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Hot Creek Aviation lawsuit still in appeal
There’s nothing quite like whistling past the graveyard.
Except now, with the $30 million Hot Creek Aviation litigation having gone against the Town, Mammoth Lakes is way past the graveyard.
Now it is wandering about in the never-never land of appeal.
Having made its argument in Sacramento in October, town officials came back to the High Country in low spirits.
It was a year of extremes.
Right off the bat, Mammoth hit 110 percent of normal snowfall.
Then, spring simply never showed up until it stopped snowing the last week of May. A cool and green May gave way to a gorgeous June and even July, as the massive snow and rain from the previous six months prolonged the arid Eastside’s green and flowing period far into August.
Summer was one of the most beautiful in collective memory.
First and foremost and before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a collective shout-out and way-to-go for the snow crews, cops, dispatchers, fire crews and PIO Stuart Brown. There are more, too. A fine job on an impossible storm. Yay to all of you! Mammoth Marketing chief Howard Pickett said he was sitting next to a guy who was connecting through SFO from San Diego and spent much of the 35-minute flight pleading for air service to Diego. ...
Better than expected.
Much better than expected.
Really, really great, in fact.
These conclusions by Mammoth Mountain about the success of air service this past year indicate that Mammoth is getting on the map in ways that will benefit not just the economy, but much more.
First, itâ€™s turning out to be a very good investment for both the Mountain and the region, no small matter, given the recession.
â€śWhat we are getting is a $23 million dollar return for a $2.2 to $2.5 million cost,â€ť said Howard Pickett, the Mountainâ€™s Chief Marketing Officer.
The Sierra Center Mall and Mono County Superior Court will open again Thursday for business, after emergency officials found and fixed two propane leaks and opened vents blocked by heavy wet, snow.
The mall was closed all day Wednesday, due to the problem.
Citing heavy snow, the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department locked down the Sierra Center Mall on Wednesday morning, effectively closing the Mono County Courts as well as several businesses.
The cause was a "heavy smell of propane," caused by the blockage of vents on the rooftop, said a city official.
Mammoth Mountain received a total of between nine and a half and fifteen feet of snow from the four day storm that ended early this Winter Solstice morning.
Another storm is forecast for later this evening and into Wednesday, with Thursday predicted to be the clearest day in a week.
Mammoth Mountain added another 12.5 feet between Friday and Monday, making the four-day storm something to remember.
And it's not over yet.
More snow is on the way for the Central Sierra, with another 18" to 24" expected above 7,000 feet by Wednesday evening. Another storm is expected after Thursday and into the Christmas weekend, as well, although forecasters are waiting to refine their forecast for that one.
The end result has been, and will be, a whole lot of snow.
Eager snowmobilers and wary wilderness watchers are going to have to wait a bit longer for a final decision on a long-awaited snowmobile crossing of the Sonora Pass area Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) â€“ but just a little longer.
â€śIâ€™m can confidently say that we will approve the option with the two crossings, (by the end of the year)â€ť said Humboldt Toiyabe National Forestâ€™s Bridgeport District Ranger Mike Crawley Tuesday.
â€śI know that will be unpopular with some but we are trying to meet Congressâ€™ requirements for public safety (and the two crossings are deemed to be the safest),â€ť he said.
Police Chief Dan Watson came to the Mammoth Lakes Town Council Wednesday night with his stars on his uniform shirt, a plea for staffing and his hat in hand.
The council said sorry, but see ya.
“I came forward with some recommendations that I think shouldn’t wait until the next budget year,” Watson said after the council turned back his suggestions, at least until the regularly scheduled council meeting in the second week of January.
Lynda Salcido has been appointed to the open seat on the Mammoth Hospital recently vacated by Dr. Don Sage.
The appointment was filled at the Dec. 16 2010 Southern Mono Healthcare District (SMHD) Board of Directors meeting, with a majority vote of 3:1 with five candidates applying for the seat (Salcido, Richard Vroman, Jon King, Michelle Mather and Kiara Raazi).
The winter storm forecast to come in later this afternoon got an early head start this morning. Even though Mammoth residents went to bed with bright stars out their windows, by 8 a.m., several inches of snow had fallen on the town of Mammoth and there was no sign of its stopping.
The snowfall total has also increased since yesterday, with the storm coming in colder than forecast, from three to six feet for Mammoth to three to eight feet above 7,000 feet by Sunday.
The Mammoth daycare provider arrested on alleged child sexual abuse charges in early October, Guadalupe "Lupe" Almaguer, plead guilty to four counts of child molestation at a Dec. 13 court hearing, according to Todd Graham, Mono County Deputy District Attorney.
"Mr. Guadalupe â€śLupeâ€ť Almaguer pled guilty to four felony counts of child molestation of four victims while each victim was under the age of 14," Graham said in a press release.
Mammothâ€™s newest venue in the art world couldnâ€™t be in a more unusual â€“ or enticing â€“ spot.
On Saturday, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area will open an â€śArt Parkâ€ť in a new terrain park above Canyon Lodge.
The new terrain park seeks to introduce the worlds of skiing and snowboarding to the world of street art.
â€śIâ€™m really stoked,â€ť said ski area spokesman Dan Hansen. â€śIâ€™ve never seen any other mountain do this kind of thing. Itâ€™s a cool way to combine art and snowboarding and skiing.
â€śThe two cultures kind of go together. With the art on snowboards and skis, theyâ€™re interconnected.â€ť
Problems with AT&T cell service in the Tri-Valley area will continue for another few days, but should clear up after that, according to AT&T. The problems, in the form of an almost total blackout for most Tri-Valley communities, began at the end of November and have angered resident, including emergency service providers worried about the lack of cell service.
Mark Brownlie is making his way up the mountain, and heâ€™s darned near the top.
The head coach of the Mammoth Mountain Ski team last week earned a promotion, becoming the ski areaâ€™s Managing Director of Athletics.
"It's a great honor," Brownlie said in his signature Scottish accent.
"I look forward to creating new possibilities for the Community Foundation and to keep the goal of having the best race department and race team in the country."