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gary chopper

Cal Fire Suspending Burns

CAL FIRE Suspends Outdoor Residential Burning

CAL Fire press release:

Inyo and Mono Counties – As drought conditions continue to increase fire danger in the region, CAL FIRE has suspended all burn permits for outdoor open residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Inyo and Mono Counties. This suspension takes effect at 6am, June 1st, 2015 and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris including branches and leaves.

CAL FIRE Division Chief Paul Melendrez says, “The conditions we all experienced in February during the Round Fire in Mono County, reminds us all of the importance of defensible space and being prepared in the event of a wildland fire.”

“Through our Public Education, Fire Prevention Programs, Defensible Space Inspections and Homeowner compliance in Inyo County and Mono County, this all hands on deck approach will assist CALFIRE during this heightened fire threat” says CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Chief Darren Feldman.

“With record-setting drought conditions we must take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “One Less Spark, means One Less Wildfire.”

Similar to last year, CAL FIRE has already responded to significantly more wildfires than in an average. CAL FIRE is asking residents to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires including maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around every home.

Here are some tips to help prepare your home and property:
Clear all dead or dying vegetation 100 feet around all structures.
Landscape with fire resistant/drought tolerant plants
Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or  hauling it to a biomass energy facility

The department may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health, safety. Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning may proceed if a CAL FIRE official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit.

Campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property that are otherwise permitted will be allowed if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland.
For additional information on preparing for and preventing wildfires visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.

cover photo by Gary Young, air support during the “Round Fire”.

cal fire, drought 2015, eastern sierra news, inyo county news, mono county news
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Bishop officials choose sidewalks

Bishop Proposes Sidewalk in Back of Park

The City of Bishop public works department held meetings this month to prioritize improvement projects.  City officials are looking specificly at funding opportunities that target “active transportation”.  Public works at the city of Bishop issued the following statement:
This month the City of Bishop will propose a sidewalk and bike lane project in the back of the City Park for state Active Transportation Program (ATP) funding. The $1 million project, called the Spruce, Hanby, Yaney Sidewalks project, would construct sidewalks and bike lanes on portions of Spruce Street, East Yaney Street, and Hanby Avenue in and near the east portion of the Bishop City Park, near the Bishop Senior Center. This sidewalk and bike lane project is proposed for funding even though it was not the most popular project at a recent series of public meetings held by the city. The most popular projects at these meetings were bike path and residential sidewalk projects. Because of difficulties with the most popular bike path and residential sidewalk projects, the relative ease, and substantial benefits of the Spruce, Hanby, Yaney Sidewalks
project, this project in the back of the park will be proposed for the current ATP funding opportunity. The more popular projects face difficulties in the form of resistance from the City of Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power (DWP, the landowner) in the case
of the bike path projects, and from residents and citizens concerned about sidewalk construction and tree removal in the case of the sidewalk projects. The city looks forward to working with DWP and with residents on future funding opportunities for the popular bike path and residential sidewalk projects.
The state’s ATP is intended to promote public health and safety by encouraging active forms of transportation such as walking, biking, and skateboarding to get to school, work, or every day activities.
The City of Bishop appreciates the public’s involvement identifying the best projects for ATP funding. For more information contact City of Bishop Public Works at publicworks@ca-bishop.us  or 760-873-8458.
cover photo by Arnie Palu, sidewalk work on Warren St.
city of bishop california, bishop news, bishop public works
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Fire Engine Red Fundraiser for Paradise

Paradise Fire Protection District’s
Fire Engine Red Fundraiser

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Paradise Volunteer Fire Department takes pride in the selflessness and dedication of its members, all of who play a vital role in the safety of our communities. Of the 25,000 volunteer firefighters currently serving in California, 15 volunteer firefighters serve Paradise Fire Protection District. “When it comes to fire and emergency preparedness, we need to ensure our volunteer firefighters have the right equipment,” said Board Chair, Ann Klinefelter. “We need your help to protect the residents and visitors in our communities”.

Join your friends and neighbors on Saturday, June 6, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Hidden Creek Ranch in West Bishop for Paradise Fire Protection District’s First Annual Fire Engine Red Fundraiser with the goal to match funds for a 50/50 grant through the Cal Fire Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program to purchase new wild land fire fighting equipment.

“We are very excited about this special evening featuring wine tasting by Eberle Vineyard, Mastro Scheidt Family Cellars, and Shadow Ranch Winery; beer tasting by Mountain Rambler Brewery; appetizers and desserts by Classy Cowgirl Catering; and live music by Idle Hands,” she said.

There will be many fabulous prizes in the Silent Auction and Raffle including fine art photography from Galen Rowell and Vern Clevenger, a 6-litre bottle of Eberle Reserve Cabernet, a Winston Fly Rod, a hand crafted quilt by Paradise’s own Donna McAuley, a La-Z-Boy Reclining Rocking Chair from Fendon’s Furniture, rounds of golf at Sierra Star Golf Club and Bishop Country Club just to name a few.

Event tickets are limited and cost $60 each. Raffle Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $20.

Reserve your tickets at Spellbinder Books in Bishop, Mammoth Lakes Foundation in Mammoth, or Tom’s Place.

Give these fundraising efforts a big boost by becoming Event Sponsor: for $500 donation you will receive 4 complimentary event tickets and 4 complimentary raffle tickets, your name and logo in our event program.

For more information call: Ann Klinefelter at 760-387-2673

cover photo by Gary Young

paradise fire department, eastern sierra news
inyo s and r

Remains recovered near Shepherd Pass

Shepherd Pass Recovery Mission

Adverse weather delays recovery
Remains yet to be identified

Inyo County Sheriff’s Department report:

On Monday May 18th, 2015 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a deceased person off the Shepherd Pass trail at about the 12,000” elevation level. The information shared with the Sheriff’s Office from the reporting party was that it was evident that the person had been deceased for some time.

Due to the demanding and steep terrain, it was determined that a helicopter recovery would be the safest mechanism to remove the body. Several attempts were made, but due to the recent storm activity in the High Sierra’s the recovery mission had to be held off until the morning of Wednesday May 27th. CHP Helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley was utilized. Inyo SAR members were able to safely secure the remains for transport to the Lone Pine Airport where they were met by the Inyo County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death has not yet been determined, nor has positive identification of the remains.

“The remains were about 75-yards due east of the Shepherd Pass trail, about 200-yards from the Sequoia National Park boundary, located in a flat area where it would be safe to presume that a fall was not the cause,” stated SAR Coordinator Brian Hohenstein.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank CHP H-80 for their assistance, and the Inyo SAR volunteers.

cover photo provided by the Inyo County Sheriffs Department

inyo county sheriffs department, shepherd pass, chp, inyo county search and rescue, eastern sierra news
mono sheriff

Mono Sheriff warns of phone scam

Mono County Phone Scam

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports from residents throughout Mono County of recent phone scams from the Internal Revenue Service. We want to make everyone aware of the current phone scams you may continue to experience.

The current phone scams that Mono County residents are experiencing include callers representing themselves as IRS agents. This is an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam. The callers claim to be representatives of the IRS. They are very convincing when they call. They will use a fake name and a bogus IRS identification badge number. The caller does know a lot of information about their target; thus, making you feel it is a legit call. The caller will also alter caller ID to make it look as if the IRS is actually calling.

These callers will tell you that money is owed to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If you refuse to cooperate with the caller, they then threaten you with arrest, deportation and/or suspension of your business or driver’s license. If you don’t answer your phone, the caller will leave a message with an “urgent” call back request or threaten that you will be sued if you don’t return their call. One of the numbers that has been reported on messages is (206) 462-5330 out of the Seattle area.

Please remember the following: the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment or call you regarding taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; require you to use a specific payment method for your tax payment; ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or, threaten to bring in the local police or other law enforcement agency to have you arrested for non-payment.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office wants you to be aware of these phone scams. They continue to happen and the callers are starting to become more aggressive in their demeanor to obtain your personal information. Never give personal information and credit card information over the phone. You should monitor your credit reports and your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis! Keep your identity and information protected! If you further question the validity of the call, contact your local IRS Office before providing any personal or payment information. For more information on all current IRS scams, please visit www.irs.gov.

If you would like to report any suspicious phone scams or verify that you have been a victim of a phone scam, please contact us at (760) 932-7549.

mono county news, mono county sheriffs department, eastern sierra news, irs
photo by Arnie Palu, Left to Right, Faith, Bodie, Alix Ellis, Kevin and Lis Mazzu

Bishop City Council Meets

Flower Baskets to Hard ball

The Bishop City Council had few action items on their agenda Tuesday night, but did receive a wide variety of information ranging from the placement of flower baskets to a budding adult baseball league.

The rare Tuesday night meeting opened with the council approving a proclamation recognizing the upcoming “Walk for Kids” on Sunday, June 7th.  Registration begins at 7am, with the walk starting at 8am.  The walk is being held on the 4th birthday of Bodie Ellis.  The walk is being organized by the Ellis family who became familiar with the Ronald McDonald House at Loma Linda when their son needed specialized care.  You can register for the walk at www.walkforkids.org/lomalinda

Notes
Fire Chief Ray Seguine updated the council on potential plans for remodeling fire station number 2.

Police Chief Chris Carter thanked all who helped out with the effort to close main street for the Mule Days Parade.  Carter reported no major issues during the recent celebration.

City Engineer Dave Grah reported that work on the Warren street improvement project continues.  The focus on North Warren is the instillation of concrete crosswalks.  That work is continuing this week and is expected to stretch into next week.  Grah expects the concrete crosswalks to help with stop sign and cross walk recognition, noting the goal of the design is to limit paint and signage.   Grah indicated positive feedback from a recent set of meetings held to gather public input on Active Transportation Planning.  The top requests centered on Bike transportation followed by residential sidewalk improvements.

Waylon Cleland had positive news on the parks and recreation front.  Cleland announced that the city has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Toiyabe Indian Health Project.  Funds will be used to renovate fields 1 and 2 at the Bishop City Park.

City Manager Jim Tatum reported that the new downtown flower baskets and their watering system withstood the busy Mule Days parade.  Tatum explained that the flower basket concentration near main and line streets is due to the current availability of water.  Tatum indicates the city is hoping to expand the program with availability of infrastructure to support the watering system.  Tatum also gave an update on the “Big Day in the Park”.  The recent 4th of July tradition is taking shape and Tatum revealed plans to include a baseball game at field 4.  The game would include a collection of recent graduates who are playing or have played college baseball.  The hardball game would potentially serve as a springboard for a adult baseball league.

Bishop Camber of Commerce and visitors bureau executive director Tawni Thomson reported visitor numbers to the city park center are up.  The Month of April saw a 32% increase in visitors compared to 2014.  Thomson credited the spike in numbers to the Forest Service sharing the space and favorable weather.  Thomson reminded the council of the California high school rodeo state finals June 16th-19th.

In action items the Council voted 5-0 in support of posting “No Parking” signage at designated locations for the upcoming 4th of July celebration.  The “No Parking” signage will be posted on the morning of July 4th, and removed the following morning.  The council also approved a one year extension of the fuel supply contract with Eastern Sierra oil company/Thomas petroleum.

The next Bishop City Council meeting is set for Monday, June 8th, 6pm.

cover photo by Arnie Palu.  The Ellis Family and Kevin and Lis Mazzu address the City Council.

bishop city council, jim tatum, tawni thomson, bishop news, bishop parks and recreation
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Walk for Kids Sunday, June 7th

Bishop City Council Proclamation highlights upcoming walk

The Bishop City Council passed a proclamation Tuesday night shining the spotlight on a upcoming walk in the Bishop City Park.  A “Walk for Kids” benefiting the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House will take place Sunday, June 7th.  Registration begins at 7am, with the walk starting at 8am.  The walk is being held on the 4th birthday of Bodie Ellis.  The walk is being organized by the Ellis family who became familiar with the Ronald McDonald House at Loma Linda when their son needed specialized care.

photo by Arnie Palu, Left to Right, Faith, Bodie, Alix Ellis, Kevin and Lis Mazzu
photo by Arnie Palu, Left to Right, Faith, Bodie, Alix Ellis, Kevin and Lis Mazzu

Alix Ellis tells their story.

“Minutes before little Bodie’s arrival on June 7, 2011 the doctors at the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada informed us that something was wrong and the next two days seemed to go by with very little knowledge about Bodie’s condition. It appeared that his bladder was very enlarged and his kidneys were functioning poorly. The doctors were unable to determine an exact diagnosis and arrangements were made to have our sweet, delicate baby boy flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center where we were assured he would get the care he needed.Upon arriving in Loma Linda we were advised to go to the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House (LLRMH) where we would find a place to stay that was close to the hospital. For the next week and a half the LLRMH became our home. There was always a meal and always someone to talk with. I found myself sitting with other families and moms, sharing our stories and exchanging some heartfelt words of kindness and encouragement. Words that would lift each of us up and even though our struggles were different most of the time, the compassion was the same. I needed that so much and I think I cried a little less with just having that kindheartedness and understanding. The security I felt in a place I knew nothing about and being taken care of by a community that cared so much was amazing! I remember receiving a Winnie the Pooh book on the doorstep of my room. As the tears began to run down my cheek, so thankful for the gift, I placed the book in my diaper bag. I later read it to Bodie as he lay in his NICU bed, one of my favorite things to do.
I would love to tell you how much this “home” meant to our family and continues to mean so much to us without crying, but that’s hard. They mean so much. After Bodie’s diagnoses of Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome and Vesicoureteral Reflux (his bladder refluxes into his kidneys) we continue to visit and stay at the LLRMH to this day. Bodie has endured three surgeries and several procedures to monitor his kidney function as well as his development including regular blood work and ultrasounds. When we travel for appointments, it’s nice to have a home to come to. Our distance from the hospital and Bodie’s doctors makes for a long drive, and we are blessed beyond words to be able to continue to experience the kind embrace and peace from the amazing caregivers at LLRMH. Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough… but we keep telling them Thank you! Thank you for loving us and helping us to be emotionally complete and whole for our little one, and even though he continues to be medically fragile, we appreciate the encouragement to stand strong. You are our champions!”

The Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House (LLRMH) is dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of children by providing a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill and injured children who are receiving care in Southern California. When a child in the Bishop community needs specialized medical treatment they are often transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center and families are able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while their child is in the hospital.

What is the WALK FOR KIDS? Walk for Kids is a non-competitive walk that is designed to raise funds and awareness for the services and programs provided by the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.

You can register for the walk by going to www.walkforkids.org/lomalinda

cover photo by Arnie Palu.  The Ellis Family with Ronald McDonald at the Mule Days Parade

bishop news, walk for kids, loma linda, alix ellis
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Lone Pine Softball falls to Savanna

Lone Pine season ends in CIF 1st round

The Lone Pine Golden Eagles softball season ends with a loss to the #1 seed Savanna high school.  While the season has just ended, Lone Pine Coach Liz Jones is looking ahead to 2016 with great optimism. The Golden Eagles graduate just one senior, outfielder Emma Howe.
Looking to lead the charge next season are several offensive stars.
Lacie Jones finished  first place in the Desert Mountain League with a overall batting average of .641.  Juliann Jones’ .510 average was 7th in league, and Jessianne Joiner was right behind her, finishing 8th in league with a .475 ave.  Katelyn Button ranked 13th with .405 ave. in league play.
Coach Liz Jones says, “We are already looking forward to next year.”
cover photo submitted by Liz Jones. lone pine softball at their wildcard win at Brentwood Academy
lone pine high school softball, desert mountain league softball, lone pine news
gary green

Low Water, High Passion at Tech Group Meeting

Inyo County/Los Angleles Technical Group hears public concerns

The Inyo County/Los Angeles Department of water and power technical group met Tuesday morning at the DWP’s Bishop headquarters. The relatively short, 5 item agenda featured a scheduled discussion on water supply reductions to the McNalley ponds, but also featured pointed questions from local residents demanding answers to what they call “clear violations of the long term water agreement”.

Residents Sally Manning, Daris Moxley, and Gary Gilbert addressed the technical group Tuesday, as they did at the May 4th meeting. Manning quoted the Long Term Water agreement section relating to the DWP’s requirement to provide irrigation water. In regards to cuts in irrigation water, Manning said, “Justice is not being done”.

Daris Moxley spoke passionately about attending technical group and standing committee meetings since 2008 to voice concerns in regards to the DWP’s “non-compliance with the long term water agreement.”. Moxley noted that her questions have not be answered by the LADWP or Inyo County.

Responding to Moxley, Inyo County Water director Bob Harrington said, “We are reviewing the material you submitted and making assessments.”

Wilkerson rancher Gary Gilbert questioned the procedure for cuts in irrigation water. Stressing the importance of providing advance notice.

At the last Standing committee meeting Inyo County and the LADWP did not agree on a program of reasonable reductions in light of the ongoing drought. The long term agreement calls for reductions in irrigation, enhancement/mitigation, and other environmental projects in the Owens Valley. Bob Harrington indicates that Inyo County is continuing to meeting with MOU parties to look at adjustments to current projects to conserve water that could be transferred to irrigation.   Potential projects targeted include the lower owens river project and the owens dry lake.

The Standing committee is set to meet June 4th.

Cover Photo by Gary Young.

ladwp, inyo county water department, drought 2015, eastern sierra news, bob harrington

 

photo by Gary Young

Water Awareness for Inyo Students

Inyo County Schools on the Forefront of Drought Education with New Water Awareness Campaign

submitted by Annie Blakey, Educational Services, Inyo County Superintendent of schools.

When Governor Jerry Brown issued California’s first-ever, statewide, mandatory restriction on water use on April 1, 2015 calling for a 25% reduction in potable water use, Inyo Schools realized that they needed to help educate their 2500 students with a drought education program for all students Pre-kindergarten thru high school.
“We have an obligation to assist in this drought and the most important aspect is educating our youth to become better stewards of our water and help educate their family into conservation,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Terry McAteer
The campaign, targeting all Inyo County students from kindergarten through twelfth grades, consists of two programs: a Water Detective awareness program for K-4 and a science curriculum for grades 5-12.
Middle and high school students start with a quiz to assess what they already know about local and statewide water use. They will also be encouraged to use figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2013 Bishop Water Rate Study to calculate how much water would be saved each day in Inyo County if we were to match Governor Brown’s call for 25% reductions in water use. Students will then generate and share lists of ways they can personally conserve water.
Countywide Science Coordinator Kerry Lozito developed the curriculum for grades 5-12 in cooperation with local science teachers and agency specialists including Bob Harrington, Director of the Inyo County Water Department; Dave Grah, Director of the City of Bishop Public Works; Dustin Blakey, Director of Inyo-Mono U.C. Cooperative Extension; and Mark Drew, Sierra Headwaters Regional Director for California Trout and the Director of Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.
“The main goal of the curriculum is to motivate and empower young people to take action in the face of California’s current water crisis,” said Superintendent McAteer.
The Pre-K through 4th grade Water Detective program has the same goal, but has tailored the message to the younger group with a fun visit from “Water Detective Chief” Mitzi Eilts, who teaches the children why water is important and the role they play in saving it.
After the children participate in the presentation, they are given kits—that include an assortment of items ranging from fun, Water Detective I.D. cards, badges and magnifying glasses to more educational activity books—and a simple, yet powerful, mission: detect ways to save water and encourage others to do the same.
McAteer wished to congratulate his staff in meeting tight timelines to get this program into every classroom before the end of the school year. He commended staff member Annie Blakey for coordinating the entire project.

cover photo by Gary Young Photography.

drought 2015, inyo county news, inyo county superintendent of school, dr terry mcateer