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Mammoth district's forest ranger becomes interim forest supervisor

January 25, 2011

Jon Regelbrugge, currently the district ranger for the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts, has been named as the new acting forest supervisor for the Inyo National Forest. Regelbrugge is expected to serve in this position until a new, permanent forest supervisor has been selected.

Snowboarder rescued

January 25, 2011

On the afternoon of Jan. 18, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to assist in locating a lost snowboarder at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

David Joseph, 27, Crystal Heights, was snowboarding by himself and unknowingly crossed the western edge of the ski area boundary and became lost. He was able to contact his father by cell phone. His father then notified Ski Patrol of his son’s predicament. Ski Patrol began searching for him but were unable to find him, as Mr. Joseph reported that he thought he was somewhere inside the ski area boundary.

AT&T still out in Chalfant, Benton OK

January 25, 2011

Despite reports from AT&T that the technical cell service problems were fixed in the Tri-Valley area last week, area county supervisor Hap Hazard said they aren't.

In fact, Chalfant still has no service, at least from the northern border of White Mountain Estates north, he said, although Benton now apparently finally has at least better and more consistent service.

Prescribed burn through Jan. 31

January 24, 2011

The Inyo National Forest has announced a BLM pile burning project along S.R. 89, three miles north of U.S. 395 on Slinkard Valley Road. They will burn 485 slash piles from Jan. 24-31.

Fresno drug dealer with links to Mammoth arrested, June Lake locals arrested on other charges

January 24, 2011

Mono County's narcotics enforcement team has had a busy week last week, including the arrest of a Fresno drug dealer with previous ties to Mammoth and the arrest of two local June Lake residents on other charges.

Snowpack is high, but moisture is evaporating

January 21, 2011

Although the current snowpack on top of Mammoth Pass is at 297 percent of normal for the second week of January, it’s still too early to celebrate.

“If we don’t get any snow, and there’s none forecast, this could be the wettest December on record followed by the driest January,” said state snow surveyor John Dittli.

Despite the snowiest December on record, there’s still reason to keep at hand that snow dance routine most longtime Mammothites know.

So, if things continue as they are forecast, the wettest December might be followed by another record -and not a wanted one.

Gregory, MMSA, escape Hot Creek fallout

January 21, 2011

A couple of very high-profile Mammoth players in the Hot Creek lawsuit remained invisible in last month’s $30 million judgment against the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and its CEO, Rusty Gregory, were left unscathed – not even mentioned. This is in spite of the fact that at the beginning of the case, in 1997, both MMSA and Gregory himself were caught in some nasty crossfire.

They still are, in a sense.

When the case first was filed, both Gregory and MMSA were named as defendants, along with the Town.

What's Up, Up Here? Jan. 21

January 21, 2011

Here's the latest from our groovy little burg.

AT&T problems continue for Tri-Valley residents, AT&T expected to be in area this week

January 20, 2011

Problems with AT&T service out in the Tri-Valley area of Mono County have diminished since much of the Tri-Valley area in eastern Mono County found themselves without cell service after switching from Alltel to AT&T late last year, but they have not gone away, according to Chalfant community members, including members of the Benton Paiute tribe, many of whom are still without cell service.

Two June Lake residents arrested on marijuana charges

January 20, 2011

On Tuesday, Jan. 18 at approximately 11:45 p.m., Mono County Sheriff’s Department Deputies stopped a vehicle traveling in an erratic manner, northbound on Hwy 395 in Coleville.

The deputy made contact with the two individuals inside of the vehicle, identified as David Cruz, age 32, and Bernadin Estriplet, age 28, both of June Lake.

Upon contact, the deputy noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and asked both parties to exit the vehicle.

Mammoth not alone in dismay at airport ruling

January 14, 2011

It seems to be something that most people have forgotten.

In all the brouhaha over the airport lawsuit appeal, the Town of Mammoth wasn’t the only town challenging the Bridgeport jury’s finding that the Town is liable for $30 million in damages.

Far from it.

In fact, every city and county in the state of California sided with the Town, as “friends of the court” or “amici curiae.” The appellate judges’ decision is rattling municipal nerves across the state.

Holidays bring cheer, visitor spending

January 14, 2011

The new chief of Mammoth’s Chamber of Commerce is smiling, and when was the last time anyone saw that?

Maggie Thompson, general manager of NPG Cable, said the holiday spending spree by visitors to Mammoth exceeded all her expectations, and may signal a larger economic trend.

“It was one of the best years we’ve had in a long, long time,” she said.

“The businesses should be really pleased.”

There were glitches, of course. The copious blizzards during the holiday period caused power outages, clogged roadways and frayed nerves.

What's Up, Up Here? Jan. 14

January 14, 2011

A rundown of what's going on around here:

Realtors all over town died a little death earlier this week when the L.A. Times fronted a story about Mammoth and our little legal problem. Headline was “Mammoth Lakes fears financial ruin after legal judgment.” ...

Brian Shibley tells us that the golf tournament held last fall in memory of his daugther Cari raised $3,000 for ICare and $3,000 for Mono County Animal Shelter. ...

Mammoth Creek as you've never seen it before

January 14, 2011

There’s a place not far from here where the wind blows quiet and clean, the creek sings softly under its winter blanket and the wide, gold roots of an old juniper shelter the perfect place to sit warm and dry, even in deepest winter.

It’s a sweet place, sometimes warm and calm, sometimes wild and furious. In the daytime, the sharp high country sun turns the white to indigo and that inexpressible aqua color seen only in deep depressions in the snow on a sunlit day.

Build your own snowman to toast December snowfall

January 14, 2011

There’s nothing that can stop a good party on Mammoth Mountain.

This past week, ski area employees were scrambling to put together a “Big Snow Bash” weekend for Jan. 21-23, with events commemorating the 209-inch December snowfall that broke records for the snowiest month on record.

It will start with the construction of 209-inch (17.4 feet) snowmen, situated at Main Lodge, Canyon Lodge, Little Eagle Lodge and at the Mill Café at the base of Chair 2/Stump Alley Express, according the ski area spokesman Dan Hansen.

Mammoth stumbles its way to $30 million loss in Hot Creek lawsuit

January 8, 2011

A travesty of justice?

The California Third Appellate District Court sure didn’t think so.

The three-member panel last week unanimously upheld a $30 million judgment against the Town of Mammoth Lakes in the Hot Creek Aviation litigation.

It wasn’t even close.

Thus ends the litigation in a dispute that began in 1997. Now begin the myriad questions facing the Town and what it’s going to do about them.

What's Up, Up Here? Jan. 7

January 8, 2011

Our weekly roundup of what's what and who's who:

That was a bad week last week for the satellite TV customers, reception dishes filled with snow and signals blocked by snow-laden trees. “Not that was a big sports weekend or anything,” sighed the go-go John Urdi …

Frigid temps kill 8,000 trout at Conway Ranch

January 8, 2011

An attempt to create a viable trout hatchery at Conway Ranch got hit with a big blow at the beginning of the new year, when icy cold killed off 8,000 of the ranch’s rainbow trout, as well as all the fish being raised for the kids’ trout pond.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service was devastated by the news,” said Dan Lyster, Mono County’s development director.

The trout were being raised at Conway under an agreement with the service, whose state trout stocking program has been heavily impacted by budget cuts and other problems in recent years.

Hugelman wins case against Town of Mammoth

January 8, 2011

Former Mammoth Lakes Police Department Sergeant Eric Hugelman won a decisive judgment against the Town last week.

Hearing Officer Roberto Morales ruled that Hugelman’s termination a year and a half ago was unjustified, and ruled that he should be reinstated.

Morales ruled that Hugelman should have been suspended for three weeks, at most.

Now the question is whether Hugelman will, in fact, rejoin the force, and how much back pay he is entitled to.

The Town Council took up the matter in closed session after Wednesday night’s regular meeting, but no decision came out of the session.

The Hot Creek Players, 1997-Present

January 8, 2011

TOWN MANAGERS
1996-PRESENT

1996-1999:
Tracy Fuller – Town Council appointed Fuller on Nov. 11, 1996 and accepted her resignation on 12/1/99.

1999-2003:
Stephen Julian – Town Council approved Julian’s agreement as an interim Town manager on Dec. 15, 1999.
On June 21, 2000, the council approved Julian’s agreement as the Town manager.

2003-2004:

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