Category Archives: Community News

Free Movie Saturday supporting Autism Awareness

Bishop Twin Theater and the Early Learning Center teaming up to host “The Peanuts Movie”

Saturday April 16, 2016 at 12:00PM

Family Movie – The Peanuts Movie
Bishop Twin Theater

Together the Bishop Twin Theater and Early Learning Center is embracing April as National Autism Awareness month by hosting a FREE showing of The Peanuts Movie this Saturday, April 16th at noon at the Bishop Twin Theater. Wear BLUE to show your support!


The Early Learning Center is a new volunteer based non-profit providing specialized services for “at risk” children, birth to elementary school entry. Kids with developmental needs will soon be able to receive services needed to maximize independence and school readiness in the least restrictive environment.

To support your local autism and special needs kids, please call 760-987-8359 or email Shanna White at

Campbell and Eddy Step in during Emergency

Locals help during Medical Emergency

by Arnie Palu
April 13, 2016

Two locals residents were at the right place at the right time Tuesday Morning.  Bishop area CHP public information officer Dennis Cleland is crediting the quick reaction of Jim Campbell and Nicole Eddy.

The scene played out just prior to 7am on Barlow Lane near the Sundland Indian Cemetery.  According to Cleland, a Bishop area resident drove his vehicle off the roadway, through a nearby fence.  The drivers name is being withheld.  While the incident remains under investigation, Cleland indicates the driver appeared to experience a medical ailment leading to the crash.

Cleland reports that Jim Campbell rushed to the scene and started CPR on the unconscious driver.  Nicole Eddy also rushed to help, assisting with CPR until EMS and Bishop Fire Department personnel arrived with a defibrillator.   The victim was transported to Bishop’s Northern Inyo Hospital and ultimately air lifted to Reno.

Bishop area CHP, Bishop Fire Department, Bishop California news

Special Fuelwood Sale at Whitney Portal

Inyo National Forest Announces Continuation of Special Fuelwood Sale for the Whitney Portal

 April 11, 2016

The Mount Whitney Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest is planning to continue a special personal use fuelwood sale in the Whitney Portal Area this season. A limited number of participants for this fuelwood event will be selected by lottery, since there is a very limited amount of wood available. There are only approximately 10 cords of wood available for the area.

Whitney Portal is normally closed to fuelwood gathering for personal use. One specific area within the drainage will be opened for fuelwood during this special event. A lottery will be used to determine who will be selected to gather wood in the area. Lottery entries will be accepted during the period of April 6, 2016 through April 25, 2016. 

Individuals may submit one lottery entry per person. Entries can be submitted in person or by phone at the Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine, (760) 876-6222. Lottery entrants must provide their name, address, and contact information. The only selection will occur on April 25, 2016.

Individuals will be randomly selected from the current pool of entries when wood becomes available. Selectees will be notified via the personal contact information they provide.  Selected individuals will be given a map of the specific locations where fuelwood can be gathered. Wood gathering will start May 1, 2016 and end Oct. 31, 2016 (or sooner if the wood runs out).

Selected entrants will only be allowed to collect fuelwood on set days determined when they are drawn, and must possess a valid personal use fuelwood permit along with identification. Participants may gather a maximum of two cords of wood, though the maximum amount is not guaranteed. Participants may gather down wood only. No falling of snags or trees will be permitted.

For questions or additional information, you may contact the project leader Rick Napoles, Division Chief 4, at 760-876-6205 or Patrol 41, Levi Ray, at 760-876-6221.

Inyo National Forest, Whitney Portal, mount whitney ranger district

Bishop Creek Sewage Update

Inyo County and Bishop Paiute Tribe release statement on Bishop Creek Sewage Spill

April 11, 2016
By Arnie Palu

Inyo County Environmental Health and the Bishop Paiute Tribe have issued a statement further detailing the sewage spill into Bishop Creek.  The unauthorized release of raw sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek started on March 14th and continued until it was discovered on March 24th.  Officials continue to monitor flows and note that people and their pets are still advised to refrain from body contact activities in Bishop Creek.

Inyo County Environmental Health, Bishop Paiute Tribe statement:


On Friday, March 25, 2016 the Bishop Paiute Tribe and the Inyo County Environmental Health Department issued a media release notifying the public of an unauthorized release of raw sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek. Few details were available at the time and further information is now available.

A clog in the Bishop Paiute sewer system resulted in sewage backing up and discharging through an upstream manhole. The release traveled some 1500 feet over Tribal land before entering the South Fork of Bishop Creek. A review of the sewer systems’ flow records appear to indicate that the discharge began on March 14, 2016. The discharge was discovered the evening of March 24, 2016, and the clog was removed and the discharge stopped later that evening. Flow records indicate the discharge over the eleven day period averaged 68,000 gallons a day, and a total discharge of approximately 700,000 gallons. A significant portion of this flow percolated into the ground prior to reaching the Bishop Creek. Visual observations estimated the flow into the creek to be approximately 30 gallons per minute on the evening of March 24th. On March 25th, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power requested that the flow to the South Fork of Bishop Creek be increased in order to provide a flushing action that could assist in the remediation. The flows were increased by 7-8 cubic feet per second for a five hour duration.

Latest monitoring results show decreasing E. Coli bacteria levels in the section of stream downstream of where the discharge occurred. These levels still exceed the surface water standards set by the Bishop Tribe and the Lahontan RWQCB, but are lower than levels typically found in Bishop Creek during the summer. People, and their pets, are still advised to refrain from body contact activities in Bishop Creek at this time. This advisory applies to the South Fork of Bishop Creek near See Vee Lane and immediately downstream.

Bishop Creek, Inyo County, Bishop Paiute Tribe

Bishop Police Department hires a new Lieutenant

Bishop PD names Ellsworth Lieutenant

Submitted by Jessica Scida, Bishop Police Department
April 8, 2016

The Bishop Police Department recently held an open and competitive recruitment for the open position of Police Lieutenant. Applications were received from candidates statewide. After a lengthy process, Sergeant Joshua Ellsworth with the Beaumont Police Department was selected for the position.

Lieutenant Ellsworth, a veteran of the United States Army Reserve’s, began his career with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office in 1996. While there, Ellsworth worked patrol out of the Victorville area and as a motor officer in Yucaipa. Ellsworth then spent 7 years working for the Beaumont Police Department as a patrol officer before promoting through the ranks to a Corporal, and then Sergeant, the rank he held prior to accepting the Lieutenant’s position in Bishop.

Lieutenant Ellsworth, his wife Stephanie and their 2 young children have now relocated to the Bishop area.


bishop police department, bishop california news

Monitor Pass Opens

Cal-Trans announces opening of Monitor Pass

April 6, 2016
submitted  by Cal-Trans

CAL-TRANS Opens State Route 89 Monitor Pass

MONO County – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has reopened State Route 89 (SR-89) over Monitor Pass.  Snow and debris have been removed and work has been completed to ensure the traveling public’s safety.

The State Route openings are dependent on favorable weather.  If the area is impacted by inclement weather Caltrans may have to re-close the highway.  For the latest in highway information, call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623), or online at

Weather and road conditions can change rapidly.  Motorists should be prepared when traveling in mountainous areas that are subject to winter driving conditions, which includes carrying chains.

Dick Conn Obituary

Richard “Dick” Blinn Conn

It is with sadness we announce the passing of beloved father, grandfather and friend Richard “Dick” Blinn Conn. He was born in Pasadena on June 15, 1925. His parents owned June Lodge at June Lake. Before World War II he worked at the June Lodge and after the war he managed the lodge with his new bride Sue. Dick served in the Navy in the South Pacific during the war and was on the aircraft carrier USS Princeton when it was kamikazed and sunk by the Japanese. He survived the sinking of the USS Princeton without injury and went on to serve on other ships until the end of the war. When Dick’s folks sold June Lodge in the early 1950’s he and Sue moved to Southern California. Dick owned a very successful Union 76 “Full” Service Station in West Covina for a period of time. An opportunity to return to the Eastern Sierra in Bishop occurred in 1971. Dick had the Inyo Shell Service Station and Truck Stop across the highway from the fairgrounds until he retired at 55 years old. He was proud of the fact that he was retired for more years than he worked.

An active member of our community, he leaves behind many good friends from his years in the Bishop Elementary Ski Program, the Lions Club and the Death Valley 49ers. In the Lions Club Dick was the corn dog king. He made thousands of corn dogs through the years for the Lions Club food booth at the Fair Grounds for the many events.

Throughout his life Dick and his family enjoyed trips throughout the southwest. They especially liked their annual trips to Lake Powell and the Colorado River. Dick was an avid deer hunter and fisherman.

He is preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Sue Carolyn Conn. Dick is survived by sons Peter and Christopher Conn, daughter-in-laws Susan Diez Conn and Amy Conn, and grandsons Nicholas, Andrew and Ryan, his sister Fran LeFever, as well as his dachshund canine companion Penny.

A graveside service will be held 9:00 AM, Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at East Line Street Cemetery, Bishop.

Dick Conn

Tecopa Search and Rescue ends with Recovery of Remains

Inyo Search and Rescue mission ends as a recovery

April 6, 2016
By Arnie Palu

A nearly month long search for a missing Carmel man ends with the discovery of remains near Tecopa.  83-year old James “Billy” Liles was know to frequent the southern Inyo County area.  Liles was first reported missing in early March.  On Monday, Inyo County officials verify that remains found near Tecopa have been identified as James Liles.  A full autopsy will be conducted as the Inyo County Sheriffs Department continues their investigation.

Inyo County Sheriffs Department Statement:

On Friday April 1st Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that human remains had been located near Tecopa. Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies as well as the south-county coroner responded and transported the remains to Lone Pine. Tuesday morning, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the south-county coroner that the remains have been positively identified as missing person James “Billy” Liles (83-year old man from Carmel, CA).
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office launched a search for Mr. Liles following a report that was received on the evening of March 11th that a cellular phone was found in the desert east of Tecopa (the cellular phone was identified as belonging to James “Billy” Liles). Ground teams from Inyo County Search and Rescue and BLM combed the Tecopa area, and aerial reconnaissance was provided by CHP helicopter H-80. Mr. Liles was not located and the case remained opened.
A full autopsy will be performed out of county to determine cause of death. The Sheriff’s Office is still asking the public to please contact us at 760-878-0383 if anyone has any information that may assist us in this case

Photo courtesy of the Inyo County Sheriffs Department.
Inyo County Sheriffs Department, Tecopa search and rescue, California Highway Patrol, James “Billy” Liles

Manzanar Committee honoring Gracey

Former Inyo County Supervisor Bob Gracey To Receive 2016 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award

Submitted by the Manzanar Committee
April 4, 2016

LOS ANGELES — On March 31, the Manzanar Committee announced that Owens Valley native Robert W. “Bob” Gracey has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was also one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, will be presented at the 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, scheduled for 12:00 PM PDT on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence (see map below).

Gracey, 87, born in Kearsarge (formerly a narrow gauge railroad station about five miles east of Independence, California), was elected in late 1992 to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, representing the Fourth District, which includes the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Gracey served only one term, but he made Manzanar one of his top priorities immediately after taking office, most notably, the monumental tasks of the hazardous materials cleanup of the high school auditorium, one of the remaining original structures at Manzanar, that had been used by the County as a maintenance facility for decades (now the Visitor’s Center), along with the land exchange process that expanded the Manzanar National Historic Site from its original 500 acres to its current 813 acres.

“Those were two huge tasks that Bob took on right after he took office,” said Gann Matsuda, a member of the Manzanar Committee who also served on the Manzanar National Historic Site Advisory Commission from 1992-2002. “He played a major role in the hazmat cleanup of the Manzanar High School auditorium, and in the land exchange agreement that not only added an additional 313 acres to the site, but also allowed Inyo County to build a new, replacement maintenance facility.”

Few know of Gracey’s contributions to these projects, work that the first Superintendent of the Manzanar National Historic Site, Ross Hopkins, said was “…far more complicated than anything else I had done in the National Park Service over a long period of time.”

Gracey’s behind-the-scenes work was critical to the success of both projects.

“There are the people who get out in front, carrying the flag in the parade, and then there are those who are just on the fringes of the crowd, but are the ones who really got it done,” said Hopkins, who worked closely with Gracey. “In terms of his work on Manzanar, Bob was certainly one of those people. He got the big picture. He had his finger on the pulse of the projects.”

“Bob always had his finger on the pulse of the community, and he worked behind the scenes to grease the skids for me to get things done with County officials,” added Hopkins. “I was an unknown quantity in Inyo County, and when you come in as a federal employee in a rural area, they look askance at you until you prove yourself.”

Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey said that Gracey was one of Manzanar’s unsung heroes.

“I know it’s a cliché, but Bob is really an unsung hero,” he said. “Bob exemplified the ideal of public service. What he did was essential to making the dream of the Manzanar National Historic Site a reality. We truly are pleased to be able to thank Bob for his vision and honor him for all of his hard work on behalf of the Manzanar National Historic Site.”

In addition to the afternoon event, the Manzanar At Dusk program follows that same evening, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at the Lone Pine High School auditorium, located at 538 South Main Street (U.S. Highway 395), in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s (see map below).

Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California State University, Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego.

Through a creative presentation, small group discussions and an open mic session, Manzanar At Dusk participants will have the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those incarcerated in the camps. Participants will also be able to interact with former incarcerees in attendance to hear their personal stories, to share their own experiences, and discuss the relevance of the concentration camp experience to present-day events and issues.

The Manzanar Committee has also announced that bus transportation to the Pilgrimage from Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo is available.

The bus will depart at 7:00 AM, arriving at the Pilgrimage at approximately 11:30 AM, and will also take participants to the Visitor’s Center at the Manzanar National Historic Site following the afternoon program. The bus should arrive back in Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 PM.

Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The non-refundable fare is $40.00 per seat, $30.00 for students and seniors. Complimentary fares are available for those who were incarcerated at any of the former American concentration camps or other confinement sites during World War II.

Anyone wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.

Pilgrimage participants are advised to bring their own lunch, drinks and snacks, as there are no facilities to purchase food at the Manzanar National Historic Site (restaurants and fast food outlets are located in Lone Pine and Independence, which are nearby). Water will be provided at the site.

Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk programs are free and are open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a seat on the bus, call (323) 662-5102 or send e-mail to

The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site. Follow their blog at

Robert Gracey Supervisor-HQ

Photo Credit: Official Inyo County Photo: Michael Cooke/Cooke’s Fine Photography.

Manzanar historic site, inyo county history, former inyo county supervisor Bob Gracey

Mono Basin Historical Society Meeting

Mono Basin Historical Society hosting David Carle

April 4, 2016

Eastern Sierra Water: Historic Choices that Shaped California” at Historical Society Meeting April 11

Author David Carle will present a colorful slide talk, “Eastern Sierra Water: Historic Choices that Shaped California,” at the Monday, April 11 meeting of the Mono Basin Historical Society.  The local water history is part of the statewide focus in Carle’s newly revised environmental history book, Water and the California Dream, published by Counterpoint Press.

Meet at the Lee Vining Community Center at 6 PM for potluck dinner and business meeting, with free the program at 7 PM.  Everyone is welcome.

water and ca dream back cover

mono basin historical society, eastern sierra water history, author david carle, lee vining history