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In the News -
Friday, DECEMBER 21, 2007
If your holidays could use some more “happy”
then just consider this great seasonal weather and the prospect for more
of the same in the 10-day forecast. Last Tuesday and Wednesday’s
air quality index of 16 was at or near the best readings ever recorded
for December days in the central San Joaquin district.
The recent storminess that completed its journey across Kaweah
Country and up and over the Great Western Divide last night (Thursday,
Dec. 20) dumped three to four feet of snow in the higher elevations of
the nearby mountains. While Santa is smiling at the prospects of good
sleigh-landing conditions for Christmas Eve, park rangers in Sequoia and
Kings Canyon National Parks are bracing for a heavy holiday influx of
visitors anticipating snowplay.
The Generals Highway between the parks remains closed but
there are snowplay areas available at either end of the mountain parkway.
Big Stump, near Grant Grove is open to visitors who use Hwy. 180; Wolverton
is accessible for Highway 198 travelers.
Motorists should expect snowy and icy road conditions, be
prepared to use tire chains, and should have warm clothing and winter
gear. Nordic ski and snowshoeing conditions are excellent, and the Alta
Ski Shop at Wuksachi Lodge has newly stocked equipment for all ages.
Rainfall totals for the season in Three Rivers have eclipsed
eight inches. That number has forecasters feeling confident about predictions
for normal precipitation in January, typically the wettest month of the
The name “Buckaroo” might conjure up memories
for longtime residents of the popular watering hole and eatery of the
same name that was once on the westernmost end of town.
A cowboy or rancher might recall a broncobuster or a legendary
cowhand of the old West. And a visitor to Three Rivers might envision
romantic western Americana or a place where the ranching heritage might
still be experienced.
Dan and Sharon Bullene are hoping that when you think any
or all of the above — and especially of gourmet coffee, fresh baked
pastries, and western-style barbecue — you’ll think of their
newest food service venture: The Buckaroo.
noticed while being in business in Three Rivers over the past three decades
that most visitors, especially Europeans, long to experience something
related to the Old West,” said Dan Bullene. “At The Buckaroo,
we want folks to come by for some old-fashioned Western style and hospitality.”
Dan and wife Sharon have been around the food-service block
and also explored some roads less traveled trying to create an enduring
business in Three Rivers, where they have resided since the 1970s.
Their most successful venture to date, if judging by the
throngs of satisfied customers who frequented “Bullenes,”
was a chic but casual Main Street eatery in downtown Visalia during the
1980s. The award-winning food and service were arguably the best in town.
After more than enough years of the brutal restaurant grind,
Dan and Sharon sought semi-retirement in a Three Rivers winery where the
couple looked forward to idling away afternoons sipping wine with visitors
in the tasting room.
After planting the first vine in the early 1990s, the reality
of trying to establish even a minor player in a California industry that
thanks to Robert Mondavi was going global was overwhelming.
was I thinking?” Dan recalled. “I had never worked so hard
in all my life.”
In 2004, the Bullenes sold the winery buildings and vineyards.
Last month, after buying the property known formerly as The Cabin, and
later as Nectar, the Bullenes opened The Buckaroo to an appreciative morning
coffee klatch. The delay in getting the place opened, Dan said, was waiting
for the custom oven to be shipped from the Midwest.
way it works is that I get in here about 5 a.m. each morning and load
it with all kinds of goodies including Sharon’s homemade cinnamon
rolls,” Dan said. “When we open a couple of hours later, everything’s
freshly baked and piping hot.”
Dan’s familiar tools of the trade, a set of customized
stainless steel barbecue grills, are already onsite in preparation for
what’s in store next for regulars and visitors to The Buckaroo.
we get into the busy visitor season,” Dan said. “we’ll
be serving some of our specialties from the grill like tri-tip and salmon.
Folks can eat here by the river or take an order to-go for a picnic in
The Bullenes are back, so prepare for big things to be coming
from the little cabin on the river.
NOTICE: The Buckaroo will be closed Christmas Day.
A new way to
local burn permits
One of the implications of the transition from Cal Fire to
a Tulare County Fire Department includes some inconvenience for Three
Rivers property owners. That’s because with the local Cal Fire station
officially closed for the winter, burn permits for yard waste and other
vegetation control are no longer available in Three Rivers, except on
the third Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and in Woodlake
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on that same day.
The burn permits are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.
to 5 p.m., at the Cal Fire headquarters on Lovers Lane in Visalia. The
permits are not available at Tulare County Fire Department stations, although
county dispatchers are supposed to notify local firefighters when foothills
residents ignite burn piles.
going to cause some confusion at first but it’s the reality of having
a Tulare County Fire Department when last year this area was covered by
Cal Fire,” said a furloughed Cal Fire seasonal firefighter. “Today
[Monday, Dec. 17] is my last day… our agency is cutting seasonal
personnel until the start of the 2008 fire season.”
What this means for local property owners is that they might
have to hustle down the hill for a permit to meet the regulations that
require hazardous dry grass, weeds, and some tree limbs to be cleared
100 feet from all structures.
In 2008, after the disastrous 2007 fire season, the 100 ft.
clearance requirements remain mandatory in all of the state’s newly
designated high risk wildland fire areas including Three Rivers. Cal Fire
has not yet announced a policy on how or when the annual inspections will
be conducted in the Tulare County high risk areas.
In other fire news, the newly created Tulare County Fire
Department used the Dec. 18th board of Supervisors meeting to unveil five
brand new fire engines. The new engines are high-tech and carry 750 gallons
of water as well as foam, and Hurst hydraulic tools for vehicle extrication
and specialized rescues.
The average age of Tulare County’s current firefighting
fleet is 15 years old with some equipment that dates from the late-1970s.
The new engines will update and augment the existing fleet by allowing
more efficient shifting of resources that ensure better equipment is always
available for emergencies.
Each of the new engines cost $227,000 and will be initially
assigned to Kings River, Ivanhoe, Strathmore, Terra Bella, and Tipton.
What’s open… what’s not
Tuesday, Dec. 25, is Christmas Day, a legal holiday. Christmas
was declared a federal holiday in America on June 26, 1870, by President
Ulysses S. Grant.
Here’s a rundown on what will be open and closed in
Businesses— Some closed and others
will have limited hours; call first. On Monday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve),
most businesses will be open normal hours.
Schools— Winter Break at Three Rivers
School and Woodlake High.
Government— Most federal, state, and
county offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25. Emergency
services will be staffed. Park visitor centers and the Giant Forest Museum
normally open this time of year will be open. National Park Service business
offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
Post offices— Open Monday, Dec. 24,
until noon. Closed Tuesday, Dec. 25.
Library— Closed Monday, Dec. 24, and
Tuesday, Dec. 25.
Banks— Open Monday, Dec. 24, until
3 p.m. Closed Tuesday, Dec. 25.
The Kaweah Commonwealth— Limited hours
on Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25.
Pharmacy— Open Monday, Dec. 24, 9
am to 1 pm. Closed Tuesday, Dec. 25.
Trash collection— Three Rivers Disposal
customers whose collection day is Tuesday, Dec. 25, will instead receive
service Wednesday, Dec. 26. As a result, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
collection days will also be one day later.
Last Saturday evening, after a grand entrance that included sirens and
flashing lights, Santa made his rounds with candy canes at the Community
Caroling event, sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce and Three Rivers
Matthew Rangel of Dinuba painted the scene of Kings Canyon National Park
on an official White House Christmas ornament for the National Park Service-themed
tree in the White House (see front page story, Dec. 7, for background
and information on the Sequoia ornament artist). Each of the 391 units
in the National Park System were requested to appoint an artist to create
slate of officers
The Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce board of directors
represents a skilled and diverse group of dedicated volunteers. Here are
the new board officers for 2008:
JOHANNA KAMANSKY, PRESIDENT— Owner of Big Trees Marketing,
a Three Rivers-based company specializing in marketing and communications.
She brings 15 years experience working in marketing, outreach, and communications,
including creating and implementing the marketing and fundraising program
for a California nonprofit; serving as a Park Service interpretive ranger;
and public relations and conservation partnerships at park sites in Arizona,
Mississippi and California. She has lived in Three Rivers for six years.
SCOTT MULLIKIN, VICE PRESIDENT— Owner of Sequoia Gifts
and Souvenirs, which is also the UPS-authorized shipping outlet in Three
Rivers. He previously worked for FedEx for over 22 years, most recently
as a sales account executive and operations manager. He was raised in
Memphis, Tenn., and, in 1988, moved to Southern California where he lived
until moving to Three Rivers three years ago.
MARK TILCHEN, SECRETARY— Executive director of the
Sequoia Natural History Association. He has lived in Three Rivers for
11 years. Previously he was the general manager for GSI, until 1996, the
former Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks concessionaire. He lived in
the parks for 19 years. Mark has more than 34 years of hospitality management
experience in food and beverage, hotel, gift shops, grocery, service stations,
and ski resorts. He has also lived in New York City, Albany, Denver, Los
Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Death Valley National Park, and Mammoth Lakes.
CHRIS SCHLOSSIN, TREASURER— Owner and manager of Sequoia
Motel and Mobile Home Park, which she purchased with her husband, Tom,
in 1996. She previously lived in Rowland Heights, where she worked in
interior design and was an active member of the Whittier Guild of the
Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and Assistance League. Chris has
two grown children, daughter Arcka who lives in Woodlake and son Kristofer
who lives in Three Rivers and works for Cal Fire. Chris believes it’s
important to be an active member of the community and enjoys helping out
various causes at all levels in an effort to make the community stronger.
to Three Rivers
Ready for a challenge and a reward? Then 2008 may be your
year to make a difference.
Starting in January, an Emergency Medical Technician-1 (EMT-1)
training program will be held in Three Rivers. This class will prepare
participants to provide emergency medical care to victims of accidents
and sudden illness and teach skills in symptom recognition and emergency-care
procedures and techniques.
In Three Rivers, EMTs provide routine and emergency medical
care with the ambulance service or fire department. Calls might include
traffic accidents, water-related emergencies, falls, and from community
members requesting medical assistance.
EMT skills may also be used in hospitals and clinics. In
addition, EMT training and experience is the first step toward becoming
The basic level of emergency care includes basic life support
(CPR and automated external defibrillation), oxygen therapy, bleeding
control, splinting and bandaging, and basic care of medical emergencies
such as heart attacks, stroke, breathing problems, and unconsciousness.
EMTs are permitted to administer a few medications, such as oxygen or
glucagon for people in diabetic shock, or assist patients in administering
their prescribed medications such as nitroglycerin for heart attacks or
an inhaler for breathing problems.
The January program will be offered on 12 to 14 consecutive
Saturdays for eight hours each session for a total of about 110 hours
To become an EMT-1, one must be at least 18 years old, have
a current CPR card, and a valid driver’s license. They are required
to be in generally good physical health and be able a lift a fair amount
A student who completes Emergency Medical Technician-1 training
is required to pass a national examination and background check before
being issued a certificate to practice.
If a class participant chooses to become a Three Rivers Ambulance
volunteer, then that organization will pay the class fee. The fee will
be determined based upon how many register.
For more information or to register for the training program,
call Sandy Owen, 561-4264, or Dave Vasquez, 901-9020.