Valley Voice Issue 83 (15 December, 2016)

Page 1

Volume XXXVI No. 24 • 15 December, 2016

Hanford City Council: A Changing of the Guard Catherine Doe The City of Hanford swore in two new city council members and conducted a reorganization of the council at its regular city council meeting on December 6. In addition to swearing in Martin Devine and former council member Sue Sorenson, David Ayers was appointed as mayor and Sue Sorenson was appointed as vice-mayor. The council itself elects fellow council members to these two positions. Martin Devine won a surprise victory in Area C over incumbent Gary Pannett, who has served one term. Devine beat Pannett by seven points, or 257 votes. In Area B, Sue Sorenson beat out three other contenders to assume Russ

Curry’s seat. Curry is moving to Nevada. Sorenson’s closest competitor was Glenda Dwyer, who lost by 311 votes or eight points. Dwyer rose to speak during public comment to congratulate Sorenson and expressed her relief that the “Gang of Three” was broken up. She expressed hope that the council could now work better together. A small conservative group of Hanford residents perceived the “Gang of Three” as a coalition between Pannett, former vice-mayor Francisco Ramirez, and former mayor Justin Mendes. According to the city charter, a reorganization of the council needs to take place every year at the first meeting in December. Attendance was standing-room

HANFORD continued on 8 »

Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones takes the center seat at the Tulare Council Chambers during a meeting Tuesday, December 9. Jones, the city’s first black mayor, says he is setting an important example for future leaders. Dave Adalian/Valley Voice

Carlton Jones Setting An Example on Tulare Council Carlton Jones says being Tulare’s first Black mayor isn’t important to him as it will be to that city’s future Black mayors. “When you want to be something, if you can see that it’s doable, then you’ll understand why it’s important to be the first,” Jones said as he awaited his swearing-in. “What’s more important than being the first is the fifth and the 19th and the 30th, then you can forget about that first one.”

Dreaming Blind

Newly elected Sue Sorenson and Martin Devine take their seats at the Hanford City Council. Catherine Doe/Valley Voice

As he addressed the assembled crowd, Jones reiterated why setting an example will be important to those who may follow him. To make his point, Jones described his son’s curiosity about how the blind dream without imagery, saying only those who have been shown by example can truly see what they want.

Dave Adalian Jones recalled his own dream of being a firefighter, one that only took on direction and finally became reality because of the trailblazing done by others. “I wanted to be a firefighter from the time I could walk, but because I never saw it, I couldn’t have that dream,” Jones said. “There’s a man I went to church with, and I remember everyone saying, ‘Willard’s a firefighter,’ and then I was able to dream about it, because it was possible.” The firefighter who set that example for Jones is Willard Epps. Epps now serves as chief of the Tulare Fire Department, and he was on hand as the city’s new mayor was seated. “You probably will not hear much

TULARE COUNCIL continued on 9 » Farmersville City Council Moves Forward Without Don Rowlett Visalia’s New Sales Tax Could Start council members, city staff, and commuNancy Vigran As Soon as April 1,Officials Say nity members for his long-time commitThe makeup of Farmersville City Council didn’t undergo much of a change following the November election – but its one change is a big one. For the first time in 34 years, the city council will function without longtime council member, Don Rowlett. At the December 12 council meeting, Rowlett was recognized by fellow

ment to the community. He was given plaques and gifts in honor of his service. “Don has dedicated his life to the people of Farmersville,” said Mayor Paul Bower. Councilman Greg Gomez said, “In the four years I’ve been on council, I have learned a lot from you.”

FARMERSVILLE continued on 9 »

Farmersville Council Members Greg Gomez and Rosa Vasquez are sworn in at the December 12 city council meeting. Nancy Vigran/Valley Voice

Visalia’s new half-cent sales tax could begin being assessed as soon as April, according to Renee Nagel, the City of Visalia’s Financial Director. “We will get an additional fiscal quarter of funds if we get the state paperwork done by February 1st,” Nagel said. At the Visalia City Council’s December 5 meeting, council members voted to start the process of implementing Visalia’s new sales tax, approved by the voters by 65% to 35% in the November election. Councilmember Greg Collins pointed out that the measure almost passed by a two-thirds margin, “and that speaks highly of the citizens of this community and those people who want to invest in the community that we know and love.” While Measure N is a General Revenue Measure, it is referred to as a ‘Public Safety Tax’ because the increased revenue would be ear-marked for public safety services, such as police, fire, and maintaining roads. A small percentage of the tax would also go to youth ser-

Catherine Doe

vices and parks. The spending plan can change through the years, but only after a lengthy and public process. The sales tax would have to be reviewed by the council every eight years to decide if it should continue. To suspend the sales tax, the city council would need a four-fifths vote. Voters could also suspend the sales tax through a referendum. The spending plan was based on a projected yearly income of $10,740,000. Councilmember Amy Shuklian asked what would happen if the sales tax didn’t generate the amount anticipated and the city had already ear-marked the money. Nagel said that the city made its projections based on the Measure T sales tax that passed 10 years ago which has a similar structure. Taking in the history of Measure T funds, it is projected that Measure N would generate $11.8 million. City staff also took into consideration the possibility of another recession

SALES TAX continued on 9 »

2 • Valley Voice

15 December, 2016

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From the Publisher’s desk

“Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?”

Near on 40 years ago now--when I was still a Christian--I recall telling a priest that I intended to write a novel about nothing. He cocked an eyebrow at me as if to say, “And how would that look?” Within a decade Jerry Seinfeld would debut his eponymous program, famous for professing to be about nothing, and show us. What I had in mind was more along the lines of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. Even so late as 1999--when we lived in Cabo San Lucas--I intended to write this novel. What finally dissuaded me was not Seinfeld, or not being so funny as Seinfeld, but the fact that I quit reading fiction whatsoever. I always seemed to know in advance what would happen. What does this have to do with anything? Nothing. I just needed an introduction to this column. I’ve written before that the Valley Voice wishes very nearly everyone a Happy Something-or-other. And I meant it. But some folks quite simply need a reckoning. They know who they are and I’ll leave it there. That said, as we approach the end of the year it’s the traditional time to take stock of things. And things, to my mind, seem bleak. With the spectre of a Trump presidency looming inescapably over the nation, I can’t help but wonder: A) What all the Republican hawks will make of Trump’s cozying up to Vladimir Putin. B) What the Chinese will make of Trump’s breezy attitude toward Taiwan. C) What the ethically minded among us will make of the conflict of interest between Trump’s private business and public office. D) What the sane among us will make of Trump’s vindictive tweeting. The country, I have faith, will survive. I’m less confident about Trump’s prospects regarding a first term. I want him to succeed as a president, but I’d be horrified if any of his agenda was implemented. The best I can wish for is that he just sit quietly in a corner somewhere and not move too much. That his presidency be about nothing. But he’s bound to infuriate first the Democrats and, as he proceeds, eventually those Republicans who will at some future point finally have had enough. This is why I have difficulty seeing Trump last four years. He is certain to commit if not one then an entire string of impeachable offenses. And then we would get Mike Pence. “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” I feel something of the desperation Benjamin Braddock must have felt, in “The Graduate,” as he sped in his Alfa Romeo to interfere with Elaine Robinson’s wedding. I want to slap my palms against a glass wall while plaintively calling the country’s name. I want the country to come to its senses. I’m amazed that Wall Street has reacted as it has. Two days ago the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at over 19,900--and I fully expect it to crest 20,000 by the week’s end. We can certainly endure this kind of thing. But what I fear is that the country will suffer a reckoning of some sort. — Joseph Oldenbourg

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15 December, 2016

Valley Voice • 3

Political Fix Love in the Times of Politics

A few shock waves rippled through the Valley when the Tulare County Registrar of Voters released its final results on December 5. Nationally the election was a wild, emotional ride. Locally, there were Election Day irregularities resulting in long waits, ballots running out, and a huge delay in releasing preliminary numbers. After the dust settled, Donald Trump broke down the “Blue Wall” and emerged as president-elect. Tulare County saw incumbents fall and witnessed almost statistically impossible anomalies in the vote count. Election Day in our house started by my opening up the Visalia Times-Delta (VTD) to see my daughter, Mercedes, and her boyfriend, Brendon, featured on the front page. VTD reporter Eric Woomer couldn’t wrap his head around how a Democrat and Republican could be in a relationship during such a nasty election so he wrote an article about it. I thought the title should have been “Love Trumps Hate” but Mr. Woomer obviously thought it too trite. On election night, the Valley Voice staff divvied up parties and Brendon, Mercedes and I left around 8pm for Congressman David Valadao and Congressman Devin Nunes’ event in Hanford. It was around that time the mood started shifting nationally. By 7pm results started painting a surprisingly grim picture for Hillary Clinton that even shocked Trump supporters. As the hours went by, Mr. Trump’s numbers kept looking better but local results for Tulare County were nowhere to be found. Staff for Rep. Nunes and Rep. Valadao sat at their work table lined with laptops shaking their heads as their screens flashed an error message when they tried to log onto the Tulare County Registrar of Voters website. Little did they know at the time that voters were still waiting in line at 10pm to cast their ballots in Lindsay and parts of Visalia. Because Kings County voting results were on time, Rep. Valadao was able to give a victory speech by 9:30pm. But Rep. Nunes was with his three young girls and gave up and went home. In fact, candidates all over Tulare County had to leave their parties and victory cakes behind not knowing what the results would be until the next day. Even though the food was really good, we gave up too and went home hoping to at least see some results in time to write an article. On the car ride back to Visalia, Brendon followed the presidential election results on his phone and gave us updates. As Elton John sang on the radio “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” Brendon announced that Pennsylvania was just called for Mr. Trump. Mercedes asked me what that meant, and I said that means Mr. Trump just won the election. Mr. Woomer texted Brendon asking how Mercedes was taking the news and she started to cry. The national election was over by 11pm, but for some Tulare County candidates the local election had just begun. The first election results came in around 11:30pm and it was clear that some incumbents were too far behind to keep their seats. In Kings County,

Catherine Doe

Hanford City Council incumbent Gary Pannett was about seven points behind Martin Devine on election night and he never recovered. For Kaweah Delta Health Care District, Nevin House kept a continual lead over incumbent Teresa Ramos and won. Both incumbent candidates for Tulare Regional Health Care District lost badly after a very contentious tenure for both. The one election that everyone watched as the Tulare County Registrar of Voters updated its results throughout November was the Tulare County Supervisor race for District 1. On election night Dennis Smith was leading by 200 votes. But for each update his lead shrank until Kuyler Crocker took over the lead and won by 295 votes. Though Mr. Smith did not win, he gets the Florence Malloch Doe honorary Scotsman award. From my calculations Mr. Crocker spent $8 per vote while Mr. Smith came out of nowhere to almost pull off a victory by only spending a $1.50 a vote. The other closely watched race was for Tulare City Council District 5 between developer Greg Nunley and three-term Tulare City Councilmember Craig Vejvoda. On election night Mr. Vejvoda was up by 44 votes or 1.6%. By the November 18 update his lead had grown. Then, boom, the final results stated that Mr. Vejvoda lost by 16 votes. Mr. Vejvoda’s wife and former California State Assembly Woman, Connie Conway, said his loss is the equivalent of one-third of one percent. Mr. Vejvoda was of two minds about calling for a recount. Because of the many irregularities in the way Tulare County Registrar of Voters handled the election several of his good friends encouraged him to do it. Mr. Vejvoda ended up deciding against the recount, the main reason being the cost. “It’s expensive,” he said. “It’s $2000 a day and they want four days up front.” Ms. Conway felt that, despite the cost, a recount would lend integrity to the election and renew voter confidence whether her husband won or not. “It’s a real statistical anomaly for a candidate to be ahead for every update and then end up losing the election.” Ms. Conway had her own story to tell about Election Day. Arriving at her polling place at 6pm, she did not leave until 8:30. That would be awesome if we lived in Florida, but there is normally no line at polling places in Tulare County. She reported that by the time she got to her polling place they had run out of ballots. She was then offered a ballot in Spanish but saw that it did not have the hospital district race or the Tulare City Council race on it. Then she tried using the voting machines but they had run out of paper. I never did find out how Ms. Conway finally cast her ballot, but she did say that many people left the polling place not voting for the hospital district or the city council race. She said she heard, and her husband was told later, that many people got tired and went home without voting at all. In the end the local and national winners of the election made history. The City of Tulare installed its first Black

mayor, first Hispanic vice mayor and elected its first Hispanic to the city council. (The vice mayor was appointed.) For President of the United States we elected the oldest, richest and least experienced renowned philanderer to the highest office in our land. Don’t tell the Dow Jones though, it’s booming. Maybe the local results would have been different if the polling places didn’t run out of ballots and people didn’t have to wait so long. Then Mr. Vejvoda might have retained his seat. And maybe the national results would have been different if FBI Director James Comey and Russia hadn’t interfered with the presidential election. Then maybe we would have had the country’s first woman president. Mr. Woomer ultimately titled his VTD Election Day article “Love in the Time of Politics,” and whereas Brendon and Mercedes might not make it for four years because they are young, Tulare County and the Country will because we are not.

The Spy who Loved Us

Remember when presidential nominee Mitt Romney said during his 2012 campaign that Russia was our greatest threat? Then everyone kind of snickered? Who is snickering now? It seems every few months something Mr. Romney stated during his campaign, especially about Russia, is reaffirmed. The Washington Post and the New York Times now have both reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has confirmed that Russia took covert action to interfere with the United States’ Presidential Election. Russia’s goal was not to just undermine confidence in our electoral system but to help elect Mr. Trump. Germany, Sweden and England are raising similar warning flags about Russian attempts at electoral influence. “The risks are profound. … They should be a concern to all those who share democratic values,” said Alex Younger to the Washington Post, head of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service. So does that make Russia a threat? According to Quartz news agency, Russia is a serious threat. “Putin seeks to weaken the US, the EU, and NATO to the degree that they can no longer presume to call the shots without his agreement in international affairs. Since western governments are not ordinarily prepared for such stout challenges to their democracies, they are vulnerable to

the weapons of doubt he (Mr. Putin) is employing…… Since trust is the bedrock of democracy, this threatens social stability across the West.” Most legislators in Washington are my age or older, and for us the real boogie man growing up was the Soviet Union. The 1970’s and 80’s were a time of the Warsaw Pact, nuclear arms race, Solidarnost, Soviet Spies, and Agent 007 facing off with the KGB. I don’t know how, when, or why attitudes changed about our old Cold War foe. The Soviet Union broke apart in 1989 and shrunk back to its original borders of Russia. But what they lost in size they made up for in anger, resentment and Russian nationalism. Republican hawks on Russia are starting to worry. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he strongly condemned any foreign interference with U.S. elections and announced that the Senate intelligence panel will investigate Russia’s suspected election interference. House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “under President Putin, Russia has been an aggressor that consistently undermines American interests.” Senator John McCain’s reaction was, “there’s no doubt about the hacking — let’s establish that.” What did our president-elect have to say? “Ridiculous,” and, “I don’t believe it.” The question is: is Donald Trump’s response in reaction to, or because of, the cabinet picks and closest advisors with which he surrounds himself? Besides having many complimentary things to say about President Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, vacations with Mr. Putin’s mistress, and close Trump associates Carter Page, Paul Manafort, General Michael Flynn and now Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tellerson, all have close ties with Mr. Putin. As of press time Mr. Trump’s top pick for the Secretary of State seat seems to be Mr. Tellerson. What qualifies Mr. Tillerson to be America’s top diplomat besides his impressive bank account? The only thing that qualifies him, as he has only ever worked for Exxon his entire life, is his relationship with Mr. Putin. Other than that he is a complete novice. Could Mr. Putin see the sanctions lifted on Russia, western trade agreements disintegrate, and NATO become impotent under a Trump presidency? Just the possibility makes one think that Mr. Putin got his money’s worth for whatever he paid those hackers.

The Valley Voice wishes of all our readers a peaceful and joyful Holiday Season!

4 • Valley Voice

15 December, 2016

Locals Standing with Standing Rock Dave Adalian The ongoing and violent conflict between protesters and police at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation is personal for Corky Mills. “It’s on our reservation that they’re trying to run a pipeline under one of our dams,” Mills, a resident of Tulare and Lakȟóta Indian, said.

Solidarity March

On December 4, Mills and her daughter, Tracy Mills-Salazar, also a Lakȟóta and resident of Tulare, joined more than a hundred others in Visalia marching down Mooney Boulevard in solidarity with the self-described “water protectors,” a fluctuating group who have gathered at Standing Rock in South Dakota to block Energy Transfer Partners’ (ETP) oil pipeline. The project must be stopped, protesters say, to avoid further damage to an area already vastly altered by the dam the pipeline’s owners now want to undermine. In 1944, the federal government constructed the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River, creating the largest reservoir in the United States and flooding nearly 200,000 acres at Standing Rock and the nearby Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, Mills’ former home. “It threatens everything,” said Mills-Salazar. “It threatens the water supply. It threatens the wildlife, the plants. When you don’t have that, you don’t have oxygen and you don’t have people.” Hydroelectric plants on the Oahe Dam are a major source of power for

five states rounding it.


Violent Government

The monthslong protest at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the Standing Rock Reservation came to the national forefront in November, when local police and state troopers fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters at peaceful protesters, as well as using a water cannon during a period of extreme cold. Police later claimed using the hose on protesters was an attempt to put out a fire started by them, but video of the scene showed otherwise. As the local solidarity march supporting “water protectors” at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South “The state Dakota begins, a medicine woman performs a ritual blessing on Mooney Boulevard and Whitendale Avenue in troopers and local Visalia. Protesters in South Dakota are engaged in a months-long effort to stop construction of an oil pipeline they say threatens their land. Dave Adalian/Valley Voice police have been have) been met with rubber bullets, with government agencies to be more responescalating violence. The water protectors, they haven’t done water hoses in 20-degree weather, and sive to local residents and less so to busiany sort of violence at all. They literal- concussion grenades. A woman recent- ness interests. “Energy Transfer Partners, they want ly just stand there and pray,” said Caty ly lost her arm. And then they’ve been blockading the roads, so that emergency to have an oil pipeline from North DakoWagner, a local advocate who visited vehicles can’t get to them.” ta to Illinois, and the people of Bismarck Standing Rock in October and helped In response to the uproar caused by said we don’t want it going through our organize the local response. “(Protesters the disturbing videos, protesters at Stand- city, so they had it go through Standing ing Rock were recently joined by a group Rock Reservation,” said Wagner. “It inof some 2,000 US military veterans led terferes with sacred burial sites, and then by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an it also will be going directly under the Iraq War vet who represents Hawai’i. Oahe, which is the water that provides life and livelihood for the Standing Rock Reservation.” Local Participation A lawsuit filed on behalf of residents While environmental and economic of the reservation claimed the Army concerns are forefront at Standing Rock, those opposing the pipeline also see this Corps of Engineers (ACE), in rerouting Short on time, as a social movement that could force

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Valley Voice • 5

2017 Farm Bureau Art Contest Theme Announced! Staff Reports Calling all young artists! Farm Bureau’s 2017 Calendar Art Contest theme is “A Century of Celebrating the Farmer.” Winning entries will be printed in a 12-month full color calendar distributed to schools throughout the county recognizing the winning entries and honorable mentions. The winners will be presented prizes and cash awards at the National Agriculture Week presentation with the Tulare County Board of Supervisors during the month of March, 2017. Tulare County Farm Bureau in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education hosts this annual calendar art contest, inviting K-12 grade students from all public and private schools to submit agriculturally themed artwork for publication in their annual calendar. The program seeks to create awareness of National Agriculture Week held in March each year and help young adults understand the connection between healthy eating choices and the bounty of Tulare County’s agricultural production. The program started in the mid 90’s as a bumper-sticker art contest and transitioned into a calendar art contest in 1999. The topics have ranged from “Tulare County in Bloom” in 2002-2003, to “Grown Locally, Enjoyed Globally” in

Standing Rock Continued from p. 4

the pipeline, failed to consult locals before making their plans. The lawsuit also claimed environmental and historical preservation laws were ignored. However, it failed.

New Hope, Old Dread

While facing that defeat, water protectors received news they won anyway, at least for now. The day after the Visalia march, the ACE announced it will not issue the final permit needed by Energy Transfer Partners, and will instead begin preparing environmental impact reports for alternate routes. The Dakota Access Pipeline, as the project is officially known, is already 87 percent complete, and was expected to go online next month. The announcement prompted the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman to ask protesters to return home to avoid

Last year’s winning calendar artwork, submitted by Valeria Rojas from Redwood High School. Courtesy/TCFB

2012-2013, resulting in unique and creative artwork over the years. Entry forms have been distributed to all schools countywide, but additional copies are available by contacting Tulare County Farm Bureau office. Contest details and rules are outlined on the entry form available online at

Students may want to visit the AgVentures! Learning Center at the Heritage Complex to be inspired as they draw their entries. Tours are available by calling AgVentures! at 688-1030. Tulare County remains as one of the largest agricultural economies in the nation, with the largest dairy production

in the United States. Over $8 billion of value is derived from the agricultural production in Tulare County annually. For more information, contact the TCFB office at 559-732-8301. Entries must be delivered to the Farm Bureau office at 737 N. Ben Maddox Way in Visalia prior to 5 p.m. on Friday, February 15.

the harsh South Dakota winter, yet many have chosen to remain. They will not leave, they say, until the construction site is dismantled. Their concern may be justified. Following the ACE announcement, ETP issued this statement flying in the face of the federal decision: “As stated all along, ETP and (Sunoco) are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”

aunt, who traveled to the Oceti Sakowin Camp to join the front lines. “Their aunt was able to go out there, to South Dakota, which was a privilege,” said Sonia Bursiaga, another of the girls’ aunts, who brought them to the protest. “Their tribe had sent her and some other members of the tribe to go out there to stand in front. She’s planning on going out there again.” Bursiaga said the Tachi Yokuts have also sent cash to the Standing Rock water protectors. Angel Garcia, a resident of Lindsay and leader of CAPS, the Coalition Advocating for Pesticide Safety, said his group

turned out for the local protest because of environmental concerns CAPS shares with those in South Dakota. “Locally, the problem is we need better, stronger protections from pesticides,” he said. CAPS, Garcia said, is getting better protection for rural children against common agricultural products. “We’re asking the Department of Pesticide Regulation to better protect the health of children in schools and day-cares.” Other local groups joining the march were Paint Poplar, Sequoia Mavericks, Circulo de Hombres and Wild Places.

Local Connections

Given ETP’s hard-line attitude, protesters have little choice but to continue their vigil, both in Standing Rock and at home. Kateri and Davina Ortega, young members of the Tachi Yokuts tribe who came to the Visalia protest in their traditional jingle dresses, came to walk against the pipeline and to support their

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6 • Valley Voice

15 December, 2016

Agriculture Tulare High School Ag Program Selected for Award Tulare Chamber of Commerce The agricultural education program at the Tulare High School Farm in Tulare, Calif., is one of only six agricultural education programs nationwide that received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Middle/ Secondary Agricultural Education Program Award, given at the NAAE annual convention in Las Vegas on November 30. Three high schools, Mission Oak, Tulare Union and Tulare Western, feed into one agriculture program at the school farm facility. Over 900 students are enrolled in this collaborative learning program and are bussed to the farm to participate in hands-on learning activities. The pro-

gram employs seven full-time agriculture teachers who offer five major career pathways: agriscience, agricultural mechanics, horticulture, animal science, and agriculture business. Students learn on the 98 acre school facility where they are challenged to achieve in both the classroom and the agriculture community. Tulare incorporates production-based opportunities for all students by having them grow and harvest crops and work on the farm’s dairy. Community members and industry experts play an active role in the agriculture program by providing job shadowing opportunities, guest speakers, FFA team coaches, and field trip opportunities. More than 40 agriculture businesses in the area employ Tulare students and

help them gain valuable insight into the agriculture industry. Tulare FFA members are active in the community, including World Ag Expo, fairs, speaking at local Lion’s, Kiwanis, and Rotary clubs, and creating floral arrangements for local functions. During National FFA week in February, they host over 2,500 elementary school students who visit the high school farm to learn about dairy cows, tractors, plants and small animals. “What I most admire about agriculture staff at Tulare is their determination and drive to ensure that each and every agriculture student that they teach is provided with the necessary educational foundation to achieve success. Their goal-oriented approach to education is refreshing and has produced scores of

outstanding curricular results with students at Tulare High School,” said Dr. Lloyd L. McCabe, California State Agricultural Education Supervisor. Each of the six regional Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program Award winners were recognized at the NAAE convention in Las Vegas. The Outstanding Middle/ Secondary Agricultural Education Program Award is partially sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. Its mission is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.” The NAAE office is located in Lexington, Ky.

Federal Drought Legislation Passes Overwhelmingly Christine Souza, CFBF Welcomed by farm and water leaders as a balanced solution, significant federal legislation authorizing $558 million worth of drought-relief actions for California heads to the president after passage in Congress. The bipartisan drought legislation, part of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, or WIIN, invests in California water storage and desalination projects, and includes a number of short-term provi-

sions intended to increase flexibility of the state’s water system in response to drought. The larger, $10 billion bill to which the drought provisions were attached includes funding for improving drinking-water safety, such as to address the problem with lead in Flint, Mich. California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger thanked the drought bill’s sponsors, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and other members of the California delegation for their patience and persistence in moving the bill

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to passage. “Bipartisan language in the bill addresses the chronic water shortages that have plagued California for a generation,” Wenger said, noting that California faces a potential sixth consecutive drought year. “This bill is being described as a victory for farmers, but it’s really a victory for balance in managing a vital resource. Farmers depend on a healthy environment and recognize the need to reevaluate and enhance our water system to benefit fish and people alike.” Erin Huston, a CFBF federal policy consultant, said the legislation provides benefits to many different regions of the country, and that it has a good chance of being signed. Approved by a 78- 21 vote in the Senate late last week after a 360-61 vote in the House, the final water package received bipartisan support. McCarthy described the California drought language as “the most significant California water reforms in 25 years.” The language includes both shortterm and long-term provisions by Feinstein and McCarthy to address the ongoing drought. The final bill, Feinstein said, represents years of negotiations to reach a compromise to benefit farms and other water users, while still protecting the environment. “The long-term provisions are vital for California to not become a desert state,” she said. “We absolutely must hold water from wet years for use in dry years, and this bill will help accomplish that by investing more than $500 million in projects.” She said the bill directs $30 million to desalination projects, $150 million to water recycling and water conservation projects, $335 million to groundwater and surface storage projects, and $43 million to projects that benefit fish and wildlife. The short-term provisions include daily monitoring of fish near water-project pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; allow water agencies to capture more water during winter storms; require the agencies to maximize water supplies consistent with law; require agencies to explain when they pump less than allowed under biological opinions intended to benefit protected fish; create

incentives for water transfers during critical periods; and other actions. The California drought provisions were added to the WIIN bill early last week. The language brought immediate opposition from some Democrats, including retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who described it as a way to undermine the Endangered Species Act and protections for salmon and delta smelt. Feinstein said the bill contains “strong, comprehensive” language stating its provisions must be implemented under terms consistent with the ESA and “relevant biological opinions.” Fresno County farmer Dan Errotabere, who farms in the Westlands Water District, said the Feinstein/McCarthy drought language resulted from an evolving, long-term effort. “The bill provides a lot of flexibility in the system and gives a little bit more direction on how the project ought to be managed, not only with the environment in mind, but the stakeholders who receive the water in mind. I think this is a positive move,” Errotabere said. “The health of the fish populations has been decimated by not only the drought, but the predation of invasive species and urban development around the delta; these are components of a problem that, unless we take a holistic look, we are not going to get past,” he said. “The simple mantra of just throwing more water out to the ocean hasn’t worked. We’ve done that for 20 years.” Association of California Water Agencies Executive Director Timothy Quinn said the overall bill contains key provisions that authorize numerous projects in California, including restoration of the Los Angeles River, Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea. “The drought language included in the bill reflects compromises that will improve water supplies for all Californians,” Quinn said. “We need a partnership with the federal government that will move us closer to achieving the coequal goals, not further away.” (Christine Souza is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at This article reprinted with the permission of the California Farm Bureau Federation.

15 December, 2016

Valley Voice • 7

Agriculture Christmas Tree Farms Face Balancing Act Ching Lee, CFBF It may seem counterintuitive for a choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm to wish for rain during its busiest time of year, but for Larry and Geri Hyder, it comes down to necessity. With Christmas tree sales booming and crowds streaming to their Indian Rock Tree Farm in El Dorado County, the couple said they’re running short on trees and some rain and snow might help to slow down foot traffic to their farm. “That way we don’t have to turn people away,” Geri Hyder said. Other California Christmas tree farmers cite similar concerns. Though they’re a choose-and-cut operation, the Hyders said they are not allowing their customers to do their own cutting at this time, in order to protect their inventory from being overharvested. They are selling only trees that they have precut. “Some people want big trees and it takes a lot longer to grow the big trees,” Larry Hyder said. “As they cut more and more, the sizes of trees available continue to diminish. When you hit a certain point, you’ve got to stop, because you don’t want to cut them all.” He noted that years of drought have caused a lot of his tree plantings to be unsuccessful. Despite greater precipitation last year, he still lost a number of seedlings, but he noted he plans to plant 2,000 new trees this spring. At Black Road Christmas Tree Farms in Santa Clara County, owner Robert Criswell said he was so overwhelmed by the “enormous crowds of people” flocking to his three farms that he had to close them last week. He noted that on Black Friday, the entrance road to the farms were so backed up that patrons waited nearly an hour for parking. Because he serves much of the Silicon Valley community, Criswell said the farms’ presence on several websites, social media and word of mouth have attracted some 10,000 people to his business, which has sold upwards of 2,000 trees each year. With more land going to residential housing, there are now fewer Christmas tree lots in the area, driving

more people to choose-andcut farms, he added. “I think as a result of the computer industry, it has brought people in from all over the world, and they all want to have a farm experience,” Criswell said. He said he decided to close early because he was running low on larger trees. He’s now trying to send customers up the hill to other farms that have not had as much business. “I could keep selling, but then it cuts into next year because I won’t have big-enough trees,” he said. When larger trees become scarce, he said, people tend to Indian Rock Tree Farm employee Cesar Mina, right, handles a tabletop Christmas tree as a customer cut smaller trees too close to reaches for another tree. The El Dorado County choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm is selling only trees the ground to make up for the it has precut at this time, in order to protect its inventory for future years. Courtesy/Ching Lee/CFBF pretty bad.” “People haven’t hesitated paying a shorter height, effectively killCalifornia choose-and-cut farms are little bit more,” he said. ing the tree. What keeps him in business, Minturn said his main concern is he said, is being able to regrow those not the only ones experiencing a lower supply of larger trees. Sam Minturn, exthat prices of precuts will rise too much, trees four to five times. Despite increased sales, Criswell said ecutive director of the California Christ- steering customers toward buying artifihe’s not planning on planting more trees mas Tree Association, said there is also cial trees. Because the drought has affected the this year, a decision he also made two a shortage of precut trees from Oregon and Washington, causing prices to spike growth of trees, Louise Jensen-Moran, years ago. With no access to irrigation, he not- at least 10 percent. He noted that 90 who operates Crest Ranch Christmas ed many of the 3,000 trees he planted percent of the Christmas trees sold in Tree Farm in Santa Cruz County, said last year have died due to drought. A California come from out of state, and she’s been selling precuts from Oregon few years before that, he lost most of the many choose-and-cut farms also sell pre- the last three years in order to provide a greater selection of taller trees to custom1,000 seedlings he planted. The drought cuts from Oregon and Washington. Minturn described the current ers. But a lack of inventory forced her to has also brought more Douglas-fir twig weevil, which infects trees, causing them shortage as part of a “rollercoaster” cy- close early, which she’s been doing for a cle the Christmas-tree business goes number of years. She used to open until to deform or die. Bob McBurney, owner of McBur- through: Farmers plant in response to an Christmas Eve, but this year, her last day ney Tree Farm in Nevada County, said earlier shortage, oversupplying the mar- was Sunday. “We want to make sure we have an his business accelerated last year, when ket and reducing prices. But he said this time, it doesn’t appear too many farmers adequate supply of trees for the future,” people heard he had tall trees—especially silvertips up to 16 feet. And then are “rushing to fill the void” by planting she said. “Luckily, I have been plantthey cleaned him out during the first more, “so the shortage may continue ing”—at least 3,000 trees a year—”to try to fill the holes and keep up.” two weeks the farm was open, with sales for a while.” “Part of it is economics,” he said. Healthier rainfall these last two years jumping more than 30 percent. This year, business is just as brisk, he “They may not have the land or the abil- has helped her trees rebound, she said, said, except most of what’s left are 4- and ity to plant more. It’s hard to plan ahead adding that she thinks “we’re on our way to a better inventory.” 5-foot trees. But he has to stay open for 10 years—that’s the problem.” Despite the higher prices, Bob Lars(Ching Lee is an assistant edithose customers who reserved trees in en of Larsen’s Christmas Tree Farm in tor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at September. Sonoma County, a choose-and-cut “For people who want taller trees, This article reprinted with the perthat’s kind of a necessity now,” McBur- ation that also sells precuts from Oregon ney said. “If you come up here a week and the Sierra, said so far he’s sold more mission of the California Farm Bureau Federation. before Christmas, the pickings are trees than he did last year.

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8 • Valley Voice

Farmersville Continued from p. 1

Fire Chief John Crivello reflected on the time that Rowlett served as a volunteer fireman. Rowlett was first appointed to the city council in April, 1982. He has known every council member since the city’s incorporation in 1960, he said. “In every election since I’ve run, I was successful,” Rowlett said. He added that he has never campaigned, never put up a political sign and never participated in any candidate forum. “There’s been a lot of issues [over the years],” Rowlett said, “but, truthfully, the one thing that has benefited the city the most, was extending the city limits out to Highway 198. “It took a long time; that was at least 20 years ago. A lot of people, at the time, thought it was crazy. But, it has brought jobs and sales tax into town, and will continue to do so.” Rowlett cited businesses including McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway and the gas station, all in the annexed area where Farmersville Blvd. meets Highway 198. Rowlett was a school teacher and retired from his day job two years ago, he said. It was now time to retire from council as well. “It was just time – I chose not to run,” he said. While he says he has no plans to run again in the future, he also added, “You never know. Never say never.” He also indicated that he felt that he was leaving the council and city in good hands. Replacing Rowlett on city council

15 December, 2016 is longtime Farmersville resident, Rosa Vasquez. Also re-elected to his seat, is Councilman Gomez. Vasquez said she ran for council because she saw the opportunity. “I’ve been here for so long, 46 years, I thought I would do something in return - something for the community,” she said. Vasquez is a US Naval Reservist, who, in the past, has been deployed abroad. Her family Longtime Farmersville Councilman Don Rowlett gives up his seat and says goodbye to fellow council members. owns La Mejor, a Nancy Vigran/Valley Voice said. “I’ve really enjoyed it [his time on broken down and needs to be replaced, bakery, tortilla factory and hot deli, located on Farmers- council] – there are a lot of people who he said. And the city’s animal control ofcare about the community.” ficer has also taken on the role of code ville Blvd. Increasing revenue is the largest enforcement, and those are two full-time She said she feels that the communifactor Gomez sees facing the council at jobs each by itself, he added. ty of Farmersville hasn’t grown the way this time. “The residents, they want to see other local small towns such as Lindsay “Sales tax is down, with gas prices progress,” Gomez said. “And, many say and Exeter have, and that she would like being low, and that effects our budget,” they have seen more progress in the to see it do so. he said. “Maintaining city services is go- past few years, than ever before in their “I want to see our city have more lighting and more revenue,” she said. ing to be a real challenge, while balanc- lifetimes. “We’re looking for more developers “It’s not going to happen overnight – it ing the budget.” And, the city actually needs to in– maybe a shopping center, and a hotakes time and money.” Councilmember Gomez has served crease services, he said, citing that public tel,” he said, noting that there is no hotel for the past four years. He is a Visalia na- works is in need of more staff in order to alongside Highway 198 between Visalia tive whose wife is from Farmersville, and properly care for the water system, sew- and Three Rivers. The city needs the tax revenue, he added. so they have made the city their home. age plant, parks and streets. “These guys are stretched pretty Gomez is appreciative for his re-elecHe works as an IT supervisor for Tuthin,” he said. tion and plans to work hard. lare County. The city is looking to a sewage plant “I don’t take their [his community’s] “I’ve always had a deep commitment to do something for my community,” he expansion. The city’s street sweeper is votes for granted,” he said.

New City Council Member Sue Sorenson getting sworn in. Catherine Doe/Valley Voice

Hanford Continued from p. 1


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only, but the selection of mayor and vice-mayor lacked the tension and accusations that flew throughout the meeting in 2015. Mendes nominated council member David Ayers for mayor and no other nominations were brought forward. The vote was unanimous for Ayers’ appointment. Ayers then nominated Sorenson as the new vice-mayor. No other nominations were made and the vote for her appointment was also unanimous. The new council members gave comments after their swearing in and reorganization. All expressed a desire to do the right thing for Hanford and roll up their sleeves and get down to work. After the meeting Ramirez said he was “thrown aback” by Mendes’ nomination of Ayers. As the current vice-mayor,

Ramirez, and much of the community, was expecting him to be the new mayor. The same sequence of events happened to Ayers in 2015. He was the heir apparent, but lost the post in a split 2-3 vote for Mendes. “I’ve had so many calls this week from the community saying ‘It’s your time to shine and you are always out in the community.’ They thought I was a shoe-in.” Ramirez said. Ramirez said about the new city council, “I hope the city is moving in the right direction and that they don’t fire the City Manager in six months.” According to a clause in the city code, a new city council has to give the current city manager six months before replacing him. Dan Chin, who is rumored to have donated a significant amount of money in this election, might be interested in becoming the new city manager.

15 December, 2016

Valley Voice • 9

Tulare County Supervisors Appoint County Counsel Staff Reports The Board of Supervisors has appointed Deanne H. Peterson as County Counsel for Tulare County at their December 13 Board meeting. The appointment will be effective on March 26, 2017 immediately following the retirement of County Counsel Kathleen Bales-Lange. The Board also took action to add the position of Associate County Counsel to the office’s position allocation plan. It is anticipated that Peterson will be appointed to this position effective January 15, 2017, to allow for an effective and orderly transition. “It’s been a privilege working with Kathleen all these years and she has worked hard to safe guard the Board and the County,” said Chairman Michael Ennis. “We look forward to working with Deanne and feel she is the most qualified to take the office and will make it even better.” Prior to her appointment, Peterson

Sales Tax Continued from p. 1

when proposing the spending plan. The final steps in implementing the sales tax increase entail completing State Board of Equalization agreements by February 1, 2017, finalizing the spending plan, and appointing an oversight board. Mike Olmos, Visalia City Manager, is in charge of preparing the final spending plan which will be approved by the city council.

Tulare Council Continued from p. 1

from me throughout your years on the Council,” Epps said. “But, I want to let you know the success of Tulare is in your hands, and I ask that you follow your lead and do what’s best for Tulare, and we will all be grateful.”

New to the Council

Epps was speaking not only to Jones, but to the rest of the council as well, including two incoming freshman members. Sworn-in following the November election were Jose Sigala, representing District 1, and Greg Nunley, who takes over from long-time member Craig Vejvoda. Sigala is the first Hispanic elected directly to the Council, but he did not mention the distinction as he addressed the crowd Tuesday night. “I’m truly humbled by the support I received,” he said. “I truly appreciate the fact that you put up with me as I knocked on your doors, and kept knocking and kept knocking, and talking to you about my vision and my leadership.” Sigala, as did the others elected and re-elected in November, thanked his family, friends and supporters. He said his time on the Council will be spent focusing on community safety, economic development and creating jobs. “I’m very, very eager to get started,” Sigala said. Nunley was more terse. “I really look forward to working with the staff to help the city grow and

served as the Assistant County Counsel for Merced County. Peterson is no stranger to Tulare County, she has worked in the Office of County Counsel as a Deputy Attorney for 18 years and rose to the rank of Chief Deputy for the Labor and Employment Team prior to her move to Merced County. Peterson received her Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School and is a former President of the Tulare County Bar Association. “I am grateful to the Board of Supervisors for the opportunity to serve as the County Counsel,” stated Peterson. “I am looking forward to leading the very capable staff as we continue the mission of the office to provide quality and innovative services to our clients, and which support the public good.” As County Counsel Peterson will oversee all aspects of the Office of County Counsel and will serve as the Chief legal advisor to the Board of Supervisors, County Administrative Office, Civil

Grand Jury, and County elected officials, and department heads. County Administrative Officer, Michael Spata, stated that he is delighted with Peterson’s appointment and he added that she will heighten the Board’s approach to implement a business model when The Tulare County Board of Supervisors: Steve Worthley, Phil Cox, conducting depart- Pete Vander Poel, Mike Ennis and Allen Ishida. Courtesy/Tulare mental operations. County Bales-Lange. Peterson will The Office of County Counsel renfill the position upon the retirement of Kathleen Bales-Lange, who has served ders legal services to the County of Tulare the County for 36 years including the and related public agencies. This includes role of County Counsel since 1997. “I legal representation and counsel to the am very pleased with the Board’s choice Board of Supervisors, County departand confident that Deanne will lead ments, special districts and other public the office in continued success,” shares agencies in matters of civil concern.

The Measure N Oversight Board will then review the plan to ensure it matches what the citizens of Visalia voted. All meetings are open to the public, and the spending plan will be available on the City of Visalia’s website. The effectiveness of the spending plan will be reviewed every two years by the oversight committee while two public hearing will be held. The oversight board will consist of 11 members. Five will be appointed by the city council, two will be appointed by the Citizens Advisory Committee,

and four will come from established community service groups. Councilmember Warren Gubler inquired as to what will happen if the city doesn’t spend all the money. “I would hope that just because the money is there, doesn’t mean we have to spend it,” Nagel responded. She said that the money would just be rolled over to the next fiscal year and become part of the review that happens every two years. Mayor Steve Nelsen expressed concern about waiting until the funds start-

ed coming in. His hope was to build credibility with the voting public by showing that its tax dollars were being spent as promised. Olmos said that they could front the money for hiring new police officers now and kick-start some projects. He added that they could get projects shovel-ready so they can start the minute the funds come in. Olmos said city staff intends on putting up signs with the slogan “Paid for with Measure N money” so the public can see results of its tax dollars.

make it a better place ... for everyone in the city to live,” he said after thanking his wife and family.

No Recount

To take his place on the Council, Nunley beat out one-time mayor Craig Vejvoda by the slimmest of margins. The final count had Nunley leading by just 16 votes, prompting Vejvoda and his supporters to consider a recount. “I’m going to meet with my team, my campaign team, Thursday, so I’m in the process of gathering information, we’re going to have a robust discussion and reach a decision,” he said. He has since opted not to seek a recount, a process that would have required an $8,000 payment to begin, as well as the hiring of a qualified person to oversee it. The decision comes despite what Vejvoda called a troublesome election locally. “There were so many things that weren’t good about how this election was run in Tulare County,” he said. “There are a lot of people who wanted me to do a recount.” He cited long wait times at the polls, as well as the unavailability of English ballots, but decided he would not challenge the official count. “At the end of the day, I just thought maybe God’s telling me something,” Vejvoda said. “It’s time to move on.”

Parting Words

As he spoke Tuesday night, Vejvoda seemed prepared to leave. “If this is the last time I get to address you from this dais, I leave with a good feeling of knowing how I’ve spent

Former Tulare Mayor David Macedo presents outgoing council members Craig Vejvoda and Shea Gowin with plaques honoring their service on the Tulare City Council. Taking their places are Jose Sigala in District 1 and Greg Nunley, who beat Vejvoda by just 16 votes in District 5. Vejvoda has decided not to seek a recount. Dave Adalian/Valley Voice

the last 12 years and look forward to finding new ways I can serve this community I dearly love,” he said. “Together, let’s continue working toward making Tulare the most desirable community in which to live, learn, play, work, worship and prosper.” Council member Shea Gowin, who lost her seat to Sigala, also gave a few parting remarks, including thanking staff at City Hall for its dedication. She also made it clear she will still be leading now from the outside. “I was involved and coming to meetings before I sat on Council, and I’ll be involved and coming to meetings after I’m off Council,” Gowin said. “I’ll be paying attention, and I hope everyone else will be as well.”

Smoother Sailing Ahead

The newly formed Council’s night went smoothly, as it voted 5-0 on the

few matters before it, including Jones’ election as mayor. This has not always been the case in the past, but the Council’s only female member was hopeful it was a sign of things to come. “I’m looking forward to working with these four (pause) males,” she said, eliciting laughter from the audience. “Together, we can make a big difference. I think the important thing is we keep Tulare first and learn to meet each other halfway, and always, always have the interest of our city firsthand.” Another thing Tulare voters have in their future is finding a replacement for David Macedo. During his remarks to the crowd, he made it clear this will be his last term of office. “I’ve got two more years, then it will be 20 years and it’s time to go,” Macedo said. “I’m 5-0 in elections, and, gosh, I don’t know, I think I’ll retire undefeated.”

10 • Valley Voice

15 December, 2016

Viewpoint Focus on the Silver Lining

Peter Bergel The election is over and Trump won. In a country with a sane election system, he would not have, but we have the Electoral College, so he did. In Joe Hill’s immortal words, “Don’t mourn; organize!” Organizing Everywhere Hidden in those words is one of the silver linings that surrounds Trump’s cloud. Look around. People are organizing as they have not done since 2003, when the Iraq invasion was imminent, and maybe even not since the 1960s anti-war efforts. People are coming together to protect each other from racist attacks, support the water protectors at Standing Rock, counter hate speech with love, sustain the environmental gains we have struggled for, continue efforts to halt climate change, reorganize the Democratic Party, protect a woman’s right to choose, and more. In addition, protests have sprung up spontaneously all over the country, some of them involving people not old enough to vote. While complaining about the election results will not change anything, such protests offer a path to building a movement that can make serious change. Stress planning, humor, newsworthy positions, and connections to basic societal values so your campaign will resonate with mainstream Americans. Seattle, San Francisco and other cities have affirmed themselves as Sanctuary Cities, where human rights are respected and protected. Others are demonstrating outside the banks that fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. When I did that with a local group recently, one of the banks immediately locked its doors and its customers could not get in! In my home town of Salem, Ore. a city councilor posted flagrantly racist materials on his Facebook page. The spontaneous uproar that ensued was immediate and intense, leading to his resignation. There is encouraging news on the foreign relations front as well. Trump’s website reported shortly after the election that Trump and Vladimir Putin “discussed a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years.” Rather than pursuing the tense

relations that have steadily worsened in recent months giving rise to fears of nuclear war, “President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia.” Putin’s militarism in Ukraine, his administration’s recent repression and his reported assassinations of dissidents, are no doubt reprehensible, but finding common ground where we can is an inoculant against nuclear aggression. The Struggle of Our Lives All that said, we all know that we are about to face the struggle of our lives if we are to avert disasters for the environment, human rights, good government, equity, healthcare, workers’ rights, human decency, politics and a host of other controversial issues. We need to acknowledge that Trump’s candidacy and victory did not cause any of these crises. All were there before. We fear that his administration will make them worse -- because his candidacy already has; it is our job to see that he does not succeed. We stand at a crossroads from which things can get a whole lot worse, but they can also get a lot better. Let us choose the latter course! Each of us will be drawn to the issues and tactics that resonate for us. Please don’t try to convince others that your cause is “the most important.” They are all important. Instead, thank each person who is working on any of them – even those you never thought about or thought were important. Come to appreciate how intimately interconnected they all are. They are varying forms of resistance to domination, and efforts to replace it with cooperation. Replacing domination with cooperation has a short name – “nonviolence.” No one is saying this is going to be easy. It’s not. It’s going to be one of the hardest things our country has ever attempted, if not the hardest. However, the stakes have never been higher either. The reward of success will be happier, more secure, more fulfilled, healthier people living together more peacefully and gracefully. The price of failure could well be the extinction of our species from this planet, taking many other life forms with us.

100 Days of Peace and Justice So here’s a specific suggestion, recently offered by a friend: as Donald Trump follows his inauguration on January 20 with 100 days of revealing to us what his administration’s agenda is going to be, let us begin 100 Days of Peace and Justice during which we reveal what our agenda is going to be. Never in the history of the world has there been a leader who was able to govern without the cooperation - or at least the acquiescence - of the governed. Let us make it clear that we will only accept governance that meets our needs and aspirations. Under the umbrella of 100 Days of Peace and Justice we can speak with a unified voice on all the issues we care about by demonstrating what we want and resisting what we do not want. Initiate projects that fire your enthusiasm and refuse cooperation with those that do not represent you. No overall coordination is required. Just Do It. A Few Examples Initially protests will come to mind. Protest if you wish, but I believe we must go beyond protesting to demonstrating what we want and how to refuse what we do not want. For example: • Wear the safety pin (meaning: commitment to everyone’s safety) and be ready to back it up. It says you are a person who will not accept mistreatment of others in your presence and will help resist it. That involves intervening if violence is threatened, of course, but also if racial slurs, misogyny, bullying or any kind of personal domination appears in your environment. • Set an example of ecologically conscientious behavior. Don’t waste resources. Choose ecologically sound products, resist unsound ones, and cultivate behaviors and attitudes that protect the planet and its systems. Let others know what you are doing. • Take an interest in, and become better informed about, foreign relations. Don’t trust everything you receive from the mainstream media. Seek out alternative sources to balance them. • Support local businesses, boycott irresponsible marketing and marketers, reward good corporate citizens with your business. Tell others.

Turn up at government hearings that concern you, let your representatives at all levels know what you want and what you do not want, support candidates you like, and demand action on important issues. Object when money is used to pervert the democratic process. Resist the violence that flows into our homes, schools, workplaces and lives on a daily basis via entertainment, video games, language and attitudes. Interrupt it and replace it with healthier alternatives.

Nonviolence In closing, a word about nonviolence -- it is crucial to ultimate success in this endeavor for a number of reasons: • If we use violence, or threats of violence to coerce cooperation, we are selling out the fundamental paradigm shift we need to achieve. • Recent research has shown that nonviolence is twice as likely to be successful as violence, and is much more likely to have lasting results. • Any form of social change requires only about 3.5 percent of sustained actively involved people in order to be successful. Violence turns many people off and thus is counter-productive. It also makes it much more difficult for very young, elderly and alter-abled people to become involved. • Violence is often initiated by oppressors hoping to tempt their opponents to violence in order to discredit them. Think of the difference in public reaction to the recent window-breaking demonstration in Portland, Ore., vs. the determined nonviolence of the Standing Rock water protectors, even in the face of massive provocation. We won’t know how much power we can wield until we try. Now is not the time to err on the side of timidity. Peter Bergel is a lifelong peace, justice, environmental, and indigenous rights activist and organizer.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone James A. Haught Existentialists contend that humanity has a streak of irrational absurdity that defies logical understanding. The Donald Trump presidential victory rouses that feeling. Ever since election night, I’ve felt like a Franz Kafka character caught in incomprehensible circumstances that make no sense. Whatever possessed 61 million Americans (one-fourth of voting-age adults) to trust their nation to an off-the-wall kook? Republican leader Mitt Romney called Trump “a phony, a fraud.” Republican leader Bobby Jindal called him “a madman who must be stopped.” Republican leader Jeb Bush called him a “jerk.” Republican leader Lindsey Graham called him “a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.”

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz called him “a serial philanderer, and he boasts of it.” Former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge called him “an embarrassment to my country.” Republican executive Meg Whitman called him “a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears.” Yet Trump is preparing to install his national administration, and most news media treat it as normal. Will he be the worst president in U.S. history -- even worse than George W. Bush, who started the needless Iraq War on false pretexts? So far, the 2017 prospect looks ominous: Trump vows to appoint Supreme Court justices who will make it a crime again for desperate girls and women to end pregnancies. He vows to find and deport 11 mil-

lion undocumented Hispanics. He vows to halt America’s participation in international efforts against the menace of global warming. He vows to give the wealthy a colossal tax break, which will force cutbacks in people-helping programs. He called for a ban on Muslims entering America. He vows to kill the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance for 20 million. Trump is filling his incoming administration with known racists like Jeff Sessions and Stephen Bannon, plus a loose cannon, Mike Flynn. Incredibly, Romney, the Republican who called Trump a phony and fraud, is under consideration for secretary of state. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Does America face four ugly years that will reverse human rights progress and

damage the national safety net? With Republicans in complete control of Washington, how much harm will occur? Already, House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to turn Medicare over to commercial insurance corporations. All other advanced nations have liberal democracies that protect citizens. Will America lose standing in this regard? Or will reality convince the GOP that it can’t undo a century of hardwon progress? At least, everyone should hope that Trump doesn’t start an unnecessary war, as Bush did. America is the strongest nation on Planet Earth, with the most powerful economy. It can endure almost anything. Presumably it will suffer through the coming four years in some fashion. Hold on.

15 December, 2016

Valley Voice • 11

Comments & Letters

Dr. Kumar can be a doctor and an elected board member

Lidia Donabed As a registered voter, within the district, I was contacted by proponents of the recall of Dr. Kumar from the Board of Directors of our district hospital. During our discussion of Dr. Kumar, the proponents of the recall noted that Dr. Kumar is an excellent physician and that he has provided a great service to the community for the last 20 or more years. He not only has a viable medical practice but he has provided valuable self service to the hospital and our community. At the end of the discussion, it is noted that I did not read the statement for recall on the petition nor one was offered for me to review. However, the final sentiment that was voiced for his recall was the following: that we don’t believe a doctor should serve on the hospital board and he should spend his time taking care of his patients. Our discussion did not identify any ethical or legal reason for the recall of Dr. Kumar from the Board of Directors other than as a doctor he should not serve as a member of the hospital board! This last statement led me to believe, in absence of any other discussion

or statement for reason of recall, that Dr. Kumar’s recall was based on the opinion that the medical staff did not have the citizen right to run for political office as a board member of a hospital district. It is legally noted that special districts are local governments separate from county and cities. Health care districts are governed locally. Each health care district is governed by a locally elected 5 member board of directors. The Tulare Regional Center board of directors are elected by registered voters within their district. The only requirement to run for office is that you are a registered voter within your district is my understanding. In addition, because the hospital is a taxing government district. The hospital is also protected by state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination against protected businesses and places that are considered public accommodations from discriminating on basis of race, religion, culture or national origin. Based on the opinion of the proponents ,who contacted me, and asked me to sign the petition to recall, was “personal bias”! The statement that was made was indeed a personal judgement

that physicians should not be allowed to serve on the board of directors of a hospital district. This opinion goes contrary to the our constitutional rights and I am sure that the medical staff and private physicians have the constitutional right to serve on boards regardless of their medical profession. Due to any other information contradicting this opinion of the proponents of the recall, I would have to believe that Dr. Kumar is being discriminated upon. As a board member, he only represents one vote out of five. Certainly there had to be a majority vote on issues and other no vote needed because it was a legal requirement. If the overall board of directors is not functioning at the level of responsibility, yes there should be an overall concern of the entire board of directors by the community. However, by isolating one board member, elected by his district, running for public office regardless of his profession and regardless of how he maintains his business, is not a valid reason for recall. If it is the overall opinion of the proponents to recall Dr. Kumar is because a physician or member of the medical staff

shall not serve as an elected official is discrimination! In this case, the proponents should provide an argument as to what professions should better serve as a board member, city council, school boards, board of supervisors, etc It is noted if registered voters have been asked to sign the petition because physicians and medical staff do not have the constitutional right to seek election to a pubic body, you can ask to have your name removed from the petition. Board members would better serve their districts by educating themselves of their legal responsibilities to their constituents. In addition they all need an understanding of their scope of responsibility and duties to serve their community at a higher level of providing quality care to all citizens that seek medical care. Review the Report and recommendations of the joint commission on accreditation of district hospitals. This report would provide citizens with greater insight into the operations of the hospital as well as the board of directors. They provide recommendations that are mandated. If not followed the hospital loses it accreditation and their finding as a district Hospital.

Tulare HOA: Hotel Proposal Causes Significant Concerns Janet M. Lazarus, PEHOA If you live or travel in District 4 or on “North M Street & Cartmill Avenue overpass, you will want to know this information. A Chinese foreign corporation has applied for rezoning of the Bethel Assembly Church property to accommodate a five story “proposed hotel” on 4.74 acres with a 460 seat banquet/ wedding accommodation with on sale liquor between the City Fire Station and the church. Presidential Estates Homeowners Association and other surrounding property owners are protesting this change for numerous reasons. PEHOA retained counsel and the following attached letter was sent to our Planning & Zoning Commissioners regarding the changing of a General Plan Zoning on M Street & Cartmill Avenue. The commissioners were tied 2-2 and it is now proceeding to be sent to the City Council on December, 20, 2016. Basically, these are the reasons the property owners are objecting to the change:

1. The first requirement to change a general plan zoning is to show that there is a lack of available property zoned for that use. 2. The traffic impact of l,l52 cars a day. 3. The water consumption on limited wells. 4. The danger to the Blain Park youth activities. 5. The lack of parking for both the church and five story hotel. 6. The proposed location of the hotel is blocked from view by potential southbound highway customers behind the overpass and next to a fire station. If the hotel is not built after the rezoning, the city will be obligated to approve any project submitted that fits in that zoning. According to our legal advisor, an Environmental Impact Report is required by CEQA when it has a significant impact to the area. The General Plan was put into place some 20 plus years ago and was intended to separate the residential from commercial to protect our residents, especially the children and elderly.

Monterrey Dynasty, LLC.,is currently the owner of 7 acres across the Hwy. 99 fronting on Rutherford Drive zoned C3. There are two parcels to the north of Cartmill on the west side that have been pre-zoned for hospitality use. There is approximately 100 acres also zoned C-3 in the near vicinity which is much more visible and accessible. The same engineering firm that is under contract to the City of Tulare and responsible for the City’s requirements is also representing the developer, Monterrey Dynasty, LLC., and is willing to accept the developers” bought and paid for Mitigated Negative Declaration”. We find this situation to be an obvious conflict of interest! Who do they really represent?? They City of Tulare, Rev. Sunderland or Monterrey Dynasty, LLC. The concerns that have been addressed to the commissioners, such as an 1,152 car a day impact, the increased danger to the Blain Park users, (children that have group sport practice activities there at least 4 afternoon/evenings a week or the elderly trying to cross M street with no traffic improvements for control) have all been simply dismissed

by the acceptance of the Mitigated Negative Declaration which says it will be little or no impact to the area. This action by the City “flies” in the face of the citizens who take part voluntarily to serve on commissions and committees to make Tulare a desirable city of live and raise their children. The original plan by Rev. Sunderland of Bethel Assembly promised the citizens a church with surrounding grounds that supported the religious activities such as a day care center, a Christian school, soccer field and out buildings to support youth activities together with adequate parking. It appears that the city wants to disregard the previous regulations placed there by concerned volunteers who dedicated their time for the benefit of all residents. If you are concerned about this type of administrative action by our city lusting after a few bed tax dollars at your expense, please take the time to attend the City Council meeting on December 20, 2016, @ 7:00 P.M. and express your opinion. Janet M. Lazarus, President

Comments from Member of the Electoral College, Bill Conley, of South Carolina stated that: “The electoral college was put in place to keep areas with large populations from controlling the election. . . . If not for [the] Electoral College, candidates would only visit large cities and the rest of the country would have no say.” This conclusion is obviously a bias against direct popular election and the principle of one person–one vote. Furthermore, it could be no worse than the present phenomenon of having our elections decided in eight “battleground states” having less than one quarter of the total number of electors? This population concentration issue was only a minor consideration of the framers at the Constitutional Convention. (See Federalist Paper no. 10.) While Madison was in favor of popular election of the President, he acknowledged that for small populations, delegations are more subject to limitations on good choices and to the higher probability of factionalism and corruption.

The overriding concern against popular election of the President, however, was the effect of the massive slave population in the southern states on their popular representation and taxation. The convention delegates solved this with the three-fifths of a person compromise and the system of state-elector representation consisting of what is now referred to as the Electoral College. These two concerns are no longer with us, as the population size of the Federation is no longer small and the size of the population of disenfranchized persons has diminished considerably since passage of the Fourteenth Amendment (although, the numbers of prisoners and persons with felony convictions who are inelligible to vote in many states would be sufficient to decide a close contest). The travesty of the outcomes of the 2000 and 2016 general elections should be enough to galvanize a popular movement against the obsolete system of electing the most powerful polititian on earth.

— Don Manro, on Graduating From the Electoral College

12 • Valley Voice

15 December, 2016

Visalia, Hanford Fox Theatres Suffer Recent Aging Issues Nancy Vigran The local Fox theaters are starting to tell signs of their ages – well, maybe not just starting to, but rather again showing signs, each developing problems within the past week. On Wednesday, December 7 around noon, a Visalia Fox Theatre employee happened upon a pond of water rising in the theater’s orchestra pit subflooring. It was getting seriously close to the pipe organ and the hydraulics that elevate the organ to the stage and carry it back down to the pit for storage, said Erin Olm-Shipman, co-executive director for the theater. Staff immediately called Cal Water to turn off the water supply, and a plumber, and started bucketing out the water, while a board member brought in a sump pump to drain the water away. By Thursday morning, a leaking line was found underneath the stage and an 8x8-foot hole was dug near the northwest corner of the building to allow access, Olm-Shipman said. The fractured pipe was cut out and replaced in a timely fashion, for a show to go on, on Thursday night. A hole was also made in the stage, which was repaired by the time of the Tulare County Symphony performance. Through quick work, no performances were cancelled at the 86-year-old Visalia Fox. However, there is a possibility that repairs my not be covered under insurance, Olm-Shipman said, as the theater experienced an earlier leak about a year ago. And, if covered, premiums may

go up. Either option is an unexpected budget item for the nonprofit location. Meanwhile, the Hanford Fox has ongoing troubles of its own. The theater, which opened in 1929, was shut The Brothers Osborne performed on top of their tour bus after plasdown for ap- ter fell from an arch in the Hanford Fox Theatre. Courtesy/Brothers proximately two Osborne years, after a ceilthe edge of the stage. Usually people coning collapse following a concert in 2014. sider the proscenium like a steel anvil and No one was injured in the incident. Oth- nothing could go wrong, he said. But an er improvements were made during this inspection on Tuesday, revealed where the time including ADA-complaint seating plaster had fallen from. All the plaster will and restroom facilities. be removed and the beam itself fully inWith work completed, the theater spected. It is felt that all of the ceiling rere-opened in April. However, just prior to pair work along with the scaffolding being the Saturday, December 10 performance erected there to work on the ceiling, took of the Brothers Osborn, some shedding its toll on the plaster of the arch. plaster was found. The Brothers Osborn Repairs are set to take place, and said they never had a performance can- events for the rest of December have been celled, so they moved outside. The artists cancelled. The theater is schedule to reperformed atop of their tour bus, with open in January 2017. fans watching while out in the rain. “It’s got be safe,” Humason said. The plaster, it turns out, fell off He also noted that all inspections folthe proscenium arch, said Dan Huma- lowing the ceiling restoration had been son, owner. approved by the city and the state. While concert-goers were not greatThe Brothers Osborn will be reschedly concerned, Humason said, it war- uled at the Hanford Fox, probably someranted closing inside of the theater. The time in 2017, when their schedule allows. incident was highly played up in the me- Ticket holders for the December 10 event dia, he added. should hang on to their tickets, as they will The proscenium arch sits right above be honored at the future performance.

Humason posted on the Fox Hanford Facebook page – “Our structural engineers have inspected the Fox Hanford, and have concluded that in order to provide a safe venue to adequately rock the house, further repair is needed on the proscenium arching the stage. So that’s what we’re going to do. Rest assured we will work diligently to have the theatre repaired in time for our January 27, Robert Earl Keen show.”s needed on the proscenium arching the stage. So that’s what we’re going to do. Rest assured we will work diligently to have the theatre repaired in time for our January 27th, Robert Earl Keen show.s needed on the proscenium arching the stage. So that’s what we’re going to do. Rest assured we will work diligently to have the theatre repaired in time for our January 27th, Robert Earl Keen show. The Visalia Fox and Hanford Fox were part of a rise in theaters built in the late 1920’s and ‘30s across the country. According to the Hanford Fox website: “The designers of the early theatres included a full stage, dressing rooms, fly and orchestra pit in their plans, because vaudeville was still very much in vogue and movies had not dominated the entertainment scene. Traveling troupes crises-crossed the United States exhibiting their acts for an entertainment starved nation.” The local Fox theaters are just a couple of those remaining within California. The local communities take pride in their architecture and heritage.

Valley Scene

15 December, 2016

Rawhide Franchise, General Manager Honored at Winter Meetings Danny Angel The Visalia Rawhide, as announced by Minor League Baseball and Esurance, were named the inaugural 2016 Esurance Home Field Advantage Award winner, as well as General Manager Jennifer Pendergraft being honored as the California League “Women in Excellence” Award winner at the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, MD. The Esurance Home Field Advantage Award honors the communities who best supported their hometown Minor League Baseball teams this season. One Minor League Baseball team in each of the 14 leagues has been named

the Esurance Home Field Advantage Award winner based on the highest percentage capacity of the ballpark during the 2016 season. “Minor League Baseball fans are some of the most dedicated and passionate in all of sports, and when asked to come out and support their hometown teams, that’s exactly what they did,” said David Wright, Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer for Minor League Baseball. “Fan support is a crucial part of a team’s success, and this award recognizes their commitment.” Rawhide General Manager Jennifer Pendergraft was honored by the

RAWHIDE continued on B5 »

Lindsay Community Theater to Present “Journey to Bethlehem” Mary and Joseph’s “Journey to Bethlehem” will be reenacted in a short play at the Lindsay Community Theater on December 16 & 17 at 7:30pm and December 18 at 2pm. Dedicated local actors will play the parts of Roman soldiers, wise men, shepherds, angels, tax collectors, and inn keepers. You are invited to partake of this epic journey along with some hot chocolate and warm cookies. Admission is Free. Visit for more information. The journey of 75 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem would take perhaps two hours by car today. The payment of the tax required by the Roman government could be completed online or over

the phone. However, in Mary and Joseph’s day, over two thousand years ago, the trip took five to seven days. Consider Mary nine months pregnant riding a donkey the whole way, and you have a hardship beyond much of our understanding. The Lindsay Community Theater will capture the drama of this adventure leading to the cradle-side of the baby Jesus. Follow Mary and Joseph as they make the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem just before the birth of Christ. Meet the people they encountered along the way and trace their steps to the stable behind the inn. At the end of the trail, audiences will be treated to a visit from Santa Claus and a short video presentation.

See The Grinch on December 16. Courtesy/Johanna Coyne

Boys & Girls Club Presents ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias presents Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas December 16 at 7pm featuring participation from the Tulare, Visalia, Ivanhoe, Farmersville, and Exeter clubs. The cost is $2 for club members, $3 for kids, $5 for adults. Tickets are available at all participating club sites and at the door on the 16th of December. This fundraiser is for the clubs participating; proceeds will be equally distributed and the money will be utilized depending on the needs of each club. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias currently serves youth in the

communities of Visalia, Tulare, Ivanhoe, Farmersville, Exeter, Porterville and Strathmore. The mission of the organization is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Club serves over 3,800 youth yearly throughout Tulare County providing them with meaningful mentoring with caring staff and participation in life changing programs. If you would like to learn more about the Boys & Girls Club, become a volunteer, or donate to support the Club visit

Mandala Art Show at Brandon-Mitchell Gallery

‘The Invitation’, a mandala by Elsah Cort

A mandala is a circular design symDonna Orozco bolizing that life is never ending. While long embraced by some Eastern reli- them digitally. They are designed from gions, it is now also popular in Western multilayers of original photographs of the natural world and imcultures, often used as an ages of painted mandalas aid to meditation. that she manipulates in To start the new year, PhotoShop. The Brandon-Mitchell Besides the digital Gallery is hosting an art mandalas, she will also show of more than 30 show some mandalas mandalas made by Three printed on fabric and diRivers artist Elsah Cort. The public is invited to a Elsah Cort will be selling her rectly on glass, along with some mandala ornaments. reception for the artist on 2017 Mandala Calendar at the event, pictured above. The show will be on Friday, January 6 from display through Febru5-8pm at the Center for Spiritual Awareness, 117 S. Locust, in ary. There will be another reception on Visalia (one block south of Main Street). Friday, February 3. The show may also During the reception, Cort will also be viewed Mondays-Wednesdays from be selling her 2017 mandala calendar, 9:30am-3:30pm by ringing the bell at the door. featuring 12 of her mandala art works. For more information: 559 625Cort has been creating mandalas for over 30 years and recently began making 2441 or

15 December, 2016

B2 • Valley Voice

Great Conversations Individualism vs. Collectivism: Hayek’s Economic Vision Joseph R. Teller On the one h a n d , Americans are deeply attached to liberty—freedom from oppression, freedom to live one’s life according to one’s values. On the other hand, Americans are also attached to values like equality and fairness. Yet to what extent are liberty and fairness— especially when talking about economics—reconcilable? This week the Great Books group tackled an excerpt from F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944), a chapter titled “Planning and Democracy,” a text in which the influential economist explores the inherent tensions between democracy and centralized economic planning. Hayek assumes that democracy is a “means…for safeguarding internal peace and individual freedom,” and as such, it is a philosophy opposed to what he calls “collectivism,” a political and economic philosophy that, for Hayek, includes forms of socialism, communism, and fascism. From this premise, Hayek argues that centralized economic planning

(the idea of a centralized government liaments and congresses) are unable to planning specific economic goals for a carry out centralized economic plans, nation and interfering with markets in which in turn creates a sense of frustraorder to reach those goals) is inherently tion that “nothing is getting done.” This inimical to democracy. is why, according to Hayek, “socialist “Democratic government has government must not allow itself to be worked successfully where…the func- too much fettered by democratic procetions of government were, by a wide- dure,” because democratic procedure— ly accepted creed, restricted to fields the intractable disagreements about where agreement among a majority concrete implementation, the conflict of could be achieved by free discussion,” many interests often directly opposed to Hayek claims. one another—makes it impossible for a But if a large govcentralized plan to be ernment entity plans an realized. And because economy, it can only be a democratic body is based on a false sense ineffective at carrying of agreement, since it is out a centralized plan impossible for any one (because it cannot reparticular economic ally agree on its execugoal to really satisfy the tion), it usually means multiple and unpredictthat the people will able views of the many demand that the govindividuals who live unernment—and often a der such a government. single individual—be Even if a govgiven unchecked auernment commits thority to execute the to an agreeable and plan: “Agreement that F.A. Hayek. Courtesy/Mises Institute. lofty-sounding policy planning is necessary, such as “economic prosperity” or “the together with the inability of democratic common good,” Hayek writes that as assemblies to produce a plan, will evoke soon as discussion moves beyond airy stronger and stronger demands that the generalities, agreement falls apart, be- government or some single individual cause a large polity will necessarily should be given powers to act on their disagree on specific ways to realize ab- own responsibility.” Thus, for Hayek, stract goals. centralized economic planning necessarAs a result, democratic bodies (par- ily threatens democracy, moving demo-

Coming to the Hanford Fox Theater Classic Movies! Thurs. Dec. 15 - 7pm $5 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Watch our website for more classic movies to come!

Robert Earl Keen Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 8 pm - $30 - $35

Golden Dragon Acrobats Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 7:30 pm - $22 - $34


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cratic government toward autocracy. Hayek does not deny that groups of individual citizens can work toward a common goal, arguing that “common action is…limited to the fields where people agree on common ends.” Nor does he reject the idea that a prosperous government can create a social safety net for its people. Yet it is Hayek’s commitment to what we might call “free market principles” that make him an influential figure among many modern libertarians and conservatives in America today. Our discussion, needless to say, was energetic and often heated; after all, Hayek seems to reject principles like redistribution that many contemporary Americans believe are central to a compassionate and fair society. But whether one agrees with him or detests him, Hayek brings to the surface a number of questions embedded within democratic politics: how might a democratic state ensure social justice without curtailing individual liberty? How does a deliberative body implement a given policy effectively while also permitting room for real disagreement? And how does a government like our own negotiate the often fraught tensions between liberty and equality, between individualism and the common good? Dr. Joseph R. Teller is a professor of English at COS. Email him at josepht@

15 December, 2016

Valley Voice • B3

UPHS Theater Presents ‘A Twelfth Night,’ Set in Pre-Revolutionary Mexico

The Strathmore High School Varsity Football team. Courtesy/Strathmore High

Spartans Play a Season for the Ages Stefan Barros The Strathmore High School football team has had a season unlike any they’ve ever had in the school’s history. The Spartans are an undefeated 14-0, winning a division VI championship and a state playoff game this past weekend. Jeromy Blackwell, head coach of the Spartans, has been at the helm for 17 years and believes this year has been the culmination of some intense work that has been done by his team for the past few years. “Our Offensive Line Coach Rob Garza started a night program two years ago. This year, those players are now juniors. They showed then that they wanted to get better; now it’s starting to pay off for them.” As far as expecting this type of success out of his team, Blackwell was never really focused on expectations; he was always focused on making sure his team was getting better every day. “We have one philosophy, and it’s to be the best team Strathmore High School has ever had. We are a tough, hard working team. We just want to go 1-0 every week, and go one play at a time. I’ve been blessed to have these kids, they’ve bought in to what we’re doing here. “ In the game that put the Spartans

More than 40 years in Downtown Visalia

into the Division 6A State championship game, Strathmore dropped 62 points on Horizon Christian Academy (San Diego). Blackwell credited the speed of his offensive line with the offensive success. “They couldn’t keep up with the speed of our o-line and we ran for over 500 yards in the game. Person for person, we just had a better team than they did,” Blackwell said. Spartan running back Joseph Garcia set a Strathmore High School record by running for 427 yards and seven touchdowns. Blackwell spoke about what it’s been like to coach a player like Garcia, “He’s not the fastest running back, but when he sees a hole, he explodes through it. He’s the best running back I’ve coached at Strathmore.” The Spartans now move on to the State Championship game, which will be held at Strathmore High School. They will host St, Patrick-St. Vincent High School (Vallejo) on Saturday, December 17 at 6pm. “I told the players ever practice during playoff, this could possibly be our last Monday practice, our last Tuesday practice, and they wouldn’t want to hear it. This week I’ll them, this really is our last Monday, or our last Tuesday practice. It will be tough on our seniors,” Blackwell said.

University Preparatory High School’s theater company UPT presents Shakespeare’s A Twelfth Night (o lo que tu quieres): a multi-cultural event celebrating the language, poetry, music, and history of Elizabethan England and Porfirio Diaz Mexico. Shakespeare’s funny and poignant play about class differences and unrequited love is set in Diaz’s Mexico, before the revolution. In this original adaptation penned by UPHS theater chair David Rasner, Viola and Sebastian are indentured Yaqui natives en route to Yucatan who are separated in a shipwreck and are washed up on the Sonoran coast, each believing the other to be drowned. Duke Orsino and Countess Olivia are the land-owning Mexican aristocracy who manage their massive Hacienda’s and provide the setting for Christmas season misrule and hilarity. The UPT production features the music of Central Valley band Los Robles, who support the story with live music offstage and onstage. Los Robles serve as characters in the play, acting as Feste the clown’s traveling band. In this production, Feste is a clever singer/ comedian who looks as though he just stepped off a vaudeville stage. Also joining the production is Hector Corvera’s Mexican Folkloric dance class who provide a curtain warmer performance and then, as the play begins, are woven into the story as well. Rasner is excited to present a production of A Twelfth Night that speaks to everyone in the area, “the idea for

Staff Reports the show struck me when I listened to a song that musicologist Ry Cooder and legendary Tex-Mex artist Flaco Jimenez collaborated on called Poquito Fe. That song became the metaphor for the adaptation, which is, really, a collaboration, a cultural exchange; two poetic voices, Spanish and English, that work together to tell a universal story of love.” The production also serves as a history lesson, accurately depicting how cosmopolitan Mexico was during Diaz’s dictatorship: Sir Andrew Aguecheek is a ridiculous German military advisor who conjures images of Inspector Kemp from Young Frankenstein, Maria is a fiery Irish maid who has a secret relationship with Sir Toby Belch, a rebellious drunkard. Malvolio is a snooty Frenchman: a reminder of how Diaz was a complete Francophile who believed that Mexico needed to shed its indigenous identity and look to Europe as a model of modernity. The play is perfect for the holidays as it celebrates the 12 days between Christmas and the Epiphany: a time when the world is turned upside down and anybody can be king for a day. A Twelfth Night (o lo que tu quieres) opens December 15th at The Enchanted Playhouse Theater and runs for only 1 weekend. Ticket prices are $10.00 per person, ($5.00 with a UPHS student ID) Tickets can be purchased online at

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Calendar Now – December 17: Arts Visalia Holiday Show & Sale Featuring handcrafted gifts and art by some of the Central Valley’s finest artists and craftsmen, just in time for the Christmas shopping season. First Friday reception on Dec. 3 from 6-8pm. Admission is free. 214 E. Oak St. Visalia. For more information, call (559) 7390905. Now - January 7: 32nd Annual Trains Show at the Porterville Historical Museum Open Thursdays - Saturdays from 10am - 4pm - Annual holiday event - miniature train show at the museum, produced by the Friends of the Museum. Open regular museum hours and included in donation price of $5 for adults; $1 for students. The Porterville Historical Museum is located at 257 North D. For more information, visit www., or call (559) 784-2053. December 16 & 17: Old Fashion Christmas Tours Candlelight Tours @ Zalud House 6-8pm – Seasonal displays and vintage decorations with guided tours and refreshments. 393 N. Hockett, Porterville. Admission: $2/adults; $.50/children & students. For more information, call (559) 782-7548; (559) 791-7695. December 16-18: Journey to Bethlehem Friday & Saturday at 7:30 & Sunday at 2pm - Reenactment in a short play at the Lindsay Community Theatre. Dedicated local actors will play the parts of Roman soldiers, wise men, shepherds, angels, tax collectors, and inn keepers. You are invited to partake of this epic journey along with some hot chocolate and warm cookies. The theatre is located at 190 N. Elmwood Ave. Admission is free. Visit for more information. December 16: Lindsay Christmas Parade 6pm - Parade of Lights - lighted vehicle parade from the Save Mart Shopping Center to Downtown. Open to any vehicle with lights. For more information, call (559) 3331994. December 17: Sons of the San Joaquin & Friends Christmas Celebration

December 2016 Lunch M Lunch served 12-1 pm $4.00 D

Please call 713-4481. Reservations


December 20: “League Study Results: Higher Ed and Money in Politics” 11:30am - Unit Meeting League of Women Voters of Tulare County - Holiday Feast & presentation. RSVP by Friday, Dec. 16 to Mary Ann Bringhurst, (559) 732-1251 or Meeting held at Sa Tres Bien in Visalia. December 24: Reenactment of the Christmas Story 6:30pm - Mary and Joseph care for the baby Jesus in the manger while the shepherds, wise men, and angels all watch over the scene. Also included are many Christmas Carols recounting the birth of Our Lord. At the conclusion is a moving rendition of “Silent Night,” sung by candlelight. All children who attend are invited to participate as shepherds or angels. Held at the First Presbyterian Church in Lindsay, 351 E. Hermosa St.

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December 31: Revisit the Legend of Steppenwolf: Born to be Wild

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December 2016 Lunch M Lunch 12-1 pm $4.008 DLe 6 Pastramiserved and Swiss on 7 Spaghetti with bacon,

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marbled rye with split call pea Please soup and fruit



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20 Eggplant parmesan 21 Tuna salad sandwich 6 Pastrami and Swiss on 7 Spaghetti with bacon,

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5noff Chicken and cheese with egg noodles

enchiladas in red sauce and garnished with sour cream, vegetables, with rice, beans andfruit fruit

with layers of eggplant, marbled rye with split marinara sauce and pea soup and fruit mozzarella served with salad, fruit and garlic

12 Albondigas soup with 13 Cheeseburger with 26 27 Salisbury steak with turkey meatballs served with cheese enchiladas in salsa verde

lettuce, tomato, condigravy and mushrooms, ments and mashed potatoes, vegepickle served with table and fruit coleslaw and fruit

19 Ground beef stroga-

20 Eggplant parmesan


noff with egg noodles and garnished with sour cream, vegetables, fruit

bell peppers, tomatoes


713-4481 . sausage Reservations and Italian in a frui

with layers of eggplant, marinara sauce and mozzarella served with Business salad, fruit and garlic

white sauce, with Cesar


14 Meatloaf with mashed 15 1T

on wheat bread with bell peppers, tomatoes chicken noodle soup and and Italian sausage in a fresh fruit white sauce, with Cesar

bea wit frui

14 Meatloaf with mashed 15 28 Grilled vegetable lasa- 29 potatoes and gravy, vegegna with layers of eggtable, fruit and roll plant, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper with marinara sauce and moz21 Tunaserved salad with sandwich zarella salad, on wheat bread garlic bread and with fruit chicken noodle soup and fresh fruit

chic ed ron frui frui



New Year’s Eve of the Year. on Held at are the s **Items Menu 7:30pm - For those 21 and older. Heritage Complex, International Party the night away with original Agri-Center. Tickets are $60. For 26 27 Salisbury steak with 28 Grilled vegetable lasa- 29 Steppenwolf band member Goldy tickets and more information, visgravy and mushrooms, gna with layers of egged McJohn with Glen Bui, joined by it, or call mashed potatoes, vege- plant, zucchini, yellow frui an all-star lineup. Ticketstable $38-$55. (559) 686-1547. and fruit squash, bell pepper with Tickets on sale now. For more in- January 24: marinara sauce and mozLadysmith Black formation visit, Mambazozarella withFox salad, at theserved Visalia The-



January 13: Porterville’s First Ever Bad Art Show 1-4pm - Calling all entries - accepted that the Porterville Art Association Gallery, 151 N. Main St. Categories: Reject Work, Tongue in Cheek, Commercial Junk. Student December 31: American GI Foentries are free; all others are $3/ rum Visalia Chapter New Year’s each or $15/total with up to three Eve Dance 8pm - Enjoy live music featuring entries in each category. For more the sounds of “The Heat” playing information, call Bill (559) 782your favorite R&B, Oldies, Tex- 9265; or Frances (559) 539-3243. Mex, Cumbias and Top 40. There January 17: League of Women will be a balloon drop at midnight Voters Tulare County Unit meetalong with party favors and festive ing hats at each table. Food and drinks 11:30am - Sustainability issues will also be available for purchase. Climate change. RSVP by Friday, Held at the Visalia Convention Jan. 13 to Mary Ann Bringhurst, Center. Tickets are $30 for reserved (559) 732-1251 or newellgb@hotseating, and $25 for general admis- Meeting held at Sa Tres sion. Tickets are available at the Bien in Visalia. Visalia Convention Center box of- January 20: Tulare Chamber of fice, or by calling (559) 713-4000. Commerce 133rd Annual BanDecember 28: 101 Dalmations 10:30am - in the Tulare Council Chambers, presented by the Tulare Public Library. And, at 2pm a mystery movie will be shown. For more information, call (559) 685-4508.



3pm - Cowboy Christmas at the Fox. Tickets $15-30. For more information visit, December 18: Kings Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert 4pm - Holiday Concert at the Hanford Fox. Tickets $20; $15 for seniors & veterans; $5 for students & children. For more information, visit or call the Hanford Fox box office, (559) 584-7423.


garlic bread and fruit atre 7:30pm - Celebrating over fifty years of joyous traditional **Items on Menuspiriare s tual acappella music led by their founder, Joseph Shabalala. Multiple Grammy awards including Best World Music & Best Traditional Album. Became famous collaborating with Paul Simon on his 1986 album, Graceland. Accompanied Nelson Mandela to Norway to receive 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. Concert held at the Visalia Fox Theatre. Tickets on sale now - $29-$55. For more information, visit

January 27: Robert Earl Keen at the Hanford Fox Theatre 8pm - The Houston native with the effortless voice, raspy twang and prolific pen has inspired and influenced an entire generation of Lone Star poets, including popular Texas favorites like Cory Morrow, Cody Canada, Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers, in the 30-plus years that he has been releasing music. Tickquet 6-9pm - Honoring the Man & ets on sale now $30-$35. Tickets Woman of the Year, Small & Large and more information visit www.

Menu / Visalia Senior Center Dine In or Takeout & under 54 yrs: $5.00

s must be made one business day in advance by 12 PM.



Turkey and provolone on ft loaf with lettuce and mato, tomato bisque up, fresh fruit

Weekly Salad Option:

2 Slow cooked pork, pineapple and artichokes over basmati rice with salad in sesame dressing and Hawaiian rolls

Asian Chicken Salad — Crisp romaine, carrots, cabbage, cilantro, peanuts, wontons, grilled chicken with peanut

Menu / Visalia Senior Center Dine In or Takeout & under 54 yrs: $5.00 emon pepper chicken 9 Pork tenderloin with

th rice pilaf, vegetables, sit must and roll be made

Taco Salad—in taco bowls mashed sweet potatoes, with lettuce, ground one business day advance by beef, PM vegetables, salad and fruit inblack beans, corn with



Mexican cheese and salsa


Weekly Salad Option:

Parmesan Turkey and encrusted provolone on ftcken loafbreast with lettuce and with macamato, ni and tomato cheese, bisque salad and up, fresh fruit it

16 Lightly breaded 2 Slow cooked pork,tilapia pine-

Chili verde with rice, emon pepper chicken ans, tortilla and fruit th rice pilaf, vegetables, it and roll

23 Christmas Lunch of 9 Pork tenderloin with

Parmesan encrusted BBQ chicken with roastcken breast with macapotatoes, salad, roll and ni and cheese, salad and it it

16 Lightly breaded tilapia 30 Pork chicken tamawith riceand pilaf, vegetables

Chili verde with rice,

ans, tortilla and fruit


with rice vegetables apple andpilaf, artichokes over and salad with roll basmati rice with salad in sesame dressing and Hawaiian rolls

baked ham, scalloped pomashed sweet potatoes, tatoes, green beans, salad vegetables, salad and fruit and fruit

les each) served and(one saladofwith roll with homemade refried beans, Mexican rice, salsa and fruit with cinnamon churros 23 Christmas Lunch of

Chef Salad—with diced cheeses, black Salad olives, — ham, Asian Chicken tomato and hard boiled Crisp romaine, carrots, eggs withcilantro, ranch dressing cabbage, peanuts, wontons, grilled chicken with peanut

Perfect Garden Salad — Taco Salad—in taco bowls

Field of greens with apwith lettuce, ground beef, ples, walnuts, dried cranblack beans, corn with berries and feta with Mexican cheese and salsa raspberry walnut dressing Chef Salad—with diced Southwest Chicken Salad cheeses, black olives, ham, with black beans, corn, tomato and hard boiled grilled chicken with ranch eggs with ranch dressing dressing

Happy New Year!

Perfect Garden Salad — Field of greens with apples, walnuts, dried cranfeta with Tickets berries on saleand now - $50-$125. raspberry walnut dressBrought ing to the Visalia Fox by Rain-

baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, salad and fruit, subject to change. or call (559) 5847423.

maker Productions. Illusions 30 Pork andatchicken tama- Southwest Chicken Salad with blackPickler beans, corn, les (one of each) served the Visalia Theatre March 18: Kellie at the potatoes, salad,Fox roll and grilled chicken with ranch with homemade refried dressing Theatre it 7pm - Nelson Illusions is a one- Visalia Fox beans, Mexican rice, salsa of-a-kind theatrical and spectacle that 8pm - Presented by Hands in the fruit with cinnamon combines rare & original churrosillusions Community. Kellie Pickler grew Happy New Year! from around the world with award up immersed in country music in winning, jaw-dropping magic. the small town of Albemarle, North Tickets $11-44. For more informa- Carolina with the words of Tammy tion, visit Wynette, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, subject to change. and Dolly Parton shaping her musical footing. At the age of 19, she first gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of “American Idol.” February 25: Porterville College Tickets on sale now - $40-$83. For Foundation 7th Annual Hall of more information, visit Fame Reception January BBQ chicken28: withNelson roast-


6pm - at the Student Center honoring former athletes and distinguished alumni. Tickets $25. For more information, call (559) 7912319 or email,


March 29: Vince Gill with Lyle Lovett at the Visalia Fox Theatre 7:30pm - After teaming up for a series of concerts in 2015 and 2016, Gill and Lovett saw that the shows were so successful that they decided to extend the tour. A portion of the proceeds benefit Tulare & Kings County Suicide Prevention Task Force. Tickets on sale now - $44$106. Brought to the Visalia Fox by Rainmaker Productions.

March 9: Foreigner at the Visalia Fox Theatre 7:30pm - 40th Anniversary Tour performing songs such as Cold as Ice and I Want to Know What Love Is. A portion of the proceeds benefits The Creative Center in Visalia. Sundays: Barmageddon TulareThis show was sold out in 2008! ous Open Mic, 9pm-12:30am Our weekly open mic has a great


selection of local comedians and musicians. Comedians will have approximately 10 mins of stage time and musicians get three songs. Sign ups start at 9 PM, Show starts at 9:30 PM, Ends around 12:30 AM. No Cover.

Center in Visalia. Reservations are required and the public is welcome. Contact or call 732-1251.

Wednesdays: Barmageddon Game Night Come blow off some steam at our Mondays: Bridge Club, 9:30am- game night. Enjoy complimentary gaming on all consoles, TCG’s, 2pm 210 W Center Street Visalia, Table top & board games. Happy CA 93291. Admission is free. For hour will be from 6-8pm. additional information call: Joan 1st Thursday Monthly through Dinwiddie @ 732-0855 October: Diabetes Support

Group, 5:30-7pm Kaweah Delta Health Care District will offer a free diabetes support group through October from on the first Thursday of the month at Mondays: Monday Karaoke at the Kaweah Delta Chronic Disease Barmageddon, 9pm-1am Get on stage and sing your favorite Management Center, 325 Willis St., tunes on our one of a kind sound Visalia. Information: 624-2416. system. New Image has a vast se- 1st Thursday, Monthly: Veterans lection of songs to choose, ranging Support Group, 5:30-7pm from 70’s classic rock to modern Free support group for global war pop. Karaoke Jockey Miss Sammi on terrorism & post 9-11 (Veterans will be hosting from 9 PM - 1 AM. Only) at the Tulare Public Library, 475 North M Street in Tulare. FaNo Cover. Fridays: Women’s Morning Bible cilitated by: Dr. Lance Zimmerman, Ph.D of veterans Counseling Study, 9am-Noon 210 W Center Street Visalia, Clinic. “The transition from serving in a combat zone to civilian life can CA 93291. be a difficult one. Combat veterSaturdays: Cup of Jazz, 10amans commonly experience feelings Noon of depression, isolation, alienation, At Cafe 210, at 210 Center street, guilt, anxiety, and anger following Visalia. Free. Led by Richard Ga- their service. If you’re experiencing roogian. Call 559.730.0910 for these or any other emotional probmore information. lems after serving in a combat zone, it’s vital to seek professional help. “ Tuesdays: Barmageddon Trivia -Veterans Counseling Clinic. Thunderdome, 9pm-1am Challenge your friends to the ulti- 1st and 3rd Thursdays, Monthly: mate trivia throw down. Earn some Central Valley Tea Party Meetbragging rights in categories rang- ings, 6pm ing from Saturday morning car- 819 West Visalia Road, Farmerstoons, classic video games, and pop ville. culture films. Teams of 4 or solo players compete for the best scores. 3rd Thursday Monthly through Winners of every two rounds will October: Diabetes Support square off in the Trivia Thunder- Group, 5:30-7pm dome for great prizes. Free sign ups Kaweah Delta Health Care District will offer a free diabetes supat 9:30 PM. port group through October on 2nd Tuesday, Monthly: Yappy the third Thursday of the month at Hour, 5-9pm Woodlake Manor Apartments, 200 Well-mannered, leashed pets are E. Sierra Avenue, Woodlake. Inforwelcome on the patio at the Plan- mation: 624-2416. ing Mill Artisan Pizzeria, 514 East Main Street, Suite A, in Visalia. A 3rd Thursday, Monthly: Gatherportion of the proceeds is donated ing At the Oval, 12:30-1pm to the Valley Oak SPCA. For more Lifting up the needs and concerns of Visalia through individual prayer information, call 651-1111. and meditation at Oval Park, 808 3rd Tuesday, Monthly: League of North Court Street in Visalia. For Women Voters Meeting, 11:45am more information, call 967-4065. At Sue Sa’s Club House, 699 W. Mondays: Knitters, 10am12:30pm 210 W Center Street Visalia, CA 93291. Everyone is welcome.

15 December, 2016

B5 • Valley Voice

Join the Largest New Year’s Eve Dance in Tulare County Staff Reports The American G.I. Forum – Visalia Chapter would like to invite you to join them for their annual fundraising event by celebrating the New Year with a “New Year’s Eve Dance.” The evening event will take place on Saturday, December 31, 2016 starting at 8:00 p.m. at the Visalia Convention Center. Hundreds of guest will enjoy live music featuring the sounds of “The Heat” playing your favorite R&B, Oldies, TexMex, Cumbias and Top 40. There will be a balloon drop at mid-night along with

party favorites and festive hats at each table. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase. Tickets are $30 for reserved seating, and $25 for general admission. Tickets purchased before December 15 will receive a $10 discount. Tickets are available at the Visalia Convention Center box office or by calling (559) 713-4000. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to support youth activities at Wittman Community Center in North Visalia. For more information, please call 738-1307 or 754-5600.

Arts Visalia to Open 2017 with Coppola Exhibition & Getty Trip Staff Reports Arts Visalia will open 2017 with a solo exhibition by John Coppola, president of the Visalia Art League and an active member of the Sorensen studios in Fresno. Known for his intricately detailed and often fanciful paintings and drawings, Coppola will be unveiling an ambitious sculptural installation with a distinctly futuristic twist. The opening reception for this show will be January 6, 2017 from 6-8pm in the gallery at 214 E. Oak Street in Visalia. Big changes are slated for our adult education programs at Arts Visalia, with a variety of new classes and workshops coming in 2017. Among these will be new evening

classes in drawing, painting and printmaking as well as new weekend workshops. Full details will be announced on our website in the weeks ahead.

Bus Trip to Getty Center

In partnership with the Visalia Art League, Arts Visalia is proud to present our next chartered bus trip, this time to the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Seats may be reserved now for the Saturday, February 11 trip. This is a perfect opportunity for a full day viewing the Getty’s extensive collections of medieval art, ancient sculpture and photographic works without the need to fight traffic there and back. Seats may be reserved by calling Arts Visalia at (559) 739-0905.

Three Tulare County Students Recognized in Statewide Ag Story Writing Contest Three Tulare County students have been named regional winners of the 2016 Imagine this… Story Writing Contest, a program provided by California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. The contest is open to all California 3rd 8th grade students. The following Tulare County students were selected as three of the 46 regional winners from across the state who will be honored for their creativity and writing skills: • Kirit Sangha, Third Grade, Shannon Ranch Elementary (Visalia), Avocado Adventure • Teacher, Ann Fry • Sahib Sangha, Fifth Grade, Shannon Ranch Elementary (Visalia), Carrot Civil War • Teacher, Ann Fry • Taylor McClure, Eighth Grade, Live Oak Middle School (Tulare), Pearl • Teacher, Sharla Ashburn The contest aims to help students develop narrative and informative writing skills. Stories are written about real or imagined events, based on accurate information about California agriculture. With more than 400 agricultural commodities produced in the state, there are endless opportunities for students to develop their knowledge of agriculture and their creative story-writing skills. Students are challenged to research the agricultural topics featured in their story. The contest aligns with current California Education Standards, inspiring creativity and critical thinking,

Rawhide Continued from B1

California League, in a vote by her peers, as the 2016 California League “Women in Excellence” Award winner. In 2007, Jennifer Pendergraft started as an Executive Assistant for the Visalia Oaks. She quickly fell in love with the town, Top of the Third ownership philosophies and what the ballclub had planned for the future. Jennifer has been in Visalia ever since. After assisting with the ballpark renovation process & team rebranding, she was named Assistant GM in 2009. Continued ball club growth led to Jennifer’s promotion to General Manager after the conclusion of the 2012 season and it has not stopped. She has continued to build an outstanding brand of family entertainment at Recreation Park which, in 2016, set an all-time attendance record for the fifth time in seven years as 123,079 fans came through the turnstiles.

Staff Reports while connecting students to the world around them. The program is designed to help students make a personal connection to California agriculture, a 47-billion-dollar industry. Teachers are encouraged to use the foundation’s free teaching resources to introduce students to agriculture. Resources include a variety of lesson plans, the annual What’s Growin’ On? student newspaper, and an assortment of agricultural fact and activity sheets. “The Imagine this… Story Writing Contest helps students enhance their research and writing skills, while they learn about various agricultural topics and the important role agriculture plays in their lives,” says Judy Culbertson, the foundation’s executive director. “This contest gives students the opportunity to explore the world of agriculture.” Awards for the 2016 regional awards will be mailed to the schools in January 2017. State winners will be announced on January 1, 2017. State-winning stories will be published in the 2016 edition of Imagine this… Stories Inspired by Agriculture, a book featuring illustrations created by high school art students. The new book will debut during California Agriculture Day on March 22, 2017, in Sacramento. For more information about the contest, visit imaginethis.

Last year, the Rawhide won the California League’s Excellence in Community Service Award. They achieved such an honor by Jennifer’s leadership in making their community feel like they are a “Rawhide Family”. Pendergraft also shared the “family love” with the entire California League when she told teams how to gain grant access from Strategic Business Solutions, LLC. She gave clubs a way to make their employees better while saving money at the same time. The recent success of the Visalia Rawhide is due in no small part to Jen’s dedication to the organization and the community of Visalia. 2017 marks the 71st year of baseball in Visalia at Recreation Ballpark and the 11th season as the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Arizona Diamondback in the California League. For more information or tickets call 559-732-4433 or head to You can follow the Rawhide on Twitter (@VisaliaRawhide), Facebook (TheRawhide), Instagram (@visaliarawhide) and Snap Chat (visaliarawhide).

The Valley Voice wishes very nearly everyone a Merry Christmas!

15 December, 2016

Valley Voice • B6

Students Gain Access With Assistive Technology county to find appropriate devices and technologies so they can better access edLast month, Jesse Ruiz, TCOE’s lead ucational resources. “Providing access to assistive technology specialist, paid a visit learning for students with special needs to Chase Carpenter, a junior at Granite underlies all that we do,” said Ms. WeavHills High School. Mr. Ruiz caught up er. “Whether the disability affects speech, with the young man in his AP Journal- mobility, vision or hearing, we take care ism class to assess how he was utilizing of it all in partnership with Tulare Couna new Bluetooth switch designed to pro- ty districts.” vide increased mobility on his iPad. Mr. Chase, like many students who utiRuiz was hoping that the new smaller lize assistive technology in regular eduswitch would help Chase, who has cere- cation settings, is leaving his proprietary bral palsy, better “click” or select items as equipment in favor of off-the-shelf dehe browsed the internet. What he discov- vices such as the iPad. “Students want to ered was that the switch was not being utilize what their peers are using,” said used at all. Mr. Ruiz. “Our challenge is to provide Instead of using the switch, which the applications to make these devices is tedious for him, Chase prefers to dic- work for them in terms of connectivity. tate his journalism assignments to his Ultimately, we want our students to be as aide, Paul Vera, a behavior intervention independent as possible in and out of the specialist with Porterville Unified. Chase classroom.” recently completed an article about the In building 21st century learners Porterville Art Walk for the school’s on- that have strong collaboration and comline newspaper, The Daily Roar, by dic- munication skills, teachers are moving tating, listening to it read by Mr. Vera increasingly toward online assignments. and then revising his work. Accessing these assignments for students with special needs is a challenge, whether their disability affects vision or motor ability. Mr. Ruiz and Ms. Weaver report that Apple and Google are both making substantial investments in the AT market for oldBrody Correia, a student at TCOE’s Sound Beginnings preschool er adults who have listens to teacher Mary Leal, who communicates with him using a vision, hearing and hearing assistive technology device. Courtesy/TCOE dexterity issues. The Observing Chase, Mr. Ruiz noticed tech giants’ foray into assistive technolothat his verbal skills had improved dra- gy will mean big gains for students with matically, which Mr. Vera theorized might special needs. be attributed to Chase’s involvement in TCOE AT works with teachers, and choir. This led Mr. Ruiz to suggest that increasingly their district Information Chase try some of the latest “speech to Technology personnel, to assess students’ text” applications, such as Talkitt. Chase needs. The process usually involves the was very enthusiastic about the idea. recommendation of an existing technolThe visit with Chase illustrates the ogy or equipment, followed by further work of the Assistive Technology (AT) assessment. “For some students, I’m able team, which is led by Jesse Ruiz and Ra- to visit their classroom and observe withchel Weaver, program manager. From out their awareness,” said Mr. Ruiz. “This research, occasional design input and helps me see if the device is effective, or if procurement to training, encouragement we need to make modifications.” and trouble-shooting, the AT team works Mr. Ruiz and Ms. Weaver continwith students in districts throughout the ually search the market for new devices Tulare County Office of Education

Oak Grove Elementary (Visalia) eighth-grade student Ivonne Luna listens to sound files she found on the internet using her BrailleNote device. She is pictured with her aide, Debra Guenley. Courtesy/TCOE

and applications, communicating with the engineers and developers to suggest modifications when necessary. While some students need complex AT, others may have their needs met with something as simple as a keyboard with large, 1”x1” letters. Brody Correia is an active three-yearold who attends the TCOE Sound Beginnings preschool in Tulare. Brody has cochlear implants (CI) and is learning to interpret the sounds he hears. To assist him in focusing on teacher instruction, his teacher, Mary Leal, wears a hearing assistive technology (HAT) device. The device acts as a microphone, sending her voice through an FM channel, directly to Brody’s CI. “While at Sound Beginnings, we’re teaching Brody to rely on his hearing, rather than signing or gestures,” said Ms. Weaver. “As he transitions to kindergarten, his regular education teacher can wear a similar device so that he can focus on her voice over the noise from his classmates.” At Oak Grove Elementary in Visalia, eighth-grade students Gloria Martinez and Ivonne Luna work on an audio story assignment about outer space. Despite each of their visual impairments, the girls are searching the internet for sound effect files to include in the stories they are writing. Ivonne uses her BrailleNote de-

vice, which translates the text on a webpage into braille that she can read on the device’s keys. The BrailleNote can pull information directly from the iPad, wirelessly. It can also connect to other devices, such as a computer. This allows Ivonne to navigate Google Docs, while minimizing the need for additional equipment. “For Gloria and Ivonne, the experience of exploring the Windows operating system is completely different than it is for the sighted,” said Mr. Ruiz. “But theirs is the online generation. This is where all students get information and communicate with one another. Our role is to support students with special needs by providing an online experience that is as seamless and accessible as possible.” Soon, visually-impaired students will have access to BrailleTouch, an iPad-like device, which creates an electronic braille keyboard on its screen in response to the placement of the user’s fingers. Back at her desk, Gloria uses her iPad to search the internet for sound effects to insert into her audio story, laughing at the odd sound files she discovers – just like the rest of her classmates sitting around her. For more information on the Assistive Technology program, contact Rachel Weaver at (559) 730-2910, extension 5146.

TCOE Theatre Company’s Brian Roberts to Retire Tulare County Office of Education In 1998, Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak envisioned the Theatre Company – a performing arts program offering students throughout the county a variety of year-round performance and instructional opportunities. The man he hired to implement his vision, Brian Roberts, is retiring from the program this month. In 19 years, Mr. Roberts built the program into a statewide performing arts model. Beginning with a summer production of Bye, Bye Birdie in 1998, Brian steadily expanded the program’s offerings to three full-scale musical productions each year. In 2009, he created the On Stage program for Tulare County schools – a traveling children’s theatre program that comes complete with props, costumes, sets, musical materials and talented directors – so that any elementary school can enjoy a theatrical production on their own school site in two weeks.

sical was critically acclaimed, making The Fresno Bee’s Top 20 Cultural Events of 2010. Over the years, the Theatre Company has offered summer c h i l d re n’s programs, a variety of dance Brian Roberts, founding director of the Theatre Company, will retire this and vocal month. He is pictured with his wife Lana at the Excellence in Education workshops, Awards where he was honored as a finalist in the administrator of the year set-making category. Courtesy/TCOE opportuniIn 2010, the Theatre Company debuted ties for students and support to Tulare an original musical Brian Roberts develCounty school productions with set, oped entitled Rancho Tesoro. The mucostume and technical assistance.

“Brian has done a phenomenal job as director of the Theatre Company,” said Mr. Vidak. “He has elevated the level of school theater productions in Tulare County to professional levels and brought the arts to thousands of students. Perhaps most importantly, he’s impacted the lives of hundreds of young people, giving them confidence, communication and dedication skills that will serve them well as adults.” This month, Bethany Rader will join the Theatre Company staff as its new director. Ms. Rader has worked at Fresno Pacific University for the past nine years, directing their theater program for the past seven. She has also been an assistant director and stage manager for Stage Works Fresno. “A chance to work with the TCOE family is always something I have wanted to do,” she said. “Having grown up seeing the productions and seeing such amazing talent has made the prospect of working with this company very sweet to me.”

15 December, 2016

Valley Voice • B7

Golf Tournament Raises $40k for Five Local Non-Profits Donna Orozco Eagle Mountain Casino held its 16th Annual Golf Tournament at the Rio Bravo Country Club in Bakersfield this past September. The Tournament raised $40,000 and was split between five charitable organizations in Kern and Tulare Counties. The annual tournament generally raises money for five local charitable organizations each year. This year’s recipients are Porterville Area Coordinating Council, Family Crisis Center of Porterville, Our Heroes Dreams of Hanford, Golden Empire Gleaners of Bakersfield and the Salvation Army of Lake Isabella Wildfire Fund. Each organization was presented with an $8,000 check over the past week towards their efforts in helping those in need within their local communities. Eagle Mountain Casino will continue to raise funds for five selected Charitable Organizations each year, based on a two-year term. After two years, another local organization will be chosen to receive the funds. Here are what the organizations had to say about the generous donations from Eagle Mountain Casino.

Family Crisis Center of Porterville

“The Family Crisis Center is grateful to be receiving this gift. In the past two years the agency has greatly expanded programs beyond our emergency shelter to include programs that benefit our entire community such as parenting education, permanent housing for the home-

less, and home visitation programs for families. This generous gift will be used to enhance these programs in what we are able to do in assisting those who are in need in our community.” – Executive Director, Anna Green

Porterville Area Coordinating Council

“It is an honor for PACC to be receiving this monetary donation from Eagle Mtn. Casino as it is allowing us to continue the great work done to help 12 communities in South Eastern Tulare County. The Drought has overwhelmed our office and this money will certainly help us to cover costs related to the both the Drought and general operations. Thank you Eagle Mtn. Casino for taking care of local non- profits. It is because of Eagle Mtn. Casino that Porterville and the surrounding areas prosper. Together we will continue to partner and fill the need of so many in our community who need a hand up!” – P.A.C.C Director, Elva Beltran

Golden Empire Gleaners

“We are so grateful for Eagle Mountain Casino and their continued support of the Golden Empire Gleaners. This year’s generous donation helped us to feed numerous needy families during the holiday season. It was a timely gift and much appreciated. Thank you!” – Director, Jim Wheeler

Our Heroes Dreams

“Our Heroes Dreams can’t thank Eagle Mountain Casino enough for your

generous donation, support and partnership on our Operational Battlefield West Coast ride! The greatly needed funds have helped get our nations warriors and their families off the streets and into an apartment, our suicidal veterans into a new mission, our families struggling over the holidays with no electricity or food some assistance while they are rebuilding their lives, vets going through veterans

court a mentor and a hand up and it is helping to let our warriors know that we as Americans do care about them and that we are grateful for their service as they keep us free. Our work is completed by an all-volunteer organization but we couldn’t do it without great supporters like you Eagle Mountain and all of your supporters as well!” – CEO, Justin Bond