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State Senate candidates speak out

October 15, 2010

 

Four candidates are vying for the California State Senate seat that was vacated upon the death of  Senator Dave Cox (R) last year.  District 1 stretches from Mono County northward along the Nevada border all the way to Oregon, including nine complete counties plus parts of three more. 

Red rover red rover, bring Mars right on over

October 15, 2010

The search for life on Mars got up close and personal for Lee Vining students when a group of NASA scientists test-driving a Mars rover robot prototype got rained out last week and decided instead to drop in on Lee Vining High School.

Rover and all.

Congress takes a break, and so does the Bodie Hills brouhaha

October 15, 2010

An effort by Mono County’s U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon to remove the Bodie Hills from their current status as a Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is on hold, after Congress adjourned early this month without voting on the bill.

Mono County District 4 Supervisor Bob Peters, who recently brought a resolution to the county supervisors asking to release the Bodies Hills from WSA protection, got the news last week,

Eastern Sierra still not out of the smoke

October 15, 2010

Although the air has cleared somewhat since the big winter storm last week, Mammoth and Mono County residents are still waking up to hazy skies, something relatively unusual for this time of year.

It’s due to two main factors: a strong high pressure ridge, or stable air mass, hanging over the area, and smoke from the still-burning Sheep Fire and some pollution coming from down south.

“Although the Sheep Fire is mostly out, it’s still putting out some smoke and it’s blowing directly toward us,” said Jon Becknell, an air quality specialist for the local Great Basin district.

Inyo names Upchurch replacement

October 15, 2010

The Inyo National Forest has a new supervisor.

It’s an interim position, but the new supe has plenty of interesting experience and ought to stir things up around here.

She is Kit Mullen, currently the district ranger for the Hat Creek District of the Lassen National Forest in Northern California.

According to a press release from the Inyo National Forest, she will be the interim or acting forest supervisor after the recent departure of Supervisor Jim Upchurch.

Tricky Senate special election looms

October 15, 2010

There’s something special about this Special Election

Four candidates are competing for the job of State Senator, District 1, including one Democrat and three Republicans. But voters will close an era of partisan history when they mark their ballots during the November election to replace the late Dave Cox.

In June, voters agreed to change those rules by approving Prop 14 which calls for open primaries to begin January 1. Meanwhile, the old-fashioned rules make for some interesting political speculation.

Yosemite employees could be stationed in Lee Vining Canyon

October 15, 2010

Overcrowded housing in Yosemite National Park could become an economic boon to Lee Vining, if a plan to put park employee housing at the lower end of the canyon at the current forest service site there goes forward.

But that’s only if the project is designed to environmental and aesthetic problems, according to Lee Vining residents who attended a meeting Wednesday night on the subject.

One business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said the mood of the 30 or so residents at the meeting was “cautiously optimistic.”

John Adams, running trainer involved in Aug. 9 multi-fatal Bishop crash, dies

October 10, 2010

John Adams, the popular track coach who was hospitalized after the horrific Aug. 9 triple-fatal crash in Bishop, on Saturday died as a result of his injuries, his family announced.

Adams a resident of Cardiff in Southern California, had many friends in Mammoth, including Stuart and Julie Brown, who gave him a sendoff from Mammoth shortly before the crash. Adams was 39 at the time of the crash.

On Friday, Adams' family posted a notice on the website CaringBridge.com, that family members had decided to end Adams' life support at Renown Regional Medical Center.

Big numbers for summer tourism, not so much for busineses

October 8, 2010

Tourism in Mammoth was off the charts, but that didn’t necessarily translate into booming business, say the town’s business people.

“I don’t know that we’ve seen the bottom,” said Dawn Vereuck of Elegant Bath & Kitchen. “There’s still a sense of fear.”

Tony Colasardo of Footloose Sports sensed largely the same thing.

“People are just a little more cautious” he said. They’re watching their pennies.”

Is Mammoth a "seat belt trap?"

October 8, 2010

Mammoth Lakes Police Chief Dan Watson got his back up this week when he learned an Orange County man had dropped off a document to the Mammoth Times claiming the town has deliberately set up “Seat Belt Traps.”

“A law enforcement official parks his police car facing the stop sign waiting for a tourist coming from the L.A. area,” wrote Barry H. Buckser, of Lake Forest.

What's Up, Up Here?

October 8, 2010

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area made a big push to land a spot at May’s Amgen Tour of California, but was outpaced by the Tahoe resorts. The cyclists will start at South Lake to Tahoe-Northstar, North Lake to Squaw Valley, then into the central valley, finishing in Thousand Oaks after eight stages. We is bummed but appreciate the effort put in by MMSA. ...

Prescribed Burns Announced

October 8, 2010

The Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts of the Inyo National Forest and the North Zone for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - Bishop Field Office are planning to implement several prescribed fire projects for habitat improvement and hazardous fuels reduction in the upcoming fall and winter months, the forest service announced this week.

Smoke may be visible at times from Highways 395, 120 and 203 as well as from the communities of Mono City, Lee Vining, June Lake, Mammoth Lakes and Topaz.

Chamber offers Ambassador Program workshops

October 8, 2010

The Mammoth Ambassador Program is designed to improve the level of hospitality toward visitors to Mammoth.

It offers a community-wide hospitality training program consisting of one six-hour day presented in two modules: Spirit of Hospitality and Host training for the town. Spirit of Hospitality focuses on the culture of guest service, the kind of “active friendliness” that differentiates the best resorts in the United States from the rest.

Food Bank donations needed

October 8, 2010

There are some people living in Lee Vining and June Lake who need assistance. This food often supplements the government food program and is distributed in Food Baskets for Thanksgiving and Easter. Non-perishable food containers are in the Lee Vining and June Lake post offices.

Check donations can be made payable to: Community Presbyterian Church. P.O. Box 267 Lee Vining, CA 93541.

Please mark checks with the notation “Food Bank.” For more information call Cathy Lytle (760) 647-6157 or Linda Dore (760) 647-1055.

For the Town Council, short work. Really short.

October 6, 2010

When the Mammoth Lakes Town Council finally adjourned Wednesday night, practically everybody in the council chambers snapped to their cellphones or wristwatches to just see how long the meeting had lasted.

"I make it 14 minutes," said an astonished Police Chief Dan Watson.

Fourteen *minutes?*

This, from a deliberative body that is notorious for dragging things well into the night.

In fact, if there is a single expression that characterizes a Mammoth Town Council meeting, it's the 9:30 p.m. yawn.

Mammoth daycare provider arrested

October 6, 2010

A longtime Mammoth Lakes daycare provider was arrested the evening of Oct. 5 on suspicion of sexual abuse against two children, now adults, who were once in his care, according to local law enforcement officials.

Guadalupe “Lupe” Almaguer, 56, was arrested on the evening of Oct. 5 for crimes of sexual abuse against minors, according to Mono County District Attorney Chief Investigator Wade McCammond.

Almaguer was booked on five counts of Penal Code 288, or “Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child under 14.”

Storm not over yet

October 6, 2010

Mammoth and Mono County residents awoke Wednesday morning to the first real snow of the year on the ground.

About an inch of wet snow covered the lower reaches of the county all the way down to the county line on the Sherwin Grade with far more above the 10,000 foot line, and local weatherman Howard Sheckter said it isn’t over yet.

Attempted murder in Mammoth's 'Ghetto'

October 5, 2010

A 24-year-old Mammoth Lakes resident was booked on charges of attempted murder Tuesday, after a wild, confusing episode in the town’s “Ghetto” neighborhood.

Jonathon Anderson also was charged with felony domestic violence, parole violation, resisting arrest and destroying a cell phone when used to make an emergency call.

Anderson, who was pulled from under the victim’s bed during the arrest, is behing held without bail at the Mono County Jail in Bridgeport.

Gloppy weather continues for Mammoth

October 5, 2010

Gloppy weather continued in Mammoth on Tuesday, but in mid-afternoon, bright stabs of sunshine burst through the rain- and snow-sodden skies.

Despite the afternoon sun, the National Weather Service wasn't buying it.

For the rest of the afternoon and early evening, forecasters at the weather service predicted more snow. Some thunder is also possible. High near 38. Northeast wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Tioga Pass, Sonora Pass are closed

October 4, 2010

UPDATED 3 p.m. Monday. The "Granite Curtain" descended in the High Sierra Monday, when snow, wind and general "inclement weather" forced Caltrans to close both Tioga Pass (S.R. 120) and Sonora Pass (S.R. 108).

Forecasters predicted four to eight 4 to 8 inches of snow are possible in the Sierra above 8,500 feet through Tuesday morning.

Snow levels near 11,000 feet will drop to near 9,000 feet later today and fall near 8,000 feet late tonight.

Snow may affect the higher passes along U.S. 395 tonight in Mono county but accumulations are unlikely to occur.

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