November 9th, 2012
Rusty Gregory says he knows what one of Mammothâ€™s problem is, and that it is he himself.
In a carefully crafted speech in front of the Town Council on Wednesday night, the CEO of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area made good on his promise, made early in the week, to step into the murky, tempestuous waters of town politics.
He also promised to throw the weight of the Eastern Sierraâ€™s biggest economic engineâ€”the ski areaâ€”into the townâ€™s effort to survive its daunting, short-term financial obstacles, creating in the end a solid growth cycle.
The snow fell, the wind blew, the temperatures dropped and the chairlifts ran.
Mammoth Mountain opened its new ski season yesterday (Thursday) with modest enthusiasm on the wind-blown ski hill and with cautious enthusiasm in the executive suites at Main Lodge.
â€śThe most important thing,â€ť said CEO Rusty Gregory, when asked about the new season, â€śis snow. Itâ€™s snow and the return of enthusiasm on the part of our Southern California marketplace to visit it because of it.
It is a cold November morning.
It is 3 a.m., 29 minutes after a 6.0 earthquake hit the Mammoth Lakes area hard and sharp.
Unlike many buildings, Mammoth Hospital is standing, but the lights are out and the power is out.
Somewhere outside the building, a fire burns, filling the air with smoke.
People panic, and screams are heard from all over.
After more than a month of hearing testimony, issuing surveys and taking soundings from the townâ€™s department heads, the Town Council on Wednesday began deliberating which cuts will be put in place on Dec. 5.
Though the deliberations are in an early stageâ€”the council announced a special, unscheduled meeting for Nov. 14 to do more workâ€”Mayor Matthew Lehman seems to have made up his mind.
At the top of his list is to stick by the proposed cuts to the Police Department, and to use Measure R funds for a period of two years to keep the Whitmore Pool open.
If there was ever an example of how much of a difference an election can make, head over to the Eastern Sierra Unified School District and talk to Mollie Nugent, the districtâ€™s chief financial officer.
â€śItâ€™s allowed us to keep $191,000 that we would otherwise be deficit spending,â€ť she said. â€śIt means we donâ€™t have to take things way from the students, the teachers at mid-year. It means we have options.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s a windfall,â€ť said Superintendent Don Clark.
Imagine your 85-year-old father living at home alone, but monitored 24 hours a day with sensitive devices that let his doctor or caretakerâ€”or youâ€”know in real time if heâ€™s fallen or had a heart attack.
Imagine a prisoner in the Mono County Jail who falls sick with strep throat and needs to be transported to Mammoth for treatment, requiring a sheriffâ€™s escort, paramedics, securityâ€”everything paid for by taxpayers.
â€śITâ€™S SKI SEASON! Hey hey hey hey!â€ť
â€śWhoa, Fido, donâ€™t get all in a lather, you know? Yes, the ski area is open, but just take a look!â€ť
We were on the deck on a sunshiny day early in the week. Temps were September-ish. The October snow was all but gone on the side streets, walkways and south-facing curbsides. From where we sat, Lincoln Mountain looked a bit thin and the cold air was only in the forecasts.
â€śWoo-hoo!â€ť Fido cried. â€śA little summertime before the ski season never hurt anybody,â€ť he said. â€śAnyway, Iâ€™ve been looking forward to this for so long.â€ť
â€śHow long, Fido?â€ť
A letter from Mono County Sheriff Rick Scholl announcing his retirement on Dec. 20
This decision does not come lightly, as those closest to me would agree, but after deep consideration and weighing all the options, I have made the decision to retire.
The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a High Wind
Warning for 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday.
From the horse's mouth:
* Timing: early Thursday morning through Thursday evening. Strongest winds expected Thursday afternoon.
* Winds: southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 50 mph Thursday morning increasing to 25 to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph in the afternoon. Wind gusts up to 80 mph in wind prone
District Ranger Margaret Wood announced on Tuesday, Nov. 6, that the new Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center has closed for the season due to the impending winter storm.
The prolonged fall season weather has allowed for local and out-of-area visitors to enjoy the new visitor center that opened on September 1. Weather forecasts are predicting very low temperatures and snow so the decision has been made to close the visitor center, located at 10,000 feet, for the winter.
Tim Fesko is Mono Countyâ€™s District 4 supervisor, after a long runoff battle with candidate Bob Peters.
Fesko took the seat with 53.7 percent of the vote against Peters' 46.3 percent. The vote totals do not include provisional ballots which will be counted this week, but election officials said Wednesday that the several hundred provisional ballots still uncounted are not likely to change the final outcome of the District 4 race, given Fesko's lead.
Always a big player but consistently in the background of Mammothâ€™s increasingly tumultuous town politics, Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory declared this week a startling change of face.
The Mountain, and Gregory in particular, is about to take a centralâ€”and more publicâ€”role in town government.
Mammoth has a new nightclub, right where an old one used to be.
The space that was occupied by The Auld Dubliner in the Village will become a new club venue under the management of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, according to Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory.
The re-opening of the venue, presumably under a new name, will offer the kind of venue aimed for young singles, as did the old Hyde Lounge.
Last month, the ski area announced it would open a new restaurant, â€śCampo Mammoth,â€ť in the old Hyde Spot.
Crowley Lake residents said Tuesday that Mono County District 2 Supervisor Duane "Hap" Hazard had a heart attack last week.
They said the outgoing supervisor is apparently now back home. We are wishing him a speedy and full recovery.