Archive - News Article
January 26th, 2014
January and wildfires donât usually go together, even in sunny temperate California, but with a drought winter following the driest year on record, that means things are different.
Seven wildfires are burning in the stateâsome of them thousands of acresâand the Sierra Nevada is no exception.
Eastsiders donât typically expect wildfire smoke during winter, but an almost 700-acre wildfire that has been burning on the west side of the Sierra crest (west of Olancha) since Jan. 15 and the fire has begun to funnel smoke into Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra.
June Mountain Ski Area is still open contrary to rumors, and the ski liftâat least oneâis still running.
But thereâs no doubt, even with all the masterful grooming by veteran groomers Steve Aldritch and Sam Poffle done after the last real storm in December, that it really has to snow.
âWe certainly have enough for the next two weeks,â said the ski areaâs general manager, Carl Williams. âThe temperatures at night have been cold, the aspect of the run is good and this stuff they (Aldritch and Poffle) made is indestructible. But four weeks out? I canât promise that.â
Mammoth still has time to tap Mono County for any shortfalls in funding the Fourth of July Fireworks show at Crowley Lake, the Board of Supervisors indicated this past week, in spite of a perception by Mammoth Town Council members that the supervisors somehow snubbed the event.
Supervisor Fred Stump, whose District 2 includes Crowley Lake, Tom's Place and Tri-Valley, said he was taken aback at the highly critical comments made by the Mammoth Town Council on Jan. 15.
"We have a choice how to respond in a positive way," Stump said.
The Mono County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MONET), along with the assistance of the Mono County Sheriff’s office, the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, and the Inyo County Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET), recently concluded a narcotics investigation in Mammoth Lakes that recently resulted in the arrest of a mother and son from Bishop on charges of selling methamphetamines to a minor and other charges.
The Mammoth Lakes branch of Bank of America will close on May 2 when the lease on the building runs out, according to branch officials.
The Bishop branch will not close, however, officials said.
This week's Mammoth Times contains the latest overage of the Fourth of July Crowley Lake Fireworks Show (it's good to go!), plus coverage of the spat that the Mammoth Lakes Town Council began with the Mono County Board of Supervisors over the same subject.
This yearâs version of the influenza virus has brought back an old enemyâthe so-called âswine fluâ of 2009âand it has also reached epidemic levels in California, including Mono County, according to Mono and Inyo County Public Health Officer Rick Johnson.
Johnson calls it an epidemic because 4 percent of the local population has the fluâand has for the past three weeksâcompared to the normal about one percent that would have it at this time.
After more than a year of leaving the Fourth of July Fireworks show in limbo, Town Council member Matthew Lehman said he and a consortium of public funders have secured enough funding to keep them going.
"We're still slightly short," he told the Town Council at its meeting on Jan. 15, "but we think we have enough funds and resources to where we can now commit to the Fourth of July for 2014, and the events will move forward as normally scheduled. We're looking forward to that.
The Fourth of July fireworks began early for members of the Mammoth Lakes Town Council last week.
Council member John Eastman, speaking from the dais on Jan. 15, led a verbal assault on members of the Mono County Board of Supervisors, saying in order to be a supervisor from Mammoth Lakes, âa lobotomy is performed in Bridgeport and from then on, our supervisors have a difficulty in representing the community of Mammoth Lakes.â
Eastman, who has said he will not run again for Town Council when his season opens in the June 3 elections, then asked rhetorically, âAm I missing something?â
Ingrid Braun, a veteran Los Angeles law enforcement officer who currently serves with her husband as a reserve officer with the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, has initiated a campaign for Mono County Sheriff.
Due to reduced visitation as a result of the low snowfall this winter, transit service in Mammoth will be modified effective Monday, January 20, 2014. The service changes include:
The Red Line will operate from 7:00am until 5:30pm on a 20-minute frequency. Red Line buses will depart Snowcreek Athletic Club at 0:00,:20 and :40 minutes past the hour (1st departure 7:00am, last departure at 5:20pm). The Red Line will depart from Main Lodge at 0:30, :50 and :10 past the hour (1st departure at 7:30am, last departure at 5:30pm).
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area will continue making snow as fast as possible, according to Rusty Gregory, the CEO of the ski area.
Shooting down rumors that the ski hill’s water supply was drying up, Gregory told a group of town leaders that the water levels on the mountain remain high.
“The well drawdowns haven’t been bad,” he reported to members of a liaison committee between the Town of Mammoth Lakes and the ski resort on Monday, Jan. 13.
While executives at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area keep their collective pedal to the metal for a re-making of the Main Lodge area, the development of a new Eagle Lodge is running a close second on the priority list.
Actually, according to CEO Rusty Gregory, the new Eagle is even more top of mind than anything that might happen at the Main Lodge in the near future.
“It’s a higher priority from a timing standpoint,” he said this past week at a Town-MMSA Liaison Committee meeting.
BRIDGEPORTâAn 86-year old Mammoth Lakes woman was killed in a two-car collision on U.S. 395 south of Bridgeport shorty before 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Dead was Suzanne Stokes, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol. She was driving a 1996 Subaru, which collided with a GMC van driven by a 62-year-old Minden, Nev., woman identified as Barbara Koehler.
Koehler was taken to Bridgeport. A Life Flight air ambulance transported Koehler from Bridgeport to Renown Hospital in Reno. The CHP listed her injuries as "moderate."
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) reopened S.R. 89, Monitor Pass, yesterday, Jan. 13.
Caltrans maintenance crews have gone through and repaired any sections that were damage by winter storms, according to Caltrans, and determined that the pass is safe for reopening to the traveling public.
As is often the case this time of year, the opening of S.R. 89 is dependent on favorable weather, Caltrans said. If the area is impacted by inclement weather Caltrans may have to reclose the highway.