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Alabama Hills Volunteer Day

Alabama Hills Volunteer Work Day Planned

LONE PINE, Calif. – The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will sponsor a volunteer work day in the Alabama Hills on Feb. 13, the Saturday of the Presidents Day holiday weekend, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will be performing trail construction and maintenance on the trail connecting Lone Pine and Whitney Portal,” said Dave Kirk, Alabama Hills steward for the Bishop Field Office. 

Participants should meet at the corner of Whitney Portal and Movie roads at 10 a.m. Please come prepared for outdoor work with gloves, hat and sunscreen. BLM will provide tools, trash bags and drinks. For further information, contact Kirk via email at, or at (760) 876-6209.

Cover Photo by Gary Young

Lone Pine Alabama Hills, blm Bishop field office, Lone Pine California

Over 95,000 visit Manzanar in 2015

Manzanar Hosts Record number of Visitors in 2015

submitted by Manzanar National Historic Site

Over 95,000 people from throughout the United States and around the world visited Manzanar National Historic Site in 2015.  From near and far, youth and elders, first-time visitors and former incarcerees, all had a variety of opportunities to connect to the site, its stories, and each other.

“I’m happy to see so many people coming to learn about Manzanar,” Superintendent Bernadette Johnson said. “While the site is best known for its wartime history, its layers of the past echo the larger themes of American history, including the displacement of Native Americans, the settlement of ranchers and farmers, water wars, and the consequences of prejudice.” She continued, “These valuable lessons about social justice, racism and prejudice are critical.”

Manzanar’s 2015 visitation was nearly 23% higher than in 2014 and surpassed a 2009 record of 89,000. “Record visitation tests the site’s staffing capacity,” said Superintendent Johnson. “I’m grateful that we have a committed staff dedicated to providing high quality visitor experiences.”

In 2015, Manzanar opened  3,000 s.f. of new exhibits in two reconstructed barracks, hosted thousands of school children, and received more than 7,500 hours of service from 318 volunteers.
On a national level in 2016, Congress recently provided an increase in funding for national park units. Manzanar was the recipient of 2016 Centennial Challenge funding allowing the site to leverage these funds with donations from Friends of Manzanar and private donors to expand exhibits in Block 14. Congress is considering separate National Park Service Centennial legislation to further improve the national parks by encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism, while also allowing the National Park Service to improve visitor services and connect with a new generation of national park visitors.

Congress established Manzanar National Historic Site in 1992, the result of decades of efforts by Japanese Americans and others. Since then, the National Park Service has worked with scores of stakeholders to preserve and interpret Manzanar and its stories.  Visitors can explore the personal experiences of individuals, families, and communities incarcerated at Manzanar. The restored camp auditorium serves as a visitor center and houses extensive exhibits. Nearby, a World War II-era mess hall and two  reconstructed barracks highlight the challenges of daily life. An auto tour road circles the site, highlighting Japanese gardens, historic orchards, the cemetery, and more.

Manzanar is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, California. For more information, please call 760-878-2194 ext. 3310 or visit our website at or Facebook page at

Cover Photo by Gary Young.

manzanar historic site, independence california, lone pine california, manzanar japanese internment camp

Bronco Girls Play does not “Waffle” in Cal City

Bishop Union Girls Soccer stays unbeaten in HDL play

by Arnie Palu
February 5, 2016

Bishop Union High School Girls soccer improves to 6-0 in High Desert League play.  The win secures a share of the HDL championship as both Frazier Mt and Kern Valley have two losses with just two games to go.  The Broncos HDL dominance continues with the 6-0 shut-out at California City high school Thursday.  The Broncos girls were treated to waffles this past weekend prior to appearing on the Saturday Sports Roundup.  Junior Defender Karla Castilla inspired the “Waffle-Fest” Saturday, and clearly the waffles were key to the victory at California City.  (note-you can listen to the Saturday Sports show featuring the Bronco Girls Soccer team by clicking on the link on the left.)

Bishop Union made quick work of California City Thursday with five more goals from super-freshman Katie Dohnel.  The five goals at Cal City giving Dohnel 47 on the season.  Bronco Defender Ritz Garcia got in on the scoring collecting her first goal of the season.

Bishop Union closes out HDL play with key home matches with Frazier Mt (Tuesday, Feb 9th) and Kern Valley (Thursday, Feb 11th).  Both Frazier and Kern Valley are tied for second in the HDL with 4-2 records.   A win or a tie in either match gives Coach Manny Terrasas and the Broncos the HDL championship.

Varsity Boys

The Bishop Union high school varsity boys soccer team dropped a tough road match at California City Thursday.  Coach Peter Thomsen reports that Cal City beat Bishop 1-0 scoring the winning goal with just 4 minutes remaining in the match .

Coach Thomsen noted the play of goalkeeper Jerry Mendez who made several saves.  The loss moves Bishop into a tie with Cal City for 3rd place in the High Desert League standings.  Bishop finishes league play next week with critical home games against Frazier Mt (Tuesday, Feb 9th) and Kern Valley (Thursday, Feb 11th).

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Casting Call!

Casting Call for a ATV/UTV Commercial

By Arnie Palu
February 5, 2016

Broad-cast is looking for  men ages 25-60 with UTV or ATV driving experience in the Lone Pine area.  Broad-cast’s resume includes casting talent for commercials for companies such as Microsoft, Carl’s Jr., Go Daddy, Taco Bell, Gatorade and Nike.  Auditions begin this weekend.

If Chosen to be filmed, you will receive $500 per shoot day to cover the shoot and usage.  Shooting dates are set for February 27-29th in Lone Pine.

Broad-Cast is looking for men ages 25-60 with UTV/ATV driving experience, noting that any farm/agriculture/ranching experience is a plus.  Also, trail riding, hunting experience and firearms experience is also a plus but not required.

If you fit the criteria, contact Broad-Cast as soon as possible.  Email the Broad-cast Casting Company:

Your email should include your full name, contact information, a recent photo, and briefly explain your experience with ATV/UTV riding.

Visit their website to see their work at

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Shots Fired, Man arrested

Tuesday Night Incident Ends with Arrest

February 4, 2016
by Arnie Palu

The Inyo County Sheriffs department has released additional details into a situation that played out Tuesday evening on South Pa Ha Lane.  In addition to the Inyo Sheriffs department, members of the Bishop Police Department and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene Tuesday night.  Law enforcement was sent to the 200th block of South Pa Ha lane on the Bishop reservation on the report of a subject firing a gun.   Wednesday afternoon the Inyo County Sheriffs department issued the following statement.

Last night (Tuesday, February 2nd) at approximately 8:30pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to PaHa Lane, west of Bishop, due to shots being fired in a residential area.  Deputies responded and obtained witness statements that confirmed that three gunshots did take place outside a residence. Two suspects were questioned and released, and one suspect was arrested at the scene. Raymond Joseph Bencoma III, a 40-year old man from Bishop, was taken into custody and booked under the following charge: felony assault with firearm. Bail has been set at $25,000.”

Bencoma, Raymond Joseph III
Raymond Joseph Bencoma III. photo provided by the inyo county sheriffs department

Investigators are encouraging anyone with additional information to contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383, or you may use the following link:

inyo county sheriffs department, bishop police department, south pa ha lane, raymond joseph bencoma III

Inyo National Forest Cautions Snowmobilers

Inyo National Forest Cautions Snowmobilers of Off-Limit Use

submitted by the Inyo National Forest
February 3, 2016

Based upon reports from rangers and visitors alike, the Inyo National Forest is reminding snowmobilers to respect off-limit areas of the forest that are closed to snowmobiles.
Forest Service rangers are patrolling closed areas for illegal snowmobile activity; focusing on locations where these incursions are problematic. These areas include designated Wilderness and Research Natural Areas, Mammoth Lakes Basin, Devils Postpile National Monument, McGee Mountain, Obsidian Dome cross-country ski trails, Shady Rest cross-country ski trails, and the area west of the G-trail from June Lake Junction south to the Glass Creek Hill.
Pick up your free copy of the Eastern Sierra Winter Recreation Map at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center (a waterproof version is available for purchase as well), obtain it online, or download to your mobile device using the Avenza map app ( These maps inform recreationists of motorized restricted areas.
The nation’s federally designated Wilderness areas prohibit motorized use; making them off limits to snowmobiles. The closures are there to protect the Wilderness experience, but snowmobile tracks and public reports indicate that numerous riders venture into these closed areas each season.  Riding in a Wilderness or a winter motorized closure is a Federal and State offense carrying fines up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail, in addition to possible seizure of the snowmobiles used in the commission of the crime.

It is the rider’s responsibility to know where these closed or restricted areas are located and their boundaries.  Major winter trailheads and launching points have maps showing these restricted areas.  If in doubt, check with the local Ranger Station or visitor center.

There are miles of groomed snow trails and play areas that are safe and legal to snowmobilers in the Mammoth and Mono Lake areas. There are approximately 75,000 acres of open expanse east of Hwy. 395 with a variety of terrain from wide-open meadows to forested areas for beginners and experts.  Please refer to
for the latest grooming report.

The Inyo National Forest provides a wide spectrum of winter recreational activities. Visitors and residents can vastly improve these recreational opportunities, reduce conflict, and protect the forest resources by practicing common courtesy and respecting others’ experiences.

inyo national forest,  snowmobiles on the inyo national forest, Mammoth Lakes Basin, Devils Postpile National Monument, McGee Mountain

Bishop Union battles Rosamond

Bishop Union travels to Rosamond

By Arnie Palu
February 3, 2016

High Desert League basketball’s second half began Tuesday night in Rosamond.  Bishop Union will be road warriors in the second half playing 3 of 4 games away from Gus Klekas Gym.  Bishop Union’s girls teams picked up wins Tuesday night while the Bronco boys returned home 0-2.

Varsity Girls
Bishop Union 44
Rosamond   30

Coaches Tara Auld and Alice Bruck have the Bronco Varsity girls atop the High Desert League standings.  The Broncos improve to 5-0 in HDL play with a 44-30 win over Rosamond.  Bishop Union opened a 18-3 lead at the close of the 1st quarter and cruised to the easy road win.

Bishop Union will now prep for their final regular season home game set for Wednesday, February 10th.  The senior night game has been shifted to a rare Wednesday night to accommodate California City.  The Ravens requested the change due to transportation issues.  The Wednesday night game will be senior night at Bishop Union.  The Varsity Girls game is schedule for a 6pm tip.  Following senior night the Broncos will hit the road for the final two HDL games with trips to Fraizer Mt on Friday, February 12th and rival Kern Valley Tuesday, February 16th.

Individual Statistics
Little Eval Lent – 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 1 block.
Maria Jimenez – 12 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals.
Topah Scherer- 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 block.
Sabrina Barlow – 9 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.
Cienna Martinez – 8 points, 2 rebounds.
Sophia Thomas – 1 rebound.
Kassidie Duckey – 1 rebound and 1 steal.
Rosalind Cardenas – 2 points.
Drew Dondero – 2 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals.

JV Girls
Bishop Union 29
Rosamond   18

Coach Tammy Spoonhunter’s Broncos picked up a key HDL win Tuesday.  Freshman Morningstar Lent led all scorers with 17 points.

Individual Statistics
Morningstar Lent – 17 pts.
Gracie Soto – 7 pts.
Julie Cepeda – 2 pts.
Paige Martinez – 2 pts.
Liza Joya – 1 pt.

Coaches Comments, “I’m very proud of how the girls are playing hard and working together. Keep up the good work ladies, let’s finish strong! ”  Tammy Spoonhunter

Varsity Boys
Bishop Union 66
Rosamond   69

Rosamond almost ran Bishop off their own court back on January 15th in route to a 80-58 win, round two was a much different ball game.  Bishop Union played inspired basketball Tuesday night taking a 55-52 lead into the 4th quarter.  Rosamond outscored the Broncos 17-11 in the final 8 minutes winning 69-66.  The loss slides Bishop Union’s HDL record to 2-3.

Bishop played tough defense Tuesday holding Rosamond’s 6-5 center DaMorea Green scoreless through 3 quarters.  Green awoke in the pivotal 4th quarter scoring 8 big points.  Rosamond took a lead in the 4th quarter thanks to the clutch play of Darion Wilson (32 points) and Caleb Roney (17 points).  Bishop had several good looks at the basket in the final minute, but the shots would not fall.

The Broncos are currently in 3rd place in the HDL behind unbeaten Kern Valley (4-0) and Rosamond (4-1).  The Broncos will be off until  they celebrate senior night Wednesday, February 10th when California City comes to town.  All Bronco varsity HDL boys games are broadcast live on AM 1230 KBOV and streamed live here at through the listen live link.

Individual Scoring
Dru Allen, 16.
Sean Brown, 13.
Ziggy Armitage, 11.
Tommy Ruelas, 10.
Mike Molina, 9
Daniel Olsen, 5.
Moran West, 2.

JV Boys
Bishop Union 36
Rosamond  48

Individual Scoring
Trace Sapp, 24 points.
Edward Piper, 6 points.
Izzak Morgenstein, 4 points.
Jalen Waterson, 2 points.

Bishop Union High School Basketball, Bishop Union High School Sports, high desert league basketball, bishop bronco basketball

Bishop Celebrating Solar

City of Bishop Celebrating Solar Project

submitted by the city of Bishop
February 3, 2016
Bishop Solar Pre-Commissioning Event
There will be an event at 3 pm on February 9, 2016 to celebrate the completion of the City of Bishop solar project. The brief event will be at the City of Bishop waste-water treatment plant at 980 Poleta Road east of Bishop and will celebrate the completion and the anticipated commissioning of the project.
The $600,000 project added solar arrays at two city well sites
and at the city waste-water (or sewage) treatment plant. Once commissioned – essentially turned on – these arrays will provide most of the power used by the wells and sewage plant, will save the city about $60,000 per year in electricity costs, and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 470,000 pounds per year. Construction of the project started in November 2015.
One 5,000 square foot solar array was constructed at the city’s Well 2 site near the Tri-county Fairgrounds, one 11,000 square foot solar
array was constructed at the city’s Well 4 site on West Line Street near Mummy Lane, and two arrays with a combined area of about 12,500 square feet was constructed at the sewage treatment plant about 1/2 mile east of the Bishop Creek Canal. The capacity of the project is 205 kilowatt.
The contractor on the project is Performance Contracting
Incorporated out of Austin Texas. The consultant on the project is
TerraVerde Renewable Partners out of Larkspur, California. The project is supported with renewable energy incentives provided by Southern California Edison. The Eastern Sierra Energy Initiative, a
Southern California Edison Local Government Partnership, supports all City of Bishop energy conservation efforts and supported this project.
city of Bishop California, Bishop California public works, city of Bishop solar project, southern california edison solar

Tribal Officers Elected at Fort Independence

New Tribal Officers elected at Fort Independence

On January 6, 2016, a set of candidates campaigning on a platform of open communication and government transparency was voted into office at the Fort Independence Paiute Tribe. Longtime Owens Valley community member and former Tribal Vice Chairperson Norm Wilder was elected Chairperson, tribal member and medical professional Karma Henry was elected Vice-Chairperson and long time tribal activist Stephanie Arman was elected to the position of Secretary-Treasurer.

The Fort Independence Paiute Tribe is the smallest of the four Owens Valley Native American Tribes with approximately 160 members, of which about 80 live locally. The tribe has operated a travel plaza, cafe, convenience store, RV Park and small Casino about 2 ½ miles north of Independence since 2008. Though the operations early years were marked with setbacks, the Travel Plaza and Casino are now recognized as one of the busiest on Hwy 395 and have won a number of awards and accolades.

Wilder, Henry and Arman have vowed to continue to focus on growth for their economic development projects and have promised to put in place a clear business plan that will result in continued growth as well as many more employment opportunities for Paiute community members and local citizens alike.

Wilder has formerly been Vice-chairperson for the Fort Independence Tribe, and has been employed as a water operator for the tribe, the county and for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the past several years. Wilder is married, has three children and is a trustee on the Owens Valley School Board. He’s also in highly involved in the local 4-H program, various youth programs and believes its important Tribal leaders be positive role models not just in their own tribal communities but in their broader local communities as well.

Norm Wilder Chairperson
Norm Wilder. Photo Submitted

Henry has over 20 years of experience as a surgical technician, which has honed her communication and organizational skills. She is also an artist and intends to use her creative problem solving while effectively listening to the needs of her constituents. Henry is married and busy raising her daughter while maintaining a new art practice and settling into her new position. She currently resides in Frazier Park, CA. and travels to Fort Independence as needed.

Version 2
Karma Henry. Photo Submitted

Arman has worked in a variety of positions for the Fort Independence Tribe over the past 21 years. Most recently she has been the Tribe’s Historic Preservation Officer and currently sits on a number local and regional tribal boards. Arman has raised three children in the Owens Valley and is a strong believer in the importance the tribe’s culture and heritage can play in helping its youth find their balance in today’s modern world. Among Arman’s many goals are to give every tribal member a voice in determining the Tribe’s direction as it progresses towards the future as well as ensuring all members have the opportunity in which they can present and resolve their issues and concerns.

When asked what immediate plans can be expected Wilder replied, “We feel the tribe is in just the right place to progress and move forward with our long range goal of economic self sustainability. We have a number of younger tribal members wanting to be more involved in their Tribe’s business and social affairs. We welcome their involvement and hope their fresh ideas and enthusiasm will continue to help lead the Fort Independence Tribe towards a progressive and viable future.

cover photo by Gary Young, Mt. Whitney fish hatchery, Independence.

Fort Independence, Norm Wilder, Karma Henry, Stephanie Arman, Owens Valley Native American Tribes

Little League Baseball/Softball Sign ups

Youth Baseball/Softball Sign ups

By Arnie Palu

Its time to get your youngsters signed up for Little League Baseball and Softball.  Bishop Little League, Owens Valley Little league and Eastern Sierra Little League Softball have sign ups underway.

Bishop Little League
February 2nd, 5:30 to 8pm at the Barlow Lane Gym.
February 6th, 1:00 to 3pm at the Bishop Pizza Factory.

Owens Valley Little League
February 2nd, 4:30 to 6pm at the Big Pine Little League Field.
February 6th, 11am to 2pm at the Big Pine Little League Field.

Eastern Sierra Little League Softball (Bishop)
February 2nd, 5:30 to 8pm at the Barlow Lane Gym.
February 6th, 1:00pm to 3pm at the Bishop Pizza Factory.
February 10th, 5:00 to 7pm at the Barlow Field (During Assessments)

Eastern Sierra Little League Softball (Lone Pine)
February 2nd, 6:00 to 8pm at the Lone Pine Pizza Factory.

Eastern Sierra Little League Softball (Big Pine)
February 6th, 1:00 to 3pm at the Big Pine Public Library.

Cover Photo by Lorenzo Parra.  Bishop Little League All-Star Brooke Weller

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