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Educational Apps and Online Resources

De-pest Your Summer Garden

Citizen Participation

C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y

Are You Searching for a

DENTAL MIRACLE? HOPE IS JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY Our fear reduction program includes. Big time TLC, relaxing nitrous oxide gas, emphasis on painless, gentle shots and very numb teeth, IV sedation for those needing extra fear reduction.

IV sedation dentistry available. Have all your dental work done in 1 or 2 appointments while totally relaxed with little or no memory of your appointment.

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DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 ADMINISTRATION & EDITORIAL






11   Valley Oak SPCA

12   The Recipe Box

14   College Prep

15   Character Counts!

Empowering Youth, Empowering Communities. F E AT U R E S

16   Seen About Town

8 Gardening

De-pest Your Summer Garden

9 Community Safety

Crisis Intervention Training

18 VUSD In the Good Old Summertime

20 Virtual Valley

Educational Apps and Online Resources

32 Warren Reports

17   Tulare county Library 22   Kids' Library 24   Craft Corner 26   Tulare Chamber 27   Visalia Chamber 28  Crossword 29  Money Matters 30  Goings-on

Citizen Participation



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

Malkasian Accountancy, LLP Gary Malkasian, CPA Jeffrey Malkasian, EA

Direct Magazine is published twelve times a year and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 33,000 homes in Visalia. An additional 2,000 magazines are circulated at distribution points around Visalia and Tulare. Views expressed in columns are those expressed by the columnist and not necessarily those of Direct Magazine. We are dedicated to serving the community. Please call us for questions, comments, article suggestions or for information about local events at 739-1747. Fax us at 738-0909 or email us: Online Issue at: ©2018 DMI Agency



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(559) 713-1064 ext. 31 3700 W. Mineral King Ave. Visalia CA, 93291 Hablo Español NMLS #284902

Equal Housing Lender. Licensed by CA Department of Coporations-Residential Mortgage Lending Act. #264441



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Bring this coupon to the Dunn-Edwards Visalia store to receive 50% OFF one gallon of EVEREST® Ultra-Premium Interior Paint.

*50% OFF discount valid only on Store Price of one gallon of Dunn-Edwards EVEREST® Ultra-Premium Interior Paint (EVER10, EVER20, EVER30, EVER50) now through 12/31/18 at the Dunn-Edwards Visalia store only and may not be combined with any other offers or discounts. Limit one coupon per person. As required by law, a taxable CA AB 1343 recovery fee will be charged to CA customers. ©2018 Dunn-Edwards Corporation. All rights reserved.



FREE Color Sample!

Bring this coupon to the Dunn-Edwards Visalia store, and when you buy one 8 oz. Perfect Palette® Sampler, you’ll get the second one FREE!*

*Limit one free Perfect Palette® Sampler per person. Offer valid through 12/31/18 at the Dunn-Edwards Visalia store only and may not be combined with any other offers or discounts. ©2018 Dunn-Edwards Corporation. All rights reserved.



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PROYOUTH EMPOWERING YOUTH, EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES. PROYOUTH From the hours between school dismissal and 6 p.m., ProYouth delivers a variety of expanded learning programs to the community’s youth, such as HEART, HEART+, EDGE, XL, STEM and INSIGHT. The goal is to positively impact youths’ lives and equip them to make good, lifelong choices. The mission is to help youth succeed academically, socially and emotionally by providing a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment. ProYouth is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of youth and their communities.



HEART Easily the most well-known program offered through ProYouth is HEART. HEART stands for Health, Enrichment, Academics, Recreation and Teamwork. The ASES (Afterschool Enrichment and Safety, California Proposition 49) grant-based program serves students from kindergarten to sixth grade. Students engage in vigorous physical activity, eat a full meal, get homework support and participate in Pathway learning projects. These Pathway projects are progressive learning adventures where students work in teams to learn, design and implement a project that they will demonstrate to

parents and community members every eight weeks. Pathway projects include Agricultural Science (gardening and culinary arts), Computer Science and Engineering (First Lego League and Spheros), the Arts (dance, theater and painting) and Health Sciences (sports and medical professions). Each Pathway project includes literacy support, college and career discovery, social and emotional development, community service learning and 21st-century skill development. HEART program students love learning through these programs because they can take control of their own advancement and achieve success together.

C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y

HEART+ The newest program to the ProYouth organization is HEART+, a tuition-based opportunity that offers the same components and benefits of the grantbased HEART program but is designed to offer additional accommodations. Parents whose students are placed on the waiting list may temporarily enroll their child in HEART+ until a space opens in the grant-based program. HEART+ offers parents the option to select the days that their student will attend and allows parents the flexibility to pick up their student when it suits their schedule. EDGE The EDGE program serves middle school students and stands for Every Day Give Everything. Using ProYouth Pathways, students are offered academic and emotional support during these transitional years. XL Supporting the high school students in the community, the XL program strives to develop 21st-century leaders. The program provides SAT and ACT prep, college enrollment assistance, credit recovery classes and service learning projects. XL Pathways that are led by students include ProMed, Mock Trials, Science Olympiad, Hip Hop Dance, Competitive Robotics, Special Effects Design and Filmmaking. Students gain confidence and career skills by making a difference in the community in which they live. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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STEM The STEM program is offered on a weekly club basis at 25 Central Valley elementary schools and consists of these two programs: The Computer Science and Engineering Program challenges students to think critically and work with each other on a variety of modalities based on fun programming and building projects. Students learn principles of computer programming and engineering such as coding, sequencing, app building, principles of engineering and competitive robotics through First Lego League. The Agricultural Science Program is an interactive, garden-based experience where students work in outdoor, hands-on science labs and can conduct experiments in everything from density planting, vermicomposting, soil composition and water conservation. INSIGHT INSIGHT is a leadership development program that focuses on the facilitation of digital media projects to develop each student’s abilities to create positive change in themselves, others and the world around them. Providing social and emotional self-development through the INSIGHT program has made it a successful tool in law enforcement’s fight against gangs and substance abuse. Partnering with local safety agencies, the program is offered to the community’s highest-risk youths, supporting a positive change through the course of their lives. One student said the program has taught him to “Take our anger out in photos.” WITTMAN VILLAGE COMMUNITY CENTER Opening the doors of the Wittman Village Community Center to families in the community is a partnered effort, and ProYouth is proud to partner with the city of Visalia and the Visalia Police Activities League. The center will provide Active Learning Pathway Programs, Family and Community Outreach Services and much more. During the summer, the center will be open from noon-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. ProYouth is committed to meeting the developmental, social, emotional and physical needs of all students: Empowering Youth, Empowering Communities.



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C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y


De-pest Your Summer Garden


arly summer is the perfect time to teach your children about beneficial and harmful insects in the garden. Pests such as snails, slugs, aphids, tomato hornworms and whiteflies can feast on your garden vegetables before you have a chance to. Since there are many more beneficial insects in the garden than harmful ones, you will want to control those pests without the use of harmful pesticides. A good way to control common pests is to have your children participate in garden safaris. Kids can scout out the “pestscape” with a few simple tools and observation techniques. Here is what you will need to get started: • Gardening gloves. They prevent the “gross-out factor” when handling snails, slugs and tomato hornworms. • A container filled with water for disposing of snails, slugs and hornworms. • A spray bottle for insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap is sold at nursery and garden centers, but you can easily mix a batch in your own kitchen. Here is a simple recipe: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of pure soap such as liquid castile or Ivory dish soap to 4 cups of water. Do not use soap with added fragrance or grease-cutters. Stir and pour into the spray bottle. • A garden hose with a shut-off spray nozzle. Assemble your equipment and set your alarm clock for an early morning trip to your garden. Early morning is the best time to hunt pests because snails and slugs are most active early in the day. In addition, the early morning sun will not burn plants sprayed with water or insecticidal soap used to combat white flies and aphids.

The first step in a successful pest safari is to know your enemies and where to find and remove them. These are the critters you are after: • Snails and slugs. They are easy to spot. They leave slime trails as they slide off to hide in the shade of other garden foliage after dining on your plants and vegetables. They chew holes in plant leaves, fruits and vegetables. Use your gloves to handpick them and deposit them into the water-filled container. You can dispose of them later. Search the surrounding foliage where snails and slugs hide during the day. You can put a big dent in the snail population without using harmful baits and chemicals. • Tomato hornworms. These are easily the scariest-looking pests. They are large, green and white caterpillars that have a “horn” or barb at the end of their bodies. Although the horned end of the caterpillar looks like a weapon, they do not bite or sting. They are easy to spot because of their size and the damage they do to tomato plants. These chewers can defoliate entire plants. They leave behind black flecks of waste that are easy to spot on the bare stems of plants. Tomato hornworms are easy to pick from plants. Wear your gloves and deposit them in the water-filled container. • Aphids. They are very small, pale green or white

insects that suck the juices from plants and do great harm. They live in large colonies and reproduce rapidly. Some aphids have wings, while others are crawlers. They cover the leaves, stems and flowers of plants. Use the hose and nozzle to spray them. The best way to control aphids is to spray them with insecticidal soap. Be sure to cover the tops and undersides of leaves with the soap spray. Aphids can hide everywhere on plants. You will need to spray affected plants frequently, perhaps daily, with the soap mixture to suffocate the insects. • Whiteflies. They are examples of another sap-sucking pest. They are generally small, white flying insects that fly up from plants when disturbed. Like aphids, they can do a lot of harm to vegetable and flowering plants. Spray them with a stream of water and your soap mixture. The key to debugging your garden will be to conduct frequent and thorough garden safaris. Use handpicking and the least toxic materials to control pest populations.

Happy gardening!

Find more information on the Master Gardener website, 8


Correction: The June Direct Gardening editorial was written by Susan Schiefere.

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Crisis Intervention Training


he month of May is designated each year as Mental Health Awareness Month, and this past May marked the 10th year of a vital public safety partnership between the Visalia Police Department and Tulare County Mental Health. In 2008, Tulare County Mental Health, the Visalia Police Department, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and mental health consumers joined to organize a unique training program for local law enforcement. This training, known as Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), was designed to assist law enforcement in better developing a more intelligent, understandable and safe approach to mental health crisis events. The CIT program is a 40-hour, week-long training held semi-annually for law enforcement officers throughout Tulare County. The training is conducted by a variety of mental health professionals, family advocates and organizational partners such as the National Alliance on Mental IllnessTulare County Chapter, and mental health consumers and family members. There are six primary goals of CIT training for law enforcement officers: 1) Enhanced knowledge of mental health-related topics; 2) Understanding of the laws protecting people with disabilities; 3) Improved de-escalation and crisis resolution skills; 4) Provision of referrals, resources, information and follow-up for consumers and their families; 5) Reduced stigma and assumptions, and 6) Cultural sensitivity and recognition. Over the years, there has been a decrease in treatment services and specialized housing for individuals with mental illness, and this has increased

the likelihood that our officers will have contact with mental health consumers and be called upon to help those in a mental health crisis. These types of encounters present unique challenges to first responders as they often require more time than other calls for service, they require special training and skills, and they can be volatile and unstable situations. These calls rely on availability of mental health resources for successful outcomes, often involve repeated contacts with individuals who have unresolved mental health needs, and sometimes involve the commitment of minor crimes or nuisance offenses. The Visalia Police Department is currently staffed by 154 sworn police officers, 85 of those being assigned to Patrol Operations. Sixty of those officers have completed training, and the Visalia Police Department is working closely with Tulare County Mental Health to expand training offerings with a goal of having every officer trained. CIT is a key piece to the safety of our community as law enforcement officers are increasingly called upon to

respond to crisis calls that present officers with complex issues related to mental illness in both private and public settings. Although not all homeless individuals have mental health issues, the increase of homelessness in Visalia and across the nation has brought greater attention to the mental health needs of our communities, as well as challenges to our police officers to effectively respond to mental health needs while balancing public safety and quality of life in our communities. In addition to CIT, the Visalia Police Department HOPE Team (Homeless Outreach & Proactive Enforcement) works closely with Tulare County Mental Health and other service providers on a daily basis to address the homeless issue in our community, working toward immediate and long-term solutions in an effort to improve the quality of life for all in Visalia. We are very fortunate to have this resource in our community that serves to help our law enforcement professionals deal with this complex issue as effectively as possible. DIRECT MAGAZINE


C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y


New Things


t’s always exciting to be a part of something new. Starting something good causes growth. Growth has a way of removing the drawl of routine, revitalizing your perspective and inspiring creativity. Sometimes a fresh start, or even just a new perspective, is what we need to “wake up” and embrace what we may have previously thought was unattainable in our world. Or maybe even to recognize lifechanging opportunities that we never noticed before. This is not to say that growth and starting something new doesn’t have its difficulties. Starting a business can be expensive. While kids are thrilled to grow, they often experience unavoidable growing pains. A new perspective can be that difficult dose of reality, that realization that we need to be better friends, better parents, better employees, better people. To see beautiful flowers grow requires maintenance, time and tender loving care. But the results are beautiful and benefit not only the person responsible, but everyone else who enters the house. What we don’t want to do is miss those growing opportunities, to have opportunities for new things pass us by, unnoticed. As our lives are finite, it follows that we have a limited amount of opportunities to reach out and tackle. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wake up to find out that I’ve missed an opportunity to go to the next level in my faith, my family or other areas in my life. There is a hope-filled verse in the Bible where God communicates that very same desire for us, that we not miss out on new things coming. Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19



What an inspiring statement from God to His people! He says that not only has He begun something exciting and fresh, but it’s already in the works. It’s on its way. It’s coming. But that’s not the only takeaway from this verse. There is a key phrase that puts the ball in our court to either take part or let this new thing pass us by. That phrase comes in the form of a question: “Do you not see it?” How many times has someone pointed something out to you, and you were unable to see it? This reminds me of conversations I’ve had with my wife while driving. It can sound something like this: Marsha: Did you see that? John: See what? Marsha: That squirrel we almost ran over. He was coming at us fast! John: What squirrel? I don’t know about you, but when it comes to something new that God is sending my way, I don’t want to be unaware anymore. When God says,

“Don’t you see it?” I don’t want to be saying, “See what?” I want to be a part of what’s coming, whatever God is doing next. I want to prepare for it, to embrace it with open arms when it arrives and to be a part of blessing countless others with it as well. We are excited to be part of “a new thing” that God is doing at Visalia First, and for how it is going to be a place for our Visalia community and beyond. Soon, we will hold our services in an incredible new, state-of-the-art worship center. It is designed to be a gathering place, a place to welcome and inspire our community, families and all who come through our doors. It has been a long road to get to where we are with many growing pains along the way, but we claim that verse from Isaiah with all our hearts. We can’t tell you how excited we are for what’s in store, and we want you to be a part of it! God is doing something new. We see it, and we want to be all-in for the new thing He has in store. Don’t you?

Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19

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Important Summer Pet Tips


ummer is here, bringing warm, sunny weather, vacations and pool parties. Unfortunately, summer also brings some hazards for pets, and avoiding these hazards could save your pet's life. • Never leave your pet in the car. Animals can start to show signs of heat stroke after 5 minutes in a hot car, and death can occur after just 15 minutes. Leaving the window open and/or parking in the shade will not keep your pet cooler. Do your pets a favor: Leave them at home. • Make sure that your pet has a constant source of clean water. If you use an automatic waterer, check it daily to assure that it is working. • Try to keep pets inside, especially on the hottest days of the summer. This is a must for our smoosh-faced pets like bulldogs, pugs and Persians. Bulldogs can die from heat stroke after 15-20 minutes when the temperature is more than 100F.

• Do not walk your pet or encourage them to exert themselves during the hottest parts of the day. Remember that the temperature at your pet’s face level may be 10-15 degrees higher because of heat radiating from the ground. • When walking your pet, check the temperature of the ground. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for theirs. • Always supervise pets around inground swimming pools. If you have a pool, make sure that you have a pet-proof fence around it and consider putting a rescue ramp in the deeper end. If your dog likes splashing around, get a plastic wading pool, which is a much safer option. • If you leave your pet outside, make sure that there is ample shade to help your pet keep cool and prevent sunburn. Pet-safe sunscreen may be applied to sunburn-prone dogs. Fans, wading pools and misters can also

help keep outdoor pets cooler. • Keep pets out of foxtails, which burrow into ears, eyes, toes and every other place that you can imagine. If you suspect that your pet has a foxtail, call your vet ASAP. • Make sure that you are treating your pets to prevent fleas, ticks and other parasites. Your veterinarian can help you choose the proper product for your pet. Flea and tick treatments are also available at the Valley Oak SPCA Low-Cost Veterinary Clinic. • More pets get lost in the summer, especially around the Fourth of July. Most lost pets will not be returned to their owners unless they are microchipped. Microchips are available through your veterinarian or the Valley Oak SPCA Low-Cost Veterinary Clinic.


Meet Bella:

Valley Oak SPCA Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, 9405 W. Goshen Ave, Visalia 93291 For clinic information and appointments, call (559) 741-1121 or (559) 741-0492

How could you not love that smile? Bella is a 2-year-old terrier mix and is a complete dreamboat. She loves people and all the attention on her. She would make a great family dog, especially in a higher-energy home. Adopt Bella today! If interested, contact Valley Oak SPCA at (559) 651-1111.



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A Tart, Sweet Summer Treat


’ve combined two of my favorite recipes - brown sugar shortbread dough with a seasonal summer jam to make one amazing dessert. “Rhuberry” Crumble Bars are perfect for picnics, parties and potlucks – or for no particular reason at all! For the “Rhuberry” Jam: 1 pound fresh rhubarb, washed well, tops and bottoms cut off and discarded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, diced 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Zest and juice of 1 lemon For the cookie crust and topping: 1 pound (4 sticks) sweet butter, room temperature 1 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon table salt 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons apple pie spice 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed granola (without dried fruit) 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced


Note: This recipe uses fresh lemon juice, not bottled, so the pH (acidity) level will vary; it is not suitable for processing for long-term shelf storage using water bath/other canning methods. After the jam cools, store in the refrigerator only.

In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar and mix well. Allow to sit, covered, for 30-45 minutes, until the fruit is very juicy. Pour the fruit and juices into a large shallow pan and add the lemon zest and juice. Boil over high heat, stirring, until the mixture is very thick. You can mash the fruit a bit with a potato masher for smoother texture. Pour into a bowl or jars and cool. Makes approximately 4 cups

Make the cookie crust and topping: Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9- x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. With a hand mixer or whisk, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract, salt and flour. Place one-third of the mixture into a bowl and add the crushed granola and ginger; mix thoroughly and set aside. Press the remaining two-thirds of the mixture evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.

Make the jam (can be made in advance and

Spread 2 cups of the Rhuberry Jam onto the cookie crust, leaving about 1/4-inch border around the sides. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top of the jam and place in the oven. Bake 35-40 minutes, until firm and just starting to brown. Cool completely in the pan and cut into squares to serve. Dust the top with powdered sugar if desired. Makes 24 bars. Note: Use any flavor of ready-made jam in place of homemade (choose a variety with some tartness, to balance with the brown sugar and spices). Jam recipe adapted from Marisa McClellan’s Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

For more of Sue’s tips and tricks, visit 12


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When You're the Fool


roverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible for its quick wit and wisdom. Here’s a good one: “Fools trust their own insight, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.” Have you ever read something like that and start thinking of someone you know? I do it all the time. But how often do you realize, and then consciously admit to yourself, “Oh … I’m the fool.” Perhaps I’m finally learning from past mistakes. Perhaps I’ve matured a little. For the past three years, I have had the privilege to interview and film our Life Change Academy residents for their graduation ceremony. It’s their opportunity to share their story, in their words. As I watch old videos today, I can still remember my opinions of the men and women I sat with. I also remember feeling so grateful for my safe and sheltered childhood. I remember beginning to ask God, over and over, to teach me to love, as I was scared by the judgments I made as they shared the life events that contributed to their addictions and misfortunes.

found myself asking more questions than usual and feeling more emotional than usual. For the past 12 months, I have watched them grow and excel in a foreign environment away from friends and family. With our time together coming to a close, some of the guys and I exchange numbers. I’m not saying goodbye to VRM residents, but to friends. If you attend the ceremony, you’ll hear stories of abandonment and abuse, relapse and recovery. But you’ll also hear stories of hope and restoration from guys like Tony, who had been homeless for five years. “From the moment I got off the bus [at VRM], God intervened and saved my life. I consider the old me to be dead. I don’t really like to talk about it. I like to talk about all things becoming new. I’m a new creature; I know that. God

has saved my life and redeemed me from a place so dark. I’m alive in Jesus Christ.” A quote I heard at a conference years ago succinctly summarizes how I have seen God move through each ministry and individual story after nearly five years of serving here at VRM. This elderly woman, who grew up through adulthood in poverty, said, “I don’t want a god who keeps the lights on. I want a god who sits with me in the dark.” This is truly the God I have seen at work at Visalia Rescue Mission, and it’s that type of person I think we all want to be, too. If you have even the faintest desire to help men and women with stories like Tony’s, we have the opportunity for you. Call us at (559) 740-4178 or go to to learn more about becoming a High-Impact Ministry Volunteer, or sign up to serve a meal at a day and time that fits your schedule.


As I continue to watch, I am reminded how far some of our graduates have come. Some are still employed with us or elsewhere in the community. Some have repaired marriages or relationships with parents, and others have custody of their children again. Telling their stories and watching them grow has been one of the greatest joys of my life. On July 12, you should come to the next graduation ceremony, where eight residents will sit among their peers, friends and families as new creations. The old? Gone. The new? It’s here. As I sat and interviewed for the last time, I




Connect with VRM at or on social media.

By the time you read this, my family and I will have relocated to Bend, Ore., where I have accepted a position with a nonprofit organization serving victims of domestic violence. I can’t begin to convey my gratefulness to Visalia Rescue Mission for the many chances it took on me and everything it has taught me. VRM gave me the freedom to try, fail, and go again and again. For those who have enjoyed this monthly article, you can reread and share them all from here: vrmhope. org/news-stories. With so much going on around here, stay tuned for more stories and updates on new endeavors like Mission Motors and our expansion of Simply Chic Boutique in downtown Visalia.



C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y


What Do Colleges Look for in a Student?


ost everyone knows that to get into a great college, good grades are essential. What most people do not know is that all aspects of the application are not treated equally. In a recent survey conducted by the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), more than 2,000 independent educational consultants found that many colleges are more interested in rigor of curriculum than they are in GPA. So let's take a look at what else matters most. According to Compass Education Group, grades, test scores and strength of curriculum have been the most important factors in college admissions for more than 20 years. I am often asked if it is better for a student to take an AP course and get a B or a non-AP course and get an A. Mark Sklarow, CEO of IECA, said, “Grades and scores are important, but it is far better to accept a challenge, show some grit and earn a slightly lower grade if necessary than to breeze through high school with easy courses and straight As.” Colleges want to know that students can handle the rigorous college curriculum and not be scared away by the level of challenge. Each student is evaluated on the offerings at their own high school, so a school that offers 20 AP courses is not compared to a school that only offers four. They will look to see that the student has taken the most challenging schedule available at their high school. Students spend four years taking rigorous courses, studying late into the night, writing papers, reading literature and working on projects so that they might get the best possible grades in their coursework. And, yet, many students do not prepare to take the ACT or SAT, and many others study for a few hours and hope for the best. According to one test prep company, at some colleges, the ACT or SAT may count up to 40 percent on the 14


admissions scale. For students who have their eye on a competitive college, test prep is essential. How much time should be spent preparing for the test depends on each student and their target colleges. This can be determined by finding the target score and looking at the student's schedule to determine a realistic study schedule. Students spend thousands of dollars on test prep. Many states and/or school districts offer test prep in their high schools. Some states even use the SAT or ACT as their state test, and teachers are trained to teach the material. There is currently state legislation (Assembly Bill 1951) that would make

the SAT or ACT an alternative to Smarter Balanced starting in 2019-20. There is some opposition to the bill, but whether it passes or not, I hope that our local high schools will adopt a test prep program that can diagnose and prepare our students to perform better on these important standardized tests. There are several programs currently available to high schools. Although there are many test prep programs available, studying would be much more time- and cost-efficient if busy students could study during school time; when AP testing is done would be an ideal time. Rigor, grades and test scores: The top three for college admissions!

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Pursuing Victory With Honor


or more than 20 years, the Tulare County Office of Education CHARACTER COUNTS! Program has supported schools in character education development. As an avenue to honor students who have displayed an exemplary commitment to character through sportsmanship, the Pursuing Victory With Honor (PVWH) Scholarship Award was created. This year, the Tulare County PVWH Scholarship program, in partnership with the Provident-Salierno Family Foundation, offered eight $500 scholarships to high school seniors in Tulare County. Meet four of the recipients now:

Brianna Gomez, Senior El Diamante High School, Visalia By the age of 5, Brianna was already scoring goals and learning the value of good sportsmanship on the soccer field. For the next 13 years, track and soccer fields are where Brianna defined her leadership capabilities. Soccer Coach Carr recollects, “Brianna always set a high example of work ethic, pride and determination, both at practice and during games. In addition, Brianna maintained honor roll status during her high school career and made time to give back to her community.” Brianna will attend UC Santa Cruz this fall, focusing her efforts on a different goal – the field of medicine. Although this new goal takes on a different look, you can bet that there will be a soccer ball packed in her college bags! Dax Korenwinder, Senior Tulare Western High School, Tulare While participating in baseball and water polo at Tulare Western, Dax has

assumed various roles throughout his sports career as the star, the back-up and the bench player. Each experience has molded him into the young adult he is today. As Coach Searcy describes, “Dax has never been known to take the easy road in anything he attempts. He likes a challenge and strives to do his best. Dax has unquestionable character and is a good-hearted young man who has a strong faith in God and who will make everyone around him better by the choices he makes in life.” Arizona State University will welcome Dax in the fall as he pursues a career in kinesiology. Rhegan Fernandes, Senior Mission Oak High School, Tulare Although becoming a college athlete is not in her plans, Rhegan recognizes that sports provided a platform to develop her character. “Growing up playing sports has shaped me into the person I am today and has helped me to understand the value of respect and sportsmanship. The basketball court is where I have been able to grow and mature into a responsible and caring person – from the time when I was a sixth-grade hothead who would become livid over a player’s bad attitude to a senior who made sure teammates

understood that sportsmanship and fair play is a very important component of playing sports,” she said. Rhegan will take memories of valley titles and teammate huddles with her as she pursues a college experience at Colorado State University. Cooper Henry, Senior Redwood High School, Visalia In the fall, Cooper will attend Colorado School of Mines, where graduates are industryready scientists and engineers known for their work ethic, problem-solving ability and teamwork focus. As a two-sport athlete, Cooper has taken advantage of the life lessons that participation in sports has to offer in the non-academic arena – dedication, teamwork and leadership. Teacher Lizel Bettencourt says that Cooper’s classroom skills are just as impressive: “Cooper thrives in the process of problem solving. He is not only excited by the prospect of challenging his mind, but he also has the intelligence and resolve to take on the demands of the coursework.” Mines will gain a student with the perfect combination of curiosity for research, a healthy self-discipline and a regard for others. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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Planing Mill Pizza Challenge 'CHEW! CHEW! CHEW! SWALLOW!'


he supporting crowd of 30 chanted as our team tried to tackle the goliath. Like a pack of lions trying to bring down an elephant, we all knew that it was possible, but “possible” is far from a guarantee. What guarantee was I looking for this night? That I would get my $100 back for my team finishing the Giganteum Pizza at downtown Visalia’s Planing Mill restaurant. My two nephews, Breck and Michael Jeffus, came to visit from Turlock. Both recently finished their high school wrestling season (each placed in the state championships) and were ready to rip into a pizza to end their seasonal fasting. Both boys are capable of putting away big food. On a visit last year, Michael downed Sequoia Brewery’s Yeti Burger Challenge with little effort. He had five minutes to finish the 2-pound, 9-inch-tall burger. He broke the Tulare County record, posting in at 2 minutes 50 seconds. The Planing Mill Giganteum Challenge is this: Eight people have 30 minutes to finish a mammoth-sized pie (the Valley’s largest pizza), made to feed 15 to 20 people. It measures 5 feet by 2 feet, with a crust as thick as an Old World Bible. Rules of engagement were as follows: No leaving the table or bathroom breaks, and the timer starts as the pizza is delivered from the oven. There is no cool-down time awarded. Do this and team members get a T-shirt and the money returned for the purchase.



I took the challenge seriously, including recruiting my nephews and a team of six more, me not included. I felt better orchestrating. I recruited Chelsea Battle and Jack Terry, both swimmers from COS, who would be showing up to the event just after a swim meet that day. The remaining team was Ethan “Cupcake” Monzon, Cade “Caderbug” Batchman, Koby “I Can Eat an Entire Goat” Ramage and Hayden “Bear” Hobbs. They are all Redwood High varsity water polo players, with parents who complain about the feed bill at home. As the spectators drank craft beer and ate appetizers, the anticipation built for the impending pizza. Word came in that one secret was to separate the pizza to let it cool quicker. The team members took their places, and the beast was dropped before them. They separated the pieces and fanned the pizza with their plates. Breck and Michael made the first move, making sandwiches with two of the 6x9 slices (the next day, they complained of having sore mouths). Others dug in readily. There were no words spoken, just occasional muffled grunts or someone breathing through their mouths trying to cool what their overstuffed mouths carried. With distressed faces, void of any joy of pizza in their eyes, the team fought but, in the end, we didn’t claim the prize. There were about five pieces left in front of the team. So close, but so far. The words from the rock group Iron Maiden came to mind: “We fought them hard, we fought them well,” but in the end, it gave us hell. However, everyone involved had a great time, which was worth every penny spent on the venture. It’s a fun team-/family-building exercise provided by Planing Mill. In the history of the restaurant, a few dozen have pulled off what close to a couple hundred have attempted, and I’m not convinced that will be our last attempt.

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eBooks for Summer


ummer is here and for many people, that means vacation time or finding ways to stay cool. Whatever your activity, take a book along. And it is easier than ever. Whether you read the newest thriller or an old favorite, a number of options are available to enjoy your favorite books, including electronic books, or eBooks and eAudiobooks, as they are often called. Consider eBooks and eAudiobooks. Relatively new, these “books” can be viewed or played on most digital devices, including iPads, Kindles, smartphones and even computers, so you never have to be somewhere this summer without a book. The Tulare County Library has been offering eBooks and eAudiobooks since 2011, with their use rising significantly.

The Tulare County Library serves all of the residents of Tulare County with locations in 17 communities, four book machines and online at:

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 17 percent of respondents said they read eBooks in 2011. In 2016, that number rose to 28 percent (www. Tulare County Library’s electronic books yielded slightly more than 2,000 checkouts in 2011. By 2017, patrons borrowed more than 38,000! Why this increase? eBooks can offer better access and availability, preference to read on electronic devices and the ability to customize the reading experience. Plus they travel well. Currently, the Tulare County Library offers access to more than 13,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks in our OverDrive collection, and thousands more in cloudLibrary. With your Tulare County Library card, you can install the

OverDrive or Libby, the cloudLibrary and Rbdigital apps on your smart device. Then link them to the Tulare County Library. For those who enjoy their Kindle or Kindle app, Kindle eBooks are available to check out on OverDrive. And cloudLibrary and Rbdigital are compatible with Kindle Fires. Patrons can check out up to 10 eBooks for up to two to three weeks with no late fees. You can return early, renew by the due date or let the book return by itself. With so many authors and book choices to choose from – fiction, mystery, romance, thrillers, science fiction, self-help and Spanish – there is something for everyone. Now there’s a choice whether you prefer physical books or eBooks. So this summer, bring along a favorite read and remember to wear sunscreen.





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In the Good Old Summertime


veryone knows that the school calendar includes a summer break. But what some may not know is that the summer break really is a time of very important work on a number of different levels. While many Visalia students enjoy a summer break from school, some students use this time to take advantage of opportunities to expand or recover learning opportunities. This summer, more than 4,000 high school students take summer school courses through our extended year program at El Diamante and Golden West high schools. These students seek to take advantage of the opportunity to repeat classes to recover credit toward graduation or take classes in advance of the coming school year to clear space for other classes that allow them to accelerate. Our Summer University program will take place at the Valley Oak and Green Acres campuses. This program provides enriching academic and career exploration experiences for 200 middle school students. We have summer reading programs available to all elementary school



students offered through Conyer, Cottonwood Creek, Crowley, Highland, Ivanhoe and Veva Blunt elementary schools, and also at the Visalia Learning Center. These programs encourage students to read during summer, and they also provide enriching activities throughout June. And our partnership with ProYouth also brings academic and enrichment programming to elementary school students through its Summer Program at Veva Blunt, Linwood, Annie R. Mitchell, Crestwood and Mountain View elementary schools. Summer is a time when we work to maintain, upgrade and build school facilities. While we have many projects underway this summer, three big projects illustrate the breadth and scale of summer facilities work. First, we have modernization projects at Goshen Elementary and Royal Oaks Elementary. These projects will bring updated classrooms, restrooms and other improvements to schools that are eligible for modernization funds from the state. We have also initiated a significant plan for major upgrades of air-conditioning and heating systems at seven schools. We have started at Mt. Whitney High School and Redwood

High School this summer and, over the next few years, we will replace systems at Golden West High School, Pinkham Elementary, Hurley Elementary, La Joya Middle School, Valley Oak Middle School and El Diamante High School. Finally, we are constructing a new elementary school on the corner of Ferguson Avenue and Denton Street. This school will help with growth in northwest Visalia and is scheduled to be completed in August 2019. Staff development during the summer is an important resource for teachers. This work is wide-ranging, from deepening understanding of new academic standards, development of curriculum and assessments that are used across the district, and training in new materials or instructional strategies. All of this allows us to capitalize on time available for teachers to learn, work and prepare deeply for the upcoming school year so that they do not miss time with students in classrooms during the regular year. So, although kids are out of school, work in the school district continues through the summer. We are working hard to make the 2018-19 school year the best one possible for every student.

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PRO-PT One Annual Health Checkup That’s Probably Missing from Your Calendar


ome health habits are instilled in us at a young age. For as long as you can remember, for example, you made annual treks in the family minivan to both the pediatrician and the dentist. As you entered adulthood, you probably transitioned to a primary care physician and maybe even a different dentist better equipped to address adult needs. When you’ve moved or switched insurance carriers, one of your first priorities has been to track down new providers. Now you may even choose to schedule visits more than once a year, when necessary. You probably figure that between the two health-care professionals, all of your health needs are covered, right? As it turns out, these health-care professionals aren’t specifically trained to assess your musculoskeletal system,


which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues. Then who is the right health-care professional to ensure that these essential internal structures are working properly and helping to support, stabilize and move your body? A physical therapist. At a yearly physical therapy “checkup,” your PT will gather your medical history and observe as you participate in screening tests and other assessments to establish a baseline of your physical abilities, fitness level and personal health. Physical therapists are educated on how your musculoskeletal system functions properly and are trained to identify dysfunctions before they grow into bigger problems. To maximize the encounter with your physical therapist, it’s important to be prepared before your appointment. To ensure that you cover everything and address any issues that you may be having, make a list that includes: • Health issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

• Current medications, including supplements. • Physical fitness activities. • New activities that you’re considering. • Fitness goals. The information exchange between you and your PT is critical to forming an ongoing relationship, and ensuring that you’re functioning and moving at top form. By understanding what sports and recreational activities you’re currently participating in and the fitness goals you’re aiming to achieve, your PT will be better prepared to make recommendations and tailor a home exercise program designed to help you achieve your goals. Making wellness a part of your daily life and taking steps to ensure that your musculoskeletal system is functioning at top notch can be very empowering and rewarding. Why not begin – or continue – that journey with a physical therapist? Now that you know how to prepare for a physical therapy checkup and understand what you can expect during the appointment, the next step is to call and schedule your annual visit.

I avoided surgery by going to


I was referred to PRO-PT for pain resulting from a herniated disc in my neck. I am pain free for the first time in years, have regained movement and mobility in my neck and my quality of life has improved greatly! - Doug Pitkin

DINUBA 1401 W. El Monte Way Suite 107 Dinuba, CA 93618 (559) 315-5203

EXETER 134 South E. St. Exeter, CA 93221 (559) 592-9000

HANFORD 323 N. 11th Ave. Hanford, CA 93230 (559) 772-8304

KINGSBURG 329 Sierra St. Kingsburg, CA 93631 (559) 896-4736

LEMOORE 755 N. Lemoore Ave. Suite C Lemoore, CA 93245 (559) 817-5808

LINDSAY 860 Sequoia St. Suite A Lindsay, CA 93247 (559) 562-9040

PORTERVILLE 1150 W. Morton Ave. Porterville, CA 92357 (559) 782-1501

TULARE 1132 E. Leland Ave. Tulare, CA 93274 (559) 684-0611

VISALIA 1870 S. Central St. Visalia, CA 93277 (559) 636-1200 ext.1




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Virtual Summer School: Educational Apps and Online Resources


tudies suggest that summer vacations with supplemental activities contribute to student success. Technology can contribute to summer enrichment, if used wisely. Our children like to have a few minutes with PBS Kids during the week. The apps are free, and the content is good. We play Daniel Tiger exploration games, and Nature Cat is beloved in our house. Many of the Nature Cat episodes include things we can do



outside together. PBS Kids offers more than 40 apps and streaming videos for children. After trying other paid apps and services, I find few that compare to the quality of PBS apps. The only downside is that these require a tablet to play. PBS offers apps for iOS, Android, Kindle and Windows devices. Paid educational apps vary wildly in quality, and most are not worth $4.99 or more. A lot of the educational apps

promote major brands, too. Some publishers promote games that have little educational value, but a lot of famous characters. Read reviews from sources that you trust, such as Parents Magazine ( before wasting time and money. The best apps we’ve found are from 24x7Digital (, School Zone ( and ABCMouse ( School Zone and ABCMouse charge subscription fees for

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complete access and special features. You will need to decide if $7 to $10 per month is a good value. Our local schools use ABCMouse because teachers like the progress reports. Our daughters love the 24x7Digital “Teach Me” apps, although the activities remind me of worksheets. It might be that the familiar format from school works well for the girls. The complete suite from preschool through third grade is $7.99, and there are no monthly fees. The apps feature progress reports and reward the children with virtual stickers. My wife and I do set strict limits on screen time, preferring hands-on activities. This might seem strange for two technical parents, but our girls spend a lot of time using iPads at school. We bridge the gap between technology and lived experiences, teaching our daughters how technology helps us. Our children were born into a world in which everyone around them stares at screens, so the real challenge is teaching them to use technology wisely, not obsessively. The iPads at school have taught our girls to touch every screen they see. When nothing happens, they are perplexed. They see that Mommy and Daddy use their computers for eight or more hours a day, working in our home offices. Naturally, they want to do whatever we are doing. My wife and I spend a fair amount of time using Adobe Create Cloud software. The girls watch as we manipulate images and text on our screens without touching the screens. Paint programs are great transitional tools that teach how to use various input devices. Many of the free paint programs are good for children, including TuxPaint and Paintbrush. Cloudpaint is a free web alternative, too, for a retro experience. Microsoft Paint was always fun on Windows. To my surprise, the girls love typing games. is a free site that offers games and activities. The girls

prefer commercial apps for typing, which I consider overpriced. Mavis Beacon is $40, and we’ve settled for running an old DOS copy I had on CD via an emulator. The DOS graphics look funny to the girls and we saved $40 for now. Our oldest is entering first grade and likes to type stories. She uses Apple Pages to create her digital books, which impresses me. She knows how to change the text and add basic shapes to pages. She has also discovered how to drag photos onto a page. I’m glad the girls know that computers are for more than games. The girls know that we select recipes, crafts and science projects from Pinterest. We have located worksheets similar to the ones used by their teachers, which the girls like to complete. I was never one for worksheets, but they love “playing school” and completing the activities. They also know that we use online tools to plan our family adventures. At the start of summer, we sat down with our daughters to plan local trips. We have mapped where to find parks, museums and historic places. Although we are fortunate enough to take several trips this year, most summers we have to stay close to home. Within an hour’s drive there are many things we can do, from nature walks to studying local history. Using map applications, we study where places are compared to home. The girls are learning to follow the arrows and dots on our Subaru’s navigation system and compare the screen to the printed maps that we take on trips. We look at images when planning trips, too. We discuss what we will see when we arrive and why the places are important. The 6-year-old joined me in Washington, D.C., during a Memorial Day business trip. Before leaving home, we studied the various museums online to select which places she wanted to visit. She selected the Smithsonian Natural History and Air and Space museums. She also watched a virtual

tour and selected a tour bus. We visited the museums and talked a lot about everything we saw in the nation’s capital. Trips to significant places reinforce history, science, geography and other academic subjects. This summer, our daughters will travel from coast to coast, seeing many places and learning along the way. The Smithsonian museums offer tablet apps for Android and iOS devices. You can use these apps anywhere, for free. Many great museums from around the world offer such apps. At the Smithsonian, you can scan QR codes to learn more about exhibits for an interactive experience ( They now plan trips we might never take, dreaming of trips around the globe. We can visit the Louvre, thanks to a virtual tour created by YouVisit ( louvremuseum). Our virtual summer school balances computer time with hands-on activities. From watching how to make putty in the kitchen to planning family trips, we incorporate technology naturally into the learning experiences.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Visalia native Scott Wyatt has completed his Master of Fine Arts in Film and Digital Technology at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. Scott has several additional graduate degrees and was a visiting professor of business communication at Carnegie Mellon University. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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Early Summer Beachworthy Reads


tart your kids off with books early this summer. These new novels for middle-grade kids ages 8 to 12 are exciting, refreshing and lighthearted, perfect for beach or poolside reading. “City of Islands” by Kali Wallace; Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins; 33 pages.

Twelve-yearold Mara is a fish girl, an orphaned swimmer who dives in the murky ocean searching for treasures for the powerful Lady of the Tides. What she longs for, though, is to become a great mage, a magician like the bone mage who raised her till age 5, named Bindy. In the meantime, Mara finds mysterious skeletons of hybrid creatures humming with a powerful “spell-song.” The thrill of her magical find ends abruptly, however, when the Lady encourages her to sneak into an island fortress ruled by the same sorcerer who killed Bindy years ago. With lots of mermaid undersea action scenarios, sorcery, magicianship, secrets and plot twists, “City of Islands” will wow youngsters who may enjoy a “Peter Pan”-like fantasy. Kali Wallace writes swimmingly and descriptively, making her new tale incredibly fun. “Deep Water” by Watt Key; Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 264 pages. Fans of adventure won't be able to put down this breathtaking tale of a girl who helps her sick father finish a commercial diving expedition with an obnoxious boy, Shane, and his 22


reckless father. Her dad stays on the boat while she and the other two dive, but they soon drift away and have a pretty intense shark scare. Shane's father soon panics and is lost, and Shane and Julie must band together to survive in the open ocean. The thrilling result is spellbinding and inspirational, and captures the drive to survive that humans, especially young ones, have in spades. Clear and smartly penned, “Deep Water” is a thrill a minute. Watt Key is a scuba diver himself, and he experienced a similar but less intense diving accident, which inspired this story. Key has penned five other survival adventure tales for kids, and “Deep Water” is already a coveted Junior Library Guild selection. “Book Scavenger: The Alcatraz Escape” Jennifer Chambliss Bertman; illustrated by Sarah Watts; Henry Holt & Co.; 262 pages. The “Book Scavenger” series for middle-graders includes two previous books – “Book Scavenger” and “The Unbreakable Code” – both of which have numerous kudos, including being New York Times best-sellers and Junior Library Guild selections. All three star legendary literary gamemaker Garrison Griswold; this time, he plans an epic escape room challenge called ”Unlock the Rock” on Alcatraz Island. Friends Emily and James become targets and must find out who is threatening them with notes and a plot to frame Emily's brother. The pair also compete in “Unlock the Rock,” but both mysteries pull them into the prison dungeon and they must

figure out how to escape. Fun, witty writing that reminds me a little of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” makes Jennifer Chambliss Bertram's new tale an exciting adventure that kids will want to dive into again and again. KIDBITS “The Supernormal Sleuthing Service: The Sphinx's Secret” by Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe (published by Greenwillow) is what Stephen and his friends Ivan and Sofia start up when they learn that the New York Public Library lion statues are actually sphinxes guarding supernormal artifacts, and that the hotel they live in is full of monsters and wizards. “Thunder Girls: Freya and the Magic Jewel” by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (published by Simon & Schuster) is a brand-new series steeped in Norse mythology, adventure, magic and friendship, with tons of whimsy and girl power. “The Secret Life of Ben Braverman” by Marcus Emerson (published by Roaring Brook Press) is perfect for reluctant readers. With explosively fun writing and lots of illustrations, it's about a boy in a secret school for kids with super abilities. “All Summer Long” by Hope Larson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is an oceancolored graphic novel starring a 13-yearold guitar-playing girl who notices her friendship gets weird when her best friend, a boy, comes home from camp. She does befriend his older sister, though, and the pair share the same musical tastes.

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Uplifting|Hopeful|Fun Your support changes lives, strengthens families, and makes a difference in our community!



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Patriotic Flag Wreath


ooking for that perfect patriotic decoration? Let us help you out with this fun, unique flag wreath. So easy to assemble and you can find everything in your home.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: • Wooden clothespins (87 per project) • Red, white and blue paint • Paint brushes • Wire hanger • White paper (we used white foam sheets) • Small star stencil or star decal puncher • Scissors • Glue • Ribbon (optional)

DIRECTIONS: 1. Count out 60 wooden clothespins per craft. 2. Using the red paint, paint 35 clothespins red. (If you want to make sure that you cover them completely, take the clothespin apart, but this is optional.) 3. Using the white paint, paint 30 clothespins white. (If you want to make sure that you cover them completely, take the clothespin apart, but this is optional.) 4. Using the blue paint, paint 22 clothespins blue. (If you want to make sure that you cover them completely, take the clothespin apart, but this is optional.) 5. While the paint dries, prep the other parts of project. 6. Wreath frame: Keeping the wire hanger intact, stretch the frame of the hanger into a circle, twist the hook of the hanger to stick out from the frame (this will hold it on the door, fence, etc.)

7. Stars: Using white paper, you can cut out the stars with scissors or use a star decal puncher. (We used white foam sheets with a star decal puncher.) 8. Now to assemble the wreath, begin to clip all 15 of the blue pins onto the frame (these will be on the upper left section when you are finished.) 9. Using the red and white pins, start a pattern alternating colors to create the stripes of the flag (three red, three white or four red, three white). 10. When you have a look you like, glue them to keep them in place. (Make sure that the blues are in the upper left section.) 11. Add the stars. 12. Optional: We used curly ribbon to decorate the top. Happy Fourth of July!

ImagineU Museum’s upcoming events: Summer Camp now through Aug. 3; Lego Robotics, Funky Physics, Night at the Museum July 27; Music in Motion, Kids Yoga & Art and lots more to come. Please call the museum for more information (559) 733-5975 or visit our website at 24



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Cell: 559-359-5983

BRE Lic. #01479110

Kari Acosta

210 W. TIPTON ST. VISALIA, CA (559)733-5975 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK


Had Too Much Fun? Let us help you get back to it. No Appontment Necessary.


YOUR HEALTH, YOUR TIME, OUR PRIORITY PROVIDERS H.James Princeton, M.D. Charles Newton, M.D. Rochelle Wileman, PA-C Debbie Jo Bird, FNP/PA

Your Primary Care Practice

(559) 733-4505 4025 W. Caldwell Ave Suite A Visalia, CA 93277



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he Tulare Chamber of Commerce exists to serve its members and residents by advocating for and engaging in efforts to encourage economic opportunity and business prosperity. The Tulare Chamber supports businesses by building partnerships, providing educational opportunities, and advocating for its members and community.




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1. Congratulations to Cherry Street Pharmacy for hosting a successful grand opening and ribbon-cutting. Cherry Street Pharmacy is a full- service pharmacy that delivers to people in Tulare and the surrounding communities. Its team of friendly professionals will work hard to ensure that you get all of your medications at affordable prices, and they will deliver with no minimum order for free. The pharmacy accepts most insurance. To learn more, call (559) 234-2112 or visit 2. Thank you to Elements Design Center for hosting the June Business After Hours in its beautiful showroom. Visiting Elements and its staff is a must for anyone looking to build or remodel. The center’s specialty is turning dreams into reality. Elements Design Center is at 1462 S. Blackstone St., Tulare. For information, go online to or call (559) 686-4292. 3. The community gathered to celebrate the restoration of Preston’s Pride B-17 Bomber with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the Kiwanis Noon Club served pancakes. Attendees were humbled by the presence of attending veterans, dating as far back as World War II. The plane, located at Mefford Field, is simply beautiful. Thank you to all who restored the plane and to those who have served this great country. 4. The Tulare Chamber of Commerce was awarded the CalChamber President’s Circle Award for its role in advocating for business. CEO Donnette Silva Carter accepted the award with board Chair Renee Soto (State Farm-Renee Soto) and board member Graciela Soto-Perez (Altura Centers for Health). Twenty-seven California chambers were awarded this recognition by CalChamber during the Capitol Summit in Sacramento. 5. Tulare was updated on the state of varying levels of government at the chamber’s annual State of the City address. Tulare’s mayor, Carlton Jones, gave a presentation on Tulare. Supervisor Peter Vander Poel told about the state of Tulare County, and Assemblyman Devon Mathis and state Sen. Jean Fuller discussed the state of California.


C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y



he Visalia Chamber of Commerce serves as the local “voice of business” as it advocates for businesses throughout Visalia. Each month, the chamber facilitates a variety of events to support and further the success of the community.



1. The Visalia Chamber and the Visalia Young Professionals Network would like to thank Buckman-Mitchell for sponsoring the YPN Mixer held at Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch. This was a great event with more than 60 attendees who had the opportunity to network and meet nine local nonprofits to learn how they can become more engaged in the community. 2. Cal Valley Insurance hosted a ribbon-cutting and blood drive. The Visalia Chamber of Commerce was proud to support this event and happy to see that local businesses are giving back to Visalia and making this community a great place in which to live and work. 3. The Visalia Chamber of Commerce attended an open house and tour of a new, upgraded water treatment site. It was great to hear how Cal Water was able to quickly meet new water safety standards, and see all the work and effort that goes into the planning, building and operation of our local water system. 4. The Visalia Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the recent graduation of the 2018 Leadership Visalia Class. This class is a wonderful example of what a motivated and talented group of individuals can accomplish when they work together toward a common goal. 5. Congratulations to Rachael and Sam Ingram, owners of TechCare-360 on being named the Co-Ambassadors of the Month for the Visalia Chamber. Rachael and Sam have been active in the chamber, attending ribbon-cuttings and networking mixers, and contributing to the YPN e-newsletter.





C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y


No Cons Here ACROSS

25 Planes: abbr.

1 Kennedy and Sorensen

28 Cuttlefish organ

5 G.I. Joe’s creator

32 Grates

9 Fall flower

36 Ready for use

14 Actor Guinness

38 Therefore

15 Restraint

39 Unlikelihoods

16 Bowling feat

42 Designer Chanel

17 Prom conveyance

43 Miss Carter’s namesakes

18 Kiln

44 Caucasus inhabitant

19 Palmer

4 5 Obliterates

20 Alternative plan

47 Arm of Calif. law

23 Flow

49 Quick gait

24 Early Norwegian navigator

51 Striated



56 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69

Without stipulations Military acronym Mend Ululate Angry Excited Icelandic literature Domesticated Optical part Perceived

3 Raise an objection 4 Tea biscuit 5 Prefaces 6 Kind of book 7 Speech impediment 8 Between: Fr. 9 Neat ___ 10 Teeth 11 Beiges 12 Silkworm 13 Lively dance 21 Italian poet 22 Bay window 26 Cable car 27 Sorceress 29 Hindu titles 30 A Death in the Family author 31 Price 32 Wedding shower 33 Cupid 34 Humane soc. 35 Prone 37 City on the Arno 40 1964 Nobel physicist 41 Antiseptic: var. 46 Worn away 48 Tines 50 Like some waves 52 Coolidge’s vice president 53 Forest clearing 54 Slur over 55 Welsh poet Thomas 56 Single component 57 Ibsen’s rebel wife 58 Baby carriage 59 Herb 60 Golf club HALL OF FAMERS - JUNE ISSUE

DOWN 1 Magnesium silicates 2 George or T.S.


C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y


Dividend Investing: Small Payments Can Boost Return


wning shares of stock or stock funds might increase the value of your portfolio in one of two fundamental ways: capital appreciation (i.e., price increases) and dividend payments. Of the two, capital appreciation carries the greatest potential for return, but it also carries the greatest potential for loss. And any gains or losses are only reaped when you sell your shares. By contrast, dividends typically offer more consistent modest returns that are paid while you hold your shares. For this reason, dividends have long been popular with retirees and others who are looking for regular income. But focusing on dividends can be appropriate for almost any investor, especially if dividends are reinvested to purchase additional shares. Although reinvesting dividends from individual stocks may not be cost-effective, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) generally offer an option to reinvest dividends and/or capital gains. GROWTH AND VOLATILITY In general, more established companies tend to pay dividends, and these companies may not have as much growth potential as newer companies that plow all of their earnings back into the company. Even so, dividends can boost total return. A 2015 study found that dividends had accounted for about one-third of the total return of the S&P 500 index since 1956, with the other two-thirds from capital appreciation. In the fourth quarter of 2017, more than 80 percent of S&P 500 stocks paid a dividend, with an average yield of 1.87 percent for the index as a whole and 2.24 percent for dividend-paying

stocks. Many mid-size and smaller companies also paid dividends.1 Because dividends are by definition a positive return, even during a down market, dividend-paying stocks may be less volatile than non-dividend payers. However, dividend stocks tend to be more sensitive to rising interest rates; investors looking for income may move away from stocks if less risky fixedincome investments offer comparable yields.

QUARTERLY PAYMENTS Dividends are typically paid quarterly in the form of cash or stock. The amount is set by the company's board of directors and can be changed at any time. Dividends can be expressed as the dollar amount paid on each share or as yield — the annual dividend income per share divided by the current market price. When the share price falls, the yield rises (assuming that dividend payments remain the same), enabling investors who reinvest their dividends to buy more shares that have the potential to grow as market performance improves. Investing in dividends is a long-term commitment. In exchange for less volatility and more stable returns, investors should be prepared for periods where dividend payers drag down rather than boost an equity portfolio. The amount of a company's dividend can fluctuate with earnings, which are influenced by economic, market and political events. Dividends are typically not guaranteed and could be changed or eliminated. The return and principal value of all investments fluctuate with changes in market conditions. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Supply and demand for ETF shares may cause them to trade at a premium or a discount relative to the value of the underlying shares. 1

Mutual funds and ETFs are sold by prospectus. Please

consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor communication solutions Inc. Copyright 2018 Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. Penney Sick, Registered Principal, 303 E. Caldwell Ave Visalia Ca 93277 DIRECT MAGAZINE


C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y

GOINGS-ON Kimberly Haynes ‘Nectar of Song’ House Concert Bathe in the sublime sounds of the songs of Kimberly Haynes, a visionary artist expressing through music many styles, genres and expressions. The spectrum of her vocal performance evokes both the tenderness of a mother’s touch and the ancient feminine power of a tribal priestess committed to the betterment of her global family. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist David Vito Gregoli and other guest artists. $20 donation requested. When: July 1, 5-8 p.m. Where: Center for Spiritual Living Visalia, 117 S. Locust St., Visalia Contact: For ticket info, Douglas Hurt, (559) 730-8758

Independence Day Fireworks Community Festival Join CASA of Tulare County at the second annual 4th of July Independence Day Fireworks Community Festival at Groppetti Stadium. There will be games, live music, waterslides, swimming pool access, hot dog eating contest, dunk tanks and fireworks. Food and beverages will be available for sale. When: July 4, 2-10 p.m., fireworks show at 8:30 p.m. Where: Gropetti Stadium, 1414 N. McAuliff St., Visalia Contact: CASA of Tulare County, (559) 625-4007

Hanford-Visalia Anime-Comic Con This is a kiddo-friendly event. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. When: July 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., costume contest is promptly at 2:30 p.m. Where: Kings County Fairgrounds, 801 S. 10th Ave., Hanford Contact: Ohana Comic Con, (209) 667-8214

July 3rd Fireworks Show! Wish America Happy Birthday with the Rawhide. Come for the baseball and stay for the Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza after the game. When: July 3, 7-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Rawhide, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Visalia Rawhide, (559) 732-4433 30


Visalia Convention Center Indoor Yard Sale The traditional yard sale has come indoors. Come and find some great bargains with many booths of used and new items. $3 per person or $5 for two at the door. When: July 7, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: Kathy Fraga,

Juried iPhonography Exhibition and Opening Reception Arts Visalia presents the first juried iPhonography exhibition. It will display a variety of photographers who shoot and edit their own photography on a mobile or iOS device. Amateur and advanced skill levels will be presented in both edited and unedited formats. Awards will be given for Best of Show and People’s Choice, which will be presented at the opening reception. This exhibition celebrates the unique position that mobile devices play in the production of creative images and the spontaneity they provide. Free admission. When: Exhibition July 5-27. Gallery hours: Noon-5:30 p.m. WednesdaysSaturdays. Opening reception is Friday, July 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. Where: Arts Visalia Visual Art Center, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: Arts Visalia Visual Art Center, Janelle Howard, gallery director. (559) 739-0905 The Comedy Get Down Goldenvoice presents George Lopez, Cedric “The Entertainer,” DL Hughley and Eddie Griffin. This is a chance to see four members of comedy royalty for the comedy event of the year. Tickets: $35, $45, $55, $79.50, $135 When: July 7, 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. Where: Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield Contact: (888) 929-7849,

C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y

Taquiza y Toros 2018 Join Los Toros for a week full of live music and entertainment, food trucks and special taco and beer ticket packages while celebrating Hispanic heritage. When: July 31, 7-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Rawhide, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Ticket info,

Beach Night 2018! Kick back and think of shorelines at Beach Night. Enjoy $1 beer on select drafts and live music from Edward Hernandez. Plus get free tickets to the game when you wear your best beach attire thanks to Party City. Bonus points for Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. When: July 12, 7-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Rawhide, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Tickets at

Annual Hot Dog Festival Bring the family and look at the firetrucks from the different fire departments and enjoy All-American hot dogs, corn on the cob and root beer floats. When: July 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Three Rivers Historical Museum, 42268 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers Contact: Three Rivers Historical Museum, (559) 561-2707 The Fresno Food Expo Expolicious Fresno Food Expo’s public portion invites members of the community to see and taste food and beverages from dozens of chefs and restaurateurs ready to show you their culinary fineness. Tickets: $40 at consignment location, $50 online. When: July 26, 5-8 p.m. Where: Fresno Convention Center, 848 M St., Fresno Contact: Ticket information at

Dave's Not Here (Foo Fighters Tribute) The Central Valley's premier Foo Fighters tribute act makes their triumphant return to Visalia, this time taking over BarrelHouse. Come enjoy delicious craft beer and sing along to your all-time favorites and maybe even pick up a new favorite. This is a free event. When: July 27, 6-9 p.m. Where: BarrelHouse Visalia Taproom and Beer Gardens, 521 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: BarrelHouse Visalia Taproom and Beer Gardens, (805) 296-1128 Boots Brews & Bacon Come on down to Boots Brews and Bacon for a whole lot of beer, bacon and country music. Unlimited beer tasting, live music, local restaurants featuring their best bacon bite samples, cash prize for the best bacon bite as voted by attendees, bacon eating contest and pub games. Tickets $30 in advance, $35 day of, groups of 10+ $25 and $75 VIP. This is a 21+ event; proof of age will be required at the door. When: July 28, 6-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: Visalia Convention Center, (559) 713-4000

Kaweah Delta Golf Classic The Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation is planning its 30th annual Golf Classic. Proceeds will go to the Caring for Our Community campaign. The foundation is focusing its fundraising efforts on state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Giraffe Beds. When: Aug. 3, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: Visalia’s Beach Party Pub Crawl Surf's up, beachgoers! It's time to show off your fabulous Hawaiian dresses, don your comfiest Hawaiian shirts and join us for a totally beachin' pub crawl. There will also be contests, games, a raffle, prizes and a different atmosphere at all locations. When: Aug. 11, 4:30-9 p.m. Where: Main Street, Visalia Contact: Hell of a Half Marathon Yes, the course is challenging, the weather is hot, but what else would you expect at the Hell of a Half Marathon? You know what you are made of, so sign up before you regret not getting in. Tickets: $85 race fee + $4.50 sign-up fee. When: Aug. 18, 7-11 a.m. Where: Exeter Veterans Memorial Park, 324 N. Kaweah Ave., Exeter Contact: CA/Exeter/HellofaHalfMarathon

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


C U LT U R E , C O M M E R C E A N D C O M M U N I T Y I N V I S A L I A A N D T U L A R E — T H E H E A R T O F T H E S O U T H VA L L E Y


Citizen Participation


he Visalia City Council makes a lot of routine decisions on behalf of our community. On occasion, however, an individual or neighborhood in the city gets involved. We try to balance their input with staff reports and our own research. Similar to a judge in court, we try to render our final decision based upon the facts and merits, not upon which side has the most in attendance at a council meeting. Such was the case with the Arco AM/ PM application of Chandi Group USA to be built on the corner of Caldwell Avenue and West Street. That location has been zoned mixed commercial for many years.

developer then appealed that decision to the City Council. The City Council heard the matter on May 7 at the Convention Center, with more than 200 people in attendance. However, what the City Council considered May 7 was not the same plan that the Planning Commission denied April 9. About one week before the City Council meeting, the developer presented a downsized plan. It now provided that the land to be developed was less than 1 1/2 acres; it deleted the carwash and vacuum bays, deleted the fast-food restaurant component and downsized the convenience store to 3,800 square feet, dropped the canopy height to 16 1/2 feet, and size to 4,370 square feet with eight fuel dispensers and moved the underground fuel storage tanks to the east side, to be a greater distance from neighboring homes.

Chandi Group USA has experience developing Arco AM/PMs throughout the state. They built and operate the one on Lovers Lane and have just finished building one on Plaza Drive. Both of these are well-designed, maintained and compliment the surrounding neighborhood. The Caldwell project, however, is a little different. Although located on arterials, it is surrounded by some residential. The initial proposal was very large, including 10 fuel dispensers (Costco has 11), was to be located on almost two acres, included a convenience store with fast-food restaurant covering 6,000 square feet, had a 5,000-square-foot automated carwash, and an 18.5-foot-tall, 6,775-square-foot canopy, with underground fuel storage tanks at the northwest corner of the property. When the surrounding neighbors learned of this application, they organized and made their voices heard. Some City Council members met with them in advance to listen to their concerns. The project came before the Planning Commission on April 9, which voted 4-1 to deny it as it existed at that date. The 32


The council was provided a new staff report, and many letters both pro and con from interested parties. Additionally, I spoke with each of the planning commissioners about why they had voted the way they had. All five of them indicated that they favored the project, but the four who voted against said that their main concern was the carwash and that the project was too large for the surrounding neighborhood. At the May 7 meeting, the council took testimony from interested parties for two to three hours. There were some from the neighborhood who favored this downsized project, but they were outnumbered by those who opposed it in its entirety. After considering all testimony and relevant information, the

council voted 5-0 to approve the downsized/revised site plan and, as part of that approval, further downsized the project to only allow six fuel dispensers. This approved project was now a standard-size gas station. No facts or studies were presented showing that a standard-size gas station increases crime, homelessness, public drunkenness and disorder, or otherwise. To the contrary, Visalia has many fine gas stations that are clean and attractive, and take appropriate security measures. The Shannon Ranch gas station is an example of a popular location that is well-kept and an attractive addition to the neighborhood. The neighborhood near Caldwell and West did an excellent job presenting its position on this project. The reality is that the neighbors won, since they may have had a much larger operation in their neighborhood if they had not gotten involved and let the city know of their concerns. Unfortunately, some in that neighborhood believed that they "lost" because they did not defeat the entire project. Neither side got everything they wanted. This project will result in additional jobs for Visalians, was properly zoned and is located on a major commercial thoroughfare through Visalia. The neighborhood indicated to us that they would have preferred a Trader Joe's or Chick-fil-A on that corner. Unfortunately, the city is not in the business of building and developing properties. Instead, we leave that to the private sector. Again, congratulations to this neighborhood for its efforts, which resulted in a downsized project that will be more compatible. It is my hope that these residents, as well as many others, will continue to get involved with the political process, which will lead to Visalia being an even greater place to live. If you have questions or topics regarding the city that you would like to have addressed in future articles, please email me at warren.gubler@ For past articles, visit







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August 9-10, 2018 | www.visaliaďŹ

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Direct Magazine - July 2018  
Direct Magazine - July 2018