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Archive - Opinion

October 3rd, 2013

Holler good for Mammoth

October 3, 2013

Congratulations to Mammoth for stepping up and hiring a true professional manager. Now, it is time to work together, adopt your policies and step aside and allow professional management to achieve the goals the Council sets. 

If the Council can resist the temptations to micro manage and stick with establishing policies of excellent governance, Mammoth will be back on top in no time.

Occupy Yosemite

October 3, 2013

I am outraged at what the federal government is doing. Closing our National Parks is absurd and is hurting all of us here in the Eastern Sierra.

Our businesses are hurting. The Eastern Sierra is a tourist based economy, and by the feds closing the parks, the livlihood of our friends, neighbors and families are in jeopardy.

We need the funds that come into our communities through these parks:

Yosemite National Park, Devils’ Postpile National Monument, Death Valley National Monument, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park.

September 25th

Transparency

September 25, 2013

In light of Marianna Marysheva-Martinez’s resignation this past week and the rumors leading up to her decision, we’ve witnessed the reactions of our passionate Mammoth citizens, not just to the fact of her resignation, but also to how the whole thing happened.

To put it bluntly, the reactions tell us, not very well.

Momentum

September 25, 2013

Momentum is not something for which anyone can plan. It’s either there, or running backward.

Right now, Mammoth has lost its “Big Mo,” and is settling into an uncomfortable ennui.

We hope it doesn’t last long, but the signs are not good.

This was supposed to be the summer that was going to build on last year’s “Best Summer Ever,” but it did not happen quite the way anyone could have predicted.

September 16th

Summer of '13

September 16, 2013

The summer events schedule is over for this year, and we’re not the only ones trying to make sense of it.

The Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission finds itself at the center of the dissection.

In a sparsely attended meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the commission moved forward in the hopes of forming a policy as to the use of Measure U tax.

It is a critically important discussion, since the town now leans so heavily on generating sales, TBID revenue and Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) as its summer economic platform.

Hello Mammoth!

September 16, 2013

I just spent Saturday with you, as I was riding in the Kamikaze Bike Games.  I wanted to share with you my experience of spending the day in my “happiest place on Earth.”

First off, I want to send a huge thank you to the town of Mammoth Lakes, Bill Cockroft, and Caroline and Amanda for hosting/promoting such an excellent event. 

It’s been far too long for such an event at Mammoth, and though it may not be as big as the heydays of the 90s, I can see it growing to such a level in the not-too-distant future. 

August 26th

The Common Core

August 26, 2013


(Editor's Note: This version reflects changes from the version that appeared in the printed newspaper on Aug. 22, 2013.)

August 12th

AUGUST

August 12, 2013

It’s a little bit wacky up here.

August in the High Country is always hard to figure out, but it happens every year, in one way or another. People just tend to go a little bit haywire in August, this year more than most.

As a run-up to August, there was that brutal beating at a Pearsonville gas station that will probably result in an attempted murder charge, for example. Then, the same guy later is alleged to have stabbed someone up at quiet, pristine Kennedy Meadows.

August 6th

The Abilene paradox

August 6, 2013

 

We were sitting around the office with an old pal the day after the Town Council voted, 3-2, to move ahead on creating the tourism-based Business Improvement District (TBID).

At the core of the discussion was not whether it was a good idea or a bad one, but rather the very nature of how groups of well-meaning people can make really bad decisions from time to time.

August 5th

Hooked on jazz

August 5, 2013

Having been a patron and a volunteer for the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee for the better part of 20 years, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Ken and Flossie Coulter for the dedication and supreme effort it took to keep this wonderful event going.

Years ago, I was hooked the very first time I listened to the astounding variety of jazz, blues, swing and zydeco bands in the many venues they organized.

So much so, and even though I live on the Western side of the Sierras, I became a volunteer at the Big Top for five of those Jazz Jubilees.

July 31st

Getting to Yes

July 31, 2013

The notion of “Getting To Yes” is not just a business mantra.

In Mammoth, it applies all over the place, most recently in a renewed effort by the town (see story, P. 10) in getting our recreation leaders on the same page.

Fat chance, we say.

Heaven knows we’ve tried this kind of thing before, most recently with the long forgotten Sports Council, which aimed to unite recreation groups toward the practical idea of figuring out which groups should get which piece of the economic pie.

Jazz with altitude: 25 and still alive

July 31, 2013

When it comes to putting on an event as large as the 25th Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee, it really does take a town.

What most people see and hear is the finished result of over a whole year’s worth of work by a small army of very dedicated volunteers.

The tents that go up and come down very quickly, the variety of music played that fills the air all hours of the day and night during the event, the amount of increased foot traffic in several locations around town, and the many smiling faces were all part of this annual July event.

Chose civility

July 31, 2013

There is an arrogant dominance of incivility passing for dialogue today.

We are beginning to hear more and more disagreements of the heated variety, most of them are underlying political and/or ideological in nature that any reasonable person might deem as uncivil. 

We are witnessing angry talking heads on television, talk-radio designed to infuriate and demean, email blogging that promotes insulting exchanges, and even our local media is sometimes prone to childish sniping of its own. 

July 22nd

Volunteers

July 22, 2013

Mammoth has an undeniable volunteer spirit.

We have volunteers for the Half-Marathon; we have do-gooders for the Fourth of July Parade. The Jazz Jubilee draws so many volunteers that sometimes we wonder if they don’t outnumber the paying customers.

There were so many volunteers for the Town Cleanup Day in the spring that there wasn’t a single McDonald’s bag, Carl’s Jr. cup, or Vons plastic bag that was safe; this coming weekend, volunteers will be at Minaret Vista, helping rebuild a trail that badly needs it.

July 2nd

Priorities

July 2, 2013

The Mammoth Town Council, in a stroke of uncharacteristic wisdom, declared earlier this week a pair of “strategic planning” meetings, designed to put the disparate, argumentative, and disgruntled citizenry on the same page with the town government.

It’s about time.

For years around here, the tail has wagged the dog; that is, crises, contingencies, and exigencies have been the basis of longstanding town policies.

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