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In the News - Friday, JANUARY 21, 2005


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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.

  “We’re 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” name.

  “Lynn 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 local community.”
   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 more.
   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.


Gayla Huddleston
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 par excellence.”
   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.

Florence Campbell
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, in 2002.
   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.

Gloria Mann
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, Charles.
   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 1.
   People can no longer ride motorized scooters without a valid driver’s license.
   Businesses and individuals can’t sell to minors various performance-enhancing nutritional supplements.
   Children who are 13 or younger can’t use a tanning booth.
   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 detention facilities.
   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.

THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
EDITORS/PUBLISHERS: John Elliott and Sarah Barton Elliott
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