Community News

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

BUHS offering Auto 101 class

Bishop Union High School offering Auto 101 Adult Class

submitted by Bishop Union High School

Bishop Union High School will again be offering an evening Auto 101 Adult Class beginning Tuesday, January 19.  Adults of all levels of experience are encouraged to enroll.  There is a $100 dollar semester fee and the class is limited to 15 students.  This class will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The basics of automotive safety, equipment use and auto maintenance will be the course of study and classes will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.  Please contact our Auto Instructor, Jerrod Davis, at 760-873-4275, ext. 254 or for more information.

Adults may enroll at Bishop Union High School Main Office with $100 cash/check/money order made payable to BUHS Auto.  Again, this class is limited to 15 students.

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Eastern Sierra Music Fest Tickets are Available

Tickets for ESMF now on sale

submitted by Eastern Sierra Music Festival

Tickets for the July 22-­‐23 Eastern Sierra Music Festival are now on sale at the event’s website, As previously announced, county singer-­‐songwriter Dwight Yoakam and the legendary Gatlin Brothers will headline the two day-­‐event.

All ticket sales will be made via the festival’s website and its ticketing partner, Vendini.

Tickets sold cover both days of the festival and range in price from $80 for General Admission, to $95 for Reserved Grandstand seating. Two ticket packages are also available. Each features exclusive seating, party tent access, food, drinks, designated parking and admission to each evening’s After Party in the Charles Brown Auditorium. Ticket package prices are $399 for the Patriot Club and $225 for the VIP package. There are a limited number of ticket packages available, so please act quickly.

RV space reservations are also available through the website. Electrical hookups are $150 and dry camp is $95.

All event credentials, i.e. wristbands, will be mailed to concert-­‐goers a month before the festival. Additional email correspondence regarding the shipment will be sent at a later date.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Wounded Warrior Center, set to be built in Mammoth Lakes.

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Home Street Students of the Month

Home Street Middle School’s December Students of the Month

submitted by Home Street School

Home Street Middle School is proud to announce their December Students of the Month. Selections are based on academic success or improvement, community service, effort, positive attitude, or excellent citizenship. The following students will be presented with a certificate to be displayed on the Wall of Fame.

Students of the Month:

Mahdi Ayman
Kayla Rodriguez
Anaya Brown
Alexiss Armendariz
Jesus Cortez
Mercedes Jahn
Alyosha Prange
Able Franco
Sirena Lopez
Cora Lanphear
Nolan Durham
Lacey Lehigh
Karine Mora Flores
Ethan Fahey
Xavier Farmer
Anonda Marquez

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LADWP reclassifies five bridges wells

The Los Angeles Department of water and power reclassifies 2 wells in the Five Bridges area as “New Wells”

Will Conduct a CEQA Study

LADWP statement

BISHOP – Community concern surrounding the proposed testing of two recently modified wells in the Five Bridges area north of Bishop, have prompted the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to re-evaluate and treat wells W385 and W386 (now numbered as 385R and 386R) as “new wells” as defined by the Inyo/LA Water Agreement and described in the Green Book. The new classification means that LADWP will perform a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study on the project to analyze whether operation will have significant environmental impacts and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
“Performing a CEQA study for wells 385R and 386R is appropriate to better avoid potential significant environmental impacts,” James Yannotta, Manager of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, said. “With the activation of these wells we hope to provide water for local environmental and irrigation efforts, and provide a reliable source of water for export to Los Angeles.”
The old wells W385 and W386 were operated in the late 1980s with the intention of both dewatering gravel pits in the Five Bridges area and providing water for Los Angeles. Both wells were screened to the shallow and deep aquifer and, when operated, impacted vegetation in the Five Bridges area.
Consequently, the 1991 Environmental Impact Report (EIR) identified both wells as contributing to a significant impact to vegetation in the area and prescribed development of a mitigation measure to remediate the impact. The mitigation measure required Inyo County and LADWP to jointly develop and implement a revegetation plan for 300 acres identified in the report. This mitigation effort is ongoing.
Recently, both wells 385R and 386R were modified and screened to pump only from a deep aquifer, and will pump at a rate of less than 25 percent of their original capacity. LADWP anticipates that pumping from the deep aquifer, and at a dramatically lower rate, will protect groundwater dependent vegetation from any impacts associated with pumping. LADWP planned to conduct a thorough test to confirm this prior to putting the wells into operation. However, significant opposition to the renewed operation of these wells has been received by Inyo County and LADWP. After reviewing these concerns, LADWP agrees that further study of the area will alleviate concerns and is now reclassifying wells 385R and 386R as new wells.
LADWP thanks the community for their input during this process. The Department will adhere to the new well provisions outlined in the Inyo/LA Water Agreement in activating these and all new wells.

The goal of the Inyo/LA Water Agreement is to provide a reliable source of water for the City of Los Angeles as well as the protection of the Owens Valley environment. During a normal hydrologic year nearly one-third of Los Angeles’ water supply is supplied from the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

A large presence in the Eastern Sierra region, LADWP owns 315,000 acres in Inyo and Mono Counties and keeps nearly 75 percent of these lands open to the public for recreation. LADWP has been present in the Owens Valley for over a century and is a valuable partner in the Owens Valley community.

Cover Photo by Gary Young

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Gardner Announces Candidacy for Mono Supervisor

June Lake Resident Bob Gardner Announces Candidacy for Mono County Board of Supervisors

submitted  by Bob Gardner, June Lake, CA January 11, 2016

June Lake resident Bob Gardner announced today he is running for the Third District seat on the Mono County Board of Supervisors in the June 7, 2016 election. Current Supervisor Tim Alpers announced in November he would not seek re-election to the seat, which represents the June Lake and Mono Basin areas, and the northwest section of the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

Being on the Board of Supervisors is a chance to give back to a region that has been special to me for many decades,” said Gardner. “I have seen Mono County grow and change over the years. I now want to be part of ensuring it will continue to be one of the finest counties in California, and a great place to live, work, and play.”
Gardner has 40 years of experience managing public and non-profit organizations. “I am running for this office because we need to continue to move our county government forward to keep the quality of life we all seek,” stated Gardner. As an elected local official in California on the Redlands City Council, Gardner worked closely with other Council members to set priorities, make tough decisions, and hold managers accountable for results. “My career goal has been to make sure taxpayers get their money’s worth from government. I want to do this now for Mono County.”

The challenge to our Mono County Board of Supervisors, according to Gardner, is to sustain and build our current quality of life through wise policy-making and prudent fiscal management. “Much progress has been achieved in the last few years through implementation of technology infrastructure, strategic planning, energy efficiency, and other initiatives. We need to work together to build on this foundation to ensure our success in protecting and preserving what we value most in Mono County. At the same time we honor the past, we also need to look to the future and make sure we anticipate new visitors and other community demands. Mono County is in a position to increase its collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies to leverage our county’s resources and meet these future demands. We need to be ready to respond and adapt to these changes while maintaining our quality of life and growing our economy. ”

Gardner’s approach on the Board would be to listen carefully to citizens and business owner concerns, address issues as soon as possible, and then keep everyone informed about progress achieved. “People have lost trust in government. I have found it can be built again through cooperation, collaboration, and frequent direct, open and honest communication.” Gardner said as the District Three Representative he would initiate a monthly “Coffee with the Supervisor” event in Mammoth, June Lake, and Lee Vining, modeled after a similar activity he and the other Redlands City Council members started.

Bob grew up in Bishop and enjoyed hiking, fishing, and skiing in the Eastern Sierra. “My family and I love the June Lake area and the Eastern Sierra. We have enjoyed being part of the June Lake community for many years.” He is currently a member of the June Lake Citizens Advisory Committee.

Gardner is currently the Executive Director of the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA), which operates 11 bookstores and provides various interpretive programs in US Forest Service Visitor Centers and Ranger Stations in the Eastern Sierra. He is also the President of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust Board of Directors. He has been a chief financial officer responsible for multi-billion-dollar budgets in both federal and state agencies throughout his career, including NASA, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2008 Bob received a Presidential Rank Award, one of the highest awards for Federal civil servants. He also served as Vice President of Administration and Finance at California State University San Bernardino. Bob graduated from the University of Redlands with a major in Government in 1973. He received a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1975.

Bob’s wife, Karen, is a recently retired United Methodist pastor. They have three grown sons, Adam, Kyle, and Nathan.

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Fire Crews Targeting 30 Acres Today

30 Acres Targeted near Smokey Bear Flat

submitted by the Inyo National Forest

Fire crews plan to continue with pile burning today (Monday, January 11th) with a target of 30 acres. The piles are south of Smokey Bear Flat and immediately adjacent to the east side of Highway 395. Smoke will be visible to motorists along the highway in the area. Crews are taking advantage of the recent snow to tackle fuel reduction projects that they haven’t been able to safely burn during the previous drought years.

Pile 5
Photo courtesy of Darick Rogers
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Salvation Army Thrift Store Closing

The Salvation Army to Close Bishop Thrift Store

submitted by the Salvation Army

(January 8, 2016) BISHOP, CA:  The Salvation Army announced today that its thrift store in Bishop, CA will close effective Saturday, January 23.

The thrift store, located at 1180 N. Main Street in Bishop, has been operated by The Salvation Army Bishop Corps for several years.  Although local support of the store has been good, its has not been able to profit enough and the decision was made to close it.

“Making the decision to close this store was a difficult one,” said Lt. Cathie McCulley of The Salvation Army Bishop Corps.  “While the town of Bishop has been supportive of the store, it wasn’t enough to cover our overhead expenses.”

The Salvation Army has a long tradition of operating successful Thrift Stores throughout the country.  Each store, including the Bishop location, is operated to raise income for the social services and other programs The Salvation Army provides in the area.  If a Thrift Store operates without profit, it has the potential of effecting the local social service programs.

“Our main mission is to provide helpful services for those in need,” said Lt. McCulley. “Despite the thrift store closure, we remain committed to providing social service assistance, worship and fellowship offerings to the community of Bishop, and its surrounding area.”

The Salvation Army Bishop Corps, located at 621 W. Line Street, provides a variety of services to the Inyo County area, including assisting families and individuals in emergency situations with basic human needs such as emergency food, clothing, health services and shelter. Worship programs, a Sunday Community Breakfast, and emotional and spiritual counseling are also provided, as well as referrals to rehabilitation programs.  Seasonal assistance is offered through The Salvation Army during the holidays, providing meals, food boxes, coats and toys to families and individuals in need. The Salvation Army has a team of disaster response trained volunteers on stand-by, ready to deploy and assist with both local and regional disasters, including forest fires and large-scale accidents on Highway 395. In addition, The Salvation Army aims to eventually open an after-school program.

The thrift store space on Main Street had been leased by The Salvation Army.  In October, The Salvation Army announced that it was searching for a new building to purchase that would allow The Salvation Army to consolidate its worship, social services, and thrift store operations into one location. They are still working with local stakeholders to identify available options.

“Even though the thrift store is closing, its not necessarily a permanent closure,” said Lt. McCulley.  “If we are able to acquire a new building that can meet our space needs, we would revisit the idea of re-opening the store.”

Store will remain open through Saturday, January 23, pending available merchandise.  Donations will not be accepted after Wednesday, January 13. Daily shopping hours are Tuesday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 8:30am to 5:00pm  (subject to change).

More information about the programs and services offered by the Salvation Army of Bishop can be found online at, or on Facebook at

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to  

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Yosemite Rock Slide

Rock Slide in Yosemite National Park

Submitted by Yosemite National Park

January 7, 2016

Highway 140 Closed From Park Line to Junction of El Portal Road/Big Oak Flat Road (Highways 140/120)

A rockfall occurred above the El Portal Road (Highway 140) at approximately 5:45 this morning, Thursday, January 7, 2016. Due to the rockfall, the El Portal Road (Highway 140) is closed from the park boundary in El Portal to the junction of El Portal Road/Big Oak Flat Road (Highways 140/120). The road will remain closed as park crews assess the situation.  There is no estimated time for reopening.

The rockfall occurred below the Arch Rock Entrance Station in the area of the Dog Rock Fire, which occurred in October 2014. There were no injuries associated with the rockfall and Yosemite National Park Rangers and road crews are currently assessing the situation.

The Wawona Road (Highway 41) and the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 west) remain open with chain restrictions. All roads within Yosemite Valley remain open with chain restrictions as well. Visitors must carry chains in their vehicle when entering a chain control area. Lodging and other facilities in El Portal are accessible.

For the most current road conditions, please call 209-372-0200. Press option “1” and then “1” again to go directly to the road conditions report.

Highway 140 Rockfall
photo provided by Yosemite National Park


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Cerro Coso offering 3 new degrees

Three New Degrees Offered in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes

Cerro Coso Community College announces the addition of three new associate degrees for transfer available at their Eastern Sierra College Centers in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes.  The new joint transfer program between California community colleges and California state universities makes it easier for students to transfer between the two school systems. for the first time in California history, community college students who complete a new AA-T or AS-T will be guaranteed admissions to the California State University system.

The college is now offering transfer degrees in kinesiology, psychology, and studio arts at the Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses.

Interested in a career in athletic training, coaching, fitness center administration, or physical therapy?  The kinesiology transfer degree focuses on scientific, functional and mechanical processes of the human body. Students will learn and understand how to display increasing confidence and preparation in a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, sports medicine, exercise physiology, philosophy, sociology and psychology of sports, personal training, biomechanics, motor development and coaching.  The degree will prepare students to pursue further study and achievement of a baccalaureate degree in the discipline of kinesiology.

The psychology transfer degree is the perfect path of study for those students interested in careers in research, counseling, social work, clinical settings, and human resources.  Psychology is the social science discipline most concerned with studying the behavior, mental processes, growth and well-being of individuals. Psychological inquiry also examines the roles played by biological and sociocultural factors that affect behavior and mental processes. a broad discipline and profession, psychology has both scientific and applied branches, with practical applications for personal growth and well-being. this degree will provide the foundational knowledge in psychology to students who want to earn a baccalaureate degree in psychology.

For those creative people looking to learn the skills and techniques needed to express themselves as visual artists, the new studio arts transfer degree might be the right path of study for you. This program provides students with a solid foundation in the visual arts through psychology of sports, personal training, biomechanics, motor development and coaching. the degree will prepare students to pursue further study and achievement of a baccalaureate degree in the discipline of kinesiology.

The psychology transfer degree is the perfect path of study for those students interested in careers in research, counseling, social work, clinical settings, and human resources. Psychology is the social science discipline most concerned with studying the behavior, mental processes, growth and well-being of individuals. Psychological inquiry also examines the roles played by biological and sociocultural factors that affect behavior and mental processes. A broad discipline and profession, psychology has both scientific and applied branches, with practical applications for personal growth and well-being. this degree will provide the foundational knowledge in psychology to students who want to earn a baccalaureate degree in psychology.

For those creative people looking to learn the skills and techniques needed to express themselves as visual artists, the new studio arts transfer degree might be the right path of study for you. This program provides students with a solid foundation in the visual arts through courses that develop a broad range of knowledge, skills, and competencies essential for advanced study. students will take courses in drawing, design, art history, and more, with professors who are working artists as well as experienced educators.

Meet with a Cerro Coso counselor or educational adviser to find out more! Spring 2016 classes begin January 19th. Don’t delay, call today: Bishop campus at 760-872-1565 or Mammoth Lakes campus at 760-934-2875.

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Inyo Sheriffs Department Arrest two

Inyo Sheriffs Department  Makes Two Arrests

Raymond Gutierrez, age 59 of Bishop and Brandon Decker, age 33, of Bishop are taken into custody.  Two Inyo Sheriffs deputies were injured while apprehending Decker.  The Inyo County Sheriffs Department issued the following statement detailing the two arrests Tuesday. 

Inyo County Sheriffs Department Statement

January 6, 2016

Last night at 9:00pm Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a domestic disturbance that took place approximately an hour earlier at the intersection of Winuba and Diaz (west of Bishop). According to an interview with the victim, she was assaulted at the intersection by Raymond Vidal Gutierrez a 59 year old man from Bishop. Gutierrez was released from custody from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on January 5th; he was being held on an Inyo County warrant from 2004 for a felony weapons charge and probation violation. Prior to his transfer to the Inyo County Jail, Gutierrez spent 11-years with the California Department of Corrections for felony domestic abuse and false imprisonment charges. Gutierrez was not located at the scene.

At approximately 3:00am Gutierrez was located by Bishop Police at Denney’s restaurant in Bishop and placed under arrest.  He was transported to the Inyo County Jail and booked under the following charges: felony violation of parole (no bail), and felony domestic abuse. 

Raymond Vidal Gutierrez. Photo by Inyo County SO

            At about 2:00am this morning Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a 911 call regarding a burglary in progress west of Bishop near Manor Market. According to the reporting party, a man (later identified as 33 year old Brandon Decker from Bishop), broke into the residence through an unlocked backdoor and stole several items. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived shortly after the 911 call and completed a thorough check of the area. Decker was spotted about four houses down from the house that was broken into; he appeared to be breaking into that residence as well (later it was determined that Decker lived there with his father). Deputies noticed a pistol shaped object in Decker’s hand as he was entering the house and a holster on his right hip. After entering the property Decker locked the front door. Sheriff’s Deputies were able to convince Decker to come out of the house; however Decker resisted arrest and a physical altercation ensued. The two Sheriff’s Deputies sustained minor injuries in the process, but eventually Decker was taken into custody and transported to the Inyo County Jail.

Decker was booked under the following charges: felony burglary, felony obstruction, felony firearm charge, and misdemeanor receiving stolen property. Bail has been set at $100,000.

Brandon Decker, photo by Inyo County SO
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