In the News - Friday, March 12,
stories written by John or
Elliott unless otherwise noted
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
Coolest Small Town'
Here to VOTE Now!
Voting will continue through May 9 in Budget
Travel magazine’s online competition to see
which U.S. community will be named America’s
Coolest Small Town. The top 10 winners, as determined
by the magazine’s editors, will be featured
in the October issue, according to the magazine’s
Three Rivers was one of 21 American towns
selected from 147 nominations. It is not known who
nominated Three Rivers.
When this contest was reported in the newspaper last
week (“Vote 3R ‘America’s Coolest
Small Town’”), Three Rivers was in 19th
place out of 21. As of Thursday morning, March 11,
Three Rivers has moved up to 16th place.
To date, nearly 40,000 votes have been
cast. Three Rivers has 542 of those with the leader,
Eli, Minn., having nearly 7,500. At this point, Three
Rivers needs to double its votes to break into the
Share this with friends and family, too, as the competition
will be stiff from here on out.
Rivers hits 20.20 in rainfall
No, it’s not a catchy
new TV news show featuring Three Rivers, but it is
a milestone in a season shaping up to be an extraordinary
weather year. After the .36 inches of rainfall that
was recorded on Monday-Tuesday this past week, Three
Rivers reached 20.20 inches of rainfall for the current
With more on the way today, and a good
chance for even more in the next six weeks, water
watchers couldn’t be happier to see a normal
year up and down a state that depends heavily on snowmelt
to satisfy an unquenchable demand for water.
The March 1 statewide snow survey showed
normal, or slightly above normal, snowpack readings
for all the major basins in California. The current
statewide average is 107 percent of normal for both
snowpack and water content.
Relative to the April 1 norm, the news
was just as good as forecasters don’t see any
appreciable changes for the rest of the month. In
the Kaweah and Tule drainages the numbers are the
highest in the entire state.
The Kaweah drainage — which includes
snow check points at Farewell Gap, 9,500 feet; Panther
Meadow, 8,600 feet; Hockett Meadows, 8,500 feet; Mineral
King, 8,000; and Giant Forest, 6,400 feet —
is showing an impressive basin average of 143 percent.
That translates to 127 percent of the April 1 norm.
The Tule numbers are just off the charts.
In two data collection points, the current basin average
stands at 350 percent with a projected April 1 norm
of 253 percent. That should guarantee the Springville
area the most water that they’ve seen since
1998 with similar runoff projected for the Kaweah.
The remote sensor at Farewell Gap is
a good indicator of how much water is actually up
there at 9,500 feet. As of 10 a.m. Thursday, March
11, there was 118.20 inches of snow on the ground
with a water content of 38.92 inches of water. The
air temperature was in the 40s under sunny skies.
On January 1, 2010, there was less than
40 inches of snow on the ground at Farewell Gap with
a water content of approximately 10 inches. That’s
three times the snow and four times the water in a
little over two months.
Now that’s a leap forward in the
right direction… and there’s more where
that came from.
seeks board members
the quarterly mixer of the Sequoia Foothills Chamber
of Commerce held Wednesday evening, March 10, at The
Gateway Restaurant, Arlin Talley, vice president,
made an appeal for some new board members. The local
business booster group is down to four board members
and, according to the group’s by-laws, is permitted
to have up to 11 directors.
The current board members represent three
sectors of the local business community. As a computer
consultant, Tony Moreno, president, represents services;
Arlin Talley, vice president and pastor of Community
Presbyterian Church, represents nonprofits; Catherine
Launey, secretary, operates Three Rivers Bed &
Breakfast and, with Chris Schlossin, treasurer and
owner of Sequoia Motel, represents the lodging industry.
Adrienne Freeman, acting public information officer
at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, is the
liaison with the local national parks.
could use some help covering all the bases,”
Talley told the gathering. “We need some more
voices on the board.”
Talley said the lack of board members
does not mean that the chamber is not busy promoting
the local business scene. Last month, he and Moreno,
with the help of Team Diana from Century 21, attended
the annual Los Angeles Times Travel Show in Long Beach.
Moreno said the group interacted with
more than 5,000 patrons at that venue. Several hundred
signed up to be included in the Chamber’s database
and most of these, he said, are potential visitors
to Three Rivers.
Gil Jaramillo, manager of the Central
California Small Business Development Center, was
the evening’s speaker. His Visalia office serves
Tulare and Kings counties and is part of the U.C.
Merced Regional Network.
Currently, Jaramillo said, there are
programs available that offer low or no-interest funding.
one of the important things you do is networking with
other people in business,” Jaramillo said. “The
way you are going to survive in this tough economy
is by helping each other.”
someone comes into your business, whether they spend
money or not, suggest some other way they can spend
some money in this community. Don’t let those
dollars go back down the hill,” he emphasized.
The SBDC provides free business consulting
and a portion of their funding comes from the Small
Business Administration (SBA). But to get those dollars,
Jaramillo said, the SBDC must furnish a match by fundraising.
His dollars come from corporate donations and chambers
of commerce just like this one, he said.
It’s not difficult to get funding
to grow a business. Jaramillo said his office has
a basic business plan form that the applicant fills
out and takes to a bank like the Bank of the Sierra.
The SBA guarantees that the money will
be repaid. Under the Obama stimulus package, Jaramillo
said, even a bigger percentage of that money is being
The American Recovery Capital Loan Program
(ARC) is also being offered to help small businesses
weather the current economic woes. Wells Fargo is
one three area banks that will make this loan of up
to $35,000 for small businesses until September 2010
or whenever the money runs out.
of what you hear, there are no grants to for-profits,”
Jaramillo said. “There are individuals who charge
a fee for their help but that’s all they do:
help you locate money that is not there.”
Jaramillo concluded his remarks by saying that he
has seen a gradual upturn in the economy. Instead
of a number of foreclosures like he saw in 2009, now
he is seeing more start-ups and expansions.
Dahl Cleek, Tulare County’s undersheriff,
also made some brief remarks. Since the first of the
year, the sheriff’s dispatcher has received
more than 200 calls, of which he said 90 were the
errant 911 calls.
get a lot of those calls during stormy weather,”
Cleek also announced that a new 211 calling system
is now operational that will help county residents
get connected with the right service or resource.
mission is to work together with the community,”
business owner named
of the Year'
Three Rivers women were nominated for the 2010 Entrepreneurs
of the Year awards and were in attendance at the fifth
annual “Recognizing Excellence in Entrepreneurship”
luncheon Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Visalia Convention
Center. The annual event, sponsored by the Tulare
County Economic Development Corporation, is intended
to recognize Tulare County entrepreneurs.
Three Rivers nominees were Janene Lasswell
of Ja Nene Natural Body Products and Christy Wood
of Wood ‘N’ Horse Training Stables. Both
were recognized for their entrepreneurial spirit,
innovation, and creativity, all of which is of benefit
to the betterment of Tulare County.
Janene was presented with the Entrepreneur
of the Year-Creative Award. Starting in 2003 with
a small home business, Janene has since expanded to
the Internet and added a wholesale division and two
retail locations — in San Luis Obispo and anew
shop adjacent to her Three Rivers home.
She creates products for skincare, bath,
household, and pets that are safe, botanically derived,
and organic. She currently has 67 products, including
her newest Holo-Holo lotion.
Last month, Janene also received a beautification
award from the City of San Luis Obispo for her retail
shop that she opened there in October.
Christy Wood is a horse trainer and instructor,
as well as a world-champion rider, internationally
acclaimed horse-show judge and, as of last year, an
author. A total of 12 Tulare County business owners
The event was combined with the Tulare
County Office of Education’s Student Entrepreneur
Challenge. Eight teams of students from Tulare, Kings,
and Fresno county high schools submitted business
plans and made a live presentation. Golden West High
School took first place in this competition while
a Monache High School senior received a $1,000 scholarship
for her essay about the potential of technology-based
honors school volunteers
Rivers Union School support groups (Three Rivers PTA,
1930-2003; Eagle Booster Club, 2004-2010) have been
honoring exemplary staff and volunteers annually for
60 years. As a result, 80 community members —
superintendent/principals, teachers, administrative
staff, instructional aides, support staff, parents,
clergy, artists, and community volunteers —
have been recognized for their commitment in one way
or another to Three Rivers School students.
Here are some of the past TRUS award
winners who may still be seen around town: Bill Hart
(1964), Manuel Andrade (1973), Isabelle Elmer (1977),
Gaynor McKee (1979, 1984), Pat O’Connell (1985),
Wayne and Connie Lentz (1986), Donnie and Trish Stivers
(1992), Bobbie Harris (1994), and Ray Murry (1995),
and a few dozen more since then.
On Wednesday, March 3, five Three Rivers
residents were honored and will be added to the esteemed
list of TRUS boosters. The recognition ceremony was
preceded by a delectable Mexican feast prepared and
hosted by the TRUS seventh grade and highlighted by
a salsa bar and beautiful Latin music by Jesse Belman
The honorees were treated to dinner,
compliments of the TRUS seventh grade. Immediately
following the dinner, an Eagle Booster Club meeting
began with Sue Sherwood, TRUS superintendent/principal,
introducing this year’s winning Poetry and Prose
students, who recited their poems.
Maria Howell, Eagle Booster Club board
representative, introduced this year’s honorees
and presented them with plaques: Lee Crouch, TRUS
Foundation president; Gregory Lockhart, TRUS Foundation
treasurer; and Pam Lockhart, longtime TRUS Foundation
director. John and Sarah Elliott were honored for
their volunteer work as well as their ongoing support
of the school via The Kaweah Commonwealth.
make a difference
Three Rivers student Ben Pfenninger,
who is a senior at Woodlake High School, was awarded
with the 2009 Youth of the Year award by the Kiwanis
Club of Woodlake on Saturday, Feb. 27. At the 48th
annual Woodlake Awards Banquet, Pfenninger and eight
other citizens were recognized for exemplary service
to their community.
The 2009 Business of the Year award was
presented to Santos Herrera. Herrera brought the Iron
Grip Gym to Woodlake in 1995 and has developed a loyal
clientele of fitness-minded neighbors. His feelings
of civic pride and desire to promote the health and
vitality of Woodlake’s citizens
extends to all who come by his gym and was echoed
by the other award recipients during the banquet.
Rosellia Cordova of Woodlake, another
accomplished WHS student, accepted her Youth of the
Year award by saying, “Have the courage to take
chances, so you don’t question what might have
The 2009 Spirit of Woodlake award was
presented to Woodlake police officer Jesus Mendez,
the Woman of the Year award went to Terry Thompson,
Man of the Year for 2009 was Rudy Garcia, and the
2009 Lifetime Achievements award was presented to
Manuel “Rusty” Moran.
Pastor of the Decade was awarded to Charles
Castles, and Nicole Hocker Glentzer received the Inspiration
Ben Pfenninger is a busy guy. He has
been class president for all of his four years at
Woodlake High; is a drum major for the school’s
marching band; WHS student representative to the board
of trustees; journalism co-editor; member of Tulare
County Youth Council; performs in theatre arts productions,
concert band, and the jazz band; was co-chair for
the 2009 WHS Career Day; and chair of last year’s
Veterans Honor Day.
Also a member of Woodlake’s award-winning
Mock Trial Team, Ben advises, “Those who say
the impossible cannot be done should not interrupt
the people doing it!”
honors February 'Heroes'
Foothills Chamber of Commerce’s second Hero
Appreciation Months party of three scheduled for this
year honored local law enforcement and peace officers.
The gathering was held at the Three Rivers Historical
Museum on Friday, Feb. 26. Refreshments,
including homemade Creole black bean soup, cheesecake,
fudge, and cookies were provided, prepared by Leah
Catherine Launey, event organizer.
Awards presented to each recipient included
a custom-made trophy created by local artists and
Phil Stewart of Stewart Laser Designs in Exeter. Also
provided were certificates of recognition and a coupon
for a free night’s stay at Three Rivers Bed
Three Rivers resident Don Thompson was
one of the evening’s honorees. He said he has
been a “volunteer” all his life, so when
he moved to Three Rivers, he wasn’t doing anything
different. For the past six years, he and his wife
Evelyn have been volunteers with the Volunteers-in-Patrol,
who assist the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department
by providing them with extra eyes and ears.
Lieutenant David Galloway of the Tulare
County Sheriff’s Department was also honored.
He retired in January after 31 years of service with
What will he recall about his time spent
in Three Rivers? (1) Cell phones don’t work
here; and (2) being roasted at Town Hall meetings.
Undersheriff Dahl Cleek said the Three Rivers Volunteers-in-Patrol
have saved the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department
a lot of money and made it so much easier to keep
the peace here and in other areas of our county. He
said some VIPs have served hundreds of hours. He noted
that one female VIP has served 25,000 hours.
Cleek also introduced Lt. Tom Sigley,
who is replacing David Galloway. Sigley was formerly
in the Ag Crimes division.
Captain Jim Hinsley was also in attendance. He served
as the resident deputy in Three Rivers from 1980 to
1981, serving just before former Deputy Kevin Bohl
received his Three Rivers assignment. Hinsley said
Three Rivers was his favorite assignment, and it was
very hard to leave.
When Bohl asked why Hinsely was leaving,
Hinsley said he wanted to advance in the Department,
so he had to leave, but the pull of the area was so
strong, he knew he must get out now, or he wouldn’t
ever want to leave Three Rivers. He warned the incoming
deputy who failed to heed his advice, continuing to
serve in Three Rivers for the next 17 years.
Also introduced at the gathering was
Deputy Al Brockman, who is working in Three Rivers
while Deputy Fansett is recovering from surgery.
Cleek also described the increased presence
that Sheriff Wittman has been working hard to maintain
in Three Rivers, so that even if the resident deputy
is off duty, there is someone patrolling. He spoke
about the fact that law enforcement is often a coordinated
effort and the Sheriff’s Department works in
cooperation with the California Highway Patrol, Bureau
of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S.
Leah Catherine Launey, Sequoia Foothills
Chamber of Commerce director and Heroes Appreciation
Months organizer, contributed this article.
four nights at Big Meadows Guard Station
recently formed Big Meadows Association is holding
a fundraiser raffle in which the winner will receive
a stay in the Big Meadows Guard Station from July
23 to 27, a privilege that is generally difficult
The guard station is located at 7,600
feet elevation, about three miles up the Big Meadows
Road from the Generals Highway in Giant Sequoia National
Monument. In addition to its pristine location and
views, it is conveniently located near fishing, hiking,
Buck Rock Lookout, Sequoia and Kings National Parks,
and all the region has to offer.
The cabin is furnished with 900 square
feet, one story, and has one bedroom with a queen
bed and twin bunkbeds, bathroom, living room with
sofa sleeper, kitchen, and service porch. There is
room for tents and an RV outside. Cabin occupants
need only to bring their own linens and food.
The kitchen is fully outfitted and there
is hot water and propane gas. No smoking or pets are
allowed inside the cabin.
To enter the drawing, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 805-0281. Donations are $5 per ticket.
All proceeds will benefit the Big Meadows
Association, which maintains and stocks the Big Meadows
Warming Hut in the winter and also provides periodic
grooming of the Big Meadows Road during the snowy
season. The drawing will be held Sunday, May 30.
The new yogurt culture
A new frozen yogurt parlor
has opened in the Winco shopping center in Visalia.
Look for it on the westernmost side of the complex
near the corner of Caldwell and Chinowth streets.
Tule’s is owned and operated by
Edward and Korin (Shultz) Guerena... See
ground' for Dr. Georgi
P. Georgi, D.C. of Woodlake celebrated his 70th birthday
at the River View Restaurant in Three Rivers. Guests
in attendance included family and friends from as
far away as Mexico City and Switzerland, and as nearby
as Badger and Bakersfield.
They were entertained by stories of how
it was for Dr. Georgi growing up in the 1940s, an
era before televisions, computers, cell phones, automatic
transmissions, and air conditioners.
“We didn’t even have an electric refrigerator,”
The big event on a hot summer day was
the arrival of the ice man, who would throw chunks
of ice to a gaggle of kids, he recalled.
He also recounted trips to Germany, China,
and Mexico. Then said, the past was great, but the
future is where we are all going to spend the rest
of our lives.
Dr. Georgi also announced his retirement
date: Oct. 20, 2030. That is when he will publish
his book “From the 40s to the 30s: A Journey
Through the 20th and 21st Centuries.”
In closing, Dr. Georgi stated, “At
my age, everyday above ground is a good one.”
TO MY FOOD COLUMN
single-most favorite recipe'
Tina St. John
This week: Elizabeth
This week’s recipe comes from sibling
number three. Elizabeth is an artist extraordinaire
and a calm, quiet, introspective person.
I always think of her as resembling my
father the most in character and stature. Growing
up I remember Elizabeth being considerate of others;
not a trait one might find in most siblings in a family
our size, but she was.
She always looks great with her classic
fashion sense. She definitely loves the finer things
As a painter, her medium is oils and
mixed media. She has the ability to bring a picture
to life, literally.
Flowers are her expertise. Someday, perhaps,
I’ll be able to afford a piece of her work but
for now I admire from afar. She achieved her Master’s
degree in Fine Arts at the University of Colorado
Elizabeth currently lives in Denver with
her partner Chris and her dog Allez Coucher, which
is a very meaningful name in our family.
Allez coucher means “go lay down”
in French. This is what my French (maternal) grandfather
said to his dog the first time he met my father after
the dog jumped on my dad. So my dad thought that was
the dog’s name!
After my mother died, my dad got a dog
and named him Allez Coucher.
Elizabeth’s favorite recipe is
a Belgian dish called Waterzooi of Chicken.
Waterzooi of Chicken
is a well-known Belgian dish, originating in Flanders.
Waterzooi is something between soup and stew and served
in soup plates.
4 tbs. butter
4 large leeks, white parts only, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 parsley sprigs
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground thyme
1 bay leaf
1 4-5 lb. roasting chicken, ready to cook
6-8 cups well-flavored chicken bouillon
3 egg yolks
½ cup heavy cream
Juice of lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter in large, heavy casserole kettle. Cook
all the vegetables and herbs in it for about 5 minutes,
stirring constantly, or until the vegetables are semi-soft.
Do not let brown. Lay the chicken on the vegetables
and pour enough bouillon over it to cover the bird.
Cover, bring to the boiling point, and simmer for
about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is tender.
Discard the skin, bone it, and cut the chicken into
pieces. Keep the meat in as large pieces as possible
and keep warm in 250 degree oven. Strain the chicken
broth into a saucepan. Place over high heat and reduce
to 4 cups. In a heated soup tureen, beat together
the egg yolks and the cream. Slowly stir in the chicken
broth and the lemon juice, and season with salt and
pepper to taste. Add the chicken pieces and serve
immediately, with either boiled potatoes or well-buttered
slices of brown bread.
N. Hunter of Three Rivers died Thursday, Feb. 24,
2010. He was 94.
A memorial service will be held Saturday,
March 13, at 10:30 a.m., at Church at Kaweah.
Cleve was born November 18, 1915, in
Southern California to Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Hunter.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1945. He retired
as a maintenance man with Richfield Oil Company.
In 1954, Cleve married the former Geri
Acord. The couple moved to Three Rivers in 1977.
In addition to his wife of nearly 55
years, Geri Hunter of Three Rivers, Cleve is survived
by his son, William Hunter; daughter Judy Moore; three
grandchildren; and one great grandson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests
that donations be made in Cleve’s memory to
the Church at Kaweah, 44069 North Fork Drive, Three
Rivers, CA 93271.