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Archive - Apr 23, 2011

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Meridian Boulevard puts school kids

April 23, 2011

There are so many puzzles attached to Meridian Boulevard that Mammoth’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.

“From Old Mammoth Road to Azimuth we have a sidewalk, but it’s not wide enough to get snow removal equipment in there,” said Public Works Director Ray Jarvis.

Councilman Rick Wood to Mammoth: 'Never Again'

April 23, 2011

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 Wednesday’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.

“Never again,” he intoned.

“Never again should we put ourselves in a situation where we don’t explore all the opportunities.”

Searles wins $74,000, three-year contract from Town

April 23, 2011

Not that long ago, the town government was split on Steve Searles.

Not any more.

Searles, who is Mammoth’s wildlife specialist (and sudden television star, with “The Bear Whisperer”) won a $74,315-a-year contract for three years on Wednesday when the Town Council approved it.

“Everyone needs a hero,” said councilman John Eastman, “and every community needs a hero. Steve Searles is a hero for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

“We need him as our wildlife specialist in Mammoth Lakes.”

Dire report is released on the town''s finances

April 23, 2011

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 town’s financials.
Her conclusion was dire.

“We’re in stable shape right now,” she said, “and 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.

“While we’re stable, we’re not in good shape.

“Next year is going to be bad.”

Unofficial dog park is great, except for the poop

April 23, 2011

We’re talking poop here.

Dog poop, to be specific.

Mammoth has a new unofficial dog park down Sherwin Creek Road – 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 – poop that could easily have been picked up by their human companions but wasn’t.

Work begins on Tioga Pass but opening day is still uncertain

April 23, 2011

The big winter has Mammoth celebrating, but Lee Vining residents are getting worried.

The record-breaking winter raises a worrisome question – when will Tioga Pass open?

More snow means more snow to plow, and the cool April so far isn’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.

Town goofs on Wilbrecht contract

April 23, 2011

It was supposed to be a coronation Wednesday night.

Instead, it turned out to be a “whoops” moment for the Mammoth Lakes Town Council, which was all set to finalize incoming Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht’s $180,000-a-year contract.

It didn’t happen.

In what Mayor Skip Harvey called an “embarrassing” situation, the terms of Wilbrecht’s retirement benefits ran contrary to a November council resolution, which councilwoman Jo Bacon said she can’t even remember making.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for April 22-28

April 23, 2011

Not much action at Police Chief Dan Watson’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. “This meeting gets smaller all the time,” Watson said. ...

In the “Er, what?” Department, Councilman John Eastman described his presence at the reception for our new Assemblywoman (Modesto) in Suite Z on Tuesday. “I was able to attend a reception for Kristin (pause) what’s Kristin’s last name?” (Olsen, for those wondering) ...

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