Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

News

Thunderheads were consistent overhead in Three Rivers during the past week. (Click arrows to see additional photos.)
  The thunderstorms that moved across the Kern County desert and mountains earlier this week had by Thursday, Aug. 3, spread across the foothills and mountains of Tulare County. Death Valley experienced some high wind, showy sheet lightning, and two days of a flash flood watch.   Most of the activity in Kaweah Country was confined to overcast skies that kept the temperatures in the upper 90s, but...
The Crabtree Ranger Station, on the western approach to Mount Whitney, is a busy, bustling place during the summer months.
  SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK   Ash Mountain   July 17— A search for two overdue hikers was conducted in the South Fork/Homer’s Nose area. Both hikers made it to the trailhead a day late; they were behind schedule due to traveling off trail in difficult terrain.   July 19— Two hikers were following the power lines from the Moro Rock area to Middle Fork Trail. They activated a satellite emergency...
Rika Morita, 32, of Japan on the summit of Mount Whitney in June as part of her northbound Pacific Crest Trail journey.
  The South Fork of the Kings River trail crossing in the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park has become notorious this year among Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail thru-hikers as one of the most difficult waterways to cross along the entire length of the trail. This fork of the Kings River continues its journey by flowing through Paradise Valley — where it knocked a footbridge off...
See caption below. (Click arrows for additional photo.)
  REGARDING MOUNTAIN LION PHOTO: During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, a hiker from Southern California looking for some of the biggest Big Trees was ascending the Paradise Ridge Trail above Atwell Mill in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park when he found he was sharing the trail with a mountain lion.   “We only stood looking at each other for a two-to-three minute time but he...
Fireworks on Salt Creek Drive were lit in close proximity to dry grass. There's a reason fireworks are illegal in the foothills: it's due to the extreme fire danger. (Click arrows for additional photo.)
  Summer is searing! Numerous, prolonged heatwaves have brought an extended period of above-average temperatures, with temperatures around average for only brief periods in the past several weeks. This trend is expected to continue through mid August due to an unusually persistent ridge that has developed to the west of its typical summertime position over the Desert Southwest, meaning the...
A panoramic view of Lake Kaweah as seen from the Lemon Hill visitor center shows the steadily decreasing storage in the reservoir. The water level has receded 20,000 acre feet in the past seven days.
  As of Thursday, July 27, the ring around the Lake Kaweah basin was becoming more visible by the day. In fact, in terms of the elevation of the reservoir’s pool, it is currently lowering at the rate of between 1.5 and two feet per day.     The July 20 Lake Kaweah stats:    Pool elevation: 691.08 feet above sea level    Storage: 137,425 acre feet (by Aug. 15 it will be below 80,000 acre feet)  ...
A disassembled contraption that would read and copy a credit or debit card if installed on a card reader.
  The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has received reports regarding credit/debit card skimming machines found at local businesses in southern Tulare County. While the devices have been removed, the investigation is ongoing.    Sheriff Mike Boudreaux would like everyone to be aware of these skimming machine schemes and avoid becoming a victim. Here are some tips:   —Try to use the same ATMs with...
Don Thomas, retired NASA astronaut, discusses his four space missions and other out-of-this-world experiences during an outdoor gathering at the Lodgepole Amphitheater on Saturday evening, July 22. (Click arrows for additional photos.)
  After experiencing some growing pains in its first three years, the Sequoia Park Conservancy’s fourth annual Dark Sky Festival held July 21 to 23 was out of this world. From Friday’s fundraiser dinner with former astronaut Don Thomas to the Invisible Astronomy program at Sunset Campground at Grant Grove, hundreds were engaged and inspired by one of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks most...
  Getting older has its benefits. The magical age of 62 provides quite a few nuggets, including senior discounts at some movie theaters, restaurants, and hotels.   Then there’s the big one: Social Security. At 62, one becomes eligible for 75 percent of their benefits.   One of the most anticipated gifts available for someone turning 62 is the Senior Pass that, for $10, provides the owner with...
  California lawmakers voted this week to extend for another decade the state’s legislation that takes on climate change. The cap-and-trade program will continue through 2030.   Also included in this legislation is a suspension of the state’s fire prevention fee, a controversial assessment charged to homeowners who live in rural, fire-prone areas in California. The suspension takes place...

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