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The winter of our discontent

February 10, 2012

It’s hard for us to remember a more dreary winter than this one.
 
One event morphs into another incident; one ugly phenomenon touches another.
 
In our little idyllic world here in the mountains, it’s starting to feel like we are getting pummeled from all sides. Idyllic? Yeah, right.
 
We don’t like it.
 
Nobody does.
 
Between Oct. 31 and Dec. 26, Mammoth endured eight non-natural deaths and a weird, massive treefall in the Reds and Agnew meadows areas.
 
In January, two of our own, Dr. Andrew Bourne and businessman Joe Walker were accused in a Santa Barbara child sex case, after which Bourne committed suicide. A ceremony called “Andy’s Last Ski Run” was conducted last weekend.
 
But that isn’t all, not by a long shot.
 
In December, the “Night of Lights” festival at Canyon Lodge turned into a Night of Fights instead, when unruly concert-goers drove members of the headline band off the stage by throwing objects at them, then drove them off again when the band, the Naked and Famous, tried to resume the show. (The headliner turned out to be none other than Rusty Gregory, trying to calm the crowd.)
 
Oh, and by the way, there is very little snow—one of the worst snow seasons on record.
 
The snow situation touches everyone.
 
The snowpack is hardly a pack at all, mitigated only by last season’s record snows that left the state’s reservoirs filled.
 
Visitors have stayed away in droves. That in turn has affected the town’s general fund, which is made up entirely of Transient Occupancy Taxes.
 
That in turn has had an impact on the ongoing (until now) negotiations between the Town and the Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition (p.1) over the $42 million judgment that hangs over us like the Sword of Damocles, held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse’s tail.
 
Last week, two local men were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after another person was severely beaten during a fight at the Village. A female juvenile was also arrested and booked on suspicion of “criminal threats” and “conspiracy.” The victim sustained severe injuries in the assault.
 
In Coleville last weekend a propane explosion destroyed a home and killed the wife of an officer serving at the Marine Mountain Warfare Center.
 
Yechh.
 
At the Board of Supervisors meeting, someone suggested only one good thing can come of all this, to wit; an early summer.
 
No doubt about it, this winter has been a killer, figuratively and, sadly, literally.
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