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The Best of Kaweah Country
In the News -
Friday, DECEMBER 10, 2004
By John Elliott
After being sworn in on Monday, Dec. 6, for a second term
in the State Assembly, Bill Maze (R-Visalia) returned to Tulare County,
where on the next day he hosted a town hall meeting in Three Rivers. The
purpose of the local forum was to update constituents on state issues
and to also hear from Allen Ishida, District One supervisor-elect.
Assemblyman Maze explained to the gathering at Three Rivers
School that term limits in state government has led to a lot of inexperience
in Sacramento. Under the statute, an assemblyman can serve only three
terms or six years and only two terms or eight years as a state senator.
there are 48 Democrats and 32 Republicans in the State Assembly and that
represents the identical numbers of the preceding class,” Maze said.
“Republicans couldn’t gain any seats and the Democrats didn’t
lose any. This simply means we have to reaffirm our resolve to work in
a bipartisan fashion.”
Assemblyman Maze said that this week he introduced three
new bills. The first bill would allow for a split in California electoral
votes — making California less an “ATM machine for presidential
candidates” and instead a battleground commanding more of a role
in the election process.
The second bill, he said, would relegate State Assembly,
State Senate, and Congressional reapportionment to a committee of retired
this bill passes,” Maze said, “there would be more competitive
races and not so many safe seats.”
The third piece of legislation, Maze said, would allow the hunting of
mountain lion population has been grossly underestimated in every area
of California,” Maze said. “This piece of legislation would
allow the state to issue two permits per county per year.”
Assemblyman Maze also introduced Supervisor-elect Allen Ishida
who made some remarks on his background and why he was elected over his
think the people of Three Rivers realized that I was the more conservative
candidate, a staunch defender of property rights, and will bring more
continuity to the office,” Ishida said. “I’m not going
to run for any other office. I’m hoping to serve at least three
Ishida will be sworn in a special ceremony at the regular
meeting of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors on January 4. He said
he plans to continue having Three Rivers town meetings with the first
one tentatively scheduled for the fourth Tuesday in February.
Wild weather: Storms
rain and snow
Earlier this week, just in time for an even whiter holiday
season, a spate of winter storms brought heavy snow to elevations above
9,000 feet and 1.12 inches of new rainfall to the foothills in and around
The storm was the latest in a succession of early-season
events that has this “mild” El Nino season shaping up as a
drought-buster. The average year-to-date rainfall total for the Three
Rivers environs is 5.89 inches.
That nearly six inches of precipitation is very impressive
when compared to last season’s total (December 11) of 3.14 inches.
But does that mean your Christmas Day will be wet or dry?
It’s a little too early to tell but the chance for
rainfall during the holidays is always better than average. In 2003, in
the midst of a drier than normal year, it rained two inches during the
24 hours that included Christmas Day.
In the nearby mountains at 9,500 feet, the snow measuring
station in upper Farewell Canyon (Mineral King area) recorded 30 inches
of new snow from last week’s storms. All that new white stuff in
the local mountains eventually will mean great springtime runoff and for
now, the opening of snow play and cross country skiing in Sequoia and
Kings Canyon National Parks.
The next chance for precipitation, especially in the higher
elevations, is Sunday. Drive with caution, especially on slick roads that
at night and in the early morning may contain patches of “black
ice.” If heading for the Valley, plan on traveling in fog.
Next phase of construction
at Lake Kaweah
On Monday, Dec. 6, construction began on the long-awaited
earthen dike and storm drain adjacent to the Best Western Holiday Lodge
in Three Rivers. The project is being completed as a joint venture with
Eric Ammon, Inc., of Salyer and Steve Manning, Inc., of Redding.
work will borrow material from the lake bottom and is expected to be completed
in 90 days. The construction work will cause little or no delays to Highway
Lots of holiday surprises
the night sky
Wander far away from the light displays and wait for the
clouds to part because the night sky is as busy and crowded as the malls
this time of year.
On Sunday, Dec. 12, the Moon is at perigee (its closest point
to Earth). No big deal for us inlanders, but the coastal areas get unusually
high and low tides during this stage.
On Monday, Dec. 13, the Geminid meteor shower will be the
star of the show. From about 10 p.m. until dawn on the 14th, meteors will
be visible every minute or two.
Viewing of the Geminids is dependent on a couple of factors
— no light pollution and no cloud cover. But since there’s
no moonlight to interfere this year, all viewers need to do is bundle
up, find an open view of the sky, let their eyes adjust to the darkness,
and recline in the best direction, which is wherever the sky is darkest.
Meteor showers are named by the constellation from which
meteors appear to fall, a spot in the sky astronomers call the radiant.
The Geminid meteor shower appears to radiate from the constellation Gemini.
On Tuesday, Dec. 21, the winter solstice will occur at 4:42
a.m. This is when the Sun is farthest south for the year and begins its
six-month return northward, defining the start of winter in the northern
hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere.
On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 24 and 25, the stars are, where
else?, in the east, as is the Moon.
Capella is the bright star to the left of the Moon; orange
Aldebaran is closer to the Moon’s right. Above Aldebaran is the
Pleiades cluster; below is Orion. The brightest “star,” farther
down to the Moon’s lower left, is Saturn.
On Sunday, Dec. 26, the Moon is full. Called the Long Night
Moon, it remains in view from the northern hemisphere longer than at any
other time of the year.
On Wednesday, Dec. 29, it’s the planets’ turn
to shine. Mercury and an even brighter Venus will appear over the southeastern
horizon at dawn, while Mars will faintly glow to their upper right.
And to ring in the New Year, take a break from the celebration to check
out Sirius in the south, the brightest star in the sky. Orion and Saturn
are also nearby.
Food Pantry needs gift-giving help
Again this year, the Community Food Pantry of Three Rivers
will be giving toys and more to local families who may not otherwise be
able to provide their children with gifts. The distribution is planned
to take place on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
However, there is a need for certain items that will ensure
happy holidays for all. Donations of boy-specific toys, dolls and accessories,
games, books, balls, family videos, and sleeping bags will be gratefully
Items may be dropped off at the office of the First Baptist
Church, at the Food Pantry building (on the grounds of the church), or
at the front desk at Holiday Inn Express.
For more information, or if you know of a family in need,
call Trish Stivers, 561-4834.
Christmas is for the birds
The fifth annual Christmas Bird Count in Sequoia National
Park will be held Sunday, Dec. 19. The nationwide tradition began in 1900
and today is sponsored by the National Audubon Society.
Locally last year, 36 participants counted a total of 2,263
birds representing 67 species.
See the Kaweah Kalendar on this website for information on
how to participate in this year’s event or call 565-3124.
Holiday gifts for every
on your list
By Sue Rideout, Master Gardener
Have a gardener on your shopping list? Well, relax.
We gardeners always need lots of stuff. Besides the old standbys
such as trowels and garden gloves (which we are forever misplacing), there
are lots of new gadgets and products we don’t even know we need...
Have you ever watched someone desperately balancing a watering
can over her head trying to irrigate a hanging pot? Well, for about $15
you can provide her with an adjustable hook which easily lowers a hanging
basket to a comfortable watering height.
Another alternative is a drip watering kit ($15 to $40),
which runs little hoses with drippers to all the patio plants. It can
be operated manually or with the more expensive model, on a timer.
The serious patio gardener is always in need of new planters
(pots and containers). Since we are forever finding that perfect plant
at the nursery, in a friend’s garden, or dividing our own treasures,
we are in constant need of yet another planter.
Planters and pots come in a wide range of size and price:
redwood: $20 to $50, ceramic planters and pots: $5 to $20, and plant stands
cost around $20. You can spend lots more on these items, if you desire.
Wheeled platforms are nice for the gardener who likes to
rearrange. Decorative metal watering cans (about $20) and outdoor thermometers
can help round out the well-appointed patio.
If you’ve heard your favorite gardener’s knees
cracking or noticed a limp after a gardening session, products that pamper
may be in order. The first line of defense is a set of knee pads, but
a gel-filled pad (around $20) may be even more comfortable.
Perhaps the best solution is a garden hopper (also about
$20), a little wheeled bench with a tool caddy underneath that can be
rolled around the garden while allowing a hard-working gardener to sit
down on the job. Or the stool can be flipped over to become a kneeler.
An environmentally-conscious gardener will enjoy a composter
($60 and up) that keeps discards tidy and odor-free while fermenting into
A yard cart (around $30) is handy for hauling materials and
tools. A coiled hose ($20 to $30) assists gardeners in making a neat coil
from a recalcitrant garden hose. Hose hangers and carts are another solution
for the impatient gardener.
Small tools such as trowels, pruners, weeders, and cultivators
are good stocking stuffers. Rakes, shovels, and hula hoes that can be
gift-wrapped with big bows.
A gardener may go through several pairs of gloves a season,
so extra gloves are always welcome. Gardening hats and aprons and garden
tool belts round out gardening fashion.
For the houseplant enthusiast, a moisture meter probe ($8)
indicates when the plant needs watering, and a more elaborate meter ($11)
will measure the pH of the soil and the amount of light which the plant
Gardening books, especially those specific to our California
climate zones or to a particular type of gardening (houseplants, container
gardening, cacti and succulents, vegetables, herbs, etc.) make great gifts
and are available both at bookstores and garden centers. A subscription
to a new gardening magazine will please the inveterate gardener.
More elaborate gifts such as fountains, pools, bird baths,
and outdoor lighting may require consultation with the gardener.
Gift certificates from local garden centers when you are
just not sure what the gardener needs. The major seed catalogs also offer
gift certificates, and January is the time of year when gardeners start
wishing upon their new catalogs.
So remember, we gardeners are really easy to shop for, and
we really do appreciate your effort to feed our gardening habit. HO! HO!
The Master Gardeners may be reached by calling 685-3309.
1914 – 2004
William “Bill” C. Brown died Tuesday, Nov. 30,
2004, in Visalia. He was 90.
Bill was born to Cornelia and Harvey Brown on Feb. 22, 1914,
in Jackson, Miss.
Bill and his family moved to Woodlake in 1957. He was a teacher
at Woodlake High School for 20 years and, during the summers, served as
a ranger at Sequoia National Park.
Bill is survived by his wife, Mildred of Visalia, five children,
seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Remembrances may be made in Bill’s name to any Alzheimer’s
WOODLAKE HIGH SCHOOL
Winter sports hit
On Tuesday, the Woodlake Lady Tigers’ varsity and junior
varsity basketball teams scored lopsided victories at Farmersville. Both
teams used the non-league game as a tune-up for this weekend’s tournaments.
Woodlake’s varsity girls (3-2) rode the three-point
shooting of Anneka Anderson, a junior guard from Three Rivers, to a 44-13
rout. Elyse Garza, a senior guard also from Three Rivers, added 10 points.
The Lady Tigers used a stingy “man” defense in
limiting the Aztecs to only three second-half points. The Aztecs, in a
rebuilding year, were further depleted by the absence of two starters
who were out sick.
Next up for Coach Ed Lafferty’s varsity girls is the
annual Strathmore tournament. Woodlake’s first opponent was Bakersfield
Christian last night.
The junior varsity girls also romped at Farmersville, 51-5.
Coach Greg Dixon’s JV Lady Tigers (1-0) will face much stiffer competition
in the Tulare Western tourney that started on Thursday (Dec. 9) and will
run through Saturday.
Last season, the JVs finished as co-league champs with Corcoran.
just about there with last season’s team but it’s still too
early to tell,” Coach Dixon said. “If we play up to our potential,
we have a great shot to win our league again this season.”
Coach Steve Katz’s frosh girls (1-0) started with a
win on December 2 at the WHS Event Center over Kings Christian (Lemoore),
35-20. Next up for the frosh girls is a December 15 road match-up with
the Farmersville JVs.
On Wednesday night, the Woodlake varsity boys' basketball
team opened the Corcoran tournament by beating Taft, 86-61. They were
led by Steven Lopez who, again, scored a game-high 22 points.
Last week, the Tiger JV boys (1-0), coached by David Pasquini,
started their season with a come-from-behind win over Farmersville, 32-27.
They play next in the Fowler tourney against Orosi, then against either
Selma or Fresno Christian, which is decided on the wins and losses of
have great team unity with the guys really pushing each other and that's
what I love to see," said Coach Pasquini. "Once these players
get used to new coaching and buy into the system, things will really start
On Wednesday, the frosh boys basketball team (1-3) won their
first game vs. Orosi in the CVC tournament.
are playing more like a team in every game," said Coach Raul Quintero,
who is also the boys P.E. teacher at Woodlake High. "To continue
to show improvement is what frosh basketball is all about."
Woodlake's defending Section champion varsity boys’
soccer team opened their season by losing to powerful Redwood in a scrimmage.
Coach Roy Guerra admitted that Redwood, a Division I contender, currently
has the edge over his Tigers but that during the season he expects the
Tigers to close that gap.
In their first regular season game, Woodlake (1-0) held off
Mt. Whitney, 3-2.
non-league games don't figure in league standings but could have some
influence on how we are seeded in the post-season," Coach Guerra
For the past two seasons, Woodlake has defeated Kingsburg
by identical 1-0 scores to win two Valley championships in Division IV.
Woodlake's JV boys (1-0) are coached by Fred Palomo and also
beat Mt. Whitney but lost to Redwood in the scrimmage opener. Like their
varsity counterparts, the junior varsity is also expected to win another
East Sequoia League championship.
Both boys soccer teams play their home openers tonight (Friday,
Dec. 10) vs. Farmersville.