Tag Archives: eastern sierra news

Arrest in Mammoth Marijuana break in

Arrest made in the Mammoth marijuana dispensary burglary

Submitted by The Mammoth Police Department

On Wednesday March 18th, at about 9:45 p.m., Justin Alan PLATT, an 18 year old Mammoth Lakes resident was brought to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department by his father, to turn himself in for the Burglary at Mammoth Lakes Wellness.

Mammoth Lakes Police Officers have been diligently working on this case since it was reported during the early morning hours of March 9th, 2015. Platt was eventually identified as one of the suspects and a warrant was obtained for his arrest. Platt has been out of the area, but was in contact with Officers to negotiate his surrender. Although Platt was taken into custody, the investigation into the burglary and subsequent threats to the employee continues and additional arrests are possible.

Platt was processed at the Mammoth Lakes police station, and then booked into the Mono County jail. His charges are 459 PC/ Burglary and 422 PC/Criminal Threats and bail has been set at $50,000. Additional charges of conspiracy to commit burglary may be considered by the District Attorney’s office based on the investigation

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department would like to thank the community for being so involved in this investigation and for providing numerous tips, some of which ultimately led to a successful conclusion.

MLPD photo
MLPD photo
mammoth lakes news, eastern sierra news, mammoth police department

Wild Iris Art Competition

Bishop teen awarded for inspiring art

Top Photo, Contest winner Naomi Hawkins (middle) with Wild Iris Director of Programs (L) and Wild Iris Executive Director Lisa Reel (r)Submitted by Wild Iris

In a nation where one in four teens experiences dating abuse1, teens in the Eastern Sierra are using their voices and creativity to highlight healthy relationships. For Teen Dating Violence Month teens submitted poetry and art on what a healthy, happy relationship means to them. The Wild Iris board members struggled to pick a winner out of all of the impressive entries. Finally, a powerful piece by Naomi Hawkins has been selected as the winner. Naomi earned a $200 visa gift card as the official contest winner. When asked what she was going to do with the money, Naomi replied, “I’m going to buy books.” The two runners-up, Joana Hernandez and Salma Rodriguez, also entered inspiring and creative pieces. Wild Iris’s Youth Violence Prevention team has been working with teens in Inyo and Mono Counties helping them to identify warning signs of unhealthy relationships and teaching important aspects of healthy relationships. Wild Iris is a member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, and engaged teens, parents and educators in a social campaign entitled “:) #relationshipsfeel” during the month of February. Weekly themes included the need for relationships to feel supportive, respectful, trusting and fun.

For more information, visit wild-iris.org

Wild Iris, a community-based non-profit agency, is committed to promoting, providing, and sustaining programs of education and prevention, crisis intervention, advocacy and support for those affected by domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. Our vision is for non-violent relationships based on dignity, respect, compassion, and equality. Services are confidential and provided free of charge. Wild Iris 24- Hour Crisis Line: 877-873-7384.

Winning entry by Naomi Hawkins
Winning entry by Naomi Hawkins


runner up entry by Salma Rodriguez
runner up entry by Salma Rodriguez
wild iris, bishop news, eastern sierra news

Yosemite Road Work

Three Transportation Projects Underway in Yosemite National Park

The effort includes work on the Tioga Road corridor.

Yosemite National Park initiates one transportation project and concludes two others that will improve parking, road conditions, and traffic flow in the park. The projects will provide additional parking in Yosemite Valley, improve restrooms and reorganize the Tuolumne Grove parking area, and repair and maintain portions of the Tioga Road.  The projects are slated to be completed by Memorial Day, 2015.

Improvements to the parking area at Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias began in September 2014.  Currently, the grove, trail, and parking lot are open to the public.  The project entails improvements to the restrooms, new interpretive signs, a designated bus drop-off location, an improved picnic area, and better organized parking.  

In June of 2014, the park began a multi-phased maintenance project to repair the Tioga Road corridor, the park’s east-to-west highway that connects Groveland and Lee Vining.  The primary rehabilitation work involved a 15 mile segment from the Crane Flat intersection to just east of the White Wolf Campground.  The construction work includes improvements to culverts, grading, pavement resurfacing, new signage, and road striping.

This month, the park will begin the first phase of improvements to the Yosemite Lodge parking area in Yosemite Valley.  The completed project will include an expanded parking area just west of Yosemite Lodge.  The additional spaces will help to improve traffic flow in Yosemite Valley by parking vehicles west of Lower Yosemite Falls.  A future phase will include the installation of permanent bathroom facilities.

COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, snow plow clearing Tioga road, file photo, clearly not this year…there is no snow this year.

mono county, yosemite, eastern sierra news

Disaster Assistance for Round Fire

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents Affected by the Round Fire

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California businesses and residents affected by the Round Fire that occurred February 6 – 12, 2015, U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, on March 5, 2015.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Alpine, Fresno, Inyo, Madera, Mono and Tuolumne counties in California; and Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon and Mineral counties in Nevada.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s Fresno District Director Carlos G. Mendoza. “Beginning Thursday, March 12, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Mendoza continued. The center will be open on the days and times indicated. No appointment is necessary.

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Crowley Lake Community Center
58 Pearson Road
Crowley Lake, CA 93546

Opens Thursday, March 12
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Closes Wednesday, March 25

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is May 11, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is December 11, 2015.

cover photo by Gary Young

round fire, sba, mono county news, eastern sierra news

Volunteer with ES Wildlife Care


What does an Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care volunteer do? Find out at ESWC’s free annual New Volunteer Orientation on Sunday, March 22, from 1-3 PM at the Center. As a non-profit organization, Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care depends on volunteers to keep things going.
Some volunteers serve as members of their Board of Directors.
(Two Board Members recently developed an outreach program aimed at preventing fishing line/wildlife entanglement.)
They currently need to fill some Board vacancies.
A network of volunteers from Walker to Death Valley are called on when they need a Bald Eagle rescued from June Lake or an injured Golden Eagle transferred to the Raptor Center in Ojai. More volunteers for the Rescue, Return and Transport Team are always needed to help them cover more than 2,000 square miles.
ESWC brings Living with Wildlife programs to schools and community events—it takes volunteers to make that happen—and a whole lot more!
As part of working with animals (Animal and Foster Care, Rescue and Transport), Rescue and Return Team volunteers built a platform high in a pine and reunited a young Bald Eagle with his family last July. Last month, a Transport Team volunteer drove a White Pelican to Ridgecrest where it was picked up for transfer to water bird specialists in Orange County. Nearly 40 volunteers help with ESWC’s annual Wild Spirits fundraiser. Others help with building and repairs, others with website and social media.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the work of Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care, get a close up view of our facility, and meet Razzle the Raven, Red-tailed Hawks Bullitt and Spirit, our Wildlife Ambassadors.
Space is limited, so call ESWC at 760-872-1487 to reserve a place—or for further information.

climber in tree

Skilled volunteer climber returns a young Great Horned Owl to his nest.


Hit by a car, a juvenile Aplodontia (Mountain Beaver) arrives at ESWC.

Any questions?? Call Cindy at 760-872-1487.

Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care is a federal and state tax-exempt charitable, 501(c)3 organization [EIN 03-0409463]

eastern sierra wildlife care, eastern sierra news, bishop news

Comeau Found Guilty in Jury Trial

Inyo Jury Trial ends in Conviction

Bishop Area Resident Erin Comeau Convicted by Inyo County Jury on Charges of Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale and Child Endangerment

The following is a statement released by the Inyo County District Attorney’s office:

Following a three day jury trial held in the Superior Court of California, County of Inyo, Bishop area resident Erin Comeau was convicted of two separate felony counts of possessing methamphetamine for sale, and, in one of those cases, misdemeanor child endangerment. The cases arose from two separate investigations; one by the City of Bishop Police Department in February, 2013, and a second by the Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Team in February, 2014. In the 2014 incident, Ms. Comeau was also convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment. In the second case, Ms. Comeau was accused of storing methamphetamine in an ice cream container in the freezer of her home, easily accessible to her children. The jury also found Ms. Comeau committed both of these offenses while released on bail on other charges, and found her guilty of one count of possessing controlled substance paraphernalia. Sentencing has been set for April 15, 2015.The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Dee Shepherd with the ongoing assistance of the Bishop Police Department and the Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Team.

bishop news, inyo county news, inyo county district attorney, eastern sierra news

Owens Valley Petroglyphs

FECM Annual Meeting Spotlights Owens Valley Petroglyphs

 The annual meeting of the Friends of the Eastern California Museum features an exploration of ancient mysteries and a chance to indulge in some high-class modern amenities.

The public is invited to the Friends Annual Meeting, which will take place on Saturday, March 14. The event will begin with a reception at the Eastern California Museum (155 N. Grant Street in Independence) at 4 p.m. with light refreshments. At 5:30 p.m. the action shifts to the historic American Legion Hall for a community potluck. There is no charge for the event, but a potluck dish would be appreciated. There will be a brief business meeting to install new officers for the non-profit Friends of the Eastern California Museum for 2015.

Next comes the Silent Auction. People can bid on a wide range of merchandise and services donated by local businesses. Besides books and sporting goods and other local bargains, among some of the more interesting items up for grabs are a stay, including golf, at the Historic Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park, and a week’s stay at a condo in Mammoth. The Silent Action proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Museum.

The evening’s presentation features independent rock art researcher David Lee, of Bishop, who will speak about his work over the past 20 years documenting and studying the Owen’s Valley’s extensive examples of ancient rock art.

The Owens Valley is home to a spectacular concentration of Native American Petroglyphs and Picto-graphs, and this art can provide clues to the thoughts and beliefs of the region’s earlier inhabitants. Lee and his colleagues have spent two decades documenting these images in the Owens Valley, the Great Basin, and throughout the American west and Australia. Their findings refute numerous earlier hypotheses, and show that rather than being monolithic expressions of hunters or healers, rock art produced by forager societies such as those in the Owens Valley can be seen as playing an important role in the lives of everyone in the group, and in linking that group to specific places. 

Lee is a rock art researcher, focusing on the function and context of rock art in the Owens Valley, Death Valley, the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert. He has documented rock art in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Australia, and has co-authored several papers on the rock art found in the Mojave Desert and Eastern California. He is a founding member of the non-profit organization, Western Rock Art Research, located in Bishop and dedicated to the study and management of rock art.

For more information about any aspect of the Friends of the Eastern California Museum’ Annual Meeting, call 760-878-0364, or visit, www.fecm.org.


eastern california museum, eastern sierra news, owens valley petroglyphs

Mammoth Fire Dept Training

Mammoth Wildland Firefighting Training

Over the next couple of weeks, the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department will be conducting some wildland firefighting training with its members in several neighborhoods in town. Exercises of this nature are invaluable when it comes to pre-planning the tactics and strategies of fighting a moving wildfire front in a community such as Mammoth Lakes. The Department does not want to alarm anyone and wants to get the word out that these exercises are going to take place.

The exercises will occur in the Juniper Ridge, Lower Majestic Pines neighborhood, the area between Snowcreek Crest and Snowcreek 1, 2, and 3, and in the entire Old Mammoth area west of Waterford and Ski Trail. The training activities will occur on March 19 and 26 in the evenings from approximately 7pm to 9pm and will involve numerous pieces of equipment and personnel. In some cases hoselines will be deployed between homes and minimal amounts of water flowed. Also, to simulate spot fires, colored “Cyalume” light sticks will be placed and retrieved during the training. Areas selected will be locations that will have little or no vegetative impacts. Different techniques will be practiced that allow a crew to train in the tactical actions used to defend structures in the Wildland/Urban Interface.

If you would like more information on this or any other fire related matters, please feel free to contact the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department at (760) 934-2300.

mammoth lakes news, eastern sierra news, mammoth lakes fire department

ES Guide Puppies Growing Fast

New Additions added to Eastern Sierra Guide Pups

Three new Guide Dog Puppies join the local pack
Eastern Sierra Guide Puppies, the local puppy raising club for Guide Dogs for the Blind, has three new members.

Black Labrador Retriever Remus is the most recent arrival. This eleven week old puppy is being raised by Anne Parkes of Mammoth Lakes, and is her third Guide Dog puppy. Remus has unusual and distinctive brindle markings on his legs, making him something of a novelty in the Guide Dog puppy world.

Yellow Labrador/Golden Retriever cross Eliza is being raised by Leigh Gaasch, also of Mammoth Lakes. Eliza is 13 weeks old, and is the fourth puppy Gaasch has raised. She is also the first Lab/Golden cross in the club, making her something of a novelty as well.


Seven month old Yellow Labrador Retriever Pilsner rounds out the puppy trio. He is being raised by Rick and Ramona Delmas of Bishop, and is their second Guide Dog puppy. Pilsner was “started” by Anne Parkes, and then transferred to the Delmas family is January.


Eastern Sierra Guide Puppies club meets regularly in Bishop, and takes the puppies on socialization outings all around the Eastern Sierra. Puppy raisers receive the pups when they are between 8 and 10 weeks of age, and raise them for approximately a year, at which time they return to the organization for their advanced training.

The club is always looking for new puppy raisers, puppy sitters and club volunteers. “Raising a Guide Dog puppy is such a fun and rewarding experience,” said club leader Betsy Thomsen. “You can actually make a wonderful difference in the life of a visually impaired person by being involved in our program.”

Puppy raisers teach their pups basic obedience, socialize them and train them to be good canine citizens by introducing them to new experiences.

The pups are returned to Guide Dogs for formal guidework training when they are 14-18 months old. Eiger, a pup raised in Bishop by Thomsen and her husband Peter, and Marion and Nona Davis, is currently in the final phase of his advanced training at the San Rafael, CA campus.

Following the completion of the training, the dogs are matched with their visually impaired partners. The new person-dog teams completes an intensive in-residence course culminating with a graduation ceremony at which the puppy raiser presents the dog to their new partner.

Guide Dogs for the Blind has been creating life-long partnerships by providing Guide Dogs free of charge to visually impaired individuals since 1942. The organization receives no government funding, but depends entirely on private donations.

For more information on the local puppy raising club, contact Betsy Thomsen at 760-920-8891 or betsythomsen@hotmail.com

Additional information on Guide Dogs for the Blind may be obtained by visiting www.guidedogs.com

eastern sierra guide puppies, bishop news, mammoth news, eastern sierra news

Extreme Makeover: Warren Street

Work continues on Bishop’s Warren Street

City of Bishop Public Works News Release
Warren Street Construction Update 7
Placement of concrete is the main activity this week on the City of
Bishop Warren Street Improvements project. Concrete work is essentially complete on the block of Warren between Line and Church and will continue next on Warren between Church and Academy. Concrete work is expected to start on Church Street between Main and Warren next week. The completion of storm drain near Academy is on hold while waiting for underground phone
cables to be relocated. Repaving will be one of the last construction operations.
Construction on and near Warren Street in downtown Bishop involves the closure of streets, intersections, sidewalks, and driveways.  Access is still available to businesses but in most cases it would be better to park nearby and walk a block to visit your favorite local business. Access to city parking lots is normally still available during construction, but entrances may be different and parts of the lots may be closed due to the construction.
Equipment, workers, excavations in the street, uneven pavement, and other hidden hazards require attention, even when work is not underway. The contractor on the project normally works 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and has Fridays off. Work is expected to continue into May.
city of bishop, warren street, bishop news, eastern sierra news