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What's Up, Up Here? All the news and gossip for March 30-April 5

March 30, 2012

Police Chief Dan Watson, left, and Elizabeth Tenney (with Pepto-Bismol) present Mammoth firefighter Bryce Freeman with a first-place award for best chili at last Sunday’s Chili Cook-Off, a fundraiser for Tenney’s Gateway Project. Freeman called his chili “Texas Fire Alarm Red.” Photo/George Shirk

The results of Dan Watson’s Chili Cook-Off last Sunday at the Bistro were, at best, mixed. “If you don’t like the results, don’t blame me!” the police chief said. “I just captured the scores and besides, I came in dead last. Even Fido beat me, but not by much! And, the People’s Choice award went to the chili that tied with Fido for next to last. Go figure.” By the way, fireman Bryce Freeman’s Three-Alarm Texas Red won top prize, but Fido himself preferred Freeman’s “Bayou Blaster,” a concoction featuring alligator and turtle. …

The son of former Mono County resident and California Department of Fish and Game warden Ernie Acosta and his wife Sheryl Acosta, Army Spc. Edward Acosta, died March 5 after an improvised bomb destroyed his military vehicle on Dec. 3 in Afghanistan. Acosta, an Army medic, received a Bronze Star for valor, the Purple Heart, and a Combat Medical Badge, and was on his first tour there when the accident that later claimed his life occurred. Acosta lived in June Lake during his childhood, and then moved to Hesperia. He left behind a wife and four-month old daughter. …

The orange and black butterflies that you see flitting about in the Long Valley and Bishop areas so unseasonably early are called mourning cloak butterflies and they are something of a mystery to biologists because they are one of the few butterfly species that hibernate. They’re looking a bit ragged and very, very hungry. …

The new moon joined the four-planet show in the night sky this week. Check out the sky above Mammoth Mountain after dark. That’s Venus, the brightest planet, then Jupiter below it, with the waxing crescent moon right above them both. Over to the east a few hours later, Mars and Saturn. Sweet. …

Big blowout stories in last Sunday’s L.A. Times about our altitude training. Nice pictures, too. John Urdi, director of the Visitors Bureau, said if Mammoth were to have bought that much space in advertising, it would work out to about $300,000. …

Speaking of the runners, if all works out as planned, Mammoth would have seven of the 24 Olympic distance runners in London. …

Hearty congrats to young Bella Neal on her very first ski race. May there be many more. …

We have the can’t-waits for the Banff Mountain Film Festival Series, in Bishop tonight (Friday) and tomorrow. Tix at Wilson’s Eastside Sports. …

Equally psyched to see “Proof,” the new Sierra Classic Theatre production that opened last night at the Edison Theatre and will run on weekends through April 14. …

From the Bay Area, S.F. Chronicle outdoors writer Tom Stienstra named Mammoth as the best overall ski hill in California. …

Of all the quasi “teams” at last weekend’s biathlon, the pink-clad “Girls With Guns” were great-great-great. …

Overheard in our Newsroom: “Just sayin’: Any reporter with a woman editor who can ski and shoot at the same time has a whole new way of looking at the commute.” …

On April 6 we will observe Ski Patrol Appreciation Day. Ski patrollers put their own lives in jeopardy so we can play safe in the mountains all around the world. …

What’s a “corny duster” you ask? It’s how one June Laker described the snow we’ve received lately. “Call it corn, grauple, or just plain snow, we call it fun!” … 

Happy Birthday this week to Arya Degenhardt and Leonard Nimoy. And today, Haps to Eric Clapton (66) and Warren Beatty (74!). …

Also, Happy 61st (March 18) to Sparky the Fire Dog. This little Dalmatian has saved thousands of lives over the years by serving as the spokesdog for fire safety and prevention. Sparky was created in 1951 for an Advertising Council campaign. …

Here’s Lina Martin Myers, Facebooking: “In Mammoth, when it rains, it SNOWS.” ...

That’s Mammoth downhiller Stacey Cook at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Winter Park this week. Go Stacey, Go! …

Great shot from longtime shutterbug Susan Morning in Ski Racing magazine from the recent J2 Championships. …

Can it really be that Dodger Stadium is 50 years old?!?

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