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In the News - Friday, FEBRUARY 16, 2007

Giulani’s Campaign ’08

visits Tulare County

   After the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, Rudy Giuliani and his decisive leadership were known in every corner of this nation and around the world. Now he’s hoping to ride that fame and reputation all the way the White House in 2008.
   On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Giuliani, a Republican, took a giant step in the right direction when he visited the World Ag Expo in Tulare. He signed autographs, kissed babies, posed for photos, and sounded very much like a man who would be president.
   Everywhere the ex-New York City mayor went, from the opening ceremonies at the Heritage Complex to the New Product Center to the podium at the Case IH exhibit, he was shadowed by dozens of cameras and hundreds of supporters.
   Giuliani, a big-city politician, was really impressed by the World Ag Expo, the largest trade show on the planet.

  “For a kid from Brooklyn, this is great a thing for me to see and learn from the experience,” Giuliani told the media during a press briefing. “If we are going to solve world hunger, it’s going to be the American farmer that will find the ways to do the job.”
   Standing among some giant-sized farm equipment, Giuliani said it was a humbling experience. He admitted that he’s no expert when it comes to agriculture, but he does know the importance of putting food on the table, and when it comes to the farmer, he is listening.

  “What I hear American farmers telling me is that they need water, labor, and a level playing field,” Giulani said. “They don’t need any special treatment.”
   Giuliani fielded several questions as smooth as Derek Jeter, his favorite Yankee shortstop. He was especially proud of the war on crime being waged in the streets of New York City.
   The candidate said he had been instrumental in targeting handguns.

  “Handgun seizures have reduced homicides in the city by 65 percent,” Giuliani told the growing throng. “New York is the only city in America that has had a decline in crime for 13 or 14 consecutive years.”
   But does he think he’s got what it takes to raise the necessary funds to get the party’s nomination and then win the presidency?, asked one member of the press.

  “If you believe in yourself and your message, then you owe it to your supporters,” Giuliani said. “You have to get the campaign money to do the job. There is no job like it in the world.”
   Like an experienced politician, Giuliani told the folks at the Expo what they wanted to hear, sandwiched between chants of “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” He said he learned on the job as mayor of New York City and he could do it again as president.
   Though he has filed the paperwork to explore a candidacy, he has stopped short of an announcement until Tuesday in rural Tulare.

  “When I think about a kid from Brooklyn possibly being president, it’s very humbling,” Giuliani told the crowd of nearly 500 gathered at the Case IH exhibit. “Yes, I am running, hard and very fast and a lot sooner than I thought.”
   He added that a more formal announcement would come later.

Water, air highlight

Ag Expo seminars

   When there is 2.5 million square feet with 2,000 exhibitors, scrumptious rib-eye sandwiches, Reimer’s candy, chef demos, and tractor pulling, the free seminars at the 40th annual World Ag Expo weren’t necessarily the main attraction. But of the more than 100,000 visitors from 70 countries, for the hundreds who did attend any of the dozen seminars, the industry’s learning curve just a got a little more manageable.
   Among the most useful presentations was one that affects everybody entitled: “How Air and Water Regulations will Impact Agriculture.” David Cone of Southern San Joaquin Valley Water Quality Coalition said his quasi-public group was formed to represent and monitor surface water users.
   Cone said there are eight coalitions to monitor water discharge in the region that encompasses 4.4 million acres of agricultural lands. In the Kaweah River area, the major holder is the Kaweah River Conservation District, a coalition member.
   The Kaweah River, Cone said, has five monitoring sites. The testing monitors key stream locales for bacteria, toxicity, pesticides, metals, and nutrients.

  “What this monitoring program tells us is that the water in the four major streams — Kings, Kaweah, Tule, and Kern – is not as polluted as the public believes,” he said.
   Cone said the coalitions are proactive in enforcing water quality regulations.

  “If we don’t do it ourselves, the environmentalists will be dictating to what we do and don’t do,” Cone said.
   Seyed Sadredin, the executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, explained how agriculture would be affected by the new air quality attainment plan that is attempting to comply with EPA pollution standards by 2012. Public comments on the draft document will be accepted through March, Sadredin said.

  “Air quality is better today because of all the work farmers have done, but there is a lot more to do,” Sadredin said. “We have to do more to you and with you.”
   Next thing to do “to you” on the district’s agenda is a ban of all orchard burning, which takes effect in June 2007. That measure will target ozone, the compound that’s a real smog-maker when summer temperatures begin to rise.
   Farmers can expect more ways to reduce pollution by incentives and, of course, new regulations. But farming really isn’t the major polluter in the Valley. That dubious distinction belongs to mobile sources like truck traffic that generates 80 percent of the Valley’s pollution.

  “Twenty-eight percent of the state’s truck mileage is driven in the Valley, yet only about one-half of that mileage is driven by trucks that stay or deliver to the area,” Sadredin said. “That is why the state owes us money to help us meet our attainment.”
   It’s estimated to cost $188 million annually to solve the problem, but it’s not realistic to think we can meet the EPA’s 2012 standards, Sadredin said.

  “It’s probable that 50 percent of the Valley’s population will be in attainment by 2015 with 90 percent or more by 2020,” Sadredin said. “There are two Valley hotspots, one at Arvin and one in northwest Fresno that, because of prevailing winds, will not be in attainment.”
   Because we have the biggest problem, however, we are ahead of other areas in the U.S. in terms of finding solutions. If we do clean the air, Sadredin said, the cost savings and health benefits would amount to more than $3 billion annually.

  “The Valley’s air quality challenges are unmatched by any other region,” Sadredin said. “We will need a major increase in public funds if we are going to do the job.”

Efforts at Lake Kaweah

help save threatened beetle

   Most people take notice when they hear that an animal or plant is placed on the threatened or endangered species list. However, these same people usually don’t muster the same sentiment when they hear an insect is on a threatened list.
   Saving a threatened insect certainly hit home at Lake Kaweah in March 2000 when it was revealed that raising the lake level would impact some Sambucus species (elderberry trees). These elderberry trees are the host plant for the threatened valley elderberry longhorn beetle.
   The beetle is completely dependent on the elderberry, but use of the elderberry by the beetle is rarely apparent. Frequently, the only exterior evidence of the elderberry’s use by the beetle is an exit hole created by the larva.
   The larval stage takes up most of the beetle’s life, living in the stems of an elderberry plant. The adult stage is short-lived.
   Adult emergence is from late March through June, about the same time the elderberry produces flowers.
   The new water level at Lake Kaweah affected areas that were suitable habitat for the beetle. Elderberry plants that could not be avoided during construction or were impacted by the new water level were transplanted in a mitigation site below Terminus Dam.
   Transplanting the affected elderberry plant did not completely fulfill the guidelines set by the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). If a stem of a transplanted elderberry is greater than one inch and less than three inches in diameter, then elderberry seedlings must be planted at a ratio of two elderberry plants to each stem.
   If a stem of this size has an exit hole (exterior sign of the beetle occupancy), then the planting ratio is four elderberry plants to each stem. Stems larger than three inches but less than five inches have a 3:1 ratio; a 6:1 ratio if the stem has an exit hole.
   Likewise, stems larger than five inches have a 4:1 ratio, and 8:1 with an exit hole. By transplanting 13 elderberry plants, the total replacement plantings could equal 175 plants.
   In addition, for each elderberry planted, associated species (trees that grow naturally with elderberry plants) are planted at a ratio of 1:1, and 2:1 if the elderberry stem has an exit hole. The 175 elderberry plants needed to atone for the 13 elderberry transplants could amount to 197 associated species.
   In April 2001, the planting of elderberry plants and associated species began in what amounted to four sites below Terminus Dam.
   The contract with USFWS called for 786 elderberry plants and 820 associated species plants to be placed in the four mitigation sites. Since 2001, over 1,600 trees and shrubs have been planted.
All the elderberry and associated species plants were purchased at a native plant nursery.
   More information about Lake Kaweah’s mitigation project is available by calling Larry Baker at the Corps of Engineers office, 597-2301, or email

Woman’s Club

plans Western gala

   The Three Rivers Woman’s Club will be hosting its annual fundraising dinner-dance on Wednesday, March 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.
   This year’s theme is “Old-Fashioned Hoedown.” It will be an evening of friends, food, entertainment, and fun.
   The Visalia Cowboy Culture Committee and their chuck wagon of delectable delights will cater the affair. The menu will include barbecued chicken breast; rice pilaf; green beans with mushrooms, bacon, and onions; salad; and dinner roll. Dessert will be a traditional peach cobbler prepared in a Dutch oven on the chuck wagon.
   The 3 Riversmen — Earl McKee, Stan Huddleston, and Bruce Huddleston — will be joined by Charlie Castro to provide the music for dancing.
   Tickets are currently on sale for $20 each. They may be purchased at The Thingerie (Village Shopping Center) or by calling the store, 561-4883, during business hours. The deadline for buying tickets is Monday, Feb. 26.
   Proceeds from this annual event will be used to support the various projects and programs of the Three Rivers Woman’s Club, which was organized in 1916 and is the community’s longest-running service organization.
   In the past 25 years, the club has contributed nearly $170,000 to various Three Rivers causes. In the past five years, the club has donated more than $36,000 in scholarships to local students.

Garden Club

needs youth helpers

   If it’s almost spring, then the Redbud Garden Club must be planning it’s first project of the year.
   Sure enough, the club, whose mission is “to beautify Three Rivers,” is gearing up for a beautification project at the Three Rivers Post Office. On Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Redbud Garden Club members and friends will be landscaping the front and side areas of the post office with native vegetation.
   The Garden Club would like to provide some student helpers with community-service hours in exchange for a few hours of digging, planting, placing river rock, and other landscaping chores. The students can work the entire shift or for part of the time, whichever best fits their schedules.
   To sign up to help or for more information, call 561-3363.


Olive Huddleston
1908 ~ 2007

   Olive Duff Huddleston of Visalia died Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007. She was 98.
   A Celebration of Life service will be held tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 17) at 4 p.m., at the Spiritual Awareness Center, 117 S. Locust St., Visalia.
   Olive was born March 21, 1908, in Bally Bogie, Ireland, a small town close to Londonderry. She was the youngest daughter of Walter and Matilda Duff, and when she was four years old, immigrated to the United States on the passenger ship Scandinavia, which reached Nova Scotia as the Titanic sank in the north Atlantic.
   Six months earlier, Walter, a Baptist minister, had preceded the family of five to International Falls, Minn. He had booked his family on the Titanic in order for them to join him in America, but a coal strike caused Matilda to re-book on the sister ship.
   Less than a year after the family had settled in Minnesota, Walter was called to the First Baptist Church in Portland, Ore. Olive was raised and educated in Portland, as were her two brothers, Walter Jr. and the newest member of the family, Haldane, and her two sisters, Helen and Evangeline.
   All four of Olive’s siblings made the Christian ministry their life’s work as did Olive.
   On Jan. 28, 1930, Olive married Charles Huddleston in Reno, Nev. Charles was the eldest child of 11, all of whom were raised in the Kingsburg/Reedley area.
   The couple resided in Earlimart, where Charles was the minister of the Methodist church.
   Olive was a school teacher and Christian education director at several of her husband’s churches. She was also a social worker for Child Protective Services in Tulare County. She and Charles retired from their respective careers in 1981.
   Olive lived a wonderfully full and joyous life. She was highly respected as a social worker. And she was a beloved member of the Spiritual Awareness Center in Visalia.
   Olive was preceded in death by her husband, Charles, who died just 13 days after their 68th anniversary celebration.
   Olive is survived by her three sons, Charles Jr. and wife Joyce of Walnut Creek, Stan and wife Peggy of Three Rivers, and Bruce, who was recently widowed, of Three Rivers; her grandchildren, Charles’s adult children — Lynne, Chris, Sherrell, Dawn, Merry Joy, and Alysha — Stan’s two grown children — Mark and Kristi — and Bruce’s four adult stepchildren — Cheryl, Sharon, Dan, and Randy; and several great-grandchildren.

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