Community News

Opportunities to Help

Contact information to help victims of Round Fire

Salvation Army Bishop, 760-872-2124.  The Salvation army in Bishop is open ready to help those displaced by the fire.  They can provide victims emergency shelter and they have access to clothing.  The Salvation army is accepting monetary donations for local disaster services.

Tri-County Fair Grounds. The patio building is accepting donations for those who lost homes in the round fire.  Clothing and basic essentials can be dropped off at the patio building.

Bishop Veterinary Hospital.  The Bishop vet is offering free animal boarding.  Call 760-873-5801.

Pampered Pooches.  Pet boarding is also available through pampered pooches.  760-872-7387.

photo by Gary Young Photography


Round Valley Fire

Fire claims several homes

1:30 pm Saturday, February 7th, Update
Cal Fire is now confirming that 39 structures have been lost as a result of the Round Fire.  The acreage total is listed at 7,000 with two injuries reported, both to firefighters.  One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation Friday night and one firefighter suffered a fall today during mop up.
A community meeting will be held tonight at 6pm at the Round Valley School.  Fire fighting officials will be on hand to brief the community on the fire fighting effort.

Victims who have been displaced by the fire can contact the Salvation Army.  760-872-2124.  The Salvation army can provide shelter and has access to clothing, food and other essentials.  They are also receiving tax deductible  donations to help those in need.

The preliminary count shows 20 homes have been lost in the community of Swall meadows and Paradise.  The fire broke out Friday afternoon near the Schober ranch in Round Valley, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.  High, erratic winds quickly grew the fire to over 7,000 acres.  Officials at Cal fire indicate that the total number of homes lost could climb once a better evaluation is conducted today.  “We anticipate that number to increase” says Cal fire spokesperson Liz Brown.

The tri-county fair grounds in Bishop is accepting donations for those who lost their homes in the fire. Clothing and basics will be accepted at the patio building beginning at 9:30.

Cal Fire is reporting injuries to one firefighter who suffered smoke inhalation battling the fire in swall meadows.

from cal fire…Significant rain stopped the forward rate of the fire around 2am. Downed power lines and venting propane tanks make re-entry for residents dangerous.

agencies on the fire include…Inyo USFS, Paradise Fire Dept., Inyo County Sheriff, Mono County Sheriff, CHP, LADWP, BSHOP Fire, Big Pine Fire, Independence Fire, Lone Pine Fire, Long Valley Fire, Wheeler Crest Fire, Edison and CDCR

round fire, bishop news, eastern sierra news







Bishop Warren St. Update

Bishop’s Warren St improvements continue

Update, Friday February 13th.
Warren Street Construction Update 5
Construction of the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project is in full swing with the center of activity moving north toward Academy Avenue. The first new sidewalk constructed for the
project is opened today and more is expected to open next week. Next week the contractor is expected to continue sidewalk
construction along the west side of Warren Street to Academy Avenue and the Bishop library. Depending on City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) power crews work in the area, sidewalk construction may also happen on the east side of Warren near Line Street.  Next week storm drain construction is expected to continue north along the east side of Warren Street across Academy Avenue to near Pine Street. Storm drain construction includes the placement of underground pipes and
inlets in intersections. Storm drain construction includes digging deep and wide trenches along and across streets.Construction on and near Warren Street in downtown Bishop causes inconvenience and delays. Drivers, riders, and pedestrians should be cautious, take alternate routes, and be patient. Construction of the project requires full street and intersection closures. Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and other hidden
hazards require attention, even when work is not underway. The contractor on the project normally works 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Thurs day and has Fridays off.
Remember your local businesses are open to serve you during regular business hours even when active construction activity is underway.  For more information contact City of Bishop Public Works at or 760-873-8458.
Public Works News Release
Warren Street Construction Update 4
The first concrete was poured this morning (Thursday, February 5th) for the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project. Concrete work is expected to run almost continuously on the
project from now into May. The new concrete is colored and has animal tracks stamped in it.  The first phase of the Warren Street Improvements project will construct continuous colored concrete sidewalks on Warren Street from Line to Pine Street. Sidewalks will
also be constructed on Church Street and on Academy Avenue between Main Street and Warren Street. In addition to the new sidewalks, the street will be repaved, storm drain will be constructed, street trees and decorative street lights will be added, and seating areas will be provided. The street lights will have provisions for hanging flower baskets and for banners during special events.
While concrete work has just started on the project, other work on the project, including storm drain, continues. Almost all of the storm drain work is completed on South Warren Street and now construction of the underground storm drain pipe will progress along the east side of North Warren Street to near Pine Street. Storm drain construction involves the construction of a new storm drain across Line Street. The construction across Line Street will require the full closure of West Line Street (Highway 168). The work is planned starting 9 pm Tuesday, 10 February, and continuing until about 6 am Wednesday, 11 February. Traffic will be detoured by way of South Fowler Street and West South Street during the night closure.
Construction on and near Warren Street in downtown Bishop impacts traffic in the area and causes inconvenience and delays. Drivers, riders, and pedestrians should be cautious, take alternate routes, and be patient. Construction of the project requires full

street and intersection closures. When a street is closed, don’t drive on it, even if it is only to go a little ways. The closures are usually necessary for worker or public safety.  Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and other hidden
hazards require attention, even when work is not underway. The contractor on the project normally works 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off.  Remember your local businesses are open to serve you during regular business hours
even during construction.  For more information contact City of Bishop Public Works at
or 760-873-8458.
city of bishop, bishop news, eastern sierra news, warren street improvement project

Mammoth encouraging water conservation

The MCWD Anticipates Need for Increased Conservation Efforts Amid Persistent Drought

While MCWD Customers Exceeded  Conservation Goals in 2014, Efforts will need to Continue as California’s Historic Drought Stresses Surface and Ground Water Supplies.

Mammoth Lakes, CA –Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) today announced the need for increased conservation awareness in 2015 as California’s drought persists into its fourth year. MCWD depends on the region’s snowpack to feed the District’s surface water supply and replenish groundwater aquifers. Unfortunately, the current snowpack water content is only 18 percent of normal conditions and it is not likely that the remaining two months of the precipitation season will make up the shortage.  These drought conditions dictate that MCWD  increase conservation efforts throughout 2015 to stretch the District’s limited water supply.  The February 19th MCWD board meeting includes an agenda item to consider raising water restrictions from Level 1 to Level 2.
“Our customers did a tremendous job reducing water use and investing in conservation measures in 2014, but with the continuing drought, we’ll all need to step up our efforts in 2015,” said Patrick Hayes, MCWD’s General Manager. “Although we’re only halfway through the precipitation months, and we may have a fantastic February or miracle March, we’re forecasting continued shortages.  I ask that customers take extra care not to waste water.  We need to work together to safeguard and stretch our limited water supplies as the drought continues in 2015.”
MCWD customers have been under Level 1 water shortage restrictions since the state’s drought began in 2012.  Customers responded positively to MCWD’s request last year for a 10 percent water use reduction, exceeding the District’s conservation goals by reducing water use by 15 percent when compared to 2013. MCWD’s 74 customers with irrigation meters went one step further, achieving an impressive 33 percent reduction in water use. Last fall, Snowcreek VI, The Town of Mammoth Lakes and Juniper Springs Lodge were recognized as Local Water Heroes for their outstanding effort to increase their irrigation efficiency. Overall, 124 million gallons of water were saved, enough to serve 850 four-person households for a year.
However, as the drought enters its fourth consecutive year and snowpack water content remains at historic lows, MCWD has no alternative other than to increase conservation. The surface and ground water supplies servicing the District’s customers are entirely local. While MCWD strives to maintain a reliable water supply for its customers, the amount of surface water produced from the Mammoth Lakes Basin is dependent upon snowmelt. This water has to be closely managed to keep recreation, fish habitats and riparian vegetation sustainable. Therefore, supply can become severely limited during droughts.
The District also has nine local groundwater production wells that act as an essential supply source when surface water is limited. Unfortunately, several of these wells are showing stress due to the extended drought. MCWD has depended heavily on groundwater sources during the current drought, which provided 68 percent of the water used in 2014. Unfortunately, low levels of snowpack mean that MCWD’s groundwater wells will be under further pressure in 2015.
“Our groundwater wells have been a crucial safety net as surface water supplies ran short during the drought, allowing us to continue to meet the supply needs of our region. However, with further water supply shortages on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that we focus on conservation,” added Hayes.
MCWD would like to encourage all customers to check for leaking fixtures indoors and out, keep pools and spas covered when not in use, limit shower times and only run full loads of dishes and clothes. As part of the effort to ensure water-use efficiency, the District also completed a replacement of the old main water distribution pipelines and is now replacing lateral lines. MCWD is also incentivizing customers to save water by offering a rebate program for indoor and outdoor water fixtures, providing free efficient shower-heads and actively engaging with irrigation customers to increase landscape irrigation efficiency.

More information on water conservation is available from the MCWD website,

mammoth news, eastern sierra news, mammoth community water district

Inyo National Forest Plans Burns

Inyo National Forest Continues Prescribed Fire Projects

The Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts of the Inyo National Forest are planning to continue several prescribed fire projects for habitat improvement and hazardous fuels reduction. Fire crews are taking advantage of recent precipitation that has provided safe and favorable burning conditions.

The Aqueduct Prescribed Fire is planned to begin either Thursday, February 5 or Friday, February 6; conditions permitting. It should take two days to complete. This 120-acre project in the Jeffrey pine forest is east of Highway 395 near Bald Mountain (northeast of Deadman Summit).

Smoke from this project will be visible from Highway 395, Highway 158, Highway 120 East, June Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, and the Bald Mountain Road.

If favorable conditions continue or if additional precipitation allows, fire crews will look to complete the 55-acre June Loop Prescribed Fire; also in Jeffrey pine forest. It is located one mile west of June Lake South Junction (the junction of Highway 395 & Highway 158 South) and one-quarter mile west of the Public Shooting Area on the north-side of the highway.

During burning operations, the shooting range will be closed for safety because of the proximity of the fire personnel and equipment to the range. This project provides critical fuels reduction for the community of June Lake that will help reduce the risk of higher intensity, more destructive fires that can occur during hotter and drier summer months.

Smoke from this project will be visible from Highway 395, Highway 158, Highway 120 East, June Mountain Ski Area, and the Town of June Lake. Residents of June Lake should expect smoke to settle in town, especially in the night and morning, when the smoke is held under the inversion layer.

Prescribed fires will be conducted when weather and fuel moisture conditions are within prescription to safely accomplish the project objectives. By prescribing the fire under optimum weather conditions, managers simulate the natural role of fire. This reduces forest competition, opens gaps in the forest canopy for sunlight to shine through, and recycles nutrients to the soil for re-growth. Fire was a frequent event in the Jeffrey pine forest, occurring naturally every 10-15 years.

All prescribed fire activities will be coordinated with Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District in accordance with air resource objectives.

Following the accumulation of snow from winter storms, pile burning will be conducted, and is expected to continue in the upcoming winter months.

eastern sierra news, mammoth news, inyo national forest

Measles Update

Inyo and Mono Measles update

Inyo and Mono counties public health officer Dr. Richard Johnson has issued the following information:

Current Situation
The latest data released on Monday, Feb 2, from this current outbreak of measles shows that there are 102 cases of laboratory confirmed cases in the US, with 92 of them in California. Ten counties have been affected, and most of the cases have been in Southern California, especially Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties. Six of the cases have been in infants less than 1 year of age, and 62% of the cases have been in persons older than 20 years of age, including a 70 year old. 39 of the cases visited Disney Theme Parks between Dec 17-20, 4 are employees of Disney, and for 29, there is no known source. Twenty of the cases occurred in persons who were household contacts of the initial cases, and there are now 3 cases transmitted in community settings – all 3 in Emergency Departments. Most cases are occurring in person who are un or under-vaccinated. There is no evidence of sustained transmission at the Disney parks, so visiting there is not considered risky.

What is measles?
Measles is an acute infection caused by the measles virus. Before the vaccinations became available in 1963, there were about 3-4 million cases each year in the USA, with 500 deaths, 48,000 hospitalizations, and 4,000 cases of brain inflammation. Although it is still common in most of the world, with an estimated 20 million cases and 122,000 deaths annually, it was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000. In 2004, there were only 37 cases reported, almost all related to US residents traveling overseas, or foreign visitors bringing it into the US. And then there was last year, and now 2015 looks to be worse.  Sure, someone most likely brought it from overseas into Disneyland, but that would have been the end of it had that person only had contact with a population that was adequately vaccinated. When measles gets into crowded places and communities of unvaccinated people in the US (such as people who refuse vaccines for religious, philosophical, or personal reasons), outbreaks are more likely to occur. These communities make it difficult to control the spread of disease and make us vulnerable to having the virus re-establish itself in our country again. That’s what we are now afraid is happening.
High measles vaccine coverage and rapid public health response are critical for preventing and controlling measles cases and outbreaks. The economic cost is huge. It is estimated that the investigations following only 107 cases in 2011 cost local and state tax payers $5.3 million – and in 2014, there were 644 cases!

What is the incubation period (time between exposure and getting sick)?
Once exposed, persons may get sick up to 2 days later, but will usually get sick after 8-12 days.
How is it spread?
Measles is one of, if not the most highly contagious disease on the planet. It is typically spread through droplets which survive and remain suspended in the air for two hours. It can therefore be “caught” long after the infected person has left the room.
When is someone contagious?
Persons are contagious for about 24 hours PRIOR to the onset of the prodrome, and 4 days BEFORE they develop a rash, until 4 days after the onset of rash.
What are the symptoms?
Persons initially have what is called a “prodrome” phase before any rash, which consist of fever (up to 105F), malaise/fatigue, a cough (which goes on for 10 days), stuffy/runny nose (coryza), and inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) making them very sensitive to bright light. They may also have white spots on a red base inside their cheeks or on the roof of their mouth (called Koplik spots).
Two to four days later, a rash develops, which is red and blotchy (maculopapular), typically beginning on the head (hairline and behind ears), and then extending down the body to the legs, including the palms and the soles of the feet. The rash may last for a week. Persons who are immuno-compromised may not have a rash.

What are the complications?
Complications are frequent, and include:
Middle ear infections (otitis media)
Bronchopneumonia (common cause of hospitalization)
Laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis
Diarrhea and dehydration (a frequent killer in the 3rd world)
Death (one in 1,000 cases)
Acute brain inflammation (encephalitis)
Behavioral and intellectual deterioration and seizures 7-10 years later (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis – SSPE)

What are the facts about the vaccine?
The measles vaccine, commonly known as the MMR for measles, mumps, and rubella, is one of the most highly studied and safest vaccines ever developed. Measles vaccines have been used in the US since 1963. Since 2 doses were recommened starting in 1989, the number of cases has plummetted, with effectiveness at 97-99% in preventing disease among those who have had the 2 doses.
A study by Andrew Wakefield is credited with causing fear of the vaccine among tightly knit clusters of parents in high income areas, who believe that autism is caused by the vaccine. Although thoroughly discredited, the effect of this study lingers such that there are pockets in California where the vaccination rate is less than that in some of the poorest countries in Africa.

What should you do?
Most adults do not need to do anything. If you were born before 1957, it is presumed that you actually had measles, are are currently protected. If you were born after 1957, check your vaccine records. If you had a single vaccine, you are OK. If you are traveling overseas, a booster may be recommended – check with your healthcare provider or the Health Department for recommendations.
If you are <18 years of age, you should have had 2 measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) shots, and there is a 99% chance that you are protected. Infants receive the first dose at age 12-15 months, and the second at age 4-6 years.
If your child is not adequately immunized, I encourage you to discuss their status with your healthcare provider, and consider getting them fully immunized.
What will we do if there is a suspect case in our community?
If we have a suspect case of measles in our community, be assured we will take appropriate action to protect the community at large. This includes those who are most vulnerable in our community, such as infants too young to be vaccinated, and those who are immune-compromised and at risk for severe illness, complications, and death. Anyone who is un or under-vaccinated will be excluded from work, childcare, or school for the 21 days after the last possible exposure if the case is confirmed, in order to prevent secondary spread in our community.

inyo county news, mono county news, bishop news, measles

Singers Wanted!

Community Choir is Recruiting Singers

The Eastern Sierra Community Choir is welcoming new members as they prepare for the Spring Concert with director Chris Lanane. Music lovers of all ages are encouraged to join the choir for rehearsals in Mammoth Lakes and Bishop leading up to the concerts in May.
The Spring Concert will celebrate American composers and American choral music. Some selections include: “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor;” “Shenandoah;” “Elijah Rock;” and “Poor Man Lazarus” as well as a Moses Hogan piece entitled “Hear My Prayer” which is a tribute to Jester Hairston.
New members need not have previous choral singing experience. Enthusiasm and willingness to learn is recommended. Contact Chris Lanane for more information at or call 760 920-2520.
eastern sierra news, bishop news, mammoth news

3.0 Quake Rattles Wilkerson

USGS confirms a 3.0 quake Tuesday

A recent swarm of minor earthquakes in the Reno area has jolted our news departments memory of one of our favorite stories of 2015.  Back on February 3rd the greater Wilkerson metroplex  was buzzing after a minor quake.  The always level headed “Mayor” of Wilkerson calmed everyone by proclaiming, “We will rebuild”.  That became the battle cry for the next 10 to 15 minutes as the trash cans and chairs were restored to their former glory.

By Arnie Palu

The US Geological Survey is confirming a 3.0 quake struck just minutes after 8am Tuesday.  The magnitude 3.0 quake struck at precisely 8:13am Tuesday and was located 6 miles south of Bishop.  Several residents in the Wilkerson neighborhood reported feeling the minor quake.  Residents reported feeling and hearing “one solid jolt” just after 8am.  Wilkerson resident and unofficial “mayor” of Wilkerson Todd Lembke was not at home during the tremor but did confirm that neighbors reported feeling the minor earthquake.  No damage has been reported.

“Mayor” Lembke
Wilkerson "quake damage"
Wilkerson “quake damage”
bishop news, eastern sierra news, mayor todd lembke, mayor of wilkerson

Alabama Hills Meeting

Alabama Hills Stewardship Group

– Public Meeting Announcement

The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, Inc. (a 501c3 non-profit organization), and the Bureau of Land Management’s – Bishop Field Office will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015; regarding the future management of the Alabama Hills.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and take place at the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Reservation – Community Center located at 975 Teya Road, in Lone Pine.  Turn east off Hwy. 395 on Teya Road (where Best Western / Frontier Motel is located) and travel 0.4 mile to the Community Center.
“The purpose of this meeting is to discuss ongoing stewardship actions in the Alabama Hills for 2015 and beyond” said Chris Langley, President of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group.
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group – Board of Directors and our BLM partners would like to solicit additional community input on two important subjects: Development of a master map (print and electronic) for finding key access and recreation information for the Alabama Hills Development on a new interpretive/educational plan for the area.  Draft proposals have been prepared based on public input from an initial meeting last November and additional feedback is now needed to finalize this new map and interpretive plan.
Anyone interested in providing input on these important subjects and learning more about the Alabama Hills; or volunteering their time to help with various projects in support of this incredible landscape, should plan to attend


lone pine news, eastern sierra news, alabama hills

Money Available for Downtown Bishop

New effort Targets Downtown Bishop Storefronts

From the Bishop Chamber of Commerce:  The Bishop Chamber of Commerce has heard from citizens, visitors, business & property owners that some downtown Bishop buildings might benefit from a little “sprucing up.”  They’ve also heard that money for capital improvements is often hard to come by and that’s why the Bishop Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce this new project!

Thanks to a generous anonymous local sponsor, the chamber is offering a grant program to pay for upgrades for downtown Bishop storefronts.

The Bishop Building Improvement Program (BBIP) will provide funds through a simple grant application process.  For the current 2014/2015 cycle, BBIP will allocate $7,500 to fund projects that may include paint, lighting, new canopies or awnings, signs or other cosmetic upgrades and repairs to buildings within the downtown Bishop commercial district.

Approved projects may be funded entirely or may be used with matching funds. Eligible applicants may be property owners or business tenants, with owner’s approval, located within the historic core of downtown Bishop.

Details about the program and application materials are now available on the chamber’s website Hard copies may be picked up at the Bishop Chamber Office – 690 N. Main and at Bishop City Hall – 377 W. Line Street.

For more information, contact the Bishop Chamber (760)873-8405

bishop news, bishop chamber of commerce, eastern sierra news