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Welcome to

Kid’s Court HUMOR



Are You a Junk Food Junky? JULY



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ATTENTION TULARE COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHERS Raise Magazine is looking for cover photo submissions

What kind of photos? Vertical format Children (ages 5-15), or children with pet No group photos Email photos to



Please submit high-quality, electronic files only. Photos are free to submit, but submission does not guarantee placement.

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y



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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

INSIDE july 2013 P U B L I S H E D BY

DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 A D M I N I S T R AT I O N & E D I T O R I A L

Executive Editor Karen Tellalian Assistant Editor TAYLOR JOHNSON Operations Manager MARIA GASTON Marketing Specialist Kyndal Kennedy CO NTR I BUTI N G WR ITE R S




Advertising Director Bridget Elmore Account Executive BRYCE McDONALD SALES OFFICE

801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • fax 559.738.0909 email: B U S I N E S S M A N AG E M E N T

Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA JeffREy Malkasian EA

Direct Magazine is published twelve times a year and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 33,000 homes in Visalia. An additional 2,000 magazines are circulated at distribution points around Visalia and Tulare. Views expressed in columns are those expressed by the columnist and not necessarily those of Direct Magazine. We are dedicated to serving the community. Please call us for questions, comments, article suggestions or for information about local events at 739-1747. Fax us at 738-0909 or email us: Online Issue at: © 2013 DMI Agency



cover story

6 Kid's Court

departments 12 Pet of the Month 16 Fashion 26 VUSD


28 Education

10 Virtual Valley

29 Fitness

Letters from the Mailbox

30 Goings-On

14 Culinary Short Rib Tacos with Corn Salsa

32 Warren Reports

18 Kids' Bookshelf New Teen Reads to Bridge the Gap From School to Beach

20 Well, THAT Was Fun 6:15

24 Beer Fest Malts, Hops and (Beer) Geeks: Recipe for the Second Visalia Craft Beer Fest

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y





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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

KID'S COURT Text by District Attorney Tim Ward

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela Nothing gives a seasoned prosecutor or investigator more pause than a crime against a child. As a society we collectively believe children are our most precious and vulnerable citizens. It is difficult to accept the sad truth that children are often the victims of crime; however, a Rand survey of children between 10 and 16 revealed that more than half had been victims of violence. It is impossible to watch the evening news or read the morning newspaper without seeing yet another horrific crime against a child or children.

As your District Attorney, one of the first objectives I put into place upon assuming the office was to establish the Crimes Against Children Division. The inspiration behind this decision was to apply the successful model of how we traditionally prosecute sexual assault crimes against children and apply those techniques and strategies to every crime involving a child. A team of highly trained prosecutors is dedicated to working each case from inception to trial. Some of the cases they are currently working include

PICTURED: District Attorney Tim Ward and CASA Director Marilyn Barr photographed with members of the CASA volunteer advocate training program. 6


CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

child molestation, online exploitation of children, child pornography, physical abuse and neglect, child abduction, and children who have been exposed to dangerous drugs. Experienced and dedicated prosecutors are just one aspect in our team approach to helping children and families navigate the judicial system. Our prosecutors work closely with victim advocates, parents, and counselors to ensure that the unique needs of each child are met throughout the investigation, prosecution, and the subsequent recovery. There are several programs, both internally in my office and within our community that we use to serve our child victims and their families. Here is a brief overview of some of our collaborative and internal programs: Crimes Against Children Division This newly formed unit is made up of six prosecutors. A supervising attorney oversees one child homicide prosecutor, two child sexual assault prosecutors, and two child abuse prosecutors. The prosecutors work closely with our law enforcement agencies and medical professionals to accurately assess submitted cases. By having a dedicated team of deputy district attorneys, a parent or guardian of a child victim will immediately know who the prosecutor is on the case and that prosecutor will stay with the case until its resolution. The Crimes Against Children Division was created by realigning staff assignments. There is no additional cost to the County for this unit. Child Abuse Response Team (CART) A thorough interview with a child victim or witness requires several elements to ensure the facts of the crime are captured accurately. One crucial element is the location of the interview. We have an off-site location where our CART interviews are conducted. The waiting room is family-friendly with couches, games, and toys for children of all ages. The room where the interviews are conducted is designed with a child’s comfort in mind, with smaller chairs and tables. Along with other warm nuances, the room sends a message of security. Historically, victimized children were interviewed repeatedly by first responders, detectives, prosecutors, other attorneys, social workers, and counselors. In the early 1990s it was estimated that a victimized child would tell his or her story 30 to 33 times prior to testifying in court. This method was not conducive for fact-finding or for the well being of the child. Our CART specialist is trained in the linguistic complexities of interviewing children of every age. Our team listens in from another office and is able to forward questions

to the CART specialist. By utilizing this method, we are able to afford the time necessary to build rapport, establish trust, and unravel the truth about the incident. Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) SART is composed of law enforcement officers, counselors, rape crisis advocates, child welfare workers, and forensic medical staff. SART members work together in an effort to share information, training, and expertise in specialized areas. Child Abduction Unit California law grants district attorneys the authority to use civil procedures to return abducted children and to enforce custody and visitation orders. When a child is abducted from California to another country, district attorneys’ offices help the left-behind parents obtain information about the Hague Convention application process and help with the preparation of applications, which are routed directly to the United States State Department and transmitted to the appropriate foreign Central Authorities. The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office regularly receives applications pursuant to the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention is a treaty that has been signed by more than 50 countries to expedite the return of children abducted to another country by a parent or other family member. Once the District Attorney receives the application, an investigator will attempt to locate the child. If the child is found, the investigator recovers the child and the District Attorney files a petition under the Hague Convention in Superior Court. A hearing is then held, and a Superior Court judge decides whether the child should be returned to the child’s country of habitual residence. At the hearing, the child’s parents may be represented by private counsel. The District Attorney appears at all court hearings. Depending on the circumstances of each case, the District Attorney may file criminal charges as well. Prosecution of the abductor is considered on a case by case basis. If the case is prosecuted, the left-behind parent or family member is considered the victim. The District Attorney's Office prosecutes the abductor parent on behalf of the State of California. California is the only state that assists parents in pursing Hague Convention remedies. In the every other state, private attorneys assist the applicant parent on an ad hoc basis. In the last six years, our office has recovered 100 children and returned them to their custodial parent.



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y


Kid’s Court Entering a courtroom to testify can be an intimating prospect for adults, so one can only image the impact this has on a child. In an effort to familiarize our child victims and witnesses with the process, we hold a “Kid’s Court” in an empty courtroom. The child is allowed to sit at the witness stand, ask questions, and acclimate to an environment that is completely foreign to his or her experience. Trained advocates and attorneys work with the children to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Although a criminal case is eventually resolved, that is just one component in the healing process for a victim. Fortunately, there are agencies within our community that we can pass the torch to when our work is completed. CASA is one such supportive agency. Trained volunteers help abused and/or neglected children who are in the judicial system.

CASA volunteers support and guide children through this difficult time in their lives with compassion and sensitivity. Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) We strongly support and collaborate with CAPC. Their mission is one of child abuse prevention through advocacy and education. Communication and support are critical elements in the fight against child abuse. As your District Attorney, and as a parent, I am deeply invested in securing a future that is safe for all of children. When a child is abused, mistreated, abandoned, or neglected, the journey towards justice and healing can seem daunting. By working with our partners in the community, by utilizing our own innovative programs, and by dedicating a team of deputy district attorneys solely to prosecuting crimes against children, we are doing everything we can to illuminate the path to justice and healing for victimized children in Tulare County.

PICTURED: District Attorney Tim Ward introduces his newly created Crimes Against Children Division to Marilyn Barr, Executive Director of CASA, and CASA volunteer advocate trainees at a recent training session. 8


CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y


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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y


Letters from the Mailbag Questions and suggestions from readers arrive every month. It’s always nice to help people with a technical question, and many of the questions inspire columns. This month, I’m sharing some questions with short responses. When I don’t have a good answer, I’m sharing that, too. Q: Do you have a favorite gaming console? A: When buying a console, consider the games first. Many games are platform exclusives, especially for the Nintendo consoles. Other games ship first for one or two consoles months or years before the games are available for other devices. The gamers I know tend to own Sony and Microsoft consoles, while parents of young children seem to prefer Nintendo devices. I own a dust-collecting Sony PlayStation 2. Consoles have largely replaced personal computers for gaming, but I dislike 10


the types of games that dominate the market. There’s nothing appealing to me about killing humans, demons, zombies or aliens. When I do play games, I prefer word puzzles on my iPhone or Nintendo DS. Q: You own Apple computers and devices, but have you considered other brands? A: Always buy a computer or other device based on what applications and services you intend to use. This is like my advice on gaming consoles: buy the device required by the software you own or plan to buy. Some of the research and educational software I use is available only for Apple systems. However, some business applications are only available for Windows. Like many Mac users, I also have Windows installed on my MacBook Pro. If I needed a new computer for Linux or Windows, I’d buy

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

Text by C. S. Wyatt

a Toshiba X505 laptop. The X505 has an 18.5-inch screen, solid-state drive (SSD), and the fastest Intel i7 processor available. Not everyone needs or wants a portable workstationclass computer, but if you need power and quality the Toshiba is outstanding. The X505 is neither light, nor convenient for travel. If you need small, light and convenient, consider a tablet. Sadly, Apple no longer offers a 17-inch MacBook Pro. There are some great Android-based devices on the market. Samsung tablets and phones impress me. I’m not impressed by Windows 8, though. Buy a phone based on the quality of the service provider and the phone’s wireless speed. My current phone is useless in the foothills where I ride my bike. “Searching …” and “No Service” messages annoy me. I wish I could test several carriers and phones to determine the ideal device. Q: My printer manual cautions against third-party toner, but the brand-name cartridges are $30 to $70 more expensive. Can I really harm the printer? A: This is one of the most common questions I receive. Ink and toner are overpriced. The printer manufacturers make money selling supplies, like the shaving razor companies selling $8 razors and $40 packs of blades. I have received “free” printers with computer purchases. What a deal, until you see the cost of inks. The bad news: the quality of third-party color inks and toners, even from the same company, are inconsistent. I would never use third-party inks or toners for photo printing. The only time I recommend using refilled cartridges is when the printer model and its inks have been discontinued. By that time, the printer is out of warranty, too. Remanufactured toner cartridges or refilled ink tanks rarely cause lasting damage to a printer. If the printer uses a one-piece print head and ink tank, as HP and Lexmark do, then replacing a bad cartridge solves most issues. However, some inkjet printers separate the tanks from the nozzles. Canon and Epson take this approach. Although most Canon inkjet print heads are easily replaced, Epson mechanisms are difficult to replace or repair. When third-party ink clogs an Epson or Canon printer, solving the problem can be expensive. Also, because the ink and nozzles are separate, bad inks “linger” in the nozzles for a few print cycles. I’ve seen “speckled” output after switching a printer back to the better inks, but this problem slowly disappears. There are cleaning kits for Epson and Canon print heads, and some of the ads for these kits mention “cheap inks” as the source of clogs. Is it really saving money on ink if you end up

having to spend the money on a cleaning kit? Q: Does Internet blocking software work? I don’t want my teenager to wander into inappropriate content. A: Among filtering solutions, NetNanny (www.netnanny. com) seems to work best, but I’m not a fan of filtering software. These solutions occasionally block valid content, especially news and science content. Inappropriate sites slip through the filters, too. I understand why NetNanny might be helpful in a classroom or similar situation, but nothing is superior to having a parent or teacher nearby. Apple and Microsoft include basic “parental controls” in their operating systems. Try the parental controls included with Windows and OS X before investing in NetNanny or a similar filter application. Q: You’ve written several times about the value of programming skills. Is there an easy way to learn about programming? A: Several dozen free educational programming environments are available online. I wouldn’t describe any of these as “easy” but they are less intimidating and more fun than starting with C or Java. Some examples include Alice ( developed by Carnegie Mellon University, StarLogo TNG ( from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Microsoft Small Basic ( and LiveCode Community Edition from Runtime Revolution ( I’ve used StarLogo to teach programming concepts to young students. Some of my colleagues have used LiveCode in their classrooms with great success. Since Microsoft includes Visual Basic for Applications within Word and Excel, I use VBA to teach basic programming concepts. Learning to automate Word tasks happens to be a great workplace skill, too. I love conducting seminars for teachers on these topics. Learning to program nurtures problem-solving skills. We should teach all students a little about programming. If we taught coding at a young age, we might also introduce computer science to more girls and minority students. Scott Wyatt is a freelance writer and technology consultant. He earned a doctorate in scientific and technical communication from the University of Minnesota, specializing in educational computing. Contact Scott at with questions and suggestions for Virtual Valley topics. DIRECT MAGAZINE


CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

PET MONTH of the

Text by Valley Oak SPCA

Lost Pet Tips:

After the 4th of July and All Summer Long Hopefully everyone had a happy and safe Independence Day. Most people enjoy fireworks, whether it’s a large professional show or a small family gathering with children twirling sparklers. However, there are those who fear loud fireworks so much that they will do anything to get away from them: our pets. Please make sure that your pet has a collar with ID tags, license, and/or microchip with current information on them, and that they are safely secured before summer vacations – and year round. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of the dogs and less than three percent of cats arrive at our shelter have any form of identification including a microchip. The week following the 4th of July is one of the busiest times for animal shelters. Dogs and cats become so frightened by the loud bangs and screeches of fireworks that they will literally break through windows, doors and fences to escape it. If you have discovered that your beloved pet has run away please, follow these important tips to help ensure you are reunited once again. Search in your neighborhood regularly. Call or whistle,

especially in the evenings when it is quiet. Consider leaving a personal item, such as a jacket or your pet’s bed, outside to help your pet find the scent home. Alert your neighbors. If your animal is injured or frightened, it may be hiding. Ask your neighbors to check garages and tool sheds. Post fliers throughout your neighborhood, at local veterinary hospitals, at businesses and on social media sites. It should include enough information for an honest person to contact you, but not enough detail that a scammer can claim to have your pet. Be careful! Never pay reward money in advance, and be sure to meet anyone in a public place. Post a lost pet ad on Craig’s List and consider placing an ad in your local newspaper. Look on Craig’s List daily, people consistently place found dog ads on this site. If your pet is microchipped, call the company to confirm that your contact information is up-to-date, and alert them that your pet is missing. If you live in the city limits of Visalia or Dinuba file a lost pet report with Valley Oak SPCA, 29016 Highway 99, Visalia, CA 93277, (559) 651-1111. Open Monday and Wednesday 9:30am to 6:00pm and Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm. We strongly recommend that you visit Valley Oak SPCA to personally view the animals in the kennels. Stray animals are held for four days, not counting the day of arrival, Sundays or holidays. Plan on visiting the shelter every three days to see all new arrivals. On days you cannot visit Valley Oak SPCA, call our LOST PET line at (559) 713-4700.

Available for adoption Clover – Clover came into the Valley Oak SPCA in December with a four-inch bone lodged over her bottom teeth, jutting down her throat. This caused her to be extremely emaciated and considerably irritable. After staff removed the bone she was a completely different dog; healthy and friendly. Clover has been in a terrific foster home for the last few months. She is now at the shelter so she can get some extra exposure. Please come see this sweet girl, she needs a loving home.



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

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THE GRIGORYAN FAMILY Simon, Hyke, Gary and Mariya



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

CULINARY Recipes by Elaine Dakessian | Photo by Taylor Johnson

Short Rib Tacos with Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Ingredients 2 lbs. boneless short ribs Salt and pepper Olive oil for searing 1-quart water 6 flour tortillas, fajita size Cilantro for garnish Cotija cheese for garnish Lime wedges for garnish

Ingredients 2 ears fresh corn 2 jalapenos, chopped ½ red onion, chopped ½ C cilantro, roughly chopped 2 avocado, chopped 1 lime, squeezed 1 T olive oil

Directions Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in olive oil. Put in Dutch oven and cover with hot water, being sure that the water comes half way up the sides of the short ribs. Place Dutch oven, covered, in a 350-degree oven for 1-1/2 hours or until tender to shred. Warm tortillas in a non-stick skillet, no oil. Just move around to warm on both sides. Remove and add shredded rib meat and top with the corn salsa. Top with additional cilantro, garnish with Cotija cheese and a wedge of lime.



Directions Mix all ingredients together and top tacos.

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

fashion Text by Sharon Mosley

Take the Plunge:

Swimwear Trends 2013 Time to dive into the surf with a new wave of swimsuits hitting the beach nearest you. What? Are those moans and groans I hear? While it is true that the search for the perfect swimsuit may not be one of the most pleasant things most of us do this time of year, we can still breathe a big sigh of relief when we finally do find that perfect string bikini ... or yes, even that classic black one-piece. But there are lots of swimwear options floating around out there this summer. So treat yourself to a spray tan, pedicure and some flip-flop at the mall. Time to dive in. Here are some of the best swimwear trends you'll see in the stores and online: The Retro Rewind. This is the biggest news in swimwear that harks back to the glamorous pin-up stars of the '40s and '50s with boy-short bikinis and shirred one-shoulder maillots. The banded halter with wider straps is also making a comeback. The good news this year? You can actually swim in these bathing beauties. The Vintage Vantage. Even if the swimsuit you like doesn't shape up to all the movie-star drama, you can still get some vintage flair with the prints and patterns you choose. Swimwear designers are mad for retro plaids, tropical florals and picnic ginghams. Paisley scarf prints and lacy crochets also make a big splash this season. Block it with Color. Brighten up your wardrobe for the poolside this summer with a stark modern take on vivid colors – from neons to pastels – juxtaposed in graphic patterns. Lemon yellow is a sunny favorite. The black and white color blocked suits are another way to put some edge into your swim attire. The Bandeau Bikini. If you feel a little "exposed" in a string bikini but love the look of a two-piece, this suit may be the one for you, especially if you have a bigger bust that will support the "no-strap" top. Just watch those dives from the high board. Go for some ruffles if you are smaller on top. Take the Plunge. Another way to heat up the pool party – a swimsuit with a plunging neckline. This silhouette obviously works best for those of us with smaller bust lines, but this is a sexy suit that you wear at your own risk! By the way, the white one-piece is one of the favorite styles taking the plunge this summer. 16


Cut it Out. Whether it's a suit with sliced-out panels on the side, the neckline or the midriff, suits with cut-outs are one of the most popular ways to show a little skin at the beach this summer. For those who may not like to bare quite so much, check out the suits with sheer inserts in all the right places. Animal Instincts. Go ahead and get a little wild. Keep your eye out for leopard printed bikinis, zebra-printed maillots or python foil-printed boy shorts. Copper metallic suits are the shining stars. Going on a beach safari has never been this much fun! Covering Up. To some of us, the beach cover-up may be even more important than the swimsuit itself! There are so many ways to do this – from sheer colorful shirts to oversized sarong scarves. This summer, the maxi sundress is a real winner for fun in (and out) of the sun.

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

KIDS' BOOKSHELF Text by Lee Littlewood

New Teen Reads to Bridge the Gap From School to Beach School's out for the summer. Encourage your teen to stop staring at electronic screens and read real books! These new young adult novels are every bit as thrilling and absorbing as anything on the Internet. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen; Viking Books/ Penguin; 435 pages; $19.99. Dessen has nearly eight million books in print, and her latest "girl read" should send that number soaring. In Dessen's 11th novel, teen Emaline's enjoys her last summer before college in the beach town of Colby. She works at her family's beach rental business as her high school romance crumbles, and she finds herself drawn to a visiting city boy named Theo. Much more than just a frothy beach read, Dessen adds the all-too-real dilemma of college tuition to her tale, as Emaline finds out her family's true financial problems, dashing her hopes of attending the pricey Ivy League Columbia University. Smartly explored by Dessen, her novel introduces the concept of attending a local college that offers a full scholarship and forgoing that coveted "dream" university. All too often a reality in today's world, Dessen somehow makes Emaline's reality a positive, letting readers know a bright future is always still possible, no matter what. Promoted massively online through all the social media outlets, Dessen seems to have the knack of snagging teen readers no matter what changes the book market takes. A highly entertaining, real read girls will love, The Moon and More has romance, fun, beachy situations and college realism wrapped up in one smart package. Permanent Record by Leslie Stella; Amazon Children's Publishing; 282 pages; $17.99. A sometimes dark, other times funny, all times humane tale of a high school outcast, this new tale from Amazon Children's Publishing is a timely, important novel for teens. It tells the realistic tale of Badi Hessamizadeh, a 16-year-old



boy who withdraws from public school, enters a new academy and reverts to small revenges and defiances to react to being an outcast. Badi grapples with his Iranian-American identity, clinical depression, bullying, unrequited love and a barelybottled rage, which show up in the form of plummeting grades and a stressful home life. With dark humor and emotional depth, author Stella's modern way of writing makes sense to readers, who will side with Badi and friend Nikki as they try to uncover the real culprit who's sending threatening letters to the school's newspapers. Stella's amazing debut for teens is timely and real and should certainly resonate with readers, male and female. Burning by Elana K. Arnold; Delacorte Press; 320 pages; $16.99. Many teens these days attend musical festivals and street fairs, from Coachella to Daisy Carnivals to, yes, even the desert's Burning Man. Part road trip, part otherworldly, "groovy" outdoor escape, Arnold's sizzling love story follows a small-town boy on track to a sports scholarship and a gypsy fortune-telling girl on her way to an arranged marriage. For teens 14 and up, Burning is an uplifting, adventurous love story, and like many classics, it pairs two teenagers from different worlds together against all odds, this time amidst a steamy, dramatic backdrop. With magic, risks, transformation and ultimately adult choices as themes, Burning is a fabulous summer read full of surprises, beauty and escape. Older teen boys and girls will enjoy Arnold's passionate read, told from alternating points of view. Wide Awake by Hilary T. Smith; Katherine Tegan Books/HarperCollins; 375 pages; $17.99. Part of HarperCollins' Epic Reads, an online community for young adults to help them find books, discuss them, create them and access contests and videos at, "Wide Awake" is the debut from publishing blogger Hilary T. Smith. An exhilarating and heartwarming tale that celebrates the drama that is age 17, Wide Awake also weaves in a murder situation amidst a summer of music, madness, heartbreak and joy. With non-stop excitement throughout, Smith's debut tale also explores love and loss, with lots of real teen dilemmas thrown in. Starring a teen named Kiri Byrd who discovers a startling family secret and then finds herself in a world of mental illness and first love, Wide Awake is a rollercoaster, but then again, so is life.

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y


6:15 Oh, that man. I can’t even. I just don’t. Ugh. A few weeks ago, Donald decided we were not going to have the brownest yard on the block this summer. Up until then, he’d proudly boasted about his savings on how much water we didn’t use. We spent the first part of spring spreading corn flakes on the kitchen floor in the morning, preparing the kids for the crunch of grass under their feet when they went outside to play. We weren’t like all those fools on our block 20


dumping money into a sprinkler system and forever dealing with repair issues. We had xeriscape plants in pots we could move around to cover the worst places. We had a system. We had a plan. We were a team. The traitor bought six sprinklers of different types, four lengths of hose, and a two-timer system. Just. So. Angry. And now, bent on revenge. He spent an entire evening setting things up around the

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

Text by Crystal R. R. Edwards

yard. One timer went in front. It had two hoses and four sprinklers attached to it. He fiddled around for a while, trying to find the best settings for everything, then turned his attention to the back yard. Two more lengths of hose and two wide-ranging sprinklers were installed back there, and he spent even more time working on that timer. He realized he’d misplaced his phone at some point and couldn’t set the proper time, so called out to me to tell him what my watch said. I was barely speaking to him, but complied, then went into the house to write an annoyed article (not this one) since I was in the mood for it. Donald didn’t take my usual routine into consideration, obviously. Every night, the kids go upstairs at 8:30 p.m. for bed. While he is up there shepherding them through pajamachanges and last-minute battles with toothpaste, I spend 15 or 20 minutes downstairs trying to set the common areas back into order. The dog always follows him up, but at 8:50 on the nose she will come down and ask to go out. I always grab a glass of water and wander out back with her and sit to watch the sky and the birds. Always. I’ve done this for as long as we’ve lived in this house, even before the dog came along. I treasure the solitude, the peaceful night air. The first night after he set up the sprinklers, I opened the back door. Pookie gave me her laughing dog face and bounded out. I stepped out, my cell phone in one hand and my ice water in the other. Just as I closed the door behind me, I heard a hissing noise. Now, if you’re new to the column, you probably don’t realize I live in Texas. A hissing noise is one of three things: a rattler coming at you, a rattler going away from you, or a brisket on the grill. I didn’t smell smoke. I might have levitated four or eleven feet. It’s hard to recall. The dog rushed back to the house with a distraught grimace. I thought she’d surely seen a snake and was giving her evening toilet up for a bad idea, and I was trying to quickly open the door so we could go scream together about death and rattles and OMGkillitkillitkillit! when a freezing cold jet of water hit me square in the side of the head. We fell through the backdoor together, a tangle of legs, fur, a cell phone, and cuss words – don’t let Pookie’s sweet face fool you. She has mastery of the Language Foul and can simply stun you with the breadth and depth of her expletives. Even if you don’t like bad language, it’s an enjoyable spectacle. Anyway. My 8:51 gander at the sky was a bust, and the dog still had to do dog business. I remembered Donald saying he set the sprinklers in the back yard to a time about fifteen minutes

before the ones in the front, so the coast would be clear (if damp). We sloshed our way across the house and went out the front door. Pookie looked left and right a few times, then stepped off the porch and began to investigate a likely looking clump of near-dead grass. I glanced down at my phone to see if it was wet or not ... just in time to hear hissing. “Pookie,” I called. “Come o –” This time the stream of water got me square in the chest. I remember seeing its graceful arc curving toward me, backlit by the headlights of my neighbor turning into her driveway. I remember thinking, stupidly, “Snake?” because it looked just like an artistic rendering of a cobra from a fantasy illustration. My point is, there wasn’t time to think or anything else and I got got. Pookie and I straggled back into the house. She was in rare form and the paint was peeling off the walls. She was calling into question the parentage of hoses, sprinklers, and timermakers and it was marvelous. I was wringing my hair out over the kitchen sink. Donald came down the stairs, happily bouncing around like he does in that way that makes me want to staple his feet to the floor. He heard the water splashing against a side window and trotted over to look out. “Oh!” he said. “I forgot to tell you. I changed the time a bit on them. How do they look? Are they working?” A curl of paint fluttered to the floor between us. I was bent over, my hair twisted into a long, wet rope. There was a long moment of silence. “I don’t know,” I finally said. “Step out and check.” He went off to do just that, and Pookie sat down and looked at me. I looked back. Somehow, between the two of us, we concocted a plan. I’m not the only one with a routine. I know when his alarm clocks goes off and how many times he hits snooze in the morning. I know it takes him 14 minutes every morning to get a cup of coffee and lay his clothes out for the day. I know it takes him 42 minutes to get to work. I know it takes him 77 minutes to leave for kung-fu class at his lunchtime and get back in time for his 1:30 department meeting. I know he leaves his desk at 5:33 every evening. And I know he pulls into our driveway at exactly 6:15 every night. After he left for work the next morning, Pookie and I visited parts of the yard we’d been so proud to avoid for all these years. We visited the hose spigots. Exactly 6:15. Welcome home, honey!



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y


"A Church for the Community"

The Global Leadership Summit Thousands of dollars are spent each year to send a single person to a leadership conference or convention after registration fees, travel, hotel stay and food have been calculated. What if I told you that you could get that same experience and knowledgeable expertise, but for a quarter of the cost, and go home at the end of the day to sleep in your own bed and enjoy a home-cooked meal with your family? I know what you are asking yourself. How is this possible? What kind of speakers would be presenting at such a conference that the cost would be so low? The answers to these questions will not only surprise you but blow your mind. Visalia First Assembly will be Host Site for The Global Leadership Summit on August 8-9, 2013. This world-class event in leadership skills and training strives to remain accessible and 22


affordable for all those with the desire to attend. Whether you are a business owner, non-profit director, church leader or you just want to become a version of yourself with a “Lead Where You Are” mentality, then this is the event you have been waiting for. Where else on a stage can you get General Colin Powell, Mark Burnett, Andy Stanley and Dr. Brené Brown as well as nine other world-renowned authors, business and church founders, CEOs, leadership strategists and influential thinkers of the 21st century. If you have been thinking of a staff retreat or team-building exercise, The Global Leadership Summit and Visalia First offer the perfect platform for such a gathering. During the session you can listen and take in everything that these incredible motivators and world leaders discuss. Later, use one of the break-out

rooms that Visalia First can offer you to come together as a group over a snack or lunch. Discuss what you heard and the inspiration that results from these amazing individuals and their ideas of leadership. Imagine not just one, but 13 influential leaders all together at one conference. Bill Hybels and Willow Creek orchestrate a once-in-a-lifetime event that you, your co-workers and fellow business partners don’t want to miss. In the words of Bill Hybels, “See YOU at the Summit.” To learn more about The Global Leadership Summit or to register, visit the website or call Shannon at (559) 733-9070 ext. 124 or by email at

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

AIR SUN "The Benefits of Solar Energy"

How to Choose a Residential Solar Power System Are you ready to take the first step toward energy independence? Below are some questions to consider when buying solar for your home. We’ve made purchasing or leasing a residential solar system from AIR SUN simple and straightforward. Is your contractor a NABCEP certified, trained professional? Do they have a valid, unexpired, contractor's license? By using only a contractor certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, (NABCEP) one is able to identify quality companies, promoting confidence in the work performed. Ask if he or she is a licensed and insured solar energy specialist trained for residential solar power installation. You can count on AIR SUN to provide the highest standard of quality and customer service. Our installers are handpicked and rigorously trained to be your solar advocates, providing careful but timely installation and responsive service

Is your solar installer recommending storing solar energy with battery systems? We believe this is unnecessary. Batteries are complicated, expensive, short-lived and require more maintenance. Excess solar energy generated by a grid-tied solar system is sent to your utility’s power grid and will offset portions (or all) of your electricity bill. This is called Net Metering and could offset your bill by up to 100 percent. How does the amount of power my solar energy system is capable of producing differ from the amount of actual electricity it will generate? Solar systems are often described in terms of the amount of power they are capable of producing in a given instant (measured in watts or kilowatts). The most important factor to take into account, however, is the amount of actual electricity the system is expected to generate during its lifetime (measured in kilowatt-hours.)

Does the monthly payment option sound too good to be true? Your proposal may have a hidden escalator clause which increases your payment over time. You should review the solar proposal and contract carefully before choosing the one that's right for you. The best solution will maximize the amount of energy the system produces while minimizing your monthly utility bill for both the short and long term.  How much will I need for the initial deposit on my solar system lease?  If you are leasing the solar system your installer should not request or accept any deposit from you. If you are getting a pre-paid or partial pre-paid lease your first payment will not be due until the system is fully installed.



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

BEER Fest Text by Jordan Venema | Photos by Taylor Johnson

Malts, Hops and (Beer) Geeks:

Recipe for the Second Visalia Craft Beer Fest The Visalia Craft Beer Festival came to Mooney Grove Park for its second year in a row. A mere $30 bought admission to the event and unlimited two-ounce samples of different beers from breweries located as far as Oregon and as near as Main Street, Visalia. Beer aficionados kept cool under the canopy of the park’s historic oaks, while sipping craft brews and listening to the low-fidelity sounds of Electric Grease and Central California Bluegrass band the Mother Corn Shuckers. Between the music, the food and the beer, the fest felt like a laid-back picnic without that nagging worry: who’s going to buy the next six-pack? Even though the festival is still in its infancy, the promoters put forth a well-organized event. “We try to put as much energy into the fest as the brewers do into their beer,” said Kenny Hildebrand, the chairman of Craft Beer Coalition, the nonprofit that hosted the event. According to its website, the nonprofit is “dedicated to the preservation of the history and culture of craft beer through education and awareness.” In other words, the Beer Fest wasn’t just some Bacchanal, all-you24


can-drink binge. “The Craft Beer Coalition has put on this fest for the beer geeks,” said Hildebrand, and its purpose is to “educate your palate and mind.” “Geek” is a term endearingly applied to a small, passionate group of people with an extensive, almost esoteric knowledge about one particular thing. In this case: beer. One only had to listen to a few conversations to realize that most of the fest’s attendees were what Hildebrand called “beer geeks.” Acronyms slipped from the lips of fest goers with a kind of scientific pedantry: “Could you tell me the IBU rating of this imperial ale? What about its SRM, or its ABV?” A representative from Fresno’s Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company described the General Sherman IPA as “cask-conditioned in a firkin, and dry hopped with whole cone citra hops.” Whole cone what? The truth is that most beer drinkers separate their brews into two categories, Bud and Bud Light. Which is precisely why the Visalia Craft Beer Festival exists: to make craft beers more accessible to the community. Doug Dresser, the Central California Sales Representative

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

for Firestone Walker Brewing Co., explained that while craft beers make up a smaller percentage of the market, they offer more flavor and variety. Last year, explained Dresser, “total craft brew consumption reached only 6 1/2 percent. So everybody here is weird, a little out there. But they’re all looking for flavor, and that’s what craft beer is about.” Dresser, “the pale ale professional,” compared drinking craft beer to drinking specialty coffee. After trying a French press or pour-over, would you ever go back to instant coffee? Of course not, and the same goes for beer. “Once you get used to that fresh, full-flavored beer, you’re never going back,” he said. According to the definition of the Brewers Association, a craft beer must be traditionally brewed by an independent brewery with an annual output of less than six million barrels. It might seem like a large number, but for craft breweries like Firestone Walker, that means its distribution is relatively limited to its locale. Californians may take the Firestone Union Jack for granted, but outside California, which makes up 80 percent of Firestone’s market, their beer would be difficult to find. Craft beer makes up a small percentage of total beers brewed, but it represents the majority of its variety. Dresser pointed out that “there are over 90 different styles of beer that get judged at major competitions,” and most of those styles are perfected by craft breweries. That’s good news for beer geeks and the Visalia Craft Beer Fest, since there should never

be a shortage of beers to sample. Lagunitas, Ninkasi, Stone, Speakeasy, 21st Amendment, Sierra Nevada, and Brewbakers were just a few of the breweries represented at the Visalia Craft Beer Fest. The success of this year’s local fest, and other festivals like it, suggests the rise in popularity of craft beer. Most people know at least one person who has dabbled in brewing their own beer. And home brews, upon occasion, have grown into independent craft breweries, like Brewbakers. But the growing number of independent craft breweries doesn’t appear to create a conflict of interest between small businesses. Stephanie Dyer, a manager at Visalia’s Brewbakers, expressed rather a growing sense of community among craft breweries. “The beer community is all about sharing with each other. We’re not competing with 21st Amendment, We’re not competing with Tioga. [The Visalia Craft Beer Fest] is about getting people together and enjoying each other,” she said. That’s exactly what the fest did: it provided an environment where people could come together, enjoy each other, have fun, and appreciate beer as a craft, as an art. Also, attendees learned a thing or two about new beers. Maybe this year’s attendees will have left the fest better prepared to answer the question, “What’s your favorite beer?” Or, maybe not. For Dresser, his favorite beer “depends on the time of the year, where I am, the temperature, how I’m feeling and – most importantly – who’s buying.” DIRECT MAGAZINE


CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

VUSD Text by Craig Wheaton, Ed.D. Superintendent

How to Run for School Board To understand how our board members are elected, you need to know a little about Visalia Unified School District history. VUSD was unified in 1965, pulling together Visalia City Schools and outlying small schools. The district reaches from Goshen to Ivanhoe. Until the 2011 election, there were seven board members representing five districts. With a population of over 130,000 and a student enrollment of 27,000, Visalia outgrew the original board election structure and it made much more sense to establish seven trustee areas. The school board took action in 2011 to change how school board members were elected. In the November 2011 election, the change affected three of the seven board members by moving from five trustee areas to seven trustee areas and shifting to what is called “by-trustee” area elections. This simply means that the district is divided into seven areas and trustees must live in and be elected by voters in that area. This November, the remaining four trustees will be elected from the new “by-trustee” areas. Generally, the trustee areas represent elementary school attendance boundaries. The new system makes it easy to know which area you would represent if you are interested 26


in running for school board. All you need to know is which elementary school attendance your home is in, and you can figure out the trustee area. The trustee areas that are open for election this fall are: Area 1 (Veva Blunt, Willow Glen and Manuel F. Hernandez) Area 2 (Elbow Creek, Four Creeks, Golden Oak and Ivanhoe) Area 3 (Annie R. Mitchell, Mineral King and Pinkham) Area 4 (Goshen, Hurley, Oak Grove and Shannon Ranch) In order to run for office, candidates must file with the County Elections Office between July 15, 2013, and August 9, 2013. Election Day is on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. Being a school board trustee carries a tremendous amount of responsibility, but it is also very rewarding when you know that you are contributing to the families of our community. It takes a great deal of time, energy and commitment – it isn’t for everybody. Visalia is a wonderful community, and we need committed individuals to step forward and serve on the Visalia Unified Board of Trustees! The PTA needs you. Please consider joining your local PTA, it is a wonderful way to make positive improvements in your child’s school. For more information, contact your local school administrator, or email

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y


Hot? Keep Your Cool With Our AC Service


Sandra Juarez Asks:

"When Should I Sell My Car?" When is it time to dump your ride and get another set of wheels? I am often asked this at our shop. First question to ask is why do you want to sell it? Is it a matter of just wanting something different? Is it a matter of size or fuel mileage or is it costing too much to keep it? The average cost to keep your car serviced and maintained is around $85 - 125 per month excluding fuel, and insurance. So when your costs start to equal the price of a used or new car payment, then it is time. What trends are you seeing today in your business? We are seeing a lot of Googlers. If you are not sure what that is, it is a person who Googles everything, including how to fix a car, how much they can buy a part for, etc. The problem, like one of my friends stated, is, “You can’t Google 40 years of experience.” More often than not, you are going to get some information, but not the complete picture. And with parts purchased online, if it fails before it should, who is going to pay for the cost of labor to replace that part? Who are you going to call at 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon on your way to the coast? Are you going to call Google and the place you bought it online to send you a tow truck? Or are you going to call your local repair shop that has been there for you all along? The one that installs quality parts that they supply and stands behind their work? I think you might know the answer to that question 'Till next issue, be safe. Jim and staff

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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y


Employers know the value of their staff being knowledgeable in the very latest computer applications. During hiring cycles, they seek applicants with the best in skills and training. Recently, big changes have taken place in the world of Microsoft Office, which includes Word, Access, PowerPoint and Excel. Eric Lindberg, division manager for San Joaquin Valley College’s Business Administration program at the Visalia campus states, “Today’s business environment is very complex and if students are not well prepared, they will start to fall short of expectations of their employers within their business environment. The office computer programs are a very important component of our curriculum.” San Joaquin Valley College is committed to providing students with the latest technological advances in their business programs, which include Business Administration, Health Care Administration, and Human Resource Administration, as well as other medical and technical programs requiring 28


these skills. “We want to prepare our graduates to have all the education and training available so they can explore career options with a high level of skills and confidence,” states Business Administration instructor Stan Shawl. San Joaquin Valley College’s (SJVC) Business Administration program offers Microsoft Office (MOS) certifications to those students who wish to take and pass the tests. The college provides a testing facility and covers the expense of the first round of tests. The college’s Business Administration program is well rounded and offers basic business education, as well as specialty areas such as accounting, marketing, business trends and management. The 14-month accelerated Business Administration program also provides training in: economics, psychology, sociology, ethics, and management, to expand a student’s basic business understanding and enhance career growth potential. Graduates of this program can expect to work in such industries as government,

SJVC’s Business Administration program provides Microsoft Office training

education, banking, construction, agriculture, advertising, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance – virtually any company or facility requiring business support. On-the-job responsibilities might include demonstrating good customer service, producing computer reports, performing accounts receivable/ payable tasks, producing sales presentations, or providing team support. A business education will provide a strong base from which to branch out into many other areas of career interest. Graduates of SJVC’s Business Administration program earn an Associate of Science degree and the confidence to step into any business, office or sales environment. San Joaquin Valley College was founded in 1977 and is a 12-campus, plus online campus, private Junior College, serving California communities. For more information about SJVC’s business, medical or technical programs, call toll free (866) 391-3804. Classes are starting soon.

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

focus fitness ON

Text by Andy & Eryn Salazar of Empower Fitness Training

Are You a Junk Food Junky? What’s lurking in your pantry can be adding inches to your waistline. If junk food is in your house you are bound to eat it. It starts off innocent enough, the left over potato chips and soda from your last barbeque, junk food snacks for the kids that are out of school for summer. You don’t intend to eat it but somehow you just can’t resist. I hate to tell you this, but most of us don’t have that strong of will power. Let’s get real with the junk food that we keep in the house. You know what I am talking about, chips, sweet and salty snacks, ice cream in the freezer, soda pop in the fridge, and cookies on the kitchen counter. Here’s the deal. If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, then you simply cannot afford to indulge in all this extra junk food and sugar, unless you want to add inches to your waistline. I’m all for things in moderation. However lack of physical activity and adding excess calories to your diet does not add up. Why do we try and justify having junk food in house, when we know it’s simply not good for us? Here are some of the reasons I hear from my clients. Reason #1: I buy it for the kids, or the kids asked for it: This is the classic pass the buck excuse, blame it on the kids. The truth of the matter is that we end up indulging in the junk food that was for the kids. Why, because it is in the house. Listen, your kids do not need to eat that junk, just as you shouldn’t. If it’s not good for you it’s not good for them. A great alternative to junk food is to stalk the house with lots of fresh fruit and berries. Reason #2: “It’s left over from our barbeque, I can’t let it go to waste.” Or the, “It was on sale, I couldn’t pass it up.” I know

it’s difficult to throw out uneaten food. However if you look at it as junk food, that is not good for you and costs you your good health and undermines your goals then toss it out, or pass up the sale. Reason #3: I’m keeping it in moderation; I only eat a little bit. Like I mentioned earlier if it’s in your house you are bound to eat it. You know those late nights cravings when your body is tired but your mind still awake and you crave sugar to give you energy. According to the Huffington Post the average person takes in an extra 54,750 calories of junk food a year, that’s roughly 15-16 pounds of junk a year, one pound is 3,500 calories. All of those extra calories (if not burned off through physical activity) mean extra pounds on the scale. Reason #4: It's a habit, I cannot do without it. We all have our favorite snacks and junk food that we crave and cannot seem to do without. Try slowly phasing your favorite snack out of your diet and introducing healthier snacks. Before long, your body will start craving the healthy snacks, and you will have replaced your guilty pleasure with a healthy one. What excuses are holding you back from getting rid of the junk food in your kitchen? Hey listen, if you are okay with having it in your house and are not concerned about the repercussions and long-term effects, then by all means keep buying it and stocking your house with it. However, if you are ready to make a change and live a healthier lifestyle, let’s purge your kitchen of all the junk lurking in it. You know where it is. Look for all of the processed goods that have excess sugars and high sodium counts. Gather them up and toss them in the trash. Wow, now that’s a great feeling, a fresh start! Go stock your kitchen full of fresh fruits, berries, and healthier food choices. Stay physically active, and continue making healthy food choices it will definitely result in a fitter healthier you and household.



CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

GOINGS-ON 4th of July 10K/2M Race The City of Exeter with the Exeter Kiwanis sponsors this event on the 4th of July. Registration: $25; Day-of registration (closes at 6:30 a.m.): $35. The first 100 participants receive a free t-shirt. When: July 4; 7a Where: Exeter City Park, E. Chestnut St. and S. “E” St., Exeter Contact: 592-5262 or Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Come one, come all to the Greatest Show On Earth! Surprise and wonder delights the audience with over the top feats of strength, agility and courage. Circus performers, magnificent elephants, ferocious tigers, astonishing acrobats and aerialists are engineered into one spectacular performance. Don't miss the show! See website for show times and to purchase tickets. When: July 4-7 Where: Selland Arena, 700 M St. Fresno 93721 Contact: Call 800-745-3000 or visit Blues, Brews & BBQ's Enjoy great blues, brews (or soft drinks) and BBQ in a comfortable and safe environment – without having to pay for gas and traveling out of town. Every Blues, Brews & BBQ's concert is FREE! Bring money only if you want to enjoy savory BBQ'd meals, thirst-quenching drinks (it does get HOT in California's Central Valley, in case you didn't know!) and souvenirs from a lineup of outstanding blues performers – this month featuring Brothers of Another Mother and Mofo Party Band in August. When: July 5; 6-10p; August 2; 6-10p Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia Contact: 732-7737



First Saturday Food, fun and fabulous art. Every first Saturday of the month, the artists, restaurants and merchants of Three Rivers open their doors and invite you to join in a town-wide celebration. You can pick u pa map and schedule at Anne Lang's Emporium or the Historical Museum- art to see, locations and times for special events. When: July 6; 11a-5p Where: Anne Lang's Emporium, 41651 Sierra Dr. (CA 198), Three Rivers Contact: Nadi Spencer, 561-4373 or visit Steel Magnolia The American country music duo is coming to the Kings County Fair. Come out and enjoy the fair, then stop by the outdoor theater and watch them perform their hit single "Keep on Lovin' You." Concert is free with fair admission. When: July 6, 8p Where: The Kings Fair, 801 S. 10th Ave Hanford 93232 Contact: 584-3318 or visit Earth, Moon and Sun How do the Earth, moon and sun work together as a system, and what is the myth and science behind it? Why does the sun rise and set? Why do we see different constellations during different seasons? What is an eclipse? Learn about the moon's phases and orbit. Explore past and future space travel to our moon and beyond. Adults, $4; children under 12, $3. When: July 10; 2 and 3p Where: Pena Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334 or

Hot Dog Festival Three Rivers Historical Museum hosts the annual Hot Dog Festival. Come out and eat hot dogs, polish dogs, veggie dogs, corn on the cob, and A&W Float-mobile service Root Beer Floats all for only $7! There will be music, fire trucks, and tons of fun for the whole family to experience. Three Rivers Volunteer Firefighters are cooking and sharing the proceeds with the local museum, so come and show support! When: July 13; 10a-4p Where: Three Rivers Historical Museum, 42268 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers Contact: Call 561-2707 or visit Rec 'n' Fish Derby Join the City of Visalia Parks & Recreation Dept. and local fishing clubs for a competitive fishing derby. Reel 'em in as prizes go to the top three total stinger weights in each category. Participants must bring their own poles, bait and tackle. Let's catch them hook, line and sinker! Ages 3-15yrs. $4 pre-registration, $5 day of event. When: July 13; 8a-10a Where: Plaza Park pond; W. Airport Dr., Visalia Contact: Call 713-4365 or visit Sara Evans Multi platinum country star Sara Evans will be performing a couple of her most popular hits that will get the crowd up and singing along. Don't miss this incredible concert at Eagle Mountain Casino. Tickets $25 When: July 20, Doors open at 7:30p Where: Eagle Mountain Casino, 681S Tule ReservationRd, Porterville Contact: (559) 788-6220 or visit

CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

Dive in Movie Beat the summer heat and cool off with a swim at the Mt Whitney HS Pool, then dry off and enjoy a family friendly flick screened on the lawn near the pool. Please bring chairs, blankets, snacks and anything thats comfy! Movies begin at dusk. Admission is $2 per participant. When: July 20 - Rise of the Guardians (PG); July 27 - Toy Story 3 (G) Where: Mt. Whitney High School; 900 S. Conyer St., Visalia Contact: Call 713-4365 or visit Riverway Sports Park "Movie in the Park" featuring Grease Enjoy a fun and free night out with the family by taking your living room outdoors. Bring your blankets and chairs, and a picnic dinner and watch the classic movie, Grease. When: July 26; 7:30p Where: Riverway Sports Park, 3611 N Dinuba Blvd, Visalia Contact: 713-4365 or visit Perfect Little Planet Discover our solar system through a new set of eyes - a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, dive over the ice cliffs of Miranda, sail through the rings of Saturn. feel the lightening storms at Jupiter, and walk on the surface of Mars. This is a solar system journey for space travelers of all ages. When: July 26; 7p Where: Peña Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave. Visalia, CA Contact: 737-6334

Johnny Winter Johnny Winter has been a guitar hero without equal. Constantly shifting between simple country blues and all-out electric slide guitar blues-rock, Johnny has always been one of the most respected singers and guitar players in rock. Tickets $35-$65 When: July 27; 7:30p Where: Visalia Fox Theater, 300 Main St., Visalia Contact: Neon Night Run The Neon Night run is quite possibly to most luminously electrifying 5K race you will ever compete in. Create a team and come decked out in your best disco threads and glow sticks. Register for $50 online at When: July 27; 8:30p Where: The Big Fresno Fair, 1121 S. Chance Ave., Fresno Contact: Visalia Farmer’s Market – Harvest of the Valley Weekly event open to the public featuring free live music, kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and local, fresh produce available for purchase. The market also accepts EBT and WIC. When: Saturdays; 8-11:30a Where: Sears parking lot at Mooney and Caldwell, Visalia Contact: 967-6722 or visit Visalia Farmer’s Market – Downtown Weekly event open to the public featuring free live music, kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and local, fresh produce available for purchase. The market also accepts EBT and WIC. When: Every Thursday (March – October); 5-8p Where: Church St. and Main St., Visalia Contact: 967-6722 or visit

25th Annual Tommy Elliott Memorial Golf Classic Come celebrate our 25th Anniversary of Tommy Elliott Memorial Golf Classic. Join us for a fun-filled day of golf and food. Win prizes and gift certificates at most of the holes. Shotgun startsat noon. Enjoy lunch, an awards ceremony, silent auction and the opportunity for networking! When: August 9, 10a Where: Visalia Country Club Contact: Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation 624-2359 or e-mail Celebrant Singer Homecoming Concert After an exciting summer of ministry and travel around the United States, Portugal and Venezuela, Celebrant Singers return to Visalia on August 10. We welcome you to our 36thAnniversary Grand Homecoming Concert. Hear testimonies from our time of ministry and listen to inspiring music. All seats are free and a love offering will be taken. When: Saturday, August 10, 7p Where: L.J. Williams, 1001 W. Main St, Visalia Contact: 740-4000 or visit Celebrant Singers 36th Anniversary Banquet We invite you to our 36th Anniversary WorldTouch Partner’s Banquet on August 13. Enjoy a delicious dinner while hearing testimonies and inspiring music from the summer teams. Purchase a whole table or attend as an individual. Please call the Celebrant office for reservations. When: Tuesday, August 13, 7p Where: Visalia Convention Center Contact: 740-4000 for reservations

If you would like to have your event considered for a free listing in our “Goings-On” section, please email your submission to or fax to 738-0909, Attention Goings-On. Please note, we do not guarantee listing of any submission. Submissions must be received six (6) weeks before publication. DIRECT MAGAZINE


CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y

warren reports Text by Warren Gubler, Visalia City Council Member

Trails and Taxes Trails In May, I took my family for an early morning bike ride along the St. John’s Riverwalk. We parked our truck at the trail head located on N. Ben Maddox and commenced our bike ride from there. Explanatory signs along the trail identified various species of plants. As we pedaled east along the paved trail, we waved “hello” to a number of walkers and joggers. The weather was perfect, around 70 degrees at 7 a.m. Off to the left were citrus groves, and to the right some residential areas. The mighty St. John’s River was dry this time of year. The trail went under the overpasses on Lover’s Lane and McAuliff, such that we didn’t have to stop for street traffic. I noted an oak grove that had grown from saplings planted by one of my scouts, Danny Allen, as an Eagle Scout project over 20 years ago. I also saw a number of benches along the trail that had been installed as Eagle projects by various scouts from Troop 308. The trail was even furnished with “mutt mitts” kiosks along the way for hikers who bring along their leashed dogs. The native vegetation along the trail was well maintained and created a pleasant atmosphere. We passed under the newly installed, lofty SCE power poles and finally arrived at Cutler Park. After stopping for a water break, we turned around and rode back to the Ben Maddox trailhead.   I ended up continuing my ride to the west of Ben Maddox to explore the rest of the trail. It ended just before Old Dinuba Highway and the Target Shopping Center. The city continues to accumulate the necessary land parcels such that this trail will eventually end at the River Way Sports Park. This east/ west trail is outstanding, and my only regret is that I have not taken advantage of this community asset in the past. There will be other trails connecting to it eventually, including the Santa Fe Trail which heads south to Mooney Grove Park. Also in the works is a new greenway trail further to the east that will follow along the north/south SCE corridor. These trails have been financed for the most part from Measure R funds along with other grants the city has obtained. Kudos to the City of Visalia, the Parks and Recreation Department, and all who have made these amenities available to the public. While I’m on the topic, double kudos to the Waterways and Trails Committee for supporting National Bike to Work Week in May, and all those who participated.



Taxes I recently came across an interesting news article entitled “The Wealthy Won’t Simply Stand By and Pay Higher Tax Rates” by Deroy Murdock. I share with you a few of his observations, along with some of my own. There is mounting evidence that taxpayers go where taxes are low. Golf great Phil Mickelson was in the news recently, when he suggested that higher taxes might drive him from his native California to another state with lower taxes. He stated, “If you add up all the federal (levies) and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the social security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent.” That leaves him with just 37¢ of every dollar that he earns. I’d suggest that we all try adding up the taxes and fees that we’re paying to various governmental entities, those just mentioned, along with property tax, sales tax, school tax, gasoline tax, tolls, business fees, development fees, and so forth. Then you will be able to better gauge what’s left to spend of your hard-earned dollars.   Between 1995 and 2010, $2 trillion in wealth was shifted by people abandoning California, Illinois, New Jersey and other high-tax states and unpacking in low-tax states such as Florida, Nevada and Texas. One-way traffic from New York to Florida is so steady that Harrington Moving & Storage specializes in moving people south. According to a 2008 Princeton study, when New Jersey boosted its top tax rate from 6.35 percent to 8.97 percent, thousands left the state and state deficits soon erupted.  When that much money leaves the state, it takes jobs with it. I suspect that most of us know of people and businesses who have left California because they believed it’s too expensive to live and do business here. It should be painfully obvious by now that “income moves to where it is most welcome, tax wise.” It’s death from a thousand cuts as each governmental and taxing entity asks for just a little bit more.  Visalians should consider this when balancing possible higher local taxes versus the level of city services desired.  A Final Note I enjoyed the dedication and tour of Kaweah Delta Medical Center’s impressive new helipad. This will be a terrific addition to their downtown campus, and their main parking lot is open again. I saw our friend Janet Robertson at the dedication. Great to have her back! If you have questions or topics regarding the city that you would like to have addressed in future articles, please email Warren at, or call (559) 713-4400 x 3313. For past articles, visit


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July 2013  

July 2013

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