Flaming Kabob to offer new menu

One of my two favorite restaurants here in Porterville, the Flaming Kabob on Henderson (between Starbucks and Quiznos), is planning to offer a buffet menu soon in addition to the existing menu.

Steam tales are in place, and it looks like the change is set to occur next week sometime.

Why are the Flaming  Kabob and Vientianne (on Olive across from Porterville High School)  my two favorite places to eat in Porterville?

  1. Both have friendly staff and owners who will ask you sincerely if you are enjoying the food and go out of their way to make sure you do.
  2. Both offer excellent and authentic regional cuisine using fresh ingredients, and do not shy away from using the correct amounts of spices. Most restaurants in Porterville, even the Mexican ones, avoid spice like the plague.  I don’t know why, but Porterville restaurants uniformly  serve the blandest food on earth. On this score alone, any restaurant using spices could make it into my top 5. So far there are only 2, maybe 3 candidates I am aware of. I don’t mention the third here, because I am not sure they pass the next point.
  3. Both serve food that is not a slopped-together combination of stuff you can buy in giant cans at Smart and Final.
  4. The prices at both are extremely reasonable, you can eat well and still have food to go for the price of a single meal.

Please patronize both Flaming Kabob and Vientianne and also please  encourage the folks at your favorite restaurant to step it up and stop skimping on spices in their recipes.… Read the rest

More-Cities-Seeing-at-Least-15-Percent-Unemployment: Personal Finance News from Yahoo Finance

Porterville has the 5th highest unemployment  level in the US in march among 310 population areas.

13 of the top 18   areas are in California, including a nearly unbroken chain of population centers between north of the  Grapevine  to Sacramento,  and then north of Sacramento well into Oregon.

Cities With Jobless Rates of 15% or More
Metro AreaStateMarch 2009 Jobless RateRise From March 2008
El CentroCA25.1%7.5
MercedCA20.4%6.7
Yuba CityCA19.5%6.8
Elkhart-GoshenIN18.8%13
Visalia-PortervilleCA17.7%6.1
ModestoCA17.5%6.3
BendOR17.0%9.2
FresnoCA17.0%6
ReddingCA16.8%6.6
Hanford-CorcoranCA16.7%5.4
StocktonCA16.4%6.2
BakersfieldCA15.9%5.2
SalinasCA15.7%5
Hickory-Lenoir-MorgantonNC15.4%9.1
FlintMI15.3%4.6
Madera-ChowchillaCA15.3%5
YumaAZ15.3%5.4
Ocean CityNJ15.0%4.2

More-Cities-Seeing-at-Least-15-Percent-Unemployment: Personal Finance News from Yahoo Finance.… Read the rest

Finding a Show Before the Web: The Globe Poster

Baltimore City Paper : Letter Men. is a wonderful article describing a look at how entertainment and other marketing used to be distributed by posters and banners before the era of the “banner ad”.

Chris Landers writes lovingly of the remnants of a family owned Baltimore press that became a national institution and veritable museum of 80 years of printing technology, popular entertainment trends and graphic design standards.

Be sure to look a the photo tours and poster gallery as well. Well worth it for nostaligia, education amd even for budding graphic designers…… Read the rest

Citrus Research Board: short (and long term?) plans

The Citrus Research Board plans new labs throughout Southern California:

The Citrus Research Board, a Visalia group funded by California citrus growers, has hired MaryLou Polek, a plant pathologist who earned her Ph.D at UCR in 1993. She will lead the fight against Asian citrus psyllid, an insect the size of a pea that can carry a disease called citrus greening.

The disease, which is incurable, has decimated the citrus industry in Florida and other parts of the world. The insect, but not the disease, has been found in San Diego and Imperial counties, leading to a quarantine limiting plant movement in portions of those counties.

“We want to find it early so we can take action and do something about it,” said Ted Batkin, president of the Citrus Research Board. “Unfortunately, in Florida, the disease spread throughout the state before they knew about it. As a result, they’re losing acreage rapidly.”

The board is spending $1.1 million this year to open laboratories in Riverside, San Diego and the San Joaquin Valley to test citrus tree leaves and branches from backyards and nurseries for the disease, Batkin said. Research, in conjunction with UCR professors, will also be done at the Riverside lab, he said.

A lab is planned for the San Joaquin Valley because 85 percent of the state’s citrus is grown in the region, Polek said.

85% of the state’s oranges are grown in the San Joaquin Valley, and a major portion of that is in and around Porterville. What will happen to the citrus industry if Porterville is paved over per long term master plans?… Read the rest

El Futuro – Porterville’s #1 Entrepreneur?

At last – a nice effort at actual entrepreneurship in Porterville. El Futuro, a local credit union with a primarily Mexican clientele, has a new program:

The international remittance plan allows the transfer of money between the U.S. and Mexican credit unions and banks. It is a program supported by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, Banco de México and Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros.

The Hispanic population can feel safe about the transfers, and instead of wiring the money, or sending it by mail via a money order, to Mexico, they can be assured that the money is promptly transferred, officials familiar with the program said.

I was at the inaugural event, by chance I was strolling down Main Street. I was not sure what was going on – my minimal Spanish skills were not helping much (thanks High School teachers!). But David Horowitz, of Horowitz Jewelers located across the street from El Futuro, filled me in on the details with pride.

I enjoyed listening to Porterville’s own El Mariachi Academy Band perform. The performance is  not noted in the article.

Unlike the commenters on the Recorder web page, who scream invective about illegal immigrants anytime a Hispanic name is published in the paper, I find this to be a truly inspiring effort on the part of the bank, and on behalf of the community. Workers here who choose to share their hard earned money with their relative now have a price effective and safe and secure means to transfer it there.

This is nothing short of capitalism and globalization at work. A market opportunity, with excess friction in a transaction is identified, and a solution with less friction is created. Who could object to that?

One other thing that struck me during the time I was there during some speechifying and music: none of our City Council members were present, at least not while I was there.… Read the rest

Why No Tourist Facilities in Porterville and Springville?

Porterville Recorder letter-writer John Keyes of Springville writes regarding the future of Giant Sequoia National Monument

A Web site will help. Shirts will help. This quest is going to take a grand effort by the federal government plus Fresno, Kern and Tulare county governments. A real effort is needed to actually put money into tourism, not just more small bandages and promises from politicians trying to get elected.

Keyes seems upset at the way timber jobs were lost when the monument was created during the Clinton era.

I wasn’t here at that time, but I have been struck by the difference in tourism among the 3 gateways to the Sierra since I have been here. Yosemite of course is king. Kings Canyon, in particular the 198 corridor, is still worlds more advanced then the 190 corridor into Sequoia National Forest and Park.

Has there ever really been much tourism in this direction? I have read John Muir’s earliest book, and he loved the area above Porterville second only to Yosemite and possibly second to none.

It does strike me that Springville, and to some extent Porterville, do not have the facilities that even Three Rivers has to support visitors heading into or coming down from the mountain.

Personally, I love that the roads are not crowded above here, and that the facilities are minimal, but even I do think there is room for some outdoor tourist related ventures in Porterville and Springville.… Read the rest