Lots and lots in this week's news briefs


‘Convict Lake’ book signing Feb. 19
Author Richard Mallard, who wrote, “Convict Lake: a True Account of the Convict Lake Rescue,” about the 1990 tragedy on Presidents’ Day Weekend, will sign copies of his book at the Booky Joint on Feb. 19.
Mallard will be in the bookshop between 2 and 4 p.m., said Booky Joint proprietor Dave Leonard. Light refreshments will be served as well, he said.
Back cover blurb: “A tale that is as much about the ghost of our future as it is about the ghosts of our past.” 
Mammoth crime rate holds steady
If it weren’t for an increase in auto thefts, Mammoth’s crime rate would be more or less the same as it was a year ago.
Overall, there were 16 more reported crimes in 2011, according to Police Chief Dan Watson, but he cautioned the Town Council on Wednesday to not read too much into the figures.
“Because we are a small town without a lot of crime,” he said, “fairly large percentage swings are not unusual. If a couple of burglars or car thieves come to town they can quickly change the crime picture. Likewise, when they are arrested or leave the area, that picture can turn around quickly.”
The most dramatic increase was in motor vehicle thefts, which had an increase of 17 percent over 2010.
Energy Foundation adds to board
Robert Creasy, Naomi Garcia, Martin Kleinbard and Don Zeleny are joining Rick Phelps on the Board of the High Sierra Energy Foundation.
The new Board met for the first time Jan. 25 and began to develop new initiatives for 2012.
Creasy is a Mammoth Lakes architect. Zeleny is a retired physicist and electronics engineer. Garcia is an environmental consultant and scientist. 
Phelps is executive director of the foundation.
Spiffy Caltrans sign for S.R. 203
Caltrans announced Wednesday that it will build a 19-foot electronic traffic sign along S.R. 203. The sign would alert drivers—in real time—of road closures and other hazards as they are leaving Mammoth.
When traffic conditions are normal, the sign might be used to alert drivers to wildlife issues, such as during the deer migration cycles, or to amber alerts.
The sign is to be installed this summer.
Mammoth Lakes trails get a boost
It only took five years and a lot of sweat, but Mammoth finally has a plan for the future of its trail system.
The Town Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to adopt a parks and recreation master plan, “establishing a long-range vision for future parks and recreational facilities to serve the needs of the town through 2025.”
The Town Council action came in tandem with another head-scratcher, this one in a resolution having to do with a “high level of interagency cooperation with the Forest Service to plan, design, implement, construct, operate, maintain and promote an integrated year-round trail network.”
The council passed that resolution unanimously as well.
Free XC trails groomed, open
Mammoth’s free cross-country ski trails behind the Mammoth Welcome Center at the east entrance to town are now open and groomed regularly for both classic and skate skiing.
Cross country ski hosts are available at the trailhead (at the end of the paved road near Shady Rest Campground) to answer questions about the trails and cross-country skiing every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Free cookies and hot cocoa are also available. For more information, visit www.mammothnordic.com.
March 9 is deadline for most candidates
CORRECTION: In the Jan. 13 issue of the Mammoth Times, the last day for potential candidates to file candidacy papers for the June 5 election was incorrectly stated. It is March 9 for all candidates, unless an incumbent has not filed by March 9. In that case, the deadline for potential candidates to file is extended to March 16. 
School board to hold meeting to fill Bourne’s vacant position
Mammoth Unified School District begins the process next week to fill the vacancy left behind after Dr. Andrew Bourne resigned his position as a board member earlier this month. 
Bourne, implicated in a child sex case in Santa Barbara, committed suicide on Jan. 23. The school board will meet Tuesday during the afternoon to consider options. 
Bourne’s position would have been up for election in November and the board can either appoint someone or hold a special election to allow someone to fill the remainder of Bourne’s term.
Mammoth woman crashes into building, arrested on drunk driving charges
A Mammoth Lakes woman whose blood alcohol limit was three times the legal limit, crashed into a Snowcreek 1 condominium Sunday afternoon, doing significant damage to the building. 
No one was seriously injured in the incident, which occurred after Shannon Ellis, 21, failed to stop at a stop sign, lost control of her car, jumped a snow berm, and crashed down a hill into the condominium.
According to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, neither Ellis nor her passenger, Kelli Jennings, were injured. Ellis was booked on DUI charges following a breath test that showed her blood alcohol level was .22 percent, nearly three times the legal limit.
The Mammoth Lakes Fire Department provided temporary bracing to the building.
Margulies to play LFL game at Super Bowl
Mammoth Lakes Mammoth High School alum Melissa Margulies and her Lingerie Football League team, L.A. Temptation, will play a game against Philadelphia Passion at the Super Bowl this Sunday.
It will be Margulies,’ who was named MVP for two games in a row, second time going to the championships with her team. 
“Mitch, the owner, commented last week that Melissa one of the secret weapons for the L.A. Temptation,” said father Marc Margulies. “That was a very nice compliment from him."
L.A. Temptation players will defend their champion title against Philadelphia Passion, the same team they competed with last year.
“It’s going to be a very tough game,” Margulies said. “They are the best team on the east coast, we are the best team on the west coast.”
For more information, check out www.lflus.com.