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MLFD to do fuel reduction in Shady Rest Parcel

September 28, 2010

Starting in early October members of the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and Cal-Fire crews will be doing a large fuel reduction project in the Shady Rest parcel," Chief Brent Harper announced in a press release Tuesday.

This approximately 25 acre parcel is located in the general area south of Center Street and east of Manzanita Dr.

Lakes Basin study to be unveiled Thursday, Sept. 30

September 27, 2010

The results of the Lakes Basin Special Study are about to be unveiled in a series of three presentations over the next six weeks.

The first presentation, “State of the Lakes Basin,” will be presented Thursday, Sept. 28 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Westin Monache Resort.

The second presentation, scheduled for Oct. 14 at the Westin from 5:30-8:30, is called “Lakes Basin recreation Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

The third, scheduled for Oct. 28, also at the Westin from 5:30 – 8:30, is called “Lakes Basin Mobility and Transportation.”

$100,000 on the line for Council, Trails group

September 27, 2010

John Wentworth and the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation on Wednesday engaged the Town Council with a bit of political jawboning.

Wentworth, the president/CEO of the foundation, said if the council would commit $100,000 to the MLTPA right away, the foundation would in turn trim its request of the same amount in its application for Measure R funding.

“We don’t want to lose our momentum,” implored Wentworth. “This has been four years in the making. It’s critical we find the resources and staffing. We’re going to need all hands on deck.”

Squirrel! And that explains our power outages

September 24, 2010

Those power outages we’ve experienced in Mammoth lately?

There’s a reason.

As Dug the Dog (from the movie “Up”) might blurt out, “SQUIRREL!”

“You can imagine the problems we have,” sighed Dan Brady, the local public affairs regional manager for Southern California Edison.

Brady updated the Mammoth Lakes Town Council Wednesday on the utility’s ongoing battle with the squirrels. This past summer, the critters caused a number of short outages when they came into contact with exposed copper wire on utility poles in the area.

Are the Bodie Hills wilderness or not?

September 24, 2010

A proposed bill to remove the Bodie Hills from its status as potential wilderness brought Eastern Sierra residents on both side of the issue out of the woodwork Tuesday. More than 50 people piled into the county courthouse to have their say.

At stake was a resolution brought to the county supervisors by District 4 Supervisor Bob Peters that asked the supervisors to support a bill to take the Bodie Hills (behind Bodie State Park) out of its current, semi-protected status as a Wilderness Study Area (WSA).

What's Up, Up Here?

September 24, 2010

Tourism director John Urdi, a go-getter from the get-go, snagged town development wonk Mark Wardlaw at Wednesday’s Town Council meeting, saying, “I want to talk to you about branding.” The ever-sharp Wardlaw replied, “You show me a young calf and I’ll show you what I know.” ...

All of us pass along heartfelt good wishes to Mayor Skip Harvey, who is battling throat cancer. He should be back in action by mid-November, say those in the know ...

Mono Lake kicks up fierce dust storm, rivaling Owens Dry Lake

September 24, 2010

When people think about dust storms in the Eastern Sierra, they usually think about the Owens Dry Lake dust storms down in Inyo County.

But Mono County’s got its own version and in some ways, it’s even worse.
The blue and aqua Mono Lake is ringed by miles of dusty shores, left behind when the water level dropped after the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power started diverting feeder creeks.

Smoky skies may be clearing

September 24, 2010

Eastern Sierra residents can look forward to at least a bit of a break in the smoke this weekend and next week, as the Sheep Fire on the Westside finally dies down after almost two months of pushing smoke over the mountains.

The “let burn” policy on the 7,192-acre fire has pretty much exhausted everyone, including Westsiders, a local air pollution control official said.

“They are as tired of the smoke as we are,” said the Eastern Sierra’s air pollution control district director, Ted Schade.

Former Mammoth resident arrested in two stabbing deaths

September 24, 2010

A former Mammoth resident and the son of Mammoth Dog Teams’ Jim Ouimet was charged Wednesday with two counts of murder with a deadly weapon in a double homicide in Sparks, Nev. following the stabbing deaths of the young son of his estranged wife and his wife’s mother on Sept. 17.

Justin Ouimet, 24, was originally arrested by Sparks Police officers in the community of Hidden Valley on Saturday, Sept. 18, on charges of attempted burglary and traffic charges, after an investigation pointed to him as a possible suspect.

Christine Pelosi says "It takes small steps to get it done"

September 24, 2010

Christine Pelosi pounded out platform points as she rallied Mono County Democrats last Thursday evening.

“The fight for justice is always hard,” said the Chair of California’s Democratic Platform Committee and member of the Democratic National Committee. “It was hard to fight for suffrage. It was hard to fight for social security. It was hard to fight for civil rights. It was hard to fight for healthcare. But we got it done.”

Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ‘got it done’ while balancing Isabelle, her toddler daughter, wriggling on her hip throughout her speech.

Conflict arises between Wellness Center and location of proposed medical marijuana dispensary

September 24, 2010

The question of where it’s appropriate to locate a medical marijuana dispensary popped up again this week when Mono County’s Mental Health Director Ann Gimpel asked for approval to move the county’s Wellness Center from a proposed dispensary site.

Gimpel suggested it might be more appropriate to put the Wellness Center in the Sierra Center Mall with the rest of Mono County’s offices, moving it from its current location at the KMMT building on Laurel Mountain Road.

When leaves that are green turn to gold

September 24, 2010

Alchemy is a word that can be loosely defined as that which happens when one element becomes another; when one thing transforms to another thing.

Decision 2010: Tussle of the two Tims, part two

September 24, 2010

When none of the county’s District 4 Supervisor candidates took home 50 percent of the vote in June, it triggered a run-off election for November between the top two vote getters, Tim Hansen and Tim Fesko.

Golf Classic raises $35,000

September 24, 2010

One hundred forty-four players raised $35,000 in support of higher education and cultural enrichment at the sold-out 11th Annual Mammoth Lakes Foundation Golf Classic last Sunday, Sept. 12.
Mammoth Lakes Foundation Scholarship students and South Gateway Student Apartment students were among volunteers at Sierra Star Golf Course supporting the Mammoth Lakes Foundation scholarship fund.

Highlights of the scramble tournament included an iPad raffle, Super Ticket raffle, $5,000 putting contest, silent auction, awards party, and closest-to-the-pin prize on all par threes.

Lost day-hiker spends a night in the Minaret Wilderness, is found the next day

September 21, 2010

For a one day-hiker in the Minaret Wilderness, an ordinary day-hike on Monday turned into a day-night sojurn, finishing with a helicopter ride.

The hiker, a 22-year-old man who was separated from his friends near Devils Postpile National Monument, spent Monday night in the Minaret Wilderness before being picked up by helicopter Tuesday morning with help from the Mono County Search and Rescue team.

The hiker’s identity and home town were not known as of Tuesday afternoon. He was unhurt, said Pete DeGeorge of the sheriff’s department.

Driver error may have caused accident that killed runners, coach

September 21, 2010

The fiery car accident on U.S. 395 that resulted in the deaths of two teenage cross country runners and a cheerleading coach from Southern California on Aug. 9 was at least partly due to driver error, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

Seventeen-year-old Natalie Nield was driving a Ford SUV headed south a few miles south of Bishop at the time of the accident. The vehicle was registered to Gabrielle Nield.

Former Mammoth man suspect in Nevada double homicide

September 20, 2010

A former Mammoth Unified School District student and the son of Mammoth Dog Team’s Jim Ouimet is a suspect in a double homicide in Sparks, Nev, following the stabbing deaths of a two-year-old boy and the boy’s 62-year-old grandmother on Friday, Sept. 17.

Justin Ouimet, 24, was arrested by the Sparks Police officers in the community of Hidden Valley on Saturday, Sept. 18, on charges of attempted burglary and traffic charges, after an investigation pointed to him as a possible suspect.

Yosemite rangers rescue a very savvy hiker in the Tuolumne high country

September 20, 2010

Rangers in Yosemite National Park said they found and rescued a lost backpacker earlier this month after spotting a makeshift SOS message on the ground.

Rangers picked him up on Saturday, Sept 11, after Mike Arends had spent three unexpected days and nights in the wilnerness near the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne.

An experienced hiker, Arends' self-preservations techniques were just about perfect, and serve as a kind of a blueprint for hikers who stray into the unknown.

Helicopter crashes in Glass Mountains

September 17, 2010

Helicopter Crash

On Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, at approximately 6:25 p.m., the Mono County Sheriff’s Department was informed by the Inyo National Forest dispatch center of a large black plume of smoke in the Glass Mountain Range. The smoke was believed to possibly be from a reported overdue aircraft en route to Truckee, Calif., via Bishop. Units from the Mono County Sheriff’s Department, Inyo National Forest, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team responded to the area and a ground search was initiated.

New Police Chief Dan Watson: "Mammoth is "a whole different world"

September 17, 2010

This is no ordinary police chief.

Dan Watson, officially Mammoth Lakes’ “interim” chief who is working on a one-year contract, greets visitors at the police station wearing the most unusual police uniform he’s ever worn.

Striped flannel shirt: Check. Blue jeans. Check. Comfortable shoes. Check. Big smile. Check.
“In my old job in South Pasadena, I always wore a uniform or coat and tie,” said the 59-year-old Watson.
“I haven’t worn a coat and tie since I got here.

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