In the News - Friday, JANUARY
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Reimer's candy store sold
Earlier this week, Nancy and Uwe Reimer announced that their
Reimer’s Candies store and the Sierra Drive property that also houses
an ice cream parlor and gift shop has been sold to Lynn and Mary Anne
Bretz of Visalia. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
not going anywhere and we plan to continue living in Three Rivers,”
said Nancy Reimer. “We just felt the time was right and we want
to be able to travel.”
The Reimers also said that they would be available for at
least the next year to help the new owners learn the business and how
to continue making the same great Reimer’s products. Nancy Reimer
said that the new owners would continue use the “Reimer’s”
Bretz was raised on a farm in Iowa so he is already familiar with some
of the same things that we do in candy-making,” said Nancy Reimer.
“They are really nice people so they should fit right in with the
The Bretz family will be only the third owners of the venerable
candy store. In 1955, Ted and Millie Huffaker started candy-making in
the original building on the site, which was formerly a family residence.
They sold the business in 1978.
Uwe and Nancy acquired the property from the Huffakers, changed
the name to Reimer’s, and later completed extensive renovation and
expansion, building the historic candy store into a renowned visitor attraction
that has received worldwide attention.
Recent storms nearly perfect
The five-day siege of snow and rain that battered California
from January 7 through 11 was not an El Nino event but rather a rare combination
of tropical moisture, cold, and high-elevation wind. What happened when
these forces collided, scientists say, was just about as perfect as a
perfect storm can get.
In Kaweah Country, where the higher elevations received some
of the best snow in seven years, the impact of all that weather was minimal
when contrasted to the flooding, mudslides, and 25 deaths in Southern
California. Statewide, the damage was more than $100 million while locally
there were scattered power outages, minor rockslides on roadways, and
several downed trees.
The jet stream pumping cold Gulf of Alaska moisture down
into Central California is certainly typical for January. But add in huge
amounts of tropical moisture from the equatorial Pacific known as a “Pineapple
Express” and suddenly a random recipe has all the ingredients for
a weather disaster.
What caused such epic weather was actually a break in the
jet stream that positioned a deep trough of low pressure right off the
Central California coast. When the cold moisture collided with the tropical
weather, California was on the receiving end of some volatile weather.
Southern California received the torrential rain. The Grapevine
along Interstate 5 below the Tejon Pass was closed for 36 hours due to
ice and snow. One of the busiest transport routes in the country is still
experiencing lane closures and lengthy delays while Caltrans cleans up
the mud and the mess.
All that snow above 6,500 feet is loaded with 30 inches of
water content, enough water, officials say, to approximate a snow pack
in a normal year that’s on the ground on April 1. And, wait, there’s
The mild El Nino is expected to continue building in the
equatorial Pacific and bring more rain and snow. When the next round will
occur is still too far out to predict.
Forecasters are saying that another miracle March is a distinct
possibility. At the very least, Kaweah Country and all of Central California
can expect above-average temperatures and precipitation through June 1.
1940 ~ 2005
Gayla Huddleston, formerly of Three Rivers, died Saturday,
Jan. 8, 2005, in Visalia. She was 64.
A local service was held in Three Rivers on Sunday, Jan.
16, at the Community Presbyterian Church.
Gayla was born May 9, 1940, in Glendale to Erling and Ruth
Auran. She was raised in Southern California.
On Aug. 26, 1962, Gayla married Stan Huddleston, who is one
of the founding members of and the banjo player in the High Sierra Jazz
Band, which is based in Three Rivers. After living several years in Southern
California, the couple moved to the Central Valley, residing in Three
Rivers, Bakersfield and, most recently, in Visalia.
Gayla worked for Equitable Life Insurance Company in Los
Angeles. In Visalia, Gayla and husband Stan owned and operated Visalia
Press for 10 years.
Gayla was a member of the Visalia Church of Religious Science.
She enjoyed cooking and baking, traveling with her family, socializing
with family and friends and, according to Stan, was a “homemaker
In addition to her husband of 42 years, Stan, Gayla is survived
by her two children, son Mark Huddleston and daughter Kristi Fournier;
and five grandchildren, Zackery Huddleston, 15, Christopher Huddleston,
12, Alexis Ameny, 13, Amanda Ameny, 9, and Madison Fournier, 4 months.
Remembrances in Gayla’s name may be sent to the Battered
Women’s Shelter, P.O. Box 510, Visalia, CA 93279.
1908 ~ 2005
Florence Campbell, a 75-year resident of Exeter, died Friday,
Jan. 14, 2005, in Visalia. She was 96.
Florence had resided in Exeter since 1929. She formerly owned
and operated the Younger Set clothing store.
Florence was a longtime member of the Church of God in Exeter.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Doyle Campbell,
Florence is survived by two nieces, Anne Lang of Three Rivers
and Barbara Miller of San Luis Obispo; two grand-nieces, Mary Lang Chagnon
and Janet Wolf; and one great-grand-nephew, Jeff Miller.
Graveside services were held yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 20)
at Exeter Cemetery.
1929 ~ 2005
Gloria Ann Mann, a lifetime resident of Woodlake, died Sunday,
Jan. 16, 2005, at Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia. She was 75.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held today (Friday, Jan.
21), at 10:30 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Visalia. Interment
will be at the Woodlake Cemetery.
Gloria was born in Woodlake on May 30, 1929, to George and
Rose Sommer. She attended Woodlake schools.
On July 5, 1947, she married Charles M. Mann. She worked
at various jobs, including Davies Jewelry, Wheeling Pacific in Exeter,
and the Woodlake Public Library. She was a member of the Woodlake Lady
Lions, Theta Tau Theta, Visalia Country Club, and various bridge groups.
Gloria was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years,
She is survived by her daughter, Candace Abee and husband
Ronald of Strathmore; her son, Chuck Mann, and wife Frances of Woodlake;
three grandchildren; and close friend Bill McPhail of Visalia.
New laws in 2005
Happy New Year, California, now stop that.
In his first year in office, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
signed about 950 bills and vetoed more than 300. Among these is AB 2600,
which creates a state conservancy for the Sierra Nevada with the goal
of protecting sensitive areas, reducing fire risks, and improving tourism.
Here is a list of things you can no longer do as of January
People can no longer ride motorized scooters without a valid
Businesses and individuals can’t sell to minors various
performance-enhancing nutritional supplements.
Children who are 13 or younger can’t use a tanning
Motorists can’t purchase electronic devices designed
to turn traffic lights from red to green at the push of a button.
Cell phone companies can’t place customers’ numbers
in a wireless phone directory without written consent.
Cruise ships can’t incinerate their trash or discharge
gray-water while traveling within three miles of California’s coast.
Insurance companies can’t cancel a homeowner’s
policy solely because of devastation from an earthquake, flood, fire,
riot, mudslide, or other disaster.
Prisoners and youth offenders can’t smoke in California
Motorists can’t drive without headlights during rainy
weather or when vision is restricted to less than 1,000 feet. (This law
will take effect July 1.)
Car rental companies in California are now banned from using
GPS tracking systems to keep tabs on their customers.
Children younger than six years old or less than 60 pounds
may not ride on highways in the front seat of a vehicle.
It is illegal to sell, possess, or manufacture a .50-caliber
BMG rifle — which can inflict damage from a distance of four miles
— without a state permit.
And there’s more...
Californians now have the right to sue spammers and misleading
email marketers for up to $1,000 per email, though most citizens will
find it impossible to find and sue junk emailers, especially those located
outside the country.
Vehicle registration fees will be increased by $4 and tire
fees by 75 cents to finance programs for reducing air pollution.
Video stores must post signs and offer brochures about the
industry’s game-rating system, which warns of violence, strong language,
or other potentially objectionable content.
Community colleges and state college systems must adopt a
common course-numbering system to promote transfers and minimize duplication
of course work.
Pharmacies are allowed to sell up to 10 sterile needles and
syringes at a time without a prescription.
Students may carry and self-administer asthma medication
if their school district receives permission from a health provider and
parent or guardian.
Cities, counties, recreation districts, and other local government
agencies that oversee sports facilities are required to ensure that boys
and girls receive equal opportunity and access.
Single-occupant hybrid vehicles that get at least 45 miles
per gallon may use carpool lanes (currently only three models qualify).
And a new law enacted January 7 allows taxpayers who itemize
deductions to claim on their 2004 tax returns any charitable donations
made during January 2005 for relief of the victims of the Asian tsunami.