February 11th, 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.
As Village Championship races go, last Tuesdayâ€™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 Mammothâ€™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 didnâ€™t race in Tuesdayâ€™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.
Mammoth welcomed back a couple of its in-the-news athletes on Sunday, giving locals a chance to meet and ski with ski cross mega-star Johnny Teller and slopestyle skier Kaya Turski.
Hundreds of people jammed the Main Lodge sun deck for autographs, handshakes and high-fives, and if there were passers-by or out-of-towners who wondered what the fuss was about, hereâ€™s why:
Teller, coming off an X-Games gold medal and a couple of World Cup podiums, was just back from the FIS World Championships in Utah, where he placed fifth but won the so-called â€śsmall finalsâ€ť in his event.
Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (DSES) and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area hosted the fifth annual winter Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project.
Thirty-five wounded marines, soldiers and veterans, their family members and military staff enjoyed five days of recreation catered by DSES.
Participants joined DSES from hospitals and rehabilitation centers at San Diego and Arizona and Hawaii.
Veterans joined the program from as far away as Washington and Virginia.
The relatively recent discovery of geothermal energy literally right below the Shady Rest Park area has only complicated an already very complicated issue in Mammoth â€“ how best to utilize one of the town's visitors and locals favorite locations that is already highly popular with snowmobilers, cross country skiers, dog-walkers and more.
The bottom line is that the Shady Rest area is literally in danger of being loved to death, with locals and visitors alike piling into the area to cross-country ski, snowmobile, walk dogs, hike, mountain bike, walk, snowshoe, skate ski.
The Mammoth daycare provider arrested in October for sexually abusing at least four children in his care, Lupe Almaguer, will not face a judge again until March 8, after his sentencing was continued at his attorney's request yesterday.
Judge Stan Eller granted the request, according to an investigator for the Mono County Deputy Attorney's office, Wade McCammond.
The sentencing was originally set for next week, Feb. 15, at 1:30 p.m., in Bridgeport.
"Mr. Almaguer is expected to be present for the pronouncement of sentence," McCammond said.
The body of an Elk Grove man that was discovered by a National Forest Service employee on patrol at Mt Morrison Cemetery Saturday was likely a suicide, according to the Mono County Sheriff's Department.
According to the sheriff's department, the details go like this.
Even as Mammothâ€™s town council moved to approve an agreement to subsidize some air service flights this week, county supervisors had three words to say:
â€śNot so fast.â€ť
At a Tuesday discussion centered around Mammoth Mountainâ€™s request that the county help subsidize air service, splitting it three ways with the town government and the Mountain, it was clear the supervisors arenâ€™t ready to go there, not yet and perhaps, not at all.
Herre's the latest in gossip, news and idle speculations from our cozy little burg.
Hot rumor around town is that by 2012 weâ€™ll have a state-of-the-art 10- to 12-lane bowling alley, with restaurant and lounge and three upstairs bays for simulated golf. How hot is the rumor? Scalding. ..
Why the S.F. flight matters: John Eastman was at the airport this past week, catching a flight to L.A., when he ran into a passel of New Jersey club skiers who always wanted to try Mammoth. One connection to SFO, then the non-stopper to Newark. ...
Melissa Margulies is going to the Super Bowl. Not to watch, but to play.
Sheâ€™s a rookie star on the Los Angeles Temptation football team.
L.A. plays the Philadelphia Passion during half time. The teams are part of the Lingerie Football League.
Margulies, who grew up in Mammoth and ran track at MHS, as well as USC, always wanted to play pro baseball. Sheâ€™s not far off, as both safety and running back for the Temptation.
Police Chief Dan Watson didnâ€™t get exactly what he wanted from the Town Council Wednesday evening, but at least he got something.
Thatâ€™s more than he got in his first two tries before the council, on Dec. 15 and Jan. 19, when the chief tried to figure out a way to add some muscle to his force.
On both those occasions, the council turned him down flat.
But on Wednesday, after yet another proposal from Watson, the council approved filling the MLPDâ€™s open lieutenant position from within and adding a sergeant.
While much of the rest of the country got walloped by a massive winter storm this week, the Sierra remained stuck in a stubborn dry pattern that shows no signs of breaking anytime soon.
Even the groundhog in Punxsutawney didnâ€™t see his shadow meaning, if groundhogs can be believed, that winter will end soon.
But the huge snows that hit the Sierra back in December were enough to, so far at least, protect the state of California, which gets 30 percent of its water from the Sierra Nevada mountains.
How do we know?
Members of the Recreation Commission began to wrap their heads around implementing the townâ€™s recreation vision on Wednesday afternoon.
The commission met with Carl Ribaldo and Austin McInerney of the Strategic Marketing Group, along with facilitator, former Tourism and Recreation director Danna Stroud.
The consulting group walked the commission through the steps and guidelines that would make the so-called â€śRecStratsâ€ť document a viable recreation road map by August.