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And It Can Make Phone Calls

Butterfly Feeder

Financial Accountability

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




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





The Champion


7 Meet A Local

Leslie Caviglia

8 Virtual Valley And It Can Make Phone Calls

22 University Prep High School A Dual-Enrollment Experience

25 Tulare County Library Authors, Authors, Authors

26 VUSD Finding Common Ground


Meet A Local


Character Counts


Community Safety


The Recipe Box




Visalia Chamber


Tulare Chamber


Money Matters


Visalia Rescue Mission


Valley Oak SPCA

20 Craft Corner 21

Travel Bites

24 Kids' Library 27 Gardening 28 College Prep 29 Crossword 30 Goings-On 32 Warren Reports

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THE CHAMPION Everyone loves a champion. Many of the greatest stories ever told revolve around a character that defies all the odds, takes on the darkest of villains, endures the hardest of hardships and ultimately overcomes to stand in victory over his or her adversaries. Rocky Balboa is one of my favorites. I love that character because he’s so down-to-earth, so human. He had the heart of a champion and was an animal in the boxing ring, but through it all, he ultimately maintained that humble and 4


everyman approach to life, family and relationships. Through even its cheesiest moments, the Rocky films will inevitably have me fist-pumping, hollering and enjoying the sweet taste of Americanmade victory all over again. As we approach Easter, I am so grateful to have the greatest Champion of all time on my side, the Champion with the undefeated record who all other champions must make way for, because He’s already won the victory over sin and death. There is simply no

better story than the story of Jesus, the King of the universe, who chose to be born as a man and to humble himself so that we might have light and hope to replace our darkness and despair. Like a child who safety-pins a blanket on their back to impersonate their favorite super-hero, when we truly meet Jesus and go deeper in our relationship with Him, our desire to impersonate Him grows. Philippians 2 describes beautifully who Jesus is, and who we should be to step into a life of

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freedom and joy that impersonates our greatest champion, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:3-11. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider

equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, and every

tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” If you don’t know much about Jesus, or if you’ve heard some stories but aren’t that impressed with Him, I invite you to join us for Easter at Visalia First. I can tell you that in my life, there is no name that is stronger, no name that is greater, no name that gives more hope than the name of Jesus. I can’t imagine life without His life story defining mine. My friend. My hero. My Champion.



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MAR 31 | 5PM


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Leslie Caviglia Occupation/Title: Assistant City Manager, City of Visalia

How did you end up in Visalia? I was working for the city and living in Lemoore, but it became clear to me that Visalia was a thriving community and was the place where I wanted to live! How did you get your start in this line of work? Visalia opened up a community affairs coordinator position, which was very innovative for a city in the mid-’80s. I was working in the marketing/public relations field and thought that it was a unique opportunity to learn more about local government and to be on the ground floor of developing what community outreach would look like in a government setting. Why are you passionate about your work? Every day, I get to do something that will directly affect people and their daily lives. The services that local government provides … police, streets, parks, wastewater treatment … are really important to the quality of life in their community. What is the most challenging thing about your job? Sometimes citizens have unrealistic expectations about what government can do about an issue or a problem. It’s frustrating for them and for me because I can’t provide them with the answers or solutions they want. Tell us about a single moment when you realized that this was the right occupation for you: Actually, I knew when I left it. After working for the city for eight years, I left to go back to the private sector. In many

respects, it was the right move at that time, but I immediately knew that I had left the type of work that I loved; I really missed the work and the people. I was delighted to get an opportunity to come back 10 years later and have loved being back nearly 14 years. If you had to choose another career, what would it be? Hospitality … it’s a great combination of management skills and getting to provide great customer service that will make someone’s vacation or business trip memorable. Tell as a little about life outside of work: Working for the city is pretty demanding, so there isn’t a lot of extra time, but spending time with my family and friends, traveling, reading, cooking, knitting and volunteering at community events are how I like to spend my personal time. What is something that most people don’t know about you? I grew up in Soledad … which makes me especially thankful to be living in Visalia! What about Visalia makes this a good community to live and work in? We’re one of the largest 200 cities in the United States, so we’re a much larger and more complex city than people from outside the area would think, but we still live like a more intimate community where people truly care … it’s a great blend! Just for fun, if you were stranded on an island, what three objects would you take with you? A desalination kit, a knife and a pillow as a luxury item. DIRECT MAGAZINE


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VIRTUAL VALLEY And It Can Make Phone Calls


martphones have replaced a lot of things, some of them expected and some rather surprising.

I recently forgot my wallet in the car while rushing to grab a bagel. No problem. The loyalty app was on my phone and the cash register accepted Apple Pay. Until that morning, I had always paid cash for the bagel and coffee. The idea of using my phone to pay for a small purchase seemed silly until there were a line of people behind me and a warm bagel on the counter. Driving to an appointment, bagel in hand, I reflected on how much of my life revolves around my iPhone. I might go three or four days without using my MacBook Pro, which surprised me when I thought about it. My laptop provides essential power for content creation, from updating websites to editing videos. Working with content remains easier with a keyboard, large screen and lots of computing power. In my office, I have two widescreen monitors, microphones, audio mixers, two printers and countless external drives for media production. However, I’m in the office less than 20 hours a week because work happens beyond the desk. The computer sits in the office most days. Instead, it is my phone that travels with me to meetings and classes. Everything I need to teach is on my phone, ready to use with or without an Internet connection. A simple dongle lets me use Keynote or PowerPoint with the class projectors. My notes are saved as Word documents if I need to access them during a discussion. Even my grade book, a secure spreadsheet, is



synchronized to the phone. I use passwords and synchronize the data to my home computer for safety. When I began teaching, my overheads would have been acetate sheets, my grade book was a thick binder, and I lugged about stacks of papers. The phone, a charging cord and video dongle replaced a lot of weight. My first Nokia cellphone had a four-function calculator. The iPhone has a full-featured spreadsheet application able to tell me the highest and lowest grades, the median and mean on any assignment, and much more. On the phone, I can show students graphs of their progress. The uses I never imagined impress me most of all. When my wife and I attend events, the tickets are on the phone. Even more amazing to me, the tickets appear as we approach the gates. Saving tickets in a scrapbook is a thing of the past, and I realize that might feel like a loss to some people. I misplace things, though, and losing a ticket is worse. Plus, we take photos with phones to remember a game or concert. Traveling, airlines and public transit tickets appear at the right time, too. I recall sifting through papers looking for boarding passes and panicking. The phone puts my mind at ease when traveling. There is an old Dilbert cartoon from the 1990s with two engineers showing off how many gadgets they each carry. Forget gadgets, because my phone is everything from a credit card to my daily newspaper. Yes, it’s also my radio, television, alarm clock and calendar, but the phone has replaced items I never considered it might relegate to history. All those plastic loyalty rewards cards I used to carry on a keychain work in an app appropriately named KeyRing. At last count, I had almost three dozen such cards. The phone replaced those cards conveniently. Although some stores can use a phone number, places like gas stations scan the cards.

Scanning the phone screen works great. Coupons? Replaced by an app, too. For a long time, coupons were the only reason that I continued to purchase a weekend newspaper. Once my wife could scan a receipt and receive all the rebates and coupons instantly, there was no reason to clip coupons. The weekend newspaper lost its value to our household. My subscription to the New York Times is digital, as is my subscription to the Washington Post. I read the stories that I want on the phone. There was a time I never imagined reading more than headlines on a phone screen. Today, I read five or six full-length stories daily. We no longer subscribe to any print edition of a newspaper.

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If only I stopped at newspapers. Books are now on my phone, too. Another old Dilbert strip mocks how small some devices were becoming at the time, including phones that we could barely hold in a hand. Today, it’s all one device with a comfortable screen. That comfortable screen works well for catching a few minutes of reading time. I’ve read a great many free classics on the phone, courtesy of Project Gutenberg, Amazon and Apple. When I had a Palm Pilot or an early iPhone, reading long passages of text was a lousy experience. Today’s smartphones are as pleasant to read as a Kindle if you dim the screen a bit and use an off-white background.

Our UPS driver knows that we’re not about to stop reading traditional books, but I can carry an instant library on my phone and download a new book almost anywhere. If I have 10 minutes alone, I’m probably reading something. The smartphone is so many things that you can forget it is a phone. I can’t recall the last time I saw a student talking on the phone. I worry that these amazing all-in-one devices have isolated us from the people and things around us. I worry that our children will stare at little screens for endless hours. They would, if we allowed it. They see me stare at my phone far too often. I know that I need to cut my screen time.

dinner and I take a photo of our kids. I send the image to my mother. The smartphone that I fear might isolate us helps keep our family close. No matter where we are, that little phone makes life better.

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.

And then, we go to a park or out to DIRECT MAGAZINE


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A W on Their Shirt and Six Pillars in Their Dugout


ow approaching his 10th season as one of the Tulare County Character Counts! progam’s longest-standing coaches of character, Tulare Western High School baseball coach Ken Searcy guides his young players employing John Wooden’s mantra, “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” Searcy and his staff strive to help many fine young men become better people while playing baseball. This year, the varsity team includes nine seniors who have been with the program since their freshman year. When Searcy was asked to identify a leader among this team, he replied, “I can’t give you just one name. We have a senior class that is off the charts with character and academics this year. The list would have to include at least five names. Honestly, they are all great young men.” So, we meet Ryan Tucker (3.3 GPA), captain in football and baseball; David Alcantar (3.4 GPA), captain in football and baseball; Matt Covert (3.8 GPA), captain in water polo and baseball; Dax Korenwinder (4.2 GPA), captain in water polo and baseball, and Anthony Sousa (3.5 GPA), captain in soccer and baseball. In describing the team’s bond, Dax begins with, “We know that the W on our shirt means we represent more than ourselves – anytime, anywhere.” Matt adds, “And we are more than a school baseball team. We have grown up together and now we have a chance to come together again and prepare for that big dogpile in May – The Valley Title.” Ryan adds, “We are more than a family. This is a culture that starts with the whole Tulare Western coaching staff taking us on as sons and helping us grow up.” Players are taught to build and guard their reputations. Searcy often reminds his players, “Why do you want 10


to be a show pony after a solid hit? You already proved yourself with the hit; let your game speak for you.” Tempers are not tolerated either. The players know that throwing equipment in the dugout will get you immediately benched or kicked out of the game. Throughout the season, modeling respect is expected, as described in their mission statement, “Students before Athletes. Character above all.” David says, “The shirt you wear means something; the W on the front is bigger than you are. Don’t disrespect the uniform, our school, your family or our nation (school colors are red, white and blue) by making bad choices.” The Tulare Western baseball mission statement also includes tenets such as “Know Your Priorities. Handle your Responsibilities.” These young men remembered an incident in their freshman year when someone left a bucket of balls on the team bus after an away game. “As punishment the next day, we ALL ran foul pole to foul pole 20 times. If it is one of us, it is all of us,” they recall. Anthony says, “From freshmen to seniors, we are all one program and we treat each other the same. We all know and look out for each other. Everyone knows they can call any one of us and we will be there for them – helping with

algebra, working on more fielding drills or just offering a place to sleep for a night. As concerns arise, we address them together and work through any situation. If it is important for one guy to mention, then we need to show our solidarity and support each other as teammates, even if it didn’t really involve us.” David says, “Coach Searcy has been there for us, even before high school. This makes us want to care more about others. These coaches are like dads to us.” Ryan recalls, “The first week of freshman baseball, I needed a ride home and Coach Searcy drove me home. I tried to give him directions and he said, ‘Oh, I know where you live.’ How does he know this stuff?” Throughout the interview, this group never mentioned their own successes. Rather, they naturally shared experiences that have shaped who they are as young men. Dax describes these last four years as “This program has taught us to hold ourselves accountable to each other, as well as ourselves. We’ve learned how to care and show respect in our roles as sons, students and teammates, and as future husbands and fathers.” They all agree that the best way they can show their appreciation to the coaching staff is to keep this brotherhood working toward that dogpile in May.

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Neighborhood Watch Groups


’m excited about this opportunity to share with you the efforts of the Visalia Police Department and topics of importance to the safety of our great community. It’s an honor to serve this community along with the men and women of the Visalia Police Department. I believe that we are blessed to have a talented and professional Police Department, but we are also very fortunate for the strong community partnerships and relationships that we enjoy in Visalia.

responsibilities in the prevention of crime, and to encourage them to take active measures to prevent crime. The program calls upon residents to assist the Police Department in organizing the community into a cohesive unit, working toward the goal of building a safer, crime-free neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch groups discuss crime issues and prevention measures with the objective of developing solutions to issues that may impact their neighborhoods.

Modern policing is centered around the concept that true public safety is the responsibility of both the police and the public the police serve. One of the best ways the public can get involved in contributing to public safety is by taking an active role in making your neighborhood a safe environment in which to live, work and play. Being a part of a Neighborhood Watch group is one of the most effective ways that residents can assist in mutually reducing, deterring and preventing crime in our community.

Neighborhood Watch groups are led by a “block captain,” selected by the group, who serves as a liaison between the neighborhood and the Police Department. The Visalia Police Department works closely with each block captain, scheduling neighborhood meetings with Police Department representatives and providing information such as crime prevention tips and material, crime updates, etc., to

be disseminated to Neighborhood Watch members. In addition to forming traditional Neighborhood Watch groups, many community members are also participating in technology-based information sharing. One popular crime prevention-based social media platform is Nextdoor. Nextdoor allows you to connect with your neighbors by sharing information. Currently, more than 10,000 residents and 114 neighborhoods in Visalia are using this free service. To sign up, visit I look forward to sharing more about the Visalia Police Department and public safety items of interest with you in the near future. If you are interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch group, contact Rebekah Jones, the Visalia Police Department’s community outreach coordinator, at (559) 713-4370 for information.

Recognized as one of the most familiar crime prevention programs throughout the nation, Neighborhood Watch groups allow people to work together with local law enforcement agencies, creating a partnership that not only focuses on crime prevention, but also encourages community participation. The Visalia Police Department has 31 active Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the city. The goal of the Visalia Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch program is to educate residents regarding their roles and DIRECT MAGAZINE


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Parmesan and Herb Potatoes Make a Super Side


t’s always good to have a few recipes in your arsenal that you can make without needing the list of ingredients and instructions. Parmesan and Herb Potatoes are bound to become one of those dishes for you – who doesn’t love potatoes, especially when they’re tossed in butter, fresh herbs and cheese? These beauties pair well with just about any meat and poultry, and they’re easy to make, too. Boiling the potatoes first makes them tender; shaking them in the pan after draining dries up any excess water and roughs up the edges so they can absorb all the flavors from the butter, herbs and cheese as they brown in your (preferably cast-iron) skillet. To make them even more irresistible, sear your meat or poultry in the skillet and finish in the oven. Boil and season the potatoes while the meat is cooking. When the meat is done, place it on a cutting board and loosely tent with foil to rest, then add the potatoes directly into the skillet on the stovetop. Cook as directed. The juices and brown bits from the meat will impart fantastic color and flavor to the finished potatoes. Another plus: Any leftovers make a great side to eggs, bacon and sausage for breakfast, too.

INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 pounds baby yellow potatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 1-2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Wash potatoes, then cut into halves or quarters, depending on size. Place in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 10 minutes. Drain the water and place the potatoes in the pot back onto the stovetop over low heat. Cook briefly, shaking the pot to dry the potatoes, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the oil and butter to the pot and toss gently until melted and mixed through. Add the herbs, salt and pepper, and toss again. Heat a large skillet – cast iron is best – over high heat. Add the potatoes and distribute so they are in a single layer in the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes without moving so they get a nice golden color. Turn the potatoes to flip and redistribute in a single layer; cook until golden. Keep turning and cooking until the potatoes are golden and crispy all around. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the potatoes and stir; remove from heat. Taste for seasoning; add additional salt and pepper and more fresh herbs if desired. Serve alongside your main dish – or in individual skillets – and enjoy!

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


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PRO-PT Low Back Pain


Not All Therapies Are Created Equal


ack pain is an epidemic. In fact, next to the common cold, low back pain is the most common reason that patients visit their physician. Billions of dollars are spent annually on the treatment of this epidemic, but are we treating it effectively? As an informed consumer, for you, what are the best options for your care? A study of more than 32,000 patients suffering from low back pain revealed that patients who receive physical therapy intervention within 14 days after onset of symptoms experience better outcomes, fewer follow-up treatments and a cost savings of around $2,700 (Spine 2012).

therapy treatment plan is one that appropriately subgroups your low back pain. Fortunately, a select group of physical therapists practicing Mechanical Diagnoses and Treatment (MDT) are experts in this. MDT practitioners utilize a systematic evaluation technique that uses movement testing to determine exactly which direction, with what force and frequency your spine should be treated. In a recent study, MDT practitioners evaluated and then placed their patients

And, yet, not all physical therapy treatments have been shown to have the same outcomes. Evidence now clearly demonstrates that an effective physical

into three groups. Group one was matched with their directional preference as determined by the MDT therapist. Group two was treated in the direction opposite of their preference, and group three was given “evidencedbased” instructions to resume as many normal activities as possible. Of the 230 patients in the study, 30 percent of the participants in groups two and three withdrew because of failure to improve or worsened symptoms. None of the participants in group one withdrew. In fact, more than 90 percent of the participants in group one rated themselves as better or resolved at two weeks compared with only 20 percent in group two and 40 percent in group three. Back pain can be effectively managed. It is important to actively seek early intervention and stay informed on how to best care for your condition. Talk to your physician about physical therapy and make sure that you are referred to a practitioner who can accurately match your condition with the appropriate therapeutic activities.

PRO-PT was amazing, the staff was very friendly and supportive. My therapist is very involved and knowledgeable about the recovery of my injury. My progress while at PRO-PT has been immense. Thank you!

- Melissa Leyva

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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he Visalia Chamber of Commerce serves as the local “voice of business” as tit 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 of Commerce’s January Business After-Hours Mixer was hosted by Flame & Skewers on Main Street. This was a great event celebrating the relatively new downtown restaurant. Chamber Ambassadors Matt Case, Stephanie Quiz, Ricardo Lainez and friends spent the evening meeting new business owners and tasting delicious food and drinks. 2. Rita Crandall, board member for Valley PBS, was selected as the Ambassador of the Month for January. The chamber wants to thank her for all of her service and for representing the Visalia Chamber so well.


3. The Visalia Chamber of Commerce was proud to host three students from the Golden West Business and Finance Academy for a job shadow day on Feb. 1. Students Kylie Odle, Cassandra Pasillas and Evelyn Flamenco followed the staff for a day, learning about the work of the chamber and getting to know the chamber’s team members. Thanks to board members Karen Gross and Nathan Halls for taking the time to have lunch with them and talk to the students about their goals and aspirations.


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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.


1. Third-generation jewelers Ashoori & Co. held a Valentine’s Day Business After-Hours Mixer on Feb 8. Attendees enjoyed a beautiful evening networking at the business, where gorgeous pieces of jewelry were part of the opportunity drawing. Thank you to Sarah Ashoori, her family and staff for welcoming the Tulare Chamber of Commerce.  2. The Tulare Chamber of Commerce swore in the 2018 Board of Directors at its 134th  annual Awards and Installation Banquet held at the International AgriCenter’s Heritage Complex. Renee Soto of State Farm Insurance will chair the board in the coming year.


3. Leadership Tulare learned about agriculture during its January day session. The class visited Garton Tractor, AgVentures Learning Center and the city of Tulare’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, as well as SBS Ag’s dairy and farmland. The class also heard presentations from the Tulare County ag commissioner. 4. The Tulare Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors put in countless hours to support the chamber and its members.  The chamber is grateful for their support, their commitment to the economic vitality of Tulare and their contribution to the community.



5. At World Ag Expo, the Tulare Chamber staff enjoyed visiting with representatives from the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce & Industries.



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Do You Need Disability Income Insurance?


eople ordinarily buy property and casualty insurance to protect their possessions (houses, cars and furniture) and life insurance to provide income for their survivors. However, many people don't think about protecting their income with disability income insurance. But how well could you live if you weren't able to work? Disability is an unpredictable event, and if you become disabled, your ability to make a living could be restricted. Although you may have enough money in the bank to meet your short-term needs, what would happen if you were unable to work for months or even years? The real value of disability income insurance lies in its ability to protect you over the long haul. A look at the odds Your need for disability income insurance may be greater than you think. Here are some important disability statistics to consider: • The Social Security Administration estimates that a 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. (Social Security Disability Benefits, SSA Publication Number 05-10029, June 2012) • There is a 25 percent likelihood of incurring a disability by age 50, according to the 1985 Commissioner's Individual Disability Table A (the most recent data available). As these statistics show, your chances of being disabled are great. Of course, statistics can be misleading – you might never become disabled. But then again, how many of your friends and family members have been in car accidents? Disability can be caused by illness as well as injury. How many people do you know who have suffered a heart attack or stroke? If you became ill, how would you support yourself or your family?

What would happen if you became disabled? What would happen if you suffered an injury or illness and couldn't work for days, months or even years? If you're single, you may have no other means of support. If you're married, you may be able to rely on your spouse for income, but you probably also have many financial obligations, such as supporting your children and paying your mortgage. Could your spouse really support you and your family? In addition, remember that you don't have to be working in a hazardous occupation to need disability income insurance. Accidents happen not only on the job but also at home, and illness can strike anyone. For these reasons, everyone who works and earns a living should consider purchasing disability income insurance. But isn't disability coverage through an employer or the government enough? You might think that you are adequately insured against disability because you have coverage through your employer or through government programs such as Social Security and workers' compensation. However, many employers (especially small businesses) do not offer disability benefits, and government programs may pay benefits only if you meet a strict definition of disability. Here's an idea of the benefits you may already have, as well as their limitations:

benefits, you still won't begin receiving them until at least six months after you become disabled because Social Security imposes a waiting period. In addition, your benefit may replace only a fraction of your pre-disability income. Workers' compensation: If you're injured at work or get sick from jobrelated causes, you may receive some disability benefits from workers' compensation insurance. The amount you receive depends on the state you live in. However, when you review your disability income insurance needs, remember that workers' compensation pays benefits only if your disability is work-related, so it offers only limited disability protection. Some states also cover only the diseases or disabilities outlined in that state's workers' compensation laws. Pension plans: Some government and private pension plans pay disability benefits. Often, these plans pay benefits based on total, permanent disability, or reduce your retirement benefit in proportion to what you have already received for a disability. In addition, remember that these benefits are usually integrated with Social Security or workers' compensation, so your benefit may be less than you expect if you also receive disability income from these government sources.

Social Security: Although you shouldn't overlook the disability benefits you may be eligible to receive from Social Security, you shouldn't rely on them either. Social Security denies many claims, in part because of its strict definition of disability. Even if you are deemed eligible for

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 16


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Where They Need to Be


y wife woke me before the sun was up on Dec. 20, 2010. Her water broke and our twins were born later that morning. A few days later on Christmas Eve, I was on Mooney Boulevard buying the last little (halfdead) tree left on the lot. I came home to a dark house and decorated the tree so that my family would have the most cheerful Christmas morning possible. We hated the thought of waking up at home with our new babies still in Kaweah Delta’s NICU, but weighing in at just 3-ish pounds apiece, the twins were exactly where they needed to be.

“I’M JUST THANKFUL TO GOD AND TO VISALIA RESCUE MISSION.” For Julie, our Thrift Online coordinator, her story is a bit different as it involved homelessness and addiction; she nearly froze to death one winter right here on Visalia’s streets. Her daughter pleaded with her, “I need you

where she needed to be. The Visalia Police Department released its 2017 annual report and I was shocked to see the increase in “Transient-Related Calls for Service.” Over the past 10 years, the number of calls has increased by 918 percent (nearly 5,000 additional calls in 2017 compared to 2007). While these calls and the number of homeless are at an all-time high, Visalia’s unemployment numbers are back to early-2000s levels (7.2 percent). While the causes of homelessness are often complicated, one thing is clear: There are too many exactly where they are not supposed to be.

voluntr services at

At Visalia Rescue Mission, our Life Change Academy residents face that reality every day as they are separated from homes and relationships in order to spend a season on self-care and recovery. They are missing out on their kids’ sporting and school events, birthdays and other milestones in the short-term, to be more present, available and stable for the long-term. They are exactly where they need to be.

high impact or


With numbers like this, you may be asking yourself: How should we respond as a community? How should I respond personally? How can I be a part of the solution?


meal SERVE A

We invite you to come alongside us and serve the Teresas and Julies. Volunteers have an innate ability to convey value toward those they serve. Just by showing up, UPCOMING VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION Before coming to us, one of they communicate to our Thurs. March 8 @ 6pm • VRM Community Center our 2018 graduates, Teresa, guests and residents: You To learn more, contact D’Ann at 740-4178 or was in jail and facing seven matter and I want you to years in prison. “I just opened a succeed! Interested? Join us Bible and started praying,” she on Thursday, March 8, at our told me. “I’ve been clean for 20 to be a grandmother! I need you to be next Volunteer Orientation and get the months now, and I’m going to have a my mom again!” Something in her bigger picture. new grandson next month, which I’m daughter’s plea broke through and Julie excited to be sober for. I feel at peace now, which I didn’t feel before.”

never used drugs again. For Julie, that moment of desperation was exactly

Together, we can help others get to where they really need to be.

Ryan Stillwater Contact by e-mail: 18


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Canine Flu­ Protecting Your Pooch


case of canine influenza was confirmed in Fresno and Tulare County last month. You may be wondering what this means for your pet. Canine influenza is a highly contagious viral infection for dogs and cats; it does not infect humans. There are two strains of virus, H3N8 and H3N2, identified in the U.S. Canine H3N8 was first identified in 2004 and H3N2 in 2015. Last year, several states had strain H3N2 and now it has reached California, with a couple of cases in San Francisco and now one confirmed in Fresno and the Tulare County area. Much like kennel cough, canine influenza is transmitted through droplets or aerosols containing respiratory secretions from coughing, barking and sneezing. It can also be spread directly by people and objects such as food and water bowls, kennels, etc. The virus damages the cell lining of the respiratory tract, thereby predisposing the respiratory tract to secondary bacterial infections, which lead to coughing and nasal discharge. The most common sign of canine influenza is a persistent cough, lasting 10 to 21 days despite treatment. The cough may be dry or a soft, moist cough; there may also be ocular and/or nasal discharge, sneezing, lethargy and lack of appetite. A high fever may be present and pus-like discharge from the nose. Less than 10 percent of confirmed cases lead to death. Most dogs will show mild forms of infection; those

severely affected develop pneumonia. Diagnosis is not based solely on the symptoms, as these are very similar to kennel cough and other respiratory diseases. Testing requires samples being sent to a diagnostic laboratory that can confirm influenza with specialized testing methods. Treatment is largely supportive, meaning that therapy is aimed at treating secondary infections, pneumonia, dehydration and other symptoms as there is no medication to treat viruses. Is your dog at risk? The influenza vaccine is recommended for dogs that participate in activities with many other dogs, such as agility, racing and shows; those that attend dog parks and boarding facilities regularly can benefit from the vaccine as well. If your dog has been vaccinated for kennel cough because of its “lifestyle,” then the influenza vaccine may be a good choice. The vaccine reduces the risk of infection but may not prevent infection entirely. It works to reduce the severity of the infection and the duration of viral shedding. A vaccine containing both strains is available at the Valley Oak SPCA Low-Cost Veterinary Clinic. To be vaccinated, your pet must be in good health. The vaccine is given twice, a first dose followed by a booster three to four weeks later. Protection is not complete until two weeks after the vaccine booster, and vaccination can be given

as early as 7 weeks of age (not recommended unless the puppy is high-risk). To maintain protection, an annual booster is required. Currently, there is no vaccine available for cats.


Meet Rosco: Hi! I’m Rosco. I’m a 4-year-old lab mix. I may only have three legs, but that doesn't stop me from embracing life's experiences. I'm active and loooove going on walks. If you need a buddy to join you on your explorations, I would love to join you. I have a sweet spirit and an eagerness to love and learn. I'm ready to flourish and start a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Do you have room in your heart and home for me?

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 DIRECT MAGAZINE


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St. Paddy's Pompom Monster


t. Patrick’s Day is on its way and ImagineU Museum would like to introduce you to St. Paddy’s Pompom Monster. He’s fun and easy to make!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: • Yarn (green, white, gold, rainbow) • Scissors • Small construction paper shamrocks • Pipe cleaners/chenille stems (green, gold) • Google eyes

Small monster

• • • •

Tacky glue/hot glue gun Ribbon Cardboard piece (3” x 5”) Dixie cups

DIRECTIONS: SMALL POMPOM • Measure out a 1-yard-long piece of yarn and a 2-inch piece. • Wrap the yarn around the 3-inch side of the cardboard until it is completely wrapped. • Slide the yarn off the cardboard, pinching the two sides together, and tie it off with the 2-inch piece of yarn. • Cut through the loops on both sides; this is your small pompom. LARGE POMPOM • Measure out four pieces of yarn: 1 yard, 1/2 yard and two 2-inch pieces. • Wrap the 1-yard piece around the 5-inch side of the cardboard. • On one side of the cardboard, use one of the 2-inch pieces of yarn to tie a knot securing the yarn loops. • Cut the yarn on the opposite side. This is your main pompom. • Wrap the 1/2-yard piece of yarn around the 3-inch side of the cardboard. • Slide the yarn off the cardboard, pinching the two sides together, and tie it off with the second 2-inch piece of yarn. • Cut through the side loops on both sides; this is your toupee pompom.

Large monster

FOR SMALL AND LARGE MONSTERS • Turn the Dixie cup upside down and glue the pompom to the top. For the large monster, glue the large pompom first, then glue the small pompom on top of it. FINISHING TOUCHES • Cut the pipe cleaner in half and bend it into a “V.” • Glue the “V” on top of the pompom. • Optional: Glue shamrocks onto the tips for antennae and glue the google eyes onto the pompom, or you can glue the google eyes onto the tips of the “V.” • Using a ribbon, make a bow and glue onto the front of the pompom.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

ImagineU Museum’s after-school camp now offers daily, weekly and monthly options. The next session runs March 5-April 6. Our spring camp will take place March 26-30. Night at the Museum will be held every Friday evening. For information, please call the museum at (559) 733-5975 or visit our website at 20


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TRAVEL BITES Coastal Craves


ure your winter doldrums by heading west for delicious eats along the Central Coast. Here are a few of our coastal dining favorites for every occasion, whether you desire a great burger in a laid-back atmosphere, fresh seafood overlooking the ocean or creative craft cuisine in a rustic setting. Avila Valley Barn, Avila Beach. There are plenty of delicious eats to indulge in at the Avila Valley Barn. As you explore the barn, you’ll find locally sourced seasonal produce, a small deli, an ice cream and sweets shop, fresh-baked pies and goodies, and tons of gifts to bring back home to friends and family. It’s an especially fun place to bring kids as they have a farm animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking in the fall, and u-pick berries and apples in the spring and summer. Lily’s Coffeehouse, Cambria. You’ll come for the coffee and stay for the delicious pastries at this quaint cafe. The vine-covered sunken patio provides the ideal atmosphere for enjoying a cup of espresso, a fresh panini or a mouth-watering scone. It’s a great place to soak up the sun while blending into Cambria’s local culture. Schooners Wharf, Cayucos. Schooners is quintessential Central Coast seafood dining. With breathtaking views of the ocean, endless seafood options, an outdoor patio and a rustic nautical setting, this spot offers quality food in a laid-back atmosphere. SLO Brew, Downtown San Luis Obispo. This may not be a hidden gem for locals, but for visitors passing through, it has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. Opt for outdoor dining, as the hidden back patio opens up onto a picturesque creek and walking path. Choose from rotating SLO Brew craft beers, signature pizzas, big burgers and tasty appetizers.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16~8PM “SOUNDTRACK- Gene OFCornish/ THEThe‘60s” Rascals

“TERRIFIC ROCK & ROLL” - Cousin Brucie, Sirius/ XM

“SUPERB…BRAVO” -Paul Anka/ Songwriter Hall of Fame

Penny’s All American Café, Pismo Beach. Trendy? Not at all. Delicious? You bet your bottom dollar. Penny’s can be characterized by heaping breakfast portions, endless coffee, friendly staff and quirky American charm. It’s definitely that one breakfast stop you look for on every family vacation. Cambria Pub & Steakhouse, Cambria. This two-story restaurant has a little something for everyone. Downstairs, you’ll dine in a more relaxed pub setting with a menu of delicious burgers, fish and chips, and seafood specialties. Head upstairs and you’ll find an elegant setting with indoor and deck dining. Check online for the live music schedule. Downtown SLO Farmer's Market, San Luis Obispo. Every Thursday evening, Higuera Street in downtown SLO is bustling with activity as patrons eat, shop, socialize and enjoy live music. At times, this Farmer's Market feels more like a street fair with countless food vendors and local restaurants offering up some of their most popular bites. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here every Thursday night.




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t dawned on me, as a graduating senior, that at UPHS, we’re all working toward a collective goal: to go to college and succeed in life,” Alexandra Feller, Class of 2018, explains. “And this isn’t pushed on us by the administration; it is intrinsic in every student. Everyone wants to do their best. It becomes hard not to do your best because we push each other to live up to this goal.”

Taylor Marquez, Class of 2019, believes that UPHS’ atmosphere and expectations transformed her mindset from only valuing a grade to striving to learn deeply: “I know colleges value good grades, but I realized an ‘A’ grade without understanding means nothing. I want to know how the material connects to the other areas of learning and life.”

Students at University Preparatory High School (UPHS), a dual-enrollment high school located on the College of the Sequoias campus, take courses at both UPHS and COS, with the overall goal of developing the students’ college readiness skills.

The faculty individualizes learning as much as possible. Academic Counselor Sarah Pennington discusses the value of developing one’s own learning: “We guide students along the way in their course choices, both at the high school and at COS, because we want students to develop their interests and explore various subjects.”

This idea of “doing your best” encapsulates the UPHS experience. The three tenets of UPHS’ crest, Character, Service and Leadership, guide students, but what cultivates their collective passion as UPHS students is being part of the Panda family.

Conversations about the rigor of college classes influence students’ college readiness mindset, which means developing critical thinking, valuing learning, fostering a strong writing voice and skills, and committing time to studying.

The Panda is more than the mascot; the Panda represents what it means to be a UPHS student. To UPHS, PANDA means Prepared, Accepting, Noble, Dedicated and Ambitious.

UPHS Principal Eric Thiessen sees the result of the schoolwide focus on college readiness as each semester, students completing COS classes collectively average a 3.30 GPA and earn about 650 units.


Zebadiah Facundo, Class of 2020, found UPHS classes different compared to his previous school. “You have to know the information teachers present as well as know the why of what you are studying. If I walk into World History and say, ‘I know the date of an event,’ Mr.

Students at UPHS come to class with their minds prepared to learn. Students know that they cannot just show up for school; instead, they attend classes to develop an authentic understanding of course materials. 22


Figueroa will say, ‘Great, but why is that event significant today?’ That’s the type thinking I’m doing now.” ACCEPTING Faculty and students strive to establish a welcoming, family-like atmosphere. At the start of the school year on Panda Buddy Day, Pennington matches new students with older students to create relationships and support systems. Edmond Aguinaldo, Class of 2021, shares, “In the beginning, you feel lost, like you’re starting over. But then you meet the teachers and students and start to feel like people at UPHS care about you, and you care about them too.” The faculty fosters this accepting environment to cultivate mentor-like relationships with students. Josh Curtiss, mathematics/robotics teacher, values this unique aspect of UPHS: “I am able to develop quality relationships with students, which leads to more success in mathematics. Also, the robotics program grew from my relationships with students.” Last year, Curtiss coached the robotics team to earn the “Rookie of Year” trophy. NOBLE Students engage in community service and service learning, which help them develop a sense of honor and respect. Kimberly Terry, Class of 2018, demonstrates Panda nobility by leading the Helping Hands Club and volunteering two days each week as a

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student tutor. Kimberly says, “UPHS offers a very nurturing community of people who really encourage you to get out of your comfort zone.” Helping Hands is just one student-driven club serving the community. Nicholas Seechan, Class of 2018, also believes that giving back is a noble act. While completing the COS Calculus series, Nicholas serves as a veteran math tutor. “Even if math is not your thing, with hard work and help, anyone can understand mathematics. When I see a student solve a problem independently, I feel so proud because I know my help matters!” The simple message — “get involved” — pushes students to create opportunities of service. Students are encouraged to join at least one club, to find one place where they can plant and grow themselves into better individuals. Nathan Escobar, Class of 2020, believes that “to keep these expectations, you need to be noble and have integrity. We have an obligation to help each other.”

Gonzales, Class of 2019, recently attended the American College Theater Festival with the COS Theater Department. “We want to train young actors in technique and give them an opportunity to build their résumés to attract the attention of acting programs.”

playing sports. Through UPHS’ connection with COS, I still pursued diving. I have even received a college scholarship.” In addition, he will transfer with more than 30 units toward his bachelor’s degree. Mackaby represents how dedication leads to success. Students strive to complete their best work and are supported by others’ motivation to succeed. Zebadiah says, “You can come from any situation, any environment, and everyone is here to help you.” Teacher Josh Curtiss echoes this idea: “The average student at UPHS is considerably more goal-oriented than the average teenager.” Students learn the value of staying dedicated to their studies, extracurricular activities and each other as evidenced in more than 80 percent of the students making the Honor Roll each semester, their 100 percent graduation rate and the relationships they develop. AMBITIOUS

DEDICATED University Prep creates a sense of family and community through students’ dedication to the success of others, the school and themselves. A smaller student body allows for individual attention from teachers and offers opportunities for students to form close-knit bonds. These deeper relationships benefit students in many ways from the camaraderie during spirit rallies, to working on group projects, to attending school events or supporting a friend’s club or activity. “When I first took a COS Hip-Hop dance class, I was nervous to perform, but all my UPHS friends came just to support me. That’s friend dedication!” says Everlee Vang, Class of 2018. Although UPHS does not offer a sports program, Mackaby Pennington, Class of 2018, initiated conversations with COS coaches to practice and train as a diver. “I grew up as an athlete, but when it came to high school, I valued being prepared for college more than

Through Fine Arts courses, such as Handbells and Folklorico Dance, students learn the vulnerability and courage necessary for performances. Music teacher Patty Guthrie strongly believes that “music touches the soul and connects us with our own humanity.” When students experience this, they develop a profound sense of confidence and often decide to pursue music during their college career.

The high expectations and academic support nurture students’ selfconfidence. Chinmayi Reddy, Class of 2019, came as a quiet leader, but over time, she utilized the support offered and now is a key robotics team leader. “As a freshman, I never dreamed of speaking in front of groups or organizing large events, but this year, I helped lead a major fundraiser for the robotics program, raising over $15,000. UPHS provided me the environment necessary to grow as a leader, encouraged my ambition in the field of STEM and taught me to dream big.” David Salcedo, Class of 2019, remembers his first Science Olympiad project: Wind Power. “At first, asking for help was intimidating, but then I realized I needed my teacher and teammates’ ideas. Eventually, we created a windmill that placed in the top five.” Students consistently aspire to push beyond their own limits and others’ expectations. English/drama teacher David Rasner believes that there are high-schoolers who want a career in the arts. Olivia

University Prep students follow their passions at College of the Sequoias, whether it is engineering, music, psychology, history, biological sciences, law or anything that the college catalogue offers. Regardless of their dreams, students graduate with transferable college units, an understanding of college readiness and the drive to succeed. FOR INFORMATION University Preparatory High School is a California public charter school authorized by the Tulare County Office of Education in partnership with College of the Sequoias. Enrolled seniors graduate with a post-secondary education plan, which may include attending a four-year university, staying at COS to complete 60 transferable units or a career plan. If you are interested in learning more or enrolling at UPHS, visit uphs or call Araceli Alcala, parent liaison, at (559) 730-2529 or email her at to attend a Parent/Student Information Night. INFORMATION NIGHTS: March 8 & 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. in COS Yokut Building, Room 9 DIRECT MAGAZINE


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Reminders of Peace, Love and Compassion


hese days, it feels like we all need motivational reminders of the goodness of people. These new children's books seek to reassure children of their worth and introduce a fighter for justice for all.

"The Golden Thread: A Song for Pete Seeger" by Colin Meloy; illustrated by Nikki McClure; HarperCollins; 48 pages. Pete Seeger rallied civil rights activists and war protesters for decades with songs like "We Shall Overcome," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "If I Had a Hammer." His messages of social understanding and environmental justice inspired generations and left an undeniable legacy. Nikki McClure's bold cut-paper illustrations – only in black, white and mustard – are timeless and active throughout this lyrical, moving book. It's Meloy's folksy, rhyming words, though, that tell a spellbinding, rousing tale. "Hammer Bringer! River Singer! Sailor, Soldier, Lean Bell Ringer/A fighter in peace, musician in the war/He followed that string till he couldn't no more, " is one refrain, just before "But before we get this string a-singing/All strings must have their first beginning...." That begins Seeger's amazing story, from growing up in a performing family to cheering up soldiers, as a pacifist, in World War II, to teaching folks to organize, unionize and fight for free speech. Seeger persisted through blacklist, but that didn't stop him, and he sang and harmonized and fought against inequalities his entire life. Meloy's timely introduction to Seeger reminds young readers that they too can be powerful enough to speak out, whether through music, art, writing or their own voices. 24


"I Am a Warrior Goddess" by Jennifer Adams; illustrated by Carme Lemniscates; Sounds True Publishing; 32 pages. Jennifer Adams wrote this motivating book before the female empowerment movement of late, when her mother was battling cancer. Dedicated to her late mother, who battled hard, but with kindness and grace, Adams introduces a red-haired girl with big aspirations. The girl begins her day by appreciating the sun, the earth and the wind, and trains her body and mind for battle by reading and being a leader of the strong and defender of the weak. In this scenario, Lemniscates' appealing, cheerful pictures show the girl leading other kids with a ladder to help a cat stuck in a tree. Although the title could suggest that the girl is a superhero who takes on bullies, it's actually a gentle reminder to kids that the most powerful weapon is kindness. Adams' little girl also remembers to be grateful, saying good night to the sun, earth and wind. As she carries the rescued cat around, it's also a sweet lesson in taking care of the less fortunate. Her mother would be proud. "I Am Enough" by Grace Byers; illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo; HarperCollins; 32 pages. Actress and activist Grace Byers penned this picture book, a lyrical ode to self-confidence and kindness, for girls of all colors and backgrounds, at the perfect time. (Although there is no bad time for those reminders.) Her pages, illustrated realistically by Keturah A. Bobo and featuring an African-

American girl with huge hair on the cover, show active kids of all colors doing handstands and karate, and running on a track, with one falling down, to "Like the water; here to swell. Like the fire, here to burn. Like the winner, I'm here to win, and if I don't, get up again." Byers is realistic and adds, "I'm not meant to be like you; you're not meant to be like me. Sometimes we will get along; and sometimes we will disagree," with two able-bodied girls and one in a wheelchair flipping a jump rope. Currently starring in "Empire," Byers clearly has a talent for motivational picture books. Bravo! "Life Doesn't Frighten Me" by Maya Angelou; paintings by Jean-Michel Basquat; Abrams; 40 pages. It's a great time for a re-issue of this brilliant poetry book, first published in 1993. An amazing blend of powerful words and strong words, this revised edition includes brief biographies of Maya Angelou and Jean-Michel Basquat, the latter who lived only to age 27. Angelou's long poem empowers young readers with words such as "Life doesn't frighten me at all/Bad dogs barking loud/Big ghosts in a cloud ... Mean old Mother Goose, Lions on the loose/They don't frighten me at all." Basquat's childlike sketches convey innocence and some scariness, but the combination of her words and his pictures is bold and invigorating. "I've got a magic charm that I keep up my sleeve, I can walk the ocean floor and never have to breathe," celebrates the courage in everyone lucky enough to view this special book.

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Authors, Authors, Authors


ver wondered if your favorite author stopped by to visit us in Tulare County? Over the years, thanks to the Friends of Tulare County, we’ve been able to invite authors, including those who have ties to the Central Valley. This year, the Tulare County Library Foundation, along with Visalia Leadership, will continue this tradition with the Tulare County Library Book Festival on April 14, featuring many authors, including Jay Asher, “Thirteen Reasons Why,” and Tim Z. Hernandez, a Central Valley native, “All They Will Call You.” HERE’S A FEW OF OUR PAST AUTHORS: Third-generation farmer David “Mas” Masumoto, author of 10 books, talked about the most recent “Changing Season, A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm,” written with his daughter Nikiko. In addition, a documentary about the Masumoto Family Farm, “Changing Seasons,” aired on PBS.

Gary Soto, a Valley native, joined us to speak about his new book, “Meatballs for the People: Proverbs to Chew On.” He has more than 40 books for children, teens and adults. His poems, novels and essays draw from his experiences as a child of the barrio in Fresno. Jean Chaffee volunteered as a zoo docent for 30 years, leading tours, handling raptors (owls, hawks and kestrels) and giving talks throughout the Valley. Chaffee’s “True Zoo to You” book series captures her experience and research into the first 100 years of Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo. Anna-Marie McLemore shared writing techniques and her young adult novels “The Weight of Feathers“ (the story takes place in Tulare County), “When the Moon Was Ours” and

“Wild Beauty.” All of her novels feature rural communities. Fode Doumbia, a native of Senegal in West Africa, told his story that started with a visit from his grandfather in “Grandpa: A Conversation with Myself.” At the time, Doumbia lived in Lindsay, where he taught French and coached soccer in the school district for 10 years.

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





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


Finding Common Ground


chool campuses are places where students come into daily contact with other children with different backgrounds and experiences. Children hear, consider and learn from different opinions and viewpoints, and they learn much by coming into contact with each other across the 13-year span of a public education. One of our greatest strengths as a society is our shared belief that we can learn from one another in the pursuit of a more perfect union. A complete education involves examining issues that are controversial. In the classroom, this is done within the established curriculum and in ways that allow students to develop critical thinking skills while exploring issues, to foster the ability to discriminate between fact and opinion, and to come to conclusions that consider their own beliefs and the perspectives of others. Because our schools are a crossroads for our society, there are times when students experience controversial issues directly in school. Thankfully, these times occur relatively infrequently. But at these times, issues that touch on personal values and beliefs, political philosophy, culture, religion or other influences become our focus. Solutions are possible only through productive dialogue that leads to a better understanding of the diverse values, beliefs and perspectives of the members of our community. It would seem worthwhile to come together to build relationships across diverse opinions before conflict arises. Beginning this spring, Visalia Unified will form two advisory groups, one composed of students and one composed of community representatives. These advisory groups are intended to create the relationships and space for 26


conversations related to inclusivity. Why focus on inclusivity? The answer is simple: We have students from different backgrounds who share our schools, and we are made stronger by that shared experience. But at times, those differences can make students feel like they don’t belong in their classrooms and on their campuses, so we must work to recognize and address the barriers between and among students. Controversy almost always is rooted in conflict that touches on personal values and beliefs, political philosophy, culture, religion or other influences. Although we work with nearly 29,000 students on a daily basis, including the student viewpoints in our work is more difficult than one might think. Classrooms certainly reflect student interests and perspectives, but at higher levels of the organization, those insights are harder to incorporate. Because we were kids ourselves at one time, as adults, we often believe that we know what kids are thinking now. I believe that this is less true than we would like to think, for my experience in working at schools has been that kids tend to be more accepting of change and of others, and more forwardthinking than adults. To bring student perspectives more clearly into our work, we are establishing the Student Inclusivity Task Force that will meet regularly throughout the school year to discuss issues related to student safety and controversial issues. The student group will include about 20 students selected by peers and staff, representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The students will open for discussion any issue that

allows us a better sense for how certain policies, practices and protocols affect students. The task force will serve as an advisory to the superintendent and the Board of Trustees. The community advisory committee will be called the Common Ground Advisory. This group will be the adult version of the student task force. It will meet regularly throughout the year, will contain about 20 community members who represent diverse perspectives found in Visalia, and will serve as an advisory body to the superintendent and the Board of Trustees regarding implementation of policies, practices and protocols in light of student interests and controversial issues that affect our schools and community. The Student Inclusivity Task Force will select students to attend the community advisory group to provide their very important insight on these issues. Leadership matters, and having a structure for meeting with community leaders and having open and inclusive dialogue will be a very valuable resource for our school district. One of our greatest strengths as a society is that we have places where we can consider and learn from different opinions and viewpoints. Schools can be an important forum for civil discourse and while not everyone is going to agree on everything, we can help create a space for students and the community to engage in active listening and caring behavior. The Student Inclusivity Task Force and the Common Ground Advisory are a way to engage with students and the community more effectively for the benefit of all.

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


Make a Butterfly Feeder


pring and early summer are butterfly-watching seasons. Butterflies are beautiful to watch, and they are pollinators essential for food and flower propagation. There are more than 140 species of butterflies in California. Monarchs, swallowtails and skippers are frequent visitors in our area. Unlike bees, butterflies do not make honey or eat pollen. They are nectar sippers who spread pollen. You can persuade these colorful beauties to sip your own homemade nectar by making a butterfly feeder to put in your garden.

MAKING THE BUTTERFLY FEEDER First, pick a good spot in the garden to place your feeder. Butterflies like to shelter in hedges and other flowering plants. They are attracted to bright colors of nearby blooms, so select a location that butterflies will like to visit. Once you have chosen your location, it’s time to start construction. Here is what you need to make the feeder: • A section of Schedule 40 PVC pipe for the feeder support. A four-foot section should be long enough to drive into the soil for stability while tall enough to provide a feeding platform. • A saw to cut the pipe to the desired length. • A cap to fit the top of the pipe. • A plastic or acrylic plate. These are readily available at your local Dollar Store. • Strong non toxic glue to attach the plate to the pipe cap and to glue optional decor to the plate. • Silk or plastic flowers, or glass pebbles, to glue onto the acrylic plate, if desired. • A cellulose sponge. • A rubber mallet to drive the feeder support pipe into the ground. The next step is to cut the PVC pipe

Happy gardening!

to the length you desire. Then, decorate the acrylic plate by gluing artificial flowers or optional materials onto it. Glue the pipe cap to the bottom of the acrylic plate. When the glue has dried, you are ready to return to the spot you chose for the feeder. Use the mallet to secure the pipe deeply enough in the ground to be a stable support for the plate. Simply slide the plate and pipe cap onto the support pipe. MAKING BUTTERFLY NECTAR Now that you have invited the butterflies to lunch, it is time to start cooking! Butterfly nectar is a simple mixture of 9 parts water to 1 part sugar. Here is a recipe for a larger batch. For example, if you use 2 1/4 cups water, you would add 1/4 cup of sugar. Put the sugar water in a pot and stir over low heat until the sugar has

dissolved. Don’t be tempted to add more sugar to the mixture because too much sugar will cause the butterflies to become dehydrated. You don’t need to add food coloring to the nectar. When the mixture has cooled, you can store the nectar in a bottle or container in the refrigerator until you are ready to refill the feeder. The final step is to take the sponge and your home-made nectar out to your feeding station. Place the sponge in the center of the plate and pour enough nectar on the sponge to saturate it. Save the rest of the nectar for another feeding. Note: If ants are a problem, you can coat the bottom of the plate with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to keep them away from the nectar. You and your children can craft a feeder that will be fun to make and will coax butterflies to linger longer as they flutter by!

Find more information, go to the Master Gardener website,



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


Seniors: Acceptance Letters Are Not Irrevocable!


o it is second semester and seniors are getting acceptance letters and starting to think about which college they will choose to attend. What a great feeling! Unfortunately, the acceptance letter often gives a false sense of security to seniors who think that once they are admitted, what they do in the second semester doesn't really matter. WRONG! Colleges can, and do, rescind acceptance letters every year. If you are a senior feeling pretty good about your acceptance letters and where you will attend, take warning! It is important that you do not suffer the crippling disease known as Senioritis. Senioritis is a serious condition that afflicts seniors during their last semester of high school. Symptoms include lack of motivation, procrastination, cutting class, being satisfied with a barely passing grade, extreme lack of interest in course work, skipping homework, daydreaming and wearing sweatpants to school more often than usual.



If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, then beware. There are consequences. Every year, colleges revoke their offers to students who did not maintain their grades or complete what they reported they were going to do in their applications. Case in point; When I was a high school counselor, I had a student who was accepted to UC Berkeley. He wasn't doing well in physics second semester so he quit going to class (classic senioritis symptom). When his final transcript was sent in at the end of the school year, he received a "Dear John" letter telling him that they were breaking up because he reported that he was taking physics but he dropped it second semester. Berkeley could no longer honor its offer of admission. Tragic! So it is June, he has already told all his other schools "Thanks, but I am going somewhere else." Now he has lost his spot at the college of his choice and has nowhere to go! Besides losing their offer for admission, some students may lose

financial aid that is based on merit. A significant drop in class rank, or GPA, can have a detrimental effect. Some colleges may still admit the student but place him or her on academic probation. That simply adds more stress on the student making this enormous transition from high school to college. A FEW TIPS: • Keep your head in the game for just a few more months. • If you have already been accepted and have decided where you will go, read the fine print in the acceptance letter. Be sure to do what it says. • Once you get your financial aid award letter, read it carefully so that you understand the requirements to keep the awards (money). • If anything happens to change what you reported in your application, let the admissions office know. So seniors, remember that you are on the last lap. Keep the goal in mind and don't forget that graduation cures senioritis!

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


Old English ACROSS

28 Stowe’s Little ___

51 Beginning of 37 Across

1 Stylish

30 Gaelic

59 Kremlin First Lady

5 Bridge wipeout

34 Smart or Bond


9 Swiftly

35 Hewed

61 Ginza glow

14 Italian resort

36 They, in Toulons

62 Birch

15 Egyptian cotton 16 Pass along

37 Work by 20 Across, with The 63 Destroy 64 OK city 41 Parents, e.g.

17 Hot spot

42 Partner

65 Jefferson portraitist

18 Cupid

43 A Doolittle

66 West of Nod

19 Vernon’s partner

44 Nylon’s nemesis

67 Impertinence

20 Medieval poet

46 NJ pro


23 Supremely Diana

47 Inquisition charge

1 Heavy shoe

24 Slalom turn

48 Born in the ___

2 Busy place

25 Pakistani city

50 Actress Hunnicut

3 Thought: prefix


4 Challenge 5 Meager 6 Rickey’s requisite 7 Fukien port 8 Cleo wooer 9 1987 Peace Prize winner 10 Study 11 A Waugh 12 Sugar source 13 Flirt 21 Strong point 22 Intoxicating 25 Wants 26 Repeatedly 27 It turns brown to red 28 Rejoice 29 Quite 31 Lunar valley 32 Luges 33 Class paper 35 Competent 38 Hindu honcho 39 Owned by them 40 Commercial carriers 45 Thug 47 Chance 49 Gaze 50 Thin fabric 51 End filming 52 In fine shape 53 La Scala offering 54 Ranch unit 55 Horned creature 56 Russian river 57 Lane, of Planet staff 58 Marino targets




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 Visalia Talks & Wine We are extremely inspired by Ted Talks and are using it as an inspirational platform. We will share ideas and information worth hearing about. There will be wine and a full bar available. This event is 21+. $8-$13. When: March 8, 5–7 p.m. Where: The Cellar Door, 101 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Kelsey Low, Artisan Market Food Fest Fundraiser More than 45 vendors of handcrafts, antiques and repurposed décor, along with food, raffles, mobile blood truck and entertainment from local performing arts students. Fundraiser goes specifically to the Oncology Department and Craycroft floor at Valley Children’s Hospital. When: March 10, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Where: The Looking Glass, 242 E. Caldwell Ave., Visalia Contact: The Looking Glass, (559) 623-7614,

2018 Visalia Senior Games The Visalia Senior Games aim to provide excellent conditions for senior citizens who seek a competitive environment along with the camaraderie of other athletes. Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming Visalia Senior Games and how you can participate! When: March 10, 8 a.m.–March 18, 5 p.m. Where: Visalia Parks & Recreation, 345 N. Jacob St., Visalia Contact: (559) 713-4365, 30


Historias con Música Join us for a trip south of the border as we visit the Mayan Riviera. We share the ritualistic and distinct sounds of the Yucatán through the dazzling orchestration of “Noches de las Mayas. Tickets: $22-$45 When: March 10, 7:30–9:30 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: (559) 625-1369 Weekend of Worship Join us for mass or a concert! This is a free event. When: March 11, 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. English Mass, 1 p.m. Spanish Mass, 3 p.m. concert, 7 p.m. English Mass. Where: St. Mary Catholic Church, 5094 W. Caldwell Ave., Visalia Contact: Celebrant Singers, (559) 740-4000,

WBW: ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’ CHOICES presents “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” (1959). Tickets: $5. Darby O’Gill does not want to tell his daughter that his position has been taken by a dashing younger man. On his way home, Darby slips through a portal to the land of the little people, where he meets the leprechaun king, Brian, and winds up accidentally bringing the little monarch home with him. Darby then demands that Brian grant him three wishes, but the request brings Darby bittersweet, and unexpected, results. When: March 14, 6:30–9 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: (559) 625-1369

The Midtown Men The Midtown Men reunites stars from the smash Broadway hit musical, “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.” Formed in 2010, the popular vocal group has been widely praised for its signature renditions of the greatest rock and roll songs of the 1960s. Tickets: $28-$56. When: March 16, 8 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St. Visalia Contact: (559) 625-1369 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Join us for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will start on Main Street at Church Street and will travel west to Willis Street and head north; the parade will disband in front of the Vintage Press. We will be checking in all parade entrants at Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave. (next to Jack & Charlie’s). When: March 17, 10–11 a.m. Where: Downtown Visalia, parade starts on Main Street at Church Street. Irish Fest Irish Fest is your chance to be Irish for a day! Sample more than 30 flavors of local craft beers. All guests must be 21 or older and carry valid identification. There will be food trucks and live music with Borrowed Time. Tickets: $35 in advance, $45 at the door. $10 non-drinkers. Doors open at 1 p.m. Last pour will be at 4:30 p.m. When: March 17, 1-5 p.m. Where: Rawhide Ballpark, 345 N. Jacob St., Visalia Contact: Visalia Breakfast Lions Club, (559) 909-0091, ‘Blade Runner’ CHOICES presents “Blade Runner” (1982). Tickets: $5 When: March 22, 6:30 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: (559) 625-1369

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

CASA of Tulare County second annual Superhero Run Join CASA of Tulare County at the second annual Superhero Run. It’s a great way to kick off the spring season with a brisk run or stroll through Visalia’s historic Mooney Grove Park. The event features a 5k and 1k Run/ Walk (timed), raffle and a Superhero Costume Contest. When: March 24, 7 a.m.-noon Where: Mooney Grove Park, 27000 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: Amy Silveira, 10th annual John Paul Magao Memorial Motorcycle Ride & Vendor Show Ride starts at Visalia Harley-Davidson and ends at Plaza Park, South Plaza Drive, south of the Wyndham Hotel next to the tennis & pickleball courts, Arbor #1. Riders $30, passengers $20. Lunch only (non-riders) $10. When: March 24. 8 a.m. Registration: 8 a.m., kickstands up, 10 a.m., Lunch at noon. Ride starts at 10 a.m. Where: Visalia Harley-Davidson, 30681 Highway 99, Visalia Contact: John Paul Magao Memorial Scholarship Foundation, James, (559) 972-2388; Janice, (559) 623-2264

Civil Discourse in the Public Arena The League of Women Voters will present a program on “Civil Discourse in the Public Arena.” It will be a no-host, catered luncheon, featuring Sharon Kimball and Debora Humphreys. When: March 24, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Where: St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 120 N. Hall St., Visalia Contact: Faye Zeeb, (559) 734-6501, Visalia Naz Annual Eggstravaganza Join us for this year’s Eggstravaganza, where there will be crafts, egg hunts, bounce houses, train rides and more! Event is free except for food. When: March 31, 9 a.m. – noon. Where: Visalia Nazarene Church, 3333 W. Caldwell Ave., Visalia Contact: Judy Hart,, (559) 734-1117,

86th Annual Lindsay Orange Blossom Festival The real fun is blooming at the Lindsay Orange Blossom Parade and Festival, featuring live music, food vendors, bounce houses, a 5k and 10k fun-run, a carnival and more! This event is free! Grab some lawn chairs and the whole family and make a day of it. When: April 14, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., parade starts at 10 a.m. Where: Lindsay City Park, Lindsay Contact: Randy Bachman In a rare and intimate setting, Randy Bachman weaves together the iconic hits of the Guess Who and BachmanTurner Overdrive with the oftenhumorous stories that brought the songs to life. He takes his master storytelling and voluminous musical knowledge on the road and takes fans on a retrospective of his career. Tickets: $35-$80. When: April 28, Doors: 7 p.m., Show: 8 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 Main St., Visalia Contact: Visalia Fox Theatre,, (559) 625-1369

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.



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


Financial Accountability CAFR In January, the Visalia City Council received and reviewed the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for fiscal year July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. State law requires a complete set of audited financial statements annually by the city. This report, which was almost 200 pages long, gives the City Council an opportunity to review the financial health of the city and is done by an outside auditor. The report showed that over the prior year, sales tax revenues had increased by 4 percent, property tax revenues had increased by 5 percent and transient occupancy taxes had increased by 12 percent. Excluding revenues from the sale of land, we ended that fiscal year with a $900 million surplus! By adding that surplus to our emergency reserves, along with interest earnings and some land transfer revenues, this brought the reserves’ ending balance up to $12.9 million. The council then authorized the transfer from unassigned funds of another $1.5 million to increase the emergency reserves’ balance to $14.4 million. Another way that I refer to our emergency reserves is our "rainy day funds." The goal of the council has been to build up those reserves to 25 percent of our general fund. The new balance achieves that 25 percent goal and is the highest that our city's emergency reserves have ever been. I note that because of the Great Recession, the emergency reserves reached a low point of $1.3 million in 2012-13 and this City Council has rebuilt the reserves to what we have currently. Now that we have rebuilt the emergency reserves, we can start using future surpluses to save up for other projects. Currently, we are enjoying a relatively prosperous economy, but we are 32


prepared for the time when such is not the case. The general conclusion of the CAFR was that Visalia is in good financial condition overall. We always appreciate receiving this type of good news.

ECONOMIC STRENGTH More good news is that Area Development Magazine recently came out with its 2017 rankings related to metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), based upon performance in prime work force, economic strength, year-overyear growth and five-year growth. Overall, Visalia/Porterville's MSA (Tulare County) ranked 64th out of 394 MSAs across the country, which was a vast improvement over our 2016 ranking. This new ranking was the highest in the Central Valley region. By comparison, Fresno ranked 105th, Modesto 152nd and Bakersfield 374th. This is more good news for our city and area, and we look forward to 2018 being another banner year! VISALIA P.D. Our local police department held its first awards ceremony on Jan. 17. Chief Jason Salazar handed out many well-deserved awards to employees of our police department. One of the awards was the "lifesaving award," given

to four of our police staff who acted heroically when they happened to be at a concert in Las Vegas in 2017 where shooting broke out. They assisted other concertgoers and saved lives by their quick action, even though they were off duty at the time. Space does not allow me to go into detail about all of the well-deserved awards that were presented that afternoon. Suffice it to say that we appreciate what our public safety officers do in our community. While I'm at it, let me just share part of a letter that I received from local community member "Fred" complementing Officer Tim Connors. Officer Connors assisted Fred in recovering some stolen property that Fred wasn't even aware had been taken! Fred wrote: "Thanks to Tim Connors, I got my property back and his actions will probably help convict these burglars. His quick work helped prove that there had been a break-in, goods were stolen, and it made me feel really great!" If you haven't thanked one of our public safety officers recently for what they do in our community, next time you come across one, let them know that you appreciate their efforts. SENIOR GAMES The 2018 Visalia Senior Games are fast approaching, March 10 and 11, and 17 and 18. This will be our third annual event and if you haven't signed up yet, visit See you there! 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 - March 2018  
Direct Magazine - March 2018  

Culture, Commerce, and Community in Visalia and Tulare – The Heart of the South Valley.