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Archive - Jan 28, 2011

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Town Manager Clark heads to Ojai after rough ride in Mammoth Lakes

January 28, 2011

Town Manager Rob Clark rode into town on the wings of prosperity, when Mammoth was on the rise and could do no wrong.

Six years later, he rides into Ojai, under the shadow of the recession, when Mammoth is on the fade and can’t seem to shake out of it.

From Clark’s point of view, there were significant victories in his years here, and also defeats.

“I think getting our air service going in the middle of the recession was rewarding, and I’m proud of the staff. They have kept thing going in spite of these different things.

Mammoth Nordic bows out

January 28, 2011

Mammoth Nordic, which since 2002 has groomed its way into the winter experience here, has now announced it is grooming its way back out.

Its leader, Brian Knox, released the news last Friday, writing in an e-mail,

“Regrettably, our club’s passion, funding, equipment and manpower over the last three years has not created a compelling enough case for community Nordic recreation in the eyes of town government.”

Knox’s announcement immediately sent the town’s recreation department into a scramble.

What's Up, Up Here? Jan. 28

January 28, 2011

Short clips about what's happening in our mountain aerie.

It’s always a high adrenaline day when the Race Department runs a Village Championships Super G race. And so it was this Tuesday. The snow was hard and fast, and Jimmy Morning was going for it when he caught an edge on Terry’s Run, tumbled and fell, bounced and was knocked out cold. After a night in the hospital, he was released, with orders not to ski for two weeks. Concussion. Nothing broken. ...

Gap between Hispanics, MLPD is bigger than anyone thought

January 28, 2011

We knew we had a problem.

We just didn’t know how far Mammoth has to go in building trust between the Hispanic population and the Mammoth Lakes Police Department.

Let’s just say it’s a very long way.

In a presentation Tuesday in front of the Mammoth Lakes Police-Community Hispanic Advisory Committee, Village Lodge manager Luis Villanueva came back with some disturbing news.

The Digital 395 project is as hard as it comes

January 28, 2011

“As hard as it comes.”

That’s what the man in charge of Digital 395 said about the rush to get the massive project completed by its July 2013 deadline.

Not an easy feat – laying 583 miles of spun glass high speed optical cable from Barstow to Reno.

“If we don’t get it done by July 1, 2013, the money goes away,” said Michael Ort, CEO of Praxis Associates and the original mind behind the $101 million Digital 395 project that is right now under way out your back door.

Marine Training Center has powerful ally

January 28, 2011

As the federal government eyeballs even the military as a place to cut costs, some locals wondered if cuts might hit the Bridgeport area Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.

Probably not, said Rian Gamble, community outreach for the center.

“We are training Marines at full capacity, with some 16,000 to 17,000 a year coming through, doing everything from mountain medicine training to high altitude training, and more,” he said.

Snowmobile crossing of PCT delayed again

January 28, 2011

A decision on whether and where snowmobiles can cross the Pacific Crest Trail near Sonora Pass might not be made this year, according to Mike Crawley, Bridgeport District Ranger for the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest.

The decision, part of a winter recreation plan that aims to increase the economic diversity for northern Mono County, was due out by Crawley early this year.

AT&T saga drags on for Tri-Valley cell phone customers

January 28, 2011

The third time is not the charm.

Despite reports from AT&T that the technical cell service problems were fixed in the Tri-Valley area last week, Mono County supervisor Hap Hazard said they have not been fixed.

In fact, Chalfant still has no service, at least from the northern border of White Mountain Estates north, he said, although Benton now apparently, finally has at least better and more consistent service.

Groundhog Day was serious stuff back home in the Midwest

January 28, 2011

In the little town where I come from, we took Groundhog Day seriously.

It was entirely frivolous and silly, and mostly it was a Shirk thing, but it eventually grew into a town thing.
The town is Oelwein, Iowa. It is a burg of about 7,000 souls, situated in the northern part of the state.

There is nothing to stop the brutal arctic wind that howls down from Canada. By Feb. 2, we all needed a break and at least a good laugh, if not a trip to the Caribbean.

Tenney wants Gateway Monument on S.R. 203

January 28, 2011

Elizabeth Tenney has a new volunteer project up her sleeve.

Having steered the town’s lighting policy into an ordinance, and having succeeded in flowering a park next to the town’s Post Office, she now wants to build a “Gateway Monument” on the left side of S.R. 203 at the entrance to town.

The project, which is to be funded by private donations and donations-in-kind, would be constructed directly across the highway from the current “Mammoth Lakes” structure that has the emblems of the various service clubs below.

The two structures thus would form a “Gateway” to the town.

Candlemas: Day of a thousand candles

January 28, 2011

When it rises swift and cold on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the sun will mark the one day of the year exactly halfway between the past Winter Solstice and the March 20 Spring Equinox.

This day really has nothing to do with groundhogs at all, although Americans celebrate the day, if they think of it at all, as Groundhog Day.

Rather, it’s the Old World’s celebration of the return of the spring.

Candlemas, “Mass of the Candles,” the return of the light, a day once welcomed with a thousand candles, a thousand prayers and thanksgivings.

Run of the Week: Climax

January 28, 2011

On Mammoth Mountain, where great skiing at all levels is bountiful, only a few can be classified as iconic.

The runs might include Broadway, or Dave’s Run, or St. Anton.

Perhaps the most iconic run, though, is Climax, the aptly named bowl just to skier’s left of the Upper Gondola at 11,053 feet.

It is a wide-open double-black, although by the time spring comes and the bowl is filled in, a skier could probably move that rating back to a single black diamond.

Getting there is easy.

June Mountain Ski Parol stages second annual disaster rescue clinic

January 28, 2011

“It’s been a long time since Mono County has seen a catastrophic event,” said Eric Diem, director of the June Mountain Ski Patrol.

Diem staged the second annual avalanche rescue training on Thursday, Jan. 20 for the June Lake and Lee Vining volunteer fire departments.

Following last year’s successful clinic, Diem put together a manual with guidelines for some of the larger agencies that don’t deal with snow crises on a regular basis.

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