Local News

Lone Pine Tesla Station opening

Lone Pine Welcomes Tesla Supercharger Station

On January 27, 2015 Lone Pine will open one of Highway 395’s first Tesla Supercharger stations.  The Station is located at the Lone Pine Film History Museum just South of Lone Pine, CA.
Tesla drivers on Highway 395 can now recharge for free while visiting one of America’s finest museums dedicated exclusively to the heritage of Western ”Cowboy” film making and then enjoy the tastes of Lone Pine’s many eateries.
Tesla’s business model includes building a network of fast charging stations — faster than any other electric vehicle manufacturer — along the major interstates around the country to enable Tesla owners to travel from city to city. Tesla offers the charging services for free, making the Superchargers a gathering place for members of the Tesla owner’s community.
A statement from the Lone Pine film history museum, ” While charging your car – you can visit the Lone Pine Film History Museum and the city of Lone Pine. Located at the base to the Eastern Sierra’s highest point in the continental USA, Mt. Whitney – and the Alabama Hills, whose unique geological formations brought Hollywood studios to the area to shoot “Cowboy” films, are not to be missed. Filming started in 1919 with a full-length feature film, The Roundup starring Fatty Arbuckle. The city is also an access location for Death Valley, The Ancient Bristlecone Forest, Eureka Sand Dunes and many other interesting American heritage areas along Highway 395.”

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Inyo Supervisors Approve 7 AT routes

Inyo Adventure Trails System gets the Green Light

After nearly 11 hours of testimony and public comment Thursday, the Inyo Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 approving the Eastern Sierra ATV Adventure Trails System Project.  The primary goal of the project is to link off highway vehicle users with goods and services located in Inyo County communities.  Inyo County Administrative Officer Kevin Carunchio indicates that the action taken by the board of Thursday gives the OK to a plan that was substantially reduced from the projects original plan

Thursdays public hearing began at 10am in the Independence legion hall and continued throughout the day, wrapping up just before 9pm.  After receiving several reports and hearing from the public the board took formal action to move forward with the seven routes.

Routes include, Bishop #5, Brown’s Town to Poleta OHV area, Bishop #6, Pleasant Valley Campground to Horton Creek Campground, Bishop #7, Pleasant Valley Campground to Tungsten City, Bishop #9, Brown’s Town to Bir Road, Bishop #15, Britt’s Diesel to Poleta OHV Recreation Area, Independence #1, Independence Inn to Betty Jumbo Mine Road, and Lone Pine #1, Boulder Creek RV Park to N. Fork Lubken Canyon/BLM road.
Carunchio says that adding future routes would require a lengthy process

The link to the Inyo County Planning departments Adventure Trials Web site

http://inyoplanning.org/projects/AdventureTrails.htm

AdvTrails_OverallMap

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Cook Introduces Alabama Hills Bill

Cook’s Bill would designate Scenic Area

Press Release:
Rep. Paul Cook Introduces Bill to Create Alabama Hills National Scenic Area
WASHINGTON –Earlier today, Rep. Paul Cook (R – Apple Valley) introduced the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Establishment Act, legislation that would establish the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. This designation would encompass 18,610 acres of the scenic Alabama Hills and would preserve it for recreational use by the public and future generations.

This bill guarantees that all recreational activities currently taking place in the Alabama Hills will continue. This includes not only hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, but hunting, fishing, and authorized motorized vehicle use as well. Additionally, recreational prospecting (rock-hounding) will continue in the historic mining areas under this legislation.
This bill is the culmination of months of work by Rep. Paul Cook and the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group to draft legislative language acceptable to all key local stakeholders. The stewardship group is dedicated to  promoting the long term vision, conservation, use, enhancement, and enjoyment of the Alabama Hills . Groups and organizations that have worked with the stewardship group include Inyo County, the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce, the Lone-Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, local business owners, and other key stakeholders.

Cook said, “The Alabama Hills are a natural treasure, and I’m excited to introduce this bill to help guarantee our children and grandchildren can enjoy them the same way we do. The level of local input has been incredible and should serve as an example for how land use decisions are made.

“Last year, I introduced legislation to establish the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. While it didn’t become law last year, it provided local stakeholders and conservation groups the opportunity to suggest changes to make this a better bill. I’m excited to incorporate these changes in the new version of this important legislation this year. My constituents in Inyo have been working to get this done for years, and I’m hopeful that 2015 will be the year the Alabama Hills get the protection they deserve.”

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Inyo County Crowns top Speller

Rowan wins Inyo County Spelling Bee

Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer and Assistant Superintendent Pamela Jones are pleased to announce that Lyndsey Rowan from Bishop Elementary School won first place in the Inyo County Spelling Bee, sponsored by Altrusa.

Twenty-two students from six local elementary and middle schools participated in the 2014-15 countywide Spelling Bee last week at Jill Kinmont Boothe School. Sixteen students made it to the final rounds. The winners of the competition were:

ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL COMPETITION

1st Place Lyndsey Rowan Bishop Elementary
2nd Place Mahdi Ayman Home Street
3rd Place Aubrey Hart Lo-Inyo

The winning word was: intelligence. The other elementary/middle school contestants included Chris Roberts, Trinity Roberts and Evan Fuller from Big Pine; Brizeida Mora, Graciela Gutierrez, Jessica McGuire and AC Ray of Lone Pine; Naiya Warren, Steven Mather, Danny and Angie Mendoza, and Orion Nash of Owens Valley; Cashus Puhvel, Carter Silva and Jennifer Velazquez from Bishop schools; Rylee Arcularius, Hana Hogan, Tenaya Tordoff, and Braeden McGrale from Round Valley. Several students also joined the preliminary competition as alternates to get practice for next year: Kaitlin Hensley and Jose Dominguez from Lo-Inyo and Nichole Asher from Owens Valley. Congratulations to all the student participants.

The Coaches this year include Cheri Fendon, Lynn Lamb, Shelly Daugherty, Carmen London, Victoria Hamilton, Rory Winzenread, and Lidia Rubio.

The local Altrusa chapter sponsored the competition. Gail Swain and Robin Hastie were on hand to distribute awards to students and judge the competition. Liz McAteer graciously accepted the position as the Pronouncer for this year’s competition. Pamela Jones was the Spell Master for the competition. A special thank you goes to Round Valley Parent Organization for donating $5 to the “last person standing” from each of the nine districts competing.

left to right, Pamela Jones, Aubrey Hart, Mahdi Ayman, Lyndsey Rowan, Gail Swain, Robin Hastie
left to right, Pamela Jones, Aubrey Hart, Mahdi Ayman, Lyndsey Rowan, Gail Swain, Robin Hastie
 eastern sierra news, bishop news, inyo county news, dr terry mcateer

Local Flu Activity on the Rise

Intense Local Flu Activity

Inyo and Mono County public health officer Dr. Richard Johnson has issued a statement indicating an uptick in local flu activity.  According to Dr. Johnson, ” All evidence points to intense local flu activity throughout Inyo and Mono County”.   Johnson notes that some schools are having the highest absentee rates he has ever seen, with day care centers have documented cases among those in the highest risk age groups.  At least one facility is on voluntary “lock-down” to protect persons from further spread.  Sierra Park Clinics are seeing influenza-like illness at epidemic levels, especially in Pediatrics, with levels approaching the highest he has ever seen.
Anecdotally, Emergency Departments are full of persons with possible influenza.  Fortunately, Dr. Johnson says he is not aware of an increase locally in hospitalizations for pneumonia or flu-like illness,  and no one has been transported out of the area, and no deaths have occurred locally associated with the flu.

Dr. Johnson’s Tips  if you get the Flu
1 – Stay at home and rest.
Most people who get the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using fever-reducing medication. DO NOT go to work or school if you still have had a fever in the last 24 hours.
Employers – Please encourage and enable those who are sick to stay home!! Screen arriving employees, and send home those who are sick.
2 – Avoid close contact with people.
While sick, you should limit contact with others to keep from infecting them, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away after the first use. You should wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3 – Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids
You should drink plenty of clear fluids as soon as the first flu symptoms appear to avoid dehydration. Water is fine, but soup is better. You should eat nourishing food as well as pass on alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
4 – Treat fever and cough with over-the-counter medications
Fever reducers, antihistamines, decongestants and cough medicines could help you feel better, but those won’t help you recover any faster. Flu symptoms may last up to two weeks.
5 – Call a doctor if extremely ill.
If symptoms are severe or if you are pregnant, 65 years or older or have a chronic medical condition, you should call your doctor. The doctor might recommend antiviral drugs to treat your flu.
Millions of people avoid getting sick every year by getting a flu shot or practicing good hand-washing hygiene. Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop. Although not as effective this year as it usually is, it still is the most important thing you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick.There are several flu strains circulating in the region, so if someone has already got a flu and have recovered from it, they could get sick again.

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Adventure Trails Meeting Today

Inyo County Supervisors to hold Adventure Trails meeting Thursday

FPPC Clears Board For Adventure Trails Vote January 22nd
Independence – Inyo County’s County Counsel, Marge Kemp Williams, hereby announces she received an Advice Opinion from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) an Advice Opinion in which Commission staff concluded the Board of Supervisors’ decisions required to be made as part of the Board’s consideration of the Adventure Trails project “will not have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect on any of the supervisors’ interests.”
According to Kemp-Williams, “The FPPC’s ruling clears the way for each member of the Board of Supervisors to participate in the decision making process regarding the Adventure Trails project, if he so chooses.”
Last month, the County rescheduled the Public Hearing for the Adventure Trails project to allow time for the FPPC to provide the County with guidance about the ability of all five members of the Board of Supervisors to participate in the decision making process.
The Public Hearing for the Adventure Trails project is now scheduled for Thursday, January 22, 2015, at 10 a.m. in Independence at the Independence Legion Hall. The meeting location was moved from the Board of Supervisors Chambers to the Legion Hall to accommodate what is expected to be an overflow crowd.

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Bodie in Winter

Special Program on Bodie set for February 2nd

The Mono Basin Historical Society presents: “Bodie in Winter – Living and Working in the Coldest Place in the Far West”.  Monday, February 2, 2015, at the Lee Vining Community Center. Business meeting and potluck dinner at 6pm, Program at 7pm. Free! Presented by Jack Shipley, aka “Bodie Jack”, retired State Park Ranger. 

For more information: 760-647-6644.
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Death Valley Fatal Accident

Saturday Crash Kills Santa Ana Woman

The California Highway Patrol says alcohol was a factor in the Saturday evening crash.  According to the CHP accident report, a 52-year old Santa Ana woman (name being withheld pending notification of next of kin) was driving a Toyota Tacoma pickup southbound on Scotty’s Castle Road.  The report notes that the driver was not wearing a seat belt, and due to “alcohol intoxication” she allowed the truck to leave the roadway, over-correcting the truck leading to the vehicle overturning at minimum of one time.  The driver, the lone occupant of the truck, was ejected sustaining fatal injuries.  The single vehicle accident occurring at 5pm on Saturday, January 17th.

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Convict Lake Road Construction

Reconstruction of Convict Lake Road Planned

Officials say the work will improve safety and access, while asking travelers to plan for delays.  Major reconstruction of the Convict Lake Road is planned for the summer of 2015. 

Mono County has requested the funding and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead agency for this project.  The entire roadway will be reconstructed from the intersection with Highway 395 to the day-use parking area at the end of the road on the east side of the lake.  The roadway will be widened in some spots in order to provide a consistent pavement width and a paved shoulder. A bicycle lane will be provided on the uphill side.  The road will be repaved, striped, and new regulatory and warning signs will be installed at the completion of the project.

The paved path around the east side of the lake will also be reconstructed. This project will also be overseen by FHWA. The Inyo National Forest has arranged for this project to be completed with the same contractor during the same time period as the road project.  The result will be a fully accessible paved path with hardened access points down to the lake edge.

 The Convict Lake Road provides access to one of the premier scenic front country lakes on the east side and is noted for its exceptional scenery.  A campground and resort with cabins along the road are part of the recreational attraction and Convict Lake is a popular destination for fishing. There are several wilderness trailheads that start at Convict Lake as well.

It is anticipated that the work will begin in the early summer; weather dependent.  Construction is expected to last for approximately three months during the 2015 season.  While the road will remain open to traffic throughout the project, visitors may experience delays of up to 30 minutes.  Additionally, at certain times, the road may need to be closed for longer periods of time, Monday through Friday.  These closures will be planned approximately two weeks in advance so that recreationalists can plan their visit. Parking areas may be limited at times while construction work is completed.

Construction will be suspended for Memorial Day weekend, the Independence Day holiday, and Labor Day weekend. 

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Alabama Hills Work Day

Alabama Hills Volunteer Work Day Planned

The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will sponsor a volunteer work day in the Alabama Hills on Saturday, January 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We will be performing trail maintenance and restoring vegetation on and near the Mobius Arch Loop trail,” said Dave Kirk, Alabama Hills steward for the Bishop Field Office.

Participants should meet at the corner of Whitney Portal and Movie roads at 9 a.m. Please come prepared for outdoor work with gloves, hat and sunscreen. BLM will provide tools, trash bags and drinks. For further information, contact Kirk via email at dmkirk@blm.gov, or the Eastern Sierra Inter-agency Visitor Center at (760) 876-6222.

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