Page 1

January/February 2014 Vol. 9 Issue 1 US $3.50



Honorable Elisabeth B. Krant

Tulare County Superior Court 1954-2013

Local Grown Local businesses know the value of a local bank. Suncrest is proud to be locally owned and operated, offering a full range of business and personal deposit products and loans.

There’s an independent streak about Cindy and Mike Armstrong. Rather than just growing their olives, they decided to process them too and now Armstrong Olives supplies gourmet stuffed olives to national retailers across the country. Where do independent minded folks bank? “Suncrest Bank in Porterville,” says Cindy, “We saw the bank was owned and managed by local business people. We figured, good people, good bank.”

Cindy and Mike Armstrong, Owners, Armstrong Olives, Porterville, CA Porterville Branch 65 West Olive Avenue (559) 306-1300 Visalia Branch 400 West Center Avenue (559) 802-1000

[ from the publisher’s desk ]

A Final Tribute


Publisher R.J. Latronico

Creative Director Jennifer Lingard

Contributors Alana Unger, Harvey Mackay, Kurt Eichsteadt, Cathy Humerickhouse, Emily Latronico, Yvonne Toledo

As I sit down to write this letter as I have so

By the time this issue goes to press, Elisabeth’s

many times before, I find myself drowning in a

Celebration of Life ceremony will have already

pool of emotions in the solitude of my house,

taken place. If you were one of the hundreds

which until now has been my home.

in attendance at the Visalia Convention Center

As I fight back my tears, tears that have been part of my life now for the past month, I ask myself how will I ever be able to complete this special tribute issue without having my best friend, my toughest critic, greatest fan, and the love of my life by my side? For those of you who are not aware of my loss, let me explain that the beautiful blondehaired, blue-eyed jurist featured on our cover this month is my late wife, Elisabeth Krant Latronico. I came close to featuring her illustrious judicial career seven years ago, almost to the day, in a previous issue of Influentials published in 2007. That issue

on February 1st, you would have heard, first hand, what her life was all about. If you missed this ceremony then please read on. Within this issue is the story of one of the greatest Influentials ever to grace the pages of this magazine. Rather than mourn the loss of such a respected woman, let’s instead celebrate her life and allow me to tell her story. I asked Yvonne Toledo to help me with this task because I knew it would be very emotionally taxing for me. What we have been able to compile is a collection of remembrances and reflections of a dynamic Dutch girl that made her family, especially her father, so very proud.

was entitled, “What is the Job - What is the

Elisabeth (aka Ellie) never took herself too

Life - Of the Women in Black.” I featured the

seriously. She understood and administered

five women that made up the Tulare County

the law unequivocally. With her there never

Superior Court Bench. This was the closest I

was any grey areas, only black and white -

would come, until now, to featuring the woman

right and wrong. This was the same way she

I fell in love with, and was married to for over

led her life too - decisively and deliberately.

thirty years. Needless to say, the last ten months have

Our special tribute to the late Judge Elisabeth Krant begins on page 14.

been very grueling for the two of us. I will spare all the details because cancer, chemotherapy, and extended hospitalization wish is to pay tribute to Elisabeth by retelling remembered most about her.


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VOX POP Influentials Volume 9 Issue No. 1 January/February 2014

Advertising Sales Stacey Bella Executive, Editorial and Advertising Offices at: PO Box 2753 Visalia, CA 93279 Phone: 559.901.7910 News, Projects, Comments & Letters Every effort has been made to ensure the information within this publication is complete and accurate at the time of publication. VOX POP Influentials does not warrant such accuracy or the claims of its advertisers. Vox Pop Influentials is published 6 times a year by Latronico Communications PO Box 2753 • Visalia, CA 93279

Postmaster: Send address changes to Vox Pop Influentials, PO Box 2753, Visalia, CA Subscriptions: U.S. - $17.60 yearly. $30.80 for two years. $40.70 for three years. Single copies from publisher are $3.50 to cover issue, handling and shipping. Canada and foreign mail rates on request.

Address Change: Please send imprint of old

are never pleasant to hear about. Instead, my some of the stories her friends and colleagues

Contact Information

R.J. Latronico, Publisher

address from recent issue with new address and Zip Code to: Vox Pop Influentials, PO Box 2753, Visalia, CA 93279


January/February 2014

From The Publisher’s Desk

2 A Final Tribute Wealth & Finance



Harvey Mackay: “Taking Care of Business for Twenty Years” is the topic of Harvey Mackay’s column this month. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of his weekly column, Harvey chose to share with us twenty of his most important morals. Kurt Eichsteadt: In just seven years, Brazil’s Eike Batista amassed a fortune of $30 billion. Last year he was on the Forbes Magazine list of the richest people in the world and had appeared on 60 Minutes. A year later, his companies started filing for bankruptcy and he had a personal debt of $800 million. Kurt uncovers what went wrong. You’ll be amazed.

Health & Wellness

12 Alana Unger: The New Year has begun and there’s

urgency in the air pushing us to make changes and new starts. If you’re looking for ways to keep those resolutions, take Alana’s advice and slow things down to a manageable pace.


Cathy Humerickhouse: Stress, depression, and anxiety contribute to a multitude of physical ailments. If you want to improve your emotional well-being, you may just want to do what Cathy suggests.

Food & Wine


Kurt Eichsteadt: This month, Kurt offers us a book review that delves into a famous brand of beer. It’s a compelling tale of a complicated family. The book is filled with all kinds of corporate hardball, sex, drugs, suicide and dysfunction. You probably never would have guessed it is about five generations of the Busch family.




Kurt Eichsteadt: Kurt shares his cinema insight with us on some great DVD picks, including: All is Lost, Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, About Time and Best Man Holiday. The one DVD to avoid he says is The Counselor.

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Elisabeth B. Krant Within this issue is the story of one of the greatest Influentials ever to grace the pages of this magazine. The Honorable Elisabeth B. Krant passed away at the end of December, at the young age of 59. Rather than mourn the loss of such an wonderful woman, allow me the opportunity to celebrate her life by retelling her story as seen through the eyes of her friends and colleagues. After reading it, I think you will agree that Elisabeth accomplished more in her brief six decades on earth, than most of us would even if we lived to be 100. Sadly, this is also the story of my best friend, and wife of thirty years.

Pets & Dental Health By Kelly Anez, DVM

A dental cleaning is an important part of your pet’s general health. Statistics show that over 70% of dogs and cats have some form of oral disease by the time they are three years old. Symptoms of dental disease can include brown discoloration and tartar buildup on the teeth, red swollen gums, and bad breath. Tartar is basically a bacterial “cement” that adheres to the tooth and causes a constant source of infection in the pet’s mouth. Left on the tooth’s surface over time, the tartar and plaque inflames the gums and causes gingival disease that can lead to abscesses and extreme pain. A cleaning by a professional veterinarian is very similar to the experience you have when you go to the dentist. Professional dental scaling includes scaling the surfaces of the teeth both above and below the gingival margin (gum line), followed by dental polishing. The most critical part of a dental scaling procedure is scaling the tooth surfaces that are within the gingival pocket (the subgingival space between the gum and the root)

where periodontal disease is active. Because the patient cooperates, dental scaling of human teeth performed by a professional trained in the procedures

Although anesthesia will never be 100% risk-free, modern anesthetic and patient monitoring techniques used in veterinary hospitals minimize the risks, and millions

(e.g., a human dentist) can be completed successfully without anesthesia. However, access to the subgingival area of every tooth is impossible in an unanesthetized canine or feline patient. Removal of dental tartar on the visible surfaces of the teeth has little effect on a pet’s health, and provides a false sense of accomplishment.

of dental scaling procedures are safely performed each year in veterinary hospitals. With today’s anesthetics the pets are often fully awake 3-5 minutes after the finish of the dental procedure. As well, patients with health problems can be screened with pre-operative blood work if needed and treated with fluids and other medications to ensure a safe anesthetic experience. Often clients will decline a dental cleaning for their pet due to concern over anesthesia, when in reality the pain and constant infection present in their pet’s mouth is a far more dangerous situation than any anesthetic. For almost all animals, the benefits of a professional cleaning far outweigh any risks as long as proper steps are followed.

Recently there have been individuals advertising “anesthesia free” dental cleaning. This type of cleaning, besides being illegal in the state of California, is actually doing the pet a great disservice. The teeth may look cleaner, but the effect is purely cosmetic. Without anesthesia, it is impossible to do either a thorough examination or effectively address any periodontal disease. As well, this type of scaling leaves deep grooves in the external surface of the tooth, actually making the pet MORE prone to dental disease. Finally, patients are often presented with severe plaque and tartar and/or bleeding gums and root abscesses. The oral pain resulting from the examination and treatment of these dental tissues would be cruel to inflict, if not impossible to perform on an awake animal.

If you have noticed brown discoloring on your pet’s teeth, bleeding or redness of the gum line, or bad breath, these are indications that your pet needs an oral exam and most likely a dental cleaning. By scheduling an appointment before severe oral conditions arise, you will be helping your pet stay free of oral pain, keep their teeth into old age, and lead a happier and healthier life. 2500 EAST MYER AVENUE, EXETER, CALIFORNIA • 93221 • 559-592-4753 •WWW.PCCOMPANIONVETS.COM


[ wealth and finance ]

Taking Care of Business for 20 Years By Harvey Mackay

Practice makes perfect … not true. You have to add one word – Perfect practice makes perfect. Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong. They don’t pay off on effort . . . they pay off on results. A lot of people work very hard but never seem to make any headway. Always keep an eye on the finish line. Knowledge does not become power until it is used. There are plenty of people who know it all but have never bothered to do any of it. Ideas without action are worthless. October 1993 was the beginning of one of my favorite ventures: my weekly column. Twenty years of sharing stories and advice have passed quickly and have taught me many lessons about the nature of business. Did I have a long-range plan in mind when I started writing? Only to provide the most helpful information available. As I research topics, I learn plenty myself. I’ve offered up both successful and embarrassing stories from my personal experiences. I have drawn inspiration from readers who challenge me, and I am always delighted to hear that a particular column had a positive impact on a reader’s career or life. Newspapers all around the country carry my column every week, plus 50,000 subscribe to it free on my website, My favorite part of each column, as often echoed by readers, is Mackay’s Moral that sums it up in a memorable lesson.

Your day usually goes the way the corners of your mouth turn. The most powerful single thing you can do to influence others is to smile at them. Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. The single biggest tool in any negotiation is the ability to get up and walk away from the table without a deal. Smile and say no, no, no, no, no, no, until your tongue bleeds.

I’m celebrating this milestone by highlighting 20 of the most important morals that have run with these 1000-plus columns.

If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I’ve met over a lifetime, I’d say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts. You don’t have to know everything as long as you know people who do.

People become successful the minute they decide to be. A goal is a dream with a deadline.

It’s never right to do what’s wrong, and it’s never wrong to do what’s right. You cannot do business without trust.

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. It’s easier to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent. 6

I know that you don’t know . . . but you don’t know that you don’t know. Ignorance is not the problem – it’s not knowing we are ignorant that causes difficulty.

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[ wealth and finance ] People go around all of their life: What should I buy? What should I sell? Wrong question: When should I buy! When should I sell! Timing is everything. When a person with money meets a person with experience . . . here is what happens: The person with the experience winds up with the money and the person with the money winds up with the experience. Enough said. You will never get ahead of anyone as long as you are trying to get even with them. Helping someone up won’t pull you down. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm. Self-explanatory. There will always be a place in the world for anyone who says, “I’ll take care of it,” and then does it. Remember the 10 most powerful two-letter words in the English language: If it is to be, it is up to me.

Failure is no more fatal than success is permanent. You don’t quit trying when you lose; you lose when you quit trying. People don’t care how much you know about them once they realize how much you care about them. Caring is contagious – help spread it around! We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start. And this seems like the perfect place to finish. Mackay’s Bonus Moral: Gratitude should be a continuous attitude. Thank you, readers! Reprinted with permission from nationally syndicated columnist Harvey Mackay, author of the New York Times #1 best seller Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door. The Mackay MBA Of Selling In The Real World is Mackay’s seventh New York Times Bestseller.


[ wealth and finance ] A Rich Man and His Money:

by Kurt A. Eichsteadt

Now You See It

Say Good Bye to $20 Billion Eike Batista

His empire included licenses to offshore oil reserves, mining, companies providing services to oil companies, and shipbuilding. Starting in 2006, his companies were OGX (oil and gas), MPX (energy), LLX (logistics), MMX (mining) and OSX (offshore services and equipment). To Batista, the letter X indicated multiplication in wealth.


In 2007, oil prices were climbing and Brazil made a discovery of huge

In just seven years, Brazil’s Eike Batista amassed a fortune of $30

oil reserves off shore.

billion. In 2013, Batista was on the Forbes Magazine list of the richest people in the world and had appeared on 60 Minutes.

OGX went public in 2008 for $4.1 billion, while raising a total of $9 million in debt and equity. Brazil was booming economically and

A year later, in October of 2013, his companies started filing for

eventually landed the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

bankruptcy and he had a personal debt of $800 million. He had sixty days to present a reorganization program.

Batista had the backing of the Brazilian government. The state development bank lent him $3 billion, leading to the opinion that he

What the hell happened?

was “too big to fail,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Eike Batista is this month’s Rich Man and His Money.

The Brazilian economy grew 7% in 2010 but almost stopped in 2012. He maxed out the equity markets, and then started tapping debt markets.

How He Did It Batista was born in Brazil on November 3, 1956. He spent most of

Batista’s growth was extremely quick; his fall was even faster.

his youth in Europe, studied metallurgy at the University of Aachen, and apparently sold insurance door-to-door to help support himself. His father was a wealthy minister of mines and engineering in Brazil. Eike Batista’s 1980 autobiography said his success was due to hard work; his critics say it was due to his father’s influence and connections.

Batista built his empire on what turned out to be very unrealistic expectations.

What Happened Batista claimed he had 10.8 billion barrels of oil. The New York Times reported, “To reach that number, the company added together different kinds of reserves, most merely possible rather than confirmed or even probable. Although this discrepancy was in the 2011 report for anyone to see, few paid attention to it.”


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[ wealth and finance ] In 2013, oil deposits listed as more

What He Did With It - Personal

than $1 trillion turned out be far less

Besides expanding his businesses, he took over the

than that. Brazil’s banks started

historic Hotel Rio, promising a refurbishing that still

withdrawing their support. The

is not done, although he did open Mr. Lam, a Chinese

company lost 96% of its value.

restaurant. He also became involved in rock festivals, soccer, and ultimate fighting.

The Los Angeles Times quoted an economist for Nomura Securities, Tony Volpon, who said that Batista built his empire on what turned

In the 60 Minutes profile, he showed off a Mercedez-Benz SLR

out to be very unrealistic expectations.

McLaren with a sticker price of $445,000, but with a few add-ons, the price totaled $1.2 million.

He made the cardinal sin of using debt to finance very risky exploratory activities in oil and no one does that.

In the ‘90s, he was the Brazilian, U.S., and World Champion in the Super Offshore powerboat racing.

According the Wall Street Journal late last year, he was misled, saying “My project areas live and will become benchmarks.”

In 2010, he put up $500,000 to help produce a documentary, Lula, Son of Brazil, to help support Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was

He declared bankruptcy on October 30, 2013, after shares of his

running for president of Brazil.

holding company had dropped 96% in twelve months. At one time, he had more than a million Twitter followers.


777 W Palmdon Dr / Fresno CA /


What He Did With It - Philanthropy His philanthropic activities included giving $7 million to a Brazilian Charity, Success for Kids, supported by Madonna, who raised $3 million. Success for Kids was created to help at-risk children, starting with ten schools and expanding to 150 schools in Rio and Sao Paolo. Forbes said in 2010 that he gave away $35 million during the year, as well as pledging to donate $5 million over 10 years for nature conservation. Published reports also have Batista coming up with approximately $10 million in support of Rio’s 2016 Olympics bid.

Conclusion With the 60-day deadline on bankruptcy reorganization approaching at the end of 2013, published reports said on December 25 that Batista was about to relinquish control of his oil company in exchange for about $5.8 billion in debit for shares. Bondholders may continue to support the company in hopes of avoiding even greater losses if the company is liquidated. The next day (December 26), Reuters reported one of the major steps in the bankruptcy organization was approved, with three of the six businesses formerly in his holding company under the control of others. The remaining companies are still struggling to restructure their debt.

Legacy Right after the bankruptcy filing, the Financial Times cited one of Batista’s shareholders as saying the lack of supervision by Brazil’s regulatory bodies shows that Brazil is not a serious place to do business.


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Addendum At press time, more reports surfaced of Batista’s collapse causing problems or stoppages in construction of a hospital, a police station, another hotel in addition to Hotel Rio, and possibly a multi-million dollar

Honest, Experienced, Representation


project to clean up the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio.

Labor Commission Wage Claims


Sexual Harassment Wrongful Termination Discrimination

Autobiography: The X Factor: The Path of Brazil’s Greatest Entrepreneur, by Eike Batista.

Employers/Employees Personal Injury

“OGX Highlights Flaws in Brazil’s Bankruptcy laws,” by Joe Leahy and Samantha Pearson, Financial Times, Nov. 8, 2013. “From Billionaire to Bankrupt in Brazil,” by Vincent Bevins, Los Angeles Times, November 1, 2013. “Billionaire’s Empire Soared, Then Melted Into Bankruptcy,” by John Lyons, Luciana Magalhaes, and Loretta Chao, Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2013.

100 Willow Plaza Suite 106 Visalia, CA 93291

Phone 559.627.3666 Fax 559.627.4101


[ health and wellness ]

Slow Down for Success that Lasts the Whole Year Alana Unger, Registered Dietitian

The holidays are over and the New Year has begun. Now, ‘tis the season for resolutions, new starts, and rejuvenated motivation. You can almost feel the urgency in the air, pushing you to make changes, make improvements. Yet, sadly, when the dust settles from this whirlwind of short-lived enthusiasm, most of us will have fallen short of the lofty goals we set for ourselves. We repeat this yearly cycle of whole-hearted good intentions crumbling into half-hearted efforts that finally dissolve completely. This year, let’s slow down to a manageable pace and break the cycle of broken self-promises. Start by committing to just one habit at a time. It has been shown that if you tackle just one new change at a time, you have an 85% success rate. Try two changes at once, and you drop to less than a 35% chance of success. Three changes at once? Less than 10% chance of success. Put the odds in your favor, and focus your efforts on one single habit change at a time. When your dedicated efforts have helped you successfully conquer one habit, decide if there is another change needed in your life and refocus your efforts to another single habit change.


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How long should you give yourself to conquer each habit? Do you revert back to the break neck speed of the New Year hustle and bustle and expect your habits to magically change over night? Slow and steady wins the race… give yourself 30 days to make each new habit stick. A habit is, by definition, an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. This, my friend, does not happen overnight. Give your new habit 30 days of dedicated effort to truly sink in and become “second nature.” Let’s take a stab in the dark and assume that some of the habit changes you need to make involve eating healthier and eating less. Am I right? Thought so. Again – let’s focus on slow and steady. Studies continue to show that eating slowly increases satiation and decreases caloric intake. Simple – eat slower, and you will eat less and be more satisfied than when you wolf your food down. Simple in theory, yes. Not so simple, however, to implement. The most effective method that I have found helps my clients (and myself) eat slower is to put your food down between bites. Let go of the fork, spoon, sandwich… let go of the food! If you have your next bite ready to go in your hand, your response is to hurry and swallow the bite in your mouth

to make room for that next bite. We kick into autopilot and shovel food in, one bite after another, then it’s gone. By letting go of the food, your autopilot instincts shut off, and you are able to slow down and enjoy the food. Try this for 30 days—after each bite you take, let go of your food completely until you swallow. See if in 30 days you are eating smaller portions and enjoying your food more. Should we go out on another limb and assume that you need to change your activity habits? Let me guess – the first week in January you head to the gym or hit the jogging path in your neighborhood and go like gangbusters. You exhaust yourself, you’re so sore you can’t move, and by the end of January you’re back to avoiding the gym and opting out of a jog. Start smaller. Start slower. Gradually work your way into shape. Make exercise a lifestyle habit that you enjoy, not an over-demanding chore that you dread. What is a realistic starting point for you? How about two days a week at the gym, and three days a week at home at a pace that gets your heart pumping but doesn’t totally knock you on your butt? 30 minutes a day every day? What is a realistic exercise plan that you can continue doing for

[ health and wellness ]

life? Going slow for life is better than being super jock for a week and giving up. A motivational quote I saw recently said “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.” So true. How about it? Are you ready to stop the resolution push, slow down, and take smaller steps to lasting changes? Let’s give it a try. One habit change a month – 30 days to get it right and make it a natural part of your life. Then start another habit change. Slow down and settle in for long-term success.

Here are some simple habit suggestions to get you started on setting your own goals

Habit Suggestions: I will… • drink at least three 20 oz cups of water/ flavored water daily. • not have more than one high calorie drink a week. • have only healthy snacks when I am at work.

• put my food down after every bite.

• eat only when I am hungry.

• not eat in front of the TV or computer.

• drink a non-caloric drink before I eat a snack. I will see if I was just thirsty, not hungry.

• eat half portions at home and when dining out.

• not stuff my feelings down with food. I will deal with my emotions without food.

• only eat snacks if I’m hungry.

• get up a half hour early to exercise on weekends and three week days.

• make half of every meal fruits and veggies.

• use a resistance band three days a week while watching TV.

• take deep, relaxing breaths at every stop light.

• limit all junk food, and not eat any junk food after 6 pm.

• not have more than two hours of lazy time on week days- three hours on weekends.

• laugh a good, hearty, belly laugh daily.

• keep my snacks under 150 calories, and my meals around 500 calories.

• limit alcoholic drinks to three per week.

• include protein and fiber in all of my meals. • eat with smaller plates, bowl, and utensils.

• not eat when I am bored.

• get at least seven hours of sleep nightly.

• not smoke or use tobacco of any kind.

• spend one hour a week catching up on a project around the house.


The Love of My Life, My Wife Our featured Influential this month is Judge Elisabeth Krant. Judge Krant, or Ellie, as her friends called her, passed away on December 29, 2013. (This is the first time a Vox Pop Influential cover story has ever been written posthumously.) Elisabeth served on the bench for 25 years, starting in Los Angeles when she was 34 years old. As a female friend and judicial colleague notes within this story, “Elisabeth came to the bench at a time when women judges were still a novelty, and she had to balance her innate sensitivity with her desire to be portrayed as strong and in control.” During her illustrious career Elisabeth accomplished a whole lot. Prior to her work on the bench, Elisabeth practiced both civil and criminal law in a private practice in West Los Angeles. While she had a very fulfilling career and made her father especially proud, she died a year before her retirement, and six months after she was appointed Supervising Judge of the South County Justice Center of the Tulare County Superior Court. She leaves behind her mother Jannie, brother Jerry, daughter Emily, and me, her husband of 30 years. It should be noted that I chose to pay tribute to Elisabeth, not because she was my wife, but because of what she accomplished. The magnitude of respect that others had for her was unbelievable. Her friends, fellow judges,

and many others came forward and shared details about the Elisabeth they knew, both on and off the bench. During her career, Elisabeth served on many committees, taught at a number of State CJA/ CJER programs, and was the recipient of a number of accolades. Then, last February she was diagnosed with Stage IV, Large B Cell Lymphoma. When this happened she had no choice but to take a leave of absence from the bench. As her disease slowly progressed, and months of chemotherapy seemed to have minimal effect, her doctors informed us that her best hope was to find a donor for a stem cell transplant. Using my public relations skills, I set up and promoted a number of local donor drives with the Central California Blood Center and the Be The Match organization. Unfortunately, Elisabeth passed away before any match was ever found. Like many hardships we all have to deal with in life, Elisabeth’s plan was to fight her disease wholeheartedly. She did that until the very end. In a letter to her colleagues and to the Honorable Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tami G. Canti-Sakauye, a few months before her death she wrote the following:

“At 59 years of age, I have to give up now the one thing that I will miss the most – being a Judicial Officer. I have faced many hurdles this past year, but the thought of being off the bench is one of hardest. At this point, I only pray for life and more time to be with my loving and supportive family. It has been a pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best.” Hon. Elisabeth B. Krant This is the story of who Elisabeth Krant Latronico was, as told by her fellow bench officers, close friends, and those who may have only met, or appeared before her, once or twice. As her husband, I thought I knew her pretty well. After all, we’ve been together for over three decades. I found out I actually knew little about the enormous impact she had on the lives of others - both personally and professionally. I am so grateful to those who helped me catalog all of the wonderful experiences they had with her. I believe that after you read Elisabeth’s story, you will agree that she was living proof that you can have all - a successful career and a beautiful family life, but only if you work really hard at it. And she most certainly did! As tearful as this story was for me to tell, it was absolutely necessary and therapeutic for me to do so. I dedicate the following to my late wife and best friend, Elisabeth.

[ featured story ] Honorable William Silveira, Retired In 1990 I was serving as Tulare County Juvenile Court Judge for a term of one year. At that time all Superior Court judges were required to be available to be jury trial judges as well. As a consequence, most of the day-to-day contact with the probation department assigned to juvenile cases and that part of the social welfare department dealing with dependency cases fell to the juvenile commissioner. Our court’s juvenile commissioner, John Jarvis, had died and I was part of a group interviewing candidates who had applied for the position of juvenile court commissioner. It was in that context I first met Elisabeth Krant. We interviewed several candidates, some of whom had served as volunteer referees and all of whom appeared to possess the necessary qualifications to serve in the position. We were acquainted with the work of many of them, as they were local attorneys. One of the candidates with whom we had no prior acquaintance was a young woman from Los Angeles who had been serving as a juvenile referee in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. When Elisabeth entered the interview room, it seemed as though someone had lifted a window blind and a dull room was filled with the light of her personality. Of course, we all had read the various applications for the position and she appeared to be quite well qualified for it. But why did this person from Los Angeles, a county with strong resources, want to come to Tulare County? Here the juvenile court commissioner heard cases in a variety of make shift courtrooms and the involvement and support of the juvenile court judge was attenuated by service on some lengthy trials. Elisabeth smiled; she was friendly; she brought humor to the interview. She convinced us that not only was she ready to undertake the work that had to be done, but also the additional work required to move the juvenile court into the position of leadership in the juvenile justice system. It was evident that she had the spirit and determination to give it her all. Elisabeth was appointed. I never had cause to regret that decision; I also have had many occasions to congratulate myself on having made it. Operating from the make shift quarters I have mentioned, including a trailer as a courtroom and office, Elisabeth quickly made herself acquainted with the heads of the county departments and their staffs who were charged with serving the children of this county and the public. She ushered in some important changes in the relationship of the court

with those departments. In addition to the court work, she also adjusted quickly and made many friends within the community. These included professionals who worked with juveniles and service organizations. On relocating to Tulare County, Elisabeth together with her husband, Richard Latronico, and daughter, Emily, made their new home near the community of Exeter. Judge Freddie McKenzie of the Exeter, Farmersville, Woodlake, and Lindsay Municipal Court had retired. Soon thereafter an election was held to fill the position. Elisabeth ran for the open seat and was elected to the position. When the Municipal and Superior Court benches consolidated, Elisabeth became a superior court judge. She served admirably in that position in Visalia, Tulare and Porterville. As a judge, Elisabeth brought a calm and professional demeanor to her work. Her courtroom was orderly and work was completed in a fair and timely manner. Most cases required difficult decisions. She pondered the issues carefully and made capable, well-reasoned decisions. She did all of this with grace, and style, even when beset by serious illness. Elisabeth and I were professional colleagues and friends. We had occasional lunches together. We would sometimes discuss legal issues. When I became a full time juvenile court judge, I would seek her wise counsel on issues raised with respect to the administration of the juvenile court system that the position required. I visited with Elisabeth once during her illness. She was bravely fighting back, although it was apparent it was badly taxing her. She was determined and gave it her all. As usual, she was disarming and courteous, asking about my life and my family before discussing herself. I don’t think I will ever forget that brief visit, nor my friend Elisabeth.

LaRayne Cleek - Court Executive Officer/Jury Commissioner Elisabeth Krant was one of a kind. I have worked with many people over my 40 years with the court, but never have I met anyone like Judge Krant. I can recall many years ago when Elisabeth began her career in Tulare County by accepting the position of Juvenile Court Commissioner. Her passion for her work was evident and her smile could light up a room. In 1995 she ran for and was elected Municipal Court Judge of the Central Division. I was working as the Municipal Court Administrator and then had the opportunity to work very closely with Elisabeth for more than eighteen years.

Pictures Top to Bottom: Jerry Krant, Elisabeth's brother with mom; Elisabeth with her mom and dad on her wedding day, September 3, 1983; Richard and Elisabeth in Key Largo

[ featured story ] Judge Krant was an asset to the Tulare County bench. She took her work very seriously and never missed an opportunity to educate herself about changes in the law and how to best apply them to her work. She

was approachable and never hesitated to assist with training staff or colleagues. She took every opportunity presented to her to improve the justice system. She was always thorough and fair. Judge Krant was extremely driven and self motivated. She never had a problem voicing her opinion, especially when it was something she felt passionately about. We did not always see eye to eye over the years, but one thing I could always count on was her support.

Peggee Davis, Close Friend This is a backdrop about the wisdom of my closest friend Elisabeth. For over fifteen years I helped my father take care of my mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. As my mom declined, she needed a lot of personal care. My dad was determined to keep her at home; so we helped make that happen. After she died, my dad went through his own decline, requiring a lot of time and support from me. One day I was so tired of it all so I called Elisabeth and started to whine about the toll it was having on me. I said to her, “Is this my life”? Then there was silence on the phone.

There was another, softer side to Elisabeth that was not always evident while she was on the bench dispensing justice. I can recall one occasion, while attending a social event with Judge Krant, an individual complimented her on her jewelry. Elisabeth took the jewelry off and handed it to her. She felt if she liked it that much she should have it. This is an example of Elisabeth’s generous nature. Over the many years we worked together, I never missed receiving a phone call from Elisabeth on my birthday and a gift at Christmas. In fact, toward the end of her battle with cancer, she was very ill and not feeling well. Somehow, she still managed to have a Christmas gift delivered to my office.

When she finally spoke, Elisabeth told me the following story about her dad: “Before my dad died, someone had to get up in the middle of the night, as well as several times during the day, to tend to his feeding tube. It was an inconvenient, emotionally torturous chore, and a difficult thing to do. But right now if I could have just another five minutes with him to do that all over again, I would give my life to do it.” She basically told me to tend to my father’s needs, and one day I’d be glad I did. In that moment, my life transformed. She was able to help me see my world differently. Every second I cared for my dad, I did so from a place of deep love and kindness. I even held his hand when he was dying. I credit Elisabeth for opening the door to my heart. Her unyielding commitment to family seemed to easily transfer to those that knew her well.

More than anything, Elisabeth loved her family. Richard and Emily meant everything to her. Emily and my son Jeremy are close in age. This gave us a common interest and we often spent time sharing stories about high school, college and eventually weddings. She found true joy in Emily’s accomplishments and I had never seen her as excited as when she spoke of planning her daughter’s wedding. Elisabeth was a beautiful person who will be missed by many.

Our relationship was based on trust. We were a safe place for each. There was nothing we could not share (except any court related information at which she would immediately say, “I am not at liberty to discuss that.”).

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.” 16

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– Unknown

We socialized, played cards and golfed together (never perfecting the latter). At heart, we were just a couple of friends going through life together…sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, while exchanging wisdom, support and enduring love.

Pictures Left to Right: Elisabeth with Jane Corsette in Holland; Daughter, Emily and Elisabeth enjoying a float; Elisabeth and her mom, Jannie

[ featured story ] Honorable Jennifer Shirk I will always remember Judge Krant as a trailblazer. She came to the bench at a time when women judges were still a novelty. I think she struggled to balance her innate sensitivity with her desire to portray women judges as strong and in control. Elisabeth expected everyone to give 100% and she didn’t mind calling you out if you didn’t. She raised the bar and those of us who worked with her began expecting more of ourselves, and our legal system, too. The first time I realized how personally she took her cases was when the Juvenile Court was located on Church Street. I got a call that my client, Billy, was back in custody and was acting out. When I got to court, Elisabeth was coming out of the holding cell, wearing her robe, looking a little disheveled. She had been trying to comfort Billy on the floor of the holding cell, so he wouldn’t hurt himself. He was in custody because they couldn’t find his mom. He was ten-years-old and scared. On paper, Billy was a burglar and car thief. But to Elisabeth, he was just a frightened little boy, and she was the only one who could comfort him. She had a big strawberry on her cheek where he had head-butted her, but she was able to settle him down.

I suppose we all expected Elisabeth would get to the finish line first. I’m just grateful for what I learned from her along the journey.

Hilda Bos, Cousin The first time I met Ellie was when she was visiting from America. We were both young, about eighteen. I remember her as a pretty girl with a beautiful smile and a great sense of humor. The first time we met was only for a few hours, but I instantly felt close to her. We were after all, cousins. As we got to know one another more on future trips, we became friends for life. I spent time with her whenever she visited Holland. On her next visit a few years later, I began to realize that she loved the same things that I did: talking endlessly, eating Dutch food (especially croquettes) and laughing until we cried. We became as close as sisters. I only visited the U.S. three times, while Ellie visited Holland whenever she could. We always had a good time when we got together. Later our husbands became good friends as well. About five years ago, Ellie and Richard were visiting during a national Dutch holiday, Queen’s Day (much like President’s Day in the U.S.). We decided to celebrate by joining our friend Roely in Apeldoorn. We were all decked out in orange - the color of Holland.


[ featured story ] Pictured Left to Right: Roely, Evert, Hilda, Ellie and Richard celebrating Queen’s Day in Holland

visiting from America. She then asked if she could shake the Prince’s hand and make his acquaintance. Her charm worked and in a few minutes Ellie was right there, at the Prince’s side talking to him. She was so happy that she never stopped talking about it the whole day. I also wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t wash her hand for a week afterwards! Ellie was a very special cousin to me. I loved her very much. I will keep all the good memories we had together in my heart and will miss her dearly.

Jane Corsette, Best Friend Sometimes the most unlikely people become life-long friends - that was Ellen and I. She was from a loving, nurturing family. I was not. She was very smart. I was not, but she always told me I was.

DESIGN (PROOF) Client: Visalia Imaging Open MRI The day turned out to be a very nice, sunny holiday. Dutch royalty, Designed by: Cribbsproject - New Media Design including Queen Beatrix, and a few Princes and Princesses were visiting Project: Ad for Influentials Magazine Apeldoorn then, as they always did. And as it so happened that day, Size: Half Page Prince Constantijn and Princess Maxima were in the crowd in front of Date: 1.15.14 the bandstand where we were standing. Once Ellie figured out who the handsome prince was, she decided that she had to meet him. She cordially approached the Prince’s bodyguard and told him that she was


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Our relationship started during a school basketball game. She desperately wanted to make a basket, and I desperately did not want her to. I was seventeen, she was sixteen. After a rough start, we became the best of friends, and our friendship grew as the years past. We backpacked through Europe for six weeks in the summer of ‘73, an experience of a lifetime. As I look back over those years, I smile. We really did have some fun. We lived together, worked together, laughed, fought and cried. We spent summers camping and water skiing and in winters we snow skied.

[ featured story ]

“As I began my career as a judicial officer, Elisabeth became not only my friend, but a mentor. I remember sharing with her early in my career that I was struggling with a very difficult decision. Elisabeth’s advice: “Just do the right thing.” Decisions as a judicial officer are not easy and may not make one popular, will almost always be contrary to what at least one party wants – but just do the right thing - a philosophy that transcended court work into her personal life as well.” - Charlotte Wittig, Friend and Colleague “Many people knew Elisabeth as a Civic Leader and Superior Court Judge. She was brilliant and accomplished. But we knew another side of Elisabeth, "Ellie." The woman we knew was a mother, a daughter, a wife, and a friend with a heart bigger than any office she held.” - Kim & Dave Safina, Close Family Friends “Judge Krant was a trailblazer among judges on the Tulare County Bench and was a tremendous role model for dozens of young attorneys who were fortunate to be assigned to her courtroom in the early years of their practice. She actively and happily helped many of them to develop into superior advocates.“ - Honorable Mike Sheltzer “Some say the law is the only game that the best players get to sit on the bench. That is especially true for Judge Elisabeth Krant. Her passing is a tremendous loss to the Tulare County Superior Court, and our community. On the bench, Judge Krant’s experience, wisdom, temperament and dedication were unsurpassed. Off the bench, she was an inspiration, mentor and confidant. She will be deeply missed both as a colleague and as a friend.” - Honorable David C. Mathias “Judge Krant was very devoted to her job, passionate about her work, and proud of her accomplishments. I believe everyone who worked with her would agree. She cared personally about her staff and was always willing to spend time with them to explain a procedure or the law. She was a private person, but if you knew her well you'd know that her family always came first. I kept in contact with her through her final days. She was strong and courageous and fought very hard. I will miss our talks, but will treasure all our memories.” - Karen Pintek, Porterville Court Manager, Retired “Elisabeth was probably the most conscientious judge I have ever had the privilege of working with. She was very conscious of what the proper role of a judge was. The public, court staff, and everyone else saw a very serious, methodical, no-nonsense type of personality. But in private she was hilarious. She was affected and touched by the human element in the cases she was responsible for, but I never saw her failing to fulfill her professional responsibilities because of it. I’ve said it privately, and I will say it publically, she was an outstanding judge! That’s the highest praise I can give her.“ - Honorable Brett Alldredge

Over the years we attended numerous plays and concerts. The most memorable experience being an Elvis concert she took me to for my 21st birthday. We were young and full of fun. On Monday nights we used to visit a place in Venice Beach called The Oar House. We loved dancing the night away to oldies music. Ellen did this while she was studying to become a lawyer. Throughout the years we have always been there for each other - when our babies were born, when our babies got married, and everything in between. In 2011 we again went to Europe together. This time we traveled in much nicer conditions. We rented a car and stayed in the family’s Holland apartment that overlooked a beautiful lake. It is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. Ellen was my best friend, and like sister to me. I feel very blessed to have had her in my life. I think that what I will miss most is not being grandmas together. We had such great plans for that! There is one more thing about her character. This speaks volumes on who she really was. One late evening we were coming home from dancing. We were both in our early twenties. All of a sudden we came up on a terrible automobile accident. We both got out of the car to help, but I was so shaken up I couldn’t do anything. Ellen, on the other hand, began to take charge. She basically did what she could to assist the accident victims until the emergency responders arrived. This is what Ellen’s life would eventually become - taking charge and helping people. Since I’ve known her, it was always pretty evident that she was a person who wanted to improve the world in any way she could, and that is exactly what she did. We shared a lot of love over the 40 years of our friendship. I loved that she was always there for me. I loved that we could talk about anything. I loved her like a sister. I will miss her more than anyone can imagine. She recently told me she would save me a seat in heaven and I am holding her to it!

“Her passion for her work was evident, and her smile could light up a room. Laughter always got her through hard times, and laughter will get us through ours. As Judge Krant reminded me, ‘Don’t forget to laugh, and when you do laugh, don’t feel guilty because you are supposed to be mourning me. Laugh because I am still here with you, laugh because I can hear you.’” - LaRayne Cleek, Court Executive Officer/Jury Commisioner Pictured Left to Right: Kelly Jones, Judge Krant, JoEllen Romans, Lucia Canaba Gonzalez, Jimmy Caughran, Rilene Santos (in front)


[ featured story ] Richard Latronico, Elisabeth’s Husband I would like to conclude this tribute to Elisabeth by thanking everyone that has contributed to this story. A very special thank you goes out to Peggee Davis and Kim Safina who worked tirelessly to organize Elisabeth’s Celebration of Life ceremony at the Visalia Convention Center earlier this month. I cannot begin to tell you how much my dear Elisabeth has directly influenced me as well. I’m convinced that if it wasn’t for her encouragement and fortitude, I likely would never have ventured out on my own, and started either of the two businesses I now own and operate this magazine and an advertising agency. Elisabeth’s words of wisdom still echo in my mind on occasion, and I’m convinced that our daughter, Emily, is a better person because of her mother. We are both eternally grateful to have had her as part of our lives, albeit such a short time. I would like to leave you with the lyrics to one of Elisabeth’s favorite songs by Petula Clark. These words will help me get through the rest of my life without her.

If you knew her, I hope they will help you too. Music and laughter were so much a part of our lives, I feel obliged to share this. Enjoy and try to always remember her!

“Color My World” by Petula Clark You’ll never see a dark cloud hanging ‘round me Now there is only blue sky to surround me There’s never been a gray day since you found me Everything I touch is turned to gold. So you can color my world with sunshine yellow each day Oh you can color my world with happiness all the way Just take the green from the grass and the blue from the sky up above And if you color my world, just paint it with your love Just color my world. Just as long as I know you’re thinking of me There’ll be a rainbow always up above me Since I found the one who really loves me Everything I touch is turned to gold.



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[ health and wellness ]

by Cathy Humerickhouse, RN, LMFT

Each January, approximately one in three American’s resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. In 2002, a study was found noting about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week. 46% are still on target six months later. It can be difficult to keep up your enthusiasm month after month, but it’s not impossible. Ask yourself, “What would I like to change or accomplish in this New Year?” The most common resolution is weight loss or to start eating healthy. But are there other goals you would like to achieve? Hint: consider working on your emotional well-being. How about becoming a better, different you? Have you considered your stress level? Is it being handled in a healthy manner?

weight, diet, and nutrition, and use them as examples to apply to other goals you may have. Did you make a bold resolution on January 1st to eat right and lose weight? It can be a tall order to fulfill. Do you want to achieve that goal? Well, I have a hint: do not try to overhaul your entire diet in a day. Resolve to think in small increments. You can reach any goal—if you focus on it one step at a time. It helps to break down your goal into smaller, manageable parts. For example, begin to look at the entire day as the following: morning time, afternoon, evening, and finally bedtime.

When you focus on a smaller period of time, things become more doable. It is easy to become overwhelmed when constantly focusing on the big picture. Don’t get me wrong, you need to have your goal in mind. However, it can become too The Biggest Challenge and and Hardest Thing to Do is to START overwhelming frustrating if things are not happening quickly enough. Are your communication skills working Defeat may settle in before you really for you? Do you relate well to others? even get started. Also, be careful and Are you socially connected with your watch out for those advertised “quickfriends and family the way you desire? fix” solutions. Remember to celebrate Are there relationships that may need your success on a daily basis. Keep in some mending? Let’s work through the mind there may be “bumps” in the road. most common resolutions, the topics of 24

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It is what you DO at that time which will determine your long-term success.

Improving Your Emotional Well-being Emotional well-being and mental health concerns are major health issues in their own right. But they can also greatly affect your physical health. Stress, depression, and anxiety can contribute to a multitude of physical ailments. These include digestive disorders, sleep disturbances, and a lack of energy. The treatment solution can be two-pronged; treat the mental and emotional health issues while also caring for the related physical conditions. To reinforce this process, it helps to learn how stress and anxiety affect the body. Discover how to relieve symptoms with exercise, alternative therapies, stress reduction techniques, and meditation. Emotional and mental health issues can often be brought on by the strains of life situations. For example, providing care for an older family member, suffering from the loss of a loved one, juggling the responsibilities of a busy lifestyle, or dealing with substance abuse. Taking care of YOU first provides the ability to meet the needs of others when appropriate.

How About Your Communication Style

Keep Connected With Others

Communication plays a key part in building a healthy relationship. It allows us to share our interests, aspirations and concerns. Effective communication is about the way we talk and listen. It gives (allows) us the opportunity to be on the same page with our partner, co-workers and friends. Sharing with one another is a choice we make. If something is bothering you, it is best to talk to the other person about it. Provide them the opportunity to look at what you are saying or what has happened. Be sure to watch your word choice. Do your best not to use any judgmental words, like “You’re helpless,” “You are being uncooperative,” “You are acting like a child.” Avoid the “You” message. Speak from the heart and include “I” within the sentence. A healthy relationship is the interaction between two people. Take responsibility for your side.

In this technology-fixated era, it’s never been easier to stay in touch or refresh your relationships with family and friends. Research suggests people with strong social ties live longer than those without. Staying in touch with old friends is easier when both are making the effort. You will reap the benefits of a loving and loyal friendship far in the future. This can be done by making your time together memorable. Make sure you have some fun; share some similar interests, so when you do hang out both people will be satisfied. Set aside some free time to touch base with your family and friends. A healthy relationship is the sharing of back and forth. No one person is making all the effort. If you live relatively close to each other, plan on a time to hang out. If you live far away, plan an occasional road trip or a vacation.

Remember to be specific on what it is you want to accomplish with your new resolution(s). Break your goal into small, manageable parts. When you come across a “bump” in the road, don’t throw in the towel. Identify what happened, look at all the different alternatives and restart. This information does not constitute any therapeutic advice. If you feel you need a therapist please contact one in your area. You can always reach me at, or call (559) 625-6752.

Cathy Humerickhouse RN, LMFT

As a Registered Nurse and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, I believe in treating the whole person which encompasses aspects of the individual’s biological, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

• Reproductive Grief (Infertility/Miscarriages) • Medical Illness/Diagnosis • End of Life Issues • Marital/Relationship Issues • Blended Families • Anxiety/Depression



[ food & wine ]

Book Review by Kurt A. Eichsteadt

Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer By William Knoedelseder

I have decided to offer our readers in this issue

But what history! Author Knoedelseder’s

this time that the company was unable to fight

a book review that delves into a famous brand

meticulously researched book covers the

off a take over the Belgian Firm, InBev. While the

of beer. This book is effective on a number of

interesting and troubled story in great detail. It’s

takeover did occur, Anheuser-Busch stockholders

levels. It’s a great American business success story

a true story, but very much in the tradition of the

received $52 billion out of the deal.

covering five generations of the Busch family.

TV shows Dallas or Dynasty.

It’s a compelling tale of a complicated family,

Knoedeslseder credits Busch for turning the

internal corporate hardball, sex, drugs, suicide

beer into a national brand in part by vertically

Mafia and I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and

and dysfunction.

integrating the process before the term “vertical

High Times in Standup Comedy’s Golden Age.

integration” even existed.

He brings considerable skill and clarity to a

Some consider Budweiser successful because of its relatively bland flavor, but the story of the rise and eventually the collapse of the Busch family, who owned the brewery for over more than 100 years, is anything but dull. In a sense, it’s one of the great American success stories. An immigrant comes to America and creates a company that becomes a giant American business. A little over a hundred years later, this iconic American brand is in chaos internally, and is unable to fight off a takeover by a foreign company. The brewery that came to be known as Anheuser-Busch opened in 1852. Adolphus Busch came to America before the Civil War. He married into the right family and bought a beer recipe from Monks in the German village of Budweis. The rest is history.

26 VOX POP Influentials

Among other things, Adolphus was: The first American brewer to pasteurize beer, helping keep it fresh. The first to use refrigerated railroad cars. The first to make extensive use of bottled beer. Adolphus A. (Adolphus’s son) kept the company in business during Prohibition. It was a struggle, but most of their competitors didn’t make it. When Prohibition was repealed, AnheuserBusch was positioned for continued growth. Gussie Busch, probably best known as the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, ran the company initially. Then, August Busch III took over and tried desperately to modernize the company. His troubled son, August IV eventually took the helm in 2008. It was during

Knoedelseder is the author of Stiffed: A True

Story of MCA, the Music Business and the

story that spans decades.

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[ entertainment ] by Kurt A. Eichsteadt January is a very good month for home video. At DVD diary, we help you save time and money by highlighting the movies that are worth a look. Our “DVD Don’t” selection is a warning against a movie that could fool you into thinking it might be good.

All is Lost

Seventy four-year old Robert Redford still has it. He plays a man lost on a solo sailing trip in the Indian Ocean. There are less than 200 spoken words in the whole movie, but writer-director J.C. Chandor and Redford created a spellbinding movie. 106 minutes. Rated PG-13 for brief, strong language.


A magnificent movie on all levels which includes a superb performance from Sandra Bullock, breathtaking cinematography, and a deeply personal story. Bullock and fellow astronaut George Clooney are cast adrift in outer space after an accident destroys their space station. It’s a fascinating tale, as the two struggle for survival in an environment that is staggeringly beautiful and unforgiving at the same time. 90 Minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense, perilous sequences, some disturbing images, and brief, strong language.

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto star in the fact-based story of Ron Woodruff, who after contracting HIV/AIDS, set up an underground business to supply drugs to other sufferers that weren’t available in the United States. Based on a true story, Dallas Buyers Club is an intense story about characters who are not necessarily very likeable, but you come to care deeply about them, because in spite of their flaws, they just want to live. 117 minutes. Rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity, and drug use.

About Time

From the writer-director of Love Actually and writer of Notting Hill, Richard Curtis brings us the touching comedy of a family whose male members can travel back into time. Bill Nighy stars in this tale of a skill that is handy to have, but doesn’t necessarily make things easier. 123 minutes. Rated R for language and some sexual content.

Best Man Holiday

This is a comedy drama for adults, reminiscent of The Big Chill where a group of friends get together after fifteen years and reconnect with humorous and moving results. Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa and Terrence Howard head up a cast that makes this movie great fun for everyone. 122 minutes. Rated R for language, sexual content, and brief nudity.

DVD DON’T : The Counselor

This looks so good going in: script by Cormac McCarthy, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, and Penelope Cruz. A lawyer gets in over his head when he tries to do a big time drug deal. Hard to believe, but a failure on all levels. 117 minutes. Rated R for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content, and language.


VOX POP Influentials

VALLEY BUSINESS BANK was started 17 years ago

by local businessmen to help your business succeed. Our highlights for 2013 include: ‡Funded over $50 million in loans to businesses in Tulare, Fresno, and Kings counties ‡Named the Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s “2013 Large Business of the Year” ‡Business Finance Center awards for “Largest Single Project” and “Most Active Lender” ‡Earned Bauer Financial Inc.’s Five-Star Superior Rating ‡2QHRIHOHYHQ&DOLIRUQLDEDQNVSURÀOHGLQWKHEDQNLQJ newsletter “The Findley Reports” for exceptional performance On behalf of the Valley Business Bank team, we offer our sincere thanks to our valued customers, and look forward to serving you in 2014. WALT DWELLE


Chairman of the Board

President & CEO

Your Success Is Our Business VISALIA








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Vox Pop Influentials January / February 2014  

Welcome to Vox Pop Influentials Magazine. The Central Valley's Voice Of The People-Innovative, Inspirational, Inside Magazine. This month we...