In the News - Friday, November
stories written by John or
Elliott unless otherwise noted
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
in Three Rivers
bread is Kaweah Country tradition
Every year just before Thanksgiving, things get very
busy at Reimer's Candies and Gifts in Three Rivers.
The summer ice cream rush has subsided, but in its
place the holiday season brings a flurry of activity.
and visitors flock to Reimer's for the unique selection
of gifts, holiday decorations, candies, and freshly
made ice cream. But for many there is another very
special reason that only comes with the season — stollen
The gift of a stollen bread, or Christollen,
to family or friends at Christmastime is an old world
Saxon tradition dating back to the 15th century. The
city of Dresden , Germany (the capital of Saxony ),
holds an annual stollen festival that began in 1730.
At the original festival, a stollen loaf weighing
an estimated 1.8 tons was cut with a five-foot knife
and served to a party of 24,000 guests. A special
oven was built just to bake it. For the festival in
2000 a world record 4.2-ton stollen was featured.
As most people seldom serve 24,000 guests, Reimer's
bakes their stollen bread in their Three Rivers ovens
in ample, yet sensible three-pound loaves or with
one-half pound of freshly made marzipan added. They
use the Reimer family Weihnachten, or Christmas
stollen recipe, which dates from 1812, and is meticulously
Attention to authentic detail and uncompromising quality
are hallmarks of the Reimer's recipe. Reimer's ships
stollen bread to customers of all faiths and as far
away as Canada, Japan, Australia, England, France,
Venezuela, and even to Germany .
Enter the store and smell the rich aroma of fresh-baked
stollen. Sweet yeast dough, German Christmas spices,
candied fruits, and other ingredients combine to bring
about a symphony of carefully balanced flavors. Dusted
with confectioner's sugar and gift packaged, each
loaf makes for a festive holiday presentation.
“We bake our wonderful stollen loaves with
care, and the intention is that your family and friends
will enjoy this delicacy that dates back hundreds
of years,” said Lynn Bretz, who owns Reimer's Candies
and Gifts with his wife Mary Anne. “Enjoying stollen
is a custom that has brought joy and meaning to many
holiday celebrations. We would be honored to have
your family make Reimer's loaves a part of your tradition.”
The Old World treat is only baked for a limited time
and only 2,000 loaves are made.
Last year, their website www.stollenbread.com
was the number one hit for both Yahoo and Google searches
for the keyword stollen.
The stollen loaves, along with their exceptional handmade
candies and ice cream are also available at Reimer's
seaside location at 324 Front Street in Avila Beach
Another holiday favorite, cinnamon ice cream
will also be available for a limited time beginning
Wednesday, Nov. 25.
permits now available
the annual end to the local fire season, Cal Fire
began to issue burn permits for Three Rivers and foothills
residents last week. The hazard-reduction burning
program began officially on November 17 but permission
to burn is subject to air quality restrictions, and
users are only permitted to burn after checking daily
regional conditions and area weather updates.
Information on the permit paperwork explains which
days and what times are appropriate to light local
burn piles. When residents follow instructions, the
hazard-reduction program can yield some good results.
Paul Marquez, a Tulare Unit battalion chief with Cal
Fire, said recently that local property owners have
been doing an outstanding job in the creation of more
defensible space. The current state mandate is for
at least 100 feet of clearance around all structures.
In a wildland-fire zone like Three Rivers it is actually
the individual property owners who do the necessary
clearance work that dictate whether firefighters can
save a given structure in the event of an emergency.
Weeds, dry vegetation, and tree trimmings may all
be disposed of as a part of the program.
is no such thing as doing to much to prevent a fire
emergency from becoming a tragedy,” said Chief Marquez.
The permits are available at the self-serve kiosk
at the Cal Fire station in Three Rivers, located on
adjacent to Valley Oak Credit Union.
For more information, call Cal Fire headquarters in
‘N' Horse ‘N' Rose Parade
have been a spectator at a parade somewhere in California
in the past few months, chances are good that you
saw Christy Wood of Three Rivers even though you may
not have recognized her. Christy would naturally have
been on horseback as she is the owner of Wood ‘N'
Horse Training Stables, coach and member of the Wood
‘N' Horse Show Team, author of Your Best Horse
Show: A Guide for Managers and Exhibitors (AuthorHouse,
2009), and an accredited equestrian judge who has
traveled to horse shows worldwide.
In early September, Christy and her championship show
horse, Dude, rode with the Calizona Appaloosa Horse
Club at the Norco Valley Fair Parade. She and nine
others were in Nez Perce costume circa 1870 and riding
Because of their authentic dress, the group won the
“Equestrian Sweepstakes Award.” For the Calizona ApHC,
this honor is a good omen as these 10 have been invited
to ride in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's
Day ( Friday,
Jan. 1, 2010 ).
A few weeks after Norco,
Sylvia Durando of Three Rivers joined Christy in the
Old Timers Parade in Madera,
a community tradition since 1931 that celebrates its
residents of 50 years or more. Sylvia dressed as Allan
Pinkerton of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency,
Christy was again dressed as a Nez Perce woman, riding
Dude. As such, she again won the Equestrian Sweepstakes
Christy knows her Nez Perce history. She holds a World
Championship award in the Heritage class for her Nez
And as of this summer, she is almost halfway through
the Chief Joseph Trail Ride, which takes place for
one week each summer for 13 years to retrace the 1,300-mile
trek that the Nez Perce took in 1877 to avoid being
forced onto a reservation by the U.S.
Since 1964, the ApHC has organized this challenging
ride. The current ride is the third consecutive 13
years and started in July 2004. Each year, Christy
and her mount have been a part of this group of 200
riders and their registered appaloosas, and she plans
on attending each July through 2016 to complete the
ride that will eventually pass through four states
— Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
Christy is obviously well-qualified to depict a historic
Nez Perce woman in the Rose Parade. But she is having
to retrain her world-champion appaloosa into one who
will be able to walk five miles down Colorado Boulevard
with bands playing, floats driving by, and crowds
These days, she can often be seen riding Dude along
Three Rivers roads, as he prepares for his new gig
as a parade horse.
Keep an eye out. At last report, Christy was planning
on riding in Visalia
annual Candy Cane Lane Parade, which will be fitting
as this year's theme is “A Cowboy Christmas.” The
parade is scheduled for
Monday, Nov. 30.
In addition to the parade circuit, Christy has been
busy promoting Your Best Horse Show , which
has been well received in the horse world. She has
been reviewed in several trade magazines and recently
returned from the World Appaloosa Show in Texas
she had a booth to sign and sell books.
In January, she will have a return engagement at the
Western and English Sales Association's Denver International
Market. She will again be peddling her books at this
Don't forget to watch for her in the Rose Parade.
The lineup and her position have not yet been announced.
Recreation Committee seeks members
Rivers Union School parents, listen up! Two years
ago, when three Recreation Committee members resigned
from the board after years and years (and years) of
service, a call was put out for new members to fill
One TRUS parent filled the void, one new mother with
a baby and another on the way, and two retirees. They
have now fulfilled a two-year term and three of the
four have expressed an interest in stepping down from
Here's the deal: The TRUS Recreation Committee is
basically about local schoolchildren learning the
fundamentals of sports — soccer, basketball, and tee-ball/baseball.
As such, it makes sense that parents would spearhead
this important committee.
This group is responsible for the organization of
extracurricular sports for students in grades one
through six. Meetings are held at the school on the
first Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. and generally
last about an hour.
There are 155 children enrolled at Three Rivers School
. This means that there are more than 200 parents,
so it shouldn't be too hard to fill three seats on
this all-volunteer committee.
It would be devastating for the young students to
no longer have youth sports, which is what will happen
if the Recreation Committee doesn't find any new members.
Team sports teach so much more than just the rules
of the game; there are life lessons and character-building
involved, such as teamwork, persistence, encouragement,
perseverance, patience, fairness, cooperation, sharing,
preparation, organization, responsibility, the rewards
of hard work, and so much more.
But it has to be about the game, too. All kids deserve
to be given the chance to play sports and learn the
rules at a young age. They won't feel so intimidated
about joining a team when in middle school or high
If the statistics are any indication, children — and
that includes Three Rivers kids — don't participate
in enough physical activity.
One out of four children in the U.S. is overweight
or obese. Now, more than ever, it's important to make
sure the Recreation Committee remains a viable, active
So, how about it, Three Rivers School parents? Are
you ready to step up to the plate for the kids? Take
the ball and run with it? Slam dunk this board position?
Take one for the team? Dive into action?
Your kids probably won't tell you this, but they will
be very proud. And you don't have to tell them, but
they will be spending less time on the computer, playing
video games, and watching television and more time
on the athletic field. It's a win-win.
Three Rivers parents — or for that matter, any interested
Three Rivers residents — are invited to apply for
the TRUS Recreation Committee by calling the school
office at 561-4466.
bazaars kick off the holiday season
the one who gives all the cool Christmas presents
this year while reducing global warming? Then here's
your opportunity to buy local and right from the manufacturer.
To get you into the holiday spirit, the Three
Rivers Senior League's 24th annual Holiday Bazaar
is this Saturday (November 21, 9 a.m.-4
p.m. , Three Rivers Memorial Building ). It is the
only crafts fair this time of year where many of the
vendors are set up outdoors.
a beautiful late-autumn day, shoppers could not ask
for a better setting in which to do their Christmas
shopping. In addition to the vendors, the Senior League
gives away door prizes every hour, sells baked goods,
and provides a barbecued lunch.
For the two days following Thanksgiving, the Kaweah
Artisans 10th annual Perfect Gift Boutique
will be at the Three Rivers Arts Center (Friday-Saturday,
Nov. 27-28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). On hand will be nine
artists and their specialty creations.
On Friday, December 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. , and Saturday,
Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. , is the Lemon
Cove Holiday Bazaar , organized by Sequoia
Union School . This is a “no-repeat” crafts fair as
no two vendors will sell the same merchandise.
Besides the local artisan booths, Sequoia Union will
have a bargain corner of holiday items for under a
dollar. For the hard-to-shop-for person on your gift
list, try the Tulare County Fair award-winning peach
jam or tangerine lemon marmalade.
This is a family-friendly event with activities for
the kids and gourmet coffee for the adults to sip
while shopping. Take Highway 198 to Avenue 324 and
follow the signs to the Lemon Cove Memorial Building
On Saturday, Dec. 5, in downtown Lemon Cove, visit
the Lemon Cove Woman's Club's Holiday Bazaar
. It's a rare opportunity to see inside this
beautiful 10th-century home built by a Tulare County
pioneer family. This bazaar starts at 11 a.m. with
the sale of holiday items made by local artisans and
Lunch will be served at noon , followed by a card
party. Admission to the holiday bazaar is free; if
staying for lunch, tickets are $12, with all proceeds
going toward the preservation of the club's historic
RIVERS ART REVIEW
by all ages at 1st Saturday
and merchants again treated Three Rivers residents
and visitors to a day of fun as part of the continuing
1st Saturday series. The recent event was held Saturday,
Fansett set up her watercolors on the deck at Anne
Lang's Emporium. Not only was she painting, Kacey
also offered each visitor a mini-lesson in watercolor
painting. Many willing students took advantage, and
several went home with a small, framed masterpiece
of their own.
100 student-artists displayed their embellished watercolor
paintings, created during four weeks in October. Volunteer
art coordinator Amy Dolcourt and her daughter were
there Friday afternoon to hang the many works, and
various family members served as docents for the TRUS
show on Saturday.
Not to be outdone by the youngsters, former Three
Rivers resident Marjorie Brandon, a spry 97, taught
a workshop on collage painting at the Cort Gallery.
Along with artist Ignacio Diaz, Marjorie brought an
abundance of materials with her from Visalia
set up at long tables in the gallery where a group
of adults spent the afternoon learning the art of
The Brandon-Mitchell Gallery in Visalia
a show based on the works produced at this workshop.
According to the artists at The Art Co-op, things
got moving there by 11
and stayed busy all day. Featured artist Marn Reich
was on hand with her creative sculptures and enjoyed
a busy day.
Having sold several pieces, Marn assures local shoppers
that she is replenishing the shelves at the Co-Op
for the balance of the month.
the regular artists who show at that venue, sales
were consistent, the obvious key to continuing this
considerable investment of time and talent each month.
Nikki Crain, a local handweaver, reported that her
studio located five miles up South
had steady traffic. She was happy to demonstrate the
art of weaving to all making the trek to visit her
at Nadi's Studio appeared quite busy with food, storytelling,
music and, of course, original art. Dancing took place
at Cort Gallery following the workshop, and the hours
at that venue will be extended next month to accommodate
those visitors wanting to stay into the evening for
music and dance.
This relatively new event has grown wings. Nadi Spencer,
1st Saturday founder and organizer, invites other
creative types in Three Rivers to join in — photography
lessons, cooking classes, and drum lessons are some
creative ideas that come to mind. The next 1st Saturday
will take place December 5, just in time to lure Christmas
shoppers up from the Valley.
Those wanting to participate must register and pay
a small fee. Email Nadi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheriff Bill Wittman is currently seeking recruitments
for the Volunteers In Patrol program. The next VIP
is scheduled for January 2010.
Since 1993, VIPs have assisted the Tulare County Sheriff's
Department with community-assistance tasks. VIPs have
a wide range of duties including school and vacation-home
patrol checks, traffic control, community-service
engagements, children's court assistance, search-and-rescue
support, community outreach, document transport, assist
stranded motorists, victim/witness transport, deliver
equipment/su pplies, office assistance, trash/graffiti
abatement, and more.
All men and women over the age of 18 are encouraged
to apply. An application form is available online
(click on “Recruitment,” then “Volunteers). After
a review of the application, volunteers will be required
to be fingerprinted and complete a background package.
TO MY FOOD COLUMN
for the holidays
Tina St. John
is a distinct
feeling that starts to infuse our lives this time of
the year. I once saw a saying that said, “Blessed is
the season, which engages the whole world in a conspiracy
Thanksgiving Day is the best eating day of the year!
It's that one day throughout the year where most people
are sitting together eating food they wouldn't typically
prepare, enjoying each other's company (hopefully),
and giving thanks for the blessings in their lives.
Isn't that what most of us envision is happening on
is the common thread for togetherness in any home
or place of gathering. Whenever there is food, there
is contentment, and when there's contentment, there's
The past few years I've been fortunate enough to have
some Three Rivers kids visiting my home for a Thanksgiving
breakfast. Some are back from college and some from
where they live and work.
still seem like kids to me because, well, I'm a mom,
and most of them I've taken care of at some point
when they were growing up.
On the menu is the usual fare of roasted potatoes
with red peppers, served with fresh salsa, buttermilk
pancakes and maple syrup, seasonal fruit salad, and
juice. It's simple, but as long as there's plenty
they seem happy.
The best and most memorable part of their visit is
when they go around the table expressing to one another
what it is they're thankful for.
Every year, I hear the same from all of them: How
thankful they are to be able to come home to Three
Rivers and still have each other as friends. There's
no doubt they share a special bond that seems unbreakable,
and they attribute this to growing up together here
because it fostered creative adventurous playing —
swimming in the river, making forts by the flume,
hiking in the high country, and having gone through
everything together since they were toddlers, or birth
These simple pleasures and basic blessings seem to
define so much of who they are. It's good though to
see them give thanks for the gifts in their lives.
I think what makes them so cheerful and giddy on this
particular morning, however, are their bellies being
filled with love.
Happy Thanksgiving and... Bon
any recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes and top with butter
and warmed 100% maple syrup. Serve with the following
Potatoes with Red Peppers and Simple Salsa
lbs. red potatoes
large red bell peppers
bunch of cilantro (optional)
oven to 375 degrees. Dice potatoes, slice bell peppers
into thin strips. Toss potatoes and peppers in olive
oil and salt to taste. Roast potatoes and peppers
on cookie sheet until potatoes are golden brown and
can be pierced with a fork (about 15 minutes). Remove
from oven and mix in diced cilantro.
can organic diced tomatoes
diced red onion
bunch of cilantro
from 2 limes
a blender, mix tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro,
and lime juice. Season with salt. Stir in onion after
removing from blender. Set aside to top on roasted
fruit and toss with blueberries and pomegranate seeds.
California is ranked…
“America 's Health Rankings” has tracked the health
of the nation for the past 20 years, providing a unique,
comprehensive perspective on how the nation — and
each state — measures up.
This 20th anniversary edition of the Rankings suggests
the nation is extremely adept at treating illness
and disease. However, Americans are struggling to
change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and obesity,
which cause these diseases in the first place.
Trends cite smoking as the greatest health challenge
of the past 20 years and warn that obesity is likely
to be the next national health battle.
The 2009 “Rankings,” which was just released this
week, shows the nation's healthcare system is very
good at disease diagnoses and treatment. But Americans
are in the battle of their lives to learn how to modify
risk factors, such as smoking, poor eating habits,
and lack of exercise, which contributes to chronic
diseases in the first place.
The United States currently spends more per capita
than any other nation on healthcare, including $1.8
trillion in medical costs associated with chronic
diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease,
and cancer. These chronic, preventable conditions
all have a direct link to smoking and obesity, the
nation's two largest national risk factors.
Smoking. Despite focused efforts, nearly
one in five Americans still smoke, which is only eight
million people fewer than 20 years ago. Smoking remains
the leading preventable cause of disease and death
in the country.
Obesity. The fastest growing health issue
that this nation has ever faced is obesity. Today,
more than one in four (31%) Americans are considered
obese. If current trends continue, 43 percent of the
population will be considered obese by 2018.
Nothing to brag about... California was ranked
23rd out of the 50 states this year; it was 24th in
2008. The state's strengths include a low prevalence
of smoking (14% of the population), a low prevalence
of obesity (24.2%), a low occupational fatalities
rate, a low infant mortality rate, a low rate of cancer
deaths, and a low rate of preventable hospitalizations.
Challenges in California include high levels of air
pollution, a high rate of uninsured population, and
a high incidence of infectious disease. According
to the report, “ California ranks lower for determinants
than for health outcomes, indicating that overall
healthiness may decline over time.”
Here are the healthiest states: (1) Vermont
; (2) Utah ; (3) Massachusetts ; (4) Hawaii ; (5)
New Hampshire .
Here are the unhealthiest states: (1) Mississippi
; (2) Oklahoma ; (3) Alabama ; (4) Louisiana ; (5)
South Carolina .