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In the News - Friday, March 5, 2010

All stories written by John or

Sarah Elliott unless otherwise noted

Only in the March 5 print edition:

WHS Tigers:

Winter Sports Teams 2010


—See this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)

TIKI TAKEN: Al Brockman, Tulare County Sheriff's deputy,

returns a stolen sculpture to its home at The Art Co-Op in Three Rivers.

VOTE 3R 'America's Coolest Small Town'

Click Here to VOTE Now!

  Everyone who lives and plays here knows that Three Rivers is a cool small town, but now there’s a chance to tell all of America. That’s because Three Rivers was one of 21 American towns selected from 147 nominations to vie for “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel magazine.
   It’s a reader’s-choice type of contest, which means that it is the voters who could determine the winner. As of Tuesday, Three Rivers was in last place in the poll with 101 votes (the leader has over 4,000 votes).
   After a post on The Kaweah Commonwealth’s Facebook page, the votes more than doubled, moving Three Rivers from last place to third from last. Anyone who is on Facebook may join the Commonwealth’s page, then share the link with their online friends to garner more votes.
It’s up to local residents to vote Three Rivers into a top spot. In fact, let’s reach for the stars and shoot for the top 10 (that would take at least 400 more votes so log on now). The final top 10 will be ultimately determined by Budget Travel editors and profiled in the September 2010 issue of the magazine.
   The magazine’s definition of the coolest small town is “The town must have a population under 10,000... It’s also got to be on the upswing, a place that’s beginning to draw attention — and new residents — because of the quality of life, arts and restaurant scene, or proximity to nature. And cool doesn’t mean quaint. We want towns with an edge, so think avant-garde galleries, not country stores.”
   As of Thursday, March 4, here are Three Rivers’s competitors in order of votes (more than 20,000 altogether), starting with the most: Brevard, N.C.; Ely, Minn.; Egg Harbor, Wis.; Cuero, Texas; Saugatuck, Mich.; Lyons, Colo., Sitka, Alaska; Stowe, Vt.; Red Lodge, Mont.; New London, N.H.; Sisters, Ore.; Cooperstown, N.Y., Medicine Park, Okla.; Cloverdale, Calif.; Bandon, Ore.; Kennett Square, Pa.; Ojai, Calif.; Sandpoint, Idaho; Three Rivers, Calif.; Barnegat Light, N.J.; Nyack, N.Y.
   The voting deadline is unknown, so sooner is better.

  Friday, March 5, update: Three Rivers has now pulled ahead of Sandpoint, Idaho, with 20 votes to go to pass up Ojai! VOTE TODAY!

Vandals topple tiki, mailboxes

  Teenage angst, especially from local boys who take out their frus-
trations by engaging in acts of vandalism, is practically a rite of passage in Three Rivers. Though there is never a valid excuse for the antisocial behavior, it often includes the wanton destruction of private property.
   Last week, in the wee hours of Friday morning, a group of local youths apparently went on a rampage of their own, toppling a huge tiki statue, a newspaper distribution box owned by The Kaweah Commonwealth, and at least 25 mail boxes. This time the vandalism was confined mostly to the South Fork neighborhoods around Old Three Rivers Drive and South Fork Estates.
   The damage to the tiki statue was estimated to be $1,650; to the mailboxes and some other decorative items that were either damaged or knocked down another $1,500. Zach Zachery, the artist who created the tiki, said it was carved out of palm wood and weighs several hundred pounds.

  “Moving it was no easy task,” Zach said. “It would take at least a couple of guys to load it in a pickup.”
   The sculpture was moved from its current resting place at The Art Co-Op between Chump’s video store and Sierra Subs & Salads. It was recovered from Black Oak Drive in South Fork Estates by Al Brockman, the Tulare County Sheriff’s deputy filling in for Jim Fansett, the Three Rivers resident deputy.
   The artwork was scratched and chipped in several places. Zach said it could and would be repaired.
   It didn’t take Deputy Brockman long to learn the identity of the male culprits; one 19-year-old and two 18-year-olds. Brockman has questioned the teens and their parents.

  “We chose not to arrest the suspects at this time and have submitted the information in the case to the District Attorney’s office,” Brockman said. “After reviewing all the information, they will advise us how to proceed.”
   The suspects are facing jail time, community service, and restitution to the victims of the property damage. Similar acts of vandalism have been sporadic in the last several weeks on North Fork Drive, Mineral King Road, and in Alta Acres.
   If you have information about this case or to report suspected criminal activity, call the Sheriff’s Department dispatch at 733-6211.

CSD hires new general manager

  When the general manager’s position at the Three Rivers Community Services District came open last month, there were a couple dozen applicants and stiff competition. But according to the current board, Julie Doctor had the most outstanding package that included all the key components — experience, knowledge of water management, and a longtime rapport with the Three Rivers community.
   Julie Doctor, 56, has lived in Three Rivers for more than three decades and has three certificates related to water management. In addition to the credentials, Julie has worked for nearly two decades in water treatment and distribution so there won’t be much at the CSD that she’s not already experienced in doing.
   Julie’s former jobs have been with Sequoia National Park (19 years) and, for the last 13 years, as a project leader with Sunkist and Fruit Growers Supply. Julie said she sees the new CSD job as an opportunity to serve the community as a good liaison with the State of California and Tulare County to help ensure that all local water systems are in compliance.

  “I’m thrilled about getting this job and I look forward to doing this for a long, long time,” Julie said. “The board is a great bunch of guys, and many of the applicants called to congratulate me on getting the position.”
   Julie said she was not surprised by all the good treatment she’s enjoyed at her new job. After all, she said, that comes with the territory of living and working in Three Rivers!

Senator Ashburn arrested for DUI

  State Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield), whose district includes Three Rivers, was arrested early Wednesday morning, March 3, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Ashburn was arrested just before 4 a.m. by California Highway Patrol officers in Sacramento, according to the CHP report.
   Ashburn was arrested at 3:56 a.m. and released sometime later Wednesday morning. He was scheduled to appear that morning at a press conference advocating his bill to allow rural hospitals to directly employ physicians, but the event was cancelled due to a “personal emergency,” according to organizers.
   Ashburn has served in the Legislature since 1996. In addition to his time in the Senate, he served six years as a state assemblyman and 12 years as a Kern County supervisor. He is barred by the state term limits law from seeking reelection this year.

WHS athletes display Tiger Pride

during 2010 winter sports season

  When you have 11 teams and another dozen or so other students involved as scorekeepers and team helpers, that represents nearly one out every six students that are involved after school in team sports — learning life’s lessons, staying out of trouble, and making memories.    Now the district administration is looking to make cuts and it looks like frosh basketball is on the chopping block.
   Cutting boys’ and girls’ frosh basketball is saying goodbye to 20 more student athletes that really need sports and, for some, the most necessary activity of all to ensure future success in high school. Consider also the impact on the experience of the JV and varsity teams.
   WHS needs its frosh teams to stay competitive. If you agree, let the administration and the high school board hear your voice. Stand up and be counted among Tiger sports boosters!
   Varsity Boys’ Soccer— When hearing they played for a Central Section Championship (Division IV) and came up short by one goal, it’s not difficult to realize the kind of season these Tigers enjoyed. The East Sequoia League (ESL) champions and No. 2 seed in the playoffs nearly pulled off a championship season that most teams only dream about.

  “The guys played up to my expectations, and when it came down to the final game against Mission Prep we just came up a little short,” said Freddie Palomo, head coach. “We have a young team and good JVs, so we will be strong next year too.”
   JV Girls Soccer— Coach Raul Cabrera’s Lady Tigers finished as ESL co-champions. Their only blemish to an undefeated league season were two ties. Their overall record was 10-5-3.
Outstanding offensive players were Brenda Isquierdo, Gina Elias, and Crystal Casares. Maryrose Kulick of Three Rivers was the team’s best defender.
   JV Girls Basketball— The JV girls’ team had a phenomenal season. They finished 17-1 overall and were undefeated (8-0) in ESL play.

  “The girls played well as a team and were really able stay focused throughout the season,” said Eddie Dominguez, head coach. “Corcoran is the measuring stick in our league and we beat them twice.”
   MVP of the team was Myra Hopper; Meg Johnson of Three Rivers earned an inspirational award for playing excellent basketball with a bad knee for most of the season.
   Wrestling— Woodlake continues to struggle in dual or league meets because they lack depth in certain weight classes. But Juan Tovar, who wrestled as a heavyweight, had an outstanding season. Having won the Central Section Master’s tourney as a sophomore, he said he was a little surprised by his fourth-place finish this year.
   But on Saturday, March 6, Juan gets another shot and says he is ready to give it his all in the State finals at Bakersfield. Don’t be too surprised if Juan finishes among the top wrestlers in the state. The sky is the limit for this strong competitor.
   Girls’ Varsity Basketball— Coach Kris Schlossin’s Lady Tigers were ousted from the playoffs by a strong San Joaquin Memorial squad that was upset Wednesday, March 3, by Mission Prep. Mission Prep and perennial No. 1-seed Corcoran play Saturday, March 6, in the championship at Selland Arena in Fresno.
   The Lady Tigers finished 10-12 overall, but their record was not a good indicator of the team’s successful season.

  “We played great defense the entire season,” Coach Schlossin said. “We played with heart, cared about each other, and enjoyed lots of success.”
   The co-MVPs are Erica Haro and Madison Beck of Three Rivers. Beck was also named to the East Sequoia League’s All-League Second Team.
   Boys’ Varsity Basketball— David Pasquini, former JV coach, stepped up to coach the varsity team this season and his team experienced some tremendous growth. Arturo Padilla, team captain, was “Mr. Outside,” while Joel Chavez did the yeoman’s work down in the blocks.
   Coach Pasquini, who was very proud of these two seniors, said that both these players were excellent team leaders, role models for the younger players, and averaged about 15 points a game.

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
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