Archive - Apr 2011
Itâs been a long time coming, but finally, some of the victims of day care provider Guadalupe Almaguer know what power â and justice â feel like.
On Tuesday, Mono County Superior Court Judge Mark Magit sentenced former Mammoth day care provider âLupeâ Almaguer, 58, to 60 years to life in prison, following his arrest in early October 2010 on suspicion of child sexual abuse.
The weatherman says yes. Mostly.
According to Mammothâs weather forecaster, Howard Sheckter, the long, cold, snowy winter of 2010-11 is finally over â mostly.
With 618 - 637 inches measured up at the 9,200 foot elevation on Mammoth Mountain now, the winter goes down in the record books as Mammothâs snowiest, though not wettest, winter ever.
It started snowing on Oct. 5, making it seven months of snow, although an abnormally dry January and February gave us something of a break for a short time.
Former Mammoth Track Club distance runner Ryan Hall ran the best Boston Marathon by an American last week. Way to go, Ryan, and this amazing tweet on Wednesday: âHappy to be alive after our plane was hit by lightning.â ...
Mammoth resident and Mammoth Mountain junior race team member Scott Busche took the silver medal at USASA nationals, boys 10-12 skiercross on April 10 at Copper Mountain, Colo. He was presented with the Cholula âHot Shotâ award of the day for having the dayâs fastest skiercross qualification time and for his âhotâ racer style. ...
On the afternoon of April 24, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to search for a lost snowboarder.
Tiffany Pridanonda, age 21, of Walnut, CA, was snowboarding on June Mountain with a group of friends when she became separated and went out of bounds from the top of Chair 6. She went downhill to the east but could not climb back up.
She sent cell phone text messages to her friends and attempted to navigate to Highway 395. She went as far as the Hartley Springs campground, called 911, and was advised to stay where she was until the SAR team arrived.
Mono County Superior Court Judge Mark Magit on Tuesday sentenced former Mammoth day care provider Guadalupe "Lupe" Almaguer, 58, to 60 years to life in prison, following Almaguer's arrest in early October of last year on suspicion of child sexual abuse. Since that time, Almaguer has admitted he is guilty of sexually molesting four children, a confession he made after at least one victim and the victim's mother confronted him in person in October. The confrontation was taped under the guidance of the Mono County District Attorney's office and later used as evidence.
Ready for another strike at Vons?
It could happen.
The union representing Vons, as well as Ralphs, Albertsons, Safeway and other Pavilions stores last week voted to authorize a strike
The labor contract between the union and their employers, ratified four years ago, expired on March 6, and workers have continued on a day-to-day basis since then.
While a work stoppage isnât a foregone conclusion, the threat recalls memories of 2003-2004âs protracted strike and lockout, which lasted 142 days and cost the stores roughly $2 billion.
Although the Mono Basin Visitor Center will open this week, Reds Meadow and the Lakes Basin are still under heavy snow and will open later than usual, according to the Inyo National Forest. The Lakes Basin is projected to be open by Memorial Day and Reds is projected to be open in late June, although conditions could change those dates.
Here's a summary of the conditions and opening dates, as projected by the forest service today:
MONO BASIN SCENIC AREA VISITOR CENTER OPEN
There are so many puzzles attached to Meridian Boulevard that Mammothâs town staff and planners hardly know where to start.
There is repaving, for example, and traffic calming.
But one problem is perfectly clear.
School kids using the four-lane street as a route to and from school have nowhere to go except for the street in winter. The snowbanks grow. The traffic gets heavy.
âFrom Old Mammoth Road to Azimuth we have a sidewalk, but itâs not wide enough to get snow removal equipment in there,â said Public Works Director Ray Jarvis.
Rick Wood is not exactly carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he certainly is carrying a very heavy heart.
The veteran town councilman and former mayor delivered an emotional speech to the town at Wednesdayâs Town Council meeting, trying to put into harsh perspective the effects the $30 million judgment against the town in the Hot Creek litigation case.
âNever again,â he intoned.
âNever again should we put ourselves in a situation where we donât explore all the opportunities.â
Not that long ago, the town government was split on Steve Searles.
Not any more.
Searles, who is Mammothâs wildlife specialist (and sudden television star, with âThe Bear Whispererâ) won a $74,315-a-year contract for three years on Wednesday when the Town Council approved it.
âEveryone needs a hero,â said councilman John Eastman, âand every community needs a hero. Steve Searles is a hero for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
âWe need him as our wildlife specialist in Mammoth Lakes.â
Incoming Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht has a new best friend, and her name is Marianna Marysheva-Martinez.
A numbers wonk and a high-ranking city administrator in Oakland before she became the Mammoth Lakes Interim Town Manager, the first thing Marysheva-Martinez did was look at the townâs financials.
Her conclusion was dire.
âWeâre in stable shape right now,â she said, âand the reason is that our revenues will be up by the end of June but our expenditures will be up by almost the same amount.
âWhile weâre stable, weâre not in good shape.
âNext year is going to be bad.â
Weâre talking poop here.
Dog poop, to be specific.
Mammoth has a new unofficial dog park down Sherwin Creek Road â a rather vast expanse on Forest Service land behind Sierra Meadows Ranch, made accessible this winter by the town plowing down to the Turner Propane tanks.
Dog lovers found it right away.
But Suzanne Nottingham, companion of three dogs (Ivan, Fred and Zion), has been horrified by the amount of poop this winter â poop that could easily have been picked up by their human companions but wasnât.
The big winter has Mammoth celebrating, but Lee Vining residents are getting worried.
The record-breaking winter raises a worrisome question â when will Tioga Pass open?
More snow means more snow to plow, and the cool April so far isnât helping much, either.
But all is not lost. On Tuesday, April 12, Mono County found out that Mammoth Mountain will be donating some plow equipment to the cause, said county officials.
It was supposed to be a coronation Wednesday night.
Instead, it turned out to be a âwhoopsâ moment for the Mammoth Lakes Town Council, which was all set to finalize incoming Town Manager Dave Wilbrechtâs $180,000-a-year contract.
It didnât happen.
In what Mayor Skip Harvey called an âembarrassingâ situation, the terms of Wilbrechtâs retirement benefits ran contrary to a November council resolution, which councilwoman Jo Bacon said she canât even remember making.
Not much action at Police Chief Dan Watsonâs Hispanic Outreach meeting this past week. No community members at all and just three committee members, out of more than 20 who signed up. âThis meeting gets smaller all the time,â Watson said. ...
In the âEr, what?â Department, Councilman John Eastman described his presence at the reception for our new Assemblywoman (Modesto) in Suite Z on Tuesday. âI was able to attend a reception for Kristin (pause) whatâs Kristinâs last name?â (Olsen, for those wondering) ...