Category Archives: Community News

Lester Leslie

LESTER LEE LESLIE 1953-2015

June 3, 1953 – July 26, 2015
Lester passed away on Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Bishop, California. Born June 3, 1953 in San Bernardino, California to Lloyd and Majo Leslie, Lester grew up in a large family with three brothers and four sisters. He was a horseman from the start and spent many years working on different ranches in California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and even Florida. Besides his ranching experience, Lester worked at a mine; as a roofer; fence builder; construction; helping weld pipelines, and even put in a brief teenage stint making beds in a hotel (which lasted about three days), though everyone knew he was a cowboy at heart. Very competitive, he was successful showing in working cow-horse classes, ranch rodeos, ranch sorting, and in earlier years, team penning. He loved his horses and always rode a good one, taking pride in how they worked and handled. Whether he was a cowboy first and horseman second, he was without a doubt a “natural” and quite gifted. He freely shared his knowledge to help others with their horsemanship, all the while dealing with some serious health issues, becoming an inspiration to many. When he wasn’t horseback, Lester could usually be found watching old westerns, at a theater catching a new movie, on the phone with family or friends…or maybe his favorite, taking a nap! A man that was loyal, courageous, generous, funny, sweet and charming, sometimes cranky and ornery, set in his ways, and never scared to give his opinion… that was “our Lester.” We loved him and will miss him to no end.

Lester is preceded in death by his Father, Loyd Leslie. He is survived by his best friend and partner Cynde Cantwell; mother Majo Leslie; sisters Mary Arthur; Lola Turley; Jody Winchester; Emma Bills (Bob); brothers Barney Leslie (Barbara); Dudley Leslie (Kathy); Mark Leslie (Jody); numerous nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, grand nieces and nephews….and his good little mare “Cowgirl.”

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance, P.O. Box 1523, Bishop, CA 93514

A memorial service will be held for Lester Leslie on Saturday, August 8th, 2015 at 1:00 PM at the Mt. Whitney Golf Course, Lone Pine, CA.

Family and friends are invited to come, gather and share memories and stories. Food will be served.

For questions call, Emma Bills at (760) 876-5987

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july30cover

Progress on BUHS John Schwab Field

BUHS Football Field Improving

Open trenches are now filled and the new irrigation system is providing water to Bishop Union High School’s John Schwab Field.  The field rehab includes new irrigation infrastructure and extensive turf rehabilitation.  The field has been closed while the improvements are being made.  The countdown is on for the first football game.  The Broncos will open the 2015 season hosting Whittier Christian.  The Hearlds will bring only a varsity team to town for the season opener.  The 2015 season opener is set for Friday, August 28th, 7pm.  All Bronco Varsity football games will be broadcast live on AM 1230 KBOV (Bishop vs. Mammoth on 9/11 will air on 100.7 KIBS).

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Photo by James Tyler. Photo taken Thursday, July 30th.
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Photo by James Tyler. Photo Taken Mid June.
Bishop Union High School Football, Bronco Football, Bishop Union High School
inyo sheriff

Authorities Investigating Dog Death

incident sparks outrage

The Inyo County Sheriffs department is investigating the death of a dog in Mustang Mesa. A dog was struck and killed by a vehicle Sunday, July 26th.  According to Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze, the Inyo Sheriffs Department received the call just minutes after noon Sunday. Sheriffs deputies and Animal Control responded to Mustang Mesa to investigate. According to Sheriff Bill Lutze, witnesses reported that a suspect allegedly intentionally struck the dog with a vehicle causing fatal injuries. A suspect has been identified. The suspect was not arrested. Lutze indicates the Inyo County Sheriffs Department will be forwarding their report to the Inyo County District Attorneys office.

Inyo District Attorney Tom Hardy confirms that he has been briefed on the incident by the Sheriffs Department and his office is awaiting the investigation report. While not able to comment on a ongoing investigation, Hardy did note that this is a serious situation that will get his office’s full attention.

inyo county sheriff bill lutze, inyo district attorney tom hardy, inyo county news

James Doherty

JAMES CLAUDE DOHERTY 1921-2015

Graveside services will be held August 1 at 10:00 am at the East Line Street Cemetery in Bishop for 81 year Bishop resident, James Claude Doherty.
Born in Imperial Valley, Calif. On February 13, 1921 to Joseph L. Doherty and Louella Boshers Doherty. Jim passed away July 26, 2015 in Bishop, Calif.
Jim came to Bishop in 1934 with his dad, Joe Doherty. Joe started Joe’s Garage on Willow St. in the same year. Jim attended Bishop schools, graduated in 1939. He spent time in the U.S. Army from 1942-1944, in England, returned to Bishop in 1944. He married Helen A. Brockman on July 11, 1945 in Pasadena, Calif. They were married 59 years. Helen passed away in 2004. They made their home in Bishop. Jim owned and worked at Joe’s Garage until his retirement in 1985.
Jim loved to fish on his boat at Crowley Lake, he and Helen took several cruises, enjoyed traveling in their 5th wheel trailer visiting new places, family and friends. His passion for his wood pile was a highlight in his life.
He leaves 4 children, Karen Eckert, Sacramento, grandson David Eckert, granddaughter Kim Kaluba. Janette Boyd, (Doug), Stockton, granddaughters Teri Boyd, Dena Brayshaw, grandson Ryan Boyd. Tom Doherty, (Judy), Gardnerville, Nev., granddaughters Cori Ayandele, Linzy Fitzsimons, grandson Todd Doherty. Donna Brazier, Bishop, granddaughters Cara Brazier, Jenna Brazier, 13 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild.
His beloved dog Sadie, his best friend and companion, passed away February 2015.
Jim loved life, his family, his friends, he loved Bishop. Bishop was his life. He will be truly missed.
Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice or to www.ICAREforPets.org

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LogoChoice21202

Hunter Education Class

Popular Hunter Education Course being offered

A California Hunter Education class is being offered August 7th and 8th.  The very popular course will be taught at the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery, located just north of Independence.  The class will take place Friday, August 7th from 6 to 9pm and Saturday, August 8th from 8am to 4pm.  Lunch will be provided Saturday.  Attendance both days is required.  The cost of taking the class is two dozen cookies per student.

For information call Steven Ivey at 760-878-2370.

steven ivey, california hunter education class, mt whitney fish hatchery, eastern sierra news
CASAquilt

Quilts for Kids

Quilt and Craft retreat benefits Children

Submitted by Wild Iris.

CASA OF THE EASTERN SIERRA QUILTING & CRAFT RETREAT
FUNDRAISER TO BENEFIT ABUSED & NEGLECTED CHILDREN

Inyo and Mono Counties, CA: Quilters and crafters are generous, giving people by nature. If you happen to be a quilter or crafter the CASA of the Eastern Sierra’s first annual Quilters’ and Crafters’ Retreat is a great opportunity for you to benefit abused and neglected children while enjoying the fellowship of like-minded friends, the beauty of the Eastern Sierra, and taking time to complete some of those projects begging to be finished.
CASA of the Eastern Sierra is a non-profit collaboration and partnership between Wild Iris Family Counseling and Crisis Center and the Superior Court of California, for the Counties of Inyo and Mono. The retreat will be Friday, August 21st through Sunday, August 23rd and is being held at the Sierra Adventure Center in Big Pine. Registration includes lodging, meals, snacks, an outdoor evening reception, beautiful hiking, quality time with friends, and classrooms to sew, craft, scrapbook, create and take photos.

Imagine being a child removed from your parents and placed in the home of a stranger. It’s likely you are confused, frightened, and uncertain as to what the future holds. The Eastern Sierra needs CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers who are trained to identify the needs of children such as these. By building a relationship with the child, as well as teachers, therapists, and others involved, CASA volunteers become a consistent and trusted adult in the child’s life. A CASA is trained to provide the child with a sense of security, as well as serving in the critical role of being an independent voice for the best interest of abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Inyo and Mono Counties.
Please join us at the 1st Annual Quilt and Craft Retreat to benefit CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Eastern Sierra. Cost for the entire weekend is $225.00. For more information or to register please call Ginnie Bird or Lisa Reel @ Wild Iris, 760-873-6601, gbird@wild-iris.org, or visit the Wild Iris website www.wild-iris.org to complete a registration form.

cover photo, Wild Iris Executive Director Lisa Reel

wild iris, casa of the eastern sierra, inyo county, mono county, eastern sierra news
saddle bronc2

Tri-County Fair Entry Forms Available

Local Rodeo, ATV Rodeo, IMA Idol and Horse Show entries being accepted

Entry forms are now available online and in the Fair office for several Tri-County Fair events. In addition to the regular exhibit entries and contests contained in the Exhibitor’s Guidebook, forms are now available for the IMA Idol Singing contest, the ATV Rodeo, the Local Rodeo and the Fair Horse show. They can be found online at www.tricountyfair.com or in the main office on the Fairgrounds.

The IMA Idol contest has a few new twists this year. Competitors in this event are not subject to an age limit, and can have instrumental accompaniment (within the rules) should they choose. “The biggest change to the IMA Idol contest is that there will be a preliminary contest on Saturday, August 22 that is free to the public to watch, and the top five performers from the preliminaries will go on to compete as the openers for the Austin Webb Concert during the fair,” stated Fair CEO Sally Symons. Cash and fair ticket packages are the prizes for the IMA Idol Contest that is proudly sponsored by The Sound Shoppe and Sierra Wave Media.

We have also changed up the ATV Rodeo a bit this year,” commented Symons. “Last year’s first time go at it was a great success, but ran a little long. We have tightened up the events, added a time trial/ qualifier day, and the great guys from Bishop MotoCross are going to run it for us. This should help to make the show even more entertaining and fast paced for our guests.” There will also be an FMX stunt show prior to the ATV Rodeo featuring locally grown rider Dustin Nowak of Thrashed Kids, Inc. Last year’s participants had a great time and the winners took home cash prizes that were sponsored by Honda Motorsports, which is sponsoring again this year.

The Local Rodeo and Broncs & Bulls is another Fair favorite with entries now open. In addition to the traditional favorites, there have been a few additions to the Junior Rodeo Line-up, and the prize money for the rough stock has been doubled, which should make for a deeper field of competitors.

A popular day-time event during the fair is the Horse Show featuring English, Western, Halter, Hunter /Jumpers, trail and new this year a Versatility Ranch Horse division. Entry booklets for the Horse Show will be available at the Fair Office, Wye Road Feed and Sierra Saddlery. Anyone interested in sponsoring horse show classes can also contact the Fair office at 760-873-3588.

Any questions regarding entry into these events should be directed to the Tri-County Fairgrounds at 760-873-3588 or by emailing ceo@tricountyfair.com

cover photo courtesy of the Tri-County Fair

tri-county fair, bishop news, inyo county news, mono county news, rodeo
Owens Lake Helicopter

DWP using new technology to study groundwater

LADWP conducting Airborne Survey at Owens Lake

Submitted by Amanda Parsons, LADWP spokesperson

LADWP UTILIZING NONINVASIVE STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY TO MAP UNDERGROUND TOPOGRAPHY, PROTECT HABITAT

Bishop, CA – Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) hydrologists are utilizing Airborne Electromagnetic Surveying in a pilot study Saturday, July 25, Sunday, July 26 and Monday, July 27 at Owens Lake near Highway 395 to better understand the groundwater basin beneath the lakebed and protect habitat on the surface during the implementation of the Master Project.

The Airborne Electromagnetic Survey consists of state-of-the-art measuring equipment, resembling a webbed oval dangling 100 feet below a helicopter, sending radio signals into the ground then measuring the returned signal to determine the geological materials. The practice is completely nonintrusive to the landscape and provides scientists with a clearer picture than previously-used underground mapping methods. Traditional underground mapping consists of drilling a series of test holes – up to 1,500 feet deep and up to several  miles apart – across the desired area’s surface, taking samples from deep inside the holes and testing them for a “best guess” look at what lies beneath the surface.

“The data gathered from this pilot study will be useful as we work to better model the Owens Lake groundwater as part of the Master Project,” Eastern Sierra Hydrologist and Project Manager Saeed Jorat, Ph.D. said. “By protecting the landscape while gathering this data, we ensure the safety of the habitat and the species residing there in a cost effective manner.”

Data gathered from the study will be used by LADWP to map the location of bedrock, fault lines and groundwater depth. This information will assist the Department as it works to model the Owens Lake Master Project and protect resources that utilize groundwater in the area – private wells, vegetation and habitat – while also preventing potential land subsidence.

If the pilot study goes well, LADWP will utilize the new technique for future projects in the Eastern Sierra region.

Native American Helicopters LLC (NAH) will be conducting the flights using an Astar 350FX2 helicopter. The helicopter will fly parallel to Highway 395 over the North East corner of Owens Lake for a three day period from approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The equipment will be approximately 100 feet above the surface while in flight. During that time, the helicopter will not fly over the Highway, power lines and other structures so as to protect the safety of all involved during the operation.

Owens Lake Helicopter
Native American LLC helicopter flying the SkyTEM system to obtain geological measurements for LADWP over Owens Lake on July 26, 2015. (Photo by LADWP)
LADWP, owens lake, highway 395, amanda parsons
BishopCitySeal

City Council Will Honor James Wilson

Bishop City Council honoring Wilson tonight

A moment of silence will be part of an acknowledgement by the Bishop City Council tonight.  The regular meeting of the Bishop City Council will include a time to honor the late businessman for his contributions to the community.  Wilson’s Eastside Sports has been a pillar of Main Street Bishop for decades.  The tribute to James Wilson is scheduled to take place directly after the council begins the open session portion of their meeting tonight at 6pm.  The Bishop City Council meets in their chambers at 301 west line street.

Tonight’s (Monday, July 27th) agenda includes a closed session at 5pm for labor negotiations followed by the open session.  The Inyo County Planning Department will make a presentation on the North Sierra Highway Corridor plan.  The department heads will make presentations to the council and Executive Director Tawni Thomson will present the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau update.  Under new business, the Bishop City Council will consider the approval of changing two parking spaces on East South Street from unrestricted to 24 minute parking.  The council will also be asked to approve the city’s official response to the Grand Jury Report relating to the annual inspection of the Bishop Police Department.

Following tonight’s meeting the next regular meeting of the Bishop City Council will be held on Monday, August 10th.

bishop city council, bishop california, bishop police department, james wilson, inyo county planning department, bishop chamber of commerce
sunset2

LA to Continue Irrigation through August

LADWP TO PROVIDE IRRIGATION WATER IN OWENS VALLEY THROUGH AUGUST

Statement provided by the LA DWP:

Bishop, CA – Unexpected summer rainfall has provided sufficient water in the Los Angeles Aqueduct system for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to continue irrigation in Owens Valley through the end of August. Continued irrigation, in the absence of any savings elsewhere, is only possible because Los Angeles’ extreme reduction in water exports from the Eastern Sierra.

“This weather could not have come at a better time,” Manager of the Los Angeles Aqueduct James Yannotta said. “These rains are providing much-needed water that will help LADWP to continue irrigation through August.”
Earlier in this extremely dry year LADWP recognized that there might be insufficient water supplies from the Los Angeles Aqueduct to meet all water demands in the Owens Valley and in the City of Los Angeles. The Long Term Water Agreement between the City of Los Angeles and Inyo County protects two end-goals: Providing a reliable source of water for Los Angeles and protecting the Owens Valley environment. The Agreement also contemplates the Parties approving a program to provide for reasonable reductions in irrigation water supply for Los Angeles-owned lands in the Owens Valley and for Enhancement and Mitigation (E/M) programs during periods of dry-year water shortages. Consequently, the Technical Group and the Standing Committee have attempted to evaluate and provide reasonable reductions in other areas to reallocate water for irrigation during the 2015 runoff year. Although the City and the County have not yet agreed to any reductions in E/M projects, the City of Los Angeles has almost entirely reduced the Owens Valley water supply to customers during this irrigation season.
The length and intensity of this four-year drought has surprised most water managers and regulators in the Southwest. The intensity of the scant Eastern Sierra snowpack and potential runoff was not fully realized until early April, which left little time to plan for its impacts, forcing the Department to evaluate operations on a virtual real-time basis. With respect to current conditions, the picture continues to be grim for Angelenos as LADWP will experience an 85% reduction from its normal export from the Eastern Sierra this runoff year.
“The only bright spot in our most recent forecasting is that it appears recent rain events provided additional water that we did not anticipate when we released our Annual Operations Plan in April,” Yannotta added. “Even though most, if not all, of the extremely low snowpack has already melted, recent storms are providing unanticipated run-off into the Eastern Sierra that will allow us to continue irrigating longer than we previously expected.”

The 2015 runoff year is unique in that snowpack was the lowest on record, measuring only 4% of normal, but summer precipitation is appearing somewhat above normal. The hydrologic conditions this year are so different from previous years that there isn’t another year from which to draw a fair comparison. As you would expect, the lack of comparable years has created operational challenges.

LADWP recently received preliminary draft runoff data and field information relating to water availability after the storms. Although Department management is verifying all information, LADWP is confident that there is sufficient water for irrigation in Owens Valley through the end of August.

cover photo by Gary Young

ladwp, owens valley, drought 2015, jim yannotta