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In the News -
Friday, JULY 6, 2007
Camper dies in Sequoia
Cooper, 38, of Brea collapsed Monday, July 2, at her Sequoia National
Park campsite in Dorst Campground. The Southern California woman was being
transported by ambulance to rendezvous with a helicopter when she died
Park dispatch received an emergency call that the woman was
unresponsive at about 3:30 p.m. Several persons at the campground initiated
CPR until park rangers arrived to continue attempts to revive the woman.
The body was released to the Tulare County’s Coroner’s
Office for a determination in the case. The cause of death is suspected
to be complications related to a known heart problem.
Lemon Cove Fire
When the Lemon Cove Fire Station closed in 2005 due to budget
cuts there were lots of irate residents who let Supervisor Allen Ishida
know just how they felt about the county’s latest cost-cutting measure.
Taking the heat personally, Supervisor Ishida responded to dozens of letters,
emails, and some unpleasant phone calls.
But throughout the two-year process of the changeover from
Cal Fire to a Tulare County Fire Department, Ishida promised that the
service at the Lemon Cove Fire Station would eventually be restored.
On Sunday, July 1, Ishida made good on that promise as Station
No. 13’s garage doors were opened once again, this time to mark
the official start of a new era in local fire protection. To celebrate
the historic day, more than 200 Lemon Cove community members came out
Sunday afternoon to the reopened fire station to show their appreciation
to county officials and meet some of Tulare County’s new firefighters.
They were treated to some refreshments and brief speeches
which summed up how all the parties involved were feeling on this special
had a lot of community events here in the past but none bigger than and
certainly not as important as this one,” said Phyllis Mehrten, a
longtime area resident and organizer of Sunday’s celebration. “It
was great to see all the support for our fire department and its firefighters.”
Supervisor Ishida had personally invited all those folks
who had contacted his office to complain about the closure. He said he
took great pleasure in seeing everyone at the reopening ceremony.
He also cautioned that the County’s new fire department
will experience some growing pains but that the Supervisors really had
no choice but to terminate its 70-year contractual relationship with the
California Department of Forestry’s (now Cal Fire) fire department.
Even though there will additional start-up costs like the
new engine for Lemon Cove and training for dozens of personnel, the long
term savings will be substantial, Ishida said.
Inquiries and non-emergency calls may be directed to the Tulare
County Fire Department’s Farmersville Headquarters and dispatch
center by calling (559) 747-8233.
Chimney Rock reopened
The Chimney Rock area, located in Giant Sequoia National
Monument, has now reopened to the public.
The area was closed April 17 to protect a traditional nesting
site for peregrine falcons.
According to Jeff Cordes, a wildlife biologist with the U.S.
Forest Service, one peregrine falcon used the area this spring, but no
nesting occurred near Chimney Rock this season.
Chimney Rock, located between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National
Parks, is a popular climbing destination. This area and Moro Rock are
closed to climbing during the peregrine falcon nesting season.
Air District joins
Lawsuits are rarely the optimal way to settle a dispute but
in this case it’s a necessary evil and may be the only way. That’s
because unless vehicle emissions are reduced, there can never be attainment
of the impending clean-air standards that the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) has mandated for California.
There are several underlying developments outlined in a June
26 letter from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District addressed
to the EPA, headquartered in Washington, D.C. The two-page letter informs
the agency of the air district’s intent to join the State of California’s
lawsuit seeking to set its own vehicle emissions standards.
First, vehicle emissions account for more than half of ozone-forming
components. The lawsuit, initiated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, seeks
a waiver of federal preemption for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions regulations
for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium duty passenger vehicles
beginning with the 2009 model year. Under the Federal Clean Air Act, California
has the right to set its own vehicle emission standards, which other states
then have the right to adopt as their own, after receiving a waiver from
Some auto industry analysts believe the lower standards are
impossible to comply with by 2009 without devastating financial impacts.
California officials cite similar regulations of the 1980s and 1990s mandating
efficient energy consumption for refrigerators. Gov. Schwarzenegger says
the clock is ticking and we can’t afford to wait when it comes to
regulating vehicle emissions.
Second, the air district and the State of California believe
that the rationale that climate change related to greenhouse gases is
occurring is compelling and convincing. The Valley depends heavily on
agriculture and has developed all its practices based on the weather patterns
of the past. Large fluctuations in these patterns could be devastating
to the region’s economy.
are issues [vehicle emissions and climate change] of overriding importance
to the Valley in reaching clean-air standards,” said Seyed Sadredin,
the District’s executive director. “We share the Governor’s
sentiments in these critical issues and are fully committed to doing our
The letter to the EPA also states that despite significant
progress in improving air quality in the Valley, the region faces a daunting
task in meeting new standards for ozone and particulates. Since mobile
source emission control is largely under the authority of state and federal
agencies, Sadredin wrote, the eight-county air district strongly supports
new measures that will reduce mobile source emissions.
For air quality monitoring and more information on clean-air
standards visit www.valleyair.org
or call 230-6000.
Climb onboard this
This September, a second annual charity bike ride —
this year entitiled the “Sequoia Bicycle Jamboree” —
will begin and end in Three Rivers and raise funds for The Smile Train,
a nonprofit organization that provides free cleft surgery to children
worldwide. Participating bikers will have the opportunity to choose from
three separate rides: a 35-mile mountain bike ride or a 25- or 50-mile
The event is organized by Kevin Foster, a professional cyclist
who resides in Kaweah. Besides raising money for a worthwhile cause, Kevin
plans to make some history on Saturday, Sept. 15.
First, the mountain bike ride will go up and over Shepherd’s
Saddle, a familiar Three Rivers landmark between the North Fork canyon
and Ash Peaks. This old fire road crosses Sequoia National Park land and
is normally closed to motorized vehicles and bicycles.
However, the Park Service has agreed to unlock the gates
on the day of the event. There is a quota, however, so the first 50 cyclists
to register will participate in this history-making ride.
Second, there will be a bicycle parade through Three Rivers.
This show of bikes will be an attempt to be included in the Guinness World
Records book for “Longest Parade of Bicycles.”
The previous record is 140 bicycles, set by Paul Frank Industries
in Costa Mesa on Dec. 22, 2005.
All rides will begin at 8:30 a.m. from the Jamboree headquarters
at Lions Arena and will last from three to six hours. At the conclusion
of the rides, a meal will be provided to all participants.
Registration is currently ongoing for the Sequoia Bicycle Jamboree. For
more information and to register, go to www.kfccc.org
for an application. It may be submitted online or mailed with a nonrefundable
registration fee of $50.
Riders are urged to raise at least $250 in donations for
The Smile Train. The first 100 to register will receive a ball cap and
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have received two
Ford “Transportation Interpreters” due to a unique partnership
between the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, Student Conservation
Association, and Ford Motor Company.
Stefani Carlson of San Diego and Lauren Buchholz of Westminister,
Colo., will spend the summer in Sequoia providing visitors with a direct
connection to the park’s natural resources while emphasizing the
benefits of alternative transportation within Sequoia National Park.
They will establish this connection through a series of formal
programs and informal orientation, both on the new Sequoia Shuttle buses
and at various visitor destinations.
They are two of 26 students who will work in 16 national
parks across the country this summer to discuss the many alternative modes
of transportation available to visitors and staff within the national
and Kings Canyon National Parks are excited to be hosting these two interpreters
during the first season of operation of the Sequoia Shuttle,” said
Colleen Bathe, the parks’ chief interpreter. “The shuttle
represents the final step in the restoration of Giant Forest, and the
interpreters are assisting visitors as they use the shuttle to enhance
their visits while protecting the giant sequoias, improving air quality,
and protecting wildlife.”
The two transportation interns will remain in Sequoia until
mid-August, orienting visitors to the park and encouraging use of the
Sequoia Shuttle. Both are volunteer members of the Student Conservation
Association, a national nonprofit organization that annually places more
than 2,500 high school and college students in hands-on conservation-service
The Ford Motor Company is currently working closely with
the National Park Foundation and the Park Service to help develop innovative
transportation and environmental solutions that enable visitors to enjoy
the nearly 400 national parks without compromising the resources. The
Transportation Interpreter program was developed to encourage visitors
to use alternative modes of transportation, such as shuttles, trolleys,
or ferries, with the ultimate goal of reducing vehicle congestion as well
as noise and air pollution.
County fair catalog available
The Tulare County Fair will be held this year from Thursday
through Sunday, Sept. 12 to 16. Hundreds of competitions will take place
during that time and all Tulare County residents are eligible to enter
fair contests that could net them cash prizes and ribbons.
Official entry catalogs detailing all areas of competition
are now available at the fair administration office and other county locations.
New to the fair this year will be a dog show competition.
Returning will be the traditional favorites such as the quilting competitions
and the delectable baked foods and confection contests.
Two other anticipated events are the Agriculture Monstrosities
competition and the Weeds, Worms and Whimsical competition, where there
will be entries like the tallest weed or largest tomato worm.
is definitely a category for every talent, “said Susie Godfrey,
interim general manager of the Tulare County Fair. “In keeping with
this year’s theme, ‘Harvesting Countywide Pride,’ we’d
love to see entries from every corner of Tulare County.”
To pick up an entry catalog, visit the fair office at 215
Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Tulare; or call 686-4707 for a list of locations
where catalogs are available.
Entry forms are due August 24.
WHS band members take
trip to D.C.
by Bethanie Hansen,
Members of the Woodlake High School Band toured Washington,
D.C., from Wednesday, June 13, to Sunday, June 17. Upon arriving in the
nation’s capital, the group viewed documents at the National Archives,
including the Emancipation Proclamation, the Magna Carta, the U.S. Constitution,
and the Declaration of Independence.
Next, they enjoyed a performance by “The President's
Own,” the U.S. Marine Band. Here, WHS band members and those traveling
with them joined 5,000 other participants and the Oak Ridge Boys in singing
the National Anthem. This performance was a part of “The National
Anthem Project,” designed to promote music in the schools and an
increased awareness of the National Anthem.
During an evening tour of the National Mall, students and
chaperones saw the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam
and Korean War memorials, the Roosevelt Memorial, and the World War II
On the second day of the tour, participants visited the Holocaust
Museum and the Smithsonian’s Castle, Air and Space Museum, and Natural
History Museum. Later, they toured the U.S. Capitol with representatives
from Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office.
After this tour, the group entered the House of Representatives
gallery where Congress was in session. The group then walked to the Spy
Museum and wrapped up an eventful day by enjoying dinner together at the
Hard Rock Café.
During the third and final full day in Washington, D.C.,
the band students and those traveling with them toured the White House,
thanks to representatives from Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office.
That afternoon, WHS band students joined 2,000 other music
students from around the country for a performance at the Naval Academy
in Annapolis, Md., to sing the National Anthem at the beginning of the
first Drum Corps International (DCI) competition of the summer. The students
were accompanied by musicians from the “Commandant’s Own”
U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and six other drum and bugle corps.
As for the highlight of the trip, it was varied. A few stated
that their favorite place was the Holocaust Museum because it touched
them deeply. Others said they enjoyed the night monuments tour. Some said
the tour of the Capitol and watching Congress in session was their favorite
part. Still a few others claimed that the visit to the Naval Academy football
stadium for the DCI performance was the best.
Regardless, those who participated in the WHS band tour last
month learned a great deal and will forever be changed because of their
personal involvement with history and music in Washington, D.C.
The following are California residents killed in Iraq as
announced by the governor’s office last month:
U.S. Army Specialist Alexandre A. Alexeev,
23, of Wilmington died Saturday, May 28, as a result of wounds suffered
when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Abu Sayda,
U.S. Army Specialist Josiah W. Hollopeter,
27, of San Diego died Thursday, June 14, as a result of wounds suffered
when his unit was attacked by insurgents using small arms fire in Al Muqdadiyah,
U.S. Army Sergeant Derek T. Roberts, 24,
of Gold River died Thursday, June 14, as a result of wounds suffered when
an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Kirkuk, Iraq.
U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Stephen J. Wilson,
28, stationed at Camp Pendleton, died Wednesday, June 20, as a result
of wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province,
U.S. Marine Sergeant Shawn P. Martin, 30,
stationed at Camp Pendleton, died Wednesday, June 20, as a result of wounds
suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
U.S. Army Private Shane M. Stinson, 23,
of Fullerton, died Saturday, June 23, as a result of wounds suffered when
his unit was attacked by insurgents using an improvised explosive device
and small arms fire in Baghdad, Iraq.
deaths in Iraq—
3,588 (as of July 4)