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2012 Crime: One case dominated

December 28, 2012

Bourne, Walker child sex abuse case divides Mammoth

Few Mammoth locals will ever forget Jan. 4, the day Mammoth Hospital surgeon and school board member Andrew Bourne and longtime Mammoth resident Joe Walker, were arrested on suspicion of various counts of child sexual abuse against a young Santa Barbara girl, whose family had long been friends with both men.

The fishing season hooked us in 2012

December 28, 2012

New cooperation emerges

It used to be, back in the not-so-old days, it was every man for himself when it came to fishing in the Eastern Sierra.

But when spring arrived early in 2012, the result of a near-disastrous low-snow season, the fishermen and their related businesses found a bond in the new Eastern Sierra Fishing Coalition.

The Devil in 2012

December 28, 2012

‘Devils Windstorm’ wreaks havoc in the forest

A freak windstorm that took out tens of thousands of mature pine in the Reds Meadow area on the night of Nov. 30, 2011 might seem like last year’s story and not fit for this anthology.

But the repercussion from that night’s windstorm could well come back to haunt Mammoth and other affected parts of the Eastern Sierra for decades to come.

Sports took center stage in 2012

December 28, 2012

In London, the World Cup and here at home

It seemed like every time a sports fan turned around, there was something to catch his or her attention.

If it wasn’t John Teller on the World Cup Ski Cross tour, it was Stacey Cook, climbing to 10th in the world in women’s World Cup downhill racing, then nabbing her first two World Cup podium finishes on back-to-back days in Lake Louise in early December.

Mammoth loses Skip Harvey in 2012

December 28, 2012

Cancer silences a joyful, obstreperous voice

Skip Harvey died on July 16, leaving an empty spot in Mammoth that nearly everyone felt.

A two-term Mammoth Lakes town councilman and mayor, ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain, and owner of the Base Camp Café, Harvey died at home after a long battle with throat cancer.

He took on just about everyone at one point or another with his iconoclastic points of view, but no one ever questioned his love of the mountains and of Mammoth in particular.

The 2012 election that wasn’t

December 28, 2012

No one dared care

While Mono County blessed the electorate with a genuine dogfight, in Mammoth, voters in the municipal contest were treated (as it were) to the Election That Wasn’t.

In spite of a town aswirl in controversy, finger-pointing, blame-gaming, layoffs and general overall mayhem, two seats opened on the Town Council.

Incumbent Jo Bacon signed up for re-election, while political neophyte Michael Raimondo brought his bagel-bagging electorate to the show.

After that, no one.

The 2012 Festival Season was ‘The Best’

December 28, 2012

‘Um, what bankruptcy?’

Even before it started, town leaders pushed forward with a “Best Summer Ever” marketing campaign, with more hope than actual promise.

And yet when it was over, no one could argue with it.

From the Fourth of July and Jazz Jubilee all the way to the end, Mammoth’s festival season was vibrant, well-attended, and loads of fun.

We recall one evening at the four-day Bluesapalooza and Festival of Beers event at Sam’s Wood Site on Minaret Boulevard.

New stuff was built in 2012

December 28, 2012

Parks, tracks, you-name it

A distant observer might have thought poor ol’ Mammoth was just going to dry up and call it quits, what with all the national, state and local press about the town’s tightrope-walk along the brink of financial ruin.

But with a combination of Measure R and Measure U funds, coupled with careful planning, political willpower and the force of volunteerism, Mammoth just kept chugging ahead.

The 2012 turnaround of Rusty Gregory

December 28, 2012

The ski area’s CEO pledges new cooperation

Long held as lord of its own separate fiefdom, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory began a new era of involvement with the town when he said he’s had a change of heart.

In a move that left many Mammothites utterly baffled, Gregory startled the Town Council on Nov. 7 with a jaw-dropping speech.

“I am an impediment to the growth and prosperity of our resort community,” he began.

Performing Arts in 2012 was diverse

December 28, 2012

Musicals, complex drama highlighted the season

In 2012, theater audiences were entertained by several diverse productions, from Sierra Classic Theatre’s emotionally complex “Proof” to Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre’s musical sensation “The Marvelous Wonderettes.”

Earlier this year when the lack of snow and holiday-withdrawals started to kick in, MLRT’s “Lend Me A Tenor” written by Ken Ludwig kept spirits high with risqué double-entendre and cartoonish physical comedy.

The big tech story in 2012

December 28, 2012

The biggest news (that no one quite knows what to think about yet) was the groundbreaking of the massive, 500-mile-plus long high-speed digital fiber optics project called Digital 395.

The project, which includes laying the high-speed fiber alongside much of U.S. 395, will link the Eastern Sierra to both Southern California and the Reno/Carson area.

It was funded through a $101 million federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act project that promises to transform the Eastern Sierra in ways no one can accurately foresee.

June Mountain in 2012

December 28, 2012

A victim of a dismal snow year

In June Lake, the repercussions from the crummy snow season continued well into spring.

Partly due to the poor winter, Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO, announced in late June that June Mountain Ski Area would not open for the 2012-13 season, pending reorganization and remodeling.

What's up, up here? Dec. 28 - Jan. 2

December 28, 2012

That was nasty businessat Alpine Meadowslast week when longtime ski patroller Bill Foster, 53, a veteran member of the Alpine ski patrol teamwas killed in an avalanche. He died on Christmas Day at Renown Regional Medical Centerin Reno after being caught in an intentionally triggered slidethe day before. Our advice: Don’t ever, ever, ever take the patrollers for granted. Bill had logged 28 years at Alpine. …

Avalanche danger high throughout Eastern Sierra

December 28, 2012

 

Leeward side, ridgelines especially hazardous

The latest rounds of new storms were welcome for many people in the Eastern Sierra, but the Mono County Search and Rescue teams are on high alert for avalanches, a spokesman for the county’s Sheriff’s Department said.

“During the last series of storms to arrive in Mono County, a substantial amount of snow has fallen in the backcountry of Mono County,” the spokesperson said in a news release.

Search for missing Mammoth-bound plane called off in Yosemite

December 28, 2012

 

Crews will wait for spring to solve case

Yosemite National Park officials on Thursday suspended the multi-agency search for a lost airplane that went missing over the park on Dec. 17, said park spokesperson Kari Cobb.

Cobb said the single-engine plane was last detected via radar over the North Dome area in the park.

Weather report: Baby, it’s cold outside

December 28, 2012

 

No big snowstorms in forecasts

 

After producing six feet of snow in six days, Ullr, the Norse god of snow, is about to take a rest.

But Höðr, the Norse god of cold, strode into Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra Wednesday night and it looks like he’s setting up camp for a while.

BULLSEYE! Another storm making mayhem in Mammoth

December 25, 2012

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra, in effect from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Forecasters called for up to two feet of fresh snow west of U.S. 395 and six to 10 inches east of the highway.

Snow is to begin Tuesday afternoon, becoming moderate to heavy at times Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon.

As for wind, the weather service predicted wind gusts to 50 mph along Highway 395 and gusts to 90 mph
over the Sierra ridges.

‘Atmospheric river’ pattern threatens to flood California

December 21, 2012

 

Scientists say the state should brace for more devastating storms to come

As the Eastern Sierra braces for a big winter storm this weekend, no one here in snow country is complaining about the forecast.

Enjoy it while you can.

Caused by something meteorologists call an “atmospheric river,” warmer, wet storms are predicted to be come more common in the near future, giving the Sierra comparatively more of its moisture in storms that are dominated by rain, not snow.

Mammoth Mountain High Altitude Training Center a reality at last

December 21, 2012

 

‘Slopeside Center’ revamped; hundreds of athletes here

Sometimes, dreams really do come true.

Dave McCoy’s vision of a high-altitude training center at Mammoth Mountain—a dream that has passed through generations of racers and coaches—will come to fruition Thursday afternoon (Dec. 27).

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