June 22nd, 2012
A rattlesnake aversion training for dogs held in Swall Meadows earlier this month was successful, according to the areaâ€™s County Supervisor Duane â€śHapâ€ť Hazard.
About 35 dogs, including two of Hazardâ€™s, were trained to avoid rattlesnakes and Hazard said the private company that did the training, Natural Solutions, indicated an interest in coming back to the Eastern Sierra for more such clinics, if there is enough interest.
A local resident organized the event. The cost was $35 per dog. For more information, visit: www.rattle- snakeaversion.com.
Negotiations over the fate of the Whitmore Animal Shelter continue between the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mono County, after the Town pulled out of the a joint agreement with the county to run the shelter in the face of its recently adopted budget (which cut its share of the funding).
The potential for Mammoth to declare bankruptcy is very real, said county supervisor Byng Hunt, but even if that were to happen, he believes the county and Town will find a way to keep the shelter open.
A Lone Pine man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, according to Inyo County officials. On June 17, at midnight, deputies from the Inyo County Sheriffâ€™s Office were dispatched to a residence in Lone Pine for a report of a family disturbance that involved the use of a firearm.
Sheriffâ€™s Deputies were advised that the subject, Allen Robert Weston, a 30-year-old man from Lone Pine, had left the residence and was in possession of a firearm.
Deputies located and arrested Weston for attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and criminal threats.
With the Mammoth Motocross in town this week, occupancy rates for the town are projected to shoot skyward.
The Mammoth Tourism Bureau projects the town to fill to 54 percent this weekend, up five points from a year ago at this time.
As for midweek projections, the bureau said it projects occupancy at 43 percent, up six points from the same week last year.
The Voodoo Chute is among the most vexing roads in Mammoth.
Anyone who has tried navigating the steep intersection of Lakeview Boulevard and Lake Mary Road has had issues with it in the winter, when ice causes accidents, blown nerves and, last year, a broken fence protecting the Lake Mary Bike Path.
But now, because of $200,000 in state money, along with a $20,000 match in the townâ€™s Measure U funds, Public Works Director Ray Jarvis said a solution is finally on the way.
The Town of Mammoth Lakes will cut abut $1 million in salaries in the coming fiscal year, the result of a 10 percent pay cut across the board for civilian staffers and a 24 percent cut in concessions from the police department.
Those cuts put the town in a precarious position, compared to similar-sized communities in California, according to the Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez.
The townâ€™s dependance on personnel accounts for less than a third of its budget. Since 2008, town employees have cut their salaries by 17 percent.
Among the biggest losers in the 2012-13 budget are the men and women in blueâ€”the Mammoth Lakes Police Department.
The MLPD will lose its School Resource officer. In a memo to the Town Council, Police Chief Dan Watson said that the effect would be the elimination of the DARE Program, the Every 15 Minutes Presentation, supervision at special events and an increase in juvenile crime and at-risk behavior by youth.
At the same time, Watson sent out a plea for volunteer â€śreserveâ€ť officers to help make up the shortfall.
John Urdi has his fingers crossed.
The director of Mammoth Lakes Tourism draws almost his entire budget from Transient Occupancy Taxes. To increase the tax revenue, it is his task to draw visitors to Mammoth.
But when the Town Council approved its balanced budget Wednesday evening, Urdi was left with $215,562 less with which to draw the very tourists who supply the revenue.
â€śWeâ€™re hoping this is a one-time phenomenon,â€ť he said in the corridor outside Suite Z, the town council chambers above the Minaret Cinema. â€śObviously we canâ€™t have another year like last year.â€ť
In the end, there was nothing left to cut; there wasnâ€™t much to discuss.
The Mammoth Lakes Town Council passed an extraordinary â€śbare bonesâ€ť 2012-13 budget Wednesday evening, leaving anger, heartache and uncertainty in its wake.
It also left Mammoth with a clean start, said councilmember Rick Wood.
â€śFundamentally we have changed the approach, and the approach changed after essentially turning over every stone and finding out things that no prior council in the history of Mammoth Lakes had knownâ€”about how municipal finance works, how our government works.
June Mountain Ski Area on Thursday suspended its operations for the foreseeable future, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area announced on Thursday.
The resort will shut down immediately. Its summer season, set to open yesterday (Thursday), was cut down.
The 2012-13 winter season will not happen at all, leaving the lifts idle and employees scrambling to find work.
The news came as a â€ścomplete surpriseâ€ť to June Lakeâ€™s incoming county supervisor, Tim Alpers. He was in Southern California on business when he found out.
State fire crews and Lee Vining community members created an unusual coalition earlier this month and the result is both historicalâ€”and edible.
A community garden and a much needed update to the community Lee Vining museum are now complete after much hard work by members of the Cal Fire Owens Valley Conservation Camp, and kids and adults from Lee Vining.
It is the first week of summer and the Eastern Sierra is almost 50 percent drier than average for this time of year.
A bark beetle infestation on June Mountain and in the Sherwin Range above Mammoth stands red and dry as an old bone. It wonâ€™t take much to start a fire there.