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In the News - Friday, February 5, 2010

All stories written by John or

Sarah Elliott unless otherwise noted

 

—See this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)



A SEASONAL WATERFALL brings early-season runoff to the pools in the

Middle Fork of the Kaweah River below Hospital Rock in Sequoia National Park.

Kaweah snowpack is 190 percent

  After 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 benchmark.
   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 groundwater.

Town Meeting: Frogs, rails, roads

   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 of extinction.
   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 frog.
   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.

  “That’s 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, Boiano said.
   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.

  “Every five to 10 years there would be a re-evaluation so we can practice adaptive management,” Boiano said.

TULARE COUNTY RAILROADS
   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.

  “I 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 available.”
   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 highway.
   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.

  “The 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

3R resident as model Rotarian

By Brian Rothhammer

  “The 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.

  “…Twice a day, everyday, except Sunday and Rotary days,” according to Anne Lang, owner of the popular Three Rivers eatery.
   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.

  “The 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.

  “I’ve 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.

  “It 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 Rivers

   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.

  “Interested 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 per day.
   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 last summer.
   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 bees

   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 ceramic bowls.
   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 them.
   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 gets made.

  “Comfort 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 561-4466.

WHO’S NEWS

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
   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
   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 license.”
   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 Sunderland’s boss.
   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.

OBITUARIES

Faye McCoy
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 Nation.
   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 97371.

Vivian Doss
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 Rivers.
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 90.
   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, and Japan.
   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.

Lee Kirk
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 redwood.
   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 to adulthood.
   Lee enjoyed riding his motorcycle with the Cal-Tex law-enforcement group with ringmaster Kevin Bohl.
   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, Eric.
   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.




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