Bluesapalooza is upon us again. Another record crowd is expected; 6,000 for Saturday, and another 5,000 for Sunday.
95 percent of the ticket purchases are by those who live out-of-town.
As Mammoth Brewing co-owner Sean Turner summarized, “It’s a long weekend. The smart people pace themselves, and the rookies get drunk.”
Despite the ever-expanding scale of the event, what makes it special, says fellow co-owner Joyce Turner, is Mammoth Brewing’s relationship with the CCBA (California Craft Brewers Assn.). “That the CCBA represents such a tight-knit family … for me, that’s the exciting and unique piece of it.”
It also makes it more difficult to turn fellow brewers away. After all, they’re family. Nevertheless, about 35 breweries had to be turned away due to space limitations. This year, the Festival will host approximately 85 breweries.
Sean Turner said it takes about 150 paid staff to work the event. This does not include sound, stage, security or vendors. There may be a few employment opportunities left. Contact Dion Agee @ 760.709.2667 for more information.
Saturday-only tickets are no longer available. You can still get tickets for Friday night, Saturday (after 5:30) and Sunday.
As for Mammoth Brewing, visitors will note that its Tasting Room has a new home, inside the former Whiskey Creek building at the intersection of Main and Minaret. Sean Turner said the brewery has 50 percent more production capacity since it acquired the new tanks, which will be helpful as it plans its long-awaited “roll out” in Southern California beginning Sept. 1.
Look for Mammoth Brewing beer at “craft-savvy” retailers between San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Mammoth Lakes Fire Chief Brent Harper is retiring on August 15.
He has been Mammoth’s Fire Chief for a little more than nine years. Asst. Fire Chief Frank Frievalt will replace him.
Harper, who will turn 62 next month, will retire after a 39-year career. He started with the Nevada Division of Forestry as a seasonal firefighter in 1975 and worked his way up to Battalion Chief. After that, he started the first fire academy at Truckee Meadows Community College. And then he finished his career in Mammoth.
He boasts a wife of 39 years (Debby), three daughters, and two grandchildren on the way.
Firefighting has changed a good deal over the course of Harper’s career. “It used to be wet on red,” he explained. “Now, it’s a little more scientific. Tools change, construction materials change … when I was coming up, you were a wussy if you wore an air pack. Now, it’s standard.”
Sheet: Is there a significant difference in management style between you and Frievalt?
Harper: I might be a little more fiery. If you push me hard enough, I might turn into Mount St. Harper … Frank will do it differently.
Harper not only has full confidence in his successor, but he is happy about the condition of the department as he exits. The MLFD has 55 active personnel now (up from 35 when Harper started). “We’ve got good equipment, apparatus, a relatively new station, and great people who get it done and get along for the most part.”
He considers the fuels reduction program and maintaining budgetary integrity as his two biggest accomplishments.
He is also proud of the fact that he’s never had anyone in his command seriously hurt over the course of his career.
Harper said he will retire to Gardnerville, Nevada. As he departs, he is grateful for many things, but mostly for getting to do what he loved, and getting to do what he dreamed of doing from the age of six.
The City of Bishop chose Inyo County Deputy Public Works Director and former Fairgrounds CEO Jim Tatum as its new City Administrator at Monday’s Council meeting. Tatum signed a three-year deal worth $120,000 annually. After the vote, Councilmember Laura Smith told Tatum that, “Good things are worth waiting for.” Tatum was reportedly chosen over fellow finalist Col. David W. Buckingham of Arlington, Va.