Category Archives: Community News


Heavy traffic expected in Yosemite this weekend

June 30, 2016
by Seth Conners

If travelers arrive at any of the Yosemite National  Park entrances this weekend they can expect delays of up to two hours.  According to park officials parking and traffic are expected to be especially challenging this weekend and travelers in the park should plan accordingly.  The park has added 300 new parking space to suppress some of the problems experienced in the past, however delays are still expected during peak hours.  The park strongly urges travelers to arrive very early to avoid some of the problems created by excessive traffic.
Park visitors are strongly encouraged to utilized the free shuttle busses in Yosemite Valley that has been recently expanded to reach as far El Capitan Meadow and Bridleveil Falls.  These busses use HOV transit lanes which are far more efficient than normal traffic lanes.

Fourth of July Weekend, Yosemite, free shuttle, independence day, national parks, el capitan
Photo by Gary Young Photography


High winds and lightning pose potential problem for firefighters.

June 28
by Seth Conners

Although they are not out of the woods yet the areas surrounding Lee Vining are beginning to see the light at the end of the Marina Fire tunnel.  Acreage burned has remained at 654 acres since late sunday night and the fire is now 75 percent contained.  However, thunderstorms in the area could produce dry lightning and outflow winds up to 50 miles per hour.  This has firefighters worried because of the increased potential for new fires to flare up and spread rapidly.

As the containment line continues to increase unnecessary firefighting resources will be released accordingly.  This demobilization process will allow equipment and personnel to return to their home units or reassigned to other fires.

The investigation to determine the exact cause and origin of the fire is ongoing.

Marina Fire, Lee Vining, U.S. Forest Service, Fire information, Fire Update, Highway 395


Town of Mammoth gets new Phones

New Phone System introduced in the town of Mammoth

June 23, 2016
submitted by the town of Mammoth


Mammoth Lakes, CA – The Town of Mammoth Lakes is excited to announce that the aging old analog phone system has been upgraded to a new digital Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system. The introduction of Digital 395 into our community allowed the Town to benefit from a robust fiber-optic network which provides connectivity between Town facilities. The network provides the opportunity to leverage Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) based communication to replace the aging phone system, which not only offers better connectivity in a modern and maintained system, but also reduces costs. 

 The new phone system will offer a significant improvement in functionality and ease of use for Town staff while providing more efficient integration between all seven of the Town’s facilities, offering staff the ability to call any employee at any location simply by dialing the extension. Additionally, the system will provide a variety of options for call handling and routing, voicemail, auto-attendant/phone tree options, and mobility. All of these enhancements will greatly help Town staff with their day-to-day responsibilities of serving the public and providing high quality customer service. Improved access to Town Departments and employees and connectivity between Town operations will enhance public access and Town responsiveness.

 As a result of these improvements, all of the Town’s phone numbers will be changing, effective Thursday, June 23, 2016. Each department will have its own direct phone line and each employee will have a new extension number. 

 Below is a list of the new department phone numbers:

Administration (760) 965-3600
irport (760) 965-3620
Community and Economic Development (760) 965-3630
Engineering (760) 965-3650
Finance (760) 965-3660
Public Works Yard (760) 965-3680
Parks and Recreation (760) 965-3690
Police Department (760) 965-3700

The new VoIP system will replace the Town’s 20-year old Nortel analog phone system which is no longer supported, difficult to maintain, and not interconnected between Town locations. The new system furthers the Town Council’s goal of using enhanced technology to improve Town operations, enhance customer service, and reduce costs.

Please be patient with us while we transition to our new system.  For a full list of employee phone numbers, please visit our website

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Alta One announces year end scholarship winners

Maria Jimenez wins top honors at the Alta One year end scholarship ceremony

June 22, 2016
By Seth Conners

The Alta One Federal Credit Union held its annual scholarship awards ceremony on Tuesday June 14th at the Alta One member service center.  The ceremony was held to honor and award this years Bishop High School scholarship nominees and winners.  Finalists from each season were awarded a $1,000 scholarship with the overall winner receiving an extra $750 dollars.

Maria Jimenez…Basketball/Volleyball…OVERALL WINNER ($1,000 Dollars)
Jamie Schultz…Cross Country/Swim Team/ Volleyball
Martin Tievnan…Football
Katrina Biehl…Tennis
Carson Reid…Cross Country

Sabrina Barlow…Basketball/Softball…FINALIST ($1,000 Dollars)
Marryanne Stone…Snowboard Team
Lawrence Joey Havey…Soccer

Bailee Piper…Softball…FINALIST ($1,000 Dollars)
Elizabeth Bignam…Swim Team
Selena Duenas…Dance/ Track and Field
Brian Jones…Golf
Logan Stephenson…Football/Track and Field
Chance Womack…Baseball

cover photo by Gary Young

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Chalfant Man Arrested

Paul Harris Arrested Sunday

June 20, 2016
by Arnie Palu

A 75-year old Chalfant man was booked into Mono County Jail Sunday, facing a potential charge of murder. The Mono County Sheriffs department web site indicates that 75-year old Paul Harris was taken into custody on Sunday with bail set at 1 million dollars.

Statement from the Mono County Sheriffs Department:

On June 19, 2016, at 7:21 a.m., the Mono County Sheriff’s Office received a call requesting that they check on the welfare of residents who live on a ranch in Chalfant. Responding deputies were met by one of the residents, Paul Harris, who was unharmed. On the property they discovered the body of Mr. Harris’s wife, who was deceased. Additional resources were called to the scene, and the investigation is ongoing. Paul Harris was arrested for the charge of Murder and was booked into the Mono County Jail. This press release was prepared by the Mono County Sheriff’s Office and the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, who are working together on the investigation.


Paul Harris. Photo courtesy of Mono County Sheriffs department.

Ash and Goliath creating Haze

Lightning caused fire and controlled burn creating haze in the Owen Valley

by Arnie Palu
June 16, 2016

A lightning caused fire and a controlled burn are creating a slight haze for the Owens Valley.  The Forest Service indicates that the Ash fire ignited on June 12th.  The fire is burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness southeast of Mulkey Meadows at nearly 8,500 feet of elevation.   Smoke is visible along the Highway 395 corridor north of Olancha.  Officials indicate the Ash fire is currently no threat to life or property as it burns in a mix of mahogany, pinyon pine, and jeffery pine.  According to Forest Service spokesperson Deb Schweizer, fire crews are monitoring the fire and using bucket drops from helicopter to help direct and slow the fire spread.

Also contributing to the haze in the Owens Valley is the Goliath prescribed burn.  Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks issued the following statement:

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. June 11, 2016 – After a successful test fire and determination by the parks’ burn boss and fire management staff, the Goliath Prescribed Burn has started in Redwood Canyon located in Kings Canyon National Park. The prescribed burn is scheduled to last for approximately four to five days.

At 759 acres, the purpose of the prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. Redwood Canyon is home to the largest giant sequoia grove in the world. A prescribed burn is one of the only natural means to prepare a mineral soil seed bed, which giant sequoias require to regenerate; the other being a lightning-caused fire when conditions may not be as ideal.

Smoke impacts can be expected in Redwood Canyon and the Kings Canyon Overlook area during the day and towards the North Fork of the Kaweah River at night. The Generals Highway and Redwood Saddle Road should not experience any delays. Depending on weather, the Montecito-Sequoia Lodge may experience smoke impacts at night.

The parks fire management program would like to remind the public that all trails surrounding the burn unit will have restricted access during ignition and through the burn down period. While this prescribed burn is surrounded in its entirety by the Redwood Canyon and Hart Tree Trails, if safe to do so, firefighters may be able to escort visitors along a short section of the Redwood Canyon Trail between the Sugar Bowl and Hart Tree Trails.

provided by the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

Crews Monitor Ash Fire

Fire Crews Monitor Ash Fire

June, 15, 2016
submitted by Deb Schweizer, US Forest Service

The Ash Fire, a lightning-caused fire, was ignited and detected on June 12th. It is approximately two acres in size and is burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness southeast of Mulkey Meadows.

Smoke may be visible along the Highway 395 corridor north of Olancha. Please do not report this fire.

There is currently no threat to life or property. The fire is burning is a mixture of mahogany, pinyon pine, and Jeffrey pine at 8,500 ft. The fire is burning in steep, rugged, and inaccessible terrain. Fire spread is primarily from rollouts; burning material that gets loosened, rolls down the steep slope, and ignites vegetation below.

Fire crews are monitoring the fire and using bucket drops from helicopter to help direct and slow the fire spread. The fire behavior is low intensity, burning the sparse dead and down vegetation in the area. Crews plan to use a confine/contain strategy to slow the fire’s spread towards Wormhole Canyon.

More than 300 lightning strikes occurred in the southern district of the forest. Crews will also continue to monitor the area for sleeper fires, which may have ignited during the storm, but will begin to show smoke as conditions get warmer and drier.

From air
Photo provided.
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Bishop Tribe Primary Election Results

Top 5 Advance to the General Election

June 15, 2016
By Arnie Palu

Bishop Paiute Tribal voters navigated a crowded ballot Tuesday casting their votes for Tribal Council.  Voters had their pick of 26 candidates advancing the top 5 to the general election.  The general election is set for Tuesday, July 12 when voters will select three for seats on the Bishop Tribal Council.  The five candidates moving forward are Brian Poncho, Jeff Romero, Gerald Howard (incumbent), Earleen Williams and Kristopher Hohag.

A total of 539 ballots were cast in Tuesdays primary.

Brian Poncho,  196
Jeff Romero, 164
Gerald Howard (incumbent) 144
Earleen Williams, 135
Kristopher Hohag, 131

Alan Williams 19
Elbe Brown, 25
Jonathan Frankson, 39
Diane Hart, 58
Thomas Mitchell, 60
Clarissa Mashburn, 61
Harry Williams, 63
Alena Wagener, 66
Gloriana Bailey, 69
Shondeen Stone-Chavez, 71
Lee Chavez, 86
Quina West, 90
Michael Rogers, 91
Kelly Toiyagaduh Stone, 95
Gertrude Brown (incumbent) 99
Monty Bengochia, 101
Allen Summers, 106
Ronald Napoles, 111
Meryl Picard, 111
William Turner (incumbent) 115
Raymond Stone IV, 116

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Guilty Plea for Defacing Rock Formations

Guilty Plea and sentence for woman charged with defacing rock formations in 7 National Parks

Death Valley and Yosemite among the targets

submitted by the Department of Justice
June 14, 2016

FRESNO, Calif. —Casey Nocket, 23, of San Diego, pleaded guilty today to seven misdemeanor counts of damaging government property. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto sentenced Nocket two years’ probation and 200 hours of community service, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and National Park Service Chief of Law Enforcement Charles Cuvelier announced.

In addition, Judge Oberto ordered Nocket banned from lands administered by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Army Corps of Engineers during the period of probation. A hearing to determine the amount of restitution Nocket is required to pay will be held at a later date.
According to court documents, over a 26-day period, Nocket damaged rock formations within seven national parks by drawing or painting on them using acrylic paints and markers. She posted numerous pictures of the drawings on her social media accounts. The parks are in four federal districts: the Eastern District of California, the District of Oregon, the District of Utah, and the District of Colorado.

Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert stated, “The defendant’s defacement of multiple rock formations showed a lack of respect for the law and our shared national treasures. The National Park Service has worked hard to restore the rock formations to their natural state, completing clean-up efforts in five of the seven parks. They expect to complete cleanup efforts at Death Valley in the near future and at Crater Lake as weather permits.”

“This case illustrates the important role that the public can play in identifying and sharing evidence of illegal behavior in parks,” said Charles Cuvelier, chief of law enforcement for the National Park Service. “It is clear that the public cares deeply for the special places that the National Park Service represents, and the resolution of this case sends a message to those who would consider such inappropriate behavior going forward.”

The damage took place as follows:
·         September 23, 2014, Death Valley National Park in the Eastern District of California at the summit of Telescope Peak.
·         September 12, 2014, Rocky Mountain National Park in the District of Colorado
·         September 13, 2014, Colorado National Monument in the District of Colorado on the Monument Canyon Trail.
·         September 15, 2014, Canyonlands National Park in the District of Utah on the Neck Spring Trail.
·         September 17, 2014, Zion National Park in the District of Utah.
·         October 2, 2014, Yosemite National Park in the Eastern District of California at the beginning of the John Muir Trail.
·         October 7, 2014, Crater Lake National Park in the District of Oregon.

This case was the product of an investigation by the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya prosecuted the case.

Bishop Park Pool Notes

Bishop City Park Pool

June 13, 2016
submitted by the City of Bishop

Swim Lessons:

The City of Bishop Swim School still has openings for all three swim sessions. Sign up at the Bishop Park Pool Tuesdays 10:45-6:00, Wednesday-Friday 10:45-4:30, and Saturday & Sunday 12:30-4:30. The Swim School offers:

Group lessons- $45 for 8 classes

Private lessons- $80 for 4 classes

First session starts June 21. Come down and sign up or call the park pool for more information at 872-7201.

Water Fitness Classes:

Looking for a cooler way to exercise throughout this hot summer?

The pool now offers:

Morning classes Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:15-9:15

Evening classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8.

Admission-$5 or buy a 14 punch pass for $60.

Dive In Movie:

Dive In Movie at the Bishop Park Pool is back!! First movie will be held on

Friday, June 24th at 7:45pm. The movie will start approximately 8:30.

Admission is $5

Call the Bishop Park Pool for more information at 872-7201