January 28th, 2011
As the federal government eyeballs even the military as a place to cut costs, some locals wondered if cuts might hit the Bridgeport area Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.
Probably not, said Rian Gamble, community outreach for the center.
â€śWe are training Marines at full capacity, with some 16,000 to 17,000 a year coming through, doing everything from mountain medicine training to high altitude training, and more,â€ť he said.
A decision on whether and where snowmobiles can cross the Pacific Crest Trail near Sonora Pass might not be made this year, according to Mike Crawley, Bridgeport District Ranger for the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest.
The decision, part of a winter recreation plan that aims to increase the economic diversity for northern Mono County, was due out by Crawley early this year.
The third time is not the charm.
Despite reports from AT&T that the technical cell service problems were fixed in the Tri-Valley area last week, Mono County supervisor Hap Hazard said they have not been fixed.
In fact, Chalfant still has no service, at least from the northern border of White Mountain Estates north, he said, although Benton now apparently, finally has at least better and more consistent service.
Elizabeth Tenney has a new volunteer project up her sleeve.
Having steered the townâ€™s lighting policy into an ordinance, and having succeeded in flowering a park next to the townâ€™s Post Office, she now wants to build a â€śGateway Monumentâ€ť on the left side of S.R. 203 at the entrance to town.
The project, which is to be funded by private donations and donations-in-kind, would be constructed directly across the highway from the current â€śMammoth Lakesâ€ť structure that has the emblems of the various service clubs below.
The two structures thus would form a â€śGatewayâ€ť to the town.
When it rises swift and cold on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the sun will mark the one day of the year exactly halfway between the past Winter Solstice and the March 20 Spring Equinox.
This day really has nothing to do with groundhogs at all, although Americans celebrate the day, if they think of it at all, as Groundhog Day.
Rather, itâ€™s the Old Worldâ€™s celebration of the return of the spring.
Candlemas, â€śMass of the Candles,â€ť the return of the light, a day once welcomed with a thousand candles, a thousand prayers and thanksgivings.
On Mammoth Mountain, where great skiing at all levels is bountiful, only a few can be classified as iconic.
The runs might include Broadway, or Daveâ€™s Run, or St. Anton.
Perhaps the most iconic run, though, is Climax, the aptly named bowl just to skierâ€™s left of the Upper Gondola at 11,053 feet.
It is a wide-open double-black, although by the time spring comes and the bowl is filled in, a skier could probably move that rating back to a single black diamond.
Getting there is easy.
â€śItâ€™s been a long time since Mono County has seen a catastrophic event,â€ť said Eric Diem, director of the June Mountain Ski Patrol.
Diem staged the second annual avalanche rescue training on Thursday, Jan. 20 for the June Lake and Lee Vining volunteer fire departments.
Following last yearâ€™s successful clinic, Diem put together a manual with guidelines for some of the larger agencies that donâ€™t deal with snow crises on a regular basis.
Mammoth Lakes Town Manager Robert Clark has been selected by the City Council of Ojai to be their next city manager. Ojai is nestled in the northeast corner of Ventura County and is known for its tourist and arts related activities.
Prior to becoming the Town Manager of Mammoth Lakes in 2004, Clark served as city manager of Avalon on Catalina Island and deputy city manager of Laguna Beach. He will assume his new duties on February 21, 2011.
Jon Regelbrugge, currently the district ranger for the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts, has been named as the new acting forest supervisor for the Inyo National Forest. Regelbrugge is expected to serve in this position until a new, permanent forest supervisor has been selected.
On the afternoon of Jan. 18, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to assist in locating a lost snowboarder at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
David Joseph, 27, Crystal Heights, was snowboarding by himself and unknowingly crossed the western edge of the ski area boundary and became lost. He was able to contact his father by cell phone. His father then notified Ski Patrol of his sonâ€™s predicament. Ski Patrol began searching for him but were unable to find him, as Mr. Joseph reported that he thought he was somewhere inside the ski area boundary.
Despite reports from AT&T that the technical cell service problems were fixed in the Tri-Valley area last week, area county supervisor Hap Hazard said they aren't.
In fact, Chalfant still has no service, at least from the northern border of White Mountain Estates north, he said, although Benton now apparently finally has at least better and more consistent service.
The Inyo National Forest has announced a BLM pile burning project along S.R. 89, three miles north of U.S. 395 on Slinkard Valley Road. They will burn 485 slash piles from Jan. 24-31.
Mono County's narcotics enforcement team has had a busy week last week, including the arrest of a Fresno drug dealer with previous ties to Mammoth and the arrest of two local June Lake residents on other charges.
Although the current snowpack on top of Mammoth Pass is at 297 percent of normal for the second week of January, itâ€™s still too early to celebrate.
â€śIf we donâ€™t get any snow, and thereâ€™s none forecast, this could be the wettest December on record followed by the driest January,â€ť said state snow surveyor John Dittli.
Despite the snowiest December on record, thereâ€™s still reason to keep at hand that snow dance routine most longtime Mammothites know.
So, if things continue as they are forecast, the wettest December might be followed by another record -and not a wanted one.