Community News

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.

 

NIHD HEALTHY LIFESTYLE TALK

Mummies and your heart health

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Barbara Laughon at NIHD, cardiologist Christopher Rowan, MD, will be the guest speaker at this week’s Healthy Lifestyle Talk, presented by Northern Inyo Healthcare District in partnership with Renown Health of Reno, Nevada.
The talk is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. at NIHD’s Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St., Bishop. Dr. Rowan’s topic will be “4,000 years of Cardiovascular Disease: How the study of mummies has change the way we think about our health.”
During his vacation weeks, Dr. Rowan is part of the Horus research team that travels around the world studying heart disease in mummies. To date the team has examined mummies in South America, Egypt, Europe, Greenland and Alaska, and is planning additional research trips to Italy and Chile this year.
Dr. Rowan specializes in Clinical Cardiology and is board-certified in Echocardiography. As part of Renown Health’s Institute for Heart and Vascular Health, he sees patients in Bishop at Dr. Nickoline Hathaway’s office on the NIHD campus.

The NIHD Healthy Lifestyle Talks are free and open to the public.

MANZANAR ART SHOW

THE FIRST OF THREE MANZANAR ART SHOWS WILL TAKE PLACE February 18th.

Posted by Seth Conners

 

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the US Army to exclude “any and all persons” from designated areas. While the order did not name a specific group, the Army forcibly removed and incarcerated all Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants in California, western Oregon and Washington, and southern Arizona. The government incarcerated more than 11,000 of these men, women, and children in Manzanar. In 1992, after decades of grass-roots efforts by Japanese Americans and others, Congress established Manzanar National Historic Site. Since then, the National Park Service (NPS) has worked with scores of stakeholders to preserve and interpret Manzanar and its stories.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and the 25th anniversary of Manzanar National Historic Site. In recognition of these significant milestones, Manzanar National Historic Site is hosting three special art shows this spring.

The first of the three, artist Michi Takemoto’s show opens February 18, featuring a series of watercolors she painted from historic photographs, including many taken 75 years ago. Her parents and two-year-old brother were incarcerated at Tule Lake in Northern California before being transferred to Topaz, Utah, where Michi was born. Her family eventually resettled in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Takemoto spent her 30-year career as a psychotherapist in Redding, California. She will be available Saturday, February 18, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., to meet with visitors and share her work. Manzanar History Association will offer light refreshments. The show will run through late March.

For those unable to experience the shows in person, the artist’s works are featured online.

 

Michi Takemoto:   http://www.michitakemoto.com/series-inner

The exhibits will be featured in the Manzanar Visitor Center, open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is free. The visitor center also features extensive permanent exhibits and a 22-minute introductory film, Remembering Manzanar. Nearby, a World War II-era mess hall and two reconstructed barracks interpret the challenges of daily life. An auto tour road circles the site, highlighting Japanese gardens, historic orchards, the cemetery, and more.

Manzanar is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, California. For more information, please call 760-878-2194 ext. 3310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/manz or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ManzanarNationalHistoricSite.

 

 

MAMMOTH LAKES SHELTER

Shelter set up in Mammoth to assist locals effected by heavy winter.

Posted by Seth Conners

In response to the structural damage occurring to some residences in the Mammoth Lakes area, American Red Cross Los Angeles Region disaster workers have opened a shelter at the Mammoth High School (365 Sierra Park Road).

According to Stuart Brown in Mammoth Lakes the shelter supports the immediate needs of those affected, including a safe place to stay, food, water, and access to health services, emotional support and other recovery resources. Impacted residents are welcome to stop by during the day even if they choose to spend the night elsewhere.

For additional information about the shelter, please contact Kathryn Peterson, Social Services Director – Mono County Department of Social Services at (760) 924-1763 or via email at
kpeterson@mono.ca.gov.

MAJOR ROCKFALL

Mount Whitney Spring opening may be delayed.

Posted by Seth Conners

Substantial snowfall from an atmospheric river event in mid-January has led to a major rock fall on Whitney Portal Road, causing significant damage to an approximately 100-foot stretch of road. This damage may delay the re-opening of the road this spring.

Initial assessments by Inyo County, Cal Trans, and Inyo National Forest indicate that there will be approximately two months of work that include blasting and clearing the rock, and stabilizing and re-building the road bed. Road construction will not begin until after the permitting process is complete.

The road is currently gated just above Hogback Road on Whitney Portal Road to prevent vehicle entrance; however, foot traffic past the gate is not recommended due to the hazardous and potentially unstable conditions surrounding the rock fall.

For now, the area remains under snow and there is no clear estimate of when the removal operations will begin. Continued winter storms as well as the concerns for the stability of the slide area during the spring freeze/thaw cycle make it difficult to predict when this work can safely begin.

The Whitney Portal Road often opens by May 1st, conditions permitting, and that is also the beginning of the Mt. Whitney Lottery for day and overnight hikes. Every effort will be made by all parties involved to have the road open by this date.

While the road is under construction, access to Mt. Whitney is via the Whitney Portal National Recreation Trail (NRT) or from other trailheads such as Kearsarge Pass or Cottonwood Pass. The NRT will close for public safety when blasting is underway.

This winter has brought substantial snow to the Sierra Nevada. Snow should be expected along the trail through early summer and hikers will be required to have technical skill and equipment to access Mt. Whitney in the early season.

MAMMOTH LOCAL EMERGENCY

Property owners in Mammoth cans seek assistance with property damage costs.

Posted by Seth Conners

The Town is collating flood or snow damage from the weather related events that began on January 7, 2017 to residential property or business owners in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. If your property experienced physical damage or your business suffered substantial economic losses, please contact the Town directly at (760) 965-3632. Please be prepared to leave a short, concise message. Your call will be returned in a timely manner. Based on the level of property damage or economic loss, the Town may recommend you complete a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) survey document in order to assess the level of assistance.

With the ratification by Town Council on February 1, 2017 regarding the existence of a local emergency declared by the Town Manager by proclamation on January 30, 2017, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may provide financial assistance to eligible property owners or businesses if all criteria are met. SBA provides two programs. The first is the Economic Injury Disaster Declaration and the second is a Physical Disaster Declaration. Criteria for both declarations must be met before financial assistance will be considered.

The completion of the worksheet or survey is not an application for assistance. The purpose of the survey documents are to gather damage information in order to assess the level of assistance.

For additional information about this program or to complete the Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet For Businesses or Damage Survey, please click here or contact Diana Jacobson, Permit Technician at (760) 965-3632 or via email: djacobson@townofmammothlakes.ca.gov.

INYO FLOOD TIPS

The county of Inyo wants the public to be prepared in case of flooding.

Posted by Seth Conners

MORE RAIN – CONTINUED FLOOD DANGER
The National Weather Service, Las Vegas, is forecasting another round of Pacific moisture spread across our region beginning Friday, February 9. Light to moderate rainfall amounts are expected across lower elevations. The main concern is that this will be a relatively warm rain event, with snow levels initially above 9,000 feet, when most of the precipitation falls. This may lead to accelerated snow melt concerns in the southern Sierra and flooding throughout the Owens Valley.

In preparation of possible flooding conditions due to heavy rains or snow melt-off, Inyo County residents are reminded that the Inyo County Office of Emergency Services, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, and Inyo County Road Department have strategically staged sand piles at several locations throughout the Owens Valley. These sand piles are accessible anytime to all Inyo County residents for emergency preparedness and response, and will be replenished whenever possible.

BISHOP
Site 1: Back of the Bishop City Park near the Senior Center
Site 2: Bishop Fire Station 2 at West Line Street, west of Manor Market
Site 3: Bishop Fire Station 3 at SeeVee and U.S. Highway 395.
Site 4: Starlite Community Park
Site 5: Mustang Mesa-Mill Creek Road

BIG PINE
Big Pine Fire Station.

INDEPENDENCE
Inyo County Sheriff’s Facility on Clay Street
Inyo County Road Department on Mazourka Road

LONE PINE
Sand trap located on Whitney Portal Road West of the LA Aqueduct.

OLANCHA
Olancha Fire Department.
Sand bags for flood preparedness are available from many Inyo County merchants, including but is not limited to the following: Manor True Value, High Country Lumber, Home Lumber and Brown’s Supply in Bishop; Hi-Country Market in Big Pine; Gardner’s True Value in Lone Pine; and Home Depot in Pahrump.

Emergency sand bags are available from the following fire departments: Bishop Fire Station 1-Downtown Bishop, Big Pine Fire Station, Independence Fire Station, Lone Pine Fire Station, and Olancha Fire Station. Emergency sand bags will be distributed at the discretion of each fire department, and may be limited based on weather conditions, need and demand. Residents and businesses in known flood areas are urged to prepare ahead of time, utilizing the sand stockpiles listed above and sand bags purchased from local businesses.

To report flooding, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383. Be prepared to tell the Sheriff’s Dispatcher the exact location of the flooding and if the water threatens structures, animals, land, or roadways. If water threatens human life – dial 911. And always remember: If you see water crossing a roadway – Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Flooding is one of the many dangers of hazardous weather conditions that can compound in a hurry for those who find themselves unprepared, which sadly, can lead to emotional and/or financial devastation. Fortunately, there are some simple steps to take to better protect you, your family, your pets, and your property from the dangers of flooding:

1. Clean gutters before the first storm hits, and again afterwards.

2. Check all drainage devices and remove accumulated silt and debris. This will need to be done repeatedly throughout the rainy season.

3. Check all areas of your property to ensure that all drainage is directed away from your house.

4. Do not park in front, or on top of, storm drain inlets when parking along the street.

5. On trash pick-up days, set trash cans on the curb in your parkway instead of in the street gutter. This will prevent back-up of flowing debris as well as prevent your trash cans from being swept away by swift-moving storm water.

6. Purchase tools and emergency supply materials such as shovels, sandbags and plastic sheeting and keep them handy and accessible.

7. Does your family have a Disaster Plan and a Disaster Supply Kit for your home and each of your vehicles? Form an evacuation plan. The key to surviving a flood, or any disaster, is learning the safest route away from your home to a safe area, in case you need to evacuate in a hurry. Prepare a cache of emergency supplies including food, water, fresh batteries, flashlights and portable radios in good working order, matches, firewood, fuel, prescriptions and a first aid kit. Advice on what your Disaster Plan should look like and what to include in your Disaster Supply Kits can be found on the Inyo County-Office of Emergency Services webpage. Visit http://www.inyocounty.us/OES/emergency_planning_and_disaster_supplies.htm for more tips and information on Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies.

8. Do you know what the flood risk is for your property? Visit the following California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) webpage at
a. http://www.water.ca.gov/floodsafe/ca-flood-preparedness/fpw_home.cfm. Click on the link to enter your address location and find out what your risk level is.

9. Review your home insurance policy. Does it include flood insurance? Flood insurance is not always required, or typically included, in home policies. Read the fine print! Don’t wait until the last minute and the storm is bearing down on you. Most insurance companies have a 30 day waiting period before the flood policy will go into effect. Californians living in areas with any risk of flooding should purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) immediately. Learn more at https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/.

10. Make an itemized list of personal property which includes clothing, furnishings and valuables. Take photographs of your home, both inside and out, and store them in a safe place. This will help an insurance adjuster to settle any claims and to help prove uninsured losses. Don’t rely on federal disaster assistance to pay for damages. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) typically provides assistance in the form of low interest loans, not as compensation for losses. For more information on flood-related resources, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

11. And finally…..BE PROACTIVE AND BE INFORMED! Track predicted storms on the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website at http://www.noaa.gov/ and plan your travel and outdoor activities accordingly.

Remember, during emergency events such as severe storms and flooding, emergency workers may be responding to incidents all over the 10,000 square miles that make up Inyo County. It’s important that all residents and businesses take steps to be prepared and self-sufficient in the event of an emergency.

For more information on flooding risks and preparedness, check out the following link: http://www.ready.gov/floods.

MAMMOTH LAKES SNOW REMOVAL

Mammoth Lakes is getting help from up North to help remove massive snow buildup.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Stuart Brown in Mammoth Lakes, A crew of 15 California Conservation Corps members from the CCC’s Tahoe Center are assisting the Town in areas that pose a significant threat to life and property. Led by supervisor Zach McHenry, the CCC crew is based at the Community Center on Forest Trail and will be here for approximately 10 days.

At the request of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, corps members are working with the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District, AmeriGas and Eastern Sierra Propane to clear record-setting January snow accumulations from approximately 40 prioritized risk-based propane tanks that are covered by up to 20 feet of snow.

The primary concern of the Town’s agencies is the risk to public safety from heavy snow potentially breaking off the first or second-stage regulators and piping on the tanks or homes, and thereby causing propane leakage that would pose a significant threat to life and property. The CCC crew will also remove snow around fire hydrants throughout town and from public buildings with flat or low-pitch roofs such as the Community Center or other public facilities. The crew has also assisted the Town with filling hundreds of sandbags to help mitigate localized flooding.

The California Conservation Corps is a state agency created in 1976 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.  Members of the CCC are young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 who join for a year of outdoor work as well as emergency response — floods, fires, earthquakes, oil spills and more.

MONO COUNTY DRUG COURT

New program in Mono County showing progress.

Posted by Seth Conners

Mono County Probation was awarded a grant in October of 2015 for the implementation of a Drug Court program.  Drug Court is a collaborative Court that focuses its attention on the participant and their sobriety. The agencies involved in this Court are the Mono County Superior Court, Mono County Probation Department, Mono County District Attorney’s Office, Mono County Behavioral Health Department, and the Public Defenders. These agencies alter their focus and traditional roles to assist people who have entered the criminal Courts due to underlying addictions. The first participant enrolled in the program on July 21, 2015. This participant experienced the expected difficulties that many face while trying to maintain a sober life, completing an intensive program, and dealing with the day to day problems and tasks we all face. On July 19, 2016, he had the courage to go before the Mono County Board of Supervisors and talked about his journey through Drug Court. He was approximately 75% of the way through the program when the presentation occurred. On January 25, 2017, he graduated from the program with 363 days clean from drugs and alcohol. Instead of continuing the “revolving door” process of going in and out of the custody, he now has the tools to remain clean and sober, be a contributing community member, good father, and good husband.
The Mission of the Mono County Drug Court: “To connect defendants who have a substantial substance abuse addiction to treatment in the community in order to enhance public safety, reduce recidivism, to provide alternative dispositions to criminal charges that take into consideration the individuals substance abuse, mental and physical health, and the seriousness of the offense.”