We dodged a bullet …
I am so relieved! Identifying Fox News Channel and “talk-radio gurus” for their addictive use of the “anger card” spared us from further emotional trauma (Dennis Kostecki letter from April 17).
Just imagine if the writer had included MSNBC with Keith Olbermann and Ed Shultz; NY Times columnists Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman; and the Huffington Post blogs. Boy, were we lucky this time.
Wait ‘til the “anger addict” writer brings up California’s “unfunded pension, benefit and entitlement liabilities.” That should help calm the waters.
When I read Mark Carney’s letter (The Sheet, April 17), the first thing that came to mind was, “How am I going to weasel out of this?” I did not go to a single public meeting about Clearwater/Old Mammoth Place (OMP).
I did sign that first petition that tried to stop Clearwater — the one that was thrown out on a technicality — and signed the letter urging Town Council to consider an appeal to the approval of OMP based on non-conformance to the CBIZ guidelines, a very technical issue I don’t fully understand.
I didn’t go to any meetings and I’m really glad I didn’t. The approval process appears flawed to me. How long has this been going on … four or five years and 50 or 60 meetings? And what we get is Son of the Village? Skip Harvey was right: the Village is a tumor and it’s trying to metastasize and spread to Old Mammoth Road.
The tone of Carney’s letter was that I was somehow holding out, that I was refusing to give input about how OMP should be developed and that it’s my fault that the project is how it is because I didn’t give any input in the meetings. Okay, here’s my input: don’t build that there.
I’ve looked at the plans and the renderings provided by the developer on the Town’s website and the scale model of OMP in the lobby of the Sierra Nevada Lodge. Some of the proposed structure butts right up to Old Mammoth Road on one side and right up to Laurel Mountain Road on the other. The renderings and the model show huge 3-5 story buildings blocking the sun and the view, and channeling the wind that in my mind wrecks the neighborhood.
It’s really unfortunate that only a tiny scale model and some plans on the web are the only way to get a sense of the scale of this project. It’s huge with huge buildings. Unless you have some training and experience in architecture
and construction, you won’t really have a gut feeling of how overwhelming this project will be. You won’t understand the impact it’ll have until construction starts, and by then it will be too late.
If you want to get some idea what it will be like, go stand next to the Village, which is 3-5 stories high. If OMP was built somewhere else, its overwhelming bulk wouldn’t matter so much. But the other buildings in that neighborhood are about two stories tall. This isn’t a mindless anti-development issue; it’s a fundamental quality of life issue for that neighborhood and in fact for the whole downtown area. OMP just doesn’t fit.
When I walk or ride my bike past that parcel, I don’t get a feeling in my gut telling me that what we really need there is 488 more hotel rooms or 17,000 square feet of restaurant space or 19,500 square feet of commercial space and 9,500 square feet of “conference area.”
The developer wants you to focus on pocket parks, outdoor public plazas, a pool and a public ice rink, but those are diversions from the real intent of the project; to sell more condos. The public will not use those areas any more than the public areas at The Village get used.
For example, the pocket park proudly pointed to in Carney’s letter. Go to the Sierra Nevada Lodge. There’s a driveway on the north side separating the Mammoth Mall and the inn. See that workshop shed about the size of a two car garage? That’s approximately where the pocket park is going to be. Nice eh? On the back side the Mammoth Mall … on the front side a five-story building. I’m sure I’ll go hang out there.
There are abandoned buildings and empty storefronts all over town. There’s space available in the Mammoth Mall right on the same block. I walked through the Village and counted five or six empty storefronts. Why do we need more retail space? Maybe we should wait until there is actual demand for retail space before we build more.
And with an average occupancy rate of less than 50%, why do we need more condos? In my estimation, Mammoth is way over built. We keep hearing about Grow or Die, Achieving Critical Mass, that development leads to prosperity for all. Well how has that worked out so far?
“If you build it, they will come,” only works in the movies.
In defense of Bill
Boy, what did Bill Sauser ever do to deserve the biased profile piece in the Mammoth Times last week? Oh I remember … he was an advocate.
If there is one thing that rings true from the profile is that Bill Sauser will fight for his constituents. He knows who his voters are (unlike the writer) as he is one of them. Bill has lived in the heart of that district since 1969. He doesn’t think that he is any smarter or better than his neighbors, maybe just more tuned in. He is in fact the perfect representative of the people of district 1; Bill Sauser simply fits his district.
The writer has apparently not been covering the Town’s Tourism and Recreation Commission meetings or she would have known that Bill clearly knows how to play a role in consensus building during difficult collaborations. He was part of a team in Mono County that helped to achieve compromise in last year’s bipartisan Wilderness bill. His additions were real world, practical and all about the details. His concerns were that we get it right for all users. He has always advocated for Mammoth to have well rounded recreation choices, so that we can all succeed. I believe his long record of volunteerism and commission work speaks for itself, as anyone who has worked with him will attest to.
The writer is also wrong to believe that being an advocate for the county is any different than being an advocate for the historical society; these are the traits that leadership are made of. What Mammoth needs on the board of supervisors is an advocate and Bill will be a true advocate for Mammoth at the board level. In addition, he will be great at advocating for the county at the state level. And he will be the best advocate for the constituents of district 1. A supervisor’s first job is to represent his district within the constraints of county government, not the other way around (least the Mammoth Times writer forget the representative process). After all, isn’t advocacy what we all expect from our elected officials? I can think of no one better for the job than Bill Sauser.
Vikki Magee Bauer
Mono County Supervisor, District 3
My friend and I were parked at the turn off to Round Valley Road standing next to the car getting our bikes ready to ride when we see a cyclist approaching. From his bike he asks, “Where did you guys ride from?” Thinking he was being friendly, I replied, “From up the hill.” As he continued to coast around us on his bike he then asked in an unfriendly tone, “Well, why did you drive here?” At this point I thought to myself: Hmmm…I wonder where this is going? After a pregnant pause, I responded, “Because I felt like it.” While keeping his distance and pedaling in front of us he launched into a tirade about our having driven to Round Valley to ride. I didn’t say another word to him. He proceeded to lecture us about how we should not have driven from Mammoth and ended the encounter by yelling and accusing me of not caring about the environment while riding away.
This is probably not the first time this individual has inappropriately spouted off his personal and/or political opinions to someone. In his efforts, he is doing a disservice to cyclists and environmentalists. This type of conversation with a different person (someone who believes that bikes belong on the sidewalk) gives fuel to their arguments that cyclists and those who care about the environment are all self-righteous nuts.
The ironic thing about his lecturing me was that my friend and I were carpooling to Bishop (in my early-90’s Subaru) and decided to do a quick ride on the way in Round Valley.
If anyone from Eastside Velo reads this, I would be happy to provide you with a description of this individual. If he is a member, I recommend that an officer from the club have a chat with him about harassing other cyclists and/or members of the community while riding. This is bad for community relations and he might just get his ass kicked one of these days.
Designed to confuse
“Words were designed to confuse people” – Voltaire
Take the word liberal. I used to think liberal simply meant a live-and-let-live philosophy, not a godless, anything goes, America-hating person the Limbaughites liberally use. I also have the same confusion regarding the term “taxeater” which has been getting almost as much play as the word liberal.
A Google search on the term “taxeater” produced no contemporary definition of substance other than the usual partisan-politics nonsense, so I am left to determine for myself as to how to clear up the confusion on the term and ask the following:
Just what is a taxeater? A government employee? An elected official? Both?
Are taxpayers vs. taxeaters the two classes in society?
I pay taxes, but use the Mammoth Public library, the Mammoth Post Office, the roads, state parks, rely on the police, fire departments, etc. … Am I a tax-eater or taxpayer?
How about road contractors, teachers, bridge builders, state parks, … all tax-eaters?
Are there those who pay taxes and do not avail themselves of any government funded services at all?
Are people serving in our military tax-eaters?
Are our elderly taxeaters?
What is the motivation behind the liberal use of the term tax-eater? What’s the payoff?
In precarious economic times, people tend to distrust each other.
Some view everything in terms of their personal survival. The “we versus them” group-think mentality has morphed into a “me versus. them” situation as people withdraw more and more within themselves each day.
Nobody trusts anybody in this scenario. And one should not make the mistake that this is only happening outside our serene mountain community in some overcrowded area somewhere south of us. Vitriol seems to have spread from the talk-shows and television broadcasting companies to our tiny corner of the world.
We have politicians calling other politicians “irresponsible” after the majority clearly ruled against them on a recent land use situation. We have people in the media apparently slamming those within their local government system as “taxeaters.”
These, to my way of thinking are not healthy ways of communicating in an interdependent world that is moving faster than most of us can keep up with. And certainly nothing I learned from my lower middle-class roots that resembles anything close to civility.