Summer Newsletter of the Tulare Downtown Association
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Santa Fe Trail Bridge Now Complete

This last month saw the completion and dedication of the new Santa Fe Trail over-crossing between "K" and "I" Streets offering pedestrians a more convenient route over the tracks. The structure has an interesting arch as it rises to clear the passing trains. The finish, with brick veneer on the columns and arched fencing make a stylist edition to the downtown.
There was some controversy about the bridge being targeted by the homeless for shelter but nothing has been noted in the way of temporary abodes or trash in or around the structure.
Some skeptics thought the incline would prevent people from using the bridge, but since its opening there have been many pedestrians and bicyclists using the bridge.
The bridge is destined to be another iconic Tulare landmark. See the bridge under construction by clicking here.

AB 718 Rises Again

AB 718 (Chu) - "Right to rest" legislation giving "homeless" people the right to "crash" virtually anywhere - was pulled off of the inactive file on Aug. 19 and could be on the Senate floor for a vote any day. You are strongly encouraged to contact your local Senator to reiterate opposition to AB 718. Read more about the threat AB 718 poses to California's downtowns here.  Below is an email template you can personalize and send to your Senator. View CDA's opposition letter here.
Jean Fuller is our senator. You can contact her via phone or fax at: Phone: (916) 651-4016 Fax: (916) 651-4916. Below you'll find a sample letter you can copy and sign.
Honorable Senator Jean Fuller
State Capitol, Room 3063
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Senator Fuller,
I am writing to urge your opposition to AB 718, a bill recently pulled from the inactive file. This measure prohibits local agencies from enforcing laws and ordinances, or otherwise subject to civil or criminal penalties, the act of people sleeping or resting in a lawfully parked motor vehicle.  
The policies of this bill remain flawed and offer no meaningful solution to addressing the difficult challenges of homelessness. Cities work hard to balance all of the needs of their communities. Removing local government authority to appropriately protect residents' public health, safety and welfare from issues that arise when people live (outside of campgrounds) in cars, SUVs vans and trucks parked will have real consequences for Tulare. These are not easy issues to deal with, but they cannot responsibly be ignored.
For these reasons, we respectfully request your "No" vote on AB 718 should the measure come before you. 
[your signature]

I encourage you to call or write Senator Fuller to help Sacramento politicians understand that we cannot have homeless people making homes in front of our businesses.

TDA Letter to Senator Fuller:

"RE: AB 718, the so-called Right to Rest Act. The Tulare Downtown Association strongly opposes this legislation as wrong-headed and detrimental to the viability of our downtowns. We are dealing with folks on the streets that have been deemed "homeless" who, in fact, have homes but choose to be on the streets because of mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse or criminal mischief. Extending super-rights to a group of people that includes these non-homeless street dwellers is irresponsible. Its time to stop treating homeless people as an endangered class mistakenly thinking by letting them dump their trash and belongings in our downtowns it is somehow going to improve the situation and make them better citizens. It is incumbent upon us, as moral citizens, to find the best way to deal with mental illness, find interdiction programs for the addicted, and put the criminals in jail. AB718 must be defeated. It will be a blight on the urban landscape of California."

Summer Sally Huge Success

August 3, 2016 marked this year's Summer Sally, a long-time favorite that packed Zumwalt Park!
Altura Centers for Health sponsored a free backpack give-away that provided students K - 12 with a backpack that included school supplies and pulled people in from as far as Porterville. Local favorite "Flashback" provided classic rock, oldies and "cubias" for the parents while the ResCom Pest Control beer garden featured $1 beers all night.
"Elite" Barbershop at 130 E. Kern donated haircuts for elementary age boys. All Aboard Trains provided transportation from the park to the barbershop and also rides up and down Kern Ave.
The Downtown Association featured a PokemonGo "lure-a-thon" launching lures at the four "Poke-stops" in the park allowing players access to a saturated area of gaming. The event featured a variety of vendors with food, clothing and other merchandise. Many of the vendors who participated mentioned that they did well and the surrounding restaurants and gas station saw more customers.
Gainborough Studio was on-hand to capture some of the fun moments of the night. Island-Style Dancers kicked off the night providing dancers for everyone's entertainment. During the band's intermission, after the sun had gone done, they returned to the stage with fire-dancers.
Fun was had by all making it certain we'll be repeating this event!
All Aboard Trains transports Summer Sally visitors to Elite Barbershop for boys to get free haircuts.

Elite Barbershop Assists with Summer Sally

When Altura Centers for Health approached the office with a novel idea, I knew we'd have some difficulty implementing it. The idea was making free haircuts available to elementary boys as a part of our Summer Sally event. There was just one issue: California statue prohibits cutting hair outside a licensed barbershop.
Working to figure a way to implement the service as a great component to Summer Sally, the office staff started making phone calls and negotiating with local barbershops.
The situation presented a bumpy path as the implementation was in flux with different barbers and their shops until about a week before the event. Elite Barbershop, at 130 W. Kern, obliged the Downtown Association by volunteering to provide haircuts.
Coach Lugo and his fellow barber, Keon, worked professionally to provide haircuts to an assemblage of boys not seen in a barbershop all at the same time in ages!
Show Coach Lugo and Keon your support by visiting Elite Barbershop today. It's a veteran-owned business that's kid-friendly. Call (559) 556-3290 today for an appointment.

New Name; Great Family Event

Every October, VIP Pizza and the TDA rock the parking lot at the corner of San Joaquin and K Street with an Oktoberfest event. This year, the event is now Family Fun Fest as we make it more family-friendly. Watch for the date coming soon. If you would like to be a vendor, or participate in the event, call the Downtown Office at 685-2350.

Within I /Antiques and More Art Show Success

Within I and Antiques & More sponsored a highly successful art and music show Friday, August 12 at their stores at 200 and 204 North L Street in Downtown.
The Tulare Downtown Association provided the beer garden for guests while local artists and musicians demonstrated their crafts to visitors.
The shops offered food and lemonade, with seating on the sidewalk in front of their businesses. The sidewalk area was roped off for the beer garden allowing patrons to roam freely from store-to-store, visit with artists and vendors and view the bands.
If you'd like assitance to do an event like Within I and Antiques & More, call the Downtown Office at 685-2350.

Starting Line-Up Moves "Up Town"

Starting Line-Up celebrated it's Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on July 28th. The reception was well attended.
Roger Harris, owner and proprietor, enjoys his new location at 145 North "K" Street.  Says Roger, "I'm in town doing what I do best...taking care of my clients. Who's up at bat next?"
A huge advocate of bringing business downtown, Roger posts to his Facebook page nearly every day with customer photos and encouragement to come downtown in Tulare to do business.
Future plans for the shop include a store with clothing and accessories. Roger was impressed with the recent Within I and Antiques & More event because he had hoped to bring an art show to the downtown as well in coming weeks.
His motto is that anything that brings business downtown is something he's interested in participating.
Plan to visit Roger's shop by making an appointment today,. Call (559) 697-7684.

Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed

Writer James Fallows reported in the March 2016 edition of The Atlantic there are eleven factors that seem to predict if a city or town will survive in the face of major economic meltdowns. His research is based on visiting and reporting on towns throughout the US. Here's the 11 important factors. #11 might surprise you!  See how many you think Tulare has.
  1. Divisive national politics seem a distant concern. Most successful small towns aren't worried about Washington DC.
            Rather, they are focusing on their own neck of the woods.
2.  You can pick out the local patriots. It doesn't matter who that person or group that makes the town go, its only important that there's an answer to the question: "Who makes this town go>"
3.  Public-private partnerships are real. Fallows reports the arrangement in Fresno where city, state and county government works with local universities and tech start-ups to train drop-outs and other unemployed people in computer skills. The more specifically a community can point to a partnership, the better off it is.
4.  People know the civic story. Tulare has a history; and if you've noticed the trains on everything around town, you know what it is. How well that history connects with what's going on today indicates how successful the town is as the history gives meaning to the efforts of current citizens.
5.  They have a downtown. The healthier a downtown is the better off the city is doing as a whole. Across the nation cities are pouring money into their downtowns to revive them. What do you think of Tulare's downtown?
6.  They are near a research university. We now have a COS extension campus in Tulare. Could we bring a university extension campus or Tulare branch to the former superior court building?
7.  They have, and care about, a community college. (See 6 above)
8.  They have unusual schools. That includes charters, specialty schools like our Adult School Cafe, and other educational programs.
9.  They open themselves. Successful cities are highly tolerant of immigrants. They seek to include new people. For instance, in this newsletter you read a not above about how the new business packet will be produced in Spanish in the future.
10.  They have big plans. Unlike national government which promises much and accomplishes little, cities still get things done. If a city has a plan for the next 20 years, chances are things will get done between now and then.
11. They have craft breweries. We have one here in Tulare. According to what I hear we could use more. I have an idea for one if someone wants to talk to me about it...

There's the list of eleven things that make a city successful. What do you think? Does Tulare have all eleven? If you don't think so, in which ones do you think we are deficient? What would you like to see to change things? And, what would you be willing to do to implement those changes? Tell us your answers below and we'll report on our findings.

Botanical Beautification in Richmond; Why Not Tulare?

Venture Richmond saw the potential to greatly enhance a five block area with a “botanical makeover.” VR bought the plant materials and soil amendments at wholesale prices, and worked with local community partners on the execution to lower costs.
Installation began with the planting of shrubs, perennials and a few annuals which was done over several weeks with different partners. They partnered with a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth from a housing project, horticulturalists from local business and other corporate organizations.
The Downtown Association is currently developing a Clean and Safe program to enhance the downtown and eliminate trash and the lots with dry and dead grass. If you'd like to be a part of this effort, sign up through our Googledocs Form by clicking here.

Delta Tunnel Update

Here in the Central Valley water is a major concern. We’ve heard plenty about the Delta tunnels. Access the latest report on where the State is on building these tunnels by clicking here.
Governor Brown signs bill creating ADA grace period for businesses
On May 10, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 269 into law, giving businesses a new pathway to avoid ADA compliance lawsuits. The law gives companies 15 days following a complaint under the Americans With Disabilities Act to resolve alleged violations if the violations fall under certain categories, including those related to signage. The law also gives businesses 120 days of immunity from ADA penalties if the owner hired a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) to evaluate their establishment and flag any violations. If the specialist identified a violation with a fix that required a building permit, the business has 180 days to come into compliance.  More information on SB 269 can be found here.
This legislative session, CDA joined statewide business groups led by California Business Properties Association, CalChamber and others to support legislation aimed to meet two important ADA reform goals:
  1. Promote and increase compliance with state and federal civil rights laws providing for equal access for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations; and
  2. Reduce unwarranted, unnecessary litigation that does not advance the goals of disability access.
Read more about your responsibilities by accessing our white paper on the subject by clicking here . Get a list of qualified inspectors from our website by clicking here.
Disabled Parking Placard Program Reform Moves Forward  
The Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved a request by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Eric Linder (R-Corona) to audit the Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) handling of the Disabled Person Parking Placard Program as part of the Legislature's efforts to address claims of rampant fraud and abuse.
On the heels of AB 2602 (Gatto) -- a bill aimed at reforming the disabled parking placard program -- and reports by several news investigations across the state that have caught swindlers abusing disabled parking placards belonging to friends and relatives, including some who are deceased, Assembly Members Gatto and Linder urged the JLAC to investigate this illegal and fraudulent behavior that eliminates on-street parking opportunities for those with legitimate disabilities and other members of the public. We suspect the audit will demonstrate what we all know: abuse and misuse is rampant.
CDA is an active supporter of AB 2602 as a critical tool to end misuse of disabled parking placards.  
Bills, bills, and more bills
The Downtown Association is actively tracking more than two-dozen bills working their way through the Legislature that would have implications for California's urban centers. Learn more about a few on the top of our list:
AB 59 - Mental Health Services: AOT. This bill extends the sunset date of Laura's Law from 2017 to 2022. Laura's Law (also known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment/AOT) is a process that allows courts to compel individuals with severe mental illness and a past history of arrest or violence to stay in treatment as a condition for living in the community.  The California Downtown Association supports this bill, which is currently in the Senate.
AB 1886 - California Environmental Quality Act: transit priority projects. This bill expands CEQA exemption to projects where no more than 50% of their area is farther than ½ mile from a high quality transit corridor or major transit stop. The California Downtown Association supports this bill, which is currently being considered.
SB 820 - CLRRA reauthorization. This bill extends the sunset of the "California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act of 2004" from 2017 to 2027. CLRRA provides liability protection to innocent and prospective landowners for previously occurring contamination for which they were not responsible.  This Senate bill was introduced to the Governor on August 10, 2016.
Above: Visitor to Summer Sally gets her face painted during event. Below: Island Style Dancers provided Hawaiian dancers and even provided fire dancers when the sun went down!

DA to Speak

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward addresses the TDA board on Wednesday, Sept.7, at 7 AM at the Tulare Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Ward speaks on Prop 47 and his office's efforts to combat it's negative consequences. Board meetings are open to the public; if you would like to attend please RSVP by calling 685-2350 or email arlene@

Christmas Parade Committee Meeting

The 61st annual Tulare Children's Christmas Parade is just around the corner and we are already meeting to plan this downtown event.
This year the event is slated for Thursday evening,  December 1.
If you would like to serve on the committee call our office at 685-2350 or attend our next committee meeting on Sept 1, at 7 PM at VIP Pizza, San Joaquin and K Street.

Tulare County Fair Opens Soon

The tulare County fair opens on Sept 14 bringing back all those things we love and some new attractions as well. Head over to Walgreens in Downtown Tulare (49 W. Tulare Ave) and get discount tickets. Visit the Fair's website for info and updates.

Business Welcome Packet Soon in Spanish

Our incoming board President Carlos Melendez (Antiques & More) is assisting the Downtown Association office with translating our Business Welcome Packet to Spanish. Thanks Carlos!

PBID Update

The newly approved Tower Square PBID is moving forward. Board members for the new entity have been selected and will meet September 6, 2016. The next phase involves several government fillings to accommodate the receipt of funds by the entity.

New Businesses in the Downtown

  • Paradise Carwarsh,
  • The Trophy Shoppe,
  • Viera Auctions,
  • Antiques and More,
  • Farmers
  • Mi Panderia,
  • Elite Barbershop
  • Starting Line Up Barber Shop
Irene’s Hope Chest relocated from its old location at K and Kern to its new location, South K Street in the former Downtown News building.


Albuquerque, New Mexico took a novel approach to homelessness by seeking out those willing to work. A program picks up panhandlers and drops them at job locations for the day. Click here to see how it works.
Interested in truly helping the homeless? Think this approach could work in Tulare? Sign up now for “Will Work” campaign committee. Once we get a minimum of 10 sign-ups we’ll call a committee meeting and begin laying the groundwork to implement a similar program. Sign up now!

Others Have Issues

We know Tulare isn’t the only place that has homelessness. However, there is more than homeless populating the streets here at home. Read about another town with a problem similar to ours

Need to raise money?

Here’s some ideas to help you raise money courtesy of AMIBA. Click here!

Utilizing Local Credit Unions Helps

We have several community banks and credit unions in our downtown. AMIBA explains why patronizing them is important to the local economy:

Women Lead the Way

A recent report from American Express OPEN and Womenable reveals encouraging trends for entrepreneurship and small business. Women-owned firms increased by 45% over the past decade (well above the 8% population growth over the period), with minority-owned firms leading the way.
Latinas created the greatest number of new enterprises, while firms started by Asian women led in revenue growth and job creation.

Enjoy the latest edition of the Tulare Historical Museum Newsletter “Then and Now”.

Click here for the online version!

Leadership Tulare Deadline Looms Near

Do you want to know more about the inner workings of the City? Have you ever wondered "Why my taxes go up?" "How bad is the water system?" Or "Who came up with that plan?"
Leadership Tulare gives you a chance to access the answers to these and other questions that can help you run your business more effectively, find out how to do business with the City, rub elbows with the "movers and the shakers." The goal is to prepare, involve, and sustain leaders who are committed and competent to address community challenges in Tulare. As someone who's completed the course, the connections you make as a member are priceless!
Currently, there are limited sponsorships available reducing your cost to merely $100! For more information, or to apply for Leadership Tulare,

Drive to Feed Kids Dinner

Aug. 27, 2016
5:00 p.m.
International Agri-Center Heritage Complex

SmartPack provides breakfast, lunch, snacks and produce to kids every weekend. They need your help!  Drive to Feed Kids includes social hour, dinner and auction for $50 per person. Table sponsorships are $1,500; includes 8 dinner tickets and recognition at the event. Tickets purchase online at

For sponsorship information contact Shay Rambur at 684-3277 or, or Sarah Weber at 416-6612 or
J.D. Heiskell and Company, Nutra Blend, and FoodLink Tulare County team up to raise funds for FoodLink's SmartPack program.  Let's help our SmartPack program grow and local children thrive.

Get Help Now!

Tulare Chamber website features Tools for Business.

Grandma's House Seeks Funds

Visit Grandma's House GoFundMe account to assist their 7th and 8th grade math academy. Help math students. Click to donate.

Important Dates to Remember

Speechconductors Toastmasters Club
Every 1st and 3rd Thursday
Tulare Chamber of Commerce
Trade Room - 12 - 1 PM

TKRL's Dinner Featuring Mike Huckabee
September 8, 2016 -  7 PM

Team Tulare Business Walk
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 9 AM

Bounty of the County
September 9, 2016 - 6 PM
Seven Sycamores Ranch

Pops in the Park
September 10, 2016

Evening with Dr. Dana Suskind
September 19, 2016 - 7 - 9 PM
Visalia Fox Theate

Chamber of Commerce and COS Crush Party
Friday, September 23, 2016 - 6 - 9 PM

Veteran Events & News

FREE Veteran Marriage Retreat
Sequoia National Park California
Start: 9/30/2016 3:00 PM
End: 10/2/2016 12:00 PM

Email:  or call 800-774-PARK (7275)
Additional Details:
​Sequoia Couples Retreat and Voluntour - This is a free event for Veterans and their spouses. Speaker, Chaplain Norris Burkes, USAF ret.


Pentagon to Open Online Exchange Shopping to Vets in 2017 | Aug 16, 2016 | by Amy Bushatz
A Defense Department retail board has given the green light to a plan to open online exchange shopping to all honorably discharged veterans, with hopes of starting the program on Veterans Day in 2017. The board unanimously voted to ask the Pentagon to update its policy regarding patronage rules. Pentagon officials confirmed that the proposal is still under consideration.
Opening the Exchange to the about 20 million honorably discharged U.S. veterans comes with a strong business case, Exchange officials have said.The move could produce between $226 million to $1.13 billion in annual sales, according to the 2014 proposal. It could bring as much as $108 million annually in support for MWR programs, which rely on exchange dividends for the bulk of their funding across the services, it says.
However, opening commissary shopping to honorably discharged veterans isn't included in the proposal. Unlike the exchanges, the Defense Commissary Agency relies on a $1.4 billion annual taxpayer subsidy to operate. Because goods there are sold at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, increasing the customer base to all veterans would result in higher taxpayer costs under the current operating system.
-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @amybushatz.

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