July 8th, 2011
On the very first day of the very first week of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, 24-year-old Tim Smalley signed up.
It was 1986. Mammoth had just incorporated. It was a brand new job in a brand new town. Heâ€™s still here. â€śThe first five days were good,â€ť he said. â€śWe just drove around town to get the lay of the land. We just checked it out.â€ť
Thereâ€™s nothing quite like an afternoon of Chihuahua races at the Village.
The crowd begins to pulse about an hour before the heats begin. Big men, such as Alpine Garageâ€™s Mike Fiebigger, hold their tiny dogs close. His wife, Karen, was alongside. In the Fiebigersâ€™ case, this was an unusual hairless Chihuahua, named Klein.
â€śHeâ€™s like a Billy Idol,â€ť said Fiebiger. (There are three more Chihuahuas in the Fiebiger clan, named Juicy, Dolce and Lelo, but thatâ€™s beside the point.)
Tom Shepard, holding the appropriately named Smidgen, strolled by, showing off.
The cop shop wonâ€™t ever be the same.
Sergeant Karen Smart, on the Mammoth Lakes Police Department force for 25 years, said earlier this week she will retire so that the department can save a job for one of the younger officers.
â€śMy time is done,â€ť she said in a poignant interview early this week. â€śThe younger guys are the future of the department and the future of the town.â€ť
Now that the Fourth of July is over, at least one town councilman is already looking at the next Fourth of July.
Time is short. Matthew Lehman has only a year to figure out what the holiday should look like.
At Wednesdayâ€™s Town Council meeting, Lehman floated the idea of moving the center of attention to the Village rather than Crowley Lake.
He said he knows heâ€™ll hear gasps all over town.
â€śMy primary goal is to help the business community,â€ť he said.
â€śInstead of being one of the worst nights of the year in Mammoth, Iâ€™d like it to be one of the best.â€ť
Several long-time Eastside residents were the first to respond to the news that a Mexican sport fishing boat, the Erik, with 26 American citizens on board, had capsized off the eastern coast of Baja Mexico on July 3, dumping all 43 passengers into the sea in the midst of a raging storm.
Doug and Peggy Magee have owned a home in Baja for 25 years and have lived there permanently for the past ten. Gloria and Ed Vasquez own a home close to the Mageeâ€™s.
Mammoth Mountain picked up a nice mention on NBC Nightly News a week ago. The bit was about our late ski season, narrated by anchor Kate Snow. â€¦
Itâ€™s true! Tony and Cindy Avena, stalwarts in Mammoth for 30 years, have put the venrable Slocumâ€™s up for sale. â€¦
Weâ€™re sure going to miss Jon Eisert, the estimable Ski Surgeon, who folded up shop Tuesday at 12:59:59 p.m. and is on his way to Paso Robles. For good. â€śSome decisions are made for you,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s time.â€ť Memories? â€śBack in the day, our dirtbags were better than the current dirtbags.â€ť â€¦
Heavy rain and warm temperatures could mean serious flooding throughout Mono County tonight, according to the National Weather Service. The weather is supposed to dry out after Friday, with warm dry conditions predicted for the weekend. Go to this site for detailed information: http://1.usa.gov/n6r2Iy
Long ago, thousands of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep roamed the high Sierra, scattered along the crest of the range from Olancha Peak and all the way north to the Lee Vining Canyon area.
Agile, swift, secretive, this unique species of bighorn is only found in one place in the world: the Sierra Nevada; The vast majority of them roam on the Eastern Sierra side of the range. They seldom descend below 4,000 feet, spending most of their lives on the knife-edged, wind-swept peaks and ridges, where they find comparative safety from predators.
â€śDonâ€™t go in the water. Donâ€™t get anywhere near the water.â€ť
Thatâ€™s the advice of everyone from Mammoth Lakes Police to county sheriffâ€™s deputies to US Forest Service rangers this week, as hot summer temperatures finally hit the massive snowpack still suspended above Mammoth.
â€śYou can feel the vibration when you are just standing near the river, there is so much water right now,â€ť said Inyo National Forest spokesman Mike Johnson Thursday. â€śThere are just torrents of water coming down. Whatever you do, donâ€™t go in the water. Itâ€™s just very dangerous.â€ť
Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile Roads opened Wednesday and the shuttle buses are running. Yeah! But thereâ€™s a lot of water down there, and the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River is flooding. Plus, a lot of trails are damaged or under water. So, be careful, be very, very careful. ...
A 65-year-old Placerville woman died June 23 after trying to lead her horse across a snow bridge in the Cottonwood Lakes Wilderness area southwest of Lone Pine.
Deborah Behrendt died after a snow bridge gave way as she was trying to lead her horse across it, according to the Inyo County Sheriff's Department. A snow bridge forms across streams or small rivulets durign spring runoff conditions and is hollow underneath a covering of snow. Behrendt's horse reacted when the bridge gave way, causing the horse behind her horse to rear up and come down on Behrendt's chest.
Mono Basin Historical Society Vice President David Dore will be coordinating a work party to repair the roof of the Upside Down House, wall of the Old Schoolhouse, and hopefully the handicapped access ramp if time, labor and materials allow this Thursday, June 30.
Meet at the Museum at 9:00 a.m. if you can help. Dore hopes to have a good turnout to accomplish the repairs.
Please direct questions to Dave, 760-647-1055.
Whitmore Poolâ€™s fate came right down to the wire on Wednesday.
It came as the Mammoth Lakes Town Council struggled to balance its 2011-12 budget.
If it was not a last-second reprieve, it was certainly a last-hour reprieve for advocates of the pool.
They will find the poolâ€™s hours of operation the same; the water comfortable and inviting, just as swimmers there have known for many years.
As a neighborhood, a community, a county, who are we?
That question is at the heart of the work that a group of local residents is doing right now.
Their answers have the potential to redefine the question.
Couched in the term â€średistrictingâ€ť, these residents have been working for the past several weeks to come up with ways to re-draw Mono Countyâ€™s five supervisorial districts.
Redistricting is necessary in the county because the 2010 Census revealed that the districts are now lopsided in terms of population. They must be made equal.
Interim Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinezâ€™s contract runs out at the end of June, but donâ€™t count on it sticking, say Town Hall insiders. Once the Hot Creek judgment lands, the town staff is going to need a whole lot of help, and thereâ€™s no help like MMMâ€™s ...
Hoidy-toidy Grinnell College in Iowa put Bishopâ€™s Drew Blumberg on the Deanâ€™s List for the spring semester, and thatâ€™s a big darned deal in academic circles. Heâ€™s majoring in Biological Chemistry. Parents Stephen and Sandra Blumberg are proud as punch. ...