Video about snowboarder’s sad death in Tahoe

Raw video from the news conference about 25-year-old snowboarder Shawnte Marie Willis’ death near Alpine Meadows is here.

It provides the most detail about the three-day search and rescue and her death, including the participation of Nevada County officials in the rescue effort. It also shows the power of the internet is disseminating information — you are getting the same information as the reporters on the scene, “unfiltered.”

“She was located about 400 feet from the Pacific Crest Trail on the backside, off the Alpine Meadows property, in the Granite Chief Wilderness,” according to the Sheriff’s office official. “It appears that sometime during day one she succumbed to injuries and the weather.”

Shawnte lived in Tahoma. The West Shore, a small community, is in mourning.

You can click on this map and see that the Granite Chief Wilderness is located at the far right, upper corner of the map, off the Alpine Meadows property.

Assemblyman Ted Gaines “a head the size of Montana”?

Some voters are criticizing GOP state politician Ted Gaines for hedging his political bets and running for two offices in his Placer County district — Assembly and Senate — only months apart, according to the Auburn Journal.

A special election is being held Tuesday to determine a successor to the late District 1 state Sen. Dave Cox between Gaines and Democrat Ken Cooley.

Voters cite the costs associated with a special election, estimated at $650,000 in Placer alone.

“The election process, and the accompanying expenditure of tax dollars, is raising the ire of some over the prospects of spending more money — and having another two special elections next year if Gaines wins” on Tuesday, as the Journal explains.

Gaines already was reelected this past November for a two-year term in the Assembly, representing District 4.

If he is elected state senator, he’ll be subject to term limits after eight years. The term limit is six years for Assembly members, and he has already served four years.

Gaines said he “wishes there was a better elections methodology.”

“To my way of thinking, he should stay in the Assembly and save a lot of money,” Voter Rosalie Wohlfromm told The Auburn Journal. “I like to think maybe he has a head the size of Montana – that he’s a little narcissistic.”

The rest of the article is here.

OMG. Banks starting to loan again?

Some big banks are starting to increase their loans to businesses as demand and competition rise, The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning.

“After declining steadily for most of the past two years, the amount of commercial and industrial loans held by commercial banks inched upward during the past two months, according to the Federal Reserve,” The Journal said.

“An uptick in business lending is an optimistic sign for the economy and can help to make the recovery self-sustaining.

“Until recently, a chronic lack of lending to businesses was seen by economists as one of the obstacles to healthy recovery.”

The rest of the article is here.

Why facts fail in political discourse

“Ever been in an argument with someone and felt massively frustrated, because nothing you can say seems to change the person’s mind?” writes Point of Inquiry.

“Maybe that’s what you should expect to happen. Maybe you should get used to it.

“According to University of Michigan political scientist Brendan Nyhan, that’s how our minds work-and it’s not just that. When it comes to politics, people who believe incorrect things tend to be strongly convinced that they’re right, and moreover, often become stronger in that conviction when they’re refuted.

The rest of the article and the MP3 file for listening are here. Nyhan’s blog is here.

Roseville, KCRA in First Amendment fight about mall fire reporting

The City of Roseville is demanding that KCRA 3 stop revealing Roseville Fire Department radio transmissions from the day of the Westfield Galleria mall inferno, according to California Fire News.

“KCRA knows … that neither the City of Roseville nor its fire department had authorized the disclosure of the audio recordings,” Roseville City Attorney Brita Bayless said in a ‘cease-and-desist’ request sent to KCRA 3 on Wednesday.

In its response, attorneys for KCRA 3 told Roseville city officials that the station’s “publications of these recordings is fully protected by the First Amendment” even though the city “may be embarrassed by public disclosure of these recordings.”

The request from the City of Roseville comes after KCRA 3 released multiple radio transmissions regarding the intentional shutoff of the mall’s sprinkler system during the Oct. 21 blaze.

The rest of the article is here.

Search area for missing Tahoe boarder show how conditions change

The search for the missing snowboarder at Alpine Meadows (more experienced than most) is focusing on an area around the Wolverine Bowl, according to KCRA. Authorities said she went out of bounds, according to the reports.

Wolverine Bowl itself is an expert black diamond ski area off the summit chair lift. A dozen rescuers are on the scene and more are coming from Mono County.

This photo shows a big chunk of the area on opening day (upper right quadrant) under sunny skies. The video below shows the bowl in a snow storm. This is a sober reminder how quickly weather conditions in the Sierra.