In Brief: Cold in South Lake Tahoe; Boebert on key committee; armed guards at Sundance

Staff report

South Lake Tahoe sets record for cold

The temperatures after a series of storms exited Lake Tahoe have been frigid, and this weekend dropped into record territory.

The cold temps will remain through the early part of next week and strong winds will kick up Sunday afternoon through Monday, making it feel even colder.

According to the National Weather Service, the thermometer hit minus-3 Saturday at Lake Tahoe Airport, slipping past the former mark for the date of minus-2. The record cold was more than 20 degrees below the average cold temperature for the time of year of 19.

Across the lake, it would have taken much colder weather to break the record for Saturday’s date in Tahoe City of minus-14 set in 1937.

Boebert named to House Oversight Committee

With the House under Republican control, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, has been named to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

“I am excited to get to work defending the individual liberties of the people of Colorado’s Third District by holding the Biden administration accountable,” Boebert said in a statement. “As an advocate for transparency and reform, I will pursue the truth, conduct effective oversight and fight to root out waste, fraud and abuse throughout the federal government.”

The committee will be chaired by Rep. James Comer, a Kentucky Republican and another outspoken critic of President Joe Biden.

According Boebert, under Republican leadership, top priorities for the Committee on Oversight and Accountability will include investigating the border and fentanyl crises, allegations of COVID-19 relief fraud, any government collusion with big tech to censor political speech on social media, the withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan, the energy crisis, the origins of COVID-19, and the Biden family’s business dealings.

Out-of-bounds skiers injured in avalanche near Heavenly

Two skiers venturing into the backcountry near the boundary of Heavenly Mountain Resort on Thursday were injured in an avalanche, officials said Friday.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Alexander Sorey said the two skiers entered an area known as Rattlesnake, located just outside the resort boundary near the power lines above High Meadows below Ridge Run and Sky Express on the California side of the resort which also extends into Nevada.

“We can confirm that an out-of-bounds avalanche occurred yesterday beyond the ski area boundary,” said the resort in a statement. “There are two confirmed injuries of backcountry skiers who were in the area.”

Armed guards around Sundance premiere of Kavanaugh documentary

A new documentary looks into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and raises questions about the depth of the FBI investigation in 2018.

“Justice,” from filmmaker Doug Liman, debuted Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival to a sold-out theater surrounded by armed guards.

The film, made under intense secrecy, focuses on allegations made by Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez that were detailed in a New Yorker article in 2018. Ramirez alleged that at a gathering with friends when she was a freshman in 1983, Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her. Kavanaugh has denied those claims. “Justice” also plays a taped recording of a tip given to the FBI from another Yale classmate, Max Stier, that describes a similar incident that the FBI never investigated.

Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in October of 2018 after a narrow 50-48 roll call following a wrenching debate over sexual misconduct. He strenuously denied the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed he sexually assaulted her when they were teens.

Climate scientist’s message strikes home

In a packed Bud Werner Memorial Library Hall in Steamboat Springs on Thursday evening, Jan. 19, internationally known climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe kept the science simple and relatable but the emotional connection elevated.

An audible gasp came from the audience when Hayhoe showed a data-marked map of the U.S. The colors did not indicate the significant rising global temperatures since the start of the industrial age but rather the high number of Routt County adults who believe in climate change science but are not doing as much to help with the problem.

Hayhoe, Ph.D., noted that 73% of Routt County adults think that climate change is happening and that it will harm plants and animals. That percentage marks a slight uptick to the national averages, according to 2021 studies by the University of California Santa Barbara, Utah State University and Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

The studies show 71% of Routt County adults think global warming will harm people in developing countries; however, only 47% of county adults think global warming will harm them personally.

The climate scientist emphasized that climate change already is affecting Colorado mountain towns by creating weather that is more variable, adds more rain on snow days, shortens ski seasons, creates changes in total snowpack, facilitates more intense wildfires, endangers water resources and leads to economic stress. The average temperature in Colorado in the 1890s was 43.5 degrees compared to 46 degrees now, she said.

For effective climate action steps, the scientist recommended the website for nonprofit Project Drawdown, which includes a Solutions Library with topics ranging from efficient trucks to building retrofits to net-zero buildings. Project Drawdown also features a six-part series of short videos called “Climate Solutions 101.”