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In the News - Friday, December 23, 2011






Last-minute gift-buying ideas abound in 3R


By Brian Rothhammer


  So you’re a procrastinator when it comes to shopping. You’re not alone.

  Perhaps you’ve just now realized that your holiday guest list has grown or that someone has been overlooked. Maybe your gift-buying is done but you have a bit left over for some last-minute stocking stuffers.

  With the holiday weekend here at last, where in Kaweah Country can one go to put the final touches on the perfectly practical, and local, gift list? Here are but a few suggestions:

  Anne Lang’s Emporium (41651 Sierra Drive) will be open Friday till 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. How about surprising someone special with a holiday flower arrangement? Anne also has stocking stuffers starting around $4 — cards, candles, and even those old-time candle snuffers. As a bonus, you can have lunch while you’re there.

  Colors Art Studio & Gifts (41763 Sierra Drive) is open Friday till 5 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enter Wendy McKellar’s wonderland for gift ideas from handmade soaps at less than $5 to inspired creations from several local artisans. The Deborah Ross wine bags ($13) make an elegant presentation when giving spirits, each a unique creation of fabric and love.

  Sayler Saddlery (41669 Sierra Drive) will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The shop has one-of-a-kind handbags and wine cozies fashioned from ornately stitched western boot tops. They are a must-have for the lacy equestrian on your list.

  Kevin can make most anything out of leather from saddles to custom accessories. How about a leather dog collar for man’s best friend?

  Red Barn Gifts and Sequoia Souvenirs (40838 Sierra Drive) is tucked away behind Sierra Garden Center, across the street from the Three Rivers Post Office. Inside shoppers will find a surprising variety of locally made gifts and crafts, including redwood items from $5 ornaments to finely crafted burlwood bowls, glassware, and even furniture. Personalized gifts are keepsakes, and their specialty is laser engraving and personalizing on wood, stone, metal, or glass. They will be open Friday till 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help you find the perfect gift.

  Reimer’s Candies and Gifts (42375 Sierra Drive), along with being the can’t-miss stop for the sweet tooth, is the perfect place for Old World Christmas hand-blown glass ornaments (remember the ones Grandma had?) for under $6 to genuine Bavarian cuckoo clocks from $30 to more than $300. They have a wide selection of gifts and cards, gourmet kitchen gadgets galore and, of course, their seasonal stollen bread, a Christmas tradition for many. Open Friday and Saturday till 5 p.m.

  And don’t forget that timeless holiday tradition: Do you need batteries? Be sure those electronic doodads are ready to enjoy fresh out-of-the box with extra batteries from Three Rivers Mercantile (41152 Sierra Drive). While there, check out the wrapping paper, tape, lights, extension cords, basting pans, and all your holiday needs from stocking-stuffer tools for under $4 to a $1,700 pellet stove to keep your Christmas merry and bright.

After all the holiday chores are complete, it’s time to rent a movie from Chump’s DVDs and Blu-ray, 41707 Sierra Drive. With over 6,000 titles to choose from, you can reward yourself with a new release or a holiday classic. Chump’s will be open Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Christmas Day from noon to 4 p.m.

  From the wonderful to the whimsical, the elegant to the esoteric, Kaweah Country has it all for home and hearth and joyous holidays.


TRUS alumni reunion in the works


  Three Rivers Union School has been serving this community since its unification in 1927. And every single graduate is invited to a party to celebrate this fact.

  There is a committee that has been organizing, planning, and preparing for this gala reunion. When all is said and done, they will have worked on this event for more than a year.

  The TRUS Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. All graduates should mark this on their calendars now so as not to miss the once-in-a-lifetime event.

  All TRUS alumni, past teachers, and their guests are invited, from the first graduating class through the Class of 2000. To be on the mailing list, send name, email address, and year graduated to: threeriversgraduates@yahoo.com.

  All correspondence from the reunion committee will be via email only. That is, unless the grads are from the 1940s and before. They will receive special invitations and be honored during the reunion event.

  The TRUS Reunion will be held at Lions Arena. There may be some pre- and post-reunion events scheduled as well.

  The preliminary plans for the event consist of a catered dinner, music and dancing, and live and silent auctions.

  Photos of graduating classes are currently being sought. Time to start digging through the cedar chest, shoeboxes, and filing cabinets.

  All proceeds from the event will be donated to, where else?, the Three Rivers Union School Foundation.

  To assist with reunion planning, to deliver photos, or for additional information, email threeriversgraduates@yahoo.com or call Nancy (Stiltz) Crawford at 564-8049.


Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks:

Holidays happen here


  What a difference a year makes. Last year for the back-to-back holiday weekends, there was plenty of snow as the nearby mountains and foothills were experiencing one of the wettest Decembers on record.

  This year is quite a contrast with only a dusting of snow on north-facing slopes. But the lack of opportunities for Nordic skiing or snowplay shouldn’t deter hearty souls from experiencing the holiday mountain magic of the Giant Forest.

  Snowshoe walks have been rescheduled as ranger talks. Log onto www.nps.gov/seki/parknews/newsreleases.htm for all the latest show times.

  Road construction will take an extended holiday from today (Friday, Dec. 23) through Monday, Jan. 2. That means delays on the Generals Highway will be no more than 20 minutes as the traffic lights will be in effect day and night.     

  Visitor centers throughout the parks will be open for information, exhibits, a bookstore with gifts and, of course, heated restrooms. The Lodgepole Visitor Center will open daily from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.; Foothills Visitor Center 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove will be open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. These visitor centers will also be open Christmas Day.

  In other park news, the public comment period for input on the 12 NPS-owned buildings in Wilsonia (Kings Canyon National Park) has been extended until January 21. The buildings are located within the Wilsonia Historic District recently expanded earlier this year. For photos of the buildings and more information about the National Register of Historic Places
listing, go online to www.park planning.nps.gov/seki.

  A total of 380 people attended the annual Trek to the General Grant Tree in the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park on Sunday, Dec. 11. The annual trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree and solemn ceremony was started by members of the Sanger Chamber of Commerce in 1926.

  The ceremony concludes with the Christmas Festival Celebration in which the citizens of Sanger and visitors from the world over join together in the spirit of “Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men.”   

  In 1956, President Dwight D, Eisenhower bestowed a second honor on the tree when he declared the renowned giant sequoia a National Shrine. Each year during the ceremony, a wreath is placed at the base of the tree by park rangers in  honor of the nation’s war dead . 

  The General Grant Tree stands 267 feet; its lowest branch is 130 feet above ground and its circumference at the trunk is 107 feet. It is the second largest tree in the world; the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park claims the number-one spot.


Riding in the Rose Parade


  If you happen to be heading to the Southland for the Rose Parade, make and take a sign, said Christy Wood, owner of Wood ‘N’ Horse Training Stables in Three Rivers.

  “We would love the support,” said Christy, “and we’ll wave frantically!”

  For the second time, she will be joining the Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club to ride in the event that is a worldwide New Year’s tradition.

  Christy and her horse, Dude, first rode in the parade with the club in 2010 where her only complaint was that her “cheekbones hurt from smiling so much.” They will return in 2012 for an encore performance.

  All 12 riders will be in authentic 1870s Nez Perce attire. Her husband, Steve Wood, and his horse, Jackpot, will be joining the group this year. Another of Christy’s horses, Cowboy, will be ridden by the group’s youngest rider, Dani Foxvog, 16.

  Here is how to recognize them: Christy’s horse “Dude” is a white appaloosa that will most likely be the tallest horse in the group and definitely has the longest tail. He will be wearing a turquoise and yellow starburst on his face with fringed and beaded leather reins.

  Christy will be dressed in full regalia, but don’t try to spot her by her blonde hair. She will be wearing a black, braided wig.

  Steve will be dressed as a Nez Perz chief. He will be wearing a red headdress, a black wig, and have black war paint on his face. And don’t look for him by his silver moustache; rumors are he may shave it for the event.

  Steve’s horse is a chestnut appaloosa with a bald face. Cowboy is a “leopard” appaloosa, meaning the spots aren’t just contained on his rump but are freckled everywhere.

  To desensitize her horses to the noise and activity at the parade, such as marching bands and gigantic floats, Christy again called on “Joe the Drummer.” Last Sunday, Dec. 18, Joe met    Christy, Steve, and the three horses at the access road to the Lions Roping Arena with his trailer that is a traveling one-man-band, and the group got to work.

  In keeping with the Rose Parade’s “Never on a Sunday” protocol, the parade will be held Monday, Jan. 2, beginning at 8 a.m. It will be aired live on the major networks and on satellite TV stations, including RFD-TV and the Home and Garden channel.

  If RFD-TV is an option for home viewers, Christy recommends this channel as “horse-friendly,” meaning they will focus on the equestrian groups longer than the other networks.

  Christy and the Calizona club will be 45th in the lineup out of 90 entrants. They will be  positioned behind the Rotary International float.

  In addition to participating in the parade, the Three Rivers contingent will also be a part of Equi-Fest, a horse show being staged at the L.A. Equestrian Center on Friday, Dec. 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  The night before the parade, all the equestrian entrants will be spending the night on the 210 freeway, which will be closed for the event. As part of the security measures, they will be sequestered on the freeway that is normally gridlocked due to vehicles, but for one day only will be jammed with horses.


Bearpaw reservations begin January 2


  A stay at the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp should occur at least once in everybody’s lifetime. It’s a special, one-of-a-kind experience.

  That’s what everyone who has stayed there already knows, which is why the summer’s reservations get snatched up within minutes of opening the line on the first of every New Year.

  Reservations for the upcoming summer season will be available as of Monday, Jan. 2, beginning at 7 a.m., by calling toll-free 866-807-3598 (international callers: 801-559-4930).

  The remote Bearpaw High Sierra Camp is accessible via an 11.5-mile route on the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park. A day pack is all that is needed for this multi-day vacation since the camp provides the gourmet meals, lodging facilities, and flush toilet, hot showers and towels.

  Each of Bearpaw’s six tent cabins features wooden floors, canvas siding, and two twin beds with sheets, blanket, and down comforter.

  Generous buffet-style meals are served for breakfast and dinner. Vegetarian options are always available, and box lunches can be ordered.

  Day hiking options from the camp abound as do the relaxing-around-camp opportunities.

THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
EDITORS/PUBLISHERS: John Elliott and Sarah Barton Elliott
41841 Sierra Drive (Highway 198), Three Rivers, CA 93271
MAIL: P.O. Box 806, Three Rivers, CA 93271
(559) 561-3627 FAX: (559) 561-0118
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