In the News - Friday, February
stories written by John or
Elliott unless otherwise noted
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
SEASONAL WATERFALL brings early-season runoff to the
pools in the
Fork of the Kaweah River below Hospital Rock in Sequoia
snowpack is 190 percent
piling up those impressive precipitation numbers of
two weeks ago, another series of El Nino-spawned storms
has returned as predicted. Though lacking the wallop
of the January storms, more than an inch of rain in
the foothills and two more feet of snow in the Sierra
will increase the robust pack that already exists
from Lake Tahoe on the north to the Kern County mountains
to the south.
The regional average based on the February
1 numbers for the northern and central region of the
Sierra is approximately 125 percent of normal. That
translates to an April 1 normal of 79 percent.
In the Kaweah drainage the figures are
even more impressive. The February 1 numbers are 148
percent of normal; that figures out to 90 percent
of the April 1 norm, traditionally the season’s
As of Thursday, Feb. 4, Lodgepole rangers
reported 70 inches of snow at the stake; Mineral King
is showing about 60 inches on the ground as does Giant
Forest at elevations just below 7,000 feet.
With two more feet in the weekend forecast,
all locations should be averaging from 80 to 90 inches
by Monday, making for some of the best skiing since
1998. For now, the cooler temperatures with daytime
highs in the 30s at 7,000 feet will keep most of that
snow right where it belongs.
The latest snow survey numbers also include
a water content averaging 25 to 30 percent. That water
has to go somewhere sometime and just in case it decides
to come down the chute sooner than later, have you
taken a good look at Lake Kaweah lately?
The local lake is at six percent of capacity.
Maybe the dam-tenders know something we don’t
or they are simply recharging some of that vanishing
Town Meeting: Frogs, rails,
The regular monthly Town Hall meeting,
sponsored by the Three Rivers Village Foundation,
convened last Monday, Feb. 1, at the Three Rivers
Memorial Building and, as usual, there was enlightening
discussion on an array of topics.
SAVING YELLOW-LEGGED FROGS
At the top of the agenda was an update
on the proposed aquatic restoration plan for Sequoia
and Kings Canyon National Parks. Danny Boiano, parks
ecologist, explained some of the background of the
project that is being proposed to remove non-native
trout that have the yellow-legged frog on the brink
Boiano said during the project scoping,
his agency received more than 700 comments. Approximately
650 of these, he said, were “action alerts,”
the equivalent to a fill-in-the-blanks endorsement
to do whatever it takes to save the mountain yellow-legged
In essence, these hundreds of comments
count as one. The other comments were more specific,
Boiano said, and help planners to document viable
suggestions and some amusing ones like having a “fish
round-up” to help remove the non-native trout.
a great idea but the proposed lakes are in the higher
elevations of the backcountry and are extremely hard
to get to,” Boiano said.
In the summary of the work that’s
been completed so far, Boiano said that in nine seasons
34,845 trout have been removed from 17 lakes. The
rationale behind what’s being proposed is to
speed up the removal and target as many as 85 of the
parks’ 560 lakes for eradication of the trout.
To succeed on a more effective scale,
the pesticide Rotenone is being proposed for use in
the larger treatment areas of drainages being considered.
Boiano said the introduction of the chemical is safe
and poses no threat to water quality in the lakes,
moutain streams, or to Three Rivers.
The eradication is necessary, Boiano
said, because the yellow-legged frog has disappeared
from 92 percent of all Sierra localities. The trout
removal is a proven way to help sustain the population,
Why is the yellow-legged frog so important?
Because it’s smack-dab in the middle of the
food chain and as such plays a major role in maintaining
the ecological balance, Boiano said. The removals
only work in a certain niche of the high-country topography
and there will still be plenty of lakes with trophy
trout for fisheries.
The removal plan, after an alternative
is approved, would be implemented over 25 to 30 years
Boiano said. The draft document is expected to be
released in the fall and, if all goes according to
plan, the project would start in two to three years.
five to 10 years there would be a re-evaluation so
we can practice adaptive management,” Boiano
Supervisor Allen Ishida said his latest
efforts on behalf of TCAG (Tulare County Association
of Governments) to preserve a network of rail lines
in eastern Tulare County are to make good on an election
promise. That promise, he said, is to provide employment
opportunities for the young people of this county.
look at the purchase of these rail lines as an opportunity
to bring business to our area,” Ishida said.
“These commercial distributors need 10 or 20
acre parcels to build these huge warehouses like the
one Walmart built in Porterville. As a former real
estate broker, I know we could make these properties
If we could get the cooperation of the
railroad companies, and that’s no easy task,
Ishida said, Tulare County would be in an enviable
position. Shippers could make more money, and air
quality could be improved by getting trucks off the
Ishida said it would cost approximately
$3 million for the county to become a partner in preserving
these rail lines that were scheduled to be abandoned
and sold for scrap.
County would not actually operate the railroad but
we would guarantee the operation,” Ishida said.
“If it didn’t work out, we could always
sell the rails for scrap and recover our initial investment.”
THREE RIVERS ROADS
There was also continuing discussion
as to how local county roads could be improved. There
was a consensus that first it should be determined
how much Measure R money is available and then some
priorities developed from locales identified in need
of the most urgent repairs.
The monthly Town Meetings are held the
first Monday of each month except during the summer
months. For information on how to become a member
of the Three Rivers Village Foundation, or to suggest
a topic for a future meeting, call Margie Ewen, 561-0123.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday,
March 1, 7 p.m. at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.
Woodlake club honors
resident as model Rotarian
By Brian Rothhammer
ideal Rotarian” was but one of many accolades
bestowed upon Jim Mathias of Three Rivers at the Thursday,
Jan. 28, meeting of the Woodlake Rotary Club. Caught
a bit by surprise, Jim began his acceptance remarks:
“My life is constantly enriched by Rotary Club…”
Assembled to honor Mathias for 50 years
of service to the Tulare and Woodlake Rotary clubs
were dozens of people representing all those lives
enriched by Jim Mathias. Among those paying tribute
were high-ranking Rotary officials from both local
and area clubs.
In his half-century of service, Jim has
held every office of the Woodlake Rotary, serving
his first term as a club president in 1963. The honoree
was formally recognized with plaques and proclamations
from Congressman Devin Nunes (R-District 21), Assemblywoman
Connie Conway (R-District 34), the Tulare County Board
of Supervisors, and the City of Woodlake in addition
to Rotary International.
Several speakers gave accounts of Jim
as a dynamic man of extraordinary character and leadership
who always put service above self. Many attendees
of the festive luncheon came bearing gifts.
Jim’s connection with the Woodlake club was
a good match for a guy from Three Rivers where he
has been a fixture for more than three decades. He
can often be found at Anne Lang’s Emporium.
a day, everyday, except Sunday and Rotary days,”
according to Anne Lang, owner of the popular Three
Not that he’s a guy to sit around
for too long. At 75, Jim is still active in Rotary
and is a teacher and mentor to many grateful students
in the art of wood turning.
Though many Three Rivers residents remember
him fondly as their school bus driver and shop teacher,
Jim has found several other productive outlets to
occupy his time. In addition to 17 years (1977-1994)
with Three Rivers Union School, he has been a farmer,
deep-sea drill rigger, air-conditioning service manager,
EMT 1 with the Three Rivers Ambulance, and an athlete,
all the while being an avid hiker and woodsman.
His skills in the backcountry were so
highly regarded that the U.S. Navy sought him out
to teach mountaineering and survival to their pilots
at Sawtooth Pass in Mineral King. Jim has hiked every
nook and crevasse of the Sierra, including Mount Whitney,
the highest peak in the lower 48 states.
In 1954, Jim went to the Olympic trials
as a discus thrower, but missed qualifying by eight
inches. Not to be deterred, Jim took third place in
the same event at the 1959 World Military Track and
Field Championships at Athens, Greece.
ceremonies were held at the original Olympic stadium,”
Jim said of one of his life’s highlights.
Jim first came to Three Rivers in 1977.
seen most of the world, but I keep returning to Three
Rivers to get my senses back,” said Jim. “I
spent a lot of time consciously looking for the best
place to live, and this is it. The best weather, the
best people, it’s all here.”
In 1988 he bought a log cabin kit, took
two weeks off from work at Three Rivers School, hired
two carpenters, and built it. It has been home for
Jim ever since.
Anne Birkholz spoke very highly of her
neighbor at the Rotary function, referring to Jim
as the “best neighbor anyone could have.”
Along with other virtues, Jim lets her “...pick
through his woodpile,” and he “has a tractor!”
Anne is one of those to whom Jim is passing along
his skills and knowledge of wood turning.
Jim’s finely turned and polished
burlwood bowls are of such exceptional quality and
renown that through charity auctions over the years,
their sales have raised over $28,000 for Rotary causes.
Two of the prized bowls will be auctioned at the Tulare
Crab Feed, an annual Rotary event to be held at the
International Agri-Center in Tulare on March 12.
Presently, Jim is working up an inventory
of 10 of the bowls to be auctioned by Woodlake Rotary
over the next decade.
was my son’s idea, a way to continue to contribute
even after I’m gone,” Jim said.
That is the spirit of a tried and true
Rotarian. If it’s up to Jim, he will be around
in 10 years just to carve another 20 bowls to auction
off for another 20 years.
U.S. Census hiring in Three
Just when most folks were wondering how
long this sluggish economy might last, along comes
Census 2010 with an assortment of area jobs. Want
some more good news? There are 1,000 openings and
no experience is necessary.
But there is a small catch. To land one
of these good-paying jobs ($11.75 to $17 per hour),
applicants will have to take a test. The test is being
administered on Monday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.
According to Melissa Kaminski, assistant
manager for recruiting at the Visalia office, the
test consists of basic skills, reasoning, reading
comprehension, and numbers. It contains multiple-choice
questions and takes about 30 minutes.
candidates can call our toll-free hotline at 866-861-2010
to schedule an appointment to take the test,”
Kaminski said. “Walk-ins are more than welcome,
but it is best to call and reserve a seat in case
the sessions get too full.”
Practice tests may be picked up at the
Visalia Census 2010 office at 3278 S. Mooney Blvd.
(Long John Silver’s parking lot). The practice
test is also available online at www.2010censusjobs.gov,
as well as more information on the specific job opportunities.
Kaminski said most people who take the
practice test have no problem with the actual test.
For more information, call 802-4453.
Permits now required for Half Dome cables
When the cables go up in the spring,
permits to hike to the top of Half Dome will also
be required on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and federal
holidays. This is an interim program to increase safety
along the cables while Yosemite National Park develops
a long-range plan to manage use on the Half Dome trail.
Hiking to the top of Half Dome is one
of the most popular hikes in Yosemite. The iconic
granite monolith, at 8,842 feet above sea level, attracts
people from all over the world who attempt to climb
to the summit.
Most visitors ascend Half Dome via the
cables, which are in place from mid-May through mid-October.
Approximately 84,000 people climbed to
the top of Half Dome in 2008. Although there are several
trailheads leading to the cables on Half Dome, the
majority of visitors start their hike at the Happy
Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley.
The increase in popularity of the hike
has resulted in large numbers of visitors using the
cables, particularly on weekends and holidays. During
last summer, Saturdays and holidays averaged 840 visitors
On peak days, visitor numbers were estimated
at 1,000 to 1,200. This increase has resulted in significant
safety concerns. Specifically, there was both a visitor
fatality and a visitor who sustained serious injuries
on the cables during two consecutive crowded weekends
Starting May 2010, 400 permits will be
issued per day; 300 of which will be day-use permits
and 100 wilderness permits.
The permits are free, but there will
be a nonrefundable service charge of $1.50 for each
permit obtained. Each person climbing the Half Dome
cables will be required to have their own permit.
The Half Dome day-use permits will be
available starting Monday, March 1, through www.recreation.gov
or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
Three Rivers School hosts spelling
Each winter for more than a decade, Three
Rivers School has held two rounds of spelling bees.
First up is an in-school spelling bee, then these
school champs advance to compete against other Tulare
County schools in the Small Schools Spelling Bee.
This year’s spelling competition
began Monday, Jan. 25, when students vied to be one
of two students to win in one of three age categories:
Grade 3-4, Grade 5-6, and Grade 7-8.
These six students — Hannah Sherwood,
fourth grade; Nicole Hauber, fourth grade; Genevieve
Blocker, fifth grade; Cynthia McDermott, sixth grade;
Claire Hamm, seventh grade; and Gunnar Little, seventh
grade — then represented their school when TRUS
hosted its annual Small Schools Spelling Bee on Friday,
Jan. 29. Five schools — Springville, Terra Bella,
Waukena, Columbine, and Sunnyside — made the
trip to Three Rivers to compete.
Next up for Three Rivers School spellers
is the Tulare County Spelling Championship, which
is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24, at the Visalia
Convention Center. Participants in grades four though
eight from schools throughout Tulare County will attend,
including Three Rivers School’s Grade 7-8 winners
Claire Hamm and Gunnar Little. The Grade 5-6 winners
— Genevieve Blocker and Cynthia McDermott —
will attend as runners-up.
The winner of the Tulare County bee will
be eligible to compete in the Scripps National Spelling
Bee, held in Washington, D.C., in May.
Art and community service on
display at TRUS
This weekend’s First Saturday event
will provide an excellent opportunity to view artwork
created by the students at Three Rivers School in
conjunction with two local community service projects.
In November, the students learned about hunger while
assisting with the Empty Bowls project, which raises
funds to benefit local hunger organizations. For this
year’s project, the students glazed over 150
These bowls, along with bowls created
by many other local artists, will be on display at
the Three Rivers Memorial Building on Saturday, Feb.
6, from noon to 7 p.m. The bowls are available for
purchase — from 4 to 7 p.m. they come filled
with tasty soup — to raise money for the Three
Rivers Bread Basket.
Also, in early January, TRUS students
joined the Comfort for Kids project, which makes comforters
for the young patients at Children’s Hospital
Central California. Working in groups, the students
designed comforter tops and wrote letters to accompany
Before being sent to the hospital, the
completed comforters will be on display in the TRUS
gym on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., along
with a photographic essay showing how a comforter
for Kids is a Three Rivers community service tradition,
donating more than 15,000 comforters over 14 years,”
said Amy Dolcourt-McElroy, a co-art director at TRUS
with Maria Howell. “TRUS is proud to contribute
65 more to the project.”
Donations of bedsheets, cloth pieces
of any size, yarn, small plush toys, batting, and
thread for Comfort for Kids may be dropped off at
TRUS during Saturday’s exhibit.
TRUS offers help to Haiti
Sue Sherwood, Three Rivers School superintendent,
sent home a letter with students last week regarding
efforts to assist the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
But this drive to collect shoes, stuffed animals,
and monetary donations is open to the entire community,
so if you have been thinking about assisting the Haitian
people, then now is the time.
This Help for Haiti drive is in response
to the earthquake that struck on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
It is estimated that 200,000 people died during the
disaster while 1.5 million have been rendered homeless
in a country that has historically struggled with
poverty and political strife.
There are several ways to donate:
1. Provide a financial donation. Collection
jars are in each classroom or donations may be dropped
off at the Three Rivers School office. All money will
be donated to the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders,
an international medical humanitarian organization
that has provided aid since 1971 in nearly 60 countries
to people whose survival is threatened by violence,
neglect, or catastrophe.
2. New and clean, gently used stuffed
animals, small to medium in size, are being collected
that will also be provided to Doctors Without Borders
so they may be given to orphaned children. Stuffed
animals may be dropped at the TRUS office.
3. Brown’s Shoes in Visalia is
participating with “Soles for Souls” to
collect gently used shoes of all sizes. They are specifically
in need of athletic shoes and sandals. In conjunction
with this shoe drive, TRUS will be a collection point.
Shoes may be delivered to the TRUS office.
All donations — financial, stuffed
animals, and shoes — must be received by Wednesday,
Feb. 10. For more information, call the school at
Chamber honors local first responders
By Leah Catherine Launey
Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce’s
fourth annual Hero Appreciation Months party, honoring
local firefighters and emergency medical services
personnel, was held at the Three Rivers Arts Center
on Friday, Jan. 29. Refreshments, including homemade
split pea soup, cheesecake, and fudge were provided
courtesy of SFCC and prepared by Leah Catherine Launey,
the event organizer.
Awards presented to each recipient included
a custom-made trophy created by local artists and
Stewart Laser Designs in Exeter. Also provided were
certificate of recognition and a coupon for a free
night’s stay at Three Rivers Bed and Breakfast.
The evening began with a welcome by Reverend
Talley, SFCC vice president, who thanked everyone
for coming and reminded the audience what Hero Appreciation
Months are all about: our community and our member
businesses thanking those whose service helps assure
our safety while putting themselves at risk.
STEVE AND CHRIS BENNETT
Steve and Chris Bennett of Three Rivers
were honored for the years they served on the Three
Rivers Volunteer Ambulance. Steve, who is also the
owner of and pharmacist at Three Rivers Drug, accepted
the couple’s awards on behalf of his wife who
was unable to attend.
He talked about the big fire in 1983
that jumped across the highway several times. As a
volunteer firefighter, Steve was posted at the approximate
location of the present-day Cal Fire station and watched
as the fire came down the hill and headed toward him
at great speed. He continued to spray
down the roof of the building that he was assigned
to protect, all the while watching the fire approach.
To his great relief, when the fire was about 20 yards
away, it took a sudden right turn and headed just
as rapidly back up the hill.
Steve also discussed several rescues
on which he and Chris assisted, including one where
they had to go on a winding road to rescue someone
and then bring them back down the hill. Chris suffers
from motion sickness and as an EMT, had to ride in
the back of the vehicle with the patient. Therefore,
at one point on that winding road, in order to be
able to do her job and continue caring for her patient,
she had no choice but to “share” the oxygen
with the person they were transporting who, at the
moment, was in far better condition than Chris.
Nikki Crain and her husband Rich are
also a former members of the Three Rivers Volunteer
Ambulance. She mentioned that in previous ambulances
the rear window could not be opened, which created
problems with motion sickness whenever rescues took
place in the mountains, especially for EMTs like Nikki
and Chris, who had to ride in the back.
There were also other problems, including
the height of the trucks, or lack of it. She recounted
a time when she and Rich were on their first call
as a team, and they were the only responders.
This was a rescue of someone with a broken
femur. After splinting and securing the patient, they
had to lift this large person onto an old-style gurney
and then try to fit him into the ambulance. They had
to lift him in twice, because the first time they
forgot that they had him in a seated position, and
came fairly close to hitting his head on the roof.
Nikki also talked about the time they
both got a call on a Sunday while at church. Rich
was more dressed up than usual and Nikki was wearing
a summer dress and high heels. With no time even for
a quick change of clothes, Rich drove off in the fire
truck and she drove off in the ambulance, performing
their rescue in their Sunday best.
Rich Crain was up next, focusing on how
he and Nikki first got involved with the Three Rivers
Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance in the early
1980s. He also explained how he obtained his license
to drive the fire truck: “I drove it around
the Lions Arena a couple of times and got handed the
Another time, he received a fire call
and rushed back from Visalia to the fire station.
He saw a helmet and uniform and thinking it was his,
put it on and rushed to the fire.
He soon began noticing that other firefighters
kept checking with him for permission to do this or
that. Finally, he noticed that the helmet he was wearing
was marked “CAPTAIN.” At the first opportunity,
Rich snuck the helmet and uniform back to the firehouse
and found his own equipment.
* * *
Also honored by the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce,
was Steve Sunderland, Tulare County fire chief. The
chief was not in attendance, however, because he was
in Maryland doing training.
Battalion Chief Kim Pennington spoke on his behalf.
Pennington is a close friend of Sunderland, both having
come through the military, county fire, and several
incarnations of CDF together. Pennington recounted
an incident where Sunderland was a rookie and he was
As a rookie Sunderland performed all
the routine dirty jobs around the station, including
some rather creative but impossible jobs requiring
work on things that really didn’t exist. Several
years later, when Sunderland had become a battalion
chief and Pennington now reported to him, payback
occurred when Sunderland made Pennington ride in the
back of a fire truck on a wild race to reach a fire
in Sequoia National Park. Yes, motion sickness caused
by local mountain roads featured prominently in stories
told by the evening’s honorees.
Pennington also had many nice things
to say about Sunderland: “A really good guy;
a person who really cares about his people and his
service to the community.” “His people
would go through hell for him.”
Sunderland was apparently instrumental
in helping acquire a new four-wheel-drive fire truck
for Three Rivers. Per Pennington: “He’s
just that kind of a guy... a gentle giant.”
Leah Catherine Launey
is a Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce director
and organizer of Heroes Months.
1911 ~ 2010
Bertha “Faye” McCoy, formerly
of Three Rivers, died of congestive heart failure
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, at her home in Newport, Ore.
She was less than a week away from her 99th birthday.
On Saturday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m., a graveside
service will be held at Visalia Cemetery.
Faye was born January 20, 1911, in Alliance,
Neb., to George and Tessa Roach. Faye’s father’s
family immigrated to America in 1770 from County Cork,
Ireland; her mother was a member of the Lakota Sioux
After her high school graduation, Faye
moved to California. In 1939, she married Mervin C.
McCoy in San Mateo.
In 1951, the couple moved to Three Rivers
where they owned and operated The Gateway Restaurant
and Lodge in Three Rivers and, later, the Sequoia
Cider Mill when it still offered local apple cider
for sale each fall. Faye and Merv retired in 1982
and relocated to Visalia.
Faye was a member of the First Baptist Church in Siletz,
Ore., and The Order of the Eastern Star - Lucerne
Chapter in Hanford.
In 1995, Faye was preceded in death by
her husband of 56 years, Mervin. She was also preceded
in death by five brothers and two sisters.
Faye is survived by two sisters and many
nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests
that donations be made in Faye’s name to Mid-Coast
Christian School, 1811 NE Arcadia Dr., Toledo, OR
1927 ~ 2010
Vivian H. Doss, a former resident of
Three Rivers who currently resided in Exeter, died
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010, in Lindsay. She was 82.
Vivian was born Sept. 8, 1927, in Reeding, Okla. She
formerly owned the Noisy Water Restaurant in Three
At Vivian’s request, no services will be held.
Paul St. Martin
1919 ~ 2010
Paul Arthur St. Martin, a former resident
of Three Rivers, died Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010. He was
Paul was born July 9, 1919, in Aurora,
Ill., to Louis St. Martin and Pauline Humiston. Shortly
after Paul was born, his parents, seeking greater
opportunity, moved by train to Oceanside.
Living near the beach, Paul’s love
for the sea and all of nature first began. His greatest
joy was spending time outdoors.
Paul graduated from San Diego High School and worked
a short time for Consolidated Aircraft Corporation
before joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 during
World War II. His tour of duty included Guam, Okinawa,
In 1950, Paul returned to civilian life.
That year, he married the former Marion Galle of Woodlake.
They raised their family and ranched in Woodlake and
the Greasy Creek area near present-day Lake Kaweah.
Shortly before retiring and selling the
ranch home, Paul began working seasonally for Sequoia
National Park. Paul and Marion lived in Three Rivers
near their son, Clifford St. Martin, and his family
for about eight years.
In 2005, Paul and Marion moved to Port
Townsend, Wash., to be near their daughter, Sandra,
and her family.
Paul is survived by his wife of nearly
60 years, Marion; his children, Sandra Wurtsmith of
Port Townsend, Wash., and Clifford St. Martin of Three
Rivers; grandchildren, Jennifer Tracer and Ashley
Hicks of Port Townsend and Clifford St. Martin and
Matthew St. Martin of Three Rivers; and great-grandchildren
Deen, Jacey, Caden, Zachary, Jonston, Julissa, Taylor,
Dylan, Caleb, Isaiah, and Malachi.
A family gathering will be held in Port
Townsend. A burial at sea is planned.
1939 ~ 2010
Terrence W. “Lee” Kirk, a
resident of Three Rivers for 40 years, died Thursday,
Jan. 28, 2010, at his home due to pancreatic cancer.
He was 70.
Lee was born Sept. 30, 1939, in St. Louis,
Mo., to Frank and Ruby Kirk. He served in the U.S.
Army from 1956 to 1959.
Following his discharge from military service, Lee
settled in the Los Angeles area. In 1969, he moved
to Three Rivers.
Lee was the can-do, go-to person for
all sorts of drawings, fabrication of precision parts,
and was a wealth of information regarding most anything
mechanical. He also created stained-glass windows,
welded iron, and created exquisite bear carvings from
In addition to working in carpentry and
as a precision machinist, Lee owned and operated an
alarm and security business in Three Rivers. After
selling that business, he was captain of a commercial
fishing boat out of Morro Bay.
Lee will be remembered for his tender
care of all animals, whether they needed help with
foxtails or rattlesnake bites. Some locals might recall
“Peaches,” the bear cub that Lee raised
Lee enjoyed riding his motorcycle with
the Cal-Tex law-enforcement group with ringmaster
Lee recently married the former Brandy
Harvey Shein. In addition to his wife, he is survived
by daughter Kimberly Shaw and grandson Ryan Shaw;
and stepdaughter Stacey Harvey and grandsons Jay,
Dakota, and Jake.
He was preceded in death by his son,
A picnic and celebration of Lee’s
life will be held Saturday, March 6, at 1 p.m., at
the White Horse Inn. All friends and acquaintances
are invited to attend and tell stories of Lee.