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Bill to Name Bodie as State Ghost Town Dies

July 03, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — A bill to designate Bodie as the official state ghost town has died in the Senate after pressure from backers of a rival ghost town--Calico--turned some lawmakers against it.

Despite the setback, the bill's author, Assemblyman Tim Leslie (R-Tahoe City), vows to find the votes he needs and bring the measure up again when the Senate returns from summer recess in August.

"It's disappointing, but we think we still have a chance," said Kevin O'Neill, an aide to the assemblyman.

The measure, AB 1757, sought to single out Bodie, in remote Mono County, as California's most authentic ghost town.

But after fans of Calico complained, some legislators opted not to support the bill.

Leslie said Calico, just off Interstate 15 near Barstow, has a lot to offer, but is essentially a "snow-cone ghost town experience," with mock gunfights, Wild West parades and other artificial attractions.

Bodie, by contrast, has been preserved in a state of "arrested decay," and gives visitors a more pure encounter with a ghost town, he said.

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