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March 21st, 2011

Residents invited to help in Big Pine relief effort

March 21, 2011

Just days after the Center Fire in Big Pine destroyed 19 homes, the community and local service agencies are stepping up to provide aid to those displaced. Preliminary estimates put the damage caused by the blaze at more than $4.5 million.
There are also reports of the amazing community tenor of the tiny town.
“It’s worth emphasizing the supportive community spirit,” said Mary Chasin, Red Cross supervisor of Health Services for the Los Angeles region. “It’s never easy after a disaster but this community is very resilient.”

Fire destroys 19 homes in Big Pine

March 21, 2011

While many residents were able to return to their homes in Big Pine Saturday morning, the homecoming was bittersweet as some found they had no homes to return to, their residences and worldly possessions destroyed during the night by the 800-acre Center Fire.
A total of 19 homes were destroyed in the fire, which broke out at about 3:30 p.m. Friday near the Bernasconi Center west of town. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Preliminary estimates put the cost of damages from the fire at $4.5 million.

March 18th

Fire prompts evacuations in Big Pine

March 18, 2011

A fire that broke out west of Big Pine prompted wide-spread mandatory evacuation orders Friday evening.
Details on the movement of the fire are scarce. The blaze was first reported shortly before 4 p.m. California Highway Patrol officers at the scene at about 5 p.m. reported that the Bernasconi Center had not been damaged, but a wood shed at Palisade Glacier High School had been burned.
By 6 p.m. Friday, U.S. 395 was closed from Bishop to Independence with reports of the fire threatening to jump County Road west of the highway.

March 17th

Nuclear disaster in Japan a threat to Eastern Sierra?

March 17, 2011

Increasing concern about Japan’s unfolding nuclear disaster has reached the Eastern Sierra.
However, concerns about potential impacts from a nuclear meltdown 5,000 miles away are, at least for the time being, unwarranted.
While the situation in Japan is constantly changing, Inyo-Mono Public Health Officer Dr. Rick Johnson, said that there is still no threat to those living in Inyo or Mono counties. Johnson is offering advice on what local citizens can do as well as putting the situation into perspective.

Local land trust earns national recognition

March 17, 2011

Ten years after its formation, Eastern Sierra Land Trust is celebrating both its birthday and national accreditation.
With a seal of approval from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, Eastern Sierra Land Trust hopes it can gain more credibility with grant providers and potential land owners and members.

March 15th

New forest boss selected

March 15, 2011

The third time appears to be the charm for Inyo National Forest, which announced last week that Ed Armenta of Arizona is slated to become its next head honcho.
Armenta, currently the district ranger of the Payson District of the Tonto National Forest, will be the third Forest Service employee to step into the forest supervisor post vacated by Jim Upchurch in September 2010.
Upchurch transferred to Coronado National Forest and two temporary replacements had filled the position until a permanent replacement – Armenta – could be named.

Eastern Sierra tradition returns for 44th year

March 15, 2011

With the Southern Inyo Early Opener Trout Derby in the books, anglers’ attention has now turned to the Eastern Sierra’s other major pre-season fishing tradition: The Blake Jones Trout Derby.
Named for a beloved longtime local resident and angling promoter, the annual derby returns this Saturday to Pleasant Valley Reservoir, where the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau gives fishermen yet another chance to compete for cash, prizes and bragging rights – or simply gather the family to cast a line in prime Eastern Sierra waters – well in advance of the regular fishing season.

March 11th

County trying to dig up input on dump deficit options

March 11, 2011

Inyo County Integrated Waste is facing a half-million dollar operating deficit this year and is looking for residents to help decide how to solve the budget shortfall.
During an almost empty public meeting in Lone Pine on Wednesday, Jeff Ahlstrom, managing landfill engineer, laid out six plans that would close the projected $592,874 gap. Those plans include three basic strategies to save on costs and generate more revenue, ranging from fee hikes to layoffs to reductions in services.

Suspected bank robber nabbed outside of Bishop

March 11, 2011

A routine traffic stop outside of Bishop earlier this week led to the arrest of a suspected bank robber wanted by the FBI.
According to California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Dennis Cleland, Charles R. Leighton was arrested Thursday night after being identified as the suspect in a Nevada bank robbery.
Cleland said a CHP officer initiated a stop on the 43-year-old for “a mechanical violation” at about noon Thursday on U.S. 395 near Pine Creek.

New art center gives Tribal youth a place to ‘stand up’ for their future

March 11, 2011

The Bishop Paiute Reservation has a new place for all youths, teens and young adults to “wünüt” or “stand up” – be creative, constructive and learn skills they will take with them for the rest for their lives.
The WünüT Novi Youth Media Arts and Infoshop was born out of the loss of young people to violence and drugs and alcohol. Still in its infancy, the program is seeking more volunteers and donations that will allow the center to stay open longer and offer more to the community.

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