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Tulare County’s Urgent Need for Food FITNESS

Mix Up Your Routine


Build Your Own PC JUNE



Tobias Garcia gets power from the sun. DO YOU?



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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



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

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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


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




Advertising Director Bridget Elmore Account Executive BRYCE McDONALD SALES OFFICE

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

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



cover story

6 Food Link What's for lunch Mom?

I'm Hungry!

departments 12 Pet of the Month 16 Fashion 22 VUSD 28 Education


29 Fitness

10 Virtual Valley

30 Goings-On

BYOPC: Build Your Own PC

32 Warren Reports

14 Culinary Plum-Rum Sauce for Ribs

18 Kids' Bookshelf Music to Engage Kids Physically and Mentally

20 Well, THAT Was Fun The Great Camp-Off of 2013

26 Community Second Annual Wine & Cheese Walk

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


"What’s for lunch Mom? I’m HUNGRY!!" FoodLink knows that, too often, the answer is “not much”. Or worse, no answer at all since both mom and dad are out working hard at seasonal low-paying jobs. “People in Tulare County appreciate the wonderful and unique place we are living in,” says Sandy Beals, Executive Director of FoodLink. "But, we also know that we have one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. That does NOT mean that children have to go hungry.” 6


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

Summertime is a financial hardship for families who rely on free school lunch. When school is out, kids may not eat. FoodLink was alerted to this problem by teachers and school nurses who encountered many students returning from summer break malnourished and struggling to learn. This is a common situation for children in rural locations with high poverty. Malnutrition is a major cause of school absence, illness, and fatigue among schoolage children. This leads to lower test scores and eventually to lower rates of high school graduation. The good news is that it’s preventable. There is a very urgent need for increased support for FoodLink’s child nutrition work. If FoodLink can raise enough funds from individuals and businesses, FoodLink is planning to serve 1,000 nutritious lunches per day to hungry kids at 16 different locations in Tulare County. The fresh and healthy lunches will be purchased from Tulare County Boys and Girls Clubs, so the donations will also benefit another worthy nonprofit in the local community. FoodLink has been working to eliminate hunger for the past 35 years, providing millions of pounds of healthy food to emergency food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and youth programs throughout the county each year. FoodLink runs

a very cost efficient operation. Its overhead is only 4 percent which pays for a financial audit and necessary administrative work. An additional problem appeared this year when Congress failed to renew the Farm Bill. That resulted in a 40 percent reduction in the USDA commodities coming into Tulare County to feed hungry families. FoodLink had to deplete its “rainy day” fund to make up for this loss and now needs even more help from the community. In new negotiations, Congressional Representatives in both the House and Senate are considering large cuts to the Farm Bill’s SNAP program (formerly called food stamps). “If that happens, I cannot even imagine how many more children and families will ask for our help. And we are barely able to help those in line now.” “We are desperately hoping that people can help. No child deserves to go hungry.” Says Beals. “I know folks give generously when a disaster is present, but we think of childhood hunger as the worst kind of disaster. And it happens in Tulare County every summer. Please help because hunger hurts!” FoodLink also addresses healthy eating by providing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables at its Nutrition on the Go program in 11 locations. Nutrition education is available at all



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

FOODLINK these locations from professionals and peer educators from UCC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County Department of Education, Visalia Unified School District, Family HealthCare Network, Kaweah Delta Health Care District, and California Nutrition Network. FoodLink receives its support from the local community — individuals, businesses, corporations, churches, and service clubs. Farms, packing houses, manufacturers, dairies contribute a good portion of the food. Food drives are important, too. “Our ‘virtual food drive’ is a great way to help because we can purchase at bulk prices and make sure it’s healthy,” says Beals. How to Help: 1. Support FoodLink’s summer lunch campaign. $35 gets lunch to a child all summer long. Make a taxdeductible donation to: FoodLink, PO Box 1544, Visalia, CA 93279. 2. Visit the virtual food drive page on FoodLink’s website: 3. Volunteer by calling Melisa or Chris at FoodLink (559) 651-3663. FoodLink can especially use help with fundraising and volunteer coordination.



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



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



Build Your Own PC Building your own computer lets you decide what matters most: processor speed, graphics, storage, sound or something else. Multiplayer gamers dominate the BYOPC movement, with a willingness to spend serious money for every potential advantage over opponents. Vendors recognize this, so many of the parts available target the gaming market. I enjoy assembling computer systems and encourage my students to try it. If you do join the BYOPC ranks, plan to build a powerful, high-end system. First, you will save more if you build a top-notch system. Second, such systems are easier to upgrade and maintain for several years. My experience is that if you plan to spend at least $1000, BYOPC is worth it. If you plan to spend even more, the benefits of BYOPC increase dramatically. Don’t build a cheap computer, unless it is only a learning exercise. I compare building a cheap system to assembling an FM radio kit from Radio Shack. You can buy a better radio for less, but you won’t learn much. The process of selecting components, assembling a computer and then optimizing the 10


system leads to a better understanding of technology. Only 10 years ago you could assemble a system for much less than buying a similar computer. However, today’s commodity PC vendors can build a system for less money than you would spend on the parts. Comparing the specifications of vendor systems to the equivalent parts on Newegg, Micro Center, and TigerDirect, reveals the following, as of Spring 2013: Basic system. Intel Core i3, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, integrated graphics. This low-end system averages $400 from a variety of vendors, often including a monitor. The BYOPC version averages $350, and doesn’t include an operating system or monitor. If you already have a screen, you might save $50. Mid-range system. Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, 1GB video card. The pre-built systems with these specifications average $700. I can build a similar system, with a bit more speed and hard drive storage for the same price. For these systems, monitors were not included by the vendors, so

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

the pricing is roughly equal. As the comparisons reveal, assembling a custom system seldom saves as much money as people expect. For the low-end and mid-range systems, I discourage assembling your own. You won’t save much money, and if there are any problems with parts it can be frustrating. If you’re going to do something, do it right. For BYOPC projects, that means build the best system you can afford. Averaging the ideal configurations suggested by popular online magazines, spending $2000 to $2500 results in an excellent business or gaming system. offers BYOPC guides with complete parts lists. Their ideal systems start at $3500 for components, and that’s shopping carefully for the best prices for good parts. Few people want or need to spend more than $2000 on a computer. Because prices change quickly, I’m providing a basic guide for a “good” system. Ideally, you could assemble a similar system for less than $1500. Your first choice, since it determines everything else, is the CPU. For the majority of users, an Intel Core i7 is ideal, at $300. After you select a CPU, you need to buy a motherboard with a socket that accepts the chip. I like ASUS and Gigabyte motherboards. Buy a $250 motherboard and you can upgrade almost every other component over time. The $550 invested in the CPU and motherboard are the biggest BYOPC expenses. Hard drives, memory and other components are relatively affordable. You can buy a good terabyte hard drive for $150, 16GB of RAM for $100, and a decent video card for $200. Our total for parts is now $1000. A good case to hold these parts, with a power supply and cooling fans, finishes our computer for $200. For $1200, you can assemble a good BYOPC kit. This assumes you already own a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Most people will also add an optical drive, for $50 to $100. Most BYOPC projects end up costing a little more than planned because people add components and upgrade the essentials. If you try to save too much money, you might end up upgrading parts within a few months. The most common upgrade is a replacement video card. Do not try to save money on video cards, you will regret it. Other than gamers, BYOPC projects appeal to photographers and filmmakers. The hardware required for video editing is expensive, but you can save thousands of dollars assembling your own system. One of my former college roommates is a professional film editor. He suggests that anyone interested in video editing,

animation or other power-hungry computing tasks spend at least $5000 on components. Since a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD) costs $1000 or more, the cost of speed quickly adds up. An Intel Xeon E5 CPU, which is much better for encoding media than the i7 CPU series, is $2000 from Newegg. That’s just a chip, not a complete system. The estimated cost of assembling a “Dream PC” for video editing using MaximumPC’s “Editors’ Choice” parts is $14,482. If you are interested in BYOPC project, do your homework first. Read the popular hardware guides carefully. Remember that a gamer and a videographer have different needs, so they will invest more on different components. The hardware sites often focus on gaming, ignoring the computing needs of computer-aided design (CAD), animation and media encoding. The best part of building a PC is that it is yours. You designed it, you assembled it and you can upgrade the components in the future. Best Reviews of BYOPC Components: Tom’s Hardware ( MaximumPC ( AnandTech ( TechRadar ( PCWorld ( Hot Hardware ( Computer Shopper ( Component Suppliers: Newegg ( Tiger Direct ( Micro Center ( Fry’s Electronics ( CDW ( PC Connection ( High-end PC Vendors: Alienware ( Digital Storm ( Origin ( XoticPC ( Scott Wyatt is a freelance writer and technology consultant. He earned a doctorate in scientific and technical communication from the University of Minnesota, specializing in educational computing. Contact Scott at with questions and suggestions for Virtual Valley topics. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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

PET MONTH of the

June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month Would you like to save a life this month? If you’re a cat lover, there are ways you can do just that. June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month, so it’s the perfect time for you to head to the shelter and adopt a feline friend. There are always a variety of breeds and ages, and you might be surprised at the gems a shelter has in store for you. Most cats are already litter box trained and are just waiting to go home with a loving family. With kitten season in full swing, many shelters are becoming overcrowded with litters of kittens. There is always a huge demand for foster volunteers. By giving your love and opening your home to one or more cats or kittens you are literally saving their lives. Some cats come into the shelter with a litter that just needs a week or two before they reach the age and weight needed to be adopted. Others come in with newborn kittens or even give birth at the shelter. Some litters or single orphans come in with no mother and need to be bottle fed. There are many scenarios where foster families could make a life or death difference to these homeless animals. If adopting or fostering is not for you, then consider sponsoring an animal. You can do this by donating the full or partial amount of the adoption fee. Come pick out

an animal that touches your heart, and you can choose the amount of sponsorship money you would like to give. When that animal is adopted your donation will be put towards the adoption fee. Valley Oak SPCA will be holding their annual Kitten Shower on Saturday, June 22. This event is a great way for you to help our homeless cats and kittens by bringing in much needed donation items. You can also come by to find out how to get involved in our volunteer and foster volunteer programs.

Kitten Shower Wish List:

Dry and wet kitten food Kitten formula Kitten nursing bottles Non-clumping cat litter Snuggle Safe warming discs Bleach Paper Towels Garbage bags Gift cards: PetSmart, PetCo, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, PetSense Monetary Donations

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: |



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

What’s Happening at Ballpark?

All-American Saturdays 1/2 Price Beer and Soda with your Rawhide Boot Mug!

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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 Micah Wadel, Bravo Farms | Photos by Taylor Vaughn



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

Plum-Rum Sauce for Ribs Ingredients: 4 large plums, chopped 1 ⅓ C crushed tomatoes ¼ C shallots ¼ C sugar ¼ C rum (preferably dark rum) ¼ C maple syrup ½ C cider vinegar 3 T Dijon mustard 2 T Worcestershire sauce 2 T fresh ginger Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Sauté the plums, crushed tomatoes and rum in a pan for roughly 2 to 3 minutes. Then put all ingredients in blender and blend until a puree forms.

Ribs Ingredients: St. Louis spare ribs Dry rub blend Directions: 1. Season ribs with favorite dry rub blend. 2. Smoke on grill for 30 minutes and then cook in oven for 2 hours at 200° F. 3. When finished cooking, remove from oven and add Plum-Rum Sauce as desired.



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

From the Inside Out Bobbi Thomas does not believe "fashion" and "style" are interchangeable. As a frequent contributor to NBC's Today Show and author of the new book, The Power of Style: Everything You Need to Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow, Thomas believes true beauty comes from the inside. "Fashion alone is an external thing, not a way to identify you," she says. "Style, however, is about being whole and balanced." Thomas started her professional life as a rape crisis center counselor, so she knows how much self-esteem can affect how we view our own sense of style. "Whether I'm on NBC's Today Show talking about the latest trends or hosting events at JCPenney or Gucci, I believe in leading a woman toward discovering her authentic self – her personality, her essence – on the inside and then reflecting that self on the outside through style. My 'makeovers' are more about self discovery and reinvention than overhauls and major transformations." And Thomas admits she loves a hot shoe or stunning gown as much as the next girl, but she likes to delve deeper. Style is about a lot more than stuff. Here are Thomas' 10 steps to "Matching the Outside to the Inside" from The Power of Style: 1. See Yourself. First, work on developing a healthy image. Thomas suggests getting serious about using "mirrors" around you like your friends and home to reflect your best qualities. 2. Act the Part. Be aware of your body language and check out what verbal and non-verbal messages you are sending. Pay attention to how people react to you. Remember appearances do matter. 3. Speak Up. Appearances do matter and conveys a "language" that you communicate to others. Thomas suggests thinking of your style as a "brand" to promote who you are and what you want to say. 4. Know Your Worth. Acceptance of yourself is key and worth whatever effort it takes. Invest in yourself and your "packaging." 5. Put a Plan into Practice. "Input equals output," says Thomas, who urges women to keep a style journey, set a budget and find time for fittings to find the perfect outfits. 6. Learn Your Colors. In order to choose the most flattering style statements, Thomas encourages women 16


to study their colors, and find out whether a "warm" or "cool" palette best suits your skin tone. Hues from red to yellow, including brown are considered warm, while hues from blue-green through blue-violet, including gray, are considered cool. 7. Balance Your Body. Know what silhouettes of clothes work best on your own particular body shape. Thomas identifies several "X factors" that will help you determine which clothes will flatter your unique shape. 8. Perform A Closet Cleanse. Yes, a clutter-free closet is one of the keys to enjoying getting dressed everyday, according to Thomas. 9. Make a Most-Wanted List. Think about the items in your closet that you wear the most and make a list. There is a reason that you like certain clothes. But by making a list, you become more aware of what kinds of clothes you are attracted to. Then before you buy anything new, you will know automatically know what kinds of clothes you love to wear. 10. Time to Go Shopping. Of course, this one is the most fun. Thomas has lots of tips about shopping – one of the best – "Shop with friends, but buy alone."

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



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

KIDS' BOOKSHELF Text by Lee Littlewood

Music to Engage Kids Physically and Mentally Great children's music should make kids want to dance and sing while also empowering them with witty lyrics and insightful messages. These brand new CDs showcase richly textured rock-n-roll with feel-good themes and inspirational, worldly-yet-fun lyrics. "I'm So Glad" from Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band; $10. With 16 national awards, Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band returns in their fourth CD that glides easily from rock to folk/pop, from reggae to world music. With strong, grooveoriented rhythms and catchy melodies, the high-energy band constantly renews the engagement of the listener. They also like to be exotic, with Zydeco grooves in "Crocodile" and life celebration in "Fun Wah Alafia Ashe Ashe" ("Give me peace, let it be so ..."). Tempo picks up for bouncing dance action with "Kangaroo!" and dinosaur adventures in the Middle Eastern-flavored "Dino Dig" and the bluesy "Tyrannosaurus." "I Like Everything About You (Yes I Do!)" from Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble; $15. A celebration of melody, rhythm and culture, this wonderproducing quintet drums, dances, pats their torsos and limbs and plays bells, clave, banjo, "found sound," hand drums, bass and more. This, their first CD for kids and families, transforms nursery rhymes and classic R and B tunes into fresh and funky grooves. A scarf dance from the Congo, Duke Ellington's "Caravan," Spanish rap and indigenous Venezuelan songs are just a few of the primitive, catchy creations families will enjoy. "Jump on the Bandwagon" from Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights; $15. Leeds has legions of fans throughout the country and has earned numerous awards. Her big soprano rock voice lends itself wonderfully to full-out zest or soft and tender tunes. Produced by Grammy winner Dean Jones, "Bandwagon" kicks off in a bluesy groove with family road trip anthem, "Are We There Yet?" then picks up speed with fast country-rock in "Back to School" and on to driving bass in "UFO." The funky "Nutritious" has a cool back-story, with Stevie Wonder himself



approving this fun ode to healthy eating (based on the groovy sounds of his "Superstition.") "Sha Doo Be Doop" from Miss Nina; Little Monster Records; $15.98 physical; $9.99 digital. Beloved NYC children's musician Miss Nina (Nina Stone) knows "it's common nowadays for performers to tailor their children's music to reflect the parents' musical tastes, but honestly, I'm all about the children." Stone wants young children to feel safe, happy and loved, and succeeds in this effort in "Sha Doo Be Doop," with an eclectic mix of kidfriendly songs. In "My Hula Hoop," she creates layers of sound using vocalized rhythms and hand clapping. "Ba-Rump" is a short-and-silly tune with an "old-timey" sound; the up-tempo "Angry Song" presents safe ways for kids to release angry feelings, and "New Alphabet" is a rapping alternative to the ABC song. Smartly, Nina Stone also engages some of her favorite children's books in her songs, with an interactive ode to the late Maurice Sendak in "Wild Things, then a groovy version of Bill Martin Jr.'s classic bear story "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" with "The Brown Bear Rap," and a singalong to Jane Yolen's "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?" KIDBITS Other new children's CDs worth every penny include: "It's Not Fair to Me" from Bill Harley and Keith Munslow; Round River Records; $12. This long-awaited collaboration between two award-winning children's music veterans captures the hilarity of misbehaving dogs, whining little brothers and ugly sweaters. "Rock-Ucation" by Jeremy Plays Guitar" $12, includes hit songs from the band's Rock-Ucation classes, from "TGIF" to "Help Me Please" to "Working Together." For more information, visit "Latin Dreamland" is Putumayo Kids' newest, with 10 calming melodies from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Mexico and Peru. myKaZoo Music/Universal Music Enterprises brings to life Zak Morgan's fourth family music CD, "The Barber of the Beast," with exuberant wordplay and humorous storytelling, puns and school anthems.

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


The Great Camp-Off of 2013 About a month ago, I realized how utterly I had failed my children. I have gone to what others call extreme lengths to ensure they get a well-rounded education. We’ve studied books and music, math and technology. I’ve allowed them to keep captured tarantulas in jars for a few days to learn about them. I’ve said things like, “Hey kid, want to see the cut I just gave myself? Look how much it’s bleeding. Can you tell me why?” I’ve shown them how to make blow torches out of grapefruit peels with the flammable oils that squirt out when you squeeze them. We even had a biology lesson the time a foster dog puked up worms. Granted, I was cleaning it up as I discussed the life cycle of the parasite worm in an effort to distract myself from how awful and shocking it really was and how badly I wanted to throw up myself. But still, it was educational for them. It totally counts. Somehow in the midst of all this fun, the children have never been to a traditional away-from-home camp. They’ve done day camps at various places, learning everything from creative techniques in macaroni-gluing to the best way to 20


get thrown out of the swimming pool, but in my opinion nothing beats a vacation from the parents and learning how to maim yourself in new and interesting ways while doing it. The problem I had was money. Camp is expensive, and there is no way I can afford three kids at a time in away-camp, and probably not even in sequence. I discussed this with my mother on the phone, and she was quick to offer a solution: we should meet my parents halfway and hand the children off to them for a month at Camp Grandma. The idea was met with cheers. Once Donald settled down, we went and told the kids, who also cheered. Everyone loves going to Grandma’s – Ohio is about 25 degrees cooler than here in the summer, the house is out in the country so you don’t have to wear shoes or even clothes if you don’t feel like it, and Grandma makes all of their favorite foods because they’re hers, too, and don’t take much fuss. I love that the kids enjoy visits to my parents’ house, but I admit to a touch of jealousy now and then. Every fun thing I try is met with at least one grumble. Every boring thing Grandma does is met

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

with pom-poms and cartwheels. Still, the kids were thrilled and they’re why the decision was made, right? The details were settled quickly, but then I began to consider the few weeks before and the month after Camp Grandma. The kids would be here. I’ll be working from home. I used to be a camp administrator and, before that, a camp counselor. The idea of creating my own camp for them was born in an instant, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to beat the competition. I present to you the seven week program for Camp Hoosyermama*: Week 1: Drama. Campers will learn set design (cleaning their rooms) and costuming (folding their laundry), and they will have access to an acting coach in the afternoons (with a 12-year-old in the house, the younger ones will learn everything there is to know about being dramatic). Week 2: Orienteering & Survival. Campers will be left standing in the food court at a mall because they were squabbling and didn’t hear Counselor Me tell them she wanted them to follow her into Kirkland’s. With about $9 in quarters between them, they must navigate to an Orange Julius to keep Hedgehog happy, to a Claire’s Boutique so Birdie Sue can agonize once again over whether to get her ears pierced, and to wherever sells a big rolling bag they can stuff their little brother into so they can move quickly to find Counselor Me before being left behind entirely. Week 3: Hiking. Long walks through the neighborhood to avoid being sent back to Drama Camp will lead the children through the backyards and ditches of our cozy housing edition. They will learn skills such as outrun-the-stray-dog, look-both-ways-for-traffic, and ice-cream-truck-we-have-nomoney-looks-like-we-need-to-go-put-up-with-Drama-Campagain.

Week 4: Climbing Wall. The kids are on their own. Counselor Me won’t come down until they stop their bickering. Week 5: Fishing. Counselor Me will teach the children how to select the best fishing spots and how fishing isn’t really about catching anything, it’s about sitting quietly with a bobber on your line and a book in your hand. Beef jerky and cold root beer available while supplies last. Week 6: Archery. HAHAHA. Just kidding. Counselor Me isn’t an idiot. Week 6: Project ACME. Campers will learn the art of the riot and revolt as they break windows, destroy furniture, and create Another Counselor Me Effigy to burn in the front yard. It’s a week full of history lessons (the French Revolution, the Boston Tea Party) and Counselor Me texting Camp Director Daddy for help from inside a locked bathroom. Week 7: Field Sports. Counselor Me will sit in a lawn chair with her laptop and cell phone and completely ignore the campers as they wear themselves out in the flattest meadow in town. This is probably what every week of camp should have been, as the unwatched child is almost always the safest child and trouble only starts when the adult tries to structure anything. *All of the programs are developed on a progressive approach, meaning if the campers are adept at getting hurt in a particular manner (i.e., sprain), they will be able to participate in activities which will challenge them and give them new opportunities to injure themselves in amazing ways to completely baffle their parents and, presumably, the emergency room doctors. School is over in two short weeks, and then the great campoff of 2013 begins. I can’t wait!

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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


A Time to Celebrate! Graduation is a time to celebrate! It is a time when friends and family gather to honor the accomplishments of our students. Middle school students spend the 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. In Visalia, there is a full week of high school graduations. The stadium lights burn bright, the fields are manicured, and everyone joins in to pay respect to our graduates. One of the many things that make Visalia special is how our community marks this life-passage with traditional and dignified commencement ceremonies that honor each and every graduate. Speeches inspire all who attend; and every student has a moment of recognition as they walk across, name announced, and are congratulated by members of the Visalia Unified Board of Trustees. Cameras flash, family and friends cheer, and tears roll down the cheeks of many. For our graduates and their families, these nights last forever, documented by photos and preserved by precious memories. After the stadiums are emptied, chairs folded, gowns put away, and our students take the next step in their life’s journey: 22


college, advanced training, a career, or serving in the military. For some, this is the end of their educational experience; but for most, this is just the beginning. No matter what they do, the 2013 graduates are better prepared than those who followed in prior classes and in prior years. There are more of them as our overall graduation rate continues to increase and is nearly 10 percent higher than the state average. Every year, our students continue to demonstrate higher levels of student achievement. Visalia Unified has increased 161 points in state testing over the past 10 years with a current API score of 785. All the talk about numbers simply means students are better prepared for whatever they choose for their future. We are fortunate to have talented and caring VUSD teachers and support staff who have given their all to make sure students are better prepared when they leave VUSD – prepared for what they chose to do next! This 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. The PTA needs you. Please consider joining your local PTA, it is a wonderful way to make positive improvements in your child’s school. For more information, contact your local school administrator, or email

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

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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


"A Church for the Community"

Dad? Pops? Papa? Daddy? Baba? Pappie? We may call our fathers by different names, but his role and importance in our lives is still the same. He is a the breadwinner and the support of our family. As a child, a father is someone we look up to, and an example for what we wanted our family to look like when we had one of our own. Father's Day goes back to a Sunday morning in May of 1909, when a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was sitting in church in Spokane, Washington, listening to a Mother's Day sermon. She thought of her father who had raised her and her five other siblings after her mother died in childbirth, and she thought that fathers should get recognition, too. She asked the minister of the church if he would deliver a sermon honoring fathers on her father's birthday, which was coming up in June, 24


and the minister did. The tradition of Father's Day caught on, albeit slowly. Mother's Day became an official holiday in 1914; Father's Day, not until 1972. While Mother's Day is still the busiest day of the year for florists, restaurants and long distance phone companies, Father's Day is the day on which the most collect phone calls are made. Sad but true. It was Billy Graham who said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” We need to remember that fathers are important and a godly father can have an amazing impact on his children. “Dads are role-models for their family,” says Lead Pastor Mike Robertson. “I think of the story of Joshua in the Bible, standing before the Israelites as they

were wondering away from God. He was a tower of strength and confidence, and he became the religious spokesman for his entire family when he declared that day, ‘As for me and for my house, we will serve the Lord.’ His children knew that he loved God and that he loved them. No question about it. What a great example for all dads.” Whether you call him Father, Dad, or Papa, invite him to come with you this year on Father’s Day weekend (June 15/16) to Visalia First. Visalia First Assembly 3737 S. Akers (Corner of Akers/Caldwell) Saturdays • 5:00pm Sundays • 9:00, 10:45am and 12:30pm

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"

Thinking of installing solar but your Home Owners Association says no? The Solar Rights Act (CA Civil Code 714), enacted in 1978, bars restrictions by homeowners associations (HOAs) on the installation of solar-energy systems, but originally did not specifically apply to cities, counties, municipalities or other public entities. The Act was amended in September 2003 to prohibit a public entity from receiving state grant funding or loans for solar-energy programs if the entity prohibits or places unreasonable restrictions on the installation of solar-energy systems. A public entity is required to certify that it is not placing unreasonable restrictions on the procurement of solar-energy systems when applying for statesponsored grants and loans. The Act was amended again in September 2004 by extending its prohibition on restrictions to all public entities. Additional key changes minimize aesthetic solar restrictions to those that cost less than $2,000

and limits building official’s review of solar installations only to those items that relate to specific health and safety requirements of local, state and federal law. Assembly Bill 1892 of 2008 further amended the civil code to nullify any restrictions relating to solar energy systems contained in the governing documents of a common interest development. A common interest development includes community apartment projects, condominium projects, planned developments and stock cooperatives. Reasonable attorney's fees incurred during a court case between a property owner and a common interest development or HOA will be awarded to the prevailing party. AB 2180 of 2008 provided even more consumer protections under the Civil Code by providing that any homeowners' association that is not a public entity that willfully violates the Solar Rights

Act must pay the solar system owner a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000. AB 2180 further provides that the approval or denial of any application submitted to authorize the installation of a system must be made in writing within 60 days. If the application is not denied within 60 days it will be deemed approved unless the delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information. At AIR SUN SOLAR, we work with our clients to design a system that performs well and looks good. Then we are happy to submit plans and meet with your home owners association to obtain their permission for your system design. Call us today for a free estimate (559) 747-0111.



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

community Text By Kyndal Kennedy | Photos By Taylor Vaughn



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

2nd Annual Wine & Cheese Walk The day seemed daunting as rain swept through Visalia in the mid-afternoon and clouds hung low and threatening. For a few hours attendees of the second annual Wine and Cheese Walk second-guessed their most-anticipated yearlong plans for the evening. But, eventually the weather got on the side of the many wineries, cheese makers, Business Development Committee, and the eager Visalians as the sun shined through and Downtown Visalia sprang to life. Taking cues from the terrific turnout of last year’s inaugural Wine and Cheese Walk, this year’s event went a tad bit longer, giving everyone more time to shop, sip and enjoy the many wines, cheeses and shops participating in the event. The businesses involved last year knew to expect a packed crowd and handled it effortlessly. More tickets were sold this year and “80 percent of tickets were sold at the door,” said Carol Bott, chairperson of the Walk, a testament to the positive word of mouth of past participants. Even some businesses who didn’t sign up for the Walk last year knew what a great event it is for local small businesses downtown and eagerly signed up this year to get involved. Mary Beth Carter, owner of “p.s. i love you too” saw the 500 people who bought tickets to last year’s event pass her store and knew she had to sign up for this year. “I called Downtown Visalians the next day to make sure I got on the list for this one!” she said. It seemed a few business owners had the same idea as Carter. This year, 28 merchants participated in the Walk, up seven from last year’s numbers. Each featured a California winery and an assortment of cheeses for the many happy faces walking in and out with their wine glasses and passports in hand. The merchants also provided discounts and promotions for Walk participants and the wineries gave away free tasting vouchers for visits to their wineries – perfect for those persons who found a wine they love that isn’t sold in stores in our area. The wineries participating in the event stretched from Napa to Pixley, with many hailing from Paso Robles wine country. Several Artisanal and Farmstead California cheese companies provided gourmet cheeses and appetizer plates – more than the previous year, as organizers quickly found out Visalians love their cheese almost as much as their wine. In

addition to the decadent cheese displays, Fugazzi’s catered the Walk destination at Brown’s Shoe Fit Company, creating a perfect pairing with their skewered meats and the Bodegas Paso Robles wine offered at this stop. But, the Walk is more than an excuse for the 21 and over to get out on the town for an evening of wine and good food. The businesses along Main Street, often overlooked for the shopping centers along Mooney Boulevard, were the stars of the night – though the refreshments were definitely winners in the supporting role. For some, Downtown Visalia is the perfect destination for a Saturday stroll, but for others it is the street where their favorite restaurant is – not necessarily where they shop for clothes or gift items. The purpose of the event was to bring more people into the businesses downtown and to educate the public on what they can then find there, explained Bott. And by the number of shopping bags seen on the arms of the men and women with a wine glass in their hand, the goal was met. Shayla Cullum, a 24-year-old native of Visalia participated in this year’s walk as well as the inaugural event and has been pleasantly surprised by the various businesses located downtown. “I didn’t know many of the shops I visited on the walk existed, I was happy to find these places where I can now shop and support local business rather than the larger retail stores in town.” And to top it all off, 10 percent of the net profits from the Walk went to benefit the Visalia Rescue Mission, whose mission is to provide hope and restoration through Jesus Christ to our area’s underserved. There is a homeless population throughout downtown and the Business Development Committee took this opportunity to support the Rescue Mission. “We want to help and do something about it when we can, and I love what the Rescue Mission is doing for our city,” said Bott, explaining why the Rescue Mission was chosen as the non-profit to partner up with. The second annual Wine and Cheese Walk again proved it was good for attendees, good for the wineries, good for business, and overall great for the city of Visalia.



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 In the field of Technology, flexibility is important. San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) in Visalia offers a Computer Systems Administration (CSA) program that prepares you for a wide-range of employment positions. As a CSA student, you will get an in-depth study of the operating systems, applications and network elements of today’s businesses. Coursework prepares you to perform as a well-trained technical professional within a variety of business environments. Hands-on experience is emphasized at every phase of training. Four new servers give students the opportunity to administer a server operating system. The Microsoft DreamSpark program offers students the ability to download and install Client and Server operating systems to experience working in a ‘live’ environment. Students use their virtual computer throughout the CSA program, as well as the laptop they keep at program completion. This 14-month accelerated program provides a broad spectrum of education and training to give you that versatility edge that includes: • Installation and maintenance of computer systems and servers • Computer hardware and operating systems • Troubleshooting and Help Desk support • Microsoft and internet networking technologies • Network security maintenance • Cisco Network Routers You will find that computer technology career paths are wider and smoother with in-depth education and training. “With technology changing faster than ever, it is important to come into the computer technology job market well prepared,” says Eric Lindberg, 28


SJVC’s division manager. “Our CSA graduates exceed employer expectations for the talent and knowledge needed for high level positions in this competitive field.” San Joaquin Valley College maintains small CSA classroom sizes to focus on the individual needs of the students. “We want to give students all the attention and support they need to succeed in this program and, ultimately, in their careers,” says Lindberg. CSA coursework prepares you to test for CompTIA, Cisco and Microsoft certifications. All first-round testing expenses are included with Computer Systems Administration program tuition. SJVC stresses the importance of obtaining certifications and passing Microsoft exams earns you recognition as a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). Two classes are focused on CompTIA A+ tests. Graduates from SJVC’s CSA program also earn an Associate of Science degree.

Computer Systems Administration Program Provides Versatile Career Path

“Beginning CSA classes practice assembling and disassembling desktop computers and diagnosing hardware problems,” says Michael Johnson, CSA instructor. Students also are invited to join a CSA club that meets weekly and, under the direction of instructors, provide computer repair to other students to gain additional experience. Graduates of the CSA program are qualified to work in roles such as Computer Support Technician, Help Desk Representative, Network Administrator, Hardware Technician and Network Technician. Your education and training will allow you to fit into a wide range of technical positions and responsibilities. For more information about the Computer Systems Administration or other Medical, Business or Technical programs, please call SJVC at (866) 3913804 or visit our website at www.SJVC. edu. 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

Mix Up Your Routine We’re halfway through the year – how are those results coming? Have you stayed on track with your fitness routine and goals? For some of us, our New Year’s resolutions seem like ages ago, and for others we have been consistent, but have not met our goals yet. If you have been consistent and have not met your goal yet, maybe it’s time to mix up your routine. If you have fallen off the wagon, it’s time to get back on track! If you’re not getting the results you did at the beginning of your fitness plan, look to mix it up a little. Your body is a very adaptive machine, and it quickly adjusts to the stress of a regular workout routine. This is why you should cycle your workouts every 8-12 weeks, for optimal results. In order to keep getting consistent results from all of your hard work, look to increase the intensity, duration, and difficulty. For example, with your cardiovascular training if you walk on a treadmill increase your speed and grade, or try another piece of cardiovascular equipment. With your weight training routine increase the weight amount, do intervals, full body exercises, and try different exercises to isolate specific muscles. Avoid the pitfalls of doing the same workout routine every week; this usually leads to a burn out, and does not deliver the results you desire. Along with mixing up your workout routine, here are three more tips to boost your results: 1. Set realistic goals. Write down specific short-term goals and aim for them. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, break it down into five pound increments. 2. Drink lots of water. Drink at least four 16- oz. glasses

of ice water a day, and you will burn an extra 100 calories a day. Water is a natural fat burner, appetite suppressant, and has several other health benefits like healthier skin, improved energy, and it helps to remove toxins from the body. 3. The three hour rule. If you are going to be very active after a meal, then feel free to eat more calories. But, if you are going to be sedentary, consume fewer calories. Always think about what you will be doing up to three hours after you eat. Use these three tips to refresh your New Year’s resolution. If you have abandoned your resolutions altogether, now is the best time to pick them back up. Remember to mix up your workout make it fresh! Summer is just around the corner – enjoy the warm weather with a healthy, active, and happy lifestyle.



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 Blues, Brews & BBQ Enjoy great blues, brews (or soft drinks) and BBQ in a comfortable and safe environment – without having to pay for gas and traveling out of town. Every Blues, Brews & BBQ concert is FREE! Bring money only if you want to enjoy savory BBQ'd meals, thirst-quenching drinks (it does get HOT in California's Central Valley, in case you didn't know!) and souvenirs from our lineup of outstanding blues performers – this month featuring Deja Blues. When: June 7; 6-10p Where: Garden Street Plaza, (Garden and Main St., downtown Visalia) Contact: 859-3682 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 Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity Experience the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and witness the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole. Mathematical equations, cuttingedge science, and Einstein's theories fill in holes along the way. Tickets $4/adults, $3/children 12 and under. When: June 7; 7p Where: Pena Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334 30


12th Annual Golf for Life This 4-person shot-gun scramble includes 18 holes on one of Central California’s finest courses, plus lunch and a catered dinner at the VCC clubhouse! Everyone will have a chance to win prizes by purchasing raffle tickets! Proceeds support TKRL's educational outreach. Entry fee is $150/person. When: June 10; check-in at 10:30a, tee-off at noon Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: 732-5000,, or

Kaluoka/Hina: The Enchanted Reef This programs transports the viewer to a tropical reef, a one-of-a-kind world: colorful and foreign, full of adventure and danger, riddles and mysteries, old legends and myths ... a world inhabited by creatures that are humorous and courageous, lovable and bizarre, charming and dangerous. An exciting adventure for the whole family! Tickets $4/adults, $3/children 12 and under. When: June 19; 2 & 3p Where: Pena Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334

Sesame Street Live – “Can't Stop Singing” When Elmo gets his furry fingers on Abby Cadabby's magic wand, there's something in the air - and Sesame Street becomes a nonstop, all-singing, alldancing musical montage! Grover and Baby Bear sing their highs and lows, Cookie Monster sings fast and slow, Bert and Ernie converse in song and Murray makes mouth music for all to sing along! Learn why it feels good to sing a song, but why it feels good to stop, too! What will Elmo learn about the power of musical magic? Join the conga line of fun to find out! Tickets $17 & $27. When: June 18, 7p; June 19, 10:30a and 7p Where: Savemart Center, 2650 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno Contact: 800-745-3000 or

Les Miserables Boasting a cast of 120 of the Central Valley of California's greatest artists, an internationally renowned production staff, full orchestra and epic sets, Les Miserables will come alive at the College of the Sequoias Theatre in Visalia, California. Tickets are $18.50 – $22.50. When: June 19-23 Where: College of the Sequoias Theatre, 915 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: 732-1851 or 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: June 20; 5-8p Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia Contact: 625-1520

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

Martina McBride Contemporary country singer Martina McBride rose to stardom in the late '90s, starting out with a more traditionalist approach and later moving into popfriendlier territory. Tickets $45-$125. When: June 25; 7:30p Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 Main St., Visalia Contact: All Sons & Daughters All Sons & Daughters is more than a worship band … they represent us as people who are still on a journey. And they are creating the soundtrack for that journey. David & Leslie have found a way to capture the thoughts, emotions and sounds of their local church and put them into songs. Tickets $10. When: June 28; 7p Where: Radiant Church, 316 NW 3rd Ave., Visalia Contact: (Tickets) KJUG Concerts in the Park KJUG will once again bring the free summer concert Concerts in the Park event back to Exeter City Park. What a great night listening to big name country artists and enjoying the smell of “Small Town Charm.” When: June 28; 7p Where: Exeter City Park, E. Chestnut St. and S. “E” St., Exeter Cotnact: 592.5262 or

Dreambuilders' Bash Summer Fundraiser A fundraiser for ImagineU Interactive Children's Museum, the evening promises to entertain and enlighten everyone with the possibilities ahead.The proceeds of this benefit will to complete the new facility, develop exciting programs, and ensure the future of the museum. Join them for coctails, dinner and auctions. When: June 29 Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: 733-5975 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

Visalia Farmer’s Market – Mooney Weekly event open to the public featuring free live music, kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and local, fresh produce available for purchase. The market also accepts EBT and WIC. When: Saturdays; 8-11:30a Where: Sears parking lot at Mooney and Caldwell, Visalia Contact: 967-6722 or Visalia Farmer’s Market – Downtown Weekly event open to the public featuring free live music, kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and local, fresh produce available for purchase. The market also accepts EBT and WIC. When: Every Thursday (March – October); 5-8p Where: Church St. and Main St., Downtown Visalia Contact: 967-6722 or

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

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


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

warren reports Text by Warren Gubler, Visalia City Council Member

News of Visalia Happy Birthday. Congratulations to Ed and Betty Vollmer. Ed, a former mayor of Visalia, turned 90 on tax day, April 15, and he and Betty celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary the same day. Betty’s birthday was the following week, April 22. We thank this young couple for all that they have done for our community. This Place Matters. Congratulations also to Don and Beverly Goodyear for a job well done in restoring a 1908 residence built by Lemuel and Maud Hyde of Visalia’s pioneering Hyde family. On April 20, the home at 401 W. Grove Street received a plaque as part of Visalia’s historic recognition program. The home has been designated as a “This Place Matters ” site by the Visalia Historic Preservation Advisory Committee and the Kaweah Kollectors. I recommend that you drive by to see this historic marvel. Oval Park Rescued. The Visalia Rescue Mission recently completed nearly $15,000.00 in improvements to the Lincoln Oval building, in conjunction with local churches, the North Visalia Advisory Committee, Continuum of Care and Mental Health. The grand opening was April 4, 2013. Nick Anthony is the new activities director there. The building is available for use by any community group. This ongoing project should revitalize Oval Park and connect churches, organizations and businesses with the Oval area. Goodbye Harry. The groundbreaking for Family Health Care Network’s expansion at 401 E. School Avenue was held April 22, 2013. This new 34,607 square foot expansion, along with ImagineU’s new museum nearby, will be the impetus for further development of east downtown. Harry Foster, who has headed this organization for many years, retired the same day and is being succeeded by Kerry Hydash. We wish Harry many happy years of retirement and thank him for what he has done locally for the health care community. Garbage Update. New in this year’s annual survey of Visalians were questions about whether local citizens are satisfied with the current split-can garbage collection service, or if customers would prefer to have separate containers for waste and recycling. A 3-can system (solid waste, green waste, and recycling) would provide more room for disposing of our garbage, but would take up more space at home, and require some additional maneuvering to bring the cans curbside. The survey results showed that 72 percent want separate cans, 22 percent are okay with maintaining the split cans, and four percent don’t care one way or the other. These survey results 32


will help guide city leaders in future considerations. If you’d like to share your opinion on the topic, feel free to email me or Adam Ennis, public works director, at aennis@ci.visalia. Hungry Visalia. Data from a recent sales tax survey shows that Visalians are supporting the local business economy with their hard-earned dollars. This survey ranked Visalia as to 37 retail business establishments. Visalia’s retail sales topped all of Tulare County as to each of those businesses, and were some of the highest in the state. In particular, Visalia did very well in the food establishment category. Some highlights include: Buffalo Wild Wings #4 (out of 16 stores), Hobby Lobby #2 (8), In-and-Out Burger #4 (126), J.C. Penny #15 (82), Panera Bread #14 (49), Red Robin #8 (64), Sizzler #2 (21), and Habit Burger #3 (40). Visalians continue to support our community by their purchases and the sales tax revenues they generate. Outstanding Teachers. Teachers from our local high schools, selected by their students, were recently recognized for excellence in teaching by receiving Crystal Apple Awards. The 2013 honorees included: Jim Fitzpatrick, Redwood H.S.; Stephanie Francis, Mt. Whitney H.S.; Dr. David Harrow, Woodlake H.S.; Bruce Jeffcoach, Golden West H.S.; Raquel Lugo, El Diamante H.S.; and Cindy Blackmon, Exeter H.S. Thank you to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for sponsoring this annual event. Volunteer Highlights. April has turned out to be volunteer month in Visalia. We thank the hundreds of individuals and churches who turned out for Serve Visalia, Earth Day and Arbor Day, including Valley Christian Church, Neighborhood Church, First Presbyterian Church, Radiant Church, Visalia Community Covenant Church, Saviors Community Church, Mormon Helping Hands, Eagle Scout candidate Spencer Darnell, and many others. Volunteers cleaned Mooney Grove Museum, planted trees and did landscaping, painted, spread bark, did graffiti abatement and trash removal, held a blood drive, built a school garden, and made blankets and hats for childhood cancer patients. If you have questions or topics regarding the city that you would like to have addressed in future articles, please email Warren at, or call (559) 713-4400 x 3313. For past articles, visit

June 2013  

June 2013

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