Kaweah Commonwealth - Three Rivers

News and Information of KAWEAH COUNTRY - Three Rivers,

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Lemon Cove and Woodlake

Visitor Information:
Three Rivers
Sequoia National Park
Kings Canyon National Park
Real Estate
Property Rentals - NEW!
Local History
Travel Information
Weekly News and Features
Weekly Weather
Calendar of Events
Columns/ Opinions
Readers Poll
Newspaper Archives

Live Web Cam of
Sequoia National Park,
the High Sierra,
and Three Rivers, California
Kaweah Kam

AddThis Feed Button

In the News - Friday, November 6, 2009

All stories written by John or

Sarah Elliott unless otherwise noted


—See this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)

CSD incumbents re-elected

   In the Tuesday, Nov. 3, election there was little of the fanfare generated by the presidential election of one year ago. There was, however, one race on the ballot with important implications for the monitoring of the Kaweah River and local water quality.
   Within the boundaries of the Three Rivers Community Services District (CSD), 451 people went to the Three Rivers Memorial Building and voted to return incumbents Mike Cannarozzi (38 percent) and Rex Black (34 percent). Challenger Greg Meis (27 percent), a member of the board of directors of the North Kaweah Mutual Water Company, was unsuccessful in his bid to win one of the two four-year terms up for election.
   Noteworthy in the local election was that there were 67 “under votes.” Under votes are tallied when the voter chooses to vote for only one instead of two of the three candidates vying for the two seats.
In other Tulare County election news, incumbents were not treated so kindly in the race for Visalia City Council. Former Visalia mayor Jesus Gamboa lost his bid for a fourth term. Incumbent Greg Collins is also expected to be unseated when all provisional votes are finally tallied.
   In national results, Republicans made in-roads into a democratic plurality when conservative Bob McDonnell was elected as governor of Virginia. Republican Chris Christie also unseated the Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine in the New Jersey gubernatorial race.
   Maine became the 31st state to reject gay marriage. The ballot issue overturned a law passed by the Maine legislature last spring that would have legalized same-sex marriage.
   In California, Democrats retained an assembly seat in the 10th Congressional district when Lt. Gov. John Garamendi defeated Republican challenger, David Harner. Garamendi vowed to support the Obama administration on healthcare and climate-change legislation.
   The Garamendi vacancy creates an opportunity for some Sacramento maneuvering. Now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must nominate a replacement to fill the Garamendi’s term, which runs through Jan. 2011.

Volunteers needed to

keep 3R Ambulance rolling

By Antoinette Cloutier

   The state of the Three Rivers ambulance service was presented as a part of this month’s agenda at the Town Hall meeting on Monday, Nov. 2.

  “With the new contract for county ambulance service in place, the entire system is stronger than before,” said Dale Dotson of Central California Emergency Services.
   Discussion centered on response times and the call for additional Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) volunteers to keep the ambulance service local. The county response time criterion is 20 minutes or less.
   If an ambulance company exceeds that limit they pay hefty fines. Three Rivers, being a rural area and staffed with volunteers, is exempted from the fines. However, there is a performance expectation that Three Rivers Ambulance volunteers take seriously.
   Sandy Owen, a Three Rivers EMT since 1974, said there is some discrepancy between what the county has for Three Rivers response times and the local logs kept by Three Rivers Ambulance. Three Rivers response times are mostly within the mandated response times, but there are unique challenges in the foothills.
   Three Rivers is first on the scene for calls reaching up to Hospital Rock on Generals Highway and at the South Fork entrance to Sequoia National Park. This huge coverage area, along with other distance and communication factors, can skew the average response time to longer than 20 minutes for some calls.

  “The average response time for September was just 16.3 minutes from the time EMT volunteers’ pagers went off until [we delivered] ALS [advanced life-saving services],” said Sandy.
   Three Rivers Ambulance — started with support from the Three Rivers Woman’s Club in 1956 — is a self-sustaining entity.

  “We were considering folding a couple years ago,” Sandy continued. “The ambulance companies from Visalia asked us not to as it would be too costly to station a unit in Three Rivers.”
   Sandy said the ambulance board feels Three Rivers needs complete coverage and is aware that the county would have a difficult time achieving the 20-minute response time without the local ambulance service.
   If Three Rivers did not have a volunteer ambulance, the area would be serviced by an Exeter ambulance. The Three Rivers Ambulance crew responds to more than 200 calls annually.
   At the town meeting, Rusty Crain, Three Rivers EMT and board member announced, “We are drastically short of volunteer EMTs and drivers. There is an urgent need for residents willing to take a semester EMT-I class and some on-the-job training.”
   Dotson is working on a waiver for residents that would allow prospective volunteers to drive without EMT training. There are currently only six EMTs taking all the Three Rivers calls.

  “Our volunteers are willing, but our ambulance service will fold if they become unable to serve,” Rusty said. “This places a lot on their shoulders.”

  “I see the benefit to the community,” said Sandy when asked why she has served as a local EMT-II for more than four decades. “The Three Rivers Ambulance service will work to be here until the county system can cover Three Rivers 24/7.”
   To volunteer or help the local ambulance in some other way, contact Rusty Crain, 561-4549.

Missing Mount Whitney hiker found dead

   The body of Kenneth “Wade” Brunette, 73, was discovered at the bottom of the east face of Mount Whitney near what climbers refer to as the “Mountaineer Route.” Discovery of the victim’s remains was made by an Inyo County search-and-rescue dog-sled team on Saturday, Oct. 31.
   Brunette, from Hansville, Wash., was said to be day-hiking Mount Whitney, a 21-mile roundtrip, but was reported missing on Monday, Oct. 26, by his wife who was awaiting his return in nearby Lone Pine.    The search for the missing hiker began Tuesday, Oct. 27.
The helicopters assigned to the multi-agency SAR team were grounded by extremely windy conditions until late Wednesday. Ground searchers were unable to reach the summit until Thursday.
   On Friday, Brunette’s pack and ice axe were spotted on the western slope of the mountain by the crew of a National Guard helicopter. The body was located the following day.
   It is unknown if Brunette ever reached the summit of the 14,505-foot peak. According to Adrienne Freeman, Sequoia-Kings Canyon public affairs officer, he did not sign the register nor was any other evidence reportedly found on the peak.
   He was reportedly last seen at Trail Crest, where the trail from Whitney Portal on the east side of the mountain joins with the John Muir Trail and makes the final ascent on the west side.
   The Whitney Portal trailhead, from which most day-hikers, including Brunette, enter the Whitney zone, is located in the Inyo National Forest. The summit of Whitney and the John Muir Trail portion of the route are located within the boundaries of Sequoia National Park.
   Advance planning is required for any hike into the Mount Whitney zone. Day-hikers are required to apply for a permit in advance from Inyo National Forest.
   The Inyo County Coroner ruled that Brunette’s death was caused by “massive trauma from a mountain climbing accident.”

Veterans Day: A day to remember

By Brian Rothhammer

   It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918. For four long years the entire European continent had been embroiled in the most heinous mechanized carnage yet seen on earth. Now at long last the guns fell silent. Armistice had been declared.
   What had been called the Great War did not actually end until June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. For those who had survived it, however, the war ended Nov. 11, 1918, when a cease fire took effect between the German empire and the nations allied against it.
   On Nov. 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that “Armistice Day” should be observed, and on June 4, 1926, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution “…calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people… to observe the day in schools and churches… with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”
   Newspapers of the day referred to what we now call World War I as the “war to end all wars,” as it was difficult to imagine such horrors ever recurring. Armistice Day was both a remembrance of those who had served and a reminder that civilized societies really ought to find peaceful means to settle their differences.
   On May 13, 1938, Congress made Armistice Day a legal holiday dedicated to the cause of lasting world peace. People of many nations held the optimistic belief that war had been rendered obsolete. One year later Europe again waged a war of mass destruction.
   After World War II and the Korean Conflict, Congress decided on June 1, 1954 to redefine Armistice Day as Veterans Day. November 11 then became a day to remember all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and to appreciate the gifts that their effort and sacrifice have bestowed upon all Americans.
   In 1971, the Uniform Holiday Act took effect and the date of observance for Veterans Day (along with Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, Columbus Day, and Memorial Day) was changed to accommodate three-day weekends that would be spread out more evenly through the calendar year. Veteran’s Day was officially observed on October 25 in 1971.
   Many veterans’ groups and citizens objected to this, and since 1978 Veterans Day observances have been held on November 11.
   Memorial Day did not become a national holiday until 1971. The essential difference is that while Memorial Day is specifically a remembrance of those who have died in service to their country, Veterans Day is a day to appreciate all of those who have served, past and present, living or dead.
   Armistice Day is also observed by many other nations who were involved in World War II, some of which refer to it as Remembrance Day. British Commonwealth nations refer to it as Poppy Day after a poem by Canadian military physician John McCrae titled In Flanders Fields. In it McCrae describes a scene at the cemetery of Flanders, France after a horrific battle of Ypres in 1915.

  “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses row on row, that mark our place; and in the sky the larks, still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”
   EDITOR’S NOTE: The River View Restaurant and Lounge is offering a free meal on Wednesday, Nov. 11, for all veterans. For details, call 561-2211.


Are our food choices

helping or hurting our health?

By Tina St. John

   Raw foods. Some people eat only raw foods. Does that seem extreme?
   David Wolfe, author of The Sunfood Diet Success System and Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future says that eating raw organic foods gives us the most nutrition. When food is cooked it loses its enzymes and most of its nutritional value.
   That makes sense. When I was a child, I remember watching my mother cook vegetables and thinking she was cooking them to death. Just think, if anything else was placed in boiling water, it couldn’t possibly survive.
   It can be challenging at times to eat mostly raw foods but David claims that even if your diet consists of 51 percent raw organic foods, your body will build a stronger immune system.
   I’m not going to write about what I think is right or try to convince readers that eating raw foods is better for your health. However, I’m noticing that more people are becoming aware of what they choose to put inside their bodies.
   It’s simple. Our bodies are amazing machines that have such an ability to heal and care for themselves. If we take care of our bodies, they will do what they were designed to do: Live!
   Three Rivers residents are fortunate that they now have their very own organic produce stand, compliments of Flora Bella Farm. Every Sunday, shoppers can now meet and talk to Tommy who’s selling an array of beautiful organic greens and dried fruits (check out the Santa Rosa plums – WOW!). Also available are seasonal fruits; last Sunday, they had Concord grapes.
   Despite the seeds and thick skin, when you bite into a Concord grape it’s like having a shot of nectar, and they’re organic. No chemicals, and the difference is easy to taste.
   There’s a DVD out called FOODMATTERS. The trailer is available at www.foodmatters.tv.
   The film provides information on how food is grown and consumed today, the effect it is having on health and wellbeing, and steps that people can take to improve their diets.
   I’ve included some simple raw food recipes that are flavorful, super healthy, and that even the kids will like.
   Bon Appetit!
   Check out Tina’s new writing project at www.examiner.com. In the search tool, type Fresno Boutique Shopping. She’s now reporting on the latest fashions in and around the Valley and so far has filed reports on Three Rivers and Exeter shopping opportunities.

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
© Copyright 2003-2009 The Kaweah Commonwealth