Archive - Apr 23, 2011
There are so many puzzles attached to Meridian Boulevard that Mammothâ€™s 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.
â€śFrom Old Mammoth Road to Azimuth we have a sidewalk, but itâ€™s not wide enough to get snow removal equipment in there,â€ť 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 Wednesdayâ€™s Town Council meeting, trying to put into harsh perspective the effects the $30 million judgment against the town in the Hot Creek litigation case.
â€śNever again,â€ť he intoned.
â€śNever again should we put ourselves in a situation where we donâ€™t explore all the opportunities.â€ť
Not that long ago, the town government was split on Steve Searles.
Not any more.
Searles, who is Mammothâ€™s wildlife specialist (and sudden television star, with â€śThe Bear Whispererâ€ť) won a $74,315-a-year contract for three years on Wednesday when the Town Council approved it.
â€śEveryone needs a hero,â€ť said councilman John Eastman, â€śand every community needs a hero. Steve Searles is a hero for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
â€śWe need him as our wildlife specialist in Mammoth Lakes.â€ť
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 townâ€™s financials.
Her conclusion was dire.
â€śWeâ€™re in stable shape right now,â€ť she said, â€śand 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.
â€śWhile weâ€™re stable, weâ€™re not in good shape.
â€śNext year is going to be bad.â€ť
Weâ€™re 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 wasnâ€™t.
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 isnâ€™t 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 â€śwhoopsâ€ť moment for the Mammoth Lakes Town Council, which was all set to finalize incoming Town Manager Dave Wilbrechtâ€™s $180,000-a-year contract.
It didnâ€™t happen.
In what Mayor Skip Harvey called an â€śembarrassingâ€ť situation, the terms of Wilbrechtâ€™s retirement benefits ran contrary to a November council resolution, which councilwoman Jo Bacon said she canâ€™t even remember making.
Not much action at Police Chief Dan Watsonâ€™s Hispanic Outreach meeting this past week. No community members at all and just three committee members, out of more than 20 who signed up. â€śThis meeting gets smaller all the time,â€ť Watson said. ...
In the â€śEr, what?â€ť Department, Councilman John Eastman described his presence at the reception for our new Assemblywoman (Modesto) in Suite Z on Tuesday. â€śI was able to attend a reception for Kristin (pause) whatâ€™s Kristinâ€™s last name?â€ť (Olsen, for those wondering) ...