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Placerville woman dies after snow bridge collapses in Cottonwood Lakes area

June 28, 2011

A 65-year-old Placerville woman died June 23 after trying to lead her horse across a snow bridge in the Cottonwood Lakes Wilderness area southwest of Lone Pine.

Deborah Behrendt died after a snow bridge gave way as she was trying to lead her horse across it, according to the Inyo County Sheriff's Department. A snow bridge forms across streams or small rivulets durign spring runoff conditions and is hollow underneath a covering of snow. Behrendt's horse reacted when the bridge gave way, causing the horse behind her horse to rear up and come down on Behrendt's chest.

Work party for Upside Down House set for June 30; volunteers needed

June 27, 2011

Mono Basin Historical Society Vice President David Dore will be coordinating a work party to repair the roof of the Upside Down House, wall of the Old Schoolhouse, and hopefully the handicapped access ramp if time, labor and materials allow this Thursday, June 30.

Meet at the Museum at 9:00 a.m. if you can help. Dore hopes to have a good turnout to accomplish the repairs.

Please direct questions to Dave, 760-647-1055.

Whitmore Pool, Recreation Department, draw reprieve

June 24, 2011

Whitmore Pool’s fate came right down to the wire on Wednesday.

It came as the Mammoth Lakes Town Council struggled to balance its 2011-12 budget.

If it was not a last-second reprieve, it was certainly a last-hour reprieve for advocates of the pool.

They will find the pool’s hours of operation the same; the water comfortable and inviting, just as swimmers there have known for many years.

Mono Country's redistricting committee tries to figure out how to draw fair district lines

June 24, 2011

As a neighborhood, a community, a county, who are we?

That question is at the heart of the work that a group of local residents is doing right now.

Their answers have the potential to redefine the question.

Couched in the term “redistricting”, these residents have been working for the past several weeks to come up with ways to re-draw Mono County’s five supervisorial districts.

Redistricting is necessary in the county because the 2010 Census revealed that the districts are now lopsided in terms of population. They must be made equal.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for June 24-30

June 24, 2011

Interim Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez’s contract runs out at the end of June, but don’t count on it sticking, say Town Hall insiders. Once the Hot Creek judgment lands, the town staff is going to need a whole lot of help, and there’s no help like MMM’s ...

Hoidy-toidy Grinnell College in Iowa put Bishop’s Drew Blumberg on the Dean’s List for the spring semester, and that’s a big darned deal in academic circles. He’s majoring in Biological Chemistry. Parents Stephen and Sandra Blumberg are proud as punch. ...

Reds Meadow Road to open Wednesday, June 29

June 24, 2011

A record snowfall and resulting damage has delayed the opening of the Reds Meadow Road to Wednesday, June 29. The target date of June 24 was not met due to the time required to remove hazards and debris, and to make repairs along the roadway as a result of winter avalanches and harsh conditions. The road, with access to the Devils Postpile National Monument, will open at 8:00 am on June 29 with shuttle bus services beginning immediately.

Jim Arkens named new Mono County CAO

June 22, 2011

Jim Arkens has been named the Mono County administrator, or CAO.

Arkens has served the county as the director for the Human Resources department for the past year. He takes the place of former CAO Dave Wilbrecht, who left the county to become the new Town manager for the Town of Mammoth Lakes last month.

Arkens, 58, was chosen by the county board of supervisors after a closed session Tuesday.

Proposed wind farm project comment period extended, field trips planned

June 21, 2011

The Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will conduct a open-to-the public field exam and two public scoping meetings for the Ewind Farm and ENEL (Padoma) wind monitoring project areas within the Black Lake, Adobe Valley, and Granite Mountain areas west of Benton in eastern California.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for June 17-23

June 20, 2011

If there are any dreamers out there who may have thought that Meb-the K has lost a step or two, they didn’t see him win the San Diego half -marathon two weekends ago in his home town. ...

In other running news, Deena Kastor finished 25th in the New York Road Runners half-marathon earlier this months, just three months after giving birth to her first child. Linat Masai ran away from a field that featured 12 Olympians to win in 31:40, 29 seconds ahead of Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia, to win her second straight Mini 10k. ...

UPDATE: Search for missing man in Yosemite scaled back

June 20, 2011

The search continues in Yosemite National Park for missing hiker George Penca, who was last seen at the top of Yosemite Falls on Friday, June 17. Due to the fact that the area has been thoroughly searched by personnel and dogs, the terrain is rugged and steep, and no clues have been found, search efforts are being scaled back.

Hard Day's Night for Town Council

June 17, 2011

Grim work on Town
finances cuts, and cuts, and cuts

There may as well have been blood in the streets.

The Mammoth Lakes Town Council, facing a shortfall budget of more than $2 million and a deadline of June 22 for a reckoning, took out its machetes on Wednesday night and got to work on the finances.

Three police officers will have to go. Any improvements to the town’s dilapidated police station are a ha-ha-ha.

At least one staffer – maybe more – will have to leave Public Works.

Airport service to include Orange, San Diego

June 17, 2011

Ready to have 50,000 people land on your front porch?

Literally.

Under plans announced this week, Mammoth’s airport next winter will handle four flights a day, seven days a week. It will also handle seven flights a day on the busy Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday weekends.

Moreover, the airport will serve travelers from San Diego and Orange County for the first time, fulfilling the wishes of Mammoth-loving SoCals who found the trip to Los Angeles International as irritating as the six-eight-hour drive up here.

Rescue on Tioga Pass area involves local surgeon

June 16, 2011

On Saturday, June 11, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to help a snowboarder with a broken leg.

Payam Pakbin, 28, of Los Angeles, was walking up a steep, icy slope with a friend near Tioga Pass when he lost his footing and slid down into a rock field, suffering a femur fracture. Other backcountry skiers in the area heard his yelling and responded to help. One of the responders skied down to his vehicle and drove down Highway 120 until he was able to contact authorities on his cell phone.

Tioga Pass Road opens Saturday, free park entrance day Tuesday

June 15, 2011

The Tioga Road will open for the season on Saturday, June 18 at 8:00 a.m. for all vehicle traffic. The Tioga Road, bounded on both sides by State Highway 120, is the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada.

Vault toilets are available in several locations along the road.

There are several no-stopping zones along the road, which are clearly marked with road signs.

Latest wind farm proposal angers Benton residents

June 15, 2011

A possible wind farm near Benton has some area residents up in arms, especially nearby property owners.

The proposed project is still at the preliminary stage, with only a few test towers planned – if the rest towers are approved by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

But with the potential for many more of the 200-foot-tall wind towers, some residents are none too pleased with the whole idea.

“This is one of the most important habitats for birds in the county,” said Emmy Cattani, an owner of the Adobe Ranch, located northwest of Benton.

Mammoth Hospital brings in surgeon specializing in breast disease

June 15, 2011

Mammoth Hospital has announced the arrival of new General Surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Deck, specializing in breast disease and breast surgeries.

Dr. Deck comes to Mammoth Hospital from Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, Calif., and currently sees more than 200 breast cancer patients annually. He will offer his expertise in the area of mastectomy, lumpectomy and breast reconstruction to those patients diagnosed with all types of breast disease.

William Crosby files federal lawsuit against Mono County, Town of Mammoth

June 13, 2011

William Crosby, a Mammoth Lakes resident who earlier this year filed a claim for damages against Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes following his arrest for an alleged medical marijuana violation, has now filed a lawsuit against both entities in federal district court.

Crosby was arrested in December, 2010. He has maintained since then that he was following the medical marijuana laws. The county rejected his claims for damages last month.

Latest wind farm proposal angers Benton residents

June 13, 2011

A possible wind farm near Benton has some area residents up in arms, especially nearby property owners.
The proposed project is still at the preliminary stage, with only a few test towers (six) planned and with full approval by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) still not certain.

But with the potential for many more of the 200-foot-tall wind towers coming on line (should the test towers show good results) some residents are none too pleased with the whole idea.

Rock and Bowl to bring bowling, golf to Old Mammoth Road

June 10, 2011

The town on Wednesday got its first look at a proposed “bowling center” along Old Mammoth Road.
It was as if fireworks had gone off overhead.

“Full speed ahead,” exclaimed Planning Commissioner Sharon Clark when she and two other commissioners saw the presentation.

The project is called “Rock ‘N Bowl.” It is the brainchild of local real estate investor Dan O’Connell and Mammoth architect Bruce Woodward.

“It’s one of those things the town desperately needs,” Woodward said.

The commission took no action on the project, nor was it was asked to.

Tioga Pass to open within next few weeks

June 10, 2011

Despite rumors, unseasonable spring storms, more untimely cold temperatures and triple the normal amount of snow for this date, the road over Tioga Pass is still scheduled to open by the end of June.

“I can say with reasonable certainty that the pass will open within the next few weeks,” said Yosemite National Park Service spokesman Scott Gediman on Wednesday.

“We’re this close,:” said Mono County’s interim public works director, Jeff Walters. “We’re this close, but we’re not there yet.”

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