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June 15th, 2012

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.

The bleeding stops

June 15, 2012

By this time next week—Wednesday, to be precise—Mammoth Lakes will have a balanced budget.

It will be a document that drips with the blood of dep cutsw. lost positions and dashed dreams.

But it will be done. Finished. Over.

The residual pain of it, along with the unresolved plan of how to deal with the $42 million MLLA judgment, will hurt for this year and for many years.

But for now, Mammoth can get back to doing what it does best. You can call it whistling past the graveyard, but all of us are weary of the graveyard.

Fido & Me —Dogapalooza

June 15, 2012

“I’m legal!” Fido yelped happily to no one in particular. “I’m legal, I’m a rabies-free Mutt from the Mountains and … do you happen to have a Pup-Peroni?”

Fido got up on his hind legs and did a little jig.

“Look! My tag is Royal Blue this year!”

The other dogs (and a few cats in crates) in the Mammoth Lakes Police Department parking lot expressed varying degrees of enthusiasm.

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.

June 11th

RAW: "Water and Power: The Aqueduct and The Aftermath" documentary film in Lone Pine

June 11, 2012

The Owens Valley Committee invites its members and the public to view a documentary film on the LA Aqueduct and its aftermath. Tuesday evening, June 12, at 7:00 pm at the Lone Pine Film History Museum, 701 South Main Street, Lone Pine.

OVC is presenting two-parts of a three-part documentary featured on the 2009 DVD release of the Academy Award-winning 1974 movie Chinatown. The documentary, produced and edited by Paul G. Baker for Paramount Pictures, examines the building of the LA Aqueduct, “The Aqueduct,” and the last forty years of Owens Valley water issues, “The Aftermath.”

June 8th

RAW: Devils Postpile sets 37-foot vehicle length restriction on the Devils Postpile Access Road

June 8, 2012

In order to improve public safety and address concerns related to previous accidents and near misses on the Devils Postpile access road, Devils Postpile National Monument will be enforcing a limit of 37 feet for all vehicles or vehicle combinations (truck and trailer) on the access road.

The Devils Postpile access road is a very short, narrow, and curvy section of road that provides access to the Devils Postpile Trailhead, ranger station and campground off of the main Devils Postpile/Reds Meadow Road.

RAW: NWS Meteorologist Rhett Milne to present about the November forest blowdown event

June 8, 2012

Devils Postpile National Monument and the Inyo National Forest are pleased to host National Weather Service meteorologist Rhett Milne for a presentation on June 11 at 7 p.m. at the Mammoth Welcome Center Auditorium.

The presentation will cover November 30, 2011 forest blowdown event that affected large sections of the San Joaquin River Watershed from Tuolumne Meadows to Mt. Whitney and knocked down thousands of trees in the area.

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