Community News

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

Forest Campgrounds Opening

Inyo National Forest Campgrounds, Schulman Grove Visitor Center Scheduled to Open

The Inyo National Forest is planning to open recreation facilities on the White Mountain and Mt. Whitney Ranger Districts in the upcoming weeks.

On the White Mountain District, Grandview Campground in the White Mountains is currently open; this is a dry campground with no water. The Schulman Grove Visitor Center is scheduled to open on April 24th and will be open four days a week, Friday – Monday. The summer schedule, open seven days a week, is expected to start in mid-May.

In the Big Pine drainage, Sage Flat, Upper Sage Flat, and Big Pine campgrounds are scheduled to open by April 22nd.

In Bishop Creek, the Bitterbrush Campground is open and the Bishop Park, Forks, Intake 2, Big Trees, and Four Jeffrey campgrounds are scheduled to open by April 22nd.  The Sabrina, Table Mountain, Mountain Glenn, Willow, and North Lake campgrounds are scheduled to open at a later date, dependent on weather.

Along Rock Creek, the Holiday Campground (a winter service campground) is open, but will close on April 23rd when French Camp and Tuff campgrounds open. Iris and Big Meadow Campgrounds are projected to open on May 8th, East Fork is projected to open on May 15th, and Upper and Lower Pine Grove and Rock Creek Lake campgrounds are projected to open on May 22nd. Please be aware that there is road construction going on the Rock Creek Road; expect 30 minute delays and limited parking. The McGee Campground will be open by April 23rd.

On the Mt. Whitney District, Upper and Lower Grays Meadow and Lone Pine campgrounds are currently open. Whitney Portal Campground is working to open April 18th, but will definitely be open by April 23rd. Onion Valley Campground will open by April 23rd as well. The Horseshoe Meadow Road and the Horseshoe Meadow campgrounds will open on April 24th. Please note that fishing will not be open in Cottonwood Creek until July 1st.

Forest Service campgrounds can be reserved at Many other camping opportunities exist in Bureau of Land Management campgrounds and various Inyo County, Mono County and private campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra.

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Manzanar opens Barracks Exhibits


During World War II, more than 10,000 Japanese Americans coped with spartan living conditions at Manzanar. They were from cities and farms, young and old, rich and poor, extended families and single people. All were forced from their pre-war homes to live in crowded apartments in identical barracks in Manzanar.
Visitors now have the opportunity to learn more about the personal experiences of individuals, families, and communities incarcerated at Manzanar through new permanent exhibits installed in two reconstructed barracks. The exhibits feature extensive photos, documents, and quotes illustrating the challenges and changes people faced at Manzanar. Six audio stations and one video station feature a total of 42 oral history clips.
Exhibits in barracks 1 focus on the early days of Manzanar, when thousands of people arrived to an unfinished camp. Barracks 1 also includes a Block Manager’s office, featuring the papers of Block Manager Chokichi Nakano. Barracks 8 features an “improved” apartment with linoleum and wall board. A second room explores the Loyalty Questionnaire and its profound long-lasting impacts.

“We’re happy to have the new exhibits installed in time for next weekend’s annual Pilgrimage,” said Superintendent Bernadette Johnson. “The Pilgrimage is a time when people come together to share stories. The new exhibits make it possible to experience the living conditions and create personal connections for our visitors as they tour the barracks and hear stories told by incarcerees.”

Manzanar National Historic Site is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, California. Admission is free. For further information, please call (760) 878-2194 ext. 3310, visit their website at, or explore their page at




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Paving Begins on Bishop’s Warren Street

Warren Street Construction Update

Pavement rehabilitation work is expected to start next week on the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project. This work will last about two weeks and will be especially disruptive because of extensive street and intersection closures.  Pavement rehabilitation will start early Monday, 20 April, with grinding and pulverizing
existing pavement on North Warren, Church, Academy, West Pine, and the city parking lot east of South Warren.
After that, the ground up pavement will be treated with cement
and graded to provide a base for the new asphalt concrete pavement. This grinding and grading work is expected to take about a week. The following week, new pavement is expected to be placed on the streets that were ground and graded the previous week. Paving is expected to take about a week.
While pavement rehabilitation work is underway, concrete work will continue on the project. Concrete work is expected to focus on South Warren and in city parking lots for the next two or three weeks. Street light installation is also expected to continue.
Although the next two weeks of work on the Warren Street project will be especially disruptive, once it is complete, inconveniences due to the remaining construction will be significantly less than it has for several months. All work on the project is expected to be complete in mid May.  Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and other hidden hazards require attention, even when work is not underway. When signs say a road is closed, please don’t drive on it. The contract or on the project normally works 7 am to 5
pm Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off.
For more information contact City of Bishop Public Works at or 760-873-8458.
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Rainbows Unicorns and See’s Candies

Friendly Vibe at Northern Inyo Hospital Meeting

Last nights Northern Inyo Hospital board meeting was conducted in stark contrast to last months venom filled session. The March meeting opened with a public comment period featuring speakers describing division at the hospital and the drama culminated with the Chief of Staff resigning his post….last nights meeting opened with a positive report from the hospital auxiliary speaking at length about the success of their See’s Candies sales.

This months public comment period was much more pleasant with retiring, veteran nurse Martha Reynolds speaking passionately about her strong feelings for the staff and the work being done at the hospital.

Last month speakers were strictly timed during public comments, with their remarks limited to 2 minutes. No clock this week as Reynolds used her time to assure folks that good work has been done at Northern Inyo Hospital, and that will continue.

Last months hotly discussed discipline policy was passed with little fanfare.

CEO Victoria Alexander Lane’s report included good news on the physician recruitment front, noting the additions of General Surgeon Dr. Allison Robinson, a Big Pine native who is returning to the Owens Valley. Alexander Lane also noted the addition of Physician’s Assistant Sunny Sawyer who will go to work in the rural health clinic, which will begin offering same day services, designed to give patients an alternative to the emergency room.

Alexander Lane’s report did include a brief update on the nurses unionization process. Alexander Lane noted the process is moving very slowly, and that legal expenses for the hospital have reached 40 thousand dollars.

The financial report for February included good news, with a reported 8% increase in revenue, without a price increase for services.

northern inyo hospital, victoria alexander-lane, allison robinson, bishop news

Mt Pass update

Tioga pass opening to the park gate today (4/15)

Provided by Mono County Sheriffs Department.

We have had some inquiries on the opening dates of our local mountain passes.

The lower section of Tioga Pass, Hwy 120 West, will open from Lee Vining to park entrance gate today (4/15) by 5:00pm. Tioga Pass from the park entrance gate into Yosemite National Park remains closed as plowing and winter debris removal continues. As soon as we get updates on the full opening, we will ensure to pass the information along.

Sonora Pass, Hwy 108, is scheduled to tentatively open on Friday, 4/17. This opening is weather permitting.

Weather conditions can change at an instant throughout the Eastern Sierra. Please remember to check our local road conditions before heading out on your traveling journey! Happy and Safe Travels! – Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

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Robert Van Thom

Robert Van Thom 1928 – 2015

Robert Van Thom 86; resident of Bishop for 31 years, born in Florida on December 7, 1928, passed away peacefully on April 14, 2015 at his residence with his grandson Robert by his side.
Robert moved to California in 1942. He graduated from Narbonne High School the summer of 1946, from there went on to Compton J.C. (Junior College)
Robert served in the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers from Sept. 1950 until discharged April 1952 as a combat medic. He earned the rank of Staff Sgt. and was shipped to Korea. He distinguished himself by Gallantry in action near Chung-Bang-P’yong, Korea on the 18th of February 1952 and was awarded the Silver Star.
After his discharge from the service he was employed by Long Beach Oil Development Company. There he stayed for 34 years and retired as Chief Accountant in Material Control. Shortly after retirement, Robert and his loving wife Thora, a marriage of 42 years moved to Bishop in 1986. Thora passed away Feb. 24, 1988.
Robert is survived by Grandson Robert Thom and wife Holly from Templeton, CA, Grandson William Newton Thom of Templeton CA, Sister Adoree Suran and Husband Richard from La Palma, CA


Robert Van Thom, bishop news

CHP Mojave targeting speeders


Mojave, Ca. – Reducing motorists’ speed and enhancing public safety on our highways is a major concern for the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Through public awareness and focused enforcement efforts, the CHP hopes to increase the safety of the motoring public.

The Mojave Area CHP office will be conducting saturation enforcement on April 17th 2015 in the eastern portion of Kern County. The increased enforcement aims to help drivers recognize the presence of law enforcement and reduce the number of traffic collisions and vehicle code violations.

“Speed limits exist for a reason,” states Mojave CHP Commander, Lieutenant Julian Irigoyen. “Excessive speed consistently causes an extremely large share of collisions, resulting in lives lost.” The Mojave Area CHP urges drivers to slow down, reduce distractions, and drive safely.

The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.

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Mono CAO Leaving

Mono County Administrator relocating to Bay Area

CAO Leddy provides six week notice to assist transition

Bridgeport, CA – On April 14th, 2015 the Mono County Board of Supervisors and County Administrator Jim Leddy announced he would be leaving the employ of Mono County effective May 31st, 2015.  Mono County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tim Fesko commented, “The Board appreciates the hard work and energy Jim brought to the position during a crucial transitional period for
Mono County. Thanks to Jim’s hard work, Mono County is moving in a new direction to improve services while understanding the new restrained fiscal reality. We wish his family well and will be strongly continuing the efforts to improve public services launched since
CAO Leddy will be working to ensure all major initiatives such as Strategic Planning, the ongoing response to the Round Fire recovery, and other budget re-organization efforts continue forward after his departure. CAO Leddy commented, “It has been an honor to work for the people of Mono County over the last two years on behalf of the Board of Supervisors. The opportunity to collaborate with the employees, Board and many communities of the County have been extraordinary experience with which my family and I will remember with fondness.”
The Board will discuss the process for recruitment in the coming weeks.

mono county news, eastern sierra news, jim leddy

City of Bishop Expands Water Restrictions

California Expands Water Conservation Mandates

City of Bishop, public works:

In response to the ongoing drought, the State of California recently expanded the measures it requires all water users in the state to take, including City of Bishop water users. The state now requires that water use in the City of Bishop be reduced 25% when compared to use in 2013. Prior to this, the required reduction was 20%. To achieve this reduction, the state has added several new water conservation requirements. As a result, the current water conservation mandates that apply to City of Bishop water users are:

No outdoor irrigation except between 5 pm and 9 am.
No outdoor irrigation such that water runs off property.
No outdoor irrigation during and within 48 hours after precipitation (new).
New landscaping must use drip irrigation or micro-spray (new).
No washing vehicles unless hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle.
No washing driveways, sidewalks, and parking areas.
No decorative water features unless there is recirculation.
No serving of water in commercial establishments except upon request (new).
Hotel guests can choose to not have towels and linens washed each day (new).
No water waste caused by easily correctable leaks, breaks, or malfunctions.
No use of potable water for construction purposes.
No hydrant flushing except when required for public health and safety.

Most water is used for outdoor irrigation so most measures address outdoor irrigation. The city may allow exceptions to some of these measures in some cases. More water conservation requirements are expected from the state as the drought continues. The city has a standing water conservation incentive program available to help its water customers save water. The program provides free hose nozzles, hose timers, and irrigation system timers and provides rebates for some sprinkler systems and water conserving appliances. The incentives are available only to water customers of the City of Bishop and are limited to one per customer account. Also, quantities of the free items are limited. The free hose nozzles, hose timers, and irrigation system timers are available at the City of Bishop Public Works Office. To receive these items, come in, fill out an application, and pick one up while supplies last. Rebates are available for installing water saving sprinkler systems and for eligible upgrades to clothes washers, dish washers, and toilets. To receive a rebate, fill out an application, have your old and new item verified by city staff, and get a check. More information and applications are available on the city website or from City of Bishop Public Works.  Also remember that landscaping needs less water now than in the heat of the summer. Taylor your watering to the needs of the plants and lawn to avoid over watering.  Saving water saves money, reduces water rates, protects groundwater, is the right thing to do, and is required by the state. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at 873-8458 for more information on water conservation and the City’s water system.

Cover Photo by Gary Young

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Earth Day 2015

Bishop Waste Hosts Green Talks and Trash Triathlon

Earth Day inspires communities to help make our planet a better place now, and for future generations. Why not plan to get involved this year? Here are ways you can…
“One of the best things we can do for our environment is to be informed citizens,” said Rick Vahl, director of Bishop Waste and Mammoth Disposal.  Bishop Waste will be offering “Green Talks” at Earth Day in the Bishop City Park on April 18th to help educate residents about a variety of topics, including curbside recycling, starting a recycling program at your workplace and a big-picture view of how waste is managed locally. This free event is the perfect opportunity to learn the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of garbage, recycling and yard waste once it leaves your curb.
“We are pleased to be hosting the first annual Trash Triathlon from 3:00-4:00 PM in the front of the Bishop City Park. Teams of six will compete in a recycle relay, trash toss and recycle puzzle. It’s meant to be fun and draw some attention to promoting a clean, responsible way to deal with trash,” said Rick Vahl. To get involved, please contact Bishop Waste at 760-872-6561.
Rick also said, “It’s important to remember, the trash can is not the place for all trash.”  Bishop Waste is giving the community a chance to dispose of household hazardous waste properly and for free. Residents can bring household batteries and drop them in a special bin at the Bishop Waste Booth. A majority of Eastern Sierra residents throw their recyclables and household hazardous waste in their trash, which is filling up our landfill. Bishop Waste will give residents an opportunity to bundle trash and recycling services to alleviate this eminent concern.
Come celebrate “Earth Day” on Saturday, April 18th from 10am to 4pm at the Bishop City Park.

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