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In the News - Friday, JANUARY 26, 2007

Town Meeting will cover
planning, scenic highway


   After a month-long holiday hiatus, the Three Rivers Village Foundation-sponsored Town Hall Meeting will return with discussion on several timely topics. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m., at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.
   Highlighting a busy agenda is a presentation on how the county’s corridor-protection plan will affect property owners and future plans for development. The plan is expected to be in place soon and is the final task before Highway 198 — from the Sequoia Park entrance to the Highway 216 turnoff — is officially designated a scenic highway.
   Then all that remains is to erect the distinctive poppy signs. Tom Sparks, president of the Three Rivers Village Foundation, thinks those signs should be up in time for the busy visitor season.

  “We certainly don’t want to give the impression that the corridor plan will be so restrictive as to limit what a property owner can or cannot do,” Sparks said. “The main thing is that now there will be some conditions to ensure that future development won’t detract from the Kaweah canyon scenery. Existing development is grandfathered in and any upgrades to those properties would be required to be consistent with the corridor plan.”
   Sparks said that the meeting would be a good time to ask questions about how the corridor-protection plan will work. Supervisor Allen Ishida will be in attendance, as will several other county officials who will furnish an update on the county’s General Management Plan.
   Among items the Board of Supervisors is considering for 2007 is an ordinance that would establish medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county. On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Tulare County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on medical marijuana and consider a draft ordinance that seeks to establish a dispensary in all or some of the 19 unincorporated communities, including Three Rivers.
   The February 5 meeting will also feature updates on what’s happening in the local national parks and several other topics.
For more information about the meeting, call Tom Sparks, 561-0406.

Woodlake woman

victim of purse-snatcher

   Chalk up another situation where talking on the cell phone might not be such a good idea. Making a call outside of Woodlake’s Pizza Factory while waiting for her pizza may have contributed to a 61-year-old woman being targeted by a man who approached her at about 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17.
   According to a Woodlake police report, the man grabbed the purse of the victim and she resisted. A struggle ensued, and the suspect, described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 16 and 20 and weighing 160 pounds, managed to pull the purse free as the woman fell to the ground.
   The attacker fled, running across the street to Miller-Brown Park, and disappeared in the darkness. The purse contained only about $10 in cash, but also several credit cards. The victim’s loss was estimated at $35.

  “A crime like this is very unusual in Woodlake,” said Sgt. Jose Aguayo, who is handling the investigation for the Woodlake Police Department. “In the last two years, we have only had one other purse-snatching. In that case, the victim was an elderly woman.”
   The victim complained of back pain and had a facial abrasion. She declined treatment at the scene and was transported by her husband to Kaweah Delta Hospital where she was treated for a fractured shoulder and released.
   Sgt. Aguayo said an investigation in the case is ongoing.

OBITUARIES

Earl Davis, lifelong Kaweah Country

resident, pilot, dedicated community servant
1918-2007


   Earl Jackson Davis Jr. died Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007, at his Three Rivers home. He was 88.
   A Mass of Christian Burial will be held today (Friday, Jan. 26), 10 a.m., at St. Clair’s Catholic Mission in Three Rivers. Burial with military honors will immediately follow at the Three Rivers Cemetery.
   Earl was born in Stockton on May 17, 1918, to Earl Sr. and Mamie (Lewis) Davis. When he was a toddler, the family moved to Woodlake, where he was raised and educated.
   Earl was the fifth generation of his family to live in Tulare County. His great-great-grandfather, Rev. Jonathan Blair, led a wagon train that headed west to California on May 1, 1857, with about a dozen families.
   Five of those families, including the Blairs, settled near Bravo Lake in Stringtown, so-named for the families living along a “string” near the river in what is now the city of Woodlake. Rev. Blair later founded the Woodlake Presbyterian Church.
   Earl’s great-grandfather on his father’s side, Thomas H. Davis, drove cattle to Antelope Valley north of Woodlake and settled there. It was here that Earl’s grandfather, Jeff Davis, was raised and became friends with the Native Americans who lived nearby, learning to speak some of their language.
   Earl graduated from Woodlake Elementary School, Woodlake High School, and Visalia Junior College (present-day College of the Sequoias). He attended Fresno State, but left in his senior year to join the Army Air Corps, where he served for nearly five years during World War II.
   In 1942, Earl married his high school sweetheart, a Three Rivers girl named Jean Livingston.
   Upon his return from the service, Earl and Jean moved into their new home in Three Rivers, the second to be built in the Alta Acres subdivision, and raised their family here. Earl went into business with his father as owners/operators of Davis Butane, a venture that lasted more than 20 years.
   Later, he worked for the County of Tulare in the social services department until his retirement. He was also a commercial cropduster, charter-flight pilot, and flight instructor.
   Earl’s passion in life was flying. A plane never flew overhead that Earl did not look to the sky and identify the aircraft. It was his favorite uncle, Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, an Army Air Corps pilot, who gave him his first airplane ride.
   (The Three Rivers Airport was dedicated in 1935 to Jefferson Davis, who died in a plane crash in 1932.)
   Earl was a former trustee of the Three Rivers Union School and Woodlake High School boards, member and past president of the Wally Byam Caravan Club, founder of the Woodlake Flying Club, and served on the Alta Acres Water Board for many years.
   In addition, Earl was a charter member (1947) and past president (1952-53) of the Three Rivers Lions Club and very active in the organization. In 1950, when the Lions Club began organizing an annual Team Roping, Earl could be found each spring getting the corral and roping arena ready for the event and then working in the food and drinks booths during the entire event. Earl was also instrumental in assisting the Woodlake Lions Club with the planning of their first rodeo, held in 1953.
   In about 1960, Earl began a Lions Club project in cooperation with the Ensenada (Mexico) Lions Club. He had developed a relationship with this south-of-the-border club because he worked with some farming operations near there.
   As a pilot, Earl began transporting clothes, food, and other supplies to the impoverished area. Bud Loverin, then principal of Woodlake High School and a good friend of Earl’s, provided desks and other school supplies that were no longer being used to upgrade existing schools in Ensenada and equip new facilities.
   Earl was preceded in death on Sept. 2, 1995, by his wife of 53 years, Jean Livingston Davis.
   He is survived by his devoted companion, Mutsie Listar, of Three Rivers; two daughters, Barbara Lahmann and husband Steve of Three Rivers and Kathy Lipp and husband Robert of Kennewick, Wash.; one son, Jeff Davis and wife Barbara of Exeter; sister Ruth E. Davis-Pugh of Visalia; seven grandchildren, Mike Lahmann, Sara Lahmann, Katy Harris, Meg Chromey, Daniel Lipp, Jason Gilmour, and Jessica Davis; and eight great-grandchildren.
   Visitation and a rosary were held Thursday, Jan. 25, at Miller Memorial Chapel in Visalia.
   Remembrances in Earl’s name may be made to the St. Anthony Retreat Youth Center and mailed to P.O. Box 249, Three Rivers, CA 93271. Condolences may be sent to:

millermemorial@aol.com.

Dorothy Lane,

Stony Creek stables operator,

Lemon Cove postmaster
1920-2007


   Dorothy Evelyn Lane died Friday, Jan. 19, 2007, at her Lemon Cove home. She was 86.
   Dorothy was born Nov. 28, 1920, in Lemon Cove to George and Elizabeth Lane. She was raised in Lemon Cove and graduated from Exeter High School in 1938. She later attended Visalia Junior College (present-day College of the Sequoias).
   Dorothy married Captain Orlen Loverin of Three Rivers in January 1941. They were married just under three years when he was killed overseas, in December 1943, during World War II.
   In 1951, she married William C. Lane at Lemon Cove. Dorothy and Bill owned and operated the Stony Creek Riding Corrals in Sequoia National Forest for nearly 30 years.
   After their retirement from this career in 1971, Dorothy went to work at the Lemon Cove Post Office, where she served as a clerk until being appointed postmaster. She followed in a family tradition as her mother served as Lemon Cove’s postmaster from 1946 to 1965 and her sister, Elsie, was the community’s postmaster from 1965 to 1979.
   Dorothy was a longtime member and former deacon of the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church. She had long been an active member of the Lemon Cove Woman’s Club.
   Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Lane, in 1986; one son, Gerald Loverin, in 2000; as well as her parents and two brothers, Harley and Howard Lane.
   Dorothy is survived by her three children, Donald G. Lane of Sacramento, Thomas W. Lane of Visalia, and Susan Fitzgerald of Orange Cove; two sisters, Lorene Cassidy and Elsie Lindner, both of Lemon Cove; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
   On Wednesday, Jan. 24, a graveside service was held at the Woodlake Cemetery.
   Condolences may be sent via www.smithfamilychapel.com.

New members invited

to join Kaweah Co-op

   The Kaweah Food Cooperative is a community icon. The group has been providing Kaweah Country residents with access to healthy food, household supplies, vitamins, and more for over 25 years.
   Every fourth Tuesday, Co-op members work together to bring home food that is not readily available in our area.
   The Cooperative speaks well of the positive aspects of living in a small town like Three Rivers. Some have been members for 25 years, others for just a few months.
   Many longtime members explain that it can take a few months to incorporate this new way of shopping into the household routine. It does take some planning, but your health can benefit.
   Currently, the Co-op is providing members with sources for locally grown and produced food, such as walnuts, honey, eggs, produce, meat, and more.
   Here’s how a Cooperative membership works. Members submit a food order. Two weeks later (on the fourth Tuesday of each month), they go to the Community Presbyterian Church to help with food distribution and pick up their individual order. There is also an inventory table, a sort of store, where visitors and members can buy food.
   Each member pays a one-time entry fee and performs one job for about an hour at pick-up. Jobs include packaging, inventory, cleanup, etc.
   To check out the Co-op to see if this way of obtaining wholesome food works for you, call membership chair Dyann Graber, 561-4318.

Freeze-relief effort

underway for county residents

   The devastating freeze, which has laid waste to $850 million of California’s citrus industry, is also about to take a human toll. Thousands of farmworkers and their families, many of whom reside in Tulare County, have seen their last paychecks.
   Without money and the prospect of working anytime soon, these people face a disaster of staggering proportions.
   While Governor Schwarzenegger has promised aid to farmworkers, unemployment benefits are available only to those of legal status. Unfortunately, the vast majority of migrant workers are undocumented.
   Before government assistance filters down, there is an immediate need for everyday necessities: nonperishable food, blankets, disposable diapers, and even pet food. Monetary donations are also critical to aid rent and utility payments.
   The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has a long-standing and trusted relationship with the farmworker community. The AFSC is undertaking a massive relief effort with a local office in Visalia that will facilitate donations reaching those in need in Tulare County.
   Putting aside the issue of legality, the workers and their families are obviously needed here, and they need our help. For those in Kaweah Country who would like to help, The Kaweah Commonwealth is a drop-off point for all donations.
   Tax-deductible checks should be made out to AFSC and dropped off at the Commonwealth office or mailed directly to: AFSC, 65 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103. Specify on the check: “Freeze Relief, Tulare County.”
   For more information, call 561-3266.

Nominate a ‘Real Hero’
Rob Stone to be honored by the Red Cross

   The Tulare-Kings Chapter of the American Red Cross is currently seeking nominations for “Real Heroes.” The 2007 designation will recognize 12 people in Tulare and Kings counties who have taken action in a time of crisis to help others and consistently show an extraordinary gift for human compassion, which also happen to be the principles of the American Red Cross.
   The dozen heroes will be honored during a special breakfast Wednesday, March 28, 7:30 a.m., at the Holiday Inn in Visalia. During the event, a posthumous honor will be awarded to Rob Stone (1969-2006), California Department of Fire battalion chief, who was raised in Three Rivers and died in the line of duty in September.
   The breakfast will be free and open to the public. Any donations collected that morning will be used to benefit the local Red Cross chapter and its programs.
   The Real Heroes selection committee consists of 19 Central Valley residents, including pastors, business professionals, and public service personnel, including John Zapalac, Woodlake chief of police, and Jesus Gamboa, Visalia mayor.
   Real Heroes are those who went above and beyond to help save the life of another. They may be nominated in one of several award categories: Good Samaritan youth/adult, fire rescue, law enforcement, animal rescue, educator, marine rescue, wilderness rescue, military, or medical.
   Nomination forms are available online at www.ourredcross.org. The deadline is Thursday, Feb. 1.
   Mail or hand deliver the form to the American Red Cross/Tulare-Kings Chapter, 505 W. Main St., Visalia, CA 93291; or fax it to 732-0741.
   For more information, call Brandi Clark, 732-6436, or email her at bclark@ourredcross.org.

Guitar phenom to rock Three Rivers


   Try to think of a really accomplished female rock solo guitarist. B Bonnie Raitt immediately comes to mind. She can play some hot blues licks but she’s not made from the mold of the classic rock solo guitarists. Neither is Runaways rocker, Joan Jett, who at 48 is still touring with her Blackhearts, singing seductively behind her axe, strumming a chord or two.
   But Teresa Russell, who brings her one-woman rock show of guitar pyrotechnics to Three Rivers for a one-night stand at the Riverview Restaurant and Lounge on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 9:30 p.m., can lay claim to being the hottest classic rock guitarist in the industry. After experiencing a live performance, she said, there won’t be any arguments.
   Teresa’s reputation as “the best female solo rock guitarist” is based in part on the fact that, quite frankly, there aren’t more than a handful out there playing good old-fashioned rock and roll. But this diva didn’t build her huge audience by default.
   She can flat out play and sing, and she’s been proving it professionally by laying down some incredible solos for four decades. In a recent guitar competition, judged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Teresa smoked all comers who — this should come as no surprise — were all males.

  “When I was growing up in the west end of the [San Fernando] Valley, I was influenced by some of the greatest solo guitar playing legends,” Teresa said. “Guitar idols like Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughn played the music that I like the most.”
   As a teenage rocker, she paid some dues playing the Hollywood club scene where so many rock bands launched successful careers. As a guitar-playing prodigy, she played on TV shows, toured with a bunch of bands and performers, and in the world of rock stars, “she’s been there and done that.”
   Today, after four decades in rock and roll, she still gets excited about playing her next gig in a very busy schedule that includes several live performances each week.
   Teresa lives near the ocean in Oxnard and on an impulse last year decided to go on a camping trip to Sequoia National Park.

  “When I was driving through Three Rivers, I saw this funky sign that said ‘Live Music’ so I just had to check it out,” Teresa said. “It turned out to be an open mike night so I played some acoustic guitar and promised the owners I would be back.”
   Teresa came back a couple of months ago and played an impromptu show on a Wednesday night.

  “The place was packed and I couldn’t believe how appreciative all the people were to me,” she said. “I love coming up to Three Rivers and am really looking forward to seeing everybody again this Saturday night.”
   She attributes her youthful enthusiasm to never having raised a family of her own but always doing what she enjoys doing best — playing and performing for appreciative audiences.

Caring for frost-damaged plants

   Horticulture advisors from the UC Cooperative Extension are suggesting that gardeners wait until spring before pruning or removing frost-damaged trees and plants. The frost injury to some citrus trees and other frost-sensitive subtropical plants depends on a number of factors, including species, age, health, soil moisture, and location. New growth in the spring will show the extent of the injury and allow the damage to be clearly defined.
   Earlier pruning can result in leaving some limbs to continue to die back and the removal of limbs that may recover.
   The only treatment that should be applied to trees rapidly after a freeze is whitewashing.

Assistance Service Dog Educational Center

to be profiled on local TV show

   The mission of the Assistance Service Dog Educational Center in Woodlake is twofold. In partnership with Woodlake High School, the training center assists teenagers with lessons in becoming good citizens and how to help others.
   The nonprofit organization also provides service dogs to disabled individuals. It is the only program of this type in California, unique because it uses teenagers to train the dogs.
   On Thursday, Jan. 11, Sabrina Hill, host of the show Your Valley was onsite at the center and interviewed everyone from Steve Tietjen, superintendent of Woodlake Schools, to the students. The show is scheduled to air Saturday, Jan. 27, at 5 p.m., on KSEE 24.
   The ASDEC was founded in 2003 by Woodlake residents Gerald and Donna Whittaker. In addition to organizing the curriculum, the couple has spearheaded the renovation of the old St. John’s School, which sat vacant for nearly 50 years.
   Fundraising dinner— Because this successful program is nonprofit, funds are always needed to ensure its continuation. On Friday, March 2, 6 p.m., the ASDEC will host its annual Spaghetti Dinner and Gift Raffle at the Woodlake Memorial Building.
   Donations are currently being accepted for the drawing. Any individual or business donating an item will be acknowledged on a handout that will be available at the dinner.
   Cash donations, as well, are always gratefully accepted. For more information, call 564-7297 or email servicedogcenter@aol.com.

Millions for the Sierra

proposed in 2007-2008 California budget

   Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled his proposed 2007-2008 budget for California, including billions of dollars of spending authorized under the bonds passed by voters in November 2006.
   This spending plan contains some good news for the Sierra.
   Introduced in the Assembly as AB 102 and in the Senate as SB 54, the proposed budget includes $17.4 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (from Proposition 84) to create a grant program for the protection and restoration of rivers, lakes, and streams, their watersheds and associated land, water, and other natural resources in the Conservancy service region.
   The budget also includes $3.5 million for staff and operation of the Conservancy and proposes giving the Department of Conservation $10.9 million from Proposition 84 to create a Sustainable Communities grant program, as well as $1.4 million from Proposition 50 for watershed coordinators.
   There is $14.3 million from Proposition 84 to the Wildlife Conservation Board for oak woodlands protection and another $14.3 million for rangeland, grazing land, and grassland protection.
   That’s the good news.
   The budget proposal also includes a provision that takes away $160 million that had previously been approved for California’s state parks in 2007-2008. Newly authorized bond funding in next year’s budget will most likely help with the documented $1 billion in infrastructure improvements and expansion needed by California’s parks, but does not negate the need for the full amount authorized for the current budget year.
   The budget will be debated by the Senate and Assembly over the next several months. Under the state’s constitution, this budget should be adopted by the legislature and signed by the governor by June 30.
   To view the budget, go to http://govbud.dof.ca.gov/home.htm.

 
THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
EDITORS/PUBLISHERS: John Elliott and Sarah Barton Elliott
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