June 8th, 2012
When the eleven boys of Cameron Yassamanâ€™s advanced Mammoth High School band stop talking and start playing, something happens.
The joshing stops, the awkwardness of adolescence is gone. The soundsâ€”silver and bronze, copper and gilt and fineâ€”push the walls of the room back. The air gives way to music.
The music lifts and pulls and pushes and cajoles. The crowded, circular band room grows huge.
The boys are transformed, too.
The music rises, grows bold and rich and deep; Thelonius Monkâ€™s decadent â€śAround Midnight.â€ť
The roof rises one last time.
The music ends.
Talk is cheap.
It even cheaper when it comes to talking to teenagers about the consequences of drunk driving.
Their eyes glaze over. They fidget. They play with their cell phones.
Last week, all that was bypassed when the entire county banded together at Mammoth High School to do a brutal reenactment of a fatal drunk driving collision.
Mammoth High School will lose several long-standing teachers after this semester. Jim Barnes, the independent study teacher, Deidre Buchholz, a longtime math teacher, Ross McGlothlin, an economics teacher, and Kevin Worden, a drama teacher, will not be coming back to the high school in the fall. Another longtime teacher, special resources teacher Jennifer Wilson, left the school earlier this year and will also not return.
â€śIt is always a challenge when you lose great teachers,â€ť said the districtâ€™s superintendent Rich Boccia.
There has been another high-level resignation in Mono County as of last week.
This time it was County Assessor Jody Henning, who announced her resignation in a letter to the county Board of Supervisors, effective at the end of June. Henningâ€™s office is an elected position.
Henningâ€™s assistant assessor, Chris Lyons, also announced his resignation at the same time. Lyonsâ€™ position is not an elected position.
Lee Vining High School has launched itself into the top tiers of high schools in the country based on Advanced Placement (AP) test scores for the first time. The test results put the little school on the Washington Postâ€™s High School Challenge Index for the first time, according to the schoolâ€™s principal, Roger Yost. The small rural school was ranked 707th in the nation, out of approximately 22,000 high schools, placing it in the top 3 percent of all high schools. It also placed 90th of the more than 1,800 high schools in California.
Already feeling the slings and arrows of its restive citizens, the Mammoth Town Council on Wednesday received an unsparing, stinging report on the town’s economic future.
Many of the restrooms are locked. Many of the trash bins are locked. Many of the campgrounds are closed and the reservation system for the Lakes Basin is in its annual state of confusion.
The Mammoth theater scene is on the up-and-up, says artistic director Shira Dubrovner.
All it needs is a vision, a business model and some way to capture and hold young people.
Easy to say, hard to do.
Dubrovner got a heavy taste of the challenges facing the theater last month at Directors Lab West in Pasadena, where she and other participants jammed a load of insight into eight days between May 19-26.
They also jammed nine plays in there, ranging from classical theater to highly experimental works by new artists and directors.
When Skip Harvey joined the Town council eight years ago, Mammoth Lakes was in good shape, the snow came in bucket loads and the future was as bright as the sun.
But on Wednesday evening, when Harvey stepped down, everything was upside down, including the $40 million MLLA judgment against the town at the same time that Mammoth endured its worst snow year in decades.
"If you never want to go hiking with me again, I completely understand."
It was supposed to be easy.
With one spot open for another medical marijuana dispensary, the cost of a mere application took a leap on Wednesday.
It’s always a big deal when the Sierra Summer Festival, in cooperation with Mammoth Gallery, opens its annual poster competition, and it’s open now.
The Town Council Wednesday evening gave the go-ahead to the Whitmore Track project, five years after Elaine Smith and her High Sierra Striders floated the idea.
CARMA, the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy facility east of Big Pine, will be holding its annual and much-anticipated Open House on Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.