All posts by Seth

LADWP

LADWP to maximize local water spreading

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from LADWP’s Amanda Parsons, During the Inyo County/Los Angeles Standing Committee earlier this week, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced plans to maximize the spread of water in the Owens Valley this year to levels not seen since the wettest year on record, 1983-84.

The above average snowpack levels, registering north of 200 percent of normal to date, are expected to provide ample water supply for both the Eastern Sierra region and the LA Aqueduct. Runoff calculations from the Eastern Sierra are anticipated to be in the range of 900 to 1 million acre feet (AF) of water.

Due to the ample water supply, LADWP will be able to meet all water needs throughout Long Valley and Inyo County. The spread of this water is expected to improve local vegetation and groundwater levels, representing a significant recharge of the Owens Valley aquifer. Given the abundance of water, LADWP will conduct no discretionary pumping in the region – only necessary pumping for town water systems and Enhancement and Mitigation projects which always operate using groundwater, such as fish hatcheries and pasture irrigation.

“To date this winter we’ve spread 8,000 acre feet of water in the Owens Valley and we expect to spread a lot more,” James Yannotta, Manager of the Los Angeles Aqueduct for LADWP said. “We anticipate matching if not exceeding the amount spread during our wettest recorded winter.”

The wet winter is also expected to assist ranch lessees who will receive at least a full allotment of water this year, a much welcome reprieve from the   past five consecutive years of drought.

In all, the Department expects to release water to Long Valley and throughout the Owens Valley in Laws, Bishop, Big Pine, Independence and areas further south.

“In terms of water supply, this winter is good news for everyone – both the Owens Valley and Los Angeles,” Richard Harasick, Senior Assistant General Manager of Water System for LADWP, added. “There is ample water to go toward both our environmental commitments in the Eastern Sierra and supplying our ratepayers in Los Angeles.”

Also in the Standing Committee Meeting, the parties from both Inyo County and Los Angeles agreed to formally adopt revisions to the vegetation monitoring protocols outlined in the Green Book. The adoption of these revisions represents the end of a monitoring discrepancy that has been in place since 2005.

The new method strengthens existing practices by developing a more consistent sampling program. The new protocols allow Inyo County and LADWP staff to divide pre-determined monitoring parcels rather than separately monitoring the same areas, reducing overlap and streamlining the process.

Vegetation monitoring in Inyo County is required by the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement and must be able to compare vegetation cover and composition to the vegetation cover and composition obtained during the initial vegetation inventory which occurred between 1984 and 1987.

The Technical Group approved the new monitoring program at its meeting of February 9, 2017. Today’s approval by the Standing Committee makes the new protocols official.

BUILDING PERMITS

Inyo County and The City of Bishop now issuing building permits from the same place.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Michelle Rhew at the City of Bishop, Earlier this year Inyo County and the City of Bishop consolidated the
building permit staff for each agency at one location at Bishop City Hall.
The consolidation was done to improve service and reduce cost.
Inyo County’s Building and Safety staff are now based in the Public Works
Office at Bishop City Hall, 377 West Line Street. The county staff now
perform building permitting and inspection for the city as well as the county.
Inyo County Building and Safety staff are available during regular City Hall
hours, 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding city holidays.
They can assist with building permitting throughout Inyo County including
the City of Bishop.
Although the county staff has moved to city offices, they can still be
reached at the usual county phone number 760-873-7857. For projects in
the city they can be reached at the city phone number, 760-873-8458. Their
mailing address is the same as City Hall, 377 West Line Street, Bishop,
California 93514.
Inyo County and City of Bishop have appreciated the public’s patience
during the move to City Hall and appreciate patience as details of the
consolidation are worked through in coming months. Comments and
suggestions on building permitting and the consolidation are always
welcome by both agencies.

BRONCO BASKETBALL FEB 22

Broncos advance to CIF quarterfinals!

By Seth Conners

The Bishop Broncos varsity basketball team advanced to the CIF quarterfinals with a win over Delano’s Kennedy High on Wednesday night.  Final score…Bishop 60 … Kennedy 58.  They’ll now host Kingsburg on Friday, February 24th.  Tipoff for the game is at 7pm at Bishop’s Gus Klekas Gymnasium.  The Broncos are now 20-4 on the year.

BISHOP PARKING

The City of Bishop looks to improve parking in the downtown area.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Elaine Kabala from The City of Bishop, The City of Bishop will hold an open house from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Wednesday March 1st to review the draft parking plan update being considered for implementation by Bishop City Council. The open house will be in the executive conference room in City Hall, 377 West Line Street. Community members are invited to drop in anytime during these hours to learn about the proposed parking update, provide feedback on the proposed plan or offer other ideas on how to make downtown parking better. Anyone concerned about downtown Bishop should attend.

The proposed parking plan update was developed based on input received from the public at the community workshop held in 2015. The parking plan update focuses on downtown Bishop, including City owned parking lots, and proposes modifications to timed parking spots, generally extending parking limits from two hour parking to three hour parking. In addition, the draft parking plan also identifies spaces appropriate for RVs, provides more spaces to accommodate elderly and disabled residents requiring ADA spaces, consolidates public safety vehicle parking, and allows for efficient enforcement by the Bishop Police Department. The parking plan update also proposes new standards for the City owned lot located on Sierra Street.

The open house will have maps that show the current parking situation and proposed parking modifications, as well as informational and comment sheet for public input on proposed parking plan.

Public participation is important to make the most of this process and the open house on March 1st in City Hall will be one of the best chances to have your voice heard in the process. If you can’t make it to the open house, come by City Hall to see the maps and provide input. The proposed parking plan maps are also available on the City’s website at http://www.cityofbishop.com/BishopParking2017.pdf . Input is welcome by phone and email as well. The open house will be followed by another workshop with City Council before changes are implemented. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at 873-8458 or ekabala@cityofbishop.com for more information about parking in downtown Bishop.

 

GUIDE DOG

Local guide puppy headed to advanced training.

Posted by Seth Conners
According to a press release from Betsy Thomsen in Mammoth Lakes, Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy-in-training Fuller, raised in the Eastern Sierra by Mammoth Lakes resident Anne Parkes, will soon be taking the next step on his journey to become a Guide Dog.

Fuller has been recalled to the organization’s campus in San Rafael and will begin his formal guide work training in late February.

Fuller has lived with Parkes for the last 15 months, and has become a familiar sight in and around Mammoth and Bishop. The handsome yellow Labrador wearing the green “Puppy in Training” vest was socialized in many restaurants and retail establishments, community and sporting events by Parkes and other members of the local puppy raising club, Eastern Sierra Guide Puppies.

“Socializing the puppies is an important part of our job as puppy raisers,” said Parkes. “We expose the puppies to all kinds of environments and situations to prepare them for their future jobs as Guide Dogs.”

Puppy raisers also teach the dogs basic obedience, and attend meetings and outings with the puppy raising club. Guide Dogs for the Blind uses yellow and black Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Lab/Golden crosses as guides. The puppies are born at the Guide Dog kennels in San Rafael and placed in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers when they are 8 to 10 weeks old.

The pups are returned to Guide Dogs for formal training when they are 14-18 months old. Following the completion of the training, the dogs are matched with their visually impaired partner. The new person-dog team completes an intensive course culminating with a graduation ceremony at which the puppy raisers present the dog to the dog’s new visually impaired partner.

Fuller is the fourth puppy Anne Parkes has raised with Guide Dogs for the Blind.

For more information on raising a Guide Dog puppy, please contact club leader Betsy Thomsen at 760-920-8891 or Anne Parkes at 760-920-0762. More information on Guide Dogs for the Blind may be found at www.guidedogs.com.

 

MAMMOTH LAKES AWARD

Mammoth Lakes Tourism is receiving some much deserved recognition.

Posted by Seth Conners

Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (February 20, 2017) —According to Lara Kayler at MLT,  Mammoth Lakes Tourism (MLT) was recently awarded Best Destination Marketing Organization (in an area with under 25,000 population) by California Meetings +Events Magazine, during its annual Best of California competition.

California Meetings +Events Magazine is a quarterly publication targeting corporate groups. Each year, the magazine features the Best of Awards, where readers vote on 29 categories in the industry ranging from Best Golf Resort to Best Holiday Venue. Mammoth Lakes Tourism beat out Visit Laguna Beach and Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau for the honor.

“Mammoth Lakes Tourism is truly honored by this award that recognizes our efforts in event marketing over the years,” said MLT’s Executive Director John Urdi. “Mammoth Lakes has seen a tremendous pop in our event numbers over the past five summers and we are proud to be part of that success.”

MLT was recognized in the Best of 2016 feature article in the Winter 2017 issue of California Meetings + Events Magazine, which is published in print and online.

MAMMOTH ARREST

Mammoth PD makes an arrest in stolen vehicle and burglary cases.

Posted by Seth Conners

Mammoth Lakes, CA –According to Hannah DeGoey at Mammoth Lakes Police Department, Javier Apodaca Sanchez, 23, of Mammoth Lakes was arrested Saturday, February 18, 2017, in connection with multiple stolen vehicles and serial burglaries.   

A recent series of vehicle thefts and burglaries with similarities over a one-week period triggered an investigation by the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. On Saturday, February 18, 2017, officers observed one of the stolen vehicles and identified the suspect as Javier Apodaca Sanchez. A vehicle pursuit followed with Sanchez attempting to evade officers, which led to a foot pursuit and his subsequent arrest. Officers were able to identify and recover three vehicles and a large amount of property.

Sanchez was transported to the Mono County Jail and is being held on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property, and two counts of vehicle theft.

LOCAL BOOK SIGNING

HISTORY PROGRAM AND BOOK SIGNING AT THE EASTERN CALIFORNIA MUSEUM IN INDEPENDENCE

Posted by Seth Conners

“On Saturday February 25th, The Eastern California Museum in Independence will be hosting a history program and book signing event with local authors and Owens Valley residents David and Gayle Woodruff introducing their new Eastern Sierra history book; Tales Along El Camino Sierra. The Woodruffs have lived, worked and vacationed in the Eastern Sierra for over 50 years. They have compiled historical photographs and documents through extensive research, using a variety of educational and informational resources to publish their 3rd book on Eastern California history.
According to David Woodruff, El Camino Sierra was the name first given to the original Highway 395 in Inyo and Mono Counties. In 1910, intent on getting their share of the first state highway construction bond measure, members of the Inyo Good Roads Club coined the name El Camino Sierra as a marketing tool to help draw the attention of the state decision makers in Sacramento, to this lightly populated area of the state. Their tireless and effective promotional efforts even brought the first sitting governor of the State of California to the land of Inyo and Mono.
Three-ninety-five…this magical ribbon of blacktop has been taking people on a sentimental journey for over 100 years. Rarely does a roadway invoke such nostalgic memories as “The Mountain Highway”. Tales Along El Camino Sierra is a collection of little known stories involving people, places and events that have taken place over the years, in the beautiful lands of the Eastern Sierra. These engaging and often amusing narratives bring to life the area’s rich human history, that has not only helped shape the social and cultural fabric of this cherished region but has often created an enduring impact upon the human psyche as well.
The history program and book-signing event will be held on Saturday February 25th at the Eastern California Museum in Independence from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the book signing, the Woodruff will have on display ephemera, photos and memorabilia from their personal collection. Light refreshments will also be served. For more information you can call 760 878-0258.

 

NEW TOIYABE CLINIC LOCATION

Toiyabe moving to new Bishop clinic at 250 See Vee Lane

Posted by Seth Conners

Toiyabe Indian Health Project (TIHP) is pleased to announce completion of its new Bishop Clinic. Located at 250 See Vee Lane, the new clinic will house almost all of TIHP Bishop services under one roof. TIHP’s dialysis unit will stay in its current location at 44B Tu Su Lane, and will experience no disruptions in service.
Between February 13 and March 13, services will be moving to the new clinic. The following is the planned outline of when TIHP departments will be open for business at the new clinic: Dental on February 15; Family Services, Preventive Medicine, and Community Wellness on February 21; Optometry on February 27; Fiscal on March 1; Billing, including Purchased & Referred Care, on March 2; Administration and Public Health on March 6; and Medical, Pharmacy, and WIC on March 13.
“The new clinic will allow Toiyabe to expand our primary care services in a larger, beautiful, healing space,” said Nancy Fong, Family Nurse Practitioner and Medical Director at TIHP. “We are also looking to collaborate with regional specialists such as cardiology and nephrology to bring those services to a convenient location for our patients. We are excited to be bringing optometry to our clinic and hope to expand services to eventually include physical therapy and other specialty services.”
The new clinic will have 45% more examination rooms, allowing the necessary space for TIHP services to expand and grow. This will allow TIHP to be more efficient and effective in serving our patients and communities. Expansion of services will include optometry and cardiology. The larger facility will also offer a spacious waiting area, expanded dental and medical facilities, a larger and more accommodating pharmacy, and ample parking.
“The new clinic buildings allow us to expand services and better serve our patients and community,” said David Lent, TIHP CEO. “We will have a large meeting space for community gatherings, where we will be hosting our second annual Health Fair on Saturday, March 25. After all services are moved in, Phase 2 of the new facility will include a healing garden on the east side of the building, providing a place of soothing refuge for our patients, families, and staff. We would like to thank the United States Department of Agriculture for our long-term low interest loan; and the Bishop Paiute Tribe for the lease of the land we will now occupy.”
Staff members are working diligently to ensure that services are uninterrupted during the move. The public is asked to be patient and understanding of any unforeseen complications. The most up-to-date information can be found on Toiyabe’s website at www.toiyabe.us, or follow TIHP on Facebook for announcements and information. A grand opening celebration is being planned for later in the spring. For those with questions, please call the TIHP Administration department at 760-873-8464.

INYO COUNTY GRANTS

Inyo County approves grants to local non-profit groups for 2017

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Inyo County Museum Services Administrater Jon Klusmire, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors recently approved 10 grants to various local, non-profit community groups and organizations, for a total of $20,984.
The grant process is part of the county’s Community Project Sponsorship Program, which awards grants to projects and programs that will help promote the area to visitors, create events that attract local residents and visitors, or enhance the cultural life of residents. For 2017 the Board of Supervisors approved about 20 CPSP grants, with a total allocation of $95,000.
The board approved a new structure and process for the CPSP grants in the fall of 2016. In past years, all grant applications went through a competitive review and ranking process. In addition, the grant cycle was based on the county’s fiscal year, which meant each year a number of events, projects and programs were unable to apply for the CPSP grants due to the timing of the events.
Under the new system, programs and events that had received funds in nine of the past years were allocated funds without having to go through the competitive process. Those events included traditional fishing derbies and other well-known events and projects. Under the new formula, $35,000 was allocated to four fishing derbies and other longstanding fishing promotions, and $39,016 was allocated to other well-established projects and events.
That left $29,984 for the “competitive” grants for 2017.
Nine local non-profit groups submitted grant applications for 12 separate events or programs. The total requested was $57,785. A grant review panel made up of three residents scored each grant application and also worked collaboratively to award the total of $29,984 in available grant funding. The Board of Supervisors approved the grant award recommendations at its Feb. 14 meeting.
The following is a list of the projects, events and programs approved for CPSP grant awards in 2017.
Third Annual Owens Lake Bird Festival (Friends of the Inyo): This well-received event continues to highlight the birding and wildlife viewing opportunities on the Owens Dry Lake, which has become a notable, statewide birding destination. Grant Award: $3,000.
Death Valley ‘49er Encampment (Death Valley ‘49ers ): The ‘49er Encampment is a Death Valley tradition which began in 1949. This is the first year the group has sought CPSP grant funding. The grant funds will be used for expenses related to the event’s musical entertainment. Grant Award: $2,000.
Celebration of the Larry Pecham Engine House (Carson & Colorado Railway): Grant funds will be used for a community celebration to mark the completion of the Larry Pecham Engine House that will house the restored, operational Carson and Colorado #18 locomotive, on the grounds of the Eastern California Museum in Independence. The party is planned for July 3. This is the first CPSP grant awarded to the Carson and Colorado group. Grant Award: $2,500.
Music in the Courtyard (Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce): This popular event brings live music from local bands and musicians to Lone Pine on summer evenings, which is enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. Grant Award: $3,000.
Second Annual Eastern Sierra Music Festival (Eastern Sierra Music Festival): This will be the second year for this ambitious musical event, after a successful debut. After covering costs, funds will be donated to the National Wounded Warrior Center planned for Mammoth Lakes. This is the first CPSP grant for this event. Grant Award: $2,000.
Eastern Sierra Vintage Film Festival (Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau): This is a new event that will feature an assortment of historic films and videos and home movies from various individuals, groups and businesses in Inyo County. Grant Award: $3,000.
Inyo County FAM Tours (Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau): This project helps educate front-line hospitality employees about the numerous attractions and events in Inyo County so they can provide useful, up-to-date information to visitors. Grant Award: $1,000.
Amargosa/Highway 127 Visitor Guide (Amargosa Conservancy): This brochure will highlight the various attractions in Southern Inyo, including the Shoshone Museum, China Ranch, Tecopa Hot Springs and numerous natural attractions. This is the first CPSP grant for the Amargosa Conservancy. Grant Award: $1,000.
Movie Tours Development Program (Museum of Western Film History): This ongoing program will refine and standardize tours of movie sites in Lone Pine and Inyo County. The tours are also enhanced by supporting elements, such as video, photos, etc. Grant Award: $1,000.
Lone Pine Film Festival Buses (Museum of Western Film History): Grant funds will be used to help defray the cost of buses for one of the festival’s most popular components, the nearly 20 unique, two-hour long movie location tours led by enthusiastic volunteers. Grant Award: $2,484.