Category Archives: Local News

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LA to Continue Irrigation through August

LADWP TO PROVIDE IRRIGATION WATER IN OWENS VALLEY THROUGH AUGUST

Statement provided by the LA DWP:

Bishop, CA – Unexpected summer rainfall has provided sufficient water in the Los Angeles Aqueduct system for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to continue irrigation in Owens Valley through the end of August. Continued irrigation, in the absence of any savings elsewhere, is only possible because Los Angeles’ extreme reduction in water exports from the Eastern Sierra.

“This weather could not have come at a better time,” Manager of the Los Angeles Aqueduct James Yannotta said. “These rains are providing much-needed water that will help LADWP to continue irrigation through August.”
Earlier in this extremely dry year LADWP recognized that there might be insufficient water supplies from the Los Angeles Aqueduct to meet all water demands in the Owens Valley and in the City of Los Angeles. The Long Term Water Agreement between the City of Los Angeles and Inyo County protects two end-goals: Providing a reliable source of water for Los Angeles and protecting the Owens Valley environment. The Agreement also contemplates the Parties approving a program to provide for reasonable reductions in irrigation water supply for Los Angeles-owned lands in the Owens Valley and for Enhancement and Mitigation (E/M) programs during periods of dry-year water shortages. Consequently, the Technical Group and the Standing Committee have attempted to evaluate and provide reasonable reductions in other areas to reallocate water for irrigation during the 2015 runoff year. Although the City and the County have not yet agreed to any reductions in E/M projects, the City of Los Angeles has almost entirely reduced the Owens Valley water supply to customers during this irrigation season.
The length and intensity of this four-year drought has surprised most water managers and regulators in the Southwest. The intensity of the scant Eastern Sierra snowpack and potential runoff was not fully realized until early April, which left little time to plan for its impacts, forcing the Department to evaluate operations on a virtual real-time basis. With respect to current conditions, the picture continues to be grim for Angelenos as LADWP will experience an 85% reduction from its normal export from the Eastern Sierra this runoff year.
“The only bright spot in our most recent forecasting is that it appears recent rain events provided additional water that we did not anticipate when we released our Annual Operations Plan in April,” Yannotta added. “Even though most, if not all, of the extremely low snowpack has already melted, recent storms are providing unanticipated run-off into the Eastern Sierra that will allow us to continue irrigating longer than we previously expected.”

The 2015 runoff year is unique in that snowpack was the lowest on record, measuring only 4% of normal, but summer precipitation is appearing somewhat above normal. The hydrologic conditions this year are so different from previous years that there isn’t another year from which to draw a fair comparison. As you would expect, the lack of comparable years has created operational challenges.

LADWP recently received preliminary draft runoff data and field information relating to water availability after the storms. Although Department management is verifying all information, LADWP is confident that there is sufficient water for irrigation in Owens Valley through the end of August.

cover photo by Gary Young

ladwp, owens valley, drought 2015, jim yannotta
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OVC responds to LA Mayor

Owens Valley Committee Responds to Mayor Garcetti

Owens Valley Committee statement:

“We just made peace with the Owens Valley,” Mayor Garcetti declared in a recent interview with MSNBC reporter Chris Hayes. He went on to state that he wishes to avoid “turning city folk against rural folk,” that Los Angeles has “plenty of water,” and that using water to mitigate dust on the Owens Lake is “stupid.”

We wish it were so. But however much the City’s Mayor wants it, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) continues to wage intense battles to supply a thirsty city.

Instead of a historic truce, we have seen politics as usual. In making his incorrect statements, Mayor Garcetti unwittingly provides yet another example of the problems inherent in Los Angeles’s colonial rule of Owens Valley. Political leaders in Los Angeles rely entirely on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for information. Owens Valley residents cannot vote in LA elections and have no elected representatives to provide accurate information to the Mayor and to advocate for our interests.

Without such a voice, peace remains elusive. On April 27, 2015, LADWP announced it would cut off all water to the Valley’s ranchers and farmers. With only three days notice, LADWP not only threatened livelihoods, but also the Valley’s economy, native animals and plants, and its dwindling groundwater supply – all of which depend on the water that flows onto the fields of farmers and ranchers.

The Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement – the settlement agreement to which LA is legally bound – does not allow LADWP to unilaterally cut off water. Yet only a threat by Inyo County to seek an immediate injunction forced LADWP to back down, proving, yet again, that it will continue to “turn city folk against rural folk.”

Not only has peace not been made, LADWP is defying the Mayor’s widely publicized goals of “sustainability” and “reducing dependence on imported water.” The Mayor referred to LADWP’s plans to take water that would otherwise restore life in portions of Owens Lake, and send it down the aqueduct instead. If implemented, this plan will increase Los Angeles’s dependence on Owens Valley water instead of reducing it. Mayor Garcetti spoke of sharing Owens Lake water with the Owens Valley, but we have yet to hear that from LADWP. The new wells LADWP plans to drill will also increase Los Angeles’s dependency. While the Mayor calls for sustainability, it is exploitation as usual in the Owens Valley.

Despite claims that LA has “plenty of water,” LADWP continues to dig out seeps and springs, and to pump groundwater that is not being recharged. Meanwhile, vegetation in the Valley is drying up; fish and wildlife habitat is shrinking; farmers and ranchers must cut back crops and cattle; and dust still spews from the Owens Lake.

Some water on the lake bed is essential, and far from “stupid.” Owens Lake was the largest source of particulate pollution in North America, producing lung-scarring dust laced with toxic heavy metals. While there has been significant reduction in the amount of dust from Owens Lake, there are still too many days the dust levels exceed federal and state standards. Water not only keeps the dust down; it creates habitat for birds and other animals, and it covers – without destroying – historical artifacts and markers.

Given all this, we must question whether the “water wars” have indeed reached their end. We appreciate the Mayor’s optimism, and support for water conservation more generally, but achieving an effective truce will require more than good wishes. It requires action – not only on the part of City and County leaders, but by LADWP. For a City with “plenty of water,” and leaders truly hoping to bridge the divide between “city folk and rural folk,” such action should not be too hard.

The Owens Valley Committee is a non-profit (501c3) organization seeking just and sustainable management of Owens Valley land and water resources. We envision a valley in which existing open space is protected, historic land uses sustained, and depleted groundwater reserves and surface water flows restored as Los Angeles phases out its dependence on Owens Valley water.

cover photo by Gary Young.

owens valley committee, ladwp, Mayor Garcetti, Chris Hayes
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Fullerton Family crashes near Manzanar

Single Vehicle Crash Sends 3 to the hospital

The California Highway Patrol accident report indicates the drivers over-correction led to a single vehicle roll over Thursday.  The accident occurred just after 1pm Thursday, July 16th on highway 395 just south of the Manzanar National Historic site.  The accident report indicates that 31 year old Fullerton resident Michael Leon Jr was behind the wheel of a 2007 Toyota southbound on highway 395 at approximately 70 mile per hour.  The vehicle drifted onto the left dirt shoulder when the driver over-corrected to the right losing control of the vehicle which then overturned at least one time.

Michael Leon Jr and a 7 year old female passenger where properly restrained and were able to exit the vehicle with the assistance of a passing motorist.  Both suffered minor injuries and where transported to Lone Pines Southern Inyo Hospital.  58 year old passenger Michael Leon Sr had to be removed from the vehicle by paramedics.  Leon Sr was also wearing his seat belt.  Leon Sr suffered moderate injures and was transported via Mercy Air to Kern Regional Hospital.  The collision remains under investigation.

Agencies responding to the crash included the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Volunteer Fire Department, Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and CalFIRE.

cover photo by the Inyo County Sheriffs Department.

inyo county news, lone pine california, independence california, california highway patrol, inyo county sheriffs office, highway 395
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Mono County Search and Rescue

Orange man Lost, now he is found

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer, Mono County Sheriffs Department

On the evening of Monday, July 13, 2015, at approximately 8:40PM, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding an overdue day hiker near the Sherwin Creek campground.

A male day hiker, age 44, from Orange, California, set out on a day hike around 2:30PM. The hiker wasn’t expected to be out for long, and when he didn’t return when he said he would, the family became concerned. The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was dispatched to help in the search for the overdue day hiker near the Sherwin Creek campground. After securing the overdue hikers campsite for tracks, two SAR teams started searching nearby dirt roads and spoke with nearby campers to see if anyone had seen the overdue hiker.

The hiker had walked to a familiar place but had found himself turned around when he tried to return to his campsite. Realizing he was lost, he tried to hale down some motorists and knocked on an RV’s door but no one would help. Eventually he walked towards a light which put him at the closed-up YWCA Camp. The caretaker of the camp had previously spoken with one of the SAR teams, so when she found the overdue hiker, she gave him food and water, as he was very dehydrated and shivering, and called 911. The SAR team returned to the YWCA Camp and safely returned the overdue hiker to his family.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team uses this successful rescue as a reminder to always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return, even if it is just for a small day hike or walk.

mono county california, mono county sheriffs department, search and rescue

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Mono on Display at the State Fair

MONO COUNTY EXHIBIT WINS THREE AWARDS AT STATE FAIR

At the California State Fair County Exhibit Awards Presentation on Friday, July 10th, Mono County was honored with three different ribbons  — a Gold Award,  Best Use of Produce, Products, Artifacts, and a Best of Division award for “Professionally Built” exhibits.

Alicia Vennos, Economic Development Director for Mono County, attended the event and accepted the Gold Award and the ribbon for Best Use of Products, Produce, Artifacts on behalf of the county.  She explains, “We were thrilled to win two ribbons but when our name was announced for the third time for the Best of Division for Professionally Built exhibits, it was perfect that our builder, John Quierolo, was there to accept this prestigious recognition.”  Mr. Quierolo has created Mono County’s exhibit for several years now and his hard work, building skills, and vast collection of Gold Rush era antiquities and artifacts, have earned many awards for the Mono County exhibit over the years.

Mono County’s exhibit this year features a street corner in Bodie, complete with four separate false store fronts, a boardwalk, an authentic hearse carriage, and a mining car piled high with ore in front of  a mine shaft.  The biggest draw, however, seems to be the two-seater outhouse which has fair-goers lined up for humorous photos. Once again, this year, the Blue Canyon Gang — a Western Action Drama Group — has volunteered to dress up in period costume and staff the exhibit.  The County Exhibit theme this year is “Festival & Events” and the county’s list of events is available for folks to take away.

Mono County Supervisor and Chair of the Board, Tim Fesko, commented that “Almost a million people attend the State Fair every year, and the exhibit is a tremendous way for Mono County to reach the Northern California visitor market.  We are very pleased to be honored with three awards this year and we deeply appreciate the participation of the Blue Canyon Gang for bringing wonderful animation to our exhibit.”

The California State Fair runs from July 10-26 at the Cal Expo grounds in Sacramento

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mono county, bodie, california state fair
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Bishop Tribal Election Results

Deston Rogers and William Vega win

Five candidates were vying for two positions on the Bishop Paiute Tribal council Tuesday.  The top five candidates from June’s primary election advanced to Tuesdays general election, Deston Rogers, William Vega, Kristopher Hohag (Incumbent), James V. Hess, and Deborah Vega.  Deston Rogers was the top vote getter pulling in 226 votes.  William Vega will join Rogers on the tribal council securing 210 votes.  Incumbent Kristopher Hohag was denied a second term on the council finishing fourth.

Vote Totals.
1. Deston Rogers, 226.
2. William Vega, 210.
3. James V. Hess, 178.
4. Kristopher Hohag, 177.
5. Deborah Vega, 105.

A total of 477 votes were cast Tuesday compared to 458 during the primary election.

cover photo by Gary Young

bishop paiute tribe, deston rogers, william vega, bishop california, tribal election
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Bishop Family involved in a Crash near Mojave

California City Woman Arrested following Tuesday crash

A two vehicle traffic accident Tuesday afternoon on highway 14 south of Mojave sent several to the hospital. Recent Bishop Union High School graduate, 19 year old Irving Perez was behind the wheel of a northbound 2003 GMC with three passengers including his parents Alejandro and Adela Perez and an 11 year old brother. According to the California Highway Patrol accident report, 32 year old California City resident Rebecca Hallman was driving a 1998 Dodge southbound with two passengers, including a 7 year old boy and 6 year old girl. The report indicates that Hallman “allowed the Dodge to cross into the northbound lanes of traffic directly in the path of Perez’s GMC”.  Hallman and the 7 year old boy suffered minor injures and the 6 year old girl received moderate injuries. All were transported to Antelope Valley Hospital. Bishop resident Irving Perez suffered what were described as major injuries. Passengers Alejandro Perez and the 11 year old boy suffered minor injuries and were transported to Antelope Valley Hospital. Adela Perez was not injured. The California Highway Patrol notes that the collision remains under investigation.  The Mojave Area CHP office indicates that Rebecca Hallman was evaluated for driving under the influence and was subsequently arrested for Driving Under the Influence causing injury and child endangerment.

california highway patrol, bishop news, irving perez, antelope valley hospital, DUI
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Arrest in Beatty

Beatty Man Arrested

The Nye County Sheriffs department is confirming the arrest of 55 year old Beatty Nevada resident Frank Montgomery Goodson.  According to Nye County officials, Goodson was arrested this week for allegedly commuting a lewd act on a child under the age of 14.

Arrest details provided by the Nye County Sheriffs department

DETAILS:
For approximately the past month the Nye County Sheriffs Office has been investigating a report of lewdness with a child under 14 that occurred in Beatty, NV between October 2014 and January 2015. The victim, a 4 year old female, disclosed that a man she knew as “Monty” had touched her inappropriately.
After a thorough investigation, Detectives eventually identified and interviewed Frank Montgomery Goodson, aka “Monty”. During the interview Goodson confessed to touching the victim for the purpose of sexual gratification on 2-3 occasions. He was arrested and transported to the Nye County Detention Center in Pahrump.
Detectives are following up on several leads. The public is encouraged to contact the Nye County Sheriff’s Office with any information regarding this case at 775-751-7000 or Det. Tippetts at NCSO_Detectives@co.nye.nv.us.

nye county nevada, nye county sheriffs department, beatty nevada news, frank montgomery goodson
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City Extends Comment Period for Subdivision

City of Bishop Gives Public time to comment on proposed development

Several residents voiced concerns with a proposed development during a public hearing Monday night at the Bishop city council meeting. The proposed Kingston Subdivision would be located on Home Street at the current site of Bishop Nursery. The 2.75 acre parcel would be subdivided into 15 residential parcels at 785 home street. Monday night, residents voiced a wide range of concerns including the proposed projects density. Residents of Rome Drive and Home Street also questioned the depth of the environmental review including questioning the projects impact on wildlife. There were also concerns raised about a potential for increased traffic in the area.  Prior to opening the Public hearing Monday evening Mayor Gardner announced that the public comment period on the project has been extended. The deadline, which was set for Monday has been extended 30 days and will now expire on August 15th. The council encouraged comments and questions to be directed to Public works, noting the Environmental Initial Study may be reviewed at the City of Bishop’s web site, and also at the City’s main office.

Kingston Subdivision information, http://bishop-ca.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=1&event_id=131&meta_id=9709

The property is owned by Bob Kingston who confirmed the fact that the Bishop Nursery will remain open as the proposed development moves forward.  As proposed, the development would remove the current nursery building and associated improvements and subdivide the 2.75 acre parcel into 15 residential parcels ranging in size from 5,104 and 8,232 square feet.

During staff reports Police Chief Chris Carter made a statement that he is preparing his retirement papers. Chief Carter told the City Council that he is considering stepping down as soon as the end of September.

In other police business, the City Council approved the purchase of a radar trailer. The hope is to have the trailer in place prior to the start of the school year.

Fire Chief Ray Seguine thanked the VFW for manning the wye road entrance at the 4th of July fireworks show. Seguine says that the totals are still being tabulated in regards to funds received during the fireworks show. The Chief also encouraged drivers to sign up for the destruction derby, noting a deadline of August 1st.

The next meeting of the bishop city council is set for July 27th.

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Medical Equipment Donation Drive

Bishop VFW gathering donations

The VFW has proudly been offering temporary use of medical equipment to the public since 2008.  Some of the equipment includes wheelchairs, portable commodes, walkers, crutches, shower chairs and much more.  The VFW is asking the public for any medical equipment that can be donated for this cause.  They are asking that the equipment be in good condition which is safe to patient use. Monetary donations are also welcomed as any charitable funds can be used for the purchase of additional equipment. Please contact the VFW at (760) 873-5770 or VFW Auxiliary President, Cheryl Underhill at (760) 920-0106. Equipment or monetary donations can be dropped off at the VFW Post at 484 Short Street in Bishop.   They thank you for your generous contributions!

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