STYLE, ART, CULTURE, + EVENTS OF THE SOUTH VALLEY MARCH 2016
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DOWNTOWN VISALIA FARMERS MARKET
24 HOME TOUR
THE BIANCO HOME A Spanish Style Sanctuary
Turning Over a New Leaf
The downtown Visalia Farmers Market is back and it’s bringing even more vendors, events, workshops, and beer and wine.
8 Letter from the Executive Editor
SOUTH VALLEY ARTISTS’ STUDIO TOUR
34 Epicure: Easter Brunch with a Bite
A Snapshot in Time
40 Traveler's Trek: Discovering Relatives
Local artists invite community members into their studios to view their work and their process.
12 Reflections of Visalia: Milling Around Visalia for More Than a Century
and Relics in Southern Sweden 50 Business Profile: Smile Central Valley and Apollonia Dental – A Seamless Transition
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY Building a Community
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Habitat for Humanity of Tulare County breaks ground on their fi rst new build in Visalia since 2008.
COVER: The unique window in the Bianco’s front living room overlooks the front yard. TOP: The beautiful outdoor living space that Susan and Jeff updated themselves.
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DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 Karen Tellalian Kelly Lapadula Katie Presser Malynda Whitworth Ross Yukawa Chris Bly Kaci Hansen Aaron Collins Diane Slocum Elaine Dakessian Lisa McEwen Terry L. Ommen Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA Jeffrey Malkasian EA Maria Gaston Melissa Olson Melissa@DMIAgency.com 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909 Lifestyle@DMIAgency.com www.VisaliaLifestyle.com Issuu.com/LifestyleMagazine Facebook.com/LifestyleMag Instagram: visalialifestyle
RACK LOCATIONS DMI Agency
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Visalia Chamber of Commerce
Evolutions Fitness Center, Tulare
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COUNTERTOP LOCATIONS 210 Cafe Arts Consortium Ashoori & Co. Jewelers Avedian Properties Bravo Farms Smokehouse Café 225 Café Tommy Charcuterie Chelsea Street Boutique CreekSide Day Spa Skin & Laser Center Courtyard Aesthetics Dale Bruder Law Offices Downtown Visalia Alliance Ed Dena Auto Center, Visalia Envie Boutique Essentials Boutique Exeter Chamber of Commerce Flow Studios
For Such a Time Boutique Franey's Design Center Fugazzis ImagineU Children’s Museum Janeen’s Kaweah Delta Hospital Keller Williams Reality Max's Cookies Michaels Jewelry Monét’s, Exeter Peacock Medical Pacific Treasures Pro-PT Renaissance Salon Salon 525 Sherman & Associates Smile Central Valley, Tulare Smile Visalia Suncrest Bank
The Gardens at Cal Turf The Looking Glass V Medical Spa Valley Business Bank (Downtown) Velvet Sky Visalia Airport Visalia Ceramic Tile Visalia First Assembly Visalia Fox Theatre Visalia Marriott Visalia Medical Clinic Watsons Wildflower Café, Exeter Williams, Brodersen & Pritchett, Attorneys at Law Windows Plus, Inc. Wyndham Hotel
Visalia Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 13,000 homes in the upper-middle and high-income neighborhoods in Visalia and Exeter. An additional 2,500 copies are distributed at various distribution points around both communities. Views expressed in columns are those of the columnist and not necessarily those of DMI Agency or its advertisers. Circulation of this issue: 15,500 © 2016 DMI Agency
One of the Bianco’s three dogs perched on a chair in the outdoor living space. 6 LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
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FR O M TH E
hings are looking up in California as March is fulfilling its promise to supply much needed rain and snow. Personally, I have not heard anyone complain about it being “too cold” or “too wet,” but rather, cries of, “more, more, more.” This morning as I drove to work, the mountains were just as they should be: white capped and covered with snow, the most spectacular I’ve seen them recently. If you haven’t
Lifestyle feature writer, Aaron Collins. As usual, our schedules have been filled with events from charity fundraisers to the Fresno Advertising Federation’s ADDY awards. We are excited to report Lifestyle Magazine was awarded two gold awards (for our Culinary features) and one silver award (for our June-August summer series covers) for its excellence in design this year. We’d like to especially thank the chefs for their
Over the years, Lifestyle has dedicated a significant number of pages to local arts and artists, which is our way of denying the arts a certain death here in Central California.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT A STORY IDEA, CONTACT ME AT KAREN@DMIAGENCY.COM
been up there in a while, now is a good time to, as this year marks the 100th Anniversary of Sequoia and Kings National Parks, and the National Park Service as a whole. There will be plenty to celebrate, so stay tuned to Lifestyle this spring and summer. While we all have felt the effects of the drought, some of us have noticed a bit of a famine of the arts. Over the years, Lifestyle has dedicated a significant number of pages to local arts and artists, which is our way of denying the arts a certain death here in Central California. The arts play an important role in the economic and cultural vitality of a community, and this month, we are happy to announce the South Valley Artists’ Studio Tour (SoVAST), celebrating acclaimed local artists. This Tour has a unique, multicultural twist, so be sure to turn to page 20 for “A Snapshot in Time” by
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outstanding dishes, the wonderful homeowners who let us into their lives, and Taylor Johnson for outstanding photography, so that our creative design team could layout the pages in such an artful, awardwinning way. I’d also like to thank everyone who has asked about our new grandson. He continues to be the greatest blessing ever, and I so appreciate all of the well wishes–our community is very special indeed. Stay tuned in on happenings in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for the 100-year celebration by following your local tourism experts– Sequoia Tourism Council (www.sequoiavisitorsguide.com) and Majestic Mountain Loop (www.majesticmountainloop.com).
ENDORSED BY PEOPLE, NOT POLITICIANS. Stan Simpson Chairman Emeritus Buckman Mitchell, Inc.
Troy Korsgaden Korsgaden/Jansma Farmers Insurance Agency
Eric Shannon CRS Farming
Mike Shannon S-K Ranch Management
Fred Lagomarsino Lagomarsino Group
Todd and Melissa Kinosian Mt. View Farming, Inc.
Joe Altschule Attorney
Brucinda Meyers Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors
Nanette Kuswa, DVM Companion Animal Medical Center
Larry Benevento ServiceMaster by Benevento
Phil and Miriam Bourdette Bourdette & Partners
Sam and Marlene Sciacca
Colleen Mestas Former City of Visalia Police Chief
www.AmyForSupervisor.com 559.280.3054 • Amy@AmyForSupervisor.com facebook.com/AmyForSupervisor • twitter.com/Amy4Supervisor PAID FOR BY AMY SHUKLIAN FOR TULARE COUNTY SUPERVISOR 2016 FPPC #1379017
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WO R D PLAY News on writing, books + the world of publishing
arch is Women’s History Month, so why is it a good time to feature books about a prisoner of war, a wrestler, and a king? Well, because they are all women. Little was known about the ordeals of the women who served in the Philippines during World War II. This was because, as the book title declares, they took A Pledge of Silence. Flora J. Solomon’s debut novel tells the fictionalized story of a group of these army nurses who arrive in the tropical paradise that was the Philippines before Pearl Harbor. Their country club existence soon comes crashing down as the war heats up, the Philippines falls under attack, and the women are captured. The nurses endure brutality and deprivation along with the captured servicemen. But even after the war, the women stay true to their vows and remain stoically silent until, at last, their stories are revealed. Angelina Mirabella’s debut novel, The Sweetheart, tells the story of awkward teen, Leonie Putzkammer, who trains to become a wrestler in the 1950s. Mirabella explores Leonie’s search for identity as she is transformed first into a tagteam “heel” – the wrestlers who get booed – and then into a “face” – the heroines of the ring. While her career brings her fame, Leonie (aka, Gorgeous Gwen Davies) finds that happiness and a sense of who she really is, is more elusive. Peggy was the secretary to the Ghanaian ambassador in Washington when she got a 4 a.m. call from one of her cousins in Africa that the King of Otuam was dead and she had been chosen by the ancestors as the next king. Thus starts an incredible, but true, journey of King Peggy (written by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman) from her adopted American home to the povertystricken and corruption-ridden village of
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her extended family. It is up to the new king to set things right, and Peggy dives in with all the force of her personality, upsetting quite a few apple carts along the way. VALLEY WRITERS Sharon Lathan continues to roll out stories in the “Mr. and Mrs. Darcy” saga. When we last visited her, she was publishing her ninth novel. Now she has added two more. Most of her books
encouraged to color. Teachers are given permission to copy the drawings to enhance coloring opportunities. STAR WARS AT EXETER LIBRARY Thursday, March 24 from 4–6 p.m. will be Star Wars Day at the Exeter Branch Library. Events include story time, decorating Star Wars cookies, games such as escape from the Death Star, and crafts such as constructing a trooper mask. Check the Visalia Library Events Blog for live streaming visits by bestselling authors. Jill Shalvus, author of 50 contemporary romance novels, and young adult author Marissa Meyer were recent participants. WRITING CONFERENCES The Pike’s Peak Writers Conference will be held April 15-17 at the Colorado Springs Marriott. The theme is “Dare to Dream.” Featured speakers include Kevin J. Anderson, author of 125 books on movie themes and steampunk fantasy. Also speaking will be Rachel Caine, author of more than 45 novels. Registration is $465 and includes seven meals. Registration closes April 10. Details at: pikespeakwriters.com/ppwc.
are sequels to Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, but one of her more recent is a prequel. It is Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Another of her later books is Passions of Dr. Darcy. Her latest book, Regency Prints Refined: a Lady’s Diversions, is not a novel, but a look at the ladies of the Regency through restored prints and engravings from that period. Sylvia Ross has two more books out, volumes one and two of Fables in an Old Style: A Book for Children in English and Spanish. The stories are simple with a moral theme. Included are black and white ink drawings that children are
WRITING CONTESTS The Writer Magazine is seeking entries in The Great Break Short Story Contest. The contest seeks any nuance, definition, or understanding of the word “break.” Heidi Pitlor will be the judge. Limit 2,000 words. Deadline April 25. Details at: writermag.com/writing-resources/ contests. THE LAST WORD “A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
TASTE OF THE WINE COUNTRY
SUPPORTING THE VISALIA COUNT Y CENTER ROTARY COMMUNIT Y SUPPORT ASSOCIATION
A FUNDRAISING EVENT A T T H E VISALIA COUNTRY CLUB 625 N. Ranch Street | April 9th, 2016 @ 6:00PM
Come join us for this popular, top-notch food and wine tasting experience. Spread over Visalia Country Clubâ€™s spacious Club House and lawns, guests socialize and wander among the delicious food and over 15 wine tasting stations. Enjoy views of the lush golf course, stately oak trees, water fountains, and swans effortlessly drifting in the pond that fronts the 16th green while bidding on exciting auction items. For more information or to get your tickets, please visit:
www.vccrwineauction.com sponsored by
Kenneth & Anna Zankel | Lagomarsino Group William Martin | Bourdette & Partners | ServiceMaster by Benevento | DMI Agency | 4 Creeks | Tulare County Federal Credit Union | Marlene Romanazzi, CPA Houk & Hornburg | Valley Business Bank | Zeeb Commercial Real Estate | Richard Toriggino | Tri Counties Bank | Rilian Ball | Wyndham Visalia | Visalia Ceramic Tile Central California Cartage Co. | Rapid Self Storage | Rabobank | Vollmer, Daniels, Gaebe & Grove | The Auto Shop | Kaweah Delta Health Care District All donated auction items are charitable contributions and help raise funds for local and international service projects.
M I LLI N G ARO U N D VI SALIA FO R M O R E
Than a Century T
he Matthews family had a long history of building gristmills and taking on leadership roles to start new communities. So when Osee Matthews Jr. came to California in 1849 and failed to find gold, he scouted out a mill site in the vast unsettled land of Four Creeks Country. He liked what he saw in this water rich land, and returned to Iowa to report his findings to his family. Obviously, he was convincing because in 1852, he and brothers Warren and Reuben began planning for a wagon train trip to California. On April 18, the brothers loaded their families into the wagons, along with their millstones and milling equipment, and left Red Rock, Iowa for a journey that would have an impact on them, and an even bigger one on the yet-to-be created town of Visalia. After nearly five months on the trail, the small wagon train arrived in Stockton, California. After a short layover, the Matthews families and a few others headed south for Four Creeks Country. It was there in the fall of 1852 that the Iowa travelers set up camp near what is now Mill Creek in Visalia. Sensing it was an ideal spot for a mill, they built a log fort for protection, but soon found that the native population was not a threat, so they left the enclosure and the town began to take shape. Houses were built, and in 1853, the Matthews brothers constructed their mill and their grain
the mill. The force of the constricted ﬂow of water in the race was enough to turn the wheel. The mill was built on the southeast corner of Santa Fe and Mill (now Main Street). Flour and grain were essential staple foods, so the service they provided was popular. The This photograph shows the fire at brothers ground grain for 75 the Ralston Purina Co. that started cents per hundred pounds or on August 20, 1967 and burned they would grind at no cost in the plant to the ground. Notice the Santa Fe Railroad Depot on exchange for 20 percent of the the opposite side of the street. order. They even shipped grain [Courtesy of Bruce Geiger] products to southern mines of the mother lode and the Kern mines. By the early 1860s, the Matthews family began to get wanderlust and started to look for greener pastures. In 1863, the mill was sold to J. M. Browne who converted the water driven mill to steam. By the fall of that year, the upgraded mill was “puffing day and night.” Eventually, all of the Matthews family left Visalia. Mill Street was named for their entrepreneurial enterprise and also presumably the naming of the Mill Creek. The milling operation changed names frequently in the years that followed. Visalia Mills, Visalia Flouring Mills, Tulare Valley Flouring Mill, and Visalia Milling Company were names associated with new owners would turn the millstones that ground such as R. E. Hyde, R. C. Beale, L. A. the grain. But unfortunately, the creek's Humason, Fox & Williams, Downing & ﬂow was not consistent enough to Whitley, and later the Lally family. always drive the wheel, so local native The mill burned several times over people were hired to dig a diversion the years, the first time was believed to ditch called a "race" from the creek to manufacturing operation began – a venture believed to be the first business in the new town. The creek was an important element for their enterprise. Water was needed to drive the mill's water wheel, which
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In 1853, the Matthews brothers constructed their mill and their grain manufacturing operation began – a venture believed to be the first business in the new town. T E R R Y
have been in 1888. In 1889, it was rebuilt and the new facility towered over the town. It had four stories and was 58 feet high with a footprint of about 45 x 60 ft. It could produce 200 barrels of grain per day. Four years later, the wood framed plant caught fire and burned to the ground. Then again on Christmas Day, 1936. Each time, the mill was rebuilt on the same location. In 1946, the nationally known Ralston Purina Co. purchased the mill from the Lally family, and the trademark checkerboard pattern took its place on the building. The plant at one time produced 145 different feed related products for farm animals. The huge facility, with a workforce averaging 32, had the capacity to manufacture 100,000 tons of feed per year. But production ended abruptly at the old mill site on August 20, 1967. At about 4 p.m., a fire of unknown origin
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started at the Ralston Purina facility. The ﬂames spread quickly on that hot August afternoon and the Visalia Fire Department fought it gallantly, but didn't stand a chance. Assistant Fire Chief Roy Vogt, who was on the scene and who later became Visalia's Fire Chief, observed that the “fire went up hotter and faster than anything I've seen in my life.” Additional crews from Ivanhoe, Tulare, Exeter, Farmersville, and the California Division of Forestry helped to fight the vicious ﬂames that shot a hundred feet into the air. The tower toppled almost immediately and brought with it the roof and the walls. The fire was so hot, the firefighters had to fight it from a half block away. Windows exploded from the heat and spray paint cans inside shot out like shells from a cannon. Nothing could be done to save the mill, but thanks to the valiant effort by the firefighters,
most of the surrounding buildings were saved. By the following day, the fire was contained, but still smoldering. No lives were lost, but the early assessment of the devastation revealed about a million dollars in property loss. Eventually, the site was cleared and paved to become a parking lot. Today the site is the home to a medical office. The site served for 114 years as an important business center in town. But the special location represents more than that. It marks the beginning of manufacturing in Visalia, thanks to the Matthews family who made it possible.
LEFT: The Visalia Milling Co. at Santa Fe and Main Street about 1910. RIGHT: This Visalia photograph from January 1962 shows Ralston Purina Co. with snow on the ground. Courtesy of Mary Alice Johnson
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DOWNTOWN VISALIA FAR M E RS MAR K E T
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
s winter fades into spring, surrounding orchards showcase delicate ﬂowers, bringing the promise of new crops. So too, is the downtown Visalia Farmers Market, featuring a variety of new and established vendors offering their best locally-grown produce and homemade products. Farmers, crafters, and chefs welcomed customers back to the corners of Main and Church streets, for its lucky launch on Thursday, March 17. Market manager, Gingi Freeman, said the downtown market has a distinctly different feel than the yearround market held Saturday mornings at Caldwell Avenue and Mooney Boulevard. “The biggest pull for our Thursday market is the ambiance and buzz,” said Gingi. “Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure
the Leprechaun” event, which is a St. Patrick’s Day-themed scavenger hunt. Little ones searched for the leprechaun hiding among various booths and entered to win a prize from Visalia Music School, whose students provided live musical entertainment. For adults looking to sharpen their culinary skills, chef Kellie Black hosted a cooking demonstration, featuring traditional Irish Colcannon, filled with
fold. These new vendors will arrive in time for the summer season, thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown. He signed AB 774 last year, and the bill became a law on Jan. 1. It allows farmers market customers to sample beer and wine before purchase. If a sample of locally made, handcrafted lager makes your taste buds tingle more than a fresh peach slice, the market could be a spot to investigate. For customers who are curious about the origin of their food, Gingi said guided, on-location farm tours of local vendors’ growing operations will be featured this summer. “Guests of the market will be welcome to step out onto the farms and actually see where their food is grown here in the Valley,” she said. Customers can also look forward to making the Thursday market a complete grocery stop, said Gingi, with the addition of meats, dairy milk, cheese, and eggs to the market. Farmer and market executive board member Ruth Wardwell of Top of the
rather than a chore.” With the creative activities, workshops, lectures, and cooking demonstrations planned, the market is not only a place to load up on nutritious foods, it is a family-friendly destination on a Thursday evening. For instance, on March 17, families were welcomed to take part in the “Find
crisp cabbage and hearty red potatoes. Naturally, Black featured the fresh produce offered by the market’s farmers so visitors could easily recreate the dish in their home kitchen. Gingi said the Visalia Farmers Market has the distinction of being one of the first markets in the state to welcome local wineries and breweries into the
Hill Jams is excited for the return of the downtown market. “I’m looking forward to seeing my customers again,” said Ruth. Though she sells her jams, jellies, and produce made at her two-acre ranch at the Saturday market, she said the Thursday downtown market has a loyal following. She recommends that area residents
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The biggest pull for our Thursday market is the ambiance and buzz. Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. G I N G I
explore what the farmers markets offer. “There are plenty of things in season now, from berries to citrus and all the healthy greens like beets, turnips, and radishes,” she said. “I encourage people to shop locally and eat straight from the farm. Your produce will be much fresher.” Gingi, who joined the Visalia Farmers Market as an outreach manager last year and was just promoted to general manager, has been as busy as the bees who pollinate local orchards as she reinvents the farmers market scene in Visalia. She has reached out to a variety of market managers across the nation 18 L I F E S T Y L E | M A R C H 2 0 1 6
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for ideas and guidance, specifically Portland’s Farmers Market. “(The market) has been ready for an upgrade,” said Gingi. “It was already successful, but now it will be thriving. We are expecting the markets to have more of a festival-type feel with lots of events to choose from, whether it’s an educational lecture or a cooking demonstration.” Key to this is the cultivation of a ﬂeet of dedicated volunteers who want to see the market continue to evolve and expand. Harnessing the power of volunteers is one of many tasks that Gingi has focused on recently. Those
who would like to donate their time may stop at the manager’s booth at any of the market’s locations or reach out on social media. As spring and summer produce forms on trees and in the soil, take time out from your routine to be a part of the growth of Visalia’s farmers market scene. The downtown Visalia Farmers Market will run every Thursday through September. Follow the market on Twitter, Facebook, or peruse the extensive website at visaliafarmersmarket.com for news on vendors, musicians, and activities.
SOUTH VALLEY ARTISTS' STUDIO TOUR
A SNAPSHOT IN TIME O
nce upon a time, global art biennials were few. A mere handful presumed to offer the best snapshot of the international art scene to art acolytes every two years: The Venice Bienale, the Sao Paulo Biennial, and a few other heavyweights then spawned biennial exhibitions to document a moment in art in nearly every major city on earth. Now, biennials are everywhere. For the less populous locales in between these more urban cultural production centers, rural areas such as the vast San Joaquin Valley offer their cultural audiences few such art exhibitions to capture the zeitgeist and create an enduring record of a region’s artistic currents. That lack of exhibition venues and cultural institutionalization in the South San Joaquin Valley’s space mean a paucity in our own cultural record. An art history in the South Valley is missing at worst, or evanescent at best, and the survey exhibition that is pro forma elsewhere is nonexistent. Who then records a tertiary culture for future generations? Although not specifically intended as such, the South Valley Artists’ Studio Tour (SoVAST) constitutes a similar kind of snapshot for Central California. Now on an annual schedule – minus
the hoopla, academic presumptions, or commercial intentions of biennials and art fairs – SoVAST serves as both survey and celebration of our area’s artists and highlights their individual processes. The real draw of the Studio Tour is that attendees get a glimpse into private studios to reveal what our regional artists are doing right now, up to the minute. In some cases, artists are at work while receiving visitors, demonstrating their hard-earned chops and offering visitors a chance to talk to the artists they admire. But despite SoVAST’s distinctly regional, humble intentions (having been spawned from a hybrid of the longrunning but now-defunct Three Rivers Studio Tour and artist Amie Rangel’s SoVAST brainchild of a few years back), the big surprise nonetheless might be the tour’s unexpectedly international ﬂavor. Artists of Iranian, South and Southeast Asian, Mexican, and European descent make up SoVast’s diverse offerings, among others. Here following are a few of the standouts of this year’s Tour, and a highly unlikely story or two in the mix. RICK BADGLEY Unlike many art events, SoVAST doesn’t draw a line between fine art and craft, and is content to dish up T E X T
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both without distinction. Rick Badgley’s exquisite Gustav Stickley-inspired custom handcrafted furniture renders that question null, and that’s just fine. The Three Rivers craftsman, a long-time fixture of the Three Rivers Tour of yore, suggests that the way to offer homage or tackle genre work is to do it with gusto and do it up right. The resulting refined quality of his workmanship is notable, as is his faithfulness to the Mission Style for which Stickley is synonymous. KEVIN BOWMAN Perhaps better known locally as a COS art instructor and the executive director of Arts Visalia, Bowman is a serious and educated fine artist in his own right, albeit a likely time-challenged one given his number of worn hats. Bowman’s fine art print work recalls a host of associations, from ‘70s Minimalism, to ‘60s Op Art, to more recently the notable print work of Robert Kelly. The thread of ambiguity throughout Bowman’s artistic output is perhaps among its strengths, straddling as it does the midpoint between abstraction and representation to conjure waves, foothills, sinuous figurative forms, and a host of other references without ever becoming specifically or exclusively any one of them.
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LEFT and RIGHT: Rick Badgley’s bow armchair and roundtable. CENTER: Kevin Bowman’s Divergence III.
JOHN K. SULLIVAN, DDS JOSEPH M. MARVIZI, DDS
Jessica Roble’s pencil drawings, Stanley® and Fare Thee Well.
MARZI JALILPOUR Get ready to have your preconceptions shattered by Marzi Jalilpour’s body of work. Let’s start with her biography and former life as an Iranian woman racecar driver. There are not many of those in the San Joaquin Valley – or perhaps even in Iran. Jalilpour uses automotive parts in her distinctly and unexpectedly feminine jewelry-making and object fabrication. The latter might be considered a take on the Jules Vernesque Steampunk esthetic, all done in a way that subtly conjures the decorative motifs of ancient Persia, yet established her esthetic squarely in the here and now. Ernie Weerasinghe’s work of Taylor’s Hot Dogs.
Marzi Jalilpour’s jewelry made from old automotive parts.
Marzi Jalilpour’s jewelry made from old automotive parts. 22
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JESSICA ROBLES If our region has a finer draftsperson than COS instructor Jessica Robles, let them step forth. Robles’ imagery in intricate, lovinglydetailed, yet minimalist and sentimentally-loaded drawings, stands out as some of the most compelling contemporary art being made in Central California. Her solo shows at Arts Visalia have born out her excellence. Hopefully our region’s astute regional art collectors will seek out Robles’
high quality work and support one of our best emerging artists. ERNIE WEERASINGHE Last (and certainly not least) if only for alphabetical reasons, Ernie Weerasinghe is this year’s SoVAST Featured Artist, and a well-deserved singling out that is. Hailing from Sri Lanka, Weerasinghe was once an officer in the Sri Lankan Navy, among other exotic biographies as compared to most Visalians. Now retired, Weerasinghe is an accomplished painter whose oils record the daily life and landscapes of our city and region in a hand quite reminiscent of the great Rockwell Kent. Ironically, one of the best chroniclers of Central California, and Visalia more specifically, is Sri Lankan by birth. For those of you unable to attend the 2016 SoVAST, the 2017 installment will roll around in March of 2017 to offer yet another annual snap of cultural life in the San Joaquin Valley. It’s our best shot at seeing what is happening at a single moment, before our rich cultural heritage mostly vanishes before our eyes.
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219 West Main Street • Visalia, CA 93291 • 559.733.0213 In Beautiful Downtown Visalia Since 1991
THE BIANCO HOME
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
P H O T O S
J O H A N N A
C O Y N E
A SPANISH STYLE
NCTUARY The warm colors in the family room help create a peaceful atmosphere. LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
Being from New York, Susan fell in love with the Spanish style exterior that she dubbed “quintessential California.”
henever we encounter a season of change, there’s one constant that can always bring us peace; that constant is home. For Susan Bianco and her three children, the place they’ve called home for the last 16 years has been a sanctuary of sorts, as well as a place for growth and new beginnings. Nearly two decades ago, Susan fell in love with a 1930s Spanish style home in Green Acres near the Visalia Country Club. While it would be several years before she could call it her own, she knew she belonged there. With two small boys and a girl on the way, Susan’s family moved into the two-story home in 2000, and she hasn’t looked back since. “I looked at this house two years before we bought it when it was for sale,” said Susan. “There was something about it, I don’t know, maybe it was karma or something, but I felt like I belonged here.” Susan was right; she did belong there. The smile on her face as she described her favorite details and design aspects of the home is proof. Originally from the state of New York, Susan grew up around a completely different style of
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architecture, so to her, the Spanish style was a breath of fresh California air. “Being from back East, we don’t have Spanish architecture,” explained Susan. “Our homes are mostly colonial, traditional, and I was always really attracted to the Spanish architecture, because it’s so rare to see back in New York. I just felt like it was quintessential California.” Even though the home needed some renovations, Susan felt there was something very special about it and was willing to take on the task of making it uniquely their own, while still preserving its original charm. Sixteen years later, Susan feels as though the work is done and she can finally enjoy the space. One space she enjoys most in the home is the kitchen. Originally a small galley kitchen guests could barely stand in, it has been transformed into a large room with ample countertop space, a 6-burner gas stove, a magnificent skylight, and a beautiful island as its centerpiece. The ivory cabinets throughout are complemented by subtle old world details that hide in cozy corners of the kitchen.
Susan describes it as a place where everyone gathers. “I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, not even cooking, but just socializing or doing my paper work,” said Susan. “When friends come over, we always end up in the kitchen. Even if I don’t want them to gather there, that’s where we end up,” laughed Susan. Right off the kitchen in the front of the house sits a breakfast nook and seating area as cute as they come. This room was also expanded to match the width of the kitchen, and overlooks the quaint front yard, a perfect spot for Sunday brunch. The French doors to the right open up into the dining room, where Susan and her family have spent countless holidays enjoying cioppino, a classic Italian soup. To Susan, one of the most unique aspects of her home is the oval shaped window in the living room that greets guests as they drive up to the home. “When I first saw it, I loved it and thought it was really cool. You just don’t see windows like that any more.” The living room also has all of the original wood ﬂooring from the 1930s, as well as the original sconces, which
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LEFT: Originally a galley kitchen, Susan expanded the kitchen to include a center island and plenty of counter space. RIGHT: A perfect spot for Sunday brunch, the Biancos expanded the breakfast nook to match the length of the updated kitchen.
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
achieve the same old-world Spanish style that is portrayed on the exterior of the house. “The sconces are original, the windows are original, the ﬂoors are original,” said Susan of the features in the living room. “I tried to match the wood ﬂoors in the hallway and kitchen with the original wood ﬂoors and had them stained to look uniform. When you have an old house and you do upgrades, you definitely want everything to ﬂow and look like it was original, but updated a little bit.” Even though the style of décor in each room is a little
divorce. Each room seems to have some sort of nod to her mom, who emigrated from Germany as a young woman to become a model. Whether it’s the German beer steins in the kitchen, the Hummel figurines in the breakfast nook, or the garden gnomes in the yard, her mom’s memory is alive and well throughout the home. “I moved my mom in here to take care of her for the last year of her life,” said Susan. “She was super strong, and I actually learned a lot of life lessons from watching her pass away. She was just so brave, and it kind of gave me some
different from the next, it ﬂows without skipping a beat. Take the family room for example; just off the living room, the warm colored furniture and oriental inspired décor gives the room an unexpected feng shui atmosphere. “I got into a little bit of oriental design and I’ve always wanted to go to the orient or to Japan,” said Susan. “I kind of have this obsession with coi fish, and so there’s a little bit of Asian ﬂare with zen thrown in the mix of things. I really enjoy the Buddhist art and culture.” These small details are part of what has helped bring Susan peace during hard times, first when she lost her mother in 2012, and then as she was going through a
strength watching her. And the kids got to enjoy her too. It was hard for them, but it was also a blessing.” Susan’s three kids have been a major support to her these past few years, and she is so proud of their ability to stay focused during these challenges. Susan’s oldest son, Steven, attends the University of Washington as a business major and is becoming a very talented pianist; Nick, her middle son, plays football for Sacramento State and Susan can’t wait to attend his games in the fall; and her daughter, Sabrina, plays golf and contributes as a photographer to the year book at Redwood High School. Over the past few years, one
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
From front to back, Susan’s home shows off its Spanish style features.
thing that was very important to Susan was having a familiar place for her kids to come home to. “For my kids to be able to come back to the space where they feel safe and the house they grew up in, that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.” For now, Susan is savoring special moments in the home while also learning to let go a little bit. “I guess I’m emotionally attached to the house. There’s so many holidays we’ve had here and there’s so many memories. But I’m definitely trying to loosen that grip a little bit, and I know in a few years when my daughter graduates, I will want to move.” As her children grow, go off to college, and become more independent, Susan has begun to make plans for her own future. Perhaps the most significant plan is the one that will play out this coming April in the Caribbean – Susan will tie the knot with her fiancé, Jeff Wells, in a private ceremony. Because their families won’t be able to share in their nuptials, Susan and Jeff will be hosting a big reception party in the newly updated backyard, a project that Susan and Jeff have been working on together. Ever since Jeff came into her life,
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Susan has been exploring new and old hobbies and has enjoyed the process of building things with her own hands. In the backyard, Jeff and Susan updated an old garage into a beautiful outdoor living space, with barrel tables and features built by Jeff himself. “It’s fun to get your hands dirty,” said Susan. “To feel like you’ve accomplished something and say, ‘I did that myself.’
I didn’t think I could, but since Jeff is good at building things, he guided me a long and it was actually really fun. We actually have more small projects planned around here too.” In a way, working on the garage has been a therapeutic process for Susan
as she’s begun to build a new life for herself and her kids. Because of her past experiences and her newfound optimism about the future, Susan can’t wait for what’s ahead, and might even look into becoming a life coach to help other people going through unexpected life changes. “I was a stay at home mom for so many years, and that was my most important job and I’m really proud of all my kids, but that job is coming to an end,” said Susan. “I’d like to find something for myself; a job that I really enjoy and get up in the morning and can’t wait to go do.” To celebrate these new beginnings and two families becoming one, Susan, Jeff, and her kids will be heading out east this summer to meet Jeff’s extended family and visit one of Susan’s “favorite places on earth,” Martha’s Vineyard. “Something about this trip is really special to me,” said Susan. “I used to dream about taking my kids there and I thought it was never going to happen, so I’m really looking forward to it. And it’s great because my kids can meet Jeff’s extended family too.” Susan’s journey shows that it is
The garage was one of the projects Susan and Jeff worked on together to create a beautiful and comfortable outdoor living space.
Your Home. Your Look.
559.625.8884 220 W. Main St., Visalia www.janeensfurniture.com
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
possible to find peace in the midst of hardships, whether that peace comes from the place they call home, or in the people they surround themselves with. “I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life and I feel like there are a lot of opportunities for me and my
family in the future,” said Susan. “I’m enjoying taking my time, enjoying the space I’m in right now, and making small plans. I’m just taking it day-to-day and I’m in a really great place now.”
Susan and Jeff are looking forward to celebrating their wedding reception in the backyard with both of their families.
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
EASTER BRUNCH with a
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E L A I N E
D A K E S S I A N ,
S A - T R É S
B I E N
T A I L O R E D
aster Sunday always seems to evoke feelings of joy, so
shouldn’t the meal at your family gathering be just as delightful? We think so. Take a bite out of this savory and sweet brunch prepared for you by Elaine Dakessian of Sa-Trés Bien Tailored Cuisine. Your I S I N E
P H O T O S
J O H A N N A
C O Y N E
palate won’t be sorry.
SWEET POTATO HASH
Serves 6-8 INGREDIENTS 5 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams, diced Chunk of pork belly, cubed 2 large shallots, cut into rings 2 T garlic, minced 2 T fresh chives, chopped Olive oil to toss potatoes Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss mediumdiced sweet potatoes in olive oil with salt and pepper. Place in a sheet pan and roast for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, brown the mediumcubed pork belly in a sauté pan. Place on a paper towel to drain, reserving two tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Add the shallots and caramelize on mediumlow heat and brown slowly. Add the garlic during the last two minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and add to pan along with the bacon and shallots. Brown potatoes for five minutes, toss with chives, and serve.
SPRING FRESH FRUIT BOWL Serves 6-8 INGREDIENTS (Melon ball tool is essential for the presentation) 1 cantaloupe 1 honeydew 1 pt blackberries 1 pt raspberries 1 pt blueberries 1 bunch mint Honey to drizzle 2 limes, juiced DIRECTIONS Scoop out cantaloupe and honeydew with melon ball tool and wash berries. Assemble fruit in a bowl, squeeze lime juice over fruit, drizzle with honey, and toss with mint.
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INGREDIENTS Proseco or champagne Torani Wildberry smoothie mix Sugar, for rim of glass 1 lime Several berries DIRECTIONS Place sugar on a ﬂat plate and rub the lime around the rim of the ﬂute. Dip rim into sugar. Add ¼ cup of smoothie mix into the bottom of the glass and pour champagne over. Garnish with choice of berry.
SCONES Blueberry lemon scones are courtesy of pastry chef Shelly Wade from Gourmet Desserts and Wedding Cakes. Serve with blueberry preserves and lemon curd, which you can buy at your local grocery store.
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CRAB CAKE BENEDICT WITH JALAPEÑO HOLLANDAISE
(for crab cake benedict)
(for crab cake benedict)
CRAB CAKES INGREDIENTS 1 lb Dungeness crab, drained well (you can use pasteurized canned crab meat to help reduce the cost) 1 red and one orange bell pepper, finely diced 2 jalapeños, finely diced 1 T garlic 3-4 T mayonnaise ½ C panko breadcrumbs 1 T Old Bay seasoning ¾ C cilantro 3 T unsalted butter 3 T extra virgin olive oil DIRECTIONS Sauté the diced bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic to soften, about three minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a separate bowl, add the crab, breadcrumbs, Old Bay seasoning, mayo, and cilantro. Add the bell pepper mixture. Mix together with your hands. Add additional mayo if it feels too dry. You want the cakes to hold together without crumbling. Heat a large sauté pan with the butter and olive oil. Brown the crab cakes on both sides. Remove from heat and keep warm.
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DIRECTIONS (Poaching instructions courtesy of Food Network) Use one egg per person. Add enough water to come 1-inch up the side of a narrow, deep 2-quart saucier. Add 1 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp white vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, crack 1 very fresh, cold large egg into a custard cup or small ramekin. Use the handle of a spatula or spoon to quickly stir the water in one direction until it's all smoothly spinning around (Tip: use this whirlpool method when poaching a single serving [one or two eggs]. For bigger batches, heat the water, salt, and vinegar in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and do not stir). Carefully drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The swirling water will help prevent the white from "feathering," or spreading out in the pan. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and set your timer for five minutes. Don't peek, poke, stir or accost the egg in any way. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and serve immediately. Alternatively, move the egg to an ice bath and refrigerate up to eight hours. Reheat in warm water just before serving.
You can make this ahead and hold in a thermos or water bath. INGREDIENTS 3 sticks of butter 6 large egg yolks 2-3 tsp lemon juice 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1 tsp salt 2 jalapeños, roasted and peeled Pinch of freshly ground pepper DIRECTIONS If using jalapeños, place them over an open ﬂame or char until blackened. Place in a small bowl covered with plastic wrap. Steam for a few minutes so that the skin will come off easily. Cut open and remove the seeds and veins. Chop into fine pieces. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and let cool completely. Add egg yolks to the jar of a blender. While the motor is running, slowly add the melted butter. After the butter has been added, season with the cayenne, salt, pepper, and roasted jalapeño. Pulse again. If the sauce is too thick, add a little hot water. TO ASSEMBLE Place the crab cake on the plate, top with the poached egg, and drizzle with hollandaise. Garnish with additional crabmeat or cilantro.
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PICTURED: Uppsala Cathedral, the tallest church in Scandinavia. RIGHT: The Nordiska Museet showcasing Nordic life from prehistory to present.
DISCOVERING REL ATIVES AND RELICS IN
SOUTHERN SWEDEN W
hen my son, Ben, said he was going to Sweden, I asked, “Can I go, too?” I’d never been across any ocean and I’d always wanted to visit Sweden, the homeland of my grandparents. His response: “Well, no one else is going yet.” I took that as a yes. A few weeks later, we dragged our suitcases over the cobblestones of Lund in the county of Skåne, in southern Sweden. Just after dropping our bags at our quaint Hotell Oskar, we headed for the English language tour at Lund Cathedral. The Romanesque cathedral was begun in 1080 by a Danish king, during a time when Denmark had gained control of southern Sweden as well as the bitterly contested trade route through the Øresund Strait between the two countries. The cathedral was consecrated in 1145 but has been renovated many times since its completion. For the next few days, cousins showed us the sights of southern Sweden. As we drove through the countryside, it was easy to see why my grandparents and countless others emigrated to southern Minnesota and the Dakotas. The rolling farmland, scattered with trees could pass for either country. The deep roots of the families in Skåne give a sense of continuity, a connection to all those who have gone before. My family in America is scattered from coast-to-coast, but in Skåne, the T E X T
D I A N E
cousins live within a short drive of where their many-times great-grandparents were born and are buried. One cousin, Erik, is the tenth generation to live on and work the family farm. All these Swedes were gracious and eager to show their American cousins our mutual roots, even though technically we are distant cousins. Ben and Erik, though almost the same age,
are third cousins once removed. My son asked, “how far does it go before they stop being relatives and are just people?” Well, I guess they are still family as long as they feel like family. And family we were wherever we went in Skåne. From Lund, we traveled the 380 miles to Stockholm by train, the capital of Sweden. Now we felt we were speeding through northern Minnesota, with forests and lakes passing by our windows at 120 miles per hour. On most days, there are 14 trains traveling between Stockholm and Lund, a very pleasant ride and the fastest way between the cities. S L O C U M
P H O T O S
A good first stop in Stockholm is the Tourist Center, a short walk from the Central Station. There you can purchase a Stockholm card, which will get you into most attractions as well as on buses and trains at no additional charge. We bought three-day passes and had more than recouped their cost in two days. For our first excursion, we toured by boat to get an over-view of the city. Stockholm and its surroundings is a mixture of water and land. Much of the city is on islands and a mass of other islands form an archipelago that reaches far into the Baltic Sea. Our tour took us from the central city, past the Grand Hotel and many other famous and historic buildings, and into the Djurgarden canal, a narrow channel passing through verdant parkland and royal residences. A must-see on our itinerary was the Vasa Museet (museum). The Vasa is a warship built in 1628, meant to be the pride of King Gustavus II Adolphus as he waged war against his cousin Sigismund II of Poland. On a sunny Sunday in August, throngs gathered to cheer the Vasa on her maiden voyage. As a strong gust hit her sails, she keeled over and sank, still in the harbor, only two-thirds of a mile from port. There she stayed, in the brackish water, for 333 years. The ship was located in 1956 and after meticulous and dangerous work, she was finally raised from her murky grave in 1961. Once the water was pumped B E N
Z A S T O V N I K LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
As we drove through the countryside, it was easy to see why my grandparents and countless others emigrated to southern Minnesota and the Dakotas. The rolling farmland, scattered with trees could pass for either country. D I A N E
from her decks, she was able to ﬂoat, and was towed into dock to be cleaned and repaired. Many pieces, though intact, had fallen from their original position. Restoring the ship became a giant puzzle. Even bits of sail were cleaned and aligned. Much of what the ship had carried was also rescued from the deep, often in amazingly good condition – seamen’s chests packed with their belongings, barrels of meat, the captain’s pewter dinner service, bronze candlesticks, and much more. These items, along with the ship itself, are displayed in a climate-controlled museum where the challenging effort to keep the ship
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S L O C U M
intact continues. In the North Country during the off-season, most places of interest close early, limiting what you can see in one day, but some extend hours on certain days. We found the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities to round out our first day in Stockholm. We were determined to make the most of our second day, so we arrived at the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan (the Old Town) right when it opened. The Palace is the King’s current place of residence, so many of the rooms that are available for public viewing may at other times be closed because they are in use for
dinners, meetings, or to house visiting dignitaries. Last June, the palace’s royal chapel and the impressive banquet hall served for the wedding and reception of Prince Carl Phillip. In the afternoon, we explored Skansen, the world’s first open air museum, founded in 1891. At least 160 buildings from all over Sweden and from different eras are set in their natural habitat to give a sampling of all of Sweden. Then we were off to the Nordiska Museet. One of the more intriguing sections of the museum dealt with the aboriginal people of Scandinavia, the Sami. As with Native Americans, the
The Vasa Warship restored after 333 years under water.
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Sami have struggled to preserve their culture and secure rights often denied to them. As is also the case with many indigenous people, their more familiar name – Lapps – is a derogatory term they would like abandoned. The next day, our cousins drove us to Sweden’s original capital, Sigtuna, billed as the oldest town in Sweden. It was founded in 980 by the first Swedish King, Erik Victorious, and was an important trading center. Erik’s son and successor, Olof, was first to introduce Swedish coins, which greatly
increased the wealth of the area. Many of the old buildings are still standing, including the town hall and St. Mary’s Church built in 1255. We enjoyed hot chocolate and giant cinnamon rolls in a quaint shop, Tant Brun’s (Aunt Brown’s). As one of the oldest remaining buildings, the roof was so low we all had to stoop to get to our table. From low to high, our next stop was the tallest church in Scandinavia, the Uppsala Domkyrka (cathedral) with its 389-foot towers and a length to match.
It was built of brick and limestone in the French Gothic style from the late 13th into the 15th century. The next morning, before dawn, we set off to catch the train and bus to the airport for our ﬂight to Poland. As we bid farewell to the land of our ancestors, we reﬂected on all the sights running through our heads, how much at home we felt in a land we had never before seen, how good it was to share this experience with each other, and the relatives who were now much more than names on a family tree.
As we bid farewell to the land of our ancestors, we reﬂected on all the sights running through our heads, how much at home we felt in a land we had never before seen, how good it was to share this experience with each other, and the relatives who were now much more than names on a family tree. D I A N E
S L O C U M
The crypt at Lund Cathedral.
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
The ruins of St. Olof, Sigtuna.
View of Stockholm from the tour boat rounding Djugården.
Sa owners elaine dakessian sue sa 559.936.1260 email@example.com elainestresbien.com gourmet desserts & wedding cakes by shelly
I’m back to
WORK! PRO-PT helped me regain my strength and flexibility after surgery so I could get back to work. - Terry O’Dell
EXETER 134 South E Street Exeter, CA 93221 559-592-9000
TULARE 1132 E. Leland Ave. Tulare, CA 93274 (559) 684-0611
VISALIA 1870 S. Central St. Visalia, CA 93277 (559) 636-1200 ext.1
PORTERVILLE LINDSAY DINUBA 368 W. Olive Ave. 860 Sequoia St., Suite A 1401 W. El Monte Way, Ste. 107 Porterville, CA 92357 Lindsay, CA 93247 Dinuba, CA 93618 (559) 782-1501 (559) 562-9040 (559) 315-5203
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
Man wanted a home, a place for warmth, or comfort, first of physical warmth, then the warmth of the affections. H E N R Y
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
D A V I D
T H O R E A U ,
W A L D E N
This damaged two-bedroom house in Tulare was donated to Habitat for Humanity by Wells Fargo. Now, thanks to Habitat volunteers, Jaunita and her two sons can call the fully restored house their home.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
BUILDING A COMMUNITY
onth after month, Lifestyle Magazine gives readers a glimpse inside homes throughout Tulare County; these are beautiful homes, unique homes, homes with decade-old stories, ﬂipped homes, homes with character, homes of all shapes and sizes. No matter what kind of home, each one represents something greater than the style of architecture or the square footage; they represent a safe place where a family gathers to build a stable life together. Regardless of income or status, we all recognize the need and the desire to call a place home. Few recognize this desire more than the families helped by Habitat for Humanity of Tulare County, whose mission is to see a world where everyone has a decent, affordable place to live. In Tulare County, where approximately 28 percent of the population is below the poverty line, a decent, affordable place to call home isn’t easy to come by for some families. When a family doesn’t have a suitable place to build their life around, it can begin to affect lives outside of the home, and eventually, can impact the entire community. “A lot of times we have homeowners who are paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent,” said Deanna Saldana, resource development director of Habitat of Tulare County. “Now they can’t afford to properly clothe and feed
P H O T O S
S U B M I T T E D
their children. It rolls, and as it gets bigger and bigger, it’s not just a family problem, it becomes a community problem.” This year is a big year for Habitat, as
they will soon break ground on the first new home build in the City of Visalia since the housing market crash in 2008. Despite challenges during that time, Habitat for Humanity sought other ways to continue to fulfill their mission. They started their Rescued Homes program, where they were able to put 27 families in foreclosed homes that Habitat purchased and rehabbed with the new homeowner families. They also finished several new builds in Porterville and Tulare and they’ve grown their “A Brush With Kindness” program, which has allowed them to serve an even broader group of people through home repairs. “We didn’t stop during hard times,” said Deanna. “In 2008, when issues arose with the housing market, we had several opportunities that we jumped on. Because of our partnership with the
H A B I T A T
National Women Build week is April 30 through May 8 of this year, and Habitat is currently recruiting women to volunteer for this event.
F O R
Cities of Visalia, Porterville, Hanford, and Tulare, we were able to do more and get people into homes through the Rescued Homes program.” Habitat also manages its ReStore facility in Visalia, where anyone can come to purchase used and donated furniture, tools, hardware, cabinets, fixtures, and more for far below retail cost. The ReStore has helped enormously in supporting Habitat, as they sold $300,000 of donated goods in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. ReStore manager, Anthony Trujillo, said, “We get a lot of new and used donations from people like you, me, local businesses, and contractors. The ReStore prevents a lot of stuff from going to the land fill, and it’s tax deductible.” Deanna added, “The whole concept of moving here [to the Lovers Lane location] was to create a stable source of income for Habitat, and it certainly has over the past couple of years.” With that support, Habitat has been able to expand staff, programs, and prepare for their upcoming home build. What many people don’t realize about Habitat, is that these new and rehabbed homes aren’t just given away – the families are required to put sweat equity into the house (or into other Habitat projects), they must have a stable source of income, and they are required to pay a zero interest mortgage toward the home. Because of this, Habitat is able
H U M A N I T Y
T U L A R E
C O U N T Y
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to form a long-term relationship with these families that can last for several decades. Of the 60 families they’ve put in homes throughout Tulare County, only one house has been foreclosed and three families have moved on. “We see our homeowners every month when they come in to make the mortgage payment or when they’re a part of the build itself,” said Deanna. “We get to hear these families stories for 20 to 30 years. Once you’re involved with Habitat, you’re a part of a whole community.” That’s what Habitat strives to do – build a community, where people volunteer to help their neighbor. This community reaches far
Auction will feature a number of painted doors as part of the “Opening the Door to Change” campaign. Through this fundraiser, community artists pick out a door from the Visalia ReStore, paint or decorate it, display it throughout the community, and then several doors will be sold at the Birdhouse Auction. “Part of the Birdhouse Auction concept was getting local artists to take repurposed wood and turn them into birdhouses that you auction off,” said Deanna. “This is kind of extending that concept,” while simultaneously promoting the Global Village Trip. If that isn’t enough, Habitat is also getting ready for National
Birdhouse Auction guests viewing the many handmade items up for bid.
beyond Tulare County borders. As a global organization, Habitat for Humanity International encourages Habitat affiliates from all over the world to participate in their Global Village projects. This year, Tulare County is beginning plans to form a local team to go abroad. “I thought it would be more fun and more beneficial for the community if we could get a team of people from the Tulare County area to go on a Global Village trip together,” said Deanna, who will announce further information at the upcoming Birdhouse Auction on April 1. Along with the Global Village theme, this year’s Birdhouse
Women Build Week, which starts April 30 and goes through May 8. “We will be working four days during that week with the challenge of recruiting 60 to 100 women volunteers to join us on the jobsite,” said Deanna. “As things are looking right now, the wall raising for the first new home build since 2008, will be the first day of Women Build Week.” With an exciting and productive year ahead, there are plenty of opportunities for anyone in the community to lend a hand to their neighbor through Habitat for Humanity of Tulare County, whether that neighbor is across the street or across the world.
TOP LEFT: One of the many beautiful, hand-made items available for purchase at a previous Birdhouse Auction event. 48
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
BOTTOM LEFT: The doors for the Birdhouse Auction are on display in various locations around Visalia.
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SMILE CENTRAL VALLEY AND APOLLONIA DENTAL
A SEAMLESS TRANSITION T here’s a new dentist in town, but he certainly isn’t new to the practice of dentistry. In October of 2015, Dr. Joseph Marvizi of Apollonia Dental in Southern California became the new smiling face at Smile Central Valley in Tulare. With 33 years of dentistry experience, Dr. Marvizi brings a lot of expertise, knowledge, technology, and skill to an already well established practice. Smile Central Valley’s previous owner, Dr. Sullivan, was actually a fellow student of Dr. Marvizi’s at University of the Pacific in San Francisco more than 30 years ago. With similar backgrounds in education, Dr. Marvizi’s transition into the Smile Central Valley office has been seamless. “It was an easy transition for us because we both had similar backgrounds and a similar philosophy of dentistry and patient care,” said Dr. Marvizi. “And we both like the best for our patients and provide a very gentle,
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caring, and professional environment for our patients to come in and have the work that they want done.” With the same dental staff at Smile Central Valley, Dr. Marvizi is bringing
an even higher level of patient care and satisfaction than before. “The level of care, the professionalism, and the gentleness and carefulness of our team members is even more so than it used to
be. We’re providing even more patient care, and we’re patient-centric.” In addition to a higher level of service and care, Dr. Marvizi brings with him new technology, medicine, and treatments. As one of the only Invisalign Elite Providers in Tulare, Dr. Marvizi can make the process of teeth straightening easier and more convenient for residents of Tulare and Visalia. During their open house event on March 30, they will be offering a special discount for Invisalign. Dr. Marvizi also has 25 years of experience doing implants and bone grafting, provides non-surgical laser therapy for the treatment of gum diseases, and is a conscious sedation licensed dentist. With these skills and services, Smile Central Valley and Apollonia Dental can provide more inhouse care without sending patients to other specialists and doctors. “With all of the different services we provide, we try to keep things in house as much as possible,”
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said Dr. Marvizi. “We do work with specialists, but most of the services we can do in one office so patients aren’t going to three different specialist to get different opinions.” With several dental offices in Southern California and Bakersfield, one thing that really drew Dr. Marvizi to the Smile Central Valley office was the friendliness of both the staff and the patients. “It had friendly team members, a great patient base, and a doctor who was very cooperative and wanted the best for his patients. And the patients here are very friendly, respectful patients who just want their teeth to be taken care of.” As a doctor who loves to stay on top of what is happening in his field, Dr. Marvizi goes above and beyond to learn the latest techniques and technologies being introduced in dentistry. “As an owner-doctor here, I take an average of 200 hours of continuing education every year,” said Dr. Marvizi.
“Not because I have to, but because we want to stay on top of modern dentistry and we try to incorporate that into our office by learning and bringing it to our office and implementing it here.” When Dr. Marvizi is not practicing dentistry, he’s traveling and spending time with his wife of 26 years, who is also a dentist, and his four children in their Los Angeles home. With one daughter graduating UCLA to head into law school, and the other attending UC Irvine Medical School, it sounds like the apples of success don’t fall far from the tree. Of all the things that Dr. Marvizi prides himself of most when it comes to his work, it’s putting his patients first and making them feel like they can be a part of their own dental care. Dr. Marvizi feels that money should never be a barrier keeping anyone from receiving the highest standard of care. That is why Smile Central Valley prides themselves on making quality care affordable for
everyone. “We’re very caring and gentle with a high level of professionalism and expertise,” said Dr. Marvizi. “We’re very capable of helping patients in whichever way they want us to. We can always guide patients to having the work done the way they want to, if not here, at a specialty office, so they can get the desired work they want.” Dr. Marvizi invites patients and members of the community to come meet him at their ribbon cutting and open house event on March 30. He is also offering several special discounts to new and returning patients, including discounts on Invisalign and implants. “We would love to have anyone come who wants to see the office and mingle with some of the other people. Come in and meet the team, meet the doctors, and see if this is a place they’d like to make a happy dental home for themselves.”
RIBBON CUTTING AND OPEN HOUSE Please join Smile Central Valley and Apollonia Dental for their ribbon cutting and open house event on Wednesday, March 30 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Come meet Dr. Marvizi and staff members, get a tour of the office, and enjoy hors d’ouevers and wine. There will be a special guest appearance by Great Day Anchor, Kopi Sotiropulos. Be sure to bring your business card for a drawing of a deluxe gift basket. For more information or to RSVP, please call 559.686.0078.
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We Help Patients Make Good Decisions Dr. Michael Bodensteiner has provided dental care to families in Visalia and surrounding areas for over 20 years. We deliver unsurpassed comfortable dental care in a clean, safe and relaxing atmosphere. Learn more about Dr. Michael Bodensteiner at our website www.visaliacadentist.com or call us at 559-635-0900. Our office will answer questions and make scheduling an appointment easy. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY 1993
Michael T. Bodensteiner, DDS 559.635.0900 4148 S. Demaree St., Visalia, Ca 93277 just south of Caldwell in Carmel Plaza
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T H E AT R E & M U S I C
THE IMAGINARY INVALID
TULARE COUNTY SYMPHONY PRESENTS LOCALS NIGHT TCSO members step forward to solo with the orchestra in their popular “Locals Night” series. They complete their exploration of the final three symphonies of Tchaikovsky with his triumphant and victorious Fifth Symphony. Standing proud alongside the other great 5th symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler, this is a surefire winner. Tickets are between $30 and $40. When: March 19, 7:30 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: FoxVisalia.org
THE REUNION – A FANTASY TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES What if circumstances had been different? What if all four former Beatles were alive and well? What if they decided to do a reunion concert that featured many of the greatest hits of The Beatles plus the best of their solo work too? This ultimate tribute concert features the world's greatest veteran Beatles look and sound alike artists performing a tribute to John, Paul, George and Ringo like none that you've ever seen. Tickets are $15-$40. When: March 23, 7 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: FoxVisalia.org
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The University Preparatory Theater in Visalia presents “The Imaginary Invalid,” Moliere’s timeless satire on the medical industry, with a new adaptation by UPT’s drama chair, David Rasner. Pop music, cheerleaders, and a nod to Bollywood find their way into Moliere’s classic comedy and makes this production a crazy and irresistibly funny event worth catching. Tickets are $5 per person. When: May 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m. Where: The Enchanted Playhouse Theatre, 307 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: 739-4600
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FIRST FRIDAYS IN DOWNTOWN VISALIA
EGGSTRAVAGANZA AT VISALIA NAZ
SOUTH VALLEY ARTISTS’ TOUR
The Arts Consortium is pleased to present Downtown Visalia’s monthly art hop. Each first Friday of the month, explore the Visalia Art District to experience exhibitions, performances, activities, and more. Catch a guided tour on the Visalia Towne Trolley.
Please join the Visalia Nazarene Church for their 24th annual Eggstravganza. There will be an egg hunt, pony rides, petting zoo, train rides, and tons of food for the whole family. This event is free, except for the food court.
The Arts Consortium is offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the world of local artists with the South Valley Artists’ Studio Tour: Opening Doors/Opening Minds. Over the course of three days, numerous Tulare County artists will open their personal studio doors to the public, demonstrating their individual creative processes and sharing different phases and facets of their work. Ticket holders can ask questions, watch the artists in action, and build a more personalized relationship with the creative forces in our community. Tickets are $15. When: March 18, 19, and 20 Where: Various artists’ studios throughout Tulare County Contact: 802-3266, artsconsortium.org/svast
THE LOOKING GLASS CRAFTER'S FAIR Come down to the corner of Garden and Caldwell for The Looking Glass Crafter’s Fair. The Craft Fair features more than 30 valley residents and their handcrafted goods. To become a vendor, pick up an application at The Looking Glass, 242 E. Caldwell, Visalia. When: March 19, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Where: Corner of Garden and Caldwell Contact: 732.2787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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When: Every first Friday, 5-8 p.m. Where: Downtown Visalia (check each month for details) Contact: artsconsortium.org
When: March. 26, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Where: Visalia Nazarene Church, 3333 W. Caldwell Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-1117
DIVERSIONS & EXCU R S I O N S DOWNTOWN VISALIA FARMERS MARKET Thursday nights in Downtown Visalia are a lot more colorful now that the Visalia Farmers Market is back with all the fresh produce, delicious food, and handmade items you love. This year, there will be cooking demos, workshops, art exhibits, and more. When: Thursdays, 5–8 p.m. Where: Downtown Visalia Contact: VisaliaFarmersMarket.com
SECOND ANNUAL LAWN-FREE GARDEN TOUR Sequoia Garden Club will have five beautiful lawn-free landscapes to tour, so come see eye-catching gardening ideas and be inspired. COS Ornamental Horticulture Club will have a droughttolerant plant sale. Also on hand will be the Master Gardeners, the City of Visalia’s Natural Resources Conservation Dept., and Cal Water. This is a selfguided tour. Tickets are $15 per person, available at Leo’s Nursery, Sequoia Plaza Flowers, Luis’s Nursery, and Curry Copy. When: April 2, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Where: Homes throughout Visalia Contact: 733-4832
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5TH ANNUAL WINE WALK IN DOWNTOWN VISALIA Come enjoy one of the best Downtown Visalia events of the year. As you walk down Main Street, Visalia, taste unlimited wine, cheese, and chocolate from 26 different merchants. There will also be live music playing as you stroll from shop to shop. When: April 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Downtown Visalia Contact: downtownvisalia.com
TULARE COUNTY MUSEUM GRAND RE-OPENING The Tulare County Museum in Mooney Grove Park will be celebrating the grand re-opening of the Main Street Exhibit. Exhibits have been refurbished, food will be available for purchase, and there will be a number of interactive displays and groups that will be great fun for all. Where: Tulare County Museum, Mooney Grove Park, 27000 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia When: April 24, 10 a.m.â€“3 p.m. Contact: Amy King, Tulare County Museum Curator, 733-6616
LIFEST YLE | MARCH 2016
C H A R I TA B L E EVENTS CASAâ€™S 21ST ANNUAL BLUE RIBBON MARCH April is National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, so join CASA as they commemorate the survivors and victims of child abuse during their annual Blue Ribbon March on Main Street. Meet at the corner of Floral and Center Streets in Visalia. When: March 26, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Where: Corner of Garden and Floral Streets, Visalia Contact: 625-4007
21ST ANNUAL LIFEWALK AND 5K RUN Walkers and runners of all ages and abilities, from strollers to wheelchairs, are invited to join Tulare-Kings Right to Life for their annual LifeWalk. There will be prizes and race medals awarded to a variety of participants, with the grand prize being a 7-Day Mexican Riviera Cruise for two. There will be live music, bounce houses, face painting, and more. Registration is $30 per person until April 4. When: April 9, 9 a.m. Where: Plaza Park, 700 S. Plaza St., Visalia Contact: 732-5000
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BARKS AND BOURBON WITH FRIENDS OF TULARE ANIMAL SERVICES Join the Friends of Tulare Animal Services at their Speakeasy Barks and Bourbon event. The fundraiser includes heavy hors d'oeurves by Sa-Trés Bien Tailored Cuisine, bourbon tasting, nohost bar, silent auction, live auction by Tulare's own world class auctioneer, David Macedo, cigars, wine grab, 1920s costume contest, and much more. Tickets are $65 per person. When: April 9, 5:30 p.m. Where: International Agri-Center, 4500 Laspina St., Tulare Contact: 303-6930 or friendsofTAS@yahoo.com
VALLEY OAK SPCA WALK-A-DOG-A-THON
HANDS IN THE COMMUNITY’S ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
Join your Valley Oak SPCA at their 25th annual Walk-a-dog-a-thon to raise money to help save lives. There is fun for all, featuring a 3-mile walk, canine contests and prizes, vendors, rafﬂes, and a blessing of the animals. The minimum donation for Walk participants is $25 per person. There will also be awards for top fundraisers.
You’re invited to participate in Hands in the Community’s Third Annual Golf Tournament event. There is limited space for team registration (four people per team), so sign up quickly.
When: April 16, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Where: Plaza Park, 700 S Plaza St, Visalia, Contact: 651-1111 ext 6
VISALIA 2016 EARTH DAY CELEBRATION The Visalia Environmental Committee, Natural Resource Conservation, and Parks & Urban Forestry Division are hosting the 2016 Earth Day Celebration at the St. John’s Riverwalk Park at Ben Maddox and the St. Johns River. This year’s event will focus on sustainability, conservation, and energy efficiency and will include live music, exhibitors, vendors, food booths, and multiple demonstration workshops. When: April 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Where: St. John’s River Parkway Trailhead, North Ben Maddox at the St. Johns River in Visalia Contact: Visalia.city 60 L I F E S T Y L E | M A R C H 2 0 1 6
When: April 29, 12–5 p.m. Where: Ridge Creek Dinuba Gold Club, 3018 Ridge Creek Dr., Dinuba Contact: 625-3822
TULARE COUNTY SYMPHONY LEAGUE’S “BELLA ITALIA” FUNDRAISER For more than 55 years, the Tulare County Symphony League has been providing encouragement and financial support to the Tulare County Symphony Orchestra, Youth Orchestra, Junior String Orchestra, an after school violin program for at-risk youth, and a youth music competition. This year, their annual fundraising event will be an Italian theme with fine Italian cuisine and superb entertainment. Ron Johnson, a Southern California vocalist, will sing Frank Sinatra, and Emmy award-winner Stan Taffel will return as the emcee. When: April 30 Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: 732-1343
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POWER OF THE PURSE The United Way Women’s Leadership Council presents their Power of the Purse breakfast, featuring mimosas, gorgeous guys, designer handbags, and a motivational speech by Susan Mazza. This event raises funds for The Literacy Project of the United Way of Tulare County.
When: May 6, 7 a.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: unitedwaytc.org
BARK ‘N’ BID BENEFIT Join the Central Valley Rescue Railroad for their 5th Annual fundraiser, where it’s all about the dogs! There will be a nohost beer and wine bar, dinner, music, dancing, a rafﬂe, and a silent and live auction. All proceeds benefit Central Valley Rescue Railroad, a volunteer-run non-profit, no-kill dog rescue. Tickets are $50 per person. When: April 30, 5 p.m. Where: Whitney Barn, 30162 Road 192, Exeter Contact: Hayley, 731-0757
FOODLINK’S KENTUCKY DERBY PARTY This party with a purpose features southern hospitality and fast horses. Put on your fanciest hat and most colorful bowtie, and head down to the Visalia Country Club for this can’t-miss event. Bid on horse races, sip mint juleps, and win big, all to support FoodLink of Tulare County.
AN EVENING AT THE DERBY
When: May 2, 1–4 p.m. Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: foodlinktc.org
When: May 14, 4:30 p.m. Where: Garden of Dr. & Mrs Donald Schengel, Visalia (call for details) Contact: 737-1907
The Assistance League of Visalia presents their Evening at the Derby fundraiser to support educating children in the community. There will be horse races, a dinner catered by Sa-Trés Bien Tailored Cuisine, and a silent auction. Tickets are $50 per person.
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