Archive - News Article
January 11th, 2011
Following a 30-year career in city government, serving as administrator for the City of Bishop, Rick Pucci stepped into a new, although not unfamiliar role last week.
Retired from his post at the local municipality and having successfully won a bid for Third District Inyo County Supervisor in June, Pucci took his seat on Jan. 4 at the dais alongside other members of the Board of Supervisors.
A travesty of justice?
The California Third Appellate District Court sure didnât 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 wasnât even close.
Thus ends the litigation in a dispute that began in 1997. Now begin the myriad questions facing the town and what itâs 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 itâs 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 Hugelmanâs 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 nightâs 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 âOne Nationâ theme.
According to Romero, RFD-TV âoriginally had a vision of having a representative for each of the 552 tribes in the U.S., but I guess they didnât get too much of a response, and ended up bringing the list down to 40.â
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 Bishopâs motto, â100 Years of Service,â 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 cityâs 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.