In the News -
Friday, JANUARY 11, 2008
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
In the print edition only:
FINISH 2007: THE PLACES
year-end review in photos
around Kaweah Country
ago, Woodlake Union High School asked voters in the district to approve
a historic Measure J. After Three Rivers voted overwhelmingly to approve
the long overdue site improvements, Woodlake High became the proud owner
of a state-of-the-art Event Center and swimming pool.
all Valley communities have this opportunity and are missing the boat,”
said Drew Sorensen, Woodlake’s principal in 1998. “It’s
an opportunity to spend some money on our kids.”
The $3.5 million that was used on those facilities were dollars
well spent providing hundreds of students with after-school activities
as well as an assembly site for the entire community.
Now, according to Woodlake’s new superintendent, Tim
Hire, it’s time to upgrade other areas of the 800-student campus
and reach out to more members of the Woodlake-Three Rivers community.
Hire and a contingent of Woodlake High boosters will be in Three Rivers
on Tuesday, Jan. 15, for an information meeting about Measure C —
on the Tuesday, Feb. 5, ballot — and how passage of this $4.5 million
bond will benefit the future of our community. The meeting will commence
at 7 p.m. in the McDowall Auditorium at Three Rivers School.
With what’s going on in society today, it’s more
important than ever to engage high school youth, Hire said recently. Measure
C improvements will help Woodlake’s sports programs, build new classrooms,
and include an extreme makeover of the aging Performing Arts Building.
In the recent past, Three Rivers students at Woodlake High
have made a contribution to the resurgent band and drama programs. Measure
C will vastly improve the facilities for the performing arts and engage
even more students in these after-school activities.
The revenue generated from the obligation for property owners
also provides the school district with ample opportunities to use matching
grants. Plans to use a $90,000 rubber recycling grant with bond money
will produce an all-weather track that will be a big boost to restoring
Woodlake’s competitive track-and-field program.
As an added bonus, the public will be permitted to run and
walk on the new outdoor track. That translates to saving public health
dollars and promoting better fitness for anyone one willing to exert a
different about this bond issue is some of the built-in accountability
under Proposition 39,” said Hire. “There is a citizens’
oversight committee and a $30 cap per $100,000 assessed valuation.”
Also as a result of Proposition 39 — passed by voters
statewide in November 2000 — local school bonds now need to be approved
by a 55-percent vote of the local electorate. When Measure J was on the
ballot 10 years ago, the law required that two-thirds (66-2/3%) of voters
approve the measure for passage.
Like previous local campaign forums, Bill Tidwell of Three
Rivers will conduct a brief discussion of ballot propositions 91 through
97. There will be speakers, questions and answers about the ballot issues,
and some surprise entertainment by Woodlake High students.
For more information on Measure C, call the Woodlake Schools
District office 564-8081, ext. 11, or Diana Pearcy, 798-2343.
For the record
Re: “Measure C to provide WHS improvements,” Jan. 4, 2008—
The term of collection of the general obligation bond has been reduced
from 40 years to 25 years.
Storm nearly doubles snowpack
Before the recent series of storms, state hydrologists reported
that the January 1 snowpack averaged 61 percent of normal statewide. Thanks
to last week’s events, now those numbers have nearly doubled to
111 percent of normal.
While most of California experienced some wacky weekend weather
that brought widespread power outages, Kaweah Country escaped relatively
unscathed. On Sunday evening, Jan. 6, a CHP dispatcher reported a fallen
tree blocking Sierra Drive near Dinely Drive, but it was quickly removed
by the first responders on the scene.
The local mountains, including the area in and around the
Giant Forest, received three feet of new snow and quickly became a winter
far as the local national parks, there was very little damage from the
winds that accompanied the systems that moved through the area last weekend,”
said Alexandra Picavet, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks public
information officer. “There was nothing like the New Year’s
storm of last season, and the new section of the Generals Highway really
helped to keep traffic moving through the area during some very icy and
When the leading edge of the Pacific-spawned moisture moved
into the area on Friday, Jan. 4, it was raining all the way up to elevations
above 7,000 feet. As temperatures dropped later in the weekend, that pool
of moisture became a solid frozen layer on the existing snow.
More than three feet of new snow made conditions in the mountains
for the next two days a virtual whiteout. A ranger reported approximately
56 inches of snow at the Mineral King Ranger Station and lots of instability
on the valley’s slopes.
The report also described a snow slide in the upper Mineral
King Valley and at least two trees down on the road between the Atwell
Mill Campground and Cabin Cove. The depth of the snow at the Conifer gate
was estimated to be 18 inches with some accumulation below Lookout Point.
As of Wednesday, Jan. 9, Lodgepole rangers reported 52 inches
of snow at the stake in that locale, bringing the season’s total
to 79 inches; total precipitation for the season is 18.46 inches.
Grant Grove checked in on January 9 with 31 inches of snow
on the ground and a season’s precipitation total of 18.29 inches.
Ash Mountain has recorded 12.73 inches of rainfall to date in the current
In Three Rivers, local stations have recorded 10 inches for
the season and are rapidly approaching last season’s total of 11.73
inches. With at least three more months of prime precipitation time remaining
in the 2007-08 season, statewide water supplies should soon eclipse last
Student dog trainers
On Tuesday, Dec. 18, seven students from the Assistance Service
Dog Educational Center in Woodlake took four dogs to the Lindsay Veterinary
Clinic to be spayed or neutered.
Jamie Wilson, DVM, invited the student-trainers to observe
the procedures. They got to see how the animals were prepped for the surgery,
and Dr. Wilson and her staff did an exceptional job of explaining the
how and why of every step.
Dr. Wilson went beyond the basic procedures to point out
different internal body parts and explained their function and how they
related to each other and the dog as a whole.
They also learned about the different types of sutures and
why each was used in a particular situation.
The student-trainers were then able to observe the post-operative
procedures and monitor the dogs’ recoveries. It was a rare and wonderful
experience to see firsthand the behind-the-scenes view of a top-notch
veterinarian in action.
Article submitted by Barbara Sandberg
of Three Rivers. She and her husband, Dave, are volunteers at the Assistance
Service Dog Educational Center in Woodlake.
Fresno foundation targets
In the hectic holiday season of gift-giving some of the best
gifts often go unnoticed. That’s why the Woodlake Family Resource
Center wanted to gratefully acknowledge the good works of the Fresno Regional
For the past two years, the philanthropic organization from
Tulare County’s northern neighbor has adopted the Woodlake community,
making a $10,000 grant annually available through the Woodlake Family
Resource Center. According to Greg Gonzalez, assistant program director
for the resource center, the money is being used locally to reach out
to a number of underprivileged children.
Foundation funds that we have received for the past two years have made
a tremendous impact on these children and their families,” Gonzalez
The grant money has been used to purchase heaters, blankets,
and sweaters for children of low-income families; served more than 200
lunches; provided more than 200 gift bags; sponsored an academic scholar
to attend the Congressional Youth Leader Council in Washington, D.C.,
who may not otherwise be able to afford the travel expenses; and bought
sleeping bags so impoverished youth could have the proper equipment to
attend camping events.
The Fresno Regional Foundation was established in 1966 as
a nonprofit organization to provide an array of donor opportunities and
to assure that gifts like the Woodlake grant would make an impact and
address a wide spectrum of economic, social, and cultural needs.
Local Chamber to market
at state travel shows
The Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce, in partnership
with the Sequoia National History Association (SNHA), will represent our
beautiful region at two travel and tourism trade shows this winter.
Chamber volunteers, SNHA staff, and a National Park Service
ranger will hit the road during the weekend of January 12 and 13 for the
Bay Area Travel Show in Santa Clara.
Then, on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9 and 10, it’s off
to Long Beach for the second year of attending the Los Angeles Times Travel
These shows, aimed at travel agents, vacation planners, families,
and others, provide vacation information about locations in California,
across the nation, and around the world. Over 30,000 people attend each
of these shows, where the Chamber and SNHA will host a 10-foot by 10-foot
exhibit booth focusing on visiting the national parks and the surrounding
Interested vacation-goers can talk to area representatives,
enter for a chance to win a Three Rivers/Sequoia National Park weekend
getaway, and receive a goodie bag filled with fun travel information and
Special thanks to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors
for providing support for these shows and to Delaware North Companies
for sponsoring the exhibit booth. In addition, City of Visalia, Comfort
Suites, Creekside Yarns, Kaweah Marina, Lazy J Ranch Motel, River Inn
& Cabins, Sequoia Gifts & Souvenirs, Sequoia Motel, Sequoia RV
Ranch, SNHA, Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour 8, Three Rivers Bed
& Breakfast, and Three Rivers Drug provided sponsorship support.
Chamber Corner is a weekly update of Sequoia
Foothills Chamber of Commerce activities and events, submitted by the
directors of the organization.
1946 ~ 2008
Barbara Strong of Three Rivers died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008.
She was 61.
Barbara was born August 1, 1946, in Berkeley. She was the
daughter of landscape painter Ray Strong and violinist Elizabeth R. Brown
When Barbara was two years old, the family moved to Mill
Valley, where her father and grandfather built their home on the shoulder
of Mount Tamalpais.
Growing up, Barbara developed a deep love of nature, animals,
art, books, and tennis, all of which remained passions throughout her
life. She received her B.A. degree in Anthropology and an M.A. in Art
History from UC Santa Barbara.
After serving as a teaching assistant for two years at UCSB
while working on her doctorate in Art History, Barbara was hired as the
full-time art historian at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia. She
retired from her position 30 years later, but continued teaching part-time
for the next few years.
Her home from the late 1980s on was in Three Rivers, surrounded
by the nature and animals — domesticated and not — that she
had always cherished.
The excitement of learning ever more about her subject through
reading, traveling, and visiting museums and archaeological sites and
how to utilize each new advance in technology and teaching methodologies
provided continual joy during her working life.
In July 2006, Barbara was preceded in death by her 101-year-old
father, Ray Strong, who was living with her in Three Rivers.
She is survived by her brother, Tim, of Upper Lake, and niece
Jennifer and nephews Christopher and Jeffrey.