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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
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4 La Sierra Military Academy
World Ready: Cadets developing college, leadership and career readiness skills through community service partnerships
8 Virtual Valley
The Need for Speed: Get More Done, Faster
12 Culinary Father's Day: Lets Get Cooking
Craft Beer: Hits the Central Valley
22 Visalia First Assembly Help! I'm a Parent 23 Father's Day Make Time This Father's Day 28 Kids' Bookshelf Books About War for Young Readers
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10 VUSD 16 Education 17 Physical Therapy 18 Fitness 19 Visalia Rescue Mission 24 Fashion 25 Dental 26 Pet of the Month 30 Goings-On 32 Warren Reports
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
LA SIERRA MILITARY ACADEMY I am a La Sierra Cadet. I live with honor. I will not quit in the face of adversity. I do what is right just because it is right. I will develop character and use it for the good of those around me. I will help those less fortunate than myself, and become a positive influence in my community. The knowledge and discipline I gain today will make me a leader of tomorrow. – Cadet Creed, La Sierra Military Academy
World Ready Cadets developing college, leadership and career readiness skills through community service partnerships. The creed that the La Sierra Military Academy (LSMA) cadets recite at the beginning of each week is the foundation of all instruction at the school. It is evident in the students’ service to organizations such as the Visalia Rescue Mission and the City of Visalia and is present in the school’s “failure is not an option” attitude toward academics. 4
This year, the school was home to nearly 250 middle and high school cadets who made a conscious commitment to the La Sierra program. “We’re a school of choice,” says administrator Anjelica Zermeño. “By that, we mean that students must choose to commit to a program that emphasizes discipline, respect, camaraderie and service to others.” Prospective students go through an interview and assessment process to be enrolled at La Sierra. In 2000, The Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) created La Sierras as a free public school open to all students in Tulare and surrounding counties. The school began operating as an alternative school with an emphasis on career and technical education. In 2004, the school was converted to a military-style program emphasizing discipline and leadership. In 2011, La Sierra began to embrace California’s 21st Century Initiative and Common Core State Standards with the goal of providing students with
Text by C. S. Wyatt
multiple opportunities and pathways for successful outcomes. “Education is currently shifting in the United States and in an effort to make us more competitive in today’s world, La Sierra is making the choice to embrace that change,” says Mrs. Zermeño. Structure and Student Life Traditions and protocols are a common way of life for students at La Sierra. Students in their uniforms scurry into formation in the parking lot of the campus at 1735 E. Houston Avenue in Visalia. At 7:45 a.m., Commandant of Cadets, Chief Joe Andrade, calls the cadets to attention as trumpets sound and the flag is raised in a traditional ceremony – an impressive and heartwarming event to watch. A healthy lifestyle is a required practice of La Sierra’s health and safety initiative. Included in their day, cadets participate in one hour of required intensive physical training. The demanding fitness program is designed to improve student well-being and teach them a disciplined approach to life. Students are not allowed to bring “contraband,” also known as junk food, on campus. Data shows that La Sierra graduates rank among the top 10 percent of platoons in California’s military boot camps, evidence of the strict physical fitness program. Another practice enforced by staff is the use of proper military etiquette. Students are expected to use terms such as “yes sir” and “no ma’am,” or “make way” when an individual of higher authority walks nearby. Teaching proper etiquette is key to developing structure and decorum in cadets. “My son has made a complete 180,” says parent Desiree Mendoza. “He opens doors for people and is helpful to others without having to be told. His confidence and grades have also greatly improved.” College and Career Readiness La Sierra is a Western Association of Schools and Colleges
(WASC) accredited school. Middle and high school cadets take all core subject courses required for graduation plus electives that provide them an opportunity for a hands-on learning experience. Most recently, the school was selected among 30 California schools for the California Academic Partnership Program Grant. La Sierra’s new initiative, PLEASE 21 (Project Based Learning to Engage, Assess, Support and Extend 21st Century Learning Skills), calls for an alignment with the latest changes in education. TCOE’s instructional consultants have teamed up with the La Sierra faculty to implement a new plan that will help students develop the necessary skills to be college and career ready prior to graduating high school. Lead teacher Debi Braswell states, “With PLEASE 21, we are starting as early as seventh grade, exploring college and career options. Monthly collaboration with our local college gives us a view of learning in college so that our graduates will be college and career-ready citizens.” In the new College and Career Readiness plan for La Sierra, three separate cohorts have been designed to develop the 21st Century Pathways. Beginning with junior high, these pathways will include internships, advance certifications in careers and workforce readiness and early college courses in partnership with College of the Sequoias and Fresno State University, before they ever step off campus. “Often times, making the transition from high school to college at 18 years of age is difficult for students. La Sierra’s initiative to eliminate barriers and help our students be world ready is empowering,” says Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. A Safe and Healthy School La Sierra staff is proud of their safe and healthy schools initiative implemented in 2013. After evaluating truancy, referral data and attendance data, the staff implemented a tiered plan that blankets the school with a variety of social DIRECT MAGAZINE
LA SIERRA MILITARY ACADEMY
and emotional support services to guide students through adolescence and life’s challenges. “We pride ourselves in knowing that we meet our kids where they are, right here, right now. We are taking a preemptive approach instead of waiting for life to happen,” says Mrs. Zermeño. La Sierra’s average class size of 15 helps implement this initiative. Additional courses include: Life Skills, Reconnecting Youth, Coping and Support Training, Youth Mental Health and First Aid, Signs of Suicide, youth summits, anger management, CHARACTER COUNTS! and monthly presentations. In addition, La Sierra has teamed up with the community to develop a second and third layer of support that provides safe and healthy programs to address students with more severe and immediate needs. Most recent data shows a positive increase in attendance and grades since the implementation of the school’s initiative. Community Partnerships and Parent Involvement In the last three years as La Sierra’s Commander in Chief, administrator Mrs. Zermeño, has put considerable time and effort into building community and county partnerships. Mrs. Zermeño’s team approach has evolved into a massive group of supporters and grants that help “wrap the child,” as she would say. Partnerships provide more connections and opportunities for students ranging from additional medical services to academics support. Community partners include Visalia Youth Services, TCOE’s Behavioral Health Services, CHOICES Prevention Programs, Sprigeo, Visalia Music School and Healthy Schools. One of the school’s greatest partnerships is P.E.S.T.O (Parent Enhanced Student Teacher Organization.) This organization provides La Sierra with support as an advisory committee and supports the school’s vision and mission. 6
Together, the parent advisory committee and cadets serve the community and, as the partnerships develop, potentially gain real-world job experience. La Sierra parents and cadets are required to complete 40 hours of community service annually as part of their graduation requirement. In addition, seniors are required to complete a portfolio and exit interview conducted by community members ranging from military veterans to professionals in the community. Retired educator and military veteran Kent McNatt served as a member of the exit interview committee. He said of the cadet he interviewed, “This young woman reinforced my personal belief that young people of America need only a chance to succeed in their lives. I strongly believe that they will seize on any positive opportunity for their future, work hard to be successful and, in so doing, contribute to the common good of our American society.” Cadets continue to work for the City of Visalia and support various service programs such as FNL (Friday Night Live), Kiwanis Clubs, SCICON, National Junior Basketball Association, Visalia Rawhide, Lyons Club, Central Valley Vietnam Veterans, Redwood Springs, American Association of University Women and local veterans’ organizations. The LSMA honor guard and drill team also serves local parades and events. An Invitation Administrator Anjelica Zermeño welcomes anyone interested in learning more about La Sierra Military Academy to attend an information meeting to be held on June 30 at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. “Come see what we are all about; we are a family environment that expects every student to achieve success no matter what it takes,” she says. “We know every student by name; that’s what makes the connection for kids.”
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The Need for Speed:
Get More Done, Faster Spinning beach balls, hourglasses, hula-hoops and progress bars signify lost time and frustration. Watching icons bounce in a dock or slowly populate a taskbar as software loads only adds to the annoyance of using a slow computer. As a tech consultant, “My computer is slow” might be the most common issue I hear. Often, the complaint is followed by a revealing explanation: the client has used a newer 8
computer and realized how soon today’s cheetah is tomorrow’s snail. Systems start to “feel slow” compared to new computers after three to four years, and that assumes you buy mid-range to high-end hardware. If you buy an inexpensive computer, it feels “slow” much sooner. Do you need the fastest, latest and greatest computer? Or, do you need “fast enough” to get your work done? I use my
Text by C. S. Wyatt
computers until they cannot run the software I need for work. We use computers for four years or longer. My wife’s iMac, an early 2008 model, does what she needs. It’s no speed demon, but it works well. Still, we do all we can to keep our computers the snappiest they can be. Speeding up an old system begins with adding more memory. When a system lacks sufficient RAM, software has to move data to and from the hard drive constantly. This “paging” or “swapping” of memory contents to disk causes perceptible delays. If your system has less than 8 gigabytes of RAM and is running newer applications, upgrade to at least 8 GB and consider 16 GB or more. I install the maximum RAM supported by our computers. For example, Adobe Creative Suite applications run much better with extra memory. The difference is most notable in Photoshop, since high-resolution photos are huge data files. When I upgraded my 4 GB MacBook Pro to 16 GB, it felt like a new computer. The next component to upgrade for speed is your hard drive. If possible, replace any mechanical hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD). A typical SSD in a 3.5-inch case loads data three times faster than a mechanical drive, including both the time it takes to locate data and the file transfer speed. SSDs access data in 0.05 milliseconds versus 15 ms for traditional HDs, and even the slowest SSDs transfer data at 230 megabits/second versus 100 MB/s for an HD. An SSD costs $0.50 per gigabyte, compared to $0.10 per gigabyte for some mechanical drives. The price difference reflects the cost of memory chips used in solid-state storage. If you cannot afford a large SSD, upgrading from a slow mechanical HD to the top-tier HD makes a slight difference. Hard drives with high rotational velocities and lots of cache memory can breathe new life into a slow computer. I upgraded an old laptop from a 5400 RPM drive with 8 MB of cache memory to a 7200 RPM drive with 32 MB of cache and the boot time was cut in half. Seagate and Western Digital sell “hybrid” drives that combine small SSDs with traditional drives. Apple calls this same approach a “fusion” drive. However, current hybrids offer marginal improvement over traditional drives. Traditional tower computers offer other potential upgrades. Notably, you can upgrade graphics cards to the fastest a motherboard supports. If you edit video or play games, a new graphics card can be a huge change. But, for most of us the memory and hard drive are bottlenecks. A system with the maximum RAM and a good HD (or
SSD) that remains unusually sluggish might have viruses, spyware or similarly undesirable code running in the background. I like Bitdefender, and encourage my Windows-using clients to subscribe to the annual update plan. I also use Spybot Search & Destroy from Safer Networking to check for malware on Windows systems. Among Apple users, I haven’t encountered a serious infection in a decade. Still, I check for infections with ClamXav, a free antivirus application. If nothing else, ClamXav prevents the spreading of infections from Windows data files to other Windows systems. Unfortunately, effective virus software slows a computer because the security software must scan email, watch websites and guard against infected storage media. If a virus scan finds no unwanted visitors, but the system remains slow, then it’s time to reconsider what software you need to have in memory at all times. Over time, even a high-end system gets bogged-down with applications and extensions. Windows and OS X load some applications and extensions during the start-up cycle or login for a user. In OS X, check your “Login Items” in System Preferences, within the Users and Groups settings. For Windows systems, check the “Startup Items” folder. My slow laptop was loading a dozen applications and extensions. I removed all but three applications from the list. The worst offenders on my systems have proved to be cloud storage services. Loading synchronization drivers for Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and similar services slowed my laptop significantly. Disabling those services cut my boot time in half. While adjusting your system settings, also consider turning off any features that are purely cosmetic. I disable animations, sounds, and other features of the operating system that provide no benefit. Do I need bouncing icons or zooming “genie” windows? No. And without the “eye candy” that Microsoft and Apple assume we want, computers feel a tiny bit faster. Every few months, you should also sweep away the debris that gathers on your system. I use Onyx on OS X systems, and I like Fix-It Utilities Pro from Avanquest on Windows systems. These applications aren’t without risk: you should always back-up data before optimizing your computer. I’ve never had a problem with these tools, but because they alter system and application settings, bad things could happen. Extra RAM, a solid-state drive, removing unused applications, disabling start-up items and running maintenance tools all keep a system performing at its best. DIRECT MAGAZINE
VUSD Text by Craig Wheaton, Ed.D. Superintendent
Up Again! We love to celebrate this time of year. Students are trying on their caps and gowns and hoping their friends and relatives are shopping for graduation gifts. In all seriousness, it is a time when friends and family gather to honor the accomplishments of our students. Middle school students spend their last day of school in a promotion ceremony to mark the passage from middle school to high school, one more step in the journey toward a high school diploma. And for high school students, we have a full week of high school graduations. Thousands join our graduates under the stadium lights to commemorate their success. Graduation and a high school diploma are important first steps in life. It is that first door that can open unlimited possibilities of success. We know that across the nation many students do not graduate from high school, in some places as many as 50 percent. At Visalia Unified, we have worked hard over the years to make sure that every student has that possibility. We are determined to fill our stadiums with graduates, and that number has continued to grow over the years. 10
Since 2008, we have increased our graduation rate by over 10 percent. In fact, just last month the California Department of Education released the most recent graduation rates; and Visalia Unified’s is at a two-decade high of 88.3 percent. This continued increase is a result of the hard work of teachers and administrators throughout the district by providing excellent instruction, motivating students to learn, and, frankly, just not giving up on students. This hard work is clear in our continued improvement in all areas of student achievement; it is not just more students completing their high school diploma. According to our state test results, we can see that students have continued to improve in every subject area. More students are at grade-level or well above grade-level than ever before. What does that mean for our 2014 graduates? No matter what they do, the 2014 graduates are better prepared than those who came in prior classes, in prior years. All the talk about numbers simply means students are better prepared for whatever they choose for their future. The 2013-2014 school year has proven to be another outstanding year. So let’s head to the stadium and show our graduates how proud we all are of what they have accomplished! At the same time, turn to one of our talented and caring VUSD teachers and support staff and give them a big “thank you” for all they do.
CULINARY Recipes by Levi Ehnisz and Matt Reed, The Planing Mill Artisan Pizzeria | Photos by Taylor Johnson
Let’s Get Cooking This month, you’ll get the best of both worlds in one dish. This recipe is one that you’ll want to hang on to for years. The chefs at The Planing Mill couldn’t decide which Italian classic they liked more - pizza or lasagna - so they combined both into one delicious creation. Take a look inside to see how to replicate this unique twist on the classics and you’ll also find a few side dishes to make your Father’s Day picnic table pop. 12
Lasagna Pizza Ingredients 2 lbs lasagna noodles 1 ½ lbs Italian sausage 1 ½ lbs black olives, sliced 1 ½ lbs mushrooms, sliced 1 ½ lbs pepperoni 16 oz ricotta cheese Mozzarella, shredded Parmesan, shredded Marinara sauce (pg. 14) Bechamel sauce (pg. 14)
Directions Prepare the bechamel sauce and marinara ahead of time. Bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Follow instructions on cooking noodles to al dente. Then place in a colander and cool under running water.
Caprese Skewers Ingredients 6 cherry tomatoes, halved Fresh mozzarella, formed into small balls 4 T pesto 4 T balsamic reduction
Directions Put one half cherry tomato on toothpick, add mozzarella ball, then the other half of cherry tomato face down. Finish with fresh pesto. Served with drizzled balsamic reduction.
Lightly sauce bottom of cooking pan with marinara, add a layer of noodles, slightly overlapping them. Add a light layer of marinara, a layer of shredded mozzarella and a layer of sausage, pepperoni, olives and mushrooms. Then add shredded Parmesan and dollops of ricotta. Lightly drizzle bechamel sauce across. Repeat process two more times with a total of three layers of meat and vegetables. For the top layer, lightly sauce with marinara and bechamel and then add cheeses. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is golden brown. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
CULINARY Marinara Sauce
Ingredients 1 onion, sliced 1 garlic, whole Fresh basil, whole 1 jar of canned tomatoes ½ C onions, caramelized
Ingredients 4 C milk 5 T butter 4 T flour Salt and pepper to taste.
Directions Mix ingredients with food processor. Simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and store properly.
Directions Melt butter and whisk in the flour. Slowly add milk until fully incorporated. Simmer on low medium heat until thick, about 7-15 minutes.
Arugula Salad with Apples, Candied Walnuts, Craisins and Gorgonzola Directions Thinly slice 1-2 apples into ice water with 2 T of lemon juice. Put arugula in a bowl and dress with vinaigrette. Add walnuts, craisins, Gorgonzola and toss. Garnish with apples.
Candied Walnuts Ingredients ½ lbs walnuts 1 C sugar 3 T milk 1 T cinnamon
Directions Place walnuts on baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Place sugar in a saucepan with milk and cinnamon. Bring to a soft ball stage. Toss with walnuts, spread on parchment and cool.
El Cubano Sandwich (Makes 1 Sandwich) Ingredients 1 ciabatta roll, toasted Pulled pork, braised Ham Bacon 2 T Dijon mustard Mozzarella cheese Caribbean Slaw “Planing Mill” chipotle cream cheese spread
Caribbean Slaw Ingredients ½ romaine heart ½ small tomato ¼ roasted red pepper 1 T cumin 1 T lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste
Directions Dice all ingredients together to make slaw. Mix in cumin, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Directions Sauté pulled pork, ham, bacon and mustard together until warm. Toast bread and spread Planing Mill chipotle cream cheese on roll. Add meat mixture and top with fresh mozzarella. Place in broiler or toasted oven until cheese is melted. Top with Caribbean slaw and enjoy.
Ingredients ½ C grape seed oil ½ C apple cider vinegar ¼ T salt and pepper 2 ½ T stone ground mustard 3 T honey Directions Whisk all ingredients together and dress salad.
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY COLLEGE 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. In today’s economy, it is more important than ever for job seekers to be as prepared as possible to compete in the market. The Small Business Administration considers any business with fewer than 500 employees to be a “small business.” They state that 60 million employees work for small businesses, which make up 99.76 percent of all employer firms (see SBA. gov). 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 fall short of expectations of their employers within their business environment. Office computer programs are a very important component of our curriculum; so too is our instruction in business communication, finance and human resources.” 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 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 and earn the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist designation. QuickBooks Certification is also available through SJVC’s Accounting and Finance class offered in the Business Administration program. 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 that includes: 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, education, banking,
SJVC’s Business Administration program provides Microsoft Office training
construction, agriculture, advertising, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance – virtually any company or facility requiring business support. On-thejob 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 13-campus, including an online division, Private Jr. 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.
PHYSICAL THERAPY Martha R. Torres, PT, DPT, PRO-PT Physical Therapy
How Can Physical Therapy Help? Congenital torticollis, also known as “wry neck,” is the third most common orthopedic pediatric condition. Congenital torticollis presents with a tight sternocleidomastoid muscle; the motion of the sidebend to ipsilateral side and rotation to the opposite side. Thus, an infant with congenital torticollis may present with a head tilt towards the affected side and head rotation towards the opposite side. This can cause limitations in cervical range of motion and muscular imbalances. The incidence of congenital torticollis varies from 0.3-2.0 percent. The two most common causes of congenital torticollis are intrauterine position and birth trauma. Diagnosis of congenital torticollis is based on a physical exam. On palpation, a fibrotic mass may be felt at the SCM and the cervical range of motion should be measured to determine
limitations in range. Cervical imaging and physical exams are used to rule out differential diagnosis and confirm congenital torticollis. A review of the literature suggests that the two most common approaches to treatment are surgical lengthening and conservative management. Physical therapy is considered the first line of conservative management. Interventions such as passive and active stretching, as well as strengthening of the SCM can assist with improving cervical range of motion and assuring the infant is on track for gross motor developmental skills. The outcomes of physical therapy treatment are dependent on the severity of the infant’s deficits and age. According to Petronic et. al., treatment duration significantly rises in children older than 3 months. Furthermore, in a study of 57 infants that were treated conservatively with passive stretching exercises, it’s reported that 100 percent of infants younger than three months and 75 percent aged 3-6 months saw complete resolution. Therefore, if your infant appears to have a head tilt or a preference for turning to one direction, PRO-PT can help. Remember the younger the child is at the start of physical therapy treatment, the better the outcome may be.
I Can Live My
I walked into PRO-PT with severe back pain & sharp nerve pain. After completing physical therapy at PRO-PT, I am walking normal with little to no pain. Thank you, PRO-PT.
If you’re suffering from back pain, it’s time to take control. PRO~PT is the only physical therapy practice in Tulare County with certified Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy (MDT) Specialists. Studies show that patients who receive MDT therapy within 14 days of onset of symptoms need fewer treatments to heal, saving an average of $2,700 on medical costs. The choice is clear. If pain is holding you back, ask your doctor to refer you to the professionals at PRO~PT. Four convenient locations in Visalia, Tulare, Lindsay and Porterville
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PRO~PT. Expect More. DIRECT MAGAZINE
FOCUS FITNESS ON
Text by Andy & Eryn Salazar of Empower Fitness Training
Yes You Need It! Let’s face it, after a long day’s work, you just don’t feel like getting to the gym. Don’t let this stop you from lacing up your shoes and heading out for a high intensity workout! Here is a list of the top 12 reasons to exercise. 1. Regular Exercise Prevents Disease. Exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of most health problems. Regular exercise improves heart health, prevents strokes, heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. Exercise is also a great defense against type 2 diabetes, which is one of the most widely growing diseases of our time. 2. Exercise to Look and Feel Great. Exercise firms your body by adding lean muscle mass and shedding excess fat, improves your posture, and is one of the only ways to slow the aging process. 3. Exercise Helps You Lose Weight and Keep It Off. A regular exercise routine that challenges you weekly burns fat and prevents future fat storage. If your goal is to have a thinner, healthier body, exercise is the answer. 4. Exercise Give You More Energy. Exercise releases endorphins into your body, a chemical that helps you feel energized and happy. Anyone who exercises regularly will tell you that they are more energetic, less irritated and are more peaceful. 5. To Sleep Better. Exercise boosts energy levels but also wears you out. When you exercise regularly, you will sleep better because your body needs restful sleep to recover for the next day.
6. Exercise to Relieve Back Pain. In most cases, the best thing that you can do for back pain is to move and strengthen those muscles. A proper exercise routine will strengthen your core muscles and help strengthen your back. The stronger your core the less back pain you will have. 7. Exercise Regularly to Ease Relieve Stress. Exercise has been proven to reduce depression and in some cases has even proven to be as effective as medication. Exercise also helps to reduce stress from our daily lives and aids in managing it effectively. 8. To Reduce Aches and Pains. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation around joints, keeps joints lubricated and strengthens the muscles around your joints. Exercise reduces joint pain and overall aches and pains. 9. To Stay Mentally Sharp. Exercise has been shown to improve memory and other cognitive functions and seems to have a protective effect against dementia. 10. To Enjoy Your Lifestyle. Whether that’s going for a long hike or playing 18 holes of golf, it is all more enjoyable when experienced in a fit and healthy body. 11. To Reduce Sick Days. People who exercise regularly are 50 percent less likely to call in sick to work. A regular exercise program reduces colds and upper respiratory infections. 12. To Boost Confidence. Staying fit, feeling healthy and having energy are all building blocks to having great confidence. When you look good you feel good, and you carry yourself differently.
VRM Text by Ryan Stillwater
Removing the Seam In 2006, Blake Mycoskie, a 30-yearold entrepreneur found himself in Argentina with a blank notebook and a landscape of need. He began to sketch out a business plan that would eventually start (or at least greatly contribute to) the social responsibility movement. His chicken-scratch was the foundation of TOMS Shoes – a “one for one” company that successfully removed the seam in the fabric of for-profit retail and philanthropy. On a local level, the founding of TOMS Shoes is no different from the Rescue Mission’s collaboration with the City of Visalia to revitalize Oval Park. It started in 2010 with just one man’s idea, which is only now beginning to gain momentum as we blend forprofit methods with our faith-based foundation. Across the country, cities everywhere are facing similar dilemmas – some with great success. In Rick Baker’s 2011 book, The Seamless City, the former mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida chronicles the problems and plans enacted in his own city. A friend gave me this book when I first started at Oval Park and it has been an invaluable resource for me. This is
why; “In a seamless city, when you go from one part of town to another, you never cross a seam – whether a street, interstate overpass, or railroad track – and enter a place where you feel the need to reach over and lock your car door… in a seamless city it is not acceptable to have places that are crime-ridden and blighted.” How does that sound, Visalia? Can you imagine it? What will it take to remove the seam in our own backyard? Fortunately, Baker gives us the first step in the process: Inventory the assets. For those who wonder why we’re not hosting concerts at a bigger park, it’s because Oval Park is the number one asset in this neighborhood. Have you looked at a map of Visalia recently? You’ll notice how streets running north/ south and east/ west are skewed into something truly unique around the Park. In decades past, businesses would vie for storefronts along the Park’s perimeter precisely because the Park was the heart of the neighborhood. From now through June 9, we’re getting this heart beating
again with our very own crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. In exchange for your financial support (starting at just $5.00), you receive a “perk” of your choosing. While TOMS uses shoes, we’re using the Park itself to change lives. We’re attempting to write a new chapter in its ongoing history and we consider each one of you a main character. Join the story. Ryan Stillwater is the Oval Venue Coordinator for the Visalia Rescue Mission. Contact him on Twitter: @RStillwater or by e-mail: email@example.com.
SPIRITS Text by Bryce McDonald
Hits the Central Valley Spend any significant amount of time walking around an event, visiting a local trendy restaurant, or taking in your favorite live sporting event, and a picture of change quickly begins to emerge. No, we aren't referring to some kind of radical social change in human kindness and goodwill, although it may be closely related. But a change in the way that we, as a culture, view, approach and consume America's favorite adult beverage – beer. According to the Brewer's Association, the craft beer industry continues its impressive trend, with 18 percent growth (by dollars) in 2013. Not only is this significantly up from prior years, but it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon, with a remarkable 413 new breweries opening last year alone. It begs the question, why are we seeing this large consumer shift from the traditional American adjunct lagers that were so near and dear to our hearts to their smaller scale craft 20
counterparts? I recently walked the event grounds of the Visalia Craft Beer Fest, held on April 26 at Mooney Grove Park, to get some answers while tasting some amazing craft beer. Michael Cruz, who heads up sales and marketing for Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company, believes that some of the new local breweries such as Tioga-Sequoia, Dust Bowl, Kern River, Riley's and House of Pendragon are really driving consumer demand in this area. “There have been pubs in this area for years, but it is the breweries exposing people outside their own establishments that have made the most impact for change in the San Joaquin Valley,” Cruz explained. “It is getting harder and harder not to find a local beer on tap at most bars and restaurants these days. People want something they are familiar with and something that they can stand behind. Any great local brewery understands this and caters their beers to fit its surrounding
market.” Sure, supply and availability of craft beer is certainly leaps and bounds above what it was even five years ago, but how are local consumers transitioning their palates to appreciate more complex choices? “I think craft beer growth is coming from all types of drinkers,” explained Kenny Hildebrand, founder of Kaweah Brewing Company in Tulare. “People who enjoy big red wines seem to enjoy big barrel aged craft beers, while the macro drinker is bored with the same old thing. They are taking small steps towards real flavor.” “The appeal to craft beer is that it’s always changing,” Hildebrand continues. “There are always new innovations to the craft scene. Unlike wine where the climate, soil and barrel play part in the flavor, craft beer is an artists' canvas, adding and blending hops and barley.” Mario Gutierrez, a local representative of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company out of Chico, California, adds that certain styles are playing a key role in transitioning local drinkers. “Right now it's all about the attractiveness of sessionable, tasty, beers,” Gutierrez claimed. “Something like Lagunitas DayTime, Sierra Nevada’s Old Chico Crystal Wheat, or Firestone’s 805. These are easy drinking beers, with subtle elements of the flavors and hops found in more advanced beers such as IPA’s and Double IPA’s. These are essentially big monster beers in mini-monster form, allowing for experimenters/first-timers to try flavorful, but conservatively palatable, beers.” Cruz believes that there are essentially two types of local craft beer consumers - the “intro to craft beer” types, who are
learning, evolving and making the most difference because their voice is bigger (due to size of this group); and the “uber beer geeks,” who know what they want, where to get it and are always looking for something new. “Tioga-Sequoia, in its infancy, mainly catered to the first group,” Cruz recalls. “Any brewery trying to survive in this area has to, in order to make the biggest impact. We hit a growth point a few years ago where we could start catering to the second group. Our creative side has been unleashed, and we are now targeting the “uber beer geek” of today with specialties that rival most breweries across the country.” Okay, we get it. Craft beer offers choice, complexity and huge variations in styles, but what can we expect the Tulare County's craft beer scene to look like years down the line? Gutierrez believes that there is much to look forward to. “The reality is that more and more people are wanting to get into craft beer. When I got into craft beer, it was me in my twenties and a bunch of forty-five plus year old men. These days, twenty-one-year-olds are bypassing the macros and jumping right into craft beer and experimentation. I truly see craft beer continuing to grow during these next five years with this younger influx of beer lovers.” Hildebrand echoes the words of Gutierrez. “Here, locally, the popularity of craft beer is growing every day! I can see a few more micro-breweries emerging from the garages of home brewers in the next five years.” Well, there you have it. It seems safe to say that craft beer culture in the area is here to stay, and to that, we say cheers to the Central Valley.
VISALIA FIRST ASSEMBLY Text by Tony Kensinger, Pastorv
Help! I'm a Parent The room is hushed. The faint heartbeat of your unborn child is heard and fills the air with excitement. The soft rhythm brings a smile to your face. Fast forward a couple of years and now you can’t even hear yourself think. Your hopes of being the perfect parent have turned into the struggle to simply survive. How do you balance the demands of work, household chores and find time to be a good parent? The following steps can help you be a great parent and raise great kids. Assert yourself. Like most parents, you probably feel like a complete failure at times. First off, stop looking at your mistakes and start tracking your wins. Remember that time at the restaurant when your child wasn’t the one running all over the place crying hysterically? When your child said that most precious thing that filled you with pride? When your child fell asleep in your arms knowing they are loved? Now that we know you aren’t so bad after 22
all, start identifying the areas you need help. I am always looking for ways to be a better parent, whether it’s reading books or listening to things online. But the best thing you can do is find a community of other parents that you can learn from and assist each other. I want to be around people who are going to give me great ideas and challenge me on how to be a better parent. Someone who can help me figure out tough questions and love me enough to tell me the areas I need to work on. Whether that is a church small group, a support group or hanging out with the parents of your child’s friends, create a community of other parents and grow together. Speak hope. Start telling your kids how great they are and that they are going to be someone special someday. Kids have so much negativity in the world around them; create a positive environment when you are around your kids. Start by reminding them they are good kids who sometimes make bad choices; and remember it is your job to help them learn not to make that bad choice again. Build them up! I have fantastic kids and I know they have a great future ahead of them. Why?
Because I have been telling them that their whole life and they don’t know any better. I work hard to ensure my kids have a better future than I have, and I do that by speaking hope daily into them. Have fun. Every day, create an opportunity for laughter. It is the best medicine for the health of your family. Tell jokes, play games or just tickle your kids before they go to bed. Not only is it good for your kids to laugh, but it is going to help you stay younger, longer. I’m not talking expensive vacations, just choosing each day to add a fun factor. Kids will usually find a way to make anything or everything fun. Here at Visalia First, we work hard to help families connect with other families to work through life issues. We propose during our weekend services to create fun environments for our kids (and their parents). We remind our kids every week that God has a plan for their life; a plan to prosper them and not to harm them; to give them a future and hope. We are a church for the community where families can find hope each week. We are here to help you as a parent.
FATHER'S DAY Text by Dara Fisk-Ekanger
Make Time This Father’s Day You have to admit, your dad probably doesn’t need another tie, coffee mug or box of chocolate candies. And if he were totally honest, he probably doesn’t even want them; well, except for the chocolate. But the most valuable gift we can give to someone is our time. This Father’s Day, take a step out of the (candy) box and create a memory for your dad that will last a lot longer than the chocolate. Take a Class Together. My brother and dad took a welding course together at College of the Sequoias and built a spray rig that was used for years on our farm. There are plenty of local opportunities to take a one-day intensive class (like golf or white water rafting). Or, spread it out with a non-credit class at COS in tennis, foreign language, film or one of the other myriad options. Symphony or Theater. Buy season tickets for yourself and Dad to the Tulare County Symphony or check out the upcoming events at the Fox Theatre or The Enchanted Playhouse. And if your dad has never stepped foot inside any theater that didn’t have the word “movie” before it, all the better. He may just realize he’s been missing out on something. Take a Trip. A day trip to Sequoia National Park is always worthwhile; what better way to spend Father’s Day than there with dad? Pack a picnic lunch and head on up. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, check into camping rates or consider getting your siblings involved in renting a cabin for a weekend.
Year-round vacation rentals can be found at www.redwoodsinyosemite.com or www.vrbo.com. Get Some New Technology. If your father has friends or family that live far away, he might enjoy being able to “see” them and talk via Skype, www.skype.com. It’s a free service that doesn’t take long to install, but some people are intimidated by the technology. If that’s your dad, see what it would take to get someone to his house to surprise him by setting up a Skype account. Just make sure his computer has a webcam (or get him one) and verify there’s at least one person he can talk to. FYI, the Skype via Facebook doesn’t work nearly as well as the real deal. Interview Dad. Set up some time to interview your dad about his early life. What did he do for fun as a kid? Who were his best friends? What did he dream of being when he grew up? What were his grandparents like? Video record the interview. Create a presentation with the interview, pictures from his past and maybe interviews with his wife, friends or children. Present it to him on Father’s Day. If you don’t have the equipment to do all that yourself, you can hire it done. Write to Him. Yes, you could pick up the phone and call him, and you should. But take it a step further. Take 30 minutes to sit down and type (or write) a special note to your dad. Recall an important event from your childhood or a piece of advice he gave that you actually listened to. Tell him what he means to you today, the impact he has on your life and how glad you are for the effort he made to try to be a good dad (even if he wasn’t always perfect). Focus on the positive. You never know the impact that time can have on a person. Don’t let this Father’s Day slip by without making the most of it for your dad. DIRECT MAGAZINE
FASHION Text by Sharon Mosley
Taking the Plunge:
Swimsuit Style Tips Dreading that first dip in the water? Or at least that trip to the dressing room to try on swimsuits? It’s one of those shopping trips most women would like to put off indefinitely. We’d rather wear the same swimsuit we’ve had for years than buy a new one. However, it’s time to dive in. This year’s styles are making a splash with bold cutouts, exotic beading, fringe and halter-tops. Bikinis are bigger than ever. But there are also lots of new ways to cover it all up. Here are some tips to help you take the plunge. Take your time. Ok, so you don’t have all day to try on swimsuits; but you do need to plan to set aside at least a few hours to explore all your options. There are racks and racks of swimwear out there, for all shapes and sizes, and if you haven’t shopped for swimsuits in a while, you’ll be surprised at all the stylish ways there are to suit up this year. Size up. I know none of us want to admit that we may be a size 12 in a swimsuit, when we wear normally wear a size 10 dress, but remember, we’re talking swimwear here; tight-fitting, bare-your-skin stuff. So don’t be afraid to take it up a notch or two. But make sure it fits, no matter what the size. Wrinkly is not a good look, and neither is a string bikini stretched under that dreaded muffin top. Try on new styles. You may think you have to have another one-piece black tank since you’ve always worn that style. I know it’s a classic, and it may still be a good look, but be open to new possibilities. A tankini in an all-over hothouse floral may just be the thing to perk up your summer vacation. Pay attention to color. There are just as many colors of swimwear out there as there are styles this season. But your skin tone is often the best indicator of what new hue will be the most flattering. Pale skin generally does not look its best in white or pastel colors; instead opt for darker tones. And beware of shining metallics that may reflect a larger you than you would like; stick to matte fabrics instead. Study the hangtag. Before you haul dozens of suits into the dressing room, look at the hangtags. Many swimwear manufacturers have included details with sizing and body style information. Look at the label for fabric content. This can give you some invaluable tips to steer you in the right direction. Mix and match. Two-piece suits can offer a myriad of versatile options when building a swim wardrobe. If you hit the beach for days at a time, then having several tops that can 24
be interchanged with a variety of bottoms may be the way to go. This year, swim designers offer everything from athletic rash guard tops to ruffled bikini bottoms. Make it work. While some of the “cutest” suits may have all the bells and beaded whistles, it’s important that fashion still functions, even in swimwear. Think about where you will be wearing the swimsuit you buy. If you’re swimming laps every day at the gym, you’ll want to choose a suit with great support as well as coverage. Ditto for a surfer girl. For a lounge lizard relaxing under an umbrella on the beach, the beaded bikini may be just the thing. Think outside the pool. There are always times when you may want to wear your swimwear, not only in the water but out of the water as well. Cover-ups now range from flowing caftans to soft-knit maxi dresses to swim trunks and tank tops made just for women. Don’t be afraid to create your own swim wardrobe to suit yourself for any occasion.
DENTAL Text by K. Sedillo D.D.S.
Gum disease (gingivitis) is marked by red or swollen gums that bleed easily. We check for signs of gum disease and measure the depth of pockets to determine if the problem exists We often think that the best indicator of a healthy mouth is in our patients. If the disease progresses (periodontitis), it can a good-looking smile with white, straight teeth. Although this destroy the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth. Over is true, it is only part of the picture. Your gums are a critical time, teeth can become loose, fall out or have to be removed. component of a healthy mouth, and they can sometimes be an In fact, periodontitis is the culprit in 70 percent of tooth early indicator of problems. loss in adults over 40. These gum conditions can be prevented Receding gums that expose the root surfaces of teeth is a by good daily oral hygiene habits. Receding gums are best common condition in adults over the age of 40. Receding gums prevented by: can be the result of periodontal disease (gum disease). The California Dental Association says three out of four adults have • Brushing with a soft tooth brush some form of it, and in most cases, it doesn’t cause any pain and • Using mild-to-moderate brush pressure and small circular motions. goes unnoticed. “Common in adults, gum disease starts when • Avoiding long horizontal brush strokes with excessive bacteria containing plaque builds up on the teeth and gums. pressure. When the plaque is not removed daily, it produces toxins that It’s common for receded gums to be sensitive because of the irritate and inflame the gums,” according to the CDA. exposed root surface. There are medications that can be applied Eventually, the inflammatory process destroys the gum in office or used at home that will help reduce sensitivity of tissues, causing them to separate from the tooth and form these root surfaces and help protect the vulnerable root surface spaces called pockets. The pockets hold more bacteria, which from decay. only compounds the problem.
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PET MONTH OF THE
Text by Valley Oak SPCA
Adopt A Shelter Cat June is Adopt A Shelter Cat month; which is perfect timing because kitten season is in full swing. Valley Oak SPCA takes in dozens of cats and kittens on a daily basis. The easiest way to help reduce the overwhelming numbers of unwanted cats is to spay and neuter your own cat and encourage others to do the same. Kittens as young as two months, weighing at least three pounds can be safely spayed and neutered. Mating just once can start a domino effect that can result in dozens, even hundreds or thousands of unwanted animals. Cats can become pregnant at as young as five months of age. These unwanted cats and kittens, when not left on the street to fend for themselves, often turn up in large numbers at local animal shelters and other rescue groups. Before adopting a cat there are a few things you should prepare for: • Are you allergic? In most cases, it's the cat's dander and saliva that are causing the allergic reactions, not the cat hair. If you have allergies, here are some things to consider before adopting: • Males cats produce more allergenic secretions than females. • Intact males produce more than neutered males. • Dark cats tend to produce more allergens than light-colored cats. • Kittens produce fewer allergens than adults; although your kitten will not be a kitten forever. • Kittens are better off in two's. Kittens have an enormous amount of energy and often need to exert that energy on someone or something. Having a pair of kittens may keep them out of mischief and will make perfect exercise partners for each other. Kittens may have a hard time dealing with loneliness, especially if they have been recently housed with their litter 26
mates. Not to mention, nothing is cuter than seeing a pair of kittens curl up for a nap together. • Make sure your family and home is prepared for a cat. Do you know if your current animals are willing to share their home with a new cat? How about your family members? It's not a good idea to adopt spontaneously. Talk to your family before surprising them with a feline friend. It's important to know if your dog is aggressive towards cats. Also cat proofing of your home may be in order. Research your houseplants to see if they are catfriendly. A few of the, toxic plants and flowers may surprise you: Lilies, Aloe, Amaryllis, Begonia, Carnations and Avocado. If you've ever wanted to save a life, the time is now. We are in the middle of kitten season and we need foster volunteers. Valley Oak SPCA takes in dozens of kittens on a daily basis. If you have a love for animals and can provide a temporary home for one or more kittens, you can help give these animals a second chance. We provide food, litter, bedding, toys,
vaccinations, dewormer and flea treatment, and you provide the love. Many kittens need a few weeks to a month before they are old enough to be adopted. If you're a dog lover, we have puppies that need foster homes as well. If you are not able to adopt or volunteer, we always welcome donations of canned kitten and puppy food. Please call 713-4682 for foster information. Please call our spay neuter clinic at 741-1121 to schedule a surgery appointment for your pet. Valley Oak SPCA Animal Shelter/Adoption Center 29016 Highway 99, Visalia, CA 93277 Monday & Wednesday, 9:30a - 6p Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 9a-5p General Info: (559) 651-1111 Lost Pet Hotline: (559) 713-4700 To view profiles of our adoptable animals and help us save more lives, visit us online at: www.vospca.org | www.petfinder.com www.Facebook.com/ValleyOakSPCA
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KIDS' BOOKSHELF Text by Lee Littlewood
Books About War for Young Readers The consequences, sacrifice and dedication of military members are worthy of mention and praise, even among children. These books paint an age-appropriate depiction of war and how it affects those involved and those left at home. A Less than Perfect Peace by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan For kids ages 10 to 14, this thoughtful piece of middlegrade fiction stars 14-year-old Annie who helps her World War II veteran father learn to embrace life after battle. Set in 1950 as the Cold War begins to grip the United States, author Sullivan’s carefully penned tale is certainly researched thoroughly and based on events from her own childhood. The follow-up to Annie’s War, this novel depicts an all-toocommon occurrence of children helping parents return to normalcy. When the family moves from Seattle to Tacoma, Washington, Annie’s once gregarious father retreats further into his blindness. It takes Annie meeting new twin friends, who happen to be refugees from Holland, to fully understand her father and the deep consequences of war and sacrifice. A Flag in the Window by Brian Karadashian Penned by a teacher from San Diego, this gem of historical 28
fiction sends young readers directly to the 1940s, with the sounds and feel of swing music, a pharmacy soda jerk character, descriptions of war bond posters, and the authentic slang and sensibilities of that pivotal period. In the lively story, 12-year-old Billy yearns for his father, who is a paratrooper stationed in England during World War II. Set in Pasadena, California, Karadashian’s tale includes plenty of fun information about the vintage games and activities popular for children during that era. But a serious feel about the effects of war is also apparent, and the results for Billy and his mother are life changing. Hope’s Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons This poignant, thoughtful picture book tells the inspirational story of a little slave girl’s father who leaves the plantation to join the Civil War. He leaves her a special conch shell with an echoing sound that symbolizes the promised song of freedom. Though things become harder at the plantation, and Hope even works in the fields, she and her little brother pray and hold tight to the conch shell for comfort. Finally, after a year, word spreads on the plantation that freedom may finally have arrived. Then it does, as President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Eventually Hope’s father returns, outfitted in a ragged blue
war uniform with the pride of fighting for his country and the truth of freedom for his family. D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 by Rick Atkinson Pulitzer Prize winner Atkinson adapts his best-seller, The Guns at Last Light, for a younger audience (ages 11 to 16) with clarity and precision. With an array of clear blackand-white photographs, war posters, a detailed timeline and youth-friendly lists of the greatest tanks, battleships and bombers of the war, this version is a fascinating introduction to World War II. Certainly accessible and visually appealing, Atkinson’s book captures clearly the events and the spirit of the day that led to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 by Lauren Tarshis Part of the popular Scholastic paperback series I Survived, Tarshis’s riveting historical fiction entry is a
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thrilling adventure. Readers age 7 to 10 will meet young Thomas and his little sister, Birdie, who have spent their lives as Virginia slaves. When Thomas is taken away one day, he realizes he and Birdie must escape to the North, but are swept into the Battle of Gettysburg instead. Though the tale is fiction, Tarshis does a wonderful job with evocative illustrations and added facts about the Civil War era. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln Lincoln’s brief speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” was one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in history. Presented here with lush, mural-like images from Daugherty, the Gettysburg address comes to life. Lots of color, emotional scenes and a poster-like set-up makes the grand picture book child-friendly and gorgeous. Updated with an introduction by Gabor Boritt, a Lincoln and Civil War scholar, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address brings history to life.
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GOINGS-ON Brit Floyd-Discovery World Tour This is a spectacular new live production featuring music from all fourteen Pink Floyd studio albums plus a dazzling new light and laser show. The Discovery show will capture in note-for-note detail all your favorite moments as well as a few lesser-known gems. Brit Floyd’s musical performance will be accompanied by amazing original video and brand new animation. When: Jun 3, 8p Where: William Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St., Fresno Contact: 445-8200 2014 Members Exhibition Arts Visalia is proud to host the annual Visalia Art League Members Exhibition, featuring artworks in a variety of media by local artists. This educational and philanthropic organization is open to amateur and professional artists, as well as non-artists who are loves and patrons of art. The opening reception will be held Jun, 6, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Please visit artsvisalia.org for exhibit hours. When: Jun 4-Jun 27 Where: Arts Visalia, 2014 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905 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 up a map and schedule at Anne Lang’s Emporium or the Historical Museum – art to see, locations and times for special events. When: June 7, 10a-5p Where: Anne Lang’s Emporium, 41651 Sierra Dr. (CA 198), Three Rivers Contact: Nadi Spencer, 561-4373 or www.1stSaturdayTR.com
5k Furry & Run Walk Valley Oak SPCA is hosting their inaugural 5K Furry Run/ Walk. This event starts and finishes at Plaza Park. The route takes participants past the Visalia Airport and Valley Oaks Golf Course. Register by June 26 to get the $25 rate. $30 registration the day of. When: Jun. 7, 7:30a Where: Plaza Park, 700 S. Plaza Dr., Visalia Contact: 713-4694 13th Annual Golf for Life Tournament Tulare-Kings Right to Life is holding its annual 4-person shotgun scramble tournament. Play 18 holes of golf at one of Central California’s fines courses and enjoy a light lunch and catered dinner. When: Jun. 9, 10:30a Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: April Kesterson, 732-5000 Sara Evans & Dustin Lynch Two major country music stats will be performing on the same stage. Sara Evan’s albums were built on strong songwriting and a neo-traditionalist flair, while Dustin Lynch’s albums were influenced by men like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Clint Black. Tickets start at $25.00. When: Jun 12, 7p Where: Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, 17225 Jersey Ave., Lemoore Contact: (886) 472-5223
2nd Annual “WINE, CHEESE & JAZZ” Come enjoy an evening of wine, cheese and jazz as we showcase the art, music and talent featured at the Creative Center. Tickets are $25. When: Jun. 12, 5:30p-7:30p Where: The Creative Center, 606 N. Bridge St., Visalia Contact: Paula, 733-4400 Kids Night Out Parents, take this opportunity to make it a date night out or a relaxing evening at home! Let your kids (ages 5-12) join the Lifestyle Center for a night of exciting games, swimming and fun topped off with dinner and a movie. When: Jun. 20, 5:00-8:30p Where: The Lifestyle Center, 5105 W. Cypress Ave., Visalia Contact: 624-3400 Color of Life The Sweet Nectar Society is having their first annual black-tie gala to raise funds for their growing program. Sweet Nectar Society is a local non-profit organization that captures the spirit of children who are affected by serious illness or disabilities through the art of photography. Join them for a night of wine tasting, gourmet tapas bar, dancing and live and silent auctions. When: Jun 20, 6:30p Where: The Lofts Event Center, 1028 N. Fulton St., Fresno Contact: 360-0799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella Christ Lutheran Church and the League of Christian Actors will present the musical about the classic fairy tale. This familyfriendly play is perfect for all ages and something the whole family will enjoy. Spend a night at the theatre. When: Jun. 20-22, 2p for matinee; 7p for evening. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369
Brewfest 2014 Enjoy a wide variety of beers to try out. Each ticket includes a Brewfest t-shirt and barbecue dinner plate. Tickets are $45.00. When: Jun 21, 5p-10p Where: Kings County Fairgrounds, 810 S. Tenth Ave., Hanford Contact: 594-3318 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 email@example.com 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: Thursdays, 5-8p; Saturdays, 8-11:30a Where: Thursdays, Downtown Visalia; Saturdays, Sears parking lot Contact: 967-6722 or www.visaliafarmersmarket.com Tulare Farmer's Market 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: Tuesdays, 5-8p Where: 1407 Retherford Street, Tulare Contact: 967-6722 or www.visaliafarmersmarket.com
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WARREN REPORTS Text by Warren Gubler, Vice Mayor
Innocents Abroad My daughter, Lora, and I recently returned from a trip overseas. Years ago I made a deal with each of our children that if they study a foreign language for four years in high school and get all A’s, then dad would take them to visit a country where that language is spoken. Each of our children has taken me up on this bribe, and I too have gotten to see a bit of the world as a result. Of course, being the youngest, Lora has higher expectations. So in addition to Spain, we had to drop by England, Gibraltar and Morocco. As we traveled, I couldn’t help but draw some comparisons with Visalia. The following are some of my observations: Strong City Center. I noted that in each successful city we visited, they had a strong city center, whether it was Puerto del Sol in Madrid, Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona, Main Street in Gibraltar, or the Kasbah in Tangier. Visalia’s Downtown and Mooney Blvd. are its vibrant core. As we continue to emphasize this area it will remain a draw, not only for our citizens, but for visitors to our city. Nature Connection. We visited a monastery and took hikes in Montserrat outside of Barcelona. Although it was high in the mountains, we had easy access via local train, then cable car and funicular. Visalia enjoys a similar natural setting close by in our national parks. Visalia has contracted with the National Park Service to provide bus service to Sequoia National Park, as well as within the park itself. The more we can identify with the national parks, the better for local tourism dollars and to put Visalia on the map Culture. I was struck by the beautiful architecture and age of many of the monuments and buildings of Europe. Art and museums everywhere enhanced the experience. Add to this the unique inventiveness of geniuses such as Antoni Gaudi, who created the Sagrada Familia Basilica and Park Guell in Barcelona, designed in modernistic style. While Visalia is only about 160 years old, we have our own historic homes, Western-era Downtown, and more recent buildings of interest such as the Fox Theater and Merle’s Drive-In, which is now The Habit Burger. We have the county museum in Mooney Grove Park, and soon will have a new Imagine-U Children’s Museum which is being built Downtown. Don’t forget Rawhide Stadium. The more that we can add to the mix, the better Size. Many of the cities which we visited were huge. I enjoyed just as much the towns and tourist attractions that 32
were on a smaller scale and took advantage of rural settings. Part of Visalia’s attraction is that it has so much to offer, but on a smaller scale in an ag setting, such that visitors can enjoy the unhurried and relatively simple lifestyle of Visalia. History. Again, the history of Europe is part of its vibrancy. Visalia has its own unique history dating back to 1852, the oldest town between Stockton and Los Angeles. Recently, Councilman Greg Collins and I assisted town historian Terry Ommen in giving a tour of historic Downtown to a group of convention visitors. They seemed to enjoy just strolling down our Main Street, soaking it all in, along with the amenities such as the numerous restaurants there. Downtown also has a historic walking trail with plaques and markers which has been well received. I hope that some day we can develop an app whereby people can follow the historic walking trail while listening on their smart phones to a narrative of our history. www.visitvisalia.org. High Speed Rail. I’ve enjoyed riding the Shinkansen bullet train in Japan and the Eurostar high speed rail in Europe in the past. The AVE high speed rail in Spain was not as convenient or as high-class; it felt a little bit like they were just herding cattle. When high speed rail comes to California, we need to have a nearby station for not only the locals to use, but also for visitors to our area. We need to ensure that high speed rail is done correctly and is first class. As much as Lora and I enjoyed our travels, it was good to return home to America. This trip made me appreciate what we have locally, as well as the bright future that Visalia has in store. P.S. My apologies to Mark Twain for borrowing his title for this article. If you have questions or topics regarding the city that you would like to have addressed in future articles, please email Warren at email@example.com, or call (559) 713-4400 x 3313. For past articles, visit directfromwarren.blogspot.com.
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