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For about a decade there has been a furor over the potential development of a ski area in the Mineral King Valley in the Sierras, northeast of Los Angeles. Conservationists, who oppose it, became alarmed when Walt Disney Enterprises and the U.S. Forest Service started talking about developing the area.
Over the years, development estimates rose from $3 million to $80 million. While such monumental and presumably gaudy commercialization of a lovely area would be a desecration, it's also true that Southern California skiers desperately need more slopes relatively close to home. The nearest facility, Mammoth, is overcrowded.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggested that the 25-square-mile valley be annexed to Sequoia National Park. This proposal would have allowed some skiing development, but two-thirds of Mineral King Valley would have remained wilderness. The Carter Administration decided to reject Agriculture's plan, however, proposing that the Park Service take over the land and that there be no development for wintertime use—skiing or anything else.
The skiing needs of Southern Californians remain to be addressed.
If the New York Yankees are starting to say hateful things about one another again, the baseball season can't be far behind. Sure enough. Catfish Hunter, the sore-armed pitcher whose mood has been none too good anyway since going 9-9 last year, showed up in Greensboro, N.C. the other day to make a speech. He put the knock on owner George Steinbrenner ("If he says, 'Jump in a lake,' he thinks you're supposed to do it") and Manager Billy Martin (" Martin lets the superstar get away with stuff and picks on the other guys").
But he was especially intemperate when it came to teammate and World Series star Reggie Jackson: "He could be better if he'd just stop talking about what he's going to do and do it."
DOING IT RIGHT
Last week we told you of Lucky Maury, the greyhound that ran the wrong way and caught the rabbit at the Florida track.
The other day Lucky raced again. He broke nicely, raced without difficulty, caused no problems and showed exemplary manners. A perfect sweetheart. But his good behavior was unrewarded: he was seventh in a field of eight.