Letters to the editor for May 25-31, 2012

Mono County’s District 3 cannot go wrong by electing Tim Alpers to represent them as their supervisor. Tim is decisive, fair and determined to do his best at serving the public interest.
For all of us, that means he will look beyond doing things the way they have always been done and look for ways to do them better. He will seek input from his constituents and work on behalf of all of Mono County citizens by creating a cooperative environment in which the board can be more productive. I am confident that electing Tim will mean more transparency and accountability and will bring back the pride in our local government.
Crowley Lake

In the last 30 years I have been on many political boards including the Mammoth Town Council, Mammoth Community Water District, Dispute Resolution Center, current School District Board member and many volunteer organizations. In all these years I know of no one who has worked as hard as Hap Hazard for his constituents.
I respect and admire both Fred Stump and Hap Hazard; they are good men with good hearts and minds. However, it’s not about Fred or Hap. It’s about who will best serve the interests of Mono County. Who will pay attention to the details, visit the local communities, attend RPAC meetings, go to Sacramento and meet with state officials; find ways to get things done. No one I know does this as well as Hap Hazard.
Hap and I have disagreed on many issues, however, his political abilities and hard work has resulted in truly great achievements that I feel would likely not have been accomplished by anyone else. Digital 395 was politically unraveling in Kern County along with funding troubles at the state level. It was Hap who visited Senators, Congressmen, PUC, State agency leaders and local politicians (over and over again) to help bring this troubled process together.
Without Mike Ort from Praxis, Brandon Shults, I.T. Director from Inyo County and Hap Hazard, Digital 395 would not have happened. Without Hap, Tri Valley would not have been included and Crowley as well was not part of the initial alignment (Hap would not let go until he got what he wanted, for all of us).
During the last election I watched Hap run a clean campaign without taking cheap shots at other candidates. He once again is running a simple clean campaign standing only on his accomplishments. Hap would rather lose the election than rely on false statements and pretend to take stands on things he does not believe in. His time in office has proven this integrity many times by his willingness to take a tough stand when he knows it’s not popular.
Strong leaders will have enemies. The sad and pathetic pot shots taken against Hap in the newspapers are unsubstantiated and say volumes about those making the claims while really only showing we have a strong and effective leader with Hap.
I support Hap Hazard for District 2 Supervisor in Mono County because I believe he is the best choice to represent the interests and future of my home in Mono County where I have lived for the last 37 years.
Greg Newbry
Crowley Lake Resident

By now Mono County residents have received two glossy mail pieces from Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds tobacco companies regarding Prop 29—the California Cancer Research Act that places $1 tax on tobacco products. If you have not received a mailer, you may have seen TV ads featuring a physician and claiming physicians are against Prop 29. 
The tobacco industry’s advertising cache is $30 million, while public health groups raised $4 million to get their message out. Supporters include the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong, the American Stroke Association, University of California and California Hospital Association.
Price is one of the biggest factors in deterring young people from smoking and contributes to smokers’ decision to quit. California, once a leader in reducing tobacco use, is now 33rd in state tobacco taxes at 87 cents. Research demonstrates that smoking alone is responsible for a third of all cancer cases in the United States.
Sixty percent of the revenue from the new tax—about $441 million a year—is designated for all cancer research. A nine-member board with directors of California cancer centers and UC chancellors will be distributing the funds. The act expressly states that its purpose is to fund research “in California.” The measure explicitly caps administration costs at 2 percent.
The last time a tobacco tax was on the ballot was 2006. It was narrowly defeated. During January through March 2011, tobacco interests spent more than $240,000 on lobbying and lobbied six tobacco-related bills that would increase the state’s tobacco tax, restrict tobacco sales near schools, and close exemptions in the state’s smoke free workplace law. An increase in tobacco tax has come before the California legislature 14 times in the past 20 years. During the first six months of the 2011-2012 election cycle, tobacco interests spent more than $3.1 million on campaign contributions and lobbying. This spending is an increase from the $2.2 million that tobacco interests spent during the first six months of the previous election cycle (2009-2010). The tobacco companies are out of state businesses that distribute their product here in California.
Thank you for understanding the facts. 
Mono County Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition

The Town of Mammoth Lakes would like to thank the community for taking pride in their neighborhood on Saturday, May 19 and cleaning up our town.
New this year, the Town in partnership with Mammoth Disposal and Sierra Conservation Project, set-up several Town Clean-Up Day Stations conveniently located throughout town. Each station accepted trash, recycling material, heavy metal, green waste, furniture and appliances. Unlike previous Town Clean-Up Days, Town staff, volunteers and Mammoth Disposal personnel were able to focus their energies on collecting and transporting trash to-and-from central stations, rather that picking up thousands of orange bags spread throughout town. This new strategy combined with the hard work of the volunteers enabled a far more efficient process for making our Town look beautiful for the summer season.
Town Clean-Up Day is an immense undertaking that would not be possible without the generous support of our many partners, local businesses and nonprofit organizations, volunteers, and assistance from the entire community. The Town would sincerely like to thank the following individuals and organizations involved in cleaning up our town:
Mono County Board of Supervisors for waiving the tipping fees at the Benton Crossing Landfill.
Mammoth Disposal General Manager Pat Fenton and staff.
Sierra Conservation Project for placing and collecting the recycling carts at each station.
Town Staff for organizing the event and staffing the many stations.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District for allowing the placement of the Town Clean-Up Day Stations on their property.
Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce for promoting this community day to our local businesses.
The Sheet for donating advertising space.
Station Coordinators:
Mammoth Creek Park: Jo Bacon
Mammoth Disposal Transfer Station: Mammoth Disposal & USFS/MLFD staff
Fire Station 1: Tony Fryer & John Connolly
Fire Station 2: John Joseph
Canyon Lodge: Stephanie Daniel & Emily Kralovetz
Eagle Lodge: Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra - Lee Ackers, Jack & Kathy Copeland
Mammoth Lakes Community Center: Sandy Hogan
407 Manzanita: Jessica Morris, Ellen Clark & Patricia Kent
Cnr. Joaquin & Dorrance: Stuart Brown & Johnny Goetz
The Town would also like to thank Greg Eckert, Robert Schaubmayer & family, Bill Sauser, Steve Searles and Leigh Gaasch for their tireless work cleaning up Sierra Valley Sites.
We’ll see you on May 18 next year for Town Clean-Up Day!
Stuart Brown
Mammoth Lakes