July 6th, 2012
The equipment is on the ground, the crews are ready to go, the studies have been done. Digital 395 is almost ready to break ground in Mono County. Almost.
â€śAll thatâ€™s missing is a few, federal right-of-way permits that are still in the appeal process and some last minute work we are doing with the (Native American) tribes,â€ť said private side developer for the project, Michael Ort.
That leaves Ort with about a year to actually construct the project and he said Monday that he is completely confident that the deadline will be met.
A year-round running track project near the Whitmore Pool site will break ground on Monday, July 9, according to representatives from the High Sierra Striders group.
The nonprofit has been the trackâ€™s biggest advocate and fundraiser. One of its biggest fundraisers occurred at Wednesdayâ€™s July 4 Footloose Freedom Mile race. Member Elaine Smith broke the news about the track to about 350 cheering race participants.
High up in a big, rock-strewn Sierra basin, below a little-known ridge that overlooks everything, a little turquoise lake disappears into a big hole in the ground, water rushing down, sounding like nothing so much as a bathroom shower drain.
Another lakeâ€”rockbound and swimming-warm even in late Juneâ€”lies teal and clean down the road a ways and anotherâ€”dark blue and icyâ€”lies a bit farther on.
â€śIf you think you can wait until November to decide to reopen this mountain, you canâ€™t,â€ť said June Mountain Ski Areaâ€™s general manager, Carl Williams, to a packed room of citizens at the Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting in Bridgeport on Tuesday.
Williamsâ€™ comments capped an emotional hour and a half as residents and June Mountain aficionados spoke at length about the impact Mammoth Mountain Ski Areaâ€™s closure of June for the summer and coming winter (announced publicly June 21) would have on the unincorporated community of June Lake.
A Mammoth area man died Saturday, June 30 and passengers in another vehicle were seriously injured after the vehicle the Mammoth man was driving crashed into another vehicle near the Obsidian Dome Road intersection with U.S. 395.
Although the final cause of the accident is still under investigation, the Mono County Sheriff's report indicates that the man, Randy Sly, 53, failed to stop at the intersection and collided with a Jeep SUV that was traveling on U.S. 395 and unable to stop.
UPCOMING WALKS AND CAMPFIRE PROGRAMS AT DEVILS POSTPILE
Now that the Reds Meadow Road is open again, there is a lot going on in the Valley. Here's a summary of some of the events:
Ranger-led walk to Devils Postpile
This 1 hour, 1 mile walk includes topics such as wildlife, resource conservation, and the geology of the Devils Postpile formation. It begins every day at 11:00am at the Devils Postpile Ranger Station (shuttle stop #6).
Evening Campfire Programs
The worst possible outcome for Mammoth Lakes has come true.
The town decided to declare municipal bankruptcy Monday morning, July 2. The Town Council took the action unanimously.
"It's wish this hadn't happened," said Mayor Matthew Lehman, "but it's not the way the cards fell for us."
The town immediately issued a press release regarding the Town council decision.
For such a small little town, Mammoth came up big in the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials last week.
The latest hammer blow came on Sunday night, when Morgan Uceny easily won the 1,500 meters in 4-minutes, 4.59.4 in Eugene.
Uceny won over second-place Shannon Rowbury and third-place Jenny Simpson, both of whom joined Uceny on the U.S. team.
"I felt awesome up there," she said of her consistent lead in the wind-blown race. "I always had an exrta gear that I might have needed to respond if I needed to. But I knew as long as I ran smart, there was no way I could lose the race."
It is hard enough to spot downhiller Stacey Cook on a downhill course.
Mammothâ€™s Olympic downhiller is by you in a whooshâ€”a split-second of wind and snow, set against an audible backdrop of oohs and aahs.
But last week, she outdid herself.
With a roar of jet engines, Cook and Olympic teammate Kelly Clark buzzed by Mammoth Mountain in a U.S. Navy fighter jet from Fallon, Nev., leaving her and Clark as exhausted as a downhill race or a day in the halfpipe.
There is no shortage of gloom in June Lake.
When Mammoth Mountain Ski Area announced last week (June 21) that it would close down the June Mountain ski area at least until the end of the 2012-13 ski season, the reaction was swift and tense.
â€śI think itâ€™s been pretty clear the entire eight years since I was elected that this is exactly what I have been working to avoid,â€ť said June Lakeâ€™s county supervisor, Vikki Bauer.
Rusty Gregory knows people are not happy with him for closing June Mountain.
In the end, facing a loss of an average of $1.5 million a year, that wasnâ€™t enough to stop him.
â€śPersonally, Iâ€™m incredibly disappointed as well,â€ť he said. â€ť I realize that the people in June are shocked and very disappointed, and angry with me. But the idea of subsidizing June without a view of an end result is not sustainable.â€ť
He also said skier visits have gone from an average of 80,000 per season to 45,000 last season.
After a massive effort to remove the downed trees felled by the giant windstorm last year, the Reds Meadow Shuttle Service is scheduled to begin this week on Friday, June 29.
One of the more interesting bear seasons in years has begun in Mammoth, and Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles said their habitat is remaining intact, more or less.
Theyâ€™re scrawny, however, and hungry.
â€śThe drought this year means itâ€™s going to be busier,â€ť he said in his monthly bear report. â€śThe bears are going to run out of natural foods and will be more likely to try to get into human food.â€ť
He said people in Mammoth are going to notice some skinnier bears, but â€śThe Bear Whispererâ€ť said he is urging that people â€ścanâ€™t give in to feeding them.â€ť