In the News - Friday, October
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
South Fork trail
The body of Stanley Robert Garcia, 52, of Hanford
, was recovered from along the river about one-third
of a mile up the Ladybug Trail on Saturday, Oct. 9.
Apparently, Garcia was hiking alone on the trail near
the South Fork Campground in Sequoia National Park
when he suffered a heart attack that, according to
the results of an autopsy, was the cause of death.
According to the incident report, the victim often
hiked in the area. Although Garcia had left his home
on Monday, Oct. 4, it was unknown how long he had
been in the park. The park's dispatcher received a
call Friday, Oct. 8, that Garcia was missing after
his car was located by friends or family members in
the trailhead parking lot at South Fork Campground.
Park rangers and Tulare County Sheriff's deputies
with six dogs initiated a search the same day. A search-and-rescue
team came upon the victim's remains the following
routine drug and alcohol test results are pending
that might provide additional details relative to
PO celebrates 100 years
When a revered institution reaches its 100th birthday,
it's certainly a cause to celebrate with some good
old fashioned fun. And that's just what's in store
for all who visit the Kaweah Post Office on Saturday,
Oct. 23, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
It will be a day of food, fun, music, and history.
And, best of all, the centennial event will help raise
funds for the preservation of the historic post office.
A wholesome experience awaits all who attend this
Centennial Celebration where past and present meet.
The TRUS seventh-grade class will have a lemonade
and cider stand. There will be activities for the
kids: hands-on crafting with Kacey Fansett, coloring,
balloons, and more. Adults, too, can join in with
Kacey's watercolor art.
Antoinette's Coffee & Goodies will offer muffins
and other treats, Flora Bella Farms will have fresh
apples and pears, and Odwalla energy bars and Matthew's
Honey will also be available.
Local artists will present their homespun fare, including
photographers Jean Mayer and Tom Marshall's Country
Bear Originals; commemorative cards and other artworks
by Nadi Spencer, Kacey Fansett, Jana Botkin; crafts
by Mary Famisaran and Shirley Keller; and handmade
all-natural soaps by Charlene Natoli.
Music fills the Kaweah zip code as Jesse Belman and
company share fine acoustic renderings starting at
10 a.m. followed by the old-time folk music of Mankin
Creek at 1 p.m. The classic sounds of Julie Doctor
and Friends round out the musical menu from 3 p.m.
till the close of festivities.
There will be a pick-a-prize raffle, vintage Model
A Fords, living history with Joyce Campbell as past
Postmistress Ida Purdy, and Jim Barton with his historical
memories. Kathleen McCleary, the current postal operator
and provider of the historic property, will read and
share excerpts from her “Autobiography of the Kaweah
Rivers Postmistress Lori Ontiveros will represent
the United States Postal Service with a commemorative
postal cancellation to mark this historic occasion.
Special postal cachets, an official postmark made
exclusively for the centennial event, will be available
for sale as a collectible souvenir.
What a great day and a great way to support the venerable
Kaweah Post Office. At 100 years young and with ongoing
community support, the Kaweah Post Office may continue
to serve for decades to come.
Take a virtual visit to Mineral King everyday by viewing
the new webcam that began operating earlier this month
and offers an unimpeded south-facing view of Farewell
Gap in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park
. The webcam was placed into service by Glenn Cunningham,
a technical specialist who serves on the board of
directors of the Mineral King District Association.
For a link to the Mineral King webcams, which also
have views of Timber Gap (in operation since 2006)
and Faculty Flat (since 2005), log onto www.mk-webcam.net
or use the link on the home page of this site.
With the onset of the season's first significant rainfall,
officials in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
have lifted the fire restrictions that have been in
place since summer. Campfires are again permitted
in backcountry areas below 6,000 feet; barbecue and
wood fires are allowed in the Hospital Rock and Ash
Mountain picnic areas.
That's good news for backpackers who often take late-season
trips in the lower elevations, especially along the
Middle Fork of the Kaweah River . But park rangers
are reminding all who are seeking backcountry permits
to keep an eye on the weather and be aware of specific
fire regulations that prohibit campfires year-round
in many backcountry areas.
Contact the wilderness office with questions about
your destination by calling 565-3761.
Lew Nelson of Three Rivers was this month at the San
Joaquin Valley Blueprint Regional Policy Conference
in Modesto . Nelson received the Darrell Hildebrand
Blueprint Leadership Award for the leadership he has
demonstrated in resource conservation and renewable
Nelson, director of Public Works for the City of Tulare
, was nominated by his employer for the prestigious
award. The nomination also detailed his efforts as
public works manager with the City of Visalia from
1997 to 2003. The nomination made note of the fact
that Nelson was instrumental in directing new development
toward existing communities and had a successful working
relationship with the Tulare County Redevelopment
Sequoia Forest officials plan to replace a valve on
the Hume Lake dam that has been leaking for the past
20 years. Plans for the project were announced two
weeks ago by officials of the Giant Sequoia National
Monument and the Hume Lake Ranger District.
Funding for the project will be provided by the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a part of the stimulus
package enacted by Congress in February 2009 to stimulate
the economy and create jobs.
Once water levels have dropped significantly work
will begin to replace the valve on the historic dam.
Forest engineers are anticipating work to begin by
the end of the month and be completed before winter
candy for kids:
an entire community's ghouls and goblins, princesses
and cowboys, and pirates and ballerinas descend upon
one small neighborhood for their annual ritual of
a fright-night full of candy collecting, the residents'
big bowls of Butterfingers 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 and many actually go above and
It's a community affair, however, as each year residents
from throughout Three Rivers donate bags of candy
to their Cherokee Oaks neighbors in exchange for the
residents providing a safe, fun place for the local
children to trick-or-treat. From now until Friday,
Oct. 29, unopened bags of candy may be dropped off
at the Bank of the Sierra during business hours. The
candy will then be distributed throughout the neighborhood
by volunteers prior to Halloween night.
Rivers Woman's Club
off new year
The Three Rivers Woman's Club celebrated its annual
“Welcome Back” luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 6. An assortment
of delicious salads, breads and desserts was catered
by Antoinette's Coffee and Goodies.
The meeting was called to order by this year's president,
Kathy Bohl. Ninety-three unified women populated the
club prior to this meeting and several more have now
Membership is accepted any time throughout the year.
Regular membership is only $15/year.
The Three Rivers Woman's Club provided $24,700 in
scholarships and to various organizations in the last
fiscal year. Shopping at The Thingerie thrift shop,
located in the Village Shopping Center , provides
the proceeds to make these donations possible.
The next meeting of the club is Wednesday, Nov. 3,
1 p.m. , at the Three Rivers Memorial Building. Feel
free to visit or join the club.
and classical music
Bill Haxton is writing on behalf of
the Three Rivers Performing Arts Institute, which
will be hosting a series of monthly concerts from
November to May.
It's commonly believed that classical music composers,
musicians, and audiences are a buttoned-up bunch of
people who repress their emotions and constrain their
behavior until they resemble nothing so much as cardboard
cutouts of real humanity.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Take Beethoven,
wrote music of breathtaking tenderness and magnanimity,
yet his personal life was a mess. His sudden rages
and tearful euphorias are matters of legend. In one
tale, possibly apocryphal, he is described rising
from his piano bench during a recital and with a wild,
arm-waving charge he chased the entire audience from
the room because two people weren't paying close enough
attention to his music.
Johannes Brahms for most his adult life was head-over-heels
in love with his best friend's wife, Clara Schumann.
Clara liked Brahms as a friend but did not love him
back. For Brahms, love was a gift akin to holiness.
Meanwhile, like something out of reality TV, Brahms's
musical archrival Richard Wagner went through illicit
affairs like a man possessed. Wagner had love for
no one but himself.
Worse for Brahms, Wagner wrote music Brahms detested
but the public loved. None of this happened in secret.
All of it was out in front of a public just as addicted
to the sordid side of classical music as we are today
with steamy gossip about movie stars.
One of the weirdest music stories has a Three Rivers
connection, actually two connections if willing to
It involves a murdered French baroque composer named
Jean-Marie Leclair, who lived from 1697 to 1764, mostly
in Paris . Leclair was a good composer and a superb
violinist. Much of his music, tuneful and emotionally
rich, was written for the violin prior to his untimely
At this year's Opening Night concert on November 6
we are going to hear Leclair's touching Sonata in
D Major, Opus 9, No. 3, performed by violin virtuoso
Mayumi Kanagawa. That's the first connection.
Here's the second, the stretcher. Since Leclair was
one of the leading violinists of his era, he had no
trouble arranging to purchase a rare Stradivarius
violin not long after it came out of the master carpenter's
workshop in 1721, a violin tinted red by some combination
of wood grain and 18th-century varnish.
At about this time, Leclair's second wife, the engraver
Louise Roussel, took over management of Leclair's
business affairs, which were considerable. Leclair
was in high demand as both a composer and a violinist.
And so things went for the next 25 years, until 1758,
when his beloved Louise left him. Shattered, Leclair
fled to a slum-ridden and dangerous neighborhood in
Paris , retreated into his small apartment and from
then on was seldom seen. In fact, two months passed
in 1764 during which no one saw him at all.
Finally, a housekeeper managed to open the door to
Leclair's apartment and found his body lying face
up on the floor clutching his Stradivarius to his
chest. He had been stabbed in the back, probably while
practicing with the violin. Local authorities figured
the second wife had something to do with the stabbing,
or perhaps Leclair's nephew, but there were few clues
and no charges were ever brought.
As I said, the Three Rivers connection is a stretch.
Here it is: Of the four Stradivarius violins from
1721 known to have survived to this day, two are famous
for having strange red colorations — Leclair's (which
by the way bears a dark stain where his hand lay across
it) and the famous Red Mendelssohn violin that was
the subject of the 1998 movie starring Samuel Jackson.
The Red Mendelssohn is currently owned by violinist
Elizabeth Pitcairn who teaches under Robert Lipsett
and alongside our own Danielle Belen at the Colburn
School of Music.
The Jean-Marie Leclair violin, as it is now known
because of the stain, is on loan to Guido Rimonda,
Italian violinist and conductor. Rimonda has repeatedly
complained that he is not haunted by Leclair's ghost.
TO MY FOOD COLUMN
is the final installment in a continuing series about
the author's two-week visit this past summer to the
renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in rural County
Cork , Ireland . Previous installments may be read
on this website at Newspaper Archives, September 3,
10, 17, 24, October 1, and 8, 2010. Information about
the school and its classes may be found at www.cookingisfun.ie.
Ballymaloe House is a different place altogether from
the school. The house was originally the home of Myrtle
and Ivan Allen, which they purchased in 1948. They
had six children who were raised there.
later opened the house up for guests traveling from
around the world.
When I was invited to have dinner with the Allen family,
I knew I was in for a stupendous experience. This
was where my parents often came for their holidays,
and it was the last place they visited in Europe before
Dinner was at eight, but I arrived early to enjoy
a walk around the grounds. When I entered the home,
it felt like something out of a Jane Austen novel.
Classic and timeless, the furnishings were simply
beautiful. High ceilings, portraits gracing the walls
with remarkable stature, chairs and couches dressed
in Old English fabrics, and floors that creaked with
sounds of the past. This home is a landmark, and I
was excited to learn its history.
I sat down in the living area and marveled at the
activity. Seating areas filled with guests from the
house, I wondered where they were from and who they
A young woman dressed in serving attire asked me if
I'd care for a drink. I preferred a nonalcoholic drink,
so she offered me elderflower water, which I knew
was a delightfully delicious drink that's often served
at the school.
She brought me a tall, thin, frosted glass filled
with sparkling elderflower water with a slice of lemon
on the top edge and a linen coaster underneath. Absolute
Tim Allen, Darina's (Ballymaloe Cookery owner) husband
arrived and greeted me. I followed him into the family
dining room, passing the other dining areas in the
Each room was stylish and classic with just as much
beauty as the first room in which I sat. A waiter
approached to seat me. I love fine dining!
In came the other family members, one by one filling
up the very long and grand table. It reminded me of
the dinner table I had grown up around. I now understand
why my mother loved this place.
Buffet-style is the way Sunday evening dinners are
served at the house. Off we went to fill our plates.
What a feast. There were so many appealing dishes
that it was hard to decide. I figured I'd go for seconds
if I had too.
Our meal was enjoyable as much for the cuisine as
the company. We got acquainted, talked, and ate, and
the time passed all too soon.
I am blessed to have been in a place as beautiful
and fulfilling as Ballymaloe House, which holds a
place in history as where the Slow Food Movement of
Ireland got its start.
In the beginning, Myrtle Allen wasn't a cook, but
she had a vision and a will to bring her family the
freshest foods with the abundance that was provided
My hope in bringing the experiences of Ballymaloe
Cookery School over the past seven weeks was to share
some wonderful recipes and stories to support and
encourage slow-food cooking.