Category Archives: Community News

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Alabama Hills Day

“Alabama Hills Day” Shaping Up To Be Best Ever!

submitted by the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group:

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Co-sponsored by the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, Inc.
& the Bureau of Land Management – Bishop Field Office

In partnership with the Lone Pine Film History Museum

Come celebrate the 4th annual “Alabama Hills Day” on Saturday, April 11th from 9am to 3pm in Lone Pine, CA. The purpose of the event is to celebrate this scenic landscape and educate the public about the wide variety of groups/activities that access & interact with the Alabama’s.

Co-sponsored again this year by the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and the Bureau of Land Management the event showcases the rich history and unique landscape of this area just outside of Lone Pine.

“This day-long event is intended to promote the unique landscape and the multitude of activities that allow everyone to enjoy this incredible natural resource” said Kevin Mazzu – event leader and board member of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group (AHSG). “This year will be our most exciting event ever, with 17 unique activities taking place in the Alabama Hills. You can rock climb with Mt. Everest summiteer Kurt Wedberg, pan for gold with the Lone Pine Gem and Mineral Society, get a private VIP tour of the Lone Pine Film History Museum with executive director Bob Sigman, go on a grand auto excursion around the entire area with Doug Thompson, try your hand and GPS on geocaching or meet legendary mountain climber Peter Croft. Kids (and their parents) can participate in one of our new – Healthy Communities – youth oriented ‘Kids Explorer’ hikes complete with an on-the-go lunch from McDonald’s!”

Co-sponsor Steve Nelson, BLM – Bishop Field Office Manager added: “We are proud of our partnership with the AHSG and the community of Lone Pine. Working together we have collaborated on managing the land, developed interpretive and educational materials and improved the responsible use of this resource, by the over 100,000 visitors we receive each year. We are also excited to release, at this event, a new interpretive map and brochure for the Alabama Hills!”

The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, Inc. would like to invite the public to participate in this special event. Adults and children are welcome and attendance is free! Bring your family and friends and come out to show your support for the Alabama Hills and enjoy a unique learning experience!

Nearly 70 different exhibitors and sponsors will be lending their support for the scenic Alabama Hills at “The Building” – Convention Center at 325 South Main Street, Lone Pine, California. The Lone Pine Film History Museum will also host a variety of exhibits, films and lectures for the general public to enjoy and be educated about this fantastic natural landscape. Various field trips and a stewardship event will also take place in the Alabama Hills themselves: Take a helicopter flight; ride your mountain bike; search for a geocache ‘treasure’; take your dog for a canine hike; rock climb; join a horseback riding, birding, movie or native plant & insect tour; learn to map read and pan for gold; get a VIP tour of the film museum; motor tour the ‘Hills’; join in to help with a trail restoration project or just take a hike!

KIBS/KBOV radio will be on-hand from 10 am until noon to do a live remote broadcast, MC’ed by Gary Young who will interview people that are passionate about the Alabama Hills. Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care will also be on hand with some of their special “critters” making an appearance!
The AHSG, Inc. is committed to the stewardship of the Alabama Hills and partnering with the BLM to protect the jaw-dropping beauty of this semi-primitive landscape with continued access for such diverse groups as hikers, motorists, photographers, rock climbers, campers and fisherman as well as allowing important economic activities like commercial filming, cattle grazing and hunting to continue. Balancing all these needs is what makes the Alabama Hills so special to so many people and necessitates its protection. Legislation has recently been introduced in Congress that will designate the Alabama Hills a National Scenic Area!

Please join the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, our partner the BLM, and all our stakeholders in supporting the future of this fantastic landscape by participating in our 4th Annual “Alabama Hills Day” on Saturday, April 11th, 2015!

Event Schedule

Lone Pine Film History Museum – Theatre Presentations

  1. 9:00 am Movie History Discussion Chris Langley

  2. 10:00 am Alabama Hills – Classic TV & Commercials Bob Sigman

  3. 11:00 am Alabama Hills Stewardship Group Kevin Mazzu

  4. 12noon Paiute Shoshone Culture Kathy Bancroft/Ray Hunter

  5. 1:00 pm Owens Lake Bird Festival Mike Prather/Audubon Club

  6. 2:00 pm Climbing in the Eastern Sierra Peter Croft

Alabama Hills Tours

  1. All Day Sky Time Helicopter Tours Leave from LP Airport

  2. All Day Rock Climbing Event Kurt Wedberg / SMI

  3. 8am – 10am Birding Walk Mike Prather / FOI

  4. 8am – 10am Horseback Ride Jennifer Roeser

  5. 9am – 10:30 ‘Dog Walk’ the Alabama’s Lynn Almeida

  6. 9 am – Noon “Walk and Work” Stewardship Event BLM / FOI

9:30am/11:30 ‘Kids Explorer’ Hike Healthy Communities

  1. 9:30am – Noon Native Plant & Insect Walk Richard P & Nancy H / ESIA

  2. 9:30am – Noon Gold Panning Workshop LP Gem & Mineral

  3. 10am – Noon ‘Fat Bike’ Tour Gigi Van Der Riet

  4. 10am – 1pm ‘Grand Motor’ Tour Doug Thompson

  5. 11am – 2pm Geocaching Event Bishop Geocache Club

  6. 11am – 1pm Interpretive Movie Tour Chris Langley

12:30pm/3pm ‘Kids Explorer’ Hike Healthy Communities

  1. 1pm – 2pm VIP Film Museum Tour Bob Sigman

  2. 1pm – 3pm Map/Orienteering Workshop Jon Turner

  3. 1pm – 3pm ‘Fat Bike’ Tour Gigi Van Der Riet

Note: All tours depart from the Lone Pine Convention Center

3pm Post Event Party at Mount Whitney Hostel & Hotel

Cover Photo by Gary Young

visit lone pine, lone pine news, alabama hills, blm
inyo forest

White Mt Visitor Center Closing for renovation

White Mountain Visitor Center Temporarily Closing for Re-Design

 The White Mountain Visitor Center, located in Bishop, California, is temporarily closing for a re-design. The visitor center will close after business hours on April 3, 2015.

The redesign is expected to take three weeks to complete. The visitor center should re-open by April 27th, 2015. In the interim, visitor center staff will be partnering with the Bishop Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center to continue to provide information services, issue permits, etc.

The re-design is much needed.  A new visitor services desk, shelving, flooring and paint are part of the effort to more efficiently use space in this small, but busy, visitor center to provide better services to our visitors.  Many of the furnishings and flooring date back to the late 1970s.

The Inyo National Forest would like to thank the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) for donating part of the funds for the re-design and the Bishop Chamber of Commerce for sharing their space to ensure visitors to the Eastern Sierra continue to receive the range of information and services while the work is completed.

bishop news, us forest service, bishop chamber of commerce

Bennie Arebalo

Bennie Arebalo  1930-2015

Bennie Arebalo, age 85, resident of Bishop for 36 years passed away on March 27, 2015 at his home in Bishop.

Bennie was a loving father of 3 children. He left this world to join his wife, mother, father and brother. He was a very kind and giving man, those that knew him always talked about his laugh and loved to tell jokes to make people laugh with him.

Bennie is survived by his daughters Liz Arebalo of Atascadero, Carrie Davila of Atascadero and Mary McCorkle of Sacramento along with grandchildren Brandy of Victorville, Timothy of Colorado, Paul, Gary, Nichole, Carrie of Sacramento, Cherie of Orcutt, CA, Anissa of Sacramento and Siahna of Colorado. We will miss him with all our hearts.

A family service will be held for Bennie in his home town at a later date.


bennie arebalo, bishop california, bishop obituary
nye county so

Tonopah Arrest

Man Wanted for distribution of Child Pornography Arrested Monday

Submitted by the Nye County Sheriffs Department

In May of 2014, NCSO deputies were made aware of a vehicle parked in the Hot Creek ranch area. The report was that the vehicle had been parked there for several days with no activity. Deputies responded to the area and located the vehicle. It appeared that the vehicle had been parked as the occupant was out camping. There was a note found inside the vehicle that said “Out camping, will be back soon.” The vehicle was registered to David Erdman out of Florida.
Nye County Search and Rescue, along with NCSO Deputies, conducted an exhaustive search of the area.  Approximately 14 days of searching the surrounding area was completed with no results for the individual.  As part of the process of searching for the occupant of the vehicle, NCSO Deputies contacted authorities in Florida. It was discovered that David Erdman was the subject of a federal investigation for the possession and distribution of child pornography.  Federal agents explained that there would be a warrant of arrest completed within the next couple of weeks for Erdman.
After several weeks of searching with no results, the search for Erdman was called off in the Hot Creek Ranch area.  His vehicle was towed to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office where it was processed further, with no pertinent information located.  NCSO deputies concluded that Erdman was either lost in the area, or he had staged the scene to effect his disappearance.
Federal Agents did confirm an extraditable warrant was issued for the arrest of David Erdman in June of 2014.
This past Sunday, March 29th, a confidential informant contacted Sgt. Puckett with information on David Erdman. The informant explained that David Erdman was actually living at the Economy Inn in Tonopah and working as a maintenance person. The informant explained that Erdman was not at the motel at the time, but would be returning on Monday, March 30th to report for work at approximately 8:45 am. The NCSO then set up a surveillance sting for the capture of Erdman.
On Monday, March 30th at approximately 8:50 am, David Erdman was located in the parking lot of the Economy Inn motel. NCSO Deputies made contact and arrested of David Erdman without incident. He is currently being held at the Tonopah Detention Facility awaiting extradition to Florida.  Erdman is being held on a felony arrest warrant for possession and distribution of child pornography.


Suspect David Erdman, booking photo by Nye County

tonopah news, tonopah nevada, nye county sheriffs department, david erdman

Bighorn Sheep back in Yosemite

Endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Restored to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks

The Recently Completed Cooperative Effort Included California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A multi-agency operation was recently concluded that returned two herds of endangered bighorn sheep to locations in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks, Inyo National Forest, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, worked together on the complex operation in the Sierra Nevada.
Between March 26 and March 29, 2015, nine ewes (females) and three rams (males) were moved from the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park to the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park. In addition, seven ewes were moved to the Laurel Creek area of Sequoia National Park; the CDFW will attempt to move an additional three rams to that area on March 30.

The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is the only federally endangered mammal in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon.  This animal was listed in 2000 after the population plunged to a low of about 100 individuals.  The population has since increased to over 600, which marks an important milestone towards their recovery.  Prior to the arrival of western settlers, which brought unregulated hunting and diseases in their livestock, bighorn sheep populations likely numbered in the thousands.

This latest chapter in the multi-year recovery effort involved the capture of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in wilderness areas on these federally managed lands.  CDFW staff and volunteers, as well as veterinarians, biologists, and staff from other agencies, assessed the health and safety of the animals throughout the entire process.  Each animal was fitted with a radio collar and a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar in order to track its movements over the next several years.

The newly released bighorn sheep are expected to thrive in their new homes because both of these historically occupied areas have superb summer habitat with adequate forage, are close enough to other Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep to provide the potential for connectivity among herds, and are far enough from most domestic sheep grazing areas to provide a buffer from potential disease transmission.

“This is a legacy event for Yosemite National Park and the bighorn sheep,” said Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent.  “Additionally, this is one of the Signature Centennial projects for the National Park Service and we are ecstatic to see bighorn sheep in the Cathedral Range for the first time in more than 100 years.”  “This project would not have been possible without the leadership of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and strong interagency cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Woody Smeck, Superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
“With this week’s reintroductions, we now have bighorn distributed throughout all geographic areas identified as critical habitat in the Recovery Plan,” said Tom Stephenson, leader of the Recovery Program with CDFW.
Yosemite Conservancy funded equipment and experts to bring the new herd into Yosemite National Park, as well as the GPS collars to track the animals’ movement and location.  Over the past 20 years, Yosemite Conservancy has funded nearly $630,000 to help protect bighorn sheep by supporting research, translocation efforts, radio and GPS collars.  The Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation and the Wild Sheep Foundation funded the translocation into Sequoia National Park.
“Bighorn sheep are a true symbol of wilderness and represent the need to protect wild lands,” said Frank Dean, Yosemite Conservancy President.  “With the reintroduction, visitors will experience a wilderness similar to that found in the days of John Muir, when large alpine wildlife was abundant.”
Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are well known for their large size, strength, and ability to negotiate precipitous terrain.  Adult males, called rams, stand over three feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 220 pounds; females, called ewes, weigh up to 155 pounds.  Both rams and ewes have permanent horns; rams’ horns are massive and coiled, whereas ewes’ horns are shorter with less curvature.  Bighorn sheep display a range of body coloration, from dark brown to almost white, and have a large white rump patch and a short, dark tail.  Rams live to be 10 to 12 years old, and ewes live to be 12 to 17 years old.  During breeding season (rut), bighorn rams compete for their right to mate with ewes.  Dominance behavior includes kicking, butting, neck wrestling, and dramatic horn clashes that sound like thunder.  Breeding generally takes place in November.  Starting at two years old, ewes give birth to one lamb between late April and mid-June.  Mothers typically wean their lambs by five months of age.  The lambs become independent of their mothers when they are about one year old.

Yosemite Conservancy/Steve Bumgardner.
Yosemite Conservancy/Steve Bumgardner.

Sheep_CFW_gopro2_still (1)


all photos by Yosemite Conservancy/Steve Bumgardner.

yosemite, eastern sierra news, bighorn sheep
Rachael Lee Asbell

CA State Rodeo Finals return to Bishop

CHSRA Finals are June 16th-19th

The best of the best in California High School Rodeo will gather in Bishop for the State Finals Rodeo June 15th-19th.  The top competitors in the Golden States 9 districts will battle for a spot at the National finals.  Nightly rodeo action at Bishop’s Tri-County Fairgrounds begins Tuesday, June 16th with the Opening Ceremony at 7pm.  The Tuesday Rodeo kicks off the themed nights with Patriotic night.  All are invited to wear their red, white and blue.

Wednesday, June 17th is Family night with the 7pm rodeo performance.  A family discount makes the Wednesday night rodeo a can’t miss for local rodeo fans.

Thursday, June 18th is Cancer Awareness Night.  The high school rodeo asks you, “Are you tough enough to wear pink?”   Thursday night at the rodeo is also a chance for those with special needs to participate in a rodeo at 5pm on the lawn near the home economics building at the Tri-County Fairgrounds.  The 7pm rodeo will mark the end of the 2nd go, along with the Senior Introductions and Farewell.

Friday, June 19th is Senior Citizen Night.  At 6pm there will be a crowning of a new state Rodeo Queen followed by the final rodeo performance, the short go, with the top 15 in action.

The best of the best will move on to the National Finals in Rock Springs, Wyoming July 12th through the 18th.

Cover Photo, Rachael Lee Asbell, Miss California High School Rodeo

bishop news, chsra state finals rodeo, california high school rodeo
Maureen R. Kinnamon

Tonopah Murder

1 Dead, 1 in custody in Tonopah

The Nye County Sheriffs department is reporting a fatal encounter Friday at a Tonopah Motel.  The incident left Penny Sue Silas dead and suspect Maureen Kinnamon arrested and charged with 1st degree murder.  According to the Nye County Sheriffs department, on Friday, March 27th,  at approximately 10:25 pm, NCSO deputies were dispatched to the National 9 Motel in Tonopah on a report of a female having been stabbed.

NCSO Deputies arrived and located Penny Sue Silas unresponsive laying on the 2nd story balcony of the motel, with Maureen Kinnamon sitting over her crying for help.   According to the Nye County Sheriffs department report, “As deputies were attempting to assist the victim, Maureen Kinnamon was making statements that she didn’t mean to hurt her like this.”

NCSO Deputies were able to get Penny Sue Silas loaded into the ambulance, and then began the process of securing the crime scene. According to the Nye County Sheriffs department, “Maureen Kinnamon was taken into custody when she made statements that she had done this to Silas.”

Nye Regional Medical Center advised deputies that Penny Silas succumbed to her injuries at 11:05 pm.

NCSO Detective Perry then began processing the crime scene. Through the course of the night and morning, multiple items of evidence were located in and around the motel room that was shared by Maureen Kinnamon and Penny Silas, to include the weapon used kill Penny Silas.

Kinnamon was booked into the Nye County Detention Center on a charge of 1st degree murder.

Maureen R. Kinnamon
Maureen R. Kinnamon
nye county sheriffs department, tonopah nevada news, tonopah nevada

Glacier Point opening, no word on Tioga

Glacier Point Road opening Saturday

Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park to Open Tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park will open for the season to automobile traffic tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, 2015, at 6:00 a.m.  All visitor services at Glacier Point will be fully operational.  The Bridalveil Creek Campground will open within the next several weeks.

Visitors are urged to drive slowly and with caution, as wildlife may be present on or near the roadway.

The Tioga Road, the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada in the northern portion of Yosemite, remains closed at this time.  Currently, there is no anticipated opening date for the Tioga Road.

For up to date, 24 hour road and weather information, please call 209-372-0200.

tioga road, yosemite, eastern sierra news

Warren Street Improvements

Warren Street Update

submitted by the City of Bishop, Public Works Department.

Next week, concrete work on the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project is expected to continue on Warren between Academy and Pine. In following weeks, concrete work is expected to move back to Academy between Main and Warren and then move to a parking lot on South Warren. The relocation of an underground phone cable has interfered with the work on the north side of the Warren and Academy intersection. A delay in getting the new cable could push the completion of work in this intersection into early May. Before this delay came to light, the contractor was planning to
have the entire project complete about the beginning of May. The intention is still to have the entire project complete before Mule Days.

Construction on and near Warren Street in downtown Bishop involves the closure of streets, intersections, sidewalks, and driveways. Access is still available to businesses in the area but, in most cases, it would be better to park nearby and walk a block to visit your favorite local business. Access to city parking lots is normally still available during construction, but entrances may be different and driveways and parts of the lots may be closed due to the construction. 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. There are probably hazards you are not aware of. The contractor on the project normally works 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off.

city of bishop, warren street project, bishop news, bishop ca
inyo sheriff

Former Inyo SO employee arrested

Debra Didisee Arrested on Embezzlement Charges

District Attorney Investigators arrested former Correctional Officer Debra Didisee on embezzlement charges Thursday morning after she voluntarily surrendered herself at the DA’s office. The District Attorney has filed a complaint alleging six felony counts and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement which are alleged to have occurred over a four year period while she was employed as a Correctional Officer for the Inyo County Sheriff. The Sheriff had referred the matter to the District Attorney’s office for investigation in December when the Sheriff’s Department became aware of potential missing funds in the Inmate Welfare Account and the Inmate Commissary Account at the Inyo County Jail. Ms. Didisee is no longer employed by the Sheriff’s Department.

Ms. Didisee was booked at the Inyo County Jail and posted a $35,000.00 bail bond. She was ordered to appear in the Inyo County Superior Court on April 20, 2015.

inyo county news, inyo county sheriff, inyo district attorney tom hardy, inyo county jail