July 26, 2012 |
Los Angeles TimesFilm Critic Once upon a time, Richard Wagner dreamed a mighty dream. The composer envisioned a series of four operas so ambitious they dealt with nothing less than the creation and destruction of the world. And he dreamed of doing things - like having singers swimming underwater and riding through the clouds on winged horses - that were frankly impossible to stage. That did not, however, stop people from trying, both then and now. "Wagner's Dream,"an engaging new documentary directed by Susan Froemke, details the most recent attempt to put on a new version of the 19th century Ring cycle, considered, one insider says, "the peak of the mountain" for any opera company.
July 16, 2012 |
20th Century Fox can chill out now, as the fourth installment of the studio's animated "Ice Age" franchise easily debuted in the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend. "Ice Age: Continental Drift," the only new movie to hit theaters nationwide this weekend, opened with a solid domestic sum of $46 million, according to an estimate from Fox. The 3-D picture reunites the series' beloved band of prehistoric mammals and features a number of celebrities in its voice cast, including Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj and Ray Romano.
July 15, 2012 |
This isn't one of those cushy Fish-Carltons like those über-expensive Montana trout resorts. Hot Creek Ranch in Mammoth Lakes has nine no-frills cabins whose biggest amenity is one of the sweetest spring-fed creeks you'll ever see, right out your front door. You and other guests will have a two-mile stretch of it all to yourselves. Isn't that the ultimate VIP perk, anyway? Plus, it's an easy five-hour drive from L.A. The bed As noted, nothing fancy. The two-room cabins come in various configurations, but most sleep four if you include sleeper-couches.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2012 |
The HighSierra town of Mammoth Lakes said Monday that it filed for bankruptcy because it cannot afford to pay a $43-million breach-of-contract judgment in a lawsuit brought against it by a developer. In a prepared statement, Mammoth Lakes officials said "bankruptcy, unfortunately, is the only option left" for the town, whose largest creditor, Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition, had won a state court order requiring full payment by June 30, 2012. Facing a judgment nearly three times the size of its annual operating budget and a $2.8-million shortfall in its 2011-12 fiscal year, the town had already cut many services and asked employees to take reductions in pay. Compounding problems, the adjacent Mammoth Mountain ski resort was forced to lay off 70 full-time employees last year because of a dearth of snow.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2012 |
MAMMOTH LAKES - The people of this small High Sierra ski town have survived drought, forest fires and earthquakes. They have endured economic recessions and volcano scares. But nothing in their history prepared them for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The DWP launched a legal attack six months ago for control of the city's primary source of water, Mammoth Creek, which tumbles down the slopes through town. The utility contends it has owned the water since 1905 and Mammoth Lakes has been poaching for decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 2012 |
FRESNO - What is old, and even older, will unite to return a roadside attraction in the shape of a giant orange to Highway 99. The San Joaquin Valley Paleontology Foundation, which runs the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County, has won a bid to rescue the Mammoth Orange food stand from where it sat rotting in a Chowchilla city storage yard. The Fossil Discovery Center is across the street from the largest deposit of fossils on the West Coast, according to the center's website.
June 12, 2012 |
Melted glass buried deep within the Earth at sites around the world confirms the theory that a comet or meteor struck the planet nearly 13,000 years ago, triggering the Younger Dryas Ice Age, killing off the mammoths and other megafauna in North America, and perhaps even causing the disappearance of the Clovis culture of early Native Americans. The cause of the Younger Dryas cooling period has been very controversial. Some researchers have proposed an extraterrestrial impact and have produced evidence of the event, but others claim that the results have not been replicated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2012 |
CHOWCHILLA, Calif. - This city is in a pickle over a giant orange. The onetime attraction sits rotting in the city storage yard, the end of the road for the last of the Central Valley's fruit-themed food stands that once dotted Highway 99 from Bakersfield to Tracy. There's still a key in its cash register and a soda fountain that might work. But spider webs drape the ice bin, bird droppings paint the floor and the orange dimple paint is peeling. So city worker Joe Roman is perplexed about a sudden, impassioned competition to buy and salvage the ersatz fruit.
May 25, 2012 |
Now it snows? After a disappointing winter for snow sports, Mammoth and Lake Tahoe are bracing for wintry storms during the Memorial Day weekend. In Mammoth, the forecast for Friday is for an 80% chance of snow, with accumulations of a couple of inches overnight. Saturday's forecast calls for a 40% chance of snow, with skies drying out Sunday and Monday. Highs by Monday were expected to reach into the 60s. The ski area still has a base of 10-36 inches. Lifts still operating include Broadway, Facelift, Thunderbound and Chair 23. The Upper and Lower Panorama gondola will reopen for scenic rides and skiers this weekend.
May 3, 2012 |
MAMMOTH LAKES - On the banks of a jutting little river, I'm trying to think like a trout thinks: Did I pay the mortgage on time? When do the Kings play next? Whatever happened to that sassy Helen Hunt? No, wait, those are my thoughts. Then, WHAM, something takes the lure and I'm officially a fly fisherman. Constantly looking for an activity where my deficiencies aren't quite so apparent, something outdoors where I don't have to run a lot, or strip down to my skivvies, or maintain eye contact for more than a moment, I am drawn now to fly fishing, not so much a sport as a Christopher Guest movie.