In the News -
Friday, FEBRUARY 9, 2007
weekend on the way
After measuring the paltry snow totals of February 1, the
on-again, off-again periods of rain expected this weekend bring hope that
Kaweah Country might be in for a significant weather change.
Although the current series of storms originated in the Gulf
of Alaska, the main energy associated with the low pressure is picking
up lots of subtropical moisture on the way, and that means that snow levels
will be above 8,000 feet. The rainy periods will be very wet but won’t
add much to a snowpack that in the Kaweah drainage is 43 percent of the
February 1 average.
Those numbers translate to an even more disappointing 26
percent of the April 1 average. If the cool, dry trend were to continue,
this would make the current season the driest since 1990-1991.
In that drought-like season, only 3.02 inches of rainfall
had been recorded in Three Rivers by the end of February. In the current
season, Three Rivers should be looking at about twice that number, or
roughly six inches by President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February
way too early to preach doom and gloom, but we have yet to experience
a really good snow-maker in 2007 for the southern Sierra,” said
a National Weather Service forecaster from Hanford.
In 1991, a two-day series of storms that ended March 10 dumped
more than five inches of rainfall and several feet of snow in the nearby
mountains. So the season ain’t over till it’s over.
Supervisor steers county dollars
The more than 100 who attended last Monday’s Town Hall
Meeting at the Three Rivers Memorial Building were treated to an informative
agenda and the presentation of $500 each to the Redbud Garden Club and
the Sequoia Natural History Association (SNHA). Supervisor Ishida used
the gathering, sponsored by the Three Rivers Village Foundation, to announce
that the grant money was being made available to the local nonprofits
from the Supervisor’s Good Works Fund.
Marge Ewen, who is also a charter board member of the Village
Foundation, accepted on behalf of the Redbud Garden Club. She said the
money would be used for a new landscaping project at the Three Rivers
Mark Tilchen, executive director, who also serves as the
president of the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce, accepted the SNHA
grant. Tilchen said the money would be used to help operate the Beetle
Rock Educational Center.
Speaking of grant money, Supervisor Ishida said, the Sierra
Nevada Conservancy would also be making approximately $15 million available
to mountain communities for improvements that focus on economic development
and preservation. Grants will be considered for trails, waterways, and
development that will help towns like Three Rivers become more economically
board [Sierra Nevada Conservancy] is in the process of writing the grant
guidelines, which we hope to have ready by July,” Ishida said. “There
will be a series of public meetings in March to hear ideas on how the
public would like to see the money used.”
Supervisor Ishida also announced that as chairman of the
Board of Supervisors, he would be delivering the “State of the County”
speech at the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27. One highlight
for Three Rivers, he said, is that he is asking the board to reinvest
the county bed tax into tourism. Currently, that money, of which 75 percent
is collected in Three Rivers, is being used for countywide fire protection.
For those who are unable to attend the Board of Supervisors’
meeting in Visalia, the county’s website now broadcasts all the
board meetings live.
Plans have not been finalized with the new Visalia shuttle
that is set to begin hauling national park visitors during the upcoming
season. At the present time, Ishida said, Visalia officials are looking
at some type of reservation system that could be made available for Three
In the future, Ishida said, some central town property with
mixed development would be ideal for a shuttle stop. Once the scenic highway
designation becomes official, that would improve the potential for a grant
to get the project rolling.
Tom Sparks, spokesperson for the Three Rivers Village Foundation,
said county planners would be presenting a protection plan for the scenic
corridor at another Three Rivers public meeting in a month or two.
county planners are doing now is comparing the existing ordinances with
Caltrans criteria,” Sparks said. “There are already some restrictions
that are severe.”
Sparks said, for example, billboards are already prohibited
along Highway 198.
still is a lot of flexibility in the scenic highway program,” Supervisor
Ishida said. “Nothing is set in stone and a decision can be amended.”
Alexandra Picavet, public information officer for Sequoia
and Kings Canyon National Parks, announced that the President’s
budget has an additional $1.2 million for the local parks. The money,
she said, will be used to hire 39 more seasonal employees.
Picavet also announced the hiring of Colleen Bathe, as Sequoia and Kings
Canyon’s new Chief of Interpretation. Bathe, who comes to Ash Mountain
from Bryce Canyon National Park, succeeds William Tweed who retired last
The Tulare County Planning Commission is currently working
on the County’s new General Plan (Feb. 14th meeting) and hearing
additional public testimony on medical marijuana (Feb. 28th meeting).
The meetings are held every other Wednesday at 9 a.m. and the public is
invited to attend.
For information on how to attend, or an agenda for all upcoming
county meetings, log onto the county website at co.tulare.ca.us. and click
on county government or call 733-6291.
from local loom
of the Sierra” is a handwoven tapestry that was ceremonially cut
from the Three Rivers loom of weaver Sharon Warren at a reception last
The finished piece will serve as the logo for the 26th biennial
conference of the Association of Southern California Handweavers, held
March 20 to 26 at the Visalia Convention Center. The tapestry will be
showcased during the event.
Sharon created the wool tapestry, which is 41 inches wide
and 27 inches in height, on a Fireside floor loom. The project took 18
months to complete.
Sharon is a member of Kaweah Konnection, a Three Rivers fiber
arts and weaving guild that meets monthly. The tapestry was created for
the Handweavers of the Valley, one of the ASCH conference hosts and parent
organization for Kaweah Konnection.
Sharon has been a weaver since 1970 when she lived in Canada.
She started by spinning the fur of her Samoyed into yarn, which she knitted
into a sweater for her husband, and weaving was a natural progression
as a means to create with the yarn she was accumulating.
She then spent nearly 20 years studying color, design, drawing,
painting through a variety of college classes.
Sharon Warren and her husband, Don, moved to the Bay Area
in 1973. In 2005, the couple retired to Three Rivers.
Two more VIPs
to 3R patrol
What was started in 2002 as a community watch by Glenn McIntyre,
and a year later led to the first seven local volunteers completing the
Tulare County Sheriff’s academy training as VIPs (Volunteers in
Patrol), now has two more Three Rivers graduates. At last Sunday’s
ceremony in Visalia, Cherokee Oaks residents Chuck and Frances Hawkins
became the 11th and 12th members of the local volunteer force that assist
the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, especially in the underserved
areas of Tulare County.
was apparent that we had to do something if we wanted law enforcement
to have more of a local presence,” said Glenn McIntyre, who was
one of the first locals to complete the rigorous 40-hour training in 2003.
“We don’t carry firearms, but we do a lot to assist the deputies
and are trained to respond to a routine emergency or a natural disaster.”
The 40 hours of training is offered seasonally at various
sites in the Valley over six consecutive weekends. Don Thompson, who became
a VIP in 2004, is the current president of the Headquarters Chapter of
the VIPs. The Headquarters Chapter, which includes the Three Rivers contingent,
has 70 members within its jurisdiction.
The recent graduating class included a total of 30 who will
now be assigned to one of the county’s three chapters of VIPs.
To find out more about the program or to sign up for the
next training, call Don Thompson at 561-4370. VIPs correspondence may
be addressed to P.O. Box 911, Three Rivers, CA 93271.
A California High School
Exam survival guide
the second year that the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is
required to receive a high school diploma in California. Students may
take the test the first time in the spring of their sophomore year.
Woodlake High School will be giving the test to all sophomores
in March. The test has two parts, English and Math.
Each test is divided into two parts. The English part of
the test has an essay portion in addition to the multiple-choice questions.
Students may NOT use a calculator on the math portion of
the test. The test is not timed so a student can take as long as they
need to complete the test.
Each section has 450 points possible; 350 points are needed
to pass each part of the test. Once a student has passed the math or English
portion of the test, they will not be required to take that test again.
The best way for parents to help their student get ready
for the CAHSEE is to encourage them to do well in school, especially English
and math, and to use the study guides provided by the California Department
of Education and distributed to all sophomores. Doing a few problems each
day with your child will help them understand what is being tested and
it will help you as a parent understand what your child will have to know
to pass the test.
If your child has to explain a problem to you, that is even
better, because the best way to test what you know is to be able to explain
it to someone else.
All California schools are working on the skills needed to
pass the CAHSEE, starting in the lower grades. Students who are targeted
as early as junior high as those who will struggle with the CAHSEE are
taken out of elective classes to take more English and math.
As a former Home Economics teacher, I feel that this may
be counterproductive, causing some students to just give up.
Students who fail either part of the test as sophomores have
the opportunity to take the test again twice in their junior year, three
times in their senior year, and once in the summer after the end of their
senior year. Students who do not pass both parts of the test will not
receive a high school diploma.
The students who struggle the most with the CAHSEE are students
who do not have English as their primary language. Students who do not
speak English at home often seem very fluent when speaking English, but
struggle with the grammar and writing skills required to pass the CAHSEE.
Other students suffer from test anxiety, which can be a big
hurdle for many students.
If a student does not pass the CAHSEE, they may receive a
certificate from their high school and participate in the graduation ceremony,
but they will need to pass the test in the summer, pass the GED, or attend
adult school and pass the CAHSEE to be eligible for California financial
aid or for many jobs, including almost all civil service jobs.
Students will be allowed to attend College of the Sequoias
or any other community college without passing the CAHSEE, but COS does
not have a program to help students pass the GED or CAHSEE, so they must
attend Visalia Adult School for those programs. The GED costs $100 each
time the test is taken and may be taken three times in any calendar year.
If you want further information about the CAHSEE, the website
Parents, consider, how would you have done with this kind
of pressure added to all the other pressures of high school?
Sally Pace retired last year as head counselor
and dean of students of Woodlake High School.
1921 ~ 2007
Jean Heather Darsey died Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, at her home
in Three Rivers. She was 86.
A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Saturday, Feb.
10) at 1 p.m., at the Community Presbyterian Church in Three Rivers.
Jean was lovingly assisted through her transition by Charlene
Natoli, Grace Klassen, Riet Hoogeveen, Tawny Ringer, and other family
Jean was born Jan. 17, 1921, in Reading, England, to John
W. and Mae Donaldson-Aiken and returned home to Tavoy, Lower Burma, soon
after. The family moved to Huntington Park, Calif., while Jean was a youngster
and she graduated from Huntington Park High School.
On Oct. 17, 1942, she married her high school sweetheart,
Cayce H. Darsey. He was serving in the Army Air Corps during World War
Jean loved being at home raising her children in La Habra
Heights. Her love of gardening and rural life blossomed there.
In 1964, Jean moved to Three Rivers. From 1972 to 1979, Jean
returned to Huntington Park to replace her mother as director of the Fox
Conservatory of Music. She directed master teachers and taught piano.
She also served on the board of the Huntington Park Symphony.
Throughout her life, Jean enriched many children’s lives through
piano and song.
When Jean returned to Three Rivers in 1979, she resumed her
community involvement to her delight and to the enrichment of the community
she loved. She awoke with a song, blessing each new day.
Her community activities included being secretary of the
Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce, three-time president of the Three Rivers
Woman’s Club (1970, 1986, 1987) and the Redbud Garden Club (1970,
Also as a member of the Redbud Garden Club, Jean was a longtime
chairwoman of the Beautification Committee, which has been responsible
for the planting of trees and other vegetation along Sierra Drive and
also honors residential gardeners with beautification awards.
Jean was the program chair for the Three Rivers Senior League
for many years and was a Three Rivers Community Plan volunteer. She also
was a Lady Angler, Koffee Klan bowler, a member of the Spanish Club, and
a lifetime member of the Three Rivers Historical Society.
For nearly 13 years, Jean wrote the monthly “Garden
Goodies” column for the Three Rivers newspaper, passing along timely
gardening tips and tidbits.
In her Sept. 20, 2002, column she wrote:
am starting the 12th year of Garden Goodies… Little did I imagine
that they would last so long, or me either, for that matter! But, here
I am, and I do hope that my readers enjoy this gift to them each month.”
Jean will be remembered by many for her love of natural beauty,
quick wit, true grit, and organizational excellence.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Cayce, in 1982
and her beloved son, Kevin Darsey, in 1986.
Jean is survived by her daughters, Sheila Darsey of McIntosh,
N.M., Susan Darsey and partner Ed Mergler of Three Rivers, and Kathleen
Johnson of Twentynine Palms; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Hospice
of Tulare County (900 W. Oak Ave., Visalia, CA 93291), the Community Presbyterian
Church music fund (P.O. Box 685, Three Rivers, CA 93271), or a charity
of the donor’s choice.