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UPDATE: Buttermilk Fire 250 acres, expected containment Thursday night

May 26, 2011

Firefighters are still battling a 250-acre fire off U.S. 168 northwest of Bishop near the community of Starlight and the popular Buttermilk bouldering area but the fire is now 50 percent contained.

Full containment is estimated at 6:00 p.m. Thursday.

Seventy people are currently assigned to the Buttermilk Fire including 11 engines, six hand crews, one helicopter, one dozer and miscellaneous overhead.

Some winds are predicted for today, but so far have been light, allowing crews to make good headway in securing a line all around the fire.

Benefit concert for Bodie State Historic Park

May 24, 2011

A benefit concert will be held at the Bridgeport Ranch Barn and Terrace, at 68 Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport, California, on July 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. The doors will open at 6p.m. Featured performers are Cowboy Entertainer Dave Stamey, the “Charlie Russell of Western Music,” and Professor David Bourne, “The Piano Player at the Gem Saloon” in HBO’s “Deadwood.”

Tickets are $35.00 per person and are available online atBodieFoundation.org or by calling (760) 647-6564. They are also available at the Museum in Bodie.

Mammoth Mountain's "shaky past" is tonight's talk at Green Church

May 24, 2011

Dr. Brandon Browne from the Dept. of Geological Sciences, CSU Fullerton, will present a lecture on Mammoth Mountain's "shaky past" tonight at the Green Church, located at the corner of Benton Crossing Road and U.S.395.

Hantavirus season kicks in as snows melt

May 24, 2011

It’s Hantavirus season again, and with Mono County one of the country's hotspots, it's time to think ahead about how to prevent the potentially deadly illness from affecting you or your family.

Mono County's health official, Dr. Rick Johnson, had this to say:

Mammoth coffers are dry, about to get downright dusty

May 20, 2011

When Marianna Marysheva-Martinez throws a fastball, she doesn’t mess around.

The town’s interim town manager fired one at the Mammoth Lakes Town Council Wednesday night. It was high heat, straight down the middle.

The only thing the council could do was stand at the plate and watch it go by, to the tune of about $2 million.

Marysheva-Martinez said that’s the best scenario – a $2 million shortfall in the coming budget, and that doesn’t even include funds to pay off the $30-plus million judgment as a result of the Hot Creek litigation.

Mono Lake Tufa Reserve on chopping block for next year

May 20, 2011

Mono Lake’s Tufa State Natural Reserve is on the chopping block for possibly closure next year, state and local sources confirmed this week.

Bodie State Park is not on the list and Mono Lake and the reserve are open now and will remain open this year.

But if the closure goes into effect next year, it will spell more bad news for Mono County, which is already struggling with economic hits due to the recession.

“The reserve gets a quarter of a million visits every year,” said Geoff McQuilkin, director of the Mono Lake Committee.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for May 20-26

May 20, 2011

Just for the heck of it: According to the U.S. Travel Assn., more than 49 percent of U.S. adult leisure travelers consider their pets to be part of the family, and 18 percent of U.S. adult leisure travelers usually take their pets with them when they travel. Mammoth would be a good pick, sez us. ...

Some big news about bears in the magazine Science recently. Seems it’s not the mama bears with cubs you really have to watch out for, but the single males if you come between them and their food. Like a morning at the Stove, now that we think about it. ...

Bears are out and about

May 18, 2011

Mammoth’s bears are out and about again, but that doesn’t mean they are going to go after the pizza crust in your car.

No. This time of year, Mammoth’s bears are going green.

As in veggie green, says Steve Searles, Mammoth’s own bear whisperer.

“The [bears] have been holed up all winter, and it’s been a long winter. Right now, there’s little available natural food out. But they need something to purge everything out. So, they aren’t that interested in your pizza, your burgers,” Searles said.

New species found in Yosemite National Park

May 18, 2011

Yosemite National Park is home to more than 400 species of animals,
including a number of species that qualify for listing under the Endangered
Species Act. The park provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife due
to its undisturbed ecosystems in the Central Sierra Nevada. Wildlife
species in Yosemite range from aquatic invertebrates to large mammals.

One of the many mammals that roam Yosemite’s forests is the Pacific fisher
(Martes pennanti). The fisher, a medium-sized member of the weasel family,

Injured backcountry skier rescued from Mt Dana

May 18, 2011

On Saturday, May 14, the Mono County Sheriff volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out in aid of an injured backcountry skier. James McHugh, 38, of Lake Tahoe, was skiing with friends near the third pillar of Mt. Dana, a popular backcountry spring ski descent three miles northeast of Tioga Pass.

It’s a renaissance for the Mono Inn

May 16, 2011

When Jim O’Meally and Mario Aguilar open the doors to the Mono Inn for the first time in several years next Friday, it will be a dream come true.

O’Meally has loved the Mono Inn since he first played there as pianist while Sarah Adams ran the restaurant (the Ansel Adams family still owns the inn and its acreage).

Although he’s run and/or opened several restaurants and wine bars across the West, and played piano for the Awahnee hotel in Yosemite, it’s been the Eastern Sierra that has held his heart.

Peak to be named after Andrea Mead Lawrence

May 13, 2011

One of Mono County’s fiercest defenders of the environment, Andrea Mead Lawrence, will likely have a nearby mountain named after her.

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon introduced on Monday the Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2011, which would name a mountain peak in Mono County “Mt. Andrea Lawrence” in honor and memory of Andrea Lawrence – a conservationist, three-time Olympian and former member of the Mono County Board of Supervisors who passed away in 2009.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for May 13-19

May 13, 2011

Who wants to pick up dog poop in a blizzard? As it turns out, there was Suzanne Nottingham and just a very few others. The Great Dog Poop Pickup was rescheduled for 11 a.m. this coming Sunday (May 15) along Sherwin Creek Road. …

Speaking of cleanups, the Annual Town Cleanup Day has been moved up to June 11, sez Town Rec Manager Stuart Brown. ...

How many of us are here Up Here? New census figures show 8,237 Mammothites say this is their home, up six percent from the 7,093 measured in 2000. ...

UPDATE: Woman involved in Code Red incident in Mono City identified

May 10, 2011

At approximately 2:00pm, on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, Mono County Sheriff’s Deputies received a call of a female, identified as Gwynneth Brimelow, age 48, of Lee Vining, CA, had possibly committed suicide. The reporting party stated they were missing a .45 caliber handgun and believed Ms. Brimelow had taken the weapon.

Code Red alert for Mono City

May 10, 2011

A woman who triggered a Code Red alert in Mono City this afternoon after she entered a home and was thought to be possibly armed has been removed from the home, according to Mono City resident Liz Holt.

The MT first heard about the incident at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Mountain to be named after Andrea Mead Lawrence, pending approval by Congress

May 10, 2011

One of Mono County's fiercest defenders of the environment, Andrea Mead Lawrence, will likely have a nearby mountain named after her.

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer today introduced the Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2011, which would name a mountain peak in Mono County “Mt. Andrea Lawrence” in honor and memory of Andrea Lawrence – a conservationist, three-time Olympian and former member of the Mono County Board of Supervisors who passed away in 2009.

Mono County human resource director is new interim county administrator

May 6, 2011

Jim Arken, Mono County’s human resources director for the past year, will serve as the county’s interim administrative officer (CAO) until a new CAO can be found, following the departure of Mono County CAO Dave Wilbrecht in early June.

Arken, 58, was chosen by the county board of supervisors over the past week and a half and his contract to serve as both the interim CAO and the human resources director was approved unanimously Tuesday.

He will serve alongside current CAO Dave Wilbrecht until Wilbrecht takes his new job as the Town manager for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

Skip Harvey to town: Straighten up and fly right

May 6, 2011

If there’s one thing that drives Mayor Skip Harvey nuts, it’s inefficiency.

He says he doesn’t allow it in his restaurant business (Base Camp Café), which operates – like most small businesses around here – with a razor-thin margin.

But when he looks over the landscape of the way the Town of Mammoth Lakes goes about its business, he said he sees unproductive, time-wasting practices everywhere.

“It’s part of being efficient, part of being a better town,” he said last week.

“You have to look at everything your town does in operations.

Happy Mother's Day

May 6, 2011

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, and all over town you can hear it, feel it, and most of all, smell it.
It’s the sound of champagne corks popping out of bottles, soon to be mixed with ice-cold orange juice – the Mother’s Day Mimosa.

Sometimes in Mammoth, the decks become crowded with celebrants; sometimes not. This year might be a bit on the cool side.

Practically all the local restaurants have special brunches for the Moms. Eggs Benedict abound and the scent of hollandaise and poached eggs, Canadian bacon and fruit dishes permeate the air.

Buster-the-Wonder-Dog goes to Tarawa with companion Paul Dostie

May 6, 2011

When retired Mammoth Lakes police officer Paul Dostie first picked up a wriggling black Labrador retriever puppy several years ago, he had no idea how much his life was about to change.

But this week, he’s in Washington, D.C. talking top names in the nation’s military and in Congress; he is working to bring attention to what has become a personal mission to help bring home America’s soldiers still “MIA,” or, missing in action.

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