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In the News - Friday, April 3, 2009

—See this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)

The foothills portion of the Generals Highway is currently a brilliant sight

with green hills adorned with wildflowers and snowcapped mountains as the backdrop.

The rushing Middle Fork of the Kaweah River is the focal point of the canyon

and adds the background music that echoes off the granite cliff faces.

The redbud from Tunnel Rock to Potwisha and beyond are absolutely bursting with blooms.

Several varieties of lupine are so full of purple flowers they overhang the roadway.

The golden madia have just made their annual appearance,

the pungent buckbrush has blossomed, and the yucca will soon follow.

April snowpack near 80 percent

   Although the official snow survey totals won’t be released until later today (April 3), some preliminary estimates from remote sensing locales are indicating that totals up and down the Sierra Nevada will range from 75 to 90 percent of normal. The April 1 numbers are the statistical benchmark for the precipitation season so the date is on the calendar of every water watcher in California.
   Farewell Gap, at 9,500 feet, is a good indicator of what’s going on in the Kaweah drainage this season. As of yesterday morning, the current snow depth was 63.80 inches with estimated water content of 29.68 inches.
   Daytime temperatures at 9,500 feet have been in the upper 40s so the pack has been melting under mostly sunny skies.
   The current snow season lends credibility to climate change predictions that call for less snowpack and increasingly higher snow levels. But the data also suggests that there will be a significant amount of water that in the next 90 days makes its way down the Kaweah drainage.
   Fortunately, there is also some more rain and snow in the immediate forecast.
   Forecasters aren’t saying how much precipitation to expect but they are saying that the next system to come onshore will bring a significant cooling trend. That means more mountain snow and a chance to keep that current pack in place a little while longer.

Assemblymember to

address town meeting

   Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-District 34), who is in her first term in the California Assembly, will be in Three Rivers on Monday, April 6, to update the community on state issues affecting the region.
   The Town Meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Three Rivers Memorial Building. Local, county, and national parks updates will also be provided.

Man found dead in 3R motel

   The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department announced on Tuesday, March 31, that congestive heart failure was the cause of the death of Gary Canafax. The 47-year-old Visalia man was found deceased in a Sierra Drive motel room on Friday, March 27.
   There were no indications of foul play at the scene but detectives initially called the circumstances surrounding the death “suspicious.” A person familiar with the case said that the man was in the area because he has relatives who live in Three Rivers.
   The case remains under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with information related to the incident is encouraged to contact Detective King at 733-6218.

President signs omnibus wilderness act

   President Barack Obama on Monday, March 30, signed legislation adding more than 2 million acres in nine states that are currently being managed as wilderness. More than 700,000 acres of the newly-designated public lands are in California, including the John Krebs Wilderness in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park.
   The landmark bill also affords more protection to the local parks’ acreage in the upper North Fork and in the vicinity of Redwood Canyon. A parks’ spokesperson said recently that a wilderness designation for these lands has been in the works for more than 20 years and the public will notice little if any changes in management policy.
   The new law, a collection of more than 160 separate measures, represents one of the most ambitious wilderness expansions in the last 25 years. Under provisions of the 1,200-page bill, lands are protected from Oregon’s Mount Hood, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, in Zion National Park, parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia, tracts in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, to certain lands in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
   After the historic signing at the White House, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement:

  “Preserving and restoring California’s wilderness and waterways has been a top priority of my administration, and I am pleased that our environmental goals will be furthered by many aspects of the bill, specifically the San Joaquin River Restoration Act,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger. “This bill preserves 700,000-plus acres of California pristine wilderness and also provides additional funding to supplement the millions of dollars California has already invested to restore the San Joaquin River… and improve a water-delivery network that is the lifeblood of a Central Valley farming economy all Californians depend on.”
   In addition to the 85,000 acres designated as wilderness in Sequoia-Kings Canyon, approximately 36,000 acres in Joshua Tree National Park were also granted wilderness status. The act also designates more than 1,000 miles of waterways in nine states as “wild and scenic rivers.”

Heroes cards: Saving dollars,

stimulating local economy

SFCC program concludes its third year

by Brian Rothhammer

   For the past three years, the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce has issued cards that provide 20-percent discounts to people who make our lives safe and secure everyday during what the organization calls “Heroes Appreciation Months.” In the first year, the cards available at local businesses for distribution were given to members and veterans of the U.S Armed Forces and were valid only during March.
   In 2008, the program was expanded to include two other groups, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, and peace officers and law enforcement. Each group had one designated month in which to use the cards.
   This year, the cards were for all aforementioned groups and were valid for all of January through March. Response improved exponentially.
   Mark Tilchen of Sequoia Natural History Association and past president of SFCC compiles data on every mention of the chamber or SNHA on the web. Leah Catherine Launey, SFCC secretary, reported that Tilchen was “amazed” at the response and that he had “never seen a program bring as much publicity to a small nonprofit” as this one has.
So here’s how it works: the Chamber contacts merchants to offer the cards at no charge. Posters are displayed, yellow for a participating merchant, red if also a card issuer.
   When a customer inquires of an issuing merchant, the merchant verifies eligibility and issues a free card. Now the qualified customer has in their hand a tangible “thank you” from all of Three Rivers that they can present to participating merchants for 20-percent-off on all purchases during the three months.
   The motivation is twofold. Primarily, Launey said, it is to “show appreciation to the true heroes in public safety and defense who are the underpinnings to our way of life.”
   Second, it is to encourage more business during the off-season. Wuksachi Lodge manager Jerry Hagen said that about 75 cards were issued at the Sequoia National Park facility, mostly to military personnel from Lemoore and San Diego naval air stations.

  “Mostly I’d say it’s a way of giving back to the people who serve,” he said. “It is an investment in our future.”
   Dennis Villavicencio, owner of Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn, said that one customer booked two extra nights because of the card. Dennis is also a Three Rivers volunteer firefighter.
   Many merchants told of excellent customer response. Launey said that most have indicated a desire to participate next year.
   Presently, the Chamber of Commerce is requesting feedback regarding the program from merchants and local heroes alike. Past feedback has resulted in improvements, such as this year’s larger, more visible poster that was designed by the fifth-grade class at Three Rivers School and includes haiku (Japanese poetry) by the students.
   Leah Catherine is a master of free exposure. The event was covered in the Valley Voice, on Military.com, in Valley Response magazine and, of course, The Kaweah Commonwealth.
   Award nights, hosted by the SFCC to honor local heroes, were held on the last Friday in January, February and March. Handsome plaques of polished metal were created and donated by Dave King; 21 were presented this year.

  “As long as my family has been involved with the EMS community, it was not until we attended a Three Rivers heroes event… that we truly understood the extent of the role volunteers play in keeping our community safe,” commented Kelly Cooper of American Ambulance of Visalia and editor of the new Valley Response magazine.
   To be involved in the 2010 Heroes Appreciation Month discount card program, contact the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce at 561-3300 or Leah Catherine Launey at 561-4270.


Volunteering in a room with a view

   Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on a mountaintop, alone with the weather and wildlife and your own thoughts? Romantic images of famous writers such as Jack Kerouac and Edward Abbey come to mind. Both were fire lookouts.
Although fewer and fewer fire lookout towers remain standing, many still serve a vital public safety function and are staffed by a dedicated and hardy group of people. Some lookouts have been restored as recreation rentals, allowing visitors a unique camping experience, while others have simply been left to the elements. Regardless of their use, these lonely towers still inspire the wonder and awe of an era gone by.
   The BUCK ROCK FOUNDATION, a local grassroots nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the preservation of fire lookouts in the central and southern Sierra mountains and foothills. Founders were motivated by the neglect and abandonment of many of our local remaining lookouts, including Buck Rock (the namesake of the Foundation), Bear Mountain, and Park Ridge.
   Goals of the association include preserving fire lookouts through historic restoration and maintenance, and staffing lookouts for fire detection, interpretation, and educational purposes.
   Buck Rock Foundation believes that the best use of fire lookouts is the traditional one — staffing lookouts to look for fires. Fire lookouts are, by design, the eyes and the ears of the forest.
   If a fire lookout is staffed, a fire watcher can quickly spot a fire and quickly and accurately report it. The faster that fire is spotted and reported, the quicker resources like firefighters and equipment can respond.
   The quicker those resources respond, the smaller the fire will likely be. The bottom line? A quick report of a fire can mean the difference between a large, catastrophic fire or a small, inconsequential one.
   Are you interested in becoming a volunteer fire lookout? Do you love nature and solitude, have an adventurous spirit, and like the idea of providing a service to your community and public lands? If so, then volunteering as a fire watcher is for you. The Buck Rock Foundation provides a volunteer lookout program that assists in the staffing of three fire lookouts in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon area: Delilah, Park Ridge, and Buck Rock. Not only do these lookouts have magnificent views of the High Sierra and giant sequoia groves, but they also look into all of our local designated wildfire “Com-munities at Risk”: Squaw Valley, Dunlap, Wonder Valley, Piedra, Hartland, Miramonte/Pinehurst, Badger, Wilsonia, and Hume Lake.
   On decent air quality days, Park Ridge can even see into the Three Rivers area. This station called in the first report of the Horse Fire near Horse Creek in 2004.
   Space is still available in the class of 2009 for interested folks who would like to donate time during the upcoming fire season to help staff the local lookouts. The pay is lousy, the food depends on what kind of cook you are, exercise can not be avoided, and the weather unpredictable.
   But, the views are incredible, the excitement is unparalleled, and how often do you get a chance to do something this unusual and so important?
   This is a unique opportunity to give back to your community while getting away from it all. The lookouts are a small, devoted group of people from all walks of life with a common interest in maps, weather, wilderness, and “high” adventure. Volunteer opportunities exist for as many or as few days as you are willing to give.
   To learn more about our program and to find out if volunteering as a fire watcher is for you, please attend the annual Volunteer Lookout Orientation on Saturday April 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Hume Lake Ranger District office on Highway 180 in Dunlap. Call (559) 336-9319 or email buckrock@inreach-.com to reserve your seat.
   This day is geared for new volunteers and people with a general interest in what it might be like to work in a fire lookout. It includes a morning session of general information and purpose, along with a frontline training video and guest speakers. The afternoon is filled with hands-on training of the tools of the trade, weather observations, and basic map reading.
   The Volunteer Lookout Training will be Saturday, May 2, 9 am-5 pm, at the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks headquarters in Ash Mountain near Three Rivers.

There’s so much to do and see

at Lake Kaweah’s visitor center

by Larry Butler

   Ranger Valerie McKay runs the Kaweah Heritage Visitor Center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Located on Lemon Hill above the marina at Lake Kaweah, the center has operated for nearly six years and greeted about 30,000 visitors. And yet, it may be the best-kept secret of the Kaweah Country community.
   Initial construction in 2003 was supervised by Phil Deffenbaugh, park manager, and completed under the leadership of ranger Denise Robertson.

  “A visitor center had been in the master plan since 1976,” explained Phil. “Besides, we had to build a new boat patrol office anyway.”
   Valerie assumed the duties of interpretive ranger in 2006 and now enjoys informing visitors who come from all over the globe.

  “I love this area,” she said. “And I enjoy explaining how the water moves. I like to share this information because it’s so interesting!”
   She especially likes sharing her knowledge of local history, culture, and nature with groups of young people. Among the attractions at Lemon Hill is a great view of the lake, the Terminus Dam, and the Sierra.
   A viewing deck was added in 2004 and features a Native American bedrock mortar moved from an area of the lakebed that is now flooded. A view from the deck is available at: tularecountyemap.com/map.html,
but nothing compares to the real thing on a clear day. It’s the perfect place to bring groups of students to learn about the lake and its contribution to Tulare County.
   More attractions are found inside. Although the building is small and shares its space with the Tulare County Boat Patrol, it is packed with information.
   A display of basketry offers a glimpse of the rich native culture that thrived here for thousands of years before the arrival of western influence. A collection of orange crate labels shows the importance of agriculture and the contribution of the Kaweah drainage to its vitality.
   A wall of photos depicts the many floods that wreaked havoc on the towns downstream until the dam was constructed in 1962. Children are attracted to a fine collection of animal pelts that shows the diversity of wildlife that lives in the area even today.
   Something special makes Kaweah one of the most interesting lakes in the world: The level of the water was raised by 21 feet in 2005 by building a system of fusegates on the spillway.
   These can be seen from inside the visitor center and the deck. A once-functional model of the system is on display, along with a variety of informational photos and text. Many longtime locals first realized how the system works by stopping in at the visitor center.
   A partnership between the Sequoia Natural History Association (SNHA) and USACE enables the visitor center offer a selection of books and gifts. These range from nature toys, such as bugs and birds, to field guides and books on history and culture. There is something for everybody.
   In recent months, the center has taken on a new job. Since last year, it has sold several hundred annual use passes to boaters, fishermen, and frequent visitors. Prior to this, rangers had to take time out from their regular duties to sell passes.
   Valerie’s biggest challenge comes from staff scheduling at the center.

  "For a time, we only had three rangers and could only keep the center open five days a week.”
   But with the help of student rangers and volunteers, she has kept the center open nearly every day this year. Now she is looking for more help.
   Most volunteers are RV travelers who enjoy swapping their time and talent for a place to camp. But the lake floods the campground every year between mid-May and July. This makes recruiting harder because there is no place for a volunteer’s RV. Local residents are another promising new source of volunteers, and active recruiting is now underway.
   Valerie has plans to make the message of the visitor center even more powerful.

  “We’ll soon remodel, which will better show the quality of the lake, the river, the history, and the culture of this area,” she said.
   Larry Butler is a volunteer at the Kaweah Heritage Visitor Center.

‘Teen Leaders’ must apply this

month for Vacation Bible School

   The 2009 Vacation Bible School Leadership Team is now recruiting Teen Leaders to help with crafts, games, snacks, Bible story, daily puppet show, and more.
   In the past, junior high and high school students who wanted to help with VBS have simply signed up or shown up at the door. This year, Bible School organizers are stepping it up a bit by creating a Teen Leadership Team.
   Teens interested in a leadership role at VBS will need to fill out an application, go through an interview process, and participate in trainings, meetings, and fun events that will take place before the first day. There will be approximately four meetings before VBS with the dates to be determined once recruitment is completed.

  “Teen Leaders serve as role models to the children who attend VBS, so we want them to be fully prepared for that responsibility and have fun in the process,” said Elizabeth LaMar, this year’s VBS director. “It will be a youth program for the teens as well.”
   This year’s communitywide Vacation Bible School is scheduled for Monday, July 13, through Thursday, July 16, at St. Anthony Retreat. The daily schedule will run from 9 a.m. to noon with a closing program on Thursday evening, July 16.
   Any teens who are interested in applying may contact Elizabeth LaMar at 561-4154 or the Three Rivers Community Presbyterian Church, 561-3385. Applications are available now at the church office and the deadline is April 30.

River Rovers save lives

   River Rovers volunteers are currently needed in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks during the upcoming high-water period that coincides with warmer weather. The main goal of the program is to make contact with park visitors and explain the dangers of the rivers.
   A potential River Rover should be able to walk several miles on uneven terrain. Training will be provided.
To request an application: Tim_Barrett@nps.gov or call 565-4212 or 565-4211.

Public comment requested

on parks’ cave management plan

   The National Park Service is preparing an Environmental Assessment to address major revisions to the Cave Management Plan for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. This update is needed because it has been 11 years (1997) since the last revision and during that time more than 75 new caves have been found in the park.
   The public is invited to submit written comments to SEKI_planning@nps.gov or by mailing them to Park Superintendent, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271. Comments concerning the scope, contents, and breadth of this plan will be used to help identify significant issues for the management of caves within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
   Comments received by Friday, May 15, will be of most use during this initial phase of the project, however, there will be future opportunities to comment on the specifics and the alternatives developed for the Cave Management Plan.
   Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks contain more than 260 known caves formed within marble rock at a wide range of elevations across the parks. This includes the longest cave in California, commercialized Crystal that is popular with park visitors, alpine caves in Mineral King, and more.
   The purpose of the Cave Management Plan is to provide direction for the parks’ cave management team in working with the visiting public and researchers. This direction supports the protection and conservation of all park cave and karst resources as directed by federal law and National Park Service policy.

  Public Participation— Note that all comments become part of the public record. Names and addresses of people who comment also become part of the public record.
   If individuals commenting request that their name and/or address be withheld from public disclosure, it will be honored to the extent allowable by law. Such requests must be stated prominently in the beginning of the comments.
   There also may be circumstances wherein the NPS will withhold from the record a respondent’s identity, as allowable by law.
   As always, the NPS will make available for public inspection all submissions from organizations or businesses and from persons identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations and businesses. Anonymous comments may not be considered.
   If you would like more information than is presented here, contact:
Joel Despain, 565-3717, joel_despain@nps.gov; or Benjamin Tobin, 565-4271, benjamin_tobin@nps.gov.

Park Service gets the lead out

   The National Park Service announced recently that they will be taking a leadership role in removing lead from the environment by eliminating the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle by the end of 2010.
   The new lead reduction efforts include changes in NPS activities, such as culling operations and the dispatching of wounded or sick animals. Resource managers will use non-lead ammunition to prevent environmental contamination as well as lead poisoning of scavenger species that may feed upon carcasses.
   Yellowstone National Park has long had restrictions on lead fishing tackle to protect native species and their habitats. All lands in the National Park System will soon follow suit.
   Nontoxic substitutes for lead made in the United States are now widely available, including tungsten, copper, and steel.
   Lead has long been known to be an environmental contaminant affecting many areas of the world, and the national parks have not been immune. Lead is banned in gasoline, children’s toys, and paint because of its effects on human health.
   In the U.S., there is an accelerating trend to reduce lead contamination associated with firearms and hunting. California recently implemented a mandatory ban to facilitate California condor recovery.

Working together

by Mona Fox Selph

   Our economy, built on conspicuous consumption, has recently been like an inflated balloon with a pinhole leak, spinning crazily out of control and out of sight. It has caused a great wave of uncertainty and fear among the populace, and tragic loss of investments, homes, and security for many.
   There is, however, a silver lining to the situation recognized by those who are paying attention. One good result is seeing every day the greater awareness of human need, resulting in the works of good Samaritans and whole communities helping those hurt most by the economy in crises.
   Another positive outcome may be that there will be more transparency across the board in our economic system, with the result that we will never experience such a deep recession again. Yet many of us think that the most important outcome of all will be changes in all of our behavior and thinking that will help repair and protect the damaged environment here on the only Earth we have.

  “Less is more” was the doctrine of master architect of the international style, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. If we all consumed less as a whole and were more selective in our choices, it would certainly effect, slow, and hopefully reverse the degrading of our environment.
   Smaller cars, fewer trips, less packaging, less water usage, and even smaller families as a goal for the future so that there will be enough resources for all, would mean a better world to live in. We need to keep these ideas in the forefront and not slip back into our old habits when the financial crises is over.
   Three Rivers folks can be very proud of our community and the way we work together for the good of all.
   Now there will be both a spring and fall event for our environment in Three Rivers. New this year will be an Earth Day celebration, which will take place on Saturday, May 2, at the Memorial Building. This event will be sponsored by Tulare County Citizens for Responsible Growth, headed by Carole Clum (561-4661). Large in scope, it will highlight many environmental organizations through exhibits and presentations.
   In the fall, as in the past two years, the TREW CREW will again feature a two-day event the first weekend of October. Saturday will again feature the annual California Native Plant Society-Alta Peak Chapter sale at the Arts Center, along with exhibits and presentations.  The CNPS will play a larger role at the Saturday all-day event.
Elsah Cort, inspired by her January attendance at the Conservation Conference in Sacramento, has secured a special guest, John Muir Laws, as a presenter. A trained scientist, he is the artist/author of the new Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada.
   The Sunday event, first suggested by Isabelle Elmer Collins, will be our third Green Home Tour. Last year’s tour was in the Valley, but we plan to come back to Three Rivers again for this year’s event.
   Thanks to Isabelle, our tour last year was part of the American Solar Energy Society’s national event, the largest grassroots solar event in history, and one of only 21 in the state of California. Nearly all are held annually the first weekend of October.
   We are still in the planning stages and could use suggestions from the community for new or old green or greening homes to explore. If you have ideas for our fall event on either day, contact me at 561-4676.

  "Less is more” except when working together for a better community and world. We can be proud that when it comes to the environment, our community is doing more and more!
   Mona Fox Selph is a resident of Three Rivers.

Weekly tips


Click here for Part Two

   Dieting will make you fat. Diets are the biggest scam of the century. Why would the creator of any diet want you to lose weight for good? If diets worked, dieting professionals would go out of business.
   But don’t give them any repeat business because your life depends on it. Frequent dieters are 60 percent more likely to die from heart disease than people who don’t starve themselves.
   It is ironic that while we are facing a global public health crisis caused by obesity and its attendant illnesses there is also a booming diet industry that says they have all the answers.
   There is only one way to lose weight and maintain the weight loss: Regular physical exercise and ensuring that your food intake contains a majority of fresh, whole foods. That’s it, that’s the answer. There are no two ways about it.
   The faster you lose weight, the more likely it is to come back. That’s why when you begin an exercise routine and make a habit of healthy eating, there are six words that must become your mantra: “For the rest of my life.”
   The weight loss will be slow, but steady. And it will stay off… for the rest of your life!
   If you don’t think you can go it alone and need assistance regarding food choices and portion control, consult a registered dietitian. The one commercial weight-loss program that teaches clients about portion control, how to prepare and eat real food with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that can be followed for a lifetime is Weight Watchers.
   Here is one of the golden rules of losing weight:

  —Eat real food. Watch out for catchphrases like “light, reduced-calorie, diet-friendly, or low-carb.” This usually means these foods have been manipulated to lure the perennial dieter. Go for healthy whole foods instead like lean proteins, as many vegetables as you can handle, fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and low-fat dairy products. These foods actually taste better, provide more nutritional value, and are more satisfying.

  NEXT WEEK: Good fats, quality carbs, fitness, and a post-loss plan.
   The information in this article is not intended to replace the advice and treatment of a medical professional.


10 years ago in The Kaweah Commonwealth

APRIL 2, 1999 —
   Star-studded performances headline 26th annual festival— A Jazzaffair preview highlighting some of the bands that would appear the following weekend during the spring festival.
   Easter weekend will be chilly but no rain— On Wednesday, March 31, Kaweah Country received a half-inch of rain and snow down to 2,500 feet. Early-morning temperatures in Three Rivers dipped into the low 30s. Rainfall for the season to date was just over 13 inches at the 1,000-foot elevation level.
   Kaweah Land Trust holds ranch in perpetuity— A dedication was held as a private land preserve was donated by the Jeffs family. The property, known as the Double Eagle Ranch, is located at the end of Dinely Drive and contiguous to Sequoia National Park.
   Obituaries— Dillon Staberg, infant, 1998-1998. Kim Irene Barlow, 1956-1999.
   ALSO, spring sports, artists’ exhibits, and new carpeting on the way for Three Rivers Library.


Marjorie Kimzey
1917 ~ 2009

   Marjorie Elizabeth Finch Kimzey, a former resident of Three Rivers, died of natural causes Monday, March 23, 2009, in Visalia. She was 92.
   Marge was born April 25, 1917, in Decatur, Ark., to Frank and Beatrice Finch. On Sept. 11, 1943, she married Victor L. Kimzey of Exeter.
   In 1946, the couple moved to Visalia. Upon their retirement, the Kimzeys moved to Three Rivers, where they resided for 12 years.
   Marge, better known to her family as “Chirp,” brought enthusiasm, talent, and humor to all she pursued in life. Her dry wit and quick sense of humor charmed those around her until the very end.
   In addition to keeping the books for the family business, Marge researched clothing and accessories from the early 20th century and reproduced exceptional ensembles that complemented the family’s passion for antique automobiles. Her flair for fashion was apparent throughout her life, and she worked in the retail fashion industry for several years.
   Marge traveled extensively with her husband, Vic, a professional jazz musician and former member of the High Sierra Jazz Band of Three Rivers.
   Together they explored five continents, some of them multiple times. She enjoyed discovering different cultures and always returned from trips with trinkets and goodies for her loved ones.
   In 1991, Marge was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Vic. She was also preceded in death by her parents and sister Virginia Finch Blaine.
   Marge is survived by her daughter, Carole Kimzey of Visalia; daughter Suzi Kimzey Parsons and husband David Parsons of Florence, Mont. (formerly of Three Rivers); her grandchildren, Kimzey McGrath of San Francisco, Katy McGrath of San Luis Obispo, and Parker Parsons of Omak, Wash.; sister-in-law Gladys Peatross of Morro Bay; and 14 nieces and nephews.

Gary Canafax
1951 ~ 2009

   Gary L. Canafax of Visalia died Friday, March 27, 2009, in Three Rivers. He was 47.
   Gary was born Nov. 1, 1961, in Yuma, Ariz., to Euel and Opal Canafax. In 1977, he moved with his family to the Visalia area.
   He worked in the home-construction industry for many years. He loved his music.
   In 2003, Gary was preceded in death by his brother Larry Canafax.
He is survived by his parents Euel and Opal Canafax of Three Rivers.
   A graveside service was held yesterday (Thursday, April 2) at the Visalia Cemetery.
   In lieu of flowers, donations in Gary’s memory may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 35, Three Rivers, CA 93271.

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
© Copyright 2003-2009 The Kaweah Commonwealth