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Corporate Relocation Moo Creamery Creates a The Historic Midnight Unexpected Guests? Special Burger Just For Us Battle at Midway Try Our Survivor’s Guide 23 Annual Presentation rd

VOL. 30 NO. 4


fall 2013



revenge of the

Nerds From Comic-Cons to YouTube Parodies, Bakersfield Finds Itself Getting Geeky

gems Bakersfield’s Plan For Entertaining A Community

Internet stars Angie Griffin & Chad Nikolaus of Screen Team (as Princess Peach & Mario)

4 Bakersfield Magazine / Fall 2013 5

6 Bakersfield Magazine / Fall 2013 7

8 Bakersfield Magazine / Fall 2013 9

Vol. 30 No. 4 • FALL 2013

95 Departments Editor’s Letter

Rock-n-Roll All Night........17 Kern Facts

Discover Things About Home..19 Citizen Kern

Meet Harry Wilson...........35 Human Resources

The Art of Motivation......36 Great Getaways

Vacation with Dinosaurs....73 home & garden

Tools You’ve Got to Have...79 Gardening With Mrs. P

‘Tis The Season..................83


29 Entertaining the Bakersfield Way

You’ll Fall for This!..........87 Life is a Cabernet

A Beautiful Chemistry.......89 Quick Bites

Burger Heaven...................93 Bottoms Up

Memories Made Daily.......94 What’s Cookin’

The Royal Treat.................95 In & Around B•Town

Party Time........................117 Bakersfield’s Sound

10 Bakersfield Magazine

Moving “Time”................122 / Fall 2013 11

Test Your

City Limits!


Saturday, April 12th, 2014

photo Courtesy of Chad Nikolaus & Angie Griffin

Vol. 30 No. 4 • FALL 2013

Features Midnight Battle at Midway

The Bakersfield Amazing Race is an annual event that is part scavenger hunt and part obstacle course.

Vigilante Melee...................39 Revenge of the Nerds

Getting Geeky.....................41 City Gems

Shining a Light on Our City..48 Playtime in a Progressive City

The Key to Prosperity.........51 quality amenities


Join Stewards, Inc. for its Second Annual Downtown Scavenger Hunt! The event will bring together hundreds of participants, in teams of 2-4, to compete in a downtown-wide race that will test their bodies and their brains!

How It All Adds Up...........53 When Company Comes

Building Faith

Growth From the Ground Up

Valley Voice

A Survivor’s Guide............55 Kern Ag – Setting Us Apart..59

Habitat For Humanity.....105 Educating a Generation...107


Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Vega







FIELD MAG RS For sponsorship info: Andrae Gonzales (661) 565-4636 or email: THANK YOU! 12 Bakersfield Magazine

48 / Fall 2013 13



Curriculum Vitae......................37 THE SERIES


home & Garden resources

Home & Garden .......................78

The Dining Guide The Dining Guide....................97

MEDICAL PROFILES Medical Profiles......................102 Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory

Worship Directory.................103


community partners Community Partners..............104


Shoppers Bazaar......................112

everafters... Weddings...............................114 Bakersfield Magazine is working to preserve the history of Kern County through stories of Kern’s proud and fascinating past!

Kern Health –


p a e h C Eats g

in R m MBE o C CE 13 DE 20

14 Bakersfield Magazine

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

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.

Mercy Orthopedic, Spine, & Hand Center

Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield – Southwest Campus 400 Old River Rd. Bakersfield, CA 93311

(661) 663-6550 / Fall 2013 15


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Fall 2013

Publisher & 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 Brittnee Walters Lisa Villegas Wilson Photography Isabel Alvarez, Robert Perez Staff Writer Maryann Kopp Contributing Writers Tracie Grimes, Mayor Harvey Hall Kimberly Horg, David Nigel Lloyd David Lyman, Robin Paggi Eman Shurbaji, Alan Tandy Yana Todorova, Sarah Woodman Accounting/Human Resources Melissa Galvan Distribution/Circulation Brigit Ayers Operations Assistant David Corum Cover Photo Angie Griffin, Chad Nikolaus Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. 1601 New Stine Road, Suite 200 Bakersfield, CA 93309 Office (661) 834-4126 Fax (661) 834-5495

Bakersfield Magazine is published bi-monthly by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. ©Copyright 2013 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.

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Letter from the Editor

Celebrating Our 40 th Year!

Rock-n-Roll All Night

Back before MTV, the Internet, and iPods; and prior to $300 VIP meet-n-greets and international farewell/retro-comeback tours, rock concerts were a way of life for me and my friends. But they were about more than just seeing our musical idols up close and hearing the music that, unbeknownst to us at the time, was shaping our lives; they were part ritual, part rebellion, part rite of passage. Not only could we say “we were there,” but the ever elusive ticket stub and concert t-shirt that we all collected as badges of honor would be constant reminders of our triumphs and precarious misadventures for years to come. Our goal was always to meet the band, although we were rarely successful. Still, we always had a blast in our endeavors. The day would start early, as we were quick to rush out of the house and meet up at school (probably the only times we actually made it before first bell), only to cut out at lunch and head over to the Civic. There, we'd bypass the line that was already forming and head around back to the loading bays—the entrance to musical nirvana for us wannabe musicians. This was like the Holy Grail— Utopia—amongst the trucks and scaffolding and equipment, where the crews were hurriedly constructing a “mini-city.” These were the people that knew the people that knew the band. We were kids in a candy store, soaking in every moment. And if we were careful (evidently unauthorized personnel were prohibited), we could usually hang out all day and were lucky enough to catch a “sound check” on a couple of occasions. If ever there was a golden ticket, we were holding it, even if security would always kick us out…eventually. Come show time we'd be front row center. There’s nothing like the sound of a wellamplified power chord ringing out as the house lights go down to make your senses come alive; chills running up and down our spines while we were, in some cases, just inches from our heroes. Life couldn't get any better. By the final encore, it was time to say adieu, grab the odd stray guitar pick off the floor, and hurry home to brag about another killer show. I've been fortunate to see almost every band I've ever been a fan of, from Aerosmith to ZZ Top, right here in Bakersfield

(and I’m still holding on to four Gunsn-Roses tickets to that one postponed show… any day now, Axl!). Although I've matured (a little), I don't feel the need to attend every show with that same teenage vim and vigor, but I still enjoy a good concert now and then. Over the years it's been an experience that I'm grateful for and I don't think I could have anywhere else, partly due to our central location, but also because of the variety of musical tastes our city supports. And let’s face it, being only 15 minutes from home after seeing Fleetwood Mac or Elton John perform live...priceless! As part of our 23rd Annual Corporate Relocation issue (pg. 47), we talked to city leaders about the entertainment venues owned and operated by the City of Bakersfield and what they mean to an ever-growing population. And for those that are new to our city (just visiting, newly transferred, or even longtime residents who have yet to explore) we offer You've Got Company (pg. 55) featuring lots of ways to entertain even the most finicky house guest. And a favorite of mine, our Revenge of the Nerds story (pg. 41). From our own Comic-Con to the Steam Punk'd movement, we profile local groups getting geeky in Bakersfield. Dress-up: it isn't just for kids anymore. When I was 13, my parents took me to see a band called KISS. Thirty or so years later I got to take my own kids to see them. Who would'a thought KISS would still be rockin’...let alone me? Enjoy!


e take this opportunity to thank our thousands of loyal customers for their trust over these decades. Quality flooring and window products combined with very personal service and top flight installation are the hallmarks of our store. We will continue to provide excellent value offering products that have proven performance, like Stainmaster carpet, Karndean luxury design flooring, and Armstrong vinyl and wood. Our carpet and rug offerings come from America’s best manufacturers including Camelot, Royalty, Shaw, Mohawk, Dixie Home, Beaulieu, and Millikan in a variety of price ranges.

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18 Bakersfield Magazine

Kern Facts

In & Around B•Town

He’s the Executive Director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County and she’s the new Community Chapter Executive Director of the American Red Cross in Kern, so this philanthropic couple not only cares for their family, but they look after the entire community, too!

HIS & Hers What was the first thing you thought when you met your future spouse for the first time? Zane: She came up to me while I was working and stuck her hand out and introduced herself. I thought she was gorgeous and running for homecoming queen or some kind of office. My response was, “What are you running for…homecoming queen?” I’m lucky she didn’t walk away! Amy: It was my first day of college at CSU Long Beach. I had been hired at the university bookstore because I thought it would be a good way to meet people. Boy was I right! Zane and I ended up teaming together that day at work and I figured he must have liked me when he came to “visit” me the next day (when he wasn’t working)! What is the funniest thing that happened while you two were dating? Zane: Amy is a twisted practical joker. While driving down the 405 she pretended to have a problem with one of her contacts and began clutching her eye. So I’m holding the wheel and she’s flooring it down the freeway whimpering! Then she lets out a yelp and I feel a wet, round something land on my bare leg. I’m totally freaked out that she’s lost an eye and she begins to laugh. She had been holding a small rubber ball and let it drop down on my leg. I was mad at her for about a minute. Amy: When we first met, Zane did not have a car but shortly thereafter, his dad gave him a moped

in step with:

Zane & Amy Smith scooter to get to and from school. It was quite the sight to see Zane buzzing down Seventh Street in Long Beach maneuvering traffic with one hand while holding onto his huge art portfolio! What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you? Zane: I wanted to go as Dog the Bounty Hunter to a friend’s Halloween party and, let’s face it, Amy is the polar opposite of his wife Beth. Our friends were pleasantly shocked when they saw her tanned up and revealed. Amy: Once, very early in our relationship, I got extremely carsick. Zane actually took his shirt off for me to wear since I had messed mine up. Poor guy traveled about two hours shirtless as we made our way home…that is true devotion! What is your spouse’s biggest phobia? Zane: I think she is pretty fearless. She won’t watch scary movies and yet she is one of the bravest people I know. If there’s a noise in the night, she’s the first person up to investigate. Amy: Zane does not like anything to do with “bathroom humor.” He even had to leave a baby shower once when they played the “diaper game” because he was so grossed out! Who’s the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Zane: I think Amy is the first person to admit she’s wrong—usually because we have discussed the situation for so long she’d say anything to get me to stop talking. Amy: I would love to say that I’m never wrong, but

in most cases, I think it’s usually my fault. Fortunately for me, Zane usually forgives quickly. What is your spouse most passionate about? Zane: She is most passionate about family relationships. Amy excels at being a wife, mother, daughter, and daughter-in-law. Amy is the coordinator and communicator in our family dynamic. Amy: Zane loves our family and friends. He’s a very social person and loves to be out and about. What is your least favorite thing about your spouse and most favorite thing? Zane: Least would be that she has a boundless capacity for digesting information and then forming very absolute opinions that she wants to discuss. This can be frustrating to both of us due to my limited capacity for retaining information. But my favorite is along the same lines. I am mesmerized at how bright she is and how passionate she can be. Amy: My favorite and least favorite thing are actually the same—Zane has an enormous heart, which I am so proud to be a part of, but sometimes that same heart gets us into trouble! You see, Zane ADORES dogs. When he sees one loose on the street, he feels the immediate urgency to rescue it. We usually find homes for them, but “Snoopy” has remained and he continually harasses our cat and other dog as well as frequently eating my living room furniture. However, I am so fortunate that both of my children seem to have inherited my husband’s good heart and for that, I will forgive just about everything…even ruined leather couches. / Fall 2013 19

Kern Facts E Clampus Vitus


Bakersfield’s Premier Auto Detail Center

here’s more than one way to preserve history, and The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus believes that you can do so through lots of drinking, Dog Latin, and pulling some of the biggest practical jokes ever played. Founded in 1849, the organization—which has several chapters in many of the western states—specializes in the preservation of history concerning the American West. They fundraise (or “Doin’s,” as they call them) so they can erect historical plaques in various places of interest. The Peter Lebeck Chapter #1866, recognized in 1962, is Kern County’s Chapter, and The Noble Grand Humbug, Russ “Hole” Chapman, said, “Our members come from all walks of life and social status. Most are middle class working stiffs and small business own-

I Buffing & Polishing • Color Sanding Scratch Removal • Overspray & Water Spot Removal • Paint Protection Film

Silver City Ghost Town Plaque

ers.” He went on to cite that they have members that range from lawyers to air traffic controllers, and even celebrities. “Huell Howser was one, and if you watch Pawn Stars, Mark [Hall-Patton is a] Clamper. I believe Timothy Bottoms is also a Clamper.” (Clamper being the title of members.) The local chapter has provided historical plaques for locations like Rankin Ranch, and they also helped to physically build three of the outhouses at Tejon Ranch. They donate consumable items to women’s shelters twice a year, as well. To find out more about this group, visit

Are You on the Winning List?

f you didn’t know that we like to shower our faithful readers with prizes of all kinds, then you haven’t been reading close enough! Gift certificates to classy restaurants, shops, and boutiques; tickets to exclusive events and parties; and VIP access to endless fun productions are some of the rewards our A-Listers are eligible for on nearly a weekly basis! You never know what sort of fabulous gifts we have hidden up our sleeves. That is, unless you are on our A-List! Boys & Girls Club ArtFest Justin Bullard Gayle McNeir

Boots & Bachelor Auction Alice Offill

RVs • Boats • Harleys

Icehouse Framing & Gallery

Leticia Chavez

Dreamy Concepts Aveda Salon

Teri Smith Valdophye

Street Rods • Muscle Cars • Exotics

Martha Benavides

5116 woodmere Drive • 661-619-4740

Rockabilly Swag 20 Bakersfield Magazine

Stuff We Like Anne Drauker

Gayle McNeir

Name Here Teri Smith


here, oh where, have we been? We just love exploring our fair city. And we love snapping photos while we’re out…mainly because we know we can use them to test readers’ knowledge of local landmarks. So, it’s Pop Quiz time, kiddies. Can you tell where we took this pic? If you think you’ve got an idea, email us at comments@ and let us know. If you’re correct, your name will be included in a random drawing for a $30 Russo’s Books gift card! Be sure to get your guesses in soon. Last issue’s answer: The Grill Hut

Winner Winner, get your



List extra


nchiladas, burritos, tostadas, oh my! If you’re a member of our A-List and you’re lookin’ to head south of the border for some tasty Mexican flavor, you’re in luck. For this issue’s A-List Contest, we’re giving away a $100 gift card to El Portal! Spicy, flavorful food can be at your fingertips if you spot your name in the list below and email us at Let us know you saw your name by October 31 and you’ll be entered into a random drawing for this awesome prize. If you’re not on the A-List, head over to and sign up today! Chrystal Fortt

Earlena Morris

Billie Reynolds

Keith Miller

Casey Knaak

Sonya Wilson

Kristy Allen

Laurie Howlett

David Piuger

Paula Johnson

Salvador Delgado

Samnang Saki-San

*Contest eligibility for A-List members who have not won in the last three months. / Fall 2013 21

Kern Facts



ot only can you go green in Bakersfield, you can give green. If you’ve ever had someone on your gift list that has everything, or if you’ve been looking for a special way to remember a loved one, having a tree planted for them is the perfect solution. And the Tree Foundation of Kern can help. “With our Memory Tree Program, people can donate at least seventy-five dollars and we’ll plant a tree somewhere in KC in memory of their loved one,” explained Melissa Iger, executive director of the Foundation. “And we send a handmade card out to the family letting them know a tree has been plated in their loved one’s honor.” Or, you can just donate the money to plant a tree in a friend’s name for a great gift. Since 1994, over 14,000 trees have been planted at over 400 locations throughout Kern County by the Tree Foundation. “It’s the kind of gift that keeps on giving,” Iger said. “Trees clean our air, provide animal habitats, and also add beauty to the streets and parks in our community.” And, as Iger explained, fall is the best time of year to plant trees, so now’s the time to give the gift that keeps on growing. Visit or call (661) 325-6650 for more information on the Tree Foundation’s programs and how you can get involved.

Did You Know?

The Bakersfield area was only a few years old when residents felt the tremors of the first earthquake to be documented by settlers. It was a warm June day in 1875 when the plates shifted underneath the burgeoning town. We like to think women and children huddled together in fear and the men pulled out their six-guns to fire rounds into the devil ground that shook below their feet! Though in reality, no major damage was listed, so the earthquake was most likely minor and not worthy of their ammo! Source: Historic Chronology of Kern County

22 Bakersfield Magazine


People • Places • Events

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Reno Heart from Brighton Collection, $35-53 Christine’s 4915 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 834-3068

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Embroidery Classes, $20-63 Strawberry Patches 6433 Ming Ave. (661) 835-1738 / Fall 2013 23

photo courtesy of Bakersfield Symphony orchestra

Kern Facts

by the

Numbers 6

Age at which local children can join Bakersfield Music Theater School of Performing Arts workshops


Number of members that make up the Beale Park Band, a military-style band affiliated with the BSO


Number of GET busses with benches made out of recycled plastic milk jugs


Number of acres within the city limits of Bakersfield in 1898


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24 Bakersfield Magazine

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Rough estimate of acres owned by the County of Kern

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Sources:;;; Historic Chronology of Kern County;;

Did You Know?



n 1910, the city of Bakersfield held its very first Air Meet at Hudnut Park (Hudnut Park was around what is today 25th and M streets). The date was January 30. That special occasion also marks the time when the first male pilot in the county, Charles K Hamilton, soared high above the city in a Curtiss biplane.

Source: Historic Chronology of Kern County

In & Around B•Town

Serving the

Justin Mebane


Bakersfield Community

photos courtesy of Livestock Marketing Association

Champion Auctioneer

for over 33 years



e've all seen them. And if you haven't seen them, you will know them within seconds of hearing their distinctive speech, used to peddle wares in the most unique fashion. If you haven't guessed it by now, we're talking about auctioneers! What they do is evident, but what isn't so clear is what it takes to be one. Justin Mebane has been wrangling bids since 2002, having attended the World Champion College of Auctioneering right here in Bakersfield (there are just over 30 such colleges accredited through the National Auctioneers Association in the entire world). “I was fascinated with it since I was a little kid,” Mebane said. “I grew up on a cattle ranch and would go watch the cattle auctions. I was intrigued by what the auctioneers did.” Turning intrigue into a reality became a natural pursuit, especially since his family opened Western “Farmers and ranchers Stockman's Market, where go a long time between his smooth and speedy paychecks. So it’s speech helps to auction catimportant that you get top tle, sheep, and goats off to dollar for every head of interested parties. But even if you're not in the market livestock you sell.” for some animals, the auc—Livestock Marketing Association tions are still open to the public so people can watch the fast-paced world of animal peddlin'. Mebane's time in college taught him the basics, like how to properly chant and the intricacies of salesmanship. Since then, his mastery of this skill made him a semi-finalist in the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship a number of times, and he plans on landing a space in next year's competition. While he said practice will help you chant like a champ, having mentors like former champion and Bakersfield resident Skinner Harvey doesn't hurt. Overall, his favorite part of the industry—and something that makes any auctioneer a step above the rest—is using his unique ability to make the maximum offer for the people he represents at any given auction.

Specializing in: • Artificial Limbs • • Orthopedic Braces • • Diabetic Shoes and Inserts • • Mastectomy Products • • Cranial Remolding Helmets •

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www. / Fall 2013 25

People • Places • Events

Good Ideas become reality “It all started in 2011,” said John Pitre, general manager for Motor City Buick/GMC. “General Motors reached out to ten dealers across the country as part of the 2014 Sierra Project.” The reason? They wanted to get specific input from some of the bigger markets for trucks, something they’d never done before, and Pitre was selected to represent the western states. “GM wanted to know what features







363-6898 2



871-3601 3







589- 6202

26 Bakersfield Magazine

GMC’s CornerStep Option

were popular and also what trends were working and what wasn’t,” Pitre explained. So Pitre supplied them with ideas for the new design—features that he knew truck buyers in this area of the country want. It was a two-year process when all was said and done and this year, the 2014 GMC Sierra pickup was unveiled, decked out with some Pitre-recommended features. “The EZ-lift and lower tailgate option, the CornerStep rear chrome bumper, and the lighting system in the bed of the truck are some of the suggestions they utilized. They even asked for our recommendations on paint colors,” he laughed. “And seeing as there are over twenty-five shades of red for trucks, that’s asking a lot.” And now that the truck is in production, you can check out these cool, local design innovations for yourself.

No Ordinary Read


hen Bakersfield native Ron McCraw decided to put pen to paper and write his first novel, Ordinary Heroes, he knew exactly the material he’d use as inspiration. “The narrative is based on a true story. The book is a mystery/thriller wrapped around a compelling coming of age story. In the late 1950s, when I was fourteen, a neighborhood hero died a tragic and mysterious death. My friends and I solved the mystery and grew up in the process,” McCraw explained. But what made McCraw go from teenage sleuth to published author? “I had seen the movie Stand By Me, based on a Stephen King short story, ‘The Body.’ I knew why folks liked the story, but I was convinced that I could write a better story about better boys.” A story set right here in Bakersfield. “My world view is different than King’s and the boys in Ordinary Heroes are far from perfect: they, too, are flawed, but they are real and engaging and are fundamentally innocent and transparently good.” Writing for McCraw was a challenge but one that he was up for. “It took me eight months to do five rewrites and get the finished book. It was like constructing one of those ten-thousand piece jigsaw puzzles…I had the necessary writing skills, but the challenge is to create an entire world—every molecule of it—on paper.”

photo courtesy of Ron McCraw


Kern Facts

McCraw decided on self-publication because the conventional publishing world is changing. “Major publishers can see if a book is selling and they can pick it up, retitle it, and give it a big marketing boost.” And McCraw is on his way—Ordinary Heroes has already received over 50 stellar reviews on It’s got McCraw excited to finish his second book, a thriller/ fantasy about gangsters, kidnapping, and a fox, set in present day Northern California. In the meantime, McCraw will be having a book signing at Russo’s on October 26, starting at 1 p.m. so he can share more of his story with local readers. / Fall 2013 27

28 Bakersfield Magazine

Kern Facts



In & Around B•Town

By David Nigel Lloyd

Robbie Byrne was wearing nothing under his kilt when he stumbled before Queen Elizabeth II, nearly falling. “I imagined being dragged away to the tower of London, fed on bread and water,” he recalled, “never to be seen again.”


owever, this was not a real life version of the famous scene from Naked Gun. Nothing was in fact amiss, for Byrne was a piper of one of the world’s toughest military units, the British Army’s Scots Guard. The regiment’s motto is Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (No one touches me with impunity). Its Colonel in Chief is Her Majesty, herself. “Traditionally,” said Byrne, answering an age old question once and for all, “Scottish pipers don’t wear anything under their kilts, Queen or no Queen.” Byrne, who has lived in Bakersfield for six years, was born in Birmingham in 1955 and raised in Dublin. “At age ten, my father took me to see a piper called Tom O’Rourke for lessons, basically to get me off the streets.” Robbie was not a good piper, however. Good pipers can’t play in the Band of the Scots Guard. He had to be better than good. “British Army drummers and pipers,” he explained, “all play at level or grade one.” It is the highest level of piping. “I practiced and practiced in my back garden in England while my mother hung out the laundry. She’d dance. The neighbors used to sit on their apartment balconies listening and clapping.” After serving his “two years soldiering time” with the Scots Guard, he joined the band and traveled the world. “We wore full Highland Uniform: kilt, jacket, feather bonnet, ceremonial swords, dirks, and battalion banners on our pipe drones.”

After the Army, he became involved with the folk scene of northwestern England and started a family. “My wife Beryl died of cancer in 2003,” he said. “We had planned one

His second novel, Mulligan’s Pennies, published privately, was both a long goodbye to Beryl and an introduction to Disheree, the woman he met and fell in love with in Bakers-

Betty Younger

Robbie Byrne day to visit America, so I came for both of us.” Byrne’s sister lived in Bakersfield. Byrne, who had been writing as long as he had been piping, began writing novels and plays.

field. She was in love, however, with Mulligan, the novel’s protagonist. Disheree realized soon enough that Mulligan and Byrne were the same man. They married in 2007.

He and drummer Walter Baldwin had already founded the successful Celtic Rock band 1916, named for the year of Ireland’s Easter Rising. “At fifty-six I felt tired, traveling around to all the festivals,” he said. Byrne left 1916. “I’d already performed with Celtic bands and professional pipe bands in Europe long before I came to America.” Instead, he helped start the Bakersfield Celtic music session that is now to be found Wednesday nights at Dagny’s coffee. Meanwhile, “Kenny Mount and I discussed starting something whereby the Irish could meet and listen to music and share the ‘craic’—the merriment.” This something was the Irish Heritage Club on Oak at Chester Lane. “I attend occasionally and play the Irish pipes with the other musicians on a Monday night.” Robbie Byrne is immersed in his own projects now. He is working on a CD “which will incorporate modern and traditional instruments. I am aiming soon to record an album with my sons, Paul and Jon Byrne, who live in England.” He is also working on another novel. “Unnamed as yet, it is about how people are frightened to take responsibility for their own lives and actions.” The Piper of Bakersfield quickly listed his reasons for staying here. “Friendly people, good musicians, and sunshine,” he said. And, in case it wasn’t obvious, “It’s always raining in England and Ireland.” / Fall 2013 29

Kern Facts

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30 Bakersfield Magazine

Cotton Candy


Does your foot or ankle hurt from physical or sports injuries?

f you’re looking for some of the best produce in the world, Kern County is the place to be. Not only did we write the book on just how agriculture is done right, we are continuing to change the way the world perceives nature’s candy. And candy is no exaggeration! Thanks to years of effort, the mind of local geneticist David Cain, and a breeding program that began in 2001, the world of table grapes just got a lot sweeter. CEO of Grapery—the distributor behind the new developments—Jim Beagle, let us know just how the new Cotton Candy and Witch Fingers Grapes came to be and how they’re rockin’ fruit stands in select locations. “Jack Pandol and the Stoller family invested in the program where new table grape varieties were created with a focus on flavor. We’re trying to grow the best tasting grapes in the world.” The Cotton Candy Grape is sweet, delicious, and—you guessed it—tastes just like cotton candy without all of the calories. The Witch Fingers are more distinctive due to their long, skinny shape. “We were going to call them Chilli Pepper Grape, but we found out kids wouldn’t touch them,” Beagle laughed. Though the grapes have received exposure on NPR and The Today Show, you won’t find them in many stores until distribution increases. And since they’re seasonal and in limited distribution, they’re only available locally at Sweet Surrender; that is, if you’re lucky enough to find them.



photo by Bobak Ha’Eri

he fireworks are primed and ready for the Shafter Centennial Festival! That’s right; our neighbor to the northwest is turning 100. To celebrate, the City of Shafter has planned an exciting four-day festival (October 1720) that will not only honor the city’s past, but also look to its future. “The Gaslight Melodrama will be performing the history of Shafter on Thursday,” explained Centennial Committee Chairman Cathy Prout. And that’s just the beginning. There will also be a Fireman’s Muster, an impressive tractor pull using old tractors, an alumni tailgate party, a parade, and a barn dance with live music. “On Sunday, there will be


Historic Green Hotel

a luncheon and a time capsule dedication,” Prout added. One of coolest events will be the unveiling of wall murals. “The murals are telling our community’s history, starting in 1913 with the Green Hotel,” she added, explaining that old historic photos were also recreated in the murals. If you’d like to join in on the fun, visit for a calendar of events.


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Did You Know? Father GarcesGarces Circle

an unded in 1931 as Though it was fo oPi n er Society of K outgrowth of the al ric to is County H neers, the Kern l ca lo g in gin designat Society didn’t be ! 65 19 til r fair city un historic sites in ou g; or ty. lsocie ica Source: kchistor unty logy of Kern Co Historic Chrono

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the hills are



veryone knows that the beauty of our country has been expressed through song for hundreds of years, but Kern County has the distinction of boasting a similar honor. “Beautiful Kern” was written by Sue Hicks,

along with music composed by Berniece A. Bell, in 1966, and it details some of the most precious things about our wonderful county. Log on to to hear the tune performed by Katie Whyte.

“Beautiful Kern”

and lupin blue, Goldenrod, daffodils, poppies, ay of many splendored hue. All blossom forth in bright arr yons and mountains tall, Rivers deep, prairies wide, can d brings in mercy has given all. These are things a gracious Go unty So come with me to Kern Co And share the beauty I know. ess the trees There’s a peaceful breeze to car w. And gold in each sunset’s glo ny miles away And though we may stray ma I know we’ll always return that we love To blue skies above and hills n. In this beautiful county of Ker . , meadows and oak trees tall Fields of grain, autumn leaves fall. sky and raindrops that gently A harvest moon that lights the unty So come with me to Kern Co And share the beauty I know. hills that I love The blue skies above and the n. In the beautiful county of Ker

It was printed in the Kern County Centennial Almanac, a book which was all about “The Epic of Kern County,” covering everything from people who made local history to the events that shaped our area. “Beautiful Kern” is a perfect fit, and the words and music are certain to celebrate all of the best parts of our home for decades to come.

Skilled Hands

It’s All About

perfectfit Top had plenty to say when it came to a sharp dressed man, but fewer people could attest to the truth of that assessment than a well-seasoned tailor. Mattie Ruiz—the original and current tailor at Snead’s for Men in Bakersfield—has been custom fitting local men with the finest of clothes for the past 30 years. You could say that the art of making men look their classiest is in her blood. “My father was a tailor, and he taught me how to sew when I was twentythree,” Ruiz recalled. “They needed another tailor at his work, and he offered to train me. He first showed me how to hem the bottoms of pants using a blindstitch sewing machine. I had never seen that kind of machine before, so to me, it was all new!” Ruiz’s father was no stranger to style or fashioning his own wardrobe. “He used to make his own suits because he said it was easier than making alterations,” she said, laughing. He had been a tailor in Mexico and he decided to bring his skills to the U.S. “He said I was a very fast learner. He didn’t have a problem teaching me, but then

Mattie Ruiz

Snead’s for Men Tailor I always loved to sew. Even before that point, I would make dresses for my daughter and little jeans for my son.” Ruiz took a brief break from tailoring, as the business she was working for had gone under. “I went back to working in the fields when [the original owner of Snead’s for Men] called me to see if I would want to be the tailor for his new store, and I was very happy to do that. I have been here ever since.” Equipped with a variety of tools ranging from a simple razor blade to specialty ironing boards that generate heat, the intricacy that goes into her daily work is incredible. Whether she is taking in a shirt sleeve, lengthening a pant leg, or even adding shoulder pads to a suit coat, her crafting must be per-

fect so that everything measures up to fit the individual flawlessly. Some of her most important work—and most of her work, in general—must be stitched by hand, and every stitch sewn must match up with that which is already present on the clothes. The first step is measuring the customer, and using chalk to specify where the alteration must take place. After that, and usually after she irons the piece to help it fall into place, it is all up to what is needed to make a perfect fit. “I take in and let out sizes, shorten or lengthen sleeves (for both coats and shirts) or pant legs, adjust collars, adjust the arm holes and the waist size, taper the legs, shorten the crotch, add shoulder pads. The length of time I spend on a garment just depends on how much adjusting is needed, and to which part.” Ruiz added that some adjustments can take minutes, while others take over an hour. If she needs to alter a sleeve or add padding to the shoulders, she has to actually deconstruct the inside of the sleeve—starting by carefully removing the stitching with a razor blade— and then sew it all back up so

that it looks brand new. One of the most difficult parts to sew by hand, aside from collars, is the curve at the bottom of a coat. “That takes a lot of time, and it is hard to match up the seams,” she said. Utilizing an impressive array of tools, from simple buttons to custom pads of varying sizes and shapes that help to fashion a look, Ruiz’s love for creating beauty and the finest craftsmanship is evident in every single stitch. Carrying on the tradition that was passed down to her from her father has been the only career that she has known, and it is something in which she takes great pride. Paying close attention to the minutest detail, Ruiz’s abilities are certainly suited to perfection. / Fall 2013 33

34 Bakersfield Magazine

Name: Harry Wilson Age: 70 Birthplace: Seattle, Washington Occupation: Photographer, Retired Professor at Bakersfield College

the way I see it Personal Expression Through the Lens

How he got started: Wilson divulged that he started photographing at the age of 11 or 12, but what may have been considered a childhood hobby turned into a lifelong passion—one with an impressive resume attached. “It wasn’t until I went to San Francisco to study at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute that I realized that ‘to be an artist is to give your life for the creation of a world closer to your heart’s desire,’ to quote my art history professor, Fred Martin,” he said. “I was hooked, and that city was an exciting place to be an artist.”

His Heroes: For a person who is as wellrounded as Wilson, inspiration comes from an assortment of influential people. Robert Frank, Mary Ellen Mark, Sebastiao Salgado, Bob Dylan, Rosa Parks, and Daniel Ellsberg are Wilson’s top picks, and they clearly run the gamut.


His favorite part of the industry: His answer is simple, “The Art.” Citing his experience as an art professor at Bakersfield College, he noted that, “personal expression was everything. Not having to compromise your vision or thoughts was of utmost importance. Teaching students to see and think like an artist was my mission.” Considering he held the position for almost 35 years and had his work displayed at such places as the de Young Museum of San Francisco, we are guessing that he had plenty of influence on some of the most creative local minds.



Wilson To be an artist is to give your life for the creation of a world closer to your heart’s desire, to quote my art history professor.

Career Highlights: Wilson’s accomplishments include an impressive array of museum and art gallery shows that he has been doing since the ‘60s—which took place everywhere from California and Texas to Wisconsin and New York. (A humble assertion from someone whose photos made it into publications such as Rolling Stone Magazine.) He also noted the sheer amount of students he once taught that are now working in the arts. “One important highlight is the fact that I survived as an art teacher until retirement in a society that does not value the arts or education.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF san francisco art institute (courtyard), mark james miller (de young museum of san francisco), alberto cabello (bob dylan), wenner media, llc (rolling stone), & Museum of photographic arts (logo)




What he’d still like to accomplish: He may have been exhibiting for over 40 years, and his collections have been a big part of places like the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, but Wilson isn’t slowing down: he still has active work in focus! “Making photographs is what I do best, so I am always working on different bodies of work that I will exhibit at some point.” He also has interests in publishing his works, as well. Our guess is that, whatever he does, it will be a snap. / Fall 2013 35

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36 Bakersfield Magazine


The Art of Motivating Employees Phil Jackson, former Day” once a year when emcoach of two championship ployees spend a workday dobasketball teams, said, “I ing something fun outside of don’t motivate my players. the office. Employees are not You cannot motivate sometold what will happen (that’s one, all you can do is prothe mystery), but are given vide a motivating environclues leading up to the big day. ment and the players will This year employees were motivate themselves.” To treated to a day at Universal which you might ask, why Studios, with prizes given does someone need to produring the bus ride to Holvide a motivating environlywood for accurately guessment for players who make ing arrival time, mileage, and By Robin Paggi millions of dollars a year? other trip-related trivia. Isn’t the money motivating enough? Bock says that the numerous teamNumerous studies have tried to deter- building activities the firm provides its mine whether money motivates employ- employees throughout the year are well ees. University of Notre Dame professor worth the investment in money and time. Timothy Judge and colleagues reviewed But, what if you can’t spend that kind of the data from 92 of those studies and con- cash? Numerous studies have shown that cluded in their article “The Relationship it’s not about the money spent—it’s about Between Pay and Job Satisfaction: A Meta- the time together. analysis of the Literature,” that “pay level “Much of the workplace environment is only marginally related to satisfaction.” that encourages employee motivation inIn other words, the answer to the question volves management time and commitment: above is no—money is not motivating genuine interest and caring…and attention enough for NBA players or any other em- from both senior managers and line managployee to perform at their best. ers are all appreciated and valued,” accordWhich brings us to why employers ing to Susan M. Heathfield in her article should even care about providing a motivat- “The Bottom Line for Motivating Employing environment. In her article “Motivation ees” found on and Productivity in the Workplace,” Carla Bock and his partners know that spendValencia says what most employees already ing quality time with employees is imporknow: “Unmotivated employees are likely tant because “when we’re at work, we’re to spend little or no effort in their jobs, always in business mode. Outside of work, avoid the workplace as much as possible, we can get to know each other and appreciexit the organization if given the opportu- ate each other as people.” nity, and produce low quality work. On the Appreciation, of course, is key. Said other hand, employees who feel motivated Heathfield, “Motivation is prevalent in to work are likely to be persistent, creative, workplaces where people are treated as and productive, turning out high quality valued human beings,” and says that simwork that they willingly undertake.” Em- ply having civil conversations, listening, ployers thinking that they’ll just replace un- and providing clear direction shows emmotivated employees with people who are ployees they are appreciated and valued. grateful to have a job should think again. In The problem for employers is, these conan un-motivating environment, those grate- versations take time and, as a result, often ful people will soon turn into unmotivated go by the wayside. employees themselves and the cycle will My advice for employers who want to start all over again. provide a motivating environment is to So, how does an employer provide a spend some time with your employees. Tell motivating environment? Jim Bock, man- them what’s going on with the company, aging partner of the Bakersfield accounting ask them for their input, and let them know firm Daniells, Phillips, Vaughan and Bock, that you appreciate their contribution. I say says that providing a number of opportu- that’s time well spent. nities for employees to get to know each other outside of the workplace motivates Robin Paggi is the Training Coordinator at them to work together better. Worklogic HR Legal Solutions and can be reached For example, the firm hosts a “Mystery at or (661) 695-5168.


(l-r)Rob & Shannon Hill, Chuck Brummer

Allstate Insurance Services


hen Rob Hill decided it was time to expand his business, he did so in a very smart way. Rob owns and operates Valley Dealer Services, a company that has worked with Allstate Dealer Services assisting car dealerships in their finance and insurance departments for many years. So, Rob approached Allstate Insurance about opening an agency. It turned out to be a great decision for Rob and partners Shannon Hill and Chuck Brummer. “From our perspective, we had never felt like we received great customer service from any of our prior insurance agents,” explained Shannon. “We wanted to do things differently—we really want to have a relationship with each of our customers.” The trio’s first Allstate agency opened on November 1, 2010, and in its first year ranked 22nd in the state for sales. Just a few months later, Shannon took over an existing Allstate agency located in the southwest. Under Shannon’s direction, this office was awarded the prestigious Circle of Champions award

Now with four locations at Brimhall and Calloway, New Stine and Wilson, Hughes and Pacheco, and W. Columbus and Chester, it doesn’t matter what part of town you may be in, this professional team is close by to serve you. Each office offers full-service insurance needs to every customer.

2500 New Stine Road, Suite 101 Bakersfield, CA 93309 661-836-1136 CURRICULUM VITAE

in its first year and is currently classified as a Premier Service Agency for its exceptional customer service. In addition to a location in the northwest, another office in the northeast has also been established just east of the Kern County Museum. Now boasting four locations, all areas of town can be serviced by a live agent, so personal customer service is guaranteed, no matter which part of town you’re in. Services include auto and home insurance, but also life and business insurance, as well as retirement planning. Each of these agents takes their work seriously and their combined goal is to make sure all customers are educated when it comes to every aspect of their insurance coverage, before they need it. “Insurance is a serious business, but is something that a lot of people don’t think about until they need it,” Shannon said. “I love the fact that what we do every day truly matters to someone’s life.” After all, Allstate’s motto is “You’re in good hands.” And, Shannon added, “It’s our job to make that motto a reality for every one of our customers.” / Fall 2013 37

38 Bakersfield Magazine

Until the fall of 1908, when the lands thought to be valuable for petroleum were withdrawn from agricultural entry, it was possible for two people to claim rights to the same section of land—one under mining law and one under agricultural law. Understandably, this led to numerous conflicts. One such conflict arose in April 1901.

at Midway

By Sarah Woodman opment Company obtained land from locators for $15 an acre on section 26 in the Midway field, which is located near the present-day town of Taft. They then filed an agricultural claim and completed about $1,200 worth of assessment work. The Mount Diablo Company was

Photos Courtesy Kern County Library

il was a new business venture at the turn of the century, and the laws governing the oil lands were confusing and inadequate. To obtain public land in California— whether to own or just to use—one had to either apply under the laws provid-

After the battle, Chanslor maintained a large presence in the oil industry in Kern, owning several organizations including the Chanslor-Canfield-Midway Oil Company, pictured here in 1909.

ing for mining use or the laws providing for the disposal of agricultural lands. Until the fall of 1908, when the lands thought to be valuable for petroleum were withdrawn from agricultural entry, it was possible for two people to claim rights to the same section of land—one under mining law and one under agricultural law. Understandably, this led to numerous conflicts. The Mount Diablo Mining & Devel-

owned by Joseph Anderson Chanslor, one of the most prominent oil speculators and real estate brokers of the time. On April 14, 1901, the newly-formed Superior Sunset Oil Company moved onto the northwest corner of section 26 with the intent of filing a mining claim once oil was discovered. They built a bunkhouse and cookhouse as well as started building a derrick. Associated with the company were: president > / Fall 2013 39

Photo Courtesy Kern County Library

Midnight Battle at Midway

On April 19, 1901, approximately 20 officers, directors, and stockholders of the Mount Diablo Company formed a vigilante group and set out towards the contested land. approximately 20 officers, directors, and stockholders of the Mount Diablo Company formed a vigilante group and set out towards the contested land. The men involved were: Joseph A. Chanslor; Dr. Augustus F. Schafer, a Bakersfield physician; Ellsworth J. Boust, a former deputy US Marshal; J. W. Jameson, an attorney and oilfield investor; Dunlop, first president of the Mount Diablo Oil Company before selling to Chanslor; and a number of other local men. Armed with repeating rifles, shotguns, and pistols, the vigilantes snuck up on the sleeping Superior Sunset camp at about 12:30 a.m. That night’s new moon rendered the desolate area nearly pitch black, and those who witnessed the party’s travel through the area noted that the men wore their hats low and their collars 40 Bakersfield Magazine

house from the derrick where he had been sleeping. The other Superior Sunset men either hid near where they had been sleeping or took cover in the darkness of the desert. When the vigilantes eventually stopped shooting, they yelled a warning to the hiding Superior Sunset men that they would be back if the land was not vacated. Fifty-three shots were fired during the ambush but only two men were hit: Cornell and Walker. Cornell was shot twice—one of the shots shattered the bones in his left leg and the other entered his chest and emerged near his spine. Walker was shot in the right side above the waistband with the ball passing through the body and tearing out part of the spine. None of the vigilantes sustained any wounds, and it is unclear if any of the Superior

A photo of a Chanslor-associated oil camp in Fellows, CA, taken around 1915 highlights just how much progress had been made since that fateful battle at Midway fifteen years prior.

Sunset men even fired a shot. At some point during the melee, Crosland had taken cover somewhere in the desert, and at about 2:00 a.m., he came in out of the darkness and started for McKittrick to get a physician for the two injured men. Both were expected to die, but, miraculously, both survived although with serious disabilities.


up. The vigilantes approached in a semi-circular line and stopped upon reaching a small rise overlooking the camp – about 60 yards from the bunkhouse and 150 yards from the derrick. Cornell was the first of the Superior Sunset company the vigilantes encountered. Hearing the approach of the party, Cornell hollered for them to stop. One of the vigilantes informed him that they were there to take back the land and instructed Cornell to surrender and put his hands up. When Cornell defiantly refused and told them to put their own hands up, one of the vigilantes said, “Kill him, boys,” and the vigilantes opened fire. Cornell attempted to take cover behind the water tank as the vigilantes fired two volleys. Woken by the first volley and perhaps acting on the instinct of a former sheriff, Walker rushed toward the bunk-


Jesse W. Crosland, owner of Bakersfield Hardware Company; director Will S. Kimball, a Bakersfield drug clerk; director George Haberfelde, a sewing machine agent; stockholder Charles L. Claflin, a Kern County lawyer and former Superior Court Judge of Modoc County; and investor J. T. Walker, a former sheriff and county supervisor in Nevada. Employed by the company were: George P. Cornell Jr., a 25-year-old laborer; Tom Briggs, a carpenter; F. M. Barling; and a Chinese cook. The Mount Diablo and Superior Sunset people could have tried to work out the dispute over section 26 in court, but legal action probably would have taken months if not years. Wanting the matter resolved as soon as possible, the Mount Diablo people decided to take matters into their own hands. On April 19, 1901,

Joseph Anderson Chanslor

A few days after the battle, the Mount Diablo and the Superior Sunset companies reached an agreement that resulted in the Superior Sunset company selling out to Mount Diablo and going out of business. Criminal charges were filed against the vigilantes, but none of the vigilantes were found guilty. Not finding justice in criminal court, both Cornell and Walker attempted to sue the Mount Diablo Company for damages received. Walker sought $75,000 in damages. Kern County Superior Court awarded Walker $8,500, but unfortunately, Walker never saw any of the money. The defendants appealed the verdict, and the California Supreme Court

overturned the decision. Cornell also brought civil charges against the Mount Diablo men, but presumably he was even unluckier than Walker for no mention was made in the newspapers about the result of the action. Not finding recourse in either the criminal or civil courts, Cornell decided to seek revenge against two of his attackers. On the morning of April 16, 1904, as Schafer and Boust walked down 19th Street in front of the Arlington Hotel, Cornell, with the assistance of his brother Lloyd, shot at Schafer and Boust. Both shots went wild and George Cornell was arrested. Cornell was tried for assault with a deadly weapon but was acquitted. Most of the men associated with the Midnight Battle at Midway went on to lead extremely successful lives. After the Mount Diablo Company sold their property in the Midway field for $1,500,000 in 1910, the stockholders became extremely wealthy. Unfortunately, the two gunshot victims weren’t as lucky. J. T. Walker slipped from public record after losing his civil case. Never recovering from the ordeal, George Cornell, Jr. committed suicide in 1911 by shooting himself through the heart. Much of Kern County’s oil history has been romanticized and celebrated, but no less important are the stories of greed, intimidation, and attempted murder. The Midnight Battle at Midway shows that oilmen could be ruthless in their quest for black gold. v

all work• no play

no way! Unless you have been out exploring the “final frontier,” you may have noticed that fashion and pop culture have become decidedly geekier recently.

hings that were once seen in a negative light are now what’s in. Locally, we are not only up to step with this trend, but we are also more than a little savvy on a myriad of subjects that can be seen as geek chic. You can say our love with everything geeky started a long time ago—just not “in a galaxy far, far away...” While the rest of the world is just now getting wise to the power of the geek, Bakersfield has the brilliant hands and mind behind Iron Goblin Masks creating world-class LARPER masks and accessories from scratch. His craft was so amazing, in fact, that we featured him in the Skilled Hands segment in our April 2013 edition. This is also the place where the Shire of Wintermist, one of the most active within the Kingdom of Caid, brings fighters, artisans, entertainers, and scholars together to recreate history in the most imaginative ways. (We did a little chronicling of our own by including them in a writeup in October of 2012!) And who was awesome enough to top our Cool List in October 2009? None other than the Kern County Pirates Privateers, who “recreate the Golden Age of Pyracy”! Simply put, there may be countless ways to channel your inner geek, but here in Kern County, we wrote the RPG book on it. >>

Bakersfield San Joaquin Squad 501st Legion Joe Gonzales wards off all who dare at Red Rock Canyon as Star Wars biker scout.

revenge of the

nerds San Joaquin Squad 501st Legion at Bakersfield Comic Con

photos Courtesy of Joe Gonzales istockphoto/thinkstock (sky) / Fall 2013 41

revenge of the nerds

San Joquin Squad Star Wars gear

In life, there are fewer things better than living long and prospering, and who knows this better than the Trekkies amongst us? Many of us remember the documentary Trekkies, in which a Bakersfield group was featured. The Trekkie culture is still alive and well in Bakersfield, and as one fan, Drew Hallum, put it, “Bakersfield, even Kern County, does have a pretty avid Trekkie community.” And being one for over 20 years, himself, he would know! Hallum ex-

Trek. New races, new ships, new worlds—all beyond the things that we know, but still have remnants of things we see in ourselves.” You don’t have to use The Force to find some of the most hardcore Star Wars fans around Bakersfield, though. The San Joaquin Squad (part of the SoCal Garrison for the 501st Legion) is a group of dedicated fans that talk the talk in every way imaginable—especially when that means dressing up as Darth Vader, himself.

SCA Shire of Wintermist

plained that Trekkies really are all around us, and for good reasons. “Star Trek...allows us to still dream of the future. Roddenberry’s world allowed us to see a world where societies’ ambitions came to be and we surpassed our own flaws as a whole to become better. The majority of science fiction that we understand and love today all derived from the inspiration and evolution of Star 42 Bakersfield Magazine

Pirates Privateers

Local member Scootch Graham makes kits for the armor that they wear when hosting special events like Star Wars Night with the Condors. Jeff Parks has the most extensive collection of memorabilia around, with more toys, figures, and statues than you can shake a light saber at. But this group isn’t just about celebrating one of the greatest series of films ever released. “About ninety percent of the

Photo by crysco

Trekkie collector Drew Hallum

Photo by crysco

photo courtesy of drew hallum

Steam Punk’d Erica Morgan, Jessica McEuen (L-R) Makeup by Roschel Kimberly Wynn

appearances that we do as a Squad are charity-based,” Anthony Bailey, leader of the San Joaquin Squad, said. From going in full costume to visit sick children in hospitals to assisting with the Make A Wish Foundation, these intergalactic residents are truly making a difference. (Hear more from their fearless Garrison leader, aka Darth Vader, at!) It is one thing to get paid for going to events as a certain character, but what about taking your geek love to an entirely new level and making a career out of it? Many people in our community are doing just that. Known simply as Crysco,


this local photographer is passionate about his work, and he has done several different series that embrace the geek culture, namely Steam Punk’d. “I make bios for all of my characters,” he said, admitting that a lot of influence came from movies from people like Terry Gilliam. “I get a lot of my influence from games and movies. I piece them together and create worlds.” Crysco’s work has become so notable that it has been published in

SoCal Garrison for the 501st Legion “Vaders Fist” troops.

YouTube parody stars Chad Nikolaus & Angie Griffin of Screen Team (as Ash & Pikachu).

have been dressing up and making videos on YouTube about “everything geeky” for quite some time. They’ve had a parody of theirs aired on The Today Show (which you can view at watch?v=4qJW5qVhYsE), were the answer to a question on Jeopardy, and if you check out this link watch?v=4qJW5qVhYsE, you will see they were interviewed on Good Morning America Live, and even had Nikolaus’ proposal to Angie at Disneyland included. As it turns out, people from all over the world have been eating it up—and bringing their videos countless views. “When a video of ours happens to get a good number of hits, it can feel a bit surreal

in our society to cosplay or go to conventions. Now it is, and it’s great that people don’t have to be afraid to show their geek colors,” he said, cheerfully. We, in fact, have a cosplay and LARP subculture locally (short for costume play and Live Action Role Playing, respectively), and Allysa Jones has been active in both scenes. “The best memories I’ve made during cosplaying occur when doing group costumes with friends. Together, we made matching uniforms from the anime Ouran High School Hostclub and attended Fanime in San Jose,” Jones recalled. “There we had so much fun getting into character and just being goofy.” The LARPer group she is a part of is a little on the unconventional side.

“[It] isn’t like regular LARPers who perform their own quests and story lines,” she explained. “The group I’m joining is more like an organized sports team. During practice, we work on war tactics with

The Simpsons, Hannah-Barbara, and even Mad Magazine have all come to these Cons in the past to give speeches and conduct workshops. Cathy Garver and Parker Stevenson have stopped by, as well! Art-

photo Courtesy of Leo Avalos

but it’s really great,” Nikolaus intimated. “Sometimes it’s hard to believe that a video of us dancing in public dressed in costumes could get millions of views. It’s actually very humbling. As two shy quiet kids growing up, neither of us really expected something like that to happen. We just enjoy making videos about things we’re interested in, and it’s great to see people share our interest!” The Team has been making videos for years now, with over 74 million views on their YouTube page, and we highly suspect that they’ve played a role in making things like cosplay much cooler. “In the past, it wasn’t as universally accepted

photo Courtesy of Chad Nikolaus & Angie Griffin

several different magazines, like Maxim. Having a good team hasn’t hurt him, either, as folks like Roschel Wynn do amazing make up effects for that “ready for the Apocalypse” look that so many of his models crave! (Get a sneak peek of upcoming exhibits at Yes, it’s true: Bakersfield geeks know their stuff, and some have even obtained notoriety for the shenanigans they pull off in relation to all things nerdy. If you haven’t heard of Screen Team yet, well, where have you been? A local couple featured on this issue’s cover, Chad Nikolaus & Angie Griffin, make up Screen Team, and

Erick Main (left) attended Bakersfield Comic

Con with his Iron Goblin LARPer masks.

padded swords, armor, and shields. Then at ren fairs or special events, we can combat other armies or enter tournaments.” Detailing that she got into cosplay in high school, Jones also said that she spent most of her senior year making costumes, and her love for costuming got her into the LARP group. When it comes to conventions, Bakersfield actually has some very awesome ones that cater specifically to the geeky crowd, and they seem to grow more with every passing year. Steve Wyatt brought Bakersfield Comic Con to our community, as well as Bak-Anime. “I’m just a big fan of comics,” Wyatt said. “I don’t do the cons for money; but there are plenty of people here that will support such a show.” He has brought a slew of some of the best in the comic world to Bakersfield. Animators and artists from Disney,

ists of all kinds, comic vendors, action figure hawkers, and fans of all of the above come together to celebrate all things comics—a huge part of our culture, according to Wyatt. Guests get to take in the atmosphere, dress up as their favorite characters, and better themselves as artists, if they’re so inclined, by taking workshops from >> Bakersfield Collector-Con


Courte s

y of Le

o Avalo


istockphoto/thinkstock (wham, zap) / Fall 2013 43

LEETERS is the place for all things geek.

photo Courtesy of Tony Damigo

little bigger every year, and I have to say that I have never met an anime fan amongst them that I didn’t like.” The newest in geek conventions is the Collector-Con. Nick Avalos is not only the owner of the 19th Street Antique Mall, but he is also the owner of tons of comics and toys that are displayed at his business. “We got a lot of feedback from people about what sort of a show that they would want to see locally. I know a lot of vendors, so we decided that Bak-Anime

44 Bakersfield Magazine

Bakersfield Collector-Con is a supreme event to ramp up your very own geeky collection.

we should put a convention together so that vendors could showcase their collectibles to those interested in bulking up their own collection,” he said. This was Collector-Con’s first year, but between the fun costume contest and the sheer amount of interesting things to see and do, people came out in high numbers to experience what was a very unique gathering. “The community truly showed their appreciation by coming out and participating in our event. The whole purpose was to bring something

back to the community and to the things that make up a big part of their culture. But where does one go to get their geek on when we don’t have a fabulous convention or Storm Trooper sighting on the calendar? While we do have a few comic book shops here in town, LEETERS in the East Hills Mall is truly a mecca for all flavors of geek! Comic books, video games, computers, competitions, tournaments, role-playing games, paints for figurines—if the word “nerd” comes to mind when you imag-

Hanging out at Bakersfield Collector-Con was a very colorful and cool experience.

cool from people’s childhood and then just go from there.” With a raffle that went to benefit Relay for Life and an actual red carpet for attendees to take pictures on, the first run was a huge success! It just goes to show that our geek culture isn’t just the best of the best, but it is also supportive! Obviously, our breed of geeks keep themselves busy, and they also love to give

photo Courtesy of cruz azul

years, more or less,” Damigo recalled. “I got involved with Japanese animation in 1963 with the release of Astro Boy and I never gave up on it.” Not only does he help run security for a similar convention up in Sacramento, but he has been the program director for BakAnime in the past. One of his favorite parts of Bak-Anime is that it is more intimate, and you can actually get to know the fans and vendors much better than you could in a larger city. “These conventions give us a chance to step away from life and for a moment in time, be a little different. In Bakersfield, our anime convention gets a

photo Courtesy of leeters

the best of the best. Bakersfield Comic Con is actually what led up to Bak-Anime. “At one of the Comic Cons in town, I asked the audience who would be interested in supporting an anime convention here in town. The response was positive, so I moved forward on piecing that together, as well.” (You can hear more about Wyatt’s journey on our website.) Tony Damigo runs Friends of Bak-Anime, and as a huge fan of the genre, he enjoys being so involved in bringing something he loves so much to the people of Bakersfield. “I’ve been running an anime club out of Lake Isabella for the last nine

photo Courtesy of Leo Avalos

revenge of the nerds

ine it, these guys have it. Store operator Addison Chavez detailed, “We mostly have late teen and young adult males that visit us, but there are also entire families that will stop by to play board games. We also have a large card scene for games like Magic and Yugioh. Our largest crowds come out for the card games and tournaments, but we also have gatherings for comic books. There’s

photo Courtesy of Leo Avalos

Bakersfield Collector-Con


photo Courtesy of Leo Avalos

Bakersfield Collector-Con

thing evident. Perhaps Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg said it best: “Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.” If one thing is for certain, we geeks of Bakersfield are proud, thriving, and living free! v

istockphoto/thinkstock (pow), bak-anime photo Courtesy of tony damigo

also a lot of console gaming. We got started because people just wanted a place where we can all hang out and do these things together.” From their Rock Band set up (complete with stage) to their Tables of Catan, LEETERS is the place to go when a geek just wants to be a geek and share that side of them with others. Ryan Greenberg, backstop manager, agreed, “With our weekly competitions, this really is the place where many come to hang out and have fun.” Once again, Bakersfield proves to be a mecca for yet one more pop culture element, and, once more, it is something that a lot of people may be unaware of. Regardless of whether you knew it or not: The Force is strong within our local geek community. We have top-notch leaders in every part of the culture—so much so that we couldn’t even fit them all into one edition—which makes one / Fall 2013 45

46 Bakersfield Magazine

Corporate Relocation

The sign of a progressive community.

Photo by Bobak Ha’Eri

As a city, we’re second to none.

Our people are friendly, our amenities are plentiful, and our businesses are booming. And these are just a few of the reasons why our population continues to grow. Because we’re known for our hospitality as well as our connections to agriculture and oil, we play host to a number of national and international conferences yearround, something accomplished thanks in part to our spacious cityrun facilities. All these areas shine a spotlight on what Bakersfield (and Kern)—an ever-evolving place for business and pleasure— provides to everyone who calls this place home. / Fall 2013 47

city gems

By Tracie Grimes

Amid the thriving, expanding horizon of today’s Bakersfield landscape, city planners designed venues that would not only put our city on the map, but help to spark the growth of our community’s cultural backdrop.

48 Bakersfield Magazine

sees many opportunities for growth. “We are always trying to grow the sports we host and increase exposure so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this awesome facility.” If indoor ice activities aren’t your cup of tea and you enjoy the great outdoors, there’s a place down the road where you can catch the gentle breezes of Bakersfield’s pleasant mornings and cool summer evenings, even on the warmest days. “There’s really no other place quite like it,” said Dianne Hoover, director of the City of Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department, of the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre. “With the rolling hills, ponds, trees, grass, and fountains, it’s a wonderful place to go and relax. A lot of people go there and just sit. When you’re on top of the hillside you can see all around Bakersfield.”

Tammy Van Vleet,who brought the CaliFinale cheerleading competition to Rabobank Arena said, “the venue totally surpassed our expectations, but more importantly, our customers’.”

photo courtesy of bakersfield convention and visitors bureau

They were built to enhance our blossoming community, and expand and deepen the cultural rhythms of the city by offering our denizens places to gather for laughter, music, or just plain old relaxation. But more than that, they were built to draw people from far and wide, welcoming neighbors to our fair city so we can show them the best of what Bakersfield has to offer. Rabobank Theater, Rabobank Arena, San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center, and Bright House Networks Amphitheatre capture some of the most enriching experiences the city of Bakersfield has to offer. Whether it’s a concert, stage production, or a place to come together for activities, Bakersfield area dwellers have access to some pretty cool places. One of the coolest places in town is the San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center, where Kern County residents and visitors can enjoy cold-weather activities even during the dog days of August. “We are Kern County’s only year-round ice rink,” began Scott Hay, director of the SJCH Ice Center, adding that between 1,500 and 8,000 people are trading in their tennis shoes and flip-flops for ice skates each month. And though the ice rink is a great locale for Kern residents to practice their figure eights and triple lutzes, it’s much more than just a place to learn how to ice skate. “We provide a unique recreational venue for locals to enjoy ice skating, figure skating, hockey, and a great place to have birthday parties. Our annual winter playground in December is always a hit. We’ve also hosted many corporate functions, figure skating performances, hockey tournaments, and even a wedding on the ice surface,” Hay said, adding that this particular wedding is still the “coolest” wedding ever held in Bakersfield. Having served the community for almost 10 years now, Hay

photo courtesy of san joaquin Community Hospital ice center

With the rolling hills, ponds, trees, grass, and fountains— the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre is a wonderful place to go and relax.

The San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center has activities for everyone in the family.

While it may be a place to relax and get in touch with nature, it can also serve as a backdrop for getting things done. “Since Bright House put in free Wi-Fi, we have many students coming over from CSUB to sit in the shade and do their homework. Moms love it too because they can watch their children play while checking their email.” Also known for its unique stage, Bright House Networks Amphitheatre plays host to an eclectic array of musical groups. “We’ve had some wonderful concerts—everything from country music to rock. We’ve hosted top performers such as Willie Nelson, and the Gospel Fest has been held in the Amphitheatre.” This past Fourth of July, about 7,000 Bakersfield residents gathered around the Amphitheatre to listen to music and watch an amazing fireworks show, Hoover added, noting some of the ways the venue contributes to the community. “We’ve had some great concerts offered at reasonable rates that not only draw in community members, but people coming from Santa Maria, Santa Clarita, and Santa Barbara.” The Amphitheatre isn’t the only Bakersfield venue drawing in people from all over the state; Rabobank Arena and Rabobank Theater are also seeing a marked increase in out-of-town patrons.

Photo Courtesy of City of Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department

Corporate Relocation

“We have a lot of people coming to events in Bakersfield from surrounding areas these days,” said Ed Dorsey, assistant manager, Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center. “It’s much easier to travel to Bakersfield than it is to fight the LA traffic, so we’re finding that people are coming from north LA, cities like Valencia and Santa Clarita, for events held in our facilities.” Big name performers make sure Bakersfield is on their tour route as well, thanks to the uniqueness of our Rabobank venues. “The Arena is half the size of some of the more well-known arenas [it can accommodate 10,000 people], but because the ceiling is lower it sounds like there are twice as many people in the crowd. That makes performers feel much more ‘in touch’ and intimate with the crowd. When Elton John walked out on our stage for the first time he was so pleased with his interaction with the crowd that he played an extra thirty minutes. He had such a good time that he’s been back twice. In fact, when he was in LA doing the Grammys, he said, ‘Let’s go play Bakersfield while we’re here,’ so he stopped by the arena and did a fantastic show.” But Bakersfield is no stranger to big name performers, Dorsey commented, adding that pretty much “everybody under the sun” has played on the Rabobank Theater stage. “Back in the day when bands toured a lot more, Bakersfield was almost always on their tour schedule as they made their way up the state from LA. Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones— all the big names you can think of from the ‘60s [except for the Beatles and Led Zeppelin] performed on the Theater stage.” Built back in 1962, Rabobank Theater (formerly known as the Civic Auditorium) boasted one of the biggest stages around. But more than just a venue for concerts and stage productions, the Theater was built for a variety of uses, with its 26,000 square foot exhibit hall in back of the stage > / Fall 2013 49

and capability of seating 3,000 people. “Artists also love the fact that they can just pull their buses right into the building,” Dorsey added. Another added bonus is the fact that Rabobank Arena and Rabobank Theater are right next to each other. “We can host bigger main acts and productions, like Disney on Ice, in the Arena and indoor festivals and smaller acts in the Theater, which gives us the capability of bringing a variety of performances and gatherings to town.” Having the venues downtown and right next to a major hotel is also a big plus, especially for our local economy, Dorsey pointed out. “We have some pretty big conventions attracting thousands of people to the city, and when they’re not participating or watching an event, they’re out in the community visiting our local shops and restaurants.” Another person that sees the daily economic benefits of these facilities (especially Rabobank) is General Manager for the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, Carlos Navarro. He gets to witness firsthand the wealth that the Rabobank Arena brings to our city on a regular basis, especially when it comes to bringing in big-name acts. “There are individuals [who perform at the Arena] that draw people from LA and other cities who stay at the Marriott because it’s convenient when they’re in town to see the shows. The concerts at Rabobank help our city a lot, as it is at a much better value than seeing the same act at the Staples Center or other such theaters.” Navarro added that it benefits downtown and local businesses, as well, as people will “make a night out of being downtown. They have dinner at one of the many restaurants before the show.” And then there’s the conventions and tournaments that come through town. “The Rabobank Arena fits our needs for our event and we loved that the hotel [Marriott] was attached to the venue,” said Tammy Van Vleet, president, Aloha Spirit Productions, who brought

50 Bakersfield Magazine

photo courtesy of bakersfield convention and visitors bureau

city gems

The Arena is half the size of some of the more wellknown arenas, but because the ceiling is lower it sounds like there are twice as many people in the crowd. the CaliFinale cheerleading competition to Bakersfield last April. “The venue totally surpassed our expectations, but more importantly, our customers’. They were reluctant to attend an event in Bakersfield, but once there, their experience was fantastic and we have now signed contracts for the next two years. Not only were they happy with the venue and our event, they enjoyed all that Bakersfield had to offer. We look forward to partnering more with the city this year to really highlight Bakersfield.” “The people of Bakersfield have always made us feel welcomed,” began Jeff McCaa, contract representative for

City Selects AEG to Manage Civic Facilities

Following a competitive bidding process, the Bakersfield City Council selected AEG Facilities to take over management of the city’s four public facilities as of July 1, 2013. The new ten-year agreement means AEG Facilities now handles all facets of management of the Rabobank Arena, Theatre, and Convention Center; San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center of Bakersfield; and Bright House Networks Amphitheatre. In addition, AEG Facilities will provide real estate development advice for the City’s South Mill Creek area. The new agreement includes an option for a five-year extension. AEG Facilities takes over management duties from SMG, which had operated Bakersfield’s civic facilities since 2000.

the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which holds six conferences here a year (bringing in about $21 million in revenues to the city). “We’ve been coming to Bakersfield for 15 years now and everyone from the hotel staff to store owners and restaurant workers has provided us with excellent service.” The people of Bakersfield really roll out the red carpet when it comes to welcoming visitors to town, McCaa said, and it’s that dedication to excellent service that tipped the scales in Bakersfield’s favor when McCaa started searching for a venue that could accommodate their growing convention-going numbers. “We were approached by the Mayor of Bakersfield who invited us to visit a new 10,000 seat venue the city was building. Not only were we impressed by the venue and the people we met, an added bonus was the fact that there was a hotel right next door. So, we decided to move our conventions, which we were holding in Fresno, to Bakersfield.” The entire city sees the impact of these types of groups choosing Bakersfield. Cathy Butler, president of the Bakersfield DBA, definitely knows just how great the positive impact these venues have is. “I believe locals value and appreciate the city-owned facilities, drawing a huge number of locals, as well as out-of-town quests to our city,” Butler began. “As long as the city-owned facilities do not compete for privately owned entertainment venues, but work together in providing Bakersfield with some of the best quality of life experiences in our community, [they can make] Bakersfield a place you want to be!” Fantastic facilities with plenty of growth potential may be what first attracts groups to our fair city, but relationships are what keep them coming back. Capturing the essence of Bakersfield’s down-home hospitality and showing off the best of what Bakersfield has to offer is what planners of the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, the San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center, Rabobank Arena, and Rabobank Theater set out to do. And city gems like these are what Corporate Relocation make Bakersfield sparkle.

Corporate Relocation

Bakersfield’s civic facilities continue to serve up exciting new entertainment choices as both the population and business grow.

playtime in a progressive city Harvey L. Hall, Mayor, City of Bakersfield Everyone knows that Bakersfield has grown tremendously over the past few decades. To measure that growth, many methods have been used. Population is one. The square miles of the city is another. Some people think the number of retail stores or traffic levels are good indicators of how Bakersfield has grown. One yardstick that is often overlooked is Bakersfield’s civic facilities. Today’s bustling Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center is a far cry from what was then the Bakersfield Civic Auditorium, which opened more than 50 years ago. Architecturally, “the Civic,” as the locals referred to it, reflected the modern space age of its time. The Ice Capades was the first show on opening day, November 20, 1962. That was the same day that Mickey Mantle was named Most Valuable Player in the American League, and the Soviet Union agreed to remove its bombers from Cuba. At the time, Bakersfield’s population was 60,351 and the city area was 17 square miles. Since then, what was once the Civic Auditorium has grown to serve the growing city around it. In the 1980s it was renamed the Bakersfield Convention Center and underwent a $6 million renovation to expand and refurbish the main lobby, meeting rooms, and the star dressing rooms. On October 2, 1998, a new 10,000 seat arena debuted with comedian Bill Cosby performing for the sold-out opening night crowd. Today, the City of Bakersfield is 150 square miles. It is larger by population than New Orleans, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, or Cincinnati. The Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center—along with the adjacent Marriott at the Bakersfield Convention Center Hotel—span six square downtown blocks. While the offerings at the Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center are high profile and attract thousands of

Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center— along with the Marriott at the Bakersfield Convention Center Hotel—span about six square downtown blocks today.

fans each year, there are two other civic facilities that provide a unique venue to enhance Bakersfield’s quality of life and entertainment options. The San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center of Bakersfield opened in December 2003. It can accommodate up to 400 people for public skating events, or 1,000 people for concert type events. In addition, the Ice Center has 400 pairs of rental skates and its own Zamboni ice resurfacing machine. The Ice Center also hosts corporate events, birthday parties, concerts, DJ nights, sled hockey, “learn to skate programs,” and even weddings. Approximately 25,000 guests use the Ice Center for public skating and the Center hosts > / Fall 2013 51

in a progressive city

Jared Salvo


Cardiac Electrophysiology & Cardiology Fellow American College of Cardiology Board Certified in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases Board Certified in Nuclear Cardiology Board Certified in Internal Medicine UCLA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Trained

Bright House Networks Amphitheatre

Specializing in: Heart Failure Management • Atrial Fibrillation Pacemakers/Defibrillators • Black-out Spells Diagnosis of Palpitations • Abnormal Rhythms Individualized Care by the Physician Accepting Most Insurances

Dr. Salvo has opened his practice at: 5343 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA



10 to 12 adult league hockey teams and five to seven junior/children’s’ hockey teams annually. The second of these other facilities is the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue that can accommodate up to 4,000 people in the picturesque Park at Riverwalk. Opened in April 2006, the Amphitheatre is a unique locale to enjoy a concert or to hold an event. With easy production access and superb sight lines, it has proven to be a desir-

As Bakersfield has grown, its entertainment offerings have also grown, largely because of the City’s investment in its civic facilities.

Can You Hear The World?

Andersen Hearing Services

Doug Andersen is highly experienced in providing hearing care for pediatrics and the elderly for over 30 years.

Serving our community since 1993

• State Licensed in Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing • Member of American Speech- Language- Hearing Association • Fellow of American Academy Audiology

1801 21st St., Suite 4 • • 661-324-2113 52 Bakersfield Magazine

photo courtesy of bakersfield recreation and parks


able venue for artists like The Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton, Earth Wind & Fire, The English Beat, Poco, Firefall, Eric Burdon & the Animals, and Willie Nelson. Also, for the past two years the venue has played host to a Fourth of July extravaganza. As Bakersfield has grown, its entertainment offerings have also grown, largely because of the City’s investment in its civic facilities. These facilities provide a variety of venues to enhance Bakersfield’s quality of life and add to the urban amenities one would expect for the nation’s 51st largest city, and the ninth Corporate largest city in California. Relocation

Corporate Relocation

quality amenities attract top rate events

Bakersfield’s civic facilities are some of our city’s key advantages. The City’s strategy is to make Bakersfield more competitive in attracting events and performances by providing top quality amenities to enhance our quality of life. By Alan Tandy, Bakersfield City Manager Those events and performances generate spending, and that spending reverberates throughout the local economy, keeping local people employed and generating local tax dollars to support public safety and other important local services. At first glance, our location being relatively close to the world’s largest entertainment capital seems like a competitive advantage. But that proximity also can be economically challenging, because every dollar spent on attending a concert or performance in Los Angeles means one less dollar spent in Bakersfield. Those dollars spent on out of town shows also involve additional spending on meals, transportation, and, often, hotels. To compete with other locations, Bakersfield needs to be a desirable and affordable location for employers and their workers. By offering a variety of quality entertainment options, we not only entice employees and their families to

want to live here, but help keep their entertainment spending local. Our civic facilities help to provide the venues for many of those entertainment options. Having a broad spectrum of performances and events available locally means we also can compete in attracting and retaining employers who continually vie for top quality talent. Being able to offer a community with diversified offerings of amenities means Bakersfield can hold on to good jobs and the people who fill them. To successfully implement that strategy, the City’s approach has been to pursue and book a broad mix of events that appeal to all segments of the community. These include an array of convention, cultural, educational, entertainment, exposition, sporting, and other activities. We do this by efficiently booking all available areas within our facilities that are available. These include the premium areas of each facility, meeting rooms, lobbies, and any other useable areas. > / Fall 2013 53

quality amenities

attract top rate events

it hall, and 14 meeting rooms. Like the adjacent arena, the theater and convention center also host comedy events, concerts, family events, graduations, religious events, and

photo courtesy of Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

And we do not book a concert or show simply because it is available. When we select events, one of our goals is to attract visitors, conventioneers, tourists, and residents to in-

The Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center takes up a lot of space downtown-—but rightly so. The entire facility must accommodate thousands of people at a time for concerts, conventions, and local events. crease positive local economic impact and stimulate economic growth. The type and number of events that are held at the City’s civic facilities are often met with surprise by many people. For example, did you know that the Rabobank Arena can accommodate up to 10,000 fans for concerts, and 9,000 for basketball and hockey? In addition to these sports events the arena regularly hosts comedy events, concerts, family events, religious meetings (including the Watchtower Convention, the largest group that meets in Bakersfield), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Disney on Ice, Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus, numerous graduation ceremonies, and assorted meetings and conventions. The Rabobank Theater and Convention Center offers a 3,000 seat theater, 26,000 square foot exhib-

54 Bakersfield Magazine

numerous conventions and meetings. Its outstanding features include a 40’ x 50’ stage—with 46 lines that hold a full set of stage drapery—and a 20’x 20’ rear projection screen. These allow it to bring traveling Broadway shows to Bakersfield without having to drive to Los Angeles. The San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center of Bakersfield offers one NHL regulation sized ice sheet (200’ x 85’). This allows the Bakersfield Dragons Hockey Club and the Bakersfield Blades Figure Skating Club to be based there, and the Bakersfield Condors also use the facility as their practice ice. At the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, seating is broken down into three sections, consisting of “gold circle” chair seating for 500, terrace benches for 1,500, and the lawn with general admission seating for 2,000.

This variety of seating in an outdoor setting along the Kern River makes the amphitheatre ideal for concerts and movies. Three of our four civic facilities are clustered together downtown in close proximity to Mill Creek. Mill Creek is the most expansive redevelopment project undertaken by the City to date. Our vision is to create a core area where people can live, visit, dine, and be entertained. This has become a reality in the northern portion of Mill Creek. It is within close walking distance of Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center, and the San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center, along with McMurtrey Aquatics Center. The 1.5 linear mile park known as Mill Creek provides a link to mixed use developments that include housing and entertainment, plus the City’s downtown recreational and entertainment venues. While Mill Creek has been embraced enthusiastically by the community, the City intends to complete the transformation of the area with the addition of restaurants and other compatible commercial projects at South Mill Creek. Our vision is to

Each of the City’s four venues provide countless opportunities for local residents to experience top quality events in Bakersfield. create additional benefits to the City’s downtown facilities as destination attractions before and after events. Each of the City’s four venues provide countless opportunities for local residents to experience quality events in Bakersfield. Not only do those great events help keep local entertainment dollars local, they provide additional amenities to keep Bakersfield competitive to employers, their workCorporate ers, and their families. Relocation

Corporate Relocation

You’re on your way home from work and your cell phone rings. It’s your parents. Or maybe your grandparents. Or, perhaps it’s your old college chums. In any event... They’re coming to town!

you’ve got


So no matter what the relation, you’re going to have to play host to some self-invited guests who’ll want to see the sights. istockphoto/thinkstock

Thankfully, Bakersfield has some hidden gems you can utilize to entertain your guests (even if those people are your grandparents). But when the pressure is on, sometimes it’s hard to come up with fun and creative things to do. Rather than explode with Hulk-like rage, take a deep breath and check out some of the itineraries we’ve come up with for your couch crashers. And while these were created with specific people in mind, you can utilize them for any tourist you might be squiring around town, be it a new coworker, a recently relocated friend, or, heck, you can even use them to take yourself on a tour of your own town. The Parental Units Mom and Dad are some major VIPs. Sure, your dad likes to question your life decisions Antique Row (all the while plopping down on your couch in an Al Bundyesque fashion) and your mom is constantly worried about your love life (i.e. future grandchildren), but you still want to show them a good time, if only to prove to them that you’re a self-sufficient human being that doesn’t need their med24th Street Café dling anymore, even if you still need their money once in a while. Instead of taking them to the same ol’ places, try this route for maximum entertainment and minimum grumbling from your dad.

Start your day off… the delicious way with a bite at 24th Street Café. It’s perfect for the parents for a variety of reasons. Lots of yummy options, fun ambiance, and generations of local patrons dining on breakfast favorites, will have your ‘rents soaking up some Bako culture. You can check out their delicious menu online at Then… both your madre and your padre will enjoy a leisurely stroll down “19th Street Antique Row.” That’s not really what it’s called, but up and down 19th Street in downtown, you can find a number of funky antique malls perfect for browsing. For example, Central Park Antique Mall (701 19th Street), Antique Row Great American Antiques (625 19th Street), and Five & Dime Antique Mall (1400 19th Street) are just a small sampling of available stores. There are a number of others in the area, so look around and take a gander at the past. For lunch… squire your parHappy Jack’s ents to a meal at Happy Jack’s Pie ‘n Burger. You’ve had the burger, but it’s a cardinal sin (in our eyes) for the people that brought you into this world to miss out. The place is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary of serving up some amazing burgers and sweet slices of heavenly pie, so be sure this is on your to-do list. Evening fun… show your parents the universe with a trip > / Fall 2013 55

you’ve got


to the cosmos (which is conveniently located in town). Impress your parents by taking them to stare into the stars at the William M. Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College. Our planetarium is rockin’ a Chronos star projector from GOTO and a SciDome video system under a 36-foot dome— the largest in the Central Valley. For a complete schedule of fall events, visit Dinner time… should revolve around some savory, authentic Italian at Uricchio’s Trattoria! A hefty plate of hearty Italian food and some wonderfully paired glasses of wine await you (read: your mom). Be sure to sit outside on the front patio and enjoy the (hopefully) cooler night air while you dine. Finally… grab yourself a seat at one of our local theaters for a little singin’ and dancin’. The Fox Theater always has something fun on the calendar, as does Bakersfield Music Theater and Stars Theatre (include Les Miserables and Barefoot in the Park coming up this fall). Search around for show times and find something that will appeal to the folks. Before you know it, your parents will be ready for bed and you’ve survived the entire day without having to hear about how well your brother is doing. Shorties Nieces and nephews, friends’ kids, and even grandkids are a hoot. It’s all the fun of playing with youngin’s without actually having to punish them for putting glue in the dog’s fur. So when these half-pints are on the “to entertain” list, we suggest having a long list of activities for them… activities that involve unhealthy amounts of sugar. Because what’s more fun than watching a first grader run around hopped up on ice cream, candy, and soda? The exasperated, pained looks on the faces of his or her parents, that’s what. Start… take a drive out to the Kern County Museum where you and the entire family can learn about Kern’s history and the kiddos can explore the

56 Bakersfield Magazine

old buildings in Pioneer Village before perhaps visiting Kid City through the Museum’s Lori Brock Children’s Discovery Center (there are a few tours offered, so check in advance for times and fees). Everyone will undoubtedly work up an appetite and of course, the best thing to sate all cravings is sugar. So… drive on over to Dewar’s for some ice cream and candy. We suggest having a competition with the kids to see who can fit the most Dewar’s chews in their mouth at one time! Just FYI, you can fit more of the peanut butter ones in an adult-sized mouth (but don’t ask us how we know this).

sugar, you’ll crave something fresh). The kids can collect their own seasonal produce, enjoy a hay ride, or other fun activities while everyone else bites into some much-needed nutrition. Sorority Sister or Frat brother Ah, the longtime friend. The perfect drinking buddy. Your favorite wingman or wingwoman. When they announce their arrival, at first you think you can just sit around the house watching TV and eating takeout—who are you trying to impress, after all? These are the people that saw you hurl after a “finals” party. But just in case you do want to show them around town, and


Belvedere Room

Pioneer Village Then… it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump over to F.A.C.T. on the CSUB campus. The first Saturday of every month (throughout the school year) F.A.C.T. offers an open house for visitors to get up close and personal with some birds of prey! So yes, this one requires more planning, but it’s totally worth it to watch little Sarah freak out when a giant hawk is in her face. Check out for the schedule. And… what better place to re-fuel than Cataldo’s Pizzeria at Riverwalk? The place is a perfect spot for the entire family, because while they chow down on Cataldo’s famous 70-foot pizza (actually it’s more like 30 inches, but that’s still a huge freakin’ pizza) you can catch up on sports scores on the big screen TVs. Finally… before it’s naptime for everyone take a scenic drive out to Murray Family Farms for some “u-pick” fresh fruit (after a day of processed

maybe let them know what’s so great about Bakersfield, we recommend the following… Start… after their first night in town, you’ll all undoubtedly need to visit Spencer’s (either location works) for a greasy spoon hangover breakfast. It’s a great destination for settling a boozy stomach and also getting a hefty dose of local “culture” while you get a hefty dose of country gravy. When you’ve had your fill… walk off those calories by taking a stroll out at the Park at Riverwalk. Get some fresh air, walk along the river, and enjoy a little people-watchin’…you know, all those dedicated runners who didn’t tie one on the night before. After all that walkin’… you’ll probably want to put some more greasy goodness in your belly. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest Lengthwise. Stinky Fries, anyone? Plus, a little hair of the dog is just what the doctor (we went to Hollywood Upstairs

Medical College for two weeks, so we can make these types of claims) ordered. The Triple Hop Red Ale is perfect but for visitors who like a darker beer, make sure they get a pint of Kern County “Crude” Porter. And for the sports fan… because, of course, you’re already a Bakersfield Jam season ticket holder (or know someone who is), you and your pals can even catch a Bakersfield Jam game that afternoon/evening. Watch our boys pass, dribble, and shoot hoops for a little Development League action. The schedule is online at nba. com/dleague/bakersfield/schedule/ index.html so you can decide which game is good for you. After that… you’ll want to carbo load so you, too, can play basketball like the pros. What better place than Sandrini’s? And what better food than their original, family-recipe for Italian

idea is to make sure everyone has a good time at these locations. Here’s a foolproof plan guaranteed to get your cheeks pinched, keep your wallet cinched, and make sure your own sanity stays intact. Start with the early bird special at… The Noriega Hotel. Talk about a perfect spot for the old (and young) to enjoy a savory breakfast. Plus, you’re inside a Basque boarding house that was founded in 1893 so with all that history around you, you’ll be able to spark plenty of oft-heard stories from the two of them while you dine on fried eggs, Basque sausage, salsa, bread, cheese, and coffee (or wine for you, yes, even at 7 a.m.). Then… take them over to Central Park to relax by the covered bridge and soak up some downtown vibes. This will also allow grandpa an opportunity to take a quick power nap

Sausage Bread? It’s Italian bread loaded with Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, and herbs and spices. You’ll probably want to order a few plates. Because you’ll be ending the night at… The Nile. Finish your day with a few cocktails and some dancing (so that’s what those extra carbs were for). Check out the ladies and gents dressed up in their club finest and boogie the night away. That way, when you wake up the next morning. You’ll at least feel like you accomplished something as you head back to Spencer’s for more hangover gravy.

on a bench, though his snoring might attract some ducks or geese. Or scare them off. After that, you can take them for a stroll through the downtown Arts District for a chance to show off the work of our local painters, sculptors, and other artists. Then it’s off to… do a little time traveling at the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History so your grandparents can reminisce about a time before the breakup of Pangea. Just kidding. It’s a great place to look at interesting fossils (like grandpa’s feet), learn more about the prehistory of our area, and study up on local Native American tribes. Visit sharktoothhill. org for a few hours! How about an early lunch… at

Golden Oldies Grams and Gramps are a little harder to plan for. Sure, there are plenty of things for them to do, but the

Hodel’s? It’s country dining at its finest. Get your buffet on or order off the menu. Hodel’s rocks some flavorful soups and the fresh salads are a perfect complement. So have yourself a light lunch so you can keep the energy flowing. And drive on over to… Buck Owens Crystal Palace for a tour of ol’ Buck’s history via his guitars, suits, music, and other twangin’ memorabilia. Of course, there’s live music five days a week, so if they’re up for it, you can get the grandparents out on the dance floor for some two-steppin’. Then again, they just may want to watch you make a fool of yourself. Either way, it’s another stop on the tour and another blessed hour where grandpa doesn’t feel the need to recount the inane details of his 40 years at the button factory. But he might start talking… when you end the night with an early bite at The Padre’s Belvedere Room. There’s no place finer to show off the oldies in your life than here. The atmosphere is classy and the food is delicious. Stuff them full of sensationally grilled steaks, pastas, and salads. Before you know it… it’ll be Matlock time and then everyone can rest their weary heads on hypoallergenic pillows (or else grandma will complain). If we could place a Certified Awesome sticker on each of these itineraries, we would. From start to finish, they each run the gamut of fun activities for every tourist in your life.* They’ve been tested and approved by a group of nonbiased individuals (including someone who used to think there was nothing fun to do in this town, and boy did we show her!). Granted, these are just a few of the options here in our unique city. Regardless of what guests you’ll have taking up residence in your spare room for the weekend, or if you just want a day of fun with a friend, there’s something for everyone in Bakersfield! *Please check hours of operation before embarking on your adventure.

Corporate Relocation / Fall 2013 57

58 Bakersfield Magazine

Corporate Relocation

Take one look at the 2012 gross value of all agricultural commodities produced in Kern County and it’s easy to see why our county has such an impressive ranking on a national level.

growth from the ground up

tor for plant growth. Being at the end of the San Joaquin Valley gives us the extreme heat that the plants need for growth in the summer and the cold they need for dormancy in the winter. Also, our geographic location at the bottom of the valley has enabled all the necessary nutrients to collect over time and has created some of the best soils in the world.” According to a U.S. Geological Survey, the Central Valley contains roughly 1 percent of the nation’s farmland but produces 25 percent of its food supply! Still, for as much as we produce, the majority of financial benefits come to us from the “value-added” aspect of our agricultural industry. “It’s the revenue that comes from the actual processing of these crops,” explained Melinda Brown, director of business development at the Kern Economic Development Corporation. “It’s the added value to the crop itself. Harvesting and the actual produce coming off the farms don’t fall under value-added ag, instead, it’s the benefits we receive after they’ve been > Photos Courtesy Ohanneson Farms/Ty Ohanneson

According to the 2012 Kern County Agricultural Crop Report put out by the Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards, our gross value was $6, 212,362,100. That’s over 6 billion dollars in case all those commas left you reeling. The amount is actually an 11 percent increase from 2011’s figures (just about $5.5 billion). It’s great news for our county because these huge numbers are an indicator that Kern is a major player in the nation’s agricultural industry and will continue to be for years to come. “Kern County is the second largest agricultural producing county in the nation in terms of gross agricultural sales,” explained Benjamin McFarland, executive director of the Kern County Farm Bureau. “Kern farmland is unique in that there are still large contiguous parcels of land, which is a benefit from a farming efficiency standpoint. Unlike other counties, were the land is broken down into smaller parcels.” McFarland continued, “We also live in one of five Mediterranean climates in the world, making it the perfect incuba- / Fall 2013 59


hand in the world ag market. Grapes, almonds and pistachios, citrus, milk, carrots, potatoes…we grow (or in the case of milk, bottle) ‘em all. There’s more people on this planet than ever before, and those people need to eat. As a result, there will be some evolution of the local ag industry. It will happen on both a small scale and a large one. “If you look at the 2012 Crop Report, you see that almost every commodity DV/NICK WHITE/THINKSTOCK

harvested.” For example, this can include the revenue generated from exporting to another country, which we actually do quite often. “Grapes are big in England right now. They’re desperate for grapes, which we produce a lot of, so exporting is a huge part of our local ag industry,” Brown added. And in this aspect, value-added agriculture is what’s been bringing in the big bucks for the last few years. A 2012 Kern County Labor Market study reported that jobs in agricultural processing (value-added) increased 18 percent from 2001 to 2011. In that same amount of time, food manufacturing in Kern County increased 63 percent. “It’s good news because we’re moving from a harvesting economy to a more value-added economy,” Brown said. So the potential to generate even more revenue for our county is greater. Think of this. The same 2012 Crop Report that reported our agricultural value is just over $6 billion also figured that this value has equated to $11.7 billion for the local economy in just the last year. “Value-added agriculture is definitely driven by the market,” McFarland continued. “Consumer taste and nutritional requests change with the times and the culture. As a grower, you are looking to satisfy the consumers’ requests through flexibility in what you are growing, how you’re growing it, and how it is being processed, packaged, and branded. As a business, you want to achieve the highest price point for your product and therefore understanding current market trends is imperative to a successful farming operation.” And Kern County is doing that, by growing a multitude of products, guaranteeing we’ll always have a


from the ground up

Photo Courtesy Ohanneson Farms/Ty Ohanneson



increased production per acre,” McFarland added. “This means one of two things. One, growers are producing bigger yields than before due to advances in farming practices and/or two, their harvesting techniques have improved, enabling more of the product out of the field and to the consumer. Either way, Kern County growers are creating more than before by utilizing technological advances.” While growth itself varies year to year, the big advances will come in the value-added sector. “Packaging and processing will continue to develop because of the population growth and a demand for these products,” Brown explained. “But land is limited, so as a result you’ll see processing and our value-added revenue grow quickly while the local production size and amount of each crop might increase at a slower but equally impressive rate.” For example, the past few years’ fruit and nut crop stats show that roughly 400,000 acres are harvested each year and the value of those harvests is around the $3 billion mark. But, again, over those years, the amount of money we pull in from areas of the world because of these crops has been exponentially larger. The US Agricultural Issues Center deduced that each dollar of farm production in the San Joaquin Valley produces a return of $1.89 to the local economy. But it’s not just big corporations that

“Every grower and ag-related business contribute to Kern County’s overall success in this industry. Most farming operations are interlinked, in that they buy and sell each other’s products and share services to create more effective economies.” ‑Benjamin McFarland, Kern County Farm Bureau

60 Bakersfield Magazine

almond harvest Photo Courtesy Ohanneson Farms/Ty Ohanneson

are bringing in revenue for us. Kern is full of mom-and-pop style farms helping in this industry. “Every grower and ag-related business contribute to Kern County’s overall success in this industry,” McFarland explained. “Most farming operations are interlinked, in that they buy and sell each other’s products and share services to create more effective economies.” But there are changes ahead. New legislation is on the table proposing updated rules for how processing plants can operate. “And of course, water availability, climate shifts, immigration, and automation of farming equipment all play a part in the future of our ag industry,” Brown said. And then there’s the development in organic produce, which, yes, according to Brown, makes up a small portion of overall ag production, but it’s still something to consider. Same with hydroponic grow operations, specifically for tomatoes and other vegetables, which will be increasing to combat cli-

mate changes. “Seasonality for harvesting is about six to nine months,” Brown said. “And processing and value added can extend that even farther.” Brown explained that the Kern EDC is excited to see just how much value-added agriculture can add to economy in the coming years. Of course, with hot houses and hydroponic growth, the seasons won’t play a part in production, which can lead to year-round profit and even larger value-added revenues. “Thankfully, Kern County has a pro-business government that understands the importance of this industry to our citizens and their eco-

nomic prosperity,” McFarland said. “They are a partner rather than an adversary like you often see in other areas of California.” This, naturally, means that agriculture will always be a huge contributor to the overall revenue of the county. The supportive local government, impressive and fertile soils, long growing seasons, and developments in processing and production means that as the years progress, Kern County can expect to see even more growth. We’ll see more grapes and nuts shipping out to parts unknown, and more Corporate dollars in our pockets. Relocation

Board certified podiatrist and specialist in the surgical and medical treatment of the foot and ankle.


John L. Etcheverry, DPM

Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI) 2400 Bahamas Drive, Bakersfield CA (661) 328-5565 •

t the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, they believe that a doctor’s relationship with their patient is as important as the knowledge with which they serve them. Dr. John L. Etcheverry, specialist in the medical and surgical treatment of the foot and ankle and a Bakersfield native, embodies this philosophy with his practice. “At SCOI, you will receive treatment with the most cutting-edge technology available,” Dr. Etcheverry stated. “But what is more important is the care received. We see patients as individuals and treat them as such. I may have an extremely busy day, but if there is an emergency, I will be sure to extend my day to be certain that the patient is cared for.” It can be said that empathy helps to guide his decisions, and that makes for a better experience for everyone involved. Having only left Bakersfield to attend college at St. Mary’s College of California, the California College of Podiatric Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine, and then spending time at Kaiser’s Santa Clara Medical Center, Dr. Etcheverry feels that he has a close bond with local people because he understands their needs. “I love and respect the people here, and I feel like I am part of the community that really knows the residents,” he confirmed. “Bakersfield is a working community, and having an understanding of that, my goal is to get them back to work and their athletics as soon as possible.” If you want the best-trained professional in foot and ankle surgery, opt for Dr. Etcheverry: a man who knows the science behind his work as well as the people he treats equally as well. / Fall 2013 61

62 Bakersfield Magazine

Global CTI Business Communications Solutions

Epic Jet Center

Jean Laborde


THE SERIES It takes more than just a good idea and some capital to create and run a successful company. It takes patience, passion, dedication, and a whole lot of perseverance. But take one look at all the longstanding businesses in this town, and there’s no denying that ours is a community filled with entrepreneurs and CEOs that embody these traits. This special section was created to highlight the accomplishments and promote the achievements of some of our most innovative and respected companies. They have proven they can withstand the pressures and overcome the challenges that confront any business‌and come out stronger.

Special Advertorial Presentation / Fall 2013 63



Global CTI Business CommunicationS Solutions David Kaiser, President and Founder


or over 30 years now, Global CTI has been a leader in the business communications industry.

continued, highlighting other ways the company has grown. “Over the years the biggest change has been in

President and Founder

technology. The Internet has changed

David Kaiser wanted to create a better

the way businesses communicate

life for his family and for others when he

which has led to a great deal of growth

decided to start Global CTI. Keep in mind

for Global CTI,” he added.

this was before the Internet revolutionized

For Kaiser, he feels the company’s

the way we communicate. At the time,

successes have been rooted in the

Global CTI was a data networking and

commitment to stay true to the mission

IT outsourcing company. But as the

and values set forth at the beginning.

communications industry evolved, the

“We hire people who fit into our culture

company quickly grew as a result of

and can adhere to our mission, which is

great sales, expansion, and acquisition

helping our employees and customers

(including voice integration companies

be as successful as they can be. This

Central Telcom and Metro Audio).

enables us to work as a team and has

“We specialize in communication

resulted in Global CTI becoming one of

solutions, which means we implement

the strongest regional communication

voice, data, and video systems to serve our clients,” explained

integrators in the country. For the past two years Global CTI

Kaiser. “Along with that, we help clients manage those systems.

has been named into the ShoreTel Circle of Excellence which

We have a fully staffed Network Operations Center in Bakersfield

recognizes us as one of the top ten ShoreTel resellers in the

that supports clients from San Diego to Sacramento.”

world,” Kaiser said proudly.

Today, Global CTI complements its converged voice and

That’s not to say that there aren’t challenges to be overcome.

data solutions with a wide range of quality solutions in the

“Technology changes constantly which means we have to

voice, data, video, connectivity, desktop, and managed

continue to educate our staff and clients,” he added. “But we

service realms. Over the past five years Global CTI has

have been experiencing a thirty percent growth in revenue

installed over 40,000 endpoints, along with the networks and

year after year and have a goal to continue this growth rate.”

applications that make those systems work.

In a constantly evolving industry, Global CTI stands out

“We have two offices—the Bakersfield headquarters and

locally thanks to the company’s dedication to provide the best

a regional office located in Irvine, with additional sales,

communications solutions for their long list of clients. That means

engineering, and operations associates strategically positioned

understanding the organizational needs of each and every

throughout central and southern California. While most of our

client. It seems like a complicated task, but for Kaiser it’s simple.

projects are in California we have growing list of clients with

“We design, install, and maintain integrated communication

offices throughout the nation that turn to us for support,” Kaiser

solutions and we’re damn good at it.”

5329 Office Center Court, Suite 200 x 1-800-366-1711 w w

64 Bakersfield Magazine

David Kaiser / Fall 2013 65



EPIC JET CENTER Erin Posey, Owner


ometimes a person just wants the best, and when

aircraft cleaning, and catering are also a part of the

it comes to air travel and fixed base operators in

countless services Epic Jet Center has to offer their valued

Bakersfield, Epic Jet Center

guests. Indeed, everything that Erin

is undeniably that. The company

and her staff do is centered toward a

began by selling fuel in 2006, but a

streamlined experience. The building

grand opening of a spectacular facility

is easy to find, and is conveniently

that would appeal to travelers and

located, as it is a mere three miles

pilots alike was not far behind, being

from Highway 99. You will always be

unveiled in 2007.

met with warmth and hospitality,

“Epic is the newest and best state-

because customer service is their

of-the-art facility,” detailed Epic owner

biggest priority. As their motto states,

Erin Posey. “We are the largest full

they truly are the “#1 stop for an epic

service FBO [fixed base operation]


that comfortably accommodates

Aside from their commitment to

both pilots and passengers with our

their patrons, Epic Jet Center is also

spacious lobby, multiple seating areas,

highly active in a number of charitable

and modern furnishings in a relaxed

organizations, and many are military


and veteran related because Erin’s 83-year-old father, Harry

The company, which started as a place to get the best jet

Rowles, is a Korean War Veteran. They donate to The Military

fuel prices imaginable—and they still, to this day, guarantee

Salute on 1410 Talk Radio, Relay for Life, Pilots and Paws,

that their cost is the lowest—has grown exponentially over

Wings of Rescue, and even assisted with the local Honor

the past seven years. “We have a comfortable pilot lounge,

Flight. “It was a pleasure to recognize the WWII and Korean

as well as our own personal masseuse, Iris Silva from Unique

Veterans for their dedicated service by helping to provide

Hair Design and Day Spa, to help make your stay more

flights in a historic C-47 here at Epic,” Erin recalled. “We are

enjoyable.” With fun amenities like complimentary snacks

also very proud to assist with ‘Angel Flights’ that transport

and beverages, and artwork for sale through the Bakersfield

doctors, patients, and organ donations.”

Art Association decorating the walls, it is hard not to feel

The future continues to look bright for this blossoming

right at home as soon as you enter the building. (Speaking

mecca for air travelers. The company plans to start their

of home, showers and a Sleep Room are also on-site! It

very own first class aircraft charter operation in the very

boasts many beautiful offices for a number of tenants.) The

near future. Considering the passion they show for the

experience is always custom-tailored to fit their customers’

industry, and how far they have come since their humble

needs. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

beginnings, there’s no question that any of their endeavors

Hotel accommodations, rental cars, limousine services,

will easily take flight.

1105 Douglas Street x 661-399-7011 w w

66 Bakersfield Magazine

(l-r) Sabrina Wiebe, Audra Van Horn, Erin Cook-Posey, Andrew Wieve, Julio Penaloza, Andrew Brown, Ryan Wilson / Fall 2013 67



Jean Laborde Jean Laborde, Owner


hat do you get when you mix steely determina-

a loan that the banks decided to give me two days to

tion, refusal to give up, and a keen instinct for

pay, I lost it all, including my home. I told the bank that it

making people millions of

would happen, too, but they didn’t

dollars? When it comes to commercial

listen to me.”

real estate in Kern County and beyond,

They also had Laborde file Chapter

you would get Jean Laborde, Agricul-

11—something he plainly called “a

ture and Commercial Specialist for

very bad decision.” He was out mil-

Watson Realty. Not only has he been

lions of dollars and his family was out

on the Top Producer List for Sales from

of a home, but that didn’t stop him. “I

2000 to 2011, but he also boasts over

never felt sorry for myself, I never got

50 years of experience in the industry.

depressed. I just kept on going, and

“My main goal in this business is to do

I kept working at what I knew best.”

the best job possible for my clients—

And his hard work has paid off.

they come first,” Laborde intimated.

Laborde’s is a true rags to riches tale,

“I work mostly with farmers of all

and he is very proud of his strong

kinds, whether they grow almonds

wife and family and where he is now. Though he lost the land where

or grapes. I grew up on a farm in La Puente and when I moved to Kern County, I continued

Riverlakes now stands, he is glad that part of his dream

farming by raising roses with my cousin. So dealing

was realized. “Back then, there was nothing out there. I

specifically in farmland and agriculture is natural for me.”

knew that it would be a great place to build, and now

Though Laborde might seem as though he has everything

look at it! It’s a wonderful area.”

going for him, it wasn’t always an easy ride. After learning

As far as the future is concerned, Laborde has no plans

the ropes in buying and selling farmland though his former

of slowing down. Having purchased land no one wanted

business partner, Hollis B. Roberts (a man for whom he still

in the past and making great profits off of it, he is currently

holds a deep respect and credits most of his real estate

planting pistachios in several hundred acres of land in

knowledge to), Laborde eventually branched off on his

Arvin. “My overall philosophy is to work hard all of the time.

own. The roughly 400 escrows he took part in during his

I don’t take much time off, and I have learned that, in the

partnership with Roberts had prepared him for many

real estate business, when people call, you answer your

obstacles, though there was one that changed his life.

phone. You can’t keep people waiting.”

“I lost everything,” he admitted. “And I mean everything.

When considering an agent for commercial property,

In 1990, I was farming about four thousand acres of land

ranches, farms, mineral rights, or desert land, there is no

around the Riverlakes and Calloway area. I had almost

better agent for the job than Jean Laborde: the man who

a mile of frontage on Rosedale Highway. Then, due to

has made his clients millions.

9101 Camino Media x 1-800-951-1626 w w

68 Bakersfield Magazine


DRE# 9 986 49

Jean Laborde / Fall 2013 69



CommWorld Tamra Sturges, CEO/President


hat began as a residential wiring business that

or a piece of hardware. It’s a program that helps our

had its start in 1991 has now blossomed into a

customers win in business, because it minimizes the risks and

forward-thinking, unified

costs associated with technology, like

communications technology company.

obsolescences and upgrades.”

COMMWorld—a company set on

Set on introducing new, cutting-

defining true excellence with the highest

edge concepts in a world that can

level of consistency—offers the best

be highly attached to tradition is one

in modern technology from small to

of the many goals of this company.

medium sized businesses in town. “When

Simply put, their managed service

I say technology has literally changed

program is vastly superior to the more

the direction of my life,” began owner

outdated options. In business, Sturges

Tamra Sturges. “I mean that I really am

acknowledges that many adhere

living it.”

to the belief that it is always better

Indeed, after ending her partnership

to buy and own as many parts of it

of over 22 years to the former co-owner

as possible. “Partially this is true,” she

of COMMWorld, Sturges hit the ground

cautioned, “but false when it comes

running and is now offering more

to technology. We cannot keep up

services than was ever conceivable when the company

the guise that ownership of a moving target is necessarily

began. “Our technology allows a single platform to serve

the right choice.” As COMMWorld does the work so that the

the user with an unlimited amount of devices and services,

risks associated with technology are actually removed, this

such as email, voicemail, faxing, multiple cell phones,

isn’t even an issue for their clients.

chatting, presence, and priority call routing, just to name a

Just as this company has far surpassed its humble

few,” Sturges continued. “Older technology required parts

beginnings, Sturges sees no slowing down in sight. As the

and pieces, multiple servers, and multiple services. That’s

new CEO and President, she sees COMMWorld at the

the key difference between software versus old hardware

forefront of the industry—even growing beyond herself

technology. Regardless of the device, our system, in my

and the years she has put into it. “I want a legacy for the

opinion, does it better, easier, and more competitively.”

business community that has invested in this company, as

In addition to that, video surveillance, conferencing,

well as in me,” she continued. “We’re ready to get moving

AV, smart boards, and disaster recovery are all services

and make good things happen for other people.” With the

that COMMWorld provides its customers. However, it isn’t

right people by her side and the courage and strength to

all just impressive, modern equipment. What COMMWorld

“embrace accountability to achieve excellence,” it is a

provides reaches far beyond that. Sturges elaborated, “The

given that COMMWorld will exceed any and all expectations

real solution we provide is not a service, nor technology,

by leaps and bounds.

5401 Woodmere Drive x 661-833-6361 w w

70 Bakersfield Magazine

(l-r) Melynda Ross, Kimberly Novak, Justin Kimmick, Tamra Sturges, Steven Jones, Jennifer Bedford (not shown) / Fall 2013 71

72 Bakersfield Magazine




4.5 Billion Years in the Making

By Kimberly Horg

visitors can marvel at the hundreds of fossils that fill Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Los Angeles. One of the largest collections in the world of real dinosaur fossils is displayed, dating back as far as 4.5 billion years. Just in time for Halloween, the museum will open its door for a Haunted Museum on October 28. This annual event is not the only occasion where a visitor can get spooked. Skeletons and spiders are lurking around every corner. The Spider Pavilion, on the landscaped area on the Museum’s South Lawn, is a special exhibit where spiders roam freely, creeping and crawling and spinning webs. Some visitors can free themselves of fear from the eight-legged animals because guides are available to answer all questions spider related. The Spider Pavilion is running until November 3, 2013. Whether it is special exhibits or permanent displays, the Natural History Museum has made non-living and living biological attractions so astounding that it has captured the imagination of the young and old observers alike for 100 years. Los Angeles inherited the NHM in 1913. The Exposition Park and the museum which was called the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art opened to the public. Although culture has changed over the years, its mission Continued on page 75 >>

photo courtesy of Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Resembling a graveyard found in a distant land in Jurassic Park,

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County / Fall 2013 73

74 Bakersfield Magazine

Continued from page 73

Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum is three-and-a-half acres of discovery, gardening workshops, and guided walks.

has remained constant: “to inspire wonder, discovery and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds.” Although a hundred years seems ancient, after taking a trip way back in time in Dinosaur Hall, it might be hard to comprehend just how it must have been billions of years ago. Visitors can also explore the area’s not-so-distant past in its new exhi-

Musk ox are featured at the Natural History Museum’s North American Mammals Exhibit .

bition Becoming Los Angeles, which recently opened in July. The 14,000-squarefoot exhibit is the largest in the Museum, telling stories about the early origins of Los Angeles in six sections. Driving around the “City of Angels,” it is hard not to notice the advertisements stating cow poop changed L.A. In one of the sections of the new exhibit, Cows and Grass, outlines how cattle grazing left a lasting impact by spreading native and non-native grasses in dung, hooves, and hair. The foreign grasses grew back fast-

er, eventually replacing native grasses and changing vegetation in Los Angeles forever. So there it is—the truth behind the signs. “What’s great about the new exhibits at the museum is that our visitors can explore the gardens outside, see living nature, and then come inside to learn the science and stories behind what they just saw. So it’s not just a museum with static things; the learning and the experience is indooroutdoor, and it’s more about the nature all around us in L.A.,” NHM Director of Communications Kristin Friedrich said. The natural and human influences displayed might surprise guests. Whether discovering the traverse role Los Angeles played in World War II, the Gold Rush, floods, a plague of grasshoppers, railroads, or outlandish booster campaigns, each and every event played a part in transforming the region into an agricultural and industrial empire. It might not come as a surprise that the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 allowed Los Angeles to grow into the monster it is today. Opening November 5, 2013, and timed with the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, will be a special exhibition by Los Angeles artist Rob Reynolds, titled Just Add

The Nature Lab connects visitors to nature of the past and the present.

Water. The original large-scale watercolor works of landscapes touched by the Aqueduct will capture 7,000 people who were involved in the project’s construction. Adults might find this interesting but, chances are, half pints will probably find more entertaining elements in the handson area for children. Whether it is putting together dino bones or checking out small animals or bugs that might have been present in that time period, the NHM has something for everyone. When the little explorers are ready to move on, around the corner people can enjoy the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of a marsh and rainforest, featuring more than 600 bird species. “What makes it kid friendly is the cool specimens inside, and then outside, the space we have for them to run around and explore outside,” Friedrich said. After visitors have seen it all, step outside and there is much more to digest. Nature walks with NHM's educators, sitting quietly by a pond, sightings of butterflies and hummingbirds, and participating in gardening classes all can be found on the 3.5 acres of new trails, surrounding the Museum. So if spiders are a bit too scary to overcome for someone visiting in the next month or two, from April to September, the Butterfly Pavilion is swarming with over 40 species of live butterflies on the outside grounds. So much to see; it’s advisable to carve out the time because the best is yet to come. The most popular attraction right now is the Nature Lab. According to Friedrich, it is trendy because there is so much to look at. It has live animals, photography, and funny graphics. Its interactive screens allow visitors to create an orchestra of backyard sounds, learn how to identify bugs, and check out Continued on page 77 >>

A treat for the senses: the sounds of birds and the soothing trickle of waterfalls await you in the Nature Gardens.

photos courtesy of Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Great Getaways / Fall 2013 75

76 Bakersfield Magazine

Great Getaways Continued from page 75

shuttle photo courtesy of NASA/Bill Ingalls

into the dark halls of the museum and see a life-sized Grizzly bear staring back at them. If seeing it once is not enough, the African Mammals, Age of Mammals, Ancient Latin American Art, Becoming L.A., Birds, California History, Dinosaur Hall, Discovery Center, Gems and Minerals, Haaga Family Rotunda, Insect Zoo, Nature Gardens, Nature Lab, North American Mammals, Shells, and Zuni Fetishes are all worth a second take. And because we are such a short distance away, you can relive these exhibits again and again! For more information go to v


the Nature Map, where people can research creatures lurking closer to home. While walking around the diorama halls, the chilling experience might leave people with the notion of a Night at the Museum. Don’t worry, the imagination is not running wild, some of the sets in the movie were actually inspired from NHM. “Is that you breathing? Because I can't hear myself think! There's too much going on here.” You may just find yourself quoting lines from the movie! The life-like animals are not just for Halloween; the displays are permanent so on any given day, a guest can wander

Space Shuttle

While in the area, just next door is the California Science Center. This family destination inspires science learning through fun experiences including interactive exhibits, live s demonstrations, and incredible film seven scre ie mov X IMA shown on an en-stories high. In addition to the permanent galleries—Ecosystems, SKETCH Founda rld, Wo e ativ Cre ce, Spa tion Air + and World of Life—the newly opened Samuel Oschin Pavilion featuring the an Space Shuttle Endeavour offers rich the at look l ona pers up close and legacy of human spaceflight. “The Science Center was one of four institutions nationwide to receive a shuttle. We responded to NASA’s rea quest for a proposal which included prebe ld wou tle shut the plan for how gsented to the public,” Paula B. Wa icamun com of ctor dire e ner, associat ter tions for the California Science Cen . said Foundation, Endeavour arrived at LAX on ce September 21, 2012. Annual attendan ors visit ion mill 1.6 nd is usually arou

g but in the first four months followin ion mill one Endeavour’s grand opening, people visited the Science Center. Endeavour’s one yea r anniversary (EndeavourFest) included exhibits from NASA and astronauts. The shuttle is currently displayed n in the horizontal position but whe ce Spa + the new Samuel Oschin Air Center is completed, Endeavour will be placed in the launch position. The completion is scheduled for 2018. Besides the Space Shuttle Endeavour exhibit, Wagner recommends Ecosys. tems, featuring 11 different environments y over Disc She says the Center also has K Rooms for its youngest visitors, Prents pare and to second grade. Children can explore the science concepts in the ed adjoining galleries through them ate opri appr discovery boxes, with ageactivities, books, and toys. Admission to Science Center exhibof its is free. Due to the large number econv $2 a h visitors, a timed ticket (wit tShu ce Spa nience fee) is required for the lavai are ets tle Endeavour exhibit. Tick ce. Offi Box able online or on site at the / Fall 2013 77

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home & Garden So you fancy yourself fairly handy around the house. You’re no Bob Vila, but you’re getting there. Well, slip that hammer back in your holster, there are new projects that require more than your basics (and your patience).


Sanding Block Refinishing a dining room table or patching drywall? Nothing new, right? But what’s the least fun part of that process? Of course—the sanding! That job can be made a lot easier on not only your hand but your arm by picking up a sanding block. They come as disposable blocks or reusable ones that require you to swap out the paper, but either way, most of the models out there contour to your hand and make the task less painful.


Totally self-explanatory, right? But you’ll wonder why you never owned one before the second this baby starts ripping out all those stripped screws that your flat head and Philips just can’t touch. So not only can you finally pull out those old screws, but you can do it in a way that won’t damage the wood (unlike the hammer method we all know).


Stripped Screw Remover

Rubber Mallet Oh, but I have a hammer, you think. Tell that to the antique wood you’re working with. Tell it to the impressionable sheet metal. Because everyone loves the look of a metal hammer’s scuff marks. Rubber mallets won’t leave dents and dings!

Magnetic Wristband It’s the mother of all bracelets! This handy gadget keeps screws, nails, and small metallic fasteners right at your hands while you work. No more reaching, no more dropping, and no more stepping on those long-lost screws with bare feet. >>

These are the handy gadgets every weekend warrior should have in their toolbox— because once you’ve used them, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them! / Fall 2013 79

home & Garden resources

Utility Knife

photo by evan-amos

Also known as locking pliers, these babies can offer an extra hand when working with heavy duty materials. They lock in place easily, holding together whatever you’re working on with Superman strength, so your hands are free and your attention is on the task at hand.

Stud Finder

photo by tiltU

No, it’s not your average steak knife or pocket knife; it’s got a super sharp retractable blade that you will find tons of uses for. It can open a box, cut dry wall, slice rope and cord, and, sure, it can even tackle a rib roast (although for heaven’s sake, remember to wash the knife before using it on food).

Pry Bar

photo by tekton

If you’re going to drill or hammer into your walls to hang heavy objects, it’s imperative to make sure you’re drilling into the stud and not a weak area of drywall. Over time that wall can crumble or crack if it can’t support the weight of whatever you’ve hung up. Don’t just guess—grab yourself one of these bad boys so you can find all the studs in your house (too bad it doesn’t work on real men).

For all your breaking and entering needs. Of course, we’re just kidding. This handy tool is perfect for removing old, rusty nails and for ripping up old wood, flooring, tile, etc. Anything that requires a little more elbow grease than usual can be made easier with a pry bar.

80 Bakersfield Magazine

Allen Wrenches

photo by scott ehardt

Vice Grip Pliers

Simple tools are the most overlooked!

The simplest tool and yet the most overlooked! How many items from IKEA have you had to assemble with one of these little guys? And then once it’s finished, who knows where that wrench scurries off to? So what do you do when you have to tighten up those screws and bolts that only an Allen wrench can tighten? Exactly…

Headband Flashlight Unless you have teenagers that will stand next to you, holding a flashlight, all hours of the day while you work on a project that needs bright light, you should invest in a headlamp or some sort. Perfect for working in garages or basements and especially perfect for fixing things under sinks without all the eye rolls and sighs.

Rotary Tool Powerful base—multifunctional attachments. It’s useful in any DIY job, from making small cuts, sanding, and even drilling. This guy can attack a number of household repairs with ease. They come in a variety of makes and models, usually according to how much power and speed you need (cue Tim Allen grunt).

Tape Measure We’ll leave the most obvious for last. Believe it or not, a great many toolboxes are without a trusty tape measure. It’s necessary for so many jobs and yet many people are without a dedicated tape measure. How can you cut 2X4s without one?

photo by evan-amos

Your eyes are infallible, right? You think you can estimate how level everything is by eye, and sometimes things look pretty straight…but if they aren’t 100 percent level, you can deal with consequences later, especially when laying foundations and cutting baseboards/floor boards. So don’t leave it to chance or your supposedly superior “eye.”




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82 Bakersfield Magazine


There’s more to fall than raking leaves and going Trick-or-Treating. There’s Garden Clean-Up! There’s Making a List and Checking it Twice for Ho-Ho-Ho time coming up.

tis the season

By Lynn Pitts

ooler days make garden clean-up go quicker and will certainly pay big dividends next spring. When leaves fall, start your (pruning) engines! While dead or broken branches can be pruned any time, late fall in Bakersfield is the best time to prune and shape dormant fruit trees, shrubs, and evergreens. However, when it comes to trees, Mrs. P needs to lay it all on the line for you. Joyce Kilmer had it right. There is nothing lovelier than a tree. Obviously, he was writing about trees allowed to develop freely in some mythical forest glen and not on the streets of Bakersfield. With apologies to this beloved American poet, there often comes a time when our own trees look considerably less than lovely. Godzilla size growth hits your once-little trees. What to do? Call the tree doctor! An old garden saying goes, “When pruning be a barber, not a butcher.” There’s nothing wrong with butchers, per se, and I’ll get into that later. How can you find a tree doctor that knows barbering, not chain saw massacring? Choosing a tree doctor can be a bewildering experience. Do you look online? Collect the business cards left by your door? Do you let your brother-in-law loose on your Flowering Plum tree? Do pruning companies call themselves tree trimmers, arborists, landscapers, or firewood collectors? Does it matter? It seems they all want your business, but do you want theirs? Before you hire someone, arm yourself with some basic pruning knowledge. While an art and a skill, pruning is not mysterious. Pruning is the removal of part of a plant for the benefit of all of the plant. The only times you should prune a tree is to direct its growth, to improve its health, or to increase production. If you have to constantly prune to prevent being swallowed up by your trees, you either have the wrong trees or the wrong pruner. Take responsibility and check the qualifications of the person you hire. Ask for recommendations. Look at the results. Compare prices. Ask questions! A professional tree doctor will give you a free written estimate and their contractor’s license number. If the license is active, they will be bonded and insured. >>






s to

ck / Fall 2013 83

To confirm this, call the Contractor’s State License Board in Sacramento: (916) 255-3975 or visit Tree work is dangerous and any claims for injury caused could be substantial. The weight of a single large tree limb may be hundreds of pounds. Make sure your agreement includes removal and clean-up of all trimmings in a timely fashion. It’s important you be on hand to monitor the job and see that safety procedures are followed. A good tree doctor will thin your tree, leaving no stubs to dieback or become diseased. You’ll notice the word “topping” is not used. Arbitrary topping will destroy a tree’s natural beauty and in time will kill it. My neighbors had their gorgeous birch tree topped off to where it looked like an ugly stump pointing to the sky with clusters of shoots pointing out. It looked like a lollypop on steroids. Being a busy-body (moi?), I told them the tree would probably die. They laughed and basically said I was nuts. It’s been just over two years and the tree not only died, but recently crashed into their garage, causing untold damage. Well, it’s “LOL” time. Like your own personal physician, a good tree doctor should tell you the truth. If your tree is just too large for your garden or sick beyond help, he should advise you to remove it. We all make garden mistakes. A great deal of ugliness and expense could be avoided if people would remove a tree rather than try to compromise by constantly pruning it. Plant a new one with less maintenance requirements. Before financially obligating yourself to more than removing branches and patching up holes, call the University Cooperative Extension at (661) 868-6215. For 100 years they have been providing excellent problem-solving information and resources in Kern County at no charge. Their office is located at 1031 South Mt. Vernon Avenue. Ask for a copy of Tree Care, a pamphlet packed with visuals you can refer to while your tree doctor is sawing away. They can suggest trees for your specific location. The Extension office will even come to your house for consultation. For those of us who like to tick off our Christmas gift list earlier than December 23rd, the next two garden-themed suggestions are aimed at you. 84 Bakersfield Magazine


The first is an inexpensive gift for all ages: Stamps! The U.S. Postal Service has fallen in love with gardening. Who else would tell you these things? In the last year, it has released stamps featuring the Washington, D.C., Cherry trees; wildflowers commemorating Lady Bird Johnson’s amazing highway beautification project; apples; and bonsai. Recently, vintage seed packets joined the lineup. The series of 10 Forever stamps which are equal to the current 46-cent, first-class rate, are taken from illustrations on the covers of antique seed packets printed between 1910 and 1920. They used photographs of actual seed envelopes and added the name of the flower to the top. They include cosmos, digitalis, primroses, calendulas, asters, dianthus, linum, alyssum, phlox, and zinnias. Vintage Seed Packets are $9.20 for a booklet of 20 stamps and are available at the post office or online at usps. com/stamps. Purchase actual seed packs of the above flowers to accompany the stamps and you’ve got yourself an original gardening gift.


My second unique gifting idea, which you can make ahead and freeze, is sausage with fresh herbs. I recently took a sausage making class taught by a master butcher and learned lots of different sausage-making techniques. Picture this: there were ten of us, nine gorgeous, rugged men and Mrs. P. Hubba, hubba! But I digress. Adding your own homegrown herbs to a simple southern country sausage will bring oohs and ahhs from recipients. Most especially, men will go weak at the knees with sugarplum visions of biscuits and gravy alongside your sausage patties. Here’s a caveman easy recipe (no special equipment needed).


Gardening with Mrs. P

Bakersfield Style

Co un tr y Sa usage

1 lb. ground pork 1 lb. ground lamb 2 tsp. sea salt ½ tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. each finely minced fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and chives. ¼ tsp. each nutmeg and ground cloves 1 tbsp. brown sugar ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (if desired) 1/3 cup water, wine, or beer

Using disposable gloves, mix meats with remaining ingredients. Tightly squeeze handfuls of the mixture until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate the forcemeat (that’s a professional sausage making term) for one hour. This will allow the flavors to meld and strengthen. Remove from refrigerator and form into balls, then flatten into patties, each approximately 2- to 3-inches across. Wrap well and store in the freezer for up to three months. Write up recipe cards for red-eye or milk and flour sausage gravy. Divide patties into Ziploc bags, staple the recipes to the top, and voilà. All ready for a “mess” of holiday breakfasts.

Sure beats another Chia Pet under the Christmas tree, I say! 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.


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. / Fall 2013 85


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86 Bakersfield Magazine

Entertaining the Bakersfield Way

Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage

you’ll fall for this!

By Yana Todorova

Harvest is the time of year when farmers collect the mature crops from their fields and also a time when we get to enjoy their bounty. Harvest festivals exist in almost every culture. Growing up in Bulgaria, we used to celebrate the harvest of wine grapes each year (around the months of September and October). My grandfather was a winemaker and the entire family helped him handpick the ripe grapes during that time of year. After a long day of harvesting at my grandparents’ vineyard, we gathered around the table at their home and had a sit-down dinner. We cheerfully celebrated the healthy bunches of grapes we collected previously. We ate a lot of grapes, potato dishes, and baked pumpkin sprinkled with sugar. Here, in the U.S., harvest time is often associated with pumpkin carving parties, apple festivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the season of winter squashes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and walnuts. So, this fall, get into the harvest spirit and gather with your family or friends for a special autumn inspired dinner. My fall festivity menu starts with a warm Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage. It has a sophisticated flavor, but it requires only few steps to prepare. The feast continues with a sweet-and-savory hearty dish: Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Cranberries, Feta Cheese, and Walnuts. This nutritious meal uses cranberries for a little sweetness, walnuts for a little crunch, and cheese for a hit of salty flavor. My side dish (Sweet Mashed Potatoes) is also in step with the harvest spirit of the gathering: it provides great bursts of color and satisfaction with minimal effort. Dessert is Sweet Bread made with Pumpkin, Raisins, Walnuts, and Warm Cinnamon. This colorful soup has a velvety texture and delicious, albeit slightly sweet taste. Roasting the squash delivers deeper flavor and fried sagebutter brings extra nuttiness to the dish. Enjoy this sweet and earthy soup now and freeze any leftovers for later.

Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage 1 (2 ½ lbs.) butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped 1 tbsp. olive oil • 2 tsp. salt, divided Freshly ground black pepper • 2 cups milk, room temperature 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour • 4 cups water 20 fresh sage leaves • 2 tbsp. butter Preheat oven to 420 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the squash, oil, one tsp. salt, and black pepper. Line two large jelly-roll pans with parchment paper. Spread the squash mixture evenly on pans and bake for 25 minutes, stirring once. Cool slightly. Then, place half of the squash mixture and two cups water in a blender. Process it until smooth. Repeat with the rest of the squash and the remaining water. In a large saucepan, place two tbsp. flour and whisk in two cups milk. Cook on medium heat until slightly thick and bubbling. Add the squash puree and one tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt two tbsp. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and sauté until slightly brown and crisp (about three minutes). Then, ladle soup into individual bowls. Garnish each with fried sage leaves and drizzle with browned butter, for a deep, nutty flavor! Serves 4. Note: Sage is a fresh herb we often associate with Thanksgiving meals. But it is very versatile and can be used in many dishes. I have plenty of fresh sage growing in my herb garden and I am always >>

Cuisine: enjoy the bounty / Fall 2013 87

Cuisine: enjoy the bounty looking for ways to use it in the kitchen. I have realized that fried sage leaves make a crispy, tasty, and elegant garnish. But if you don’t have sage on hand, you can serve the soup with toasted chopped walnuts and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette on top. Walnut Pumpkin Bread is a seasonal quick bread, featuring heart healthy California walnuts. The dessert is moist thanks to the canned pumpkin in the batter. The use of whole wheat pastry flour makes it also very nutritious and guilt-free. It is sweet (but not heavy) and I consider it a great alternative to the more traditional pumpkin pie. When preparing this baked good, your house will be filled with warm aromas of cinnamon and pumpkin!

Walnut Pumpkin Bread with Raisins

Walnut Pumpkin Bread with Raisins 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour 2 cups sugar • 2 tsp. baking soda • 1 tsp. baking powder • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. salt • ¾ cup canola oil • 3 large eggs, room temperature 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin • ½ cup raisins ½ cup chopped California walnuts, toasted Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush two (9 x 5 inch) loaf pans with canola oil. Line bottom and sides with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Next, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, and pumpkin). Beat gently until smooth, but do not over mix. Fold in the raisins and half of the walnuts. Divide batter evenly into the two pans. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts. Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, remove, and cool completely on wire racks. Makes two loaves (about 14 slices each). To compliment this bountiful display, recipes for Sweet Mashed Potatoes and an outstanding Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Cranberries, Feta Cheese, and Walnuts can also be found online at the address below. My harvest celebration menu is intended to inspire you to host a wonderful family gathering. Look for what is in season, choose some newly harvested crops, put a smile on your face, and get cooking! n these recipes and others can be found on our website! 88 Bakersfield Magazine

life is a cabernet

a beautiful chemistry

By Mike Stepanovich

We can thank Robert Mondavi for Ancient Peaks Winery. The late California wine icon took one look at the varied soils of Santa Margarita Ranch and knew he’d stumbled onto one of the next great vineyards in California. Mondavi “came down here and planted the vineyard in 1999,” said Mike Sinor, director of winemaking at Ancient Peaks. “He was so inspired by the soils that he spent millions” planting the Margarita Vineyard. But even though Mondavi signed a 36-year lease with Santa Margarita Ranch owners Karl Wittstrom, Doug Filipponi, and Rob Rossi, he wouldn’t experience the fruits of his labors. In 2005 Robert Mondavi Winery was sold to wine conglomerate Constellation Brands, and the three ranch partners found themselves in August 2005 with a vineyard almost ready to harvest. Sinor said the three sold as much fruit as they could to other vintners, but still had an enormous amount of fruit hanging on the

vines. And that’s where he entered the picture. He had just left Domaine Alfred, a now defunct brand in the Edna Valley, when he got a call about the Margarita Ranch fruit. He wound up going over to the ranch, and “fermented 100 tons for them.” He met with Filipponi, who told him they were looking for a winemaker. “I told him I’d only be interested if I could be a partner.” Sinor had already left Domaine Alfred and was thinking perhaps a position as a consulting winemaker somewhere might be the ticket. “But I know myself, and I’m just not the consultant type. I looked at these guys, and the potential, and said if you want a business partner, let’s move forward.”

The partners didn’t need to think twice about that. After all, Sinor had put Domaine Alfred on the map with some spectacular wines that generated stellar reviews. He also had distribution contacts, which would be critical for a start-up winery. So when the three ranch owners formed the winery in 2006, Sinor signed on as one of the winery partners as well. As one experienced in the wine business, he also wore the mantle of the winery’s general manager and winemaker for the first three years the winery was in business. “Plus,” he said with a grin, “I got to hang out with great business guys and learn business from them.” Ancient Peaks is aptly named. It’s partly ancient sea bottom, partly ancient volcanic >>

Photos courtesy of ancient peaks winery

Ancient Peaks Winery Ancient Peaks is aptly named. It’s partly ancient sea bottom, partly ancient volcanic soils, partly ancient granitic soils, part shale, and part sedimentary.

wine: crafted with pride / Fall 2013 89

wine: crafted with pride soils, partly ancient granitic soils, part shale, and part sedimentary. The five soil types ebb and flow throughout the property and impart different flavors to the grapes. For example, the ancient sea bottom is chock full of oyster fossils, and the resultant high calcium content makes for beautiful aromatics. The richer sedimentary soils produce plush fruit flavors. The shale provides intensity, while the volcanic soils impart concentrated flavors. The problem was it took a while to sort all this out. Why? Because in the property’s entire history grapes had never been planted there. Yes, grapes had been planted at Santa Margarita de Cortona in 1780, the sub-mission of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, about 10 miles north of present-day San Luis Obispo off U.S. 101. But the 22,000 or so acres that comprise Santa Margarita Ranch—and include the old mission site—look very much like what they looked like when missionaries arrived to establish the branch of Mission San Luis Obispo. So while the soils may have looked promising, no one knew for sure what the fruit would be like. I remember the first time I tasted the wines a few years ago, my impression was that the wines were technically well made but were lacking something; they didn’t have much personality. In contrast, the wines I just recently tasted all had personality, and reflected their terroir—and a growing understanding of the fruit the terroir is producing. Sinor said my observation was exactly right. “Over the years we’ve come to understand our vineyard blocks better. Every year we’re learning; it’s a huge ship and there’s lots to learn. Each year we have higher confidence in the grapes and focus our attention on the blocks.” Filipponi agreed. “These soils in the Margarita Vineyard are so unique, and have so many differences that it gives us many different looks at each grape varietal,” he said. “For example, the same Rockpile clone [of zinfandel] growing on Monterey shale and also on ancient seabed will taste different. Same thing if you’re growing it in a creek bed—it will taste different than the other two. “One of the things we also discovered is that we have several different microclimates within the vineyard itself. So on any given day, one section of the vineyard may be seven degrees cooler than another. It’s a unique place with many different soil types and many different microclimates.” Sinor and Filipponi learned about those differences the hard way. “When Mondavi planted the vineyard, their mind’s eye was on a global perspective,” Sinor said. “When they planted, there 90 Bakersfield Magazine

were no white grapes on the property. We went in and changed the composition, and now we have sauvignon blanc, which is our lead white variety.” It’s an excellent offering; more Sancerre-like in its flavors, but with a touch of New Zealand. They’ve also added pinot noir to a portfolio that was principally Bordeaux varietals with some zinfandel and syrah tossed into the mix. “We have a canyon called Trout Creek Canyon that was planted to cabernet sauvignon,” he said. “It’s so cool there the cabernet never got above 21 degrees brix,” rendering it virtually unusable. “So now we have 80 acres of pinot noir. It’s not like the stuff near the ocean; it’s really bright cherry-flavored fruit. We make a couple hundred cases for our club members, and sell the bulk of the fruit” to other wineries. Harvest tends to start later at Ancient Peaks than other vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA, and extend well into November, Filipponi said. “One of the things we see is the amount of complexity in the grapes, themselves. We tend to have a long hang time.” For instance, while other vintners had started picking sauvignon blanc in early September, Ancient Peaks had not. “We’re still

“One of the things we also discovered is that we have several different microclimates within the vineyard itself. So on any given day, one section of the vineyard may be seven degrees cooler than another.” — Doug Filipponi hanging sauvignon blanc,” he said. “We pick almost to Thanksgiving. We get an extremely long hang-time on our grapes, which adds a lot to the complexity of the grapes themselves. “We’ve not had two years more alike than 2010 and 2011. They were cool, cool years, and we had to struggle to get the grapes to the edge of ripeness, which can also be on the edge of greatness. The 2010 cabernet is really coming into its own. We not only have learned a lot about the vineyard, but every year Mother Nature gives us a different look.” One of the wines in Ancient Peaks’ portfolio that I find particularly good is their trademark Oyster Ridge red blend. It’s rich, flavorful, and deep; it’s a blend of cabernet sauvignon, petite verdot, malbec, cabernet franc, and petite sirah. The vines are on ancient sea bottom. Sinor believes “the oyster shells we have in the area cause the grapes to be smaller and have finer tannins. It has another layer of complexity, the fruit is more precise, the tannins finer, and it has a nice acidity.” Sinor is cognizant that with each year, “we’re creating history. Each new vintage adds to what we know.” And the folks at Ancient Peaks are putting what they learn to good use. “We work at making it turn out good,” Filipponi said. “If your name’s on the back of the bottle, you want it to be good.” 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 in Bakersfield.

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92 Bakersfield Magazine


burger heaven There’s a saying around these parts: “Why eat a burger when you can eat a burger?”

Never heard it? Well, then you haven’t spent much time in the

invented by the burger geniuses over at Moo Creamery (Richard

Bakersfield Magazine office. You see, there is a difference be-

and Jessica Pounds) would certainly fall into that category. We

tween the common hamburger (you know you’ve had one) and

asked the Poundses to come up with a unique burger, just for our

an exquisitely-crafted, finely-seasoned, glorious, mouthwater-

readers, that implemented some local seasonal flavors. And boy

ing creation known as: The Burger. And this tempting creation,

did they take the whole hog on this one!

The Orchard Burger Multigrain bread • Brie cheese • Arugula Caramelized onions (one medium onion)

Roasted apple spread: 1 apple, 1 tbsp. apple cider, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. butter. pinch of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & clove Pork patty: 1 lb. ground pork, 4 oz. bacon, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp. fresh sage You’ll want to start by preparing your roasted apple spread. Peel your apple and slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Combine with remaining apple spread ingredients and place into a small ovenproof dish. Cover with foil and roast at 300 degrees for about two hours, or until very soft. When it’s done, mash with a fork to create a thick spread. Next, start caramelizing your onions. Chop up your onion (Richard and Jessica recommend Valpredo Farms’ Country Sweet onions) into thin strips


and coat the bottom of a sauté pan with olive oil (and butter, if you like). Let onions cook until they start sticking to the pan, then flip with spatula as they start browning. Don’t flip too often or they won’t brown and caramelize. While your onions are caramelizing, start preparing that patty. Place garlic and raw bacon in food processor and blend until fully minced. Next combine with ground pork and then add fresh chopped sage and form into six oz. patty. Season patty with salt and pepper and proceed to grill (or use a griddle on the stovetop) until cooked through. Next, griddle the multigrain bread slices and melt the brie on them. When brie is melted, apply apple spread to both slices. Top one half with caramelized onions, your freshly cooked pork patty, and some arugula. Then cover with the other side of the bread. We would say “dig in” but this is a burger that deserves to be savored…so take your time and enjoy every bite!

Cuisine: kickin’ it up a notch / Fall 2013 93

bottoms up!

RJ’s Bar & Grill Year Established: 2002 Quick Facts Located: 9440 Hageman Rd. In the world of liquor, there are drinks, and then there are works of art. True to their mission to “continuously strive to exceed the guest’s expectations,” RJ’s Bar & Grill has brought something tasteful and delightfully complex to the world of cocktails in Bakersfield, and we aren’t just talking about the inviting ambience. Vodka has come a long way over the years, and you can even

already diverse menu: their Artisanal cocktails. “All of these drinks will

get the liquor in a cake flavor. But what about jalapeño? Or basil,

have fresh ingredients,” Ross intimated, so your juice will actually come

strawberry, cilantro, and Anaheim pepper? And where could you

from a lemon, not a plastic container shaped like one.

get such delectable concoctions fused right here in Bakersfield? It

Co-owner Russ Carter relayed that they’re all very excited for the

may sound like a pipe dream, but RJ’s bar and service manager,

new assortment of cocktails. “We decided to get creative with our drink

Kenneth Ross, did just that after studying what some of the best

menu so we can stand out more and be an even more unique spot.”

mixologists up north were doing.

The drink they shared with us is called Hot & Bothered, but fear not!

“I wanted to create something that would appeal to a lot of people,”

You will be neither once you’ve taken in its smooth, refreshing flavor.

Ross said. “I also wanted to bring a different style of drinking to Bakers-

While the jalapeño is distinctive, the sour flavor from the lemon and

field. They do it in other places, so why not here?” Why, indeed. These

lime mixed with the sweetness from the agave make for a smooth

perfectly infused liquors are what created the newest addition to RJ’s

and heavenly blend. Warning: this drink just may blow your mind! n

RJ’s Bar & Grill

Jalapeño Pepper Infused Vodka Juice Fresh Lime Juice • Fresh Lemon ter Agave Nectar • Soda Wa

vodka (RJ’s didn’t want to Fill a lowball glass with ice and pour in you’re wanting to make this spoil the secret of this fiery creation, but if hand juicer, add the juice of a at home, try about a shot of vodka). Using a with soda water. Garnish with lemon and lime. Add agave nectar and top into the drink, if desired. lime wedge, squeezing out additional juice

drink: it’s a mind blower 94 Bakersfield Magazine

WHAT’S COOKIN’ Delicious enchiladas stuffed with shrimp, lobster, cream, a hint of bacon, and topped with a roasted tomato cream sauce.

the royal treat California’s roads haven’t been royal for a couple centuries now, but you’re in for a royal treat when you dine at Camino Real, the restaurant that claims it was Mexican inspired with California love. By Mike Stepanovich It recently opened in a new locale, 4501 Stine Road in southwest Of course we had to have some guacamole ($7), and also decided to Bakersfield, after spending the first 3½ years of its existence on Trux- try the sampler platter ($9; add your choice of meat, $2), which is comtun Avenue at Westwind Drive. Word on the street is that the old prised of, according to the menu, nachos topped with taquitos, flautas, locale was more of a nightclub scene while the new locale is more quesadillas, and hot wings. The guacamole arrived first, and was fresh and scrumptious; it had a focused on dining. Regardless of where it is, it’s worth the effort to get there. The food, table presence that was warm and inviting. The presentation was spectacular: the freshly made guacamole in the center of a plate with long, the ambience, and the service all add up to a fine dining experience. I visited Camino Real recently with a companion, unsure of what toasted triangular flour-tortilla chips encircling the guacamole spread out likes rays of the sun. The we would find. We were hopeguacamole had diced tomatoes ful because several acquainand onions and was delightful. tances had told us they had Any Mexican restaurant worth enjoyed the food. its salt has a good margarita in We were greeted warmly at its repertoire; Camino Real has a the door, and after being seated whole page of them! There must in a comfortable booth, we have been a dozen or so. What were brought a basket of chips to choose? Our server, Maria, and a selection of three salsas. was most helpful in deciphering That was our first clue that the The warm tones of the Camino Real the list of specialty margaritas Restaurant will remind you of an old California mission. evening was going to be special. ($9 each). At her suggestion, I The chips were thin, crisp, and fresh. The three salsas were in a rectangular container divided into chose one dubbed “Freska,” which had limes, oranges, tequila blanco, three compartments, each with a different salsa. On the left was a green Gran Marnier, and agave nectar. Of course the rim was salted. The drink was slightly sweet and reflected the limes. The salt went chile salsa, flavorful and spicy. The right had a red chile salsa, also richly flavored. The middle was what might be considered regular salsa, with well with it, and I found it very refreshing. My companion tried it and tomatoes, chiles, and onions. Only this salsa was not from a jar or can; it declared it the perfect margarita! While enjoying our beverages and waiting for our appetizers, >> had been made fresh, with freshly diced tomatoes, yellow onions, green peppers, plus fresh corn. All three salsas were delicious, underscoring that this southwest Bakersfield restaurant was worthy of a revisit.

Cuisine: imaginative tastes / Fall 2013 95

Cuisine: imaginative tastes I had a chance to observe the décor. The interior has an old California mission ladas. She said, unhesitatingly, try the shrimp and lobster enchiladas ($20). Her theme. The booths are comfortable; opposite the booths are a line of tables with face said it all; clearly she had tried it, and clearly she loved it. That was enough for a bench seat running the length of the east wall and chairs opposite. It’s easy me: when an insider recommends something, best to take her advice. to move tables together to accommodate larger groups, such as six or eight. The two enchiladas—two flour-tortilla enchiladas with shrimp, lobster, I also noticed that the restaurant has a small but serviceable wine list. cream, and a hint of bacon all topped with a roasted tomato cream sauce—had Our sampler platter was everything we hoped for. The taquito with shredan inviting aroma. My first bite I nearly swooned. I tell you truly: this is one of ded beef was excellent—well seasoned, the best enchiladas I have ever had! It was delicious. The quesadilla was perfectly stunningly good! Absolutely fabulous! When you visit Camino Real, ask to be done, the cheese soft and tasty. The seated in Maria’s section. She’s terrific. wings were tender and perfectly spiced. She has been with the restaurant since And what appeared to be chile Colorado its inception at the former locale, and is was excellent as well. intimately familiar with the menu and the Regular readers of my reviews will drinks. Her recommendations were spot know that I am partial to New Mexicanon, and her friendly demeanor was infecstyle cuisine. Camino Real focuses on CalTaquitos with shredded beef: well seasoned, and delicious. tious. She had personality plus! ifornian-style. What I like about it is that She told us that one of the reasons for like California cuisine in general, it’s imagthe restaurant’s relocation was a better inative, it focuses on fresh, and it blends balance. At the former locale, she said, a variety of flavors to create something it was good lunch-bad dinner. “Here it’s special. Whereas New Mexican cuisine good lunch, good dinner.” focuses on the chile, California cuisine Everything is prepared fresh each day, focuses on the complexity of the flavors. she said. If it’s not used, it’s tossed. For example, Camino Real offers a Maria was most persuasive when it California taco plate ($9) that is calling came to dessert. I chose deep-fried ice my name for my next visit. It consists of Toasted triangular flour tortilla chips cream, while my companion had the flan. two large corn taco shells with lettuce, encircle the guacamole spread out likes rays of the sun. The ice cream was in a fried wonton cup, cheese, pico de gallo with guacamole and covered with crushed corn flakes and slivered sour cream—a vegetarian taco. But the almonds, drizzled with caramel sauce, and flavors! What a blend! topped with whipped cream. It had a subtle The restaurant also features a Calicinnamon flavor, was delicate and wonderfornia enchilada, which has shredded ful. I thought I was full, but somehow found chicken, crisp bacon, cheese, pico de room to eat the whole thing! gallo, and a creamy roasted California My companion’s flan (which you can sauce (I have to try it on another visit to see on our website, along with another see what the sauce is). Again, an imagigreat dish from Camino) had excellent native blending of flavors. Indulge in deep-fried ice cream, served in a crispy wonton cup, covered with crushed corn flakes and slivered almonds. custard texture, with cinnamon, slivThere’s also the California “signature ered toasted almonds, and topped with dish,” which is a chicken breast stuffed whipped cream. That she ate it all speaks to how much she enjoyed it. with manchego cheese and smoked ham, wrapped in bacon, and topped with a Camino Real has a varied menu offering traditional fare and some of the tomato cream sauce and melted cheese. more imaginative menu items in town. Whether you’re looking for traditional My companion had the Shrimp Veracruz ($16), which was shrimp in a roasted offerings such as carnitas, burritos, enchiladas, or tacos; or are looking for garlic cream corn sauce with potatoes, bacon, and cheese. The shallow dish was something more imaginative, such as the dishes we enjoyed, you must find topped with thinly cut tortilla strips. She was ecstatic at the flavors. No one flavor your way to Camino Real. You’ll be glad you did. overpowered another; they all blended exquisitely, she said. Camino Real is open daily 8 a.m. to midnight serving breakfast, lunch, and I can only describe my entrée as, well…delicious! When I was looking over the dinner. Major credit cards accepted. Phone (661) 852-0493. n menu, I told Maria I was looking for something different, and that I loved enchi96 Bakersfield Magazine

Belvedere Room in the Padre Hotel

The Chefs at the Belvedere Room offer a distinctive experience that marries oldworld style with modern tastes. From ranch raised beef to seafood delicacies, each dish is thoughtfully prepared for your culinary delight. Explore our innovative wine list or allow us to find you the perfect pairing. Call or visit the website for reservations. Open for dinner nightly. 1702 18th Street. (661) 427-4900

Chalet Basque

The number one low price leader Basque restaurant in Bakersfield! Lunch starter $7.50. Dinner starter $12. Full bar with $4 well drinks, $3.50 beers, and weekend drinks. Three banquet rooms that accommodate 10-170 people, $8.95 starter. Perfect for wedding parties, anniversaries, and retirement dinners. If you’re looking for a spacious banquet room with delectable options, they will match any competitor’s price. Open all day from 11am-9:30pm. 200 Oak Street. (661) 327-2915

Café Med

Café Med has been a Bakersfield tradition for over 20 years. Their diverse menu includes Mediterranean and American cuisine, along with an extensive wine list. This year Café Med will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 12-8pm. Prices are $24.99 per person, children under 12, $12.99. Reservations are recommended. Live music on both Friday and Saturday evenings. Café Med is open 11am to close 7 days a week. Visa, MC, AE, DC. Located at 4809 Stockdale Hwy., in the Stockdale Fashion Plaza. Like us on Facebook, or go to (661) 834-4433

Saigon Restaurant

We invite you to try the best place in town for fresh and traditional Vietnamese cuisine! Since 1998, we have served the absolute healthiest dining options to the people of Bakersfield. From unique appetizers, soups, salads, and vermicelli dishes to Boba drinks and Vietnamese beer, we have everything you crave for a true culinary experience. Our pho, noodle soups, vegetarian dishes, and a la carte items featuring seafood, pork, beef, and chicken will satisfy your craving for traditional Vietnamese food. Lunch Specials from 11am-3pm. Individual Dinner Specials after 4pm. Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. Closed Sunday. 3113 Chester Ln. (661) 327-8810 / Fall 2013 97

The Dining Guide

Camino Real Kitchen & Tequila

In a town full of Mexican restaurants, take a break and try food that’s Mexican inspired with California love. Try our new breakfast, lunch, & dinner menu. Menudo available daily at 8am while supplies lasts! Check us out at Instagram@caminoed and Like us on Facebook at Download thecaminoapp from the app store. Open Daily 8am-Midnight. Happy Days @ The Bar, Every day 11am-7pm. Lunch Buffet, M-F 11am-2pm. Sunday Brunch, 9am-2pm. 4501 Stine Road. (661) 852-0493

Cataldo’s Pizzeria Riverwalk

Fresh New York Style Pizza! Come experience the flavors of the traditional handtossed New York style pizza. Our pizzas and calzones are made to order in brick ovens from the freshest ingredients with homemade pizza sauces and doughs. We use the best of natural cheeses, like mozzarella, feta, and parmesan. Try our pizza by the slice or as a whole pie. Slices are taken from our 30” pizza, and are prepared with our Italian-style marinara pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. Lunch slices come with a free drink (Mon-Fri). We serve pastas, wings, fried chicken, and potato logs, salads, and dressings. Beer & wine available. Family-style dine in, carry out, or delivery. Open Sun-Thu from 11am-9pm and Fri-Sat 11am10pm. 13011 Stockdale Hwy. (& Allen Rd.) (661) 587-7888

Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant

The Dining Guide

Serving traditional Mexican cuisine to Bakersfield residents since 1948. Perfectly situated downtown, just west of Mill Creek Park. Open Tue-Thu 11:15am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11:15am-9pm, and Sunday 11:15am-8pm. Closed on Mondays. Sinaloa is located at 910 20th Street. (661) 327-5231

Bob’s Big Boy

What started out with the purchase of a small hamburger stand in 1936 by Bob Wian has turned into a regular legend—one that has found a home in Bakersfield! Bob’s Big Boy has been serving up some of the most delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for over 75 years, and their menu continues to delight customers of all ages. Try some of their classic favorites, like Bob’s world famous Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger, salads, chili size, chili spaghetti, famous hand-dipped ice cream shakes, fresh strawberry pie, and hot fudge ice cream cake! Come out any day of the week and experience what a true legend tastes like. Open Mon-Fri from 7am9:30pm and Sat-Sun 7:30am-10pm. 3939 Ming Ave. (661) 833-0780

Brookside Riverlakes Market & Deli

We welcome you to come enjoy our signature salads, sandwiches, and burgers at your local Brookside Market & Deli. Stop by and try our homemade Fish & Chips with our savory clam chowder every Friday. We also BBQ our own Tri-Tip sandwiches daily! Brookside carries a wide variety of fine wines & market products you may need, including Smith’s Bakery goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth! In addition to our Brookside breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, we also offer a catering menu that will help you celebrate any occasion with ease. Deli hours: Mon-Sat 5am-8pm, Sun 6:30am-4pm. 4700 Coffee Rd. Store: (661) 588-1338, Deli: (661) 588-2329

98 Bakersfield Magazine

Gimmee Some Sugar

Gimmee Some Sugar Cakes was created with a motto that food should be experienced, not just tasted. We proudly stand by the ground rule that all of our products are made with only the best ingredients, like real Madagascar Vanilla Beans, whole sweet cream butter, and fine Callebaut European Chocolate. Our team was built with the love for art, food, and people! With our unique passion, we create the most beautiful wedding and 3D cakes, gourmet sweet tables, and tasty cupcakes in the Central Valley. There is nothing we cannot make and want to continue to be Bakersfield’s local source for the up and coming cake and cupcake trends. Hours: Tues-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-12pm (pick up orders only). Closed Sun-Mon. 2100 19th Street Ste D. (661) 321-9922

Wine Me Up! Wine Bar & Tapas Lounge

Wine Me Up!, in the heart of the northwest, is your new alternative for gatherings with friends or business. Our intimate lounge and patio is the perfect place to enjoy over 30 wines by the glass, craft beers, and savory tapas selections. We also offer live music on Friday nights, daily mixers from 5-7pm for beer and wine, and a knowledgeable staff to assist you with the perfect bottle to enjoy at home. Hours: Mon-Fri, 2pm to Close. Sat, 3:30pm to Close. 3900 Coffee Rd #2, Bakersfield, CA 93308. (661) 588-8556

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. Visit us on Facebook! 1400 17th St. Downtown. (661) 326-8870

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

La Colonia Mexican Restaurant

When you’re craving some of the most delicious Mexican food in town, look no further than La Colonia. Serving up authentic breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to locals for years, there’s truly something satisfying on the menu for everyone, regardless of your preference. Come out and try some of the Burritos de La Colonia, delicious combination plates, or mariscos dishes and see why they have guests who dine there every single week. Pick up a gift card for a wonderful, unique present for the people you know who enjoy the best things in life! Available for dine-in and carry out. Open Mon-Thu 10:30am-8pm, Fri 10:30am-9pm, Sat 9am-9pm, and Sun 8:30am-2pm. 1809 Potomac Ave. (661) 323-3855

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 / Fall 2013 99

The Dining Guide

Lorene’s Ranch House Coffee Shop

Where Everything’s Homemade! If you’re in the mood for an early morning breakfast, lunch, or a casual evening dinner, stop by Lorene’s for a hearty meal you won’t forget. Our extensive menu includes traditional breakfast skillets, country fresh eggs and omelettes, and a large selection of pancakes and waffles. For lunch or dinner try our South-of-the-Border section or one of our charbroiled burgers. We also serve great steaks and numerous seafood entrées. Stop by today for family-friendly dining. Hours: 6am-9pm daily, Visa, MC, AE, DC, accepted. Two locations to serve you: 1531 23rd & Eye St. (661) 322-6887 and 6401 Ming Ave. (661) 831-9250

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



El Portal Mexican Restaurant

We invite you to enjoy both of our Mexican Grill and Cantinas, El Portal Ming and El Portal West. We offer a great selection of appetizers, soups & salads, seafood, and our specialties are chicken, steak, and shrimp fajitas. Happy Hour for Ming Ave. Mon-Fri 4-7pm (bar only) and at West location 3-7pm (bar only), lunch specials every day, 11am-2pm. Fabulous Sunday Brunch, 10am3pm, reservations accepted. Two locations to serve you. El Portal Mexican Restaurant located at 6641 Ming Ave. (661) 834-2629, and El Portal West, located at 1100 Calloway Dr. (661) 829-2737

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 5:30-10pm. Reservations accepted. Visa, MC, AE. 4412 Ming Ave. (661) 398-0608

The Dining Guide

New on the Web!

The Village Sports Bar & Grill

Come see what’s becoming Bakersfield’s most popular locally owned and operated sports bar and grill! This is one dining experience you won’t soon forget, featuring: management with over 24 years of experience, full bar, spacious dining area, outdoor patio, catering, food made fresh (everything is made from scratch; nothing is brought in frozen), pool table area, and nine screens to watch sports on. Thank you, Bakersfield, for your continued support and for helping us grow into what we’ve become today! Karaoke on Thursdays 8pm-1am. Opens at 11am daily. Kitchen closes at 10pm Sun-Wed, and at 11pm Thu-Sat. 4837 Panama Ln. (661) 282-8990

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! A daily “Afternoon Epicure” $25 prix fixe menu from 4:30pm-5:30pm. Dinner reservations Mon-Sat, 4:30pm-8:30pm. Lunch reservations Friday ONLY 11:30am-2:00pm. All major credit cards are accepted. Reservations recommended but not required. 3310 Truxtun Ave., Ste. 160, 93301 (661) 864-0397

100 Bakersfield Magazine / Fall 2013 101


The Womens Care Center

Wall’s Hearing Aid Center

Armi Lynn Walker, M.D. Cary Shakespeare, M.D.

The Original...Hearing Aid Center of Bakersfield Serving the Community Since 1946

Kenneth V. Wall

“It’s Never too early to hear better” • It’s not only the quality of your hearing. We provide hearing products to improve your quality of life. • Beyond the best products on the market, our staff gives you the personal attention, support and care you deserve. Don’t go another day wondering if you could be hearing better.

(661) 368-9859

4800 Easton Drive, Suite #108, Bakersfield, CA 93309

• • • • • • •

Obstetrics, Gynecology & Infertility Pregnancy Testing Personalized Prenatal Care and Delivery Complete Gynecological Care, Contraception, Menopausal Issues Minimally Invasive Surgery Urinary Incontinence Testing Comfortable, Relaxing Atmosphere

(661) 633-BABY (2229)

2021 22nd St., Bakersfield, CA 93301

Mansukh R. Ghadiya, MD Kern Faculty Medical Group Family Practice Most insurance accepted

New Adult patients and pediatric patients are welcome

• • • •

Board certified in Family Practice Member, American Academy of Family Physicians Daytime Appointments Walk-in clinic evenings & Saturday mornings

(661) 872-7000

2201 Mt. Vernon Ave., 2nd Floor, Bakersfield CA 93306

Voted “Best Dermatologist” by Los Angeles Magazine Voted A.V.’s “Best Dermatologist” Skin Cancer specialist Laser Specialist • MOHS–Micrographic surgery • Laser hair removal • Tattoo removal • Pre-cancerous growths • Coolsculpt–Laser • Mole checks & removals • Acne/Acne Scarring/Rosacea fat removal • Ultra skin rejuvenation and tightening

(661) 322-2700

5600 California Ave., Suite 101 • Bakersfield, CA 93309

Advanced Spinal Health, LLC Specializing in Instrument Adjustive Techniques Gregory Heyart, D.C. Nicholas Braaten, D.C. Steven Salyers, D.C.

Central Valley Physical Therapy

Serving Bakersfield and the surrounding communities. Our chiropractors and the rest of the friendly team at Advanced Spinal Health, LLC, are dedicated to chiropractic solutions to target your unique needs, whether you are suffering from back pain, neck pain, headaches, or even just plain old muscular tightness and tension. Even if you just want to improve your overall health, our chiropractors can help you achieve your wellness goals!

(661) 827-8959

1001 Tower Way, Suite 130 Bakersfield, CA 93309

At Central Valley Physical Therapy our mission is simple: to provide the best care to our community. We are an award winning private practice physical therapy clinic. We boast doctoral educated & specialty certified practitioners. We love what we do. We love helping people. We love providing Movement for Life ®.

8200 Stockdale Highway # B1, Bakersfield, CA 93311 102 Bakersfield Magazine

(661) 327-2622

Got Fundraising Hassles?

Rev. Msgr. Craig F. Harrison Pastor 900 H St.

(1 block south of California Ave.)

661-327-4734 FAX 661-377-0363

Bakersfield Magazine Supports the Community and Can Help Your Nonprofit Organization Raise Money.


6:45 a.m. (English) 8:30 a.m. (English) 10:30 a.m. (Family) 12:00 p.m. (High School) 5:00 p.m. (Spanish) 7:00 p.m. (English)

For More Information About “Bakersfield Magazine’s Hassle-Free Fundraising” Call 834-4126 or log on to

The American Red Cross strives to provide people with the skills and confidence to act in an emergency at home, in school and in the workplace. A prepared community will be more resilient community after a disaster. For more information visit us online:

Spread the Good Word For participation in the Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory call:

834-4126 / Fall 2013 103

Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory

Mass Schedule

Saturday: 8:00 a.m. (Honoring Mary) 5:00 p.m. (Vigil-English) 7:30 p.m. (Vietnamese)









community partners

community partners Bakersfield Magazine is proud to support each of the

worthy charities you discover in the following pages.

104 Bakersfield Magazine





















By Eman Shurbaji

photo courtesy of Max Hernandez





Max Hernandez Habitat for Humanity







wide partnership with Bank of America has made ReStore’s efforts even more possible. Here in Kern County, Bank of America donated six homes, and “rehab” on these homes has been taking place. “We’re rehabbing these homes and looking for veterans that might need a new home. One veteran family just moved into a home in July,” Hernandez added. “And we’re finishing up two more in Delano, and have others in Wasco, Tehachapi, and Bakersfield, and they’re all Bank of America owned homes.” Although ReStore is generous in its approach to helping out local families and is volunteer-driven, there are still certain

“Over the years it’s been more cost-effective to rehab homes, and serve the low-income community, instead of having a bunch of vacant homes, and hoping to fill those up.”—Max Hernandez criteria that must be met in order for a local family to move into a home. Families must 1) be low income, 2) in need of adequate shelter, and 3) must contribute short equity, or they need to put in hours in preparing the home. And it’s a system that is working well for people in Bakersfield and also for the organization itself. But it is crucial to meet all the criteria. “So while we are hoping to help any veterans at the time, they still have to qualify for the assistance,” Hernandez explained. It’s a way

to make sure that the people moving into these homes are truly in need of them. ReStore has a physical location at 632 Jackson Street in Old Town Kern off Baker Street. Staff collect and re-sell household items there to those local families in need of some of the most basic home goods most of us take for granted. Hernandez elaborated that the most sought-after items are appliances and furniture, as these generate the most funds for the nonprofit and are what most families are in need of. “If you’re going through your garage, and want to donate, we’ll go out to your home and pick things up,” said Hernandez. ReStore is always looking for wellmaintained, gently used home goods. “And, of course, it’s tax-deductible,” he added enthusiastically. But that’s not all that this local nonprofit can use a little more of. ReStore is also in need of construction materials, cabinets, and other home fixtures. And, as with most charities in town, there is also a need for volunteers who can come out and help on weekdays. “We have a construction supervisor who works Tuesday through Saturday. You don’t need any experience, and we provide all the tools. All we need is your willingness to show up and your desire to help out a local family in need,” Hernandez said. To volunteer, contact Pat Rhoades at (661) 861-8449. If you want to find out more information about ReStore or find out how to donate, call (661) 327-7067. n / Fall 2013 105

community partners

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit synonymous with providing housing for families across America and Kern County, too. The organization itself has been around for about 20 years locally, and volunteers and staff have built over 55 homes (and counting) in Bakersfield, Delano, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco, California City—all over Kern County. But did you know that Habitat for Humanity has an offshoot nonprofit that works to provide housing, too? ReStore has been in existence here in Kern County for four years now, taking donations from the community, selling household items at the ReStore facility, and “rehabilitating” old or foreclosed homes. Max Hernandez, associate director, says ReStore has been filling a void in the community in being both an economical outlet and providing assistance to low income families. “Over the years it’s been more costeffective to rehab homes, and serve the low-income community, instead of having a bunch of vacant homes, and hoping to fill those up,” said Hernandez. Habitat for Humanity’s recent nation-

community partners 106 Bakersfield Magazine




















There are few people who can say their lives have never been touched by the programming on PBS.


Pop vocal trio Il Volo lending a hand at a recent ValleyPBS telethon.

community partners

Whether you learned childhood lessons by watching Sesame Street or Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, you love British miniseries that don’t air on any other station in the States, or you simply enjoy learning about the world around you via nature shows and historical documentaries, PBS is the common thread. Now, if you were born in Kern County before 1992, you probably remember PBS coming in fairly poorly on the ol’ TV set. That’s because up until then, Bakersfield and Kern County received the PBS broadcast from a station in Los Angeles. And as big as he is, Big Bird still had a hard time getting over the Grapevine. Enter ValleyPBS, which, up until that point, was only broadcasting in the Central Valley. “ValleyPBS made history in 1977 when it began broadcasting PBS programming in the Valley,” explained Paula Castadio, the president and CEO of ValleyPBS. “But it wasn’t until 1992 that it expanded its reach to Kern County. The ValleyPBS Board of Directors felt it was important that Bakersfield and the surrounding communities be served by a station that has the best interests of the San Joaquin Valley at heart.” And since we’re such a large area, those interests are varied! Thankfully, ValleyPBS has us covered. “The program mission is to unify the Valley,” Castadio said. “We do this through both national and local content that enriches, educates, and connects.” As Castadio elaborated, many of the programs focus on issues that specifically affect our area. “The San Joaquin Valley faces many common issues with air quality, water, agriculture, immigration, transportation, land

ValleyPBS President/CEO Paula Castadio and Dinosaur Train star “Buddy.”

use and development, education, workforce development, and so on. Over the years, these issues have been addressed by ValleyPBS on-air, online, and in the communities we serve. Any weekly series that the station produces, along with specials throughout the year, are developed to benefit the Valley as a whole. As such, ValleyPBS represents a ‘Valley Voice’ on the issues that matter most, offering a helpful bridge in unifying citizens across the region.” That bridge is made up of not only wonderful programming including the late Huell Howser’s California Gold, Downton Abbey, and Curious George, but of also of locally-hosted events to further engage PBS watchers. One such event will be a season four finale party for the highly acclaimed and high-

“ The program mission is to unify the Valley. We do this through both national and local content that enriches, educates, and connects.” — Paula Castadio ly viewed British period drama in February of 2014 (not that far off!). Another wonderful event taking place in the coming spring will be the ValleyPBS Appraisal Faire. “Based on the popular Antiques Roadshow format,” Castadio explained, “the event will allow viewers from the South Valley region to have their treasures evaluated by professional auction experts.” So if you found an old painting in Granny’s attic or your great uncle gave you his collection of old buttons, now’s your chance to see if any of these treasures are worth something. It’s just another way the company is trying to immerse the entire Valley. Continued on page 109 >> / Fall 2013 107










community partners

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2013 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD amphitheatre Festivities begin at 7:00 am

ds n e i r f r you r o f k l Wa ily m a f r u or yo f k l a W elf s r u o y or Walk f Because together we are stronger, and together, we can fight Bakersfield’s NO. 1 and NO. 4 health risks: Heart Disease and Stroke. NATIONAL SPONSORS











Continued from page 107






community partners

Popular Downton Abbey is one of the most watched television series on PBS.

The thing to consider when talking about ValleyPBS is that while the station itself is based out of Fresno, the goal is to pull together everyone in the Valley, which is why they have dedicated so much time and energy into incorporating Kern County into not only programming but also our local community. “ValleyPBS has invested significantly to maintain its service in Kern County. Since the advent of digital television, ValleyPBS has spent over $750,000 to purchase a new license in Bakersfield, build out its digital transmitter, and add a second microwave to strengthen its service,” Castadio added. “In 2010, ValleyPBS became the sole service PBS station in the market serving viewers over-the-air and through cable.” But the station is also involved with the Arts Council of Kern, the Bakersfield Symphony, and the Bakersfield Business Partners. Even so, it’s the programming itself that plays such a large part in our growth as citizens. And it starts young. “ValleyPBS supports parents as their child’s first teacher to help prepare children to be successful in school and in life. As the number one most watched children’s channel in the Valley, children learn about literacy, math, science and socio-emotional issues in an entertaining and educational way,” Castadio said. Still, ValleyPBS considers itself to be the Valley’s classroom for all ages since the station and its programming promote life-long learning for preschoolers through octogenarians. Continued on page 111 >>

A new PBS Kids series called Peg + Cat premieres in October. / Fall 2013 109

community partners 110 Bakersfield Magazine















community partners

And as your “Valley Stage for the Arts,” ValleyPBS is offering a front row seat to many of the finest performances and cultural experiences from around the globe. This fall, the Valley Arts Festival will highlight events from across the region, from October 1 through December 31. Visit valleypbs. org/valleyarts for more information. “ValleyPBS is excited to become even more in tune with Kern County and we invite Kern County viewers to become more in tune with public television,” Castadio encouraged. “When community members invest in public service media, it ensures


Continued from page 109




“ The San Joaquin Valley faces many common issues with air quality, water, agriculture, immigration, transportation, land use and development, education, workforce development, and so on. Over the years, these issues have been addressed by ValleyPBS on-air, online, and in the communities we serve.” — Paula Castadio a richer future for everyone. Looking ahead, ValleyPBS hopes to grow support for the station to cover the annual costs associated with operating in Kern County and expand related services. “Since becoming the primary PBS station serving the area, ValleyPBS membership has nearly doubled. Although there is still a financial gap to fill, with increased awareness and community involvement, the potential to grow the service and outreach in Kern County is tremendous,” she added. And that’s where you come in. ValleyPBS is viewer-supported, so unlike other nonprofits that can benefit from donated household items or volunteers, the organization exists solely through financial contributions. So consider giving back to something that has given so much to you and your family. If you’d like to find out how your dollars can help ValleyPBS, or if you’d just like more information on programming and schedules, visit n / Fall 2013 111

3310 Truxtun Ave.

Suite 140


community partners









1811 Oak Street

Suite 125

323-1168 Waxing • Facials • Makeup • Oxygen Therapy Microdermabrasion • Eyelash Extensions Permanent Makeup • Color Specialists • Perms Hair Extensions • Manicures and Acrylics Pedicure Spa Chair • Massage Therapy

Bakersfield Optical Family Owned & Operated for Over 30 Years.

Open Monday-Thursday 8:30-5:30, Friday 8:30-1:00 3100 19th St., Suite 100 Corner 19th & Oak


112 Bakersfield Magazine

Se Habla Espanol

Thousands of Fabrics to Choose From

Boarding & More! • Furniture Repair • Upholstery • Auto / Marine / RV • Residential • Commercial

• Canine, Feline, & other small animal boarding • Grooming • Shuttle • Pets with special needs Donna Miller-Owner

Lori Renee


Independent Business Owner

MON-FRI 8:30am - 5:30pm SAT 9:30am - 1pm Closed SUNDAY

3406 Getty Street


661-323-6300 323 Chester Avenue

b Celebrating 30 Years a

• Commercial • Auto Service • Residential • 24 Hr Service


4630 Easton Drive, Suite 8

A Cappella Quartet

Bring some Harmony to your Holiday!


Now offering Infinity Sun $ Custom Airbrush Spray Tans for

Business Hours

Shari & Heidi

Monday-Thursday | 7:30am-9pm Friday | 7:30am-7pm Saturday | 9am-5pm

Ladies Apparel • Shoes • Accessories

4750 Coffee Road, Suite 103

5512 Stockdale Hwy. 325-8300




Eyebrow/Facial Threading By Mona 661-549-3555 Under NEW Management Walk-ins Welcome

Hair Extensions & Makeup by “Daniella”


5428 California Avenue, Bakersfield / Fall 2013 113

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Chandler (Graciela Garcia) May 11th, 2013 The Gardens Abby’s Photography

Opened twenty-eight years ago and remains Bakersfield’s most recognized and prestigious Salon & Spa 661-322-3048 5301 Office Park Drive #100

The holiday season is beginning Now is the time to begin preparing to look your best by letting us pamper you with our complimentary services and makeover lessons.


9500 Brimhall Rd. #702 | 661-587-3990

With Roco’s Jewelry, it’s easy to say I do




9160 Rosedale Highway, Suite 600

661-834-0824 3763 Ming Avenue

114 Bakersfield Magazine

Mr. & Mrs. Tarron Anderson (Ashleigh Stubblefield) August 10th, 2013 Seven Oaks Country Club Artisan Photography

Everafters... E-mail your wedding photography and information to:

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Morales (Melissa Lytle) April 20th, 2013 Rio Bravo Country Club GC-Goforth Photography

J. Andrew Photography

Jerry Gamez Clothing Expert


3900 Coffee Road, Suite 14

Mr. & Mrs. Mark Stamper (Bryn Wattenbarger) June 29th, 2013 Kern County Museum Ashley dePencier Photography


Mr. & Mrs. Matt Perez (Natasha Lopez) March 30th, 2013 Pioneer Village Lacey’s Photography

Bakersfield’s best-kept secret!

The perfect venue to host your special day. / Fall 2013 115

Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Eaton (Alexis Sharp) May 25th, 2013 Lodge at Painted Rock-Lake Isabella GC-Goforth Photography

La Dolce Vita Salon & Spa

Day of Beauty $199

Mr. & Mrs. Dustin Trahan (Kenna Knost) July 13th, 2013 Cambria, CA Artisan Photography

• One Hour Massage Holiday • Customized Facial Special • Spa Pedicure • Spa Manicure

4 Hours of Service Buy your gift certificate early!

661-861-4900 2100 19th Street

Mr. & Mrs. Harlem Johnson (Nataushia Polee) May 24th, 2013 Pioneer Village Artisan Photography

E-mail your wedding photography and information to: 116 Bakersfield Magazine




For more photos from these parties visit

Alicia Hudnall, Kelly Neil, & Jayna Chapman

Liz Ochoa, Holly Raymond, & Abbie Gilpin

Megan Fanucchi


Nothing says fun quite like a margarita, and the folks who put on MargaritaFIELD certainly know that! With proceeds to benefit the local Ronald McDonald House and the efforts of the Bakersfield Breakfast Lions, attendees were able to sample margaritas and specialty foods from a number of different restaurants from all around Bakersfield knowing they were helping out the community.

Cheree A. Wilhelmsen Nancy Perez, Brittany Watkins,& Christopher Johnson

Doctor of Optometry Designer Eyewear & Sunwear Two Year Frame & Lens Warranty

Randy & Sheri Raymond, Linda Delcid

Concepcion Perez, Manuel Garcia, Cynthia Marquez, & Angelica Garcia

Our expert eye doctor and experienced staff will take the time to answer all of your questions, explain treatment options, and provide quality eye health solutions.

661-213-3310 4903 Calloway Dr., Suite 101 Patricio Castillo, Janet Andrea, Jacque Servadio, & Norma Diaz Mandy Bair, Megan Raymond, & Tana Kephart

Fiona Lytte, Stephanie Nava, & Irma Dorsey

Susan Hopkins & Victor Marting

Brooklyn Mignani & Matthew Gresham

Kathy Daniel

Luis de la Torre

Kern Green Awards Banquet

Linda Hartman & Pam Hornbuckle

Honoring businesses, organizations, and individuals for a number of environmentally-friendly duties they performed in the name of caring for Kern, countless people gathered at Aera Energy for a waste-free evening of fun! With awards that spanned a myriad of different categories, attendees were treated to dinner, hors d’oeuvre, and wine throughout the night.

Stockdale Christian School • Preschool through 8th Grade • Credentialed Faculty • Science and Computer Labs • Special Education • Athletic and Music Programs • Independent Study Programs • Extended Daycare

Educating for Eternity Robert & Sara Mendez, Jennifer Perfect, & Lezley Pumphrey

Jairo Corredor, Maria Duran, & Antonio Becarri

Tim Werdel

Erick Smith, Eleanor & Frank Ozata

Tom Knox

Kathleen Creighton-Fuchs & Bruce Vegter

4901 California Avenue Preschool: 661-327-2227 Elementary School: 661-327-3927 Jr. High School: 661-324-1836 / Fall 2013 117




For more photos from these parties visit


“I am involved in community affairs and try to bring a sense of pride and excitement to the buying process.”

Danielle Darling

Gracie Darling

Peggy Darling

David Gordon & Ken McMaster

Leslie Aldridge-Wilson

Happy Arts Hour at the Spotlight

Art lovers of all kinds came to the Spotlight Theatre & Cafe to indulge in some BurrBerry Frozen Yogurt while taking behind the scenes tours of the lovely theatre, which is reopening to start wowing theatre-goers of all ages. After the mingling was over, everyone was treated to live singing performances by some of the talented cast members of an upcoming show.

Nona Darling & Taren Alexander

Outstanding Service Partner Department of Real Estate Award

BRE #00975305

Andrew Melton & Amanda Douglas

Josh Hefner

Megan Gillette

Terry Dowda & Jennifer Olivas

Pam Colt

Ed Kapp

Nancy Clark & Carrie Goss


Each Office Independently Owned & Operated

Iva Fendrick

You’re not alone.

Your Local Alzheimer’s Disease Support Team

Anthony Goss

Randy & Patricia Watkins

Lee & Mavis Meyer

Chris Owen

Donald Samonich

Golden Empire Gleaners Fundraiser

John Michael & Tina Burke

Live music tickled the ears of several hundred Bakersfield residents who enjoyed an amazing night under the stars right outside of the Petroleum Club. With proceeds benefiting the Golden Empire Gleaners endeavors, those in attendance were able to delight in several different kinds of wines, a savory dinner, and live entertainment.

We Are Expanding... Be a Part of our COMMUNITY Effort to RELOCATE! Your Local Dollars Serving Your Local Families!

Ask us how YOU can help!

Mick Street & Anna Melby

Steve Eisen

Tom Burke

Tamara Georgeton

Mary Melby

Craig Riley

John Street

Nancy O’Conner

Teena Williamson

If you, or someone you know is suffering from memory loss, please contact ADAKC for help or information:

(661) 393-8871

118 Bakersfield Magazine

Travis George

Johnny Williamson




For more photos from these parties visit

Rob Finnerty, Rita Rey, & Josh Helmuth

Emily & Janice Perkins, Amanda Roy

Boots & Bachelor Auction

One of the most popular fundraisers was a smashing success, once again! The Boots & Bachelor Auction brought excited residents out to the Crystal Palace to have a rootin’ tootin’ time and bid on some wonderful live auction packages (promoted by local bachelors), all in the name of a good cause. Complemented by a fantastic dinner and the opportunity to win cool trips and prizes, the evening was full of fun!

Sean Jachim & Nanci Castillo

Greg Zucker & Vickie Turney

Dave & Caroline Thompson

Joyceline Villasana & Mondria Marshall

SPORTS &SPIRITS Daily Drink Specials Big Screen Sports Live Music Karaoke Pool • Darts

398-7077 6633 Ming Ave. Mobile Alcohol Catering & Bartenders for Hire Betty Hernpon & Maria Chavez

Chenoa Moss, Melissa Sweaney, & Shannon Caputo

Shelly & Mike Tinsley




Kathy Burton & Nikki Aurin

Gathered at Stramler Park, BC graduates of all ages celebrated their Alma Mater with a relaxing evening of barbecued steaks and chicken prepared by BC chefs and culinary students. Many student athletes were introduced to local BC supports and fans, as this fundraiser helps to support the Bakersfield College Alumni Association, which strongly backs the athletics division.

Kourtney Hall, Alyssa Lorenzana, Jasmine Barbosa, Megan Chamberlin, Arien Juarez, & Kimberly Steiber

Barbara Loughridge

Kristeen Churchma , Debbie & Jeff Mehlberg

Sally Hill & Arlene Barnes

Judy Woodrow & Kenneth Chappel


BC Alumni BBQ

The Cover Price!

Hailey Mehlberg & Chandler Simpson


Robbie Bonas & Mary Jones


James & Marlene Lipford



Richard Faidley / Fall 2013 119




For more photos from these parties visit

Carrie Fox & Lane Linthicum

Coleen & John Gundzik

Jack & Bonnie Campbell

Luigi’s Italian Wine Dinner

Luigi’s hosted a delicious Italian dinner, featuring the world-renowned Frescobaldi Wines of Italy with a special presentation regarding the varieties by Galen Crippin, the brand ambassador and U.S. director for Marchesi de Frescobaldi. Sharing stories about everything from the history of the wine to the family that produces it, those present heard fantastic tales while they dined.

Exclusively for your Business

Malora & Jay Marks

Customize your technology management to meet your business needs. Network Consulting Commercial • A/V Network Wiring Phone Systems

Linda Jost & Dr. McCracken

Kim Jones, Lanette Caratan, & Angela Hullah

Theresa Klass & Bill Moodie

Kim & Randy Martin

Brooke Chapman-Tripp

We Hardwire Ideas Into Reality


City:_____________________________State:________ Zip:____________________ Subscription label will identify you as gift giver • Mail to: 1601 New Stine Rd. #200 Orders must be received by 11-20-2013 for December Issue Bakersfield, CA 93309


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120 Bakersfield Magazine

Alan & Kelli Neuman, Leslie Golich

Shelley Davis

Kayla & Bryan Burrow

Pamela Giumarra

Marshall Johnson


Olivia Charles & Aimee Westfall

With an enthusiasm for both the arts and funding programs for the children of Bakersfield, countless people went out to the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County’s Annual ArtFest fundraiser. With both a live and silent auction, the Moorea Banquet Hall was thriving with refreshments from Lengthwise, delectable grilled foods, and breathtaking “Kidz Art,” the true show stopper of the evening!

Loren Kanowles, Jewelle Scales, & Cynthia Halistorm

Marc & Shannon Caputo, Pam Van Horn, & Scott Guseman

Nancy & Michael Willis, Justin & Alexandra Batey

Fernando Carrillo

Henry Chatman




For more photos from these parties visit

Tax PREVENTION Specialists

“We Make MOUNTAINS Out of Molehills” Bookkeeping/Payroll Tax Advantage Strategies Tax Returns -All Types, Including Sales Tax

Ziggy Siegfried & Thomas Wallace

Audrey & Xavier Johnson

Chris Brown & Darcy Bogle

Roadrunner Scholarship Fundraiser

Coconut Joe’s Beach Club Banquet Hall was the place to be this fun and festive night, which included special guest Miss Sue Mitchell, who was the inspiration for Kathy Bates’ character in the movie The Blindside. Tickets were extremely limited for this inspiring event, which was exclusive to CSUB Roadrunner Scholarship Fund members.

Notary Public


Terre Crisman

3703 Columbus St.

Karen Langston & Jacy Hill

For The

Pampered Pooch

In Your Life!

Hilda Nieblas

Tony Berndardin & ‘Miss Sue’ Mitchell

Christy Fraley, Traci Banducci, & Katrina Priest

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

1617 19th St. • 321-9602 Edie NameKonya, Here &Yolanda Name Here Gonzales, Barbara Mitchell, & Judy Neal

Heidi & Chris Dalton

David Melendez & Bob Meadows

Jill Haley-Buntley, Jana Hardy, Natalina & Jack Davis

PAL Hometown Heroes

Jackie Peck & Judy Jacobs

The Bakersfield Police Activities League had the Seven Oaks Country Club full of people anxious to honor Rev. Monsignor Craig F. Harrison (pastor of St. Francis Parish) and his contribution to our local community. A delicious buffet dinner was served along with tasty cocktails for those wanting to imbibe. An auction was also held to help benefit the wonderful programs PAL hosts.

Jeff Tkac, Lisa Green, & Lyle Martin

Bernie LeBeau & Tom Crear

All Great Projects Start Here – Since 1929 – 324-4921 • 1121 Baker St.

Evan Jarrett, Kristi Spitzer, & Austin Pennington

Ira Cohen

Santiago & Stephanie Baltazar

Michael Trihey / Fall 2013 121


bakersfield’s sound

Chester Avenue in front of Austin Foster Stoner’s farm implement store.


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.


nyone who has been by the Kern County Museum has undoubtedly seen the great, temporal monument erected After the 1952 quakes. out front. But what may not be as evident as its presence is the origin of this local structure and the resistance it received when initially being placed. The Beale Clock Tower, as we see it today, may only be mere bits and pieces of what it once was prior to the 1952 earthquakes, but the legend that was the original Tower, as well as its lesser-known history, looms over Bakersfield residents, to this day. Barry Zoeller, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Tejon Ranch, detailed the beginning of the legendary 64-foot Tower in an article that ran in the Bakersfield Californian. It was a link between the Tower and the Ranch that Zoeller, himself, admitted to not knowing until recently. “The Beale Clock Tower was a gift from Tejon Ranch to the City of Bakersfield,” Zoeller explained. “It was presented to the city by Truxtun Beale, the son of Ranch founder Gen. Edward Fitzgerald Beale... [who] built the clock tower in honor of his mother, Mary Elizabeth Beale.” According to Richard Bailey’s Heart of the Golden Empire, the inspiration for the Tower came from an unexpected place. Beale was so taken by a clock tower he spotted in Spain when he served as an ambassador that he hired architect Clinton Day to execute a similar design. But the Tower was met with some resistance, and mostly by business owners who wanted the land for their own purposes. In a Californian article, George Gilbert Lynch stated that Truxtun hoped to set the Clock Tower right in the center of town at Chester Avenue and 19th Street. Unfortunately, the city council refused his request, arguing that “a few trolley tracks would have to be ripped out and detoured around the Tower.” They finally decided that Chester Avenue and 17th Street would be the Tower’s home. Lynch intimated, “The old Tower was there through WWI then WWII, and during those years it was constantly used as a showcase for patriotic posters, civic announcements, and always decorated for the Christmas season in some joyful design scheme.” The mighty Tower met its end during the earthquakes, but “some of the bricks and iron accessories” were salvaged, and with those pieces, and with the backing of The Beale Memorial Clock Tower Restoration Committee, a Beale Clock Tower replica was recreated at the Museum (not on Chester because of the hazard it presented to modern traffic) and dedicated on December 13, 1964. It still ticks away as a lasting testament of what was, and of what we still hold dear.

the story of bakersfield is all around us, you just have to look — and listen. 122 Bakersfield Magazine

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