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In the News - Friday, July 9, 2010


—See this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)

‘River Watch’ makes contact at Slicky

   Imagine if your job was to hang out at the river all day. Among the items in your job description was to advise youthful visitors where and how to safely swim in the river. Oh, and also you must constantly remind everyone you meet about their responsibility of keeping the river clean and pristine.
   That’s how Eric Burger of Three Rivers spent this past Fourth of July weekend, and Margaret Roberts, owner of Rio Sierra Riverhouse, credits Eric, along with some proactive Sheriff’s deputies, for keeping the peace at Slicky.
   In general, the weekend was safe and sane at all the popular area swimming holes.
   At Slicky, Eric, a former computer instructor, landscaper, and lifeguard really made an impact by being at the river the entire weekend.

  “I’m in the process of being re-certified as a lifeguard so my priority is warning everyone about river dangers and helping to save a life if that becomes necessary,” Eric said.
   Eric’s involvement at Slicky came about because of Margaret’s desire to have someone on-site to remind Slicky users where her property line is located so as to enforce a small buffer between the public users and her paying guests at Rio Sierra Riverhouse.
   Roberts said she couldn’t be more pleased with Eric’s approach to his role as “point man” for River Watch at Slicky. The watch is a newly-organized committee of locals that is working with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department to keep the peace, promote river safety, and protect the river.
   Prior to the busy weekend, Roberts installed rope throw bags and rescue rings at three key locations near the upper pools at Slicky. Now if there is someone in trouble in the water, there is rescue equipment onsite and people there who know where it is and how to use it.
   Last month, one of the guests at Rio Sierra Riverhouse drowned after entering the swift water and helping his son get to safety. It was a tragic wake-up call for an entire community.
   Margaret said that this past weekend, the first really busy river swimming days of the summer season, was a good indicator of what’s in store for the next six weeks or so.

  “Friday was busy but Saturday it was really getting crazy back there below my property,” Roberts said. “The deputies did a great job going in there and checking identifications where there were teens and alcohol being consumed.”
   Just the presence of the deputies from time to time seemed to have the desired effect. Lt. Gary Chambers who coordinated the extra deputies said several citations were issued to youths partying at the river.
   There were no reports of any major incidents at the other area swimming holes. The popular Edison swimming hole was closed for the holiday weekend but has since re-opened.
   The numbers of youthful visitors to use the river is growing daily. Lt. Chambers said the extra deputies will continue to patrol Three Rivers and a DUI checkpoint with the CHP is in the works for one of the upcoming weekends.
   Want to support River Watch and get involved?    Call Margaret Roberts at Rio Sierra Riverhouse (561-4720), Diana Glass at Century 21 (561-4256) or John Elliott at The Kaweah Commonwealth (561-3627).

Incidents keep parks personnel busy

   Traditionally, the local national parks are packed throughout the Fourth of July weekend. That means there will be a spike in emergency calls and this season, with the extremely high water, there’s even greater risk to visitors and more calls for assistance.
   On the morning of Sunday, July 4, a group of backpackers reported seeing a body in the South Fork of the Kings River near Mist Falls. Park rangers located the apparent drowning victim just below the falls in steep terrain within Kings Canyon National Park.
   After a technical recovery of the body the next day using 20 rescuers and a helicopter, the victim was identified as Khan Nguyen, a 40-year-old male. His remains were released to the Fresno County Coroner to determine the cause of death.
   Also on July 4, the parks dispatcher received a report of a 29-year-old woman who was suffering seizures in the Mehrten Creek area on the High Sierra Trail. An 11-person detail of NPS rescuers departed Crescent Meadow at midnight to hike the 5.5 miles to reach the victim who was camped there.
   It was determined at the scene to carry the victim out via a stretcher. When the party reached the trailhead at Crescent Meadow about 7 a.m., a waiting ambulance transported the victim to one of Sequoia Park’s helispots at Red Fir near Wuksachi.
   The patient was airlifted to Fresno Medical Center. No details were provided as to the patient’s condition.
   On Monday, July 5, a 66-year-old male reportedly fell on rocks along the river below the Indian Head at the Ash Mountain entrance to Sequoia National Park. After assessing the victim’s condition at the scene, it appeared that the man had suffered a broken hip.
   Park personnel brought the victim up the steep trail to the parking area via a wheeled stretcher. The patient was then transported via Three Rivers Ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia.
   On Friday, July 2, parks dispatch received a report of a car fire above the road construction zone and a few miles below Giant Forest on the Generals Highway. Any report of a fire is serious because of the potential damage to park resources, especially from a blaze burning below the Giant Forest.
   Park personnel who rushed to the scene found a vehicle fully engulfed in flames. Traffic on the busy highway was stopped temporarily while the flames were doused and the nearby terrain inspected for spot fires; none were reported.
   The five occupants of the vehicle were located at another location in the park. No injuries were sustained as a result of the fire. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Local kayaker aids in rescue

   For one amateur rafter on Thursday, July 1, there was some high anxiety as he realized he was out of control on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. The incident began when a group of makeshift rafters entered the water at the North Fork Bridge.
   Although the rafters were wearing life vests, their gear nor their rafts would not meet navigation requirements on this day for a safe trip down the swiftly flowing river. Within seconds of entering the water, the 18-year-old victim got caught in the swift current and separated from the rest of the group, disappearing down river. Someone in the party called 911 at 4:44 p.m., and the search and, hopefully, rescue was on.
   In a matter of minutes, a helicopter was flying the treetops above the river, searching for any signs of the wayward rafter. Firefighters on foot were combing the riverbank up and down from Three Rivers Golf Course to below the post office.
   While all this search activity was taking place, Sage Root, an experienced local whitewater guide, launched his kayak just upriver from the North Fork Bridge.
   It didn’t take Root long to locate the victim among the dense vegetation on an island near the golf course. Root assisted the teen back to safety across the channel like he has done with many others he has met on the river who were in one fix or another.
   The victim was shaken by the experience but otherwise unhurt. Sheriff’s deputies questioned the man and obviously asked him what was he thinking — to which he must have replied: “I wasn’t.”

Pot eradicated in Sequoia

   Law enforcement rangers eradicated an illegal marijuana grow site west of Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park. The raid was completed Thursday, July 1, and marked the opening of this season’s war on growers who desecrate public lands in order to plant thousands of acres of the illegal herb.
   A total of 20,324 plants with an estimated street value of $81 million were removed from the grow site. Park personnel also carried out trash, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and other hazardous materials from the clandestine encampment. A number of spent shell casings were also found at the site.
   According to investigators, there was evidence at the scene that the camp is linked to Mexican drug cartels. No arrests were made however, the investigation is ongoing.

Three Rivers author pulls

no punches in ‘Hollywood Dicks’

By Brian Rothhammer

   Dictionary.com provides the following definition: dick [dik] - noun Slang. a detective.
   Local author, Edward “Ned” Pinhey offers far more insight and perspective than the above description while taking the reader on a wild ride of intrigue through the life and times of protagonist Tom Gay, a retired LAPD detective turned lawyer in his first novel, Hollywood Dicks.
   Gay is described in a promo for the book as “a profane, corner cutting Hollywood Dick with a fondness for the opposite sex.” The street-savvy Gay teams up with suspended policewoman Traci Timmons while representing some LAPD detectives charged with corruption.
   While exonerating his fellow detectives, he finds himself disbarred and divorced. The disbarment temporary, he reunites with Timmons on an international drug-smuggling caper that takes them from California to the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and back.
   Pinhey knows his material firsthand. While staunchly denying any suggestion that the book is autobiographical (“Are you kidding? I’m still married!”), Ned spent decades working the same beats in Los Angeles as his characters.
   Born in L.A., Ned joined the U.S. Navy in 1955 at age 17. The following year, he married his childhood sweetheart, Dee.
   After the Navy, Ned became a Los Angeles police officer in 1960. One of his academy classmates was Joseph Wambaugh, author of The Onion Field, The New Centurions, and 17 other works. When Ned showed his old friend Joe a copy of Hollywood Dicks, Wambaugh said of the title, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
   With LAPD, Pinhey worked as a patrol officer, Hollywood vice officer, detective with Hollywood Division, narcotics detective, and patrol supervisor, working his way to the rank of sergeant. Pinhey explains that the book title comes from the “shop talk” description of a Hollywood detective, as in “I’m working Hollywood Dicks.”
   During the Watts Riots of 1965, Ned decided to become a lawyer. Crediting his wife (then with LAPD in North Hollywood) and the GI Bill for support, he graduated cum laude. Still sweethearts to this day, Ned and Dee retired to Three Rivers in 1990.
   The book is written in the style of an old film noir screenplay. With the fast-paced staccato dialogue and inside track to the underworld of a cop’s life, it’s reminiscent of author Dashiell Hammett’s (1894-1961) hard-boiled detective novels.
   While reading Pinhey’s work, one visualizes the shadows of Venetian blinds angled across a wall, the slow, rhythmic turning of a ceiling fan, and the voice of Jack Webb (Dragnet) or, perhaps, Humphrey Bogart.

  “It’s fun that way,” explained Ned. “I like that style; it’s the way you talk, the way you tell a story.”
   In fact, Pinhey had written the book in a more conventional style and then rewrote it to give it that old detective movie ambience.
   The language is coarse, and so are the characters. With 105 short chapters in 366 pages, it’s a good bedside reader — easy to find your place later. The hard part is putting it down in the first place.
   Hollywood Dicks is available on Amazon.com.

Kaweah General Store

liquidates hardware inventory

By Brian Rothhammer

   Chad Tafti announced last week that most of the Kaweah General Store’s stock of hardware, tools, plumbing, and electrical supplies will be sold at 30 to 50 percent off of the previously marked prices.

  “A lot of this stuff was here when we bought the place… there’s more in the warehouse from when it was Harry’s store,” said Chad Tafti, the store’s owner.
   Harry Kulick, a decorated (Bronze Star) veteran of the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, opened Kaweah General Store in 1960 and it has been a fixture in Three Rivers for 50 years. To many Three Rivers residents it was known for decades as “Harry’s Place.”
   Harry sold the store in 1995, but things did not work out. By 1998, Harry was once again in possession of the property. Wanting to retire to his Cherokee Heights ranch with his wife Rose, he put the store back up for sale.
   The Tafti family purchased Kaweah General Store in 1999. As owners of the Goshen Arco Travel Plaza on Highway 99, they recognized a good opportunity and began to remodel the store.
   After spending thousands of dollars on renovations, Chad said, their plans of opening a fresh deli counter at the store were thwarted by a storm of red tape from county agencies, primarily over water issues.   The store, however, remains viable and the Taftis also own and operate the Hillhaven Riverfront Cabins on Highway 198 in Three Rivers.
   Acknowledging competition from Three Rivers Mercantile as one reason, Chad has decided to clear out most of the hardware items from Kaweah General Store and concentrate on grocery and seasonal items, along with more fishing gear.

  “We’ll still stock some plumbing and hardware, emergency stuff, but for the most part we’re clearing it out,” he said. “I’ll be here to make sure prices are good on everything.”
   Chad indicated that the sale will continue “…for two or three weeks or until it’s gone.”
   Even he does not know what surprises may be pulled out of the warehouse for sale, and some items will be more than 50 percent off.

  “Whatever doesn’t sell will go to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store,” he said.

Projections indicate increased

visitation to Sequoia this year

By Greg Sweet

   The Three Rivers economy is largely rooted in tourism, and Sequoia National Park is the main attraction. Proprietors of local businesses would certainly appreciate a reliable means to predict park visitation, as would law enforcement and rescue teams. Currently, there is no formula that accurately predicts the number of visitors per year.

  “The numbers for the last few years have been static and we are expecting the trend to continue,” said Colleen Bathe.
   From Sequoia National Park’s humble beginnings with 700 visitors in 1906 (when visitation numbers were first recorded), there has been a steady increase in visitation roughly commensurate with population growth. In the period from 1986 to 1994, Sequoia saw more than one million visitors per year in all but one year. Since then, the numbers have fluctuated yet maintained a relative stability.
   But park employees are planning for increased visitation in 2010.

  “We are expecting heavy use on our free days,” said Bathe.
   In 2009, the National Park Service instituted a “free day” policy whereby entrance fees are waived on selected occasions to attract more visitors to the national parks and boost commerce in the gateway communities.

  “Last year, we kind of pulled the dates out of a hat,” said Bathe, “but for 2010, most of the free days coincide with relevant events.”
   She said that last year showed a significant spike in visitation on the free weekend after the Fourth of July. Increased park visitation is beneficial from the perspective of businesses owners in towns like   Three Rivers, but questions arise about the impact on forest ecology.   The National Park Service is soon to launch several studies in Sequoia aimed at finding a balance between providing access for the citizens and maintaining the National Park Service mission of preservation.

  “Some of these studies will be ecological in nature, others will be social studies,” said Bathe. “Together they should provide a  comprehensive look at the capacity of the park.”
   Planned investigations include the Crystal Cave Visitors Experience Study, the Wilderness Stewardship Study (concerning wilderness campsites), and a 2011 park visitor survey.
   The greatest number of visitors to Sequoia was in 1987 at 1,139,389. One explanation for the relative leveling off of visitation is that the park’s infrastructure is nearing its carrying capacity since the closure of 400 lodging units and attendant facilities in the Giant Forest.

  “There are a finite number of parking spaces and campgrounds, and even though there are several shuttle services available that reduce traffic within the park, the visitors still need to park somewhere,” said Bathe.
   Currently there are no plans for expansion of the facilities, and any such ideas will not be explored until after the studies are completed.
This year, National Park Week was celebrated by waiving entrance fees during the week of April 17 through 25. Consequently, there was a 13 percent increase in visitation over the same week last year.
   Another fee-free day was held June 5 and 6 for National Trails Day. Additional free days for 2010 are August 14 and 15, September 25 for Public Lands Day, and November 11 to honor Veterans Day.

WHS Foundation wraps up

20th year of giving with $12K in scholarships

By Kathryn Keeley

  In 1991, Woodlake residents Sally Pace and Diana Pearcy saw an urgent need and together devised a fix. The local high school in Woodlake clearly needed more support for its students. With their enthusiastic synergism, Pace and Pearcy established the Woodlake High School Foundation.
   Since its creation two decades ago, the WHS Foundation has provided financial support to the school for equipment, programs, projects, and scholarships that have enriched the students’ experiences at Woodlake High.

  “[The organization started when] Diana Pearcy and I were talking one day,” said Sally Pace, retired WHS dean of students. “We decided that the high school needed a foundation and a way for students to get scholarships.”
   The two women met with Andy Balerud of Visalia, who, Diana Pearcy said, was a key person in starting the organization. Balerud, founder of Woodlake’s YMCA foundation, informed Pace and Pearcy of the obligatory steps to start a foundation.

  “Then we asked people who were leaders in our town if they were willing to become board members,” Pace said.
   With the help of the late Jean Replogle and Trudy Schuckert (1913-2003), both residents of Three Rivers who wrote the charter for the Foundation’s bylaws, the Woodlake High School Foundation was successfully established. Leonard Hansen of Woodlake and a WHS alumnus was the Foundation’s first president.

  “The goal of the Foundation is to help provide for Woodlake High School,” said Barbara Hallmeyer, the Foundation’s outgoing president and WHS drama teacher. “When we are in tough financial times like these we offer funding for things like Mock Trial, band, drama, sports, and other programs.”
   Because of government cutbacks in education, the Woodlake High School Foundation is a vital part of students’ high school experience. From new microphones for drama to new uniforms for sports teams, from stadium bleachers to senior scholarships, the Foundation is always finding ways to make programs and services available to WHS students that they would not otherwise experience.

  “Our big push is getting scholarships in the hands of Woodlake High School seniors who want to go on to college,” said Hallmeyer.
   This past June, the Foundation generously awarded over $12,000 in scholarships from the Foundation’s general fund to graduating seniors plus provided an additional $30,000 from a growing number of individuals, businesses, and community service organizations that donate to WHS students through the Foundation. With munificent donations like these (a few are renewable), the Foundation supports local students even after they graduate.

  “I love being able to help students who really want to go to college,” Hallmeyer continued. “This kind of help was not available to my family or me when I went to college, and so many of my friends did not go to college or dropped out. Because of the Foundation, students have more opportunities to go to college.”
   The Foundation also funds school programs like Career Day each October and Veterans Honor Day in May, both programs that provide students with a broader understanding of the world and helps prepare them for the future.
   The Woodlake High School Foundation is a private nonprofit organization, so any donation to the Foundation is tax deductable. For more information about the Foundation or getting involved with the board, or if you would like to donate, contact Sally Pace, 564-2054 or 564-3307; Diana Pearcy, 798-2343; or the Foundation’s incoming president, Frances Mann, 564-3307 ext. 116.
   Kathryn Keeley of Three Rivers is a senior at Woodlake High School, where she is editor-in-chief of the Tiger Times school newspaper. She is currently working as a summer intern with The Kaweah Commonwealth.

Tales of two Vacation Bible Schools

No doubt about it, Three Rivers kids need some structured activities in the summertime. There aren’t many. But for the past several years, local churches have been doing their part. There have been two separate weeks of Bible schools for kids ages five to 12. One has been organized by the Community Presbyterian Church for more than 20 years. More recently, the First Baptist Church has developed a creative program of its own. Both tend to be very well attended.

Saddle Ridge Ranch:
Roundin’ up questions, drivin’ home answers

By Robin Castro

   The theme for this year’s Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church was not that different from the scenery you might see driving around Three Rivers. Stepping into the church felt just like stepping into an old tack room, and if you ventured into the sanctuary you found yourself right out on the ranch.
   A full-size horse just inside the door (compliments of Earl McKee) caused gasps from kids and adults alike. Local artists painted two 27-foot murals and a huge barn that took up the entire front of the building.
Ralph Hopkin was the genius behind all the western props, and at 77 years old he proves that you’re never too old to help with VBS.
   Three local cowboys stopped by — Steve Wood, Russ Fisher, and Frank Ainley — to share with the kids how God is a priority in their lives. They also taught the kids how to care for a horse and the Cowboy’s Ten Commandments, and everyone got to try their hand at roping a steer. Children even got to ride a horse up to the “ranch” on the first day.
   Phoebe Castro and Marissa Fisher provided about 550 kid-friendly snacks throughout the week. This was great practice for Phoebe, who would like to someday run her own restaurant.
   Kylie Castro and Eme Price had the place rockin’ with catchy music and hilarious dance moves that look even more hilarious when attempted by the high school helpers. One area the kids always look forward to is drama, and Trish Stivers and her actors didn’t disappoint.
   Jordan Vieira took on the all-important role of Jesus and captivated the children with his genuine love and compassion. Thanks to Joy Niblett and Kacey Fansett, the kids got to take home adorable western crafts every day. Out in the “Corral,” Janet Brandon gave square dancing lessons and refreshed the kids with water surprises when it started heating up outside.
   The names referenced above are those who bravely stepped up to be VBS leaders but, all in all, 44 adults and 38 teenagers donated their time. The teens volunteered an amazing total of 536 hours! The number of children who attended VBS was 69.
   Many children asked the Lord into their heart and several expressed a desire to be baptized. That’s what Vacation Bible School is all about.
   It was a wonderful week, culminating in a musical performance for the families and the announcement that, once again, the girls beat the boys in the mission offering competition. The money raised will be given to Cowboys for Christ.
   Thank you to all who let their children spend the week at Saddle Ridge Ranch.
   Robin Castro was the organizer of this year’s Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church.

The Golden Rule:
Goodness is the lesson

By Elizabeth LaMar

   The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or more simply stated, treat others as you would want to be treated.
   Living the Golden Rule is the theme for this year’s Community Vacation Bible School. Through Bible stories, music, games, crafts, and the opportunity to talk with local heroes, students will explore the concepts of honesty, caring, and responsibility, as well as Christ’s love for us and how we can share His love with others.
   Lessons will incorporate Bible stories and real life applications that include elements from the Character Counts curriculum and the Foundation for a Better Life’s “Pass it On” campaign.
   New to the program this year will be the opportunity for the children to participate in a mission project. Children will help make and assemble school kits and hygiene kits to be donated to Church World Services for distribution to children in times of crisis, both in the U.S. and throughout the world.
   Children entering kindergarten through completed fifth grade are invited to join in the fun.
   How can you help? Junior high and high school students can volunteer to help and are eligible to earn community service hours. Adult helpers are also needed at several stations throughout the session. (Call Elizabeth at 561-4154 to volunteer.)
   A closing celebration, which will feature a performance by the children, will be held Thursday, July 29, at 7 p.m. The entire community is invited to attend for music, photos, and refreshments.
   For more information, call the Community Presbyterian Church at 561-3385.
   Elizabeth LaMar is the organizer of this year’s Vacation Bible School at St. Anthony Retreat.


Learning to draw

by Jana Botkin

   Were you ever given vague art assignments in school? They were generally focused on ways to use different media, and somehow the students were expected to be instinctively creative enough to come up with an idea to illustrate the teacher’s inadequate instructions.

  “Show transparency” “Design a container for air” “Make a self-portrait but don’t draw your face” (as if we could draw our own faces at that point!)
   In addition to terrifying us, those assignments instantly caused the problem of what to draw or paint or sculpt. Endless thumbing through magazines provided by the teacher only occasionally solved the problem of what (never mind the copyright issues!).
   Now, I hear similar woes from my drawing students.

  “Oh no, I’m almost finished and I don’t know what to draw next!”
   I remember that awful feeling of a blank mind. I watch them struggle through piles of photos to find an image to draw.
   Part of the struggle comes from something I tell everyone who draws with me: pick something you love because you will be staring at it for a long time. This is much harder if the only photos available are from someone else. How is it possible to love something that represent another’s experiences?
   The older we get, the more we experience, and it is precisely this experience that gives us the ideas. Now that I am at the half-century mark, the ideas are overwhelming me!
   Everything I see, every place I go, ideas are flooding into my brain. Nothing in my life is exempt from consideration for a drawing or painting.
   The only necessary filter is the consideration whether or not anyone else will like it because if my art doesn’t sell, I will have to get a job.
   If making art is part of your life and you find it difficult to choose subjects, remember to examine all your life experiences, surroundings, views, and belongings. When you encounter the parts you love, you will have the beginnings of a good piece of art.
   Jana Botkin of Three Rivers is a professional artist who owns Cabinart in Three Rivers. She creates oil paintings, pencil drawings, and murals of local landmarks and viewscapes. Her current project is creating the most recent mural to grace the city of Exeter.


Nick Marlow

   Enrique “Nick” Moctezuma Marlow, a former resident of Three Rivers, died Monday, July 5, 2010, after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.
   A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 17, beginning at 6 p.m., at the home of Tim and Tammy Keith, 2246 W. Cambridge, Visalia.
   Nick was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Gloria Marlow, who passed in November 2009.
   He leaves behind three children, Tammy Keith and husband Tim of Visalia, Ronnie Bourdon and his companion, Kathy Shrout, of Visalia, and Robert Marlow and wife Pamela of Three Rivers; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Three siblings also survive Nick, Julieta Rumsey and husband Bob, Xochitl Rumbold and husband Ron, and James Marlow and wife Valerie. Nicky also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and friends who will miss him.
   Nicky was born in Houston, Texas, on March 21, 1939, to Henry and Adeline Marlow and moved to Long Beach in 1943. He attended Jefferson Junior High School and Wilson High School in Long Beach before enlisting in the Air Force at age 17, where he received his high school diploma.
   He served in Korea for four years. Nick would later continue his education at Fullerton Junior College.
   After his tour of duty, Nick started his career as a machinist and eventually became an automatic screw machine specialist. He lived in Fullerton until 1976 when Nick moved his family to Three Rivers.
   In Three Rivers, he enjoyed his favorite pastime of fishing. He and Gloria owned and operated Los Amigos restaurant in Three Rivers. They later moved to Visalia, which was their last residence.
   All who met Nick will remember his calmness and kind demeanor. He had an excellent sense of humor, but when it was time to work and get done what needed to be done, he was the person you called on.
He is now with Gloria, who no doubt is waiting with his list of honey-do’s for the day.
   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Maria Klimachusky

   Maria Pauline Klimachusky, a resident of Three Rivers and Bakersfield, died Sunday, July 4, 2010. She was 88.
   Maria was born February 10, 1922. She was a best friend to more people than she even realized.
   Strong-willed, stubborn, loving to people and animals alike, and never judgmental; a combination of traits few people, if any, could ever even hope to possess. Language does not include the words to describe the emotions she has stirred with her death or the loss of a future without her in this world.
   I cannot, I will not say she is dead. She is just away. With a cheery smile and a wave of her hand she has wandered into an unknown land.
   Cryptside service will be held Friday, July 9, 2010 at 1 p.m. at Greenlawn Memorial Park; 3700 River Blvd., Bakersfield.
   Finally, Maria will be able to take her place next to her husband for eternity.

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
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