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Peace on Earth begins right here, Mammoth students say

December 16, 2011

It’s a Monday afternoon in early December and school just got out.

On the big, warm, green-curtained multi-purpose room stage at Mammoth Elementary School, about a dozen third through fifth graders, boys and girls, Caucasian and Hispanic, are gathered together, just like they have been for many Mondays previously.

The stage vibrates with the pranks and laughter of 14 high-energy students, but teacher Dee Di Gioia has done this before, and more than once.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Dec. 16-22

December 16, 2011

The ubiquitous Woolly showed up at the Sprung Structure opening at the airport the other day. “Hey, here comes What’s-His-Name” enthused Top Cop Dan Watson. …

Speaking of the Chief, doesn’t everybody know that his son-in-law is a mascot for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings? …

Big day for Andy Selters fans this coming Wednesday. The photographer/author will be at the Booky Joint to sign books and calendars. The book is “Ways to the Sky,” the mountaineering history book that the Wall Street Journal said is one of the five best adventure books of all time. …

Possible homicide in Bishop, suspect held on $1 million bail

December 14, 2011

At approximately 9:00 p.m. last night, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a non-responsive (possibly deceased) male on Winuba Lane in Bishop. Sheriff’s deputies and Symons ambulance were dispatched to the scene and the victim was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

The victim has been identified as Daniel Barlow, 45, Bishop. An autopsy will be scheduled to determine the cause of death.

Dungeness crab in Mammoth?!?!? Yes!

December 9, 2011

San Francisco has come to Mammoth.

Fresh crab right off the street corner, live or cooked to order, delivered fresh from the Bay Area.

They are here now at the corner of Main Street and Laurel Mountain Road, several hundred of them in big saltwater vats, swirled together claw to claw in the bubbling water.

And they will be there all winter for your eating pleasure.

At least that’s the plan.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Dec. 9-15

December 9, 2011

Recreation Commission chair Bill Sauser, chomping at the bit, announced at the start of the Rec Commish meeting on Tuesday: “It’s been a long day. I’m looking to make this a quick one.” Three hours and 15 minutes later, the commish finally reached adjournment — one of its longest meetings in months. …

The gurus at the National Weather Service in Reno let slip on Wednesday that there’s a “slight chance” of snow on Sunday and Monday. Um, what is this thing they call snow? …

UPDATE: Remaining two Vernal Fall victims identified

December 5, 2011

Yosemite National Park has positively identified the body of Ramina Badal,
21 year old female, of Manteca, CA. Badal was found in the Merced River,
approximately 120 yards below the Vernal Fall footbridge, by a Yosemite
National Park Ranger at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3,
2011. The footbridge is located approximately a half mile below the base
of Vernal Fall.

Badal has been missing since July 19, 2011, when she, Hormiz David, 22 year
old male, of Modesto, CA, and Ninos Yacoub, 27 year old male, of Turlock,

Mono Lake State Park is off the closure list

December 2, 2011

The Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is off the state’s list of possible state parks to close as of late afternoon Thursday.

The park will remain open and, contrary to some rumors, it will continue to be managed by the state as a state park.

The only thing that will change on the ground is a new fee collection agreement between the state and a nonprofit organization that has long been an advocate for, and a source of financial support for the park, the Bodie Foundation.

Wind takes down hundreds of trees in Lakes Basin

December 2, 2011

The winds that blew throughout the state Wednesday night brought down approximately 300 to 400 trees in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

Most of the trees were located in the vicinity of the Mammoth Lakes Pack Station. Many of the uprooted trees have not completely fallen to the ground, but rather are leaning on other trees or other blowdown.

Due to this hazardous situation, and the fact that the winds are still blowing, the Inyo National Forest has temporarily closed off portions of the area with yellow “Restricted Area” tape and closure signs.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Dec. 2-8

December 2, 2011

Remember that horrendous accident on U.S. 395 near Bishop in 2010 that killed several student athletes, running coach John Adams and a driver? Minutes after the accident, local Eastsiders Amy Steinwand and Bishop volunteer firefighter John Williamson came upon the accident. They ended up helping local Inyo County Sheriff Deputy Shane Scott pull one victim from a burning car, and helping several others during the immediate aftermath of the accident.

The helicopter crash that wasn't

November 30, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon, eleven members of the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded to a report of a possible helicopter crash that turned out to be a false alarm.

Residents in the Old Mammoth area reported the possibility of a helicopter crash in the Mammoth Pass/Mammoth Mountain area. Smoke was thought to have been seen in the direction the helicopter was last seen to have flown, residents said.

Tioga Pass Road closed — for now

November 28, 2011

After a temporary closure, the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park closed Wednesday night but is still expected to reopen after the current winter storm, as long as there is little snow accumulation and dangerous winds die down.

The Glacier Point Road is now closed for the season.

All roads within the Yosemite National Park are subject to chain control or
temporary closures due to hazardous driving conditions. Tire chains may be
required at any time during the fall and winter season. It is strongly
recommended that all motorists carry tire chains while driving in the park

UPDATE: MHS Principal Gabe Solorio out on medical leave, former principal Mike Agnitch now interim principal

November 18, 2011

Mammoth High School Principal Gabe Solorio will be out on medical leave beginning Monday, Nov. 21, until sometime in January, school officials confirmed today. Former MHS principal Mike Agnitch will take the reins as the high school's interim principal until Solorio returns.

Solorio became the high schools principal after Agnitch retired in 2009. Solorio was the middle school's principal for several years before becoming the high school principal.

Here's what the district said about the situation in a press release released the morning of Nov. 22:

Mammoth as a culinary center? Why not?

November 18, 2011

A new and ambitious culinary program for the Mammoth Lakes Foundation made its first, tentative start last week.

The idea is to establish a top-drawer culinary program that eventually would mesh with Cerro Coso Community College, alongside other cultural entities.

It would serve as a training incubator that could feed, so to speak, the 150 restaurants and eateries in a corridor stretching down the Eastside.

Foundation CEO Evan Russell and consultant Bill Taylor unveiled the plans last week at the Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission meeting.

Mike Schlafmann leaves the Inyo, gets big thanks from Mammoth

November 18, 2011

Mike Schlafmann left the Inyo National Forest this week, and for the outdoors types, it was like a star disappearing from the sky.

Schlaffman, the deputy district ranger who worked on the Inyo for 10 years, is headed for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest outside of Seattle.

In the words of Mammoth District Ranger Jon Regelbrugge, “Our loss is their gain.”

“I was his manager, but I never knew if I was managing him, of it he was managing me,” retired Inyo supervisor Sandy Hogan said of Schlafman.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Nov. 17-24

November 18, 2011

After a dazzling performance at the 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards Singer/Songwriter Violeta Martin from Mammoth Lakes will be headlining the official Town of Mammoth Lakes Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Dec 2, in the Footloose Sports parking lot. Hot-hot-hot!. …

The Pathfinder is in our midst. Dr. Mike Karch likes to hunt, but in an old-fashiony kind of way. He wears moccasins instead of boots, and take that, Cabela’s. …

L.A. plans to grab Mammoth Creek water rights

November 11, 2011

The City of Los Angeles has mounted a legal challenge to who owns the water rights to Mammoth Creek.

The challenge, which took the Mammoth Community Water District by surprise, was issued about 14 months ago in a letter from the City, said Greg Norby, the director of the Water District.

Norby paraphrased the essence of the letter at the Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission on Wednesday.
His remarks came almost at the end of an exhaustive recap of Water District future plans over the next five to 10 years.

To say that his remarks came out of the blue would be an understatement.

Holy scam! Woman bilked out of $10,000

November 11, 2011

A scam comes in many forms, but this one was over the top.

When Mammoth resident Irene Molloy realized Monday that the man who coerced her to send him $10,000 had been calling her “Grandma” instead of “Nana,” she realized she’d been had.

“I was sitting in a chair afterward, trying to regain my thinking, and I remembered,” she said. “He was the only grandchild I had that called me ‘Nana’ not ‘Grandma.’”

But it was too late. The money, wired to Lima, Peru, where a man claiming to be John Molloy had told her he would go to jail if she didn’t send the money, was gone.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Nov. 11-17

November 11, 2011

While the clock keeps ticking on the judgment payment agreement between the Town of Mammoth and Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition, the disparity seems to be getting bigger. Insiders in the town office are hearing that the MLLA demand now is $42 million, while Mammoth can spare only $24 million. Conductor, does this train stop at Bankruptcy Station? ...

The Mammoth vs. Desert Christian football game was played Nov. 5 was at Lancaster High School. The reason? Desert Christian doesn’t have its own football field …

Measure S passes by wide margin

November 9, 2011

Measure S passed by a wide margin tonight with a 73.76 percent to 26.24 percent ratio, according to preliminary results from the Mono County Elections office.

The vote still has to be certified, but the results of all the voting precincts were in at 10:20 p.m. Tuesday when the county released the results. The measure, an extension of an existing $59/year tax on property owners within the Mammoth Unified School District, needed to pass with a two-thirds majority, which it more than met.

He flew with heroes

November 8, 2011

Note to the reader: Colonel Bob Waggoner (USAF Retired) will be the keynote speaker at a Veterans Day event on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Mammoth Lakes Fire Station on Main Street. The celebration begins at 9 a.m. and includes a sponsored pancake breakfast. All Veterans, their families and grateful citizens are welcome to attend.

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