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Cougar Gold says won't mine unless wilderness protection removed, county supervisors divided

February 16, 2011

Cougar Gold, a gold mining exploration company with claims in the Bodie Hills Wilderness Study Area, said yesterday that they won't continue their exploratory drilling until the "regulatory purgatory" of the Wilderness Study Area designation is removed from the hills.

Despite their request for support for this from the Mono County Board of Supervisors, who, regardless, cannot change the designation (but could support a bid by Congress to do so) the supervisors gave the mining company executives who attended the meeting no clear answer.

Whitmore Track Project halted; rare species of blooms stand in its way

February 12, 2011

The Whitmore Track project has been stopped in its tracks.

Fast-tracked by the Mammoth Lakes Town Council for an anticipated construction and completion by the end of the dry season, the project has no chance of that, due to a request by the Department of Fish and Game for a new plant survey.

The DFG, which regulates habitat issues in addition to critters, said it wants the survey to determine if the construction of the track would harm three “rare species” of blooms.

“We’re not happy about it,” said Elaine Smith of the High Sierra Striders, “but we’re going to accommodate the DFG.

Planning Commission tackles sign ordinance

February 12, 2011

Mark Wardlaw likes to tell the story about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest visit to Mammoth.

“This place hasn’t changed since the 80s!”the former California governor was to have said.

Well, that’s obviously stretching it, the town’s community development director said. Then again, Wardlaw said that maybe Arnold was merely looking at the town’s signs and condos, which haven’t changed much since, um, the ’80s.

What's Up, Up Here? Feb. 11

February 12, 2011

Mammoth speed racer Stacey Cook this week crashed out of the World Super G in the World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in fast-fast-fast conditions. After a cycle of freeze-thaw-freeze days, the Super G course was so slick that she said, “It was the first time I could see my reflection in the snow.” ...

Olympic champion Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley finished second, BTW, behind Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl. ...

Cougar Gold addresses Bodie Hills mine plan

February 12, 2011

A mining company that said it can create hundreds of jobs in Mono County if a potential gold mine in the Bodie Hills goes forward will be in Bridgeport next week.

Cougar Gold, a mining exploration company with ties to a global financial company Tigris Financial Group, will be in Bridgeport Feb. 15, talking to both the Mono County Board of Supervisors in the afternoon, then holding a “town hall” meeting later that evening.

Cougar Gold got permission from the Bureau of Land Management in 2009 to do some exploratory drilling in the BLM’s Bodie Hills Wilderness Study Area.

Tenney takes sign idea to Supes

February 12, 2011

Does Mammoth need another entrance sign?

Or just a better one?

According to some residents, the answer is both.

Elizabeth Tenney, the woman behind the post office flower garden and landscape miracle, is turning that same attention to design toward another project: giving Mammoth more of a definite entrance.

The fact that the new sign would act to also soften the appearance of the under-construction, block-like courthouse, regarded by many as out of place in a small alpine town, doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Not too late to get involved in Shady Rest Park makeover

February 12, 2011

The discovery of geothermal energy literally right below the Shady Rest Park area has only complicated an already very complicated issue in Mammoth – how best to utilize one of Mammoth’s favorite locations.

The Shady Rest area includes the park and surrounding forest service land. About two years ago, with the discovery of geothermal energy under the site, the area opened up via a plowed road as far back as the park itself, allowing access to the geothermal developments and adding yet another demand to the already highly used area.

John Teller, Kaya Turski come home and give Main Lodge love

February 11, 2011

Mammoth welcomed back a couple of its in-the-news athletes on Sunday, giving locals a chance to meet and ski with ski cross mega-star Johnny Teller and slopestyle skier Kaya Turski.

Hundreds of people jammed the Main Lodge sun deck for autographs, handshakes and high-fives, and if there were passers-by or out-of-towners who wondered what the fuss was about, here’s why:

Teller, coming off an X-Games gold medal and a couple of World Cup podiums, was just back from the FIS World Championships in Utah, where he placed fifth but won the so-called “small finals” in his event.

Wounded Warriors spend special week in Mammoth

February 11, 2011

Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (DSES) and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area hosted the fifth annual winter Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project.

Thirty-five wounded marines, soldiers and veterans, their family members and military staff enjoyed five days of recreation catered by DSES.

Participants joined DSES from hospitals and rehabilitation centers at San Diego and Arizona and Hawaii.
Veterans joined the program from as far away as Washington and Virginia.

Shady Rest meetings continue next week

February 10, 2011

The relatively recent discovery of geothermal energy literally right below the Shady Rest Park area has only complicated an already very complicated issue in Mammoth – how best to utilize one of the town's visitors and locals favorite locations that is already highly popular with snowmobilers, cross country skiers, dog-walkers and more.

The bottom line is that the Shady Rest area is literally in danger of being loved to death, with locals and visitors alike piling into the area to cross-country ski, snowmobile, walk dogs, hike, mountain bike, walk, snowshoe, skate ski.

Childcare provider Lupe Almaguer's sentencing delayed until March

February 9, 2011

The Mammoth daycare provider arrested in October for sexually abusing at least four children in his care, Lupe Almaguer, will not face a judge again until March 8, after his sentencing was continued at his attorney's request yesterday.

Judge Stan Eller granted the request, according to an investigator for the Mono County Deputy Attorney's office, Wade McCammond.

The sentencing was originally set for next week, Feb. 15, at 1:30 p.m., in Bridgeport.

"Mr. Almaguer is expected to be present for the pronouncement of sentence," McCammond said.

Likely suicide victim's body found in local cemetery

February 9, 2011

The body of an Elk Grove man that was discovered by a National Forest Service employee on patrol at Mt Morrison Cemetery Saturday was likely a suicide, according to the Mono County Sheriff's Department.

According to the sheriff's department, the details go like this.

Mono County not keen on subsidizing air service

February 4, 2011

Even as Mammoth’s town council moved to approve an agreement to subsidize some air service flights this week, county supervisors had three words to say:

“Not so fast.”

At a Tuesday discussion centered around Mammoth Mountain’s request that the county help subsidize air service, splitting it three ways with the town government and the Mountain, it was clear the supervisors aren’t ready to go there, not yet and perhaps, not at all.

What's Up, Up Here? Feb 4

February 4, 2011

Herre's the latest in gossip, news and idle speculations from our cozy little burg.

Hot rumor around town is that by 2012 we’ll have a state-of-the-art 10- to 12-lane bowling alley, with restaurant and lounge and three upstairs bays for simulated golf. How hot is the rumor? Scalding. ..
.
Why the S.F. flight matters: John Eastman was at the airport this past week, catching a flight to L.A., when he ran into a passel of New Jersey club skiers who always wanted to try Mammoth. One connection to SFO, then the non-stopper to Newark. ...

Finally, MLPD Watson gets what he wants

February 4, 2011

Police Chief Dan Watson didn’t get exactly what he wanted from the Town Council Wednesday evening, but at least he got something.

That’s more than he got in his first two tries before the council, on Dec. 15 and Jan. 19, when the chief tried to figure out a way to add some muscle to his force.

On both those occasions, the council turned him down flat.

But on Wednesday, after yet another proposal from Watson, the council approved filling the MLPD’s open lieutenant position from within and adding a sergeant.

Will it snow or not? With none forecast, be glad for December

February 4, 2011

While much of the rest of the country got walloped by a massive winter storm this week, the Sierra remained stuck in a stubborn dry pattern that shows no signs of breaking anytime soon.

Even the groundhog in Punxsutawney didn’t see his shadow meaning, if groundhogs can be believed, that winter will end soon.

But the huge snows that hit the Sierra back in December were enough to, so far at least, protect the state of California, which gets 30 percent of its water from the Sierra Nevada mountains.

How do we know?

Rec Commission hears RecStrats schedule, timeline, methodology

February 4, 2011

Members of the Recreation Commission began to wrap their heads around implementing the town’s recreation vision on Wednesday afternoon.

The commission met with Carl Ribaldo and Austin McInerney of the Strategic Marketing Group, along with facilitator, former Tourism and Recreation director Danna Stroud.

The consulting group walked the commission through the steps and guidelines that would make the so-called “RecStrats” document a viable recreation road map by August.

Crowley Lake man's death determined to be suicide

February 3, 2011

A Crowley Lake local, Jeff Wheeler, died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound last Thursday, according to the The Mono County Sheriff’s Department.

On Thursday, Jan. 27, at approximately 8:20 am, a Mono County Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to 325 Sierra Springs Drive for a welfare check. Jeff Wheeler, 40, was found deceased in his bed from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound to the head.

Further death details are under investigation.

Source: Mono County Sheriff's Department

Local climber in hospital after stroke

February 2, 2011

Local climber and June Lake resident Doug Nidever is in a Reno hospital after suffering a stroke and possible heart attack last week, according to a climbing partner, Bruce Bartlett.

Bartlett said Nidever, also known as "Flanders" by his climbing community, was awake and responsive, but is in serious condition. Nidever can speak, but still is battling blood clots and other complications.

Bartlett was headed to Reno to visit Nidever, with another climbing partner.

Motorized use options at Shady Rest meetings begin Feb. 10

February 1, 2011

Mammoth's highly used Shady Rest area has a long history of sometimes conflicting uses, especially in the winter when snowmobilers and skiers, dog walkers and snowshoers vie for the trail system. Although the conflicts have died down somewhat over the years, due mostly to hard work by both user groups in educating their members, the need for a final solution for winter use in the area, still remains.

That opportunity might be available finally.

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