In the News - Friday, April 2,
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
Market upgrades security systems
When a person’s business or home
is burglarized, it is an indescribable feeling of
violation. Add one huge mess to the premises that
is often made by the intruder and the feelings of
anger and helplessness are magnified.
It is those feelings that the folks who
work at Village Market experienced in the aftermath
of last week’s burglary [“Village Market
burglarized,” March 26]. Earlier this year,
the venerable market marked 60 years in business.
Now owned by Greg Dixon and operated
by his wife, Nataliya, it is the longest continuously
operating family-owned retail business in Three Rivers
(Britten Construction is 63 years old).
But being a pillar of the community does
not bring immunity from being a target of a malicious
burglary. The timing of this recent incident couldn’t
come at a more inopportune time.
The staff is shouldering a tremendous
responsibility right now, ordering all the Lions food
and liquor for Jazzaffair and the Three Rivers Roping,
the premier events of the local season that are literally
right around the corner.
Nataliya said she is feeling the stress
to get everything ready and finding the best prices
so the Three Rivers Lions can earn those funds that
so many are counting on for scholarships and charitable
had been talking recently about upgrading our security
system and now we have a state-of-the-art alarm system
and infrared cameras that can film any movement inside
or outside the store,” Nataliya said. “All
the doors and locks have been upgraded.”
Evidently, the store’s previous
alarm malfunctioned during the recent burglary. But
if there is another attempt at a break-in, Nataliya
said, the new technology will work properly.
business to me is part of my home and a big responsibility,”
she continued. “But with all these new upgrades
I will be sleeping a lot better now.”
Nataliya also said their burglary should
serve as a wakeup call to all of Three Rivers.
wish anyone who owns a business to check your alarm
system,” she advised. “Who knows, you
may be next.”
The investigation of the Village Market
burglary is currently ongoing. Anyone with information
in the case is asked to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s
Department at 733-6211.
Census on its way to 3R
With April 1 being designated National
Census Day and its national media blitz encouraging
all to turn in their forms on that day, one would
think Three Rivers would at least have received the
highly publicized survey. Not so, said Rebecca Sanchez,
a customer service representative at the Three Rivers
coming but so far the delivery of the forms has only
been sporadic,” reported Rebecca. “I also
worked at the Porterville station this week and it’s
the same thing over there.”
For anyone who just can’t wait to reveal their
demographics, the Census forms are available for a
limited time at the office of THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH.
Larry Baker of Three Rivers, a retired
Lake Kaweah park ranger, said he was glad to be hired
as one of the area supervisors. Larry and his team
of Census takers will make certain that all of Three
Rivers is counted.
3R couple to be
honored by Lions
by Brian Rothhammer
year, the Three Rivers Lions Club holds a Recognition
Night to honor those who provide exemplary service
to the community. This year’s honorees are Tom
and Rhoda “Dody” Marshall.
Tom and Dody met in 1976 while Tom was
a division manager for the American Automobile Association.
Tom had been there for 10 years and Dody since 1974,
having worked her way from file clerk to travel counselor.
one point, he was my boss,” recalled Dody.
remember when I first saw her.” said Tom. “She
was standing at the top of the stairs. I remember
what she wore, exactly how she looked. I was hooked
and didn’t know it.”
They did not begin dating until Tom left
the Pasadena office and transferred to Colorado Springs.
Dody followed, and the couple married in 1977.
Both were native Californians and soon
became homesick. After six years in Colorado, they
moved to Half Moon Bay, north of Santa Cruz. While
there, Tom managed a travel agency and Dody went into
In 1993, the couple moved to Three Rivers,
as it was about midway between the residences of Tom’s
and Dody’s parents, whom they visited often.
Tom’s sister, Linda Drouet, already lived in
were both raised in the Los Angeles area, but we tend
to think small town,” said Tom. “We feel
that we want to do things for this community.”
like family,” continued Dody. “We appreciate
the sense of community and atmosphere of a small town.”
They both got busy right away. In 1993
Dody started working for Guest Services Inc., then
concessionaire to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National
Parks. Tom started a business called The Reservation
Centre to coordinate accommodations for visitors to
the Three Rivers area. He also managed
the Three Rivers Travel Agency for Janine Chilcott.
By 1995, GSI was no longer at Sequoia-Kings
Canyon and Dody started a business called The Office
Staff the following year. Three Rivers Travel became
a home-based business in 1999 and was run by
Tom until 2009, overlapping with The Reservation
Centre, which eventually closed as well due to rising
costs and more people making travel arrangements via
Also overlapping with The Office Staff
was Tom’s Country Bear Originals, where Tom
offers photographs of Kaweah Country to eager buyers.
Both The Office Staff and Country Bear are still run
by the couple.
Tom’s passion for photography extends
to his community service. Back in his Vietnam-era
days as a Yeoman 3rd Class in the U.S. Navy, Tom had
his own darkroom and developed countless photos for
his shipmates. When sailors indicated a desire to
have photos of their tanker fueling other ships, Tom
sent letters to every ship they had fueled and received
hundreds of prints that he gave out to his crew.
In the late 1990s, Tom began photographing
the Three Rivers School carnivals, accepting only
enough payment to cover expenses, any excess being
donated to the school. Since 2000, he has been photographing
Lions Club events and donates over 1,500 images per
year to the Lions. Tom’s work appears regularly
in brochures promoting Three Rivers and surrounding
Community service comes naturally to
Tom and Dody. In 1993, Tom joined the Three Rivers/Lemon
Cove Business Association. By 1995 he had become president
and was instrumental in developing the small organization
into today’s Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce.
In 1996, Tom and Dody took over the job
of compiling and publishing the local telephone book
on behalf of the Business Association/Chamber of Commerce.
The directory is published every other year.
four years ago, Janine Chilcott got me interested
in the Three Rivers Historical Museum,” Tom
First, he became a board member, and
a year later Dody became involved in organizing the
museum records and archives.
had been organized well but not accurately catalogued,”
said Dody while emphasizing her appreciation of the
work done by her predecessors. She brings her years
of office administration skills to bear in her efforts.
Tom saw the need for the SFCC to have
a permanent office, so he convinced the museum board
to allow for space at the museum for brochures and
Chamber materials. To avoid conflict of interest,
Tom abstained from the vote that sealed the deal.
At that time, the museum extended its
hours from weekends to seven days per week. Although
Tom may be more visible at the museum he refers to
Dody as being the “glue that holds this place
On December 7, 2009, that order was threatened
with chaos. Heavy rains breached the roof and caused
flooding, which closed the museum for two months.
The efforts to rebuild and reopen were monumental
and greatly assisted by local volunteer labor.
community really came together on that,” said
In addition to annual events such as
Living History Day, Appraisal Fair, and a Silent Auction,
Tom has added the July Hot Dog Festival to the museum’s
Always on the lookout for volunteers,
Tom and Dody ask that anyone interested in preserving
Kaweah Country history for future generations should
contact the museum.
put you to work!” said Dody.
Perhaps their underlying desire to serve
their neighbors comes from Dody’s “Golden
Rule” upbringing by her parents and grandparents
or from Tom’s history with the Boy Scouts as
both Eagle Scout and scoutmaster. Regardless, they
will be honored by the Three Rivers Lions Club on
Thursday, April 8, during the annual Recognition Night
festivities that also serve to kick off Jazzaffair
We Three Restaurant now serving dinner
A perennial favorite for breakfast and
lunch, We Three Bakery and Restaurant announced earlier
this week that they will begin serving dinner on weekends
from 2 to 9 p.m.. The expanded menu, which will be
offered Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, now features
even more good old-fashioned country comfort entrees
like steak, pork chops, chicken breast, and weekly
customers have been telling us lately that they would
like to see us bring back the dinner menu,”
said owner Craig Chavez. “We have a great staff,
the busy season is here, so the timing was right.”
With the warmer spring weather, the longtime
favorite breakfast spot of locals also caters to a
steady stream of patrons who want to be served outside
at the patio tables.
service and food is always great and with the free
Wi-Fi I can catch up on email or check my latest bookings,”
said one local business owner.
Three is open daily 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will continue
to feature its scrumptious rolls, cookies and pastries
baked fresh daily. Catering for any gathering, large
or small, is also available by calling 561-4761.
All-League honors to WHS Boys’ Soccer
Woodlake High School soccer teams tend
to dominate the East Sequoia League year in, year
out. And this winter was no different.
But being recognized by the league and
other coaches is quite an honor. This year, the League’s
Most Valuable Player designation goes to Oscar Pena
of Woodlake, Orlando Suastegui of Woodlake High was
named Defensive Player. Jose Palomo, longtime WHS
soccer coach, was named Coach of the Year.
WHS soccer also has had four players
named to First Team All League and four players named
to Second Team All League, more than any other school
in the league.
First Team All League— Cristian
Cuevas, Jose Campos, Rudy Perez, and Alfonso Reyes.
Second Team All League— Fabien
Martinez, Ary Esquivel, Ivan Vasquez, and Juan Martinez.
Woodlake High School boys’ soccer team deserves
to be recognized,” said Coach Palomo.
The ESL is made up of teams from Woodlake,
Corcoran, Lindsay, Orosi, and Strathmore.
A dollar for the Boy Scouts…
by Brian Rothhammer
United States Mint released the new Boy Scouts of
America (BSA) Centennial Silver Dollar on Tuesday,
March 23, amid much anticipation by legions of boosters
as well as the coin-collecting public. These coins
are not being produced for general circulation but
are special commemoratives that were authorized in
October 2008 to mark the 100th anniversary of the
Boy Scouts of America.
The BSA was founded as a result of a
chance encounter by Chicago publisher W.D. Boyce with
a young English boy scout while traveling in London
in 1909. The scouting movement had been started just
two years earlier by Lord Robert Baden-Powell as a
means to promote mental, physical, social, and religious
development among young boys.
Boyce was very impressed with the manners
and knowledge displayed by the young scout and upon
return to the U.S. he set about to create the Boy
Scouts of America in 1910, modeling it on the British
organization. The founding of British scouting was
inspired by the career of Frederick Burnham, a soldier
of fortune with local ties to Three Rivers.
Baden-Powell became acquainted with Burnham’s
exploits during the Boer War ca. 1900. The U.S. scouting
movement also incorporated tenets of the YMCA.
The coin is struck on a planchet the
same size, weight, and fineness as the old standard
silver dollar. At one-and-a-half inches across, it
weighs in at 26.7 grams of .900 fine silver, netting
just over three-quarters of an ounce of pure silver.
At today’s silver prices that comes to about
Standard silver dollars have not been
struck for circulation since 1935, but since 1983,
over 60 different designs of commemorative dollars
have been made to the old standard and packaged for
sale to collectors and dealers worldwide.
As quoted from the Mint’s website:
“Surcharges from the sales of these coins help
fund a variety of organizations and projects that
benefit the public.”
Each commemorative issue is authorized
by a specific act of Congress and mintages are limited,
in this case, to a scant 350,000 (and 200,000 have
already been sold). With over 3 million current Boy
Scouts, many feel that this coin could become a valued
and highly sought collectible.
Also currently available is the American
Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar.
For additional information about these
and other U.S. Mint products, visit www.us
Kings Canyon Highway
Due to mandatory furloughs for Cal Trans
maintenance personnel, the scheduled openings of State
Highway 180 to the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon
National Park will be delayed by one week.
The top gate near the Hume Lake junction
will open Thursday, April 15, at noon. This will provide
access to the Yucca Point area, including Kings Canyon
Lodge, which provides food, gas, and lodging.
On Friday, April 30, at noon, the lower
gate at Yucca Point will be opened, providing access
along the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway to Boyden Cave,
Cedar Grove, and Road’s End. These dates, as
always, are weather and road conditions permitting.
THREE RIVERS ART REVIEW
Color the world:
positive impact of artists on a community
by Eddie McArthur
I’ve learned that it’s near
impossible to effectively report on the local art
scene and participate in it at the same time. What
I’d like to talk about this month is how a community
comes to be recognized as an art venue.
It seems to me that artists are rightfully
known as “starving” and many seek property
to buy or lease in affordable communities. In comparison
with many California locales, Three Rivers has often
fulfilled that need.
In addition, this community remains very
accepting of lifestyles that are not always the norm
— think Blue Pig. A handful of artists get established,
as much as artists are ever established, and then
are joined by others.
A group like Arts Alliance of Three Rivers
gets started. Some performing artists start banging
drums or strumming guitars or playing jazz and suddenly
there is a festival happening.
Each seems to add energy and influence
to the others around it. And each and every one benefits
the community at large and the other businesses.
How? Well, think about it this way:
First Saturday tomorrow (April 3) will
bring a number of folks up from the valley to check
out the most recent art offerings. While they are
here, many will stop for lunch, buy gas, or perhaps
even spend the night at a local motel.
Some of the motels have signed on as
1st Saturday participants, among those, Sequoia Motel.
Chris Schlossin, owner/manager there, is a consistent
supporter of the local artists.
She’s a regular at Studio Tour
and is very generous with the community at large.
Sierra Subs & Salads is located just
next to the Art Co-op, and owners Dane and Allison
Millner put together some fabulous sandwiches. Several
people who came by my studio for Studio Tour mentioned
having eaten there and were more than pleased.
Among the artists, Miriam Briks and husband
Kevin Yee will be showing at 3 Rivers Yoga. Miriam
has also begun offering a life drawing class once
a month, also at the yoga studio.
And Day Spencer will be offering a free
belly dance class at 3 Rivers Yoga on 1st Saturday.
Patsy Dolson, a relative newcomer to the local art
scene, will be the featured artist at The Art Co-op
with a display of her European-influenced oil paintings.
And, Martin Weekly, originally from Exeter,
who is an internationally known and collected painter
will be painting onsite at Mountain View Realty. This
is a rare opportunity to watch a well-known oil painter
Upcoming in April is the famous Jazzaffair
weekend. From those who design the flyers and programs,
to the local eateries and motels, to the various retail
venues around town, we all benefit from the event,
whether or not we go to hear the jazz.
Elsah Cort, organizer of the Studio Tour
and an artist in her own right, will be teaching a
course in handmade paper in April and, again, will
attract non-residents. May will bring the return of
the Redbud Festival, organized by the Arts Alliance.
Again many out-of-town visitors will
come to Three Rivers for an art event. In addition
to some of our local artists, a number of out-of-town
artists and craftspeople display and sell at the Redbud.
At the end of May, the Arts Alliance will host a day
of garden-themed art workshops.
The depth and breadth of artists and
art offerings here just keeps increasing.
And then tourist season begins. We often
hear that local businesses would not survive without
tourists. Maybe, but that’s just three months
of the year. From Labor Day to Memorial Day, think
art and artists.
California Garden Clubs holds
meeting in Three Rivers
The Redbud Garden Club had the honor
of hosting the annual district meeting of California
Garden Clubs. But they had a little yard work to accomplish
before their guests arrived.
wet year has been wonderful, but the weeds are rampant,”
said Marcia Goldstein, publicity chairperson for Redbud
Garden Club. “What a job we’ve had!”
On Thursday, March 25, about 50 members
from throughout the Central Valley traveled to Three
Rivers, where they were initially greeted by the most
beautiful garden of all: verdant hillsides filled
with carpets of wildflowers.
The gardeners met for lunch at Community
Presbyterian Church, where Melanie Keeley, local horticulturist,
presented a program about native plants. Following
lunch, guests were provided with a map that directed
them to gardens at various locations throughout Three
Rivers that were planted, and are maintained, by the
Redbud Garden Club. Local club members acted as guides
at each site.
In case you’ve been living under
a rock at the river, here is what the Redbud Garden
Club has been doing to beautify Three Rivers:
2005 – CAL FIRE STATION:
Garden Club members developed this fire-safe
native plant garden (in photo above) at the request
of a fire captain who saw the value in having this
demonstration garden in Three Rivers.
2005-2006 – THREE RIVERS
MEMORIAL BUILDING: Reducing water consumption
and costs were concerns for the Memorial District
board, so native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers are
the highlight of this garden. A second phase is planned.
2007 – U.S. POST OFFICE:
Originally planted in 1996, this native plant garden
received an extensive renovation and is dedicated
to longtime Redbud Garden Club member Jean Darsey
2008 – TULARE COUNTY LIBRARY/OUR
PLACE PLAYGROUND: Designed originally for
the Three Rivers Library’s 20th anniversary
in 1997, a shade garden was added to the playground
with the concerted effort of club members and Our
Place parents and children.
2009 – TULARE COUNTY FIRE
STATION: This year-old native plant garden
was developed in cooperation with Station 14 personnel.
It is highlighted by benches, a bridge, and a Kaweah
Country mural on the water tank.
All of the gardens are open to the public
for self-guided tours.
What floats their boats…
and what doesn’t
by Brian Rothhammer
You’ve heard the rhyme, Rub-a-dub-dub,
three men in a tub. Well, on Saturday, March 27, it
was two to a tub at the Kaweah Recreation Area at
Lake Kaweah for the final event of the Sequoia Foothills
Chamber of Commerce’s Heroes Appreciation Months.
It all started with an idea hatched by
Peter Sodhy, who organized the event along with his
wife, Leah Catherine Launey. Back in his college days,
Peter had been involved with some of those crazy projects
in which Northrup University engineering students
get involved. One had involved making semi-viable
watercraft out of cast-iron bathtubs.
The clear, warm day could not have been
more perfect for the wet event. Five teams had been
organized to build their peculiar craft and pilot
them to soggy wet glory. About 11 a.m., the horn blew
and the brave sailors-to-be had three hours to jerry-rig
their standard issue clawfooters with driftwood, balloons,
plastic jugs, and lots and lots of duct tape.
The rules were simple. Each team of five
had until 2:30 p.m. to convert their respective tubs
using only the materials provided. At the end of that
time, two members from each team were to paddle their
way to a group of trees about 30 yards offshore, snap
off a twig, and return.
The return trip was hastened by the remaining
three team members who pulled them back with a 100-foot
rope that had been secured to each vessel. Anything
that came off of the boats had to be retrieved by
the crews in the tubs before they could return. The
first to return afloat, or the last to sink, would
be the winner.
The teams were:
Here We Come/There We Go (Comfort Inn
& Suites)— Evany Camacho, Katie Wilson,
Rick Booth, Marci Wilson and Kitty Lee.
Tres Rios 911 (Three Rivers Volunteer
Fire and Ambulance— Shaun O’Dell, Matt
Lewis, Tracey McKibben, Dennis Villavicencio, and
Team Got Heart (Pro Youth HEART)—
Frances Pena, Michael Rodriguez, Amy Williams, Natalie
Perrera and Rachael Fanjul.
Chumley’s Crue (Corps of Engineers-Lake
Kaweah volunteers)— Larry Butler, Wes Van Dame,
Robert, Tammy, and Ashley Veronda.
The last-minute replacement crew representing
the Three Rivers Bread Basket was made up of Glenn
McIntyre, Bobby Powell, James Irvin, Garrett O’Brien
and Julia Irvin.
Prior to the start, judges Tony Moreno,
SFCC president, and Jim Fansett, resident deputy sheriff,
announced the winners of three pre-race categories:
Most Attractive— Tres Rios 911; Most Creative—
Chumley’s Crue; Most Likely to Sink— Here
We Come/There We Go.
And then they were off. The entire race
lasted a staggering nine minutes, a record as this
was the first Lake Kaweah bathtub race.
Team Got Heart sunk in short order. Next
in the drink was the Comfort Inn team. Here they came;
there they went.
From the start, Three Rivers Fire and
Ambulance looked to be the favorite, but soon lost
a bottle from their fine craft and had to retrieve
it. Plodding valiantly ahead, they made it to the
trees, and with twig held high were rapidly being
pulled ashore by fellow team members.
Too rapidly, as the wake from their bow was more than
the structure could bear, and the craft quickly disassembled.
Despite their titanic efforts, Tres Rios 911 did what
the Titanic did: sank.
Much to the amazement of all, two of
the tubs were still afloat and in a dead heat toward
victory. With mounting excitement, the Bread Basket
team won by a photo finish, piloted by nine-year-olds
Garrett and Julia.
it’s all about having a good time.”, said
Peter Sodhy. “There will definitely be a race
The prize purse of $1,015.41 will be
given to the Three Rivers Bread Basket.
Tulare man arrested on upper
On Tuesday, March 30, a Tulare County
Sheriff’s deputy, while responding to a suspicious
vehicle near the end of South Fork Drive, made contact
with Calvin Burns, 50, of Tulare. Burns was found
to be in possession of two steel daggers and a glass
The suspect also had an outstanding Tulare
County arrest warrant for disobeying a court order.
Burns was arrested, transported, and booked into the
Tulare County Jail.
The suspect remains in custody. He is
now facing new charges of possession of a dangerous
weapon and drug paraphernalia.
Property tax deadline looms
Taxpayers are being reminded that the
second installment of secured property taxes will
be delinquent if not paid by Monday, April 12. If
the payment is not postmarked or received by this
date, a 10 percent penalty and a $10 cost will be
added to the property tax bill.
Also, per state law, the second installment
payment cannot be collected until the first installment
The tax collector’s office has
a new curbside drop box for tax payments made by check.
It is located in the northeast parking lot at the
Visalia courthouse. Be sure to include your assessor’s
parcel number on the check and enclose the payment
stub in the envelope.
Payments may also be made by mail or in the tax collector’s
office at 221 S. Mooney Blvd., Room 104E, Visalia.
1913 ~ 2010
John Rhea Rogers of Three Rivers died
Saturday, March 20. He was 96 years of age.
A memorial service will be held Monday,
April 5, 11 a.m., at Community Presbyterian Church
in Three Rivers. A salad lunch and fellowship will
John was born in 1913 in Sun Valley,
Calif., to parents William and Mae Rogers. He had
one brother and three sisters, all of whom have preceded
him in death.
When John was 14, he was delivering milk
from the family’s dairy in a truck he built
from whatever parts he could find in the salvage yard.
Make or model did not matter; he could make it work.
John had the mind, imagination, and the
heart of an inventor. He loved to tinker and spend
time in his shop, which he did until shortly before
In 1935, John married his high school
sweetheart, Lura Upton. John built their home in Sunland,
Calif., adding on as needed to accommodate their family.
Lura preceded him in death.
John was employed by Lockheed Aircraft
at their Burbank facility. Starting as a jig
builder, by his retirement he was a design engineer
and the go-to guy whenever there was a problem.
John’s curiosity to discover what
was over the next mountain or across the valley gave
his family an appreciation of the wonders of nature
and of the people met along the way.
John is survived by his daughter, Joanne
Fansett, and son James Rogers, both of Three Rivers;
his granddaughter, Lori Scott, and husband Glynn of
Big Bear Lake; grandson James Fansett and wife Kacey
of Three Rivers; and two great-grandsons, Ryan and
Kyle Fansett of Three Rivers.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests
that remembrances be made to Community Presbyterian
Church (P.O. Box 685, Three Rivers, CA 93271) or Kaweah
Delta Hospice (400 W. Mineral King, Visalia, CA 93292).
Private interment will be at Forest Lawn.
Condolences to the family may be sent online via www.evansmillerguinnchapel.com.