Archive - 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, itâ€™s the Old Worldâ€™s celebration of the return of the spring.
Candlemas, â€śMass of the Candles,â€ť the return of the light, a day once welcomed with a thousand candles, a thousand prayers and thanksgivings.
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 Daveâ€™s Run, or St. Anton.
Perhaps the most iconic run, though, is Climax, the aptly named bowl just to skierâ€™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.
â€śItâ€™s been a long time since Mono County has seen a catastrophic event,â€ť 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 yearâ€™s successful clinic, Diem put together a manual with guidelines for some of the larger agencies that donâ€™t deal with snow crises on a regular basis.
Mammoth Lakes Town Manager Robert Clark has been selected by the City Council of Ojai to be their next city manager. Ojai is nestled in the northeast corner of Ventura County and is known for its tourist and arts related activities.
Prior to becoming the Town Manager of Mammoth Lakes in 2004, Clark served as city manager of Avalon on Catalina Island and deputy city manager of Laguna Beach. He will assume his new duties on February 21, 2011.
Jon Regelbrugge, currently the district ranger for the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts, has been named as the new acting forest supervisor for the Inyo National Forest. Regelbrugge is expected to serve in this position until a new, permanent forest supervisor has been selected.
On the afternoon of Jan. 18, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to assist in locating a lost snowboarder at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
David Joseph, 27, Crystal Heights, was snowboarding by himself and unknowingly crossed the western edge of the ski area boundary and became lost. He was able to contact his father by cell phone. His father then notified Ski Patrol of his sonâ€™s predicament. Ski Patrol began searching for him but were unable to find him, as Mr. Joseph reported that he thought he was somewhere inside the ski area boundary.
Despite reports from AT&T that the technical cell service problems were fixed in the Tri-Valley area last week, area county supervisor Hap Hazard said they aren't.
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.
The Inyo National Forest has announced a BLM pile burning project along S.R. 89, three miles north of U.S. 395 on Slinkard Valley Road. They will burn 485 slash piles from Jan. 24-31.
Mono County's narcotics enforcement team has had a busy week last week, including the arrest of a Fresno drug dealer with previous ties to Mammoth and the arrest of two local June Lake residents on other charges.
Although the current snowpack on top of Mammoth Pass is at 297 percent of normal for the second week of January, itâ€™s still too early to celebrate.
â€śIf we donâ€™t get any snow, and thereâ€™s none forecast, this could be the wettest December on record followed by the driest January,â€ť said state snow surveyor John Dittli.
Despite the snowiest December on record, thereâ€™s still reason to keep at hand that snow dance routine most longtime Mammothites know.
So, if things continue as they are forecast, the wettest December might be followed by another record -and not a wanted one.
A couple of very high-profile Mammoth players in the Hot Creek lawsuit remained invisible in last monthâ€™s $30 million judgment against the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and its CEO, Rusty Gregory, were left unscathed â€“ not even mentioned. This is in spite of the fact that at the beginning of the case, in 1997, both MMSA and Gregory himself were caught in some nasty crossfire.
They still are, in a sense.
When the case first was filed, both Gregory and MMSA were named as defendants, along with the Town.
Here's the latest from our groovy little burg.
Problems with AT&T service out in the Tri-Valley area of Mono County have diminished since much of the Tri-Valley area in eastern Mono County found themselves without cell service after switching from Alltel to AT&T late last year, but they have not gone away, according to Chalfant community members, including members of the Benton Paiute tribe, many of whom are still without cell service.
On Tuesday, Jan. 18 at approximately 11:45 p.m., Mono County Sheriffâ€™s Department Deputies stopped a vehicle traveling in an erratic manner, northbound on Hwy 395 in Coleville.
The deputy made contact with the two individuals inside of the vehicle, identified as David Cruz, age 32, and Bernadin Estriplet, age 28, both of June Lake.
Upon contact, the deputy noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and asked both parties to exit the vehicle.