Community News

MAMMOTH WATER TREATMENT PLANT

District employees and CCC dig The Lake Mary Water Treatment plant from the snow.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Betty Hylton at MCWD, last week, after continuous monitoring of the snow load on the water treatment plant, all available District personnel were requested to assist in removing snow from the Lake Mary Treatment Plant roof. The effort continued an additional three days with help from the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and an industrial-sized snow blower from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA).
“The building survived the winter of 1983, and was not showing major signs of stress; however, the District likes to be proactive rather than reactive. The Lake Mary Treatment Plant is nearly 40 years old and has a flat roof. There was 8 feet of visible snow on the edges and even more in the center,” said Nick Holt, District Assistant Engineer. Any interruptions in surface water treatment because of snow damage would be unfortunate while ample surface water is available for use and while our aquifer could still benefit from the opportunity to recharge.
The effort and resources required to lighten the snow load were significant. Twenty-four people helped in the removal effort, 12 from the District and 12 from the CCC. “We utilized two of our snow blowers, plus a larger blower borrowed from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to help remove snow,” said Rob Motley, District Plant Maintenance and Electrical Supervisor, who was on the roof all four days and initiated the shoveling efforts. “To transport people to shovel, it took three snowmobiles and a snow cat which made over 26 trips,” Motley added.
The District relies on surface and groundwater resources to meet Mammoth Lakes’ potable water demand. Although surface water is expected to be abundant, use can be limited by infrastructure capacities and legal restrictions. The District Board of Directors will be evaluating whether the groundwater aquifer recharge is sufficient to decrease current water restrictions during the April 20th Board meeting.

 

 

MAMMOTH COMMUNITY HOUSING

Mammoth Lakes set to address housing shortage.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Stuart Brown in Mammoth Lakes, a kick-off meeting for the Town of Mammoth Lakes Community Housing Action Plan: Live, Work, Thrive will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 beginning at 2:00pm in the Town/County Conference Room located at 437 Old Mammoth Road (Minaret Village Shopping Center) above Giovanni’s Restaurant. If you are interested in or are impacted by the workforce housing shortage in our community, please consider attending this kick-off meeting.

Mammoth Lakes Housing, in collaboration with Mammoth Mountain Ski Area have procured WSW Consulting to update the Town of Mammoth Lakes’ Housing Needs Assessment (2011) and develop a Community Housing Action Plan. The data collection component of this study will: identify and quantify workforce housing needs; evaluate the existing housing program accomplishments and available resources, opportunities and constraints to producing affordable housing; inventory the type and ownership of homes by zone and short-term rental inventory by zone; assess the impact of short-term rentals based on available information; and provide conclusions and recommendations.

The Community Housing Action Plan will utilize the compiled data to help the community identify housing goals and priorities, prioritize housing strategies, understand financing needs, assign responsibilities to carry out the housing plan, and identify a general timeline for achievement. This component will involve the public and “roll up your sleeves” work from the Housing Working Group.

For questions or additional information, please contact Jennifer or Patricia from Mammoth Lakes Housing at (760) 934-4740.

 

NEW SURVEY INFORMATION

New statewide survey shows Inyo County stores making progress in some health related areas.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to the Inyo County Health and Human Services Division, new research shows that our region is ahead of the state in increasing healthy options in stores by some measures. For example, over two-thirds of stores in Inyo and Mono Counties offer fresh fruits and vegetables. However, the percent of stores in Inyo and Mono that sell flavored little cigars, cigarillos, e-cigarettes, and chewing tobacco, in flavors like pineapple, grape, peach, and bubblegum, remains high in Inyo and has more than doubled in Mono County in the past three years. These findings are part of new research released today on the availability and marketing of tobacco products, alcohol, condoms and healthy and unhealthy food options in California stores that sell tobacco.

Today, throughout California, health advocates held 13 press events to release results of the scientific survey, which is the largest its kind. It builds upon an initial research released three years ago in March 2014 and provides insights into changes in the availability and marketing of the studied products during this time. Information was collected in the summer of 2016 from more than 7,100 stores in all 58 California counties including pharmacies, supermarkets, delis, convenience and liquor stores as well as tobacco-only stores. Data collectors in Inyo and Mono surveyed all stores that sell tobacco for a comprehensive sample.

“Overall, it is encouraging to see improvements in the availability and accessibility of healthy products in our region,” said Jean Turner, Director of Inyo County Health & Human Services. “Stores play a critical role in our community’s health, and we look forward to continuing to work together for positive change.”

“Flavored tobacco is one product we would like to see the stores consider getting rid of. It would be great if they could assess what they are selling and get rid of the variety of choices that include kid-friendly flavors. Just don’t sell it,” recommended Mono County Health Officer and pediatrician, Richard Johnson.
Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community is a statewide campaign formed by tobacco prevention, nutrition, alcohol abuse prevention and STD prevention partners collaborating to improve the health of Californians by informing them about the impact of unhealthy product availability and marketing in the retail environment.

For state and county-specific data and more information on Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community, please visit www.healthystoreshealthycommunity.com.

BETTY CAMERON

Betty Cameron, Bishop Ca.
Betty, age 76, succumbed Thursday March 2, 2017 from injuries caused by Monday afternoon’s car accident. She was surrounded by her loving family in Reno’s Renown Hospital when she took her final breath.
Betty loved living in the beautiful Eastern Sierra’s, and was an avid watercolor painter. She also loved the local theater productions and traveling. She visited her son in Thailand and just came back from an African Safari with her daughter.
Betty grew up in Estes Park Colorado and met Val when she was in 2nd grade. They were married 50 years before he succumbed to Cancer in 2008. Betty retired after 38 years of teaching and being a school administrator in Los Angeles, moving in 2000 to Bishop to share in the lives of daughter Xandra and her husband Patrick Maddock along with young grandsons Terren and Rusty.
Betty was an active member of Eastern Star, Athena, The Bishop Mural Society, The Imagination Lab, and Bishop Senior Center-wrapping Christmas gifts for many years. She also volunteered at the Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care helping and transporting birds to new homes. Betty loved the birds and talked endlessly about her days there. Betty is survived by her older siblings Bill Bennett and Jean Swearingen, children Xandra Maddock (and husband Patrick) and Chad Cameron, grandsons Terren and Rusty, “adopted” granddaughter Sylvia Ramirez, and puppy dog Rowdy.
There will be a “Tea Party” gathering in her honor at her house on Sunday March 12th, Noon – 4. Colorful attire, and attitude will be most welcomed.
Her family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to the Eastern Sierra Wildlife Center.

STEPHEN RICHARD CARLSGAARD

STEPHEN “STEVE” RICHARD CARLSGAARD 1945 – 2017

Steve passed away peacefully but suddenly at home in his beloved Bishop, CA. where he has been for the last 20+ years. He was able to live out his DREAM of reading & studying the Bible, writing, fishing, hiking, biking, photography, bird watching, nature (rain or shine) in the High Sierra’s. Bishop, Tom’s Place and the Rock Creek area is where he enjoyed many early years of family vacations, he was so happy to be able to retire in Bishop and never wanted to leave. Happy to just stay put!

Steve is the son of his parents Theodore Henry Carlsgaard and Patricia Ann Hall. He was raised in Long Beach, CA, attending & graduating from Jordan High School in 1963.

He was a hard worker in the transportation industry, and retired a Teamster in Good Standing. Unfortunately, his lower back took such a toll with the years of heavy lifting it did make even walking hard on him in his later years.

Survived by is his ‘beautiful’ daughter Kimberly Sue Ann Carlsgaard from Escondido, CA, where they spoke often the phone. Sue Ann will greatly miss hearing about his excursions around the High Sierra’s. He will be also missed by his two ‘lovely & caring’ sister’s on the East Coast; Caryn L. Colvill of Culpeper, VA and Candy McDonald of Greensboro, NC; along with many nieces and nephews.

Steve had such a unique wit and loved a good joke and story; and was very people oriented, Christ centered and made many friends in Bishop and will be greatly missed by his loving family and devoted friends.

YOSEMITE DEATH

Woman struck by falling tree dies in Yosemite National Park.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Scott Gediman in Yosemite, a woman was struck and killed by a falling tree in Yosemite National Park on Sunday morning March 5, 2017,  The tragic accident occurred in Half Dome Village, in Yosemite Valley, at around 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning, amid heavy snow and high winds.
Destiny Rose Texeira Borges, 20, from Ceres, California was in the park working for a company contracted by the park concessioner.
Half Dome Village, formerly Curry Village, is an area that has tent cabins and  wooden cabins that are utilized by park visitors and park employees. The area was closed yesterday after the incident , but reopened to visitors this morning.
No further details regarding the incident are available at this time.

CARBON MONOXIDE

Warning issued by Mono County Sheriff in regards to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Mono Sheriff Ingrid Braun, The Inyo County Coroner’s Office and the Mono County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office would like to remind both residents and visitors of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from sitting within their running vehicles.
We tend to think of carbon monoxide poisoning in relation to residences and buildings with blocked or inefficient heater or water heater vents and similar circumstances. However, the danger presented by automobiles is very real. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can make a person feel extremely sick, and if not adequately ventilated for fresh air to enter the cabin of the vehicle, can lead to death.
During this period of inclement winter weather (and at all times), we would like to remind residents and visitors of the dangers of sleeping or sitting in a running vehicle. Snow piled up around a running vehicle can increase the risk of the buildup of carbon monoxide within the cabin of the vehicle. When very cold temperatures are experienced in the Eastern Sierra, those colder temperatures are often times accompanied by little to no outside air movement which can allow for the buildup of carbon monoxide within the cabin of the vehicle. The smell of exhaust fumes will not necessarily be detected, whether or not the occupants in the vehicle are awake.
During these times of weather extremes, it can be very tempting to leave the vehicle running for the warmth provided by the vehicle’s heater. The Inyo County Coroner’s Office and Mono County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office wants you to remain safe as you work and enjoy this winter season, and that you don’t become a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning from your vehicle.

OHV GRANT APPLICATIONS

USFS and BLM 2017 OHV Grant Applications are now available for public comment.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Deb Schweizer, The Inyo National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office (BLM) have submitted to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) preliminary applications for grant funds to enhance and manage motorized recreation. The agencies invite public comments on the preliminary grant applications.
These and all other applicants’ grant requests, as well as detailed instructions about the process and how to comment, can be viewed on the OHMVR website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/. Comments should be submitted directly through the division website and sent to the responsible agency anytime from March 7 to April 3, 2017.
The agencies also invite the public to come out to an informal open house happening from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, at the U.S. Forest Service/BLM office, located behind the Department of Motor Vehicles, at 351 Pacu Lane in Bishop. Copies of the preliminary applications will be available at the open house. The public can come by at any time during the open house to review and discuss the grant applications.
Representatives from the two agencies, the Inyo County Public Works Department and others who are submitting grants for activities on USFS and BLM lands, will be on site to answer questions and receive or facilitate comments on changes, concerns and support for final grant applications, which will be submitted before May 1, 2017.

YOSEMITE ROADS

Yosemite National Park working to repair Big Oak Flat Road.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Jamie Richards from Yosemite, Yosemite National Park is moving forward with repairs to the damaged Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West) leading to Yosemite Valley. Severe storms have impacted the road and it continues to be unsafe for vehicular travel, and has been closed since late February. The Federal Highways Administration has selected a contractor to repair the road. Work is expected to begin next week.

Significant rain and snow this winter has saturated the soils, resulting in movement under the road bed. This soil movement has caused a large fissure to form in the roadway that has resulted in both lanes of traffic being unsafe for vehicles. Soils under the road continue to move, causing further damage. Over 100 feet of road, near the Big Meadow Overlook, has been impacted by this fissure. There is no estimated date for the road to reopen.

“We fully understand that this is a major impact to park visitors and businesses along the highway corridor,” stated Yosemite National Park Acting Superintendent Woody Smeck. “We are working as quickly as we can to get the road reopened safely.”

Visitors are still able to visit Yosemite National Park via the Big Oak Flat entrance. Crane Flat and the Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias are accessible and open. The park has waived the entrance fee for visitors entering the park via Highway 120.     

The Wawona Road (Highway 41) is currently open within Yosemite National Park. However, visitors traveling to the park from the south will not be able to access Yosemite National Park, on Highway 41, due to road damage on the highway in Fish Camp, just south of the park’s entrance. Caltrans is working on road repairs. Please check with Caltrans for current road conditions. http://www.dot.ca. gov/

Highway 140 (El Portal Road) remains open and clear for all vehicular traffic and is the only access to Yosemite Valley, the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, and Wawona. Visitors traveling on this road are urged to drive slowly and be aware of rocks and debris on the road.

For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 and press 1.

TOWN HALL MEETING

Bishop’s second annual Town Hall Meeting is coming up this month.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Elaine Kabala The Bishop City Council will host the Second Annual Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 starting at 5:30p.m. in the Tallman Pavilion located on the grounds of the Tri-County Fair.

The Second Annual Town Hall meeting is intended to follow-up on last year’s inaugural Town Hall meeting, which focused on expanding the dialog between the local business community and City Hall regarding the challenges of operating a small business in the Bishop area.

Over 100 interested business owners and residents attended the 2016 Town Hall meeting to voice concerns, provide input, and offer suggestions on strategies City Hall can pursue to improve the business climate in Bishop for entrepreneurs and local businesses.  Suggestions voiced by participants included making Bishop a year round destination, parking issues, expansion of Digital 395, downtown improvements, and investments in tourism infrastructure, such as trailhead shuttles.

This year’s Town Hall meeting is themed Your City: Working to Support Bishop Businesses.  Similar to the 2016 Town Hall meeting, all business owners and concerned residents are invited to come meet with local officials and provide input on strategies the City can undertake to support local businesses.  This year will also feature presentations from a panel of local agency leaders to provide updates on the progress that has been made to address the public’s suggestions from 2016 and upcoming projects.

The panel will include Tawni Thomson from the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Brent Green of Caltrans, Clint Quilter of Inyo County Public Works, and John Helm of Eastern Sierra Transit Authority.  City Council and staff will also be available to discuss projects being worked on by the City to support businesses in Bishop.  The discussion will be moderated by City Administrator Jim Tatum.

Participation is encouraged by all those interested in enhancing entrepreneurial opportunities region-wide, not limited to those either doing business or residing within the city limits of Bishop.

Although not required, RSVPs to ekabala@cityofbishop.com or 760-873-8458 would be greatly appreciated.  Questions regarding the Town Hall meeting may be directed to the same contact.