Yup, we’ve joined the digital age here at The Sheet. Kicking and screaming all the way, of course, but would you expect anything less of Lunch?
A big thanks to Lynn Altieri-Need for building the site. Lynn’s business, “Affordable Websites,” advertises in the paper. I’d tell you what I paid, but then, she’d be boxed in, limiting her ability to be less affordable in the future, so …
The challenge with any website is to keep it actually fresh and updated. To that end, Lara Kirkner (yet another Fifty Center refugee) has come on board to serve as The Sheet’s web editor. She will also work on special projects, report and otherwise do the 15 different jobs required of anyone at a small business.
We’ve also decided to embark on a three-month trial of running the New York Times crossword puzzle. We do need feedback from readers as to which one we should run.
The puzzles we have to choose from are any which have appeared over the past week in the Times.
This week, we chose to run the puzzle which appeared last Sunday.
The puzzles get progressively harder as the week progresses. Maybe we’ll try a Wednesday puzzle next week and tell us what you think.
As an experiment, I also “tweeted” for the first time Wednesday night from Council. Figured if you were following along at home, you could match the commentary to the absurdity. Some sample tweets:
“Eastman just talks and talks. Must be running for reelection”
“Just informed this is first live webcast of Council mtg.”
“All will be archived for later replay.”
“If you say something stupid, it will live forever.”
“Picken good Asst. Airport Mgr. Understands tech issues. Talks fast.”
“Now talking about new terminal bldg. Haven’t paid for last one.”
“WS says JE prop mgr. for woman found feeding bears. Implication that he’s culpable? Low blow!”
The full bucket of tweets appear on the new website.
Marijuana measure heads to ballot hot box
By a unanimous vote, Council sent the marijuana cooperative ordinance to the June election to let voters weigh in as to whether or not dispensaries should be permitted within the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
Wave Rave’s Steve Klassen, who wishes to operate a cooperative, noted that he and fellow advocate Tony Barrett were also among those people who spearheaded the drive to prevent the Water District from putting synthetic fluoride in the Town’s drinking water.
We’re concerned about public health, said Klassen. “We’re not just a bunch of stoners looking for the best weed we can possibly get.”
Council is also strongly leaning towards placing another measure on the June ballot to extend the Utility Users Tax (UUT), which is set to expire next year.
Council will make a decision as to whether to keep the tax rate at its current 2.5% or to drop that rate to 2%.
Estimated revenue at the higher tax rate would be approximately $879,000/year. At the lower rate, revenue is projected at $703,000/year.
Hilariously, Council commissioned a $16,000 survey to decide
whether or not they should put an extension of the tax on the ballot.
The survey indicated 58% support which bumped to 65% support once voters knew just how great it would be to get taxed and have the money spent on all sorts of wonderful things.
The survey covered 200 people, of whom a whopping 50 were likely voters according to Town Manager Rob Clark.
Given the survey results, however, it seemed strange that Councilman Eastman’s own personal survey found 0% support.
Wait, said Councilman Harvey, the only Councilmember who had voted against spending money on an outside consulting firm to perform the survey, you mean … you were able to determine the feelings of the community before receiving the results of the survey.
This drew much laughter from the audience.
Councilmember Sugimura, who is decidedly opposed to laughter in any form, brought out the big-ass block of Velveeta and said, “I’m interested in a statistically valid survey.”
A survey, FYI, which had a margin of error of 7.5% in either direction.
Yup. About as precise as Stevie Wonder throwing out the first pitch at an All Star game.
Council also voted to give Steve Searles a badge and a uniform. Apparently, it only took everybody about two years to figure out that he could be deputized as a non-sworn animal control officer.
This does give him the authority to carry a sidearm.
Why was this so damn hard to figure out?
Ted Schade of the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District said Mammoth has exceeded air pollution control standards 11 times during the first six weeks of 2010.
Last year, there were a total of 23 violations.
Mammoth’s high this decade of 90 violations occurred in 2004. A low of three was achieved in 2007.
And from Geisel’s desk …
Nevada close to crapping out
According to a Feb. 8 story filed by the Associated Press, Nevada’s budget is so far out of balance that by one account the state could lay off every worker paid from the general fund and still be $300 million in the red. The country’s economic downturn has hit the state so hard that prisons could close, colleges face shutdowns and thousands of workers are or soon may be unemployed.
Among them, 350 employees of the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, which will close its doors as of May 2. “Our owners, Village Hospitality, decided they could no longer fund the hotel,” Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Vivian Deuschl told the Las Vegas Sun. Deuschl said efforts are being made to relocate them to alternate Ritz-Carlton, Marriott (current owner of the Ritz-Carlton brand) or other Las Vegas Valley hotels.
An enormous drought in tourism, particularly in Las Vegas, the state’s number one source of revenue, has been compounded by massive body blow to the housing market. Nevada maintains the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, and among the country’s metro areas, Las Vegas was No. 2, according to a report by RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif. The state has been running as much as 3.5 times ahead of the U.S. foreclosure average.
Some of the fallout from the economic H-bomb that’s been detonated over Nevada is raining down on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The state’s top Democrat is in serious trouble, with more than half of Nevadans saying they’re unhappy with Reid, according to a recent poll by the Las Vegas Review-Journal poll. It’s the worst “unfavorable” rating he’s received in the newspaper’s surveys for this year’s election, and it comes amid quiet speculation — or perhaps wishful thinking by his opponents — that it’s time for Reid, 70, to retire rather than lose re-election.
… As for local politicians, Mammoth Lakes Council candidate was so pleased with the response from last week’s grenade lobbing that he’s decided to upgrade to a rocket launcher.
From his Facebook post on Thursday, he calls for the immediate resignations of Town Manager Rob Clark and Finance Director Brad Koehn.
And he lays the responsibility to request these resignations at the collective doorstep of Councilmen Eastman and Harvey and Mayor McCarroll.
I guess he figures there’s no way Sugimura would fire Clark, seeing as she’ll undoubtedly apply for a job from her employee the day her term expires.
Hmm. Wasn’t Barrett on Council when Clark was hired? And did he ever express dissatisfaction with Koehn’s performance when he was on Council?
Uh oh. Should we now be on the loohout here at The Sheet offices for AEDs?