August 27th, 2011
Happy 96th to Dave McCoy! â€¦
From tourism chief John Urdi on Wednesday morning: â€śNice wake-up call this morning at 5 a.m. with a 4.2 magnitude earthquake.â€ť â€¦
Mike Abbott on Facebook Wednesday morning: â€śUmmmmm ... was that an East Coast aftershock here?â€ť â€¦
Yep, that was Dan Hansen of MMSA rodding about, here and there. â€śJust drove a Bentley Continental GT Supersport Convertible. It was a little painful to get back into my truck afterwards.â€ť â€¦
Yosemite National Park suffered its 17th death this year, when a climber fell to his death off the face of Half Dome Monday afternoon.
The park normally has about 12 to 15 fatalities a year, making the first eight months of 2011 already a record-breaking year. High, swift, cold rivers and creeks and a record number of visitors to the park this summer have contributed to the deadly year, but park officials recently told the Mammoth Times they are not sure exactly what other factors might be involved, if any.
Following last weekâ€™s heated meeting regarding the Bodie Hills and other national Wilderness Study Areas (WSA), the MT asked all five of the Mono County Supervisors to weigh in on the future of the process. Here is what they had to say, in their own words.
(Supervisor Larry Johnston left for vacation right after that meeting and was not available for comment by press deadline.)
Byng Hunt, District 1 (Mammoth):
A green light couldnâ€™t get more green.
The â€śMammoth Viewâ€ť project, an innovative, 54-room hotel with 24 townhouses and 28 freestanding cabins, complete with a spa building, hot tubs and picnic areas, won a complete victory from the town this past week.
It will have a restaurant and bar, public art, walking areas for just anybody-old-who, and a trolley stop.
Itâ€™ll have a walkway in front, along Main Street, a reconfiguration of the stoplight at Main Street and Minaret Road, and bring in about a trillion billion gazillion dollars in transient occupancy tax.
So they say.
An estimated 520 cars entered the Crowley Lake Fish Camp to watch the Fourth of July Fireworks. The Town received $2,600 (20 percent of the $25 entrance fee), which ainâ€™t bad. But that wonâ€™t erase The Judgmentâ€¦
Heads up! On Sept. 10, the Whitmore Pool closes for the season and this has been a darned short summer seasonâ€¦
Mammoth Mountain recorded 1,293,341 skier visits for the 2010/11 season, just soâ€™s you know. Darned long winter seasonâ€¦
â€śIâ€™d like to have a Happy Hour.â€ť
Fidoâ€™s funny like that. He comes up with things that are so out of the blue that I hardly know what to think.
â€śIt sure sounds like fun,â€ť he said. â€śI just donâ€™t know what it is. Letâ€™s have one.â€ť
â€śWe can have as many as we want,â€ť says I. â€śWhatâ€™s your idea?â€ť
â€śIdea? Iâ€™m a dog. I donâ€™t have ideas. I have instincts.â€ť
â€śTell you what. After work, weâ€™ll have a Happy Hour.â€ť
â€śHey hey hey hey!â€ť
The contractors won the pennant! The contractors won the pennant!
All right, so it wasnâ€™t exactly that dramatic at Wednesdayâ€™s Town Council meeting, but to Mammoth builders it must have seemed like Bobby Thomson had just stepped to the plate and swatted a drive into the lower deck of the left field stands.
When they walked out of the Council Chambers, they had a victory, although not a total, hands-down victory.
First of all, there was no actual action.
That was the Mono County Supervisorsâ€™ almost united response to Tuesdayâ€™s request by a Bridgeport community group to take the Bodie Hills Wilderness Study Area out of its semi-protected status.
In fact, the board was so irritated by the resolution and the way it ended up on the agenda, they refused to vote on it, leaving it to die an undignified death.
â€śFireball,â€ť the iconoclastic checker at Vons, showed up the other day with a hairnet over his shaved pate. Didnâ€™t slow him down a whitâ€¦
Our own Shaylyn Riley and boyfriend Scott Smith came in second in the first heat of the co-ed canoe race last Saturday at the Firemenâ€™s BBQ Yeah!â€¦
Two controversial issues, redistricting and the Bodie Hills, go before the Mono County Supervisors today and both can be viewed and participated in in Mammoth via videoconference as well as in Bridgeport, at the county courthouse, second floor, Supervisor's Chambers.
The Mammoth meeting room is in the Shogun mall, on the third floor, at the far south end of the building, on the left. It will be obvious when you get there, if you just follow the hallway almost all the way south to the end, and turn left.
If there is a more perfect motorcycle route in California than the Sonora Pass Road, Arlie Ray Blacksheer and Sarah Kazmark canâ€™t think of many, if any at all.
â€śWe come up here for the views all the time,â€ť said Blacksheer, a sales consultant at California BMW in Mountain View (Bay Area).
As he spoke, he held a pair of high-powered binoculars to his eyes, inspecting a rock face near the summit on the western side of the pass.
â€śThe water is seeping right through the rocks!â€ť
Say it isnâ€™t so.
After more than a decade of divisive debate over the fate of Mono Countyâ€™s federal Wilderness Study Areaswith no clean solution, the argument comes back again next week.
A Bridgeport community group has put a resolution on the county supervisorâ€™s agenda Tuesday that will ask the supervisors to support releasing some of the county â€” and the nationâ€™s â€” wilderness study areas from the federal protection they now have.
The Mammoth Lakes government tribes gathered Wednesday evening in a Woodstock moment.
If they had held hands and sung â€śKumbaya,â€ť no one would have been much surprised.
The sit-down was to approve a â€śResort Investment Elementâ€ť â€“ basically an amendment to the townâ€™s 2007 General Plan.
Its importance could not be overstated:
â€śLetâ€™s build a Big Top,â€ť said community development director Mark Wardlaw to the assembled commissioners.
Fido says he wants to join a dating service.
Me, I was listening to a baseball game, concentrating on a two-on, two-out, one-run game, and this took me by surprise.
â€śWhat the heck-fire?â€ť said I.
â€śItâ€™s not that Iâ€™m lonely, but Iâ€™d like to have someone of my ilk to share experiences, romp around, get into sniffing contests, have conversations, discuss brands of kibble, that kind of thing.
â€śGood God, man,â€ť I said. â€śMammoth has more dogs than humans. Are you sure youâ€™re not already sitting on a canine gold mine?â€ť