Local News

Bishop Community Concert

Bronn and Katherine Journey to Perform in Bishop February 24

Live On Stage, Inc. and the Bishop Community Concerts Association Announce Acclaimed duo as part of their 2014-2015 Concert Season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (February 2, 2015) – Bronn and Katherine Journey, renowned harp / vocal duo, will take the stage for an excursion through classical and popular favorites at the Dorothy Joseph Auditorium located on the campus of Bishop Union High School on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  Single tickets are $25 adults / $10 students.  For more information please call For more information please call The Sound Shoppe at 760-873-5991, or visit the association website at http://bishopcca.org/.

Bronn and Katherine Journey, known to many concert-goers around the country as “the Gem of the Northwest,” have a repertoire as long as the highways they have travelled (35,000 miles in one concert season!). Although classically trained musicians, they present a varied program of classics from a variety of genres including Broadway, movies and Celtic.  Bronn is an exceptionally versatile harpist (he has performed the national anthem at Seattle Seahawks games) and is noted for his warm wit.  In addition to her vocal skills, Katherine is an accomplished pianist.  Follow this link to view a video featuring Bronn and Katherine Journey.

The Bishop Community Concerts Association has been presenting internationally acclaimed artists to the community since 1947.  This all-volunteer nonprofit organization is committed to enriching the cultural life of the Eastern Sierra through live performances.  Thanks to the generosity of Patrons and Sponsors, these concerts can be offered at affordable, family friendly prices.


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Tri-County Fair picks slogan and pie!

The Fair Board preps for 2015 Fair

The Board of Directors at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair met recently and got the ball rolling for the 2015 edition of their flagship event, the Tri-County Fair. The winning slogan was submitted by Joshua Hinson and is “The Tri-County Fair, where Culture and Heritage come together.” Fair CEO Sally Symons commented, “There were over 50 entries this year, and it was a tough decision. Once again our community showed great support for this wonderful tradition.”

Other decisions about the annual end of summer celebration include the Pie Contest Flavor, which will be Pecan. And, for 2015 the Party Barn will become the “Fiesta Barn” with a Carne Asada BBQ contest, On The Spot Salsa contest (done “Chopped” style) and tortilla and fry bread contests. “With any luck we’ll have some margaritas, beer and live music too,” commented Symons.

Fair supporters and participants should look forward to other new contests and classes when the Exhibitors Handbook comes out in April. “We are hoping to change a few things up a bit and involve even more members of our three counties in the fun of entering exhibits at the Fair,” said Symons. “I’m confident that there is a lot of untapped creativity and talent out there that we would love to give a platform to at the fair while honoring our cultures and heritage this year.”

The Eastern Sierra Tri-county fair takes place Labor Day Weekend, Thursday, September 3rd through Sunday, September 6th.

In addition to the fun of fair planning, the 18th District Agricultural Association also elected its 2015 executive officers. Serving as President is Paul Dostie, representing Mono County, First Vice President is Robert Levy of Alpine County, and Second Vice President is Joanne Parsons, representing Inyo County.

Pictured is the 2015 slate of Executive Officers of the Fair Board, 2nd Vice President Joanne Parsons, President Paul Dostie and 1st Vice President Rob Levy.
Pictured is the 2015 slate of Executive Officers of the Fair Board, 2nd Vice President Joanne Parsons, President Paul Dostie and 1st Vice President Rob Levy.


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NIH Employees Organize Union

Northern Inyo Hospital Employees Organize Union

Statement form the Northern Inyo Hospital Union Organizing Committee:

Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants at Northern Inyo Hospital are organizing a union as part of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. We are doing this to maintain the care and safety of our patients, to retain experienced staff and nurture new nurses in a safe culture, to be involved in NIH’s financial stability, and to support the other employees at the hospital who are part of our team.

Northern Inyo Hospital is a community hospital with a history of great patient care. We frequently hear from patients, “I never get this level of care and attention down south.” We provide safe care with a low rate of infection and adverse events. It is an entire team of workers who provide this care, from the person that greets you at the front desk to the doctor making a life-saving diagnosis.

That team is under great pressure. Patient care needs and documentation requirements are increasing without an increase in time allowed to provide care. Having the time to hold the hand of a dying patient, to comfort a sick child, or to help a mother bring a baby safely into the world, cannot be measured in a cost/benefit ratio.

We have lost experienced caregivers because of the policy of terminating employees whose treatment for a major medical diagnosis like cancer extends beyond 16 weeks. Nurses have left because they were not allowed the scheduling flexibility to maintain a balance between work and family. Caregivers are wondering if they will have the financial stability to remain in this area where they have homes and families.

For the past decade financial pressures have been tightening on the hospital. Friends tell us they go elsewhere for care because of the cost locally. Our current administration is addressing our financial future in a proactive manner, increasing patient census, and cutting the cost of procedures and lab work. CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane’s proposals for a strategic plan have merit, but she has not had enough input from the caregivers who will be on the front line implementing changes in delivering patient care.

The decision to form a union was not an easy one. Northern Inyo Hospital is the last major employer in the county without a union to provide a voice for employees. We will be negotiating, not for special treatment for union members, but for fair treatment for everyone, with a guiding principle of maintaining excellent and safe care of patients.

 Members are (l to r) Susan Tonelli (ER), Heleen Welvaart (Med Surg), Denise Morrill (ER), Betty Wagoner (RHC), Anneke Bishop (OB), Kathleen Schneider (Med Surg), Christine Hanley (Med Surg), Maura Richman (OB), Cynthia McCarthy (ICU), and Laurie Archer (PACU).  Not present: Gloria Phillips (PACU), and Eva Judson (OB).
Members are (l to r) Susan Tonelli (ER), Heleen Welvaart (Med Surg), Denise Morrill (ER), Betty Wagoner (RHC), Anneke Bishop (OB), Kathleen Schneider (Med Surg), Christine Hanley (Med Surg), Maura Richman (OB), Cynthia McCarthy (ICU), and Laurie Archer (PACU). Not present: Gloria Phillips (PACU), and Eva Judson (OB).
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Black Sabbath Bassist arrested in Death Valley

Inyo County SO confirms the arrest of Musician Terence Butler

According to the Inyo County Sheriffs department, shortly after midnight on January 27th Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call regarding a verbal and physical altercation that took place at the Corkscrew Saloon located at the Furnace Creek Ranch property in Death Valley National Park.
After the Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived on scene and interviewed witnesses it was determined that there had been an argument that escalated into a physical confrontation – resulting in an individual allegedly being struck, and a broken window. Terence Michael Butler a 65-year old man from Beverly Hills, CA was arrested for misdemeanor assault, public intoxication and vandalism.
Butler was booked into the Inyo County Jail and released after detox and citation.  Terence “Geezer” Butler is the bassist for the band Black Sabbath.

Photo courtesy INYO County Sheriff
Photo courtesy INYO County Sheriff
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Sierra Nevada Red Fox Spotted

Rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox Spotted in Yosemite National Park

Fox photographed with remote motion-sensitive camera

Yosemite News Release

Yosemite National Park is excited to report the first confirmed sighting in the park of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) in nearly 100 years.  Park wildlife biologists had gone on a five-day backcountry trip to the far northern part of the park to check on previously deployed motion-sensitive cameras.  They documented a sighting of the fox on two separate instances (December 13, 2014 and January 4, 2015) within the park boundary.  The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals.

 “We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox, one of the most rare and elusive animals in the Sierra Nevada,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “National parks like Yosemite provide habitat for all wildlife and it is encouraging to see that the red fox was sighted in the park.”

 “Confirmation of the Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park’s vast alpine wilderness provides an opportunity to join research partners in helping to protect this imperiled animal,” stated Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist in Yosemite National Park. “We’re excited to work across our boundary to join efforts with other researchers that will ultimately give these foxes the best chances for recovery.”

The nearest verified occurrences of Sierra Nevada red foxes have been in the Sonora Pass area, north of the park, where biologists from U.C. Davis (UCD), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have been monitoring a small Sierra Nevada red fox population, first documented by the USFS in 2010.  Prior to 2010, the last verified sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the region was two decades ago.

The Yosemite carnivore crew will continue to survey for Sierra Nevada red fox using remote cameras in hopes of detecting additional individuals.  At each camera station, the crew also set up hair snare stations in the hopes of obtaining hair samples for genetic analysis.  Through genetic analysis, the park can learn more about the diversity within the population and to confirm whether the fox(es) detected in Yosemite is genetically related to individuals from the Sonora Pass area.

These Sierra Nevada red fox detections are part of a larger study funded by the Yosemite Conservancy to determine occurrence and distribution of rare carnivores in Yosemite National Park.  Thank you to all our colleagues who have been helping us with this project in many important ways (UCD, USFS, CDFW, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Bureau of Land Management, and Yosemite backcountry rangers and volunteers).

Sierra Nevada Red Fox Photo

Photo Credit: NPS Photo

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Warren Street Update

Work Continues on Bishop’s Warren Street

From the City of Bishop Public Works Department:
Construction of the City of Bishop Warren Street Improvements project continues with construction of storm drain on South Warren and with preparation for concrete work on North Warren. Storm drain construction is progressing north along South Warren from near Lagoon Street. The new storm drain pipe is expected to have been placed in the ground as far as Line Street this week and is expected to continue north of Line next week. Restoration of
pavement and concrete removed for the storm drain construction on South Warren is expected in the next few weeks.
Tuesday, January 27th the contractor started removing existing concrete on North Warren near the police station in preparation for the placement of the first new concrete on the project next week.
Before new concrete can be placed, existing concrete, pavement, and trees must be removed, pipes for street light electricity and irrigation must be placed, and the ground must be graded with gravel base. This preparatory work is expected to be completed in this one area so the first concrete can be placed here next week.
Construction in downtown Bishop impacts traffic on city streets west of Main Street and will cause inconvenience and delays. Closures required for the construction include full street and intersection closures during the daytime. Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and other hidden hazards will require attention, even when work is not underway. Businesses will still be open to serve you during construction. All efforts will be made to maintain access to businesses and to minimize project impacts and restrictions. Drivers, riders, and pedestrians should be cautious, take alternate routes, and be patient.
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Boron Football

CIF Commissioner Reflects on Boron Football

CIF Southern Section Commission Rob Wigod’s message focuses in  on Boron High School Football.  Bishop Union High School faced the Bobcats in the 2010 section championship game, a 30-22 Bronco win.

One of the greatest aspects of working for the CIF Southern Section is the opportunity to meet, work with and connect with so many outstanding people throughout the vast expanse of our section.
An example of one of those strong connections I have made over the years is with Boron High School. I first became aware of Boron High School, a school of 150 students that is located in one of our more remote areas of the section, when I began working as an Assistant Commissioner in charge of football for our section 14 years ago. The Boron Bobcats were one of the strongest football programs among
our smaller schools at that time and had made quite a name for themselves through their performance in that sport. However, being a small school, there were many challenges facing them in trying to field an 11-Man Football program and in September, 2002, Boron High School had to drop Varsity Football due to a lack of players that year. It was a very sad time for their school and their community, but they were able to reinstate Varsity Football soon after. Little did anyone know that not having a Varsity Football team were not the saddest days facing Boron High School.
On September 12, 2008, tragedy struck Boron High School and the CIF Southern Section. Sophomore Vinnie Rodriguez suffered a severe head injury during Boron’s football game that night. Vinnie spent the next few days in the hospital fighting for his life, but unfortunately, he passed away four days later. Principal
Paul Kostopoulos, Athletic Director Jim Boghosian, Head Football Coach Todd Fink, the Boron Bobcat Football Team and their entire community were completely devastated by this horrific loss and were faced with the huge task of trying to pick up the pieces and go on. In speaking with the Boron administration throughout that week, it was clearly evident to me that their sense of loss was overwhelming. However, somehow they were able to persevere as the Boron High School Football players voted to play their upcoming game on Friday, September 19 at Kern Valley High School in
Lake Isabella, in memory of their fallen teammate. Once I heard that decision, I had no doubt where I would be that night and what I witnessed during and after that game will stay with me forever.
On that Friday afternoon, the Boron Bobcats boarded their bus and headed for Kern Valley High School. While on the way, Coach Fink’s cell phone rang. On the other end of the line was University of Southern California Head Football Coach Pete Carroll. Coach Carroll called to offer his condolences and his support to Coach Fink and the Boron players on behalf of the entire USC Trojan Football program. What a classy move that was on his part.
Boron got off to a slow start that night and fell behind early. Kern Valley led 21-14 at the end of 3 quarters and extended their lead to 35-21 with 2 minutes left. What happened next was remarkable. Boron scored a touchdown and went for a 2 point conversion, which was successful. Then, the Bobcats got the ball back, scored another touchdown and kicked the extra point to win the game 36-35. In a truly courageous and inspiring performance, there was no way that Boron was going to be denied that night. Once the game was over, both schools met at midfield and released black and gold balloons, Boron’s school colors, into the sky in memory of Vinnie Rodriguez. It was one of the most emotional and stirring scenes I have ever seen as both schools and communities came together to support each other in such a meaningful way. These two schools truly exemplified and defined what high school athletics is all about: courage, perseverance, competition and compassion.
Now, we fast forward to this week when the Boron High School football players and coaches will board a bus once again. This week, that bus will be headed to University of Phoenix Stadium in
Glendale, Arizona, the site of Super Bowl XLIX. Boron’s football team has won a nationwide contest sponsored by the National Football League called Together We Make Football in which they were selected to receive a 5-day, 4-night all expenses paid trip to see the Super Bowl and participate in several activities leading up to the game. My understanding is they are going to have an opportunity
to be on the field before the game starts and wouldn’t it be ironic if they get to see Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll on Super Sunday?
The question asked for this contest was, “Why do we love football?”
Answers were judged on whether your story would stir passion for the game of football along with your explanation of why football was so important to your school and your community. Under the
current leadership of Principal Nat Adams, Athletic Director Rob Kostopoulos and Head Football Coach Tim Seaman, Boron High School articulated their story very well and as you can imagine, Boron’s story moved people from all over the country who sent in their votes to help them win. Another reason why Boron won this contest is because Muroc Joint Unified School District Director
of Instruction and Assessment Paul Kostopolous, now a member of the CIF Southern Section Executive Committee as Desert Area Representative, reached out to our office and his fellow Executive Committee members to help get the word out that people needed to vote for Boron to win. We reached out to the CIF State Office and the other 9 CIF Sections and they got on board as well, galvanizing the State of California in support of the Bobcats.
This is a story that reminds all of us how valuable and important the role of high school athletics is to our schools and our communities. The lessons that are learned through these experiences will
last a lifetime. Sometimes those lessons can be incredibly difficult and painful, but through that adversity, we can overcome and triumph over it. Boron High School has certainly shown us how to do
so. I know you all join me in expressing how proud we are of Boron High School as they represent their school, their community, the CIF Southern Section and the state of California on the biggest football stage in our nation this Sunday.
Go Bobcats!
All the best,

Rob Wigod
Commissioner of Athletics, CIF Southern Section


Photo by Gary Young Photography.  #30 Deandre Golden vs Bishop Union in the 2010 CIF SS Championship game.  Bishop won 30-22.

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CASA needs Volunteers


Inyo and Mono Counties, CA: CASA of the Eastern Sierra, 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, seeks dedicated volunteers to become CASA advocates on behalf of foster children. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are trained to lift up the needs of the abused or neglected child and to lift up the child’s voice. After training and subsequent appointment by a judge, CASA volunteers are advocates for children whose futures rest in the hands of Juvenile Court judges. CASA volunteers work one-on-one with the foster child, biological and foster parents, teachers, therapists, and others involved in the child’s life. They conduct independent investigations of a foster child’s circumstances, and communicate what the child desires or needs. The CASA’s findings are reported to the Court by the volunteer.
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 volunteers for children such as these. By building a relationship with the child, CASA volunteers become a consistent and trusted adult in the child’s life. The CASA is trained to provide the child with a sense of security, as well as serving in the critical role of being a voice, eyes, and ears for the child.
Interested volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and willing to commit at least one year to the program. Potential volunteers attend an orientation meeting, are interviewed, undergo a criminal background check, and complete up to 36 hours of free, in-depth training before being sworn as a CASA volunteer. Lisa Reel, Executive Director of Wild Iris and CASA of the Eastern Sierra, declares “CASA volunteers are ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things. People of all backgrounds, careers, ethnicity, cultural experiences, and life experiences are encouraged to apply. You’d be astounded by what a difference a single person can make in the life of a child within our court system.”
The next training is scheduled to occur in February and March, 2015.

Training Schedule
Information and Orientation Meeting 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Day 1, Classroom 9:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2015
Day 2, Classroom 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Day 3, Classroom 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Day 4, Classroom 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Day 5, Classroom 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2015

Court Observation Thursday, April 2 & Thursday April 23rd

Those who successfully complete the training and screening process may be certified CASAs for both Mono and Inyo Counties. If you are interested in becoming a CASA, please contact Ginnie Bird, CASA Volunteer Coordinator/Case Manager at (760) 873-6601 or gbird@wild-iris.org.


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New Undersheriff for Mono

Mono County Sheriff Names a new Number 2

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office has welcomed the newest member to their team. During the official Oath of Office, performed by Sheriff Ingrid Braun, Michael Moriarty was sworn-in as the new Undersheriff.

Undersheriff Moriarty was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and moved to Los Angeles to join the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in January 1981. He had a successful career at LAPD rising in the ranks from police officer to commander. He spent the majority of his career in the investigative function in assignments such as Gang Enforcement, Homicide, Street and Major Narcotics, Internal Affairs and Public Corruption. His final assignment with LAPD was the Assistant Commanding Officer of the Detective Bureau in charge of the Specialized Detective Divisions and Crime Lab.

Undersheriff Moriarty comes to Mono County after spending the past several years as the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. He is a lifetime member of the California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA); and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the California District Attorneys Association and the California Gangs Investigators Association.

“Undersheriff Moriarty brings over 33 years of law enforcement experience to the Mono County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Braun. “He agrees with my vision of community policing and restoring the faith and trust of law enforcement back into our communities.”

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

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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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