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In the News - Friday, March 2, 2012



Only in the March 2, 2012, print edition:




1st Saturday event:

Identify, harvest and prepare wild edibles

  Everybody needs a bit of wild in their lives, especially if it is right outside the kitchen door. What better way to garden than by harvesting what grows naturally where you live?
   Wild greens, also known as edible weeds, are those hardy and tenacious plants that live where other plants won’t. These nutritious, wild edibles are emerging right now as winter evolves to spring. Learning to identify these plants is the first step while preparing them for the palate comes next.
   Currently growing in Three Rivers, there many wild greens from which to choose, including nettle, malva, chickweed, shepherd’s purse, miner’s lettuce, bedstraw, yellow dock, oat straw, clovers, and violets.
   Join Three Rivers resident Anore Jones on 1st Saturday (March 3) to learn how to identify local edible greens. As a botanist and the Weston A. Price local chapter leader, Anore is an expert at identifying the wild food resources growing in the southern Sierra foothills.
   The event, which will take place at the home of Charlene Vartanian (located one door don-river from Chump’s DVDs), is free and open to the public.
   For more information, call Anore, 561-3161, or Charlene, 561-4215.

Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour 10

Early-bird ticket prices until Sunday

  The 10th Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour is a self-guided event that allows visitors to set their own itinerary for enjoying the incredibly unique settings of local artists’ studios. With guidebook and map in hand, a personalized trek through the wildflower-laden foothills will reveal how and why these artists have chosen Three Rivers for their art-making home.
   Scheduled this year for Friday through Sunday, March 23 to 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the Studio Tour has been held in Three Rivers every other year for 20 years.
   The event started modestly in 1994 with eight local artists. This year, 22 artists and five new studios will be on the tour: the guitar-making studio of Jeff Jay, the clay monoprinting studio of Karen Kimball, the newly built painting studio of Deborah Dal Zuffo, and the husband-and-wife jewelry and painting studios of Clayton Porter and Christine Sell-Porter.
   A regular on the Studio Tour, Mona Fox Selph has a new series of intriguing monoprints to share, as well as her beautiful landscape paintings that she exhibits on the outside of her studio walls.
   Jim Entz layers paint too many times to count to make his sculptural paintings, which he then cuts into to reveal many inner colors and intricate patterns.
   Marn Reich, Nancy Jonnum, George Smith, and Carole Clum work with clay, each one making sculpture and functional stoneware that reflect their unique artist’s eye.
   The featured artist for this year’s Tour is handweaver Nikki Crain. Her South Fork studio, built by her husband, Rich, is filled with looms and fibers waiting for the magic movement of the shuttle to weave the threads into beautiful shawls, scarves, placemats, and more. She also hand dyes her yarns, providing a one-of-a-kind colorful touch.
   Another husband-and-wife team, Rick Badgley and Martha Widmann, have studios that are works of art in their own right. Rick’s underground furniture-making studio is made from a huge culvert that was placed on its site with a crane. Martha’s cozy studio has windows that peer into the creek below, as she paints her distinct images of tiny horses, cloud filled skies, and inner dreams.
   Jana Botkin, Shirley Keller, and Elsah Cort work in multiple media. Jana, well known for her intricate pencil drawings of local Tulare County life, also paints in oil.
   Shirley is a photographer, but has recently evolved with her recycled metal artwork, which adorns the outside walls of her studio. Elsah, the Studio Tour founder and organizer, is a collage artist and now explores digital collage from original photographs while continuing to press wildflowers and make handmade paper.
   Anne Haxton creates delicate, functional light sculpture from twigs and handmade paper. Tina St. John works in a small studio space where she gives birth to her fine jewelry collection.
   Anne Birkholz takes discarded pieces of firewood and old tree trunks and, using her lathe, she “unwraps” them, as she describes it, into bowls and vases.
   Painters Nadi Spencer and Wendy McKellar each work with color so brilliantly and vibrantly. They are popular Three Rivers artists, who are both well known for their participation in the monthly First Saturday events in Three Rivers.
   The studios are spread out over a six-mile stretch of the Kaweah River canyon from the Cherokee Oaks neighborhood to Mineral King Road. Jaunts to the end of Dinely Drive and several miles up South Fork Drive will provide Tour participants with the same inspiration that the artists experience everyday.
   Purchase tickets by Sunday, March 4, to receive 25 percent off the $20 ticket price. See the Kaweah Kalendar page on this website for additional information.

One injured, one arrested
in weekend stabbing

  Joe Sherman, whose last known address was Visalia, but who has lived in Three Rivers for extended periods in the past, was taken into custody at a local restaurant on Sunday evening, Feb. 26, by Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies. According to information gathered at the scene, Sherman allegedly stabbed Gilbert Navarette of Exeter at the Three Rivers Pizza Factory.
   Navarette was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening wounds. Sherman, 47, was booked into Tulare County Main Jail and charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
   On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Sherman was formally charged at a preliminary hearing with felony assault. He is due back in a Visalia courtroom today (March 2), when a Superior Court judge will determine if Sherman can be released on his own recognizance or must post bail.

Photo caption:

  While this houseboat was being removed from Lake Kaweah on Sunday, Feb. 26, the trailer snagged the ramp’s cable, which sent the improperly tied cargo rolling down an embankment to the water’s edge, where it landed on its topside. No one was injured, but there was major damage to the houseboat.

Lake Kaweah staff officially
thanks Mountain Home crew

By Brian Rothhammer

  Have you ever been driving around Lake Kaweah and wondered who those guys are in the orange jumpsuits and what they’re doing? Typically they’re in groups of at least a dozen with a bright red Cal Fire truck parked nearby.
   They are crews from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and under the supervision of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), they are working for you.
   The crews at Lake Kaweah are from Mountain Home Conservation Camp No. 10, a facility located near Springville that is operated jointly by CDCR and Cal Fire. Although these men have been convicted of various infractions of the law, this CDCR program allows selected inmates the opportunity to make good while learning marketable skills and improving the local community.
   Priority one for Mountain Home is to provide crews for fire suppression in Tulare and Kern counties. Some crewmembers acquire as many as 2,000 hours of fire line duty.
   When not deployed on fire duty, these men also craft signs, picnic tables, arbors, office cabinets, and custom furnishings for state agencies. It is estimated that Mountain Home workers save California taxpayers more than $2 million each year through their labors.
   On Thursday, Feb. 23, representatives of the cooperating agencies, as well as Matt Murphy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, met at Horse Creek Campground to commend the Mountain Home crew for their accomplishments at the newly renovated amphitheater. The facility had been heavily eroded and undermined by the record high water levels of 2010 and 2011. Capacity of the lake was increased by 21 feet, or 42,000 acre feet, in 2004.
  “I started with the Corps at Success Lake (near Porterville) in ’87 and since then have worked with Mountain Home crews.” said Matt, now senior park ranger at Lake Kaweah. “This amphitheater was originally the work of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). Now it bears the fingerprints of Mountain Home.”
   Matt acknowledged the “invaluable” help of the Mountain Home stonemasons who excavated the damaged areas, then rebuilt and improved the facilities using granite and other stones from post-construction spillway debris.
  “We are very fortunate to have this cohesive working relationship… toward the common goal of beautifying, maintaining and improving these facilities,” said Larry Pendarvis, Cal Fire public information officer.
   So when passing by the orange suited crews as they clear brush, build walls, and generally beautify Lake Kaweah, give ’em a ‘thumbs up.’ After all, they’re working for you.

THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
EDITORS/PUBLISHERS: John Elliott and Sarah Barton Elliott
41841 Sierra Drive (Highway 198), Three Rivers, CA 93271
MAIL: P.O. Box 806, Three Rivers, CA 93271
(559) 561-3627 FAX: (559) 561-0118
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