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

  The Best of Visiting 2003:

When I first started this column nearly a decade ago, it appeared weekly without fail. Now it’s a bit more sporadic as it sometimes gets pulled to make way for additional Letters to the Editor, a Who’s News submission, a TKC Viewpoint opinion, or John’s Makin’ History column. Most disappointing is that there are some weeks when I just don’t have time to write the column as I get bogged down with the time-consuming, yet necessary paperwork and red tape that it takes to run a business.

But the column still appeared now and then with birthdays and anniversaries of the week always providing the happy ending.

Here are some highlights of "Visiting," as well as the milestones celebrated by Kaweah Country residents this year.


January 17— Sarah Bauer, a Woodlake High School senior from Three Rivers (who has since graduated) attended the College Board’s National Forum in Atlanta, Ga., with fellow student Carlos Rodriguez, Sally Pace, WHS dean of students, and Craig Baker, instructor. These WHS delegates were invited to attend as the school was one of three in the nation to receive an Inspiration Award from the College Board in 2002. The highlight of the visit was meeting and being photographed with First Lady Laura Bush.


January 24— Hayden Marlow, now a fourth-grader, received a certificate from the International Game Fish Association for catching a six-pound, 15-ounce Sacramento Pikeminnow, or squawfish, from the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, an "All-Tackle World Record."


February 7— This installment began with a discussion of the trauma the local Postal Service was causing the community and The Kaweah Commonwealth. Although the regime at the Three Rivers Post Office has changed for the better, the newspaper is still suffering from fallout from that period in time when we were forced to discontinue free delivery to P.O. boxholders and begin delivery via carriers to get the paper to residents on the day it was published.


A "Makin’ History"column, by John Elliott, appeared on this page in the February 21 issue, further informing readers of the postal challenges and how the TKC publishers were attempting to address the problem.


February 28— Steve and Chris Bennett of Three Rivers announced the engagement of their daughter, Stacie, to Marcus Sharrar. August 23 was set as the wedding date.


March 7— Andy and Stacy Grinsfelder of Three Rivers welcomed a baby boy, Spencer Justin, who was born at home.


March 14— A TKC Viewpoint spoke out against the president’s looming attack on Iraq." We cannot morally consent to war because all paths of peace and negotiation have not been pursued to their ends."


March 21— This column was a memorial to Casey Goodwin, 20, of Exeter, who was killed in a head-on crash on Highway 41 near Kettleman City. Casey’s death was a cruel irony because she had dedicated herself through example and her volunteer work to educate teen motorists about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Casey was killed by an 18-year-old drunk driver.


March 28— Kris Fister, the public information officer at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks since 1998, moved onward and upward to a new job in Denali National Park. Kris was dedicated to letting Three Rivers know what was happening in the parks by sending us weekly emails of weather and incidents, as well as passing along human-interest tidbits, from Park Service retirements and promotions to interesting and notable park visitors, the filming of a commercial spot, and more.


April 4— Seven new moms posed for a photo with their precious bundles of love, all four months of age or younger. It’s a population explosion as there were actually three more moms and new babies that weren’t in attendance at this meeting of the "New Moms Support Group."


April 11— In this column, I bragged a little (okay, A LOT) about our new website. It changes weekly, so check it out often at It’s a keyboard full but worth it!


May 16— Gene Powert and Bettie Crowley of Three Rivers announced their May 3 marriage.


May 23— More milestones as the marriage of Forrest Jones, the son of the owners of Silver City Mountain Resort, and Kathrina Richert was announced. Also it was announced that Britta Rieder of Three Rivers graduated Central Valley Christian High School in Visalia and would attend CSU Stanislaus in the fall.


May 30— Three Rivers Woman’s Club outfitted the town with yellow ribbons in support of U.S. troops in Iraq.


June 6— The birth of Colin Finn O’Connell was announced, the second grandson for Pat and Shirley O’Connell of Three Rivers.


June 20— Comfort for Kids has volunteers from all walks of life as Paul Smith of Three Rivers smiled for the camera while working with yarn and scissors in cowboy hat and boots.


June 27– Marty Rafter Jr., who was raised in Three Rivers, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


July 4— Another untimely death had to be memorialized as I wrote of Brandon Watters, 22, of Visalia, who died trying to save a friend struggling in the Kaweah River.


July 18— Sage Lee and Mark Shuklian announced their marriage and the Boleys of Fox Hollow bid goodbye to Kara, their 13-year-old search-and-rescue and therapy dog.


August 1— More Three Rivers residents’ milestones: Aaron Robertson graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma Baptist University and Bruce and Patricia Turner celebrated their 60th anniversary.


August 22— Ben Prusek, prompted by a Hiking the Parks story about the High Sierra Trail, shared his gear list for a 1945 backpacking trip. Prices were compared for then and now. Yep, they’ve increased a bit.


September 5— Keio Ogawa married Mamady "Wadaba"Kourama in Africa, and Leland Keller, who was raised in Three Rivers, celebrated his 100th birthday.


November 7— Amanda Renteria earned her MBA from Harvard, and Trudy Schuckert was remembered with a poem.


November 28— A Who’s News installment by Richard Ainley detailed a summer pack trip from Elderwood to Mount Whitney that he took with a classmate in the summer of 1939 when they were 17. This story was inspired by a call for readers’ vacation photos, which were also published in this issue.



THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
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