Community News

Starry Nights Arts Festival-Town of Tonopah August 26th beginning at 5pm.

“Coats For Kids Drive”-Kmart/Bishop Nursery

The 14th Annual “Coats For Kids Drive” sponsored by KIBS/KBOV and the Salvation Army is under way through December 17th. At our first live broadcast, December 2nd at the Bishop Kmart, we collected nearly 60 coats for distribution in Inyo and Mono Counties.

In addition, non-perishable food was donated during the 11th Annual “Stuff-A Bus Holiday Food Drive” sponsored in conjunction with Eastern Sierra Transit Authority.

Join KIBS’s Gary Young, Saturday December 9th 10am-12pm, at Bishop Nursery for our final Live Broadcast.  Donate a gently used or new coat and enter to win great prizes. No purchase is necessary!

Chris Flat Fire Update-US Forest Service

Bridgeport, CA., Nov. 15, 2017 – The Chris Fire is 20 percent contained and there was no new growth, so the fire size remains at 370 acres. Today, numerous fire crews are working hard to continue to keep fire growth minimal as a storm system moves through the area with high winds. Precipitation is also expected that could help with firefighting efforts.

The Chris Fire was started by a vehicle accident on U.S. Route 395 about five miles north of Sonora Junction near the Chris Flat Campground around 11:28 a.m. on Nov. 13. The fire burned west into National Forest System lands managed by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Bridgeport Ranger District.  According to fire officials, the Chris Fire did burn up to the boundary of the Bootleg Campground, but caused very little damage. The Chris Flat Campground was not affected by the fire.

Bridgeport District Ranger Jeremy Marshall wants to “thank” the traveling public for their patience when U.S. Route 395 was closed due to suppression activities and all the agency cooperators assisting with the incident.

These agencies include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Division of Forestry (Cal Fire), Nevada Division of Forestry, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Antelope Valley Fire Department, East Fork Fire Protection District, Carson City Fire Department, Sparks Fire Department, Mono County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Nevada Highway Patrol, California Department of Transportation, Nevada Department of Transportation.

Fire resources include 10 handcrews, 19 engines, one dozer, one water tender, two air attack and three helicopters. The total number of personnel is currently 250.

Christmas Tree Permits Available

Christmas trees permits will be available for sale starting Monday, November 20th at the White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop and at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes California.

The White Mountain Ranger Station will be selling trees for the BLM Bishop Field Office ($5.00), the BLM Tonopah Field Office ($4.00), and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest ($10.00 at the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) register). Tree sales will be Monday-Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (closed for lunch, closed federal holidays).

The Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center will sell trees for Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest for $10.00 at the ESIA register and will sell trees from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving).

Christmas tree permits can be purchased by cash or check and exact change is recommended.

The Christmas tree program is designed for families, businesses, and institutions wishing to cut their own trees for decorating. Christmas tree permits must be purchased in person and are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits are nonrefundable and nontransferable, and only valid through Dec. 25, 2017.

Each Christmas tree permit is valid for the cutting of one tree in specific areas managed. A map and cutting rules and regulations will be included with the permit. The permit does not authorize cutting on private, state, or other federal lands. Topping trees is not permitted: this leaves behind high tree stumps is visually undesirable. Please ensure that the maximum height of the stump left behind is no taller than six inches above bare soil with no live branches left on the stump. Also attach the Christmas tree permit securely to the tree so it is visible during transportation.


With improvement projects continuing to be completed and efforts to obtain necessary Federal certification ongoing, the Bishop Airport is closer than ever to being able to offer commercial air service for the Eastern Sierra.

Fresh off the heels of Phase II of its Passenger Traffic Study, which included both short- and long-term flight forecasts subsequently approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Inyo County Board of Supervisors earlier this month authorized the County’s longtime airport consultant to begin work on obtaining the certification needed to accept commercial aircraft at the Bishop facility.

According to Public Works Director Clint Quilter, Wadell Engineering Corporation will be developing a draft Part 139 Airport Certification Manual (ACM), which, after the promising results of the Phase II Passenger Traffic Study, felt like the next logical step for the County as it looks at commercial air travel from a regional perspective.
“Requirements for Part 139 operations are flexible with regard to scope and timing. The draft ACM will provide a starting point for discussions with both the FAA and the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) regarding these requirements,” Quilter said. “The County is enthusiastic about moving to this next step.”

Wadell has subcontracted with Ben Castellano and Art Kosatka, universally acknowledged experts in the field of airport compliance and security. Under Phase I of this effort, they will create the Airport Certification Manual, train airport personnel in Part 139 requirements, create an Airport Emergency Plan, and prepare an initial Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and security assessment. Phase II, which has yet to be approved, will entail finalizing certification and security plans and actions required for airline service.

In the meantime, the County will be wrapping up more improvements at the airport this fall. A $1.8 million project to rehabilitate the aircraft parking apron is about 50 percent complete, and comes on the heels of pavement crack repairs, pavement sealing and paint markings, and terminal area security fencing installation that were completed in March to the tune of $1.6 million.
Since 2013, when the County entered a Master Agreement for airport improvement project planning and engineering services with Wadell Engineering Corporation, $7.9 million worth of work has been done at the Bishop Airport.

Airports cannot accept commercial aircraft without Part 139 Certification, and the Bishop Airport has not had a Part 139 Certificate since the 1990s. Also required in order to accept commercial aircraft is a letter of interest from an airline, which Inyo County received from Allegiant Air earlier this year. In its February 2017 letter, the airline stated it has the resources to connect service with a 156-seat A319 two times a week, initially, from Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, LAX, and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, contingent on Bishop Airport meeting the airline’s needs as well as state and federal regulations.

The County is confident it can do both, and points to Allegiant Air’s initial interest as a good sign for the future of Bishop Airport and reliable commercial air service in the Eastern Sierra.
“Allegiant’s interest along with the results of the Phase II Passenger Traffic Study demonstrate that in addition to an ability to enhance reliability at Mammoth, there is an appetite for air service above and beyond that currently supplied,” Quilter said.

The FAA itself has supported the County’s efforts to improve the Bishop Airport with approximately $7.1 million in grant funding thus far to help cover the costs of the improvement projects. An informal review of the Bishop Airport by a regional FAA representative also informed the list of projects developed by the County’s consultant.
And while lighting fixes and runway repairs were found to be necessary, the facility overall has many attributes working in its favor, including significant acreage (895), lack of airspace constraints, minimal crosswinds/wind issues, wide runways (150 feet), long runways (7,500 feet), two federal NAVAIDS on site, three separate runways, unlimited runway lateral clearance and night use, no limit to runway directional use, and the ability to host aircraft as large as 757s, 737s, and 319s. The runways are also incredibly strong – stronger than even the County had previously thought.

According to Quilter, recent testing revealed runway strengths to be much stronger than the previously estimated strength of 240,000 pounds allowable for dual tandem aircraft (two sets of two wheels).
“In conjunction with design of the apron project, non-destructive testing was done on all of the airport pavement,” he said. “While these are substantial engineering documents, a key take away are the strengths of Runways 17/35 and 12/30. Runway 17/35 has a dual tandem allowable load of 408,000 pounds and Runway 12/30 has a dual tandem allowable load of 600,000 pounds. What this means is that Bishop Airport can easily accommodate some very big commercial aircraft.”

Residents of Inyo County have been vocal for many years about the Bishop Airport being developed for the purpose of economic development. The County and Board of Supervisors are committed to exploring the option of commercial air service at Bishop Airport – and working with neighboring jurisdictions to provide the best commercial air service possible, in terms of number of flights and reliability, on a regional level.

The Board believes great things will be coming to the Bishop Airport and is hopeful the entire Eastern Sierra will benefit as a result.

First West Nile Virus Illness Confirmed in Inyo County

Inyo County Health Officer, Dr. James Richardson, announced on September 6, 2017 that a human case of West Nile virus (WNV) acquired in Inyo County has been confirmed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and a second report of possible WNV is under investigation. This marks the first ever confirmed human case of WNV in Inyo County.

The individual, who very likely acquired the illness in the Bishop area, has recovered fully.

A majority of people who are bit by a WNV-infected mosquito will not experience any symptoms. However, about 20% will experience flu-like symptoms that last a few days and resolve on their own. A very small number- about 1 out of every 150 people who contract WNV- will develop a more serious neurologic illness that may lead to lasting neurological damage or death. Three WNV-related deaths have been reported statewide so far this year, according to the California West Nile virus website.

People 50 years of age and older, and individuals with diabetes or hypertension, have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately.

A record seven WNV positive mosquito samples have been collected in Inyo County so far this year. According to Rob Miller of the Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program (OVMAP), “West Nile virus was last detected in 2011, and in that year only one positive sample was found”. Extraordinary runoff conditions and associated water spreading activities by the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) this summer have led to an enormous increase in mosquito breeding habitat throughout the Owens Valley.

OVMAP appealed to the LADWP for their help in providing resources to conduct aerial mosquito control operations in order to manage mosquito sources that are inaccessible from the ground. LADWP agreed to provide these resources to help protect the residents and visitors to the Owens Valley, with aerial operations commencing on August 31 and ending September 1.

Nate Reade, Agricultural Commissioner for Inyo County, said he “praised LADWP’s offer to assist” and that resources provided by LADWP will “most certainly reduce the threat that mosquitoes pose to our towns in the Owens Valley”.

“While residents and visitors may begin to see a significant reduction in mosquito activity following aggressive mosquito control operations, it is still very important for individuals to continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites in order to avoid West Nile virus infection,” says Dr. Richardson. “We strongly recommend that you follow these steps to avoid mosquito bites:”

Use mosquito repellent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535. Some oil of Lemon eucalyptus and Para-Menthane-Diol products provide similar protection.

Avoid outdoor activities if possible during dawn and dusk. This is especially important during the first two hours following sunset, when species that spread West Nile Virus are actively biting. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
Wear long sleeves and pants. This provides additional protection when used in conjunction with insect repellent.

California’s West Nile virus website, includes the latest information on WNV activity in the state.


**Update* Wednesday September 6, 2017


On Wednesday September 6th at approximately 7:00pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at the residence of Allen “Ziggy” Stone to serve two active felony warrants. After confirming that Stone was in the residence a perimeter of the property was set with the assistance of the Bishop Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Mono County Sheriff’s Department. After about fifteen minutes of dialogue encouraging Stone to surrender peacefully, he was taken into custody without incident.


The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Allen “Ziggy” Stone. Stone is to be considered Armed and Dangerous.

On the evening of Sunday August 27th, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an armed robbery at a residence on West Line Street in Bishop. Deputies arrived and contacted the victim who reported Allen “Ziggy” Stone had just robbed him at gunpoint.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office has two active Felony Warrants for the arrest of Stone, and there is currently a $500.00 reward for information leading to Stone’s arrest. Stone is a 27 year old male, from Bishop; he is approximately 5’09”, 200 pounds. Stone’s hair is shaved, and has NUMU tattooed on the front of his neck.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Allen “Ziggy” Stone, please contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383 or (760) 878-0383. You can remain anonymous.

Bronco Varsity Football Victorious

Big Win For Bronco Varsity Football

The motto of this years Varsity football team is “Family”. The Family had each others backs Friday night in Yerington Nevada. The Bronco boys rolled to a 29-12 victory.

Luke McClean

Behind the arm and legs of Sophomore QB Luke McClean, who went 6 for 9 passing and ran for 79 yards on 12 attempts, the Bronco offense was clicking on the first game of the season.

Mike Molina
Molina scores, gets mauled by Tristan Valle.

Mike Molina is the new running back for the Broncos. and Molina took over the game with his efforts. He rushed for 108 yards with three touchdowns.

Wesley Pettet, first Varsity TD

Sophomore Wesley Pettet scored his first ever Varsity TD on Friday Night. Pettet shined on defense with 6 tackles against Yerington.

Bronco Defense in action
Nowhere to run for Yerington’s Sophomore QB Donavan Coplin.

The Bronco defense looked solid all game long.  Edward Piper and Hunter Beall led all tacklers with 9 each.

Parra getting ready to deliver some punishment.

Lorenzo Parra was strong on both sides of the ball.  Parra had 2 key receptions in the 4th quarter on offense which kept the Bronco offense on the field and kept the ball away from Yerington which had some momentum in the second half.

jayden Braithwaite caught 2 passes from McClean.
Pettet avoiding the tackle from Yerington star Steven Keats.

Led by head coach Arnie Palu, this Bronco “Family” shined under the Friday Night Lights in Yerington Nevada. Next up – Boron for the Home Opener Friday Night, September 8th in Bishop.

Photos by Gary Young photography

you can check out all of my photos from JV and Varsity at this link


Another West Nile Virus Sample Tests Positive in the Owens Valley

The Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program (OVMAP) confirmed today that another mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile virus. This sample was collected in an area outside of Bishop on August 15. This is the sixth positive sample detected in Inyo County during the 2017 mosquito season. Rob Miller of OVMAP stated that “West Nile virus finds can peak as late as mid-September in California, and it is possible we could find positive mosquitos into the fall”.

West Nile virus had not been detected in the Owens Valley in several years. An eradication effort in the area where the positive sample was obtained has already begun. High runoff conditions jump-started a very active mosquito breeding season this year, while creating many inaccessible areas of mosquito habitat. This has taxed OVMAP resources tremendously in 2017, resulting in a July 28 request by the mosquito control agency to the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) for assistance in managing mosquito populations in areas where LADWP has spread vast amounts of water. LADWP committed to helping the residents of the Owens Valley with this issue during the August 15 Inyo County Board of Supervisors Meeting.

About 20% of those who are bit by an infected mosquito will experience flu-like symptoms that last a few days and resolve on their own. Over-the-counter pain medications can help reduce fever and relieve some of the symptoms. About 1 out of every 150 people who contract West Nile virus will develop more serious neurologic illness. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms commonly associated with WNV.

With ongoing indications of West Nile virus carrying mosquitos in the Owens Valley, the public is encouraged to prevent mosquito bites by: Using mosquito repellent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535. Some oil of Lemon eucalyptus and Para-Menthane-Diol products provide similar protection.

Avoiding outdoor activities if possible during dawn and dusk. This is especially important during the first two hours following sunset, when species that spread West Nile virus are actively biting.
Wearing long sleeves and pants. This provides additional protection when used in conjunction with insect repellent

Please report mosquito problems to the Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program by calling: (760) 873-7853.

Statement by LADWP General Manager David H. Wright Regarding Eminent Domain Proceedings by Inyo County on Los Angeles-Owned Land Leased for Landfill Operations

August 15, 2017

On Tuesday, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors moved to proceed with the condemnation of City of Los Angeles land where Bishop-Sunland, Independence and Lone Pine landfills are located despite the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) willingness to sell the properties to the County. The Inyo County Board rejected LADWP’s input and moved to proceed with the condemnation action despite the legal deficiencies in the County’s eminent domain justification.

LADWP is currently leasing the three properties to Inyo County for landfill uses. Los Angeles asked the Inyo County Board to delay the condemnation process to further negotiate the sale. As part of the sale proposal, the City of Los Angeles will maintain water rights to the land, consistent with the Los Angeles City Charter, but continue providing water to Inyo County to operate the Bishop-Sunland landfill; Independence and Lone Pine’s water needs are provided by local water service connections.

As the landowner, LADWP has had particular concerns regarding the management of the Bishop-Sunland Landfill which is unlined, fails to meet current regulatory standards, and can negatively impact the watershed. Since 1993, Inyo County has received over 2,500 violations from the State of California for poor landfill operations. To help address these issues, lease terms for the landfill were written to protect the land and the watershed. Though Inyo County agreed to those terms, it now seeks to take control of the property through condemnation and operate the landfill under its own oversight.
LADWP maintains that the landfill must be operated with the appropriate measures to protect the land and the safety of the watershed. We will continue to protect the water and LA’s water rights regardless of the ownership of the land. As such, DWP intends to fully participate in Inyo County’s eminent domain proceedings, ensure proper appraisal of the land, and safeguard environmental and water protections through appropriate environmental documentation. They will also continue to pursue negotiations of the sale of the landfills.

As a much better long term solution, LADWP continues to urge Inyo County to consider the mutually beneficial solution of building a modern landfill that meets all current standards outside of the Owens River watershed. This will ensure that Inyo County has a well-operated waste disposal site, while continuing to safeguard public health, safety, and the environment

Picnic Fire-Mono Lake

The Picnic Fire, near Mono Lake on Picnic Ground Road (BLM jurisdiction), is holding at 2 acres today. Numerous crews and helicopters responded with aggressive suppression to this new start yesterday near the community of Lee Vining. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Lee Vining also experienced smoke impacts from the fires west of the community with the South Fork Fire in Yosemite being the primary source.  The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District issued a Level 2 Alert for the community.