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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — THE HEART OF THE SOUTH VALLEY

MAGAZINE

Spend a day with Giants we will get you there

FITNESS

Have Trouble Areas?

VIRTUAL VALLEY Tech Etiquette:

Why Manners Still Matter MAY

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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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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

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 raise@dmiagency.com

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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

ONE-HOUR

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DO YOUR DROOPY, PUFFY EYES MAKE YOU DREAD LOOKING IN A MIRROR? Tiffany's advanced technology One-Hour Surgeries give women and men long-lasting results at a fraction of the cost of traditional lifts. Jane's cosmetic journey has included Tiffany's One-Hour Eyelid Surgery, One-Hour Face/Neck Lift and Smartlipo. All procedures were performed with the luxury of local anesthesia and Jane was back to work in 2-4 days!

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Tiffany Smith-Edmonds, CEO, Spa Director Dr. André P. Edmonds, BSc, MD, CM, FRCS(C), FICS, FACS, FAAOS, Medical Director The spa and salon are open Monday, 9a.m - 6p.m. Tuesday–Friday, 9a.m. – 7p.m. Saturday, 9a.m. – 5p.m.

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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 MAY 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 VAUGHN Operations Manager MARIA GASTON Marketing Specialist Kyndal Kennedy CO NTR I BUTI N G WR ITE R S

Andy Salazar Chafic Dada CRAIG WHEATON CRYSTAL R. R. EDWARDS C. S. WYATT LEE LITTLEWOOD MAJOR ROGERS Randy Moreno SHARON MOSLEY WARREN GUBLER

cover story

6 Sequoia Shuttle Sequoia National Park

Getting there…

Account Executive BRYCE McDONALD SALES OFFICE

801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • fax 559.738.0909 email: direct@dmiagency.com 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: direct@dmiagency.com. Online Issue at: www.issuu.com/dmiagency © 2013 DMI Agency

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22 VUSD 28 Education

30 Goings-On

Tech Etiquette: Why Manners Still Matter

32 Warren Reports

14 Culinary Plantain Chips

18 Kids' Bookshelf Friends Make the World Go Round

20 Well, THAT Was Fun

HeyMomIcan’tfindmy Takes a Tumble

If You Build It, They Will Come

Advertising Director Bridget Elmore

16 Fashion

10 Virtual Valley

26 Visalia Rawhide

A DV E R T I S I N G S A L E S

12 Pet of the Month

29 Fitness

ROSS YUKAWA CHRIS BLY

departments

features

ART DIRECTOR

GR APHIC DESIGNER

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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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4037 S. Mooney Blvd. Visalia, California

Tiffany Smith-Edmonds, CEO, Spa Director Dr. André P. Edmonds, BSc, MD, CM, FRCS(C), FICS, FACS, FAAOS, Medical Director The spa and salon are open Monday, 9a.m. - 6p.m. Tuesday–Friday, 9a.m. – 7p.m. Saturday, 9a.m. – 5p.m.

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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

SEQUOIA SHUTTLE

Sequoia National Park: Getting there... You can make the summer of 2013 an unforgettable one for you and your family – and it will only cost $15. Your trip starts in the heart of California’s rich Central Valley – in the City of Visalia. Visalia has it all: a vibrant downtown, amazing restaurants, a diverse art and culture scene, and it is the gateway to Sequoia National Park. 6

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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

Route 1 (Green Route): Possibly the most popular in the park, this route takes you to the General Sherman Tree, the largest living thing on the planet. Also on this route is the Lodgepole Market & Visitors Center. If you are looking to grab a bite to eat, this is a good choice. Route 2 (Gray Route): This route will give you access to Moro Rock, which is located between the Giant Forest and Crescent Meadow. The view from the rock encompasses much of the Park, including the Great Western Divide. This route also stops at Crescent Meadow, acclaimed by many to be the gem of the Sierras. Route 3 (Purple Route): This route goes from Lodgepole to the Wuksachi Lodge. Located in the heart of Sequoia National Park, the Wuksachi Village and Lodge is the newest hotel development in California’s oldest National Park. Wuksachi Lodge is the perfect place to stay if you are planning a multi-day trip to Sequoia National Park. Route 4 (Orange Route): This route is in operation during peak season (JulySeptember) and provides access from the General Sherman Tree to the many backcountry trailheads located at the Wolverton area. For more information about the Sequoia Shuttle, how to make reservations and to view current specials, check out the Sequoia Shuttle on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sequoiashuttle. Accessing these natural wonders has never been easier. The City of Visalia offers shuttle service from the Transit Center (amongst other locations) to the Park on the Sequoia Shuttle. Within a short drive, you’ll travel past fruit orchards, Lake Kaweah, and the foothills before entering the Park where you will embark on your summer adventure. Stunning views reveal themselves behind every turn as you make your way up the General’s Highway. Watch how the environment around you changes, going from wild oaks to towering conifers. First, you follow along the Kaweah River before leaving it behind as you make your ascent 6,000 feet into the park – catching glimpses of Moro Rock and Castle Rock. Your first destination upon arriving in the Park will be the Giant Forest Museum. Here is where your experience will begin. From the museum, you will have access to facilities, education opportunities, meet-and-greets with Park Rangers, and access to the four in-park transit routes that will transport you to all the key destinations. DIRECT MAGAZINE

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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

SEQUOIA SHUTTLE

Welcome to the Land of Giants If standing amongst the largest living thing on the planet is not on your bucket list, it unquestionably should be. These towering Giants, which have witnessed civilizations rise and fall, have stood strong for over 3,000 years. They have survived fire and drought, yet continue to thrive – inspiring generations. There was a time when Giant Sequoias were present throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but today, the last living groves stretch across the western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Sequoia National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the United States. Spanning over 400,000 acres, the Park was established in 1890 to protect the big trees in the Giant Forest, including the General Sherman Tree. The Park also features the Mineral King Valley and Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states, reaching over 14,494 feet. "There is something wonderfully attractive in this king tree, even when beheld from afar, that draws us to it with indescribable enthusiasm; its superior height and massive, smoothly rounded outlines proclaiming its character in any company; and when one of the oldest attains full stature on some commanding ridge it seems the very god of the woods." – John Muir Five things in Five hours – Tranquility or Adventure, the Choice is Yours. Trails, waterfalls, trees, and a rich history all within one location provide a playground for everyone. Here is a one-day snapshot of activities to do once inside Sequoia National Park. Crystal Cave: Make your first stop within the park the magnificent Crystal Cave and spend some time exploring the underground labyrinth of the Sequoia National Park. This 8

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ancient attraction features beautiful formations of elaborate marble, which was polished by a subterranean stream. Once you pass through the spider web gate, your guide will give you a 50-minute tour and explain the history of the cave and point out unique features and formations. Giant Forest Museum: Make sure you visit the Giant Forest Museum when you exit the Sequoia Shuttle. This museum is in a historic market building amongst a Giant Sequoia grove. Inside the museum, you will discover interactive exhibits and a bookstore. Crescent Meadow: On your way, you will pass by the tunnel log. In 1937, a Giant Sequoia fell across the road, and a tunnel was cut out of the tree. As John Muir once said, Crescent Meadow, which is tucked back in a grove of Sequoias, is a prized gem of the National Park. You don’t want to miss it! General Sherman Tree: The General Sherman Tree, which is the largest tree on earth (by volume), is approximately 2,200 years old. The tree stands together with several other Giant Sequoias, which are roughly 250-300 feet tall. Feel free to meander along the General Sherman trail and be sure to take pictures along the way! Wuksachi Lodge: The Wuksachi Lodge, located in the heart of the Park, is a stunning stone-and-cedar mountain lodge. As a signature hotel in the Park, the Wuksachi features sprawling views of the sequoia's and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Be sure to enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurant and don't forget to purchase a souvenir at the gift shop. Reservations Book Online: www.sequoiashuttle.com Book by Phone: (877) BUS-HIKE (1-877-287-4453)


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

Your Community... Your Team

C a l l 7 3 2 - H I D E ( 4 4 3 3 ) o r Vi s i t R aw h i d e B a s e b a l l . C o m Fo r T i ck e t s A n d S ch e d u l e DIRECT MAGAZINE

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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

VIRTUAL VALLEY

Tech Etiquette:

Why Manners Still Matter As my wife and I watched the actors on stage, the woman sitting beside me raised her iPad and started to record the performance. She waved the iPad, aiming around and above the people sitting in the row below us. I dodged her elbows and tried to ignore this breach of etiquette as best I could. When you attend a live event, unless it is your child’s play or recital, do not try to record the performance with a phone or tablet. The devices are not inconspicuous. A handheld video camera might be small and (slightly) less annoying to other audience members, and I’d still prefer that nobody have one in the audience. 10

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Community and college theater companies often record their performances. If you ask, many schools and community groups will make copies of their recordings. Yet, I counted at least a dozen people trying to capture video on phones and tablets during the night. I’m planning to mention this to the artistic director. Maybe in the future the theater can offer video for download at a minimal price – a good way to raise money. The tablet screen resembles television. If I wanted to see the play on television, I’d watch at home. Lower the tablet and let others enjoy the special nature of live events.


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

Technology gives us the illusion of being social. Sharing a video of a live performance tells your hundreds of “friends” that you were there. Apparently, that’s more important to some individuals than enjoying the moment. You can always reflect on the experience later, and probably with greater insight. During intermission, the lobby of the theater was lit by fake candles and phone screens. Of the two, the phone screens generated more light. At least most of the patrons waited for intermission to post status updates to Facebook and Twitter. Maybe there was a hashtag for the performance, connecting all the theatergoers in the Twitterverse. If I didn’t Tweet it, was I really a part of the event? In our self-contained entertainment universes, we have forgotten about the other people our choices affect. It is possible that I am a curmudgeon, a grumpy old man about to tell the neighborhood kids to stay off my lawn. But, I believe the lack of tech etiquette reflects a serious problem in our society. It was several minutes into the second act before the visible glow of screens faded inside the theater. I always thought it was silly to have signs posted that ask people to turn off electronic devices in a theater. I was wrong. Apparently, people do need to be reminded of basic etiquette. Before attending the play, we took a walk downtown. I wanted a fresh pastry from the local bakery. As we passed the big chain coffee house, a man was yelling loudly. Once we were closer, I realized he was talking to someone standing only a few feet away from him. He was yelling because he was wearing headphones. Stranger still, I could hear the music leaking through the full-ear padding of the retro headphones. Wouldn’t most of us remove headphones when trying to have a conversation? At the very least, pause the music, right? Instead, “yelling man” was sharing his music along with his conversation. I’ve grown accustomed to people sharing their music with the world. When we take walks around the local park, most walkers, joggers and runners are listening to portable devices. It is astonishing how powerful little ear-bud speakers can be. A couple of years ago while riding a city bus, I asked a young man to turn down his music. “How can you even hear it, dude?” he asked. “The entire bus can hear it,” I responded. “No way!” Maybe his hearing loss was already significant, but I am guessing he could not imagine what others were experiencing. He never considered that others could hear his music. Earbuds, after all, are meant for privacy.

Loud music is a minor annoyance. Phone calls are worse. People talk on their cellphones anywhere, about any intimate details of their lives. If you must share the details of your latest medical exam, send a text message. Not that texting is without risks, even when walking. On campus, I’ve watched students collide with each other, trip over the small walls around flowerbeds and walk into closed glass doors. Texting while walking isn’t as dangerous as texting while driving, but it leads to some awkward encounters. If you walk through a school cafeteria or food court, students are sitting together but staring down at screens. I’ve wondered if they are sending text messages to each other. Last semester, a student asked to talk with me after class. While I was answering her questions about a complex assignment, her phone vibrated. Without so much as a pause, she looked down at the phone and started replying to a text message. “You could reply after we’re done,” I suggested. “No, that’s okay. My roommate’s asking where I am.” The student’s reply to the text message was longer than some of her quiz answers. Students have always ignored teachers, but at least it wasn’t so obvious. The next class session, I reminded all my students that you should give people your complete attention. At the very least, explain when you have a real emergency that demands a response. It turns out that college students don’t always know what constitutes a genuine emergency. We had a good discussion about the impulse to respond immediately to email, text messages and Facebook updates. I love cellphones, tablets and laptop computers. It’s great to have access to the Web and email all the time, everywhere. But, we should also recognize when to disconnect and turn off the devices so we can interact with the people next to us. How often have you seen people at a dinner table, texting or playing games on their phones? Maybe it isn’t rude if everyone is ignoring everyone else, yet it seems inappropriate to me. Turn down the music, ignore the phone and stop trying to share events online as they happen. The sights and sounds around you might be interesting. 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 cswyatt@tameri.com with questions and suggestions for Virtual Valley topics. DIRECT MAGAZINE

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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

PET MONTH of the

Microchip:

Meet Felipe:

A Safe and Permanent Identification for Your Pet

This gentle boy is a twoyear-old domestic short hair cat that is currently available for adoption at the Valley Oak SPCA. He was brought to us as a stray and was wearing a collar, unfortunately there was no form of identification on it and he was not microchipped. (79270)

What would you do if your pet was lost? Would the person who found your cat or dog know who you are and how to contact you? That’s a very stressful situation for you and your pet. A collar with a license and identification attached is extremely helpful; but what if the collar slipped off or your pet just had a bath and you hadn’t put the collar back on yet. The only permanent form of identification your pet can carry with it is a microchip. A microchip is a tiny device – about the size of a grain of rice – encoded with a unique identification number. The device is implanted with a syringe just under the skin between the shoulder blades. The process is quick and done with little or no pain. If your pet is lost and brought to a veterinarian or animal shelter, the microchip can be quickly detected with a scanner. The identification number will show up on the scanner and will then be either entered into a shelter’s database or phoned in to the microchip company. This will immediately give the owner’s contact information and alternate contact number. One very important step in ensuring the microchip will serve its purpose is to make sure all of your contact information is kept current with the microchip company. If you move or change your phone number, you must call the chip company to let them know. If your dog is brought to a shelter and the number on the microchip is old or disconnected, it can be impossible for staff to track you down. Valley Oak SPCA is giving away 100 microchips. Be one of the first 100 people to come to the shelter on Tuesday, May 7 at 5pm to get one. Remember to bring your dog or cat with you, as we will be implanting the microchip at the time of the event. Thank you to our sponsors: Visalia Breakfast Rotary Community Support Association for their $500 community support donation, and Bank of the Sierra for their $500 Sierra Grant for allowing us to provide this service. 12

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Meet Wylie: If you’re looking for a best friend, Wylie is your guy. This handsome fella is a two-and-a-half-year-old lab/ pointer mix and is as smart as a whip. He sits perfectly on command, and walks well on a leash with a few corrections. He also gets along great with other dogs. Wylie was adopted from the Valley Oak SPCA when he was a young puppy; at that time he was neutered and microchipped. He was recently surrendered by his owner so he is back up for adoption. (34313)

Valley Oak SPCA, 29016 Highway 99, Visalia, CA 93277 Monday-Saturday, 9a - 5p General Info: (559) 651-1111 Lost Pet Hotline: (559) 713-4700 Valley Oak SPCA is a nonprofit organization, Tax ID #94-2770238. We do not receive donations through ASPCA or HSUS. 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


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

AUTO SHOP QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Can't You Just Plug It In? We continue to get the question, “Can’t you just plug that 'thing' in to my car to tell me what is going on?” The answer is both yes and no; yes, we can plug it in, but it has it limitations. It is not like quick oats or a microwave oven. Here is what really is required. This is what the diagnostic process really looks like: 1. Road test and verify complaint. 2. Hook up scanner. 3. Read codes and data. 4. Go to data base. 5. Look up info for the car's make, model, and engine size. 6. Obtain data, bulletins, wiring diagrams, fuel pressure, known failures, diagnostics procedure and location of components involved. 7. Call tech line support if needed. 8. Pinpoint cause, study wiring diagram. 9. Locate parts. 10. Install parts and verify repair. 11. Final road test.

REGISTER NOW FOR CRITTER CAMP Summer Fun for youth ages 5-14 Learn all about our animal friends through activities, animal interactions, guest speakers, crafts and FUN June 17-21 for ages 8-14 June 24-28 for ages 8-14

60 per week or $100 for both weeks

$

July 15-19 for ages 5-7 60 per week

$

Call 713-4688 for more info www.vospca.org

Time required to do the diagnostic procedure and most fixes is three hours. The bottom line is it takes expensive equipment, time, and knowledge to fix your “check engine” light. So, next time you hear, “We’ll check your check engine light for free,” ask them, “Will you diagnose it for free?” Till next issue, Jim and staff If you have any questions, email me at jim@misfiregone.com.

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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

CULINARY Recipes by Chafic Dada and Randy Moreno, Pita Kabob & Grill | Photo by Taylor Vaughn

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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

Plantain Chips Ingredients: 3 large green plantains Vegetable oil, for deep-frying Kosher salt, for seasoning.

care quality professional

Directions: In a heavy based pot heat vegetable oil over medium heat to 375 degrees. Peel plantains. Using a sharp knife, finely slice plantains lengthwise into ribbons. Fry the plantains in small batches until crisp and golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer plantains to a plate with paper towel and let them cool. Salt to taste.

Complete Restorative Dentistry Implant Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry Family Dentistry Oral Surgery Endodontics

JIM R. MARTINEZ•DDS., INC. Member of American Dental Association • California Dental Association • Tulare/Kings Dental Society

3445 S. Demaree St., VISALIA 559.733.4478

HAPPY MOTHER’S

DAY

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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

fashion Text by Sharon Mosley

Addressing the Dress Don't say “no” to adding a dress to your shopping list this spring. It's an easy solution for what-to-wear – anywhere. The one-piece dress is a no-brainer for work or play, and it's a great travel companion. From floaty and flirty pastels to bold and graphic modern prints, the dress is a personality piece sure to please even the most discriminating fashionista. Choose from these key dresses for success shapes this spring and summer: The A-line Dress. The sheath dress has been "the" last word in dress fashion for the past few years. After all, it's been a classic for decades – most recently reintroduced to a new generation of style-savvy women a la First Lady Michelle Obama. But the newest classic has more fit and flare. The focus is on the waist – whether it's belted or banded. And unless you're a Kim Kardashian (who is expecting), you should go for a "figure-skimming" not "figure-hugging" dress style. Look for pleated accordion-style dresses for more dresses that don't cling, but swing. The Printed Dress. Another one of the season's favorites, the patterned prints are exploding. But don't expect to see any shrinking violets here – the dresses you'll want to wear this year make a bold statement. Think large colorblocks, washed watercolors, oversized stripes, tropical flowers, harlequin checks. The bigger, the better. A word of caution: to keep prints from becoming overwhelming, stick to dark background and one pattern per outfit. The Lace Dress. In a season of special occasions – graduations, weddings, proms – the all-over lace dress may be the perfect way to break out of the winter doldrums. Lighten up with this feminine fabric interpreted in a myriad of ways and colors. A white lace frock may say "bridal," but in sugary candy-colored pastels, it's a winner; in black, it's a cocktail stunner. The Sheer Dress. Spring and summer is the perfect time to go sheer. No, not totally, of course, but designers take care of that, too, this season. By layering sheer fabrics on top of sheer or other opaque fabrics, the effect is romantic and provides endless options. These ethereal dresses are the perfect backdrop to lightweight cardigans and coats or jackets. The Ruffled Dress. One of the season's trendiest details, 16

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the ruffle is showing up on sleeves, cuffs, necklines and waistlines. Flirty and flouncy, ruffles are a real way to fluff up your spring wardrobe. Don't be afraid to get a little ruffled. In soft silks, chiffons and jersey knits, these ruffles are meant to rise to any occasion. Dresses that go to all lengths. Choices of hemlines abound this year with dresses from short to long and anywhere in-between. Choose a python mini for a night on the town or a long floral caftan for a poolside patio party. And the newest way to show off your legs in a dress? Cover them up. The midilength is back. Your knees never had it so good!


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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

KIDS' BOOKSHELF Text by Lee Littlewood

Friends Make the World Go Round Friendship is a vital component of every child's life. These thoughtful, sweet, funny new picture books introduce unlikely friends and encourage youngsters to consider every child a friend. Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu. With an appealing modern/vintage look, Nyeu's friendship ode stars an octopus and a squid that love each other but aren't perfect. In the first of four short stories, the pair argues over whether to wear mittens or socks and, with the help of an earmuff-donning turtle, decide to share and wear both. Sweetly, the vignette ends as Octopus and Squid cozy up in socks and mittens while sipping hot tea and munching on cake. Next in The Dream, Squid dreams of having x-ray vision and flying, and he is sad when he realizes he's just "regular old me again." Octopus reminds his friend that he is Super Squid, who organizes Tickle Monday every week and knits cozies for Hermit Crab's entire family. Other tales, rich in simple but imaginative friendship lessons, are The Hat and The Fortune Cookie. Nyeu's quirky stories are perfectly succinct enough for brief bedtime reading. Her sun-washed colors of blues, greens and oranges paint a retro-cool undersea life that's highly artsy yet incredibly totfriendly. Lovabye Dragon by Barbara Josse. Once there was a little girl, "an all-alone girl," who didn't have a dragon for a friend. There was also a dragon in his dragon cave that dreamed of a girl for a friend. The girl cried silver tears, and the trickle flowed away like a small creek until the little tickle of tears woke the dragon. Dragon followed the trail of tears and, alas, the pair met and became fast friends. With appropriately medieval-muted colors, the cozy nightscape pages are the perfect palate for Josse's friendship tale of unlikely proportions: "On the outside, Girl is little. On the outside, Dragon's biggie. But they're exactly the same size in the middle." The Olive Branch: Red & Yellow's Noisy Night by Josh Selig. Selig's The Olive Branch series of books and animated TV shows aims to teach young children about conflict resolution and mutual respect and is praised by peace seekers including Deepak Chopra and Desmond Tutu. The non-profit public 18

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charity involved is called Little Light Foundation and can be accessed at www.littlelightfoundation.com. In Red and Yellow's Noise Night, friends Red and Yellow, who resemble a large chipmunk and a fox, argue about Red's loud strummy playing when Yellow wants to sleep. Soon, Red realizes the night is quiet and begins to play his strummy quieter, which actually helps sweetly docile Yellow curl up in their olive tree and sleep. The colorful pages show off a funny pair of buddies, who clearly have mutual respect for one another and successfully resolve their conflict. A sweet readaloud, Selig's tale shows children how easy and fun it can be to get along with others. Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead. Bear is getting sleepy but has a story to tell. He asks Duck if he'd listen, but Duck is getting ready to fly south. Frog is busy looking for a warm place to sleep, and Mole is already snoozing. Bear helps them all get ready for winter and is so tired he finally hibernates. When he awakens in spring, he gathers his friends, is ready to tell his story, but by this time has forgotten it. Instead, Bear begins his story time with, "It was almost winter, and Bear was getting sleepy..." With a subtly sweet message of patience and the value of assisting others over thinking of oneself, Stead's gentle picture book reminds us all that friendship takes time. Erin Stead's sketchy watercolors come alive on a clear white background, and the tale's words are thoughtful and endearing. Froggy's Worst Playdate by Jonathan London. London's famous boy pal Froggy wants to play. His friends are all busy, and when his daddy says he's taking Froggy to see The Frog Prince with a girl, Froggy makes a lot of racket about not going. Once at the movie theater, Frogalina tries to sit next to Froggy and even kisses him on the cheek after the girl in the movie kisses her frog prince. At first Froggy is horrified, but after the pair share popcorn and ice cream cones, he realizes this was probably not the worst play date ever. An action-packed, hilarious, busy read, Froggy's Worst Playdate points out that initial ideas of friendships can change and that the bestest of buddies may not be the first chosen. Oliver by Birgitta Sif. Oliver is a boy who enjoys his solitude and playing with puppets and his own imagination. But when Oliver's tennis ball rolls across the lawn and into the yard of the girl next door, he learns a real friend can give him what all his toys can't. Newcomer Birgitta Sif's wiry, darkish illustrations give a dry, witty look to the entertaining read, which pays homage to the power of imagination and trying new things.


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

Well, THAT WAS FUN

HeyMomIcan’tfindmy Takes a Tumble A few weeks ago, I was walking down the stairs, almost late for church and holding a skirt I’d just removed from the dryer. A kid called my name: HeyMomIcan’tfindmy. I have recently discovered my last name changes according to the most immediate need of the child (Shoes, Backpack, iPod), but at this point I am just happy any of them are talking to me at all. At ages 12, eight, and six, they have been stingy with the approval ratings and my ego is taking a beating. That morning, I was delighted to discover my last name was Dressshoes. I was mid-step but turned to greet my temporarily-adoring young fan, preparing to dispense a bit of wisdom and perhaps autograph a permission slip (they keep coming up with those), when a sharp pop! sound echoed off the stairwell wall. The back of my left calf felt an impact, and a sudden heat flushed from ankle to knee. Then I dropped the skirt and fell down. It sounds really dramatic – and it was – but I was saved from breaking my neck by virtue of the fact that the child in question waited until I was on the very bottom step before calling for me to come back up to assist. I only fell off one stair. Being kind of stupid about sports and risks in the first 20

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place, I can tell you I’ve had my fair share of injuries. But this was different. The pain was immediate and it made me dizzy. It felt like panic, mayhem, and bathing suit shopping had ripped through the back of my lower leg. I turned from my sprawl on the floor to inspect the wall above me for evidence of what had happened; not everything I write is 100 percent true, but this is. (The lies are those of omission. Notice how I never describe my floors or kitchen counter? Yeah. I see you nodding.) Getting hit by a wayward baseball through four walls of my own home made more sense than getting injured being normal on a Sunday. There was no hole in the wall. In that moment, I vowed to never be normal on any day at all so this couldn’t ever happen again. I picked up myself and the skirt and hopped/hobbled precariously back into my bedroom, where Donald was sorting out suspenders, cuff-links, and other strange metal mechanisms men use to keep their clothes on. If you are the parent of a small boy, I’m sorry to tell you that male clothes coming off at weirdly inappropriate times seems to be a real thing that doesn’t disappear with age. The only way to prevent it is to staple the clothes on their bodies until they are 12, then buy them their first tie pin and hope it’s enough to make 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

rest stay on until after church. “I can’t go,” I gasped, collapsing onto the loveseat. I had to pick my own leg up to put my foot on the ottoman. “I’ve just done something to my leg.” “It’s Easter,” he said, applying bolts somewhere near the top of his socks. Well, of course. Knowing the date just made all the pain and swelling go away and magically cured whatever had ripped away from the bone beneath the surface of my skin. Sometimes the man makes my hair hurt. “Yes, and I can’t walk. I need an ice pack, quickly. Please help.” My calf was swelling at an alarming rate, and I began to feel the first tickle of panic. Would my skin stretch enough? If I had to go to the emergency room, were they going to notice that even immediately after shaving my middle-aged legs had stubble? And, oh my heck, the veins. These weren’t the legs of a 20-something. I was debating avoiding medical assistance because ugh. Donald brought me an ice pack, several Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, and his wizard staff from last year’s Halloween costume as I got situated on the loveseat. He left with the kids for Easter services and I used my iPhone to look up every horrible leg injury ever documented. I was pretty sure I hadn’t been near a chainsaw or a rabid grizzly bear and that what I probably had was a muscle tear, but it was still a pretty difficult situation. I couldn’t walk. I tried the wizard staff at one point to get into the bathroom and found the idea of a walking aid to be more of a walking ain’t. I was not going to hop if I could help it. Not on Easter. Just … no. We survived the holiday, and the next morning I went in to work with an Ace bandage wrapped around my calf to compress it. Later that day, I visited my orthopedic doctor who diagnosed it as a severe muscle tear, gave me a canvas and metal boot to wear for the next several weeks, and recommended physical therapy. I showed up for my first physical therapy appointment nearly in tears. My leg still ached, and I required the boot to walk. The boot stabilized my ankle so it wouldn’t flex and therefore stretch the injured muscle. It sounds helpful until you learn that I also couldn’t take a normal-sized step. Crutches were not an option because of my mental state. They would have been weapons. Friends, things were dire. I was a shambles, physically and now emotionally. You see, I’m the type of person who strides. It’s become part of my very psyche. I don’t toddle, I don’t wiggle, I don’t do anything but a big ol’ Texas-sized step that crushes stuff like inhibitions and Yankees. The step-shufflestep I was currently reduced to was frustrating and painful,

and there was no way I could get on a horse in this condition because I wouldn’t even be able to keep my foot in the stirrup. The first thing the therapist asked me was what my goal was for therapy. “I want to WALK” was my reply. He wrote it down. “I want to ride horses again.” He wrote that down, too. I wondered what else he’d write, so I started inventing things simply impossible for my overweight, middle-aged body. (Four days of pain had done weird things to my mind.) We’d covered joining the Russian Ballet as prima ballerina, single-handedly winning the World Cup, forming my own Irish dance revue, and Quidditch before he stopped writing and looked up at me. “Well, let’s take a look at it.” I moved through a range of stretches he introduced to me, and he used exotic tools with unusual names like goniometer and tape measure to see how long it might be before I, too, won the Golden Snitch. The therapist’s name was Evil Joel, because at some point he thought massaging the injured area would be a good idea. Incidentally, I discovered it’s still legally considered assault when you deck someone for grinding his thumbs into your recently-shredded muscle. It seems “he started it” isn’t a valid legal defense. The next appointment, Evil Joel wasn’t there (the restraining order might have had something to do with it). Nice David had replaced him as my therapist. He’s about 11 and very kind. We joked through most of the pain, except for the parts where I had to tell him to cover his ears because I was about to cuss my way through an exercise where I used a foam roller to mash the muscles around in my calf. You read that correctly. It seems a giant fluffy rolling pin is the answer to musculoskeletal mayhem. If I’d known that, I would have started fixing things immediately after the injury, because I fell off the bottom step and straight into the kitchen. Two hops to the baking drawer and an old kitchen towel would have saved me a lot of time and money and a new charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. It turns out “he made me hurt myself and I cussed because I learned it’s assault if I hit him” isn’t a valid legal defense, either. In the appointments since, I’ve been able to stretch, bend, move, flex, whirl and twirl. I’m not completely healed, but I’m out of the boot and back on my own two feet. Evil Joel, it turns out, isn’t all that evil and sometimes even Nice David expects me to do something with my leg that God and my pain threshold never intended. I’m cussing less, striding more, and grossing the kids out with the residual bruising. It’s a win no matter how you look at it. My birthday is in a few days. Donald just bought me a tutu and a new Nimbus. I’m on my way. DIRECT MAGAZINE

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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

VUSD Text by Craig Wheaton, Ed.D. Superintendent

Let the Sun Shine! Spring days are getting longer, temperatures are rising, and before you know it, summer will be here. At VUSD we say, “Let the sun shine!” This summer you will see the first significant construction projects as a result of last November’s passage of Measure E. Included in the Measure E Bond was $4M to improve energy efficiency. Since November, we have been hard at work planning solar projects that will greatly reduce our energy costs. Solar panels are becoming a regular addition to the roofs of homes, and VUSD is going to join in on the savings at over a dozen schools. We have prioritized some of our highest energy consuming schools, and we considered the feasibility of energy savings by installing solar. Many of our schools are well over 40 years old and were not built for energy efficiency. Even though we have done a lot of retrofitting to improve energy efficiency, there is only so much you can do with a 50-year-old building. Unlike our homes, we don’t plan to put solar panels on roofs. What you will see are parking lot and play area shade covers that support solar panels. 22

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This project will save a huge amount of money for years to come. We are using a 20 year project projection, and we expect to save nearly $1,000,000 per year when we complete this project. Many of you have researched solar and may be wondering about panel maintenance and replacement. We have built in both warranty and insurance costs, as well as annual maintenance costs in our cost savings analysis. Another factor that makes solar a great cost saver for VUSD is that we are not using most of our schools during the peak sunny months of mid-June to mid-August. During that time, we are able to sell off the energy produced through our solar panels. The overall yearly average cost is offset by the summer months. So, as you make your way around our community this summer and you see crews busily constructing carports and shade structures, you will know that we are saving energy and saving money for the students of Visalia. And you will realize why we are all shouting, “Let the sun shine!” 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 dp21@capta.org.


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

VISALIA FIRST ASSEMBLY

A Mother’s Love “Making the decision to have a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around the outside of your body.” – Elizabeth Stone The bond between mother and child is hard to explain, yet cannot be denied. Shannon shares a personal story of this unconditional love: “My mom walked into the room trying hard to fight back the tears, but even from a distance I could tell by the redness in her eyes and the flush color of her face something was wrong. She is always a pillar of strength and the person who in the middle of adversity, takes charge and makes things happen. It was only months ago that my whole family was in Texas, sitting by my brother’s side as he underwent chemotherapy for Leukemia. My mom did what she always does … get things done and hold on to her faith that God has a plan. She would say, ‘We are going 24

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"A Church for the Community"

to do this together and get through it. It isn’t going to be easy but we just have to do the chemo and get it done.’ It is the same brave and fearless attitude I hear in her voice as she now tells me she has breast cancer. “It wasn’t the first time someone close had been diagnosed with cancer. I have had several family members fight a courageous battle against cancer, but what my mother was now telling me hit me the hardest. I felt my world fall down around me. “I have always known that the relationship between mother and daughter is a special bond but it was in that moment that I felt it so strongly. My mother has always been invincible in my eyes. She is strong and independent and it is that independence she has bestowed upon me that has helped me to succeed in life and overcome many obstacles. It is her unending, unconditional love that would guide me through obstacles, and her sense of humor that would keep my spirits high.

“Now, it is my turn to be that source of calm and support to her, through the things she has taught me: her faith, her bravery, her strength, her love and her humor. All these things will be the perfect combination to get through this next journey that lies before us. There may be difficult days but no matter what we will get through them. For the tribond between mother, child and God is unbreakable.” “There is an old Jewish Proverb,” states Karen Robertson, Lead/Worship Pastor, “that says ‘God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.’ We want to honor all moms on Mother’s Day weekend (May 11-12) at VFA … so call your mom and bring her with you to VFA.” Visalia First Assembly 3737 S. Akers (Corner of Akers/Caldwell) Saturdays • 5:00p Sundays • 9a, 10:45a and 12:30p


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"

Solar Makes Great Financial Sense The math is actually pretty simple: if your monthly electric bill is more than $100, you may save money every month with an AIR SUN solar electric system. Even if you finance the cost of your system, the loan payment plus your new, lower electric bill will usually be less than your previous statement. This means your savings start immediately, and your system will eventually pay for itself. Some homeowners may even earn back three to six times the cost. A lower electric bill and a system that pays for itself are just two reasons why solar is a smart investment. Solar Gives You Protection Against Electricity Rate Hikes Imagine that you had been able to lock in gas prices in 2004. You’d be paying less than $2/gallon not only today, but also for decades to come. With every gas price increase, you’d be saving even more money. That’s exactly what you’re doing with the cost of electricity when you install a solar electric system. Because solar installation is a fixed cost, savings increase as utility rates rise. Essentially, you’re building in a hedge against future rate increases. And rising

utility rates are definitely something you can count on, especially considering they’ve gone up an average of 7 percent per year for the past 30 years. In 2006, some states saw the highest tier residential rates jump as much as 55 percent in just one year. Solar Comes With Big Financial Incentives Federal tax credits and public utility rebates can help pay for a substantial percentage of your system and installation. Your representative can explain what savings are available to make your system even more affordable. For rebate information in your state, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency at www.dsireusa.org. Solar Increases The Value Of Your Home A solar electric system may increase a home's value by $20,000 for every $1,000 in reduced annual operating costs. Solar Can Help Offset Climate Change From Main Street to Wall Street, people are realizing the effects our actions have on the environment – and they're going solar to minimize those effects and lower their carbon footprint. Until recently, there hasn't been much of a choice but to use the electricity provided by conventional methods. With advances in technology and increased consumer awareness,

however, solar electricity is now a very feasible option. So, while you'll be lowering your electric bill, you'll also be helping to improve our air quality. Coal-fired power plants are responsible for 72 percent of all sulfur dioxide emissions in the U.S., while solar electricity produces absolutely no pollution. One million homes using solar electricity would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4.3 million tons per year. That's the equivalent of removing 850,000 cars from the road. And by using more solar electricity, fewer power plants that produce greenhouse gases would need to be built. Solar Is 100 Percent Clean A solar electric system generates no harmful emissions – zero. This means you can power your home with 100 percent pure sunshine – which is not only clean, it's also renewable and abundant. So abundant in fact, it’s been calculated that a 100-square-mile array of solar modules in the Southwestern United States could generate enough electricity to power the entire country. Solar Offers You Energy Independence By switching to solar electricity, we can help alleviate our over-dependence on foreign sources. Solar electricity is used where it is made, so there are no transportation or delivery costs. Solar electricity's price stability is also independent of the effects of natural disasters, foreign political instability or trade disputes. The supply chain extends simply from the sun to your roof. While you are enjoying reliable solar electricity, you are also sharing that reliability with everyone else. Doesn't it make sense that if everyone had solar electricity systems, the public power grid would be more reliable since there would be less strain on it? Contact us at (559) 747-0111 for a free estimate.

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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

VISALIA RAWHIDE Text by Major Rogers

If You Build It, They Will Come Over the last four seasons, Visalia’s own professional baseball club, the Visalia Rawhide, Single-A Advanced affiliates of the Arizona Diamondbacks, have flourished in their new digs, which came in the form of a multi-million dollar refurbishment of the city-owned baseball complex. More than a flourishing organization, a thriving community has blossomed as a result of the improvements, complete with executive offices, expanded comfortable seating, and a Hallof-Fame Club that allows spectators a big league baseball experience right here in our own Downtown. It all started in 1946 with wooden grandstands and signboard walls when the City of Visalia built the stadium for the new California League Franchise to call home. However, after an absence of baseball from 1963-1967 things took a change for the better and the ballpark was upgraded to attract a new team. With this “upgrade” came the concrete moundlike structure still present today along with metal benches and eventually red box seats. 26

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Again in 2002 the stadium was reworked to include 880 individual green fold-down chairs, doing away with the metal grandstand benches, but adding two bleacher sections down the right-field line. The next big change occurred after the completion of the 2006 season with the construction of the Fan Dugout and the Toyota Terrace along with a few upgrades to allow for a more comfortable experience and thus the Rawhide saw a 35 percent attendance increase in the 2007 season. Phase One was complete, but still that wasn’t enough. In the midst of a countrywide economic meltdown, the cast was formed and built. In March of 2008, Phase Two of the renovation began, and brick by brick the former Oaks stadium began to transform. The small-town ballpark that housed only a handful of loyalists in the stands year after year broke from its cocoon, and morphed into a cultural center of attraction, where everyone from kids to the who’s who of Visalia can find something to enjoy. “The entire project was funded in cash. No bonds, no taxes were collected,” said Donny Baarns, director of Broadcasting. This phase included removing the bleachers down the right field line and construction of new box seating, the Hall-ofFame Club, administrative and ticketing offices, the grass pasture area, and concessions.


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

Since this bold move of expansion took place, no one has looked back as attendance records have increased by 91 percent since 2006, and the organization has set franchise attendance and revenue records for the fourth consecutive season. This has done more than create revenue for our city; it’s created a place for the community to enjoy the summer weather and spirit of the season with friends and family. Even still, plans are in motion to bring more enhancements to our “small-town” stadium. Plans include a new state-ofthe-art grandstand, complete with expanded seating, indoor luxury box seating, a new press box, and a shade canopy that will bring more comfort to fans in the hot summer months. It’s clear by the renovations continuously being made that this is a park for the community. The Rawhide organization was recently named the California League Organization of the Year, beating out 10 other minor league teams for the honor, “which is pretty cool considering where we were just five years ago,” said Baarns. Where “we were” refers to the fact that Visalia’s interest in the team before the stadium expansion left us with a program that was on the verge of moving away more than once in the past couple decades. And though much of the talent is on the field, the program also boasts of such administrative accomplishments as Team President Tom Seidler being named Cal League Executive of the Year. “Rawhide staff have done an outstanding job with increasingly more community outreach, terrific promotions for the fans at Rawhide games, and a whole bunch of new events at the ballpark, making Recreation Ballpark the vibrant, yearround community gathering place for Visalia,” said Seidler. Seidler has brought stability to this organization not only through its ever-increasing attendance records, but also by the new four-year affiliation extension with the Arizona Diamondbacks – the first in their history. Another notable recognition came with Rawhide broadcaster Donny Baarns being named Minor League Broadcaster of the Year. Beyond our beloved baseball team and grandstand experience, the Rawhide organization truly excels at community involvement. “As a staff, we have the goal of making the ballpark the community gathering place of the Valley, a place where anyone can come and have a good time,” said Jennifer Pendergraft, who has been with the organization for seven years and was recently promoted to general manager. And how does Rawhide staff plan on doing this? With a myriad of activities such as Visalia’s Breakfast Lions IrishFest, which celebrates the shamrock time of year with food, beer, music and other activities offered to ticket purchasers.

Attendance at the successful event was up 70 percent from its first celebration the previous year. There are several other events such as Oktoberfest, TNA Professional Wrestling, East vs. West High School All-Star game, wedding receptions, and more, which allow the community at large to gather and celebrate throughout the year. The park facilities also serve as a base for non-profits to hold events like poker tournaments or dinner receptions in the trendy Hall-of-Fame Club. The Rawhide has also found ways to give back to the community directly. One such way is through Home Runs 4 HEART, which benefits Pro-youth/HEART, an afterschool program for at-risk youth. Money is collected through fundraising efforts where community members pledge to donate every time a Rawhide homerun is executed. In the last two seasons $80,000 has been raised and kept within our own community, benefiting the youth that most desperately need it. Aside from this, well over $100,000 a year is given to other community activities and countless hours of volunteer work that come through the players themselves taking time to visit schools, hospitals, and put on baseball clinics for community kids. Tipper, the team bovine mascot, has his own Tipper’s Reading Club. This club has a membership of over 20,000 school kids from Tulare and Kings Counties, who are rewarded with Family-4-Pack tickets for meeting their reading goals. All of this proves an invaluable addition to our community, with effects stretching longer than any homerun ball could. Community business leader Stan Simpson, a Rawhide loyalist and former chairman of the Mayors Committee on Professional Baseball with the Visalia Oaks, understands the importance of the baseball organization and stadium. “I have always been of the opinion that a city in the United States is very fortunate to have one of the recognized professional minor league teams as a part of the city and as an advertising tool for potential new industries to locate or relocate there – in this case Visalia,” he said, explaining that a positive investment by a town can in turn pay that town back in droves, and on multiple levels, improving the quality of life across the board. As it stands, we have built a stadium in our town that has proven its worth. It houses more than just quality baseball displays, but an opportunity for a community to be social, charitable and simply out in the sunshine throughout the year. It’s a setting with something for everyone. If you haven’t experienced Rawhide baseball yet, it’s time to discover this gem. If you have experienced our stadium, then you know what I’m talking about. See you at the ballpark! DIRECT MAGAZINE

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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

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY COLLEGE A medical office practice will thrive or dive depending on its ability to accurately bill and collect charges for services provided. That means front office staff must not only be well-trained in correctly coding patient services and billing insurance carriers, but certified to properly execute those critical functions. New laws mandate the employee performing those job functions must pass a national certification exam for medical coding. San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) in Visalia offers a 14-month Medical Office program designed to meet these new laws, as well as the needs of the medical community and those interested in a career providing this valued service. Course curriculum includes specific training in insurance coding and medical billing to prepare graduates to sit for the NCICS (National Certified Insurance and Coding Specialist) exam through NCCT (National Center for Competency Testing). Medical Office program graduates earn an Associate of Science degree. A good balance of classroom and lab experience prepares students for the realities of working in a health care environment. “Students will be able to participate in various hands-on skills designed to prepare them for the front office environment in a medical facility,” says Annette Austerman, SJVC’s Allied Health division manager. “Along with development of patient communication techniques, students will learn to complete claim forms, explore precision coding, research anatomy and physiology, and use these skills at the end of their program during externship.” SJVC works closely with health industry professionals to continuously improve medical programs’ curriculum, technology and equipment. “We value feedback from our 28

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community leaders in the medical field and collaborate with them through Advisory Board meetings,” says Austerman. “We, in turn, consider the information discussed and strategize with other campus representatives during program reviews to stay current with changes in the medical field.” One example of this is the change from paper charts to electronic medical records. Medical Office students are trained in electronic medical records throughout their program, where emphasis is placed on speed and accuracy. In addition to billing and coding instruction and experience, SJVC’s program includes: • Medical insurance principles • Computer concepts • Medical terminology • Bookkeeping and accounting • Economics and finance • Medical law and ethics • CPR and First Aid certification • HIPAA certification • Typing certification

Medical Office Career Training All-inclusive

Front office personnel are a vital component to the successful operation of a medical office/hospital, but they are most important to the well-being of patients. Well-trained health care administrators are in demand in every kind of medical environment, including hospitals, private medical practices, dental offices, clinics, laboratories, billing offices and medical supply distributors. Graduates from San Joaquin Valley College’s Medical Office program can expect to enter the job market in such positions as: • Billing or insurance clerk • Front office assistant • Data entry clerk • Collections clerk • Admitting clerk For more information about San Joaquin Valley College’s Medical Office program, please call the Visalia campus toll free at (866) 391-3804, or visit their website at www.sjvc.edu. Medical, business and technical 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

Have Trouble Areas? Most of us have areas of our body we are not comfortable with. Some of us would like to tighten and tone our midsections and others our buns and thighs. I have a lot of people ask me, “Can I spot reduce?” The truth is there is no such thing as spot reduction exercise. In order to work on our problem areas, we need a healthy diet and a fitness routine that targets our entire body. This is the only way to shape and sculpt your entire body. The biggest key to getting the results you desire is to be consistent. There are no quick fixes, magic pills or spot reduction machines. Ultimately, it is up to you to put in the work and time to achieve your ideal body. If you want to work on your problem areas, be healthier, and get into better shape, then you have to “pay the rent.” This is an axiom used by author Rory Vaden in his book, Take the Stairs, which in summary says having a healthy, fit body is never owned...it’s rented, and you have to pay the rent every day. Be leery of infomercials, websites, and products that make spot reduction claims. The health, fitness, and weight loss market misinforms the public every day. Often, false claims and testimonials are made proclaiming the benefits of their products, but they do not deliver. We have all been sucked in by the late night infomercial that is so good and convincing. Don’t waste your money. Not that all of the products are bad or don’t deliver, but most are just hype. The two keys to obtaining the body of your dreams and the results you desire are proper nutrition, and metabolic resistance training. These are the two proven elements I have seen over and

over which deliver the results most of us want. Proper Nutrition Having a quality diet is a must in order to get the results you desire. No amount of exercise can counter balance poor nutritional habits. Seventy to 80 percent of your results will come from your diet. That’s how important it is. Keep it simple, cut out all processed food, and unnecessary sugars. Stick with lean meats, fresh veggies, fruit, nuts, and beans. Give yourself one cheat day a week in moderation. Make smart nutritional choices every day, and overtime results will follow. So lay off the sweets, and limit your alcohol consumption to one drink a week. Metabolic Resistance Training This style of weight training targets fat loss. Metabolic resistance training is basically working out in a circuit (multiset training) style where you move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest and are normally full body workouts. The goal is to keep your heart rate elevated and burn the optimal amount of calories. Workouts should last no longer than 45 minutes, and can even be as short as 15 minutes. For examples of metabolic resistance training workouts visit www. fitproworkouts.com. Although infomercials are exciting and entertaining to watch, nothing beats proper nutrition and metabolic resistance training for outstanding results. Proper nutrition is the best way to reduce stubborn fat around the belly and thighs. Crunch machines or sit-up chairs may look like the answer on a late a sleepless night of T.V. watching, but in the light of day, a full body workout that elevates your heart rate and increases your lean muscle mass is the best way to lose inches and weight. Start paying the rent today! Remember the body of your dreams is never owned, it’s rented, and the rent is due every day.

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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

GOINGS-ON Art in the Alley Check out this ongoing seasonal event to display art pieces, listen to music and provide hands-on fun activities for children and the whole family. When: May – June, every 3rd Thursday; 5-8p Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia Contact: 625-1520 Selma Raisin Festival This annual five-day carnival will include food and craft booths, art, baking, photography, poetry, floriculture and family fun run competitions. Don’t miss out on this free event that will be fun for all! When: May 1-5 Where: Lincoln Park, Selma Contact: www.cityofselma.com Julius Caesar This musical, presented by the College of the Sequoia’s theatre department, will be a powerful performance you don’t want to miss. General tickets are $12, $10 for students and $8 for seniors. When: May 2, 3, 4; 7:30p Where: COS Theatre, 915 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: 730-3907 or www.costheatre.org Dance Out Loud Presented by the El Diamante High School theatre, this annual spring production event will be fun for everyone. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased in advance at the El Diamante High School Finance Center and online at the EDHS Web Store. Proceeds from this event will help to support the Dance Program and EDHS. When: May 2, 3; 7p Where: L.J. Williams Theatre, 1001 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 735-3522 30

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Enchanted Birdhouse Auction Hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Tulare County, this event will include wine tasting, hors d’ oeuvres, custom made birdhouses, and a special live and silent auction. Tickets are $75. When: May 3; 6:30-10:30p Where: Visalia Holiday Inn, 9000 W. Airport Dr., Visalia Contact: 734-4040 or www.hfhtc.org Dinuba Cinco de Mayo This free, all ages celebration will include a carnival full of food and craft booths and entertainment for the whole family. When: May 3; 10a Where: Rose Ann Vuich Park, 855 E. El Monte Way, Dinuba Contact: www.dinuba.org Kentucky Derby Come out and experience the excitement of the Kentucky Derby live on large screens. Enjoy appetizers, sparkling beverages, auctions, fancy hat contests, music and more! Tickets are $40 for this 21 and older event. All proceeds from this event will benefit food and nutrition programs provided by FoodLink, the food bank for all of Tulare County. When: May 4; 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Where: Visalia County Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: 651-3663 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: May 4; 10a-5p Where: Anne Lang’s Emporium, 41651 Sierra Dr. (CA 198), Three Rivers Contact: Nadi Spencer, 561-4373 or www.1stSaturdayTR.com

Reedley Street Faire Come and check out what Reedley has to offer! This fun all ages event will include craft, retail, information and food booths. There will also be a car show, health faire and children’s rides. When: May 5; 10a Where: G St., Reedley Contact: www.reedleydowntown.com Scooby-Doo Live Musicals Mysteries This live theater show brings everyone’s favorite show to life! Filled with crazy new characters and all the old ones you love, this all ages event will even include classic musical numbers such as “ScoobyDoo, Where Are You?” and “Round Every Corner.” Tickets start at $15. When: May 8, 7p Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369 or www.foxvisalia.org Wipeout Participate in this wild 5k course that will consist of a muddy obstacle course and a military style course. This event is for ages 13 and older. Participants will receive a finishers t-shirt and a free beer or non-alcoholic beverage! When: May 11; 8a Where: International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: www.wipeoutrace.com


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

Visalia Craft Beer Festival Sample beers from craft breweries near and far, listen to live music and enjoy some delicious snacks from food vendors at this 21 and older event. Tickets are $30, $10 for designated drivers. When: May 11; 1-5p Where: Mooney Grove Park, Visalia Contact: www.visaliabeerfest.com Once Upon a Dream Gala Presented by CASA of Tulare County, this 10th annual event will consist of a delicious dinner and a live auction. When: May 11; 6:30p Where: Visalia Holiday Inn, 9000 W. Airport Dr., Visalia Contact: 625-4007 Exeter Garden Walk Bring the whole family outside as you enjoy the 10th annual Full Bloom Garden Walk. Enjoy refreshments and get all your gardening questions answered as you discover downtown Exeter and all it has to offer. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at By the Water Tower Antiques, 141 South B, or the Exeter Chamber of Commerce at 101 West Pine Street in Exeter. When: May 11; 9a-2p Where: Downtown Exeter Contact: 592-2919 or www.exeterchamber.com 3rd Annual Downtown Expo Check out this fun community and family event that will include Run4Cover live in concert, raffle prizes, delicious food, merchant showcases and much more! When: May 17; 5-11p Where: Downtown Visalia Contact: www.downtownvisalia.com

Best of the Big Bad Armo Show Come enjoy a night of laughter as Lory Tatoulian, originally from Reedley, and her company put on a show that you will be sure to remember! Lory and her crew take the serious and comical stories of today and turn them into a fun house mirror to the community. Tickets are $20; some content may be inappropriate for minors. When: May 18; 6:30p Where: Main Street Theater, 307 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: 734-4504 Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament Presented by the Goshen Volunteer Fire Department this year’s poker tournament will be full of fun, food and drinks. A $40 minimum buy-in gets you 1500 chips. Must be 21 and over to attend. When: May 18; 4p Where: Elks Lodge, 3100 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 744-3448 Lake Kaweah Trout Derby With up to $50,000 in prizes, everyone has a chance to win. Enter to win a 2013 Voyager 18-foot Sport Fish fishing boat, a 2013 Ford Fusion, and more. $25/ individual; $50/family (husband, wife, and up to three kids...three additional kids may be added for $5/each). No professional fisherman allowed to participate. Registration closes at noon on Wednesday, May 15. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the USCGA Kaweah Flotilla 10-6. When: May 18, 8a-sunset; May 19 8a-3p Where: Lake Kaweah Contact: www.lakekaweahtroutderby.com

Boots and Heels This 21 and older benefit is presented by the Tulare Leadership Class of 2013 and will consist of food and wine tasting, live music and reverse drawing. Tickets are $50 per person. When: May 18; 6-10 p.m. Where: Happy Trails Riding Academy, 2773 E. Oakdale, Tulare Contact: 805-6731 Country Carnival Sponsored by Children’s Ark Learning Center Pre-School and First Presbyterian Church Children’s Ministry Council, this 17th annual carnival is open to the public. This fundraising event will benefit CALC and First Presbyterian Kids. There will be games, prizes, food, face painting, a bounce house, tricky tray and silent auction. Don’t miss out on this fun for all ages event! When: May 19; 12:30-2:30p Where: First Presbyterian Church, 215 N. Locust, Visalia Contact: 732-6225 or www.firstpresvisalia.org Adventure Park Fundraiser Join the Visalia Sunset Rotary at this annual fundraising event that will help support youth-oriented and non-profit groups. Tickets are $20 and include an all-you-can-eat buffet, miniature golf, bumper boats, laser tag and game tokens! There will also be large and small raffle prizes at this family, fun-filled event. When: May 20; 5-9 p.m. Where: Adventure Park; 5600 W. Cypress Ave., Visalia Contact: www.visaliasunsetrotary.org

If you would like to have your event considered for a free listing in our “Goings-On” section, please email your submission to direct@dmiagency.com 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

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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

warren reports Text by Warren Gubler, Visalia City Council Member

Parks and Recreation Reading the title to this article, you might first think of the popular TV show by that name. In fact, the City of Visalia has its own Parks and Recreation department, lead by department head Vince Elizondo. Under Mr. Elizondo’s direction is a paid staff that oversees the program. Additionally, we have a Parks and Recreation Commission consisting of six community volunteers/commissioners. This commission has been serving the City Council since 1939. They hold monthly meetings where they review plans for new parks and improvements, establish policies and rules for park users, and advocate for the mission of Parks and Recreation, amongst other tasks. Their theme is “Parks Make Life better!” Visalia has a total of 42 parks. Recently, the City Council held a joint meeting with this commission and received an update on their activities and those of the department. Let me share with you some of the information that was provided at that meeting. The parks and urban forestry division has a staff of 13 fulltime and 9 part-time employees. They maintain 268 acres of developed parks, including trimming trees every three to five years. They maintain the landscape and grounds for 22 acres in the downtown area including City Hall, the transit center, senior center, and the library. Additionally, they maintain 135 acres of riparian areas along the waterways throughout the city. Park maintenance also subcontracts out park custodial service on 268 acres and eight restrooms; the mowing of 190 acres of city parks, the aerification of 46 acres of sports fields; and service and repair of three water features. They have two city park rangers who enforce the park rules so that everyone can safely enjoy the parks. This division oversees community volunteer projects including Serve Visalia Day, Arbor Day and Make A Difference Day. They have completed the renovation of 15 city park playgrounds in the past three years. In 2013, they will commence Phase III of the Riverway Sports Park where a new six acres of park area will receive trees and landscaping, a new restroom facility, and a stage and promenade area. Recently, playground shade structures have been installed on seven park playgrounds. Sixteen and a half acres of additional parks were added in 2010/11 and 10.5 acres in 2011/12. The recreation division has seven full-time employees.

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They oversee youth sports, adult sports, aquatics, and maintain athletic facilities. In youth sports, they have over 2,000 participants; there are 607 adult sports teams. In 2012, their aquatic classes had 3,458 participants. At the senior center, they oversee senior classes and health and wellness classes. They recently opened a new outdoor renovated patio area at the senior center. Adult and senior classes include art, dance, computer, ping-pong and pickleball. Plans are in the works for a proposed pickleball court. At the senior center, they also have a media lounge, monthly forums, and a nutrition program. In 2012, at Visalia’s various facilities, including the senior center, Manuel Hernandez Community Center and Whitendale Community Center, they had 4,263 bookings and $95,000.00 in revenue. They also oversee 25 park rental areas throughout 12 parks, where they average 900 rentals per year. They sponsor numerous special events, including the father daughter dance, movies in the park, 4th of July celebration and family swim. At our joint meeting, we also received an update on Class I trails and open spaces that follow the St. Johns River, Mill Creek, Packwood Creek, and the soon-to-be opened Santa Fe Trail from Tulare Avenue all the way south to almost Mooney Grove. This should be completed by mid-summer 2013. I look forward to later this summer when my children are home from college to explore these as well as other trails that will soon be connected up throughout the community. Also in the works is a new greenway trail that will follow along the north/ south Southern California Edison corridor (you’ve probably seen the new transmission towers that SCE has installed on the east side of town). If you are like I am, we often take all of these services and public amenities for granted. The next time you use one of the city’s park facilities, or are walking downtown, or are biking some of our trails, remember the people in the Parks and Recreation Department and on our commission that help make this all possible.  If you have questions or topics regarding the city that you would like to have addressed in future articles, please email Warren at wgubler@ci.visalia.ca.us, or call (559) 713-4400 x 3313. For past articles, visit directfromwarren.blogspot.com.



May 1, 2013