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January 11th, 2011

Town of Mammoth lands in hot water with loss of Hot Creek appeal

January 11, 2011

A travesty of justice?
The California Third Appellate District Court sure didn’t think so.
The three-member panel unanimously upheld a $30 million judgment against the Town of Mammoth Lakes in the Hot Creek Aviation litigation.
It wasn’t even close.
Thus ends the litigation in a dispute that began in 1997. Now begin the myriad questions facing the town and what it’s going to do about them.

Third Annual Community Reads kicks off Thursday

January 11, 2011

The first year centered around Manzanar and Japanese-American internees, in 2010 it was all about Jill Kinmont Booth and this year the focus will be Native Americans. These have been the various topics of discussion that accompany the annual Community Reads event in Inyo County.

January 10th

Coso completes first year of Hay Ranch pumping

January 10, 2011

Coso Operating Company has completed its first year of pumping water from its Hay Ranch site to its geothermal power plant, and it’s time to check the numbers.
Coso started pumping 1,860 gallons per minute of water on Dec. 25, 2009 and as part of the Conditional Use Permit allowing it to do so, the project has to be monitored, recalibrated and potentially changed due to any harmful environmental impacts. The CUP issued by Inyo County stated that the project would have to be evaluated and recalibrated prior to the one-year benchmark before further pumping would be allowed.

Hugelman wins case against Town of Mammoth Lakes

January 10, 2011

Former Mammoth Lakes Police Department Sergeant Eric Hugelman won a decisive judgment against the Town last week.
Hearing Officer Roberto Morales ruled that Hugelman’s termination a year-and-a-half ago was unjustified and ruled that he should be reinstated.
Morales ruled that Hugelman should have been suspended for three weeks, at most.
Now the question is whether Hugelman will, in fact, rejoin the force and how much back pay he is entitled to.
The Town Council took up the matter in closed session after Wednesday night’s regular meeting, but no decision came out of the session.

Local Native dancers take fancy footwork, culture to Rose Parade

January 10, 2011

Seven Owens Valley residents made the trip down to Pasadena last week to participate in the 122nd Annual Tournament of Roses Parade.
Led by Sage Romero, the Aka-Mya dance group was featured in the RFD-TV parade entry with a “One Nation” theme.
According to Romero, RFD-TV “originally had a vision of having a representative for each of the 552 tribes in the U.S., but I guess they didn’t get too much of a response, and ended up bringing the list down to 40.”

January 6th

Health benefit costs rise for non-union county employees

January 6, 2011

Beginning this week, county department heads and employees who are not represented by unions or special associations will begin paying part of their own health insurance.
The change is a move on the part of county leaders hoping to save money during challenging fiscal times by having about 70 employees pick up the difference of increased insurance costs.
Traditionally, Inyo County has paid the monthly cost of insurance for its employees.

Flood damage in Southeast Inyo still being assessed

January 6, 2011

There was an island in the desert over the Christmas holiday weekend, but it was no mirage and no paradise. The small hamlet of Tecopa in remote southeast Inyo County was cut off from the rest of the world when, on Dec. 22, floods took over the three paved arteries that are the only means in or out of the town.

January 4th

City’s newest leader keeping close eye on budget in 2011

January 4, 2011

Keeping with the City of Bishop’s motto, “100 Years of Service,” new City Administrator Jim Southworth said he plans on making sure those services, such as public safety and infrastructure improvements, are still available through the dark financial days that lie ahead.
Southworth, who has more than 30 years of administration under his belt, said in a recent interview that he will try and maintain the economically conservative nature of the city’s administration, while recognizing room for growth and meeting generational expectations.

Arson suspect wins appeal of court order

January 4, 2011

Self-confessed Schulman Grove Visitors Center arsonist John Thomas Christiana is preparing to serve as his own counsel in Inyo County Superior Court.
Christiana recently appealed court orders that he is incompetent to stand trial and that he be subject to involuntarily administration of anti-psychotic medication. On Dec. 10, the court rejected the first contention but reversed the order authorizing the medication. There is no word of when Christiana will be standing trial.

Grant to help fund new project at Manzanar

January 4, 2011

Manzanar National Historic Site is preparing to open a new interpretive exhibit and to conduct more interviews with former internees, camp staff and local residents.
Paying for the new features at the historic site is the Friends of Manzanar, which recently received $58,833 in grant money from the National Park Service.
According to Manzanar Chief of Interpretation Alisa Lynch, staff will utilize the grant money to review archives and find information to put on display at the newly refurbished mess hall.

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