Tag Archives: mammoth news

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.

Mono County Seek to Mitigate Wildlife Deaths With Grant Money

The Mono County Board of Supervisors expressed support in their letter to Caltrans District 9, and encourage the transportation organization to apply for funding which would help mitigate wildlife deaths from vehicles.

Proposition 68 is an ordinance that provides organizations with funding to help reduce the amount vehicle collisions with animals across the state.

Currently, Caltrans District 9 is requesting $2,000,000 from the state to complete the environmental planning report. In total, the cost of completing the entire project is estimated to cost between $50,000,000-$70,000,000.

Most of the funding would go toward the seven mile stretch from Crowley Lake and the Mammoth Lakes turnoff. “The seven mile stretch of US Highway 395 from Crowley Lake Dr. to the Junction with state route 203 accounts for more than double the number of deceased deer removed by Caltrans Maintenance forces compared to any other seven mile stretch of US 395 within District 9. The letter from the supervisors went on to say “This [area] accounts for 43% of reported collisions for this area of US 395, the stretch of highway also contains the largest hotspot of deer collisions within the district.”

Not only did the supervisors express concern for deer crossing the corridor, they also noted the presence of other species including the Bi-State sage grouse. The letter says, “The areas along these roadways host significant wildlife habitat, supporting populations of resident and migratory species, including the Bi-State sage grouse which is proposed to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and play a critical role for migrating mule deer in the spring and fall.”

In order to obtain the rest of the necessary funding, Mono County will seek money from other state and federal agencies. “If awarded, funding will also allow Caltrans District 9 and their partners to seek additional state and Federal Funding to support the completion of subsequent project development phases.”

33-Year Old Male Arrested for Rape in Mammoth Lakes

On March 18, 2019, Mammoth Lakes PD responded to a call from a registered nurse at Mammoth Hospital who said there was an individual in the emergency room requesting an officer because she had been sexually assaulted.

Mammoth Lakes Police Department took a report from the victim, and arrested Salvador Arevalo-Montes, a 33 year old Hispanic male on March 19, 2019 at the Crestview Condos in Mammoth Lakes.

Arevalo-Montes was booked into the Mono County Jail on charges of Rape by Force, Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object, Oral Copulation, and False Imprisonment. The perpetrator’s bail is set at $100,000.

Wanted Man has ties to Mammoth

Search is on for former Mammoth resident

Mammoth Police officers are among those looking for Alan Kierkegaard who is the suspect of a Grass Valley attempted homicide and carjacking.  According to law enforcement the alleged incident occurred on Sunday July 5th.  The victim is a 78 year old woman.

According to a Mammoth Police department press release, Alan Kierkegaard is a suspect in the assault and carjacking of a 78 year old woman outside of a Catholic Church in Grass Valley, CA.  Prior to moving to the Grass Valley area, Kierkegaard was living in Mammoth Lakes. While in Mammoth Lakes, MLPD officers contacted Kierkegaard several times, as a transient living near Mammoth Creek and at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Although there is no specific intelligence that Kierkegaard is back in the Mammoth  area or has plans to return, often times criminals will return to areas in which they feel comfortable.

The victim’s vehicle, which Kierkegaard may still be driving is described as a 2013 Honda Accord, Gray, with California license plate 6ZHX462.

Do not approach the suspect or the stolen vehicle. Call 911.

Contact: Sergeant Marc Moscowitz Office (760) 934-2011 Cell (760) 914-1880

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Brown is the new Green

MCWD says “Brown is the new Green”

Mammoth Community Water District Joins California’s Conservation Efforts with the “Brown is the New Green” Lawn Sign Campaign.

Free lawn signs with the new message available to customers

The Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) implemented Level 3 Water Shortage Conditions this year in early April when the runoff year started with just 2 percent of normal conditions. Reducing irrigation demand is critical to ensure they meet their 30% reduction target and have a reliable potable water supply. With irrigation starting up and water resources at critical levels, the MCWD is hoping lawn signs sporting the new conservation message, “Brown is the New Green” will encourage more customers to reduce landscape water use. The current irrigation schedule of 2 days a week with significantly reduced times, should allow for enough water to keep landscapes alive, but customers should expect to see some signs of stress.

“We’d like our customers to make sure their irrigation systems are running efficiently and find ways to cut back on their irrigation consumption where possible,” said Pat Hayes, General Manager at MCWD.

Simply turning back the run time for each cycle will likely do the trick. For example if you are running 10-minute cycles, dial it back to 7 minutes. Betty Hylton, GIS Specialist with MCWD, added, “If a customer is letting their lawn turn a little brown or die this summer, they can advertise their commitment to conservation with our new signs. We are hoping our customers evaluate whether their lawn is necessary and consider replacing it with plants that don’t need spray type sprinklers and use minimal water. These conversions will conserve our water resources every summer, not just during the drought.”

The District is stepping up water conservation enforcement. Customer data is reviewed daily and those who are not following the time of day and day of use requirements will be issued violation notices. After two violations, those not in compliance will be faced with a $50 per day fine and ultimately have water restrictors or shutoff occur.

To encourage and support customers decreasing irrigation during the drought, the MCWD is making a limited number of lawn signs available free to its customers. Ms. Hylton remarked, “the first ‘Brown is the New Green’ lawn sign will be planted in MCWD’s previously green lawn.”

MCWD_LawnSign

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Fireworks at Crowley Lake

Town of Mammoth Lakes  hosting Fourth of July Fireworks spectacular at Crowley Lake

From the Town of Mammoth

Mammoth Lakes, CA – The Town of Mammoth Lakes in partnership with Crowley Lake Fish Camp is proud to once again host the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at Crowley Lake. The Independence Day fireworks show promises to be a bright and striking display of color in the Eastern Sierra night sky. This year’s “Sky Concert” will propel over 737 shells into the Eastern Sierra sky for a mesmerizing 20 minutes beginning at approximately 9:15 p.m. (weather permitting). Funding for this year’s Fourth of July show was generously donated by individual community members and business owners, second homeowners, L.D.C. and from the Town’s general fund.
Since incorporating in 1984, the Town of Mammoth Lakes has been celebrating Independence Day with a spectacular fireworks show. The Town contracts Pyro Spectaculars by Souza to light up the sky above Crowley Lake. Souza is well known for doing some of the largest and most spectacular fireworks displays in the world.
Admission to the Fourth of July Fireworks Show is once again only $25.00 per car, RV, or truck (excludes camping), and $5.00 per individual/bike (walking/riding).
Prior to the spectacular fireworks show, kick back on the Crowley Lake Fish Camp lawn and enjoy live music playing from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. The new Crowley Lake Fish Camp restaurant: Pelican Point Grill will be serving BBQ and Holiday specials including cold beverages from Noon – 8:30 p.m.
Camp permitting at Crowley Lake Fish Camp for the Fourth of July begins Thursday, July 2, 2015 and ends Monday July 6, 2015. The entire lake shore at the South Landing of Crowley Lake is open for camping, and the fee is $125 per vehicle including the fireworks show for the 5-days. The North Landing/North Shore of Crowley Lake will be closed beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2015, thru 12:00 p.m. Monday, July 6, 2015.

To ensure a safe holiday experience for everyone, please observe the following:

1. No personal fireworks are permitted within Mono County, including the Inyo National Forest (INF), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. Be smart; leave the fireworks to the professionals!
2. Due to EXTREME FIRE DANGER, the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District, Long Valley Fire Department, Mammoth Lakes Police Department, California Highway Patrol and Mono County Sheriff will enforce a “zero tolerance” policy with respect to the possession and use of fireworks. Fireworks violations will be strictly enforced.
3. Please obey road closure and no parking signs. Parking is NOT permitted along Highway 395 or Crowley Lake Drive at any time. Do not park in fire lanes.
4. The Mono County Sheriff’s Office will be patrolling on Crowley Lake during the fireworks show. Do not boat within 100 yards of the fireworks detonation site at Hilton Bay and proper night-time navigation lighting is required.
5. Help us keep Mono County clean. Please use designated trash facilities.
6. Do not drink and drive. Please use a designated driver or plan to camp at Crowley Lake Fish Camp.

Please enjoy our national holiday in a safe and responsible manner. For more information, please contact the Town of Mammoth Lakes Recreation Department at (760) 934-8989 ext. 222, or visit http://www.ci.mammoth-lakes.ca.us/

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Level 3 Restrictions Remain for MCWD

Mammoth Community Water District Level 3 Water Shortage Conditions Still in Effect

Rain in May Helped Conservation Efforts But Fail to Replenish Surface Water Supplies.

Statement from the Mammoth Community Water District:

Conservation, cooler temperatures and rainfall in May contributed to a significant reduction in water consumption by Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) customers compared to May 2013.  Unfortunately, not enough rain fell to raise Mammoth Creek flows to levels that would allow MCWD to store water in Lake Mary or to divert water to customers.  As a result, MCWD would like to remind customers that water supplies remain at a critical level as we start the summer irrigation season.
May water demand from MCWD customers this year was 54 percent lower than May 2013, saving 55 million gallons of water.  This reduction exceeds the MCWD’s Level 3 reduction goal of 30 percent.  Although this May received an inch more rain than in 2013, the savings is still significant.  General Manager Pat Hayes remarked “Our customers are keenly aware of their environment and are seeing the effects of the drought.  It seems this connection is translating into turning down the spigot.”  The year 2013 is being used as the baseline for comparison purposes by the state and MCWD.
The MCWD has been almost entirely dependent on groundwater supplies since last year.  Surface water has been limited or unavailable as Mammoth Creek flows have been too low to divert for drinking water supplies.  These limits to storage and diversions are embedded in MCWD’s water right permit and licenses to protect Mammoth Creek resources.  Fortunately, the MCWD can turn to their nine groundwater production wells this summer to supply the community.  MCWD is keeping a close watch on groundwater levels this summer as we transition into the irrigation season.  For MCWD customers, Level 3 Water Shortage Restrictions remain in effect until conditions improve.  All customers are encouraged to visit the MCWD website for a list of the restrictions.
http://www.mcwd.dst.ca.us/

cover photo courtesy of the Mammoth Community Water District

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Wild Iris Fundraisers

Wine Walks for Wild Iris

Wild Iris is having two GREAT fundraisers this weekend!  They hope you can join them at one or both, and help support the work they do!

When: Friday 6/19, 6-9pm
Where: The Village, Mammoth Lakes
What: Summer Solstice Wine Walk & free music!
Tickets available at www.gimmeshelterfund.org

When: Saturday 6/20, 6-9pm
Where: Hidden Creeks Ranch, 85 Reata Rd., Bishop
What: Wine Walk, Music & Spanish Tapas
Tickets available at www.bishopwinewalk.com

Wine Walk Poster

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MLFD pushing defensible space

Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District gearing up for fire season

submitted by Thom Heller

Now that winter seems to have faded, the Mammoth Lakes Fire Protection District (MLFD) wants to remind residents of your responsibility to keep your property fire safe. Long term residents are aware of the wildland fire incidence that can occur around town and especially after dry winters and with windy, hot, dry summers. From just about anywhere in town one can see the results of previous fire activity and the scars that have been left behind.

Establishing and maintaining defensible space around our property is all of our responsibilities. We are all part of the team that will protect our community should we find ourselves in the situation of a wildfire threatening town. A well-maintained landscape enhances the beauty and value of any property— and just as importantly, the work serves as a fuel break. The goal is to keep your landscape lean, clean and green. The following steps can reduce your home’s vulnerability from the threat of wildfire and reduce your use of irrigation.

ZONE 1: 30 feet or more adjacent to the home and beyond attachments such as wooden decks.
Within the first 10 feet of the home, use nonflammable landscaping materials (rock, pavers), or low level annuals or perennials less than 18 inches in height. There should be nothing flammable within 10 feet of the home.
Keep this area lightly irrigated and free from dead or dry vegetation, combustible debris, and accumulations of leaf and needle litter. Plants should be carefully spaced, low growing and free of vegetation high in resins, oils, and waxes that burn easily. Mow lawns regularly.
Prune all trees up 1/3 the height of the tree or so the lowest limbs are 10-15 feet from the ground. If adjacent to a structure, prune up to the eave level. Clearance shall be a minimum of 10 feet from chimneys/stovepipes. Keep roof surfaces clear.
Thin out living vegetation 30 to 50% within this zone to decrease fire intensity and continuous path of travel.
Allow space between tops of trees to reduce the risk of crown fire.
Keep firewood stacks/piles at least 30 feet from the home. If this is not possible, from June 1 to September 30, cover entire woodpile with properly secured, fire resistive, California State Fire Marshal tagged tarp.
Water plants and trees as needed to ensure they are healthy. Do not use finely shredded mulch and mulch should be wetted periodically.
Areas around and above propane tanks need to be kept clear of vegetation for 10 feet.
ZONE 2: Approximately 30 to 100 feet from the home (if your property size permits).
Leave approximately 30 feet between clusters of two to three trees, or approximately 20 feet between individual trees. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the crown density.
Limit vegetation that serves as a link between low level vegetation and tree tops (ladder fuels).
Prune trees so branches and leaves are at least 10-15 feet above the ground.
Give yourself added protection with “fuel breaks,” such as gravel walkways, and lawns.
Remove any dead or dying material from yard and break up continuous patches of brush species to slow fire advance and decrease heat productivity.

Property owners who are unable to do this work themselves are encouraged to hire a licensed professional who both understand this information and can apply it to the property. MLFD maintains a list of qualified contractors that can perform this work.

Failure to comply with the regulations and clear your property in a timely fashion is not only expensive, but endangers the lives and homes of your neighbors, the community, and the firefighters who protect them.

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

cover photo by the Mammoth lakes fire protection district

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