Lot of odds and ends here. Let’s see …
This one cracked me up. From the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Business and Finance section from May 11. Headline: Auto Dealer Carvana Cuts Staff. In the story, Chief Executive Ernie Garcia III says, “It has always been the right move to start building for growth well ahead of when we expect it to show up. This strategy worked for us every year until this year.”
Dear Mr. Garcia: The reason you get paid the big bucks is to have the nimbleness and dexterity to adjust to changing circumstances and to plan ahead. Just doing it because you did it in the past and it happened to work out … by that measure, the only thing you’re really qualified to do is run Mammoth Lakes Tourism.
Speaking of MLT, onto my public record request for what Mammoth Lakes Tourism spent in ground transportation subsidy in 2021-2022. MLT Executive Director John Urdi told me this week that he can’t provide the information because the contracted ground transportation provider, MAWS (Mammoth All Weather Shuttle), hasn’t submitted an invoice.
Wow. Must be one, well-capitalized company.
They started providing transportation service in December and here it is almost June and they can’t figure out how to submit an invoice.
But then, maybe this explains why MAWS stiffed me on a $156 advertising bill from last fall. Or perhaps they didn’t stiff me. Maybe MAWS can’t pay its invoices until it collects on the invoices it hasn’t even sent out.
I do know this. From the October minutes of the MLT board:
Approve use of up to $200,000 from Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) surplus and/or reserves to provide a Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) for shuttle service from the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport (BIH) to Mammoth utilizing available excess TBID funds prior to pulling any funds from reserves, pending receipt of all required documentation from the company that is selected.
For (7): Chair Jeremy Goico, Vice Chair Pat Foster, Treasurer John Morris, Board Member Lynda Salcido, Board Member Eric Clark, Board Member John Mendel, and Board Member Larry Crabb
Absent (1): Secretary Jess Karell
Carried (7 to 0)
From the May 18 Mammoth Lakes Town Council meeting … Sandy Hogan spoke passionately on behalf of Mammoth Lakes Housing. And said, “You can’t imagine how many people drop by that office … it’s gotta be awkward for them to field questions on The Parcel when they’re not conttracted to do so. I don’t understand the distrust of an organization that’s brought you millions and millions of dollars.”
Councilman Kirk Stapp similarly told anyone and everyone that they were welcome to stop by the Mammoth Lakes Housing office at any time to verify how busy it is.
So I stopped by the office on Tuesday afternoon and spent three hours working remotely at a cubicle and … I’ll be damned if it wasn’t busy. Diane Doonan now works just one day a week fielding calls. The past two weeks, she says she’s fielded three calls each shift relating to tenant evictions. On two occasions last week, the callers broke down in tears.
Now that the pandemic assistance has run dry, MLH Executive Director Patricia Robertson says the office has received 15 such calls over the past three weeks.
Robertson also noted that MLH has just received a $4.5 million grant to purchase an existing Mammoth hotel property and turn it into 16 apartments. Another $1 million will be required to renovate the units, put in kitchenettes, make the units ADA accessible, etc.
Speaking of underappreciated leaders of embattled non-profits, MLR’s Kim Anaclerio announced the disbursement of $90,000 worth of grants to five local arts organizations at that same Council meeting.
Anaclerio brought home the $$$ via a successful grant application to the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts).
The recipients were Chamber Music Unbound, Eastern Sierra Arts Alliance, Mono Arts Council, Sierra Classic Theater and the Eastern Sierra Symphony.
… Last Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to meet Third District Democratic Congressional candidate Dr. Kermit Jones for a cup of coffee at the Breakfast Club in Mammoth as he was passing through.
Jones, 45, is a thoroughly engaging and super bright doctor and Naval veteran. After 9/11, he finished medical school and joined the Navy as a flight surgeon.
He is scheduled to debate his Republican primary opponents Kevin Kiley and Sheriff Scott Jones on Tuesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. Locals should be able to tune in on capradio.org.
Jones was raised in a farming fam ily in Michigan. His father was in livestock initially before switching to blueberries. His mother was a home health nurse.
Jones chided one of his opponents, Kiley, for not attending the first debate. He also chided Kioley as being one of the principal folks who spearheaded the failed Newson recall.
“That cost $275 million … and he calls himself a fiscal hawk!”
Because of his medical background, Jones is a self-described health policy wonk. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be very direct. “How come we never know the cost of care until we get the bill? That’s BS … they can tell you the price.”
He also observed that if the state and federal government have the means to provide solar incentives, they should certainly be able to offer similar incentives to “harden” homes for fire protection.
Jones is married with two young children. And not that this matters, but he is a dead ringer for Tiger Woods. His voice even sounds like Tiger’s.
Last word goes to Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who gave an impassioned plea to the U.S. Senate to do its job during a press briefing on Tuesday. With his lips quivering and tears in his eyes, Kerr said the following:
“I’m not gonna talk about basketball. Nothing’s happened with our team in the last six hours. We’re gonna start the same way tonight, any basketball questions don’t matter. 14 [revised upward later to 19] children were killed 400 miles from here. And a teacher [actually 2]. And in the last 10 days, we’ve had elderly black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo. We’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California, and now we have children murdered at school. When are we going to do something?! I’m tired, I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I am tired of the moments of silence. Enough! There’s 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on HR-8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago, it’s been sitting there for two years. And there’s a reason they won’t vote on it. To hold onto power. So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you Senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings, I ask you, are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children? And our elderly? And our churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like. It’s what we do every week. So, I’m fed up. I’ve had enough. We’re gonna play the game tonight, but I want every person here, every person listening to this to think about your own child or your own grandchild, or mother or father or sister or brother. How would you feel if this happened to you today? We can’t get numb to this. We can’t sit here and just read about it and go ‘well, let’s have a moment of silence, yeah, go Dubs, come on Mavs, let’s go.’ That’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna go play a basketball game. And 50 senators in Washington are gonna hold us hostage. Do you realize that 90% of Americans, regardless of political party, want universal background checks? 90% of us. We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we the American people want. They won’t vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power. It’s pathetic. I’ve had enough.”
He then proceeded to storm out of the briefing.