Category Archives: Community News


Rotary Speech Contest Results

BUHS Senior Grah Wins again

Submitted by Rotarian Pat Nahin, Photo by Rotarian Ed Nahin

“It is better to light a single candle than to sit and curse the darkness.” What this means to students is the theme for students entering the Rotary District 5190 Speech Contest.  Seven students from Mammoth and Bishop high schools competed in the Mammoth and Bishop Rotary Club’s annual speech contest that was held at The Rotary Club of Bishop’s noon meeting February 24th.    Each year talented students demonstrate their speaking skills in front of Rotarians, guests and families.  It is amazing to watch.  Maggie Kingsbury from the Rotary Club of Bishop was the chairperson for the Bishop students:  Audrey Bear, Angie Flores and Olivia Grah.  Luan Mendel, from the Mammoth Rotary Club was in charge of the speech contest for the four Mammoth students, Amanda Kirkeby, Lex Brode, Connor Kusumoto and Garrett Hallum.

Olivia Grah, took first place last year in the Rotary Bishop club’s contest and again took first place this year and will be seeking the top spot at the 2015 District 5190 Conference held at Harrah’s South Lake Tahoe on May 16th 2015.  The District awards will be $1000 for first place, $750 for second and $500 for third.

Editors note, Olivia Grah, a senior at Bishop Union High School, has been accepted at Princeton University.


Pictured:  Maggie Kingsbury, Audrey Bear, Amanda Kirkeby, Lex Brode, Angie Flores, Connor Kusumoto, Garrett Hallum, Olivia Grah and Luan Mendel.

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Marilyn Elizabeth Leavitt

Marilyn Elizabeth Leavitt

Died at her home in Bishop, CA on February 25th, 2015 following a brief illness.   Born in Osceola, NE on February 21st, 1924 to Esther and Coleman Brown.   She attended Osceola High School and following graduation worked briefly in Denver, CO.  Marilyn moved further west to California, living and working in Culver City before eventually settling in Woodland Hills, CA where she and her husband Don raised their children and created strong bonds with other young families in the brand new suburb.  Upon retirement she and Don moved to their favorite vacation spot and Bishop Creek became their permanent home.  While in Bishop Marilyn and Don became members of Our Savior Lutheran Church and were instrumental in the church’s growth and renovation.  Through her incredible natural hospitality and outgoing personality, Marilyn again developed great friendships.   She and Don celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends at Bishop Creek Lodge.   Following her husband’s death Marilyn moved into town and continued to welcome neighbors, friends and family into her home on a daily basis for lively conversation and fellowship.  In February 2014, Marilyn was feted at her 90th birthday party by over 60 close friends and family members who were delighted to help her celebrate the important milestone.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband Donald A. Leavitt, cousin Dorothy Deland and son Randy W. Nicklaus.  She is survived by daughters Rayne Cumberworth of Burbank, CA and Megan (Bill) Kleinschmidt, of Palmdale, CA, son Ward (Kathy) Leavitt, of Galt, CA, daughter-in-law Laure Dunham (Nicklaus), 5 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren, .  Of course, she will also be missed by many, many friends.

Services will be held on Saturday, March 7th at 11 am at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 162 Sneden Street, Bishop, CA  93514.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Marilyn’s name to Our Savior Lutheran Church.

Don&Marilyn1 copy

photo via Inyo County Sheriffs Department

BB Gun Incident leads to Arrest

Saturday Incident ends in Arrest

According to the Bishop Police  department the incident played out Saturday evening in east Bishop.


On Saturday, February 28, 2015 at about 8:50 PM, Officers from the Bishop Police Department responded to the area of the 300 block of East Line Street regarding a report of someone brandishing a firearm.

Upon arrival, Officers located the Victim, Danielle Jordan. Jordan had obvious injuries and reported to the Officers that she had been attacked by September Downey, age 38 of Bishop.  Jordan claimed that Downey had assaulted her with an unknown type of firearm and that she had been rendered unconscious as a result of the assault. The attack had been witnessed by others in the area.
According to the Bishop Police Department, “further investigation revealed that the weapon was a replica firearm/ BB Gun and that Jordan had been shot and beaten with the BB gun during the assault.”

The suspect, Downey, was located a short time later at her residence and taken into custody without incident. Jordan was treated at Northern Inyo Hospital for her injuries.

Downey was subsequently booked at Inyo County Jail on various charges, including Attempted Homicide, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury, and Violation of Probation. Downey’ Bail is currently set at $500,000.

photo via Inyo County Sheriffs Department
photo via Inyo County Sheriffs Department
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MCWD ups Water Restrictions

MCWD Board of Directors Approve Raising Water Restrictions to Level 2

Water content of the Mammoth Pass snowpack is more than 70 percent below normal conditions. Customers are requested to reduce water use by 20 percent.

 Mammoth Lakes, CA – On February 19, the MCWD board unanimously approved moving from Level 1 to Level 2 water shortage restrictions.  The board’s decision was based on the water content of the Mammoth Pass snowpack, about 70 percent below normal, and MCWD staff estimates of water supply availability.  The goal of the Level 2 restrictions are to achieve a 20 percent reduction of customer water demand.  Customers of the MCWD have been under Level 1 restrictions since the drought began in 2012.  The MCWD board will continue to reassess snowpack conditions and the status of the groundwater production wells water supply conditions through the coming months.

Level 2 water restrictions will be in effect March 9th.  Under these restrictions, outdoor irrigation will only be allowed from 8:00 pm to 9:00 am, water for construction is limited to recycled water, significant leaks must be repaired within 3 days of notification or discovery, and no new lawns may be installed, even when a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle is used for irrigation.  Indoor savings are expected to result from voluntary measures taken by customers.

MCWD has incentive programs to help customers save water. These programs include an indoor and outdoor fixture rebate program, free efficient showerheads and staff availability to discuss site specific irrigation efficiency improvements. Information on these programs are available on the MCWD website.     MCWD would like to encourage all customers to pay attention to water usage, check for leaking fixtures indoors and out, keep pools and spas covered when not in use, limit shower times and only run full loads of dishes and clothes.

More information on Level 2 restrictions and tips to conserve water is available from the MCWD website,

About Mammoth Community Water District 

MCWD provides water and wastewater utility service to the Town of Mammoth Lakes and surrounding areas.  MCWD strives to provide reliable, affordable utility service to our customers and to conduct our operations in a manner reflecting our stewardship role.  We encourage our customers to practice responsible use of our limited water resources, and to take advantage of the information and services available to support this goal.

photo courtesy of the MCWD website

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Dave Wagner

New Manager for OV Growers

Owens Valley Growers Cooperative

New General Manager for OVGC Planned Food Coop

The Owens Valley Growers Cooperative (OVGC) is pleased to announce that David Woodruff will be joining the OVGC in the position of General Manager for the new Food Coop/local foods café, bakery and community gathering place planned for opening in the former Mairs’ Market building in downtown Independence this summer.
The Owens Valley Growers Cooperative’s was founded by a group of Inyo County residents two years ago whose purpose is to build a local and sustainable food system in the Owens Valley through community education, support of local agriculture and the development of local market outlets.
With generous support from the Metabolic Studio and USDA Local Foods Promotion Project, OVGC will be re-opening the historic Mairs’ Market building and offering Owens Valley residents the opportunity to buy locally produced and natural food products in addition to household staples. The small Café and bakery will provide wholesome and healthy foods for dining in or take out and serve as a focal point for the community to gather, and share friendship and ideas.
OVGC has operated the very successful Owens Valley Certified Market alternate weeks in Lone Pine and Independence for almost two years.
Woodruff brings with him a lengthy background in business, retail and food & beverage management. Most recently, he has been the Operations Manager of the Fort Independence Travel Plaza, RV Park and Winnedumah Winns Casino.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected to help get this exciting project off the ground” said Woodruff. “This is an incredible thing OVGC is bringing to Independence and all of the Owens Valley. To be able to provide not only much needed goods and services to our community, but also an outlet and an inspiration for our friends and neighbors to produce more local foods and value added products has been a goal of the OVGC founders since its inception…and now we’re ready to make it a reality.”
The goal is to have the not for profit Food Coop and Café open by this summer. With the help of volunteers, members and supporters, the outlet will offer the best selection of items at the best value possible to consumers.
“The purpose of the Food Coop is not to accumulate profit for investors, but to meet the goals, needs and aspirations of its members and community” said Woodruff. “We’ll not only provide healthy, delicious and sustainable foods at a good price, but we’ll also be a source of information and learning, offering a variety of outreach programs from home canning to winter gardening. We hope to be a catalyst for economic revitalization and provide a gathering place for people to come together and share and contribute their ideas, interests and goals”.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and hope to gather support from our community to help get us open. Community forums, fundraisers, membership drives and volunteer work days are all planned for the next several months. I look forward to meeting everyone who’s interested in helping make this worthy project a reality.”
For more information on the Owens Valley Growers Cooperative Food Coop and Café you may contact them at ovgcfoodcoop@gmail or checkout their Facebook page

Anna Capodano and Tamara Cohn
Anna Capodano and Tamara Cohn
eastern sierra news, owens valley growers, independence news

“Mutt” Clarkson

Donald Robert Clarkson
“Mutt”  1932 – 2015

Don (Mutt) Clarkson passed away peacefully February 19, 2015 at Northern Inyo Hospital with his family by his side. He was born April 11, 1932 to George & Louise Clarkson, in Bishop. He was raised on the Jeffery Ranch, which is now the White Mountain Ranch.
Don went all through school in Bishop. He got his nickname “Mutt” in 2nd grade, when his teacher called him a “Mutton Head”, from then on through his life he was Mutt. He graduated from Bishop High School in 1950, and had lettered in football.
After high school, he joined the Reno Air National Guard in 1950 and was activated to the Air Force, where is served for 3 years as crew chief on P-51 Mustangs.
After the service he returned to Bishop and met Jean “Boots” Ives from Big Pine, after dating for 2 years they were married in June 1955. Together they raised two children, Desi and Jeff. Mutt worked for Nevada – California Electric Power Company later becoming Southern California Edison where he retired after 35 years.
Mutt loved being with family and friends, telling stories and playing practical jokes. He had a love for airplanes and flying. In 1972 he soloed and soon after got his pilot’s license. Mutt loved the outdoors hunting and fly fishing and was eager to teach anyone how to hunt and fish.
Mutt is survived by his wife Boots of 60 years, daughter Desi and husband Mac McElvogue, son Jeffery and wife Debbie Clarkson, 5 grandchildren whom he loved dearly, Bryan and Courtney McElvogue, Donald II, Acacia and Marisa Clarkson all of Bishop, brother and sister in law George and Sue Clarkson of Bishop, brother in law Loren and wife Martha Ives of Elberta Alabama, along with many nephews, nieces and cousins.
A Celebration of Life to be held on Mutt’s birthday April 11, 2015 at the Masonic Hall 156 East Line St, Bishop at 11:30 AM. In lieu of flowers anyone wishing to make a donation in Mutt’s name can do so to the Laws Railroad Museum. Interment will be private at a later date.


Big Pine Grad Honored

Former Big Pine Warrior honored

Korina Kemp-Riggin started playing volleyball for Big Pine in junior high school. In high school she was named All-League and All-CIF as a Lady Warrior and then went on to compete at the national level with a scholarship to Cal State University at Los Angeles.  Last Tuesday, the 1990 Big Pine High graduate was inducted into the CSULA’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Riggin, the daughter of Jim Kemp and the late Linda Kemp of Big Pine, was cited as a major reason for CSULA’s Golden Warriors volleyball program’s improved successes. The Golden Eagles had only one winning season prior to Kemp’s 1992 sophomore season. That year CSULA was 25-10 and advanced to the national semi-finals. Riggin holds the number two spot at CSULA with 169 career aces and fifth in kills with 1,271.
The following year, Riggin and the Eagles went on to the regional championship match. In Riggin’s senior year, the Eagles started the season with 18 consecutive wins and held the number two spot in the national rankings during the season.
Individual honors for the former Warrior included American Volleyball Coaches Association 2nd team All-American in 1993, 1st team All-American in 1994 and All-Region in 1993 and 1994, All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first team in 1993 and 1994.
Riggin graduated from CSULA in 1995 with a major in communications and lives with her husband Mitch in Cave Creek, Arizona. She is a freelance TV camera operator covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League games and the Olympics, both summer and winter.

big pine


big pine high school, big pine volleyball, big pine news, eastern sierra news

Harold Butterbredt

Harold Butterbredt

Harold Wayne Butterbredt, Sr. “Sooky” passed away unexpectedly on February 16, 2015 at the age of 48. Harold was born on November 26, 1966 in Bakersfield, CA.
After spending part of his childhood in Nevada and Coleville, CA, Harold moved to Bishop, CA in the late 1970s where he attended elementary and high school. Harold was the beloved eldest son of his late mother Juanita Jean Butterbredt Kinney. He was the apple of his mother’s eye and also the big brother and protector to his siblings.
After high school, Harold met Patricia Harris and they were married on February 16, 1989. Harold became the dad to Patty’s two children Nakia and Charles Hanks. The four of them loved to travel and they made their home where their work took them including Bishop, Topaz, Coleville, Big Pine, and Rovanna.
Harold worked in the construction field, joined the union, and worked on highway jobs whenever he could. He worked on remodeling houses. He poured concrete in Nevada. He worked as a used car salesman. Harold shoveled snow and cleaned condominiums in Mammoth in the winter time. He cut and sold firewood. Harold was also an auto mechanic. He did whatever work was available at the time.
After several years of marriage, Harold and Patty divorced but they always remained good friends and the kids were and still are part of the family.
Harold later met Adrienne Barlow and they had two sons Waylon Wayne Little Bear Butterbredt and Harold Wayne Quinana Butterbredt Jr. Harold loved his sons dearly and was always proud of them. He was proud to be Native American and taught his sons to be proud of their heritage. Although Harold and Adrienne never married, they cared deeply for each other.
While his sons were yet young, Harold and Brandie Gockley were married in 1999. The two of them were inseparable for many years and where one was the other was right there.
Harold loved life. He loved spending time with his family teasing and playing jokes on anyone he could. He was always making everyone laugh. Harold loved to travel and had big dreams. He enjoyed going out with his family getting wood. He loved working on cars. He loved horses, cowboy movies, and John Wayne. Harold would always help those in need and had a heart of gold.
Harold is preceded in death by his mother Juanita Jean Butterbredt Kinney, his step father Morgan Wade Kinney, his grandparents, and aunts and uncles. Harold is survived by his children Waylon Wayne Little Bear Butterbredt, Harold Wayne Quinana Butterbredt Jr., Nakia Hanks, and Charles Hanks; sisters Janet Warsinski, Teri Red Owl and brother-in-law Larry Red Owl, Jr.; brothers Larry Cawelti, Jr. and sister-in-law Shannon Cawelti, Jonathan Cawelti and sister-in-law Jackie Cawelti; nieces Nakona Cawelti, Loni Romo, Markie Wilder, Isabella Red Owl, and Alexis Red Owl; nephews Joseph Rock, Cody Cawelti, Chance Cawelti, Kyle Davis, Clifford Wilder, Chase Cawelti, Noah Williams, and Joseph Red Owl; numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.
Harold’s smile, laughter, and generosity will be missed. The family takes comfort in knowing that he is reunited with his mom and loved ones in Heaven and abides with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Funeral services will be held at the House of Mercy Pentecostal Church on South Paha Lane in Bishop on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 11:00 am. Reverend Stanley T. Summers will officiate. Interment will be at Sunland Indian Cemetery. A potluck luncheon will take place after burial. A traditional Cry Dance will be held on Friday, February 27th at 5:00 pm at 515 South Paha Lane, Bishop.


Harold 2

Wenda Holland

Wenda Loreen Holland

June 28, 1935 – February 14, 2015
Wenda Loreen Holland passed away at age 79, on Feb. 14, lovingly surrounded by family. She was born June 28, 1935 in Hemet, CA to Rolland and Rhoda Nichols.
Her family moved to Bishop in 1947 when her father was transferred to the area with the California Highway Patrol. She graduated from Bishop Union High School on June 9, 1953, and married Howard Holland on the same day. Together they raised three children: Mike, Dan and Donna. She was a wonderful, tolerant and patient mother to her active kids. The family fondly recalls many eventful camping trips in Northern California and southern Oregon.
Wenda worked as a bookkeeper for various local businesses including Clyde Slagle Insurance, Joseph’s Bi-Rite Market and Z’s Flowers. She was active in the Jr. Women’s Improvement Club and a volunteer Cub Scout Pack leader, Brownie Troop leader and 4-H Project leader. In 1975 she and Howard traveled with 60 BUHS band members as chaperones on a three-week European tour. After her children were grown, she began volunteering at the Laws Railroad Museum as membership chairman. Along with her sisters-in-law, Bonnie Lee Ford and Arlene Morris, she helped set up displays in the Conway House, General Store and the Agent’s House. These displays are still on view today. She single-handedly sewed countless calico bonnets for the Museum gift shop which were sold to visitors from around the globe.
Wenda was talented and creative in many hobbies including sewing, needlework, ceramics, knitting and crochet. Over the years she won many prizes for her entries at the Tri-County Fair. She was an avid reader of mystery novels and enjoyed working crossword and other puzzles. She leaves behind a family who will always be grateful for her love and care as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.
Wenda is preceded in death by her parents and sister, Gwen Coons.
Survivors include husband of 61 years, Howard; sister, Lynda and husband Lloyd Wilson; sister-in-law Arlene and husband Conrad Morris; son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Annette Holland; son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Donna Holland; and daughter Donna Bird and companion Tim Winkler, all of Bishop. She is also survived by her five grandchildren, Jennifer and husband Matt Meier, Natalie and husband Mac Heiden, Kyle Holland, Katie Bird, and Aimee and husband Torey Michener; great-grandchildren, Taryn and Dylan Michener; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 at the Pioneer Cemetery on West Line Street in Bishop with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Laws Railroad Museum or the Bishop United Methodist Church Senior Services.


BUSD Pennies for Patients

Bishop Schools raising funds for LLS

Bishop Unified School District is running a district wide “Pennies for Patients” campaign between March 2nd and March 20th . All proceeds will benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. During this 3 week period they will have many activities to help raise money and awareness of Leukemia and Cancer and students of all ages will be collecting money throughout the community. Checks may be made payable to LLS-Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  On Friday, March 20th , the public is invited to attend the closing ceremonies at the “Shine on the Sierra Luminary Walk” on the BUHS track.  The evening will be filled with music, food and fun.  Registration is at 6:15 followed by the walk from 7:00-8:00.  Luminary bags, which you can decorate, will be available for a $5 donation.  All donations will benefit LLS and the Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance.  You may walk in honor or in memory of someone who has dealt with Leukemia or Cancer or you may just walk to show your support. There will also be a Bone Marrow Registry which is a simple mouth swab. You will be able to purchase, Lions Club Corn Dogs, NASA Indian Tacos, Face Painting by the BUHS Cheer Squad, Sweatshirts by HAPPY HOODS and Hot Beverages from Looney Bean.  Organizers are asking folks to come together as a community and get involved in this extremely important campaign, your gift could help save a life.

There is another way to participate, if you’d like to donate 8 inches or more of your hair to “Locks of Love” please contact Stephanie at Studio 27 for an appointment on Saturday, March 21st.

If you have any questions you may contact Kristin Carr at the BUSD District Office at 760-872-3680. We look forward to your support and participation.

bishop unified school district, bishop news, eastern sierra breast cancer alliance