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Weather plays hard to get

November 7, 2013

With Mammoth Mountain opening this weekend, and a healthy dusting already behind us, snow is on the mind. And maybe, just maybe, in the forecast for next week.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty,” said Alex Hoon, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “The models keep flip-flopping back and forth.”

There is an area of low pressure moving into California early next week, he said, it’s just a matter of how far south it will reach. Low pressure areas are typically associated with inclement weather.

Officials reveal plan for June Ski Area

November 7, 2013

A slew of Mammoth Mountain bigwigs hit June Lake late Tuesday night, Nov. 5, to roll out an ambitious new plan for June Mountain Ski Area that they say will save the ailing ski area—and set a new industry precedent.

 “We are going to offer kids under 12 ski free,” MMSA Chief Operating Officer Greg Dallas told approximately 120 people crowded into the community center in June Lake.

“That’s a huge deal. No one else is doing this. Most places there are restrictions, there are asterisks in the fine print.”

June Mountain information meeting tonight, Gregory to attend

November 5, 2013

Don't forget: Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory and June Mountain Ski Area general manager Carl Williams will be in June Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the June Lake Community Center at 7 p.m. to talk to the community about new plans for re-opening June Mountain this year.

The meeting is a regular meeting of the June Lake Citizen’s Advisory Committee. The meeting is open to the public.

Smoke in Mammoth due to prescribed burn near Bald Mountain

November 5, 2013

The smoke in the air right now is from a prescribed burn near Bald Mountain north of Mammoth Lakes and east of U.S. 395, according to the Inyo National Forest. The burning operation is expected to last for a few more days, weather and wind permitting, forest officials said. If the smoke in nearby communities gets too bad, they have a smoke policy that is supposed to require them to pull back from burning more acreage.

Call 760-872-8211 for smoke information.

Reds Meadow Valley Road closed for the season

November 4, 2013

The Inyo National Forest has closed the Reds Meadow Valley Road for the winter season, officials said.

The Reds Meadow Valley Road is closed after the first accumulating snowfall each year or on Oct. 31 if no snow or ice events have occurred. Snow removal is discontinued after Oct. 15.

All campgrounds and restrooms in the Reds Meadow Valley are closed for the season. The gate at Minaret Vista is locked.

For more information, please call the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center at (760) 924-5500 or visit the Welcome Center at 2510 Hwy 203 next to the Mammoth Ranger Station.

RAW: Gregory to talk next week about plans to re-open June Mountain

October 31, 2013

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory and June Mountain Ski Area general manager Carl Williams will be in June Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the June Lake Community Center at 7 p.m. to talk to the community about new plans for re-opening June Mountain this year.

The meeting is a regular meeting of the June Lake Citizen’s Advisory Committee. The meeting is open to the public.

Montel Williams, Disabled Sports help a Wounded Warrior ski

October 31, 2013

One thing about working at Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra: You never know what to expect when you answer the phone.

Case in point: last winter, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra Paralympic Sport Program Coordinator Maggie Palchak answered what seemed like a typical call from a woman inquiring about getting a Wounded Warrior on skis.

XC trail grooming still up in the air

October 31, 2013

 

With snow on the ground, days getting short and time even shorter, Mammoth still does not have a plan to groom its cross country ski trails at Shady Rest Park.

The nonprofit Mammoth Nordic Foundation, which has used a set-aside fund of $20,000 in Measure R tax funding and which has groomed about seven miles of trail in recent years, still has not come forward as to its plans—if any—to perform the grooming for the coming winter.

Sage grouse may be listed as threatened

October 31, 2013

The seldom-seen, chicken-sized local species of the greater sage grouse took a step closer to being listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act last Friday, Oct. 25, when the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the bird as a federally threatened species.

Student studies bear activity in county

October 30, 2013

In the trenches of the human-bear conflict, Mammoth residents are aware of bear and wildlife issues. But in Mono County, scientific population studies on black bears are lacking, according to biologist Jonathan Fusaro.

As part of his Master’s degree, Fusaro decided to take a look at the black bear population in Mammoth Lakes and compare it to a wild population near Monitor Pass.

Trick AND Treat

October 28, 2013

Local Mammoth residents weren't the only ones surprised by Monday's deeper-than-expected snowfall.

National Weather Service meteorlogist Scott McGuire said the agency "didn't see that one coming," referring to the 10-plus inches of snow that feel on the higher elevations of Mammoth and on Mammoth Mountain.

Even more snow fell above 10,000 feet.

In contrast, the mountains in the Lake Tahoe region received six-to-eight inches, and Truckee received six inches.

RAW: Burglar steals drugs from Vons Pharmacy

October 28, 2013

A 5-foot, 8-inch burglar wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a red bandana mask broke into Vons Pharmacy Sunday night, Oct. 27, but eluded capture after swiping an unknown quantity of prescription drugs.

A Vons employee said a customer spotted the crime in progress, although the witness told police it was impossible to tell if the burglar were a man or a woman.

The incident happened at about 11:15 p.m., according to Mammoth Lakes Police.

Green Church’s lecture hall days could end

October 24, 2013

One of the Eastern Sierra’s most beloved landmarks, the Green Church, may soon change ownership after the University of California builds a new lecture and classroom facility at its existing Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) land south of Convict Lake.

The issue is that the Green Church is located near the Mammoth Yosemite Airport, which has a proposed expansion on tap, although not yet completed.

Cast Off celebrates 45 years of service

October 24, 2013

This November marks the 45th anniversary of the Mammoth Hospital Auxiliary, which raises money through the Cast Off thrift store.

The funds raised go to purchasing equipment for the hospital, continuing education for hospital staff, community health programs, college scholarships, and high school achievement awards, said Jan McPherson, parliamentarian for the Cast Off.

Since its start, the Auxiliary has raised almost $3.9 million for these causes, said Judy Bornfeld, president of the Mammoth Hospital Auxiliary.

Bighorn problems | Domestic sheep pass deadly pathogens to bighorn herds

October 24, 2013

Julie Fought calls herself a backyard sheep raiser. She is ranch operator at De La Cour Ranch, which sits at 5,500 feet in the mountains below Mt.Whitney. They have guest cabins; they grow and sell lavender, vegetables and eggs at farmer’s markets in Lone Pine and Independence; and they produce manure compost.

Mammoth votes for new town look, design

October 23, 2013

Say the word zoning regulations and eyes glaze over in a matter of seconds—unless one or more of those regulations happens to get in the way of building a home or commercial building—or an entire town.

Then, nothing in the world is as important.

Mono County Sheriff’s police horse dies

October 23, 2013

Mono County Sheriff’s Office lost one of its most popular team members this past week.

Abby, the Mustang Police Horse, died Saturday, Oct. 19.

“Abby was an ambassador for and a true testament to the mentality of the wild horses,” said Lt. West. “She was a family companion, and a show and competition horse, in addition to her law enforcement duties.

Abby had a 17-year career span as a mounted patrol horse with partner Lt. Phil West and retired in 2010, according to a sheriff’s department news release.

Deal to create fish hatchery program goes bad

October 17, 2013

There’s nothing like fish to get emotions flowing in Mono County.

Just ask the Mono County Supervisors, now embroiled in a contentious  lawsuit filed against the county by a private aquaculture group after an effort to make the county self sufficient in terms of fish stocking went sour recently.

Supes question high cost of Sheriff’s program

October 17, 2013

The Mono County Sheriff’s Department has the largest budget in Mono County and as such, the Mono County Board of Supervisors requested a look at the overtime costs associated with the program at its Oct. 15 board meeting.

After examining his budget, Sheriff Ralph Obenberger found that it would cost the county more to hire new staff than it does to pay current officers overtime.

New health program wins state award

October 17, 2013

Mono County’s behavioral health department has made a radical change in how it conducts business over the past year or so.

The department has focused on treating every individual who walks through its doors for both physical health and mental health issues.

Once linked to specific services, the department made sure those individuals seeking help did not fall through the cracks, even if it meant escorting them to doctor and/or counseling appointments.

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