All posts by Bradford Evans

Donald Metivier Obituary

It is with a heavy hearts that the Metivier Family announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather Donald W. Metivier. “Dad,” entered the Lord’s presence, peacefully late afternoon on August 9, 2020, at the age of 93.

He was born January 25, 1928 in Manitowoc, WI, to parents Ernestine and Willard Metivier. Enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from Lincoln High School in 1946.

Worked as a Corporal in the regular Army, Classification Specialist for the Department of the Adjutant General, at Fort Lawton, WA. In charge of interviewing, debriefing and giving aptitude tests of soldiers returning from overseas and re-enlistees after the end of World War II. Decorated World War II Victory Medal and under the G.I. Bill benefit, attended Michigan State University. Graduated in 1952 Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry and a minor in engineering.

Met the love of his life, Patricia, at MSU equestrian class. Began a career with the Forest Service at Lassen National Park, CA, before moving to Tillamook and Cannon Beach, OR. Cape Lookout State Park and Collier State Parks, preforming duties as a park ranger.

Continued an impressive second career as a Design Engineer for Aeronutronic Division of Ford Aerospace in Newport Beach, CA, in 1955, relocated to Santa Ana, CA. Retired in 1989, before moving to Chalfant Valley, CA.

Lived a full life raising eight children and loved art, theater, music, travelling, mountaineering, backpacking, and camping with family. Climbed over 250 peaks in the western US, loved the Sierra Nevada, and the Rockies. Avid ice hockey and football fan.

Donald is preceded in death by sons, Daniel, James, and infant Joseph. He is survived by wife of 67 years, Patricia, daughters, Michelle, Yvonne, and Nannette, sons, Patrick, Thomas, and Paul, numerous grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Faithful member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Catholic Church, Bishop, CA. Funeral mass to be determined. The family requests your prayers and well wishes. In lieu of flowers, perhaps a donation to favorite charity in Donald’s name. Thank you.

Mono County Has Second COVID-19 Related Death

The second death of a Mono County resident due to COVID-19 has been confirmed.

The patient passed away on Monday, August 17, 2020. Initially found to have COVID-19 through Mono County Public Health contact tracing on July 27, the patient was later admitted to Mammoth Hospital with worsening symptoms. Following a period of slight improvement, the condition deteriorated, and the patient was subsequently transferred to Northern Nevada Medical Center and passed away due to complications related to COVID-19.

Mammoth Hospital has had eight patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. It remains critically important to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through our community by wearing a mask when you can’t maintain distance, washing your hands, and limiting social interactions with members outside of your household.

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of this patient as we are saddened by the recent loss of another one of our community members,” says Mammoth Hospital CEO Tom Parker. “This is another tragic loss for a tight knit community such as ours and our deepest condolences go out to those close to her.”  

Both Mono County Public Health Officer, Dr. Tom Boo, and Mammoth Hospital Chief Medical Officer Craig Burrows, MD, agree the second death in Mono County underscores the importance of protecting our community members during this ongoing pandemic. Mr. Parker added that Mammoth Hospital is able to care for all patients and has taken great steps to prepare for any potential surge of COVID-19 related cases in Mono County.

Inyo County Placed On COVID-19 Monitoring List

Inyo County’s Public Health Division of Health and Human Services was notified on Friday, August 14, 2020 of the likelihood that the County will be officially placed on the list as of Monday, August 17, 2020, which will result in closure of indoor activities for additional industries.

Once the County is placed on the monitoring list, the following industries will be added to the list of businesses that must close indoor operations, but are able to modify to operate outside or by pick-up:

• Gyms and fitness centers
• Personal care services, like nail salons and body waxing
• Hair salons and barbershops
• Places of worship and cultural ceremonies, like weddings and funerals
• Offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors
• Shopping malls (not Inyo)

For more information visit the County website @ Inyo County, California

Fire Crews Respond to the Beach Fire

Fire crews are responding to and aggressively suppressing the Beach Fire, which started by lightning yesterday evening. Fire growth was driven by the erratic and gusty winds associated with the thunderstorms in the area. Last night, the fire received some rain which moderated fire behavior and allowed firefighters to start establishing containment lines.

Today, crews will continue to construct containment line around the fire. Firefighters are also responding to other fires associated with the significant lightning activity that occurred throughout the forest, especially the northern portion of the forest.

 

Weather: Thunderstorms are in the forecast as the monsoonal pattern continues. Gusty winds from thunder cell down drafts could increase fire activity in the fire area, similar to what was experienced yesterday afternoon.

 

Closures: Highway 120 is closed from south junction of 395 to Benton Crossing Rd.

 

Assisting agencies include California Highway Patrol, Cal Trans, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife, California State Parks, and CAL FIRE.

 

Resources: There are 100 personnel assigned to the incident, including seven engines, a type 2 hand crew, a water tender, a dozer, and a helicopter. More resources have been ordered, but there has been significant amount of new fire activity in California in the past several days.

Dead Body Found Near Manzanar

On August 8, 2020 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a report from a hiker of a potentially deceased female in the foothills west of Manzanar National Historic Site. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and located a deceased female. A search of the area produced a red sweatshirt and multicolored tennis shoes approximately two miles from her body near the base of the Sierra Mountain Range.

Inyo County Search and Rescue were dispatched to the scene to provide additional tracking support on August 8 and August 9. Based on foot impressions it is believed that she walked north along Foothill Road after exiting a vehicle, then east along a smaller dirt road where she eventually sat down and perished. There was no indication of a struggle or initial signs of foul play.

There was no identification located near or around the body; however Bishop Police Department had logged contact with a female matching the description of the decedent on July 30. Based on the information gathered during the contact, a positive identification was confirmed on August 11 and next of kin was notified. The deceased has been identified as Elaine Hartnett, a 48-year old woman from Pioneer, CA. A forensic autopsy has been scheduled to take place in Orange County, CA to determine cause of death. If anyone has had contact with Ms. Hartnett in Inyo County and can provide information please call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760-878-0383, option 4

Mammoth Hotels and Short-Term Rentals Capacity Decreased by Health Order

Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Public Health Officer, issued an Order on August 11, 2020 that supersedes and replaces the June 18, 2020 Health Officer Order regulating lodging within the Town of Mammoth Lakes. This Order does not apply to unincorporated areas of Mono County.

The new Order imposes new requirements on lodging facilities within the Town of Mammoth Lakes that emphasizes existing State requirements for the protection of visitors and residents (including the hospitality workforce).

The new requirements shall apply to all occupancies beginning August 24, 2020, regardless of when reservations were made, and shall remain in effect until April 30, 2021, unless modified, repealed, or extended.

Within the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the new requirements were imposed to better manage the pace of local visitation, ensure the health and safety of both lodging guests and hospitality staff by adhering to State-mandated cleaning standards for lodging facilities and to preserve the region’s limited healthcare capacity.

Hotels and Condo/Hotels 

  • Occupancy levels shall be reduced from 75% to 70% of capacity over a 7-day period extending from Monday through Sunday of each week. This requirement shall apply to all occupancies beginning August 24, 2020, regardless of when reservations were made.
  • In accordance with State requirements applicable to the lodging industry, all bedding and linens shall be laundered between each occupancy, without exception.
  • In accordance with State guidance applicable to the lodging industry, all kitchen supplies shall be washed between guests and cleaning staff shall be provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), and shall wear such PPE while cleaning.
  • It is recommended, but not required, that rooms/units be left vacant for a 24-hour period between each occupancy. Cleaning staff with appropriate PPE may enter the room/unit during the 24-hour vacancy period.


Short-Term Residential Rental Units 
Short-term lodging facilities (including short-term rentals, vacation rentals, Air BnB’s, timeshares, or similar units) shall comply with the following:

 

  • A 24-hour vacancy period shall remain in place between each occupancy. This requirement shall apply to all occupancies beginning August 24, 2020, regardless of when reservations were made.
  • In accordance with State requirements applicable to the lodging industry, all bedding and linens shall be laundered between each occupancy, without exception.
  • In accordance with State requirements applicable to the lodging industry, all kitchen supplies shall be washed between guests and cleaning staff shall be provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), and shall wear such PPE while cleaning. Cleaning staff with appropriate PPE may enter the room/unit during the 24-hour vacancy period.

 

June Marie Wilkins Obituary

June Marie Wilkins passed away peacefully on July 24, 2020 at the age of 86. She is survived by her Husband Grayden Wilkins of 42 years, Her son Kenneth James Brion Jr, her daughters Debra Ann Perilman and Diane Kathleen Wickens, Diane’s husband Perry Graham Wickens,her Stepson Brian Wilkins and Brian’s wife Kim, her Grandchildren Alex and Heather Perilman,Graham, Maxwell, Jack, and Cole Wickens, and Joey Wilkins. She is also survived by 3 great grandchildren, Averey Jane Wickens, Harper Olivia Wickens and Oliver Jackson Wickens.

 

June lived a full life, raising children and an impressive career in school bus transportation. June loved living in Big Pine California where she was an active member of the community. June and Grayden enjoyed fishing, hiking, being outdoors and going to Church at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

 

A graveside service will be held Friday, August 7, 2020 at 9:00 am at West Line Street Cemetery.(Also known as Pioneer Cemetery) 198 Pioneer Lane, Bishop, California, 93514

The 2020 Tri-County Fair Has Been Cancelled

The 2020 Tri-County Fair has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

CEO, Jen McGuire discussed how the Inyo County Public Health Department believed it would not be best to host the fair this year due to the State of California not allowing any mass gatherings.

McGurie also says that she has tried to find a solution when it comes to hosting the fair, but it was just not possible.

“We have tried different ideas, and I have laid awake each night to see if we can do a virtual fair, or an open market, or anything possible to try and make work. Unfortunately it is just not going to happen with our numbers continuing to rise, and  COVID numbers will continue to rise for the next two to three weeks. I have to tell you cancelling fair was something that we kind of all knew was coming, but it is just sad that it actually is happening. We have tried everything we possibly could to make it happen,” McGuire said.

 

The Eastern Sierra Has Never Been Busier, Nor More Trashed

Campgrounds, public lands, and public facilities have never been busier than they are right now in the Eastern Sierra. The large increase in visitation to towns and areas in the Inyo National Forest is likely because visitors from Southern California and other areas of the state and country have been encouraged to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are looking for a getaway in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Unfortunately with a high amount of visitation, comes a higher chance of seeing vandalism, littering, trash dumping, dispersed camping, and illegal campfires.

Inyo National Forest Public Affairs Specialist, Deb Schweizer, says she cannot remember a time that she has seen campgrounds and hiking trails busier. “I have never seen our public lands busier,” Schweizer said. “I have never seen as much violation of rules as we are seeing right now such as illegal campfires, dispersed fires, trash dumping, and vandalism.”

One such example of the disregard some individuals are showing is near June Lake. Trees and rocks have been vandalized with graffiti on hiking trails, trashcans have been left overflowing with waste, and playgrounds have been riddled with trash.

According to Mono County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Sarah Roberts, the department’s June Lake Substation was vandalized, and the door was kicked in. The Mono County Sheriff’s Office says they are investigating the incident.

At this point in time, they are not completely sure if the vandalism occurred this past weekend or beforehand. Luckily the substation is not currently used by the department, so nothing of value was taken.

Another recent example of some of the disregard travelers are showing on public lands is at the Crestview Rest Area just north of Mammoth Lakes. One picture posted on Facebook shows four dumpsters filled to the brim with trash along with litter spewed across the parking lot.

Schweizer says that the Inyo National Forest is not the only place that has seen an uptick in illegal activity on public lands. “The vandalism is not just happening on the Inyo. The National Forest Service has seen an increase in vandalism, littering, and illegal campfires everywhere,” Schweizer said.

Crash on 168 West Near Bishop Leads to Fatality

On Sunday, July 26th, 2020, at approximately 1:07 PM, the driver of a 2012 Toyota Sienna van was driving eastbound on SR-168 west of Starlight Drive at approximately 55 miles per hour. For unknown reasons the driver of the Sienna allowed the vehicle to travel off the south side of the road.

The front of the vehicle collided with a boulder and as the vehicle continued in a easterly direction overturned onto its left side coming to a stop blocking both lanes of traffic. The driver sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision. The two passengers were transported to Northern Inyo Hospital.

The identity of the fatal victim is to be released through the Inyo County Coroner’s Office.

This traffic collision is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Bishop Area.

Mammoth Community Water District Scales Back Services

PRESS RELEASE FROM MAMMOTH COMMUNITY WATER DISTRICT:

District Returns to Risk Level 2 Due to increased cases of COVID-19 in Mono County, the Mammoth Community Water District moved into Risk Level 2, of the Risk Minimization and Outbreak Response Plan on July 21. Risk Level 2, makes operational adjustments, including remote work, to reduce exposure for employees. Staff remain available to assist customers and water and wastewater services will not be interrupted. The District is offering payment plans for customers experiencing financial hardship. The District is dedicated to supporting our staff and community through this exceptionally difficult time, we are in this together.

Current MCWD Information:

  • MCWD’s front Administration Office remains open to the public:All customers must check in at the Administration Building’s front desk and will be directed accordingly.
  • Water Quality: The District’s treatment process prevents transmission ofCOVID-19 virus in water supply.Bill Pay: Customers are encouraged to utilize electronic bill payment: https://mcwd.dst.ca.us/payment-options
  • Experiencing Financial Hardship?Contact the District’s Finance Department at 760-934-2596.
  • Disinfecting Wipes: Please DO NOT flush disinfecting wipes, this includes wipes labeled ‘flushable’. Wipes do not break down and cause clogs in pipes, leading to sewer backups and overflows.

Please contact the District with any questions or concernsat760-934-2596| https://mcwd.dst.ca.us

Crews Respond to Iris Fire

Fire crews are continuing to aggressively work on suppressing the Iris Fire, located west of Iris Meadows Campground and the Rock Creek Road on the Inyo National Forest. The fire is currently 40 acres and 20% contained. Investigators have determined that the fire is lightning- caused. It is burning in a mixture of sagebrush, mahogany, and mixed conifer.


Iris Meadow Campground and Big Meadows Campground have been evacuated. The Rock Creek Road is closed. Mono County Sheriff and California Highway Patrol are managing exiting traffic along Rock Creek Road and at Hwy 395. Please avoid the area to assist firefighters with their response.


Yesterday, the fire grew with gusty winds associated with the weather system. Initial attack included a series of air tanker retardant drops to help slow the fire’s spread while firefighters constructed containment lines.


Today, wind is challenging containment lines. Crews will continue to construct and improve containment lines, assisted by helicopter bucket drops. Four air tanker are ordered for today.
High winds are in the forecast and remain a concern.


There are four engines, five crews, three helicopters, and four air tankers assigned to the fire and more resources are being ordered. Cal Fire is also assisting in this fire response.