“The only way to get to success, you realize you are going to f#*k it up and you gotta just start going to work. There’s a boxing or UFC analogy: You gotta bite down on your mouthpiece and start fighting! You have to be willing to take the emotional damage. People get exhausted from that beating. I don’t know why I don’t.” -Ari Emanuel
Ari Emanuel is a Hollywood mogul, the CEO of Endeavor, an entertainment and media agency, and the recent subject of a lengthy profile in the New Yorker.
And I include the above quote in the wake of the Mammoth Lakes Chamber holding its Pandemic Awards just because … the nature of trotting out awards is to soothe people who don’t really have the stomach for the emotional damage.
But maybe I’m just bitter I wasn’t nominated for the Optimist Award!
I do think they should have had a “Didn’t Take a Handout” award. I wouldn’t have have qualified. Received a first-round PPP loan.
I would qualify for the “No Time Off” award. Which is probably why I’m so pleasant these days.
Back to the Emanuel quote. And I’m going to offer some praise here which may shock you. But that special recognition the Chamber bestowed upon Mammoth Town Manager Dan Holler makes sense to me. He f*#ks up. He takes the emotional damage. He doesn’t get exhausted by the beating. He keeps grinding. And he doesn’t lose his cool. At least publicly.
Praise to Mammoth Councilman Kirk Stapp this week, who finally used his political leverage re The Parcel.
Because fellow Councilmembers Rea and Sauser are conflicted out on The Parcel, there are only three Council votes remaining. And as Town Attorney Andrew Morris explained Wednesday, you need a majority of the total Council to pass a resolution (or three votes) versus a simple majority of the Councilmembers who can vote, which in this case would be two.
So Stapp did his best Joe Manchin impersonation (the centrist West Virginis Senator who is the swing vote for the Biden agenda) on Wednesday and demanded a small, yet significant change in wording in order to give his go-ahead for phase one of The Parcel.
Stapp demanded the “up to 580 units” language be amended to “up to 450” as he is worried about too much building density.
While he acknowledged that future Councils can certainly change the language right back, it does insert a placeholder for Stapp’s objection and will likely make future Councils ponder the density issue versus repeat “up to 580” over and over again until it becomes virtually institutionalized.
As I’ve said many times before, having lived in Mammoth’s first affordable housing development which consisted of 24 units on one acre, 20 units/acre is the right number to me. And The Parcel has approximaty 22 buildable acres. Stapp’s number is right. And he was clever in advocating for it.
I don’t normally publish anonymous letters but this one makes an excellent point.
“My main takeaway from the “Sexy Beach: Alterra Pushes Forward with Main Lodge Redevelopment” article in the April 10 issue was that with the planned increased real estate set to house and provide a “21st century guest experience” to so many more visitors, is there a plan to increase housing for the growing workforce that will staff the newly expanded resort?
MMSA’s current employee housing properties are dated, overpriced, and in short enough supply that they don’t have enough to house the entire winter seasonal workforce. I know that this is an issue that plagues the town as a whole and my two cents doesn’t account for much, but for a company able to spend “hundreds of M[illion]s, approaching a B[illion]” dollars to expand their resort to the level indicated in the article, I feel like they could afford to build some additional employee housing while they’re at it.”
Lunch reaction: Damn right.
Inyo Supervisors discussed the upcoming water season at their meeting on Tuesday.
Dr. Aaron Steinwand of the Inyo County Water Dept. said the runoff forecast for this year is 55% of normal, or 226,800 acre-feet.
The City of Los Angeles projects groundwater pumping at between 64,600-79,000 acre-feet, but as Supervisor Matt Kingsley noted, L.A. dangles the lower range as a carrot. The upper range is what we should be worrying about.
But Steinwand … he’s even worried about the lower range.
He said groundwater levels among the 46 indicator wells have fallen 2’ on average this year.
Inyo County Water Commissioner Randy Keller (echoed by fellow Commissioners Gratz, Alpert and Huette) “feel this is all potentially part of a mega-drought.”
“The valley is drying out because of the pumping. You can see it,” said Paul Huette.
Gratz said, “The [Long Term] Water Agreement was based upon a cup that was already half-empty.”
So Inyo Supervisors voted to approve a letter to Aqueduct Manager Fredy Perez recommending a groundwater pumping total below the lower range. We’ll publish the introductory paragraph here.
Dear Mr. Perez,
In accordance with Section V.D. of the Inyo/Los Angeles Long Term Water Agreement, this letter transmits the Inyo County Water Department’s (ICWD) comments on LADWP’s Draft Owens Valley Operations Plan for Runoff Year 2021-2022 (Draft Plan). The Draft Plan indicates that the City intends to pump between 64,600 and 78,980 acre-feet (acre-feet) of groundwater during the 2021-2022 runoff year, and that runoff is forecast to be 55% of normal.
Approximately 10,000 acre-feet of the potential high range of pumping is planned for the October-March period, presumably for aqueduct supply. The lower range of proposed pumping is less than long-term average pumping under the Water Agreement (73,645 ac-ft, 1991-2020) but significantly greater than necessary for sole source uses (e.g. in-valley agriculture or mitigation). The expected low runoff this year and low precipitation of this past winter will present challenges to meeting Water Agreement goals. These conditions stress native vegetation, and our analysis suggests water levels are expected to decline in most wellfields even at minimum pumping for uses in the valley.
Inyo County Water Department’s recommended pumping amount, 59,377 acre-feet is a more prudent plan for the upcoming drought year which allows the multiple goals of the Water Agreement to be met with a more sustainable approach: a significant amount of groundwater would be pumped for use in Owens Valley and export to Los Angeles, while stabilizing shallow water level conditions that are compatible with groundwater dependent vegetation protected by the Water Agreement.
Sally Manning didn’t think the letter went far enough. She thought 54,000 acre-feet should be the number.
On the Covid front, Inyo County Public Health Officer James Richardson said the County has the potential to enter the Orange tier by May 5.
Health and Human Services Deputy Director Anna Scott said 54% of Inyo’s population has received one vaccine dose and 40% in Inyo are fully vaxxed. The statewide average is 37%.
Ann Strohm and Deena Davenport-Conway continued to push Inyo Supes on the homeless parking issue.
Strohm said it’s been ten weeks. Let’s have a report on what you’ve done.
Davenport-Conway chastised Supes for letting “angry and afraid” speak louder than “compassionate and caring.”
Last week, I didn’t talk about public comment made at the April 21 Mammoth Council meeting. It was copious.
Kathy Cage asked Council for a future agenda item to debate whether or not public employees should be permitted to place political symbols on public property – specifically blue line stickers on MLPD patrol vehicles.
Phil Aberle said he wished the Town would have cherished Mammoth Creek Park a little more. He was disheartened to see the trees ripped out. “I never thought I’d see the day … “
Traci Walker described the tearing up of Mammoth Creek Park as “appalling” before moving onto griping about Suddenlink, as many attendees did.
She said her internet service was better twenty years ago with dial-up.
A Suddenlink regional V.P. named Mike Horton based in Arizona promised that it’s all going to get better.
No one really believes him.
In regard to Mammoth air service in ‘21-’22, Mammoth Lakes Tourism Executive Director John Urdi said Mammoth will have charter service (max of 30 passengers) to Carlsbad, Burbank and Hawthorne.
He anticipates generating 4,500 enplanements for the ‘21-’22 winter season.
Charter enplanements do count toward the total which generates a $1 million Federeal Aviation Administration (FAA) subsidy.
In short, 10,000 enplanements = a million bucks.
So why not run charter service through the summer and try to hit that number? we asked.
Urdi thinks getting to 10,000 by year two or year three is more realistic. He did not dismiss the possibility of charter service availablity for summer ‘22.
From the Mono County Sheriff’s Department:
At around noon on Saturday, April 24, 2021, deputies were patrolling Crowley Lake on a Mono County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Boat. Because of the incredibly high winds, several vessels became stranded and swamped. Mammoth Airport recorded gusts as high as 52 mile per hour; Mammoth Mountain recorded gusts over 75 miles per hour.
Deputies noticed a small aluminum vessel near the Chalk Bluffs with 4 males and a dog on board taking on water. Due to the location, high waves and size of the distressed vessel, a vessel tow was not a viable or a safe option. Deputies were able to get all persons and the dog aboard the Patrol Boat, and a good Samaritan vessel assisted in getting the empty distressed vessel to shore.
While on the way back to the marina, the Patrol Boat suffered a severe mechanical failure, resulting in the loss of thrust from the engine and jet drive. Deputies quickly determined that the safest action was to beach the Patrol Boat and get all persons safely to shore. Once on shore, a Sheriff’s Sergeant and California Fish and Wildlife Officers were able to access a nearby dirt road and provide transport. No injuries occurred to the subjects, the dog or the deputies.
The Mono County Sheriff’s Office received several reports of swamped and capsized vessels throughout the county on Saturday. Fortunately, no one was reported injured or missing.
We urge all boaters to be safe, have and wear Personal Flotation Devices, use common sense, and respect the weather when recreating on the water.