In the News - Friday, December
stories written by John or
Elliott unless otherwise noted
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
Acres turkey shot with arrow
The two flocks of wild turkeys that make
their rounds on the North Fork and in the Alta Acres
area of Three Rivers seemed to vanish last week as
if on cue. Who could blame the gobbling hordes? After
all, it was Thanksgiving.
But on Tuesday, Dec. 1, when the busy
birds reappeared on Alta Acres Drive, one of the turkeys
was having difficulty keeping up with the others.
That’s when Zoe Bull, who lives in the Alta
Acres subdivision near St. Clair’s Catholic
Church, noticed that one of the friendly birds had
an arrow stuck in its back.
a real shame when someone has to try to take one of
these birds,” Zoe said. “These turkeys
are really just neighborhood pets.”
Zoe said she observed the usually social
birds attempting to isolate the one turkey with the
arrow stuck in his back.
or she, I couldn’t be sure if it was a male
or female, was obviously trying to get rid of that
arrow that was stuck in his back,” Zoe said.
“The hurt bird wouldn’t let me get close
enough to be of any help.”
The arrow is approximately 12 inches
long and has one orange and one yellow feather. One
of her neighbors, Zoe said, told her it was the kind
of arrow hunters use.
Even though she believes it is not illegal
to take wild birds on private property, Zoe thought
it was hardly the sporting thing to do when folks
feed the birds and they become tame.
of the pleasures of living in Three Rivers is being
able to see the birds and the deer up close,”
Zoe said. “It makes me sad to think someone
might want to kill one of these animals.”
Zoe also said the neighborhood has a
resident black bear that makes his rounds almost every
always seems to stop by the We Three Restaurant and
Bakery looking for something to eat,” she said.
“Sometimes he might make a mess but like these
birds he really is harmless.”
Zoe said she was going to try to call
the local Department of Fish and Game warden to see
if he might be able to help the wounded turkey.
To make a wildlife-related report or
request assistance, call the Fresno office of California
Department of Fish and Game at 243-4005 or the Sheriff’s
Department at 733-6221. DFG contact information is
also on this website.
Missing man found
in Lake Kaweah
The body of Alberto Ortiz, 67, of Porterville
was recovered by a Tulare County Sheriff’s Department
dive team from Lake Kaweah on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at
4:30 p.m. Jim Fansett, Three Rivers resident deputy,
and other members of the team had been searching for
Ortiz since Tuesday after a family member called to
report that Ortiz was overdue in returning from a
The search for Ortiz was called off late
Tuesday night then resumed the following morning.
He was reported to be fishing from a wooden boat.
The boat was not located. The cause of
death was listed in the incident report as accidental.
There was no indication that a crime had been committed
or foul play. The results of an autopsy are pending.
Wilderness regulations changing
one popular national park
Want to backpack to the bottom of the
Grand Canyon and camp along the majestic Colorado
River in one of America’s most scenic national
parks? If planning your trip ahead, four months out
will be the farthest ahead that you can request trip
If you want to plan a trip that far ahead,
be prepared to put your itinerary in writing and submit
the request during that month — four months
in advance of the trip date. For one to three months
ahead of a trip date, only in-person verbal requests
are being accepted.
Starting February 1, the busy park will
consider only written requests four months in advance
of trips. The requests can be faxed, sent by mail,
or dropped off in person; all requests received each
day by 5 p.m. will then be randomly ordered by computer
for issuance of a wilderness permit.
The earliest a backpacker can get a permit
for the canyon is four months prior, so under the
new system, the first day a request can be submitted
in writing for a June trip would be Feb. 1. Those
new regulations were recently posted on the park’s
website, and for awhile until park users get acquainted
with the new rules, are bound to cause some confusion
Proponents of the new reservation system
are hoping that eventually it will streamline the
process for all visitors and make it easier to collect
fees at the Grand Canyon, one of the country’s
busiest year-round parks.
Reservations at Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks, where a backcountry fee of $15 per
party is required only during the busier summer season,
are not necessary during the off-season September
27 to May 27. Backpackers arriving in the off-season,
when ranger stations near trailheads are closed, are
still requested to fill out a free self-service wilderness
Sometimes the trip itineraries are not
filed and that can jeopardize the safety of the party.
The three lost hikers in October, who were rescued
from Roaring River in Cedar Grove, are an example
of a party that entered the backcountry without filing
In that episode, it took rescuers almost
two extra days to locate the missing hikers because
they were searching where the trio had told family
members they had planned to be hiking. A sudden storm
caused the backpackers to change those plans in an
attempt to take a shortcut.
So could the two approaches to making
backcountry reservations eventually be merged into
one nationwide system and be managed online? Stay
BOS adopts new rules for medical marijuana
In an effort to further clarify what
marijuana dispensary operators can and cannot do,
the Tulare County Board of Supervisors adopted some
new rules at last Tuesday’s board meeting that
placed limits on the number of dispensaries in the
unincorporated area (three) and the number of plants
permitted to be grown on-site (99).
The rules also stipulate that the operating
dispensaries must be co-operatives. That is interpreted
to mean only nonprofits can be licensed to operate
in unincorporated Tulare County.
To comply with current zoning and business
licensing laws, the dispensaries also must be legal
in both the state of California and under federal
statutes. Currently, the possession and sale of marijuana
is illegal under federal law.
That yes-and-no situation clearly invites
a legal tug-of-war that may never be resolved until
marijuana is legalized by the state and federal government.
The current moratorium on new dispensaries
to begin operating in the county territory, ends on
January 5. Neither county officials nor marijuana
advocates know what will happen once the moratorium
The case of a Sacramento physician illustrates
some of the confusion under the current marijuana
laws, not only the inconsistencies with federal law
but from one state to another. In Mississippi, where
Dr. David Allen performed heart surgeries, authorities
seized his home and ranch earlier this year after
finding $800 worth of marijuana and $1,000 in hashish.
A grand jury is looking into a cultivation
charge that could mean 30 years in prison for the
cannabis doctor. In Sacramento, where Dr. Allen now
resides, he is a licensed member of a physician community
that enables thousands of card-carrying Californians
to lawfully grow and consume pot for personal use.
The problems that have cropped up with
the proliferation of the dispensaries is the size
and scope of the operations. A growing number of patients
are using the cannabis and its by-products as alternative
treatment to combat the effects of cancer, anorexia,
AIDS, chronic pain, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines,
and a host of other ailments.
But some of the medicinal product has
also been finding its way to the street market when
growers seek to maximize their profits. Or, in the
case of rip-off artists, four separate home invasions
took place in a town near Sacramento in a single weekend.
The rationale behind the Tulare County
rules is to provision the compassionate and safe use
of medical marijuana while keeping the operators small
Will the Tulare County rules be workable?
Greg Thompson, Three Rivers business owner and marijuana
advocate, told the Tulare County Planning Commission
Wednesday that the county should treat marijuana like
it does any other agricultural commodity.
cultivation of marijuana is already a billion dollar
industry in this county,” Thompson said. “With
the right set of rules and standards Tulare County
could be the leader in an industry that could create
jobs and be potentially a huge source of revenue for
the county, farmers, and local business owners.”
Mountain roads close for winter
The Mineral King Road in Sequoia National
Park has been closed at the gate located 12 miles
from Highway 198 since the end of October. The
Crystal Cave Road, also in Sequoia, closed with the
last cave tour of the season.
Most likely, after the projected storm
next week, the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road that
leads from the Giant Forest Museum through the heart
of the giant sequoia grove will be closed to vehicles
due to snow. However, it is open to pedestrians who
may best access the road using cross-country skis
The highway to Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon
National Park is also closed for the winter as of
last month. The Panoramic Point Road in the Grant
Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park also closes
as winter approaches. It, too, is accessible on foot
with skis and snowshoes as the snow accumulates.
The Generals Highway, the main artery
between Sequoia and Kings Canyon, may also close periodically
due to snow buildup on the highway. The highway is
open year-round from the Ash Mountain entrance station
to Wuksachi Lodge and from the Kings Canyon park entrance
to the Hume Lake gate.
In Giant Sequoia National Monument, in
the area known as the Hume Lake Ranger District, the
U.S. Forest Service is beginning its winter road closures.
Roads in the Big Meadows, Burton Pass,
Woodward Creek, Converse Basin, and Stony Creek areas
have been closed or will be by the end of the weekend.
Lower-elevation roads in the areas of Eshom, Cherry
Gap, Millwood, and Dark Canyon will soon follow.
to the storm anticipated to begin moving into the
Sierra this weekend, and to begin to prepare for the
winter recreation program on the district, it is time
to begin to close these roads,” said John Exline,
Hume Lake district ranger.
The roads will be reopened in spring
2010 with the opening date dependent on weather and
snow conditions. Traditionally, most of the Monument’s
roads, and those in Sequoia and Kings National Parks,
are open by Memorial Day.
In Yosemite National Park, the Tioga
Pass Road, which connects the central San Joaquin
Valley to the east side of the Sierra, closed for
the season Monday, Nov. 30. The Glacier Point Road
is also closed. Both roads will reopen in the spring
as weather conditions allow.
Travelers venturing into the Sierra this
weekend, and during the entire coming winter season,
should be prepared for adverse conditions. Weather
and road conditions can change quickly.
Be sure to carry tire chains, a shovel,
blankets, warm clothes, water, and some food in the
event of being stranded in a storm. In addition, always
leave an itinerary with someone just in case; don’t
count on having cell phone service in the mountains
or in stormy weather.
For more information about road closures
in the Hume Lake District of Giant Sequoia National
Monument, call 338-2251 (Monday through Friday, 8
a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Sequoia-Kings Canyon National
Parks road conditions are available by calling the
24-hour information line at 565-3341.
Kaweah Country friends celebrate
milestones and achievements
Liam McElroy, 9, of Three Rivers, earned
his black belt in Tae Kwon Do on Friday, Nov. 20.
Liam will stay at the Three Rivers dojong to continue
his training as a beginning black belt student.
Liam is the son of Charles McElroy and
Amy Dolcourt-McElroy of Three Rivers.
Shelton Johnson, a National Park Service
interpretive ranger from Yosemite, was selected as
the recipient of the 2009 Freeman Tilden Award for
excellence in interpretation. He was one of seven
finalists from throughout the country competing for
the national award.
Shelton, a native of Detroit, Mich.,
was cited for his extensive collaboration with producer
Ken Burns during the filming of the documentary The
National Parks: America’s Best Idea. He has
worked for the NPS since 1987.
In 2004, Shelton visited Giant Forest
Village in Sequoia National Park where he portrayed
Sgt. Elizy Boman, a “Buffalo Soldier”
from Troop K, 9th Regiment, U.S. Cavalry. He has been
widely recognized for this creation of “Through
the Eyes of a Buffalo Soldier” re-enactment
and for his important efforts in fostering a relationship
between African Americans and the national parks.
year, Shelton had his first novel, Gloryland,
published. The story follows the life of Elijah Yancy
and his journey to become a Buffalo Soldier.
Three Rivers Union School sent two teams
of students to this year’s Tulare County Cyberquest
competition. On Saturday, Nov. 21, students from over
100 local schools competed before a panel of judges
and an audience of teachers, coaches, and family members
at the Visalia Convention Center.
TRUS has had teams participating in this
annual technology competition since its inception
a decade ago. This year, there were two teams and
both received first place in their category and “Superior”
For the competition, the students have
three weeks to research and develop a 10-minute multimedia
presentation that best relates to an assigned scenario.
Zafina McElroy, fifth grade, and Hannah
Sherwood, fourth grade, made up the “3 Rivers
Cuties” team that was coached by Sue Sherwood.
Their scenario was this:
team is a group of music therapists on the Professional
Advocacy Committee of the American Music Therapy Association.
Your committee has been asked to make a multimedia
presentation to the Continuing Education Committee
of the California Medical Association on the value
of using music in the treatment of patients. If accepted,
your presentation will become part of their series
of webinars to educate physicians on a wide range
A sixth-grade team called “Awesome
Eagles” consisted of Michael Howell, Thomas
Woods, Cynthia McDermott, and Henry Pfaff and was
coached by Barbara Merline. Their scenario read:
Ancient Medical Museum is a new museum still in the
planning stages. The concept behind the museum is
to highlight the medical practices of ancient civilizations
and show their connections to modern medical practices.
The museum will be arranged so that each room, 40
by 40 feet, is dedicated to an ancient civilization.
They are contracting with private firms to take a
room and make it both historically accurate and interesting
for patrons of all ages. The Museum director has asked
your firm to make a multimedia presentation to the
governing board showing what you would include in
a room of the museum.”
WELCOME TO MY FOOD COLUMN
Tina St. John
Soups! Comfort food, hearty food, healthy
food, Grandma’s food, Mom’s specialty.
So many words come to mind when there’s
soup. ‘Tis the season for soup!
My mother made soup often in our home.
Soup is a European tradition.
It’s also an American tradition
and is remembered often in relation to the Depression
when food was scarce. Soup lines.
Soup can be relatively inexpensive to
make, and hardly a mistake can be made when cooking
it. However, it can also be a delicacy, as my mother
She made the most delicious and incredible
soups. They were simple but flavorful.
As a child, I remember her making complicated
soup recipes that one would think were only for the
adult palate. Mushroom Sherry Soup, Cream of Asparagus
Soup, Vegetable Soup.
I would watch her make these dishes,
studying what it was that made the taste so appetizing.
How did she do it with so few ingredients?
How did she make it seem so effortless
but end up with a soup that tasted so remarkable?
Mushrooms and sherry? Cream and asparagus?
She would sauté the mushrooms
in butter until they were golden brown, then splash
sherry onto them. As this concoction sizzled and the
aroma of the sherry would dance around the kitchen,
I used to think, it smells so good, but how could
my mother feed us alcohol?
I asked her once: “Why don’t
we get drunk when we eat your soup, Mom?” She
laughed and told me that when sherry is cooked, the
alcohol evaporates, leaving just the flavor behind.
Her Cream of Asparagus soup was just
as tantalizing. I wasn’t a big fan of asparagus
as a child and, I suspect, neither were any of my
brothers and sisters.
But when my mother made her Cream of
Asparagus soup, we didn’t care what was in it
because it tasted so good.
Was it the whole cream that she would
use, or the amount of butter she added, or its combination
with the crusty French baguettes that she would serve
with the meal? After all, through the eyes of a child,
this creamy, greenish soup didn’t look especially
The cream was cooked and thick and had
pieces of asparagus floating around in it. The smell
though was enough to send me to heaven.
Then there was her Vegetable Soup. I
remember big chunks of potatoes, carrots, onions,
and green beans with fresh herbs that she grew herself
in a homemade stock.
Vegetables aren’t exactly a child’s
first choice of food to eat, but my mom’s Vegetable
Soup tasted wonderful. The aroma of this particular
soup would permeate our home. When I would walk into
the house after school, I knew what was for dinner
that night when she was preparing this soup.
My mother used to tell me that she loved
to make soups. The reason being was because it was
a food that was comforting to all of us.
And that’s what she enjoyed doing most of all;
making sure we all were comforted and well nourished.
I think that’s why her simple soups were so
amazingly delicious and satisfying.
It was her devotion to her family when
she would cook for us. Just the love she put into
all her dishes. Yes, that’s it, the love.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I want to make a
correction in my last article. The potatoes need to
be parboiled first before roasting them in the oven.
That’s why it doesn’t take long when they
are roasting in the oven.
Tina St. John of Three
Rivers owns Tina St. John Designs, making custom jewelry
when she’s not eating, writing, or dreaming
VERSION OF MY MOTHER’S
CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP
2 cups mushrooms, diced
2 tbs. butter
¼ cup sherry
32 oz. vegetable broth
5 tbs. flour
1 cup half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté mushrooms in butter. When
soft, simmer in sherry for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Combine flour and broth in soup pot over
medium heat, whisking until thick and smooth. Lower
heat and stir in half-and-half.
Season with salt and pepper. Add half
the mushrooms to mixture.
Garnish with remaining mushrooms and
WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP
½ onion, diced
3 tbs. olive oil
1 cup organic beets, diced
1 cup organic sweet potatoes or butternut squash,
1 cup organic Chinese cabbage, diced
1 clove organic garlic, diced
1 cup organic frozen green peas (set aside)
4 cups of organic vegetable broth
Celtic sea salt
Sauté onion in olive oil until
translucent. Add beets, sweet potatoes, and cabbage.
Sauté until cooked, then add diced garlic.
(Only sauté the garlic for 1 minute to avoid
a bitter taste.) Add all these vegetables to the broth
along with peas. Simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes.
Salt to taste. Optional: Add rice, noodles or lentils.
RAW RED PEPPER SOUP
1 organic red pepper, seeded
2 cups of water
¼ cup mixed cilantro and parsley
Pinch of oregano
Celtic sea salt to taste
Combine ingredients in a blender. This
is a “raw” soup, so if preferring to eat
it warm, heat to no hotter than 112 degrees to keep
the enzymes intact.
1929 ~ 2009
Juanelle Eloise Leyhe of Three Rivers
died Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. She was 79.
Nell was born November 16, 1929, to William
and Mable Wood in Woodson, Texas. She always spoke
fondly of her childhood in Texas, which she spent
moving from place to place due to her father’s
job in the oilfields.
In 1940, Nell and her family moved to
Compton, Calif., where she attended Clearwater Junior
High School and, in 1948, graduated from Jordan High
School. It was while she was in junior high school
that Nell met the love of her life, Robert Leyhe.
He would ride her home from school on the handle bars
of his bicycle.
Nell and Bob were married in 1949. They
purchased one of the original Lakewood tract homes
in 1950 and raised their three children there. Nell
loved living on Castana Avenue and all of the lifelong
friends she made there.
In 1995, Nell and Bob retired to Three
Rivers. Nell was a member of the Redbud Garden Club,
the Red Hat Society, Firesiders, Presbyterian Women,
and Community Presbyterian Church.
She was always busy quilting, crocheting,
baking cookies, gardening, and helping others. Nell’s
first brush with cancer was met with a courage that
will forever leave a lasting impact on her family
and friends and she initially emerged victorious.
She was endlessly cheerful and upbeat, taking every
obstacle in stride and always keeping things in perspective.
Nell was preceded in death by her parents
and son Robert Dennis Wood.
Nell is survived by her husband of 60
years, Bob; daughter Susan Kozdrey and husband Marty;
son Jeffrey; grandchildren Michelle Draper and husband
Jeremy, Audrey Kozdrey, Marty “Buddy”
Kozdrey, and Shannon Kozdrey; great-grandson Noah
Draper; brother Jay Wood and wife Betty
of Three Rivers; and sister Peggy Ingerick.
A memorial service was held Saturday, Nov. 7, at Community
Presbyterian Church in Three Rivers.
1943 ~ 2009
Gloria Marlow, a former resident of Three
Rivers, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, after a long
illness. She was 66.
A memorial service will be held tomorrow
(Saturday, Dec. 5) at 2 p.m. in Visalia. For directions,
or to share a memory, call Kay Wheeler, 561-4536.
On January 14, 1943, Gloria was born
to Logan and Nellie Osborn in Orange, Calif. On October
12, 1963, she married Nick Marlow.
In the 1980s, the Marlows moved to Three
Rivers where Gloria owned and operated Los Amigos
Restaurant (present-day We Three). The couple has
lived in Visalia for the past 20 years.
Gloria is survived by her husband of
46 years, Nick, of Visalia; daughter Tammy Keith and
husband Tim of Visalia; son Robert Marlow and wife
Pam of Three Rivers; son Ron Bourdon of Visalia; sister
Kay Wheeler of Three Rivers; and brothers Jack and
Dennis Osborn of Green Valley, Ariz.; eight grandchildren;
three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Remembrances in Gloria’s name may
be made to the SPCA.
1919 ~ 2009
Mary Elizabeth Schoonover, a longtime
resident of Three Rivers, died Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009,
in Visalia. She was 90.
Mary was born September 19, 1919, to
Nevada Rice and Dora Harbin in Lynn, Ala. She was
raised in Alabama and California.
In 1952, she married Howard Schoonover. She was a
supervisor in the plastic manufacturing industry for
Mary and Howard moved to Three Rivers
in 1969. They had been visiting Three Rivers almost
every weekend since the early 1960s, where they would
stay at a friend’s motel along the river, where
Mary loved to fish.
Mary loved to travel. The highlight of
every year for her was the family’s reunion
In 1991, Mary was preceded in death by her husband
of 39 years, Howard.
She is survived by her daughter, Olivia
Jordan of Three Rivers; son-in-law Bill Christy of
Three Rivers; son Roy Daugherty and wife Prudence
of Richmond, Va.; seven grandchildren; 10 great-granchildren;
one great-great-grandchild; and many nephews, nieces,
A private service will be held.
1943 ~ 2009
Janet Barkley of Woodlake died November
2009. She was 66.
Janet was born in Bakersfield on September
29, 1943, to Karl and Jeanne Giggy. The family moved
to Woodlake when Janet was a freshman in high school;
she graduated from Woodlake High in 1961.
Soon after, she married Richard Barkley
in Las Vegas, Nev. In 1973, Janet went
to work at Sequoia Union School. She began there as
a teacher’s aide and bus driver, and 32 years
later, in 2005, she retired as the school’s
Janet is survived by her husband, Richard,
of Woodlake; daughters Kelley Mehrten and husband
Gordon of Lemon Cove, Teresa Jacobsen and husband
Mike of Atwater, and Marcie Barkley of Woodlake; six
grandchildren; and brother Mike Giggy of Woodlake.
1912 ~ 2009
Alice S. Wicks of Lemon Cove died Sunday,
Nov. 29, 2009. She was 97.