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December 2nd

Wind takes down hundreds of trees in Lakes Basin

December 2, 2011

The winds that blew throughout the state Wednesday night brought down approximately 300 to 400 trees in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

Most of the trees were located in the vicinity of the Mammoth Lakes Pack Station. Many of the uprooted trees have not completely fallen to the ground, but rather are leaning on other trees or other blowdown.

Due to this hazardous situation, and the fact that the winds are still blowing, the Inyo National Forest has temporarily closed off portions of the area with yellow “Restricted Area” tape and closure signs.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Dec. 2-8

December 2, 2011

Remember that horrendous accident on U.S. 395 near Bishop in 2010 that killed several student athletes, running coach John Adams and a driver? Minutes after the accident, local Eastsiders Amy Steinwand and Bishop volunteer firefighter John Williamson came upon the accident. They ended up helping local Inyo County Sheriff Deputy Shane Scott pull one victim from a burning car, and helping several others during the immediate aftermath of the accident.

November 30th

The helicopter crash that wasn't

November 30, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon, eleven members of the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded to a report of a possible helicopter crash that turned out to be a false alarm.

Residents in the Old Mammoth area reported the possibility of a helicopter crash in the Mammoth Pass/Mammoth Mountain area. Smoke was thought to have been seen in the direction the helicopter was last seen to have flown, residents said.

November 28th

Tioga Pass Road closed — for now

November 28, 2011

After a temporary closure, the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park closed Wednesday night but is still expected to reopen after the current winter storm, as long as there is little snow accumulation and dangerous winds die down.

The Glacier Point Road is now closed for the season.

All roads within the Yosemite National Park are subject to chain control or
temporary closures due to hazardous driving conditions. Tire chains may be
required at any time during the fall and winter season. It is strongly
recommended that all motorists carry tire chains while driving in the park

November 18th

UPDATE: MHS Principal Gabe Solorio out on medical leave, former principal Mike Agnitch now interim principal

November 18, 2011

Mammoth High School Principal Gabe Solorio will be out on medical leave beginning Monday, Nov. 21, until sometime in January, school officials confirmed today. Former MHS principal Mike Agnitch will take the reins as the high school's interim principal until Solorio returns.

Solorio became the high schools principal after Agnitch retired in 2009. Solorio was the middle school's principal for several years before becoming the high school principal.

Here's what the district said about the situation in a press release released the morning of Nov. 22:

Mammoth as a culinary center? Why not?

November 18, 2011

A new and ambitious culinary program for the Mammoth Lakes Foundation made its first, tentative start last week.

The idea is to establish a top-drawer culinary program that eventually would mesh with Cerro Coso Community College, alongside other cultural entities.

It would serve as a training incubator that could feed, so to speak, the 150 restaurants and eateries in a corridor stretching down the Eastside.

Foundation CEO Evan Russell and consultant Bill Taylor unveiled the plans last week at the Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission meeting.

Mike Schlafmann leaves the Inyo, gets big thanks from Mammoth

November 18, 2011

Mike Schlafmann left the Inyo National Forest this week, and for the outdoors types, it was like a star disappearing from the sky.

Schlaffman, the deputy district ranger who worked on the Inyo for 10 years, is headed for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest outside of Seattle.

In the words of Mammoth District Ranger Jon Regelbrugge, “Our loss is their gain.”

“I was his manager, but I never knew if I was managing him, of it he was managing me,” retired Inyo supervisor Sandy Hogan said of Schlafman.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Nov. 17-24

November 18, 2011

After a dazzling performance at the 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards Singer/Songwriter Violeta Martin from Mammoth Lakes will be headlining the official Town of Mammoth Lakes Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Dec 2, in the Footloose Sports parking lot. Hot-hot-hot!. …

The Pathfinder is in our midst. Dr. Mike Karch likes to hunt, but in an old-fashiony kind of way. He wears moccasins instead of boots, and take that, Cabela’s. …

Fido anticipates a hard winter. Happily

November 18, 2011

Fido hates the woodstove.

Go figure. Dogs are supposed to love them, if you believe the pictures in the L.L. Bean catalogs.

“Get me out of here,” he pleaded. “What is this? Aruba?”

This was on one of those really cold days in early November, when the wind howled and the temperatures dove. Outside, our street was frozen solid, with icy spots all over the place.

I built a fire in the woodstove and things were darned cozy at our place, at least for me.

Fido retreated from the living room and took up a post under the dining room table. He panted.

November 11th

Fido occupies Oakland, Mammoth

November 11, 2011

“People get the wrong idea about Oakland,” Fido said.

“Yeah, I know. What makes you say that?”

“I was there for more than a month, and I didn’t see anything like the stuff that showed up on the Jon Stewart Show or the TV news.”

Fido leafed through the California section of the Sunday New York Times, pondering the pictures. When Fido reads the papers, it’s awkward because his finger dexterity is poor, and he tends to get distracted easily.

This time, he lingered.

Obama signs ski area legislation

November 11, 2011

Ski areas in California received good news this past week from the U.S. Forest Service, with the promise of up to 600 new jobs.

The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011, which was signed by President Barack Obama on Nov. 7, is estimated to create and annually sustain up to 600 extra jobs nationwide.

“This is very good news for us,” said Mammoth Mountain Ski Area spokesperson Joani Lynch.
She was not alone in her enthusiasm.

“This is great news for promoting job growth and economic stimulus in California,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore.

Mammoth Mountain takes over tube park

November 11, 2011

Sledz is deadz.

Long live Woolly’s Adventure Summit and the Kids’ Carousel.

Mammoth Mountain snapped up the enterprise from a private owner during the off-season. While the transaction still is in escrow, the ski area is moving ahead with its plans.

The on-again, off-again tubing hill, situated on the right just off Route 203 on the way to Mammoth Mountain, now will be a part of the ski area’s continuing moves toward family-oriented snowplay, according to Mammoth spokesperson Joani Lynch.

Opening Day at ski area looked good, felt right

November 11, 2011

It’s just not in the culture of Mammoth Mountain to miss an Opening Day — natural snow or manufactured, blue skies or gray, rain, snow or fire and brimstone.

This season was no different.

The ski area opened yesterday with five lifts ready to go, including the Lower Gondola.

It also opened with 13 terrain features, said Joani Lynch, ski area spokeswoman.

Working on a base ranging from 18 to 24 inches, the ski area opened Chair 1 (Broadway Express); Chair 6 (Thunder Bound Express); Chair 11 (Discovery Express) and Chair 3 (Facelift).
The first chair left Broadway at 8:30 a.m.

L.A. plans to grab Mammoth Creek water rights

November 11, 2011

The City of Los Angeles has mounted a legal challenge to who owns the water rights to Mammoth Creek.

The challenge, which took the Mammoth Community Water District by surprise, was issued about 14 months ago in a letter from the City, said Greg Norby, the director of the Water District.

Norby paraphrased the essence of the letter at the Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission on Wednesday.
His remarks came almost at the end of an exhaustive recap of Water District future plans over the next five to 10 years.

To say that his remarks came out of the blue would be an understatement.

Holy scam! Woman bilked out of $10,000

November 11, 2011

A scam comes in many forms, but this one was over the top.

When Mammoth resident Irene Molloy realized Monday that the man who coerced her to send him $10,000 had been calling her “Grandma” instead of “Nana,” she realized she’d been had.

“I was sitting in a chair afterward, trying to regain my thinking, and I remembered,” she said. “He was the only grandchild I had that called me ‘Nana’ not ‘Grandma.’”

But it was too late. The money, wired to Lima, Peru, where a man claiming to be John Molloy had told her he would go to jail if she didn’t send the money, was gone.

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