Tag Archives: Bishop Paiute Tribe

Bishop Paiute Tribe Faces Water Shortage

July 28th, 2020 – Inyo County – The Bishop Paiute Tribe is experiencing low water pressure reservation wide due to the high demand of water usage and minimal storage and pumping capacity.

The Bishop Paiute Reservation has six drinking water wells with two wells each located at PaMe Lane, Tibec Lane, and Siebu Lane. Currently three out of six wells are inoperable. With the temperatures rising, and more community members staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic the water usage has gone up significantly.

The Public Works Department is working hard to secure funding and contracts to make the needed repairs and replacements for inoperable pumps and motors of the three wells. It is of highest priority to ensure our community has continuous safe drinking water.

The following restrictions apply to all residential, commercial, non-profit and Tribal entities. No use of the domestic water for any water users is allowed on Mondays. Even numbered addresses may water only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 5:00am-10:00am and 5:00pm-10:00pm . Odd numbered addresses only water on Wednesday Friday and Sunday from 5:00am-10:00am and 5:00pm-10:00pm.These restrictions will be strictly enforced until further notice. The only exception to consider under these regulations is you may water any gardens and fruit trees as needed as long as it is not excessive. We encourage those that have access to irrigation or creeks to utilize those resources. If you have any questions or would like to report any violators, please do not hesitate to contact the Public Works office at 760-873-6638. We thank you for your cooperation in joining the team of conservation.

Updates will be available to the public as they occur on KBPT-LP 96.1fm at the top of the hour for breaking information and at 8am, 11am, 6pm and 11pm for cumulative information.

Bishop Paiute Tribe Planning Reopening Phase

May 7th, 2020 – As the pandemic stabilizes, the Bishop Paiute Tribe has planned a measured and strategic approach to allow employees to return to work safely to prevent a resurgence of the virus. This must be done in the most effective, efficient, and risk-averse way possible to balance the return of governmental and economic stability, while simultaneously continuing to keep employees and tribal members safe by controlling the spread of the disease.

The tribe’s re-opening plans are currently being crafted at the departmental, tribal, and public levels, and will be announced as they are developed and finalized. Updates will be available to the public as they occur on KBPT-LP 96.1fm and on the Tribe’s website and Facebook page.

The Bishop Paiute Tribe is a federally recognized Indian tribe located on its 879 acre Bishop Paiute Reservation in Inyo County, California. The Reservation was formed under Congressional Act 5299, P.L. No. 43 of April 20, 1937. The Tribe is committed to the well being of its people. For more information please contact the Bishop Paiute Tribe at (760) 873-3584.

Gary E. LaRance Appointed as Tribal Court Judge

After a nation-wide search for a tribal court judge, the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council interviewed and selected Gary E. LaRance (Hopi). Judge LaRance graduated from the Santa Clara University School of Law in 1981 where he received his juris doctorate degree in law. He has spent 37 years in the courtrooms of New Mexico, Arizona, Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nations, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Colorado River Indian Tribe and Washoe Tribe of Nevada. He has prosecuted, defended, and tried over 2,000 criminal, juvenile, and civil cases. He has presided as judge over hundreds of other cases.

He has been an instructor and trainer for Northern Arizona University, National Indian Justice Center, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, National Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, Native American Alliance Foundation and National Association of Chiefs of Police, teaching criminal law and procedure, evidence, trial
advocacy skills, Federal Indian Law, Indian Civil Rights Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, Healing to Wellness Courts, Domestic Violence, Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Child Neglect and Abuse. Judge LaRance presently sits on the Tribal Advisory Board for the National Tribal Judicial Center.

Addressing substance abuse on the reservation is a priority for the tribe. With new funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the tribe now has the unique ability to establish a Youth Tribal Healing to Wellness Court. The tribe was awarded approximately $348,000 over a three-year grant to develop and implement this specialty court. The tribal community believes the youth are highest priority and there are many opportunities through development and coordination to address concerns of substance abuse among tribal youth.

With this, Judge LaRance comes with six (6) years’ experience creating, managing and presiding as Judge of a Healing to Wellness Court (HTWC) for the Hopi Tribal Court. During his term as Chief Judge of the Hopi Tribal Court, he developed and administered the Healing to Wellness Court federal grant with 75- 100 juvenile participant in the program. Judge LaRance has provided training to
other tribes, tribal court personnel and judges on the development, administration and operation of the Healing to Wellness Court cases.

As the tribe is still in its initial planning year, they will be seeking out key individuals to discuss, plan, and coordinate services for the youth such as collaborations with Inyo County Probation, Inyo County District Attorney, Bishop Paiute Police Department, Bishop Paiute Social Services, Toiyabe Indian Health Project, and other key stakeholders. With Judge LaRance’s expertise, the tribe is very excited to move forward with this project and bring a new service for our tribal youth who may be experiencing substance-related issues.

Judge LaRance was sworn in by the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council on January 23, 2020. For any questions related to this matter please forward them to Annette Apalatea, Tribal Court Administrator/Clerk at 760-873-3584.

Bishop Tribe Primary Election Results

Top 5 Advance to the General Election

June 15, 2016
By Arnie Palu

Bishop Paiute Tribal voters navigated a crowded ballot Tuesday casting their votes for Tribal Council.  Voters had their pick of 26 candidates advancing the top 5 to the general election.  The general election is set for Tuesday, July 12 when voters will select three for seats on the Bishop Tribal Council.  The five candidates moving forward are Brian Poncho, Jeff Romero, Gerald Howard (incumbent), Earleen Williams and Kristopher Hohag.

A total of 539 ballots were cast in Tuesdays primary.

Brian Poncho,  196
Jeff Romero, 164
Gerald Howard (incumbent) 144
Earleen Williams, 135
Kristopher Hohag, 131

Alan Williams 19
Elbe Brown, 25
Jonathan Frankson, 39
Diane Hart, 58
Thomas Mitchell, 60
Clarissa Mashburn, 61
Harry Williams, 63
Alena Wagener, 66
Gloriana Bailey, 69
Shondeen Stone-Chavez, 71
Lee Chavez, 86
Quina West, 90
Michael Rogers, 91
Kelly Toiyagaduh Stone, 95
Gertrude Brown (incumbent) 99
Monty Bengochia, 101
Allen Summers, 106
Ronald Napoles, 111
Meryl Picard, 111
William Turner (incumbent) 115
Raymond Stone IV, 116

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Bishop Creek Sewage Update

Inyo County and Bishop Paiute Tribe release statement on Bishop Creek Sewage Spill

April 11, 2016
By Arnie Palu

Inyo County Environmental Health and the Bishop Paiute Tribe have issued a statement further detailing the sewage spill into Bishop Creek.  The unauthorized release of raw sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek started on March 14th and continued until it was discovered on March 24th.  Officials continue to monitor flows and note that people and their pets are still advised to refrain from body contact activities in Bishop Creek.

Inyo County Environmental Health, Bishop Paiute Tribe statement:

BISHOP CREEK SEWAGE SPILL – FOLLOW UP

On Friday, March 25, 2016 the Bishop Paiute Tribe and the Inyo County Environmental Health Department issued a media release notifying the public of an unauthorized release of raw sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek. Few details were available at the time and further information is now available.

A clog in the Bishop Paiute sewer system resulted in sewage backing up and discharging through an upstream manhole. The release traveled some 1500 feet over Tribal land before entering the South Fork of Bishop Creek. A review of the sewer systems’ flow records appear to indicate that the discharge began on March 14, 2016. The discharge was discovered the evening of March 24, 2016, and the clog was removed and the discharge stopped later that evening. Flow records indicate the discharge over the eleven day period averaged 68,000 gallons a day, and a total discharge of approximately 700,000 gallons. A significant portion of this flow percolated into the ground prior to reaching the Bishop Creek. Visual observations estimated the flow into the creek to be approximately 30 gallons per minute on the evening of March 24th. On March 25th, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power requested that the flow to the South Fork of Bishop Creek be increased in order to provide a flushing action that could assist in the remediation. The flows were increased by 7-8 cubic feet per second for a five hour duration.

Latest monitoring results show decreasing E. Coli bacteria levels in the section of stream downstream of where the discharge occurred. These levels still exceed the surface water standards set by the Bishop Tribe and the Lahontan RWQCB, but are lower than levels typically found in Bishop Creek during the summer. People, and their pets, are still advised to refrain from body contact activities in Bishop Creek at this time. This advisory applies to the South Fork of Bishop Creek near See Vee Lane and immediately downstream.

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Bishop Tribe hosting Education Summit

Bishop Paiute Tribe hosting Education Summit

submitted by the Bishop Paiute Tribe
March 29, 2016
The Bishop Paiute Tribe, Owens Valley Career Development Center, and Cerro Coso Community College are hosting the First Annual Education Summit; a twoday event taking place on April 1st and April 2nd, at Cerro Coso Community College located at 4090 W. Line St in Bishop.
April 1st from 8:00am to 1:00pm is for Staff Development for individuals working for Native American Communities, to support employees in their daily tasks and share knowledge of best practices to build a stronger community. A continental breakfast will be provided.
April 2nd from 9:30am to 4:00pm is for families and community members, to collaborate and work together to help students, children, and families be more successful, starting at 9:30am, ending at 4:00pm. A continental breakfastand lunch will be provided.
This event is free to attend, and individuals are encouraged to preregister. For more information and to register,please contact the Bishop Tribal Office at 50 Tu Su Ln., or call (760) 8733584. Online registration is also available at eventbrite.com.
The Bishop Paiute Tribe is a federally recognized Indian tribe located on its 879 acre Bishop Paiute Reservation in Inyo County, California. The Reservation was formed under Congressional Act 5299, P.L. No. 43 of April 20, 1937. The Tribe is committed to the well being of its people. For more information please contact the Bishop Paiute Tribe at (760) 8733584.
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Sewage hits Bishop Creek

Sewage flows into Bishop Creek

March 28, 2016
by Arnie Palu

Late Friday Afternoon the Bishop Paiute Tribe and Inyo County Environmental Health Department issued a joint statement detailing a spill of sewage into Bishop Creek.  A clog in the Bishop Paiute Reservation sewer system is being blamed.

Statement from the Bishop Paiute Tribe and Inyo County Environmental Heath:

The Bishop Paiute Tribe, the Inyo County Environmental Health Department and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are working in a collaborative effort, in conjunction with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, in investigating the report of an inflow of sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek. The spill was caused by an overflowing sewer manhole due to a clog in the Bishop Paiute Reservation sewer system and was reported by the Bishop Paiute Tribe Environmental Office the evening of March 24, 2016. The release traveled approximately 1500 feet across tribal land before entering the South Fork of Bishop Creek, at a point near the northeastern exterior boundary of the Reservation. The Tribe and local agencies are working together to obtain more information regarding the duration and magnitude of the release and to conduct any follow up stream monitoring and any remediation deemed necessary.

Preliminary information received suggests that bacterial levels in the creek are, at this time, not higher than levels typically found in Bishop Creek during the summers, however, people, and their pets, are advised to refrain from any body contact activities in Bishop Creek at this time until more information is obtained. This advisory applies to the South Fork of Bishop Creek from the See Vee Lane area and downstream, to the east. Areas of Bishop Creek upstream of this area should not be impacted.

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46th All-Indian Basketball Tournament this weekend

Bishop Indian Sports Club Hosting Annual Tournament

submitted by Jo Barlow
February 11, 2016

The Bishop Indian Sports Club will be holding the 46th Annual All-Indian Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament and Queen contest this weekend, February 12-14. The tournament will kick off Friday night at the BUHS Gus Klekus Gym at with the Queen Coronation at 7pm.  Following the coronation there will be a men’s game at 7:30 and a women’s game to follow. Games will start again at 8am Saturday morning, with games being played at the Barlow and High School gyms all day Saturday until 9pm.

The tournament will go thru Sunday evening with the Championship games being held at the BUHS gym at 5pm and 6pm. A total of 16 Men’s and 10 Women’s teams will be participating in this year’s tournament, with teams traveling from Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Kansas, New Mexico and Northern and Southern California.

Teams are playing for the Championship prize of $3,500 in the men’s division and $1,200 in the women’s division. Everyone is invited to come out and watch some competitive and exciting basketball games. Admission is $5 for adults $3 for children and seniors. The tournament is sponsored by the Bishop Indian Sports Club, Bishop Paiute Tribe and the Paiute Palace Casino.

The Bishop Indian Sports Club is also looking for volunteers to assist with score-keeping, the clock, and clean-up. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. For more information you can contact Jo Barlow at 760-920-2035.

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Bishop Tribal Council moving forward with Casino expansion plans

Bishop Tribal Council issues statement on Court ruling

Bishop Paiute Tribal Council Statement on lntertribal Court of Southern California Court of Appeals Decision

In response to a Nov. 2 decision by the lntertribal Court of Southern California Court of Appeals regarding land assignments, the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council has announced it will ask for a rehearing on the case. Meanwhile, the Tribe will move forward with its plans to expand the Paiute Palace Casino.

“The court’s opinion affirms that the power to determine land assignments rests with the governing bodies, the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council and the Owens Valley Board of Trustees, and that’s where it stands,” said Chairman Gerald Howard.

‘The lntertribal Court doesn’t have the authority to tell the Bishop Paiute Tribe how to assign land. That’s the sovereign right of our Tribe,” Howard said. “The court was not asked to decide on that matter; it was a trespass case where the Bishop Tribal Court has jurisdiction. We believe the Nov 2nd opinion contains erroneous information that creates confusion, so we want to ensure our side of the case is fairly heard.”

However, from a legal standpoint, the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council is not bound by the decision of the Appeals Court, according to the Tribe’s attorneys . The power of land use and occupancy firmly rests with the Tribe’s governing bodies.

Under the Council’s leadership, the Tribe is moving forward with its plans to expand the Paiute Palace Casino, with or without the land parcels in question. Council members say they’ve received widespread support from tribal members who need the 150 jobs the project will bring in construction and casino employment.

“The Tribal Council has made every effort to reach out to the family involved in order to resolve this matter,” Howard said.  “There have been numerous meetings over the years, and almost every member of this family has received a grant of land assignment. In many cases, members of this family have assignments for parcels of land much larger than what most of our tribal members receive. Because of our limited land base, many of our tribal members are on a waiting list to receive a land parcel to build their homes. Tribal Council has been more than fair in dealing with this family and we are committed to providing more economic opportunities to our tribal membership and the surrounding community, and we are not going to allow a few disgruntled members detrimentally impact our Tribe’s economic development efforts.”

The proposed phased expansion will include a hotel and restaurant, an expanded casino floor, and conference/meeting space. The project is being developed under the Bishop Paiute Development Corporation.

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Bishop Tribal Election Results

Deston Rogers and William Vega win

Five candidates were vying for two positions on the Bishop Paiute Tribal council Tuesday.  The top five candidates from June’s primary election advanced to Tuesdays general election, Deston Rogers, William Vega, Kristopher Hohag (Incumbent), James V. Hess, and Deborah Vega.  Deston Rogers was the top vote getter pulling in 226 votes.  William Vega will join Rogers on the tribal council securing 210 votes.  Incumbent Kristopher Hohag was denied a second term on the council finishing fourth.

Vote Totals.
1. Deston Rogers, 226.
2. William Vega, 210.
3. James V. Hess, 178.
4. Kristopher Hohag, 177.
5. Deborah Vega, 105.

A total of 477 votes were cast Tuesday compared to 458 during the primary election.

cover photo by Gary Young

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