Tag Archives: eastern sierra news

Bishop Union Win Third CIF Championship in School History

Photos by Gary Young

Defense wins championships. However cliché it sounds, the Bishop Bronco’s defense is what won them the championship against the Orosi Cardinals on Saturday night.

Midway through the first quarter, the Broncos forced their first turnover of the game, when Jaydan Braithwaite stole Orosi Quarterback, Evan Lara’s screen pass, which was intended for star running back, Dominic Martinez inside the red zone. Braithwaite knew the ball was going to be thrown to Martinez before Lara could even react.

Later on, Orosi had another opportunity to score inside the red zone. Lara tried to throw a ball off of his back foot. The wayward throw was intercepted in the middle of the field by Darren Dondero, who recorded his fourth interception of the season.

Right before halftime, it appeared as though Orosi would score some much needed points trailing 13-0. Dominic Martinez received the hand off, shifted to the left and headed toward the goal line. That’s when a host of Bronco defenders stormed toward Martinez, who was on the one yard line and fumbled before scoring.

The ball looked like it had a mind of its own, inexplicably shooting out of the hands of the junior tailback toward the touchdown marker as defenders closed in on Martinez. The officials determined the Orosi Cardinal did not cross the goal line, therefore the Broncos would take possession on their 20 yard line.

Later on in the game, Lara would fumble the ball for the team’s fourth turnover on the night near midfield.

Turnovers weren’t the only facet of the game in which Ricky Beal’s defense thrived. Sophomore, Kennedy Bachelder led the team with ten tackles and two sacks. Cornerback, Joe Weaver had five pass breakups along with two tackles, and Tristan Valle recorded seven tackles and one sack.

Although Bishop’s defense is it’s strength, the Broncos offense isn’t too shabby either. Led by Luke McClean and Steven Paco, James Ferrell’s offense has scored fifty-five total touchdowns this season. Five of those touchdowns were scored in the championship.

Going into the second quarter, the game was tied 0-0. Steven Paco turned the tide in favor of Bishop with a one yard scamper into the end zone, making it 7-0. The first score of the game was Paco’s 14th rushing touchdown of the year.

Later on in the second quarter, Luke McClean found Johnny Torres, affectionately known now as “Johnny Playoffs” for his stellar performances in the post season for a twenty yard reception, which put the Broncos at the one yard line. McClean finished off the drive with a one yard rushing touchdown.

With 10:30 to go in the third quarter, McClean hooked up with the player of the game, Joe Weaver for a twenty yard touchdown pass over the middle. Bishop converted the two-point attempt to give them a three score lead against Orosi.

Luke McClean would get his second touchdown of the game when he kept the ball for a three yard touchdown right before the fourth quarter began. The rush was the star quarterback’s eighteenth touchdown on the ground this season.

Bishop’s offense would finish off the night with a twenty yard sweep to “Johnny Playoffs.” Torres went in motion from the right side, took the ball up the left, and blew past the Cardinal defenders. The game would finish 34-7.

The CIF title is the first for Head Coach, Arnie Palu and the third in school history. The team’s last championship came in 2010. Before that, Bishop had to wait fifty-three years to see a title, which happened in 1957.

Laws Museum Appoint New Museum Administrator

The Board of Directors of Laws Museum is pleased to announce the selection of Raven Angeles as our museum Administrator. Since beginning her employment as office manager in May 2019, Ms. Angeles has consistently met the highest professional standards in her position. Her bookkeeping and office management expertise is matched by her problem solving skills and her dedication to do what is best for the museum, staff, volunteers, and visitors. The Board of Directors looks forward to a new and exciting future for Laws Museum with Raven Angeles on the team as our Administrator!

When you visit Laws Museum, what you experience is the result of the many years Howard Holland has dedicated to the museum as our Exhibits Manager. At the October meeting of the board of directors Howard Holland announced his retirement and his intention to “pass the torch” to Katie Olson. We are thrilled to announce Katie Olson has accepted the position of Exhibits Manager. Katie was elected to the Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site Board of Directors in June after retiring from a thirty eight year career with Walt Disney Imagineering. Katie brings a wealth of experience to the Laws Railroad Museum and we are excited about her new role at the museum.

Please join us in congratulating Katie and Raven on their new positions!

Espitia Accepts Deal with Mono DA for 25 Years in Prison

Alleged sexual predator, Jorge Romero Espitia of Mammoth Lakes has accepted a plea-deal and will be charged with multiple felonies.

The Mammoth Lakes resident will be charged with twelve felonies and one misdemeanor. The felonies range from selling methamphetamine to minors and conducting sexual acts with minors.

A month ago, prosecutors were looking to set up a deal which would put Mr. Espitia away for at least eighty-five percent of a twenty-five year sentence. Mono County Assistant District Attorney, Dave Anderson spoke about the trial in October saying, “We anticipate Mr. Espitia and his attorney will end up accepting the deal the Mono County District Attorney’s office has offered.”

On May 16, 2019, the Mammoth Lakes resident was arrested for nineteen felony charges and had a bail set for $500,000 dollars.

Funds Pour in for Fuel Reduction Projects in Mammoth

In March of 2019, the Mammoth Lakes Fire Safe Council was awarded a $1,000,000 grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) to complete the Lakes Basin Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project (‘project’). The ‘project’ provides valuable fuel reduction treatment on 630 acres in the Mammoth Lakes Basin to reduce wildfire risk, improve forest health and protect the watershed. The contractor’s proposed cost of the project resulted in an $181,275 deficit. The following agencies recently made significant financial contributions to support the project’s completion:

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ($60,425) Mono County ($30,425) Town of Mammoth Lakes ($60,425) Edison International – a parent company of Southern California Edison ($30,000)

“I am grateful these agencies and SNC recognized the importance of this project” stated Dave Easterby, MLFSC president. “The success of this project will be recognized by their financial contribution, along with the tireless efforts from volunteer individuals, including our primary grant writer, Matthew Diener, MLFSC Director at Large. We’re fortunate to be working with dedicated like-minded individuals within a community of supportive agencies.”

“This project’s success demonstrates the power in multi-agency collaboration and what volunteer groups can accomplish.” Juliana Jones, Secretary of MLFSC, continued “I am grateful so many entities, who care about the safety of our community, came together to provide financial contributions to this regional support effort.”

The Lakes Basin Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project will be completed in Fall of 2020. 568 acres were completed this season, providing valuable protection to the Mammoth Lakes Community. Inyo National Forest, Mammoth Community Water District and Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District supported the ‘project’ development and grant administration. The MLFSC is thankful for the overwhelming support received by the community and recent financial contributions from other local agencies.

Affordable Housing Development in Mammoth is Gaining Traction

The Town of Mammoth Lakes is getting ready to issue a request for statements of qualifications for the development of a piece of land known as The Parcel, which consists of twenty-five acres of land near the center of Mammoth Lakes.

A statements of qualification is a process relating to accepting bids for the development of a property.

Mammoth Lakes wishes to, “identify a development team consisting of one or more developers that will be the best fit to partner with the town to develop The Parcel.”

Currently, the Town of Mammoth Lakes has set broad guidelines and objectives for what they wish to see in a possible development for the existing site, which includes the construction of 400-450 properties ranging from studio apartments to entire houses zoned for affordable residences to be completed by 2022.

According to an official document from the Department of Public Works for the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the cheap housing is required to be priced at or below 120 percent of the area’s median income.

Other than creating affordable housing, The Parcel must adhere to the town’s wishes and include a community facility, formal and informal open spaces, vehicle and bicycle parking for residents and guests, and must consider pets in the design of the neighborhood.

Further restrictions include establishing a “livable, integrated, and well-designed community.” For example, the Town of Mammoth Lakes wishes to assure that the structures built connect seamlessly to the neighborhood and its surroundings.

Although 2022 is a long way off, the town council of Mammoth Lakes is taking steps toward turning The Parcel into homes in the future. On November 21, a pre-submittal conference for interested parties is scheduled for those who would like to find out more. After that, the Town Council is expected to accept a preferred conceptual land use plan on December 11, meaning the town desires to regulate property to ensure a more desirable socioeconomic outcome.

Donations Sought for the Annual Eastern Sierra Shop with a Cop

Law enforcement officers and public safety staff from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies throughout Mono and Inyo Counties are busy planning the Annual Shop-with-a-Cop event, which will be held Saturday, December 14, 2019.

This is a very special day where our local law enforcement brings the true spirit of Christmas to families in need throughout the Eastern Sierra and Owens Valley. Children are selected by various local law enforcement agencies from nominations received by area schools, community groups and individuals. On Saturday morning, the children are picked up at their homes by their law enforcement “partners” and taken to pancake breakfast sponsored by the Bishop Lion’s Club. After breakfast, the officers and children respond Code 3 (lights and sirens) through Bishop to K-Mart to start their shopping extravaganza. Each child is given $200 to shop for gifts for their families. After all the gifts have been purchased, local volunteers wrap the gifts, and the officers and children travel home where an early holiday celebration begins!

Their goal for the 2019 Shop-with-a-Cop event is to provide Christmas to 70 children and their families. This event is completely donation driven. Let’s start getting into the holiday spirit and donate to this great event today! Donations can be dropped off at the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop Police Department and Mammoth Lakes Police Department. Please make checks payable to ESPOA (Eastern Sierra Peace Officers Association) with “Shop-with-a-Cop” written in the memo line. ESPOA is a 501(c)3, and your donation is tax deductible.

LADWP awards $217 Million Contract for Owens Lake Work

LADWP Awards Big Money for Dry Lake Dust Controls

submitted by the LADWP

LADWP Awards $200+ million Construction Contract to OHL USA for Owens Lake Phase 9/10 Project

Employment Opportunities May Be Available for Owens Valley Residents

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has awarded the contract for construction of Phase 9/10 of Owens Lake’s dust mitigation effort to OHL USA. The contract with OHL USA is not to exceed $238,973,689, which includes a 10 percent contingency amount of $21,724,881. OHL USA was awarded the contract with a bid amount of $217,248,808.

The Phase 9/10 project is designed to mitigate dust emissions on an additional 3.62 square miles of Owens Lake playa. By the completion of this project, the City of Los Angeles will have mitigated dust emissions from over 48 square miles of Owens Lake playa and LADWP will have reduced PM10 dust emissions from the lakebed by 99 percent. The effort is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2017. Upon completion of Phase 9/10, the City of Los Angeles’ overall investment in the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program will reach nearly $2 billion.

OHL USA will be hiring union trades, clerical and office staff positions for the Phase 9/10 Project. To apply to work on Phase 9/10, please contact Ezam Khazeni of OHL California at 949-242-4432, or email your resume to ekhazeni@ohlusa.com.

OHL USA’s West Coast office is staffed by experts in heavy civil construction who have decades of experience working in the region. Their expertise and capabilities are supported by the financial strength and technical resources of OHL’s global practice, which includes more than a century of successful construction around the world.

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Don’t Drink and Fry

Mammoth Lakes Fire Department warns of Cooking Dangers

Three Times as Many Cooking Fires Occur on Thanksgiving as on a Typical Day

submitted by Mammoth Lakes Fire Department:

The holidays should be a time of food, fun and festivities but it is also a time for extra caution. Thousands of home fires across the nation are caused by holiday cooking activities. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment and many of these fires are caused by unsafe cooking practices.

NFPA’s latest cooking estimates shows that there were 1,550 cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2014, reflecting a 210 percent increase over the daily average. Home cooking fires also spike on other major U.S. holidays, including Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Memorial Day weekend. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

While the number of cooking fires spikes on holidays, it’s also one of the leading causes of home fire year-round. Between 2009 and 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 162,400 home cooking fires per year. These fires resulted in an annual average of 430 civilian fire deaths, 5,400 reported injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.

Be on alert and keep these tips in mind this holiday cooking celebration:
⦁ Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Regularly check on food that’s simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
⦁ Keep things that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the cooking area.
⦁ Be alert when cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
⦁ If you have a small (grease) cooking fire on the stovetop and decide to fight the fire: Smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
⦁ If you’re cooking a turkey using a disposable aluminum pan, consider doubling up and using two pans to avoid a puncture, as dripping turkey juices can cause an oven fire.
If you have a cooking fire:
⦁ Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
⦁ Call 9-1-1 after you leave.
⦁ If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.

NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers, a popular cooking method on Thanksgiving. The use of turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries, and the destruction of property due to the large amount and high temperature of oil used. If a fryer is used, please be extra careful and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you have any questions or wish additional information, please feel free to contact the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department at 760 934-2300

mammoth lakes fire department, eastern sierra news, National Fire Protection Association

Officials Lifting Fire Restrictions

BLM and Forest Service Lifting Fire Restrictions

Inter-agency Press Release:

The Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management and the Inyo National Forest announce that fire restrictions put into place for the Eastern Sierra this summer will be rescinded today, Monday, October 26, at midnight.

Recent rain and snow, combined with increased humidity, shorter days, and cooler night time temperatures have prompted the land management agencies to lift the fire restrictions put into place earlier this summer. Mike Beasley, Interagency Fire Management Officer for the Bishop Field Office and Inyo National Forest, urges the public to keep fire safety in mind to avoid resource and property damage. “While we are comfortable lifting the fire restrictions at this time, we urge the public to use common sense and exercise caution when recreating outdoors in order to decrease the chance of human-caused fires,” said Beasley.

A campfire permit is still required for those camping outside of developed campgrounds and can be obtained at visitor centers or online at www.PreventWildfireCA.org.

Important fire safety reminders for outdoor activities on public lands include:

  1. Prevent vehicle related fires by maintaining proper tire pressure, ensuring adequate tire tread, and checking your brakes for overheating. Avoid traveling or parking on brush or grass. Ensure chains are not dragging while towing.

2. Use of exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets, while recreationally shooting is both a fire hazard and illegal. Use of tracer rounds while target shooting is also a fire hazard and illegal. The use of steel-core ammunition, although legal, can greatly increase the chance of a wildfire.

 3. Motorcycles, ATV’s and chainsaws require an approved spark arrestor.

 4. Get your California Campfire Permit online at www.PreventWildfireCA.org.

 Help prevent wildfires…..One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire


inyo national forest, blm bishop field office, fire restrictions, help prevent wildfires, eastern sierra news

Season Ending at Devils Postpile

Devils Postpile National Monument Announces Closure for the Season

Devils Postpile National Monument has announced that the monument will close for the winter on Monday, October 26th, 2015 at 3:00 pm. It is anticipated that the inter-agency prescribed fire (on Devils Postpile and Inyo National Forests lands) will occur Tuesday, October 27th. During the prescribed burn, the access road to the monument and all trails and access to the Devils Postpile formation will be closed and will remain closed for the season. The monument will open again at the start of the summer season in 2016.

According to the Inyo National Forest, the main Reds Meadow Road is anticipated to still be open, weather permitting, and the trail to Rainbow Falls will still be accessible during the prescribed burn. Traffic control will be in effect on the Reds Meadow Road during the time the prescribed burning occurs.

Prescribed fires reduce fuels for building protection by removing the amount of forest debris that can fuel an unplanned fire in hotter and drier conditions. Prescribed fires are dependent on the correct conditions for temperature, wind, relative humidity, and other factors. Under optimal conditions, fire crews conducting a prescribed fire are able to simulate a natural fire cycle. Fires can reduce forest competition and increase biodiversity of plant and animal life. In 2011, an unusual wind event resulted in the blowdown of thousands of trees, and this prescribed burn will reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire at the monument.

Deanna Dulen, park superintendent, would like to thank visitors for exploring and enjoying monument this season and invites everyone to join in the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration with Devils Postpile National Monument throughout the 2016 season.

devils postpile national monument, eastern sierra news, prescribed fire, reds meadow road, inyo national forest