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In the News -
Friday, MAY 12, 2006
The Kaweah River's Middle Fork during Spring 2006 runoff.
Three Rivers man faces
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
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.
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK:
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
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:
was new Chamber’s
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
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
some exciting projects in the works and are convinced that a new chamber
of commerce will lend the legitimacy that we need for success,”
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.
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
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: www.handfactor.com
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
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
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
He and his wife of 46 years, Lu Ellen, have four grown children
and eight grandchildren.
COMPETITION AND EVENTS
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
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
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
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 www.kaweahcommonwealth.com/history-wl.htm),
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.
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 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: www.smithfamilychapel.com.