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Mono Lake, Bodie not likely to be affected by state parks scandal

August 3, 2012

A scandal that broke after a California paper discovered the State Park system has been sitting on $53 million while pleading a budget crisis and closing parks will likely have little effect on the Mono Lake and Bodie state parks, according to local officials.

“We don’t see any effects at this time,” said Mono Lake State Tufa Reserve ranger Dave Marquart. “That said, it’s still too soon to tell what the final effects will be. We don’t know enough yet about this to determine what will happen in the long run.”

Barcroft station closes Open House this summer

August 3, 2012

The annual Barcroft Research Station Open House held at 12,500 feet high in the White Mountains has been cancelled this summer due to a funding shortage.

The once-a-year open gate that allows easier access to the third highest peak in the state, White Mountain, will still be open to those interested in hiking.

In past years, the high altitude research center opened its doors every August and allowed citizens a glimpse into the lives and work of scientists who study and live in the strange, windswept, wild world more than two miles above sea level.

June Mountain backers are back at it

August 3, 2012

With little or no time left on the clock, June Mountain Ski Area advocates this week continued to hammer away at finding a way to keep it open.

But after four hours of trying to find a way, June Lake residents and members of the “Keep June Mountain Open Coalition” were right back where they started.

The ski area, which closed earlier this summer amid financial shortfalls, remains closed.

Bankruptcy timetable holds firm; Action begins on Monday, Aug. 6

August 3, 2012

Nothing in the past week has changed the schedule for Mammoth’s journey into bankruptcy protection.

That does not mean the town staff has just been sitting around, waiting for events to unfold.

Behind the scenes this week, the staff has been working at a frantic pitch as staffers gather documents requested by Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition (MLLA) as well as federal mediator Elizabeth Perris.

Those documents may come into play as early as Monday, when the town and MLLA face each other for the first time in a scheduled two-day face-to-face mediation session.

Mammoth Olympians Keflezighi, Hastings, Uceny take world stage

August 3, 2012

The track and field portion of the Olympic Games begin this weekend in London and for Mammoth Track Club athletes and their specialty disciplines, the four-year wait is just about over.

Morgan Uceny, in the women’s 1,500 meters, Amy Hastings in the 10,000 meters, and marathoner Meb Keflezighi all run on different days, most of them live but some on delayed broadcast.

Former Mammoth Track Club members Ryan Hall and Alistair Cragg, running for Ireland, also will run the marathon, on the final day of the Olympics on Aug. 12.

Freeker by the Speaker: KMMT music director "Katie Mac" rocks the house

August 3, 2012

You might have seen Katie McWilliams last weekend at the Pink Froyd show in the Village.

She was hard to miss, once you noticed.

“You know that Keller Williams song, ‘Freeker by the Speaker?’” she said afterward. “I was a freeker by the left speaker at Pink Froyd. What a great show. I was getting after it.

“I had to take my shoes off because they didn’t want to move as fast as my feet!”

McWilliams, aka “Katie Mac,” is the music director on Mammoth’s KMMT radio (106.5 FM) and the architect behind its new, indescribable music format.

'Kamikaze' bike races might return next fall; Mammoth may host 2013 five-day event

July 30, 2012

Mammoth Mountain’s famed “Kamikaze” mountain bike race might return in the fall of next year, Mayor Matthew Lehman says.

“We envision a five-day event,” Lehman said at the Town Council meeting in Suite Z of the town offices on Wednesday, July 25.

Mammoth cops find mortar round in condo unit; Navy bomb squad, MLPD investigate

July 29, 2012

A Mammoth condo manager cleaning a unit found a mortar round last Friday, July 27, and it didn't take him long to call the cops.

It didn’t take the cops long to evacuate the building at 2443 Sierra Manor Road, either.

Mammoth runners in London, ready to go; Keflezighi, Hastings, Uceny eye medals

July 27, 2012

The track and field portion of the Olympic Games begin Sunday in London and for Mammoth Track Club athletes and their specialty disciplines, the four-year wait is just about over.

Morgan Uceny, in the women’s 1,500 meters, Amy Hastings in the 10,000 meters and marathoner Meb Keflezighi all run on different days, most of them live but some on delayed broadcast.

Former Mammoth Track Club members Ryan Hall and Alistair Cragg, running for Ireland, also will run the marathon, on the final day of the Olympics on Aug. 12.

Despite rain, fire danger still high

July 27, 2012

As much as 1.3 inches of rain fell in the Mammoth and Crowley area earlier this week, but it wasn’t enough—and it wasn’t widespread enough—to lessen the fire danger facing the region.

“It would have to rain for a week, a good steady rain, to really change the situation,” said Mammoth Fire Department Marshall Thom Heller.

“This rain did moisten the smaller fuels, like small branches, but if you look under any tree, it’s still dry.”

Lemonade stand raises hundreds to save June Mountain

July 27, 2012

When Lee Vining Elementary School teacher Anna Strathman agreed to help some of her students raise money to help June Mountain stay open by selling lemonade, she didn’t know what to expect.

But within a few days, the students hand-delivered a $147 check to Rusty Gregory, the CEO of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

A few weeks later, they had collected another several hundred dollars, and as of this week, they show no signs of stopping.

RAW: Forest Service shuts down Panorama Dome hiking, biking trails

July 26, 2012

The mountain biking loop trails, the primary hiking trail, and the parking areas used to access the “Panorama Dome” will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Lightning starts a few small fires but no threat to property, life at this time

July 23, 2012

The round of thunderstorms yesterday and today brought some much-needed moisture to the area— and a few lightning strikes that set off some small fires.

So far, none of the strikes have resulted in fires that are threatening life or property in the Eastern Sierra.
Nancy Upham, the public information specialist with the Inyo National Forest, said the rain helped keep the fires that did start from spreading, and that crews have been working or monitoring all the fires.

The bears are back in town

July 20, 2012

The big bears are out of the mountains and back in the dumpsters. The second-year bears are scrambling around in their wake.

June Mountain fate still unclear, group forms to save it

July 20, 2012

June Lake community members met with both Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO/June Mountain Ski Area owner Rusty Gregory and Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta individually in the past week, but there is still no concrete answer as to June Mountain’s fate.

The spectre of a shuttered June Mountain ski area has spurred the June Lake community, but Connie Black, owner of the Double Eagle Resort and Spa—and now a member of the newly formed “Keep June Mountain Open Coalition”—said it’s still too soon to conclude what will happen.

Services set for Skip Harvey

July 20, 2012

Services for Skip Harvey have been set for tomorrow (Saturday) at Canyon Lodge.

The service will begin at 3 p.m.

Harvey, who left an indelible mark on Mammoth as a restaurateur, ski instructor and, most recently, a town council member, died early Monday, according to town public information officer Stuart Brown.

“Mayor Harvey had been battling cancer for several years,” Brown wrote in a press release Monday evening.

“Family members and close friends were with Skip at the time of his passing.”

Barcroft Station open house cancelled this year, gate to White Mountain still to open

July 20, 2012

The annual White Mountain Research Station (now called White Mountain Research Center) Barcroft station open house held at the 12,500-feet high altitude research site on the flanks of White Mountain has been cancelled. However, the gate about two miles below the station will be open, cutting a few miles off the hike to the third highest peak in California, White Mountain peak, for that day (Mt. Whitney and Mt. Williamson are both higher).

Preliminary graffiti ordinance in place

July 20, 2012

Mono County now has a graffiti ordinance in the preliminary stages, after an incident near Crowley Lake sparked the area’s county supervisor, Hap Hazard, to push for one.

The ordinance still has to pass through a second and third reading to become law. A few changes were made to an original ordinance proposed by county staff, mostly to protect property owners from too much liability and to protect minors that might be using or carrying a spray paint can for non-graffiti uses.

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