Elevated radiation levels have been discovered in the Sierra Snowpack as a result of the nuclear meltdown in Japan according to California Dept. of Health spokesman Timothy Geiger.
Geiger said samples were recently gathered by none other than Mammoth Mountain founder Dave McCoy during a recent outing in his Rhino. “I skied for 40 years without sunscreen. Do you think a little radiation’s gonna get me?” said McCoy with a grin.
Radiation levels were found to be 1,000 times higher than normal. It is suggested one immediate side effect of the increased radiation could be accelerated hair loss.
Geiger recommends the use of Rogaine, Propecia or other hair supplements to stem the tide.
Inyo Forest Deputy District Ranger Mike Schlafmann said he is not overly concerned. Which doesn’t mean much
coming from a guy who hasn’t had hair for years.
Geiger said public health officials are advising citizens not to eat the snow, play in the snow or build snowmen. Skiing is still permitted, though you are strongly advised against falling down.
Sheet note: The snow advisory applies to all snow, not just the yellow stuff.
Geiger said McCoy is being sent out to do a second round of testing this weekend. On a positive note, the radiation is expected to decrease the rate of snowmelt, portending a longer season.
MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory said he was thrilled by the prospect of a longer season and promptly raised the price of the MVP season pass to $689.
Next year’s passes, however, will be lead-lined and come with rad detectors.
Geiger countered claims that water contamination would dissuade tourists from visiting the Eastern Sierra. “On the contrary, once the runoff reaches L.A., it’ll actually drive visitation.”
The following letter came in late, but as it speaks to the journalistic excellence of The Sheet and our ability to break stories like the one above, we decided to print it:
Your reporting on the California Supreme Court’s denial of the Town’s petition in the Hot Creek litigation was troubling and annoying, not only due to the unfortunate result, but because the article was a strongly worded editorial and opinion masquerading as front page, headline news. Is this responsible journalism?
Rather than simply providing the facts of the story, the important news for our residents, The Sheet presented its own judgment in the case, marking “the culmination of three years of self-delusion on the part of Town officials,” commenting on “the Town’s attempt to screw over a private business,” which in the end, according to this newspaper, “sounds like code for ‘We still plan on shirking our legal and moral responsibilities for as long as we possibly can.”’ Since when did The Sheet become an expert on legal and moral responsibilities, and an advocate for the same in the guise of front page news? I thought the Sheet was a newspaper, but perhaps I’m mistaken.
As opinions go, yours deserves a response. One side of the Hot Creek story is that the Town never officially or even unofficially said we’re not going forward — in essence, there was no breach of contract. The project stalled for a variety of reasons, apparently. Perhaps the developer saw what was written on the wall concerning the economy and the real estate market, choosing instead to role the dice by filing a lawsuit alleging a breach of contract action for damages, rather than proceeding in good faith with the project. By persevering forward, there was a risk (a likelihood) of financial disaster; by filing a lawsuit, he only risked losing the case. The latter course sounds like better odds.
Moreover, as a lawyer, I know that judges and juries can decide cases the wrong way. The trier of fact can simply believe the wrong person, given two choices and two stories of what happened — it occurs regularly. Scary but true, I’ve heard of jurors that decided a case simply because they didn’t like the lawyer! We also know that innocent people are sometimes wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit. Also, aside from juror error, someone told me that North Mono County residents (jurors) have a bone to pick with Mammoth; that’s only an opinion. Concerning the appeals process, I’ve seen judicial panels disregard all rules and standards of appellate review while rendering decisions. Justice is not always served simply because a case has gone through the entire judicial system. That is a fact.
Finally, it doesn’t take much to know that the developer would have likely gone bankrupt had he moved forward with the project, given his timing and what subsequently happened to the economy and the real estate market. Oh, and the developer wasn’t even the plaintiff; a company bought the developer’s rights to the case and pursued it on its own behalf. Thus, instead of a bankrupt land developer, we have a party unrelated to the transaction collecting a 30 million dollar windfall, plus interest. Where is the justice in that? What is legally just and moral under these circumstances? I wouldn’t feel so sorry for the developer, who apparently made something by selling the case.
In the future, I hope that The Sheet would report only facts on page one articles of such importance, and not force feed us opinions in the name of news, so that the residents of Mammoth Lakes could arrive at their own conclusions and opinions regarding the matter at hand.
P.S. In the past, I have had issues with this kind of journalism in The Sheet, but hey, it’s free and my wife enjoys the crossword puzzle. It’s disappointing, because many of your articles are thoroughly researched, informative and well written.
And now the reply:
Dear Mr. O’Connell:
All the articles which appear in this paper are thoroughly researched, informative and well-written.
Yes, a bit unorthodox, having that editorial commentary on the front page. I acknowledge that I was floored by the Town’s official statement in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, which likely contributed to the acidic tone.
I guess being a public official means never having to say you’re sorry.
As you know, we have covered this story comprehensively from the outset. Sheet readers know the backstory. Why? Because we are the only news organization in the Eastern Sierra which actually covered the initial trial from start-to-finish, as well as the various appeals. We were in the courtroom every day.
Yet another rehash of the case seemed redundant to publish last week.
As to some of your points:
The whole breach of contract theory for why the developer chose to sue is something I’ve heard before.
Perhaps the damage award would not have been as severe if the Town had hired a competent expert to testify to the value of the potential project.
Sheet readers are aware of this point as it was outlined in our 2008 trial coverage.
Can I provide you with some back copies? That or you can access those stories at www.thesheetnews.com.
As to your disparagement of the integrity of North County residents … wow!
As to The Sheet’s moral authority, excellent point, though an attorney taking anyone to task over moral authority seems a bit of a stretch.
And yes, the radiation story on the front page is an April Fool’s joke, in case you wish to jump to conclusions and deride it as irresponsible journalism.
In other news, MLPD Sgt. Eric Hugelman is back on the job.
Lupe Almaguer’s sentencing was delayed again until April 26.
And hilariously, my friends return flight to San Francisco on United was also cancelled, even though every Horizon flight flew that day (Sunday). They had to rent a car from Mammoth Chevron to get home.