In the News - Friday, November
stories written by John or
Elliott unless otherwise noted
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
volunteers are willing, but our ambulance service
will fold if they become unable to serve,” Rusty
said. “This places a lot on their shoulders.”
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
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,
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
The Inyo County Coroner ruled that Brunette’s
death was caused by “massive trauma from a mountain
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
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
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.”
The River View Restaurant and Lounge is offering a
free meal on Wednesday, Nov. 11, for all veterans.
For details, call 561-2211.
WELCOME TO MY FOOD COLUMN
Are our food choices
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
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
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.
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.