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Fighting for the Right to Repair

Plant Pumpkin Seeds Now

The Sequoia Legacy Tree

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.

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Our patient friendly toothache relief. Keep your teeth instead of pulling them, pre-treating abscesses with 3 different medicines to fight infections and inflammation. Comfortable, calm abscess treatment with an emphasis on numbing anesthesia, post-op painkillers, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for comfort. Beautiful smiles created using state-of-the-art dentistry backed by 39 years of experience. Suffering with missing teeth or poor fitting dentures? Dental implants can restore your self-confidence and appearance. We place and restore our own implants.

No need to visit an outside specialist. Our extensive postgraduate education and experience allows us to complete virtually all phases of your dental treatment under one roof i.e. Implants, Invisalign, Veneers, Oral Surgery and Root Canals. All with IV sedation when necessary for your comfort.

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Call now and mention this ad to reserve your appointment for an exam, x-rays and smile consultation for only $49.00 ($214.00 value)

2744 W. Main St.,Visalia | (559) 734-6492 | DIRECT MAGAZINE


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






10 Virtual Valley

Fighting For The Right To Repair



Craft Corner


Character Counts!


The Recipe Box


College Prep


Character Counts!


Tulare County Library


People on the Move

Graduation Matters

20 Valley Oak SPCA

15 Community Safety


24 Money Matters

Proper Use of 911

24 Gardening Plant Pumpkin Seeds Now

32 Warren Reports

The Sequoia Legacy Tree

Kids' Library

26 Tulare Chamber 27 Visalia Chamber 28 Crossword 29 Money Matters 30 Goings-On



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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Cell: 559-359-5983

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Kari Acosta

Faith Night at Rawhide!



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he availability of stable and affordable supportive housing continues to be an issue for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness statewide. Tulare County’s focus on creating housing options is progressive and addresses one of the most significant challenges for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. Our focus on supportive housing is one of the biggest and most meaningful things that we can do to support mental wellness. “Individuals inherently focus on meeting their basic needs for survival, such as food and shelter, above all others,” says Christi Lupkes, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency’s division manager for managed care. “Stability in those two areas then allows us to expand our focus to things like health and well-being — thriving rather than simply surviving.” Christopher’s story is an excellent example of this. He shared his story about recovering mental wellness through housing and therapy. “I’m an independent person today because the Transitional Age Youth (TAY) housing program helped me to not feel ashamed about myself as long as I’m growing.” Christopher became at risk for homelessness after he left home at age 16 during a difficult transition between his mother and new stepdad. After he left, he says, he bounced between unstable situations in Exeter, Strathmore and Porterville. He didn’t like the couch-surfing lifestyle, however, and didn’t want to be a burden. Then he entered the men’s shelter in Visalia. As he began to look for a job, he became a part of the See Youth Program through Visalia Unified, and the staff there encouraged him to go to the Kings View One-Stop, where he was diagnosed with severe depression and received counseling. 4


Kings View referred him to the TAY housing program. This unique and strategic housing program, funded by the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act, or Proposition 63, is for young people ages 18-26 who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Youth in the TAY program live within a community setting for two years and attend groups where they learn adult skill sets like budgeting, interviewing for jobs, banking, interpersonal relationships and adopting adult behaviors, as well as options for

higher education. Many youths who have a diagnosed mental illness and are at risk for homelessness do not have a source for learning these lessons. The TAY program is structured, with youths needing to be up by 9 a.m., attending school, keeping their regular therapist appointments, maintaining clean apartments and attending the groups. The end goal is full integration into the community. Christopher says, “I had my own home, which I didn’t have before — and it

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felt good! My confidence was better. I got my driver’s license and my GED, and I started managing my depression and learning about my triggers. Then I was asked to start running groups because people seemed to listen to me.” When Christopher finished the TAY program, Uplift Family Services hired him to be a youth partner for the program. He is now also a member of the Tulare County Mental Health Board. “It’s cool to provide that service to people who desire change in their lives,” he says. “Everybody has issues, some

more than others. If you need medication to get stable, get them. These individuals are going through something that you can't fix with a high-five. There is a lot of hurt and pain, and they can't be fixed in a day. Health-care professionals understand that it takes time. You can’t fix everyone in the same way.” Mental health treatment is not only about medically treating mental illness, but also includes assisting and supporting individuals in achieving personal wellness and recovering what may have been lost as a result of their illness, such as housing and employment.

As Dr. Timothy Durick, director of the Mental Health Branch, says, “Without housing, attending appointments for mental health issues becomes far less of a priority. Housing is the first step in the engagement process and imperative in the recovery from a severe and persistent mental illness.” By the end of 2018, the Tulare County Mental Health Branch will have six supportive housing programs in Visalia, Tulare and Porterville, serving adults and youth like Christopher with serious and persistent mental illness.



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There are two basic types of housing assistance — transitional and permanent. Transitional Housing Sites • Transitional Living Center (TLC): In operation for about 20 years, this is a 53-bed augmented board and care facility, licensed through Community Care Licensing (CCL). It is staffed by case managers 24/7 and hosts a small-scale wellness center. This center serves the most acute adult clients who require 24/7 supervision. • Community Living Center (CLC): This transitional housing program has been in operation for about 30 years. It offers housing for up to 28 individuals and is staffed by a case manager during normal business hours. • Crossroads Housing for Transitional-Aged Youth: With sites in both Visalia and Porterville, this program offers a longer-term supportive housing site for young people ages 18-25. Each site offers housing and case management for up to 10 individuals. This is a contracted program operated by Uplift Family Services. Permanent Supportive Housing Sites These housing sites serve/will serve individuals with severe and persistent mental illness who are sustaining wellness in an independent-living community setting, yet need an affordable housing option. The facilities are rent-controlled at no more than 30 percent of a tenant’s income. All have/will have case management on-site during business hours. • East Tulare Avenue Cottages (ETAC): In operation since 2011, this apartment complex can provide housing for up to 22 individuals. • Permanent Supportive Housing Tulare: This site is under construction and expected to be completed in mid-2018. It will provide housing for up to 20 individuals. • Permanent Supportive Housing Porterville: This site is currently under construction and anticipated to be completed in late 2018. It will provide housing for up to 16 individuals. As in Christopher’s case, referrals to any of the housing programs occur through community partners and clinics. Now with a marriage, a new baby and a steady job, Christopher can look back at the adversity he has overcome and know that he is successful, even at a young age. “People need to focus on what is good about themselves. I’ve used humor to accept and love myself; I don’t put myself second to anyone. I’m a big deal — you’re a big deal, too, but I’m a big deal,” Christopher says with a laugh and an infectious smile. Christopher’s message to the community is this: “If you consider yourself a person who chooses to help your fellow man or woman, then relinquish your ideas about mental health. The TAY housing program helped me not feel ashamed about anything about myself. I can keep growing; I don't have to stop. I took that from the program, and I'm an independent person today because of that.” To others struggling with a mental illness, he says, “Don’t make your mental illness a bigger deal than you are — it isn’t the whole world. Mental illness is only one aspect of your life and it isn’t who you are. If you want to, you can beat it, and there are places to help you do that. You have your whole life, and this is only one issue that you need to deal with every day. You can do that.” 6


If you or someone you know is homeless or at risk of homelessness, and is experiencing mental health challenges, call the Tulare County PATH program at (559) 793-2844, M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, extended hours as needed.

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In-House Processing, Underwriting & Funding WE OFFER: • Purchase & Refinance • FHA • Conventional Investor Loans • FHA 203k • VA • First-Time Home Buyer Programs

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

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'My Dad Rocks' Frame


hen you think of your dad, what word best describes your dad? We think dad rocks! So we chose a fun, creative craft to express that. A rock frame!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: • Craft sticks (16 per craft) • Pebble rocks • Glue • Markers • Paper (we printed our words, but they can be hand-written) • Scissors DIRECTIONS: 1. Count out 16 craft sticks per craft. 2. Using the markers, color the craft sticks on one side and down the edges (unless you have colored craft sticks). 3. Lay out 10 craft sticks, colored side down, side by side. 4. Put glue on three additional craft sticks, place one toward the top, middle and bottom of the 10 craft sticks. 5. Print out your message, cut your note paper to fit your craft stick frame (ours was 4-inch by 4-inch). If you cut your paper first, then write your message on it. 6. Glue your paper onto your craft stick frame. 7. Glue a frame of rocks around the edge of your paper, leaving a craft stick border at the bottom and the top. 8. Make a frame stand: Take two craft sticks and glue them side by side. 9. Before the glue dries up, put glue on one end of a third craft stick and insert it in between the two craft sticks. Angle the third craft stick so that the unglued end sits right below the top most horizontal craft stick on the square frame. 10. Apply glue on the other end of the two craft sticks. And press the square frame to this other end.

Happy Father's Day!

ImagineU Museum’s upcoming events: Summer Camp, June 11-Aug. 3; Family Fun Night, June 22; Lego Robotics, Funky Physics, Night at the Museum, June 29; Kids Art Class, 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 8


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Striving to Help Others

Aime Alarcon, Senior Harmony Magnet Academy, Porterville A teacher by nature since the age of 10 “When I was a little girl, I dreamt of one day being able to coach my own group of youthful swimmers who shared my dream of becoming one of the strongest swimmers in California.” These are the words of Harmony Magnet High School graduate Aime Alarcon. Aime had the opportunity to live out this dream as a city league swim coach during her high school years. While receiving her own accolades in aquatics, Aime focused on using time and patience to teach younger swimmers the techniques that would ultimately improve their skills. “As their coach, it’s a satisfying feeling to witness what they’ve accomplished,” Aime says. “Their personal best times fuel my desire to coach others and not focus only on improving my own skills. With patience and dedication, I feel capable of changing the mindset of another person, and it permits me to grow as an individual and mentor as well.” In the fall, Aime will major in psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she will

continue to turn her dreams into reality. From her days as a 10-year-old helping her mom with language translation to excelling in academics and graduating third in her class, Aime strives to improve not only her own life with education, but the lives of those around her, too.

initiated the Ambassadors to Goodwill Club at Granite Hills High School. This student club helps the homeless in the community. Through Mariela’s leadership and persistence, the club was able to collect donations citywide that provided food and warmth for those less fortunate.

Counselor Paula Roche describes Aime by noting, “Whether she is achieving high grades, being part of a team, or working and volunteering countless hours serving her school and community, Aime is an inspiring role model to others.”

Out of the many activities this club led, Mariela felt that the Holiday Hot Meals project provided a defining awareness of a community issue and established some clear goals for her future. “I witnessed first-hand a crisis in our community. While there are many homeless people in the area that may go several days without having a meal, very few people actually take action to help. I hope to continue this project for several years to come – no matter what city I am in – because homelessness and hunger is an epidemic throughout America.”

Aime has plans to pursue a career in education to the doctorate level, acquiring the expertise and knowledge needed to be most effective in the teaching arena and lead our schools to greatness.

Mariela Rivas Ayon, Senior Granite Hills High School, Porterville Helping others comes naturally for Mariela Mariela recognized a need and did more than just volunteer. She developed a plan and inspired others to take a larger role in serving others as well. Last year, Mariela – on her own –

Teacher Dan Williams confirms, “Mariela has to be one of the most selfless young ladies I have ever been around. You do not encounter those qualities enough in young people these days. She is not afraid of hard work and sacrifices to accomplish a task at hand. There have been many times I wished that we could clone her because she is a great example of what every parent would want from their child. Her field of study will benefit countless people and many will be lucky that they have come into contact with her.” Throughout high school, Mariela has volunteered numerous hours in the nursing field. In the fall, she will continue her caring character and pursue a degree in nursing at California State University, Fresno. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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VIRTUAL VALLEY Fighting for the Right to Repair 'Warranty Void if Sticker Removed'

“Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services,” said Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.



Smartphone designers argue that consumers want lighter, smaller phones with batteries that last a day or more. To cram a battery into these phones, the batteries are non-standard shapes. Making standardized batteries with connectors and clamps adds several millimeters to a phone, as the phone and battery have two layers of plastic between them. Computer companies offer the same explanation for offering fewer models with swappable batteries.

!!! !!!

icker R

Apple and Samsung both mismanaged the public relations around smartphone failures. Apple failed to disclose that iPhones slow down as

Knowing that the best batteries widely available have an optimal life expectancy of three years, technology companies hope that consumers replace battery-powered items before the hardware fails. The solution is obvious to many consumer advocates: Offer replaceable batteries again.


Seventeen state legislatures are now considering extending the right to repair. California is not among these states, likely because Apple, Google and other technology firms oppose these laws.

Although batteries have improved a great deal, with leaps from nickelcadmium (NiCad) to nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and later to lithium-ion cells, NiCad batteries had to be discharged or they would not accept a full charge again. NiMH batteries have a tendency to expand and overheat, but they last longer and are more reliable than their predecessors. Today, the polymer versions of lithium-ion batteries allow companies to fit batteries into the cases of phones, tablets and computers. Lithium-ion is thinner, lasts longer and survives more recharge cycles. Yet, all batteries eventually die.


A company might entice you with free maintenance or repairs, as some vehicle leases do, but they cannot mandate that you use a specific service.

Our first cellphones were Nokia 6000-series models. The phone charger held the phone and one spare battery, allowing us to keep spares charged for emergencies. The batteries were under $50 and lasted about a year.

Because people now use phones in all weather conditions, manufacturers claim that water-resistance is a necessary feature. Removable batteries are less water-resistant, even with a rubber seal. Would people trade a few millimeters for upgradable phones? I believe that some would, but the device manufacturers know the sales trends better than I do. I understand the battery debate, as much as I wish we could have it all: Thin, light, durable and replaceable. Such technologies will emerge, especially with increased awareness of the environmental costs of disposable hardware. However, I do not understand computers or gaming systems that don’t allow easy access to memory slots or storage. I’ve upgraded the memory in every MacBook and PowerBook that we’ve owned. I’ve also replaced the hard drives with solid-state drives. However, the top-tier computers from many vendors increasingly restrict user or third-party technician upgrades. Upgrading memory should be quick and easy, via an access door on a laptop computer. Memory upgrades should not require removing 15 specialized tiny screws to access slots. It isn’t only laptops, either. All-in-one computers from several vendors make upgrades difficult. Apple’s iMac line features access to memory, unless you buy the iMac Pro – the machine a user is most likely to want to upgrade. Apple and Acer argue that you can expand a laptop or all-in-one computer Void if using Thunderbolt y ports and external devices. With chassis WARNING expansions, you can add external graphics adapters, expansion cards,


You might have the right to repair your own equipment or to pay a qualified repair technician. This concept is called the “right to repair.” Just as you do not have to take a car to a manufacturerowned or franchised dealer for new tires or an oil change, you should not have to take a cellphone, gaming console or computer to a specific site for repairs or upgrades.

batteries age. Samsung tried to blame a series of fires on phone owners, not faulty batteries. In both cases, built-in, difficult-to-replace batteries presented problems for consumers.



ot exactly. In some instances, such warnings might even be illegal. On April 10, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission released copies of letters sent by the FTC to six companies. The companies included auto manufacturers, cellphone retailers, gaming console makers and computer companies. The FTC press release stated that warranty stickers and warnings in consumer manuals “generally are prohibited by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that governs consumer product warranties. Similarly, such statements may be deceptive under the FTC Act.”

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storage and other features. But to use those devices, the laptop isn’t portable anymore. I’m not asking for upgrades to every bit of hardware within a device. I understand that is unfeasible. What I expect is that computing systems be designed with memory and storage upgrades in mind. Gaming system vendors make upgrading memory and storage at least as difficult as Apple does, although today’s game systems are basically home computers optimized for graphics. You need a putty knife and specialized screwdrivers to update some of the newest consoles. If you open the console, you supposedly void the warranty.

Why can’t game consoles have simple slide-off cases that reveal components for easy repairs and upgrades? Consoles don’t need to be light, and they certainly don’t need to be waterproof. There’s no excuse for current designs. With the FTC and a large number of states now telling companies that they need to allow third-party repairs and some user upgrades, I’m hoping that the hardware companies change their design philosophies. The most likely path to changing company designs is for California voters to demand that the state join others and adopt a right-to-repair law. If the state leaders won’t do this, then voters might need to consider the initiative process.

My wife and I are able to use computers for five or six years only because I can upgrade the memory and replace drives when necessary. When you buy something, you should have the right to keep it functioning for as long as possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Visalia native Scott Wyatt recently 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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Homemade Refried Beans Have "Uncanny" Flavor


e know that refried beans – frijoles refritos in Spanish – are a staple in Mexican cuisine. The name translates to “wellfried” or “well-cooked”; after the dry beans are soaked in liquid until they are soft, they’re mashed as they fry in a hot pan with a dollop of lard. Of course, they are tasty when prepared this way, but you can also make your own version that (in my humble opinion) tastes even better. This recipe is so easy and flavorful, you won’t want to buy canned refried beans again! Pinto beans are low in fat and contain dietary fiber, protein, iron and plant chemicals that help protect from disease, so refried beans – especially without the lard – are actually a pretty healthy partner to tacos, quesadillas, burritos, nachos and more. When you make your own, you control the amount of salt and fat in the dish, and you can add more of your favorite flavors – think fresh chile peppers and powders, black pepper, cumin and oregano. Freshly chopped cilantro, chives and Cotija cheese are great garnishes that add zip and make a pretty presentation too. ¡Buen Provecho! (eat and enjoy!)

INGREDIENTS 2 cans pinto beans in low-sodium liquid* 1/4 cup red onion, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil blend Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Cotija cheese, crumbled or grated 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped Optional add-ins: chile powders, crushed red chile flakes, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped roasted chiles, ground cumin, crushed dried oregano

DIRECTIONS Heat a large (preferably) cast-iron skillet and add the oil. When it starts to smoke, add the onion and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and stir quickly for 15-30 seconds – do not burn (lower the heat if you need to). Pour in both cans of beans, with their liquid. (It will bubble up right away.) Heat the beans through, stirring. Use a potato masher to mash the beans as they continue to cook. When they are all mashed, keep cooking, stirring constantly as the liquid

evaporates, until you have the consistency you want. Add a little salt and pepper, and any other spices/add-ins that you’d like. Taste the beans and add additional salt, pepper and seasonings if needed. Serve the beans in a big bowl or on individual plates, topped with the cheese, cilantro and chives. *Note: The liquid in canned beans is generally salty, so look for the lowsodium option and add salt sparingly, tasting as you go. Remember that the peppers and other spices can add lots of flavor, allowing you to use less salt.

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


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Ask a Physical Therapist to ‘Screen’ Your Movements This Spring


et’s talk about the last time you – or someone close to you – interviewed for a new job. Chances are that the first step was a phone screen with your potential employer and, when you passed that portion of the process with flying colors, you were then invited for an in-person interview. At that stage, the employer probably asked you to answer a series of questions and demonstrate your skills through a test or two. The process is set up in a way that narrows the options until the most suitable candidate is found. Makes sense, right? Just as job recruiters screen applicants to find the best fit for an open position, your PT will ask you to perform a series of exercises so that he or she can observe and understand your body mechanics to uncover any issues or limitations. Used in combination with a full evaluation and assessment, these so-called movement screens are just

one tool in identifying the most appropriate treatment or prevention program for you. But unlike that test you may have taken during a job interview, the screen is not testing your skills or abilities; it’s simply a way of identifying how your body functions during a variety of movements. Now that spring is in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year to make an appointment with your physical therapist for a movement screen. The warmer weather means more time spent outdoors participating in sports and other recreational activities that may be physically demanding. A PT checkup that includes a movement screen will ensure that you’re physically able to engage in popular spring and summer adventures, whether it’s exploring in the woods, tending to your garden or swimming at your family’s lake house. Physical therapists perform movement screens for a variety of

reasons, including to : • Identify areas of strength and weakness. • Uncover issues or rule them out. • Determine readiness to begin a safe exercise program. • Improve sport performance (for both novice and elite athletes). A movement screen is something that you can have done whether you have a nagging injury or are simply ready to kick-start your activity level after a long hiatus. Gaining an understanding of how your body performs during basic exercises such as squats and lunges helps your PT ensure that you can safely jump on a bike or into a pool this summer. And just like an employer screens candidates to identify the one individual who is likely to thrive on the job for many years to come, a movement screen can help you develop a lasting and fulfilling relationship with the activities you enjoy most.

I can compete

AGAIN! During my senior year volleyball season I was injured during one of our games. I was diagnosed with a severely sprained ankle and referred to PRO-PT. I’ve never seen so many people work so hard to get me back on the court. After 2 ½ weeks I was back on the court better than ever. - Karlie Pennington

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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Summer Plans


ummer is upon us, and many students are trying to think about what they can do to strengthen their college applications. The fact is, there are lots of things students can do besides relaxing and having some fun that they all look forward to. Let’s talk about how to plan your summer activities so you can have fun and still enhance your college applications. First of all, decide what activities you have been involved in so far and see if you can find a way to take them to a deeper level. For example, if you are a high school swimmer, get a job as

a lifeguard or teach swim lessons out of your home. If you are a dancer, teach dance lessons or get involved in a community performing project. The Tulare County Office of Education, Enchanted Playhouse or Encore Theater in Tulare have programs for students. Colleges like to see depth of involvement in your activities, rather than how many activities you can list on your application. Next, think about opportunities that will allow you to be a leader. If you are involved in your church, organize a fundraiser for a good cause – one that you believe in. Maybe you could

sponsor a younger student for church camp. Or perhaps if you are a singer, you could organize a group of friends and put together a little show and go to assisted-living homes and entertain the residents. Find a local project that you and some friends would enjoy doing together and commit some time to it over the summer. How about having a yard sale after you gather items from your neighborhoods. Decide together what you might like to do with the money you earn. Try to find something to do that you are passionate about (a hobby or favorite activity) and that can impact others in a positive way. A quick note of caution: Colleges like sustainability; that is, they like to see students who stick to an activity for the entire time they are in high school, so if you are going to start something new, be sure that it is relevant to something you are already doing (i.e., if you start a photography business, be sure that you have been involved in photography before). There are plenty of other things to do in the summer. Here are some ideas: • Take a college class that interests you or will free up your schedule next year. • Take an online class for fun. has lots of short interesting courses to offer. • Get a job, internship or volunteer or job shadow. Be sure that it is in something you are interested in either as a hobby, for fun or as a future career. • Travel. • Start a business. • Don’t forget to make some college visits. • Oh, and one of the most important things you can do if you are in high school is to study for the SAT or ACT. This one breaks the rules on fun! Have fun over the summer, but also be productive in a positive way.



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Proper Use of 911


he Visalia Police Department’s Communications Unit proudly serves the city of Visalia with the highest degree of professionalism. The unit is currently housed at the Visalia Emergency Communications Center (VECC), located at 420 N. Burke St., and is responsible for the receipt, disposition and documentation of telephone/radio calls in both routine and emergency matters for the police and fire departments. The unit is also responsible for handling all 911 and animal control calls generated within the city of Visalia. Additionally, technological advances over the next year will allow the center to receive text messages to 911, which will enhance the public’s ability to request emergency assistance and our ability to meet that need. The Communications Unit consists of one communications supervisor, 27 full-time communications operators and one hourly call taker who answer and process seven emergency 911 lines, 15 non-emergency lines and several radio frequencies. The unit operates 24 hours each day, 365 days a year.

threat to life, health or property. Examples of when to dial 911 include reporting any emergency situation that requires a police officer at the scene (e.g., assaults, traffic accidents, etc.); summoning an ambulance for medical assistance; reporting fire, smoke or a fire alarm; reporting a crime in progress, and/or reporting suspicious or criminal activity (shouts for help, glass breaking, suspicious person making entry into property, etc.). When connected with a 911 communications operator, callers are asked to stay calm and answer as many questions as possible. Depending on your situation, questions such as what is your location, is anyone injured, were any weapons seen, can you provide a description, etc., will be asked. These questions do not slow the response of emergency personnel, and provide relevant information that is added to your request for service and are passed on to responding emergency personnel. Many 911 calls received are accidental, especially from cell phones. If this happens, DO NOT hang up. Communications operators are required to call back every 911 “hang-up” that is

received to determine if, in fact, there is an emergency. If no one answers and there is an address associated with the telephone number, a police officer must be sent to determine if there is an emergency at that location. Also, it is important to know that when dialing 911 from your cell phone, no address information is automatically provided to the communications operator so be sure to provide your location when dialing 911 from your cell phone. For informational requests such as asking for information regarding the status of a report or investigation, requesting to speak with an officer, inquiring on the arrest of an individual, etc., please contact the Visalia Police Department’s non-emergency telephone number, (559) 734-8116, and your call will be routed appropriately. Using the non-emergency line for these types of inquiries ensures that 911 lines are available for true emergencies and allows our operators and first responders to respond as efficiently as possible. As always, the Visalia Police Department is proud to serve this great community. Thank you and stay safe!

In 2017, the unit handled 153,701 calls for service. Of those, 130,931 were police calls for service, 15,650 were fire calls for service and 7,120 were animal control-related calls. Additionally, a total of 79,652 911 calls were also received. With an average of 218 emergency calls per day (421 total calls per day), there’s no doubt that our communications operators are busy, so the proper use of 911 is essential, yet many still question when to dial 911 or they utilize 911 improperly for informational requests (status of people under arrest, impounded vehicle questions, ordinance or law questions, and/or request to speak with a specific officer). For the purpose of utilizing 911, an emergency is defined as an immediate DIRECT MAGAZINE


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Graduation Matters


ommencement week is my favorite time of year. When I was a high school principal, the three best days of the year were the first day of school, homecoming and graduation – for different reasons – but my favorite was always graduation night. High school graduation is a rite of passage. It is a time when we mark the end of compulsory public education, and it is a time when a community traditionally marks the transition from student to adult. Few things in our lives have as lengthy a buildup as graduation. For 13 or more years, from kindergarten through 12th grade, students come to school for 180 days a year to engage in learning the curriculum established by the state and our Board of Trustees. The only parallel to the scale of this process is raising a child or perhaps engaging in a career. As school people, our work has a cycle to it. We start in the fall and end in the spring. We do our work with kids and then at the end of the year, we hand them gently over to the folks in the next grade so that they can do their work. School has many patterns of beginning and ending that are familiar and affirming. And that pattern is reflected in the beginning and ending of a student’s public school career: Parents escort their child, lunchbox in hand and oversized backpack strapped in place, to his or her classroom on the first day of kindergarten and, in what seems like just a few blinks later, parents see their child walk across the field or stage in a cap and gown to shake the hand of the person who hands him or her a diploma. Every school has a unique culture, and this is particularly true at a high school. Graduation is the ultimate reflection of the traditions of a school. The color of the graduation regalia, the way students march into the stadium, 16


how staff members honor students, the sequence of events, and type of music and speakers all mirror things that the school values and has established over time. Commencement is a time when our community comes together to recognize the transition of students

from the world of youth and school into the world of adults and opportunities. We are proud of the work that we do with and for the kids we serve, and if you saw one of our nearly 2,000 seniors graduate this year, I know that you were proud of the achievement of that young adult.

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Tulare County’s Newest Libraries


ince Darla Wegner, county librarian, joined the library in 2015, she worked with her staff, community members and local organizations to open three new branch libraries in Tulare County. London opened in 2016, Farmersville in 2017 and Pixley on May 12, 2018. The communities greatly appreciate Tulare County Library’s efforts, bringing free access of information and increasing the opportunity for literacy, recreation, self-improvement and education. So how did it all come together? The fruition of the London Library came through the inspiration of Rob Isquierdo Jr., an English teacher who grew up in London. Isquierdo, working with the Tulare County Library Foundation, raised more than $40,000

over three years for the “London for Library Project.” Because of these donations, the library was able to provide new furniture and computers for the 1,400-square-foot building to serve the population of more than 2,000 with a collection of more than 2,200 items. The Farmersville Branch Library, located in the Farmersville Community Center, serves a community of nearly 12,000 people. The city of Farmersville acquired three years of CDBG grant funding for staff so the Tulare County Library could return to the community after a 22-year absence. Lea Conmigo, a local literacy group, and Read for Life assisted in helping the library get a generous grant from the Ann B. Riemers Foundation to provide the


for the month of June.










1,500-square-foot branch with a collection of more than 2,700 items, computers and some furniture. The newest branch in Pixley will be the hub of the southwest part of Tulare County. The branch was moved from Pixley Elementary School, where it was a joint-use facility with the Pixley Union School District. The Pixley Foundation acquired space to place a modular building next to the CSET Community Center at 927 Center St. The library, working with the Pixley Foundation, Tulare County Library Foundation and state, will now provide public computers, internet, Wi-Fi and a literacy center in the 2,800-square-foot building. Other features include a teen space, toddler area, meeting room and computer lab.



Enlarged to show texture.


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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Persistence Pays Off How are you advancing your education, and how will your degree help you in your chosen career field? My current goal is to obtain my bachelor of arts degree. I'm seeking a promotion within the County Counsel’s office, where I can expand my paralegal skills for the Risk Management Division. I’ve topped out in pay since 2012, and the only way to promote up and make more money is to earn a bachelor’s degree. What is competency-based education, and why did you make the decision to advance your education using it?

My name is Stephanie Fernandes. While pursuing my associate of arts degree at College of the Sequoias from 1995 to 1998, my 2 1/2-year-old son was in a near-drowning accident. He was found in full arrest and taken to Kaweah Delta Hospital. He passed in August 1997. In 1998, I graduated and worked as a paralegal for a collection agency, where I remained until 2005, when I became a paralegal for the County of Tulare. In 2000, I went through a divorce and was raising two young children on my own. I've worked secondary part-time jobs since 2002 to make ends meet. I enrolled at Brandman University in the competency-based education program called Brandman MyPath in October 2016. In December 2016, I underwent a cervical neck fusion. After a few months of recovery, I was able to continue my online education. I've continued to balance college, work and family despite facing personal challenges. I remain employed by Tulare County Counsel as a Paralegal III-K with the Labor and Employment Team. I'm also employed part-time by Ross Stores to make ends meet. 18


I’ve always wanted to go back to school. I can tell I’m more focused and committed to doing well because I have a clear goal in mind. It was a choice to go back, not an expectation. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree has always felt like unfinished business. This program has provided me the opportunity and also the flexibility to work, raise my kids and obtain a degree. I have several strengths getting me through the program. I’m positive, motivated and determined to complete the degree program. I know I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and will ultimately be able to provide better opportunities for me in the workplace. The flexibility of creating my own schedule was also a factor that led me to pursue my education not only online, but through a competency-based education program. I would not have been able to attend a traditional classroom during late-night hours or at my leisure on weekends. I’ve also enjoyed being a nontraditional/online student. It was a big step, but I found even after being out of school for several years, I was still capable of being productive. I’ve found that the accessibility to instructors and online resources has been very helpful. What do you like best about it? Learning is at my pace and on my

schedule. The more I know, the faster it goes. I’m working at an accelerated pace and that works for me. I communicate regularly with my academic coach and together we plan, set goals and have made this a positive experience. What are the challenges? I’m a hands-on learner. For an online program, my weaknesses included limitations for hands-on learning. There are also times my environment is disruptive when I’m trying to study. How does CBE integrate with your work schedule and family life? I have the flexibility to make it integrate. I can do it at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. if I want to. I’m up late anyway, especially nights I work my second job; there’s no way I can step foot in a classroom at 9 p.m. or weekends. For people like myself who need that flexibility, this is a fantastic option. You need to be disciplined and keep to schedules to be successful. Please share anything you feel is relevant. Brandman MyPath has provided me with an opportunity to do something that for years I thought was impossible because of time or finances. I’ve been able to qualify for scholarships, and I’m making this opportunity happen for myself. The classes make the connections between what you’re learning and what you’re doing at work. Not necessarily enhancing what I’m doing, but the light is clicking on, “Ohhh, now I get it,” helping me understand things better, especially when it comes to some of the organizational leadership and management courses. I’m still lower on the totem pole so I don’t always see management’s perspective, but I’m learning more about that now. An online CBE education isn’t for everyone, but if you’re disciplined and self-motivated, you may find it a benefit to achieve your education goals.

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You Want to Engage

article in Relevant Magazine. “In 1999, fewer than 17,000 Americans died from a drug overdose.” Last year? More than 66,000. For context, that’s about double the total number of car accident deaths in 2016.


Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a Christian and co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative in Massachusetts, believes that “because addiction reaches so deeply into communities … churches must also play a major role.” What role? Outreach. “You’re engaging the community in ways that sitting in church once a week can’t possibly do.”

arlier this spring, the annual “Serve Visalia” event took place, where “churches join together on a Sunday morning to worship God through serving our city.” Before making the trek to St. John’s River, we huddled together on the side of the road with our group of volunteers from various Visalia churches. We prayed for the homeless men and women that we would meet. “Remember,” I said, “you are meeting someone’s mother or father — someone’s brother or sister, a daughter, a son.” In 2008, David Sheff released what would become a best-selling memoir — “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction.” Sheff beautifully (and tragically) captures how addiction and its destructive lifestyle affects not only the addict, but those around them. He accomplishes this by vulnerably telling the story of his son, Nic, and his severe drug and alcohol addiction. Every relapse is a debilitating blow to their hope for their beautiful boy: “I am in a silent war against an enemy as pernicious and omnipresent as evil. Evil? I don’t believe in evil any more that I believe in God. But at the same time I know this; only Satan himself could have designed a disease that has self-deception as a symptom, so that its victims deny they are afflicted, and will not seek treatment, and will vilify those on the outside who see what’s happening.” There are so many parents like David and children like Nic — right here in our own community — and throughout the country. “Overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50,” according to a recent

Even as an atheist, Sheff experienced a very primal need for salvation — both for himself and his son: “Perhaps I cannot pray because I never have, I do not know how, and I cannot conceive of a god to pray to. Here I am with Nic using again and I know there is nothing I can do and I cannot believe that we are here again and that the next telephone call could be the one I

Driving the ministry of Visalia Rescue Mission, while providing the community with reliable transportation at a great price.

have feared for the past half-dozen years, and I am praying. Please God heal Nic. Please God heal Nic. Please God heal Nic. It’s my plea to whatever higher power there is, the one they — they in the endless rehabs, the endless meetings — the one they promise is out there listening. I repeat it inside my head sometimes even without knowing I am saying it: Please God heal Nic.” It’s a similar silent prayer our Serve Visalia group makes while we introduce ourselves to the homeless on the river — many live in tents, some under rudimentary shelters. I recognize some; others I know by name and reputation for remaining “service resistant” — men and women who know they qualify for resources and refuse to accept them. “If you’re financially or in some way contributing to that person being allowed to live that lifestyle,” Kolodny says, “you need to stop …. You make sure you constantly communicate how much you love them; how much you’re praying for them; how much you want to see them succeed.” Sheff agrees: “I would not in any way help someone using drugs to do anything other than return to rehab. I would not pay their rent, would not bail them out of jail unless they went directly into rehab … would not pay their debts and would never give them money.” While addiction recovery is a radical roller coaster, “recovery is about progress,” Sheff writes, “not perfection … to live with addiction involves living with uncertainty.”

Raol donated his 1991 Honda! Thank you for supporting life change!


Contact Ryan Stillwater by e-mail:

For those of us who don’t “live with addiction” the way Sheff does, remember, those who are living with it are someone’s loved one — and you may be (and probably want to be) the very catalyst toward the health and wholeness they desperately need. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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Volunteering at Valley Oak SPCA


olunteering your time and energy with animals isn’t just good for them; it’s actually good for your health, too! Valley Oak SPCA is looking for volunteers. What better way to warm your heart and soul than to sit and read with a homeless cat or dog on your lap, play fetch or walk with a pooch that is waiting to be adopted, or cuddle with an orphaned puppy or kitten. Right now is the perfect time to start your family on a life-changing path. There is a long list of human health benefits associated with spending time with animals; stress reduction, anxiety relief, immunity improvement and help with pain management are just a few. The list of benefits for the animals you are spending time with is even longer. A study by animal research consultant Dr. Nadine Gourkow and Clive J.C. Phillips, a professor of animal welfare at the University of Queensland, found that cats who had four 10-minute sessions of playing, petting and grooming time developed upper

respiratory disorders at lower rates and were more content than cats who didn’t interact with people. Volunteering looks great on a résumé. Participating in our rescue’s activities and events is the perfect confidence builder and lays the stepping stones for our children to become compassionate adults. There are endless networking possibilities and you gain a sense of social responsibility by contributing to your community. It’s no secret that volunteerism is good for you and your community; you might be surprised by how much you can offer. Here's how to help: 1. Adopt: Valley Oak SPCA is a no-kill rescue. We want to get as many pets as possible immediately adopted into their perfect forever homes. Please visit our adoption center (blue building behind Lampe Dodge & Visalia BMW), 9800 Camp Drive, Visalia, noon-5 p.m. Thursday-Monday, valleyoakspca

2. Foster: We provide the food and medical care; you provide the loving home. Information/application: 3. Volunteer: We always need help with dog walking, kennel cleaning, adoption events, etc. All volunteer/ foster orientations will be held at our adoption center the last Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. Information/ application: 4. Donate: We are a donor-based nonprofit, so we depend on the generosity of donors for day-to-day operations. 5. Participate in our fundraising activities. We always have something fun to join.


Meet Mama:

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 20


This super adorable and sweet girl is looking for a place to call her forever home. She was brought to Valley Oak SPCA pregnant and gave birth to five pups and now she's ready for the next journey in her life. Could that be with you? Adopt sweet Mama! If interested, contact Valley Oak SPCA at (559) 651-1111.

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Experts Choose Best Books for Babies


ew parents know that it's beneficial to read to their babies, but often have no idea which books to pick. Although reading in general is invaluable, cuddle time, looking at pictures and the rhythm of words being the most important benefits, experts love to make lists. Here are the Best Books for Babies 2018, a joint effort from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Fred Rogers Co. and Trying Together: “100 First Words” by Dawn Sirett, published by DK Publishing, is a mix of colorful photos and illustrations with names of body parts, clothes, toys, pets and more. “El Autobus” by Chris Demarest, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, offers stylized illustrations in primary colors and simple urban phrases in Spanish and English. “Black White” by Tana Hoban, published by Greenwillow Books, showcases wordless everyday objects in crisp black-and-white silhouettes – perfect for newborns. “Cat Nap” by Toni Yuly, published by Feiwel & Friends, features sly humor and a playful kitten's interactions with a tired but tolerant older cat. “Getting Ready,” from Child's Play International, provides varying textures and bright colors to identify familiar objects, a perfect springboard for conversation. “Littles: And How They Grow” by Kelly DiPucchio, published by Doubleday, is full of bouncy rhyming text and fun pictures that show the ways babies are loved, fed and cared for by all kinds of families. “Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions” by Molly Magnuson, published by Abrams Appleseed, offers engaging photos of expressive babies and text so that listeners can identify individual emotions and try to mimic them in a mirror on the last page.

“Mouse Is Small” by Mary Murphy, published by Candlewick Press, is a smart first narrative for babies with shaped pages, simply drawn animals and changing background colors. “Peek-a-Boo Zoo!” by Jane Cabrera, published by Little Bee Books, gets exotic when a ring-tailed lemur plays peekaboo with other animals. Die-cuts and patterns enhance backgrounds. “Up!: How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones” by Susan Hughes, published by Owlkids Books, has cut paper collage illustrations that give a three-dimensional feel and show babies being carried in a variety of countries by parents, siblings and other relatives. Books on earlier Best Books for Babies lists can be found on the Carnegie Library website. Other brand-new titles that make fun gifts include: “Baby's First Cloth Book: Farm and Park,” illustrated by Lisa Jones and Edward Underwood, and published by Nosy Crow. It has soft, tactile pages and bold images. “Where's the Dog?” and “Where's the Zebra?,” both illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius and published by Nosy Crow. They feature felt flaps so that tots can find hiding animals, and there's a mirror on the back page accompanied by the lines “Where are you? There you are!” I also love Lucy Cousins' extremely colorful new Little Fish board books published by Candlewick, “Count With Little Fish” and “Where Is Little Fish?,” the latter of which has flaps for locating the orange polka-dotted baby. “Pop-Up Ocean” and “Pop-Up Things That Go!” by Arrhenius offer simple, colorful, retro pop-ups in small book format, while Templar Books' “I Thought I Saw a Dinosaur!” and “I Thought I Saw a Lion,” both illustrated by Lydia Nicols, include a sliding tab for playing “slide-andseek!” as babies get older. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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Leadership Lessons For Life


remember the first time I had my “Mr. Higgins” moment. I was 16 and attending a Tuesday night Boy Scout meeting. I had been in the troop for a few years, but never had a title that required me to lead the troop. This meeting was different. Mr. Higgins, our assistant scoutmaster, pulled me over to the side and said, “Allen, you have influence with all the boys in this troop; it’s time for you to take the mantle of responsibility and become the senior patrol leader. Allen, you’re in charge.” That was the moment. I was shocked. The senior patrol leader was the guy who led the whole troop. For us, that was around 25 boys. The next week, Mr. Higgins made the announcement and I ran the meeting as the senior patrol leader of Troop 354. I didn’t realize it that day, but that moment I had with Mr. Higgins was



telling me that I was already leading people … I just didn’t have a title. The title merely validated what I was already doing. Since that day, I have been enamored with leadership development. I have been to conferences, retreats, read more than 100 books on leadership, and I even have a degree with the word “leadership” on my diploma! Through all the years of learning how to be the best version of me that I can be, I can honestly say that I have never been to something as well put together and immersive on leadership than the Global Leadership Summit. The Global Leadership Summit unites more than 450,000 people from around the globe every year. Regular people, you might call them, since some are moms, dads and co-workers who have part-time jobs just trying to make ends meet. Of

course, there are the other people, just as regular as the list before, that we think of when we see the word leadership, such as CEOs, managers, executives and entrepreneurs. But not every person who leads another person has to be categorized in a list like that. To be honest, if you’ve made it this far through this article … you’re a leader. Maybe you’re just like me, a person who simply wants to get better. Whoever you are and whatever you believe, I think YOU would make this two-day event immeasurably better. I’m a part of the team that will be hosting the conference simulcast at Visalia First Assembly of God right here in Visalia, and we would love to have you. The dates are Aug. 9 and 10. Who knows what can happen? You might just have your “Mr. Higgins” moment too.

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See Us for Your Sports Physical Today and be Ready for Sport’s Season! No Appontment Necessary. WALK-IN CLINIC OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK UNTIL 7PM WEEKDAYS

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

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

Your Primary Care Practice



Photo by Ken Weisenberger



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Plant Pumpkin Seeds Now!


hen we hear the word “pumpkin,” we think of Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkin pies. Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans roasted pumpkin strips over campfires, using them as a food source. They also ate pumpkin seeds, used the flowers in stews and made flour out of dried pumpkin. When the Pilgrims came to America, the Indians introduced them to pumpkins, which became a food staple for them. By the late 1800s, every fall, there were harvest celebrations in America. Eventually, Halloween became a symbol of America. Pumpkins take a long time to grow from a seed into a beautiful pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds need hot climates to grow and mature, so May and June are the perfect months to plant the seeds for October harvest. So, let’s get started now! There are many varieties of pumpkin seeds, but here are a few of our favorites: Jack-Be-Little pumpkins are 3 inches by 2 inches at harvest. Vines are shorter than other varieties, only 10-15 feet long. Maturity, or harvest, usually occurs in about 95 days. Yield is six to 12 mini pumpkins per plant. Small Sugar pumpkins are 5 to 8 pounds each, with longer vines. Harvest usually occurs at 105 days. Yield is one to two pumpkins per plant. Jack O’Lantern pumpkins are quite large at 18 to 24 pounds each, which is a perfect carving size. Harvest usually occurs in about 110 days. Plan on one to two pumpkins per plant.

Where should you plant your pumpkin seeds? Most pumpkin plants need an incredible amount of space for their vines to grow. A suggested growing area is 20 square feet per plant. Also, pumpkin vines can be twined alongside a fence or driveway, across the back of a flower bed and even twined around the outside of a basketball court (watch out for the balls!). You will be able to gently guide the vines any way you would like! How do you plant pumpkin seeds? 1. Plant seeds directly into native soil. Depending upon your soil type, you could mix compost or soil amendment with fertilizer (16-16-16). If you are short on ground space, plant them in a 5- to 10-gallon container with drainage holes and the same soil mixture. 2. Make a mound on top of the soil. In this mound, plant three seeds 1 inch deep and 1 inch apart. This way, usually one of the three seeds will germinate. If all three germinate, choose the healthiest and strongestlooking seedling. Gently pull out the others. This way, you will have one sturdy pumpkin plant.

3. If planting several mounds, be sure to space them 3 to 4 feet apart. 4. Watering daily will help your young seedling get a good start. As plant vines begin to cover the soil surface, switch to deep watering every five to seven days, letting the soil surface dry near the plant base between waterings. 5. Fertilize monthly with 1 tablespoon of recommended vegetable fertilizer gently raked into the soil. If growing pumpkins in a container, follow package directions to dilute fertilizer in water. 6. Bees will visit the pumpkin flowers, moving the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers. After this process, you should see tiny pumpkins forming. Now the hard part comes: The waiting! Children could make a chart with weekly growth. A calendar could also be used to chart the growth and cross off the days. Finally, you can have your own harvest celebration!

Happy gardening!

Find more information on the Master Gardener website, 24


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Auto Service at it’s


Lexus - Subaru Owners - No need to drive to Fresno We can service and repair your vehicles here at home! 2044 E. Main St., Visalia 559.734.2886

My Opinion on Cars to Buy Let’s face it, things wear out and, sooner or later, you will have to face repairs or service. Keeping that in the back of your mind, there are ones that will cost more to maintain and repair. BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Land Rover are the top. Now, these are great driving vehicles, but at some point, you will pay extra to keep these jewels. If you want vehicles that may be not quite as “cool,” then stick with Lexus, Honda, Toyota and Subaru. On the U.S. models, then your mainstream tend to be reliable and cost to maintain will be in line with the Asian models. But if you are bent on going European, then I would choose Mercedes or Volvo. TIP – New cars have variable timing control. It is vital that you keep the oil clean. I do not recommend 10,000-mile oil changes, no matter what the manufacturer suggests. We have seen the results of such by expensive repairs. Our grandson will celebrate his seventh birthday June 27 ... continue to pray for clean MRI, as well as my niece, Gina.

Jim and Staff Follow this link to learn about the basics of your car.


Control Your Grill Via 651-3388 Smart Phone 6837 W Pershing Custom Programmable (Shirk & Pershing) Cooking Instructions Monitor Food Temp M-F 7-5 Sat 9-1|



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 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. 1. Congratulations to Mason McDuffie Mortgage Corp. on its grand opening and ribbon-cutting. Mason McDuffie specializes in mortgage lending at 1116 Leland Ave., Tulare. If you’d like to learn more about the company and how it can help you, call Tulare loan officers Ryan Miller at (559) 862-4619 or Dianne Pinheiro at (559) 786-5138. 2. We celebrated the completion of Sweet Nectar Society’s beautiful office and studio. The nonprofit’s mission, through photography and community outreach programs, is to provide comfort and love to families of children who are affected by serious illness, disability or injury. Congratulations to Brittany Wilbur and her team for hosting a very successful grand opening and ribboncutting. To learn how you can help or to nominate a child for a complimentary photography session, visit www. call (559) 408-5349. 3. Congratulations to the B2 Outlet Stores team for successfully opening the first store in California. The stores are the retail division of Bid-2-Benefit-Youth, a Michigan-based company dedicated to building better communities by empowering youth and young adults as tomorrow's leaders. The store sells new, name-brand clothing and items at discounted prices, and a portion of the proceeds from each sale are reinvested into local youth programs and community initiatives. To shop this great new store, visit them in the Tulare Outlets or go to 4. Hats off to the Roche family for opening their store, Roche Mobil Mart and Deli, 20 years ago at the corner of Paige Avenue and Blackstone Street. The Roches are longtime Tulare business people; they have had Roche Oil for 55 years. The family thanked their customers and long-term special employees during the anniversary celebration. 5. Thank you to NSE Insurance Agencies Inc. for hosting the May Business After Hours Networking Mixer. NSE is an independent agency established in 1912 and offers a full range of insurance services to individuals and business owners in Tulare, Kings and Kern counties. There is a Tulare office as well as one in Exeter. Visit for information on the company or call (559) 688- 5888. Chamber Business After-Hours events are held the second Thursday of each month. Details can be found at or like us on Facebook.





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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



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 Leadership Visalia Class of 2018 partnered with the Tulare County Library’s Visalia Branch to co-host the first Book Festival. The event highlighted local authors, and included special readings from local celebrities and officials. The event was attended by hundreds of people and helped promote the library and all that it has to offer to the community. 2. At the Visalia Chamber 2018 Annual Member Meeting, Matt Case from Central Valley Business Forms was recognized as the Epic Ambassador of the Year. Matt has served as chairman of the Ambassador Committee and always supports the work of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to Matt for all of your help and support over the last year. 3. At the Visalia Chamber 2018 Annual Member Meeting, more than 30 local businesses were recognized for celebrating five-, 10- and 15-year membership anniversaries. The Visalia Chamber appreciates every member that makes it possible for us to serve our business community. 4. Thank you to all of the players and sponsors who came out to support the Leadership Visalia Class at the 10th annual Golf Tournament at Valley Oaks. It was a beautiful day to be outside meeting new people. 5. The Visalia Chamber staff was proud to support Denim Day #denimdayTC #denimdayVisalia and Family Services of Tulare County. Board member Caity Meader challenged the Visalia Chamber board to participate in this important day. Then, when Patrick L. Salazar, State Farm agent, said he'd match donations given at his office, the chamber staff was more than willing to help him give even more.








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

CROSSWORD 4 Be the go-between 5 Orifice 6 Bath powder 7 Songwriter Wilder 8 Flourishes 9 Cut 10 Theater audience 11 ___ in the Family 12 Peete prop 13 Cat’s-paw 20 Engrave 21 Fins 25 Muse of poetry 26 Novarro, of silents 27 Nice summers 28 Keep an ___: watch over 29 ‘‘. . . three men in ___’’ 31 ‘‘The ___ of sin...’’: Rom. 32 Apportion 33 Drifter 34 Globe: Fr. 36 ‘‘___ or not...’’: Shakespeare 41 Companion of dance 43 Spanish cat 44 Hospices 47 Looked, in a way 50 Parts 51 Part 52 1922 Chemistry Nobelist

Hall of Famers

5 3 ___ Suspicion: 1943 film 54 Ex-pitcher Duren 56 Sitarist Shankar


57 Old or young chaser

1 Attention attracter

30 Mouths

5 ___ in the back

31 Schoolboy

9 Tiff

35 Kind of heat

13 Nonfiction

37 German graybeard

14 Kind of tale

38 Son of Peleg

15 Model vehicle 16 Started a pot

39 ‘‘___ take arms . . .’’: Shakespeare

17 Toast topper

40 Musical slide, briefly

18 Caesar’s ciao

42 Hoot

19 Stretch

45 Many, many moons

22 Marshal of France

46 Links event

23 ___ glance

48 French soul

24 Company get-together

49 Tristram Shandy author

27 Catchall wd.

51 Dep.

28 Alleviate

52 Rhine feeder



55 59 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68

Rajah False god Pro ___ Goldfinger actress Patron saint of carpenters Anon’s partner Treasure-___ Roscoes ___ Straits: musical group New Years’ Eve word

58 Not any 59 Major interest 60 Actress Alicia TIMELY THEME - MAY ISSUE

DOWN 1 Man with an army 2 In a heated manner 3 Dusseldorf donkey


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


Establishing a Budget


o you ever wonder where your money goes each month? Does it seem like you're never able to get ahead? If so, you may want to establish a budget to help you keep track of how you spend your money and help you reach your financial goals.

canceled checks, credit card bills and other receipts from the past year. Finally, as you list your expenses, it is important to remember your financial goals. Whenever possible, treat your goals as expenses and contribute toward them regularly.

Examine your financial goals

Evaluate your budget Once you've added up all of your income and expenses, compare the two

Before you establish a budget, you should examine your financial goals. Start by making a list of your short-term goals (e.g., new car, vacation) and your long-term goals (e.g., your child's college education, retirement). Next, ask yourself: How important is it for me to achieve this goal? How much will I need to save? Armed with a clear picture of your goals, you can work toward establishing a budget that can help you reach them. Identify your current monthly income and expenses To develop a budget that is appropriate for your lifestyle, you'll need to identify your current monthly income and expenses. You can jot the information down with a pen and paper, or you can use one of the many software programs available that are designed specifically for this purpose. Start by adding up all of your income. In addition to your regular salary and wages, be sure to include other types of income, such as dividends, interest and child support. Next, add up all of your expenses. To see where you have a choice in your spending, it helps to divide them into two categories: fixed expenses (e.g., housing, food, clothing, transportation) and discretionary expenses (e.g., entertainment, vacations, hobbies). You'll also want to make sure that you have identified any out-of-pattern expenses, such as holiday gifts, car maintenance, home repair and so on. To make sure that you're not forgetting anything, it may help to look through

totals. To get ahead, you should be spending less than you earn. If this is the case, you're on the right track, and you need to look at how well you use your extra income. If you find yourself spending more than you earn, you'll need to make some adjustments. Look at your expenses closely and cut down on your discretionary spending. And remember, if you do find yourself coming up short, don't worry! All it will take is some determination and a little self-discipline, and you'll eventually get it right. Monitor your budget You'll need to monitor your budget periodically and make changes when necessary. But keep in mind that you don't have to keep track of every penny that you spend. In fact, the less record keeping you have to do, the easier it will be to stick to your budget. Above all, be flexible. Any budget that is too rigid is likely to fail. So be prepared for the unexpected (e.g., leaky roof, failed car transmission). Tips to help you stay on track • Involve the entire family: Agree on a budget up front and meet regularly to check your progress. • Stay disciplined: Try to make budgeting a part of your daily routine. • Start your new budget at a time when it will be easy to follow and stick with the plan (e.g., the beginning of the year, as opposed to right before the holidays). • Find a budgeting system that fits your needs (e.g., budgeting software). • Distinguish between expenses that are "wants" (e.g., designer shoes) and expenses that are "needs" (e.g., groceries). • Build rewards into your budget (e.g., eat out every other week). • Avoid using credit cards to pay for everyday expenses: It may seem like you're spending less, but your credit card debt will continue to increase.

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 Bounty of the County with Visalia Rawhide! It's a weekend of Ag: Help the Rawhide celebrate the local agriculture industry during the Bounty of the County weekend, The Rawhide will wear special jerseys and fans will get to participate in day-specific games on the field. Tickets start at $7.

Power of the Purse

When: June 2, 7-10 p.m.; June 3, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia

The Power of the Purse is a signature fundraising event of United Way Women's Leadership Councils nationwide. Individual tickets: $75. Power of the Purse will fund the Literacy Project of the United Way of Tulare County. When: June 8, 7-9 a.m.

Where: Visalia Rawhide, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Annual Bakersfield Wing Festival It’s the hottest, spiciest and most flavorful event to hit Kern County. Our vision is to bring hungry wing fans together to sample flavors from classic BBQ to a level of spice not for the faint of heart. Whether it’s smoked, fried, grilled, sauced, spice or imaginative, this festival will attract wing fanatics and wing nuts of all ages. General tickets: $35. VIP tickets: $75. When: June 2, 3-7 p.m. Where: Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St., Bakersfield Contact:

Low-Cost Vaccination and Dental Clinic Join us on the first Saturday of every month for low-cost vaccinations, microchips and dental cleanings for your animals. When: June 2, 8 a.m.-noon Where: Valley Oak SPCA’s Low-Cost Veterinary Clinic, 9405 W. Goshen Ave., Visalia Contact: Valley Oak SPCA Clinic, (559) 741-1121 Jethro Tull – 50th Anniversary Ian Anderson presents Jethro Tull’s 50th Anniversary tour. Jethro Tull is a Grammy Award-winning British rock group marked by the distinctive vocal style and flute work of front man Ian Anderson. Tickets: $55-$100. When: June 5, 7:30-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia

Contact: Power of the Purse-Tulare County, Mariachi Los Camperos J Guzman Entertainment Presents Tradición, Arte y Pasión with Mariachi Los Camperos. Two-time Grammy Award-winner Mariachi Los Camperos, one of the most popular mariachi ensembles in the world, is noted for innovative shows and distinction as a concert ensemble. Tickets: $25-$49. When: June 9, 7-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Brian Regan Brian fills theaters nationwide with fervent fans that span generations with the perfect balance of sophisticated writing and physicality. Tickets: $45-$55. When: June 10, 7-10 p.m.


Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact:

Summer Pull-Up with Nef the Pharaoh Tonee Hayes, better known by his stage name Nef the Pharaoh, is an American rapper from Vallejo. He recently signed to E-40's Sick Wid' It Records. Tickets: $40-$68.

PJ Masks Live! You’ve never seen the PJ Masks like this before – leaping, flipping and climbing – live on stage, complete with your favorite music and brand-new songs. Watch Catboy, Owlette and Gekko as they try to save the day from their sneaky villains Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl. Tickets: $29, $39, $49, $59, $110.

When: June 2, 7-10 p.m.

When: June 6, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia

Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., 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

An Acoustic Evening with LeAnn Rimes LeAnn Rimes is an internationally multi-platinum-selling singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter. She has sold more than 44 million units, won two Grammy® Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, two World Music Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards, one Country Music Association Award and one Dove Award. Tickets: $30-$60.

Critter Camp 2018 Join us for an exciting and fun experience you will never forget. Registration includes all materials, snacks, T-shirt and special guests. Registration fee is $100 for one week or $175 for two weeks per camper. Register online at: events/crittercamp2018. Visit our website for information on camp weeks. When: June 11-15, June 18-22, 8 a.m.-noon

When: June 22, 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Where: Valley Oak SPCA, 9800 Camp Drive, Visalia

Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia

Contact: (559) 651-1111, www.vospca. org/events/crittercamp2018 ’80s Night at Visalia Rawhide Come enjoy $1 beers from 6-8 p.m. along with live pregame music from TBG & The Ritz. Wear your best ’80s attire and receive a free Pasture ticket. When: June 14, 6-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Rawhide, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Business After-Hours This networking mixer hosted by the Tulare Chamber of Commerce is the perfect opportunity to connect with other business people and community members to grow and sustain business in the greater Tulare area. This is a free event with appetizers provided. When: June 14, 5:30-7 p.m. Where: Elements Design Center, 1462 S. Blackstone St., Tulare Contact: Tulare Chamber of Commerce, (559) 686-1547,

Contact: Murder Mystery Dinner The Visalia Host Lions Club is bringing a Murder Mystery Dinner that will feature a three-course meal catered by Sue Sa's Creative Catering and entertainment with the Murder Mystery Company of Los Angeles. Attendees will participate in solving the murder mystery and interact with cast. Mardi Gras masks, evening wear and ball gowns are encouraged. Tickets are $75 per person.

Visalia Convention Center Indoor Yard Sale Your traditional yard sale has come indoors. 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, kathy.fraga@

When: June 15, 6-10 p.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: Robin Yeager, (559) 836-0682, 2018 Dairy Princess Coronation, Salute to Dairy Industry The Tulare Chamber of Commerce and Tulare County Dairy Women present the 34th annual Tulare County Dairy Princess coronation. Tickets may be purchased online at www. When: June 15, 6 p.m., dinner 7 p.m. Where: International Agri-Center, Heritage Complex, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare

Boots Brews & Bacon Come on down to Boots Brews & 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 are $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

Contact:, (559) 686-1547 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


The Sequoia Legacy Tree


or years, I have frequented the downtown Visalia post office, scarcely paying any heed to the young sequoia tree growing just to the west of it. It took a casual conversation between Terry Ommen, our city's historian laureate, and Suzanne Bianco to draw some attention to the plight of the ignored tree. From there, Suzanne and the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) took the ball and ran with it. They did fundraising, got community buy-in and assistance, and developed a small informational park, which was



dedicated on Saturday, April 27. We are hopeful that it will become another tourist destination for the city, remind people of our connection to Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon, and encourage more tourists to pass through Visalia and use the Sequoia Shuttle to get to Sequoia National Park. Many contractors, local hoteliers and others contributed to this project. The following information is taken from the brochure prepared by the CVB, which you should obtain a copy of and read. The tree is currently 65 feet tall, as opposed to the General Sherman tree, which is 275 feet tall. We estimate that our Sequoia Legacy Tree is 85 years old, having been planted in February 1936, when it was a 3-year-old sapling. It was planted by Guy Hopping, superintendent of General Grant National Park (now Kings Canyon), and Nathan Levy, Visalia postmaster. Levy was very proud of the fact that this was the only giant sequoia tree growing on post office property in the United States. In July 2015, the trunk of our tree measured 41 inches diameter at breast height and the canopy width was about 18 feet. Giant sequoia trees are found between a 4,000- and 8,000-foot elevation, where conditions are ideal for their growth. Our local national parks boast many of the world's largest trees by volume. The General Sherman is the largest in the world at

52,508 cubic feet; the General Grant tree is the second largest at 46,608 cubic feet. The largest of the sequoias are as tall as an average 26-story building, and their diameters at the base exceed the width of many city streets. On Sept. 25, 1890, Sequoia National Park was designated by President Benjamin Harrison and is the second oldest national park. In 1918, an influential group of local men, known as the "Mather Mountain Party," were instrumental in the creation of the National Park Service. For nearly a century, Visalia has been known as the "Gateway to the Sequoias." One other hint for your visit to Visalia's Sequoia Legacy Tree. The pathway around our local tree was designed to represent the circumference of the General Sherman tree (about 102 feet) so that you can compare the two side by side. As mayor, I'd like to thank all those who had a hand in this project and in bringing it to fruition. Next time you're downtown, please drop by and visit this latest amenity to our historic district. And, remember, something you do today may be considered historical by future generations! Population Increase: The California Department of Finance recently released its annual population estimates. Visalia led the way with an increase for January 2017 to January 2018 from 133,841 to 136,246, a change of 1.8 percent. The rest of the county also continues to grow. I’ve been told that if Visalia were located in Utah or New Mexico, we would be the second-largest city in those states. In any event, it’s nice that Visalia has retained its small-town, friendly feel. 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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Direct Magazine - June 2018