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March/April 2012 Vol. 7 Issue 2 US $3.50


Leonard Whitney: Food 4Less Grocery Store Icon Health & Wellness

A 96 Year Old


What the Heck, Ho, Four Wives & 13 Kids?


Publisher R.J. Latronico

Preparations for Spring! As I sit here and look out the window of my study, I see that Mother Nature has finally decided to drop some rain our way. I’m sure this makes both the farmers and homeowners with flower and veggie gardens very happy, not to mention the fisherman waiting for all the lakes to fill. I already planted all my spring bulbs (mostly ranunculus and dahlias) before the rain, and I also hit the turf with some badly needed fertilizer. I think I’m good for a while now, at least until those darn weeds start popping up. I know they’re out there lying in wait along with the slugs & snails. I pretty much gave up on doing any snow skiing this year, as dry as it’s been. Spring has already arrived here in the valley, like it or not. I did finally accomplish something that I have been putting off for quite some time now. I signed up for a PADI Open Water Diver Course to become a certified diver. I have to admit, however, that diving at my age required some mental and physical discipline and advance preparation. I didn’t want to sink to the bottom of the pool when I jumped in. After I read the entire course book cover to cover and took the self-exams at the end of each chapter, I went in for a two-hour review class. Then I took the final exam (which I aced). Next came the hard part - two days of pool time, averaging three to four hours each day. Now my training is over and I am ready to swim with Flipper and his friends. All I have to do now is find some clear, warm ocean, preferably south of the Equator for my final referral dive. For those who have not ventured under the sea, I highly recommend doing so, while you are fairly fit and trim. I hit the track and the lap pool at the gym a few weeks before taking my dive class, just to shed a few pounds and gear up for the increased aerobic


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activity. Swimming is a great way to get all the exercise you need, without pounding and injuring any part of your body. In our last issue I alluded to some upcoming changes in the magazine. By now you probably noticed a cleaner look, with just a bit more “white space” as they call it. After more than six years I think the new face-lift is a nice change. Those of you who are really astute probably noticed that I even changed my self-portrait as well. I’m now just a little bit older, wiser and grayer. Lastly, I am very proud to announce that Latronico Communications, Vox Pop Influentials’ parent company was recently recognized at the Fresno Ad Federation’s Annual Addy Awards Gala. We won a Silver Addy for a local multi-media ad campaign that included a television commercial, radio spot and print ad. We are proud of this accomplishment and will continue to put our best foot forward in writing and producing award winning advertising campaigns. If you haven’t done so already, mark May 19th and 20th on your calendar with two capital “F’s” (Fishin’ Fun). That is the weekend of our Second Annual Lake Kaweah Trout Derby. It is also the official kick off to National Safe Boating week. If you decide to enter this Trout Derby, you and/or your family will be fishing for over $50,000 in cash and prizes. Need to know more? See the inside back cover of this issue for more details. Fish On!

R.J. Latronico, Publisher

Creative Director Jennifer Lingard

Contributors Alana Unger, Harvey Mackay, Kurt Eichsteadt, David Humerickhouse, Emily Latronico, Cary Schein

Contact Information VOX POP Influentials Volume 7 Issue No. 2 March/April 2012

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

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march/april 2012

From The Publisher’s Desk

2 Preparations for Spring! Wealth & Finance


Harvey Mackay has some pearls of wisdom to help us with time management. Did you know that your smart phone may be the biggest waste of your time?

8 Kurt Eichsteadt: Rich People Who Made It and What

They Did With It - Stanley Ho set the standard for big business and multiple wives in China.

Health & Wellness

11 Alana Unger: In honor of Mother’s Day, Alana brings

to us a special interview with Doris Newcom. Doris is a perfect example of someone living life to its fullest at the age of 96.


David Humerickhouse, DDS: White, silver or gold? What’s your choice at the dentist?

Food & Wine



Kurt Eichsteadt reminds us that spring is around the corner and so are some fresh, crisp spring wines.



Leonard Whitney At 91 years of age, Leonard Whitney is unstoppable. After he helped to pioneer


and perpetuate the independent Food 4


Less grocery stores in town, he went on

Our great DVD picks this month include: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Sitter, We Bought a Zoo, Iron Lady, Mission Impossible, Contraband and the movie that swept the Academy Awards The Artist.

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to tackle a few other big adventures, including, most recently, his brand new Meat Market/BBQ/Take-Out store.

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[ wealth and finance ]

Time Management Tips from a Pro by Harvey Mackay


anaging your time is perhaps the most difficult organizational challenge you face. You can always declutter your desk, rearrange your workspace, or get your files in order. But getting control of your schedule is one of those grand intentions that suffer because it involves setting rules for others who interfere with your productivity.

be spending time concentrating on strategy. They should incorporate “thinking time” on their calendars, which allows them to prepare for impending crises and deal with them proactively, rather than reactively.

A terrific resource for those of us who struggle with never having enough time is Laura Stack, president of The Productivity Pro (www., a time-management training firm that specializes in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations. (Is there any other kind?) Her fifth productivity book, What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do, comes out in July.

Technology can become addictive, as most of us would agree. We

Laura is also president of the National Speakers Association, an organization to which I also belong. She is the personification of the old adage, “If you need something done, ask a busy person.” Why is that true? Because they have probably figured out how to best use their time. And if you haven’t attended one of her seminars, Laura has possibly been helping you already. She is the designer of The Productivity Pro planner by Day-Timer. You don’t have to wait until July to start reorganizing your schedule. Laura shared some thoughts with me about the biggest problems people face when the clock is the enemy. The #1 time-management challenge that people face is not taking time to think, she says. They are busy putting out fires, directing day-to-day operations, and dealing with distractions, but they should 6

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Laura recommends “strategy retreats” for leaders every few months, a weekend all alone, without email, to write, think, dream, and plan. Assess mission statements and progress toward meeting goals. She acknowledges that setting aside this time is a tremendous challenge but emphasizes the importance of intense focus. We discussed the role of technology in managing our time. I don’t go anywhere without my iPhone and iPad -- I’m afraid I might miss something important. Laura admits that while most people think technology should enhance time management, she cautions that at the same time, it blurs the boundaries between our work and personal lives.

are slaves to our smartphones. Laura says we are conditioned to interrupt what we are doing: “I observe employees doing this. You’re at your desk. You’re working on something critical. You need to be head down, prepping for a meeting, doing a proposal, preparing a presentation . . . All of a sudden you get this email alert or a ding or your cursor changes or you get some other alert, and you just can’t help it. You have to check it. “A majority of incoming technology alerts are not important, but we stop the critical task to go focus on that. This ‘always on’ mentality is really keeping us from having a life,” she says. “You have to use technology strategically. When you’re using it to improve productivity for down time, do so on purpose.” My final question for Laura focused on the biggest waste of time. What should we not be doing? Her answer was not what I expected: “I think the biggest waste of time is always doing what we’ve always done.” She gave an example of a human resources vice president who generated monthly reports indicating how much time each employee spent in training courses. When she asked the VP what the recipients did with the reports, the VP didn’t know even though she had been sending reports for two years.

Laura advised her to survey the recipients as to their usefulness. The result? They perused only the executive summary, so they decided brief quarterly reports would suffice. Time savings: nearly two full work days each quarter.

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Ask if what you are doing still makes sense, she says. “Why do we do it this way? If I didn’t do this at all, would anybody notice?”

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Time is a gift. If you feel like you’re wasting it, invite a pro to help you assess your strategy. It will be time well spent.


Mackay’s Moral: Wasting your time is wasting your opportunities. 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. It’s #1 on the Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller list, and #2 on USA Today Money Bestseller. 100 Willow Plaza Suite 106 Visalia, CA 93291

Phone 559.627.3666 Fax 559.627.4101


[ wealth and finance ] Rich People Who Made It … and What They Did With It

Four Wives and Three Billion Dollars:

The Story of Stanley Ho by Kurt A. Eichsteadt

It might not be the way we do it in the United States, but in China, Stanley Ho did it his way and ended up with four wives and control of more than 50% of every dollar bet in the Chinese gambling Mecca of Macau.

His first attempt at college was unsuccessful. Motivated by a desire to improve

His health is failing and there are wild squabbles over his wealth, but in his heyday, there was nothing like him. He set the standard for big business and for multiple wives.

his social status, he studied much harder and earned a scholarship to the University of Hong Kong. Unable to finish college due to the Second World War, he fled the invading Japanese in 1942.

BACKGROUND Ho was the ninth of 13 children, born November 21, 1921 into a family of great influence and tradition. It was a wealthy family, but his father lost a lot of money in a stock market crash in the mid 1930s. Ho’s two older brothers committed suicide and Ho’s father abandoned the family, leaving Ho with his mother and two elder brothers.


Ho’s family life requires a spread sheet to keep track of wives, children and grandchildren, so here’s a capsule version. He married his first wife, Clementina Leitao in 1942 and they had four children. In the late 1950s, he met Lucina Laam King-ying, whom he married in Hong Kong in 1962. Ina Chan became his third wife in 1985 and they had three children. Ho had five children with his fourth wife, Angel Leon On-kei whom he met in 1988.

BUSINESS SIDE He began working at an import export firm in Macau with his skills and fluency in four languages and became a partner at the age of 22. This was the beginning of his success and also the beginning of accusations about his ethics. The story is that he began making big money by smuggling during World War II. Additionally, there are allegations that he collaborated with the Japanese and Communists after the war. After the import export company, he moved into construction and rode the expansion of the Asian economy in the fifties. He continued to build his wealth by obtaining the gambling monopoly in Macau. The sixties was a big decade for Ho: he renamed his company Sociedad de Tursmo e Diversoe de Macau (STDM), obtained the gambling monopoly for Macau, and set up the Shun Tak Holdings,


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[ wealth and finance ] which owns a large fleet of high speed jetfoils that carry passengers (presumably gamblers) between Hong Kong and Macau. Before the end of the century, he also took control of the Macau Jockey Club, a greyhound-racing track, and launched Asia’s first football and basketball lottery. And not one to miss any opportunity, he launched an online casino partnership with a Vancouver company called By 2011, his business holdings were substantial. According to Bloomberg, the Ho family took in more than 50% of every dollar bet in Macau and operated the majority of casinos with 33% of the market. The STDM holds 33% of the Macau Airport, 14% of Air Macau and 50% of One Central, a complex of seven 40-story luxury apartment buildings and a Mandarin Oriental Hotel. STDM also owns real estate, a fleet of corporate jets, a helicopter service, shipping operations and shares of casinos in Portugal, Vietnam and North Korea.

WHAT HE DID WITH IT In the world of art, Ho played a major role in returning some significant works of art to China. In 1860, invading Anglo-French troops stole a collection of 12 animal sculptures from the Summer Palace in Beijing, known as Yuan Ming Yuan (The Gardens of Perfect Brightness). Because of his efforts, five of the 12 heads have been brought back to China. He recently paid almost $9 million for the sculpture of a horse’s head that he donated to China. Dancing was one of Ho’s hobbies and he himself often danced in charity events. He also sponsored many dance events. He was a Patron of the Hong Kong Ballet, the International Dance Teachers Association and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Dance. He also owned many thoroughbred horses He created the Guangzhou Education Foundation, which supports university research and finances scholarships for young people.


suffered a stroke in July of 2009 at the age of 94.Today there are 16 surviving children, three surviving wives and at least 10 grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. By early 2012, Ho and various wives and daughters were all suing each other, trying to sort out the empire estimated to be worth more than $3 billion. On Jan. 26, he filed suit for the return of his interests

in a company called Lanceford, which held the bulk of his wealth including the Macau casino business. Just before filing the suit, he appeared on television with some family members and said he had no intention of suing anyone. On Jan. 30, a video was posted on You Tube saying Ho was dropping the suit in exchange for the return of his shares. But apparently, that never happened. Then in March, Ho’s attorneys filed a document (signed on his behalf, but not signed by him) that blocked family members from taking control of more of his assets. The following are family members/individuals that have controlled interest in companies involved: daughters Pansy Ho Chiu-king and Daisy Ho Chiu-fung, third wife Ina Chan Un-chan, and Josie and Lawrence, and Ho’s children with his second wife, Lucina Laam King-ying.

CONCLUSION And the beat goes on…. HONORS FOR STANLEY HO 1989: OBE from Queen Elizabeth for philanthropy. 2003: Honored by Hong Kong for his outstanding contributions to the community in promoting education, sports, and other community services. 2009: Received Grand Bauhinia Medal—highest medal awarded in Hong Kong, given to those who made “a lifelong and highly significant contribution to the well being of Hong Kong”.


Spring Wines

[ food & wine ]

by Kurt A. Eichsteadt

Spring comes early to those of us fortunate enough to live close to the coast in California. In April, much of the country is just beginning to enjoy the rebirth of plant life, while we have been enjoying green grass and flowering plants since February. Wherever you are, spring is a time to take a look at wines and food that accompany this annual new beginning.

Spring Wines

Spring wines should be fresh and crisp, not some big Chardonnay. Expect green flavors, herbs and grass. They are excellent for sipping and they go with seafood, wine and poultry. To best enjoy spring whites, they should be served between 45 and 50 degrees which means two hours in the refrigerator should be about right. The first wine that comes to mind for this feature is Sauvignon Blanc. It’s dry and crisp and features the “nose” mentioned earlier: herbaceous and grassy. It has colors that range from a faint chartreuse to pale straw. Sauvignon Blanc flavors can be citrus, vanilla and melon and can compliment almost any spring menu. Sauvignon Blanc may be produced in California as a Fume Blanc, which is also crisp, dry and herbaceous. New Zealand and Chile (look for the Casablanca Valley) also offer perfect spring wines. Other wines that are fun for spring include Italian Prosecco, a bubbly gold wine that may have citrus, apple, and grape tastes; Rosés, and White Zinfandels, (which are really kind of pink). These can be bone dry to slightly sweet, making them perfect for any occasion. Here are a couple of websites with spring wine suggestions: and 10

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A Special Dish to Go wit h Spring Wines

This is Ricotta Peas, Honey, and Mint, from an appearance by Joe Bastianich on The Today Show.

INGREDIENTS: 1 15-ounce tub of ricotta; 1 loaf of ciabatta or other Tuscan bread, 2 sprigs of mint, 2 cups of blanched peas; 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil; and 1 tablespoon of mild-flavored honey. (These measurements don’t have to be exact; consider them guidelines.) PREPARATION: Grill the flat side of the bread for a minute or two, long enough to make grill marks on the bread. Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spoon ricotta on the bread. Dress the blanched peas with olive oil, honey and mint and spoon on top of the ricotta. Enjoy with one of our suggested spring wines and serve cold.

[ health and wellness ]

Stay Flexible: Mind, Body & Spirit Living Life With Doris Newcom

- Interview by Alana Unger, Registered Dietitian

Mother’s Day is often laced with questions about motherhood. What life lessons has your mother taught you? What are you teaching your children? Doris Newcom, at 96, remembers the lessons she learned from her mother, and continues to be an inspiration and mentor to her children. A brief encounter with her will leave you asking yourself questions beyond motherhood. Are you enjoying life to the fullest and living in the moment? What impression are you leaving on the world everyday that you’re here? Her approach to leading a full and rich life is straightforward and achievable – but only if you are as determined as Doris to appreciate life for the simple gift that it is. Alana Unger: Doris, I was on You Tube and saw two videos of you! Cheerleading at a Rawhide game, and starring in a fashion show. You are famous! At 96 you are living life with more vigor than most 66-year-olds that I know! Doris Newcom: Well, life is a responsibility – each day that I wake up, I say, “I’m here, better greet it with some enthusiasm!” AU: Now, let’s backtrack a little and take a look at your journey... Where were you born? DN: I was born in 1915 in Goldfield, Nevada – an old mining town that was a thriving city at the time. I only lived there about a year, but I went back to visit Goldfield on my 75th birthday. We ate at the oldest restaurant in town, which was originally a saloon! It still has a place to tie up your horse out front. Since it was my birthday, they gave me a free can of beer and a sandwich!

AU: What a great way to spend your birthday! Maybe on my next birthday I’ll go back to where I was born…oh, wait a minute that was Visalia! And I don’t know of anywhere in town that would give me a free can of beer and sandwich. Where did you grow up, then, Doris, if you only lived in Goldfield for one year? DN: My mom, my sister, and my two brothers (I was the youngest by 6 years) lived in Oakland and Alameda. I attended school there, of course, and went on to their business college where I learned typing, shorthand and business math – not all that common to learn nowadays! After that I moved to Glendale to be close to my sister. AU: How was life different growing up then compared to now? DN: Women have more of an equal role now. It used to be that the man earned the living and the mother stayed at home. I like that women are able to help out more now. AU: You were raised by a single mom and so was I – that gives us more of an attitude of empowerment and an expectation to be strong and take care of our families, don’t you think? DN: Yes – I think we are stronger. We watched mom take care of the family while being strong herself. My mother taught me that we don’t always have control of the challenges we are faced with, but we do have control over how we respond to them. AU: Obviously we were inspired by our mothers. I know you’re inspiring to your children as well – and you raised them on your own as a single mom when your first husband passed away, correct? DN: My first husband, Harry McClusky, was a deputy fire chief in Glendale. We were married for twenty years. After he passed away I went to work as an emergency dispatcher. I got to tell 178 men where to go! AU: Oh, Doris! DN: I loved it! For the next fifteen years I raised my girls on my own. That made me a strong person – very different going from a


[ health and wellness ] housewife to working mom. Having children was motivating and comforting, and I learned a lot from my kids. They taught me to enjoy life with what you have and where you are. We loved to go to the beach, but didn’t have a lot of money to travel or for other costly “extras” – but we appreciated and enjoyed what we had. You have to be positive for your kids, and teach them to be grateful - and that teaches you to be more positive about life yourself.

DN: I don’t have control over the past, so I don’t dwell on it. I have a very grateful heart for what I have right now. What’s happening now is real. The past is gone, and the future isn’t here yet. I didn’t expect to be living at 96! I’ve lived longer than anyone else in my family, and I’m just going to keep on keeping on!

AU: Were your daughters always as positive as you were?

AU: You are keeping on, Doris! Tell me about life at Quail Park Retirement Community. Do they have tons of social activities for you there?

DN: Well, I remember waking up one of my daughters each day when she was a teenager with positive comments, and she would say, “What do you have to be so happy about?”

DN: I really love it there – they are so good to us. They are very concerned about each of us. They have caregivers if needed – but I don’t need any at this time. I feel lucky – I’ve had a hip replaced,

AU: Typical teenager! DN: My view is, “Well, I’m here, might as well make the most of it!” AU: Do you feel like you have made the most of your life? You said that you and the girls didn’t travel much, but did you ever travel with your husband? DN: Oh, yes, I was married to Richard Newcom, my second husband, for twenty-five years. We took many trips together. AU: What country was your favorite? DN: Italy was great and so was Austria! They were much better in person than in the movie! AU: The Sound of Music. One of my all-time favorites! I’d love to see the edelweiss in person! DN: I also branched out as I got older and did more public things than when I was younger. I belong to PEO, a philanthropic organization that supports women in achieving their education and goals. It’s the biggest woman’s organization in the world – they have all kinds of meetings and functions. I was president one year – it was good for me to get out into the public. AU: What do you miss the most from over nine decades of your life? DN: I try to keep my mind where my body is. I try not to live in the past or the future. Some say, “If this (specific event) would happen, then I’d be happy.” These people aren’t enjoying what they’re doing today – they’re too worried about what they have to do tomorrow. Happiness is an inside job. 12

AU: So, no regrets then?

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[ health and wellness ] some vision impairment, and hearing aids…and it takes me a while to get dressed in the morning. But I’m grateful just to be able to get dressed. If I need it I have the help right there! AU: I understand that Quail Park sponsored you in a fashion show recently. Was it last year when you were crowned as the very first “Queen of Quail Park” in their first annual beauty pageant? DN: Yes, that was so fun! I was also crowned the first “Belle of the Ballpark” at Rawhide stadium. I finally made cheerleader at 96! I also like to go out dancing! Neither of my late husbands enjoyed dancing, so at age 80 I started taking lessons. I go to Senior Center dances, Smooth Dancers, and I love line dancing! AU: You are a regular in the line dancing classes at The Lifestyle Center, aren’t you? DN: Yes. When I was 80, my daughters bought me a membership to The Lifestyle Center. They said, “You are not going to vegetate, mom!” I took lessons from the Groovy Granny! Somebody talked me into trying the line dancing, and I love it! AU: Ok, Doris this is a perfect time to talk about healthy lifestyle habits, like exercising. Is that what has kept you so youthful and healthy for 96 years? Since I’m a dietitian, I have a particular interest in your approach to eating healthy. DN: Its’ simple – I always try to eat foods that are beneficial to me and I don’t overstuff myself. It’s just common sense health. However, I do have a sweet tooth –I even had an ice cream sundae yesterday! I don’t restrict myself if I want a little something. I feel that

it’s not what you eat once in awhile that matters, it’s what you do day in and day out. AU: I love you! I hope my clients are reading this! And how about exercise? DN: I have always exercised. I start each day (unless I sleep in occasionally) off with hip implant exercises, stretching, bridges, planks, and flexibility work. Again, it’s not what you do once in awhile, it’s your daily way of life that matters. Then I go to my aerobics and dance classes. AU: I teach my clients to EAT healthy, MOVE healthy and THINK healthy. What advice do you have for mental health? DN: Show enthusiasm toward life and have fun! Even if you’re not having fun – act like you are! And try new things – keep learning! I like line dancing because I learn something new each time I go! AU: Do you ever fake having fun? DN: I can! You need to have a good sense of humor – and don’t take old age too seriously! It’s not for sissies! Remember, happiness is an inside job! AU: Some people dread having another birthday because they’re getting another year older. I always tell them that it’s another victory (consider the alternative!). You make each birthday special, don’t you? DN: I always try to do something outrageous – like cheerleading at the ballpark! For my 90th birthday my daughters wanted to throw

Photo Cour te

sy of Trudy Jo



[ health and wellness ] me a party. I like parties, but not for me! Instead, they set up a photo shoot for me and I had some glamour pictures made! AU: Your daughters seem to be very supportive of you. DN: My daughters are very important in keeping me going – they don’t treat me like a has-been! They support everything I do – and I don’t think I’d do it without them. I also have three children from my husband Richard, three grandkids, and six step-grandkids. I am very close to them and love when they visit. Motherhood is a great responsibility. Your children learn more by what they see you do, not what you tell them to do. AU: Your life, your attitude, your inspiration – are all shining examples that you have given your children. And your inspiration reaches out to all who meet you – me included – as an extended family. DN: My motto to share with everyone is “Stay flexible – mind, body, and spirit.” This was fun! I hope Doris’ story inspires you to see that an ordinary life can be nothing short of spectacular if you simply choose to live with enthusiasm and follow basic, common sense approaches to health. In short, live with care and care about living.

A word from Doris’ daughters.., Heather Edwards and Colleen McCluskey: “Mom wakes up grateful for each day and finds joy and a sense of being alive! She does not feel it is just another day above ground.” “She laughs a lot more as she ages, and seems to enjoy life more and more.” “She puts into practice her philosophy that what matters is not what happens to you but how you choose to respond.” “She takes really good care of herself – she is very disciplined in this, but in a fun way! She does everything with so much enthusiasm!” “She is a complete inspiration and has raised two strong, independent daughters, just like her!”

Ch Doris’ Cure for the Co mmon Cold

Here’s a favorite recipe that Doris has used on many heart-warming days:


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icken Noodle Soup

r. in enough water to cove • Boil a whole chicken m the cooled broth. the chicken. Skim fat fro • Skin, bone and chop olive oil. s, celer y and carrots in • Saute chopped onion ok 1/4” egg noodles icken broth to liquid. Co ch ed nn ca m diu so low • Add to al dente. quest of Campbell’s Healthy Re n ca a d an as pe n ze , fro • Add veggies, chicken , to taste. So Cream of Chicken up d lots of love. Heat. • Add salt, pepper an weather. friends who are under the • Serve to family and

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Food Less Grocery Store Icon:

Leonard WHITNEY Most people don’t think twice when they go to the grocery store. Typically, the store they choose to visit is a matter of convenience. It’s either right there in the neighborhood, or a convenient stop off the freeway on the way home. These days, the biggest player in the grocer y store business is Save Mart in Visalia. Not too long ago, shoppers looking to pick up that quick loaf of bread or gallon of milk had a few more choices with Vons, Albertsons, and a couple other stores. So what happened to those other guys?

In a nutshell, the market changed and so did the magnitude of grocery items stores had to stock. Then in-store satellite operations began. Stores began to feature their own bakeries and deli’s. Some even had banks within them. This kind of competition was too much for many small independent grocers to handle. Consolidation happened next. Giant grocery wholesalers like SUPERVALUE and Fleming Foods, who once only supplied branded and private-label items to the independents, began acquiring retail stores themselves. Fleming Foods even signed a deal to become Kmart’s sole foods and consumables supplier. Then the bubble burst. 16

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Fortunately, local grocer, Leonard Whitney, who at one time owned seven Food 4Less stores in the region, decided to sell all his stores back to Fleming at just the right time. About a year later that company filed for bankruptcy. Leonard still owns an independent grocery store in Woodlake, but these days he’s more into horses and other animals on his ranch in Exeter than grocery items. We talked with Leonard about the good ‘ol days of the independent grocer and this is what he had to say. If you think Leonard is slowing down now that he’s 91, think again! By the time this story goes to press, Leonard and his partner Robert Lawrence’s newest

retail venture, B L Quality Meats will be open for business in Visalia. This is not your ordinary meat market. Leonard Whitney is still grabbing the bull by the horns while helping to keep our refrigerators stocked. Only this time he’s doing it with a fine selection of Harris Ranch meats and a few select grocery items.

[ featured story ] Richard J. Latronico

RL - Do you still own any grocery stores?

When did you first get involved in the grocery business?

leonard - Yes, just the one in Woodlake. We also had an interest in the Best Buy Markets. I eventually sold my half to Gene Nickel and then Gene sold to Skip Nugent. We all worked together at one time and we always helped one another out. Skip worked for us for twenty years or so before going out on his own.

leonard whitney While I was in high school I worked at the Safeway market in Exeter from 1936 to 1939. When I graduated, I went into business with a friend of mine in Tulare. We bought a grocery store there and that’s how it all started. We did that for about two years, then war broke out, so we sold the store and we both went into the service. I went into the Air Force.

RL - How many employees were on payroll when you had the seven Food 4Less stores? leonard - About a thousand.

RL - How was the grocery business different back then?

RL - What do you attribute your success to?

leonard - Back in those days grocery stores carried about 5000 items, at the most. These days they have maybe 30,000-40,000 items. It’s hard to compete these days as an independent. These other stores are huge.

leonard - Oh, I don’t know, just lucky I guess!

RL - Was your store different than other stores back then? leonard - No, it was just an open-air market. We rolled the doors open in the morning and closed them at night. RL - What happened after you returned home? leonard - Since the grocery business was all I knew, I decided to join Mr. Nickel in 1945, and we opened up the Nickel-Payless stores. We started in Farmersville, and then expanded to Exeter, Visalia, and Tulare. Later on I decided to also open up a few stores on my own. I had Food King stores in Hanford, Selma, Lemoore and Parlier. Then I opened a FoodLand store in Porterville. RL - When then did Food 4Less get started? leonard - That wasn’t until 1986-87. I started in Visalia with Fleming Foods as a franchisee. Then I had one in Hanford, two more in Fresno, another one in Clovis, and a second one in Visalia. Bakersfield was the last market we went into. So, we had a total of seven stores at one time. We also had a warehouse in Goshen and Lemoore. There was a trucking company too.

RL - Who owns the other independent stores in town? leonard - Raymond Chun owns the R- N Markets and Joe Gong used to own the Fairway stores before they closed. Joe still owns the Food 4Less stores in Visalia, Porterville, Fresno, Selma, Merced, Madera and Atwater. RL - Who are the big players, as far as the food wholesalers go? leonard - You had United Grocers first, then Fleming Foods. Fleming then bought United Grocers. We dealt with Fleming a lot over the years. I eventually sold my Food 4Less stores to them. Ironically, a few years after I sold to them, they went bankrupt. RL - Albertsons also went bankrupt, correct? leonard - Yes. Then Safeway bought the Vons stores and some of our old Food 4Less stores are now Food Max stores. Food Max is owned by Save Mart. Then you have Kroger (owns Foods Co here), and in Southern California they own the Food 4Less name and the Ralph’s stores. RL - How did Save Mart grow so big in this market? leonard - They got really big by buying the 120 Albertsons stores that went belly up. They added these to the 120 stores they already owned.


[ featured story ]

RL - You almost need a program to keep track of all the players, don’t you?

leonard - B L Quality Meats is named after two employees that used to work for me - Keith Battle and Robert Lawrence. When I sold out they opened a meat market.

leonard - Yes, you do! RL - What about the latest one to come to town, WinCo? leonard - WinCo is employee owned. They started in Visalia with one store and now they have 30 to 40 stores in the region. RL - Do Wal Mart and Target play a role in the grocery store chain here? leonard - Not at this time, but give them a few years and all that will change. These big stores have all the little satellite operations going for them...they have the deli and the bakery and so forth. It’s hard to compete with them as an independent grocer. RL - How did your son, Greg, get involved in the business? leonard - He started by sorting bottles at seven or eight years of age. Then he would sweep the parking lot. He was so small they had to staple an apron around his waist just to keep it in place. RL - How do grocery stores make a profit? Is it through the private label brands they offer, like Sunny Select for Save Mart?

This store has so much more to offer than most meat markets. Besides its size, which is huge, it has a freestanding smoker/BBQ that we can use to cook one hundred prime ribs, or fifty turkeys at a time. We also have two deep pits. It’s not a restaurant, but we have a full kitchen and we will have a take out window. There will be a bunch of tables outside where people can sit and eat as well. RL - I guess just sitting in your rocking chair and enjoying retirement at 91 years of age just wasn’t in the cards, was it? leonard - No, that would be pretty boring! RL - Will BBQ To Go food items be one of your specialties at B L Quality Meats?

leonard - The whole thing with the private labels is that you can buy it for less, and then sell it for less. You then make a profit on the volume you sell.

leonard - Absolutely, the BBQ operation will be all turnkey. If you call in at 10AM and order a prime rib to take home that evening to feed four, you will be able to stop by on your way home from work and pick it up right on time at 6PM.

There are many items we almost have to sell at cost, like milk and sugar. At the most you’d make 5-10% percent on those items. At Food 4Less our total mark up was about 12% gross. There are other items where you can make a little more. On produce and

We’ll offer other food items as well, from a variety of different breads to ice cream. We’ll also have beer and wine. All our meat is from Harris Ranch and the cuts are either Choice or Prime. Need a cut of meat marinated? We’ll do that too.

meat we made about 25% profit. Our end goal was to make about 16% wall to wall, as they say. These days, however, Safeway might be pulling down 29% on average wall to wall. RL - Please tell me about the new meat market, B L Quality Meats, you are opening soon. 18

We talked a long time about bringing a meat market here to Visalia. So I stopped talking about it and just did it. Robert Lawrence is now a partner with me in this new Visalia store, off Demaree Street and Highway 198. He still manages the store in Fresno, too.

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RL - Switching subjects a bit now, Leonard, can you tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know? leonard - Oh, I don’t know...there isn’t much here that people don’t know!

A Brand New Experience in

Fresh Meats & Fish (Take Out Available) Opening Spring 2012 in Visalia


Robert Lawrence & Leonard Whitney with Butch, their Texas Longhorn Friend

720 S. Demaree Street, Visalia, CA 93277


[ featured story ] RL - Are you sure? What about your favorite hobby? I see a horse corral outside?

RL - One last question...please finish this statement for me: Leonard Whitney was a guy that...

leonard - Well, I am in the horse business. I just like animals. I got into horses when I got out of the grocery business and needed something to do.

leonard - I have no idea.

At this point Greg Whitney, Leonard’s son, joins in and says...

GREG - Leonard Whitney is a man of his word. He has always followed through on whatever obligation he made, whether it was verbal or written. No one can ever say Leonard did not live up to his word.

GREG - Dad loves animals. Anyone that knows him knows that. He loves all critters. He didn’t start in the horse business until the late 80s or early 90s. It used to be that he laughed at anyone who had horses. He used to say that all they did was eat and poop. Now he realizes they can laugh at him as well! leonard - At one time we had three horse ranches. My wife was the reason I got into horses. She really liked them. We still have two ranches and a riding arena right out back. RL - I noticed the photograph of you in uniform next to the WWII plane. Is that a B-17? leonard - Yes, I was a waist gunner in WWII and that’s a picture of our flight crew. There’s a great WWII mural located in downtown Exeter across from the Ford dealership. It features all the local B-17 veterans, including me. Boy, those were the days!


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RL - Greg, help us here, please.

RL - Thank you, Gentlemen!

The Whitney Family was very involved in giving back to the community over the years. Some of the organizations they supported included:

[ featured story ]

Specializing in Cardiovascular Medicine Operation Kidcoat St. Judes Children’s Hospital


Kid’s Festival American Cancer Society Foodlink


Pro Youth Visalia/HEART Valley Children’s Hospital

Visalia Rescue Mission

Cardiac Catheterization Pacemaker & Defibulator Implantation Cardiac Rhythm Disorders Congestive Heart Failure Mgt. Lipid Disorders Hypertension Coronary Artery Disease Stress Testing Holter Monitoring

 

             

Harry R. Lively M.D., Inc.

119 S. Locust Ave. · Ste. B Visalia, CA 93291 559 · 749.0223



Lic. # 547201356


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[ health and wellness ]

The Latest and Greatest Building Materials for Your Tooth by David Humerickhouse, D.D.S.

Gold, silver, or…something white? If you’re a jewelry person, it’s likely that gold strongly appeals to you. And why wouldn’t it? It’s precious, beautiful, and it can be made into things that glisten like a mirror without tarnishing. That also makes it perfect for dental restorations too. If you’ve paid attention to finance and investments lately, then you surely realize that the demand and therefore the value of gold and silver have increased steadily over the past several years. Prices for gold and silver in all its forms have climbed through the roof. There seems to be little waning of investor appetite for these precious metals. As a result, the cost for dental restorations made of these materials has climbed dramatically too. Perhaps that is some of what has affected the latest dramatic shift toward different materials to put in your teeth. However, that certainly isn’t all of it. I think it has merely motivated dentists to move faster toward the use of alternative ceramic materials. These days, people find straight, white, natural looking teeth appealing. Our patients are demanding more often that their teeth have a natural looking appearance. They want the repairs to their teeth to visually blend in seamlessly with their remaining tooth structure. And why not? It looks great and it’s possible for nearly all dental repair situations. Last year, according to Gordon J. Christensen, DDS, a leading world authority on dental trends and evaluator of products leading those trends, only about 1.5% of the crowns made in the U.S. were made of gold! The rest were partially or completely tooth colored. Furthermore, about half of those tooth colored crowns have absolutely no metal in them at all. They are produced solely out of ceramic type materials. These latest tooth colored crowns are showing themselves to be increasingly strong and rugged over previous models. High quality white colored zirconia (yes, the type of stuff simulated diamonds are also made of) only crowns are failing at test pressures just over three times that of your NATURAL tooth structure. Same day crowns, made via CAD/ CAM and fired right in the dental office while the patient waits, test out at TWICE the strength of natural teeth. That’s pretty amazing. These guys are strong. Time will tell if this material is the new replacement for metal in dental restorations but the latest evidence looks really good. The materials just keep getting better and are enjoying wider use. In fact, a survey of a group of leading esthetic dentists who routinely teach other dentists reveals that most of them would rather have these strong white crowns on all their teeth except for the very last teeth in the back of the mouth. So, things are changing quickly. Christensen compares this current change to the rapid change seen in dentistry when the air rotor drill replaced the belt driven drill back in the 1950’s. Seriously. He states that nothing has changed so dramatically in dentistry over the past sixty-some years. That is just simply amazing. What’s also amazing is the fact that many ceramics can be utilized with less drilling away of the precious structure of your tooth. As you can imagine, these materials and how they are used can be rather technical. Take some time to look into what is available for you and discuss it with your dentist the next time the need arises. Remember, these crowns can look simply mah-ve-lous! And so can you. Your feedback, comments, and questions are valued! Please email me with your correspondence at or you may contact my office at 688-8069.


[ entertainment ]

DVD DIARY by Kurt A. Eichsteadt

Our mission at DVD diary is to make sure you don’t waste time or money on DVDs, Blue-Rays, Downloads or On-Demand Viewing. We recommend only videos that are worth your time. For this edition of DVD Diary, we have an embarrassment of riches. In a two-week period in late March and early April, there are half a dozen excellent movies, including The Artist, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. We’ll take a brief look at a nice list.

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE Don't be put off by the fact that it’s about the 9-11 attack. You’ll be moved by the

story of a young boy convinced that his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the attack, tried to tell him something by leaving a key behind.

THE SITTER R-rated comedy with a pre-weight loss Jonah Hill as the sitter taking his three charges on a wild chase through the seediest parts of Manhattan. Very funny.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO After the death of his wife, Matt Damon does what anyone would do to try holding his family together: he buys a zoo. Charming and a great pick for the whole family.

The IRON LADY Meryl Streep won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Another outstanding performance by Streep, who is arguably our greatest living actress.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL Big budget, big action, big star, big fun—starring Tom Cruise. This is the first live

action movie directed by Brad Bird, whose animation credits include, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and the overlooked Iron Giant, this issue's "From the Vault" pick. (See below). Bird knows how to move a story forward with no wasted effort. Don't miss Cruise hanging off the side of the tallest building in the world without a stunt double.

CONTRABAND This movie is a flawless execution of a predictable plot. Mark Wahlberg travels from the back streets of New Orleans to the Panama Canal to extricate himself from the smuggling life he tried to leave behind. Exciting.

THE ARTIST The black and white silent picture that swept the Academy Awards. It's here on home video and you'll enjoy seeing what all the

excitement is about.

from the vault


IRON GIANT A special animated film from 1999 that didn't get the release it deserved. It's a gem, directed by Brad Bird (from MI4 above) with voices by Jennifer Anniston, Vin Diesel and Harry Connick Jr. Set in during the Cold War in 1957, it's the story of a lonely boy who discovers a giant iron man who fell from space. The movie is about the boy's effort to stop the government from destroying the robot.

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Lake Kaweah Trout Derby May 19 & 20, 2012 (Rain or Shine)

EntEr to win a 2010 ZX170 SkEEtEr

EntEr to win

fishing boat $10,000 CASH (Complete with a 90HP Outboard, Trailer and Trolling Motor)

Sponsored by Hans’ Boat works and Quality Jewelers

PLUS Lots of Other bIg MONEy fISH!

$250 CaSH For the Longest trout $250 in Merchandise from Sierra Sporting Goods 10 trout worth $100 each 20 trout worth $50 each 50 trout at $20 each 20 trout worth a variety of prizes

Sponsored by Heather Edwards,D.D.S EntEr to win a

Pick uP truck (Mystery Vehicle Unveiled April 6th)

Sponsored by tachi Palace Hotel & Casino

Affordable Family Fun! $25 InDIVIDuAL | $50 FAMILy

All Registrations Must be Received by May 16 – no exceptions.

EaSy ONLINE REgIStRatION at: DERby INfORMatION: 559.901.7910

SponSored by:

San Joaquin Valley College • Lake Kaweah Marina • West Marine • Kaweah Delta Trauma Center • Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino Hans’ Boat Works • Quality Jewelers • Heather Edwards, D.D.S • Valley Business Bank • Sierra Sporting Goods

A Portion of the Proceeds Will Benefit the USCGA Kaweah Flotilla 10-6. Sorry, no professional fishermen are allowed to participate!


Vox Pop Influentials - March / April 2012  

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

Vox Pop Influentials - March / April 2012  

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