Beware Lifeguards, Hot Line Scam, and a Letter on Searles

Saw a good sticker on
a car window the other day. It said simply, "Don't believe everything
you think." Wow. Heavy, as they used to say. We in the Bureaucrat Beat
newsroom decided to ponder that one, realizing that the ponderances
themselves could be off the chart of reality.

And, for those who like to blame illegal immigrants for spending
too much of our government health care money, a new study shows that
"less than 1% of Medicaid spending went to healthcare for illegal

Here's a bizarre statistic: Sharks are not the worst danger for LA
County beachgoers. Records show that lifeguards in the past five years
have driven over at least five sunbathers. Since some of these crazy
incidents, lifeguard training and safety procedures have been upgraded.

Another beware of sunbathing warning.

You might also want to beware the West Nile Virus Hot Line. We
told you about my attempts to call them and ask them to respond to the
new discovery of two dead birds near my house. Bottom line – somebody
called back after I left a detailed message on the West Nile line, but
nobody ever did talk to me or pick up the birds.

Seems someone talked about this at the Inyo Supervisors meeting.
At any rate, a man who would only give his name as Edward with the West
Nile Hot line, called the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom and said, "We can't
answer each and every call. One you call," he explained, "we put the
information into a data base system. We have a very sophisticated model
to deal with dead birds."

At that point, I said, "Why are you calling me." Edward said that
it had something to do with a Supervisors' meeting and how they heard
no one responded to my dead bird call. I said I didn't know anything
about the Supervisors' meeting. I only know I had to throw away two
dead birds because no one picked them up.

Then Edward explained that sometimes they don't. If the bird has
been dead more than 24 hours or is not a corvid or raptor species or
its in a public park or highway. I said my dead birds met all the
qualifications for pick-up.

They get a lot of calls, he said. Then he gave me another number.
I asked Edward for his last name and number. He said he wasn't allowed
to tell me his last name. What?! Isn't he paid by tax dollars. Doesn't
he work for the public? Seems the Department of Health Services
contracts with people to handle the West Nile Hot line. And they want
to be anonymous. How accountable do anonymous people feel? That could
be a problem. Wonder how much they make for that hot line contract?
Edward didn't tell me.

Later, another DHS person called and tried to blame our local
environmental health department by saying they should've picked up the
birds. Later, they admitted that the Hot Line has to direct local
departments to pick up.

Okay – lots of talk, more run around. The birds are still dead and untested.

Here's the head-scratcher of the spring in Mammoth Lakes. Why did
the Town of Mammoth have trouble with their Wildlife Officer, Steve
Searles? We've heard from many locals who wish the Town could've found
a way to work with Steve on his crime concerns, not to mention future
bear issues.

Here's a letter from one Mammoth citizen, Martin Klienbard:

To all ,
I am writing to show my disappointment with the way that the town or Police Dept. handled the
Searles incident..
Last night Mar 20 2007 while watching the news on TV 33. appeared a segment on the firing of
Steve Searles. I was quite disturbed to find that he may have been fired because of his work
trying to rid his beloved community of Crime and Drugs. I was not aware at the time that he was
the one involved with the stickers nor was I really concerned about them. I personally thought that
it was great idea.
After viewing the segment about Searles I became Quite upset. To further compound the issue
the segment following was how the police had made some arrests involving Meth. If anyone in
this town thinks that meth is not a problem needs pull their head out of the snow. Talk to those in
the school system. I have heard from many parents that it is a problem, I have heard of local
business owners partaking in it as a recreational drug. We had a friend that had a caretaker of
their mammoth house use that house as Lab to manufacture Meth. We do have a problem and
we do need to do something about it. We need to be better at it than the big cities, that is why we
live here.
I am not sure whether or not Searles went about it properly, but I do feel that he did it the best
way he knew how. He should have been guided not Fired!
I don't think he should be fired, maybe a new policy be made as I don't know that there was one
in place at the time.
Not being an attorney have enclosed an attachment from an internet search as to
possibly settle an issue of Trademark or Branding infringement of MMSA. I was
wondering If anyone had known that the fonts used in the stickers were in FACT
abandoned.(see Attached) Not a logo that was rarely used but one that was given up. As
far as branding goes, there are many businesses that use Mammoth in their name
including mine. The name of the town is Mammoth Lakes. The Village is called "The
village at Mammoth". There is a sign on 395 that say's "Mammoth lakes Village" or
something. Does MMSA have a lock on the usage of the word mammoth. The records
at the US patent and trademark office website shows clearly that they do not. There are
over 100 records on the US patent trademark office showing or including the use of
Mammoth. Of those records at the USPTO MMSA owns a mere few. None of which
I might add include the ownership of the logo that apparently Searles used a portion of in
his stickers. I have enclosed a copy from the US trademark office showing a filing of
Link to us patent and trademark office enter mammoth and search
Here is a definition.
1. to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert: to abandon one's farm; to
abandon a child; to abandon a sinking ship.
2. to give up; discontinue; withdraw from: to abandon a research project; to
abandon hopes for a stage career.
3. to give up the control of: to abandon a city to an enemy army.
4. to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural
impulses, usually without self-control: to abandon oneself to grief.
5. Law. to cast away, leave, or desert, as property or a child.
6. Insurance. to relinquish (insured property) to the underwriter in case of partial
loss, thus enabling the insured to claim a total loss.
It is my understanding that once one publicly gives up the right to use something it is open
season for another to swoop in and use. Although it is a legal thing and one has the right file and
argue just about anything under the sun, I'm not so sure that firing a person over this whole thing
was the right thing to do for the town. It is my understanding that Searles has done much good for
the community over the years. Is this the way we treat local individuals that have a
positive impact for our community.
This leads to another question. Did we fire the Visitor and tourism Director over the Botched
4th of July Fireworks show? NO! So then Why has Searles been fired over what some believe
as just a poor decision? I think over all the 4th of July incident was a more costly and
embarrassing mistake for the entire town. I personally know of three family's that were upset and
even left town early so they could make the fireworks show back at home. I know of two others
that did not come to mammoth for the 4th because of the lack of fireworks. I wonder if they will
return this year knowing that at the last moment they could be cancelled.
As far as the Bear issue goes, was the program really over? Does the Police station close the
doors once they have reduced crime below a certain point? Are the bears going to behave and
follow the rules just because the program is over? Do we need to go back to the days when the
bears ran amuck around town breaking into homes? I had a bear try to join our BBQ three times
and sit down at the dinner table during the summer before Searles was hired this time. I have not
seen a bear at my house nor have I been bothered by one since.
I don't know what you all can do about this problem but I think that someone needs to review
the action taken and right the wrong.
I think there should be some open discussion about this at the next Town meeting. People do
make mistakes. I think Searles intentions could be re-directed in a more politically correct
Anyone wishing to comment please do so. You have my Email address.
Martin Kleinbard

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