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August 2012

bakersfieldlife.com

• Kern County from A to Z • 25 Random Things about Carl Sparks • Dining Divas head to Eagle Mountain Casino • Food, wine in Tehachapi


San Joaquin Community Hospital knows “firsts.” Hospital to have both a Nationally Certified Stroke Center, along with our Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center under the same roof. Hospital-based 64-slice CT scanner. Hospital to perform open-heart surgery. Nationally Certified, hospital-based Diabetes Education. Hospital-based Free Mobile Immunizations Program. Full-treatment Grossman Burn Center. Gold Standard Bariatrics Program. And coming soon, The Cancer Center at SJCH, Kern County’s first comprehensive, hospital-based cancer facility. The Cancer Center at SJCH


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Dining Divas

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Food Dudes

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Kern Life A to Z

Although it isn’t exactly in Kern County, it’s pretty darn close! The Divas took a limo ride to the fabulous Eagle Mountain Casino near Porterville, enjoying dinner at The River steakhouse and a Kellie Pickler concert.

Our Dudes were pleased with the food and atmosphere at downtown Bakersfield’s new nightspot On the Rocks Bar & Grill. Get a glimpse of what this modern eatery and bar offers.

From country music stars to the fine crops our county produces, there’s a lot for locals to celebrate. Here are Bakersfield Life’s 26 reasons to love Kern County.

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

For the record: David A. Milazzo founded Macroscopic in 1997 in New York City. Incorrect information ran in the My Mobile Life feature that was published in the July issue.


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A U G U S T Downtown

1231 18th Street (18th and L Streets) 10:30am - 2:15pm Closed Sundays

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D E PA R T M E N T S

Page 74

Photo by Alex Horvath

TM

Phone: (661) 323-2500

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Phone: (559) 323-0330 See our full menu and order online at

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Thank you, Kern County for your continued support!

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

13 38 40 46 50 54 58 62 66 68 70 72 74

Up Front It Manners a Lot Kelly Damian Food Dudes Food and Wine Foodie Our Town For a Cause All-Star Athlete On the Road Nature Hometown Hero Home and Garden

78 Entertainment 110 Pastimes 120 Why I Live Here 128 Community

134 It’s A Guy Thing … 140 Personality 152 Real People 154 Fit and Fresh 156 Trip Planner 160 Business Profiles 170 SNAP! 182 Inside Story

Photo by Gregory D. Cook

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Feedback Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine

Staff Shares

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August 2012 / Vol. 6 / Issue 11

Bakersfieldisms: You know you’re from Bakersfield when … “You can’t even have a date without running into someone at a restaurant!” — Mira Patel, marketing manager “You hit the local taco trucks after a night downtown.” — Myriam Valdez, intern

“You understand that we’re only one degree of separation from everyone else in this town. Talk to a new acquaintance for 10 minutes and if you can’t find someone you know in common, you either just moved here or you aren’t really trying. No Facebook though, that’s cheating.” — Kevin McCloskey, contributing writer “You know what an endless summer truly feels like, that sweater weather will most likely be a one-week-only special event after Thanksgiving and that our ‘white Christmas’ is shrouded in fog.” — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer

Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Vice President, Administration and Operations Nancy Chaffin Director of Display Advertising Roger Fessler Interactive Advertising Director Sally Ellis Interactive Sales Manager Lisa Whitten Advertising Sales Manager Lupe Carabajal Advertising Traffic Manager Shauna Rockwell Marketing Manager Mira Patel Distribution and Marketing Representative Patrick Wells

Shaded parking “You get super excited about scoring a shaded parking spot in 100-degree summer heat even though the parking spot is like a mile away from the store!” — Olivia Garcia, editor “The sight of a blue sky never ceases to amaze you!” — Mark Nessia, contributing photographer and writer

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777.

Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias

Sno Shack “You equate the start of summer with the opening of the Sno Shack. — Kelly Damian, contributing writer

Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Sally Baker, Henry A. Barrios, Jaclyn Borowski, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook, Michael Fagans, Kevin Fahey, Jessica Frey, Maria Ahumada-Garaygordobil, Rudy Gutierrez, John Harte, Alex Horvath, Greg Iger, Tim Kupsick, Tanya X. Leonzo, Shelby Mack, Anthony McDemas, Greg Nichols, Mark Nessia, Dan Ocampo, Laura Rauch, Carla Rivas, Liz Snider, Jan St. Pierre, Rodney Thornburg, Brian N. Willhite Contributing writers Vicki Adame, Katie Avery, Sally Baker, Allie Castro, Gregory D. Cook, Kelly Damian, Breanna Fields, Gene Garaygordobil, Lois Henry, Lisa Kimble, Katie Kirschenmann, Megan Luecke, David Luter, Stephen Lynch, Dana Martin, Kevin McCloskey, Omar Oseguera, Robert Price, Gabriel Ramirez, Michael Russo, Chris Thornburgh, Brian N. Willhite Interns Emily Claffy, Myriam Valdez

Amazing blue sky 10

Bakersfield Life

For Advertising, lcarabajal@bakersfield.com, 395-7563

August 2012

On the cover: Illustration by Glenn Hammett


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Editor’s Note

Capturing the Best of Kern

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

O

ne of the most common comments you hear about living in Bakersfield is that it’s within easy driving distance to the Bay Area, Los Angeles and the Central Coast. Although this is true, it’s definitely not the main reason to love Bakersfield (and Kern County). In fact, many beautiful local getaways surround our community. In this issue, appreciate what makes this county standout with our annual Kern Life coverage. Everything you need to know about Kern — from A to Z — takes center stage in our special feature, which enlists our team of contributors to capture the amazing people and cool spots that make our county so special. For instance, get ready to sky dive in Taft as writer Lois Henry shares her experience with us. Also, our Divas set up in style, taking a limousine to explore the games, dining options, concert experience — Kellie Pickler!

— and more at Eagle Mountain Casino, which is just 60 miles from Bakersfield. Although they can’t share their food with us, they dish on their fun adventure.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487 ogarcia@bakersfield.com

This month I’m loving ... Pine Mountain Club

Sade

I have been a huge fan of Sade for as long as I can remember. A couple of weeks ago, she released “Bring Me Home – Live 2011,” a tribute to her world concert tour last year. I was lucky enough to see her live, but those who didn’t must check out this album. $9.99, iTunes.

Instagram

I am just starting to get the hang of this cool photo-sharing app that allows you to touch up your photos using neat filters. Then you can share your pictures via Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, if you’d like. Free, available through iTunes and Google Play.

Discussing the best of Kern County, I have to give a shout out to one of my favorite local spots, to which one of my best girlfriends, Kendall, took me to recently. We visited her parents, who have a cabin there. Talk about a breathtaking community. You must explore it.


Up Front Word on the Street Compiled by Brian N. Willhite

What is your favorite Kern County destination? “Pine Mountain in Frazier Park because our church has our youth retreats there, and it’s a great place.”

“Sequoia National Park because my family likes to go camping there, and I like the scenery, too.”

“Murray Family Farms because my son likes the farm, tractor rides and everything else there. It’s a lot of fun.”

Touré Tyler

Edgar Apodaca

Andrea Smith

“I like the Glennville and Springville areas because it’s a nice change of scenery, and I like the mountain areas.”

“Hart Park because it’s a nice getaway from everything in town.”

“I like Kernville because of the rafting and the family can have fun on the river.”

Matt Lugo

Nikko Dalomba

Kim Hall “Buena Vista because I like to go camping there.”

“Alta Sierra because we like to go and have fun in the snow.”

Victor Hernandez

Sergio Leon

“I like to go to the river in the canyon to get away from the city life and take in nature’s sights.” Bryant Estes

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bakersfieldlife.com

13


Up Front Money Matters

How much will you contribute to your child’s college tuition? Let’s be realistic: Not every college-bound student is the next Albert Einstein or All-Area Athlete of the Year, capturing a full-ride scholarship. If your child or grandchild is like most, then you may be counting on financial aid, instead of financial merit, to pay for college. Middle-income families tend to hit obstacles, however, when it comes to need-based financial aid. They make too much to qualify for grants but don’t make enough to pay for overwhelming college expenses. Here are some factors to keep in mind: Know the formula

Colleges expect you to pay your fair share of tuition using a formula before awarding assistance. This is called your “expected family contribution” or EFC. If your family’s assets or incomes are too high, then, according to the formula, it decreases your aid. The following financial resources are included: • 20 percent of a student’s assets • 50 percent of a student’s income after allowances • 2.6 percent to 5.6 percent of a parent’s assets • 22 to 47 percent of a parent's income, based on a sliding scale Maximize your financial aid potential

There are acceptable ways to adjust your assets to maximize financial aid. First, reduce assets held in the child’s name, such as custodial accounts (UGMAs or UTMAs), since 20 percent are used for tuition. Technically, parents can’t touch UGMAs, except for the benefit of the child, but you can use it to pay for expenses, such as summer camps,

tutoring, school trips, or a car. If your child is a few years from college, try to contribute the maximum to your 401(k) or IRAs. This reduces your income and colleges won’t expect you to drain retirement savings to pay for tuition. Retirement accounts do not count in the asset formula. However, be careful if you tap your retirement account to pay for college expenses. Retirement distributions count as income and could jeopardize aid eligibility. The college-savings 529 plans may be better options to save for college without jeopardizing financial aid. If a parent owns the account, only 5.6 percent of the value is included in EFC. Better yet, if a grandparent owns the account, none of the value is included. Another benefit of 529 plans is withdrawals used for college are excluded from income and do not affect the formula. There is much to consider. Taking all financial situations into account when preparing for your child or grandchild’s educational future will make the college burden manageable. Education is a priceless investment. — Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at cthornburgh@bacpas.com or at 324-4971.

Short Take

Save the date: Kern County Nut Festival June 2013 Get ready for one nutty event! To honor local agriculture, the Kern County Museum Foundation is sponsoring the first Kern County Nut Festival on June 14 and 15, 2013. The festival promises lots of friendly family fun. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California is the nation’s sole exporter of almonds, pistachios and walnuts. These three nuts will be highlighted at the festival to help raise awareness about the health and economic benefits they give our community. The event will not only benefit the Kern 14

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

County Museum, but also nonprofit organizations as well as local artists with a statewide commemorative poster competition. Although all the details are yet to be finalized, one thing’s for certain: This festival is all about the food. Attendees can watch cooking demonstrations and vendors will be selling an array of foods containing nuts like salads, sandwiches and ice cream. Health and agricultural exhibits will focus on nut production, and the equipment used during harvesting will be on display. Children can get in on the fun with games and arts and crafts. For more information, contact Beth Pandol at 302-8171 or bpandol@gmail.com. — Emily Claffy


It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Old Town Kern

Just four square miles in size, Old Town Kern encompasses the area in and around Baker and Sumner streets but sits at the intersection of the community’s early development and iconic Basque restaurant scene. In 1874, the Southern Pacific Railroad extended into the southern San Joaquin Valley. Bakersfield was poised to be a whistlestop. However, a land dispute between the city and Southern Pacific forced the railroad to draw a line in the sand. Southern Pacific wanted two blocks of land from Bakersfield; the city was only willing to give one. As a result, Southern Pacific built its tracks five miles east of Bakersfield and founded the town of Sumner in 1876. The area, home to Bakersfield’s original train station, was considered a serious competitor for a commercial downtown area. By 1888, a streetcar line along 19th Street connected the settlements of Sumner and Bakersfield. In 1892, Sumner was incorporated and known as Kern City. Judge Joseph W. Sumner was the pioneer and patriarch of the Kern River Valley. A transplant from the East Coast, Sumner was born in Lubec, Maine, in 1819 and raised in Massachusetts. Eager to be a part of the Gold Rush, he came to San Francisco in 1849, eventually making his way to Kern County. Sumner was one of the early miners at Kernville, purchasing a claim and devel-

Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum

Baker Street in 1940.

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oping the Sumner mine and quartz mill until he bought his ranch on the North Fork of the Kern River. Sumner was one of the first men to introduce alfalfa into Kern County. He also served as a justice of the peace. He died in Kernville in 1911 at the age The California Gold Rush that of 92. The Califorlured settlers nia Gold Rush like Sumner also that lured settlers brought the fi rst like Sumner also wave of Basque brought the first immigrants to wave of Basque this country. immigrants to this country. Many of them stayed after the mining prospects dried up, herding sheep and ranching. They brought with them their rich history and savory Basque cuisine from the Basque regions of Spain and France. In the decades that followed, Kern County’s Basque community and its satisfying restaurants featuring authentic dishes served familystyle developed the largest Basque region in the United States. By the early 1900s, with the construction of a railroad through Bakersfield, Kern City’s prominence waned. It was annexed by Bakersfield in 1910 and would eventually become known as east Bakersfield and Old Town Kern.

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Up Front

Letters to the Editor Dear Editor, I love Bakersfield Life magazine! My favorite part is reading the history articles. They are fabulous! I think you should compile them into a book or a special magazine so we could have them all in one place! Honestly, I read Bakersfield Life from cover to cover every month. — Candi Easter Dear Editor, What a great issue! I loved reading about all the brave and wonderful men who live in Bakersfield, especially the men in the armed forces. Please do some future issues featuring the fine men who reside in Bakersfield. There is not enough written about the good men in our society. I now feel very guilty that I didn’t submit my husband, who would have been great for your man issue. — Anne Grogan Dear Editor, I just read the July 2012 issue of Bakersfield Life and on a scale of one to 10, it is a 10. My reasons are as follows: It is of a very professional quality. You display the face of the community. Any person from outside the area who is considering making Bakersfield his or her home cannot help but be impressed with its diversity. You have the support of the business community, as evidenced by your advertisements.

The articles appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. My favorite articles were Jeff Nickell’s article on the farming families of Kern County, the story of the Covenant House and foster children, the interviews with the scientists and Mike Ariey’s barbecue piece. Your photos of local folks are fun to view because I get to look for people I know. Laura Arredondo got it right when she said the best of Bakersfield is its people. Your magazine captures that notion. Keep up the good work. — Robert Tafoya What makes Kern so special Growing up in Delano, I knew that your last name or neighborhood would define you. Move 30 minutes south, I realized quickly Bakersfield is not any different. Each city in Kern County has great people with so much to offer residents and visitors. We have many iconic figures, places, festivals and celebrations that put us on the map! Kern life is like no other! Iconic figures, from the great Cesar Chavez and Buck Owens to actor Robert Beltran and all-pro football player Joey Porter, are Kern County natives who inspire us, entertain us and motivate us to make a difference in our community. Bakersfield’s iconic Kern County Museum is on the top of my list of places to visit — the museum stores various historic structures and sites depicting the history of Kern County. The Rabobank Arena, the growing and successful entertainment venue, will soon

The Bakersfield Californian publishes Bakersfield Life magazine monthly. If you have any questions or comments regarding our magazine, write to us at Bakersfield Life, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302, or email us at bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com. We’d love to hear from you.

To submit material Letters to the Editor: We publish all letters that are signed and deemed appropriate for our readership. Letters must be signed to be considered for a publication. Please type or print your name, as well as an address and a daytime phone number. Email should include the writer’s full name and city. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space. Please

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

host Mana, the largest Latin rock band in the country, right here in Bakersfield. Rabobank has been known to bring national and international talent to town, putting us on the map. Another thing that makes Kern County so special is our desire to celebrate and raise funds for a good charity. Our residents pull together to hold festivals and celebrations all in the name of a good cause or benefit behind each and every event. Kern County residents are extremely generous, whether it is through financial contributions or volunteerism. The upcoming social event of the year, Village Fest, is around the corner in September and benefits C.A.R.E. (Children’s Advocates Resource Endowment) for the kids of Kern County. A cultural event dear to me is the annual Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Latino Food Festival and Menudo Cook-Off, which draws the more than 14,000 people to the fairgrounds first Sunday in June. This is a must-attend event. Family and friends of all ages gather to celebrate culture, food and music! No matter where you grew up or if you relocated to Kern County, there is something for everyone. I urge you to take advantage of our business community; appreciate our rich history, arts and music; and experience one of our many celebrations, and continue to invest in our children’s education. Come to the conclusion that this is a great place to live and raise a family; you will adapt if you haven’t already. — Jay Tamsi President/CEO Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

submit letters to Olivia Garcia, Editor, Bakersfield Life, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302. For email, send letters to the editor to bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com. Calendar events: Please submit information in writing to Marisol Sorto, no later than the first of the month, two months prior to the month in which the event will take place. Contact her at bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com.

To advertise

Please call Lupe Carabajal, advertising sales manager, at 395-7563 or lcarabajal@bakersfield.com.


Up Front Kern County’s

Outlying communities Wasco

Delano

Population: 25,545 Mayor: Cherylee Wegman-Craig City Hall: 746 Eighth St., Wasco, 93280, 758-7214 www.ci.wasco.ca.us

Lake Isabella

McFarland

Population: 53,041 Mayor: Grace Vallejo Town Hall: 1015 11th Ave., P.O. Box 3010, Delano, 93215, 721-3300 cityofdelano.org

Population: 12,707 Mayor: Manuel Cantu, Jr. City Hall: 401 W. Kern Ave., McFarland, 93250, 792-3091 kerncog.org/city-mcfarland.php

Delano

155

McFarland 46 33

Lake Isabella

Wasco 99

5

65

rn Ke

Shafter 43

Bakersfield

119

Lamont

Population: 15,120 Kern County Supervisor, District 5: Karen Goh, 1115 Truxtun Ave., Fifth floor, Bakersfield, 93301, 868-3690 lamontcalifornia.com

Taft

Population: 9,327 Mayor: Randy Miller City Hall: 209 E. Kern St., Taft, 93268, 763-1222 cityoftaft.org

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

er Riv

395

K E R N

C O U N T Y 14

Tehachapi

99

58

166

Mojave 58

California City Boron

5

Frazier Park

5 MILES

Arvin

Ridgecrest

Tehachapi

China Lake

Population: 19,304 Mayor: Tim Tarver City Hall: 200 Campus Drive, Arvin, 93203, 854-3134 arvin.org arvinchamberofcommerce. com Population: 14,414 Mayor: Ed Grimes City Hall: 115 S. Robinson St., Tehachapi, 93561, 822-2200 tehachapicityhall.com

Frazier Park

Population: 2,691 Mountain Communities Town Council: (Incorporated private sector advisory organization), P.O. Box 552, Frazier Park, 93225 frazmtn.com/fmcoc

China Lake Ridgecrest

Arvin 223

Taft Population: 16,988 Mayor: Garry Nelson City Hall: 336 Pacific Ave., Shafter, 93263, 746-5000 shafter.com

395

178

Isabella Lake

178

58

Shafter

Population: 3,466 Kern County Supervisor, District 1: Jon McQuiston, 1115 Truxtun Ave., Fifth floor; Bakersfield, 93301, 868-3650 Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce: P.O. Box 567 6404 Lake Isabella Blvd. Suite B, Lake Isabella, 93240, 760-379-5236 lakeisabella.net kernrivervalley.com

Mojave

Population: 4,238 Kern County Supervisor District 2: Zack Scrivner, 1115 Truxtun Ave. Fifth floor, Bakersfield, 93301, 868-3660 mojave.ca.us

Population: 27,616 Mayor: Ronald Carter Town Hall: 100 W. California Ave., Ridgecrest, 93555, 760-499-5000 ci.ridgecrest.ca.us

Total Employed: 6,811 total (695 military, 6,116 civilian and contractors) U.S. Naval Museum of Armament & Technology: 1 Pearl Harbor Way, China Lake, 93555, 760-939-3530 cnic.navy.mil/chinalake

California City

Population: 14,120 Mayor: Patrick Bohannon City Hall: 21000 Hacienda Blvd., California City, 93505, 760-373-8661 californiacity.com

Edwards Air Force Base

Boron

Population: 2,253 Chamber of Commerce President: James Welling Chamber of Commerce: 26922 Twenty Mule Team Road, Boron, 93516, 760-762-5810 boronchamber.com

Edwards Air Force Base

Total Employed: 11,337 (2,208 military, 9,129 civilian and contractors) Kern County Supervisor District 2: Zack Scrivner, 1115 Truxtun Ave. Fifth floor, Bakersfield, CA 93301, 868-3660 Flight Test Center Museum: 405 S. Rosamond Blvd., 277-8050 edwards.af.mil


Who knew? Facts you didn’t know about Bakersfield Compiled by Myriam Valdez

1

According to imdb.com, late local actor Charles Napier provided the voice-over growls for “The Incredible Hulk” television series.

6

2

3

Before they were the Bakersfield Blaze, our minor league baseball team went by several different names, including the Badgers, Boosters, Outlaws and Dodgers. Cal State Bakersfield’s six residence halls are named after places in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” such as Rivendell, Entwood and Numenor.

more than 10 years. This means that the National Arbor Day Foundation and the USDA recognize our commitment to creation and maintenance of trees to improve our environment and make our community more beautiful.

9

Bakersfield founder Col. Thomas Baker’s motto was “Time will justify a man who means to do right.”

10 Have you ever noticed

Bakersfield has an iPhone app for reporting graffiti. Just choose the type of surface the graffiti was on, let your built-in GPS report the location and attach a photo. Then the city will take care of cleaning up our community. the nice greenery in the small area between 24th and 23rd streets at C Street? That area is called the 24th Street Triangle and it’s maintained by the Bakersfield Green Thumb Garden Club. Ours is the largest and most active garden club in California.

5

The 99s is an organization of female pilots formed by Amelia Earhart in 1929. It has chapters all over the world, including Bakersfield. Ours is comprised of 30 ladies who host flying events, teach aviation and even raise scholarships funds for future female fliers. Bakersfield is a Tree City USA and has been for

15 The giant fiberglass

statue outside of Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe is known as the Muffler Man Indian. There are different versions of Muffler Men all over the U.S. There is even a website with souvenirs devoted to Muffler Man sightings.

11 The Bakersfield Rotary 7

When the California Living Museum first opened, their plumbing/irrigation wasn’t complete. An old VW, with all but the driver’s seat removed, was used to haul large buckets of water to all of the exhibits for hydrating the animals and cleaning the enclosures.

Club was chartered in 1920, when Bakersfield only had a population of 20,000. Such a small charter was unheard of at the time, but locals were determined to start the club and do good work in their community.

12 During the Cold War,

the first U2 spy plane was manufactured by Lockheed in a north Bakersfield (Oildale) warehouse. The location was code named Unit 80, and was chosen because the Soviet Union often spied on projects in their Burbank location.

13 The statue of Col. Baker 4

with the most improved race time over the entire summer.

8

The popular public pool, Union Avenue Plunge (located south of Brundage Lane on Union Avenue) opened in 1916, endured a fire in 1922, hosted the Miss Bakersfield pageant in 1929 and was later emptied to become Skateboard World in 1977. It was demolished in the 1990s.

at City Hall is an official state registered California Historical Landmark. The inscription identifies him as a civil engineer, lawyer, farmer and soldier.

14 Each summer, the

Bakersfield Track Club puts on a summer series race. Runners compete over several weeks, but the winners are not the ones with the best times. Winners are those

16 Widely-known graffiti

artist Chaka, who once spent his time illegally tagging city walls in L.A., is now helping troubled youth in Bakersfield by teaching them to channel their pain and frustration into positive art projects and community involvement. His commissioned murals can be seen in east Bakersfield.

Source: Bakersfield Vision 2020 Image Committee Do you have a fact about Bakersfield that you’d like to share with our neighbors? Visit Who Knew Bakersfield’s Facebook page to contribute your own little-known fact about our city!

bakersfieldlife.com

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Up Front The Big Picture

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012


Living color The Kern County Fairgrounds erupted in a flurry of color and excitement on June 30 as runners of all ages covered themselves in bright, vibrant colors to participate in the noncompetitive 5K run known as Color Me Rad. The jubilant atmosphere saw crowds cheering on friends and strangers in a unifying mass of color-saturated joggers all enjoying the experience of running for fun. At the end of the run, many of the participants gathered together for a final “color bomb� to commemorate the experience. Partial proceeds went to benefit the Cal State Bakersfield Foundation. — Words and photo by Brian N. Willhite

bakersfieldlife.com

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Up Front The Big Picture

Bull session

Bullfighter Nathan Strahan, left, prepares to move in to free Bakersfield bull rider Lane Selz. Selz’s hand had become entangled in the rigging of his bull, Black Velvet, during the 13th annual Bad Bulls Tour rodeo on July 4 in Tehachapi. Thanks in large part to the quick actions of rodeo bullfighters like Strahan, while some of the cowboys came away bruised and battered, none were seriously injured. The event, hosted by the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association, featured professional bull riding and was a preview of the annual Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s rodeo on Aug. 17 and 18 at the Tehachapi Event Center and Rodeo Grounds. — Words and photo by Gregory D. Cook

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012


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Up Front Short Take

Young runner places in national competitions

Dede Salcedo

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

McFarland’s Dede Salcedo may be fairly new to running, but this 11-yearold has already become a top national competitor in track and field with only about a year of training. On Dec. 3, 2011, Salcedo and other local members of the McFarland Track Club ran at the Amateur Athletic Union Cross Country Nationals in Orlando, Fla. At the event, Salcedo and her teammates took third for the midget girls race, and she individually won the Midget Girls National Championship. Recently, Salcedo attended the USA Youth Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Arlington, Texas, June 26 through July 1, where she

placed second in the 3,000-meter race and third in 1,500-meter race. Coaches David Diaz of McFarland Parks and Recreation and Thomas Valles of the McFarland Track Club often work together to train their runners and have both worked with Salcedo. The coaches believe Salcedo is a positive and hardworking individual who pushes other kids to work hard in the sports they play. Diaz said that the success of Salcedo and her teammates is important because “it gives us evidence that the hard work has paid off. We can say, ‘Look, one of our own did it, so we can do it, too.’” — Emily Claffy


Short Take

Bakersfield Museum of Art offers kids a chance to grow It is fascinating to watch kids tap into their creativity, and the Bakersfield Museum of Art is helping them do just that, giving children a chance to express themselves while growing in their knowledge of art. The museum has created several education programs for youth, said Liz Sherwyn, education coordinator for BMoA. “We teach art education,� Sherwyn said. “How we differ from a lot of other programs is that we focus on technique and the process as opposed to the product. We teach them how to draw, how to paint, how to mix colors and how to construct a sculpture. It’s a little more in-depth.� The Experience Art summer program gives kids a chance to learn different topics in art. The program is based on two four-week-long sessions that cover a different topic each week. Designed for children ages 7 through 12, classes go from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Topics and lessons include drawing, painting, storytelling, graphic design and fashion design. Two programs kickoff in the fall: Art After School and Side by Side. Each program will focus on age-appropriate art projects, giving kids a chance to continue learning.

Art After School is available to children ages 6 through 17. This program is in its second year and was founded by Sherwyn. The program takes place every Tuesday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. It will consist of four classes or a monthlong session. Classes are expected to run from Sept. 4 through November, and then take a break in December before returning in January through May. The lessons will be focused on different exhibits that are currently in the museum at the time. However, the basic artistic skills and concepts will not be neglected and will play a key role in the program. The Side by Side program is meant for parents looking to get their younger children involved in the museum and art education. The program, which starts Aug. 11, is made for those between the ages of 3 and 8, who are accompanied by an adult. Each session will be an hour long, so that children get the most out of their time and will be on the second Saturday of every month. Children will be split into two groups, ages 3 to 5 years old and ages 6 to 8 years old. To find out more information, contact the museum at 323-7219 or visit bmoa.org. You can also read up on these programs by visiting bmoaeducation.wordpress.com. — Megan Luecke

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Up Front Short Take

Catch a Blaze game before the summer ends Promotional home games Kern County’s minor league baseball team, the Bakersfield Blaze, has experienced many changes over the past two years. Ken Griffey Sr., best known for his career with the Cincinnati Reds when they won the World Series in 1975 and 1976, started his position as field staff manager in 2011. Earlier this spring, the Blaze regained local ownership when oil businessmen Gene Voiland and Chad Hathaway purchased the team. And recently, shortstop and record-breaking base stealer Billy Hamilton was recognized by Dodger legend Maury Wills and has since been promoted to the Class AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos. During the dog days of summer, show support and spend an evening with family and friends at a Blaze game before the season ends. Be sure to check out the promotional home games and get your tickets online at bakersfieldblaze.com. — Emily Claffy

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Aug. 7 Second annual Facebook Fan Night and Taco Tuesday (free admission for all Facebook fans and a free taco for all paid admission) Aug. 17 Fireworks Friday (all fans) Aug. 18 Souvenir Saturday — Replica Tees (first 500 in attendance) Aug. 19 First Union Appreciation Night and Kids Club (free admission for all union members and Kids Club members 12 and under) Aug. 20 Dollar Monday ($1 admission and $1 hot dogs while supplies last) Aug. 29 Closing week Goodwill Wednesday (get a buy-one-get-one-free offer for any box seat with a valid donation item like clothing or canned goods) Aug. 30 Closing week Thirsty Thursday ($1 beer in the new beer zone for two hours after gates open with a valid ID) Aug. 31 Closing weekend fireworks Friday (all fans) Sept. 1 Souvenir Saturday Hideo Gnomo lawn ornament (first 500 in attendance)


Short Take

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Annual Village Fest raises money for local charities We’ve all heard that an ice-cold beer is a great way to cool off in the summer heat, but how about choosing from 100 different types of beer? If you are willing to find out, then get yourself ready for the 18th annual Village Fest from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Kern County Museum at 3801 Chester Ave. Called by many “the best social event in the city,” a ticket will get you 15 different beer samples, which include local, national and international brews. Is beer not your thing? Twenty-five wineries will serve more than 70 different types of wine. Previously known as Brews in the Village, the name changed to Village Fest in 2009 to reflect the event accurately. “This year’s event will mark our 18th year of what began as a humble fundraising effort known as Brews on the Roof,” said Jim A. Luff, Children’s Advocates Resource Endowment (C.A.R.E.) president. “As the event grew, we moved to the Kern County Museum, then known as Pioneer Village, hence the name, Brews in the Village. Today, with five stages featuring 17 bands, a sports pavilion, wine tasting area and more than 30 local restaurants providing food, the focus is no longer on “brews” or beer but a festival of good times and fellowship.” The event usually hosts about 6,000 people, and this year local bands such as Foster Campbell & Friends, Thee Majestics, Fat Katt and the Von Zippers, Mento Buru, a steel drum band and jazz quartet will perform. “While often compared to similar events such as the Festival of Beers, there is no comparison of an event encompassing 16 acres of activity to one on three acres with a single stage and only offering beer,” Luff said. “The food offered is from well-known high-end restaurants such as Crystal Palace, Frugatti’s, Elephant Bar, Cafe Med and Lengthwise, and unlimited food is included in the price of the ticket.” Luff also wanted to remind Bakersfield residents that 100 percent of the money raised is funneled into community organizations supporting children including the Boys & Girls Club, Bakersfield Police Activities League, Sheriff’s Activities League, Bakersfield Homeless Shelter and several specialized camps for children who are disabled or have experienced the loss of a parent. Tickets to Village Fest are $63 in advance and $68 at the door and sold online at vallitix.com, at Lengthwise Brewery or Frugatti’s. A strict dress code and ID check is enforced. — Gabriel Ramirez

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27


Up Front

Facebook

Favorite Kern County restaurant and what do you order? Don Martin Tough one! So many good locally owned restaurants in Bako. Top choice: Mama Roomba. Order the chicken paillard, add white rice on the side and don’t forget to dip the bread in the paillard sauce!

Gina Neufeld Davis Wool Growers filet mignon! Laurie Howlett The potstickers and walnut shrimp at Great Castle! Lauren Goodsi Uricchio’s blackened salmon in butter lemon sauce. Pure bliss.

Amber Morgan Chiang Gotta be Uricchio’s, and I order the same thing nearly every time — basil bread, fried mozzarella, chicken piccata with ravioli alfredo. Yum! Ali Zanial I would say my favorite is the one and only Frugatti’s Edna’s lasagna classico. Jolie Brouttier Miyoshi’s yellow submarine! Christina Vargas Rosa’s Italian Restaurant — chicken cacciatore with fresh mushrooms and rigatoni! Yummo! Ian Parks Too many to list but because I had it yesterday, La Costa Mariscos and the enchiladas del mar ... best anywhere.

Ashlee Roberts Wool Growers’ fried chicken ... Luigi’s stuffed chicken breast!

Rochelle Hoff Vaughan Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar. Their menu is very impressive, new offerings daily. Favorites: triple flight cheese plate (love the figs!), cobia or salmon (or any fish) with the beurre blanc sauce, short ribs and, for lunch, the threecourse prix fix menu. No restaurant in town comes close to the food at Valentien’s!

Mandy Herp So many choices, but I’d have to say the paella at Sandrini’s.

Mark Downing The 18-ounce New York or rib-eye at Sorella.

Kimmy Szabo Casa Mexico — shredded beef tacos are amazing!

Michael Hopper Luigi’s small half-and-half and a side order of pickled tongue for one.

Uricchio’s chicken picatta

Russo’s Read

‘Everything Barren Will Be Blessed’ The fact that Bakersfield has a vibrant and active poetry community surprises many. Still, bookstores, libraries, coffee shops and art galleries play host to scores of readings throughout the year. And if these businesses are fortunate enough, they have the privilege of hosting one of Kern County’s most honored poets, Don Thompson. Regionally and nationally recognized, Thompson’s poetry speaks to the very landscape from which he harkens. The Buttonwillow resident recently released “Everything Barren Will Be Blessed.” As the titles of his poems suggest — “Tumbleweeds,” “Hawk,” “Almond Grove,” “Bear Mountain After Rain,” “When the Drought Ended” — his poems are borne of our soil. An excerpt from his poem “Seed”: The summer grass looks frail,

Michael Russo 28

Bakersfield Life

by Don Thompson

old and so brittle you’d think the wind would snap it. But no. It gets back up again after every gust, much quicker than we do … Thompson easily captures the spirit of the Southern San Joaquin Valley’s simplicity and its vastness. The harsh summer sun, scampering wildlife, overgrown fields and our co-existence with each of them are central to his work. Even readers not familiar with poetry will recognize Thompson’s reverence for our shared experiences and all will certainly feel at home with his remarkable talent. — Michael Russo, co-owner of Russo’s Books at The Marketplace

“Everything Barren Will Be Blessed” by Don Thompson is available for $15 at Russo’s Books at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.

August 2012


25 random things you didn’t know about …

Carl Sparks 12

With 3 cents to my name and no job opportunity, I joined the Marine Corps and was shipped to Parris Island, S.C.

13

The Marines promised a place to sleep, three meals a day and lots of “play time” (physical training); that is what the recruiter called it.

14 During the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was aboard a

landing craft ready to land on the coast of Cuba. We had rifles, but no ammunition was issued. Good thing we never had to land.

15 After my discharge from the Marine Corps, I

bought a round-trip ticket to Europe and spent the next four months hitchhiking.

Photo by Shelby Mack

16 When I decided to go into law enforcement, I

Former Kern County Sheriff Carl Sparks was born and raised in Bakersfield, where he was educated from elementary school through college. He was with the sheriff’s office for 38 years; the last 12 years were spent as sheriff. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and three grandchildren. Retirement allows Sparks to spend more time working in his yard and at his mountain cabin, as well as painting and repairing rentals. As a kid, I loved everything about school, except the actual schoolwork!

2

As a teenager, I spent the summers working at my uncle’s farm in Lost Hills, and then in Elfrida, Ariz., after they moved. I found out that farm work was not my career goal.

3

One time when I was taking the bus back from a summer in Arizona, I was stopped by the Navy Shore Patrol. I had on my dad’s Navy shoes and they detained me as AWOL from the Navy — I was 13 and had no ID.

4

5

6

7

I had a heavy crush on my fifth-grade homeroom teacher. I have never forgotten her.

My sixth-grade teacher was quite the disciplinarian. One day she caught me daydreaming and rapped my knuckles and asked, “Are you waiting for Christmas?” An hour later, she caught me again and asked what I was doing. I told her I was waiting for Christmas. I spent a little vacation time in the principal’s office.

8 While playing football in the

eighth grade, I broke and dislocated my elbow. I was in a sling for nine months, which resulted in a right arm that never straightens out.

Another summer when I was working in the fields, the Border Patrol raided the field. I had no ID, was very suntanned and on my way to Mexico when my uncle rescued me. When the earthquake hit in 1952, I ran out of the house so fast I forgot that I was just wearing underwear. My mother suggested it might be a good idea to go back for my pants.

17

During my career, I wrecked seven patrol cars, but they were not all my fault. (Again, they didn’t require a spelling test.)

18 During my years in search and rescue, I always

took a partner with me when I was in the mountains. I am directionally challenged. (That wasn’t on the test either.)

Compiled by Hillary Haenes

1

took the BPD test but failed the spelling test. I chose to make a career out of the sheriff’s office — they didn’t require a spelling test.

9 I played football at Bakersfield High School for coach Paul Briggs. He said I had fast feet; they just didn’t go anywhere.

19 My wife thinks I have ADD. I really don’t, it’s just that ... “Oh, look, is that a squirrel?”

20 I love working as an usher/ greeter at our church. Maybe Wal-Mart could use my services.

21 In 1989, my wife told

me to stop complaining about the problems we were experiencing in the sheriff’s department and do something about it. I decided to run for sheriff.

22 The California State Sheriff’s

Conference was held in Bakersfield in 1994. The sheriffs were used to going to places like Santa Barbara, San Diego and Napa. Not to be outdone, I sent out a brochure highlighting our many attractions. I included photos of a condemned motel where they were sure to find lush accommodations and roadkill that would to be served for dinner, which would surely entice any sheriff. The Bakersfield conference is still the one they talk about as the most fun.

23 In my opinion, the key to a happy retirement is

not how much money you have, but your health. I like to stay as active as possible to help maintain my health.

10

After my mother passed away when I was 17, I moved out on my own and worked as a dishwasher.

24 I do not email, Facebook, Twitter or do any other

11

After Bakersfield College, I took an extended road trip around the United States, traveling to Stockton, then Salt Lake City and Greeley, Colo., and finally I ended up in Jacksonville, Fla.

25 I tell everyone if they want to talk to me, call me

form of electronic communication. I am convinced that computers are a fad and will soon fade away.

on the telephone. For extended conversations, they are welcome to buy me lunch.

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Up Front My Mobile Life

Photos by Shelby Mack

Michael Lee Things Helps me keep track of, well, things I need to do. The way it works just flows with my brain so well that I’d be lost without it. Rdio Rdio is my preferred way of finding new music. Being able to subscribe to my friends’ feeds and listen to what they’ve been jamming to is amazing. It’s so rewarding when I find a new band that really hits me.

Compiled by Hillary Haenes You may know him as @batfish on Twitter, but if you’re not one of his Tweeps, he goes by Michael Lee, photographer at Michael Lee Photography, or Dad to his 5-year-old daughter, Kaitlin Abigail. When he first joined Twitter in 2007, he didn’t think much of social media. Lee had a MySpace account, which he thought was pointless since he never actually made friends from using it. But in the Twitterverse, Lee, 28, has met dozens of locals who he considers to be true friends. “In fact, three of them are some of the best friends that I’ve ever had and will have. For that, I’m truly grateful for Twitter and social media,” he said. The power of social media allows Lee to not only read his news but has introduced him to people who he can talk computers and “nerd stuff ” with or those he can hang out with and have a beer. He credits this type of networking for changing the way he looks at life. Read below to discover what iPhone apps this self-proclaimed “social media junkie” likes best. 30

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Screenshot Journal Ever wanted to examine something down to its pixel? If you have, you’re probably a designer. This app, created by two awesome local Kern County residents Jacob White and Bryan Bell, is every UI (user interface) designer’s dream. Highly recommended! Instacast I love listening to podcasts. From “The Talk Show” to “Hypercritical” to “How Stuff Works” and “This American Life,” I love to listen to people talk, and Instacast is the best way to manage and listen to podcasts on my iPhone.

Instapaper I love reading, but I often find links to long articles while I’m out and about. Instapaper is great for saving links and displaying only the body of the article. It strips away all the ads and unnecessary stuff and just gives me the meat and potatoes. Love it.

Instagram Instagram is turning every mediocre photographer into a slightly less mediocre photographer. It is a lot of fun and there are some really talented photographers on there. I check Instagram constantly.

iMessage It’s how I keep in 24/7 contact with my friends Christopher Garcia, Ted Roddy and Jacob White. Our iMessage “besties club” is how we became best friends. I originally met the three of them through Twitter, and we eventually moved to text messaging in a group chat. They are definitely the three closest friends I’ve ever had and we’re in constant communication throughout the day.


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Up Front

Find more community events at bakersfieldlife.com or submit yours via email: bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com

Happenings: Can’t-miss events in Kern 2012

• California City Renaissance Festival, Oct. 20 to 21, California City Central Park, 10460 Heather Ave., California City. calcityrenfair.org or 760-373-3530.

August

• Dust Bowl Days, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 20, Sunset Middle School, 8301 Sunset Blvd., Bakersfield. Free. weedpatchcamp.com.

• Fiesta Days, Aug. 3 to 5, Community Park in Frazier Park, Monterey Trail Street and Park Drive. frazierfiestadays.com or 4318260.

• Safe Halloween 2012, with trick-or-treat stations, costume contest, food and beverages for sale, 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30 to 31, Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. $8. 8688400.

• Sixth annual Tehachapi Food & Wine Festival, food from local restaurants and wineries, fine arts, chef demonstration, live music. VIP gates open at 5:30 p.m.; regular admission 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 4, Green Street, Tehachapi. $40; $100, VIP. tehachapifoodandwine.com or 374-0395. • Howlin’ at the Moon Fun Run, nighttime run, 2K starts at 8 p.m.; 5K and 10K start at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 4, the Park at River Walk, 11200 Stockdale Highway. $30, on-site registration. Proceeds benefit the BPD K9 unit. 326-3685. • Walk for Valley Fever Awareness, registration 7:15 a.m.; walk starts 8 a.m. Aug. 11, Pioneer Village in the Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. $10, early registration; $15, day of event. Proceeds benefit Valley Fever Americas Foundation. vfaf@bak.rr.com or 832-1456.

November • 43rd annual Wasco Festival of Roses, parade 10 a.m. Sept. 8, Wasco. www.ci.wasco. ca.us or 758-2616. • 18th annual Business and Consumer Trade Show and 16th of September Celebration, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Stramler Park. Hosted by Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. $5 adults, children 12 and under free. 6335495. • 33rd annual Fall Harvest Faire, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 15; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16, Railroad Park, Tehachapi. 822-6062. • Ultimate Bridal Event, noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 16, Rabobank Convention Center, 1001 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield. ultimatebridalevent. com. • 2012 Kern County Fair, Sept. 19 to 30, 1142 S. P St., Bakersfield. kerncountyfair.com.

October • Fourth annual Gospel Music Festival, featuring band Sanctus Real, begins at 3 p.m. Oct. 7, Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway. Free. bhnamphitheatre.com or 869-6567. • Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration, see amazing hummingbird migration 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 11, Kern River Preserve, 18747 Highway 178, Weldon. • Tehachapi Mountain Festival, arts and crafts, food, carnival, 5K/10K run, Aug. 18 and 19, Phillip Marx Central Park, Tehachapi. 822-4180.

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

• 32nd annual Festival of Trees, fashion show and luncheon 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17, Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, $50. 325-7889. • Annual Christmas Parade, Nov. 24, Lake Isabella. kernrivervalley.com or 760-379-5236.

December • HolidayLights at CALM, open daily 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 through 31; closed on Dec. 25, CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. $12; $10, seniors and children ages 3 to 17; $6, ages 3 to 12; under 3 are free. vallitix.com or 322-5200. • Holiday Lamp Light Tours, 3 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. kcmuseum.org or 868-8400.

• 13th annual Via Arte, Italian street painting festival, Oct. 13 to 14, The Marketplace,

• 30th annual Bakersfield Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 6, route will begin at the corner of L and 22nd streets in Bakersfield. bcparade.com.

September

32

• Native American Heritage Day, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 15, Nuui Cunni Native American Cultural Center, 2600 Highway 155, Lake Isabella. 760-379-4770.

• CSUB Athletics Fall Barbecue, dinner and live entertainment 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 11, CSUB Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. gorunners.com or 654-3473.

• 25th annual Rubber Ducky Races, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 25, Riverside Park, Kernville. marshas@kvsun.com or 760-379-7785.

• Fourth annual Latination Art Exhibit Opening, music by Mento Buru and others, no host bar, hors d’oeuvres, 5 to 10 p.m. Sept. 7, Metro Galleries, 1604 19th St. themetrogalleries.com or 634-9598.

• Savor Bakersfield with dash Around the Table, shopping bazaar and sampling 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., cooking show at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13, Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. ticketmaster.com or 395-7586.

9000 Ming Ave. • 21st annual California Hot Rod Reunion, drag racing and hundreds of cars Oct. 19 to 21, Auto Club Famoso Raceway, 33559 Famoso Road, McFarland. nhratix.com or 800-884-6472.

• Christmas in Kernville, parade, shop hop and classic cars, Kernville. 760-376-2629. • 16th annual Holiday Classic Jr. Steer & Heifer Show, Dec. 8 to 9, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. 833-4934.


• 56th annual Whiskey Flat Days, Feb. 15 to 18. For full schedule of events and activities visit kernvalley.com/news/whiskey.htm or 760-376-2629.

• 47th annual Bakersfield Fiesta, March 15 to 17, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 P St. bakersfieldfiesta.com or 324-1390. • 18th annual Kern County Scottish Gathering and Games, starts at 9 a.m. March 23, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St., Bakersfield. $15 to $25; children 10 and under free. kernscot.com or 865-8890.

• 19th annual Battle of the Badges, benefiting the youth programs of the Bakersfield Police Activities League, CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. 283-8880. • 21st annual Festival of Beers, Stramler Park, 3805 Chester Ave. $30, advance; $40, at the gate. 21 and over only. bakersfieldfestivalofbeers.com.

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• 14th annual Crawfish Festival, live music, noon to 6 p.m. May 11, The Prime Cut, 9500 Brimhall Road. 831-1413. • 40th annual CSUB Spring Barbecue, 5:30 to 9 p.m. May 9, CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. Proceeds benefit the CSUB student-athlete scholarship fund. gorunners.com or 654-3473. • Italian Picnic, with games, bocce tournament and more, noon to 6 p.m. May 19, Italian Heritage Hall, 4415 Wilson Road. 831-0867.

June

Basque

Overall Restaurant

Place To Take Out-Of-Town Guests

327-9584

• Healthy Bakersfield, presented by Dignity Health Hospitals, March 23, Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield. Free. 395-7586.

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• 2013 Bakersfield March Meet, drag racing festival with manufacturer’s exhibits and a vintage auto parts swap meet, famosoraceway.com or 399-5351 or 399-2210.

• 24th annual Isabella Lake Fishing Derby, fishing derby contest, March 23 to 25, Lake Isabella. 760-379-5236.

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• Fourth annual JJ’s Legacy Golf Tournament and Dinner, March 3 to 4. jjslegacy.com.

• 26th annual PRCA Stampede Days Rodeo, Kern County Sheriff’s Reserve Association, gates open at 6 p.m., performances at 7:30 p.m. May 4 to 5, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. $16 to $18; $12, ages 6 to 12; under 5 are free; $3, parking. stampededaysrodeo.com or 399-3159.

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• 20th annual Sharyn Woods Memorial Pro-Am Golf Tournament & Gala, gala May 18; tournament May 20, Seven Oaks Country Club, 2000 Grand Lakes Ave. linksforlife.org or 322-5601.

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• 27th annual Bakersfield Home & Garden Show, Feb. 22 to 24, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. $7; 12 and under free; $3, parking. ggshows.com or 800-655-0655.

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• Aztec Image Car Show, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 28, Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. 868-8400.

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• Weddings 2013 Bridal Show, doors open at 11:30 a.m. for VIP; noon to 3 p.m. for general public, Jan. 27, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. $5; $10, VIP; $3, parking. thebestweddings.com or 633-9200.

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• 24th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25, Rabobank Convention Center, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $95. Register online at bakersfieldwomen.org, bakersfieldwomen@gmail.com or 636-4395.

Family owned and operated since 1954!

• 64th annual Glennville Rodeo Roundup, gates open at 11:30 a.m., rodeo begins at 1 p.m. June 10, GMVA Rodeo Arena, 196 Pascoe Road, Glennville. $15, for adults; $10, children 12 and under. glennvillerodeo.org.

July • 2013 Philippine Weekend Festivities, pork adobo cook-off, basketball tournament, co-ed volleyball tournament, Barrio Fiesta exhibits, booths, traditional dances, live music and more, various locations throughout Delano, July 26 to 28. philippineweekend.org or 375-7177.

620 East Nineteenth Street www.woolgrowers.net Closed Sundays

Wool Growers Restaurant & COCKTAIL LOUNGE


Up Front Finding Fame

Sarah Hester

On the audition

Photo courtesy of Sarah Hester

It’s the opportunity for a job; it’s also a lot of high hopes and letdowns.

Early stages of success Her phone rings and on the other end is a casting agent with news of an audition later that day. This is the norm for 23-year-old Sarah Hester, a full-time actress and model, who worked on Nickelodeon’s TV series “Unfabulous” and has been a part of many other commercials and television shows. For as long as Hester can remember, she always wanted to become an actress. Starting at age 5, she was driven back and forth from her hometown in Bakersfield to Los Angeles for auditions. After a while, the grueling twohour drive took its toll, prompting her decision to take a break. She went back to L.A. to continue her acting career at 15, and a year later she got the part of Jen Stevenson, a juice bar waitress and girlfriend of the character 34

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Photo courtesy of Sarah Hester

Former Stockdale High student in midst of successful acting and modeling career

Ben on “Unfabulous.” “Every actor is very excited to get an audition but they’re bittersweet,” said Hester.

“It’s the opportunity for a job; it’s also a lot of high hopes and letdowns.” She explained that her job as an actress starts with a phone call or email from her agent. If there is a script, she will study it or get professional coaching. After traveling to the audition, she sits in a waiting room with up to five or six other girls who share the same resemblance. Each girl is called into a room one at a time to read the script. “You never know when you leave an audition what will happen. They’re very good with their poker faces,” she said. When Hester booked the part on “Unfabulous,” she was a junior at Stockdale High School. Filming for the Nickelodeon TV series often meant 6 a.m. call times, so it was during that period the decision was made to move to Valencia with her mother. They packed their bags and headed toward L.A., which turned out to be the right move to make. Being in the limelight has its perks Since then, Hester has had the opportunity to work with A-list celebrities like David Beckham, George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Seacrest and Britney Spears, to name a few. She was also part of the recent Marilyn Manson music video for “No Reflection.” With more than 2 million views on YouTube, the video depicts Manson in his usual gothic garb, seated at a dinner table for most of the clip with Hester and four others as guests in his home. Her commercial work includes an Old Navy ad with Mr. T and a recent gig as the “new face” of a product called The Looksy (mirror bracelet). Hester has only recently started modeling, but has had seen relative success since she began. Apart from work she enjoys hiking, playing beach volleyball and listening to music, especially ’80s hair metal. As a current resident of L.A., Hester plans to continue acting and take her passion as far as she can go. But for right now, she’s headed out the door to a live concert in San Diego. “I was invited by the Scorpions to attend their show and hang before,” she said. It has been a successful journey for this Bakersfield native, with many years to come. — Breanna Fields


Signature Properties, Signature Service By the Numbers

Bakersfield Condors Hockey Compiled by Hillary Haenes

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The 2012-13 season is the Condors’ 15th anniversary season.

Mary Christenson S pecializing

in Luxury Homes, Estate Properties and Golf Course Communities

5 Players currently on the training camp ros-

ter. Approximately 30 will be on the roster by Sept. 28 when training camp opens.

Direct Cell

301-MARY (301-6279)

DRE License #00818891

2,859,193

Number of fans who have attended a Condors game in the team’s previous 14 seasons. The Condors expect its No. 3 million fan in team history to attend in February.

Olde Stockdale Golf Course Views! 6701 Kane Way $549,000

428 Number of players who have played for the Condors in team history.

462 Number of victories in Condors history. 19 Number of front office league awards the Condors have won in 14 seasons. Brad Urbani won ECHL Ticket Executive of the Year in 2011-12.

OLDE STOCKDALE SPANISH VILLA! Faces golf course, 200 yards to first tee and main clubhouse! Newer built custom home with wonderful Great Room for big family gatherings or entertaining friends. High ceilings, lots of windows! Granite island kitchen, Swedish hardwood floors, plantation shutters, . First floor Master Suite with His & Her walk-in closets, spa-jetted bath, steam shower + gym. Large laundry/office/project room. Two upstairs guest bedrooms. Private--no homes at rear. Low maintenance.

12 Games scheduled for the 2012-13 season against their newest divisional opponent, the San Francisco Bulls.

73,111 Number of stuffed animals collected in Condors Teddy Bear Toss history. The bears are donated to dozens of local nonprofit agencies every season. This season’s Teddy Bear Toss is on Nov. 24.

See 50 photo visual tours of property listings, and search for homes at:

www. MaryCrealtor.com

48 Dollars needed to purchase a Condors

ticket plan (in this case, a pick-six games plan).

10 Players who have gone on from the

Bakersfield Condors to play in the NHL. They have represented seven teams. Source: Kevin Bartl, vice president communications Bakersfield Condors

bakersfieldlife.com

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Up Front By the Numbers

The Kern River between Lake Isabella Dam and Interstate 5 Compiled by Emily Claffy

53 Miles in distance be-

tween the Lake Isabella Dam and Interstate 5

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63.5 Degrees is the

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60.4 Degrees is the

1951 Year that

average high temperature for the Lake Isabella Dam

average temperature for the Lake Isabella Dam

tion of the Lake Isabella Dam was approved

construction began on the auxiliary and main dam

take water to other places

Source: Art Chianello, water resources manager for the city of Bakersfield

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4601 California Ave. • 4601 Fruitvale Ave.

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would like to thank Kern County for their 10th year of being nominated for the “Best Place to Worship” and “Best Private School”

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St. Francis Church and St. Francis School

For voting Little Red School House “Best Day Care Facility in 2012 Readers Poll”. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us for the past 45 years. Congratulations to our staff for a great job! Now Accepting Registrations

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We’re honored to serve the people of Bakersfield since 1881

Photo by Casey Christie

3 Feet per second is the aver- 1952 Year that age velocity of the current construction of the main 12 Number of canals in total dam was completed 6 Known fish in the Kern 45.3 Feet is the river’s River include: catfish, 1953 Year that the maximum depth on record bluegill, trout, bass, carp reservoir began filling and sucker 56.9 Degrees is the aver-


It Manners a Lot

Six rules on dressing for work By Lisa Kimble

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t’s hot out there! Unbearably so. Even workday attire takes a beating in these dog days of summer. But tempting as it might be to toil away in practically nothing, don’t let your professional look in the office melt. Let’s face it, you are what you wear. People do judge us by our outwardly appearance. In the workplace, how we show up to carry out our daily responsibilities telegraphs a great deal to others about who we are. And employers have the right to expect that their staff, as representatives of the business, put their best footwear forward. Unless you are required to wear a uniform or work from home in the privacy of your family room, there are some office attire rules that apply across the board regardless of the job description. The first impression could be the last impression if it isn’t a good, positive one. Communicate that you take yourself and your job seriously, that you are committed, confident, competent and command respect from your co-workers, even if the atmosphere of the work environment is more laid back. Check with your office manager about the dress policy where you work, in case you missed the memo when you were hired. 1. Dress to impress If you arrive looking like you just rolled out of bed, people may mistake your messiness for laziness. Women should be neat, modestly dressed in skirts, suits or slacks, and avoid high heels. You won’t get much work done walking around on stilt-like stilettos. Operative word here is “modest,” despite the oppressive heat outside that sanctions tank tops and midriffs. Don’t be the office Erin Brockovich. Avoid low-cut, revealing and see-through garments. If your pillowcase is longer than your mini-skirt, leave it in the closet. Don’t throw decency out the break room window. Workplace attire should flatter you, not draw attention to you like a circus clown. Dress like a working girl, not as if you’re working the streets. Lisa Kimble

2. Scents should be kept to a minimum Think of perfume preferences like calling in sick — someone is going to be bent out of shape. So opt for “less is more.” If you work in a confined space with others, don’t overpower everyone with your favorite Juicy cologne. 3. Let go of the chains Accessories should also be kept to a minimum. You may like the bondage look of multiple chains, but answering the phones may be difficult with those large, hula-hoop earrings. 4. Keep your tats, piercings to yourself In recent years, tattoos and facial and body piercings have become mainstream. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out why. I’m convinced California could ease out of the red if there were additional taxes on tats and piercings. I celebrate freedom of expression like the next mom but am old school when it comes to the carny look, especially when interacting with customers. If you are working directly with clients, use discretion and keep the tats and piercings covered. 5. Don’t become too casual with casual Fridays When I worked in a television newsroom, what we wore eventually was seen on camera and much attention was paid to what we had on from the waist up. (Not-so-secret unwritten TV news rule: No one will ever know you paired sandals and shorts with that sport coat and tie.) It was well before casual Fridays seeped into the grind’s weekly mix, but don’t confuse the end-of-the-workweek casual code for weekend wear. Tattered jeans, sweats and flip-flops belong at home in the comfort of your backyard. 6. You got the look but is it the right one? Katy Perry can get away with blue or purple hair, receptionists at the surgeon’s office can’t. Men have it a lot easier in this department. A suit and tie, golf or dress shirt paired with nice pants will always be appropriate. Just make sure the shoes aren’t scuffed. And come next casual Friday, resist the urge to wear a shirt with an offensive message or design. Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to itmannersalot@ba kersfield.com or visit itmannersalot.blogspot.com.

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Kelly Damian

For Benicio

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ometimes the membrane that separates life from death is as thin as an onion skin. It is a strip of heart muscle that refuses to contract, a handful of oxygen molecules gone too long from the body. In a tragic pool drowning accident on June 16, the Robledo family of Bakersfield was burdened with the weight that no family can bear: the loss of a child. If Benicio’s passing is an unwelcome reminder of the frailty of life, then the 8-year-old boy himself offers us all a lesson in how to live. Benicio was a second grader at Buena Vista Elementary and a classmate and friend of my daughter’s since preschool. I saw him almost every morning and afternoon when dropping off and picking up my daughter. Without a doubt, the physical attribute that most embodied the spirit of Beni was his hair. Every morning, his hair was neatly parted and combed; it was damp and gelled and lined with comb marks like rake patterns in the sand of a Zen garden. And every afternoon, that same hair stood on end. It stretched for the heavens, wet with sweat and most likely gelled with sand and grass. Beni was ebullient and irrepressible. He was a chaser of girls, a jumper into puddles, a builder of vast Lego kingdoms. He was a titan of tetherball, a prodigy in the knee-pit “wind” orchestra, and once, in day care, when he was told to stop building guns, he concocted a rogue

herd of My Little Ponies. Beni held open doors and tried his best to listen to his older sister, but he was Captain America, and this kept him very busy what with all the rescuing citizens and defeating villains. I have been teaching for 15 years, and in that time, I have learned that certain students change the ballast of the classroom. Benicio’s presence always filled up a room, and this year the school will Benicio feel his absence. The third grade will be one notch too quiet. The writing assignments will be missing one extra imaginative idea. The tetherballs will wonder where those small fists have gone. The other 8-year-olds will no doubt struggle to understand that their friend is not coming back. I, for one, will try to help my daughter hold on to what Benicio gave us: that, despite having asthma and a dangerous nut allergy, Beni lived. He was the embodiment of joie de vivre, carpe diem, pura vida. The Robledo family has been abruptly dropped into an inhospitable wilderness of grief. I wish I knew the way out. I wish I had blueprints to give them to help them rebuild their lives. I have nothing. I can only tell them that they are not alone. We are here. Lean on us. To read more, visit kellydamian.com or follow Kelly on twitter @kellydamian2

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August 2012

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Dining Divas

The Dining Divas enjoying their limo ride to Eagle Mountain Casino, from left: Amanda Meszaros, Tammara Newby, Katie Price, Lisa Verdugo and Molly Clark.

Location: 681 South Reservation Road, Porterville Phone: 559-788-6220 Website: eaglemtncasino.com Hours of operation for Eagle Mountain Casino: 24/7 Hours of operation for The River steakhouse: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday,

Heel ratings (out of five)

Eagle Mountain Casino Eagle Mountain hits jackpot with one-of-a-kind steakhouse, gaming and concert Photos by Greg Nichols

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ady Luck was shining on us Divas this time around. We were treated to not only dinner at a fantastic one-of-a-kind steakhouse, but we were also driven there in a limo, set loose in a casino and spoiled with VIP seats at the Kellie Pickler concert! Talk about the royal

Eagle Mountain Casino treatment! We began our trip to Eagle Mountain Casino, which is owned and operated by the Tule River Tribe and nestled in the foothills above Porterville, about an hour and a half from Bakersfield, with a luxurious limo ride from Limousine Scene. Our chauffeur Daryl Davis, arrived right on time and we were so excited that we jumped right in and were whisked away. Unfortunately, we forgot about our poor photographer Greg Nichols, who hadn’t arrived yet. Twenty minutes down the road, we remembered him and turned around to pick him up. Greg is such a good sport that he didn’t seem to mind much. Riding to the casino in a limo was so much fun; if you plan to head out to the casino, this is something to consider with a group of friends or family. We gals had fun joking, laughing and telling stories. And


Crab cakes

we were taking bets on who would get sick first — Amanda or Molly — since both have a history of carsickness. However, our limo driver’s expert driving and the distraction of the flashy limo kept the sickness at bay, and we arrived at Eagle Mountain Casino without any additional mishaps. Once at the casino, Eagle Mountain Casino marketing manager Renee Garcia escorted us to the beautiful steakhouse, which is called The River. In keeping with the river theme, there is an attractive water feature outside the steakhouse and inside a waterfall cascades over slate, falling into ocean blue stones. The carpet has a wave pattern that’s meant to imitate a flowing river. Scattered around the room on the walls you can find embedded river rocks to continue the theme. We were impressed. Our meal experience was another adventure.

Creativity adds extra flavor to appetizers Lisa on the crab cakes: I visited Eagle Mountain Casino once before, in 1999, with my husband and in-laws. Back then, Eagle Mountain was much smaller — just a cluster of trailers. Dinner was a trip to the snack bar. My, how things have changed. I was amazed at what a nice-sized casino this is now and surprised at just how lovely the restaurant is. I was also impressed with

Kellie Pickler concert

the food. I began my eating adventure with the crab cakes, an all-time favorite of mine. They were lightly coated with breadcrumbs, making for a nice crunchy texture. Inside was a flavorful crab blend — nice and light and not too creamy. They were paired with a tangy cocktail sauce. Molly on the steak bites: All of the appetizers were tasty, but I must say that the steak bites were my favorite. These were small, tender morsels of beef, marinated overnight and sauteed, then served with fresh fried tortilla chips. I thought this was a very creative way to serve steak. All of the Divas also had the River salad as a starter. Each of us chose our own dressing and enjoyed the very fresh spring lettuce, sweet tomatoes, homemade garlic croutons and shaved Romano cheese. It was a nice, cool start to our meal on a very hot summer day! Amanda on the steak-wrapped asparagus: I know my role as a Diva is to indulge in incredible cuisine, but truthfully I was more thrilled at the prospect of gambling than eating

on this adventure. That didn’t, however, keep me from enjoying the food. I began the night with the grilled asparagus, which was wrapped in steak and topped with teriyaki sauce. Wow! The steak was tender and it made for a nice contrast with the vegetable. Continued on page 44

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From left, Amanda, Tammara, Katie, Lisa and Molly in The River steakhouse at Eagle Mountain Casino.

Mahi mahi Continued from page 43

Katie on the shrimp cocktail: The first time I visited Eagle Mountain Casino was back in 1997, not long after it opened. I was working for KUZZ Radio as an advertising executive, and the casino was one of my clients. I remember hearing the manager talk about how things would be in the future. At that time, it was little more than a trailer in the middle of nowhere with some slot machines. The future is definitely here for Eagle Mountain. I didn’t even recognize the place. As for the food, it was excellent. I began my meal with the shrimp cocktail appetizer. I’ve never met a shrimp cocktail I didn’t like and this appetizer was no exception.

Main course raises the bar Molly on the rack of lamb: This dish is not on the menu but is featured regularly. If you make the trip to The River steakhouse and the lamb is offered as a special, I would say it is a mustorder. It’s served with a Dijon cream sauce, which includes white 44

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Filet mignon wine, garlic, honey and a touch of cream. Although very simple, it complements the lamb perfectly. Baby carrots drizzled with a little honey and mashed potatoes were served on the side. Lisa on the mahi mahi: This dish is also not actually on the regular menu but is featured often as a special, served with broccoli and Spanish rice pilaf. On top of the mahi-mahi was a cilantro cream sauce made with cream cheese, green onion, sour cream, roasted bell pepper, lime and jalapenos. I loved the kick the jalapenos gave the sauce and I was very pleased with the mahi-mahi. The broccoli wasn’t overly buttery and was nicely seasoned. The Spanish rice pilaf was made with bell pepper, green onion, butter and toma-


toes. The server told us that the flavor of rice pilaf changes weekly because the chef likes to jazz things up. Katie on the rib-eye steak and filet mignon: No, I didn’t eat all of both of these meals (not that I couldn’t if I’d tried), but I had the distinct pleasure of sampling each of them. Both steaks were served medium rare — just the way I like it. The rib-eye was smothered in mushrooms, garlic, shallots, wine, salt, pepper and parsley. To say it was good is a definite understatement. After I’d had several bites, I took pity on Greg, the photographer (who was drooling), and let him finish it off. The rib-eye came with tender broccoli and a yummy cheese-stuffed baked potato with sour cream and chives. I think the filet was even more tender and juicy than the rib-eye. Again, it was marinated in butter, shallots and garlic. It was served with carrots in a honey sauce and the cheesy baked potato. Tammara on the sauteed tiger prawns: Although everything I tasted was something I would definitely order again, the prawns were my favorite. These jumbo-sized shrimp were served in a garlic butter sauce that was to die for — seriously! Chili flakes and lemon gave the dish just the right amount of zest. The tiger prawns were paired with snap peas in a lemon juice sauce and served with grilled onions, roasted bell peppers and seasoned with salt and pepper. This dish was so good that I had to keep slapping Katie’s hand so she would quit stealing whole prawns off my plate. Amanda on the chicken with asparagus: Too bad I ate so many appetizers that I wasn’t able to finish my meal because it was absolutely delicious. The chicken breast was grilled and crispy on the outside and covered with a creamy roasted garlic and butter sauce. The garlic chunks on top melted in my mouth. Accompanying the chicken was grilled asparagus seasoned and cooked to perfection.

Wowed by Kellie The Divas on the Kellie Pickler concert: After dinner we were escorted to Eagle Mountain Casino’s concert auditorium. This 1,700-seat facility is both intimate and large enough to justify top-name talent. In case you don’t know, Kellie Pickler is a country music singer who gained fame on the fifth season of TV’s “American Idol.” A North Carolina native who now lives in Tennessee, Pickler has a strong voice that’s comparable to country legends such as Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. She wowed the well-behaved audience with song after song — even jumping off the stage at one point to walk up and down the aisles to croon directly to the audience. We Divas were treated to fancy padded seats that were located in the VIP section. The Divas on the casino: We would be remiss not to mention something about the actual casino. Although we didn’t have time to gamble (good thing or Amanda might have gone home broke!), we walked through after the concert. Just about every slot machine and poker table was occupied. And in case you think that since this is an Indian gaming casino and dole out much dough — you’re wrong. There are 1,400 tables at Eagle Mountain, and just a few months ago the casino gave away a $23,000 poker jackpot. As we piled back into our limo (no, we didn’t forget Greg this time), we left tired but happy. We all agreed that this would be another trip we would love to make. And instead of driving, we would highly recommend you rent a limo for the utmost enjoyment. But be sure you leave yourself enough time to see if Lady Luck is willing to shine her light on you.

Dreamy desserts Molly on the red velvet cake: For dessert, we were treated to a wide array of sweet delights. We feasted on strawberry pie, orange cream cake, vanilla bean creme brulee cheesecake topped with strawberries, and red velvet cake. All were good, but I enjoyed the red velvet cake the best. It was layers of cake topped with thick creamy chocolate frosting and shaved chocolate. Absolutely yummy! Lisa on the vanilla bean creme brulee: Dessert is my favorite part of the meal and this is one of my all-time faves. Creme brulee, also known as burnt cream or Trinity cream, is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served cold. I was super happy I got this dish, but not for long because the other Divas kept stealing it away from me. It wasn’t your typical creme brulee; it had liquid caramel on top of the crusted shell, which was super yummy and a nice surprise. Amanda on the strawberry pie: Yet again I indulged in too much food and didn’t think I’d have room for dessert. However, when they brought the individual sized strawberry pie out, I knew I would be able to squeeze some in. Pie is my favorite dessert and this strawberry delight was perfect because it was a petite piecrust filled with fresh strawberries and topped with a load of whipped cream. It was just the right amount. This pie was light, fluffy and bursting with sweet flavor. The Divas on the perfect meal: Although we enjoyed everything, we would recommend the crab cakes appetizer, the River salad as a starter, the filet mignon as the main dish and the crème brulee for dessert.

When Only The Best Will Do

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Food Dudes

The Food Dudes, from left, Gray Frazier, Ray Pruitt, Don Martin and Matt Munoz, enjoyed an evening at On the Rocks.

On the Rocks Bar & Grill Delectable downtown eatery and bar Boot ratings (out of five)

Photos by Greg Nichols

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owntown Bakersfield is booming with new developments, and the restaurant and nightspot category is no exception. The Food Dudes set out to discover the recently opened On the Rocks Bar & Grill, and we found ourselves pretty satisfied. Read more about our experience.

Rockin’ glitz and glam Atmosphere Food

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Ray: When I walked into the new On the Rocks Bar & Grill, I was really surprised. I remembered hanging out here in

the mid-90s when it was Sharkey’s Pool Hall, and I had drinks and dinner on a number of occasions when it was Fishlips. The new owners, James and Jon Whitener, have really changed the atmosphere and transformed the interior into a modern-looking bar and restaurant. The inside is a little more intimate because part of the location has been turned into the Riverwalk Cafe downtown. The stage is still front and center, and the owners have done a good job meshing an upscale nightclub look with a fantastic restaurant. Don: As a longtime resident of downtown, I spent many a night in this location when it was the infamous Fishlips. Gary and I were the first to arrive and I regaled him with stories of Fishlips’ past. (I think Gary and Ray think Matt and I spent all of the ’90s in dark bars downtown!) I was pleasantly surprised at the sleek, new modern design. The columns that support the ceiling have been tiled and transformed to look like


Tequila chicken

Appetizers are plentiful and tasty.

martini glasses, the front of the bar is now a stunOn the Rocks ning etched blue glass, Location: 1517 18th St. and the pendant lights Phone: 327-7625 resemble ice cubes. Website: Visit the On the Matt: The cool Rocks Bar & Grill Facebook metropolitan style decor page inside On the Rocks is Hours: 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. a huge eye-catcher. You Monday through Saturday could tell the owners put a lot of care into the venue’s overall design, balancing the comfort and hospitality of a fine dining with some big city glitz. Some cool touches include the decorative lights in the shape of ice cubes throughout the club, and the two stylized beams in the shape of martini glasses as Don mentioned. There’s a lot to like about the newest addition to downtown’s restaurant and nightlife.

Out-of-this-world appetizers Ray: The Food Dudes were overwhelmed with appetizers on this adventure. We ordered the OTR barbecue baconwrapped shrimp, the garlic Parmesan chicken wings, the spicy Asian chicken wings, and the drunken chili cheese fries, and, for good measure, our chef Dan Phillips, brought us out the sampler, which consisted of chicken strips, steak sliders, jalapeno poppers, and nacho’s supreme. I honestly thought at that point we wouldn’t be able to eat dinner. We dug in with gusto, and I was blown away by everything we tried. My favorite was the chicken wings, which were lightly breaded and deep-fried. They were perfect, and I had a hard time stopping so I could try the other appetizers. Matt: We were pleasantly surprised to see chef Dan, grinning from ear to ear, as he walked from the kitchen to our table with the sampler. I went straight for the jalapeno poppers. I

The interior is sleek and modern.

recalled having a brief conversation with OTR owner James Whitener a few weeks before regarding his mission to offer the perfect jalapeno popper. He had told me that while he was concerned about the heat of the peppers, he also didn’t want to sacrifice flavor. I’m happy to say he accomplished that and more. The Food Dudes went to town on these and I kept an eye on their reaction. Jalapenos are normally hot, but we were able to enjoy two and in my case, three. No water needed to cool us down. Gary: The OTR barbecue bacon-wrapped shrimp, drunken chili cheese fries and garlic Parmesan chicken wings are must-haves from the appetizer menu. The bacon is perfectly wrapped around succulent and well-seasoned shrimp and then topped with sweet barbecue sauce, making for a wonderful fusion of textures and flavors that will make your taste buds stand at attention. They have five flavors to choose from when ordering the chicken wings and boy, did we pick the right flavors to try – garlic Parmesan and spicy Asian. Let’s just say Continued on page 48 bakersfieldlife.com

47


Clockwise from above: carrot-colada cake, Pina-colada cake and fudge brownie.

Continued from page 47

that they would win a top prize in a wing cook-off. Don: When you arrive for dinner at On the Rocks they serve you fresh piping hot bread with honey butter. Both are homemade by chef Dan, and breaking bread with dining companions is always a delightful way to start of a meal. As the Food Dudes noted, we tested a variety of appetizers on the menu. I ordered the tri-tip sliders. The buns were fresh and the tri-tip was perfectly done. A group favorite was the bacon-wrapped shrimp. We needed a few more orders as the Food Dudes and our photographer, Greg Nichols, quickly devoured the entire serving. This appetizer is the perfect combination of ingredients. Sweet yet tangy. Loved it! Matt: Don is right. I loved the bacon-wrapped shrimp on the grill. Five high quality shrimp, blanketed by a very good piece of bacon and Monterey jack cheese and accompanied by a delicious barbecue-dipping sauce that complemented the dish to perfection. According to the staff, no store-bought sauces are used at On the Rocks. I was so impressed by the Mexican salsa, I had to go back and inquire in the kitchen myself. Kudos for some of the best varieties in town. The loaded wedge salad was a gourmet delight. A healthy slice of romaine lettuce chilled and covered in diced bacon, diced tomatoes, red onions, olives, blue cheese and crumbled feta cheese, it’s a classic, tasty summer offering. Try it before a meal or as a solo snack with a glass of white wine.

Southern-style cuisine with a twist 48

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Ray: For my entree, I ordered the Southern-style, country-fried steak. Wow, it was huge and smothered in country gravy, served with Southern mashed potatoes and gravy and Mama’s green beans. The mashed potatoes were whipped and seasoned just right, and I don’t know who Mama is but she makes the best green beans I have ever tried. The country-fried steak was delicious, seasoned perfectly, not greasy and deep fried in homemade batter. It was tender, juicy and perfect. Luckily, the other Food Dudes were more than happy to help me eat it. The entire meal was perfect comfort food, the kind of meal your grandma would make on a Sunday afternoon. Gary: As usual, we each ordered different dinner entrees and then shared our main dish — the Food Dudes are givers. My choice was the tequila lime chicken pasta, which was grilled chicken breast marinated in a special tequila lime sauce and then baked with creamy sauce before being topped with a cheddar/Monterey cheese blend and then served over a bed of penne pasta. Our waitress called it a customer favorite and one of the most frequently ordered items. I certainly enjoyed it! Don: I think the best way to describe the menu at On the Rocks is Southern cooking with a sophisticated twist. I ordered the stuffed chicken breast. The chicken was tender and sauce was excellent. I liked the sauce so much I used bread to sop it up! They give you several options for sides. I chose the mac and cheese. It was done just the way I like it — crispy on the outside and rich and creamy on the inside. All the sauces are freshly made at On the Rocks, and it shows. Matt: For my main entree, I chose the tilapia, covered with shrimp scampi. Sauteed with special seasoning and topped with creamy shrimp scampi, plus pico de gallo salsa, the flavors and spices alone tingled my senses even before I dug into my plate. This was one of the more surprising items on their extensive menu and the sweet corn on the cob side was a great touch. If you love shrimp scampi, this is a must. Incredible meal experience. Also, there’s no messing around with the OTR’s Bad Ass burger masterpiece that lives up to its name. It’s a savory halfpound patty of Angus

Bad Ass burger


ground chuck that could use three hands to carry. I’ve tried a lot of local burgers; this one deserves to be on every food aficionados’ list. I’ll be revisiting on an empty stomach. It’s a pretty massive meal for one satisfying sitting. I snuck in a few bites of the tequila lime chicken pasta while I glanced over the specialty drink menu. Each was a spin on some classic favorites, but a few new equally entertaining names, such as the Chuck Norris, Flirtini and the Long John Island, named after co-owner Jon Whitener. I’ll be trying a couple of these soon.

Yummy dessert Matt: I know all the Dudes will agree that On the Rocks dishes out one of the best carrot cake recipes we’ve ever had. If you have room following a great On the Rocks meal, this will cap off your dining experience perfectly. Gary: Like Matt says, order the carrot cake. I never had one this good before. We’re talking seven layers with icing between each layer and caramel drizzled all over. Again, order the carrot cake.

Nightlife Matt: After 9:30 p.m. when the restaurant begins to wind down, On the Rocks also features live entertainment throughout the week and the weekend. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a nice, hip date on the town, or just feel like hanging out at the bar to chat it up with the bartenders, look no further than On the Rocks. Welcome to downtown!

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Food and Wine

Don Juan’s Latin Grill A fusion you don’t expect By David Luter

Photos by Shelby Mack

F

usion cuisine can be many things, typically a blend of regional flavors, a mixture of spices or ingredients not normally used together, and sometimes cooking techniques. The desire for this fusion is to attain the beautiful medley of fine food on a plate, accompanied with aromas that awaken the soul and flavors that dance across your tongue. Critics of the practice sometimes call it “confusion cuisine,” arguing that chefs rely on novelty to carry the food, rather than flavor, texture and presentation. Several restaurants across the country try to achieve such nirvana; we even have a few in Bakersfield. And while some are able to pull this off; others are not and just have “fusion” plastered everywhere they can, trying to convince the patron of what they’re eating. Luckily for us, and the fine citizens of Tehachapi, we have something authentic and unique tucked away in the mountain community 30 minutes east of Bakersfield. Don Juan’s Latin Grill, opened six years ago by Juan and Yolanda Acevedo, is creating gastronomical delights in the realm of Latin fusion cuisine for which few others can hope to recreate.

Seven questions for Juan Acevedo:

What inspires you to make these dishes? When Yolanda and I decided to move on this adventure, we knew we wanted something different, something more than just rice and beans. So, we headed to the place in North America that always gets the first taste of cuisines from South America — Miami. 50

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August 2012

Monica Cardenas mixes a Strawberry mojito at Don Juan’s Latin Grill in Tehachapi.

The home of nuevo Latin cuisine offered us ethnicities, each with their own blend of dishes, and every restaurant revealed a new take on a similar dish. This diverseness to everything inspired me to always take chances and to keep an open mind … the best surprises come when you least expect it. Are there rules you follow for your fusion blend? There are no rules to fusion cooking; we’re more like conductors leading a gastronomical choir. Everything that is used must be in harmony with all of its counterparts on the plate. Try to be as authentic as possible, but keep the flavors balanced. When a dish is well-balanced, its flavors dance across your tongue. Keep in mind that every region has its own flavor and palate. Use that to your advantage when you create your dish. Always be flexible to modify your creation, nothing needs to be set in stone. Remember, we are a society that eats with the eyes, the nose and finally the mouth.

Bacon-wrapped shrimp


Are there any special techniques or tools used for fusion cuisine? For me, • 20700 South St. in Tehachapi there isn’t. I learned to cook from • 822-6612 my mother and grandmother in a • 11a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday simple kitchen with simple tools. through Thursday; 11 a.m. to They instilled in me a resource10 p.m. Friday and Saturday fulness to use what you have — your mind. Keep a focus on • donjuansgrill.com the flavor and always be willing to change what isn’t working. Also, pay attention to the smells of what you are cooking. If your mind is already enjoying what is happening in front of you, so will your tongue.

Don Juan’s Latin Grill

What is your favorite item on the menu? A difficult question to answer … I love them all. Since we have been open, I have worked hard for each of the dishes we offer. Adjusting a recipe here, tweaking there, all to get the most flavors possible. For example, the arroz con pollo that is on the menu, isn’t the same dish that it started out to be. We have tweaked it, reworked it and even changed the cut of chicken we use from breast to thigh, all to achieve a more full robust flavor. With Continued on page 52 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 51

this level of work I’ve put into these dishes, it’s hard to pick just one. What is the most-ordered item? The top sellers vary; some days it is our chili verde, while others days it the Cuban pork sandwiches, and to add to that is the pork shank. These three dishes are consistently near the top, some sell hotter than others; it just depends on the palates of our patrons. Do you have tips on how people can create their own fusion at home? Keep an open mind. Remember to balance the flavors; most people will have a preset notion of what a dish should be like, so use those thoughts as a guideline, not a standard that’s set in stone. Experiment, learn what does and does not work and apply that. In the end, have fun and love the food you are making. What wines do you recommend for some of your dishes? For our bacon-wrapped shrimp, I would suggest either the Escudo Rojo, which blends with the spices of the shrimp — making them jump out, or the Montecillo, a crisp, clean, bright red wine that enhances the shrimp flavor. For the watermelon salad, I would suggest the Medalla Real cabernet sauvignon. The aromas of fruit and spices open up the palate and bring the salad to an entirely new level.

Pork Panama Marinade 1/2 cup orange juice 1/3 cup soy sauce 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce Salt and pepper to taste Directions Marinate five pounds of pork cushion meat (a cut from the front shoulder of the pig) overnight. Roast in oven at 225 degrees for approximately 35 minutes per pound or until tender. Serve over a bed of steamed cabbage (be sure to salt the water some), and white Cubanstyle rice. Top with a sweet pineapple barbecue sauce.

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August 2012


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Foodie

Amanda Reade run culinary classes for adults and children in her home kitchen.

Amanda Reade By Hillary Haenes

T

Photos by Jessica Frey

eaching culinary classes and catering events is not only her career, but it has been a lifelong passion that she decided to pursue after college. Amanda Reade, 39, chef and owner of Oh So Haute Catering, attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and graduated in 1997. Now, she runs seasonal cooking classes for both adults and children as well as a summer cooking camp for kids in her home kitchen. “I started doing them because I was asked by friends to teach them, and the response was so great that they just 54

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August 2012

kept growing,” Reade said about her classes. Each adult class runs three hours long and typically costs about $60. (And the self-proclaimed wine enthusiast likes to include a wine pairing in her demonstrations!) “Cooking is important to me because when kids learn about foods, they are learning about things like health and nutrition, but they are also learning about culture and history,” said Reade. “When kids understand that food doesn’t just magically appear on their tables but is the result of hard work and a complex system of agriculture, retailers and skill at preparing, they grow up able to make better choices about food and appreciate it much more.” To find out more about Reade’s culinary classes and camps, search for her Oh So Haute Catering Facebook page.


Reade loves putting a special touch to her creations.

Must-have kitchen tools: KitchenAid mixer and a good sharp, chef’s knife.

macadamia nuts and sweetened whipped cream.

Go-to cookbooks: All the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

One of my cooking secrets: Timing is everything.

Everything goes better with: Cream.

I can never find: Besides my phone or keys…

Always in the fridge: Cheese.

Cooking My first experience in the kitchen: Cooking with my mom at a young age. I was probably around 5 years old. Favorite recipe to make with my kids: It would have to be baked goods, since that is their favorite thing to eat! Favorite type of party to cater: Ladies luncheons. An example of what the four-course menu might include is curried corn and pepper soup, a mache (a leafy green salad) with avocado and a fresh herb and citrus dressing, lobster mac and cheese and tropical bread pudding with salted caramel. Ingredients that I love to use in my recipes: Love and passion.

My disastrous catering story: I had a client who had ordered a set amount of food for a party. They told me they would be using a smaller plate, but for some reason they decided to use very large plates for the guests. As a result, people ended up taking huge portions, and there wasn’t enough food for everyone. It’s a good idea to have the caterer who prepares the food also serve it. It’s also a good reminder that the size of the plate influences how much we eat, and that clients and caterers need to have really good communication about all of the details of an event. Little changes can make a big difference! I often mess up: Phone numbers and emails! I’m great in the kitchen, but the office work is sometimes a challenge. Luckily I always recover! I rock at making: Banana cream pie — homemade banana pastry cream, chocolate crust, Callebaut chocolate sauce, toasted

Spice cabinet must-haves: Kosher salt, a variety of peppercorns, Saigon cinnamon. How I find inspiration to create a new dish: Usually reading recipes, Food Network or a meal that I have tasted somewhere. Ingredient(s) that I avoid/dislike: Unripe, tasteless produce from the grocery store! I buy this in bulk: Callebaut bittersweet chocolate. I order 11-pound bars. If I could spend a day with a famous chef, it would be: Mario Batali because he is wise, knowledgeable and passionate about food and cooking. Advice I would ask him: I would ask him for some secret recipes! Continued on page 56 bakersfieldlife.com

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Watching the Food Network and reading recipes are the sources of her inspirations.

Continued from page 55

Eating

Best food memory: Eating fried chicken as a kid.

Favorite local restaurants: There are too many to choose from! It really just depends on my mood. I love Luigi’s, Valentien, Thai House, Flame and Skewers, Cafe Med, Mexicali, Wool Growers, Toro Sushi, and for just a sandwich, Sequoia.

Favorite culinary destinations: France, Italy, Napa Valley, New York and the Central Coast!

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Worst food memory: Mushy, cooked vegetables.

Most expensive meal: It was Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. It




was about $600. Favorite cooking show: “Chopped� and “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.� Most surprising food I’m not crazy about: Crab cakes.

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Weirdest food I like: Sardines. Right now I’m addicted to: Anything spicy. My go-to cocktail: Chocolate kiss martini. Favorite condiment: Sriracha. Favorite dessert: Pumpkin pie (or anything with pumpkin). My comfort food: Beef stroganoff. The local restaurant that I want to eat at that I haven’t yet is: Eureka! Burger.

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Our Town

A taste of Tuscany in Tehachapi

The annual Tehachapi Food and Wine Festival draws a large crowd.

By Kevin McCloskey

T

ehachapi, a town known for trains, wind farms and four seasons, will soon have another claim to fame: The Tehachapi Food and Wine Festival. This annual event kicks off its sixth year Aug. 4, with a weekend of activities surrounding the festival. The food and wine festival is the brainchild of local cartographer, Anthony McDemas, a transplant from Los Angeles. According to McDemas, “The event arose from a 2006 Kern County Economic Development Corporation program called ‘Cherry Tomatoes on Steroids’ that inspired me to put my ideas into a proposal.” His idea was picked for the nonmonetary program that helped small businesses develop proposals. The plan, entitled Taste of Tehachapi, was developed to promote Tehachapi tourism. It included a website 58

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Photo by Anthony McDemas

Sixth annual Tehachapi Food and Wine Festival

for promoting local, independent restaurants and wineries, a publication that became Tehachapi Lifestyle Magazine, the tour company of Tehachapi Tours and an event company that is responsible for the food and wine festival. “It turns out that people wanted to get out of the summer heat from Bakersfield and the Antelope Valley and come to enjoy the cool mountain air, good food, wine and have a relaxing evening,” McDemas said. The first festival in 2007 included one local winery and less than a dozen restaurants that drew only 250 people. It has doubled every year since and last year’s festival even turned into a weekend of events that closely matched McDemas’ original vision. The growing success of the festival has brought a much greater involvement from civic groups and nonprofit organizations. The Kiwanis Club handles the ticket booth, while the Rotary runs the poker trail. The City of Tehachapi,


Photo by Anthony McDemas

Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Tehachapi organization all play an important role and are showcased in the festival’s Tehachapi Lifestyle Pavilion. McDemas is truly grateful for the wide net of support, in that “all these groups that make us a tight-knit and well-run community have come together in this event to make us shine.” As most of the festival’s ticket buyers are women, McDemas developed a man cave for their significant others featuring a cigar and port lounge, black jack, microbrews and televised sporting events sponsored by Bright House. For those interested in art and cooking, there will be local artists and artisans, as well as a farmto-fork chef demonstration featuring Yannick Marchand and Rich Mead, who will show their skills and creativity using local produce from participating vendors. To celebrate the Native American history of the area, Janice Williams of the Kawaiisu Tribe will teach basket-weaving techniques with local materials and the Eagles Heart troupe of several Native American tribes will perform traditional music and dance. Musical acts for the evening include a blend of jazz and R&B from Foster Campbell and Friends; Highline, the Tom Petty Tribute Band; and Paisley Bishop, who will make her fourth appearance at this year’s festival. In the Centennial Lounge, Pacino’s Spaghetti Factory will

sponsor a host of Las Vegas impersonators, including Vaughn Suponatime as Frank Sinatra. The lineup of food samplings includes restaurants Pacino’s Spaghetti Factory, The Apple Shed, Old Towne Pizza, Tehachapi Culinary Studio and Padre Hotel. As for the wine list, tastings will be supplied by local

Last year’s festival turned into a weekend of events.

Continued on page 60

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wineries like Souza Family Vineyard and Triassic Legacy Vineyards, along with the return of Drunken Goat Winery and winemaker Ed Bandy. Several wineries down south will be making the trek up the hill, as well as a few from Paso Robles including, Croad, Derby, Pianetta and Opolo. Wine shops that round out the list of pourers, include Don Juan’s Fine Wines, The Wine and Cheese Cellar and Bakersfield’s Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant. While the festival is the crown jewel event, Discover Tehachapi Weekend kicks off the night before with First Fridays Art Around Town, Tehachapi’s art walk that features art shows, music, food and artist receptions throughout downtown. The poker trail also begins on Friday and runs through Sunday. Collect playing cards over the weekend from a dozen venues and present your best hand on Sunday at Souza Family Vineyard to have a chance at prizes from all the participating sponsors. Tickets for the festival are available in Bakersfield at Urner’s, Sandrini’s and The Garden Spot or you can purchase online at tehachapifoodandwine.com. For those looking to continue the party long into the night, Pacino’s Spaghetti Factory, 1100 W. Tehachapi Blvd., will be holding an after-festival party for a $5 cover charge. On Aug. 5,

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August 2012

• Visit a cold ex-spouse. • Sit in the shade of an ice cream truck. • Buy an all day pass to the neighborhood kid’s lemonade stand. • Two words: slip & slide. • Shop Snead’s - the A/C is on.

Town & Country Village corner of Stockdale & Coffee Open Sundays Find us on Facebook • In-house alterations


Sixth annual Tehachapi Food and Wine Festival

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The Wine and Cheese Cellar will be hosting a brunch at 11 a.m., with scrambled ostrich eggs from the Indian Point Ostrich Ranch. And finally, the Concert in the Park starts at 2 p.m., in downtown’s Central Park, with Runaway Train and the Tracy Barns Band. This is not a weekend to be missed!

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For a Cause

A breed apart The Cat House, a feline breeding center, shows off some of the most exotic cats in the world

Gregori, a male Amur leopard, looks out from his enclosure at the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound’s Feline Conservation Center near Rosamond. These cats, native to the Russia/Chinese border, are some of the most endangered of the large cats, with less than 100 believed to remain in the wild. 62

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August 2012


Visitors of the Compound’s Feline Conservation Center during a special Twilight Tour fundraising event.

By Katie Avery

Photos by Gregory D. Cook

T

he Exotic Feline Breeding Compound’s Feline Conservation Center, known simply as The Cat House, is home to some of the most endangered cat species in the world. The compound, located in Rosamond, is a combination zoo and research facility. It began in 1977, and opened to the public in 1982, so viewers can see these exotic creatures from around the world. The Cat House is a nonprofit organization that relies entirely on donations from the public or fundraisers. One of its most successful fundraisers is the Adoptive Parents program, where individuals or groups can adopt one of the cats and provide the necessary funding for its care in the facility. “You’re not only supporting the center itself, you’re actually supporting your own cat,” said Camille Gadwood, 16year volunteer and adoptive parent for a snow leopard named Zach. Justin Smith, adoptive parent for Kyoke, a female clouded leopard who arrived at the end of April, prefers this type of donation over just giving money. “You feel like you’re contributing one on one. You get to see her grow up and have kittens,” he said. Pam Rose, a 14-year volunteer and adoptive parent of a fishing cat named Madison, said that the facility “takes exceptional care of them.” Gadwood admitted to envying the cats’ lifestyle. “When I leave the mortal coil I want to come back as one of them,” she said. Adoptive parents also get free membership and entry to the summer Twilight Tours fundraiser and can visit their “kids” any time. The Twilight Tours is an evening event held every season where people get to come see the cats when they are at their most active. The cats are given enrichment toys designed to sharpen their predatory instincts and pique their curiosity. Guests are allowed access to areas Continued on page 65

4560 Coffee Road

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The Exotic Feline Breeding Compound’s Feline Conservation Center was founded in 1977 near Rosamond.

The Cat House is open every day (except Wednesdays) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 3718 60th St., West Rosamond • Web: cathouse-fcc.org • 256-3332 Fabulous Feline Follies, Aug. 18 fundraiser dinner, $75 a plate Fall Twilight Tours, Sept. 15 fundraiser, $20 per ticket Kids Day education and activity day, Oct. 20, $10, adults; $7, children, infant to 12 years of age

Call today for our special event packages whether you are planning a.... Kern County Museum 3801 Chester Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-868-8400

www.kcmuseum.org 64

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August 2012

• Wedding • Corporate Event • Seminars • Car Show • Birthday Party • Retirement Parties • Festival


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These clouded leopards, Kyoke (left) and Tate, are two of the newest arrivals at the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound’s Feline Conservation Center.

Continued from page 63

that are not open during normal operating hours and given a wealth of information from interns and volunteers placed all around the compound. Rose said she really enjoys these evening tours as well and recalls a tour a few years ago when a 500-pound male tiger named Caesar ran away in fear of a watermelon. During another tour, a giant tiger named Max sprayed a person in the face as if he was aiming. The cats are given everything from phone books to bowling balls to entertain themselves. During the Kids’ Day events, children can come to the compound and make cardboard animals for the cats to play with, as well. The center is not all about showing off these rare cats. Their primary research goes into breeding so they can restore the endangered cat species to acceptable levels. Long-term volunteer Eric Vandermey appreciates the breeding efforts of the program as opposed to the exhibitionism of other zoos. “If you’re not breeding them, you’re not doing anything for them.” Gadwood added, “Their numbers are so limited, they cannot breed in surviving numbers so we have to help them out a little and do it in captivity where we can control and protect them as well as control their genetics.” The Cat House is constantly bringing in new felines to mate and sending others to be paired with their ideal genetic match in other facilities. “That’s most of what we do,” said Gadwood. The Cat House is always looking for volunteers 18 years of age and older and has an internship program for aspiring veterinary students. The compound still has its die-hard supporters and Gadwood doesn’t suspect that will change anytime soon. “People will still come when it’s 110 (degrees) out.”

4N Latinati fiesta! o Opening First Friday September 7, 2012 $25 per entry (max 4 entries) Jurried by a group of community members Awards for Best Of Show, 1st & 2nd place, Best New Artist For more info: www.theMetroGalleries.com/exhibits

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All-Star Athlete

Ignacio “Nacho” Martinez By Stephen Lynch

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As a sophomore in 1989, he carried the Tigers football team to the Central Section Sequoia Division Championship game where they lost 13-6 to Corcoran. The 5-foot-7, 175-pound tailback was the section’s second leading rusher that year with 1787 yards, a Wasco school record at the time. Built low to the ground and known for his determined running style that almost always required a gaggle of tacklers to bring him to the ground, Martinez averaged nearly 10 yards per carry during a three-year varsity career that ended with him as the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards (3,193) and touchdowns (36). The same determination that made Mar-

Photo by Rodney Thornburg

ven after nearly two decades since he last competed as a multi-sport star at Wasco High School, Nacho Martinez remains a hometown hero and legendary figure at the school. Martinez, who was born and raised in Wasco and still lives there today, did it all and all of it well during his four-year prep career. The now 39-year-old married father of four played five different sports (baseball, basketball, football, track, and wrestling) for the Tigers, earning a total of 11 varsity letters.

tinez a two-way football star (running back and linebacker) helped him do equally as well when it came to wrestling. “I loved playing football, Martinez said. “I played with a passion. I absolutely loved it. But wrestling was the sport that was going to take me to the next level and taught me the discipline that I have to today.” He made the state wrestling tournament three times, only missing out his sophomore year due to an injury. His best finish at the state meet came his junior year when he placed eighth. Martinez

Nacho Martinez facts Born: March 10, 1973 in Wasco His grandfather and father are also both named Ignacio.

Was named to the All-South Sequoia League football team three times. Chosen as the SSL’s Outstanding Upper Weight Wrester three times. Highlighted as The Bakersfield Californian All-Area wrestler as sophomore, junior, and senior. He and his wife Becky have four children: Michael, 19, Amanda, 18, Korina, 14, and Samantha, 12.

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1991 All-Area wrestler

Photo by Liz Snider

Selected Most Valuable Player of Wasco football team in 1989 and 1990.

Has worked the past 20 years for Save Mart supermarkets. Currently, he is the assistant store manager at the Bakersfield store.

considers that his biggest athletic thrill. “For being a multi-sport athlete to place at that tournament where it’s the best of the best is a big accomplishment,” Martinez said. Despite drawing interest from several colleges, Martinez never competed in sports beyond high school, opting to marry, start a family and groom his future athletic children. The two oldest Michael and Alyssa both graduated from Wasco High earlier this year after prolific prep sports careers. Playing the same positions both offensively and defensively as his father, Michael led the Tigers football team to its first section championship game since Nacho’s sophomore year. Michael then went on to help the Tigers take 12th place (its best finish ever) at the state-wrestling meet. He plans to wrestle at Bakersfield College this year. Alyssa, who was seriously injured in car accident when she was nine, has been one of the sections best softball players over the past several years. She led the orange and black to section championship game her junior year. Despite hitting a home run in the game, the South Sequoia League champions lost by one run to Fresno-Washington Union. Alyssa combined to bat .605 with 20 doubles and 13 home runs her last two years of high school. She was also 38-13 with a 2.44 earned run average as a pitcher. Those numbers helped her land a softball scholarship to San Jose State. “Most of all I’m real proud of them (Michael and Alyssa) because of they’re not only just athletes, they’re both in the top percentile in GPA…It’s just amazing to see my kids are fulfilling something that I didn’t get to go do.” “Here in town everybody knows me,” Martinez said. “I’ve been a hometown boy all my life. Even now I give back to the community as far as umpiring and helping out coaching different youth organizations. So I really never left the community. Then around Bakersfield they always end up tying my name in with the town (Wasco). It’s kind of nice to be known like that.”


On the Road

The sweet Escape Ford Escape SEL packs plenty of convenience, technology and more

The Ford Escape SEL is offered in three different engines.

By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Mark Nessia

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ew cars keep getting smarter and smarter these days. Consider the 2012 Ford Escape SEL, which takes locking and unlocking your car to a whole

new level. Just throw your keys in your pocket or purse, walk up to the car and slide your hand under the door handle as if you want to open it and — voila! — the door unlocks. Want to lock it? Just place your hand over the sensor-locked door handle, and you will hear a clicking sound, acknowledging it has locked your SUV. Women who love to throw their keys into their bags will appreciate this feature as well as the hands-free liftgate.

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EcoBoost technology maximizes fuel efficiency.


Ford’s parallel park feature — a driver’s best friend. Escape’s smooth console design. Walking up to the Escape SEL, laden with loads of shopping bags, rest assured that you don’t have to put your purchases on the hot pavement as you search for your keys to unlock the liftgate. All you need to do is walk up to the back of the SUV and swing your foot under the bottom of the bumper. Don’t kick the car but move your foot under the bumper to activate the sensor, and your “open sesame” wish will be granted. “It’s something really nice, really convenient,” said Nicole Martinez, a saleswoman at Jim Burke Ford Lincoln Jaguar. You can also set up the gate to lift up as high or low as you want. That’s great to know for shorties like me. Also impressive is the remote start, especially in the Bakersfield summer when we want our vehicle’s air conditioning unit to kick in way before we cook in the heat. However, the snazziest feature to blow me away was the Escape’s ability to parallel park itself. Yes, “the Escape will actually do it for you,” as long as you turn on the auto parallel park feature. Martinez has tested the active park assist feature many times and absolutely loves it. I dread parallel parking, always worrying that I am going to hit the car behind me. More often than not, I end up half a car length away from the curb when I try to parallel park. My husband, on the other hand, is perfect at this but hey, with an automatic parallel parking feature like this, I could

It’s all in the details: Five best features about the Ford Escape SEL: The hands-free liftgate, SYNC with My Ford Touch technology, the active park assist, panoramic vista roof and the new EcoBoost engine.

Strong engine with great fuel economy. one-up him. Priceless. Once the Ford SYNC technology system and the controls on the steering wheel are activated, you can give it an assortment of voice commands, from climate control to streaming your favorite playlist off your iPhone or other Bluetooth device. “There are thousands of voice commands,” Martinez said. “You can’t go wrong.” Although the Escape is a SUV, it is a gas saver. I drove it all around town and back over a few days and just went over half a tank. Had it been my SUV, well, I would have filled up twice by now. That’s painful. Again, the technology impressed me, from sensors alerting you to blind spots to the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine with added turbo charging giving it a kick and torque behind it. My last kudos goes to Chad Manning, vice president of sales for Jim Burke Ford Lincoln Jaguar. He became a proud father again with the birth of his first son, Russell, on July 16. Manning and his wife also have a daughter.

Mileage and price tag: We offer three different engines: 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost: 23 city, 33 highway; 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost: 22 city, 30 highway; and 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder: 22 city, 31 highway. Starting price is $23,295 for the S model; $25,895 for the SE model; and $28,695 for the SEL model.

The Ford Escape SEL is perfect for: Camping trips, heading to the beach or even just a big Costco trip! What makes the Ford Escape SEL stand out from others? The EcoBoost technology with our engines. It uses turbo charging to gain power, but the engine is still small so we get great fuel economy at the same time.

Target customer: From college students to empty nesters and really anyone who wants to drive a fun, economical, sporty vehicle!

Three words that define the Ford Escape SEL: Adventurous, classy and innovative. What do you like the most about the Ford Escape SEL? I love all the technology. It makes everything so convenient. It allows you to open the liftgate by a simple motion, using your foot under the rear bumper and you can control your phone, navigation, climate and much more by voice. It will even park itself! Source: Nicole Martinez, vehicle salesperson at Jim Burke Ford Lincoln Jaguar

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Nature

Life on the wilder side Kern wildlife refuge dedicated to maintaining natural habitat

A pod of American white pelicans takes flight at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.

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Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook

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s much as 150 years ago, the area west of Delano was part of the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Tulare Lake and its associated marsh and wetlands covered more than 690 square miles in 1879, serving as a habitat for a wide range of native wildlife and a layover for migratory waterfowl. But by the dawn of the 20th century, Tulare Lake was nearly dry, its source rivers having been diverted to supply California's growing cities and agricultural needs. In 1960, the U.S. Department of the Interior established the Kern National Wildlife Refuge, an 11,000-acre area 19 miles west of Delano devoted to recreating and preserving the habitats that once dominated the area. “Just looking at how fast we were reclaiming all of these lands and turning them into agriculture,” explained refuge manager Shannon Ludwig, “it was understood we had to preserve this heritage for future generations and for the


Two black-necked stilts forage along the bank of one of the refuge’s wetlands impoundments.

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wildlife.” The refuge is home to a number of different species but isn’t a zoo. All of the wildlife is indeed wild, and that, according to Ludwig, is always the central focus. “The refuges are very special, they are always wildlife first,” he said. “In everything we do, we have to take that into consideration.” Recreating and maintaining such a delicate habitat requires a lot of active, behindthe-scenes management. The wetlands areas are made up of artificial impoundments in which irrigation water is captured and carefully managed by the refuge’s eight-person staff. “We are constantly out here letting water in or taking water off to get the proper plant response,” explained Ludwig. “Timing is really important in wetland management.”

In the summer months, the impoundments are allowed to dry out as they would have done naturally. “It’s part of the natural process,” said Ludwig. “Beneficial plants grow, and then those plants build up a good seed-head for when the birds come through.” While there is wildlife at the refuge all year, beginning around September, the impoundments are once again flooded and migratory birds begin passing through. Huge pods of American white pelicans as well as snowy egrets, stilts, white-faced ibis and other waterfowl and wading birds can be seen from the refuge’s self-guided auto tours, free of charge, and limited waterfowl hunting is allowed seasonally. For more information, including hours and directions, consult the refuge’s website at fws.gov/kern/refuges/kern.

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Hometown Hero

Tom Cierley Retired United States Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 5 Compiled by Myriam Valdez Age: 64 Assignment: Enlisted on active duty in the Marine Corps from August 1967 until January 1970. Rejoined the Marine Corps reserve in November 1981 until June 2007. Why I joined: Roger K. Williams and

Why I re-enlisted: After about 10 years, I was really missing the Marine Corps. I had heard about a Marine Corps reserve bulk fuel unit, right here in Bakersfield. My military occupa-

Photo courtesy of Tom Cierley

I enlisted in the Marine Corps together after attending one year at Bakersfield College. I was beginning to get in a little trouble — consuming adult bever-

enough. We were called “baby killers” and many more, less than positive names. I was so proud of serving this great country, and to be treated the way we were when we came home really hurt. The biggest difference between Vietnam and Iraq was the welcome home we received on our return. This time we had escorts, people waving flags on all of the overpasses and people thanking us for what we did. It made us proud to be Americans.

ages, racing cars and sometimes going downtown looking for trouble. Usually fun times, but it was just a matter of time before I got caught. So Roger and I went down to the Marine recruiter and signed our life away. Other than meeting my wife, Barbara, joining the Marine Corps was the best decision I’ve ever made. Biggest difference between deployments: When I returned from

Vietnam, we were treated so poorly; I couldn’t get my uniform off fast 72

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tional specialty was bulk fuel before I was discharged in 1970. So I went down, interviewed and rejoined the Marine Corps reserve in November 1981, as a 32-year-old corporal. Even though I was old, I knew bulk fuel and was accepted for my knowledge. Now, I could keep my civilian job and serve this country, too. Why I served: The love I have for our flag goes beyond saying. I love this country and everything it stands for. The freedoms we take for granted do

come with a price tag though. The Marine Corps has sent me many places. For those of you that want to complain about our great country, I would like you to go and live in Iraq or Korea just to see how their population is struggling and the freedoms they don’t have. My best military accomplishment:

I have been deployed to Iraq twice. In 2003, we crossed the border and constructed a fuel pipeline, 64 miles from Kuwait into Iraq, to support the front lines with fuel. This was a hose reel system that had never been constructed that distance in military history. In 2006, I was deployed and sent to the U.S. Embassy to work with multinational forces in support of The Minister of Oil. I worked closely with the Iraqi oil companies sharing with them the technologies I had learned in my years working in the oil industry in California. Both of these deployments will forever be the highlights of my career in the Marine Corps. I did my small part in keeping our country free. Favorite activity to do in Bakersfield: Sit on my patio with my

father-in-law and get caught up on the happenings of the day. He’s a veteran of World War II and Korea. We have an adult beverage and I smoke a fine cigar. I’m still working and he keeps me up-to-date with what’s happening in the world. What I like most about my job: The Marine Corps turned me around and made me the man I am. I can’t praise them enough for what they’ve done for me. I traveled all over the country, meeting and working with Iraqi oil companies. Lastly, I’d like to add that deployments are tough on many — family members and employers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bob Evans and Aera Energy. I was employed with Aera Energy during both of my deployments and they were extremely supportive of me and my family.


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Help us save them! she had to go to a nursing home, I came back to ALPHA again. Three years passed and my roommates and I were content enough. We were nicknamed the crabby little old men, but only one of us was crabby and it sure wasn’t me. “My mouth started to hurt a lot one day. They rushed me to town to see Dr. Lohr and he pulled 16 teeth. My mouth was still a little sore a week later when the most wonderful people came to the sanctuary. I was so surprised that they wanted to adopt me. Then I found out they’d adopted another old guy too, a couple of years ago. They pamper and spoil us like you wouldn’t believe. We’re the luckiest dogs in the world!”

Fred in his new home “It seems like yesterday, but it was actually more than 11 years ago that I landed in the animal control shelter. Things weren’t looking good because there were so many other dogs at the shelter and there would never be enough homes for all of us. I was scared because I was only eight months old and much too young to die.

Every dog has a story, although few are this touching. We believe all dogs deserve happy homes, but that won’t happen as long as pet overpopulation is such a huge problem in our community. We do what we can. We rescue as many as our 100-dog limit allows. We adopt out as many as we can, into carefully screened homes. We keep, and cherish, the ones no one else wants. And we hire Angel Dogs to come into our low income neighborhoods to spay/neuter dogs at no cost to their owners. In two years, we’ve sponsored nine such days and plan to do several more this year.

“Then someone from ALPHA came to the shelter and took several of us to the sanctuary. I was adopted as soon as I got neutered, but the people returned me in a couple of months. Made me kind of mad because they said I wasn’t house trained. Well I was, but they weren’t trained to let me out when I needed to go. “Anyway, I was adopted again almost right away, and stayed with that nice woman for eight years. When

Make a Difference - Donate Today! We invite you to be part of our life-saving mission. ALPHA is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Donations, individual or corporate, to support ALPHA’s programs are tax-deductible. You may give a one-time donation or make the Partner’s Pledge. A partner makes a monthly donation. The pledge is not binding and payments can be missed or even canceled. A reminder is sent each month. Name___________________________________

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ALPHA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our federal ID number is 77-0398635. Our Kern County Commercial Animal Facility Permit number is P116035. ALPHA receives no government funding. Our success is entirely due to you, the caring, responsible members of our community. We are deeply grateful for your trust and support.


Home and Garden

Splashy summer sparkle Swimming pool designs can be as varied, unique as the folks who own them

Brent and Misty Cruz’s natural rock formation pool is 10-feet deep, heated, and uses saltwater. 74

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With four waterfalls, a jacuzzi for 14 and a grotto, the Cruzs’ pool is for more than just swimming.

By Gabriel Ramirez

Photos by Alex Horvath

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ools have been described as must have in the Bakersfield heat, but when looking to install a pool you have to ask yourself if you want a pool or a pool with some character! Joel Chrisco, owner of Paradise Pool Service, has a seen a multitude of pools, but some that stand out more than others. “When it comes to pools everything has its pro and con,” Chrisco said. “Some people like salt and some don’t.” Chrisco said some of the features he has seen that make pools stand out include energy efficient pumps, water features such as spillways and waterfalls, elevated spas, mason stonework and mosaic designs at the bottom of pools that range from sports logos and animals to underwater scenes. However, Chrisco said it sometimes comes down to the basics, which include good pool maintenance. “Good water chemistry is first and foremost along with maintaining a water level,” Chrisco said. “When you are thinking about getting a pool, you have to think about your budget, but nowadays energy efficiency is also big.” Continued on page 76

The Cruzs’ pool features a water bar with grill, microwave, television and gazebo.

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Continued from page 75

Bakersfield couple Brent and Misty Cruz own a pool with lots of character. Their pool is a custom-designed free form pool built by Cascade Pools and Spas. It is a natural rock formation pool that is 10 feet deep, heated, and uses saltwater. “The design was created and drawn by a pool and landscape architect using ideas from resort pools and photos from numerous home and architecture magazines,” Brent Cruz said. “We designed and created almost every water feature possible.” Their pool boasts four waterfalls, swim-up bar for eight, adjoining barbecue area/kitchen, jacuzzi for 14, grotto for 10, waterslide, fire pit, beach entry, and a gemstone surface. Their kids use the pool almost daily, but it also comes in handy with the hot summers in Bakersfield and is great for entertaining and parties. The pool was built concurrently with their home five years ago, and Brent Cruz feels they got it right the first time. There are no immediate additions he is thinking of making. But is having a pool all cool parties and fun times with the family? “The only downside of having a pool is the constant maintenance and upkeep,” he said. And this is something Chrisco reiterated. Water features and extras make a pool unique and interesting but without the proper upkeep, the pool’s water just won’t sparkle.

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Entertainment

Movie industry loves Kern By Breanna Fields

W Portions of the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Psycho” were shot on Highway 99 in Kern County.

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ith such diverse land and river areas, Kern County has been a primary target for many large film companies based out of Los Angeles for decades. It’s an easy commute from the bustling city streets and only a few hours away from the rigid hills, terrain and flat land found in places like Tehachapi, Tejon Ranch and Red Rock Canyon. “Kern County is geographically blessed. We’re very close to the major industry centers in Hollywood, but more importantly than that, it’s incredibly diverse,” said Dave Hook, executive director and film commissioner of the Kern County Board of Trade. The latest edition to Kern’s movie list includes the reboot of “Superman” directed by Zack Snyder. Part of the movie was filmed at Edwards Air Force Base and is due for release in 2013. Among other big productions

Dwayne Johnson in a scene from “Faster,” shot in Tehachapi in 2010.

to take place in the area recently was the third “Transformers” movie. This film, along with the original two, was also shot at Edwards Air Force Base and Tejon Ranch. Compared to the greater L.A. area, Kern County is an inexpensive place to film, which makes another reason why it’s an ideal place for filmmakers. Also, the costs of goods and services are competitive to other areas even with travel expenses taken into consideration. In 2011, the cost of total production in Kern County was about $19 million. Within the first five months of this year, movie companies spent $9.6 million filming in the area. The good news is that funds poured into movie production are often equated with that of tourism, which is a real help to our local economic situation. “You’re not taking money and shifting it from one pocket to the other,” said Hook. “You’re taking outside money and adding it to the Kern County base. When you do that,


Here are some movies that have been filmed in Kern County since the 1940s: Man of Steel (2013) The Avengers (2012) Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) Green Lantern (2011) Fast Five (2011) Faster (2010 Iron Man 2 (2010) Land of the Lost (2009) Star Trek: The Future Begins (2009) Fast & Furious (2009) Iron Man (2008 Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) Flags of Our Fathers (2006) Flightplan (2005) Herbie Fully Loaded (2005 Blade: Trinity (2004 Van Helsing (2004) Hidalgo (2004) Seabiscuit (2003) Hulk (2003) Holes (2003) A Man Apart (2003) Behind Enemy Lines (2001 K-PAX (2001) Planet of the Apes (2001) Space Cowboys (2000 Erin Brockovich (2000) Armageddon (1998)

Deep Impact (1998) City of Angels (1998) The Odd Couple II (1998) Starship Troopers (1997) Wag the Dog (1997) Twister (1996) Star Trek: Generations (1994) Speed (1994) Wayne’s World II (1993) Jurassic Park (1993) Thelma & Louise (1991) Psycho II (1983) The Cannonball Run (1981) Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) Every Which Way But Loose (1978) Bound for Glory (1976) The Andromeda Strain (1971) Five Easy Pieces (1970) Airport (1970) It’s a Mad) Mad) Mad) Mad World (1963) Psycho (1960) North by Northwest (1959) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

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Cary Grant in “North by Nortwest,” shot near Wasco in 1959.

everybody wins.” Although the money coming in is primarily from major companies in the industry, Kern County is also known for indie films, commercials and music videos. Artists ranging from Rihanna and Pink to Aerosmith have shot footage in Kern County. “There’s enough going on up here that there’s something filming somewhere in Kern County virtually every day,” Hook said. Filming reality TV shows in Kern County is also starting to become popular. Within the last couple of months “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss” and “Storage Wars” have been in town. There are other major projects in negotiation, but Kern County likes to keep things under wraps. “We know how to keep a secret,” said Hook. “The industry likes it that way, so they can go quietly about their business.” With that said, it’s best to keep a watchful eye when you’re driving in some of these areas; you never know when you’ll come across the set of a major motion picture.

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Kern County may be globally known for its vast production of ag and oil, but to locals, it’s more diverse than that. Home to country music legends, traditional family-style Basque meals, drag-race meets, miles of offroad terrain, a majestic river that welcomes rafters and, most importantly, a tight-knit community filled with generous people who volunteer time and raise money for charities. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention those delicious Dewar’s chews. To honor this culturally unique county that we live in, here are 26 reasons to love Kern. 80

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Photo by Casey Christie

LIFE IN KERN FROM


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Photo by Casey Christie

Basque restaurants No matter if you go to feast on the set-up of soup, beans and salsa along with a little tongue and fried chicken at Benji’s French Basque Restaurant; visit Old Town Kern classics like Wool Grower’s or Noriega’s; stop by Thursday steak night at Narducci’s Cafe or take your friends out to unwind at Chalet Basque, you’re not just in for a delicious meal but a full-fledged cultural experience. Bakersfield’s Basque immigrants’ entrepreneurial spirit helped to establish some award-winning Basque restaurants not only in California, but in America. Kern County residents have turned Basque dinner into a social event, enjoying great food and reuniting with old friends for a good time.

Agriculture Photo by Greg Nichols

It’s no secret that Kern County grows some of the best fruits and vegetables on the planet. Our fertile soil, bountiful year-round sun, along with the hard work with which the crops are tended to, make up the perfect ingredients to produce an edible product worthy of envy from around the world. Whether you’re crunching on a fresh carrot from Grimmway Farms, snacking on succulent grapes from one of the county’s many grape growers or ogling the sheer size of the orange you’re enjoying from Paramount Citrus, there is no doubt you are eating the absolute cream of the crop.

C Photo courtesy of Randy Coats

Culture Our community’s rich history includes a mosaic of modern and historical, cultural influences, dating back to the Dust Bowl Era, famously referred to in John Steinbeck’s once controversial novel “The Grapes of Wrath.” A huge migration of families from the Midwest settled in the Central Valley, establishing the determined spirit that defines Kern County residents to this day. Bakersfield and its neighboring communities have been more than able to handle the influx of families from Southern states and major cities like Houston and Los Angeles due to our county’s relatively low cost of living and proximity to the greatest destinations our state has to offer. Already in the top 100 of the largest counties in the U.S., Kern has grown to become home to an ethnically rich community — established Hispanic neighborhoods, a fast-growing Filipino population and emerging Punjabi, Hindi and Sikh communities.

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Dewar’s

E

Photo by Rudy Gutierrez via AP

This iconic ice cream parlor and candy shop that opened in 1909, remains a staple among locals and out-of-town visitors today. In fact, over the past year, Dewar’s expanded and opened two new locations including one with a convenient drive-thru in the southwest. For those with a sweet tooth, the tasty taffy comes in flavors like chocolate almond, peanut butter and jelly, spumoni, pistachio and peppermint (a holiday party favorite), and are sold in up to five-pound boxes. (That’s the thing about these mouth-watering chews, you can’t have just one.) The same goes for Dewar’s ice cream, too. Unless you’re armed with a friend in tow, and share one of their more than generous helpings of a classic banana split or George’s special, you’re bound to suffer from an ice cream coma.

Edwards Air Force Base Breaking the sound barrier is no easy feat. Celebrate this engineering wonder right where the magic happened: Head over to Edwards Air Force Base where Chuck Yeager made history and helped Edwards become a hub of science and engineering marvels. The base is named after Glen Edwards, an Air Force captain, who died in 1948 after flying the prototype flying wing bomber. His death inspired Jack Northrop to improve its design, leading to the aircraft that we know today as the B2-Spirit stealth bomber. This base that pioneered the escape capsules we see in today’s Hollywood action films is still the only Hypersonic X-51A WaveRider being tested. Visitors are encouraged to attend Flight Test Nation, an annual air show and open house or attend one of Edwards’ twice-monthly tours, which are free to the public.

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F

Famoso

Photo by Casey Christie

As country music helped put Bakersfield on the map in the late 1950s, drag racers from around the country did the same for Famoso’s quarter-mile runs. Local race club the Smokers started racing at Famoso Raceway in 1951, and grew skeptical of reported times in the East Coast by race royalty “Big Daddy� Don Garlits. In March 1959, they invited Garlits to Bakersfield and challenged him to compete in what would become known as the March Meet. Although Garlits lost in the first round, he still went on to become the top drag racer in history. His racing appearance at Famoso popularized the track and the meet. It also created a large group of both racers and racing fans marking Bakersfield as a prime spot for the sport.

R

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On any given day, from dense winter fog to searing summer heat, players can be found on the greens of Kern’s beautiful and challenging golf courses. The climate is perfect for playing year-round on the links at county courses such as Buena Vista, China Lake, Links at Riverlakes, Kern River, Kern Valley, Sycamore Canyon or Tierra del Sol. While Kern County’s mountain courses like Horse Thief in Tehachapi provides serene scenery. Some of these courses have hosted professional tour events, from the Hogan and Nike tours, to U.S. Open and PGA qualifying tournaments. Cost is another perk, as local public courses offer weekday green fees for an average of about $25.

H

Havilah

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Kern’s first county seat and gold boomtown located in the mountains along Caliente-Bodfish Road. Havilah only held both distinctions from about 1866 to 1874. Considered a ghost town by some, Havilah started as a mining town when gold was discovered in 1864 on Clear Creek. At its peak two years later, residents voted and decided to create Kern County there — Havilah would be its county seat while the first county newspaper, Havilah Courier, began publication. Because of mining and trading interests in Los Angeles and San Francisco, a road was built through Havilah to both big cities. Once the gold ran out, so did many of Havilah’s heyday population of 2,000.Then in an election in1874, Havilah lost its county seat position to Bakersfield. Today’s population is tiny, boasting mostly retirees and ranchers while only a few of the original 187 Havilah business buildings stand. If you’re interested in visiting this quiet town, keep in mind that every year on the first Saturday of June, residents celebrate, Havilah Days, the annual frontier festival with live entertainment, stagecoach rides and western shootouts. 84

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Indian Point Ostrich Ranch

August 2012

Curious as to what an ostrich ranch is like? Why don’t you take a trip to Indian Point Ostrich Ranch, nestled in the hills of the Cummings Valley area of Tehachapi, where you can get an up-close view of these big-eyed birds. While at the ranch, enjoy the scenery by taking a tour and watching the ostriches in their habitat. Founded in March 1992 by Joel Brust, the ranch sits on the former home of the Sprinkle Brothers Cattle Co., and primarily produces meat and leather, offering breeding stock for sale. Indian Point Ranch, a main supplier of ostrich meat in both Kern and Los Angeles counties, sells the low-fat red meat in fillets and burgers at selected Albertson’s Supermarkets.

Photo courtsey of Indian Point Ranch

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

G

Golf


J

Jawbone Canyon

Photo by Casey Christie

Located in Mojave, just 20 miles north of the intersection of state Highways 14 and 58, lies a sanctuary for extreme offroaders. From cross-country travel to technical routes with steep and challenging hills for more experienced riders, the Jawbone Off-Highway Vehicle Area offers more than 7,000 acres of public land open to ride off-road machines. For ATVs, dirt bikes or buggies, Jawbone is a great spot for the fun to begin with hundreds of miles of trail-riding opportunities available in this region and outside the OHV open area. There are primitive camping spots in this area and surrounding public lands. Within Jawbone Canyon itself, there are many campsites and OHV staging/off-loading areas available.

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K

This quiet little mountain town, just an hour east of Bakersfield, has an international reputation in whitewater rafting circles. Home to some of the best rapids in the state, Kernville attracts kayak and rafting enthusiasts from all over the globe. And after a long day on the Kern River, nothing goes down better than a cold glass of hand-crafted beer and good food from the Kern River Brewing Co. Plan your wintertime visit for Presidents Day weekend and enjoy Whiskey Flat Days, Kernville’s 55-year-old annual festival to celebrate its Wild West and California Gold Rush roots. It is great family fun.

Photo by Casey Christie

Kernville

L Luigi’s

With a storied history dating back to 1910, an era of horse-drawn carriages, cable cars and rapid civic growth, Luigi’s Delicatessen and Restaurant has been a Bakersfield institution for generations. Walls covered with decades of local sports photos and memorabilia, part of Louis “Luigi� Lemucchi’s extensive collection, Luigi’s has been serving lunch to Bakersfield for more than 100 years. The menu is filled with traditional Italian fare like the half & half (pasta with meat sauce and Luigi’s Italian beans) and the red & white (pasta bolognese and spaghetti with butter, parsley, garlic and parmesan cheese), but the daily specials are the biggest attraction. Lasagna on Wednesdays, steak and pasta Fridays and the burgers on Saturdays always pack the house. Be sure to get there early!

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Shafter Airport, or Minter Field, was built in 1941, to train pilots for the U.S. Army in World War II. Named after 1st Lt. Hugh Minter, who was killed in 1932 from a midair collision over March Field, it became the largest training base on the West Coast by 1942. Several years later, the airfield was turned over to Kern County, which ran it until 1985, and now it’s home to the Minter Field Air Museum. Located in the original fire station, the museum displays photos and artifacts of the soldiers and pilots who were stationed there. The museum is houses many WWII aircraft, all on display, and restoration projects are always in the works.

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N

Nashville West

The Nashville West nickname arose from the development of The Bakersfield Sound, a departure from the traditional country music coming out of Nashville, Tenn., in the 1940s and ’50s. Bakersfield sons Buck Owens and Merle Haggard ushered in a new era of country music on the strings of the Fender Telecaster guitar. Artists like Dwight Yoakam and The Mavericks carried the torch during the ’80s and ’90s, but catch a Monty Byrom show to see how the tradition is carried on today. Visit Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace to learn about the birth of this musical phenomenon and view Buck’s old suits, celebrity photos and his 1972 Pontiac convertible that’s the backdrop behind the restaurant’s bar.

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O

Bakersfield was founded shortly after the California Gold Rush, but it was the 1899 discovery of black gold in the fields north of town that made a name for Bakersfield. Kern County produces the most oil of all the counties in the U.S., and almost 70 percent of the oil from California. The oil industry employs more than 15,000 of our friends and neighbors, and the electricity produced from steam cogeneration, a process that loosens up our sludgy oil, powers most of our homes. Pay a visit to the Kern County Museum’s permanent exhibit Black Gold: The Oil Experience for a hands-on learning experience.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Oil

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P Photo by Tim Kupsick

Paramount Farms and Citrus

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Paramount Farms, the world’s largest grower and processor of pistachios and almonds, covers the valley with more than 70,000 acres of nut trees. This crop fulfills the market needs for in-house brands such as Wonderful Pistachios (the No. 1 pistachio brand in America), Everybody’s Nuts Pistachios and Almond Accents. Pistachios and almonds from this company are found in most snack, breakfast and energy bars. Paramount Citrus, a sister company to Paramount Farms, is a market leader in the Cuties brand clementine and mandarin citrus market. Based in Delano, they ship more than 200,000 tons of citrus all over the world.


Photo by Dan Ocampo

Q

Quality of Life Bakersfield has uniqueness about it. We have affordable housing, quality schools and parks filled with activities, but nowhere else in California do you find that sense of small-town connectedness in such a large city. Neighborhoods are filled with friendly residents, not just people who live nearby. Shops and services are

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run by personable retailers, not by bodies who work the cash register. And our central location makes it easy if you want to escape the summer heat. A twohour road trip will get you to Los Angeles, the beach and Central Coast or into the Sierras at an elevation of 7,000 feet.


R

Ridgecrest This desert community is the epicenter for serious rock hounds and archeologists. Travel north of town and you find Fossil Falls, an area rich with American Indian obsidian artifacts dating back thousands of years. East of this location, within the boundaries of China Lake Naval Weapons Center, is the Coso Rock District that’s home to about 10,000 petroglyphs that are as old, or older than the artifacts found at Fossil Falls. East of town is the Trona Pinnacles, breathtaking in its alien beauty. West of town are opal and fiery agate open pit mines that are accessible to the public. Travel south for Red Rock Canyon State Park and check in at its visitor center for activities and sites to explore.

The Sierras Originally thought to be 8 million to 12 million years old, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is really a young pup. Using current technology, geologists have placed this range to be about 3 million years old and it is still growing, at a rate of 1 to 2 millimeters per year. The southern range stretches and ends at the Tehachapi Pass of Kern County. It is home to three national parks — Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia; and two national monuments — Devils Postpile, a large formation of basalt pillars, and the Giant Sequoia, trees big enough to drive cars through. It also has 20 different wilderness areas containing campsites, trails, hot springs and most notably, Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the continental U.S. These combine to cover roughly 24,000 square miles of eastern California.

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T Taft

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Surrounded by black gold since its infancy as nothing more than a railway stop in the late 1800s, Taft’s future was paved with rivers of oil, almost 3 trillion barrels to date. Its West Kern Oil Museum pays homage to this history with a replica wooden derrick and old tools used over the past 100 years. Not too far from the museum sits the Oil Workers Monument. Taft native Benjamin Victor finished creating this stunning sculpture of bronze and steel in 2010, which depicts the soul of this town.

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U

University

Photo by Michael Fagans

Kern County is known for being dedicated to many things: charity, community and country music. But another important ideal that’s highly valued is education. Bakersfield College opened its doors in 1913, and serves 15,000 students annually on its northeast main campus as well as the Delano Center. For those looking to continue their education after BC, or wanting to start their college experience, Cal State Bakersfield’s campus is your university. Opened in 1970, this four-year school hosts more than 7,000 students a year, and recently graduated a record number of graduates, with 2,116 receiving diplomas this year. As for athletics, CSUB Roadrunners became a full Division 1 member in the summer of 2010.

Serving Bakersfield Since 1923

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V

Volunteers

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

For those not yet familiar with just how generous Kern County is, head out to the annual Bakersfield Relay for Life event in May and prepare to be in awe of our loving community. More than 7,000 participants attended this year’s event, raising an American Cancer Society record-breaking sum of more than $2.1 million. And it’s no anomaly; Bakersfield’s haul last year was a recordsetter, too. While Relay might be the most high-profile event, the giving is year-round in Kern County, with donations of time and money continuously offered to organizations like the CBCC, the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter and the Kern Community Foundation, among countless others.

W

Worship With more than 50 churches in Bakersfield alone, there are countless opportunities to worship throughout Kern County with numerous religions being celebrated. Because of the number of churches we have, almost anyone can find their spiritual home with services being hosted in the tradition of Jehovah’s Witness, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Latter-day Saints, Seventh-day Adventist, Lutheran, Baptist, Coptic Orthodox, Hindu, nondenominational Christian, Methodist and Pentecostal faiths.

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X

X marks the spot Bakersfield Life’s Facebook followers were asked to name Kern County’s most iconic spot. Here is what they said: Kathy Exner Cavazos Dewar’s.

Rhonda Ledbetter-Glenn Fox Theater. Tami Warren Pioneer Village.

Lori Lenz Morrison It’s a toss up between the Crystal Palace

and Taft’s Oil Workers Monument. Randy Van Horn Noriega’s.

Yolanda Cruz Fox and Nile theaters and the Kern River. Melissa Howard Granite Station represents Kern County’s

ranching heritage, not to mention the foothills being our connection between the valley and the Sierra. Monica Contreras I like Dewar’s and Rosemary’s because

they are family-run old-fashioned ice cream shops. Plus Pioneer Village shows Bakersfield history, and the sign is just an iconic symbol of this town. The Crystal Palace definitely represents The Bakersfield Sound, and the Fox Theater just for its beauty and history.

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Y

Yokuts Indians Long before Buck Owens walked the streets of Bakersfield, Yokuts Indians were among the first residents of the San Joaquin Valley. The valley’s fertile land, and proximity to the Kern River and Buena Vista Lake provided the perfect setting for plentiful crops, fishing and hunting. When settlers began moving into this region during the late 1700s, there were about 60 tribes of Yokuts people living here at the time. Unfortunately, that population rapidly decreased with diseases brought by settlers. Lasting symbols of the Yokuts can still be found in Kern County today; Yokuts Park remains a family favorite and local museums display artifacts of the once-prominent culture.

Z

Zingo’s

Denny’s and IHOP, meet your worst nightmare. Known for its chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, and retro, divey feel, Zingo’s Cafe has been the go-to place in town for delicious diner food for years, and is one of the few places that serves food at all hours of the day. Take it from The Bakersfield Californian’s food critic Pete Tittl, “You always knew what you’d get at Zingo’s — some good old Okie food at a working man’s price. I’m not sure Merle Haggard ever stopped in there, but it’s the kind of place where the Hag would feel at home.” — Written by Allie Castro, Gene Garaygordobil, David Luter, Kevin McCloskey and Myriam Valdez.

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PINE MOUNTAIN CLUB, California is the site on Aug. 17-19, for the fourth annual arts & cultural festival that takes place in the Los Padres National Forest. Event Features Native American storytelling, digital storytelling videos, songwriting competition, and an amateur playwright competition with plays about humankind’s relationship with nature and ecological challenges.

Friday August 17, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

August 17 -19, 2012 10-minute Eco-Drama Plays “Keeping the Balance” Between Humankind & Nature

$500 Grand Prize Voted by Audience

• Native American Storytelling: Alan Salazar and Dee Dominguez. • Video Film Fest of Youth’s Digital Storybooks with $200 Prize

Saturday August 18, 2012 Reader’s Theater presentations: • 1:30-3:30 p.m. Round 1 • 7:30-9:30 p.m. Round 2

To vote, audience members must attend one of the entire rounds.

Sunday August 19, 2012, 1:00 p.m. Plays reflect the ancient Chumash spirit of liyikshup (the village where everything is in balance). Finalist plays will be performed in a Pine Mountain Village readers theater near the base of Iwihinmu Mount Pinos - the Chumash ‘center of the world.’

• Presentation of Playwright First Prize Award $500 • Followed by Song Writing Competition and First Prize Award $500. During the 3-day event, the adventurous can take guided hikes to Mt. Pinos by “Naturalist” for You. To get here from Bakersfield, take South Interstate 5 to the Frazier Mountain Road/Frazier Park (exit 205) and go west on Mt. Pinos Way (the road name changes to Cuddy Valley Road). After about 12 miles, turn right onto Mil Potrero Hwy at the fork in the road, follow sign and drive 6 miles into Pine Mountain Club. Admission by Donations - $10 suggested per event Contact & Information: www.centeroftheworldfestival.org Or P.O. Box 1929, Frazier Park, CA 93225-1929, tel: 661-242-1583

Sponsored in part by Kern Board of Trade Tourism grant and Shelia Clark, Ph.D.


program between Fresno State University and Cal State Bakersfield provides new opportunity for local leaders to pursue advanced degree in educational leadership

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Photo by Felix Adamo

Joint doctoral

Central

Valley cooperative


ast summer, Valerie Park had one of her childhood dreams come true. No, Park did not win a television singing competition or get her very own reality show. She was accepted into the first joint doctoral program between Fresno State University and Cal State Bakersfield. The program, currently a joint doctorate in educational leadership program, accepted its first cohort in 2011 and just this summer accepted 19 more students into its second cohort. “I’m extremely grateful to the presidents of CSUF and CSUB for creating this wonderful opportunity for our community,” said Park, principal at Planz Elementary School. “This is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, and I am proud to set an example for my daughter to never stop learning and never stop reaching for your dreams. My main goal, however, is to continue to make a difference in the lives of children.” According to Sharon Brown-Welty, dean of graduate studies and director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State, the program was created to fulfill the need for local educational leaders seeking advanced degrees. “The program is designed so that CSU Bakersfield will offer the program independent of Fresno State with the fifth cohort of students,” Brown-Welty said. “The program models the Carnegie Project on the education doctorate principles, which means the program prepares professional practitioners in the field of educational

Photo by Casey Christie

L

By Gabriel Ramirez

Horace Mitchell leadership.” CSUB President Horace Mitchell said the program is vital because it will ensure that community has in the pipeline educators who are preparing themselves for effective and innovative leadership in the future. “That is something we need to continue to do, and that is to raise the level of educational attainment in our community,” Mitchell said. “The joint Ed.D. program is a program that will allow us to provide here in Bakersfield the kind of advanced education that will enhance the quality of education in Kern County by having educational leaders and administrators who are current in research and practice in K-12 Continued on page 104

“That is something we need to continue to do, and that is to raise the level of educational attainment in our community.” — Horace Mitchell CSUB President

STOCKDALE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL Integrating Faith, Learning & Living

4901 California Ave. Bakersfield, CA For information or a school tour call

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Continued from page 103

Photo by Mark Nessia

education in particular, and community colleges, as well. This is important because many of these professionals do not have the opportunity to get this education unless they go elsewhere.” Evelyn Young, executive assistant to the CSUB president and also a member for cohort one, said her first year was more than challenging and highly rewarding. She also had some advice for the second cohort. “Strap in! The program is fast-paced,” Young said. “Get ready to learn, not only about educational theory, policy and practice, but also about yourself and how your own biases influence the way you think about how children learn, whether all children can learn, how we teach and how we set policy.” Bakersfield Life met with some of the students of cohort two and asked them a few questions. Here is what they had to say:

Dan Meyer

“…it could … reduce the overall amount of money spent on incarcerating inmates.” — Dan Meyer

Dan Meyer

Assistant Warden of programs, Golden State and Central Valley Modified Community Correctional Facilities Why did you decide to do the doctoral program? I decided to enter the doctoral program to

develop skills in putting together and implementing innovative programming for my company and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). How important is this program to you? The program is very important to me in the sense that I believe it will help with my vision and plans in going forward to develop and implement educational programming that meets the challenges education faces today and in the future. How will this doctorate help you improve Bakersfield/Kern County? This doctorate

could possibly help to improve the Kern County and Bakersfield areas through programming that my company provides to the inmate population through our client, the CDCR. If the programming is effective, it could impact the rates of recidivism in the county, thereby theoretically helping to reduce the overall amount of money spent on incarcerating inmates.

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August 2012

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Tammara Sherman Information technology consultant/campus trainer, CSUB Why did you decide to do the doctoral program? As a child, I

Photo by Mark Nessia

watched my father pursue his education, while working full-time and supporting his family. He attained his AA, BA, MBA, and later his Ed.D. through his dogged persistence. As his education and career grew, he effected positive change on those within his sphere of contact, including church members, state legislators, and community leaders. The legacy of his contributions to positive change is still Tammara Sherman visible at the community college districts, in which he served. Since then, I knew that I wanted to pursue my education and more importantly a doctorate so I, too, could effect positive change. How important is this program to you? A doctorate in educational leadership would give me the knowledge and credibility to effect positive change for the future of higher education. The current challenges with low retention rates, waning faculty and student enContinued on page 106

THh.v3TREET$OWNTOWN"AKERSlELDs   /PEN4UESDAY 3UNDAYs#,/3%$-/.$!93

bakersfieldlife.com

105


Continued from page 105

Photo by Mark Nessia

gagement, misalignment of curriculum between K-12 and post-secondary institutions, and shrinking budgets concern me greatly. Moreover, I am equally concerned with the long-term strategies for future higher education, which will require political, cultural, organizational, and technological change. This change will require practitioners, who are willing to forge ahead to lay the groundwork for the future. With the knowledge gained from the doctorate course work and field-based research, I can play a vital role in this coalition for change.

Chappell Griffin

“…I would like to be part of the solution to the persistent achievement gaps among significant subgroups.…” — Chappell Griffin

How will this doctorate help you improve Bakersfield/Kern County? As a resident of

Bakersfield and alumni of Highland High School, Bakersfield College, and CSU Bakersfield, I care greatly about the future of higher education in my community. I would hope that my research during the program and afterwards would have a positive

influence in helping to bring solutions to the complex issues facing education and my community.

Chappell Griffin Assistant principal, Desert High School

Why did you decide to do the doctoral program? I decided to pursue an Ed. D. because

I would like to be part of the solution to the persistent achievement gaps among significant subgroups, which is very evident at the secondary level in many schools. How will this doctorate help you improve Bakersfield/Kern County? With a concentration

in this area, I feel that I will serve the students of Kern County very well.

Sarah Futrell Baron

Grant development director, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Continued on page 108

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How will this doctorate help you improve Bakersfield/Kern County? The program is focused on educational issues that are

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

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Pastimes

Pine Mountain Inn features plush accommodations and access to hiking trails, horseback riding and a private golf course.

Hike, camp fish and more Kern’s mountain communities have a lot to offer outdoorsy enthusiasts

I

f you’re looking to get out of town this summer, you may not need to travel far for an enjoyable experience. So whether it’s a family vacation, special romantic trip or just an opportunity to get some time away from the city life, the short drive to some of Kern County’s local retreats may be just the perfect getaway. Camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking or off-roading, the Kern mountain communities can accommodate all with many locations offering full hook-up lots for trailers and RVs as well as lots for bare-bones campers roughing it out in tents. Here are a few places that are family friendly and offer a variety of features: 110

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Walking trail entrance to the Kern River at Camp Frandy in Kernville.

Photo by Brian N. Willhite

Story and photos by Brian N. Willhite


Located in Pine Mountain, Pine Mountain Inn is a sevenroom, two-story inn, each with private baths and individually themed rooms. The inn is also located within walking distance to the Pine Mountain Country Club golf course and is an ideal location for horseback riding and hiking trails, according to manager Diana Chase, who added that all guests also receive a pass to golf at the club’s private nine-hole course. For those looking to relax in more cozy accommodations, Chase reassures you that the home-away-from-home amenities are included in your stay: flat-screen TVs, Direct TV satellite, DVD players, free high-speed internet and coffee pots with hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Chase refers to the place as glamorized camping, or “glamping,” and that the only roughing part is that cell phones do not get coverage in the area. For reservations call 661-242-1982, or visit pinemountaininn.com. Frandy Campground in Kernville is an all-accommodating campsite for travelers with small or large groups, according Beverly Demetriff, camp manager. Demetriff added that the camp is family owned and on Saturday evenings, they host a family movie night with popcorn, as well as free coffee on weekend mornings. With its walking distance to downtown Kernville, guests can enjoy the camping life without foregoing the shopping and dining experiences nearby. The camp features restrooms and showers and is located on the Kern River, which Demetriff said is nice for fishing and river access. There are also three rafting companies on site offering a variety of deals. To make reservations, call 760-417-0860, or visit frandy.net. Continued on page 113

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

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Continued from page 111

KOA Campgrounds at Lake Isabella is located in Weldon and welcomes all types of campers from trailers to tents. The camp is about six miles from Lake Isabella but is well known for its access to off-road trails, according to Tammy Andreas, camp manager. Andreas said that many campers bring their quads, ATVs and mountain bikes to ride nearby trails. She added that the location is great for hiking, too. The camp also features a general store, laundry facility, game room, splash pad play area, showers and Saturday movie nights as well as organized socials for the family. Wireless internet access, too. To make reservations, call 760-378-2001 or visit lakeisabellakoa.com. Camp James in Kernville is another Kern River camp for all campers. In addition, all hook-up sites have electric, water and cable TV, according to camp manager Donna Jones, who said they also encourage guests with children to bring their kids’ toys along for the trip. Basketball courts also on site. Camp features include restrooms, showers, wireless internet, and hiking trails, and is near the fish hatchery, which stocks weekly. To make reservations call 760-376-6119 or visit campjames.net. Sequoia Lodge, three miles north of Kernville is a fishing lodge with 14 units on site, each with its own fishing themed décor, according to manager Keith Holden. The lodge is located on the river and caters to anglers looking to take advantage of the wellstocked portion of the river, which is filled weekly by the hatchery. Holden said that the lodge is a quiet, secluded area and offers three barbecue patios on site so you can picnic and grill your first catch too. For reservations call 760-376-2535 or visit sequoialodge.net.

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Pastimes

A.C.E.S. players and board members: Front row, from left, Tim Braly, Monica Banducci, and Wes Oberg. Top row, from left, Shana Braly, David Clark, Jordan Shwora, and Dustin Hill.

For the fun of it Fitness, camaraderie keys to success of adult co-ed soccer league Story and photo by Brian N. Willhite

R

ecreational league soccer is not just for the kids anymore as these adults are showing that league soccer can be fun and competitive for working adults looking to get back into the game, maybe even for the first time. Adult Co-Ed Soccer, or Bakersfield A.C.E.S., is a local adult soccer league that emphasizes the joy of the sport and spirit of friendly competition by providing an opportunity for adults of any skill level to jump into a friendly environment with like-minded players just looking for a good time, according to 33-year-old league director Tim Braly. “Our philosophy is safe, fun, then competitive soccer, in that specific order. First we‘ve got to be safe, then we’ve got to be fun, and if those two goals are met, then we can 114

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

be competitive,” said Braly. He added that the league and its players have formed a culture that is built on mutual respect for one another on and off the field. The nonprofit also supports local charities like Relay for Life.

Find the right fit

Players compete in a 10-week season and are split into four divisions based on skill level and how competitive the nature of the competition on the field will be. The more competitive and highly skilled players play in the A division. There is also a B and C division, which are lower degrees of game play competitiveness and are for players with mid to minimal levels of experience. Division D is for players that have little to no experience and non-athletic types that are just looking for fun, casual games without the pressure of heavy competition. Dustin Hill, a 37-year-old player in division D, said he enjoys the opportunities to get out and be active. “I’ve got a very demanding job, so it’s kind of nice to cut loose on Saturday nights and go have some fun,” he said. Hill, who will be playing in his third season this fall, admitted that the transition to a more active and athletic lifestyle was difficult at first, but he stuck with it and is glad that he did.


“I was hurting, but after the third or fourth game it wasn’t so bad and I could play the whole game. Now I actually go and ride a mountain bike Saturday morning before games,” Hill said.

REPLACEMENT WINDOWS

Building new friendships

Braly's wife, Shana, 30, added that the league’s attitude toward a family-friendly atmosphere is a strong reason why a lot of people continue to participate in the league and that she has built many close relationships with the friends she’s made. Wendi Logan, 35, used to cheer on her husband, Levi, 36, with their children from the sidelines but decided to take a chance and join her husband when he started his own team. “It’s funny because I had never played in my life–ever–until that first season, and I thought, ‘OK, the tables have turned,’” said Logan, referring to her children’s reactions (who play A.Y.S.O. soccer) to her struggles on the field. “I’m on the field now and the kids are yelling at me, ‘Run, Mom, get the ball!’ “I don’t think I can ever yell at them now because it’s not as easy as it is when you’re sitting on the sidelines,” she added. Levi Logan said, “That’s one thing that’s great about this league—you can bring your kids and not have to worry about any violence or fights, just a laid back familyfriendly league.” A.C.E.S. board member Wes Oberg, 35, discussed how being a part of the league can be complicated at times because of the many commitments, especially with having a family, but that they all participate because it’s a passion and much more than a pastime. “There’s a lot to do but we make it all happen and it's fun. We don’t get paid for this but we enjoy each other’s company so much that we do look forward to the times that we do get together to play soccer,” Oberg said. He also manages a team and plays in division B. League teams consist of 10-12 players and must be co-ed. Each team plays with six players on the field plus the goalie and must have at least one female on the field at all times. However, teams in the D division must have at least two females on the field at all times. Registration is open until mid-August and is $65 per person. Individuals may register but will be filtered to teams that still need players at the end of registration. Braly expects that there will be more than 40 teams participating this fall. Registration and info can be found at bakersfieldaces.com.

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Why I Live Here

Photo by Maria Ahumada-Garaygordobil

Delano

Arnold Morrison

I have lived in Delano for:

56, music teacher for Delano Union Elementary School District

The street that I live on is: Ter-

Compiled by Gene Garaygordobil

A

rnold Morrison is a Delano Union Elementary School District music teacher. He also sits on the Delano Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees. Among Morrison’s many community commitments, he is the president of the Delano Kiwanis Club and is the unofficial community photographer. 120

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

32 years. Worked here since 1979 but moved here in 1980.

Three words that describe Delano: Honestly unmatched hospitality. race Drive just west of Delano High School. I bought a house in that area in February 1989. It was one of the few houses on the market at the time, and I love the location — close to the schools, the stores and the restaurants. It’s so much more convenient than where I lived in Los Angeles!

Three words that describe my neighborhood: Friendly family atmosphere.

Favorite weekend activity: Attending an event that is community related. As president of the Delano Kiwanis Club, I

sometimes work community events over the weekend as well.

Favorite community event: I try to attend as many community events as possible to show my support. As a music teacher, I strive to make every concert possible put on by the local schools. Favorite local restaurant: Don Lalo’s Mexican Food.

How I relax in Delano: That’s my weakness — relaxing is not my strong suit. I do enjoy kicking back on weekends with friends and family. Delano’s best-kept secret: You can get around Delano in an electric golf cart type vehicle. It has been my source for local transportation for the last 11 years. No need to waste gas unless you’re going out of town!


Best place for a family outing: Cecil Park. It’s close to my house and plenty big.

Favorite Delano memory: Watching the high school football games. Who needs to watch “Friday Night Lights” on TV when we’ve got the real thing right in our own backyard?

When I need to get out of town I always go to: Bakersfield to see my mom (who recently moved there from Bel Air in Los Angeles) or Tulare since their movie theaters are digital and state-of-the-art.

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121


Why I Live Here

The Lyons family. Back row: Kaden, Amie, Andrea, Robin, Tag, Bradlie and Johnny. Front row: Abigayle, Neal, Jake, Caleb, Quade, Jessiah, Quincie, Grady and Ashlie.

Tag and Robin Lyons Compiled by Vicki Adame

T

ag is an engineer with Bakersfield City Fire Department at Station No. 1 in downtown. This November will mark 26 years with the department. He drives the front of the Ladder truck and loves what he does! Robin has been a realtor for the past seven years with Alta Sierra Land Co. Ages: Tag, 53; Robin, 51

Long Kern River Valley history We have lived in the Kern Valley as adults for 22 years. We moved back to the Valley after having lived in Bakersfield for 10 years. Tag graduated high school and went to Bakersfield College while I finished high school at Kern Valley High (1979). We were married on May 3, 1980. Tag has a love for creating, whether that is through photography, videography, or welding. He has passed these skills on to our children 122

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

and grandchildren and they often work on projects together. We have taught our children that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to with hard work, dedication, and a good attitude. We have encouraged them to remember to ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

Meeting for the first time at the age of eight and 10 Tag’s family moved to the Kern River Valley from Long Beach when he was eight. They purchased the Sequoia Motor Lodge in Riverkern where he grew up. His mother is 89 and has long since sold the motel. However, she still lives in Riverkern in a beautiful home on the river. My family moved to the Kern River Valley when she was two. My father, grandfather, and uncles owned and operated Fisher Logging Company. Tag and I met when I was eight and he was 10. Tag can show you the place on the tile floor where he remembers seeing me for the first time at the Kernville Elementary School as I

Photo courtesy of Robin Lyons

Kern River Valley

was asking my sister for milk money. Eventually, we dated for five years and recently celebrated our 32nd anniversary.

There is no place like home After starting a business, a family and living in Bakersfield for 10 years, we made a decision to move back to the Kern River Valley to give our children the same opportunities we were given by our parents. Some of those opportunities include fresh air, the beauty of experiencing all four seasons, the quiet environment, less stressful lifestyle than the city, and the ability to walk out your door and enjoy nature.

The journey to Kern Valley We live in Alta Sierra, which is located about eight miles up the mountain from Wofford Heights. The elevation is about 6,000 feet. Initially, we sold our home in Rosedale and moved to Alta Sierra into a 19-foot travel trailer in which we lived in for eight months until winter set in. Then we rented a one room (428-square-foot cabin built in the 30s) and lived there for two years while our home was built. Tag and I designed and built our home with the help of


our children, family and dear friends. It has been a journey with memories and experiences that are far too many to count!

Three words that describe my neighborhood Absolutely gorgeousness and green all year round, quiet and safe!

The family that plays together… With the Fire Department’s schedule, we are not limited to just having Saturdays and Sundays off. The best days are when we have all of our family — Tag & I, our eight children, and six grandbabies (another one due in September) — together. We love to have movie night in the forest and have sleepovers. There is nothing better then waking up to find your entire family under the same roof. We enjoy motorcycle rides, jeep trips, boating, skiing, snowboarding, and laughing a lot, whatever season it is!

Favorite community event Fourth of July fireworks on Isabella

Lake. We have a 28-foot Pontoon boat, which we keep at the French Gulch Marina. It is a tradition of ours to take the boat out in the middle the lake and watch as the fireworks are shot off overhead as we listen to and sing our favorite patriotic songs. Tag’s dad was a retired master sergeant in the Marine Corps for 22 years so the day is very dear to our hearts.

Pizza and steak Pizza Barn in Kernville has the best pizza ever and is owned by our dear friends, the Alexanders. And, of course, there’s McNally’s with their unbelievable steaks. A family tradition is to eat and walk across the swinging bridge, see who can get the biggest rock, and throw it off the bridge to make the biggest splash. The kids love this.

The perfect way to relax Getting a coffee at Big Blue Bear in Kernville and walking to Riverside Park, where the Kern River flows right through the middle of town!

No 100-degrees here We keep during the summers by staying home. Alta Sierra is an easy 20-degrees cooler than any other part of the valley or Bakersfield, and they don’t need air conditioning! We also take the boat out on the lake whenever we get a chance

Best place for a family outing The river, the lake, or Alta Sierra Ski Resort which our family loved and managed for 10 years.

Best-kept secret Alta Sierra. I’m surprised by the amount of people who have never been here or even heard of the community.

Always there for each other What we like most about the Kern Valley is the sense of community and accountability. There are many families who have been here for several generations. This is a community that knows, supports, and serves one another. I love the way we come together in a time of crisis, or celebration.

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Why I Live Here McFarland

Gary Farrell

Photo by Jessica Frey

57, general manager for McFarland Recreation and Park District

Compiled by Emily Claffy

I haven’t always lived in McFarland I have lived in McFarland since 1981, so that would be 31 years. My wife, Veda, has been here with me for 30 of those years. I spent my first 20 years in Shafter, graduated in ’73, and went to Bakersfield College, then transferred to California State University, Chico. After graduation I spent a year working in San Francisco. Getting the job in McFarland was like coming home since it’s just 20 minutes from Shafter.

Three ways I would describe McFarland

baseball and swim programs, along with our big Independence Day festival. Fall is cross country, winter basketball and our Christmas run and parade. During the spring, we have soccer and Cinco de Mayo festivities. It’s just nice to transition from one season to the next with these wonderful programs that bring our families and community together.

Favorite local restaurant is Pioneer Restaurant, which just opened and has a wonderful frontier old west vibe to it. The farmers love it.

I relax in McFarland by

A fun place to live, small-town vibe and friendly.

Riding my bicycle and taking my Siberian husky Skye out for a run. It’s a great way to give us both exercise and check up on the recreation activities in the evening.

My neighborhood is

Best place for a family outing:

Essentially country since I live just outside of town among the orchards and with the coyotes, owls and hawks.

Favorite community event We have so many. Summer brings on our 124

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August 2012

We don’t have movie theaters or bowling alleys, but we have great recreation facilities and there are always school and recreational games and activities going on. Also, we are a community of walkers and bicyclists, so in the evening, the streets are full of families

and kids bicycling and walking their dogs.

McFarland’s best-kept secret Our beautiful parks and recreation center.

Favorite memory of McFarland When Cesar Chavez, Martin Sheen and Jesse Jackson led a huge march through our streets. There were big-time politicians and movie stars who came to our town and it was intriguing to see it all unfold.

What I like most about McFarland The kids. I’ve been offered jobs elsewhere, but these kids from McFarland are from humble homes and have a great work ethic. Now there is going to be a full-length motion picture by Disney Corporation that focuses on the runners of McFarland.

Perfect place for date night I recall how my wife and I used to love to saddle up our horses and gallop at night under a full moon through the sands of Poso Creek! You can’t do that in too many places!


Why I Live Here Wasco

Wayne and Patricia Ketcherside Grand marshals for the 44th annual Wasco Festival of Roses Compiled by Emily Claffy

Years in Wasco Patricia moved to Wasco in 1968, and Wayne moved in 1987 when he bought Carter Pump & Machine Inc.

Three words that describe Wasco Small, friendly town.

Our neighborhood is Quiet — our nearest neighbors are about a half-mile away from us. It’s great. We love it!

Favorite Saturday activity We don’t have a favorite activity in particular; we like to stay involved in whatever 126

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Photo by Jessica Frey

T

he Ketchersides believe in being active members of their tightknit community, and it certainly shows. Wayne, 72, and Patricia, 69, have strongly supported local Future Farmers of America and Wasco High School. Wayne has served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, captain of the Mounted Search and Rescue and the Kern County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. He’s been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship award from the Rotary club and a Life Achievement award from the Board of Kern Law Enforcement Foundation and has been on its board for more than 20 years. Patricia has served as president of the Wasco Women’s Club and the Wasco Festival of Roses. She’s currently president of the Wasco Community Scholarship Association and the Kern County Philanthropic Educational Organization of Reciprocity.

is going on in the community. For example, Wayne was a starter for races at Mesa Marin Raceway and the Bakersfield Speedway for about 15 years. Then Wayne became interested in horses and joined the World Team Penning Association. His team placed second at the Las Vegas nationals in 1992.

Favorite community event We love the Wasco Festival of Roses because you can go downtown and see people you know. The support from the community is awesome. Another important event to us is the Wasco/Shafter Relay for Life. We became involved with the event seven or eight years ago when someone close to us was diagnosed with cancer. This past year, the Wasco and Shafter communities raised more

than $100,000 for Relay for Life.

Favorite local restaurant It is hard to name just one. There are several good Mexican restaurants in town, but we like to go to Perko’s Cafe the most. The owner is very supportive of the community and local events.

Relaxing in Wasco Wayne used to relax by spending time with his horses, but we stay busy most of the time. Most recently, we helped with the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association’s annual Fourth of July bull riding and fireworks event. We are very active with our church, Westside Family Fellowship. Patricia helps cook dinner for 75 workers during vacation


bible school and also for the Guild House.

Best place for a family outing Our house! We live out in the country so it’s nice here. Not to mention, we like to cook!

We keep cool during the summer by Staying in our air-conditioned house! We try to go outside in the morning and come back inside in the afternoon.

Wasco’s best-kept secret We don’t think we have any secrets here. Wasco is filled with friendly and unassuming people. Some outsiders may not realize how much community spirit we have, but once they visit, it speaks for itself.

Favorite memory of Wasco We just believe that whatever we do should be fun and positive. We support the high school football team by helping with tailgate dinners in the Tigers Den for season ticket holders and donors. We have grandchildren who have graduated from Wasco High School and have seen other people’s kids graduate, too. It makes us happy to see the younger generation take over in the community and keep our strong spirit alive.

What we like most about Wasco

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Community

A local gem Surviving ‘one month at a time,’ Buena Vista Museum to be featured on Discovery Channel By Gabriel Ramirez

W

Photos by Casey Christie

e have all driven past it, but have you ever ventured to discover what lies behind the doors of the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History on Chester Avenue? The museum, which began in 1995 as a small fossil exhibit at CALM, has the mission of educating and involving the community through recovering, preserving and displaying local and worldwide natural history and science objects. Today, the diverse collection of exhibits is housed in a 20,000-square-foot building in downtown Bakersfield. The Buena Vista museum “is probably most famous for the display of world-class Miocene fossils from the local

Koral Hancharick is executive director of the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. Sharktooth Hill area located in the foothills northeast of Bakersfield,” said Koral Hancharick, executive director. Buena Vista is also home to a display of petrified woods, gems and minerals, and significant North American, African and Asian exotic wild animal mounts. Children, parents, grandparents, college students, educators and scientists from all over the world researching the famous Sharktooth Hill bone bed visit the museum.

A group of Girl Scouts tour the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, walking past a Chasmosaurus in the upstairs display. 128

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August 2012


But times have not been easy for the museum. “We have survived one month at a time,� said Hancharick, “mostly through the generous support of our community.� This support comes in the form of donations from individuals and local corporations, small grants, membership dues, entrance fees/attendance, gift shop sales, a variety of science-based workshops offered for children and adults, and docent-led Paleo excavation digs. “It is tough because we do not receive federal, state or city funding,� Hancharick said. And with no state or federal funding, the museum still provides many services to the community ranging from monthly educational science-based workshops and seasonal science camps to earthquake safety programs and off-site presentations that take the museum to schools. “One of our many goals is to stimulate interest in science among teachers and students,� Hancharick said. “The museum gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the rich history of Bakersfield and Kern County.� She hopes a spot on TV will help raise awareness of the museum. On Aug. 13, the museum will be featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Sharkzilla� segment at 10 p.m. during Shark Week. A crew from the show filmed the museum,

Lions and tigers and more at the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. along with Sharktooth Hill, for two and a half days. The feature will focus on the Megalodon, a giant prehistoric shark, which lived in the area. Also this month, the new Climate and Water exhibit by the California Department of Water will be open to the public. The exhibit will examine how water has changed over time and how changes in climate impact water locally.

Bakersfield’s Past Meets the Future

BLACKSMITH, TRAPPER, FARMER, SOLDIER, MOUNTAIN MAN. WHERE DID HE FIND THE TIME TO CHANGE CALIFORNIA’S HISTORY? Elish Stephens was the classic frontiersman Elisha sol solitary, eccentric and taciturn. Born in 1804, he worked as a fur trader and trapper in Georgia’s Rocky Mountains, became a blackG smith with the Indian agency, and in 1844, sm joined the Townsend and Murphy wagon train jo bound for California. His skills as a mountain bo man and leader moved him to the front ma of the train, where against unbelievable odds, he led all fifty weary adults and odds two infants across the treacherous snow-blown Sierra Nevada summit, the first wagon train ever to transit the continent directly into California. (Two years later, the Donner party traveled in his footsteps with disastrous results.)

Today, Stephens is regarded as a national hero, although he died in Bakersfield in 1889 alone and forgotten. His gravesite is now marked by a historical marker in space 345-7 at Union Cemetery.

SECURE YOUR PLACE IN HISTORY You and your family can forever have a place in the story of Bakersfield by owning memorial property at Historic Union Cemetery. Call us today at (661) 324-9648 to arrange a personal sales tour at this truly remarkable 140-year-old memorial park.

1P U P N B D  "W F    , J O H  4 U  # B L F S T G J F M E  $ "         1 )                t   X X X 6 O J P O $ F N F U F S Z      D P N Historical Photos: Courtesy of Kern County Museum. Used by permission

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Community

The Mason Hoover rounds a corner on the Central California Children’s Railroad at CALM.

All aboard! Hard work, camaraderie pave way to run railroad Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook

W

ith the traditional shout of “All aboard,” a long pull on the whistle cord and the sharp clanging of a bell, the trains of the Central California Children’s Railroad at California Living Museum (CALM) begin two-thirds of a mile journey, taking passengers past views of the Kern River, an abandoned mineshaft, and tongue-in-cheek sights like Yellowstone, a yellow rock next to the tracks. But the trains really shine during CALM’s annual HolidayLights celebration in November and December, 130

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

when they typically carry more than 50,000 riders through a dazzling landscape of animated light displays. “Kids just love trains,” explained Randy Grueber, one of the volunteers who operates and maintains the railroad. “When I look back from the cab, that’s all I see: smiling faces the whole way, from start to finish, and that’s the greatest reward you could ask for.” The railroad was the brainchild of retired educator Warner Brooks, who got his inspiration for building a railroad from a similar attraction that used to be located only a short distance away from the zoo. “When my kids were small, there was a train ride out at Hart Park,” Brooks said. “So we thought we would see if we could build one for the next generation, and that’s what we’ve got.” Brooks explained how his hopes and plans became the reality of a railroad through the generosity of the community, beginning with a visit from Robert Price of The Bakersfield Californian. “At that point I didn’t have a dime, I just had a dream,” Brooks said. Price and Brooks toured the site in a golf cart. “I just


told him what my dream was, and he wrote a little article about it.� A few days later, Gordon Newby, of Newby Rubber Inc., contacted Brooks with a donation of $50,000, and the project got underway. “Of course I didn’t know diddly about railroads,� Brooks admitted. “But a guy showed up who had just retired from Southern Pacific (Railroad), Larry Parmenter, and we started designing what we wanted.� Brooks was amazed at the outpouring of support, both in the form of monetary donations and volunteer labor and services that the railroad has received. “We were just blessed,� he said. “Every time we needed something, somebody showed up, or money showed up, or whatever.� The CCCRR now operates three small-gauge trains at the zoo on Alfred Harrell Highway, pulled by two scaleddown replicas of steam engines from the mid-1800s, and a third that is a recreation of the electric trolleys that used to run in Bakersfield from the early 1900s until 1942. All of the maintenance and operations of the railroad are preformed by a group of volunteers, who regularly meet twice a week to keep the railroad running smooth and have forged powerful friendships over the work they do. “Almost everybody here is retired,� said Bob Schaible. “We have a love for trains—big kid toys, you know.� Harold DeWitz added, “Sometimes I go home all dirty

Motorman Randy Grueber guides a replica of one of the trolleys that used to run in Bakersfield in the early 1900s down the track.

from working, and my wife asks me, ’Did you have fun playing in the sandbox today?’� “Actually she pays us every month to take him,� Schaible joked. “It’s like a day-care center for the elderly.� Many of the volunteers chuckled and nodded in agreement. Despite the good-natured ribbing, the work they do is serious. They maintain the tracks, which are constructed Continued on page 132

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What’s new at the zoo

Continued from page 131

identically to their full-sized counterparts, and repairs and maintenance of the trains themselves are conducted in their fully equipped machine shop. “We’re safety certified with the state just like any other amusement ride,” Grueber pointed out. “It’s all about public safety, and we have a great track record. With all the thousands of people we have hauled, we’ve never had an incident.” The railroad has recently upgraded the tracks to a heavier, California Living more durable type of rail, and Museum future plans include building a • 10500 Alfred Harrell tunnel over part of the track and Highway (between Lake construction of a train station to Ming and Hart Park). enhance the looks of the loading • Open daily from 9 a.m. area. to 5 p.m., and 9 a.m. to According to zoo manager 4 p.m. during Nov. 1 to Feb. 28. Lana Fain, as CALM continues • Regular admission is $9; to grow, animal exhibits will be $5, for children, three to placed adjacent to the railroad 12 years old, and children tracks, starting with a planned under age three are admitted free. bighorn sheep enclosure that will begin construction soon. The CCCRR traditionally operates on Saturdays and Sundays, or by special group appointment, and tickets cost $1 except during HolidayLights, when train rides are included in the price of the event. For more information, visit calmzoo.org.

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The new Cats of California exhibit is open, offering visitors up close views of mountain lions and bobcats. A new shorebird exhibit housing coots, mallards, blackcrowned night herons and great heron is nearing completion. A new bighorn sheep exhibit is under construction near the Cats of California exhibit in a natural ravine along the tracks of the Central California Children's Railroad. This makes the first time bighorn sheep have been housed at CALM. The habitat is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall. During its Twilight season, CALM will extend its hours this month and August (except for Aug. 18) until 8 p.m. Every Monday, seniors, ages 60 and older, can enter CALM with half-priced admission. Kern County residents get a discounted rate on the first Saturday of each month through September. On these days, ticket prices are $5, adult and $3, children. And kids, ages 12 and younger, enter for free during the last Saturday of each month. Get ready for CALM’s annual Ice Cream Zoofari to be held 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 18. On this day, participants can build their own sundaes or enjoy ice cream cones and root beer floats. There will also be entertainment, free train rides and wildlife presentations. Ticket prices are as follows: $10, member adults; $8, member child (3 to 12 years old); $15, nonmember adult; and $12, nonmember child (3 to 12 years old).

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It’s A Guy Thing …

Bowling, anyone? Compiled by Omar Oseguera

Q When did you start

bowling?

Diz: I started bowling at 11-years-old and bowling Juniors until I was 18. After that, I bowled competitive adult leagues until age 30, when family and work became priorities. After a 23-year hiatus, I came back to the game six years ago. So much had changed, and I had to learn all over again. Aris: I started bowling at six years old. Eric: I started bowling when I was 12 years old. My parents, grandparents, and friends were all involved in leagues and events at the time. It felt like a sport I could easily fall right into.

Eric Bryan

28, Fruit specialist at Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream

James Hefley

21, Financial representative at Northwestern Mutual — The Congdon Financial Group

James: I would watch my dad bowl and sit on the approach and roll his ball down the lane with his help around 2-years-old.

Q What influenced you in

choosing bowling over any other sport?

Diz: I did not choose bowling over other sports, but in addition to them. I played all sports as a kid, being a water skier since 9. Also snow skiing, softball, basketball, pool, etc. over the years. I am still an active water skier and golfer. I was drawn to bowling by accessibility. I lived close to a bowling center, where I worked as a scorekeeper in the bowling alley to earn spending and/or 134

Bakersfield Life

August 2012

bowling money. As I moved up to the adult leagues, competition was the draw.

Aris: My dad. He is a bowler himself, a member of the Bakersfield Bowling Hall of Fame. He taught me the basic fundamentals of bowling. Growing up, my brother and I played all kinds of sports, but it became clear that bowling would be the ticket to get us through college. My mom and dad were very supportive. They drove us to junior

tournaments everywhere and put us in great position to compete for scholarship money to pay for college.

Eric: Don’t get me wrong, I play and am active in other sports today as well, but bowling is a sport that anyone and everyone can play and enjoy. You don’t have to be really tall, fast, or have certain ability like other sports. James: I grew up around it. My father


members, but with the other bowlers you are competing against.

Eric: The local bowling community here in Bakersfield is pretty strong. Everyone helps each other out with their shot and gives great advice to make that certain beginner or advanced bowler that much better in the game. James: Bakersfield’s bowling community is a very diverse group of people in many different aspects. However, they all share a love for bowling.

Q Are you a competitive

bowler, or do you bowl for fun only?

owned a bowling pro shop years before I was born.

Q

Describe the local bowling community. Diz: The economy has certainly impacted the bowling community, but there does not seem to be the same vibrancy and competiveness of years gone by. Bowling in general is in need of young, energetic,

Diz Francisco

59, Locomotive engineer at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

Photo by Brian N. Willhite

Aris Anadilla

28, Process engineer at Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream

Diz: I am a competitive bowler who has fun.

competitive people whether they are teenage hot shots coming up through the junior ranks, or young moms and dads looking for an evening with friends away from the kids, dishes, and laundry.

Aris: It’s almost like a second family, especially since I’ve basically grown up living in a bowling alley. After you see the same faces for around the same amount of time every week, you get close not only with your team

Aris: I am a competitive bowler, although admittedly, I am not as active as I was when I bowled collegiately for Cal Poly, SLO. I used to practice several times a week and compete on weekends regularly in team and single events. Now, I just bowl two leagues and bowl a few tournaments a year. Eric: I am a competitive bowler. I work hard and take advice from other bowlers to achieve that next highest game. James: I would consider myself a competitive bowler. I’ve competed in six different states with a number of the tournaments being large national level events.

What is your go-to bowling alley here in town? Diz: I go to Regency Lanes; it is more flexible in catering to the competitive/high average bowler. Aris: I bowl at either Regency or SouthContinued on page 136 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 135

west. They have different lane surfaces, the first having wood lane surfaces and the latter having synthetic. Being able to practice on different lane surfaces and conditions helps give a bowler a competitive advantage when bowling in out-of-town tournaments.

Eric: My go-to bowling alley in town is Regency. I really like the natural wood lanes, customer service, and the people. Also, it’s the largest bowling alley we have here in Bakersfield at 40 lanes. That makes for a lot more competition. Diz

Eric

James: Regency Lanes because they have the most competitive leagues, as well as my family’s pro shop located inside.

Q What is the best part of bowling? Diz: The best part of bowling is the competition and the social aspect. You can bowl with your family and friends, and against your family and friends. Also there are 100-150 other people to talk to on any given night! Aris: The best part of bowling is bowling with my dad. Yeah, bowling 300s and 800s are nice, too, but at this point of my bowling career I’m cool with just having something to share in common with my dad. Aris

James

Eric: The best part of bowling is always trying to improve your score. There are so many different styles of bowling. Everyone has their own Continued on page 138

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August 2012


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technique on how they bowl a strike or pick up a spare. You don’t have to bowl like the professionals do on television to be good.

James: For me, the best part of bowling isn’t actually in the game, but the time it allows me to spend in the company of friends and family.

Q What advice would you give to

those not familiar with the bowling world that would like to be involved? Diz: Bowling is fun, challenging, but relatively low impact sport suitable for ages 8 to 80 and up. It is reasonably inexpensive, and you don’t have to be “good” to enjoy the game. There are leagues for all levels.

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Aris: Join a league even if you’re not that competitive. There is a league out there custom fit for you—men’s, women’s, seniors, juniors and mixed. There is even one that goes and spends a weekend in Las Vegas at the end of the league (editor’s note: Southwest Lanes). Check with your local bowling alley for more details. It’s a great way to meet new people, exercise, and another fun alternative to just sitting on your couch.

bowlers. Joining a league and practicing will result in you wanting to bowl for many years to come.

James: Don’t be afraid to join a league. A lot of new bowlers are skeptical when it comes to joining leagues because they are unsure of their skill level and don’t want to look like a rookie. However, most leagues are actually more geared toward beginners, or the “noncompetitive league bowlers.”

Eric: Check out local bowling alleys and talk with local

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Personality

Kern County’s photographer Greg Iger reflects on his iconic moments, his love of capturing essence of Kern By Lisa Kimble

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Greg Iger in his photo studio on H Street.

Photo by Casey Christie

H

e has photographed some of the military’s top brass, Hollywood’s old guard, politicians, presidential hopefuls, and countless anxious brides and their grooms, but after nearly a half-century behind the lens, it is still Kern County’s splendid landscapes that move Greg Iger, the man widely and affectionately considered Kern’s unofficial photographer. An original, an industry survivor, a pioneer of the outdoor studio, and some might say a relic of a bygone era, Iger, nationally published and acclaimed, remains Kern County’s preeminent shutterbug, who has ridden the waves of sweeping innovation. If a photograph really is worth a thousand words, Iger has spoken volumes about his beloved muse, Kern County. “The picture tells the story,” Iger said. The middle of five children, Iger and his family moved to Bakersfield from Pennsylvania when he was a young boy. He recalls being bitten by the camera bug early on, using a “brownie” he’d acquired for a dollar plus two cereal box tops. “I used to do trick photography, then experimented with making movies.” After graduating from Brooks Institute, Iger was drafted, serving in the U.S. Army in Korea as a military photographer, providing pictures for I-corps and Stars and Stripes. “I had a great editor and went all around the country shooting public interest stories.” After the service, Iger returned to Los Angeles, joining United Press International during the 1968 presidential campaign, just weeks after the assassination of Robert Kennedy. “It was exciting,” said Iger. Later, as a publicity photog for Universal Studios,


Photo by Casey Christie

he took stills for such movies as “Airport.” A second job working in a darkroom and shooting portfolios for aspiring models helped make ends meet. “I really loved news photography.” But times were changing, and Iger says he saw promise in the uncharted territory of commercial photography. In 1971, shortly after the Sylmar quake, he moved back to Bakersfield, establishing his studio, first in a condemned building on G Street, before moving to his present H Street location three years later. “I decided there was better income by becoming a portrait wedding photographer, and I saw a big window here in Kern County where there were no commercial photographers at the time,” he added. He approached the medical and agriculture communities. Today his photographs line the walls of area hospitals, corporate headquarters and office buildings across town. “I wanted to show them that we had L.A.-quality here in Bakersfield.” At the height of his commercial work, he recalls putting in nearly 40 hours a week just for Tenneco West, photographing the Ag giant’s produce and land development. Back then, editing was literally a cut-and-paste production using an X-Acto knife to extract an image, gluing it onto another and re-photographing it. “My first wedding [client] I used a 4x5 view camera and took just ten shots for the entire wedding,” he laughed. “Now we do up to 3,000 shots for a big wedding.” His wedding assignments have

Greg Iger, right, noted for his large scenic photos of the area gets help from Ryan Cunningham in Iger’s studio on H Street.

taken him to destinations near and far, including one bride’s four trips down the aisle. “The news style of wedding photography today is a lot like photojournalism.” Continued on page 142

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When some photographers were resistant to change, Iger embraced the digital advancements that revolutionized photography and processing. “It certainly opens up a whole new world of creativity. I still have young ideas, and it is still a lot of fun,” he said. But it is the images of the majestic vistas of Kern County, her beauty and diversity, from mesas to meandering creeks, which Iger has captured that have made his pieces iconic. “I had a love affair with the Kern River. It is the lifeblood of Kern County. The Kern is a special river because of the variety of geography entailed from high up in the high country down to Lake Buena Vista,” he said. Some of his awe-inspiring panoramas are captured in his two photography books, “Buena Vista: A pictorial view of Kern County,” a collaboration with historian Ardis Walker published in 1976, and “Buena Vista II: Kern County Landscapes.” “You don’t even realize everything you are doing is enhanced by or augmented by photograContinued on page 144

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Photo by Kevin Fahey

Continued from page 141

Greg Iger in 1976.

Iger’s two books, “Buena Vista: A Pictorial View of Kern County,” published in 1976, and “Buena Vista II: Kern County Landscapes.”


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“I had a love affair with the Kern River,” Iger said.

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Continued from page 142

phy.” Afforded a front row seat to the transformation of Bakersfield, Iger says he now wishes he had taken more pictures of downtown’s street scenes years ago. “While in photography class at Bakersfield High School, we took the Kern County museum’s glass plates and made prints for their files. I marvel at not realizing then that I should have been shooting some for myself. Now, 50 years later, those pictures would have been very interesting.” The lesson learned? “Today’s mundane is tomorrow’s interesting,” he adds. “Get out there and shoot.” No question the advancements in photography have had an impact on his business. These days, everyone is a self-proclaimed photographer with access to cheaper equipment. “All I can do is sell my talents as an artist.” And while others may see Kern’s less-than-flattering sides, Iger will continue to capture the exquisite topography of one of California's richest regions. “Hopefully I am teaching people that under the right circumstances, on the right day, Kern County has lots of beautiful places.” 144

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Personality

Merle Haggard A legend who just can’t sit still

By Robert Price

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Merle Haggard performs at the Aladdin Theater for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas in 2007 while touring with Willie Nelson and Ray Price.

Photo by Laura Rauch via AP

M

erle Haggard has never been the type to sit still for long. Before he was out of short pants, he was skipping school, and he hadn’t yet seen a compelling reason to shave by the time he hopped his first boxcar. Not even the bars of a cell door could hold him: At 20, Haggard was a renowned escape artist who’d walked away from one lockup after another. It took San Quentin Prison to hold him, and even then Haggard considered joining an escape plot. (Good thing he didn’t: It didn’t end well for the participants.) So it should not be surprising that even at 75, the irascible troubadour is a man in motion. He continues to tour, continues to write, continues to record, continues to do most of the things he’s always done. Well, except for that — he’s been married to his fifth wife, Theresa Ann Lane, for almost 20 years.


George Jones, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and the statue designer, Bill Raines, pose for photos inside the Crystal Palace in 2005.

Photo by John Harte

For Haggard, who was born in Bakersfield in 1937, the summer of 2012 will hardly be different from the previous 55: He’ll appear on a different stage almost nightly. The last few days of July will see Haggard in Virginia and Ohio. By early August, he’ll make his way to Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina, then down into Kentucky and Georgia. Between now and Aug. 11, Haggard has scheduled himself exactly two nights off. That’s not the pace a man in his eighth decade is supposed to want, much less endure. But Haggard has always had exceptional stamina — for work and especially for play. These days work dominates. Good thing, too, because demand for Haggard’s services seems to have hardly abated over the years. He and this current edition of the Strangers (which includes his son Ben on guitar) is booked out into December. Haggard has long complained that country radio ignores stars of the past like himself, while the Eric Claptons of the world still demand rock-format airplay, but Haggard can’t deny that when it comes to live performance, he still commands respect — and a paycheck. That’s especially true in his old hometown. Despite having moved to Lake Shasta a quarter-century ago, Haggard still merits a hero’s welcome in Bakersfield, where his shows remain hot tickets. Perhaps it’s true that a prophet

hath no honour in his own country, but Haggard has been around long enough to have earned an exemption. Haggard has no intention of retiring. “I’ve thought Continued on page 148

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about it,” he said in a 2003 interview. “In fact, I’ve even tried a little of it. It’s not good for you. You lose what you don’t use. I intend to stay active as long as possible. It’s wonderful to be able to still play and have people coming who will buy the ticket and come to watch you. … It’s a wonderful time in my life. Thank God for all the fans making it that way.” It’s certainly been a ride. Between 1966 and 1987, Haggard and his band recorded 38 songs that reached No. 1 on the Billboard country charts and another 33 that reached the top 10. By the time “If We Make It to December” hit No. 1 Haggard sold more than 8 million albums and 3.5 million singles worth $44.5 million, and he was commanding $15,000 a concert. His songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as the Grateful Dead and Elvis Costello, and one song alone, “Today I Started Loving You Again,” has been recorded by dozens of artists. Haggard had risen from working as a $40-aweek sideman guitarist to one of the biggest stars in the country music universe. Smoke and flash didn’t put him there. He’s never been the type for rhinestones or hand-tooled boots. Continued on page 1150

Haggard takes a break from helping out at a workshop at Cal State Bakersfield.

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Photo by Casey Christie

Continued from page 147


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Continued from page 148

Neither was it simply the pretty melodies, although that contributed mightily. “He’ll tell you he’s a country singer, but to me the essence of rock ’n’ roll is a cry for freedom and rebellion,” producer Don Was, who has worked with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt, told Newsweek in 1996. “And I don’t know anyone who embodies it better. Every aspect of his life is a refusal to submit.” Maybe that’s why rock and folk-rock audiences were so responsive on concert tours that paired Haggard with the Rolling Stones in 2005 and with Bob Dylan in 2006. There was always something about that rebelliousness, that indefinable obstinacy, that set him apart. Haggard the poet once tried to summarize what might be learned from listening to his songs. “That I’m a contrary old son of a bitch, I guess,” Haggard said. Contrary enough to visit the recording studio at fairly regular intervals. Since 2000, he has recorded 11 CDs (two of them live recordings), a rate of nearly one a year. Since signing on with Vanguard Records almost three years ago, he has released two: “I Am What I Am,” released in April 2010, and “Working in Tennessee,” released in October 2011. Both have sold respectably. Merle Haggard’s career has come full circle a couple of times. And he’s the sort of prolific artist, a simple and complex man blessed with a seemingly endless font of poetry, who may take us all for a couple more circles yet.

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Real People

Life on the farm Meet local pomegranate farmer Dee Slayman Compiled by Myriam Valdez

P

omegranate farming has been in Dee Slayman’s family for three generations. Slayman, 59, owner and operator of Slayman Marketing Inc., does it all. He oversees the company and is chief cook and a bottle washer. His company grows, packs and markets fresh pomegranates worldwide. Find out what his life has been like living on a farm.

My grandfather, Joseph Slayman, came to this country over 100 years ago. In those days, pomegranates were used as dye for clothes and rugs. Sometime around the 1920s, as synthetic dyes were introduced to the country, fresh poms couldn’t compete. So my grandfather introduced fresh market poms to the industry as a second option for all the growers who had lost their dye contracts, and in 1923, Slayman Fruit Co. was launched. My father, Mitchell Slayman, took over the company in 1938 with his brother, Victor, then retired when he sold it in 1975. A few years later, we saw an opportunity to plant pomegranate varieties in the earliest plantable areas of Kern County, and Maricopa Flats became my new home in 1979. The rest is history.

Who buys your pomegranates? Are you more of 152

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August 2012

Dee Slayman stands out in his pomegranate orchard southeast of Bakersfield.

a local farmer or do you sell all over?

Not many of our boxes stay in Kern County. Most of the production is shipped all over the country. A larger percentage of our fruit is being exported all over the world.

Pomegranate juice is very popular in Bakersfield. In your opinion, what has contributed to pomegranates and its derived juices as such a hit? We invested in a commercial enterprise

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

How did you get started in the pomegranate farming business?

in Israel, which studied the health benefits of the fruit. They found how holistic the fruit is, and I continued to plant more acres.

What has been the most challenging aspect about owning a pomegranate farm?

Pomegranates do not like temperatures below freezing. As you all know, sometimes during the early spring we have temperatures below freezing. When this occurs, the bloom will drop, and it can kill the trees, especially with the early varieties. The second would be the markets. With all the new plantings


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in California and when the Fresno area begins producing fruit, the markets drop.

What is your favorite part about working in Kern County? I enjoy living and working in the valley. I grew up in Lindsay, (which is 60 miles north of Bakersfield). My favorite part of what I do is the growing of the fruit.

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Do you have a favorite summer recipe to incorporate pomegranates?

I leave all recipe incorporating poms to my wife, Deanna. What I can say is that she uses the fruit and juice in everything from drinks to a glaze on lamb. (Visit slaymanmarketing.com for a few pomegranate recipes.)

Can you tell us about a memorable story on the farm?

When I moved to Bakersfield in 1979, we had just purchased our first parcel of land. It was Christmas, and there had been no rain. It is important to have moist soil before ripping and land leveling. The land was too dry. I had to rent an above-ground sprinkler pipe, turn on the water and I spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the next few days moving sprinkler pipe — a Christmas to remember for sure.

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Fit and Fresh

Four healthy things to do in August By Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann

Stand-up paddle boarding on the Kern River Over the last couple of years, there has been an increase in stand-up paddle boarding along the Kern River. This sport is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the peaceful journey along tranquil sections of the Kern River. The best, safe spot for this sport year round is the area between Hart Park and Gordon’s Ferry. Boards vary in length, most being approximately 12-feet long and about 30-inches wide, and this size provides stability and offers a smooth ride. Balance may be an issue for some, in which case kneeling or even sitting may be a better option.

Paddle the river

Howlin’ at the moon

Run for charity 154

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Pedal the bike path

Photo by Jaclyn Borowski

The 11th annual Howlin’ at the Moon 2k, 5k or 10k run will be held 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at The Park at River Walk. This event is held annually on a warm Bakersfield summer evening just as the sun drops and is always well organized, well attended, and a lot of fun. Proceeds benefit BPD K-9 Unit. For more information, or to download an entry form, go to bakersfieldcity.us/ police or call Andrea Pflugh at 661-326-3685.

August 2012


Sliced tomatoes with basil and fresh mozzarella

Take a ride The Kern Wheelmen Bicycle Club is a nonprofit club, which, since around 1977, has been promoting cycling fun by organizing cycling activities for all levels. So, if you feel ready for a friendly group ride, join them one Sunday morning at 8 a.m. at the CSUB parking lot on Stockdale Highway, west of Coffee Road. This ride is classified as “slow.” For faster and more competitive rides, visit their website at kernwheelmen.org.

• Fresh sliced tomatoes • Fresh mozzarella, (comes already sliced in double package at Costco) • Fresh basil leaves • Balsamic vinegar Quantity of ingredients: As much or as little as you like!

Directions: Layer sliced tomatoes, mozzarella slices and basil alternatively on a plate. Drizzle with a little balsamic. Perfect with fresh corn, barbecued chicken, and cold watermelon for a picnic.

Planting 23 tomato plants this year may have been a little overzealous, but I never tire of harvesting those red beauties in all shapes and sizes and mostly giving them away! During the summer months, we also eat them with almost every meal during, in all shapes and forms, from spaghetti sauce to tomato and corn salad, to one of my favorite simple summertime meal accompaniments:

Photo by Sally Baker

Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes

Enjoy summer’s bounty

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Trip Planner

Lois Henry tries on a pair of goggles while gearing up to skydive at Skydive Taft.

Up, up and away we go! Skydive Taft offering memories of a lifetime By Lois Henry

T

Photos by Shelby Mack

oward the end of the ride, the whiny roar of the twin engines outside the fuselage had become almost comforting. I knew things were about to change, though, when I looked over my right shoulder and saw the pilot nod to the tall man strapped to my back. I quickly looked away and breathed in as deeply as my harness would allow. 156

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The man at my back, Joey Preston, popped open the airplane’s door. The blast of cool air and now very UNcomforting engine noise made me jump as Joey spoke into my ear in his oddly accented voice, “Here we go.” OK, I thought, I’m really doing this. Really, really, really! If you’ve ever thought of skydiving, stop thinking and just do it. You don’t even have to drive far. Taft has had an ongoing, well regarded skydiving operation for the past 15 or so years owned by local man Dave Chrouch. Staff members are all experts and the equipment top notch. Yeah, it’s a little pricey with the fist tandem dive at $189 per person ($179 per person if you can talk a friend into going with you, or $169 if you can talk 10 of your friends into going). But, it’s soooo worth it. Everyone makes you feel comfortable and you even get photos and a video after it’s all over.


Lois laughs with Taryn and Gary Martin while waiting to get on the plane. Taryn had jumped earlier that day.

What more could you want for the memory of a lifetime? Course, that’s not to say it’s the most natural thing to do. When Joey swung us around in our tandem harness and I saw my feet dangling in the air 12,000 feet above the ground, I felt the adrenaline immediately start to buzz up the back of my skull. Every self-preservation instinct in my body was screaming, “Are you nuts?” Apparently so. I didn’t have a lot of time so I decided if this was going to be the last 90 seconds of my life, I was going to enjoy the H-E-double toothpicks out of it. And boy did I! I watched the dark tips of the Channel Islands poking above the marine layer flip upside down as we tumbled out of the plane. Flip, flip. There’s Mount Whitney in the far distance. Flip, flip. Oh, the San Andreas fault! Joey tapped my hip, the signal to get out of the tuck and flare my arms and legs to slow our descent and “fly.” I know we were really falling at 120 miles per hour. But at that altitude, it really does feel like you’re flying. Swooping over the oilfields, Buena Vista Lake with its tiny specks of boats streaking around, neat patches of crops and the softly rumpled Temblor Range. Thank goodness Joey was paying attention. Somewhere around 6,000 feet, while I was still entranced with how teeny-weeny everything looked, he popped the chute. Floating beneath the canopy was its own incredible ride. Peaceful and quiet and still the most intense rush ever. I realized I was breathing hard, almost gasping, and

Lois Henry and Joey Preston float down to the ground after jumping out of an airplane.

trembling. “Were you holding your breath that whole time?” Joey asked. “I don’t know!” I burst out laughing. “Do you like roller coasters?” he asked. “Uh…yeah sure.” Joey pulled down on one of the risers and the canopy Continued on page 158 bakersfieldlife.com

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tipped to the right. We dropped down suddenly into a hard spiral and I whooped involuntarily (my way of keeping my stomach from popping out of my throat!). The checkerboard of Taft’s streets, its golden foothills and inky pump jacks wafted beneath us. Too soon, I saw the Skydive Taft drop zone and my friends • Call for appointments waiting bellow. I waved • Adults but they take children and hollered but I don’t only as young as 16 and 17 and both parents have to be on hand to think they heard me. sign consent forms. I realized the ground •Check out their website for more was coming up faster and information on prices and requirefaster and I wondered why ments: skydivetaft.com/ I had thought jumping out • 500 Airport Road, Taft of the plane would be the • 661-765-5867 most dangerous part. But Joey had it all in hand. He told me to tuck up my knees as he worked the parachute, flaring it out and slowing us down at just the right moment. All I had to do was put my feet back on Mother Earth and stand up. With my knees shaking so hard, that turned out to be the trickiest part!

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Business Profile

The staff, from left, Don Schambach, Tara Aherne, Karen Kelty, Sandra Cope, Linda Points and Carl Saenger. Dusty Wagoner not pictured.

Address: 3200 21st St., Suite 500 Phone number: 325-5023 Website: americanjewelrycompany.com

N

at Solomon founded The American Jewelry Co. in 1898, opening his shop on 19th Street in Bakersfield. At the turn of the century, the area of 19th Street near Chester Avenue was a bustling retail center with boarded sidewalks and horse drawn carts. Solomon was a respected jewelry craftsman and businessman for many years. When Solomon died suddenly in 1947, Paul (Cheney) Campbell, his grandfather, L.W. Cheney, and great-uncle Jim Cheney, purchased The American Jewelry Co. from Solomon’s estate. Campbell learned the jewelry business by working as an apprentice in his grandfather’s store in Oakland, and his longstanding reputation for integrity and ethical business practices continues to this day. In 1949, the business moved from its location on Chester Avenue to 20th and Eye streets, where it remained for 39 years. Then in 1988, the store moved to its present location in the fifth floor suite atop the Oak Park Tower. Paul Campbell’s son-in-law, Carl Saenger, joined the firm in 1975, and soon completed the coursework to become a certified gemologist appraiser awarded by the American Gem Society. Through the years, Saenger has learned a multitude of practical lessons about the jewelry business from his father-in-law (who passed away in 2010), but two precepts still resonate: “Treat the customer as you would like to be treated” and “Be true to your word.” Today, Saenger still enjoys the challenges of operating a familyowned business, noting that the business is more than just a 114-year160

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August 2012

Photo by Greg Iger

The American Jewelry Co.

old establishment, it’s also a part of Bakersfield’s rich history. The American Jewelry Co. is delighted to be your trusted family jeweler proudly displaying a broad range of designers. Our watch department features Rolex, Breitling, Mont Blanc, Bulova and Citizen. For customers looking for an engagement ring, we carry Tacori, Simon G, Scott Kay, ArtCarved, Henri Daussi and Michael M. The fine jewelry department highlights Marco Bicego, Charles Krypell, Roberto Coin, Rhonda Faber Green, Pascal Pearls, Alexis Bittar and more. At The American Jewelry Co., we are proud to carry a variety of jewelry to cater to every taste and price range. Our selection includes gift items, watches, sterling silver, gold and platinum jewelry as well as custom designed and estate pieces. We also have an extensive in-house repair department capable of simple soldering to complete rebuilding of vintage jewelry. We are known for having excellent customer service, professionalism and a dazzling array of the finest quality merchandise. Kern County shoppers come to us because they know we will strive to meet their needs and make their visit with us a pleasant and satisfying one. Located on the top floor of a five-story office building makes our business immediately different from other jewelry stores in Bakersfield. Not only can customers shop with confidence in our comfortable surroundings, but they can also enjoy the view! All of us at The American Jewelry Co. including Carl Saenger, Linda Points, Karen Kelty, Sandra Cope, Tara Aherne, Don Schambach and Dusty Wagoner are dedicated to customer service. We are prepared to take whatever time is needed to answer questions and assist customers in choosing from our beautiful collections. Our goal is to continue the tradition of personalized service for many years to come.


Business Profile

Mendez Media Marketing, Inc. Sara Mendez, CEO Address: 1430 Truxtun Ave., Fifth floor Phone: 577-4100 Email: info@mendezmediamarketing.com Website: mendezmediamarketing.com

Who makes up the Mendez Media Marketing team? A good business owner knows that it’s not how great you are, it’s how great your team is. The Mendez group is more than a team; it’s a family, and like a family, everyone has common goals and different backgrounds and comes together to make things happen. Everyone within the company makes a significant contribution to the successes our clients see. Every member has been very carefully 162

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August 2012

Sara Mendez is CEO of Mendez Media Marketing, Inc.

Photos courtesy of Mendez Media Marketing

Who is Mendez Media Marketing, Inc.? Mendez Media is a full service, marketing firm and advertising agency. The agency provides all services necessary to design, create and write media commercials, book and reconcile media advertising, write and produce marketing plans, advertising plans, internal marketing strategy, brand awareness and brand management campaigns. The difference between you and your competitor is never what you do, it’s who you are as a company that determines how you do it, and that is the real differentiation. The agency was founded to do what other agencies didn’t. It’s not about commissions; it’s not about about placing ads. It’s about building, managing and growing brand, resulting in not only an effective ROI (return on investment) but also an increased share in your industry. Marketing is often less about you and more about your consumer. Understanding them is the key, and knowing your customer goes beyond basic demographics of age and gender; it’s really an understanding of who this consumer segment is, and that’s the Mendez Media difference.


selected based on a variety of qualifications. The basics of experience, education and work samples are great and second to none, but it’s their community involvement, the selfless giving they all do and the unwillingness to do anything less than 120 percent that make this team so unique. Mendez Media believes in supporting the local community and has hired quality employees from the area, some who got their start from Garces Memorial High School and went on to graduate from Chico State, and others who graduated from Cal State Bakersfield. The team is well-rounded with graduates from Fresno State University, Fresno Pacific University and even Bowling Green University in Ohio, to those who have studied abroad in England or Spain or graduated from the Orlando Disney training program. Education is a key component for the company, and Mendez Media has invested in each employee for further education in special certifications, including design, animation or marketing and advertising. In an industry that is ever-changing and incessantly growing, continued education and training is imperative to stay on top of the market of consumers and their changing behavioral patterns that affect purchasing decisions every day. Team members may advance to new endeavors, but who we are and what we stand for remains the same. What are your areas of expertise? If it falls under what we do, we do it well. If we can’t do it well, we don’t try to do it for you at all. One thing you learn from any successful businessperson is that it’s just not possible to do it all and do it all well. So, as a business owner, I try to follow in the footsteps of those before me who did it not only right but the best … Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, David Ogilvy, Jerry Perenchio and many others whom I admire for their contributions in busi-

ness and the communities around them. Their examples, quotes, words they lived by, rules of the road remain with the agency today. Rule No. 1: Hire people who know more than you in an area you are not an expert in. For this reason, the company is set up so that not one person does it all for you, rather a team of people work together and do their specialized part to make it a successful campaign. Media is bought by people who are trained in what’s called media math. Knowing which station to buy when trying to reach a very specific market is more detailed than just looking at age and gender. Many businesses will tell you that they really don’t know if their media is working for them; my answer usually is, “If you have to ask, chances are it’s not.” Production is handled by people who have won or been nominated for ADDY, Emmy and international film awards, worked on movies, such as “Mission Impossible II,” and “Stigmata,” done editing work for No Doubt, and worked on video game design for “SWAT II.” Marketing plans are done utilizing vast amounts of research done by research specialists who work with all of the major research tools, then composited and formulated by account managers, and finalized by owner Sara Mendez, whose area of expertise is in consumer marketing and brand management. Sara Mendez, the owner of the agency, graduated from Fresno Pacific University in Fresno with a degree in marketing and management, after studying in England, and interning at the local NBC affiliate in Fresno in the news and promotions departments. Her first job out of college was at the NBC station in news before moving to Spanish language television for a three-year stint, conclusively opening Mendez Media Marketing in 2006. Sara and her family later moved to Bakersfield in 2009, keeping the office and staff

in Fresno. After completing her global MBA with a thesis on brand management and building bicultural brands in 2011 and working with a few local Bakersfield clients, the agency opened its second location, where Sara focuses her energy. What kind of community involvement does Mendez Media do and why is that so important? Since inception in 2006, Mendez Media has always been heavily involved in the communities in which we are a part of. Giving back, supporting local communities and inspiring others to strive for greatness is something we are very proud to support. Whether it’s in design time, helping cover hard costs, sending children to camp, or donating Christmas trees, the entire Mendez team truly enjoys giving back and being a part of the lives these nonprofits touch. We take nothing for granted and remember every day that we are only able to give and support because of those organizations that support us and allow us the privilege of being a part of their company. What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do? I would have to say providing marketing and branding to a company would be twofold. It would be that we see firsthand and have heard from many clients, that because of their success, they will be adding jobs, growing business, opening another location, expanding or celebrating successful transitional years in the still relatively new millennium. Being a part of that and watching these companies and the people within them seek and attain success is simply amazing. The second part that is exceedingly rewarding is again the ability we have to give back and provide services, donations or time to local organizations that may not otherwise receive them. bakersfieldlife.com

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Business Profile

Bank of the Sierra

Photo courtesy of Heise Media

Mike Olague, senior vice president, area manager

Locations: Bakersfield Ming Office, 8500 Ming Ave.; 663-3400 Bakersfield Riverlakes, 4060 Coffee Road; 587-2069 Bakersfield East Hills, 2501 Mt. Vernon Ave.; 873-2000 Website: bankofthesierra.com

Tell me about Bank of the Sierra’s market position as the largest community bank headquartered in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Bank of the Sierra was founded in 1977 by our President and Chief Executive Officer James C. Holly, who still serves today. Over the years, our market has expanded to include 25 locations throughout Tulare, Kern, Kings and Fresno counties. Through sound banking practices and financial strength, the bank has enjoyed unprecedented growth during its 35-year history. The bank has been profitable for 124 consecutive quarters amid good and challenging economies. How does the Bakersfield market fit in the bank’s overall expansion strategy for the Central Valley? Bank of the Sierra identified Bakersfield as a key banking market, and in 1997, we opened our first branch here. Since then we have grown to four locations, including one 164

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August 2012

in Delano. Bakersfield is a vital contributor to the overall growth of the bank and continues to exceed expectations. What are the key drivers of market growth being experienced by the bank’s Bakersfield banking group? We are fortunate to have a solid group of banking professionals who have elected to work for our organization. Our employees are experienced in the ag and oil sectors — the roots of Bakersfield. The right people, the right products and a stronger economy have aided the growth of the Bakersfield area team. In addition, we have found that being a strong community partner sets us apart from our competition. You are a lifelong Bakersfield resident. Why have you decided to spend your banking career in Kern County? Having deep family roots in Kern County, I have come to know that this is the best place to grow business. I attribute it to the value placed on long-term personal relationships. I am personally committed to doing my part to promote the long-term growth of our community. As I look toward the future, I can’t think of a better place to work and live than in Bakersfield.


Business Profile

Miramar International Broker and Founder Dan T. Shanyfelt

Primary location: 3512 Coffee Road, Suite A Phone: 679-7698 Email: dshanyfelt@gmail.com Website: miramarbakersfield.com

Is Miramar International a local company? Yes, Miramar International is the largest local brokerage in Kern County. Its owners and brokers are all graduates of local high schools and Cal State Bakersfield. We are local through and through, and we are the only top brokerage in the area to keep 100 percent of our income in the Bakersfield economy. What sets Miramar International apart from other local brokerage businesses? Aside from consistently being the top-ranked brokerage in terms of consumer satisfaction, Miramar International is the local leader in the use of technology, online and social media marketing and green innovations. Our agents and associates are at the cutting edge of technology and utilizes its advantages to ensure our clients’ success. We are the only brokerage to offer iPad training and certification to our agents and the only brokerage to employ a full-time social media manager to market our clients’ properties. How many locations does Miramar have in Bakersfield? Miramar International has five offices in the Bakersfield area: in the Northwest at 3512 Coffee Road (across from In-Shape City), Downtown at 1712 19th St. (next to the Padre), Southwest at 4831 Panama Lane (adjacent to Costco) and 3611 Stockdale Highway. Our newest office will be opening this summer in The Marketplace at 9000 Ming Ave. (next to Talbot’s). We have found that real estate 166

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August 2012

is a local business, so we need to be where our clients reside. How are you managing to consistently grow, even in these tough economic conditions? We are truly blessed. Despite the housing woes that have plagued our region, we have been the only company to see a 20 percent (or more) year-over-year increase over the last half-decade. We attribute this unparalleled success to our unconventional and out-of-the box business systems that have attracted the most professional and topproducing agents in Bakersfield. Where do you think this housing market is going? Bakersfield has survived some rough waters, but we are not out of the storm yet. Although we have seen an increase in multiple offers and a slight uptick in values lately, it is somewhat artificial due in large part to the lack of inventory being released, mixed with the strong demand supported by record low interest rates. The good news is that most economists project the bottom has either passed or will pass in the next six to 12 months. What types of programs are available for struggling homeowners? There is a multitude of free programs to help homeowners who are underwater or in danger of losing their homes to default coming available online each day. Many of these consumer programs offer financial incentives to the homeowners to help them transition to a new residence depending on the financial institution that holds your loan. Feel free to email me at dshanyfelt@gmail.com to see what programs for which you may qualify.


Prime Finds 2. 1. Back to school fundraising

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Create a showcase to display your prized pieces. Custom designed to fit your style. Call Munoz Cabinetry, where craftsmanship is our trademark. 836-8747 or munozcabinets.com.

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3. Flowers and more

Uniquely Chic Florist has Bakersfield’s brand name for flowers. All sorts of styles and colors to customize your specific needs. They offer trendy gifts and home decor, too! Call 588-7997 or visit us at uniquelychicflorist.com. 9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 701.

Uniquely Chic Florist

4. Refreshing yogurt

Beat the heat with some healthy yogurt. Sixteen flavors daily with a total of 40 different flavors. More than 45 toppings, including fresh fruit to add to your delight. We also carry no sugar-added yogurts. 8200 Stockdale Highway; 3962000; tfyogurt.com.

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5. Safe at sea

Cozy and secure doggy life jackets will keep your pet safe in the water! Breathable mesh underbelly allows for proper draining and drying. Come by and see all sizes and colors available. Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa, 1617 19th St., 321-9602.

Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa

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5.


Bakersfield Light Brigade golf tournament June 22 Held at Rio Bravo Country Club Photos by Casey Christie View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Travis Millwee, Chris McCracken and Jack Henneberry

Larry Barnes, Steve Yeager, George Culver, Rick Sawyer and Mac Anderson

Bill and Cindy Shoobridge, Jon and Dianna Gandy and Teri and David Graf

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Andrea Marquez and Cambria Ullrich

Mike Boyer, Kelli Davis, James Banks and Javier Bermea

Michael Meyers, Bob Twist, Spike Lackey and Junior Kennedy


(855) 393-2840 www.motorcitywest.com

The Bakersfield Californian Scholarship reception

Brenda, Nathan and Steven Mayer

Felix Adamo and Ginger Moorhouse

Steve and Connie Uthenwoldt

Shanan Mallard, John Wells and Nancy Chaffin

Simona and Claudia Gavrilescu and John Arthur

June 21 Held at The Bakersfield Californian Photos by Rodney Thornburg View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Betty Weir and Alexander Horvath

Richard Beene, Natalie and Camille Horvath and Ginger Moorhouse

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Team Tigerfight fundraiser June 23 Held at Luigi’s Restaurant Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Kim Ambriz and Skip Reynolds

Robert and Yasmin Apresa

Shelley Black and Paula Gordon

Mike and Shelby Wilson

Holly, Ryan and Chris Wilson

John Ensor, Chris Wilson, Scott Cruz, Curt Schommer and David Wagner

Larcy Hodges, Laurie Hillis, Linda McCarthy and Julie Lewis

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Stars and Stripes Chamber mixer June 23 Held at Bakersfield Marriott Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com Fabian Pina, Sal Saavedra and Joel Bock

Carol White and Ronnie McCoy

Rhea Odchigue, Katie Camp and Chantal Martinez

Bill and Kelli Lewis

Javier Pimentel and John V. Mathew

Anelisa and Telma Nichols, Carmen Hull, Enone Evans and Joyce Rush

Our beautiful restaurant and cozy banquet rooms are a perfect place to impress your business clients, celebrate with family, or have an elegant gathering for friends. Private Banquet Facilities Available for parties of 20 or more Celebrating 30 years of Fine Dining

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Onsite lab for same day repairs & relines 3301 19th Street • www.secondsmiledds.com • (661) 325-1263 bakersfieldlife.com

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Nick Moreno Make A Wish Memorial Golf Tournament June 22 Held at Rio Bravo Country Club Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Tammi Jo Marchland, Darrel Mills and Mary Moreno

Carlos Sanchez, Eddie Santiago and Freddy Perez

Michelle Baron, Darlene Denison, Matt Thompson and Elizabeth Lehr

Ron Womack, Steve Dent and Dennis McLean

Misty Jeffries and Lisa Bel

James Sweeten, Drew Bender, Jason Heintz and Matt Moreno

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Color Me Rad 5K June 30 Held at the Kern County Fairgrounds Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com Erin Gentry, Katie Millsap and Janna Horack

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54th CASA graduation July 10 Held at KCSOS City Centre Building Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Eva Billings and Linda Sullenger

Safira Arnold and Coretta Trulove

Maritza and Diana Cortez and Brianna Bravo

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August 2012

9870 Brimhall Rd. #100 Bakersfield, CA 93312 (661)588-8725 Fax (661)588-8749

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Irish Heritage Club one-year anniversary

Sandi Belcher and Mike Mosley

Kenny Mount and Sean Moran

Natalie, McKenna and Melissa Mount

Matt Ruiz and Alissa Morrow

July 14 Held at the Irish Heritage Club of Bakersfield Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Tracy, Page and Chris Bell

Great Castle Chinese Restaurant David Butler, Marcia Yule, Tara Michaels and Kathy Butler

How will your child get to school this year?

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32 Years Of Exceptional

Chinese Mandarin Cuisine “Great Castle can be recommended for a Fine Dining Experience” - Pete Tittl Open 7 Days a Week Lunch and Dinner Gift Certificates Available BICYCLING FOR EVERYDAY TRANSPORTATION

410 Union Ave. • Phone (661)325-3311 bakersfieldlife.com

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Westchester Fourth of July Parade July 4 Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Kuzana and Wade Ogg

Leah, Julie, Matthew, and Mary Kim Park

Emma Meek, Scott and Ava Whittaker and Olivia Meek

Jackson and Kelly Wonderly

Victoria Vigstrom, Sarah Wilkins, Grace Vigstrom and Gabrielle Wilkins

THANK YOU BAKERSFIELD for your more than 50 years of support

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Summer, Christen and Christian Clark


Bad Bulls Professional Bull Riding July 4 Held at Tehachapi Rodeo Grounds Photos by Gregory D. Cook View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Riley Supertino and Kellie, Charlotte, Gracie and Scott Foulk

Loreli Talbot, Jimmy Montoya and Donnette Haddad

Cierra and Nathan Smith

Lisa and Robert Kurugian

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Bakersfield Life

August 2012

Cpl. Tamayo, Pvt. Onsurez, Pfc. Lopez and Sgt. Rodarte


BEING A KID IS AN IMPORTANT JOB. Right now, designing outfits is something she does for fun. Tomorrow, it might just be a hobby. But someday, it will be the thing she’s known for. And Children’s Hospital Central California wants her to get there. That’s why we have the best doctors and nurses trained to work specifically with kids, using the best equipment designed just for kids.

She may never need to go to the hospital. But if she does… Children’s stands ready to return her to the business of being a kid.

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Inside Story

A.D. Edmonston Pumping Plant Compiled by Gabriel Ramirez Photos courtesy of Department of Water Resources The State Water Project, spanning more than 600 miles from Northern California to Southern California, includes 34 storage facilities, 20 pumping plants, four pumping-generating plants, five hydroelectric power plants, and 701 miles of canals and pipelines. Arthur D. Edmonston was a former California state engineer and chief of the Division of Water Resources from 1950 to 1955. He directed the early planning of the State Water Project.

Gov. Ronald Reagan was on hand to start the first pump in 1971. Completed in 1974, A. D. Edmonston

Pumping Plant, which is located near the Grapevine pass, is the highest lift pumping plant in the State Water Project. It also has the highest lift per volume in the world. With 14 pumps rated at 320 cubic feet per second, Edmonston lifts water 1,926 feet to cross the Tehachapi Mountains in a series of tunnels and inverted siphons.

The A.D. Edmonston Pumping Plant stands at the foot of the Grapevine.

Minimizing earthquake risks The project alignment crosses the Garlock Fault and numerous other faults, while the San Andreas Fault passes 5.5 miles from the south portal (outlet) of the Tehachapi crossing’s tunnel system. To withstand earthquake shocks, the foundation of the plant rests on bedrock, allowing the facility to “float” on the rock surface.

About 142,000 gallons of water

flow through each pump during every minute. An acre-foot (about 326,000 gallons, the average amount of water up to two families use in a year) is pumped in little over two minutes. At full capacity operation, the quantity of water moved would be almost 2 million gallons a minute. Each pump is a vertical shaft standing more than 65 feet high and weighing 420 tons. 182

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Pumps are a four-stage, centrifugal unit powered by an 80,000 horse-

power synchronous motor. The huge electric motors turn the pumps, which consist of four impellers rotating on a single shaft. Water spiraling up through the pump increases in pressure by more than 30 times before it is finally released to the discharge line. When operating, each motor-pump unit normally uses about 60 mil-

lion watts, enough power to light up 600,000 100-watt lightbulbs. About 946 miles of wire and cable were used for the plant’s electrical systems. Approximately 190,000 cubic yards of reinforced concrete were used

in the plant, enough to pave nearly 30 miles of a four-lane highway. When initially completed, only 11 of the 14 pumps were installed. Four of the 11 were built by Allis-Chalmers and seven were built by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton. In the early 1980s, the three remaining pumps, built by J. M. Voith, were installed. Due to declining efficiency caused by nearly continuous operation, the Allis-Chalmers pumps are being replaced with new pumps designed and built by Hitachi America, Ltd. Source: Darren Choyce, chief HEP operator, San Joaquin Field Division, state Department of Water Sources


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Bakersfield Life Magazine August 2012