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AT&T to accelerate service

October 19, 2010

What’s more important up here than mobile phone coverage?

Hard to figure anything, right off the top of our headsets.

We’ve heard of people tossing their iPhones off chairlifts, tossing them against the walls, crying real tears and wondering with exasperation how to find a charger once they realize they’ve left theirs at home.

No worries. Maybe. Possibly.

AT&T announced last week that it is accelerating the timetable to complete network upgrades on its wireless service, making it “significantly sooner” than earlier estimates.

Fox News: Rare species pops up out of nowhere

October 15, 2010

When a Sierra Nevada red fox slipped out of the high country forest near Sonora Pass, it didn’t know its kind hadn’t been positively identified in the Sierra for at least 20 years.

It didn’t know that its closest relative— the same species but a genetically different population — of a few dozen red foxes in Lassen National Park, already one thread away from final, was the last known group of foxes in the Sierra, down from a species that had once covered most of the Sierra high country.

What's Up, Up Here?

October 15, 2010

Old friend Warren Miller lost his rights to be Warren Miller on Wednesday when he lost a lawsuit between Warren Miller Entertainment (the film company) and Warren Miller (the man) over Miller’s use of his name, likeness, voice and endorsement. Since 2005, Miller, now in his mid 80s, has indicated that he is not content with recent productions, and has been actively discouraged from involvement in the films bearing his name. ..
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The town’s Planning Commission gave a “Certificate of Appreciation” to Jim Demetriades, he of snazzy-looking Rafters and the Sierra Nevada Lodge. ...

Mammoth will be a paradise, Rec Commission says

October 15, 2010

In 10 years, Mammoth will be the best alpine community in the country.

It will have gobs of winter and summer recreation, miles of trails, a plethora of special events and high-altitude athletes absorbing a cornucopia of art and culture.

Our townspeople will be playing soccer and football, the kids will have great sports camps and the skiing and snowboarding will be simply fabulous.

So says a vision statement that the Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission handed up to the Town Council on Tuesday afternoon on a unanimous and enthusiastic vote.

Bearproof curbside bins are working, except when humans use them

October 15, 2010

The reaction to Mammoth Disposal’s bear-proof curbside containers apparently is mixed.

Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission chair Tony Barrett on Wednesday said he’d heard from unhappy customers.

The question was if the BearSaver contraptions work as promised, and Dan Dawson rose to the device’s defense.

A member of the town’s Wildlife Committee, Dawson said the only problems he’d heard of were caused by stupid humans.

“You can’t give ‘em all night,” he said in reference to bears who have tried to break into the bins.
“They’ll figure it out and get in.”

John Nathan Adams, track coach and snowboard instructor, becomes fourth victim of Aug. 9 Bishop crash

October 15, 2010

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

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

He passed away surrounded by his family.

Summer wilderness visits hit 10-year high

October 15, 2010

Visits into the wilderness areas of the Inyo National Forest hit a 10-year spike this past summer, according to Nancy Upham, the information officer of the forest.

“There were more days full on more trails than in the past 10 years, even some of the more obscure trails,” she said.

Upham said wilderness permits at the Wilderness Reservation offices in both Bishop and Mammoth were off the charts. Though the Forest Service does not do an actual count at campgrounds, anecdotal evidence suggests that the campgrounds were jammed all summer, too.

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.

Old rules still govern this Special Consolidated Primary Election to fill the seat of the deceased Senator Dave Cox.

Voters will close an era of partisan history when they mark their ballots during the November election.

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.

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