News and Information
for residents and visitors
Three Rivers,
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks,
Lemon Cove and Woodlake
Kaweah Kam



A supplement to The Kaweah Commonwealth weekly newspaper because all the news that's fit to print, or all the news that causes fits, doesn't always fit within the confines of 12 pages. Join us in the dialog. Write about Three Rivers news, issues, lifestyles, experiences, and so much more.



In the News - Friday, MAY 12, 2006


The Kaweah River's Middle Fork during Spring 2006 runoff.


Three Rivers man faces

porn, drug charges

  John Edwards Bryant, a local resident who formerly owned the Naturedome gift shop, remains in a Tulare County Jail cell awaiting trial on four felony counts and one misdemeanor charge. Bryant, 52, was arrested and taken into custody on Thursday, May 4.
   Three of the felony charges are what authorities refer to as “Section 311,” or obscenity charges that include possessing material depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct or simulated sexual conduct (child pornography), stemming from the downloading, possession, or transportation of pornographic images on a computer found at Bryant’s Sunset Drive residence. Bryant claimed that those images, depicting explicit acts with children, were actually downloaded by a roommate.
   Also inside the residence, deputies found an elaborate hydroponic marijuana growing room, which led to a fourth felony charge.
   Bryant, an avid camera buff, was one of the first in Three Rivers to use a digital camera and offer what he called “Photoshop-enhanced” images of nature for sale in his store. At the house he has rented since 1991, deputies also encountered sophisticated surveillance cameras to warn of anyone approaching on the driveway to the secluded residence.
   It was Bryant’s fascination with photography that also played a role in the misdemeanor charge. Deputies recovered a quantity of videotapes that contained footage of customers in the Naturedome dressing room recorded with a hidden camera.
   Bryant claimed to have installed the camera as a deterrent for shoplifters. Yet according to police records, from 1991 until the store closed in 2005, Bryant never filed a single complaint for shoplifting.

  “If the husbands or boyfriends of the women who are in these videotapes were made aware of what Mr. Bryant was doing I’m certain he could never show his face in Three Rivers again,” said an investigator who asked not to be identified.
   Investigators became suspicious of Bryant after recovering some stolen items at another Three Rivers location. In that case, the man in possession of the items said Bryant had been the source. When an investigator first called on Bryant to ask about the stolen property, it became obvious there was probable cause for a search warrant.
   Bryant is currently being held in the pretrial section of the county’s main jail. His bail has been set at $250,000, with his next court appearance scheduled for Monday, May 15.
   The Naturedome operated in Three Rivers from October 1991 to February 2005. Today, the Sierra Drive property houses the Heart’s Desire gift shop, which is not affiliated with John Bryant or the Naturedome.

Thieves on the prowl

for anything

not nailed down…

   It’s that time of year when more visitors mean more traffic. Along with the increase in tourists there is also traditionally an upsurge in thefts. Nowadays, thieves will take anything that isn’t nailed down and even some things that are.
   Two weeks ago, it was an art object that was removed from the façade of Three Rivers Garden Arts (“Art heist nets handmade fountain,” The Kaweah Commonwealth, April 28, 2006). A Sequoia National Park ranger, after reading the TKC article, remembered seeing the distinctive fountain brazenly displayed in the Potwisha campground.
   When the ranger returned to investigate the campsite had been vacated. The whereabouts of the missing art piece, valued at $750, is still under investigation.
   Last weekend, sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning (May 6-7), somebody removed one of the two wooden benches that were on either side of the front entrance to the 3 Rivers Cyber Café.

  “The bench is just a plain wooden one like you might see in a hardware or variety store,” said Tony Moreno, owner of the Cyber Café. “It was a gift from my mom when we opened our new business.”
   Moreno said the bench was worth about $60. The annoyed business owner said he would be anchoring the remaining bench.


‘River Rovers’ wanted

   The National Park Service is currently looking for Three Rivers residents who would like to volunteer by patrolling local rivers and warning visitors about the dangers of the waterways.
   Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, be willing to commute to the parks, and physically able to walk up to two miles on steep river trails during a three-to-six-hour shift. Being bilingual is a plus.
   These volunteer “River Rovers” would receive training, a uniform, and the use of a park radio while on duty. For more information, call Erik Oberg, park ranger, 565-3719.
   Visitors are strongly urged to use caution when near the Kaweah River or, better yet, don’t go near the edge at all, especially if children are in tow. An above-average snowpack combined with current warming temperatures have caused all local waterways to rise dramatically, becoming swift and very cold.
   Drowning is the number-one cause of death in the local parks. Last year, six people drowned within the boundaries of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
   For information about staying safe at the river, visit the “Area Information” page on this website.



Mixer was new Chamber’s

inaugural event

   In the words of Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce president Mark Tilchen, Three Rivers and the area’s other gateway communities took a big step on Tuesday, May 9, in the effort to improve the business climate. But, he said, it would take the support of the people in attendance and even more businesses to guarantee the success of the new organization.
   That was the essence of the remarks Tilchen delivered to the more than 30 in attendance at the first-ever quarterly membership meeting of the new business-advocacy group. The meeting was held at the Three Rivers Historical Society Museum and catered by the recently reopened We Three Bakery and Restaurant.
   The chamber of commerce assumes the role of the former Three Rivers-Lemon Cove Business Association but has a broader scope.

  “The former business association will not cease to exist entirely,” Tilchen said, “but will continue to play a role in some small business matters. The dues of that association expire in June and will now serve to fund the new chamber.”
   The bottom line is funding, Tilchen said, so without membership dues the new chamber is simply a group of individuals with some big ideas.
   In addition to Tilchen (president/SNHA), the officers of the first board of directors include Johanna Lombard (vice president/Sequoia Riverlands Trust) Darlene Mayfield (secretary/Visalia Chamber of Commerce), Chris Schlossin (treasurer/Sequoia Motel), and Tom Marshall (membership chair/Reservation Centre). Other board members are Laura Harris (Sierra Subs, River Inn), David Mills (Century 21) Scott Mullikin (Sequoia Gifts), and Paul Bischoff (Sequoia Sightseeing Tours). Alex Picavet (Sequoia-Kings Canyon) serves as liaison with the local Park Service.
   Bischoff will head up a committee to ensure that the group has an ongoing presence at its headquarters at the museum. The committee hopes to have enough volunteers from chamber members to staff a temporary visitor center during business hours Wednesday through Friday. On weekends, he said, historical society volunteers are onsite to do the same tasks — dispense information and answer questions about the two organizations or just simply serve as a point of contact.
   Tilchen also outlined plans for a new tourist brochure that has business listings available for $60. These, he said, will be distributed at places like the California Welcome centers.
   The chamber will join with Wuksachi Lodge and the Sequoia Natural History Association at the L.A. Travel Show in 2007. The local chamber also has display space at the Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s new headquarters.

  “We’ve got some exciting projects in the works and are convinced that a new chamber of commerce will lend the legitimacy that we need for success,” Tilchen said.
   The current chamber is not the first one to promote the interests of Three Rivers. A former Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce was organized in the 1940s that succeeded the original Three Rivers Board of Trade that was founded in 1909.
   The 1940s-era chamber maintained a visitor information center and also furnished funding for the establishment (1950) of the area’s first regular weekly newspaper, The Three Rivers Current. In the 1960s, a rift developed within the chamber’s membership due to the controversial proposal to develop Mineral King. A few years later that chamber voted to go defunct.
   For more information on the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce, call Mark Tilchen at 565-3759.

Hand analyst

explains Life Schools

   Life is an everlasting experience of trial and error… if we’re lucky. Experience is required at Earth University!
   Imagine if there are different schools each of us are attending as part of our life pilgrimage. They have the names of Service, Love, Wisdom, and Peace.
   Could each of us actually be living from a consciousness of one of these four schools? Could the core of our soul be operating from a deeply rooted desire to advance and master one of these schools?
   Would you behave differently if you realized that you are attending one of these schools? Would you prepare for exams and drive yourself to succeed and graduate with honors?
   Or would you procrastinate in your studies? Would you operate with the attitude of just getting by?
   The print patterns on a person’s fingertips can be read to identify the life-school that the individual is currently attending.
In 1985, Richard Unger founded the International Institute of Hand Analysis. He discovered that our fingerprints contain codes which reveal our life school. They are summarized as follows:
   SERVICE— This school is designed to develop the ability to be of Service, to “choose” service. This student has a constant desire to help, not control.
   He or she struggles between obligation and genuine service until appropriate boundaries are set. A boundary is set by knowing when to say, and actually saying, “no.”
   Living outside the boundaries, in a place of excessive duty and obligation, leads to resentment.
   To master the path of Service: (1) Set boundaries. (2) Learn to make requests. (3) Fill your appetite; do for your Self.
Key phrase: Service yourself, others, and the planet at your pace.
   LOVE— This school is designed to develop the ability to love the self and others. The person in this school operates from a consciousness of love and connection.
   Witnessing and experiencing meaningful relationships is a core motivator. The lessons teach about willingness and the ability to recognize and express feelings regardless of the expectation of others.
   To master the path of Love: (1) Identify your emotions. (2) Allow and feel your feelings. (3) Communicate your feelings appropriately. (4) Do steps one through three fully and completely.
Key phrase: Accept yourself just as you are.
   WISDOM— This school is designed to develop the ability to use what you learn. It teaches participation, not just observation.
   This person sees the big picture and generally has a broad perspective. In this school, one is offered opportunities to practice commitment and take risks.
   Sitting on the fence and acting as an expert won’t lead to mastery of this school.
   To master the path of Wisdom: (1) Take risks (do one “scary” thing a day). (2) Stop over-thinking.
   As a master of Wisdom, you can laugh at yourself, put yourself at stake, and experience joy.
   Key phrase: Do with your wisdom.
   PEACE— This school is designed to develop the ability to feel safe. Seeking a deep sense of peace within the self is the central desire.
   Life lessons include dealing with responsibilities without creating an endless chain of “emergencies.” It’s not uncommon to get to the peace after feeling the panic.
   In remedial classes, you are in the survival mode, struggling and behind on scheduled activities.
   To master the path of Peace: (1) Engage in life one step at a time. (2) Slow down. (3) Build a foundation.
   Masters of this school get one job done at a time, realize there is time for everything, and live in the natural flow of life.
   Key phrase: Be alert in your stillness.
   Does your soul and self identify with one or more of these life schools? If you realized you were in a training program designed to develop certain skills, would you participate in life differently?
   We are attending Life University to learn, grow, and expand our consciousness. The reason for the lifetime of training is to fulfill our life purpose.
   Imagine your enrollment in one of these schools and live more fully with purpose. The unique prints on the tips of the fingers and thumb reveal the life purpose of the owner of the hands.
   This article submitted by Kay Packard, a resident of Three Rivers. She will be at the Redbud Festival this weekend. For more information, visit her website at:

Weekend events,

dignitaries, history

   The Woodlake Rodeo rides into town this weekend with nonstop action. Since 1953, the Woodlake Lions Club has sponsored the local event, billed as the largest ranch rodeo in the world.

   Kaweah Country residents learned all about the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign when the Three Rivers Roping designated a day toward the fight against breast cancer.
   Now it’s the Woodlake Lions Rodeo’s turn to build awareness of this deadly disease. On Sunday, May 14, as a special tribute to mothers everywhere, Woodlake Lions will be wearing pink in a show of support and in remembrance of those who have waged war with cancer or, tragically, lost the battle.

   Rodeo Queen— At a sold-out Rodeo Kick-off Dance, held Saturday, May 6, the 2006 Rodeo Queen was crowned. Five young women vied for the honor of reigning over this year’s Woodlake Rodeo. Crystal Hasson of Visalia, a freshman at the College of the Sequoias is the 2006 Queen.
   First Princess is Christie Williams of Woodlake. Second princess is Linzy Morris of Exeter. The Queen’s Court consists of Tristan Mallory of Hanford and Samantha Feltis of Visalia.
   Grand Marshal— His first public appearance of many during this weekend will be leading the Woodlake Rodeo Parade down the main street on Saturday, May 13, at 10 a.m. Grand Marshal Audie Ray will preside over the Rodeo festivities and competition during this Mother’s Day weekend.
   Audie, 67, has been a resident of Woodlake since 1946 and a member of the Woodlake Lions Club for more than 40 years. He has held every board position at least once, including president.
   Audie served on the Woodlake volunteer ambulance and fire departments for nearly two decades. He was on the Woodlake City Council for four years, holding the position of vice mayor, and was on the Woodlake Planning Commission.
   He and his wife of 46 years, Lu Ellen, have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

   On Mother’s Day weekend, more than 240 professional cowboys and cowgirls will compete for cash purses in bull riding, calf and team roping, bareback and saddle-bronc riding, steer wrestling, and barrel racing.
   And if that weren’t enough, a full lineup of entertainment is also scheduled:
   On Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., singer/songwriter Maria Jose will perform traditional Mexican ballads along with Mariachis Son de America. Maria is a well-known public figure as she owns Dora’s Restaurant in Woodlake and the Woodlake Outpost restaurant at the local airport.
   Champion rope artist and charro Tomas Garcilazo will perform in what is considered the most traditional and pure sport of Mexico, La Charreria.
   Tomas, 26, is a professional cowboy who, since the age of five, has been an expert with a lariat. His routine is performed while on horseback — although not always seated — and consists of a dazzling display of rope tricks.
   He has performed at New York City’s Broadway Theatre, Los Angeles’s Pantages Theatre, and with Linda Ronstadt during her concert series.
   Other entertainers will include the Visalia Rockettes equestrian drill team and the hilarious and courageous rodeo clowns.

   There’s a Woodlake historical museum project currently underway to celebrate and document the history of Woodlake. From its humble beginnings as Antelope Valley ranchland to the turn of the 20th century when a Los Angeles millionaire developed the Woodlake townsite, Woodlake has a storied past (see, which wouldn’t be complete without the history of the Woodlake Rodeo.
   Anyone who has historical artifacts or information on Woodlake’s history is asked to contribute. Also, donations of display cases and shelves are needed, as are volunteers and even ideas for a museum location.
   For more information, contact the Woodlake Valley Chamber of Commerce, 564-3559, and leave a message.

Betsy Anderson
1931 ~ 2006

   Betsy E. Anderson of Three Rivers died at her home on Sunday, May 7, 2006. She was 74.
   A memorial service will be held today (Friday, May 12), at 11 a.m., at the First Presbyterian Church, 351 E. Hermosa, Lindsay.
Betsy was born in Lindsay on Nov. 19, 1931, to Lloyd and Evelyn Campbell. She was raised in Lindsay and, on Dec. 20, 1952, married Al Anderson.
   She was a kindergarten teacher in Fresno and later owned and operated a preschool in Lindsay. She also raised Arabian horses for more than 25 years.
   Betsy was a member of the Arabian Horse Association and the Sierra Club. She and her husband, Al, sold their Lindsay ranch in 2004 and relocated to Three Rivers.
   Betsy was preceded in death by her son, Michael Alan Anderson, in 1995.
   In addition to her husband of more than 53 years, Al, Betsy is survived by her daughter, Kathy Anderson-Haas of Laguna Niguel; and two grandsons, Dennis Alan Haas and Scott Andrew Haas.
   In lieu of flowers, the family requests that remembrances be made to the donor’s favorite charity. Online condolences may be submitted to:

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