February 20th, 2014
The warm, dry weather has changed some wildlife behavior this winter—some of Mammoth’s bears are still up and about part of the days—and more changes could be on the way, according to Mammoth Lakes Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles.
“Given the situation of the three drought years, is it reasonable to expect that something unique could happen this spring?” Searles said.
“Sure. We don’t have any snow. It’s just incredible. It would be obvious to think that we will have massive changes.”
Late Saturday night, Feb. 15, someone turned on the washing machine in one of the old wooden buildings at Tamarack Lodge—or so thought Bob Thompson, an attorney and mountaineer visiting from Los Angeles.
Then he thought it might have been an avalanche rumbling outside after the fresh snowfall.
“There was some serious creaking,” he said.
What Bob felt was a magnitude 2.4 earthquake that occurred at 8:30 p.m., one of many small earthquakes in a swarm centered beneath Mammoth Mountain that started on Feb. 3.
The Mammoth Town Council is poised to offer Interim Town Manager Dan Holler permanent status, so long as they agree on the terms by which he would be fired.
“I want us to be in position where we can have a contract that benefits the community as well as the individual entering into the contract,” said Council Member Jo Bacon, “specifically in some of the areas about giving us stability, but not tying us into egregious severance pay and things like that that we've had to deal with in the past.”
BRIDGEPORT—Mono County will send two representatives to Washington, D.C., for a five-day legislative conference in March, but the Board of Supervisors is less than enthusiastic about the trip.
Donâ€™t let the snow on the ground fool youâ€”the Eastern Sierra is a very long way from being out of the drought.
It will take about another 20 inches of precipitationâ€”somewhere between 15 and 25 feet of snowâ€”to make up for the last few dry months, according to state data, then another 15 inches in March and April to stay out of a drought.
Thatâ€™s not impossible.
Minaret Vista, Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area, other areas, now covered in snow
Last weekendâ€™s storm brought enough snow to higher elevations to open more terrain to the publicâ€”specifically cross-country ski and snowmobile areas.
From the unplowed road that leads past Mammoth Mountain Ski Areas Main Lodge to gorgeous Minaret Vista to the snow-drenched Mammoth Lakes Basin and the high country around Bridgeport, there are plenty of places to ski and snowmobile once againâ€”with a little bit of effort.
There’s an old saying around here, that “if you put a speed race on the calendar, it will snow.”
Once again the old urban legend was on the money last week when snowy weather forced the Mammoth Mountain Race Department to scramble.
Pete Korfiatis, Head MMST FIS coach, described the scenario like this:
“Though the MMRD was ready to race, Mother Nature had different ideas. She came in with fury, and knowing how badly the mountain needed the snowfall no one was upset.
BRIDGEPORT—The Mono County Board of Supervisors this past week drew a packed house in both Bridgeport and Mammoth, but it wasn’t exactly much of a party.
The Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) is not a tax, though it walks and talks like one in Mammoth Lakes.
It’s official! Dr. Mike Karch announced this week that the Mammoth Lakes Biathlon for 2014 will be March 21-23 with more details to emerge in the coming weeks. So get your cross country skis and biathlon rifles out and start practicing! Ski fast, shoot straight! …
BRIDGEPORT—A new restaurant opened its doors this past month in Mono County, and judging by the lines outside of Ohanas395, it’s already a hit.
The trick, if there is one, is in finding the doors.
That’s because Ohanas395 is a Hawaiian Style Food Trailer, owned and operated by Rena McCullough, a longtime June Lake resident.
“Opening a restaurant requires a lot of work,” she reasoned. “This is easier.”
It also is arguably better.
Larry Johnston says he knows one word in Russian.
It is “nyet,” the Russian word for “no.”
Debbie Teller says she knows one fewer word than Johnston.
Karl Teller, meanwhile, has been trying to pick up bits of Russian on his vehicle’s CD player, and Debbie says he might know five words by now, while Karen Johnston says she’s working on one word: “Dosvidaniya,” meaning goodbye.
The first big storm of the winter dropped about four feet of snow on the top of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and a couple of feet of heavy snow between 11,000 and 9,000 feet.
It was enough to open all of the ski area’s runs, and just in time for one of the three biggest weekends of the year—Presidents Day weekend.
The storm also helped to bring the snowpack at Mammoth Pass from about 20 percent of normal to about 37 percent of normal for this time of year (according to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power data).
By now, most Mammoth Lakes residents probably know someone who has recently been through the latest winter affliction to hit the area, the “norovirus,” sometimes called the winter vomiting disease and/or food poisoning.
It is not dangerous, most of the time, but it is a particularly nasty stomach virus most common in the winter when people are stuck together in small, enclosed spaces for long periods of time.