All posts by Bradford Evans

City of Bishop Submits Application to Have Town Featured on TV

The City of Bishop is getting ready to submit an application to host HGTV’s Home Town Takeover, a television show which stars Erin and Ben Napier, who are planning to renovate an entire town.

Elaine Kabala, the City of Bishop’s Associate Planner discussed the proposal to the city in order to see if the council wanted to throw its hat in the ring.

In the last season of the Napier’s show, the couple renovated their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. The two focused on renovating houses, along with historic architecture in the town’s downtown area.

According to Kabala, there is specific criteria that a town has to have in order to qualify as a hosting location for the show. A city must have architecture that is considered beautiful, but in need or renovation, a narrative of what the city’s story is all about, along with five photos showing different parts of town.

An interested town must also have at the most, 40,000 people.

After hearing a presentation from Ms. Kabala, the city gave her the green light to go ahead and submit an application.

For more information, go to www.hgtvhometowntakeover.com.  Applications will be accepted until Feb. 7, 2020.

Bishop Unified School District Close to Hiring New Superintendent

Last night,  Inyo County Superintendent of Schools, Barry Simpson discussed the new Bishop Unified School District Superintendent search at Bishop Union High School.

Simpson gave a presentation showing the results of a survey of about 180 people. The purpose of the study was to see what qualities citizens want most in a potential superintendent. 45.4% of the people who gave their thoughts in the survey worked for the school district, while other people polled were parents and concerned community members.

The poll discovered that public relations was the most desired need from a superintendent, meaning that people want a strong leader who participates in community outreach.

There were five categories in the survey that measured the most desirable qualities people want in a potential superintendent.

  1. Public Relations
  2. Management Style
  3. Budget
  4. Curriculum Management
  5. Facilities

Teachers say they believe the ideal candidate will have teaching experience, along with some administrative experience.

Those who took the poll also believe a superintendent who takes a strong collaborative approach with strong communication skills is desirable. Essentially, those polled want a team player who can lead but is open to the ideas of those surrounding the would-be superintendent.

The most important personality characteristics for a superintendent according to the survey go as follows.

  1. Honesty
  2. Strong Listening Skills
  3. Strong Communication
  4. Transparency

The least desired trait people want in a candidate is and individual who is a risk taker.

The next candidate may also be promoted from within, with the responses to the survey leaning in support of hiring a person currently in an administrative role within the district.

It is important to note that a survey of less than 200 people does not reflect the desires of everyone in the community. When asked about how Simpson and his staff can accurately portray what the community wants from such a small sample size, the Inyo County Superintendent said, “20% of people are connected to the school out of a population of about 12,000 people in the Bishop area. We got a good sample size, but we are not where we wanted it to be.”

The job is currently posted statewide until March 12. The board hopes to officially hire a candidate, and announce who will be appointed to the position in April.

 

Commercial Flights are Coming to Bishop

Inyo County officials met in the Bishop City Council Chambers last night to discuss the environmental scoping process for the Bishop Airport, which is getting ready to host commercial flights to Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in October.

“As far as bringing commercial airport service is concerned, we are on schedule for an October 1, 2020 start. We have had great cooperation from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), and the thing we are tackling right now is the environmental process.” Inyo County Second District Supervisor, Jeff Griffiths said in an interview with KIBS/KBOV.

Present at the meeting were some key figures in the county including 1st District Supervisor, Dan Totheroh, 2nd Distict Supervisor, Jeff Griffiths, 3rd District Supervisor, Rick Pucci, and 5th District Supervisor, Matt Kingsley. Additionally, County Administrative Officer, Clint Quilter, Public Works Director, Mike Errante, Associate Engineer, Ashley Helms, and Chris Jones, a lawyer from Environmental Associates.

Ashley Helms, who is one of the people in charge of administering this project spoke to a crowd of about fifty people last night. She discussed some of the improvements that are being made in order to field commercial flights. Helms said, “Currently, we are working on renovating the runway. We are making it 7,500 feet long and 100 feet wide. The facilities and pavement will soon be in very good shape.” Helms said.

The taxi rehabilitation project will start in the Spring in order to avoid inclement weather. Other plans include to improve parking. Currently, there is dirt parking at the airport. The plan is to create a small paved parking lot to further improve the facilities according to Helms.

The presentation lasted about twenty-five minutes, and the county subsequently allowed for public comment. Nearly everyone that spoke at the meeting expressed their support for having an airport in Bishop.

However, some speakers expressed concern for environmental health stating that air quality could be inhibited due to jet fuel exhaust. One commentator at the meeting also told the county that allowing for large planes in the region may affect specific reptiles, cattle, alfalfa, and native plants in the area. Due to time constraints, the citizen did not elaborate as to why that was the case.

As far as what airlines are slated to fly out of Bishop, so far there is only one. Supervisor Griffiths said, “Right now we are looking at continuing the service that is currently going on at the Mammoth Airport, which means it will be United Airlines Flights. During the summer it will be a flight once a day to Los Angeles, and then during the winter there will be flights to Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.”

Charles Richard Lippoldt Obituary

Charles Richard Lippoldt; born November 12, 1936 in Okarche, OK, died on January 17, 2020 at his home In Bishop, CA. Charles lived in Inyo County for 43 years and loved to go camping, fishing. He also, likes to travel, watch sports and bowl.

Charles is survived by son Anthony Lippoldt, daughter Kimberly Seguine, sister, Pat Edon, Mary Kate Hicks, Lynn Zucksworth, brothers, David Lippoldt, Dennis Lippoldt, William Lippoldt. He is also, survived by grandchildren, Holly and Boyd Lippoldt. Brendon Frazier, Kristen Pierce, Allene Clark and Ray Seguine III, great grandchildren, Kia Frazier, Parker and Austin Pierce and last but certainly not least Grace Brodbeck ♥.

Services will be held at Brune Mortuary, January 29, 2020 at 11:00 AM, followed by a graveside Service at East Line Street Cemetery.

CHP Bishop Welcomes New Area Commander

On January 2, 2020, the California Highway Patrol Bishop Area welcomed Captain Terry Lowther as the new Area Commander.  Former Captain Javier Dominguez retired at the the end of 2019 after a 30 year career with the Department.  Captain Lowther is a 23 year veteran of the CHP.  He was born to a military family and raised in San Diego, CA.  He started his career with the CHP in the San Diego Area where he patrolled area freeways for ten years.  He promoted to Field Sergeant where he worked the South Lake Tahoe area for six years before transferring to the Office of Assistant Commissioner at CHP Headquarters in Sacramento, CA.  Captain Lowther promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and took on his first command position at the Donner Pass Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility in Truckee, CA, where he worked for two and a half years.  He then became Commander of the South Lake Tahoe CHP Office for approximately two and a half years before promoting to the rank of Captain and moving to Bishop,CA.

The Bishop Area is proud to serve the Eastern Sierra region providing safety, service, and security to thousands of residents, commuters, and tourists each day.  As part of the CHP’s Inland Division, our office patrols the CHP’s largest geographical area (approximately 12,000 square miles) in the state.  It consists of nearly all of Inyo County, including Death Valley National Park, and the southern portion of Mono County, extending North 10 miles on US 395 to Tom’s Place and North on US 6 to the Nevada State Line.

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM CHP BISHOP AREA

Bishop Wrestling Wins Meet Against Desert

The Bishop Bronco Wrestling Team competed at home against Desert High School. The Bronco wrestlers competing were: Freshmen Will Hennarty, Carson Schmidt, John Drew, Riley Powers and Zayn Crockett Sophomores Renee Ashworth and Billy McKinzey and Senior Alonso Ahumada.

The Desert wrestling program has changed completely from previous years. Their coaches all left and they had no returning wrestlers, so their coach and all their wrestlers are in their first year.

Three Bronco wrestlers – Riley Powers at 162 pounds, Alonso Ahumada at 172 pounds and Zayn Crockett at 222 pounds – received forfeits. There were five official matches, all won with pins by Broncos, making the final score Broncos 48, Desert 0.

Coach Mark Hodges said, “All Bronco wrestlers are in their first or second year of wrestling and Coach Costello and I are very pleased with how they wrestled. Several years ago, when the Bishop wrestling program needed help, the Desert coach helped keep our program running. We hope to return the favor by helping them this year, where and when we can.”

Last Saturday, the Bronco Wrestling Team traveled to El Monte in Southern California to compete in the Last Chance Tournament at Arroyo High School.

Competing were:

Freshmen: Will Hennarty, Carson Schmidt, John Drew, Riley Powers, Zayn Crockett and Joseph Red Owl.

Sophomores: Renee Ashworth, Jacob Lomantewa and Billy McKinzey.

Senior: Alonso Ahumada.

Coach Mark Hodges said, “With 37 teams competing, this was a big tournament for us. Carson Schmidt, wrestling at 124 pounds, had 2 wins and 2 losses, finishing just out of the medals. Heavyweight Joseph Red Owl also went 2 and 2, and finished in 8th place. The only Bronco to medal was Jacob Lomantewa at 156 pounds where he earned a 3rd place medal after winning 3 matches and losing only one match. Overall, the team won 12 and lost 19 matches. The level of competition was good as everyone was competitive in almost every match.”

The next action for the Broncos will be Thursday, January 23rd when the Broncos will travel for a dual meet against Rosamond.

 

Written by Bishop Wrestling Coach, Mark Hodges.

NIH Opioid Discussion Helps Families Cope With Addiction

Northern Inyo Rural Health Clinic hosted a discussion about Opioid addiction on Wednesday. The discussion was titled, “How to Help a Family Member With an Opioid Addiction.”

The focus of this discussion was to provide a better understanding of how to better comprehend how addiction manifests itself in a person, and how family and friends can work together to support a loved one who is struggling with a dependency.

About twenty people attended the event. The audience actively participated in the event. Many asked questions and participated in an open dialogue with experts. In total, the event last just over two hours.

Dr. Anne Goshgarian spoke to attendees about the brain chemistry of addiction entails, while Arlene Brown of the Northern Inyo Rural Health Clinic focused on how to support those suffering from addiction. Brown said, “An important topic that we addressed was reducing the stigma around addiction. It was a great community event which empowered friends and family to be better able to help someone struggling with addiction. To me, that was the greatest message on the evening because friends and family can often times feel helpless in those situations.”

Both women answered questions relating to what the warning signs of addiction are, the type of drugs that are in the community, what the difference is in most Opioids, and how to identify if a person is overdosing.

The experts also handed out Opioid Overdose Reversal Kits and discussed treatment options available at Northern Inyo Hospital.

Mono County Civic Center in Mammoth Close to Completion

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. – The new Mono County Civic Center office building in Mammoth Lakes is in the final phase of construction and is projected to be ready for occupancy in spring 2020.  Located on Sierra Park Road between Mammoth Hospital and the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, the new Civic Center brings essential County services under one roof, providing easier, centralized access to programs and offices, and a professional setting for public meetings.

 

Construction of the 33,000 square foot building began just ten months ago in April 2019 and followed an ambitious schedule. The projected opening reflects a slight delay from the original projected completion goal of March 2020.

 

Stacy Corless, Chair of the Mono County Board of Supervisors and District 5 Supervisor, applauded the efforts of the entire team: “Everyone involved in this complex and demanding project, including the general contractor, subcontractors, consultants and County staff, has been working tirelessly and the finish line is in sight.”

 

District 1 Supervisor Jennifer Kreitz pointed out that many factors worked in favor of staying on track, including a summer and fall season that was fortuitously warm and dry. “Given the construction challenges faced by any project of this magnitude, particularly at higher elevations, it’s very commendable that we are just shy of the original target.”

Though the construction schedule is approximately two weeks behind at present, County leaders recognize that finishing the project and moving numerous offices will take time, and that the extra time needed for project completion and the move will likely present the need for some County departments to work out of temporary office spaces. Supervisor Corless emphasized that “the most important focus of this move is to maintain vital public services and minimize disruption, as well as to ensure a transition for County employees—and the people they serve—that is efficient, cost-effective and secure.”

 

To that end, County Administrative Officer Steve Barwick said that County staff is finalizing plans to ensure that all public services continue with minimal interruption in a safe, secure and convenient location.  If temporary office space is necessary for the transition, Mono County’s priorities will be to use available space in the Minaret Mall as well as existing office space in Bridgeport.  The County may also temporarily lease additional space as necessary.

While Mono County has a relatively flexible lease arrangement at the Minaret Mall, the lease at the Sierra Center Mall terminates definitively at the end of March 2020.  Barwick stated, “Despite what is anticipated to be a short delay for move-in to our new building, Mono County is committed to vacating the currently leased space in the Sierra Center Mall by March 31 as the owners are ready to move forward with their plans to redevelop the site into an exciting new hotel property.”

Once open this spring, the Civic Center will be the new home for Social Services, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Environmental Health, District Attorney, Probation, County Counsel, Information Technology, Economic Development, Community Development as well as offices for County Administration and a meeting room for the Board of Supervisors.  Supervisor Corless noted that “the centralized location of the Civic Center, and the fact that all our departments are together in one building, will improve efficiencies in the delivery of County services to the public and will ultimately result in significant cost savings.”

 

The Board of Supervisors will receive an update on the Civic Center project on January 21, and at subsequent public meetings over the next two months. For more information about the Mono County Civic Center, please visit https://www.monocounty.ca.gov/facilities/page/mono-county-civic-center-mammoth-lakes or contact Steve Barwick, Mono County Administrative Officer.

Inyo National Forest Preparing for Road Renovations

The Inyo National Forest is seeking input on the proposed Road Maintenance and Motorized Mixed use for eight National Forest Road Segments in Inyo County project.

The proposed project would meet two goals: formalize Inyo County’s role in road maintenance along eight segments of Forest Service roads and allow Inyo County to determine whether to allow motorized mixed-use (non-street legal vehicles) on these roads. The Inyo National Forest is considering issuing special use permits and easements to meet these two goals.

The eight road segments being considered are parts of: Death Valley, County, Onion Valley, Foothill, Coyote Valley, McMurray Meadows, Division Creek and Mazourka Canyon Roads. A total of approximately 27 miles are being considered for inclusion in this project.

The project proposal and maps can be accessed on the website:   https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57322

The White Mountain District Ranger, Philip Desenze, will be hosting a public meeting to provide information and answer questions about the project. The public meeting will be held on January 22nd, from 5:30pm to 7:30 pm, at the Inyo National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 351 Pacu Ln, Bishop, California.

The forest welcomes any input or suggestions the public may have to improve the project, and any concerns with the proposal. You may submit written comments via email to Erin Noesser at erin.noesser@usda.gov, or to Inyo National Forest, Erin Noesser, 351 Pacu Ln., Suite 200, Bishop, CA 93514. While you can provide input at any time, your input would be most helpful by February 18, 2020.

Bishop Destroy Boron for Eighth Win of the Season

The Bishop Broncos cruised to a 69-28 victory over the Boron Bobcats last night in the fourth High Desert League game of the season.

Bishop led the game from the start and never looked back.

Within five seconds, the Broncos were able to score two points thanks to a Johnny Torres steal and score. About ten seconds later, Bishop added to their lead when Sophomore, Kenyan Piper snatched the ball and took it all the way to the basket for an easy pair of points.

The early lead would set the tone for the rest of the night.

Boron made many mistakes when trying to set up their offense. It seemed as though every time the Bobcats tried to send the ball inside, a Bronco was there to either deflect the ball or steal it. The careless passing on the part of the Bobcats allowed Bishop to push the tempo quickly and finish on the break after forcing turnovers.

One major point of concern for the Broncos going in to tonight’s game related to the absence of Blaine Spoonhunter, the team’s best defender, who is no longer with the team. Spoonhunter’s length and hustle will definitely be missed, but if yesterday’s game is a sample of what is to come defensively, the team may end up being able to handle the loss of such a quality player.

The two best defensive players yesterday were Luke McClean and Jaydan Braithwaite. McClean did a nice job of altering shots inside the paint, while Braithwaite demonstrated his quickness, cutting off passing lanes and poking the ball away from the Boron ball handlers.

Offensively, the best player on the court was Kenyan Piper, who has been tremendous all season long. Piper hit four three pointers on the night, and had quite a few nice plays driving inside the paint and finishing.

Another player who stepped up, was Johnny Torres, who made his first start of the season. Torres demonstrated an ability to knock down the mid range jumper all evening. If Bishop have a weakness, it is shooting. Torres will need to continue to show that he can hit his jumper in order to supplement the team’s lack of shooting for the rest of the year.

Up next for the Broncos, a rivalry game against the Kern Valley Broncs, who have a 2-2 High Desert League record. The game will be an away game on Friday at 7:30.