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Hearst Castle’s Majesty Full Throttle! There’s Nothing Quirky On Your Marks... About This Quark Bakersfield’s Amazing Race Great Getaways Win a NASCAR Ride VOL. 30 NO. 6










Heart Health Awareness Annual Presentation

Women business


POLISHED, POISED, FEARLESS, & SUCCESSFUL Special Issue Presented By “Going Red” Paper Cut by: Ashleymarie Sey Lively / Go Red 2014 3

4 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc. / Go Red 2014 5

6 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc. / Go Red 2014 7

Vol. 30 No. 6 • winter 2014


Watch These “Skilled Hands” in Action

Departments Editor’s Letter

Entertaining the Bakersfield Way

Kern Facts

What’s Cookin’

Citizen Kern

Life is a Cabernet



Human Resources

In & Around B•Town


Bakersfield’s Sound

A Little Self-Promotion........15 Bet You Didn’t Know..........17 WE MAKE ANY OCCASION A SPECIAL ONE. Whatever your special occasion is, it should

be just that: special. Our dedicated staff will make your event as memorable as it is effortless.

You will feel confident knowing our professional meeting planners are here to help you plan your celebration or milestone event.

Contact our Sales & Catering Professionals!

Meet Peggy Darling...........30 In The Pits............................31 Rules For Sick Leave..........35 At The Car Wash................36

home & garden

Teresa Carlson, Local Negotiated Rates Manager

Décor With Attitude...........81

Tasha Rios, Convention Services Manager

Quick Bites

availability, menus and rates.

The Goose Is Loose............93 Party Time.........................111 The Woman’s Club.............114

Gardening With Mrs. P

Kelly Sloan, Group Sales Manager

Please call us at 661-323-1900, to inquire about

Bring On The Bubbly..........91

A “Little” Something..........75 Yes, I Yam............................77

Rickee Russell, Catering Sales Manager

It Has To Be Authentic.......89

Great Getaways

Vanessa Emo, Director of Sales

Jeff Hayward, Director of Catering

People Often Ask Me..........87

Simple, Yet Divine..............86



661-323-1900 •

Menu prices vary and do not include taxable service charge and sales tax.

8 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

86 / Go Red 2014 9

Vol. 30 No. 6 • winter 2014

53 Features The Ultimate

high tech tourney

Not Your Daddy’s ‘Bot.......39

Women business women & Business

Ice Cream

Taking The Reins.............43 Managing Stress

Untie Those Knots............45 Trade Fat for Fit

Healthy Steps...................49


Show Us the Money

Financially Speaking.......51 Queen of Quark

Dream...On.....................53 Did you know our ice cream is made fresh every day in every store?

Go Red For Women

It’s true! Churned from the finest ingredients and mixed with your choice of candy, cakes, fruits, or nuts on a frozen granite stone, we proudly serve the best tasting, made-toorder ice cream you’ve ever had.

Love your Heart

Grab Your Red Dress.......57 They’ve Arrived!

Ladies In Red...................59 Celebrating Survivors

Extra Special Ladies.......65

Rosedale Highway Northwest Promenade

Women’s Heart Clinics

Healthy Hearts.................71

Mount Vernon Avenue Mall View Drive Ming Avenue The Market Place


Heirloom Favorites

Apple & Pear Cobbler......97 Community Partners


This ‘Bot’s For You!

10 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

The Race Is On................99 Nonprofit Spotlight

Readiness.......................105 / Go Red 2014 11

r u o y . e r u t u f



Curriculum Vitae......................33

home & Garden resources

Home & Garden ........................80

The Dining Guide The Dining Guide....................94

MEDICAL PROFILES Medical Profiles........................98

community partners Community Partners...............99

Call 1.866.578.9110 to schedule a visit and discover everything to about Rosewood.

1301 New Stine Road Bakersfield, CA 93309

everafters... Weddings...............................108

An Homage to Local Long-standing Businesses

Kern County GENERATIONS Co AP mi 20 RIL ng 14

Rosewood in Bakersfield, California, is owned and managed by ABHOW, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation. ABHOW is a nonsectarian corporation, serving seniors through quality retirement housing since 1949. State of California License #150400536, DHS License #120000165, Certificate of Authority #114.

Shoppers Bazaar.....................107

12 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Photo by mum_ble/iStock/thinkstock

It’s the only way to truly enjoy your present. As a trusted Kern County continuing care retirement community, supported by the financial strength and tradition of ABHOW, we help you eliminate future worries so you can focus on the more important things in life. / Go Red 2014 13


Les & Donna Corum founders . visionaries . friends

Caring Support... When It Matters Most • Preserve as much independence, comfort, and dignity as possible. • Help loved ones focus on living. • Provide care in the comfort of home, an assisted living, or nursing home.

Because Home Is Where You Want To Be.


Watch Our Educational Video Online at

Mass Schedule

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

(1 block south of California Ave.)

661-327-4734 FAX 661-377-0363

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

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)

Helping Simplify Our Clients’ Financial Lives 661-835-8189

200 New Stine Road, Suite150 Bakersfield, CA 93309 Securities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. and its affiliates, member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment adviser. Additional investment advisory services and insurance products offered through BOWLES FINANCIAL GROUP, INC., a registered investment adviser not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.

14 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Vol. 30 No. 6

Winter 2014

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, Juli Feller Eric James, Robert Perez Staff Writer Maryann Kopp Contributing Writers Travis Anglim, Tracie Grimes Kimberly Horg, David Nigel Lloyd Robin Paggi, Jessica Schillings Yana Todorova Accounting/Human Resources Melissa Galvan Distribution/Circulation Brigit Ayers Cover Art Ashleymarie Sey Lively 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 2014 by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher of Bakersfield Magazine is strictly prohibited. Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Bakersfield Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Bakersfield Magazine management or owner. Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability for claims made by advertisers. Subscription rate is $14.95 for 1 year, $21.95 for 2 years.

Secure PayPal Gift Subscriptions

Letter from the Editor

And Now for a Moment of Shameless Self-promotion.

8) Givers—We love to spotlight nonprofits and have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in free and partnered promotional space and feature articles to raise awareness for causes that affect us locally. 9) Exclusivity—We have our exclusive AList, which gives members chances to win tickets to upcoming parties and events, win gift cards to restaurants, participate in magazine sponsored promotions, as well as lend a voice in upcoming features. You can sign up here: 10) Love—We truly love this city and everything it and the County of Kern has to offer. But enough about us, on to the issue... Once again, we are proud to offer our support to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. And as we have done for several years now, we present our Ladies in Red photo spread (page 57), for which ladies from our community with a connection to heart disease (either as a survivor, caretaker, or AHA volunteer) put on their best red dresses to help raise awareness. We also have several stories of courage from some of these ladies as they share their individual triumphs over heart disease. Our Special Ladies in Red stories start on page 65. And it wouldn't be a February issue without our annual Women & Business feature section (page 43). Among the many great stories in this year’s section, we had the pleasure to profile a past co-worker who has gone on to start her own food company with distribution in several major retailers nationwide. Dream...On starts on page 53. These, plus tar pits, robots, Dom Pérignon, gunslingers, goat cheese, home decorating, and more—it's another Februtastic issue. Enjoy!

“Experience, Integrity, Professionalism” Ranch, Farm, & Commercial Properties Sales Mineral Rights, Desert Land, & Listing Specialist

“May I Have Your Business, Please?” Helped Clients Make Millions Over 50 Years Experience

Iger Photography

istock/holy moly/thinkstock

We're a pretty proud bunch over here at the magazine…and with good reason. Our job is celebrating the best of life and business in Bakersfield and Kern County. We spend countless hours discovering, researching, writing, designing, and delivering stories on the people, places, things, and events that make the area we live in unique. You could say we are the official-unofficial promotions department for this piece of the Valley…always striving to showcase the very best in every story and always in a manner that is 100 percent positive. And we love doing what we do. But if you're already one of our over 130,000 regular readers each issue, you probably know this. On the other hand, if you're a casual reader or just picking up the magazine for the first time, you probably didn't realize some things about us. So to bring everyone up to speed, I present to you 10 things you should know about Bakersfield Magazine (in no particular order). 1) Longevity—We've been publishing for over 30 years—our first issue debuted in 1983. 2) Local—We are a local family-owned and -operated business, raised on the “Streets of Bakersfield.” 3) Presence—We are for sale at over a 140 newsstand locations throughout Kern County, and we have subscribers from across the United States, as well. 4) Original—Each issue is created from scratch by a small, but very passionate, talented, and eclectic group of individuals. 5) Social—The magazine is online as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, where you can read articles, subscribe, and enter contests. We invite fans to visit, comment, and share. 6) Well-traveled—We are the only local magazine on Amtrak San Joaquin, making two roundtrips daily to San Francisco and back with many stops in between. 7) Fun—We're all about having a good time, and what's more fun than giving things away? From our weekly Stuff We Like contest where we give $75 gift certificates away to local shops, to the numerous other contests you'll find in every issue including our A-List giveaways (see #9), we're always having fun. And check out page 18 of this issue for a chance to win a ride in a NASCAR!

Jean Laborde

DRE #998649


Mike Corum / Go Red 2014 15

16 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Kern Facts

People • Places • Events

He’s the Administrator of Hoffmann Hospice and President of Hoffmann Homecare and she’s the Director of Operations for Hoffmann Hospice, so even though this couple is busy taking care of our community, they also make sure to take care of each other!

HIS & Hers What was the first thing you thought when you met your future spouse for the first time? Tom: I can’t believe she just said that to me. We met in the Fresno State Bookstore. I was in the science section looking for a biology book and she says, “What are you doing in this section? I thought you were a jock?” Beth: We were at the bookstore at Fresno State and Tom was looking for a book in the science section. When my friend introduced us, I questioned him about being in the wrong section. “Aren’t you supposed to be in the PE section?!” I thought he was just a big, dumb jock. What is the funniest thing that happened while you two were dating? Tom: Beth and I had met at the university and had been dating for a while. We went home for the Christmas holidays and the first time I went to Beth’s house her father greeted me at the door with a gun in his hand! I guess he liked me because it wasn’t pointed at me. Beth: Tom and I were at my upstairs apartment having a heated discussion. I got mad at something he said, picked up a can of deodorant and threw it at him! He ducked and it went flying through the window…glass flying everywhere! It landed out by the

I got mad at something he said, picked up a can of deodorant and threw it at him! He ducked and it went flying through the window… glass flying everywhere!

pool where a bunch of people were gathered. I was embarrassed.

What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you? Tom: If you define crazy as the most out of character, I would say it was one Christmas she gave me a Jay Buckley Baseball trip for a week. I toured six different stadiums in six days. If you want crazy…I cannot write that in a family magazine! Beth: The time that Tom surprised me the most was when I gave birth to our second son. We had agreed on the name of “Garrett,” so that’s what was written on all the paperwork. However, while I was still in the hospital, the clerk came in and asked for my signature again, as Tom had changed his name to “Ross”…without any discussion at all! What is your spouse’s biggest phobia? Tom: Snakes. Beth: Tom is not afraid of anything… often to his detriment! Who’s the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Tom: I do not think either of us admits it. We do discuss the issue until she agrees with me or I agree with her. Sometimes we discuss issues for days.

in step with:

Tom & Beth Hoffmann Beth: Tom will be the first to say “I’m sorry,” but I think that is just to get me to be quiet. What is your spouse most passionate about? Tom: Me and the “why” needs no explanation. Beth: Sports. We are a competitive bunch. What’s your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield? Tom: Go to dinner and a movie with my wife. Beth: We like to go to dinner and a movie and walk around The Marketplace. Pretty simple!

What is your least favorite thing about your spouse and most favorite thing? Tom: The least favorite thing about my wife is if something is left out it gets thrown out. She throws things away before I am ready to let them go. The most favorite thing about my wife is her wit. She has a great sense of humor and can give back anything you dish out. Beth: My least favorite thing is that Tom is late all the time except to a sporting event. Hmm? My favorite thing is his merciful and kind spirit. He genuinely cares for people. / Go Red 2014 17

Kern Facts photo courtesy of kern county raceway

Bakersfield’s Premier Auto Detail Center

lovin’ that Buffing & Polishing • Color Sanding Scratch Removal • Overspray & Water Spot Removal • Paint Protection Film RVs • Boats • Harleys Street Rods • Muscle Cars • Exotics

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ave you ever been sitting in traffic behind the wheel of your SUV or sedan and thought to yourself: I wonder how fast this baby can go? Of course you have—Kern County residents have a need for speed. That’s why we’re home to a number of annual racing events. But if you’ve ever dreamed of sitting behind the wheel of an actual race car and burnin’ rubber, there’s one event you won’t want to miss: the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, coming to Kern County Raceway Park on March 1, 2, 8, and 9. “Even though it is a fairly new track, we’d heard great reviews,” explained Mark Ebert, president of the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. So the organization chose the Raceway as one of their few pit stops. “Since our heart has always been in short track racing, and the Kern County Raceway is a short track, it was a natural fit.” So what can people expect if they purchase a racing package? “People will spend at least forty-five minutes learning the basics, including where they drive on the track, etc. It’s up to them how many laps based on the package they want to buy,” added Ebert. There are also packages that give you about two hours of track time! Fans can also get to know more about our newest local racetrack and some of the unique features that set our track apart. “The access tunnel in turn one is unique, for starters,” explained Steven Blakesley, the director of marketing and We’ve got one heck of a giveaway. communications for Kern The folks at the Rusty Wa llace Racing County Raceway. “Then, Experience were gracious enough to the pit area in the infield donate a “Taste the Sp ee d” racing allows fans to see the pit package to one lucky win ne r. But this area and teams making isn’t a random drawing; no , we want repairs and adjustments. to hear from you. Send an email to Another thing is that the comments@bakersfieldma ga backstretch of the track and tell us why you dese rve to win. is raised by twenty feet So “put the pedal to the me tal” coming out of turn two —this one will go fast! so fans can clearly see Entries due Friday, Feb ruary 21st. Winner the racing over the innotified Monday, Februa ry 24th. Be sure to field pits.” Open for just include the best day & evening contact number. a little under a year, Must be 21 years or older and have a valid the track has already CA DL. See our web site for addtional details. garnered enough attention to pull an event as big as the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, and they’ve got a lot more in store for the coming year. If you’d like more information on racing packages so you can cross something off your bucket list, visit and to find out more about the Raceway and upcoming events, visit

image Ecelop/iStock/think


R e v it u p !

18 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

In & Around B•Town

Gamers Rejoice! Bible Chronicles: The Call of Abraham


Images courtesy of Phoenix Interactive Studios

icture this! You are escaping from the city of Sodom, fire shooting from the heavens, with nothing more than the robes on your back! People are turning into pillars of salt around you! What do you do? ...Well, whatever you do, you’d better find a save-point soon (no one should have to live through that twice). Electronic role playing games (or RPGs) have been a gamer’s staple for years now. But how often can you say that the creators of a very unique and high quality RPG came from your own hometown? We Bakersfieldians could be saying so, and soon, as a few of our dedicated residents are developing a state-of-the-art RPG right now. But it isn’t your average gaming experience: they’re working on a high quality game with a Christian theme. Aptly titled Bible Chronicles: The Call of Abraham, Richard Gaeta and Martin Bertram decided to address an issue they had noticed as parents. “We have always been aware of the lack of Christian-themed games available on the market,” Bertram said. “Our ultimate aspiration is to produce an interactive representation of the story of Abraham that is true to the Bible, and brings people closer to the God of the Bible.” With backgrounds in computer game design, management, writing, 3-D model design, and art, the duo and their team at their company, Phoenix Interactive Studios, is currently working on raising funds to make their dream a reality. If successful, this game could serve as a positive, spiritual, and educational experience for gamers that range from children to adults. Though Bertram also assured, “Whether you are Christian or not, you will enjoy the adventure, the scenery, and the challenges you will face in the course of helping Abraham on his journey, as told in the Bible.” To learn more about this hi-def adventure, check them out at


Fly Guy This month marks the 100-year anniversary of the time local man Silas Christopherson piloted a plane over the Tehachapis (the first pilot to do so). Two months later, Christopherson would win a cross-country air race—flying from San Francisco to Bakersfield —when he was the first to land at the Kern County race track on April 21. Source: Historic Chronology of Kern County

Residential & Commercial

Babby Kurian,

G.R.I., R.E. Masters, CCIMC DRE LIC. #01929732

Current Listings • • • • • • • • • •

25 Units Apartment Complex $1,240,000 9.09 Acres Commercial $1,100,000 40 Units Apartment Complex Southeast Bakersfield $1,599,000 36 Acres Almonds with Two Houses $880,000 160 Acres Vineyard Table Grapes $3,520,000 10 Units Apartment Complex $499,000 Brand New Finished Home in the Southwest $265,000 117 Acres Vineyard $2,880,000 Medical Office Building $550,000 Gas Station with Minimart $1,599,000 Please contact to get a Confidential

Analysis of your Real Estate

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661-599-5043 / Go Red 2014 19

Kern Facts It’s time for

Lavender Lemonade Whether you’ve cooked with it, craft with it, or just like the smell of it, lavender is an amazing plant.

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• Renovations/Additions • New Construction • We do it all... Not just Kitchens & Baths! • Residential/Commercial Lic. #947863

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20 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

That’s a sentiment promoted by BJ Luetger and her family. They run BJ’s Lavender Farm, a business in southern Bakersfield that specializes in growing different species of lavender. “I’ve always loved lavender,” Luetger explained. So when she decided to stop training doves (something she did for years until she discovered she was allergic to the birds), lavender was the next venture. There are over 100 plants growing on the Luetger’s property and five species total. “We have culinary lavender and craft lavender, too, which has more oil in the buds so it can last a long time in decorations,” she explained. Every May, when the lavender is ready to be picked, Luetger and her family extend an invite to all their previous customers and anyone on their email list. “Anyone that wants to come out can visit the farm and pick a bunch of lavender for five dollars!” Basically, whatever you can fit in your hand can be yours for $5. But the Luetgers also offer lavender products made with their own hands including lavender lotion, oils, bath salts, and cooking extracts. When you visit them, you can taste their sensational lavender lemonade. For more information on times to visit or where you can order their products (including the Haggin Oaks Farmers’ Market) check out bjslavender. com. Your nose will thank you! image by juan moyano/iStock/thinkstock

People • Places • Events


Will Leather Reversible Quilted Tote, $250 Snead’s for Men 8200 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 832-4270

we like

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Be the envy of friends and family! Impress your neighbors and co-workers! Get your name in your city magazine and your photo on the world-wide web... best of all

WIN $75 gift certificates

from these featured local merchants! Log on to for details and entry form.

Sunglasses And Optomic Frames, Prices Vary Dr. Steve Ratty 2222 E St. (661) 327-2681

Good Luck!

Manicure & Gels, $23 Nails By Kaylee (661) 390-1058 Art Classes, $10 and up Bakersfield Art Center 1817 Eye St. (661) 869-2320

Boot Camp Classes, $80-150 B.U.F.F Boot Camp 4308 Resnik Ct.  # 202 (661) 487-2771

2-Tier Cake, $75 Jenny’s Cakes (805) 263-3711

Jimmy Crystal Jewelry, $39-89 Sugardaddy’s 5512 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 325-8300 / Go Red 2014 21


Kern Facts


List extra

f you have passion for what you do, are never satisfied

with just “good enough,” and can take a challenge head-on...

FREE Never Tasted Better

Who’s ready to win big? And when we say big, we mean big! A $ 100 gift card to Frugatti’s can be yours if you are the crowned winner of our A-List Contest. All you have to do is be a member of our A-List and your name will be in the running for tons of cool prizes. For this contest, we’ve selected A-List names at random. If you spot yours in the list below, email us at alist@ and you’ll be entered to win.* Be sure to email us by February 28 to be eligible. If you’re not a member of the A-List, visit to sign up for free. Sherrie Hodge Jonnie Gerra

Sharon Camorlinga Adriene Guirguis

Elva Lopez

Sanjuana Garcia

Wendi Kaff

Yuri Cho

Paul Ahern

Mila Bolanos

David Beard

Ron Fraze

*Contest eligibility for A-List members who haven’t won in past three months

Have You Won Yet?


f all the things we love doing here at the magazine, spoiling our wonderful readers with fabulous gifts has got to be at the top of the list! Here are our awesome winners from last edition. You may see someone you know. And, if you’re savvy, you might just see yourself!

Teena Carlisle

Stuff We Like

Lorraine Reza Bleu Lavender

Apply within.

Rob Duchow Guarantee Shoe Center Ana Huang Full Bloom Mary Ureno Adrijon Home & Garden Dan Thompson Caesar’s Deli Nicolette Cross Christine’s

22 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Rob Duchow

A-List Nutcracker Tickets Patricia Henson Teena Carlile

A-List Sign-Up Winner Amelia Watson Cafe Med

In & Around B•Town

Bakersfield Magazine,

by the

Bakersfield’s City Magazine for over 30 years


is currently seeking professional Marketing

.709 1.50 25 775

Coaching record of BC Football’s head coach Gerry Collins from ’67-‘83 Price to have your used tires shredded at B.A.R.C (per tire) Number of years the Isabella Lake Fishing Derby has been occurring Number of harvested acres of walnuts in Kern last year

image by Comstock Images/Stockbyte/thinkstock

image by Yelena Yemchuk/iStock/Thinkstock

Representatives to show local businesses the benefits of advertising in our publication. Candidates must posses • Excellent phone skills • Have an outgoing personality • Be able to multitask • Have tremendous follow-through • Good use of the English language • Must be comfortable dealing with CEOs of corporations as well as local, family-owned businesses. The right person will work closely with some of the best-known companies in Kern County.

1963 Year Ridgecrest was officially incorporated 4,000,000 Number of miles driven by GET busses annually

Sources:;;; Kern County Department of Agriculture;;

Where Am I


picture’s worth a thousand words…but it could also be worth $30 in Russo’s Gift Certificates. That is, if you know where said picture was e for our Pop taken! That’s right, it’s tim Quiz. pictures We scoured the city, taking and s, tue sta of unique landmarks, u to yo nt wa buildings, and now we where us l tel can identify them. If you the in be l u’l we took this photo, yo es. cat tifi cer running for those gift Email us at comments@ and you’ll be in the running! Last issue’s answer: Old Church Plaza

There is no other local media that offers the quality, reputation, and longevity that Bakersfield Magazine enjoys. If you’re looking for a career you can be proud of, and think you have what it takes, we’d like to talk to you.

E.O.E. 661-834-4126 / Go Red 2014 23

Kern Facts Tales of the

Dust Bowl And nobody tells it better than John Steinbeck


t’s been 75 years since John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was published, and locals can never seem to get enough of this Dust Bowl tale. In celebration of Steinbeck’s work, the School and Arts and Humanities at CSUB has planned an exciting year of events (thanks to a number of public and private organizations around California) that will allow people to discover new and meaningful connections to the story of the Joads. While the “Grapes of Wrath Gala” was a great

John Steinbeck’s novel resonates with many folks in this area, those whose heritages go back to those strong-willed people who survived such a horrible time.

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24 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

La b

success at the Fox Theatre, there are many other events scheduled and the public is encouraged to attend. On March 5, Bakersfield High history teacher and archivist Ken Hooper will discuss the Dust Bowl’s impact on Kern. Merle Haggard will be performing in March, too. Concerts, plays, and rousing presentations make up the rest of the year (for a full schedule visit We’re sure all this fuss is something even Mama Joad would smile about.




By David Nigel Lloyd

“From rotund blue-maned unicorns to drowsy pink hippos.”

shleymarie Sey Lively admits that her artwork is cute. Her pieces typically range from rotund blue-maned unicorns to drowsy pink hippos with, for good measure, a merry burlesque dancer or two. “I like to make things that make me laugh,” she said in that tone of voice used when one’s hand is discovered in the cookie jar. “Cute is round and bright colored,” she laughed. Her two pre-school daughters were down for a nap. It was a good time to talk. “It makes people happy.” And? “And,” Lively said, becoming serious, “there’s a lot of dark stuff hanging on art gallery walls.” (She was not about to let her grey-haired interlocutor shake her belief in her aesthetic principles.) “I like to go to my art shows without people knowing I’m there. If I see people smiling at my pieces, then I know…I’ve done it.” Her interlocutor was, of course, just trying to be cute himself. It’s not as easy as it looks. The most recent chapter in Lively’s more than decadelong training as an artist ended when she received her BFA at Cal State Long Beach. “I can handle most mediums,” she said. “Digital and traditional.” Lively’s artwork has hung in many California galleries including Bakersfield’s now and sadly defunct Foundry. She specializes in paper cut art. “I use scissors and paper that’s already colored,” she said. “It makes it ‘pop’ more.” Her clients include several

private collectors and families commissioning murals for their homes. “I teach also,” she said. Her own lessons began at Bakersfield’s Tevis Junior High in 1997. In the absence of arts cur-

it was awful,” she recalled with a laugh. “But that’s when I first started drawing.” Unlike so many of her peers, she was not an anime fan. “I have no idea what the appeal

“I like to make things that make me laugh,” she said in that tone of voice used when one’s hand is discovered in the cookie jar. riculum, Melanie Morgan, her seventh grade friend, taught her how to draw anime eyes. Large and limpid, these are the most immediately noticeable feature of anime, the popular Japanese style of animation drawing. Lively applied herself diligently and gratefully to her lessons. “I look back at what I did and

is,” she added. “I like the old school style. It’s loose and precise at the same time.” One of her favorite artists is Marc Fraser Davis, one of Disney Studios’ fabled Nine Old Men. Davis, who was born in Bakersfield, is celebrated for designing Bambi, Thumper, Tinker Bell, and hosts of oth-

er round and bright colored characters. Her earliest inspiration, however, was Deanna DeBondt, her mother. “My Mom could see anything and draw its image on any surface,” Lively recalled. Her second art teacher was Mark V. Brown at Garces Memorial High School. “Mr. Brown taught us the basics,” she recalled, “but let us take our own direction. I’m grateful because I wanted to do everything.” Once she got to CSUB, however, she didn’t care for the structure-less approach of some of the classes. “But I ended up falling in love with the Illustration and Animation Department. They were open to every style.” Thanks to a CSULB assignment, the first of Lively’s allotted fifteen minutes of fame came on TBS’s Conan. “I had to do a parody of an old piece of art with a new subject,” she said. Choosing a famous photo of Abraham Lincoln, she replaced the Great Emancipator’s ennobled face with that of Conan O’Brien, late-night TV’s red-haired self-confessed idiot. Entitling her piece “The Great Entertainer,” Lively submitted it to his show. “It appeared on the air in 2011 and then it went to their gallery in New York,” she said. Ashleymarie Sey Lively’s long range plans are open ended. Her husband Kevin, no slouch at Cute himself, freelances for Disney Imagineering. “As our kids grow up,” she concluded, “let’s see what happens.” / Go Red 2014 25

Kern Facts

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e grow a lot of produce in Kern County, but every year thousands of pounds go to waste. Think about a time when you’ve walked by an orange tree and discovered dozens of oranges on the ground around it. That’s because one tree can produce tons of fruit— far too much for a typical family to pick and eat. Thankfully, a local organization is putting an end to that waste. “We started the Garden Project four years ago,” explained Fr. Jack Estes, executive director for the organization. “We wanted to promote the planting of home and community gardens,” he said. They have monthly speakers and community meetings about gardening and growing healthy food. “But because my wife and I would also see so much fruit going

to waste on our nightly walks around the neighborhood, we also wanted to find a way to gather all that ripe fruit and give it to a worthy cause.” As Estes explained, everything snowballed from there. The Garden Project began working with organizations like the Golden Empire Gleaners. “Pam Fiorini [Gleaners’ executive director] told me people would call about fruit donations, but Gleaners


photos courtesy of the Afford Foundation


Great Idea

never had any way of getting the fruit.” And so that’s what the Garden Project does. They organize volunteers (singles and groups) to go out and help pick citrus and stone fruits (like peaches and apricots) so that it can go to a nonprofit organization in town that helps feed the less fortunate. “Last year, we collected and donated more than twenty-seven thousand pounds of fruit,” Estes added. This year, the goal is 50,000 pounds. The Garden Project works mostly with referrals and also by discovering new fruit donors through word of mouth and the local Home & Garden show. “We pick through March, so if people have fruit-bearing trees and can’t use all the fruit, we want them to call us; the same goes if they want to volunteer. We love having civic and church groups come out to help,” he said. “There really is an unlimited fruit supply here in Kern County,” Estes continued, “but we still have a huge hunger problem, and because fruit is perishable and expensive, it’s rare that underprivileged families get such healthy foods. We’re hoping that we can help with that need.” For more information, call (661) 871-8551 or visit

Though Mary and Truxtun Beale founded Beale Memorial Library in 1900 for their husband and father, General Edward Beale, it wasn’t until July 11, 1911, that the Kern County Free Library (now called the Kern County Library System) was organized. It was originally housed in the Kern County Courthouse’s basement and later adopted Beale Memorial Library as its headquarters. Source: Historic Chronology of Kern County

26 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.


what a

In & Around B•Town


Noir & White


images courtesy

t’s not every day that our county is used as the backdrop of a noir film—especially one by a Canadian resident that also had the distinction of sweeping the Oscars this year!

“I really wanted a place for someone from L.A. to get away to and Kern seemed to be the best bet.”

AJ Demers

(Well, okay: we may be taking a few liberties, here, but it is exciting, nonetheless!) AJ Demers is a Calgary native, but has visited Bakersfield (and even performed in an ABBA tribute band in our midst), and when the “Dancing Queen” crooner decided to write a film, our area seemed to be the perfect fit. “When I began writing I wanted to set the story in California during the house boom after the Second World War: a time when people were making fortunes on properties seemingly overnight,” Demers began. “I wanted a noir in a small town so my lead character, fleeing from the city, moves to a small town and I chose Kern County. I really wanted a place for someone from L.A. to get away to and Kern seemed to be the best bet.” Aptly titled Kern County, you can view more information on this film as well as download a sample to view at

If you’re looking for quality care with a personal touch, we hope you’ll give us a call.

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leeing the rainy weather of the U.K., married goat farmers Julian and Carol Pearce decided that southern California was more their speed, specifically the desert town of Mojave. This couldn’t have worked out better, not just for the Pearces, but for anyone in Kern County! That’s because three years ago, the Pearces set about getting everyone hooked on their fresh, delicious goat cheeses (including a tangy cheddar and those soaked in herbs and spices). Out at Soledad Goat dairy farm, the Pearces, along with a few helpers, are not only milking “humanely treated goats,”

image by Digita/Vision/thinkstock

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but handcrafting some amazing cheeses that have local restaurants and cheese-lovers salivating. “We currently distribute to about sixty restaurants around southern California,” explained Julian, “and we also attend about thirty-


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

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eight farmers’ markets around this area, too.” That’s quite a feat for a small company, but they’ve been successful because, “we’re very passionate about what we do,” he added. Plus, Julian tastes all the cheeses himself to make sure they meet the high standards he’s set. “And the goats have a strict diet and are treated very well; we don’t even shout at them,” he chuckled. And that philosophy extends to every animal on the farm, even the rescued horses, dogs, sheep, and pigs. “We also recently received our 501(c)3 as a nonprofit so we can continue being a no-kill rescue shelter.” The Pearces will find homes for any baby goats born on the farm, and even after the goats stop milking, they live out a happy life on the farm. We think a visit to this farm is long overdue! If you’d like to taste Soledad goat cheese products, you can visit the Golden State Mall Farmers’ Market every Saturday or call (661) 824-4514 to set up a time to visit the farm.


movie “I used to tell my kids I was a ,” Harriet star and they never believed me d while Jacinto said with a chuckle. An h Meryl Jacinto might not be up there wit in terms Streep and Susan Sarandon tions, she of Academy Award nomina Under the did have a background role in Pampas Moon as a young girl. role, and Sure, she didn’t have a speaking n eve includit was a total fluke that she was looking for ed since the producers were just kground, but people to mill about in the bac of one of the her memories of being a part shot in 1935, earliest movies filmed in Kern, are pleasant. e boy and a “In my scene, I was with a littl g my mother. young woman who was playin l and WarWe were standing close to a wel se and the ner Baxter rode up on his hor red him a lawoman playing my mother offe well,” Jacinto dle so he could drink from the

28 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Harriet Jacinto




Interim HealthCare

explained, now 86. eld, Jacinto A lifelong resident of Bakersfi that was ugh didn’t have a lot growing up (tho rides on bus the fairly common at the time), so things st “be the the set and the free lunch were ed, add she ,” about being a part of that movie .” ure ent adv laughing. “For us kids, it was an star in any And while she never went on to kids beher py other films, Jacinto is just hap lieve her now.

Skilled Hands

John Wayne once said, “There’s always a man faster on the draw than you are, and the more you use a gun, the sooner you’re gonna run into that man.”

You Gotta

Know When to Hold ‘em... T ypically, this would ring true for many a wily varmint seeking steely revenge for the death of his partner or the theft of his horse. Then there are guys like Joey “Rocketshoes” Dillon, whose continued use of the gun has led him to become one of the fastest hands in the West. (And, fortunately, zero gunshot wounds.) “As a kid, I watched a lot of Westerns because that’s what my dad would watch,” Dillon, a modern day gunslinger-for-hire, began. “That’s where my interest began.” Longing to mirror the impressive and complex movements that he saw his heroes do with their guns, Dillon began his journey into gunslinging with a cap gun. At the age of 10, he had graduated to a .22 that his father owned. As the years passed, Dillon’s passion didn’t abate whatsoever. In fact, he recalled not really being “good with the single right righthanded method” until he turned 16 years old. At the age of 18, he joined a reenactment group. It was a decision that would ultimately change how he saw himself and, incidentally,

Joey Dillon “Gunslinger”

help to shape the future of how he earned a living. “I realized that I had a unique talent, because I could do what a lot of people couldn’t, and I was just goofing off.” During his twenties, he found himself in a rural area of Illinois, working at Wild West Town, where he made a living off of his fast hands and other stunts, like “falling off of buildings.” During this period, he taught his left hand to keep up with his right, and things picked up considerably. “I studied the best in the industry,” Dillon said. “I joined competitions, and I even won first place in world championships around this time.” He not only obtained a sponsorship through Cimarron Firearms—his favorite gun maker—but Hollywood started calling in countless ways. Aside from being an expert voice on shows such as the Discovery Channel’s Jesse James and the History Channel’s Wild West Tech: Six Shooters, he also landed some acting gigs on shows such as A&E’s Biography: Doc Holliday. Even more excitingly, he has been hired to train actors as a gun coach on a number of films, like Looper and Jonah Hex, where he taught the way of the gunslinger to the likes of Josh Brolin. It’s a great thing that Dillon adds his own humor and flair into his performance and explains what he’s doing as he spins and flips his guns all over, as one could easily get lost in the mastery of his movement. Though recently made, both of his guns are older models: an 1873 .45 caliber Colt Peacemaker and an 1875 Remington New Army. These are single action revolvers, which won’t allow you to do anything until the hammer (or trigger) is down. The first step is unholstering the gun, and there are different ways to do this. According to Dillon, a lot of actors like to do a quick draw while thumb busting, which is where they bring the hammer back as they are pulling the gun out of the holster. (Though he admitted that he prefers that they cock as they aim.) There’s even a pinwheel method, where the gun is spun around once before being pointed at the target and bringing the hammer down. Whichever method he elects to use, he is able to do so with a deftness that is astounding. When Dillon truly gets going, it is a

lesson in fluidic motion, balance, and allaround awesomeness. A barrel tap may be followed by throwing one of his guns behind his back and then ending with him balancing the gun by the tip on one of his palms. He can easily spin the guns forward or backward—or both at the same time, with each gun spinning in opposite directions, keeping the index (or trigger) finger on the trigger while the other fingers remain straight. Through finger manipulations and flexibility in the wrists, he can spin the guns with his arms behind his back, over his head, and at different angles, as well. He has even mastered the flat spin, where he keeps his trigger finger tucked under while doing a “Mr. Miyagi ‘wax on, wax off’ motion.” Dillon’s shows are a visual delight, and his love for what he does is evident. To find out where this wild, wild gunslinger will be performing next or want to book him for your next big event, you can check out his website at You can also check him in action at our website, You’ll be tipping your Stetson in total admiration, Tex! (That is, if you can keep up.) / Go Red 2014 29

Name: Peggy Darling Age: 87 Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA Occupation: Retired (law)/ Community Activist and Philanthropist

How she got started: Being one of two women to graduate from Stanford in the class of 1949 is a great start to any career. “I was raised in Northridge, and my family owned a lot of property in the Los Angeles area,” Darling said. “When my father passed away, I took over the responsibility of selling the properties, so that was my beginning into that aspect of the business.” Aside from raising five children, she started to impact our community when she moved to Bakersfield in her 60s and married her longtime friend, Curtis Darling.

Her favorite part of the industry: With her business knowhow, Darling has been a part of helping save a number of local organizations. “At one point, someone was saying they wanted to buy the property behind the Fox Theater so they could turn it into offices,” she recalled. “I was able to buy it, instead, and the Fox kept the property.” (Not a surprise from the daughter of the real estate-savvy man who built the original Hollywood Plaza Hotel, which saw guests like Babe Ruth and Gilda Gray!)

Career highlights: Considering Cecil B. DeMille filmed The Squaw Man in her father’s barn, you would think she would be enamored with Hollywood glamor. However, Darling has found a tremendous amount of joy in helping Bakersfield gems thrive. Being a part of the success that was had by both the Fox Theater and the Bakersfield Museum of Art while she served as a board member for both has been something that she has treasured.




Darling Someone was saying they wanted to buy the property behind the Fox Theater so they could turn it into offices. I was able to buy it and the Fox kept the property, which was great because they really needed it.

What she’d still like to accomplish: With all of the good that she has done our community, Darling would still love to bring the Spotlight Theatre back to its former glory. Something tells us that this champion of local preservation will have no trouble doing so!

30 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Photos Courtesy Stanford University (Stanford Logo), (Cecil B. Demille, abraham lincoln), Spotlight Theatre (Spotlight Theatre logo)




Her heroes: Her late husband, Curtis Darling, was one of her top and easiest picks because he was “just wonderful; everybody loved him. He couldn’t be intimidated and even in Stanford, he wasn’t afraid of speaking up to any of the professors.” She also named Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill as personal heroes due to their wisdom and the great things they did during their lifetimes.

You’re a mastodon.

(Bear with us here!) You’re wandering around western Kern County—granted, it wasn’t called Kern County at that point but that’s neither here nor there. You’re enjoying the sunny weather and decide to stop for a leisurely drink. When your thirst has been quenched at a shallow pool of water you go to move, only to find your front legs stuck in the ground.

Pits How did that happen? Why can’t you pull your giant feet out of this mud?

Well, my hairy friend, you’ve just gotten yourself stuck in a tar pit. Prepare to die of exposure! Okay, that might be a bit of a downer, but the little scene we just painted for you was a very common occurrence tens of thousands of years ago. Animals often found themselves trapped in what are known today as the McKittrick tar pits (located in southwest Kern) and, contrary to popular thought, they did not sink into the tar (also known as asphaltum) but rather died from the elements, including weather and scavenging carnivores. “Of the larger animal remains found at McKittrick, there are wolf, deer, sloth, mastodon, horse, camel, saber-tooth cat, fox, bear, and others,” explained Tim Elam, a retired petroleum geologist who serves on

Photo Courtesy

ock /thinkst corey ford/istock

the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science Board of Directors. “And the species of birds are dominated by water birds like ducks, geese, stork, heron, and other shore birds,” he added. And just how old are these fossils? Using radioisotope dating (isotopes of carbon 14), researchers have dated the recovered fossils at McKittrick. The oldest dated about 38,000 years old while the youngest are roughly 12,000 years old. Seems silly to say that something 12,000 years old is young, but we humans haven’t been here very long when you look at the history of the planet. But we might be getting ahead of ourselves. We should probably explain what a tar pit is, right? It’s not like it’s just a big

Photo Courtesy of tim elam

In the

vat of Acme tar set out by Mother Earth in a Wile E. Coyote-esque attempt to catch a bunch of animals. There’s a lot more to the evolution of a tar pit! According to Elam, who is a past president of the San Joaquin Geological Society, “oil and gas were generated thousands of feet beneath the San Joaquin Valley.” Both those elements—oil and gas—weigh significantly less than the water and rocks they were surrounding and would then raise to the surface of the Earth. “The oil and gas tried to escape,” he explained. “At McKittrick, some of that oil made it to the surface. That is because a major fault line, the McKittrick thrust fault, crushed rocks and created fractures in rocks all the way to the surface…the oil rose through that fractured rock and seeped into slightly lower elevation land areas, only a few feet deep, forming tar seep ponds.” But another process was happening at the same time: while the oil rose to the surface, bacteria feasted on the lighterweight, more liquid parts of the oil, so by the time it reached the crust, the oil was a very viscous, gooey tar, which can seep across the land, collecting sediments. In the case of McKittrick, this process happened over the course of a three-mile long stretch. “Animals and plant parts such as >> / Go Red 2014 31

In the Pits

Twenties,” Elam added. “There was great concern that the competency of the road was always going to be compromised because of too much tar at the surface. Discovery of large mammal bones caused paleontology experts such as dinosaur expert Charles Sternberg to be brought in to help excavate and identify finds.” That was between 1925 and 1927. Excavations were done during two major periods. The first occurred from 1921 to roughly 1930, spearheaded by the University of California and the second took place from 1949 to 1950, headed by the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History and the Kern County Museum. “The excavation pits, on either side of

Tim Elam serves on the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science Board of Directors.

sphere and two are in Kern County!” The reason they are so rare is that natural erosion of the Earth’s crust almost always destroys seeps soon after they form. So it’s very random that we have these small patches of earth that allow us to study the history of our planet. It’s another amazing thing about Kern County. “One of the reasons the McKittrick tar seeps were investigated in the first place and subsequently excavated was because a road [Highway 33] was going to be built between Taft and McKittrick in the early

all Photos Courtesy of tim elam

McKittrick Paleoseep shows the filled in pits and the roadcut along Highway 33, including the 10-12’ thick layer of fossil tar seep.

Photo Courtesy of tim elam

leaves and seeds either wandered into the tar areas, were carried in by water, or were blown in,” Elam said. “Often animals visited them because the tar seeps collected not only tar, but water from storms. Larger animals may have come to drink water, not realizing there was tar below the water.” And that’s where they met their end. But it’s good that they did! Their bones were fossilized and preserved so that years later, scientists could discover them—giving the world we know today insight on what animals roamed the planet before modern day humans. “At McKittrick, we have both active seeps and fossil seeps,” Elam explained. “Active seeps are areas where tar/oil is seeping out of the ground today, while fossil seeps are areas where tar more than ten thousand years old has been preserved… often preserving evidence of life from that older time.” It’s actually the composition of the tar that allows the fine detail of teeth, bones, and other hard parts of the animal to be preserved in great detail; the tar actually prevents oxidation of the hard parts. Elam elaborated that fossil seeps like McKittrick (and those found close by at Maricopa) are very rare. “There are only five or six in the entire western Hemi-

ing at the relative number of carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and comparing them to how they live in the present day. Trapped animals attracted more animals, which became trapped themselves.” If you take the short drive to visit the tar pits, a geological and paleontological experience awaits you. Of course, you can take an even shorter drive to see some of the fossils found at McKittrick: the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Sci-

It’s actually the composition of the tar that allows the fine detail of teeth, bones, and other hard parts of the animal to be preserved in great detail; the tar actually prevents oxidation of the hard parts. Highway 33, were filled in,” Elam said. “However, some unexcavated areas remain.” These areas allow scientists to put together a story of what the landscape was like during these specific years of our planet’s history. “At McKittrick, the types of plants and animals suggest that area had more rainfall at that time, more inland surface water, and thus more plants for herbivores to feed on; there was not a shortage of plants for grazers,” he said. “You can decipher who was feeding on whom, just from look-

32 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

ence has fossils of a coyote foot, a hawk foot, and three types of beetles (and the museum is also working with a researcher from Washington State University who is extracting pollen and spores from McKittrick tar). There are also replicas of a saber tooth cat skull, a mammoth tooth, and other creatures that roamed Kern County; creatures that had the unfortunate luck to wander into a small patch of asphaltum tens of thousands of years ago. Visit for more information! v



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f you or a loved one are suffering from an injury and aren’t sure what your legal options may be, why not turn to Bakersfield’s premier personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Ralph B. Wegis? Wegis and his team have successfully assisted countless residents in recovering necessary expenses associated with an injury. Wegis’ career boasts of over 100 trials, with an $8,000,000 verdict for the death of a child and a $20,000,000 verdict for age discrimination being the highest in the nation. Having grown up in agriculture and working in the oilfields, he truly knows the meaning of hard work. Fittingly, the entire office abides by the phrase, “No one can outwork us.” As the head of the company, this level of commitment has earned Wegis the Martindale-Hubbell “AV Preeminent” for 20 years now—the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards. Additionally, his peers selected him to be included as a “Super Lawyer,” a title given to the top five percent of lawyers.

As a Super Lawyer and recipient of the Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent, Ralph B. Wegis is not only trusted by his peers, but is also a valuable resource for all of his clients. With an extensive list of victories in court, his experience is a true comfort to those he represents.

1930 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-635-2100


Los Angeles magazine deemed him a Top Attorney in Southern California. Obviously, Wegis’ ethical standards and legal ability are the highest in the industry. Ever setting the bar higher, the entire office is completely “paperless” as a means to ensure that clients are on the same level as the insurance companies that they’re dealing with. They are a client-centered firm who, as a team, strives to do everything possible to establish an environment conducive to a harmonious attorney-client relationship. The cases the law office handles runs the gamut of personal injury suits, business litigation, and agricultural litigation, to a 13 year case involving trespass and groundwater pollution (Starrh vs Aera). They take great care of their clients and the issues that confront them, as they understand the stresses in dealing with lawsuits of any kind. If you’re interested in having only the best on your side, then contact them today and let the top in the industry represent you in your case. / Go Red 2014 33

3 0 - secon d B U S I N E S S B R I E F

3 0 - secon d B U S I N E S S B R I E F

Michael Choi, Claudia Blank, & Lelo Mras

Jeanne Radsick REALTOR®


hen it comes to dealing with real estate, it pays to work with a REALTOR® who is not only experienced, but is also deeply invested in the industry. For more than 26 years, Jeanne Radsick has been instrumental in the real estate industry, not only locally, but also state-wide and nationally, as well. As a Director for the California Association of REALTORS®, a position she has held for well over a decade, Radsick works with politicians to help protect the rights of both homeowners and potential buyers, alike. Whether it is working on local issues or going through the judicial system to ensure that laws are fair for all of California, she is passionate about lobbying legislators for the good of the public. This is one of the many reasons why politicians, themselves, trust her with their property concerns. “For fifteen to twenty years, I have been involved in orientations that new REALTORS® have to go through,” she disclosed. “I talk to them about being active in politics and what we do,” a service she performs every month. These are some of the many ways she gives back to our community, which she praises for its kindness. Real estate is serious business, so when considering your next venture, be sure to go with Jeanne Radsick, a REALTOR® who is just as invested as you are in one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

1620 Mill Rock Way, Suite 100 Bakersfield, CA 93311 661-654-1600 34 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.


Skydive Taft “Wish you were here.”


or over 20 years, Skydive Taft has been launching Kern County’s citizens into a higher level of thrill seeking adventure! New owners Michael Choi, Lelo Mras, and Claudia Blank are carrying on with this tradition at the only skydiving school around. “We have state-of-the-art equipment and an excellent safety record,” Blank assured. Whether you just turned 18 and are looking for a way to righteously enter adulthood, or if you are 100 years old and are craving something new to experience, you are sure to find it at Skydive Taft. They offer tandem skydiving, which is perfect for first time jumpers who would feel more comfortable going up to 120 miles per hour with a certified USPA tandem instructor with them. There are also more advanced levels that will send you on your way to being a “professional skydiver,” and their school will help to prepare you for all you need to do solo dives and even get your certification. Regardless of what you choose to do, Blank advised, “We highly recommend that you take home a video of this unforgettable experience!” Let Skydive Taft take you to new heights, and know that they will accommodate your needs to guarantee you will have the best experience possible. And, hey, even if you aren’t interested, the daredevil in your life would probably love one of their gift certificates!

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Rules for Providing Sick Leave “‘Tis healthy to be sick must allow employees to sometimes,” said author use half of that time to care Henry David Thoreau. for sick family members. That might be true; howThis is called “kin care” ever, because an estimated and a child, parent, spouse, 40 million U.S. workers domestic partner, or the have no paid sick leave child of a domestic partner (according to the Center are considered to be kin. for American Progress), You may combine paid ‘tis also costly to be sick sick leave, vacation time, sometimes. To avoid the and holidays into a proloss of pay, many sick gram called Paid Time workers show up for work. Off (PTO). This program By Robin Paggi There are four primary requires employees to deproblems with that situation, says duct any time off from their PTO bank, Stephanie Faris in her article, “Is It which usually lessens the chance of emTime to Rethink Your Sick Leave Pol- ployees abusing a paid sick leave proicy?” including: 1) sick employees are gram. However, while employers may less productive, 2) they distract and have a use it or lose it policy for unused irritate their co-workers, who are now sick leave, they may not have one for fearful of getting infected, 3) their ill- unused PTO (because vacation time is ness might spread to others (including considered to be equivalent to wages customers), and 4) they take longer earned). Additionally, employers are reto get well because they aren’t get- quired to pay unused PTO to employees ting the rest they need to recover from upon their termination. Depending on the size of your comtheir illness. The reasons employers cite for not pany, you are still required to provide providing paid sick leave is the cost unpaid sick leave. Employers with at of doing so and the belief that some least five employees must provide Pregemployees will take advantage of the nancy Disability Leave, which allows system. Proponents of paid sick leave an employee who is disabled by her say that providing this benefit pays for pregnancy and/or birth of her child four itself because an employer’s bottom months off of work. This time might line is more adversely impacted when have to be extended if the employee employees work when they are sick needs to be reasonably accommodated. Additionally, employers with at least and because grateful workers are more 50 employees must provide Family loyal to the company. If you are an employer who is con- Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave and sidering offering paid sick leave, here California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is some information to keep in mind leave to qualifying employees, which allows them 12 weeks off of work to while making your decision: You get to make up the rules, but (among other things) care for their own be sure you consistently apply them. serious health condition, or to care for For example, you get to determine how a family member or domestic partner many paid sick days you will provide with a serious health condition. FMLA (typically it’s 6 - 10 a year), how they also allows up to 26 weeks off work to will accrue (usually with each pay pe- care for an ill or injured service-memriod), and whether unused sick days ber. Again, additional time off might be can be carried over from one year to required if a reasonable accommodathe next (use it or lose it policies are tion is necessary. So, proceed in this venture with care lawful for sick leave). You may also provide more paid sick leave to some because, while providing paid sick employees than others, based on the leave is an option, following the rules circumstances of their situation, at that go along with doing so is not. your discretion; however, ensure your discretion is fairly applied to avoid dis- Robin Paggi is the Training Coordinator at crimination complaints. Worklogic HR Legal Solutions and can be reached If you provide paid sick leave, you at or (661) 695-5168.

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ruz Thru Express Car Wash, a part of the Kern County scene since 2002, offers a fast, friendly car wash experience, and it’s kinda fun to drive through. It’s an experience like no other; sitting in your car watching those sprayers and brushes whisk away the dirt and grime through a veil of colorful foam. It’s pretty cool. But as cool as entering the Cruz Thru car wash tunnel and watching the magic happen is, it took Bakersfield residents a while to warm up to it. “As anyone who is in business for themselves knows, the success rate for start-ups is not that good,” began Frank Hobin who, along with Raymond Roselle and Terry Houchin, owns Cruz Thru Express. “So starting any new business is always risky. Our risks were huge because we were starting up in a tough and very competitive industry.” Though the owners were no strangers to the car wash business (Hobin and his brother were the former owners of Niagara Car Wash and Roselle and Houchin also had years of experience in the car wash business), Cruz Thru Express was not an instant success. “Our approach to washing cars was pretty different from what Bakersfield residents were used to. It wasn’t like it had never been done before; the methods we brought to town were prevalent on the east coast. But our approach was new to Bakersfield. I felt like the timing was right, though, that people here were ready for something new, quick, efficient,

at the car wash

and inexpensive. So when we sold Niagara, I thought, ‘Why not give it a try?’ ” The Cruz Thru method took some getting used to, Hobin continued. “People were wondering how the whole thing worked…do I get out of my car? Do I stay in my car? People seemed a little nervous about the whole thing. That’s when we realized our biggest challenge was going to be changing the mindset of the Bakersfield people.” “Changing people’s perception of a car wash was probably the biggest risk Cruz Thru had when we opened our first location downtown at the corner of 23rd and K,” JoAnna Smith, assistant director of operations, agreed. “People tended to think that car washes and car wash workers were all dirty and bottom-ofthe-barrel. We’ve worked hard to change that mindset by making sure that every area our guests see, the full 360 degrees, is always clean and that our employees are always courteous and professional.” Cruz Thru’s blueprint to changing people’s perception about car washes worked. What started out as a company with just a handful of employees has grown to 150 employees, eight Bakersfield locations, and one location in the Lancaster-Palmdale area. And Hobin and Smith agree that the thing that got Cruz Thru to where they are is what will pull them through future challenges: their employees.

36 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

“We’re really in the people business. We just happen to wash cars,” Smith pointed out. It’s really all about the customer’s experience for the Cruz Thru team, she explained. Although the Cruz Thru team is dedicated to providing customers with a quick, inexpensive, quality way to keep their cars clean, going the extra mile when it comes to providing customers

Photo provided by Cruz Thru Express Car Wash


By Tracie Grimes

Photo provided by Cruz Thru Express Car Wash

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, automobile owners around Kern County have a chance at earning a jewel in their heavenly crowns–without ever having to leave their cars.

with a great experience is part of each and every employee’s job description. From the friendly welcome from a Cruz Thru team member as soon as you pull in, to the lollipop (or LavaPop if you go for the Lava Cruz experience) for the kids, a treat for Fido, and a cup of


(L-R) Frank Hobin and Raymond Roselle, owners of Cruz Thru.

coffee for adults, Cruz Thru’s goal is to keep their guests wanting to come back for more. “We’ve always strived to be a unique organization not just in the car wash business, but in any business. The way we’ve done that is by building a great culture within our organization. In my opinion, the people within the organization are the heartbeat of the business,

employee the same passion for our company that we have,” Smith said. “Once we recognized that we are in the people business not just the carwashing business, our organizational culture evolved into what it is today,” Hobin said, adding that Cruz Thru employees are encouraged to grow within the company. “Our employee’s success is our success.”

ing really focuses on the front lines— anything a guest comes into contact with has to be excellent. We train them to focus on everything from maintaining a clean environment to creating a memorable experience for each customer. We have many guests who know our greeters by name, or come through with their kids just so the greeter will draw Mickey Mouse or SpongeBob on the windshield before they go through the wash. Our motto is ‘Every Guest, Every Time,’ and whether they drive a beat-up VW or a brand-new BMW, every guest is greeted like they’re family and provided with the same quality service.” “In this business we rely heavily on maintaining a high volume, so we’re very dependent on people coming back to us time and time again. That’s what we focus on, doing what it takes to give people a great experience,” Hobin agreed. With so much riding on the quality of service and giving customers such a great experience they’ll keep coming back for more, another risk Cruz Thru faces is growing so quickly they lose the culture they’ve worked so hard to cultivate. “As we grow, we run the risk of losing what makes Cruz Thru special,” Smith said. “With fast growth comes the need

“As anyone who is in business for themselves knows, the success rate for start-ups is not that good. So starting any new business is always risky. Our risks were huge because we were starting up in a tough and very competitive industry.” –Frank Hobin

JoAnna Smith, assistant director of operations.

so we work hard to train our employees and provide them with an upbeat work environment. We focus on teaching them about our culture and communicate to them that they play an important role in maintaining our positive, family-like atmosphere. We also work to instill in each

Equipping employees with the tools they need to be successful is a major component of Cruz Thru’s training program and it’s Smith’s job to instruct employees in a way that adapts them to Cruz Thru’s team-oriented work environment. But before they can even cross the threshold of the training room, each employee goes through multiple interviews and background checks. Once they’ve passed through the hiring process, they’re ready to don the Cruz Thru uniform and report for duty. “We recognize the fact that even if you have a million good experiences, it just takes one bad experience to undo all the good,” Smith pointed out, “so our train-

to hire more people rather quickly, and if we hire too fast it may be that we’ll have to lose something in the hiring and training process. In my mind, if we lose any of our training we lose our culture. Then we’re just another car wash, and that is scary to me.” Though they’ve built a strong foundation on giving guests the ultimate car wash experience, all the smiling faces and windshield animations in the world can’t protect them from the harsh realities of an economic downturn or the threat of drought. “It seems like there is always the threat of drought here in Kern County. Obviously a drought could have a >> / Go Red 2014 37

Photo provided by Cruz Thru Express Car Wash


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serious effect on our business because we need water to wash cars. And as far as the economy goes, whenever the economy is down or gas prices are up, people tend to stay off the road,” Hobin pointed out. “We definitely feel it and see a dip in our volume every time these things happen. That’s when we focus on what we do, how we can do it better, and really bring our game up. We’ve done this through things like installing top of the line equipment, using eco-friendly products, and Cruz Thru’s custom blend of car wash chemicals, promoting holiday specials, FastPass memberships, and a photo shoot (a photo taken of you in your car in the Cruz Thru tunnel superimposed on a unique background). And while others may increase their prices to make up for the downturn in volume, we keep our prices low, with car washes ranging from six to twelve dollars.” “A lot of businesses are started for just one reason—to make money. Our owners have more than making sure the bottom line looks good; they are committed to making Cruz Thru the best there’s ever been,” Smith said proudly. “When you look at doing business from that standpoint, you tend to operate differently. For us, we’ve built something positive and strong. We just have to continue giving one hundred percent.” So for those Kern County residents who practically live in your cars, go ahead and keep doing what you’re doing. Eat, drink, apply makeup, store papers, hide trash, pass the juice boxes back to the kids, and take the dogs to the vet. There’s an easy way to get your car back to a heavenly state. All you have to do is roll up the windows and Cruz Thru. ❖

Take one look at old sci-fi movies, cartoons, and even commercials spanning modern history and it’s easy to see we’ve always had a fascination with robots.


By Travis Anglim

osie, the robot maid on The Jetsons, was a prime example of how even back in the ‘60s we knew robots would shape our future. And while we’re not quite there yet, the field of robotics had evolved so much that the robotic toys our children are playing with today are almost unrecognizable from those herky-jerky monstrosities made out of cheap metals and plastics. One thing is for sure: these aren’t your daddy’s ‘bots. Still, the field of robotics, while comparatively new, has transformed how we live, work, and play. Robotics is connected to science, math, computer programming, and other technologies, and is even used in farming in these parts. And locally, robots are playing another important role: allowing Bakersfield youth to not only understand just how cool technology is, but also gain life skills and self-confidence.

And we can thank Tom Henderson for that. Henderson started Hands-On Robotics, a program that provides local students with the means and support to build robots (where the ‘hands-on’ part of the name comes from) and compete in VEX Robotics competitions (national events that encourage students to flex their brains instead of their muscles). While vacationing down in Anaheim a few years ago, Henderson and his wife came upon the world’s tournament for the VEX Robotics Competition. Fascinated, he discovered “Project Lead the Way,” an engineering outline course program designed for high school students, which lays the basic information foundation for using VEX Robotics. In order to avoid the lengthy processing time for schools to sign up and purchase the robotics kits, Henderson brought the program to Kern County by offering to pre-order the parts for schools. Now, with Hands-On Robotics, he organizes the local tournaments that allow students to start competing with each other. Initially, though, it took a lot of effort to get the program going. “My first competition, I had no teams signed up >>








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Tom Henderson started Hands-On Robotics, a program that provides local students with the means and support to build robots.

and I had spent a lot of effort trying to get it together,” he explained. “Then all of a sudden, in one day, I had six teams locked in for the first event I was managing.” As you’d expect with something as ‘rad’ as robots, the program took off.

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Here’s how it works: Students participating in the program are given a kit of robotic parts, “similar to but more advanced than the old Erector Sets many people played with as a child,” Henderson added. Out of that kit, students must build a robot of specific dimensions to compete in a tournament-style competition. Think Game of Thrones but with robots! Teams must use their robot to move a certain object in designated areas to acquire points. While the specifics of the game change each year, the objective is always for each

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40 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

team to get as many points as possible. “In the past,” Henderson said, “robots built by students have typically carried the object on top of themselves and raised it to put in higher-valued areas, but in recent competitions students designed robots that throw the object!” Individual teams are randomly paired up with others by computer and put into the competition arena as a single unit to compete with another such team to play a two-minute match. Describing the progression of the game, he says that “at the start of each match there is a ‘fifteen second autonomous period,’ when programming that students have put into the robot is executed; after that, teams control their individual robot by a bluetooth controller.” Unlike most sports, during each match, team members are welcome to walk around and see the competition’s

robots and ask questions about their designs. This openness exists because certain teams may work together in one match, but be enemies in the next. The camaraderie extends beyond team play, too. “I saw one younger student, whose robot had broken down, get help from all of the seniors around him with repairing it,” Henderson said excitedly. “They all came around to help him put it back together and improve his design.” Aaron Whitfield, a teacher and robotics program overseer at Highland High School, said that the students in the Hands-On Robotics program work at a rate accelerated beyond the usual engineering class. Whitfield believes that “the program equips students with skills necessary to be competitive in the 21st Century,” teaching them “problem solving, design, and how to take on different roles, but work collaboratively.” Team captain Shivam Patel, age 15,


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agreed, saying “our team works because each person is doing a designated thing: some people design, some people build, some people program, and it all comes together.” Considering what impact this program can have on students, Whitfield said that “to a strong degree, students are learning how to work in real life scenarios, overcoming challenges and setbacks that they might face in their adult life.” A further benefit to each student’s personal development comes from the sometimes stressful teamwork element of being paired with other groups. “It helps us get outside our comfort zone to go and meet new people,” Patel said, “interacting with them to get to know what the other teams’ >>

A Chronicle of Long-standing & Family-owned Kern County Businesses Bakersfield Magazine continues our annual quest to chronicle Kern County’s long-standing and familyowned businesses. This is an opportunity to preserve your company’s place in our community’s history with a Kern County Generations Profile. As a family-owned publication, we understand the unique quirks, struggles, and celebrations experienced with family-owned businesses. At the same time we want to celebrate those long-standing businesses who have endured challenges in the pursuit of the entrepreneurial spirit.

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programming will do starting off.” Team co-captain Lucas Solis, lead designer for “Trollbot,” one of the team’s two robots, finds that being a part of the program has developed his life skills as well. “Not knowing what teams you will be paired with when each match starts really helps develop stress management,” he claimed. The competitions also provide students with the chance to develop time management and critical thinking. Kevin Starr, a third member of the Highland team, believes that his abilities were initially challenged by simply getting the robot to move. “It requires a different way of thinking,” Starr says, noting that “in order to get the bot to move forward, you have to get its parts to move in a circular manner, like the gears and chain that move a bicycle.” Skills such as these later translate to an understanding of how to be effective in the workplace these students will be entering. One such place for their growing skills could be the agricultural com-

Hands-On Robotics has provided a new form of competition for students with a preference for building and designing, rather than typical sports.



871-3601 3





munity. “A project some students were once set to do was sort balls by size and color,” Henderson said, proceeding to tell the story of an orange farm he once visited to examine mechanical equipment. “As I looked at the equipment, I found that they do the same method with their machines as the robots do in competition—they sort each orange by size and varied color!” But that’s just the beginning! Hands-On Robotics has provided a new form of competition for students with a preference for building and designing, rather than typical sports. The program combines the mental knowledge of engineering in school courses and provides students with the opportunity to practice what they learn in school with physical robot-building and programming skills. And whether or not they enter into a related field as adults, they’ll still be able to tell people, “Dude, I once built a fighting robot.” Talk about a confidence booster! v



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42 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

photo by jeff caneta


Women business





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If the last few decades have taught us anything, it’s that women are great not only at bringing home the bacon and fryin’ it up in a pan, but also managing to keep track of the loved ones in their lives while they’re doing it. The fact of the matter is, women are great multitaskers and that extends into every facet of their lives be it work, family, or social activities. From starting their own companies, managing finances, and learning to handle the daily stressors in their lives, women have taken the reins. And don’t expect them to let go anytime soon. / Go Red 2014 43

44 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Denis Raev/istock/thinkstock

Women business

Untie those Knots In this busy world, stress can affect anyone, especially women who are juggling business and family. By Jessica Shillings the double major or minor in business that had been her goal. But while squeezing a stress ball at your desk or sipping on The next decade would see incredible growth in the company, a glass of wine before bed can sometimes help you relax, so much so that a second company was born, Chartech, focusing they aren’t long-term fixes or the best options for managing exclusively on ARRC’s Hardware as a Service (Haas) program. the overwhelming demands on our mind and bodies. This program trained other companies to build the cost of new It turns out, there are a number of ways to start detoxing your IT equipment into the monthly service charge as a way to avoid life of stress. These Bakersfield women have found better ways to large-scale capital investments. cope, each having found their own method While the growth at ARRC was exciting, for dealing with the everyday worries of Rogers said, it was also incredibly stressful. life, so that they can be more efficient at According to Rogers, the breaking point their job and in their home. came one night in 2011 when she returned In 2011 Monique Rogers, co-owner and home at 8 p.m. after a long day at the ofcorporate administrative director of ARRC fice. She had begged her babysitter to work Technology, was searching for a way to reovertime, she recalled, and walked in the duce the stress in her life, caused by the dedoor to complaints from her four-year-old mands of helping to manage and promote the that she was hungry. growth of two IT service businesses. This, Rogers said she headed into the bathcoupled with the responsibility of being a room, looked at herself in the mirror, and wife and mother of two small children (her began to cry as she saw herself, “in a way son Riley, now 14, and daughter Samantha, that made my heart break. now 7) was simply too much. But the stress “What the hell am I doing?” Rogers in Rogers’ life had been compiling. recalls asking herself that night, staring What had started out as a part-time job into the mirror at a face she didn’t recanswering the phones in her first year of ognize. The truth was that her punishing college had turned into a management Monique Rogers of ARRC Technology work schedule was having an impact on level position in the fledgling company, her own health as well as her relationships with family and which meant Rogers was responsible for creating the company’s friends. She knew something had to change. business and financial policies. In fact, the company demanded It was about this time that a friend suggested Rogers try yoga. >> so much of her time by that point, she decided not to pursue / Go Red 2014 45

Untie those Knots

Rogers said she was dubious about the idea at first, but did come across an advertisement for hot yoga that she thought might feel good in the cold Bakersfield winter weather. Three days later, Rogers arrived at the studio, still uncertain. The instructor introduced herself, taught Rogers the safe “child’s pose” and told her that she could return to this pose at any time if she began to feel overwhelmed. The sequencing started, and 15 minutes later Rogers found herself in child’s pose, weeping. “I just kept telling her I’m sorry,” Rogers said. The instructor simply told her to come back the next day. She did, and has been practicing yoga ever since. According to Rogers, who became a certified yoga instructor herself, yoga promotes mental relief and calmness, as well as physical strength. In fact physical gains are simply by-products, Rogers said, of the real goal to connect body and mind through breathing. “When you show up to yoga, it is yours,” Rogers said, adding that sometimes her goal in session is simply to keep calm and free of self-judgment. “Whatev-

er you accomplish, it is still a work out.” But Rogers stressed the importance of “making time for yourself.” To Rogers, this means, “Sleeping, eating right, and listening to your body,” but also includes larger life decisions. “If something doesn’t feel right, have the courage to make that change.”

And that’s what Young H. Bae did. Bae, a registered nurse and acupuncturist, as well as owner of Ebenezer Acupuncture and Herbs in Bakersfield, began studying Eastern medicine in 1990, after she felt the benefit of it first-hand. Acupuncture relieved her pain, she said, and as a nurse she wanted to help her own patients by utilizing the types of treatments not found in a doctor’s office, but found in nature and in our own bodies. “I wanted to help other people who couldn’t get help from western medicine,” Bae remarked. This meant understanding the philosophies of acupuncture, aromatherapy (using scents to calm the body), herbal therapies (to treat physical ailments), and other Eastern remedies for stress.

46 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.










Already a nurse, Bae decided to go back to school to learn more on these methods so that she could bring these types of treatments to her patients. Four years later, in 2000, she graduated from Dongguk Royal University in Los Angeles with a Master’s Degree in Oriental medicine. She has been practicing ever since. Acupuncture and herbal remedies, “help the body in so many ways,” according to Bae, not least of which is boosting the immune system and balancing the patient’s overall bodily systems. This is because Eastern treatments like herbal remedies approach patient care in a different way, by looking at a patient’s entire system—holistically—instead of simply treating the symptoms and isolating the cause. She also doesn’t approach the same problem in two different patients the same way, because everyone has, “a unique constitution.” Which is why not all types of treatments work for everyone. And since our stressors in life are unique, Bae thinks the best way to treat them is unique to the patient, too. For example, as we deal with stress, our muscles tense up, and our bodies become stressed in addition to our minds. When we’re tense, we’re interrupting our body’s circulation, which is a very important system to our overall health. When our circulation is poor, we’re more susceptible to flus and other illnesses, as well as becoming run-down. Bae said there are different combinations of herbs (like lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and mint) that can be utilized to help treat the patient depending on what exactly is causing the tension and restore circulation and relieve the stress. It’s a great option if you don’t have a lot of time. But if herbal remedies are not for you, perhaps something more physical can help.

Young H. Bae, Ebenezer Acupuncture and Herbs.

A newlywed and Bakersfield native, Callie Spitzer Jenkins found Pilates in 2005 during her college years at CSU Long Beach earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication. After a lifetime of competitive cheerleading ended when she was a sophomore in college, Spitzer Jenkins said she was searching for a new outlet that would fill the same need. Enter Pilates. The former dancer and gymnast enjoyed the exercise program so much that a year later she began the process of becoming certified to teach Pilates. The certification process took a year, including six months of weekend classes as well as hundreds of hours >>

Seated left to right: Mike Jelletich, Stuart Gentry, Vivian Ochoa, & Mike Parks. Standing back row left to right: Lori Tull, Thelma Carmargo, Steve Cronquist, Joe Martin, Eva Flores, Nick Cholometes, Kirsten Reed, Ken Beggs, Sherria Whitmore, Veronica Johnson, & Brandon Olds. / Go Red 2014 47

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of observation and teaching under the guidance of supervisors. Now Spitzer Jenkins and her long-time friend, Christine Travis, own their own Pilates studio in downtown Bakersfield, Poise Pilates+Barre, that offers Pilates downstairs and Barre ballet classes upstairs. The duo, close family friends for decades, became even closer when they began teaching Pilates classes together. They opened the studio together a year and a half ago. The process of creating the studio was, “extremely rewarding,” but also scary, Spitzer Jenkins said, causing her many sleepless nights. But she also has her own Pilates routines to fall back on when the stress gets too much. According to Spitzer Jenkins, Pilates simplifies movement into detail by focusing on each muscle required for the action. Pilates

We can’t always control what happens in our daily lives, but we can control how we handle those hardships. asks the question, “What’s the best way to move?” Jenkins added. Pilates can also help reduce stress, Spitzer Jenkins elaborated. In fact, “One hundred percent of our clients came to us stressed.” Because of its focus on movement and breathing, Pilates can benefit all types of clients, Spitzer Jenkins said, from the very young to the very old. And because of the focus on each step of the motion that is required, clients are often removed from the stresses of life that would otherwise command their attention. So while there are a number of methods out there for overcoming tension in one’s life, the most important thing is finding photo by Rebecca Rossini Photography

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2624 F Street (661)323-5944

48 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

which one works for you and implementing it into your daily routine. These three women found different methods of stress relief and are living happier, healthier lives for it. We can’t always control what happens in our daily lives, but we can control how we handle those hardships.

Diane Campbell, Ralph Fruguglietti, and Brynna Ramirez

Women business

Healthy Steps Getting fit is easy as 1-2-3 when you utilize modern technologies and local support! Photos by Juli Feller through the entire process. Diane Campbell is a local regisWhen it comes to being superheroes, women have it covtered dietician, and she was able to share some crucial advice ered! Well, in almost every aspect. A lot of women tend on common pitfalls you need to be aware of. to sacrifice their own nutrition and diet in favor of other, seem“The first mistake a lot of people make when they’re about to ingly more important activities (like getting the kids to eat their go on a diet is they start skipping meals, vegetables). But ladies, the dreaded “diet” like breakfast,” Campbell began. “That is word doesn’t have to be your kryptonite. There are simple, smart ways to not a huge mistake. Breakfast literally breaks only keep track of what you’re putting the fast [that your body was in while you into your body, but also keep yourself on slept], and it can increase your metabotarget for getting fit. Because it’s not just lism by ten percent. Never skip it.” about dropping those excess pounds, it’s When you are preparing your meals, about dropping them in a safe way. Thankbe sure that they are balanced with foods fully, with a community that is growing that contain whole grain carbs, lean promore supportive of healthier lifestyles tein, fruits, and vegetables. A good way and a variety of calorie-counting phone to do this is by utilizing the plate methapps, women in Bakersfield have the fitod, which Campbell explained as making ness road partly paved for them! half of your plate fruits and veggies, with As with any other lifestyle change, you emphasis on the latter. The other half is don’t want to go into a new way of eatsplit into two, so a quarter is for your ing without guidance. After all, you don’t lean protein and the remaining quarter want to run the risk of hurting yourself will be for your carbs. “A lot of people in some way by starving your body of have too many carbs and too little promuch-needed nutrients (and that can haptein,” Campbell cautioned. Smart phone apps are user-friendly too! pen even when you think you’re eating She advises people to go for complex healthy). When it comes to altering what you eat, a dietician carbs, which are rich in fiber. Citing that people lean toward high carb breakfasts, she also recommended to keep boiled >> can be your best friend, as well as a guiding light to help you / Go Red 2014 49

Healthy Steps eggs, natural peanut butter, or even a handful of nuts available. Try eating small meals every three to four hours. Also, keep a food journal and track everything that you eat. “This is the number one tool dieticians use, and it works,” Campbell said. Most importantly, make small, achievable changes. (More advice can be found on her blog at But it’s not always the goals or the determination that interrupts most fitness goals. It’s the temptations. The food. If you’ve ever had the pleasure to dine at Frugatti’s, you are well aware of just how decadent an experience it can be. With all of the different sauces and pastas and breads, it is probably not your ideal place to frequent when you’re wanting to keep the pounds off, right? Well, think again! This locally-owned eatery can be considered a health pioneer when it comes to eating out. “I still throw discus,” began owner Ralph Fruguglietti, “and I need a special diet. Considering I spend five days out of the week here [at the restaurant], and that I love food, I needed to switch up some of our recipes so that it fit my lifestyle better.” After having a friend request that they could “have what Ralph’s having,” and also having another table request the same thing after hearing him place his order, Fruguglietti got the idea to develop what is now called their Fitness Menu. It’s something that will help everyone on the road to a more healthy self. Emphasizing that all of the options on this special menu are balanced and healthy, it features lighter sauces, whole wheat pastas, and bigger portions of items like vegetables and chicken. You can even have pizza, if you desire, as it is “made with a sauce that doesn’t have oil and also has lighter cheeses.” But don’t overlook the Baked Mostoccioli, as it is a favorite of those ordering off of the Fitness Menu (which is aptly named, as you can actually eat off of it, feel full, and not blow all of your calories for the day). Best of all, each item also has the calories, carbs, fat, and protein all listed so you can keep track.

Very much abiding by the adage that weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight is a lifestyle choice and not just a temporary fad, Fruguglietti even uses an app on his phone that helps him track calories. (And he has entered his own Fitness Menu items to plug in—how

cool is that?) “It’s called Tap & Track,” he stated. “You enter your age, activity level, how much weight you want to lose weekly, and it will track the calories you’re eating, give you nutritional info, and display charts and graphs to show your progress.” Naturally, you don’t have to be a restaurant owner to be passionate about what

“After I had Eva, I started using the app because I wanted to lose the excess weight, and I also wanted to fine-tune my caloric intake. It is so easy to eat more calories than you realize if you don’t keep track of them.” —Brynna Ramirez, mother of three you eat and how it affects your health and weight loss goals. Brynna Ramirez is a mother of three and she also runs her own business, LadyBee Photography. After the birth of her second child, she started using the MyFitnessPal app. She had already been utilizing the website previously as a means to help her to lose weight and achieve new fitness goals.

50 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

“After I had Eva, I started using the app because I wanted to lose the excess weight, and I also wanted to fine-tune my caloric intake,” Ramirez began. “It is so easy to eat more calories than you realize if you don’t keep track of them.” This free app is incredibly inclusive, according to Ramirez. “Everything you need is right there. Countless foods are already programmed into the app— even brands you wouldn’t think, like WinCo’s. You can also scan the barcode on any item so you don’t have to spend the time looking up the item. It also remembers the foods you eat most often.” With the help of the MyFitnessPal app, Ramirez went from 225 lbs to 175 after her second child. She recently gave birth to her third child, and she is already down a whopping 22 lbs. The app tracks the fitness goals that you set in terms of calories, and calculating how many calories you have ingested during the day is just a few taps away. And a unique feature of the app is the built-in community. “You can connect with people through the app,” Ramirez detailed. “You can basically become ‘friends’ with them, like you would on Facebook. Then you get to see what programs they’re implementing and what weight they’ve lost. It is like a community, so that not only do you have the support to keep yourself on track, but then you also become accountable to other people.” The best part? This user-friendly app is also completely free. It can be easy to let certain things fall to the wayside in light of our busy lives. But eating foods out of “convenience” can be detrimental to our health. How often have we all grabbed a carb-filled muffin on the run instead of grabbing some fruit for a quick breakfast? But as we’ve just read, utilizing the help of dieticians and nutritionists, tracking your own fitness progress, and picking local restaurants with lighter options is a great way to start a new, healthier lifestyle. Even if you’re really busy, you should never find yourself too busy to treat your body right.

Women business


Financially Speaking It has been said that when money talks, nobody checks the grammar.

Photo by Juli Feller

As true as that may be, sometimes money is a little too quiet for comfort. But money problems are not just a nuisance, they’re a very common nuisance for all of us. Women are no exception to this rule, but there are ways to distance ourselves from the chasm that seems to magically appear in between paychecks. Bakersfield is home to quite a few financial professionals who offer a wealth (pardon the pun) of money-savvy dos and don’ts, and as you’ll discover, there are specific things women can do to make sure they are making smart decisions with their finances. Deanna Blaise is the senior vice president and retail division manager for Rabobank, and she knows all about the stress that weighs on anyone when they’re having financial trouble. Fortunately, she knows how to remedy such a situation. “One of the most important things for every woman to do is to look at their monthly income and see where their money is going,” Blaise said. “Sit down, and take the time to see where you are spending your money. Take notice of how Starbucks, eating out, going to movies, and [if you have children] money spent on teens and the like adds up per month.” Establishing your budget is huge, and Valley Republic Bank’s Vice President of Loans and Lending Officer Janet Hepp reminded us that one thing to really consider is your needs versus your luxuries. “You must prioritize,” she said. “There are a lot of things that can be controlled when it comes to spending, like how often you go out for lunch. Also, be certain of when something is needed immediately or when it can wait a few paychecks, if necessary. So many of

us have gotten away from differentiating between something you really want and something that is absolutely needed.” This may seem a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. You can actually utilize some very handy tools that will make everything easier. “There are mobile banking apps that are connected to your banking account, and they will track where your money is being spent,” Blaise detailed. Sherod Waite, a financial advisor for Moneywise Wealth Management and co-host on the Moneywise Radio Show, agreed. “ has apps that can help track your spending, and they will even tell you when you’re going over budget,” he detailed. “There are also financial bloggers who offer sound advice online. There’s almost no excuse today for not having a good grasp on your spending.” However, Waite also conceded that things aren’t always as simple as that. “Women, especially, are often torn in so many different directions between work, home life, and children,” he explained, “and they usually carry the brunt of household responsibilities. But there Valley Republic Bank’s are resources that can help to Vice President of Loans ease that burden.” and Lending Officer For example, Dave Ramsey Janet Hepp. is one famous financial guru that Blaise suggested taking some tips from. “After you have established what your necessities are—like housing and utilities—Dave Ramsey advises that you set aside money for other things in cash and then divide the money up into labeled envelopes. This way, you can keep from overspending in certain areas.” Additionally, Blaise said to establish a savings account and focus on having enough so that six months of your >> / Go Red 2014 51

Financially Speaking

Photo by Juli Feller

Sherod Waite, a financial advisor for Moneywise Wealth Management and co-host on the Moneywise Radio Show.

you will assuredly thank yourself for one day. “Start early on saving for retirement,” Hepp encouraged. “Try to put something away, because starting at a young age is critical. Make this a part of your thought process, not just as a reason to save.” In concurrence, Blaise said, “If your employer offers any sort of retirement plan, like a 401k, then you should definitely take advantage of that. Set aside a percentage of your income to go toward this. You can start small and work your way up. If you get a three percent raise, consider keeping two percent and putting the remaining percentage toward your retirement. 52 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

It is an automatic deduction, so you won’t miss the money taken. And even if your company won’t deduct it automatically, then your bank probably will. Don’t forget that these are also pre-tax dollars, which is always a good thing.” Waite added that 401k accounts are usually linked up to valuable resources as well. “Get advice from pros,” he Deanna Blaise is the senior vice said. “Most things like president and retail division man401ks offer free finanager for Rabobank. cial advice and there are a number of good resources on their websites. They will tell you what the best available options are within the plan.” There are other places you can put your money that will end up paying off, as well. Blaise reminded those interested to not forget the stock market, and said that speaking to a financial advisor is always a viable way to know what all of your options are. Waite echoed the notion of getting professional advice in that avenue, and went on to relay that life insurance is something that women may often overlook, but can be a savior in times of need. “From my experience, women don’t seem to know a lot about household expenses, as their husbands will manage that end. When their husband dies or is hurt significantly, then they’re lost. Oftentimes, in the case of a death, the widow will know nothing about how good or bad the state their expenses are in, and this can prove disastrous.” If you’re married or rely on a significant other to help handle expenses, talk to them about life insurance, burial arrangements, and having any financial and investment documents together so that there is no guessing when the time to utilize them arrives. It won’t be the easiest conversation to have, but being on the same page where such important mat-

Photo by greg iger

necessities will be covered. “This way, if the unforeseen, such as an illness or loss of employment may occur, you will be able to handle your main living necessities.” Waite said that four to six months should suffice. “It takes lots of effort to get the amount saved, but it will definitely lift a weight off of your shoulders. It is extremely important, as you will be able to get through any hard times without having to run up credit card debt, take out loans, or borrow money in any way.” Speaking of credit cards: be sure that they aren’t putting you into the poor house, as well. “Credit cards are always a bad idea,” Hepp stated. “If you can’t pay for it on a monthly basis, you may just need to wait. They should be used as a tool rather than a crutch.” Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t view them as such, and end up in more debt than anticipated due to interest rates. Waite cautioned that people don’t typically take into account just how long it will take to pay off credit card debt, as well, but did point out that credit card statements will now tell you how long it will take for you to pay your debt off if you elect to just make minimum payments. Regardless, he said, “A lot of people like to start small and pay their smallest debts off first. I say to tackle the larger debts, if possible, because of how much the interest may end up costing you in the long run. Either way, you can view it like a weight loss program, where you set goals and keep surpassing them.” Let’s say that you already have all of your finances in order and your debt is clear or at least highly manageable. What should you be considering at that point when it comes to your money? If you said investing, then you’re completely correct. Securing funds for your future is always a fantastic idea that

Whether we like to admit it or not, money does, indeed, make the world go ‘round. Being smart about where your money is going and what you can (and should) do with it can be some of the most vital decisions a girl can make in life. ters are concerned should really be a priority for any couple. Whether we like to admit it or not, money does, indeed, make the world go ‘round. Being smart about where your money is going and what you can (and should) do with it can be some of the most vital decisions a girl can make in life. Drop the anxiety you may have over it and elect to spend, save, and invest wisely. After all, managing something as important as your finances can take you from a life riddled with problems to a life of ease and comfort... One where you can definitely hear your money talk.

Women business

Thanks to smart thinking, Elli, a brand started by the southern California woman you’ll soon meet, is filling up our dairy aisles with something new, fresh, and healthy!

Dream...On One Woman’s Passion Spawns A Successful New Company

photos courtesy of P.S. Let’s Eat, Inc.

ians].” But it didn’t take long for the couple to grow weary of Don’t let Preya Patel Bhakta’s soft-spoken demeanor fool cottage cheese, especially after discovering the high levels of soyou—she’s never been the type of person to sit back and wait for dium in that particular dairy product. things to happen to her. You could say she inherited the entre“Then we wandered over to the Greek yogurts, but quickly found preneurial spirit from her parents (they own and operate hotels out that they were loaded with sugar, and the plain varieties were in Bakersfield and Grapevine), but that would be selling this tejust too tart and sour for our taste buds,” she said with a chuckle. nacious woman short. Because Patel Bhakta didn’t just utilize Did that stop Patel Bhakta? No. She her inner entrepreneur when she decided to hopped into the kitchen to see what she start her own company, P.S. Let’s Eat, and could whip up that would satisfy their proproduct line, Elli; she also poured a heck of tein needs while still being good-tasting. a lot of passion and heart into her dream. It was trial and error, but eventually she That’s par for the course with Patel came up with something they liked. Bhakta, who after graduating from High“I didn’t really know that there was land High and Bakersfield College, came something like Quark that existed, but afto work as a graphic artist for Bakersfield ter some research on Google, I found out Magazine for a spell before moving on that there’s a German style [cheese] that’s to the Art Institute and starting her own very similar to what I had been spending graphic design business. hours in the kitchen making. So, next thing Still, there’s no way Patel Bhakta would you know, Sachin and I book a flight to have known that just a few years after marGermany to learn all about the product.” rying Sachin Bhakta, she would be headShe’s tenacious, remember! ing up a different company specializing in “We studied how they made it, how they bringing a type of European cheese [Quark] sold it, how they ate it, and just fell in love to the U.S., especially one that’s been getwith it!” You could say her “Spidey sensting so much national attention. Preya Patel Bhakta, President, P.S. Let’s Eat es” were tingling. “I knew immediately “About three years ago, just after Sachin that Quark would fill a huge gap in the U.S. market for those and I got married, we were seeking a healthier diet,” Patel Bhakta people wanting to eat dairy for the protein, but who didn’t want explained. “So we talked to a nutritionist who told us to eat cotthe added sugars and sodium. As soon as we returned, I started >> tage cheese for optimum protein intake [the Bhaktas are / Go Red 2014 53






photos courtesy of P.S. Let’s Eat, Inc.

on my plan to introduce this tasty and healthy product [that can be eaten plain, mixed with fresh fruit, or used for cooking and baking] to the U.S.” The name of the company was a natural choice: “Elli comes from German mythological times, and she was known to be the Goddess of Old Age,” Patel Bhakta added. “She was a vibrant, healthy, older woman, and the story goes is that she wrestled with the mighty Thor and won! “We want to help others live a healthier lifestyle, and we feel that our products can do just that. Elli Quark is all about providing a high protein, low calorie snack that’s not weighed down by added sodium, sugars, or preservatives.” But a great idea is only a great idea until you execute it. Since Patel Bhakta had grown up in a business environment, she knew the next steps to take to make her new dream a reality; applying for a business license, setting up her corporation, and filling all of the legal paperwork that comes with starting a company. “There were definitely challenges along the way, especially being a minority woman trying to join a vast field of male-run dairy companies,” she elaborated. “But it was nothing that was going to get in my way. Rather than waste my efforts trying to convince others that I could do this, I decided to spend my efforts actually doing it. My husband, both of our families, and our close friends have all been huge supporters since day one, and the support has definitely helped give me the confidence and motivation needed.” She also applied to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council [WBENC], the largest third-party certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. “I started Elli with money that Sachin and I had saved up in our personal accounts. After having done the research, we approached our friends and family for seed money to help us execute the branding, packaging, flavors, and produce a shelfready product line. It’s definitely been a learning process,” she said with a laugh. That’s because there are a number of rules and regulations when working in the food industry, in addition to those typical with most other businesses. But, Patel Bhakta is quick to add that being a woman-owned company definitely has its benefits. “That aspect has helped us immensely with opening up doors in the industry,” she




Life of an Entrepreneur (L to R): 1 - Exhibitor badges 2 - With Sachin during production 3 - LAX 4 - Food show with Sachin 5 - Luggage in Sacramento 6 - Preya’s laboratory/kitchen 7 - Chicago airport 8 - Welcome to Minneapolis 8.

explained. The WBENC and other womencentric business organizations are there for support. “A lot of these places offer workshops and tools to help women better understand their industry and how best to move forward. I feel that it has definitely been worth the time and investment to get the certification, and would recommend it to any of my fellow women entrepreneurs.” Patel Bhakta and her husband have spent the past year in phases; production, testing, development, and, of course, introducing a “new” product to America. It hasn’t been a cinch, but it’s been worth it. “We knew that Quark was huge in Germany and throughout Europe. Quark, being one of the very first European cheeses ever, has been around for centuries, but the challenge for our company was introducing it to the U.S. con-

54 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

sumers, who’ve never heard of Quark.” The couple expected that Elli’s line of Quark would take off in due time, but they still can’t believe just how quickly. Though a lot of that growth is the result of Patel Bhakta’s utilization of social media. “Being a small company, we don’t have the ad spend that larger companies have, so we had to get creative in optimizing our marketing budget to reach as many people as possible to start the education process on what Quark is, how to eat it, and how it’s good for you. Thankfully, through sites like Pinterest, we’re able to leverage Quark recipes from abroad. Along with other popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we’ve been able to reach people who might not hear about us. Plus, Elli’s website ( has information on

their flavors, links to recipes using Quark, and an updated list of grocery stores that carry the product. “I realized early on that I’m not just creating products, I’m building a brand. This is where I feel my educational background in advertising, along with my experiences working in the marketing and advertising fields for the past ten years, have played a significant role in the development of Elli Quark.” This past year, Elli has been recognized in both regional and national publications (including a feature in Everyday with Rachel Ray and mentions in numerous health magazines), which have helped spread the word on this versatile dairy product. “I still pinch myself every now and then to make sure this is for real,” Patel Bhakta laughed. “Having the nation’s largest retailers [including Whole Foods!] inviting us to their headquarter offices to present our products is a dream in itself, as we learned early on that this doesn’t happen very often, especially not for new companies like ours. The interest and demand for our products have been overwhelming!” But Elli is just getting started. The goal is to make Elli Quark a commodity here in the states, just as it is in Europe, so further market expansion and product development is on the horizon. The products are already stocked across California in a number of grocery outlets, but also nationally in over 26 states (in specific stores, that is). For this compassionate woman, the best part about the journey is getting to work with her best friend—her husband—while they work to grow the company and offer healthy options for a healthier future. “We work great as a team, he’s the yin to my yang. And the travel has been exciting and exhausting at the same time. Flying cross country one day, and back the next has become normal to us now, which is good because one of the items on my bucket list is to make it to all fifty states.” So thanks to a little German-style cheese, Patel Bhakta and Elli are well on their way to being a big cheese in the U.S. dairy product industry. And we’re happy to report that she’s already been to 25 states! If you’re dying to try some Elli Quark, and you should be because it’s delicious, you can drive over to your local Lassen’s and pick up a cup. But starting in the spring, you’ll be able to find it at more retailers locally. / Go Red 2014 55

Minimally Invasive Maximally Effective Approach for Optimal Cardiovascular Health

Dr. Peter C. Nalos

Dr. Brij Bhambi

Dr. William Nyitray

Pioneer of electrophysiology in Kern County.

Tradition of world-class care and convenience of proximity.

Raising the bar in interventional cardiology since 1988.

Dr. Kirit Desai

Dr. Tetsuo Ishimori

Dr. Sanjiv Sharma

Dr. Joel Lardizabal

Pillar of cardiovascular care for nearly three decades.

Blending wisdom and excellence for 40 years!

Combining research and clinical excellence in a wide spectrum of interventional care.

Championing cutting-edge innovations in cardiovascular interventions.

Dr. Rasham Sandhu Expanding horizons of vascular care with state-of-the-art techniques.

Dr. Denis Maddox

Dr. Sarabjeet “Chhabra” Singh

Practicing cardiology/interventional Introducing a minimally invasive cardiology for 35 years. Previously involved approach to structural heart disease. in research at Brigham Hospital and Harvard. A new paradigm!

“Heart is a Central Matter”

56 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.


Bakersfield Magazine’s 2014

Ladies in ed

Art by Ashleymarie Sey Lively

Bakersfield Magazine is thrilled to once again partner with the American Heart Association and their annual Go Red for Women campaign! As part of our involvement we want to make sure the women in our community understand the signs and symptoms of heart disease and stroke and take steps to live heart-healthy lives, not only for themselves, but for the other important women in their lives.

The Ladies in Red you’ll meet on the following pages are mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, grandmothers, and sisters, and they are all going red to fight heart disease in women. Join them.

Special Issue Presented By / Go Red 2014 57

58 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.


for Women Special Issue Presented by:

Dear Women of Bakersfield, Join us in “Going Red” this February by participating in the American Heart Association’s campaign to raise awareness about heart disease. The “Go Red for Women” campaign against heart disease has done much to increase awareness and lead us closer to optimum health. But heart disease remains the #1 killer of women in our country. The most important step toward winning this fight against heart disease is one you make on a personal level — deciding today to make heart-healthy choices. You can find a step-by-step guide to reducing your risks at the “” website of the American Heart Association. And we’re here to help. We know that responsive, quality care is essential to obtaining and maintaining the best possible health. That’s why we’ve made accessibility to quality care the cornerstone of our health plans. We’re fighting heart disease by focusing on early prevention, early detection, and access to quality care. Please “Go Red” and join us!

Photography by Randall Photography


Michael R. Myers President and CEO GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

©2014, American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. TM Go Red trademark of AHA, Red Dress trademark of DHHS. / Go Red 2014 59

Our community is full of dedicated, wonderful women committed to standing up to heart disease and stroke. These ladies are survivors, volunteers, advocates, and supporters…ready at a moment’s notice to encourage Bakersfield and Kern County women to listen to their hearts.

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Bakersfield Magazine’s



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60 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Special Issue Presented By

Š2014, American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. TM Go Red trademark of AHA, Red Dress trademark of DHHS.

Photography by Randall Photography

(L-R) Alma Navarrete, Didra Gentry, Kathy Wagoner, Genevieve Branco, Danay Jones, Cynthia Burt, Cori Kitchen, Haley Malone, Beverly Thompson, Amy McGuire, Estrella Navarrete, Brianna Bravo / Go Red 2014 61

But wearing red isn’t the only way to join in the movement. Eat heart-healthy foods, exercise, learn the warning signs for heart disease and stroke, and talk with your doctor about your health. Remember, you’ve only got one heart. Treat it right.

Bakersfield Magazine’s



in ed

62 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Special Issue Presented By

Š2014, American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. TM Go Red trademark of AHA, Red Dress trademark of DHHS.

Photography by Randall Photography

(L-R) Marisol Ventura, Rosario H. Ortiz, Lori Gibbons, Nicolette Cross, Stephanie Hilligoss, Kayla Cross, Kelly Grove, Shirley Gordon, Sara Moore, Norma Rojas-Mora, Trish Reed, Nicole Barriente, Wilma Phillips / Go Red 2014 63

64 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

The ladies (and one son!) you’ll meet in the following pages have personal connections with heart disease. They are survivors. With mountains of hope and perseverance, they’ve fought back against pain, multiple surgeries, and terrifying prognoses to inspire us all to take better care of our hearts.

Special Issue Presented By

Extra Special dtkutoo/istock/thinkstock


Amy By Nikki Afable Amy McGuire never thought this could happen to her. At a New Year’s Eve party last year, her husband had a minor incident and as she ran to his rescue, she realized her body was in trouble as well. She first thought it was an asthma attack from panic but what was really happening was a life-threatening heart attack. As she and her friends rushed her husband to the hospital, she also ended up going to the emergency room and went into cardiac arrest within 30 minutes.

Amy McGuire


Amy was then put into an induced coma for six days with the assistance of a heart pump and ventilator. However, she made a miraculous recovery in just five weeks. She unfortunately had to miss a month from work as the Visual and Performing Arts Administrator for the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District. Amy finds it almost “scary” that her life is back to normal. It’s been just over one year since her heart attack and even though she has returned to an active lifestyle, she continues to take blood thinners. She enjoys playing chamber music, as she is a violinist with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra;

in ed

she also loves reading and taking walks with her husband. “One in three women die of a heart attack, and that’s why I feel so fortunate; that even though it’s one in three women, I survived,” says Amy, who along with her family joined hundreds of walkers for the Heart Walk this past October. Amy learned that women don’t have the same symptoms as men when it comes to a heart attack. While some men may have a small blockage in their arteries that causes symptoms, in her case, Amy found out she had a 100 percent blockage before anything felt wrong. She encourages more women to find out the symptoms of a heart attack before it becomes catastrophic. “Take care of yourself. Eat a low-salt diet. If you can get rid of processed foods from your diet, that is going to be a great thing for you,” is Amy’s best advice for people in similar situations. She also takes her own advice, by eating more raw fruits and vegetables, getting exercise, and making time for herself. Amy credits the American Heart Association (AHA) in getting her actively involved in helping others and being more aware of all the people who are in similar situations. AHA has provided a support group for those people in need, including herself. “I’ve met up with a bunch of other survivors who are in the same boat, and it’s really good to share.” She encourages others to support AHA so that more research can be done and more programs are provided to the American public to increase awareness. Nikki & Kayla By Jorge Arguello When Nikki was a teenager, she struggled with what felt like her “heart beating out of her chest.” She was always told it was anxiety or stress. But it was actually a form of

Art by Ashleymarie Sey Lively Photography by Randall Photography

heart disease that remained a mystery until four years ago when she reconnected with her biological father. She learned that he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes thickening of the walls in the heart and usually people don’t show any symptoms. Severe thickening can make the heart irritable, creating scars and developing an abnormal rhythm. “I would be exhausted, my heart would pound really hard or it would pound very fast,” says Nikki. Once aware of her family history, Nikki took action and shared her father’s heart condition with a cardiologist who ran tests, and Nikki was officially diagnosed with HC, as well as rapid heart rate. “I had hypertension for about fifteen years prior to that, but was never diagnosed with HC, so I was immediately put on medication that has kept the condition from getting worse in the last four years,” adds the mother of two girls.

Nikki Cross

Nikki says that the condition is often genetic but if there is no family history, it can go unnoticed. With that in mind, she visited a pediatric cardiologist for her two daughters, who are now teenagers, and just a few months ago her 15-year-old daughter Kayla > / Go Red 2014 65

Extra Special

ed Ladies in Brianna

was officially diagnosed with HC as well, and has been on medication since. “Support is key,” says Nikki, and that is definitely something that surrounds her household. “When it comes to Kayla and I, it’s all about the support and my husband and other daughter are very supportive. They understand that there might be times when we don’t have as much energy as we normally would and might be a little more tired,” adds Nikki. Even though both daughter and mother are on daily medication, they both try to live a normal and active life; Nikki follows a strict heart healthy diet and exercises regularly. On the other hand, Kayla

Kayla Cross

is also very active, she started doing gymnastics at the age of one and is currently a Level 9 Gymnast. “She is very active but makes sure that she monitors herself closely while doing gymnastics,” says Nikki of Kayla, who also started a health club in her high school that will go into effect next year. “I want this club to raise awareness to students my age about heart disease. Also, to help support those who have a heart condition or those who know somebody with a heart condition. I already have ideas and activities in mind for this club,” explains Kayla, who is also a 4.33 GPA student. She admits she’s been influenced by her mother in helping the community and plans to go into the medical field to be able to help others. At some point Nikki humbly believed she wasn’t a survivor until someone told her “yes, you are. You have heart disease and you are surviving.” Her support as a volunteer at the American Heart Association has made her a Heart Champion and Women Support Network Coordinator. “I always tell my mom that I eventually want to do what she is doing, which is making a difference,” states Kayla.

By Jorge Arguello Brianna Bravo is a typical 17-year-old girl. She recently graduated from high school, where she maintained good grades throughout, and is now attending college at California State University, Bakersfield. And, just like a typical young woman, she’s got plenty of dreams and aspirations for the future: she’d like to transfer to UCLA and become an orthodontist. So while she looks like every other teenager, doing normal girl things (like hanging out with friends and family, going to the movies, working out, dancing, and listening to music), Brianna is special. “On the outside I am a normal teenage girl, but on the inside I am very unique,” she adds. Brianna was born with congenital heart defects, one being dextrocardia and the other heterotaxy. Dextrocardia is a medical condition in which the heart is closer to the right side of the center of the chest instead of the left and heterotaxy syndrome is when paired organs, such as the lungs or kidneys, are often mirror images of one another instead of having the unique characteristics of right and left that are normally present. She’s had three major open-heart surgeries. Her first surgery was at the tender age of six weeks old; her second was at nine months; and her third at four. In a recent visit to the doctor, to have her “transition” talk, since she is going to be an adult soon, she was

Brianna Bravo

informed that she might need a heart transplant later in life. Her doctors, though, are not sure how long it will be until then. “Life is very unpredictable so it could be sooner, later, or possibly even never,” adds the optimistic Brianna, who is also an avid American Heart Association volunteer. Even though Brianna is reminded every day of her condition, she has never looked at it in a negative way; instead she likes to call her condition a blessing because it has opened so many doors and has given her

66 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

many opportunities she would have never imagined. “It has also allowed me to meet new people, share my story, and make a difference,” adds the youngster. When questioned if she would ever want to change anything about her condition and live a normal life, her answer is “no,” without hesitation. “It is just like Lance Armstrong says, ‘I don’t know why I got the illness, but it did wonders for me, and I wouldn’t walk away from it.’ Why would I want to change, even for a day, the most important event in my life?” she says. Brianna also says that her condition does not define who she is as a person, but it is a major part of who she is and she knows that with the help of her friends and family, she will succeed in accomplishing her goals Sara By Jorge Arguello For 31-year-old Sara Moore, there is nothing more important to her than family: her mother, father, sisters, husband, sevenyear-old son, and especially six-year-old daughter, Daphne. Daphne was born six weeks early. She was born with two holes in her heart and a congenital heart murmur. In the time after her birth, Daphne was monitored closely by a heart specialist. Her lungs and heart were underdeveloped, and she was unable to eat on her own. But, surprise, at only three weeks old, baby Daphne showed great signs of recovery. The hospital’s cardiovascular team confirmed that the holes had healed themselves and the murmur was no longer detectable. “They were just very, very surprised,” adds Sara, who up to this day is very thankful. Similar to her daughter, Sara was born with a congenital heart murmur, which, even though it caused minimal problems in her life and her health, forced her to see doctors and be constantly monitored until the age of 18. As a child she was able to run and participate in activities along with her friends, but was always careful because of her condition. “I had to get ultrasounds every year and take necessary precautions, like taking certain medications. Luckily I outgrew that by the time I was 18. I had more testing done and it was non-detectable,” says Sara, who is a Health and Environmental Safety Representative at Chevron. However, a couple of years ago, after living a “normal life,” Sara had to be taken to urgent care where she was diagnosed with bradycardia, a type of heart arrhythmia, which is a problem with the rate or

rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Even though this hasn’t caused Sara any serious problems, she went back to being very careful and is very strict with her check-ups, exercises regularly with a personal trainer, and works with a nutritionist for healthy eating choices. “Because of the bradycardia I have a little bit of fatigue and some dizziness at times, but I am always checking my heart rate, checking my blood pressure, checking to make sure everything is good,” she adds.

Sara Moore

Heart disease seems very prominent in Sara’s family—in addition to her and her daughter, both her mother and sisters have also suffered from heart conditions. But that does not discourage her. As a volunteer of the American Heart Association and through her personal experience, she wants to help spread awareness to people with heart conditions and to the entire community. “Heart disease can strike anywhere, regardless of family history and when it does, not only that person, but everyone close to them, is affected,” adds Sara, who also stresses how important it is to get checked even if heart disease does not run in the family. Sara and Daphne, “her little success story,” as she calls her, often participate in community walks to help raise awareness and they include their family for more support. Sara wishes for Daphne to be able to open up about her condition so others can learn from her. “I definitely would love to see Daphne share her experience with heart disease. She and I are living proof that this disease does not have to be an end, but can rather be the start of a full and healthy life.” Norma & Aaron By Nikki Afable When Norma Rojas-Mora took her then six-month-old son, Aaron, into urgent care for a bad cough, she never expected a heart murmur to be detected. Aaron was then referred to a pediatric cardiologist and was >

You’re Probably Wondering How We Scored Such A Sweet Cover This Issue. Well, that artwork comes to you courtesy of a very talented local artist: Ashleymarie Sey Lively. Knowing that we wanted this issue’s cover to shine especially bright in honor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, we asked Sey (as she’s known in the art world) if she’d mind creating one of her amazing papercut designs for us. Obviously, she hit the colored pencil on the head. We also realized what a great opportunity this was to further help the AHA, which is why Sey also graciously agreed to donate the artwork to the organization so it can be auctioned off at For more on Sey a Go Red VIP event later this month with and her unique brand of art, check proceeds benefitting this great cause. out this issue’s Expressions on page 25. “Going Red”, Ashleymarie Sey Lively, papercut, 11” x 14” x 2”

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

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


861-7938 / Go Red 2014 67

Extra Special

Ladies in ed

Norma Rojas-Mora

diagnosed with “aortic stenosis,” a condition in which the aortic valve in the heart does not open fully, decreasing blood flow from the heart. From then on, Aaron was monitored and checked every six months until his surgery to repair the valve at the age of 13. Thanks to medical advances, doctors were able to perform the repair through Aaron’s veins, cutting down his recovery time. For Norma, this experience came as a surprise since no one in her family had a history of heart disease. Norma, now a volunteer for the American Heart Association, is committed to spreading the word about heart disease in children. Her advice to parents in a

similar situation is to have constant communication with the doctors. “The doctors that cared for my son would go above and beyond in explaining things to us, at every single visit,” says the strong mother, who also adds that every time she left doctor’s visits, the family would have a clear understanding of all the tests that Aaron went through. For her and her family, during the check-up and surgery process, establishing a support network for Aaron was also very important. In hindsight, she believes that Aaron would have benefited more with a support system from his teen peers. She finds that it’s different to hear “it will be okay” from a parent or

Aaron Mora

68 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

adult, than from another teenager. Although that didn’t quite happen, fortunately something that Aaron never missed was support from his family. “They all have been communicating and supportive of Aaron, especially during his surgery,” adds Norma. Even though at one point in his life Aaron felt different because of his condition, Norma knew that this would not exclude him from his peers. “While growing up, he always felt that people would treat him differently if they knew he had a heart disease. But now, people have been walking up to him saying, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that about you,’ and that is really the point,” she says. “Heart disease isn’t necessarily something you wear on your sleeve but it’s important to be aware of it.” Now, the 16-year-old lives a normal life. The high school junior is enrolled in the marching band and is looking forward to a bright future in college where he plans to study biology or biochemical engineering, fields in which he knows he can make an impact on the community. However, Aaron is already making an impact on the community and Norma is proud that her

son has joined her in supporting the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazón, which brings heart-health education to the Latino community. The entire family has gotten involved and Norma has submitted herself as an ambassador to the cause and getting the word out on why it’s important to get checked and to start

Estrella Navarrete

having conversations about heart health. Their goal as volunteers is to spread awareness and, together, as a family, they are certain to make a difference in the world. Estrella & Alma By Nikki Afable Heart disease has brought these two sisters together for a greater cause. Their journey started when Estrella was diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease while she was still in her mother’s womb. When she was born, she was put into observation and had her first open heart surgery three months later. “They put a band over my [heart] valve because my valves were leaking,” says 30-year-old Estrella, who had a second heart surgery done when she was 21 months old to connect her heart valve back to the pulmonary artery. With her parents’ multiple trips to the hospital, her older sister Alma, who was only two years old at the time, didn’t know what was going on and felt left out by all the attention Estrella was getting. As they grew older, Alma learned more about Estrella’s condition and they’ve become closer than ever. Today, Estrella is doing much better thanks to her procedures. Her doctor’s visits have gone down from once a month to now once a year with her growing strength, but she still remains on lifetime medication and steers clear of physical activity. She works hard as an office manager and account executive in broadcast advertising. “Blood stains,” as she calls them, caused from circulation leakage in her body, have covered her lower legs and used to make her feel weak and ashamed when others saw

them. But now it no longer deters her positivity and confidence and when she’s asked, she proudly shows the surgery scar on her chest as a sign of her lifelong journey. “There’s always a silver lining, there truly is. Because of me having heart disease, I feel like there’s so much I can do in life to bring awareness and to reach out to people,” says Estrella who wishes to share her experience and encourage others to become educated. Her goal is to “shine more light” on the subjects of heart disease and heart health. Big sister Alma, now 32 years old and a marketing executive at KGET-Telemundo, is also spreading awareness and has become involved in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red For Women and Go Red Por Tu Corazón movements with her sister, Estrella, and family. While she initially got involved for her little sister, Alma is engaged in AHA because she wanted to make an impact in other people’s lives and not have anyone suffer. Alma also makes an

Alma Navarrete

effort to help influence the Hispanic community to be more proactive than reactive by educating them and providing them with the tools and resources it takes to prevent heart disease and health issues. Above all, Alma stresses the importance of a strong family support system. By being supportive and including her sister in everything, she strives to “make those little changes that are important to her lifestyle so that we are together on the same page.” Their involvement with the American Heart Association has made them both passionate for the cause. Estrella says that the American Heart Association has opened different doors for her, while Alma thinks it’s a good feeling to be able to take little steps to make a difference in someone’s life. Their enthusiasm in the organization has brought these two sisters united together to make an impact in the world. n

©2014, American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. TM Go Red trademark of AHA, Red Dress trademark of DHHS.

2014 Go Red Sponsorship National Sponsors Macy’s Survivor Gallery Sponsor Dignity Health Speak from the Heart Sponsor San Joaquin Community Hospital Go Red Girlfriends Sponsor Bakersfield Heart Hospital Gift Bag Sponsor Chevron Heart Seminar Sponsor Comprehensive Cardiovascular Medical Group PG&E “Affairs of the Heart” Sponsor Central Cardiology Medical Center Luncheon Sponsor GEMCare “Hearts United” Sponsor Houchin Blood Bank Loving Your Heart Sponsors Atul Aggarwal MD Cardiology Clinic Bakersfield Family Medical Center DoubleTree by Hilton Kern Family Health Care Morro Bay Tourism Motor City West State Farm Media Sponsors Bakersfield Magazine KGET/Telemundo Sierra Printers Clear Channel Radio Buckley Broadcasting American General Media Table Sponsors Around the Clock Bakersfield Heart Hospital Coldwell Banker Preferred Realtors Klein DeNatale Goldner MidAmerican National Association of Professional Women Rabobank SunPower Corportation Union Bank Special Issue Presented By / Go Red 2014 69

Houchin Partners With AHA for ‘Hearts United’ Houchin Community Blood Bank and the American Heart Association (AHA) are partnering for February’s Go Red for Women 2014 campaign, which focuses on heart health awareness and the need to have a safe, reliable local blood supply. “Houchin is a strong supporter of the American Heart Association,” says Greg Gallion, noting the relationship between the treatment of heart ailments and the need for blood products. Health organizations estimate a heart transplant requires 4-6 units of red blood cells; adult open heart surgery, 2-6 units of red blood cells, 2-4 units of plasma and 1-10 units of platelets; newborn open heart surgery, 1-4 units of red blood cells, 1-2 units of plasma, and 1-4 units of platelets; and abdominal aortic aneurysm, 4-6 units of red blood cells. Houchin will hold a two-week “Hearts United” blood drive Feb. 10-22, with the goal of attracting 1,000 donors and raising $5,000 for AHA. Houchin will contribute $5 per pint donated to AHA. “Donors of blood and blood products are needed to support heart and other medical procedures,” said Gallion, urging people to know their blood types and be willing to donate. Below, just a few of Houchin’s many donors explain why they roll up their sleeves.

Virginia “Ginger” Mello platelets. She notes automated donation is similar to donating whole blood. She says she uses the two hours she spends in the platelet chair as “quiet time” to catch up on such things as e-mail.

Lisa Brown

gent need and blood does not last forever. I wanted to make a difference,” she says. Ginger soon began donating platelets and plasma, when she learned her AB+ blood type made her the universal donor of those products. Now contending with arthritis, Ginger requires help from Houchin staff to “squeeze her fist,” as part of the donation process. “As long as I am able to donate, nothing will stop me.”

Here’s What You Can Do: What: Donate blood at the first annual Hearts United Blood Drive

Why: To save lives & earn a $5 donation

for the American Heart Association When: February 10 – 22, 2014 Where: Houchin Community Blood Bank Lisa Brown became the youngest female donor to enter Houchin’s 10-Gallon Club on Oct. 27, 2011. “It’s an easy way to help people and takes less than an hour of your time,” she says. “It’s a really worthwhile thing to do.” Long before she was old enough to donate, herself, Lisa began Cindysue Beck coming to the blood bank with her father, Cindysue Beck is enthusiastic about Danny, who has donated more than 20 galplatelet donation and encourages others to lons. Lisa is a 5th grade teacher at Hardonate blood or platelets. She has donated ris Elementary School and the mother of 126 units of platelets and over 9 gallons of a 6-year-old daughter who she hopes will whole blood. Cindy switched to automated continue the family tradition. platelet donation when a relative suffered Virginia “Ginger” Mello has donated over a nearly fatal heart attack on Super Bowl 320 units of platelets. She began donating weekend.  His recovery required a lot of after Sept. 11, 2001. “There was an ur70 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Bolthouse Donor Center

11515 Bolthouse Drive Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Closed on Sunday

Truxtun Donor Center

5901 Truxtun Avenue Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Closed on Sunday

More info: or call 661/323-4222 to set an appointment

We all know that women make amazing caretakers for the important people in their lives. Sometimes, so much so that women end up neglecting their own health in favor of ensuring others are well cared for. But when it comes to heart health, there’s no room for neglect.


hankfully, over the last few years, medical science has gotten a better understanding of just how crucial heart health is for women—after all, heart disease and stroke are the number one and number three killers of women in the United States. And locally, there are a number of programs designed to shine a light on this problem and offer some amazing solutions. According to Michelle Oxford, the vice president of Business Development for Bakersfield Heart Hospital, the need in our community for a specific women’s heart center was overwhelming. After arriving at Bakersfield Heart Hospital in July of 2012, Oxford set to work, completing hours of research and discovering that on a national level, less than 50 hospital-based women’s heart centers existed. “We needed to better address the needs of the women in our community,” Oxford explained of the hospital’s reasoning behind starting the Women’s Heart Center (WHC). “I began constructing the WHC with a focus on an inviting space, meaningful content, accurate reporting tools, and the best, caring competent nurses available to staff the center.” And that meant also developing screenings, risk factor identification tools, educational programs, follow up care options, and support groups for women in our community living with heart disease.

Healthy Hearts (L-R) Michelle Oxford, vice president of Business Development and Cynthia Burt, R.N., clinical program coordinator for the Women’s Heart Center at Bakersfield Heart Hospital.

“I worked with the prestigious patient advocacy organization, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease to complete the program by adding a support group element,” Oxford elaborated. “We work on improving the services of the WHC on a daily basis by adding new content and providing more resources to ensure lower risk factors and help with lifestyle changes.” As such, the Heart Hospital’s Women’s Heart Center offers complete heart health screenings for women (at just a $25 cost). The screening includes a blood pressure test, cholesterol screening, cardiac risk assessment, one-on-one consultation with a

heart health expert, a heart disease risk survey and personalized report, and follow-up phone calls to answer any questions. “The American Heart Association encourages women to be screened for heart disease starting at age twenty with a follow-up screening dependent on risk,” Oxford said. The response has been great. Mainly because so many women are realizing they can’t put their health behind that of their families. “We see many patients who do not take the time to see their primary care physicians because of their schedule, therefore are completely unaware of some of >

HEART HEALTHY TIP: The Heart Hospital’s Women’s Heart Center offers complete heart health screenings for women for just $25. / Go Red 2014 71

Healthy Hearts

(L-R) Michele Shain, director, and Brandy Johnson, specialty program coordinator in Transformational Care at Dignity Hospitals of Bakersfield.

their risk factors,” explained Cynthia Burt, R.N. Burt is the clinical program coordinator for the WHC and sees these situations on a daily basis. “The most common risk factor is high blood pressure because it’s a silent condition and sometimes won’t show symptoms.” For Burt, the Center offers valuable tools to women in our community. “To be able to show someone a physical report of their heart, what their risk factors are for developing cardiovascular disease are, and, most importantly, how they can modify those risk factors, is of tremendous value.”

As Burt explained, those numbers can have a huge impact on a woman’s motivation to live a healthier lifestyle. “We try to see each woman as an individual and educate them in a way that works specifically to them rather than grouping all women together and teaching them the same. Women are choosing to come here for their appointment and they are hungry for the information and the education.”

“We have enjoyed an overwhelming acceptance of the program and we are excited to see that ‘word-of-mouth’ is quickly bringing us more women from the community,” Oxford added. But the mission is to make sure that every woman understands the importance of a healthy heart, so the Heart Hospital and their Women’s Heart Center is ever-evolving. “In 2012, we sent one of our heart disease survivors to the Mayo Clinic to be officially trained to lead our support group and this past October we sent a second heart disease survivor to be trained. We have expanded our support group to the Tehachapi community, as well,” Oxford explained. They’ve also collaborated with the American Heart Association’s Go Red Girlfriends program, which involves annual events that inspire women to reduce their risk factors for heart disease and stroke. That’s what’s at the heart of the matter—pardon the pun— women’s hearts. That topic was certainly at the forefront of the minds of those working at Dignity Health hospitals (Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield) in our community. “In 2011, Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals partnered with HeartCaring, an innovative and comprehensive program that focuses on gender-disparities in cardiovascular care in women,” explained Brandy Johnson, specialty program coordinator in Transformational Care at Dignity Hospitals of Bakersfield. “Through our HeartCaring

program, patients have access to specially designated physicians in the Bakersfield area dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease in women,” Johnson continued. The program provides education and support, as well as preventive and wellness programs such as cardiac screenings, and exercise and nutrition classes. And as a bonus, many of these services are free. “We recognized that women are under-diagnosed for heart disease in our community and despite treatment and diagnostic advances, there are gaps in understanding gender variations in symptoms and conditions,” she explained. “Recent research suggests that not only are women under-diagnosed, but these patients received fewer treatments for heart disease compared to men. Our mission is to provide clinical education and opportunities for women to take action for their health by knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, heart disease, risk factors for heart disease, and how to manage or reduce those risk factors.” Dignity Health realized that there was definitely a need for a program like HeartCaring in this community. “There are very few programs in our area that address the unique differences of women in relation to heart disease. That’s why Dignity Health has also partnered with the American Heart Association to bring the Go Red Por Tu Corazon program to Kern County. Por Tu Corazon is a grass roots movement that focuses on building greater awareness about Heart Dis-

“Through our HeartCaring program, patients have access to specially designated physicians in the Bakersfield area dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease in women.” —Brandy Johnson, Dignity Hospitals of Bakersfield

72 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

provide a cardiovascular risk assessment [screening] for women.” These screenings are offered twice a week at Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest for a $25 fee. “But we also offer a number of free educational opportunities throughout the year.” Local women have been very appreciative of the services offered. “The program has been very well received and feedback from the participants has been positive. Many are sharing what they’ve learned through our program with the women in their lives…their mothers, sisters, friends, coworkers…and encouraging them to take steps to know their risk of heart disease.” And that kind of response is what will ultimately save the lives of Kern County women. So, ladies, it’s time to start taking care of yourselves. Don’t put your health on the back burner while you care for everyone else in your life. Utilize the programs we are lucky to have here in town and make sure your heart is in the best shape it can be. n

Atul Aggarwal MD Cardiology Clinic

We as a staff strive to provide cardiovascular care with humility, compassion & dignity

Our clinic is located in Southwest Bakersfield, in the Riverwalk Medical Plaza

9330 Stockdale Highway, Suite 600 Bakersfield, CA 93311

Tel: 661-664-0100 • Fax: 661-664-0111

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ease among Hispanic women,” Johnson added, explaining that heart disease is the number one killer of Hispanic women. The aim is to ensure women of all backgrounds and ages understand the importance of caring for their hearts. It’s a wonderful goal, too, because, as we mentioned before, women are notorious for putting others before themselves. But with physician support and community awareness, the program has been succeeding. “Our HeartCaring team meets with doctors including primary care physicians, internists, OB/GYNs, as well as specialists to provide education about screening and educating women about heart disease,” she continued. “We provide clinical education to the physicians to ensure that they have the most current guidelines for treatment. In addition, we provide the physician office with educational materials for their patients and clinical tools to assist with the screening process. Mercy and Memorial Hospitals also

Thi Thi Trinh, DDS

Lam Trinh, DDS


3400 Calloway Drive, Suite 303 • Bakersfield / Go Red 2014 73

74 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

About halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, on California Highway 1, miner and prospector George Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of ranch land in 1865. His only child, William Randolph Hearst, inherited the land years later in 1919 from his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst. By Kimberly Horg t was known as “Camp Hill,” to the Hearst family—a place they would gather on camping trips that overlooked the beautiful central coast. This is where the young boy fell in love with the land and later envisioned a more comfortable, more elegant spot to enjoy the view. He came across a well-known San Francisco architect, Julia Morgan, and wrote a letter to her the year he inherited the land which simply said, “Miss Morgan, we are tired of camping out in the open at the ranch in San Simeon and I would like to build a little something.” Yes a “little something” was how Hearst described his vision. But for those of you who’ve visited the Hearst Castle, those are not two words you’d use to describe it. Morgan was one of the first women to graduate from University of California at Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering. The two formed a working relationship in which collaboration took place over the next couple decades to create a one-of-a-kind estate that included 165 rooms and 127 acres of garden terraces, indoor/outdoor pools, and walkways leading to thoughtfully designed rooms, as well as an extensive art collection. Parts of the Castle resemble an art mu-

seum, filled with European and Mediterranean pieces from centuries ago. Eventually renamed “La Cuesta Encantada” which means the Enchanted Hill, visitors were charmed to say the least with the hilltop house…er, castle. Because not only does this palatial mansion have an impressive art collection, Hearst wanted the estate to be the site of the world’s largest private zoo, with exotic animals from around the world. Big and beautiful was the way Hearst envisioned everything in his life, right down to his garden. He had hundreds of thousands of annuals and perennials planted so flowers would bloom throughout the year. He also managed to get his hands on a large collection of wine during the Prohibition Era. And to ensure he had a place to store this impressive stash, he had a wine cellar built during the ‘20s with gates that protected his bottles. He held lavish parties at the castle and flew in well-known celebrities and aristocrats. “In its time it was a place that people really wanted to go and experience,” Jim Allen, Hearst Castle director of marketing and public relations, said. “Not only was it perceived as being the height of good taste in its design and decoration, >>


photos Courtesy Hearst Castle®/California State Parks

a“little” something


William Randolph Hearst

From any vantage point, Hearst Castle is a gem of architectural achievement. / Go Red 2014 75

but it was a place where his guests would have the opportunity to meet other guests from many different walks of life; business leaders, heads of state, scientists, aviators, actors, producers, and so forth.” Hearst’s wife, Millicent, hosted many a lavish party at first but in years following, she rarely visited the estate. The couple had five sons and eventually grew apart. William Randolph Hearst, Jr. recalls his parents becoming “incompatible.” The two lived apart while Hearst continued to grow his publishing empire, owning over two dozen newspapers nationwide. Hearst Corporation is still one of the nation’s largest diversified media companies. According to Allen, the financial resources he inherited could have kept him comfortable for life. But instead of choosing a lifetime of leisure, he chose to apply himself, take risks, create jobs, and develop businesses in newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, news service, a movie production company, ranching, and real estate. “The ranch was the largest employer in the north San Luis Obispo coast during the Great Depression,” Allen said. “Today, Hearst Castle continues to support local job creation and the tourism economy.” William Randolph Hearst died when he was 88 years old, on August 14, 1951. The estate was donated by the family and now California State Parks works to preserve and promote the historic structure and the priceless art collections within this California castle. So while guests have been flocking to the Castle for years to sneak a peek at the riches, formal castle tours have only been in existence since June 2, 1958. The tours have changed slightly over the years but they’re still delighting visitors as they did decades ago. So if you decide to make a trip to Hearst Castle, grab your snifter of port and your monocle, and take a trip back in time to when decadence was king. There are a number of tour options when you arrive. The indoor portions of the tour are guided and the outdoor parts are selfguided with a mobile app option that may be downloaded in the Apple App Store. Visitors can stroll along the gardens and visit the breathtaking Neptune and Roman pools, and then spend the rest of the day up at the Castle by taking multiple tours, starting with the Grand Rooms Tour, then the Upstairs

photos Courtesy Hearst Castle®/California State Parks

Great Getaways

Hearst Castle’s Gothic-inspired study.

Suites Tour, and ending with the Cottages and Kitchen Tour. There’s also an Evening Tour during the spring and fall months only. “I love all parts of the tour, and there is definitely something for everyone to appreciate about Hearst Castle,” Allen added. “If I had to pick a single favorite part of the tour, I would say I really appreciate experiencing the harmonious design of the art, architecture, and gardens of an estate situated on a hilltop with breathtaking views of the surrounding pristine ranch lands, Santa Lucia Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean coastline.” Allen admires all of the rooms at the castle but says the Assembly Room is a popular pick amongst guests. People are impressed by its grand tapestries, mantle

“It is an extraordinary opportunity to be able to visit a historic house museum with its original collections intact” –Jim Allen

over mantle design fireplace, Renaissance furniture, and ornamental ceiling of the large scale room. Visitors have two chances to see the Assembly Room on either the Grand Rooms Tour or on the Evening Tour. Allen says back in the day, only a handful of elite guests had the opportunity to see the art, architecture, and gardens of Hearst Castle. Now that it is a California State Park, the public can enjoy it almost any day of the year. It is an opportunity for people to come and learn about the history and the life of Hearst and see the extraordinary collections he procured while being one of

76 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

The indoor Roman-style pool is particularly magnificent.

the early 20th Century’s biggest moguls. The art collection is found on all the tours. Visitors can see pieces at the Castle from ancient Egypt through to Art Deco periods. The majority of the collection is decorative arts from 14th to 17th century Italy and Spain. All together there are about 22,000 original artifacts throughout the estate at Hearst Castle. The Castle is a fully accredited museum and is also renowned for its collection of Ancient Greek pottery and religious Renaissance paintings. “It is an extraordinary opportunity to be able to visit a historic house museum with its original collections intact,” Allen said. “It is a rare chance for people to visit a place that has remained unchanged for decades. The Castle displays its original art and furnishings and offers spectacular, pristine views that have also remained virtually unchanged over the decades.” The Castle is only closed three days a year (Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day). It is strongly recommended to make advance tour reservations because they often sell out. Reservations may be made online at www.HearstCastle. org or by calling (800) 444-4445. v


From very ornate Wardian terrariums to simpler window plants... Have you tried gardening indoors this year?

Yes, I Yam

In my next life—aside from coming back as Grace Kelly’s identical twin sister—I will have a Garden Room in my house. Yes, you heard Mrs. P correctly, she of the “Suck it up, get outside in the cold, and hoe those weeds” school. My (fantasy) Garden Room would be bright and cozy in chillier months and deliciously cool during the hotties. And always, always,

it would be full of lovely plants. Unseen gardeners would work overnight, bringing fresh pots of scented bulbs, luxuriant ferns, colorful orchids, saucer-sized begonias, and, oh yes, please, tropical plumerias. Since I don’t have several dozen minions to make this dream come true, I’ve had to adjust my attitude towards Plan B: a Terrarium. These mini Garden Rooms are small glass enclosures or closed containers, in which selected living plants are kept and observed. You could use an old fish tank, but something more decorative would be a Wardian case. These small, stylized greenhouses make an attractive addition to any room. Crafted of metal, wood, and glass, they come in

By Lynn Pitts

a variety of sizes. Many indoor plants will thrive in the Wardian case environment of constant humidity and stable temperature. Named after their creator, Nathanial Ward, a London surgeon, Wardian cases and terrariums in general were first discovered in 1829. As a child Ward lived in a polluted area of London and tried, but failed, to grow ferns and mosses in his backyard. Abandoning gardening, Ward turned to insects. In a covered glass jar he placed a moth cocoon buried in mold. As he monitored the cocoon, Ward noticed the humidity created within the bottle and was soon astounded to see small grass and ferns growing on the surface of the mold. He experimented further and found that many plants thrive in the environ of a miniature greenhouse. Wardian cases were eventually used to transport plants by sea from around the world and helped introduce them from the New World to Europe. I’ll bet you always wondered how the heck the plant explorers kept their discoveries alive on those long ocean voyages. Now you know and you know who told you. Real antique Wardian cases can be hard to find, but copies abound in better nurseries, home decor stores, and online. I found mine in the gift department of a nursery. To have success with a Wardian case or terrarium, keep the following tips in mind:

Plant selection: Choose plants

with similar growing requirements. Slow-growing foliage plants are usually easiest. Avoid fuzzy-leaved plants >> / Go Red 2014 77

Gardening with Mrs. P because their foliage holds too much water and may rot.

Preparation: Just about any container will work for a terrarium, including fishbowls or glass cookie jars. Before planting, layer an inch of crushed gravel on the bottom of the container. Next, sprinkle half an inch layer of slightly moistened charcoal chips, which prevents odors. Top with two inches of pre-moistened potting soil that contains perlite. Planting: Building a terrarium or Ward-

ian case is a lot like making a tiny garden. Add visual interest by mounding the soil in some areas. Besides plants, you can add accessories such as polished stones or seasonal decor. When planting is complete, mist the plants a little. If any soil has stuck to the sides, clean it off with a paper towel. Keep the top closed until there is condensation on the glass, then uncover. Terrariums can be covered with plastic wrap if they don’t have a lid. Wardian cases usually have hinged lids. After a day or two, check the terrarium condensation level. Although you want some, excess can drip onto plants and rot them. Open the tops if this becomes a problem. Terrariums and Wardian cases require a bright location, but no direct sunlight. Water only when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Fertilizer causes plants to grow, which you don’t want to encourage too much of in such tight quarters. Apply liquid plant food at half strength every five to six months. Keep things clean. Prevent fungus build-up and rotting by quickly removing any ailing plants and fallen leaves. After finishing a recent glass of wine, it occurred to Mrs. P how interesting it would be to use the wineglass to plant a terrarium as a pretty house gift for a friend accompanied by a bottle of wine. Outfitted with tiny plants, it would give him something attractive to admire long after the bottle of wine was gone. Not that Mrs. P imbibes that often, but well, accidents will happen, and she has accumulated quite a collection of mismatched champagne flutes, martini glasses, brandy snifters, and margarita glasses. Booze-ariums sounds rather crass, but Happy Hour Homes is kind of catchy, don’t you think?

These terrariums are prepared slightly differently than the closed lid terrariums. First of all, the bigger the glass, the more plants you can fit in your wineglass. Craft stores sell mega sized glasses. Add pretty stones or gravel to the bottom of the container, a half inch of charcoal from the pet store, a quarter inch layer of sphagnum moss, and three to four inches of a very good potting soil. Good wineglass terrarium plant selections include a wide variety of miniatures such as ivies, dwarf anthurium, pink polka-dot plant, maidenhair fern, aralias, pothos, and many small succulents. Use plants that are approximately two inches in height and width. With a pencil or your finger create a small


garden activity that’s still lots of fun for kids or just something different for your indoor garden is to try growing plants from kitchen scraps. We’ve all heard of soaking a rooting avocado seeds indoors. Been there, done that. Did you know you can also grow apple and lemon trees from seed? Growing pineapple plants is also easy. Pineapple tops transform into attractive plant and yams create a long, handsome vine.

Indoor Apple and Citrus Trees: Soak

six to twelve apple/citrus seeds overnight in warm water. Because germination isn’t very high, planting more rather than fewer seeds is best. Press the seeds into soil slightly and cover with a thin layer of soil. Keep moist. Apples and citrus may take a month or more to germinate, so be patient. When they emerge, place plants in the brightest lit area of your house. When plants have some foliage, encourage bushy growth by pinching off new leaves.

Growing Yams Indoors: Take an-

Ph o

to M

ichell e

ck ks to Sibrian/iStock/thin

elongated yam and scrub well. Cut off one end and stick the bottom with four toothpicks at even intervals. Place in a widemouth jar filled with water, the cut end immersed. Vines will grow from the eyes in the upper portion of the yam.

Growing Pineapple Trees Indoors:

cavity for the plant roots and then ease the plant into the soil and gently cover the roots with soil. Leave a half inch or so between plants when planting. Terrariums are meant to grow slowly, so you can really pack ‘em in. Any accessory will add a decorative flair. Try pieces of reindeer moss, animal figurines, and miniature ornaments for any holiday. Place these Happy Hour Glasses in a location with light from a southern or eastern exposure. Direct sunlight can cause the terrarium to heat up too much which can kill your plants. Water once or twice a week, depending on the temperature and humidity level in your home. When the soil appears to have dried out some, fill a turkey baster with three to four ounces of water and dribble it into the terrarium. Don’t over water. Oh, I almost forgot. Another old-timey

78 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Cut the top off a ripe pineapple, leaving about one inch of fruit attached. Bury the fruit portion of the pineapple in potting soil, leaving the green crown exposed. Water well and place in a warm, brightly lit spot. Within one to two months the pineapple will take root and begin to grow. If you have lots and lots of patience, after four years or so, the plant may produce a fragrant pink or red flower with small little pineapples. Anyhow, it’s all worth a try, and who knows? Maybe the weather will warm up soon so we can all go outside to our real Bakersfield Garden Room. 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. / Go Red 2014 79

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home & Garden


anika Salsera/istock/thinkstock

with attitude

Ah, spring...the weather is warmer, the skies are bluer, and the trees are greener; and you know what that means! The time has come to make sure

towels this season doesn’t mean you

your home is keeping up with the new

have to run out and buy them, espe-

From to CountryLiving.

season. We’re talkin’ style-wise, peo-

cially if the thought of having a sea

com, home designers are talking about

ple. Now, you can also do a little spring

foam bathroom makes you feel sea

going green! Every green. Why? Well,

cleaning while you’re at it—in fact,

sick. No, these ideas and tips are only

the color green, depending on its shade

we encourage it—but over the years,

meant to guide you as you welcome

and hue, can promote a calm, serene

we’ve given you tons of tips on how to

spring 2014 into your home.

environment, or give a room some


clean away all those winter dust bun-

vibrant pop. Replace throw pillows,

nies, so you’re on your own there. In-

curtains, and other accent pieces with

stead, with this feature, we’re trying to infuse a little burst of fresh air into your home by way of new colors, new décor, and new trends. FIrst things first It seems like designers and home decorators have varied opinions when it comes to all facets of style, but there is one thing all of them agree on: pick what you like. Just because Martha Stewart says that sea foam green is a great color for

Women’s fashion often influences home colors. Cayenne (a dark salmon color) is recommended for walls. Bright purples are also great in small doses—accent pillows, blankets, vases, and décor. Then there’s the rich greys for bedding, couches, and other furniture.

new items in shades of green…emerald to green apple, you can’t go wrong. Yes, this does include sea foam green— if you like that kinda thing. Just make sure that the green items are the accent pieces, and you don’t go out and buy an entire green furniture set or 10 cans of green spray paint to turn your house into something out of the Wizard of Oz. And remember that green is a color that looks good matched with many other colors. Light blues, bright > / Go Red 2014 81

home & Garden resources

yellows, deep creams…it’s easy to incorporate a green into your home without having to redesign everything. OTHER COLORS WORK, TOO

Tropical prints and interesting copper curios can breathe new life into any room.

And a number of other colors getting a lot of attention for spring were taken straight from the runway. Yes, believe it or not, women’s fashion often influences popular home colors. Cayenne (a dark salmon color) is highly recommended, especially for walls. Bright purples are also great in small doses—accent pillows, throw blankets, vases, and décor. Then there’s the rich greys for bedding, couches, and other furniture. If you’re not a huge fan of any of these colors, don’t worry. Classic designs and colors never really go out of style, so even if you want to keep your décor scheme and just add some small flecks of color here and adam fahey designs/istock/thinkstock.(Brown Pattern), spline_x/istock/thinkstock (Green Pattern), bogonet/istock/thinkstock (pitcher)

there, you’ll still be surprised to see how it can give the room some new energy. KEEPING THINGS LIGHT Another thing that will really refresh your home for spring is giving the room some air. Seems fitting, right? Refresh? Air? Anyway. One way to accomplish this is by ensuring your ceiling is a light color, or that your wainscoting/trim/paint gets lighter in hue the closer you get to the ceiling. This, naturally, gives the room the appearance of more space. Another tip is to try taking down any and all artwork, photos, wall art, etc. (don’t worry, the kids will be okay even if their

Give your windows some love and make sure they’re clean and exposed (not hidden behind old curtains) and integrate your colorful décor very minimally.

beat your chest...GO NATIVE There’s also a trend this season leaning toward tropical and leaf print materials! And no, you haven’t accidentally slipped into a time vortex and traveled to the 1980s—these prints are back (to the future?). Curtains, linens, throw blankets and pillows, even wallpaper! The designs range from

grade school portraits aren’t on display) and only hanging up

palm fronds, ferns, banana leaves, and other foliage…and

a select few dynamic pieces. With more wall space, the room

people are diggin’ it. Of course, the colors are the big dif-

will seem airier, less cluttered. Also, give your windows some

ference. Instead of everything being smothered in a glob of

love and make sure they’re clean and exposed (not hidden

pastel paint, there are lots of darker fabrics with golds and

behind old curtains) and integrate your colorful décor very

tans; light greens and creams. Even serving dishes are get-


ting in on the tropical action, with a number of designers

discover the magic of COPPER

incorporating these patterns into typical household ware.

And according to the style experts at, copper is the metal to decorate with this season. You might be

And there you have it! A handful of options for pulling the

thinking, how do I decorate with a metal? Think small. Cop-

spring season indoors and into your home. So whether you

per vases, pitchers, candle sticks, photo frames…these are

paint your end table bright green, pick up some copper dé-

all great options and are all the rage. Some people are even

cor, or hang palm frond-patterned curtains, your home will

going as far as using copper as a backsplash in kitchens and

be as ready to meet the sun as you are. n


82 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.


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84 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Let’s Eat

Whether you’re a culinary virtuoso or a beginning

cook, we’re here to do all the prep work for you when it comes to your weekly menu. Packed with savory recipes from local chefs, reviews of the best Bakersfield restaurants, and tips on how to throw your own festive dinner parties, not to mention our extensive Dining Guide, our always-growing, alwaysfabulous Food Section will fill you up with ideas before you fill up on scrumptious food. So when you’re ready to explore a world of new flavors, just scroll through these pages

istoc k/ th



for a little inspiration. / Go Red 2014 85


Yet Divine

Quick Bites with Local Flavor

There’s way more to the Village Sports Bar & Grill than typical bar fare (and it proved that with its deep-fried cheesecake), but when we asked owner and manager Mike Barajas to prepare something tasty for our readers, we were thrilled with his recipe. Elegant and yet simple, his new creation, La Villagio Chicken, incorporates local ingredients and bold flavors. It’s the perfect dish for a relaxing night at home—and it can even work perfectly for a fancy dinner with a loved one. Best of all, it’s a snap to make. Just make sure you enjoy your chicken slowly so you can really savor this special dish. LET’S EAT

ns a carathe garlic and cook until it tur add h Wit s. ree deg 350 Preheat your oven to about three minutes). Then n breast, mel color (also cke chi h eac into cut fe, kni a sharp simmer until it is almost Be add in the wine and g. ffin stu for s cut ugh eno es about 10 to making large entirely evaporated, which tak y wa the all ast bre the heavy careful not to cut s. When it’s ready, stir in the ce a slice of 15 minute pla ast bre h of the eac e On um h! vol oug thr r until the d to- cream and simme drie sun the of ces which oun t, ee cen ham, thr ut 50 per tta sauce is reduced by abo rico ns poo les tab ee thr ill s. Finally, stir in matoes, and also takes about 10 minute Village Spor ts Bar & Gr ast bre n cke chi the ng nuts, cheese before wrappi ts (or, if you are allergic to chicken on a the walnu ce Pla ts. ien li), red cco ing bro the ng uti und aro substit utes Barajas recommends min 30 to 25 for e (serves 2) bak and et baking she salt, and pepper. es ato tom . to rest for a ed red dri ove sun unc oz. 6 • s When chicken is done, allow 2 chicken breast e par pre , ing bak is n raslices While the chicke ore slicing and plating up (Ba 6 tbsp. Ricotta cheese • 2 ham dium sauce minute bef me a In ce. and sau rice us h icio wit oil del us the vegetable jas said it would be delicio 1 shallot, minced • ½ tbsp. dium-low heat), cook the me er e (ov win pan ite and then top with a wh dry cup 1 are steamed vegetables) y the il 1 clove of garlic, minced • unt oil ble eta veg oy. shallots in the chopped walnuts spoonfuls of the sauce and enj 2 cups heavy cream • ½ cup ee minutes. Next, few thr ut abo nt, uce nsl tra pepper • ¼ tsp. salt ½ tsp. course ground black

La Villagio Chicken

86 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Entertaining the Bakersfield Way

H ”

Saffron Rice with Pan-Seared Tilapia and Pinto Bean Salsa

people often ask me...

ow can you cook so often, eat so many delicious meals, enjoy desserts constantly, and still stay healthy and in a good shape?” Well, this article is part of my answer. In general, I don’t follow any specific diets for losing weight and I don’t starve myself. I exercise regularly and I have a pretty active life. I enjoy foods in small portions and I eat a Mediterranean-style diet. This means that in my family, we always eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, plenty of whole grains, healthy fats (such as olive oil and avocado), and lean proteins (fish, poultry, beef, pork, and seafood). Each morning, I prepare a sit-down breakfast; sometimes it is pancakes with fruits, sometimes an egg or cheese sandwich, or peanut butter and jelly toast. Either way, I believe, this is the most important meal of the day. Throughout the day, I eat five small meals. Two of them are healthy snacks. If I am in a mood for something sweet, I grab a muffin with a tea or two oatmeal cookies with a coffee. If I am craving something salty, I opt for a handful of toasted nuts. This way, I have enough energy between the main meals and I can engage in a variety of activities (teaching, working out, or more cooking). I often go to restaurants with my husband, because we enjoy trying new foods and getting inspirations for home cooking.

Story and photos by Yana Todorova

Cinnamon-Chocolate Cookies

However, I try to control my portions. I am careful what I order and if the serving size is very big, I take some of it for later. There is no single recipe for healthy eating: it is an entire way of living and it takes some years to build healthy habits. Here, I share with you some tips to get your family to eat better and I’ve included some heart-healthy favorites to inspire you! Try to include feta cheese in your daily diet. It is a cheese that’s very low in fat, packed with flavor, provides calcium for strong bones, and adds a “Greek touch” to any dish. Since it is very salty, a little goes a long way. Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts: they help reduce your risk of heart attack and are comprised of healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. So, I encourage you to add them not only to this recipe, but also to your daily snacks and meals. Stuffed Grape Leaves (makes about 10 small servings): 3 tsp. olive oil • 1 1/2 cups finely diced onion 1/2 cup uncooked medium-grain rice 1/2 cup water 1/4 tsp. each of dried dill, salt, and pepper 2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted 35 bottled grape leaves

Each morning, I prepare a sit-down breakfast; sometimes it is pancakes with fruits, sometimes an egg or cheese sandwich, or peanut butter and jelly toast. Either way, I believe, this is the most important meal of the day. / Go Red 2014 87

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Entertaining the Bakersfield Way Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the rice, the water, and the spices. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat, and simmer for 8 minutes. Cool. Stir in the feta and the almonds. Rinse the grape leaves with cold water, drain, and pat them dry with kitchen paper towels. Take one leaf. Spoon about 1 tablespoon rice mixture onto its center. Bring two opposite points of the leaf to the center and fold over the filling. Then, start rolling up, in a jelly-roll fashion. Place it in a steamer, seam side down. Repeat procedure with the remaining leaves and mixture. Steam the stuffed grape leaves Stuffed for an hour and a half. Serve grape leaves warm or at room temperature with tzatziki sauce. Tilapia is a mild-flavored white fish, but any fish you have on hand would work perfectly in this recipe. Eating fish two or three time per week helps you to prevent many diseases. Fish has omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them. Beans are one of the few canned foods I enjoy. Just make sure to rinse and drain them before using. In this way, you can eliminate some of the excess sodium. Pinto beans are nutrient-rich, low-fat, and an excellent source of protein and fiber. Saffron Rice with Pan-Seared Tilapia and Pinto Bean Salsa (makes 2 servings) 2 tsp. olive oil • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1 garlic clove, minced • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice (such as Thai Jasmine) 1 1/4 cup water, previously mixed with few saffron strands 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper • 1/2 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained 10 grape tomatoes, thinly sliced or chopped 1/8 tsp. each of salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, and black pepper 2 tsp. olive oil • 2 tsp. lime juice • 2 tilapia fish fillets (about 6 oz. each) 1 tsp. olive oil • 1/8 tsp. salt and pepper • fresh parsley (for decoration) For the saffron rice: heat two teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until soft. Add the rice and the saffron water. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 16 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pinto Pair your Tilapia beans salsa. In a small bowl, mix with this crisp salad together the beans, tomatoes, 1/8 with Yogurt Dressing. teaspoon each of salt, cumin, coSee recipe on our website. riander, and pepper. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons each of olive oil and lime juice. Just before the rice is done, cook the tilapia fillets. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the fillets on both sides evenly with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Sauté those 2 minutes on each side or until the fish easily flakes. To plate the dish: spoon the rice onto two dinner plates. Top each with a tilapia fillet. Divide the pinto salsa evenly and garnish with fresh parsley. LET’S EAT For more tasty recipes, check out our website!

88 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

What’s Cookin’

When it has to be


t’s been more than four decades since I was last in Vietnam, but I have good memories of the food there. Everyone ate pho, the popular Vietnamese soup, in its various forms. There were other offerings as well—shrimp, seafood, rice of course, vegetables—all of it fresh. If it’s complexity you’re looking for, Vietnamese cuisine may not be for you. But if it’s freshness you crave with the flavors of the ingredients foremost, then by all means, visit Saigon Restaurant at 3113 Chester Lane in Bakersfield. It’s a small Vietnamese restaurant that offers authentic dishes, casual atmosphere, and delightful service. I had occasion to dine there a few times recently and found what may be one of Bakersfield’s unsung dining spots. The staff was helpful and friendly, the atmosphere pleasant and quiet, and the food delicious. There seems to be a sense that Vietnamese food is all spicy. Not true. It depends on what part of the country you’re in. Where I was—what would today be considered central Vietnam, the food could be spicy because the climate allowed a wide variety of vegetables and herbs to be grown, including chilies. Though I’ve never been to northern Vietnam, I’m told that the climate is cooler there and as a result the cuisine milder.


By Mike Stepanovich • Photos by Eric James

Saigon Restaurant has you covered. The dishes are prepared mild, for the most part, and if you want to spice them up, no problem. A squeeze bottle of red chili sauce is available, and believe me a little goes a long way. While the culinary style is principally Asian, you’ll also find a French influence Grilled shrimp in the offerings, which shouldn’t come as & vermicelli a surprise, considering that Vietnam was part of what was known as French Indochina for several decades during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A reflection of French culinary influence is found on Saigon’s menu in the listing of sandwiches. The sandwiches, all served on French bread, feature mayonnaise, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, and shredded carrots. You have a choice of paté with pork meatloaf ($4.29), barbecued chicken ($4.69), barbecued beef ($4.99), barbecued pork ($4.99), or a combination sandwich with paté, pork meatloaf, barbecued pork, and shredded chicken ($5.59). Add a bowl of soup or chicken salad for $1.99 to your sandwich order for a heartier lunch. You’ll also find the French influence in the Vietnamese Crepe ($6.29 as an appetizer), which proved too enticing during a recent visit. I had to try it. If you’re not familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, no problem. >

If it’s complexity you’re looking for, Vietnamese cuisine may not be for you. But if it’s freshness you crave with the flavors of the ingredients foremost, then by all means, visit Bakersfield’s Saigon Restaurant! / Go Red 2014 89

What’s Cookin’ The wait staff at Saigon is happy to help you. And such was the case with my crepe. The thick yellow rice pancake was round had been folded in half over a stuffing of shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and lettuce. A plum sauce accompanied it. Recognizing my unfamiliarity with the crepe, our server kindly showed my companion and me how to add the lettuce and sauce. Noting that I had previously doctored my egg rolls and spring rolls with the chili sauce, the young woman suggested that I add some chili sauce to the crepe. The addition helped bring the dish alive. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let me backtrack to the rolls. The egg rolls, like their Chinese counterparts, are deep-fried. Known in Vietnamese as cha gio, the egg rolls ($5.59) have pork, onion, carrots, black mushrooms, and clear noodles. Add some chili sauce to the clear dip for the appropriate condiment. The spring rolls (goi cuan) are more typically Vietnamese. Saigon’s are wrapped tightly in a translucent rice paper with fresh shrimp, pork, and thin noodles. A plum sauce enhances their delicacy. They’re fresh and flavorful ($5.59). We also enjoyed Vietnamese-style fried rice. What differentiates Vietnamese fried rice is that markedly less oil is used in the frying. As a result, the fried rice is stickier, and the flavors of the ingredients more evident. So the shrimp fried rice ($7.65) that we enjoyed showed more shrimp flavor, in addition to the vegetables mixed into the rice. For my lunch entrée that day, I ordered a bowl of pho, the traditional Vietnamese soup. A word to the uninitiated: order the “small” bowl. You’ll be challenged to finish it. A large bowl? Enough for four. Seriously. The “small” bowl of Vietnamese egg noodle soup ($6.25) that I ordered smelled heavenly. As is typical of pho, it was served with a plate of fresh basil, bean sprouts, and limes on the side. Take a few basil leaves and bean sprouts and stir them into your broth. Want to spice it up a bit? The ever-present squeeze-bottle of chili sauce accomplishes that. The freshness of the ingredients made a difference. The pho broth was clear and the egg noodles perfectly cooked. The fresh basil added a delicate flavor, and the bean sprouts a nice crunchiness. And the barbecued pork completed the dish. Shrimp fried rice Saigon’s menu also features a list of luncheon specials that make it easy to get in and out during your lunch break. That’s handy since Saigon’s locale at Oak Street and Chester Lane requires the commitment of a drive for lunch. Your lunch specials come with soup, salad, and a choice of fried rice, steamed rice, or noodles as a side dish. The soup is a clear chicken broth with a wonton and thinly sliced green onion tops, and actually comes in a small bowl. For my entrée, I tried the barbecue pork with fried rice ($7.59). The pork was thinly sliced and piled generously on my plate. The meat appeared to be simply barbecued, sans any rub. Mixed with the rice, it was quite good. My companion tried the grilled shrimp with vermicelli ($7.79). The shrimp was in a light sauce with green onion tops and chopped peanuts, accompanied by a generous serving of snow-white rice-flour vermicelli. 90 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Barbecue pork with rice

Dinner is also a pleasant experience, and you can either dine in or take out. For those of us who live on the west side of Bakersfield, I’ve discovered the Westside Parkway makes Saigon a scant 10-minute drive, so you can call in your order, and be back at home serving up a delicious hot meal in about 20 minutes, less time than it would take you to prepare something at home. On one such occasion, I called in an order for two individual dinners: Vietnamese crispy chicken ($10.99) and hot and spicy shrimp ($10.99). The individual dinners include soup and salad, along with fried rice and Vietnamese chow mein side dishes. The take-out order provided the two soup orders in Styrofoam bowls, so that the soup was still piping hot when I got it home. What differentiates the Vietnamese chow mein from what one typically finds in Chinese restaurants is that the noodles are thin vermicelli, rather than eighth-inch thick noodles. Perhaps the French influence? I found them delicious, and enjoyed the texture of the thin noodles. Recalling my luncheons at Saigon, where I wanted more spice from my orders, I asked for extra chili sauce. I was glad I did, as the shrimp benefitted from the extra chili. The shrimp was cooked perfectly—tender and tasty. The crispy chicken was indeed that. It was deep fried in very hot oil with the skin intact. The skin was crunchy, actually, and the meat moist and tender. I’m looking forward to exploring Saigon’s menu more thoroughly. It’s a delightful and delicious dining alternative. Saigon is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. For reservations or to phone in orders, call (661) 327-8810. The restaurant accepts major credit cards. LET’S EAT

Life is a Cabernet

Bring on the Bubbly


by Mike Stepanovich

he wonderful myth about Champagne’s origins goes something like this: Crusty old Dom Pierre Pérignon, a late 17th century-early 18th century Benedictine monk, was experimenting with “re-fermentation” at his abbey in Hautvillers, a village just north of Epernay in the French province of Champagne. One morning he visited the caves where his wine was resting, opened a bottle, and took a swig. The effervescence of the double fermentation filled his mouth with a tingling sensation. Excitedly, he turned and yelled to his assistant: “Come quick, I’m drinking stars!” Ostensibly, he was drinking the first Champagne. Whether the story is true—and there’s ample evidence to the contrary—it makes for a great tale, burnishing the image of the world’s favorite celebratory and romantic wine. Since this is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, when typically some 1.6 million bottles of bubbly are sold during the week preceding it, I thought it worthwhile to explore this fascinating wine and offer some suggestions for your celebratory shopping. Champagne, or sparkling wine as it is known outside France, derives its effervescence from a double fermentation known these days as methode traditionelle, formerly methode champenois. Here’s how it’s done: Sparkling wine makers harvest their grapes—principally chardonnay and pinot noir—earlier than their still-wine counterparts, picking their fruit at typically 19 to 20 degrees brix (the brix scale measures the grapes’ sugar level, approximating percent levels: 20 degrees brix is about 20 percent). Table wine grapes are typically harvested at 24 to 25 degrees brix, equaling an alcohol level of 13 percent to 14 percent (the fermentation process converts the grapes’ sugar into alcohol, which of course stays in solution as a liquid, and carbon dioxide, which in table wines wafts off as a gas). The crisp juice destined to become Champagne is fermented dry, creating a wine with about 11 percent alcohol. At this point, the wine is put into the thick, heavy bottle that will eventually take it through to the merchants’ shelves, and a mixture of sugar and yeast, known as the liqueur de tirage, is added. The bottle is sealed with a beer cap, and the second fermentation begins. Because the bottle is closed, the carbon dioxide is trapped in-

Garik Klimov/istock/th


side the bottle and absorbed into solution. The fermentation also creates additional alcohol, raising the level of the entire bottle to 12 percent to 12.5 percent. The pressure in the bottle, with the carbon dioxide, is about seven atmospheres. The bottles traditionally are placed in what are known as riddling racks, whereby the bottle is inverted and the resulting lees (pulp and dead yeast) accumulate in the bottle’s neck. When the winemaker is ready to finish the wine, the inverted bottles are placed in a freezing salt-water solution that freezes the lees, creating a plug. Once the plug is frozen, the bottle is quickly turned upright, the beer cap popped off, and the unleashed >

One morning Dom Pérignon opened a bottle and took a swig. The effervescence of the double fermentation filled his mouth with a tingling sensation. Excitedly, he yelled to his assistant: “Come quick, I’m drinking stars!” / Go Red 2014 91










pressure blows the plug out, or disgorges it. The wine is then topped off with sparkling wine from another bottle, and a dosage of either sugar or grape concentrate to help balance the high acid. Finally, the cork is inserted, and a wire cage is placed around the cork to ensure the cork doesn’t blow out. The bottle is then labeled, packaged, and after resting for a time, is off to the retailers. The finished product is at about five to six atmospheres, so care should be used when opening sparkling wine. A cork propelled by that amount of pressure can cause serious injury if it hits someone. So when opening a sparkling wine or Champagne bottle, make sure to use a towel or cloth to cover the cork and prevent it from launching. Champagne/sparkling wine has its own terminology which consumers often find confusing since it seems to conflict with still-wine (non-sparkling) terms. For example, dry table wine has little or no residual sugar, whereas extra-dry sparkling wine is sweet. Go figure. Other countries produce sparkling wine as well, though it’s known by different names depending on the country of origin: Italy has prosecco and spumante; Germany has sekt; Spain has cava. Regardless, Champagne is the most famous of the sparkling wines. As a consumer, what will be most helpful to you in purchasing a sparkling wine? Here are some things to look for: n Brut—A blend typically of chardonnay and pinot noir. Brut is the most common sparkling wine, and typically more moderately priced. It reflects the house style. n Blanc de Blancs—A sparkling wine made exclusively from white grapes, almost always chardonnay. n Blanc de Noirs—A sparkling wine made exclusively from red grapes, primarily pinot noir. The wine itself is white. Both Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs tend to cost more than brut. Then there are the prestige cuvees, the top tier bubblies that are legendary: Dom Perignon (Moet & Chandon’s prestige cuvee), Roederer’s Cristal, Deutz’s Amor de Deutz, to name a few. These cost in the hundreds of dollars—truly special occasion wines. When celebrating love and all its glory, what might you consider for that special evening with your loved one? Here are some suggestions for a sparkling good time: n Wolf Blas Southeastern Australia Brut—Wolfgang Blas, a native of Germany, began his winemaking career making Champagne before emigrating

92 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

photo courtesy of Laurent-Perrier

Life is a Cabernet

to Australia. This terrific value is crisp, clean, and refreshing – and can be found in Bakersfield for less than $10 a bottle. n California is home to some French-owned sparkling wine producers that are making bubbly that’s among the best anywhere. Three I particularly like are Domaine Chandon, Mumm Napa, and Domaine Carneros. Domaine Chandon and Mumm Napa offer brut at a suggested retail price of $22, but I have found bottles of each in Bakersfield for about $14. Domaine Carneros’ brut is $28 suggested retail, but I’ve found it locally for less than $20. I’m confident you will enjoy any of these wines. These three wineries have a wide range of sparkling wines, so if these suggestions aren’t what you have in mind, check out their websites for other offerings. n Gloria Ferrer of Sonoma County (Spanish ownership) routinely wins gold medals at wine competitions; its wines are priced in the same range as the previous three. n If you won’t settle for anything but French, I have two great suggestions: Laurent-Perrier Le Brut is competitively priced and provides a crisp classic Champagne that’s perfect for any occasion. The Deutz Brut Classic has a creamy texture and a crisp refreshing taste. Both wines are available locally. So with the old monk in mind, have a glass of bubbly and celebrate! CHEERS! 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.

the Goose isLoose “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”


Year Established: 1989

goose loonies Located: 816 18th Street Quick Facts Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.


All Day Sunday

at Tuesday may only come but once a year, but lucky for Bakersfield residents, we have one local legend of a restaurant that loves to “let the good times roll” all February long. And, trust us: the food, drinks, and ambience are so much fun that you just might find yourself building your own float to celebrate on! From the moment you enter Goose Loonies Tavern & Grill, you will be taken by the low lighting that offsets the brick walls and sleek, modern touches. Though they’ve changed locations in the past, you can’t help but be absorbed by the history of the place, and it’s no wonder. Not only can they boast about bringing things like the frosty Mondo beer glass to us, but they’re also responsible for creating new traditions. Co-owner Becky Katsantonis relayed that they had started their Mardi Gras festivities over a decade ago,

and it garnered more positive feedback than you can throw a stack of beads at. “Over the years, the event gained so much popularity that we developed a separate menu and made it a five to six week promotion. Now people ask about it all year long.” And they don’t leave anything out. The restaurant is transformed to “look and sound like Bourbon Street,” so you will be delighted at the purple, gold, and green décor as you dine on specialty items, like seafood gumbo, jambalaya, and an assortment of po’ boy sandwiches. But what would Mardi Gras be without the drinks? In addition to bringing famous beers straight from Louisiana, like Abita, they’ve brewed up their own delicious beverages. One, in particular, embraces the tradition of Voodoo in the deep south—as well as that of good taste! cheers!

The Voodoo Doll

shaker full of ice and shake until well blended. Let concoction sit for a few minutes so that it is chilled and small icicles have formed. Strain into the martini glass and top off with champagne or club soda. (Note: for a drink that brings out the flavors of the blackberry and mint more, use club soda.) Garnish with blackberries and a lime wedge speared onto a toothpick and get the party started!

Blackberries • Mint Sprigs • Simple Syrup Splash of Vanilla Vodka • Light Rum Champagne or Club Soda Wet the rim of a stemless martini glass and press rim into a small saucer covered in sugar. In a pint glass, muddle blackberries and mint. Add vodka, simple syrup, and rum. Pour into a

The restaurant is transformed to “look and sound like Bourbon Street,” so you will be delighted at the purple, gold, and green décor as you dine on seafood gumbo, jambalaya, and an assortment of po’ boy sandwiches. / Go Red 2014 93



Uricchio’s Trattoria

The Dining Guide

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

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

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

94 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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! 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 / Go Red 2014 95

The Dining Guide

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

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

Chalet Basque

The Dining Guide

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

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 Teriyaki Bowl at 3699 Ming Ave. (661) 832-6392

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. Café Med offers daily family style dinners to go from 4-7pm, 7 days a week. Serves up to 5 people. Starting from $31.99. Call for more information. 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

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

96 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant

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

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins

Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins offers a full-service deli and organic salad bar featuring made-to-order sandwiches, juices & smoothies, a selection of homemade soups prepared fresh daily, and a sustainable seafood to-go sushi bar. Ask to order Jay’s signature “Hempnut” smoothie – a delicious and healthy combination of organic kale, berries, hemp protein, and coconut oil. Our deli’s spacious seating area is the perfect place to get together with friends or family. Free wi-fi, organic coffee and tea, and custom platters are available. Our store features organic and local produce, a large selection of vitamins and supplements, natural body care, gluten free and vegan options, organic groceries, and more. Family-owned for over 40 years. Mon-Sat 9am-9pm. Deli closes at 8pm. 4308 California Avenue. (661)324-6990


Local Heirloom

Brigit Ayers, our beloved gourmet guru at the magazine, is back to inspire us not only to venture out into new realms in the kitchen, but also to honor family traditions while doing so. She shared a fond memory that led her to create a new recipe that “puts a twist” on a traditional favorite. “When my kids were growing up, we used to have a cabin around Glennville,” Ayers recalled. “One summer, my kids went down to the creek to pick wild blackberries so we could make blackberry cobbler.” According to Ayers, a cantankerous neighbor who “believed the community was all his private property” saw the children walking back from gathering the berries, and he hopped on his tractor and chased the youngsters. Her son panicked, jumped into the creek, and in his duress, ate all of the blackberries—much to his siblings’ chagrin. Ever the industrious chef, Ayers decided to use what was at her disposal. Thankfully, she had brought some apples and pears with her for the trip. “That is how I came up with this recipe, and nothing is better than warm apple and pear cobbler memories.”

ear Cobbler

P Brigit’s Apple & Fill ing ~


d thinly peeled and slice 3 cups of pears, d thinly ce sli , peeled and 3 cups of apples n sugar ow br gar • 1/2 cup 1/2 cup white su p. nutmeg ts 1 • . cinnamon sp tb 1 • ur flo 1/4 cup ry hot water act • 1/2 cup ve tr ex lla ni va . sp 1 1/2 tb pieces r, cut into small 1/2 stick of butte nts, except the bine all ingredie m co l, w bo e rg In a la a lightly buttered ur mixture into Po ir. st tly en G butter. tter on top. dish. Sprinkle bu ng ki ba re ua sq pie or

Topping ~


΄t Bon Appeti Bakersfield Magazine Dining Guide


r 4 cup white suga 1 cup flour • 1/ po ng wder gar • 1 tsp. ba ki 1/4 cup brow n su ned • 1 egg tbsp. butter, softe 2 • lt sa p. ts 4 1/ ell gredients. Mix w wl, combine all in p of to on r tte ba In a medium bo ooth. Drop sm is r tte ba til tte le. The ba r with a spoon un evenly as possib as n oo sp a ith 5 degrees for the filling w oked. Bake at 36 co g in be le hi w bbly, you’ll will spread t so sweet and bu ou e m co ill w It . ain! one hour kberry cobbler ag never crave blac in pp g cream. ice cream or whi Serve with vanilla / Go Red 2014 97

Se Habla Espanol

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Dr. Thomas D Nelson (661) 322-2895 1701 27th Street | Bakersfield, CA 93301 Office Hours by Appointment





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to support each of the worthy charities you discover in the following pages.





Since the 1990s, Stewards, Inc. has been an ever-growing positive force in our community. the challenging competitions to raise funds and public awareness continue to prove very lively, as well!






Chief Programs Officer and Homeless Advocate Gerald Cantu

but in April of 2013, the inaugural Bakersfield’s Amazing Race looked something just like this. Teams dressed up in a variety of highly imaginative costumes, from Mario Brothers to our very own Bakersfield sign, and ran amok downtown to try to be the fastest and the brightest for a shot at a $1,000 prize. “We had one hundred and fifty racers last year,” Cantu recollected. “We expect to have twice as many this year [taking place on April 12], especially since the grand prize is now two thousand dollars.” (And that’s not including prizes for best costumes or best picture taken during the race and posted to Twitter.) This is how the event works: there are twelve different locations designated throughout downtown. All of the players gather together at the Steward’s, Inc. building and are given a series of clues which will reveal where their destinations will be. “Most of the players will solve the clues right off the bat and then map out how they are going to play the game,” Cantu elaborated. However, this game is even more complex

Most nonprofits have monetary goals that need to be reached in order to help fund their programming. Stewards, Inc.’s Amazing Race continues to be a popular, innovative, and extremely challenging downtown event. than just going to different areas. You will also have to have a smart phone, as you will be given clues that will lead you to different websites and you will also be required to take pictures as evidence to complete parts of the challenge. So what should you expect once you get to your appointed destination? Well, the best advice is to expect the unexpected. “Last year, contestants were doing yoga at Yoga Space, bowling challenges at Westchester Lanes...they all had a great time. It was a hit and it received great reviews,” said Gonzales. Cantu described a challenge where participants had to wear pantyhose over their heads with a baseball nestled in the toe of one of the legs. >> / Go Red 2014 99

community partners

What started out as a project to help a dozen men at the Rescue Mission at Kern County by managing their budgets has branched off into an entirely different organization that helps over 1,600 clients locally and has an additional branch in Bellflower, Ca: Stewards, Inc. As Chief Programs Officer and Homeless Advocate Gerald Cantu put it, “We are here to serve the most vulnerable group of people in Bakersfield.” Cantu continued, “We are a pay agency that is authorized through Social Security to manage the SSI benefits of people who are incapable of managing the funds on their own, mostly adults with developmental disabilities and the elderly.” With the assistance of these passionate workers, their clients are assured to have their basic needs—like housing and utilities—met. Like most nonprofits, they have monetary goals that need to be reached in order to help fund their programming ever year. They used to host an annual clay shoot, which they put on for about 13 years and was always a great success. However, as time passed, Executive Director Andrae Gonzales noticed that their event had invariably run its course. “Our last year hosting the clay shoot, I had noticed that a number of other places were having similar events. We wanted to try out something new.” Gonzales was true to his word, to say the least. He changed it up, for sure, and what our community didn’t know was just how different an experience we were in for! Costumes, puzzles, a downtown scavenger hunt, a race against time, community awareness, cash prizes, yoga, ice may read like something similar to a carnival,

Photo courtesy of Stewards, Inc.

TheRace isOn

What is Saving Strokes? Saving Strokes is a rehabilitation through golf program for stroke survivors and their caregivers. Stroke survivors are paired with PGA professionals to either be introduced or reintroduced to the game of golf. It provides both survivors and caregivers an opportunity to network with people who share similar interests and experiences. The event includes three 30 minute group lessons with a golf professional and lunch for all who attend! For more information and registration call: 916-446-6505 or email:

Saving Strokes Bakersfield May 1, 2014 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. Stockdale Country Club 7001 Stockdale Hwy. Bakersfield, CA

19th Annual

Autism Awareness Conference “Understanding the DSM-5 & Family Dynamics”

Friday, March 14, 2014 Hodel’s Banquet Hall - 5917 Knudsen Street 7:00 am - Continental Breakfast & Vendors Conference Begins: 8:15 a.m. sharp






Child Psychiatry Fellow of Stanford University Medical Center


Dr. Lawrence Fung • “The Changes in the DSM-5”

M R UN Dr. Robert Naseef • “Father’s & Masculinity” IT Y PA Psychologist, Author, and • “911 First Aid for Couples” parent of an adult child • “Relationships Affected by Autism” with Autism

Caroline McGraw • “Sibling Perspective” and Author, Copywriter, “Family Support Choices”. and Speaker

For tickets or more information please visit our website or FACEBOOK-Kern Autism Network/ Autism Society Affiliate

100 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.






community partners





The Race isOn!

community partners

They then had to knock over water bottles with the baseball by swinging their heads back and forth. They also couldn’t step over an established area. Though this race truly is just an opportunity for a wonderful time to be had by everyone who participates, there is another reason why it is held downtown. “When I put the Race together, I thought it would be a fun way to raise money, and also a great way to bring more people into the downtown area,” Gonzales revealed. “It is a huge goal of the Downtown Business Association’s, and there are so many great things happening downtown. There are galleries, restaurants, unique shops, and it is just a very interesting place to be. Plus, seeing it on foot is completely different than just driving through it. You

In one event, participants wore pantyhose over their heads with a baseball nestled in the toe and tried to knock over water bottles!









will pick up on things you may have never noticed before.” For those interested in supporting Stewards, Inc. while having an absolute blast, visit Remember that Bakersfield’s Amazing Race will span a very large area of downtown, so comfortable dress and footwear is highly recommended. Registration is already open, and the cost will go up a little as time passes, so be sure to get your spot accounted for today! After all, it isn’t every day you get to dress up like a cartoon character and run around downtown solving clues with friends, and have it all be for charity! n

R IT Y PA / Go Red 2014 101

community partners 102 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.










community partners









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community partners UN









104 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.



Amy Smith, Community Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross

also includes joyous occasions that people cannot be present for, including births. “Last year, our volunteers connected over three hundred and fifty families during their time of need.” At the heart of the matter, the American Red Cross is here to “prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” Smith explained that since 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed March as Red Cross Month, every president has designated March as the month to celebrate and promote the good that this 130-year-old nonprofit has done and is doing. “Essential to our mission is our group of volunteers—they are the ones that truly bring relief to local families and inspire hope every single day,” Smith said. “So we are always in need of volunteers looking to help.” And the Red Cross is looking for people of all ages, including high schoolers. “We

Members of the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes 2013

have also established ‘Red Cross Clubs’ on some of our local high school campuses. Students can support our local services through fundraisers, preparedness programs, and volunteerism,” she explained. So while March is Red Cross Month (celebrate by volunteering!), the organization’s major fundraising event is taking place on April 5 this year. “The ‘Real Heroes’ event started in 2002 and has transformed into our signature fundraiser at which we honor local individuals who have exhibited exemplary behavior or conducted a heroic feat such as saving someone’s life.” Nominations are taken from the community and a select committee chooses the final award winners. But the event is

“Our mission includes preparedness, prevention, and reponse to emergencies within our local communities.”—Amy Smith more than that: a 1940s theme, big band music, silent auction, and a dinner program. It’s sure to be a swingin’ good time. “Our community can help and support the Kern Red Cross by volunteering, donating, sponsoring, and participating in our programs and services,” Smith explained. Monetary donations, including gift cards to various businesses, allow the Red Cross to give displaced families who’ve lost everything the simple things we take for granted. “The time, talents, and treasures of this community are needed to continue our mission services.” If you’d like more information on the Red Cross, visit or call (661) 324-6427. n / Go Red 2014 105

community partners

Disaster can strike when we least expect it. Flood, earthquake, fire; we don’t always have time to collect our important belongings and get to safety. Instead, we rely upon the help of others in our time of need. And since 1917, Kern County residents have had that help by way of the Kern Chapter of the American Red Cross. “The local chapter was chartered by Congress to respond to and prepare for local disasters and to partner with military personnel and their families in the area,” explained Amy Smith, Community Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross— Kern Chapter. “The American Red Cross is the only nonprofit organization that has a Congressional Charter, but we are not a government organization,” she clarified. While many people have heard of the Red Cross, not everyone is aware of all that the organization does for local families. “Our mission includes preparedness, prevention, and response to emergencies within our local communities,” Smith added. But that’s just the start. “We partner with businesses and members in the community and assist them with training in first aid, CPR/AED, babysitting, and water safety. We also have a large array of disaster-related trainings for community partners and Red Cross Volunteers. All of these trainings help prepare our communities to respond and recover after a disaster.” And those types of disasters include individual home fires, apartment fires, and wild fires. “The Kern Chapter responded to over one hundred and fifteen residential fires last year, providing short-term shelter, clothing, food, counseling, and case management for the affected families,” Smith said. “Families that included over two hundred adults and almost one hundred and fifty children.” But our local chapter has also been on hand to help out families across the nation. As in the case of a national disaster, the Kern Chapter will deploy Red Cross volunteers. And a little-known service of our local Chapter includes connecting military personnel deployed around the world with their families in times of emergency, but that


photos Courtesy American Red Cross, Kern Chapter










community partners 106 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.









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It’s no secret by now that the Junior League of Bakersfield knows how to throw a party! At their annual fundraising event, Bakersfield Uncorked, wine and food connoisseurs enjoyed a wonderful evening full of yummy finger foods (provided by local chefs) served along with the perfect wine and beer pairings. Silent and live auctions were also a highlight of this enchanting affair.

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The Women’s Leadership Council hosted a networking event for local businesssavvy women called Leadership Linkup. Taking place at the Dignity Health Event Center, attendees sipped on wine and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres while mingling with like-minded individuals. Additionally, each person who attended brought an item or cash donation to benefit the Jamison Center.


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Dancing for Donations

The Joaquin Squares were do-si-do-ing up a storm at the Rasmussen Center for their exciting Dancing for Donations fundraiser. Benefitting the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House, those who wanted to dance the night away paid a donation to participate, though spectators were definitely welcome! Along with the swinging good fun, folks participated in a huge raffle for great prizes and enjoyed delectable refreshments.

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Olivia’s Heart Project hosted their very first Pins for a Pulse event, and it was an overwhelming success. Hosted at AMF Southwest Lanes Bowling Alley, this family friendly celebration was created to benefit an important cause in our community. The event raised funds and brought awareness to Sudden Cardiac Arrest in youth. Many strikes were scored, and all to “Keep Young Hearts Beating.”

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The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce threw a swanky affair at the DoubleTree Hotel for their annual dinner celebration and board installation. Those who were present were able to delight in no host cocktails, followed by a delicious dinner and program. They were also some of the first residents to hear exciting news, like the latest stores being added to The Outlets at Tejon Ranch.

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bakersfield’s sound

woman’s club of bakersfield

PHOTO COURTESY of Chris Brewer

Located at 18th and D streets, the Woman’s Club was constructed in 1921 at a cost of $ 55,000, and is still in use today.


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.


n a Monday afternoon, March 2, 1896, 18 local women were gathered in the parlors of the Southern Hotel, preparing to start what would become a local legend. Obviously, it wasn’t a typical event given the time period. In fact, they were joining the ranks of precious few organizations that were spreading throughout the country. These organizations were made up of all women; ones that wanted to further themselves and by extension, their community. However, as their sisters in New York (members of the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs) had just realized, and as their own Diamond Jubilee 1896-1972 handbook relayed, “They were club women, the first cities had ever known, and the finger-wagging, tongueclucking followed them out of their homes, to club meetings, where, Heaven only knew what mischief might be brewed.” Though it certainly was painted out to be something you’d want to keep away from polite company, these audacious women were gathering to start what would be named the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield and, “the object of this club [was] the development of women along the lines of Literature, Science and Arts.” After the bylaws and Constitution were established, the 48 members sprang into action. Their meetings were initially held in places such as the Episcopal Church Guild and the Echo Building, and featured lectures given by prominent women in the community, such as Mrs. Alfred Harrell. They were philanthropic and made strains to help out a number of charities. From providing scholarships to nurses to feeding the poor, the Club teamed up with organizations such as the American Red Cross and are responsible for helping to establish our first library. Prominent judges called on them to host special teas, and they even entertained the conductor and members of the Kern Philharmonic Society regularly. These women also weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and were responsible for planting trees along the highway. However, in time they were “not content in borrowed property,” which eventually led them to purchase the lot on 18th and D streets and have the now-historic building constructed. It was first used on November 18, 1921, and has been their home ever since. This independent and charitable spirit is alive and well in Bakersfield to this day, as the Club is now well over 100 years old. Over the years, it has given birth to new subgroups, such as Mi Dears, whose members help elderly citizens out in convalescent homes. (A far cry from “mischief making,” don’t you think?) The founding members adopted the motto “From Possibility to Reality.” Considering the lasting impression they had—and continue to have—on our community, it is safe to say they’ve brought this philosophy to life.

the story of bakersfield is all around us, you just have to look — and listen. 114 Bakersfield Magazine / Presented By: GEMCare Health Plan, Inc.

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Annual Go Red for Women issue done in conjunction with the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Campaign. Also Featured: Women and Bu...