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The Mendes Home

Open Door Policy: A Home Built on Hospitality TRAVEL


A Guide to “Weird” Portland’s Eccentricity COMMUNITY

Wine and Cheese Walk

A Perfect Blend of Wine, Cheese, and Community May 2013


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24 HOME TOUR The Mendes Home


Wine and Cheese Walk A Perfect Blend of Wine, Cheese, and Community


Letter from the Executive Editor

10 Business Cents: It’s Not Always About the Rate 12 Word Play 14 Local Adventure: Eureka! 20 History: Downtown’s Sweet and Supernatural Building



34 Holiday: Happy Father’s Day


42 Wine: The Best Wines for Summer Cookouts

This Father’s Day, Let’s BBQ

44 Charity: A Fashionable Fundraiser

Smoked Ribs with a Plum-Rum Sauce

52 Chamber: Visalia

50 Fashion 54 Chamber: Exeter 56 Chamber: Tulare



58 Happenings


Portland A Guide to “Weird” Portland’s Eccentricity




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ABOVE: When entering the Mendes home, guests are greeted with an impressive display of paintings and tapestries, highlighted by the abundance of natural light streaming in the many windows of the home.



DMI Agency Evolutions Fitness Center, Tulare Tazzaria Coffee & Tea Tulare County Library The Lifestyle Center Visalia Chamber of Commerce Visalia Convention Center COUNTERTOP LOCATIONS

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ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Bridget Elmore Account Executive BRYCE McDONALD SALES OFFICE 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909 E-mail: VIEW THE MAG ONLINE!

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 2,000 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: 15,000 © 2013 DMI Agency


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LEFT: The “Unicorn Tapestry” that hangs above the fireplace in the master bedroom of the Mendes home is one example of Sheri Mendes’ love for works of art which are displayed throughout the home. COVER: The exterior is a highlight of the Mendes home, justified with every room having an exit to the outside and often, the doors and windows left open creating the feel of outdoor living.

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Maybe it was my low-country upbringing or maybe because there’s just something delectable about getting covered in tangy sauce, but whatever’s behind my affection for BBQ ribs it remains one of my all-time favorite meals. There’s simply no excuse for waiting until Father’s Day to fire up the barbeque, but if you haven’t already done so, this month’s culinary feature starting on page 38 will certainly give you inspiration. Contributing Chef Micah Wadel shares his recipe for Plum-Rum Sauce, made with rum, ginger and maple syrup – it really doesn’t get much better than this. Some of our readers could be considered wine experts, those who are more than capable of perfectly pairing the varietal with a meal, but the rest of us can struggle with just deciding if red or white is the better choice. In whichever group you find yourself, you’ll benefit from Lifestyle wine expert Sonny Martin’s personally selected “Best Wines for Summer Cookouts” on page 42. As if great wine and delicious food weren’t enough to talk about, how about throwing in a little shopping? That’s exactly what the Business Development Committee did recently at the second annual Wine and Cheese Walk ­– this year benefitting the Visalia Rescue Mission. A nibble of cheese here, a sip of wine there, and a shoe purchase or two later everything came together in concert for the 500-plus people who attended. For more of this year’s highlights, turn to page 16. Like a lot of businesses, we sometimes get to the end of the week feeling a little muddy. The waters we navigate aren’t always clear and calm, and the last few years, if nothing else, have taught us how to rethink, realign and carry on. This image recently crossed my mind as I watched the 2013 Kentucky Derby, with rain pouring for hours leading up to and during the race. The field was downgraded to “sloppy” and odds-on-favorites were realigned to suit each horse’s suspected performance considering the lessthan-desirable conditions. But for one horse and one rider it was another story. Orb, a magnificent animal, on the last stretch came up the middle from lengths behind, and crossed the finish line in first place. As the camera panned to the owner’s suite expecting a jubilant reaction, instead it found a gray-haired gentleman looking slightly stunned. His horse had just won the Kentucky Derby and he wasn’t jumping up and down? Although I can’t be certain, my guess is it was because his horse and the jockey were so covered in mud they were barely recognizable. It’s a great visual reminder to see that beautiful horse, the one covered in mud, proudly enter the winner’s circle and don the cascade of roses. So if you’re still in the trenches, remember it takes a lot of heart to come from behind. And don’t worry … the mud washes off.

Karen Tellalian, EXECUTIVE EDITOR For more information or to submit a story idea email or call (559) 739-1747 or fax (559) 738-0909.


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It’s Not Always About the Rate Text By Nancy Mota Childres, Branch Manager & Sr. Loan Officer, Kings Mortgage Services, Inc.


hanges to the popular Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan Program invite a closer look after FHA increased the monthly mortgage insurance (MI) premium to 1.35 percent effective April 1 (the third increase in two years). During this same time period, private mortgage insurers of conventional loans have reduced premiums and loosened guidelines. Additional changes are slated for June 3, 2013, when FHA will eliminate the “drop off” point for mortgage insurance. Currently, when a loan balance reaches 78 percent of the home’s value, the mortgage insurance is cancelled. That mortgage insurance can be a big chunk of your payment and, under the new rules, will be payable for the life of most FHA loans. This change will apply only to new FHA loans originating after June 3, 2013.

Mortgage Insurance for Conventional Loans Mortgage insurance will be required on conventional loans when you have less than 20 percent down payment. There are four different types of mortgage insurance available from private insurers – it can be paid monthly, at closing, included in your rate, or financed. Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI): No monthly and no upfront MI. The cost is included in your Interest Rate. Monthly: The cost is paid monthly. No upfront costs. SplitEdge: 1 percent paid at closing, lowering your monthly cost. Financed: The cost is included in your loan amount up to the maximum 97 percent. Remainder is paid at closing. This works really well when you have more than 5 percent down payment. Comparing Apples to Apples For simplicity, we created this comparison using a Loan-toValue (LTV) of 95 percent. FHA loans allow up to 96.5 percent and conventional loans allow up to 97 percent, but we wanted to see an apples-to-apples comparison of other mortgage insurance options. Scenario: Purchase $200,000 sales price; 95 percent LTV = $190,000 loan amount; 700 credit score. Impounds for taxes and insurance are estimated at $266.66 for all types. FHA Interest Rate of 3.25 percent Principal and Interest $841.36 + MI $211.80 = $1,053.16 Conventional with LPMI Interest Rate 4.50 percent Principal and Interest $962.70 + MI -0- = $962.70 Conventional with Monthly MI Interest Rate 3.75 percent Principal and Interest $879.92 + MI $148.83 = $1,028.75 Conventional with Financed MI Interest Rate 3.875 percent Principal and Interest $911.32 + MI -0- = $911.32 (95 percent loan, this option would require an additional $2,812 at closing since you can only finance two percent here, up to 97 percent.) As you can see, the FHA loan has the lowest interest rate – Ironically, it also has the highest monthly payment. 10

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Credit Scores play a huge role in determining the cost of your loan. The comparison above used an average credit score of 700. If your score is 720 or higher, the savings are even more dramatic. The reason for this is private mortgage insurers use a sliding scale based on your credit score. FHA uses the same factors for all borrowers – regardless of credit score. Affordability is also affected by loan program and mortgage insurance options. Qualifications are calculated as a ratio of your total payment divided by your total income. The $90 you save by using LPMI, for example, means you could qualify for $20,000 more with the same payment. Do you want monthly savings or “more” house? The choice could be yours. Credit and Assets; Assets and Credit These are the two most pivotal pieces of criteria when determining your qualifications for a loan program. If you can manage these, you will have more choices available to you. Paying reportable bills on time and keeping your balance on revolving accounts below 30 percent of your credit limit are the two biggest factors impacting your score and, in turn, your interest rate and monthly payment amount. Strive to maintain a credit score of 680 or above – the higher the better. Develop a savings plan that allows you to gather up a minimum of three to five percent down payment. Having to rely on a down payment assistance program or gift from family is one reason you may be steered towards an FHA loan. Private insurers want to see your savings ability. Understanding Your Options We have a long-term relationship with FHA and the program assists many local residents in financing their homes. FHA serves a purpose and provides a safe alternative for many buyers. The guidelines are a bit less restrictive in regards to credit history, income sources, assets, and qualification ratios. However, given the recent changes, it’s time to reevaluate the program and take proactive steps to control your own future financing options. There also are additional programs available if you fit “in the box.” Veterans Affairs (VA) has a 100 percent loan for qualifying Veterans. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a 100 percent loan for borrowers in rural areas who meet certain income limits. Both are very viable programs and cost effective alternatives to FHA loans if you and the property meet their criteria. Deciding which program works best for you and your personal situation takes a long, hard look and a lot of calculations. Not something you want to do by yourself – when you’re ready, talk to your local mortgage professional for advice. May is National Moving Month! If you’re in the market to purchase a new home, there’s still time to act before the June 3 changes!

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Though Mother’s Day has passed, many celebrate mom all month long. The following books take a look at mother-child relationships. In Y: A Novel (Free Press, January 2013), a debut novel by Marjorie Celona, Shannon’s mother becomes a primary focus of her life even though she hasn’t seen her since the day she was born. Shannon was left on the doorstep of the YMCA and raised in a series of neglectful or abusive foster homes until she was adopted by a single mother who raised her along with another daughter. Though she now has a stable home, Shannon still can’t settle down until she learns the truth about why her mother abandoned her. For mothers with sons, Dr. Kevin Lehman’s book explains What a Difference a Mom Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on Her Son’s Life (Revell, September 2012). Mothers in the throes of raising their sons may be surprised to learn, as Dr. Lehman asserts, that their sons really do want to please them. This is one of the tidbits offered in the well-known psychologist’s recent book. He offers advice on discipline, sibling squabbles and capturing your boy’s heart. Mothers of sons of all ages can find stories of interest in the book, even if they only bring back memories. Just out this April is a revised edition of Mother to Son: Shared Wisdom from the Heart (Workman Publishing Company) by Melissa and Harry H. Harrison, Jr., another book that focuses on the important bonds between a mother and her sons. Valley Writers Former Exeter resident Don Lasseter was profiled in this magazine five years ago (May 2008). At that time, he had authored 17 nonfiction works, most of them accounts of true crime. His latest book at that time was Meet Me for Murder, an account of photographers who lured young women to their deaths with promises of careers. Since then, he has published You’ ll Never Find My Body (ex-cop kills wife), Honeymoon with a Killer (bride has husband killed), Deadly Deceit (Army deserter kills parents), and Date with the Devil (lawyer kills girlfriend). He shares authorship on all of these books with Los Angeles County Prosecutor Ronald E. Bowers. Dinuba native and former Visalia resident Tim Z. Hernandez is included in the Colorado Poets Center at His poem “Mama’s Boy” is his featured poem on the site. His latest poetry collections are Natural Takeover of Small Things (University of Arizona Press, February 2013) and Culture of Flow (Monkey Puzzle Press, December 2012). First Lines What novel begins with the line: “It was the day my grandmother exploded”? (Answer right)


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Library Teen Program The Visalia Branch Library begins its Teen Summer Reading Program on June 11 with a showing of the movie “Clue” at 2 p.m. On June 12 at 2 p.m. the program will be a digital media lab where youth are invited to write, draw, make movies, animate, take pictures and whatever else they might think of to be creative. Conventions and Conferences Comic-Con International: San Diego started in 1970 as a oneday event that attracted 100 attendees. This year the event runs July 18–21 and expects to draw around 130,000 – a crowd that has spilled out of the Convention Center into satellite venues including local hotels and parks. The 2012 show featured a 460,000 square-foot exhibit hall and over 600 events. Activities include workshops, educational programming, anime and film screenings, games and a masquerade costume competition. Details at: The Napa Valley Writers’ Conference will be held July 28–August 2 and features an informal gathering of writers intent on fellowship and serious work. Among the alumna of the conference is Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Knopf, December 2012), an Oprah Book Club pick. Final payment and fiction manuscripts are due May 31. Details at: Writing Contests To put a Valley twist on it, The MacGuffin’s 18th National Poet Hunt Contest will be judged by Fresno’s premiere poet, Philip Levine. Entries must be postmarked by June 3. Enter three poems for a fee of $15. First place award is $500 and publication. Details at: The deadline for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2013 is July 31. The contest is open to poets aged 11 to 17 years. Over 7,300 contestants entered last year from 60 countries. One hundred winners will receive their awards on National Poetry Day on October 3. The 15 overall winners will be eligible to attend a week-long course at Avon or at their own school. There is no entry fee. Details at: The Last Word “My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.”—Maya Angelou (1928 – ) Answer: The Crow Road by Iain M. Banks (1992) 




ooking for a fun adventure outside that won’t leave you sweating buckets? Saving your “drenched in water” plans for the peak of summer in the coming months? We’ve got the happy medium for this last month of “spring” here in the Valley before the temperature rises to numbers we don’t even want to think about yet. All that is required is a drive north and a little imagination. Gather up the family, as this is an adventure for all ages, and take the 157-mile drive north to the town of Columbia – a town seemingly stuck in the 19th century. Ever wonder what it would have been like to be in California at the height of the gold rush? Lucky for you, during May 30–June 2 the small town of Columbia and more than 150 volunteers help recreate this time in history by portraying the lives of miners, blacksmiths, store owners, actors and more. These volunteers are so dedicated to their craft and making the “diggings” fun for everyone that they won’t break character. This month’s adventure requires stepping back in time to the year 1852 and discovering what life was like in a gold-diggings encampment! In addition to the fun of going back in time, Columbia is filled with even more things to experience. There are a number of shops including Ebler’s Leather & Saddlery Emporium where you can find boots, saddles and other western gear; Parrott’s Blacksmith shop to get a custom-made gift; Fancy Dry Goods and Clothing Store where they sell locally made period clothing, bonnets, accessories, gifts and antiques; Columbia Booksellers and Stationers where you can find 19th century items; Columbia Candy Kitchen, a candy store full of goodies and treats from days gone by, and so much more. Of course you wouldn’t be in an Old West town without a few saloons. Stop in at St. Charles Saloon for an ice-cold Sarsaparilla (akin to root beer) or the Jack Douglass Saloon down the street. There are plenty of places to enjoy lunch or dinner and don’t forget Fallon Ice Cream Parlor for dessert. Adventures can be found throughout the town including the Candle Dipping Courtyard where you can make your own candles. Take a ride on the Quartz Mountain Stagecoach and try your luck at the Hidden Treasure Gold Mine where you can pan for gold and if you don’t yell Eureka … well, you can even buy some gold. Exhibits for the young and old to enjoy are numerous around the town, including a walk through the Columbia diggings tent town site, the mining equipment exhibit, the old newspaper office, the Columbia museum, and much more. Finally, commemorate your trip with a sepia-toned photo of you and your kin dressed up in 19th century period costumes at Kamice’s Photographic Establishment For something, definitely out of the ordinary and sure to make a lasting impression, Columbia fits the bill … er, gold. Sponsored by the Columbia State Historic Park and Friends of Columbia State Historic Park. Call (209) 588-9128 for more information.


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2 n d

A n n u a l

W i n e

a n d

C hee s e

W a l k

A Perfect Blend of Wine,

Cheese and Community Text By Kyndal Kennedy | Photos By Taylor Vaughn


he day seemed daunting as rain swept through Visalia in the mid-afternoon and clouds hung low and threatening. For a few hours attendees of the second annual Wine and Cheese Walk second-guessed their most-anticipated yearlong plans for the evening. But, eventually the weather got on the side of the many wineries, cheesemakers, the Business Development Committee, and the eager Visalians as the sun shined through and Downtown Visalia sprang to life.

Taking cues from the terrific turnout of last year’s inaugural Wine and Cheese Walk, this year’s event went a tad bit longer, giving everyone more time to shop, sip and enjoy the many wines, cheeses and shops participating in the event. The businesses involved last year knew to expect a packed crowd and handled it effortlessly. More tickets were sold this year and “80 percent of tickets were sold at the door,” said Carol Bott, chairperson of the Walk, a testament to the positive word of mouth of past participants. Even some businesses who didn’t sign up for the Walk last year knew what a great event it is for local small businesses downtown and eagerly signed up this year to get involved. Mary Beth Carter, owner of “p.s. i love you too” saw the 500 people

who bought tickets to last year’s event pass her store and knew she had to sign up for this year. “I called Downtown Visalians the next day to make sure I got on the list for this one!” she said. It seemed a few business owners had the same idea as Carter. This year, 28 merchants participated in the Walk, up seven from last year’s numbers. Each featured a California winery and an assortment of cheeses for the many happy faces walking in and out with their wine glasses and passports in hand. The merchants also provided discounts and promotions for Walk participants and the wineries gave away free tasting vouchers for visits to their wineries – perfect for those persons who found a wine they love that isn’t sold in stores in our area. The wineries

participating in the event stretched from Napa to Pixley, with many hailing from Paso Robles wine country. Several Artisanal and Farmstead California cheese companies provided gourmet cheeses and appetizer plates – more than the previous year, as organizers quickly found out Visalians love their cheese almost as much as their wine. In addition to the decadent cheese displays, Fugazzi’s catered the Walk destination at Brown’s Shoe Fit Company, creating a perfect pairing with their skewered meats and the Bodegas Paso Robles wine offered at this stop. But, the Walk is more than an excuse for the 21 and over to get out on the town for an evening of wine and good food. The businesses along Main Street, often

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overlooked for the shopping centers along Mooney Boulevard, were the stars of the night – though the refreshments were definitely winners in the supporting role. For some, Downtown Visalia is the perfect destination for a Saturday stroll, but for others it is the street where their favorite restaurant is – not necessarily where they shop for clothes or gift items. The purpose of the event was to bring more people into the businesses downtown and to educate the public on what they can then find there, explained Bott. And by the number of shopping bags seen on the arms of the men and women


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with a wine glass in their hand, the goal was met. Shayla Cullum, a 24-year-old native of Visalia participated in this year’s Walk as well as the inaugural event and has been pleasantly surprised by the various businesses located downtown. “I didn’t know many of the shops I visited on the Walk existed, I was happy to find these places where I can now shop and support local business rather than the larger retail stores in town.” And to top it all off, 10 percent of the net profits from the Walk went to benefit the Visalia Rescue Mission, whose mission is to provide hope and restoration through

Jesus Christ to our area’s underserved. There is a homeless population throughout downtown and the Business Development Committee took this opportunity to support the Rescue Mission. “We want to help and do something about it when we can, and I love what the Rescue Mission is doing for our city,” said Bott, explaining why the Rescue Mission was chosen as the non-profit to partner up with. The second annual Wine and Cheese Walk, again, proved it was good for attendees, good for the wineries, good for business, and overall, great for the city of Visalia.

H history

Downtown’s Sweet and Supernatural Building


Text by Terry L. Ommen


arely visible among the structures of downtown stands a building that today gives only a hint of its amazing glory days. Situated in the heart of old Visalia, the pioneer building has had its share of facelifts over the years, but its core remains, and if the old-timer could talk, what stories it could tell. To most people, the century-old structure is just a symbol of bygone days, but to a select few, it contains strange and unexplained mysteries. Perhaps a look at the history of the old Sweet building could help explain some of its secrets.


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history H

ections of Main Street

Born in Germany in 1827, Solomon Sweet came to America when he was just 16. At age 24, looking for adventure and opportunity, he left his home in New York bound for California. A man of few words, he documented the journey in his diary, “Left New York on the steamer ‘Georgia’ for Panama. Landed on the south coast of Panama. Walked across the Isthmus and took the steamer ‘Columbia’ for San Francisco. Landed January 1851.” He had letters of introduction for contacts in Stockton, so he headed for the Gold Rush boomtown. He didn’t stay long. Then made his way to the goldfields of Mariposa. He tried his luck for a time at mining, but in 1854 he opened a mercantile store in the little mining camp of Agua Fria. That same year he made an excursion south and camped at Cross Creek (between what is now Goshen and Traver). One morning he awoke to several thousand antelope and deer grazing nearby. So impressed with the area he rode into the heavily wooded little settlement of Visalia, calling it “paradise.” In 1857 he opened a general store on Visalia’s Mill Street (now Main) with a partner, James L. Wells. Merchandise for their store was delivered by ox teams from Stockton. The well-stocked store was appreciated by local customers. He also did good business throughout the southern San Joaquin Valley and beyond. In 1860, Sweet married 15-year-old Annie Phillips in San Francisco and she moved with him to Visalia. The marriage resulted in nine children and the union lasted until Sweet’s death in 1899.

During his many years in business in Visalia, Sweet was a pillar of the community and was always civic-minded. In the early 1870s he was part of a group of men who financed the construction of the branch railroad line that brought rail service from Goshen into Visalia. Sweet partnered with a number of men during his years in business in Visalia and he freely shared his business savvy with them. In 1892 he incorporated his Visalia store, bringing into the enterprise many bright and hardworking local businessmen. His ventures went well beyond the store including oil land, gold mines and tungsten. The Sweet name became wellknown throughout California. After graduation from the University of California in 1898, Adolph, Solomon’s son, became part of the company and joined in the management of the Sweet empire. As the retail business grew, a large new structure was built replacing the smaller building on the south side of East Main between Court and Church streets. By

1910 the retail space was so large that the area became known as the “Sweet Block.” An annex building was added to the back and was connected by a bridge walkway over the alley. In 1925 the “big store” as it was called, celebrated its 68th anniversary. It employed about 80 people with an annual payroll of about $200,000. The store was divided into 23 departments, each with a trained specialist in charge. The company was generous to its workers and it was known for its elaborate annual employee picnics. In 1931 the S. Sweet Company announced it was closing the doors to the huge department store, an apparent victim of a bad economy. The closing surprised many and that year marked the end of the 74-year reign of the pioneer store. The big Sweet building was sold, eventually remodeled and divided into several retail spaces. Various businesses occupied them over the years, including the Hyde Theatre on the east end and the Wunder Bar and Café on the west.

LEFT: S. Sweet Co. department store, circa 1923. [Photo courtesy of Blanche Partona] RIGHT: The old S. Sweet Co. department store building as it is today. L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013


H history

TOP: Sweet store, circa 1885. INSET: Bob and Tom Link in front of Link’s Clothing Store in the old Sweet building.

For over 30 years the Wunder, later becoming the Wunder Stag, occupied the space at 115 E. Main Street. The Wunder Stag closed in about 1973 and the building, which was owned by Al Blain, went up for sale. He offered to sell it to Joe Link, the owner of Link’s clothing store. Link needed more space so he jumped at the opportunity and the two made a deal for $35,000. After Link’s death the property was passed on to his sons, Bob and Tom. Today the two brothers still own the Link’s store which is considered to be the oldest clothing store still in operation in all of Tulare County. Each has worked at the store for


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over 50 years and both men appreciate the historical space they occupy. Reflecting back on the building’s history, Bob said, “If the walls could talk, there would be many stories.” Two of Link’s employees have over 30 years of combined experience working there. They love their jobs and especially enjoy the old building, even though for many years they have experienced numerous unexplained happenings. They have seen strange shadows, heard eerie footsteps, felt cold drafts, and have seen a mysterious, well-dressed Victorian-era woman in the mezzanine of the building. Recently one of them even felt an unexplained touch while

she was alone in the basement of the old building. Surprisingly, they are not afraid of the strange unexplained activities, but rather are fascinated by them. So, curious, the two have asked Bob and Tom for permission to spend an entire evening alone in the building. Neither of the brothers have seen any ghostly activities, but they have given the go-ahead for the two women to satisfy their curiosity. Both women are looking forward to discovering the mysteries of the old Sweet building and hope that maybe their adventure will provide some answers. Sweet dreams, ladies!


The Mendes Home

Open Door Policy:

A Home Built on Hospitality Text By Jordan Venema Photos By Forrest Cavale, Third Element Studios

PICTURED: The open-floor concept of the Mendes home serves the purpose of creating an open and inviting home for friends and family to come and go as they please.


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sk Vince and Sheri Mendes how they came across the lot on which they built their home, and they’d say it was an accident. “A fluke,” said Sheri. “We just couldn’t find anything that fit. Then we happened to drive down Shirk and we looked in the gate and I said, ‘I want to live in there.’” They may have found the lot accidentally, but that is the only thing about their home that could be attributed to chance. Everything else about the four-bedroom, five-bathroom home was built with intention, from the location of the windows to the width of the hallway, to the height of the planters in the backyard. “Everything has a purpose,” stressed Vince. “Everything.” Of course Vince and Sheri paid attention to the little things, as any family is wont to do when building their own home. “We just didn’t want a cookie-cutter home. We really wanted it to have our own design, and I definitely think it reflects who we are,” said Sheri. From its overall structure to its interior design, the house was built to match

their tastes: like Sheri’s love for European history and culture, and, humorously enough, Vince’s aversion to wind and sun. “I grew up my whole life in the desert and it was just windy all the time,” explained Vince, who was raised in Lancaster and moved to Visalia in the ’90s. “She loves the sun; I don’t love the sun,” he continued, sparing words as though he didn’t even like to talk about the subject. Visalia’s climate couldn’t possibly be more appreciated by someone other than Vince, who talked about his first trip to Visalia as though he had just come from the moon. “It was green and it was nice and shoot! No wind!” he laughed. Fast-forward 20 years and the Mendes family has built a lasting home in Visalia, wind or not. “This will be our last house,” said Sheri, who often thinks of Miranda Lambert’s song, “The House That Built Me,” whenever she’s looking through home magazines while sitting in their living room. That Sheri and Vince designed their home, exterior and interior, in a pre-Pinterest world, makes their home a reflection of

their own ideas, which were drawn from personal experiences and family memories. For Sheri, that meant planting lemon trees, which were a fixture at her grandmother’s home, and using synthetic wood shake tiling for the roof, the same roofing at her parents’ home in San Jose. And Vince, well, he made sure none of the windows faced westward, minimizing the sun’s glare inside the house. Vince may downplay his own role in building the home, but he was there every day during construction, working with the builders and architects, redrafting plans. Vince would spray paint directly on the dirt, laying out the plans for his backyard, drawing shapes that represented the fire pit, pool, planters that he had visualized in his mind. As involved as he was, Vince admitted, “I don’t know if you could ever do it all yourself. You can come up with ideas, but you’ve got to have help.” When Vince realized that his original draft for a single-story, four-bedroom home wouldn’t fit on the plot, he worked with the architect to redraft the plan. The result

ABOVE: Like every room in the Mendes home, the dining room can be accessible from the outside and through several different entryways within – creating an open inviting space to gather.


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H HOME TOUR was an improvement: they moved two bedrooms upstairs, creating a separate living space with its own A/C and water heating - bedrooms for daughters, Candace and Hannah. For the Mendes family, the building process was almost more important than the end result. It helped that Vince and Sheri’s ideas for their home were never set in stone. The architect and carpenters would ask them, “Do you want to build a Tudor home? Do you want to build a country home? Do you want … what are you really building here, anyway?” “But we didn’t know!” laughed Vince. “We just wanted to build a home.” So Vince and Sheri were flexible. Vince knew his vision to build a Vegas-style, circular driveway, replete with a covered roof and lights, probably wouldn’t work. He laughed, recalling the architect’s response to the idea, “Are you kidding me? You can’t put that there! It won’t work!” Vince wasn’t discouraged; he simply redesigned the plans to include a modest circular driveway. While some of Vince’s grandiose ideas couldn’t work, many of his ideas did. He struggled with the backyard, wondering how to design a stairway that would descend from the balcony without consuming too much space. The solution was a wrought-iron spiral staircase that matched the balcony’s handmade wrought-iron railing, with its blooming rosettes and leaf-like bends. Vince had envisioned a horseshoe-shaped home with a kind of wraparound balcony, like an old western hotel, but settled for a balcony just outside the two upstairs bedrooms. Still, the wings of the home embrace the backyard, almost like a courtyard, which is contained on the other end by a pool and raised hot tub that is crowned with an angled arbor. Vince may have imagined an old western hotel, but the facade, with its arched stucco and wrought-iron railing, rather suggests a hotel front on the French Riviera. It is probably no coincidence that the Mendes’ home resembles, by a little stretch of the imagination, a hotel. “He’s built a hotel for us, truly,” said Sheri. Hannah added, “He wanted the guest bedrooms and the guests to feel like it was a hotel.” Vince’s idea was to make the bedrooms comfortable by making them as open and accessible as possible. “I wanted to build a house where every room had an exit outside,” said Vince. The result is a home that has more entryways and exits than it does bedrooms. And since every bedroom has a way to get in or out of the home, “Even being inside,” explained Sheri, “I feel like we have outdoor living. It’s open all the time, even in the winter, our doors are open.”

TOP: Giving life to Sheri’s dream of a gallery-like experience in their home, Vince designed a larger than normal hallway which allows for displaying many paintings and pictures dear to the heart. CENTER: The upstairs bedrooms are complemented by a large balcony, which overlooks the back of the property and features a detailed wrought-iron spiral staircase for easy access to the backyard patio, pool, kitchen and fire pit. BOTTOM: Truly a home for entertaining, the Mendes home’s entertainment room features aspects anyone can enjoy, from air hockey to gaming systems, to foosball and more.


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Inside the house, the living room and kitchen are the center of the home. The two rooms occupied a single space, without any real division besides the kitchen bar, making Vince and Sheri feel like the two rooms were one big open box. So, Vince designed a false ceiling above the kitchen, about a foot lower than the living room’s, thereby creating the sense that the kitchen is a slightly smaller and separate room. Again, the Mendes family paid attention to the slightest detail: the edges and angles of the false ceiling mirror exactly the edges and angles of the bar beneath it. Between the wooden floors and crown molding, Vince and Sheri have designed a traditional home with a European flair. Woven tapestries and framed paintings hang on the walls of the living room and the museum-like hallway. Aged and ornate colonial furniture, which Sheri salvaged from estate sales in Virginia, can be found throughout the bedrooms and home. “I started traveling a lot as a child, and my

parents introduced me to Europe,” said Sheri, explaining her love for the artwork that hangs on her walls. “If I have wall space, I have to put a painting on it,” she confessed. So Vince, who is no fan of wasted space, gladly planned an unusually wide hallway, six feet and three inches, for Sheri to hang her favorite impressionist paintings by Degas, Renoir, and Monet. Ever thinking practically, Vince also realized that a wider hallway would give room for double doors in the bedrooms at either end of the hall. The width of the hall and the open double doors facilitate the sense of openness in the home. Now that their home is finished, “We don’t go anywhere,” admitted Vince. But why should they? “I like sitting in the jacuzzi and looking at the house, and sitting on my golf cart and having cocktails with the neighbors.” Vince continued, “I get a kick out of the neighbors. They’ve become my friends now, I mean actual friends. Not just neighbors.”

Sheri echoed Vince’s sentiments, “We have the best neighbors in the world.” Like Vince, Sheri enjoys relaxing in the jacuzzi, but her favorite room is the kitchen. “You show love when you cook and when you feed, so when everybody comes home that’s where everybody is and I do my thing.” One of those “things” is their annual Super Bowl party, when Vince and Sheri open their home to about 50-100 guests. But there’s no invitation and anybody is welcome through one of the home’s many entryways. Sheri recalled thinking at one party, “I don’t know half these people, but look how much fun everybody is having,” which is reason enough for the Mendes family to continue the tradition. Really then, it’s no accident that Sheri and Vince designed their home to be something like a hotel. So when Sheri said about their house, “It’s open all the time,” she may as well have meant it as a metaphor for all the people who are welcome to come and go as they please.

ABOVE: The kitchen, like in many homes, is a gathering place for family and friends in the Mendes home and where Sheri does her “thing” to show love to her family and guests.


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PICTURED: The master bedroom of the Mendes home is a favorite space of the homeowners as its windows allow for viewing the twinkling lights in the backyard as well as offers ample views of the rest of the house, thanks to the many windows throughout.


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HOME TOUR H Why else would a family build a home with more ways in and out than there are rooms? Because “Family and friends are everything to us,” explained Sheri. “We really wanted to build something that the kids could come to, a gathering place.” Whether they ended up with a Tudor home, a country home, or whatever kind of home was never really what mattered. For Vince and Sheri Mendes, they just wanted a home with a few open doors.

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t’s that special time of year when we celebrate the men who taught us how to ride a bike, hook a fish, throw a baseball, and were always there to comfort us when we had a bad day. Father’s Day – a day full of ties, golf clubs and roses (the official flower of Father’s Day) – has been celebrated as long as many of us can remember, but it hasn’t always been an honored tradition. In 1909, Sonora Smart Doff got the idea after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in church. Sonora wanted a day to honor fathers, in honor of her father, William Smart. William became a widower when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child leaving him with a newborn and five other children to raise by himself. Sonora’s father was born in June and so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration then, going to churches, the YMCA, shops and government officials for support in celebrating the holiday. Through her efforts, Spokane, Washington, celebrated the first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. Slowly, the holiday spread. President Calvin Coolidge, in 1924, supported the idea. Then in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. And in 1972 Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday, and it has been celebrated by restaurants, retail stores, and the young and the old ever since.


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We Love “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” — Sigmund Freud “If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a 50 percent chance of being right.” — Bill Cosby “Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!” — Lydia M. Child

“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” — Author unknown

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” — Mark Twain “There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.” — John Gregory Brown


L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013


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This Father's Day,



Recipes by Micah Wadel, Bravo Farms Photos by Taylor Vaughn


t’s almost summer time and Father’s Day, and that can only mean one thing: it’s barbecue time. Let’s honor dad with a BBQ he’ll be requesting again, soon. There is nothing like perfectly prepared ribs (did we mention the rib sauce calls for rum?) and refreshing coleslaw to complete a warm sunny day. Grab a tablecloth and some napkins and enjoy this meal with the dad in your life.


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Smoked Ribs Ingredients St. Louis spare ribs Dry rub blend

Directions 1. Season ribs with favorite dry rub blend. 2. Smoke on grill for 30 minutes and then cook in oven for 2 hours at 200° F. 3. When finished cooking, remove from oven and add Plum-Rum Sauce as desired.


Ingredients 3 C red cabbage 1 C carrots, shredded 1 C radish sprouts 1 C red onion, shaved ½ C green onion, chopped ½ C bacon, chopped 1 green apple (whole apple, sliced into slivers) Directions Mix all ingredients together.


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Poppy Seed Dressing

Directions Mix all ingredients together. Add dressing to coleslaw as desired.

Ingredients 2 C apple cider vinegar 2 C sugar 1 white onion, chopped 1 T dry mustard 2 T lemon juice ¼ C poppy seeds ⅛ C sesame oil ½ tsp. salt 1 C oil

Plum-Rum Sauce Ingredients 4 large plums, chopped 1 ⅓ C crushed tomatoes ¼ C shallots ¼ C sugar ¼ C rum (preferably dark rum) ¼ C maple syrup ½ C cider vinegar 3 T Dijon mustard 2 T Worcestershire sauce 2 T fresh ginger Salt and pepper to taste

Directions Sauté the plums, crushed tomatoes and rum in a pan for roughly 2 to 3 minutes. Then put all ingredients in blender and blend until a puree forms.

Don’t forget about the wine! Turn the page for a suggested wine to pair with this BBQ meal. L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 0 1 3




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The Best Wines for

Summer Cookouts Text By Sonny Martin


ummer is almost here and the barbeque grilling season is well upon us. Whether hanging out with a group of friends or just a backyard meal during the busy week, we are all likely to be using our outdoor cooking equipment much more often now – especially to create this month’s culinary feature staring smoked ribs. I have always considered myself to be in the “lifestyle enhancement” business and believe that adding some wine to any meal or event qualifies. So what are the best wines to serve at a backyard cookout? To put it simply, you should serve what you like. I have always said that no one can tell me they don’t like wine, because every flavor profile known to man exists in wine. It doesn’t matter if you like a $150 bottle of Napa Valley’s best Cabernet Sauvignon or a bottle of “Two Buck Chuck,” my answer to the question “What is the best wine?” has always been: “The one you like!” And, when pressed for my own preference: “The wine I’m drinking!” While the age of information has certainly helped to grow the number of people who regularly drink wine in this country, in my opinion, there are still way too many people who are intimidated by something that, at its core, is simply fermented grape juice. Maybe their exposure has been a fancy restaurant’s intimidating wine list that could easily pass for the Encyclopedia Britannica, or someone at a dinner party

choosing the most expensive bottle that they can find and then pontificating to everyone about it. I am willing to bet that everyone, if they remove whatever mental intimidation they may have, is very capable of determining their own taste and be their own particular connoisseur. And, every wine you like will certainly enhance your lifestyle. So, what wines go with summer cookouts like the aforementioned culinary feature? Again, I say, the wine that you like. As far as what rules to follow ... rules? We are looking for lifestyle enhancement and rules just don’t seem right in that context. So, in that regard, I will give my insights on what I have personally found to be enhancements to particular styles of outdoor cookery. The first consideration is the smokiness of the food. Smoke is a coating flavor enhancer and as such coats your entire palate. Because of that, I don’t serve any of my more complex (or should I say expensive) wines with BBQ. The finer subtleties of those wines I find to be overwhelmed by the smoky coating already on your palate. I prefer bold, full flavored and uncomplicated wines with barbecued meals. If I choose a wine of a specific varietal I won’t bother with a specific appellation like Dry Creek Zinfandel but rather choose a broader California appellation. The complexities that distinguish a specific appellation wine are likely to be

lost with the strong flavors of BBQ. And, frankly, the less complicated the wine the better, for my taste, so I think this is the perfect opportunity to enhance the event with a nice house wine or house blend like Ravenswood Vintners Cuvee or even Red Truck. Some of the varietals that I have enjoyed with BBQ are Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Malbec, Grenache and Sangiovese, but again, don’t look for the expensive, special bottling of any of these, just a winery’s blended version will pair just right with that barbecued meat. Outdoor cooking is the perfect time to try the house blends of different wineries. These are inexpensive and usually quite full-flavored as they are often made from the lots of wines that didn’t have the distinctive character expected for their appellation-specific bottling. Since they are often the go-to, everyday wine of the winemaker, he/she puts special effort into blending for bold, full flavors that they will want to drink often. These are wines like Fess Parker’s Frontier Red or Dreaming Tree Crush. Now that you are armed with the “rules,” you should feel confident to show off your connoisseurship and choose a wine that will enhance your lifestyle and, rather than be the topic of conversation, it will encourage conversation amongst family and friends around your BBQ and picnic table this summer grilling season. L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 0 1 3


C charity

A Fashionable Fundraiser

Assistance League of Visalia, A La Mode team up for philanthropy


hose who volunteer with local nonprofits understand the challenge of raising muchneeded funds. Many hours of planning, publicizing and grunt work are required to host a community event, and sometimes, the profit pales in comparison to the amount of effort. The Assistance League of Visalia has found a formula for generating income that keeps the “fun” in fundraising, with the help of a local business owner. Recognizing the fact that women enjoy shopping – often with each other – Assistance League members approached Jessica White to inquire if she could pitch in. Jessica owns A La Mode Fashion Lounge and A La Mode Shoe Parlour, both located on Pine Street in downtown Exeter. The idea: invite friends and family to shop together in the swanky boutiques, while watching models make their way down the store’s catwalk during a fashion show. All customers receive a five dollar coupon good toward any purchase, and depending on the total purchase price, receive raffle tickets that correspond with a bagged prize of store merchandise. At the end of the three-hour event, Jessica donates 20 percent of the proceeds to the Assistance League of Visalia. The result? On April 14, women of all ages, from grandmothers to granddaughters, spent the afternoon perusing clothing 44

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Text and Photo By Lisa McEwen

racks of fashionable merchandise, shoes, accessories and jewelry, with plenty of laughter to go around. The huge windows of A La Mode’s Fashion Lounge – housed in the historic former Bank of America building – illuminated a joyous event, where shopping served several purposes. “The Assistance League is a wonderful group,” said Judy Peterson of Visalia. “They do a wonderful job of serving the community, and this is one way to help them do what they do. And, we ladies can enjoy ourselves.” The Assistance League of Visalia is one of more than 120 chapters nationwide. Across the country, Assistance Leagues boast more than 26,000 members. The Visalia chapter was formed in 1996 and chartered in 1998, becoming the 102nd National Assistance League chapter. Their common goal is enrichment of the community through volunteerism, education and service. Charter member and publicity chair Francie Levy said money raised from last month’s event – the fourth held in Exeter – will go toward the Visalia league’s many philanthropic projects, including Operation School Bell, which for the last 15 years has provided new clothing to elementary school students referred through Visalia Unified School District site staff. Money also goes toward The Kids on the Block, a puppetry program that teaches “tolerance, kindness and good values,”

Levy said. Members of the league present the puppet show to third- and fourthgrade students at 12 Visalia campuses. The performance topics include bullying, the dangers of smoking, healthy eating and fitness, and disabilities. Other programs the league spearheads include Rainbow Reading, a one-on-one reading buddy program that pairs members with at-risk first- and second-grade students at Visalia’s Washington Elementary School; 50 Sense, which promotes geographical awareness of the 50 states through brightly painted American maps on several elementary school campuses; and Le Bag, which are small hygiene kits assembled by members and distributed to local school children. Approximately $2,000 was raised in three hours of shopping fun. Jessica is enthusiastic about the league’s members and purpose.“The Assistance League of Visalia is one of the hardest working groups around,” she said. “It never crosses my mind to say ‘no’ them. As someone who has been a member of various service clubs, it seems like there is always a core group of people who do most of the work. In this group of women, everyone has to pick a project. I give them a lot of credit.” For more information about the Assistance League of Visalia, call 733-0305 or go to




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L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013



A Guide to “Weird” Portland’s Eccentricity Text by Divina Infusino


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Text by Marsha Roberts


ortland bursts into a Garden of Eden from June through September with its famous International Rose Garden in full blossom and its 10,000 acres of parks and natural areas at the peak of their botanical glory. But fall also showcases another part of Portland – its unusual character and extreme creativity. “Keep Portland Weird” is not just the unofficial mandate of Oregon’s largest city; it also serves as a notice for visitors that if they seek the conventional and predictable, they’d best

look to a different destination. Of course, chain stores and name brands exist in Portland, but this is a city that prides itself on unique attractions, activities and businesses, and keeps a resolute focus on sustainability. That means Portland encourages and celebrates everything made locally. And when the rain clouds clear and the frequent drizzle of winter gives way to the natural bounty of Portland’s summer and fall months, Portland’s one-of-a kind culture – its food, shops, coffee and teahouses, its breweries and

distilleries, landmarks and, of course, its people – comes out on display. Following are a few ways to participate in Portland’s eccentricity. Mississippi Avenue Lined with dozens of locally owned shops, bars and eateries, this street, just two miles from downtown Portland, provides a snapshot of the city’s creative and sometimes obsessive populace and their endlessly inventive inclinations. Just five years ago, L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013


T TRAVEL boarded-up buildings and dilapidated housing lined Mississippi Avenue. Then Portland’s Hawthorne Neighborhoods was the city’s artisan hub. Now Mississippi Avenue has moved onto the cutting edge. Here you will find locally designed, vintage and hard-to-find fashions. In fact, three winners of the fashion design competitive reality show “Project Runway” hailed from Portland. Here neighborhood denizens meander the strip of do-it-yourself goods and services. They might start with a pomegranate margarita at Por Qué No Taqueria?; share a morel and porcini mushrooms with Vidalia onions, taleggio and pancetta pizza at Lovely’s Fifty Fifty restaurant; or indulge in a madeto-order ice cream sandwich at Ruby Jewel (flavored with all-Northwest ingredients and made from a local hormone-free dairy, of course). Or they might stop to chat with an owner at one of many uber-speciality stores. One of the standout shops in the latter category is The Meadow, with 110 different types of salts from 29 different countries and 300 varieties of chocolate. The kicker here is that when you ask the people behind the counter about any one particular item, they seem to know everything about it – from where it was harvested to how best to use it. I found this to be true with a lot of Portland purveyors, whether they were small-batch coffee roasters, specialty cocktail creators, or carnivorous-plant specialists. At the south end of Mississippi resides Mississippi Marketplace, one of the gathering spots for Portland’s food carts. Try the ChickPea Sandwich at Garden State Food Cart. Hot and Cool: Pok Pok Much has been made of Portland’s dining scene with its emphasis on locally grown and foraged ingredients and its unspoken manifesto of inventiveness. Perhaps no restaurant has received more accolades than this Thai-Asian eatery run by a very American chef, Andy Ricker, who won the 2011 James Beard award for best chef in the


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TRAVEL T Northwest. What started as a takeout Thai barbecue restaurant outside of Ricker’s home eventually expanded into a full-line restaurant occupying the whole house. Through Pok Pok, Ricker introduced authentic fiery Thai street food, mostly from the north and northeast parts of Thailand. Practically every dish is a revelation and certainly sweat-inducing. Best to arm yourself with a glass of water flavored with Pandanus leaf, which has a toasted, vanilla, grassy flavor and/or one of Pok Pok’s famous signature drinks. Also, try to hit the place at off hours since lines abound. You could try Ricker’s smaller Pok Pok Noi, with takeout and counter service and limited seating, or his Ping restaurant in Portland Chinatown. The Pok Pok is located at 3226 Southeast Division St., 503-232-1387 Lan Su Chinese Garden Situated in Portland’s old Chinatown, this series of traditional Chinese buildings, ponds, exhibitions and a tea house connected by traditional Chinese walkways creates an urban oasis and points to the diversity that helped create Portland’s culture. The garden sponsors different monthly exhibits of Chinese artists and regular talks on Chinese methods for creating wellness: 239 Northwest Everett St., 503-228-8131. Portland Walking Tours Portland does a lot of things a little differently from anywhere else, so why should its walking tours be any different? The Best of Portland Walking Tour points out the quirkiest elements of downtown, including the world’s smallest park (literally a small square of land with a tree and plants located in a meridian strip) and several views on the city’s very low-profile, yet very large (35 feet) sculpture, Portlandia, located above the entrance of the Michael Graves Portland Building. Depicting a woman

Photo Courtesy of ¿Por Qué No? Taquería

Photo Courtesy of The Meadow

dressed in classical Greek clothing and holding a trident, the sculpture is one of the largest copper statues in the United States, second only to the Statue of Liberty. Few tourists ever see it and even most locals are unaware of its exact locale. For a grittier experience, Portland Walking Tours leads visitors through the seamier landmarks of the city’s history, including the subterranean Portland Shanghai Tunnels. Flashlights are provided: Distillery Row Portland has acquired a national reputation for its 30 different craft breweries. Lesser-known but growing and equally as distinct are Portland’s hard-liquor micro distilleries. Many of these distilleries, including House Spirits, which produces the wonderful Aviation Gin, host tastings on Saturday. The best way to safely imbibe in your sips of rum, vodka, absinthe and other

Photo Courtesy of The Meadow

spirits is by booking a pedicab distillery tour. The company provides a “passport” for tastings at five different distilleries and transportation via pedicab from place to place: Castagna With a chef who trained at the famed Noma in Copehagen, Denmark, Castagna serves a menu that is equally creative and refined. The courses are composed from ingredients that are mostly locally grown and foraged. The dishes are artfully presented and configured for the ultimate in flavor and texture blending. How about an entree of rockfish, variations of local onions, mussel jus and geranium? Or dessert of strawberries, black olive, licorice, almond and hibiscus? The best part is that the menu is relatively inexpensive for the quality and innovation of the food: 1752 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., corner of 18th and S.E. Hawthorne.

Photo Courtesy of Lan Su Garden

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L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013


J a c k e t s

R e q u i r e d :

Beyond the Blazer Text by Sharon Mosley


oss aside the puffy parkas and lighten up this spring and summer with a jaunty jacket. Whether it’s an ultracool moto bomber, a swingy cover-up or a breezy pastel piece, it’s what you wear on top that counts this year. The newest jackets add a perfect polish to everyday wardrobes whether you wear it to work or wear it to the beach.

Check out these styles that move beyond the boring blazer: The Boyfriend Jacket – This jacket is an easy option for casual occasions, and in the new powdery pastel colors, it’s an instant update for this spring. A little looser, but still lean, this boyfriend jacket works as a great layering piece over shift dresses, cuffed shorts or pencil skirts. The Moto Jacket – Tough chic is what this motorcycle-inspired jacket is all about. Many of the newest jackets also have a preppy vibe that makes them even more modern. In lightweight leather, it’s even more of a unique way to put some edge into warmer weather wardrobes. Pair this jacket with feminine blouses or sheer top for more contrast. The Denim Jacket – This classic is a winner this year and can extend your other wardrobe basics adding additional style by mixing and matching a wide variety of separates. Wear the latest denim jackets with your favorite jeans or dress them up with sparkly tops and pencil skirts. The Graphic Jacket – Want to really make a statement on top? Try a great graphic – in a black and white print – or a colorful combination that stands out and makes any outfit pop with only one jacket. Team these bold patterned jackets with neutral bottoms and fun accessories.

The Cropped Jacket – These abbreviated jackets provide lots of versatility for spring and summer. Whether they’re short and shrunken or short and swingy, the latest crop of short jackets gives you plenty of options. Pay attention to proportion with these cropped tops – one rule of thumb: the fuller the bottom, the more fitted the top. Stick to swingy tops over slim-fitting dresses, skirts or pants. Long, fitted tanks or camisoles are also good companions that will give you more coverage underneath. The Varsity Jacket – Want to really cheer up your wardrobe? Play with this sporty shape that is anything but basic. The new athletic-inspired jackets are patched and printed with all kinds of new mixes that will really rev up jeans and T-shirts. This bomber is back! The Tuxedo Jacket – Spring and summer’s newest transformer for day ... and evening is the tuxedo jacket. The black-tie jacket has a new spin on the traditional soirée ensemble so you can easily dress it up with sleek trousers and ruffled blouses for cocktails or dress it down with jeans and a lacy tank. And there are always accessories to amp up the tux jacket – think lots of sparkle and shine!

L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013








AT THE MARCH BUSINESS AFTER HOURS EVENT 1. David Gonzales, Debbie Gullord – ServiceMaster, Armondo Apodaca – Holiday Inn and Angela Huerta – Angela’s Notary Service. 2. Ryan Harrington, Cruz Dorado and Renee Huntsberry.



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3. Tom Zarate, Nalor See, Lucia Rodriguez and Bertha Garza. 4. Kim Smith, Fran Herr and Nichole Castillo. 5. Monique O’Dell and Vincent Salinas.

The mission of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce is to preserve, model and advance business vitality and prosperity for our members and the community.


Distinctive Designs for All Occasions Since 1914

230 High Sierra Dr., Exeter - Nestled in the exclusive Badger Hill Estates, this 4bd/3ba, 3577 sq. ft. home on 1.1 acres is the epitome of elegance. Master retreat boasts double-sided fireplace, his & hers vanities, whirlpool tub and shower. Marvelous kitchen has Esmeralda granite, island seating for 10, double ovens, and SubZero refrigerator. $700,000

Sherman & Associates specializes in upscale Visalia residential properties. With over 30 years experience Nola Sherman is “the recommended realtor.” Sold on real experience.


1420 W Center Ave • Visalia

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AT THE Courthouse Gallery of the Arts AND Historical Museum, April Mixer 1. Courthouse Gallery Board Members, Ed Zimmerman and Carolyn Blair. 2. Ambassador, Mary Lou Deathriage greeting guest at the mixer.


3. Chamber Board Member and Hometown Emporium Manger/ Baker, Cassi Alves, announcing at the Courthouse Gallery of the Arts and Historical Museum mixer.

4. Potters employees, Al Mahler and Sherri Champagne “mixing� at the mixer. 5. Robin Perna Edwards, Arbonne International Independent Consultant, enjoying the Courthouse Gallery and Museum mixer.

Our mission is to promote, support, and enable Exeter to prosper. 54

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COMMERCIAL CLEANING SERVICES Janitorial Service For dependable commercial cleaning service ServiceMaster Clean can help. daily, weekly, or monthly janitorial service Medical & professional office cleaning

Office system cleaning

Aggregated floor cleaning

Nearly any other cleaning you want

Tile & grout cleaning

Window washing

Carpet cleaning using various processes

ServiceMaster by Hellstern

Ron Hellstern owner 559.738.8927 Serving the Visalia area | Locally owned and operated for over 25 years L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013









AT THE California Antique Farm Equipment Show AND “CARS ON K” 1. California Antique Farm Equipment Show parade. 2. Marlea Luiz, Sue Howarth, Linda Howarth and Linda Nogues volunteering at “Cars on K” event. 3. Cow Plop Bingo Winner Judy Richmond at the Antique Farm Equipment Show. 4. Jessica Martin at the California Antique Farm Equipment Show. 5. Granddaughters of Past-Chair of Tulare Chamber of Commerce Art Clark, Stephanie and Stacy helped with the raffle tickets, at “Cars on K.”

The Tulare Chamber of Commerce, Inc. exists to serve its members and the citizens of the Tulare area and surrounding rural areas of Tulare County. 56

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At Figaro's we blend together only the finest ingredients to create our mix of great Mexican Southwestern flavors. Our open kitchen allows you to see our cocineros preparing your fiesta dish. Figaro's is owned and operated by the Figueroa family.


VISALIA 3000 Dinuba Blvd., Suite A, 559-733-5125 | TULARE 1348 Prosperity Ave., 559-685-0366 | HANFORD 150 N. 12th Ave., Suite 109, 559-583-0589 L I F E S T Y L E | M AY 2 013


h happenings

Living: Color Come out and enjoy this exhibition of vibrant and colorful paintings by Anees Akhund and R.W. Goetting. Admission is free and open to the public. When: May 1 – 31; Reception May 3; 6-8p Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905 or

Theater & Performances

Best of the Big Bad Armo Show

Come enjoy a night of laughter as Lory Tatoulian, originally from Reedley, and her company put on a show that you will be sure to remember! Lory and her crew take the serious and comical stories of today and turn them into a fun house mirror to the community. Tickets are $20; some content may be inappropriate for minors. When: May 18; 6:30p Where: Main Street Theater, 307 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: 734-4504

The Visalia Players Present Force of Nature

Freely adapted from Goethe’s Elective Affinities, this play is a lush, eloquent drama about the consequences of desire and the power of destiny. When: May 3 – 5, 10 – 12, 17 – 19; Evenings, 7:30p; Matinee, 2p Where: Ice House Theatre, 410 E. Race Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-3900

MAY 18


Slick Rock Student Film Festival

The Slick Rock Student Film Festival is a student competition meant to challenge 6-12th grade students throughout the South San Joaquin Valley to meet industry standards in the technical aspects of film production. It serves to advance academic student achievement by challenging students to connect with local businesses and communities through films that reach or meet industry standards in filmmaking. Free admission. When: May 18; 7p Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369 or

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The Airborne Toxic Event accompanied by The Tulare County Symphony

The Airborne Toxic Event (TATE) – A Coachella artist – comes to Visalia, accompanied by the Tulare County Symphony for their first west coast symphony date. Drummer, Daren Taylor was born here in Visalia. Taylor’s grandfather started Taylor’s Hot Dogs and his father and brother still own and operate it now. Don’t miss this talented band and this homecoming event, sure to please the musical tastes of everyone who attends. When: June 1; 7:30 Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369 or

happenings H

Blues, Brews and BBQ Beat the summer heat by attending this event where you can purchase soft drinks, brews, delicious BBQ and other summertime favorites. This family-oriented free music event will benefit the Visalia Emergency Aid Council. Music by Deja Blues. When: June 7; 6-10p Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia Contact: 732-7737

Art Exhibits

Creatures Great & Small

Visalia Art League Annual Members Exhibition. When: June 5 – June 28; Reception: June 7; 6 – 8p Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905

Spring Favorites

A Main Gallery art exhibit. This virtual art gallery and mobile group of well-known local artists exhibit their work together, provide wonderful, unique art as gifts and for art collections, and help organizations with art activities to promote their mission and events. When: April 6- June 30,Saturdays & Sundays: 10a-4p Where: Exeter Courthouse Gallery, 125 S. B St., Exeter Contact:

Art in the Alley

Check out this on-going seasonal event to display art pieces, listen to music and provide hands-on fun activities for children and the whole family. When: April – June, every 3rd Thursday; 5-8p Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia charming downtown event Contact: 625-1520

Hidden in Plain Sight

Local art advocacy group ShadeqARTer has put together a collection of artwork called Hidden in Plain Sight, which is currently on display at Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group’s Downtown Visalia office. Small groups can stop by from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For larger tour groups, please call ahead. When: Through end of June Where: Provost & Pritchard, 130 N. Garden St., Visalia Contact: 636-1166

Diversions & Excursions

MAY 18

An Evening in Tuscany

The Symphony Association will hold its gala event, honoring long-time League member and generous patron Jeanne Hoey. The evening will include wine, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and entertainment. Opera singers May Lynn and Travis Lewis, who regularly entertain in Las Vegas, will feature opera, light opera and love songs. When: May 18; 6p Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: Symphony office at 732-8600

Kingsburg Swedish Festival

This annual, cultural appreciation event will start off with a traditional pancake breakfast. The rest of the day will be filled with entertainment, food and fun for everyone. Come out and see what being Swedish is all about! When: May 18; 10a Where: Kingsburg Swedish Village, Kingsburg Contact: 897-1111 or

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h happenings

5th Annual Zumba® Fitness Food Drive Benefiting the Visalia Rescue Mission, the 5th Annual Zumba® Fitness Food Drive is sure to be great fun. Come and dance for a great cause with your favorite In-Shape Licensed Zumba® Fitness Instructors. This is an outdoor class with a live DJ, expecting hundreds of people! Bring food or a monetary donation to participate. When: May 22; 6-8p Where: In-Shape Sport, 909 N. Demaree St., Visalia Contact: VRM, 740-4178

MAY 25

The Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s 201213 Leadership Visalia Class has organized this local event, part of the National Missing Children’s Day effort. Since 1983, this date has been set-aside for families across the nation. It is a day to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families, remember those who are still missing, and make child safety a national priority. Bring the whole family and take advantage of the free Child ID Kit which includes fingerprinting, photographing, and more! Then enjoy the booths and lunch. When: May 25; 10a-1p Where: Rawhide Ballpark, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: 734-5876 or

Visalia Farmer’s Market

Weekly event open to the public featuring free live music, kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and local, fresh produce available for purchase. The market also accepts EBT and WIC. The Visalia Farmers Market will feature a monthly cooking demonstration by our market chef on the first Saturday of each month. Learn new recipes and nutrition information about fresh market produce. When: Thursdays – Downtown Visalia, 5-8p / Saturdays – Sequoia Mall, Sears parking lot 8-11:30a Where: Church & Main / Sears parking lot at Mooney and Caldwell, Visalia Contact: 967-6722 or


Charitable Events

Fingerprint Visalia

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MAY 18

Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament

Presented by the Goshen Volunteer Fire Department this year’s poker tournament will be full of fun, food and drinks. A $40 minimum buy-in gets you 2000 chips. Must be 21 and over to attend. When: May 18; 4p Where: Elks Lodge, 3100 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 744-3448

Boots and Heels

This 21 and older benefit is presented by the Tulare Leadership Class of 2013 and will consist of food and wine tasting, live music and reverse drawing. Tickets are $50 per person. When: May 18; 6-10 p.m. Where: Happy Trails Riding Academy, 2773 E. Oakdale, Tulare Contact: 805-6731

Exeter Relay For Life

Get outside and help find a cure for cancer at this 24-hour fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. When: May 18 – 19; 8:30a Where: Exeter High School Stadium, 505 Rocky Hill Dr, Exeter Contact: 592-9939 or 592-2919

happenings H your central valley family resource

The Central Valley’s only magazine designed for parents of children ages pre-K through high school

To advertise your business in RAISE call 559.739.1747


JESSIE CASAS designer (p) 559.287.3678


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h happenings

Happy Trails’ Night at the Races Happy Trails Riding Academy will be hosting “Night at the Races,” which includes dinner by Sue Sa, horse racing, prizes and more. Tickets: $50 per person; $400 for reserved table of eight. When: May 31; 6p Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: 713-4040 or 688-8685

MAY 20

MAY 31 JUN 15


Adventure Park FUNdraiser

Join the Visalia Sunset Rotary at this annual fundraising event that will help support youthoriented and non-profit groups. Tickets are $20 and include an all-you-can-eat buffet, miniature golf, bumper boats, laser tag and game tokens! There will also be large and small raffle prizes at this family, fun-filled event. When: May 20; 5-9 p.m. Where: Adventure Park; 5600 W. Cypress Ave., Visalia Contact:

The Creative Center Foundation Presents “WINE, CHEESE & JAZZ”

With Live Music, Creative Center student performances’, Art and Raffle Prizes. Tickets are $25 each. When: May 31; 5:30-9p Where: The Creative Center, 606 N. Bridge St., Visalia Contact: Paula, 733-4400

Memories Under the Stars

Join in at the 2nd Annual Dinner/Dance and Silent Auction benefiting George McCann Catholic School. Former classmates, parents and teachers are encouraged to attend and revisit memories. Tickets: $40. When: June 15; 6p Where: Country M Ranch, 3157 E. Oakdale (Ave. 256), Tulare Contact: 429-0147

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Writers & Readers Tulare County Library

First Tuesday Book Club (June 4, 6:30p) Mystery Readers (June 19, 6:30p) Where: Tulare County Library, 200 W. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 713-2700 or

Event Listings If you would like to have your event considered for a free listing in our “Happenings” section, please email your submission to or fax to 738-0909, Attention Happenings. Please note, we do not guarantee listing of any submission. Submissions are due six weeks prior to publication.v

Inside Visalia Eye Center

May 2013  

Style, Art, Culture and Events of the South Valley.

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