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April 22nd, 2011

Dire report is released on the town''s finances

April 23, 2011

Incoming Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht has a new best friend, and her name is Marianna Marysheva-Martinez.

A numbers wonk and a high-ranking city administrator in Oakland before she became the Mammoth Lakes Interim Town Manager, the first thing Marysheva-Martinez did was look at the town’s financials.
Her conclusion was dire.

“We’re in stable shape right now,” she said, “and the reason is that our revenues will be up by the end of June but our expenditures will be up by almost the same amount.

“While we’re stable, we’re not in good shape.

“Next year is going to be bad.”

Unofficial dog park is great, except for the poop

April 23, 2011

We’re talking poop here.

Dog poop, to be specific.

Mammoth has a new unofficial dog park down Sherwin Creek Road – a rather vast expanse on Forest Service land behind Sierra Meadows Ranch, made accessible this winter by the town plowing down to the Turner Propane tanks.

Dog lovers found it right away.

But Suzanne Nottingham, companion of three dogs (Ivan, Fred and Zion), has been horrified by the amount of poop this winter – poop that could easily have been picked up by their human companions but wasn’t.

Work begins on Tioga Pass but opening day is still uncertain

April 23, 2011

The big winter has Mammoth celebrating, but Lee Vining residents are getting worried.

The record-breaking winter raises a worrisome question – when will Tioga Pass open?

More snow means more snow to plow, and the cool April so far isn’t helping much, either.

But all is not lost. On Tuesday, April 12, Mono County found out that Mammoth Mountain will be donating some plow equipment to the cause, said county officials.

Town goofs on Wilbrecht contract

April 23, 2011

It was supposed to be a coronation Wednesday night.

Instead, it turned out to be a “whoops” moment for the Mammoth Lakes Town Council, which was all set to finalize incoming Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht’s $180,000-a-year contract.

It didn’t happen.

In what Mayor Skip Harvey called an “embarrassing” situation, the terms of Wilbrecht’s retirement benefits ran contrary to a November council resolution, which councilwoman Jo Bacon said she can’t even remember making.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for April 22-28

April 23, 2011

Not much action at Police Chief Dan Watson’s Hispanic Outreach meeting this past week. No community members at all and just three committee members, out of more than 20 who signed up. “This meeting gets smaller all the time,” Watson said. ...

In the “Er, what?” Department, Councilman John Eastman described his presence at the reception for our new Assemblywoman (Modesto) in Suite Z on Tuesday. “I was able to attend a reception for Kristin (pause) what’s Kristin’s last name?” (Olsen, for those wondering) ...

Mammoth High School track runners keep feet moving in April

April 22, 2011

On April 2, Toby Qualls, a sophomore at Mammoth High School, traveled to Lancaster, Calif., to run in the very competitive, Michele Perry Invitational. Many California high schools travel to this invitational, because of the high level of competition.

Qualls began competition in the varsity 1600 meter event. Because of his previous fast times in the 1600, he was then bumped up automatically into the elite championship race.

Two heroin overdoses in Mammoth

April 22, 2011

On Friday, April 15, Mammoth Lakes Police Officers and Paramedics responded to a radio call in the Old Mammoth area and discovered a deceased 21-year-old woman. Evidence at the scene indicated that she had died of a heroin overdose. Agents from the Mono Narcotics Enforcement Team (MONET) followed up and identified the dealer who supplied the heroin to the victim.

April 18th

100 m.p.h. winds pound Mammoth Mountain early Monday; spring runoff begins in earnest

April 18, 2011

Winds of nearly 100 miles an hour slammed into Mammoth Mountain early Monday morning, while rain and snow in the Sierra put water watchers on alert.

The winds, which preceded Monday morning’s rain and snow, reached 99.8 miles an hour at 4 a.m., according to ski patrol data.

It didn’t let up for more than an hour. At 5 a.m., ski patrol measured a wind gust at 99.6 miles an hour.

The average wind speed for the two hours was 70.3 miles an hour.

Ryan Hall sets new American record for the Boston Marathon

April 18, 2011

Ryan Hall, one of Mammoth’s great distance runners, on Monday set a new American record for the Boston Marathon.

Hall, formerly a member of the Mammoth Track Club but who still trains here, ran the 26 miles in 2:04:55.

It is not a formally recognized record because the Boston Marathon is a kind of an odd duck in marathon circles, not quite conforming to world or national standards.

He led for much of the race before being overtaken near the end.

More to come as details roll in.

April 15th

Mammoth Invitational top dog in raising money for Mammoth’s youth

April 16, 2011

Mammoth is good at fund-raising. We’ve got a million of ‘em, it seems.

But at the top of the heap right now is the Mammoth Invitational, a race-filled weekend featuring pro skiers and boarders that went off last weekend on behalf of the Mammoth Community Foundation.

Foundation executive director John Armstrong said the event on Mammoth Mountain raised nearly $500,000 on behalf of the town’s kids.

The foundation is committed to raising funds to provide an added margin of excellence for academic and athletic programs for youth in our community.

MHS named California Distinguished School

April 16, 2011

Finally, the call that Mammoth High Shool had been waiting for came.

Word arrived late Tuesday afternoon that the school has been awarded the prestigious California Distinguished School award, one of 97 schools in the state to get the coveted award this year.

A product of rising test scores across all the students in the school – whether English Language Learners, English speakers, Caucasian or Hispanic, the award is a testament to several hard years of work by students, parents and staff alike, said school superintendent Rich Boccia.

Garbage disposal fees likely to increase soon

April 16, 2011

It’s probably inevitable.

Garbage disposal rates are going to go up sometime soon and some hours or days are going to get cut at most of the county’s landfills, in an attempt to plug a funding hole that is leaking as much as $2,000-$3,000 a day from the county’s coffers.

The proposed increase, which goes to the public for a hearing on April 19, will increase residents’ garbage disposal fees by about 11 percent, if the plan laid out by county staff and approved in theory by the county supervisors passes a final vote on April 19 at a meeting in Mammoth Lakes.

Mono County’s loss is Mammoth’s gain, Wilbrecht admirers say

April 16, 2011

‘One man’s loss is another man’s gain.’

That might be the most appropriate sentiment regarding losing Mono County Administrative Officer Dave Wilbrecht to the Town of Mammoth Lakes as its newest Town manager.

After eight years at the helm of Mono County, Wilbrecht leaves behind a county in enviable shape compared to almost every other county in the state: in the black, solvent, with a small but still present reserve for emergencies and economic hard times.

Welcome home to incoming Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht

April 16, 2011

It was a love fest.

When The Town Council named Dave Wilbrecht as the new Town Manager this week, Mammoth residents universally approved the decision.

From Tom Cage, of Kittredge Sports and P3 and Nordic advocate Brian Knox, to recreation commissioner Bill Sauser, former town planner Bill Taylor and former National Forest Service administrator Sandy Hogan, all were crazy nuts about the decision.

“He’s a natural leader,” Hogan said, echoing county tourism director Alicia Vennos. “The town is very, very lucky. He’s an incredible leader,” Vennos said.

Skip has a bold new idea for Main Street

April 16, 2011

Skip Harvey has a cwazy idea.

Except this time, it might not be so cwazy to turn the south frontage road on Main Street into a combination pedestrian mall and small festival place.

Harvey, the owner of the Base Camp Café, which would benefit from such a makeover, also is mayor of the town.

The makeover, called “an experiment,” would hit the road, so to speak, in Mid-June and last until the end of September.

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