In the News -
Friday, JULY 28, 2006
The community of Woodlake has suffered its first casualty
as a result of the Iraq war. On Saturday, July 15, U. S. Army Specialist
Manuel “Joaquin” Holguin died due to injuries sustained when
his patrol, which was on foot, encountered enemy small-arms fire and an
improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital city.
Joaquin, 21, enlisted in the Army in 2002 when he was a senior
at Woodlake High School. He was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry
Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, based in Baumholder, Germany.
He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, which began in
November 2005, a result of the federal government’s controversial
“Stop Loss” policy, the retention of some troops to remain
in service beyond their expected or contractually agreed-upon term. Stop
Loss was created by Congress after the Vietnam War, but used most extensively
since 2001 due to the ongoing “War on Terror.”
Joaquin’s first tour lasted 16 months. The number of
U.S. servicemen killed in Iraq has surpassed 2,500.
On Tuesday, July 25, Joaquin was laid to rest at the Visalia
District Cemetery. The service was attended by hundreds of family; friends;
many Woodlake residents; military officers and representatives from the
Army and Navy; members of the Knights of Columbus, the Patriot Guard Riders,
and the Visalia Fire Department; and those who didn’t know Joaquin
personally but came to pay their respects a the fallen soldier.
Joaquin is survived by his parents, Manuel and Lydia Holguin
of Elderwood, school administrators at Mount Whitney in Visalia and Woodlake
Valley Middle School, respectively. He also has a 19-year-old brother,
It’s Tool Time!
3R Mercantile opens
In the past year, several innovative new businesses have
opened their doors in Three Rivers. But without a doubt the largest and
most anticipated of these ventures has been that of Three Rivers Mercantile.
Among the many firsts of the area’s newest business
and largest retail commercial building is the first set of automatic doors
ever to grace a Three Rivers establishment. Mike McCoy, longtime area
resident and owner, hopes that local shoppers will be carrying armloads
of goods toward the parking lot and appreciate the hands-free convenience.
be more pleased with the sales of our first month in business,”
said McCoy. “Three Rivers has been very supportive. We’re
selling something from every aisle in the store.”
McCoy, who quietly yet officially opened the store July 5,
said he hasn’t yet had the time to count all the items stocked in
each department of the sleek new mega-store but his inventory numbers
in the thousands of items. Add the 70,000 items available through the
“Do it Best” customer online ordering and the home or business
improvement possibilities are limitless.
to have to experience all four seasons to know the real potential of this
business,” McCoy said.
In talking with the new owner, who formerly owned and operated
the Texaco gas station and mini-mart in Lemon Cove, it’s obvious
he can hardly wait to find out. After selling that business in 2004, McCoy
immediately began searching for his next investment.
“I just had a gut
feeling after building a house here that I wanted to stay in Three Rivers,”
For several months he looked at demographics up and down
the Sierra region from Tahoe to Tehachapi. His research in certain areas
confirmed his “gut feeling” and he made the decision to give
something unique back to the community of Three Rivers.
From the outset, he knew he had to become a developer to
fulfill his dream so he learned some very hard lessons about Tulare County
planned growth, there’s haphazard growth, and there is needed growth,”
McCoy said. “I looked at this project as the kind of business that
Three Rivers really needed.”
Although there were bumps in the long and winding process,
long-range planners applaud this type of development in the foothills
because it saves unnecessary vehicle trips down the hill. McCoy said he
watched a number of folks on their first visit just wander the aisles
amazed at the row after row of neatly stocked items on the store’s
In his negotiations to make his hardware store a reality,
McCoy checked into the various co-ops that could give him the buying power
to bring competitive pricing to Three Rivers. The deal offered by Do it
Best, the third largest of the three big players in the industry, convinced
McCoy to go with the Indiana-based company.
Do it Best has a regional office in Fresno so face-to-face
corporate communications are relatively simple. The weekly deliveries
to stock the 11,900-square-foot Three Rivers store are trucked in from
a warehouse in Oregon.
During the recent heat wave, the entire stock of Do it Best
air conditioners flew off the shelves.
“People are having
trouble with sprinklers so replacement parts are in demand and so are
misters, PVC, culverts, and just about anything to do with water or cooling,”
McCoy said. “Our customers are also telling us that many of our
prices, especially in the feed section, are lower than the big name, home
improvement stores in Visalia.”
Once the weather cools and the kids are back in school, McCoy
is planning a gala grand opening. On that day, there will be some great
promotions and how-to demos, and the store will unveil some brand-new
products for fall and winter.
This store, McCoy said, is dedicated to finding whatever
suits Three Rivers’ needs. If you don’t see it on the shelves
liked the term ‘special order’ or a place where a customer
has to jump through hoops to get certain items,” McCoy said. “If
we don’t have it here in the store we can probably order it from
our dozens of vendors and it will be here in Tuesday’s delivery.”
Extended forecast: Ditto
That hint of cool in the pre-dawn air Thursday was a welcome
albeit brief respite from the scorching triple-digit heat that has been
endured for the majority of July.
The brief coolness was hopefully a sign of things to come
for the weekend as marine air begins to make its way ever so slightly
into the Sierra Nevada foothills.
After almost three weeks of triple-digit temperatures, the
highs in the upper 90s that are in the weekend forecast will feel a little
more normal. The average high for this time of the year is 99.
The summer of 2006 is shaping up like no other. Previous
record high temperatures all across the U.S. have been shattered. With
a 90-degree reading at midnight recently recorded, Fresno experienced
its highest low ever.
In Three Rivers, a number of residents were wondering how
the Fresno news media came up with 117 for the Three Rivers high on Saturday,
July 22. Although sources were not revealed for the data, it’s probable
that one or more local thermometers did show that scorcher of a reading.
While it is possible that no local individual records were
broken in the current run of high temperatures, it’s the duration
of the heat wave — 20 days and counting — that is believed
to be unprecedented. Adding to the daytime heat is that nighttime lows
are having difficulty falling below 80 degrees.
How to beat the heat?
(1) Stay indoors where it’s air-conditioned and drink
plenty of water and power drinks that replenish. (2) Travel 90 minutes
east and setup camp in Mineral King, stick your toes in the East Fork,
and seriously chill out. (3) Head over to the coast and jump into the
chilly ocean blue. (4) Go jump in the lake or the river and stay wet.
(5) Fill your swimming pool with ice, float on a rubberized lounge, and
imagine you’re on an expedition to the Antarctic in winter.
And perhaps the most comforting thought of all, in less than
two months the brutal heat wave of 2006 will be just another memory.
In the last week, fire crews at Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks have been on the run responding to lightning fires in all
corners of the parks caused by recent thunderstorm activity. Since Monday,
July 17, crews have discovered 21 fires in the parks.
Of these, seven have, or will be, suppressed, keeping them
at less than two acres each.
In Sequoia National Park, five suppression fires (Eagle,
Trail, Castle, Alta, and Little Sand) are located in the Kaweah River’s
Middle Fork canyon. Two other suppression fires (Evelyn and South Fork)
were contained by July 20.
The other 14 fires, all currently less than a quarter-acre,
will be managed using a “wildland fire use” strategy that
allows for the natural spread of fire to improve forest conditions. This
strategy is utilized when there is low risk to people and development.
In Sequoia, there are seven wildland fire use projects: Jennie
(North Fork-Kaweah); Silliman (Marble Fork-Kaweah); Tar, White Chief,
and Paradise (East Fork-Kaweah); and Coyote and Chagoopa (Kern River).
In Kings Canyon National Park, the remaining seven wildland
fire use projects are the Burnt and Dead Pines fires, located in the Kings
River’s Middle Fork drainage; and the Crescent, Ellis, Roaring,
Scenic, and Rae fires, located in the South Fork of the Kings.
Fire managers expect to find even more fires over the next
week as the current weather pattern is forecast to continue.
skin and spirit
by Lisa Lieberman
It’s Saturday morning and it has been a long, hot,
hectic week. I’ve been working hard and I want to give myself a
So, I’ve booked myself an hour-long facial with Sona
Sargent at the TRU Salon and Day Spa. Sona’s the new esthetician
at the spa, which is located in the Century 21 Three Rivers complex.
I walk out of the 110-degree heat, step into the cool facial
room, and am greeted by the fragrant smells of aromatherapy and the soothing
sounds of soft music playing in the background.
Sona hands me a fresh smock to change into, and I know the
next hour is going to be just for me. I’m getting the European facial
with an eye treatment, which begins with a cleansing of my skin and then
a steam treatment, followed by a neck and shoulder massage.
The hot steam opens up my pores and I can feel myself relaxing,
my muscles beginning to loosen up. Sona shines a light on my face, examines
my skin and does a few extractions.
She analyzes my skin closely so she can match my skin type
with the perfect peel.
“This helps remove
the older skin and makes room for the newer cells, which hydrates the
skin and gives it a healthier glow,” she said.
Sona explained that all the cells in the body, including
skin cells, reproduce themselves once every 28 days. So, for optimum skin
care, it’s best to get facials once a month, although some people
choose to have them seasonally.
“When the new cells
get reproduced and come up to the surface of the epidermal layer, the
old ones start start sloughing off, but sometimes they need help because
pores get clogged over time with air pollution and makeup,” she
Just in the same way regular dental cleanings are important
in keeping teeth healthy, regular facials can also help keep skin looking
healthy and vibrant.
In addition to the European facial, other services include
four-layer seaweed facials, microdermabrasion, corrective treatments for
acne and blemishes, and hydrating eye treatments.
I opt for the eye treatment, which involves an eye massage
with a special cream and an eye mask. The skin around the eyes is more
delicate than the rest of the face, so this special treatment helps stimulate
the lymphatic glands, which release toxins and helps reduce puffiness
around the eyes.
At this point, I’m so relaxed, I’m about to fall
Prior to opening up shop in Three Rivers, Sona, a licensed
esthetician, worked at Z’s Day Spa for two years, one of the larger
day spas in Visalia. There, she received special training in doing corrective
facials for skin blemishes. The corrective treatments, which involve deep
extractions, work well for teenagers and adults who have acne or mild
monthly breakouts, Sona said.
make your face cleaner and your pores smaller and more refined, so it
stops things that can turn into blemishes from getting into the skin,”
Microdermabrasion is a popular anti-aging treatment. Unlike
the old technology, which utilized salt crystals to exfoliate the skin,
Sona is using a new type of equipment that offers a particle and chemical-free
deep exfoliation, which is gentle on all skin types.
“It’s a noninvasive
cosmetic producer that really rejuvenates the skin,” Sona said.
Prices for facials range from $55 to $100. Sona also does
waxes, including upper lip, eyebrow, bikini and, for men, back waxes.
Upper lip waxes are $10 and eyebrow waxes are $13. Prices
for bikini waxes start at $25 and back waxes are $50. These services make
great gifts for birthdays or special occasions.
Since I am getting ready to go out of town, I decide to get
an eyebrow wax, which Sona said “brings out my eyes.”
For the final part of the facial, Sona applies a mask, which
calms and purifies the skin. She gives me a shoulder and neck massage
and washes off the mask.
As I leave the salon, I am totally relaxed, my skin looks
great, and I’m ready to face another hectic week.
You can call Sona for an appointment at 561-2888.
Parks’ chief addresses
For more than a century, Tulare County folks have been escaping
the Valley heat and pursuing high country recreation in Mineral King.
Since 1978, this 15,000-acre treasure trove of cultural resources and
alpine scenery has been a part of Sequoia National Park.
It seemed fitting when the Mineral King Preservation Society
hosted its 20th annual Picnic in the Park on Saturday, July 15, that Craig
Axtell, the parks’ new superintendent, would be this year’s
Axtell, 53, assumed the top post at Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks earlier this year after serving as superintendent of Bryce
Canyon National Park. He used the invitation to the picnic to get more
acquainted with Mineral King camping at Cold Springs the night before.
Axtell, who hiked from Cold Springs via the Nature Trail
to the meeting’s locale next to the Peterson Cabin in East Mineral
King, began by acknowledging how special it was for these cabins to be
in a national park. He expects the relationship between the community
and the National Park Servoce to become clarified, he said, once the parks’
General Management Plan is completed in the next few months.
“I recently met
with a representative of the community and we are in the process of forming
a committee to oversee the district,” Axtell said. “I see
a lot of bureaucracy here but we need to make sure we are communicating
At this picnic, the new committee was central to the discussion.
It will be made up of cabin users and NPS representatives to ensure that
structures are maintained within established guidelines.
The committee has been in the planning stages since the Mineral
King Road Cultural Landscape District was officially listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 2003. The following year, legislation was
passed that afforded protection to the historic district and allowed owners
of record to transfer cabin permits “to heirs and assigns.”
Axtell also revealed some of his personal background drawing
upon more than 31 years of NPS experience. There are currently 390 properties
administered by his department, he said, with the newest national park
being the crash site of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, in western Pennsylvania.
“When most folks
think of this country’s national parks they think of the large western
parks but there’s so much more within the system,” Axtell
said. “In terms of the recreational opportunities at Sequoia-Kings
Canyon, 96 percent of our visitors are telling us that they are satisfied
with their experience.”
In general, Axtell said, the NPS is becoming more like a
business, particularly with the maintenance of roads and trails. In addition
to infrastructure, the biggest challenge, he said, is getting a handle
on marijuana eradication.
have enough money to do it all and we never will,” said Axtell.
“So we need to get over it and just do the best job we can do.”
Axtell said he is excited about the new Giant Forest shuttle
that’s all set to go in the summer of 2007. He believes it will
get more folks out of their cars and further enhance the typical visitor
Among other challenges, he said, is to how to solve a long-standing
conflict with stock users.
“As long as we
protect the high alpine meadows, I don’t see why we all can’t
just get along,” he said
Axtell said what attracted him to Sequoia was the park’s
fire program and the Giant Forest restoration that he called one of the
premiere projects of the NPS. Among his goals as superintendent are to
help ensure the survival of the giant sequoias and to protect the Mineral
King cabins and integrity of the district.
Excessive rain wreaks
on MK Road
In Three Rivers, it’s hot and dry. Last week, in the
Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park, it was wet and wild.
On Thursday, July 20, an intense thunderstorm caused mud,
logs, and boulders to wash onto the Mineral King Road.
The mudslide occurred near Silver City on an unpaved section
of the roadway about 21 miles from Highway 198.
Park employees reported that three to five inches of rain
fell in under an hour. This, combined with the fact that last October
the 840-acre Highbridge East Prescribed Fire burned in this area, caused
Park maintenance crews responded immediately and quickly
reopened the road. The work continued through the beginning of this week,
but the road remained passable and traffic wasn't delayed.
Mechanical fuel reduction projects— This week, the
local Park Service began work on the thinning and removal of trees in
three visitor-use areas of Sequoia-Kings Canyon. The projects consist
of five acres near Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia and 11 acres and four acres,
respectively, between the Sheep Creek and Sentinel campgrounds and the
concession housing area.
1937 ~ 2006
Tom Rose, formerly of Three Rivers, died peacefully in his
sleep at his daughter’s home in San Jose on Saturday, July 1, 2006.
He was 68.
Tom was born Aug. 29, 1937, in Los Angeles.
He was a mosaic tile artist who accomplished several major
projects in his lifetime. His tile work is displayed at the historic Fox
Theatre in Visalia. He also worked on creating the “Fantasy House”
in Hollywood, which has been featured in several productions.
Tom’s artwork also graces the homes of many Three Rivers
residents as well as Hollywood celebrities.
Tom was an adventurous soul who had traveled around the world.
In 1972, Captain Tom survived a shipwreck with his wife of 19 years, Gerry,
their two children, two friends, and their dog.
They were stranded on a rock in the Bahamas for several days until rescued
by a tour boat.
It was Tom’s love of nature that brought him to Three
Rivers, where he resided for many years. He loved to host parties, sweats,
and play with the Kaweah River Drum Circle, which he considered his second
In 1978, Tom was preceded in death by his son, Tommy Rose.
Tom is survived by his daughter, Kim Medina of San Jose; sister Carole
Watkins of Hawaii; three grandchildren, Michelle Matus of Tracy, Yvette
Howell of Merced, and Sandra Cornier of Santa Clara; and nine great-grandchildren,
Dylan, Joel Jr., Lauren, Nicolas, Marcus, Emily, Brendan, Christopher,