Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Icy Fun, A Sierra Wave Story.. Nov. 26, 2013..

Posted: 26 Nov 2013 02:23 PM PST
icerinkThe Mammoth Ice Rink is an outdoor facility located in the Town of Mammoth Lakes offering public skating sessions, pick-up hockey, lessons and special events. The Mammoth Ice Rink is scheduled to open for the 2013/14 season on Friday, November 29, 2013. Get your skates on!  (TOML Press Release)
Check out the Winter ScheduleSpecial Promotions, NEW Friday Night Lessons, and Winter Rates. You can also call (760) 934-2505 during operating hours or the Recreation Department Office at (760) 934-8989 ext. 222 for additional information.
You can also call (760) 934-2505 during operating hours or the Recreation Department Office at (760) 934-8989 ext. 222 for additional information.
Amenities include skate sharpening, skate rentals and snack and beverage services. The Mammoth Ice Rink is a drug, tobacco and alcohol free facility. Kids 4 and under must skate with an adult, and children 10 and under must be supervised by an adult at all times. The Mammoth Ice Rink is owned and operated by the Town of Mammoth Lakes through a partnership with the Mammoth Unified School District and Mono County Office of Education. The Town of Mammoth Lakes is committed to providing the most enjoyable outdoor ice-skating experience possible.
The Mammoth Ice Rink is located at 416 Sierra Park Road adjacent to the new Mammoth Lakes Library and opposite the Mammoth High School near the corner of Meridian Boulevard and Sierra Park Road. Please consider taking the Main Lodge – Village/Vons – Snowcreek Shuttle (Red Line) or the Mid-Town LIFT (Purple Line) or Old Mammoth LIFT (Gray Line) to the Ice Rink as parking is limited.
Review the Mammoth Ice Rink Map or find us on Google Maps.

Inyo/Mono/Alpine Tri County Fairgrounds Still Under Investigation Nov. 26, 2013, by Sierra Wave News.

Posted: 26 Nov 2013 08:50 AM PST
fairgrounds.jpgThe California Highway Patrol Investigative Services Unit continues to look into reports that an embezzlement may have taken place within operations at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds. The CHP took over the investigation since the Fairgrounds are State facilities.
San Bernardino CHP Officer Filemon Verdi said he is handling the case. He said, “The investigation is still ongoing. We are putting together a report to present to the District Attorney at this point,” he said. Officer Verdi did not have a time frame on closure of the investigation.
It was in late August that word surfaced that money may be missing from Fairgrounds accounts. Sam Dean, President of the Fair Board, had earlier said the Board did not know how much money was missing. He said, “Investigators have our paperwork.”
More recently, Dean said that investigators have contacted officials for clarification on details. Said Dean, “I think they are close to sending the case to the District Attorney.”
At the same time reports circulated about a possible embezzlement, Fair officials placed employee Rebecca Bragdon on administrative leave. Again, the case is still pending and no charges have been filed.
Meanwhile, Sam Dean said he has assumed the responsibility of oversight of Fair operations at this time.

Mammoth Arrests: Alleged Assault, Drugs.. Nov. 26, 2013, by Sierra Wave News.

Posted: 26 Nov 2013 08:54 AM PST
mlpd_3-23-10.jpgUPDATE: Press Release from MLPD -
Victim in Mammoth Lakes ‘Bonged’ on the Head
On Sunday November 24th at about 5:30 pm, Mammoth Lakes Police Officers and Mono County Paramedics responded to 362 Old Mammoth Rd for a report of a physical fight, one of the suspects was armed with a knife and someone had been cut.  Upon arrival, officers contacted the victim, who was bleeding from wounds to his face.  The victim told officers that during a heated argument with his roommate, Cole Martin, Martin allegedly brandished a knife and moved toward the victim.   The victim retreated behind a table and flipped it up toward Martin.  The victim said Martin tossed the knife, and grabbed a glass marijuana smoking ‘bong’ from a nearby table.   He said Martin then broke the bong and used it as a weapon, cutting the victim’s lips.  Martin left the scene prior to officers’ arrival.  The victim refused treatment.
MLPD Officers telephoned Martin on his cell phone and requested that he come to the Mammoth Lakes Police station to be interviewed.  After the interview, Officers arrested Cole William MARTIN, 20, of Mammoth Lakes for 245(a)(1) PC, Assault With a Deadly Weapon.  He was transported to the Mono County jail and is currently being held on $30,000 bail.
Officers responded to the same residence a total of three times that evening. On the third response, Officers heard a subject yelling and throwing objects inside.  They were let inside by a roommate who told them the victim from the prior call was destroying the residence and was “..out of control”.  Other roommates at that location told officers that the victim was pounding on their door with a skateboard and had kicked a door off the hinges. They said he was convinced Martin was still in the residence, although he had already been taken to jail.  Mammoth Lakes Police officers ultimately arrested the victim from the prior call, Conner MORRIS, 19, of Mammoth Lakes. for 11550 H&S, Being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance.  After being treated at Mammoth Hospital, he was also booked into the Mono County jail and later released on his own recognizance with a notice to appear.
(Sierra Wave earlier story)
According to Mammoth Police, on Sunday, Nov 24 at approximately 6:30 pm, Cole Martin, age 20, and his roommate, Connor Morris, age 19, got into a verbal argument in their residence on Old Mammoth Road. The argument escalated and Martin took a swing at Morris while holding a broken glass bong resulting in Morris receiving a cut lip.
Morris fled to his room and Martin fled the scene. MLPD officers responded and obtained information from Morris. Martin was contacted via his cell phone and he voluntarily responded to the police station where he was arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
Meanwhile, Morris began damaging his residence resulting in additional calls from another roommate. Morris was subsequently arrested for being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance.
Both Martin and Morris were transported to Mono County Jail and booked.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Obama considers costly unilateral "fix" of Obamacare Subsidies... By Karl

Obama considers costly unilateral “fix” of Obamacare subsidies


When the going for Obamacare gets tough, the Administration considers throwing more money at the problem. To quote the Allahpundit, “Shocka“:
The Obama administration is considering a fix to the president’s health care law that would expand the universe of individuals who receive tax subsidies to help buy insurance, an administration source told The Huffington Post.
According to the administration source, the White House is “looking at an administrative fix for the population of people in the individual market who may have an increase in premiums, but don’t get subsidies.”
Even liberal pundits like Paul Waldman wonder how the Administration does this without Congress. True, Obama has not considered the Constitution to be much of a constraint in other situations. On the other hand, exploding the projected cost of O-care subsidies from $458 billion to $1.2 trillion in just the first six years might be difficult to pull off with a wave of the administrative wand.
Yet the most interesting thing about this trial balloon is the extend to which it does not fix what you would think the Left would consider the problem with O-care subsidies. The proposal could be a purely unserious political feint which tries to put the GOP in opposition to decreasing O-care’s pain (per Waldman’s suggestion), or — like Obama’s “sorry, not sorry” this week — to avoid supporting broader legislative fixes. If not, the Administration may have deeper political concerns in mind.
The policy landscape is fairly well-understood, even across ideological lines. As Avik Roy and the Manhattan Institute crew show, health care premiums are set to increase significantly on average under Obamacare, even after the subsidies are included in the calculations. Moreover, there will be distinct winners and losers under this scheme. Men, particularly young men, will tend to be losers. Young women and those approaching retirement age will tend to benefit. TNR’s Jonathan Cohn does not directly dispute much of this analysis. Rather, he relies on experts suggesting O-care will produce more winners than losers, “as long as you account for subsidies, Medicaid, and the ability of young adults to enroll in special catastrophic plans or stay on their parents’ policies,” particularly the Medicaid expansion. These are important qualifiers, as we we will see later.
Cohn continues with perhaps the most salient point:
Of course, the debate about how premiums is just one piece of the story. The ultimate question is whether, under Obamacare, people buying insurance on their own think they are getting a good deal. And the answer to that question will depend on a bunch of factors—not just how much people pay up front in premiums, for example, but also what kind of out-of-pocket costs they face if and when they get sick. And what’s affordable to one person may not seem so affordable to another.
Indeed. Accordingly, it is useful to look at a couple of several examples provided by heath industry consultant Robert Laszewski, based on fairly typical figures from California for the mid-range “Silver” plans to which subsidy levels are tied:
A single person making $22,980 per year would face a premium, net of subsidies, of $121 per month. That’s pretty good.
However, the point most people have been missing is that same person would also face a $500 deductible and up to $2,250 in out-of-pocket costs for things like co-pays. If the individual were sick, that looks like a pretty good deal. If they were healthy, would they spend what is perhaps 10% of their monthly take home income for a plan with an upfront $500 deductible?
For so many individuals and families, 10% of their take home income is a huge issue. This is the marginal income left at the end of the month, after taxes, rent, and car payments that is so critically important to them. As purely an insurance value, it’s a good deal. But the notion that hard earned and important dollars would be spent for something they aren’t going to get any measureable short-term value for is another matter entirely.
A family at 300% of the federal poverty level will make $71,000 and have to pay out 9.5% of their income for premium, or $6,700 a year for that second-lowest cost Silver plan. How many families making even this much have an extra $558 a month in their budget to buy a plan with a $2,000 per person deductible?
At The Guardian — no right-wing outlet — Marc Rubin notes the same problem with respect to the low-end “Bronze” plans:
The cost alone of these “low end” policies are producing sticker shock when people see them. It gets worse when people see what the insurance companies are actually offering for these premiums. That’s when they get the second shock.
Many uninsured are finding that the bronze or lowest end policies are being priced in the range of $250 a month and up on average and that they come with $6,000 yearly deductibles(pdf) to be paid out of pocket before they get full coverage. Until then, they pay 40% in co-pays until the $6,000 out-of-pocket is reached in addition to the monthly premiums. And again, this is for the bottom tier polices for a single person, not a family. Costs to a family are higher.
It doesn’t take Warren Buffet’s financial savvy to figure out that young, healthy uninsured Americans, who are largely uninsured because they cant afford health insurance in the first place, are not going to be flocking to buy these policies for the privilege of having a health insurance card in their wallets that requires another $6,000 out-of-pocket before their expenses are fully covered and includes co-pays of 40% of all initial costs until that $6,000 is reached. What most of them will do is what they have been doing – live without insurance and go to an emergency room if they need medical care where the law says they have to be treated whether they have insurance or not.
As Laszewski notes, the problem with the subsidies results in part from the fact that the Democrats wanted to price Obamacare at below $1 trillion for political reasons. We have already seen the establishment media begin to report on the degree to which the implementation of O-care — though — was compromised by political considerations. We have yet to see much revisiting the degree to which politics warpedthe creation of the policy itself. Jay Cost has been tweeting about it, and the many times progressives have done it in the past.
Politics also would appear to be the motivating factor behind the Administration’s latest trial balloon. As Byron York noted earlier this week, “[t]he key to Obamacare’s success or failure — provided the administration can actually learn to operate the system — is whether it helps more people than it hurts, or hurts more people than it helps.” I would slightly amend that argument. The key is whether the Administration, and Democrats in general, have a net gain politically.
Progressives see a net gain, but not just on the subsidized voter — they rely on those getting Medicaid (to the extent Medicaid actually helps) and young people staying on their parents’ plans. But the younger and poorer population is also less likely to vote than the older, healthier and wealthier. Providing subsidies to people with incomes higher than 400% above poverty may help stabilize a risk pool currently being filled mostly by the Medicaid expansion. However, as subsidizing the more affluent does nothing for the people in the examples described above, one might be forgiven for suspecting the Administration is looking to buy off more likely voters who will feel the pains of O-care.