The Spolin players, an L.A,. improv group, played to a packed house at Edison Theatre last Saturday. Here, they play the “Animal game,” which looks awfully reminiscent of a Mammoth Lakes Town Council meeting during a budget hearing.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
Her name is Lupita Mahoney. She has replaced Gary Fultz as the new boss at the Mammoth Lakes Post Office.
She also preceded Fultz on an interim basis, bridging the gap between the retirement of Pete Parnarelli and the arrival of Fultz.
Mahoney has been described by peers as a “by the book” postmaster. So on a positive note, Mammoth is sure to be in compliance with all sorts of bureaucratic postal regulations. On the downside, when has compliance with all sorts of bureaucratic regulations ever benefitted a member of the general public?
In Mahoney’s defense, she just lost an employee to retirement last week, and it doesn’t appear as if that employee will be replaced, so the Mammoth office will be shorthanded.
However, instead of embracing help wherever she can find it, Mahoney recently decided to take away Craig Hansen’s “round dater.”
Hansen, owner of Mammoth Business Essentials, said he’s had a round dater for several years, given to him by Parnarelli, removed by Mahoney, reinstated by Fultz, and now removed again by Mahoney.
The dater had allowed Hansen, a quasi-satellite post office, to put official postmarks on letters and packages, which some customers found helpful, especially due to the post office’s hours and chronically long lines.
Mahoney said she took the dater away because regulations state that daters are only privy to postal offices and authorized contract stations.
Sheet: Had Mr. Hansen ever misused the dater to your knowledge?
Mahoney: The problem is he wasn’t supposed to have it.
This was of little consolation to the business owner who went into Mammoth Business Essentials this week between 4 and 5 p.m. looking for a postmark for his sales taxes, which were due. He couldn’t get one, costing him hundreds of dollars in penalties.
“There was never a misuse and never a complaint,” said Hansen. “I understand the responsibility [that comes with having a dater]. I looked at it as being able to provide a service to the public as the post office is only open 8-4.
I asked for a grace period. What I got was a flat “no.”
Editor’s addendum: You tell me if this is coincidence. Mahoney decided to remove all newspaper boxes from post office property as of Thursday. For convenience we’ve moved our box to Stellar Brew.
News out of Montana this week, courtesy of Reuters, is that “many if not most of Montana’s 4,800 medical marijuana suppliers will be forced out of business within two months under a newly passed overhaul of the state’s 7-year old law legalizing pot for medicinal purposes.”
Montana law enforcement believed that the medical marijuana law was being used to conceal large-scale narcotics trafficking.
According to Reuters May 3 wire story, “The new law tightens limits on cultivation to no more than three patients per grower and four plants per patient. It also bans all advertising and promotion of medicinal pot and abolishes storefront dispensaries altogether.”
It also bars growers from charging for marijuana or realizing any profit.
Green Mammoth’s Steve Klassen had the following reaction: “It’s disappointing … People in industries who profit from marijuana being illegal are incredibly powerful.” Among these interests, said Klassen, are Big Pharma, Big Alcohol and the criminal justice system, from cops to courts to prisons.
“Public officials will do whatever they need to do to preserve their paychecks,” he said.
Tahoe residents Kip Garre and Allison Kreutzen died in a backcountry avalanche last week on a ski mountaineering outing to Split Mountain, south of Bishop. They were found Thursday during a search-and-rescue operation conducted by Inyo County Search and Rescue as well as several friends of the deceased.
One of those friends was Mammoth resident Dan Molnar.
Molnar said Garre and Kreutzen, both experienced backcountry skiers, were part of a group of Tahoe folks who come down to ski regularly in the Southern Sierra.
So regularly, in fact, that Molnar and wife Denise Domaille had dubbed their spare bedroom the “Tahoe room.”
Molnar, in fact, had skied Split Mountain with the couple as recently as February.
Molnar and others became concerned when they did not hear from Garre and Kreutzen on Tuesday evening, when they were supposed to return. Molnar knew that cell service was available from the trailhead.
Molnar drove out to the trailhead Wednesday afternoon and found his friends’ vehicle still there with their dog inside (the dog’s fine). He immediately skinned up to search for his friends, but was ultimately turned back by darkness.
“Kip and Allison were poster children for positivity,” he said, and fully embraced the outdoor Sierra lifestyle and the tradeoffs required to live that lifestyle. “That they died doing what they love is of little consolation to me. It’s not romantic. It’s such a tragedy. We’d talk about getting old and skiing together … ”
Dan and Denise attended the memorial for the couple on Thursday afternoon at Squaw Valley.
For more detailed coverage, Powder Magazine did a fairly comprehensive story, as Garre had been a Powder contributor. You can find that story online @ www.powerdmag.com/mantle/kip-garre-1973-2011