In the News -
Friday, JANUARY 7, 2005
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TWO OF THE ANNUAL
FINISH - THE FACES
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Kaweah River greets
Year's Day revelers
Fourth annual Polar Dip
at high noon
Sunny skies were overhead on New Year’s Day, but the
temperature in the Kaweah River was in the mid to upper 30s. In this river
town, the waterway is a superb force of nature that determines the very
being of Three Rivers inhabitants — where they live, where they
play and, now, how they start their New Year off with a gasp.
This year, about 30 thick-blooded souls took
their turn at plunging into the frigid water just upstream from the Pumpkin
Hollow Bridge and below the balcony of the Gateway Restaurant where an
ever-growing group of spectators gathered.
Gateway owner Glenn McIntyre has evolved into
the host of the event, which was originally the brainchild of Marcos Guzman
of Three Rivers. This year, the Gateway generously provided participants
with hot cocoa, coffee, clam chowder, and heaters following their chilly
Rain and snow come and go…
and cometh once again
With seven of the last 10 days experiencing periods of rain
and snow, local weather watchers are starting to believe that this season
has some real potential as a drought buster. At the very least, there
is likely to be significantly more water than last season flowing down
the Kaweah River drainage come the annual spring meltdown.
Forecasters are predicting that the energy that comes onshore
this weekend will be the more powerful of the current series of storms
and should bring lots more rain and snow to the Central California region.
All this weather, taking direct aim at California’s Central Coast,
is being caused by a warming trend in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the
spreading of the warm water toward South America.
To date, NOAA forecasters at the National Weather Service
say there remains a great deal of uncertainty as to how this so-called
“mild El Nino” will impact the second quarter of the current
weather season. Long-range forecasts will be updated this week as an analysis
of data from tracking buoys positioned in the Pacific becomes available
for the first time in 2005.
That data is critical because in the 1997-98 season, the
majority of local precipitation fell after March 1. In fact, Three Rivers
and the nearby mountains received so much rain and snow that the month
was dubbed “Miracle March.”
Nobody knows for sure what’s in store for this year
but all the indicators are lining up for another whopper.
What we do know is that the current total of nearly 10 inches
of rainfall in Three Rivers is ahead of last year’s pace by nearly
20 percent. More incredibly, the total for the 1997-98 season —
the area’s last El Nino season — on January 7 was only 6.99
inches. The season total ended at an incredulous 37.98 inches of rainfall.
So even when compared to the 1997-98 season, the current
total of nearly 10 inches is well ahead of the El Nino pace. At the snow
stake at Lodgepole, as of Thursday, Jan. 6, there was already more than
four feet on the ground with as much as two more feet in the weekend forecast.
At the Mineral King measuring station, positioned at 9,500
feet on the west flank of Farewell Gap near the headwaters of the East
Fork of the Kaweah River, the snowpack is expected to be more than eight
feet after the current round of storms.
the vicinity of Wuksachi Lodge, we have some areas that already have as
much as six feet on the ground,” said Tom McFadden, general manager
of Delaware North Parks Services-Sequoia.
Skiers are reporting excellent snow, and conditions are likely
to get even better. Snowplay areas are open throughout Sequoia and Kings
Canyon National Parks and Giant Sequoia National Monument.
The Wolverton Snowplay Area was closed December 22 due to
icy conditions that caused two serious sledding accidents. It has since
Currently, the Generals Highway is closed between Wuksachi
and Montecito-Sequoia Lodge. The highway will remain closed until the
current storm passes and snowplows can clear the roadway.
Trailer fire caused by arson
The New Year was just eight hours old when CDF personnel
from the Three Rivers Fire Station responded to a fire at 43490 North
Fork Drive. The January 1 blaze caused $2,000 damage to a fifth-wheel
trailer owned by Cheryl Graham of Three Rivers.
Firefighters were able to save the contents of the trailer
and extinguish the flames before it became fully involved. According to
Mike Weger, Tulare County battalion chief, the cause of the fire is arson.
An investigation is continuing.
Ishida sworn in as Supervisor
Allen Ishida was sworn into office on Tuesday, Jan. 4, as
supervisor for District One of Tulare County. The district covers Three
Rivers, most of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Lemon Cove, Exeter,
Farmersville, Lindsay, and Strathmore.
Supervisor Ishida takes the seat vacated by Bill Sanders,
who chose retirement over another term. Ishida went to work immediately
for the good of his constituency and plans to hold a Three Rivers Town
Meeting in February.
SNHA to close Sierra Nature Store
In an effort to educate flatlanders about all that Sequoia
and Kings Canyon National Parks has to offer, the Sequoia Natural History
Association opened a retail outlet in 2003 on Main Street in Visalia.
But the venture has failed to pan out on paper, so the Sierra Nature Store
will close on Saturday, Jan. 15.
The store sold nature-themed and educational items and books,
most of which are now on sale for up to 40 percent off. A storytime was
held each Saturday with the goal of entertaining children while teaching
them about the outdoors and how to care for natural resources.
Displays with an outdoor theme also grace the store, including
a life-size cave.
SNHA is headquartered in the Ash Mountain area of Sequoia
National Park. In addition to the Sierra Nature Store, SNHA recently partnered
with Lake Kaweah staff to open the Kaweah Heritage visitor center at Lemon
The organization also manages the Pear Lake Ski Hut in the
winter and Crystal Cave during the summer months. SNHA also manages the
bookstores located in park visitor centers and publishes the Sequoia Bark,
the parks’ newspaper.
All profits raised by SNHA benefit Sequoia-Kings Canyon National
Nominations being accepted
outstanding Woodlake citizens
The Kiwanis Club of Woodlake will host the 43rd annual Community
Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 29. The event will be held at the Woodlake
Presented that evening will be Woodlake’s Man, Woman,
and Business of the Year awards, as well as the Spirit of Woodlake, and
Outstanding Youth awards.
The nominees for Youth, Man, and Woman of the Year must reside
in the Woodlake School District boundaries. Business nominees must be
within the Woodlake city limits.
The Spirit of Woodlake recipient does not need to live in
Woodlake but must work in the area.
Anyone can turn in a nomination. The paperwork is available at Woodlake
Growers Supply, Woodlake Hardware, and the Bank of Visalia.
The recipients will be selected by a nomination committee
that consists of members selected by various community organizations.
Notice of death— William Wylie, a resident of Three
Rivers for over 50 years, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2005. He was 93.
No services will be held. Instead, an event is tentatively scheduled for
next August to coincide with his birthday.
1949 ~ 2004
Horton lost her four-year battle with ovarian cancer on Wednesday, Dec.
22, 2004. Karen passed away at her home in Sweet Home, Ore.
Karen was born Oct. 1, 1949, to Lynn and Betty Hirst and
raised in San Diego. She graduated from Crawford High School in 1967,
received her Associate of Arts degree from Mesa College in 1971, and later
earned her certification as an Early Childhood Educator in California
Karen worked several years with the San Diego Parks and Recreation
On Aug. 28, 1971, Karen married Larry Horton of Pacific Beach.
The couple moved to Running Springs, Calif., where they lived for 10 years.
Larry was a teacher for the Rim of the World School District;
Karen worked for the San Bernardino YMCA as the art coordinator. She later
became an educational assistant for the school district.
On Jan. 8, 1980, Karen gave birth to her son, Joshua Paul,
and two years later, on May 24, 1982, to her daughter, Jessica Lynn. The
Hortons spent three years in Hayfork, Calif., before moving to Three Rivers
in 1984, where Larry served as superintendent of Three Rivers School for
While residing in Three Rivers, Karen worked at Sierra Preschool
for two years as a teacher. She then became the school’s director,
a position she held for 10 years.
In 1996, the Hortons moved to Oakridge, Ore. Karen was hired
as a teacher for the Oakridge Head Start Program and Larry was the superintendent
In 2002, the Hortons moved to Sweet Home, Ore., where Larry
served as the superintendent of schools. Karen was hired by the Kidco
Head Start Program of Linn County. She worked for one year as a teacher/family
advocate for Sunny Side Head Start and later added the responsibilities
of site supervisor at the Brownsville Head Start.
A devoted wife, loving mother, and passionate teacher, Karen
always left her mark. She had a gift for helping young children and their
families and always treated others with loving care and respect.
Regardless of the situation, Karen always had a calm, confident,
and often humorous way about her. She greatly enjoyed her time with family,
whether it was watching or leading her children’s activities or
enjoying time around campfires with family and friends.
There is no doubt that she will be greatly missed by all
who knew her.
Karen was preceded in death by her father, Lynn.
She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Larry; her two
children, Joshua and Jessica; her mother, Betty; and two sisters, Kathy
Karen asked that in lieu of flowers to please send memorial
donations to a local Head Start program. In place of a memorial service,
Karen requested that her family and friends instead take a few quiet moments
to reflect on the good times that were shared in life.
Kate Salamack, actor,
hot-air balloon pilot
1946 ~ 2004
Kathryn “Kate” Lansdown Salamack of Three Rivers
died Monday, Dec. 20, 2004, in Visalia. She was 58.
A mass at St. Clair’s Catholic Mission and graveside
service at Three Rivers Cemetery were held on Monday, Jan. 3, 2005.
Kate was born Sept. 24, 1946. The following is a reflection on her life
from her family:
Kate’s life was like a beautiful dance. She tap-danced
through childhood, playful, imaginative, and dramatic; loving to dress
up in her mother’s best.
As an adolescent and young adult, she became involved in
drama and dance and has always been active in community theatre. She worked
as a healthcare and social service provider, editor and publishing assistant
for Baja Source, and enjoyed a long career as a hot-air balloon pilot.
She made her long, hard battle with cancer seem like a cha-cha.
She laughed and danced to the end.
Kate is survived by her husband, Stephen Salamack, who embraced
her and led her through her final, courageous dance with strength and
laughter; her daughter, Sara Tate Lansdown, who has also always been her
best friend; her siblings, Roger Alan Freeling of Texas, Dorothy Ruth
Roadman of Florida, and Sherry Hocker Vierra of Three Rivers; her beloved
dog, Patrick; and a troop of devoted family and friends.
She was a song, a dance, a courageous, hard-working marvel,
an inspiration to all who knew her. She is now in the embrace of our great
Master of the Dance.