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July 2nd, 2012

It's official: Mammoth to declare bankruptcy; Wood: 'A necessary and unavoidable step'

July 2, 2012

The worst possible outcome for Mammoth Lakes has come true.

The town decided to declare municipal bankruptcy Monday morning, July 2. The Town Council took the action unanimously.

"It's wish this hadn't happened," said Mayor Matthew Lehman, "but it's not the way the cards fell for us."

The town immediately issued a press release regarding the Town council decision.

Mammoth Track Club’s Morgan Uceny wins trip to London in 1,500 meters

July 2, 2012

For such a small little town, Mammoth came up big in the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials last week.

The latest hammer blow came on Sunday night, when Morgan Uceny easily won the 1,500 meters in 4-minutes, 4.59.4 in Eugene.

Uceny won over second-place Shannon Rowbury and third-place Jenny Simpson, both of whom joined Uceny on the U.S. team.

"I felt awesome up there," she said of her consistent lead in the wind-blown race. "I always had an exrta gear that I might have needed to respond if I needed to. But I knew as long as I ran smart, there was no way I could lose the race."

June 29th

Downhiller Stacey Cook is up in the air

June 29, 2012

It is hard enough to spot downhiller Stacey Cook on a downhill course.

Mammoth’s Olympic downhiller is by you in a whoosh—a split-second of wind and snow, set against an audible backdrop of oohs and aahs.

But last week, she outdid herself.

With a roar of jet engines, Cook and Olympic teammate Kelly Clark buzzed by Mammoth Mountain in a U.S. Navy fighter jet from Fallon, Nev., leaving her and Clark as exhausted as a downhill race or a day in the halfpipe.

June Mountain gloom

June 29, 2012

There is no shortage of gloom in June Lake.

When Mammoth Mountain Ski Area announced last week (June 21) that it would close down the June Mountain ski area at least until the end of the 2012-13 ski season, the reaction was swift and tense.
“I think it’s been pretty clear the entire eight years since I was elected that this is exactly what I have been working to avoid,” said June Lake’s county supervisor, Vikki Bauer.

Gregory: 'Irresponsible of me to have not faced facts sooner'

June 29, 2012

Rusty Gregory knows people are not happy with him for closing June Mountain.

In the end, facing a loss of an average of $1.5 million a year, that wasn’t enough to stop him.

“Personally, I’m incredibly disappointed as well,” he said. ” I realize that the people in June are shocked and very disappointed, and angry with me. But the idea of subsidizing June without a view of an end result is not sustainable.”

He also said skier visits have gone from an average of 80,000 per season to 45,000 last season.

Reds Meadow Road opens; Devils Postpile, other destinations accessible

June 29, 2012

After a massive effort to remove the downed trees felled by the giant windstorm last year, the Reds Meadow Shuttle Service is scheduled to begin this week on Friday, June 29.

'Scrawny' bears in Mammoth doing well ... so far

June 29, 2012

One of the more interesting bear seasons in years has begun in Mammoth, and Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles said their habitat is remaining intact, more or less.

They’re scrawny, however, and hungry.

“The drought this year means it’s going to be busier,” he said in his monthly bear report. “The bears are going to run out of natural foods and will be more likely to try to get into human food.”

He said people in Mammoth are going to notice some skinnier bears, but “The Bear Whisperer” said he is urging that people “can’t give in to feeding them.”

Cops on the lookout for burglar who zapped four Mammoth businesses

June 29, 2012

Mammoth police as of Thursday afternoon were still looking for the perpetrator of four burglaries that happened in the course of two days.

They identified 27-year-old Cameron Jeffrey Puckett, a transient, as the leading suspect, and distributed photos of him. One of the photos, in black and white, shows Puckett during the commission of the burglary, police said.

They also said he dropped his mobile phone at one of the sites.

That's the ticket

June 29, 2012

From time to time, we use our idle moments around here for a little daydreaming. This week, it was all about business plans. Don’t even ask how it started.

It’s rough to make business plans in a town headed for bankruptcy, in a state that has no money, and a country with an economy as stable as an aspen log over a creek in May, but we soldiered on with a couple of nifty ideas:

Fido & Me —Sleepless in Mammoth

June 29, 2012

“FIDO?!?!?!?”

“Here I am! Hey hey hey hey!”

Fido scampered on over, full of beans as usual.

“Fido, have you been messing with my email? I’m getting all kinds of strange email from people I don’t know, in places I’ve never been, and I just have a hunch you’re behind this.”

“I love email,” Fido said. “You can connect with anyone!”

“I know, Fido, but I don’t want to be connected with EVERYone. I can see there is a green, pine pollen dogpaw print on my keyboard.”

Fido sat (obediently, for once in his life) at my side. He grinned.

Budget done, town turns attention to commissions

June 29, 2012

The Town of Mammoth Lakes Airport Commission still has a heartbeat.

So, too, does the Mobility Commission.

In spite of a cost-saving effort to combine the two governmental bodies, neither commission, nor the Town Council, found how to do it in advance of July 31, when new commissioners are to be seated.

In the whirlwind rush by the Town Council to complete a balanced budget, that small sub-drama took place one rung lower on the town government ladder.

What's Up, Up Here? Mammoth news and gossip for June 29-July 5

June 29, 2012

Joel St. Marie (Mammoth Gallery), is the featured shutterbug at the Mono Inn all July, and we say check it out. He’s close to joining the front ranks of local photographers, some say, but we say he’s already there. …

Tearing out road barriers isn't the answer, Forest Service says

June 29, 2012

At least some of the barriers put up last year to close illegal roads and routes on the Inyo National Forest have been torn out since the snow melted.

“Forest-wide, we think about 10 to 20 percent of the barriers have been damaged or removed,” said Marty Hornick, the forest’s travel management plan coordinator.

Carol at 70

June 29, 2012

Thirty-four years ago, on a hot July day in Idaho Falls, Idaho, my mother grabbed her five kids, ages 6 to 13 years old, her reluctant husband, a long-nosed collie dog, and herded us all into the wilderness backcountry for the first time.

We wore Levis and flannel shirts and giant, five-pound leather boots with thick soles that killed our young and tender feet with gleeful abandon.

We carried awkward, heavy external frame packs that killed our young and tender shoulders and hips with equal abandon.

Waiting for Perseus

June 29, 2012

The Summer Solstice—the longest day and shortest night of the year—occurred last week, heralding the beginning of summer in the Western Hemisphere.

The long days make summer the idyllic time for outdoor pursuits and backyard barbeques. But for stargazers, the short nights present something of a challenge.

“It doesn’t really get totally dark until after midnight and it begins to lighten up by 4 a.m.,” said local, retired astronomer Ron Oriti.

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