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The Snow Dance

October 19, 2012

 

Not long ago, we got a phone call from a radio station in Los Angeles, asking if the town’s fiscal situation will help, hamper, or change the skier experience in Mammoth this season.

We said no—nothing will change as long as people do a proper snow dance right about now.

One of them goes off tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. at The Village. The people at the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation are throwing a bonfire party and ski burn as a sacrifice to Ullr. If you have to ask who the heck Ullr is, you’re in the wrong town.

Something will have to give

October 12, 2012

 

Two millions dollars a year for 23 years in a town of barely 8,000 people is going to cause inevitable heartache.

Don’t expect to be happy—regardless of the outcome.

The first round of potential cuts drafted by the Town of Mammoth Lakes and presented at the Sept. 27 Town Council meeting caused an explosion of emotions across town.

The most drastic of the proposed cuts is the elimination of seven sworn officers from the Mammoth Lakes Police Department.

Greed, Terry Ballas, and MLLA

October 5, 2012

 

We’ve been so busy pointing fingers at the people who caused the MLLA crisis here in Mammoth that we have hardly touched a couple of central questions.

What would it feel like to put a town of 7,000 people at risk? How does a person sleep comfortably, knowing that a little, small town in the mountains would have to reduce its resources to below bare-bones levels?

Paying the devil his due

September 28, 2012

With the settlement of the MLLA lawsuit all but done, Mammoth enters into a new phase.

Now we all get to see who walks the walk.

Since 1997, the year Terry Ballas proposed his idiotic airport condo project, our people have talked and talked. Then they talked some more. Along with all that talk-the-talk there were extended periods of finger pointing and blame gaming.

All that comes to an end right now, and over the course of the next three months.

Mark Wardlaw and Community Development

September 14, 2012

Mark Wardlaw is leaving town for San Diego County, and that’s a bad deal for Mammoth Lakes.

This Summer

September 7, 2012

It is hard to say how Mammoth did this summer, but practically all the indicators suggest it was exactly what we needed.

Fishbowl politics

August 31, 2012

We’d like to think we live in a fishbowl here—that everyone in California (and beyond) is paying attention to us.

They’re not.

We are a small town in one of the most remote, inaccessible areas this side of the Pakistan/Afghan border.

We all signed up for that, for a variety of reasons. But for those who may wish for thoughtful attention from Sacramento or L.A., not to mention Washington, D.C., it is best to get used to how small our fishbowl really is.

The Settlement

August 24, 2012

Mammoth finally settled its lawsuit with Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition this week. Our immediate response was a sense of relief, and we weren’t alone.

All over town, our citizens talked it up, not knowing, really, what the terms of the settlement actually are. We don’t know either, but we know enough to sense that it is not a victory.

Rather, the settlement is wrapped in the clothing of defeat. Our battle flags in this matter now are furled, never again to be unfurled. The settlement and its complicated aftermath represent a sorry chapter in our little town’s short, little history.

The gorilla in the room

August 17, 2012

When the Mammoth do-gooders last spring adopted the phrase “Best Summer Ever” for this year’s promotion, it had the scent of wishful thinking to it.

Let the bears die

August 13, 2012

This is going to hurt.

It hurts to write it; it hurts even worse to witness the impending bear die-off this summer, and do nothing.

Yet the best way to deal with Mammoth’s starving bears is to let nature take its amoral, cruel course. As painful as it might be, the very best thing for the bears is to let them die in their own way.

Starvation is nasty business, but it’s better than putting bullets in their brains. Certainly it is better than to keep them on the razor’s edge of life by handing them freebies, only to watch them become problem bears later.

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