Category Archives: Community News

Mono County receives a Major Award

Mono County Receives National Award

submitted by Mono County
March 24, 2016

Mono County Receives National Conservation Leadership Award
County’s Teamwork Recognized by Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service

Bridgeport, CA – On March 16, 2016, Mono County’s role in the collaborative effort to conserve the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (Bi-State DPS) of Greater Sage-grouse was recognized during the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service (USFS) Joint Awards Reception held at the 81st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Mono County was honored with the Conservation Leadership Partner of the Year award, which recognizes outstanding conservation accomplishments for fish, wildlife, and/or native plants and their habitat on public lands.

“Mono County has been an exemplary partner for the BLM and the Forest Service in support of Bi-state sage-grouse conservation, taking an innovative approach to dealing with a potential Endangered Species Act listing. The County was proactive and dove into helping with or leading projects to conserve the Bi-State sage-grouse and its habitat across jurisdictional boundaries, and assisted with activities that would benefit the bird across its entire range, not just within the county. The County’s part in summarizing past conservation activities completed by the Local Area Working Group (LAWG) and the future commitments of the LAWG to fund high priority sage-grouse projects was imperative in informing the decision not to list the DPS as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act in April of 2015,” noted Steve Small, BLM, Chief, Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, during the presentation.

“The BLM has been a fantastic partner and we have a great story to tell about Bi-State sage-grouse conservation. We are but one part of the effort which, besides the BLM, also includes the US Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey (USGS), Nevada Department of Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and private ranchers and landowners. We are honored to accept this award in recognition of the good work being done by all our partners,” stated Wendy Sugimura, Mono County, at the award reception.

“This is a big deal – only one award is given a year, and typically it’s given to large, well-funded organizations whose sole mission is conservation. For a county to receive it is unusual, and Mono County should be very proud to have received this distinguished award,” explained Steve Nelson, Field Manager for the Bishop BLM Office, which nominated Mono County for the award. “There’s no other county anywhere in the nation, that I’m aware of, that provides the kind of support and commitment for sage-grouse conservation that we experience here in our partnership with Mono County.”

Mono County is a part of the Local Area Working Group (LAWG) for the Bi-State sage-grouse and has participated at varying levels since 2002. In 2012, the County increased its involvement and became a leading partner in the work to support and implement conservation actions for the Bi-State DPS and its habitat. Tim Fesko, Mono County Board of Supervisors, stated in April 2015, “Mono County had a choice when the proposed listing [of the Bi-State sage-grouse] was issued: Commit to the conservation effort based on the understanding that the sage-grouse should not be listed for scientifically verifiable reasons, or fight the listing. Mono County chose conservation and the power of partnerships and collaboration over political grandstanding.”

Mono Award Pic
(left to right): Wendy Sugimura accepting the Conservation Leadership Partner of the Year award for Mono County. From left to right: Robert Harper, USFS, Director, Water, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants; Tom Tidwell, USFS, Chief; Wendy Sugimura, Mono County; Steve Small, BLM, Chief, Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation; Brian Ferebee, USDA National Forest System, Associate Deputy Chief. Photo provided by Mono County
Mono County, Sage Grouse recovery, BLM Division of fish and wildlife

Mule Days Food Drive

Mule Days and Salvation Army teaming up to help those in need

March 22, 2016

The Bishop Mule Days Celebration is again teaming up with the Salvation Army in a food drive for local families in need.

The food drive will take place on Saturday, April 2, from 9am to 4pm in front of the Vons Super Market in Bishop. Look for the white Maverick horse trailer. Our goal this year is to fill the trailer with donated canned and dry foods!

For every $50 dollar donation, Mule Days will give a free Raffle Ticket to win the $6,500 two horse trailer and a general admission ticket to the Sunday, May 29th evening show when the winning ticket is draw.

Please come by and visit with the Mule Days crew and help the Salvation Army provide local needy families with meals.

cover photo by Gary Young

salvation army bishop, bishop mule days

NIH Healthy Lifestyle Talk

NIH Healthy Lifestyle Talk focuses on
lowering the risk for colorectal cancer

March 22, 2016
submitted by Northern Inyo Hospital

As part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Allison Robinson will give a free educational talk on “Lowering Your Risk for Colorectal Cancer,” Thursday, March 24, 6:30 p.m. at the Northern Inyo Hospital Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St., Bishop.
More than 140,000 men and women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. Yet with early detection, this disease remains one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Dr. Robinson will talk about risk factors for developing colorectal cancer and the tests available for preventing and detecting it.

Dr. Robinson, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, is double Board certified in General Surgery with specialization in Colon and Rectal Surgery. Previously, she served as a Staff Surgeon for the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda.

About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics and neurology, pediatrics and allergies and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.

northern inyo hospital bishop, northern inyo healthcare district, dr. allison robinson

Bishop Unified raises money, awareness

Bishop Unified School District raises $13,000

By Arnie Palu
March 21, 2016

Students and staff at Bishop Unified School District are still adding up the totals, but preliminary numbers are showing just over $13,000 has been raised for the “Students Supporting Cancer Awareness Campaign”.  A majority of the funds will be donated to the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance.  The local Cancer support group is slated to receive approximately $10,000 with the remainder going to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Home Streets Pat Twomey and Bishop Elementary Schools Heather Carr open the Luminary Walk.

The Bishop schools two-week campaign wrapped up Friday evening with the “Shine on the Sierra Luminary Walk”.  The walk was held at Bishop Union High Schools John Schwab Field.  The emotional night included the Survivors and Fighters walk and the closing ceremony where the individual school sites announced their fundraising totals.   Heather Carr of Bishop Elementary school reported a total of $4,400.  Home Streets Pat Twomey reported $4,347 and Dave Kalk reported $3,315 for Bishop Union High School.   Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance board secretary Sherry Nostrant accepted a check from Bishop School officials at Friday nights closing ceremony.

The night included laps around the Bishop Union high school track that was lined with luminary bags decorated to honor those lost to cancer.  Bags and signs also included messages of hope and encouragement for those currently battling cancer.

BUSD officials present a check to representatives of ESCA.

photos by Arnie Palu

Bishop Unified School District, Bishop Union High School, Bishop Elementary School, Home Street Middle School

Bishop Little League Opening Ceremony

Bishop Little League Opening Day

March 18, 2016
By Arnie Palu

Bishop Little league is celebrating the opening on their season with Opening Day Ceremonies Saturday, March 19th.  The Opening Ceremony will be held at the Bishop City Park, Field 3.  Little League officials are asking players to arrive at 9am with the official ceremony starting at 10am.

Coffee and Donuts will be available.

Bishop Little League continues the search for Junior League Players.   Junior League is for youngsters league age 13-15.  Ball players from Lone Pine to Mammoth are encouraged to sign up.  For details please contact Jerry McKinzey, 760-872-5530.

bishop little league, bishop city park, bishop little league opening day

Bishop Union JV Mathletes

Bishop Union Mathletes finish their season at Boron

March 18, 2016

On February 24, 2016 the BUHS JV Mathletes traveled to Boron for their last meet of the year, and brought home a second place team win. Out of the eight schools competing, Desert won first place win with 33 points, followed by Bishop with 24 points, and Tehachapi finished third with 20 points. Sixty students competed in total, individually solving difficult math problems in a timed setting to earn points for their team.

BUHS was led be a strong performance from Carter Silva, who earned seven points to take home second place in the overall meet. He was followed by Jim Tomasek with six points and a third place overall meet finish, and Nathan Gardea with 5 points and a fourth place in the meet. Dylan Fitt and Arianna Pope each scored four points for a fifth place meet finish. Also contributing points for the team were Jeanine Lomaintewa, Jake Graves, Tami Lee, and Joey Proeger.

The Broncos are coached by BUHS math instructor Mrs. DeeDee Buchholz, who said, “What I am most proud of is that every individual Mathlete tried his or her best.  They work great under pressure and are willing to put in the effort to improve.  This team has really bonded over the season which makes me look forward to what this team will be like in the future.”

math boron 2
Left to right: Joey Proger, Nathan Gardea, Dylan Fitt, Jim Tomasek, Arianna Pope, Jake Graves, Tami Lee, Jeanine Lomaintewa, and Carter Silva
bishop union high school, bishop union high school math, bishop broncos

Caltrans Pass Openings for Mono County

Pass Openings in Mono County

March 18, 2016

SR 120 East (Mono Mills Road) and SR 158 North (June Lake Loop)

BISHOP – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is proud to announce that the snow has been cleared and maintenance performed to enable the following passes to reopen from their winter closures:

State Route 120 (east) Mono County – Mono Mills Road, from the junction of US Hwy 395 to the junction of US Hwy 6.

State Route 158 (north) Mono County – June Lake Loop

Caltrans crews responsible for the pass opening extend their best wishes for safe traveling to those who enjoy the recreational opportunities this part of California has to offer.

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.  Please check local highway conditions before traveling.

For the latest in highway information please visit Caltrans QuickMap site at or call our Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

mono county road conditions, caltrans district 9, june lake loop, highway 120 east

Home Street Students of the Month

Bishop’s Home Street School Students of the Month

March 17, 2016

Home Street Middle School is proud to announce their February Students of the Month. Selections are based on academic success or improvement, community service, effort, positive attitude, or excellent citizenship. The following students were presented with a certificate to be displayed on the Wall of Fame.

Students of the Month

Adan Moreno
Isabel Barba
Uriel Gonzalez
McKenna McMurtrie
Malena Twomey
Robert McCartney
Jasmine Mason
David Gonzales

Peja Watterson
Dallas Moran
Emely Lopez
Paulina Rios

Jack Williams Sr

Jack Roderick Williams, Sr. 1947-2016

Jack Roderick Williams, Sr. walked the star trail on Monday, March 14, 2016 peacefully at his home surrounded by family. He was 68 years old. Jack was born to John and Velma Williams on November 11, 1947 in Bishop, California. Jack was the second of eight (8) children. Jack was an honored member of the Bishop Paiute Tribe and was very proud of his Paiute and Pima Indian heritage; he was adamant in defending the tribe and his American Indian culture in any arena. He often bragged that he was the youngest Chairman of the Bishop Tribe when he served on the Council in the 1970’s and he was an official on the California Tribal Chairman’s Association; he served on the Bishop Paiute Tribe TERO Commission and various other tribal committees; he was a member of the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission from 1995 to 2006; and he volunteered for many activities on the Reservation, including building the arch for the Sunland Cemetery. He was always available to play music for any event.

Jack attended the Bishop School systems from kindergarten to early high school and then finished high school in Oakland, California. Jack often said he was “farmed out” – referring to his adolescent years when he was sent to live with several relatives. He stayed with Aunt Lucille Parsons in Lancaster, with Aunt Marion McDonald in Oakland and of course, with Grandma Anona in Big Pine, where he met many lifelong friends. He also spent time with the old grandparents (Jim and Sarah Hill) in Fish Springs, he said to be a companion to LT (Lloyd Thomas). He always said that living with relatives and in different towns contributed to him having a more enriched life. After high school Jack went on BIA Relocation to Oakland where he received his education in design arts – to become a painter. During this period in Oakland Jack had the time of his life – he had money from good painting jobs and of course, had many friends; not to mention his relatives who lived in the bay area – Janet Yandell and Delbert Durant.

Jack moved back to Bishop, got reacquainted with and married Earleen Hess in 1969; Jack was drafted into the Army and was honorably discharged. They moved to Long Beach to attend Long Beach State with their two (2) small children, Carmen and Jackie (Buffalo). Jack and Earleen returned to Bishop after two (2) years in Long Beach and in 1973 started their life together in their new HUD home on Jack’s beloved Indian Reservation.

One of Jack’s greatest loves of his life was his music. He was a fantastic singer and songwriter. His love of music began in high school when he played in a band with his brothers, his cousin Gary Williams and friend John Crowl. Jack later started the “JW Brothers Band”; the band played together for over 30 years with various band members; he played his music all over the western United States.

Jack worked as a journeyman carpenter (although family members said he was a master carpenter), he was awesome in anything he built and he had a green thumb. Jack loved the many animals he owned throughout the years, including Sunday Ticket and Blue Moon, his two (2) llamas which he had for over 20 years. Jack enjoyed life and made the most of it, including his times with the “wood chucks”, his “walk abouts” as he called it and he had many, many stories to tell of his experiences playing music all over the western U.S.

Jack is survived by his wife of 48 years, Earleen; his children and their partners: daughters – Carmen & Deb, Emma & Robert and Ahwahnee Williams; sons – Jack Williams, Jr. & Liz, Jamie and Augie Barlow and his grandchildren – Rubee Manuelito, Campbell Spoonhunter, Lainey Racine, Isabella Navales, Kristopher Racine, Paiten Williams, Canyon Vega-Williams, Colette Lamb and David Williams. Jack is also survived by his siblings – Leslie Davis, Jim, Ed and Harry Williams and Violet Cortes; by his aunts Evelyn Hill, Donna Duckey, Lucille Parsons, Dorothy Stewart, Rita Summers and uncle Bud Cyrus; many nieces and nephews, in-laws, cousins and friends. Those welcoming Jack to heaven are his parents – John and Velma Williams; brothers – Tom and John Williams; grandparents – Emma and Billy Williams and Nat Cyrus and Anona Cyrus-Harvier; nephew – Jerry Davis; aunts – Norma Spratt, Florence Williams, Blanche Shippentower, Hazel Yandell, Katherine Howard, Louise Keller, Marion McDonald and uncles – Wayne Harvier, Billy Williams, Jr., Harold Williams, Harry Williams, Clarence Williams, Alvin Keller, Howard Yandell, Daniel McDonald, Cline Howard, Alex Shippentower and Willard Spratt.

Funeral services for Jack are scheduled for Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 11:00am at the Home Ec Building at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop. Graveside services will be held at his beloved Sunland Cemetery and a luncheon will follow at the fairgrounds.

Williams, Jack

NIH CEO talks Finances

CEO presents fiscal picture for NIHD

March 17, 2016
submitted by NIH

Speaking before the Bishop City Council this week, Northern Inyo Healthcare District CEO, Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, detailed patient volume trends for the first six months of the district’s fiscal year. He also went over the district’s fiscal positions, including steps being taken to better manage the hospital’s long-term debt.
Dr. Flanigan confirmed the district is refinancing its General Obligation Bonds issued for the construction of the new hospital. The move not only shortens the life of the bonds, it also results in a close to $3 million savings for county taxpayers.

“For the community as a whole, there is a big savings and it makes sense to do this,” he said. “For the district, it makes our long-term debt manageable and more stable, and not based on sporadic or rising payments. The taxpayers will gain more in this move than the district, but it’s a needed moved that will help the district shore up its long-term fiscal position.”

As for patients, NIHD is seeing an upward trend in volume but a decrease in case complexity. “We’ve admitted 10 percent more patients than last year, but as a whole we’re seeing significantly shorter hospital stays,” Dr. Flanigan said. “This implies that outpatient services are doing a much better job of managing our patients’ chronic illnesses, and that is having the intended consequence of shorter stays.”

Shorter stays do mean a drop in revenue for NIHD. For the first six months of the fiscal year, NIHD had a loss of $129,000.  The change also affected NIHD’s projected budget as does a late government payment that was scheduled to arrive in December. Instead it arrived a few weeks ago. Dr. Flanigan said had it arrived on time, the district would not have had a net loss on its books.

To offset the decrease in revenue, Dr. Flanigan has asked management teams to review their departmental budget for potential savings. “Our department managers have responded amazingly well and demonstrated a team approach to making these adjustments,” he said.

Dr. Flanigan said more timely government payments and judicious financial decision-making should have a positive impact on NIHD’s next six months.

NIHD’s department managers are currently working on their budgets for the next fiscal year. It’s anticipated that the NIHD Board of Directors will have a draft to review in May.

northern inyo hospital bishop, bishop california hospital news, bishop city council