Yes, Virginia Lakes, there is a Santa Claus. That would be Greg Newbry. Not that you’d know it, but that was Newbry out there in the beard and the red suit in the cold night at the Town Christmas Tree Lightinglast week, for the 37th straight year. …
The sleet poured down in great, slanting sheets as I walked the narrow, unplowed road. I bent my (hatless) head into the wind and picked up my drenched and booted feet and kept walking. Cars passed me, casting off heavy chunks of rain-soaked snow from their spinning tires, soaking me even more.
It didnâ€™t really matter at that pointâ€”it was impossible to get much wetter.
â€śWhat a @# $@ idiot,â€ť I mumbled to myself, rain dripping off my face, not one word in three fit to print.
As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers have been put away, a parade of Christmastime entertainment steps into center stage.
Twirling the golden baton are the holiday-themed movies more heartwarming than hot cocoa, and Christmas carols endlessly streaming on the radio. Oh, and thatâ€™s just the beginning!
A majority of yuletide stories are based on Charles Dickensâ€™ â€śA Christmas Carol.â€ť The protagonist doesnâ€™t believe in the Christmas spirit until he is confronted with his own cynicism, and has to inspire Christmas joy in others.
Faced with few hot-button issues more searing than single-family home rentals, the Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission on Wednesday took a giant leap â€¦ sideways.
Splitting their votes in a rare display of discord, the commission voted, 3-2, to push the issue directly to the Town Council, but only after the overburdened town staff can complete more research into the ages-old issue.
In addition, the five-member commission decided that any work on the issue should not begin until after the current winter ski and snowboard season.
A new medical marijuana dispensary is in the pipeline for Mammoth.
It is called â€śThe Eastern Sierra Life Cooperative,â€ť owned by Mammoth resident Don Wright.
It is to open in the space formerly occupied by â€śGreen Mammoth Medical Marijuana Dispensaryâ€ť in the KMMT building on Laurel Mountain Road.
The Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously passed the application, giving Mammoth its second medical marijuana operation.
Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger was unanimously appointed as Mono County Sheriff by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and sworn in on the same day by Superior Court Judge Stan Eller.
Obenbergerâ€™s term will end in two years, at which point the seat will be up for an election.
He will begin serving on the evening of Dec. 20, after Sheriff Richard â€śRickâ€ť Scholl officially retires.
The Mammoth Times interviewed Obenberger prior to his swearing in.
MT: What do you think are the top three law enforcement challenges facing Mono County in the next two years?
In one of the more enduring traditions that Mammoth has to offer, the Village Championships rank among the top.
For 37 years, the locals in Mammoth have raced each other on the racecourses at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and itâ€™s no time to stop now.
With good snow cover expected throughout the season, the VCs open Jan. 8 and continue through the Finals on April 9.
The old hands will be at it again, with new faces once more popping into view.
The theme this season is â€śCOLOSSAL,â€ť said Drew Krempel of the ski areaâ€™s race department.
Garbage dumping fees are about to go up next year after the countyâ€™s supervisors voted Tuesday to raise rates a few dollars, or eight percent, a month per ton of garbageâ€”from $68.50 a ton to $74 a ton for municipal wasteâ€”beginning in January. Rates for construction debris will also go upâ€”from $50 a ton to $74 a tonâ€”a 48 percent increase. Dumping fees for organic waste, such as tree branches, lawn clippings, etc., will no longer be free and will now cost $5 per load.
Mammothâ€™s foray into heating its streets got its first test late last month.
A thermal sheet under Lakeview Boulevard at Lake Mary Roadâ€”the notorious â€śVoodoo Chuteâ€ťâ€”clicked into action, with mixed results.
The snowfall, from a wet storm that began on Thursday, Nov. 29, and stretched into the following Sunday, dropped several inches of glop onto the steep, one-block incline.
â€™Tis the season to get psyched.
Mammoth Nordic got the energy and anticipation flowing last weekend as the hosts of the â€śWinter Wildlands Alliance Backcoutry Film Festival: Celebrating the human powered experience.â€ť
There was the requisite eye-candy: the big names hucking big-on-big lines in interesting places you and I may never go (or for many locals: already have!)â€”but you sit, nonetheless, on the edge of your seat, eyes big and jaw slightly agape, thinking of your own big lines for this year.
The Mammoth Lakes Police Department lost longtime officer Jesse Gorham this week, and the town wonâ€™t be quite the same.
Gorham, who received his 15-year service award at the last Town Council Meeting, is retiring to Clendenin, W. Va., with his wife, Valerie, and three children, leaving Mammoth with a big gap on the force.
â€śWith his departure, and Marty Thompsonâ€™s departure earlier, that now makes me the largest member of the Police Department,â€ť quipped Chief Dan Watson. â€śIâ€™m not sure thatâ€™s a good thing.â€ť
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area received 16 inches of powder since Wednesday, giving the ski area about 126 inches (or about 10.5 feet) of snow since the season began on Oct. 1. The base depth of the mountain is now at 68 inches, or about 5.5 feet. The measurements were taken by the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Ski Patrol at Main Lodge, at about 9,000 feet of elevation.
The totals for Wednesdayâ€™s storm were something of a surprise; most forecasts had put the total snowfall for the area lower than what actually occurred.
Itâ€™s not enough to call it a â€śdump,â€ť per so, but snow is undeniably falling in Mammoth Wednesday.
The National Weather Service is being cagey as to how much precipitation weâ€™ll get, but the five-day precipitation graphic shows as much as 1.25 inches of moisture over the next few days. That translates into about a foot of snow, plus or minus.
This moisture is accompanied by a cold wave. That means the heavy Sierra Cement glop is not a factor.
Whatever snow comes down, it will arrive as powder.
In early November, Sheriff Richard C. Scholl made the announcement that he was going to retire as Sheriff-Coroner as of December 20th, 2012.
â€śI have been honored to be the 21st person to serve as Sheriff-Corner of Mono County. To have the trust of the employees and the citizens over these past six years has truly been a privilege. I know our accomplishments have outweighed the defeats and I believe the Sheriffâ€™s Office is poised to continue moving forward in a positive manner under the direction of Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger,â€ť stated Sheriff Scholl.
The Mammoth Town Council on Wednesday voted for a new government restructuring plan, with an eye to the long-range future but with its thumbs also fixed on vexing, short-term problems.
In making the decision, the council sought to put to bed some of the more controversial elements that have divided the town ever since it began its five-month-long tightrope walk back from the edge of municipal bankruptcy.