In the News - Friday, May 14,
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
Sandy Norris informed postal officials Friday, May
7, of her decision not to renew a second three-year
contract as postmistress of the historic Kaweah Post
Office. It was not an easy decision as she has treasured
her time serving Kaweah and visitors from around the
rest of story...
on Mineral King
Park officials refer to it as public scoping, and
the public is invited to participate. Provide input,
that is, for the new Mineral King Management Plan
and its Environmental Assessment.
It might sound complicated but it's really not. At
least the scoping process doesn't sound at all complex
to hear Nancy Hendricks, environmental protection
specialist, explain its role in the planning process.
Hendricks presented an overview of the project on
Tuesday, May 11, in the McDowall Auditorium at Three
Three Rivers meeting was one of four meetings being
held from Bakersfield
High Sierra to give in terested parties an opportunity
to let park officials know what the public is thinking
about Mineral King.
the effort now to up date the current plan that was
completed in 1980? Hend ricks said that a number of
things have changed in Mineral King so the new plan
needs to address current and future needs related
to visitor use, cultural resources protection, and
protection of the land itself.
Primary among the goals of the NPS at any of its hundreds
of units is resource protection. But included in what's
new at Mineral King is establishing direction and
guidance for the protection of the Mineral King Road
Cultural Landscape District.
Hendricks said that planning “sideboards” like the
Organic Act of 1916 that defined the mission of the
NPS and the 1978 legislation (Public Law 95-625, Sec.
314) that made Mineral King a part of Sequoia National
Park dictate certain issues that must be addressed
in the management plan. The Consolidated Appropriations
Act (2005 Amendment to 1978 public law) defined more
clearly some of the management directives for the
cabins as they relate to the historic district.
In effect, this legislation deleted any end date for
cabin special-use permits and allowed the transfer
of cabin permits to current permittees'… “heirs, successors,
and assigns.” What that means, according to the Planning
Participant Workbook, is the 2005 amendment changed
the status of the cabins requiring the NPS to manage
this “qualified use” for the future.
The Mineral King cabins will be just one of the critical
elements of the new plan. Hendricks said park planners
have already identified seven topics where there will
be potential issues and concerns: natural resources,
cultural resources, visitor use, land use, special
park uses, existing facilities, and access.
Some of the questions that came up during the Three
Rivers meeting dealt with restoring stock use, making
the road safer, and establishing a horse camp. Hendricks
said park planners welcome any and all suggestions.
At the conclusion of the scoping period (June 30)
park planners will analyze comments and develop alternatives.
A draft of these alternatives should be available
by the end of the summer.
To submit comments, visit the Planning, Environment
and Public Comment System (PEPC) at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/seki
or submit written comments to: Superintendent,
Attn: Mineral King Management Plan, 47050
Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93721 .
Questions and requests for more information may be
addressed by contacting the office of the acting public
information officer at 565-3131.
If you're heading up the Generals
be sure to time your 30-minute drive to the construction
zone so that your arrival is at the top of the hour.
That's because the on-again, off-again Generals
restoration project has started up its most recent
phase, which is scheduled to continue through May
Motorists can expect one-hour delays with lane openings
at the top of every hour from 7
on weekdays. Uphill traffic will be allowed to pass
During non-work hours, weekends, and holidays, traffic
will be signal-controlled with a single lane.
The current segment of the historic highway that is
being reconditioned is a steep 1.5-mile stretch just
above Amphitheater Point to Deer Ridge.
For more information, park visitors are advised to
stop in at the Foothills
staff will assist travelers in planning their trip
up the highway to minimize any delays caused by the
In other park road news, the Mineral
is scheduled to open Friday, May 28, at least to Silver
began this week on clearing the road of snow and debris
in hopes of a Memorial Day weekend opening.
This is currently no easy task. Snow covers the roadway
to below Atwell Mill, more than five miles from road's
end in the Mineral King valley. There are reportedly
drifts of snow up to six feet in height in many areas
with some of the sunniest stretches of road still
having patches remaining.
opened last weekend and is snow-free. Sequoia Natural
History Association is currently embarking on its
2010 season of cave tours.
Rock/Crescent Meadow Road
opens each year when the snow melts. As of Thursday,
May 13, the road has not yet opened.
TO MY FOOD COLUMN
single-most favorite recipe
Tina St. John
Editor's 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 f avorite 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.”
Sibling number six: That would be me, smack in the
Sort of felt like the fixings inside a sandwich growing
up. But, most of the time the bread on the outside
think in any large family a kid can feel a bit lost
and even on their own. However, it gave way for much
Fortunately, we grew up in a large home with an expansive
backyard and parents who were pretty much open to
our individual beliefs. My mother was an advocate
of the arts, always encouraging us to create something.
And my dad never seemed to take things too seriously,
which I have come to learn is a good thing.
Looking back, I can't find too much to complain about
as far as families go. Even though we had our dysfunctions,
I still feel blessed to be able to share my life with
so many siblings whom I consider really good people.
One thing for certain is that we all love
food. There are so many favorite recipes in our family,
it's hard to pick just one.
In trying to decide which recipe of my mother's was
my favorite I visualized the ones that I remember
and loved the most: Cream Puffs, Tarte aux Pommes
(apple tarts), Bushe De Noel, and Chocolate Truffles.
Then I thought if I were on a deserted island and
could only have one of these, what would it be?
I chose Chocolate Truffles because all someone needs
is one to set their sails straight up to Heaven. And
since my mother once told me that most good cooks
are inspired by their mothers, it seems even more
fitting because these Chocolate Truffles are from
my grandmother's recipe.
Mom said Grand-mère (“grandmother
French) made salads that looked like Monet paintings;
she was an artist in the kitchen.
made truffles often but shared them sparingly. She
would store them in a beautiful tin in the basement.
And she was the only one who knew where they were.
Even in Heaven, I believe my mother still holds the
title “Queen of Chocolate Truffles.” That would make
my grandmother the “Grand Queen of Truffles.”
When she is not writing about food, Tina St. John
custom designs jewelry and is a partner in The Art
Sibling no. 1
Sibling no. 2
: Sibling no. 3
Sibling no. 4
Sibling no. 5
Sibling no. 6
Sibling no. 7
Sibling no. 8
Sibling no. 9
pound (2 sticks) butter,
pound of imported
teaspoon vanilla extract
well together butter, chocolate, vanilla, egg
yolks, and powdered sugar. Spread in a flat
container such as a pie plate. Let cool in refrigerator.
Cut into pieces and form balls. Roll in powdered
chocolate. Store in tight container. Use parchment
paper to separate layers of truffles. Refrigerate
My mother used Callebaut bittersweet chocolate,
available at specialty stores.
artists choose Three Rivers
When my art studio was in Exeter
I lived in Lemon Cove, people assumed I lived in Three
Rivers just because I was an artist. Now that I actually
do live here and have become a painter, I recognize
a multitude of reasons why any artist would want to
reside in Three Rivers.
The effortless beauty that surrounds us can become
common and invisible. There are incomparable views
from my yard, studio, mailbox, and even from in my
Think about what we all see when we go to the post
office, the Memorial
golf course, or maybe even from the dentist's chair.
Then there is the beauty that might require a little
more effort to take in: the North
the South Fork, Kaweah
River Drive ,
and the Salt Creek area of BLM
come to mind. If you are able to walk, there is so
much more that becomes visible.
In fact, I wrote a series on my weblog (www.cabinart.net/wordpress)
called “Peculiar Sights in Three Rivers,” documenting
odd items that appear to the pedestrian in our town.
Another great enticement to living in Three Rivers
is the shorter drive to Sequoia and to Mineral King.
In less than an hour you can be among the Big Trees
and in just over an hour, you can be in a valley that
I have been told resembles the Swiss Alps.
Everywhere I look there are subjects to paint. The
wildflowers could keep my brush flying for several
The gates alone could occupy my pencils for a year.
I could produce an entire series of drawings and paintings
simply of loading chutes.
Curves in the road, bends in the river, the autumn
leaves, light on the rocks, Moro Rock from every possible
angle, Alta Peak from every attainable viewpoint,
sycamores all around town, the grand oak trees of
every variety, the assortment of fence styles — every
one of these subjects could be depicted in pencil
It is true that there is beauty in almost any location
if one learns to recognize it. I certainly had plenty
of subjects available in my former locations. Now,
the accessibility of paintable scenes is almost overwhelming!
Jana Botkin of Three Rivers is a professional artist
who owns Cabinart and is a partner in The Art Co-Op.
She creates oil paintings, pencil drawings, and murals
of local landmarks and viewscapes.