Travel, Leisure & Fun for South Valley Adults

Articles written by Steve Pastis


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  • Indoor Pickleball Center Planned

    Steve Pastis|Updated Apr 29, 2024

    If everything proceeds on schedule, a 31,000-square-foot indoor pickleball center will be open to the public by the end of the year. The center, which will feature 11 courts, will be at 730 S. Bridge Street in Visalia. The project was submitted at the Visalia Site Plan Review meeting on March 20. Concerns were raised at the meeting, most noteably about parking and trash bin placement, but John George of J.F. George Enterprises, Inc., the property owner and main force behind...

  • Thrive Pavilion Brings Seniors Together in the Metaverse

    Steve Pastis|Updated Mar 2, 2024

    Thrive Pavilion, the first-of-its-kind metaverse-based community that encourages and supports socialization and human connection among older adults, was the subject of a January 17th online podcast presented by Pro-Aging Community and hosted by its founder, Steve Gurney. The main speaker was Robert Signore, founder and president of Thrive Pavilion. "The goal of Thrive Pavilion is to allow older adults who are isolated at home or who are caring for a spouse, who like to...

  • Senior Suicides on the Increase

    Steve Pastis|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    While the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics reported that the number of suicides of people 10-24 years old went down by more than 8% between 2021 and 2022, the numbers were far less encouraging for seniors during those years. Suicides increased by 6.6% for those 45-64, and 8.1% for those 65 and older. The increase was seen both nationally and locally. "There was a sharp increase among those 55 and older," said Noah Whitaker, who served as the director of Tulare...

  • 96-Year Old First Grader the Hero of 'Barefoot Empress'

    Steve Pastis|Updated May 25, 2023

    "Barefoot Empress" is a 15- minute film about Karthyayani Amma, better known locally as Amma, a woman who lives in the village of Haripad in the Alappuzha district of India. As a young girl, she was unable to attend school but she never gave up on her dream of getting an education. At the age of 96, Amma decided to achieve her dream by enrolling in first grade at the local school. Later that year, she was easily the oldest of the more than 40,000 students who took the fourth...

  • Construction Underway on FHCN Adult Day Care Center

    Steve Pastis|Updated May 25, 2023

    Construction has started on Family HealthCare Network's 25,000-square-foot adult daycare facility in downtown Visalia. "We anticipate that it will open in the summer of 2024," said Kerry Hydash, president and CEO of FHCN. The project will use all of the 1.75 acres on the block surrounded by Murray Avenue, Tipton Street, School Avenue and Santa Fe Street, with the two-story building facing Murray Avenue. The property will have enough parking for 101 vehicles. The large day...

  • Van Amerongen's Comics Feature Eccentric Seniors

    Steve Pastis|Updated May 25, 2023

    "Most cartoonists ignore the graphic possibilities of the comic strip, but Jerry Van Amerongen understands that a picture can be the funniest part of the story." - Bill Watterson Creator of 'Calvin and Hobbes' The first thing one notices when talking to cartoonist Jerry Van Amerongen is how calm and friendly he is, a major contrast from the frenzied and moody characters that he is best known for in his comics, "Ballard Street" and "The Neighborhood." Many of his characters...

  • Does the South Valley Need a Senior Playground?

    Steve Pastis|Updated May 25, 2023

    Senior playgrounds are places where older adults can get exercise and fresh air while developing their strength and coordination. They are popular in countries such as China and Finland, and were slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. before the pandemic. They are still few and far between in the U.S., however, to some degree as a result of people not understanding – or perhaps not agreeing on – what exactly a senior playground is. "A senior playground is an outdoor space wit...

  • Pack and Paskoff Release Over Sixty: Book of Lists

    Steve Pastis|Updated Jan 3, 2023

    Barbara Paskoff and Carol Pack recently released their fourth collaboration, Over Sixty: Shades of Gray: Book of Lists. Their new book "just came about because of our impatience," according to Pack. "I feel as I'm getting older that I get more impatient," she said. "Just cut to the bottom line. I don't want to wade through the author's philosphical reasons. I just want the facts." Paskoff feels the same way, complaining about long-winded people. "You would think that at my...

  • Romance Scammers Prey Online on Lonely Seniors

    Steve Pastis|Updated Jan 3, 2023

    Kathy Waters, executive director and co-founder of Advocating Against Romance Scammers, advises people not to befriend someone online unless you know them. "Unfortunately, there are too many scammers looking for people who are vulnerable, lonely, widowed, divorced, maybe who have lost children – anything that puts them in a spot," Waters said. "Sometimes it can be a new loss or it can be over years. (Scammers) do a lot of research." Waters said that seniors are especially v...

  • 92-Year Old Tries to Recapture Past Magic in 'Ball and Vase'

    Steve Pastis|Updated Nov 7, 2022

    "I've been wanting to tell this story ever since my grandfather passed away," explained David Baram, the writer and director of "Ball and Vase." "Like Ed in this film, my grandfather, a sometimes magician, immigrated to Paterson, New Jersey, worked in the mills and did his best to provide for those he loved. "He was as much a father as a grandfather to me," he continued. "But I took for granted that he would be around forever. Life got in the way of visits, phone calls and...

  • 'Broken Wings' Spotlights an Unusual Friendship

    Steve Pastis, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 8, 2022

    Jayne Lakhani is a 66-year-old waitress at The Pancake Shop in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Adonis is a vulture. Lakhani was injured in a car accident. Adonis suffered an unknown injury that affected his ability to fly. Their 12-year relationship is the subject of the documentary "Broken Wings," which was featured on PBS as part of its Reel South series. The 56-minute documentary can be seen at www.pbs.org/video/broken-wings-dfvjhe. The Documentary Filmmaker Jonathan Sutak was in Ho...

  • 'Stu's Show' Celebrates Classic Television Programs

    Steve Pastis|Updated Jul 24, 2022

    "Stu's Show" is an online show about classic television, featuring interviews with the stars and creators of the most memorable shows of the 1950s and 1960s. So far, there have been more than 500 broadcasts and the celebrities appearing on "Stu's Show" over the years have included such notables as Ed Asner, Carl Reiner, Pat Harrington, Bonnie Franklin, Dwayne Hickman, Alan Young, Jimmy Garrett, Jay North, Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, Ken Osmond, and game show hosts Bob Barker,...

  • Visalia City Council Sinks Aquatics Complex Proposal

    Steve Pastis, Managing Editor, The Good Life|Updated May 6, 2022

    The City of Visalia will not be constructing the aquatics facility proposed by Councilmember Greg Collins anytime soon. His motion to place the proposal on the agenda of a future council meeting was defeated at the April 18th Visalia City Council meeting. "On a 3-2 vote, the council voted not to put the item on a future agenda, which precludes any public input," said Collins. "At first when the vote was taken, I was in disbelief that the council would take a position that...

  • Seniors Remember the Old Days in 'One All the Way'

    Steve Pastis, Editor, The Good Life|Updated Jan 8, 2022

    For years, Harry Baram, Ron Rauschart and Larry Presta have spent many evenings out on "hot dog crawls" in the Paterson, New Jersey area. They have hot dogs at a few restaurants where they discuss their meals and share memories about the good old days. Their stories, as told in the documentary film "One All the Way," also reflect the history of Paterson. The film's director, David Baram, Harry's son, enjoyed working with his father, although he did not expect that his father...

  • California's Ten-Year Alzheimer's Plan Gets Results

    Steve Pastis, Editor, The Good Life|Updated Jan 8, 2022

    California's State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease was an ambitious effort to deal with the challenges faced by many seniors and families in the state. "Among the approximately 3.3 million seniors in California are more than 588,000 people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias," reported the booklet that outlined the state's goals ten years ago. "California also is home to 1.1 million family members who provide daily care for people with Alzheimer's a...

  • Bill Kirchenbauer Takes His Father Back Home

    Steve Pastis, Managing Editor, The Good Life|Updated Nov 9, 2021

    "It's everything I like in a movie," said actor/comedian Bill Kirchenbauer about his new film, "Taking Al Back Home." "It makes you laugh, it makes you cry and it makes you think," he said. "The only thing I'm leaving out is scaring you." "Taking Al Back Home" is about the road trip Kirchenbauer took with the ashes of his late father, Al, a World War II hero, to be scattered near his hometown in Michigan. Along the way, Kirchenbauer met people who shared their stories about hi...

  • Proposed Visalia Aquatics Complex Seeks Supporters

    Steve Pastis, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 31, 2021

    The City of Visalia may have an aquatics facility in the near future if a current proposal is able to clear enough hurdles. "I'll probably be ready to make a presentation to the (Visalia City) Council in the next month or two," said Visalia City Council Member Greg Collins, who added that he is currently "touching base with potential donors." Collins made a PowerPoint presentation to the Visalia Parks & Recreation Commission on June 8, when he announced that California Water...

  • Dividat Senso Fights Dementia with 'Targeted Play'

    Steve Pastis, Managing Editor|Updated Jul 9, 2021

    Cognitive motor training helps in the fight against Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, according to a study by an international team of researchers with ETH Zurich, a public research university in Zurich, Switzerland. "It has been suspected for some time that physical and cognitive training also have a positive effect on dementia," said ETH Zurich researcher Eling de Bruin. "However, in the past it has been difficult to motivate dementia patients to undertake physical...

  • Chinatown Pretty Showcases Fashionable Asian Seniors

    Steve Pastis, Editor, The Good Life|Updated May 1, 2021

    Chinatown Pretty, published by Chronicle Books, is more than the name of a new book featuring portraits and personal stories of trendsetting seniors in six Chinatowns across North America. "Chinatown Pretty" is also what people call the distinctive fashion of pòh pohs (grandmothers) and gùng gungs (grandfathers). The style is a blend of modern and vintage, handmade and store-bought clothing. According to the book's photographer Andria Lo and its writer Valerie Luu, the C...

  • Humor of Senior Life Featured in 'Flo & Friends' Comic Strip

    Steve Pastis|Updated Oct 11, 2020

    "I always joke that I'm not a real artist; I'm a cartoonist," said Jenny Campbell, who creates the comic strip "Flo & Friends." Campbell, the daughter of an artist and a syndicated writer, has always loved to draw. "I've always drawn, from the time I could hold a crayon," she said. "Because my style was too cartoony, I went the journalism route instead – but for every newspaper I did a cartoon." When Campbell was 32, she decided to change careers and give her real passion a s...

  • Joan Lunden Informs, Entertains in New Book about Aging

    Steve Pastis|Updated Jul 24, 2020

    "I'm too old for Snapchat, but too young for Life Alert." – Joan Lunden Age seems to be on Joan Lunden's mind a lot these days. The journalist, author, motivational speaker, spokesperson, health-and-wellness advocate and mother of seven, who hosted "Good Morning America" for almost 20 years, recently turned her attention to writing about how life changes for women as they become senior citizens. Her new book, Why Did I Come into this Room? A Candid Conversation about Aging, i...

  • 'New' Valley Radio Station to Play 'Oldies'

    Steve Pastis|Updated Jul 24, 2020

    South Valley fans of singers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley will soon have a "new" station to turn to on their radios, "It isn't new, it's been on the air," said Fritz Ashauer, the owner of the station, KZKC 89.9FM in Kettleman City. The station, which was known as K-Wave, had been featuring Biblical teaching programs and religious music. The new format won't really be a "new" one, Ashauer explained. The station will be known as "Kings Radio" and play...

  • Documentary Becomes Campaign for Senior Speed Dating

    Steve Pastis|Updated May 9, 2020

    "The Age of Love" was inspired by a conversation filmmaker Steven Loring had at his mother's kitchen table in 2011. At the time, his 71-year-old newly widowed mother was trying to adjust to the changes in her life. "Who's ever going to hug me again for the rest of my life, or hold me, or touch me?" she asked. "Now I'm just another old lady in the world, alone." Loring's response took almost four years – the making of the documentary "The Age of Love," which premiered in 2...

  • Patriot Guard Riders Honor Memory of Fallen Veterans

    Steve Pastis, Editor The Good Life|Updated Feb 19, 2020

    Patriot Guard Riders were founded in July 2005 with the original purpose of shielding the families of fallen veterans from those who sought to disrupt the funerals of their loved ones. At the time, the Westboro Baptist Church was making headlines by conducting loud protests at the services of veterans and others. Carol Houck, the wife of an American Legion Rider, met with members of the Kansas American Legion Riders in Mulvane, Kansas to respond to the Westboro protestors and...

  • Local Help Available to Deal with Senior Hopelessness

    Steve Pastis|Updated Oct 9, 2017

    "Nationally, there are twice as many suicides as homicides, said Noah Whitaker, director of the Suicide Prevention Task Force, which is responsible for the oversight and guidance of suicide prevention efforts in both Tulare and Kings counties. "There are more suicides by firearms alone than all forms of homicide combined." He estimates that there are 40 suicides a year in Tulare County, and between 8 and 15 in Kings County. "When you look at it from a humanitarian angle, one...

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