Tahoe Township Justice Courtroom unveils renovation
While the restoration of the old Douglas County seal is the most apparent improvements to the Tahoe Township Justice Courtroom, another improvement is less obvious.
Justice of the Peace Richard Glasson said the courtroom is wireless.
“The new courtroom is completely wireless,” he said. “Acoustics have improved dramatically.”
Tahoe Justice Court Operations Specialist Edith Macias oversaw the remodel, which Glasson said came in well under budget.
“We did not lose a single court day, as she scheduled court calendars around construction and vice-versa,” Glasson said. “She re-purposed the existing wood paneling and commissioned the new gallery benches from Prison Industries. All that is left is hang the new art, some of which will be provided by Zephyr Cove Elementary School.”
Taking center stage is the color update of the Douglas County seal that predated the current seal.
Douglas County Public Defender Matthew Ence suggested Abner Rivera-Lopez, who worked on the mural at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, would be the artist to produce the seal.
“Our court checked with Kathy Lewis, but nobody could find the old, original county seal,” Glasson said. “So Mr. Rivera looked at the two-color plaque on the corner of the courthouse and took it from there.”
That’s not to say Rivera didn’t apply some artistic license to the seal, which had the bull and the ram overlapping.
Deputy Court Clerk Bethany Love’s daughter, Malia, who is active in 4H and her ram, Sven, was used as a model for the mural.
Glasson said his grandson Abraham practiced mutton-busting on Sven last year and scored an 85 at the Reno Rodeo.
“The new seal has great detail of the mountains, the green pastures of the Carson Valley and of course Lake Tahoe, trimmed in silver with pine nut boughs and cones at the top,” Glasson said. “It is a nice representation of the entire county and is a huge improvement over the current county triangle logo — that one looks like a cloudy day over the Lampe Park pond.
Glasson also touted the Tahoe Justice Court’s commitment to having defendants perform community service over imposing jail or punitive fines.
“It is a win-win for the community and for the defendant,” he said. “Our county gets the benefit of the service and our sheriff doesn’t have to enlist extra labor or incur housing costs. Our court is in partnership with Parks and Recreation for community service, and we have our own ‘Don’t Trash Tahoe’ service policing the pathways and bike trails and picking up trash and the deposits from dogs whose caretakers can’t be bothered to protect the watershed.”
East Fork Justice Court is scheduled to begin a remodel March 9-27.
Because it is so much busier than Tahoe, court will be held in a variety of locations, including Tahoe Township on March 26.
East Fork will borrow facilities from the adjoining district courts for the first week, moving most hearings to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Training Room downstairs for the second and third week.