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In the News - Friday, APRIL 27, 2007

From the prairie to the foothills

‘Little House on the Prairie’

star will be at 3R Roping

    Celebrities who attend the Three Rivers Lions Team Roping are neither new nor novel. When you have some of the biggest jackpots and prized buckles this side of the Pecos country, all the best known ropers in the sport are bound to make a local appearance for one event or another.
   In fact, the 57th annual edition of “the biggest little roping in the West” wouldn’t be complete without a Hollywood actor or two in the tradition of former rodeo personalities Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens, both of whom have frequented the Three Rivers arena in the past.
   This year is no exception as the Three Rivers Lions have invited a real darling of western fans in the person of Sidney Greenbush. From 1973 to 1982, Sidney, along with her twin sister, Lindsay, portrayed Carrie, the younger sister of Mary and Laura on the hit TV series Little House on the Prairie.
   Now a very vital rootin’-tootin’ western gal with a successful Tulare County livestock ranch and line of western products, Sidney, 36, still basks in the glow of being a “Little House” celebrity.

  “The show has enjoyed enormous popularity thanks to its re-release on DVD,” Sidney said. “It has recently begun airing in international markets and has created a whole new generation of fans.”
   Sidney receives and answers plenty of fan mail. Currently, she said she is receiving lots of foreign emails that have to be translated.
   Anyone who’s ever watched the Little House series grew to love the Ingalls clan as they met the challenges of family life on the 19th-century western frontier. Millions of fans were saddened by the untimely death of the show’s main character, Michael Landon, in 1991. One of the most prolific actors in the history of television, Landon played “Little Joe” Cartwright on Bonanza (1959-1973), Charles Ingalls or “Pa” on Little House on the Prairie (1974-1982), and then Jonathan Smith on Highway to Heaven (1984-1989).

  “I just tell people to remember Michael in the role they liked him best,” Sidney said. “But like all celebrities there is a public perception and then there’s a real person dealing with the problems that come with responsibility and being in a position of authority.”
   Sidney said she first became acquainted with the original cast of the show at the age of three when the pilot was produced in 1973. The show aired its first season in 1974.

  “I really don’t remember too much from those early years,” recalled Sidney. “My dad was an actor in Hollywood so for us that life seemed normal.”
   It was all the people she met that she remembers most.

  “What really stands out among my memories from the Little House years are all the other actors on our show who went on to success with their own shows or in the movies,” Sidney said.

  “There were so many, like Todd Bridges, Willie Aimes, Peter Billingsley… the list goes on and on.”
   She also got to work with the biggest stars like Johnny and June Carter Cash, Gil Gerard, and many others.
   After the Little House years, the Greenbush twins took a hiatus from the rigors of being on a TV series to concentrate on school. It was much more difficult to land teen roles so the twins were content with acting in school productions and living more like regular kids.
   When the Little House show went into reruns, the twins received some residuals but nothing like most people would have expected the duo to earn.

  “In those days nobody could ever predict the impact that videos and DVDs would have on the industry,” Sidney said. “The distributors own all the rights to the old shows and make all the money.”
   Though the twins would jump at a script today if it were offered, they are content to live like most folks. Lindsay, who lives in Simi Valley, works as an office manager and is raising her daughter.
   For the past 18 years, Sidney has been nurturing her love affair with horses and chasing rodeo dreams. While on the cowboy circuit, she met her husband, Rocky, a lifelong rancher, horse breeder and trainer.

  “We breed quarter horses for racing, train horses and bulls to compete in arena events, and raise as many cattle as the seasonal grass will support,” Rocky said.
   On Tuesday, the couple auctioned two prize bulls at the Visalia stockyard and fetched what they described as a very good market price. Their Elbow Creek ranch has been their headquarters for the past two years.
   Among Sidney’s proudest accomplishments are numerous championships in barrel races. This weekend, she said, she’ll be checking out the local competition and maybe next year she’ll train her best horse for the buckle chase.

  “We are really looking forward to our first Three Rivers Roping and meeting all the ropers and fans,” said Sidney. “Our store is stocked with all the latest western wear, including clothing, boots, sandals, and accessories. And I’ve got plenty of Little House on the Prairie photos to autograph, so c’mon by our booth and say howdy!”

Injured skier rescued

near Sequoia’s Lakes Trail

   With the first 90-degree temperatures of the season, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone is skiing anywhere in the local mountains. But April conditions in the Sequoia National Park backcountry on snow that is called “corn” can be some of the best skiing to be found anywhere.
   On Thursday, April 12, after a couple of days in the backcountry, Todd Rose, 39, of Los
   Osos departed the Pear Lake Ski Hut via the Lakes Trail for the return ski hike to the Wolverton parking area. For even the most experienced skier, the snow-covered terrain can be dangerous. For Rose, the return trip nearly cost him his life.
   From information provided by Chris Miles, the ski hut caretaker, Rose was skiing above Emerald Lake when he decided to traverse vertically to The Hump, a visible landmark that he sighted nearby. That’s when Rose, who admitted later he had lost the trail, took a terrible head-over-skis tumble more than 100 feet down a slope, and became separated from his pack.
   Miles was at the Pear Lake Hut at the time, more than two miles away and separated by several ridges. The injured skier called for help, he said, but to no avail.
   The next day, after Rose’s wife had called the park and reported her husband overdue, a day-hiker heard Rose’s calls as he approached The Hump from below. The hiker immediately returned to the trailhead and informed rangers about the skier’s cries for help.
   At about that same time — 1:30 p.m. — Miles checked in via radio from the hut and was informed about the impending rescue attempt. He immediately skied down trail to see if he could locate the lost skier.

  “After I passed Aster Lake I saw tracks going up but nothing coming down so I had a pretty good idea where he was,” Miles recalled. “I was the first to reach the scene and reported via radio that Rose was injured but stable.”
   Miles said although it wasn’t extremely cold the night before, the freezing temperatures would have been enough to have made the critical difference had the skier not been properly equipped.

  “He [the victim] really saved his own life by scrambling 75 feet or so to retrieve his pack,” Miles said. “He spent the night in his sleeping bag so when I found him he was in pretty good shape.”
   Within the hour, a CHP helicopter was hovering over the scene, and Miles, with the assistance of park rangers, was able to hoist the injured man and he was short-hauled out. The victim was then airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno where he was treated for a broken leg and later released.

Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church
celebrates 100 years

   It’s been an institution in Lemon Cove since April 7, 1907. It has been the site of marriages, baptisms, communions, sermons, and memorial services for 100 years.
   On Sunday, April 29, the First Presbyterian Church of Lemon Cove will be honored with a birthday party and all are invited to attend.

  “Come help us celebrate as we thank God for 100 years of ministry in the community,” said Dan and Kathy Schwan, the husband-and-wife co-pastors.
   The celebration will begin with the Sunday worship at 11 a.m. From 1 to 3 p.m., a garden party will be held at the church manse and feature a catered deep-pit barbecue.
   Also known as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church, the church was organized 100 years ago. Originally part of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, the Lemon Cove church was a daughter church of the Presbyterian Church in Woodlake, which was formed in 1866 by 19 members of the Blair-Moffett families, including J.W.C. Pogue, founder of Lemon Cove.
   The original church building burned down, so the church was rebuilt at its current location in about 1962.
   The church has had 23 pastors, which includes two different husband-and-wife teams. The first pastor was Rev. Edward Piepenburg from Exeter, who served the Presbyterian churches of Exeter, Woodlake, and Lemon Cove simultaneously, making the trip to all three churches on his bicycle each Sunday.
   Several previous pastors will be joining in the Centennial Celebration. For more information, call 597-2249.

Alcohol marketing and teens

This is the third in a four-part series about underage alcohol abuse, contributed by the Outreach Committee of the Community Presbyterian Church in Three Rivers.
   Underage drinking is a serious problem, but teens still receive mixed messages about alcohol because advertisers go out of their way to target young people. Alcohol companies know that teens tend to binge drink and that habits formed early in life tend to persist. Teens are the ideal consumers for their risky products, so these companies put their profits before young people’s welfare.
   Alcohol companies place ads where they know teens will see them. Content analysis studies have discovered that magazines with high numbers of teen readers also had the highest number of alcohol ads.
   Magazines such as Vibe, Rolling Stone, Maxim, Glamour, and Sports Illustrated have an audience composed of at least 25 percent young people. In fact, the 10 magazines with this high youth readership account for almost one-third of all magazine alcohol ads. For every million more readers a magazine has in the 12 to 19 age group, it will have 60 percent more ads for beer or liquor.
   Television ads for alcohol also reach a large youth audience. A television market study found that alcohol commercials appear in 13 of the 15 most popular shows with teens.
   Not only are teens being exposed to alcohol commercials, the ads portray drinking as a fun, sexy, and young thing to do.

  “There are these party scenes that show that drinking means you’re having fun, that you’re hanging out with models that are in bikinis,” said Gary Najarian, an alcohol-prevention coordinator. Such portrayals lead teens to form unrealistic attitudes about drinking.
   Alcohol companies have also developed new products that appeal to teens that parents need to be aware of:
   Alcopops— Cool, refreshing, sweet... and alcoholic. The alcoholic drink of choice for underage teens – especially girls – is deceptively appealing.
   More teen girls than boys report drinking alcohol and at higher amounts. The American Medical Association (AMA) points to the popularity of so called “girlie drinks” or alcopops as a major force behind the change.
   In fact, with cool colors and names to match — Twisted Tea, Doc Otis Hard Lemon, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Rick's Spiked Mandarin Lime, Smirnoff Ice, Skyy Blue, Captain Morgan Gold, Stolichnaya Citrona, and Bacardi Silver — alcopops are a soft entry to the hard world of alcohol. Teens and young adults who drink alcopops may turn to the malt beverage "big brothers" — Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Stoli, and Bacardi — as adults.
   Pocket Shots/Pocket Packs— Pocket shots contain 80-proof liquor, Shot Paks contain 35 proof liquor, and both are packaged in flexible, strong plastic containers.
   The contain roughly 50 milliliters of liquor and come in four different flavors: Kamikaze, Purple Hooter, Sour Apple, and Lemon Drop with five different hard liquors: whiskey, rum, tequila, gin, and vodka.
   The cost for these Pocket Shots and Shot Paks is about $1.50. The packaging of these products looks like they contain candy, rather than alcohol. Since they can be easily concealed in one’s pocket, they could easily be snuck into areas where alcohol isn’t allowed.
   Spykes— Spykes are a malt liquor beverage that are packaged in a 1.7-ounce bottle that is very colorful and reminiscent of a nail polish bottle and comes in four different flavors: Spicy Mango, Spicy Lime, Mot Melons, and Hot Chocolate. Each shot contains 12 percent alcohol and can be mixed or taken as a shot alone, they are also slightly caffeinated. Anheuser-Busch wanted a fun new product that would resonate with young adults and women.This new product is going the same route that alcopops have. The fun flavors and the hip packaging seem to be directed towards youth that are not of legal drinking age.The flavoring in this product covers the taste of the beer that most young people do not like.

My path to Pilates:

Classes starting soon

By Jalene Vincent-Welch

   As spring returns to Three Rivers and once again I open the doors of the Cort Gallery for classes, I look forward to meeting new friends and reconnecting with the old friends who will comprise this season’s class. I am grateful to those already devoted to Pilates and my class, knowing that they, too, will spread a positive message about the benefits of Pilates.
   These benefits of core strength and graceful flexibility found me through my college dance professor. Ballet, tap, and jazz classes throughout my childhood fueled a desire to perform.
   Paying my own way in the world, College of the Sequoias dance classes were the most economical option. What a great way to keep dance in my life, as I pursued a degree in Psychology.
   Pilates Matwork was a new class in the dance program. By my second semester I was arranging my Psych classes to fit around my dance schedule, which included Pilates.
   The exercises had begun to change my body in subtle ways. I did not realize it at the time, but now, looking back, I was in stronger shape than I had ever been before.
   Performing with the traveling Lotus Dance Company was an incredible reward for all the hard work. I have hopes of future dance projects here in Three Rivers.
   Certification to teach the Pilates matwork came by chance. I enrolled in the intensive course sponsored by the Central California Physical Therapy Specialists, Inc., and Pilates Studio, led by Jonna Schengel, MA, PT.
   It was fun and easy since I was bringing years of personal practice with me. I was eager to start a class and watch others discover the natural movement and strength of their own bodies.
   Many class combinations later, I am still learning and finding new ways to teach the same Pilates matwork.
   In the interest of brevity and the focus of this article, I have skipped over life events: deaths, divorce, far-off travels, loss of friends, joy of new friends, blessed remarriage and, most recently, the birth of my first baby. However, they have all played a role in the use and movement of my body and how I feel in it. Pilates has been supporting me all along.
   This spring will bring new people with new bodies. People who, through injury or disuse, have arrived at a new starting point in physical fitness.
   People who are interested in their bodies and do not accept the expected limitations of age or handicap.

  “It is the mind which builds the body,” said Joseph Pilates.
   It is from that assertion that I teach. Whether a private class or a group class, Pilates matwork is for everyone.
   It is gentle enough for mothers-to-be (and mothers-just-now), yet challenging enough for the super-fit.
   Exactly what is Pilates, you might still be asking? I encourage you to join a Pilates class and answer your own questions. I look forward to meeting you.
   Jalene Vincent-Welch is a third-generation Three Rivers resident. She teaches and lives at the Cort Gallery with her husband, Scott, and new baby Finn. She is also a Certified Hatha Yoga teacher and a therapeutic massage therapist.

Through the Eagles’ eyes
About Three Rivers School, by Three Rivers School students

TRUS sidewalks become canvas for student artists
By Analisa Skeen

  “I thought it was fun and was a good way to express yourself,” said Shannan Salerno, an eighth grader at TRUS who participated in the chalk art project “You got to use a bunch of colors and mess around with your friends.”
   On Thursday, March 22, students were assigned a block of cement on the sidewalks and hallways of our campus. They were then able to sketch out what they wanted to portray on their section. There was almost no limitation to the variety of drawings. Soon our school was a flourish of color.
   Drawings scattered the sidewalks with a vast variety of themes. Everything from a gumball machine, to a rowboat at sunset, to an American flag with fireworks, was depicted on our walkways.
   Students originally were given about one hour to finish. However, at TRUS everything is for the students, and naturally the teachers and staff worked around the chalk art project.
   Many kids were unable to finish in the hour that was given, and even though they worked quickly, their chalk art was unfinished by the time lunch was over. After lunch came electives and some of the elective teachers let students who had not finished their art continue working.
   TRUS became a great display of artistic talents. Walking down our hallways you would be amazed at the things that Three Rivers students were able to accomplish.
   The emblems of bands and famous musical artists were created by Matthew Owsley, Andrew Moore, and Cyrus Graber. A bloodshot-eyed cat decorated the sidewalk near the auditorium.
   Walking down the hallway that leads to the eighth grade you would come across a four-of-a-kind poker hand, a big horned sheep, fiery word art depicting “Diablo II,” and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.
   Once again the school had given its students an amazing experience. A special thank-you to Heidi Schumacher, who put it all together, and to the teachers and staff of Three Rivers School for working around the chalk art.

Eagles embark on softball, baseball
By Shannan Salerno

   At TRUS, spring has sprung us into softball and baseball season.
This year, our softball team almost didn’t have enough players, but at the last second two sixth-graders joined, giving us nine players; just enough to play ball!
   So far, this year’s softball team has had three games. Unfortunately, we haven’t been successful in winning any.
   On April 10, our TRUS baseball team played a game against Woodlake Valley Middle School. In the first inning, with our boys up to bat, we scored three runs.
   In the third inning, Woodlake scored three runs as well, tying the score. After a little yell from Mr. Fox, the TRUS boys’ coach, they got their heads back in the game. In the following innings, the TRUS Eagles came back with some amazing hits.
   The ending score came down to an Eagles victory: 15 to 3. Our baseball team is off to a great start with two wins. Keep it up, Eagles!

Spring Break in canyon land

By Brian Pfenninger

   What did you do for Spring Break? That’s the question that most kids are bombarded with after arriving back to school. While other kids may say they went to the beach or glumly say “Nothing,” I have something I can truly say with a smile.

  “So what is so great about a big crack in the ground?” Those were my first thoughts as we headed to the Grand Canyon.
   My parents kept telling me it was beautiful and exciting. I’m actually glad I didn’t believe them because it made the canyon even prettier.
   As we arrived by train, the conductor said that the Grand Canyon would take my breath away. The only bad part, he said, was that it only took it away for 10 seconds.
   Well, I can’t blame him. After a minute it all began to look the same, so I was perfectly fine with leaving.
   As we left the Grand Canyon, we headed to Zion Canyon. My thoughts were, this is just another canyon. My spirits were down, and when we approached the canyon I was already in a bad mood.
   Well, Zion Canyon cheered me right up.
   If the Grand Canyon took my breath away for 10 seconds, Zion Canyon doubled that. It had a little of everything: mountains, streams, forests, and cliffs. That is what really impressed me, but the hikes impressed me even more.
   The first hike we took was to Angel’s Landing. It’s a strenuous 2.5-mile hike. The first part was a nice easy climb for about a half mile. Then comes a 1.5-mile hard climb until you meet a narrow half-mile hike trailing the edge of a canyon. When you get to the top beauty is everywhere.
   The last hike we went on was The Narrows. The Narrows was a hard hike up a river. You had to rent suits in order to conquer this hike.
   Sixty percent of the hike was in water, some so deep that your suit inflated like a balloon. The hike went as far as you could possibly go but we stopped after five miles. Those two hikes made my vacation rock.

  “You went camping? So what?”
   That’s what most kids say, but I guess they won’t know how much fun it was until they try it for themselves. This Spring Break wasn’t a vacation; it was an ADVENTURE!

Education opens doors
By Kathryn Keeley

   Every day, I witness countless complaints from students — and even catch myself complaining sometimes — about going to school, doing homework, and being “forced” to do minor jobs such as throwing trash away.
   When my fellow classmates take school for granted and do not care about learning, they are also tossing away something much more important.
   The chance to go to school is something that many children around the world — 115 million to be precise — are denied. I think my peers would reconsider their actions if they understood what a luxury it is to be able to have an education.
   The “Convention on the Rights of the Child” says that all children have the right to a primary education and should have equal access to secondary education. This is the first legally binding international agreement to promote the rights of children under 18.
   However, today, millions of children are still not granted the right to an education.
   Despite the fact that some current progress on this problem has been made, millions of children and adults continue to be illiterate. Poor access to education is directly associated with poverty.
   Child labor is one of the main reasons children drop out of school. There are 246 million child laborers, many working 12-hours a day, and earning less than 28 cents a day, if any money at all.
   Universal primary education would cost $10 billion a year. This may seem like a lot, but it is only half of what Americans spend on ice cream every year.
   Another reason why numerous children are not in primary school is that in some countries, families place more emphasis on the education of boys rather than girls. In fact, in many cultures, gender discrimination is so deeply rooted that it is not thought of as prejudice. Instead this thinking is considered “practical” and “traditional.”
   Uneducated girls grow up to be disadvantaged and impoverished women. Sixty-four percent of the 872 million adults in the world who cannot read or write are women.
   Without an education, women have fewer employment options and earn less than men. In fact, on average, women earn only three-quarters of what men earn.
   Uneducated women are often restricted to stereotypical roles and do not see any further options to make a better life for themselves and their families. Not having strong female role models in schools can continue this cycle and can make transitioning into a better life more difficult. Two-thirds of students who drop out of school are girls.
   Education not only gives people a feeling of pride and self-respect, but it produces great character. Educated children are more likely to bring about constructive change and make a better world for themselves as well as everyone else. Education itself can help end poverty.
   Children who are educated can contribute to the future of their country. Do something, instead of thinking about doing something.
   Identify the issues that matter to you most. Then inform yourself about those issues and tell others.
   A voice is the most important tool in helping yourself and the millions in need.
   Some shocking statistics:
•40 years ago the U.S. ranked #1 in education; today we rank 19th.
•An American high school student drops out of school every 29 seconds (6,000 students per day; 1.1 million kids per year).
•65% of America’s prison population did not graduate from high
•Lack of education is one of strongest predictors of future criminal activity.


   The following are California residents killed in Iraq as announced by the governor’s office this week:
   U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Daniel J. Santee, 21, of Mission Viejo, died Saturday, April 14, as a result of injuries sustained from a non-hostile vehicle accident in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
   U.S. Army Private First Class Steven J. Walberg, 18, of Paradise, died Sunday, April 15, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small-arms fire in Baghdad, Iraq.
   U.S. Marine First Lieutenant Shaun M. Blue, 25, of Munster, Ind., stationed at Twentynine Palms, died Monday, April 16, as a result of injuries sustained while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
   U.S. Army Sergeant Mario K. De Leon, 26, of San Francisco, died Monday, April 16, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small-arms fire in Baghdad, Iraq.
   U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Jesse D. Delatorre, 29, of Aurora, Ill., stationed at Twentynine Palms, died Monday, April 16, as a result of injuries sustained while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
   U.S. Army Corporal Michael M. Rojas, 21, of Fresno, died Wednesday, April 18, as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Taji, Iraq.
   U.S. Army Private First Class Jason M. Morales, 20, of La Puente died Wednesday, April 18, as a result of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small-arms fire in Baghdad, Iraq.

—Total U.S. deaths—
Iraq area: 3,311 (as of April 20)

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