June 7th, 2011
You wouldnâ€™t know it to look at him, but retired Mammoth Lakes Police Department officer Paul Dostieâ€™s big, rambunctious Lab, Buster, has become something of an international sensation recently.
Trained as a cadaver dog by Dostie, Buster is one of the few dogs in the world who can not only detect recent human graves, but he can also detect very old graves. This ability is a product of Dostieâ€™s driving passion to bring murderers to justice and peace to victimsâ€™ families, even if itâ€™s been decades since the murder was committed.
This has been a bearcat of a spring for Dennis Rottner.
Things are all busted up all over town. Broken water pipes in the parks. Wrecked fences, debris from the hard winter all over the place. Snow in all the wrong places, high wind on all the wrong days.
And yet â€¦
The townâ€™s longtime superintendent of parks somehow, impossibly, got the Whitmore ball field ready for high school baseball and the Whitmore pool ready for the swim team.
This weekend, in spite of Mammothâ€™s tough winter and cold spring, the tennis courts at Community Center Park are to open.
Dr. Mike Karch, the hospitalâ€™s crack orthopedist and master Nordic athlete, roasts pigs. Sez he picked up the craft back in Kutztown, Pa., and was overheard offering his spit system to Bill Sauser, the â€śchefâ€ť at the Old Timersâ€™ Day at Hayden Cabin this coming August. ...
In all, 82 crushed and/or ruined cars have been taken off Mammothâ€™s streets during the spring of the last two years, says Cleanup Man Stuart Brown. ...
BUT STILL, KEEP YOUR DOG CLOSE,
SAYS STEVE SEARLES
Everyone already knows to be careful of bears and mountain lions around Mammoth, but coyotes?
News that a coyote recently killed a very large dog right in front of its ownerâ€™s eyes recently in Colorado prompted the Times to talk to Mammothâ€™s wildlife expert, Steve Searles.
Searles was once employed by the Town of Mammoth Lakes as an animal control specialist when the townâ€™s coyote population was several times what it is today.
â€śIâ€™ve never heard of a coyote attacking a grown adult, but dogs, yes,â€ť he said.
Imagine a Mammoth deep in debt and unable to collect its fair share of the Transient Occupancy Tax.
People donâ€™t actually have to imagine that much.
Itâ€™s the reality.
But on Wednesday night, the Mammoth Lakes Town Council took action, approving a measure that would modify the townâ€™s current TOT ordinance and maybe â€“ maybe â€“ put some teeth in it.
The town canâ€™t do it alone, however, so it teamed up with the Mammoth Lakes Lodging Association, which offered its volunteer assistance in helping identify scofflaws.
But that doesnâ€™t mean the town is powerless.
ANOTHER TWO WEEKS OF COLD
POSSIBLY SNOWY WEATHER AHEAD
While the East coast swelters in record heat, the Midwest ducks for cover, and Arizona is under fire, the West has another problem.
Itâ€™s damn cold.
In other words, no, itâ€™s not your imagination that things out there are outright weird, weather wise, for this time of year.
Deena is back.
One hundred days after giving birth (by Caesarian section, no less), Mammothâ€™s star marathoner is back on the roads, training for the June 11 New York Mini 10K.
â€śI feel great,â€ť she said after a brisk run Thursday under the coaching of Mammoth Track Clubâ€™s Terrence Mahon.
â€śIâ€™m surprised, actually,â€ť she said. â€śBut I know Iâ€™m just starting to come back.â€ť
The stakes are big for Kastor, 38, who won a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Deena started it all.
A decade ago, the then-Deena Drossin came charging out of the University of Arkansas and scooted up to Mammoth to train.
Overnight, given her dazzling performances around the world, Mammoth in the summer wasnâ€™t just about fishing and camping.
Itâ€™s hard to imagine what might have happened around here had Deena chosen a different path. She won in London and Chicago.
No one here will ever forget watching her bronze-medal finish at the Athens Olympics in 2004, tears streaming down her face as she crossed the finish line.
It was unprecedented for Mammoth.
More than 100 Hispanic citizens showed up to meet and greet Mammothâ€™s police Wednesday night at the Village Lodge, creating a bridge between the officers and the community.
They also heard from about a dozen other people, from recreation director Stuart Brown to Alejandro Celorio Alacantara, who made the trip from Sacramento and represented the Mexican Consulate.
Itâ€™s almost as big as Opening Day on Mammoth Mountain: Rock Creek Resort Pie in the Sky returns this weekend. Kathy Johnson puts in her vote for Cheddar Pear, but she might be too busy with her mega garage sale to get there. ...
Deena Kastor is prepping for the New York Mini 10K on June 11. Itâ€™ll be her first race since her pregnancy. Yes, little Piper is going, too, on her first airplane trip. Andrew Kastor rides along for fatherly support. For Deena, all roads lead to London 2012 and she ainâ€™t kidding. ...
The Buttermilk Fire is now 100% contained and the roads into the area have been re-opened. There is access to all of the bouldering areas and camping is allowed on national forest land. As a reminder, a Campfire Permit is required for all campfires, BBQs and stoves.
Crews are still assigned to the Buttermilk Fire and they are working to put out any hotspots that remain in the burn area as they do a general mop-up from the fire. Over 120 people are still assigned to the fire.
Yosemite National Park's waterfalls are expected to peak the first week in June, with the park's snow pack at an average of 199% of normal. Bring your raingear and cameras, preferably water proof cameras.
At the same time, with this huge snowpack the parkâ€™s rivers are flowing at a high capacity, meaning dangerous conditions. Every year, people die from water-related accidents, so please be careful.
In more Yosemite news:
Firefighters are still battling a 250-acre fire off U.S. 168 northwest of Bishop near the community of Starlight and the popular Buttermilk bouldering area but the fire is now 50 percent contained.
Full containment is estimated at 6:00 p.m. Thursday.
Seventy people are currently assigned to the Buttermilk Fire including 11 engines, six hand crews, one helicopter, one dozer and miscellaneous overhead.
Some winds are predicted for today, but so far have been light, allowing crews to make good headway in securing a line all around the fire.
A benefit concert will be held at the Bridgeport Ranch Barn and Terrace, at 68 Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport, California, on July 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. The doors will open at 6p.m. Featured performers are Cowboy Entertainer Dave Stamey, the â€śCharlie Russell of Western Music,â€ť and Professor David Bourne, â€śThe Piano Player at the Gem Saloonâ€ť in HBOâ€™s â€śDeadwood.â€ť
Tickets are $35.00 per person and are available online atBodieFoundation.org or by calling (760) 647-6564. They are also available at the Museum in Bodie.