Category Archives: Community News

Mayor Lembke, "We will rebuild!"

3.0 Quake Rattles Wilkerson

USGS confirms a 3.0 quake Tuesday

The US Geological Survey is confirming a 3.0 quake struck just minutes after 8am Tuesday.  The magnitude 3.0 quake struck at precisely 8:13am Tuesday and was located 6 miles south of Bishop.  Several residents in the Wilkerson neighborhood reported feeling the minor quake.  Residents reported feeling and hearing “one solid jolt” just after 8am.  Wilkerson resident and unofficial “mayor” of Wilkerson Todd Lembke was not at home during the tremor but did confirm that neighbors reported feeling the minor earthquake.  No damage has been reported.

Wilkerson "Mayor" Todd Lembke
Wilkerson “Mayor” Todd Lembke
Wilkerson "quake damage"
Wilkerson “quake damage”
Mayor Lembke, "We will rebuild!"
Mayor Lembke, “We will rebuild!”
bishop news, eastern sierra news, mayor todd lembke
photo by gary young photography

Alabama Hills Meeting

Alabama Hills Stewardship Group

– Public Meeting Announcement

The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, Inc. (a 501c3 non-profit organization), and the Bureau of Land Management’s – Bishop Field Office will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015; regarding the future management of the Alabama Hills.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and take place at the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Reservation – Community Center located at 975 Teya Road, in Lone Pine.  Turn east off Hwy. 395 on Teya Road (where Best Western / Frontier Motel is located) and travel 0.4 mile to the Community Center.
“The purpose of this meeting is to discuss ongoing stewardship actions in the Alabama Hills for 2015 and beyond” said Chris Langley, President of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group.
The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group – Board of Directors and our BLM partners would like to solicit additional community input on two important subjects: Development of a master map (print and electronic) for finding key access and recreation information for the Alabama Hills Development on a new interpretive/educational plan for the area.  Draft proposals have been prepared based on public input from an initial meeting last November and additional feedback is now needed to finalize this new map and interpretive plan.
Anyone interested in providing input on these important subjects and learning more about the Alabama Hills; or volunteering their time to help with various projects in support of this incredible landscape, should plan to attend


lone pine news, eastern sierra news, alabama hills
Photo by Gary Young

Money Available for Downtown Bishop

New effort Targets Downtown Bishop Storefronts

From the Bishop Chamber of Commerce:  The Bishop Chamber of Commerce has heard from citizens, visitors, business & property owners that some downtown Bishop buildings might benefit from a little “sprucing up.”  They’ve also heard that money for capital improvements is often hard to come by and that’s why the Bishop Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce this new project!

Thanks to a generous anonymous local sponsor, the chamber is offering a grant program to pay for upgrades for downtown Bishop storefronts.

The Bishop Building Improvement Program (BBIP) will provide funds through a simple grant application process.  For the current 2014/2015 cycle, BBIP will allocate $7,500 to fund projects that may include paint, lighting, new canopies or awnings, signs or other cosmetic upgrades and repairs to buildings within the downtown Bishop commercial district.

Approved projects may be funded entirely or may be used with matching funds. Eligible applicants may be property owners or business tenants, with owner’s approval, located within the historic core of downtown Bishop.

Details about the program and application materials are now available on the chamber’s website Hard copies may be picked up at the Bishop Chamber Office – 690 N. Main and at Bishop City Hall – 377 W. Line Street.

For more information, contact the Bishop Chamber (760)873-8405

bishop news, bishop chamber of commerce, eastern sierra news

Bishop Community Concert

Bronn and Katherine Journey to Perform in Bishop February 24

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

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

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

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


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

Tri-County Fair picks slogan and pie!

The Fair Board preps for 2015 Fair

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

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

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

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

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

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


eastern sierra tri-county fair, bishop news, eastern sierra news, pecan pie
Members are (l to r) Susan Tonelli (ER), Heleen Welvaart (Med Surg), Denise Morrill (ER), Betty Wagoner (RHC), Anneke Bishop (OB), Kathleen Schneider (Med Surg), Christine Hanley (Med Surg), Maura Richman (OB), Cynthia McCarthy (ICU), and Laurie Archer (PACU).  Not present: Gloria Phillips (PACU), and Eva Judson (OB).

NIH Employees Organize Union

Northern Inyo Hospital Employees Organize Union

Statement form the Northern Inyo Hospital Union Organizing Committee:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Members are (l to r) Susan Tonelli (ER), Heleen Welvaart (Med Surg), Denise Morrill (ER), Betty Wagoner (RHC), Anneke Bishop (OB), Kathleen Schneider (Med Surg), Christine Hanley (Med Surg), Maura Richman (OB), Cynthia McCarthy (ICU), and Laurie Archer (PACU).  Not present: Gloria Phillips (PACU), and Eva Judson (OB).
Members are (l to r) Susan Tonelli (ER), Heleen Welvaart (Med Surg), Denise Morrill (ER), Betty Wagoner (RHC), Anneke Bishop (OB), Kathleen Schneider (Med Surg), Christine Hanley (Med Surg), Maura Richman (OB), Cynthia McCarthy (ICU), and Laurie Archer (PACU). Not present: Gloria Phillips (PACU), and Eva Judson (OB).
northern inyo hospital, bishop news, eastern sierra news, victoria alexander-lane
Photo courtesy INYO County Sheriff

Black Sabbath Bassist arrested in Death Valley

Inyo County SO confirms the arrest of Musician Terence Butler

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

Photo courtesy INYO County Sheriff
Photo courtesy INYO County Sheriff
inyo county news, eastern sierra news, inyo county sheriffs department
Sierra Nevada Red Fox Photo

Sierra Nevada Red Fox Spotted

Rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox Spotted in Yosemite National Park

Fox photographed with remote motion-sensitive camera

Yosemite News Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sierra Nevada Red Fox Photo

Photo Credit: NPS Photo

Yosemite national park, eastern sierra news, sierra nevada red fox

mt whit 3

Lone Pine Trout Derby

Lone Pine Early Opener Trout Derby

The $800 Blind Bogey Lone Pine Early opener trout derby is set for Saturday, March 7th.  Prizes will be awarded for the largest fish, largest catch and tagged fish.  The grand prize is the $800 blind bogey!  Sign ups will take place from 6:30 am to 12 noon at Diaz Lake.  Contact the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce for more information, 760-876-4444, or visit their web site,  The Lone Pine early opener trout derby is brought to you by the Lone Pine Business community and Inyo County.

The entry fee is $10 for adults, $5 for children.  Coffee and Donuts will be available at sign up time, and lunch will also be available.

Photo by Gary Young Photography, The historic Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery.

eastern sierra news, lone pine news, lone pine chamber of commerce

Warren Street Update

Work Continues on Bishop’s Warren Street

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