In the News -
Friday, DECEMBER 15, 2006
hears overview of
why it’s called a “general” plan. But many among the
nearly 100 who attended last Monday’s General Plan 2030 public meeting,
coordinated by the County of Tulare, left bewildered and disappointed.
wish they would have made it more clear that they were just going over
what the general plan would include,” one local resident said, who
asked not to be identified. “I was expecting more information how
the Three Rivers community plan would be packaged in the County’s
larger document and how we might comment on that process.”
Instead, Larry Mintier of Mintier and Associates, the county’s
consultant who is preparing the multi-volume document, said those issues
that deal with the communities will be addressed later, but not in the
recently completed Goals and Policies Report. This public-review draft’s
first volume, Mintier said, lays down the ground rules of the general
plan process and provides a basis for all future evaluations.
The most significant thing this document does, Mintier related,
is provide a planning framework that lays out new geography for 19 unincorporated
communities, several newly designated hamlets, and the corridor areas
that relate to regional transportation. In communities like Three Rivers,
specific development boundaries were drawn that says where new growth
But many of the attendees wanted to know when and where,
specifically, this development might occur in Three Rivers or, for that
matter, anywhere in the county, especially relative to open space. Mintier
said the plan does encourage new growth mostly in places where development
has already occurred.
There is also a section relating to new town concepts and
that has local “smart-growth” advocates concerned. How much
growth is expected, Mintier said, is based upon projections made by the
state Department of Finance. Tulare County’s current population
of 368,221 could grow to 630,000 by 2030.
Mintier and George Finney, assistant director of Long Range
Planning for Tulare County, said public comments on the current draft
are welcome via the county’s website or by mail.
Printed copies of the document are available for review at
the Three Rivers Library or the office of the Community Services District.
The entire document is on the County of Tulare’s website: www.co.tulare.ca.us.
Americans in Cambodia:
After Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks made historic
headlines two months ago by hosting dozens of Cambodians and dignitaries
for the signing of its sister parks accord with the Samlaut Protected
Use Area, park officials and the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, Joseph Mussomeli,
will reenact a similar signing at the sister park in Cambodia.
The official ceremony will take place Tuesday, Dec. 19, in
the scenic Cardomon Mountains of Samlaut and be attended by National Park
Service (NPS) Regional Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. Jarvis will sign the
five-year agreement to share expertise in resource protection and visitor
education between the two parks, which have much in common but are 7,000
Stephan Bognar, executive director of actors Angelina Jolie
and Brad Pitt’s foundation called the Maddox Jolie Pitt Project
(MJP), initiated the idea for the two governments’ agencies to develop
sister-park relations. The first signing event took place in front of
the Giant Forest Museum in Sequoia National Park on October 3.
Now it is Cambodia’s turn.
this accord in Samlaut seals the deal,” Jarvis said. “We [the
NPS] are pleased to be involved in this cutting-edge opportunity that
will develop sustainable park practices and share skill sets between rangers
at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Samlaut.”
Bognar said that it has been a challenge working to protect
Samlaut, an area that still contains land mines and discarded armaments,
vestiges of the war-torn region. His MJP continues to train and support
a 30-member team of rangers, three of whom will visit Sequoia and Kings
National Parks in 2007 to shadow local rangers in their daily duties.
Working vacation-- The reciprocal training
with Samlaut actually began last month, when Erik Oberg, an interpretive
ranger stationed at Ash Mountain in Sequoia National Park, and his wife,
Jody Lyle, the fire education specialist for the local national parks,
spent their three-week vacation in Cambodia.
didn’t actually plan it that way,” Jody said. “Our goal
was to visit Angkor Wat, the largest temple on Earth.”
Erik said that he and Jody share a passion for visiting and
learning about ancient civilizations and the renowned religious structure
is on their to-do list.
Cambodia’s number-one tourist attraction and represents the peak
of Khmer culture,” Erik said.
The temple has remained a significant religious center, Erik
said, and was first Hindu and later became Buddhist. It has become a national
symbol and is depicted on the Cambodian flag.
Jody said that during the first signing event, she mentioned
to members of the Cambodian delegation that she and Erik were going to
be in Cambodia in November. The Three Rivers couple was invited to visit
Samlaut while on their vacation.
During their visit, Erik said, they spent six days at Samlaut.
Yang Phyrum, Cambodia’s park director, was their host.
we were there, we gave several presentations where patrol rangers asked
what it was like in our parks,” Jody said. “It was really
neat to come together with the Cambodians to share our experiences and
see the similarities between our parks.”
Erik said they also had the opportunity to observe Samlaut
rangers on patrol. One ranger recovered a piece of tropical hardwood that
had been illegally removed from the protected forest.
they would like to develop a visitor infrastructure that would include
visitor centers,” Erik said, “but they have more pressing
issues like de-mining areas outside the park to relocate families who
live in the protected area.”
The fact that the Samlaut area is heavily landmined is a
big factor as to why it’s been preserved, Erik said. Otherwise,
its 80,000-plus acres of old-growth timber would most likely have been
years ago, they were hauling it [hardwood] in semi-trailers, and then
it was in pickup trucks,” Erik said. “Today, they might use
a moped to haul out a single piece worth about $20, so they are making
A ranger, who is instrumental in stopping the illegal timber
cutting and wildlife poaching, earns about $20 per month.
were very impressed by the dedication of the Samlaut rangers to help preserve
the park against overwhelming odds,” Jody said.
When their new Cambodian friends realized the couple would
be there on Thanksgiving, one of the rangers’ cooks prepared a feast
of stuffed chicken. It was a very touching experience, Jody said.
For the next several months, Samlaut’s 30 rangers will
be vying to be judged one of the top three. That select group will travel
to Kaweah Country to experience firsthand how their NPS counterparts live
exciting for us because we know that some of the rangers we met are coming
here next summer,” Jody said. “We are certainly looking forward
to their visit and showing them around Sequoia and Three Rivers.”
Three Rivers Trivia Challenge
SO YOU’VE LIVED in Three Rivers for many years. Climbed
the hills. Seen wildfire and flood. Experienced everything else Mother
Nature could throw at you.
WELL THEN, LET’S see what you know. Get ready to put
your brain through its paces as you attempt to recollect Three Rivers
history, origin of place names, tidbits on flora and fauna, legendary
residents, river stats, and more.
IF YOU READ The Kaweah Commonwealth religiously and memorize
each word, as we’re sure everyone does, then you will reach the
expert level of this quiz because every subject has been written about
at one time or another in the past 11-plus years. But if not, the answers
and some of the stories behind them will be revealed next week (December
1. Who named Three Rivers?
A. Louisa May Alcott
B. Marion Griffes
C. Louisa Rockwell
D. Kaweah Rios
2. What was the name of the first newspaper in the Three Rivers area?
A. Sequoia Sentinel
B. Kaweah Commonwealth
C. Three Rivers Current
D. Three Rivers Independent
3. Who was the first person to be buried in the Three Rivers Cemetery?
A. Montgomery Barton
B. Billy Swanson
C. Adam Bahwell
D. Burnett Haskell
4. What is the origin of the Blossom Peak/Drive name?
A. The spring wildflowers
B. Nellie Britten’s garden
C. Earl McKee Sr.’s favorite horse
D. A pioneer family with the surname Blossom
5. How much does the Paul Bunyan statue weigh?
A. 13,000 pounds
B. 19,500 pounds
C. 26,000 pounds
D. 33,500 pounds
6. Kaweah is the native Indian name for what local wildlife?
7. The Savage Ranch on the North Fork was famous for what fall attraction?
A. Apple cider
B. Persimmon picking
C. Corn maze
D. Pumpkin patch
8. Who was the first “white man” to settle in Three Rivers?
A. Cale Sharp
B. Dale Yarp
C. Hale Tharp
D. Gale Carp
9. How many forks of the Kaweah River are there? (Hint: The name “Three
Rivers” is not a hint.)
10. Where is the oldest house in Three Rivers located?
A. Old Three Rivers at
B. Upper South Fork Drive
C. North Fork Drive
at Kaweah River Drive
D. Mineral King Road
11. What was the name of the first school in Three Rivers?
B. Sulphur Springs
C. Big Oak Flat
12. Where was the Three Rivers Airport located?
A. Lake Kaweah basin
B. Lions Roping Arena
C. Upper field at Three Rivers School
D. Cherokee Oaks
13. Why was Terminus Dam built?
A. Waterskiers United lobbied Congress
B. To provide flood protection for Three Rivers
C. To provide access to better fishing
D. To provide flood protection for Visalia and other flatland communities
14. What was the origin of the name “Terminus”?
A. It was the end of the Kaweah River as residents knew it
B. The Three Rivers Airport’s ticket counter and coffee shop were
C. Several people had drowned at this site
D. A railroad line ended here
15. What was the controversial economic goal that the Kaweah Colony had
when it settled in the area in 1886?
A. To build an access road and mill to harvest Giant Forest timber
B. Plant acreage with non- native apple and citrus trees
C. Dam the river to generate
D. Pasture sheep in the high country during summer
16. What is a famous lasting vestige of the Kaweah Colony?
A. Kaweah Marina
B. Kaweah Post Office
C. Kaweah River Drive
D. Kaweah Park Resort
17. What major event occurred during Christmas 1955?
A. Santa Claus came to town
B. Devastating flood
C. Record-breaking shopping season
D. It snowed
18. What two well-known actors own Three Rivers ranches?
A. William Shatner and
B. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
C. Anjelica Huston and
D. Paris Hilton and
19. Where was the destination of the original road through Three Rivers?
A. Mineral King
B. Local swimming holes
C. Sequoia National Park via North Fork
D. Trans-Sierra route
20. Who was the first president of the Three Rivers Lions Club?
A. Lee Maloy
B. Johnny Britten
C. Walt Wells
D. Jason Barton
21. What is the longest-running service club in Three Rivers?
A. Three Rivers Senior League
B. Three Rivers Lions Club
C. Three Rivers Woman’s Club
D. Redbud Garden Club
22. What was the first church to organize in Three Rivers?
A. St. Clair’s Catholic Mission
B. Church at Kaweah
C. First Baptist
D. Community Presbyterian
23. What is the first wildflower to bloom in the spring?
A. California golden poppy
24. What confused tree buds in the winter and is dormant in the summer?
B. Giant sequoia
C. Live oak
25. In 1888, what was the population of Three Rivers?
26. In 1888, what was the prevalent occupation in Three Rivers?
C. Business owner
27. What was the name of the South Fork meeting place for local weavers
during the 1960s-70s?
A. Weave ‘N’ Leave
B. Yarn Barn
C. Loom Room
D. Shuttle Stop
28. What was the fate of the first public library in Three Rivers?
A. Washed away by flood
B. Closed due to lack of
C. Destroyed by fire
D. All books were stolen
29. Who was the first principal of Three Rivers School?
A. Mary McDowall
B. Archie McDowall
C. Don Hise
D. Larry Horton
30. What year was Highway 198 extended into Sequoia National Park (Generals
31. What was the original name of the power company in Three Rivers that
was eventually acquired by Southern California Edison?
A. Sequoia Power & Electric Company
B. Mt. Whitney Power &
C. Kaweah Power & Electric Company
D. Alta Power & Electric
32. Why is Pierce Drive so named?
A. For a California senator
B. For a resident who owned a motel along the highway
C. For a prominent Three
D. For a body art/tattoo shop located nearby
33. In 1924, what modern technology was introduced in Three Rivers?
A. Phone service
D. Indoor plumbing
34. What year was the first Jazzaffair held?
35. What is the latitude and longitude of Three Rivers?
A. 36°27’15”N, 118°53’11”W
B. 21°18’41”N, 157°47’47”W
C. 40°43’N, 74°00’W
D. 27°59’17”N, 86°55’31”W
One not-so-little pig
(a story with a moral)
by Jan Archer
I am a wild pig. I am a young sow, who has far more fat and
bacon on me than other wild pigs.
I left my family and my natural ways of eating because a
human or humans unknown were feeding me. I am very healthy.
I don’t know if you left the food out on purpose because
you thought you were helping me or you just forgot and left domesticated
animal food out uncovered.
Either way, I learned to wag my tail and head straight for
humans because it meant food. All the other wild pigs run away from humans.
Today was different. The food was gone, and I was confused
and determined to eat. I went to the middle of the road in the afternoon,
where the children were getting off the school bus with their lunchboxes.
They ran from me down to the motel and went inside. So I
went to the motel.
I found a woman outside with a teacup. I headed straight
for her, wagging my tail, but it didn’t work. She went inside.
Then two men came out, and one tried to chase me away with
a stick. But I wasn’t leaving because I had come to depend on humans
One of the men threw candy to me over the fence. So I got
nicer, until the candy ran out.
That really made me mad. I chased one of the men onto a picnic
table. He jumped into the back of a pickup truck, and it started driving
I ran after that truck at about 30 m.p.h., screaming and
squealing because I was furious. My food source was trying to get away,
and I will bite the hand that doesn’t feed me!
Then another man came and I chased him into the back of his
truck too. Then he shot me dead.
Please, dear human, don’t teach my wild animal brothers
and sisters, especially aggressive species, that humans have food for
us. God gives us all the food we need and the appropriate way to get it.
--Signed: A Mad, Sad, Young Sow