Ten Years After
The Sheet published its first issue on May 14, 2003.
We would’ve celebrated this on time, but … deadlines get rather fungible in this business.
A couple of things strike me as I pore over those first few issues from many years ago:
1.) I am glad that back issues are not available for public consumption.
2.) The more times change, the more they stay the same. It’s remarkable, really, this community’s gift for stagnation.
3.) The Sheet truly exists because I had good help and advice from some key people. Little known fact: Fifty Center Managing Editor George Shirk was the one who suggested the idea of the One-Sheeter, front and back. He said he’d seen and enjoyed a similar American language publication in Argentina. The one-sheet concept appealed to me because I felt like it was manageable to both sell and fill with content.
Then Brian Knox at Access Art and Business Center, with the help of Graphic Designer Russ Reese, came up with the template. Knox had the computers and the software and the patience to house me like a stray dog those first few years.
And of course, there was that fateful call to Sun Valley, Idaho about two months into it, when my friend Brooke Bonner handed the phone to the guy sitting on the barstool next to her. That guy was Mike McKenna.
The Sheet predated the opening of the Village at Mammoth by three days.
Kirkner was gracious enough to dig through some back issues and come up with a few highlights.
May 15 issue: No Pool. “Finance Director Brad Koehn anticipates that State budget cuts will create a $240,000 shortfall in next year’s town budget, forcing the town to reassess its spending priorities. One of the programs being considered for cutbacks is the Whitmore Pool. Parks and Recreation Director Dave Wilbrecht said the town and county each normally kick in $70,000 each for the pool’s operation. Wilbrecht said the town will look into ways to shave costs and perhaps trim pool hours. In a worst case scenario, Wilbrecht acknowledged the pool may be closed.”
May 15 issue: More Beer. “After the first public workshop held to solicit input for the Town’s General Plan update, Community Development Director Mike Vance asked participants to complete an exit questionnaire. Of the 42 suggestions Vance received, nine recommended the room be warmer, one said more food, one said same caterer and two suggested serving beer.
May 22 issue: Editorial. “I obviously haven’t done a good enough job. My goal at the outset was to irritate everyone, but apparently some of you haven’t been irritated, or to be more specific, those who have been irritated don’t feel that others have been irritated enough. And they want those others to share in the experience. They’re good neighbors that way. A newspaper, in my opinion, should serve as a public forum for debate, because a town that argues with itself is schizophrenic and in need of mental help. Wait. That doesn’t sound right. A town that argues with itself is a town that’s healthy and vibrant. I’m here to help facilitate the argument. And to facilitate the makeup sex when that’s required. Talk about generosity.”
June 4, 2003, “Budget Hearing Tonight” Among the items to be discussed at the Town Council meeting tonight is the 2003-2004 budget … As outlined by Finance Director Brad Koehn, there have been significant increases in personnel costs associated with health care and retirement. A double digit increase is expected in health costs and a 70% jump in retirement … The greatest expenditures are on Public Safety (26% of the budget) and Town Administration (17% of the budget).
June 6, 2003, More $$$ for Affordable Housing: Kudos to the Town Council for allocating an additional $324,000 towards Affordable Housing.
Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Wright said a bump in Transient Occupancy Tax revenues allowed the Town to fork over the extra cash.
After an extended search, The Town recently hired Andrea Clark as Affordable Housing Director … *Sheet note: I actually applied for this job months ago because the pay was phenomenal. I think $70,000. So maybe I’m just bitter at the taxeaters because they shunned me from their Reindeer games.Didn’t even get an interview. So if Town officials hate The Sheet, it’s their own damn fault. They could’ve prevented it.
June 7, 2003, T3: Rise of the Taxeaters: In the latest satire (wrote a lot of those to fill space), I envisioned a world of the future which included a cyborg named fREDWOOD. The year is 2009. Airport litigation continues with no end in site. General Fund Revenues are down, even with a hike of the Transient Occupancy Tax rate to an unprecedented 22%. It’s a vicious cycle: less visitors=higher taxes=less affordability=less visitors=higher taxes.
Aug. 2, 2003, Mission Deep-Sixed by McKenna: Is Bend, Oregon a better place to be than Mammoth Lakes? For the staff of Mission Six, it is … Their reasons for relocation are many. None of them paint a pretty picture of trying to run a business in Mammoth.
“Mammoth doesn’t make things easy,” lamented employee Allie Ward, who said Mt. Bachelor, in contrast, has been very accommodating and supportive. the reasons for the move are also based on the skyrocketing cost of living in Mammoth.
As M6’s Rich Anderson said, “The welfare of our employees is our number one reason for the move.There is no way for young professionals to buy a home or even consider raising a family here. It’s just too expensive.” Although Ward and Anderson are sad to leave, they also feel it is time to move on. “Things have changed a lot here in the last six years,” said Anderson. “There has sort of been a loss of soul in Mammoth.”
Oct. 10, 2003, Brand Name: The powers-that-be are very interested in ‘branding’ Mammoth, because they feel Mammoth needs to create more of its own swashbuckling identity versus being “like [insert ski resort here].”
Therefore, The Sheet has come up with some “brand new” options to help market our glorious town.
Sold Out, But With Vacancies!
Yeah, we’ve sold out to the real estate developers, but that just means there are more rental properties to choose from.
In the Heart of Yosemite. With the Soul of Celine Dion.
Think of the eerie similarities. 1.) Like Intrawest, Celine is Canadian and not very attractive, yet her show is way expensive. 2.) Hal Clifford compared the Village at Mammoth to a landlocked cruise ship, whereas Celine’s big hit was featured in a movie about a sinking cruise ship.
Homogenized, but Low Fat
We’re starting to look like every place you’ve ever been, but the locals are outdoorsy and fit! …