Community News

Mammoth Bag Ban Begins

Town of Mammoth Bag Ban

Submitted by the Town of Mammoth Lakes

Beginning Tuesday, March 1, 2016, Ordinance No. 15-06 goes into effect that prohibits the use of single-use carryout bags in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. Town Council’s action will reduce negative impacts on the environment, including reducing the use of natural resources and energy; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and helping to eliminate waste in landfills, roadside litter, and pollution to lakes, streams, and soils. Most importantly it will contribute to a cleaner and more welcoming Town of Mammoth Lakes!

When the plastic bag ban goes into effect, consumers will be affected in the following ways:

▪       Retail establishments will no longer be able to utilize plastic, single-use bags.

▪       Customers may purchase paper bags for a minimum of 10 cents each.

▪       Customers may purchase or bring their own reusable bags.

▪       Restaurants are exempt and may still use plastic bags for take away orders.

▪       Some other exemptions exist, such as plastic bags used for produce and meats.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes will work with local businesses, including the Chamber of Commerce, to assist in the progressive elimination of plastic, single-use bags in our community. If you have questions about the plastic bag ban, please visit to review Ordinance No. 15-06, or contact Pam Kobylarz, Assistant to the Town Manager, at (760) 934-8989 ext. 223 or

 Town of Mammoth Lakes California, Mammoth Lakes bans plastic bags, mammoth chamber of commerce

Tuesday Shake-Down

A pair of +4 Earthquakes rattle Eastern Sierra

By Arnie Palu
February 17, 2016

Four minutes after 3pm Tuesday a 4.8 earthquake hit north of Big Pine.  The US Geological Survey says the first earthquack struck Tuesday afternoon at 3:04 local time.  The epicenter located 6 miles west, north-west of Big Pine.  The inital report showed the quake with a magnitude of  5.3, but was later revised down to a 4. 8.

Approximately a half hour later a strong aftershock hit at the same location.  At 3:27 a 4.3 quake, in the same location, rattle the eastern sierra.

Margret Mangum of the USGS indicates the quakes on Tuesday are “Unrelated to Volcanic unrest” and are “Typical of activity in the Owens Valley”.

Both the Bishop Police Department and Inyo County Sheriffs department confirmed reports of residents and visitors experiencing the earthquakes, but no major damage or injuries were reported.

Eastern Sierra earthquake, big pine california earthquake, usgs

Mammoth Creek Park Planning Workshops

Town of Mammoth holding Mammoth Creek Park planning workshops

submitted by the Town of Mammoth Lakes
February 17, 2016

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has begun the process to plan, design and construct complementary Community Multi-Use Facilities at Mammoth Creek Park. The project includes three major components: a multi-use facility, complementary community center, and a playground with accessible components. The anticipated opening date of the multi-use facility is October 2017.

The Recreation Commission wants to hear how you want to play on the ice and at the RecZone on Monday, February 22 at 6:00pm and Tuesday, February 23 at 9:00am (same workshop). Both workshops will be held in Suite Z, above Starbucks (Minaret Village Mall). Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

What is your winter passion? Tell us how you want to play at the Mammoth Ice Rink! Winter programming activities include: recreational skating, ice skating lessons, figure skating programs, Youth/adult hockey programs, leagues and tournaments, broomball, curling or special events.

What is your summer passion? Tell us how you want to play at the Mammoth RecZone! Summer programming activities include: roller skating, youth/adult street hockey programs, leagues and tournaments, small-sided soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, dodgeball, tailgate games (horseshoes, bean bag toss, washer toss), skate ramps, special events/music, birthday parties or community events  (art shows, markets, festivals).

With your help, we can create a recreation destination that the entire community of Mammoth Lakes will actively enjoy, value and ultimately be proud to call YOUR Park.

For more information about Plan Mammoth Creek Park please contact Recreation Manager & Public Information Officer, Stuart Brown at (760) 934-8989 ext. 210 or visit     

Keep up to date with the plan Mammoth Creek Park project by subscribing to receive project emails or text notifications via the Town’s ‘Notify Me’ list (  You can also send an email with comments or input regarding the project to

Thank you in advance for being part of the Town’s recreation future!

town of Mammoth lakes California, Mammoth Creek Park, mammoth lakes parks and recreation

ESMF Announces Trip Winner

Eastern Sierra Music Festival announces raffle winner

Submitted by the Eastern Sierra Music Festival
February 17, 2016

Penny Bordokas paying trip forward

Eastern Sierra Music Festival extends its congratulations to Penny Bordokas of Mammoth Lakes for winning the festival’s recent drawing for a seven-day trip to Mexico.

Mrs. Bordokas was selected Sunday as the winner during a Valentine’s Day drawing at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8988 in Bishop.

In the true pay-it-forward fashion surrounding this festival, Mrs. Bordokas told organizers she will not be taking the trip herself. Rather, she is donating the trip to Eastern Sierra Disabled Sports. It is her hope that Eastern Sierra Disabled Sports will hold a drawing among its hardworking staff and volunteers, and that the winner will be taking a well-earned break in the Mexican sunshine sometime soon.

Tickets for the July 22-23 Eastern Sierra Music Festival are on sale at the event’s website, As previously announced, country singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam and the legendary Gatlin Brothers will headline the two-day event. Additional artists will include Old Southern Moonshine Revival and a host of local bands.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the construction of the National Wounded Warrior Center in Mammoth Lakes.

Eastern Sierra Music Festival, National Wounded Warrior Center Mammoth Lakes, Dwight Yoakam Bishop California Concert, Eastern Sierra Tri county fairgrounds

Inyo SO arrests 4 in Keeler

Inyo County Sheriff Office arrests 4 in Keeler

submitted by Carma Roper, Inyo County Sheriffs Department
February 17, 2017

Stolen Property Recovered

On February 10th members of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant in Keeler and discovered approximately $5,000 worth of stolen property.  The following arrests were made:

·         Steven Zukaitus, 30-year old man from Keeler, arrested for: felony burglary, felony grand theft, felony possession of stolen property, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. In addition Mr. Zukaitus is being held on one local warrant and three Kern County warrants.

·         Richard Zukaitus, 75-year old man from Keeler was cited for obstructing an officer.

·          Nicole Archila, 26-year old woman from Keeler, arrested for: felony burglary, felony grand theft, felony possession of stolen property. Ms. Archila is also being held on one Kern County warrant.

·         Christopher Hansen, 27-year old man from Keeler, arrested for: felony burglary, felony grand theft, felony possession of stolen property, false representation of identity to a Peace Officer, and one Nye County, NV warrant.

Originally Deputies arrived at the Zukaitis residence to serve an active warrant; however items that were recently reported stolen were noticed in the residence which ultimately resulted in the arrests.

Inyo county sheriffs office, arrests in Keeler California, Inyo County news


Governor Brown Appoints McKinzey to Fair Board

Chalfant resident added to Fair Board

February 17, 2016
By Arnie Palu

Gina McKinzey, of Chalfant Valley, has been appointed to the 18th District Agricultural Association, Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair Board of Directors.  Governor Jerry Brown’s office announced the appointment Tuesday.  McKinzie joins Bishop Union High School’s Wanda Summers as a recent appointee to the Tri-County Fair Board.  The current board includes president Paul Dostie, vice presidents Robert Levy and Joanne Parsons, along with directors Jacque Hickman, Nina Weisman, Summers and now McKinzey.

McKinzey’s experience includes working as an administrative analyst at Inyo County Health and Human Services since 2014.  She has also served as a staff service analyst at Inyo County Child Support Services from 2012 to 2014, an account technician at Inyo County Public Health Department from 2011 to 2012 and was a bookkeeper at Benefit Management Inc. from 2006 to 2010.  McKinzey is treasurer at the Bishop Little League Board. This position does not require Senate confirmation and is no compensation. The Governors office notes that McKinzey is a Democrat.

eastern sierra tri-county fair, tri county fair grounds bishop, bishop fairgrounds, 18th district agricultural association

ECM hosting Local Author Book Signing

David Woodruff book signing

submitted by the Eastern California Museum
February 15, 2016

On Sunday February 21st, The Eastern California Museum in Independence will be hosting a book singing event with author and local Owens Valley resident David Woodruff’ for his new history book by Arcadia Publishing-Furnace Creek Resort. Woodruff lived and worked at Furnace Creek Resort for over 17 years, pursuing his lifelong interest in exploring Death Valley and researching its fascinating history. He has compiled historical photographs and documents made available by Rio Tinto Minerals (formerly the Borax Company), along with the National Park Service in Death Valley, to tell the story of Furnace Creek Resort.

Furnace Creek Resort is actually two different hotel properties in Death Valley, Furnace Creek Inn and Furnace Creek Ranch. Since the opening of the Inn in 1927, with just 12 guest rooms, Furnace Creek Resort has achieved preeminence among US National Park lodges and hotels. Conceived by the Pacific Coast Borax Company in 1926, the inn was the answer to the declining mining industry, which had left the Death Valley Railroad with nothing to haul. The construction of Furnace Creek Inn helped to shift Death Valley’s draw from mining to tourism, bringing a new industry to the Old West. Steeped in history and tradition, the inn and the ranch have become as much a destination as the park itself. With naturally heated swimming pools, the world’s lowest golf course, four-diamond hospitality, and surroundings of unsurpassed natural beauty, Furnace Creek offers experiences that are long remembered by its guests.

The book-signing event will be held on Sunday February 21st at the Eastern California Museum from 1pm to 3pm. In addition to the book signing, Woodruff will have on display some of his personal collection of rare Death Valley ephemera, photos and memorabilia. For more information you can call 760 878-0258.

Eastern California Museum, Furnace Creek Arcadia Publishing, Furnace Creek Resort

Mono County Earthquake

3.8 Earthquake in Mono County

by Arnie Palu
February 15, 2016

The USGS is confirming a 3.8 earthquake struck just minutes prior to 8am today.  The USGS indicates the earthquake was located 8 miles south-east of the Town of Mammoth Lakes.  The quake had a depth of 5 km.   No damage has been reported, however folks reported feeling the minor quake in the greater Mammoth area.

USGS Details
Magnitude:                        3.8
Depth:                            5 km
Time near the Epicenter:          15 Feb 2016  07:42:53
Location with respect to nearby cities:
13 km (8 mi) SE of Mammoth Lakes, California

mammoth lakes earthquake, mammoth lakes california, usgs

Inyo County Poetry Out Loud

Inyo Council for the Arts announces Shyann Padilla as Poetry Out Loud Champion

Submitted by the Inyo Council for the Arts
February 11, 2016

Bishop, CA — For the second year in a row Shyann Padilla from Owens Valley High School in Independence, received the title of 2016 Inyo County Poetry Out Loud Champion at the county finals held in Bishop on February 3, 2016. The runner-up was Cianni Benson, also from Owens Valley High School.

This was the sixth year that Inyo Council for the Arts has collaborated with the Inyo County Superintendent of Schools office to offer the Poetry Out Loud program, which is sponsored by the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Retired English teacher, Harold McDonald, was the county coordinator in the schools.

(from left to right) are Heidy Gonzalez, Grace Morriset, Shandy Ratchford, Cianni Benson, and Shyann Padilla. Photo provided
Cianni Benson, and Shyann Padilla. Photo provided

At the county finals, Poetry Out Loud contestants recited works they selected from an anthology of more than 900 classic and contemporary poems. Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Shyann’s readings of “Drowning in Wheat” by John Kinsella and “Domestic Situation” by Ernest Hilbert, wowed the guest judges, who evaluated student performances on criteria including presence, evidence of understanding, and accuracy.

Padilla moves on to compete in Sacramento at the end of this month representing Inyo County in the California State Championship.

Inyo County Poetry Out Loud, Inyo Council for the arts, Inyo County news, Inyo County Superintendent of Schools

Inyo County Wants your take on Adventure Trails

Inyo County is collecting input on Adventure Trials

submitted by Inyo County Public Works
February 10, 2016

Inyo County continuing to seek input and collect data regarding the Adventure Trails Combined Use Project.

In January, 2015, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors approved designation of seven (7) combined use routes for certain off-highway vehicles (OHV). Of these, three (3) of the routes have been opened to the public since July and August 2015. The approved and open routes include:

• Independence Route 1 from Independence to Mazourka Canyon.
• Lone Pine Route 1 from Boulder Creek RV Resort to Horseshoe Meadows Road.
• Bishop Route 15 from Laws to the Poleta OHV Area.

Concurrently, the County set up a website to collect input regarding the three opened routes, including feedback, suggestions, and/or complaints. The website can be viewed at

Again, the website is to share information and collect input regarding only the approved and open routes of the Adventure Trails Project, not OHVs being operated outside Project’s three open routes.

Information collected on the website, as well as extensive field surveys and operational data, was included in a report to the State of California in December 2015.

Inyo County is still collecting data, and requests continuing public input. To learn more about the project, provide input electronically, and review the report, please visit

For more information or questions please contact the Public Works Department at: (760) 878-0207 or

inyo county california, inyo county public works department, inyo county adventure trails