Posted on 29 October 2010.
If you’re like me, you tend to be swayed by the last argument you’ve heard for something.
Which is why, upon being presented with new information, I always like to wait a day before I make an important decision.
In recent years, I’ve reined in my predilection for snap judgments. In fact, the only time I haven’t waited a day to make an important decision is when I asked my wife to marry me. I did that on one knee at the intersection of Main and Minaret as we were walking over to Nevado’s following a Tower of Power show. This was more than four years ago directly following the Mammoth Festival.
Just kind of had an inspired moment.
My wife said yes. She also, however, gave me 24 hours to change my mind, just to make sure I was asking as opposed to Double Nut Brown.
Will Mono County be so kind and let me redo my ballot on Nov. 3 if I have second thoughts?
So here we are a few days away from election day. Something that we’ve seen coming for umpteen days now. And in that time, I feel like I’ve gotten to know Mono County Superior Court candidates Randy Gephart and Mark Magit very well.
The more I get to know them, however, the more difficult the decision becomes.
One conclusion I have reached during these past few days is that I don’t buy certain charges that have been levied against both men.
I have to disagree with Therese Hankel and George Booth regarding their mutual opinion that Mr. Magit doesn’t like the courtroom.
Magit was an Assistant D.A. in Mono County and contends that he tried more cases by himself during that period than have been tried by the entire D.A.’s office in the past decade.
Perhaps he likes court just fine. Perhaps he’s just looking for a different role to play while he’s there.
A man shouldn’t be punished or chastised for expanding his horizons.
After all, just because I’ve taken a recent hiatus from covering Mammoth Lakes Town Council meetings doesn’t mean I have zero interest in Town politics. A step back can offer perspective.
As Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
As for Mr. Gephart, I like him more every time I see him. There’s an underlying warmth and sensitivity to him.
Gephart believes his experience as a father has deeply affected him both as a person and a lawyer.
Of course, I couldn’t resist an editorial comment in reply. “Is it because your shortcomings are pointed out to you on a regular basis?”
Gephart smiled. “That’s part of it. It’s also about listening, patience … ”
“Does it make you more empathetic?” I asked.
“It does,” he replied.
The key difference between these gentlemen is in their outlook as to where they think the real work is done. Mr. Magit says, “My job is to be the most knowledgeable person in the room. The hard work is in the preparation behind-the-scenes.”
Magit supporter Paul Rudder, who walked in on our interview at the Java Joint on Wednesday morning, offered this nugget (though he couldn’t recall who said it for attribution), “A genius in the courtroom is a drudge in the office.”
Mr. Gephart doesn’t just like the courtroom – he loves it. And it’s in the courtroom, he contends, “That’s where a judge’s work is done.” Which I read to mean that courtroom experience, and the intuition that comes with that experience, is crucial.
There was a sign placed by the entrance to Snowcreek this week which indicated that the Creekhouse development was in the foreclosure process. This prompted a quick call to the Chadmar Group’s Chuck Lande, who said, “The honest answer is that we’re negotiating with the bank and they’re playing hardball.” He described it as “a wonderful tactic by Bank of America.” He then went on to make a few more choice comments about Bank of America, although it’s nothing I haven’t heard before where BofA is concerned.
Heather and Robert Schaubmayer welcomed twin daughters to the world on Oct. 19. The Sheet’s suggested names of Jacqueline and Luncheonette were rejected, as was brother Kirk and wife Stacy’s choice of Thelma and Louise. Instead folks, we have Sylvie and Kenzie. Congratulations!
Mammoth Unified School District was expected to discuss a parcel tax renewal at its Board meeting Thursday night. The measure will likely be floated on the Nov. 2011 ballot as the current parcel tax expires in 2012. The expectation is that the District will ask for the same level of funding (currently $59/parcel).
Tioga Road site visit
Yosemite National Park has planned a public site visit for Oct. 29 in order to gather public input on the Tioga Road Rehabilitation Project. The goal of the project is to improve visitor safety along Tioga Road/Hwy 120, which is the highest trans-sierra highway that crosses the northern part of the park, while at the same time preserving the natural and cultural resources in the area. Site visits are weather dependent and will take place in two locations. Attendees should meet at the South Fork Bridge turnout along Tioga Road from 10-11 a.m. and then from 12-1 p.m. at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center parking lot. The Tioga Road Rehabilitation Project will be released for public review in spring 2011.
The Whitmore Park Track and Sports Field Project EIR is now posted on the Town’s website. The project is an effort by the High Sierra Striders and the Town of Mammoth Lakes to bring a high-performance track and field to the Eastern Sierra. The Project is proposed within the Whitmore Regional Park on Benton Crossing Road near U.S. 395.
On the site, you can read the Environmental Review (CEQA) Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration Public Review Period dated Oct. 16-Nov. 15. Log on to www.ci.mammoth-lakes.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=363 or call Stu Brown at the Town offices, 760.934.8989, for assistance.
Bear management issue Gaines ground
While in Mono County recently on the stump for State Senator, Assemblyman Ted Gaines, met with Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles, and mammoth Lakes Council members Matthew Lehman and John Eastman to discuss our wildlife problems, the issues surrounding Searles’ situation, and what loftier efforts might be pursued to give him more jurisdictional latitude to do his job.
Gaines, whether elected Senator or not, said he’s seriously considering taking those issues to Washington D.C. to get action on them as soon as possible. “Steve’s been very effective for the Town of Mammoth Lakes and we need to coordinate with the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service and see how we can get him to coordinate efforts on the periphery of Mammoth,” Gaines told The Sheet. “If you had him in place, there’s an opportunity to help make sure bears aren’t taken out unnecessarily.”
The Assemblyman suggested there could be a Memorandum of Understanding in terms of how to manage the bear and wildlife population in a perimeter around Mammoth that would allow Searles to take appropriate action to protect the town and private property.
While here, Gaines had substantial talks with Council members and watched DVD footage shot on “Bear Whisperer” locations to familiarize himself with what’s going on. Some of that footage includes Searles being told to stand down and the DFG insisting that no assistance would be rendered, while a bear ransacks private property.
The week ahead
Upon learning that the Town of Mammoth is now tweeting, Lunch is convinced social networking has officially jumped the shark. Look for Geisel’s story next week … Kirkner covers a local visit by USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Glenda Humiston on Thursday. Look for that story on www.thesheetnews.com. And election results will be posted as soon as possible on Tuesday (or Wednesday, depending upon what happens).