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In the News - Friday, February 25, 2011


—See this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)


3R leads Southern Sierra

in geotourism nominations

  It figures if you give Three Rivers boosters a chance to put this unique area on a National Geographic map they would make the most of the opportunity. At the halfway point in the nomination process, Three Rivers has the most nominations pending and the second place Sierra community (Springville) from the four-county Southern Sierra region isn’t even close.
   That was the word from Martini Morris, project coordinator for the Sierra Business Council in Truckee, whose organization is heading up the effort to map all the special places of the Sierra Nevada.
   On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Morris conducted a conference call-in board meeting with a dozen Geo-Council board members from Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kern counties who will be evaluating all the nominations from the Southern Sierra region.
  “To date, we have received 45 nominations with the largest category being ‘Accommodations,’” Morris reported. “Three Rivers has by far the most with 16 from their area in Tulare County.”
   Morris also said she was most impressed with the quality of the material being submitted. Bobby Kamansky, a project consultant from Three Rivers, said he helped the Kaweah Post Office folks smooth out a few rough edges on their application. Confirmation of the historic post office appears to be only a formality as it qualifies for listing as a “Historic Site.”
   The Kaweah River and Lake Kaweah’s Terminus Dam area have nominations pending in the “Natural Area” category. “Events” can also be listed and some nominations are already pending: 1st Saturday, Redbud Arts and Crafts Festival, Three Rivers Artists’ Biennial Studio Tour, and Public Lands Day.
   Among local inns that are listed are Sequoia River Dance Bed & Breakfast, Cort Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast, and the Wicky-Up Ranch Bed & Breakfast. Cabinart and Nadi’s Studio are listed under “Local Artist.” The Three Rivers murals are pending under a “Community” category.
   The 16 Three Rivers area nominations are impressive but there are dozens of other sites, attractions, and amenities that may qualify like the Mineral King Historic District, Silver City Mountain Resort, Three Rivers Cemetery, Jazzaffair, Lions Team Roping, Three Rivers Arts Center, Cedar Grove Pack Station, parks concession properties, and so many more. In addition, all Three Rivers dining and lodging establishments should complete a nomination.
   Dana Dierkes, Sequoia-Kings Canyon information officer, said at the Three Rivers Geotourism Workshop that she is planning to submit 50 nominations to place Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on the e-map. So far, no local national park attractions have been nominated.
   The best way to start a nomination is to log onto www.SierraNevadaGeotourism.org.
   All Southern Sierra nominations must be submitted by April 30, 2011.

TKC to publish community phonebook

  At its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce approved a budget submitted by The Kaweah Commonwealth to produce a new Three Rivers phonebook. The 2011 publication is expected to be complete prior to the busy summer season.
   Anyone who has used local phonebooks knows that the information and phone numbers are only as good as the input provided by the community it is intended to serve. That’s why TKC is asking everyone to get on board with the project and provide their latest phone listings or any revisions or deletions that they deem necessary.
   So much has changed on the local scene in terms of phone service that it will take a lot of input and cooperation to get the 2011-2012 phonebook as accurate as possible. For instance, many local residents have given up their landlines and opted for cell phones. Cell-phone numbers may be listed in the phonebook if desired.
   To collect the phonebook information, TKC has set up a dedicated email: 3Rphonebook@gmail.com. All inquiries about the project, including listings and advertising requests, may be made via this email address. For more information, call the Commonwealth office, 561-3627.
   The project is being entirely funded by advertising and the SFCC will receive a share of the revenue. Space reservations for premium advertising positions will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
   The first print run will include 2,500 copies with more to be printed as needed for distribution.

Supervisorial redistricting members needed

  The Tulare County Board of Supervisors is looking for 11 residents to serve on a committee to help draw new supervisorial districts that must be re-drawn every 10 years based on population counts of the United States Census. The 2010 Census data will be released on or before April 1.
   Supervisor Allen Ishida, who was in Three Rivers on Wednesday, said the board wants the process to be non-political, where all residents of Tulare County have an opportunity to be heard.
   There will be one member representative chosen from each of the five districts in Tulare County. All other members will be drawn randomly from the pool of all qualified applicants, Ishida said.
   The Redistricting Advisory Committee is charged with developing criteria to be applied during the redistricting process and then submits their recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for approval.
   The committee will also conduct outreach meetings to solicit public input.
   A final report prepared by the committee will be presented to the county Board of Supervisors by August 1. Applicants to be on the committee must be registered voters and apply to represent the district in which they reside.
   Interested individuals may obtain an application for the committee on the County of Tulare website at www.co.tulare.ca.us. The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, March 8.
   For more information, call Jeff Forbes, Board of Supervisors representative, 636-5000.

Download an app, win an iPhone

  In the Light Urns, a Three Rivers company that engraves urns and nameplates for caskets, now has created a new application for iPhone and Android users called Funeral Advice.
   Funeral Advice is a mobile reference guide written by funeral professionals that includes its indispensable “Steps to Take” after the loss of a loved one. The free app can help guide anyone through an otherwise difficult time with tips like how to choose a funeral chapel, type of burial, and common words of sympathy.
   The app contains two three-minute videos that discuss important topics like green burials and how to conduct a “Celebration of Life” for a family member or friend. To receive a chance at winning the iPhone there is no purchase necessary; just simply download the app and furnish a rating.
   Go to www.inthelighturns.com and click on the “app” image for more information about the free download. Don’t yet have an iPhone? Just go to your iTunes account’s app store and search “funeral advice.”
   If you download the app and rate the information you will be automatically entered into a local drawing to be held Friday, March 4. A winner will be chosen at a drawing held by In the Light Urns at the office of The Kaweah Commonwealth.
   The parent company, United Priority Distributors, is owned and operated Rick and Susan Fraser of Three Rivers. They offer information and their memorial products to funeral directors worldwide.
   The couple, with the help of their son, Tyler, recently completed a podcast called “Funeral Director’s Chat,” hosted by Nancy Burban. Topics include news and trends in the funeral industry.

After-concert gathering will send

local youth to summer jazz camp

  The After-Hours Bistro is held immediately following all performances in the Winter Concert Series (Saturday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m.), just across the Community Presbyterian Church’s parking lot in Harrison Hall. Each month, a different community organization hosts the event and receives 100 percent of the profits.
   This month’s beneficiaries of the fundraiser will be the Sierra Traditional Jazz Club’s Summer Jazz Camp fund, which annually selects 10 promising musicians and pays their way (a $600 per camper value) to the Sacramento Traditional Youth Jazz Camp for an intensive yet fun, week-long camp to hone their skills while encouraging the next generation of jazz musicians.
   Attendees at the Bistro pay a suggested donation of $10 for an all-you-can-eat buffet of appetizers and desserts.


Mutiny (over food) on the high seas

By Allison Sherwood Millner

  If any of you have ever been on a cruise you know what it’s all about… the food! Most people say they gain 10 pounds during their cruise vacations from the 24-hour food/room service and the midnight buffets.
   Want two entrees for dinner? Go ahead, it’s no extra charge. It’s a food lover’s dream and their worst nightmare.
   This past cruise was no different, although Dane and I had the knowledge of how cruises worked. We knew that the best food came at dinner so we paced ourselves and waited.
   To the victor goes the spoils. And as we predicted, our dinners provided some of the best meals of our cruise, but we were surprised by something else.
   What we discovered on this trip was how food, and the ceremony behind each meal, defines a culture. As important as language, history, and art is food.
   What, how, and when we eat varies greatly from country to country and carries with it a sort of national pride. So, when you combine 2,300 passengers and over 50 different nationalities on a ship, things don’t always go as planned.
   It is assumed that when you are on a ship for almost two weeks, you are obliged to follow the rules of that ship. It is a floating nation and part of the adventure is that you respect all the rules and customs of that nation. I was ready for this challenge, although it proved difficult for others.
   Our ship sailed from Barcelona, Spain, and while the nationalities were varied, there were almost 800 Spaniards who were celebrating New Year’s Eve onboard. In Spain, meals are much later than here: lunch by 3 p.m. and dinner hardly ever before 9 p.m. There is a siesta (a rest) in the middle of the day that allows the late dinner to be appreciated, enjoyed, and relished into the night.
   As Dane and I had done — and had been told by the travel agents we were confirmed — most of the Spaniards requested an 8:30 p.m. dinnertime over the 6:30 option.
   However, this was not the case. And while it took us three nights to be assigned to a table (that’s another story entirely), there was a general mutiny among the Spanish.
   The Spaniards who were assigned to the 6:30 p.m. dinnertime found it physically impossible to eat at that time; the 8:30 p.m. time was difficult as well. They insisted on eating later, and while the dining room was already full, this proved to be a problem. There was a request to the crew that a third seating be created, an 11 p.m. seating!
   Weren’t we all just here for the food? How could we complain when each night we were waited on and offered things like duck confit, shrimp cocktail, and exotic curries? The sheer variety of cuisine was overwhelming, there was not enough time to taste and savor every morsel.
   Eventually, after five very trying days for the dining staff, an agreement was reached.
   The 11 p.m. dining request was denied but in a small concession our 8:30 p.m. dinner was moved to 9 p.m. and they somehow found room for everyone who wanted to be there.
   We talked at length at our table about the culture of food and the goings-on of the cruise.
   We were comprised of four couples from across the globe; China, Scotland, Spain, and the United States. We compared traditions and ideals and even had a few laughs at the language of food, words that seemed to be lost in translation.
   As the nights went on, we created our own sort of “cruise” culture that grew to involve food and traditions of our own. Never again will that moment in time be duplicated, and we all looked forward to every dinner and what surprise might greet us at the table.
   Eventually things quieted down and a happy calm spread over the tables. You could hear the clinking of fine china, snippets of foreign conversations, and laughter filling the room. Everyone’s nerves relaxed and, finally, dinner was served.
   Allison Millner owns and operates Sierra Subs & Salads in Three Rivers with her husband, Dane.


Jung Trio to highlight

radical composer Ravel

by Bill Haxton 

  The boring lives of classical composers find no worse exemplar than slight-framed Frenchman Maurice Ravel, who took a blood oath with the Apaches and almost fought Adolf Hitler in hand-to-hand combat at Verdun in World War I.
   Born in 1875 to a Basque mother and a Swiss father who invented Barnum & Bailey’s circus ride “The Whirlwind of Death,” Ravel’s genius for orchestration quickly led him beyond the conventions of his day to the leading edge of avante garde composition. This thoroughly annoyed powerful conservatives who were determined to keep a tight grip on who succeeded and who failed in the music world.
   So, at age 20, Ravel was expelled from composition school. Outcast, he fell in with a band of other outcast poets, artists, writers, and musicians. Hunched over their absinthe in the back corner of a dark bistro, cigarette smoke curling over their heads, they decided to call themselves the Apaches.
   Before dismissing this iconoclastic group of creative individualists as nothing more than rebellious youth, it might be good to know that among their members were none other than Igor Stravinsky and Manuel de Falla, not to mention Ravel himself.
   One of the pieces to be performed during the upcoming Jung Trio concert (Saturday, Feb. 26) is Ravel’s Piano Trio in A Minor, completed just before the beginning of World War I. In the century since it first appeared, it has emerged as one of the enduring masterpieces of trio music.
   The Jung Trio’s brilliant rendering wrings every ounce of beauty and passion out of this remarkable composition.
   It was a good thing Ravel completed it before the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo, which caused Europe to completely lose its mind. The complicated house of cards that typified European alliances in 1914 came tumbling down, and within weeks World War I was raging.
   Because he was short and slight, Ravel thought he would make an excellent pilot. And well he might have; combat pilots tend to be small.
   But by then he was 39 and not in perfect health. Instead, he was assigned to drive trucks on the front and was part of the French defense that ultimately stopped the German advance at Verdun.
   It is still history’s bloodiest battle, and it might have turned out otherwise if the French, who were cut off on three sides, had not figured out how to resupply their frontline troops. The answer was trucks.
   Verdun was basically a logistic victory of French trucks over German railways. Ravel’s and Hitler’s orbits almost, but not quite, crossed.
   Lucky for us, Ravel survived the war and resumed composing.
Saturday’s Jung Trio concert begins with Beethoven’s Piano Trio in G major, Opus 121a. It opens with an air of mystery, like tiptoeing through a graveyard knowing you believe in ghosts.
   Following an upbeat theme statement, there are 10 short variations whose emotions range from whimsical to happily inebriated to cajoling to carefree to hyperactive distraction to businesslike to self-congratulation. The Allegretto sets up the close of the composition with a return to melancholy introspection, then suddenly erupts in heel-kicking exuberance in which the piano leads the way to a rousing conclusion. Maurice Ravel’s beautifully textured Piano Trio in A Minor comes next, then after the intermission, Dvořák’s famous F Minor Trio, which launches with intense passion before introducing a theme of sublime tenderness. There is something very much like soliloquy here, memorable and spontaneous, and not difficult to understand. The Jung Trio has been widely acclaimed for their performance of this composition.
   So here we are: two musical masterpieces in one concert. An exciting night of music. Medics will be standing by with defibrillators.
   Bill Haxton is founder of the Three Rivers Performing Arts Institute and organizer of the Winter Concert Series.


Brenda Corral
1958 ~ 2011

   Brenda Teresa Corral, a resident of Three Rivers and Visalia, died Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, in Visalia. She was 52.
   Brenda was born August 29, 1958, in Los Angeles to Pete Chavez and Birgitta “Bert” Wolfley. She was raised and educated in La Habra.
   In 1978, Brenda relocated to Three Rivers to assist in the family business. She worked as a server for more than 20 years at We Three Restaurant & Bakery, which was owned and operated first by her father, Pete, and more recently, by her brother, Craig.
  “Brenda was a kind person who had an infectious laugh and will be missed by all who knew her,” said her family.
   Brenda was preceded in death by her mother Bert Wolfley.
She is survived by her father, Pete Chavez; sister Bonnie Farkas of Three Rivers; brother Craig Chavez of Three Rivers; daughters Free Corral, Kassie Kraemer, and Marisa Monk; and six grandchildren.
   A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 5, 3 p.m., at We Three Restaurant in Three Rivers.
   Online condolences may be sent to www.evansmillerguinnchapel.com.

Robert Good
1923 ~ 2011

   Robert B. Good of Three Rivers died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, at his Three Rivers home. He was 87.
   Bob was born August 3, 1923, in Seattle, Wash., to Perry W. Good and Helga Lund. He was raised in Seattle and graduated from Ballard High School.
   From 1942 to 1946, he served in the Army Air Corps, stationed in Lemoore and, during World War II, in the South Pacific.
   Upon his return from the war, Bob married Frances Cochrane of Hanford. In 1946, at the age of 24, he became the editor of the Hanford Sentinel.
   In 1960, he became the news editor at KNGS radio in Hanford until he began writing for the Fresno Bee, a career that spanned nearly three decades, from 1961 to 1988.
   Bob was an avid golfer and a member of the Kings Country Club in Hanford for 26 years. Bob and Frances retired to Three Rivers in 1991.
   Bob is survived by his wife of 64 years, Frances; daughters Bonnie Nelson and husband Lew of Three Rivers and Peri Lou Good and husband Jeff Kaplan of San Diego; sons David Good and wife Yolanda Montano of Fresno and Martin Good and wife Tricia of Solvang; eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
   Services will be held at a later date.









THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
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