Category Archives: Local News

tom mix

Lone Pine Film Festival is this weekend

26th Annual Lone Pine Film Festival

Tom Mix, Jack Hoxie, Ken Maynard Return to the Silver Screen at the 26th Annual Lone Pine Film Festival

Film Festival Pres Release:

Yes, Mix, Maynard and Hoxie lead the bill, but the Festival screens and stages for the weekend present a broad spectrum of western Film Fare from Silent, Early and Contemporary Western directors and writers.

The weekend kicks off with a 4:30 PM Reception,  Thursday October 8th at the Museum of Western Film History with early festival guests, celebrities and the local community celebrating another year with America’s Cowboy Balladeer, Don Edwards in Concert at 7:00PM.

Western film screenings start sharply at 7:30 AM on Friday with the 1941 Hoppy film, In Old Colorado, and continue throughout the weekend, with over 20 plus films being screened. We are including the first film shot in Lone Pine, the classic Fatty Arbuckle 1920 4-Reeler, The Round-Up, which will be presented with the piano accompaniment of keyboard specialist J.C. Munns. Munns will also accompany other films for the weekend bringing the incredible keyboard nostalgia to these wonderful silent films as they were originally seen in the movie houses of the 1920’s.

Ed Hulse, Western writer, will be our moderator for panels & discussions featuring Los Angeles Times critic, Kenneth Turan,  Western Film historian, Robert Birchard, screenwriter, Robert Knox, and actors Rex Linn, William Wellman Jr. and  Wyatt McCrea as they provide guests with stimulating memories of films and film making.

Award-winning author editor and AFI film preservationist, Robert S. Birchard will present a program about the earliest days of silent Westerns. Incorporated into the program will be a short documentary film, Bronco Billy, the First Reel Cowboy, produced by the Arkansas Public Broadcasting Service, followed by a discussion of the earliest silent cowboys.

In 1938, Billy King, played child star to William Boyd in four “Hopalong Cassidy Features”. Billy shares wonderful memories of working with Hoppy, Grace Bradley Boyd and shooting in the Alabama Hills.

Join Sylvia Durando in her first public discussion of her Hollywood past as one of movie making’s great stuntwomen. Sylvia, has shared the screen with Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, Richard Boone, Tony Curtis and Randolph Scott to name a few.

Additional celebrity guests Gary Brown, Diamond Farnsworth, Larry Floyd, Cheryl Rogers, Petrine Day Mitchum, and Bob White complement out weekend with wonderful stories of Western heroes, heroines, horses and even their “cars.”

Twenty-two “On Location,” guided tours celebrate the hundreds of Western films shot in Lone Pine and the incredible, unique landscape of the Alabama Hills.

Team Roping will be featured on Saturday at the Museum rodeo grounds. Sunday will begin with a morning Cowboy Church on the Anchor Ranch, followed by our famous Sunday Main Street Parade. The Closing Campfire led by Cowboy Larry Maurice at Lone Pine Park on Sunday evening will wrap the weekend festivities.

And last but not least, the weekend center of activity, The Museum of Western Film History. The Museum hosts a new name to represent the new and expanded mission of the Museum “to collect, preserve, protect, archive and exhibit original materials of permanent historical value relating to the history and heritage of the American Western film.” The Museum will continue to feature the films made in the Alabama Hills and the Eastern Sierra. Come see our new and updated exhibits, meet our staff, and join our membership, contributing to the Museum’s continued effort and commitment to honor Western film heritage.

Cover Photo, Tom Mix 1937 Restored Cord, photo provided

lone pine film festival, museum of western film history, alabama hills, eastern sierra
mice men

Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

Run of “Of Mice and Men” starting in Mammoth

Of Mice and Men

October 8-25
Thurs – Sat at 7pm | Sun at 4pm
Edison Theatre, Mammoth


Nobel Prize-winning author, John Steinbecks’s classic comes to the stage. Following two migrant workers as they struggle to realize their own version of the American Dream during the Great Depression.

Two drifters, George and his friend Lennie, with delusions of living off the “fat of the land,” have just arrived at a ranch to work for enough money to buy their own place. Lennie is a man-child, a little boy in the body of a dangerously powerful man. It’s Lennie’s obsessions with things soft and cuddly, that have made George cautious about who the gentle giant, with his brute strength, associates with. His promise to allow Lennie to “tend to the rabbits” on their future land keeps Lennie calm, amidst distractions, as the overgrown child needs constant reassurance. But when a ranch boss’ promiscuous wife is found dead in the barn with a broken neck, it’s obvious that Lennie, albeit accidentally, killed her. George, now worried about his own safety, knows exactly where Lennie has gone to hide, and he meets him there. Realizing they can’t run away anymore, George is faced with a moral question: how should he deal with Lennie before the ranchers find him and take matters into their own hands.

Tickets online: $20/$18/$10
Tickets at the door: $22

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit:

cover photo provided

mammoth lakes news, edison theatre mammoth, of mice and men
inyo forest

Prescribed Burn Planned

Inyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument Announce Plans for Inter-Agency Prescribed Burning

Inyo National Forest (INF) and Devils Postpile National Monument (DEPO) will begin preparations for an interagency prescribed fire on 158 acres in the Reds Meadow Valley, Madera County, CA. The project is located east of the Devils Postpile Ranger Station and west of the Sotcher Lake Day Use Site.

The project goal is to reduce hazardous fuels and thus create wildfire defensible space around the DEPO ranger station, administrative facilities and campground. This defensible space will promote public and firefighter safety should a wildfire occur here in the future.

INF and DEPO will work with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to fulfill smoke management objectives and Federal and State air quality standards. The prescribed fire project will occur when weather and fuel moisture conditions will allow for generally low to moderate intensity prescribed burning, likely in the latter half of October 2015. Existing roads and trails will be used as fire containment lines. Fire crews will use chainsaws to thin small trees on 31 acres adjacent to Reds Meadow Road and the DEPO access road. This thinning will moderate risk of fire torching into the tops of larger trees and thus minimize impacts to scenic quality in highly visible areas along the roads.

The access road to Devils Postpile National Monument will be closed along with all trails and access to the Devils Postpile formation during the prescribed burn implementation. Traffic control will be in effect on the Reds Meadow Road during the 2 to 3 days when prescribed burning occurs. Rainbow falls will still be accessible via the Rainbow falls trail during this time.

inyo national forest, devils postpile, reds meadow, rainbow falls, prescribed burning

Dr. Meredick set for healthy lifestyle talk

NIH Healthy Lifestyle Talks continue

Dr. Richard Meredick will give a free talk about Upper Extremity wellness Thursday, Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m. at the Northern Inyo Hospital Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St., Bishop.

Dr. Meredick will talk about common hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries and conditions seen most often by our active population. Learn about the signs, symptoms and popular treatment options to reduce pain and discomfort.

This talk is the second in a series of Healthy Lifestyle Talks presented by Northern Inyo Hospital.

Dr. Meredick is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon. He specializes in Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy, and Joint Preservation. In his free time, he is an avid skier, hiker, cyclist and rock climber.

cover photo by Gary Young, Dr. Meredick volunteering his time on the sideline at a recent Bishop Union High School Football game

northern inyo hospital, dr richard meredick, healthy lifestyle talk, sports medicine

Manzanar sets new hours

New Hours for Manzanar Visitor Center

Beginning Sunday, October 18, 2015, the Visitor Center at Manzanar National Historic Site will open at 10 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. People arriving between 9 and 10 a.m. can visit the exhibits in Block 14’s barracks and mess hall, as well as drive or walk the square-mile site to see Japanese rock gardens and other features. A restroom is available at the historic Manzanar cemetery on the west side of the site. As always, the site itself is open from dawn to dusk.

In prior years, Manzanar went to winter hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Nov. 1. Current staffing levels have necessitated shorter hours for the Visitor Center, but visitors still have the opportunity to learn about the personal experiences of individuals, families, and communities incarcerated at Manzanar in the nearby barracks. Those exhibits feature extensive photos, documents, and quotes illustrating the challenges and changes people faced at Manzanar. Six audio stations and one video station feature a total of 42 oral history clips.

Exhibits in barracks 1 focus on the early days of Manzanar, when thousands of people arrived to an unfinished camp. Barracks 1 also includes a Block Manager’s office, featuring the papers of Block Manager Chokichi Nakano. Barracks 8 features an “improved” apartment with linoleum and wall board. A second room explores the Loyalty Questionnaire and its profound long-lasting impacts.
Manzanar National Historic Site is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, California. Admission is free.

For further information, please call (760) 878-2194 ext. 3310, visit our website at, or explore their page at

cover photo by Gary Young

manzanar historic site, owens valley history, highway 395

$hort Bishop City Council Meeting

Bishop City Council Meets in Special Session

by Arnie Palu

Three Bishop Police Department items were on the agenda for today’s special meeting of the Bishop City Council. The City Council took action to approve former Chief Chris Carter as short term interim chief. City Administrator Jim Tatum noted that Carter will serve as interim police chief on an as needed basis at a rate of $54.52 per hour. The short term agreement has Carter on board through the month of October. Tatum noted that the department is hoping to have a Lieutenant in place October 26th. Tatum indicated that the new Lieutenant would then serve as interim chief while the 4 to 5 month search for a Police Chief is finalized.

The firm completing that search had their revised contract approved today. The City Council voted 4-0 approving a professional services agreement with Ralph Andersen and Associates for the recruitment of a police chief. The agreement notes the recruitment firm will be paid an amount not to exceed $26,000.

Prior to the third action being addressed, Councilman Joe Pecsi and City Administrator Jim Tatum excused themselves from the council chambers. The third item up for action today centered on the council naming a firm to investigate the claims of a letter signed by 7 members of the Bishop Police Department. The “Letter of No Confidence in Police Chief Chris Carter” was delivered to local media and the city council on September 17th. The letter included accusations against City Administrator Jim Tatum, City Councilman Joe Pecsi, and then Police Chief Chris Carter. Accusations to be included in the investigation will include, but not be limited to, misconduct, violation of established policies, conflict of interest, compliance with a formally negotiated memorandum of understanding, misuse of government resources and violations of the Police Officers Bill of Rights. Following a short discussion the three remaining council members, Karen Schwartz, Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Smith and Mayor Patricia Gardner voted to approve the professional services agreement with Norman Traub Associates. The agreement indicates that the city of Bishop will pay the investigators from Yorba Linda $200 per hour plus expenses. Also, in the event the investigator is required to provide testimony at a post-investigation hearing, deposition or trial, the fee is $250 per hour plus expenses.

Council member Schwartz raised concerns about the expense with Acting Legal Council Peter Tracy indicating the investigation could take months to finalize. Mayor Pro-Tem Smith acknowledged the expense saying however, “This needs to be done”.  Mayor Gardner commented, “We have to look into all the allegations”.   The agreement was approved on a 3-0 vote.

There were zero members of the public at Tuesdays 11am special meeting.
Ted Carleton of the Sheet and myself were the only two in attendance.
Councilman Jim Ellis was absent and excused.
The Bishop City Council will next meet on Tuesday, October 13.

bishop city council, bishop police department, police chief chris carter, bishop california

Dr. Bourne Indicted

Mammoth Doctor Indicted for Removing Archeological Resources

Statement from the Department of Justice

FRESNO, Calif. — Jonathan Cornelius Bourne, 59, of Mammoth Lakes, was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe after a federal grand jury returned a 21-count indictment against him, charging him with violations of the Archeological Resources Protection Act, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to counts one through eight of the indictment, in 2010 and 2011, Bourne transported archeological resources from Nevada into California that were found on public lands and were over 100 years old. Among the items removed were obsidian biface tools, Steatite pendants, and glass beads allegedly removed from a tribal cremation and burial site. Counts nine through 14 charge Bourne with unauthorized excavation and removal damage or defacement of archaeological resources in Death Valley National Park, Inyo National Forest, and Sierra National Forest. The Native American cultural artifacts taken in 2010, 2011, and 2014, such as dart points, stone tablets, and a juniper bow stave were over 100 years old.

According to counts 15 through 20 in the indictment, Bourne willfully injured property of the United States by excavating, removing damaging and defacing cultural artifacts on land administered by the United States Forest Service and the National Park Service in the Counties of Mono, Inyo, and Fresno.

“This indictment shows that the prohibited acts including the unauthorized damage, alteration, excavation, and removal of archaeological resources on federally managed public lands is a serious matter,” said U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Special Agent Mike Grate.  “We want to thank all the agencies involved for all the hard work in bringing this to closure.”

At the arraignment, Bourne pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on his own recognizance. His next court hearing is a status conference before United States Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on December 7, 2015.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Bourne faces a maximum statutory penalty of 98 years in prison and a $2,030,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

dr bourne, department of justice, inyo national forest, archeological resources, Jonathan Cornelius Bourne
pd big

Special Bishop City Council Meeting Called

Bishop City Council Meeting Tuesday

The Bishop City Council will meet Tuesday, October 6th at 11am.  The Special Meeting has been called to allow the Council to take three action items into consideration.

The agenda for the special meting includes action to approve a interim police chief agreement recently retired, former Chief Chris Carter.  Carter’s final day with the Bishop Police department was Wednesday, September 30th.  The short term interim police Chief agreement would pay Carter $54.52 per hour.  If approved, Carter would serve as interim chief for 30 days.

The second action item would approve a services agreement with Ralph Andersen and Associates for the recruitment of a Chief of Police.  If approved, the agreement would pay the recruitment firm no more than $26,000.

The third and final action item is a services agreement with a firm to investigate the claims of a September 16th “Letter of No Confidence” in then Chief of Police Chris Carter.  The letter signed by 7 members of the Bishop Police Department was addressed to the City Council and local media.  That letter included accusations against City Administrator Jim Tatum and Joe Pecsi and numerous claims against Chief Carter.  Those claims include misconduct, violation of established policies, and conflict of interest.   If approved by the city council Tuesday, the contact with Norman Traub Associates of Yorba Linda would pay the investigator $200 per hour plus expenses.  The City Council agenda indicates the cost of the investigation will be paid through the City’s general fund.

City of Bishop, Bishop California Police Department, chief chris carter, jim tatum, joe pecsi



Playhouse 395’s Murder Mystery

Playhouse 395 presents “Eat, Drink and be Murdered”

Playhouse 395 is proud to announce a special fall dinner murder mystery presentation “Eat, Drink and be Murdered”. This dinner show will be presented at the Mountain Rambler Brewery on Monday October 12th and Monday October 19th. The mystery begins at 6:30 when the McFadden’s and O’Riley’s get together to commemorate the 80th birthday of their family matriarch, Grandma Rose.

A distillery vat drowning, a secret ingredient and feuding families will make this a night to remember. Tickets are $40 each and include a delicious dinner, the theatre show and prizes awarded to the lucky dinner guest who correctly guesses the murderer and the motive.

Tickets are now available at the Mountain Rambler Brewery on South Main Street but seats are limited so be sure to purchase yours soon!

playhouse 395, mountain rambler brewery, bishop california

Officials defend Rough Fire efforts

Rough Fire now over 151 thousand Acres

Top land managers are offering a Op/Ed defending and explaining the response to the Rough Fire.  The fire is now over 151 thousand acres and listed at 87% perimeter containment.  The lighting caused fire started on July 31st.   The forest supervisors and superintendent felt there was a need to clarify some common misconceptions about the Rough Fire.

The Rough Fire: The fire that continually defied suppression efforts.

We want to recognize the residents of east-side communities who lived with smoke from the Rough Fire for many weeks and we thank you for your patience while numerous valiant efforts to contain the fire were made.

We also understand that smoke affects one of the primary attractions of the east-side, which is the broad spectrum of recreational opportunities that people from throughout the world come to experience.

However we must dispute several sentiments shared with various east-side media outlets that suggest that this fire was a managed-lightning fire for resource benefit.

In particular, we must refute the idea that our firefighters did not do enough or that we, as land managers, underestimated this fire in initial attack and over the following weeks.

Allow us to share with you of the nature of the fire response.

When lightning ignited seven fires on the Sierra National Forest on July 31st, firefighters quickly contained all but one and fire managers suspected that one was going to be a problem.

Kings Canyon Drainage is known for its stunning beauty because of its dramatic steep cliffs that draw visitors from the world to enjoy this stunning scenery. It is also documented as the largest unbroken vertical rise in North America.

To a firefighter, it’s a no man’s land: steep, technical terrain that has been known for injuring firefighters over the years. It’s so steep that “rollouts” (burning material that gets loosened, rolls down the steep slope, and runs back up the hill) are a constant concern for fire crews. In fact, it is exactly how the fire progressed down the canyon. Aircraft and firefighters themselves can sometimes push the rollouts on these cliffs.

These conditions make it impossible to establish an anchor point for a firefighter to start a containment line. It’s not terrain that firefighters can safely engage a fire.

Add the fourth year of a drought. Add that this was ground zero for the worst die off of trees seen in the southern Sierra. Earlier this year, the U.S. Forest Service reported that 12 million trees had died in the southern Sierra Nevada, with areas along the Kings Canyon River Drainage hardest hit. Driving along the river drainage, you will see areas with up to 60% tree mortality. This area had missed several fire cycles, meaning there was a thick bed of dried fuels mixed with dead trees. Add continuous days of 100 degree (or more) temperatures.

Firefighters think about weather, fuel, and topography when trying to access fire behavior. The Rough Fire presented the worst of all three.   When fire managers added this all up, they knew they had a challenging fire to deal with. Never for a moment, and contrary to rumors, did fire managers ever consider anything but full suppression.  The problem was how. It was assessed by crews on the ground and by air, they reported the terrain too steep and that direct attack was not an option for safety reasons.

Aircraft cannot do it alone. Helicopters and tankers can slow the fire’s growth and reduce its intensity, but firefighters need to construct the containment line to stop the fire’s growth.
Once the fire became established, crew after crew of firefighters reported that they had never seen fire behavior like they were witnessing. It crossed dozer lines, roads, and rivers with incredible ease.

Firefighters found themselves working to defend Cedar Grove, Hume Lake, Grant Grove Village and Wilsonia, Balch Camp, communities near Wishon, the PG&E Power Plant, and Dunlap.
As the Rough Fire approached the sequoia groves of Giant Sequoia National Monument and in Kings Canyon National Park, firefighters worked to get the best fire effects possible. Giant sequoias are fire-adapted and germinate with the heat surge from the fire than opens the cones in the tree and releases the seeds to the nutrient-rich ash bed below—the catch was ensuring that this fire wasn’t too intense even for the sequoias.

Some of these communities experienced air that ranged from unhealthy to hazardous. Grant Grove Village and Wilsonia were evacuated first for smoke and remained evacuated for fire.
Numerous crews, including those on initial attack, made every effort they could to contain this fire. Many crews have been away from loved ones for most of the summer responding to fires throughout the west, many of which have also grown larger than historically seen and displaying unprecedented fire behavior. We are particularly grateful that, to date, our firefighters will make it home to their families and loved ones. One injury, in particular, reminded us how complex this terrain is; with the rescue being conducted by a roped-in technical rescue team.

So, we thank you for your patience and we recognize that you too have been affected by this fire. We also hope you will also take a moment to be grateful to all the dedicated men and women who worked tirelessly this summer to protect our communities and our infrastructure.

Dean Gould, Forest Supervisor of Sierra National Forest.
Kevin Elliott,  Forest Supervisor of Giant Sequoia National Monument/Sequoia National Forest.
Woody Smeck, Superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

rough fire, drought 2015, sierra national forest, sequoia national monument, kings canyon national park