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Aaron Gomes One Man's Vision Makes a Big Sound in Central Valley


The Eye in the Sky

Tulare County Gets a New Law Enforcement Tool

March 2012






24 MAIN STREET PROMENADE New Life to Downtown Visalia


Aaron Gomes

One Man's Vision Makes a Big Sound in Central Valley


Letter from the Executive Editor

10 Business Cents 12 Word Play 14 Local Adventure: Peña Planetarium 22 Spirits: Barley Wine 32 Culinary Arts: Curry Chicken Crêpes



44 Music Scene: Built to Spill 48 Faces & Places: Art 4 the HEART


50 Fashion

The Eye in the Sky

54 Happenings

Tulare County Gets a New Law Enforcement Tool

52 Performances




Evidence for a Resurrection?


40 4


ABOVE: To bring suitable context and historical memory to the project, the Main Street Promenade’s architects replicated the façade of the former Larson Hotel (visible in the Main Street elevation’s brick section at right). Architects Steve Gaffney of Steve Gaffney & Associates and initially, Lyle Munch of Stan Canby Associates shaped the form and function of the project.

MARCH 2012 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 Art Director ROSS YUKAWA Senior Graphic Designer CHRIS BLY CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Aaron Collins ANDRE GodDARD CANDACE SCREEN Diane Slocum DARA FISK-EKANGER JORDAN VENEMA Kenny Hildebrand MAJOR ROGERS Marsha Peltzer Sharon Mosley BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA JEFFREY Malkasian EA Operations Manager Maria Gaston


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

210 Cafe Advanced Body & Laser Center 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.

ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Bridget Elmore 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 © 2012 DMI Agency



ON THE COVER: The new Main Street Promenade lobby features extensive stonework and custom millwork. The building opened in late 2011 and is fully occupied, bringing new vitality to Visalia’s East Downtown redevelopment area. LEFT: One of the balconies on the top floor offers a hint of the views of Downtown Visalia and beyond. Craig Mangano says a residential conversion still could happen at the top level, should sufficient market interest congeal.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing like the sparkle and shine of a brand new home! LIFESTYLE | MARCH 2012



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

It’s been a while since we last featured a commercial project in lieu of a private home for our “tour” feature, so we thought it was time to do so once again. There are many reasons why we chose this particular property, the Main Street Promenade, but none more relevant than the smart growth practice of incorporating mixed-use planning as a way to infill our Downtown area. Although not the first with the vision for combining professional, retail or residential space, it is a prime example of beauty and function. Even without the ever-escalating gas prices, we applaud efforts to keep our Downtown vibrant and fiscally strong. For this story by regular contributor Aaron Collins and photos by feature photographer Forrest Cavale, be sure to read starting on page 24. As we’ve done many times before, this month Lifestyle Magazine strives to bring awareness of cultures found within our community. For some, the approach of Easter means nothing more than candy-filled baskets, and perhaps a Sunday afternoon barbeque at the park. But for the Christian community, Easter celebrates the risen Savior, the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Freelance writer Dara Fisk-Ekanger explains the meaning of Easter to Christians all over the world, beginning on page 40. Times have changed (in more ways than I can count) since I was a child, but today one memory of the upcoming holiday stands out in my mind: the Easter dress. Growing up, and well into adulthood, the weeks leading up to Easter meant a shopping trip to find the perfect dress, and of course, new shoes. (Boy, do I miss those mandatory shopping days!) But even without the need for a special Easter dress, contributing writer Sharon Mosley takes us through a spring shopping guide. If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “Skimp or splurge?” you’ll want to make sure to read what she has to say on page 50. And as this month’s issue comes to a close, the media is plenty abuzz with political news. It’s not unintentional that we stay far away from anything remotely involving politics – we leave that for newspapers and those who make careers from reporting what’s happening in the polls. But last month, we had a rare opportunity to spend the evening with former President George W. Bush at the Ag Warriors Gala. After such an experience I’m not sure how anyone could leave and not have a renewed respect for the office of the President of the United States. With what appears to be a “never say quit” primary race, it seems to be a good time to sit back and appreciate the opportunities we have in this country to elect, then support, our president and other officials. Presidents will always come and go, but how we treat and uphold the office is important to our democracy. Congratulations to the Ag Warriors for a successful event and for the work they are doing to place veterans in the business of agriculture. We hope you enjoy this issue and as always, we love to hear your comments.

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



Don’t Follow the Herd Text by Andre Goddard, VP Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors

There’s a theory on Wall Street that goes something like this: If you follow the crowd and buy the hot investment of the day, chances are you’ll be scooping up shares when most others are about to sell. This natural “herd instinct” of buying when everyone is euphoric may mean you’ve entered the game too late and are buying at the wrong time. Investors often jump in at the wrong time because they’re worried about what others are doing instead of focusing on good old-fashioned fundamentals such as a company’s earning potential and its management. History continually shows us that when individuals choose investments without a prudent basis for doing so, they often wind up losing money that can take many years to recover. We saw this in 1998-2000, when investors drove the Nasdaq composite over 5,000 – only to see it fall to less than 2,000 over the following year. History has also shown that when individuals avoid investments because the popular thinking is to steer clear of them, opportunities are often overlooked. We saw this in early 1982, when interest rates were high and companies had a difficult time impressing analysts with their earning potential. That period proved to be the beginning of a bull market that lasted more than 15 years. Good Advice In response to market downturns, some investors shift a greater percentage of their assets to liquid investments. Time and again, this strategy has also proven to be a mistake. Keep in mind that, over its history, the stock market has experienced nearly twice as many bullish periods as bearish periods. And while past performance is no



guarantee of future investment results, the stock market has bounced back from every major market downturn to date. When times get tough for stocks, we generally recommend that you maintain your confidence in their long-term growth potential and use these simple strategies: • Reduce your cost by averaging down. If one of your stocks declines in value, but the underlying business still appears sound, consider buying more shares. You will reduce your overall cost basis; you do, of course, increase your losses should the stock value continue to fall. A periodic investment plan such as dollar-cost averaging does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in declining markets. • Stay diversified. Keep your assets spread among investments that have historically performed differently under the same market conditions. Profits from appreciated investments can help offset losses from any losing investments. • Stay focused on your long-term goal. Don’t try to avoid the downturn by jumping out of the market. No one can accurately predict when it will rebound. Remembering why you invested in the first place will help you stay calm during times of market uncertainty. Stocks offer long-term growth potential, but may fluctuate more and provide less current income than other investments. An investment in the stock market should be made with an understanding of the risks associated with common stocks, including market fluctuations. This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Andre Goddard, Vice President- Investments in Visalia at 636-8590. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/ MAY LOSE VALUE Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.


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t. Patrick’s Day, the first day of spring, and National Wildlife Week all occur the same week this month. Coming out just a little late for the holiday is St. Patrick’s Day & Irish Collectibles: An Illustrated History, by John Wesley and Sandra Lynn Thomas (Schiffer Publishing, March 28, 2012). The Thomases include 900 images of Irish lore and memorabilia in their book. The latest of several books by the title, Spring Is Here! is a picture book for three 3-6-year-olds by Will Hillenbrand (Holiday House, December 2011). It tells the story of Mole smelling spring in the air and trying everything to awaken Bear. In her book, Wildlife Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots (Peachpit Press, November 2011), professional photographer Laurie Excell, whose photos often appear on calendars, gives basics and more advanced tips on how to photograph animals from bugs to bears. Top Picks Amazon’s choice for Best Books last month were two novels: a love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker, and wounded hearts finding new love in delicacy by David Foenkinos. Non-fiction choices were Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity and The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers – and the Coming Cashless Society. Events This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. Celebrations of his life and works continue in numerous locations in England, America and even Pakistan. The Dickens Festival at Simpich Showcase in Colorado Springs will feature marionette plays of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist beginning on June 26. The afternoon teas, readings, character studies and other festivities continue into late fall. The 34th Annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party on weekends from Nov. 23–Dec. 23 at the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls in San Francisco will be especially celebratory this year. The event re-creates Dickens’ London in over three acres of shops, theatres, eateries and more, populated by over 700 costumed performers. Biographies Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomlin and Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist by Robert DouglasFairhurst, were both published last October. Valley Writers Exeter writer Sylvia Ross’s first novel, Acts of Kindness, Acts of Contrition, was a finalist in the James D. Houston Award for Western Literature. While she didn’t win, she was encouraged by the committee spokesperson’s positive comments. The publisher of her other work, Malcolm Margolin of Heyday would consider memoir, but Sylvia chose fiction for this book. “One can be more 12


honest writing fiction,” she said, “which has no pretense to actuality and so never tells lies.” However, her novel is partially true. Many characters are based on people she knew while growing up in Southern California. Rather than shopping the manuscript to publishers of fiction, which can take years, she chose to use’s CreateSpace print-on-demand (POD) which can move a manuscript to book in a few days. Unlike vanity publishing of the past, which charged writers large amounts of money for printing, and required the writers to market the books on their own, POD publishing costs little or nothing and the books can be available through the internet. Ross paid $39 for a wide distribution option and $69 for the Kindle option. She easily made that much back during her first weeks of sales. After publication, she noticed some minor errors in the work and used another advantage of POD – by easily submitting electronic corrections, impossible to do in standard publication. Valley native Art Coelho will be one of the artists featured in the table-top book History of Art in the Azores 1427–2000, commissioned by the Cultural Department of the Azores Regional Government. His three canvases are titled “Sào Jorge Dairyman,” “Pico Island” and “Gossip.” Writer, publisher and painter, cowhand and carpenter Coelho grew up near Riverdale as the grandson of Azorean immigrant farmers. Back40 Publishing at otherauthors.html publishes limited editions of prose and poetry by Central Valley Writers. Titles include The Reunion (2001) by Tom Fischer of Visalia, Rimmen Rye and Other Fables (2001) by Ronald Blackham of Exeter, Season of the Heart: The Poetry of Jessie M. Wise (2000) compiled by Ted Wise, Sr. of Porterville and Greetings from the Foothill Planet (1997) by J.R.R. Chlebda of Springville. Read the Book Or, in the case of The Hunger Games, read the books, plural. This trilogy by Suzanne Collins involves a brave new world where society as we know it is destroyed and teenaged future-day gladiators are pitted against one another and televised to the country as they battle to the death. Catching Fire and Mockingjay are titles of the second and third books in the series.The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. The Last Word “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”—Charles Dickens (1812–1870)




The Other Side of Infinity


un, moon, earth, stars, planets, enchanted reefs, black holes; all are destinations for anyone looking for an adventure that truly is out of this world! Visalia’s very own Peña Planetarium at the Impact Center takes audience members to places you’d have to see to believe. And for only a few dollars a show, you can “visit” them all. Although primarily a learning facility for students in Tulare County, the Planetarium is also opened up to the community a couple of nights each month for public shows. These shows include themes ranging from the “Dawn of the Space Age” to “The Enchanted Reef” and, of course, the “Earth, Moon and Sun,” in addition to many more exciting adventures. The Planetarium seats 70 so there is plenty of room to get groups together, both big and small. Every show is appropriate and fun for all ages. So, instead of a movie date with your kids or special someone, why not think outside of the box ... or galaxy ... and take in an even bigger screen. The Peña Planetarium features a 30-foot Spitz dome screen, a fully automated Spitz A3P star projector, and a large array of computer-controlled slide, video and special effects projectors. With the recent installation of a new “Warped-Media” digital projection system, 360-degree full-dome video is now available for the community’s enjoyment. What’s even better, all of this high-tech equipment and entertainment costs only $4 for adults and $3 for children under 12 years old. Now, that’s definitely cheaper than a movie ticket! Plus, it’s educational and a good excuse to get out of the house this spring! The next showing, “Dawn of the Space Age,” is March 23 at 7 PM Take a look in the Happenings section for more information (page 54). After the show, visit the Galaxy Gift Shop for souvenirs and an assortment of educational toys, books, science activity kits, and unique gift items including hats, T-shirts, astronomy posters, postcards, stickers, star charts and more. The Peña Planetarium is located at 2500 West Burrel Avenue in Visalia. Tickets for the public show are on sale 2-4 PM on weekdays and 30 minutes before show time. For more information please visit or call 737-6334.








Photo by Taylor Vaughn

PICTURED: Master at mixing business with pleasure, Sound N Vision Founder Aaron Gomes lies amidst two passions: music and skateboarding. Behind him, past Sound N Vision concert posters cover the entire wall of the back room at Velouria Records in Downtown Visalia.



Makes a Big Sound in Central Valley Tex t by Jordan Venema


ords have the power to conjure up ideas by association. Take, for example, the phrase “innovative entrepreneur.” Images come to mind of tailored suits, sky-rise buildings, money and the name “Don.” Think Don Draper or Donald Trump, two figures who cut the stereotype of innovative entrepreneur par excellence. As far as stereotypes go, 36-yearold Aaron Gomes – bearded, bespectacled and more likely to don a plaid shirt than suit – might not be the first person that comes to mind during a conversation about Visalia’s “innovative” entrepreneur of the year. But Sequoia Valley California, an Accredited Economic Development Organization, thought otherwise, and awarded Gomes the title in 2011. Gomes received the recognition for his work as both founder and executive director of Sound N Vision, a local non-profit that he describes as his “labor of love and gift to the community.” That gift to the community does much more than provide affordable concerts. Music has the ability to transport its listeners to different times and places, to trigger forgotten aromas, to stir the memory of a first concert. In other words, Gomes, who has witnessed “the community interact in such a positive way at music celebrations,” believes Sound N Vision has the opportunity to raise the quality of life in the Central Valley. And the means is music, a gift that Gomes also received at a young age. Aaron Gomes was raised on a dairy farm in Waukena, Calif., a small town in “the middle of nowhere” that boasts a population of 108 souls. Surrounded by cows and living a “pretty sheltered” life, Gomes decided early on that he “didn’t want to marry the cows. And so,” he said, as though the alternative were a natural one, “I became a teacher.” It is possible that his career choice was influenced growing up in a household of “artists and musicians,” an environment that helped Gomes to “creatively find niches in anything” and “roll with all kinds of different people.” So while Gomes somewhat predictably grew up showing off cattle as a member of 4-H (he even became club president), he also felt comfortable pursuing less conventional interests for a country boy – hobbies like skateboarding and music. “I built a lot of skateboard ramps to stay sane,” Gomes admitted. But if pursuits say anything about passions, then music was never far from Gomes’ mind. His earliest musical memory was “hearing my dad play his guitar and sing around the house. As a 3-year-old, I would ‘play along’ on my out-of-tune ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ guitar.” His longtime love of music and the ability to get along with anybody likely helped him later in life when he toured as a singer-songwriter under the moniker Vernal Falls, an allusion to his father’s name, Vernal, and the LIFESTYLE | MARCH 2012



Photo by Taylor Vaughn

Yosemite waterfall after which he was named. During these tours, Gomes built relationships with many bands that would later return to perform in Visalia at his invitation. Thus began a series of shows, which Gomes also headlined, called Vernal Falls Presents. But in 2004, Gomes began taking the stage less and giving the headlining spot to other bands. During this period, Gomes regularly promoted all-ages shows at Howie & Sons’ Pizza on Mooney Boulevard, and it was then that he first used the name Sound N Vision. As Gomes’ rapport with bands and managers grew, he booked higher-profile bands with less difficultly. Bands touring between Northern and Southern California would contact Gomes hoping to perform an additional show between already scheduled shows in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Bands from all over the United States and from countries like Great Britain, Israel, Japan and Australia performed in Visalia’s Cellar Door and Fox Theatre. Two bands that have played at Cellar Door in recent years, Bon Iver and Foster the People, both were nominated for Grammys this year. Bon Iver, who actually opened for another band at the Cellar Door in March of 2008 (tickets were only $5), edged out Foster the People for Best Alternative Album, and also won Best New Artist – best new artist to the Grammys, perhaps, but old news here in Visalia. Other well-known musicians and bands that have played in Visalia thanks to Sound N Vision include: Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan; Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Dave Navarro; Modest Mouse; Ra Ra Ra Riot; and most recently, 20-year veterans and indie rock legends, Built to Spill. Despite Sound N Vision’s successes, a show occasionally failed to make enough money to pay a band’s guarantee, which left Aaron and his wife, Stephanie, to pay the difference from their teachers’ salaries. With the advice and help of a friend who was aware of their financial strain, Sound N Vision filed for and was granted official non-profit status in 2010. Sound N Vision’s evolution into a non-profit provided Gomes the opportunity to widen his role from music promoter to a community organizer. Sound N Vision first offered free music and art classes to local youth in the summer of 2010. The classes were successful enough that Sound N Vision again offered the program in the summer of 2011; Gomes also collaborated with the county’s foster care program to provide free music classes to kids in the program throughout the year. Jamie Daniel, a resident of Corcoran, signed up both her children, Taylor and Travis, to participate in Sound N Vision’s music program this past summer. The classes particularly stuck with Daniel’s daughter, Taylor, who has continued taking private guitar lessons. Daniel believes the program “opened up a whole new world for my daughter,” and that Taylor’s confidence and grades both have increased as a result of the summer lessons. The guitar, Daniel said, “is important to me because it’s important to [Taylor], and because of Aaron she discovered it. I wouldn’t have known she had that gift if he hadn’t given her that gift.” TOP LEFT: Indie band and Grammy winning artist Bon Iver played at the Cellar Door in Visalia, March 2008. MIDDLE LEFT: Aaron Gomes holds a concert poster from the February 2009 Modest Mouse show. BOTTOM RIGHT: Indie band Foster the People played at the Cellar Door in Visalia, January 2011.



A Senior Lifestyle Community

Sound N Vision S

Quail Park is a  place to call home! Like most people, we hated the thought of leaving our comfortable country home; but the inaccessibility of nearby medical help was a worry. We didn’t want to wait for a disaster to happen. Besides, we had heard it was best to move to a retirement community while you still were able to enjoy the activities and make new friends. Four and a half years ago we moved to Quail Park where we have been happy and secure.


–Bob and Margaret Jones

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Photo by Taylor Vaughn

Photo by Taylor Vaughn

Sound N Vision has also extended its gift to the community by raising funds and awareness for local bands and other nonprofits and organizations, such as the Visalia Rescue Mission and Tulare County’s Suicide Prevention Task Force. But Gomes, a true educator, would love to see the music and art lessons take off. Sound N Vision is currently working with the Visalia Arts Consortium to acquire a permanent space Downtown with rooms for art and music lessons and practice spaces for musicians. More importantly, since Sound N Vision currently lacks a reliable venue for all-ages shows, the new building would provide a venue accessible to everybody. The space, which is “already in the works,” not only will provide kids with a space for musical instruction but also a live source of inspiration; the opportunity for kids to see their favorite bands in person, maybe even to make memories of a first concert. When asked about the amount of time he dedicates to Sound N Vision, Gomes answered, “I don’t even want to think about how much time I spend in a week.” Besides teaching fourth grade at Lincoln School in Tulare and running a non-profit (what is essentially a fulltime, unsalaried job), Gomes keeps a busy household: skateboarding with his three children, participating in extracurricular activities such as karate, ballet, tap, jazz and drum classes. “But that’s the way I like it,” said Gomes. “Growing up on the dairy and working really hard physical work as a kid – I

was just born and bred to go, go, go” – and, apparently, to give, give, give. But Gomes admits that he couldn’t do it alone. “I couldn’t do the things I do if I didn’t have the whole village.” A lesson to live by since the operation of Sound N Vision is almost entirely dependent upon help from family, friends and others who care to volunteer their time. Perhaps Aaron Gomes, by rebranding the stereotype of an entrepreneur, will serve as a new model for success in the community, as one who takes the gifts he has received only to give them back. If you or anybody you know would like to give back to the community by contributing musical or artistic talents, instruments, money or time to Sound N Vision, please visit ABOVE RIGHT: It was a tough decision for Gomes whether or not to sport his sweater for the photo shoot. Meanwhile, he was confident he wanted to keep the beard (which he grows and shaves on a six-month cycle, year after year) one more day for his closeup.







Barley Wine Text by Kenny Hildebrand | Photos by Taylor Vaughn


f you’re drinking the same beer year-round, you’re missing out on great seasonal brews. What tastes good in the cold of winter is different from what quenches thirst on a hot, Central Valley day. And, like seasonal cooking, brewers use seasonal ingredients at peak freshness. In spring, a lighter, fruitier beer is to be enjoyed, giving way to a slightly darker, heavier beer complementing the burnt colors and holiday flavors of fall. Winter brings a more robust, stronger, even darker beer to the table. The cold winter months allow one to enjoy the higher alcohol content that some of these strong winter beers have to offer. And that brings us to today’s beer review: barley wine. So much is packed into barley wine that it usually takes a few years to mellow out to its best. Like a big red wine, barley wine has huge amounts of its component parts. It contains lots of alcohol, malt flavor, hops aroma and bitterness, and it takes time for these elements to blend into the full, mellow, complex drink that this style is made to be. A barley wine typically reaches an alcohol strength of 8-15 percent by volume. This bold beverage gets its name due to the high ABV (alcohol by volume) that resembles that of wine, however, since it is made from all grain rather than fruit, it is in fact, a beer. Most barley wines range in color from amber to deep reddish-browns. They are always lively and fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but always alcoholic. A brew of this strength and complexity can be a challenge even to the most educated palates. The mainstream commercial breweries (the ones you see on TV) don’t dabble with such beers! They are too labor- and ingredientintensive. The full flavor and rich color come from the amount of grain, often two-and-a-half times the original recipe. All this is crammed into it and then boiled for an extended amount of time, which caramelizes a lot of the sugars, deepening the color and the flavor. It is also heavily hopped to balance all the sugar. Most craft breweries will brew this style once a year. It’s always

fun to buy a bottle or two and cellar for a couple of years to see them blossom. Barley wines can be cellared for years like a big red wine. Craft brewers put their own twist on their recipes and no two barley wines are the same. In many ways barley wine is the cognac of the beer world. It can be successfully paired, but it is truly meant to be sipped alone. Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles makes a barley wine named “Sucaba” (2011 vintage). This bottle has been cellared for an entire year! Most beers with a 13 percent ABV don’t produce much of a head, so it is not a surprise that this one fades quickly, leaving the deep ruby-colored beer with some clarity. What it lacks in head, it makes up in aroma, with a rich combination of fruit hints of fig, date, black cherry, spice cake, brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon and vanilla – all framed with the oak barrel it’s been aged in. It’s a full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer is released just once a year and is a must-try. I suggest you cellar one for that special occasion. Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico has its annual BigFoot barley wine (2012 vintage). This one pours in at 9.5 percent ABV with a modest but long-lasting head, little to no lacing on the glass as the drink progresses, and a clear amber-gold color, not as dark as some barley wines. This has just been released and smells mostly of hops with a hint of alcohol and not much malt. Once the hops have taken a back seat to the sweet malts, this will be a very nicely balanced barley wine. Most barley wines have a heavy, thick mouth feel. This one is slightly thin-bodied for a barley wine, contributing to its drinkability. I would say overall this is a medium-bodied beer with a pleasant mouth feel. Not necessarily a winter beer, you can enjoy this on any moderately cool night. Remember: Enjoy a craft beer that was made in small batches and drink for quality not quantity!




Main Street Promenade

new life to Downtown Visalia Text by Aaron Collins | Photos by Forrest Cavale, Third Element Studios





PICTURED: One of the larger new tenants, Keller Williams, complements other real estaterelated businesses in the building.





ver since Jane Jacobs’ prophetic The Death and Life of Great American Cities canonized the benefits of mixeduse development upon its 1961 publication, cities across America have been buffeted by persistent factors that only underscore the prescient genius of the late Jacobs, a woman who spoke truth to power in her male-dominated profession. Fifty years later, her book remains a force and staple of urban planning practice and curriculum at universities worldwide. Whether intentionally or not, developers and city planners continue to be influenced by Jacobs’ values even in smaller cities like Visalia – far afield from her familiar, more urbanized habitats of New York City and Toronto where she developed her theories and shaped enduring policies. Echoes of Jacobs can be sensed in one exciting new East Downtown Visalia development that embodies at least some of her innovative thinking. Built by a consortium, the Main Street Promenade development gets much right, with its numerous occupants bringing new vitality to street life in the vicinity. Several Visalia-based commercial and residential developers comprised the partnership, including The Mangano Co., Inc.; Mangano Homes; Bob Dowds; and Stephen Peck. In her era, Jacobs had not yet witnessed the full effects of escalating gas prices, nor the cost of Middle East conflict. The Internet was yet to enable the current widespread work-fromhome trend. In the early ’60s, the full effects of environmental degradation had not yet unfolded, nor had the detrimental effects of fertile ag land loss, nor ongoing public souring on auto dependency and the resultant disconnectedness associated with vast residential subdivision confines that tend to thwart stimulating, culturally interesting community life. Basically, Jacobs’ message about cities amounts to this: We

had it right all along. Twentieth-century master planning did more harm than good. Cities with livable, walkable urbangrid neighborhoods were healthy because they offered citizens numerous options for mass transportation, entertainment, physical activity, and working close to home, thereby cutting commute times and enhancing quality of life. Best of all, Jacobs argued, this less-auto-dependent lifestyle meant that democracy could be served, society strengthened and crime mitigated, wherever citizens could easily, naturally and legitimately interact in attractive public spaces and on streets where buildings were situated to foster positive pedestrian life. Completed in 2011, the Main Street Promenade at Main and Bridge affirms several lessons from Jacobs’ mixed-use “smart growth” wisdom. Where once stood a derelict, underused structure, a new infill project now features attractive retail and restaurant space at ground floor, topped by office space on the second and third floors on a site adjacent to a movie theater. “The building design and functionality is largely responsible for the success we are enjoying,” said Craig Mangano, who points out that the building’s architectural style was derived from an eclectic mixture of existing architectural styles that are evident Downtown. “There were many buildings that influenced our design, including the original Larson Hotel that was on site. We, in fact, recreated the old brick Larson Hotel exactly the way it was in the 1930s,” Mangano said of the feature, located just east of the main lobby entry on Main Street. In order to achieve architectural balance with its surrounding site context, as well as stylistic authenticity and integrity, the site’s developers decided that the building should appear like seven adjoining buildings side by side as opposed to a single building with a single theme, Mangano said. “We accomplished that through varying each elevation with different and distinct ABOVE: Wells Fargo Advisors is among the first phase tenants of the Main Street Promenade. A second phase will eventually double the footprint of the new development when market conditions permit.





H HOME TOUR footprints as well as varying the building materials and colors – again imitating other Downtown architectural styles. A more modern building would look out of place and out of character with the Downtown,” he said. Perhaps the new project’s best benefit for Visalia is in its potentially catalytic role as an enticement for further eastward development. Visalia’s East Downtown has an unusually large amount of open ground as well as numerous underutilized properties (better marketing might suggest some new neighborhood name – anything less banal than “East Downtown” might spur eastward progress, much as developers so-named Hollywood to prime Los Angeles’ westward expansion, its now-iconic sign continuing the allure). Prospecting at Main Street Promenade’s location was surely sweetened by prior investment by Troy Korsgaden, whose seminal 2005 development housing Crawdaddy’s at Bridge St. and Main remains a visionary example of mixed-use design, with restaurants at the lower two levels and a residential loft residence on the third floor. Korsgaden’s project squeaked in before the national economy tanked. Any further such plans that developers may have had were sent into cold storage – except for the Main Street Promenade, cater-cornered at the same intersection. Many expected that East Downtown would be slow to unfold even in the best of times. But the sour economy dampened the market further and created a lingering aversion by banks to lending on unconventional projects without comps, a resistance that continues to thwart fresh approaches to development and innovative architecture. Helping to offset that undertow in East Downtown is an auspicious plan for ImagineU Children’s Museum. The institution expects to break ground on its distinctive new East Downtown museum facility within the next year, and will serve as a cultural magnet for the east end. The organization has secured a $5.4 million state grant for building construction. The funds help ensure creation of what will become the East End’s centerpiece institution, with its outdoor amphitheater to be located somewhere east of the Main Street Promenade location. Its establishment should bring further interest from developers and increased symbiosis to revitalize Downtown. So someday soon, perhaps, families might be able to live, work, walk to Downtown, and participate with a nearby children’s museum – all in an urban setting – that is, if banks, developers and a visionary Visalia citizenry will step up amid what appears to be a steadily improving economy. Smart growth principles are not merely self-serving ideology. They also make good financial sense. Perhaps the best affirmation for Mangano’s sound thought on the Main Street Promenade is for its investors: The Main Street Promenade building is 100 percent leased after having just opened, said Craig Mangano, partner with his brother, Andy, in the business. Wells Fargo Advisors, Keller Williams, The Crêpe Bar, and street-level retailers are among the tenants. If any disappointment stems from the project, it was the near miss of losing the residential component when Mangano PICTURED: The Crêpe Bar is among the ground level tenants of the new Main Street Promenade at Bridge and Main Streets in Downtown Visalia. The building’s mixed-use nature helps revitalize the area due to the diverse uses and new traffic it attracts to a once-sketchy locale (formerly the burned-out Rocket Liquor location).





scrapped the originally planned loft spaces on the third floor. Although numerous area residents have voiced interest in Downtown living, Mangano said they floated the concept at the outset, but to no avail. “We originally designed and marketed a residential component for the building. After no success, we simply leased to traditional Downtown uses. The building, however, can be improved to accommodate residential users in the future,” Mangano said. Perhaps as tastes and lifestyles change, more empty nesters will want less maintenance-intensive properties that enable them to keep a smaller foothold in Visalia while summering elsewhere, or more arts-oriented younger couples will seek less traditional contemporary first homes free of yard maintenance, etc. What will trigger that vision? “The East End of Main Street is a desirable area for developers to expand,” Mangano said. “It’s the next area that will improve. It has its challenges such as parcel assemblage, toxic issues, and demolition,” he said. But he is confident those obstacles can be overcome. The economy and banks? Well, that’s not up to any one developer.



The city’s current development pause due to economic constraints may offer a blessing in disguise, a chance to avoid the pitfalls of prior booms as developers size-up our shifting economic landscape and lifestyles. Will smart development like Jacobs championed someday create a new skyline for the city, or transform East Downtown into the most urbane, highly sought, or valuable section of Visalia, as did Portland’s Pearl District? Will it develop its own identity, be given some indigenoussounding nickname like Oak Town, Mill Creek Flats … whatever new handle sticks? No matter what it is eventually called, it will likely become a much more urban version, a new Visalia as compared to its original, rustic town site – and designation as Fort Visalia or Hobo Jungle, both of which can be found within the largely blank slate that is East Downtown … but not for long.


PICTURED: A mix of public and private funds helped increase pedestrian safety and beautification of the intersection of Bridge and Main Streets in East Downtown Visalia. A consortium of developers including Mangano Homes, Mangano Co., Bob Dowds and Stephen Peck created the development, which is 100 percent occupied, says Craig Mangano. The building was built to look like seven adjoining structures in order to break up the mass of the building and reference the historical architecture in the surrounding area.







c u rr y chicke n


Recipe by Chef Candace Screen, The Crêpe Bar | Photos by Forrest Cavale, Third Element Studios

CRÊPES Ingredients: 3 eggs 3/4 C milk 5 tsp melted butter 3/4 C Buckwheat Flour 1/2 tsp salt Directions: In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Melt a bit of butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat (or spray with a non-stick cooking spray). Add just under 1/4 cup batter to the skillet. Lift and tilt the skillet so that the entire bottom of the skillet is covered with batter. Cook until the top begins to look dry, about 3045 seconds. Flip and cook another 30-45 seconds. Makes about 12 crêpes.




CHICKEN CURRY Ingredients: 5 T butter 1/2 onion, diced 1/2 green pepper, diced salt and pepper, to taste 1/2 C sauteed mushrooms 1/4 C flour 2 C chicken stock 1/3 C milk or heavy cream 4 T curry powder, more or less to taste 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp ginger powder (or 2 tsp freshly grated ginger) 1 C diced cooked red potatoes 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, fully cooked and diced 1/2 C shredded jack cheese Directions: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and green pepper, season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent. Add mushrooms, cook till tender, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken stock and milk/ cream. Bring to a boil and cook about 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in curry, cayenne pepper and ginger. Scoop out 1 cup of the sauce and reserve. Add cooked diced potatoes and cooked chicken. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Let mixture cool on the stovetop about 15 minutes so that you can assemble the crêpes without burning your hands. To assemble the crêpes: Place a crêpe on a plate. Assemble with a handful of jack cheese and add roughly a 1/4 cup chicken curry mixture to the center of the crêpe and fold up like a pillow. Repeat with remaining crêpes. Pour reserved sauce over the crêpe. Enjoy with a good bottle of Zin!




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Text by Major Rogers | Photos by Forrest Cavale, Third Element Studios

Reserve Sergeant David Williams



Lieutenant Marsh Carter


hat’s right, Tulare County is home to the first of its kind law enforcement tool, a Composite Technology Law Enforcement aircraft (CTLE) – an eye in the sky that will help law enforcement make better, more efficient use of resources to keep Valley residents safer. This Tulare County Sheriff’s Department-owned vehicle is an ultra-lightweight propdriven airplane, utilizing state-of-the-art technology, but with surprisingly low operational costs. The craft carries two passengers and weighs 1,300 pounds, fully loaded. It is brought to life through a small staff, currently numbering four, half comprised of volunteers in training. Currently, the two pilots are Lieutenant Marsh Carter, who has 27 years experience in law enforcement, and Reserve Sergeant David Williams, a retired Captain with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Williams has a 37-year law enforcement background, much of which he spent in the air in private and police aircrafts. The concept of an air patrol is nothing new to the area. Dating back to the 1960s the Sheriff’s office had partnered with a civil


air patrol. That program was a volunteer aero squadron, with participants using their own aircraft for patrols. However, with modern day crime, complexities have developed in the area that require a more sophisticated angle of tracking and observation – along with skill in the sky. For example, Reserve Sgt. Williams said, “The sheriff [Whittman] was looking for a quick response to ag crime,” such as theft of copper wire, fruit or equipment. The CTLE is powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax Engine, which is capable of flying upwards of 138 mph, but can cruise at speeds as low as 69 mph. This is important because this speed rivals the circling speed of a helicopter, another proven tool of law enforcement in the past. However, in comparison, an average police helicopter operating price is about $300-$400 per hour; the Light Sport Aircraft runs $35/per hour. On average, the plane can patrol for about seven hours, at four gallons of fuel per hour. This fact makes it the most practical and economical way of sky-to-ground observation throughout the Valley.




Another cost savings is the search light that is mounted on the aircraft. One of the least expensive aviation search light options was priced at just above $20,000. The flight team instead mounted a just-as-effective 35-watt High Intensity Discharge marine application light, which was originally designed for boats, at a cost of only $1,000. This provides as much light as needed for the craft that has a maximum flying altitude of 1,000 feet. The search light was recently utilized when a suspicious person was reported out in Valley ag land, and the aero team was summoned to respond. As it turned out, it was actually a farmer, out operating his own equipment at night. “I was thinking we were going to get a complaint for shining the search light and circling the guy,” said Williams, “But he ended up calling the substation and thanking us for looking out for him.” With all the considerations of low operational costs, there is no shortage of top technology within the plane. Two large dashboard display panels put the pilot and observer in control of almost super hero abilities. In front of the pilot is a screen that displays a computer-generated landscape, or synthetic vision. This comes in handy when low clouds, Valley fog or nighttime impair the pilot’s vision. Right in front of him is a screen allowing him to see all terrain and possible obstacles, in a near-perfect visual display. Along with this are a GPS system, an area aircraft locator, and a complete set of gauges, all electronically displayed on the dash monitor, which contributes to the light weight of the craft. Also aboard is a long-zoom color video camera, operated by the aircraft Tactical Flight Officer, who serves as the observer. Here, 38


the observer holds a flat screen in his hands, and controls knobs that can turn the camera in any angle, as well as zoom in on any targeted subject. “People who do well at video games tend to do well with that thing,” said Reserve Sgt. Williams of the set-up, which is about the size of a small laptop monitor. The camera is equipped with a Forward Looking Infrared system (FLIR), which comes in handy when searching for a fleeing perpetrator into the night or into the cover of trees. Such was the case recently. While the team was out on a night training session they were called in to assist law enforcement with a suspect who had fled into an orange orchard in Porterville. With the help of the eye in the sky, the perpetrator was apprehended soon after. The aircraft even comes complete with a Ballistic Recovery System (i.e., a parachute), which can discharge and set the craft down gently if there is ever a malfunction during flight. In this day and age of rising crime, and lower revenues, it’s good to know local law enforcement is being proactive in its crime fighting measures. The CTLE’s total cost was $220,000, a majority coming from state Homeland Security grant funds, and in part from forfeited asset funds seized from drug dealers. The official launch date for the CTLE will be this summer. Having this small but mighty law enforcement tool in the air day and night allows Valley businesses, farmers and residents to rest a little easier knowing that there is someone circling above, looking out for them.




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Evidence for a Resurrection?

Easter – remembered by some as a day of eggs, bunnies, and chocolates – is the pinnacle holiday of the Christian church. Text by Dara Fisk-Ekanger


espite the fanfare afforded Christmas, that holiday is really just the birthday party of its namesake. Yes, it’s the birthday party of a great man, but greatness is not recognized at birth – it is defined by a life and legacy. In Christ’s case, he grew up in a relatively quiet existence until his early thirties, when he started his brief public life, teaching repentance and forgiveness from sin, and healing the sick in temples, by roadways and on hillsides. His honesty and disregard for rank and status drew thousands to his teaching, but culminated in his brutal death by crucifixion at the hands of the Romans based on accusations of the “religious leadership.” Any similar story would have ended quietly that Friday afternoon. Easter is the celebration of what happened next! On Sunday morning, after three days in a tomb sealed and guarded by Roman centurions, the stone was rolled away and Christ was resurrected in his physical body. His death was not the end; rather, it was the necessary step in His plan to pay the penalty for the sin of the world, so we could have eternal life with him. His conquering death by resurrecting is crucial because 1) it proves his deity; 2) it accomplishes what he promised; 3) it fulfills prophecy.* As stated by the late theologian H. P. Liddon, “Faith in the resurrection is the very keystone of the arch of Christian faith, and, when it is removed, all must inevitably crumble into ruin.” Thus, without the cross, Christmas is meaningless; and without Easter, so is the cross. Today, no serious voices deny Jesus’ existence or impact on the world. Yet, for someone to claim he conquered death raises questions. Did the resurrection really happen? Even Thomas, one of Jesus’ own disciples denied the resurrection until he received evidence, and when he received it, it changed his life forever. Fortunately, evidence is still available to us today. Eyewitness Accounts In the judicial system, there are few types of evidence so closely held as the firsthand eyewitness account, and if Jesus really did rise from the dead, then someone must have seen him. The



Bible, in 1 Corinthians 15, recites a list of people to whom Jesus appeared after his death, the number exceeding 500. Yet probably none felt the impact of Jesus’ resurrection more than the disciple now affectionately known as “Doubting Thomas.” Thomas found the resurrection to be more than he was prepared to believe without direct evidence. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” However, Jesus afforded Thomas just such an opportunity and it changed his life, sending him all the way to India to preach Jesus’ message. However, it is not just the statement that “he appeared to me” that makes the testimony of these 500 witnesses compelling, but what they did with it. Every fan of Law and Order knows that hearsay testimony – “I heard him say …” – is inadmissible in a court of law. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Chief among those exceptions is the “Declaration Against Interest.” The Declaration Against Interest exception allows the jury to listen to secondhand testimony where the speaker does so to his own detriment. This is allowed, because people generally do not do or say things that will obviously harm themselves unless they are determined to tell the truth at all costs. It is the same rationale that makes the eyewitness accounts of Christ so compelling. It was definitely dangerous for them to insist that Christ had resurrected, that they had seen him. During the first century AD, Jewish leaders persecuted those who would say that Jesus was the risen Messiah. Persecution included stoning to death for those who would not renounce their faith. Soon, Nero took control of Rome, reigning terror upon Christians. The Roman historian Tacitus recorded that Nero punished them and killed them “with the most fearful tortures.” Yet, in this hostile environment, Christianity spread across the known world. Many witnesses were slaughtered, unwilling to renounce their faith. Of Jesus’ remaining 11 disciples, historical accounts indicate that four were crucified, one was stoned, one killed with a sword, Thomas was skewered four times with a spear. They died violently for their teaching and preaching. The disciple known as “John the Beloved,” died of old age after having written extensively in support of the faith and verifying the veracity of the four gospels. However, even he was banished, forced to live in exile. Why suffer all this if you knew it to be a lie? Early historians of the day who were not Christians also bore witness to both the veracity of the Christians’ testimony as well as to the crucifixion itself. Josephus, a Jewish historian from the first century




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AD, wrote in Antiquities, “This man was the Christ. And when Pilate had condemned him to the cross, upon his impeachment by the principal man among us, those who had loved him from the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive on the third day.” Tacitus, a Roman historian recorded in Annals the brutal treatment of the Christians. Hippolytus of Rome, Eusebius (Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine), Irenaeus (second-century Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul) all recorded early church history, including accounts of the martyrdom of the disciples and other Christians for their faith. Roman Guards Albert Roper, in his book Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?, discusses the Roman guards posted at the tomb of Jesus. The chief priests of the day who had sought and secured Jesus’ crucifixion by the Romans were concerned that the disciples might try to steal Jesus’ body from the tomb. Having invested so much in his death, they were unwilling to allow it to be disputable, so they sought a Roman contingent from Pontius Pilate to guard the tomb over the weekend. The Roman soldiers, indifferent to the discord between Jesus and the Jewish priests, were motivated solely by devotion to Rome. They had sworn their allegiance; and given the job of guarding the tomb, they knew that to leave their post or fall asleep on duty was punishable by death. Roper points out that the chief priests unwittingly created solid evidence of Jesus’ resurrection by including the disinterested Roman guards who were highly motivated to complete their duty. The tomb was sealed with the Roman seal and no one could have gotten in or out of the tomb by ordinary means. The resurrection; however, was far from ordinary, accompanied by an earthquake, an angel, and Jesus emerging from the tomb, causing the Roman guards to tremble and faint. ** Many volumes are available discussing the lack of a body, the fulfillment of prophecy, and much more evidence of the resurrection. Yet Frank Morison summarized the most important impact in his book Who Moved the Stone? When he discussed the first six weeks after the resurrection: [A] profound conviction came to the little group of people whose behavior we have been considering – a change that attests to the fact that Jesus had risen from the grave. And because of Jesus’ death on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin, followed by his resurrection from death, two thousand years later, lives can still be changed when people come to a relationship with a risen Lord. For more evidence on the truth of the resurrection, see The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell; Who Moved the Stone?, Frank Morison; Many Infallible Proofs, Henry M. Morris; The Case for Christ by Lee Strobbel. * For more on the significance of the resurrection, see significance-resurrection ** For more on the guards at the tomb, see




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Indie Rock Veterans Bring a Dose of Nostalgia to Visalia Text by Jordan venema | Photos by Jen May Pastores


n the evening of February 24, local non-profit Sound N Vision and Visalia’s Fox Theatre hosted indie rock legends Built to Spill, a five-piece band based out of Boise, Idaho. While the name sounds rather like the description of a high school science project gone bad, do not be fooled – there is nothing about this band that, well, leaks. Nor should it. The band, formed in 1992, has had the last two decades to perfect its trade – or waterproof itself, so to say. Built to Spill, signed to major label Warner Bros. Records, has recorded nine studio albums, toured prodigiously and, like any band that sticks around for 20 years or more, aged appropriately. Some of the members of the audience reflected the appearance of the balding and bearded band. Said one show-goer while observing the middle-aged rockers, “I always wanted to know what 20 years of indie rock would look like, and here it is.” But while there was an obvious contingent of matured rock fans, some even with their own children in tow, there was also a surplus of those under 20 – fans who weren’t yet born when Built to Spill released their first album. But if there is one sign of a great band, it is its ability to appeal to a new generation of fans. On this evening, Built to Spill had no lack of them. In fact, it had about 800, the majority of whom bought the $23 tickets on presale. Built to Spill was joined by bands Sister Crayon (of Sacramento) and Surfer Blood (of West Palm Beach, Florida), a band which is also signed to Warner Bros. Records. While the bands were the main attraction, the Fox Theatre lent an unusual but intriguing atmosphere for a rock concert: ushers in maroon vests escorting ticket-holders into the Fox’s faux-oriental interior, a glimpse into Hollywood’s perception of the East in the 1920s and ’30s. Sound N Vision usually hosts its shows at the more contemporary Cellar Door on Main Street, but the non-profit’s executive director and founder, Aaron Gomes, anticipated a larger interest in the band, and decided to hold the concert at the Fox, which is a larger, all-ages venue. Gomes, who has listened to Built to Spill for more than 10 years, said that the “coolest thing about booking a band that has been popular for over a decade, yet has never actually played in town, is the simple fact that you get fans from across that decade attending. I saw old friends that have long since moved away from Visalia there at the show.” Nick Hernandez, who teaches history at College of the Sequoias, echoed Gomes’ sentiment: “For me [the Built to Spill show] is more about nostalgia, since I listened to them in high school.”




Typically, Sound N Vision concerts are a single-venue event, but on this evening the non-profit planned a different kind of encore to complement the Built to Spill show. The second event, a free art, photography and music exhibition, was held at the Cellar Door, just two blocks east of the Fox Theatre. The exhibition, called Fakie to Fakie, is a collection of work by artists and employees of NHS, Inc., the parent company of iconic surf and skateboard brands like Santa Cruz, Independent Trucks, Krux, Creature and others – whose widely recognizable logos and artwork have appeared on the front of kids’ t-shirts for more than 30 years. Darren Lee, who grew up in Visalia and is a longtime friend of Aaron Gomes, works in the art department at NHS, Inc., and helped bring the show to Visalia. Lee described the show as “basically a creative outlet” for the artists of NHS, Inc., a company founded in 1973. The show, which first premiered on January 13 at NHS, Inc., in Santa Cruz, displayed a variety of photography and paintings of diverse media – oil, ink and collages, many of which



used skateboards as a canvas. The exhibition at Cellar Door was only the second installment, though Fakie to Fakie plans to hold a third exhibition in San Luis Obispo on March 23. Surf-rock band Taco Wagon provided a fitting ambiance while spectators viewed the art or just relaxed after the concert. Built to Spill attracted a diverse audience, thanks to the band’s talent and reputation. In Gomes’ words, the show “was like a music reunion” – a theater full of longtime Built to Spill fans and old friends who grew up listening to the band’s music. The audience’s familiarity with the music was apparent, as many people sang along with band. Built to Spill put on the kind of high-energy show that gives the impression this band could keep performing for another 20 years. Maybe there’ll be another “music reunion” in the future for a whole new generation to enjoy.


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ongratulations to Arts Visalia for collaborating with Pro-Youth/HEART on the recent Sofa Art XVII exhibit. This year, for the first time, the show invited 30 local non-artist "celebrities" to express themselves and create art pieces to be sold through silent and live auction, all in an effort to raise money for Pro-Youth/HEART. Themed Art 4 the HEART, the works created by the celebrities were required to include both a heart and some form of seating object - be it sofa, stool, bench, etc. Many liberties were taken, but all in good fun and made for enthusiastic bidding. Among the celebrity artists were: Tulare County Supervisor Phil Cox; Visalia Mayor Amy Shuklian; Visalia Times Delta Publisher Amy Pack; Attorney Joe Altschule; FoodLink CEO Sandy Beals; B.J. Barlow; Maya Ricci; Mary T. Hill; Dr. Alex Lechtman; Senior Financial Representative Anees Akhund; and Lifestyle Magazine Executive Editor Karen Tellalian. All in all, $5,000 was raised for the Pro-Youth/HEART organization with the largest single amount generated by the sale of the large format piece created by Anees Akhund.





1. Decoupage plate auction item Weekend Retreat by Karen Tellalian, in collaboration with Shelley Venema of Laurel Wilder. After a starting bid of $160, and going up in $10 increments, the final sale generated $480 for Pro-Youth/ HEART, which included a donation by Visalia Breakfast Rotary in the amount of $250.





2. Marty Zeeb and BJ Perch 3. Dick Watson and Stan Trapp 4. Lynn Havard Marris and Mike Torres 5. Chafic Dada and Ally Vander Poel 6. Mayor Amy Shuklian acts as auctioneer for the Art 4 the HEART event at Arts Visalia.


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Shopping Smart for Spring Text by Sharon Mosley


e may still be warming ourselves by the fireplace, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start firing up our spring shopping list. The spring trends are popping up in fashion spreads, in stores and online, so it’s the perfect time to make a plan and start browsing for treasures. Yes, it’s all right to dream about wearing that tangy tangerine maxi dress on the beach this summer! But before you get all juiced up about shopping for a new spring wardrobe, check out these tips from the world’s top fashion bloggers whose savvy advice is packed into a creative new book Style Yourself by Jane Aldridge. Aldridge admits that building the perfect wardrobe takes time and energy, but if you “shop thoughtfully, you’ll find yourself standing in front of your dream closet.” We’ve heard it all before, but Aldridge urges taking a ruthless inventory of what’s already in our closets. Winter is a great time to make space by getting rid of what we don’t wear by donating clothes to a charity or making some cash by selling a few things. Then she suggests making notes to ourselves on the things that really do work for us. “It’ll help guide you to more items that are worth your money,” she says. Now you can make that list. Here are her tips for shopping smart this spring: Stick to your plan. Yes, we know that it’s easy to buy impulse items once we get into a store, but Aldridge also admits that shopping should be fun. “So if you fall in love with something that’s not on your list, stroll around the block to consider the purchase.” Work with what you’ve got. Your shopping list should include items that will work with other pieces in your closet. I personally stick to a few favorite colors to give my wardrobe super mix-andmatch possibilities. But if you end up buying something that

doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe, we all know where that leads, don’t we? You’ll end up needing to source another “perfect something” to make an outfit, notes Aldridge. Don’t be afraid to go home empty-handed. Say what? “Don’t cave to the mall’s pressures if you don’t strike gold,” says Aldridge. “It’ll deplete resources that you could spend on an item that you truly love.” Don’t depend on friends. “Take others’ opinions with a boulder of salt,” says the style blogger. “Shopping with friends can be a blast. They can inspire you or urge you to try on surprising items.” But if you aren’t thrilled with the purchase yourself, then leave it on the rack. To splurge or to skimp? Be careful when filling a “wardrobe hole,” says Aldridge. “If you can plug it with a quality item, do it! If you go the cheap and trendy route, you’re likely to have to fill this same hole again each year, which means you will spend more in the long run. Check out the quality of an item. Sometimes we can get so caught up in finding that “perfect” sundress that we don’t check to see if the seams are straight or the buttons secure. One of Aldridge’s tips? “Woven, not printed, labels are a sign of quality.” Hit the virtual mall. “Online shopping is where it’s at,” admits Aldridge. “That’s where you can hit on amazing deals and one-ofa-kind pieces.” But she has a few suggestions: Know your size and refer to the websites’ sizing guide; read the product descriptions carefully and check out return policies. “If you’re happy with your experience,” she says, “sign up for newsletters and sale alerts that’ll help you snatch up better deals at your favorite sites.”



P PERFORMANCES Text By Marsha Peltzer

Monk’s Secrets | Saturday, April 14 Visalia Fox Theatre | 7:30 p.m. After a full season of varied and exciting concerts, the Tulare County Symphony’s Music Director, Bruce Keisling, will be closing the series with the greatest choral orchestral work of the last century. In Keisling’s words, “The wonderfully colorful, exciting and well-known Carmina Burana is one of my favorite pieces.” Also on the program is Respighi’s “Roman Festivals” the third and final piece that he wrote as tributes to Rome. Carmina Burana Carl Orff (1895-1982). Born in Munich, Germany, into a wealthy Bavarian military family, Carl Orff began studying the piano at age five, and by age 15 had already published several musical works. After graduating from the Munich Academy of Music, he made a living in the opera houses of Germany. When he composed Carmina Burana in the 1930s it was so different from his former efforts that he disowned all his previous work. Billed as a “Scenic Cantata,” it was premiered at the Frankfurt Opera in 1937. It was a massive success and Orff continued to focus on stage works for the rest of his life, eventually completing the Carmina as a trilogy. The title of the work comes from the Latin plural Carmen (student songs) and Burana (Bavaria). Not surprisingly these student songs of the German countryside deal with the most colorful, secular and even ribald aspects of life: eating, dancing, drinking, gambling and lovemaking!



Divided into three parts, the first deals with “Spring”; the second, “In the Tavern” (reserved for the men of the choir); and the third “The Court of Love”. The piece, together with the COS Choirs and Conductor Jeff Seaward, will feature soloists Julia Grizzell (soprano), Lim Forgey (baritone), and Branden Bracket (tenor). For information about the soloists please see their extensive web sites. They have all performed with the Symphony to rave revues and standing ovations, and each have very interesting careers. Roman Festivals Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936). Many listeners are familiar with Respighi’s "Pines of Rome" and also "Fountains of Rome". "Festivals" is the third and final piece that he wrote. The most interesting is "Festivals", but it is also the least performed. This piece truly has everything imaginable. It is written for a huge orchestra and it gives everyone in the orchestra a chance to play something fun. The last movement is a trip through a plaza festival, with visits to all the characters involved, including the town drunk. As Bruce Keisling says, “Great fun to be had by all, listeners and on stage musicians alike.” Ticket Information: Symphony Office 732-7168


An evening of cocktails, live & silent auction, dinner and comedy. March 31, 2012 at 5:30pm Heritage Complex, Tulare

Magician: Dana Daniels or Call 592-4074

Broker/Owner NMLS #252789



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TOMS® ODWS & Electric Guest One Day Without Shoes (ODWS) is the day we spread awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by taking off our own. It all begins at the 210 Cafe at 3:30p, the Walk Without Shoes will start from there at 4:30p and end at the Visalia Fox Theatre where you will find vendor booths, TOMS decorating, BBQ, A&W Root Beer Truck and more! Electric Guest will be headlining this event at the Fox, with Fresno’s Strange Vine opening the show. This is a FREE event, but a $12 donation to the VRM entitles you to a seat in a reserved section and an official ODWS t-shirt. Electric Guest ft. Strange Vine When: April 10, 6p Where: Fox Theatre, 300 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Jessica at VRM, 740-4178

Theater & Performances Dead Man’s Cell Phone An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man – with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy about how we memorialize the dead – and how that remembering changes us. By Sarah Ruhl; Directed by Ryan Pullen. When: March 16–18, 23–25, 30–April 1, Evening: 7:30; Matinee 2p Where: The Ice House Theatre, 410 E. Race Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-3900

MAR 18

Music At the Main – Jeffrey Myers Music at the Main series continues with a concert featuring Jeffrey Myers on violin. One of a handful of young virtuoso violinists to emerge onto the world stage from the stratospheric studio of master teacher Robert Lipsett, Jeff brings dazzling technique to some of the most challenging and entertaining showpieces ever written and makes them seem easy. His tone doesn’t remind you of emotions, it recreates them. When: March 18, 3-5p Where: The Main Street Theatre, 340 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: Replay: A Decade of Dance El Diamante High School presents their spring dance production, Replay: A Decade of Dance, for their 10th Annual Spring Dance Concert. Join them as they revisit the past and replay a decade of dance! Tickets: $8. When: March 28 & 29, 7p Where: L.J. Williams Theatre, 1001 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 735-3522

MAR 30 54

Run4Cover Visalia’s favorite cover band will have you singing along and on your feet, so get your dancing shoes on and get ready to dance to sounds of the Beatles, Michael Jackson, ABBA and much more! 21+ When: March 30, 9p Where: The Cellar Door, 101 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 636-9463



Celtic Crossroads Celtic Crossroads is critically acclaimed as “the most exhilarating and authentic show to come from Ireland in decades – not to be missed.” It is an explosion of youthful energy and dazzling musicianship. Celtic Crossroads abounds with fusions of traditional Irish music, bluegrass, gypsy and jazz whilst pulsating with the rhythms of exciting Irish dance percussion. Tickets: $20-$30. When: April 7, 7:30p Where: Fox Theatre, 300 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369 Jazzaffair 2012 The 39th Annual Jazzaffair presents 11 top bands from across the US and Canada. The bands are carefully chosen to provide you with exciting performances of Dixieland Jazz, Blues, Cajun, Swing, Pop and Show Tunes. You’ll have access to four performance venues, on-site motor home parking and free jazz shuttles. Each performance venue has food and beverages available. Lodging, shopping and restaurants are close by. When: April 13–15 Where: Lions Arena, 42600 Kaweah River Dr., Three Rivers Contact:

Art Exhibits Alliance of California Artists: 2011 Open Juried Competition Each year, Arts Visalia plays host to the Alliance of California Artists Open, a juried exhibition that draws some of the Central Valley’s most talented artists to submit their latest creations for consideration by independent jurors. Awards are presented in categories including Oils & Acrylics, Watercolor, Pastel, Mixed Media, and Sculpture. When: Feb. 29–March 30; Reception: March 2, 6-8p Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905

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Irish Fest The Rawhide and the Visalia Breakfast Lions are hosting the inaugural Irish Fest. Featuring unlimited local beer and wine tasting with an authentic Irish meal. Local bands High Grade Pats, Poor Man’s Poison and Mehrten Drive will perform. Tickets: $30 in advance; $35 on event day. Must be 21 years old or older. When: March 17, 2-6p Where: Recreation Ballpark, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: Laura, 732-4433 x825 or

Three Rivers Artists’ Biennial Studio Tour The Three Rivers Artists’ Biennial Studio Tour is an experiential, lively conversation about all aspects of creativity, art-making, and living in a small community close to nature. Visitors use a guidebook and map to make their own itinerary for visiting the studios. Artists are on hand to share stories about how they have integrated art-making into their everyday lives. When: March 23–25, 10a-5p Where: Starts at the Three Rivers Historical Museum and Visitor Center, 42268 Sierra Dr., Three Rivers Contact: 561-4671



First Fridays Art Tour An interactive, progressive art show organized by the Arts Council of Tulare County, this art-infused event is fueled by local artists and venues and takes place the first Friday of each month. Art lovers and enthusiasts fill Downtown Visalia to meet and greet with the artists and enjoy the reception and music. Restaurants, studios, galleries and other venues don their blue lanterns and open exhibitions to the public for this free event. When: April 6, 5:30-8:30p Where: Downtown Visalia Contact: 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: April 7, 10a–5p Where: Maps at Anne Lang’s Emporium, 41651 Sierra Dr., Three Rivers Contact: Nadi Spencer, 561-4373 or visit

Diversions & Excursions

MAR 17

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Hosted by the Events Visalia Foundation, the parade will come alongside many other fun activities in Downtown Visalia. When: March 17 Where: Downtown Visalia Contact: or Healthy Visalia Walking Series Every Saturday come join others and promote health and wellness in Visalia. Wellness starts with you. There’s no better way to enjoy the spring than to get out and walk at one of the beautiful parks or trails. When: March 17, 8a Where: Stonebrook Park, Hemlock & Martin, Visalia Contact: Just Between Friends Just Between Friends is the nation’s leading children’s and maternity consignment sales event, and the Central Valley is about to have two sales for your needs; bringing over 100,000 items from over 550 local families together so we can all shop, sell and save! When: March 18–24, 10a-7p Where: International Agri-Center, 4450 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: 786-6518 Tulare County Science & Engineering Fair Traditionally, over 230 science fair projects, grades 3-12, representing schools throughout the county are on display for public view. These projects recognize the outstanding effort and scientific achievement of Tulare County students. Science experts from a wide variety of fields involving both the private and public sectors judge the projects. When: March 19–23 Where: Sequoia Mall, 3303 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: Jonathan Janzen, 651-3043



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LifeWalk Tulare-Kings Right to Life (TKRL) will host its 17th Annual LifeWalk (formerly Walk for Life). There will be music, food, face painting, bounce house, tricky tray raffle, games and much more. Prizes will be awarded for several different categories of walkers. Proceeds from the Walk will be used to support TKRL’s educational programs about fetal development, abstinence, post-abortion healing, and stem cell research, along with much more. When: April 17, 9a Where: Plaza Park, Visalia Contact: 732-5000

MAR 23

Dawn of the Space Age: Planetarium Public Show 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: March 23, 7p Where: Peña Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334

MAR 31

Kaweah Delta Hospital Guild Orchid Sale Thirty different varieties of orchids furnished by AJ Floral Farms from Oakdale, California. All profits from this sale are used to purchase patient care equipment for the hospital. When: March 29 & 30, 7a/6a-4p Where: Kaweah Delta Medical Center Hospital Main Lobby, 400 W. Mineral King Ave., Visalia Contact: Donna, 734-3109

MAR 30

Toastmasters Open House Toastmasters Club 1599838 invites residents to its Open House to meet members and enjoy a supportive, positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their communication and leadership skills. Free to the public. Toastmasters Club 1599838 meets each Friday. When: March 30, 12:05-1p Where: 2425 S. Blackstone, Building A at Southern California Edison, Tulare Contact: Cory Bly, 684-3516, email or Steve Presant, or visit

Spring Break Nature Camp The educational team at Sequoia Riverlands Trust debuts outdoor camp at Kaweah Oaks Preserve where bugs, reptiles and nature are all part of the fun! Children will have the opportunity to play outside in guided activities at the Preserve. Day campers will get to learn about nature and play games as experienced naturalists lead the fun! The camp is open to elementary aged students. Children can attend for one day or stay and play all week. $20/day per child or $30/day for two children. $75/week. When: Apr. 2 - 6, 9a-12p Where: Kaweah Oaks Preserve, 29979 Road 182, Exeter Contact: Laura Childers, Sequoia Riverlands Trust, 738-0211 x103 or




Vi-Tri This event includes two courses to choose from, short or full-length. For those looking to get into triathlons or those who are experienced, this event is perfect for all interested. Registration closes March 27 so be sure to sign up early and get ready to swim, bike, run! When: March 31, 7:30a Where: El Diamante High School, 5100 W. Whitendale Ave., Visalia Contact:

Blues, Brews & BBQ Join in on live music, delicious barbeque and refreshing beverages at this fun downtown event. When: April 6, 6-10p Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia Contact: 732-7737 or 7th Annual Eggstravaganza Enjoy live entertainment, games, raffle prizes, egg hunt and a visit from “The Bunny.” Egg Hunt for children 3-10 years old. Free admission; activity fees may apply. When: April 7, 10a-12p Where: Riverway Sports Park, 3611 N. Dinuba Blvd., Visalia Contact: 713-4365

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Mother & Son Campout This campout is a great way for mothers to spend some quality time with their sons. If you love the idea of camping but dread the drive, camp with Visalia Parks and Recreation at Sunset Park. Play games, work on craft projects, learn about the great outdoors, roast marshmallows, and share stories. Dinner and breakfast included. Tents and camping gear not provided. Check in and set up begins at 4p on Saturday and campout will conclude after breakfast on Sunday. Boys 4-12 with mom. $25 per couple, $5 each additional child. When: April 14–15, 4p-9a Where: Sunset Park, Monte Verde & Lisendra, Visalia Contact: 713-4365

APR 12

Rawhide Baseball 2012 Season Opener Come out and support Visalia’s very own minor league baseball team as they look to open the season with their first home game against Dodgers affiliate, Rancho Cucomonga. As always there is much fun to be had at the ballpark for the whole family. When: April 12, 7p Where: Recreation Ballpark, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia Contact: 732-4433

APR 13

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity Planetarium Public Show Experience the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and witness the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole. Mathematical equations, cutting-edge science, and Einstein’s theories fill in holes along the way. When: April 13, 7p Where: Peña Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334

APR 15

SCICON BBQ & Wildflower Festival All students, families and the general public are invited to SCICON for this beautiful event. The wildflowers will be at their peak with hundreds of them in bloom. The SCICON staff will be on hand to lead wildflower hikes, bird watching hikes, and nature hikes. The museum, planetarium, observatory and Tree Nursery will be open all day. Musical groups from local schools will provide live entertainment. A delicious meal is provided by the Friends of SCICON with a traditional deep pit barbecue. There is no charge to attend for the day. Meal prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (60 & over) and $5 for children (12 years and under). When: April 15, 11a-4p Where: SCICON Camp, Springville Contact: SCICON office, 539-2642.

Watermedia Batik: a Mixed Media Approach The Arts Alliance of Three Rivers invites you to create mixed media paintings, exploring a special batik look technique with Japanese Masa rice paper mounted on canvas. The “dropped-in color” watercolor technique process will be investigated on the Masa paper support with a variety of watermedia hues. This method involves hue fusion, allowing the water to move color on the paper surface to create interesting values changes, color mixtures, and textures. Instructor: Helen Shafer Garcia. When: April 21–22, 10-4p Where: St. Anthony Retreat Center, 43816 Sierra Dr., Three Rivers Contact: 561-4671 Visalia Farmers’ Market – Harvest of the Valley 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 & Main/ Sears parking lot at Mooney and Caldwell, Visalia Contact: 967-6722 or

Writers & Readers Tulare County Library First Tuesday Book Club (April 3, 6:30p) Mystery Readers (March 21/April 18, 6p) 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.





March 2012