We Three Bakery and Restaurant reopens
After a five-year hiatus, the long-awaited reopening of We Three Restaurant and Bakery is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at 6 a.m. If you are one of the legion of We Three fans, then you know that the return of this family-owned restaurant is a huge qualitative leap forward for the local breakfast scene, especially when life returns to some semblance normal.
Derek Nelson, who with his mom, Bonnie Farkas, will run the place, said at first there will be a limited menu but as restrictions are lifted and business picks up, new menu items will be added. Of course, it will be take-away only right now, but several old favorites are ready to order: cinnamon rolls, tofu scramble, country breakfast, biscuits and gravy, enchiladas, burritos, veggie burger, cheeseburger, and a soup of the day.
And when eat-in sanctions are lifted, there’s plenty of booths inside and the spacious patio outside so everyone can keep their distance and get their We Three fix too. For now, We Three Restaurant and Bakery is open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call-ahead orders preferred: 561-8117.
South Fork evacuation clearance underway
On Wednesday, April 22, Tulare County Fire Department crews began the arduous task of clearing brush and hazard trees on South Fork Drive. By the end of the first workday, a large pile of cut brush and sawed logs had accumulated on the north side of road in the vicinity of the 1.5-mile marker. Expect to see numerous piles accumulate along the roadway in preparation for the County to bring in its industrial chipper and crew.
The $190,466 evacuation clearance project will clear vegetation and remove hazard trees from both sides of the roadway from Blossom Drive to Grouse Valley Road, a distance of about six miles. The project is being funded by a CALFIRE Climate Action Grant. The majority of the work will be completed by hand crews with weedeaters and chainsaws.
The project is expected to be completed by early June. When completed, not only will the roadway be more fire safe due to a reduction of the fuel load, it will be wider to accommodate an extra lane of traffic in the event of an evacuation emergency.
Weather watch: Warm and dry is here to stay
With an awesome April rainy spell behind us, some interesting rainfall statistics have emerged. The Lake Kaweah basin at the 650-foot elevation has received 10.06 inches of rainfall year-to-date; Three Rivers at 1,000 feet has received 13.21 inches; travel up-canyon another 500 feet or so in the vicinity of Ash Mountain and the total is more like16 or 17 inches.
It’s not difficult to understand this pattern. As moisture-laden clouds are uplifted, they dump more moisture. The same thing happens with snowfall relative to cooler temperatures.
During climate change, those freezing temperatures are up higher so that’s where the precipitation falls as snow. Higher-elevation snow accumulation means less snowmelt traveling back down the Kaweah drainage and reaching Lake Kaweah.
The snowpack this year (as of April 1) is 53 percent of average.
With a little creative management of the water that does flow into Lake Kaweah, the high water mark will approach last year’s when precipitation was above the 30-year norm of 20 inches in all Three Rivers gauges. The difference this year is that the high water mark won’t last and Lake Kaweah will be hard pressed to hold that water more than a week or two. Last year, Lake Kaweah appeared to be full for a month or more.
It could be the end of the line for any more precipitation in Kaweah Country in the current season so expect a rapid drying out of all the beautiful wildflowers that are currently at their peak at about the 2,000-foot elevation level. In the big picture, the precipitation season of 2019-2020 will go down as yet another year in a deepening drought.
Current stats for Lake Kaweah as of Thursday, April 23:
Elevation: 648.48 feet above mean sea level
Storage: 68,170 acre-feet (36% full)
Mean inflow: 688 cubic feet per second
Outflow: 24 cfs