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The Abilene paradox

August 6, 2013

 

We were sitting around the office with an old pal the day after the Town Council voted, 3-2, to move ahead on creating the tourism-based Business Improvement District (TBID).

At the core of the discussion was not whether it was a good idea or a bad one, but rather the very nature of how groups of well-meaning people can make really bad decisions from time to time.

Getting to Yes

July 31, 2013

The notion of “Getting To Yes” is not just a business mantra.

In Mammoth, it applies all over the place, most recently in a renewed effort by the town (see story, P. 10) in getting our recreation leaders on the same page.

Fat chance, we say.

Heaven knows we’ve tried this kind of thing before, most recently with the long forgotten Sports Council, which aimed to unite recreation groups toward the practical idea of figuring out which groups should get which piece of the economic pie.

Volunteers

July 22, 2013

Mammoth has an undeniable volunteer spirit.

We have volunteers for the Half-Marathon; we have do-gooders for the Fourth of July Parade. The Jazz Jubilee draws so many volunteers that sometimes we wonder if they don’t outnumber the paying customers.

There were so many volunteers for the Town Cleanup Day in the spring that there wasn’t a single McDonald’s bag, Carl’s Jr. cup, or Vons plastic bag that was safe; this coming weekend, volunteers will be at Minaret Vista, helping rebuild a trail that badly needs it.

Priorities

July 2, 2013

The Mammoth Town Council, in a stroke of uncharacteristic wisdom, declared earlier this week a pair of “strategic planning” meetings, designed to put the disparate, argumentative, and disgruntled citizenry on the same page with the town government.

It’s about time.

For years around here, the tail has wagged the dog; that is, crises, contingencies, and exigencies have been the basis of longstanding town policies.

Because of us

June 26, 2013

We agree with Supervisor Tim Alpers and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory that the time has come to begin thinking of Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and the June Lake area as a unified whole.

Alpers envisions it as an “all-inclusive, premier, year-around recreation corridor” which is marketed and branded as an integrated whole.

It’s kind of a drumbeat around most successful resorts these days, this idea of regionalization.

The Litigious State

June 10, 2013

It saddened us to see the agenda item during Wednesday’s Mammoth Lakes Town Council meeting about banning skateboarding from all town streets.

The thought of banning anything recreational doesn’t make sense to us, really, regardless of where you live.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world that values common sense anymore, and on top of that, we live in California.

Instead of the Golden State, we should really be called the Litigious State.

No more lawns

June 5, 2013

Every spring, we continually scratch our heads when we see residents tend to their lawns after the snow melts away.

Can someone remind us why lawns exist?

We’d be lying if we said we don’t give the stink eye to those we see standing with a hose in hand, watering that pathetic patch of grass.

You can’t eat the stuff. Taking fertile soil and putting grass over it is giving the earth a hysterectomy.

Single-family home rentals

May 29, 2013

Once again, the issue of single-family home rentals landed in the lap of the Mammoth Lakes Town Council last week.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory popped in out of the blue and, during an otherwise innocuous workshop discussion about the 2013-14 budget, gave a forceful presentation on why Mammoth ought to have such rentals.

Practically no one saw this coming, except for the proponents of the scheme, who were in the Council Chambers (what a surprise) while the opponents, blissfully unaware that the topic was even under discussion, stayed away.

Urdi’s World

May 15, 2013

We can hardly remember what it was like around here before John Urdi arrived almost three years ago. Now, it’s hard for us to imagine what Mammoth would be if he were to somehow disappear.


Two major pieces of progress happened this week under the wand of the Mammoth Lakes Tourism Executive Director.

First, Mammoth took its first steps toward establishing a Tourism Business Incentive District, a TBID, joining about 75 other California cities in such a revenue-generating scheme.

Trail Talk

April 23, 2013

 

We have a soft spot in our hearts for the ineptly named, but highly effective, committee that has been put in charge of the Mammoth Lakes Trails System.

Against long odds, the so-called Mammoth Lakes Trails System Coordinating Committee (MLTSCC) has taken one central idea—all of us want great trails around here—and created a vision on behalf of at least 21 separate user groups.

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