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February 18th, 2011

Profile: Cougar Gold's Mark D. Wallace, a Sarah Palin pal with ties to Bush Administration

February 18, 2011

• American businessman, former diplomat and lawyer who has served in a variety of government, political and private sector posts.

• He is the President of Tigris Financial Group Ltd. (Tigris) and President of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).
• He served in several positions during the administration of George W. Bush, including as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform.

What's Up, Up Here? Feb. 18

February 18, 2011

Chance encounters can be groovy and special, or they can be downright icy. Yep, that was Mammoth Green’s Steve Klassen and D.A. George Booth sharing the waters together at Keough’s Hot Springs last weekend. Rumors to the contrary, no fists – or even gestures were thrown. ...

We were talking to Public Works Director Ray Jarvis the other day about the deterioration of lane stripes along Old Mammoth Road. He said the town can’t do anything about it until it gets warm enough for new paint to stick. That’ll be in the late spring. ...

Mayor Skip Harvey wantz t change the town govt.

February 18, 2011

Mammoth Lakes Mayor Skip Harvey has a few ideas about how government works – or doesn’t – in this town.

Make that a lot of ideas, some of which he tossed out to the town council on Wednesday night.

One of them was easy enough – a proposal to change the structure of town council meetings.

The second one got most of the attention – changing the very structure of the government.

Councilman Rick Wood hopping mad at E. Sierra Community Bank

February 18, 2011

When Mammoth councilman Rick Wood gets angry, he does not pull many punches.

Wood is angry.

At Wednesday’s town council meeting he jumped all over the Eastern Sierra Community Bank, and urged its current customers to “use your best judgment as whether you ought to continue.”

At the heart of his rant was the bank’s policy toward seven unsold condominium units at Aspen Village – the condo project on Old Mammoth Road built with the assistance by Mammoth Lakes Housing (MLH).

February 17th

Mono Craters hiker rescued

February 17, 2011

On the night of February 11, 2011, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to assist Betsy Rieke, 67, of Carson City, Nev., who became lost and stranded above a cliff while on a solo hike in the Mono Craters.

She made cell phone contact with the persons with whom she had discussed the hike with, who in turn, reported the situation to the Sheriff’s Department before they began to hike to Ms. Rieke’s location.

The Sheriff’s Department dispatched personnel to the area where it was determined that SAR should also respond.

February 16th

Cougar Gold says won't mine unless wilderness protection removed, county supervisors divided

February 16, 2011

Cougar Gold, a gold mining exploration company with claims in the Bodie Hills Wilderness Study Area, said yesterday that they won't continue their exploratory drilling until the "regulatory purgatory" of the Wilderness Study Area designation is removed from the hills.

Despite their request for support for this from the Mono County Board of Supervisors, who, regardless, cannot change the designation (but could support a bid by Congress to do so) the supervisors gave the mining company executives who attended the meeting no clear answer.

February 11th

Whitmore Track Project halted; rare species of blooms stand in its way

February 12, 2011

The Whitmore Track project has been stopped in its tracks.

Fast-tracked by the Mammoth Lakes Town Council for an anticipated construction and completion by the end of the dry season, the project has no chance of that, due to a request by the Department of Fish and Game for a new plant survey.

The DFG, which regulates habitat issues in addition to critters, said it wants the survey to determine if the construction of the track would harm three “rare species” of blooms.

“We’re not happy about it,” said Elaine Smith of the High Sierra Striders, “but we’re going to accommodate the DFG.

Planning Commission tackles sign ordinance

February 12, 2011

Mark Wardlaw likes to tell the story about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest visit to Mammoth.

“This place hasn’t changed since the 80s!”the former California governor was to have said.

Well, that’s obviously stretching it, the town’s community development director said. Then again, Wardlaw said that maybe Arnold was merely looking at the town’s signs and condos, which haven’t changed much since, um, the ’80s.

What's Up, Up Here? Feb. 11

February 12, 2011

Mammoth speed racer Stacey Cook this week crashed out of the World Super G in the World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in fast-fast-fast conditions. After a cycle of freeze-thaw-freeze days, the Super G course was so slick that she said, “It was the first time I could see my reflection in the snow.” ...

Olympic champion Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley finished second, BTW, behind Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl. ...

Cougar Gold addresses Bodie Hills mine plan

February 12, 2011

A mining company that said it can create hundreds of jobs in Mono County if a potential gold mine in the Bodie Hills goes forward will be in Bridgeport next week.

Cougar Gold, a mining exploration company with ties to a global financial company Tigris Financial Group, will be in Bridgeport Feb. 15, talking to both the Mono County Board of Supervisors in the afternoon, then holding a “town hall” meeting later that evening.

Cougar Gold got permission from the Bureau of Land Management in 2009 to do some exploratory drilling in the BLM’s Bodie Hills Wilderness Study Area.

Track XC skiing this winter? No

February 12, 2011

There will be no cross-country track skiing this winter on the public trail system.

An effort by the town’s recreation department to make a compromise with Mammoth Nordic’s Brian Knox fell through on Tuesday, when Knox turned down flat a compromise proposal.

“Your proposal requiring our volunteer staff to train your staff to professionally operate and maintain Mammoth Nordic’s grooming equipment is a commitment, in the middle of this winter, I regrettably cannot make,” Knox wrote in a letter to the Recreation Commission.

Knox did not slam the door all the way on next winter, however

Tenney takes sign idea to Supes

February 12, 2011

Does Mammoth need another entrance sign?

Or just a better one?

According to some residents, the answer is both.

Elizabeth Tenney, the woman behind the post office flower garden and landscape miracle, is turning that same attention to design toward another project: giving Mammoth more of a definite entrance.

The fact that the new sign would act to also soften the appearance of the under-construction, block-like courthouse, regarded by many as out of place in a small alpine town, doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Not too late to get involved in Shady Rest Park makeover

February 12, 2011

The discovery of geothermal energy literally right below the Shady Rest Park area has only complicated an already very complicated issue in Mammoth – how best to utilize one of Mammoth’s favorite locations.

The Shady Rest area includes the park and surrounding forest service land. About two years ago, with the discovery of geothermal energy under the site, the area opened up via a plowed road as far back as the park itself, allowing access to the geothermal developments and adding yet another demand to the already highly used area.

Skiing the Owens River: improbably perfect, elegant, easy

February 12, 2011

Imagine skiing along a sparkling blue river, skies whispering softly over the white, blanketing snow.

Imagine the river, blue, silver, indigo, glimmering, a ribbon of color in the white land.

Imagine the quiet; perfect, joyous, broken only by the riffle of the river, the whoosh of the wings of a blue heron flashing far above.

The Owens River cuts a wild and wide path through upper Long Valley, flashing down to Crowley Lake from its birthplace at Big Springs, southeast of Lee Vining.

Jimmy Morning lights up Village Championships

February 11, 2011

As Village Championship races go, last Tuesday’s race seemed to be as normal as normal can be, aside from various off-the-wall costumes.

And then Jimmy Morning appeared.

One of Mammoth’s iconic skiers and coaches, Morning was injured in a Super G crash two weeks earlier, earning him a hospital stay and a couple of weeks in bed.

Morning didn’t race in Tuesday’s dual Giant Slalom on Fascination, but his appearance made the beautiful racing conditions and bright sunshine even more radiant, and warmed up the Happy Hour party at Rafters.

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