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August 2011

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T H E AT R E A R T S Visalia-based Fourth Wall Theatre Company brings the Broadway hit RENT to Downtown Visalia.


Letter from the Executive Editor

10 Business Cents 12 Word Play 14 Local Adventure 16 Arts: Visalia Visual Chronicle 44 Charity: Guest Chef Series



48 Travel: Scotland 52 Nex Gen: Richard Martinez


54 Performances: Tulare County Symphony

Take a break from the summer heat with refreshing salads.

58 Happenings

56 Fashion


34 L I V E LY L I V I N G Model Trains: They're Not Just for Kids Anymore


40 4


ON THE COVER: The Sundstrom home’s family room features heat-absorbing aggregate flooring, which provides warmth even in Central California’s cold, foggy winter months. TOP: Among the distinctive features in the Sundstrom’s Elderwood home is this front door created by artist James Savoie.

AUGUST 2011 PUBLISHED BY DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 EDITORIAL Executive Editor Karen Tellalian Assistant Editor TAYLOR VAUGHN Copy Editor DARA FISK-EKANGER Content Editor Kyndal Kennedy ART & PRODUCTION Creative Director FERNANDO X. GOMEZ Senior Graphic Designer CHRIS BLY CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Aaron Collins Cindy Myers Diane Slocum Cheryl Dieter Marsha Peltzer Elaine Dekassian Major Rogers Sharon Mosley Nicole Agnew BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA JEFFREY Malkasian EA Office Administrator Maria Gaston ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Bridget Elmore SALES OFFICE 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909 E-mail: Read online at


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

210 Cafe Advanced Laser Clinics Bravo Farms Cheese Factory Creekside Day Spa & Wellness Center Exeter Chamber of Commerce Exeter Golf Course Holiday Inn Kaweah Delta Hospital Red Carpet Car Wash Sequoia Laser Aesthetics Smiles by Sullivan Tiffany’s Luxury Medispa Tulare Chamber of Commerce V Medical Spa Velvet Sky Visalia Community Bank (Downtown) Visalia Eye Center Visalia Imaging & Open MRI Visalia Marriott Visalia Medical Clinic Wildflower Cafe-Exeter Dr. Keith Williams Williams, Jordan, Brodersen & Pritchett, Attorneys at Law Windows Plus, Inc.

LEFT: A wood-burning stove in the master bedroom is a practical accent of the Sundstroms' energy-efficient, earthinspired home. scan with your smart phone!

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 © 2011 DMI Agency



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Photo by Becca Chavez | Hair and Make-up provided by Velvet Sky


hen was the last time you experienced great customer service? My husband, Randy, and I did recently during a quick, over-night trip to Carmel to see our youngest son, and to celebrate my birthday. With our work schedules the way they are, the getaways are too few and much too far between, so we booked a hotel with one day’s notice and headed to one of the most beautiful landscapes in California – maybe anywhere. It’s no secret that I’ve planned entire vacations around great places to dine, so when the youngest of our five children moved to Monterey (after my minor breakdown about how much it was going to cost to live there), my next thought was about how many great restaurants there are in the area. He certainly could have picked worse places to live. Walking in downtown Carmel, we stopped by one of our favorite haunts for clam chowder. At the first bite I knew something was different, not horrible, but certainly not up to this restaurant’s standards. A few more bites and then suddenly the owner appeared from the back, whisking away our bowls at the same time he said something like, “This chowder isn’t right.” Apparently the server had failed to notice that the chowder hadn’t finished the final, from-scratch step, and served it before it was ready. Apologies (which would be expected in this situation) flowed, followed by an offer for any of the other, more expensive choices as a replacement at no additional charge. Fair enough. “I’ll have the Lobster Bisque,” I said, and Randy ordered the Crab Chowder. Both were served piping-hot and delicious, maybe even more so than the original order would have been. We were happy enough. But the owner, still mortified by what had happened, sent the server to let us know he wanted to pick up our tab (which we promptly declined). Then the owner himself visited our table one last time with a card for two free chowders on our next visit. He had us when he replaced what we ordered with something even better. But, what this business owner knew, that so many of us tend to forget, is that one bad bowl of chowder can undo a lifetime of success. He was not about to let one semi-bad experience taint our perception of his establishment for the next five, 10 or 100 trips to the area. What we’ll most likely spend in the future will certainly exceed the cost of two bowls of chowder. Wouldn’t it be great if that were everyone’s approach to business and life in general? Not happy to just do what is expected, but to go over and above every day, making sure that every person we come in contact with has a great experience with our company, church or organization. That’s always been our goal at Lifestyle, to exceed your expectations. The best way for us to know if we’re doing that is by your feedback, and we love hearing from you. In the meantime, we hope everyone is having a wonderful summer while we start to work on our September and October issues. We’ll continue to do our best to make each issue even better than the one before and will watch our in-boxes for your valued comments and suggestions.

Karen Tellalian, EXECUTIVE EDITOR For more information or to submit a story idea email or call (559) 739-1747 or fax (559) 738-0909. 8


Let’s face it, there’s nothing like the sparkle and shine of a brand new home! LIFESTYLE | JUNE 2011



A Retirement Plan Solution for Small Business Text by Cindy Myers, Financial Advisor, V.P., Chartered Retirement Pl anning Counselor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney


mployer-sponsored retirement plans make it easy and attractive for workers to save for retirement. Studies have shown that workers offered an employer-sponsored plan are far more likely to save for retirement than those who contribute to individual IRAs. In addition, a recent survey* found that workers who participate in a retirement plan at work not only contribute to the company plan but, are much more likely to save additional assets outside of the plan. As Congressional debate over Social Security, Medicare and debt continues ad infinitum in Washington, individuals on Main Street are recognizing that they must take responsibility for their own retirement. Because small businesses employ more than half of all private sector workers and generate 64 percent of the new jobs in this country, a key to individual retirement success will lie with small business’s ability to help its workforce adequately prepare. However, by their very nature, small businesses comprise a myriad of different business circumstances. They have unique retirement plan-related needs and are extremely cost sensitive. Even though small businesses can be very successful, they often lack the internal expertise or the staff necessary to offer a standalone retirement plan to employees. The costs can be prohibitive and many small businesses are overwhelmed by the obligations and responsibilities of plan sponsorship For many small businesses, a stand-alone 401(k) plan may not be feasible. In these cases, a defined contribution Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) can offer an attractive and cost-effective alternative. A MEP is a retirement plan structure for businesses that typically have a common interest such as membership in an association, but are not commonly owned or affiliated. The MEP is a single plan maintained by the MEP sponsor and the unrelated employers adopting the plan. In a MEP arrangement, the adopting employers can choose from many different plan features. Because each adopting employer is treated as if they maintained a separate plan, they can choose the individual features they’d like to include in their plan. Each adopting employer also enjoys the tax benefits of sponsoring a retirement plan and is able to deduct contributions it makes on behalf of its employees. The MEP sponsor, and not the adopting employer, assumes much of the fiduciary responsibility associated with the plan. Common MEP sponsors include professional employer organizations, professional associations, Human Resources outsourcing organizations, franchises and co-ops. MEPs are a great option for small-business owners who’d like to offer employees a retirement plan with the same features and benefits as a traditional 401(k) plan. They can offer unique vesting schedules, full 401(k) deferral limits, a profit-sharing feature and/ or employer matching capabilities. A MEP makes a great starter savings option for small-business owners who want to offer a retirement plan benefit but aren’t ready to sponsor a stand-alone plan. MEP structure also gives smallbusiness owners the flexibility to remain in the plan or transition 10


to a stand-alone plan when they’re ready. One of the greatest advantages of the MEP is that it requires only one annual Form 5500 filing, one periodic IRS qualification filing and one annual independent audit. These reporting requirements are the responsibility of the MEP sponsor rather than each adopting employer. This may offer substantial economies of scale and cost efficiencies to the small-business owner. MEPs are growing in popularity among small businesses. There are over 3,500 MEPs representing thousands of adopting employers over all industries and employer demographics. Within these plans, there is currently over $300 billion in assets under management.** There is no doubt that small business plays a predominant role not only in employment and job creation in the private sector, but in the U.S. economy as a whole. A key to increasing retirement plan coverage and therefore retirement savings is to target small business by providing retirement plan solutions that satisfy their unique needs in a cost effective manner. The MEP offers small business a flexible and cost effective retirement plan solution that can grow and transition as the business grows. *The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies Eleventh Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies is a non-profit corporation and private foundation. The Center may be funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates or other unaffiliated third-parties. ** Figures as of 2007, Judy Diamond Associates, Inc. Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise agreed to in writing by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. This material was not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Individuals are urged to consult their tax or legal advisors before establishing a retirement plan and to understand the tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan.




ugust is the only month that begins on Monday this year. Add in the fact that it has no holidays for typical workers, plus the most possible Monday – Friday work days (23), and one might wonder if it deserves its reputation as a lazy summer month. Maybe a few good books about far-away places can help us forget the grueling schedule. An evocative tale of another land is The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel by Tèa Obreht (Random House, March 2011). Obreht writes about her native land (the former Yugoslavia, though it goes unnamed). The central character, Natalia, is a doctor looking for answers concerning her grandfather’s death, intertwined with stories her grandfather told. The 26-year-old author has been included in lists of the best American fiction writers under 35 (National Book Foundation) and under 40 (The New Yorker). Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff (Harper, April 2011) is not exactly a stroll in the park, but even for the three survivors of a military plane crash, the exotic locale holds some charm. Zuckoff details this true event from World War II with a narrative that reads like a novel. Exotic in a different way, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (Randon House, March 2011) by Gabrielle Hamilton is a memoir of her quirky early years, and hardscrabble life later, on the way to becoming the chef of her own restaurant, Prune. Hamilton has studied the art of writing as well as cooking and her book was selected as the Amazon Best Book of the Month for March.

Local Authors The Poetry Society of America named former Visalian Tim Z. Hernandez one of 15 New American Poets. He also was a featured author at this month’s Steinbeck Festival in Salinas where he was teaching sessions to young authors. Exeter author Ron Hughart is finishing another book, Dèja Vu of a Skeptic, which will be released later this year, possibly within the month. His earlier books are now available on Kindle and other e-readers. The initial issue of Allison Magazine is due out this month. The literary magazine intends to publish poems and stories by writers with ties to the Valley or with Central Valley themes. Pat Chaney of Visalia is scheduled to have two stories in the first issue. The first in a series of seven planned books for children by Stewart St. John, illustrated by Ryan Mabe, is ready to be ordered from Willie the Werewolf and the Buried Treasure (St. John – Fisher, August, 2011) is the first in the Good Little Monster Book Series, which concerns seven little monsters who don’t conform to their wicked world.



Awards The Poetry Society of America will be accepting submissions for 11 different awards from Oct. 1 to Dec. 22. They include The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award, Lyric Poetry Award, Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Student Award and the Norma Farber First Book Award. Some of the awards are open to members only. Members pay no entry fee for nine of the awards. Non-member fee is $15 for eligible contests. Student award fee is $5 for individuals or $20 for teachers to submit any number of eligible students. Most awards are for unpublished poetry. The winner of the William Carlos Williams award in 2008 was William Saroyan’s son, Aram. Details at: www. Conferences The New York Writers Workshop Non-Fiction Pitch Conference will be held Oct. 14-16 at the Ripley-Grier Studios in New York City. Cost is $395 for the conference with an additional $25 for the optional agents’ panel. The first day, participants read their synopses to a workshop instructor who offers suggestions. On the second day, participants pitch to an editor in a public session and a private session with an instructor present. The private pitch is repeated on the third day. Details at: http:// The Surrey International Writers’ Conference will be held Oct. 21-23, with master classes on Oct. 20. The conference will be in Surrey, British Columbia, and includes a writing contest with four categories. Details at: Appointments Robert Casper is the new director of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. The center houses the office of the U.S. Poet Laureate, a position held in 2008-10 by one-time Kern County resident Kay Ryan (current poet laureate is W.S. Merwin). The center includes text, audio and video archives. Casper hopes to use his office to expand the reach of the Library of Congress. He also looks forward to celebrating American writers by planning birthday bashes for some of the best from throughout U.S. history. The Last Word “Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.” - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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iving in the Central Valley opens up so many possibilities when looking for adventures out of town. With our proximity to the coast, it is no wonder that making a trip over is an important part of many people’s summer plans. When you undoubtedly make that final drive to the coast before the summer comes to an end, be sure to make it a trip you and your family and friends will never forget. In addition to spending the day lounging on the beach or shopping, take a ride on the more adventurous side and slide into a small manpowered watercraft just inches above the ocean’s surface. Go kayaking! Kayak Horizons is one of the top kayaking experiences offered in Morro Bay. The employees and guides of this family-owned shop will have you completely outfitted and exploring the 15 miles of protected waters in the beautiful Morro Bay Estuary/Bird Sanctuary. Kayak Horizons offers several different options for new and experienced kayakers, individuals and groups. For those new to kayaking or looking to get an in-depth feel for the beauty of Morro Bay, Kayak Horizons offers guided tours of the bay and estuary. After brief paddling instructions and gearing up, the three-hour tour takes you on a gentle paddle along the Morro Bay waterfront heading back into the scenic estuary. Not only are the sights of the bay intriguing, but so too is the abundant wildlife. Otters, sea lions, harbor seals, and birds of all kinds call Morro Bay home. Kayaking provides a whole new way to connect with nature as you are transported into their world – even close enough to touch, just don’t reach too far and tip over! As part of the tour you’ll paddle over to the Strand and enjoy a nice snack and walk through the dunes. The guided tour is an educational, easy and fun way to enjoy Morro Bay via kayak. For those eager to experience just the thrill of kayaking in the open water without a tour, rentals are available no matter what your experience level. Kayak Horizons provides several different types of kayaks to suit your needs, including singles, doubles, and those with rudders! Once you choose which boat is best for you, you are on your own, free to explore what you will. Kayak Horizons is capable of accommodating groups of up to 60 persons so there is no reason not to make a kayaking trip part of your group’s plan. If you will be kayaking with 14 others or more, be sure to make your reservation early to book your spot on the water. Kayaks were originally developed by indigenous Inuit peoples for hunting. Nowadays, kayaking is a favorite pastime of many and a quickly evolving sport. Used either leisurely or for exercise, kayaking on any type of body of water is an experience for the body and spirit. For more information on Kayak Horizons visit their website at 14




A New Era of Public Art for Visalia? Text by Aaron Collins | Photo provided by Aaron Collins


hen Visalia’s now-iconic and nationally famous sculpture The End of the Trail debuted, it was on exhibition before 19 million attendees at the entrance to the 1915 San Francisco Panama Pacific Exposition. The artwork, by noted sculptor James Earle Fraser, enjoyed a rather brief if astounding moment of glory and international visibility that was soon to be followed by a rather dicey fate: Following the Exposition’s closing, The End of the Trail – made of fragile plaster due to shortages of metals needed for World War I – would be cast off into mud pits in Marina Park, discarded and left to ruin. In 1919, Tulare County residents accomplished what San Francisco city officials could not: Visalians rescued The End of the Trail from the mud and certain obscurity. The piece was installed in Visalia in a place of honor along the frontage of Mooney Grove Park (since 1968, the National Cowboy and Western Museum in Oklahoma City has housed the original plaster version, while Visalia now owns a more durable, exact-scale bronze replica). Considering what the famed sculpture’s success has done for Visalia, it’s curious that the acquisition represents both the beginning and end of the trail for public art here. Bringing the artwork to Visalia required considerable effort and expense. However, that initiative has paid off by establishing something of a claim to fame for the city, paying cultural and tourism dividends that come with owning prominent art. But ironically, despite the auspicious start for public art in Visalia, the initial promise has not yielded any greater ongoing public art program. Until now, that is. The Visalia Visual Chronicle is a new publicly owned, privately funded art collection featuring all things Visalia – its culture, places, people and views. The program arose when founding sponsor McMillin Homes launched an arts support program in 2010 that later resulted in the program’s creation. Joined by sponsors Jeff and Sandy Carl, First Arts, and Founding Cosponsors Karen and Randy Tellalian, (publishers of Lifestyle Magazine), these philanthropists are among those funding the purchases of art by which future generations will know the story of Visalia. More sponsors are being sought for the artworks slated for inclusion in the Chronicle.



Fittingly, Ellen Milinich’s tightly drawn Rendered Legacy is among the very first inclusions in the Chronicle. Milinich’s pastel drawing features what else: The End of the Trail. Other area artists recently chosen for the Visalia Visual Chronicle include Visalians Matthew Rangel and Ernie Weerasinghe, although program organizers point out that nonVisalia artists also qualify for inclusion, provided the art reflects Visalia in some way. Despite local art’s uncertain promise of reward, our artists continue to add regularly to what is a draft of our region’s history. Through the Visalia Visual Chronicle, their efforts to reflect our fleeting moment’s zeitgeist, capturing the people who shape our times, special places and diverse cultures that define our lives in Central California will transform from what was previously an at-risk endeavor into a collection that can tell us where we’ve been and where we’re headed. With the Visalia Visual Chronicle’s establishment, Central California art history becomes just a little less fragile. Current and future generations will have access to the best of our region’s art. The collection will be amassed over the years via private, corporate and organizational sponsors – as it is exhibited at city venues and other locations. Each year, a juried exhibition will offer a new class of candidates for sponsorship. Arts Visalia will host future installments of the annual candidate show, ensuring that the program has the visibility and continuity to attract patronage and audience. Like Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Public art is itself a transformational kind of history – if only we’ll pull it from the mud around us and hold it up to the light where current and future generations can see it. To sponsor Visalia Visual Chronicle artworks that are juried by local arts professionals, visit the Visalia Visual Chronicle on Facebook or contact Aaron Collins:

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hought-provoking, raw, alternative, passionate, inspiring – RENT takes you into a world where a meal is hard to find, shelter is not guaranteed, friends are family, and love covers a multitude of sins and tragedies. As the ninth-longest-running Broadway show with a gross of $274.2 million when it closed its Broadway doors in September of 2008, RENT has colored the arts presence in many communities across America, and thanks to the Visalia-based Fourth Wall Theatre Company, this Pulitzer-prize, Tony Award-winning “rock opera” made its Visalia debut at the Main Street Theater the last week of July. While most well known Broadway musicals delve lightly into the trappings of love or the blues of a “rainy day,” RENT is unique in its vivid depiction of the controversial topics of bisexuality, homelessness, homosexuality, drug addiction, and HIV/AIDS. Directed by Hanford resident Cory Ralston, RENT offered emotionally ridden performances from a talented cast of 19 local actors and musicians as they sing alongside a live band, directed by Adam Long. As a young boy, Ralston would spend hours analyzing the songs and deciphering the meaning of the hard-hitting, no-holds-barred lyrics of RENT. While Ralston believes the message of love is at the core of RENT, he fought for his favorite musical to grace the stage of Visalia in hopes of giving the community a piece of art that will inspire discussions and reduce the stigma of the bohemian lifestyle that is rarely seen in the mainly conservative community of Visalia. “Theater should provoke thought,” Ralston expressed. “This musical gives the audience an opportunity to learn more about an alternative lifestyle. I think people want to see something this edgy.” The production was dedicated to the memory of one of the founders of Fourth Wall Theatre Company, John Leffingwell, who believed “theater should challenge your beliefs, provoke conversations, and indeed even ruffle your feathers from time to time,” said co-founder Darryl L. Smithey. What inspired all to become involved with the production was the show’s storyline that increases the awareness of HIV/AIDS, and in return reduces the horrible stigma of the disease; portions of the profit from the show were given to local HIV/AIDS organizations. Based extensively on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohme,” RENT follows the lives of eight friends who are struggling artists living the bohemian lifestyle that the eclectic and ethnically diverse Alphabet City of the Lower East Side of New York was famous for in the late 1980s. With music and lyrics by Jonathon Larson, RENT captivates its audience with its piercing, raw account of the struggles of the so-called “underdogs” of society to fulfill their artistic integrities as they work hard to silence their fears of HIV/ AIDS that overhang and at times, are actualized in their daily lives. Central Valley theatre veteran Peter Allwine gives a funny, tongue-in-cheek performance as narrator Mark, a nerdy Jewish







videographer whose struggles range from paying his apartment’s rent to accurately capturing on film the stories of the troubles and injustices that plague his friends’ lives. With Auggie Hernandez’s long history of writing and performing music in the Valley, Hernandez was able to capture the troubling persona of Mark’s roommate, singer-songwriter Roger. Roger is afflicted by his girlfriend’s recent suicide after she learns she and Roger are HIV positive. As the story progresses, Roger’s paranoia of his disease manifests in his longing to write a hit song before AIDS takes him from his guitar. The musical heats up in the second song with Mark and Roger’s strong proclamations against their ex-roommate and landlord Benny, played by Evan Huckabay, who is demanding the rent. Their shouts transition from fear of not being able to pay rent, “How are we going to pay last year’s rent?” to outright protest against the upper-class, “We’re not going to pay last year’s rent!” Maureen, Mark’s ex-girlfriend who left him for ivy-league educated public interest lawyer Joanne, portrayed by Camille Gaston, is absolutely fed up with Benny, and plans a rally against his eviction of the homeless. One of the comical highlights of the musical is Danielle Jorn’s great portrayal of quirky loud performance artist Maureen, who steals the show with her passionate and humorous protest in “Over the Moon.” Roger’s struggle to write a hit song is only the beginning of his troubles, his agitations increase when 19-year-old stripper Mimi



enters Roger’s apartment during a power outage and tries to seduce Roger. Mimi and Roger’s attraction toward each other is immediate, but Roger struggles to hold back from Mimi because he is not ready to fall in love again. Originally from Colorado and now living in the Central Valley, Sarah Gallegos delves into the troubled psyche of Mimi who wrestles with low self-esteem because of her years of working the streets and failure in controlling her drug addiction. While Mimi and Roger’s love interest is of great significance to the development of RENT, the pure heartfelt love between two individuals struggling with HIV/AIDS, gay anarchist Tom, portrayed by classically trained opera singer Cristian Duran, and flamboyant drag queen Angel, played by JJ Pestano, brings one of the main messages of RENT to the forefront: no one is an island, the harsh trials life brings can only be ameliorated through the support of people. “These are characters who aren’t necessarily close to their own family members, so for them, their friends are their family and support system,” Ralston noted. One of the most touching numbers of the show starts in the form of a question from a young man in a HIV/AIDS life support group, “Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care?” This young man’s anxieties are echoed throughout the whole community as the cast joins him in singing, “Will I?” This song captures the main fear of many HIV/AIDS victims; they do not know what form they will be in when death takes them.

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Of course, RENT would not be complete without a rendition of the beloved, “Seasons of Love” performed by the entire cast in the opening of the second act and later on in the musical. As the cast stands in a straight line, each character’s eyes shining with good and bad memories of the past year, the song’s lyrics conclude that the only proper measure of a year in a human life is love. Looking around the room, this song starts the flow of tears from audience members that only intensifies as the audience witnesses a death and a near-death experience as the musical progresses. While the subject matter of the show is dark, this show surprisingly gives one hope. That is the beauty of RENT and why it has become so popular; the “outcasts” feel they have a voice that needs to be echoed throughout the world, and they see their painfilled resilient, yet uplifting voice actualized within the voices of the characters imagined by Jonathon Larson. This is so much more than a musical; for many people, this is their emotionally ridden story of hope that one day their voices will be heard and they will be accepted as the heroes, not the “underdogs” that they are portrayed as.




The Sundstrom Home

The Land as Canvas

a n a r ti s t a n d h i s wi fe c re ate a su s ta i na b l e hom e i n ha rm ony wi th th e el em ent s Text by A aron Collins




ON THE SPREAD: The Sundstroms upgraded their kitchen two years ago. They kept the footprint but upgraded cabinets, added quartz countertops and stainlesssteel appliances. “The kitchen is not large but is very functional and can handle quite a few people which, as we know, is where everyone congregates,” says Chris.





TOP: During construction of the Sundstrom home in Elderwood, the loft space above the master bedroom was created on the fly. “It’s a great place for reading. And grandchildren love to climb the ladder to this special spot in the house,” owner John Sundstrom says. ABOVE: Outdoor sitting areas dot the grounds of the John and Chris Sundstrom home in Elderwood.



rowing up in the San Joaquin Valley, a visit to the Forestiere Underground Gardens north of Fresno was a treat for kids with imagination. Of course, Baldassare Forestiere was thought to be a bit of a character or even a kook, having burrowed into the earth for nearly 40 years beginning in 1906. The Underground Gardens remain a scene out of ancient Rome, or from a children’s story, modeled as they are on ancient Italian catacombs. As it turns out, Mr. Forestiere was not so much eccentric as very pragmatic and unconventional. He was an artist and also a bit of a green building visionary. As the Sicilian immigrant quickly discovered after his arrival, punishing Central California summers and frosty, foggy winters are the norm here – not the eternal sunshine and palm trees saturated in public consciousness by film and TV, places with coastal climes. He sought to escape the elements for his living quarters and gardens as well as to shelter his fruit trees from the harsh winters. What the uneducated Forestiere knew intuitively, professional architects have come to accept and promote, as well. Architect Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, located in the middle of the parched Arizona desert, is a model community of architecture that is harmoniously sited in very hostile climates, with stewardship of resources as one of its primary aims. Whether Arcosanti is utopian or post-apocalyptic is open for debate. In a similar spirit, California, too has adopted building practices in step with its times. As seen in many newer wineries in Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Tulare County has begun to develop something of its own earth building movement. Rammed earth and other residential building techniques are slowly taking root, in small steps, particularly in Three Rivers. In the Tulare County community of Elderwood, located “at the foot of the foothills” and surrounded by grazing cattle and

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citrus orchards, where some families in the area whose parents and grandparents homesteaded in the area in the early twentieth century, John and Chris Sundstrom have created their own take on green building. “We fell in love with this property because of the openness and the fantastic views of the high Sierra to the east,” Chris said. But the functionality of the Dana Berry-designed home, as well as the surrounding natural beauty, also keeps the Sundstroms planted here. It’s worth noting that – while green building has become a familiar term in the recent decade – the Sundstroms, perhaps visionaries themselves, built their home when the trend was still forming, back in 1983. Solar panels added in 2009 have effectively “zeroed out” the all-electric home’s utility bills, John said, making their earth-sheltered, passive solar home a model of energy efficiency. They even have a “solar clothes dryer,” as Chris likes to call their old-school clothesline. Mr. Forestiere would be proud. “We wanted a home that was simple and functional. We wanted some independence from utility expenses. We recycle, reuse as much as possible, such as composting for our garden. Our home is earth-sheltered and passive solar,” said Chris, who handles business and promotion for her husband, a well-known area visual artist. She said that their landscaping consists of many drought-

TOP: The prolific Sundstrom garden in Elderwood provides food almost year-round, with a magnificent backdrop featuring the Sierra Nevada.



resistant and native plants, but that their large, thirsty lawn is perhaps their one big indulgence. However, they manage to make good use of it, holding a semi-annual art sale and numerous family gatherings on the grounds. The October art sale will feature 10 artists in a mini art festival-like atmosphere. “When we first moved here in 1984, there was no landscaping, or trees. Over the years we’ve planted many trees and now are providing habitat to many species of birds. We see the common robins, sparrows, blackbirds. But now we also have house finches, California gold finches, hawks, killdeer, doves, and bullock orioles,” John said. The north and east walls of the home are concrete with earth that abuts the walls to the roofline and runs atop the garage, where one of the best views on the property can be seen. Berms enable walking onto the garage roof for people – and cows. According to the Sundstroms, escaped cows from nearby pastures have been found enjoying the space. While the northern earthen barriers allow for an external thermal mass, to reduce heat loss while maintaining a fairly steady indoor temperature, the south side of the home is comprised of a bank of windows, with large sliding glass doors and fixed windows. During summer months when the sun is directly overhead, the home does not receive any direct sunlight in the house. During winter months, with the sun low in the


PICTURED: Built in 2000, artist John Sundstrom’s studio is just steps from the main house. Before retirement, the artist worked with the Creative Center in Visalia.



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southern sky, the sun shines into the home warming exposed aggregate floors that retain their warmth throughout the day. Two wood stoves – one in the dining room and one in the master bedroom – augment heat on foggy Valley days when the sun does not appear. “We have four large skylights in the rooms that back into the earth-sheltered part of the home bringing in sunlight although there are no ‘windows’ in these rooms. These skylights open and, with sliding doors open, provide wonderful cross ventilation.” More practicality yet: a large vegetable garden and small orchard provide almost year-round food, set in an idyllic location with magnificent views of the high Sierra to the east. While the Sundstroms’ 1983 vision has worked remarkably well, a few changes were needed along the way. Several years ago the need for a larger dining space arose, so the Sundstroms 32


“flipped” the living room and dining room. The kitchen was upgraded two years ago with the help of contractor Andy Anderson. They kept the footprint but upgraded cabinets. Countertops were updated with quartz, and stainless-steel appliances were added to update the design. “The kitchen is not large but is very functional and can handle quite a few people which, as we know, is where everyone congregates,” said Chris. She added that, if they were to take another swipe at a remodel, “We would have a larger master bedroom and bathroom; larger patios. We would have a workout room. Twenty-seven years ago we didn’t exercise. Now we do and we have workout equipment in places it doesn’t belong. Nobody should have a treadmill in their dining room.” The home’s walls provide space for John’s artwork as well as for the Sundstroms’ personal collection of art by other artists. The


adjoining art studio, built in 2000, is “all about John’s personal expression; a great place to create art that is just a few steps from home,” Chris said. Other distinctive features in the home include a front door created by artist James Savoie. Another feature was almost accidental, carved out of interesting space discovered in the construction process. “Dana Berry mentioned the open space above our master bath and thought of the idea of keeping it open. He installed a railing and a ladder as well as a large skylight. It’s a great place for reading. And grandchildren love to climb the ladder to this special spot in the house,” John said. The couple have a daughter, Blair Vedenoff, who spent her teen years in the house. She is now the director and head teacher at A Place to Grow Montessori School in Visalia. Blair has three children with husband Kevin Vedenoff; the couple’s wedding was

held on the Sundstrom property. Like the artist Mr. Forestiere once did, the Sundstroms have created a personal, one-of-a-kind place that corresponds with nature, makes sense in current times, and fits their lives and creative interests with beauty and practicality. While John’s paintings serve as a cultural contribution, one senses that, in addition to their family, the Sundstrom home itself is a creation that may offer a legacy equally enduring and forward-thinking as the art, when all is said and done. ON THE SPREAD: “Not everyone can say they’ve had cows on their roof,” says Chris Sundstrom. That’s because the Sundstroms’ garage is totally covered in earth, with berms that make it accessible – with a sitting area that gives it one of the best views on the property.




summer salads

TA K E A B R E A K F R O M T H E S U M M E R H E AT W I T H R E F R E S H I N G S A L A D S Text by El aine Dekassian | Photos by Taylor Vaughn



he only drawback to the Central Valley this time of year is that the ocean is still about two hours away. With the hot summer sun beating down, memories of the refreshing coastal breeze entice us. But if responsibilities keep you home this week, you can still bring the coast to you with this month’s cool seafood recipes. Avocado and crab salad, ahi tuna and Asian slaw, pineapple and red onion – the mix of flavors will leave your taste buds satisfied, and help you make it through the last few weeks of summer’s heat.



Ahi Tuna Salad with Asian Slaw Serves 6 Ginger Miso Dressing 1/2 C miso 1/2 C shallots 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes 1/4 C seasoned rice vinegar 1/4 C pickled ginger with juice 1/2 C water Juice from one lemon and one lime 1/2 tsp. sesame oil 1 1/2 C grapeseed oil To taste, Srirachca hot chili sauce In the bowl of a food processor, add the first seven ingredients and blend. Add both oils slowly to emulsify. Stir in hot sauce to taste.

Ahi Tuna 2 (8-ounce) pieces ahi tuna Sesame seeds (we used green wasabi and black) 2 T peanut oil for sautĂŠing Cilantro for garnish Place sesame seeds on flat dish. Press into the flesh of the ahi on all sides. Heat oil in sautĂŠ pan to high heat. Sear quickly and evenly, about 20 seconds on each side. Remove from pan to rest.

Asian Slaw 1 red bell pepper, thinly julienned 1 C red cabbage, finely shredded 1 C Napa cabbage, finely shredded 6 ounces sugar snap peas 4 green onions, sliced on the bias or at an angle 1 C julienned carrots (storebought package works well) Thinly sliced crisp romaine, 3-4 leaves rolled tightly cigar fashion and thinly sliced Dress the slaw to your liking with some of the dressing; cut ahi into pieces and place atop the slaw, drizzle with more vinaigrette, and garnish with cilantro.



C CULINARY ARTS Three-Tiered Crab Towers with Avocado and Tomato Serves 6 (Required kitchen tool: You will need a three-inch wide biscuit or cookie cutter. You can make your own molds by cutting the lids off both ends of a three-inch wide can.)

Crabmeat Salad 3 T olive oil 1 T champagne vinegar 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard 3 T mayonnaise 1 lb. good quality crabmeat; Dungeness preferred, picked over for any shells Crabmeat layer: Whisk the olive oil, vinegar and mustard in small bowl. Measure three tablespoons of the vinaigrette into a small bowl and mix with the mayonnaise. Add the crab to the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Set the remaining vinaigrette aside. Salsa layer: 1 small orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice (about 1/2 cup) 1/2 small cucumber, unpeeled but seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice (about 1/2 cup) 1 plum tomato, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch dice (about 1/2 cup) 1 small celery rib, cut into 1/8-inch dice (about 1/2 cup) 1/2 small red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup) 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced 2 T fresh cilantro leaves 3/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 2 T extra virgin olive oil 1 T Champagne vinegar



Prep all the ingredients and toss with the olive oil and vinegar. Set aside until needed. Avocado layer: 4 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1/4 tsp. ground coriander 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper 2 T freshly squeezed lime juice Frisee, mache or arugula to garnish the top Toss the avocado, coriander, salt, pepper and lime juice in a medium bowl and set aside. To assemble: Place a three-inch-wide round biscuit cutter in the center of an individual plate. Spoon 1/3 cup of the avocado mixture into the bottom of the cutter. Using the back of the spoon, press the salsa evenly to flatten and condense to cover the plate. Lift the cutter off the plate slightly to reveal some but not all of the avocado. Holding the cutter aloft, spoon in and then with the back of the spoon press 1/3 cup of the crab mixture evenly into the cutter on top of the avocado. Lift yet again to reveal some but not all of the crab and using a slotted spoon, press 1/3 cup of the salsa evenly into the cutter on top of the crab. Gently lift the cutter up and away from the plate to reveal the crab tower. Garnish the top with frisee or greens and drizzle with remaining champagne vinaigrette. Repeat to finish the remaining towers. These hold well in the fridge and can be done early in the day for a dinner party.


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Grilled Pineapple Salad (with jicama, grapefruit and red onion) 1 pineapple, peeled and cored 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 small jicama, julienned 1 oz. olive oil 3/4 oz. champagne vinegar 1 small shallot, minced Pinch ground cumin Cilantro for garnish Arugula for garnish 2 grapefruit, cut into supremes which means removing the pith or membrane. (You can purchase jarred grapefruit segments in the grocery store if you prefer.)



Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grate. Place pineapple slices on grill for two to three minutes per side, or until heated through and grill marks appear. In the meantime, mix together olive oil, champagne vinegar, shallot and cumin for the dressing. For slaw, toss together red onion and jicama. Remove pineapple from grill. Plate and place jicama slaw on top of the pineapple and garnish with arugula and sliced grapefruit. Drizzle with dressing.


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model trains

PICTURED:Bill Allen's "A Victo

T h e y ’r e N o t J u s t f o r K i d s A n y m o r e Tex t by Major Rogers | Photos by Taylor Vaughn


o be clear here, model train enthusiasts do not “play” with trains; they “operate” them. This was my first lesson, during my first up-close experience with model trains, with California Central System Superintendent Ed Matheny III. He’s a man with a passion for the miniature, or H0 scale equipment, and he has built the ideal layout for this love. When asked about his early experiences with model trains, Ed’s story is the same as many of ours. “My father had a Lionel Train set, which we pulled out each Christmas.” Flash forward to 2006, Ed’s retirement date, and the beginning of laying the tracks that have grown to represent the train yards and routes from seven California and Oregon destinations. The recreation takes place in a 1,200-square-foot building behind his house. “Once I really got into it,” Ed explained of his hobby, “my wife insisted I install an intercom out here, so I would know when to come in for lunch and dinner.” When you follow the tracks through San Francisco, you may observe search-and-rescue scuba divers in the bay waters or a shoe shinning scene. Sounds of a fog horn, sea gulls and traffic, can be heard as the train makes its visit. In the nearby harbor you will see the sea-lions perched on their decks, as they do at Pier 39 today. As the train ascends the canyons of Cedarville, among the giant

pines you see a family posing for a photo in a burnt out redwood tree, or an airplane circling the sky above. However, the most impressive whistle stop is that of Tulare, along with an actual working country fair going on, complete with a running rollercoaster and bumper cars on the fairgrounds, all alive with movement. Close by a full circus parade streams down Main Street Tulare, complete with marching elephants and musicians. The entire spectacle is kicked off and brought to life automatically as the train pulls into town. The entire layout, which constitutes almost 800 feet of track, is so much more than the trains of our youth, where we just placed them on the track and let the batteries run them around in circles. The CCS layout contains almost every aspect of a commercial rail-yard. Everything in Ed’s set up is H0 scale, meaning people, trucks, cars and buildings are on a scale that makes them a fraction of their actual size, but keeps all elements relative, thus making the scenery more realistic. In each of the city train yards are car cards; this is where the Operator stands while conducting business. Each of these cards lists a boxcar and the contents of that car, and where it is to be shipped. So you may have a Coalinga-based boxcar containing processed beef that is expected by businesses in Oregon. But what happens when the train arrives in Oregon and the boxcar

PREVIOUS PAGE: Ed Matheny III's model train display has allowed him to meet people from all over the world. ABOVE: A favorite stop in Ed Matheny's train wonderland is the Tulare County Fair.




is in the middle of the train’s length? Well, here is where it gets challenging. There are signal posts that magnetically un-couple the box cars from one another as the train pulls to a stop next to them. Here, the Operator must slowly pull his train to this spot, and once the boxcar is uncoupled it is separated from the other cars and pushed backwards into the rail yard, allowing the engine to leave the specific boxcar at the location. However, the rail yard has several off shooting tracks, to accept box car shipments, as well as store those waiting to be shipped. So the operator of the yard must follow a map on the control panel and activate various switches for a track change to allow the boxcar to be delivered to an assigned track. With the delivery made, the Operator can re-couple the original cars, or pick up more, to be hauled to the next location. As mentioned, the train yard works just as an actual one would, and it takes calculations and focus to keep the operations running smoothly. For an additional experience, Ed tells me they sometimes do “night runs.” Here the small world is darkened with nightfall, and with the flip of a switch, light posts and buildings spark to life. Even signalmen who guide train operations stand rail side with glowing red lanterns. The detail is amazing, all the way down to the small birds that sit in the trees. There is so much detail to the scene, it consumes every aspect, and an observer could easily be entertained simply by walking around and discovering the numerous scenes. 42


When it comes time to park the trains, you will hear the voice of the engineer counting down numbers, signaling the engine’s shutdown. Then you hear the engine shut off. Moments later, you can actually hear him open and slam shut the engineer’s door. “He’s now going to walk over to the Kentucky Fried Chicken,” said Ed, and he’s not joking. There is a model of a KFC restaurant near the rail yard, lit up and ready to serve dinner. Ed is very gracious in sharing his passion, and has a running monthly meeting of train enthusiasts. He also enjoys sharing his pride and joy with anyone who has a curiosity of the miniature world he has created. Once, a group of English tourists were wandering through Ed’s Tulare neighborhood on a walk, as they were staying the night at one of the highway side hotels. They got to talking to Ed, and before they knew it, the group had spent almost the full day in his train room, with the awe of children. “My trains have allowed me to meet people from around the world,” Ed proudly said. And after witnessing his layout, it is safe to say those who visit the rail-land will never forget the experience. ALL ABOARD!

ABOVE: A miniature scene from California's Bay Area.


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3 Annual RD

Guest Chef Series

C u i s i n e & C u l t u r e O f I n d i a M e e t s Va l l e y Ta b l e s & Ta s t e B u d s

Text by Kyndal Kennedy | Photos by Garet Watters





uests were swept away to India for the 3rd Annual Guest Chef Series, where they dined on fine foods, enjoyed traditional Indian music, and marveled at the intricate décor – all without leaving Visalia. The previous two years’ events featured cuisine and culture of Japan and Morocco. This year, the theme “Cuisine and Culture of India” was selected in collaboration with Family Services, Inc. and the California Raisin Marketing Board. Theresa LoBue, board member and event chairperson, explained that they felt the Indian cuisine lent itself well to the use of raisins; Chef Todd Downs, CEC, demonstrated perfectly this fusion of our very own California raisins with the flavors and recipes from the East. The event was presented by Visalia-based Family Services, Inc.: a non-profit organization funded primarily by private donations and grants. “We provide a host of services to over 3,000 people annually. These services include two battered women’s shelters, transitional housing, a rape crisis hotline, mental health services for those affected by violence, HIV/Aids education and much more,” explained LoBue. Family Services, Inc. was founded in 1982. Its sole mission is to help children, adults and families throughout Tulare County heal from violence and thrive in healthy relationships. Monies raised from these annual events come from ticket sales, underwriters and table sponsors. What makes this event such a big draw and unique compared to other charity events is that it is an all-inclusive evening once the tickets are purchased. Theresa explains it as a “guaranteed leave-your-checkbook-at-home evening.”




With the purchase of a ticket, each guest enjoys complimentary wines and beverages, the demonstration by the guest chef, tastings, a catered dinner and dessert from the Vintage Press, the guest chef’s recipes, live entertainment and a unique themed gift. Because so much fine food is offered throughout the evening, Family Services, Inc. makes sure that each guest is able to truly enjoy and experience the wonderful catered meal, whether there or in the comfort of their own home, by offering to-go boxes. “We have found that the tasting portions are incredibly generous and the guests are so full by the time the meal comes that a to-go box is a necessity,” said LoBue. Chef Todd is a Certified Executive Chef from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is an award-winning chef who has been influential in many food-related endeavors, including creating his own business, “FoodSense,” a Culinary Consulting Group, that offers “Award Winning Ideas In Food,” to major restaurant chains, manufacturers and distributors. Among these businesses is the California Raisin Marketing Board which Chef Todd is contracted by to develop such innovative recipes as those featured at the event. Chef Todd demonstrated a trio of tasty dipping sauces, that included: Golden California Raisin and roasted tomato chutney; chickpea, Golden California Raisin yogurt dip with mint and cumin; and pickled mango relish. He also prepared Jhinga Salade (green salad with coconut shrimp and Golden California Raisin vinaigrette) and Saag Pappadum (garlic and California Raisin with wilted greens on pappadum). Each element of his demonstrations filled the room with an overtly 46


sweet and spicy, unique scent and feel. Dinner was catered by the Vintage Press and included Indian curry chicken, lamb samosa, saffron basmati with raisins, apricots and almonds, season vegetables, garlic and herbed Naan bread and Rick Pudding with raisins and seasonal fruit for dessert. To add to this already culturally exquisite evening, the décor was abundant with Indian style and flare. The tables were colorfully decorated with imported saris, lanterns, lotus flowers and peacock feathers. The colors and spices of India came alive with the music as well as the food. Traditional Indian music was performed by Kevin and Miriam Yee, adding a soothing and calming effect to the entire evening; just as Family Services, Inc. attempts to add peace to the lives of those they help, the evening itself was the embodiment of tranquility. The event raised just over $33,000 and with thanks to the underwriters and table sponsors, 100 percent of that will go directly into Family Services, Inc. “Family Services, Inc. is truly grateful for the incredible support from the community,” said LoBue.

ABOVE: Chef Todd Downs with his assistant, Rick O'Fallon.


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shades of green Text by Cheryl L. Dieter








e were lost. Again. But just as we were about to get into a bit of a scrap, a savior turned up in the form of a well-dressed 70-ish Scottish gentleman with checkered woolen trousers, and a weathered face griping a walking stick that looked about as craggy as the nearby hills. I explained our predicament. “Eh, lass. Just cross over the bridge, take a left and go to the end of where the road takes ya. When you come to a brown and white cow standing by the barn gate you’ll make a smart left. Then go another 20 miles and you’ll find what you’re looking for.” “How do you know that the cow will be there?” I yelled as Dave shifted the car into gear and I gave the old man the same hard squint I give my children that lets them know that I’m not up for any shenanigans. “Eh, it’s 11:30, and by the time you get there it will be noon. Patrick’s never late for lunch. Trust me, lass, he’ll be there.” And he was. Just like an extra in an old time movie. Scotland herself is like that – magical. So we drove through lush hills colored a thousand shades of green and over roads canopied with treetops and giant ferns the size of our car. Sheep grazed peacefully in the meadow while hawks floated above the low-hanging clouds. It rained. Then stopped. Then rained again and stopped once more just as we arrived at our destination: Threave Castle. Well, almost arrived, because to get to Threave we had to walk about 800 meters past fields of grasslands separated by stone walls winding as far as the eye can see. Finally, we caught a glimpse of the castle, marooned out on an island around which the dark, inky River Dee silently slinks. We opened the gate and were greeted by a sign that read: RING BELL FOR CUSTODIAN. With three children under 10, a fight broke out regarding who got to ring the bell. So Mom rang it. 50


A good looking chap named Sandy, who mans the boat for the 45-second crossing, promptly appeared. While the castle is the main attraction, the property also serves as a reserve for osprey, bats and other wildlife. Our captain pointed out a gigantic osprey nest further down, near a bend in the river. Somehow Sandy’s kindness and knowledge of the place made the minute crossing feel as if we were honored guests aboard the QE2 for a transatlantic crossing. We alighted, “minding the gap,” and headed towards the castle. It was not one of those splendid huge monstrosities that you can find throughout Scotland. But it was never built to impress. Instead, it was meant to protect. And that it did. The tower section, built by Archibald “The Grim” Douglas in 1369, served as living quarters (second floor) and siege quarters (third floor) for the troops. This top level was built entirely for defense and allowed troops to shoot from the wall-walk above and winch firearms up from below. The lower level consisted of the kitchen, the wine cellar, a well, and a very dank, dark prison. By 1447 an artillery house and central gun tower had been added to further fortify the Douglas holdings. It’s a good thing too because it was soon put to the test. In 1455 it was held under siege for over two months during which King James II personally oversaw the attack of the castle. After stripping the Douglas family of their lands, the stronghold was granted to the Maxwells where it remained until the siege of 1640, which lasted 13 weeks. Hand-hewn stone steps twist and turn, leading modern visitors to places deep in their medieval imaginations. The building itself is cool, wet and slippery. Huge fireplaces hug the walls, and the views – one can only imagine watching troops advance over the ridges of far-off hills knowing that an attack was imminent. Travelers Tip: Threave Castle is closed November – March. Open 9:30a-4:30p, April –September. Birdwatchers will swoon. Depending on the season you can see Kingfishers, Greenland


White-fronted geese and Red Kites. Follow the many trails in and around Threave Estate for excellent observation stations. We headed down the A75, the rain doing its familiar start/stop dance. And once again as we reached our destination the rain gods capitulated and offered up a beautiful sunny sky. We’d arrived at the town of New Abbey. It’s a darling small village in Dumfries and Galloway region with a total population of 82. With two hotels, a coffee shop and a village green, it is exactly what you would expect a small Scottish town to be. We started our “look around” at the New Abbey Corn Mill. Part of Historic Scotland’s vast collection (over 300 to date) of historic places, the mill has been restored to working order. While we were there, work was being done on the waterwheel, but if you are lucky you will be able to see the entire milling process unfold before your eyes. The first thing we did was head upstairs to view a 12-minute video called The Miller’s Tale. The film explains that a mill has existed on the site since the 1300s, with the current one having been erected in 1790. The corn mill is unique in that it also housed the miller and his family. Since grain dust tends to explode, as a rule the miller usually resides elsewhere. As useful as it was having a local miller about, in early times the miller was often not looked upon favorably. This is because both farmers and tenants were bound to use a particular mill and were required to pay the miller 1/13 of all the grain as well as provide labor to repair the mill. In essence, while the miller produced the meal he also acted as a tax collector. Certainly this was not an easy position to hold in a small community. While the movie kept the kids interested, it was the second floor of the mill that really caught their attention. For it is here, up the shiny well-trod stairs that the three sets of millstones actually perform their magic, turning oats into oatmeal. At 240 pounds and costing the equivalent of 1/6 of the building construction costs, the

millstones are easily the main attraction. But not to be forgotten is the pervasive scent that reminds you of your grandfather’s old woodshop mixed with the essence of thick blackstrap molasses. Travelers Tip: The Corn Mill is another great place for a picnic and stroll. Remember to purchase your Explorer Pass at any one of the Historic Scotland attractions. For a seven-day family pass, which can be used over 14 days, it costs approximately $120 dollars, but then you never pay entrance fees again. This is one heck of a money saver! Just a short jaunt away is the breathtakingly beautiful red sandstone walls of Sweetheart Abbey. Established in 1273 by its benefactor, Lady Dervorgilla of Galloway, the abbey was built in honor of her late husband, Lord John Balliol. It seems Dervorgilla was so distraught by the death of her husband that she had his heart embalmed and carried it around with her in a small ivory casket which was buried with her at the abbey in 1289. As a tribute to the enduring power of love, the Cistercian monks gave the abbey its sweetheart of a name. After 15 minutes in the abbey cemetery documenting a treasure trove of unusual sandstone monuments for, my family rushed me off to the National Museum of Costume. Located at Shambellie House, a Victorian country house built for the Stewart family, it houses a collection of fashions from the 1850s–1950s in life-like settings throughout the building. With beautiful park-like gardens, the statuesque Willow Lady and a lovely tea and treat shop, it was a wonderful way to wind down our day trip. As we headed back to Edinburgh, I smiled as I planned our journey back to this magnificent part of Scotland while pretending that the bickering coming from the back seat of the car was really the knights giving orders to their troops back at Castle Threave.






ichard Martinez says of the vision for his future as an architect in the San Joaquin Valley, “I want to design with a sense of exploration for new and unimagined architecture.” Martinez, whose idealism sometimes echoes the tone of great manifestoes of earlier times, is well on his way to becoming one very bright contemporary architectural talent in the San Joaquin Valley; that is, if future work to be found here is challenging enough to hold the Kingsburg native and resident’s attention. “In order to raise awareness about design in the Valley, we have to stop caring about what everyone else thinks is good design and instead strive to design a great building that is consistent with the sound philosophies of the architect.” Martinez says that architects should “start from scratch, challenge themselves, be bold, make a study, do something different that challenges conventional building or materials, become a mad scientist in their labs, and just have some fun designing,” adding that “if you are a great designer, your work will show it.” The Valley today has its pros and cons, he says, “but it excites me. I see a blank canvas. I see a place that has not been overcrowded by pedestrians or cars. I am excited about designing in the Valley because a good building here will be seen for what it really is, almost like an art piece,” Martinez says. The former Boy Scout and class president sees the ennobling power of architecture as a force for good in a region beset with poverty and various social issues. “My vision is one that needs investors to participate in funding creativity and in doing so, help provide a better way of life. If someone knows someone cares enough to provide them with a quality place to grow up, they will be proud of where they came from,” Martinez feels. Whether it’s a school, office, or residence, “the people [who occupy it] will feel as though they need to live up to that great building. I would love to see an architect design with a goal of inspiring young architects and leaving behind new ideas for them to branch off. If we continue to marginalize our designs for fear of a budget, nothing new will ever get done,” he says. How does the profession advance to that point, in his vision? If the Valley is to become a place shaped not only by challenging architects like himself, it also must become known for having adventuresome clients who underwrite challenging work with the capacity to both revitalize impoverished urban places and invigorate the minds of its citizens. “Here in the Valley, our biggest obstacle is money. It takes money to design and construct a building. … Bigger cities like L.A. not only have lots of [state-funded projects], but also lots of private





Text by Aaron Colins | Photo by Taylor Vaughn

investors,” Martinez says. The list of such architectural patrons in the Valley is relatively short. That paucity also means the presence of fewer architectural firms based in the region. But even so, Martinez’s gusto for his chosen profession has already landed him his first job with an architecture firm – that despite his not being quite finished with schooling, and despite a tough economy that enables only limited new construction, and therefore few job openings, for the time being. He currently holds a position as draftsman at Visalia-based firm Mangini Associates/TPM Architects, which, says Martinez, has provided invaluable insight into how the business side of an architecture firm runs. His work there has focused mainly on large school projects. Further adding to his list of auspicious career beginnings, Martinez was recently awarded the McMillin Homes’ COS Architecture Scholarship, the first to receive the inaugural award from San Diego-based residential developer McMillin Homes. That Martinez is accomplishing so much in the San Joaquin Valley – never widely considered fertile ground for architecture – perhaps only underscores his accomplishments and future potential. Additionally, while at COS, he’s made the Dean’s List, served as an Architecture Club officer, and worked on a variety of award-winning projects including one for the 2010 Fresno State Design Competition. Perhaps someday, in the same manner that Robert A.M. Stern is associated with the Hamptons, or Frank Lloyd Wright with the upper Midwest, the name Martinez will be synonymous with the San Joaquin Valley. He certainly has the drive and energy. “Over the last several decades, architects marginalized our discipline by stepping away from the complex problems of our world, eliminating risk while simultaneously shedding responsibility and power to effect real change. The marginalization from forces that change our world have created a crisis of form, context, and social relevance in architecture. We can procrastinate and reflect on the great architects of the past, or we can seriously rethink form and become leaders for a message of transformation and put it into practice,” Martinez says. He has a point: When was the last time someone you know felt deep passion for a hulking local WalMart building, shopping mall, or more unfortunately, sources of erstwhile civic pride like schools, courthouses or other public spaces that shape our civic identity? In impassioned manifesto style, Martinez says he intends to “demolish the ruins of the past architecture in my mind because if I do not, they will reappear. I will not give up the purpose of design and concede the future to the past.”




52nd Season Text By Marsha Peltzer

Pops in the Park Music Director Bruce Kiesling is beginning his third year with the Tulare County Symphony and much to the delight of the orchestra and concert goers alike he recently extended his contract for another three years! The Symphony will kick off the 52nd season with the traditional “Pops in the Park” and this year’s season opener “Summer Night Splash” will be held in Zumwalt Park in Tulare on the evening of Saturday, September 10. Gates will open at five o’clock for picnickers and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. A few of the selections for the pops will include favorites from Tchaikovsky’s “Trepak” from the Nutcraker Suite, Copland’s “Hoedown,” John Williams themes from “Superman” and “Schlindler’s List,” Lowden’s “Armed Forces Salute,” and of course Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes.” There will be a few surprises – there may even be a sing-along so come prepared to hear some favorite tunes on a late summer evening. In Kiesling’s words “It will be an evening of fun for everyone involved and will also give a bit of a taste of the upcoming season – whet people’s appetites and give them an enjoyable evening at the park.” (Tables are available for an additional $250 – Symphony Office 732-8600) Masterful Masterworks 2011-2012 Season | all concerts held at Visalia Fox Theatre The upcoming season will continue the orchestra’s love affair with timeless classics and outstanding soloists, along with new traditions such as a concert of favorite film music and a holiday pops. The 70-plus orchestra is made up of music professionals, business and community leaders, and high achieving students – all dedicated to making glorious music for you to enjoy. You won’t want to miss any of this year’s concerts. Season Tickets are still available. Call the Symphony Office at 732-8600 for more information. Beethoven and Beyond Saturday, October 15 | 7:30p Pianist Robert Auler returns to delight the audience with Beethoven’s beloved “Emperor” concerto. Also included is Rossini’s overture to “La Gazza Ladra” and the concert concludes with Beethoven’s powerful “Fifth” – perhaps the most popular and best known symphony in all of classical music. Creme de Paris Saturday, November 12 | 7:30p Violinist Danielle Belen is on the faculty of the prestigious Colburn Conservatory in L.A. and is also founder and artistic director of the Center Stage Strings, a summer camp and performing festival for gifted young musicians in Three Rivers. The concert includes 54


Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor,” Saint-Saens’ “Suite Algerienne,” and the Paris evening ends with the beautiful “Daphnis and Chloe” ballet. Holiday Concert Saturday, December 10 | 7:30p This second annual holiday pops is a not-to-be missed holiday tradition. Ring in the holidays with family and friends celebrating the joys of December. A favorite program of Maestro Kiesling, the concert features many winter favorites! (This special concert is not included in the season package but tickets are available.) American Journeys Continue Saturday, January 14 | 7:30p Trombonist Chris Brubeck, son of jazz pianist Dave Brubeck is a world-renowned performer and composer. Chris and Dave Brubeck’s “Ansel Adams: America” will be accompanied by the projection of majestic images taken by the famous photographer. Also on the program are Copland’s “Billy the Kid Suite” and Brubeck’s “Trombone Concerto No. 1.” Film Night Saturday, February 4 | 7:30p If you missed last year’s sell-out Film Night with the Symphony, you might get this season’s tickets now! This annual event has already become the Symphony’s most popular program. Come and enjoy an all-new collection of movie classics including Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and more! Complementing the wellknown movie themes are Bruce Kiesling’s behind-the-scenes stories from his vast knowledge of movie scores and composers. He is as entertaining as the music! Up, Up and Away Saturday, March 3 | 7:30p This concert will be a feast for the imagination. Holst drew on his knowledge of astrology and mythology as well as the Greek idea of Music of the Spheres when writing about the seven planets. The piece was the inspiration for Star Wars. Also featured is Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” a powerful image-making piece. Monk’s Secrets Saturday, April 28 | 7:30p Closing the season with the greatest choral orchestral work of the last century is the boisterous and thrilling “Carmina Burana.” This should bring the house down and will feature the COS combined choirs; Jeff Seward, conductor; and soloists Julia Grizzell – soprano, Lim Forgey – baritone, and Branden Bracket – tenor. Also on the program will be Respighi’s inspirational “Fountains of Rome.”





beat the heat in style Text by Sharon Mosley


ith summer in full swing, the temperature isn’t the only thing rising outside. Hemlines, pantlengths and sleeves are rolling up and comfort levels for women everywhere are taking a nosedive. If you dread the return to bathing suit season most of all, you’re not alone. Summer styles often mean exposing those “problem areas” that most women work hard to minimize throughout the year. Choosing between beating the heat and baring it all can lead to scores of women sweating it out all summer long. But image consultant Marla Tomazin says you don’t have to sacrifice breezy beach days in order to keep yourself covered and comfortable. “I have found that a lot of women think that summer style is synonymous with showing skin, and that doesn’t have to be the case,” explains Tomazin, an image consultant with 20 years experience. “There are plenty of ways that you can embrace



summer style without feeling exposed – in fact, there are a lot of temperature-friendly looks that can accentuate your best features, while minimizing the areas you are uncomfortable with.” If you want to stay cool and covered, here are Tomazin’s tips for beating the heat in style: Keep cool with a summer shrug. You don’t have to go sleeveless to stay cool in the summer, which is welcome news for most women who feel that their arms are a problem area. Tomazin says wearing a sheer lace or knit bolero will give you great coverage without making you too warm. They are also good for keeping you comfortable on breezy summer nights. Cool off with white column dressing. If you’re hoping to stay covered up – without burning up – consider color when it comes to choosing an outfit. While it’s a known fact that wearing all black is slimming and classic, an all-white look can have the same effect – without attracting the heat! Tomazin explains that wearing a

FASHION F white “column” is a great way to stay cool while keeping yourself covered on warm days. For instance, pair a white t-shirt or tank top with a white bottom like a pant, short or skirt. If you want to keep your arms covered, consider wearing a sheer blouse (in lieu of a jacket) or if you still want a jacket, Tomazin recommends choosing a light, breathable fabric like cotton or linen. You’ll look hot while staying cool. Ponder your pool-wear. Before you hit the beach, it’s a good idea to set aside some time to ponder your pool-wear. Tomazin says women often lose track of their current figure and age, continuing to wear bathing suits they looked great in years ago. As each new summer begins, she suggests taking stock of your suits. Make sure you choose a bathing suit that is appropriate for your current age and body type that also covers up the areas you want to hide. You will look sexier and feel more comfortable. Remember, when it comes to bathing suits, less is not always more! Keep it classy with a cover-up. Sometimes even the sleekest of swimsuits can still be too revealing. Slipping on a cover-up for lounging poolside or attending a beach BBQ is a must! Tomazin suggests a scarf wrap to accentuate the hips and legs. For a larger waist, consider a dress or a long skirt that hangs loosely with a flattering length. Work with illusion. If you want to hide your hips and thighs, but don’t want to sweat-out the summer months in long pants, Tomazin recommends wearing an A-line skirt and a top that tucks in or is belted. This will draw the eye upward and accentuate a smaller waist. If a larger waistline is your problem area, Tomazin suggests choosing a skirt or pant that is slim through the thigh and wearing a blouse or t-shirt over the top – tucking it in will only emphasize the size of your waist. The breezy looseness of the top will provide cooling comfort while keeping you stylish and svelte. Choose a cool skirt. Instead of short shorts this season, consider wearing a skirt to feel just as cool but a little more covered. Tomazin says to look beyond shorts and pants this summer. If you are uncomfortable wearing shorts, choose crop pants or long, Bermuda-style shorts. These options will give you confidence and a cool style all season long. Pick a hat to beat the heat. In addition to the added protection you’ll get from the sun, hats are also a great fashion look. Fedoras are very much in style this season and are a fun way to update your summer look. You could also choose a largerbrimmed or floppy hat for the beach, your next picnic or pool party. Be a shoe-in. Nothing looks worse or is more uncomfortable than wearing sandals or shoes that are too small for your feet. Take the time to choose attractive footwear that looks good but also feels good. Choose breezy styles that will keep you cool, and consider the added benefits of a modest heel or wedge to give your legs a more elongated (and slimming!) look. “When you dress this summer, consider how an outfit makes you feel,” concludes Tomazin. “If you feel comfortable, it will reflect in your attitude and how you carry yourself. Trust your own instincts and the intuition of your inner-stylist and you’ll stay cool and confident all summer long.”

Stifel Nicolas 1012.pdf



1:38 PM









Front L-to-R: Monica Peterson, Amy Gunn, Penney Sick, Jim Wohlford Back L-to-R: Sherri Rigney, David Sharp, Lupe Sanchez

Jim Wohlford – Branch Manager & Senior Vice President/Investments Lupe Sanchez – Vice President/Investments David Sharp – Vice President/Investments Penney Sick – Vice President/Investments Amy Gunn – Client Service Associate Monica Peterson – Office Coordinator Sherri Rigney – Wire Operator

(559) 622-1040 • (866) 950-5516 217 East Caldwell • Visalia, California 93277 Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated | Member SIPC and NYSE




SATISFACTION When: Aug. 26, 9p

Where: The Cellar Door, 101 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Venue, 636-9463

Theater & Performances

Art Exhibits

Visalia Community Players presents Steel Magnolias

That Extra Dimension 2011: Invitational Sculpture Exhibition

September marks Arts Visalia’s annual survey "That Extra Dimension" exhibition, featuring a diverse survey of sculptural art by artists from throughout Central California. This year’s exhibition will once again feature individual works by over 25 artists skilled in a wide variety of media. When: Aug. 31-Oct. 1; Reception: Sept. 2, 6-8p Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905

Directed by Peg Collins, this energetic play is set in Truvy’s beauty salon on the wedding day of one of its favorite patrons. Filled with hilarious repartee and a few acerbic, but humorously revealing verbal collisions, it is destined to make you laugh, cry and marvel at the resiliency of southern womanhood. When: Aug. 12-14, 19-21, 26-28, Friday-Saturday, 7:30p; Sunday Matinee, 2p Where: Ice House Theatre, 410 E. Race Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-3900

AUG 20 AUG 26 SEP 3 58

Wyndfall Chamber Music Series Visalia 2011 presents “Summer Romance”

Stunning “show pieces”‘ from the Romantic Period which feature amazing technical virtuosity performed by the Wyndfall Trio and principal artist from the Tulare County Symphony. When: Aug. 20, 7-9p Where: The Spiritual Awareness Center, 117 S. Locust St., Visalia Contact: 592-9592

Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show

Known as one of the best and most entertaining Rolling Stones tribute bands, Satisfaction will be performing in Visalia for one night. Get ready to Rock and Roll! When: Aug. 26, 9p Where: The Cellar Door, 101 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Venue, 636-9463

The City Harmonic

The Canadian Christian rock band performs at the Fox Theatre. Having only recently released their EP album in November, the boys are gearing up for their first big tour. Tickets: $11/$17. When: Sept. 3, 7:30p Where: Fox Theatre, 300 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369


SEP 15

Art in the Alley

Themed “Creating Smiles!”, the public is welcome to come out and view art on display by local artists. This event coincides with the Downtown Farmers Market. When: Sept. 15, 5-8p Where: Garden St. Plaza, Visalia Contact: 625-1520

Woven Identities of Japan: Ainu and Okinawan Textiles For more information about this and other exhibits visit When: Sept. 4- Oct. 29 Where: Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture, 15770 10th Ave., Hanford Contact: Virginia Soensken, 582-4915


Bounty of the County Celebrating Tulare County Agriculture ENJOY LOCAL | FOOD | WINE | BEER | MUSIC SUPPORT LOCAL | FARMERS | RESTAURANTS | WINERIES | FAMILIES

September 24, 2011 5:00p - 8:00p Ritchie’s Barn 16338 Ave 308, Visalia

For information and tickets call:

Tulare County Farm Bureau (559) 732-8301

it’s back. 09.16.11 this event will sell out. reserve your table or sponsorship now. super-premium wines and raffle tickets available for pre-order.

Broker/Owner NMLS #252789

to make a reservation or for more details, call 559.592.4074 or



AUGUST 26 Peña Planetarium



When: Aug. 26, 7p Where: Educational Enrichment Center, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334 for ticket information.

Diversions & Excursions

AUG 26

51st Annual Fresno Greek Fest

An event beloved by the community, this year’s Greek Fest is bigger and better than ever! Bring out the whole family and enjoy food, fun and entertainment. This year features an expanded kids’ play area with water slides and youth Olympics, art tours, cooking demonstrations and more! When: Aug. 26-28; Friday, 5p-midnight; Saturday, 11a-midnight; Sunday, 11a-6p Where: St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2219 N. Orchard, Fresno Contact: 354-1409 or

SEP 10

It’s that time of year again! Come down to the fair and enjoy food, fun, games, music and farm animal exhibits. When: Sept. 14-18 Where: Tulare County Fairgrounds, 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Tulare Contact: 686-4707

Visalia Farmers’ Market – Harvest of the Valley

From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights, you’ll be captivated by this most accurate historic reconstruction of Man’s first steps into space. When: Aug. 26, 7p Where: Educational Enrichment Center, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334 for ticket information.



Weekly event open to the public featuring free live music, kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and local, fresh produce available for purchase. When: Thursdays, Downtown Visalia 5-8p; Saturdays, Sequoia Mall, Sears parking lot 8-11:30a Where: Church and Main St.; Sears parking lot at Mooney and Caldwell, Visalia Contact: 967-6722 or

Blues, Brews & BBQ

Join in on live music by Alastair Greene, refreshing beverages and delicious barbeque at this fun Downtown event. When: Sept. 2, 6-10p Where: Garden St. Plaza, Visalia Contact: 732-7737 or visit

1st Saturday in Three Rivers

Celebrate art, music, dance, storytelling, food and drink as you browse the art galleries, studios and gift shops of downtown Three Rivers. For discounts and participants visit website. When: Sept. 3, 10a-5p Where: Maps at Anne Lang’s Emporium, 41651 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers Contact: Nadi Spencer, 561-4373 or visit


Visalia teens will compete in this 9th annual singing competition to win cash prizes and the title of Visalia Teen Idol. When: Sept. 10, 6p Where: Visalia Fox Theater, 300 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Ramsey, 713-4365

2011 Tulare County Fair

Peña Planetarium - Dawn of the Space Age


Visalia Teen Idol

Charitable Events

AUG 20

Shop for a Cure Boutique

Benefiting the American Cancer Society, this second annual event features a POSH Survivor Fashion Show and blood drive. Come out and support a worthwhile cause and help find a cure for cancer. When: Aug. 20, 11a-5p Where: International Agri-Center, 4450 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: Jennifer Garrison, 358-0490.


Have you ever.... Slept in a castle set on 100 acres of gardens and parkland? Kissed the legendary Blarney Stone, said to bestow the gift of eloquence? Learned how authentic Irish whiskey is made and sampled a tasting? If not, these are just a few of the reasons to travel to the Emerald Isle March 13 thru March 22, 2012. Tour cost: $3,099 per person (double occupancy) Collette Vacations 2006766-20

For more information on our travel program, contact Lisa Salazar at (559)734-5876, or visit click on the travel link for detailed itineraries and pricing information.

Visalia Chamber of Commerce, 220 N. Santa Fe Street, Visalia



SEPTEMBER 16 Golf Tournament

UNITED WAY When: Sept. 16, shotgun start 12p Where: Tulare Golf Course, 5320 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: 685-1766

AUG 30 SEP 10

SEP 16

Visalia Rescue Mission 30th Anniversary Banquet

Featuring Will Graham (grandson of Billy Graham) and local artist Travis Aicklen, the night is sure to be a great evening for all those supporting the hard work of the Visalia Rescue Mission. When: Aug. 30, 6p Where: Visalia First Assembly, 3737 S. Akers St.,Visalia Contact: VRM, 740-4178 or email hope@

Dennis Wong Memorial 5K Race

A fun event for the entire family! The event will feature an open 5K race, a 1-mile Kids’ Race and a 2-mile walk. Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in all age categories. All entrants will receive a goody bag, a free entry into the Tulare County Fair and post-race refreshments. Adult entrants will also receive a race T-shirt. When: Sept. 10, 6:30-10a Where: Tulare Santa Fe Trail (at the intersection of Mooney Boulevard and the Sana Fe Trail, behind Will Tiesiera Ford) Contact: 685-6100

Harvest Moon Social Swirl

A formal benefit for The Boys & Girls Club of the Sequoias, the event includes premium wines, live and silent auctions, jewelry raffle, and dinner. For more information please visit website. When: Sept. 16, 6p Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: 592-4072 or visit socialswirl

United Way Golf Tournament

Head out to the Tulare Golf Course and support United Way of Tulare County for their annual golf tournament. Oniline registration at: http://www. When: Sept. 16, shotgun start 12p Where: Tulare Golf Course, 5320 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: 685-1766



SEP 27

16th Annual Making a Difference for Life Banquet

Tulare-Kings Right to Life’s annual banquet will feature guest speaker, former Texas Planned Parenthood Clinic Director, Abby Johnson. Sponsorships for a table of eight is $495 and individual tickets may be purchased for $65 each. When: Sept. 27, 7p Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: 732-5000 or visit

Classes & Workshop Art Classes for Adults & Children Visit Arts Visalia’s website for information on art classes for children and for adults. When: Year-round Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905 or visit

CASA of Tulare County Volunteer Orientations When: Mondays, 5:30-6p; Thursdays, 12-1p Where: CASA Office, 1146 N. Chinowth, Visalia Contact: 625-4007

Writers & Readers

Tulare County Library First Tuesday Book Club (Sept. 6, 6:30p) Mystery Readers (Sept. 21, 6:30) 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.



August 2011  
August 2011  

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