Olancha-area man hits cyberspace to oppose Caltrans

sierraeastAn Olancha area property owner has taken cyberspace action to oppose Caltrans’ plans to build a bypass around that area.  Scott Palamar objected strongly to the Caltrans plan to blend two alternatives with no public discussion.  Now, he has created a website for the purpose of fighting the Highway 395 bypass.

Palamar has said that he objects to the way Caltrans has handled the public process.  Caltrans Director Tom Hallenbeck had pointed to the rules that Caltrans does have the option of combining alternatives that have already gone public.

Palamar and many other residents say the bypass will kill off the small numbers of existing businesses.  Palamar’s website, www.sierraeast.org, says that instead of widening the current highway, Caltrans intends to “carve a new maximum width highway through wild public land, completely bypassing the community of Olancha and costing many millions more of federal and California taxpayer’s money.”

Palamar also posted an online petition to object to Caltrans plans: http://www.change.org/petitions/support-the-eastern-sierra-stop-caltrans.  Signing the petition automatically triggers emails to Caltrans, The California Transportation Commission, The Governor, our Federal and State elected representatives, and Supervisor Cervantes.  Palamar also commented that he sees that  Caltrans out of Anaheim has spent “all kinds of time checking out my websites.”

Caltrans District 9 is currently working on a final environmental document on the bypass plan.


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79 Responses to Olancha-area man hits cyberspace to oppose Caltrans

  1. Steve Reese April 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Scott Palamar you do not represent Olancha, you were never voted in to represent Olancha. You don not speak for me.

    I for one do not want 1,800 cars and trucks running right down the middle of town per hour. 99% of the those cars and trucks do not want to stop or slow down. It is flawed thinking to say if we keep the bottle neck they will be forced to stop and spend money.

    On the other hand if the bypass is in place only the ones that wanted to stop would. And they will have a nice quiet drive down a two lane road to the small numbers of existing businesses.

    Also this widening plan for Hwy 395 was started in 1955, so it has had lots of delays along the way. On average over the last ten years 2 people die per year in the Olancha area of Hwy 395. The currant plan has a start date of 2016, so we can expect to have 8 more people die by then. So how long do we put it off.

    • scott palamar April 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      Please get informed before making gross assumptions, and diminishing what 75% of Cartago and Olancha residents want, what the County of Inyo wants, what any disgruntled taxpayer would want, and what is best for the flora and fauna that cannot speak for themselves.

      Regarding saved lives, it is already demonstrated that ANY highway widening will reduce accidents. The worst accidents in the area occur where four lanes meet two lanes, which will be cured equally well by simply widening the current highway alignment.

      A bypass will not retire ‘old’ 395; It will remain a busy road for the 24-hour truck traffic in and out of Crystal Geyser, etc. So assuming you live in Olancha west of the current I-395, you will be sandwiched between two highways, with multiplied noise and risk to humans and animals.

      A bypass will not improve life for anyone or anything, and will add a mile of length to I-395, resulting in more carbon emissions and no time savings.

      It just doesn’t add up.

      • Big AL April 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

        Scott you need to be more informed .. and most of all stop spreading lies and try the truth for a change.

        The truck traffic from the bottling plan will not be that significant, yes there will be a fair amount of trucks coming and going. but it will be no where near the amount that travels the highway on any given day.

        Your idea of a widened road through town, will not alleviate any possible traffic collisions and deaths and or injuries. The two way undivided movement of traffic through the town will still create hazards of collisions.
        Collisions of the sort that have caused deaths and injuries in this section of highway as in other areas of two lane and even four lane undivided roadways. Head on collisions from drivers making bad passes, from driver fatigue and inattentiveness, collisions from bad turning movements.

        And I don’t get where you add a mile of length to the existing alignment, where did you pull that out of?

        • scott palamar April 25, 2012 at 10:19 am #

          Please cease slandering me. I don’t know who you are or where you live, but it is you who needs to be informed.

          Ask Supervisor Fortney (www.inyocounty.us/representatives.htm) about the accident data on 395 in the Cartago/Olancha area or attend a Local Transportation Commission and ask them (www.inyoltc.org/) or for that matter, ask Caltrans.

          The extra mile of length came directly from the Caltrans project manager Cedrik Zemitis and I quote “The preferred alternative is about 1 mile longer than the current alignment.” Ask him yourself: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist9/projects/olancha/contact.html.

      • RoadRage April 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        Mr Palamar,
        Is it best for the flora and fauna for you to develop the parcels you own?

        How about increased Carbon emissions?

        As far as time savings, the difference between 55mph and 75mph is a significant chunk of time.

        • SandyS April 22, 2018 at 3:01 pm #

          What on earth makes you think the speed limit would be 75?? And, driving across Interstate 40 you HAVE to slow down to 55 when coming up on ANY town no matter how large or small. If you want to get to Mammoth faster. take a jet to their airport!!!!

      • RoadRage April 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

        Lets see, I can run a mile in @ 10 minutes, I’m pretty slow.

    • jeffrey bohl April 25, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      One of the benefits of this blogging site is to be able to debate and get to the facts of the situation.

      .I really want to know why you favor the bypass going to the west? the bypass could have gone to the east..this would have had less environmental effects…throwing the road to the west in front of everyone’s view shed is environmentally not sound..there.is no reason..and as far as this road widening starting in 1955, that is laughable!!! maybe you were around then also waiting for the bypass…

      opinions like those of Mr Reese distort the facts of the situation…just another person who needs to show up when caltrans does eventually have a public review or has to respond to a huge lawsuit to account for the misuse of taxpayer money? maybe people like you should pay for the more expensive road for us..apparently state budgets do not matter to you as long as you get some benefit from it!! tell me what the benefit of the bypass to the west is? if we had to have the bypass why does it have to be to the west? explain that all you supporters of hallenbeck?/ most of which either work for caltrans or some company that will benefit from the building of the new highway there…

      • Sandra Smith February 1, 2018 at 10:51 am #

        Yes, the facts of Mr. Reese are distorted. He stated he lived at the top of Fall Road, That is the the road the state has chosen for the main route to get to the existing 395. They will be burdening a rural residential area with major traffic. NO BYPASS!!

    • Scott Ehrlich April 26, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Thanks Steve. I commute between San Diego and Mammoth & pass through Olancha all the time. 395 is a major transportation route with hundreds of thousands of cars & trucks passing annually. Widening the street won’t help. This degree of traffic requires a dedicated road — not a town street. What sane person would want all those trucks & cars passing through the middle of their town?

      The Town of Independence made a misinformed & unfortunate decision in pushing Caltrans to widen the main street rather than build a bypass. I’ve always liked the town of Independence but I’m less inclined to stop there since the street was widened. Who wants to stop & walk & shop while massive trucks & thousands of cars grind by.

      It’s unfortunate that a few property owners want to force hundreds of thousands of drivers per year to drive through the middle of a town. Honestly, I don’t stop in Olancha on my journeys. I would be MORE likely to stop if it was a quiet town.

      Looking at the big picture, it’s in the best interests of the State of California, drivers, truckers and Olancha residents to build a safe bypass.

      • Benett Kessler April 26, 2012 at 10:51 am #

        Dear Scott,

        The rest of the story, since I do live in Independence, is that we’ve been trying to save our towns for decades. There is zero growth here and so lots of decline. Those of us who do not own businesses in Independence supported the widening of the highway to help protect the businesses here. Sadly, it didn’t do much good. The decline has seriously set in, and who knows, maybe you’re right that a bypass would help.

        Just this morning LADWP demolished another building in Independence. They own all the land and buildings in and around our towns and have no desire to build us up or help us maintain businesses, services and a life.

        Benett Kessler

        • Rob April 26, 2012 at 11:39 am #

          What I see DWP doing now is every bit as devious as when they originally acquired all the land.

        • just the facts April 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

          During the Great Depression, small towns got hit the hardest. In a capitalistic system you simply must go to where the goods and services are.
          Independence must go to the larger Bishop. This is a hard, cold reality.
          The same for the Mono County seat Bridgeport. The population is shrinking and people must travel to Nevada for goods and services.
          But why the animosity for this reality?
          Why do people of Bridgeport have such a hatred for those in Mammoth?
          One reaps what one sows. Blaming others is not only foolish but a waste of time and totally divisive.

          • hisierragal April 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

            People in Bridgeport have a “hatred for those in Mammoth”? Have you seen some of the insulting remarks that have been made about the people in Bridgeport? No, I don’t live there but no, I would not be the slightest bit surprised if many in Bridgeport serve right back what has been served to them. As you said, one reaps what one sows.

          • Wayne Deja April 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

            just the facts……Maybe some of the reason for the hatred comes from how some people treat them up there,and talk about things….example….recent posts from someone,I think they went by “progressive”….and how he stated the south Mono people are smarter,and better educated…and “better’ people,as a whole,than ones are up in Bridgeport.I think they also refered to Mammoth people as more “well rounded” citizens than those in Bridgeport.Seems Mammoth people,they like lots of drama in their lives…lots of controversy….and doubt folks from Bridgeport feel that way….or like to be refered to as “uneducated hicks”.

  2. andrew April 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Good job Scott, all we need here in Olancha is to post a CHP officer @ Crystal Geyser, and one @ where the four lanes become two south of town, that would slow these speeding double line crossers down.

    • Big AL April 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

      LOL … that’s funny

  3. Chris Crosby April 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    The bypass is the obvious long term solution. The status quo is dangerous, and outdated.

    Widening the highway will be a mess, and possibly cause the loss of the row of Cottonwood trees, one of the towns best features.

    • scott palamar April 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

      Cottonwood grow quickly and could be replanted well in advance of any loss to the current stand. An UNDIVIDED highway through Olancha would minimize the impact, which is what the most people of Olancha want.

      • Eastern Sierra local April 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

        “Most people of Olancha?” Earlier you said 75% of people in Olancha want a widened road….yet latest census statistics (2010) state that only 192 people live in Olancha so ~15 people want what you say they want, while surveys conducted over 4 years ago indicate the exact opposite.
        Considering that Olancha is not an incorporated town and you are a second home owner you are not the “mayor” of Olancha and don’t speak for the customers of 395, the people of California.

        • RoadRage April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

          Only 32 people from Olancha responded to the survey, that means 24 people are against the bypass. Again assuming half the residents of Olancha are adults able to respond this means only 25% of Olancha resident are against the bypass.

        • Sandra Smith February 1, 2018 at 11:00 am #

          Yes, EAS locals who do not live here in the Olancha Cartage please check your facts!! 32 people responded because they are probably the only people that received the actual survey. When they do bulk mailing in our area it is thought they can do “local” from Lone Pine PO for Olancha, this is WRONG. As local people have been finding out from neighbor to neighbor that some are getting notifications in the mail and others are not, WHY?? Perhaps EVERY town on 395 should have been bypassed to save time and the trouble from having to slow down in every town. They can all get to Mammoth faster!! Even on interstate 40 when coming up on towns and cities, the speed limit drops to at least 55mph. NO BYPASS!! widen the hwy please!!!

          • Charles O. Jones February 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm #

            I have no problem with slowing down though the OV towns on 395. Unlike other towns, Olancha has a speed limit of 55. I’m more interested in safety than I am saving a minute or two. Bypass, widen, divide, whatever it takes to make that section safer for all travelers. The current design is not good.

  4. Roy April 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    1,800 cars and trucks per hour, give me a break… I would be surprised if 1,800 vehicles drive thru Olancha in a entire 24 hour period…

    • scott palamar April 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      According to Caltrans, approximately 6,000 vehicles per day travel through Olancha on I-395.

      A 1-mile elongation of I-395 due to a bypass will add over 2-1/2 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year, due to vehicles burning at least 125,000 extra gallons of fuel.

      • Big AL April 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

        Good luck with that Scott

      • Eastern Sierra local April 25, 2012 at 9:25 am #

        As an air quality expert, I’d really like to see how you calculated that….did you use EMFAC?
        And what parameters did you utilize in your calculation method?
        Did you consult with FHWA regarding these figures?

    • Deb April 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      it is Monday, 2pm. I have a stop watch and am watching Hwy 395. I just counted 16 vehicles in one minute. Multiply that by 60 minutes and you have 960 vehicles in one hour. .
      I live in Olancha, I lived here in the 70’s on the Lacey Ranch and I have lived here, again, since 2003. I grew up in Lone Pine and graduated from LPUHS in the 60’s. I have seen the changes in traffic, first hand, in the last 50 years. I remember some of our local people dying on 395 in traffic accidents here. It isn’t just for people going from LA to Mammoth, it’s for all of us. I can see Hyw 395 from my windows now and I’ll see some of the new 4 lanes too, between me and the Sierra, when it is up and running. I am for the bypass.

  5. Big AL April 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    How do you figure it add over 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide? and a 125 extra gallons of fuel? Where did you pull that from .. out of thin air?

  6. Jenifer Castaneda April 25, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    Caltrans has widened the hwy “through” every other town so why not Olancha? There’s no question that we need a 4 lane hwy. The point is that widening in place costs far less, has significant less environmental impact, goes along with the County policy of “no bypass” and is what the majority of property owners in Olancha prefer.

    • Eastern Sierra local April 25, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      Costing “far less” is debatable…..when the State needs to hold continuous public meetings and fight continuous lawsuits from people like Mr. Palomar, the cost of a bypass versus in place actually equal each other.
      “Less environmental impact” also debatable due to the “human cost” of the environment. Business owners and property owners usually sue the State for their belief of “under-valued” property assessments….look at Independence where the former owner of the motel is still trying to sue Caltrans after 4 years.
      “Goes along with County policy”….that’s the County’s policy but not Caltrans’ or the BLM where the highway will be located.
      “The majority of property owners?” Mr. Palomar claims 75% favor it, but Olancha only has 192 residents…..so a “majority” isn’t seen in this situation….150 people doesn’t constitute a majority when 20,000 surveys were submitted in favor of the current alignment proposal.
      Again your arguments along with Mr. Palomar’s are flawed. Both have serious concerns of real estate issues in Olancha and the red-herrings don’t obscure your real motivation, “money.”

      • SandyS April 22, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

        It is Olancha Cartage combined and there definitely more than 192 people living here. When they go to bypass ALL of the towns north of us here in the Owens Valley you can bet some of us will be picketing in front of Cal Trans in Bishop saying “thank you, please bypass them all like you did us, and thank you for tearing everything up to the west of us”.

    • Wayne Deja April 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Jenifer….All due respect,since I know you, and you helped me out a lot 12 years ago with a job at your little store,but I think it would be different going through Olancha than going through the other little towns….the speed limit won’t be 25 MPH from Cartago through Olancha,like it is through Lone Pine and Big Pine and Independence….It will either remain 55 MPH or maybe increase to 65 MPH….which would mean 75+ for the Sou Calers going to Mammoth….a bit too fast to be going through a town.That is speaking from someone that has gone on accident clean-ups in that area.

  7. Eastern Sierra local April 25, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    What misguided information on Mr. Palomar’s part…..5 years ago Caltrans conducted a major survey of the majority users of the highway and the majority desire the alternative that was selected. An alignment through the center of Olancha will destroy the community altogether.
    Just because 75% of Olancha residents want something, with a population of 192 people, that only makes ~150 People! There were close to 25,000 survey submitted and 65% of them desired the alignment selected.
    Fortunately, Caltrans works on behalf of the PEOPLE of California and the U.S. not on behalf of 150 people in Olancha.

    • scott palamar April 25, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Link to this Caltrans document, scroll to page 11 and you will see that 64% of Inyo County survey takers do not want a bypass, nor do 48% of Californians.


      As I have said before, most drivers who have no concern for the 395 corridor except for its use as the road to Mammoth or truck route to Reno would vote for a highway that bypassed every town or speed limit possible. It is the impacted community’s opinion that needs to carry more weight.

      • RoadRage April 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

        Mr. Palamar:
        Statewide, 7062 people responded to the survey, not even a drop in the statistical bucket of the state of California. I don’t believe you can apply these numbers to all Californians.

        Countywide, 231 people responded to the survey. Assuming a county population of 17,000, this is about 1.4%. Even if you assume only 8,500 are adults able to respond, this is still only 2.7%, again, only a drop in the statistical bucket.

        What these numbers actually express is that most people don’t care enough to answer the survey, even in Inyo County. Since 395 is actually an interstate, it is not only the interests of the local population that matter.

        So, while I’m at it, why don’t you tell us the real reason why a bypass bugs you so much? I’m guessing it has something to do with your investment properties.

      • Eamon McNamara April 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

        And yet 84% of statewide respondents (7,000+) want a divided highway around Olancha. And 64% of Bishop residents do too.
        That doesn’t bode well for you subdivision that you’re building, does it?

  8. Tim April 25, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    Follow this link to see the traffic data for highway 395. Scroll down to review the data.


  9. Tim April 25, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Here is the Annual Average Daily Truck Traffic link.


  10. RoadRage April 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I notice Mr. Palamar’s website has no way to enter any dissenting comments. Either you support his position, or you don’t exist. I think he has 15 signatures now.

  11. RoadRage April 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Wow, I just visited Mr. Palamar’s website, it is sierraeast.com, not .org. Mr Palamar is a real estate developer who is trying to sell lots that will be located near the new Highway, so he’s not happy. I assume he could start some new businesses on that property, since he thinks people actually want to stop there.

    It really seems after looking at the website that Palamar’s interest and upsettedness over the issue is entirely self-serving.

    The only businesses left down there are The Ranch House, Gus’s Jerky, one gas station, am I missing something?

  12. Bob Loblaw April 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Holy Cow. The massive amount of outright lies, left out facts, and general misinformation found in just the three petition sites I looked at is nothing shy of amazing. They truly rival 1950’s propaganda films. Wow. Just Wow. I sincerely hope you didn’t write them all Mr. Palomar, because I certainly wouldn’t want to see my name on them.

    • scott palamar April 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Please cease slandering me. Why haven’t you named a single alleged lie, left out fact or general misinformation…afraid to be refuted? And you might attempt to be honest enough to use your real name, not some TV character’s.

      • Big AL April 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

        LOL Scott, you didn’t have any facts the first go around with the slanderous letter from Richard Cervantes, why would be believe you have any now, you are self serving in this, you don’t have the communities best interest in mind .. As a previous poster say’s, and I already knew … you have land adjacent to the new by pass, which you are trying to develop. Is that fact? Or fiction?

        here is one fact according to you.

        “As I have said before, most drivers who have no concern for the 395 corridor except for its use as the road to Mammoth or truck route to Reno would vote for a highway that bypassed every town or speed limit possible. It is the impacted community’s opinion that needs to carry more weight.”

        So you say that all drivers who use the highway would vote for a bypass of all towns .. including Olancha/Cartego. Why would the impacted community carry more weight? … over the majority of the highway users?

        • Big AL April 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

          So 52% of Californians vote for a by pass while “48% of Californians” vote against it? That’s what you stated in your posts .. basically.

          That is according to the quote I quoted above, and quote in a previous post of yours as well.

      • Bob Loblaw April 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

        Scott, let’s start with some quotes. These can be found here: http://forcechange.com/19371/stop-caltrans-destructive-efforts-in-the-eastern-sierra/

        “Not only would this bypass damage the environment, but also serve as to considerably hamstring local economies in the area of communities such as Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop which are reliant upon tourist revenue to stay alive.” It’s far beyond a stretch of the imagination to think that tourists routed around Olancha are going to refuse to stop in the rest of the OV towns (okay, maybe the spiteful ones whose kid just peed in the car). In fact, I would bet business in Lone Pine picks up a bit.

        “Communities that would be circumvented by this project such as Lone Pine, Independence, Big Pine, and Bishop are reliant upon tourism dollars to stay alive.” This would be an example of an outright lie. None of these other towns are being bypassed or circumvented.

        “This area is a pristine example of an endorheic alkali flat, which must not be allowed to be scarred by the existence of an unneeded bypass cutting through.” This here is an example of just general misinformation. The area the bypass is not going to go through an alkali flat. That area is basically alluvial in nature, and made of varying sizes of granite, from finer sand to large boulders. In fact, Olancha is far closer to the alkali flats to which you refer. And unless the definition of pristine has been changed to include old railroad beds, concrete aquaducts, and what appears to be some sort of mill or something, it’s hardly that.

        These are only a few examples, and they’re quite flagrant. That said, I did not once “slander” you. In fact, I simply pointed out that they were quite flawed, and that I wouldn’t want my name associated with such blatant mistruths.
        P.S. Bob Loblaw isn’t a TV character I’m aware of. It’s more of a clever (IMHO) play on words.

        • Eamon McNamara April 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

          “This area is a pristine example of an endorheic alkali flat, which must not be allowed to be scarred by the existence of an unneeded bypass cutting through.”

          Shouldn’t this also include the “Sierra East” housing development- a 70+ residential community proposed to be built utilizing precious groundwater reserves, desert tortoise, and ground squirrel habitat? Adding to the PM-10 emission of Southern Inyo County? With houses built from concrete and completely out of context with the “wilderness” and community cohesiveness of Olancha?

  13. scott palamar April 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Where do all of you Armchair Expert detractors with phony names come from? As far as I know, you all work/worked for Caltrans or are somehow beholden to them or their interests.

    The bottom line is that the Caltrans bypass plan is a bad thing for Inyo County. If you think I am a special interest then ask the Inyo County Board of Supervisors why they do not support a bypass?

    I am through even looking at the venom you people put out before you’ve bothered to do your homework, and I shall not further dig out the statistics or background for you.

    It seems the Highway to Hell is paved by Caltrans and now it wants the soul of Olancha…with a little help from the devil’s little helpers like Road Rage, Big Al, Bob Loblaw, Eamon McNamara.

    End of Line

    • Bob Loblaw April 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      Scott, I’m self employed. I have however, lost a good friend on that stretch of highway. It needs to be addressed, and I feel the best and safest way to address it is by bypassing it. Though it may have a negative impact on the town itself, I think the town is already well on its way to sharing the fate of Little Lake, or Cowan Station (AKA Dunmovin). It’s sad, but it happens. I’m sorry you feel folks are picking on you, but I think this option is best for the majority of drivers, and that who highways are built for.

    • RoadRage April 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Mr. Palamar:
      All work for Caltrans or beholden to their interests? Thats just plain silly. If I used my real name you wouldn’t know me anyway, I don’t live in Olancha, but I know people that do. Maybe I’ll just send you an email if you’re really concerned about my identity, after all you want people to send emails to your website so you can sell them some property.

      Who says we agree with the Board of Supervisors? Unfortunately, somehow they get elected, and then they do what THEY want, and don’t care about their constituents.

      As far as being “armchair experts” what are you an expert in? We don’t need you to “dig out statistics” that you choose to misinterpret anyway, to prey on those readers that won’t bother to find out for themselves.

      Highway to Hell and Devil’s little helpers? I believe the road to hell is paved by real estate developers like yourself masquerading as “concerned members of the community”. Those that know the least about science and the environment always make the loudest and most ridiculous claims.

      Like I said before, if you want to be taken seriously, tell us the real reason why you are so involved and concerned about this issue.

  14. JJ April 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Mr. Palmar, please go back to the flat lands where you came from. A simple google search of you shows that you like stirring up controversy with little meaning. Go join the peace corps and do something productive.

  15. Eamon McNamara April 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Fascinating, “sierraeast.com” owned and operated by a “Mr. Palomar” where it says right on the banner of the website “…..to profit from.”
    The maps even show 395 abutting the property!
    So Mr. Palomar isn’t driven by a concern for Olancha as he is by profit.

    • Benett Kessler April 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      I have to interject that concern for one’s personal well-being and profit is not a crime nor even a scandal unless it violates laws or ethics. Also, remember it’s tough for people who live along 395 to find themselves at the mercy of the opinions of southlanders who vacation here and bureaucrats who live here. Have a little understanding. Benett Kessler

      • Big AL April 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

        Benett .. I will voice my views and concerns here, I have seen how some have operated in the past in regard to this subject, and this go round is no different.
        I have compassion for people who live here, I live here as well, but when people pretend to be voicing concern for the community under false pretenses, then I will speak out about it as I have in the past.
        And when I call it as I see it .. then I am bullying or others are bullying .. this makes it look like you are biased.
        Your comments about “southlanders and bureaucrats who live here” is sounding very biased.
        I have understanding for people who don’t want the by pass, but I don’t have it for people who go on about their concern for the community, while it is just a front for their own gain or loss.
        And I’m sure a lot of the “bureaucrats” as you say, that live here care about the people in the community, that just shows where you are on this topic as well. This may seem harsh .. and yeah it is, I don’t see you chastising a certain person for his comments back to people who are speaking their minds about his posts.
        No one has said it is a crime .. or a scandal .. but it sure could be .. but regardless of that, people are voicing their opinions as well on this subject, and against a certain person.
        It seems that you get defensive for one side of this topic, as I have seen in the past as well as now.

        So yeah that’s buck 2.49$

        • Benett Kessler April 26, 2012 at 9:03 am #

          No, Big Al, calling it as you see it is fine. It’s how you do it. There’s no need to wound other people to get the truth out. This is not a topic, Big Al, for argument. It’s just a reminder to keep it civil and go ahead and express whatever you think. It is possible. You bet Bureaucrat Beat is biased. It’s an opinion piece. But it’s not mean. If you think Scott Palamar has conflicts in his case, please point that out. It doesn’t mean you have to demonize the person. BK

      • Eamon McNamara April 26, 2012 at 7:10 am #

        Point taken however, in this instance the public was invited to express their opinions on this matter and are continually asked for their input. Additionally, in the environmental document for the 4-lane project there is discussion and it’s common knowledge that Olancha is potential desert tortoise and ground squirrel habitat as well as ground water issues- lets not forget the proposals to inject water in the Coso geothermal plant, the Little Lake Refuge water issue, and the expansion of Crystal Geyer plant all caused County controversy a few years ago. The “Sierra East” housing subdivision also resides in that habitat and upon those same ground water reserves. My only question is why would someone cite “environmental concerns” regarding a highway that’s been there for 100+ years when the longer term impact would come from a 70+ housing development that hasn’t mitigated it’s own impact to groundwater and endangered species-which IS against Federal, State, and Local law?

      • RoadRage April 26, 2012 at 10:01 am #

        Mr. Palamar is a “southlander” who moved here after most of the comments and hearings on the Highway were done (2009, by his own website). He calls his home “my machine for living” and it is for sale, with furnishings and all, so he can build another.
        Somehow, someone who refers to their “home” as a machine and is willing to sell everything in it does not strike me as a person who cares about his home or the area that it is in very much. So to suspect he has ulterior reasons for opposing the bypass is an easy call.

        • Benett Kessler April 26, 2012 at 10:52 am #

          That’s much for reasonably stated. Thank you, BK

  16. Eamon McNamara April 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Just think of all the increased carbon emissions from people driving to/from the “Sierra East” subdivision to Lone Pine and Los Angeles….wow!
    I wonder what sort of environmental document “Sierra East” published to approve the increased disturbance to desert tortoise and ground squirrel?
    What about the new draw-down of the aquifer in the Olancha- Cartago area from 70+ houses being built?
    I wonder what sort of air pollution control district permits Sierra East have to acquire prior to construction?
    I wonder where was the public comment on Sierra East concerning the disruption of the community character in Olancha by having houses built out of context with the rest of the community?
    Where are the “Save Round Valley” protesters trying to stop this LA style subdivision with all of its traffic congestion, pollution, noise, lack of community ordinances?

  17. Eamon McNamara April 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    I think I’ll be calling the Inyo County Planning Department to find out what sort of stipulations have been placed on the Sierra East housing development. This sort of development needs to be thoroughly examined by the residents of Inyo County. A subdivision of this environmental magnitude on our precious and fragile Southern Inyo County needs more public scrutiny.

  18. Benett Kessler April 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    To those who would comment in mean, bullying ways, I will no longer publish your posts. There are ways to blog, question and express views without hurting other people. The kind of mean, attacking put downs on this story show why we can’t have world peace. We can’t even have neighborhood peace. Express what you think is wrong in your neighbor’s thinking but not by bullying and insulting. Benett Kessler

    • Big AL April 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      Yes Benett … express what you think … I pointed out what I saw as wrong, and in past dealing with Mr. Palomar, I have learned, that he is not very nice. I pointed out what I saw wrong, I was not bullying, but as you can see .. he reacted as I knew he would. I think if you’re going to not allow posts from people who “bully” then you should not allow posts from all who Bully, and that goes for Mr. Palomar as well.
      So far .. as everyone can see, his posts have been the most venomous, while others point out untruths that he is posting in less demeaning ways.

      • Benett Kessler April 26, 2012 at 8:59 am #

        Mr. Palomar started out very civilized. When some of the nasty meanness started he fought back. Let’s get beyond the
        playground stuff and have adult conversations. BK

        • Big Rick O'Brien April 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm #


          • Benett Kessler April 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

            Rick, I see likes and dislikes. Where aren’t you seeing them. BK Actually, I see what you mean. You can’t make them register. I’ll get on it.

        • Big AL April 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

          And yes you’re right Benett, he was not attacking, I got defensive and took offense to what he was posting, I should have been better in my response, after all I have posted my feelings for others here who have done the same or worst
          My comment at first was not meant to bully but to voice my thought about his intentions, and things he was trying to pass off as truth, I will give him, that the added distance is … might be sizable but it is not a mile total. Caltrans might have said that.
          But as I said, I have dealt with him before and I know he is not very nice to deal with, especially if you are doing something against what he wants.
          And I personally don’t feel that people were not all that nasty in response to him, but reacted to his posts .. especially the one that was not allowed to stay on the page, nor was mine, and I appreciate that you deleted both posts.
          Not saying I was better, but I did not mention some harsh names. I’m glad you stepped up and moderated that as such.
          And that is all I have to say about this, and that I will try to watch my words.

  19. Big Rick O'Brien April 26, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    I second that motion and now everyone will HAVE to be civil in their opinions. THANK YOU,BENETT.

  20. NewEra April 26, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Good call Benett!

  21. sierragrl April 26, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    my take on this? No-one really cares….this is a paltry number of comments and most are from repeat individuals….the total people signing his petition is paltry…But I will say, I support Mr. Palomar’s ability have and spread his opinion. I don’t understand the kneejerk type reply’s that we’re seeing on this thread and I really don’t like the nasty under tones. It’s called a debate people, say what you have to say in an non-hurtful, intelligent, thoughtful way or don’t say it at all. Oh and for Mr. Palomar’s motive, I have no problem with him personally gaining one way or the other, but I do think he should let his personal stake be known when advocating a position.

    • Big AL April 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      I have to say this to you sierragrl, most of “the repeat individuals” in this as you say, thread as about as much as you do. I support a lot of what you say, i have disagreed with things.
      My only defense in this, is that this person has been pretty harsh as well in the past, dealings here and elsewhere. I did not resort to name calling as this person did, and the post was deleted along with mine, but mine did not include insults, but Benett deleted it as well and that was totally cool .. because it all just needed to stop!
      I have taken a look at my part and I will change my tone, but I will not change my idea of saying how I feel about topics.

      I had to say that, I hope it doesn’t offend, just speaking my mind on it.

  22. just the facts April 26, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    I see the usual suspects are at it again with the usual Limbaugh-like ad hominem attacks.
    It must be an election year and those who retired too early, made poor investments, and didn’t see the bad economy coming are falsely believing they are finding some sort of cheap therapy by bashing anyone and everyone they don’t agree with.

    When the going gets tough – the nasty turn professional.

    • Big AL April 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      You can keep the limbaugh stuff just he facts and all of the ad hominem attacks as well. you hd to pipe in and add to the fire. I don’t mean that in a bullying way but we have been asked to be more respectful and I will try to do my part, but I had to add this to you, there was no reason for your remarks other than to incite the emotions

      but then I might get berated for this, but I feel it needs to be said.

  23. Steve Reese April 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Thank you to all the posters on this site. And a big thank you to BK for making it possible.

    While looking into who Scott is, I came across this letter.


    From this it is apparent that Scott likes to think only he knows best what to do with the Eastern Sierra.

    Not running the highway down the middle of Olancha is personal for me because I live, work and play there. And I want it to be as safe as can be for my family. That is the only reason I made a comment at all.

    • hisierragal April 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      Mr Reese,
      I did not see anything in that letter other than an opinion. I believe we are all entitled to have one.

    • Big AL April 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

      Yes Steve, copy and paste what they want. I love the part about fish and game saying That fish and game peoe say it’s the first place tourist should visit in the Owens Valley.
      And that post cards will show the hoof prints and dung. Really?
      Fish and game do not worry about such really, as much as the forest service’s biologist. The Forest Service, does not let cattle out on open range with out permits, I guarantee you that. So the comment about them being out there and surely without a permit is false.

      I remember years ago, a cowboy friend of mine who runs cows in the Bishop area (all with permits to allow them), participated with the Forest Service in a study in the fish slough area, to study the impact of the cattle on the environment.
      They fenced off areas of the slough .. so cattle could not get in there to “damage” the environment. The forest Service biologist study the enclosed areas and the open areas, it was a pretty extensive study.
      In the end, she had to report to her boss, the then forest superintendent, her findings. She reported that the areas enclosed (kept from the cattle grazing) actually was doing worst than the areas where cattle were allowed to graze.
      The forest superintendent told her, he didn’t care if that is what she found, he doesn’t want cattle on the forest land, end of story, and that if she didn’t see it that way, she could find another position in a different forest.
      She left, she could not post what he wanted her to post in her findings and feel it was right. Of course these facts were not posted in the findings.
      You can believe this or not, but I do.
      Cattle on the open range do not muddy the stream banks in the way it is described in that article either,, the only place you see it like that is where cattle are penned or corralled in a small area, with a water way running through it, as for parasites, yes that is a result of cattle, but that was something done years ago. and whether cattle are there or not .. you best not drink the water from the streams, except way in the high country.

  24. Trouble April 27, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    Scott- say it isn’t so! Cattle clear a great path to many of my favorite fishing holes. Please leave them alone. Taste great too.

    • Rob April 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      We don’t need a bunch of urban cowboys running around that are “all hat, no cattle”.

      The cows keep it real 😉

      and they do taste good!

  25. Eastside Local February 20, 2020 at 12:05 pm #

    Scott Palomar is a rich kid who doesnt even live in the area….nevertheless his efforts didnt age well.


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