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Locals are first responders to Baja fishing boat accident

July 8, 2011

Several long-time Eastside residents were the first to respond to the news that a Mexican sport fishing boat, the Erik, with 26 American citizens on board, had capsized off the eastern coast of Baja Mexico on July 3, dumping all 43 passengers into the sea in the midst of a raging storm.

Doug and Peggy Magee have owned a home in Baja for 25 years and have lived there permanently for the past ten. Gloria and Ed Vasquez own a home close to the Magee’s.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for July 8-14

July 8, 2011

Mammoth Mountain picked up a nice mention on NBC Nightly News a week ago. The bit was about our late ski season, narrated by anchor Kate Snow. …

It’s true! Tony and Cindy Avena, stalwarts in Mammoth for 30 years, have put the venrable Slocum’s up for sale. …

We’re sure going to miss Jon Eisert, the estimable Ski Surgeon, who folded up shop Tuesday at 12:59:59 p.m. and is on his way to Paso Robles. For good. “Some decisions are made for you,” he said. “It’s time.” Memories? “Back in the day, our dirtbags were better than the current dirtbags.” …

Flood warning for rest of day, into Friday

July 7, 2011

Heavy rain and warm temperatures could mean serious flooding throughout Mono County tonight, according to the National Weather Service. The weather is supposed to dry out after Friday, with warm dry conditions predicted for the weekend. Go to this site for detailed information: http://1.usa.gov/n6r2Iy

Choppers might be used for Bighorn sheep wilderness recovery

July 1, 2011

Long ago, thousands of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep roamed the high Sierra, scattered along the crest of the range from Olancha Peak and all the way north to the Lee Vining Canyon area.

Agile, swift, secretive, this unique species of bighorn is only found in one place in the world: the Sierra Nevada; The vast majority of them roam on the Eastern Sierra side of the range. They seldom descend below 4,000 feet, spending most of their lives on the knife-edged, wind-swept peaks and ridges, where they find comparative safety from predators.

Area rivers, creeks 'very dangerous'

July 1, 2011

“Don’t go in the water. Don’t get anywhere near the water.”

That’s the advice of everyone from Mammoth Lakes Police to county sheriff’s deputies to US Forest Service rangers this week, as hot summer temperatures finally hit the massive snowpack still suspended above Mammoth.

“You can feel the vibration when you are just standing near the river, there is so much water right now,” said Inyo National Forest spokesman Mike Johnson Thursday. “There are just torrents of water coming down. Whatever you do, don’t go in the water. It’s just very dangerous.”

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for July 1-7

July 1, 2011

Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile Roads opened Wednesday and the shuttle buses are running. Yeah! But there’s a lot of water down there, and the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River is flooding. Plus, a lot of trails are damaged or under water. So, be careful, be very, very careful. ...

Placerville woman dies after snow bridge collapses in Cottonwood Lakes area

June 28, 2011

A 65-year-old Placerville woman died June 23 after trying to lead her horse across a snow bridge in the Cottonwood Lakes Wilderness area southwest of Lone Pine.

Deborah Behrendt died after a snow bridge gave way as she was trying to lead her horse across it, according to the Inyo County Sheriff's Department. A snow bridge forms across streams or small rivulets durign spring runoff conditions and is hollow underneath a covering of snow. Behrendt's horse reacted when the bridge gave way, causing the horse behind her horse to rear up and come down on Behrendt's chest.

Work party for Upside Down House set for June 30; volunteers needed

June 27, 2011

Mono Basin Historical Society Vice President David Dore will be coordinating a work party to repair the roof of the Upside Down House, wall of the Old Schoolhouse, and hopefully the handicapped access ramp if time, labor and materials allow this Thursday, June 30.

Meet at the Museum at 9:00 a.m. if you can help. Dore hopes to have a good turnout to accomplish the repairs.

Please direct questions to Dave, 760-647-1055.

Whitmore Pool, Recreation Department, draw reprieve

June 24, 2011

Whitmore Pool’s fate came right down to the wire on Wednesday.

It came as the Mammoth Lakes Town Council struggled to balance its 2011-12 budget.

If it was not a last-second reprieve, it was certainly a last-hour reprieve for advocates of the pool.

They will find the pool’s hours of operation the same; the water comfortable and inviting, just as swimmers there have known for many years.

Mono Country's redistricting committee tries to figure out how to draw fair district lines

June 24, 2011

As a neighborhood, a community, a county, who are we?

That question is at the heart of the work that a group of local residents is doing right now.

Their answers have the potential to redefine the question.

Couched in the term “redistricting”, these residents have been working for the past several weeks to come up with ways to re-draw Mono County’s five supervisorial districts.

Redistricting is necessary in the county because the 2010 Census revealed that the districts are now lopsided in terms of population. They must be made equal.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for June 24-30

June 24, 2011

Interim Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez’s contract runs out at the end of June, but don’t count on it sticking, say Town Hall insiders. Once the Hot Creek judgment lands, the town staff is going to need a whole lot of help, and there’s no help like MMM’s ...

Hoidy-toidy Grinnell College in Iowa put Bishop’s Drew Blumberg on the Dean’s List for the spring semester, and that’s a big darned deal in academic circles. He’s majoring in Biological Chemistry. Parents Stephen and Sandra Blumberg are proud as punch. ...

Reds Meadow Road to open Wednesday, June 29

June 24, 2011

A record snowfall and resulting damage has delayed the opening of the Reds Meadow Road to Wednesday, June 29. The target date of June 24 was not met due to the time required to remove hazards and debris, and to make repairs along the roadway as a result of winter avalanches and harsh conditions. The road, with access to the Devils Postpile National Monument, will open at 8:00 am on June 29 with shuttle bus services beginning immediately.

Jim Arkens named new Mono County CAO

June 22, 2011

Jim Arkens has been named the Mono County administrator, or CAO.

Arkens has served the county as the director for the Human Resources department for the past year. He takes the place of former CAO Dave Wilbrecht, who left the county to become the new Town manager for the Town of Mammoth Lakes last month.

Arkens, 58, was chosen by the county board of supervisors after a closed session Tuesday.

Proposed wind farm project comment period extended, field trips planned

June 21, 2011

The Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will conduct a open-to-the public field exam and two public scoping meetings for the Ewind Farm and ENEL (Padoma) wind monitoring project areas within the Black Lake, Adobe Valley, and Granite Mountain areas west of Benton in eastern California.

What's Up, Up Here? News and gossip for June 17-23

June 20, 2011

If there are any dreamers out there who may have thought that Meb-the K has lost a step or two, they didn’t see him win the San Diego half -marathon two weekends ago in his home town. ...

In other running news, Deena Kastor finished 25th in the New York Road Runners half-marathon earlier this months, just three months after giving birth to her first child. Linat Masai ran away from a field that featured 12 Olympians to win in 31:40, 29 seconds ahead of Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia, to win her second straight Mini 10k. ...

UPDATE: Search for missing man in Yosemite scaled back

June 20, 2011

The search continues in Yosemite National Park for missing hiker George Penca, who was last seen at the top of Yosemite Falls on Friday, June 17. Due to the fact that the area has been thoroughly searched by personnel and dogs, the terrain is rugged and steep, and no clues have been found, search efforts are being scaled back.

Hard Day's Night for Town Council

June 17, 2011

Grim work on Town
finances cuts, and cuts, and cuts

There may as well have been blood in the streets.

The Mammoth Lakes Town Council, facing a shortfall budget of more than $2 million and a deadline of June 22 for a reckoning, took out its machetes on Wednesday night and got to work on the finances.

Three police officers will have to go. Any improvements to the town’s dilapidated police station are a ha-ha-ha.

At least one staffer – maybe more – will have to leave Public Works.

Airport service to include Orange, San Diego

June 17, 2011

Ready to have 50,000 people land on your front porch?

Literally.

Under plans announced this week, Mammoth’s airport next winter will handle four flights a day, seven days a week. It will also handle seven flights a day on the busy Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday weekends.

Moreover, the airport will serve travelers from San Diego and Orange County for the first time, fulfilling the wishes of Mammoth-loving SoCals who found the trip to Los Angeles International as irritating as the six-eight-hour drive up here.

Rescue on Tioga Pass area involves local surgeon

June 16, 2011

On Saturday, June 11, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to help a snowboarder with a broken leg.

Payam Pakbin, 28, of Los Angeles, was walking up a steep, icy slope with a friend near Tioga Pass when he lost his footing and slid down into a rock field, suffering a femur fracture. Other backcountry skiers in the area heard his yelling and responded to help. One of the responders skied down to his vehicle and drove down Highway 120 until he was able to contact authorities on his cell phone.

Tioga Pass Road opens Saturday, free park entrance day Tuesday

June 15, 2011

The Tioga Road will open for the season on Saturday, June 18 at 8:00 a.m. for all vehicle traffic. The Tioga Road, bounded on both sides by State Highway 120, is the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada.

Vault toilets are available in several locations along the road.

There are several no-stopping zones along the road, which are clearly marked with road signs.

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