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What's Up, Up Here?

December 23, 2010

First and foremost and before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a collective shout-out and way-to-go for the snow crews, cops, dispatchers, fire crews and PIO Stuart Brown. There are more, too. A fine job on an impossible storm. Yay to all of you! Mammoth Marketing chief Howard Pickett said he was sitting next to a guy who was connecting through SFO from San Diego and spent much of the 35-minute flight pleading for air service to Diego. ...

Big problem in most SoCal airports is that no carriers have aircraft suitable for the Mammoth’s conditions. ... Car fire last Sunday at Tavern and Old Mammoth Road, but it started from within! Smoldering cig and the driver walked away. ... Snowplow operator over the squawk box last weekend: “There’s a guy stuck in front of me and a guy stuck behind me!” Another operator in reply: “That’s just wrong!” On the other hand that coulda been Fire Chief Brent Harper, who had to get pulled out of an embankment at 9:50 Sunday. ...

After the ski area shut down on Monday, MMSA chipped in on some of the work on the streets, so thanks! ...

Weird sight: Lower Swall Meadows lost power on Sunday evening and by Monday evening still hadn’t got it back. Upper Swall was fine, though, so the lowers could look up and see light, the uppers could look down and see dark. ...

Those big snowblowers? They can get up to one mile an hour when they’re in action in a big storm, slightly faster with a tailwind. ... Remember Sean Coombs (no, not that one), who led the early days of the 80|50 project? His digs at 80|50 are up for auction sale ...

Councilman John Eastman to Red Commish chair Bill Sauser the other night: “Bill do have any thoughts on that?” Sauser to Eastman: “Yeah. I just don’t know what they are!” He was kidding. Maybe. ...

The Good Life opening for dinners after the New Year. Yay! ...

Snowstorms always seem to bring the good out in people: Monday morning Sue and Kelly Morning made their way to Dr. Sansom’s so he could remove four of Kelly’s wisdom teeth. Afterwards, the good doctor personally drove them home. ...

And there was the fellow in his two-wheel-drive Nissan Murano, trying to drive into the McDonalds drive through, only to sideswipe the building and call for a tow. Hope the people behind him got their Big Macs....

Naturally there were many amusing parts to the storm. Owner of a big, huge Land Rover couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t make it up an icy hill despite no chains and no snow tires. Money can’t buy you traction, Bub, and same to the Cadillac SUVs whose owner’s manuals advise not to use chains because of wheel clearance. ...

Too bad that the Sierra Wave dropped off the air at news time Monday evening. What’s a night of news without Bennett and Bob? ...

A citizen says he’s filed a report to local police that a snowblowin’ snowblower on Monday night (not town crew) deliberately knocked him down with a torrent of snow, and later, there was some chatter among the crews that the same guy was blowing berms back into driveways instead of cleaning ‘em off to the side. ...

Somehow, we never get tired of Vern Clevenger at the Minaret Mall art show each holiday season. His work gets more timeless as time marches on. ...

Just for the heck of it: ESPN and ABC are combining for five NBA games on Saturday. We’ve got our eye on Heat-Lakers at 2 o’clock, watching it between runs on the ski hill. ...

Police Chief Dan Watson had a novel idea the other day when he asked VisitMammoth’s John Urdi for several hundred of the new Visitors’ Guides. He said he wants to put them into squad cars so that Mammoth’s Finest can hand them out to hopeless and lost souls. “Dan is really dialled in,” Urdi says. “He knows there are two types of people ask for directions: police and bartenders.” ...

It may seem odd, but Town Manager Rob Clark says that the historic low cash point in the town’s fiscal year is in December, improving in January. Overall, the Town is maintaining a surplus. ...

The Town Council went looking to appoint a committee last week, but in a Gadzooks! moment, decided not to appoint a “Municipal Fiance Committee” in advance of the Measure U funding tsunami. Instead, the council will have three workshops and hear the experts for themselves.

Dieter Fiebiger, of the Alpine Garage and a longtime member of the Recreation Commission, said he was heartbroken when he was not reappointed earlier this month. “Those are all my kids,” he said. “All The soccer players, the ball players, everyone. I’m going to miss seeing everyone at council and commission meetings, too.” ...

Tom Farnetti said his last drive up to Bridgeport as a Mono County Supervisor Tuesday morning is one he will never forget, the first sunny day since the big storm. “It was spectacular,” he said. Farnetti retires as a supe this week, with incoming supervisor-elect Larry Johnston set to take his seat Jan. 4.

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