News and Information
for residents and visitors
Three Rivers,
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks,
Lemon Cove and Woodlake
Kaweah Kam




In the News - Friday, DECEMBER 16, 2005

ATM burglarized

  An automated teller machine (ATM) located behind the Three Rivers branch of the Bank of the Sierra proved a little too tempting last weekend and was burglarized sometime in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 9. The heist was reported at 8:30 a.m. that day after a customer entered the bank’s parking area and noticed the damaged cash machine.
   From evidence gathered at the scene, it appears that at least one thief had entered the ATM area by cutting through a fence located along the rear of the property. A cutting torch was used to gain entry and remove the faceplate of the ATM.
   The industrious burglar then removed approximately $17,000 in cash. In a statement released by the bank’s corporate office, detectives recovered evidence that should assist in the identification of a suspect.
   The case is unusual in that it is the first time that any robbery or theft has been reported involving a Three Rivers ATM. The expensive machine was extensively damaged and will be replaced, according to a bank spokesperson.
   Anyone who might have noticed any suspicious activity at the bank or who may have information in the case is being asked to call Detective Tom Sherrill (740-4354) or Sgt. Kennedy (782-4810) of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

Mountain lion treed

near Deer Canyon

   It wasn’t a coincidence that a female mountain lion was observed on Wednesday, Dec. 14, in cover along the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River below the entrance to the Deer Canyon subdivision. Lions often are found where deer are present.
   This lion, weighing approximately 90 pounds, is most likely the same animal responsible in last week’s attack on a family’s dog that was tied up at a home across and downriver from the most recent sighting.
   Just after 11 a.m., a property owner reported seeing the animal at a construction site where he is building a riverfront home. Nearby, he said, he had buried the butchered remains of a feral pig that evidently attracted the lion’s interest.
   The man said his golden retriever first alerted him that something was nearby. When he went over to where the pig was buried, he noticed digging at the site and that a mountain lion had climbed an adjacent tree to avoid a confrontation with the dog.
   With another man and the dog watching, the owner of the property decided to observe what he knew was an unusual encounter. He called the Commonwealth, he said, because he had read the recent story about the lion in the area and wanted to document this encounter.
   After several photos (see this week's print edition) and about a half hour of observation, the lion was left alone and soon came down from its perch and retreated to dense cover along the river.

  “If there were small children here, I’d be worried about what the animal might do,” said the property owner. “But seeing that lion here along the river makes me appreciate living in Three Rivers all the more.”
   According to the California Department of Fish and Game, lion sightings rarely spell trouble. As in this case, lions are mostly shy and tend to avoid people.
   Encounters between lions and people are infrequent and attacks extremely rare. One common denominator in the number of sightings is that they frequently occur in areas where people feed wildlife like deer and raccoons.
   Here’s how to best avoid an encounter:
—Don’t feed wildlife.
—Bring in pet food at night.
—Install motion-detector lighting.
—Deer-proof your landscape.
—Keep pets and livestock secure.
—Never hike or jog alone.
—Always keep small children close at hand.
—When standing or sitting under a tree or rock outcrop, always look

Kaweah Post Office

reduces hours

   Due to a change in the contract to operate the historic Kaweah Post Office on North Fork Drive, on December 3, Saturday mail delivery was discontinued. Daily operating hours have also been reduced about 25 percent.
   Window service is now available Monday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m. Outgoing mail is still picked up weekdays at 2:30 p.m.
   Some historians believe the quaint wood-frame structure is the smallest continuously operated post office in the nation. The building was first used as a post office in 1890 though its original location was at Redstone Park, now the Chilcott ranch above Lions Arena. It was relocated to its present site in 1910.
   The property, including the building, is currently owned by Kathleen McCleary of Three Rivers and is operated by the Postal Service under a lease agreement.

County increases

trash rates

   At their regular board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13, Tulare County supervisors voted to increase trash rates for all unincorporated areas of the county. For Three Rivers and Lemon Cove, the increases, effective January 1, will average 13 percent.
   Several county residents spoke out that if trash rates are increased then some improvements to service should also be made. Three Rivers residents did not voice complaints relative to the service provided by its local hauler – Waste Connections of Kingsburg.
   Supervisor Allen Ishida also reported that at his meeting with the Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Three Rivers, one of the members proposed a four-county cooperative brochure to help promote tourism in Three Rivers and other Sierra gateway communities. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, at a meeting with the Three Rivers/Lemon Cove Business Association, Ishida urged that group to partner with the Yosemite/Sequoia council.
   Ishida was in Davis on Friday, Dec. 9, as a local representative to hear a Sierra planning task force reveal plans for experimental fire- suppression techniques that would be more environmentally friendly than cutting traditional fire lines. The new fire control tactics were outlined, Ishida said, in a study being conducted by ecologists from University of California at Davis and UC Berkeley; more information on the proposals will be made available soon.
   Ishida said he is concerned with issues as they relate to the national forests and parks of Tulare County.

  “In the next decade, we’re going to experience an explosion of population growth in Central Valley,” Ishida said. “These people are going to want to recreate in the mountains so it is important that these areas remain accessible.”


George H. Clausen
1959 ~ 2005

   George H. Clausen of Woodlake died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005. He was 46.
   A memorial service was held yesterday (Thursday, Dec. 15) at the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
   George was born in Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 27, 1959. He was passionate about his son, George Ian; trains; sports; and fine cuisine.
   George was the ride manager and train engineer at Rotary Park Playland in Fresno’s Roeding Park. He volunteered with the Foodlink program in Lemon Cove.
   George also officiated high school basketball and water polo games in Tulare and Kings counties and coached water polo and swimming.
Before the start of Tuesday’s basketball games at the Woodlake High School Event Center, a moment of silence was held in George’s honor.
   In addition to his son, George, he is survived by his father, George G. Clausen of Woodlake, and sisters Margaret Head of Bakersfield, Nancy Gordon of Davis, and Kathy de Contreras of Fresno.
   In lieu of flowers, donations in George’s name may be made to the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church’s Foodlink Program (P.O. Box 44141, Lemon Cove, CA 93244) or to the Fresno Rotary Park Playland/Storyland (890 W. Belmont Ave., Fresno, CA 93728).
   Online condolences may be sent to:


Lady Tigers win Strathmore tourney

   Last Saturday, fans of the Lady Tigers and their trio of Three Rivers coaches got a sneak preview of some of the exciting basketball on tap for this season. That’s because Woodlake’s vastly improved varsity girls’ basketball team came roaring back from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to beat Bakersfield Christian, 58-56.

  “I’m really proud of you all and especially those girls who came off the bench after two of the starters got into early foul trouble,” said Ed Lafferty, head coach. “That win was a total team effort.”
   Like most basketball comebacks, the Tigers were fueled by a pressure defense that forced numerous turnovers and gave the offense just enough time to play catch-up. The defensive pressure denied Bakersfield’s two talented long-range shooters in the second half and allowed Woodlake to run the court and dictate the tempo of the game.
   In the first half, Alley Reeves, a sophomore from Three Rivers, who in the early going has emerged as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, was in foul trouble and had to sit on the bench. The team’s best defender, Kaitlin Beck, a senior from Three Rivers, also committed some early fouls and joined Reeves on the bench. At halftime, the Tigers were on the short end of the scoreboard, 36-24.
   But unlike teams of the recent past, this squad has more depth, including six experienced seniors and some tall youth that could spell big trouble for East Sequoia League opponents like Exeter and Corcoran, who is currently ranked second in the Valley in Division 4. The steady play of five of the seniors — Felicia Rojas and Terah Persall of Woodlake and Kaitlin Beck, Anneka Anderson, and Jennie Elliott of Three Rivers kept the game from getting out of hand.
   Sophomore center Kayla Brown, also from Three Rivers, came off the bench and played her best minutes of the young season. Kayla is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and has recently added a soft jumper from just inside the foul line. She chipped in with five points and some aggressive defense on Bakersfield’s bona fide six-footer.
   In the second half, the Tigers outscored the Eagles 34 to 20. Alley Reeves led the Tiger attack with 18 while Beck and Rojas added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
   The game must have reminded Greg Dixon, now a varsity assistant coach and also part of the team’s Three Rivers connection, of the 2003-2004 season. That year, his JV girls, of whom four are now senior varsity players, won two come-from-behind thrillers that led to a share of the league title with Corcoran.
   The Tigers’s other assistant coach is Kent Owen, also a Three Rivers resident and member of the Woodlake High School board. Owen has been a part of Lady Tiger basketball for the past two decades.
   The win over the Eagles came after consecutive blowouts versus Farmersville and Strathmore. It was the first Strathmore tourney first place finish in recent memory and came over a Bakersfield team that is currently ranked second in the Valley among all Division 5 teams.

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