June 29th, 2012
Thirty-four years ago, on a hot July day in Idaho Falls, Idaho, my mother grabbed her five kids, ages 6 to 13 years old, her reluctant husband, a long-nosed collie dog, and herded us all into the wilderness backcountry for the first time.
We wore Levis and flannel shirts and giant, five-pound leather boots with thick soles that killed our young and tender feet with gleeful abandon.
We carried awkward, heavy external frame packs that killed our young and tender shoulders and hips with equal abandon.
The Summer Solsticeâ€”the longest day and shortest night of the yearâ€”occurred last week, heralding the beginning of summer in the Western Hemisphere.
The long days make summer the idyllic time for outdoor pursuits and backyard barbeques. But for stargazers, the short nights present something of a challenge.
â€śIt doesnâ€™t really get totally dark until after midnight and it begins to lighten up by 4 a.m.,â€ť said local, retired astronomer Ron Oriti.
The Eastern Sierra was already bracing for a dry summer but the last few weeks of near constant wind has made things even worse.
Itâ€™s been windy almost every day for the past three weeks, stretching a pattern that usually occurs for one to two weeks in late May and early June to almost a month long event.
And the pattern responsible for creating the windâ€”two large high pressure systems to the far west over the Pacific Ocean and another one over the Midwestâ€”shows no signs of weakening anytime soon, according to Dawn Fishler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno.
A new magazine introducing readers to the wonders and activities of Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra appeared on the streets Friday.
Tucked into the June 29 issue of the Mammoth Times newspaper, the 72-page, tabloid-sized publication contains a comprehensive calendar for Fourth of July activities up and down the Eastside, from Independence in the south to Walker and Coleville in the north.
Mono Council for the Arts presents its 35th Annual Mammoth Celebrates the Arts Fine Arts and Contemporary Crafts Festival in the parking lot of Footloose Sports July 4-7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
Effective today, June 25, the Bureau of Land Management is implementing fire restrictions on all BLM-managed public lands within the Bishop Field Office boundary. At the same time, the U.S. Forest Service is implementing fire restrictions on the Inyo National Forest. The restrictions are in effect on all Inyo National Forest lands, including wilderness areas, and all Bureau of Land Management public lands managed by the Bishop Field Office.
â€śChomp chomp chomp, slurp slurp chomp.â€ť
â€śEgad, Fido, I canâ€™t take you anywhere!â€ť
By now Fido was licking the pavement.
â€śThis,â€ť he proclaimed, â€śis just the best time EVER! Hey, will you look at THAT?â€ť
Fido eyeballed the baked beans.
â€śFIDO!â€ť I said, and gave him a tug on his nose leash.
It was his first-ever pig roast. It might be his last-ever, too, unless he can get a grip, and I told him as much.
Yosemiteâ€™s Tenaya Lake, once called â€śLake of the Shining Rocks,â€ť will sparkle even more brightly following major restoration efforts this summer to its east beach and surrounding wetlands and trails with funding provided by Yosemite Conservancy.
â€śTenaya Lake has a captivating natural beauty that charms park visitors young and old alike,â€ť said Mike Tollefson, president of the Yosemite Conservancy.
Value Sports is adding to their Bishop location with a new store in Mammoth Lakes at the Mammoth Luxury Outlet Mall. The new store will open June 28 at 3399 Main Street. As background on the owners behind the new store, Steve Hertzog opened his first sports shop, â€śMammoth Sporting Goodsâ€ť in 1976.
The first shop was on Main Street, but later moved to its current location at 452 Old Mammoth Rd. across from Vons. As the store was modernized and expanded, the name was recently changed to â€śMammoth Outdoor Sports.â€ť
A rattlesnake aversion training for dogs held in Swall Meadows earlier this month was successful, according to the areaâ€™s County Supervisor Duane â€śHapâ€ť Hazard.
About 35 dogs, including two of Hazardâ€™s, were trained to avoid rattlesnakes and Hazard said the private company that did the training, Natural Solutions, indicated an interest in coming back to the Eastern Sierra for more such clinics, if there is enough interest.
A local resident organized the event. The cost was $35 per dog. For more information, visit: www.rattle- snakeaversion.com.
Negotiations over the fate of the Whitmore Animal Shelter continue between the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mono County, after the Town pulled out of the a joint agreement with the county to run the shelter in the face of its recently adopted budget (which cut its share of the funding).
The potential for Mammoth to declare bankruptcy is very real, said county supervisor Byng Hunt, but even if that were to happen, he believes the county and Town will find a way to keep the shelter open.
A Lone Pine man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, according to Inyo County officials. On June 17, at midnight, deputies from the Inyo County Sheriffâ€™s Office were dispatched to a residence in Lone Pine for a report of a family disturbance that involved the use of a firearm.
Sheriffâ€™s Deputies were advised that the subject, Allen Robert Weston, a 30-year-old man from Lone Pine, had left the residence and was in possession of a firearm.
Deputies located and arrested Weston for attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and criminal threats.
With the Mammoth Motocross in town this week, occupancy rates for the town are projected to shoot skyward.
The Mammoth Tourism Bureau projects the town to fill to 54 percent this weekend, up five points from a year ago at this time.
As for midweek projections, the bureau said it projects occupancy at 43 percent, up six points from the same week last year.
The Voodoo Chute is among the most vexing roads in Mammoth.
Anyone who has tried navigating the steep intersection of Lakeview Boulevard and Lake Mary Road has had issues with it in the winter, when ice causes accidents, blown nerves and, last year, a broken fence protecting the Lake Mary Bike Path.
But now, because of $200,000 in state money, along with a $20,000 match in the townâ€™s Measure U funds, Public Works Director Ray Jarvis said a solution is finally on the way.