All posts by Deston Rogers

Reds Meadow Road to close September 18

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif., September 14, 2023 – Inyo National Forest will close Reds Meadow Road via Closure Order on the Mammoth Ranger District this coming Monday morning, September 18 to prepare the road for construction. Contractors must take several steps before construction starts, including the removal of trees, blasting rock, and staking by surveyors. This closure comes ahead of the regular winter seasonal closure, which will be determined based on weather conditions.

Reds Meadow Road is being reconstructed to greatly improve public access and traffic safety for all who visit the area, reduce likelihood of vehicular accidents and shorten emergency response times. The U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service appreciates your patience and understanding as the contractor works to reconstruct the road and stabilize the hillside over the next few years.

  • Weekday Full ClosureMonday – Friday, 24 hours a day starting September 18:
    • Emergency and maintenance staff traffic allowed only.
    • This schedule will continue until the weather-dependent seasonal winter closure.
    • The road closure includes a 200-foot buffer zone on each side of the road, which includes the top portion of Starkweather Trail. 
    • Minaret Vista and the road leading to it will remain open.
    • Trailhead Access:
      • High, River and Shadow Creek Trails out of Agnew Meadows, Minaret Lake, JMT North & South of DEPO, Beck Lake, Fern Lake, and Fish Lake trailheads will not be accessible during the week.
      • On September 7, reservations made on were cancelled due to this reason. Thru-hikers not entering/exiting from Reds Meadow Road should not be affected, but those who are entering/exiting from the above listed trailheads during the week will not be able to resupply and must wait until the weekend.
  • Weekends: road will be fully open. Please keep in mind the following stipulations: 
    • ESTA shuttle ceased operations on September 10. You may now drive your personal vehicle down into Reds Meadow to park there on the weekends until the regular winter seasonal closure begins (dependent on weather). This means overnight parking is only possible on Saturday nights.
    • Resupplying for backpackers:
      • You may exit Reds Meadow on the weekends to resupply.
      • You may arrange for someone to resupply you on the weekends.
      • If you already have your resupply mailed to Red’s Meadow Resort & Pack Station, please inquire with the Resort.
    • Campgrounds:

To learn more about the reconstruction project, visit:

For information on Devils Postpile National Monument:


“We would like to thank our visitors for their patience as we work diligently to begin the reconstruction of this damaged road to improve safety for all those who travel this beautiful and popular and corridor of the forest and National Monument,” said Mammoth District Ranger Fred Wong.

Mono County Office of Emergency Management Hosts Wildfire Preparedness Town Hall Workshops/North County Events Held in Lee Vining and Bridgeport

MONO COUNTY, Calif. (SEPTEMBER 12, 2023) – Today, the Mono County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announced hosting two in-person Town Hall Workshops (Workshops) focused on wildfire preparedness and resiliency. The Workshops will feature
presentations on the latest, science-based home hardening techniques, and the creation of Firewise Communities.

The Workshops will feature expert guest speakers Yana Valachovic,
County Director-Forest Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension, and Beth Burnam, founding member of the North Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council, and Resource
Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains Board Director.

“Wildfires are becoming more devastating each year, threatening our communities, and decimating our forests and watersheds,” said Chris Mokracek, Director of Mono County’s Office of Emergency Management. “We encourage you to join us for these important workshops as we work together to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season.”

Ms. Valachovic has provided home hardening workshops throughout the Eastern Sierra, and is known for her work in wildfire mitigation and resilience. Valachovic’s research has shown
that often, the best ways to protect a home against wildfire are also the simplest and most affordable.

Ms. Burnam’s first experience with wildfire occurred during the 1961 Bel Air Fire, which instilled in her a lifelong respect for the destructive power of wildfires, and how communities can
organize to increase their wildfire resilience. In 2020, Burnam worked with Firewise USA, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and Los Angeles County Fire
Department to lead Topanga Canyon through the process of becoming a Firewise Community. Firewise Communities are those that have taken appropriate measures to become more resistant to wildfire structural damage.

Town Hall Workshop Details
Workshop #1: Lee Vining
September 26th (Tuesday)
Lee Vining Community Center
296 Mattly Avenue; Lee Vining
6PM – 8PM

Workshop #2: Bridgeport
September 27th (Wednesday)
Bridgeport Memorial Hall
73 North School Street; Bridgeport
6PM – 8PM

Death Valley National Park and CA-190 May Start to Reopen October 15

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Caltrans and the National Park Service (NPS) announced that parts of State Route 190 (CA-190) and Death Valley National Park are tentatively scheduled to reopen on October 15. The only access into the park will be from the west via Lone Pine, CA.

This reopening date depends on several factors, including future weather events and the availability of materials to fix the road. When this section of CA-190 reopens, drivers should anticipate multiple 24-hour traffic control points where repair work is ongoing.

The national park and state highway have been fully closed since August 20, due to extensive flash flood damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Hilary. Death Valley received more than a year’s worth of rain in a single day. Flash floods undercut pavement and left collapsed roads parkwide.

Lodging, food, and fuel will be available at Panamint Springs Resort, Stovepipe Wells Village, and The Oasis at Death Valley. Some NPS campgrounds will open at the same time.

The park’s eastern entrances will remain closed on October 15. Some hiking trailheads will be available, but most secondary roads in the park will still be closed.

“Thank you to Caltrans, Federal Highway Administration, and NPS staff and contractors for their hard work to reopen areas of the park,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “We look forward to once again welcoming back visitors. We thank everyone for their patience, especially people traveling from Las Vegas or anywhere east of the park.”

More information is online at

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at  


Video and more images are posted here: Hurricane Hilary in Death Valley National Park

Working to stabilize NIHD, DelRossi Asks for Support, Patience

Interim CEO shares news of improved state reimbursements, cautions staff to remember to always ask ‘how can we make it better’

Northern Inyo Healthcare’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Stephen DelRossi addresses the topics of bankruptcy and the future of NIHD in two recent memos to the District staff. DelRossi sent the
memos to clarify what bankruptcy could mean for the 77-year-old healthcare district, one of the first in the state.

“In summary, we will not close, but our services will be closely examined, as they are now,” he wrote to the staff. “We are working to stabilize District’s finances, but this will take time. We
appreciate your patience with us during this period.”

DelRossi, who also serves as the District’s Chief Financial Officer, shares promising news of the state committing to providing $1.7 billion annually in additional funding for Medi-Cal
reimbursements. However, the exact methodology has yet to be discovered at this time. “While this is good news, it does not mean we can cease profit margin improvements,” he wrote. “We
should always ask: How can we make it better.”

As for bankruptcy, DelRossi still believes it is necessary to have a plan addressing the topic. “I have stated for many months that we have to consider a way forward to keep the hospital
operating and maintaining services,” DelRossi says. “At multiple NIHD Board meetings, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, and other meetings, I have stated that we must consider
bankruptcy, but I have not defined what generally happens in a motion to and adjudication of

DelRossi explains Chapter 9 bankruptcy allows public organizations to reorganize debt. Yet, it does not cancel all debts or contracts. “I feel we have 24 months at current practices before we would need to enter into bankruptcy, should it come to that point,” he wrote to staff. “Also, if forced into bankruptcy, the custodian would order us to undertake the steps already being taken– examination of revenues and expenses with the intention of placing the district on firm financial ground.”

Delving into years of inherited issues takes work. NIHD is not alone in this situation. DelRossi says many hospitals nationwide, specifically several in California, are in similar positions. He hopes
NIHD can learn from their shared successes. DelRossi says this is not a time to place blame but rather to ensure quality local healthcare in 10 years, 25 years, and beyond.

“With respect to the District, there has been financial mismanagement for years, so it is incumbent on us to make all necessary changes to ensure the hospital’s long-term viability for the sake of the community,” DelRossi wrote to staff. “To do so means we all must look for every opportunity to reduce spending or increase revenue. I hope you see that every item is being
reviewed to optimize our efficiencies. It is also important to understand that the NIHD Executive Team is committed to recovering this District. To do so, we need your help to get the best
efficiencies possible.”

DelRossi remains committed to communicating with the NIHD team and community members. In addition to frequent staff memos, the first regular bi-weekly Employee Town Halls took place this
week. Plans are in the works for a series of Community Town Halls.
Voters in Big Pine and Bishop voted NIHD into existence in January 1946 after raising $5.5 million dollars through community fundraisers to bring quality local healthcare to Northern Inyo County.

A Message from Inyo County

Six people have lost their lives in Inyo and Mono counties this season in tragic incidents involving snow,
swift water, and extreme heat. Our condolences go out to the victims’ loved ones.

It’s critical to recognize that conditions this year are unprecedented with the amount of runoff we’re
seeing in creeks and rivers and the volume of snow still left to melt in the backcountry.

We urge everyone recreating outdoors or traveling in intense heat to take these dangers seriously! Don’t
become the next tragedy.
• STAY AWAY from swift water. Don’t underestimate the power of these flows and the unseen
dangers lurking under the surface. Even a slip on a wet or unstable bank can lead to tragedy.
• BE PREPARED for dangerous backcountry conditions – including avalanche – and wait until
conditions improve or you have the skills and experience to keep yourself and your partners safe.
• NEVER split up! Staying together can mean the difference between survival and death.
• DO NOT drive around road closures. They’ve been put in place for your safety and that of first
responders who will have to come get you when something goes wrong. Don’t be that person!
• STAY HYDRATED AND KEEP COOL! If you’re traveling through areas of extreme heat, make sure
your vehicle is in proper working order and that you have a surplus of water available in the event
of a breakdown.

If you’re looking to beat the heat this weekend, there are many other recreational opportunities available, including Millpond, Diaz Lake, Klondike Lake, and fishing at our high-elevation lakes in the Bishop Creek Drainage. However, the creeks below the dams should be avoided as they are running fiercely cold and very fast.

Remember: the risks you take put others in danger too!

For more information, visit:


Avalanche Death

Around 4:30 PM the evening of July 2 nd , the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an avalanche incident around 12,500 feet on Split Mountain, above Red Lake, near Big Pine.

A party of three hikers had been caught in a wet slide avalanche while descending the mountain after summitting earlier in the day. Two sustained minor to moderate injuries. Sadly, one
sustained major injuries, leading to his death.

Before responding, Inyo SAR studied the weather, terrain, and access route. They concluded the avalanche hazard to the team was low later in the day, and they should proceed with the mission.
However, access by vehicle and foot was problematic and time consuming, due to road conditions and the steep trail.
SAR helicopter VX-31 from China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station aided with the transportation of 4 Inyo SAR volunteers to Red Lake (10,466 feet) later that evening. The SAR team then ascended nearly 2,000 vertical feet on foot to the avalanche site. After locating the
party, they came back down to Red Lake to spend the night, planning to assist extraction of the decedent by helicopter the following morning due to the altitude, terrain and darkness. Before
leaving, VX-31 helicopter evacuated the two injured subjects from near Red Lake.

On the morning of July 3, California Highway Patrol Helicopter H-80 flew up from Apple Valley, picked up one team member at Red Lake and attempted a recovery of the decedent. However, weather conditions were too adverse, forcing them to return to Red Lake unsuccessful. Following that, the Inyo SAR rescuers again ascended the 2,000 feet, packaged the subject, and lowered him down to Red Lake via roped litter, where H-80 was waiting.

This is currently the fourth serious mission in three weeks (three fatalities, one serious injury) where the snow was the primary contributing factor. Combine snow, with inexperience, and you
have a formula for an accident. The warm temperatures are creating very unforgiving snow conditions. If you slip while on a steep, soft snow slope, you likely will not be able to stop your fall. Furthermore, melting snow can suddenly release rocks on steep slopes, creating an unusually high risk of rockfall.

Getting formal snow travel and avalanche training before going on steep snow slopes could save your life. Also, please remember rescues can take many hours or even days, especially when
weather, terrain, and conditions are not ideal.

Historic Mining Site in Nevada Closed Due to Elevated Mercury Levels

BISHOP, Calif., July 6, 2023 — Inyo National Forest has closed the B&B Mine and Mill Site (Site) located on the eastern edge of the forest boundary in Nevada, due to elevated levels of mercury found in surface soils and mine waste that pose a risk to human health and the environment. The B&B Mine and Mill Site was a quicksilver (mercury) mine discovered around 1925 outside the town of Dyer, Esmerelda County, Nevada within the White Mountain range at 7,940 feet. The 58-acre site is entirely on National Forest System Lands.


The Forest has been conducting site investigation and characterization efforts at the mining site pursuant to its delegated authorities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) since 1998 to evaluate the impact of historic mining activity on the surrounding environment and the associated risk to human health and the environment.

During the most recent 2021 investigation, elevated mercury concentrations were detected that are known to present a health hazard to site visitors and the recreating public. Further, historic mine features remain on Site, which present physical safety hazards to the public.

Actions taken

A Forest Closure Order was instituted on December 7, 2022, restricting public access to the Site for the purpose of preventing exposure to site contaminants. This Forest Order provides for public safety and restricts use of the Forest Service Road 2N06 to only pass-through access. Persons in enclosed vehicles may still traverse the road to gain access to the other side, provided they stay inside their vehicles and do not exceed the speed of 5 miles per hour to minimize dust particles causing the contaminants to become airborne.

Since the snow has melted, Inyo National Forest staff have just installed closure and warning signs to visually notify those who enter the area.

Forest Orders webpage:

Future management

The Forest Service will be conducting additional site investigation efforts at the B&B Mine and Mill Site to determine the extent of contamination and to develop future site restoration and remediation plans over the next several years.

For more information about the Site, including the site investigation work conducted to date, please view the B&B Mine and Mill Site Administrative Record located at the Supervisor’s Office at 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200, Bishop, California 93514.


Hawthorne and Mammoth Lakes, CA (May 22, 2023) — Advanced Air, the Los Angeles-based public charter
airline, and Mammoth Lakes Tourism announced today that summer flights direct between Mammoth Lakes and
Southern California’s Los Angeles and San Diego will resume June 30th – September 4th.

Advanced Air will provide two semi-private flights a week (Fridays and Sundays) straight into the Mammoth
Yosemite Airport (MMH) from Hawthorne (HHR) in 55 minutes and Carlsbad (CLD) in 85 minutes. Travelers will fly
in and out of private terminals and avoid airport traffic, long security lines and TSA. Free shuttle service will continue
to be offered to/from the Hawthorne Municipal Airport for travelers arriving into LAX from an outside destination,
providing easy summer access to Mammoth Lakes from anywhere in the world.

“Two years ago, when we began offering direct, semi-private flights from Southern California to Mammoth, we knew
there would be a strong demand for an easy, convenient, and quick way to get to the mountains. The response and
utilization of our service has exceeded our expectations and been rewarding to witness,” said Levi Stockton,
Founder & President of Advanced Air. “Southern California has one of the most passionate Mammoth fanbases in
the world and we’re thrilled to partner with Mammoth Lakes Tourism to bring travelers to one of their favorite
summer destinations.”

“Summer in Mammoth Lakes is a phenomenal time to visit and with service via Advanced Air, we continue to
provide easy access to our most loyal audience, as well as a convenient way for our locals to travel for summer
vacations of their own” said Mammoth Lakes Tourism Executive Director, John Urdi.

This marks the second year that Advanced Air and Mammoth Lakes Tourism have provided direct flights between
Southern California and Mammoth Lakes. Upcoming summer events in Mammoth include the 4th of July Parade,
Bluesapalooza, Mammoth Wine Festival, Mammoth Rocks Music Festival, and Pedalpalooza.

To book tickets, please go to or call 1-800-393-7035.

For more information, follow
@advancedairlines on Instagram and Facebook.


Inyo County recently welcomed a new face to its ranks to take on the leadership position responsible for the information
systems, equipment, and communications throughout the organization.

The Board of Supervisors has approved a contract with Noam Shendar to serve as the county’s Chief Information Officer
– a reconfiguration of the role formerly known as Information Services (IS) Director. Shendar steps into a vacancy left by
IS Director Scott Armstrong who recently accepted the county’s offer to serve as Regional Broadband Coordinator. In the
wake of Armstrong’s departure, county leaders decided to update both the job title and job description to meet the needs
of the department and be consistent with professional standards.

Leading an eleven-person team, including Assistant CIO Jayme Westervelt, Shendar is responsible for not only planning,
organizing, and directing work in the IS Department, but also providing the vision and strategic direction that ensures the
county’s ability to successfully integrate people and technology to improve business processes, create efficiencies,
guarantee transparency, and thoughtfully implement systems that support good governance.

More specifically, Shendar is charged with:
• Planning, organizing, evaluating, budgeting, and prioritizing recommendations regarding the acquisition,
installation, and maintenance of all county technology and information systems;
• Overseeing security initiatives and implementing effective approaches that keep agency assets, data, and staff
• Driving customer-facing technology solutions which better connect people to county services;
• Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements;
• Developing and interpreting internal policies;
• Tracking and implementing applicable legislation;
• Monitoring new technology and evaluating its use in support of the county;
• Conducting effective business analysis in order to successfully procure, implement, and utilize technology
throughout the organization;
• Negotiating and administering contracts for the procurement and support of information technology throughout
the county;
• Pursuing and maintaining partnerships with public and private entities which benefit the area through
collaborative service delivery efforts and cost sharing; and
• Acting as a liaison between Department Heads, County Administration and the Board of Supervisors in
improving digital literacy and transformative approaches to government.

Shendar brings to the position nearly three decades of experience in technology and public service. A 12-year Inyo
County resident, Shendar describes himself as a mule enthusiast and “lifelong nerd.” He began his career at Intel
designing computer chips, and progressed over the years to become a technology executive at a number of companies, big
and small. Shendar has a long and extensive background in cloud, virtualization, and enterprise storage solutions, and
most recently has been an original executive team member at Zadara, a global edge-cloud provider. Locally, he is
international services chair at the Bishop Rotary Club, secretary and board member of the Bishop Amateur Radio Club,
and a candidate with Inyo Search and Rescue. He is married to Rachel, a legal aid attorney in Bishop, and his hobbies
include mule riding and packing, backpacking, skiing, motorbiking, and amateur radio.


The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office continues to actively investigate the homicide of a local resident
whose body was recently found southeast of Independence.

Deputies responding to a report of a deceased individual discovered the body of 34-year-old
Independence resident Dorothy Erin McQueen’s on April 10 off of Mazourka Canyon Road. Since
then, investigators have been following numerous leads and a forensic autopsy was conducted.

While investigators understand that the public is anxious for additional details and updates, they
must also limit the amount of information they can release in order to protect the integrity of the

“Unfortunately, at this time our office cannot release any additional information due to the sensitive
nature of the ongoing investigation,” Sheriff Stephanie Rennie said. “Our investigators, in
collaboration with investigators from the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, are working diligently
and tirelessly to ensure a thorough and complete investigation is conducted.”

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office has also received vital assistance from the Mono County Sheriff’s
Office and California Department of Justice.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Ms. McQueen and her close friends and loved
ones,” Rennie said, adding, “We at the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office understand the community’s
concerns and once we can release further information, we will do so expeditiously.”

Investigators have a dedicated phone line to receive tips from the public on this specific case.
Anyone with any information regarding this case is urged to contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office
Investigators Team at (760) 878-0383 option 4.

Bishop Union High School Sophomore Wins Local Trig-Star Competition

On Wednesday, April 26, Bishop Union High School (BUHS) students competed in the 2023 Trig-Star competition, a contest based on the practical application of trigonometry. Sophomore Alyssa Buchholz, daughter of BUHS math teacher Diedre Buchholz, secured first place with a score of 94 on her test after results were announced on Friday, May 12. She finished the exam in 24 minutes, 47 seconds, earning the fastest time in the local competition at BUHS and fifth place statewide. Her first-place local win merited a cash prize of $150.

Rounding out the BUHS winners, junior Brianna Coombes finished in second place with a score of 88 in 60 minutes flat, earning $75. Junior Victor Tordby finished his test in 37 minutes, 51 seconds and achieved a score of 84, earning him third place. His fellow junior Broderick Carter placed fourth by scoring 83 on his exam and completing it in exactly one hour. Third and fourth places were awarded $50 and $25.

The Trig-Star competition tests the students’ abilities to apply math to real-world situations and heightens the awareness of Land Surveying as a profession. The competition is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors, the California Land Surveyors Association, Caltrans, and the BUHS Mathletes. The Land Surveying profession is the art, science, and technology of locating or determining (by measurement) the shape or size of any portion of the earth’s surface and representing these surveys on maps.

In March of this year, Caltrans District 9 Senior Transportation Surveyor Sereyna Cagle gave a presentation introducing the land-surveying profession and Trig-Star Competition to a Bishop Union High School math class led by Diedre Buchholz.

Funding for the local and statewide competition came from the California Transportation Foundation (CTF), the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the BUHS Mathletes. The BUHS Mathletes matched the monetary awards from the CTF this year.

NIH Auxiliary installs 2023-24 Officers, Seeks New Members

Where there is a will, there is a way – as the saying goes – and that keeps the small but mighty
Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary moving forward.

Recently the group installed its 2023-2024 slate of officers, demonstrating a never-ending
commitment to Northern Inyo Hospital and the communities it serves. NIHD Board Chair Mary
Mae Kilpatrick swore in Judy Fratella as President, Karen Benson as Vice President, Sharon Moore
as Treasurer, Carole Sample as Corresponding Secretary, and Betty Dickey as Recording Secretary.

The financially struggling Healthcare District made special provisions for celebrating the Auxiliary.
Hospital employees donated the funds to treat the group to the Bishop County Club luncheon.
Board Chair Kilpatrick personally purchased a corsage for each member. Interim Chief Executive
Officer Stephen DelRossi and Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stefan Schunk took time from their
schedules to speak highly of the Auxiliary’s most recent fundraising efforts.

As always, the installation’s highlight was the recognition of the service hours put in by members.
As a group, the members gave 6,515.5 hours or roughly 271 full days, for the benefit of the
Healthcare District in 2022-2023. These new hours bring the total number worked by the
Auxiliary during 1982-2023 to 301,960.5 hours. President Fratella awarded service pins to those
members who reached milestones in their personal service hours. Fratella herself reached 12,000
cumulative hours. Others honored included:
 Sharon Moore with a Lifetime Hours of Service of 19,500;
 Diane Remick and Judy Speed with 6,500 hours;
 Vivian Mitchel with 6,000 hours;
 Betty Dickey with 5,500 hours;
 Cheryl Underhill and Nan Giddings, each with 2,500;
 Carole Sample with 2,000 hours; and,Karen Benson, Pat Hawley, and Marti Witters had 500 hours.

For more than 60 years, Auxiliary members have invested time, talent, and treasure in the health
and well-being of the Northern Inyo Healthcare District residents. Within the last year, while
getting back on its collective feet after the pandemic, the Auxiliary met a new financial milestone,
putting its lifetime total at $650,000 toward equipment purchases for the hospital.

The group raises funds through its popular Holiday Craft Boutiques, community donations, and
the operation of the hospital’s Gift Shop. The Gift Shop sales of handmade quilts, baby clothing,
flower bouquets, and See’s Candy often make the difference between a good and great fiscal
year for the group.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges for President Fratella and her
volunteers. The Auxiliary shut down for more than a year, unable to work in the Gift Shop or hold
its fundraising boutique due to health and safety mandates.

“We had no revenue stream from our gift shop or boutique, which impacted us financially,”
Fratella explains. “We did manage to get back on our feet, and we’re back operating the gift shop
and preparing for our third boutique since the shutdown.”

However, the pandemic left one lasting effect on the Auxiliary: a decrease in membership.
“Volunteer groups around the country are struggling with this issue, and we know Inyo County
has many volunteer opportunities,” Fratella explains. “We believe that what we do has lasting
value and benefits many people, often in challenging times, like those we just passed through.”

Membership in the Auxiliary is open to men and women. Fratella reminds everyone that all help
is welcome and appreciated and that there are no prerequisites for membership.

“Everyone thinks they have to be a crafter to join, but that’s not true,” Fratella said. “We need
people with all talents to help us reach our goals. The more hands contributing to the collective
goal, the better.”

The Auxiliary meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Birch Street Annex,
2957 Birch St., Bishop. Anyone interested in making a financial donation or joining the Auxiliary
may call Sharon Moore at (760) 872-4198 for details.

NIHD Board Chair Mary Mae Kilpatrick (in yellow) swore in the 2023-24 NIH
Hospital Auxiliary officers during a luncheon at Bishop County Club. From left to right are Corresponding
Secretary Carole Sample, Vice President Karen Benson, President Judy Fratella, Mary Mae Kilpatrick,
Treasurer Sharon Moore and Recording Secretary Betty Dickey. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo
Healthcare District.

Auxiliary Recording Secretary Betty Dickey samples the fresh potato chips offered
during the NIH Auxiliary Installation lunch. Donations from the Healthcare District’s employees paid for the
luncheon. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District