In the News - Friday, June 4,
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
4 PRINT EDITION:
High School graduation
Photos • Scholarships • Awards
initiated after collision on Lake Kaweah
searchers combed the bottom of murky Lake Kaweah,
as of noon on Thursday, June 3, there was still no
sign of Mark Burgess. Burgess, 46, who was riding
in a 26-foot boat with four others, is still missing
after a collision with a personal watercraft.
The accident occurred Sunday, May 30,
at 6:45 p.m. The boat, being driven by a Tulare neighbor
of Burgess’s, swerved suddenly to miss the Jet
Skiers just outside the no-wake zone in Greasy Cove.
The five occupants of the boat were ejected;
the Jet Skiers, reportedly a father and son, jumped
off just prior to impact. Six made it out to safety,
but Burgess, who may have been struck by the circling,
out-of-control boat, disappeared below the lake’s
After making several wide circles, the
boat beached itself on the north shore of the cove.
Captain Jim Hinesly, a patrol supervisor
for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department,
was at Lake Kaweah on Monday and explained to the
gathering media the methods that the dive team was
using to locate the body of Burgess. Both underwater
cameras and subsurface sonar profile devices have
been used in effort to locate Burgess.
Capt. Hinesly explained that if an anomaly
is located on the sonar screen or sighted as a camera
image in the deep water, the submersible robot then
grabs hold and brings the object, or in this case
the victim’s body, to a level of water where
divers can make the recovery. Depths in the area where
Burgess disappeared range from shallow to more than
The search has been hampered by rising
water levels and poor visibility. Three Rivers deputy
sheriff Albert Brockman was one of the divers assisting
in the search.
On Wednesday, the dive team was called
off the search. A Sheriff’s Department spokesperson
said divers were having difficulty seeing the gauges
that indicate how much air is left in their tanks.
There have been more than a dozen victims
who have drowned at the popular lake since the marina
began operations in the 1960s. One middle-aged man
died earlier this year when his fishing boat took
on water and sank in the lake’s chilly waters.
kick off inaugural season
concerts on the itinerary
a community seeking to enhance its identity as a mecca
of the arts, the upcoming Center Stage Strings concert
series is a coup for Three Rivers because the newly
created camp features a series of outstanding concerts.
In addition, its virtuoso violinist director, Danielle
Belen, is head-over-hills in love with Three Rivers!
Danielle said she can’t believe
how every detail has fallen into place. The camp and
its passionate relationship with Three Rivers appear
to be destined for success.
is already an electricity building around the camp
and the music we will be playing,” Danielle
said. “[The camp] will be inspiring for all
the musicians and the Three Rivers community.”
There will be ample opportunity for the
community to meet and get to know the 14 musicians
who will be participating in the inaugural camp, which
will be held June 14 to 20. Nine of the players are
prodigy-like students; five are faculty and/or accompanists
who are presently or might be described someday as
icons of classical music.
But the star of the camp is its founder,
Danielle Belen. The 27-year-old violinist is as passionate
about teaching music as she is about performing. Her
camp concept borrows all the best from summer camps
she has attended to create a hybrid Three Rivers rendition.
year’s camp is definitely violin-heavy but that
will change with time,” Danielle said. “Next
year, I hope to double the students and the instruments.”
The expansion is critical to Danielle’s
mission as a teacher and to her own camp concept.
The camp’s priority is to focus on the student
building technique and confidence as a soloist. But
the expansion of the instruments and campers will
create more chamber music opportunity for teaching
The relationship with the Three Rivers
community will play a key role in the camp expansion
and enduring success. That’s where Bill Haxton,
local arts advocate and tapped to be the development
director of Center Stage Strings, has stepped up to
Bill met Danielle by pure happenstance
when Danielle was in Three Rivers visiting her newly
relocated parents. After striking a musical chord,
Bill realized the classical music camp was an ideal
way to place Three Rivers on yet another map of cultural
places to visit.
It was Bill who arranged the venue at
Community Presbyterian Church, garnered three scholarships
for this year’s campers, and assured Danielle
from the outset that this was a marriage made in musical
For a natural scenic location, Danielle
said, she couldn’t have done better than staging
the camp in Three Rivers, where artistry and mountain
majesty literally leap out from around every bend
in the road.
the church is beautiful and the acoustics are excellent,”
Danielle said. “The students will also be practicing
and rehearsing at Harrison Hall… it’s
the perfect camp venue.”
The week-long (June 15-20) concert series
will feature free student performances on Tuesday,
Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at Community Presbyterian
Church. Saturday’s “Faculty Recital”
is the camp’s highlight; admission is $10.
Tickets for Saturday’s recital
are available at Chump’s Videos and DVDs or
at the door.
For more information about the camp,
stagestrings.com or call Bill Haxton, 561-0300.
body discovered in Sequoia
The body of Larry Christopher
Gentry, 55, of Clearwater, Fla., was found in Wolverton
Creek by a team of researchers. Gentry’s remains
were found off the main trail a short distance from
the Wolverton parking area.
Details were sketchy as to the circumstances
surrounding Gentry’s death. Family members described
him as an experienced hiker.
A backcountry traveler in the area reported that on
Memorial Day there was still plenty of snow in the
area. It was possible, according to reports, to still
ski on the snow-covered trail from Wolverton to Pear
Those snowbound conditions are extremely
unusual for the season and may have been a factor
in the death of Gentry. The cause of death is pending
the coroner’s autopsy.
In other park incidents, there were two
vehicle fires and a concessions employee was injured
in a fall over the Memorial Day weekend. No one was
seriously hurt in any of the reported incidents.
The number of available campsites in
the local national parks was limited due to the fact
that many areas were still snow covered. A total of
25,724 recreational visits was recorded throughout
the holiday weekend.
Post Office saved... for now
of June 1, the status of the Kaweah Post Office has
been changed by the United States Postal Service (USPS)
from that of Community Post Office (CPO) to Delivery
is continuing; box holders of Kaweah will continue
to receive mail there,” said Lori Ontiveros,
Three Rivers postmaster. “We have succeeded
in preserving the identity of Kaweah 93237.”
The mail will continue to be delivered
to Kaweah Post Office by a USPS highway contractor,
but will now be delivered (at about 11:30 a.m.) to
a service contractor who is authorized only to distribute
the mail and parcel notices to the appropriate boxes.
Outgoing mail will be picked up from the old iron
mailbox on the porch at 2:30 p.m.
Bright orange “Stamps By Mail” envelopes
will be stocked in the lobby for Kaweah’s postage
fill one out and drop it in the [outgoing] box and
it goes to Three Rivers,” Lori said. “The
stamps will be in your box the next day.”
Oversized packages and parcels will be
delivered to Kaweah, but brought back to Three Rivers
the following day.
Kathleen McCleary, owner of the century-old
eight-by-10-foot building that houses Kaweah Post
Office, is the current service contractor. She has
been present at the window at the Kaweah station for
a few hours each day to ease the transition.
McCleary will update the public at the
town meeting on Monday, June 7.
Only 44 of Kaweah’s 80 boxes are
currently rented. A person does not have to be a Kaweah
resident to rent a Kaweah Post Office box. Arrangements
for box rentals may be made at the Three Rivers Post