this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
COUNTRY VISITOR GUIDE
There’s never a good
time for the power to go out, especially
during the busy summer season. But when
an underground cable failed in Cherokee
Oaks last Friday evening, July 11, it
caused an extensive outage from Three
Rivers to Sequoia National Park and short-circuited
a busy evening for Three Rivers businesses.
The massive blackout began
at 5 p.m. The two local banks closed an
hour early, gas pumps were inoperable,
cell-service non-existent, and merchants
were reduced, for at least the next three
hours, to making manual transactions.
In all, the outages affected
1,062 Southern California Edison customers.
“When an underground cable fails,
it’s a real challenge trying to
isolate the trouble and get the service
restored,” said Brian Thoburn, SCE
Thoburn said a repair crew
was dispatched to Oakridge Drive area
in Cherokee Oaks and soon located where
the failure occurred. When the cable failed,
it knocked out a key transformer nearby.
Within a couple of hours,
the power was back on for most customers
but intermittently went on and off until
9 p.m. when service was restored in most
areas. One neighborhood in Cherokee Oaks
and some South Fork residents were without
power until 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
There is no one factor that
causes these outages, but they usually
occur when temperatures soar and the demand
for power is greatest. Thoburn said the
heavy electrical loads during a heatwave
can put a lot of stress on cables that
in some cases are 25 to 30 years old.
“It could be that the equipment
is simply reaching the end of its lifespan,”
Thoburn said. “We realize that these
outages are never easy to cope with, so
we want to apologize for any inconvenience
the recent power failures might have caused.”
It’s not only the current
run of soaring temperatures that has Southern
California Edison feeling the heat lately.
The rising costs of gasoline and natural
gas is really putting the pinch on company
Southern California Edison
currently generates 60 percent of power
from natural gas. Converting to alternative
and renewable energy sources, some observers
think, is the only way the century-old
company will be able to survive and thrive.
Rattlesnakes are out and about and encountered
most often during the summer, whether
along local roadways or in residents’
yards and gardens. Although the venomous
snakes would rather avoid humans, occasional
run-ins are inevitable.
If agitated, the snakes will coil and
strike in defense, so they should never
be handled. The snakes have a “rattle”
on the tip of their tails, which makes
a loud, warning buzz. Since rattle segments
may break off, the poisonous snakes can
also be identified by their flat, triangular-shaped
Gopher snakes, which are also found in
Three Rivers, are rattlesnake look-alikes,
but not venomous. They have the same mottled
camouflage of the rattlesnake and will
even mimic the rattler by hissing, broadening
its jaw to make its head more triangular,
and shaking its tail in leaves or dried
grass to sound like a rattle.
Next phase of Generals
scheduled for 2009
Plans have been approved
for the rehabilitation of the next two
sections of the Generals Highway and the
restoration of Halstead Meadow in Sequoia
National Park. Earlier this year, the
environmental review process was completed;
Pacific West Regional Director Jon Jarvis
signed the Finding of No Significant Impact
for the park projects on July 2.
Originally constructed for
wagons and early autos, the Generals Highway
has been continuously used since it opened
in 1926. Recently, the pace of its deterioration
has rapidly accelerated and many portions
have become structurally unstable.
The rehabilitation of the
40-mile historic highway, which is the
main road through Sequoia National Park,
has been ongoing since 1993. During the
past 15 years, work has been completed
in small sections in an effort to reduce
the impact on park visitors.
Lane widths and the turning
radius on switchbacks are no longer consistent
with current federal highway standards.
Demonstrating the need for the budget
to continue the rehab project has not
been a problem, but finding an experienced
contractor to commit to the federal funding
has been the greater challenge.
Federal officers hope to
have a contract in place soon so that
the next phase of highway construction
work can begin as planned in 2009. The
next two sections of the Generals Highway
to be rehabilitated are the 1.5 mile section
from Amphitheater Point to Deer Ridge
and 8.5 miles of roadway between the Wolverton
Road to the Little Baldy trailhead, the
road’s highest point in the park.
In the Halstead Meadow area,
a new bridge will be installed to help
restore a more natural flow of water through
the scenic meadow. To minimize delays,
work in this area is scheduled for several
A copy of the key planning
documents is available through the National
Park Service’s planning website:
click on Plans/Docs, then type in or scroll
to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
How to find
Ask any planner, politician,
or hydrologist, the greatest single challenge
in the future of California is water and
ensuring that enough of the precious commodity
is available for drinking and to sustain
agriculture. In Tulare County, where more
water is used outside than in, it’s
of the highest priority to ensure that
where water flows, food grows.
A little closer to home in
Three Rivers, the ability to find dependable
water for domestic use could make the
critical difference in the future development
of our community and in building even
one more home. That’s why the services
of a new company, National Groundwater
Surveyors, are now becoming indispensable.
It’s still possible
to find water the old-fashioned way by
witching or dowsing. But as water resources
change so does the ability of the water
witch to find that elusive underground
You may be familiar with
that age-old scenario. The water seeker,
or “witch,” holds a dowsing
stick over a preferred well location and
walks back and forth across a grid of
If an obvious pull or attraction
is noted, that’s where water might
be found. More often than not, it’s
the driller’s experience in an area
and the ability to size up the lay of
the land that determines whether a productive
well is located.
But with the cost of drilling
averaging anywhere between $30 and $60
per foot depending on the subsurface material,
and the fact that most local wells are
coming in at depths of 100 feet to 300
feet or more, the costs of drilling a
single productive well can be astronomical.
Most homeowners cannot afford
to risk $5,000, $10,000, or even $15,000
just to come up with a dry hole. That’s
where National Groundwater Surveyors can
Their seismic evaluation
of the proposed well site is based on
sound science and usually costs about
15 to 25 percent of the completed well.
It doesn’t take a math professor
to calculate the importance of finding
a productive well in the very first hole.
Here’s how the technology
works. The field crew working with a supervising
engineer, sends sound waves into the ground
that travel through rock formations that
move the rock slightly (usually less than
a millimeter). When the movement occurs
in water bearing rock it sends off a small
but measurable electrical signal.
This data retrieved at the
site can be used to determine depth, yield,
and quality and that’s critical
in Three Rivers where historically many
locales, especially those closer to the
river, contain salinity or high mineral
If there is no water then
there will be no signal indicating an
aquifer. If salinity is too high, (above
1000 parts per million) then no significant
signal is recorded.
These groundwater location
services can also help homeowners whose
wells have gone dry or have experienced
a decrease in flow in an existing well.
The Clovis outlet of the national company
that conducts these groundwater surveys
was established in 2004 and employs the
same proven seismic technology that has
been successfully used worldwide for the
past decade and in the U.S. for the past
For more information, log
or call toll-free 1-888-808-8598.
Many cell-phone users don’t
know what to do with their old cell phones
when it comes time to upgrade, which according
to one study averages every 18 months.
Cellular phone providers will happily
replace an old cell phone with the latest
model, but often don’t provide any
information on how to properly dispose
of an old phone.
Through the end of July,
the Three Rivers Bread Basket is collecting
no-longer-used cell phones. Collection
boxes are available at the Community Presbyterian
Church, First Baptist Church, Three Rivers
Drug, the Commonwealth office, and the
Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce
The benefits of this cell-phone
drive are threefold. First of all, the
Bread Basket will receive $5 per phone
and all proceeds benefit the food pantry.
Second, the cell phones purchased
from the Bread Basket will be refurbished
and provided to people in need for emergency
Lastly, Americans are discarding
upwards of 130 million cell phones per
year, which means 65,000 tons of trash,
including toxic metals and other health
hazards. Cell phones, along with other
wireless waste from pagers and music players
pose problems at landfills or when burned
in incinerators because they have toxic
chemicals in the batteries and other components,
such as arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead,
nickel, and zinc, all of which have been
associated with cancer and neurological
disorders, especially in children.
California is one of three
states considering legislation that would
make manufacturers pay the cost of managing
the waste from electronic products, including
cell phones. With over 200 million cell
phones now in use across the country,
these donate-a-phone programs, in which
groups collect phones and give the proceeds
to charity, are indispensable.
3R drummer releases
Tonight (Friday, July 18)
at 7 p.m., Mamady “Wadaba”
Kourouma of Three Rivers will celebrate
the release of his second CD “Sabari”
during a special West African Drum Concert
at the Fox Theatre in Visalia.
Wadaba, a Malinke drummer,
will perform several of the new CD’s
tracks during the extravaganza. Recorded
in Wadaba’s ancestral village of
Oroko in Guinea, West Africa, the songs
include traditional songs with flutes
Eighteen artists contributed
to the sounds on the CD, including nine
members of Wadaba’s family. The
CD also comes with a 12-page booklet that
includes the history of the songs, the
Malinke lyrics, and their English translation.
Five years ago, Wadaba married
Keio Ogawa of Three Rivers. Keio, also
a percussion performer, founded the Traditional
West African Drum Ensemble and met Wadaba
through her travels.
in their saddles:
Shyan Souza qualifies
School Rodeo’s national finals
Shyan Souza of Three Rivers
faced an uphill battle to qualify for
the High School Rodeo’s national
finals. She had to finish among the top
five contestants out of 45 of California’s
best teen girl ropers during the state
finals held last month in Bishop.
Shyan busted into the top
five like it was nothing, bringing home
a 2008 California State Reserve Breakaway
Roping Champion title with her second
This means that the Souzas
will be hitching up the trailer again,
this time heading for Farmington, N.M.,
where Shyan will compete for a national
title. Billed as the world’s largest
rodeo, the 60th annual National High School
Rodeo Finals will be held next week (July
21 to 27) and will include 1,500 contestants
from 41 states, five Canadian provinces,
Shyan competes in “breakaway
roping,” which requires the athleticism
of both horse and rider. Shyan’s
mom, Tammy, explained the event:
“Breakaway roping is a timed event
and the fastest time wins. It involves
just the rider and horse as a team.
“The rider leaves the roping box
and ropes the calf. Once the calf is caught,
the rider throws her slack and the horse
slides to a stop. The rope breaks off
of the saddle horn and the time stops.
“If horse and rider leave the box
too soon, there is a 10-second penalty
added onto their time. If the calf is
missed, it is a no-time.”
During the state finals,
Shyan roped her first calf in 3.21 seconds,
her second calf in 3.41; and third calf
in 4.89. This qualified her to rope a
fourth calf in the short-go average, which
she did with a 3.47.
Shyan’s average total
was 14.98 for four calves. In comparison,
the first-place winner roped her four
calves in 13.94, beating Shyan by less
than a tenth of a second.
This was the second year
that Shyan has competed in the High School
Rodeo, which consists of 12 rodeo competitions
held September through June. This is her
first time competing at the state and
Shyan will be a junior at
Woodlake High School next year. Her parents
are JP and Tammy Souza.
Kacie Fleeman travels
nation with ‘Painted Dream’
Kacie Fleeman of Three Rivers
and her nine-year-old Paint gelding, CR
Painted Dream, won the Pinto World Championship-All
Around for the 13-and-under class. The
competition was held last month in Tulsa,
In addition to winning the
All Around title, Kacie won World Champion
English Showmanship, Reserve World Champion
Novice Youth (18 and under) Hunter Hack;
received Top 5 placings in Reining, Bareback
Western Horsemanship, Western Pleasure,
Western Showmanship, Discipline Rail,
and Western Horsemanship; and Top 10 placings
in Hunter Under Saddle and English Discipline
After taking Tulsa by storm,
Kacie headed south to Fort Worth, Texas,
where she competed in the American Paint
Horse World Championship Show. While there,
she placed Top 5 in the 13-and-under Trail;
Top 10 in Showmanship, Reining, and Hunter
Hack; and was a finalist in Western Riding.
Kacie has traveled from the
West Coast to the East Coast to compete
this year. She has received Hi-Point honors
in Camden, S.C.; Athens, Texas; Waco,
Texas; Jackson, Miss.; and Bakersfield.
She received Reserve Hi-Point in Tucson,
Ariz.; Denver, Colo.; Houston, Texas;
and Salt Lake City, Utah. Also in Salt
Lake City, Kacie and Dream won the APHA
Gelding Plus (Zone 2) award of $500.
Kacie is currently ranked
third in the nation for the 13-and-under
All Around events. She is leading the
nation in Reining, Trail, and Showmanship.
Kacie has been riding horses
since she could sit up and on the show
circuit since she was five. These days,
Kacie travels with her mom, Jayme, who
drives the RV-horse trailer; her horse,
Dream; and their two dalmations.
In August, Kacie and her
entourage will be competing in Nampa,
Idaho, followed by another stop in Salt
Kacie is homeschooled. Her
parents are Darrell and Jayme Fleeman.
phonebook now on sale
The Sequoia Foothills Chamber
of Commerce is pleased to announce that
the 2008-2010 edition of the Three Rivers
community phonebook is now available.
They are on sale for $2 each at the Village
Market, Anne Lang’s Emporium, and
Three Rivers Drug.
This latest edition of the
phonebook includes a map of Three Rivers
in the center spread. Since the phonebook
is created for local use, the map inside
matches this idea and shows all of the
roads in the Three Rivers area.
Special thanks go to Mark
Tilchen for the time he spent driving
Three Rivers roads to create this map.
Creating and maintaining
a community phonebook takes an enormous
amount of volunteer time and effort. On
behalf of the Sequoia Foothills Chamber
of Commerce, special thanks to John and
Sarah Elliott for their thorough review
of the product prior to printing and to
Tom Berrey for calling all of the numbers
in the book to verify their validity.
The Chamber sincerely appreciates
the volunteer time that Tom Marshall spends
on creating, organizing, updating, maintaining,
and printing this publication, which he
has done now for many years. A project
of this magnitude takes time, dedication,
and just the right attitude; thanks, Tom,
for all your hard work!
Article by Johanna Kamansky,
SEQUOIA MOUNTAIN HEALERS
Some say that the answer
to many – if not all – physical,
mental, and emotional issues rests in
our thought patterns.
There is a thought-cause
behind all symptoms and, by routine, we
grasp onto these thought patterns.
Louise Hay is well known
for addressing the mental aspects of physical
pain and providing positive affirmations
as remedies. Her book, called You Can
Heal Your Life, reveals that self-love
is at the core of her teachings.
Another consideration to
free ourselves from emotional, physical,
and mental pain is based on the body’s
energy system. Similar to the electrical
wiring in our homes, our bodies also contain
an electrical system.
Many healing modalities offer
methods to realign the energy system to
help the client get back on track with
their body’s natural flow. Gary
Craig, a guru of Emotional Freedom Techniques
(EFT) teaches that all negative emotion
is caused by a disruption to the body’s
natural energy system (visit www.emofree.com
for more information).
Think of the Kaweah River
during a heavy springtime runoff when
giant boulders rumble around and collide
together until they block the flow of
the river. The water-energy builds and
builds until it busts free.
EFT offers a painless and
simple process for releasing the boulders
from our internal energy system. It’s
the tapping on the pressure points near
the surface of the skin while tuning into
specific issues and reciting specific
words that offers the cure.
When done correctly, the
“boulders” can be gently removed
and dissolved. Self-acceptance is at the
core of this practice.
Freedom from pain in your
body comes from freedom in your mind.
Reflect for a moment on your thought patterns
and the potential boulders your carry
in your body.
Consider letting go of what
no longer serves you. You may need to
simply say to yourself, “I let go
of the past and I forgive.”
Article by Kay Packard,
a certified Hand Analyst and Hypnotherapist
who also practices Emotional Freedom Techniques.
She is a member of the Sequoia Mountain
Over the last couple of months, there
has been a lot of talk about gang members
being in town, trespassers, and homes
being broken into. Everyone is looking
There is an action team working
on ideas of how we the citizens of Three
Rivers can help ourselves. Law enforcement
has promised to help out by having more
of a presence in town and enforcing the
This puts a substantial strain
on law enforcement as they are understaffed.
There is a way we the citizens of Three
Rivers and Tulare County can help ourselves
and our law enforcement personnel.
It is by joining the “Volunteers
In Patrol” (VIPs). VIP members do
a number of tasks for the Sheriff’s
Department. Deliver interoffice mail,
transport patrol cars, and patrol the
county to keep an eye out for anything
unusual. By performing these functions,
sworn officers, who would have to carry
out these duties, can be placed in the
field fulfilling their responsibility
as law-enforcement officers.
Here in Three Rivers we have
several people who are VIPs and not only
do they patrol in the Valley, they are
out regularly patrolling in the Three
But the VIPs, just as the
law-enforcement agencies, are understaffed.
They need more people to volunteer to
serve our town of Three Rivers and Tulare
There will be a VIP training
academy starting in September 2008. If
you are interested in helping your community
in this fashion, an application may be
obtained by going online to: www.co.tulare.ca.us/government/sheriff/volunteers.
There you will find more information about
the VIPs and what they do.
Article by Jacki Fletcher,
a resident of Three Rivers and a VIP.
1920 ~ 2008
Everett Paul Ristow died
Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at his Three
Rivers home. He was one day shy of his
Everett was born July 10,
1920, in Orange, Calif., to Paul and Pearl
Ristow. He was raised and educated there,
graduating from Orange High School with
the Class of 1939.
Everett enlisted in the U.S.
Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
He served in Europe, meeting his future
wife, Regina Purnell, in England. They
were married Feb. 5, 1944.
Prior to moving back to Orange
in 1960, Everett was a cattle rancher
for 15 years. Other careers included milkman,
Fuller Brush man, then a maintenance man
(“rancher without the cattle”)
for the Minute Maid corporation and other
After the Ristows’
children were grown, the couple visited
friends in Three Rivers. They fell in
love with the community and purchased
a home here in 1979.
Everett established Ristow’s
Maintenance in Three Rivers while also
working for Pennwalt Tiltbelt Corporation,
which at the time was headquartered in
Everett was a lifetime member
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars-Post 3939
of Three Rivers. He was also a charter
member of the Mighty Oak Chorus of Visalia,
a barbershop harmony group formed 25 years
Everett is survived by his
wife of 64 years, Reggie of Three Rivers;
three sons, Paul Ristow of Three Rivers,
Michael Ristow of Stockton, and Donald
Ristow of Gainesville, Va.; daughter Dannette
of Brea; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be
held Saturday, July 19, at 2 p.m., at
the First Baptist Church in Three Rivers.