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In the News - Friday, November 11, 2011



Election 2011: Unification approved

  Although final results won’t be certified for a couple of weeks, the Measure X initiative to unify Woodlake High School with the elementary school district was overwhelmingly approved by voters in Woodlake, Three Rivers, and Seville. Three Rivers and Seville voted on the measure because its students are in the Woodlake High School District, but both of the elementary schools that serve these towns opted out of the unification process.
   As of the final summary released by Tulare County Elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the Measure X tally was 80.96 percent of the vote for and 19.04 percent against. The measure, in effect, unifies Woodlake’s elementary, middle, and high schools into a single district.
   The unification, which takes effect July 2012, creates several revenue-generating opportunities that will level teacher salaries and free up other funds to be used for academic programs.
   The November 8 ballot also featured seven area school board trustee races in the event the unification measure passed. Where previously there were 10 “at-large” seats (five each on the elementary and high school boards), now seven trustee seats on the new unified board were up for grabs.
   Incumbents Joe Hallmeyer (elementary board), Ralph Chapman (elementary board), Richard Rochin (high school board), Kent Owen (high school board), Edmund Pena (high school board), and Helen Renteria (elementary board) were all retained; one newcomer George Sanchez was also elected to the new unified seven-seat board of trustees, ousting incumbent (elementary board) Debi Baker.
   Owen and Pena are the Three Rivers area trustees.

Internet access topic
of Town Hall meeting

  Tom Sparks, chairperson for the monthly Town Hall meeting, held Monday, Nov. 7, at the Three Rivers Memorial Building, presented an update on local efforts to bring high-speed Internet access to Three Rivers. At the meeting, Sparks said his “Broadband Steering Committee” is making progress on several coordinated activities.
   The steering committee, Sparks said, recently interviewed the owner of Springville Wireless, a successful wireless network operator in that foothills community. If the committee can get a 40 percent grant for infrastructure, then Three Rivers could have a wireless internet service similar to Springville.
   That network would cover almost all of Three Rivers and be faster and more reliable than what most residents have now. Sparks said there are both state and federal grants available for underserved communities like Three Rivers.
  “If we can land a grant to install the infrastructure then a number of providers could be used to furnish the network capabilities,” Sparks said. “That would mean not only a faster, more reliable Internet but also a cost-effective service.”
   Low-income families who qualify for the school lunch program could receive free computers and pay just $10 a month for the new Internet service, Sparks said.
  “What we need to make this a reality is more sign-ups on the list of interested parties,” Sparks said. “To bring this service to Three Rivers, everyone can start by giving me a call [561- 0406].”
   Sparks also introduced Tulare County’s new fire chief, Joe Garcia. Chief Garcia is no stranger to Three Rivers, having been the principal investigator on a number of local fires.
The chief pledged to keep the lines of communication with Three Rivers open.
  “Call my direct line or come down the hill and see me with your questions and concerns,” Chief Garcia said.
   Ramon Lara spoke for the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) and furnished an update on Measure R funding. Lara said the road tax generates $25 million annually and with matching funds has enabled Tulare County to widen Highway 99 to six lanes from Kingsburg to Tulare.
   Lara also said county officials are aware of Three Rivers’s road repair needs. The road department is addressing problem areas on a project-by-project basis.
   A noteworthy item reported by Dana Dierkes, Sequoia’s public information officer, was the announcement that the Beetle Rock building in Giant Forest, recently used by Sequoia National History Association for an education center, will be closed. Dierkes said park planners are seeking suggestions on how to use the historic building.
   The next Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 5.

Cal Fire to issue burn permits

Park will light Mineral King slash piles

  Starting Monday, Nov. 14, Three Rivers residents may obtain burn permits to clear their property of vegetation that has accumulated in the past season. The hazard-reduction burning will be allowed after a burn permit is obtained from the Cal Fire Station located across from Valley Oak Credit Union.
   After the recent rains, Cal Fire issued the go-ahead on the burn permits that were suspended last May. Larry Pendarvis, Cal Fire public information officer, said in a statement issued Tuesday, Nov. 8, that it is critical that all property owners who live in the wildland urban interface area take safe steps to ready their home in the event of wildfire.
  “Taking time to clear vegetation a minimum of 100 feet from the home and outbuildings will provide valuable defensible space against wildfire as weather conditions transition back into drier, summer-like weather,” Pendarvis said.
   Burn permits can be suspended or revoked at any time as weather or fire conditions change. Permit holders must adhere to strict rules in accordance to fire regulations and air quality guidelines.
   To meet with a Cal Fire officer, or to obtain more information, please call 732-5954. For more information on getting your property fire-ready, log onto www.ReadyForWildfire.org or the Cal Fire website at www.fire.ca.gov.

  NPS begins pile burning- Weather and air quality conditions permitting, a National Park Service fire crew will begin burning piles of small trees and brush near the Atwell Mill Campground along the Mineral King Road during the week of November 14. The piles were created two years ago as a part of a mechanical thinning project to reduce forest fuels.
These ladder fuels could potentially carry fire from the forest floor to the canopy. By burning the piles, additional defensible space is created for the nearby campground and the cabin communities of Cabin Cove, Silver City, and Mineral King.

Events kick off holidays

  Hey, Kaweah Country! Would you like to hold your own “Occupy Wall Street” protest?
Here’s how to do it: shop local this holiday season. Stay away from those retail giants that think the reason for the season is to make more money than they ever have before.
   For more than a quarter century, the Three Rivers Senior League has jumpstarted the holiday shopping season with its Holiday Bazaar. Dozens of booths will be filled with the creations of artists and crafters from near and far. This year’s event will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.
   Coinciding with this, the Three Rivers Historical Society will host an “Open House and Holiday Sale” on Saturday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring items from the Museum’s gift shop, which is located at 42268 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers.
   Lemon Cove’s annual Holiday Bazaars will be held December 2 and 3. Sequoia Union School’s Parent-Teacher Club will host the Lemon Cove Holiday Bazaar beginning Friday, Dec. 2, 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m., at the Lemon Cove Memorial Building (next to Sequoia Union School on Avenue 324. Gift items, holiday decorations, and homemade jams, candy, and more highlight this event.
   Also on Saturday, Dec. 3, the Lemon Cove Women’s Club will open the doors of their historic clubhouse at 11 a.m. for their sale of holiday items made by local residents and club members. Lunch will be served at noon (tickets: $10). All proceeds go to the club’s “Raise the Roof” fund as the women earn dollars to replace the roof on the former home turned clubhouse, which was built in 1879.

  Remembrance Service - The season has come to be about shopping, most definitely, but there are other aspects of the season that individuals must face as well, such as missing loved ones who are no longer here to enjoy the festivities and family gatherings with us.
The Community Presbyterian Church will hold a special service of remembrance for those who have died and whom are particularly missed at this time of year. There will be messages of hope, understanding, and peace that will assist individuals in coping during the holidays and beyond. Church staff would like to know how many to plan for, so call if possible to let them know you are coming. However, they stress that it is not a prerequisite of attending; anyone is welcome to come even if they didn’t call in advance.
For more information or to RSVP, call 561-3385.

Model A Fords take 3R tour

By Brian Rothhammer

  On the weekend of October 28 to 30, nearly three dozen members of the Bakersfield Model A Ford Club of America brought 13 of their vintage Fords to Kaweah Country.
   The 33 members and their automobiles, built between the years of 1928 and 1931, stayed at the Sequoia RV Ranch on North Fork Drive in Three Rivers.
  “MAFCA is the largest club in the world dedicated to one model of car, and we were the original chapter,” explained Dan Foulk, the national director and vice president of MAFCA International. “We started in 1957 and now number over 15,000 members worldwide.”
   On a lovely Sunday afternoon by the river, shaded by sycamores while cooled by a lilting breeze, a group of friends shared camaraderie, common interests, and lasagna.
  “The thing that is so great about this club is that everybody in the group gets along so well,” said new member Paula Poole. “If there’s a breakdown, everybody helps. It’s like a big family.”
   Paula has a 1930 Fordor Sedan, and it’s her first. Many members have multiple A Fords.
Some are new to the hobby while others, such as Mike Martin, have been in it for decades. Mike built his first A in high school and is now married to the Chapter president, Candy Martin. That makes him the “First Dude.”
   Some are weekenders while others have made a career of the A. Member Rick Davis owns Vintage Restorations in Bakersfield and is the go-to guy for parts, service, and complete cars, all Model A.
   Rick recalls a neighbor who expressed an interest in starting an A project some years ago. The neighbor was a drinker who, with his helper, would put away a case of beer after work on a regular basis and smoked cigarettes.
  “Sure would like to have one of those old Fords one day, he’d say. I told him to quit the booze and smoking, and he’d be able to have one.”
   Did he take the advice?
  “Yes! And he now has two nice Model A’s.”
                                                 * * *
   From its introduction in 1908, the Model T Ford had been a sales dynamo. By 1918 Ford had so dominated the early automotive industry that half of all cars in the U.S. were Fords.
But by 1927 Henry Ford realized that the T must go and he announced the news on May 25. The next day, the 15 millionth T Ford was driven off the assembly line and production was officially ended.
   On October 20, 1927, Model A production began. When the all-new Ford, with twice the horsepower and chassis improvements, was introduced to the public on December 2, it was a sensation.
                                                  * * *
   And it still is. With about 75 family members, the Bakersfield MAFCA has monthly tours (dinner and drive), Sunday evening coffee meetings, campouts, and its annual Jamboree.
They unanimously found the Sequoia RV Ranch to be an ideal base camp from which to explore Kaweah Country and all have vowed to return.
  “We’ll be back whether we’re invited or not,” quipped Foulk.
   For more information on the Model A Ford Club of America-Bakersfield Chapter, visit www.bakersfield-mafca.com.


Meadows, mosquitoes, and mountain memories

By Sarah Elliott

  This is part five in a series about an eight-day backpacking trip embarked upon this past August in Sequoia National Park.

   This would be our easiest hiking day so far, relatively speaking. After all, we would still be lugging backpacks while making the steep climb out of the deep chasm known as Big Arroyo.
   Immediately upon leaving the campsite, two creek crossings made it necessary for the four of us wade across. Lined up along a log on the other side to dry off and re-lace our boots, we had the mosquitoes to thank for helping speed the process along.
   We climbed the south wall of the canyon on a heavily wooded trail. It levels out at the top of the ridge that it then traverses for more than a mile. Excellent views include the Kaweah Peaks Ridge on the other side of Big Arroyo, which is always an impressive sight of treeless, eroding slopes of varying shades of earth tones.
   Soon the trail forces travelers heading toward Little Five and Big Five lakes to turn their attention to the south, where Sawtooth Peak, the prominent summit on the Mineral King skyline, dominates.
   We passed a secluded tarn and crossed its outlet creek then began climbing again until we met up with the first of the Little Five Lakes. The trail parallels the east shore before arriving at a junction.
   From here, we walked the short distance to the north end of the second and largest lake in the Little Five chain (elevation 10,476 feet). There is a food-storage box and several well-used campsites, but some restoration is underway.
   We camped here with our young children more than 10 years ago. The lake-view campsite that was our home away from home for two nights is now closed to camping as were some others in an effort to relieve some of the traffic these sites experience.
   Across the lake we could see the yurt that is the summer home of the Little Five Lakes backcountry ranger. We considered eating an early lunch at this picturesque locale but the mosquitoes convinced us otherwise. We opted to continue to Big Five Lakes, a couple more miles along the trail to the south.
   We stopped along the trail for lunch, utilizing a flat granite boulder as a serving table for the buffet of dried fruit, nuts, and crackers and toppings. We were in the forest, far from water and meadows, so were spared for a time the relentless attack of the ruthless, bloodsucking mosquitoes. During lunch, we were joined by a trio who stopped to chat, informing us of their route, which was our itinerary in reverse. We warned them to steer clear of the Big Arroyo Trail (see “Hiking the Parks,” October 14, 2011).
   At the next trail intersection, there is a choice to make. Continue on the main trail to the first Big Five Lake (where there is a food-storage box) or take the spur trail to the upper lakes.
   We like getting off the beaten path, so we headed to Big Five number three, the largest (elevation 10,192 feet) of the group. From the junction, the trail descends to Big Five number two then continues over a knoll to the third lake.
   We had camped here previously as well, so looked for our previous site, but our memory of it was obviously different from reality because we never found it.
   Instead, we chose a site that had been previously occupied by horse-packers. There was no one else camped at these upper lakes.
   The mosquitoes weren’t as bad as they had been at Little Five, but in the early morning and at dusk, they were prevalent enough that head-netting had to be worn; only lifted to eat a meal or brush teeth and even then with great reluctance.
  But where mosquitoes lurk at lakeside, there are fish waiting to eat them. And we had a couple of fishermen who were willing to take advantage of that fact.
   While John and Jimmy were working to supplement our upcoming dinner of spaghetti and sourdough biscuits, Jennie and I found a rocky pool in which to rinse off. Once again, this takes a strong constitution, both because it means baring skin for mosquitoes to hone in on and, second, because the water is absolutely frigid.
   To wash off the trail dirt, sweat, and assorted sunscreen and insect repellent is always such a relief that no one complains for long upon emerging from their ice bath. The cold water also provides an anti-inflammatory effect as sore muscles and achy joints are instantly relieved.
   Once again, we would be taking the next day off from backpacking. Our schedule only demanded that we explore this heavenly place hidden in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that would be our base camp for the next two nights.
   To be continued...

Training Tip No. 3


  Cross training— Exercise can strengthen the cardiovascular system, bones, muscles, joints, reduce body fat, and improve flexibility, balance and coordination. But if you want to see all of these benefits, you’ll need to start cross training.
   Cross training is a great way to condition different muscle groups, develop a new set of skills, and reduce boredom that creeps in after months of the same exercise routines. Cross training also allows you the ability to vary the stress placed on specific muscles or even your cardiovascular system. After months of the same movements, your body becomes extremely efficient performing those movements, and while that is great for competition, it limits the amount of overall fitness you possess and reduces the actual conditioning you get while training; rather than continuing to improve, you simply maintain a certain level of fitness. Cross training is also necessary to reduce the risk of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.
   The term cross training refers to a training routine that involves several different forms of exercise. A combination of three of the following cardiovascular exercises would make up a good cross training routine: running, swimming, cycling, rowing, stair-climbing, rope-jumping, skating, skiing, and racquetball, basketball, tennis, or other court sports.
   Strength training— Work all of your muscle groups each week so that you avoid muscle imbalances, which could lead to injury, and loss of muscle mass, which occurs as we age.
   Here are some general guidelines to strength training, depending on your goals. To strength train for health and muscular endurance, use enough weight that you can ONLY complete 12-16 repetitions, 1-3 sets, resting 20-30 seconds between sets and at least one day between workout sessions. To lose body fat and build muscle, use enough weight that you can ONLY complete 10-12 repetitions and 1-3 sets (1 for beginners, 2-3 for intermediate and advanced exercisers). Rest about 30 seconds to 1 minute between sets and at least one day between workout sessions. For muscle gain, use enough weight that you can ONLY complete 4-8 repetitions and 3 or more sets, resting for 1-2 minutes between sets and 2-3 days between sessions.
   Rest and recovery— It sounds easier than it is, but rest days are an important part of any well-rounded fitness routine. The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken even the strongest athletes.
Rest days are critical to sports performance. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild, and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals. Take a rest day at least once every seven days.
   In addition, consistently getting inadequate sleep can result in subtle changes in hormone levels, particularly those related to stress, muscle recovery, and mood. Research indicates that sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), decreased activity of human growth hormone (which is active during tissue repair), decreased glycogen synthesis, decreased aerobic endurance, and increased levels of perceived exertion. Paying attention to how your body feels and how motivated you are is extremely helpful in determining your recovery needs and modifying your training program accordingly.
                                                 * * *
   It is this alternation of cross training, strength training, and rest and recovery that will take your body to a higher level of fitness.


Randy Wyatt
1953 ~ 2011

   Randall Eugene Wyatt of Three Rivers died Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. He was 57.
Randy was born November 18, 1953, in Bakersfield to Everett and Lola Wyatt. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Vietnam War.
   For 25 years, Randy was a social worker. He was a talented artist, enjoyed gardening, and was a good friend and a loving companion.
Randy was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Lola Wyatt, and his brother, Earl Wyatt.
   He is survived by his beloved life partner of 37 years, Wesely Snyder of Three Rivers; sister Denise Wyatt of Bakersfield; cousin Debra Wells; and nephew Stephen Ockerman.

THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
EDITORS/PUBLISHERS: John Elliott and Sarah Barton Elliott
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