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Local
COS picks new superintendent/president

VISALIA — College of the Sequoias has found its new superintendent/president, and it's someone very familiar with the school.

Brent Calvin, currently the vice president of student services at the college, was selected by the COS Board of Trustees on Tuesday after they interviewed four finalists on March 2.

"As a former student and longtime employee of the College of the Sequoias, I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead this great institution,” Calvin said on Wednesday.

Calvin’s first day as president will be July 1, one day after current president Stan Carrizosa’s tenure ends. Carrizosa announced his retirement from COS in August 2017.

Calvin has worked at COS for a total of 16 years and has served as vice president of student services since 2013.

Prior to his current position, Calvin served as an athletic director, academic dean and vice-president of administrative services. He also served as interim superintendent/president for a while before Carrizosa was hired in 2012.

In fact, while Calvin was academic dean, the COS Hanford Educational Center did not have a provost yet, so he also served as the campus dean of the Hanford center for a while.

“I really enjoyed that time there,” Calvin said.

Calvin grew up in Visalia, where he attended Redwood High School before starting at COS.

“I’m excited because this is not just another community college to me, this is definitely home,” Calvin said.

Calvin earned his associates degree from COS; his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton; and two master’s degrees: an MBA in Business Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a Master of Education from Northcentral University in Arizona.

Looking forward, Calvin said he’s excited about finishing and implementing the college’s 2018-2021 strategic plan, which he said follows the state chancellor’s vision for success.

He said a lot of people at the college have been working hard to make sure students get in and out of the college faster with degrees, certificates or transfers.

Although John Zumwalt, vice president of the COS Board of Trustees, said Carrizosa is a tough act to follow, he knows Calvin is well-known in the community and “very much loves COS.” He said Calvin has learned from Carrizosa and will make a great fit as superintendent/president.

“We’re confident he’ll apply his knowledge and do a real good job,” Zumwalt said. “We expect a seamless transition.”


Business
New downtown Hanford Mexican restaurant

HANFORD — Restaurant Guanajuatense opened March 1 in downtown Hanford. Maria Gallardo, 54, opened the restaurant after living in Hanford for 23 years.

Gallardo and her family moved from Penjamo, Guanajuato, a town in Mexico. There, Gallardo owned her own shop selling food but wanted one day to own her own restaurant where she would cook as well.

After moving to the United States, Gallardo cooked at several different local restaurants. She opened her new restaurant in The Old Fire House space.

The restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Gallardo's daughter, Xochitl Castillo, said that they will serve authentic Mexican food. Gallardo's specialty is her costilla de puerco – pork ribs. They will also have fresh tortillas made on site.


Local
Art in the Heart celebration returns to downtown

HANFORD — It’s time again for downtown to be inundated with art and music.

Art in the Heart, the monthly art hop organized by Heart of Hanford, returns from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday night.

The events see local musicians and artists matched up with downtown businesses for a night of entertainment.

“We’ve got exceptional musicians in Hanford, and I don’t think people realize that,” said event organizer Nate Odom.  

This month’s art hop, which is always held on the second Tuesday of each month, will feature a performance by singer songwriter Jonathan Gallegos at the Hanford Antique Emporium. Art by Edward Luena will also be showcased.

“He has an amazing voice; it’s very bluesy and raspy. Just incredible,” Odom said.

Odom said he’s excited for spring weather to start warming up the nights, as art hop attendance has been down during the winter months. He’s also looking to get more businesses, specifically restaurants involved in the monthly events to entice even more people to come out.

Rock N Roll Deli joined the art hop last month and will continue to participate, hosting artist Clarence Mattos and musician Tim Mattos this month.

“It’s a chance to build the community you want to see and live in,” he said.

Odom stressed the importance of creating a culture for local artists to flourish.

“When you’re downtown at the art hop, it feels like all the chaos is just pushed out. The only way to combat the chaos of the world is with art,” he said. “It’s when we convey different perspectives [through art], that’s how we bridge the gaps between us.”

DJ’s Collectible Shoppe will host musician Bobby Grundwald and Lego artist Emily Corl.

The art hops began in the summer of 2016, as the brainchild of Neill Swift, but were adopted by the Heart of Hanford organization.

Heart of Hanford formed in 2016 as the “public face” of the nonprofit organization, Restore Downtown Hanford.

Odom said that Heart of Hanford will be putting an increased focus on preserving Hanford’s historical landmarks, citing the recent City Council decision to demolish the old firehouse at Lacey Boulevard and Kaweah Street, despite public outcry.

The preservation and expansion of Hidden Valley Park is also important to Odom, he said.

“But that’s what’s great about the art hops. It’s good to have something that isn’t just fighting the city on things like the firehouse or Hidden Valley. It’s about coming together and building a community,” he said.