In the News - Friday, November
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
Giant Forest Museum closed
Lodgepole Visitor Center open daily
A change that could affect some winter
visitors is taking place after the Thanksgiving holiday
weekend. As of the end of the day on Sunday, Nov.
28, the Giant Forest Museum will be closed for the
winter; starting Monday, Nov. 29, the Lodgepole Visitor
Center will be open daily.
The closure of the museum is part of
a National Park Service mandate to increase efficiency
and sustainability. Heating one building instead of
two is a huge energy savings because the museum’s
historic building is an inefficient heat loss just
waiting to happen.
Most Sequoia National Park employees
who staff the Lodgepole-Giant Forest area in winter
live in Lodgepole so not having to commute to the
museum also cuts down on travel. The closure of the
museum also means less of an area needs to be plowed
though the parking lot adjacent to the Giant Forest
Museum will continue to be cleared for visitors who
want to ski/snowshoe the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow
3R man linked to ID theft
As if Charles Mauldin, 49, of Three Rivers
didn’t have enough problems. In and out of one
detention facility or another the last several years,
Mauldin was taken into custody Friday, Nov. 19, by
Tulare County Sheriff’s Department detectives,
and he won’t be seeing the outside anytime soon.
That according to a distraught brother-in-law
who tried to help Mauldin go straight only to find
himself feeling extremely concerned for Three Rivers
neighbors who might have been victims of Mauldin’s
latest scams. Like so many repeat offenders in these
cases, Mauldin has had an ongoing problem with the
scourge of rural humanity – methamphetamine.
“Charley’s not a violent criminal and
we just wanted to do what we could to help our family,”
said the brother-in-law who asked not to be identified.
“It started when my wife’s sister came
here a couple of years ago looking for work while
her husband was serving a sentence for trouble he
had gotten into down south.”
After Mauldin was paroled in 2009, the
terms of his probation in Riverside County did not
allow him to leave that area. But earlier this year,
Mauldin completed his probation and rejoined his wife
in Three Rivers.
Since that time, Mauldin is alleged to
have received stolen property, pilfered mail, and
assumed another’s identity to commit fraud.
Cameras at the Bank of the Sierra are believed to
have recorded images of Mauldin cashing a fraudulent
check that led to a previous arrest on September 3.
Now two months later, Mauldin is in trouble
again, facing new charges for more thefts. He was
arraigned in court Monday, Nov. 22, and remains in
U.S. Postal inspectors have been alerted
by the Sheriff’s investigators and are trying
to determine the extent of the latest mail thefts.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important
it is for everyone to be careful with their mail,”
said Lori Ontiveros, Three Rivers postmaster. “Even
junk mail and catalogs you throw away here in the
lobby could contain personal information that help
thieves access personal information.”
Anyone who thinks they might be a victim
or have information pertinent in this case should
call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department
Sequoia road construction
to continue into December
The ongoing road construction on the
Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park has some
holiday schedule changes. The road construction is
a 1.5-mile stretch of highway from Amphitheater Point,
11 miles from the park entrance station at 4,400 feet,
to Deer Ridge.
Through Sunday, Nov. 28, no day or night
work is scheduled. Traffic through the one-lane road
construction zone will be directed by traffic signals.
Delays will be no longer than 20 minutes.
Monday-Friday, Nov. 29-Dec. 3—
Two-hour delays from 8 am-4 pm on weekdays (pass-through
at 8 am, 10 am, noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm). One-hour delays
Monday through Friday from 7-8 am and 4-5 pm. Half-hour
delay Monday through Thursday from 5-5:30 pm (construction
works generally ends at 2 pm on Fridays). Lower (uphill
bound) traffic released first. Single lane traffic
is in place. During hours of construction, traffic
will be led through the construction zone by a pilot
vehicle. During non-construction hours (between day
and night shifts — 5:30-9 pm) and on weekends,
signal lights regulate traffic with delays up to 20
Friday, Dec. 3—
Work planned from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. See previous listing
for delays within this time frame.
Night work commences Mondays at 9 pm and continues
through Fridays at 6 am with one opportunity to pass
through the construction area each night at 11:30
Vehicle length restriction—
The portion of the Generals Highway from Hospital
Rock to the Giant Forest Museum is CLOSED to vehicles
greater than 22 feet in length until December 31,
2010 (this requirement was recently reduced from 32
feet) due to Federal Highways road construction vehicle
Camping and touring—
Several private RV campgrounds are available in Three
Rivers and Lemon Cove that will accommodate any size
of vehicle; public campgrounds that accommodate RVs
are Horse Creek at Lake Kaweah and Potwisha in Sequoia
National Park. A private company based in Three Rivers
— Sequoia Sightseeing Tours — is available
year-round for tours of Sequoia attractions or customized
tours throughout Sequoia and Kings Canyon National
Parks. Visit the Camping page, accessible from the
homepage on this website.
As of Wednesday, Nov. 24, the road through Sequoia
and Kings Canyon National Parks is closed due to snow.
It will reopen when parks road crews have it plowed.
Also as of Wednesday, tire chains required
or four-wheel-drive vehicles only from Hospital Rock
to Wuksachi Lodge and in the Grant Grove area.
Travel tips for ice and snow:
—Drive for conditions: slower speeds, slower
acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking
in winter conditions.
—Use your headlights.
—Don’t use cruise control.
—Four and all-wheel drive vehicles will not
stop or steer better in icy conditions.
—Leave extra room between your vehicle and the
vehicle in front of you. And remember, big trucks
take longer to stop.
—Slow down when approaching intersections, bridges,
or shady spots.
—If behind a snowplow, stay behind it until
it is safe to pass. A snowplow driver has a limited
field of vision. Stay back (15 car lengths) until
the plow pulls off the road.
—Slow down and be extra cautious near the chain-up
and removal areas where often people are along the
Give the gift of giving
Remember your own delight as a child
when opening a brightly wrapped box to reveal the
surprise inside? You can provide that same sense of
surprise and delight to a child or teen who otherwise
might receive little or nothing.
The Woodlake Toys for Joy drive, led
by the Woodlake Family Resource Center in partnership
with the Kiwanis Club of Woodlake, has provided smiles
to 700 kids annually for the past eight years.
These moments of joy have been made possible
entirely by donations of good hearted neighbors.
Even so, there have been children who
missed out, and this December there will be even more
families facing a bleak holiday season due to the
current economy. Teens are particularly in need and
often have been overlooked.
“Teenagers are always the toughest,” said
Greg Gonzalez, Woodlake city councilman and the toy
drive coordinator. “We are always short on gifts
While grateful for the success of the
past eight years, Greg has even higher hopes for the
future. What better way to spread the true spirit
of the holidays than to share with a family in need?
If you can squeeze just a bit more out
of the holiday budget to show a needy child or struggling
teen that someone cares, contact Greg Gonzalez at
In Woodlake, donations of new, unwrapped
toys are now being accepted at the Woodlake City Hall,
First Choice Market, all Woodlake schools, and the
Woodlake Family Resource Center, 168 North Valencia.
South Fork ranch joins
1st Saturday playlist
Don and Teriz Mosley are inviting visitors
to their working ranch on this coming 1st Saturday
(December 4). From horses, cows, and sheep to chickens
and turkeys, there is plenty to do and see.
The Mosleys use natural and sustainable
ranching methods. The cows are grass-fed and the poultry
The Mosleys have a milk cow (and calf),
make their own butter, gather the chickens’
eggs, raise home-grown vegetables, and more.
The ranch is also frequented by local
wildlife. There are also many birds this time of year
as they use the open space as a stopover during the
Howard Hill, a friend and neighbor, will
be selling his handmade wooden nutcrackers and home-grown
Hot cider, hot chocolate, pumpkin bread,
and banana bread will be served. The Mosleys’
homecured olives will be for sale.
Families and children are especially
encouraged to visit. The ranch will be open from 10
a.m. till 2 p.m. It is located at 45487 South Fork
For directions to the Mosleys’
ranch and a list of all participants in December’s
1st Saturday event, pick up a map at Anne Lang’s
Emporium on the day of the event.
Shop local during inaugural
‘Small Business Saturday’
Black Friday started it all, but as Internet
shopping became as prevalent as visiting a brick-and-mortar
retailer, along came Cyber Monday.
Not to be left out, small businesses
are jumping on this bandwagon. On November 27, the
Saturday after Thanksgiving, the first-ever Small
Business Saturday will attempt to become part of the
The day’s creator has everything
to gain if this idea takes off. American Express OPEN
— the credit card company’s small business
unit — has partnered with nearly 20 advocacy,
public and private organizations, and visitor’s
bureaus in the hope that over time communities across
the country will recognize Small Business Saturday
in a meaningful way that helps drive more holiday
shoppers to small businnesses instead of corporate
malls and big-box retailers.
Why shop local?
—For every $100 spent at a local small business,
$68 returns to the community.
—Small businesses employ half of all private
—Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of
all employer firms.
—For every year over the past decade, 60 to
80 percent of new jobs were generated by small businesses.
From these statistics, it is obvious
to see how vital small businesses are to local, statewide,
and national economies.
Support Small Business Saturday, as well
as Three Rivers business-owners, by patronizing the
local, independently owned small businesses in town.
That could mean anything from going out to dinner
at some point during the holiday season to reserving
a part of your holiday gift budget to spend at a local
small business or two.
There are small, independently owned
businesses in every city across the U.S., but it is
the small towns such as Three Rivers where the entire
existence of the community depends on them, whether
for towing a car, purchasing a home, stocking up on
groceries, dining out, or holiday shopping for everything
from tools to original art. So help make Small Business
Saturday a success all year long by patronizing small
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Keeping the ‘co-operative’ in a co-op
By Jana Botkin
What is a co-op? If the hyphen is eliminated,
it could be mistaken for a pen of poultry!
In this context, “co-op”
is an abbreviation of the word “cooperative”
and means a joint venture or collaborative effort.
In an area with few galleries and other
places for selling artwork, artists often combine
their time, money, and art to create their own gallery.
Everything is shared — the space, the expenses,
the “sitting,” and many, many decisions.
It takes a tremendous effort and a bit
of luck to put an effective co-op together. The participants
need to share a vision, to have approximately the
same level of professionalism, and most of all, to
have a leader or two, depending on the size. In all
groups, there will be those who work their fingers
to the bone, those who coast, and all sorts in between.
A shared vision has to be addressed before
anything else. If some envision a cute store full
of unique tchotchkes and others want spacious white
walls hung with a few knockout pieces, there will
If some think it should be open to any
and all artists while others believe a certain level
of quality should be maintained, there will be conflict.
If some never notice dust and spiderwebs while others
develop a twitch each time something lands on the
countertop, there will be conflict.
There are those who want all types of
art, others who only want two-dimensional pieces.
Some think a mix of styles is preferable, others want
only representational, and some think that abstract
is the only true art.
Regardless of the decisions reached about
style, a compatible level of professionalism is necessary
for retail success. There can be endless discussions
of “art versus craft,” and reaching agreements
on quality can almost require Solomon-like wisdom.
If some art is clearly made by hobbyists and other
is made by highly skilled practitioners, the difference
will confuse the customer.
Personalities can make or break a co-op.
To combine a large number of opinions in an orderly
fashion requires a strong leader. There has to be
lists of tasks, assignments, goals, and accountability
for completion. Meetings need to be kept on subject
and participants need to be kept on task or things
result in chaos.
Co-ops tend to be a bit fluid as artists
grow and change. With the right mix of artists sharing
a vision, a co-operative gallery can be formed for
a season, or it can last for years.
Jana Botkin of Three Rivers
is one of 23 artists at the new Main Gallery co-op
in Visalia. It is located at 209 W. Main St.