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What's up, up here? Feb. 27-March 5 | News snippets from here and there

March 3, 2014

Linda Arnold, of Bishop, holds one of her watercolor paintings, “Meadow View of Mt. Locke”.  She is donating this painting to be auctioned at the Eastern Sierra Community Auction on March 15 at the First United Methodist Church Community Center in Bishop. Photo/Submitted

 

That was a fine, fine shindig at Rafters Tuesday night, in the third and last scheduled go-around of Elizabeth Tenney’s six-minute “flash talks.” Big laughs provided by tourism and film chief Alicia Vennos; big gasps provided by Steve Klassen’s tales of big-mountain snowboarding in Verbier; good core skiing tips from Jack Copeland; tales of searches and rescues from Jeff Holmquist; and finally, the harrowing story of Katherine Allen and her son’s (successful) battle with hantavirus, which left the room knee deep in a puddle of tears. ...

 

As an aside, Vennos gave fair warning to the assembled citizenry: “Never have coffee with Elizabeth Tenney unless you want to lose three years of your life.” …

 

Not much going on in Mono County these days, hence the cancellation of the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, March 4, for lack of agenda items. That’ll change soonly, though, when the supes get going on the 2014-15 fiscal year budget, so it’s probably good that Jim Leddy and the Supes (NOT a rock ‘n’ roll band) get time to take a coupla deep breaths. …

 

That wasn’t a big break for 31 MUSD teachers last MLK Weekend, as they got training on how to use iPads more effectively in the classroom. Soon, says Superintendent Lois Klein, each kid in middle school will have an iPad under a state-sponsored program that began last fall. …

 

Speaking of the schools, school board prez John Stavlo says he’s thrilled at the number of teachers offering free math tutorials to our kids. The tutorials cover algebra, all the way to pre-caluclus and calculus. …

 

Council member Jo Bacon, meanwhile, says she has calculated the payback for work on the council, and it works out to be “about 27 cents an hour.” …

 

Get set for another invasion of ink-stained wretches around here. Two-plus years after the Outdoor Writers of California held forth in our mountain aerie, here come writers from the Western Chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers. They’ll hit town at the same time as the runners in the second-ever Mammoth Half-Marathon, and overlap with the vroom-vroom-vroomers at the Motocross. If they want to come a week early, says MLT’s Michael Vanderhurst, they’d also get in on the ATV Jamboree in Walker. …

 

Even as the spring snow comes down, the folks in June Lake are getting a big buzz of interest among the Suds Crowd for the next October’s June Lake Autumn Beer Festival. …

 

We know the Pacific drought is a bummer, but there was a silver lining to the season, according to the SnowSports Industries of America, whose research director, Kelly Davis, said in a report this past week that there were record Christmas sales of $2.3 billion, with action cameras leading the accessories. The GoPro crowd bought 81,000 cameras this past holiday season (19 percent boost) worth a 26 percent jump in dollars sold, to $27 million through December. …

Ever wonder why the Mono County website doesn’t have a viable widget for booking reservations? So did Jeff Simpson, the economic development director, who says he’s going to toss a bookings.com widget on the page for a test run. Lodging owners are on board, for the most part, particularly Dave Nadin, proprietor of Reverse Creek Lodge, who most definitely is not moving in reverse on this subject. …

 

Oh, and by the way, the ice rink is now closed for the season, and if that seems early, it isn’t. Without a roof overhead, says rec manager Stu Brown, the angle of the sun turns the ice to mush. Meanwhile, the town is moving ahead, maybe, on getting a roof. Tricky business, what with the winds and alla that. …

 

Happy Birthday, George Washington! And while we’re at it, birthday wishes also go out to Stepanie Elswick, Steve Taylor, Liz Fleming, Marcus Nobreus and the ageless Harry White. …

 

The Board of Directors of the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair announced this past week its search for a new CEO of the fairgrounds was successful. Sally Symons, of Bishop, was selected to fill the position. Congrats, Sally! …

 

It’s back! The third annual Eastern Sierra Community Auction hosted by the First United Methodist Church will take place on Saturday, March 15, at the church’s community center (205 N. Fowler St.). The proceeds from this event will help benefit United Methodist Church Social Services and will benefit the Soup Kitchen, which feeds the hungry; Shower Ministries, which provides hot showers to the homeless; Friendship Center, which provides respite care for persons suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia; Spirit of Recovery, which supports fellow community members recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism; and Project for Independent Living, which helps to put roofs over the heads of residents in need. …

 

Caltrans is going green. Kinda-sorta. It says it is removing all its turf grass to save water and also cutting back watering all its landscaping in other areas by 50 percent. Ya think maybe it’s time for the Town of Mammoth Lakes to do the same thing?

 

A new group of Marines is scheduled to hit the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in early March and the one thing they hope for the most, according to base representatives Doug Power and Dave Brillenz, is enough snow for winter training. The last group of Marines left this week and heads next to Finland, where they hope to get that on-the-snow training that this dry winter cheated them of. …

 

The last section of  U.S. 395 between Nevada and Southern California that is still only two lanes is scheduled to go to four lanes in 2018. Completion set for 2020. …

 

A brand new brine-based solution in now being used on roads before a storm hits, instead of the usual cinder and salt treatment that is used after it begins to snow, according to Caltrans. The whole idea is to prevent the snow from accumulating, says Ryan Dermody. The new stuff is also supposed to be more environmentally friendly, sez he. …

 

What’s that we hear about a high-speed corridor between southern California and the Eastern Sierra along the oh-so-dangerous Adelanto route? Called the High Desert Corridor, it’s on the far horizon, but at some point years out, according to Caltrans, it will connect the Lancaster/Palm Desert area to the U.S. 395 four-lane without the scary blind curves, narrow, buckling pavement and everything else that makes driving the current route so terrifying.

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