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What's Up Up Here? Aug 10, 2012

August 10, 2012

We all had a great time at last weekend’s Beer Festival & Bluesapalooza, some more than others. The great R&B singer Bettye Lavette got through her first song, a cover of the George Jones tearjerker, “Choices,” reached for her water glass, then asked the crowd, “How long do you actually have to be here to be able to BREATHE?” …

Does anyone work a crowd better than Steve Searles? He was the hands-down star of last weekend’s festival, posing for about 250 pictures and handing out 6,000 “Don’t Feed Our Bears” stickers. By the end of the festival “I had tendinitis,” he said, from shaking hands and handing out stickers. All that while the Bear Whisperer’s phone rang endlessly with bear reports. …

It’s not like everyone and his brother is behind the Bear Whisperer around here, though. Rec Commissioner and longtime Mammothite Bill Sauser said instead of letting the bears die off au natural, Mammoth should have a “feeding program,” else summer tourism will suffer. …

One thing leads to another, hey? Here’s a hand of gratitude to Mammoth’s Old Timers, who will have their annual Old Timers Picnic at Hayden Cabin tomorrow (Saturday). For tourists who want to see bears AND locals, that’s the spot. The aforementioned Big Bill commands the grill, and he’s darned good at it. More info at 760-934-6918. …

The MT would like to give a special thank you to Megan Guffey for the awesome photos from Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra’s Sierra Cycle Challenge that we printed in last week’s paper. Keep them thar photos comin’! …

Congrats to everyone who made the storefront remodel at the Mono Lake Committee HQ in Lee Vining happen. Sweet! …

And while we’re at the lake, that was a darned nice travel piece by Deborah Wall in the Las Vegas Review Herald last week. …

There are many facets to the Olympic Games. Here is marathoner Ryan Hall on Monday evening: “Slept in my Olympic uniform last night since my bag didn’t make it. Hoping to get things sorted so I’m not the stinky kid on the starting line.”…

It’s all very hush-hush and very much on the QT right now, but certain bigwigs in Mammoth are trying to find a way to preserve Sam’s Woodsite as a permanent performance venue. Owner Sam Walker is trying to sell the parcel (and has been for years), but there may be a way to find a buyer, protect the venue and leave the busted, broke, and bankrupt town out of it. So we hear, anyways. …

They don’t just ski. The Mammoth Mountain Ski Team and Stacy Corless hooked up with the Friends of the Inyo et al for a little trail work on Mammoth Crest last weekend, and that’s fine summer, dryland training. …

Just for the heck of it: A waning gibbous moon. ...

Which brings us to same-sex couples. A new census breakout shows the Bay Area counties come out on top (ho-hum), but what’s really eye-catching is, of course, us: Alpine County (Markleeville) occupies the bottom spot (0), Mono County is close (5) and Inyo comes in with 35. …

Bizzy bizzy bizzy last weekend, everyone reports, pointing to fine weather, fine fishing and a great Bluesapalooza. The fine folks at the Visitors Bureau had projected 79 percent occupancy, but it was more than that. Sadly, the visitation figures do not represent actual occupancy. The projections are taken from a sample (not the entirety of Mammoth lodging) and do not include the campgrounds. Nor are there “actuals” anywhere in the database. Here’s what we know: Taximan Scottie Marzonie says it was as big a week as he’s seen in Mammoth in summer, and “you couldn’t make a left turn anywhere!” That last bit was not a complaint, BTW. …

Yup, that was schools super Rich Boccia (think New York), in an informal sit-down with recreation Commissioners Teri Stehlik and Pat Agnitch, in a first get-the-ball-rolling session on Boccia’s plan to get Mammoth into the Olympic Training Site matrix. They discussed who should be sitting at the table for a big sit-down, focusing on running, mountain biking, road cycling, skiing, snowboarding and biathlon. It’s all purely ad hoc at this point. …

Wow did the Water District make a hash of its project on upper Meridian Blvd., or what? The town’s beleaguered Public Works Department noticed, though, and is now making plans to push the Water District to make things right for paying for the re-paving that has to be done before the snow flies. This just several years after Public Works re-surfaced the street! …

The affable members of Republic of Mammoth’s Eastside Velo Club are very active in advance of the Sept. 8 High Sierra Century. Their next two road cycling events begin this coming Sunday (Aug. 12), with the “Mammoth Challenge Ride,” hosted by the King and Queen of Affability, Dennis and Barb Phillips, who will guide riders on a few of the great town routes (Minaret Vista, Lakes Basic, Scenic Loop), followed by the Aug. 19 “Reverse Century Ride,” hosted by Shirley Seydel. More info at www.eastsidevelo.org.

Mammoth Open Tennis Tournament directors Chuck Scatolini, left, and Gail Lonne, right, present MHS player Emily Hartman with $1,300 in donations from a raffle fundraiser to benefit the high school girls' tennis team. A big thank you goes out from the team to the Open and the generous local businesses that contributed raffle prizes. Photo/submitted
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