November 8th, 2011
Note to the reader: Colonel Bob Waggoner (USAF Retired) will be the keynote speaker at a Veterans Day event on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Mammoth Lakes Fire Station on Main Street. The celebration begins at 9 a.m. and includes a sponsored pancake breakfast. All Veterans, their families and grateful citizens are welcome to attend.
Another Mammoth man has died this week, and again, the cause of death is unclear.
Just Monday, Mammoth local John Tobacco was found dead in a home in Mammoth. His death is still under investigation. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, another Mammoth man, Alexander Viterbi, was found dead in his Mammoth home.
Here's the latest information from the county sheriff's department:
On the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 2, at approximately 4:45, Mono County Sheriffâ€™s Department dispatch received a call regarding an unresponsive male in the Mammoth Lakes area.
The Tioga Road (Highway 120 east of the Crane Flat Gas Station), the Glacier Point Road, and the Mariposa Grove Road in Yosemite National Park will be temporarily closing Thursday, Nov. 3, at 8:00p.m. A winter weather advisory has been issued and will be in effect from 8:00 p.m. Thursday until 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. Up to seven inches of snow is expected above 6,000 feet in elevation.
All roads are expected to be reassessed for opening by midday Friday, Nov. 4.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 1 at approximately 4:00 p.m., Mono County Sheriffâ€™s Department dispatch received a call regarding the report of an adult female possibly attempting suicide in the Chalfant area.
California Highway Patrol and Chalfant Fire Department were the first agencies to respond to the scene. CHP attempted to make contact with the female inside her residence to find that she had already left the location.
Narcotics may have been involved in the "suspicious" death of a local Mammoth man who was found dead Monday morning, according to a Thursday morning (Nov.3) press release from the Mono County Sheriff's Department. The man, John Tobacco, 30, was found "unresponsive" Oct. 31 at a residence on Evergreen Street in Old Mammoth.
Here's the updated version of the story, as released at 10 a.m. Nov. 3.
"On the morning of Monday, Oct. 31, at approximately 8:00, Mono County Sheriffâ€™s Department dispatch received a call regarding an unresponsive male in the Mammoth Lakes area.
After 18 years of seeking out every aspen grove in the Eastern Sierra, I thought I had found them all: Rock Creek and Lundy, McGee and Bishop, Convict and North Lake. Even the lesser known areas like Molybedenite and Birchim and the Parker Bench and the Little Walker.
Been there, done that.
Boy, was I wrong.
This past weekend, the crowds that can turn Lundy Canyonâ€™s tiny trailhead and one-lane road into a virtual Disneyland in the fall color season defeated me and I spun north like a compass, seeking solitude and gold.
If you donâ€™t live in Mammoth Lakes and your roads get plowed, the bridges you travel over are intact and the lawns of your community parks are green, you should give thanks to Mono Countyâ€™s Public Works Department.
Every public works department is the backbone of a county, a lifeline for all of the countyâ€™s unincorporated residents.
Mono County is no different.
It might begin with something as simple as an insult. â€śYouâ€™re fat.â€ť â€śYou canâ€™t do anything.â€ť â€śYou are ugly.â€ť
â€śNobody likes you.â€ť
The abuse might worsen; getting ganged up on, being hit, being beaten up.
It might get even worse; midnight texts that denigrate, insult, terrify. Emails that do the same. In a world of instant and constant communication, the end of the school day is no relief.
It all might sound like no big deal. After all, â€śkids will be kids,â€ť right? They will grow out of it, right?
Theyâ€™re just words, right?
The Inyo National Forest is announcing the opening of a new, personal use fuelwood cutting area in the June Lake Loop. This area is located on the north side of Highway 158 across from the Fern Lake Trailhead. You must have a valid 2011 personal use fuelwood permit to collect dead and down material only. Permittees must park along the shoulder of Highway 158 during collecting activities, and are not permitted to drive off-road for firewood retrieval. All other wood cutting regulations are in effect.
Two firms investigating potential wind energy in eastern California have withdrawn their requests to install monitoring towers on public lands. The firms proposed to install 200-foot-tall wind monitoring towers for three-year testing periods to collect wind speed and direction data and other weather information.
Thick black clouds are already crashing against the grey bulk of Mt. Dana when we begin the run down the mountain. The wind whips past, running fast from the coast, pushing the first winter storm of the season west up Yosemite Valley, whirling around the base of Half Dome.
Pine needles fall in masses, covering the bare ground with a carpet of sienna gold. The air is thick with the smell of snow and rain and the sun, hot enough to go shirtless only a few hours ago, has gone home. This new cold bites hard. Thunder rumbles to the south.
Itâ€™s time to go.
Rock Creek Canyon, high above Toms Place resort, which is about fourteen miles south of Mammoth Lakes, is one of the Eastern Sierraâ€™s most spectacular canyons. Filled with dozens of lakes and ponds, fed by some of the highest mountains in the Sierra, itâ€™s a backcountry hikerâ€™s dream. And it just so happens to also have one of the best aspen shows for early fall viewing, which, in this odd, odd, weather year, is about what time of the year the trees think it â€” and itâ€™s not like you can argue with a tree.
Itâ€™s been an odd and wonderful fall.
Aspens and cottonwoods, still summer-lush with the life given to them by the record-breaking winter, met one of the warmest falls in many years. In no hurry to go dormant again after being buried alive for nine months, the trees held their green far into October, much to localâ€™s confusion and delight.
The summer, so late in coming, seemed like it would never end.
No one complained about it, either.
Our deepest condolences to longtime local Stacy Corless, who lost her sister, Lisa, on Oct. 16. Our hearts go out to Stacy and to all of Lisaâ€™s friends and family. â€¦