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June 15th, 2012

RAW: Father, son, guided out of backcountry by search and rescue Thursday

June 15, 2012

On June 14, 2012, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded to a call for help of two hikers who had lost their trail.

A father and his 17 year-old son from Ohio went on a day hike over Mammoth Pass to the Devils Postpile National Monument. While returning to their vehicle at Horseshoe Lake, they lost the trail and were not able to find their way back.

Manning out as Airport Manager; Beck gone from Public Works; Jarvis in charge

June 15, 2012

When the axe fell on Bill Manning, it was quiet. When it fell on Dave Beck, it was even more so.

Both longtime Mammoth managers lost their positions this week as part of a town reorganization that eliminated the Airport Manager/Transit Coordinator job (Manning) and the Maintenance Superintendent job (Beck).

Rather than to wait until the July 1 budget took effect, both left immediately, with severance packages in hand.

“It wasn’t about politics,” said Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht. “It happened because our resources are so tight.”

In the aftermath of 'The Devils Windstorm'

June 15, 2012

Last winter’s big windstorm—the one that took down tens of thousands of trees in the Reds Valley/Devils Postpile Area, now has a name.

It is now known by the National Weather Service as “The Devils Windstorm,” and for good reason.

“Can you imagine being in this storm?” said Rhett Milne, a NWS meteorologist who on Monday gave a lecture on the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 event at the Forest Service Auditorium in Mammoth. Milne is the “extreme weather events coordinator” for Southern Nevada and Eastern California.

The Sierra red fox's tell-tale-tail

June 15, 2012

Considering the grand tapestry of life here on this blue-green Earth, the fate of one little animal species might not seem like that big of a deal.

After all, species go extinct every day.

But think of it from the human point of view.

How would you feel if you were a species on the very brink of extinction—only 20 or so remaining individuals in one tiny band in one place in the world— and you suddenly found you were not alone, that there were more of you out there?

Ecstatic, maybe?

Mono Lake Bird Chautauqua still has openings—picnic, concert open to public this weekend

June 15, 2012

For the many bird lovers out there, the biggest bird celebration of the year in the Eastern Sierra kicks off this week, as Lee Vining and the Mono Basin gear up for the 11th annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua.

There will be 80 different events offered by 45 different presenters Friday through Sunday, June 15-17.

Mono County's agriculture packs an economic punch

June 15, 2012

Not many people think of cattle and alfalfa as a Mono County thing. Mountains and ski lifts, hiking and snowboarding, biking and running, sure.

But cattle?

Those bovines you see as you drive past the airport on the way to Crowley Lake grazing in the rising sun? They are far more than something iconic and Western and rustic to look at.

Those cattle are worth millions of dollars.

Those green, verdant fields you see up by Bridgeport, back-dropped by the towering Sawtooth ridge that feed them?

More millions.

Down in the valley

June 15, 2012

The moment the road to Reds Meadow opens every summer, it’s like a green light goes on. Mammoth’s economy jumps into hyperdrive and doesn’t slow again until Labor Day.

An average of about 100,000 visitors come through Mammoth just to get to the Reds Meadow valley, many bound for the Devils Postpile National Monument. They spend about $2.8 million every summer in Mammoth and the surrounding communities.

It’s a big number and some might say Reds Meadow is to Mammoth summers what Mammoth Mountain is to Mammoth winters.

Udderly amazing! Cows penned in at Whitmore Ballfields

June 15, 2012

It’s not unusual that Mammoth Parks Superintendent Dennis Rottner has challenges drop in his lap.

But when those droppings are large, round, smelly, cowpies, and they’re blocking the baseball infields and outfields at the Whitmore Ballfields, that’s an udderly different situation.

“We have a cow issue,” Rottner deadpanned in front of the Recreation Commission on Tuesday afternoon.
Said Rec Commssion Commission Chair Bill Sauser, “The cattle kind?”

Yup.

Johnston's effort to drop county fees by 10 percent fails

June 15, 2012

Mono County Supervisor Larry Johnston’s hopes that Mono County would reduce all the fees it charges county residents for services such as building permits by 10 percent fell on deaf ears at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Johnston said the vote, a 4-1 decision that adopted a package of fees, some of which were reduced but not all, was a disappointment.

“I would have liked to have supported some of the reductions that were in the package, but because it was all offered in a package deal, I didn’t have the opportunity,” he said.

Mammoth Water District, DWP in court again Thursday

June 15, 2012

The battle for Mammoth Creek’s water rights continued this Thursday, just as the Mammoth Times went to press.

Mammoth Community Water District and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power met via conference calls to consider each party’s administrative record and to discuss dates for future court hearings.
The fight has moved from administrative to political, according to the water district’s general manager, Greg Norby.

“The Los Angeles City Council met in closed session on Tuesday to talk about this issue,” he said Thursday.

Still no decision on how to fill county assessor seat

June 15, 2012

There is still no conclusion as to how Mono County will fill the recently vacated county assessor seat after Assessor Jody Henning has turned in her resignation letter.

The county supervisors talked about the subject at length Tuesday, considering everything from filling the position with a qualified assistant assessor (the county’s assistant assessor, Chris Lyons, also resigned when Henning did) to holding a special election to fill the assessor’s seat.

What's Up, Up Here? Mammoth News and gossip for June 15-21

June 15, 2012

Dr. Carl Lind, the Bishop vet of choice for many locals, retires this summer, much to the chagrin of pet owners who have seen generations of their beloved pets survive and thrive under his expert care. It’s hard to replace a half-century of practice and the four-footers will miss him. …

June 14th

RAW: Fire restrictions for areas near Bridgeport, north, go into effect Monday

June 14, 2012

Tinder-dry vegetation, lingering drought conditions, increasing daytime temperatures, and recent human-caused fires have prompted the Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest from Bridgeport north to begin fire restrictions on Monday, June 18, 2010, at 12:01 a.m., and lasting until further notice.

As of June 14, 2012, the Inyo National Forest that surrounds Mammoth Lakes and reaches down to Lone Pine is not under any fire restrictions. That could change as the forest continues to dry out.

June 12th

Simi Valley woman found dead in vehicle off Tioga Pass Road

June 12, 2012

A Simi Valley woman has been found dead in a vehicle off the Tioga Pass Road this morning, with a preliminary law enforcement report pointing toward a car accident as a possible cause of death.

Roberta Singer, 20, Simi Valley, was found this morning at approximately 11:00 a.m., Mono County Sheriff’s officials said. The sheriff dispatch received a call from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office with the report of a missing person thought to be traveling on S.R. 120 West, headed south down Tioga Pass.

Sierra Nevada Red fox biologist to speak at Green Church tonight

June 12, 2012

The last Green Church lecture is tonight, Tuesday, June 12, at 7:00 p.m. at the Green Church on the corner of U.S. 395 and the Benton Crossing Road south of Mammoth.

The guest speaker is one of the biologists who rediscovered an extremely rare Sierra red fox species near Sonora Pass, a species thought to be almost extinct - the Sierra Nevada Red fox.

"Rediscovery of the Sierra Nevada Red Fox in the Southern Sierra Nevada" by Sherri Lisius, wildlife biologist, Bureau of Land Management, is free and open to the public.

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