tragedy.Safeway Bear . California Fish and Wildlife officials estimated he was 16 or 18 years old, and at that age,...

Oct 15
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How South Lake Tahoe was saved

How South Lake Tahoe was saved

Last week, at a community meeting, fear mounted in South Lake Tahoe as the Caldor Fire raged and a red flag warning lurked in the forecast. Cal Fire officials told residents they needed a defense of 3,000 to 5,000 firefighters. The Caldor Fire was elevated to the top priority in the nation and, in an attempt to assure residents and community members, Cal Fire officials said that so many resources were coming to Lake Tahoe, they were causing a traffic jam at base camp. The days that followed were tense as the fire made its advance into the Lake Tahoe Basin. On Sunday, Aug. 29, southeastern...

Sep 14
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Scientists predict a Tahoe without snow

Scientists predict a Tahoe without snow

One week, it’s fires; the next, it’s feet upon feet of snow.In the middle of January, high winds and dry conditions .Now, with a huge amount of water. In the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe region, forecasters are calling for by the end of this week.This kind of dramatic shift from fire to fire hose is something California is already used to. But the tick-tock between extremes  — or what climate researcher Daniel Swain calls “precipitation whiplash” — will only become more exaggerated as the climate crisis plays out, now and in the near future.As the year’s first major storm arrived in Lake...

January 26, 2021
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Why ski resorts are still opening even as Californians cancel Thanksgiving

Why ski resorts are still opening even as Californians cancel Thanksgiving

California’s COVID guidelines are comprehensive, covering everything from amusement parks to schools. But there’s one very large gap that state public health officials haven’t covered yet: ski resorts.Mammoth Mountain and several Southern California ski resorts have already opened for the season. Tahoe’s ski resorts are gearing up for their respective opening days — lifts may start spinning as soon as this weekend. A storm just delivered nearly a foot of snow to the Sierra Nevada.Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are , faster than ever.The circumstances feel like a repeat of March, when ski...

November 19, 2020
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The 'shack' a Tahoe bartender rents is listed for almost half a million dollars. Where will he go?

The 'shack' a Tahoe bartender rents is listed for almost half a million dollars. Where will he go?

Scott Hanichen, a longtime Tahoe local, rents a one-bedroom in Tahoe City for $700 a month.  It’s small — about 500 square feet with a tiny kitchen, wood-burning stove and a deck that faces the woods and a creek. Built in 1962, it’s an old-time Tahoe cabin that hasn’t seen much for updates. Hanichen endearingly calls it a shack.“I mean, if I turn on my vacuum, the electricity goes out,” Hanichen says. But to him, the shack is perfect. He works jobs that give him the freedom to ski and take advantage of living in Tahoe — he’s a bartender at the Slot Bar in Olympic Valley during winter and...

October 13, 2020
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