Archive - News Article
January 11th, 2011
A travesty of justice?
The California Third Appellate District Court sure didnâ€™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 wasnâ€™t even close.
Thus ends the litigation in a dispute that began in 1997. Now begin the myriad questions facing the town and what itâ€™s going to do about them.
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.
Coso Operating Company has completed its first year of pumping water from its Hay Ranch site to its geothermal power plant, and itâ€™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.
Former Mammoth Lakes Police Department Sergeant Eric Hugelman won a decisive judgment against the Town last week.
Hearing Officer Roberto Morales ruled that Hugelmanâ€™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 nightâ€™s regular meeting, but no decision came out of the session.
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 â€śOne Nationâ€ť theme.
According to Romero, RFD-TV â€śoriginally had a vision of having a representative for each of the 552 tribes in the U.S., but I guess they didnâ€™t get too much of a response, and ended up bringing the list down to 40.â€ť
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.
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.
Keeping with the City of Bishopâ€™s motto, â€ś100 Years of Service,â€ť 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 cityâ€™s administration, while recognizing room for growth and meeting generational expectations.
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.
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.