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In the News - Friday, May 24, 2013



ONLY IN THE MAY 24, 2013,


Visitor Guide - Spring/Summer 2013




BLM to host public workshop

Input requested for

Case Mountain / Salt Creek area

By John Elliott

  The Bakersfield Office of the Bureau of Land Management will conduct a workshop to seek input on its management of the Case Mountain area since it is in negotiations to acquire land that would improve and increase public access. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, at St. Anthony Retreat from 6 to 8 p.m.
    St. Anthony Retreat, celebrating their 50th anniversary and grand opening of the Santa Teresita Youth Camp and Conference Center throughout the weekend of May 31-June 2, was the obvious site to hold the planning workshop session. Father John Greisbach, director of the local retreat center, said as a neighbor and user of the BLM land, they are a stakeholder and want to partner with the Three Rivers community to enhance the public’s access and use of the scenic Case Mountain area.
    “We’re asking Three Rivers what facilities are needed such as parking and trails and for any concerns that need to be addressed,” said Gabriel Garcia, acting BLM Field Office manager. “Although the acquisition would improve public access, we need the public’s input to help us find a balance with resource values and uses.”
    The workshop will feature an overview of the proposed acquisition, followed by a discussion of the improvements relative to the forthcoming Bakersfield Resource Management Plan. For more information about the workshop, contact Peter De Witt at (661) 391-6120 or email pdewitt@blm.gov.

Front porch fire deemed suspicious

   Tulare County Fire Department units responded to a structure fire one mile up North Fork Drive shortly after 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22. When firefighters arrived, the smoldering blaze had been extinguished by neighbors who came to the unoccupied Rose property to investigate the cause of the smoke.
    Fire personnel found no known cause for the fire that burned the front porch area of a small house located behind the old Apple House. No persons living nearby reported seeing anyone in the area before the fire started.
    The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating a burglary that occurred recently on the same property. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the tip line: 725-4194.

Kaweah River Drive residence burglarized

   A daytime burglary occurred on Wednesday, May 15, at a Kaweah River Drive residence located two miles east of the intersection with North Fork Drive. A burglar or burglars gained forcible entry by kicking in a door.
    The residents, who only recently moved into the home, were not there at the time of the burglary.
    “Apparently, this house has been broken into before,” reported the homeowner, who has since improved the home’s security.
    Stolen in the heist were jewelry, tools, backpacking equipment, and an older model television. The property loss, according to a Tulare County Sheriff’s Department report, was estimated at $4,000.
    Scott Doyle, Three Rivers resident deputy, who is conducting a follow-up investigation of the incident, said he is requesting more resources for the busy summer season. Anyone with information on any crime, or to report suspicious activity, is asked to call Deputy Doyle direct at 740-8894.

Sequoia crews begin prescribed-fire project

   Over the next few weeks, park fire crews will be working in the foothills area on an overall hazard-fuel-reduction project that will include a combination of prescribed fires and weedeating.
    The prescribed fires consist of nine segments that are between one and seven acres in size.  They will occur from the Sequoia entrance station to the Hospital Rock picnic area and are strategically located near park buildings, residences, and high-use picnic areas.
    By reducing fuels in these areas, the parks hope to prevent the spread of any accidental fires that might threaten people and structures during hotter, drier conditions.
    The first prescribed fire was ignited yesterday (Thursday, May 23). It included three segments totaling eight acres adjacent to the Buckeye park housing at the park entrance. The additional units are planned for completion in the next two to three weeks and include the area between the entrance station and park headquarters at Ash Mountain, the Research Center, near the Foothills Visitor Center, and below the Ash Mountain maintenance yard.
    Each burn segment will take less than a day to complete, and ignitions will be completed by early afternoon. All segments in the foothills climate zone consist mostly of dried grasses and brush. This fuel burns quickly and will produce smoke for short periods.
    Each burn segment takes less than a day to finish and ignitions should be completed by early afternoon.


   Bear necessities: These two bears, one black and the other brown, were enjoying an early morning frolic in a flowery field just above the Hospital Rock area in Sequoia National Park. Although formally named American black bears, the bruins can have varying colors of fur, from coal black to almost blonde. It’s important to view bears from a distance to keep them wild. Never attempt to approach a bear and don’t feed them. Bears that have become habituated to human food lose their fear of people and may have to be destroyed. If a park visitor is observed feeding a bear they will receive a citation.

Shuttle service begins in Sequoia National Park

   Park the car and take the free shuttle when visiting the main tourist attractions in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park. The shuttles will run from now through September 8.
    Four routes connect the Giant Forest Museum with Sequoia’s most popular destinations: Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, the General Sherman Tree, Wolverton picnic area and trailhead, Lodgepole Visitor Center and Campground, Wuksachi Village, and Dorst Campground.
    The shuttle system was established to offer a travel option for visitors to avoid traffic and parking problems associated with the most congested tourist stops. Once visitors reach their desired destinations, shuttle stops feature interpretive and educational information regarding the history and features of the park.
    On weekends and holidays, the road to Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow will be open to shuttle traffic only. No private vehicles will be allowed in order to reduce congestion on the narrow, 2.5-mile route. Exceptions to this will be those with disability placards or wilderness permits for the High Sierra Trail, which begins at Crescent Meadow. Shuttles are wheelchair accessible.
    In addition to the free routes in Sequoia, the City of Visalia offers shuttle service from Three Rivers, Exeter, and Visalia to Giant Forest. This service requires a reservation and costs $15 for a round-trip, which includes the $20 park entrance fee. For information about this shuttle service, visit www.sequoiashuttle.com.

Three Rivers angler

lands trophy bass

by John Elliott

  When you enter the Lake Kaweah Trout Derby and a bunch of tagged trout are dumped into the lake the night before, one might expect to catch a trout. But Kaweah Country’s best known fishery never ceases to surprise even the most seasoned fisherperson.
   Brieann Hendrex, 32, of Three Rivers, who frequently fishes the local lake, sure was surprised last Saturday, May 18, when she hooked a lunker largemouth bass while fishing in the first day of the 2013 Lake Kaweah Trout Derby
  “We were anchored near Slick Rock when one of my two rods started to get a bite,” Brieann said. “For the next 15 minutes that fish put up quite a fight.”
   Of course, when a 21-inch, 12-pound bass inhales the bait, in this case a nightcrawler, it’s not immediately known what’s on the other end. Brieann, employing 10-pound test line on an Ugly Stick rod with a Shimano reel, knew if she tried to just yank that heavyweight out her line would snap for sure.
   The excited party in the boat maneuvered strategically, Brieann said, to make sure some slack was out and the rod tip was up. After what seemed like an eternity, the fish began to tire.
   That’s when Brieann was able to hoist the big bad bass aboard.
  “When you get a big one, you’re supposed to catch-and-release but this fish was out of the water a little too long,” Brieann said. “The bass ended up on the dinner table of a couple of friends of mine.”
   The next day, Brieann fished from shore trying to catch one of those trout tagged with a prize. She caught a couple of smaller bass but no trout.
  “Those trout planted the night before the derby weren’t even hungry,” said Brieann.

   Trout Derby results: The three grand-prize trout — one each tagged with $10,000, a car, and a boat — were not caught. Six $20 tags, four $50 tags, two $100 tags, and a tag good for a season’s worth of pool service were redeemed.
    Apparently, on the weekend of the annual trout derby (May 16-17), Brieann’s bass was the big fish story. The record largemouth at Lake Kaweah, according to WesternBass.com, is 17.5 pounds; for catfish, it’s 48 pounds. Those are the officially weighed catches in the public record.
    Who really knows what’s lurking in the depths of Lake Kaweah besides some rainbow trout with now-worthless tags? What is certain is that when the level of the lake is down like this year, the odds for hooking a lunker largemouth get even better.
    Just ask Brieann Hendrex.

Coming soon to the night sky:

Three supermoons!

   Full moon lovers will be in for a treat this summer as the coming months will bring not just one, but three full supermoons in a row.
    A supermoon occurs when the moon is at least 90 percent of the way to its closest approach to the Earth at the same time it is full or new. Supermoons are caused by the shape of the moon’s orbit, which is not a perfect circle, but an ellipse, or oval, shape. The moon orbits the Earth once each month, so each month reaches a point farthest from the Earth, called apogee, and closest to the Earth, called perigee.
    The reason these two moon phases are singled out is because each of them means that the sun, Earth, and moon are in alignment. When the moon is full, it sits exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. When the moon is new, it sits between the Earth and the sun.
    May’s full moon occurs Saturday, May 25 (tomorrow night), one day before the lunar perigee on May 26. The May supermoon also coincides with a very minor partial lunar eclipse.
    The largest of this year’s supermoons will occur Sunday, June 23, within 22 minutes of the moon’s perigee on the same day. June’s supermoon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth until August 10, 2014.
    Finally, July’s supermoon will rise on Monday, July 22, one day after that month’s lunar perigee.
    And keep looking up in August. On August 12, the annual Perseid meteor shower will dominate the night sky.

Teens offered free gym time in Visalia

   The Lifestyle Center in Visalia is offering Tulare County teenagers a chance to work out for free this summer through its Teen Fitness Connection program. Eligible teens may take advantage of this opportunity to get into peak shape between June 10 and August 10, but applications must be submitted by Friday, May 31.
    To be eligible, teens must be 16 to 19 years of age, live in Tulare County, have a photo ID, have a parent or guardian present at the time of enrollment, and not have been a previous member or guest of The Lifestyle Center.
    For more information, call 624-3409 or 624-3410.


Ruth Woody
1925 ~ 2013

   Ruth Ester Woody of Three Rivers passed away on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Lindsay due to complications caused by Alzheimer’s disease. She was 87.
    Ruth was born November 1, 1925, in Ontario, Calif., to Arthur and Lena Adams. She was raised in the Strathmore area, graduating from Strathmore High School in 1944.
    Ruth married Gerald Woody that same year. She worked for Stark Packing in Strathmore and LoBue Bros. Packing in Lindsay. Ruth also was a cook for Washington Elementary School in Lindsay and last employed at Beckman Industries in Porterville.
    The couple moved to Three Rivers upon their retirement in 1989.
    Ruth was an excellent and creative cook. Her family has missed her homemade meals and, especially, her blackberry cobblers, which were made with berries that she grew.
    Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, and two brothers.
    She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Gerald Woody of Three Rivers; son Ronnie Woody of Clovis; daughter Elaine Wissink of Three Rivers; three grandsons; one granddaughter; and four great-grandchildren.
    At Ruth’s request, there will be no services.

THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
EDITORS/PUBLISHERS: John Elliott and Sarah Barton Elliott
41841 Sierra Drive (Highway 198), Three Rivers, CA 93271
MAIL: P.O. Box 806, Three Rivers, CA 93271
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