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for residents and visitors
Three Rivers,
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks,
Lemon Cove and Woodlake
Kaweah Kam

In the News - Friday, JANUARY 7, 2005


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Kaweah River greets

New Year's Day revelers
Fourth annual Polar Dip

commenced 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 dip.

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.

  “In 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 reopened.
   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 Hill.
   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 Parks.

Nominations being accepted

for 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 Memorial Building.
   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. Information: 564-2117.


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.

Karen Horton,

Sierra Preschool director
1949 ~ 2004

  Karen Lee 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 and Oregon.
   Karen worked several years with the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.
   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 12 years.
   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 of schools.
   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 and Vicki.
   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,

editor, 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.

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