In the News - Friday, April 23,
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
2010 photos (PDF)
Kaweah was in a reflective mood after another Gulf
of Alaska-spawned storm system
its way through Kaweah Country on Wednesday, April
champion will ride
Lions Team Roping
Ever since she can remember Shyan Souza has been dreaming
about the Three Rivers Lions Team Roping. In fact,
she first ran the barrels as a four-year-old and now
looks forward to the local competition as the best
event on the circuit and her highlight of an annual
schedule that becomes more hectic each year. More...
huge snowpack has more implications than the impending
water runoff season. Backcountry travel will be impacted
throughout the remaining storms, and backpackers will
find the high mountain passes clogged with snow for
much of the summer. More...
Folklorico Sierra Linda:
years and still dancing
Ballet Folklorico Sierra Linda children’s
Mexican folk dance group of Woodlake, celebrated its
fourth anniversary in March. More...
a horse in your pocket? You just might. Horses have
appeared on coinage from many lands since ancient
Philip II, King of Macedonia, had a particular
fondness for horses. His name in Greek is a combination
of the words “horse” and “friend.”
In 356 B.C., the year his son Alexander (the Great)
was born, he won the horseback riding event at the
106th Olympic Games.
Philip went on to win the quadriga (four-horse
chariot) at the 107th games and the biga (two-colt
chariot) at the 108th. Coins were issued to celebrate
his equestrian prowess.
The very first Roman silver coins (280
B.C.) bore the image of a horse and through the centuries
horses have appeared on coins of Europe and Asia.
The British gold Sovereign has portrayed St. George
astride a horse since 1871, all the while slaying
Not that you’re likely to find
a 2,300-year-old Roman didrachm in your pocket change,
but there could be a horse on your two bits.
In 1999, Caesar Rodney rode from the
history books to the reverse (back) of the first of
the United States Mint 50 State Quarters. The image
is of Rodney riding through the night to arrive at
Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on July 2,
1776. In boots and spurs, he cast his vote for Delaware
to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Three other coins of the series had horse
designs. The Kentucky quarter of 2001 shows “a
thoroughbred racehorse” (U.S. Mint description),
the 2006 Nevada quarter has a “trio of wild
stallions,” and the most rodeo themed of the
State Quarters is the 2007 Wyoming with its “bucking
horse and rider” in silhouette.
The State Quarters have now run their
course and the first of the new “America, The
Beautiful Quarters” was released on Monday,
The new series of quarters will feature
one design from each of the 50 states, five territories,
and the District of Columbia as had the State Quarters.
This time around, the designs will be “emblematic
of a National Park or other national site in each
new quarters will honor some of the most revered,
treasured and beautiful national sites; majestic and
historic places located throughout the United States
and its territories that truly make us ‘America
the Beautiful,’” said Ed Moy, director
of the U.S. Mint.
The newly released quarter honors Arkansas’s
Hot Springs National Park, and although no horses
appear on the initial five designs, California’s
Yosemite National Park Quarter will be released on
July 26, 2010. The series will run through 2021.
An interesting provision of the act authorizing
the ATB quarters directs the Mint to also issue five-ounce
pure silver versions of the quarters for sale. No
release dates have yet been announced for these massive
coins that will be three inches across, more than
twice the size of a standard U.S. silver dollar.
The act also gives the Mint until 2019
to decide whether to do a second round of ATB quarters,
so there’s plenty of time to lobby for a Sequoia-Kings
Canyon National Parks quarter. The Mint has created
a website with images and information about the series
2010: Five apply
COS board appointment
people have filed applications for the vacant Ward
2 seat on the College of the Sequoias board of trustees.
The seat was left empty after the resignation of longtime
board member Sue Shannon at the end of March.
Ward 2 encompasses Three Rivers, as well
as a portion of Visalia, Exeter, and an eastern portion
The applicants are:
Sesar Carreno of Tulare, a teacher in
Earlimart and Tulare who is a former member of the
California State Univeristy, Northridge, alimni board
and former president of the Association of Latino
Leonel Leal of Tulare, who is an engineer
with Kraft Foods Global and former volunteer with
the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (Menlo Park);
Kenneth Nunes of Tulare, who is a partner
with M. Greene and Co., a former member of the COS
Foundation board, and who served on the COS Measure
Marlene Sario of Exeter, who is a member
of the Exeter High School board, former member of
the COS Measure I Committee, and the chief financial
officer of Rising Sun Co., a general engineering construction
Barbara Waldron of Exeter, chairwoman
of the Tulare County Democratic Party, director on
the Tulare County Workforce Investment board; and
owner/operator of Waldron Legal Secretarial Services.
The list of the five qualified applicants
was presented to the COS board of trustees during
their meeting last week. The board will interview
the applicants next week and the successful applicant
will be appointed no later than May 10.
The seat is up for re-election in November.
WELCOME TO MY FOOD COLUMN
single-most favorite recipe'
Tina St. John
note: Regular readers of this column will know that
Tina St. John was raised in a large family with nine
children. For the past several installments of her
“Welcome to my food column,” she has been
highlighting one of her siblings and their all-time
favorite recipe. Tina said she wants to show “what
came out of a home where food preparation was such
a big part of how we lived.”
This week: Paul
Paul, the youngest of our brood, is sibling
I left home when Paul was only three.
Throughout the years I missed most of his childhood,
then he left for college. As a result, Paul and I
have never really known much about each other.
What I do know: He is hilariously funny.
He is dashingly handsome.
He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, with his husband
Meinhard. He is a new father to baby Liam. And he
works for EMC Computer Systems as a regional manager
in eastern and central Europe.
Lucky for me I’ll get to spend
some time with him this summer at our family reunion.
And something we have in common is we
obviously both loved my mom’s French dressing.
Finally, someone in the family said their favorite
recipe was her French dressing! Here you go…
In two weeks: The
final installment of “My single-most favorite
Mock Trial team
their cast at State
if you heard someone say their kid gets into a lot
of arguments and had to spend the day in court, you
might think “Uh-oh.” But for
Woodlake High’s Mock Trial team, arguing is
what they do best and being in court is a chance to
A mock trial competition involves a hypothetical
court case argued by student participants, in a real
courtroom, with a real judge. The winners are decided
by a jury of actual lawyers.
In February, the Woodlake High School
Mock Trial team defeated opponents in a six-round
competition to become Tulare County champions. As
a result, the team advanced to the State Mock Trial
competition, which took place March 19 through 21
in San Jose.
Kevin Skeen of Three Rivers, a math teacher
at Woodlake High, coached the team toward an impressive
performance at this highly competitive event. The
first match on Friday evening was a “trial by
fire,” he said, as the opponent the team faced
eventually became the 2010 state champions.
The next two matches were also tightly
contested events with no obvious winner. Clovis North
and Placer County fought fiercely against the Woodlake
team, and the room was filled with the excitement
of witnessing sharp, well-prepared young minds clashing
in the legal arena.
And just like those tense courtroom dramas
we know so well from TV, the participants had to wait
till the end of the show to discover the verdict.
In this case, the verdict would be the judges’
scores that would be announced at the closing ceremonies
on Sunday. The team’s last match on Saturday
evening was against Merced County, and it was clear
in this case that Woodlake had dominated the debate.
But it wasn’t all arguments and
rhetorical conflict at this event. Like the actors
on a drama, getting together at the snack table between
takes, the young people from the various schools had
ample opportunity to meet and greet each other in
a less confrontational mode.
On Friday night there was a dinner social
for all 700 participants, where they had a chance
to exchange city “pins,” and on Saturday
night, there was a dance in the main ballroom of the
On Sunday afternoon, during the closing
ceremonies, the teams finally learned the outcome
of their simulated legal battles. Woodlake was edged
out by San Mateo County, came in second in two very
close decisions regarding Fresno and Placer Counties,
and scored a win over Merced.
Being a member of the Mock Trial team
demanded a considerable amount of time and effort
by its participants, but the intensity of the experience
was well worth it and will long be remembered. Advisor
Kevin Skeen expressed gratitude to the local organizations
that contributed to making the trip a possibility
and the volunteer lawyer coaches, Erin and Nathan
Leedy of Three Rivers who, he said, were a huge reason
for the team’s success.
3R students continue
Science Fair tradition
THREE RIVERS SCHOOL— It’s
impressive when students get motivated and do an outstanding
science project. At Three Rivers, it’s becoming
an annual tradition.
Each year, students in the seventh and
eighth grades are required to complete a science project
as a part of their spring semester. They are then
judged independently by a team of scientists from
Sequoia National Park.
Apparently, the park scientists know
an award-winning project when they see one. That’s
because for the past 10 years at least one Three Rivers
project that was entered at the county level was judged
among the best of the show to advance to the California
State Science Fair held annually at the California
Science Center in Los Angeles.
Three enthusiastic seventh graders —
Gunnar Little, Caleb Sager. Spencer Jones —
were chosen to go to the state competition to be held
this year on May 17 and 18. They are thrilled to be
participants but know they are up against some tough
The annual state science fair includes
students in grades six through 12 and is expected
to attract 900 projects from 400 schools. The local
boys feel honored to represent their small school
and Three Rivers.
like science and sports so we wanted to do a project
that involved something most people know something
about or how to play,” said Spencer Jones.
The boys are teammates on the TRUS baseball
team so a baseball was considered to test their hypothesis.
They wanted to test how the temperature of the ball,
being struck by equal force, would be affected in
terms of the distance traveled.
To do that they built an apparatus of
PVC pipe fitted with a wooden hammer and mounted on
a bicycle stand. What they found out was that a golf
ball was more suited to testing than a baseball so
they switched their approach to the golf game.
The testing involved comparing the distances
of frozen, heated to a boil, and air temperature Titleist
No. 2 golf balls. The striking force was determined
by gravity so it remained constant.
The average distance, they found out,
was 270 inches and the room temperature samples and
the colder balls actually traveled the farthest.
was surprising because we expected the heated balls
to have more elasticity and to travel farther,”
said Gunnar. “But we also observed that the
course was not level and that influenced how far each
ball actually traveled.”
The young scientists are really looking
forward to going to Los Angeles next month and if
they could bring home some of the $60,000 in awards
that would be really cool too!
WOODLAKE HIGH SCHOOL—
When both your parents — Jon and Melanie Keeley,
he in fire ecology and she in native plants —
work in science-related careers, it figures that as
a student you might become interested in scientific
research. But what’s reexceptional about Katie
Keeley, a Three Rivers junior at Woodlake High School,
is her desire to push herself academically to places
no other local students have ever yet been.
Consider her quest to return each year
to the California State Science Fair. This year marks
her fifth consecutive trip to the annual competition
held at the Science Center in Los Angeles.
since my first trip there as a seventh grader from
Three Rivers School , I noticed there was an
award given to those students who entered projects
for five years,” Katie said. “Right then,
I knew I wanted to win that award.”
Katie admits that she is doing this for
the pure joy of learning, especially when it comes
to science. She is the only student from her high
school to submit a science fair project even though
there is no class requirement or credit to do so.
Unlike some of the larger urban high
schools around California that support a science fair
team as an elective or after-school activity, Katie’s
advisor is her dad, Jon Keeley, a research ecologist
with the U.S. Geological Survey based at Ash Mountain
in Sequoia National Park.
The challenge of researching her project:
The Impact of Humans and Climate on Wildfires in California,
is made even more difficult because it is an extracurricular
activity. That means she must make her own time to
do the research in addition to maintaining a ranking
near the top of her class and being the editor-in-chief
of the school paper The Tiger Times.
Her interest in the media actually fueled
some of her work on this project.
found that in the scientific literature and in the
other media, there is a misunderstanding when it comes
to wildfires,” Katie said. “In the West
and in California you can’t generalize because
there are micro-climates.”
And now there is climate change, she
said, that affects some regions but not others. There
is really no end to what one can research about this
relevant topic that affects everyone who lives in
wildlands like Three Rivers, Katie said.
was most interesting to observe the spike in wildfires
when the cold phase ended in the 1970s and there was
a period of drought and then rising temperatures in
the 1980s,” Katie said. “Climate and humans
clearly had an impact on the numbers and where wildfires
Encouraged by her dad to apply, Katie
will also present her project this summer at The Ecological
Society of America’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh,
Penn. After graduating from Woodlake High in 2011,
she hopes to attend U.C. Berkeley and study environmental
1923 ~ 2006
Theunis “Tuny” Prins, a former
resident of Three Rivers, died Thursday, April 1,
2010. He was 86.
Tuny was born in Lyon County, Iowa, and
was raised and educated in Grand Rapids, Mich. He
was 17 years old when he joined the U.S. Air Force
and was a B-24 pilot stationed in Europe during World
After his discharge, he returned to Grand
Rapids and attended Calvin College, then went onto
graduate from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee,
Wisc. He practiced law for several years.
In 1953, the Prins family relocated to
California, eventually settling in Three Rivers. Over
the years, Tuny was involved in several businesses
in Dinuba and Visalia.
Tuny was a member and former elder of
Community Presbyterian Church in Three Rivers.
In addition to his wife of 62 years,
Fran, Tuny is survived by four sons, Gary of Corona
del Mar, Ron and wife Jane of Escondido, Greg and
wife Crystal of Redding, and Jeff and wife Micki of
Visalia; daughter Laurie and husband Michael of Visalia;
13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A celebration honoring Tuny will be held
Sunday, April 25, 1 p.m., at Salser and Dillard Funeral
Chapel, 127 E. Caldwell Ave., Visalia.