Category Archives: Community News

Southern Inyo Hospitals License suspended

Southern Inyo Hospitals License suspended

Submitted by Southern Inyo Hospital

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has temporarily suspended the license of Southern Inyo Hospital (SIH) following a site survey on January 13th, according to Alan Germany, Chief Restructuring Officer at SIH.

SIH staff has readied the facility for the survey and the required staffing for dietary, pharmacy, nursing, physician, radiology and laboratory were all in place. According to a telephone conversation on January 14th, between Dr. Karen Smith, Director of CDPH, and Richard Fedchenko, SIHD Board President, the survey failed for two deficiencies.

The first was regarding physicians. At an earlier meeting of the Southern Inyo Healthcare District held on January 12th, Dr. Parmod Kumar was given hospital privileges and appointed as Medical Director of SIH. He will serve as the hospital physician on call 24/7 for several days or even a week at a time. What was missing in the survey was the second physician to whom Dr. Kumar would pass relevant files and care information on the patients as he turned those responsibilities over at the end of his duty cycle. That is already being addressed by the new management team at SIH, Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA) with the preparation of contracts with a number of qualified physicians who are available to serve SIH.

The second deficiency was the absence of the nursing and support staff for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). HCCA had not been notified by the CDPH survey team in advance that they expected to see this team in place. That will be easily rectified for the next survey.

Dr. Smith indicated that CDPH has been working hard to save the hospital and that it is the position of the CDPH that the applicable law required suspension of the license because the hospital was not yet in total compliance. She further assured SIH that re-licensing will be easy when the hospital is fully operational and ready to admit patients. There is no fine for being in suspension, and Dr. Smith advised that the suspension of the license will have no effect on the hospital’s standing with Medicare and MediCal. Reimbursements from these governmental payers will continue for bills already submitted and the new billing may resume when the suspension of the license is removed. Dr. Smith also advised that the process will not be made more difficult simply because the license has been suspended. She added that the survey team is quite busy but will be standing by to give SIH high priority once the hospital is ready for another survey to be conducted.

A court action to prevent CDPH from independently suspending or forcing the hospital to voluntarily suspend the license was unsuccessful.

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Bob Miller 1923-2016

Robert “Bob” Miller, 1923-2016

Robert “Bob” Bruce Miller, November 6, 1923 – January 9, 2016

Bob passed peacefully from this earth on January 9, 2016 after a short illness. He was engaged, interactive, independent, and happy to the last day of his life.

Bob was born in Des Moines, Iowa to Esther Jane and Gilford Miller. He attended Iowa State College in 1943 and, although he did not serve in the military in World War II because of hearing loss he worked as a Survey Rodman at Hanford Engineer Works in Pasco, Washington and as a Survey Instrument Man at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego. In 1945 he took his first job as a Draftsman working for Rock Island Railroad in Belknap, Iowa.

He moved with his parents to Miami, Florida in 1946 where he met Doris Elizabeth Masters. They were married in 1948. He raised Doris’ first child Mary Lou McClure (b. 1941) and together they had three more children, Robert Morgan (b. 1948), Clark Masters (b. 1950, d. 1967), and Shawn (b. 1955).

Bob practiced architecture for over 40 years. He was both an artistic Draftsman and innovative Designer. He designed the Ferré Building (New World Tower) in 1963, the then tallest building in Miami. His greatest design influencers included Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Louis Sullivan, Louis Kahn, the fibonacci series, and nature. He was very proud of establishing a draftsman training school in Miami to help young draftsmen become licensed architects.

In 1975, Bob moved from Miami to California where he lived in Dana Point and Bishop. In spite of his architectural successes, Bob’s true passion lay in other art forms and in 1994 he was finally able to set up his home and shop in the shadows of his beloved Sierra Nevada and White Mountains. Bob spent countless hours in the last 20 years of his life exploring, photographing, and sketching these mountains.  His many art forms included pencil, charcoal, conte, and pastel drawing; black and white photography; oil painting; cast bronze, ceramic, and marble sculpture; and art from found objects. His works were shown at Spellbinder Books, East Side Books, and are currently displayed at Range & River Books.

While living in Bishop, his daily routine included an early walk on Mandich Lane, then a walk from the south end of town to Schats Bakkery, and then back with stops at Bishop Art Supply, Black Sheep Coffee, Joseph’s, the library, and Range & River Books, visiting with friends and strangers along the way. Conversation topics were as diverse as his interests. Sketching, painting, and reading filled each day, and many people knew him from his extended plein air drawing sessions as he captured the trees or mountains in exquisite and exacting detail. Some drawings were in progress for years. Favorite subjects for both hiking and drawing included the Buttermilk area, Bishop Creek, the Little Lakes Valley and surrounding peaks, Piute Pass and Bishop Pass trails, and Little Egypt. Gnarled cottonwood trees, Russian olives, horses and other animals were favorite subjects as well as portraits. In the past year, he began studying the internet and computers in order to list his works, with help from a friend, on the Fine Arts America site. His desire to learn new things was ceaseless, and his focused study of any topic was inspirational to many friends. He also adored mentoring younger artists.

Bob’s diverse talents also included playing the saxophone until an accident took the tip of his finger. He built golf clubs, fine furniture, stained glass lamps, and worked on race car engines. Bob was an avid bird hunter and a talented athlete; he walked almost every day of his life and also worked several years as a fitness trainer at a local gym, taking up weightlifting in his 70’s.

In spite of the miles of separation, Bob remained the nucleus of his family until the end. We will miss our long phone conversations, updates on other family members and the inspiration and wisdom he imparted. We will not be able to visit these mountains without experiencing the indelible void his passing brings. May he walk in peace with his creator as he walked among these mountains.

Bob is survived by Rob (and Cheryle) Miller, Shawn (and Ron) Leis, step daughter Mary Lou Rada; grandchildren Matthieu Miller, Kristen Miller, Justin Veloso, Nicole Veloso, Laney Rada, Michael Rada; great grandchildren Karlos Rodriguez, Emmanuelle Genoyer, Luke Genoyer; and many, many friends.

Services will be held in Bishop in late spring or early summer. Please go to www.rangeandriverbooks.com for more information.

Robert Bruce Miller Obit Headshot Crop

Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction Set

Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction Planned for 2016

Significant Impacts to Access, Parking

submitted by the Inyo National Forest

The Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction is planned for the 2016 season under a funding request from Inyo County. The road will be re-paved and needs significant repairs for safety. The project begins just west of Lone Pine and ends just east of Whitney Portal.

Whitney Portal is the most popular trailhead on the forest; with hikers applying, by lottery, to ascend the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. Mt Whitney is also the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail (JMT).

“There is no way to complete this project without having a significant impact on visitors to the Whitney Portal area,” said Ed Armenta, Forest Supervisor. “The road has only one ingress/egress and the already limited parking will be much reduced. Accessing the area may be, at times, difficult and frustrating. Your planning and patience will help complete this very important project.”

Visitors have long used roadside parking as an overflow. During construction near Whitney Portal, this roadside parking will not be available.

Construction delays will be up to three hours, twice a day. Visitors to Whitney Portal should anticipate that there may not be a parking space available.

Visitors to Whitney Portal should consider carpooling, being dropped off by friends, or shuttle services available from the Lone Pine area.

Visitors who want to hike Mt. Whitney are strongly encouraged to enter the lottery since walk-in permits will not be issued when parking is unavailable. Please apply via www.recreation.gov.

See the tips below  for planning your trip to Whitney Portal this year.

Accessing Whitney Portal: How To Make it Work
• If you do plan to visit Whitney in the summer of 2016, please pack your patience and carefully plan your trip to avoid the construction delays and the parking problems.

• Check the construction schedule before you head up to Whitney Portal (Twitter (@mtwhitneyinfo), at the Interagency Visitor Center (760-876-6222), on the web (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5150055). There may be times when delays and parking are little impacted. There may be periods with 30 minute delays, and two 3-hour delays per day in the peak of construction.

• Please be prepared that there may not be a parking space available for you.

• Consider carpooling, being dropped off by friends, or explore local shuttle services.

• To help alleviate the problem of reduced parking, long-term parking will not be permitted. No overnight parking is available for anyone not starting and ending a hike at Whitney Portal. If you are entering or exiting the Whitney Trail via the Pacific Crest Trail, the High Sierra Trail, the JMT or other popular long-distance routes, you may not park or stage a vehicle at the trailhead.

• Long-term parking may be available in Lone Pine. Check with the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce (760) 876-4444).

• An alternative to parking and hiking from Whitney Portal is the National Recreation Trail that connects the Whitney Portal Campground and Lone Pine Campground to the trailhead. This is an additional four miles of hiking with an additional 2,400 ft. in elevation gain. Parking is allowed clear of the roadway.

• All permitted Whitney hikers will receive a day or overnight parking permit that must be displayed on their vehicle. Whitney overnight hikers with valid parking passes may park at Whitney Portal for a maximum of 3 nights, if space is available. No day-use parking will be allowed after 8:00 p.m.

• A limited number of well-signed parking spaces will be available for day-users to the Whitney Portal area who are not hiking to Mt. Whitney.

• Parked vehicles without the required permit, that overstay their limit, interfere with construction activities, or are unsafely parked will be towed.

• The Inyo National Forest will honor the efforts of people who apply via the lottery for a Whitney hike. People who want to hike Whitney in 2016 are strongly encouraged to use the lottery system for the hike (please apply via www.recreation.gov).

• Many people who apply via the lottery cannot make the hike for a variety of personal reasons and the forest has re-issued those permits to “walk-ins” at the visitor center the day before or the day of for interested hikers. These walk-ins may not be available in 2016.The forest intends to manage the limited parking, in part, by limiting the walk-in permits. If there is no parking, then the walk-in permits will not be issued, or a reduced number will be issued.

• People who plan to take advantage of the walk-in process need to understand this option may not be available this year, especially in the peak of the summer which will likely be when construction is underway near Whitney Portal.

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Get Your Drone Registered

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Consumer Alert on Drone Registration and Safe Drone Usage

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert to Californians regarding new requirements for the registration and regulation of drones, also known as small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), due to the increased popularity of the technology.  According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), effective December 21, 2015, drone operators who owned their drones prior to December 21 have until February 19, 2016 to register their drones with the FAA; those who purchased a drone on or after December 21 must register their drone prior to flying it outdoors.

There is a $5 registration fee, however, individuals who register their drone before January 20 will have this fee refunded.  These new requirements apply to drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds; drones under this weight requirement need not be registered.  Drone operators who fail to properly register their drone may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

These new requirements were issued to address safety concerns stemming from the rising popularity of drones.  It is projected that in 2016, 1 million drones subject to this registration requirement will be sold in the U.S., a 145 percent increase from 2015.  In 2014, according to the FAA, there were 238 total drone incidents reported; in 2015, this number had jumped to over 650 by August.

PROPER REGISTRATION AND SAFE USE OF DRONES

You can find complete directions for registering your drone here: https://registermyuas.faa.gov/.  The Attorney General offers California consumers the following highlights regarding the registration process and the safe use of drones:

  • Drone registration should be completed online at https://registermyuas.faa.gov/ when: 1) a drone weighs between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds, 2) the drone is owned by an individual, and 3) the drone is used for recreation.  Drones that weigh less than 0.55 pounds need not be registered with the FAA.  The weight limit applies only to the flying portion of the drone.
  • Drone operators who owned their drones prior to December 21, 2015 have until February 19, 2016 to register their drones.  Those who purchased a drone on or after December 21, 2015 must register their drones with the FAA before flying outdoors.  The drone registration fee is $5.  This fee will be credited back to those who register before midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on January 20, 2016.
  • Drone registration should be done by paper (rather than online) when a drone is greater than 55 pounds, when a drone is used for commercial purposes, or when a drone is used for reasons other than merely a hobby or recreation.
  • A drone operator should always have the FAA registration certificate available, either in print or electronically, when flying a drone.  The registration certificate contains the FAA registration number, the registration’s expiration date, and the name of the drone certificate’s registrant.
  • Consumers who own multiple drones only need to register once with the FAA, and may use the same registration number on all of their drones.  Drone operators should visibly and legibly place their unique registration number on their drones.
  • To register a drone, a person must be at least 13 years old (if a drone’s operator is younger than 13 years of age, a person 13 years of age or older – such as a parent – must register the drone).  Additionally, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to receive a registration certificate from the FAA. 
  • If a drone is not registered and is used outdoors, the FAA may impose penalties of up to $27,000.  Criminal penalties for the failure to register a drone include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment.
  • A drone should be flown cautiously and safely.  It should not be flown near crowds of people or stadiums.  The FAA’s Advisory Circular on the use of model aircrafts may be found at http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_91-57A.pdf, and it provides that operators should fly drones below 400 feet and within their vision.
  • A drone should not impede, and should make way for, any manned aircraft.  Additionally, a drone should not be flown within 5 miles of an airport, unless the airport’s operator and control tower are contacted in advance.  For a list of California airports, go to http://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/airportdata_5010/.  Consumers are also encouraged to review local ordinances that may be applicable to drone usage.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

The FAA’s YouTube videos on safe drone usage and drone registration are available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l38WN5717jc, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF5Q9JvBhxM, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jwPaFp8nMg.

Information regarding the FAA’s drone registration process is available at http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/.

Questions regarding the registration of drones with the FAA may be directed to UAShelp@faa.gov.  Live telephone assistance will be provided starting on December 25, 2015, at (844) 244-3565.  For additional facts regarding the drone registration requirements, go to https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/.

What to do if A DRONE VIOLATION OCCURS

The FAA should be contacted immediately if you suspect that a drone violation has occurred.  The FAA’s Western Regional Operations Center may be reached at (425) 227-1999, or at 9-wsa-opsctr@faa.gov.

Additionally, if you suspect that a drone is unregistered, or is being utilized in a hazardous manner, contact your local police department or sheriff’s office.  In the case of an emergency, call 911.

Finally, the California Department of Justice protects the rights of consumers and collects complaints on a wide range of issues, including drone violations to identify wrongful activity.  To submit a complaint to the California Department of Justice regarding the dangerous or unlawful use of a drone, please use one of the following complaint forms:

English: https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company.

Cover Drone Photo of Bishop Union High School’s John Schwab field by Jimmy T.
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Kingston looking to Downsize, Relocate Bishop Nursery

Bishop Nursery will stay open through this season

By Arnie Palu

Bob Kingston is moving forward with a housing subdivision on the property that currently houses Bishop Nursery while also actively looking for a space to relocate the business.  Kingston has owned the Bishop Nursery since the late 1990’s and says he is looking for a win/win situation for the community by providing much needed housing and keeping the popular Bishop Nursery in business.

The 15 lot Kingston Subdivision is working its way through the City of Bishop permitting process.  Kingston says the plan is to begin building shortly after the tentative tract map is approved, stressing that splitting the 2.75 acre parcel into 15 lots makes financial sense.  Local Realtor Jake Rasmuson says that as currently designed the Kingston Subdivision is consistent with the surrounding neighborhoods densities.  Kingston says the aim is to build a “small, well built, well designed community”.

Developing the subdivision on Home Street requires the demolition of the existing Bishop Nursery Building.  On Tuesday Kingston stressed his commitment to keeping the Bishop Nursery open at its current location through this season.   Kingston indicated he is currently looking for a space to relocate the nursery business that supports approximately 30 employees during their peak season.

nursery
Bob Kingston and Liz Merrill. photo by Arnie Palu
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Roberta Paranick

Roberta Paranick 1926-2016

ROBERTA KATHRYN PARANICK 1926 – 2016 Bobbie, as she was known, was born to Charles Lane Adair and Kathryn Conway Adair on October 3, 1926 in a house on May Street in Bishop. She passed away on January 3, 2016 in Bishop Care Center, after a short stay there, receiving excellent care.

Bobbie met her husband, Vic, in Hawthorne, Nevada during a dance at the USO Club. Vic, a Rhode Island native, was stationed at the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot and Bobbie was living in Bobbit as her father had taken a civilian job on the base. Vic was sent to the South Pacific on the U.S. Pensacola and Bobbie continued with high school in Hawthorne, NV. After WWII ended, they were married in San Francisco on May 27, 1945 and lived there a short time before moving to Lee Vining. They were married for 60 years until Vic’s passing in 2005.

In Lee Vining, Bobbie was the Postmaster for 30 years before retiring in 1981. She was involved in many organizations including PTA, American Legion Auxiliary, Delta Epsilon Gama Sorority, Elks Lady Bills, and a host of activities to support her two sons. She loved people and made friends easily. She and Vic entertained often, hosting many parties in the home that they built themselves.
Upon retirement they relocated to Arizona where they spent the winter months making many friends with other Snow Birds from many places.

Their extensive travel would often would often include a visit to friends summer homes. They volunteered many hours at the Quarztsite Improvement Association. When they were not able to travel anymore, they moved to Bishop where Bobbie worked at Laws Railroad Museum, was a member of the Red Hats Society and the TOP’s Organization.

Tutu ( a South Pacific word for grandmother) is survived by her son, Dan and wife Mindy; Grandson Randy and wife Carey, and Great Grandsons, Mason and Max. Also surviving are her son, Tom and wife, Jo; Grandson, Danny and fiancée, Samantha; Great Granddaughters, Kendall and Emma; Grandson, Mike and wife Ana; Great Grandsons, Logan, Jackson, and Owen: Grandson, Steve and wife Callie and Great Granddaughters Megan and Tory. She is also survived by her brother Lane and his family. She was the backbone of a strong family.

A memorial service will be held in early summer. Contributions in Bobbie’s memory may be made to the Mono Basin Historical Society where she was a member.

Bishop Sticks with Stec

Bishop City Council Appoints Ted Stec Chief of Police

submitted by the City of Bishop

In the fall of 2015, the City of Bishop initiated a comprehensive search for a Chief of Police following the retirement of former Chief Chris Carter. The extremely successful recruitment process was facilitated by the Executive Search Firm, Ralph Andersen and Associates, with retired Police Chief Greg Nelson acting as lead. The process yielded 24 applicants which were put through a rigorous screening, reducing the field to 5 highly qualified candidates.
On January 5, 2016, the finalists participated in an exhaustive, individual interview process lasting approximately 90 minutes that included 22 questions covering a wide range of scenarios.

At its meeting of January 11, 2016, the Bishop City Council voted unanimously to appoint Ted Stec as the new Chief of Police. Chief Stec came to the City of Bishop in late October of 2015 to fill the role of Lieutenant/Acting Chief. Prior to coming to Bishop, the Chief spent approximately 25 years in law enforcement in Northern California, starting his career as a Police Officer with the City of Red Bluff. He then spent 5 years as a D.A. Investigator for Shasta County before moving on to Suisun City, California in 2006. Chief Stec was hired by the City of Suisun as part of a team whose mission was to rebuild the Police Department.

Ted is joined in Bishop by his lovely wife Dawn. In the two short months they have been here, the couple has already made their presence felt, participating in numerous community events as both spectators and volunteers. Please help the City Council and Staff welcome the Stecs to Bishop.

photo courtesy of the Bishop Police Department

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Pile Burning Today

Inyo National Forest burning Piles

Submitted by the Inyo National Forest

Fire crews will continue with pile burning on the Dry Creek Unit and hope to burn 55 acres of piles today (Wednesday, January 13th)  and tomorrow (Thursday, January 14th) weather conditions permitting.

The Dry Creek Unit is located west of the Crestview Rest Area. Visitors and residents may see smoke north of Mammoth Lakes and west of Hwy 395.

Pile burning safely reduces fuels that can lead to larger, more destructive fires under hot and dry conditions.

Cover Photo, File Photo provided by the Inyo National Forest

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BUHS offering Auto 101 class

Bishop Union High School offering Auto 101 Adult Class

submitted by Bishop Union High School

Bishop Union High School will again be offering an evening Auto 101 Adult Class beginning Tuesday, January 19.  Adults of all levels of experience are encouraged to enroll.  There is a $100 dollar semester fee and the class is limited to 15 students.  This class will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The basics of automotive safety, equipment use and auto maintenance will be the course of study and classes will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.  Please contact our Auto Instructor, Jerrod Davis, at 760-873-4275, ext. 254 or jdavis@bishopschools.org for more information.

Adults may enroll at Bishop Union High School Main Office with $100 cash/check/money order made payable to BUHS Auto.  Again, this class is limited to 15 students.

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Eastern Sierra Music Fest Tickets are Available

Tickets for ESMF now on sale

submitted by Eastern Sierra Music Festival

Tickets for the July 22-­‐23 Eastern Sierra Music Festival are now on sale at the event’s website, WWMusicFest.org. As previously announced, county singer-­‐songwriter Dwight Yoakam and the legendary Gatlin Brothers will headline the two day-­‐event.

All ticket sales will be made via the festival’s website and its ticketing partner, Vendini.

Tickets sold cover both days of the festival and range in price from $80 for General Admission, to $95 for Reserved Grandstand seating. Two ticket packages are also available. Each features exclusive seating, party tent access, food, drinks, designated parking and admission to each evening’s After Party in the Charles Brown Auditorium. Ticket package prices are $399 for the Patriot Club and $225 for the VIP package. There are a limited number of ticket packages available, so please act quickly.

RV space reservations are also available through the website. Electrical hookups are $150 and dry camp is $95.

All event credentials, i.e. wristbands, will be mailed to concert-­‐goers a month before the festival. Additional email correspondence regarding the shipment will be sent at a later date.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Wounded Warrior Center, set to be built in Mammoth Lakes.

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