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In the News - Friday, September 10, 2010


—See this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)

Measure V highlights Town Meeting agenda


  After a summer hiatus, the Three Rivers Town Hall meeting returns Monday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. The meeting is sponsored by the Three Rivers Village Foundation and will be held at the Memorial Building .

  At the top of the agenda is a presentation by Sue Sherwood, principal and superintendent of the Three Rivers Union School District .   Sherwood, who also returned to teaching the sixth grade this school year to fill a vacancy, will explain how the funds will be used to augment programs at the kindergarten-through-eighth- grade school.

  Sherwood said in these tough economic times getting a bond measure passed that would add another $56 annually to each parcel won't be easy. But the local campus is the heartbeat of the community and adds to everybody's property values. Retaining the district's autonomy, she said, will be well worth the added parcel tax.

  The measure is expected to raise more than $100,000 annually for the local school district and has a term limit of five years. In the event that more funds are needed, another measure would have to be approved by local voters to extend the parcel assessment.

  Supervisor Allen Ishida will also address the meeting to furnish an update on the new county-wide ambulance service that has been responsible for local coverage since the Three Rivers Volunteer   Ambulance went out of service last month. Those venerable volunteers served the Three Rivers community for over a half-century but current state regulations made it impossible to continue.

For more information or to suggest an agenda item for a future meeting, call Marge Ewen at 561-0123.


River cleanup needs local volunteers


  Last year, more than 3,500 volunteers joined together to remove tons of trash and recyclables from rivers throughout the Sierra Nevada region. The event was the inaugural Great Sierra River Cleanup, however, that ambitious effort didn't reach any of the five forks of the Kaweah.

  Under the auspices of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, more than 100 community groups spread across 22 counties and worked 500 river miles to pull out all sorts of trash, including appliances, thousands of cigarette butts, beverage cans, baby diapers, tires, furniture, and more; quite a haul from the rivers and streams that supply Californians with 65 percent of their domestic water supply.

  But those initial efforts only scratched the surface of the problem. Tons of trash are still out there, so now in 2010, the Great Sierra River Cleanup is becoming an integral part of Public Lands Day, scheduled this year for Saturday, September 25.

  The Kaweah River receives heavy usage in the foothills areas from Lake Kaweah into Sequoia National Park each summer. Some of the more remote sections are also used as dumping grounds for all sorts of items from major appliances to toxic waste.

  Public Lands Day was started more than a decade ago and has made great progress cleaning up local places like Lake Kaweah and collecting donations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks .

  The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is especially concerned with promoting good stewardship on all waterways and is coordinating this event in conjunction with the California Coastal Cleanup Day.

  David Graber, the National Park Service's chief scientist for the Pacific West Region, based at Ash Mountain , and Sierra Nevada Conservancy board member, says the call for volunteers on the Kaweah River is an urgent one.

  “Initially, WildPlaces of Springville was going to be responsible for the cleanup on the Tule and Kaweah rivers,” Graber said. “That was a little too ambitious for their organization so now we are looking for a local sponsor and volunteers for the effort on the Kaweah River .”

  Sponsors are also needed that could provide supplies and/or arrange for trash removal after materials have been removed from the forks of the Kaweah River .

  To volunteer as a Kaweah River coordinator or for more information on the Conservancy's cleanup in other areas, call Brittany Juergenson, (530) 823-4686.

  If interested in participating in the local Public Lands Day, call the office of the Commonwealth (561-3627) and get your name and contact information on a list indicating that you are willing to help and will be available during the morning of Saturday, Sept. 25, or call Lake Kaweah (597-2301) and pre-register for their Public Lands Day cleanup.


In brief…


Sheep Fire Update

  The afternoon smokiness wafting through Kaweah Country pales in comparison to what they were experiencing in Cedar Grove throughout the busy Labor Day weekend. The Sheep Fire, now creeping beyond 5,000 acres, was also the cause for several consecutive unhealthy air quality alerts on the Central Valley floor.

  But according to Deb Schweizer, the information officer on the fire, the cooler weather should effectively knock down the fire and the smoke. There are now 3,012 acres charred within Kings Canyon National Park; an additional 2,000 acres have burned in the Sequoia National Forest .

  “Eventually, the fire will reach granite or be doused by a good rain,” Deb said. “The current acreage ranks this fire as one of the biggest in recent years.”

  Deb said she believes during the historical period (post-1850) at least 15,000 acres typically burned “naturally” each year so “we have a ways to go.”

  There are currently 53 personnel assigned to the fire; costs to monitor the blaze have eclipsed $875,000.


Parks want to

rehab water system

  Ash Mountain staffers announced on September 3 that the NPS is seeking public comments about potential issues related to a proposed rehabilitation of a deteriorated water-distribution system in Sequoia National Park . The aging system serves about 2,900 visitors and staff daily in the developed areas of Giant Forest , Lodgepole, Wolverton, and Wuksachi.

  The system is more than 60 years old, fails often, and does not meet current federal standards. A viable water source, the release stated, is needed to ensure that adequate water supply is available for fire suppression.

  To review the proposed project and submit comments online, visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/seki. Public comments may be submitted via the above website, emailed to seki_planning@nps.gov, mailed or hand-delivered to Ash Mountain .


Pear Lake Ski Hut

  The public has until October 31 to submit a reservation to use the Pear Lake Ski Hut in Sequoia National Park this coming winter. A lottery will be held November 1, 2010 , for Sequoia Natural History Association members, then availability will be on a first-come, first served basis. The hut will be available from December 17, 2010 , to April 24, 2011 . The rates per person, per night are $38 (SNHA members $30/night).

  For a reservation form, log onto www.sequoiahistory.org or call 565-4222.


Volunteers needed

for classrooms

  The Child Abuse and Neglect (C.A.N.) Prevention Program, operated by the Tulare County Office of Education, is looking for volunteers to make presentations on physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Volunteers need only to be available a few hours each month during the school year.

  There is a training session scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The presentations are given by two people who show a video and then lead a discussion.

  To become a volunteer, contact Elena Hawley for application and an interview (559) 651-0130, ext. 3712.


Sierra study examines

alpine mammals

  A study underway throughout the Sierra Nevada will examine how alpine mammals might reduce the effects of climate change on their lives through their interactions with surrounding plant communities.

  The study will model range shifts and potential alterations to habitat for five alpine mammals that are considered to be threatened by climate change: the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, the American pika, the yellow-bellied marmot, the Belding's ground squirrel, and the golden- mantled ground squirrel.

  The testing will allow scientists to evaluate the degree to which mammals can potentially manage their own habitat as climate change occurs.


Chevron mechanic brings

three decades of experience


By Brian Rothhammer


  There's a new mechanic in town. Denny Rich greets patrons of Three Rivers Chevron Service Center with a warm smile and a firm handshake.

  The handshake is backed with decades of experience.

  “I've been turning wrenches for 30 years,” said Denny, who was born and raised in Visalia .

  More than just turning wrenches, Denny spent over 10 years with Lycon in Tulare , maintaining and rebuilding Lycoming and Continental aircraft engines. No margin for error there.

  For the next 20 years, Denny turned his attention to automotive maintenance and repair, having worked for Will Tiesiera Ford in Tulare , Monarch Ford in Exeter , and Visalia Ford. During this time, Denny became ASE (National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence) certified before becoming triple certified as a Master Mechanic by the Ford Motor Company.

  “After passing three levels of Master Mechanic, you become a Senior Master Mechanic,” explained Denny. “There are only about 3,500 in the U.S. When I graduated in 2001, Ford sent my wife and me on a cruise to the Bahamas .”

  Denny's resume has four pages of training and certifications.

When he heard of an opportunity to set up shop at Three Rivers Chevron, he came up and liked what he saw.

  “Dennis [Reisinger, owner] said this service bay is always busy, with lots of work to be done,” and Denny Rich is up to the challenge. “It's a great opportunity up here, and I'm here to serve.”

  “People hang on to their cars up here,” he continued. “Most of those I've serviced here so far have over 100,000 miles, some over 200,000. Sure beats a car payment!”

  Indeed, at the time Denny was interviewed, a 21-year-old Olds Cutlass with over 300,000 miles was on the rack. It left the shop purring.

  “My own car has over 280,000 on it,” added Denny.

  A properly maintained car is a smart investment, both economically and ecologically. For qualified, expert service right here in town, Three Rivers Chevron is the place to be and Denny Rich is the man to see.


Senior League is (pro)active


By Brian Rothhammer


  The Three Rivers Senior League wants you! For over 25 years, the League has provided social gatherings, entertainment, travel, sponsored events, and more to its members.

  Currently, there are more than 100 members and there's always room for more. The only requirements are that you be at least 50 years young and that you enjoy life and sharing good times with your neighbors.

  The dues are a mere $12 per year. A dollar a month well spent, said board member Janet Fanning.

  “We sponsor classes for exercise, drawing, crochet, and others. There is the bridge club, the men's breakfast, there is an endowment available to sponsor travel, dinner theater, casino trips, and more,” she said.

  There are 10 monthly meetings, eight of which have a potluck dinner (September through May).

  “We also have a June picnic with hamburgers, hotdogs, and all the fixings, and a reduced-price, catered Christmas dinner.”

  Entertainment provided at the monthly meetings ranges from skits, musical groups, topical speakers, dance groups, and a few surprises.   During the past year alone members enjoyed Celtic music by Portia Gunnerud and company, folklorico dancers, a play performed by Arlin Talley and Elizabeth LaMar, songs by acappella group TRU Harmony Trio, poetry and prose readings by students of Three Rivers Union School, nature presentations by Joel Despain and National Park Service personnel, Nani Nielsen sharing information regarding local child health issues, and a variety of other features.

  Each year, the League also sponsors the Arts and Crafts Holiday Bazaar at the Memorial Building , with this year's event slated for Saturday, Nov. 20. With 50 booths offering a bonanza of affordable handcrafted ideas for holiday gift-giving, along with food, beverages, and door prizes, it's become a popular event.

  “The board would like to welcome people age 50 and older to join us in September [Monday, Sept. 27] for our monthly potluck,” invited Janet. “It's a great chance to meet with current members. It will be Hawaiian night, with fun and food for everyone. There's no charge, just bring a dish.”

  For information regarding Three Rivers Senior League, contact Janet Fanning, 561-3461.




A picture is worth a thousand words…

and a few extra


By Jana Botkin


  When teaching people how to draw, sometimes it is difficult to articulate my thoughts. A picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes a thousand words still can't explain the picture.

  Often, I can't find the right word, so I will make one up. The funny part is that my students understand the meaning!

  A woman was working on some boulders but something wasn't looking believable. The problem was that she had inadvertently drawn potatoes and an oversized pinto bean!

  Once we had that figured out, she asked how to draw some grass behind the boulders. I was trying to keep her from making a lot of little lines all in a perfect row. Remember the bird “ Woodstock ” in the comic strip Snoopy? His word bubble had a lot of little vertical lines.

  To help her not make Woodstock word marks, the instructions came out, “You need to sort of bounce your clumpage along — ­ that's it, just horizontalize it a bit more.” She got it.

  Some folks have taken lessons so long that I have become a habit to them. I tell them they don't need lessons because they know how to draw.

  They tell me that unless they pay their monthly fee, they will not carve out time in their lives to draw. While they draw, we talk about art, drawing, and life.

  Truthfully, I love my students — we become friends, comrades, buddies in the art world. I show them my art and give them the freedom to tell me anything they think about it, good or bad.

  We speak truth to one another and try to use known English words. It is helpful and refreshing and, sometimes, it can be hilarious!

  Jana Botkin is a professional artist who owns Cabinart in Three Rivers. When she is not giving art lessons, 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 , a depiction of Franklin Lake in Mineral King.


Concert on the Grass: It's a prelude


  This year's Concert on the Grass kicks off a dramatically expanded season of music in Three Rivers. For the first time, the Concert on the Grass will be followed by six additional concerts between now and June 2011.

  In the past, each Concert on the Grass has presented one, maybe two, headline performers. This year, the Concert has four top-flight performing artists on the program — Raymond Pitts, the wonderfully entertaining jazz clarinetist who provided background music for the picnic/art show before last year's concert; Mankin Creek, whose seamless blending of country, folk, and bluegrass is a perfect vehicle for Esther Zurcher's mesmerizing vocals; John Slade, who we have welcomed as a frequent actor at previous Concerts, performs his own songs, including musical adaptations of Walt Whitman's famous Leaves of Grass ; and the incomparable Danielle Belen, national prize-winning violinist, founder of the Center Stage Strings Music Camp, and esteemed instructor at the Colburn School of Music.

  As always, the headline performers will be supported by a wide range of local and regional talent offering dance, song, and poetry.

Anna Adaska and Sierra Swinney, two teen-aged ballet dancers who have been accepted into the prestigious American Ballet Theater summer program, will present a charming and humorous duet they choreographed. Tap dancer Carol Greninger collaborates with pianist Ken Elias in a delightful routine of rhythmic clicking, heel and toe, to the Allegro from Mozart's Piano Sonata in C major .

  Superb vocalist Lauren Adaska, now 13, will sing an opera aria and a popular Broadway tune. Bill Haxton, Concert host, will offer a poem or two, or perhaps a brief follow-up to last year's short story about life on a sailboat dock.

  As entertaining as this year's Concert on the Grass will be, it's just the beginning of what promises to be a terrific year of music in Three Rivers. Everyone who attended last summer's violin concerts has already had a taste of what's coming in the Winter Concert Series.

  Here's the schedule:

  November 6, 2010 Mayumi Kanagawa, prodigy violinist from Japan and one of Robert Lipsett's extraordinary proteges.

  December 11, 2010 — Christmas Program, Jeff Seaward and the COS Chamber Singers perform classical and popular songs for the season.

  January 8, 2011 — The Wyndfall Trio, with internationally acclaimed flutist Tracy Harris.

  February 26, 2011 — The Jung Trio. Jennie Jung, pianist during the June Music Camp, returns to Three Rivers with her two sisters Ellen (violin) and Julie (cello). In 2002, The Jung Trio won Grand Prize at the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition.

  April 2, 2011 — String Quartet under the direction of Violin Master Robert Lipsett.

  May 8, 2011 — Danielle Belen, who has already amazed audiences large and small in Three Rivers, gets an entire show to herself. Look for her to perform original compositions by Lawrence Dillon from Danielle's newly released Naxos CD.




Ballymaloe Cookery School


By Tina St. John


Part Two: Breakfast


  Each morning during my time at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in rural County Cork , Ireland , a hearty breakfast was served.

  In some of my columns over the past year, I've discussed my preference for eating healthy raw foods and staying away from sugars, white flour, and unhealthy fats. When embarking upon this dream trip, I knew I would throw all that out the window and indulge myself.

  However, nothing at Ballymaloe is processed or packaged. Instead, everything is made fresh daily. With that said, I confess, I fell in love with Ballymaloe's granola, raspberry muesli, and buttered brown yeast bread.

  At 5:30 a.m. sharp, the roosters would start their day. It was convenient as they are the perfect alarm system for anyone needing to rise early.

  There's a dining room at the school called The Café Garden that overlooks one of the many gardens at Ballymaloe. All the tables and chairs are handpainted and always graced with a beautiful tin vase of fresh flowers.

  The numerous French windows are adorned with either a clay pot of yellow and red cherry tomato plants or red geraniums. In the distance, I could see several of the farms in the area and even a strip of the Celtic Sea .

  Up close, the scene consisted of Ballymaloe's own Jersey cows grazing on an ample stretch of green pasture. What a lovely sight while eating breakfast with either a portion of yogurt or milk from these very cows. They're happy cows at Ballymaloe with so much lush pasture to feast on and, as one of the cooks said, this is why Ireland is overflowing with cream and butter.

  Along with the many delightful choices for breakfast are the visually appealing presentation of foods that are set out buffet-style on a long counter. Mom once told me that in order to really peak one's appetite, the arrangement has to be equally engaging.

  The granola, muesli, honey, jams, yogurt, and milk were all in beautiful ceramic pots and pitchers of different sizes and shapes and colors. The cheeses, fruits, cucumbers, and tomatoes were laid out on rustic wooden slabs alongside a large basket overflowing with a variety of breads.

  So notable is the attention to detail that we might otherwise take for granted. For instance, the simple addition of a plate under each ceramic pot added a smart touch. Brilliant!

  Bon Appetit!


Ballymaloe Brown Yeast Bread

When making Ballymaloe Brown Yeast Bread, remember that yeast is a living organism. In order to grow, it requires warmth, moisture and nourishment. The yeast feeds on the sugar and produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that cause the bread to rise. Heat of over 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the yeast. Have the ingredients and equipment at lukewarm temperature. White or brown sugar or molasses may be used. Each will give a slightly different flavor to the bread.

NOTE: Dry yeast may be used instead of baker's yeast. Follow the same method but use only half the weight given for fresh yeast. Allow longer to rise. Fast-acting yeast may also be used, follow the instructions on the packet.

Makes 1 loaf

4 cups of stone-ground whole meal flour

OR 3½ cups stone-ground whole meal flour plus ½ cup white flour

2 cups lukewarm water

(Mix yeast with 5 fl oz of lukewarm water)

1 teaspoon black molasses

1 teaspoon salt

¾ oz.-1 oz. of non-GM yeast

Sesame seeds or poppy seeds, optional

Oil a 5x8-inch loaf pan with sunflower oil. Preheat oven 450 F.

  Mix flour and salt. The ingredients should be at room temperature. In a small bowl, mix the molasses with some of the five ounces of water and crumble in the yeast.

  Sit the bowl for a few minutes in a warm place to allow the yeast to start to work. Grease the bread tins with sunflower oil. Meanwhile check to see if the yeast is rising. After about 4 or 5 minutes it will have a slightly creamy and frothy appearance on top.

  When ready, stir and pour it, with all the remaining water into the flour to make a loose, wet dough. The mixture should be too wet to knead. Put the mixture into the greased tin. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with sesame seeds or poppy seeds if you like. Put the tin in a warm place somewhere close to the oven. Cover the tin with a tea towel to prevent a skin from forming. Just as the bread comes to the top of the tin, remove the tea towel and pop the loaf in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400F for another 40-50 minutes until it looks nicely brown or has a hollow sound when tapped. The bread will rise a little more in the oven. This is called “oven spring.”

  Remove the loaf from the tin about 10 minutes before the end of cooking and put them back into the oven to crisp all around, but if you like a softer crust there's no need to do this.

Fresh Raspberry Muesli

1 cup fresh raspberries (or any fruit in season)

3 heaping tablespoons of rolled oats (raw)

6 tablespoons of water

1 teaspoon of honey

Soak the oatmeal in water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mash raspberries roughly with fork. Add oatmeal and honey to sweeten. Serve with cream.


Ballymaloe Granola

Serves 20

1 cup honey

1 cup sunflower seed oil

5 cups of oat flakes

2 cups of barley flakes

2 cups of wheat flakes

1 cup rye flakes

1 cup raisins

1 cup hazelnuts or cashews

1 cup wheat germ

½ cup chopped apricots or dates

  Mix oil and honey together in a saucepan. Heat just enough to melt honey. Mix well into the mixed flakes. Spread thinly on two baking sheets.

  Bake in a moderate oven at 359F for 20-30 minutes, turning frequently, making sure the edges don't burn. It should be golden and toasted, not roasted!

  Allow to get cold. Mix in raisins, roasted nuts, chopped dates, apricots and wheat germ. Store in a screw top jar. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.




Bud Kilburn

1927 ~ 2010


Only in the September 10, 2010 , print edition of The Kaweah Commonweath: Historic photographs from the archives of Bud Kilburn.


  Ralph Stanley “Bud” Kilburn passed away peacefully on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 , at his Woodlake home and surrounded by his family. He was 83.

  A celebration of Bud's life will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. , at the White Horse Inn in Three Rivers.

  Bud was born in Santa Monica in 1927 to Grace (Smart) and Harvey Maher Kilburn. He lived in Southern California for most of his early life.

  He attended both the New Mexico Military Institute and Stanford University before joining the Navy during World War II. In the late 1940s, Bud moved to Woodlake, where he helped manage the Sentinel Butte Ranch.

  In 1950, Bud met the love of his life, Betty Edwardsen of Three Rivers, at the counter of the Woodlake Drugstore. So began a love affair that lasted over 60 years and continues to this day.

  Bud worked for the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District as a hydrographer for over 35 years. He was also an avid photographer, woodworker, bird lover, and teller of tall tales.

  Bud is survived by his wife, Betty, of Woodlake; daughter Ann of Davis; daughter Lisa of Avila Beach; son David of Atascadero; sons-in-law David Perez and Jim Maino; and granddaughter Kelly. His family will carry on in his name along with all those who laughed at his jokes, had a photo or two snapped by him, or who just sat and shot the bull with him for awhile.

  The following website, filled with memories and stories about Bud, will help to explain just how many people were touched by this marvelous Renaissance man: www.caringbridge.org/visit/budkilburn/guestbook.

  In lieu of flowers or other tributes, Bud's family would like you to consider a donation to your local hospice or a tax-deductible contribution to the California Raptor Center, an educational and research facility dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds of prey at UC Davis (click the donation link at the bottom of the home page: www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/calraptor/).


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
MAIL: P.O. Box 806, Three Rivers, CA 93271
(559) 561-3627 FAX: (559) 561-0118
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