Community News

LADWP Announces Plans to Spread Water In Long Valley During Spring Runoff

BISHOP, CA – Earlier this evening, the Inyo Mono Alpine Cattlemen’s Association’s Spring Tour Dinner Meeting was held at the Talman Pavillion. The meeting included updates on information relevant to ranching interests at the local, regional, state, and federal levels. Staff members from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) were in attendance and announced that LADWP plans to spread 30,000 acre-feet of water in Long Valley starting this coming May 2019.

In a statement shared by LADWP staff at the dinner, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager of Water System Rich Harasick said, “It has been a great year for rain and snowfall in California – after recent storms the Eastern Sierra snowpack is 188% of normal as of March 8th. LADWP continues to work on its operational plans and is preparing for the upcoming spring runoff. Efforts are already underway with water spreading started in Inyo County.”

Consistent with past practices, LADWP plans to provide water to its lessees based on LADWP operational needs. In prior years when the Eastern Sierra runoff exceeded the capacity of the aqueduct system, LADWP spread water to its leased lands in the southern Mono area. This was the case during the 2017 record precipitation, when as much water was spread as the land could handle.

LADWP is evaluating this year’s anticipated runoff while also considering the demands of the overall water system, which include customer needs, environmental commitments and hydroelectric generation. Taking these factors into account, LADWP is committed to maximizing the beneficial use of runoff water to the fullest extent and working with its lessees and ranching community to use water efficiently. In order to keep residents and partners of the Eastern Sierra informed of the steps being taken to manage runoff, LADWP will continue to issue additional updates as conditions and operations progress.

Samantha Burns set to Compete in Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento

The Poetry Out Loud State Championships start this weekend on Sunday, and Inyo County’s local champion is competing in Sacramento. Samantha Burns, a student at Bishop Union High School will be competing against students from fifty-two other counties in California.

If Samantha were to place in the top eight of the Poetry Out Loud contest, she would have the opportunity to attend the national contest in Washington DC.

As far as the competition is concerned, there are two heats occurring at the Stanley Mosk Library in Sacramento on Sunday. The northern counties for California will start the proceedings at 9:00 AM. Afterwards, students from the southern counties will read their poetry beginning at 2:00 P.M. Inyo County is apart of the southern groupings.

There are two poems which students must recite. The contestants are judged by accuracy, eye contact and delivery. Several judges determine who they believe were the best performers and the finalists will have to recite their third poems in the State Capitol Senate Chamber on Monday. Afterward, a winner will be selected by the judges.

Inyo County’s finalist, Samantha Burns two poems she will recite are Bleeding Heart and Blade Unplugged. Bleeding Heart is a poem written by Carmen Giménez Smith, a poet based in New York City, who has been awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry. The second poem is Blade Unplugged, written by Tim Seibles, who is a poet and a professor of English and creative writing at Old Dominion University.

“I am so proud of Samantha qualifying for this event.” Samatha’s mother Sandy said. “She worked extremely hard for this opportunity, and being apart of this event just goes to show how much love and appreciation she has for poetry.”

Alois Benedict Coufal Obituary

Alois Benedict Coufal, age 91, resident of Bishop for 28 years, was born in Brainard Nebraska on April 12, 1927. He passed away peacefully in his sleep early on the morning of March 5, 2019 at Northern Inyo Hospital. He was surrounded by his highest earthly priority, his family.

Al, as most people knew him, was born and raised on a farm in southeastern Nebraska. After a tour of duty in the Army in the Korean War, he returned home to meet his wife-to-be, Phyllis Potter at a church dance and was married shortly thereafter on April 24, 1950. They started their family on their farm near Seward Nebraska, before moving to Southern California in January 1956. They lived in Anaheim from 1960 until they moved to Bishop in 1991.

Besides his family and his church, he loved fishing, his flower garden, and polkas. No matter the need or activity he always had time for his kids, grandkids and great grandkids.

He was professionally an auto mechanic and could do anything with his hands. He owned his own gasoline station in LA before going to work for the City of Anaheim. He had a 28-year career with the City of Anaheim as a Fleet Repairman and ultimately as a Shop Supervisor.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years. He is survived by his 7 children, daughter Irene Miller of Bishop, son Gene (Nancy) Coufal of Bishop, daughter Charlene Coufal (Bruce Burton) of Anaheim, CA, son Mike (Theresa) Coufal of Sun City, CA, son Leon Coufal of Bishop, son Marvin (Kim) Coufal of Norco CA, daughter Judy (Ken) Delu of Lodi, CA; 10 grandchildren, Thomas Miller of New York, NY, Megan Miller (Levi) of Huntington Beach, CA, Emily (Derrick) Johnson of Mammoth Lakes, CA, Liz Coufal of Buena Park, CA, Chas Coufal (Amy) of Bishop, Celiese Yawman of Idyllwild, CA, Jessica (Sean) Gray of Biloxi MS, Amanda and Ashley Delu of Lodi, and Austin Coufal of Norco; and 5 great grandchildren, Maxwell Osendorf, Kyla, Wesley and Lily Johnson, and Devin Yawman.

A Rosary Service and Funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. Burial took place at the Line St Cemetery on Friday, March 8.

Sierra Snowpack Report Improving Each Month

A water-rich snowpack has blessed the Sierra Nevada thus far this year and indicators are that Californians should expect even more rain and snow this year.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted its third manual 2019 Phillips Station snow survey on Thursday and found 113 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 43.5 inches. The SWE on January 31 at Phillips Station was 18 inches; this time last year the SWE at the same location was just 1.5 inches. SWE is the depth of water that theoretically would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously.

Statewide, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is 153 percent of average for this date, thanks to multiple atmospheric river storms during February. DWR Director Karla Nemeth noted the increase in this year’s snowpack saying, “This winter’s snowpack gets better each month and it looks like California storms aren’t done giving yet. This is shaping up to be an excellent water year.”

Nemeth’s reference to “storms aren’t done giving yet” is in part due to the National Weather Service officially confirming on February 14 that the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing weak El Niño conditions. Due to these above-average sea surface temperatures, California is likely to experience more precipitation in the next two months.

As witnessed in Northern California this week when an atmospheric storm blasted the region, flooding is and will be an ongoing concern in certain areas. These include any low-lying areas, water-laden hillsides and the state’s multiple burn areas. This week’s storm made islands out of Guerneville and Monte Rio when the Russian River which topped 46 feet. The river was responsible for the flooding of some 2,000 homes, businesses and other structures.

“Along with the water supply benefits of the heavy rain and snow, there is also increased flood risk,” said John Paasch, DWR Chief of Flood Operations. “We’ve activated the Flood Operations Center, a joint effort between DWR and the National Weather Service, to closely monitor weather, reservoir, river, and flood conditions. Our goal is to share timely and accurate information about changing conditions to help people and communities respond to flood events and stay safe.”

Current statistics for the state’s largest reservoirs range from Oroville’s 84 percent and 137 percent New Melones versus their historical averages for this date. California’s largest surface reservoir, Lake Shasta, is at 112 percent of its historical average.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack provides about 30 percent of California’s water needs. The on-going winter measurements of the snowpack is an important tool for water managers across the state to estimate anticipated spring runoff.

Thursdays manual snowpack measurement at Phillips Station augments the electronic readings from nearly 100 snow pillows in the Sierra Nevada providing a current snapshot of the water content in the snowpack. Additional manual measurements of the Sierra Nevada will occur in late March/early April and possibly again in early May at Phillips Station just off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe.

NIH Selected for Program to Expand MAT for Opioid Use Disorder

Northern Inyo Hospital is among 31 health facilities selected from across the state to participate in the California Bridge Program, an accelerated training program for healthcare providers facilitated by the Public Health Institute’s Bridge program to enhance access to around-the-clock treatment for substance use disorders. Program sites will receive funding, training, and technical assistance to improve and access to facility-wide treatment and referral of acute symptoms of substance use disorders. The Bridge program is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

“For the first time, patients seeking treatment for Opioid Use Disorder will not have to wait days or even weeks to start treatment,” said Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Inyo Healthcare District. “When seeking care at NIHD, they will have access to care when they first decide it is
time for them to address the issue.”

A referral to an addiction treatment program has been the most that hospitals have generally been able to provide for patients identified as needing treatment for opioid use disorder. The Bridge model treats emergency rooms and acute care hospitals as a critical window for initiating treatment. When patients in opioid withdrawal come seeking medical care, including for reasons not related to opioid use, they will be offered a dose of medication such as buprenorphine to ease severe symptoms of withdrawal, and then they will be connected with outpatient treatment in the community. Studies have shown that patients given this option of medication designed for addiction treatment are more likely to remain in care than those who are given referral information alone.

“By suppressing withdrawal long enough to create a bridge for patients to enter and remain in treatment, physicians can save lives,” said Andrew Herring, MD, Director of Emergency Department Services for the Bridge program. “We know this model works, and now we are bringing it to hospitals and emergency rooms all across the state that are anxious for real solutions to address the enormous pain and suffering they see every day caused by the opioid epidemic.”

Inyo County has already had one apparent overdose death this year.

The 18-month California Bridge training program, with funding from the California Department of Health Care Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), aims to ensure that any interaction a patient has with the healthcare system can be a potential opportunity to enter into treatment. It approaches substance use disorder as a treatable chronic illness—creating an environment that welcomes disclosure of opioid use, provides rapid evidence-based treatment, and enables patients to enter and remain in treatment.

There will be three types of sites in the California Bridge program: Star Sites, centers of excellence for initiating treatment of substance use disorders from anywhere in the hospital; Rural Bridge Sites, where treatment will begin primarily in the emergency department with the support of substance use navigators; and Bridge Clinics, ‘low-threshold’ follow-up clinics patients can visit after starting treatment in the hospital setting.

California Bridge Program Selected Sites Include:
1. Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital – Willits
2. Adventist Health and Rideout – Marysville
3. Arrowhead Regional Medical Center – Colton
4. Central California Faculty Medical Group – Fresno
5. Contra Costa Regional Medical Center – Martinez
6. Dignity Health Memorial Hospital – Bakersfield
7. El Centro Regional Medical Center – El Centro
8. Enloe Medical Center – Chico
9. Hanford Community Hospital – Hanford
10. Harbor-UCLA Medical Center – Torrance
11. Highland Hospital – Oakland
12. Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation – Visalia
13. Marshall Medical Center – Placerville
14. Northern Inyo Hospital – Bishop
15. Olive View-UCLA Education & Research Institute – Los Angeles
16. Shasta Regional Medical Center Prime Healthcare Services – Redding
17. San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital – Banning
18. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital – Santa Barbara
19. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center – San Jose
20. Santa Rosa Community Health Brookwood Campus – Santa Rosa
21. Scripps Mercy Hospital – San Diego
22. Sierra Nevada Memorial Miners Hospital – Grass Valley
23. St. Joseph Health & St. Mary's Medical Center – Apple Valley
24. St. Joseph Hospital – Eureka
25. St. Joseph's Medical Center – Stockton
26. Sutter Lakeside Emergency Department – Lakeport
27. UC Davis Health – Sacramento
28. UC Irvine Medical Center – Orange
29. UC San Diego Health – San Diego
30. UCSF Medical Center – San Francisco
31. The Wellness Center – Los Angeles

Danny Dean Sprague obituary

Danny Dean Sprague died at home on February 23, 2019. He was born in Wapato, Washington on June 9, 1932. His parents, Jean L. Sprague, and Edwin A. Sprague and brother, Jack Sprague preceded him in death. He left behind his wife, Kay Sprague, of 57 years, 2 sons, Danny Sprague of Bishop and Brian Sprague of Torrance, 1 daughter, Valerie Behrendt of Bishop as well 1 daughter-in-law, Tracy Sprague and 1 son-in-law, Robert Behrendt as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Rebecca Carlson, Randi Behrendt Hall and her husband, Heath Hall, and Travis Behrendt, Maddie Hall, Kylie Behrendt, Aiden Behrendt, Kinley Behrendt and Keeli Behrendt. His niece Jackie, nephew Steve and their families survive him as well.

In 1960, he graduated from Montana State College, in Bozeman, Montana, after his Honorably discharged from the United States Navy as he serviced during the Korean War. He met Kay while attending college and they married, June 10, 1961. Upon graduation from college, he started his career with Federal Aviation Administration in Spokane, Washington, Palos Verde and Hawthorne, California, until retirement. He and his wife built their retirement home here in Bishop, California in 1993; they have resided in Bishop for 25 years. He was active with the Sierra Flyers for a few years. He volunteered for the Cup of Cold Water later to become Salvation Army Food Bank for many years. He enjoyed talking and meeting people throughout his life. He loved to tell stories and jokes.

Services will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, March 1, 2019 at the United Methodist Church in Bishop.

Kristerpher John Isbell Obituary

Kristerpher John Isbell passed away on Friday, February 15, 2019 after a courageous battle with Leukemia. Kris was born August 4, 1990 here in Bishop, California. He grew up in a large family with many cousins around him. He loved play fighting with his many swords and reading stories about magical, mythical creatures.

He loved music and always dreamed of being in a band with his numerous guitars. He loved collecting cards from Pokémon to Yu-gi-oh to magic cards. He had a passion for going places, loved to camp and recently had gone on vacation with his family to camp at the beach. Kris finished school here in Bishop and went on to attend college at Taft University. After graduating from Taft he moved back to Bishop.

Kris had many friends who loved and cared for him deeply. He will be missed greatly by everyone. Kris leaves behind his loving mother Janie, Grandmother Frances, his many aunts, uncles, numerous cousins and Manny too! Now that the Angels have come for Kris we know he is at peace with the Lord. He will be laid to rest on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the East Line Street Cemetery at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kristerpher Isbell Leukemia Fund at El Dorado Bank. A celebration of life for Kris will be held at a later date.

Tia Barfield Finishes Fourth Place at State Finals

Last week, senior Tia Barfield of the Bishop Bronco Wrestling Team placed 4 th at the 3-day California State Wrestling Tournament in Bakersfield. Competing at 162 pounds, Barfield entered the tournament as the 7 th seed, meaning that she was ranked 7 th in the state.

In her first match, Tia pinned her opponent in 1:27. In her second match, which was against the 10 th ranked wrestler in the state, Tia won by a 6-2 decision. Her next match was against the #2 wrestler in the state, Jerzie Estrada from Birmingham High School. Although she wrestled hard, Tia lost 14-4, which put her into the consolation bracket.

Tia came back and won the next 3 matches, putting her into the match for 3rd place against Estrada again. In an exciting match, Tia got an early lead and nearly pinned her opponent. However, just before the end of the 2nd period, her opponent used a throw and pinned her.

In her quest for a state championship, Tia wrestled against the 2 nd , 6 th , 8 th and 10 th ranked wrestlers in the state, defeating them all except for the 2 nd ranked wrestler.

Coach Mark Hodges said, “This was a great accomplishment and I am very happy for Tia. Her 4 th place was a big improvement over last year’s 8 th place finish. Tia’s accomplishments this year include:

  • A record of 30 wins and only 3 losses
  • CIF Champion – 1 st girl ever for Bishop. The only other Bishop Bronco wrestlers to become CIF Wrestling Champions are: Randy Rogers in 1985, Jaime Ruelas in 2012 and this year Mark Mayhugh
  • Master’s Champion – 1st girl ever for Bishop. The only other Bishop Bronco wrestler to become a Master’s Champion was Randy Rogers in 1985
  • 4th place at the State Tournament – 1st ever girl (or boy) to place at the state wrestling tournament

“There is an old adage in wrestling that you will never be a good wrestler without having a good wrestling partner. So part of Tia’s success goes to senior Mark Mayhugh who wrestled with Tia in the wrestling room and before every match at the state tournament.” Said Mark Hodges.

Healthy Lifestyles Talk gets to the ‘Heart’ of Your Health

As part of American Heart Month, Northern Inyo Healthcare District will host a Healthy Lifestyle Talk by Cardiology Specialist Dr. Rainier Manzanilla.

The talk, titled “Small Changes, Big Results: Getting to the Heart of the Matter when it comes to Your Health,” will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26 th , 6:30 p.m. at the Northern Inyo Healthcare

District’s Birch Street Annex. The annex is located at 2957 Birch St., Bishop. Heart disease doesn’t happen just to older adults. It is happening to younger adults more and more often. This is partly because conditions that lead to heart disease, such as obesity and high blood pressure, are happening at younger ages. With half of all Americans having at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease, Heart Month is the perfect time to learn about the risks for heart disease and the steps to help your heart.

Dr. Manzanilla is a cardiologist in the Los Angeles area and is affiliated with Adventist Health White Memorial. He has been in practice for more than 20 years and in that time has held a number of leadership positions including Chief of Cardiology and Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center at White Memorial. In 1999, he received the Physician of the Year award at that same hospital and was entered into the hospital’s Hall of Fame.

In addition to his work in Los Angeles, Dr. Manzanilla makes frequent visits to Bishop to treat local patients at the Northern Inyo Associates Specialty Clinic, located on the NIHD campus’ Pioneer Medical Building. Dr. Manzanilla is currently accepting new patients.

Dr. Manzanilla’s Healthy Lifestyles Talk is being presented in partnership by Northern Inyo Healthcare District and Adventist Health.

Gina Louise Jourdan Obituary

Gina Louise Jourdan

Gina passed away at home on the morning of Feb.15, 2019 suddenly after a brief illness with her husband at her side. Gina was born Sept. 16, 1974 to Phil and Sharon Hodges in Santa Barbara where she met Brett and were married on Aug. 14, 1999. In 2001 they moved to the Owens Valley settling in Wilkerson. Gina was a cashier at Bishop K-mart for over 16 years and will be deeply missed.

Together Gina and Brett have been growing a large garden and raising chickens selling to local farmers markets. Her sudden passing has been a shock to family and friends.

Proceeded in death by her father Phil Hodges and maternal grandmother Louise Gray both from Santa Barbara, CA. She is survived by her husband of 19 years Brett, mother and stepfather Sharon and Jim Snell of Camarillo, CA, sister and brother-in-law Darnel and Matt Francis and their son Ethan of OR, Uncle Jerry and Gail Gray of Santa Barbara, and in-laws Brian Jourdan of Santa Barbara, Bobbie Jourdan Jr. of Roseville, Bonnie Jordan of Old Station, Bradley Jourdan of Bishop, and best little friend Leelain her Chihuahua.

Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at Brune Mortuary followed by a graveside service at West Line Street Cemetery.

A celebration of life will take place at VFW # 8988 following the service.