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Natural Home Birth Kern Midwives VOL. 28 NO. 5

Go Progressive! Social Dinner Fun

Wild & Rowdy Law Tames a Town


New! 2012 Events Charity Registry

health 2011



Kern 14th Annual

Health Exclusive Presentation


Cheap Eats


50 Local Restaurants 50 Great Meals

ALL $10 or Less!

Presented By


Meet Our

Stars pg.49 / Health 2011 3

4 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals / Health 2011 5


HEALTH 201 1

Try The Nines Restaurant for lunch. Over 20 items to choose from for under $10.00


f e at u r e s

Surfin’ the racks—What caught our eye? Stuff We Like..........................18

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill

A local teacher educates us on her top ten Can’t Live Without...................21



or 1ess

Why Be Happy for Just One Hour? Enjoy your favorite drinks, signature cocktails and tasty appetizers all day long in the m.i. greatroom. Happy Hour specials are $3 Drafts and $5 Well and Wine drinks.

Mark your calendars for these 2012 events It’s back! Fill up on just a few bucks

Cheap Eats


What 15 minutes of fame meant to them Reality Stars..........................49

Kern Health

Charitable events Registry


A nonprofit providing shelter and support Safety Net............................123 A new building to serve a constant need Nonprofit Spotlight................126 Our community is standing up to cancer We’re Here to Fight..................61

targeting your healthcare

Dispelling the myths of home birthing

KERN Midwives

Bakersfield Marriott

When only the best will do!


801 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA

What’s new at local healthcare facilities?


6 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals



Keep your heart healthy and your joints happy Go Low Impact........................71 Local docs lend a hand in foreign lands On a Mission............................75 / Health 2011 7


HEALTH 201 1


D E PA R T M E N T S Riding shotgun has never been such a thrill Letter from the Editor............13 Your cheat sheet for our county’s trivia Kern Facts............................15 Who said dresses are just for summer? The Bakersfield Look..............29 A woman whose designs have won gold Citizen Kern.....................31

There’s Mexican food and then there’s

Decorating tips: think before you antique


“The Foods of Mexico”

Berkeley: Small town, big reputation Great Getaways...................105

Featuring Central California Coast Wines

Lunch and Dinner 7 Days a Week Sunday Brunch Food “To Go” Cocktail Lounge Catering Chefs Table (by advance reservation) Winemaker Dinners and Special Events

Cantina Specials

Two events that shaped early Kern County



PLCs Plus: The big business of automation Risktakers........................35 What healthcare reform means for you Human Resources..................52 From the runways to Bakersfield in a flash Fearless Fashionista................99

Featuring “Tacos of Mexico” & more Extended hours: Tuesdays 3-9pm & Saturdays 11am-6pm (Hwy 178 East – Oswell Exit)

(661) 871-5787

A tower of flavor served Italian-style!



Great steaks at this hideaway in Kernville What’s Cookin’.....................111 Bring it back—the Progressive Dinner Party Entertaining the Bakersfield Way...113

Mon-Sat – 3-6pm

2641 Oswell Street, Suite G


This white wine deserves love, too Life is a Cabernet................ 115 A Southern martini with tons of charm Bottoms Up........................ 118 Wintertime means bare root season is here!

Gardening With Mrs. P

8 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals


Where did we snap your pic this season? Party Chatter...................... 133 Looking for land in the Rosedale Colony? Bakersfield’s Sound.............. 138 / Health 2011 9


home & Garden resources

Home & Garden.................103

Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory Worship Directory.............107

Education Directory..........108

The Dining Guide The Dining Guide............119

community partners Community Partners.........123

Shoppers Bazaar..............130

Kern Health Resource Guide...131

everafters... Weddings......................132

It’s About the Heart of a Woman

Ladies in Red Women & Business g in y m ar Co bru 12 Fe 20

10 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals / Health 2011 11


Donna Louise Corum founder . visionary . friend

Vol. 28 No. 5

Fine Men’s Clothing Since 1988

Corner of Stockdale & Coffee Snead’s for Men

Health 2011

Publisher Les Corum Executive Editor Mike Corum Assistant Editor Anika Henrikson Garden Editor Lynn Pitts Wine & Food Editor Mike Stepanovich Creative Director Chuck Barnes Graphic Artist Laura Turner Systems/Production Ryan Turner Sales & Marketing Lisa Corum Douglas “Dale” Heflin Heidi Hessler, Shay Muñoz Photography/Editorial Assistant Isabel Alvarez Staff Writer Kali Campbell Contributing Writers Maureen Buscher-Dang, Tracie Grimes Jason Gutierrez, David Nigel Lloyd Gordon F. Lull, Matthew Martz, Robin Paggi Jessica Shillings, Julianne Torczon Accounting/Human Resources Melissa Galvan Distribution/Circulation Brigit Ayers Cover Photo Neustock Images Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. 1601 New Stine Road, Suite 200 Bakersfield, CA 93309

Office (661) 834-4126 Fax (661) 834-5495 Email: website:


inspired by classic old world design

661.587.9816 | 12 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Bakersfield Magazine is published bi-monthly by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. ©Copyright 2011 by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher of Bakersfield Magazine is strictly prohibited. Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Bakersfield Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Bakersfield Magazine management or owner. Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability for claims made by advertisers. Subscription rate is $14.95 for 1 year, $21.95 for 2 years.

Secure PayPal Gift Subscriptions

Letter from the Editor

Riding Shotgun It’s 3 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving and I’m stumbling around in the dark, trying to wake up and get my bearings. I’m not even dressed yet; he’s ready— has been since 1 a.m. I find my way to the kitchen for a fix of caffeine and he’s pinging around the room like he’s indulged several times, talking a mile a minute with the excitement befitting a kid that just got his first kiss. He somehow seems changed at this ungodly hour: more mature...more annoying! Barely big enough to see over the steering wheel, he asks if he can warm up the car. I grumpily mumble something like “tuck in your shirt,” and toss him the keys. A few minutes pass and I brave the frosty air, get in the car, and we’re off—not to some crazy Black Friday sale like all the other “sane” parents are doing. No, we’re on our way to Post 1. You see, my oldest son, Chris, was in the Hall Ambulance Explorer Program at the time and this was just one of many early-morning bonding moments we’d share over the course of several years. Every holiday, weekend, and summer vacation. For those of you not familiar, the Explorers is a volunteer program for kids 14-21 to get a taste of what being an EMT is like. They participate in regular meetings, learn basic life-saving skills, help out at events and disaster drills, and the lucky ones get to ride shotgun in actual emergency situations (to observe only). For Chris, it was love at first ride. Actually, his love started much earlier. Ever since he was old enough to use the TV remote he had a fascination with trauma shows. So while other kids were watching Nickelodeon, Chris would be tuning into the operation channel (his favorite video was his grandfather’s gallbladder surgery). A chance discussion with his uncle turned him on to the Explorers and there was no looking back, except he was only 11; he had to wait three more years. When he was finally of age to join, he became consumed! Eating, sleeping, breathing EMTs; at one point, he was politely banned from doing ride-alongs for a while. Seems he’d volunteered so much, no one else was getting a turn. It was a healthy obsession for sure...of course,

DRE Lic.00818891

Explorer Chris, age 16

I had my worries. This is a kid that barely remembered to tie his shoes, let alone do his homework. He always misplaced his keys and, later, blew up two cars because he forgot to put fluids in. My biggest fear was that he was going to forget to lock the gurney in place and drive off with a patient falling out the back! As soon as he was old enough, Chris applied for and became an EMT, and except for getting the ambulance stuck in the sand once (who knew they weren’t made for off-road?), it’s been mostly incident-free. It’s his dedication and passion that I most admire; knowing what he wanted to do his whole life and working toward that goal and achieving it. It’s the same kind of passion shared by the thousands of healthcare workers in our community—a commitment to serve others. And that’s what this issue is all about. KernHealth (pg. 53) is our annual look at the facilities and healthcare providers that make our lives better. It’s also our annual presentation of Cheap Eats (pg. 39). We found OVER 50 great meals from local restaurants, all for under $10. Along with a fantastic history piece (pg. 32), we’re also proud to present our 1st annual Charitable Events Registry (pg. 95) and a fun look at local reality TV stars (pg. 49). This is our best December issue ever and it’s our gift to you—enjoy! By the way, Chris just celebrated five years on the job and hasn’t had a patient fall out yet...but I still worry.

Mike Corum

2410 Brighton Park Dr. • $1,875,000 Grand Island on Golf Course w/lake views! Builder’s own Tuscan Villa estate. Incredible, detailed woodwork, custom iron/brick combine with faux finished walls and paver tile floors create an Old World elegance. A grand double island kitchen is at the very heart of this home. Wine cellars, office/library, gym, in-law quarters, first floor master suite. 2,000 sq. ft. patio w/bbq, spa!

2205 Norwich Way• $1,099,995 Golf course/lake, incredible views! Over 5,800 sq. ft. Grand staircase/marble entry, Great Room w/two story high windows, granite double island kitchen. 5 bdrms, 4.5 baths, 3 fireplaces, 3rd level game room. Master suite w/balcony. Pool/spa, bbq. Big cul-de-sac lot.

4000 Country Club Dr. •$1,450,000 1.9 acre estate. Resort-style grounds by Charlie Harwell. Tennis court, multi-level pool, outdoor kitchen, Japanese gardens. 5 bdrms, game room, office/library, Great Room. Hardwood, marble floors, 2 large wetbars, 3 fireplaces. Luxurious private Master Suite w/balcony, exquisite bath!

Signature Properties, Signature Service! / Health 2011 13

3310 Truxtun Avenue #160 | 661-864-0397 |

14 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Kern Facts

People • Places • Events


& Hers

What was the first thing you thought when you met your future spouse for the first time? Stephanie: That he was so cute with his khakis and Chuck Taylors! We met in college, in a human relations course of all things. Each class period we sat closer and closer to each other until we were next to each other. It didn’t take much longer for him to finally ask me out! Brandon: I first saw her from across a crowded classroom—she didn’t see me. During the next class, I purposely came in late and began sitting near her. She made the first move when she asked to borrow some binder paper to take notes in class. It was college ruled paper, so I am sure that sealed the deal. What is the funniest thing that happened while you two were dating? Stephanie: Brandon drove to Bakersfield to visit me for the weekend. I am the oldest of seven so I had siblings wanting to hang out with us. One night,

wanting some alone time, we left after a family dinner. At our destination we started to kiss and talk mushy, and from the back of the station wagon we hear giggles. It was the two youngest who were six and eight at the time. Brandon: Stephanie’s family was having a get-together in another city. A family member (the name will not be revealed to protect the guilty) picked us up for the four-hour drive. I was nervous since I hadn’t been around her family a great deal but everything went fine. On the ride home, everyone began nodding off. Stephanie and I were snuggling in the back but not asleep when a terrible smell came rolling over from the front seat. We were dying! I felt trapped because I had barely met the family— what’s the protocol? We didn’t want to laugh, couldn’t crack the windows, couldn’t say a word, so we just sat there in the backseat. Welcome to the family. What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you?

He’s an attorney at Young & Nichols and she is, among many things, the Conference Administrator for the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference! Still, this adorable couple always finds time to be with each other.

Brandon & Stephanie Holladay in step with:

Stephanie: For my 30th birthday he planned a surprise trip to Maui! I had no idea until 24 hours from our departure. I found out later that he had been planning for nearly a year! Brandon: She said “yes” to my proposal of marriage. At times, I can sense people looking at us and thinking, “I don’t get it.” I don’t get it either; it’s kind of like Beauty and the Beast. I felt like I won the lottery when we were married...a very expensive lottery ticket. What is your spouse’s biggest phobia? Stephanie: I don’t know that he has a “phobia” but if I had to choose something that he really dislikes, it’s moving. Brandon: I am sworn to secrecy...but think “circus.” Who’s the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Stephanie: He has always been the first one to say he was wrong, but I’ve learned over time that I have probably always been the one at fault...he was just too nice to put the blame on me. I’d like to think that now I am better about admitting I’m wrong and looking to make it right. Brandon: Me. I have had a lot of practice at being wrong so apologizing comes naturally. What is your spouse most passionate about? Stephanie: My husband is passionate about his family and making sure we are happy! He goes above and beyond on a regular basis to make me smile. He never ceases to amaze me with the time and effort he puts in with his kids, be it traveling for soccer games, making sure our daughter has a special note in

her lunch, or reading the same book over and over to our youngest. Brandon: Our family and the schools in Bakersfield. She has high expectations for both and wants the best for our family and children. What’s your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield? Stephanie: A Saturday at the soccer fields, lunch at Sequoia, a trip to browse Target, and end it with a walk in my beautiful neighborhood with the breeze and mountain views! Brandon: I love watching my kids play soccer. We have kids that play in the great AYSO programs and one that plays club soccer for the Central California Blues. I also love to eat at Luigi’s. What is your least favorite thing about your spouse and most favorite thing? Stephanie: Honestly, I don’t have a least favorite thing. He is perfect to me. If I had to say something, it would be that his sink seems to be dirtier than mine and one sock always seems to miss the laundry basket. My most favorite is that he is just such a great guy! He is patient, kind, giving, and (probably the biggest thing) he puts up with me! Brandon: Seriously? You might as well ask me, “Do you like to sleep on the couch?” Stephanie is like Mary Poppins—practically perfect in every way! I suppose that is kind of annoying. My favorite thing is that everything about her is done beautifully and with the best intentions. She makes things look effortless but I know how hard she works. / Health 2011 15

Kern Facts ©

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27,727 5,500,000

By the Numbers

Comprehensive campuses within the Kern High School District The lowest elevation spot in Kern County (San Joaquin Valley floor)

Golden Empire Transit bus stops in the Bakersfield Metropolitan area

Average number of vehicles traveling on State Road 65 each day

The approximate number of people who moved to Kern County between 1920 and 1930 The cost to build Bakersfield Civic Center (what would become Rabobank Arena) in 1962

Sources:;;;; Historic Chronology of Kern County

Dine on us!


List e x tra


veryone likes getting something for nothing. In this case, you can get something for almost nothing. If you’re a member of our A-List, you know that we at the magazine like to give out great prizes...but the most covetous of those is the $100 restaurant gift certificate. The only action required is taking a look at the random list of names we put together in each issue and searching for yours. If you spot your name, be the first to email us at and you’ll walk away with $100 to Cafe Med. If you’re not a member of the A-List, join today at It’s easy to do and it’s free. So with just a few mouse clicks, you can start getting something for, well, almost nothing. Dixie Andrew Alesha Hixon William Blado Claudia Casagrande

Diana Porter Muhammad Alim Dusty McCaslin Leslie Walters

Wendi Kaff Tony Thacker Jim Trumbull Tracey Lince

*contest eligibility for A-List members only who have not won a prize in the past three months. 16 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Holiday toy run S


In & Around B•Town

orry Rudolph, Santa’s sleigh is being pulled by a Harley this year! The 28th annual Salvation Army Toy Run is revving its engine for another banner year. Last year brought out nearly 6,000 motorcycles, classic cars, and even golf carts decked out in holiday cheer. It was one of the biggest runs in the nation! With a steady increase of participation over the last three years, Toy Run President Don Oldaker hopes for at least 20 percent more riders than last year. Oldaker attributes the fundraiser’s success to our “community full of those who want to help people who are less fortunate than themselves...they show up at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday in December to either get rained on or be cold. It says a lot about these people.” About 800 families signed up to be helped last year and this year Oldaker expects that it will be the same or even more. The 2011 Toy Run will feature door prizes, two live bands, and a variety of caterers. There is no need to sign up; participants

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Nearly 6,000 motorcycles, classic cars, and even golf carts decked out in holiday cheer.

just need to bring one new, unwrapped toy and a nonperishable food item with a combined value of approximately $20 or make a cash donation of $20. The motorcycles and decorated vehicles meet at Beach Park at 7:00 a.m. on December 11, where breakfast will be served (this is a first). The parade route will go up 21st Street to Chester Avenue, then on to Belle Terrace and P Street to the fairgrounds for the final festivities. It’s the kind of turnout that makes you proud to be in Bakersfield!

Did You Know...?


art of the Hollywood eeVictory Caravan, a thr ht ug bro t week railroad journey tha rs me for a number of famous per , tes Sta d to spots across the Unite a for er eat appeared at the Fox Th mber 21, war bond rally on Septe Caravan 1942. Performers in the Hardy, included Laurel and Marx, o Bing Crosby, Grouch and Cary Grant.

gy of Kern County

Source: Historic Chronolo / Health 2011 17

Kern Facts Decorative Frame Art, $169.99 Margaret’s Boutique 2706 Brundage Ln. (661) 374-4923

Frank Lyman Coat Dress, $276 Sugardaddy’s 5512 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 325-8300

stuff we like

Iron Fist Peep-toe Pumps, $65 Divaz Desirez 4560 Coffee Rd. (661) 679-7278

Black English Regency Chair, $900 Brooks Brothers Interiors 2821 Brundage Ln. (661) 324-4734

Decorative Christmas Trees $24-$42 Into The Forest 155 H St. (661) 322-8812

Become B-Town Famous!

7 Mermaid Necklace, $90 Juliana’s Art Studio & Gallery 501 18th St. (661) 327-7507

18 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Be the envy of fri ends and family! Impress your neigh bors and co-work ers! Get your name in your city magazin e and your photo on the world-wide web.. . and best of all W IN gift certifi cates from these feat ured merchants! Log on to


for details and entry form.

Good Luck!

Bronze or Clear Mystic Tan, $25 360 Degree Tan 1110 Calloway Dr., #400 (661) 588-7826

People • Places • Events

got a hot tip?

099 ©

a your phone to stop ave you ever used s nymously report suspiciou crime? Now you can ano ding a discreetly than ever by sen or criminal activity more . sfield Police Department text or e-mail to the Baker society t tha ers nn nt in the ma “We want to stay curre ati on ined BP D Pu bli c Inf orm is communicating,” expla . Officer Mary DeGeare idating stands that it can be intim der un The department ation. to come in to give inform sysBPD via a third party the to All text tips go comnder untraceable and tem that makes the se pletely anonymous. 4637. with BPDCRIMES to 27 Text your message along t texting and driving! Just make sure you’re no



You could be next

ver the past few months, we’ve doled out event tickets, gift baskets, and restaurant gift cards—not to mention quite a few Stuff We Like prizes. Because we like to keep giving, we’re listing our winners below so they can get a bit of extra attention. It pays big to be a Bakersfield Magazine winner. If you know any of these folks, ask them to share their goodies. Just kidding...but pat ‘em on the back for us.Visit for more winners.

CSUB Fall bbq


Scary for Charity Tickets Fermin Juarez Marina Hernandez A-List Contest Winner Sarah Shields Pop Quiz Winner Lorraine Reza


Scott Garriso

Chamber Expo Gift Basket James Bean SCARY FOR CHARITY

March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Basket Brad Burks


Marina Hernandez Stuff We Like Jana Yoder—Fino’s Menswear Dona Chertok—La Petite Poulette Brook Taff—JM’s For Kids Patricia Cervantes E Aveda Salon Leticia Pimentel Robson Eiler Jewelers

Symphony Tickets Lana Elfstrom Laura Wolfe Melodye Bullis Ruth Venerable Sherrie Lewis CSUB Fall BBQ Tickets Scott Garrison Monique Molina


5401 Business Park South, #112

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Employee Benefits Director, Howard Financial & Insurance Services, Inc. Hello, my name is Valeta Sabaloni Blackburn at Howard Financial & Insurance Services. I provide extensive insurance management resolutions for all lines of employee benefits. These include: medical, dental, vision, medicare supplements, and life insurance for your employees. I am well versed on all health reform issues and pride myself on offering excellent customer service to my clients. This is demonstrated through my willingness to personally handle any and all claim issues that arise as well as administer on-site employee enrollment. I represent all major insurance carriers in the state of California, thus ensuring a tailored approach that is sure to satisfy your needs. Call me today for a quote. / Health 2011 19

Welcomes Dr. Jennifer I. Salcido, ND

3 PATHS TO WELLNESS Detoxification

Hormonal Optimization


• Thermology Breast Scan • Women’s Annual Exam • Bio-Identical Hormones • Weight Loss, Nutrition & Thyroid • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy • Full Body Detoxification/Foot Bath • Autism/ADHD/Neurofeedback • IV Vitamin C, Myers, Chelation • Ozone & Infrared Sauna • Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia • PMS/Menopause/ED • Cancer Support/Stay Alkaline • Reverse Aging & more


4000 Stockdale Hwy., Ste. D Certified Am. Board of Anti-Aging Medicine

eat sleep read Celebrating over 21 years as Bakersfield’s bookstore.

(661) 665-4686 9000 Ming Avenue #I4 20 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Did You Know? In 1860, Christian Bohna built the first permanent house on land that would be the future site of Bakersfield. Later, in September of 1863, Thomas Baker and his family would move into the home.


Be Yourself...Only Better!

Kern Facts

Source: Historic Chronology of Kern County

One Good Read Deserves Another


udos to Camille Gavin! This talented local writer, author of Kern’s Movers and Shakers and Dear Cora published another book earlier this year. A Bakersfield Childhood is a collection of stories compiled from Gavin’s childhood growing up in this area, starting in the 1930s. She recently read a few passages to readers at Russo’s Books for “Open Mic: Featuring.”

Camille Gavin’s Newest



People Places •B•Town Events In &• Around

Can’t Live Without

Ashley Kammeraad, an Education Specialist and Pre-Algebra teacher for the Bakersfield City School District, tells us what she just can’t do without.



Maybe it’s the thrill, maybe it’s the chili cheese fries, or maybe it’s that I met the love of my life at one but I just can’t get enough of rodeos.

To-Do Lists

To-Do lists help me stay organized and focused. The added bonus is the sense of accomplishment that comes with checking something off the list!


2 High-Rise Jeans

Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer

With high-rise jeans muffin top is a thing of the past. Joe’s Jeans makes a great mid to high-rise jean. Try The Icon (mid) or The Visionnaire (high).

Hazelnut, French Vanilla, or Italian Sweet Cream. My coffee feels naked without it!


Red Wine

Although I’ll never turn down a good beer, red wine is my ultimate unwind. My current favorite is a blend from Thacher Winery called Controlled Chaos.

4 Cowboy Boots

Cowboy boots are great because they will never go out of style, plus you can dress them up or down. My favorite way to wear them is with a cute knee length dress and waist belt.


Bolthouse Farms


If you haven’t tried their juices stop reading this, get in your car, and drive to your nearest Albertson’s. Bolthouse also makes amazing salad dressings and since they are yogurtbased, they are really low in fat.


I attended Point Loma Bakersfield for my teaching credentials and Master of Arts in Education. They make you feel like you are a part of a family and truly prepare you for a successful career in teaching.


Running + Skirts

Last year I trained for and ran in my very first marathon to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. When you are running 26+ miles, comfort is key and I found that running in a skirt was the way to go.

Point Loma Nazarene University

Chocolate Soufflé from Valentien


Aside from the classic Tiramisu at Rosa’s Italian Restaurant, this is my favorite dessert in Bakersfield. Pair it with their French press coffee and you are golden. / Health 2011 21

Kern Facts

Jingle Balls! D

The One Store For Your Perfect Floor! Come in and see our Great Selection of Carpet, Laminate, Vinyl, Hardwood, and Ceramic Flooring.

eck the halls with goodwill 2010 this year, or at least deck the tree! Get ornaments 2011 from the Exchange Club of Bakersfield. This is the second year the group will be selling Bakersfield Collector’s Christmas Ornaments. Last year, the glass bulbs featured a rendering of the original Bakersfield Arch, and this year they feature the image of the historic Beale Clock Tower at its original location on 17th and Chester. The limited edition ornaments are painted from the inside, so the images won’t scratch or fade. Net proceeds go to the Exchange Club of Bakersfield, a chapter of the national community service organization that, locally, supports The Kern Child Abuse Prevention Council/ Haven Counseling Center as well as numerous other youth programs in Kern County. Larry Hiestand, Secretary Treasurer of the Exchange Club of Bakersfield, explained, “We are not a huge group...but we do have a lot of heart.” Hiestand said that last year, the group “sold more than [they] had,” and hopes this year will bring even more sales. “The ornaments make a very inexpensive gift for someone who is from here or even someone who has moved away and wants to remember where they came from,” he added. Both the 2011 and 2010 ornaments are available at several locations and online for just $21.95. Visit for information.

Where am I ven though we rare yart sm u yo ly stump all e doing pants in town, we still lov you can if e Se these Pop Quizzes. ture. For pic s thi k guess where we too clue—grab your saddle those of you who need a dusty trail on your and mosey on down the some feed. favorite steed to pick up to es Send your guess comments@bakersfield e will go into a If you’re right, your nam randomly selected pool and a winner will be rtificate to receive a $30 gift ce ! to Russo’s Books close-up of the Last issue’s answer: A in feature in nta bottom of the water fou . ena front of Rabobank Ar

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Visit Our Showroom 320 Oak Street • 661-327-7701 22 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals



People • Places • Events

“It was our first mural,” Holly Bikakis recalled of the mosaic she designed for St. Francis Preschool in Bakersfield five years ago. It earned the ultimate compliment, however. “It was stolen,” she said as if she still can’t believe it. It had taken Bikakis and her assistant Cheryl Miller five weeks to install. Less than a year earlier, the two had been studying with some of the country’s finest mosaicists at the Institute of Mosaic Arts in Oakland, California. “Somebody just popped it off with a crowbar,” she laughed. “It was found a short distance away in the grass. It was too heavy.” The would-be thieves were not caught. Holly and her assistant—who is also her mother—were called to the scene of the crime. “We fixed it and put it back up.” Bikakis thinks she may be the only properly trained mosaicist in Bakersfield. “I’ve never met another one,” she said. Her work is bright and colorful, much of it with an old-world appeal. Though most of her mosaics are in private homes, others can be

By David Nigel Lloyd

seen at the Bakersfield Showcase House and at Luigi’s Italian Restaurant. She also designed one of Bakersfield’s Downtown Arts District banners. Her interest in art started young—despite her place of birth. “I was born in Gorgon,

to raise three kids. They have 13-year-old twins and one tenyear-old (all boys). As a graphic designer, her past and current clients include Oxy, the Kern Veterans Memorial Foundation, and the Arts Council of Kern. Bikakis

“When done right, a mosaic can last forever.” Kansas,” Bikakis said with a chuckle, “but I didn’t live there very long.” She grew up in Anaheim Hills and shortly earned a BA in Art and Design from San Diego State University. “I had zero interest in mosaic then,” she explained. Why? “I didn’t know about it.” She had other interests, though. “Yes,” she added, “I met and married my college sweetheart there.” She and her husband Nick Bikakis moved to Bakersfield, his home town, about 20 years ago. For her, Bakersfield is a good place

realized she needed something else. “I was looking for more of a fine art form.” She wasn’t expecting to find it in Las Vegas. “I was there to do what I do in Vegas: gamble.” Bikakis hit a different kind of jackpot at the Wynn Hotel. “They have gorgeous mosaics all over the place,” she elaborated. After this epiphany, Bikakis and her mom headed to Oakland to the nearest of the country’s two mosaic schools. Several intensive hands-on courses later, they were ready for work. “When done right, a mosaic can last forever,”

Bikakis explained. “Materials were the whole big issue when we started. You can’t just go to a tile store.” From small colored stones called smalto to the multi-layered glass called millefiori, Bikakis will frequently travel to LA for supplies. “I’m influenced mostly by the Classic Style [Greek and Roman],” she said. She also employs a style she calls “whimsey,” which was inspired by what she saw at the Wynn Hotel. She has two public commissions to be filled over the next year. The first is for the new wing of the San Joaquin Hospital. “I’ve been chosen to make the flagship piece of art in the lobby area.” The second commission, through the Arts Council of Kern, is for the Garden in the Sun, a new park in Arvin. She would like to do more public works, as well. “I’ve always wanted to do a big concrete mosaic on a bench in Riverwalk.” But being as in-demand as she is, this talented artist just has to find the time to do it. / Health 2011 23

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he great strike of the American Railway Union, which began Thursday, June 28, 1894, affected Bakersfield and Kern about as it affected any other railroad division point. There was much excitement during the first few days of the tie-up, and on July 12, two hundred men met at Reich Opera House (which stood just across...from Weill’s store), and organized the Citizens’ Committee of Safety. S.W. Wible acted as chairman, and after the adoption of resolutions and a prayer by Rev. Henry, fifty men signed the roll as volunteer home guards, took the oath to support the constitutions, and pledged themselves to guard duty in case Company G of the National Guard were ordered away from town and their services were required. Officers were elected as follows: captain, F.S. Rice; lieutenants, G.K. Ober and C.A. Maul; sergeants, John O. Miller, G.L. Dillman, C. Von Petersdorf, Leo F. Winchell, and H.C. Park; corporals, H.F. Condict, W. Lowell, A.W. Storms, and R.M. Walker. “The committee of safety, however, was never called upon for active duty. Before the guards were organized, the railroad men had established a patrol of their own under the informal, but recognized, leadership of Parker Barrett (then a conductor, but later one of the owners of the world-famous Lakeview oil gusher), and generally the best of order prevailed among the strikers. Following the meeting at Reich Opera House, the A.R.U.

Representatives called a mass meeting at Athletic Park, at the southeast corner of Nineteenth Street and Union Avenue, where about four hundred people were addressed by three or four speakers and where long resolutions were adopted. “Bakersfield did not go hungry because of the strike, but a large part of it went thirsty or drank warm beverages. Most of the ice used in the city was shipped here Downing had 3,000 pounds of ice when the strike began, and for a time his soda water fountain was the most popular place in Bakersfield. from Truckee in those days, and except in the case of E. Downing’s candy store, the supplies were all small when the tieup of the railroad began. When the saloons were out of ice they were nearly out of business, for few people would drink warm beer in July. Downing had 3,000 pounds of ice when the strike began, and for a time his soda water fountain was the most popular place in Bakersfield. Finally, the stock of ice was reduced to 700 pounds and Downing hung the closed sign on the front of the fountain. ‘The rest of it is for the sick folks,’ he explained, and after that, anyone who could show that he was sick got ice from Downing for nothing. Nobody else could get it at all...” that is, until the strike ended.

Source: History of Kern County, California by Wallace M. Morgan. Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1914.

24 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Skilled Hands

Horseshoeing is the second oldest occupation.

Professional Farrier

Shoes for a Stallion I

n wartime New York City, a young boy discovered that his heroes weren’t soldiers and generals, they were cowboys and ranchers. In the urban east, the young Al Bell’s exposure to horses was limited to horse-drawn wagons...but it was enough. With a brewery across the street, he watched the delivery horses come in to their stables every night. Bell recalled when Mr. Jim, the man who cared for the horses, let him sit on them while he led them in and out of their stalls to feed and drink water. “That was the first time I ever rode a horse,” said Bell as he took a sip of black coffee and looked out from his workshop doors. “That’s all I ever cared about,” he said. Bell read books like Smokey by Will James and worked so hard he was able to buy his first horse at 13. “It was

an Appalachian horse that I called Tulsa,” Bell laughed. When Tulsa needed shoes, he watched the farrier shoe horses and make $40 in a day. “I thought that was all the money in the world.” Bell was allowed to do a fiveyear apprenticeship with an Irish farrier. When Bell was 22, he became a farrier for the New York City Mounted Police. He spent two years working with the NYPD but in 1965 he moved west to California. “It was as far as I could get from New York without getting my feet wet,” Bell explained. Bell hit the dirt running. He began building a client base— those with backyard horses all the way to big ranches like Tejon, for which he shod horses for 22 years. He also worked on John Tracy’s (of Tracy Ranch) horses for over 35 years.

has really only advanced in the last 20 years. Bell attributes that to the traditionally tight-lipped nature of farriers. “Now it’s become profitable to share you can learn in five years what I learned in twenty.” Bell’s earlier years of his career taught him to craft quality shoes by hand. His truck is a well-organized array of tools and horseshoes and includes a forge and anvil. Bell can make a beautiful shoe in just fifteen minutes. From a straight bar he cuts the length he wants, then heats and shapes until he adds the final stamp with his name. Then it’s time for a trim—a good shoe is useless without a well-done trim. After nearly 50 years as a professional farrier, Bell’s method is simple. He arrives on time, does a quality job, and cleans up after. All he asks for in return is a good place to work, that the horse is caught and gentle enough to be shod, and that owners help with younger horses. Leaning back in a chair made entirely from horseshoes, Bell sighed with a smile, “I enjoy what I do, it’s who I am.” Photo by austin irwin

Al Bell

He spent the next two decades shoeing six horses a day, sometimes more. Just when he decided to slow down he was hired to run a horseshoeing school out at Lerdo Jail. He eventually incorporated horsemanship into the program as well and worked at the jail by day and shod horses in the evening so he could keep his clientele. “When you’ve been self-sufficient your whole life, you don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Bell explained. Despite loyal clients, his life long career hasn’t been without its bumps in the road. Starting in 2008, Bell spent 18 months in and out of the hospital facing a problematic recovery from leg surgery immediately followed by a hip replacement. It’s no mystery that being a farrier is hard on joints. “I go through my life with my head lower than my butt,” explained Bell, laughing. Physical setbacks and all, Bell has trophies, ribbons, and even belt buckles from state and national horseshoeing competitions. He enjoys the competition and comparing techniques with other farriers, a practice only recently evolved. “Horseshoeing is the second oldest occupation,” Bell smirked. And yet, horseshoeing / Health 2011 25

Photo courtesy kern county library

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Call Today to Schedule Your FREE Estimate 26 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

People • Places • Events

iddles, high pitched steel guitar, and tight vocal harmonies...all mixed with some honky tonk on top. The Bakersfield Sound is eclectic, all its own, and welldeserving of the major 5,000 square foot exhibit that will be featured at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Opening on March 24, 2012, the exhibit, titled The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country, will be on display for nearly two years. Narrated by Dwight Yoakam, it will tell the story of how the Bakersfield Sound was created and how it changed country music. “From its earliest chapters through today, California has played a significant role in country music history,” said Museum Director Kyle Young. “We chose Bakersfield as the subject of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s next major exhibition because it was ground zero for the development of one of country music’s most influential styles. It was home not only to two of country’s most iconic artists—Country Music Hall of Fame mem-

bers Buck Owens and Merle Haggard—but to such key architects of the Bakersfield Sound as Bill Woods, Fuzzy Owen, Lewis Tally, Bonnie Owens, Tommy Collins, and many other great musicians, singers, and songwriters,” said Mike Buck, the museum’s curatorial director. The story will begin with the Dust Bowl migration to Bakersfield and will continue through to the evolution of the Bakersfield music business in the 1960s and on to its influence on country music and artists today. The records, studios, dance halls, and stages that are woven into our Bakersfield culture will all have their stories heard. The museum explains that visitors will explore the roots, impact, and the heyday of the Bakersfield Sound. The Bakersfield Sound will be accompanied by an ongoing series of programs for families and school children, including live performances, panel discussions, films, and instrument demonstrations. With this exciting new exhibit, country music lovers from all over the world will be able to “walk the streets of Bakersfield.” / Health 2011 27

28 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Nicole “Niki” Palisoc, 25 Occupation: Administrative Assistant, Recent CSUB Grad

Are you a Bakersfield Native? No, but I have been living here since 2005. I grew up in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi. Is there a style product that you absolutely can’t live without? My Ojon Rub-out Dry Shampoo during those in-between washes and bad hair days. Do you think Bakersfield has a style? Bakersfield’s style is constantly evolving and casual. I like how everyone makes an effort to dress up, even if they are only having lunch or simply just walking their dog. Describe your personal style. My style is a bit edgy; eclectic with a twist of Audrey Hepburn-inspired glamour. How long does it usually take you to get ready in the morning? I have a 4-year-old daughter so most of my time is spent on getting her ready. I sometimes put my outfits together the night before so that I don’t scramble for clothes in the morning. Is there a celebrity or person in your life that you get your style from? My favorite fashion icons are Alexa Chung and Rachel Bilson. Their styles are effortlessly cool and they always find a way to reinvent themselves. What is your favorite item of clothing? I love bright and colorful dresses and I wear them year-round.

What are you wearing? I am wearing a Marc by Marc Jacobs top, a Zara skirt, a blazer from Forever 21, Alexander Wang bag, accessories from Macy’s, and Kelsi Dagger boots. Does your style change when you are not at work? I’m all about effortless style and comfort when I’m not working. I’m usually in floral dresses, skirts, and comfortable flats. How do you personalize your ‘business’ look? I always like to personalize my look by adding a pop of color like a jewel colored blouse, bright colored bag, or shoes. What are your favorite places to shop in Bakersfield? Apricot Lane and Kaur at The Marketplace for beautiful and oneof-a-kind cocktail dresses and La Coquette for cute tops, shoes, and denim. What is the biggest fashion mistake you have made? I guess matching my shoes with my bag would be a big fashion faux pas and I have done this in the past. Are you a bargain hound? I am definitely up for a good bargain but sometimes you also have to keep in mind quality over quantity. What mistakes do you think men make when they dress? I don’t think men make a lot of mistakes in fashion; they just want to dress comfortably. My husband Christ loves his basketball shorts and jerseys but I try to make him wear nice polos and dress shirts whenever we go out.


Add a ‘pop’ of color to your business look. / Health 2011 29

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Everyone Needs Something to Hug. Bring a new teddy bear or other huggable stuffed animal* to our office at 1601 New Stine Road, Ste. 200, and we’ll give you a 1-year subscription to Bakersfield Magazine. Plus, you’ll automatically be entered to win 1 of 3 $100 gift cards to a great local restaurant.** *Monetary donations will be accepted in place of stuffed animals. Make checks payable to the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

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1601 New Stine Road, Bakersfield, CA 93309 • 661-834-4126 Must be 18 years or older to enter. No purchase necessary to enter contest for the gift cards; for those unable to bring in a stuffed animal, but still want to donate, send us a postcard with your name, address, daytime phone number, and email address postmarked by December 31, 2011. Drawings will be held January 3, 2012 and winners will be notified by phone. You have five business days to claim your prize or another name will be randomly drawn. Employees and family members of Bakersfield Magazine are not eligible to participate in the drawing.

30 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals



Personal Stats: Name: Lynn Cartwright Age: 68 Birthplace: Minnesota

How she got started: Cartwright left her hometown at 19 and headed west to pursue a career in design. Her love of dressing paper dolls as a child would ultimately transfer over to her career. She attended various trade schools to build her skill set and found herself designing her own line to sell through Skippy of California. Soon after, she would work for Catalina for 10 years, designing swimwear and sportswear. Cartwright would go on to work in the fashion design world for three decades before transitioning into professional doll making where she would have celebrity clients, including Demi Moore.

Her heroes: Given the fact that her foray into doll making was aided by taking sculpting lessons from Anthony Bulone, the man who created the original sculpture for Barbie, one might think Cartwright’s biggest influencers are people in the industry. Not so. Her father and grandmother make the top of the list. “The design industry is about creativity—you don’t learn that from someone else.”





The design industry is about creativity— you don’t learn that from someone else.

Her favorite part of the industry: Cartwright has been all over the world thanks to her affiliations with national clothing companies like Cherokee. “The travel was definitely a perk,” she said. She spent time in Asia and Europe, learning about different cultures (knowledge that would serve her well as a doll maker). While she was traveling the globe, her creative designs were appearing in major magazines like Glamour, GQ, and Sports Illustrated.


Career highlights: Working for Nike, Asics, Ocean Pacific, and Russell Sports is something that most people won’t have on their resume. Or having multiple prints patented in the U.S. Copyright Office. Still, nothing can top the feeling of seeing your design on a Wheaties box! While with Asics, Cartwright designed the uniforms for the 1984 and 1988 U.S. Gymnastics teams, including the famous “stars and stripes” leotard worn by Mary Lou Retton!

Photos Courtesy of condé nast (Glamour)); David Shankbone (moore); General Mills (Wheaties); Сергей Бережной (Barbie)

Title: Fashion Designer, Doll Maker

What she’d still like to accomplish: “I would love to show my dolls in a gallery some day,” Cartwright said with a smile. That’s something that should be easy to accomplish knowing that her collectors are so devoted and that in the 10 years she’s been making dolls, she has received five Doll of the Year awards from Doll Reader Magazine among many other awards. Given that it takes months to hand-craft one of her dolls out of clay, that’s sayin’ something. / Health 2011 31

as a succession of small events interrupted by periodic discontinuities. So it goes with societies and cultures. Several large discontinuities, events of high significance, have exerted enduring impacts upon Kern County’s law enforcement community. Two are summarized here.

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through the growing populations to the south. Writes Thelma B. Miller in her History of Kern (1929), “In California, the first Americans had put between themselves and the law a nearly impassable desert and rugged chains of mountains. The wonder is not that there was lawlessness in the new western empire, but that there was any order at all.” The lives of men and women unfold


in huts, caverns, tents, wagons, and the fitted hulls of the small boats which had brought them to shore. Camps grew into towns. Among the first structures to rise were saloons and gambling houses. Communities like Havilah, Randsburg, Johannesburg, Weldon, Onyx, Whiskey Flat, Caliente, Keysville, and Isabella popped up like mushrooms in the forest to serve the prospectors. Between 1847 and 1850, Zachary Scott’s army and the U.S. Navy having successfully dispatched Mexican claims to Texas and California, what was to become the 31st State in the Union was guided by military commanders. For law enforcement, government had at its disposal a mere 600 army troops to enforce the law. There were no regular patrols

re c

aws are for the lawless and the lawless are richly represented in the race. And just as written laws, in theory, circumscribe the appetites and evil inclinations of most, so law enforcement shoulders the task of controlling those in the real world who need more coaxing. Truth be told, Kern County has had its share of those who needed coaxing. After the annexation of California and the defeat of Mexican forces the entire territory fell under military control. The discovery of gold in 1848 brought hordes of “Argonauts” (so the gold-seekers were called) who swamped the state, pouring out from the port of San Francisco, north, east, and south, to the Central Valley. From the south and east they also came, spilling over into the Tejon basin and through the Walker Pass. The new settlers, minds ablaze with visions of future wealth, found no elaborate infrastructure. They resided

IN THE NAME OF sk aya /j a


Cops, Crooks, Sheriffs, and Two Events that Shaped Bakersfield’s Early History

photo courtesy kern county museum

Charles Rankin and D.M. Pyle with deputies and grand jurors, 1890s

ot ph


Sheriff William H. Bower

While we did not have the many means of entertainment those days that have developed since, we nevertheless enjoyed ourselves. We had picnics, shows, dances, buggy rides, and some other forms of entertainment, and on one occasion five horse thieves were taken from jail and hanged. Some historian has said there were six. I say five, and I should know as I saw them hanging... George Wallace Wear, former publisher Bakersfield Californian, October 25, 1937 32 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

photo courtesy chris brewer

Chester Avenue from 18th Street in the 1890s - by the turn of the century Bakersfield had earned a reputation for being the “roughest and most hellish [town] of its day...”


By Gordon F. Lull

The Gold of that Land is Goodd

One pivotal event for Kern County’s development occurred in 1853 (according to Wallace Morgan, History of Kern County, California) when gold was discovered above Kernville. Word of the find spread quickly

No well-developed land title system had developed but gold fever forced the evolution of a mining claims system. With little formal law enforcement in place, the defense of civility came through the barrel of a gun, the edge of a knife, or the swing of a fist.

photo courtesy kern county museum

1890s Kern County Sheriff ’s Office and Jail

throughout the mining camps in central California. Within one year, prospectors flooded the banks of the Kern River and the mountain gulches beyond.

At times, Kern County residents dispensed “justice” themselves, sans lawman, judge, or jury. In Gilbert Gia’s excellent account of how this approach

worked for the infamous Yoakum brothers, “Lynchings at the Kern County Jail, 1879,” he quotes of one of the few newspapers refusing to condemn Kern County for its vigilantism. According to the Modesto Herald, loopholes in the law and the ability of some to buy their freedom meant that, “for their own protection the people must take the matter into their own hands.” [Note: See Mr. Gia’s writings at] Governors or U.S. Marshals would often deputize locals to serve as peace officers. Traveling circuit judges would mete out what justice was possible during infrequent visits. In the case of sudden and savage violence, armed locals banded together and formed posses. Or hanging parties. Investigations usually involved relying upon ground intelligence, which included friendly persuasion of those most likely to come into contact with criminals at large, such as liverymen, bartenders, rooming proprietors, and ladies of the night. As the communities grew, chaos consistently won in its struggle with order. Kern County remained wild

for many years, providing proper cover for notorious criminals such as Joaquin Murietta, Tiburcio Vasquez, the Mason Gang, and, much later, convicted killers like Harry Tracy. One report even has William “Billy the Kid” Bonney residing in the Greenhorn Mountains for a time. In 1866 the State Legislature appointed W.B. Ross as Sheriff and Tax Collector. Thus the Kern County Sheriff’s Department became the first law enforcement organization in Kern. Ross was followed by a succession of men, some committed to defending the letter of the law, others well-connected to the vice which ate away at the city’s heart. Redmond B. Sagely served one term (1868-1870), William H. Coons (1870-1874) two. Sheriff William H. Bower dominated the office for over two decades, serving three times (1874-1876, 1878-1887, and 1893-1895), interrupted by Matt Wells (1876-78) and Dallas McCord (1887-89). Under Bower, according to an enactment of the Board of Supervisors, the office of Sheriff was separated from that >> / Health 2011 33

of Tax Collector. Sheriff W. J. Graham held the office for one term, followed by Henry L. Borgwardt, Jr. (1891-93) who served again (1896-1903) after the State Legislature. Borgwardt’s death near the end of his term brought former Randsburg City Constable John W. Kelly to the office. In Randsburg, Kelly may have run into someone at the heart of an event which, in Thelma Miller’s words, “rocked the city to its foundations.”

Darkness in the Joss Housed

So much has been written about the bloody sojourn of James McKinney that one is tempted to correct the record of repeated errors. No, McKinney did not escape from Bakersfield

Sheriff William B. Ross

after the shooting and stay at a ranch in the Greenhorn Mountains. He died in the joss house. No, he did not flee Porterville proclaiming he would not be taken like the infamous killer Harry Tracy. Tracy, in fact, was then on the loose, dying by his own hands months after McKinney’s Porterville shootout. The agreed-upon facts are these. By the turn of the century Bakersfield had earned the reputation, in the words of west-

ern historian Joseph E. Doctor (Shotguns on Sunday, 1958), “for being the roughest and most hellish [town] of its day…” It was also the frequent haunt of one James McKinney, an Illinoisborn cowhand, drunk, ex-felon, and generally twisted soul, who was every bit as dangerous as he wanted the world to think he was. Included in his resume was the unprovoked pistol-whipping of a Randsburg miner in 1899; the December 13, 1900 killing of Tom Sears in Bakersfield who, according to bartender John Carey (Kern County Criminal Case No. 556) had been “flourishing [his revolver] back and forth on his finger in front of McKinney’s face,” while the two drank together. McKinney shot Sears dead as a hammer behind Cohn’s Store on 19th Street; and one explosive morning in July of 1902 when, for reasons not entirely clear, McKinney shot up the town of Porterville, killing one, wounding five, and escaping with two horses. McKinney made his way south and east, all the way to Mexico. Not much is disclosed regarding his months away from California except the return trip. Outside of Kingman, Arizona he murdered two men in cold blood. He fled to a small ranch where he forced the owner to ready a pair of horses for him. During the week following Easter, in 1903, McKinney hid in a Chinese joss house at the intersection of L Street and 21st. The two-story block-like building housed an opium den, gambling room, saloon, an area for ancestral worship, and rented rooms. McKinney stayed there with his friend, Al Hulse, a seedy make-it-happen operator who had worked both sides of the law, making many enemies, including

34 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

photos courtesy kern county museum



W.R. Bower and W. H. Coons on steps of court house with judges, 1890s the new-elected City Marshal, Thomas Jefferson Packard. Forty-three-year-old Packard, had won his job through a hotly contested election. His aim was partly to clean up vice in Bakersfield. Now arose the prospect of acclaim should he capture the dreaded McKinney. On Sunday morning, April 19, 1903, Packard arrived at the joss house with ten men, including members from Arizona, New Mexico, Tulare County, and San Bernardino County. Along with Packard came two friends, special Sheriff’s Deputy William Tibbet and his younger brother, Berton Tibbet. Packard and Will Tibbet entered through the front while the other men surrounded the building. Several shots shattered the morning calm. Packard, mortally wounded, took refuge in a privy. Will Tibbet lay dying in the backyard. Kneeling down by his brother’s side, Bert Tibbet caught sight of a wounded McKinney at the back entrance. His shotgun blast shattered the left of McKinney’s head. McKinney slumped dead over a railing. People from all over Bakersfield crowded into Chinatown, surrounding the site of the shootout. One young lad trotted down L Street on his donkey, stopping not far from the Joss House entrance. To a boy of twelve, the wonder and terror of the shooting formed an irresistible magnet. And in years to come, the boy, Earl Warren, would face two more acts of violence which would forever

haunt him. The murder of his father, Methias Warren, beaten to death at his Niles Street home, remains an unsolved case for the Bakersfield Police Department. And on November 22, 1963, one of the most infamous assassinations in American history would be investigated by a commission bearing Chief Justice Earl Warren’s name.


Visit the lobbies of Kern County’s Sheriff’s headquarters or its many police departments and it becomes clear that “protect and serve” is not just a motto. The photographs of many in Kern County law enforcement, who have served, protected, and died, grace the walls and transform that motto into grim reality. From that single gold nugget, dug up from a dreary gulch in the Greenhorn Mountains, sprouted communities which forced the development of more direct, regular policing. That mayhem in 1903 at the Chinese joss house marked Bakersfield’s transition from the frontier epoch to the modern age. It was as though, if history were a movie, one screen depicting the old age of gunfights and lamplight dissolved while another, heralding the age of electricity, complicated divisions of labor, and industrial might, came into focus. As Robert Kennedy once wrote, “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists upon.” v



Fast Track

By Tracie Grimes


Lee Britt

PLCs Plus International, Inc.

tarting your own company is a daunting task no matter what business you’re launching.

But add a 3,000-plus hour work year, no steady pay, and a business that’s based on a fast-moving technology and you could be headed for disaster. That’s what Lee Britt and Mike Hagenston were facing when they started Proactive Logical Solutions, or PALS (which later became PLCs Plus International, Inc.), a local company specializing in industrial automation. The idea for the two pals to form PALS hit Britt like a ton of bricks in 1996 while working for a local engineering company. “We were in a meeting, sitting around the table with most of the guys talking about how they could gouge the big companies, and the things they were coming up with were just wrong,” Britt said, shaking his head at the memory. “It hit me that Mike and I could do the job, do it better, and treat our customers better.” Easier said than done. To do the job, and do it right, turned out to be no small undertaking. Experience wasn’t a problem; both Britt and Hagenston had spent most of their working life in the industry, either employed at one of the big industrial companies they began courting when they started PALS (the two men met while both were working at Chevron), getting on-the-jobtraining in high tech fields (Britt worked as a submarine sailor), or going to college (Hagenston finished his degree in electrical engineering). “Mike’s the one who legitimizes our operation because he’s the only one with an actual college degree,” laughed Britt. The only problem was the insane hours Hagenston and

Britt kept as they worked to get their company off the ground. “That first year was kind of a haze for me,” Britt smiled remembering his long days of developing clients, designing programs to meet their needs, training them to use the systems, billing them, and troubleshooting when necessary. “But Mike and I just kind of sucked it up and did whatever had to be done.” Britt and Hagenston took the challenge in stride, buckled down to keep their core clients (big local names such as Chevron, Grimmway Farms, and Texaco) happy and just kept on working at warp speed. It didn’t take long for the growth of PALS to take off. “Back then the field of industrial automation wasn’t as mature as it is now, so our company began growing pretty quickly,” Britt explained. It was during this initial growth phase that Britt and Hagenston met Mark Surber, who had started his own industrial automation company, Wildhorse Technologies. Surber had a vision of doing things differently; and his “vision” really struck a cord with Britt and Hagenston. The men saw an advantage to combining their efforts with Wildhorse and another company located in Richland, Washington (PLCs Plus, Inc.), so the three companies combined in 1998. “Mark started Wildhorse in September 1996 in Bellingham, Washington and moved it to Bakersfield in May 1997. My personal reasons for merging were primarily for infrastructure. Mark had an office staff [of one] and an actual office. Mike and I worked out of our vehicles for the most part, and I knew that I couldn’t continue to work 60 to 80 hours a week and administer [invoicing, bookkeeping, etc.] the company in my ‘spare’ time. Mark had already been in discussions with Sam Smith >>

If you build your business on trust and positive relationships, the path to success is much smoother. No special knowledge or technology can take the place of good, old-fashioned human interaction, even if you are in the business of automation. / Health 2011 35

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[owner of PLCs Plus], so the merge came together at the right time.” Being in the right place at the right time became almost a business model for the fledgling company during its first years of operation. Formed at a time when industrial automation was just a seed needing cultivation, PLCs Plus had a definite advantage in finding their niche in a growing market. But again, things are seldom as easy as they look. It meant breaking new ground and getting local industries to look at production in a new way, and that’s not an easy thing to do, Britt pointed out. “We found ourselves working as kind of ‘pioneers’ in the industrial automation business. One of our major challenges was getting the operators to buy into the technology. They were leery of automation because they felt they would lose their jobs to robots, so we had to find a way to create a system using their input so they would trust in what we were doing and feel like they were a part of the process.” Trust is a big part of their business, especially when you’re working with leaders in industries such as water, oil and gas, refining and petrochemicals, food and beverage, mining and manufacturing, power and cogeneration, pulp and paper, Britt continued. “When you’re dealing with a company’s industrial design, programming, and data collection systems, you really have the heart of the organization in your hands. You have to establish good working relationships with the people you work with in those companies and you have to instill confidence and trust in what you do. I think that’s something we’ve done very well, establishing the trust factor. That’s what we’ve built our business on.” As PLCs Plus spent the next several years building their client base on trust and good relationships, it soon became obvious that the company would have to add diversification to their long-term business plan. A new company mantra was emerging, and as Britt and Hagenston began looking for ways to fulfill the company’s pledge to customers, “Your Solution is Ready,” new entities were formed. The PLCs Plus family now includes a full-spectrum industrial automation services: PLCs Plus, Advanced Combustion and Process Controls, LLC; Electrical Systems and Instrumen“

If you put your employees first, ” your business will take care of itself. —Bob Riley

tation, Inc. (ESI); FieldVision, Inc., and Well Test Technologies. It’s through this diversification that PLCs Plus is able to offer a wide range of expert services that span the control systems spectrum, Britt said. Each company has skilled people in the areas of industrial design, hardware and software solutions, combustion control technology, electrical systems installation, and precise production data gathering. Although this diversification has put the company on the country’s economic map (in 2010 ESI was ranked 1785 out of Inc. 5000’s ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America), Britt said they may have to do more thinking outside of the box. “My personal feeling is that I feel we’ve built a house of cards. Knock a couple of cards [companies] out from the bottom and the whole thing can go down. I don’t know if we’ve really done diversification that well. We’re in a kind of dangerous position because we’ve really just been reaching for the ‘lowhanging fruit’ by staying within our niche even though we’ve expanded under the PLCs Plus umbrella. We are always planning to step out of our niche, but just haven’t made the leap yet.” Bob Riley, president of ESI, agrees that the PLCs Plus family

Photo courtesy Lee Britt

PLCs Plus Groundbreaking in 2004. (L-R) Mark Surber, Bob Riley, Lee Britt

needs to “get out and diversify across the board,” but is quick to point out there are advantages to growing businesses vertically and within an established niche. “I really think we have our finger on the pulse of our business and react swiftly to changes. We understand the costs of doing business in the industries we serve. We know our client-base well and have established ways of measuring our success to ensure we’re not off course, and can minimize the risk.” And there’s plenty of risk in this economy, Riley continued. “When oil prices dropped, it really affected ESI. But on the positive side, we’ve been able to recruit some great people because of the economy. One of our service managers had his own electrical business over at the coast but was hit hard by the recession and had to close his shop. Of course I’m sorry that he lost his business, but am very glad he’s with us now.” “In an odd way the recession has actually helped PLCs Plus overall,” Britt added. “Anytime there’s a downturn in the economy businesses start relying even more heavily on data. We get the data to management, which they use to drive their business decisions. We’ve also been able to hire quality people—I’m amazed at the quality of people walking through our doors—because of recession.” Britt and Riley speak of their employees in almost a reverential tone. It’s obvious that the employees are the heart and soul of their companies, and employees rate right up there with clients for the PLCs Plus family. “If you put your employees first, your business will take care of itself,” Riley emphasized. “We’ve always kept company culture, with safety, quality, and values at the core of that culture, a high priority,” Britt said. “Sure, we take care of our people with salary and benefits, but with us motivating employees means empowering people, treating them with respect.” “That means we show care and concern for our employees and follow through with the promises we make to them,” Riley added. Their journey hasn’t been any easier than anyone else’s. “There are always risks when you first start out,” Britt concedes, thinking back on those 80-plus hour workweeks with no promise of a paycheck. But if you build your business on trust and positive relationships, the path to success is certainly much smoother, as Britt, Hagenston, and Riley will attest. No special knowledge or technology can take the place of good, old-fashioned human interaction, even if you are in the business of automation. v

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38 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

big taste small price



or 1ess / Health 2011 39



or 1ess Pyrenees Café

601 Sumner St. Pyrenees Café is the perfect place to grab a flavorful Basque lunch on the cheap. It’s all family style in the dining room where they serve up all the traditional Basque favorites but go beyond the set-up with a local lunchtime favorite for just $7.95. The Cowboy Sandwich is a grilled ham and cheese with the surprising kick of Ortega chilies. Yum.

Pyrenees Café Broccoli! The tender beef and sautéed broccoli comes with an appetizer (fried chicken, egg roll, and wonton) and also your choice of fried rice or chow mein and a soup.

volone cheese, sliced dil pickles, caramelized onions, and their delicious homemade BBQ sauce, all wrapped in a fresh Pyrenees sourdough roll. Comes with your choice of side including potato salad, coleslaw, fries, or sweet potato chips just to name a few.

Los Aguacates

Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen Goose Loonies

816 18th St. Dine on this establishment’s traditional Greek cuisine and you won’t be able to leave without shouting opa! For just $9.49 you can fill up on a crisp and tangy Greek Salad. It’s field greens topped with vine ripened tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, kalamata olives, and feta cheese crumbles tossed in olive oil and oregano.

Great Castle

410 Union Ave. Great food, great service, Great Castle! A longtime local favorite, this Chinese restaurant has some of the best eats in town so what are we having for under $10 now? For $8.99, try the Beef and


725 E. 19th St. For over 100 years, this place has been turning out fantastic homemade Italian dishes. But we couldn’t tear ourselves away from the Tri-Tip Sandwich (though it’s not served on Thursdays or Saturdays). It’s only $8.75 and for that you get tender, flavorful tri-tip, lettuce, onion, mustard, and J. Lee Roy’s Dippin’ Sauce, all served on a Pyrenees French Bakery Sourdough or Sweet Dough roll—your choice.

Highland Cafe

2201 N. Chester Ave. Their signature Pulled Pork Sandwich is a must try. For $9.95 you can sink your taste buds into slow smoked and roasted pork topped with pro-

40 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

5764 Stine Rd. and 1329 E. Truxtun Ave. The lunch menu at Los Aguacates will leave you reeling. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. all items are just $8.50. We can’t stop talking about the Seafood Enchiladas with rice and beans. Inside these savory enchiladas, you’ll find shrimp, fish, and crab sautéed with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. To top it off, they are smothered in a white sour cream sauce and avocado and more tomatoes.


215 Niles Pl. This local hangout has all the comfort foods of home. Regulars rave about the Ortega Melt (not the burger). The tri-tip is served on grilled sourdough bread covered with Ortega chili and provolone cheese. It comes with your side of choice: salad, fries, beans, soup, coleslaw, mac and cheese, or potato salad for just $9.


2500 New Stine Rd., #401 This great seafood restaurant has it all—the best part being all the fresh food. Seafood is one of those meals that has to be done right and Seabreeze delivers. For just $8.53, you can dine on perfectly cooked and seasoned Talapia (the

big taste small price

Brimstone Bar at the Padre Hotel

1702 18th St. Casual downtown dining in a chic and casual atmosphere is what you’ll find at the Brimstone Bar. Grab some gourmet American comfort food and stay awhile. We recommend the Vegetable Sandwich which stuffs two slices of toasted wheat berry bread with grill and chill zucchini, roasted red pepper, hummus, basil, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and avocado for $10 even. Talk about a mouthful!

Mossman’s common name for cichlid fish). It comes with your choice of side, too, which include hush puppies, fries, salad, cole slaw, or potato salad.

El Taco Loco

4150 Stine Rd. For only $8, feast on the filling Torta Combo at El Taco Loco. If you haven’t ever tried a torta, you’re missing out. On a soft bun, you get your choice of meat (pork, beef, or chicken) topped with beans, salsa, onion, lettuce, and tomato. The flavors mix and mingle and make a mess—but it’s worth it! The combo also includes a soft taco and a medium drink.

El Portal West Mossman’s

Westchester 1819 30th St. Yes, a Bakersfield bowling alley has some of the best fish and chips in town. Stop in for diner-style eating at perfect lunch prices. While the menu is packed with flavorful choices, we still suggest you grab a basket of Mossman’s famous Fish and Chips for $9.49. Perfectly battered and fried cod and crispy fries (with a little vinegar sprinkled on top!) will have you coming back for more.

The Crest Bar and Grill

5025 Wible Rd. Located in Bakersfield RV Resort, The Crest Bar

110 Calloway Dr., #300 The sibling location to the original, El Portal West offers a similar menu with local favorites in a new and modern atmosphere. With a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. you can stop in for the game or grab lunch any day of the week. We recommend you try their famous Chili Verde in a chimichanga with rice and beans for only $8.95. The pork, simmered in tomatillos and chilies, is tender and flavorful. You can’t go wrong!

Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen

9500 Brimhall Rd., Ste.304 Now this is amore! This deli has true Italian meats and treats. Their sesame sprinkled

Asia Market Teriyaki Bowl

3699 Ming Ave., #H We like to get our teriyaki fix fast and love the combos at Asia Market Teriyaki Bowl. Get a 1-Item Combo for a little over $3. It comes with your choice of either an egg roll or three pot stickers, and a drink (with free refills). A local favorite is the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl and a small fountain drink for $3.99!

Jake’s Tex Mex

1710 Oak St. A local Southwestern staple with a cafeteria concept minus one bad hairnet, plus a whole heap of culinary spice. Perfect for lunchtime, stop in and pile high the fan favorite Taco Salad for only $9.95. It’s your choice of corn chips or tortilla chips, lettuce, pit beef or chicken, salsa, beans, and more. Then you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a giant piece of their legendary Texas sheet cake for only $2.95.

Brimstone Bar at the Padre Hotel and Grill offers patio-fireside dining as well as coach-side service and a casual and welcoming interior dining room. Pull up a chair or an RV and enjoy the Old Crest Drive-In Club with your choice of side for $8.95. This sandwich is stacked with turkey, ham, cheese, and all the fixin’s without costing you a stack of cash.

rolls are the deli’s calling card, but it’s what Caesar’s puts between them that makes our mouths water. For a total flavor experience straight from the old country order the Caesar’s Special. For only $5.49, get two kinds of salami, ham, mortadella, peppercheese, lettuce, mild peppers, and sauce. >> / Health 2011 41



or 1ess LA Pizza Veloz


4001 Rosedale Hwy. We love the family dining atmosphere of Benji’s French Basque restaurant. Go for the Garlic Spaghetti with Basque Sausage (or chicken breast) for only $8.75. The flavor is truly from the old country and the sausage complements the garlic sauce so well. The

LA Pizza Veloz

3605 Mt. Vernon Ave. Make everyone’s favorite cartoon cat jealous when you order the lasagna at LA Pizza Veloz. Get a big piece of savory and extra cheesy lasagna even Gar-

off with mayo, mustard, cheese, and pickle, the savory sandwich comes with garlic potatoes... all for $7.95.

Prime Cut Meats and Eats

9500 Brimhall Rd., #100 Steal away for little southern comfort at the Prime Cut. Warm up with a cup of super savory Chicken and Sausage Soup made with Louisiana flavors and tender chicken or, if you’re really looking for a taste of Cajun life, their Seafood Gumbo for just $3.99! And add an order of their “stinky fries” for another $3.99. What a meal at only $7.98!


field couldn’t finish with two slices of fresh garlic bread and a small green salad for only $6.99. Go for the New York-style Italian fare made from scratch, stay for the family-friendly atmosphere and great prices!

600 Coffee Rd. Family owned, this warm and inviting ristorante serves “real Italian by real Italians.” Just look for the giant tomato above the doors! Have a seat for lunch and have their Lunch Special, a half sandwich (covered in meats, cheeses, lettuce, and tomato) with soup or salad and a drink for only $9.59. We’ll go just for the warm bread on the table!

Mama Roomba

The Orchid

Café Crepes portion is large, but then again, if you have never had leftovers for dinner, you’ve never had Basque for lunch.

Grandview Asian Cuisine

2217 Ashe Rd. Put a little pow in your day and grab the Kung Pao Chicken lunch special for a mere $5.95. The tender chicken, green onions, water chestnuts, and nuts simmer away in a sweet and spicy sauce guaranteed to impress. Grandview offers a rainforest theme dining room and generous portions at affordable prices. Go for a totally different dining experience and try something you can’t pronounce!

1814 Eye St. Make your way into Mama Roomba for some seriously delicious Caribbean tapas. The cozy downtown café is the perfect place for a date and has great prices on delicious and unique food made with spices grown on the Islands. With a great little bar to boot, go for lunch and try the highly recommended Cubano Sandwich. Piled high with pork and a slice of ham topped

42 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

9500 Brimhall Rd., Ste. 501 The easy and modern dining room of The Orchid Thai Fusion lends itself to the dishes of the same description. Stop in for a lunch special any day of the week and fill up on great Thai flavor. We recommend the Ginger Spice Stir Fry (you get your pick of chicken, tofu, or beef) for just $8. We can’t, however, comment on the Sporty Spice and are little afraid of the

big taste small price

tender steak and go perfectly with a little cheese and lemon juice. Stop in for lunch and try them for just $8.95. We love the beautiful dining room and unique, inspired takes on traditional Mexican flavors.

Hungry Hunter

Mill Creek Deli Scary Spice. Still, your stir fry comes with rice on the side, and a sweet salad and egg roll to start with.

The Firehouse

7701 White Ln., #A3 This mega sports bar features décor that pays tribute to the rich history of the Bakersfield Fire Department and you’ll also find food that scores. Try the Truckie Cheesesteak with fries and a pickle for only $9.99. Rich and tender steak strips covered in melty cheeses greet you on each bite. The Firehouse has a huge menu with truckloads of affordable options and a bar with plenty of drinks to put out the fire.

combination. With rave reviews and nearly every item on the menu under $10, is where it’s at.

Mill Creek Deli

700 18th St. It’s everything that’s right with Bakersfield cuisine in one great new deli. Plus, the owners infuse the homey warmth of Basque and Italian style deli favorites into the menu. Warm up this season with a homemade, masterfully-seasoned Meatloaf Sandwich for just $6.95 that’s so good you’ll

3580 Rosedale Hwy. What has melty Swiss cheese, fresh turkey, and coleslaw on grilled rye bread? It’s the Smoked Turkey Rueben at Hungry Hunter and this beast of a sandwich comes with your choice of side. It’s also only $8.99. So don’t forget your appetite when you head out to dine in this eatery’s rustic atmosphere.

La Costa Mariscos

716 21st St. Taste the best flavors of the ocean any time with the Enchilada Del Mar from La Costa Mariscos. Filled with freshly-grilled shrimp, tender and flaky fish, and a savory white creamy del mar sauce, and served with rice and beans, this item is a “catch” at only $7.95. Grab it for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Café Crepes

1028 Truxtun Ave. This cozy downtown café is a beautiful little place to grab a bite. With a wide selection of toasted paninis, and sweet and savory crepes, you can’t go wrong. We also can’t believe their prices. The Filet Mignon Panini is just $6.95! Tender and trés flavorful filet mignon piled high on a grilled panini—there’s no way your mouth isn’t watering right now. Add a Sidewalk Crepe for dessert at $2.95 and you’re still under budget!

Maui Pho Fusion

4011 Ming Ave. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine (with a bit of a twist) never tasted so good. Take a culinary dip into the Far East with a bowl of Pho or, for a heartier dish, order the Maui Fried Rice with beef, pork, and shrimp for only $6.99. Seasoned beef, pork, and shrimp add depth to the flavors of the fried rice for a perfect

Mama Roomba wish you had leftovers to make another meatloaf sandwich the next day.

Red Pepper

2641 Oswell St., #G When a menu item is brought back by popular demand it must be something special! Oscar’s Grilled Steak Tacos at Red Pepper are definitely something special. The tacos are piled high with

Bonnie’s Best

1900 21st St. This place truly offers blue ribbon food in a setting that’ll have you missing your mom’s kitchen. Plus, they’ve got quirky menu items. Miss Home Improvement? Try the Tim Allen, a classic sweet ham sandwich on fresh sourdough. Get a 3/4 sandwich for $6.30 or go for a whole for only $7. >> / Health 2011 43



or 1ess

Moo Creamery

4885 Truxtun Ave. #B Gruyere, cheddar, marble rye, Moo sauce, and caramelized onions on succulent beef stack up to a perfect Patty Melt for only $8.75 at Moo Creamery. The “moodern” take on the classic diner serves up all varieties of the beef lover’s favorites and they make some pretty tempting ice cream creations, too!

Mom ‘n Dems ers. The most aptly named restaurant in town, it’s only fitting that you try their Kabob Sandwich with your choice of meat (lamb, chicken, or beef) cooked on an upright spit and licked perfect by fire for a mere $4.99.

love with this quirky place’s huge selection of healthy and affordable noodle-based favorites. Nearly every item is under $10! Get a plate of Drunken Noodles— broad rice noodles, soy sauce, garlic, meat or tofu, bean sprouts, and various seasonings with a spicy sauce (chile and basil)—for only $8.

Camino Real Restaurant & Bar

3500 Truxtun Ave. Homemade Mexican food with unexpected culinary twists is what you will find at Camino Real. We can’t wait to throw our taste buds a curveball with the Orange Chicken Burrito for only $9.95. It’s chicken, fried golden and marinated in an orange Mandarin sauce, and wrapped up with grilled seasonal veggies in a flour tortilla. Enough said.

Cafe Med Brookside Market and Deli

4700 Coffee Rd. Step into the original Brookside Market and Deli for a refreshing handmade sandwich. With so many things to choose from we like the Create Your Own Sandwich option for just $5.99! And you can pick and choose from all their fresh meats, cheeses, and accoutrements. They also have a number of salad options that are priced by the pound so you can pick up something for the family or just a side for lunch.

Flame and Skewers

5482 California Ave. and 1201 24th St. Enjoy a modern dining atmosphere and seriously delicious Mediterranean food at Flame and Skew-

Mom ‘n Dems

1230 H St., Ste. A Mom ‘n Dems is Louisiana slang for “the whole family” and that’s who will want to eat here when they get a taste of this new eatery’s soul food. If you have never had a French roll stuffed to the gills with fresh fixin’s, now is the time! Get your hands around a Shrimp Po’ Boy for just $7.99. The shrimp is seasoned just right and the roll is soft and absorbs all the juices from the shrimp. It comes with salad or fries, too!

Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar

1534 19th St. Check out what all the buzz is about at the new downtown eatery, The Noodle Bar. People are falling in

44 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Champs BBQ

35315 Merle Haggard Dr. Champs knows after just one taste, you’ll be a fan for life! Real, delicious BBQ done right is what you can expect and for just $9.90 get a whole Pit Beef BBQ Plate with your choice of two of Champs’ mouthwatering sides. We usually go for the macaroni salad and beans. It’s the kind of food that sticks to your ribs and gets sauce all over your smiling face.

Lorene’s Ranch House

6401 Ming Ave. and 1531 23rd St. Stop into Lorene’s for a classic casual dining experience. Many of Lorene’s customers grew up on this diner’s all American eats. It’s a family place, through and through. With a timetested menu you can order with confidence. Might we suggest a classic and customer favorite,

big taste small price

the Izumo Special which includes a California or Spicy Tuna roll, tempura, chicken teriyaki, yakisoba, miso soup, and salad.

Chalet Basque

200 Oak St. Just like a European grandmother, Chalet Basque makes mouthwatering meals that are good for the soul. With $7 and some change, you can feast on the Lamb Dip sandwich! The tender lamb is second to none and the sandwich itself comes with a salad and crispy fries. The fries are perfect for soaking up all the juices from the meat and the savory dipping sauce.

Moo Creamery the Turkey Supreme at only $8.29. One of their #1 sandwiches: it’s got turkey, jack cheese, avocado, diced Ortega chiles, all on sourdough bread that’s been brushed with dijon mustard and grilled.

your choice of meat, and all the traditional layers including beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese for only $5.75!

Thai House

4809 Stockdale Hwy. At Cafe Med, you’ll find a locally proven fine dining experience day or night. Pull up a chair for lunch at their Gourmet Shop and enjoy a Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich, a local favorite, for $6.99. The red peppers are topped with fresh mozzarella, sun-dried

5143 Ming Ave. Thai House brings Bakersfield all the traditional tastes of Thailand right down to the décor. If you love real authentic Thai food or want to try some, this is the place! Stop by for a lunch special that comes with white rice, soup, and salad. There are a lot of dishes to choose from but we recommend the BBQ chicken with Thai Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce for $7.59. You’ll never eat chicken without this sauce again!

Cafe Med


3013 F St. This fantastic Italian eatery will fill you up without emptying your wallet—but you’ll love the food so much you’ll want to keep eating, long after you’re full. While all the dishes are flavorful and traditional, we say the Rigatoni (for only $9.05) is the best bet. Perfectly spiced sauce over perfectly cooked noodles. Plus, you get soup or salad and freshly-baked bread with your order.

24th Street Cafe

1415 24th St. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or brunch, 24th Street Cafe won’t steer you wrong. A friendly local atmosphere will have you calling yourself a regular in no time flat. And did we mention they’re consistently serving up great bites? If you wake up hungry, you have to try the Tri-Tip and Cheddar Cheese Omelette. The tri-tip is perfectly seasoned and tender and the melty cheddar will give it just the right kick. Get it topped off with avocado for a total of $8.99.

Cactus Valley

4215 Rosedale Hwy. This Rosedale staple has been serving up delicious Mexican food in a festive atmosphere since 1993. Catch live music on Saturdays or head in for lunch and order the #1: a Flour Tostada stacked with

Thai House tomato aioli, lettuce, tomato, and onion—all on a rustic roll. Add soup or salad for only $1.99 more for a gourmet lunch at just about $9.

Izumo Japanese Restaurant & Sushi

4212 Ming Ave. When the sushi is good, word gets around. And Izumo Japanese Restaurant is a place you will want to tell your friends about. For just $7.90, get

Uricchio’s Trattoria

1400 17th St. In the tradition of an authentic Italian trattoria, guests are met with a warm and friendly atmosphere in this long-loved downtown restaurant. Take a seat and enjoy their great service for lunch or dinner. If you’re heading in for the midday meal, we suggest getting the Half Sandwich (Italian, of course) with soup or salad for just $8.95. >> / Health 2011 45

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or 1ess

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3310 Truxtun Ave., Ste. 160 Fine dining for $10? Yes, it’s possible at this local staple for high-end French cuisine. Bag a Beef and Brie Baguette, a sandwich full of tender beef smothered in gooey Brie cheese for $10 on the money or grab a $6 serving of the soup du jour. Either way, you will feel fancy and full.

Victor’s Mexican Grill

6500 Brimhall Rd., Ste. 504 This new restaurant is quickly becoming a local favorite, offering quick and tasty burritos, tacos, salads, and more. We recommend wrapping your hands around a Chicken Burrito for $5.75. The chicken is spiced to perfection and the burrito itself is filled with traditional complementary fixin’s. With a price that low you can throw in chips and guacamole for only $2.45.

Shake ‘n Buns

2517-A White Ln. This is a different kind of drive thru. The new burger joint is causing quite a stir with giant savory burgers and loaded sides. But we’re a big fan of their California Chicken Sandwich. It’s a boneless fried chicken breast with Swiss cheese, bacon, avocado, and shredded lettuce on a toasted bun. And it comes with a medium fry and a drink.

Happy Chopstix

4725 Panama Ln., #D8 Let Happy Chopstix put a smile on your face with one of their generouslyportioned combos. At a price that will make you happy, try the Combo B for only $4.59! Seems a little generic, sure, but you get to pick two delicious items (we suggest the Mushroom Chicken and the Mongolian Beef) and your plate is topped off with a heap of fried rice and/or chow mien. Don’t forget the medium drink! v


Cyndi Burwell, Rick Stevens

American Sound Recording Studios


cutting your own CD. Take music lessons, ret one point or another, most of us have cord your next album or demo, transfer your fantasized about being a famous singer. ASR Studios will be classic vinyl to CD, have your next birthday We’’®ll sing in the shower or in our car, but re-opening the Green party, and even record a music video all in that’’®s the extent of it. That’’®s where AmeriRoom Café, catered one great location. can Sound Recording Studios (ASR Studios) by Hot `N`’ Smokin` ¤Kids can bring their friends and enjoy food comes in. BBQ Catering Co. The and fun by recording songs by their favorite Owned by Cyndi Burwell & Brad Peters, menu will include great artists,¤ Stevens explained. ¤For adults we two supporters of our music industry, ASR Tri-Tip, Ribs, Brisket, provide any type of recording such as speStudios is a totally new and all-inclusive apChicken, and several proach to studio recording. If you can dream cial messages for birthdays, a love song for side dishes. Valentine’®’ s Day, a special Christmas message it, the staff there can help you. sent as a recording, or any occasion, including ¤We offer all of the traditional service of a ASR Studios can what we call a `Lifetime of Memories`’ party professional recording studio and more,¤ said perform almost any where families come together and tell stories ASR Studios General Manager Rick Stevens. transfer needed. In about their pasts.¤” ¤Professional musicians from all over the The session is recorded and a photo of the United States have visited us either in person some cases, they can family taken that day is pressed on the disc or through our web site.¤ Stevens has been in even clear up older so the family’®’ s history is preserved forever. It the music industry all his life to some capacity recordings, so you can can even be videotaped. and came to manage ASR Studios a year and have more clarity to Already, there are numerous highlights a half ago. the sound. for Stevens and the staff. ¤We’®’ve had faIt’’®s hard to believe the company is only mous entertainers pass through but the true three years old based on all it offers. The facilhighlights are working with people in our ity has three studios in a 10,000 square foot, 2231 R Street community. We get to play such a fun role state-of-the-art building, and the ASR Studios Bakersfield, CA 93301 in making someone’®’s dream come true.¤ staff can take you from singing in your car to 661-864-1701

CURRICULUM VITAE / Health 2011 47


Pictured: G. Balasubramaniam, M.D.; B. Brenner, M.D.; J. Findley, M.D.; H. Irani, M.D.; T. Kannappan, M.D.; Mac McNeill; Kathleen Allman; Jon Van Boening; Jessica Hanson; V. Phillips, M.D.; G. Stainer, M.D.; E.W. Taylor, M.D.; G. Zerlin, M.D.; J. Zimmerman, D.P.M. Not pictured: S. Arya, M.D.; J. Buxton, M.D.; A. Castellarian, M.D.; K. Finberg, M.D.; B. Hernandez, M.D.; G. Klis, M.D.; D. Lewis, M.D.; R. Rodriguez, M.D.; S. Srour, M.D.; M. Tivnon, M.D.; J. Upadhyaya, M.D.; K. Wong, M.D.; Bruce Peters

Millennium Surgery Center, Inc.


ince opening its doors 12 years ago, Millennium Surgery Center, Inc. (MSCI) has been a local multi-specialty ambulatory power house. With a highly trained and dedicated team of 55 outstanding professionals and state-of-theart equipment, MSCI is Medicare Certified and AAAHC Accredited. All of MSCI®s nurses are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. There are 79 physicians credentialed to use the facility. ¤When we opened, we lived and breathed ‘`Putting the care back in healthcare.`’ Now we are keeping the care in healthcare,¤ said CEO Kathleen Allman. Allman is a registered nurse with a Master of Science in Administration—Health Care Management from CSUB and holds a credential as a Certified Administrator Surgery Center. MSCI is a member of the National Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, which does a great deal of work with Medicare and federal regulations. The Center®s memberships also include the California Ambulatory Sur-

“There are 22 physician shareholders and one hospital shareholder. In 12 years, Millennium Surgery Center has performed over 95,000 procedures. The staff priorities are “mutual respect, quality service, continued education, and teamwork.”

9300 Stockdale Hwy, #200 Bakersfield, CA 93311 661-663-3700

48 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals


gery Association for which Allman has been on the board of directors since 2010. ¤I adamantly believe that all ASCs should be licensed by the state. There is no transparency issue with having a state license. The public should be aware of the credentials of any facility. The public deserves to know they are safe,¤ explained Allman. MSCI has performed over 95,000 procedures in Otolaryngology, General Surgery, Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Podiatry, Pain Management, and Plastic Surgery. At MSCI, the staff aims to keep healthcare affordable while maintaining top notch quality. MSCI participates in ASCA, CASA, and AAAHC quality benchmarking and has had an active Quality Assurance Performance Improvement Program since its doors opened. ¤We have an extremely low to nil infection rate. We track all quality issues, and education is a continuous process at the facility,¤ explained Allman, adding that the staff priorities are “mutual respect, quality service, continued education, and teamwork.”

Photo by alexomega photography


Si TV’s Jammin ’ Battle of the Bands

Reality Stars Oh, reality television. We love to hate you and we hate to love you. No matter which way you phrase it, the drama, the over-the-top challenges, and the heated competitions keep us glued to our TVs several nights a week, mainly because we’re secretly hoping for a cat fight. And it’s even harder to pull our eyes from the TV set when someone from Bakersfield is in the running. The outcome doesn’t matter (though the amount of contestant drama certainly does)—these local reality TV survivors experienced the 15 minutes of fame we all crave...and lived to tell the tale.

terviewing was really kind of stressful for everybody at first, then we let loose and hammed it up a little bit. “It seemed pretty big budget when we were down there, but when the final product came out, we were like, ‘It’s no American Idol,’ ” joked Powers. Three years later, Velorio just wrapped up a nation-wide tour, has been working in the studio, and is releasing a new album, as well as regularly rocking the socks off their many local fans. Powers feels that the real benefit of being on the show was the experience they gained as a band working in a professional environment. “For us it was like a new echelon of band,” he explained. Although

Velorio ~ Si TV’s Jammin’ Battle of the Bands Velorio is a name you will hear around town in local venues where loyal fans flock to hear latin-infused rock. The Bakersfield band was a fan favorite when they appeared on the first season of Si TV’s Jammin’ Battle of the Bands in 2008. The show began with an online contest in which bands would generate a fan base for the show and the top 15 moved on from there. The next round included a video submission and Velorio was then picked in the top six to come to L.A. and be a part of the show. The top six bands were given a per diem and Si TV “really gave us the star treatment I guess you could say,” said Eric Powers of Velorio. Each day was packed with an itinerary of rehearsals and performances. In the next rounds Sheila the bands battled in headHeninger to-head competitions. Velorio Cupcake made it to the top four, and then Wars the top two. “It was the first time we’d ever done anything with the media, it was definitely a learning experience for everybody,” said Powers, adding, “In-

they accumulated a lot of new fans, for Velorio, the experience trumps the exposure. Sheila Heninger ~ Cupcake Wars At Frosting, Ink locals can find specialty treats and killer cupcakes. Sheila Heninger put those frosted dreams to the test when she accepted the invitation from Food Network to compete on a season two episode of its hit show Cupcake Wars. The whole episode was filmed in one day and Heninger had to prepare several different cupcakes. The first round, she was given three mystery ingredients and had to include them all in one cupcake. The result was a drunken blueberry cupcake that got her to the next round where she was able to make three cupcakes of whatever flavors she liked, decorated in the episode’s “weddings” theme. Heninger made two cupcakes she knew well and tried a third in a new recipe she had never made before. The second round proved to be her downfall as she struggled with a new cupcake recipe. Although they had 40 minutes to prepare the cupcakes Heninger said, “it felt like two.” Heninger, who was a fan of the show before said, “If it looks easy, it’s not. It’s really really hard; your adrenaline is just going. “We were really bummed that we didn’t take home the $10,000 prize,” said Heninger who appeared on the show with her daughter. >> / Health 2011 49

Ruth May Losing It With Jillian

Photo courtesy Ruth May

When the episode aired, Frosting, Ink held a premier at Sandrini’s. Customers, family, and friends came to support Heninger. As for the final product? “I thought they did a really good job, it was edited really nice for me,” she said. Overall it was a positive experience for Heninger who explained that in trying to overcome the judges critique, she’s learned to be true to herself. She also has realized that a loss doesn’t mean people don’t come in from all over the state to try the cupcakes from Cupcake Wars. Ruth May ~ Losing It With Jillian In 2010, the May family was cast for the very first episode of Biggest Loser trainer, Jillian Michaels’ own weight loss show. Michaels is known for her extreme approach and she took May and her three children to the BC stadium for their first and most difficult workout. “I think she was trying to find our limits,” said May. Before the show, May set a goal. “I had told myself I was going to do everything she asked me to,” she said, “I never once told her no.” All of the filming with Michaels was done in one week and even in that short period of time, May found that Michaels’ inyour-face tactics were hard to deal with. “She does it because she really cares,” explained May, “but people deserve more respect.” After Michaels left, the May family was put on a strict diet and exercise plan to follow until the cameras returned three months later for the final results. As a longtime nurse, May knew that her extreme regimen was not a sustainable plan for the long term. “The only thing I had time for was work, the gym, and sleep,” she said. Despite May’s disappointment with the weight loss strategy, a major highlight for her was meeting chef Curtis Stone. The hunky celebrity chef met May out at Murray Family Farms where he showed her about shopping local and 50 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

then came to her house to cook with the May family. Since the episode wrapped, May still struggles with weight, but she has been able to evaluate the way she was eating and the way she cooks. When the show aired May saw how sensationalized the show was, but she knows it was all for good TV. “I can joke about it. I am an upbeat person and it hasn’t changed how I look at life.” Amy Adams ~ American Idol Amy Adams was America’s pink-haired sweetheart and Bakersfield’s own contestant on American Idol in 2004. In her final audition for the show she showed the celeb judges her big personality and even had Simon smiling. When the real show began, Adams recently shared, it was nonstop work and the contestants were together all the time. “We were always going, all the time,” she said. As for performing in front of 30 million viewers each week, Adams explained, “You can’t really imagine 30 million people so I thought, ‘I’m singing to the room here and that’s it.’ ” Adams went on to the final 10 and was voted off on the fourth week of the show. On heading home Adams said, “It was refreshing. I was emotionally exhausted. I went there to make it to the top ten, to make it on the tour.” She accomplished her Idol goals and has been reaching even more since. Adams spent a year on a national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which came to an end when she had a vocal hemorrhage. In 2009 Adams co-founded the Garden Pathways Singing Camp to offer local children an opportunity to be mentored through the arts and has continued the program for the last three years. The summer intensives are a way for Adams to use her talent to bring something to the community she loves so much. “I am a Bakersfield girl through and through,” she said.

Amy Adams American Idol

Photos courtesy Amy Adams

Reality Stars

Sundai Love

Adams will be releasing her first album this December. She has also been singing in Vegas for the past four months with a long-term contract for Cirque de Soleil’s La Reve, the water spectacular. So how does Adams do it all? “With the power of positive thinking I always get success,” she said.

Photos Provided by Sundai Love

America’s Next Top Model

Sundai Love ~ America’s Next Top Model Sundai Love is not your average model. She isn’t a human sky-scraper, and the girl can act. She was Bakersfield’s own contestant on the 13th cycle of a show you might have heard of: America’s Next Top Model. She had the unusual experience of living in the house provided by the show with the other contestants. “It wasn’t as big as it seemed, and we were hardly ever home,” Love said. As for the pace of the show, she said, “everything went by really fast, we never had a day off.” Each episode was filmed over the course of a week. The girls would have lessons, compete in challenges, and then film the judges panel at the end of the week where a five-minute elimination was actually an all-day process. Love made it all the way to the top five models, and she was actually in every single episode except for the finale. Although she didn’t take home the top prize, the show was a valuable experience. “Getting that first foot in the door is the hardest part,” said Love. And the show afforded her that opportunity. Today, Love has been working hard as a full-time model and actress and also finishing her degrees in business and political science and CSUB. “I said if I could do both full-time, I will do it,” she said of her full schedule. Although she is extremely busy, she has landed an exciting campaign as the new face of Coca Cola, and the face of both Jordana and Milani Cosmetics. You can also catch her in action as a coach on the MTV series Made. She is still modeling, but steering clear of the runway while she pursues her dream of an acting career. “It’s twenty times harder than modeling,” laughed Love. v

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Health Care Reform Update Since the Patient Protecrequirement back to the caltion and Affordable Care endar year 2012, so employAct (“PPACA”) became ers will not need to report law over a year ago, many anything until January 2013 changes have occurred, and at the earliest. Small employthe debate about the law’s ers (those that filed fewer than constitutionality continues 250 W-2 forms the prior year) in the courts. This article exwill not be required to report plains the appeals in process the cost of health care coverand also provides an update age prior to January 2014. on some of the developments *Non-discrimination: BeBy Robin Paggi to PPACA. fore PPACA became law, According to local health care attorney self-insured health plans were prohibited Brandie Gasper, a number of lawsuits from discriminating in favor of highly comhave been filed nationwide challenging pensated employees, but nothing prevented the constitutionality of PPACA. Most of insured health plans from favoring the same these lawsuits challenge the individual employees. PPACA changed this with a mandate provision of the law, which is provision that prohibits insured plans from the portion of PPACA that requires indi- discriminating in favor of highly compenviduals to have health care coverage as of sated employees. This PPACA provision January 1, 2014, and provides that those would have been effective for all plan years individuals who do not have health care beginning on or after September 23, 2010, coverage as of this date will face a tax pen- but in late 2010, the IRS delayed the effecalty. (PPACA exempts certain individuals, tive date of this provision until the agency including those qualifying individuals fac- can issue regulatory guidance on it. Even ing financial hardship, from the individual then, the IRS has indicated that it will likely mandate requirement.) Thus far, the Sixth, allow for a good-faith compliance period Eleventh, and District of Columbia Cir- following the issuance of regulations. *Exchanges. Many states, including cuits have considered the issue. The Sixth and District of Columbia Circuits upheld California, are actively creating the health the law, and the Eleventh Circuit struck it care coverage exchanges. The idea of the down. The Obama administration declined exchanges is that they will allow indito request an en banc appeal by the Elev- viduals and small businesses to band toenth Circuit, and will appeal the adverse gether for better prices and bargains than ruling directly to the Supreme Court in- what they would otherwise have power stead. We can expect the Supreme Court to to negotiate. California has passed state laws creating an exchange, and appointed rule on the issue in 2012. In addition to the always-evolving news board members to serve on the exchange. regarding the status of the PPACA ap- The board recently began holding weekly peals, the Department of Labor, Internal public meetings, at which anyone can parRevenue Service, Department of Health ticipate via phone or internet, to decide the and Human Services, and other affected details and rules for the exchange. In all, it has been a busy year for those agencies have been busy issuing regulations, giving us greater detail as to com- following PPACA developments. It is pliance requirements, and in some cases, important for those affected by the new delaying the effective dates of PPACA law’s requirements, especially employprovisions. Examples of some of the new ers, to ensure that they are compliant with the ever-changing law. This comdevelopments are set forth below: *W-2 Reporting: Previously, PPACA re- pliance will become more important, quired that employers include in the W-2 and likely more complicated, as we near form of each employee the aggregate costs 2014, when the remaining provisions of of employer-sponsored health coverage that PPACA take effect. is excludable from the employees’ gross income for tax years starting in 2011. Earlier Contact Robin Paggi MA, SPHR-CA, CPLP at this year, the IRS pushed the W-2 reporting KDG HR Solutions. (661) 328-5267

52 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals





KernHealth Since healthcare is a field that is constantly growing and changing, it’s important to stay on top of how those changes can affect you and your family. That’s no easy task. But that’s why Bakersfield Magazine is proud to present our 14th Annual KernHealth Issue. We talked to the hospital administrators, doctors, and nurses who are heading up our community’s healthcare and discovered the information you need to know to stay up to date. Talk about hitting the bullseye.

targeting your healthcare Proudly Presented by / Health 2011 53

54 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals / Health 2011 55

56 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Mercy Southwest Hospital

Kern Health



Quality :: Care


Healthcare is always changing and the medical community here is not exempt. Bakersfield area hospitals have made tremendous strides over the last year by developing new programs and remodeling to fit the needs of a growing community. So while 2011 was a big year, 2012 looks to be just as exciting.

Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield The past year has brought a number of changes to the campuses of Mercy Hospital and Mercy Southwest. As Scott Thygerson, Vice President of Business Development, explains, there are more changes ahead. “We are adding on to the Mercy Southwest Emergency Department,” Thygerson said. “It’s a very busy facility and the community in that area of town is growing, so we’re growing that department.” Scheduled to be completed in early 2012, the construction will add eight patient rooms, among otherKlaus facility enhancements. Ironman The Mercy campus on Truxtun will be seeBenamy-Hackell ing some changes, as well. The layout of the front entrance will shift so that admitting is done where more people enter the hospital and the chapel will be redesigned and relocated to where the admitting desk is now. “We’ve also joined the Spirit of Women Network,” added Thygerson. This move was to complement the work Mercy Hospitals already do for the women in Bakersfield. In October, the hospital hosted an event called “Girls Night Out,” which offered health education to 500 women in the Bakersfield area. Sandy Doucette, Marketing Manager for Mercy Hospitals, said there will be another Spirit of Women event in February. In addition to new construction and partnerships, Mercy also saw growth in existing programs. “We added to our Orthopedic Clinic, so that services now include spine surgery,” Thygerson said. “Dr. George Wahba joined us in September. These types of services continue to grow to meet the needs of our community.” This summer saw the installation of The

Mercy Hospital

Healing Garden at Mercy. “It’s a family respite,” Thygerson explained. “We were able to design this landscaped area thanks to a substantial gift from the Diane S. Lake Foundation and the help of Dan Monji. It’s the only one of its kind in Kern County.” Bakersfield Memorial Hospital One might think that after the long-awaited Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) opened in spring 2011, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital’s team would be satisfied with its growth for the year. Not so, explained Gary Frazier, Memorial’s Vice President of Business Development. As many residents have noticed, Memorial is in the process of building a new front entrance, named the Hans E. Einstein, M.D. Pavilion. “The new entrance will meet several needs,” Frazier said. “It will be a more efficient area for patients and family to navigate, in addition to being a state-of-the-art structure that complements the construction we’ve done in year’s past. It’s a multi-phase project, scheduled to be completed in early 2012.” The hospital will stay open during all phases of construction. Physical changes aren’t the only new things for Memorial. “We are two years into our Patient & >> / Health 2011 57

Family Centered Care initiative. We founded this because everyone knows it’s not just one person involved in healthcare—the family is involved in a patient’s care. We’ve created family-centered care councils comprised of former patients, family members, staff, and physicians and they discuss ways to improve the experience here for families and patients.” Frazier explained these initiatives come from Memorial’s desire to provide all-encompassing care. Other big news for Memorial includes construction on a biplane suite that will expand their catheterization lab (cath lab) so it will incorporate advanced imaging technology for MRIs and CT scans. “This will allow doctors to see multiple angles with just one exposure,” Frazier said of the 3D technology. “It’s safer for the patients—there’s less radiation time. It’s necessary for the pediatric patients and for emergency surgeries. We’ll be able to do even more for patients this way.” Frazier expects the remodel, which began in November, will be completed in a year. San Joaquin Community Hospital San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) has had a year of exciting announcements and big plans. “There have been some very interesting happenings with our Grossman Burn Care Center,” said Vice President of Marketing and Development Jarrod McNaughton. “When we looked at the initial projections and saw a need for a burn care center, we didn’t expect that the need was actually three times greater than what was reported.” This year saw the first use of tissue expanders in burn care patients for this community. The success of this new treatment is encouraging as SJCH looks to continue expanding the Burn Care Center services. Along with new awards for SJCH’s accredited Stroke Program and accredited Chest Pain Center, the hospital’s brand new cath lab suites are also working with a Penumbra device that can remove clots in the brain with a catheter that’s threaded through the heart. There will also be a new Interventional Radiology Suite and a new MRI with a larger bore, which results in less claustrophobia for patients. “Because of how successful these new suites have been and how well people have responded, we’re looking to grow outpatient imagery elsewhere on the campus,” McNaughton added. San Joaquin Community Hospital

58 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

Photo Courtesy bakersfield memorial hospital

Quality Care

Perhaps the most apparent update this year is the addition of free valet parking for patients and visitors. “We wanted to alleviate headaches for people. The parking area is always so busy we wanted to facilitate the way people enter the hospital,” he continued. The hospital will soon begin construction on a second floor waiting room and it is waiting on state approval to remodel the cafeteria. These additions are just a small part of the big changes SJCH will be seeing in years to come, including the possibility of a new patient tower. Kern Medical Center The past year was eventful for Kern Medical Center (KMC). In August, the hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of their Best Regional Hospitals. They ranked in two specialities: Ear, Nose, and Throat, as well as Gynecology. On the operational level, the hospital also began effectively using an electronic records system. “We went live in May of 2011,” said Paul Hensler, the hospital’s CEO. Patients have seen changes in the amount of time it takes to either receive test results or a prescription and physicians and staff have an easier time accessing records. “In the near future,” Hensler continued, “we’ll be installing a product by Nuance called Dragon Speech Recognition Software that will allow our clinical staff to interact with the new records system with voice recognition. It’s a very sophisticated system that, among other things, allows for instantaneous approval on dictation and patient notes.” “This new system will be much more efficient for re-admissions or turnaround clinic visits,” Hensler added. This year has also been one of academic advancement. KMC helped bring together a community medical conference that encouraged youth to work hard and enter the medical profession. Also, in its joint objective with UCLA, KMC works to educate bright kids in the Central Valley, and get them into speciality programs at UCLA for training so that they can then come back and work in Kern County. Additionally, KMC is pairing with UCLA on a Geriatric Medicine program, training physicians in geriatric specialities and bringing that information back to Kern to disseminate. Hensler is hopeful this will lead to a joint center for geriatric medicine that will provide training and education for residents on specialties associated with that demographic.

grades, being ranked in the top 20 in California for Interventional Coronary Care, and being ranked as one of the top 100 hospitals in the entire nation for Cardiac Care. The hospital was once again recognized in the top 10 precent in the nation for patient safety.

Kern Medical Center Bakersfield Heart Hospital It’s been another year of progress for Bakersfield Heart Hospital (BHH). “We continue to focus on patients and the needs of the community,” said Randy Rolfe, the hospital’s president. “It’s always been our goal to provide excellent service.” The emergency room at BHH remains busy and the hospitalist program that was instituted a little over a year ago has been very successful. “Big news this year is the addition of an endocrinology specialist at the hospital,” Rolfe explained. Jasleen Duggal, MD, FACP is a fellowship-trained physician specializing in the endocrine system, including diabetes and diabetes-related diseases. She just completed a fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center/UCLA and is here in Bakersfield addressing a large need. “With Dr. Duggal’s skills, Bakersfield Heart Hospital is able to provide key services to patients here in Kern County,” Rolfe added. “And we are developing more programs and services for diabetes.” This year also saw the installation of another new cath lab, more specifically the GE 3100. Radiologists, vascular surgeons, and cardiologists will be able to study small, peripheral veins and diagnose any abnormalities. “It was our third new cath lab in twenty-four months,” Rolfe explained. The reason? There is a great need in Bakersfield for diagnostic equipment when it pertains to interventional radiology. The hospital is growing to accommodate the needs here. The hospital’s efforts this past year have been recognized. The 2010-2011 year saw even more awards and accolades including another five-star rating for the treatment of heart attacks from HealthBakersfield Heart Hospital

Good Samaritan Hospital Noel Cabezzas, COO, said that this past year has been good for Good Samaritan Hospital’s two campuses. “The good news for 2011 is that we started the only Central California Gero-Psychiatric unit. This is the only specialized unit for the treatment of psychiatric disorders in the elderly in our area. In previous years, people would have to travel south of Los Angeles or to Stockton,” Cabezzas explained. The Gero-Psychiatric unit opened a little over seven months ago on the Olive Drive campus. “The reason for that program is clear—there was a need in Central California as previously, no hospital had a dedicated unit providing services for this population. And the elderly population is the fastest growing population in the United States.” Also exciting is the fact that Good Samaritan also has the largest Children’s Psychiatric Unit in the Central Valley with 30 assigned beds for children as young as five. “The unit continues to treat children from Bakersfield as well as surrounding counties.” Good Samaritan also refurbished the surgical suites at the Olive Drive campus last year and Cabezzas explained that this year Good Samaritan Hospital

they’ve seen positive results. “The great thing is that we are able to accommodate any surgeries without a waiting list.” That addition was facilitated by the arrival of a new surgical/medical director who started October 30 and is helping with the expansion of the suites as well as making sure that the doors are open to other surgeons in the community. The big news is that Good Samaritan is currently in negotiation to expand its in-house imaging services. “These expanded areas of the hospital and new programs have allowed, and will allow, us to serve a need in this community. We are seeing positive results because the hospital can meet the demands of our growing city.” HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital “This year was a banner year for education and expansion,” explained Sandra Hegland, RN, MBA, and CEO of HealthSouth. Along with Tara deMontmorency, the director of marketing operations, Hegland described ways HealthSouth is looking to continue growing in 2012. >> / Health 2011 59

Quality Care

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Center

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“We’re in the process of receiving state approval to convert some internal space into six more patient beds,” Hegland began. The goal in the coming year is to look to build on to the facility to create an additional 20-35 beds. “HealthSouth is at the point where we’re having to turn patients away because we’re at maximum occupancy,” deMontmorency explained. “The goal is to keep a community focus in all the things we spend our time, money, and energy on,” Hegland said. The big success story was the growth of the pulmonary program over the course of this year. While HealthSouth is an accredited stroke rehabilitation hospital, they’ve also sought ways to provide the community with additional clinical needs. The pulmonary program falls into this category by educating patients and families about respiratory therapies and rehab techniques that will enable a patient to live a better life. The program has taken off and its anticipating accreditation by the Joint Commission in early spring of next year. “We want to make sure our patients with lung disease are able to manage their condition and learn about their triggers so they’re functioning at the highest level outside of the hospital,” added Hegland. HealthSouth recruited two physicians to act as program directors to head the spinal cord injury program and the brain injury program. In the coming year, HealthSouth hopes to be partnering with California Children’s Services to help care for the older teenagers that don’t have the resources to pay for rehabilitation care after accidents or brain injuries. KERNHEALTH

renderings courtesy San Joaquin Community Hospital

Kern Health


It wasn’t very long ago that the term “cancer” was thought of as a dirty word. The reason so many people refused to talk about cancer was because there was little doctors could do for someone diagnosed. It was better not to acknowledge it. As research produced cancer-fighting drugs,

We’re Here : to Fight


new technology to detect tumors in earlier stages, and Klaus specialists who understood this Ironman complex disease, Benamy-Hackellmore people were successfully fighting and beating cancer. As a result, survivors, families of survivors, and families of those who’ve lost the battle won’t hesitate to stand up against the disease. They’ll walk, run, donate, and rally in the name of cancer research. Nowhere is that more apparent than here in Bakersfield, where we annually host one of the largest turnouts for Relay for Life in the world. In 2011 alone, Bakersfield Relay for Life raised $2 million! In addition to having a generous community, we also have amazing oncologists, cancer centers, and hospital-based cancer facilities available for those in our area affected by the disease. The Florence R. Wheeler Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital continues to provide quality care, as does the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center. The big news for cancer care this year is that San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) will be building a complete cancer care facility on their campus. “This has been in the works for over two years,” explained Jarrod McNaughton,

SJCH’s Vice President of Marketing. “The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is consulting on the project.” That says a lot about how dedicated SJCH is to the facility as for seven of the past nine years, including 2010, MD Anderson has ranked number one in cancer care in the “America’s Best Hospitals” survey published by U.S. News & World Report. “As with our other programs and facilities,” McNaughton said, “we want to create a very unique patient experience with the highest quality care and service.” The Cancer Center, as the facility will be known, is going to be a four-story building. The first floor will be comprised of radiation and oncology services including three vaults to house radiation equipment. McNaughton is proud to announce that SJCH’s Cancer Center will house a TrueBeam Linear Accelerator (from Varian), the latest and one of the most advanced radiotherapy technologies in the world for treating cancer. It uses both radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments. “TrueBeam delivers more flexible cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision, ease, and speed. We will be one >> / Health 2011 61

We’re Here to Fight

of only three other cancer centers in the state that utilizes that technology.” The second floor, McNaughton explained, will be used for medical oncology and will also house a boutique for cancer

Inside SJCH’s new Cancer Center

“From valet to registration to treatment and clinic visits, we want the Cancer Center to be for the patient; they are at the center of all the care we do.” —Jarrod McNaughton, San Joaquin Community Hospital

patients to shop. There will be hair pieces, prosthetics, and various accessories for people to look good and feel better. The third floor will be primarily office space and the fourth floor will be for outpatient surgery. There will be four suites and a total of 17 beds. “With this building, one of the goals is the design process— for this to be a true patient center,” McNaughton elaborated. “From valet to registration to treatment and clinic visits, we want the Cancer Center to be for the patient; they are at the center of all the care we do. We want it to be efficient and welcoming for them. “Metropolitan Bakersfield is a large area and when you look at the out-migration for cancer care (one in five patients will leave for treatment), you realize that there is a need.” The Cancer Center will complement the treatment centers already in Bakersfield. Look for the construction to be completed by October 2012. One thing is for sure, Bakersfield has a handle on cancer care. Gone are the days of tiptoeing around the word “cancer.” We’re here to fight. KERNHEALTH 62 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Kern Health

KERN MIDWIVES : Long before a woman feels that first contraction there are decisions to be made. “What should I be eating?” “What theme should the nursery be?” “Do we want to know the sex of the baby?” From the moment all signs point to positive on the pregnancy test, the decision-making begins.

Home Birth By Tracie Grimes

Fun decisions, like what color to paint the nursery walls and how many of those cute little onesies you’ll need to fill up the baby’s armoire don’t usually take a lot of time. But the really big decisions, like the who, what, where, and hows of Ironman your prenatal, Klauslabor, delivery, and post-natal care, should be given ample consideration. Benamy-Hackell “Most people probably spend more time looking into what kind of car or computer they are going to buy than they do on the birth of their child,” chuckles Wendy Gonzales, a Bakersfield mother of three who changed her whole approach to the way she would give birth after spending time on research. When Gonzales gave birth to her oldest daughter Cadence in 2003, she did it the way most American women do it these days; in the hospital under a doctor’s care. But by the time her second daughter, Elliott, joined the Gonzales family, Gonzales and her husband Nick had decided to go a different route. An athome delivery with a midwife attending was their birth plan of choice. “I wanted a different experience,” she says. “I read a book by Ina May Gaskin [founder of the Farm Midwifery Center in Tennessee and past president of the Midwives’ Alliance of North America] that really opened my eyes to alternative methods of childbirth. The book really clarified a lot of what happens during the birthing process and why it happens, and

I decided I really wanted to experience my child’s birth this time.” And to Gonzales, experiencing her child’s birth meant no IV lines, no monitors, and no epidural. “With Cadence I was hooked up to a monitor, had an epidural, pitocin, and because the epidural affected my ability to push had to have a vacuum extraction. There was a lot of medical intervention with my first birth. With Elliott being born at home with a midwife, things went so much more smoothly and were definitely much more laid-back. And when I found out I was pregnant with my son Oliver (born in April), I knew I wanted a home birth again.” “Comparing midwifery with conventional medical delivery is like comparing apples and oranges,” offers LaMonica Bryant, LM, the midwife who delivered Gonzales’ son, Oliver. “They’re both still fruit, but have different textures and taste. “I think understanding that a woman’s body was made to give birth and giving women the time and space to do what their body was made to do is an important part of understanding midwifery,” continues Bryant, who’s helped in the delivery of over 300 babies (and counting). She’s also delivered seven of her own children (with number eight on the way) at home with the help of a midwife. “Ninety percent of giving birth is mental. Women have to understand and accept what’s going on with their bodies and give in to it.” >> / Health 2011 63

Home Birth

body told her what to do and she listened to her body so she could deliver that baby.” That’s the whole point of the midwife model of care: giving in to what the body wants to do and was designed to do, Bryant emphasizes. “I want to give the woman the time she needs to allow the birthing process to happen naturally. It’s important that she accept and understand what’s happening to her body, and if she’s hooked up to monitors that make it necessary for her to stay in bed, that interferes with the pro-

LaMonica Bryant, LM

Wendy Gonzales and family

Understanding is the core of the midwife’s philosophy to birth. And their view of birth being a normal life event that can take place in a calm, natural way, is a system that’s been in place for centuries. Yet many people still aren’t quite sure what a midwife does. Simply put, the term “midwife” comes from an Old English term that means “with woman.” The role of the midwife is to administer prenatal care, tend to the mom’s physical needs during labor and delivery (i.e. listen to the heartbeat, catch the baby, cut the cord, check the placenta, etc.), and deliver postdelivery care to the mother and baby. If medical interventions

“Ninety percent of giving birth is mental. Women have to understand and accept what’s going on with their bodies and give in to it.” LaMonica Bryant, LM become necessary (such as surgery or the use of medication), mother and baby are transported to a hospital. “I was taught that as midwives, we sit on our hands until we need them, then we use them to assist, not intervene,” Bryant adds. “The midwife model of care views the birth process as a normal experience, not a sickness. When you view the process as one that is normal, you allow things to happen the way they are supposed to because you are allowing mom and baby to do what comes naturally.” And when it comes to letting the body do what comes naturally, it’s to each her own. “I had one mom leaning over the bed in the most uncomfortable-looking position I’ve seen, but it turned out that leaning over in this position helped to drop the baby,” Bryant recalls of one memorable delivery. “Her 64 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

cess. If she’s uncomfortable, she needs to move around until she finds a comfortable position, just like we all do if we feel a pain in our knee or back; we move to a new position until it feels better.” Agreeing that midwives view their role in the birthing process as someone who supports the mother while letting nature takes its course, Justine Backhaus, LM, CPM, IBCLC, goes on to say that birth is a unique, miraculous event and a woman’s body does a beautiful job on its own. “My whole philosophy as a midwife is that women have been beautifully designed for giving birth and breastfeeding, and that design can’t be perfected. I’m really just here to check the boxes and make sure all the numbers are right. Most of the time I don’t have to do a bloody thing!” And it’s this perfect design that allows many women the opportunity to give birth to their babies in a low-key way that’s controlled by them, notes Linda Cowley, LM, CPM, who’s been delivering Kern’s newest citizens (including three of her own grandchildren) at home for the past 17 years. She also gave birth to five of her seven children at home with a midwife. “Having a baby at home where you are in private, familiar surroundings for labor and delivery not only promotes the family bonding process, it’s very empowering,” Cowley continues. “You can bring your baby into the world on your own

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terms. It’s a very positive, natural, and peaceful experience if you’re prepared for what’s going to happen during birth beforehand. Before all births, I provide prenatal care to my moms and instill in them through counseling the confidence they need to give birth at home. And as I’m educating moms about their bodies and the birthing process, I’m also establishing a rapport with them so I can give them the emotional support they need before, during, and after birth.” Though the midwifery model of care is focused on birth as a natural process, Bryant, Backhaus, and Cowley agree that there are times when medical intervention is needed. Complications can arise suddenly at any point during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. “There is definitely a time and place for medical intervention by physicians. In my own practice I’ve had to transport about two or three patients a year to the hospital and I really feel that we [midwives] have a very appropriate, cohesive system in place. Our goal is to give babies the best start possible by facilitating a natural, undisturbed greeting for them, but it’s important to have a backup system in place,” Backhaus emphasizes. The best way to ensure a successful home delivery is to make sure moms considering home births are the right candidates. All three women agree that moms who are considering at home births with midwives should have smooth, uncomplicated pregnancies (meaning they don’t have obstetric complications like hypertension or diabetes). “I look at each candidate on a case-by-case basis, but the best candidates are women with no pre-existing obstetrical problems or conditions,” Bryant says. Parents also need to do their due diligence when it comes to finding the right midwife to assist in the delivery. Hiring a skilled, licensed midwife (LM), certified nurse midwife (CNM), or certified midwife (CM) who has a relationship with a physician and a hospital is recommended. “Parents who’ve decided on an at-home, midwife birth need to take the time to talk with several midwives and ask questions >>

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Home Birth

Linda Cowley LM, CPM like, ‘are you licensed?’ (licensed midwives can accept insurance and have been through midwifery school and an apprenticeship with a senior midwife or doctor); ‘how many births have you assisted with?’; ‘what types of problems have you dealt with?’; ‘how many transports and losses have you had?’; ‘what areas of the county to you cover?’; ‘how many moms have a due date around the time of my due date?’; ‘what is your back-up plan if complications arise?’ ” Cowley suggests. And although most births are uneventful, midwives should not only have a plan in place for a safe, quick transport to a nearby hospital, the midwife needs to be prepared to spring into action when needed. “Every midwife should be carrying oxygen, know how to monitor mom and baby throughout the birthing process and be trained in neonatal CPR,” Cowley emphasizes. “We’re also

“Having a baby at home where you are in private, familiar surroundings for labor and delivery not only promotes the family bonding process, it’s very empowering.” –Linda Cowley, LM, CPM

66 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

trained to look for any signs of trouble ahead of time [during pre-natal visits] and if we see anything that doesn’t look normal, we go to our back-up plan for medical intervention.” “I really don’t think midwives are out to prove that anybody can have an at-home birth,” Gonzales says, emphasizing that the two midwives (Backhaus and Bryant) she’s had experience with wouldn’t have hesitated to send her for medical intervention the moment a problem arose. “Their [midwives] whole purpose is to look out for the best interest of mom and baby. “I’m so glad I had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to let nature just take its course. It’s such an amazing experience and I encourage everyone I know who’s pregnant to at least consider a home birth.” KERNHEALTH / Health 2011 67

Bakersfield Prosthetics 2023 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301 • 661-281-2127


stablished in 1998, Bakersfield P&O has become a wellknown and respected provider of quality prosthetic and orthotic services for the San Joaquin Valley. They offer a full range of artificial limbs, orthopedic braces, and orthopedic footwear to enable amputees and individuals with musculoskeletal disabilities and injuries to achieve the highest level of function, mobility, and independence possible. With over 40 years of experience, Ashok Dhokia, CPO, received his education and extensive training from Wandsworth College in England, University of Minnesota, and UCLA. At his ABC accredited facilities in Bakersfield and Porterville, he caters to patients with prosthetic and orthotic needs. Mr. Dhokia couples his vast experience with a passion that is clearly evident in the way he describes his job: “We are reinventing the way that patients are treated in the prosthetic and orthotic field. We pride ourselves on not only exceeding expectations in care, but also in building lasting relationships beyond a clinical setting,” states Mr. Dhokia. “We work as a team with the patient, their family, the physician, physical therapist, and rehabilitation specialist to deliver appropriate, timely prosthetic and orthotic care.” What services does Bakersfield Prosthetics & Orthotics Center provide?


• Artificial Limbs • Orthopedic Braces • Arch Support • Orthopedic Shoes • Sports Knee Braces (Townsend) • Mastectomy Fittings • Fracture Braces

Orthopedic Braces:

• Abdominal Binders • Ankle Supports • Back Supports • Cervical Collars (Neck Support) • Walking Boots • Clavicle Support (Fig ‘8’ Harness) • Compression Stockings • Wrist & Elbow Brace/Carpal Tunnel • Elastic Knee Supports & Splints • Shoulder Immobilizers • Maternity Braces • Traction Units • Night Splints

design custom devices, and make timely adjustments or repairs when necessary.”

Diabetic Care


According to the National Limb Loss Information Center, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States have lost limbs through amputation surgery. These amputations are performed with the goal of saving a person’s life – but oftentimes leave an emotional gap that is challenging to fill. A prosthetist, who is generally responsible for designing and replacing the lost limb, plays an intricate role in monitoring the physical and emotional impact of an amputation on the patient. Mr. Dhokia explained “We offer a wide range of artificial limb designs with ultra light components to produce sophisticated prosthesis and specialized orthopedic bracing, upper and lower extremity corrective care, special custom footwear, and inserts. We are equipped with an in-house fabrication lab to enable custom design and fabricate orthotic devices. This allows us to control the quality of each product,

While trauma-related injuries, cancer, and birth defects account for a portion of limb losses, research has shown that 82% have lost limbs due to diabetes. A common side effect of diabetes is “peripheral neuropathy,” which causes loss of sensation in the extremities. Ill-fitting shoes which rub or pinch the feet can lead to ulceration and foot injury simply because the diabetic does not feel the injury until it is too late. Mr. Dhokia stresses the importance of diabetic footwear: “Custom diabetic shoes are often wider and deeper to accommodate for the special diabetic insoles. It is important that these are fitted by a trained professional. By ensuring a proper fit and good air circulation, properly designed diabetic shoes and insoles prevent pressure ulcers, encourage good blood

Mission Statement: Our mission is simple—to compassionately provide each patient with the most economical, functional, and cosmetically appropriate product, with a five-star quality of care. -Ashok J. Dhokia, CPO & Usha Dhokia

68 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

& Orthotics Center 49 N. Hockett Street, Porterville, CA 93257 • 559-793-1808

circulation, and allow the skin to breathe. Our trained fitters help patients choose from tennis shoes, steel-toed work boots to many other fashionable options.”

Diabetic Foot Appliances:

• Extra Depth Shoes • Diabetic Custom Inserts • Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker (C.R.O.W.) Boots • Custom Leather Ankle Braces • Custom Diabetic Shoes

Mastectomy Care/ Lymphedema

Bakersfield Prosthetics & Orthotics Center also provides a variety of custom-fitted bras, prosthesis, and compression garments for women who

have undergone mastectomies. “We understand the difficulty breast cancer survivors must face and delicately handle each patient with compassion and quality,” shared Board Certified Mastectomy fitter and manager, Lisa Wilson, CMF. Many times after breast surgery, patients may suffer from lymphedema which is an accumulation of fluid caused by an alteration in the pathway that drains the fluids in the immune system. Although there is no cure for lymphedema, the use of compression garments can reduce swelling and help manage the condition.

Breast Care:

• Camisole-Mastectomy • Breast Prosthesis • Mastectomy Bras • Lymphedema Supplies -Compressions Pads -Sleeves -Gloves

Comfort Is The Goal

Burn Care

In their efforts to expand their care coverage, Bakersfield Prosthetics & Orthotics Center works closely with Grossman Burn Center to provide compression garments for burn victims. “The garments are an important part of the healing and treatment process for burn patients since they help minimize scar tissue and promote hydration for the new skin,” explained Mr. Dhokia.

From designing the center in warm colors and décor, to hiring a friendly staff, and sponsoring several community events, the center takes pleasure in creating a family-like environment. “We constantly hear from patients that they love our office and the prompt service. The goal is comfort, care, and quality products. We realize that many patients have suffered from trauma, and we want to make this part of the process as easy as possible for them,” says Lisa. / Health 2011 69

George M. Wahba, M.D. Harvard-Trained Spine Surgeon Specialized in Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar Spine Surgery Spinal Stenosis, Disc Herniations, Sciatica/Leg Pain/Arm Pain, Spinal Deformity/Scoliosis, Spinal Trauma, Spinal Tumors, Revision Surgeries

Dr. Wahba is locally-based in Bakersfield, and he is excited to be providing world-class care to Kern County and surrounding communities.

Complete Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Wahba obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated Summa Cum Laude with College Honors. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, which is consistently ranked as one of the top medical schools in the country. Dr. Wahba graduated from UCSF at the top of his class, as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors

Mercy Orthopedic, Spine, & Hand Center

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Society. He completed a 5-year residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). At that point, Dr. Wahba decided to expand his expertise by completing a prestigious fellowship in Spine Surgery from Harvard Medical School. During that time, he trained at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, two of the most renowned medical centers in the world.

By Matthew Martz

Go Low Impact


Not everyone can run the Boston Marathon or swim the English Channel, but you don’t need to be a top-notch athlete to reap impressive health benefits from low impact aerobic exercise. The truth is, if the average adult walked just six and a half hours a month, or participated in some type of exercise for as little as 30 minutes a day, they could add years to their life. A study published by the American Heart Association in August 2011 found that people

Kern Health

Ironman Klaus Benamy-Hackell who exercised half an hour a day, five days a week, had a 14 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who did not exercise at all. “It doesn’t take a lot,” said Dr. Brij Bhambi, a Bakersfield cardiologist. “Twenty to thirty minutes of aerobic activity a day is good, and it doesn’t even have to be continuous. It could even be in segments of fifteen minutes. There are many ways you can overcome the excuses of a busy life.” According to Bhambi, Kern County is the second largest California community with people suffering from some form of cardiovascular disease. “We have a whole spectrum of patients,” he said, “some who have had heart attacks, strokes, blocked arteries, peripheral artery disease [a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs], high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats.” But Bhambi and other physicians have been gaining ground against the tide of Bakersfield’s unhealthy people, and low impact aerobic exer-

cise is a key ingredient in combating cardiovascular disease, which is an indiscriminate killer in men and women of all ages. Only about 35 percent of adults in the United States exercise regularly, defined as three to five times a week of moderate or vigorous physical activity, a National Health Interview Survey conducted in 2009 showed. Another third of adults get no exercise at all. “That’s a shame,” added Bhambi. “Even brisk walking can lower blood pressure, slow the heart, increase the good cholesterol while decreasing bad cholesterol, and lower stress levels. “A lot of things that cause heart disease are favorably impacted by exercise, and those walks could even help people stop smoking and eat better.” What about those who don’t want to walk or run? Swimming is a great alternative, and can be a good workout for people of all ages since it’s a low impact sport that protects your joints >> / Health 2011 71


Go Low Impact

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from damage. Taking a dip in the pool, especially on a Bakersfield summer day, is also an excellent way to reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, and strengthen your lungs. No pool. No problem. One organization in Bakersfield that is helping to bring change to Kern County’s fitness image is the City of Bakersfield Recreation and Parks 100-Mile Swimming Club. Established in 2006 with just a handful of members, the 100-Mile Club now has 396 active members, and in 2010, they swam a total of 67,352 miles. That’s equal to nearly three times around the world. One of those amazing swimmers is 59-year-old former Wasco High swimmer, Richard Meyer. After graduating high school, Meyer did not take up swimming again until the age of 36, but has been involved in the 100-Mile Club since its inception, and is rapidly approaching the 1,100 mile mark, while showing no signs of slowing. “I just feel like it improves my overall health,” he said. “Swimming helps with good overall weight control, and my strength and stamina are improved. “I really haven’t slowed down much, and it helps me maintain a very active lifestyle.” That’s someDr. Brij thing Meyer thought Bhambi he may not ever be able to do after sustaining multiple injuries in a motorcycle accident in 2007, which included crushing his left tibial plateau, one of the most critical loadbearing areas in the human body located just below the knee joint. Four operations later, and after a lengthy recovery period, the longtime civil engineer is currently training to compete in the Olympic World Triathlon for his age group in Auckland, New Zealand, next October. This is not the first time Meyer will participate at this level. He has competed in numerous Olympic and Half Ironman triathlons, which includes a 1,500-meter swim, 4-kilometer bike ride, and a 10-kilometer run, finishing with a personal best time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. Meyer believes that swimming has changed his life, and claims that it is only by the grace of God and his good health that he is able to not only walk, but compete again. Endurance swimming is best for cardiovascular fitness; 20 to 30 minutes, four to five times a week. Swimming is also a great exercise for those with arthritis because swimming can help make your joints more limber without heavy weight bearing exercise. “You can work really hard at it, and won’t feel the stress on your skeleton,” added Meyer, who swims 2,000 yards a day, five days a week. “It also helps me with my work, keeping my thoughts clearer, and keeping me energized throughout the day.”

But swimming is not the only sport that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and maintain weight control and overall fitness. The popularity of cycling in the United States as a form of exercise or as a recreational activity has exploded, thanks to Americans like Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis who have been immensely successful at major cycling events including the Tour de France. However, bicycling is not exactly a new invention when it comes to encouraging people to exercise. Overall, cycling offers numerous benefits. It gives the body a fast and energetic workout and helps the environment at the same time. Cycling also makes the heart beat in a stable manner, and research reveals that routine cycling enhances cardiovascular functioning by three to seven percent. Cycling also uses the largest muscle group (the legs), raising the heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness. However, any regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve well-being and self esteem. But cycling outdoors is probably one of the best ways to be one with nature and to feel the breath of the earth. It takes one’s mind out of everyday life stress and rejuvenates one’s soul according to many avid bikers, including Klaus Benamy-Hackell of the Kern Wheelmen Club, who after retiring from the airline industry in 2006, reflected on things that could better his life. Exercise was at the top of his list. “If you don’t have good health, you won’t be able to do very many things,” he said. “After years working behind a desk, I needed to get back into shape.” Benamy-Hackell first focused on running for exercise. He began by walk-running, and after just a few weeks found himself walking less, and running more, while increasing his distances. Just a few months later he was approached by some fellow runners who suggested that he compete in an upcoming triathlon. >> D H HAN $5 EXPRESS WAS DRY Richard Meyer


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He borrowed a bike from a friend, and two months later competed in his first sprint triathlon in Santa Barbara. He liked it so much he was hooked. Especially on the cycling. “No matter how old, or how well you are, biking is something almost anyone can do,” he explained. “In today’s world, it is also considered green and can be a mode of transportation, while at the same time you invest in your body, which is your health.” But this 61-year-old retiree isn’t just your average recreational cyclist. BenamyHackell bikes three times a week for distances of 100-150 miles. Since competing in his first full triathlon in Florida last year, placing 13th out of 43 in the age group of 60-64 in a time of 13 hours and 31 minutes, Benamy-Hackell has nearly fulfilled his goal of competing in five marathons in five different continents in 2011. With one month to go in the year, he has circumnavigated the globe; running, riding, and swimming in Japan, Europe, South America, and Africa, and will culminate his efforts in the Arizona Ironman later this month in Phoenix. “Being an Ironman, you can do anything,” he added, proudly showing off his new traditional M-dot Ironman tattoo on his right calf. “I have lost twenty-five pounds since I started bicycling, and I feel twenty-five years younger. “I have developed muscles where I never had them before; my legs especially.” Founding Father of the United States, and noted polymath, Benjamin Franklin, once said that the only constants in this world were death and taxes. The negative effects of aging and the decline of physical performance should probably be added to this list. However, numerous studies have demonstrated the dramatic effect a regular exercise program, and participating in some form of exercise three to four times a week, can have a blunting effect on the inevitable changes that occur in our bodies. Because cycling is a low-impact, nonweight-bearing activity, it is forgiving on the joints and can become or remain a fitness mainstay well after middle age, when aerobic exercise is known to delay or reverse the physiological effects of aging. “I have never had an athlete’s body in life,” said a beaming Benamy-Hackell. “I feel so strong, and it makes my head younger, too.” KERNHEALTH

Kern Health

What do Bakersfield, Guatemala, Morocco, and Nigeria have in common?


In fact all of these countries benefit from the skills of Bakersfield practitioners and other area medical professionals. Countless members of the Bakersfield medical community make special mission trips to other countries each year to practice medicine free of charge for the third world’s poorest people. So many participate in these mission trips, in fact, that they form professional networks, as well as friendships along the way.

PHOTO COURTESY Dr. Eugene Kercher

Answer: Bakersfield Doctors

On a Mission By Jessica Shillings

However, the real reward, according to those who have gone, is in challenging themselves as medical practitioners while performing miracles forIronman patients Klaus who never imagined that their ailments could be addressed. Benamy-Hackell While no two experiences were the same, even for those who had worked in the same countries through the same international programs, the medical professionals agreed that what they bring back to their community when they return is a renewed belief in the power of medicine and a deeper appreciation for the advances in technology Americans often take for granted. Guatemala From the San Joaquin Valley, to the highlands of Guatemala, a team of Bakersfield doctors does mission work in that part of the world every year through a program known as HELPS International. The HELPS program sends teams of 50-90 doctors, nurses, and ancillary help (helpers without medical training) of all kinds to Guatemala to provide free medical aid to the nation’s poorest people. Each of the participating medical professionals and assistants pay $2,000 for trip expenses. This nonprofit organization’s teams travel at different times of the year. Each spend five days in the country, typically seeing over 4,000 pa-

tients each trip. The group provides everything for itself while in Guatemala, including cooks and housing, and has full-time staff stationed in Guatemala after the doctors leave. Bakersfield’s own HELPS team remains one of 10 HELPS teams on the ground in Guatemala each year. The experience is truly life changing, remarked Deanna Salyards, a nurse practitioner. Salyards is the HELPS leader for the Bakersfield team, a position she has held for the last 13 years. Salyards has been active with the HELPS organization for 16 years. In Salyards’ words, “It’s the reason I work the other 50 weeks of the year...It really opens your eyes to what’s important in life. It’s the little things that make a big difference. “Life is a gift,” Salyards added, “Don’t take the little things for granted.” An Adventist Christian who attends the local Hillcrest Church, Salyards sees her work in Guatemala as a spiritual journey that allows participants to literally experience many of the good works that the Bible calls churches to perform. HELPS isn’t the only international mission experience Salyards has participated in. However HELPS has a level of quality control and followup that exceeds others, she said. For instance if a participant isn’t qualified to suture in the >> / Health 2011 75

United States, they won’t be suturing in Guatemala. Dr. John Young, a family practice physician of 30 years, also participated in the HELPS program. Young, said his wife Dianne Young, a nurse practitioner, originally inspired him to pursue mission work in 1992. Four years later, Young would be leading his own HELPS teams to Guatemala. His last experience was in October 2010. For Young, medicine in Guatemala is medicine in its purest form, away from many of the typical financial pressures of the profession. “We just take care of people down there,” he said. These circumstances make, “Problems here [Bakersfield] seem a lot smaller when you get back,” Young added. “You become so grateful for what you have.” Yet in five days the HELPS team manages to see up to 2,000 patients, Young explained, and perform up to 200 surgeries. The team includes a number of professionals, with expertise including general, plastic, and eye surgery, to dental and sometimes prosthetic devices. Everyone on the team, doctor or not, has an important role to play, from the surgeons to the lay “runners” with no medical training who help the pharmacist with prescriptions. “Sometimes it’s just glasses that make the difference,” Young said, describing his Guatemalan patients as, “extremely grateful.” The second team that Young joined successfully removed cataracts from a woman’s eyes. Watching her see her baby for the first time, an infant who’d come to the team dehydrated and on the verge of death, is something Young says he remembers vividly as one of his most powerful experiences in Guatemala. John Owens, M.D. is also a veteran of the HELPS experience in Guatemala, after his first international mission trip to Bolivia in 1997. He began working with the HELPS teams in 1998. As an OB/GYN, Owens oversees deliveries and other types of genealogical surgeries that make a direct impact on the Guatemalan women he serves. His last trip to Guatemala ended in May. “It’s kind of what you get in to medicine to do,” Owens said of the experience, “You can forget about insurance, HMOs, pre-approval...” For Owens, some of the most rewarding


On a Mission

Deanna Salyards, FNP-C procedures include plastic surgery, especially surgeries to correct cleft palates in young children. Guatemalans line up for days to be seen by the doctors, Owens said, and are so appreciative when they receive care. Yet there are some who won’t get seen, and some who are beyond help that the team can provide, Owens said. A particular frustration for Owens is the frequency of cervical cancer cases in Guatemala, a disease that is very preventable with proper screening. This screening technology isn’t widely available in Guatemala, however, especially in the poor highlands. Despite the challenges in Guatemala, Owens said he doesn’t feel badly for people he helps because, “They have things we don’t have,” including family members that stay geographically close to one another. Owens agreed that in Guatemala, everyone on the team is just as important as the other. “You’re struggling,” Owens said of the experience in Guatemala, “but you’re struggling together.” Anyone, regardless of whether they have medical training or not, can participate in the HELPS trips. All donations to the cause are tax deductible. One hundred percent of all dollars donated will be spent on supplies and other necessities required to support the team and its work. Nigeria Then there’s Dr. Eugene Kercher. He will never forget the two weeks he spent in Nigeria with the Heal Our World project this summer. As Kercher told it, this mission work was actually the fulfillment of a promise he’d made decades ago when

76 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Dr. John Owens originally applying to medical school. “I promised my lord that if I got into medical school, I would use my skills to do mission work,” Kercher, a life-long Christian and former general practitioner in the United States Air Force, remarked. While his stay in Nigeria, from August 27 to September 2011, was his first international mission experience, Kercher has dedicated his professional life as a physician to serving Kern’s under-privileged patients. This background, specifically the decades spent specializing in emergency medicine and psychiatry, had made him feel as if he’d seen everything, Kercher said. Then he arrived in Nigeria and that perception was challenged to its core. “I thought I’d experienced it all,” Kercher remarked, “but I felt so helpless trying to address medical needs when I didn’t have medicines and imaging...I’d never witnessed the poverty I saw in Nigeria.” For the first week of his experience in Nigeria, Kercher and his wife, Sophia, also an RN, were largely alone, accompanied by only a few photographers from the organization. In the second week, the couple joined a number of Bakersfield doctors and nurses. In addition to working along side Nigerian doctors in emergency rooms, Kercher also spent time presenting workshops on medical topics for professionals in the country as well. During the experience, the team was seeing 250-300 patients a day, Kercher said, in very tiny, often ill-equipped emergency rooms. This included addressing countless cases of malaria, one of Nige-

turned from a two-year stay in Trinidad, as well as a prior experience in Morocco. Ellison began working overseas after she retired from nursing in 2005. At the time she was fed up with the medical field, Ellison said, so much so, “I didn’t even want to take anyone’s blood pressure.” Now, however, Ellison reports she is amazed at where her skills as a nurse have taken her. She served as a member of the

Dr. John Young ria’s largest health problems. Nigeria, in fact, has 25 percent of the world’s malaria within its borders. While Kercher and the team could offer a treatment for malaria, the heartbreaking reality is that these measures would often last only until, “the next mosquito bite.” This continual cycle of disease meant that many of Nigeria’s poorest residents would never be healthy enough to go to school or work. Other conditions simply couldn’t be treated, Kercher said, especially given the challenges he faced without many basic pieces of medical equipment and even without electricity at times. In addition, the crowds that formed were often more than the teams could handle. “The medical team saw patients with a wide range of medical conditions including cancer, malaria, viral and bacterial infections, HIV/Aids, stroke, high blood pressure, hypertension, and simple malnutrition and dehydration,” Kercher added. “People came from far and wait many hours for a doctor so that they could be treated by the team.” For Kercher the experience confirmed the choice he’d made long ago to dedicate his life and medical skills to serving the poor. Even so, “You can’t go on a trip like this without coming back with more compassion.” Red Cross Bakersfield native and registered nurse Diane Ellison serves as the Training Coordinator for Disaster Services at the local branch of the Red Cross. She recently re-

soon realized that this would be easier said than done—especially considering the maledominated nature of the country had left a majority of its women without sufficient education to be able to read. This reality was highlighted for Ellison when a mother of young children asked for help because she could not read her children’s report cards. Because the mother was not allowed to leave her home unaccompanied by her husband, and because her husband returned home for work after dark each night, she couldn’t even ask the teacher for clarification. In response, Ellison worked to empower the women in her Moroccan community by creating a series of literacy classes, as well as interceding with male business owners and government officials on their behalf. While the Moroccan women did

Dr. Eugene Kercher Peace Corps from 2005 to 2008 before joining the Red Cross in 2008. “It’s not easy,” Ellison said of her travels, “but, oh, how rewarding.” Ellison said her experiences overseas, both in Trinidad and Moroco, changed her forever; to that point that when she returned to the United States between assignments, “I couldn’t stand it here, it’s so materialistic...” Arriving in Trinidad in 2009, Ellison said she was largely focused on coordinating aide efforts for surrounding islands as well as some locations in South America. This work she described as mostly, “nuts and bolts stuff.” While Ellison said she came to love the people in Trinidad, “My experience in Morocco (2005-2008) was far more remarkable.” In both countries, “...I met the most hospitable and giving people,” Ellison commented. “When I left it ripped my heart out.” The problem in Morocco was the high birth mortality rate among both babies and their mothers, Ellison reported. Ellison was assigned to present basic health lessons to the public there, but she

Diane Ellison, R.N. not have the agency to push these issues, Ellison, as an American, did. Ellison credits her experiences in both Morocco and Trinidad with removing “cultural blinders,” as well as forcing, her to, “rise to the occasion. I became more than I ever thought I could. I became stronger, a leader.” That’s something physicians who participate in overseas missions will attest to. For more information on the local branch of the Red Cross, visit www.kernredcross. org or call 661-324-6427. The local Red Cross office is located at 5035 Gimore Ave. For more information on the HELPS program, or to contact its local organizers, email or visit KERNHEALTH / Health 2011 77

78 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Michael Weinberg, DDS

Good Samaritan Southwest

Physicians Automated Laboratory

South Valley Vein Center

Optimal Hospice

Southern California Orthopedic Institute

Stockdale Podiatry Group

Comprehensive Cardiovascular

The Women’s Care Center

Hoffmann Hospice

Home Instead

Bakersfield Periodontics & Dental Implants

Kern Bone & Joint Specialists, Inc.

Comfort Hearing Aid Centers

Muhammad Ashraf-Alim, MD, FCCP, FAASM

Chateau d’ Bakersfield


KernHealth Profiles

The KernHealth Profiles section serves as an important resource for our community. First and foremost, it gives local medical professionals the chance to share information about their specialty and training. Second, it introduces readers to some of Bakersfield’s and Kern County’s most reputable doctors and medical facilities. This special Achievers Series presentation promotes excellence in our healthcare community.


Achievers Series / Health 2011 79

Dr. Michael Weinberg, DDS Dr. Albert Ma In his 38th year of practice, Dr. Michael Weinberg, DDS

to always continue learning and stay current in his pro-

is evermore passionate in his goal of delivering the high-

fession. He is an active member of the American Den-

est quality dental care to his patients.

tal Association, the California Dental Association, and

While maintaining traditional principles and practices,

the Kern County Dental Society (KCDS). He served two

he still keeps up with the most modern technology, offer-

years as President of the KCDS and has been the Con-

ing everything from standard dental services like clean-

tinuing Education chairperson for 15 years. He belongs

ing and prevention, to such high-tech services as digital

to the Academy of General Dentistry, Academy of CAD/

x-rays, Cerec one-visit restorations, and intra-oral photog-

CAM Dentistry, and the International Academy of Gna-

raphy. And with a wide variety of ser-

thology (North American Division).

vices in cosmetic dentistry available

Dr. Weinberg also participates with

as well, Dr. Weinberg and his team

the Advanced Restorative Institute, a

of highly trained and skilled clinicians

study club in Los Angles, that includes

look to achieve optimal dental health

a number of instructors and past de-

for their patients as well as provide a

partment chairmen from USC.

positive experience.

Taking an active role in these as-

Dr. Weinberg graduated with hon-

sociations helps Dr. Weinberg stay

ors from USC Dental School, where he

aware of what is happening in his

achieved his undergraduate degree,

field. From political issues to continu-

as well. He previously practiced in San

ing education, he explained that

Diego and L.A. and has been in Kern

staying involved, “keeps you in touch

County since 1984 when he moved

with what is current, what is relevant,

here to Bakersfield because, “I was

and the newest of materials, proce-

looking for a better place to raise my

dures, and technologies.” Dr. Wein-

family,” he said.

berg’s one-day restorations and crowns are currently one

Married with five children and seven grandchildren, Dr. Weinberg knows about family and that’s what he

of the most exciting advances in the dental profession and he is excited to offer them.

hopes his patients feel like when they visit his office. He

After being treated by Dr. Weinberg, patients can ex-

and his staff work together to make patients comfort-

pect a call from the dentist himself to answer any ques-

able. “We try to create an atmosphere that is not strictly

tions they may have thought of after leaving the office,

clinical,” explained Dr. Weinberg. “I’ve tried to assemble

to check on their progress, and give them peace of mind.

the best staff that I can for the benefit of patient com-

When a person chooses to place their trust and teeth in

fort,” he added.

Dr. Weinberg’s care, he and his staff will do all they can

In the pursuit of delivering the highest quality dental care and putting patients at ease, Dr. Weinberg strives

to pay attention and care for them, not just as a patient but as a person.

3115 Latte Lane, Suite 100 x Bakersfield x 661-587-7002

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series

80 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals / Health 2011 81

GOOD SAMARITAN SOUTHWEST Dr. Albert Ma Good Samaritan Southwest offers the only child and

a range of withdrawals from opiates to alcohol to ensure

adolescent inpatient psychiatric program in the Central

that each patient’s symptoms are managed with care

Valley, as well as offering a comprehensive chemical de-

and compassion.

pendency program.

Dr. Malini is the medical director for Good Samaritan

According to Dr. Albert Ma, Good Samaritan Southwest

Southwest and coordinates the staff in this unit to ensure

“has worked hard at becoming the premier specialty psy-

that the patients are well taken care of. “Our medical direc-

chiatric hospital in quality services with children and ado-

tor for the whole facility has practiced addiction medicine

lescent, general psychiatry, and addiction psychiatry.”

for a very long time and is very familiar with both the inpa-

The child and adolescent program is

tient and outpatient settings for sub-

a major point of pride for the hospital

stance abuse and chemical depen-

which acquired the Southwest loca-

dency medicine,” added Acharya.

tion in 2006. The program has treated

After inpatient detoxification, pa-

patients from ages 10 to 17 and can

tients are then linked to an intensive

handle a variety of acute psychiatric


episodes, from patients placed on a

program. Good Samaritan offers this

hold, to voluntary hospitalization.

type of treatment as well as has close



“We were fortunate to be able to lo-

partnerships with groups that offer in-

cate Dr. Doddakashi, our medical di-

tensive outpatient care to ensure a

rector for child and adolescent servic-

complete continuum of care.

es who has extensive experience and

Good Samaritan Southwest has

is a board certified child and adoles-

over 200 employees, has a large ca-

cent psychiatrist,” said CAO Ganesh

pacity limit, and can not only provide

Acharya. “Dr. Doddakashi helped us

quality inpatient care for all types of

re-create and revitalize the program.” Programming in-

psychiatric issues and needs but works closely with local

cludes group therapy, individual therapy, games and

groups and Truxtun Psychiatric, where Dr. Doddakashi, Dr.

movies, and even socials. Each of the child and adoles-

Malini, and Dr. Ma also work to provide follow-up psychi-

cent units include a day room with entertainment like Nin-

atric care. “We really have a model where we can pro-

tendo Wiis. The facility even includes a gym for basketball

vide continual care across the board,” explained Acha-

and volleyball. “We make sure we hit all the clinical points

rya. In the future, Good Samaritan plans to increase their

while at the same time making it an environment that the

outpatient programming in Bakersfield and the surround-

children will be receptive in,” said Acharya.

ing areas, as well as continue to increase awareness of

Along with high quality treatment for children, Good

the programs across the Central Valley so more people

Samaritan Southwest has a complete chemical depen-

will be able to access their services. Acharya explained,

dency program for adults. The unit has built-in protocols for

“If there is a psychiatric need out there, we can service it.”

901 Olive Drive x 661-215-7500 x 5201 White lane x 661-398-1800

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series

82 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals / Health 2011 83

Physicians Automated Laboratory, Inc. Dr. Linda Veneman, Medical Director There is a side of healthcare that we often don’t think about

the public. What the merger will do, however, is provide

until we have to: blood work and biopsies. Our doctors might

Veneman with a pool of nine pathology specialists asso-

want to run certain tests on us and those can’t always be

ciated with the West Coast Division of Sonic Healthcare—

done in the doctor’s office. Many of the tests our physicians

specialists she can refer to when needed.

need in order to diagnose us require specially-trained tech-

“PAL will operate the same but under the umbrella of

nicians and, most importantly, a highly-trained pathologist

Sonic Healthcare with the resources of the sister lab in San

to examine just what’s going on with our bodies on a micro-

Luis Obispo,” Veneman explained.

biological level, and sometimes even on a molecular level.

This merger and the arrival of Veneman are good news

For nearly 45 years, Physicians Auto-

for both physicians and patients in Ba-

mated Laboratory, Inc. (PAL) has been

kersfield and Kern County. Veneman

a local clinical laboratory offering an

is Board Certified in internal medicine,

invaluable resource for Kern County

rheumatology, clinical and anatomic

physicians and their patients.

pathology, and cytopathology (the

Licensed by the State of California

study of how diseases affect cells).

and accredited by the College of

“I always wanted to be a doctor,”

American Pathologists, PAL has oc-

said the Bay Area-born physician who

cupied the same location since 1967

grew up in Fresno. She graduated from

and continues to perform all manner

Loma Linda University with her M.D.

of medical testing. Recently, PAL was

Later, she would go back to Loma

purchased by Sonic Healthcare USA, a

Linda to take a pathology residency.

worldwide laboratory and healthcare

Before she arrived in Bakersfield,

system. Sonic Healthcare has labora-

Veneman started and directed sev-

tories all over the world including the

eral cytopathology labs and was also

United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia, just to name a few. The company also purchased a pathology lab in San Luis Obispo, Central California Pathology Laboratory. “Bakersfield was chosen to be the hub of Sonic’s California operation,” explained Dr. Linda Veneman, the incom-

in private practice in Reno, Nevada. As Medical Director, Veneman will be overseeing the laboratory and all blood testing as well as tissue samples. The work itself will utilize her skills as both a clinical pathologist (blood work) and anatomic pathology (biopsies).

ing Medical Director for PAL. Veneman will be taking over

“I love this line of work—every day there is something

for Dr. William R. Schmalhorst, who was one of the Board

interesting.” That’s because, with 23 draw stations in Kern

Certified Pathologists who founded the lab, and who has

County, there is much to be done.

been the Medical Director for over 40 years.

“We’re the same local lab that everyone knows,” Vene-

Veneman said that the new ownership will not effect the

man said. “Now we’ll have even more resources and spe-

current operations of PAL in any way that will be visible to

cialists to help the doctors and patients of our community.”

2801 H Street x Bakersfield x 661-325-0744

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series

84 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

(l-r) Angela Roberts, Dr. Linda Veneman / Health 2011 85


(l-r back) Dawn, Judith, Shelly (l-r front) Cara, Greg Williams, Alice, Katie

Dr. Gregory Williams wasn’t born in Bakersfield, but for all

“I can help people whether they want to look better or

that he does for our community, one could surely say he’s a

feel better or both,” he explained of patients who want to

local. This board-certified surgeon has dedicated the last 15

get rid of unsightly and painful varicose veins.

years to serving the Kern County area. Dr. Williams’ special-

Dr. Williams was the first physician in Kern County to per-

ity lies in phlebology, the study and treatment of veins and

form endovenous laser treatment and endochemical vein

venous disease. He completed elementary and high school

ablation. Since opening SVVC, Dr. Williams and his trained

in Bakersfield, and attended Bakersfield College and Fresno

nursing staff have performed more than 2,000 ultrasound-

State University before obtaining his medical degree from

guided vein procedures using the latest technology.

the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City. Dr. Williams came back to the Central Valley to complete his surgical internship and residency at Valley Medi-

“It used to be patients would miss a week of work or more and now it’s a day or two. It’s satisfying to meet the goals of patients,” he added.

cal Center in Fresno. He is currently a member of the Amer-

When not serving patients as the only full-time, dedi-

ican College of Phlebology and a fellow of the American

cated phlebologist in town, Dr. Williams is a member of

College of Surgeons. In 2002, after seeing a need in our

the Houchin Community Blood Bank Board of Directors;

community for a full-time vein specialist, Dr. Williams found-

coaches youth basketball; and enjoys spending time with

ed South Valley Vein Center (SVVC). He finds this a reward-

his family, reading, and playing tennis. His birthplace might

ing field of medicine in which to work.

be Fresno, but his home is Bakersfield.

1500 Haggin Oaks Blvd., Suite 202 x Bakersfield x 661-654-8346

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series

86 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

OPTIMAL HOSPICE CARE Before, during, and after, Optimal Hospice is there.

(l-r back) David Berg, Patricia Ellison, Pat Roberts, Brianna Crosby, Tony Bernal, Deborah Meredith (l-r front) Mary Mullen, Cindy Stone, Paul Glassmaker, Doris Dunham

For times of loss, when people need to feel normal, Optimal

there, but we still need to take care of people,” he said.

Hospice is there: before, during, and after. Whether the trau-

Children and schools are also a big part of Optimal Hos-

matic event is a workplace accident, a sudden death, or a

pice’s community involvement. Helping educators under-

natural disaster these qualified bereavement counselors and

stand a child’s loss is what Cindy Stone, Optimal’s children’s

volunteers are available to the community as a resource for

bereavement counselor, hopes for. “Any time you can talk

schools, clubs, and employers. Optimal Hospice offers group

about death in non-crisis mode it changes the whole game...

and individual workplace grief counseling and training. Be-

and that is when we can really excel in the community,”

reavement counselor Dr. Pat Roberts, DPC, explains how he,

Stone explained. Stone believes by educating teachers and

as an outside party, can help to lower the overall tension,

students on how children grieve, they will not only be able to

mitigate recovery, and restore normalcy and productivity.

understand their students dealing with death but help pre-

“We need to be able to educate the community; these

vent them from slipping through the cracks academically.

people need some extra comfort and care and tenderness.”

As a community resource, “we’re outside that normal snap-

Optimal Hospice can help to educate and equip em-

shot picture of what hospice is,” Stone elaborated. Compa-

ployers and their employees to handle these situations and

nies and schools that call Optimal in can give their students or

avoid major productivity losses for the company. “It’s a

employees a safe and comfortable place to talk.

great tool that can be utilized if they include it in their train-

In a world of diversity, death is “the tie that binds us,” said

ing,” added Roberts. “I know it’s a busy, busy world out

Stone. Optimal Hospice is there to help our community heal.

4700 Stockdale Highway x Bakersfield x 661-716-4000

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series / Health 2011 87

Southern California Orthopedic Institute Serving Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and San Fernando Valley

Richard D. Ferkel, MD

Steven A. Schopler, MD

Robert Gazmarian, MD

Mark L. Schamblin, MD

Brian S. Grossman, MD

Todd Shapiro, MD

Christopher Hamilton, MD

The Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI) has

of-the-art MRI scanner and digital radiography available

been an integral part of Kern County’s health care since

in the Bakersfield office allow for a patient’s diagnostic

1994. In 2008, SCOI moved to its new location on Baha-

imaging to be done all in one location. The Bahamas Sur-

mas Drive, where it provides quality orthopedic care. The

gery Center allows the SCOI surgeons to perform the most

Bahamas office contains clinical space for SCOI’s ortho-

up-to-date outpatient procedures in the same location.

pedic specialists, an updated and expanded physical

The physicians of SCOI are world renowned for their

therapy and occupational therapy department, digital

expertise and are actively involved in teaching other

x-ray, MRI, and the Bahamas Surgery Center.

health care professionals, through SCOI’s own fellowship

A private practice consisting of 32 Board Certified/

programs, as well as at local, national, and international

Board Eligible physicians who specialize in various aspects

medical conferences. In addition, they are pioneers in or-

of musculoskeletal care, SCOI provides a broad spectrum

thopedic research and are constantly working to provide

of services, including sports medicine; orthopedic surgery

state-of-the-art care for their patients. SCOI’s physicians

of the spine, shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, hip, foot and

founded the Southern California Orthopedic Research

ankle; and physical medicine and rehabilitation. With an

& Education Center, a nonprofit entity dedicated to the

in-house physical therapy and occupational therapy de-

provision of both continuing medical education for health

partment, SCOI’s providers are able to follow patients from

care professionals, as well as public and community ser-

injury through recovery and rehabilitation. The new state-

vice education.

2400 Bahamas Drive, Suite 200 x Bakersfield x 661-328-5565

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series

88 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals


(l-r back) David Berg, Patricia Ellison, Pat Roberts, Brianna Crosby, Tony Bernal, Deborah Meredith (l-r front) Mary Mullen, Cindy Stone, Paul Glassmaker, Doris Dunham

For Dr. Brandon J. Hawkins, DPM, AACSM, AAPWCA, choosing a specialty was a cinch.

was the Chief of Podiatry at Kern Medical Center from 2005 to 2008) but also appointments as a podiatric team physi-

“I played high school football,” he explained. “One day I

cian for various college sports programs. Between 2005 and

was injured. I assumed my dreams of a scholarship or play-

2008, Dr. Hawkins was the team physician/surgeon for the

ing college football were over.”

Bakersfield Blitz. Since then, he has been with Stockdale Po-

However, his parents took him to a renowned podiatrist

diatry Group. “We are unique in that we are on staff at all

who was able to get him back in good health so he could

the hospitals and all the wound centers throughout Kern

continue to play. “The rest is history,” Dr. Hawkins said. “I love

County. As a group we offer comprehensive podiatric care

the idea of helping people. I can see the smiles on people’s

including in-house testing. Additionally, we have four well-

faces when they can get back to their daily life without pain.”

trained foot and ankle surgeons that love what they do.”

Dr. Hawkins completed his BS in Biological Chemistry at

It’s the complex nature of the foot that keeps Dr. Hawkins

the University of Utah in 1997 and went on to receive a BS

interested in this field of medicine. “Most people don’t see

in Biomedical Sciences from Dr. William M. Scholl College

that the foot is twenty-seven independent bones that work

of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University in 1998,

as one unit. I deal in all aspects of podiatry from pediat-

where he would also receive his Doctor of Podiatric Medi-

ric surgery to complex foot and ankle reconstruction and

cine degree in 2001.

trauma surgery. Every day is a new challenge and a new

He has kept busy with not only residencies (Dr. Hawkins

opportunity to help someone.”

3857 Stockdale Highway x Bakersfield x 661-578-1698

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series / Health 2011 89

COMPREHENSIVE CARDIOVASCULAR Leading the Fight Against Heart Disease

(l-r) Dr. Moksedul Habib, Dr. Leopoldo Puga, Dr. Supratim Banerjee, Dr. Viral Mehta, Dr. Nasser Khan

Comprehensive Cardiovascular Medical Group is lead-

ing the need for any immediate, unnecessary procedures.

ing the fight against heart disease. What began in 1995 as

“The practice also has a commitment to research and

a solo practice in a single office with three employees, has

education,” he continued. “All our physicians hold affilia-

grown into a full-service cardiology facility with five full-time

tion with UCLA Medical Center and we are active in clinical

board-certified cardiologists, one physician assistant, and a

research trials for new medications and devices. We get a

research coordinator offering a full array of services includ-

preview of what is next in the field of cardiology and we can

ing patient consultations, diagnostic testing, heart health

bring those advances to our patients.” And while techno-

education, and patient centered clinical research trials.

logical advances are wonderful, Dr. Mehta is adamant that

“It is our vision to remain on the leading edge of technolo-

they should not get in the way of physician-patient relation-

gy and information,” Dr. Viral Mehta explained. That vision

ships. “These services allow us to spend time with patients.

has driven Comprehensive Cardiovascular to bring cutting-

Technology shouldn’t come in the way of our relationships;

edge procedures into our community that were not previ-

there should be no barriers.” As health care continues to

ously available to patients. “We can perform high-resolution

change, one thing will remain constant and that is Com-

CT angiography,” he elaborated. This type of angiogram is

prehensive Cardiovascular’s commitment to providing high

non-invasive, unlike the traditional angiogram which involves

quality cardiac care to Bakersfield and the surrounding com-

the insertion of a catheter into a blood vessel, and can help

munities now and well into the future. Trust Comprehensive

physicians determine if further testing is needed, reduc-

Cardiovascular and their trained staff to care for your heart.

5945 Truxtun Avenue x Bakersfield x 661-323-4278

KernHealth Profiles the

Achievers Series

90 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

The Women’s Care Center Specializing in Obstetrics, Gynecology, Infertility and Advanced Urinary Incontinence Testing/Treatment Doctors Cary Shakespeare and Armi

in the most caring and compassionate

Lynn Walker provide special care in

way we can. We want the treatment

all areas of women’s health, including

they receive to be complete and to

pregnancy. Both Dr. Shakespeare and

be delivered with our best efforts.”

Dr. Walker graduated from Loma Lin-

The Women’s Care Center is happy

da University Medical School and at-

to introduce the Pelleve Wrinkle Reduc-

tended the same residency in Obstet-

tion System, a new innovation in non-

rics and Gynecology. Having worked

invasive skin tightening for the treat-

together for many years, they have

ment of facial wrinkles. Pelleve makes

learned to combine their strengths, al-

you look and feel refreshed naturally.

lowing them to make the best medical

Call today for information and pricing.

team possible. They have gained the

The office is centrally located in the

experience and expertise necessary

Westchester area of downtown Ba-

to give the patients in this community

kersfield. New patients are welcome

the highest quality of care. “We at The

and most insurance plans are ac-

Women’s Care Center strive to pro-

cepted. Open Mon.-Thurs. 8am-5pm,

vide patients the attention they need

Fri. until 2pm.


Achievers Series

Dr. Armi Lynn Walker Dr. Cary Shakespeare 2021 22nd Street 661-633-BABY (2229)

KernHealth Profiles HOFFMANN HOSPICE

”Hoffmann’s There Because We Care” Hoffmann Dietician Mariafelix Gon-

shut down in order for the body to di-

zalez is rarely seen around the office

rect more energy to the lungs, heart,

and for good reason. She’s busy in

and brain. But I try to be very tactful in

the homes of Hoffmann patients,

my instruction and most families are

teaching them and their caregivers

very receptive.”

about good end-of-life nutrition.

8501 Brimhall Road, Building 100 661-410-1010

When not working with Hoffmann

The nutritional training Gonzalez of-

patients, Gonzalez is a clinical dieti-

fers is especially important to those

cian at Mercy Hospital, a renal dieti-

who have never cared for a termi-

cian at Pegasus Dialysis, and an in-

nally ill family member. In such a situ-

structor at Bakersfield College. It’s in

ation, the family’s main concern is

working with hospice patients, how-

that they’re feeding their loved one

ever, that she’s learned more than

properly, Gonzalez says.

she’s taught.

“Sometimes families believe if they

“My patients have made me see

can just get grandma to eat some-

life differently, that it’s the little things

thing, she’ll get better,” she says.

that matter and family is the most im-

“That’s a huge misconception—the

portant thing,” she says. “It’s been so

stomach is one of the first organs to

fulfilling.” / Health 2011 91

HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE Providing Non-medical Services for Seniors in Their Homes Home Instead Senior Care provides

Santa to a Senior Campaign, which

non-medical services for seniors in their

has delivered well over 4,000 gifts to

homes including companionship, meal

nearly 3,000 seniors in the Bakersfield





light housekeeping, and errands. Home

“Some of the seniors haven’t had

Instead Senior Care also specializes in

Christmas in years. It’s a wonderful op-

Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Only

portunity for families to contribute to

the best CAREGivers work with Home

our community,” Savoy explained. Af-

Instead Senior Care and each CARE-

ter all, if you’re going to do business

Giver is put through a comprehensive

in this community, you need to give

screening and training process.

back. This is one of the many ways that

“The CAREGivers are my heart, my

Home Instead Senior Care gives back

world,” explained owner Debora Sa-

to the Bakersfield community.” Savoy

voy. For her, working with seniors is her

is hoping more people will join Home

passion. That dedication extends to

Instead Senior Care in this campaign.

the entire staff.

The Home Instead Senior Care Bakers-

Home Instead Senior Care is once

field office is a local, family-owned com-

again hosting the sixth annual Be a

pany with unparalleled, quality care.


Achievers Series

Debora Savoy, SPHR 1234 Chester Avenue 661-321-3235

KernHealth Profiles

BAKersfield PERIODONTICS & Dental Implants At Bakersfield Periodontics & Den-

In 2008, Dr. Dreyer was recognized

tal Implants, Dr. Andrew Dreyer, DDS,

as the Air Force Medical Service Out-

MS and staff offer personalized qual-

standing Junior Clinical Dentist of

ity dental care. “We know that even

the Year. Now, as the only full-time,

just showing up to the dentist can be

board certified periodontist in Ba-

nerve racking,” explains Dr. Dreyer.

kersfield, Dr. Dreyer enjoys providing

“We have a very laid-back atmo-

comprehensive periodontal care, in-

sphere. Our goal is to make your den-

cluding treatment for gum disease,

tal visit a comfortable experience.”

soft tissue and bone grafting, as well

For Dr. Dreyer, dentistry was a perfect fit. After completing dental

8605 Camino Media, Suite 200 661-665-0077

as a spectrum of tooth replacement options using dental implants.

school at Creighton University School

“When it comes to treatment, we

of Dentistry, he proceeded to earn an

can offer a wide variety of options,”

MS from the University of Texas Health

said Dr. Dreyer. He is happy to sit

Science Center at San Antonio and

down with people and take the time

a clinical certificate in Periodontics

to explain their problems and treat-

from the Air Force’s Wilford Hall Medi-

ment needs, and find the treatment

cal Center.

option that best suits each patient.

92 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Comfort Hearing Aid Centers Measuring Success with “Unbeatable Prices...Unmatched Service.” Yearly health exams are routine for

referrals to specialists if needed, and

most of us. A hearing test should al-

fitting of the best solution to match-

ways be a part of a yearly physical.

ing a hearing loss with a person’s life-

“Hearing is one of our five senses

style and budget. “Our office fits and

that we rely on every day, but studies

services most brands of hearing aids,

have shown many people will ignore

and we are here Monday through

a hearing problem for years, which

Friday, 9am to 5:30pm.

can lead to serious communication

“Our dispenser, Jerry Anderson,

issues,” explained Denyce Evenson,

has unique insight into the industry as

Business Manager for Comfort Hear-

he lives with deafness in one ear and

ing Aid Centers. “Hearing loss can

partial hearing loss in the other. Jerry

be a gradual process, and a person

knows firsthand the challenges and

may not realize how much they are

experiences people with hearing

missing until a loved one says some-

loss deal with every day,” Evenson

thing about it or they find they are

said. “For Jerry and our staff, it’s not

asking others to repeat themselves.”

a matter of just selling hearing aids,

Comfort Hearing Aid Centers per-

it’s a passion to help people hear

forms complimentary hearing exams,



Achievers Series

Evangeline Alcantar, Jerry S. Anderson, Denyce Evenson 2427 H Street, Suite C 661-322-8444

KernHealth Profiles

Kern Bone & Joint Specialists, Inc. Hearing Aid Solutions That Fit All Lifestyles Dr. Amjadi received his M.D. from

Dr. Amjadi holds two engineering de-

UCLA, completed an Orthopaedic

grees, which he finds very useful when

Surgery Residency at the prestigious

applied to the complex nature of spi-

Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and ad-

nal disorders. While his work does keep

ditional fellowship training in neurosur-

him very busy, Dr. Amjadi still finds time

gery and orthopaedic spinal surgery

to enjoy his hobbies including weight

at Cedars-Sinai in Southern California.

training, cycling, and photography.

He is board certified and specializes in minimally invasive spinal surgery.

Firooz Amjadi, MD 1921 18th Street 661-324-2491

“I need to be in shape to perform surgery because these procedures can

He moved to Bakersfield in 2007,

often take a long time to perform,” he

when he joined Kern Bone & Joint.

added. It’s a physically demanding

“Minimally-invasive spinal surgery is a

line of work. As for photography, it’s

very technically-challenging field of

an activity that keeps him grounded

medicine,” said Dr. Amjadi. It’s a field

so he’s able to be more effective in

that allows him to alleviate pain and

serving the needs of his patients.

suffering in his patients using tech-

“Having the opportunity to help

niques that minimize discomfort and

people is the driving force for what I

disability following surgery.

do,” he said. / Health 2011 93

Chateau d’ Bakersfield Wellness Program for Special Needs Chateau has successfully imple-




mented prevention plans by taking

therapists, psychologists, dietitians,

care to identify each client’s risk fac-

and speech therapists. The excep-

tors and helping make adjustments

tional team at Chateau works togeth-

that will prevent future incidents.

er to create individually-designed

By communicating with the client, their family, and their doctors, Cha-

programs and intuitive prevention plans for each client.

teau creates a support team to put

Personal schedules are created

the prevention plan into practice

for each client to address their goals

and help the client become more

and prevention plays a key part in the

independent. General Manager and

program’s success. A prevention plan

Program Director Anu Mohan ex-

allows individuals to identify their top

plained, “If everyone in a client’s life

health risks and receive a customized

works together, things can change

plan and coaching from the team to

drastically for everyone.”

lower or eliminate frequent ER visits, in-

At Chateau d’ Bakersfield, clients

stitutionalization, and prevent events

are cared for by a multi-disciplinary

that would cause further decline in the

staff, including registered nurses,

client’s mental and physical health.


Achievers Series

Anu Mohan 824 18th Street 661-322-4085

KernHealth Profiles

Muhammad Ashraf-Alim, MD, FCCP, FAASM Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine, Pulmonary Disease

6401 Truxtun Ave., Suite 280 Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-377-0091

Dr. Muhammad Ashraf-Alim, MD,

stan. He then moved to United States

FCCP, FAASM is utilizing his expertise in

and completed a three-year training

pulmonary and sleep medicine to en-

in the Internal Medicine Residency Pro-

able his patients to breath easier. As

gram at Wayne State University, Detroit

a member of the American College

Medical Center in Michigan. There he

of Chest Physicians and the American

was awarded Intern of the Year. His ded-

Academy of Sleep Medicine, and a Dip-

ication would go on to help him reach

lomat of the American Boards of Internal

the position of Chief Resident in 1994.

Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, Critical

He completed his fellowship training

Care Medicine, and Sleep Medicine,

in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep

Dr. Ashraf-Alim has the knowledge and

Disorder of Medicine at UCLA Medical

training to diagnose and treat a num-

Center in 1998, before selecting Bakers-

ber of diseases and conditions, beyond

field as his new home, and a place for

those of the lungs, making him a sought-

his own practice. Dr. Ashraf-Alim recent-

after name in Bakersfield healthcare.

ly moved his office to the Lung & Sleep

Dr. Ashraf-Alim received his medical

Disorder Center. He also provides in-

degree in 1990 as a valedictorian at

patient hospitalist, pulmonary, and criti-

Dow Medical University, Karachi, Paki-

cal care services at all local hospitals.

94 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

photo courtesy padre hotel

We here at Bakersfield Magazine have always taken pride in the philanthropic nature of Kern County. Ours is a region full of givers. We see proof of this time and time again when we join the ranks of numerous local businesses to sponsor events or when we photograph sold-out charity dinners. Winston Churchill once said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.� That concept is not lost on people in our community who continually look for ways to give back to the countless worthwhile nonprofits serving Kern. / Health 2011 95


DEC 9-23 BARC’’s 6th Annual Magical Forest Hosted by Bakersfield Association for Retarded

JAN 7 23rd Annual Fog Run Benefitting the Victim Witness Auxiliary of Kern County, a nonprofit with a mission to provide Kern County crime victims with immediate assistance such as medical services, shelter,

Citizens. BARC’’s’ mission is to build a stronger community by helping people with developmental disabilities achieve individual goals for a better life. •

DEC 11 28th Annual Bakersfield Toy Run Benefitting the Salvation Army Toy and Food Drive. •

Cookies at the Clocktower A family day at the Kern County Museum to help fund museum programs. •

M.A.R.E. Holiday Party This annual event will help M.A.R.E. fund

food, transportation, and other needs that arise from being victimized. Also, to support crime prevention efforts. •

JAN 28 Rabbie Burn’s’ Dinner Hosted by The Kern County Scottish Society. The Society was formed to promote Scottish heritage and cultural traditions in Kern County, and gather for social functions.

Sterling Silver Dinner at Bakersfield College Benefitting the Bakersfield College Foundation, which seeks to expand access and opportunity for students of all ages; improve the quality and diversity of instructional offerings; support the professional development of an outstanding faculty and staff; purchase leading edge technology for classrooms and learning laboratories; and enhance College facilities to create an efficient and stimulating learning environment. •

TBA Annual Rock-a-thon Hosted by the Alzheimer’’s Disease Association of Kern County, Inc. It aims to provide respite, education and support to caregivers in Kern County and to maintain and enhance the quality of life for those impacted by Alzheimer’’s Disease and related disorders.

FEB 9 Go Red for Women Luncheon Hosted by the American Heart Association. Their mission for this event is to fight heart disease and stroke in women.

Photo provided by lana fain

DEC 2-31 Annual Holiday Lights at CALM To benefit the California Living Museum’’s programs. CALM displays and interprets native California animals, plants, fossils, and artifacts to teach a respect for all living things through education, recreation, conservation, and research.

their yearly programs. M.A.R.E. (Mastering Abilities Riding Equines) seeks to provide therapeutic equine assisted activities for the benefit of people living with special needs and disabilities.

community outreach, and special events. •

FEB 18 18th Annual Easter Basket Eggstravaganza Benefitting the programs of the Society for Disabled Children, which aims to identify and deliver programs and services that improve the quality of life for disabled children in Kern County.

through shelter, prevention of pet overpopulation, and adoption.

FEB 25 Super Cruise Car Event At the Kern County Fairgrounds benefitting the Society for Disabled Children. •

FEB 24 Furry Paws and Foggy Nights Dinner and Silent Auction

annual Fishing Derby at Mirror Lake Hosted by and benefitting the Kern County Sheriff’’s Activities League. The mission is to offer activities for the youth of Kern County as an alternative to gangs and drugs.

Benefitting the Bakersfield Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals. The BSPCA advocates the general welfare and humane treatment of animals

MAR 2 Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County’ annual Golf Tournament

Bakersfield Museum of Art Cultural Mixer Celebrating the De La Mano and Estampas Exhibits. The BMOA inspires and engages diverse audiences by providing a broad spectrum of creative visual arts experiences through the exhibition and preservation of fine art, educational programs,

96 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

MAR 10 5th Annual Walk For Thought Sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of California to raise funds and promote awareness of brain injury. Through advocacy, education, and research, the association brings help,

MAR 17 Walk for the Arts Bakersfield Hosted by the Arts Council of Kern and benefitting the nonprofit’’s yearly programs. The Arts Council provides and promotes arts access, advocacy, and education.


Benefitting the nonprofit’’s educational programs, which seek to enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Dodgeball Tournament Hosted by The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County. •


MAR 3 Puttin’’ on the Dog event and open house Benefitting the Bakersfield Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

hope, and healing to thousands of Californians living with brain injury, their families, and the professionals that serve them. •

Garces Gala Formal Night Hosted by Garces Memorial High School to benefit their educational programs. Garces’’ mission is to develop students spiritually, intellectually, and socially by instilling community respect, integrity, compassion, and courage of faith. •

Pull for PAL PAL (Police Activities League) intends to provide quality activities for the youth of our community and to establish positive relationships between youth, police, and the community. •

MAR 8 Art A-Go-Go Special evening hosted by and benefitting the Bakersfield Museum of Art.

Art A-Go-Go All day art sale hosted by and benefitting the Bakersfield Museum of Art. •

MAR 16 Garces Gala Casual Night Hosted by Garces Memorial High School to benefit their educational programs.

In the Bakersfield College Renegade Room benefitting the Bakersfield College Foundation.

H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection Bunco Event The nonprofit’’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for people with special needs through a family resource center that symbolizes professionalism, dignity, compassion, and respect. •

MAR 31 17th Annual Scottish Games and Gathering At the Kern County Fair Grounds benefitting the Kern County Scottish Society. •

TBA 10th Annual Golf Classic Benefitting the Alzheimer’’s Disease Association of Kern County.

APR 13 Dinner at the Derby Hosted by Bakersfield West Rotary and Youth Connection to benefit Youth Connection’’s programs. Youth Connection encourages students to get involved with sports, tutoring, and lessons where they would learn life skills. (661) 852-5765 •

Red & White Wine & Food Festival At Renegade Park hosted by the Bakersfield College Foundation. •

APR 12 Red & White Winemaker Dinner

Greater Bakersfield Green Expo and High School Art Competition The Woody Y Century and Family Fun Ride Hosted by the Asthma and COPD Education Center to promote programs in our area. This organization provides services to the community to ensure that children and adults can breathe easier, enjoy life, and participate in activities, leading to a better quality of life and reduced healthcare cost to families and businesses. •

3rd Annual Rio Bravo Run At Rio Bravo Ranch benefitting Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Kern County. CASA recruits volunteers from communities throughout Kern County to serve as advocates in child protection proceedings.

APR 14 Walk for Babies at Liberty Park Benefitting the March of Dimes. This national nonprofit helps moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies. www.marchofdimes. com/california / Health 2011 97

Pirate’s Treasure Hunt Benefitting the Society for Disabled Children. •

The Annual Cioppino Feed Hosted by Bakersfield West Rotary at Garces Memorial High School.

TBA Bowl-A-Thon Benefitting New Advances for People with Disabilities (NAPD). NAPD provides quality services to people with developmental disabilities

MAY 5 2012 Relay for Life of Bakersfield Benefitting the American Cancer Society. The mission is to give communities

APR 19 12th Annual Read for Life Gala Hosted by the Kern Adult Literacy Council. They seek to improve the quality of life for Kern County residents, by teaching individuals to read, write, and speak the English language and by enabling them to become more productive members of our community.

APR 26 23rd Annual Bakersfield WomeN’s Business Conference The event aims to educate and encourage women to be the best they can be in life and business. •

Golden Empire Gleaners’ Spring Social and Fashion Show Funds raised will help Gleaners’ with their mission of feeding the less fortunate in Kern County. •

APR 30 Monsignor Leddy Golf Tournament Benefitting the educational programs at Garces Memorial High School.

APR 21 The Great Cloth Diaper Change Informational event hosted by the Real Diaper Association.

MAY 25-27 16th Annual Standing Bear Powwow Hosted by the Native American Heritage Preservation Council of Kern County. TBA 16th Annual Valley Fever Golf Tournament Benefitting the Valley Fever Vaccine Project.

through programs, advocacy, and empowerment. •

TBA Volunteer Appreciation and Anniversary Dinner Benefitting the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. •

TBA ALPHA Canine Fundraiser at Red Brick Pizza To benefit this no-kill dog shelter. ALPHA Canine’’s mission is to rescue abandoned or homeless dogs and adopt them out to loving families.

TBA Festival of Beers Hosted by the Bakersfield Active 20-30 Club. The funds raised will help the club to serve the community while building lasting relationships and rendering service to youth.

TBA Walk & Run for Autism Hosted by and benefitting Valley Achievement Center. Its mission is to empower children and adults on the autism spectrum, or with other developmental disabilities, to achieve the highest quality of life through education, community outreach, and the use of innovative and researchbased programs.

TBA BARC’’s 4th Annual Celebrity Waiter’s Luncheon at the Double Tree To benefit BARC programs.

MAY 19 M.A.R.E.’’s Evening at the Races.

98 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. bakersfieldca •

MAY 10 Arte del Vino: Wine Tasting and Art Exhibit Hosted by the Bakersfield Museum of Art. •

MAY 11 23rd Annual Golf Tournament Benefitting the Society for Disabled Children.

TBA Hoffmann Hospice Voices of Inspiration Dinner Funds raised will help this nonprofit hospice agency with its mission to help people and families cope with end-of-life hardships. ©

APR 14 battle of the Badges Hosted by Bakersfield Police Activities League (PAL).

While this is just a sampling of what’’s out there, we hope you’’ll consider attending or supporting a number of these events. And if you know of an event that is not listed above, or one that is scheduled for later in 2012, please let us know by sending an email to editorial@, and we’’l’ l include it in our June 2012 issue.




NEW LOOK Now that the dust has settled from fashion shows around the globe,


and the yearly competition between magazines over “who can have the biggest September issue” is complete, it is now time for our brains to process it all. Major trends were set for hair and make-up. For instance, have you noticed more and more people are wearing lipstick instead of lip-gloss? This once iconic “notion of the past,” is back and better than ever. Carrying around a tube of lipstick like past generations did is now front and center. Many major fashion houses are coming out with signature colors of lipstick for about $40 a pop. The look of colorful lips goes exceptionally well with the classic make-up trend: red lips, lined lashes, bold brows, and flawless skin. For hair, there were many different styles on the runway but they all had the same intention: effortless. Bouncy, beachy blowouts; tousled waves and braids; high buns; easy up-dos; and hair parted down the center. The whole idea is to create a perfect mess. Then there are nails (don’t forget about the nails). To me, forgetting about your nails is like baking a cake, taking the time to ice it, getting candles on top of it, and then not lighting the candles. It’s that extra little touch that pulls it all together. Nails can be the boldest beauty accessory that costs very little (time and money). On the runway, metallic and crazy designs were the reoccurring theme. One thing to keep in mind, whatever design or color you use, is that a constant in nail fashion is a high-shine glossy finish. Juliane Torczon is a marketing consultant and avid fashion blogger. You can check out more of her fashion and beauty advice on her website,

By Juliane Torczon

Here are a few trendy tips:

My ultimate favorite Mascara is Diorshow ($26). It can be a bit pricey but I’m telling you it’s well worth it and once you try it, nothing else will ever suffice again. However, if you’re scared to fall into a possibly pricey trap try M.A.C. Zoomlash ($15). Start at the base of your lashes and wiggle the wand upward to the tips.

1. Big lashes.

2. Red Lips. Try M.A.C.’s Ruby Woo ($14.50). It’s a dry, matte lipstick that won’t smudge. For a more natural look, diffuse the outer edges of your lips using a Q-tip (that way you don’t have a harsh line). 3. Loose Waves. Blow-dry your hair with your fingers in order to create waves and natural texture. But it really comes down to clothes. 4. The FashionFrocks. Trying to narrow it down and pick just a handful of looks was a daunting task. There were so many eye-catching trends on the runways. Everything from lace, colored fur and feathers, polka dots, bright colors, to floral and tribal patterns, statement jackets and coats, menswear for women, and python clutches. My head was literally spinning in excitement with all the choices in clothes! We all know Bakersfield has a more casual state of mind, so I put together three looks based on three exciting fashion forward trends. Why not give these looks a try in 2012. Look 1: Sequins. It’s really hard to go wrong with sequins. Glitter? Yes. Sequins? No. Well… it’s only bad if you wear it from head to toe. >> / Health 2011 99



By wearing an article of clothing that has a sequin embellishment on it will give your outfit a little sparkle and shine without being over-the-top. The metallic shine is that “little something” unexpected, especially when paired with other textures such as faux fur, leather, woven sweaters, etc. It also adds a feminine touch to menswear styles. For my look, I paired a sequined skirt with a long white tank top and made the look casual with a denim button down. The casual look of the denim and the feminine look of the sequins make a great pair—opposites always attract. I then paired the skirt with blue heels. You could definitely change out the shoes to give it different looks—army boots, nude heels, leather flats, etc. Lastly, you could do almost anything for jewelry. Any color would go with the outfit, and any design except something with lots of glitter and rhinestones, that’s too much bling-bling if you know what I mean.

Look 2: Red

Another major trend is the color red. Let

100 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

me start out by saying, I hated the color red with a passion. There are just those colors that you connect with and some you don’t. When I saw that red was coming back, bigger and better than ever, I cringed. However, being the obsessive shopper that I am, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to buy something red and try it out. I bought a see-through red/ orange button up shirt and got numerous compliments. Red is definitely a “look at me” color but there’s many different ways to subtly wear it—a lipstick, scarf, or bangles would be my recommendation. After my heart softened and I fell in love with red, I bought a pair of red skinny jeans. I like wearing red with grey, nude, black, and blue. For this look I wore a lace (texture) grey tank, tucked in, and a black faux leather jacket. To tie the look together I wore black wedges and gold tone jewelry—red and gold are best friends.

Look 3: Galaxy/Star Pattern

Again, I have to admit, I was a bit leery of this pattern. I started to see people wearing dresses, leggings, and shirts with stars on them. But then, I saw a full constellation on Dolce and Gabbana’s runway and fell in love. I found a see through button up shirt with a very similar pattern. I paired it with dark denim jeans and tucked it in to create a waistline. To break up all the darkness I chose to wear my nude suede shoes with a chunky heel. Again, I picked gold jewelry to brighten up the look even more. Keep in mind, fashion tastes are subjective, and that’s what I love about this industry. I hope that my tips and highlights of some of the fashion forwards will inspire your own perspectives as we move into the New Year. n





veryone should have friends who live someplace like Minnesota or, even better, the Dakotas. Talking to my friend in Minnesota puts the season called winter into perspective. My friend, Shirley, is always cheerful when I call despite the fact that she has just dug a six-foot tunnel to her car and has had to bring the pet chickens, Tangerine and Mimosa, into the laundry room so they don’t freeze to death. As for the Dakotas, well, I don’t understand how they bear their winters. When the pioneers came rolling along and ‘ol Zeke jumped out of his wagon, didn’t his wife think to say, “Honey-Bunny, look at that sign”? Why would someone settle in a place with a big billboard saying “Welcome to the Badlands”? But then, Zeke was a stubborn man and not one to follow his wife’s advice to keep traveling west to beautiful Bakersfield. So they dug in and made do with taking Rufus, the pet buffalo, in for the winter.

Please don’t sow seeds or plant most (hothouse grown) seedlings (tomatoes, that means you) in the ground until after Valentine’s Day. It’s not the air (ambient) temperature that counts; it’s the soil temperature. Most seeds and seedlings will not thrive in cold, wet soil. They’ll glumly sit there and most likely will rot. An exception is leafy greens. So, if you can’t wait, plan on lots of salads. In fact, “salad” seeds should be planted now! All kinds of lettuces, spinach, radishes, parsley, green onions, sugar snaps, and snow peas can be sown. Try to stagger the plantings or you’ll end up with one enormous crop at once. You can’t imagine how tired of stir fry you can get. Spray deciduous fruit trees with a dormant oil spray. It should be applied prior to bud break. A copper fungicide, or lime sulphur, is sprayed on peaches and nectarines to control brown rot and peach leaf curl. Remember, do not use sulphur on apricot >>

But I digress. Back to the here and now. We are so spoiled living in our comparably temperate zone, that after a few weeks of chilly-willy days, anxiety starts setting in. Will the sun ever come out? When will the fog burn off? We want to get out from under our electric blankies and garden! Unfortunately, this is a case that proves haste makes waste. I actually heard someone talking about planting tomato seedlings recently. As I was rolling on the floor clutching my heart, rasping, “What are you, nuts?” I think I influenced him to abstain. (I also feel those neighborhood betting pools on who can grow the first tomato have gotten way out of hand.)

it’s the perfect time for salad fixin’s!

© / Health 2011 101

Gardening with Mrs. P


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or walnut trees. Actually, I have used copper fungicide on my apricot tree and nothing horrible happened so I’m at a loss as to why the big no-no, but stay on the safe side. This is bare root season! Plant centers and nurseries are full of perennials wrapped in plastic without soil. This not only keeps the cost down but allows far more choices. Roses, grapes, pomegranates, asparagus, strawberries, fruit, nut, and shade trees can all be purchased for about 1/3 the price of those same plants potted. Try something new you’ve never grown before; what have you got to lose, maybe a few dollars?

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How to plant bare-root perennials n Using wire cutters, cut the wire closing at the top and slit open the plastic. Remove the organic packing material (usually wood sawdust chips) and discard. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for 1/2 hour. n Dig a hole about twice as wide as the root system. Then, make a cone of soil in the center to support the roots. n Set the plant on the cone of soil and spread the roots evenly. Fill the hole with soil so that the crown of the plant is level with or slightly above the soil and water well. Easy-peasey, isn’t it? Even though our Bakersfield winters are generally quite benign, there’s always a chance of a big freeze (does December of 1990 ring a bell?). My personal opinion of trying to protect plants is mixed. As you know I’m basically a sink or swim type of gardener. But yes, I’ve done all the waterjugging, plant-coverings, plastic tunneling, blah, blah, blah. Some of my plants have survived heavy freezes remarkably well. Others (the wimps) have bit the dust. Every

102 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

year is different and each area of my yard, as yours, has its own microclimate. Just as there are gardeners anxious to start planting tomatoes now, there are overzealous neat freaks jumping the gun and yanking out seemingly dead plants that are merely slow to wake up. One year I thought my prized pink calla lilies had frozen. There was no

If you want to know if the plant is dead, the color black is your sign. sign of life and just solid dirt. I kept sprinkling water in the area and around the end of February little green spikes started perking up. Then the leaves started unfurling like great fans. Before I knew it, I had enough gorgeous pink spathes (flower bracts) to give to a friend for her wedding bouquet. It’s a lovely and true story but there’s a flip side. A number of plants will seem to survive, even blooming in spring but then will eventually die because of internal freeze damage. I’ve lost Bougainvillea and Daphne this way. If you want to know if the plant is dead, the color black is your sign. Cut off the tips of branches that have turned black but only cut back to the green. If flower stems are black and mush, cut them all the way to the ground. Don’t prune spring-flowering plants until they bloom. They say the month of January can be compared to an iceberg—very little can be seen in the garden above the surface, but below there’s a lot going on! Roots are growing and absorbing nutrients so keep watering. Turn on the automatic sprinklers before a hard freeze is announced to keep the lines from freezing. Lack of water in the winter is one of the main reasons for lack of fruit in the summer and a reason for insect damage to trees. Even in the dead of winter there are plenty of chores to do in one’s garden. As for Mrs. P, I’m what’s known as a fair weather gardener. I’ll be thinking of all of you as I lie about in Maui. Gotta go now. The little pink umbrella just fell out of my glass. Happy 2012! v Lynn Pitts, better known as Mrs. P., is a native Californian, master gardener in four counties including Kern, a garden writer, and professional botanical artist. She has been featured on “The Art of Gardening,” on PBS, and has conducted flower workshops throughout California for botanical gardens and arboretums.


home & Garden

Enjoying Old Age It seems like everything is being labeled an antique these days.

Heck, the first cellular telephone is considered an antique by some. Still, there was a period in the 1990s when it became fashionable to stock up on furniture from decades past while decorating a house. China hutches, apothecary tables, and dressers became highly sought-after items at antique stores and flea markets. An appreciation for fine craftsmanship and unique designs won over those folks who’d lived through the mass-reproduc©

tion of the ‘70s and ‘80s, when new was in. It didn’t hurt that

Antiques Roadshow had everyone rummaging through their attics looking for treasures from eras gone by. Figurines, clothing, paintings; everything was up for appraisal. To this day, people love antique furniture, knick-knacks, and works of art. There are avid collectors and then there are the people who just look for a few items to dress up a living room or home library. Most people fall into the latter category. After all, it’s tough to know what to look for in a collectable, and it can be expensive. There are things to look out for and things to do if you’re planning on taking a trip to an antique store in the near future.

It’s neve ra bad idea t get a wr o itt guarant en ee of authent icity.

1. Make sure you’re shopping from a reputable

their professional experience; if they specialize in any certain

dealer. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),

items; if they belong to any professional dealer or appraiser or-

it’s important to ask any dealer or store owner a few things

ganizations; and, if you’ve found a piece you like, find out how

to ensure you’re happy with your purchase. Ask them about

the dealer came to determine it was genuine and how they set the price. And unless you have a dealer you’ve used for years, it’s not a bad idea to get a guarantee of authenticity in writing. If they’re not willing to give you a written guarantee, that doesn’t mean you should walk away...just make sure the price is reflective of that fact. After all, paying top dollar for something that the dealer claims is an antique without a guarantee is foolhardy. Most importantly, you should find out if


they have a return policy for certain items.

2. Know what you’re buying. There are a lot of people


who claim to sell antiques, but the FTC warns consumers that, by law, an antique is an item that is over 100 years old! Also, for an item to be considered a vintage collectable it has to be at

an By law, is an antique t is item tha over 100 . years old

least 50 years old. So make sure you’re not being overcharged for something that is simply a “collectable.” Be on the lookout for reproductions, too. Many designers can model new furniture in styles from past centuries and you’d be surprised how many people are mislead. >> / Health 2011 103

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3. Buy a price guide. If you’re looking to become a serious antiques collector, or plan on furnishing your whole house with antiques or vintage items, make sure you’re aware of any technical information out there. Many guides are specific to types of antiques and include references, short descriptions, photos, and even brief histories—information that can help you ensure you’re aware of what authentic items look like. Price guides also have average retail values for these items. Unfortunately, these guides don’t take into account region and demand. If you live in an area where antique china hutches are all the rage, expect to

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pay more than what’s listed in the guide. 4. It may seem like a no-brainer, but condition is relative to price. If you’re going to be purchasing a large buffet or dresser, check every nook and cranny, open every drawer, inspect every latch and joint. Look for possible patch

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jobs or repairs. If you notice an area that looks as though it was repaired, find out what the dealer knows. The price should reflect the condition of the piece, so if there are lots of scratches or dings on an old wooden coffee table, ask the dealer how he came to the price that’s listed. 5. Finally, there is a right way and a wrong way to haggle. You don’t want to offend the seller and risk not getting them to accept a lower offer. Most people in the antiques business suggest you first ask the dealer if their price is firm

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(rather than asking if they will take less money or stating what you will give them). So, those are a few tips to consider when venturing out to a flea market or antiques mall. Just remember, buy what you like and what you’ll use—don’t look for “treasures” to flip. That can lead to disappointment and a good story for the appraisers on

Antiques Roadshow. n


Flamboyant, energetic, academic, and artsy only begin to describe the cultural richness and diversity of this famous California city.


uit hogging the spotlight, Southern California. Sure, Albert Hammond immortalized one of your most famous attributes in a 1974 song, but there's a whole lot of California that never seems to get any attention. Okay, that's not entirely true, but it seems like those of us in the Central Valley tend to look south more often while planning a trip when we could be looking north. Maybe it's because Northern California seems much farther away. In reality, a five-hour drive (or a relaxing six-hour Amtrak ride) will have you experiencing the sites and sounds of the beautiful San Francisco Bay. The Bay Area is rife with culture and exciting things to see and do, which is why it makes sense to spread out your visits. Don't try and tackle the entire region in one weekend. We suggest starting with Berkeley. If you haven't already traveled to this small town with a big reputation, expect to be wowed. Renowned Culture Berkeley has long been known for political and social awareness. The city was in the national spotlight during the turbulent 1960s when free speech, “flower power,� and civic rights were hot-button issues. That progressive attitude is alive and well, and the city, with a population of 112,580, is still colorful and lively. Berkeley is famous for being a hub of academic achievement, scientific exploration, and the arts. After all, there are roughly 200 arts and cultural organizations, making Berkeley one of the most artistically-dense cities in the entire Bay Area. The Arts District is centered on Addison Street, between Shattuck Avenue and Milvia Street. There are museums; dance, music, and performance groups; and multiple art galleries. Plus, Berkeley features its own opera company, a wonderful


photos courtesy of


There are roughly 200 arts and cultural organizations, making Berkeley one of the most artistically-dense cities in the entire Bay Area. / Health 2011 105

Great Getaways

symphony orchestra, and a ballet company. Visit the Aurora Theater Company, the JAZZSCHOOL, or stop by the University of California, Berkeley campus for international touring artists year-round. Definitely visit the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The Theatre's 2011-2012 season is bringing stellar stars to the area like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rita Moreno, and Britain’s Kneehigh Theatre Company. The Theatre has grown substantially since 1968 to feature two stages and a school. The Theatre even won a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Visit www.berkeleyrep. org for ticket prices (they start at only $27) and show information. For additional theater, try Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse ( The award-winning, allages venue provides, according to the Berkeley Visitor's Guide, the “finest in roots and acoustic music more than 300 nights a year. The Freight offers classes, concerts, and a café in [its] new, green building in the heart of Berkeley’s Downtown Arts District.” There is music five to seven nights a week! To soak up more culture, spend time following the Berkeley Poetry Walk—a public art display made up of 128 castiron panels embedded into the sidewalk on Addison Street. Overall, Berkeley’s ever-expanding cultural scene hosts more than 130 nonprofit arts organizations and hundreds of artists and performers.

Come For The Food During any visit to Berkeley, you'll have numerous choices for entertainment, but you'll also be overwhelmed with fantastic dining choices. Berkeley’s north side is known for its amazing culinary culture. If you schedule your trip accordingly you can hit up one of two weekly culinary walking tours that usher you through what is famously referred to as Berkeley’s “Gourmet Ghetto.” The tours are led by Bay Area “epicurean concierge” Lisa Rogovin and feature oneon-one conversations with chefs, as well as the tastes of the area. Tour stops can include original Peet’s Coffee in Walnut Square, the Cheese Board Collective (one of the nation’s oldest worker-owned cooperatives offering more than 400 kinds of fresh cheeses and baked delights that

Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse

also operates an incredible pizza shop next door, with live jazz piano), and even organic pastrami from Saul’s Restaurant & Deli. Offered Saturdays and Thursdays, the cost is $75 per person and reservations can be made at Also impressive is the fact that the “California Cuisine” movement was started at Alice Water's (creator of the Edible Schoolyard) Chez Panisse. Chez Panisse is the crème de la crème of fine dining. You can dine in the downstairs restaurant and the upstairs café. Chez also serves as the unofficial anchor of the “Gourmet Ghetto.” Every type of cuisine is available be

season to visit. Year-round activities and hotspots are ready for you. Here's a sampling: For example, you could stop by PIER 39. There is something for everyone at PIER 39, also known as San Francisco's Premier Bay Attraction. This is a festival marketplace with more than a hundred stores, 12 Bay-view restaurants, and funfilled attractions for all ages including sea lions, street performers, and live musicians daily. Located at Beach Street and The Embarcadero. Bring the entire family to Habitot Children’s Museum for hands-on play and learning for families with young children,

During any visit to Berkeley, you’ll have numerous choices for exciting entertainment, but you’ll also be overwhelmed with fantastic dining choices.

it Indian, Italian, Japanese, organic, or something a little left of center. A more complete list of amazing eateries can be found in the Berkeley Visitor's Guide. Bay Area Activities Since the weather averages 50 degrees in the winter and 60 degrees in the summer, you needn't worry about a particular “good”

106 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

0-7. There is an art studio and seven interactive exhibit spaces. Stop by The Berkeley Rose Garden. Located next to Codornices Park, this garden is over three acres of row upon row of fragrant roses; 3,000 rose bushes and 250 varieties. The garden also has a redwood pergola, a picnic area for families, tennis courts (if you're in the mood), hiking trails,

For today in the city of David, a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. Luke 2:11

Rev. Msgr. Craig F. Harrison, V.F. Pastor Rev. David Greskowiak, Associate Rev. Denis Ssekannyo, Associate Rev. Gerry Chavez, Hospitals We would like to take this opportunity to wish the readers of Bakersfield Magazine a blessed holiday season, and every good wish for a prosperous new year filled with joy, hope, love and the peace of Christ Jesus.

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foot bridges, a terraced amphitheatre, and an ornamental pool fed by Codornices Creek, which runs through the garden. The Rose Garden is considered by many to be the finest rose garden in California! Mother's Day weekend would be a great time to visit as the roses will have been pruned in January to be at full bloom. Benches at the top of the garden give you a great view of San Francisco Bay. Take a stroll on Solano Avenue, a quaint, tree-lined street that stretches for more than a mile across Berkeley and Albany. You'll find shops, restaurants, and boutiques on the “Ave,” and more than enough culture. Visit the USS Hornet Museum and “explore an authentically restored aircraft carrier...from Captain’s Bridge to Engine Room! A National Historical Landmark, this ship participated in WWII and the Apollo 11 moon mission. Exhibits include naval aircraft and the West Coast’s largest display of Apollo artifacts.” Even if you're not planning on staying overnight, you can still check out the Berkeley City Club, one of the best-kept secrets in the Bay Area. “The Berkeley City Club was designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, and the architecture is regal right down to its bones. The California State Historical Landmark offers exquisite guest accommodations with character and historic charm.” Numerous events take place here including open mic nights (dubbed Open Mic at the Little Castle). If you're in the mood for physical activity, grab your sneakers and ropes and head to Indian Rock Park. This is one of the best places to go rock climbing in the entire area. The park has large rock formations with carved steps, outcroppings for rock climbing, and panoramic bay views. West Berkeley’s Fourth Street is a shopping district sure to impress—there's fashion, design, art, gifts, and fine dining. If you spend some time on Telegraph Avenue, you can get into the “Flower Power” culture and pick up a few things from street artisans and vendors. Then there's University Avenue, known for its unique collection of shops, restaurants, and Indian bazaars. No matter what your budget or your time frame, you'll be able to fully enjoy what Berkeley has to offer. So show some love to Northern California and spend some time soaking up the coastal breezes and counterculture that this Bay Area city has to offer. Check out or call (510) 549-7040.v

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108 Bakersfield Magazine

While college is an exciting time, there are a few things that most people tend to worry about. You’ve got to save up for tuition, budget for books, manage your time wisely, and cram for the numerous tests. One thing incoming freshman tend to forget about is healthcare. Thankfully, the Affordable Care Act requires plans and issuers that offer coverage to children on their parents’ plan to make the coverage available until the adult child reaches the age of 26. So if you’re a dependent (or even just living with a parent) that’s good news. What if you’re older or a nontraditional student? Universities and community colleges are aware that most students are not going to be employed full time while they attend school—and therefore may not qualify for an employer’s health plan. Therefore, they offer health services at either no cost or a very reduced cost. For example, CSUB allows all currently-enrolled full-time students to access the Health Center for free. Those nontraditional students who are taking classes through the “Extended University” are eligible if they pay $78 at the beginning of each quarter. At BC, any student currently enrolled is entitled to health services. That means, as a student, you’re able to receive consultations with health center staff regarding illnesses or injuries. And you can even have certain tests performed that are part of a yearly physical. So it’s important not to forget about your healthcare while in college, but there are options out there just in case your parents can’t claim you as a dependent anymore. Source:


Switch on the burner, grease up the skillet, or spark up the coals, it’s time to get eating. It’s not hard to eat a meal fit for a king—we’ve done the research for you. Whether you’re searching for juicy new recipes to thrill dinner guests with or looking for a new, exciting place to dine out with family, our Food Section has all the spice and flavor you’ll need.



We’ve got reviews, recipes, entertaining tips, and more! This is the place to explore local eateries that have good food and good service, find out which ones cater to your budget and your taste buds, and get culinary inspiration to bring back to your own kitchen. Sumptuous, mouth-watering meals await you whatever your mood— grab your apron and peruse these pages for your favorite recipe. Bon Appétit. / Health 2011 109


say hello to


Every Bakersfield resident has a favorite dish at Uricchio’s. After all, the menu is chock full of amazing Italian delicacies. For this issue’s Quick Bites With Local Flavor, we asked Claire Uricchio-Porter and the talented chefs at Uricchio’s to whip us something not on the menu that would be easy for folks at home to make. It also had to include a few local ingredients and, most importantly, be delicious. Well, say hello to delicious. The Eggplant Tower is perfect for any meal...the catch is that you’ll want to eat it for every meal. n

Eggplant Tower to Breadcrumbs • Eggs • Pes tomatoes ied -dr Sun • Eggplant • Goat cheese ce (optional) Alfredo sauce or Marinara sau ~For Pesto~ oil 2 cups basil • 1/2 cup olive ese che 1/2 cup grated Parmesan garlic of 1/4 cup pine nuts • 3 cloves 110 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Uricchio’s ~Directions~ ts simple! Just add all ingredien Start by making the pesto. It’s nd until smooth. Set aside. into a food processor and ble a shallow dish. Cut eggplant Nex t, crack a few eggs into in es, dip in egg, then coat into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slic olive oil. breadcrumbs. Fry each slice in e with presentation. Use Alfredo ativ Here’s where you can get cre . You to to decorate your serving dish sauce, marinara sauce, and pes s. tion sec ce three separate sau can drizzle on the plate or create your eggplant tower by laying When the plate is ready, start n, then spoon on some pesto. one slice of fried eggplant dow t cheese onto the pesto and top Nex t, you’ll crumble some goa es. eat this process two more tim with sun-dried tomatoes. Rep and pine nuts. Yum! Top with sun-dried tomatoes

Cuisine: tower of taste


steak with river on the side

It’s a beautiful Kern County autumn afternoon—blue skies, warm temperatures, light breeze. Greenhorn Summit is in the distance, the southern Sierra Nevada beckons. perfection. By Mike Stepanovich So, too, does a good steak dinner, and if a scenic drive in the mountains coupled with a fine dining experience sounds like a good way to spend a weekend day, then set your sights Ewing’s on the Kern restaurant in Kernville. The scenic ride, the river view, and the hearty meal are three great reasons to go. My wife, Carol, and I did just that recently, and were reminded of just how beautiful our county is. We hadn’t been to Ewing’s in quite awhile, and decided it would make a good place to dine after a drive up the canyon. Ewing’s on the Kern is about 55 miles from downtown Bakersfield. Head east on Highway 178, through the Kern River Canyon, turn left over Isabella Dam, and follow the road to Kernville. On a recent Sunday afternoon, it was delightful. We were in no hurry, so the 14-mile stretch of switchbacks through the canyon wasn’t as daunting as if we had a schedule to keep. The road has plenty of turnouts, and we

used them frequently to allow those who were in a hurry to pass. Once you leave Bakersfield, the pace definitely slows, and not just because of the road (some hairpin turns are 15 mph). You sense life is a little more relaxed. The river rushes by on the left, the mountainsides rise steeply upward, and in less than half an hour you’ve gone from Bakersfield’s hustle-bustle to a pastoral setting that’s calming and serene. Driving up the west side of Lake Isabella is also beautiful, nestled in a valley as it is, spreading north and east. And when you arrive in Kernville, at the north end of the lake, you sense that Bakersfield could be a thousand miles away, it’s that quiet and relaxing. We found Ewing’s at 125 Buena Vista Drive on the east bank of the Kern River. The rustic restaurant could not be on a better-named street. The view from the dining room, perched above the river, is indeed beautiful. You’re looking down on the river, and as you >>

Cuisine: a change of pace / Health 2011 111

Cuisine: a change of pace look north, you can see the river winding its way down from its headwaters on Mount Whitney through the Sierra Nevada before flowing into Lake Isabella. The mountains rise straight up to the west. There’s no air pollution here; the air is pristine. The restaurant’s entryway has a huge blade from a sawmill attached to the wall, on which the restaurant’s name is painted. Once inside, if you can shift your gaze from the beautiful view, you sense you’re in a mountain lodge with knotty pine walls and plenty of windows. On the right as you enter is the bar. The day we visited a couple of locals were quenching their thirst while watching an NFL game on one of the TV sets in the bar. A jukebox provided a good beat. A couple other guys came in, apparently friends of the first two. One of them must have liked The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” because we heard it twice before we left. Ceiling fans with soft lights created a nice ambience, as did the white-tablecloth-draped tables with glass tops. Two young women were running the place on a slow Sunday, along with a couple of young men in the kitchen. One of the women, Kaitie Holland, cheerfully welcomed us to the restaurant and took our beverage orders. Kaitie, is a local, and has worked at Ewing’s two and a half years. She leads a bit of a nomadic life: in addition to working at Ewing’s and another job in Kernville, she lives in Bakersfield, and also attends Taft College. Autumn is typically slow, she said: “It’s seasonal here. The summers are busy, but in the fall it tails off. We get a lot of tourists in the summer—people from LA, Orange County types. People from Bakersfield drive up for dinner, plus we have a local clientele.” We asked for her recommendations, and she said her favorites were the filet mignon and the prime rib. Since it was an hour and twenty-minute drive to Ewing’s, we were in no rush, so we decided to begin our meal with some appetizers. But what a list to choose from! We found a number of things we liked: mozzarella cheese sticks ($7.95), buffalo wings ($9.95), jalapeno poppers ($7.95), fried zucchini ($7.95). Then we noticed that you can try all of those on the Party Platter, for $13.95. Kaitie said, coming right up! (We were also curious about the

lemon-peppered calamari for $12.95 but decided to save that for a future visit.) When the platter arrived it also included French fries and sweet-potato fries, plus ranch dressing and hot sauce for dipping. We had a hard time deciding which was our favorite because they were all good, but in the end we wound up flipping for the last popper, so I guess that must have been it (we took the rest home with us and enjoyed them the next day).

Carol took Kaitie’s advice and ordered prime rib. Two cuts are available: a 12-ounce cut for $21.95, and the 16-ounce “King’s cut” for $25.95. Carol loves prime rib and often orders the larger cut so she can enjoy it the next day, so she chose the King’s cut. To say it was 16 ounces is an understatement; this slab of meat was more like 20-24 ounces. She also likes her prime rib very rare. No problem at Ewing’s; it was done perfectly. While the filet mignon was tempting—three cuts are available: 6, 12 and 16 ounces—I was drawn to

112 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

the New York pepper steak ($21.95 for a 12-ounce cut). I love a classic pepper steak, smothered in cracked peppercorns and a brandy cream sauce. This one was worth the drive. It was a beautiful cut of meat, done to a perfect medium rare, and the sauce was splendid! I couldn’t have been happier. Steamed broccoli and cauliflower accompanied our entrees, along with our choice of potato—baked for Carol and garlic mashed for me. You also get your choice of soup or salad with your entrees. Carol opted for the salad, and was impressed by its freshness and the bleu cheese dressing. I chose the soup, a thick, rich chicken noodle, with macaroni and carrots, and a garlic-sage flavor. The dishes were attractive and worth noting; our bread plates were square white, while our dinner plates were curved rectangular. Good steak knives were provided as well. The wine list is serviceable, but due to the pending drive back I opted for coffee instead. And don’t miss the desserts. Kaitie was kind enough to box a couple up for us, which we enjoyed once we got home. The cheesecake ($5.95) is made at the restaurant and had excellent texture and flavor. I don’t know where they get their carrot cake ($5.95), but it is simply divine! Ewing’s also has baby-back pork ribs ($27.95 for a full rack, $18.95 for a half), and a couple of good-looking burgers: the third-pound Ewing’s cheeseburger for $10.95, or a three-quarter-pound monster for $14.95. The burgers and sandwiches include fries. Ewing’s on the Kern is open daily 4 to 9 p.m., and accepts most major credit cards. For reservations, call (760) 376-2411. n

Entertaining the Bakersfield Way

a different kind of dinner

The progressive dinner party. Sure, the name sounds like a new age gathering, but this concept actually originated in the 1950s, when neighbors were good friends and a classy dinner party was something you did on a Saturday. The idea behind this type of party is pretty simple: each course of the meal is served at a different home, providing not only a change of atmosphere but also a division of host responsibilities.

It allows you to go all out on your dish (since you only have one to worry about) and to also be surprised at what your neighbors and friends have done at their homes. To make sure that the evening wraps up at a reasonable hour, courses should be limited to three to four locations. You don’t want to spend more time traveling than enjoying the evening. This is the perfect time of year to try a progressive party. Why? During the holidays everyone wants to throw a party, but too many parties can make for dwindling RSVPs. A progressive party allows several friends to entertain together and share the guest list. This style of party is best done with neighbors to eliminate the need for driving between each house and making coordinating décor and food easier. It’s time to bring this stylish dinner party theme back! So put on some fabulous walking shoes and let’s take a festive stroll through a progressive party with some holiday flair. —The First House— The first stop is the initial gathering place and should be warm and welcoming as it will set the tone for the whole evening. Serve a light appetizer so you don’t spoil the dinner. A bar set-up with a diverse selection will keep people circulating, make it easier for

the host, and give guests the choice to sip whatever they please. Talk about making everyone happy! While a progressive party can be held in any season, during the winter months, you’ll probably want to serve warm appetizers. Use this idea as you plan to complement the dinner entrée at the next location. Chicken Caesar bites are a great balance between warm and crispy; light and flavorful. They’ll hold your guests over and you’ll look like an hors d’oeuvres artist. >>

Cuisine: 1...2...3...dinner! / Health 2011 113

CUISINE: 1...2...3...dinner! Chicken Caesar Bites 5 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese • Parchment paper 2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken 1/2 cup arugula, chopped 1/4 cup Caesar dressing (creamy works best) 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice • Freshly ground pepper to taste 2 tbsp. crushed Parmesan pita chips Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of Parmesan cheese into small mounds, one inch apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake Parmesan 10-20 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbling, and a golden-brown. In a bowl, stir chicken, arugula, and dressing together and add ground pepper to taste. Scoop this mixture onto finished Parmesan rounds. Sprinkle crushed pita chips over the top. Super easy!

Chicken Caesar Bites —The Second House— The next home will be serving the main course. Hosts of the second house should be prepared for a rush of hungry guests as everyone’s appetite will be whet from the scrumptious appetizer. Place cards and a preplanned seating arrangement will make this portion of the evening run smoothly. Whether you serve individually or buffet-style, make sure to keep everything warm until it is served. Soup and or salad can also be served at this house or hosts can choose to add another location for that course. If you plan on making place cards, don’t just write a guest’s name on a slip of paper, try making fun and easy place cards that look like big pieces of candy. Cut ovals from card stock in your color of choice. Write the guest’s name on the oval. Then, use a hole puncher to create a hole at either end of the oval. Insert grosgrain ribbon of your choice (mixing patterns can be fun here) into a hole and bring it out through the other side to create quick and colorful place cards. As for the food, nothing says “holiday feast” like a beautiful piece of meat. Tenderloin with traditional holiday spices (like nutmeg) infused into the rub is a perfect choice. Even the Grinch can’t resist the roast beast. 114 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Holiday Beef Tenderloin

Holiday Beef Tenderloin 1 tbsp. salt 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 tsp. ground red pepper 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 5 lb. beef tenderloin (trimmed) 1/4 cup olive oil 1 sprig fresh rosemary In a bowl, combine salt, onion and garlic powder, pepper and red pepper, and cumin. Rub the tenderloin with oil, then cover with spice mixture. Place tenderloin in a roasting pan, cover, and chill for eight hours. Bake at 500 degrees until browned, about 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 20 more minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes after taking it from the oven to let it finish cooking. Meat and no potatoes? Not at this little gathering! This red potato recipe is “butter” than the rest. Buttery Red Potatoes 8 red potatoes 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 stick of butter Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste Scrub the potatoes well, rinse and then quarter them. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Over medium heat, sauté the potatoes in pan until browned on all sides—it usually takes about 15 minutes. Add the butter and continue to cook over low heat until tender (roughly 10 minutes). Add salt and pepper. Continued on pg. 117 >>



French Connection Poor sauvignon blanc. We just can’t seem to decide how this crisp white wine should taste. I’m reminded of an old ditty by the comic British duo of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann called “Misalliance,” about a couple of plants whose offspring can’t figure out which way to grow: “Left, right, what a disgrace! Or it may grow straight up and fall flat on its face.” On the one hand—shall we say left?—is the school of thought that sauvignon blanc is naturally herbaceous, with freshly mown hay or cut grass as a dominant aroma. To be sure that’s a quality often found in sauvignon blanc. On the other hand—let’s say the right—are those who prefer the bright, crisp citrus flavors: grapefruit and lemon. Sauvignon blanc with these aromas typically comes from warmer climates. In the quarter century that I’ve been covering the wine industry I’ve seen the pendulum swing both ways. Back in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, sauvignon blanc was a tough sell. Not only was it herbaceous and “grassy,” but also marketing specialists theorized that the name was tough to say. It didn’t just roll off the tongue. In 1968, Robert Mondavi called his sauvignon blanc “Fumé Blanc,” which sounded exotic (though it means simply “dry white”), and the stuff flew out the door. In the 1980s, in an effort to get riper fruit flavors and tone down the herbaceousness, vintners began aggressively pulling leaves from around the grape clusters, exposing the fruit to more sunlight. Sometime around 1990, Cain Cellars in the mountains just west of St. Helena in the Napa Valley, declared it had found the true sauvignon blanc, the Musque clone. This clone seems to have more tropical fruit undertones. >>

FRENCH TIES A class I teach at Bakersfield College is titled The French Connection, and compares French and California wines made from grapes that originated in France. –Mike Stepanovich

wine: vive la vino! s t oc / iHealth kpho 2011 115 t




wine: vive la vino! Then along came Geyser Peak’s sauvignon blanc, which had only the slightest hint of grassiness, and was bright and citrusy. The winery needed a wheelbarrow to haul off the gold medals it won for its sauvignon blanc, and the trend shifted again. The advent of New Zealand sauvignon blanc marked another shift, with its green overtones and grassy flavors, pleasing those who had lamented the pendulum’s swing toward brighter wines. At wine competitions where I judge the New Zealand model became the standard for gold medals, purists insisting that that was the way sauvignon blanc should be made. Throughout this shifting landscape of styles, one style remained true to form: the wines of Sancerre. (OK, you could argue that Bordeaux, where sauvignon blanc is often blended with semillon, also stayed true to its style, but that’s a story for another day.) This appellation at the eastern end of the Loire Valley has

hooked. I loved the crispness, the intense citrus flavors, how well it went with food.

been consistently producing delicious wines in the same crisp, clean style for

My wife, Carol, and I visited Sancerre earlier this year to learn firsthand what

decades. And judging by the growing availability of Sancerre wines in Bakers-

makes these wines so delightful. A two-hour drive south from Paris brings you to Sancerre and the eastern Loire

field, wine lovers here are beginning to notice. Sancerre hews to a style that more resembles the brighter, riper flavors first

Valley. Sancerre is a town and an appellation. The town sits atop a hill overlooking

advanced by California winemakers in the ‘80s and ‘90s, coupled with the inten-

the river. In ancient times the hill had strategic importance. It’s also been a wine


region since Roman times. The appellation spreads westward over gently rolling hills dotted with villages—Verdigny, Bué and Maimbray among them. The Sancerre appellation is a veritable carpet of vineyards, stretching for miles, under brilliant sunshine that ripens the fruit. What gives Sancerre its distinctiveness is its soils. It has three distinct types, two of them calcareous: limestone-clay, chalky soil known as “Terres Blanches” (white soils); pebbly-limestone soils; and flint. “It’s quite amazing,” said Amélie Chestier, a staffer at the Maison des Sancerre, a trade association to promote the wines of the area. “There are so many flavor combinations. You can go to one place, and perhaps the flavors are not good for you, then you go to another, and that’s your Sancerre. Really, there are so many soil combinations that the flavors are infinite.” Sancerre’s quality is maintained by “a panel of winemakers that reviews each wine to judge what is expected of Sancerre,” she said. If the panel deems that sity and acidity of New Zealand sauvignon blancs. It’s a style that is finding more

a wine does not measure up, “you can’t sell it as a Sancerre. The wine has to

and more fans, as evidenced by a recent communiqué from an East Coast retailer

uphold the standards of the appellation.”

which said Sancerre sales are skyrocketing.

While Sancerre blanc (sauvignon blanc) is the most recognized of the

A class I teach at Bakersfield College provided anecdotal evidence. The class,

region’s wines, Sancerre rouge (pinot noir) is excellent as well, as is the

which is offered through the college’s Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning, is

rosé. Nearly 80 percent of the region’s production is sauvignon blanc,

titled The French Connection, and compares French and California wines made

about 14 percent pinot noir, and the rest is rosé.

from grapes that originated in France. During a recent class meeting comparing a California sauvignon blanc with a Sancerre, the class preferred the Sancerre by a four-to-one margin. I remember my first experience with Sancerre wines, and was instantly 116 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

A visit with Ginnette Thomas of Domaine Thomas & Fils in Verdigny, illustrated how different the wines can be due to the diversity of the soils. She poured three wines, a 2010 Le Pierrier, from grapes grown on pebbly-limestone soil; a 2009 Grand Chaille, from flint soils, and the 2010 Ultimus, from clay-limestone.

CUISINE: 1...2...3...dinner!

Continued from pg. 114

Le Pierrier is fresh and fruity, crisp, and forward. The Grand Chaille is minerally, more reserved with greater aging potential. The Ultimus reflects flavors of the first two, harmonious, balanced, and delicious. A short drive to Maimbray brought me to Clement Raimbault’s winery, Domaine Remy. Clement earned a degree in enology and viticulture from the university in Burgundy, then worked at other estates and New Zealand before returning to the family’s winery. His 2010 Sancerre Classic is a blend of grapes grown on the three Sancerre soil types, and has a wonderful fruity, minerally, complex flavor. His second wine was fermented using natural yeasts. “I want it to reflect the terroir,” he said. “So I didn’t use cultured yeasts.” It was an intensely flavored wine that reflected the terroir beautifully. In Bué I met with Dominique Roger of Domaine

Chocolate Liqueur Mousse

du Carrou, whose family has been making wine in Sancerre since at least “the 17th century, perhaps before.” Family techniques passed down through the generations mark Dominique’s wines. “I use traditional methods,” he said. “I try to be gentle with the vineyards. Everything is natural, no pesticides; I leave the grasses to work back into the soil...I taste the grapes to determine ripeness.” His 2010 was a “true Sancerre, 50 percent (grapes grown in) chalk, 30 percent in chalk and clay, and 20 percent in flint.” It was complex and splendid. Perhaps Sancerre’s growing popularity is a reflection of its vintners’ attitudes. For one thing, their wines are affordable—in Bakersfield, $20, give or take a few bucks, will get you a Sancerre. For another, the vintners have the appellation’s best interests at heart. Said Amélie: “Here, the winemakers are colleagues before they’re competitors.” n Mike Stepanovich is an award-winning journalist who has been writing his Life is a Cabernet wine column since 1985, and reviewing restaurants for Bakersfield Magazine since 1997. Stepanovich has taught wine and food pairing classes for many years, and teaches a wine appreciation and history class for Bakersfield College. He began judging wines in 1987, and now judges at major international wine competitions throughout the United States. A home winemaker, Stepanovich resides with his wife, Carol, in Bakersfield.

—The Last House— The third home in this instance will serve as the place of dessert and a nightcap (for those willing). This host has the pleasure of creating the wind-down atmosphere. At this point, everyone is loosened up and looking to indulge in delicious desserts. There are a few options for this host. One, you could set out a big table of small desserts that guests can easily pick and choose from. Then there’s the option of making cakes and pies, but having to play “server” can sometimes detract from the fun. That’s why it’s simpler to create some fun desserts that require no serving once everyone is sipping on coffee and relaxing around a fire. Quick nibbles like cake pops and small bars are great and very “in” for entertaining. Also try this delicious classic and easy mousse that makes the perfect light after-dinner treat. The mousse can be prepared well in advance and placed in individual serving cups before guests arrive. Who will be the host with the most? Avoid comparisons of each part of the dinner by planning together. Don’t think of it as individual

Chocolate Liqueur Mousse 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup white sugar 3 eggs 1 cup hot milk (160 degrees) 3 tbsp. brandy In a blender, combine chocolate chips, sugar, and eggs. Add hot milk and brandy, then blend until smooth. Pour into eight small serving cups and refrigerate for at least one hour. Top with garnish of your choice (mint is always nice) and serve. parties but one continual evening. Plan well and your guests won’t be yearning for the next house, but they’ll be excited at what the night has for them. The progressive party is anything but outdated. Dividing the responsibilities of throwing a party also break up the cost and stress making the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone. There is nothing more fabulous than a chic dinner party with friends, so pull out some fabulous flatware and the candles: it’s time to eat, drink, and be merry! n / Health 2011 117

bottoms up!

Kentucky charmer By Jason Gutierrez

the bistro Year Established: 1986 Quick Facts Address: 5105 California Avenue

Happy Hour: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily

You don’t need to board a flight to experience Southern Charm; all you have to do is swing by The Bistro’s bar to indulge. Nathan Towes, the food and beverage manager, says The Bistro’s

maintains a rugged edge with its ingredients. The Kentucky Martini

bar has become well-known for its extensive beer and wine offer-

is a concoction comprised of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, sweet vermouth,

ings, but the specialty martini menu is quickly growing in popularity,

bitters, and a splash of cherry juice. Towes says this isn’t a overly-

too. One of the many offerings is the stand-out Kentucky Martini.

popular martini that you’ll find on most menus but it certainly is a

This cocktail is sophisticated in presentation and creation, yet it

memorable one that the customers of The Bistro strongly embrace.

The Bistro

Kentucky Martini 2 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth Dash of Bitters Splash of Cherry Juice Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass or martini shaker with a handful of ice. Shake until cold. Pour into martini glass. Serve chilled. I implore you to try the Kentucky Martini. If you’re game, I should warn you that this good ol’ Southern cocktail is certainly a sipping drink. Don’t try and take it down quickly. If you’ve never been to Kentucky, let this represent the pride of the South in a glass. It’s strong, bold, and elegant. Sure, martinis are a popular sell at bars and lounges, but what The Bistro is presenting here, with this unique take, is an offering that will spruce up any social mixer. n

drink: edgy, yet smooth 118 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Grandview Asian Cuisine

Take a trip to the Far East in this amazing restaurant located on the corner of Ming and Ashe. Try Grandview’s for a delicious variety of Asian cuisine and a relaxing atmosphere. Dine on some of the best Dim Sum Bakersfield has to offer while listening to the gentle splash of a waterfall. Whether you have a craving for fine Asian dining, or desire a place to unwind after work, Grandview Asian Cuisine provides the perfect place to get away. Hours: 10am-9pm daily. Visa, MC, AE, DC. 2217 Ashe Road, Bakersfield. (661) 832-2288

El Portal West

We invite you to enjoy our newest Mexican Grill and Cantina, El Portal West. We offer a great selection of appetizers, soups & salads, seafood, and our specialties are chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas. Our full service bar features the best margaritas in town! Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3-7pm (bar only), Lunch specials everyday, 11am-2pm. Fabulous Sunday Brunch, 10am-3pm, reservations accepted. 1100 Calloway Drive. (661) 829-2737

Flame and Skewers

Since opening in February 2006, Flame and Skewers has impressed Bakersfield diners with authentic Mediterranean cuisine. When you want fresh, natural, flavorful food, this is the place to be. Mediterranean cuisine is rooted in the use of fresh and healthy ingredients. Every item boasts this philosophy—from the delicious and tender lamb kabob to the Shawerma, which is marinated and spiced slices of TriTip Beef or Chicken grilled against an open fire. Diners have a variety of options including savory sandwiches, which are topped with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, hommus, and tajini sauce. Two locations: 1201 24th St., open Mon-Sat 10:30am-8pm. (661) 325-1500. 5486 California Ave., open Mon-Sat 10:30am-10pm, Sunday 10:30am-7:30pm. (661) 328-0900

The Crest Bar & Grill

If you are looking for one of Bakersfield’s best-kept secrets, you’ve found it. Nestled inside the beautiful Bakersfield RV Resort, The Crest Bar and Grill is the perfect place to relax after a long day, or get a quick bite to power you through the rest of your busy day. Our well-trained staff will ensure that your dining visit with us is memorable. Our kitchen proudly serves quality Chicago Stockyard steaks, delicious pastas, classic sandwiches, and crisp salads with homemade dressings. Tour our new Banquet Facility—it’s media equipped for any presentation desired, catered by The Crest, and has seating for 150 people. Visit us and enjoy what luxury RV living is all about. Hours 7am-9pm daily. Located at 5025 Wible Rd. (661) 833-9998 / Health 2011 119

The Dining Guide

Luigi’s Restaurant & Italian Delicatessen

Enjoy an old world Italian delicatessen since 1910 with over 200 wines to complement your lunch. From sandwiches to Pasta Bolognese, you’re sure to find flavorful choices to make everyone happy! Don’t forget to shop the gourmet delicatessen for unique gift ideas, wine and authentic foods. Restaurant Hours: Tue-Sat 11am-2:30pm, Deli Hours: Tue-Sat 8am-4pm. 725 East 19th Street. (661) 322-0926

Benji’s French Basque

Benji’s offers something a little different from Bakersfield’s Basque fare. In addition to traditional Basque entrées of lamb, chicken, veal and beef, Benji’s has pan-fried frog legs with garlic lemon sauce, lobster tail, roasted duck, escargots and calf liver. And the beef isn’t just tri-tip; Benji’s serves a scrumptious filet mignon and New York steak with pepper cognac sauce. All dinners are served with the customary Basque family style set-up. Don’t forget Benji’s specialty soufflés flavored with Grand Marnier, raspberry, chocolate or lemon. Basque family owned and operated for 25 years. Banquet facilities available. Conveniently located 2 blocks west of Highway 99 at 4001 Rosedale Hwy. Open daily 11:30am-2pm and 5:30-9:30pm except Tuesdays. Lounge opens 11am. (661) 328-0400

Café Med

The Dining Guide

NEW LOWER PRICES! For a cozy, intimate setting and fine dining with a unique atmosphere, Café Med is the place to go. Choose a selection from our extensive menu and your taste buds will surely be satisfied. Start off with an appetizer-perhaps you might try our Grilled Shrimp Cocktail or Hummus with Lamb Meat-a house specialty. Then choose from a variety of entrées including Mediterranean salads, steaks or even pasta. An excellent dish to try is our Fisherman’s Pasta-a mix of shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams & the catch of the day sautéed in a tomato, basil and mushroom cream sauce. Come by Café Med today. Open 7 days a week 11am-close. Live music on Friday & Saturday nights. Reservations accepted. Visa, MC, AE, DC. 4809 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 834-4433

Brookside Riverlakes Market & Deli

We are your one-stop shop for great, local flavor! Our goal is to offer more grocery items in the market and more variety in the deli for your convenience. From our highquality meat to our breads, everything is fresh and local. Brookside also prepares our own salads and we have a large selection of wines and local products to choose from including Smith’s Bakery goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth. In addition to our Brookside breakfast and lunch menus, we have a catering menu that will help you celebrate any occasion with ease. Deli hours: Mon-Sat 5am-8pm, Sun 6:30am4pm. 4700 Coffee Road. Store: (661) 588-1338, Deli: (661) 588-2329

Chalet Basque

A restaurant of distinction. Served family-style, dinners include French bread & butter, soup, pink beans, hot sauce, hors d’oeuvres, vegetables, and french fries, and a variety of entrée choices. For 45 years, locals and visitors alike have savored favorites such as garlic fried chicken, lamb, and hand-cut steaks including filet mignon topped with blackberries and brandy. Chalet Basque offers tasty lunch specials from 11am-3pm and happy hour specials on beer and cocktails all day. The banquet room accommodates up to 180 people, perfect for wedding parties, anniversaries, and retirement dinners. If you’re looking for a spacious banquet room with delectable dining options, they will match any competitor’s price. Open every day from 11am-9:30pm. 200 Oak Street. (661) 327-2915

Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe

After 25 years still going strong, this Bakersfield icon is “Tex Mex Grub” but geared toward loyal “Bako” patrons. Pit style beef is the king here, but the salad choices, Taco Salad, Salad Lites, and, of course, the Famous Chocolate Cake dominate. Known as a lunch joint, but Bako finally getting into dinner. Open Mon-Sat 118pm. Closed Sunday. 1710 Oak St. (661) 322-6380

Frugatti’s Italian Wood-Fired Oven

Real Italian by Real Italians! Whether dining in or al fresco on our patio, come in and enjoy our new menu that’s bursting with flavor for lunch, dinner or just dessert. You’ll love our steaks. We use only the highest quality Certified Angus Brand® Beef. You’ll also love our chicken, seafood and pizzas cooked in our imported Italian wood-burning oven. We also offer a wide selection of pasta dishes and other Italian favorites. For dessert try our homemade New York cheesecakes or Tiramisu. Come experience our friendly atmosphere. Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-9:30pm, Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 11:30am-10pm, Sunday 11:30am-9pm. All major credit cards accepted. 600 Coffee Rd., corner of Truxtun and Coffee. (661) 836-2000

120 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Asia Market -Teriyaki Bowl

Asia Market & Teriyaki Bowl carries a wide selection of all Asian foods, including Chinese and Japanese favorites! The best part about our store is that after you have chosen your favorite item, you can either take it home and prepare a meal for yourself, or you can come into our restaurant and have us prepare a delicious meal for you using your selection! We have a full-service store and restaurant, so you can come in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Join us today for excellent food provided by a friendly staff in a great atmosphere! Hours: 9am-9pm daily. 7701 White Lane. (661) 837-0982

Cactus Valley Mexican Restaurant

With their award-winning salsa, Cactus Valley Mexican Restaurant is the spot for fine south-of-the-border flavors! The menu includes sizzlin’ fajitas, which you can order with lobster, shrimp, steak, or chicken and the San Francisco Bay Enchiladas: shrimp sauteed in tomatillo and cilantro sauce stuffed in two flour tortillas, filled with cream cheese! All day breakfast menu includes beef machaca and huevos rancheros. Lunch specials: $4.99 tacos and enchiladas, $7.95 chicken fajita plates. Cactus Valley is home to the best margaritas in town ($2.75 sm/$4 reg all day) and Happy Hour is 4-9pm. Open 11am-9pm Sun-Thu; 10:30am-10pm Fri & Sat. Karaoke every Thursday at 6pm. NFL Sundays starting at noon. Located at 4215 Rosedale Hwy, just west of Hwy 99. (661) 633-1948

Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar

French Cuisine Fused With California Freshness Seafood, Poultry, Beef, Exotic Game, Vegetarian. A welcoming environment in the tradition of a neighborhood bistro. Extensive Wine List and Craft Beer Selection. Coffee Program Featuring Siphon Brewers and Sustainable Sourced Beans. We believe in preparing food from scratch with the freshest ingredients available. We source locally and organically as often as possible. Enjoy the bounty of Kern County’s Agriculture! Open for Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30am-2:00pm. Open for Dinner: Mon 5:00-8:00pm & Tue-Sat 5:00-9:00pm. All major credit cards are accepted. Reservations recommended but not required. 3310 Truxtun Ave., Ste. 160, 93301 (661) 864-0397 / Health 2011 121

The Dining Guide

Uricchio’s Trattoria

Now Offering Curb-side To-go Service and free validated parking for lunch guests! Nestled in the heart of Downtown in the historical Haberfelde Building. Steaks, chops, seafood, and classic Italian dishes, complemented by an extensive wine list, have made Uricchio’s a mainstay for over a decade. Uricchio’s San Francisco style setting is family owned and operated, and the perfect spot for a business lunch, or a romantic dining experience. After your meal save room for the fabulous desserts from LaMousse of Beverly Hills. Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, Dinner Mon-Thu 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 5-10pm. Reservations recommended, lunch reservations for large groups only. 1400 17th St. Downtown. (661) 326-8870

Champs BBQ & Catering

Champs uses only the best ingredients and fresh meats, including Choice Angus. We use a secret recipe of dry rubs along with apple and cherry woods in our smoker to deliver that award-winning Champs BBQ flavor. Our catering specialists will work with you to provide an individualized and stress-free experience, from quick pickups, drop-off deliveries, to buffet set-ups. Try our food and become a Champs fan for life. Voted Kern County’s Best. 35315 Merle Haggard Rd., Bakersfield, CA 93308. Easy on, Easy off Hwy 99 and Hwy 65. Catering Office opens at 8 a.m. Email us at or call us at (661) 410 4227

Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen

The Dining Guide

A Bakersfield tradition since 1970, Caesar’s Italian Delicatessens have been serving fine Italian food for over 40 years. Our family owned Delis serve quality Sandwiches, Soups, and Salads. We are a full service deli and carry a wide variety of cheeses, meats, and specialty items. We have a large variety of Salads including our famous Pickled Tongue. Pastas are prepared in house using sauces from Nonna’s (grandma’s) Old Italian Recipes. Come in and pick up a tray to take home. Catering is also available for your next event, small office parties, large events & weddings, and includes Party Trays, Pastas, Sandwiches, Tri-Tip Deep Pit Beef, Chicken, or just Appetizers. Ask for a catering menu. 2828 Niles St. (East Bakersfield) (661) 873-0270, or 9500 Brimhall Rd. #304 (Rosedale area) (661) 588-7004

Izumo Japanese Restaurant & Sushi

Variety and style is what you can expect at Izumo. Experience our casual atmosphere where you have your choice of dining experiences. Visit us to enjoy the teppan-yaki, sample the sushi bar, or our more conventional order-off-the-menu setting. The teppan-yaki comes one dish at a time as the chef prepares it in front of you - they will amaze and impress with their skill and expertise. Our relaxed dining gives customers a chance to really enjoy our food and friendly service. Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon-Sun 5-10pm. Reservations accepted. Visa, MC, AE. 4412 Ming Ave. (661) 398-0608








1032 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield CA

΄t Bon Appeti Bakersfield Magazine Dining Guide


122 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals


Domestic violence is a topic most people don’t like to discuss. The same can be said for sexual assault. It may be because domestic violence takes place within a home and involves family members; friends feel it’s not their place to intrude. Also likely is the fact that people are uncomfortable talking about the ways fellow human beings abuse one another, especially family members.

help falls squarely on the community. Dutifully, the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault (AAFVSA) has been caring for victims in need since 1979. “At the time, the organization was just a volunteer hotline,” explained Louis Gill. Gill is the executive director for AAFVSA and the Bakersfield Homeless Center, two organizations under the

It takes a lot of caring people to be the helping hands that domestic violence victims desperately need around the clock.


management umbrella of Bethany Services, Inc. The hotline was first created to assess the extent of domestic violence in Kern County and it was immediately discovered that there was a great need for an emergency shelter for victims. In 1980,


These may seem like personal, private problems, but they affect the community as a whole. When nearly 20,000 men, women, and children in Kern County are affected by domestic violence and sexual assault in the course of one year, the responsibility to


–Louis Gill, AAFVSA Executive Director / Health 2011 123

community partners

Our mission is to stop domestic violence and sexual assault in Kern County and assist survivors in reclaiming their lives.

AAFVSA opened a 7-bed shelter. Just five years later, the shelter was expanded to hold 20 beds. Then, in 1986, an outreach center was opened to provide counseling services for domestic violence victims and by 1989 services were expanded to include survivors of sexual assault. The AAFVSA has been at its current location (1921 19th Street) since 1995 and the emergency shelter has 32 beds. “We run at capacity,” Gill said. “We’re always full because we have a large service area. Our mission is to stop domestic violence and sexual assault in Kern County and assist survivors in reclaiming their lives,” explained Gill. To do that, AAFVSA provides a 24hour crisis hotline, 24-hour hospital accompaniment (for victims who need counseling during medical treatment and police investigation), 24-hour emergency shelter (including food and clothing), transitional housing, licensed childcare, individual and group counseling services, case management, legal services, temporary restraining orders, employment and housing placement, job skills training, self-defense classes, and numerous other educational and clinical programs. It may seem like a lot, but there is a lot of need for these services. The shelter gets 90-100 walkins every month. “In the 2010-2011 fiscal year alone we provided care to 1,988 victims of domestic violence and 562 victims of sexual assault,” Gill elaborated. “And, unfortunately, that is still just a small number of the actual victims out there because many won’t report the problem.” It’s because of the “ick” factor, Gill said. “It’s hard to have a conversation about these subjects. Often, the abuse escalates over time so the victim is already dependent on the abuser and they’re less likely to report any crimes at that point. They won’t go to family or authorities out of fear.” How can that happen? FIELD MAG RS “Statistics show that women will go back [to an abusive household/partner] M R UN IT Y PA six to seven times before >> TN




Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault 661-322-0931



community partners











Safety Net







Clock Tower Holidays At The Kern County Museum Mark Your Calendar for These Holiday events:

Lamplight Tours

Saturday, December 3rd, 3 - 8pm

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Sunday, December 11th, 11am - 2pm –––––--––––SPONSORED BY––––--––––– San Joaquin Hospital • Subway® Restaurants • Bakersfield Life

For more information call 661-868-8400 or visit 124 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

breaking away from the situation permanently. That’s why AAFVSA is here; to give them the assistance they need the first time and encourage them not to go back.” The fact of the matter is, and as uncomfortable a subject as it is, domestic abuse has a ripple effect on a family. That is a huge reason why AAFVSA includes so many children’s programs. “If children are watching their caregiver be abused, many times at the hands of their other caregiver, there is a definite psychological impact,” Gill explained. “And, the children may be abused themselves.” While the 35-person staff works magic, AAFVSA couldn’t do what it does daily without volunteers. On top of volunteers who aid in day-to-day operations, there are also volunteers who want to help out on a more personal level. “We conduct forty-hour certified domestic violence and sexual assault volunteer training.” These are the people who will advocate for victims; they’ll be the intermediary between hospital staff, police, and the victim during a sexual assault exam; they’ll be the shoulder to cry on. “We’re here to fill a critical need,” Gill elaborated. “Not just take care of a family at the time of need, but provide them with the help they deserve to return to their lives after such a horrific event or situation. There is an emotional and physical cost for people in those situations. We have to help. No woman deserves to have her sense of safety taken from her; no child should have to be abused or watch a family member be abused.” In order to get these families back on their feet, AAFVSA offers transitional housing so that victims can discover how to function on their own. “A typical shelter stay is ninety days, but you can’t expect that a family can get back on track in as little as three months, so these people can stay with us for two years in transitional housing.” AAFVSA is able to do a lot with a little. They receive funding from grants and community donations. But they need more. “We’re always looking for spiral notebooks to give to victims as they come in for counseling—everyone gets one to write in. We also need big, huggable teddy bears; laundry soap; diapers; canned foods; and hygiene items, among many other things,” Gill said. The hygiene items are placed in a kit given to sexual assault victims. Victims are also provided clothing including new sweatpants and shirts because their clothing is taken for evidence. To find out more about AAFVSA or to discover ways you can help, call (661) 322-0931 or visit The more we talk about it, the more we can do for our community. Remember, if you or someone you know is being abused, you have options. Call the AAFVSA 24-Hour Hotline at (661) 327-1091. n










community partners UN

















November 25 – December 30

Monday-Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm Closed Sundays, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Nutcrackers • Gingerbread Houses • Dazzling Displays • California’s Largest Nativity Display • Timeless Furnishings, 2nd Floor – 1918 Chester Ave.

Christmas Customs & Traditions From 40 Countries Around the World $8 Adult • $5 Child • under 6-Free • $20 Family of Four • $7 Seniors / Health 2011 125


community partners

The Amador Family (l-r): Maria, baby Isabella, Pedro, Jacquelyn, Elizabeth

Code Blue Houchin blood donors save young mother’s life New facility will help community blood bank meet increasing needs

The planned cesarean section birth of Pedro and Maria Amador’s third daughter this summer at Mercy Southwest Hospital was supposed to be a joyous occasion. But within seconds, the joy turned into a terrifying experience for the young Bakersfield couple and hospital staff. Pedro had been through the routine before. He had been at his wife’s side in the operating room during the cesarean section births of their first two babies. “But soon I started feeling something was wrong,” he recalled during a recent interview. “It was taking too long and Maria was getting nervous.” Within minutes, doctors and other medical staff were being summoned to the operating room, where an anesthesiologist urgently asked, “Where’s the blood?” As nurses were taking Pedro out of the operating room to accompany his newborn baby, he heard alarms ring out. It was a Code Blue, which was followed by the thundering footsteps of more nurses and doctors running to help. Forty-five minutes later, a doctor came out to explain to Pedro that there had been “complications.” The placenta had grown into Maria’s uterus, causing her to bleed

profusely. A more than two-hour surgery would be required to repair the damage and stop the bleeding. With Maria’s bleeding likened to the flow of an “open faucet,” Pedro was told to encourage people to donate blood. Their family and friends, including Maria’s National Health Services Clinic co-workers and Pedro’s oilfield associates, heard the call for help. So did “strangers.” “I went to the blood bank and I saw people I didn’t even know who were saying my wife’s name and that they were there to donate blood,” Pedro said, adding that a high school friend, who he had not seen in a long time, directed her company’s blood bank credits to the effort. “There were a lot of people at Houchin donating for their first time.” Four doctors and 20 nurses rallied to save Maria, who required the transfusion of 40 units of blood and a week’s stay in the intensive care unit. Called the “miracle lady” by hospital staff, Maria now is recovering from the ordeal. She and baby daughter, Isabella, are doing well. “I always thought I would donate blood some day, but I had been putting it off,” said Pedro, adding that he and Maria are

126 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

By Maureen Buscher-Dang very grateful to those who helped. “When I was at Houchin, I saw all the pictures on the wall of all those good people who donate blood. Some have given gallons. I am going to become a regular donor.” The generosity of thousands of Kern County residents who give of themselves— who regularly donate their blood—has allowed Bakersfield-based Houchin Community Blood Bank to become a crucial lifesaving resource for 60 years. Many families, such as Pedro and Maria Amador and their three children, are eternally grateful for the willingness of people to donate their blood. Houchin hopes to make its local blood donation and distribution system even more efficient and more capable of responding when families are in need by building a consolidated facility in southwest Bakersfield. The $10 million, 42,000-square-foot complex being built on Buena Vista Road, south of White Lane, will usher in a new era for Houchin Community Blood Bank. By consolidating laboratory, quality assurance, manufacturing, distribution, information technology, community development, telerecruiting and transportation, the new complex will allow Houchin to keep pace with the community’s rapidly expanding need for blood and blood products. Houchin has begun a vigorous fundraising campaign to help finance construction of this vitally important consolidated facility that is expected to open next fall. The campaign committee is seeking both individual and corporate contributions. Opportunities for “naming rights” are available throughout the complex. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated and will be recognized during the campaign. And while many blood recipients, such as Pedro and Maria Amador, may not be positioned to put significant financial resources behind construction of this complex, they are willing to put their personal stories behind the effort to demonstrate how Houchin’s blood donors saved their lives and how important it is that Houchin continues to improve its operations through construction of a consolidated complex. “This project is being made possible through a generous 5-acre donation of









community partners






land in the new Seven Oaks Business Park by Bolthouse Properties LLC,” explains Greg Gallion, Houchin’s president and chief executive officer. Bolthouse’s “donation will allow Houchin to build a state-of-the-art facility and continue our vision of providing Kern County with a safe and reliable blood supply for the next 60 years.” Over the past six decades, medical innovations and Kern County’s expanding population have greatly increased the local demand for blood. “Medical procedures, such as cancer treatments, have advanced. Bakersfield has an increasing number of healthcare providers that specialize in these treatments serving many more patients,” said Gallion, who noted metropolitan Bakersfield’s population has swelled to more than 500,000. While this means an increasing number of people must be encouraged to donate their lifesaving blood, it also means that Houchin must remain efficient and innovative in the way it collects and distributes blood products. “It is important to recognize that keeping Kern County healthy is a team effort. Every member of the team—from first responders, doctors and nurses, to hospitals—provides essential lifesaving services,” said Gallion. “Houchin Community Blood Bank is a critical link between health professionals and the people who rely on their care. It’s truly a partnership of giving back to the community: People helping so that hospitals, doctors, and others can save lives.” Houchin’s consolidated complex is being designed by Bakersfield architects Paul Skarphol and Associates, and Paul Dhanens. The project’s general contractor is Wallace & Smith of Bakersfield. Local people will be utilized during the complex’s design and construction. Go to for more information about how to become a regular Houchin Community Blood Bank blood FIELD MAG RS donor and how to help with the construction of Houchin’s consoliM R UN IT Y PA dated complex. n



Houchin Community Blood Bank / Health 2011 127

Enjoy A Holiday Adventure... community partners











at the 6th Annual

Magical Forest ...Make it a

Family Tradition Presented by National Certified Insurance Santa’s Secret Shoppe • Forest of Sights & Sounds Santa at the North Pole • Food • Grinch Mobile and Train Rides • Photos Live Entertainment • Holiday Shopping

December 9th-23rd (closed 12th & 13th) Mon-Fri: 6-9pm • Sat-Sun: 5-9pm Admission: Adults $5.00 • Seniors $4.00 Children 6-12 $3.00 • Children 5 & under FREE Visit for a discount coupon

2240 S. Union Avenue

One Block North of White Lane

All proceeds stay in Kern County and benefit BARC and other nonprofit agencies serving local families.

Media Sponsor 128 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals










community partners / Health 2011 129

We Buy Gold Come Paint Your Own Ceramics at Bakersfield’s Newest Studio What’s The Big Deal? • No Studio Fees - Ever. • Family Fun Atmosphere. • Spacious Party Room.

ALL JEWELRY 25% OFF All Watches 10% OFF

Birthday Parties Ladies Night Ceramijama Church Socials Scouting Events

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Grand, Baby Grand, Upright, and Digital Pianos for all skill levels. Se Habla Español


Fruitvale Rd MON-FRI 10am-5pm SAT 12pm-5pm

6200 Lake Ming Road, Suite A-7 Rio Bravo Business Center 178 East about 10 miles to Alfred Harrell Hwy. then left 1-1/2 miles & follow signs

130 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Bowman Ct

Coffee Rd

Rosedale Hwy

Friday | 7:30am-7pm

Mens & Womens Alterations & Tailoring

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Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm Sat: 10am-2pm

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Lose 3-5 Pounds Per Week

Split Ends Hair Stylists • Manicurists • Esthetics Handbags & Accessories Available

Eyebrow Threading By Mona 661-549-3555 Walk-ins Beautician, Makeup Artist and Welcome Hair Extensions by “Daniella”


5428 California Avenue, Bakersfield

Safe, Effective, & Highly Supervised by MD

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UPS • FedEX • Stamps • DHL Money Orders • U.S. Mail Shipping Supplies Delivering the Best of America! Mon-Fri: 8:30am-6pm Saturday: 9:30am-2:30pm

661-587-5222 • 661-587-5227 fax 11000 Brimhall Rd., Ste E

Gift Certificates Available

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Robin Mears-Office Manager

661-634-0129 MON-THU: 9am-5pm FRI: 9am-1pm

4618 California Avenue | Bakersfield, CA

See a Home-Stay in your future? Will you be taking off work … • For a long term illness? • To care for a sick family member? • Is there a surgical procedure planned?


Best Prices on Authentic Gear Open Monday-Thursday 8:30-5:30, Friday 8:30-1:00


3100 19th St., Suite 100 Corner 19th & Oak

For The Birds... & More Specializing in Locally Hatched, Hand-fed & Tame Birds


TIME AVE Personal Concierge services can assist you with: Errands • Dropping of Prescriptions Grocery Shopping • Coordinating Laundry Bill Payment Drop Offs/Deposits & MORE

TIME AVE - A priceless addition to balance your life. “We are just what the Doctor ordered for a healthy worry-free recovery!”

9000 Ming Avenue • Bakersfield

Next to Bank of America • In The Marketplace

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661-376-TIME(8463) Your life. Your Choice. Choose Organic Smile.

Food, Toys, New & Used Cages Pick-up & Delivery Available Mobile Bird Grooming Dog & Cat Grooming


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10425 Rosedale Hwy.


"We stand behind our birds, but not under them!"

Shari & Heidi

Sugardaddy’s 5512 Stockdale Hwy. 325-8300

ORGANIC Teeth Whitening

Organic • All Natural • No Chemicals • Spa-like Atmosphere •


5330 Office Center Ct. #68 / Health 2011 131

everafters... Log Cabin Florist is one of the oldest establishments in the San Joaquin Valley. Enjoying a reputation of quality, reliability, and convenience for over 75 years.

661-327-8646 800 19th Street

Studio 13 Photography

our wedding day is a special moment in time...

Mr. & Mrs. Kiyoshi Tomono (Cecilia Servan) September 16th, 2011

Holy Name of Mary Church

Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Morris (Christina Forzetting) November 19th, 2011

Calvary Bible Church

At Riverlakes Ranch, we will ensure it is all you dreamed of.

The Links At Riverlakes 5201 Riverlakes Drive • 587-3801

Mr. & Mrs. Dominic Othart (Diana Pascoe) January 8th, 2011



2031 H St. Bakersfield, ca 93301 Located At the Fox Theater

Jessica Frey Photography

Artisan Photography

Seven Oaks Country Club

Mr. & Mrs. Mike Pulte (Shannon Cook) August 6th, 2011

Rincon Beach Club, Carpinteria

Abby’s Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Tony Meza (Connie Acosta) May 13th, 2011

St. Joseph’s Church

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bunker (Meggan Bellows) May 31st, 2011

European Cruise

E-mail your wedding photography and information to:

132 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals




For more photos from these parties visit


Stella Sanchez & Tiffany Combs

Kimber Dupuy & Wendy Walker

Vicki Cushman & Carol Rice

Signature Chefs Auction

The March of Dimes’ great local event was back with a bang. With over a dozen Bakersfield chefs preparing unique appetizers and desserts, table after table of silent auction items, and special chef-donated packages up for live auction, guests were wowed. This year’s event raised over $100,000 for March of Dimes research.


10:20:20 AM

CATERING WITH YOU IN MIND Weddings • Social & Corporate Events

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Pritesh & Mira Patel

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Marcy Unruh & Kris McLaughlin

Jarrod & Heidi McNaughton

Jennifer Perfect &CY Daniel Newland CMY


Kristi Reyneveld & Nancy Terrio

Shereen Nijdawi & Brooke Hill

661.396.3500 Web Design / Hosting DSL ISDN - Dial Up - VPN Starting at Broadband Wireless $ 28. 95 T1 / Frame Relay per month


Laura Vickery & Kelly Ballard



Chris & Pam Fadeff

Eileen Ceniceros & Erma Villanueva

Dr. Sarabjit & Jenny Purewal

Pumpkin Pie & Eggnog Mini Dessert Bolis!

Happy Holidays! Place your orders today! 323-6877 Diane White & Chris Thornburgh

Adam Rensel & Alysia Taggart

Teresa & Barry Massirio

’70s Celebration

Kevin & Christa Burton

Dr. Nasser Khan & Dr. Uzma Khan

~Kern’s Basque Tradition since 1945~

Doctors, nurses, patients, and friends boogied the night away at the Petroleum Club for a disco hosted by Comprehensive Cardiovascular Medical Group. Hair was big and the bellbottoms were bigger. A disco ball hung overhead on the dance floor and the scene was a colorful one with everyone admiring each other’s swingin’ outfits.

Bob & Karen Baker

Barbara & Tommy Lee


717 East 21st St. 322-7159 / Health 2011 133


61 Year Anniversary




For more photos from these parties visit

Insurance 2009 N. C Farmers Facility of the Year alifornia

Norma Jallo & Sherri Pudiwitr

1516 25th Street Bakersfield, CA, 93301

661 323-7902

BAKERSFIELD RUBBER STAMP over 60 years local service

Lynn Califf & Carol Opsal

Maureen Beecari & Kacie Hathaway

Association of Petroleum Wives Fall Gala The annual Association of Petroleum Wives’ Fall Gala was a night of fun, food, and fashion. Members and guests enjoyed tasty cocktails, a sumptuous dinner, and a whimsical fashion show while supporting this organization which promotes social contact and friendship amongst members who work together to raise funds for numerous local charities!

Jennifer Holloway & Maya Mawad

24 Hour Service (most orders) Stamps Manufactured on Premises

Self Inking Stamps • Daters • Address Stamps Custom Artwork Stamps • State Certified Notary Stamps Business Cards • Copies • Embossers Corporate Seals • Engineer Seals • Signatures Stencils & Supplies • Labels • Engraved Signs

Carri-Ann Tremblay & Pat Kerley

Kari Zachary & Karen Long

Andira Cook & Leigh Collins

Jacki Black & Pat Ripplinger

Jaimee Kalosis & Roxanne Hughes

Kara Hance & Renate Patty

Matt & Candice Rogers

Kelly Geis & Holly King

Debra Robertson & Noel Siler

Stephanie Van Skike & Leanne Gianquinto

Vince & Sandy Bakich

Jamie & Wendi Haggard



Each Office Independently Owned & Operated

Everyone Loves A WINNER!

Bounty of Kern County

John Schaap

Gary Bunk

The Kern County Farm Bureau presented the First Annual Bounty of Kern County event to an excited and hungry crowd. The event was put on to showcase that we are one of the state’s top agricultural producers and featured a dinner using local food prepared by Bord-A-Petite. Guests were treated to a horse derby race filled with excitement and prizes.

Winners now posted online!

Alice Wheldon, Francis Ratliff, Katy Hall, & Patrice Maniaci

134 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Brenda & Mike Day




For more photos from these parties visit

Steve Hamblet, Bob Lechtreck, & Garth Milam

Nicole Montoya

Susan Padilla & Amy Villalobos

Lace’n It Up for Links for Life

Men and women in pink gathered at the Liberty Bell Downtown at the starting point of Lace’n It Up for Links for Life, the official kick off to Paint the Town Pink/Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mayor Hall was there to announce the beginning of Paint the Town Pink, and women shared their stories and battles before enjoying a noon time walk.

Monte Quinton

Kathy Thomas & Arlene Finley

May Van Blake & Shilaka Garrett

Holly Fraker, Rachel West, & Angie Gray

We would like to give you a Grand Welcome by presenting you with a Welcome Packet of Maps, Civic Information, Special Newcomer Directories, Community Event Calendars, Gift Coupons, Theater Tickets and much more!

All FREE by calling

396-7266 email: Tamala Shockley & Valerie Patino

Lydia Schwartz & Lori Pflugh

Carolyn Bradford & Samantha Mitchell




Jim Wiener & Pierre Freeman

Nik Boone & Mackenzie West


Sally Panero & Karen Champness

David McCarthy

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County hosted their annual Artfest this year at Moorea Banquet Centre and it was a night of laughs, beautiful art, and inspiration...not to mention the generosity of all who attended and worked the event. Guests were treated to a wine tasting, fantastic catering, and music all night long as well as silent and live auctions.

Denise Barnett, John & Kimberly Spires


John & Casie Stockton

The Cover Price!

Cari & Victor Flores


Sherri Lewis & Megan Lundin


Lyndsay Gardiner & Cambi Brown



Rob & Emily Duchow / Health 2011 135




For more photos from these parties visit

Alice Brown & Patty Smith

Brandon Landers & Jen King

Gus Moran

Lury Norris

Via Arte

City:_____________________________State:________ Zip:____________________ Subscription label will identify you as gift giver • Mail to: 1601 New Stine Rd. #200 Orders must be received by 01-13-2012 for February Issue Bakersfield, CA 93309


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Artists and admirers flocked to The Marketplace for this annual two-day event inspired by Italian street fairs. Parking spots were transformed into works of art and those who had a chance to walk up and down the rows agreed that we have some major talent in our fair city. As always, Via Arte was hosted by the Bakersfield Museum of Art!


Cauzie Nichols & Colton Richardson

Jennifer & Chris Prado, Arnold Arango

Erin & Brian Mullhofer

Gustavo Lozano & Gloria Garcia

Carolyn & David Lake

Cuca Moltoya & Jason Gutierrez

Martha & Susan Trevino

Lori Lookred & Sandra Robledo

John Kilby & Amanda Greene

Cristina Sifuentes & Cece Anthony

Steve & Marina Hernandez

Gayla Gibson & Carrie Zerafa

Murder Mystery

Antanette Jones & Michael Reed

Amy Woodards & Fernando Nunez

136 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Pearls, feathers, suspenders, and top hats as far as the eye could see. For this 1920s-themed murder mystery, guests arrived at Courtyard Bakersfield ready to mingle and enjoy an exciting and thrilling night with appetizing food, tasty drinks, and dancing. All proceeds from this whodunit will benefit children in foster care with Aspiranet in Kern County.

Julie & Danny Domlao

Donna Encheff & Mary Long




For more photos from these parties visit

Dawn Ficher & Amy Olson

Adam & Marley Sherry

Desiree Voss & Crystal Aldritt

Boots & Bachelors

The Crystal Palace was once again overflowing as the Boots & Bachelor Auction returned for an 11th year and brought out people in record numbers. Before this year’s group of bachelors took the stage, guests dined on a delicious dinner, enjoyed drinks, and perused a great silent auction table. All the money raised will benefit the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

Vanessa Thomas & Jill Busby

For The

Pampered Pooch

In Your Life!

Mandy Bartlett & Nicole Watson

Greg Bynum

• Carriers • Dog Training • Collars • Clothing • Grooming • Food • Doggy Day Care

Katherine Salazar, Betty Herndon, & Cynthia Banof

1617 19th St. • 321-9602 Jill & Shannon Ogilvie

Ashley Gassaway

Alyson Tobis, Cindie Sawyer, & Britnee Bagley

How much will you need to retire? Let’s talk. Robert J. Avalos Financial Advisor

Sandy Magley, Bonny Emslie, Lorna McWilliams, Eva Burke, & Dawn Kerley

5603 Auburn St. Suite C Bakersfield, CA 93306 661-871-3154

Paul Dean

Call For A Complimentary Portfolio Analysis Today Member SIPC Joni Carrithers, Melinda Fallgatter, & Lynne Carrithers

Ashley Roberts & Mark Woodward

Megan Logsdon

Oil Baron’s Ball

Austyn & Clint Bottoms

The American Petroleum Institute’s annual Oil Baron’s Ball was a rousing success! The banquet room at The Double Tree was beautifully decorated and packed with nearly 700 guests who came to support the organization and enjoy a delicious dinner and dance. Funds raised go toward API’s philanthropic endeavors in the coming years.

Family Run Mon-Fri 7:30am to 5pm

Elyse Goin & Sherry McFadden

Michelle Rupp & Angela Harding

Melody McGovern & Rusty Davis


Fifty Years

661-325-4318 Convenient Downtown Location

2510 “L” St. • Bakersfield, CA / Health 2011 137

Rosedale Hotel


We Need More Old Photos! Have an old photo with back story from Bakersfield’s past? We want your suggestions for future Bakersfield’s Sounds. Submit any ideas to editorial@ If we use your submission, we’ll give you a $50 gift card to a fabulous local restaurant.


y 1890, the Kern County Land Company was in full-force, cultivating the surrounding areas of Bakersfield. The plan was to colonize sections of land within a few miles of town. One section, in particular, was called The Rosedale Colony. In all, there were 12,000 acres of land in the tract that had been divided into 20acre farms. The Kern County Land Company was offering them at terms of onefourth cash and the remainder in one, two, and three years; or three, four, and five years. Yearly interest was at the low rate of seven percent. Large numbers of English and American families were being tempted to move to this area with promises of what the soil could do. The Kern County Land Company recruited colonizers from England and put them up at the Rosedale Hotel, a specially-built hotel to house potential land buyers. The hotel served a great purpose as it allowed prospective owners to actually visit the site with land agent S.W. Fergusson and be shown the growing potential of the land. In fact, the Rosedale Raisin Vineyard Company loved the land so much they purchased 320 acres in January of 1890. These early colonizers had to do a lot of imagining, however, since at the time there was not a fence, ditch, house, shrub, or vine in Rosedale Colony. Yet just eight months into the Kern County Land Company’s push to colonize the area, houses dotted the countryside and grapes, peanuts, potatoes, melons, and other vegetables were growing nicely, fed with water from the Great Calloway Canal, which was one of the largest irrigating canals in the world. Shortly thereafter, a two-story schoolhouse was necessary, and a church and general stores were soon to follow turning Rosedale Colony into a bustling suburb of Bakersfield.

the story of bakersfield is all around us, you just have to look — and listen. 138 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: Mercy & Memorial Hospitals

Photo courtesy of chris brewer

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Bakersfield, CA 93309

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THE CHOICE IS CLEAR SJCH is your home for cardiac and stroke care. Chest Pain Center: When it comes to your heart, what you eat and how you live matters. But did you know your hospital of choice matters too? As an Accredited Chest Pain Center, we have protocols in place that ensure we’re ready for you right when you need us. Don’t play games with your heart: If you’re experiencing chest pain, choose the hospital that’s one step ahead. Choose San Joaquin Community Hospital.

Stroke Center: It’s simple, really. If you’re suffering a stroke, time lost is brain lost. Make sure you know the signs and symptoms – numbness on one side of the body, trouble walking and sudden confusion, for example. Next? Make sure you get care at the hospital that brought Bakersfield its first Nationally Certified Stroke Center: San Joaquin Community Hospital.

And they’re all under one roof! Only one hospital between Los Angeles and San Francisco has both a Nationally Certified Stroke Center and Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center under one roof. The choice is clear: If you think you’re having a stroke or heart attack, call 911 and tell the ambulance to take you to San Joaquin Community Hospital.


Bakersfield Magazine • 28-5 • KernHealth  

Cheap Eats! Over 50 local places to get a great meal for less than a 10 spot! Plus our annual KernHealth - report on healthcare in Kern Coun...

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