June 2012

Page 1


THE OLIVAS HOME History Preserved, Home and Land Flourish CULINARY

Mediterranean MAKEOVER on an American Favorite



Inspiration in the Depths


June 2012

Presort Standard U.S. POSTAGE PAID Visalia, CA Permit No. 100 ECRWSS


20 HOME TOUR The Olivas Home


Mediterranean Makeover on an American Favorite


Letter from the Executive Editor

10 Business Cents 12 Word Play 14 Local Adventure: Engelmann Cellars 16 Literary Arts: Carole Firstman 52 Fashion



54 Happenings


Kentucky Derby Party Helps End Hunger



Grand Canyon Inspiration in the Depths


40 4


ABOVE: The remodeled kitchen in the Olivas home is one of the only things updated in his 130-year old historic home, originially built by Emil Gottschalk of Gottschalks department store.

JUNE 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 corey ralston Diane Slocum JORDAN VENEMA Mark j. rowe Sharon Mosley TAYLOR VAUGHN BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA JEFFREY Malkasian EA Operations Manager Maria Gaston ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Bridget Elmore


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.

SALES OFFICE 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909 E-mail: lifestyle@dmiagency.com VIEW THE MAG ONLINE! issuu.com/lifestylemagazine


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 underground wine cellar is a typical hangout place (for the grown-ups) at the Olivas home in Hanford. LEFT: John Olivas strolls the rows of budding produce on his Hanford, Ca, property.

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

Maybe it’s because it’s time to renew my passport, or perhaps it’s just the time of year, but recently I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about somewhere far way – anywhere with white sandy beaches and the sound of waves crashing outside my window. In this business, vacations are few and far between, so I don’t take them lightly. I spend hours thinking about where we’ll go, where we’ll eat, and of course, what we’ll need to pack. Getting everything to fit in one checked and one carry-on piece of luggage is about as much adventure as I like on a vacation. So, when our Assistant Editor (and my daughter) Taylor Vaughn planned a trip to the Grand Canyon, I thought, “How nice for her to float down the Colorado River for a day.” When I found out the trip was actually to run the Grand Canyon, (carrying everything she’ll need for a 10-hour run on her back) my first thoughts were, “How will they order room service?” followed by, “They must be out of their minds.” For the full story and stunning photography, look for, “Inspiration in the Depths” on page 40. As we prepare this issue for print, it’s almost time for the 2012 Belmont Stakes – the third leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing. The impressive I’ll Have Another has recently taken both the famed Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, both in breath-holding, come-from-behind wins displaying a lot of heart by both the horse and rider. Someday, I’d love nothing more than to see one of these races in real life, even if it means wearing one of those outlandish hats for the better part of a day. Not the only one with an affection for horse racing, FoodLink recently implemented the horse racing theme as a way to raise awareness and funds for the local nonprofit. A little bit of creative thinking, and a few fancy hats later, the event raised more than $20,000 as well as the spirits of those attending with the idea of doing something about the continuing hunger issue we have in Tulare County. Beginning on page 36, you’ll read more about FoodLink’s important mission and maybe you’ll see someone you know all dressed to the nines. It’s also the time of year to take full advantage of our local bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Every Thursday night in Downtown Visalia, and Saturday mornings in the Sears parking lot, local vendors offer fresh produce for sale. In addition to finding the highest quality our Valley has to offer, it’s also a great social time. For more information and times, be sure to check out our Happenings section on page 54. While we’re on the subject of activities, it’s a good time to mention our newest publication – Raise. After a year in the planning stage, the inaugural issue of Raise was released at the end of May, and it’s packed with tips and activities for children grades K-12. It’s the only publication in the Central Valley focused on helpful ideas for raising kids today, and we’re very proud to offer this to area parents. Look for copies at more than 100 locations around the Valley, or check out the new Facebook page at facebook.com/raisemagazine. Thanks again for your continued support, and we'll look forward to seeing you next month.

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




Look ahead, get a financial plan! Text by Mark J. Rowe, CLU, ChFC, Lewis & Associates Insurance Brokers


t is no surprise to anyone reading this article that the past four years have been pretty tough here in the Central Valley. However, we may finally be seeing signs of hope on the horizon and many people are actually starting to dust off their piles of financial papers and think about the future and their financial planning. There are a lot of reasons people avoid or neglect their financial planning. Here are a few that might sound familiar: • I will start a plan when I have more money. • Financial planning is too confusing. • I do not have time. • I get discouraged when I look at my finances. • I will start my plan later. While you can do financial planning on your own, there are many benefits of getting advice and coaching from a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). These professionals are financial planners who have gone through rigorous education and testing and have pledged to conduct themselves in an ethical manner that puts your interests first. They know how to ask the important questions, steer you away from financial hazards, and suggest strategies that you may not have considered. Many of these professionals may also be able to prepare your plan for a fee without an obligation to purchase financial products. Financial planning starts with setting goals. After all, you need to know where you want to go before you can decide how to get there. Your goals can be short-term (paying a credit card in six months); medium-term (saving for a down payment on a house in two years); or long-term (sending your kids to college in 15 years or preparing for retirement). It also requires creating a realistic picture of where you are financially by listing everything you owe (liabilities) and the value of everything you own (assets). Also, you will need to track your monthly income and expenses in a notebook or on a budget form. Even if it’s not a pretty picture now, that’s okay. You’ve faced your financial situation, and financial planning will help you improve the picture. No matter how well you plan, financial potholes will inevitably come your way – stock market downturns, recessions, losing a job, wrecking the car, paying for an illness. You may not be able to avoid these potholes, but with a good plan you can minimize their financial impact. While completing, implementing and monitoring a financial plan is a lifelong endeavor and there are literally dozens of issues to think about, here are a few important tips to put on your 2012 todo list and help you get started: 10


Estate Planning Recent studies have indicated as many as two out of every three Americans do not have a basic will in place. Rich or poor, young or old, 2012 is great time to address fundamental estate planning issues such as Wills, Living Trusts and Power of Attorney documents. Also, given the current uncertainty of estate tax law, you should be taking the proper steps to ensure your assets are positioned and titled to maximize estate tax efficiency. Beneficiary Designations Review the beneficiary designations for all employer benefit plans, insurance policies, and investment accounts to make sure the designations reflect your current intentions and align with your current estate planning documents. This is of significant importance if you have had a recent ‘life event’ (marriage, divorce, new children). Life Insurance Review the reasons, necessity, and pricing of life insurance policies as circumstances and objectives may have changed since the original purchase. Also, be sure to ask for a current values report (in-force ledger) to determine if recent economic conditions have affected your policy. College Saving Expenses are still rising. According to The College Board, over the past decade, published in-state tuition and fees at public 4-year colleges and universities increased at an average rate of 5.6 percent per year above the rate of general inflation. Consider setting aside money in a 529 plan that grows tax-deferred and, if used for qualified expenses, is federally tax-exempt and may be state tax-exempt. Retirement Planning Consider maximizing your annual saving plan contribution to your 401(k) or 403(b) plans, or, at a minimum, contribute enough to get your full employer match. If you do not have a plan at work, contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA account. If you are not currently saving, you may never achieve financial independence. Debt Your plan for debt should be to get out of it! For many households, not all debt is bad. Mortgage debt, for example, can be a good thing if it means you have crossed a major milestone and are on your way to owning a home. However, if you're using credit to pay for routine expenses like food, entertainment or gas, you may be headed for a debt crisis. Pulling It All Together The underlying theme to creating a complete financial plan is to set either a comprehensive set of goals or just focus on certain aspects of financial planning depending upon your current age and financial situation. By setting precise, realistic, and achievable goals you can control your financial destiny if you decide that it's important enough.




ome books get labeled as “summer beach reads.” Elin Hilderbrand doesn’t beat around the bush with her latest title – Summerland. Her other novels, set on Nantucket Island, tend to alert readers to their suitability for vacation reading with titles such as Summer People and The Beach Club. Her latest revolves around a beach bonfire that turns into a tragedy for Nantucket High students. Jessica Brody’s new young adult novel, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, may not sound like a good promotion for Father’s Day, but just maybe spoiled heiress Lexington Larrabee will learn that she has 52 reasons to respect her father’s wisdom after he puts her to work in a different low-paying job every week during the year following her 18th birthday. Among its many titles, June has been named Great Outdoors Month. A book to consider on this topic is Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality. The book by Eva M. Selhub, MD, and Alan C. Logan, ND, purports to help readers safely de-tox from technology overload. The Great Outdoors Cookbook: 140 Recipes for Barbecues, Campfires, Picnics and More, by Phil Vickery, arranges recipes by cooking methods. Great Baseball Stories: Ruminations and Nostalgic Reminiscences on Our National Pastime, edited by Andrew Blauner and Lee Gutkind, is a collection of 20 essays on America’s summer sport. Valley Writing Groups Information on the Visalia Writers Group can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/visaliawriters. Fresno Writers Group meets the third Saturday of each month. The summer meetings are scheduled for June 16, July 21 and August 18 at 11 a.m. at the Sunnyside Regional Library, 5566 E. Kings Canyon, Fresno. Clovis Writers Group meets every two weeks on Thursdays. Upcoming meetings are June 28, July 12 and July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harlan Ranch Clubhouse, 1620 Leonard Ave., Clovis. Valley Writers Visalia Writers Group member Mary Benton won first place for her short story, “Bernetta, The Not So Good Witch” at the Central California Writers’ Conference in April at the Sierra Sky Ranch near Oakhurst. Among the speakers were Bonnie Hearn Hill and Hazel Dixon Cooper. Andre Yang has been awarded the College of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Medal at Fresno State. Earlier this year, his poems “B.B King’s Box” and “She’s Been Gone Months” were accepted by Crate magazine. Writers featured on “Valley Writers Read” on Valley Public Radio in June are Howard V. Hendrix (“American Bacon”), Sharon Patterson (“Ant Climbs a Mole Hill Guarded by a Camel”), Jon Frank (“Salatha Wall”), Larry Hill (“The Night We Read Carver”) and C.B. Mosher (“Descent into Heaven”). Episodes that have already aired can be heard online at http://www.kvpr.org/vwr-schedule.php.



Writers’ Workshops The San Francisco Writing for Change Conference is for writers who have a book that might change the world. It will be held on September 15 at the Unitarian Universalist Center in San Francisco. Fee is $99 before June 30 and goes up to $125 before August 31 and $149 in September. Attendance is limited to 100 attendees so early registration is advised. Details at: http://sfwritingforchange.org/. Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Novel Writer’s Retreat will be held October 5-7 at Pajaro Dunes Resort. Session includes one critique on first 12 pages of manuscript. Basic Fee: $499 double, $349 single. Early bird registration before June 25 is $30 less. Details: http://www.childrenswritersworkshop.com/pages/ retreat/index.html. While it is too late to sign up for the Squaw Valley (at Lake Tahoe) workshops for this summer, the Writer’s Workshop in a Book: The Squaw Valley Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction (Chronicle Books, 2007) can provide some of the same flavor, if not the intensity, of being there. The book offers essays by well-known writers who have taught or attended as students over the years. The workshop, which began in 1969, is the oldest in the western states. Contests The Poetry Society of America began giving awards nearly 100 years ago. Entries of student poems, ordinary meeting the extraordinary, poets over forty with few publications, poems published by a small press and more may be submitted to various contests between October 1 and December 22. Details: http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual/individual/. Publishing Writer’s Market Senior Content Editor Robert Lee Brewer recommends submitting to regional magazines to break into publishing. They usually aren’t as overwhelmed with submissions. Information on Writer’s Digest tutorials is at http://tutorials. writersdigest.com/home.aspx. “An Agent’s Secrets to Selling Your First Novel,” “Plot and Structure Your Novel,” and “Get Your Memoir to Sell” are a few of the recent titles. The tutorials are available to subscribers who sign up for a one-month, six-month or 12-month period. They can also be purchased individually for $19.99. The Last Word “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)


is only the first step... ...pisetonl s tysthe rif efirst ht ylnstep... o si is only the first step...

is only the first step... is only the first step...


Wine Tasting:

Engelmann Cellars Who says you have to go to the Central Coast or the North County to experience great vineyards and wineries? Although, Paso Robles, Sonoma and Napa Valley do boast a multitude of great wineries, our very own Central Valley is privy to a few boutique wineries worth the short drive, like Engelmann Cellars in Fresno. For a fun, summer adventure that doesn't dig deep into your wallet, Engelmann Cellars has a list of activities and events perfect for a wine connoisseur, music lover, or just someone looking to enjoy a warm Valley sunset. First, uncover what Engelmann's has to offer by attending one of their Friday Night Wine Tastings, where all you'll need is your own chair or blanket and wine glass to enjoy the sunset, the sounds of live music on stage and the boutique wine, crafted on-site. Friday Night Wine Tasting nights are free of charge, but because of the proximity of flowing wine are for the 21 and over. The jam-packed summer schedule of bands offers something for everyone, as each Friday night is different ranging from country music, reggae, classic rock, party/dance music, blues and more. For a daylight adventure, the Barrel Room at Engelmann Cellars is climate controlled at a constant 65 degrees, making it the number one spot to be on these hot summer days when the weather outside is in the hundreds! Wine tasting in the Barrel Room is offered every Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 p.m or by appointment. The practice of wine tasting has been around as long as its production, but a more formalized methodology has been establishing itself since the 14th century. Wine tasting is more than sipping on reds and whites, it is designed to be a complete sensory experience – an educational experience at that. In fact, there are stages of wine tasting from the appearance, “in-glass” aroma, “in-mouth” sensation and the “finish”, or aftertaste. Although, one great aspect of wine tasting is it is fun for everyone, you don't have to be a sommelier to enjoy a day in a wine room. For those who simply enjoy the atmosphere of a beautiful vineyard and good wine, it can easily be your thing, too. After your nose, lips, tongue and belly have had their adventures through the reds, roses and whites there is ample room to sit and picnic at the Cellar Door Patio, or why not buy a bottle of their award winning wine and continue the fun. Better yet, after you return back home, stop by Costco and pick up a bottle of their Ashley's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and finish off the evening on your back patio. With so much to offer, Engelmann Cellars is more than just a place to go wine tasting, it is a destination. For more information and details about Friday Night Wine Tastings, the Barrel Room and the vineyard visit www.engelmanncellars.com 14



CAROLE FIRSTMAN Visalia teacher’s essays are on the road to literary acclaim Text by By Diane Slocum


arole Firstman’s Fresno State students describe her as fun and energetic. Talking with her about her writing life leaves the same impression. Firstman has been a Visalia elementary school teacher, a promoter of the arts and a freelance writer for numerous local publications. Now, in addition to teaching at Fresno State, she is a student there, working toward her Master of Fine Arts degree. Her writing is reaching a broader audience with essays in online magazines such as one called Defunct, and a soon-to-be published piece in The Colorado Review, a respected literary journal. Firstman traces her initial spark of interest in writing back to third grade. She remembers writing a poem that she was proud of. She moved to Visalia with her mother and brother at the age of 10, and by the time she was in the sixth grade, she enjoyed writing Nancy Drew-type mysteries. Her teacher, Mrs. (Vickie) Bigler, would read them after school and encourage her. Her junior high English teacher, Mr. (Russ) Audino did the same. 16


“He was my favorite English teacher – ever – and I would give him my little who-dun-it stories and he would say ‘good job’ and I guess that was all the encouragement I needed,” she said. Despite the early start, Firstman didn’t think about becoming a writer as she went on to Redwood High School, College of the Sequoias, and Fresno State, where she majored in Liberal Studies and received a teaching credential. She taught at Willow Glen Elementary School in Visalia for 17 years, mostly at the third through fifth grade levels, but she landed in each of the grades at one time or another. “We were a year-round school for a lot of those years, so I would switch grade levels in order to accommodate my travel plans,” she said. “I was, like, oh, I want to go to Timbuktu next August, so I’m going to switch grade levels. It worked out really well.” During those 17 years, she returned to college for her Master in Education with an emphasis in Language Arts and also a Reading Specialist certificate.


Her thoughts returned to writing when she joined a book club during one of her stints at teaching third grade. The club read Angela’s Ashes and it inspired her to write a novel based on someone’s life. “I did – and it was lousy,” she said. “Before I realized it was lousy, and I was trying to find a publisher for it, one of the agents at a conference said it would be a lot easier for you to sell your stuff as a first-time novelist if you had some publishing credits behind your name.” So she went to The Fresno Bee with her idea of writing profiles of interesting people in Visalia. “They said yes,” she said. “And I thought I was going to do it for free.” Her first subject was Gary Benjamin, an active member of the Visalia Community Players, who Firstman knew through her own involvement in the theater. Benjamin does sound design, runs the sound board, directs shows, runs electrical wiring and more,

despite being blind. “He does everything everybody else does and more,” she said. “The man is absolutely amazing. He doesn’t know the words ‘I can’t’.” She told him he was the most interesting person she knew and he agreed to an interview. “I was so nervous, even though I knew him” she said. “I went to his house. I had my little tape recorder and three notebooks just ABOVE LEFT: One of Firstman's favorite American cities is Portland, Oregon. In a recent essay, she contemplated humankind's connection to nature within urban settings, like the Japanese Gardens, pictured here. TOP RIGHT: There's nothing like slurping fresh coconut milk after an afternoon of fishing in the warm waters of the Caribbean — travel writing definitely has its perks. BOTTOM RIGHT: Although she's hiked the Andes, trudged the lower Tetons, and canoed the Amazon, Firstman often finds adventure- and nature-writing inspiration by exploring the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. Pictured here: Tokopah Falls, Sequoia National Park.




in case I would run out of paper. I was very formal with him, because I was nervous for some reason. He was so sweet. I remember that first article very, very well.” When she turned in the article, her editor said it was good, but needed to be shortened, like maybe by about two-thirds. She didn’t see how she could possibly cut out all those words. Her mother came over and helped by pulling out words here and there, asking if she could live without them. Eventually, she could. “It took hours, because every one of those words to cut was painful for some reason,” she said. “So that was my first lesson in how to cut words when you revise.” She also has vivid memories of the day the article came out. She was up at 3 a.m. waiting for the paper to be delivered. “And when I saw that first article published, with my name in the byline, I was hooked,” she said. She was also “thrilled to death” when she found out she would be paid for the privilege of being in print. That 1997 article launched her on a freelance career. She guesses she has written about 300 articles during the 15 years since then. She continued to write articles for The Fresno Bee and was on staff for The Valley Voice for nearly a year. She wrote for the Visalia Times-Delta, as well as Wedding Style, Direct and Lifestyle magazines. One of her frequent subjects is the travel essay. Her articles are not the what-to-see-and-where-to-stay type, but personal essays that revolve around travel. “Surfing Fiji” won her the 2008 Silver Addy Award for Best Magazine feature, published in Lifestyle Magazine. Three of her articles, “Adventuring the Amazon,” “Surprises of Chichi,” and “Armenians of Chomaklou,” received honorable mention in the 77th Annual Writer's Digest writing competition for feature articles. “Out-Swimming Piranhas” received honorable mention in the Third Annual Solas Awards. The 18


Creative Non-Fiction award for a graduate student at Fresno State last spring went to her “Traffic Jam: Lagos, Nigeria” which will be appearing in Defunct, the online magazine of the University of Iowa. She also writes essays that discuss the complexities of family relationships, and the relationships of people and nature. One of these, “Curve Ahead,” is published online at kneejerkmag.com, the title referring to more in her five-year-old life than a bend in the Death Valley highway. Her biggest coup, so far, is the publication of her essay, “Liminal Scorpions,” in The Colorado Review. She credits her attendance at the Tin House Writer’s Workshop with helping her to bring her essay up to this level. Firstman was one of 10 Fresno State MFA students accepted to this Portland, workshop last year. Her teacher at the workshop was Lee Montgomery of Tin House Books, who was supportive and encouraged Firstman to send the article to big name literary magazines, yet didn’t mince words in critiquing the essay. But for her ongoing editing, Firstman relies on someone more home grown – her husband, Karl Schoettler. “He’s the best editor, ever,” she said. “He edits everything, if I ask. I’m really lucky. A lot of people don’t have anyone who can line edit at home.” As for the future, Firstman has one year left on her MFA at Fresno State and is putting together a collection of essays, hoping to publish them in book form as a memoir. She also plans to continue teaching creative writing. “There is nothing that makes me think harder,” she said. “Writing is abstract. You sort of just know how to do it. Teaching it forces me to learn even more about it. The more I teach writing, the better writer I become.” ABOVE: Firstman chats with the locals while stringing beads on the breezy beach of Belize.


Summer 2012

Quail Park Retirement Village will be opening its doors to a new state-of-the-art Memory Care Community for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

OFFERING: • 24 Hour Supervision • Secured Environment • All-Day Dining • Licensed Nurses

• Walking Paths • Creative Life Enhancement Program • Peace of Mind

Currently accepting reservations for this unique community. Please call 559-624-3500 and ask how your loved one can become a Tribute Circle founding Member and receive special move-in benefits. Stop by the Tour Center located at 4520 W. Cypress Avenue, Visalia or call 559-624-3500 for additional information.



History Prese and Land Fl Text by Jordan Venema | Photos by Forrest Cavale, Third Element Studios




rved, Home ourish

PICTURED: The well-preserved dining room of the historic Olivas home, built by Emil Gottschalk 130 years ago.





ife teaches the importance of stopping to smell the roses. But Hanford native John Olivas might argue that it’s better to stop and pick the berries, since berries are his business. John owns and operates Rancho Notso Grande, a three-acre, 13-variety, U-pick berry farm snuggled next to his private residence on the southeast corner of 12th and Excelsior Avenues in Hanford, California. During harvest, John gets his share of sticky-fingered visitors, but many will be too busy with berries to notice the grand Victorian home rising above the bushes. But long before there were berries, the plainsmen style home with its wraparound porch caught John’s eye. He purchased the five-acre property in 1997, mainly because the house was different. “Old homes like this,” John explained, “they don’t make them anymore.” Judging the home by its façade, the three-bedroom and twobathroom house appears a little overdressed for its country setting, like a man wearing a tux to a barnyard dance. But if the home looks somewhat out-of-place, that’s because it is: the house was built in Fresno, sometime around the turn of the 20th century, by Emil Gottschalk, founder of the department store Gottschalks. In 1931 the home was sold, separated into three pieces, and moved to Hanford. The third and largest piece of the house didn’t quite make it home – it blocked traffic along the Kingston Bridge in Laton for three days and never completed the journey whole. The upper half of the home was almost entirely rebuilt by a German carpenter following the move in 1931. And while the house has been continually remodeled since then, much of the



home – banisters, original wood floors, and built-in hutches – stands as it did when it was built in Fresno. Even the cut line, where the home was divided, is faintly visible as a plaster scar stretching across the wall in the sitting room. The house was once physically divided, but it was also structurally divided by a Victorian principle that separates the living quarters from the “entertaining” quarters – a convenient way to prevent guests from glimpsing unmade beds and piles of dirty clothes through open doors. The first story of the home opens into a dark-paneled entry room, with a banister stairway leading upstairs. Herringbone pattern oak floors with trimmed edges run up against dark paneled 18” baseboards, “Just to be ostentatious,” John commented. A dining room and sitting room saddle the entrance by wide doorways with sliding pocket doors. The doors can be drawn shut or recessed, like drapes on a window, for privacy and insulation – an effort at energy efficiency, since the home used to be heated by dual-chimney, wood-burning stoves. John laughed while admitting his home received the lowest possible score on energy efficiency, “But to try and put in dual window panes, you’d lose something,” John added. One of the sacrifices to maintain the home’s historical integrity. Whatever the home lacks in energy efficiency, it supplies in refined comforts: leaded glass windows, a built-in hutch, fire places on either side of the home, the coffered ceiling and wainscot ABOVE: John Olivas, owner of Rancho Notso Grande – a U-pick berry farm in Hanford – strolls through the rows of his blackberry bushes to find a perfectly ripe berry for picking.



paneling. John may have laughed when he called the herringbone pattern ostentatious, but the consistency of warm and dark colors, the wood paneling and dark finish through the house, and the way the light gently reflected off the oak floors creates a welcoming atmosphere. The result is an interior that is both rustic, Victorian and classical without clashing or feeling cluttered. From the main entrance, a winding, thick-pinned banister stairway leads to the three bedrooms and single bathroom upstairs. John had thought about refinishing the banister but preferred to leave “the nicks and stuff” because he appreciated the history of the home. “Five generations of kids ran their hot wheels down the top of it…it’s got a lot of character,” John mused. Four different families and five generations have lived in the house, and each nick, nook or cranny tell a story dating back more than a hundred years. What does John love most about the home? “That I’ve been able to maintain it and preserve it for future generations, most likely my kids. And the ability to share it, too,” he answered. And John has preserved, even enhanced the “Old World” feel both by design and renovation. From the framed print of “the Burial of Count Orgaz” by El Greco to the 18th century French wooden

leg of the bathroom sink, Olivas has infused his home with a European spice. While renovating, John wanted to stay old world but not too old. The remodeled kitchen, the most modern room in the house, probably exemplifies this fusion: custom cabinets restrained with complementary colors, a granite-top bar and earth-toned tile. But John, who loves to cook, wanted a modern kitchen. He widened the work triangle and installed commercial equipment, shinning chrome, and a state-of-the-art Jenn-Air downdraft stovetop. While John has renovated much of the home’s interior, he’s invested more in outdoor landscaping. Since 1997, John has added a barn, swimming pool, 800 linear feet of steel fencing and a large shaded summerhouse. More than twenty tons of boulders decorate the curved pool, and different varieties of trees provide shade: sycamores, Modesto ash, Chinese pistachio and pecans. Just a wet dash from the pool is a 27x27’ Roman summerhouse. The structure, constructed of clean white beams that resemble picket fencing, casts a shade over a half-moon bar and stone chimney. The backyard is perfect for hosting and cooking for large parties – a rack of lamb, roasted turkey, smoke salmon: been there, done that. PICTURED: The back patio leading to the kitchen of the Olivas home in Hanford.




But sometimes simple is better. “Grilled cheese is a great thing to do when you’re swimming,” John insists. While it may be a stereotype, no country home is complete without its barn. John’s barn may look like a typical farmyard storage shed–an open interior with scattered tools and equipment, dust lying in corners and the faint smell of grease–but the second story, which John converted into a work office, is more like a natural history museum. John has decorated the office with his passion: hunting. Two stuffed American Mergansers pose on a small table, and a Colorado Rocky Mountain Elk stares down from the wall. A stuffed coyote bears its teeth, perhaps at the workload resting on John’s desk. In case John puts in a long night of a work, there’s a bed and bathroom in an adjoining room. It’s hard to imagine John sitting at any desk for long, especially between May and August, the operating months for his U-pick berry farm. “Thousands of people have my phone number this time of year,” John explained. Rancho Notso Grande, now in its 8th season, takes up three of the property’s five acres, and grows 13 varieties of berries, including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, olallieberries and tayberries. Rancho Notso Grande is a business, but for John, “The true essence of the berry farm is trying to share the agrarian lifestyle and to show people where their food comes from.” John has had visitors from as far as Australia and Southeast Asia, including monks dressed in yellow robes. But wherever his customers are from, they’ve all likely left with stained fingers. “Happy customers,” John calls them. And whether customers are from Hanford or from across the country, the stories they’ve shared have a common tone: “when I was a kid, my grandmother had a blackberry bush...” So while the search for the perfect berry might come with a few scratches and stains, the memories are easy picking. John believes, “The fondest memories that people have comes from an exposure to nature and agriculture.” TOP LEFT: The 130-year-old banister is a thing of function and beauty in the Olivas home in Hanford, CA — originally built in Fresno by Emil Gottschalk. MIDDLE LEFT: Picture-perfect berries are ready for picking at the Olivas home, where John Olivas' property hosts a U-pick berry farm, Rancho Notso Grande. BOTTOM LEFT: A "Cocktail Lounge" sign hangs on the basement door that leads to the wine cellar (pictured on cover) underneath the Olivas home.







John’s 14-year-old son Micah and 9-year-old daughter Chloe have that exposure to nature and agriculture just a few steps from their bedrooms. The berries are at their fingertips – John’s recipe for fond memories – that, and spending time with his kids. John described Chloe as a “raspberry fanatic,” but he likely doesn’t begrudge his kids picking berries whenever they please. His children receive top grades in their schools, and his son Micah is graduating valedictorian of his eighth grade class with a 4.14 GPA. Proof of the benefits of antioxidants, perhaps? Maybe. But it’s more likely the result of what John calls “hands-on parenting.” As busy as business gets, John’s work is never far from the front porch, never far from the backyard, where he and his kids can practice together the art of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Just outside the front door and below the porch, a resin compass is laid in concrete. John intended the rosette to be “a way for a person to start a journey. Just pick the direction and head out the gate.” But before the compass was laid, the house had already made its journey, and since being laid, customers continually make the journey to the property and farm. John may have intended the compass to be the beginning of a journey, but for his customers, for the home itself, the rosette has become a destination.




PICTURED: The outdoor kitchen of the Olivas home in Hanford, CA, is the perfect place to hang out and cook pizza in the brick oven.





MAKEOVER on a n a m e r ic a n favor i t e Recipies by Chafic Dada, Pita Kabob Mediterranean Fusion Grill | Photos by Taylor Vaughn


hen the weather warms up, grills fire up. For a twist on an American staple, the hamburger, dive into the Mediterranean for inspiration. Instead of a runof-the-mill beef patty, try a blend of ground lamb and ground beef with flavorful spices to create a fusion of the two – lulu. Of course, any tasty burger doesn’t depend solely on the meat in between the buns, the fusion of Mediterranean and American ingredients creates the perfect combination for mouthwatering flavor. Adding a salad to any meal is a great way to cool off this summer, but for another Mediterranean twist, try parsley and lemon juice to refresh your tastebuds with a tabouleh salad.







Original PK


(Lulu Kabob)

Approx 8 servings Made with Lulu (aka Kafta), a blend of beef and lamb. ingredients 1 lb ground lamb 1 lb ground beef 1/4 C finely chopped parsley 1 tsp ground black pepper 2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp onion powder 1/4 onions, chopped 2 T olive oil 16 slices, cheddar cheese (two per burger) 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper Hamburger bun Lettuce Tomato directions Mix ground lamb and beef together with parsley, salt and pepper. Form meat into 4 oz patties. Charbroil over an open flame or use a flat top (or skillet) and cook the burgers, a couple minutes each side. Place cheese on top of the burger. Place onions on skillet and pour olive oil over them. Pepper to taste, and set burger on onions. Cover with lid for 2-3 minutes, or until onions are caramelized. Remove the burger and place the onions on top of the burger and cheese. Put burger on bun, add lettuce and tomato, and serve.




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Taboulehsalad Approx 8 servings

ingredients 2 C bulgur wheat 1/2 C chopped parsley 1/2 C tomato, peeled and diced 2 T dry mint 4 oz virgin olive oil 4 oz fresh lemon juice Salt to taste directions Cook bulgur wheat according to directions on box. Chop parsley very fine, add the cracked wheat, tomatoes, dry mint, salt, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl and mix together. Serve cold.




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party helps end hunger

Text by Corey Ralston | Photos by Studio 317


he energy inside the Visalia Country Club’s banquet room was palpable. Party-goers used all they had to cheer the horses on, as if they could be heard 2,200 miles away in Louisville, Kentucky, as they made a decision on which horse was going to win the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The First Annual Kentucky Derby Party was met with rousing reception to bring a piece of the South here to Visalia, and to benefit a great cause. Proceeds from the party went back into the community through FoodLink of Tulare County. “FoodLink is a charitable nonprofit that collaborates with hundreds of agricultural and food manufacturing donors to obtain healthy food and with dozens of non-profit food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters to distribute it to hungry children, families, and seniors,” said Executive Director Sandy Beals. Today, FoodLink gives eight million pounds of nutritious food to 106,000 people and also provides nutrition education services each year.” Hunger is an issue in virtually every county of the United States, but Tulare County is on the extremely high end of the hunger spectrum. “The last hunger survey revealed 21 percent of adults and 34 percent of children are 'food insecure' in Tulare County. It’s primarily due to our high unemployment and seasonal employment rates, but hunger is unacceptable for any reason,” said Beals. It only took some creative thinking and support from the community to throw such a successful event. In the clubhouse was a sea of oversized derby hats, and both men and women were dressed to the nines. Large screen televisions adorned each wall with the day's races. Near the bar were the silent auction tables, filled with an assortment of items up for bid, including baskets

filled with first-class goods, as well as trips to Monterey, San Diego and Cayucos. Spilling outside the clubhouse were tables by the water where guests could soak up the sun and smoke cigars. Leading up to the race was a Fancy Hat contest where men and women alike could enter their millinery creations and win the adoration of the party-goers and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Twenty of the 76 hat-wearers participated in the contest. The crowd cheered for their favorites as it came down to the final three, but Rachel Acosta was the clear winner with her large brown sun hat, embellished with a large sunflower and a small bouquet of other seasonal favorites. “I found the hat at Kohl’s,” Acosta said. “Then I went a little wild at Michaels. A little glue gun does all the work.” A man, Jim Luke of Visalia, stood out from the rest with an outfit that looked like it was borrowed from Elton John’s closet. He wore red satin pants, a flouncy top with vest, and a boa to complete the look. “I was in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' twice, and once I played King Herod. The director wanted him to have comedy so we decided to give him Elton John style. They wanted that flashy look. I really think I picked the right outfit for the occasion,” Luke said. Tom Finni, dressed in a white suit that could only come from the pages of a Tennessee Williams play, talked about the odds of the horses with the other men at his table. “You know I look at the names and the odds but generally I bet on the names,” Finni said. Across the room, Venita Jourdan, in her finest Southern Church Outfit, was very confident of her bets. “I go with what my gut tells me. I am betting on Take Charge Indy and I’ll Have Another. I go off the odds as well as the names. I had a long shot earlier that LIFESTYLE | JUNE 2012



won so we will see what happens,” Jourdan said with a huge laugh. Her instincts were right. While it looked like Bodemeister was going to sweep the race, I’ll Have Another sped up out of nowhere and took the win. “I did it! I told you!” Jourdan jumped and screamed. While guests noshed on hors d’oveurs and bid their large winnings on items at the live auction, local Bluegrass band, The Dust Bowl Kids, serenaded the party with authentic Southern jams. Event Coordinator Valerie Castles has big plans for the future of the event. “There’s plenty of room to grow adjacent to the clubhouse. We’ll add more jumbo screens and do whatever it takes to make sure the guests have a great time,” Castles said. With generous donations and over 350 tickets sold, the event



raised a large sum of money for impoverished Tulare County residents. “Thanks to the support of sponsors and party guests, more than $20,000 was raised.” said Castles. “Everyone who cares about the quality of life in Tulare County ought to attend next year’s party. Their support will help reduce hunger and food shortages in our area. At the end of the day, it’s all about feeding people and transforming lives.” Sandy Beals couldn’t be happier about the outcome of the event. “I really love big, colorful, foo-foo hats, so I certainly had my foo-foo fix satisfied!” said Beals. “But what I enjoyed most was, knowing that guests and sponsors were there because they want to be part of our important work to end hunger.”



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Inspiration GRAND CAYNON:

Depths in the

Text and Photos by Taylor Vaughn








he plan was to sit quietly through my friend's meeting so we could grab dinner afterward. They were an upbeat, eclectic group sitting outside of Starbucks when I joined them, with a set of facial expressions to match – eager, excited, curious, and skeptical – as they discussed their upcoming trip. “Are you going?” Scott asked, catching me off guard. “Ha!” I replied, as if he'd asked me some absurd question (which he had). “No, I'm not going.” Flattered he asked, but certainly I was not the “right type of person” for this kind of trip. Had I unintentionally fooled him into thinking I was? Maybe it was the gym apparel that gave off an athletic vibe. Or maybe my face had “ready for adventure” written across it. Or maybe he asked because he hadn't the slightest idea who I was or how I ended up at the meeting. “Yes you are,” he replied with a smirk. Scott Newton, owner of Sole2Soul (a running store in Visalia, Fresno, and Bakersfield), is an enthusiastic endurance runner whose love for running is contagious; sharing endless stories and fond memories, it's clear Scott is in the business of inspiring others to love it also. With two 100-mile and countless 50-mile races completed, he was ready for a new kind of adventure and wanted other people along to share in the memories. His big idea...run the Grand Canyon. (Cricket, cricket. People do that?) There were obvious reasons why I should not go. Reason #1: I am neither a long distance runner, nor a trail runner. A mediocre short distance runner (i.e. a few miles without stopping or sweating blood) is a more accurate description of my ability. The Grand Canyon would be a very lengthy trail, and my only trail running experience to speak of was a 5k at Cutler-Orosi park last year where I managed to cross the finish line without a twisted ankle and a shirt full of grass stains. Success! Reason #2: The first thing on the informational handout was a photo of a sign at the Grand Canyon warning people not to do the very thing we would be doing. There were plenty of to-do's on my list of New Years' Resolutions, but trying to cheat death was not one of them. There were also reasons why I should go: Reason #1: The Grand Canyon recently made my bucket list. For as far back as can be remembered, I was willing to take a road trip to anywhere but there. However, some friends took a trip in February and came back with breathtaking photos. Maybe it was the majestic colors, the mystery of the rugged architecture, or their bright and shining faces in the photos, but for the first time the miles and miles of rock appealed to me. Reason #2: I would get the opportunity to take my own photos. It was exciting to picture myself running on the raw, open terrain, weaving through miles of intricate rock layers, enveloped in one of the world's “seven natural wonders” with a camera to capture it all. I was in.

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Lifestyle Magazine's Assistant Editor Taylor Vaughn found herself running up the rugged terrain of the Grand Canyon this May. The 18-mile run took 9.5 hours to complete. TOP LEFT: A sign at the Grand Canyon warns travelers not to attempt what Taylor and her group of fellow runners would be attempting — running from the rim of the canyon, to the river, and back to the rim in one day. BOTTOM LEFT: Jesse Jones leads the way through the valley floor of the Grand Canyon.




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It was a quick trip; we drove Thursday, ran Friday, and came home Saturday. The van was filled with perky people ready for an adventure, and abuzz with chit chat about running events and conversation of what the next day would have in store for us. Kristina Ross, who had participated in the “American River 50 Mile Endurance Run” in April, was teetering back and forth between running either 22 or 45 miles in the morning. We hadn't made it to Tehachapi when in the middle of her contemplation she asked, “So is anyone going to run the California Classic half marathon on Sunday?” (Cricket, Cricket. This Sunday?) I might have heard the answers to her question if my head wasn't full of my own questions like, “Is she serious?” and, “Who are these people and what have they done with the humans?” Good advice floated around the van. Josh Hickey, another experienced and knowledgeable endurance runner, talked about hydration and nutrition. “Set a timer for every 30 minutes to consume calories so you don't go too long without,” Josh advised us. We started to calculate the amount of gels we would need, depending on the length of our run. “Or you could eat all of your calories at the beginning, then at the end you'll be even,” another passenger chimed in sarcastically. (Wait, was it sarcasm? Sounded good to me. But what did I know? I wasn't even supposed to be at the meeting.) We laughed. We made it to The Grand Hotel (11.5 hours later) in time for dinner, followed by a meeting in the lobby before we prepped, packed our gear, and got some rest. TOP: (Back Row, left to right) Chase Pierce, Jeff Pierce, Erik Pierce, Josh Hickey, Travis Griffith, Scott Newton, Jill Newton, Tim Greilich, Diane, Andy Noise. (Front row, left to right) Travis Hobbs, Taylor Vaughn, Michelle Wooten, Jesse Jones, Kristina Ross, Brad Castillo, Jeanette Willems, Kyle Robinson. LEFT: Jesse Jones runs over a narrow bridge that crosses the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.






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The next morning was an early one, but the excitement about the day overshadowed the chilly morning hour. We arrived at the Kaibob Trail at the South Rim and stood at its edge, gazing upon the magnitude of the canyon's depth and beauty. The sun's early glow lit up the sky, stretching its rays in every direction as it rose behind the cliff in the distance, as if it was unable to get where it wanted to be fast enough. The runners doing the full 45 miles (South Rim to river, to North Rim, to river and back to South Rim) dropped in, sped off down the trail and disappeared from sight in just minutes. It was going to be a long day, and they were on a mission. The rest of us split up into the groups we'd be traveling with. Jesse Jones, the friend whom I tagged along with to the meeting, traveled the canyon with me. I trotted along behind him most of the way. Unlike a regular running event, where one could choose to not finish, the Grand Canyon has no such option. It is like a giant bowl, a crater, with an elevation change of nearly 6,000 feet from the rim to bottom; if you should be so bold to climb in, you must also climb out. No pressure (and no elevator). There wasn't much time to get acclimated to the terrain. It was a steep trail down into the canyon, made up of miles of switchbacks. Whomever said, “It's all downhill from here,� did not coin that phrase here. Downhill, what I thought would be the easy part, meant constantly having to put on the breaks; my legs were

TOP: Travis Griffith (left) and Jesse Jones (right) get a good look at the trail map before leaving to run the Grand Canyon; Jesse snaps a photo with his phone. LEFT: The group set off for the Kaibob Trail at the South Rim early Friday morning.







burning and fatigued within the first two miles, and we still had 16 to go. The uphill became a nice relief. Keeping an eye on the rocky and uneven ground most of the time, every half mile we'd remember to stop and look up, taking in the views that surrounded us as we trekked down endless switchbacks, across bridges, over the sparkling Colorado River, up sandy trails, and through narrow paths lined with a city of rocky skyscrapers which towered over us. We'd made it about half way before needing a long break. The toll of exertion had finally caught up, energy levels depleted and a headache was quickly on its way. Water was nearly gone and how far to the nearest faucet was unknown. Too nauseated to be hungry but knowing fuel was critical, I layed down in the shade and forced down apricots and peanut butter. An overwhelming state of panic rushed through me. I'm a fairly stong-willed person, so to be going, going, going, and then hit a brick wall was terrifying.

PICTURED: The view of the canyon at sunrise from the top of the Kaibob Trail at the South Rim -- Taylor's favorite view and photo of the Grand Canyon.



“We're only half way, I don't think I can make it,” and, “This is what the sign warned us about,” ran through my head as I tried to sift through thoughts of doubt while knowing I had to continue. Jesse was my hero that day, for more reasons than just setting the pace and taking the lead. I'm an over-packer. While everyone else packed water, gels, cliff bars, and maybe a few band-aids, I thought it would be a good idea to have “real” supplies. I had packed homemade nut and seed bars, dried apricots, fruit snacks, peanut butter, tuna packets, and other “necessities” like enough band-aids for eight people, kinesio tape, deodorant, and other important “stuff.” Real supplies equals real heavy. If I had to guess, the pack weighed more than 20 pounds. Jesse (a triathlete, fitness coach, and overall stronger person than I) insisted we trade packs and he carried mine for the entire run. Jesse let me rest, eat, and regroup before insisting it was time to get moving again. Panic left me when we found water just a half mile ahead.








We continued on and found another person from our group. Travis Griffith started the day with one group, then decided to turn back and go a different route, and ended up alone for most of his run. Happy to find each other, the three of us traveled the last few miles together. It was the end of a very long day. We traveled slowly, this time up the steep switchbacks, sitting often, taking pictures, and playing leap frog up the trail with other people doing the same thing as us. Conquering those last three miles of switchbacks and thousands of feet of elevation gain, the trail had finally ended and the 18 mile, 9.5 hour day was finished. Later that night the group exchanged stories. A couple people got really sick, but managed to make it out. Others, like me, were thrilled to say “we did it” – aches and pains proving we had the willpower to push through. And still others, like Scott and Josh, assured us they had a good day in a casual tone that said, “It was a great day for a nice jog.” A few weeks later, Scott mentioned he would like to go back and do it “for real.” (Cricket, cricket. Had this time not been real? I have pictures to prove it.) He completed the 45-mile run in 13.5 hours, and would like to go back and finish in 10.5. If he does decide to go back, I'm certain he'll have another group of eager, excited, curious, and skeptical people along with him. Whether I go back again, or take a road trip running adventure to somewhere new, I hope to be in the business of inspiring people to do what I love: take a risk and try something new, as I share my own stories about a group of crazy people who once wanted to – and did – run the Grand Canyon. LEFT: Jill Newton and Tim Greilich head down the start of miles of switchbacks at the Grand Canyon. TOP RIGHT: Travis Griffith (left) and Jesse Jones (right) stand at the edge of a canyon trail, showing their dusty shoes and tired legs. BOTTOM RIGHT: The group gathers for a few early morning photos before trekking to the canyon's trail head to begin their day-long run. LIFESTYLE | JUNE 2012






Cracking the Office

DRESS CODE Text by Sharon Mosley


rab your handbag. Grab your iPad. Grab your flip-flops? Whoa, not so fast. Dressing for the office may be a little more relaxed now than it was in the days of padded shoulders and stiff suits, but it is still important to look polished and put together when it comes to work wear, says Jenny Levin, author of Great Style: Best Ways to Update Your Look. "Whether you spend your day in front of a computer, in meetings, or at luncheons, dressing professionally and appropriately counts," says Levin. "Thankfully, fashion has become more interesting, and there are loads of exciting options out there that will pass muster even in a conservative office environment. So while many of us are restricted by our office dress code, that doesn't have to mean boring and basic." Here are some tips Levin says to remember when dressing for work:

Obey the rules (whether you like them or not). Dressing against office dictates won't impress the boss or your colleagues. Never show your midriff. Wear shirts of a proper length, and shun pants that ride too low. Avoid revealing too much cleavage. Work is definitely not the place for it. Keep your straps under wraps. Never let your bra show, and make sure your shirt is buttoned up properly. Keep your hemlines in check. Even if you have great gams, super short skirts should be saved for evenings out or weekends. A few inches above the knee is the shortest you should go. Save your flip-flops for the beach and your sneakers for the gym. Wear a pair of simple flats for your commute instead.

Try not to go too tight. The office isn't the right place to hug every curve. Don't get too wacky. It's fine to express your personal style, but keep it refined. Crazy hats, over-the-top makeup and raucous patterns or colors will make you seem too eccentric. The traditional two-piece suit is the office standard. In a well-cut jacket with matching pants or a skirt, you know you'll always look smart. There is a suit to flatter every one of us. Stick to the classics and you can't go wrong. When it comes to dressing professionally, polish is what it's all about. And that isn't restricted to suits. The right dress can say power just as much as a suit, and since frocks are an all-in outfit, they are even easier to wear than a suit.

Use your best judgment. Save slinkier styles, like lacy camisoles and strapless dresses, for the evening.



h happenings

Focal Points: Invitational Photography Exhibition Focal Points is an exhibition featuring photographic works by several different artists from throughout Tulare County including Jeri Burzin, John Friedrich, Ron Holman, Sherley Keller, Wayne Powell, Gene Roberts and Virginia Wilson. Several images by each of the exhibiting artists will reflect the unique perspectives each takes in framing their observations through the camera lens. When: Jul. 4 – 27; Reception: Jul. 6, 6-8p Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905

Theater & Performances To Kill A Mockingbird Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is a sensitive yet direct examination of racial and class distinctions in the South during The Great Depression. Nearly 80 years later the concerns are familiar, even though the innocence of the children is reminiscent of a bygone era. Jean Louise, an adult Scout, recalls events as riveting as they were harrowing. A timeless classic, TKAMl, includes warmth and humor while dealing with serious issues of morality and responsibility. Directed by Nancy Holley. When: June 22–24, 29–30; Jul. 1, 6–8 Where: The Ice House Theatre, 410 E. Race Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-3900

JUN 17

JUN 28


Jenny Lewis and Nik Freitas Presented by COS Arts and Lectures Series and Sound N Vision Foundation. Jenny Lewis is an American singer-songwriter musician and actress. She was the primary vocalist of the indie rock band Rilo Kiley and has released two solo albums. Visalia native, Nik Freitas is also a successful singersongwriter coming back to his hometown for a great show! $15, all ages. When: Jun. 17, 8p Where: College of the Sequoias Theater, 915 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: www.ticketweb.com for tickets Music at the Main – Lynn Harrell In his long and prestigious career, Mr. Harrell has performed all over the world with the world's great orchestras and has won two Grammies for recordings with fabled violinist Itzhak Perlman and iconic pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy. Lynn Harrell is widely known for the depth of expression he draws from his remarkable instrument, a richly matured Montagnana cello made in 1720. When: Jun. 28, 7:30p Where: The Main Street Theatre, 307 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: 739-4600


JUL 10

Steve Miller Band at Table Mountain Casino The Steve Miller Band is an American rock band formed in 1967 in San Francisco. The band is managed by Steve Miller on guitar and lead vocals, and is known for a string of mainly mid-1970s hit singles that are staples of the classic rock radio format. In town at the casino to bring back a bit of that good-time feeling! When: Jul. 10, 8p Where: 8184 Table Mountain Rd., Friant Contact: 822-7777 TCOE Theatre Company Summer Musical Presents Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn A musical with a book by William Hauptman and music and lyrics by Roger Miller. Based on Mark Twain's classic 1884 novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it features music in the bluegrass and country styles in keeping with the setting of the novel. When: Jul 20 & 21, 26 – 28; Evenings at 7:30p, Matinees at 2p Where: L.J. Williams Theatre, 1001 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: Brian Roberts, brianr@tcoe.org or 651-1482

Art Exhibits Beeswax Collage for the Mixed Media Artist Learn how to use beeswax as a collage medium! Working on wood panels, students will be shown how to incorporate watercolor paintings, pastels, drawings and collage papers into new and exciting works of art. Instructor: Amber George. Visit website for more information. When: Jul. 14 – 15, 10a-4p Where: St. Anthony Retreat, 43816 Sierra Dr., Three Rivers Contact: 561-4671

happenings H

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Broker/Owner NMLS #252789



h happenings

Exeter Fourth of July in the Park Arts and crafts and food booths, live entertainment and 10k run and 2mile walk. Fireworks display presented by the Lion’s Club at Lions Stadium. When: Jul. 4 Where: Exeter City Park, E Chestnut St. and S E St., Exeter Contact: 592-2919



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 dawn their blue lanterns and open exhibitions to the public for this free event. When: Jul. 6, 5:30-8:30p Where: Downtown Visalia Contact: downtown@artsTC.org 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: Jul. 7, 10a-5p Where: Maps at Anne Lang’s Emporium, 41651 Sierra Dr., Three Rivers Contact: Nadi Spencer, 561-4373 or visit www.1stSaturdayTR.com Interpretations of the Portrait: Visalia Art League 2012 Members Exhibition As with each of the past two years, the exhibiting artists have been asked to make work on a common theme with this year’s theme being “Interpretations of the Portrait.” The Visalia Art League is an educational and philanthropic organization open to amateur and professional artists, as well as non-artists who are lovers and patrons of the arts. The Art League hosts workshops and lectures by local and regional artists as well as regularly organizing chartered bus trips to major art museums. When: May 30–June 29; Reception: June 1, 6–8p Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905



Diversions & Excursions

JUL 6 JUL 11

Blues, Brews & BBQ Join in on live music from Alastair Greene, delicious barbeque and refreshing beverages at this fun downtown event. When: Jul. 6, 6-10p Where: Garden Street Plaza, Visalia Contact: 732-7737 or visit www.bluesbrewsandbbq.net Secret of the Cardboard Rocket Climb aboard a magical cardboard rocket with two young adventurers and experience a breathtaking, up-close look at each of our Solar System's planets with guidance from their astronomy book. When: Jul. 11, 2p & 3p Where: Peña Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334 Exeter Movies in the Park The Optimist Club of Exeter shows family films at dusk every Wednesday in July at Exeter City Park. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy the night's fun, family film. When: Jul. 11, 18, 25 Where: Exeter City Park, Chestnut and D Streets, Exeter Contact: 592-2711

JUL 13

Dawn of the Space Age From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik to the magnificent lunar landings and privatelyoperated space flights, you'll be captivated by this most accurate historic reconstruction of Man's first steps into space. When: Jul. 13, 7p Where: Peña Planetarium, 2500 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia Contact: 737-6334

happenings H



h happenings

Summer Children’s Art Classes at Arts Visalia Arts Visalia is pleased to announce the return of their summer children's art program, with six weeks of classes offered in June and July. Subjects will range from basic drawing and painting to ceramics, papier mache and more. The program will culminate in our annual Young at Art exhibition in August, which is an exhibition of the kids' artistic efforts. Full details on the program and enrollment forms are available on our website at www.artsvisalia.org. When: Jun. 11 – Jul. 27 Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave.,Visalia Contact: 739-0905

JUL 14 JUL 22

Derby Baby! Premiere Join the V Town Derby Dames as they premiere the newest, hottest Roller Derby movie out there, Derby Baby! Tickets are $10 at the door. Bring your own chair or blanket. Enjoy a night out with friends, beverages and derby! When: Jul. 14 Where: Tulare County Fair Grounds Contact: www.facebook.com/events/139193202870959 iCAN TRI The 1st Annual iCAN TRI Youth Triathlon Event for youth ages 6 to 17. The venue is outstanding with challenging courses for each age division. The swim complex has two 50-meter pools. The bike and run courses of varying distances will challenge each athlete of the four age divisions. Finisher medals will be given to each participant crossing the finish line. Individual awards will be presented to the top five finishers in each one-year age from 6 to 17 years as well as overall male and female finishers of each division. $40 by July 14; $50 after July 14 When: Jul. 22, 7:30a Where: Clovis North Educational Center, 2770 E. International Ave. Fresno Contact: www.iCANtri.org 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 www.visaliafarmersmarket.com



Charitable Events

JUL 14

Ronald McDonald House Charities Fun Run Come support Ronald McDonald House Charities and get some exercise in too!You will get a quick breakfast, Ronald will get you warmed up, and sent on your way! Your registration gets you a great goody bag and t-shirt!There will be a post run celebration with concert, awards, and other festivities. When: Jul. 14, 7:30a registration; 8:15a 5K run; 8:45 2K family walk Where: Mooney Grove Park, 27000 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: 447.6793 or email info@ronald-mcdonaldhouse.com

Writers & Readers Tulare County Library First Tuesday Book Club (Jul. 3, 6:30p) Socrates Cafe (Jul. 10, 6:30p) Mystery Readers (Jun. 20, 6:30p) Where: Tulare County Library, 200 W. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 713-2700 or www.tularecountylibrary.org

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