Community News

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




According to a press release from Assistant County Administrator Rick Benson, over the past few weeks blue-green algae has developed along the shoreline of Diaz Lake and, to a lesser extent, at Millpond. Several factors contribute to the development of the algae, all of which are beyond the County’s control. Primarily, the algae are a result of the presence of nutrients. various weather conditions are also a factor. Blue-green algae typically develop in self-contained bodies of water.

Blue-green algae may contain toxins, but not always. Therefore, as a precaution, the Inyo County Parks and Recreation Department is advising visitors to refrain from swimming or wading in the water while algae is present. The algae is expected to naturally dissipate soon.




Geothermal Well Testing near Mammoth Lakes is set to take place next month. The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office, in coordination with the Inyo National Forest Mammoth Lakes Ranger District, has approved a proposal by Ormat Nevada Inc. to conduct a 30-day flow and injection test of two existing geothermal wells near the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

The flow and injection test is scheduled to begin shortly after Labor Day and end in early October. During the test, geothermal fluid from well 14-25 will flow through a temporary 8-inch pipeline laid above ground and above ground and be injected into well 12-25. Well 14-25 is located approximately one-quarter mile northwest of Shady Rest Park and well 12-25 is located approximately 1,100 feet north of well 14-25.

According to BLM Bishop Field Manager Steve Nelson, “The test will provide data needed to further characterize and better understand the geothermal resource in the Upper Basalt Canyon area. The test will also provide an opportunity to monitor groundwater response at two nearby groundwater monitoring wells that were drilled by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2015, as well as other groundwater wells in the vicinity.

Area residents and visitors should be prepared for increased activity and vehicle traffic near Shady Rest Park, but all roads and recreational trails are expected to remain open.

For more information contact Dale Johnson at the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office. (760) 872 – 5055.






Inyo County’s Fiscal Year 2016-2017 CAO Recommended Budget is ready for approval. According to the Board of Supervisors the entire Fiscal Year 2016-2017 CAO Recommended Budget document is now available online at the County’s webpage, offering the public an opportunity to review the proposed $96 million dollar spending plan coming up for possible adoption next week. Publication of the budget comes as the result of many weeks of analysis, calculation, research, meetings, planning, writing, and review by staff countywide.

The Recommended Budget details the revenue and expenditures being proposed for each of the County’s 19 departments, and 136 budget units, for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, which runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

The recommended budget is over 500 pages long, for those looking for a lighter reading, also available on the County’s webpage is the Introduction & Summary of the Fiscal year 22016-2017 CAO Recommended Budget. The Introduction & Summary, or Budget Message, looks at the “big-picture” fiscal challenges and opportunities faced by the County this fiscal year.

According to County Administrator Kevin Carunchio, it is there where taxpayers will find discussion of the why’s and how’s of requested expenditures, and whether department requests have made it to the CAO’s Recommended Budget unchanged, with modifications, or not at all; the differences between the Department Requested Budget and the CAO Recommended Budget are highlighted in detail. The Introduction & Summary also highlights for the Board and County departments which funding sources are stable, which can be relied on less and less given current trends and future projections, and which State and Federal funding sources are rapidly dwindling to the point that their intended purposes are close to becoming unfunded mandates. It includes concise information about the county’s income (from taxes, fees, and other sources) and a breakdown of expenses by function (i.e. Public Safety, Roads, Public Assistance, Public Health, General Services, etc.) For those new to the Budget Process, the Introduction & Summary offers this information in easy-to-understand language.

In the document, Carunchio also offers his thanks and praise to every County Department but in particular to Budget Analyst Denelle Carrington and Auditor-Controller Amy Sheperd, who he said put in many long hours providing information, input, and expertise to help ensure the county has a balanced and forward-thinking spending plan.


According to Eastern Sierra Transit Analyst Jill Batchelder, Eastern Sierra Transit will be providing Nite Rider Dial-A-Ride service in Bishop Labor Day Weekend. The Nite Rider will be running Friday through Sunday night until 2:00a.m. Rides are $4.20 per passenger. Call 760-873-7173 for pick-up. Eastern Sierra Transit Dial-A-Ride will not be offering service on Monday in observance of Labor day, except in the Town of Mammoth Lakes.




Inyo National Forest and and Devils Postpile are expecting a busy Labor Day Weekend. Like many parks and forests, they are seeing increased visitation this year. Some helpful tips for people planning to visit the Reds Meadow Valley and Devils Postpile over the Labor Day weekend have been offered according to Deanna Dulen and Kirstie Butler from the Park Service and Inyo National Forest. The mandatory shuttle system manages the limited parking available as well as the high visitation along the respectively narrow road into the valley.

Travelers are advised to:

  • Pick up the shuttle from the Village at Mammoth or park at the Mammoth Mountain Main Lodge and purchase shuttle passes at the Main Lodge Gondola Building.
  • The bus ride takes approximately 20-30 minutes each way. most visitors should allow a half-day or even a full day to enjoy and explore the area.
  • Labor Day weekend will be crowded with more difficult parking at the Main Lodge with longer wait times at bus stops. to have a better visit, plan to come early in the morning and allow enough time in your day to visit these locations and plan waits at the stops into your schedule.
  • Sunday is typically the busiest day. Try and plan your trip for alternative days and times of you want to have a quieter experience.
  • Please note that the trail to the viewpoint of Rainbow Falls remains open, but the trail to the base of the falls is temporarily closed in order to complete needed trail work.



According to a press release from Nothern Inyo Health Care District, healthcare in the Eastern Sierra advanced this week with the launch of a planned Breast Health Center in the Northern Inyo Healthcare District (NIHD).

Plans for the center were unveiled during a regional medical providers dinner hosted by NIHD. Such centers, more commonly found in cities, provide in-depth breast health care, from screening and diagnosis to breast cancer treatment and supportive resources. Breast Surgeons and Radiology Specialists lead most centers. This is what NIHD now can offer to the communities in and around the Eastern Sierra.

Dr. Jay K. Harness, a globally-recognized breast cancer surgeon specializing in breast-preserving operations, signed on to serve as the center’s consulting surgeon. Dr. Harness joins Dr. Stuart Souders, a radiologist specializing in dedicated breast imaging, and Rosie Graves, NIHD’s new Patient Navigator, in rounding out to the center’s leadership team.

The center will utilize Drs. Harness’ and Sounders’ combined 60-plus years of experience in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. It also taps into NIHD’s existing technologies, including 3d Mammography, Automated Breast Ultrasound, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.





The U.S. Forest Service is extending the comment period for the much anticipated draft Environmental Impact Statement and draft forest plans for the Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests to this evening. Due to national computer server issues, the project website was intermittently unavailable on the original deadline, Thursday, August 25th. This system-wide error caused agency-wide issues that were not unique to this project. They would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

They encourage comments to be as specific as possible and focus on the merits of the alternatives and/or the adequacy of the analysis. the more specific the comments are, the better they can respond to them and improve the final EIS. For more information please call 707-562-9121.



Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy Rueben Bradley could be back on duty in the near future. Bradley, the deputy involved in the August 26th shooting of local resident Raymond Bencoma III, has been placed on Administrative leave pending an investigation regarding the incident. As in any officer involved shooting case, there are 3 investigations going on simultaneously. First, the Inyo County Sheriff’s office must investigate the underlying crimes that lead to Deputy Bradley being involved, in this case a domestic violence charge and a possible assault on a peace officer charge will be filed against Mr. Bencoma. Second, the Inyo County Sheriffs Office will conduct a confidential internal affairs investigation to determine if departmental policies in regard to the shooting were followed. Thirdly, the District Attorney, Tom Hardy’s office, will independently conduct an investigation which is currently on going too determine if any criminal charges should be sought against Deputy Bradley.

It is assumed that these investigations will take several weeks, however early investigating indicates that Deputy Bradley acted lawfully in using force.

The determination regarding Mr. Bencoma’s ability to proceed in court is basically in the hands of his physicians at this point. He has been arrested and is in custody, and when he is medically able, he will be arraigned on the charges. Comments on his medical condition are not being made at this time, but as of now, his physicians did not believe that he could safely be taken to court.


#inyocountysheriff #shooting #bishop

Dr. Terry McAteer Honored Once Again

Dr. Terry McAteer Honored Once Again


The office of Inyo County Superintendent of schools has honored its recently departed superintendent. Dr. Terry McAteers legacy will live on in Inyo County far into the future. After 8 years as Inyo County’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. McAteer left a large footprint of local school development and successful implementation that will never be forgotten. Since his retirement as County Superintendent on July 2nd, the accolades have continued to roll in. The latest honor bestowed upon Dr. McAteer is located at the Jill Kinmont Boothe School where yesterday afternoon the local Board of Education sent Dr. McAteer off in style by renaming the schools Great Room as the Doctor Terry McAteer Room. The room is host to the new Keith Bright School, an educational facility for adjudicated juvenile detainees that was recently moved from Independence to save tax dollars, a move that was partially catalyzed  by Dr. McAteers influence. The new dedication of the room to bear McAteers name was symbolized with a plaque presented to Dr.McAteer by Board President Chris Langley. Dr. McAteer sets off next week for some well earned rest and relaxation as he and his wife take a European trip to Turkey, Greece, and the Baltic’s.

Girl Scout Information Night

Eastern Sierra Girl Scouts is hosting an Information Night and Mixer on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm at the Bishop Girl Scout House on South Fowler Street (behind the Boy Scouts House on Line Street). Please stop by if you would like to learn more about what our local Girl Scout Service Unit is doing this year. We are looking for volunteers! A recruitment specialist from Council will also be there if you are interested in joining. Light refreshments will be provided.