CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE - THE HEART OF THE SOUTH VALLEY
Well, THAT Was Fun
THANKSGIVING …in 3 Acts
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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y
CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y
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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE — T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y
INSIDE NOVEMBER 2010 PUBLI S HE D BY
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Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA JeffREy Malkasian EA Bookkeeper Marilyn Harris ADMIN I STRATI ON & E DI TO R I A L
Executive Editor Karen Tellalian
Bridging the Gap to Eliminate Hunger
Office Administrator MARIA GASTON
ADVE RT I S I NG SA LE S
Advertising Director Bridget Elmore 559.739.1747 Advertising Sales DARLENE MAYFIELD 559.739.1747 SALES OFF I C E
801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • fax 559.738.0909 email: email@example.com
Direct Magazine is published twelve times a year and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 50,000 homes between Visalia and Tulare. An additional 1,500 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Circulation of this Issue: 51,500
28 Direct from Warren
10 Virtual Valley Building a Business via Social Networks
14 From Out of the Tules The Short Life and the Terrible Luck of Visalia and Tulare Railroad
C. S. WYATT TERRY L. OMMEN CRYSTAL R. R. EDWARDS CRAIG WHEATON WARREN GUBLER KATIE DESROCHERS
Assistant Editor TAYLOR VAUGHN Marketing Specialist KATIE DESROCHERS
12 Pet of the Month
16 Greater Tuna A Taste of Americana
20 Well, THAT Was Fun Thanksgiving in Three Acts 24 Faces and Places Oktoberfest 2010
WHEN IT’S IMPORTANT…
care of yo e k a t u. ll ’ e W
FoodLink FOR TULARE COUNTY
Children look forward to getting a FoodLink on Fridays.
Bridging the Gap
to Eliminate Hunger
As the holiday season approaches, family and friends gathering together at tables full of delicious food surely gives reason to celebrate! But for some in Tulare County, the thought of a holiday celebration disappears with the sobering realization of the shortage of food in the pantry – and the inability to feed their family. FoodLink is an organization founded to bridge the gap between surplus and need, and ensure that local children, families, and elderly persons in need of good food receive the nutrition they lack. FoodLink runs programs that operate all year, and the holiday season is an especially important time to reach out to those less fortunate. Every year, FoodLink’s many food drives help bring the joy of a holiday meal to those who often do without. 6
FoodLink was started in 1978 by the Visalia Interchurch Fellowship out of a concern that seniors and children were going hungry while tons of food was being dumped due to slight cosmetic or manufacturing irregularities. Despite periods of economic downturns, high unemployment, and disasters, FoodLink is able to continue its vital commitment to eliminate hunger by providing healthy food and nutrition education to those in need through community involvement. FoodLink knows that hungry children are most affected when families run out of food before the next paycheck comes in. In response to the growing number of children whose parents cannot provide a consistently healthy diet, FoodLink has developed several food programs just for kids.
Highland Elementary School’s backpacks full of good food for kids to take home.
Summer Lunch serves healthy lunches to 700 children per day in the summer. Kids go back to school in the fall better nourished and ready to learn. Fruit 4 Thought is a fun and creative program; FoodLink partners with Tulare County Office of Education nutrition educators to give students fresh fruit along with child-friendly nutrition education at Back-to-School nights. “The kids just love the plums, nectarines, and oranges”, says Nani Rowland, TCOE Nutrition Coordinator. Most of the fruit is donated by local packers such as Venida Packing, LoBue Brothers, and Paramount Citrus. To make sure children eat when they don’t get a school lunch is FoodLink’s Backpack Food for Thought. Children at some of the lowest-income elementary schools get a backpack
full of healthy food to take home every Friday; children must have nourishing food every day to stay healthy, do well in school, and develop strong, active bodies and minds. The Nutrition on the Go program is one of FoodLink’s favorite ways to feed families struggling with poverty. Dieticians and health professionals have become very concerned with the rapidly growing rate of diabetes, obesity, and chronic diseases among low-income children. When money is tight, fresh fruit and vegetables have to be crossed off the shopping list in favor of cheaper, less nutritious foods. FoodLink uses the bounty of beautiful and healthful fruit and vegetable seconds donated by local farms to make up for the lack of produce for families; nutrition education is provided as well, so families know how to safely and deliciously prepare the fruit and vegetables. DIRECT MAGAZINE
Kraft employees volunteer for “Make a Delicious Difference Day.”
“Nutrition on the Go” is now operational in 21 locations throughout Tulare and Kings Counties, providing nearly three million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to 24,000 people! Community caring and generosity is the principle resource that helps FoodLink achieve its mission. Tulare County – with a 27 percent poverty rate 16 percent unemployment rate – can be a very difficult place to raise funds. Over 100,000 people depend on FoodLink to keep hunger away, and FoodLink depends on generous and caring people to help make that happen. FoodLink raises and delivers 8 million pounds of food yearly, distributed by nonprofits in Tulare County that directly feed needy families; local funding comes from United Way, religious organizations, businesses, individuals, and over 1,000 volunteers. While some of the food itself is donated, the trucking, supplies, and safe food handling is costly. FoodLink is looking for support to continue “Nutrition on the Go” ($1,500 per site of 200 families), “Backpack Food for Thought” ($7 per child per week), and its Holiday Food Basket programs ($150 worth of food at a cost of $34). For more information or to get involved with FoodLink visit www.FoodLinkTC.org **FoodLink is very grateful to Ralph Jordan of Williams, Jordan, Broderson, & Pritchett - Attorneys at Law, for making this article possible. 8
Too early to plan
for that Holiday dinner? Not if you’re inviting 5,000 families!
FoodLink’s annual Holiday Basket program is underway! It starts with “Stuff the Trolley”, a major food drive lasting until Thanksgiving. “Stuff the Trolley” involves schools and businesses in raising food for hungry families. Following in December is the “Care and Share Food Drive”; the food – which includes poultry and other items purchased by FoodLink – goes into Holiday boxes distributed by 47 different nonprofit organizations.
Children eat even when school is out.
Volunteers and families at “Nutrition on the Go.”
Building a Business via Social Networks Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a myriad of social networking Internet technologies are reshaping how businesses develop and maintain customer relationships. Just as a web presence became a standard marketing tool by the late 1990s, a “social network” identity is becoming an essential part of brand development today. Writers, musicians and actors have to be good at selfpromotion. Celebrity Twitter feeds are read by millions of loyal fans. Many celebrities also maintain blogs and public accounts on Facebook or MySpace. We can learn from the examples of celebrities, both what to do and what not to do with the power of social networking. One local mystery writer has turned social networking into an effective promotional tool. Marilyn Meredith, a Springville resident, writes a blog entry almost daily. These entries are on both the business and craft of writing. To see how this Valley writer maintains her “brand”, visit fictionforyou.com and select the “blogs” menu. The ancient (by Internet standards) static website is outdated. A static page on the World Wide Web is similar to a phonebook listing: no one reads it until they need you. By contrast, a blog or community website encourages customers to think about your products or services on a daily or weekly basis. When “F. M. Meredith” is scheduled to speak at a library or book fair, a blog entry announces her appearance to loyal readers and fellow writers. Because Meredith posts frequent book reviews mentioning other family-friendly authors, readers tend to check her website often. She is not only building her personal brand, but she helps her fans locate authors of similar works. Businesses need to create more than mere brands: they need to create communities. Thanks to the Internet, one person working from home can create a tight-knit community. Before using social networks to promote your business or professional career, you should consider how to manage your online brand. The most important advice is to keep any professional social networking separate from your personal online activities. Create accounts that are only for business purposes, including promotional announcements. You might have to remind friends and family to direct personal messages to your private accounts, but the division is essential. Most famous people on social networks create second or even 10
third online identities that only their friends or family could guess. It is important to maintain your privacy. Managing your social networks is simple. You do not need to retype and post the same announcements, blog articles or press releases to every social network service. Instead, you can compose the text once and have it automatically distributed to the most popular networks. The companies behind social networks understand that being interconnected benefits them. It is easy to set up a Blogger or WordPress site to send Twitter announcements when new blog entries are created. You can then set up LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites to distribute any Twitter announcements. No matter which social network customers prefer, you can get your message to them in an instant. Assume clients will contact you via social networks. If a question is general enough, you can respond publicly to help other customers. If a customer has a complaint, you can post a short message letting the customer know you will answer privately. Remember that private e-mails can be copied and pasted for the world to see, so always be as polite as possible, especially on social networks. I believe in social networking. My wife and I maintain a website, a blog and a Twitter account for our freelance writing. Every week or two, we try to post an article about writing to the blog. The blog software automatically sends a link to the article to our friends and clients via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. What is amazing is that we do all of this via a single e-mail message. Either my wife or I can write an article wherever we happen to be. Then, we send the article to our blog, which has a special e-mail address. Once the blog software verifies the message is from one of us, it posts the article to our website and notifies the world there’s a reason to visit our site. There is no need to know HTML or some other obtuse “markup” code to write the articles. We also don’t have to remember to send an announcement to our readers via a number of social networks. The entire process is painless, yet powerful. Social networking has always been important to business. Once, this meant the traditional networking represented by business cards and civic organizations. Today, it means being on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Tex t by C. S. Wyat t
Business Tips for Social Networking
1 2 3 4 5 6
Establish “business only” identities focusing on your products and services. S elect online names and addresses that match your business name as closely as possible. Create meaningful new content at least weekly so clients have a reason to follow you. Mention clients and other businesses you like and support.
How to Ruin a Business via Social Networking
1 2 3 4
M ixing personal notes with business notes diminishes your brand identity. Writing in “txt” form is usually inappropriate for business. P osting several times a day overwhelms customers and employees. Failing to respond to a customer in a public forum conveys poor service.
Keep messages clear, concise and positive no matter what. Overlap content by connecting your social networks for wider distribution.
Valley native Scott Wyatt has a doctorate in scientific and technical communication, focusing on issues of education, literacy and technology. Contact Scott at email@example.com with questions or comments.
S ave Up To $ 600
PET OF THE MONTH
Home 4 the Holidays Valley Oak SPCA encourages Tulare County to “Make Your House a Home…Adopt a Shelter Dog!” The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) declares October to be Adopt-a-ShelterDog Month. Each year millions of people find a devoted housemate at their local shelter. The ASPCA and Valley Oak SPCA encourage citizens to “Make Adoption Your First Option”™. This October, “Make your house a home…adopt a shelter dog!” Nothing says “welcome home” like a wagging tail and a pair of warm brown eyes. You can help your new friend settle in - and minimize wear and tear on your abode - by making some strategic interior design choices. A tip sheet prepared
by the ASPCA offers dog-lovers solutions to their dog vs. décor woes (available online at www.ASPCA.org). There are also additional tips at www.VOSPCA.org. Whether you are a fastidious housekeeper or a more casual one, adoption counselors can help you select a suitable canine for your lifestyle preferences.
VALLEY OAK SPCA 29016 HIGHWAY 99 VISALIA, CA 93277 Phone: (559) 651-1111 Web: www.vospca.org
MEET BUBBLES Bubbles is an adult male Labrador Retriever. He is approximately four years old, and we believe him to be a purebred Lab. He has a great personality and a pretty, perfect physique. His soulful brown eyes and playful nature are sure to steal your heart in no time! Bubbles is energetic, friendly and very well-behaved. Even in a kennel full of barking dogs, Bubbles is quiet and polite. He walks well on a leash and knows basic commands like “sit” and “stay”. With a head start on training and a strong desire to please, Bubbles will be easily shaped into the perfect pet and member of your family. (#35660)
Visit Bubbles and Corona and all their friends at Valley Oak SPCA shelter or online at www.vospca.org 12
DirectMag - Sept.2010.pdf
MEET CORONA Corona is energetic, friendly, playful and dominant. She gets along well with other dogs and does okay with cats. She likes children, rides well in the car, and walks great on a leash. Corona has been previously kept both indoors and outdoors and is house-trained. She likes to be walked a couple of times a week and likes to eat Pedigree® dry adult dog food – about two cups a day. Corona has been previously seen at Care at the Courtyard, and is current on vaccinations. Corona was surrendered to the shelter due to personal reasons of her previous owner. “She needs a good home with a big yard to play in. She is very friendly and smart,” her previous owner informs. Corona has been spayed and is available for adoption at a discounted price. (#7441)
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The Short Life Terrible Luck Visalia and Tulare
It’s hard to believe an enterprise that sounded so good on the drawing board would face so many problems in operation. The venture wasn’t just a financial question mark, it was fraught with problems. The entrepreneurs that formed the Visalia and Tulare Railroad Company seemed to have a good business plan, but it just wasn’t enough. The company floundered, and -after just 12 years- went belly-up to be remembered as the “little engine that couldn’t.” The little railroad line existed because Visalia and Tulare were close neighbors and the folks living in the two towns frequently visited each other for shopping, entertainment and business. A group of investors led by Visalian Jasper Harrell saw an opportunity, and on October 1, 1887, the Visalia and Tulare Railroad Co. was incorporated. Their plan, in a nutshell, was to create a light rail, mostly commuter line between Visalia and Tulare that would offer people an easy and quick mode of transportation. It would run from the Harrell Building at Court and Main streets in Visalia, south on Court to Tulare Ave., then make a sweeping turn west to where Mooney Blvd. is today. The route would then go south to the city of Tulare where it would turn west and terminate at the Southern Pacific Depot on “J” Street – a total one-way distance of about 11 ½ miles. The work of building the rail line connecting the two towns wasn’t a difficult task. The land was level with little or no grading required, and the waterways like Packwood and Cameron creeks were easy to bridge. The dedication of the Visalia and Tulare Railroad took place on Monday, October 22, 1888, and by 1890, the railroad had 11 employees with an annual payroll of a little over $7,000. The line had two small wood-burning locomotives, one flat car, and three passenger cars. There were three regularly 14
scheduled round trips daily between the towns, and when special events occurred, the schedule was adjusted or additional round trips were added. It was patronized fairly well, but in 1890 the railroad was already reporting thefts. They offered a $25.00 reward for the arrest and conviction of anyone caught stealing wood or other property next to the track. Another challenge to the line came from a pesky farm animal. John H. Woody owned a farm adjacent to the tracks and his 2,300-pound bull didn’t like the looks of the strange iron horse. Occasionally, the bull would escape from the corral and when he did, he would make his way to the tracks and face off with the little locomotive. But inconvenience wasn’t the only problem. On May 10, 1890, D. L. Healy, his wife and two small children were passengers. When the train was about a mile or so from Tulare, it was forced to stop due to a washout of the track. Several passengers including the Healy family hopped on a handcar nearby and Healy himself helped propel it. As the handcar approached the business portion of Tulare, it derailed. They lifted it back onto the track and the group continued on to Tulare. However, just before they arrived, Healy’s wife fell from the car and it passed over her. The family sued the railroad and received a judgment. The little train’s problems continued. In 1891, Edgar Woods, a Visalia woodchopper and deaf mute, was walking on the tracks between Tulare and Visalia. He obviously did not hear the rumble of the train as it approached from the rear. The engineer blew the whistle, but the man did not change his course. The airbrakes were applied and the engine was reversed, but it seemed to have no effect on the train as it slid a considerable distance on the wet tracks and struck Woods. Badly injured, Woods was placed on the train and taken to
CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE â€” T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y
Above: The scene of the wreck of the Visalia and Tulare Railroad
Visalia for medical care. Dr. Hall treated him and did what he could, but determined his foot required amputation. The little train struggled to stay operational for the remainder of the 1890s, and the stockholders were becoming more and more pessimistic. But little did they know the end was near. On May 5, 1900, the train left Visalia around 7:30 p.m. bound for Tulare with about 35 passengers on board. Train engineer Gilbert D. Inness took the train to his cruising speed of 20 mph directly in front of the Caldwell Ranch (near what is now Mooney Blvd and Caldwell Ave.). While Inness was distracted with the task of loading wood into the firebox of the engine, a cow or calf had wandered onto the track. The engineerâ€™s friend Ed Thomas -who was in the cab at the timealerted Inness. The engineer quickly turned off the steam and applied the brakes, but it was too late. The animal was hit with such force that it was cut in half, and the small engine did a complete somersault, landing on its left side. The closed passenger car located behind the engine also derailed, and it
too landed on its side. The last car, an open passenger coach, remained on the track. Both Inness and Thomas were thrown under the engine and passengers were knocked around and badly shaken. Mrs. Twaddle, wife of Tulare County Supervisor Thomas Twaddle, was the most seriously hurt. Her back was badly wrenched and she was partially paralyzed, but the injuries were not life threatening. Many of the other passengers had scalp wounds, bruises and various minor cuts. Miraculously, Inness and Thomas escaped with a few scratches and amazingly, no one was killed -except of course for the wandering bovine. The train sustained severe damage to the cab, cow catcher and smokestack, wrecking them beyond repair. The next day, the curious from around the area came in buggies and bicycles to see the toppled train. Shortly after the accident the railroad company sold the rolling stock, rails, ties and other equipment. The small commuter line was finished, and some would say thank goodness it was put out of its misery. DIRECT MAGAZINE
Greater Tuna Text by K atie Desrochers, Photos by A shley Machado
A Taste of Americana
Greater Tuna started as a party skit 30 years ago in a Texas living room. Since then, it has become one of the most oftproduced plays in the world; drawing heaps of critical acclaim and gales of laughter for its unflinching, yet warm portrayal of a town that progress forgot, and those who live there. And it’s quite a colorful crew who call the fictional town of Tuna home. In fact, the cast of 20+ characters is so sharp and varied that a few scenes elapsed before it was apparent that the cast of Greater Tuna is portrayed by only two people; so fluidly do actors Mike Hamilton and JJ Pestano of the Visalia Community Players move from role to role. One of this play’s defining elements has always been its use of a single pair of actors playing a whole host of individuals; and a certain vaudevillian ease characterizes the way this remarkable duo marshals their army of personas, and dons wholly new characters with just the change of a costume. Hamilton and Pestano function like a pair of quick-change 16
tour guides as they usher the audience through a day in the life of Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas and a stronghold of backwoods bigotry and contented ignorance. The play begins with a morning broadcast from two drawling DJs at radio station OKKK, which wastes no time in setting the stage for the kind of place that Tuna is. The mores of this town are conservative at best, and blissfully narrow-minded at their hilarious worst; as every character shows in their own conspicuous way. But although the satire is admittedly scathing – originally designed to poke fun at the prominent “Moral Majority” movement of the early 1980s – Hamilton and Pestano quickly ferret out what makes these characters compelling and relatable, playing each of their parts with a warmth and sincerity that makes you want to watch a dusty Texas sunset with these yokels; even if their annual high school essay contest does produce entries with titles like “Human Rights – Why Bother?”
Admittedly, human rights might not be the primary concern of characters like Bertha Bumiller, who whiles away her neglected existence by burning books, chiding her three impossible children, and shouting herself hoarse at the household’s ever-increasing pack of dogs. Or Pearl Burras – aunt to Bertha – who is afflicted with a serious case of canicidal thumbitu: an irresistible urge to poison wayward canines with strychnine. In fact, as a member of the Greater Tuna Humane Society, the affable Petey Fisk might be the only character who breaks the mold of stolid backwater selfabsorption, as he tirelessly advocates for the rights of animals over radio OKKK. As the play unfolds, an increasing number of characters wend their way through the scenes. We become acquainted with the three Bumiller children and the various adolescent concerns with which they plague their mother. And then there’s the Reverend Spikes, who spews clichés as he pounds his pulpit. Or the appropriately bad-tempered Didi Snavely, who divides her time between shrilling at her UFO-obsessed, town-drunk of a husband, and shilling for her emporium of used weapons, “If we can’t kill it, it’s immortal!” Events are thin on the ground in Tuna, and it’s the unexpected, fatal stroke of the town judge that brings the characters out of the woodwork. Aunt Pearl – jilted by the judge as a young girl – gloats over the body with ill-disguised satisfaction, while Vera Carp – the town’s richest woman and president of the smut-snatcher society – attends only to drawl disinterestedly over the waxy corpse. But it is the visit by Bertha Bumiller’s oldest son, Stanley, that is the most
interesting: sentenced to reform school by Judge Recently Deceased, and characterized by the most painfully unrefined accent of the entire cast, he lounges insolently over the body and shares a dark secret that lends an abrupt new dimension to his character. Our one-day journey through this slice of small-town Americana ends where it began; at radio OKKK where the two DJs end their broadcast day by blithely misplacing their evening news report, and declaring to the airwaves that, “If you can find a better town than Tuna ... MOVE!” DIRECT MAGAZINE
CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE â€” T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y
CULINARY Recipe by Wild Note Cafe, Solano Beach, CA
ARTICHOKE SOUP Directions In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, fennel and thyme. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft [about 10 minutes]. Add roasted potatoes and chicken or vegetable stock, tomato paste and artichokes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then blend in blender or food processor until smooth and strain through metal strainer to remove any pulp.
Ingredients 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 white onions, chopped 3 celery ribs, chopped 1 cup dried sun-dried tomatoes 3 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped 1 small fennel bulb, chopped 2 tablespoons dry thyme 2 cups cooked potatoes, chopped 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1 small can tomato paste 3 (13-ounce) cans artichokes, chopped Makes 6 servings
Imagine Christmas: L I G H T
A Visual Awakening for Your Eyes and Heart! This year, Imagine Christmas enters its third year of production with the presentation of Imagine Christmas: LIGHT. Using a breathtaking combination of multi-media, music, drama, dance and Cirque du Soleil-style performances, VFA showcases the beauty of illumination, and the Christmas story that illustrates how Light came into our world. Imagine Christmas: LIGHT is a stunning and colorful performance of the Christmas story produced and directed by VFA’s own Pastor Karen Robertson, in partnership with the Los Angeles-based Aerial Experience Productions. AEP’s clients include such worldwide corporations such as Disney, SeaWorld, NBC Sports, Lexus, Westinghouse, and many more. On their website, AEP comments that the Imagine Christmas productions is, “...one of the boldest creative arts additions to ever hit church productions.” This Christmas story begins as creation is vividly brought to life on stage. A void of nothingness is transformed by light as earth, sky and water give way to creatures of all types – fish and turtles and birds and giraffes all come to life. It is as if the audience is there, witnessing the beginning of the world and being surrounded by God’s wonderful gifts. Then, in a dramatic twist, darkness enters the world through the fall of man; symbolically portrayed by a largerthan-life snake slithering its way from the audience to the stage. Heart-pounding music plays as the scene culminates in the defining moment when Eve eats the forbidden fruit.
Against this backdrop of darkness, Light enters the world, preciously and innocently igniting a celebration of music and lights through the birth of Jesus. As 2010 comes to end, VFA invites you and your family to fully explore, fully enjoy and fully see the greatest story ever told through Imagine Christmas: LIGHT. Imagine Christmas: LIGHT Performance dates: Thursday, December 9; 7pm Friday, December 10; 7pm Saturday, December 11; 4pm & 7pm Sunday, December 12; 4pm & 7pm General Admission: $15 Reserved seating: $20 Weekend Worship at VFA Saturday at 5pm Sunday at 8am, 9:45am, 11:30am (Akers & Caldwell) Spanish Service Sunday at 12:30pm (Demaree and Walnut) For more information visit v1ag.com or call 733-9070
Quality, Professional Results at Reasonable Rates
WELL, THAT WAS FUN
Thanksgiving in 3 Acts
My copy of the Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare begins the forward to the play Henry V with this delicious sentence: “In the theater, The Life of Henry the Fifth is renown for pageantry, battles, and crowd scenes, its varied collection of minor characters, and the unquestioned dominance of its hero.” Heh. That sounds like Thanksgiving at my house, with a few tweaks. Instead of the panoramic onstage march from Southampton to Harfleur, try the careening of an overloaded SUV from the grocery parking lot to the quiet residential streets of my small town. Instead of the warrior-king’s stately coronation scene, we have the mother-heroine moving purposefully through the kitchen with her hand up a deceased turkey’s bottom-end. Instead of Falstaff’s banishment and resulting heartbreak, we have instead a trio of three cherub-faced urchins and their father looking hungrily through the kitchen door, whining for a snack as if they weren’t going to be eating an eight-course meal in forty-five minutes. Somewhere in here, the mother-herione addresses her friends via text message: We few, we distraught few, we band of sisters; For she today that mashes yams with me Shall be my sister; be she ne’er so ticked, This day shall gentle her condition. Liberal use of wine and chocolate is, of course, the subtext here. It occurs to me that a reworking of all Shakespeare is what is needed to convey to humanity (emphasis on “man”) the full scope of what the holiday season entails for the average American woman. Being an average American woman, however, I don’t have time to rewrite the Bard’s plays, so let’s just make do with the single act I could find time for from a three-act play I’ve entitled A Holiday Tempest: 20
Scene III. [A dining room.]
Scene I. [An open place in front of kitchen door.]
Bodies lie on the floor, sprawled about and occasionally burping. The table is nearly destroyed, with dishes lying stacked in disarray and food dropped all along the floor.
hunder and lightning emanating T from kitchen. Enter three CHILDREN. FIRST CHILD hen shall we three eat again? At W breakfast, lunchtime, or tonight? SECOND CHILD hen the cooking is all done, when W the Mom has finally won. THIRD CHILD That will be ere the set of sun. ALL S nack is food, and food is snack. ‘Ware! the Father does try to attack! Exeunt pretty darn quickly. Scene II. [A kitchen.] MOTHER (to herself) hat idiot is that? He can report, as W seemeth by his mein, of the children their newest state. FATHER Discomfort swells. Mark, Mother of the House, mark: no sooner Snacktime had, with Goldfish armed, compelled these kvetching urchins to trust their heels but I their father, surveying vantage, with furbished sippys and new supplies of food, began a fresh assault. MOTHER S o well thy words become thee as thy stains; they smack of valor both.
(to a child)
Go get him Wet Wipes.
THE MESSY GRAVY BOAT What is this sight? THE HALF-EATEN TURKEY hat is it you would see? If aught W of sense or movement, cease your search. THE MESSY GRAVY BOAT his is a mess overwhelming. O T proud Dessert, What pow’r is placed in thine choc’lately cake. That thou so many people at a bite so marvelously hast struck? HE EMPTY BAKED YAM T CASSEROLE DISH he sight is dismal; and our T knowledge of Rolaids comes too late. The hands are useless that should give us clearing, to bring us to the dishwasher, the rose-sprigged plates and shined silver are messed. Where should we have our bath? THE HALF-EATEN TURKEY ad they th’ ability of movement to H clean.
Tex t by Crystal R. R. Edwards
It needs a little work, and a larger cleanup crew than my family is capable of post-supper. It takes two days to clean up after a three-hour meal and visit with the family. There is, actually, something of tragedy in every holiday meal I prepare, but it’s more obvious than usual when I prepare the Thanksgiving dinner. We smoke a duck and I bake a ham these days, since my last attempt at cooking a turkey ended up with a family field trip to the ER, followed by strict instructions to buy a meat thermometer. I’ve also stopped trying to bake pies altogether; the last one I baked was used as a temporary manhole cover. (Pro Tip: Don’t overwork the crust when you’re rolling it out. It bakes up very, very hard and you’ll hurt yourself trying to fake your way through chewing dessert.) Birdie Sue is nine now, and I think she’s ready to help me in the kitchen. I will be setting her to work mashing things in an attempt to eliminate at least a third of the we’restarving-we-need-a-snack-stop-pushing-me-did-not-did-too cacophony I used to be assaulted with. The holiday noise level from the kids in recent years has reached such height that my head aches for the rest of the night, so I’m dividing and conquering through hard, honest work. I will happily endure chunky mashed potatoes for a little peace and quiet. With luck, Hedgehog and Tapper will be too busy punching one another’s lights out over the olive dish like hyenas scrapping over a cebu corpse to notice their sister is getting to do something they aren’t. I’m not sure what family members will be joining us this year, and I suppose it’s getting near enough the time that I should figure that out so I know how much Xanax to take. Will it be my strict religious parents? My morally ambivalent
father-in-law? My whirlwind, crazy sister and her family? (She’s a psychologist. We diagnose the rest of the family while we cook. We have a cookbook on one side of the stove and the DSM-IV on the other side. We flip through both frantically. Last year we got a little overwhelmed and tried to hug the succotash’s inner child and poured melted butter on a guest.) Whoever thought up Thanksgiving was clearly a fan of pageant-filled drama. Whoever thought I could do this on my own was clearly a fan of comedy. Dear readers, think of me this Thanksgiving, as I turn to face the oven and proclaim: O crud! what flames from yonder oven flare? It is the ham! and dinner is undone.
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3445 S. Demaree St., Visalia 559.733.4478 DIRECT MAGAZINE
San Joaquin Valley College
BUSINeSS ADMINISTRATION DEGREE
Prepares Graduates With
Microsoft Office Training Employers know the value of being knowledgeable in the very latest computer applications. During hiring cycles, they seek applicants with the best in skills and training. Recently, big changes have taken place in the world of Microsoft Office, which includes Word, Access, PowerPoint and Excel. “Computer software has evolved tremendously this year,” said Jeff Nevins, division manager for San Joaquin Valley College’s Business Administration program at the Visalia campus. “If you are not well-trained in the complexities of these programs, you may fall behind in today’s competitive marketplace. In order to be hirable, strong computer skills are essential.” SJVC is committed to providing students with the latest technological advances in their business programs, which include Business Administration, Health Care Administration, and Human Resource Administration, as well as other medical and technical programs in which computer skills are required. “We want our graduates to have all the education and training advantages available so that they can explore career options with greater skill and confidence,” Nevins stated. SJVC’s Business Administration program offers Microsoft Office (MOS) certifications to those students who wish to take and pass the tests. The college provides a testing facility and covers the expense of the first tests. The college’s Business Administration program is wellrounded and offers basic business education as well as specialty 22
areas such as accounting, marketing, business trends and management. Another plus to this program is the small class size. “Students enjoy close contact with our instructors,” Nevins remarked. “Our low student-to-instructor ratio gives them a lot of individual attention that benefits their learning potential.” SJVC’s 15-month accelerated Business Administration program focuses on desktop applications, including Microsoft Word, Access, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as general business skills such as word processing, accounting, data base management and electronic spreadsheets. Training also includes economics, psychology, sociology, ethics, and management, so as to expand a student’s basic business understanding, and enhance career growth potential. Graduates of this program can expect to work in industries such as government, education, banking, construction, agriculture, advertising, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance – virtually any company or facility requiring business support. On-the-job responsibilities might include demonstrating good customer service, producing computer reports, performing accounts receivable/payable tasks, producing sales presentations, or exhibiting team support. A business education will provide a strong base from which to branch out into many other areas of career interest. Graduates of SJVC’s Business Administration program earn an Associate of Science degree and the confidence to step into any business, office or sales environment. San Joaquin Valley College is a 10-campus Private Jr. College, serving California communities for 33 years. For more information about SJVC’s business, medical or technical programs, call toll free 866-391-3804. Classes are starting soon.
VUSD Text by Craig Wheaton, Ed.D. Superintendent
Why Do Kids Come
So, why do kids like to come to school? I had some ideas myself; so during a recent school visit, I conducted a very unscientific survey to see. I simply asked, “What do you like about school?” Answers ranged from band to business, from football to FFA to Freshman Academy, from dance to drama -and of coursebecause of teachers, advisors, and coaches. There are many students who come to school because they know they belong in a class, a club, a team. They come to school to see their friends, to talk with classmates and teachers, because they feel like someone cares about them. They want to learn and to have fun. English, math, social studies, and science make up the core of a student’s day, but that isn’t the complete story. Did you know that students in Visalia experience formal music education starting in fourth grade? Over 6,000 students from fourth to sixth grade participate in choral music, orchestra, or band. Did you know that 43 percent of all middle school students are enrolled in at least one “creative arts” class (art/band/ orchestra/choir/dance/drama)? In high school, it is 41 percent of all students, totaling more than 5,000 seventh through twelfth grade students learning about the arts.
Did you know that 43 percent of all middle and high school students participate in sports? That’s 1,685 middle school students and 3,181 high school students during the last school year alone. Did you know that 48 percent of our high school students took at least one career technical education class? That includes a wide variety of career-oriented classes in areas such as business, agriculture, auto mechanics, health careers, and drafting. So, why do kids come to school? Different students give different answers, but I do know that the more students come to school, the more they learn. We are proud of the progress we have made in Visalia Unified School District. Though academics are important, our schools are about more than just that. We know that a feeling of being connected to school helps keep students interested in education and provides the best possible conditions for academic achievement. That is why we continue to provide a well-rounded educational program in all of our schools –where kids can find what makes education special to them.
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11. 1. Melissa Cascarano, Morgan Weber, Brian Lindsay 2. Rick Johnson, Marilea Smith 3. Nathan Peratto, Joshua Lovejoy, Tawny O’ Brien, Jessica Silva, Joshua Domenech 4. Connie & Bill Nilmeier, Ernie & Cris Colgan 5. Jerry & Darlene Hallberg 6. Shannon Hammond, Kami Bradford 7. David Barker, Anthony Moreno, Darlin Limuz, Cesar Rivera 8. Chad Macklin, James Abercrombie, Casey Ritchie, Nick Seals 9. Paige Crum, Laura Crum, Amber Roberts 10. Zaid Germa, Lance Kirk, Krista Dunn, Clay Kirk, Matt McMillan, Jason Shuman 11. Veronica Arbizo, Nancy Childres 12. Brandon Duke, Gabriel Muniz 13. Rick Sanchez, Corissa Garza, Jenna Charest, Alexi Warwick 14. Samantha Dolan, Meredith Casares, Shereen Mohsen, Kari Vanocker 15. Bill & Sherri Wolfe, Shelly & Michael Cox 16. Claudia Sproles, Paula Mueller
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CULTURE, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY IN VISALIA AND TULARE â€” T h e H e a r t O f T h e S o u t h V a l l e y
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DIRECT FROM WARREN Text by Warren Gubler, Visalia City Councilmember
TIGHTENING OUR BELT
The city council recently adopted a budget of $191,617,670 for fiscal year 2010/2011, and $199,696,500 for 2011/2012. These are the largest budgets to be adopted in the history of Visalia. The main reason for this is that our wastewater treatment plant’s tertiary treatment and water recharge project will cost approximately $80,000,000 spread out over these two budget years. This upgrade was mandated by federal and state regulations, and will be financed for the most part by sewer and wastewater fees and by grants. As part of this upgrade, recycled water that is released by the treatment plant will be delivered to local farming operations in exchange for upstream water which can be placed in ponding basins and put back into our aquifer. I’ve toured this well-managed plant; it is an amazing, modern facility. Much of Visalia’s general funds come from local sales and real property taxes. However, since the peak year of 2007, yearly sales tax revenues are down approximately $5,000,000; real property tax revenues have declined as real property values have dropped. For 2010/2011, this will result in an approximately $2,500,000 deficit in the general fund. The city council is charged with closing that budget gap, which is not an easy thing to do. This is the third year in a row of budget deficits for the city, and in this economy, it is impossible to predict how many more years we will be faced with declining revenues. We can either increase revenues (i.e., higher taxes), or cut expenses. Accordingly, the city council made the tough decision to cut expenses, including cutting city employees’ salaries (which account for approximately 70 percent of our general fund expense). Negotiations with the five unions that represent our city employees have been ongoing from March through October. Through a combination of negotiated agreements and impositions, city staff have taken a four percent pay decrease, together with lower retirement benefits for new hires. The latter will help put the city’s pension plan back on a sound financial footing. Due to these concessions from the employee groups, no lay-offs were required. The city council understands that such cuts are tough on personal and family budgets, and we appreciate our good employees for their willingness to reach a solution through compromise. This will result in budget savings of approximately $1,000,000. The balance of this year’s budget shortfall will be met from our general fund reserves. Unlike our state and federal 28
governments, our city is fortunate to have such reserves available, but we need to make those reserves stretch as far as possible, not knowing how long the current economic conditions will last. We were all saddened by the news of the recent shooting of Mormon Bishop Clay Sannar. I arrived at the LDS chapel soon after the incident, having been notified promptly by city staff of the occurrence. I found the crime scene to be well-secured by our police officers, who were respectful of the feelings of the witnesses and church members. Our law enforcement officials are to be commended for their quick response, and for bringing a situation that could have easily escalated to a prompt conclusion. Other faith groups in town were also quick to express their concern and offer assistance. I join with the entire community in offering condolences and best wishes to the Sannar family. The Visalia Arts Consortium recently unveiled the winning designs for the bronze plaques to be installed on each of the four corners of the new Santa Fe bridge. Eight Tulare county residents submitted artistic renderings, from which the designs of Dana Lubich were selected. Mr. Lubich’s family has a long history in Visalia. His grandfather, Robert L. Morris, owned businesses located along Mineral King Blvd., and started the first Mobil service station at Mineral King and Mooney Blvd. It is anticipated that these four bronze plaques will be cast and installed by November 2010. The artwork showcases the history of the Santa Fe Railroad and State Highway 198, as well as our agricultural heritage. Be sure to take special note of these plaques once they are installed. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 6, 2010, for a luncheon at the Convention Center sponsored by the Tulare County Symphony League. This is a fundraiser patterned after “Dancing with the Stars” where local “VIPs” are paired with celebrity professional dancers to raise money for a good cause. The VIPs dancing this year include Larry Benevento, Kathleen Remillard, Supervisor Allen Ishida, Florence Kabot, Laurie Tiesiera, and yours truly. Come join the fun. For reservations, call 627-9002. If you have questions or topics regarding the city which you would like to have addressed in future articles, please email Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (559) 7134400 x 3313.
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GOINGS-ON Art Exhibit: Where Different Paths Meet
25 Anniversary Open House & Night at The Museum
Artists Bob Goetting, Don Eric Butler, and John Griesbach are three local men whose lives have taken various career paths. They come together to exhibit works that bind them. Exhibit: Every Saturday-Sunday, October 2–December 29, 10a-4p Where: Courthouse Gallery, 125 N. B Street, Exeter Contact: Marty Weekly, 592-1143 or Anna Nelson, 592-3882
The Tulare City Historical Society will be commemorating the Tulare Historical Museum’s 25th Anniversary. Festivities include an open house,” an evening benefit, and an afternoon reception. The evening benefit will include appetizers, music, and docents dressed in period costumes. Sunday’s reception includes a program, cake, honored museum founders, and winners of the essay contest. Free Open House: Saturday, November 13 10a-4p & Sunday, November 14 12:30p-4p Benefit $25/each: Saturday 6p-9p; Free Reception: Sunday, November 14, 2pm (Heritage Room) Where: Tulare Historical Museum, 444 W. Tulare Ave., Tulare Contact: Terry Brazil, 686-2074 or www. tularehistoricalmuseum.org
Kaweah Land & Arts Festival
For the 2nd year, Sequoia Riverlands Trust brings us a 4-day celebration of art and nature to elevate our appreciation of the land that surrounds and sustains us. Each day brings a new experience at different houses and venues. When: Thursday-Sunday, November 4-7 Where: See website for venues and times. Contact: Visit www.sequoiariverlands.org or Niki Woodard, 738-0211, ext. 108 Our Town @ the Ice House
Play by Thornton Wilder and directed by Leeni Mitchell. The essence of this classic play is that life is both mundane and magical. Tickets: $12 adults, $6 students. When: October 29-31, November 5-7, 13 & 14 Where: Ice House Theatre, Race and Sante Fe, Visalia Contact: 734-3900 or email email@example.com 1st Saturday in Three Rivers
Come enjoy fall “Leaves” in the foothills. Pick up your map and follow the purple flags to art galleries, studios, and gift shops. Visit the website to see who’s participating and to find discounts. When: Saturday, November 6, 11a – 5p Where: Maps at Anne Lang’s Emporium, 41651 Sierra Dr. (CA 198), Three Rivers (after 9a) Contact: Nadi Spencer, 561-4373 or www.1stSaturdayTR.com Las Vegas Showtime – Dancing with the VIP’s
The Tulare County Symphony League sponsors this annual benefit, with entertainment by Franco Peraza and Mary Short. This year’s honoree is long-time league member, Ruth Wood. Tickets: $60 per person When: Saturday, November 6, 11a – 2p Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: Shirley Salas, 627-9002 30
Three Cups of Tea: An Evening with Greg Mortenson
This Heart Encore Event will feature Mortenson narrating his 16-year quest to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tickets at Visalia Convention Center box office: General Admission $25-$100, students $10 with student body card) When: Tuesday, November 16, 7P Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: ProYouth/HEART, 624-5810 or www.proyouthheart.org FREE Roller Derby Clinic
Calling all rough & tough ladies 18 years and older! Come learn the basics of roller derby, one of the hottest new women’s sports. When: Tuesday-Wednesday, November 16-17, 8:30p-10:30p Where: Roller Towne, 520 S. Linwood, Visalia Contact: Liz Niadna, 967-4062 Gift Faire 2010 - Soup, Sip & Shop
The Creative Center will provide a light supper for customers as they shop the art of the Jon Ginsburg Gallery and browse the selection of annual Holiday Cards designed by Creative Center students. Samples of soups, breads, desserts, and hot drinks from local restaurants will be offered – all at no charge to our guests! This event is open to the public. When: Thursday, November 18, 5p-8p Where: The Creative Center’s Jon Ginsburg Gallery, 410 East Race Street, Visalia Contact: Glen Hill, 733-9329
Dawn of the Space Age - A Full Dome Video!
Come see an accurate reconstruction of Man’s first steps into space, from the launch of the first satellite to lunar landings and privately operated space flights. Tickets: $4 adults, $3 children (under 12) sold 2-4p weekdays, and 30 minutes before the show. When: Friday, November 19, 7p Where: Pena Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: Impact Center 737-6334 or www.tcoe.org/ impactcenter Tulare County Symphony: Movies & Magic
Featuring the best known music by film composing legend John Williams - “Flight to Neverland,” “Raiders March,” music from “ET,” and the “Star Wars Suite.” Tickets: adults $20-$35 , students $8. When: Saturday, November 20, 7:30p Where: Visalia Fox Theater, 300 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 732-8600 or firstname.lastname@example.org Thanksgiving Day “Race Against Hunger”
Visalia Emergency Aid Council’s 6th annual 5K run/2 mile family walk to benefit the neediest children in our area and to help make Christmas a joyous occasion. Registration ends November 21 at 11:59pm When: Thursday, November 25, 6a-7:45a Pre-Registration; 8a Race Starts Where: Garden Plaza, Main & Garden, Visalia Contact: veac.org or 732-0101 65th Annual Candy Cane Lane Parade
The largest and longest running evening holiday parade in the Central Valley will kick off the season with “A Mariachi Christmas” bringing holiday spirit to the streets of Downtown Visalia.
When: Monday, November 29, 7p Where: Downtown Visalia – Main Street, from Sante Fe
to Conyer. Contact: email@example.com
A Christmas Carol – directed by Chris Mangels
The classic story of Scrooge and his visit with three ghosts who attempt to show him the danger of his current path and endeavor to renew him in the true sprit of Christmas. When: December 3-5, 10-12, 17-18, call for show times. Where: The Main Street Theater, 307 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Box Office 739-4600 or www.enchantedplayhouse.org Visalia Toastmasters
Toastmasters is a nonprofit organization that helps people with public speaking and leadership skills. Club meetings are held weekly. When: Tuesdays, 6:30p-8p Where: Visalia United Methodist Church, 5200 W. Caldwell, Visalia Contact: 713-0138 or www.visaliatoastmasters.org Visalia Swim Club – Year-Round Program
A member of USA Swimming and a 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to guiding youth (6-18) to learn, love and succeed at life through swimming. Costs: $55/month plus $62 annual USA Swimming membership. When: Monday-Friday, 5:30p-7p Where: College of the Sequoias - Pool, Woodland St. & College Ct., Visalia (north of tennis courts) Contact: Head Coach Kyler, 737-2080 or www. visaliaswimclub.com
If you would like to have your event considered for a free listing in our “Goings-On” section, please email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 738-0909, Attention Goings-On. Please note, we do not guarantee listing of any submission. Submissions must be received six (6) weeks prior to publication.
fashion Sweater Girls: Tips for Wearing Sweaters this Fall Ever since Lana Turner wore the tight blue pullover in the 1937 movie “They Won’t Forget,” sweater girls have created a fashion sensation. Every season, designers reinvent this sexy basic that actually got its beginnings in the late 1800s in lowly horse stables when trainers used “sweater” blankets to make horses perspire -- just a little fashion trivia for you! And who can forget the “twinset” cardigans introduced by none other than that famous French designer in the 1930s, Coco Chanel. But today, sweaters have ridden into the modern wardrobe -- reinvented in classic styles that can easily become your year-round “go-to” fashion favorites. Buy the best quality sweaters that you can find, and they will last you forever.
Here are a few tips for wearing the coolest sweater styles this fall: • Choose a sweater that is figure flattering. Don’t even think about wearing those old, baggy oversized knits. The chunky knit sweater is a big trend this fall, but don’t try to hide in bulky silhouettes. • Go long and lean. The longer lengths provide versatile layering options. Whether it’s a long hand-knit vest, a rufflefront sweater coat or a drape-front knit cardigan, longer is better. And who doesn’t like those hip-skimming options? • Dress it up. The long cowl-neck tunics that can be worn as dresses over tights or longer, ankle-grazing sweater dresses are sweeping the runways. Just make sure you are tall enough to carry this look off, so you don’t look like you’re sweating it out by wearing a blanket yourself. • Add a belt to give your longer sweater more definition at the waist. This is a great way to wear your longer sweaters to work. Make sure you combine the longer sweaters with slimmer pants to get the long over lean look. • Experiment with patterns. Argyles remain a classic. Or festive Fair Isle sweaters will be big for the upcoming holiday season.
Spruce Up Your Home For The Holidays
We have a lot to smile about about.
Happy 17th Birthday