Press Release from Mammoth Lakes Tourism
Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (July 13, 2020) —On June 26, 2020, after 14 weeks of operation, Mammoth Lakes Tourism wrapped up its community food bank amid the reopening of many business segments in town.In total the food bank served 10,312 households containing 37,054 persons with 25,000 bags of food during its time of operation.
Additionally, 196 volunteers gave their time at the food bank, donating nearly 3,500 hours to keep things running smoothly.
“It was so gratifying to see how the community pulled together to help each other,” said MLT Board Treasurer Rhonda Duggan. “With so much uncertainty about how COVID-19 would impact our residents and visitors, relieving the stress of how to feed our families seemed like the right thing to do. It started as a two-week commitment and grew into 14 weeks, through rain, snow, wind, and finally sunshine. Through all that time, the donations from locals, businesses, second homeowners, friends, and strangers kept coming.”
The food bank initiative began when the Mammoth Lakes Tourism Board of Directors decided it wanted to do something to support the local tourism industry as things were shutting down in town due to coronavirus. The organization wanted to make sure it helped keep tourism workers taken care of so they could remain in town. The food bank opened on March 23.
“When our MLT board looked at how we could best serve our business community, the food bank was almost instantly the best option,” said MLT Executive Director John Urdi. “In order for our workforce to survive, food would be a critical resource that would be difficult for many to afford. Within days we were able to formulate a plan, US Foods stepped up to provide food at cost, Paul and Kathleen Rudder offered what turned out to be the perfect location in the Promenade at Main Street, the volunteers immediately signed up to help, and cash donations from around the state poured in to assist our efforts to help sustain our workforce. To say the effort was well received by our community is an understatement.”
A huge thanks goes out to everyone involved in the food bank whether through donation, volunteer time, support, and everything else.
MONO COUNTY, CA, June 03, 2020 – Late yesterday, Mono County Board of Supervisors Chair Stacy Corless announced the appointment of Bob Lawton as County Administrative Officer. The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to appoint Mr. Lawton during closed session at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Mr. Lawton has served as Acting County Administrative Officer since April 07, 2020.
“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I’d like to thank Bob for his steadfast leadership in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and congratulate him on this appointment,” said Chair Corless. “Bob’s deep knowledge of California county governance will guide us as we continue to serve our communities, and to maintain Mono County’s critical operations as we continue to meet the challenges in front of us.”
Mr. Lawton has more than 20 years of local government experience, including previous service as County Administrative Officer in Calaveras County, Assistant County Administrative Officer for Sonoma County (Extra Hire), Deputy County Administrator for Solano County, and City Manager of Turlock, California. Mr. Lawton was appointed Assistant CAO for Mono County following a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors on February 18, 2020, and subsequently appointed Acting County Administrative Officer in April.
In addition to his role as County Administrative Officer, Mr. Lawton will continue to represent the County’s interest as a Unified Commander within the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) response.
CDFW Letter About Fishing Season:
On April 15, 2020 the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) adopted emergency regulations, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 8.02, providing the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) the ability to delay, suspend, or restrict sport or recreational fishing for particular species or areas to ensure that anglers, local communities, and government employees are protected from increased risk of transmission of COVID-19. This ability is conditioned on coordination with local government and Tribes, and consultation with the President of the Commission.
After direct conversations with county leadership, the Department acted to delay the trout fishing opener scheduled to start on April 25, 2020, in Mono County. Also after county coordination, in an effort to protect wild trout fisheries and stocked fisheries that remained open in Mono County, the Department reduced bag and possession limits in a few, limited streams. These changes went into effect April 22, 2020, and are set to expire May 31, 2020.
On May 21, 2020, the Department received a letter from the Mono County Board of Supervisors requesting that the opening day of fishing season be moved from June 1, 2020 to May 22, 2020 as the county received approval from the California Department of Public Health to move into the Governor’s Phase Two, Stage Two Resilience Roadmap. In response to this request, I am revising the May 31, 2020 end date for the current fishing restrictions in Mono County. Because the county’s letter was received near close of business on May 21, and the Department required one additional day for consultation and processing this request, both the delay and the previously adopted bag and possession limit changes will now expire on May 22, 2020 to allow for a May 23, 2020 open to fishing.
Attached to this memorandum is a comprehensive summary of the changes to sportfishing regulations that remain in effect through May 31, 2020, (Attachment 1) and the formal regulation changes (Attachment 2).
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact Roger Bloom, Acting Chief, Fisheries Branch at Roger.Bloom@wildlife.ca.gov.
Bridgeport, CA., April 29, 2020 –The Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area (BWRA) on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Bridgeport Ranger District is officially closed for the season. This closure will remain in effect until the 2020-2021 winter season when the snow depth exceeds the minimum requirement of 24 inches, and a Forest Order is signed and posted as open for snowmobile use.
The Forest closure of the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area to motorized travel occurs every year at the end of April regardless of snow cover. The intent of this action is to reduce user conflicts as snow melts and the California State Route 108 corridor nears opening.
Snowmobiling is currently still permitted on the north side of State Route 108 in non-wilderness areas of the Forest. United States Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center and Forest Service personnel may be present in the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area for administrative use and law enforcement patrols.
If you have questions please contact Adrianne Thatcher, Bridgeport Ranger District’s Recreation Staff Officer, at 760-932-5812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DECISION TO NOT SEEK DEATH PENALTY IN PEOPLE V. CORREA-VASQUEZ
Part of the District Attorney’s responsibility in a murder case is to make the decision whether to seek or not seek the Death Penalty. To assist in that decision, the District Attorney convenes a death review panel and conducts a Penalty Phase Investigation. The victim, Jose Omar Hernandez Sanchez, was brutally gunned down in the early morning hours of October 9, 2016, by the defendant Josue Adalberto Corea-Vasquez. The defendant was charged with murder with special circumstances of lying in wait which makes the crime eligible for the death penalty. The Death Penalty Investigation comprises of input from the victim’s family and friends, input from the defendant’s family and friends, consideration of the facts of the crime, background investigation into the defendant, ties to gangs, prior crimes, reputation and involvement in the community, and the overall purpose in seeking justice.
Since 1778, capital punishment has been a legal penalty in California. In 1972 the Supreme Court struck down the capital punishment statute however, within a few months, Proposition 17, was passed by the voters which once again legalized the death penalty. In 2012 and 2016, California again, rejected two initiatives to repeal the death penalty by popular vote. As of March 2019, current Governor Gavin Newsom put a moratorium on any further executions even though the law found favor with the California voters. Since 1972 only 13 executions have taken place with the last one in 2006. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records show 744 inmates currently on California’s death row.
Regardless of California’s history regarding the death penalty, as long as capital punishment remains as a lawful sentence, it is my legal obligation to thoroughly and thoughtfully consider all the information and facts in a very deliberate manner and decide whether the death penalty is an appropriate sentence to be applied in a case.
After receiving input from the Death Review Panel, meetings with the victim’s family and evidence gathered through the Death Penalty Investigation, as well as evidence provided by the defendant’s family, the office will not be seeking death as a sentence and instead will seek the maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole. In balancing the crime with the information that was gathered, sentencing to life in prison outweighed death. Discussion with victim’s family was critical to this decision and although the murder of the victim will never be understood, showing compassion and not moving forward with a lengthy process will allow the family to heal and move forward.
The Mono County Health Department will host community meetings about the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in several communities over the next few weeks. The purpose of these meetings is to provide community members with locally relevant information about the situation and to promote discussion. We will answer questions and hope to hear and understand community concerns.
We have no evidence at this time that COVID-19 is present in the Eastern Sierra and feel that the risk of public gatherings like this is low and outweighed by the potential benefits of keeping people informed. We are of course watching the situation closely and if we determine that there could be some risk from these community gatherings we may opt for other modes of communication.
Spanish language interpretation will be available at the Bridgeport and Mammoth meetings.
Wednesday March 11, 2020 @ Mammoth High School Cafeteria 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Wednesday March 18, 2020 @ Walker Senior Center 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Wednesday March 18, 2020 @ Memorial Hall in Bridgeport 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Thursday March 19, 2020 @ the Benton Community Center 5:30pm – 6:30pm
El Departamento de Salud del Condado de Mono organizará reuniones comunitarias sobre la epidemia de coronavirus (COVID-19) en varias comunidades durante las próximas semanas. El propósito de estas reuniones es proporcionar a los miembros de la comunidad información relevante a nivel local sobre la situación y promover el debate. Responderemos preguntas y esperamos escuchar y comprender las preocupaciones de la comunidad.
No tenemos evidencia en este momento de que COVID-19 esté presente en el Eastern Sierra y creemos que el riesgo de reuniones públicas como esta es bajo y los beneficios potenciales de mantener informadas a las personas son mayores del riesgo. Por supuesto, estamos observando la situación de cerca y si determinamos que podría haber algún riesgo en estas reuniones comunitarias, podemos optar por otros modos de comunicación.
Habrá interpretación en español en las reuniones de Bridgeport y Mammoth.
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.
BISHOP, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office has issued seasonal fire restrictions for BLM-managed public lands in the Eastern Sierra effective Monday, July 1, due to increased wildland fire danger in the region. The restrictions will remain in effect until November 1, or until wildland fire conditions on public lands in the region improve.
Fire officials estimate that nearly 90 percent of wildland fires affecting BLM-managed public lands in California during the last decade have been human caused. Individuals who spark wildfires, intentionally or unintentionally, may be held responsible for fire suppression and property damage costs. Officials encourage the public to be extremely careful when recreating outdoors, to carry a shovel and water at all times, and to check weather forecasts and fire danger conditions before leaving home.
The following restrictions will remain in place until the risk of wildland fire in the Eastern Sierra subsides:
- No campfires, charcoal or wood barbeques, or similar open flame fires, except within a designated campsite with a fire ring or fire pit specifically provided for such use in the following developed campgrounds: Tuttle Creek Campground, Goodale Creek Campground, Horton Creek Campground, Crowley Lake Campground and Pleasant Valley Pit Campground. Portable stoves burning gas, jelled petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed outside of developed campgrounds when used in accordance with a valid California Campfire Permit, available free at all BLM, Forest Service and Cal Fire offices or at www.preventwildfireca.org/Permits.
- No tools powered by internal combustion engines off established roads, trails or parking areas (such as chainsaws or lawn mowers).
- No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or within the developed campgrounds listed above, or while stopped within an area at least five feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
- No motorized vehicles off established roads, trails or parking areas.
- Target shooters may not use incendiary, exploding, tracer, steel core or armor piercing ammunition. Shooting at steel or exploding targets that could emit sparks is not allowed. Target shooters must have a shovel or fire extinguisher on hand. Hunters may use steel shot and other non-lead ammunition as required by California State Law.
- No fireworks, including “safe and sane” fireworks.
- No welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame, except by special permit.
- No use of explosives, except by special permit.
BLM-managed public lands subject to these fire restrictions extend from the southern Owens Valley in Inyo County, north to Topaz Lake and the Nevada border in Mono County. These fire restrictions also apply to popular BLM-managed recreational areas in the region including the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, Inyo Mountains Wilderness, Volcanic Tableland, Long Valley, Adobe Valley, Mono Basin, Bodie Hills and Slinkard Valley. BLM seasonal fire restrictions for the Eastern Sierra Region are being implemented in close coordination with Cal Fire (https://www.facebook.com/1663811310523258/posts/2419842918253423?sfns=mo).
The BLM is committed to keeping public landscapes healthy and productive by working closely with cooperating agencies, neighboring communities, and public land visitors to prevent wildland fires. To learn how you can do your part to prevent wildland fires visit www.readyforwildfire.org. A listing of fire restrictions throughout BLM California is available at https://go.usa.gov/xmUEG. For specific questions, please contact the Bishop Field Office at 760-872-5000.
Inyo County Agricultural Commissioner Nate Reade announced that the county will again be accepting applications to operate cannabis businesses within the unincorporated portions of Inyo County beginning on June 10, 2019. The license application window will remain open to potential business owners at least until August 9, 2019. Once the application window closes, scoring of applications will occur with a final determination made by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors at a public meeting. Application fees will remain $2,711.89. License fees, which will be charged if an applicant is successful, are set at $8,850.00. A list of available license types by licensing zone is posted on the both the Inyo County and Inyo County Agricultural Commissioner’s websites.
The business license is one component necessary for a cannabis business to be legal in Inyo County, the other being a conditional use permit for the property where the business activities will occur. Interested individuals can find more information at the Inyo County website, www.inyocounty.us, or at the Inyo/Mono Counties Agricultural Commissioner’s site at www.inyomonoagriculture.com
Graduation season is here in the Eastern Sierra and West and South Central Nevada. With all of the schools saying goodbye to the class of 2019, parents can be proud of the numbers.
Bishop Union High School will be seeing 122 students receiving diplomas, with no seniors ineligible to walk. The valedictorian of of Bishop High School will be Ariana Pope, who is scheduled to study at the University of Nevada, Reno.
As for south of KIBS/KBOV studios, Big Pine High School will see their class of five seniors walk, with the top student of the class, Cassandra Meza also attending University of Nevada, Reno.
Owens Valley School will have their two seniors walk on June 6th, with Steven Mather being crowned as Valedictorian.
Lone Pine have sixteen seniors slated to graduate depending on how finals go, with the valedictorian still undecided.
Up north in Mono County, Lee Vining will see six graduates walk with two co-valedictorians. The two girls atop the class are Caelen McQuilkin, and Sophia McKee.
Mammoth High School will see ninety-nine seniors graduate, which is one of their largest classes ever. The valedictorian is Guy Laborde.
Over in Tonopah, Nevada, the senior class has already graduated. Thirty-eight students walked with no seniors ineligible to receive their diplomas. The valedictorian for Tonopah High School is Delaney Friel. Currently, she is undecided as to where she will attend college.
Lastly, Round Mountain High School had thirteen graduates walk last week.
Congratulations to the class of 2019!
On May 16, 2019, Mono County District Attorney Investigators,with the assistance of Mammoth Lakes Police Department,arrested Jorge Romero Espitia for 19 felony charges, including alleged sexual acts with minors and providing methamphetamine to minors. He is currently in custody with bail set at $500,000.
There is reason to believe there may be other victims. If you or someone you know has information concerning Mr. Espitia and potential sexual acts with minors or furnishing illegal drugs to minors please contact Mono County District Attorney Chief Investigator Chris Callinan directly at 760-858-2127.
You may also walk in during normal business hours to the Mammoth Lakes branch of the District Attorney’s office located in the Sierra Center Mall at 452 Old Mammoth Road.