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Three Rivers,
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
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Lemon Cove and Woodlake
Kaweah Kam


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In the News - Friday, OCTOBER 12, 2007

Weekend weather

sunny, seasonal

Wet weather on the way

   In the past week, Kaweah Country has experienced four inches of snow at 7,500 feet, a hailstorm at Pumpkin Hollow, a cooling .25-inch downpour in various locales around Three Rivers, and the most magnificent rainbows to be seen on the Middle Fork in months. But even though some areas missed out on the sudden shift to fall weather, everyone benefited from an impressive eight-day run of good air quality.
   For the next seven-day period that trend toward the very breathable should continue, so go outside and enjoy. Throughout the period, daytime temperatures will remain in the upper 70s; nighttime lows should dip at least 30 degrees into the upper 40s.
   Star-studded skies should predominate as the full moon gradually builds for its next scheduled appearance on October 25. Halloween night (Oct. 31) will feature just the right amount of new moon light to delight both creatures of the light and dark side.
   Take some time this weekend to visit the Lake Kaweah basin with a storage level of 12,078 acre feet (Oct. 11). That’s approximately six percent capacity of the enlarged basin and should be as low as the dam tenders will need to go.
   Forecasters are predicting that a deepening trough of low pressure that brought moisture onshore to California today (Friday, Oct. 12) might have opened the door to a series of Pacific storms. The next round could begin a southward trend across the entire Sierra Nevada region by Monday in some areas reaching the south Valley by the middle of the week.

  “We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed at this point,” said a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters at Lake Kaweah. “The chance for rain is increasing with each system and we’ll be happy to take anything that we can get.”

Prescribed fire underway

near Grant Grove

   A prescribed fire was ignited Wednesday, Oct. 10, near the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. Upon its completion, the Valley View Prescribed Fire will have burned 226 acres of mixed conifer forest and brush northeast of Grant Grove Village.
   As a result of fire activity, the Panoramic Point Road will be subject to temporary closures during daylight hours and closed each night and the Park Ridge Lookout Road will be open for necessary administrative traffic only.
   Several trails in the area are also closed, so check in at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove before planning a hike in the area.
   The immediate goal of the project is to reduce the risk of wildland fire in the Grant Grove area.

Visitors present and future to

make ‘Discoveries’ in Three Rivers

   When the George T. Watkins Western History Group came to visit last weekend no current event or even the renowned attractions of Sequoia National Park brought these eight tourists from three states to Three Rivers. On past excursions, the group has followed the Emigrant Trail and placed historical markers on mostly forgotten sites.
   Here in the Sierra foothills, they came for a glimpse of the area’s local history and a better understanding of how Kaweah Country fits into the context of the American West.
   They stayed a couple of nights at the Buckeye Tree Lodge and wined and dined in local eateries. On Sunday, they toured the Three Rivers Historical Museum and the Britten ranch sites in Old Three Rivers. On Monday, they visited The Kaweah Commonwealth and participated in a spirited discussion, mostly as a preamble to a short drive up the North Fork to see the area’s oldest house and the Kaweah Post Office.
   It certainly helped that Dick Hallford of Martinez, the group’s leader for this tour, had been raised in Porterville and was related directly to the Britten chapter in local history. Dick’s mom, Viva Britten Hallford (1906-2004), had been raised in Three Rivers. In Viva’s later years, Dick accompanied his mother on several trips home to Three Rivers to attend Woodlake High School’s Class of 1924 annual reunions.
   That Britten connection gave these historical tourists the idea to come, but it was Three Rivers’s newest attraction that ensured that they will visit again.

  “Touring the Discoveries West Galleries and Archives and meeting John McWilliams was a special treat that really capped off the final day of our tour,” Dick Hallford wrote.
   The informal tour of the gallery and archives marked the first group to see this new showplace of American history. The visitors arrived as John McWilliams, the gallery’s curator, is putting the finishing touches on the premiere exhibit of the history of Tulare County that will be unveiled at a gala opening on October 28.
   Visitors on that day will not believe their eyes on what John and his partner, Jim Brucker, have assembled behind these doors of a gallery and archives that will literally put Three Rivers on the map with yet another type of tourists.

  “This first tour with Mr. Hallford’s group was a good trial run for me,” said John McWilliams. “Once we open on Oct. 28 there will be a non-stop procession of groups and researchers who want to come to Three Rivers just to see this place. Imagine the possibilities for us and Three Rivers.”

Solar cooking and home tour

highlight energy-efficient weekend

   Many are keeping their fingers crossed that the sun shines on Saturday, Oct. 13, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. That is because the sun will be the guest of honor at Three Rivers’s first Solar Cooking Event, and a number of solar-cooking regulars will converge at the Arts Center.
   Bill Becker of Three Rivers, well-known for his solar cooked beans, bread, and other vegetables, will be joined by a group from Visalia. Recipes, samples, and tips will be shared, along with templates and instructions for a homemade solar cooker.
Solar cooker kits will also be for sale and proceeds will go to the Darfur Assistance Project.

  “Bill is so excited that he is even testing cooking a chicken, and he's a vegetarian,” said Mona Fox Selph, who is an organizer of the weekend-long events.
   Solar cooking works well in Three Rivers from May to October, but even a sunny day in the winter will warm the oven. The Solar Cooking Event will teach participants all the ins and outs.
   Meanwhile, inside the Arts Center tomorrow, a movie will be shown, entitled Green is the New Red, White, and Blue. There will also be a free drawing for door prizes and lots of information on things everyone can do as individuals and as a community to reduce energy consumption and, therefore, play a part in combating climate change.
   Then on Sunday, Oct. 14, it’s Energy Efficient Home Tour Day. Six Three Rivers homeowners will display the many options that are available to create an energy-efficient dwelling.
   These include rammed earth, insulated concrete forms, passive and solar panel heating and water heating, radiant barrier roof, straw bale (under construction), and much more.
   The Saturday solar-cooking event is free and open to the public. The Sunday home tour requires pre-registration and tickets: $15 per person or $25 for a couple. Proceeds will benefit the Habitat for Humanity’s green building fund.
   Call 561-4676 for information on either event and to make reservations for the Sunday tour.

Trashing Kaweah Country

   A common practice at the Slick Rock Recreation Area at Lake Kaweah is the illegal dumping of residential and commercial trash, including yard waste. If the lawbreakers are caught, they will be cited and face stiff fines and/or a court appearance. Recent trash in this dumpster was traced to a Three Rivers source, and how it got there is currently under investigation.

Treats wanted for hosts

at Halloween central

   When an entire community’s ghouls and goblins, princesses and Power Rangers descend upon one small neighborhood for their annual ritual of a fright-night full of candy collection, the residents’ bowls of treats can really take a hit.
   The Cherokee Oaks area has become the traditional Halloween hangout in Three Rivers, but the residents don’t seem to mind. In fact, to move into the neighborhood there is a standing prerequisite: “Must love Halloween.”
   It’s a community affair, however, as each year residents from throughout Three Rivers donate bags of candy to their Cherokee Oaks neighbors to offset the expense of hosting the local children.
   From now until Tuesday, Oct. 30, unopened bags of candy may be dropped off at the Bank of the Sierra during business hours. The candy will be distributed throughout the neighborhood by volunteers prior to the annual onslaught of trick-or-treaters.

Artists invited to

participate in Studio Tour 2008

   The Three Rivers Artists’ Biennial Studio Tour 8 will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30. Along with the many fine artists who have participated in the past, Studio Tour 8 is open to new artists in town.
   All Studio Tour 8 artists must have a residence in Three Rivers. The “studio” must be a designated space for art making or practice of art form. Only Three Rivers artists who work in the studio may exhibit work there during the tour.
   All media is welcomed. In fact, the Studio Tour organizers are planning to expand the media represented to include music and other hands-on work.

  “We want to celebrate the creative expressions found throughout our village,” said Elsah Cort, founder of the Studio Tour.
   Artists’ applications and guidelines can be downloaded from the Studio Tour website at www.threeriversartstudiotour.comor call Elsah, 561-4671, for more information. The deadline for an artist application is Saturday, Nov. 10, with no exceptions.

  “We hope this will continue to be a fun event and attract visitors to come and enjoy the weekend,” said Elsah.
   Tickets for the Studio Tour will go on sale Saturday, March 1, at Sequoia Gifts & Souvenirs in Three Rivers. The starting location for Studio Tour 8 will be the Three Rivers Historical Museum and Visitor Center.

  “Save time on your calendars for this special event and invite your family and friends,” said Elsah.


Vera Brochini
1941 ~ 2007

   Vera Marie Brochini died Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007, at her Three Rivers home. She was 66.
   Vera was born Aug. 15, 1941, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The longtime resident of Three Rivers worked for the National Park Service at Sequoia for many years, retiring as the superintendent’s secretary.
   Vera was very active in the Three Rivers community. She was president of the Sierra Traditional Jazz Club and a member of St. Clair’s Catholic Mission.
   Vera was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence Brochini, and her brother, Delbert Jones Jr.
   She is survived by her son, Louis Barkley and wife Kristine of Poway; her sisters, Delma Jones and Susan Fletcher of Arkansas; her brothers, Al Jones of Arkansas, Steve Jones of Los Angeles, and William Jones and Joseph Jones of Texas; and one grandchild, Erin Summer Barkley.
   A rosary was held at St. Clair’s in Three Rivers on Tuesday evening, Oct. 9. The memorial mass was Wednesday, Oct. 10. Interment was at the Three Rivers Cemetery.

THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
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