News and Information
for residents and visitors
Three Rivers,
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks,
Lemon Cove and Woodlake
Kaweah Kam

In the News - Friday, JANUARY 19, 2007

Weekend forecast includes

slightly rising temperatures

   After a week of sub-freezing nighttime temperatures, any relief ever so slight will be a welcome change. Forecasters are calling for lows above freezing possibly tonight and daytime highs in the 60s by Sunday.
   A fast-moving Pacific storm dumped snow in Malibu and closed the Grapevine on Wednesday but skirted the Central Valley. That left Tulare County in the grips of cold, clear weather for a while longer. In the citrus districts of the Valley, the sub-freezing temperatures have been devastating and could be responsible for the loss of as much as 70 percent of the crop that still remained to be picked and ultimately total $1 billion in damage.
   In Lemon Cove, one grower said it would be difficult to assess the damage until all the fruit that is left is carefully inspected. He said that in his groves about a month’s worth of picking is yet to be completed.

  “These oranges that we picked on Monday are showing some loose juice from the freeze,” the grower reported. “But much of the fruit is still good for juicing so the crop won’t be a total loss.”
   On Wednesday, NBC Nightly News correspondent George Lewis was in Woodlake interviewing citrus rancher David Roberts. National and cable news networks have been focusing on the Central Valley, reporting from communities in Fresno and Tulare counties.
   In Three Rivers there were reports of plenty of broken pipes, frozen pumps, and pressure valves. Every contractor, plumber, and handyman was working throughout last weekend trying to keep up with all the calls.
   One contractor said his calls were running about two-to-one commercial over residential. On Sunday, he said, he was called to one Three Rivers residence where water from a broken pipe was running into the kitchen and in the living room.
   Forecasters remain uncertain as to what’s in store for the rest of the so-called El Nino winter.

  “We could still see above average precipitation for February and March in the southern Sierra region,” wrote one forecaster on a NOAA weather website. “It’s still too early to make the call.”
   In the more immediate future, no monster storms are looming in the next week’s forecast for Kaweah Country.

Three Rivers School

installs new board members

   Like boards everywhere, the New Year is also a time for reorganization for the Three Rivers School board of trustees. At the December 13 meeting, three newly elected members — Bobbie Harris, Robert Burke, and Scott Sherwood — took the oath of office.
   Harris was re-elected for a second consecutive term, Burke returns to Three Rivers School after serving on the Woodlake High School board, and Sherwood, the son of Sue Sherwood, TRUS superintendent/principal, takes a seat after finishing third in a field of four candidates on the November 2006 ballot.
   Sue Sherwood said that initially she was lukewarm to the idea of her son serving on the board when Scott first expressed a desire to file for the election. But his enthusiasm as a parent of a school-age child won her over, she said.

  “He [Scott] checked with county counsel and there shouldn’t be any conflict of interest,” Sue said. “In any matters concerning my salary or other compensation, he’ll have to be excused from the voting process.”
   Many taxpayers are often surprised to learn that salary and employee-benefit packages make up 85 percent of the budget of a small school like Three Rivers Union, which currently has an enrollment of 172. The findings of the final budget audit of the 2005-2006 school year were made public at the regular monthly meeting of the board on January 17.
   For the year ending June 30, 2006, the district reported revenues of $1,456,567 and expenditures of $1,379,041.
   But don’t be misled by the figures on paper, Sue said, because like other districts with declining enrollment, Three Rivers faces the reality of less revenue while education costs continue to escalate.
   Three Rivers is not alone in this challenge. According to recent figures issued by the state, 54 percent of all districts are in decline while just 46 percent are growing.
   To make the situation even more stressful, Sue said, there are no provisions in Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget to address the revenue shortfall relative to the decline.
   To help find a remedy, the TRUS board is exploring new ways to make it known what a great job Three Rivers School is doing. One way the students will be helping, while learning at the same time, Sherwood said, is they are planning to produce a regular feature in The Kaweah Commonwealth highlighting school news and their achievements.

  “It’s a great school and we really need to get the word out and entice more parents to bring their children here,” Sherwood said.
   In other board-related business, Kristina Roper Graber was elected president and Chantelle Medeiros-Horton was elected clerk for 2007.
   The next regular meeting of the TRUS board is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 14, in the school library. The public is always welcome to attend.

They make it, you bake it:

Sierra Subs & Salads

adds pizza to the menu

   It might be frigid outside but local kitchens are now going to be a little cozier. That’s because starting tonight, ovens all over Kaweah Country will be preheating in preparation for serving Sierra Subs & Salads’ latest menu offering: “Take-N-Bake Pizza.”
The pizza is piping hot in 10 minutes, made just the way you like it due to an array of 15 toppings from which to choose.
   Or select from cheese only to several aptly named combinations, such as the Eagle View Vegetarian (six veggies), Mineral King Meatlovers (pepperoni, ham, sausage, bacon), Bearbaw BBQ, Sugar Pine, and more.
   And how’s this for starters? From now until Saturday, March 31, with the special insert coupon (inside this issue), a large two-topping Take-N-Bake Pizza and a movie rental from Chumps are only $9.99.
   According to owner Laura Harris, it doesn’t get much better than the smell of a scrumptious pizza baking in the oven.

  “Among all the things we have learned by being in the food service business the last two years is that we need to offer more variety, especially for dinner,” Harris said. “We’re listening to our Three Rivers customers and they want a really good take-home pizza.”
   The large one-size pizza can be cut into eight generous slices. It is ready to serve piping hot from a 375 to 400-degree oven in 10 minutes or less (depending on individual oven temperature and the number of toppings).
   Don’t be left out in the cold. Fast food doesn’t have to be fried and eaten in the car to ensure it’s warm.
   Take-N-Bake Pizza is fast, fresh, baked, easy… and delicious.
   It’s new and it’s what’s for dinner at Sierra Subs and Salads and your house.

NPS seeks comments regarding

mountain waterways and frogs

   The National Park Service is initiating a project that will restore both the mountain yellow-legged frog and high-elevation lakes and streams. During the current public scoping phase, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is accepting comments that will be utilized in the planning process.
   As its name suggests, the mountain yellow-legged frog is a high-elevation species found only in California that has disappeared from its historic habitat. According to Harold Werner and Danny Boiano, parks biologists, this frog species is important as its presence or absence affects the natural ecology of high-elevation aquatic and associated terrestrial environments.
   The frog’s existence has been determined to be threatened primarily by cumulative impacts from introduced fish populations and chytrid fungus.
   The mountain yellow-legged frog is a candidate for Federal Listing as “endangered” because it is declining rapidly and could become extinct within a decade unless there is active management.
High-elevation lakes and streams will also be restored as part of this proposed project with the goal of improving populations of vulnerable aquatic invertebrate and zooplankton species and providing food for native predators such as snakes, birds, and mammals.
   The National Park Service will develop formal alternatives for this project and prepare an environmental analysis for public review. Anyone interested in this process may visit:
   Click on the link entitled “Restoration of Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs and High Elevation Lakes and Streams.”
   Questions and/or comments must be submitted in writing to: Superintendent, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271; or by email to:
   At the top of your written correspondence or in the email subject line, note: Mountain Yellow-legged Frog.
   Comments must be postmarked or transmitted no later than Tuesday, Feb. 6.
   And here’s the fine print: The names and addresses of people who comment become part of the public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying comment, you should be aware that your entire comment will be publicly available.
   While you can request that the Park Service withhold information from public review, the agency cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. Such requests must be stated prominently in the beginning of the comments.
   The NPS will make available to public inspection all submissions from organizations or businesses and from persons identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations and businesses.
   Anonymous comments may not be considered.

Winter driving:

10 tips for a safe journey

   Several deadly, weather-related stories have gained national attention this season and underscore just how dangerous winter travel can be. It you’re hitting the road during adverse conditions, consider these safety tips:
   Know your route and be informed of weather conditions— Keep a list of road-condition hotlines and consult them often.
   Drink plenty of water— Dehydration may seem unlikely but not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue and reduced alertness, both of which can be deadly in adverse conditions.
   Eat enough food— Your body needs more nourishment in cold weather.
   Pack a winter-travel kit— Include a cell phone, ice scraper and brush, tow rope, cat litter (it aids in traction), blankets, flashlight, candle, matches, book for reading, portable weather radio, and a can of lock de-icer (don’t use hot water on glass or locks; it will refreeze).
   Slow down— Reduce speed by 50 percent in snowy conditions.
Keep a light touch on the controls— Smooth operation is the key to maintaining control in slippery situations.
   Know how to recover from skids— If you start to skid, steer the vehicle gently in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go and don’t touch your brakes.
   Keep your tires in good condition and properly inflated— Cold weather reduces tire pressure. Carry and know how to install snow chains.
   Make frequent rest stops— Winter driving is tiring so stop every hour or so; just five minutes out of the car will increase the driver’s level of alertness.
   If you get stuck, stay in your vehicle— Keep your water bottles where they won’t freeze, stay warm, and wait for assistance. Make sure that your exhaust pipe remains clear of any obstructions, including snow and ice, to avoid the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gas inside the vehicle.


Clifford Reiner

   Clifford G. Reiner, formerly of Three Rivers, died Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007, in Visalia. He was 84.
   If the name doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because all who knew him called him “Sarge.” This nickname was due to his rank of sergeant major in the United States Marine Corps, his career for more than three decades.
   Sarge was born March 24, 1922, to George and Caroline Reiner in Pittsburgh, Pa. He graduated from East Pittsburgh High School in 1939.
   He moved to California and joined the Marine Corps in 1940. During his long career of service to our country, he fought in two wars — World War II and the Korean War.
   During World War II, Sarge was among the first Marines to land on the Solomon Islands, where some of the most intense fighting of the entire war occurred. He fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, the first offensive attack launched by Allied forces.
   In 1943, he also fought in the Battle of Tarawa, the second time the U.S. was on the offensive. And Sarge was also at the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, most famously remembered due to the photograph that captured six Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the island, during the battle (three of those six did not survive the bloody battle).
   Sarge received the Silver Star for acts of bravery in time of combat, three Purple Hearts, three Presidential Unit Citations, and the Combat Action Ribbon. The decorated veteran retired from the military in 1972.
   After his retirement, he went to work for the Consolidated Film Industries. He retired from that career after 20 years.
   In 1984, Sarge moved to Three Rivers where he lived until recently when he relocated to Visalia to be closer to his daughter and the medical care he needed.
   Sarge is survived by his daughter, Nina L. Dodd and her husband, Keith, of Visalia; two grandchildren, Heather A. Peck and Brandon K. Dodd, both of Visalia; sisters Germain Reiner of West Los Angeles and Ruth Warren and husband Carrol of Las Vegas; brother Kenneth Reiner; and his two nieces and great-nephew.
   Visitation was held Wednesday, Jan. 17, at Miller Memorial Chapel in Visalia. Sarge was laid to rest with full military honors on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Three Rivers Cemetery.
   Condolences may be sent to:

Jack Cederloff

   Jack L. Cederloff, a former Three Rivers resident, died Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007, after a lengthy illness. He was 61.
   Jack was born Sept. 15, 1945, in San Francisco to Jack B. and Shirley M. Cederloff. He was an industrial engineer and business owner.
   While residing in Three Rivers, he served on the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation board. He was an accomplished saxophonist, loved jazz music, and played in bands wherever he lived.
   Jack is survived by his wife of 38 years, Pam, of Walkersville, Md.; three daughters, Melissa Singh of San Jose, Melody Salisbury of Warner Robins, Ga., and Karen Cederloff of Walkersville; and seven grandchildren.
   Remembrances may be made to the Jack Cederloff Memorial Scholarship Fund at Frederick Community College, c/o Music Department, 7932 Opossum Pike, Frederick, MD 21702.
   Contributions in Jack’s name may also be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Ralph Athearn

   Ralph E. Athearn of Three Rivers died Friday, Jan. 12, 2007. He was 76.
   Ralph married the former Beverly Jean Rhodes in Oceanside, Calif., on Aug. 28, 1967.
   The couple moved to Three Rivers in 1992.
   Ralph was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly, on Aug. 21, 2001, just one week before their 34th anniversary.
   Private services were arranged by Smith Family Chapel, Exeter.

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