1995 ~ March 2005
the past decade,
been telling readers
they won't read, hear,
see anywhere else!
In the News -
Friday, JUNE 24, 2005
Fiscal year stats:
On Wednesday, June 22, Tracy Thetford, the revenue manager
for Sequoia National Park posted the final May visitor numbers for the
local park and, as expected, they showed a significant increase. The 111,665
vehicle visits represented a seven-percent increase over the same monthly
period for Sequoia in 2004.
The year-to-date figures for 2005 are still 2.59 percent
below last year’s numbers but local business owners, who attribute
some of that to the lingering winter conditions, don’t expect that
trend to continue once the June numbers are added to the total.
“We are still a
little slow during the weekdays, but all the weekends are very, very busy,”
said Sam Yim, who with his wife, Sookie, own and operate Three Rivers
For the past several years, Sequoia’s visitor numbers
have been gradually trending upward after several negative years in the
mid to late-1990s. The drop in visitors for those years was an immediate
effect of the closing of the concession facilities in Giant Forest.
In 1996, when there were no longer any overnight accommodations
after the summer season, total visitation for Sequoia National Park was
only 838,422. That number represents 20 percent fewer vehicles entering
Sequoia National Park than is projected for 2005.
The year 1997, again with no off-season overnight accommodations,
was somewhat of an anomaly as visits totaled 1,009,290.
In 1998, the year prior to the opening of Wuksachi Village,
total visits for the year plummeted to 841,647.
The May opening of Wuksachi Village highlighted the year
1999, but park visitation of 863,969 was only slightly up from the previous
year. For the first time since 1993, there was once again overnight lodging
in Sequoia National Park.
The best news of all for Three Rivers businesses that depend
on Sequoia Park visitors is that following a slight dip in 2000, Sequoia
visitation has increased each of the past four years. If the numbers continue
to grow, Delaware North Parks Services, Sequoia’s concessioner,
may proceed with an expansion project at Wuksachi Village that has been
hovering in the design stage for five years.
According to Thetford, who posts the numbers for the local
parks on the official NPS visitation website, the compiling of the visitor
numbers is based on paid vehicle entries and also vehicles that enter
the more remote areas like South Fork and Mineral King.
Statistical data has also been developed from computer models
that help the parks’ accountants decipher which visits are non-recreational
and also determine visitors per vehicle.
With only a slight chance for a raindrop in Three Rivers
in the next seven days, it appears that the current total of 25.02 inches
of rainfall at the 1,000-foot elevation level will be final for the 2004-05
season. The season, for most California agencies, runs according to the
State Department of Water Resources calendar, which measures rainfall
from July 1 to June 30.
The current season, which ends officially next Thursday,
will not be remembered for whopping rainfall totals. It will finish as
only the third wettest in the last 10 years.
But it will be remembered for the staying power and water
content of its better than average snowpack, a run of coastal-like unseasonable
temperatures in May and June, and more good air quality days than any
year since 1998.
Though some statistics of the current season were reminiscent
of 1998, that El Nino of seven years ago delivered more significant rainfall
events (52 in 1998 to 32 in 2005) and a total of 36.85 inches of rainfall
in Three Rivers. But for some water-watchers, 2005 looked like a drought-buster
next to last season’s paltry 13.01 inches.
A very cooperative snowpack of the current season allowed
Lake Kaweah managers to monitor the enlarged basin for several weeks,
fill the new fusegates to the brim, and store more acre-feet of water
longer than ever before in the 43-year history of Lake Kaweah.
On Wednesday, June 22, the lake’s elevation remained
above 714 feet, with storage of 184,500 acre-feet. On that historic day,
the lake level reached a benchmark for the season within 1,000 acre-feet
On Tuesday, June 21, the California Department of Fish and
Game announced scheduling for five regional town-hall meetings so recreational
anglers have the opportunity to furnish input of where hatchery-raised
trout are most wanted. DFG officials also want to know what types of trout
are the most desirable.
Many local fishermen feel that Lake Kaweah and the Kaweah
River have not been receiving a fair share of stockers during the past
several seasons. If you are among those anglers that would like to see
more fish stocked locally, then now is the time to make your voice heard.
Revenues from licenses have never been higher so funding
is available to make improvements to the entire hatchery system. The DFG
plans to use this latest input from the public meetings to improve the
efficiency of all the state’s hatcheries.
The nearest of the regional meetings for Kaweah Country residents
is at the Fresno location, scheduled for Thursday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m.
That meeting will be held at the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District
Board Chambers, 5469 E. Olive Ave. (just off Highway 99).
Written comments may be submitted until Aug. 31 to Ryan Broddrick,
DFG director, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail to him at 1416 Ninth
St., 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.
For more information about the upcoming meeting or other
scheduled locations, call Mike Wintemute, (916) 651-6643.
owner prior to
of Lake Kaweah
1908 ~ 2005
Darrell Hall, a former Three Rivers resident, died Tuesday,
June 14, 2005, in Contra Cost County. He was 97.
Darrell was born Feb. 12, 1908, near Santa Maria, the third
of four sons to Frank and Marguerite Hall. He was a third-generation California
and the great-grandson of George Dalton, a prominent pioneer of Los Angeles
who settled there in 1851.
Darrell’s childhood home was the 2,000-acre Leona Valley
Ranch near Palmdale. He attended Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster
for two years, then graduated from Belmont High School in Los Angeles
In 1936, Darrell married the former Gladys Demmitt of Azusa.
They settled in the Antelope Valley where they established successful
operations in farming, cattle ranching, retail businesses, and real-estate
In 1952, Darrell acquired the 1,000-acre Hale Tharp Ranch,
pioneer homesite of the first white settler in the Kaweah canyon, now
within the fill level of Lake Kaweah. Living on the ranch with his family,
he developed 100 acres of irrigated pasture and maintained a herd of 300
During the December 1955 flood, several of his cattle were
washed down the river to the Valley, but he recovered them alive and well.
The flood also was the impetus for the Terminus Dam proposal.
During this time, Darrell was active in a property-owners
group opposed to the construction of the dam. Despite the opposition,
the proposal was eventually successful.
In 1961, after losing his ranch to the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Darrell purchased property on North Fork Drive that included
the Kaweah Post Office and moved his house there. In 1997, the home was
destroyed by fire.
At that time, Darrell relocated to Contra Costa County to
be near his children.
Darrell was active in the former Three Rivers Chamber of
Commerce and the Tulare County Farm Bureau. Throughout his life, he practiced
the teachings of the science of Christian healing, founded in 1867 by
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.
In 1974, Darrell was preceded in death by his wife of 38
years, Gladys, who had been a Three Rivers Union School teacher. He was
also preceded in death by his three brothers (two older and one younger)
— Harmon, Erwin, and Clifford Hall.
He is survived by his three children, son Merle Hall and
daughter Marilyn Riegelhuth, both of Walnut Creek, and son Robert Hall
of Concord; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Darrell will be laid to rest next to Gladys at the Odd Fellows Cemetery
Della May Newman died at her home in Three Rivers on Wednesday,
June 22, 2005. She was 72.
Della was born in Morgantown, W.V., to Ned and Hallie Wilson
on May 23, 1933. She served her country during the Korean War and was
a member of the Women’s Army Corps.
On July 13, 1968, Della married Delbert Newman in Kentucky.
In 1970, Della moved to the Carson City, Nev., area, where she owned and
operated TLC Realty for many years.
In 1992, Della was preceded in death by her husband of 22
years, Delbert. In 2001, she moved to Three Rivers to be near her son
and his family.
Della is survived by her children, Sonja and Michael Newman
of Carson City; Delbert Newman of Three Rivers; Walter Newman of Ohio;
David Newman of Wisconsin; and Ingrid Newman of Las Vegas.; her brother,
Floyd Farthing of Porterville; and eight grandchildren.
Military graveside rites will be held Tuesday, June 28, at
2:30 p.m., at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley,
Nev., under the direction of Smith Family Chapel of Exeter.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by logging on
While Visalia City Coach continues to experience an unprecedented
increase in ridership, the City of Visalia transit department is setting
its sights on destinations afar. Most notable of current “discussions,”
according to Monty Cox, Visalia Transit manager, are possible route options
that link Valley communities with Sequoia National Park.
With bike lanes, a bus from Visalia to Sequoia, and a shuttle
that operates within the parks all as an option, it’s fathomable
that sometime in the near future a park visitor may be able to travel
from anywhere in the world to Sequoia National Park without ever setting
foot on the accelerator of a personal or rental vehicle.
For now, about 100,000 people a month are leaving their cars at home and
riding the City Coach in and around Visalia.
The rattlesnake is California’s only venomous snake.
Their size may vary, but adults can reach six feet in length.
Rattlesnakes are an important part of the ecosystem, feeding
on rodents, birds, and other small animals. Rattlesnakes have a distinctive,
triangular head shape, which is a key characteristic in their identification.
The rattle is on the end of the tail and is composed of interlocking
segments. Young rattlesnakes are born with a small rattle or button. A
new segment is formed each time the skin is shed, which may occur several
times a year.
Most rattlesnakes forage for prey in or near brushy or tall
grass areas, rock outcrops, rodent burrows, around and under surface objects,
and sometimes in the open. Adults eat live prey, primarily rodents; the
young take mostly lizards and young rodents.
To catch their prey, rattlesnakes wait until the animal is
nearby. The snake strikes with two large fangs that inject venom. This
subdues the prey, which is then swallowed whole.
When inactive, most rattlesnakes seek cover in crevices of
rocks, under surface objects, beneath dense vegetation, and in rodent
burrows. Unlike most reptiles, rattlesnakes give birth to live young.
The snake can control the amount of venom ejected from either
or both fangs. Even after its death, a rattlesnake can inject venom for
an hour or more by reflex action. Caution, therefore, is advised when
handling what appears to be a dead snake.
Snake bites— In the United States,
about 800 rattlesnake bites are reported annually. While seldom fatal,
bites are extremely painful and can lead to severe medical trauma.
It is important to never handle rattlesnakes, not even dead
ones. Be careful when moving brush, wood, logs, or other debris.
Be alert when kneeling down to work in the garden and watch
where you reach or step. Since rattlesnakes are often well camouflaged
and wait quietly for prey, they can be difficult to see.
In the wild, rattlesnakes should be left alone, as they present
little potential hazard. However, rattlesnakes around the home or garden
are not acceptable to most people. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize
Legal status— The six species of rattlesnakes
found in California are not considered endangered or threatened. California
residents can kill rattlesnakes on private lands in any legal manner without
a license or permit.
Management— Nonpoisonous snakes should
be left alone wherever found. Because of the danger rattlesnakes pose
to people, pets, and livestock, it may be necessary to remove them from
around homes and gardens.
It is difficult to detect rattlesnakes because they are not
easy to see or locate in their hiding places. Snake populations fluctuate
from year to year due, in part, to the availability of prey. Some animals,
such as peacocks, turkeys, dogs, and cats can be good sentinels for detecting
One of the best ways to discourage rattlesnakes from inhabiting
gardens and homes is to remove suitable hiding places. Heavy brush, tall
grass, rocks, logs, rotten stumps, lumber piles, and other places of cover
should be cleaned up.
Remember, if left alone, a snake is likely to move on to
another area. If necessary, rattlesnakes may be killed with a shovel or
club. Rattlesnakes strike fast, so caution is important.
On March 7, 1922, a young giant sequoia was planted in the
front yard of Noel and Nellie Britten’s home, located just north
of what today is the entrance to the South Fork Estates subdivision.
At the time, Nellie was the president of the Three Rivers
Woman’s Club, which had been in existence for just six years. The
club’s motto became “In Union There is Strength” and
the club colors are orange and green. Its stated purpose remains “To
promote interest in intellectual pursuits, to become a center for the
broader social life, and to work unitedly for the general advancement
of both club and community.” And the “Sequoia gigantea”
was selected as the club’s emblem.
(In 1854, the botanical name Sequoia gigantea was
given to the giant sequoia. In 1939, the tree’s name was revised
to Sequoiadendron giganteum to more correctly identify it.)
It was always the intention of the club to transplant the
tree when a clubhouse was obtained. The clubhouse became a reality in
1924 when the family of the late Anna McMullen Hays deeded her home to
the Three Rivers Woman’s Club.
However, the tree was never relocated and the club minutes
do not reflect any discussion as to why.
On June 14, 1996, the Three Rivers Woman’s Club commemorated
the tree and its humble beginnings by placing a plaque at its base. It
bears the words:
PLANTED MARCH 7, 1922