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Specter of bankruptcy: The lights won't go out

November 19, 2010

If and when the Town of Mammoth Lakes loses its appeal of the $30 million Hot Creek litigation against it, Mammoth could be thrown into a Chapter 9 bankruptcy whose effects could last many years.

But citizens who are anticipating the immediate effects of such a predicament are unlikely to notice anything different at all.

“The notion that the town would be shut down because of bankruptcy is a layman’s misunderstanding of how it actually works,” said one of the participants in the court battle, who preferred anonymity over concerns in interfering with the ruling.

Daycare provider arraigned on more counts of child sexual abuse

November 17, 2010

Mammoth daycare provider Lupe Almaguer, who was arrested in early October on child sexual abuse allegations, was arraigned Nov. 16 in Bridgeport on two additional "criminal complaints" of child sexual abuse, bringing the total number to four complaints, according to Wade McCammond, Mono County District Attorney's chief investigator.

Almageur was present for the arraignment, McCammond said.

First big winter storm heads to Mammoth this weekend

November 16, 2010

The first big storm of the winter is expected to hit Mammoth and Mono County late this week, according to the Reno office of the National Weather Service.

As much as several feet of snow could fall on the Sierra crest with several inches on valley floors, beginning Friday and intensifying over the course of the weekend.

Battle lines drawn between cattle, grouse, in Bodie Hills

November 16, 2010

Numbers don't lie. Mammoth Mountain had a big Opening Weekend

November 16, 2010

All it took was decent snow cover, blue skies, a federal holiday and ... Voila! Mammoth Mountain recorded nearly 10,000 skier visits onto Mammoth Mountain Ski Area last weekend in its 2010-11 season opening.

According to ski hill officials, 2,152 there were 2,152 visits on Thursday, Opening Day. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, those numbers hit 2,293, 3,101 and 2,154.

The ski visits ran 1,367 ahead of last season's Opening Weekend.

Arrested daycare provider goes to court Nov. 16

November 13, 2010

Daycare provider Lupe Almaguer, arrested for alleged child sexual abuse Oct. 5, is scheduled to appear in court in Bridgeport at 10:30 a.m, Nov. 16 for a pre-trial status conference, according to court documents.

The 56-year-old Almaguer was arrested on several charges of sexual abuse against children once in his care who are now adults, with bail set at $500,000.

He has been in the Mono County Jail ever since, and has been prohibited from contact with any alleged victims.

Public defender Dave Hammond will represent Almaguer.

What's Up, Up Here for Nov. 12

November 13, 2010

Over in the Minaret Village Mall, they’ve got a resident squirrel, looking to score some feed from Tailwaggers and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. So enticing are the scents that the squirrel, caught in a wildlife trap and carted many, many miles away to a deep woods, found its way back in one day to forage again. ...

Hey is that Tess Adler with Brian Schuldt of the Felici Trio on the February page from the Friends of the Library 2011 calendar? Do you recognize anyone else? Maybe Edyth Irvine and Stella Anderson at a tea party. ...

Mammoth Mountain has a grand opening

November 12, 2010

Woolly wore a tuxedo. Everyone else wore smiles.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area opened its 2010 season on Thursday and, as a bonus, the ski area unzipped the top at Cornice Bowl, as well as Center Bowl under Facelift Express/Chair 3.

You could hear the woo-hoos, hollers, whistles and oh-yeahs all over, from the bottom at Broadway Express to the top at Cornice Bowl.

At liftoff, skiers and boarders had bluebird skies with a temperature of 21 degrees at Main Lodge and 15 degrees at the top of the 11,059 ski hill.

Mammoth Mountain to open Cornice Bowl on Thursday

November 10, 2010

It's shaping up to be a terrific Opening Day at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, with plenty of snow, four lifts and ... the gondola to the top!

With last Sunday's blanket of snow, along with a dusting on Tuesday night, the ski area announced it would open Cornice Bowl on Thursday's opening day – a bonus that practically no one anticipated.

Fatal accident on U.S. 395 claims young man

November 9, 2010

A 20-year-old Long Beach man died in a fluke accident just south of the the Mill Creek exit on U.S. 395 when his car hit a tree this past Saturday, Nov.6, at about 10:45 a.m.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Rafael Contreras was headed south on 395 in the easternmost lane, when for an unknown reason, his 1994 Honda veered onto the shoulder. He then overcorrected, travelled across both lanes to the west and travelled down the west shoulder embankment where he hit a large cottonwood tree on the side of the road.

First Bluebird Day of the season on Monday, Ski Area opens Thursday

November 8, 2010

Mammothites awoke to the familiar sound of snowplows, tires crunching on cinder-sprayed ice and, off the beaten path, clumps of new snow flumping to the ground from red firs, whitebark pines, Jeffrey pines and the occasional rooftop.

It was the first true bluebird day of the season, and it could not have been more lovely nor more appropriate.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area opens for business on Thursday, and plans a big weekend of parties to go along with the skiing and riding.

What's Up, Up Here for Nov. 5

November 5, 2010

Hats off to Dan Wright and his cohorts in their Habitat for Humanity effort. Wright led a team of 13 Mammothites to Nepal, where they helped an international team build 40 houses. One member, John Eastman, came back 22 pounds lighter and carrying a bout of pneumonia, but he’s in good spirits from a job well done. ...

Heavenly Ski Area at Tahoe is building a mid-mountain structure called “Tamarack Lodge.” Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is trying to decide what to do about that. ...

Rec Commission makes its case for doling out $620,000 in fun funds

November 5, 2010

The Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission has spoken, for better or for worse.

Unless the town council contradicts the commission’s recommendations – finalized last Tuesday – the winners and losers in $620,000 worth of Measure R recreation moolah is in the books.

The winners: Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation (MLTPA), the High Sierra Striders’ track project, a gymnastics/tumbling program owned and managed by the Town, and Trails End Park and Little Brothers Skate Park.

Wildlife signage hits obstacles

November 5, 2010

The Town Council Wildlife Committee is moving forward on providing wildlife signage for Mammoth Lakes, but the usual bureaucracies have yet to agree on a plan.

The idea that Mammoth and the surrounding areas would have signage such as Yosemite National Park, is stuck. First, it needs Caltrans approval before signs could be placed on S.R. 203 and Main Street.

Next, it needs U.S. Forest Service approval before signs could be placed along Lake Mary Road and within the Lakes Basin.

Finally, it needs approval by the town for sign placement.

Mammoth High eligible to be California Distinguished School

November 5, 2010

Mammoth High School could be one of California’s prestigious Distinguished Schools by this time next year, alleviating some of the criticism and concern that has dogged the school for the past several years.

Significant increases in test score results from all of last year’s students propelled the school into being eligible for the award, with an emphasis on the word “all.”

Magit, Hansen win, big wins for ESUSD challengers

November 3, 2010

In a terrific turnout, 70.71 percent of Mono County voters showed up at the polls today. That means that the final vote can be used as a pretty accurate mirror of sentiment, even though we disagree, in some cases, with the rest of California.

Superior Court Judge
Mark Magit will be Mono County’s new Superior Court Judge, after taking home 53.6 percent of the vote, compared to Randy Gephart’s 46.4 percent.

ESUSD could see changes as incumbents fall behind

November 3, 2010

June Lake, Bridgeport and Antelope Valley voters, minus absentee and vote-by-mail ballots, have soundly rejected Eastern Sierra Unified School District incumbents in favor of challengers John Peters and Matthew Baumann, but with Lee Vining precinct still uncounted, the final results are still pending.

Candidate Randy Gephart for Superior Court Judge and candidate Tim Hansen for District 4 County Supervisor are narrowly ahead, but again most precincts are still uncounted.

Three precinct ballots in Bridgeport, rest on way

November 3, 2010

Antelope Valley, June Lake and Bridgeport ballots are all in Bridgeport, with a count expected at 9:45 p.m.

The rest of the ballots are on their way to Bridgeport, over the river and through the woods, trickling in from all across the county.

A final count might be available at around 11 p.m., according to county officials.

You can keep an eye on the county website where the results will be posted as soon as they are counted. Go to:http://www.monocounty.ca.gov/departments/elections/elections.html

Mammoth voters go to the polls

November 2, 2010

Mammoth and Mono County voters are slowly making their way to the polls today, with voter turnout expected to increase later in the day.

Locally, the races to watch are the closely contested Superior Court Judge race between Mark Magit and Randy Gephart.

Mammoth High School may be named California Distinguished School

November 1, 2010

Mammoth High School may become Mammoth's second California Distinguished School, after the state board of education notified the school Oct. 29 and invited the high school to apply for the California Distinguished School title.

Superintendent Rich Boccia said Monday that the state chose MHS based on the fact that there had been "enough improvement in one of the school's subgroups" (he assumed it was the English language learner group) to qualify for applying for the prestigious honor.

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