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December 2nd

Free Nordic groomed trail system returns to Mammoth

December 2, 2011

After a one year absence, Mammoth will once again have a groomed, free Nordic ski track system just on the outskirts of town.

As soon as it snows, that is.

“We will be out there six days a week grooming as soon as we have about 18 inches,” said Brian Knox, the head of the volunteer-driven Mammoth Nordic nonprofit. Mammoth Nordic intends to once again groom about nine miles of beginner to intermediate cross country tracks at its old location, behind the Shady Rest campground area at the entrance to town.

Mono Lake State Park is off the closure list

December 2, 2011

The Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is off the state’s list of possible state parks to close as of late afternoon Thursday.

The park will remain open and, contrary to some rumors, it will continue to be managed by the state as a state park.

The only thing that will change on the ground is a new fee collection agreement between the state and a nonprofit organization that has long been an advocate for, and a source of financial support for the park, the Bodie Foundation.

Wind takes down hundreds of trees in Lakes Basin

December 2, 2011

The winds that blew throughout the state Wednesday night brought down approximately 300 to 400 trees in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

Most of the trees were located in the vicinity of the Mammoth Lakes Pack Station. Many of the uprooted trees have not completely fallen to the ground, but rather are leaning on other trees or other blowdown.

Due to this hazardous situation, and the fact that the winds are still blowing, the Inyo National Forest has temporarily closed off portions of the area with yellow “Restricted Area” tape and closure signs.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Dec. 2-8

December 2, 2011

Remember that horrendous accident on U.S. 395 near Bishop in 2010 that killed several student athletes, running coach John Adams and a driver? Minutes after the accident, local Eastsiders Amy Steinwand and Bishop volunteer firefighter John Williamson came upon the accident. They ended up helping local Inyo County Sheriff Deputy Shane Scott pull one victim from a burning car, and helping several others during the immediate aftermath of the accident.

November 30th

The helicopter crash that wasn't

November 30, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon, eleven members of the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded to a report of a possible helicopter crash that turned out to be a false alarm.

Residents in the Old Mammoth area reported the possibility of a helicopter crash in the Mammoth Pass/Mammoth Mountain area. Smoke was thought to have been seen in the direction the helicopter was last seen to have flown, residents said.

November 28th

Tioga Pass Road closed — for now

November 28, 2011

After a temporary closure, the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park closed Wednesday night but is still expected to reopen after the current winter storm, as long as there is little snow accumulation and dangerous winds die down.

The Glacier Point Road is now closed for the season.

All roads within the Yosemite National Park are subject to chain control or
temporary closures due to hazardous driving conditions. Tire chains may be
required at any time during the fall and winter season. It is strongly
recommended that all motorists carry tire chains while driving in the park

November 18th

UPDATE: MHS Principal Gabe Solorio out on medical leave, former principal Mike Agnitch now interim principal

November 18, 2011

Mammoth High School Principal Gabe Solorio will be out on medical leave beginning Monday, Nov. 21, until sometime in January, school officials confirmed today. Former MHS principal Mike Agnitch will take the reins as the high school's interim principal until Solorio returns.

Solorio became the high schools principal after Agnitch retired in 2009. Solorio was the middle school's principal for several years before becoming the high school principal.

Here's what the district said about the situation in a press release released the morning of Nov. 22:

Mammoth as a culinary center? Why not?

November 18, 2011

A new and ambitious culinary program for the Mammoth Lakes Foundation made its first, tentative start last week.

The idea is to establish a top-drawer culinary program that eventually would mesh with Cerro Coso Community College, alongside other cultural entities.

It would serve as a training incubator that could feed, so to speak, the 150 restaurants and eateries in a corridor stretching down the Eastside.

Foundation CEO Evan Russell and consultant Bill Taylor unveiled the plans last week at the Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission meeting.

Mike Schlafmann leaves the Inyo, gets big thanks from Mammoth

November 18, 2011

Mike Schlafmann left the Inyo National Forest this week, and for the outdoors types, it was like a star disappearing from the sky.

Schlaffman, the deputy district ranger who worked on the Inyo for 10 years, is headed for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest outside of Seattle.

In the words of Mammoth District Ranger Jon Regelbrugge, “Our loss is their gain.”

“I was his manager, but I never knew if I was managing him, of it he was managing me,” retired Inyo supervisor Sandy Hogan said of Schlafman.

What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for Nov. 17-24

November 18, 2011

After a dazzling performance at the 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards Singer/Songwriter Violeta Martin from Mammoth Lakes will be headlining the official Town of Mammoth Lakes Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Dec 2, in the Footloose Sports parking lot. Hot-hot-hot!. …

The Pathfinder is in our midst. Dr. Mike Karch likes to hunt, but in an old-fashiony kind of way. He wears moccasins instead of boots, and take that, Cabela’s. …

Fido anticipates a hard winter. Happily

November 18, 2011

Fido hates the woodstove.

Go figure. Dogs are supposed to love them, if you believe the pictures in the L.L. Bean catalogs.

“Get me out of here,” he pleaded. “What is this? Aruba?”

This was on one of those really cold days in early November, when the wind howled and the temperatures dove. Outside, our street was frozen solid, with icy spots all over the place.

I built a fire in the woodstove and things were darned cozy at our place, at least for me.

Fido retreated from the living room and took up a post under the dining room table. He panted.

November 11th

Fido occupies Oakland, Mammoth

November 11, 2011

“People get the wrong idea about Oakland,” Fido said.

“Yeah, I know. What makes you say that?”

“I was there for more than a month, and I didn’t see anything like the stuff that showed up on the Jon Stewart Show or the TV news.”

Fido leafed through the California section of the Sunday New York Times, pondering the pictures. When Fido reads the papers, it’s awkward because his finger dexterity is poor, and he tends to get distracted easily.

This time, he lingered.

Obama signs ski area legislation

November 11, 2011

Ski areas in California received good news this past week from the U.S. Forest Service, with the promise of up to 600 new jobs.

The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011, which was signed by President Barack Obama on Nov. 7, is estimated to create and annually sustain up to 600 extra jobs nationwide.

“This is very good news for us,” said Mammoth Mountain Ski Area spokesperson Joani Lynch.
She was not alone in her enthusiasm.

“This is great news for promoting job growth and economic stimulus in California,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore.

Mammoth Mountain takes over tube park

November 11, 2011

Sledz is deadz.

Long live Woolly’s Adventure Summit and the Kids’ Carousel.

Mammoth Mountain snapped up the enterprise from a private owner during the off-season. While the transaction still is in escrow, the ski area is moving ahead with its plans.

The on-again, off-again tubing hill, situated on the right just off Route 203 on the way to Mammoth Mountain, now will be a part of the ski area’s continuing moves toward family-oriented snowplay, according to Mammoth spokesperson Joani Lynch.

Opening Day at ski area looked good, felt right

November 11, 2011

It’s just not in the culture of Mammoth Mountain to miss an Opening Day — natural snow or manufactured, blue skies or gray, rain, snow or fire and brimstone.

This season was no different.

The ski area opened yesterday with five lifts ready to go, including the Lower Gondola.

It also opened with 13 terrain features, said Joani Lynch, ski area spokeswoman.

Working on a base ranging from 18 to 24 inches, the ski area opened Chair 1 (Broadway Express); Chair 6 (Thunder Bound Express); Chair 11 (Discovery Express) and Chair 3 (Facelift).
The first chair left Broadway at 8:30 a.m.

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