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In the News - Friday, February 8, 2013

 

 

 

Redbud Festival cancelled

  It was supposed to be a gala celebration, commemorating 40 years of one of Three Rivers’s most favorite springtime events. Instead, it has turned out to be too much work for a dwindling group of volunteers.
   The Arts Alliance of Three Rivers, which has organized the Redbud Arts and Crafts Festival for more than 20 years, stated in a press release that the loss of several board members in the past six months is the reason the group is having difficulties staging the event.
   The Arts Alliance, which also provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors and sponsors creative workshops, plans to revive the festival in 2014. The event usually consists of 60 or more booths of artists, many who are from Three Rivers, with the stipulation that all wares must be handcrafted.
   In April 1972, the Redbud Festival was first held at the Three Rivers Golf Course, then managed by Dennis White. The naming of the festival is credited to his mother, Cleo White.
   The golf course was soon bought by the Raynor family, who kept the tradition going each April.
   But 2013 isn’t the first time the Redbud Festival experienced growing pains. By the end of the 1980s, two local factions were at odds over who had control of the event; for a couple of years, two artists’ festivals were contending with each other.
   Once the Arts Alliance was formed, some structure provided the Redbud Festival with staying power. After several years of trying to find a visible home for the festival on Highway 198, and dealing with the challenges April brings to Three Rivers — due to both weather and scheduling conflicts with Jazzaffair and the Roping — the event was finally moved to the Roping Arena and has been held each Mother’s Day weekend since that time.
  “The Arts Alliance wants to make 2014 the year for the 40th Redbud Arts and Craft Festival to return, renewed and invigorated, as the venerable, fun and creative community event it has been for so many years for Three Rivers,” the press release said.
   To assist with the 2014 Redbud Festival, call Chris Schlossin, Arts Alliance board president, at 561-4453 or email her at chris@sequoiamotel.com. The next meeting of the club is on Tuesday, April 16, at 1 p.m.

North Fork burglary nets guns, jewelry

  Sheriff’s Department detectives are investigating the theft of jewelry, family heirlooms, and guns from a remote Three Rivers residence located five miles up North Fork Drive. The theft occurred Sunday, Jan. 27, at about 11 a.m., and may be linked to two separate break-ins that occurred shortly after at the Village Market.
   According to Annie Hayes, owner of the property and the victim in the North Fork heist, these incidents should serve as a wake-up call to everyone that we need more security and an increased law-enforcement presence in Three Rivers.
  “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me because it’s only stuff and no one was hurt,” Annie said, “but my heart is broken to think that someone would enter my home and steal things that mean so much to me.”
   Annie was referring to her jewelry collection — items like the first piece of jewelry she bought when she was 16, heirloom wedding rings, and customized items made by local artists, some that date back to 1970s.
  “There must have been more than 10 pounds of sterling silver and every piece had a story,” Annie said.
   Annie and her longtime companion Harley Slate, who also lives on the property, were out of town at the time the theft occurred. She said they had a house-sitter who left for about an hour and when she returned, found the front door open and items missing.
   In addition to the jewelry, two handguns, a shotgun, and two antique clocks were also stolen.
  “They didn’t touch two new flat-screen TVs or my computer, and they didn’t trash the place,” Annie said. “They knew exactly what they were after.”
   The incident report that was taken by resident deputy Jim Fansett estimated that items worth more than $20,000 were taken from the North Fork residence. There were no signs of forced entry.
   On Saturday, Feb. 2, Charles Waldrum of Three Rivers was arrested on “felony theft and dangerous drug charges.” A phone call and emails to the Sheriff’s Department were not returned regarding if or how this arrest might be related to the recent spate of local thefts.
   Anyone with information in the case may text or voicemail the anonymous tip line at 725-4194.

Clothing boutique now open

By Holly Gallo

  Jim and Bonnie Farkas, Three Rivers residents and former operators of the We Three Bakery, are the newest neighbors at 41667 Sierra Drive to move into the recently renovated stretch of stores from Sierra Surplus to Sayler Saddlery.
   The Farkases celebrated a grand opening of River’s Edge Boutique on Saturday, Feb. 2, with the welcoming support of the 1st Saturday crew.
River’s Edge is the manifestation of a long-brewing dream of Bonnie’s, according to her daughter, Sarah. The boutique sells new and gently used clothing in sizes from misses to plus at affordable prices, bringing fashionable clothes and accessories to the women of Three Rivers.
  “We are very selective on what we bring in,” Sarah said, and even a brief glance around the shop provides evidence enough of the quality, variety, and unique finds that fit into their small shop.
   The boutique sells everything from jeans to fur coats, and carries a jewelry selection that includes handmade pieces by Bonnie, as well as Huichol fine beadwork pieces. A Three Rivers exclusive at River’s Edge is Bertha Alicia Garza’s soaps and lotions that come in custom scents made with natural ingredients.
  “We can serve the community here as well as travelers,” Sarah said. “We can save people a trip down the hill, and tourists who need a quick cover-up or jacket can find it here without outrageous prices.”
   As Sarah said, “It may be a small space, but there’s something for everyone.”

Three Rivers meets County’s new DA

  Those folks who are regulars at the monthly Town Hall meetings in Three Rivers have come to expect updates on what’s going on in the local parks and the community. Supervisor Allen Ishida, who regularly attends, uses the forum to introduce county staff and discuss an array of topics.
   At the Monday, Feb. 4, meeting, Supervisor Ishida introduced Tim Ward, Tulare County’s new District Attorney. Ward began his remarks by saying he enjoyed the opportunity to speak on something other than a criminal case when a relative or someone you know has been involved in a crime.
  “I’d like to tell you what we are doing in the office of the Tulare County District Attorney,” Ward said. “When Phil Cline, your former DA, finally made up his mind to retire on December 15, he appointed me to finish out the two years remaining in his term.”
   Ward was born and raised in North Carolina. After graduating with an ROTC experience at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the Army suggested he serve some active duty training other enlisted personnel in the use of tanks in California.
  “As a whitewater kayaker and backpacker, I thought California would be great,” Ward recalled. “What I didn’t know is that I would be living in Barstow for the next four years; not the best place for a kayaker or a backpacker.”
   After getting married in California, Ward landed a job 14 years ago with the largest law firm in Tulare County – the office of the District Attorney. He said that his most recent assignment of assistant district attorney was good training in all the aspects of how the office worked.   Ward said when Cline retired the office was in good shape even with the huge challenges posed by the prisoner realignment and Proposition 36, which further defined the Three Strikes law.
   One change that Ward did make was to redesign the office logo with a torch to reflect his own mantra, which is: to illuminate justice, enlighten with the truth, and guide victims through the system.
  “We’ve made some staff changes but the core function of the office has not changed,” Ward said. “Currently, we have 38 active homicides, nine involving infants.”
   Ward said the office has added new investigators and is making a concerted push to fight rural crime, white collar crime, and crimes against children. White collar crimes like embezzlement, contractor fraud, and identity theft have increased the most (more than 10 percent) in the last decade.
   The realignment of the housing of non-violent felons in the county poses a tremendous challenge for Tulare County, Ward said. More offenders are out on the streets that would not have been out of prison prior to the state mandate.
   At present, Tulare County has the facilities and staff to meet the needs of these offenders as long as the state funding continues. The urgency has translated to an expansion of the probation department and mental health programs, Ward said.
   The changes in the Three Strikes law mandated by Prop 36 have affected 30 cases in Tulare County, Ward said. He continued that the impacts have been minor though because the judges have always used discretion, and the life sentence is not now and wasn’t previously automatic if the third strike was a minor offense.
   After some thoughtful questions and answers, Lee Goldstein, moderator of the forum called for suggestions for future agenda items. The consensus was to hear from Christie Myer, chief probation officer, to continue the dialogue on prisoner realignment.
   An update on Measure R and county roads will also be featured on a future agenda. The monthly Town Hall meetings at the Three Rivers Memorial Building are sponsored by the Three Rivers Village Foundation.
   The next Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 4. For information, call Marge Ewen, 561-1234.

Board of Supervisors

to hold evening meetings

  The Tulare County Board of Supervisors will host its regularly scheduled meetings during the evening five times this year at various locations around the county. The goal of hosting the night meetings is to improve the public’s access to the Board.
The first of five night meetings will be held Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m., at Farmersville City Hall. The other four meetings, yet to be scheduled, will take place in each of the remaining four supervisorial districts. Board of Supervisors meetings are usually held on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. in Visalia.

U.S. Postal Service discontinues Saturday mail delivery

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
—INSCRIPTION ON THE GENERAL POST OFFICE, NEW YORK CITY

  ...But financial problems can eliminate their jobs altogether.
   Beginning in early August, the Postal Service will discontinue the delivery of letters and other first class mail on Saturdays.
   Packages will still be delivered, and mail will continue to be distributed to P.O. box holders. Post offices now open on Saturdays will remain open on that day. This move is projected to save the floundering Postal Service about $2 billion annually, due to the reduction in hours of mail carriers or the elimination of jobs altogether.
   For 150 years, mail has been delivered Monday through Saturday. But email, the Internet, and competing ground delivery services have taken a toll.
   This isn’t the first time Saturday mail has been suspended. In 1957, then-Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield decided to end Saturday deliveries nationwide because of a budget crisis. On Saturday, April 13, there was no mail delivery.
   But public outcries prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to sign a bill more fully funding the “Post Office Department” three days later. The next Saturday, service resumed.

About the Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service is the nation’s largest civilian employer, has the nation’s largest retail network, and the world’s largest civilian fleet of vehicles (and the largest alternative fuel-enabled fleet). The current Postmaster General is Patrick R. Donahoe.
                                          * * *
There are 42,000 ZIP codes in the U.S. • Lowest ZIP: 00501 (IRS in New York) • Highest ZIP: 99950 (Ketchikan, AK) • Easiest ZIP: 12345 (General Electric, New York )• Highest elevation post office: Leadville, CO (10,150 feet asl) • Lowest elevation post office: Mecca, CA (180 feet below sea level) • Smallest post office (nope, not Kaweah, according to the USPS): Ochopee, FL (61.3 square feet) • Most amenities: Peach Springs, AZ (on old Route 66, has walk-in freezers for food to be delivered by mule train to the bottom of the Grand Canyon) • Most isolated: Anaktuvuk Pass, AK (300 residents; no roads; everything is flown in) • Most common street names: Second, Park, Main, Maple, Oak • Delivery dedication: A 45-foot contract mail boat from Detroit delivers mail to passing ships and has its own ZIP code • Most stubborn dedication: Mule trains in Arizona (each mule carries about 130 pounds of mail, food, supplies, and furniture down an eight-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, averaging 41,000 pounds per week).

PHOTO CAPTION:

Gas prices have once again hit the $4 threshold, and analysts are predicting that prices will continue to rise. In Southern California, the cost of a gallon of fuel has hit the $5 mark.

Winning ‘Kaepernicker’ from Three Rivers

Kaepernicking (verb): The act of kissing your bicep, which may or may not have a tattoo, after scoring a touchdown.

By Holly Gallo


   Santa Barbara City College student Meg Johnson of Three Rivers is something of a Colin Kaepernick fan. She’s been cheering for the now San Francisco 49ers quarterback since he played for the University of Nevada at Reno. She once even got a high five from him when she was in the stands to watch his team play Fresno State.
   Naturally, she recently took her place in the Internet sensation of “Kaepernicking,” where fans recreate Kaepernick’s signature bicep kiss celebration pose. Social media exploded with fan photos, but Meg’s, showing her atop her rearing horse, Jasper, wearing Kaepernick’s #7 jersey, caught the attention of Kaepernick himself.
  “It just seemed different and unique,” Meg said of her photo. “It wasn’t just standing in your house like the others.”
   After the Turlock-raised football star, who with his team narrowly lost their bid to be Super Bowl champs last Sunday, personally “liked” her photo on Instagram, one of his agents called Meg and told her she’d won the online Kaepernicking photo contest.
   Her prize? The shirt off his back.
  “I really wanted to win his shirt,” Meg said. “I was so excited.”
   Thousands entered the contest, and Meg alone wears the red T-shirt worn by Kap himself. Well, will wear.
  “It still hasn’t come yet,” Meg said. “I hope it gets here soon.”

California’s U.S. senators introduce

bill to commemorate Buffalo Soldiers

  U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) this week introduced the “Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks Study Act.” The bill commemorates the Buffalo Soldiers, the Army’s first all-African-American units, and the critical role they played in the early years of the national parks.
  “The Buffalo Soldiers acted as our nation’s first park rangers, and they left a rich legacy in California,” Senator Feinstein said. “This bill is the first step in memorializing the critical role the Buffalo Soldiers played in shaping our treasured National Park system. We must honor their contributions and make sure they are remembered by all.”
   Created by Congressional Order in 1866, the Buffalo Soldiers served the nation both at home and abroad in the face of segregation and intolerance. The Buffalo Soldiers also left behind a legacy enshrined in the national parks.
   Buffalo Soldiers stationed at San Francisco’s Presidio patrolled Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, where they protected our parks from poachers and loggers, built trails, and escorted visitors. The Buffalo Soldiers were, in essence, the nation’s first park rangers.
  “The Buffalo Soldiers were true trailblazers, serving as California’s first park rangers and as the Army’s first African-American units during a period of significant racial discrimination,” said Senator Boxer. “Passing this legislation will help ensure that their legacy is never forgotten.”
   This bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to commission a study to:
  —Evaluate the feasibility of establishing a national historic trail commemorating the route the Buffalo Soldiers traveled between their post at San Francisco’s Presidio and Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks.
  —Identify properties to be considered for the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks.
  —Develop educational initiatives and a public awareness campaign about the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers.
   Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
   For more on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers in Sequoia National Park, search “Buffalo Soldiers” on this website. The troops have been written about extensively in the Commonwealth, including a series by Jay O’Connell (author of books about the Kaweah Colony and the local outlaws Evans and Sontag).

REI executive nominated for Interior secretary

  Sally Jewell, a retail executive and outdoor enthusiast, is President Barack Obama’s pick to oversee the National Park Service and vast energy reserves on public lands as Interior secretary. She is the first woman selected to join Obama’s second-term Cabinet.
   Obama nominated Jewell, chief executive of outdoor retailer REI, on Wednesday, calling her an “expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future” as well as a knowedgeable executive who understands the link between conservation and economic progress.
  “I am humbled and I’m energized by this opportunity,” Jewell said in a brief White House ceremony, where she was introduced by outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
   Her background, which includes a stint as an oil company engineer, won praise from conservationists and some industry groups, but Jewell’s nomination drew skepticism from some Republicans.
  “I look forward to hearing about the qualifications Ms. Jewell has that make her a suitable candidate to run such an important agency, and how she plans to restore balance to the Interior Department,” said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
   Murkowski has criticized the department, including its decision in December to open about half the vast National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska’s North Slope to drilling, which she said was not enough.
   Jewell, 56, has been a leader in land conservation in the Pacific Northwest, but she worked in the energy and banking sectors earlier in her career.
   Besides managing the National Park Service, the Interior Department oversees about a fifth of the nation’s land mass and vast offshore oil fields.
   The DOI has a strong say in rules that govern hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands as well as drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic. It will help implement the president’s push for more renewable energy development on federal land.
   A graduate of the University of Washington, where she now serves as a regent, Jewell began her career as an engineer at Mobil Oil Corporation. Jewell joined Recreational Equipment Inc. as a board member in 1996 before taking over as chief operating officer in 2000 and then later as CEO of the national retail chain.
   Jewell’s Senate confirmation hearings have not been scheduled.

Park Service faces deep budget cuts

  Across-the-board budget cuts of $85 billion are looming for federal agencies if Congress doesn’t act by March 1. This continues to be fallout from the “fiscal cliff,” which was, for the most part, averted on January 1.
   Although lawmakers did take action to raise taxes on families earning $450,000 or more annually, they postponed spending cuts for two months to buy themselves more time to reach an agreement on how best to control the massive deficit.
   If they can’t get it figured out in the next few weeks, federal agencies and programs will take a huge hit, including the National Park Service, said Jonathan Jarvis, NPS director.
   In fact, park officals should prepare to make $100 million in cuts. Sequoia and Kings Canyon will see its budget reduced by $820,000. Yosemite faces $1.43 million in cuts. Death Valley and Pinnacles (which became the nation’s 59th national park on January 11, 2013) will also share in the budget woes.
   Park Service employees, as well as visitors, can expect to experience reductions in services and hours of operation, as well as closures of facilities and other areas due to staff shortages.

  Pinnacles National Park— Despite its rocky start due to a possible $172,000 in budget cuts, Pinnacles is California’s newest national park, elevated in status from national monument as it has been known since 1908.

SPEAKING OUT

FHCN reaffirms commitment to provide local quality care

By Harry Foster, M.D.

  Family HealthCare Network and other community clinics and health centers (CCHCs) in California are at the forefront of health care transformation and have been preparing for health care reform implementation for years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now the “law of the land” and millions will now have access to the health care coverage.
   The ACA also put forth major changes within the health care system to ensure that once the newly insured have coverage, they receive quality care. That is why the ACA included the simultaneous pursuit of three main goals, also known as the Triple Aim, which are: improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care.
   Family HealthCare Network in Tulare County and other community clinics and health centers have long worked to achieve all of these goals since their inception in the 1960s.   These organizations were born from the need to provide care for the underserved and uninsured because the traditional health care market was not adequately meeting the needs of all people.
   The mission of CCHCs is also predicated on the idea that health is local, and that in order to best serve those in your community, you have to meet them where they are, provide care in their language, in a way that is sensitive to their culture, understand the social factors impacting their lives, and treat them holistically as a person, and not as an isolated condition.
   This is part of the reason why Family HealthCare Network has become a provider of choice for one in three residents of Tulare County and the largest primary care provider of care in the county. We remain one of only a few ambulatory care organizations who have achieved accreditation by the Joint Commission.
   Additionally, in the last year, we have been designated as a Level 3 Patient Centered Health Home by the National Committee on Quality Assurance, and then subsequently accredited by the Joint Commission with a separate designation as a Patient Centered Medical Home. The high-quality care we provide also translates into better health outcomes for our patients and improved health in the communities we serve.
   A recent study conducted by the California Primary Care Association, in conjunction with John Snow, Inc., looked at how Medi-Cal managed care patients who utilized a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) for primary care compared to non-FQHC patients. This study confirmed that by providing patients with high-quality care, federally qualified health centers ultimately drive down the overall cost of care to the health system.
   The study looked at key factors such as hospital stays, hospital readmission rates, and number of emergency room visits; all of which were lower for FQHC patients than non-FQHC patients — making it clear that FQHCs provide value to both their patients and the health care system as a whole. As we move forward with health care reform implementation, we at Family HealthCare Network plan to continue to play a vital role in the improved health  of our community and drive down health care costs for everyone.
   Harry Foster, M.D., is the president and CEO of Family HealthCare Network, which has clinics throughout Tulare County, including in Three Rivers.

Calidore Quartet meets a high bar

News of the Three Rivers Performing Arts Institute

By Bill Haxton

Calidore Quartet
Saturday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
Community Presbyterian Church
Three Rivers
Admission: $12

  The last half century produced a high water mark for legendary string quartets. That was the era of the Guarneri String Quartet led by the great violinist Arnold Steinhardt, the Juilliard Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet all of whose instruments were Stradivaris, the fabled Amadeus Quartet, now disbanded.
   It’s a big challenge for a new string quartet to follow in the wake of those giants. It takes a special breed of musician to even try. You need technical skill that reaches an unimaginable level of precision.
   The Calidore String Quartet is up to the challenge. And people are starting to notice. Reviews have been unrestrained, citing their “fiery brilliance, breadth of musicianship and palpable energy.”
   In just two years, violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry, and cellist Estelle Choi (all of whom could have successful solo careers if they chose) have won top prizes in the world’s most prestigious and demanding chamber music competitions — the ARD Munich International, the Hamburg International, the 2011 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the 2012 Coleman and Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competitions. These are some of the same competitions won 50 years ago by the Juilliard Quartet.
   We are fortunate to have the opportunity to hear Calidore at the beginning of what is certain to be a long and illustrious career, one that very probably will place them in the rarified upper pantheon of the world’s great string quartets.
   The music program for their upcoming concert is superb. They open with Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in C major Op. 76 No. 3. This is his best known quartet, and because of the second movement, one of the most notorious quartets ever written by anyone.
   Following Haydn and closing the first half is Paul Hindemith’s String Quartet No. 4, Op. 22. The second half is all Mendelssohn, his gorgeous String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13, the composer’s famous tribute to Beethoven and one of the best loved pieces in the repertoire.
   This month’s concert is sponsored by Bank of the Sierra.

Singing classes offered to TRUS students

By Holly Gallo

  Eileen Farrell, Three Rivers’s resident producer, director, and voice extraordinaire since 1994, is offering Three Rivers Union School students in grades 2 through 8 after-school singing classes.
   The sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the school for $25 a month per child.
   Eileen’s hope is that, with enough students, she will be able to start a Three Rivers children’s chorus.
  “Children love to sing,” Eileen said. “I want to teach them how to use their voice and experience the joy of singing. I want to give them a musical education, to teach them techniques and songs.”
   Eileen boasts an exciting 30-plus-year career in vocal arts. She’s performed in New York, worked as a talent agent in Hollywood, and produced and directed several musical productions.
   Locally, she’s taught drama and voice to children and adults, directed at the Sierra Performing Arts Center in Visalia and at Exeter High School while also providing private voice lessons.
   If you would like more information about the extracurricular class or would like to register your child for the classes, call Eileen at 561-0361.

Chamber of Commerce honors firefighters

  At a celebration in their honor, hosted by the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce in honor of its Hero Appreciation Months, on Friday, Jan. 25, two local firefighters were honored. Dave Bartlett, who retired in December 2011 as fire management officer at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, and John Hanggi, a local volunteer firefighter for 25 years, were honored at the gathering with awards created and donated by local artist Anne Brown and nameplates engraved and donated by Red Barn Sounvenirs and Gifts.

   On Friday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., at the Three Rivers Historical Museum, the Hero Appreciation continues with a presentation to selected law enforcement/peace officers.

OBITUARY

Randy Norris
1962 ~ 2013

   Randy George Norris, a former resident of Three Rivers, died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Florence, Colo. He was 52.
   Randy was born on May 15, 1961, in Zapata, Texas, to Tena and Earl Caperton.
When Randy was six years old, the family moved to Three Rivers. He graduated from Three Rivers School and Woodlake High School.
   Randy spent most of his life in Three Rivers, where he previously worked as a ranch hand, heavy equipment operator, at Pat O’Connell’s Mobil Station, and in the backcountry of Sequoia National Park for several seasons.
   He relocated to Florence, Colo., six years ago, where he was the service manager for AC Solar Inc. Randy loved the outdoors, especially hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, and cookouts. He loved spending time with his family and friends, who will always remember how much he enjoyed storytelling.
   Randy was preceded in death by his father, Earl Caperton (1933-1994); brother Lonnie Treadaway (1959-1995); and honorary brother Jim Myers (1957-2004).
   Randy is survived by his family, which includes many people, whether through blood or via the unbreakable bonds of a Three Rivers friendship: Tena Caperton of Three Rivers; brothers Joe Norris and Richard Skeen; sister Ginger Chessher; sister-in-law Cindy Skeen; nephews Chuck DeMent and Kleet Norris; nieces Casey DeMent and Alexandria Skeen, who is also Randy’s goddaughter; and honorary brothers Tyler Johnson, Jeff Lasswell, Mike Watkins, and Phil Gomes.
   On Saturday, Jan. 26, a private graveside service was held at Three Rivers Cemetery. A celebration of life immediately followed at the Three Rivers Roping Arena, officiated by Manuel Andrade of Three Rivers.
   A Facebook page was created in remembrance of Randy. Anyone who would like to post photos or memories of him may do so at Facebook.com (search “In Loving Memory of Randy G. Norris”). There is also a 15-minute YouTube video posted on the page that was created by Richard Skeen with photos from throughout Randy’s life set to music.

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