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October 2016

www.bakersfieldlife.com

Wed local Photo galleries of hometown ceremonies

Art Sherwyn Painting with fire Leticia Perez, 5th District Supervisor $3.95

omen’s W THE

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I S S U E

local women shaping our community

• Links for Life’s Wall of Hope • Dining Divas hit EuroPhoria Spa • Woman’s Club’s storied past


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Stockdale Kitchen and Bath is a full service remodeling company locally owned by Rick and Shawna Sorci . We realize what a big decision it is to remodel your home, and it can be overwhelming. At Stockdale Kitchen and Bath, we do our best to help every step of the way. Rick Sorci is a Certified Designer with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, with over 25 Years of experience. At Stockdale Kitchen and Bath, we design with you in the latest design software like you see on HGTV. This helps you get a true picture of what we can achieve. From design to completion, we are there to help. Rick even shops with all the clients to make sure that everything is taken care of. Call today for a In-Home design appointment!

See us on Facebook and view our good reviews.

Actual Remodels


OCTOBER 2016

FEATURES Wall of Hope For the thousands who have survived breast cancer, we raise a toast to you and celebrate another year of being cancer-free.

Page 60

PHOTO BY PATRICK ANG PHOTOGRAPHY

Women Moving Bakersfield

Meet the women making strides in Bakersfield’s present to brighten its future.

Page 67

Local Weddings

Get inspiration for your big day from these locals who said “I do.”

Page 82

Local artists create masterpieces to be showcased around the community.

PHOTO COURTESY OF APRIL MASSIRIO

PHOTO BY LAURA LIERA

“Driven by Art” Page 90

Street Party

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAKERSFIELD MUSEUM OF ART

Enjoy an evening out with friends and mingle with other young professionals.

Page 92

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October 2016


We Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.

Rodriguez & Associates celebrates the local women and men who have survived breast cancer.

Accidents I Personal Injury I Wrongful Death

(661) 323-1400

www.rodriguezlaw.net Best Lawyer Daniel Rodriguez Statistics from www.breastcancer.org

Best Law Firm Rodriguez & Associates


OCTOBER 2016

DEPARTMENTS Up Front - 15 Are you planning a local wedding? Get some tips on different venues around town.

Eat & Drink - 27

PHOTO BY GREG NICHOLS

The Dining Divas did something different this time. They went to EuroPhoria Spa for some pampering. Check out what treatments they got on page 27. If you want to try out a new recipe, try filet mignon cubes with whiskey sauce from Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar.

27

Lifestyles - 32 Test-drive the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia Denali on page 40.

Go & Do - 42 Enjoy live music, food and a health fair at the annual GospelFest at The Park at River Walk.

BWell - 50 Congratulations to Katie and Nick, who were married Sept. 17. See the final results of their "Journey to the Altar" on page 50.

47 104

36 Up Front 15 The Big Picture 16 Money Matters 18 My Pet 20 12 Things You Didn’t Know About ... 22 Arts & Culture 23 Short Takes 24 Happenings

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Eat & Drink 27 Dining Divas 30 What’s Cooking Lifestyles 32 What’s Haute 34 Pastimes 36 Home & Garden 40 On The Road

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Go & Do 42 Entertainment 45 Out & About 47 Trip Planner BWell 50 Journey to the Alter 52 Your Body 54 Feature - In the Shadows

October 2016

56 Health Business Profile 58 Love & Life People & Community 94 Business Profiles 98 Bakersfield Matters 99 Family Verdict 100 Personality 102 All-Star Athlete

104 Real People 105 Talk of the Town 106 For A Cause 107 Philanthropy Matters 108 Hometown Heroes 110 Inside Story 112 History 114 Prime Finds 116 SNAP! 122 Last Word

People & Community - 94 Bakersfield female duo seeks to make a global impact with personal fragrance line.


STAFF SHARES Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine October 2016 / Vol. 11 / Issue 1 Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by TBC Media Publisher Ginger Moorhouse Associate Publisher Virginia Cowenhoven President/CEO Michelle Chantry

ON THE COVER

Chief Marketing Officer Mike Skrocki

Leticia Perez, 5th District supervisor, is an example of local women working through the highs and lows of life and never giving up on their dreams to make their community a better place.

Sales Manager Joey Zachary Sales Manager Tamarra Harms Market Research Jose Granados

Coming Next…

Assistant Managing Editor Mark Nessia

Men and Auto issue

Specialty Publications Coordinator Laura Liera

To Advertise,

contact Mike Skrocki at mskrocki@ bakersfield.com or 395-7563.

Art Director Glenn Hammett Graphic Designer Holly Bikakis Editorial Intern Rhiannon Stroberg

Bakersfield Life Magazine is 10 years old! Thank you to our readers for helping us celebrate the people, places, events, culture and lifestyle that make our city a special place to live. See where it takes you.

Subscribe – The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month and available with The Californian through its digital subscription. For business subscriptions, please call 392-5777. 10

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

Photography Felix Adamo, Boone and Stacie Photography, Casey Christie, Jeanette Ennis, Mariel Hannah, Andrew Hawley, Jonah and Lindsay Photography & Film, Jori C. Kinney Photography, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Patrick Ang Photography, Carla Rivas, Jan St Pierre Contributing writers Teresa Adamo, Kristen Beall Barnes, Heather Frank, Olivia Garcia, Nina Ha, Hillary Haenes, Jennifer Henry, Lisa Kimble, Stephen Lynch, Shelby Parker, Ricki Peace, Julie Plata, Katy Raytis, Elana Stafford, Chris Thornburgh

What is a funny moment you witnessed at a wedding? “At our own wedding, our pastor asked my husband, ‘Do you take Nadia to be your lawfully wedded wife?’ My name is Nina. Nadia was one of my bridesmaids!” – ­Nina Ha, contributing writer “My father-in-law jumping over a wall to go to a restaurant the night before our wedding with the groomsmen. It was 4 feet tall on their side and 10 feet tall on the other side. He had a big scab on his nose for pictures.” – Holly Bikakis, graphic designer “The best man ripping the shirts of the other groomsmen on the dance floor. I’m pretty sure none of them got their security deposits back on their rentals.” – Mark Nessia, assistant managing editor “When I was 15, I sang at a family friend’s wedding. People started to giggle and laugh; I couldn’t understand what was happening. As soon as I finished, I backed away out of sight and just cried! I found out that the groom’s fraternity brothers had written ‘HELP ME’ in red paint on the soles of his shoes, which showed while kneeling during my solo.” – Connie Uthenwoldt, advertising account executive  “My aunt bugging the DJ to play “Sugar” by Maroon 5 at my cousin’s wedding. She started asking me to ask the DJ to play it and when he finally played it, she started screaming. I’m pretty sure he bought the song just for her because he didn’t have it.” – Tamarra Harms, sales manager

We want to hear from you – Send comments or letters to the editor to Mark Nessia at mnessia@bakersfield.com. Please include name, city and phone number. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and to excerpt them.

Contact us – 1707 Eye St. Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-395-7500


IT’S THE BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE FOR MYSELF. I’ve always been good about doing healthy things for myself, but getting a Heart Health Checkup was one of the best. The checkup was simple and fast, and I learned things about heart disease I never knew. Did you know your heart age can be older than your actual age? Neither did I! I feel a lot better knowing my risk factors for heart disease and the things I can do to prevent it. You will too, with a Heart Health Checkup at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital Women’s Heart Center.

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OCTOBER 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE

(WO)MAN UP!

Mark Nessia

Assistant Editor 395-7383 mnessia@bakersfield.com

Back when I was in elementary school, being called a girl by your peers was considered a huge insult. Today, I’m not so sure. Just take a look at this year’s Olympics in Rio. Of the 121 total medals accumulated by the U.S., 61 were earned by women, including 27 of the 46 American gold medals. Simone Biles captured the heart of a nation as she racked up four golds and a bronze en route to becoming the most decorated U.S. gymnast ever in a single Olympics. Katie Ledecky took home four golds and a silver while smashing the world record in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles. And they’re both just 19 years old. Calling someone a girl today could very well be a compliment. It used to be that telling someone, “Don’t be a girl,” called his character into question. But when you take a look at the Wall of Hope starting on page 61, you’ll see what true bravery looks like. When you read about Alecia Dunham, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is receiving guidance and support from her mother, Elana Stafford, a breast cancer survivor, you’ll see strength and determination. And when you hear about Corinne Ruiz, who overcame tragedy and is now advocating for automated external defibrillators to be placed in schools

across Kern County so other families can avoid the same pain she went through, you’ll see inspiration. This issue also highlights art and weddings, but it really celebrates women – the daughters, sisters, wives and mothers – who are some of the strongest, most courageous and caring people in our community. They make great role models for the young and the old, regardless of gender. Times have changed and women are leading the way. As Kristen Beall Barnes writes: “Today, women control 51 percent of the United States’ personal wealth, while representing majority ownership in 38 percent of private business. Increased wealth among women has resulted in a surge of committed women philanthropists who are fulfilling their desire for involvement and change – and it’s happening right here in Kern County!” Prime examples of that are Alycia McCain and Kristin Smith of Smith & McCain Fragrances. Not only are they empowering women by instilling confidence, beauty and desirability in them with their perfume, The Invitation, but a portion of each bottle sold goes to Magdalene Hope, a local organization that outreaches to victims of human trafficking. So the next time someone calls me out for “being a girl,” I might just tell them thank you.

Connect with us – bakersfieldlfe.com facebook.com/BakersfieldLifeMagazine Instagram/bakersfield_life twitter.com/BakersfieldLife

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WO R D ON T HE ST REET

O N TH E WE B

Who is your female role model and why?

THE BIG DAY

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Devin Salcedo: My Spanish teacher in high school Maricoco Ward because aside from being a great teacher, she instilled discipline and important characteristics in me and she taught me to be well-spoken.

Josepf Castro: Michelle Obama because she’s a family oriented person and she inspires people through technology by reaching out to kids about eating healthy through videos.

Natalie Beltran: My mom because I’ve seen her go through some things and with having three kids, she’s done it all by herself; it’s impressive.

Ray Saavedra: My old professor Lindsay Purtle, because she was the first person to make me enjoy college.

Lizbeth Beltran: Currently, it would be Michelle Obama because she’s successful, independent and she’s just doing her thing.

Claire Savage: Emilie Graslie because she is a woman in STEM and she worked for the natural history museum and she’s very vocal about things I’m interested in.

Chris Craddock: Mother Theresa because she wasn’t swayed by petty worldly concerns. She stayed on her path of helping other people, not to be famous or to be a saint.

Patricia Cook: I like Diane Lane. I’ve heard her talk before and she’s a kind person, a great actress and I like the way she carries herself in public.

Yaritza Castro: Ellen Page because she came out as a lesbian late in her life and it took a long time for me to come out, too.

Hannah Savage: My mom because she homeschooled us, and she not only taught us how to learn, but also how to question things.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

We asked our readers to send in a photo of their wedding day or anniversary. Cheers!

Don and Rose Foster Married June 18, 1966. Celebrating 50 years.

Cassie and Aaron Rector Eloped May 24, 2004. This was taken on the Redondo Beach Pier.

Gabe and Tina Ulloa Married Feb. 13, 2016.

Michael and Andrea Hansen Married Oct. 12, 2013.

Next issue:

Your car and why you love it Are you really satisfied with your car and just love driving it around town? Share with us a photo of your car for our Men and Auto issue and tell us what you love about your car, truck or SUV. Send your photo to bakersfieldlife@ bakersfield.com titled “My Car” along with your name, year and make of your car by Oct. 7.


UP FRONT

Check out what’s happening in October around town on page 24.

PHOTO BY FELIX ADAMO

The Big Picture / Money Matters / My Pet / 12 Things / Arts & Culture / Happenings

SHOWING SOME TEETH AT BC FOOTBALL Bakersfield College running back La Meshio Hill battles it out with his opponents. The Renegades (2-0) beat Chaffey College (0-2), 45-35, in their home opener at Memorial Stadium Saturday, Sept. 10.

www.Bakersfield.com

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Up Front MON EY M AT T ERS

TAX MYTHS YOU SHOULD KNOW By Chris Thornburgh You hear it at the office, in the break room, at parties – even your best friend is talking about it. Tax advice you hear out and about may actually be a common tax myth. Yet a number of myths can leave believers at a disadvantage. Here’s a closer look at some circulating tax myths and what you can do to come out ahead with your 2016 tax planning.

A PAY RAISE CAN COST YOU MONEY BECAUSE IT PUSHES YOU INTO A HIGHER TAX BRACKET Some people mistakenly believe that receiving additional income will cause all of their income to be taxed at a higher tax bracket. They worry they’ll pay more taxes and actually have less money left over than if they had earned less income. Understand that only your additional income exceeding the tax bracket threshold is taxed at the higher rate. Income you earn below the threshold continues to be taxed at lower tax brackets. When in doubt, have a tax professional run projections for you.

WORK CLOTHES ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE If you have to buy a new suit for the job, it seems believable that it is a tax deduction. However, if your work clothes can double as street or evening clothes, the IRS says no-go. To claim a deduction, the clothes must be specifically required by your employer and unsuitable for everyday wear.

MONEY YOU INHERIT IS TAXABLE TO YOU The IRS does not impose an inheritance tax on money you receive. If there is a tax to be paid, it is paid by the estate of the person who died. There are only a handful of states that have some kind of inheritance tax and California is not one of them. On a similar note, you do not pay tax on gifts you receive. Conversely, gifts you give to another person are not deductible. You can gift up to $14,000 each to any number of individuals per year without triggering gift reporting requirements.

Dec. 31. Whether you aim to minimize your taxes, improve your chances for a loan or increase your retirement funding, year-end consulting with a tax professional is often a wise move. Strategies become very limited after year-end, so take advantage of this last quarter to get organized and informed.

SPEND TO SAVE It’s common for businesses to spend everything possible by Dec. 31 to reduce taxable income. If you need equipment or other items, it’s often smart to make those purchases by year-end. But spending just to spend is not always wise. Most people pay less than a third of their income in income taxes, so a tax deduction only saves a fraction of the cost. Why spend a dollar to save 30 cents? If it makes economic sense, then it’s a good tax-reduction strategy.

FILING FOR AN EXTENSION INCREASES YOUR AUDIT RISK Let’s put this myth to bed. Studies have never found any correlation between filing a tax extension and winning the audit lottery. If anything, filing for an extension reduces your audit risk because you have extra time to prepare a more accurate tax return void of red flags. Moreover, less than 1 percent of tax returns are audited for income under $200,000.

THE BOTTOM LINE Tax laws can be complex, so it is understandable that there are so many tax myths. The expertise of a tax professional can help you sort fact from fiction.

I DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MY TAXES UNTIL IT’S TIME TO FILE Taking this approach has big disadvantages. You have a better shot at reducing costs and achieving your goals if you know where you stand before

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

Chris Thornburgh

Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at cthornburgh@bacpas.com or 3244971. The views expressed in this column are her own.


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Up Front MY P ET

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

THIS MONTH’S SHELTER PET

If you are interested in adopting Tank or any of the animals at the Bakersfield Animal Care Center, visit 201 S. Mount Vernon Ave. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. All animals are microchipped, vaccinated, spayed/neutered and flea treated.

TANK Sweet, social & loving 18

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

• • • •

Pit bull-bulldog mix About 3 years old Came to the shelter July 23 Weighs 48 pounds but it’s “mostly head”

• Great “family dog” – loves kids and other dogs • Loves to play but can also be lazy • A yard for him to roam is ideal


Up Front 12 TH I N G S YO U D I DN’T KN OW A B O U T…

Choosing a local wedding venue Compiled by Bakersfield Life

PHOTO BY PATRICK ANG PHOTOGRAPHY

With 10 years of event planning experience, Katie Camp of Katie Camp Soirée knows a thing or two about selecting the perfect wedding venue. While destination weddings are a popular choice among couples, there are plenty of gems to choose from right in our own backyard.

1

The Gardens at Mill Creek is a beautiful outdoor setting that can easily accommodate a ceremony and reception.

2 Democrat Hot Springs, up the canyon, is an “all-inclusive” location due to the cabins, multiple event locations and kitchen available on the property. 3

Bakersfield Museum of Art is an incredible venue for events of all kinds.

4

Metro Galleries offers tables and chairs with its venue (instant money saved) and has a great partnership with Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar, which is just across the street.

5

Elements at the Ice House is an all-inclusive venue that provides DJ, food, drinks, lighting, etc. It’s a simple one-stop shop with beautiful brick walls and a great old bar.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

6

Bakersfield Country Club provides a serene atmosphere with a view of the lake and can accommodate a large event – especially great for weddings with split cocktail hour, ceremony and large reception space.

7

Park Place in Shafter is a bit of a drive from Bakersfield, but the atmosphere is a very unique space – a rustic barn, surrounded by almond orchards and its own private lake, making for incredible photos.

8

Formerly known as the Bell Tower Club, The Ivy is a beautifully converted old church, featuring a stunning courtyard for intimate ceremonies, a full bar and Mediterranean-style food.

9

The Westchester has been converted into a beautiful dual-event space, with gorgeous new flooring, granite counters and stunning chandeliers.

10 Temblor Brewing, although a more

masculine space, offers a unique and different atmosphere for a more low-key event or even a casual wedding space.

11 The Junior League of Bakersfield building is a central location with a unique offering downtown. The backdrop of a 100-year-old building is just stunning in photographs. 12

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and use spaces that are not normal event venues (with the owner’s permission, of course). An outdoor hillside for a pop-up ceremony location, an old rustic barn transformed into a dreamy wedding reception spot, even basements are easily converted into anything.


Up Front ART S & C U LT U RE

THIS MONTH’S PICKS

Theater “Frankly”

The Bakersfield Community Theatre will begin its 89th season with the world premiere of “Frankly,” in which the actors presenting the first stage adaptation of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s book “Frankenstein” in 1823 are confronted three days before opening by the irate author herself. When: Oct. 14 to 29 Where: 2400 S. Chester Ave. Price: $100 for season tickets

Exhibits

Edward Reep: “Eight Decades of Painting” Framing Edward Reep: “A War Artist’s Journey to Bologna 1944-1945”

Celebrating 60 Years: “The Life and Work of Marion CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Osborn Cunningham

Where: Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. Dates: Sept. 1 to Jan. 8

Entertainment Wine, Women & Shoes

Heels on. Glasses up. Enjoy the afternoon with your girlfriends at this annual event that benefits CASA of Kern County. There will be wine, hors d’oeuvres, the latest shoes and accessories, auction items and a fashion show. All proceeds raised will help the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County continue to speak and be advocates for abused and neglected children in the juvenile

dependency process. Visit kerncasa.org to get your tickets. Date: Oct. 1 Price: $125 or $175 VIP Where: Location is given after registration Time: 2 to 6 p.m.

MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE RELEASES IN OCTOBER

“The Girl on the Train”

“Inferno”

Source: Movie Insider

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”

“Max Steel”

“Kevin Hart: What Now?”

“The Birth of a Nation”


SHORT TA K ES

Bring the whole family down for a fun-filled day and night at the annual Greek Food Festival. St. George Orthodox Church is hosting its annual Greek Food Festival on Oct. 15, from 5 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 16, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Oct. 17, from noon to 6 p.m. Come enjoy various Greek delicacies, including barbecue, coffee and pastries from several Greek tavernas. Experience live Greek entertainment and enjoy the shopping, bounce houses and church tours available as well. Admission is $5 and children under 12 are free. For more information, visit St. George Orthodox Church on Facebook or go to stgeorgebakersfield.com. – Bakersfield Life

Popular barbecue fundraiser benefits homeless shelter St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Center in East Bakersfield will host its Fourth Annual Fall Barbecue on Oct. 6. The center, which relies on donations, has been feeding upward of 200 men, women and children two hot meals a day for decades. Several hundred thousand dollars have been raised since the first barbecue fundraiser in 2013 to update the facility,

including security, cameras and fencing. Doors at the 316 Baker St. facility open at 5 p.m. for the event, and Gary Icardo and his crew will begin serving Harris Ranch New York steaks from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased by calling 323-2942 or 872-1543. Complimentary valet parking, drive-thru and takeout are available. – Bakersfield Life

12th Annual Dolores Huerta Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic Dust off your golf clubs and spend a day celebrating an iconic Kern County woman: Dolores Huerta. The 12th Annual Dolores Huerta Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic will be on Friday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Links at RiverLakes

Ranch. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to improve academic outcomes through student and parent empowerment and community engagement. Past celebrities golfing for a cause have included Eva Longoria, Benjamin

Bratt, Rosario Dawson, George Lopez and much more. Admission and sponsorship range from $100 to $20,000. For more information, contact Martha Leon at 322-3033 or mleon@doloreshuerta.org. – Bakersfield Life

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

THREE DAYS OF GREEK DELICACIES, ENTERTAINMENT

Joseph Ribkoff trunk show at Sugardaddy’s Sugardaddy’s will be holding a Joseph Ribkoff trunk show Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 5512 Stockdale Highway. Joseph Ribkoff’s high-end collection of body-contouring jackets, silhouette-fitting pants, figure-flattering dresses and more will be on display. In addition, all in-store inventory will be 20 percent off that day only and hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be available during the event. For more information, call 325-8300. – Bakersfield Life

www.Bakersfield.com

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Up Front HAPPENINGS

October

Find more community events at bakersfieldlife.com or submit yours via email to bakersfieldlife@bakersfield. com or via our Facebook page: Bakersfield Life Magazine.

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

Celebrating 20 years of supporting the mission and vision of the CSUB Alumni Association, Party in the Park returns to CSUB Alumni Park Oct. 21 with a Latin Nights theme. Party in the Park is centered on connecting CSUB with its alumni and community, raising money for alumni scholarships, membership outreach and mentoring opportunities. This year’s event features more than 15 wines and 15 craft brews, Latin cuisine from local restaurants and live entertainment courtesy of Mento Buru. Presale tickets range from $25 to $60. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $75 for VIP at the door. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for VIP and 6:30 p.m. for general admission. For more information, contact Sarah Hendrick at 654-3370 or shendrick@csub. edu. – Bakersfield Life

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF CONNECTING CSUB ALUMNI, COMMUNITY

Oct. 1 13th Annual Walk to Defeat ALS, 3-mile walk to raise awareness, 8 a.m. The Park at River Walk, 11298 Stockdale Highway. For donations, visit walktodefeatals.org.

Wine, Women and Shoes, 2 p.m., location given after registration. $125, $175 VIP. kerncasa.org. 24

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

Oct 4 10th Anniversary Celebration for Flood Ministries, dinner and entertainment, 6:30 p.m., The Bridge Bible Church, 12225 Stockdale Highway. $75. For tickets, contact kim@ floodbako.com.

Oct. 6 The Lacs, 6 p.m., Prohibition 1933, 7900 Downing Ave. $15. vallitix.com.

Words Come to Life, food, silent auction, 5:30 p.m., Metro Galleries, 1604 19th St. $5 donation. Marty Stuart, Ben Haggard and Noel Haggard, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $40-$100. etix.com.

Oct. 5 Corey Smith, 7:30 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $20. vallitix.com.

Oct. 7 Boys & Girls Club of Kern County Farm to Table, food, auctions, raffles, 6 p.m., Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. $150. RSVP at 325-3730.

Anjelah Johnson, 8 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $35-$73. etix.com.


Explore Kern County’s past Discover Kern’s history at “Kern County at 150: Exploring Our Region’s Past” presented by California State University, Bakersfield, and the Public History Institute on Oct.15 at the CSUB campus. This free event will be held in the Dezember Reading Room of the Walter Stiern Library from 8 a.m. until noon. There will be a reception with informa-

Oct. 8 Kern County Cancer Run/Walk, 7 a.m., Yokuts Park, Empire Drive. $35. 862-7136.

tion on the presentations, with topics ranging from the Isabella Dam project to punk music in 1980s Bakersfield. Keynote speaker Phillip Garone of CSU Stanislaus will be speaking at 11 a.m. For more information, call 654-6263 or send an email to scarson2@csub.edu. – Bakersfield Life

Sunday, Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $15-$60. rabobankarena.com. Oct. 14 “Frankly,” a theatrical experience put on by the Bakersfield Community Theatre. Running Oct. 14-29. $100 for a season ticket. bakersfieldcommunitytheatre.org. Oct. 15 Dust Bowl Festival, food, entertainment, games, 8 a.m., Sunset School, 8301 Sunset Blvd. Free. Oct. 18 VIPink featuring Aliza

Bakersfield Cactus & Succulent Society's 17th Annual Show Sale, 10 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday, St. Paul's Church, 2216 17th St. Free. Kern County Probation Department’s Relay for Life Team Annual Craft Fair, 10 a.m., East Bakersfield Veteran Hall, 2101 Ridge Road. Free. craftingforacurerfl@yahoo.com.

McCracken, inspiration artist and author, 5:30 p.m., AIS Cancer Center, 2620 Chester Ave. RSVP at 637-8321. Free. Oct. 29 WWE Presents NXT Live, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $20-$75. rabobankarena. com. Oct. 30 Ladies Afternoon Tea in the Garden, food, beverages, music, silent auction, 2 p.m., The Noriega House, 1325 Baker St. $40 or $300 for a table of 8. eventbrite. com.

Gala event for Olivia’s Heart Project Dress in your best outfit and enjoy fine dining at the Heart of Gold Gala on Saturday, Oct. 22, at The Bistro at Four Points by Sheraton. The gala is hosted by Olivia’s Heart Project – a nonprofit organization that raises sudden cardiac arrest awareness in children and young adults through community heart screenings, education and increased accessibility to life-saving automated external defibrillators. Since 2013, the organization has placed 123 AEDs in Kern County schools and continues to advocate for surrounding areas. The annual gala is an evening to hear from survivors and founder, Corinne Ruiz. There will be cocktails, food catered by The Bistro, raffles and live entertainment. Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a table of eight. Sponsorships are available. For more information, call 331-9157 or visit oliviasheartproject.org. – Bakersfield Life

Oct. 13 Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure, different times Thursday through www.Bakersfield.com

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Eat & Drink DINING DIVAS

Top: Dining Divas, from left: Kathryn Mears, Michele Bryant, Nima Patel, Trish Reed and Carla Barrientos. Right: No day at the spa is complete without strawberries and champagne.

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EUROPHORIA Medical & Personal Spa A day at the spa Compiled by Bakersfield Life

Photos by Greg Nichols

The Divas did something a little different this month. They set their forks, spoons and knives aside and, instead, allowed themselves to be pampered at EuroPhoria Medical & Personal Spa for a night. Read about their experience and don’t be surprised if your dialing the spa’s number to book your spa day.

EuroPhoria Medical & Personal Spa 9500 Brimhall Road, #707 Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday 661-847-4772 www.europhoria.com

Carla Barrientos on the custom therapeutic massage: This hourand-a-half massage included hot stones and Magsoothium, a cream made of natural ingredients, including arnica montana, which has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes sore muscles – all of which was music to my ears. My masseuse made sure to ask me about my trouble spots and the amount of pressure I’d like her to use. She applied medium pressure and worked out all the knots I had throughout my shoulders and

back. I was so relaxed that I nearly fell asleep. After the massage, I felt calm, rejuvenated and inquisitive. Nima Patel on the DermaSweep, Lifting Code and hydrating facial: The DermaSweep is a specialty facial that is reparative and revitalizing. This was much needed after a weekend in the sun at Bass Lake. The sweep focused on gently peeling off the dead outer layer of my skin. Then the next step was the Lifting Code, which moisturized and tightened my skin. The facial included many steps and phases. I have to say my favorite part was the mask. This wasn’t like an ordinary mask – my face was basically mummy wrapped and in the 20 minutes I waited for it to do its magic, I received one of the most amazing massages I have every had. Immediately following this facial, my face was glowing. When I woke Continued on page 28

www.Bakersfield.com

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The Dining Divas waiting for their appointments.

Continued from page 27

up the next morning I did something I have NEVER done: I went to work without makeup on. I NEVER leave my house without makeup on, but I couldn’t bear to put makeup on my face when it

was glowing, looked so fresh and felt so hydrated. Trish Reed on the draining body treatment: Don’t let the name scare you off this treatment. Draining the body will improve microcirculation and

reduce water retention and eliminate excess fluid via osmosis. To start, my body was treated to a thick, sweet-smelling body scrub massaged into the skin. Then, once my body was cleaned, a thick mud mask was applied with a soft brush. Then my first-class therapist cocooned me in a heavy warming blanket for 20 minutes while I was treated to a head and scalp treatment. This treatment is entirely devoted to the scalp and head to assist in stimulating circulation, ease stress and discomfort from headaches and migraines, and help to promote healthy hair growth. When the massage was finished, I headed to the shower to scrub the mask off. Returning to my spa room, I was given a Thermo Slim and a slimming cell treatment to all typical areas where bloating and water retention occur. I was given a lymphatic massage to work the products into my system. It was warm, tingly and invigorating. Kathryn Mears on the intense pulse light treatment:

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October 2016

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This treatment is known as the photo facial. I was apprehensive about doing such an intense treatment but after consulting with the registered nurse and reading over the pros and cons, I decided to go forth with the treatment. This noninvasive treatment is intended to erase skin damage. Over the years, I have acquired sunspots and large pores. This treatment improves sun-damaged skin, eliminating brown and red discoloration caused from sun exposure. It begins with a gentle cleansing of the skin, application of a topical anesthesia all over the face and then a cooling gel. My eyes were covered for protection. A smooth, wandlike hand piece was pressed carefully across my skin. The wand delivers a calibrated pulse of intense light, giving me a tiny snapping

rubber band sensation. The treatment itself took about 15 to 20 minutes. Results from the treatment take a week or two and the effects can last for a year or longer. Michele Bryant on the DermaSweep facial: My aesthetician took the time to ask me about my skin. She asked about allergies and sensitivities and showed a genuine interest in what improvements I would like to see on my skin. She was extremely knowledgeable in explaining the treatment and was careful to use the product that matched my sensitive skin type. The DermaSweep is a procedure that revitalizes and repairs skin that is damaged from sun, acne and aging. They use exfoliation and suction to remove dead skin while stimulating new growth underneath.

Clockwise: Nima, Kathryn, Carla and Michele.

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Eat & Drink WHAT’S COOKING

CHEF’S CHOICE NOODLE BAR

Thai Cook Night at Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar Chef's Choice Noodle Bar hosts cook nights at the end of every month, allowing “future chefs” to enjoy a night of live interactive cooking demonstrations. The next cook night dates are Oct. 26 and 27, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and participants will make pho noodles, cauliflower stir-fry with shrimp, and garlic cod. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Cost is $45 per individual or $80 per pair. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 661-325-1234.

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October 2016


Chef Preeda Piamfa

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

CHEF’S CHOICE NOODLE BAR

Filet mignon cubes with whiskey sauce Recipe by Chef Preeda Piamfa

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

INGREDIENTS: • 10 ounces filet mignon cubed into 2-ounce pieces • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic • 1/4 cup onion, cubed • 1/4 cup bell pepper, cubed • 1/2 tablespoon Chinese white soy sauce • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce • 2 tablespoons half-and-half • Small cube of butter • Optional: 1/2 to 3/4 ounces of whiskey or bourbon DIRECTIONS: Mix fish sauce and soy sauce in a separate bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add filet mignon cubes. Flip after one minute and add garlic, onion and bell pepper and toss for an additional minute. Add fish sauce and soy sauce mixture and mix thoroughly. Add pepper and butter. Once the butter is melted, add half-and-half. Finish with a splash of bourbon or whiskey. Let the alcohol cook off before serving.

www.Bakersfield.com

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Lifestyles

WHAT’S HAUTE

Essentiels Spa Et Beauté Services: • Haircuts/styles for women, men and children • Color/highlights • Hair loss • Conditioning • Straightening • Hair extensions • Advanced skin care • Facials and peels • Waxing • Makeup and lashes • Nails • Massage • Sunless tanning • Packages

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October 2016


WHAT’S HAUTE

E Salon l Spa Services: • Haircuts/styles for women, men and children • Color/highlights • Hair loss • Conditioning • Straightening • Hair extensions • Facials • Peels • Waxing • Makeup and lashes • Nails • Special occasion • Massage and body treatments • Memberships • Packages and reward programs

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Lifestyles

PASTIMES

Where there’s smoke, THERE’S ART Artist creates unique pieces using unconventional method By Rhiannon Stroberg For retired Stockdale High School art teacher Art Sherwyn, inspiration for a new way to express his creativity was ignited by a single spark. Sitting at a campfire after a day of hiking and painting 34

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October 2016

landscapes, Sherwyn noticed the way the fire was interacting with the metal pan he was using to cook on. He took out some paper and placed the hot metal on it, watching it burn itself into shapes. From there, his idea for smoke art was born. After working the smoke with candlesandpropanetorches,along

with the various utensils he uses to get texture on the paper, Sherwyn uses an eraser to create the shapes he wants. “The smoke will give me the black, and then I have propane torches and I work the torch and it gives me browns," he said After 14 months of experimenting with smoke art, Sherwyn showcased his first major


exhibit for the Bakersfield Museum of Art. “It was only shown once and everyone was tripping on it big time,” Sherwyn said. “The game just took off; everybody seemed to like it, but then I came home and never exposed it again.”

Art is not just painting or drawing, art is quilting … art is the way you walk. It’s an incredible way to pass time. It’s a natural meditation. That’s why artists tend to be laid back because we’re doing stuff that’s laid back.

— Art Sherwyn

Sherwyn likes to remain humble about his work and states that he

isn’t one to brag about it because he is grateful for the experiences he has had and appreciates art in various forms of life. “Art is not just painting or drawing, art is quilting … art is the way you walk. It’s an incredible way to pass time. It’s a natural meditation. That’s why artists tend to be laidback because we’re doing stuff that’s laid-back,” he explained. Sherwyn likes to incorporate art into life and leadership and he believes that an artists is someone who can make the greatest impact in people's lives with the fewest heartbeats. “During the day when you’re going through stressful stuff, your heart speeds up,” he said. “But when you go to your art, whether it’s writing, music, art or exercise, your heart slows down and that’s the peace. I call it the art beat.” Sherwyn added that if you want to be an artist in life, you must be able to take the art beat out into society and learn to be calm and collected about things that are normally upsetting on a regular basis.

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Lifestyles

HOME & GARDEN

SKIP THE VENUE, plan a backyard wedding Tips on creating a dream wedding close to home By Laura Liera

Photos by Mariel Hannah

Planning a wedding, big or small, is no easy task. Without a venue, it’s tough to start planning. The search for the perfect, affordable venue is an even bigger mission. But lately, many brides have been skipping the added stress and planning backyard weddings that transform an everyday space into a picturesque backdrop. Lotta Rodriguez, the founder of Mint Design and event planner, said people are scaling back from traditional venue celebrations to more intimate settings. But scaling back doesn’t mean you can’t have an elegant wedding. “Backyard weddings are more relaxed,” she said. “People think they need flower petals down the aisle, but remember that less is more.” The attention to detail is what can set your wedding apart, even if it’s happening in a backyard. But before the bride and groom decide to skip a venue, Rodriguez said having the backyard location pinned down is key; that way you can move forward with table/ chair rentals, catering, dance floor rental and decorations. Once the backyard space is confirmed, next comes planning according to space. It’s at this stage that the guest list begins to take shape. Brides also should start Continued on page 38

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narrowing down their Pinterest wedding board. On average, Rodriguez said brides-to-be can have more than 200 photos on their Pinterest “inspiration” board. “I recommend they narrow it down to 50 photos,” she said. “If they give me that base, I can start seeing patterns and suggest ideas.” Transforming a backyard that is usually used as a space for barbecues is key to a magical outdoor retreat to host your wedding. If you have a pool, add carnations and floating candles. String lights to add to that romantic ambiance, along with lanterns. Add new pillows to your patio furniture to go with your wedding theme, Rodriguez suggested. And while you’re at it, plant new flowers in the garden and trim any shrubs that have been neglected. “You can scale back and still end up with a beautiful scenery for your dream wedding,” Rodriguez said.

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Lifestyles

ON THE ROAD

2017 GMC Acadia Denali Redesigned midsized SUV proves that sometimes less is more By Glenn Hammett Photos by Mark Nessia It’s no secret that cars are getting bigger. The pervading pattern seems to be to incrementally increase a model’s size until it outgrows a category, then introduce a new model to fill the void. The reason for this strategy is threefold. First, American car buyers expect improvements in cars each year – more performance, more technology and more com40

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October 2016

fort. Secondly, advancements in engine design and the introduction of lighter materials, like aluminum and carbon fiber, into bodies and structural components have made it possible to increase a car’s size while, at the same time, improving fuel economy. And, lastly, increasing a vehicle’s footprint means it is subject to less stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and helps car companies meet mandated federal goals. In a refreshing break from the

“bigger is better” mindset, GMC’s completely redesigned 2017 Acadia Denali is significantly smaller (7.2 inches shorter in length, 3.5 inches narrower and 6.6 inches shorter in height) and lighter (more than 700 pounds) than its predecessor and, arguably, substantially better. Though the slimmed down 2017 Acadia has a bit less cargo space than the beefier 2016 model, this is more than offset by improved acceleration, handling, braking and fuel economy. Add to this a


Price tag Base: $44,920 / As tested: 51,290 Fuel economy City: 25 / Highway: 18 / Combined: 21

new set of standard safety features and a much-improved infotainment system, and GMC has a winner on its hands that is on par with the best midsize SUVs. Other than a minor facelift in 2013, the Acadia has been unchanged since it was introduced in 2006 as a 2007 model at the end the George W. Bush administration. And the overhaul is apparent at first glance. A new, more integrated front end and a sleeker overall look highlight the attractive, upscale exterior. GMC’s popular top-of-the-line Denali trim level includes a dizzying list of standard luxury, safety and technology features. Heated and ventilated leather seats, tri-zone climate control, Bose eight-speaker sound system, parking assist, lane change and blind spot alert, and pedestrian detection are just a few of the amenities included at no extra

cost. I also liked the 8-inch touch screen with its large icons and extremely intuitive and responsive user interface. The interior is as functional as it is beautiful. The three rows of seats can be easily folded and configured in numerous combinations to accommodate just about any passenger/cargo scenario imaginable. The only options added to my test vehicle were a rear seat entertainment system (LCD screens/DVD players mounted on the back of the front headrests), dual sunroof and adaptive cruise control. While the 2016 Acadia received decent reviews, it was described by one reviewer as “slow and cumbersome,” and by another as “pokey.” By contrast, Cars.com’s Fred Meier described driving the leaner and meaner 2017 version

as “carlike and surprisingly agile” and illustrated the benefits of the SUV’s 700-pound weight loss as “akin to a pair of NFL tackles climbing out the back of the Acadia, and you feel it when driving.” The Acadia Denali is powered by a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine and gets a respectable 25 mpg on the highway and 18 in the city and, though I did not do any towing or hauling of heavy loads, its 310 horsepower produced strong, smooth acceleration on local freeways and surface streets. In an age of the incredible growing car, GMC wisely elected to swim against the current and reduce the size and weight of the Acadia for 2017 and the results are remarkable. It will be interesting to see if other carmakers follow suit. www.Bakersfield.com

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Go & Do ENTERTAINMENT

Eat, drink and be arty Artfest evolves into first-ever Farm to Table event By Ricki Peace and Heather Frank The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County’s famous event, Artfest, has grown up, and you are invited to the first-ever Farm to Table. The event will be held on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Co-chairs Heather Frank and Emily Salters are excited to bring you a fundraising event uniting Farm-to-table cuisine with the theatrical French 42

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October 2016

concept of tableaux vivant. Guests will enjoy the theatrics of local tableaux, learn the secrets of the Mystere Box Raffle, be amazed by the talented club kids’ artwork in the silent auction and enjoy locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine. Farm-to-table chefs rely on traditional farmhouse cooking, with its emphasis on freshness, seasonality, local availability and simple preparations in an artistic way. Tableaux vivant, French for “living pictures,” describes a group of costumed actors or artist’s models, representing scenes from literature, art, history or everyday life on a stage. They are carefully posed and theatrically lit. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County is a non-


profit organization that serves approximately 8,000 children a day among 10 school districts throughout Kern County. The clubs provide after-school programs to benefit the growth and success of the county’s future leaders, including arts, sports, nutrition and academia. Current event sponsors are: Active 20-30 Club, Bright House Networks, California Resources Corporation, San Joaquin Refining Company, Skarphol Associates, Tasteful Selections, Bellissima Medical Aesthetics, It’s Your Party Rentals, Rio Bravo Ranch, Pelletier Foundation, De Coeur Bake Shop and Instant Storage. Tickets, sponsorships and how you can be involved Farm to Table can be found online by When: Friday, Oct. 7, from 6 visiting mytinyurl.com/ to 9:30 p.m. fttkern. Where: Bakersfield Museum For more information, of Art, 1930 R St. call or email Ricki Peace at Price: Tickets are $150; only 325-3730 or rpeace@bg350 available. clubsofkerncounty.org.

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Go & Do

ENTERTAINMENT

GospelFest features A-level concert; free to public A full day of family, faith and fun

GospelFest Oct. 2 Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway Festival kicks off at 2:30 p.m., music starts at 3 Free admission

By Mark Nessia Headliner act Phil Wickham

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In the six years since its inception, no one has ever attended GospelFest and been disappointed they came. After all, what’s not to like about a full day of family, fun and faith that is entirely free? Now in its seventh year, GospelFest is a way for San Joaquin Community Hospital to give back to the community. “The original idea for GospelFest was that Bakersfield is a faithbased community and San Joaquin Community Hospital is a Christian hospital,” said Jimmy Phillips, executive director of marketing and communications for SJCH. “We thought, ‘How do we create an event that combines the mission of the organization but doesn’t require someone to be sick to see it?’” The event revolves around music and gives attendees a chance to see an A-level concert, visit local

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October 2016

vendors and increase their spiritual life. Every year, the event brings in a major record label Christian artist as the main act, as well as local musicians as openers. Working with Christian music station KAXL, this year’s event will feature Phil Wickham, a contemporary Christian musician from San Diego. Wickham has released nine CDs and his latest single, “Your Love Awakens Me,” came out earlier this year. Opening for Wickham are Discovery Church; Bakersfield First Assembly, led by Eyewitness News weather forecaster Aaron Perlman; and solo acts HillaryJane and Dylan Dunlap. This is the first time the event has featured solo performers as opening acts. HillaryJane meshes alternative Christian music with hip-hop flair and Dunlap is an indie rock performer who has been on “The Voice,” opened for popular artists

and collaborated with Disney stars. Based in Santa Monica, Dunlap actually made the trip to Bakersfield to audition. “It’s cool to draw artists from other areas who want to be part of the event as well,” Phillips said. Aside from the music, GospelFest will feature a wide array of games and vendors. The CSUB men’s basketball team, fresh off its WAC Tournament championship run and NCAA Tournament appearance, will hold shooting competitions with guests. Food trucks like The Curbside Kitchen and Pita Paradise will provide fun food options and local vendors like Fruitful Feet, which creates custom-designed TOMS shoes, and LuLaRoe will give visitors a chance for some retail therapy. The event will also feature a health fair, health screenings and health demos. It is a fun and interactive way for people to learn to care for themselves and others.


OUT & ABOUT

Left: Visitors at last year’s Via Arte. Below: Jacey Cruz won the festival award for Best Technique last year.

Chalk at the ready Annual Via Arte festival brings community out for artistic weekend By Laura Liera

Photos by Andrew Hawley

For two days out of the year, the black asphalt at The Marketplace transforms into an array of color, with large, lifelike images leaving spectators in awe. This year’s 18th Annual Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival returns to brighten and, hopefully, expand our creative artistic side, even if we aren’t the ones with chalk in hand creating masterpieces. The art exhibition is hosted by the Bakersfield Museum of Art and continues to attract thousands of spectators. Rachel Magnus, curator for the museum, said The Marketplace parking lot was sectioned off into 140 squares last year. That means every square has at least one artist or sometimes a group, depending on the size. And this year, they are expecting the same number or more. About 80 percent of artists participating are local. There are a few who are regional artists and travel the state

for street painting festivals. A featured artist is one who usually takes on the 12-by-15-foot massive square, sponsored by Don C. and Diane S. Lake Family. Magnus said the featured artist has four days to work on his/her art project, as opposed to the rest of the artists who have two days to create their art in a 4-by-6-foot square. “Details that go into these squares that makes them look so realistic, it takes a lot of time,” she noted. Artist who are interested in participating in Via Arte send past artwork and ideas to the museum starting in

Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival When: Oct. 15 and 16 Time: 9 a.m. until dark Where: The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Price: Free or $15 per Bambino Square

July. The museum then goes through a strenuous process to narrow down who will make the cut. Although the festival is fun and creative, it is a competition for the artists. There are eight categories up for grabs and cash prizes to go along with them. But besides the professional works of art people can admire at the festival, there are Bambino Squares that can be purchased the day of. For $15, kids or adults can put their creative genes to work with a 12-pack of professional chalk. There are plenty of squares and chalk to go around. There will also be live music from local bands, belly dancing and other entertainment at the festival. Shannon Medina, marketing director of the museum, said there is something to do or watch throughout the entire festival. “This is a great way to bring people into the art scene,” Medina added. “We have talented artists and this gives them an outlet to use their skills and their passion so everyone can see.” www.Bakersfield.com

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Matt Hammett and Brandi Cain enjoying the single track at 12,000 feet. There seemed to be a post card view around every corner during my ride along the Colorado Trail.

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PHOTO BY GLENN HAMMETT

Go & Do TRIP PLANNER


Durango, Colorado Recreational paradise and the flavor of the Old West

LOCAL AND NEARBY ATTRACTIONS Durangoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most widely known attraction is the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Completed

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in 1882 to haul gold and silver ore from the mines in Silverton, it allows passengers to experience the magnificence of the Rocky Mountains aboard vintage steam locomotives and take in views inaccessible by highway. Seats for a seven-hour round trip fill up fast, so book your seats well in advance. The Animas River runs through the middle of town and provides not only a serene focal point for walking and leisure activities, but also an exceptional venue for water sports such as kayaking, rafting and fishing. Thirty-six miles to the west of Durango is Mesa Verde National Park, the site of 600 cliff dwellings built by the Ancestral Pueblo people between A.D. 600 and 1300. These archeological treasures are, at once, aesthetically beautiful and historically fascinating. We took a drive through Silverton and on to the dramatic Million Dollar Highway to Ouray, which is aptly known as the Switzerland of America. The picturesque town is nestled at 8,000 feet elevation in the San Juan Mountains and

AN NI

Our son, Matt, recently relocated to Durango, Colorado, and we made our first trip out to visit earlier this month. Durango was established on the Animas River in 1880 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company to serve silver and gold mining operations in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. With its quaint, historic downtown and the popular Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the town of 17,000 retains the charm of its Old West beginnings, but the things that bring people to Durango today are its breathtaking beauty and the astounding quality and quantity of recreational opportunities it affords.

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By Glenn Hammett

Continued on page 48

Continued on page 42 www.Bakersfield.com

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FOOD AND DRINK

Mountain bikers take in the spectacular views and some well-deserved nourishment above Molas Pass in the San Juan Mountains.

PHOTO BY GLENN HAMMETT

features natural hot springs, several waterfalls and the world’s first ice climbing park. The annual Ouray Ice Festival, held in January, attracts some the world’s top ice climbers. On another day, we made our way up to Vallecito 10,910-foot Molas Pass is less than Lake, apan hour’s drive from Durango. proximately 20 minutes northeast of Durango, and hiked the Vallecito Creek Trail. Winding through shady pine forests and traversing up rugged formations, the walk was glorious and provided intense contrasts in terrain and surprises around every corner.

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MOUNTAIN BIKING Durango became a mountain biking Mecca in 1990, when it hosted the first-ever World Mountain Bike Championships and saw five of its residents win gold or silver medals. At last year’s USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals in Mammoth, 11 of the medal winners call Durango home. According to Durango.com, there are more than 2,000 miles of trails in and around the town. I joined my son and a group of his friends on a ride covering a spectacular stretch of the Colorado Trail, beginning at Molas Pass and finishing just above Purgatory Ski Resort, which is less than a half hour from downtown Durango. The narrow single track took us through beautiful stands of quaking aspens, vast meadows of wildflowers and across stunning vistas, a stark and refreshing contrast to the dusty brown terrain I am accustomed to in Bakersfield.

Bear Creek Falls passes under the Million Dollar Highway outside of Ouray, Co.

PHOTO BY GLENN HAMMETT

Continued from page 47

PHOTO BY GLENN HAMMETT

With so many outdoor enthusiasts, and being the home to Fort Lewis College, it’s no surprise that Durango supports a healthy gastro pub scene. We ate at Carver’s Brewing Company our first night in town and at the immensely popular Steamworks Brewing Company a couple of nights later. Though I preferred both the food and beer at Carver’s, Steamworks was not that far behind and, if the long line of people waiting to get in we saw every time we passed by was any indication, Steamworks has a stronger local following.

If you are looking for food with a little more finesse, I would recommend Cyprus Cafe. Serving tasteful and imaginative Mediterranean cuisine at reasonable prices, it features a beautiful outdoor seating space. For breakfast, you have to try Durango Doughworks, a charming local place on the north end of town that offers something for everybody. “Handcrafted doughnuts and housemade organic bagels,”


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as well as a number of different breakfast burritos, smoothies and gourmet espresso are on the menu, along with more traditional morning fare like French toast, biscuits and gravy, country-fried steak and

eggs. The Durango-La Plata Airport is only 15 minutes outside of town and has connecting flights to Phoenix, so getting to Durango from Bakersfield is a snap. This, along with its

Old West charm and unsurpassed access to recreational opportunities and the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains make it the ideal place to escape the dog days of Bakersfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s summer.

www.Bakersfield.com

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B Well JOURNEY TO THE ALTAR

The end is just the beginning Bride and groom wrap up their fitness journey Compiled by Bakersfield Life

After eight months of embarking on a new fitness journey, Katie and Nick have finished their journey to the altar. It wasn’t an easy journey, but the couple pushed each other during the difficult pitfalls, keeping their goals in mind. Thank you to Tim Gojich, owner of Fit for Life, and Nick and Katie for sharing the highs and lows. They kept it real and showed us that even when they seemed to have plateaued, with the simple act of trying, they were able to keep moving forward.

KATIE Well, we did it! This has been a challenging eight months, but it was a fun experience to do together. I did not find working out to be difficult – the classes that Fit for Life offers, combined with the guidance from Tim was really beneficial. Some days you don’t feel like going to the gym, but if you can just get yourself there, the momentum begins and you don’t want to stop. Nick and I absolutely love to eat and we enjoy a good cocktail or glass of wine, so we really had to commit. Tim has created some great shakes that really help curb your appetite and are breakfast or lunch in a glass, so they’re great for on the go. We have learned that God will never give us more than we can handle and when we feel like we’re close to our breaking points, we are there to support each other and our parents are there to support us, too. Even though the wedding is over, and the official “Journey to the Altar” has been completed, we

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

Nick Panici and Katie Camp

still plan to continue this healthy lifestyle long after out wedding festivities. Losing 17 pounds and gaining

October 2016

that muscle mass really helped me see that I’m well on the path to being the healthy and fit person I’ve always desired.


Y O U ’ R E A LWA Y S W E L C O M E A T

NICK The physical journey Katie and I have experienced has been difficult, yet exciting. The difficult aspect stemmed primarily from our eating habits, although the noticeable change that was taking place in our physical appearance was exciting and pushed me to continue working harder toward my goal. The sayings “life is busy” or “life gets in the way” do have some truth to them. Katie and I have both been very busy with work and family. But a three-week honeymoon in southeast Asia should make up for the time we’ve lost together over the

past eight months. I truly believe that Katie and I have made some life-altering changes and will definitely continue to workout on a regular basis and, hopefully, even spend more time pushing each other to be better in and out of the gym. My final results did not quite stand up to my initial goal, but I know I can achieve that in the future – I am determined to reach that “300” movie look I was going for. Tim has set Katie and I up for success. I’m excited about a fit new future together, as husband and wife.

The stats for Nick Panici Starting numbers Body fat: ......................... 16.5 percent Muscle mass: .................. 151 pounds Fat mass: ........................ 29.9 pounds Scale weight: ................... 181 pounds

Final numbers Body fat: ............................ 10 percent Muscle mass: ................. 167 pounds Fat mass: ........................... 18 pounds Scale weight: .................. 185 pounds

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The stats for Katie Camp Starting numbers Body fat: ........................... 24 percent Muscle mass: .............. 126.9 pounds Fat mass: .......................... 40 pounds Scale weight: .................. 167 pounds

Final numbers Body fat: ......................... 17.9 percent Muscle mass: ................. 123 pounds Fat mass: ........................ 26.3 pounds Scale weight: .................. 150 pounds

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B Well

YOUR BODY

FIGHTING THE EFFECTS OF AGING A look at skin changes over the decades By Laura Liera Your face is one of a kind. Literally. The skin in the face was made to be hearty in order to tolerate the many elements it’s exposed to. That includes environmental pollutants and the sun, among others. As women age, there is a natural

20s

“You have the best skin complexion.” Reasons: Estrogen levels are at their highest. Skin is more plump, more luminous and, for the most part, pimple free. Care: • Keep your skin clean. • Use a general cleanser day and night to wash off any oil. • There are two types of acids that specifically clean out excess oil production: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. • Make applying sunscreen every day a habit. SPF 30 to 50 is a good range to help fight UVA light that ages skin, causes lines, wrinkles and cancer.

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October 2016

aging progression that occurs over time. But that luminous, glowing skin can be reached well into the senior years. We chatted with Dr. Milan R. Shah, aesthetic and laser medicine specialist at Beautologie, and he broke down the different skin stages women can expect over the decades and how to prepare for each one.

30s

“Because our skin is not as elastic as it used to be, our expressions are starting to make a few fine lines in the face.” Reasons: This is when estrogen starts to take a dip. There are two specific cells that make up our skin: collagen and elastin. Collagen is what gives us our plumpness or fullness; elastin is what gives us elasticity or tautness. When estrogen starts to decrease, collagen and elastin production decreases as well. By your 30s, the percentage of collagen produced is down 20 percent. Care: • Incorporate vitamins and antioxidants into your skin regimen. • The most important vitamin to start using is Retin-A. Retin-A is a vitamin A antioxidant that will fight the effects of the sun breaking down the skin and fights the effects of collagen breaking down. • Begin to include peptides, which are proteins that the skin needs to help turn back the clock

40s

“We are losing a lot more of subcutaneous fat in our face. Our cheekbones become a little bit more visible and we will start seeing more creasing because of the constant loss of elasticity and collagen.” Reasons: Estrogen levels have taken a dive, which affects the facial structure. The face is experiencing more significant drying. If you’ve spent a lot of time out in the sun, broken vessels and sunspots will be more visible. Care: • Continue to use Retin-A. • Deeper chemical peels to start exfoliating the skin is import- ant. This helps get rid of damage on the skin surface, the pores, the imprinted lines and wrinkles. • Internal care is vital. Maintain a nutritional lifestyle. • Keep sugar intake to a minimum, as sugar ages the skin. • Exercise regularly and get enough sleep.


50s

“The skin is more vulnerable to sun damage and environmental pollutants.” Reasons: Menopause kicks in and estrogen production halts. In the first five years of menopause, women are making one-third the amount of estrogen they used to. The skin starts to thin and dry. Pores are more visible because of that low collagen and elastin production. Care: • It’s time to seek out bioidentical hormone therapy to combat some of that low estrogen. • On top of continued use of Retin-A cream, vitamin

A, vitamin C and sunscreen, there are biostimulatory fillers available at Beautologie. • The fillers replace the volume in the cheeks, lips and lines around the face that have deflated. • At this point in life, fillers that are more long term, like Sculptra, are recommended. This filler tricks the body into making more collagen. It lifts the face back in a very natural way without giving you the windblown look. “By using low, minimuminvasive procedures, you’re saving yourself from having to do more aggressive procedures in the future.” 

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In the shadows

A look at how breast cancer shifts a patient’s world STORY AND PHOTOS BY LAURA LIERA

Dr. Francesca Hoehne examines Alecia Dunham a few weeks after her double mastectomy.

B

reast cancer is sneaky. It enters your body uninvited. And when it shows up at the age of 32, as a mother of three, the diagnosis is nearly numbing. For Alecia Dunham, the quarter-size lump she felt on the side of her right breast on June 12 while on vacation was alarming. She immediately knew something was wrong. 54

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October 2016

“It felt hard, like a knot,” Dunham remembered. When she returned home from Lake Tahoe, Dunham sat in the doctor’s office, anxious to see what the ultrasound would find. There, in fact, was a lump, the doctor told Dunham. She had two options: either watch it over the next six months or have a biopsy. Dunham chose the latter option.


JUNE 27

Suspicion of cancer. Those were the words that Dunham heard sitting next to her husband, Anthony, and mother, Elana Stafford. Dr. Francesca Hoehne, a general surgeon with San Joaquin Community Hospital who specializes in the treatment of benign and malignant breast disease, told the family the tumor was small, only 9 millimeters in size. But nothing was definite until they went into surgery and saw the tumor up close. “I was so nervous and scared,” Dunham said. “I bawled my eyes out when I heard the word cancer.” She worried about her kids if she died. But having her mom by her side that day, Dunham felt a slight sense of relief. Six years ago, Stafford had been in the same room, receiving her diagnosis of breast cancer. “Hearing that my daughter had breast cancer was like being kicked in the stomach,” Stafford said. “But Dr. Hoehne was my doctor, and I trusted her with my daughter.”

AUG. 11

Dunham underwent a double mastectomy. She was in the hospital for two days and went home bandaged with two drains that were the most uncomfortable part of the entire process, Dunham said. Dunham had to sleep straight up and wasn’t able to do much around the house. She couldn’t shower by herself. She couldn’t go to the bathroom by herself. She couldn’t carry a gallon of milk. She couldn’t carry her kids. She couldn’t drive. “It wasn’t about not having breasts because they are just boobs,” Dunham said. “But having to rely on my husband to shower me, blow dry my hair and help me do everything, that was the tough part for me.” But even when the tears would flood her eyes, Dunham kept a positive attitude. Her faith in God has been her rock. “I’ve always been a positive person and through my faith, I’ve gained even more confidence that every-

thing will be okay,” Dunham said. Plus she’d be getting “bigger boobs” with her reconstruction, Dunham said laughing. But in all seriousness, she thanked her family and friends who have not stopped calling to see how she is doing and Facebook messages giving her an extra boost of confidence. “It’s the little moments that make me forget what’s happening,” Dunham said. “Like when my sister does my makeup or when I go get my nails done with my mom – that gives me the boost I need.”

AUG. 30

Dunham is in a patient room waiting to hear when the reconstruction period will begin. Bakersfield plastic surgeon Dr. Vip Dev examines the stitches from the double mastectomy and says everything is healing beautifully. Dunham will have a smaller scar once the reconstruction is complete. “Women used to have a scar across each breast but now the scar is simply around the nipple area and when we go in and add the saline implant, the scar will be in that area,” Dev said. But before the implant goes in, the breast tissue has to be expanded. That means Dunham can start lifting her arms and stretching slowly. The expanders currently taking the place of the implant will be filled with saline. Dev will inject about 30 to 40 cubic centimeters of saline every month until the tissue has stretched enough that the implant will fit like a glove.

AUG. 31

It’s the day the family has been nervous about all week. Everyone knows chemotherapy treatments will happen. Dr. Tien H. Nguyen walks in and pulls up a chair next to Dunham. From the 17 lymph nodes taken from the breast, two lymph nodes were directed to the tumor. Two tumors were actually found, 9 millimeters and 3 millimeters in size. They

were removed. Because cancer infiltrated two lymph nodes, there is a chance it has spread. But the cancer cells are so small, it’s not detectable with scans. That means the chemotherapy will attack the entire body and get whatever cancer cells are left. Dunham will undergo chemotherapy treatments once every three weeks for about four months. She will lose her hair. She may feel nauseous and fatigued. Her nails may change color. And from a medical standpoint, Nguyen recommends the Dunhams not have any more children. Tears are rolling down Dunham’s face as she’s hearing the side effects of the treatments that will last three hours each time. “The first week after your first treatment, you won’t feel well,” Nguyen said. “You’ll notice a change in taste, you’ll experience fatigue and you may gain weight due to fluid retention.” As she wipes away tears, Dunham asks if she can see the room where she’ll be receiving treatment. Nguyen leads the way and Dunham looks around the room that is equipped with comfortable chairs and outlets to charge her phone and iPad. “Before I went to the appointment, I knew I was going to have to do chemotherapy,” Dunham said a week later. “But for some reason, hearing it from him just made it real. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I seem to be more accepting of the fact that basically, I’ll only be getting treatment once a month for four months. I’ve talked to so many survivors and they have all told me staying positive is key.” www.Bakersfield.com

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Business Profile

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Andrew Uy, president of Paragon Therapeutic Solutions

Paragon Therapeutic Solutions What is Paragon Therapeutic Solutions and what services do they offer? We are a therapy group comprising of physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants and speech language pathologists. We are an organization that is committed to providing the best care possible to our patients at their homes. For those who want to join

our amazing team, please contact: Mia Baculi

Does Paragon Therapeutic Solutions cater to certain age Call or text 714-642-8785 groups? NO. We provide rehabilitation paragontherapeuticsolutions@ gmail.com services to any individual who is covered by an insurance www.paragontherapygroup.com provider, be it Medicare or other private insurance companies. Our patients are usually referred to us by various home health agencies that have partnership with our company. 56

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

When should someone consider therapy? The majority of our patients are those discharged to home from the hospital or skilled nursing facility (rehab centers). We also have patients who were referred by their primary care physicians. Anyone who is injured or has decline in function from diseases is a candidate for rehabilitation services to get them back to their prior level of function. What sets Paragon Therapeutic Solutions apart from other therapy organizations? We are an organization that has affiliations with various home health agencies. We only provide qualified therapists to cater to the specific needs of our patients. We regularly provide training to our team members on how to best provide quality care to our patients and keep them abreast with the latest trends and techniques. We also employ a standardized documentation system to ensure efficient record keeping and information management. We have great support groups for therapists and our patients. We are continuously looking for therapists and therapy assistants to add to our great team.


Anniversary

Thank you Readers! Bakersfield Life Magazine is proud to announce 10 years of celebrating the people, places, events, culture and lifestyle that make our city a special place to live.

BAKERSFIELDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PREMIER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


B Well

LOVE & LIFE

A LEGACY OF WONDER WOMEN Real-life heroines train the next generation to be strong, independent

Nina and Ashley Ha

By Nina Ha Once, when I was young, my mom and I were on our way home after buying some apples from a street vendor. She was giving me pointers on how to pick fresh, unblemished fruit when she noticed the salesman had switched out her hand-picked selections with a different bag of bruised produce. My mom stopped the bus, walked all the way back to the stand and refused to leave until the man apologized and gave her back her apples. My mom not only taught me right from wrong that day, but she also showed me how to stand up for myself. She gave me my first glimpse into what it means to be a strong, confident woman – a real-life heroine. 58

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

Now that I’m a mom, I want my kids, and especially my daughter, to see me living life to the fullest. I don’t want them to hear my obligatory mommy lectures and think that my life’s advice is only in theory. Encouraging my kids to follow their dreams, do things outside their comfort zone and trust God in their everyday life can only go so far. However, I know they’re paying attention when they see their mom trying out for the Bakersfield Bombers, a semi-pro tackle football team. Sure, I broke my finger in the process, but I challenged myself to do something I never thought possible. My kids were there cheering me on when I went skydiving. I was scared, but I pushed through and crossed off a lifelong item from my bucket list. At nearly 40, I walked the runway, modeling clothes in a fashion show

even though the heels were as high as the risk of tripping. I wanted my daughter to know that women can feel good about themselves but still know that who we are on the inside means more than how we look. This spring, I agreed to be a local speaker for Q Commons, a global Christian conference, even though I wasn’t sure I had anything worthy to contribute. In all those situations, I drew my strength from God. But I also had the legacy of a long line of brave, beautiful pioneers before me. I hope to take what they’ve taught me and pass it on to my daughter. Perhaps one day, she might be a real-life heroine to her own little Wonder Woman in training. Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha.


Paint the Town Pink events Oct. 1 and 3: Lace’n It Up Lace’n It Up for Links for Life is a kickoff walk around Tehachapi and Bakersfield. For more details, visit linksforlife.org/events-calendar/lace-it-up/ or call 322-5601. • Tehachapi, Oct. 1, 9 to 11 a.m. - Downtown • Bakersfield, Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Downtown (Liberty Bell) - Westside (The Park at River Walk) - Virtual Walk (anywhere in the world) Oct. 10: Color Me Mine Pink 6 p.m. For more information, please call 664-7366. Oct. 11: Rusty’s Pizza “Slices of Hope” All day; dine-in, takeout or delivery, a portion of all orders will benefit Links for Life. Oct. 13: VIPink Event 5:30 p.m. AIS Cancer Center For more information, call 637-8321. Oct. 18: “Kisses for a Cure” Bingo 6:30 p.m. Victoria’s in The Marketplace Call 665-8300 for more information. Oct. 19: Lunch & Learn with Dr. Hoehne 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. AIS Cancer Center Call 637-8321 for more information. Breast Screening 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. AIS Cancer Center For an appointment, call 637-8321. Oct. 20: Paint the Town Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This spectacular afternoon includes lunch, fashion show and shopping galore. Reserve early – last year was a sellout, 322-5601. Oct. 22: Mammo’s & Mani’s 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call CBCC for an appointment, 661-616-1643. Oct. 25: VIP Bunco 5:30 p.m. Christine’s in the Stockdale Fashion Plaza Call 834-3068 to register. Oct. 28: Let’s Raise Some Dough! 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. PizzaRev at River Walk Mention Links for Life when you dine. To reach Links for Life regarding any of these events or questions on breast health, please call 322-5601.

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Organization continues to grow, help more women and families affected by breast cancer By Jennifer Henry s October approaches, we reflect on all that Links for Life has done to assist women and families facing breast cancer in the Kern County community for the past 24 years. This past fiscal year 2015-2016, Links for Life provided the following services: • 3,260 phone calls fielded by the office • 610 walk-ins were assisted • 212 mammograms and 388 ultrasounds funded in Kern County • 476 fitted for wigs and head covers • 30 needle biopsies, 3 positive diagnosis of breast cancer • 21 received bras/prosthesis • 25-30 women utilized support group services monthly • 233,860 were educated on breast health and Links for Life services As I begin my 11th year as the executive director of Links for Life, I am amazed at the growth of our programs, services, volunteers and staff. The passion that this group has for the women and families facing breast cancer in Kern County is immeasurable. I feel so blessed to work with such a remarkable and dedicated team. Links for Life is a warm and compassionate organization that assists women and families when they are diagnosed with breast cancer. Our mission is to be an organization to benefit persons and families affected by breast cancer, challenge each Kern County woman to be aware of her breast health, to promote support for those affected and to educate the general public about breast health. One of Links for Life’s main goals is to ensure that every woman in Kern County is able to receive a breast cancer

October 2016

screening. In our wig boutique, we don’t just assist women diagnosed with breast cancer, we assist ANY woman who has lost her hair while going through cancer treatment. This year, we are excited to announce that the Links for Life Wig Boutique is sponsored by Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center and Dignity Health. This is a community partnership for the benefit of the women and families that are fighting cancer throughout Kern County. We fund these programs and services through annual events during the year. In October, we have our “Paint the Town Pink” activities. On Saturday, Oct. 1, Tehachapi kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the Lace’n It Up breakfast walk. In Bakersfield, Lace’n It Up kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Oct. 3 with two lunchtime walks. On Oct. 20, we will host the Links for Life annual luncheon and fashion show at the DoubleTree by Hilton. During the month of April 2017, Links for Life will host its 24th Annual Sharyn Woods Memorial Pro-Am Golf Tournament & Gala on the 22nd and 24th. Along with private donations, bequests, grants and outside sponsored events, Links for Life continues to assist the women and men in Kern County with breast and cancer services. For more information regarding events and services, visit linksforlife.org. All the money raised in Kern County stays in Kern County. Thank you to all of the donors, sponsors, volunteers and staff for all you do for the women and families of Kern County. Sincerely, Jennifer Henry Executive Director Links for Life


Links for Life

SPONSORED BY

WALL OF HOPE

Chris Abbott

Ruth Adams

Maria del S. Aguilar

Estrella Anaya

Elaine Anderson-Dieter

Michelle Andrews

Margaret Arakelian

17-year survivor

10-year survivor

27-year survivor

3-year survivor

30-year survivor

1-year survivor

12-year survivor

Mary Aslett

Rosie Azevedo

Brenda Bailey

Stephanie Baker

Diana Barajas

Mary Barnard

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Rhonda Bassler

4-year survivor

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6-year survivor

22-year survivor

12-year survivor

22-year survivor

8-year survivor

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Beverly Baxley

Kelly Bendert-Sanchez

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Diane Biswanger

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Carolyn Bradford

Jacquelyn Bradley-Sanders

16-year survivor

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15-year survivor

9-year survivor

15-year survivor

17-year survivor

13-year survivor

7-year survivor

Nancy Brady

Charlotte Brandt

Linda Brenner

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Mary Camara

30-year survivor

10-year survivor

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Stana Bright

16-year survivor

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14-year survivor

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Mercedes Camarillo

Darlene Casey

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Eleanor Chavez

Arlene Chuman

Karen Churchwell

6-year survivor

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Kelly Clanton

Bonnie Coats

Lee Cole

Nettie Collins

Linda Conner

13-year survivor

11-year survivor

10-year survivor

7-year survivor

15-year survivor

Betty Cotton

Jean Coulter

Juli Coulthurst

24-year survivor

10-year survivor

17-year survivor

www.Bakersfield.com

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Links for Life

SPONSORED BY

WALL OF HOPE

Connie Cowan

Mary Cruse

Virginia Cummings

Jacare Davis

Julia Davis

Cheryle DeMarco

Kathy Dickey

Joy Dixon

15-year survivor

11-year survivor

27-year survivor

14-year survivor

8-year survivor

3-year survivor

16-year survivor

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Hala El-Ansary

Marlene Elbert

Barbara Ellis

5-year survivor

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Sandy Foster

Joan Frank

Rebecca Gaede

Joy Doepel

Marilyn Dorer

Marjorie Driscoll

Alicia Linda Dunham

Betty Eaves

7-year survivor

20-year survivor

2-year survivor

7-year survivor

29-year survivor

Ginger Empey

Susan Ewens

Peggy Fleming

Susie Florian

Julie Followwill

21-year survivor

10-year survivor

8-year survivor

5-year survivor

11-year survivor

16-year survivor

4-year survivor

1-year survivor

Debbie Gallington

Donna Gibb

Chris Gibson

Linda Glenn

Rita Gomez

Lupe Gonzales

Sandra Gonzalez

Suzanne Gonzalez

15-year survivor

18-year survivor

8-year survivor

52-year survivor

5-year survivor

3-year survivor

7-year survivor

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Natalie Grumet

Coleen Gundzik

Jennie Haberlander

Diane Haddock

Margaret Hadley

9-year survivor

9-year survivor

16-year survivor

6-year survivor

9-year survivor

Bobbie Hake

Paige Halterman

Brigette Hamblet

5-year survivor

13-year survivor

10-year survivor

Sherry Harrison

Linda Hartt

Kristi Hatak Grohs

Donna Hermann

Diana Hernandez

Jeanette Hernandez

Jessica Hernandez

Vivia Hobbs

10-year survivor

21-year survivor

8-year survivor

7-year survivor

8-year survivor

6-year survivor

2-year survivor

3-year survivor

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016


Links for Life

SPONSORED BY

WALL OF HOPE

Valarie Hodges

Dorothy Hoffman

Dee Holder

Dorothy Hollingsworth

Lou Hosey

LaNell Howell

Marguerite Hughey

Helen Huntalas

23-year survivor

9-year survivor

6-year survivor

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29-year survivor

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Dona Hurt

Verna Jackson

Olga Jacobs

Karla Jadwin

Carol Jett

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Carrie Johnson

Linda Jones

Rhonda Jones

1-year survivor

18-year survivor

3-year survivor

Linda Jordan

Debra Kemp

George Ann Kerley

Shauna Kerr

44-year survivor

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7-year survivor

3-year survivor

Rebekah Khan 9-year survivor

Cheryle Kileen

Germaine Kimm

Debbie Kiser

19-year survivor

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Berna Kosti

Armida Laddaga

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Barbara Lechtreck

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Marie Lehmann

5-year survivor

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9-year survivor

6-year survivor

1-year survivor

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5-year survivor

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Connie Lenk

Peggy Limi

Rita Linkswiler

Sandy Loman

Janet Love

5-year survivor

2-year survivor

10-year survivor

13-year survivor

4-year survivor

Esther Lozano

Phyllis Luckey

Mary Luna

24-year survivor

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Stephanie Lynch

Letty Maciel

Carrie Maglieri

Judith Malerich

Jan Maltone

14-year survivor

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3-year survivor

13-year survivor

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Kay Marquez

Gwenetta Marshall

Vonnie Mathewson

5-year survivor

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2-year survivor

www.Bakersfield.com

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Links for Life

SPONSORED BY

WALL OF HOPE

Susan McAfee

Casey McBride

Pam McCalla

Carolyn McCleod

Ann McCright

Naomi McCutcheon

Vicki Meadows

Liz Menchaca

2-year survivor

27-year survivor

3-year survivor

21-year survivor

20-year survivor

16-year survivor

3-year survivor

2-year survivor

Ethel Miksits

Carolyn â&#x20AC;&#x153;Scottieâ&#x20AC;? Miller

Alice Mills

Sharon Mooore

Linda Morales

11-year survivor

14-year survivor

30-year survivor

12-year survivor

15-year survivor

Bronwyn Mullen

Jill Mushaney

Mandy Muth

23-year survivor

5-year survivor

11-year survivor

Pat Napier

Lynn NesSmith

Karen Neukom

Susan Newman

Terri Nixon

5-year survivor

4-year survivor

19-year survivor

3-year survivor

12-year survivor

Terry Page

Arlene Parsons

Mary Jo Pasek

JoAnn Payne

Nancy Pelton

8-year survivor

20-year survivor

19-year survivor

22-year survivor

Eldean Phillips

Mesha Phillips

Tammi Pierce

Janet Polte

2-year survivor

17-year survivor

3-year survivor

Joan Reedy

Linda Regier

20-year survivor

17-year survivor

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

Edna Norwood

Joann Nunn

Amy Padilla Villalobos

18-year survivor

17-year survivor

8-year survivor

Dee Pena

Arlinda Perez-Reyes

Priscilla Darling Phillips

18-year survivor

27-year survivor

4-year survivor

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4-year survivor

Coral Poole-Clark

Jane Pratt

Cherie Puckett

Melanie Reed

7-year survivor

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Kay Restad

Lisa Rey

Billie Reynolds

Deanna Rhoades

Dorothy Richard

Gerry Richardson

21-year survivor

9-year survivor

18-year survivor

11-year survivor

15-year survivor

8-year survivor

October 2016


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To be included in next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wall of Hope, please call Links for Life at 322-5601.

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Donna Wheeler 20-year survivor

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Jeff Hayward 21-year survivor

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Ede Pacaldo / Priscilla Bacus Cousin / Cousin 15-year survivor / 15-year survivor

Irene Aguirre and Yvonne Escalera Salazar

Renee Johnson and Stephne Bishop

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Aunt / Niece 22-year survivor / 3-year survivor

Vivian Chianello and Karen Chianello

Henrietta Camarillo and Henrietta Galaviz

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Special thanks to Karla Jadwin, 26-year survivor, for her generous donation of the Wall of Hope photos.

Daughter / Mother 22-year survivor / 30-year survivor

Jeanine Wanlass and Yevette Peterson

Mercedes Quiogue and Michelle Quiogue

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Women moving Bakersfield Influential. That is the word that describes this year's women of Bakersfield. Since 2010, Bakersfield Life has had the privilege of learning from local women who have helped shape our community. Their work has moved our city in the right direction and they continue to strive for a better future for the next generation. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s women come from different backgrounds and they each have their own inspirational story that is sure to inspire our youth. Thank you to all local women who continue to work toward bettering the place we call home.

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Leticia Perez By Laura Liera Powerless. For Leticia Perez, that was a feeling she made her mission to defeat as a young Latina teenager from east Bakersfield. At 18, Perez left home to attend the University of California Santa Barbara – a move that was not only defining for her Latino culture but a personal one as well. That was the first chapter in her life that would lead her to become the 5th District Supervisor. When Perez left for college, the cultural shock happened almost immediately. While other students were dropped off by their parents at the campus, Perez had four cars, including a van, filled with family, saying their goodbyes. “For us, it was such a big deal to leave home,” Perez said. “It was a foreign concept.” And the move was the hardest on Perez’s mother. She was the only one who didn’t make the two-hour trip to Santa Barbara. Her mother stayed in her room, with the door locked. Years later, she told Perez she wanted her to go to college and follow her dreams, but she wanted to pretend Perez was leaving for the weekend with a friend. “It was difficult,” Perez said, getting a little emotional from the memory. Before her dad said his goodbyes, he reminded Perez that she had earned the first of many accomplishments in her life. Perez took that advice to heart and so began her passion for the political world. Her college political science class changed her life. “The subject matters in books just moved me in so many levels,” Perez said. As a young woman with a bachelor’s degree and not a lot of life experiences, Perez felt she needed to better herself and become more educated if she wanted to be taken seriously. Law school was the next step toward that political future she envisioned. “I could see these institutions were the 68

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means to power, and that power and influence are ways to genuinely influence your community,” Perez said. “I recognized that politics is where I needed to be, to be able to be influential in things that I had seen in my community that broke my heart.” After attending law school in Indiana, Perez moved back to California to study for the bar exam. She passed on her first try. “For me, so much was riding on that exam,” Perez said. “I felt a lot of pressure in showing that it could be done.” Perez practiced law for three years at the Kern County Public Defender’s Office. While there, then-Supervisor Michael Rubio, appointed Perez to the planning commission where she learned about land use, planning, environmental regulations, water and community issues. “I loved listening to people and trying to tweak projects to meet a community’s needs and concerns,” Perez said. After three years on the planning commission, Perez said she felt the board of supervisors was the place she needed to be to have an influence in the community. Through the mentorship of Rubio, Perez was introduced to the world of politics – one she knew nothing about. “This was different from the courtroom,” Perez said. “This (politics) was in my blood.” For about 10 years prior, Perez always wondered if she had what it took to be on the political scene. She was terrified of putting her name on a ballot, let alone announce she wanted to be an elected official. But on the day she announced her candidacy for the board of supervisors at Jefferson Park, she knew she had made the right move. “I remember walking home that day ... it was dead silent ... and I looked around at the space, and I said to myself, ‘I’ve already won,’” Perez said. Although she didn’t know how the election would pan out, simply putting herself out there and conquering her fear was enough.

October 2016

“The fear that had consumed me for a decade, the insecurity of truly wondering if I had anything to offer; I took it head on,” Perez added. Perez was elected in 2012 and began service in January 2013. She is the first Latina supervisor in Kern County and the first Latina in the entire Central Valley ever elected to the board of supervisors till this day. Being in a position of power as a woman doesn’t come without its tough battles. Perez was new to the political world. “I’ve learned a lot and ultimately you have to deliver results to have credibility with your constituents and peers,” she said. In her second week in office, Perez used 100 percent of her discretionary money in spay and neuter programs for the city of Lamont. She had received calls from residents who didn’t feel safe sending their children to school because of the abundance of stray dogs in the streets. The free spay-and-neuter events brought thousands of community members together. And because of that initiative, the county now spends a quarter-million dollars on spayand-neuter programs and hope to become a no-kill county by 2020. “The momentum that started in this office, with my staff and the community for the love animals, resulted in tangible policy changes,” Perez said. “This local level of government is really the best place to bring people together to craft solutions that are going to change people’s lives.”


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Elizabeth May By Laura Liera She may not have been born or raised in Bakersfield, but Elizabeth May defends the place she now calls home anywhere she goes. Born in the Bay Area, May is a transplant from the Pismo Beach area where she last worked but has no intention of leaving Kern County anytime soon. “Bakersfield is pro-growth for business,” May said. “People should look at Bakersfield and Kern County as a place to build a future – not look at it as a stepping stone to go somewhere else.” In 1993, May and her husband, Harry, made the permanent move to Kern County and established their own advertising agency, May Media Services. Making the leap to open their own business in a city they were just getting to know was not an easy decision. The husband-and-wife team had been working with another advertising agency in town but knew it was time to make a change. “When we left, we didn’t pursue any existing accounts, which meant we had no accounts starting off,” May said. But local businesses started seeking out May Media. Having their own business didn’t come without plenty of sleepless nights and fears. “But I knew we had a talent,” May said. “We knew we had something to offer that was quality.” And soon, the accounts started to come in. As an advertising agency, May and her husband are hired by a business to handle their advertising budget. The couple doesn’t have a staff. Nor do they have an office space. They work from home. Something that sets them apart from other advertising agencies, according to May, is the attention to detail. When May sits down with a client and comes up with a plan to roll out – either a billboard, TV commercial or print ad – she keeps a close eye on how well the campaign is working for the business. “Having your own ad agency is a big responsibility,” May noted. “When a plan doesn’t go well, it’s all on you.” Besides their advertising agency, in 2007, May found a second passion: renovating homes and bringing them back to their original state. “The same care we put into the agency, we put into real estate,” she added. “When you bring something to life, there is nothing like that feeling when you hear that a campaign is working or that a family has found a home.”

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Julie Johnson By Laura Liera Animals have always been a part of Julie Johnson’s life. When she was 7 years old, she helped care for her neighbor’s duck, guinea pig, cat and dog after a house fire. “I just wanted to save every animal that I ever came across,” Johnson said. Today, she is the executive director of the Bakersfield Animal Care Center and the Bakersfield SPCA. But before calling Bakersfield home, Johnson spent time in different states, not always in contact with animals. For seven years, she was the senior business director at the YMCA in Orange County. She worked with kids, adults and seniors and made long-lasting friendships. But when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, she was on a flight out to Louisiana to help

with animal control. Her prior experience as an animal control officer was needed. Johnson spent several days in Louisiana before she was evacuated for Hurricane Rita. The experience was both interesting and heartbreaking for Johnson. And when she returned home, something felt different. “Katrina changed me,” she said. “My heart kept going back to wanting to be around animals again.” Working with animals was her calling. For several years after the YMCA, Johnson was a first responder for the Humane Society of the United States. She traveled up and down the state to aid residents who were affected by wildfires. She trained community members on caring for animals during tragedies. During this time, Johnson was also involved with hoarding cases.

“That experience was a shock to your system,” she said. There were incidents when Johnson and her colleagues would enter someone’s home to find 700 to 800 animals living inside. And their objective was to get every animal out to safety. As grateful as Johnson was for the opportunities she had been a part of, she wanted to make more of an impact. “I wanted to plant roots with a community, somewhere where I could make a difference and work together with the community and animals,” Johnson said. And so the move to Bakersfield came in 2011, as the executive director of the local SPCA. And soon after came the opportunity to run the city shelter, after the county and city shelter decided to split into two separate entities. “I wanted to know what else we could do to bring more sheltering experience to the ta-

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ble to try and save more lives,” Johnson said. The SPCA, according to Johnson, was already doing extremely well before she arrived. Her goal was to learn and tweak programs already in existence to perform better. For example, pushing pet adoption programs and creating a solid foundation to continue to move forward. At the Mount Vernon shelter, Johnson had the same plan as the SPCA: move forward. Besides unique programs and national outreach partnerships, Johnson continues to push for animal education. “The shelter is not a dumping ground,” Johnson said. There’s been a pet owner culture of dropping off an animal at a shelter because either a dog barks too much or a pet owner simply no longer wants to take care of the animal. “It comes down to educating people on how to keep their pets and how to work through certain behaviors or traits so that those family pets can remain at home,” Johnson added. Through the partnership with Critters Without Litters, the city shelter is also pushing spay-and-neuter programs. There are vouchers available for city residents. Many times, a male dog surgery may only cost $10 to $15 with the help of a few vouchers, Johnson said. Moving forward, Johnson said she wants to look at different options besides the programs already in place. Connecting the community with resources is key. Finding pet-friendly housing is crucial for families who, for financial reasons, need to move into an apartment that doesn’t accept pets. Other resources include finding affordable vet care and pet food for pet owners. “We have been very lucky,” Johnson said. “The community has really rallied to support more efforts toward positive sheltering.” www.Bakersfield.com

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Vickie Spanos By Laura Liera Vickie Spanos always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Specifically, a high school teacher. During her teaching credential in 1987, Spanos spent time with elementary and junior high school students. But something didn’t quite fit. “I think I just connected on a different level with high school students,” Spanos said. In 1988, she was hired as an English teacher at East Bakersfield High School. With a briefcase in hand, Spanos started her first official teaching job. She remembers the family atmosphere at East Bakersfield and the mentors who helped her develop into the teacher who would eventually become the director of instructional services with the Kern High School

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District, her current position. Throughout her 17 years at East High, Spanos held leadership roles, like department chair of the English department. Colleagues and her principal encouraged Spanos to get her administrative credential for new opportunities. “So I got it,” Spanos said. “Not necessarily with the strong intent to become an administrator but at a certain point in your career, you start to think what may be next.” Being both an administrator and a teacher was difficult because Spanos had to straddle two worlds, but the long hours were worth it. After a few years as assistant principal of instruction at Golden Valley High School and attendance administrator at the district office, Spanos is currently in her first year as director of instructional services.


Spanos, with the help of the district’s resource teachers, oversees professional development for the district. The resource team has a strong connection with chair departments throughout the schools and they gather information and input on what is needed to strengthen instruction. “We want to provide targeted, professional development where it is needed to strengthen our instruction so that our students learn at an optimal level,” Spanos said. There is currently a resource team member for core subjects like English, math and science. The goal is to have a representative for every department, including foreign languages. Meeting the needs of teachers and students is a big part of Spanos’ job. “Success is not a D,” Spanos said. “We want our students to reach that next level to feel confident so that if they choose to attend college, they are equipped.” The district has been working closely with Bakersfield College and California State University, Bakersfield, so that students are prepared when they move on to the next level of education. Spanos said while the partnership is new, it’s a step that will be beneficial to students. “We don’t want to blame each other for scores or lack of advancement,” Spanos said. “We need to communicate and work as a single entity of education to help students. Their success is our goal.”

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Corinne Ruiz By Laura Liera The hallway and living room no longer echo in laughter or guitar melodies inside the home of Corinne Ruiz. There are no longer mom-and-daughter moments shared in the evening when her daughter Olivia would jump on her mother’s bed, a sign it was time to chat about life, boys and friends. But as deep as the emptiness may feel inside the home where 14-year-old Olivia grew up, her mother’s eyes sparkle – in the midst of tears that fall down her face, when she talks about her little girl. As a toddler, Olivia was a character. She wasn’t afraid of anything. And she was a little dynamite. Ruiz remembers the countless moments in the car when she’d look at Olivia through the rearview mirror and they’d make eye contact. “She’d be staring at me and pulling out her bows, like saying, ‘Mom, I don’t like bows,’” Ruiz said. As she grew older and entered middle school, Olivia’s personality and self-confidence led her to try out for cheerleading, basketball and track, regardless of her petite size. She had a love for life and wanted to experience everything it had to offer. “When I look back now, it’s like there was a reason she wanted to do everything, because she wasn’t going to live long,” Ruiz said. The teenager had dreams of studying abroad and playing in an all-girl band, jamming melodies on a pink polka-dot guitar. But as active and healthy as Olivia looked on the outside, little did Ruiz know her daughter was a ticking time bomb. A few weeks before Easter Sunday 2004, as a freshman at Liberty High School, Olivia told her mom she was feeling lightheaded after gym class. Even sitting down, she felt like she was going to faint. Then came the heart palpitations, strong enough to make Olivia feel like her heart was going to explode out of her chest. 76

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The left arm and neck aches followed. A trip to the doctor led to a diagnosis of “stress-related symptoms.” “I didn’t know anything,” Ruiz said. “I didn’t know that 7,000 kids die every year due to cardiac arrest, often misdiagnosed for stress.” So the mother-daughter duo left the doctor’s office that day feeling uneasy but hoping for the best. Easter Sunday was Olivia’s last day alive. It was a day full of love and laughter, memories that Ruiz holds close to her heart. “She came into my room that night and told me she loved me,” Ruiz remembered. “Those were her last words to me.” The next morning, Ruiz found Olivia unconscious in her room. She dialed 911 and her son Manuel began CPR on his sister while they waited for an ambulance. Olivia went into cardiac arrest several times during the three days she was in the hospital. “Every time I heard Code Blue, I knew it was her room,” Ruiz said. A pediatric cardiologist informed Ruiz that her daughter suffered from Long QT syndrome – a heart rhythm condition that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. There is a four-minute window to restart the heart and stop the quivering before a person is declared brain dead. Olivia was airlifted to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, hoping for a miracle. But after the seventh day, there was no more brain activity. “We let her go,” Ruiz said, wiping tears from her eyes. Olivia was an organ donor – a decision she had made at the young age of 12. Her heart valve was healthy and went to a 3-year-old boy, whose heart beats today. And her corneas went to a toddler and a 22-year-old man, who now have sight. That was the beginning of Olivia’s Heart Project. “After she passed, it took me a few years to find my way back but I decided her death was not going to be in vain,” Ruiz said.

In 2010, she began advocating for automated external defibrillators to be placed at high school campuses. She wanted to raise awareness for sudden cardiac arrest. “I started going to schools and each one closed their door on me,” Ruiz said. “They would tell me nothing could be done because of legal liabilities.” Even after attending board meeting after board meetings to share why AEDs and CPR training were vital in schools, nothing changed. “I wasn’t going to give up,” Ruiz said. It wasn’t until Caleb Hannink collapsed in November 2012 in the Centennial High School gymnasium and ultimately died that the KHSD board of trustees gave Ruiz a call. Today, there are 122 AEDs in the high school district. More than 190 staff members have been trained in CPR and AED use. And more than 5,000 students have been educated in basic life-support skills. Olivia’s Heart Project is working with surrounding school districts, like McFarland and Arvin, to have AEDs on their campuses. “I’m doing this for other families and kids,” Ruiz said. “I want to prevent families from going through the pain and hell that I’ve been through.” Besides sharing AED and CPR education, Ruiz has partnered with the Bakersfield Heart Hospital and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital to provide free heart screenings twice a year for kids ages 12 to 18. There have been 15 kids who have been diagnosed with heart abnormalities since the first heart screening took place. Ruiz’s goal is to have a bill pass in the state of California that mandates AEDs and CPR training kits in all elementary, junior high and high school campuses in the state. And have equipment to travel to remote locations and provide free heart screenings for the youth. “As sad and hurtful as I feel, I look at Olivia’s pictures and say to her, ‘You did it again honey,’ because through her nonprofit organization, she’s saving lives,” Ruiz said.


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Mary Christenson By Laura Liera An ad in the newspaper led Mary Christenson to a career that would crown her as one of the top female realtors in Bakersfield. But before specializing in luxury homes, golf course and estate properties with Watson Realty, Christenson started from the ground up. The “fast track to management” newspaper listing led Christenson to work for U.S. Homes Corporation where she worked with builders, as a superintendent trainee, and learned everything about building houses. “I was supervising several subdivisions of construction and I was planning the model homes,” Christenson said. After 2 1/2 years, Christenson passed her real estate license and has been in real estate and sales for 35 years. Growing up in Shafter, relatively poor, Christenson worked with her parents in the fields, picking grapes and cotton. From a young age, Christenson had the tenacity and ambition to work hard and help people. “I love working with people every day,” she said. “This is a people business.” And the passion she has for her career is apparent with her home sales. Christenson’s first sell was with Coleman Homes. She sold 109 homes in nine months. They sold for $89,000 to $110,000. Although she continues to sell

and find homes at any price range, Christenson focuses primarily on luxury homes. “My client base is usually referrals,” Christenson said. “I have parents who refer their kids to me when they are ready to purchase a home.” Christenson still remembers the first high-end home she sold for $760,000. The new construction home in the Stockdale Estates had more than 200 people show up for the open house. This year so far, Christenson’s highest property has gone for $1.9 million. Even when the housing market crashed in 2008, Christenson said she never felt like she was going under. “I’ve never had any regrets,” she said. “I had to do things differently when the market went down and put more work in, but I’ve never second-guessed myself and my career.” On average, Christenson sells between 50 to 100 homes a year. Helping potential homebuyers make that purchase is the best part of the business for Christenson. “I get to help them with a big moment in their life,” Christenson said. “Either buying or selling and that feeling never goes away.”

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Lourdes Estrada By Laura Liera Working in research didn’t just happen for Lourdes Estrada. Her health education degree led her to work for the American Cancer Society when screenings for breast cancer were just beginning in the ’70s. Estrada was at the forefront of the research that would ultimately be the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. After being an advocate for breast cancer screenings in different communities of Los Angeles, Estrada wanted to be on the other side of the fight and got her nursing degree, which ultimately led her to the oncology floor at Mercy Hospital. “Whatever the treatments were then for cancer patients, there weren’t many and we lost so many patients, especially to breast cancer,” Estrada, the director of clinical research at the Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center, said Cancer was a death sentence in the ’80s. When patients got sick, there was not much nurses could do but keep them comfortable. “It was sad,” Estrada remembered. “Here I am giving them this treatment that is supposed to help their cancer but they are getting sick before they get better and sometimes they didn’t get better because the cancer had progressed so much.”

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The light at the end of the tunnel was hard to visualize, she added. But little did Estrada know that clinical research was already on the move. Fast-forward 30 years and cancer treatments have made a complete 180-degree turn. Patients with stage 4 lung cancer are surviving on treatment. When Estrada moved from the hospital to CBCC, founder and Medical Director Ravi Patel had the vision to incorporate research in the community. In the early ’90s, patients with any form of cancer had to leave Kern County for treatment. Whether it was a trip to UCLA or the Bay Area to get any novel drugs, patients had to make those trips. “You had patients that were sick making those long trips,” Estrada said. “Besides the expense, it takes a toll on the body.” Working with research nurses, Estrada and her team focused on making chemotherapy treatments better for patients. That idea would not only help patients but it would help others seek out treatments. “If a patient went through with chemotherapy, many didn’t want to come back,” Estrada noted. During chemotherapy, a patient’s white blood cells drop significantly. The goal for Estrada and her team was to find drugs that help increase red blood cells. “We have those red blood cell drugs today,” she said. “We also have treatments that will help with nausea.” There are even new chemotherapy drugs that attack different tumor cell cycles. As cancer studies continue, pharmaceuticals are developing more precise drugs to a more narrowed target. A drug can target the different mutations in the tumor and the tumor environment. “As I look back at how fast these drugs were approved, as compared to back then, it’s exponential,” Estrada said. Targeted treatments

for breast cancer have made big strides. Estrada said CBCC was instrumental in getting patients with HER2-positive breast cancer on the clinical trial treatment that changed the landscape of breast cancer. “That trial and approved drug helped prolong life,” she added. Patients are living longer with their disease and aren’t getting as sick. And a big part of that is due to research and clinical trials – more importantly, the patients who participated in the trials. “Without their participation, we wouldn’t be where we are today with cancer,” Estrada said. Although Estrada knows the drugs approved by the FDA after a clinical trial are not cures for cancer, it gives patients additional time to live. Any patient can sign up to be a part of a clinical trial. But there are various guidelines and qualifications in order to be picked. Once a patient is added to the trial, there is a 50-50 chance he or she will receive the trial drug. Researchers like Estrada and her team monitor the group of patients who have received the drug and those who have not. Data is collected and submitted to research. “It’s really important that we follow the patients because it could determine whether that drug is going to be put out on the market to help patients,” Estrada said. CBCC works closely with UCLA TRIOUS and other private industries on studies. Breast, lung, colon and prostate cancer are among the top Kern County diseases and research is ongoing. But Estrada wishes there were more people participating in clinical trials for these diseases. There is still a negative idea about clinical research that she wishes wasn’t there. Many see it as a guinea pig stage. “I always look at how far we have come with breast cancer,” Estrada said. “And those brave women who did the trials because they knew that eventually, future women would benefit from those trial drugs.”


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Wed local Couples face many decisions when planning a wedding, few more important than location.

While destination weddings will always be a popular option, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that the site of a wedding be easily accessible for guests, as well as vendors. Fortunately, Bakersfield has numerous options when it comes to holy matrimony. Take a look at these local weddings and draw inspiration from the venues and vendors that will give you the happily ever after you deserve.

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David and Linda Padilla By Mark Nessia June 10, 2016, New Life Assembly of Delano/The Park at the Mark Feb. 29, 2016, may have been just another leap day for Linda Padilla but David had other plans. For him, it was an extra day in the month that only comes once every four years, so he wanted to make it exciting. After a nice dinner,

a small group gathered at his apartment. Linda was tending to her 1 ½-year-old nephew Ethan who was asleep on the couch. When she turned around, she saw David on one knee with ring in hand. They became husband and wife on June 10, holding their ceremony at New Life Assembly of Delano and reception at The Park at The Mark. The couple decided on a Kern County wedding after spending a day in Bakersfield and seeing the downtown area in greater detail.

“After getting engaged and considering all pros and cons of an out-of-town wedding, a wedding in our residing city of Fresno and a wedding in Kern County, we went with Kern County based on the wonderful experience we had,” Linda, 27, said. The wedding was “definitely DIY,” according to Linda. Friends and family helped bring their vision to life, including Rob Ditona who volunteered his services as a musician. “Seeing Linda walk down the aisle as the musicians played was simply magical,” said David, 28. “It was supernatural to be able to see my bride getting closer and closer. Seeing her face glow with such magnificence is an image forever burned in my brain.”

Just The Facts

Venue: New Life Assembly of Delano (ceremony), The Park at The Mark (reception) Photographer: Jori C. Kinney Photography Flowers: Leslie’s Floral (Delano) Jewelry: Kay Jewelers and Julia Vogue Wedding gown: BHLDN Bridesmaids’ dresses: Macy’s Tuxedos: Express (groom) and Men’s Wearhouse Cake: Jackie Mendoza Catering: The Mark Restaurant Hair/makeup: Jourdenne Ballard and Carla Phillips DJ/band services: Rob Ditona Band and Marko Vasquez Wedding colors: Earthy neutrals, blush and dark blue www.Bakersfield.com

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Sean and Alayna Condon By Mark Nessia Jan. 9, 2016, First Presbyterian Church/JC’s Place Downtown Alayna Condon can’t remember the exact minute she fell in love with her husband, Sean, but one particular moment stands out. The two were watching the sunset at Alayna’s brother’s beach apartment. With his

Just The Facts

Venue: First Presbyterian Church (ceremony), JC’s Place Downtown (Reception) Photographer: Jonah and Lindsay Photography & Film Flowers: Flower Bar Jewelry: Jewelry Exchange Store (hers), Etsy (his) Wedding gown: Anthropologie/BHLDN wedding dress Bridesmaids’ dresses: J.C. Penney Tuxedos: J.C. Penney Cake: Amy Moore Catering: NV Catering Hair: Erin and Kelsey Coleman Makeup: Niki Bell DJ/band services: Freestyle Events Services Inc. Wedding colors: Pink, blue, cream and gold 84

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arms wrapped around her, Sean told Alayna how beautiful she was and that he was so happy they were dating. Alayna noticed Sean’s heart start to race before he told her the three words she had been dying to hear: “I love you.” “It was done so beautifully and I cried – a lot,” Alayna said. “I sat down with him on a nearby bench and let him know I loved him as well. It was just like a movie but better.” The Condons were engaged Feb. 9, 2015, and said “I do” Jan. 9, 2016. They considered an out-of-town wedding at first but realized they would save a lot of money staying in Bakersfield and it would be convenient for family and friends to stay

in an area that is familiar. Despite differing tastes in venues, Alayna, 22, and Sean, 23, were able to find something they both loved – Sean got his “old white chapel” in the First Presbyterian Church and Alayna got her “fun, old J.C. Penney building” in JC’s Place Downtown. On the day of their wedding, which was romantic, joyful and laid-back, the couple decided to do a first look. “It was hands down the best decision we made on our wedding,” Alayna said. “It was nice just to have time to ourselves before our wedding to truly soak in the moment and the commitment we were making before God and each other.”


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Louis and Eloise Phan By Mark Nessia April 30, 2016, Bakersfield Country Club Dating for 13 years, Louis and Eloise Phan practically grew up together. The high school sweethearts got their driver’s licenses together, went to formals and proms together, attended each other’s high school and college graduations, and traveled the world together. It was inevitable that the two would get married and Bakersfield was the perfect place.

“It made sense to have our wedding venue in the city where we first met,” Eloise said. The Phans knew that the venue had to big enough to accommodate a large guest list of family and friends, and they also wanted something that grabbed guests’ attention upon arrival. Pulling up to the Bakersfield Country Club, Louis, 28, and Eloise, 29, felt they weren’t in Bakersfield anymore. The venue had the open space and awe factor they were looking for and the couple exchanged vows on its grounds on April 30. The day contained nonstop entertain-

Just The Facts

Venue: Bakersfield Country Club Photographer: Patrick Ang Photography, Lindsay Long and Jeanette Ennis Flowers: Uniquely Chic Jewelry: Phung’s Jewelry Wedding gown: Alfred Angelo Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal Tuxedos: Friar Tux Cake: Tastries Bakery Catering: Bakersfield Country Club Hair/makeup: Juree Martinez and Moony Mon DJ/band services: Freestyle Event Services Inc. Wedding colors: Blush pink and gold

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ment, including surprise dance and singing performances, but the highlight of the evening was when Louis, who is Vietnamese, wore a Filipino Barong and Eloise, who is Filipino, wore a Vietnamese ao dai. “It was a way for us to show our guests that we were embracing each other’s cultures and ready to bring our families together,” Eloise said.


www.Bakersfield.com

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Garret and Natalie Jensen By Mark Nessia June 4, 2016, Hathaway Ranch There’s nothing more memorable than being declared husband and wife. When Garret and Natalie officially became Mr. and Mrs. Jensen, it was the highlight of an unforgettable, fun and perfect

wedding. Born and raised in Bakersfield, Garret, 26, and Natalie, 25, went to different high schools and colleges but met over Christmas break in 2011 at a small gathering at a friend’s house. They were engaged March 2016 and married June 4, 2016. Natalie always wanted a short engagement but the main reason for the quick turnaround was her sister Kiki Robinson, who attends Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. “I wanted her to be there for any and every event possible, and with her in Connecticut, I only had a couple of options for a date,”

Just The Facts

Venue: Hathaway Ranch Photographer: Boone and Stacie Photography Flowers: Debbie Jensen Jewelry: Wickersham Company Wedding gown: Ladies and Gents Bridal Bridesmaids’ dresses: Macy’s Tuxedos: Fino’s Menswear & Tuxedo Cake: Anamie’s Sweets Catering: Mossman’s Catering Hair: Jourdeene Ballard Makeup: Itzel Arroyo (Ilashdolls Makeup) DJ/band services: AllSound Music Entertainment Wedding colors: Navy, white and silver 88

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Natalie said. It was either June 2016 or June 2017, and Natalie was not interested in a yearlong engagement. Despite the short timeline, planning went smoothly – proof that things that are meant to be will happen regardless of the obstacles standing in the way. With the help of Natalie’s mom, Traci Robinson, the entire wedding was planned in three short months. “Every vendor that I called was available on that day,” Natalie said. “We never had to make a phone call to a second-choice vendor. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing!”


www.Bakersfield.com

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Artist Jennifer Williams-Cordova collaborated with truck sponsors while seven months pregnant.

Driving to bring the community together BMOA’s public art exhibit hits the road this month By Teresa Adamo If Riverside can have a collection of ginormous oranges, then Bakersfield can have a fleet of small-scale fiberglass trucks. That’s essentially the inspiration – or perhaps better yet, the “drive” – behind the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s public art project “Driven By Art.” In recognition of its 60th year, 90

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BMOA has incorporated a host of special exhibits and events, but “Driven By Art” marks the first one to hit the road and bring the celebration to the community at large. The trucks will be on public exhibition throughout downtown Bakersfield from Oct. 7 to Jan. 6, 2017. “Art is essential to a community; it brings us together,” said Keri Gless who, along with Katie Werdel, co-

chaired the volunteer committee for “Driven By Art.” “In many ways, this project is a thank you to Bakersfield.” Gless is a transplant to Bakersfield from Riverside, where the Riverside Art Museum executes a public art project called “Giant Orange Artventure,” inspired by the area’s deep roots in the citrus industry. Gless herself is connected to Riverside citrus farming with her family as well as her in-laws


"WTRWAYS," painted by Etelvina Chavez and sponsored by Water-Ways.

in the business. “My parents even have one of the giant oranges from the Riverside public art project in their backyard,” said Gless at the recent opening night of BMOA’s fall exhibitions. “As the wife of a citrus farmer and supporter of the arts, this project has always held a special place in my heart and one I hoped to see duplicated in my adoptive hometown.” The 33 small-scale, 1956-era fiberglass pickups have been painted, or otherwise embellished, by some of Bakersfield’s leading artists. The trucks – a uniquely Bakersfield take on such successful community art projects as the one in Riverside as well as Chicago’s “Cows on Parade” and New York’s “Big Apples” – will be parked downtown on street corners, sidewalks and roadways. Thirteen of the trucks, donated by their sponsors to the city of Bakersfield, will be permanently installed along the Westside Parkway. So why pickups? According to museum officials, the truck and nostalgic period design of the 1956 era is representative of BMOA’s year of inception and a metaphor for the museum’s mission, both past and present. For the artists who were selected to use the trucks as the basis for their creations, the “Driven By Art” fiberglass medium offered a unique opportunity but a challenging one as well. In fact, one of the artists, Jennifer Williams-Cordova, took on the task while working on a much more momentous “project.” At the time she agreed to collaborate with her truck sponsor – the owners of Cafe Smitten, a new cafe/

"DOODLIN'," painted by Art and Liz Sherwyn and sponsored by Optimal Hospice.

coffee shop opening on 18th Street – Williams-Cordova was seven months pregnant. “Let’s just say everyone was shocked that I took this on, knowing full well I was due with our first baby about the same time as the trucks would arrive,” said Williams-Cordova, whose daughter, Ofelia, was born on June 4. “But I felt like this was a really special art event and was determined to make it work.” Crediting her husband, Brad Cordova, for taking on extra newborn duty so she could switch hats from new mommy to artist, Williams-Cordova did make it work, creating a coffee treethemed truck. “As it turns out, the coffee tree is a beautiful plant with white flowers and red seeds, so I knew this would be a key component of my design,” she said. “It’s supposed to look like an old, rusty truck left in a field, overgrown with coffee tree plant.” And because the truck will be permanently parked at Cafe Smitten, Williams-Cordova added a special personalization: a silhouette of Coco, the dog belonging to owners Shay and Stasie Bitton. As for the overall concept of “Driven By Art,” it certainly takes community pride into the next gear, according to Williams-Cordova. “I think it’s really special that BMOA included this public art exhibit as part of their 60th year celebration,” she said. “They are showing our community a lot of love, and we should show it right back with our support for the museum.”

"DARLING," painted by Thomas Lucero and sponsored by Peggy Darling.

Keep on truckin’

• Truck-a-palooza: Kids Art Festival and Truck Extravaganza: On Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Kids can enjoy art stations, touch-a-truck work trucks, food trucks and more. More information is available at www.bmoa.org/palooza. • “Driven By Art” will be publicly displayed in downtown Bakersfield, Oct. 7 to Jan. 6, 2017. • Maps of the fleet of 33 “Driven By Art” exhibition locations will be available at the Bakersfield Museum of Art and distributed to Visit Bakersfield, the Chamber of Commerce and other locations throughout the community. • To view the artistic process of the trucks, search #bmoadrivenbyart on Facebook and Instagram. • Visit www.bmoa.org or call 661-323-7219 for more information. “Driven By Art” was made possible by a grant from The Bakersfield Californian Foundation to manufacture the trucks, Hansen’s Moving and Storage for transporting the trucks, StructureCast for fabricating the concrete bases and the city of Bakersfield for advisement and guidance with approved and ADA-compliant public exhibition locations for the “Driven By Art” truck map.

www.Bakersfield.com

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BYP hosts

party of the year Street Party turns downtown Bakersfield into ultimate social gathering By Hillary Haenes

T

he heart of downtown Bakersfield will become home to the ultimate party scene on Oct. 14. Join the fun at the second annual BYP Street Party from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Wall Street Alley, between H and Eye streets. Rock to live music by local band Lonely Avenue. Enjoy an assortment of delicious fare from local food trucks and vendors – The Curbside Kitchen, Pita Paradise, Brazil Hot Dogs and La Rosa Fruit Bars – to pair with craft beer and cocktails. Socialize with other young professionals and let your competitive nature shine by playing giant Jenga, Connect Four, ladder ball and cornhole games. The entrance to the party will be through The Park at the Mark, 1623 19th St. This is an event put on by the Bakersfield Young Professionals, a council of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. The council’s goal is to provide opportunities for local young professionals, ages 21 to 40, to network and build connections with their peers and business leaders, gain the

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The BYP Street Party provides young professionals an opportunity to network and build connections.

Young professionals can let their competitive nature shine by playing games like giant Jenga.

tools and resources to grow professionally and personally, and develop relationships in the local nonprofit sector to give back to the community. “Bakersfield has a downtown that’s rich in history, and we wanted an event

October 2016

that celebrated the vibrancy and renaissance of our city’s core. The street party brings different elements together – live music, fantastic food, and drinks and games – that provide the perfect urban backdrop for everyone to

connect and unwind. It is also a clear demonstration of what young professionals can do in our community,” said Nicholas Ortiz, president and CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. The BYP Street Party is presented by Kern Federal Credit Union. Gold sponsors include Alpha Media LLC, Motor City and Trans West Security Service Inc. Bronze sponsor is LeBeau-Thelen LLP. Last year’s event sold out, so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets. There are only 350 tickets available for this unique event. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. To purchase tickets, visit vallitix.com. For more information on BYP, visit bakersfieldchamber. org or call the chamber office at 327-4421.


Local food trucks and food vendors will be on hand, serving up a variety of delicious food options.

www.Bakersfield.com

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Business Profile

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital

What makes HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital different from other hospitals and skilled care facilities? HealthSouth is an acute rehabilitation hospital, not a skilled nursing facility or nursing home. No one lives at HealthSouth. There are no long-term patients. We are a hospital just like a regular hospital, except instead of having an emergency room or operating room, we have a gymnasium for rehabilitation! All acute rehabilitation hospitals are strictly regulated by Medicare and have guidelines that must be followed in order to maintain their hospital status. For example, our patients receive therapy three hours a day, five days a week by licensed therapists. Additionally, over half of that therapy must be one-on-one between the patient and the therapist. Our patients can expect to be seen by their physicians several days a week and can expect to have the best possible outcomes in the shortest length of time. HealthSouth Another difference is 5001 Commerce Drive that there is no requirement 661-323-5500 for a three-day qualifying www.healthsouthbakersfield.com hospital stay for patients to qualify for admission. We receive referrals directly from physicians' offices and home health agencies, as well as friends and family members of patients who are at home and could benefit from rehabilitation services. 94

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In these cases, a clinical nurse liaison goes to the home to assess the patient. If they meet rehabilitation criteria, a HealthSouth physician will review the case and make the final determination for the patient’s best interest. We are contracted with most major insurance companies, including Medicare and Medi-Cal. Most, including Martha Samora, RN, CPHQ, FACHE, Medicare, allow admission directly Chief Executive from the home setting or from a phyOfficer sician’s office, as long as the patient meets the clinical guidelines. What are the latest findings about stroke rehabilitation? The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recently published new guidelines about stroke rehabilitation settings. These guidelines, also endorsed by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Society of Neuro Rehabilitation, state, “If possible, people who’ve had a stroke should be sent directly to inpatient rehabilitation after their hospital discharge.” This would be instead of a skilled nursing facility or nursing home – and exactly what HealthSouth Bakersfield Rehabilitation Hospital offers. Details of this study are available from the Medline Plus press release, May 4, 2016, or at stroke. ahajournals.org.


Business Profile

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Dr. Maureen Martin Chief of Surgery at Kern Medical

During the 15 years that Dr. Maureen Martin has been at Kern Medical, the picture for breast cancer patients across the country has improved: • The incidence of breast cancer declined, though it is still significant, with one in eight women developing the disease. • Death rates have decreased, particularly for women younger than 50. • There are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. today. • Breast conserving surgery has become the standard of care for early stage breast cancer, avoiding the need for mastectomy in most patients. But, Dr. Martin warns, breast cancer remains a powerful adversary and we’re a long way from having all the answers. In fact, it’s clear that the more we know and refine the guidelines for detection, the more women have become confused by those guidelines. October has been designated Breast Cancer Awareness month so this seems a good moment to clarify the confusion that surrounds manual breast exams, both self-exams and exams performed by a medical provider, she said. For years, the thinking was that

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all women needed to exam themselves regularly. But, the American Cancer Society website points out, research has shown no clear benefit of such exams. Here at Kern Medical, Dr. Martin said, we’re going to err on the side of testing. Early detection is the most effective deterrent. Cancers found during routine self-exams or through screening mammograms are usually small, contained within the breast and are more readily treatable. Yes, some things that feel suspicious turn out to be nothing to worry about. But we’d rather worry a little more than miss a chance to save a life. On Oct. 15, Kern Medical will stage a free breast cancer screening clinic. Every woman who comes to the main campus that day will receive a breast exam from a medical provider. Anyone with a finding that is considered suspicious will be referred for further testing. No woman should skip testing for an economic reason or concern about immigration status, she said. Current thinking is that for a woman at average risk of breast cancer, a mammography is not recommended before age 40 unless a problem is suspected. For women ages 40-44, a mammography is optional. Between ages 45 and 54, a woman should get a mammogram every year. After age 55, the recom-

mendation changes to once every two years. Breast cancer is a particular interest for Dr. Martin, who came to Kern Medical in 2002 as chair of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Martin is also a recognized leader in transplantation as well as in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery. As chief of surgery, her mandate was to build Kern Medical into a regional leader. The recruitment of a number of board-certified specialists in trauma and critical care, ENT, neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, thoracic surgery, urology and microvascular surgery has brought together a critical mass of capable surgeons to provide highly specialized surgical care and reduce the need to refer patients to other centers beyond the Central Valley. In her general surgery practice, Dr. Martin sees patients both at the main campus and at Kern Medical’s new Stockdale offices near California State University, Bakersfield. To make an appointment, call 661-664-2200.

Kern Medical For an appointment, call 661-664-2200.


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This time for someone she decided to name Jessica.

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People & Community

BAKERSFIELD MATTERS

Anatomy of a public art exhibit Community gets behind the wheel to bring ‘Driven By Art’ to Bakersfield

By Lisa Kimble

At long last, the curious miniature trucks the local art community has been abuzz about for months are here, and for the two women who have been the driving force behind “Driven By Art,” Keri Gless and Katie Werdel, the finish line is finally in sight. The public art exhibition, officially unveiled to the public last week, and the guest of honor at a preview gala this evening at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, is the largest and most unique public art exhibit this community has ever seen. In the works for nearly two years, and under wraps for months, the 33 whimsical life-size fiberglass 1956 Ford pickups, the year of the museum’s inception, are painted by local artists in celebration of the iconic and endearing symbol of our lifeblood industries of oil and agriculture, as well as the museum’s diamond anniversary. Public art adds texture and a richness to a community’s outward self. But staging something of this magnitude is a herculean effort. The idea was the brainchild of museum board member Gless, who had seen Riverside Art Museum’s 2006 life-sized oranges, patterned after Chicago’s “Cows on Parade.” “I was surprised we had never 98

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October 2016

done one and the idea sat in the back of my mind in the hopes that eventually there would be the right time,” Gless said. “And (BMOA’ s 60th anniversary) was very much the right time.” The project gained traction when the pair settled on pickup truck replicas. With the BMOA, the only accredited art museum in the southern San Joaquin Valley, closing in on its 60th anniversary, the truck project seemed a perfect fit. But there would need to be plenty of gas in this project’s tank for it to go the distance. The museum applied for a $54,000 grant from the Bakersfield Californian Foundation, the exact amount it would cost to have small fiberglass trucks manufactured in Chicago. The request was approved and the grant specified that the money be used for something public and downtown. “If not for the grant, this wouldn’t be happening,” Werdel added. Incoming BMOA board President Cathy Bennett helped with legal contracts. But the city of Bakersfield had to be brought on board. Recreation and Parks head Dianne Hoover, familiar with Cincinnati’s exhibition, was in. The city manager and public works offices Lisa Kimble were quick to

follow, along with the Arts Council and the Downtown Business Association. Local artist and Council Director David Gordon was tapped to paint the first truck so prospective sponsors could visualize the possibilities. As the project coasted along, much goodwill was generated and the museum was able to strengthen partnerships with other agencies. “It makes you realize how lucky we are to live in Bakersfield. Everyone bent over backward. In a much bigger city, the roadblocks would have been tenfold,” Werdel said. As a member of the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s board, it has been sheer delight and awe to watch this idea hatch, gain wheels and traction, and speed down the highway to completion. Bravo to Gless, Werdel, their team of volunteers, the artists, sponsors and individuals and businesses who made in-kind donations for getting behind the wheel and putting this fun project into overdrive. Next Sunday, Oct. 2, the community can see the “Driven By Art” trucks up close at Truck-a-Palooza before they hit the road, to be parked downtown on street corners, sidewalks and roadways starting First Friday, Oct. 7, into January. Hope you’ll join the convoy! Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.


FAMILY VERDICT

Aging gracefully Face the fears surrounding your face By Katy Raytis

The only thing that scares me more than getting old and wrinkly are the cosmetic procedures that keep you from getting old and wrinkly. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be the one person who is allergic to Botox and ends up with an eyelid frozen shut and a forehead that sags to the left. My cosmetic phobia isn’t the real problem. The real problem is that none of my friends are equally afraid. They head off to the doctor’s office or the salon, get lasered and peeled, and then show up looking shiny and new, like they just got pressed at the dry cleaner. It’s like being friends with the “Twilight” vampires. No one is aging. Whenever we take a group photo, I look like everyone’s older sister. Awesome. The raisin surrounded by grapes. It’s not just the needles and pain that scare me. It’s also the money. I don’t have an extra $4,000 a month to devote to a skin care regimen. Even if I did, I’m not disciplined enough to follow it. I’m actually not that good at washing at all. Three months ago, I bought a Rodan and Fields AMP MD Roller that is supposed to use acupuncture to remove fine lines. It could be a brilliant invention, but I might as well have lit $300 on fire. It’s sitting in its box right next to the Shake Weight that was supposed to firm up my arms and the “No! No!” that was going to remove all my hair. My other problem is that cosmetic procedures are supposedly addicting. That’s terrifying, especially for me since my life motto is “more is better.” One of my friends told me she tried Botox once, and the next thing she knew, she had injected her entire family vacation fund into her forehead. “Sorry kids. This year, instead of going to Tahoe, we’re going to spend the summer looking at mom’s pretty skin.” That would be me, except we don’t actually have a Tahoe vacation fund. Rejecting the anti-aging protocol wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t I love the sun so much. Unfortunately, though, I’m really good at lying out. It combines my two greatest talents: lying there and doing nothing. But all that warm sunlight takes a toll. One day, you wake up looking like an old boot. My mom literally told me that I better hope my girls want Western-themed weddings since I look like I’m made out of leather. Mom doesn’t mince words. Sadly, she’s right. I played “Face Swap” with my

kids the other night. There is an app that let’s you put your face on someone else’s body and vice versa. It sounded fun, until I swapped faces with my 11-yearold and wanted to kill myself. I looked like a kid who’d been trapped for a week in a food dehydrator. The unfair part is that aging only feels like a problem if you are female. Men get old and become dapper and distinguished, while the women become saggy and matronly. If there is any sliver of justice, it may be this: By the time a man becomes dapper and distinguished, he’s also too tired to do anything about it. I have one friend who said she isn’t doing any cosmetic procedures because she intends to age gracefully. I like getting photographed with her, though I don’t think I’m aging gracefully. I’m aging fearfully. Then again, psychologists say you should face your fears, so at least I’ve got that covered. My face is my fear. I tackle phobias every time I pass a reflective surface. Maybe one day I’ll become brave enough to get my forehead frozen or my cheeks laminated or whatever else they invent. Until then, my plan is to avoid “Face Swap,” encourage the kids to go with a “cowboy” wedding and never be photographed unless I’m at Glenwood Gardens. If anyone wants to buy an AMP MD Roller, just let me know. I’ll throw in a Shake Weight and a “No! No!” for free. Katy Raytis

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Katy Raytis. www.Bakersfield.com

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People & Community

PERSONALITY

MAKING THE CUT Local hairstylist looks back on 55-year career

By Rhiannon Stroberg Photos courtesy of Don Robertson

Trading in his National Guard uniform for an apron was no problem for Don Robertson. But he had no idea he’d be entering the hairdressing business. Robertson came from a farming community in which his father grew grapes, so, naturally, it was assumed that he would continue on with the family business. However, Robertson had other things in mind. “I spent my early teen years working in the grapes and I knew I didn’t want to do that and I was very artistic,” he said. “I’m very gifted with my hands so I wanted to do something artistic with my hands.” After checking out barber college, Robertson wasn’t impressed with what he saw and wanted something more, so when he first stepped into a beauty 100 Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

school and saw that they were coloring a woman’s hair purple, hairdressing immediately piqued his interest. Two days after leaving the Army, he was signed up and registered to begin beauty school, which would jumpstart a long, successful career. After beauty school, Robertson worked for Ann Federico, founder of the Federico Beauty Institute, and was sent to Detroit, Michigan, to Virginia Farrell Beauty School where the school’s director, C. Anthony, set him up with an internship with a Revlon salon.

While interning at the Revlon salon, Robertson had the pleasure of assisting on Marilyn Monroe’s hair. But he noted that one wouldn’t have recognized her based on her appearance when she arrived – fashionably late. “She had her hair covered in a scarf with shades on, even though it was night, so you knew it was someone,” he said. “I set her hair, shampooed it; the hairdresser I was assisting combed it; then she was Marilyn.” Robertson states that she was a charming, angel-like woman, but what he thought was odd was that


when he told her that it was a pleasure waiting for Marilyn Monroe, she replied, “Oh, I wait for myself sometimes.” In addition to interning with Revlon, Robertson worked as a teacher at Federico Beauty Institute before working with Lyle Upton, founder of the popular beauty school chain Lyle’s Beauty College, as a teacher and educational director of the schools. Eventually, Robertson opened up his own salon in Bakersfield while still teaching and working for Lyle’s. He also began entering hair shows, winning over 80 shows along with two state championships alongside his ex-wife Marilyn McIndoe. In the 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic swept the nation into a state of fear, hairdressers were refusing service to AIDS patients in fear contracting the disease. Robertson, however, welcomed the AIDS patients and was willing to cut their hair when others wouldn’t. When the doctors at San

Joaquin Community Hospital asked him if he was sure about cutting the patients’ hair, Robertson said: “I’m not going to cut myself and I’m not going to cut him. He needs a haircut; let people live with dignity.” Although he is retired, after a long run of 55 years in the business, Robertson still likes to keep up with the current trends by going to hair classes and he enjoys seeing new trends emerge. “Every generation wants their own identity, so, therefore, it creates change, which is good,” he said. “Nothing is constant except change. You have to embrace change, whether you like it or not, because it’s going to happen either way.” Robertson went on to say that we get to a point in our lives in which we get comfortable with what we have and we just settle with no intent to change and that’s what makes life boring. “I think the worst thing we can do is not keep an open mind about everything,” he said.

Facing page: LA Show 1964 with first place trophy. Left: State Championships 1979

www.Bakersfield.com

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People & Community

ALL-STAR ATHLETE

The best defense is a good offense Flemion hopes to bring home another WAC title after moving to front row By Stephen Lynch

Photos by Mark Nessia

Despite having spent her entire college career as a back-row player, Cal State Bakersfield’s Sophie Flemion was excited when she was asked by the Roadrunners coach Giovana Melo to move up to the net at the start of the 2016 season. Flemion was fine with her role as a libero but relished the idea of playing outside hitter, where she would have more of an opportunity to rack up kills and score points for CSUB. “I jumped up and down when she told me,” Flemion said. “It’s exciting. Everybody wants to hit.” The move, which was predicated by injuries to several of CSUB’s front-row players, quickly proved to be a successful one for both Flemion and the ’Runners. Through CSUB’s first 10 matches of the season, the 5-foot-6 senior ranked second on the team in points and third in kills. She kicked off the season by being selected to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the Black Knights Invitational in West Point, New York. Flemion, a standout setter during her prep career at Cambria-Coast Union High School, knows she is on the short end of the spectrum for college front-row players. That doesn’t seem to faze her at all. “I just take it as an exciting challenge because I get to go up against these tall girls that are used to seeing over the net,” Flemion said. “I enjoy coming in and hitting as hard as I can 102 Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

and trying to break their hands off the net and just trying get through them.” According to Flemion the biggest adjustment she’s had to make due to the position swap has been changing her mindset. Being a defensive player in the past, her favorite thing to do was keeping hitters from scoring and frustrating opposing teams. Being on the offensive side, it is now her job to end plays – the complete opposite of what she was

used to. The adjustment to playing at the net was made easier for Flemion due to her experience as beach volleyball player, which she played at CSUB from 2012 to 2015. “Playing sand (volleyball) helped a lot,” Flemion said. “The timing is a little different but it definitely helped my jump if nothing else. It for sure helped my vertical.” Though she racked up a plethora of


EB TH

• Born: June 23, 1994, in San Luis Obispo. • Parents: Bill and Karen Flemion. • High school graduating class consisted of 42 students. • Helped Coast Union win the 2011 CIF Southern Section Division 5-A Championship and advance to the state playoffs. • Was part of the Broncos’ Coast Valley League championship team in 2010 when Coast Union went on to be CIF Southern Section semifinalists.

accolades in high school, Flemion wasn’t sure she was even going to have the opportunity to play volleyball in college. “The opportunity wasn’t really there,” she said. “I was emailing coaches and nobody was really interested.” Finally, after making an online recruiting video account in April of her senior year of high school, CSUB showed interest in her. Flemion was a walk-on her first two years but in 2014 earned a volleyball scholarship.

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Sophie Flemion • Was chosen as the CIF Southern Section Division 5-A Player of the Year in 2011 and the Coast Valley League MVP in 2010. • Named first team All County in 2011. • Was a three-time team MVP and team captain as a senior. • Selected as the Coast Union High School Female Athlete of the Year in 2010. • This spring, was the recipient of the female “Heart of a Champion” ROWDY award. • Graduated from CSUB in June with a degree in physical education and is currently working on her teaching credential. • Her goal is to become an elementary school or high school PE teacher and coach volleyball. • Enjoys eating, sleeping and talking to her parents on the phone during her free time.

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Now Flemion hopes her ability to play well on the front row will help CSUB win the Western Athletic Conference championship, just as it did her sophomore year. Flemion considers the CSUB’s 2014 conference title the highlight of her college volleyball career. “Everybody on that team, that was the goal,” Flemion said. “It was just so positive. We were a small team but we just had the right relationships on the court that got us there.” www.Bakersfield.com

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People & Community

REAL PEOPLE

WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN Bakersfield duo seeks to make impact on global scale

By Mark Nessia

It starts off light and flirty – the scent of green coconut, Italian bergamot and Macintosh apple easing you into conversation. As the comfort level rises, the top notes give way to lily of the valley, the heart of the fragrance, which is complemented by its base notes of French vanilla, black coconut, dry woods and amber musk. That is The Invitation. Created by Alycia McCain and Kristin Smith of Smith & McCain Fragrances, The Invitation is a means of empowering women, instilling a sense of confidence, beauty and desirability. McCain, 27, and Smith, 26, decided on perfumery because scent is directly tied to memory, which increases feelings and creates hormones and pheromones. “What makes women feel more empowered? It’s when they feel confident and sexy,” Smith said. The pair met in Spanish class at Liberty High School in 2004 and says they’ve always worked well together, referring to themselves as “yin and 104 Bakersfield Life Magazine

yang” because they are complete opposites – McCain is the analytical introvert and Smith is the extroverted go-getter. They motivate and push each other toward a common goal: to do something impactful on a global scale. That goal became a reality when Amilya Antonetti, an entrepreneur, Fortune 500 turnaround expert and TV personality, took the two on as business mentees back in May. A mutual client introduced McCain and Smith to Antonetti, saying if there was anyone who can put their business on the right path, it would be her. “She takes us to dinner and we’re there for five hours and she physically changes our life for forever,” Smith said. With Antonetti’s guidance, Smith & McCain Fragrances became a sponsor of “Kili Climb 2016,” which documented 20 women with 20 amazing stories climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The event garnered coverage on numerous TV programs, like the "Steve Harvey Show," and magazines, thrusting McCain & Smith Fragrances into the global spotlight. Antonetti has been menOctober 2016

toring women since 1985, selecting about half a dozen a year. She decides whom to take under her wing based on two intangibles: fire in the belly and work ethic. “When I started in business, there was no Oprah, no Martha Stewart, no Meg Whitman,” Antonetti said. “I had Barbara Walters. I saw her as someone in a man’s world doing what men normally did and doing it in her own way. That was a huge inspiration for me. I was like, ‘I’m going to do that but in my own vertical.’” Antonetti’s philosophy involves authentically demonstrating to women that there is a sacrifice with each step and providing them with the information they need to make great decisions. In doing so, she is connecting current generations with future generations. “When we met with (Antonetti) in New York, she had her daughter with her,” Smith said. “When she started lining out everything she wanted to do for us, I was like, ‘Why?’ She said: ‘I see my daughter’s generation and I see my generation and the only thing standing between me and her

is you. So I help you; you help her.’” With The Invitation, McCain and Smith are helping make a difference locally as well. A portion of proceeds go to Magdalene Hope, a local organization that outreaches to sex workers, prostitutes and victims of human trafficking. “People think human trafficking doesn’t happen here, but Bakersfield is a central hub for it,” McCain said. A couple of months ago, the group came across a woman on the street who was brought in from Atlanta. Smith said she was probably 16 years old, adding that the average age is 12. “This goes along with the women empowerment,” Smith said. “We’re trying to empower and rescue women – help women and give them their confidence back.”

The Invitation Available at Jezabelle’s, 9500 Brimhall Road, #303, and online at www.smithmccain.com.


TALK OF THE TOWN

Off and running Bakersfield Marathon brings first-class event to city By Hillary Haenes

When it comes to hosting large sporting events, such as the Amgen Tour of California to statewide wrestling and cheerleading competitions, Bakersfield certainly knows how to provide visitors a first-class welcome. It has taken three years of planning by Active Bakersfield Alliance event co-founders Charles Brown and David A. Milazzo, but Kern County runners, as well as participants from across the state and country, are looking forward to the Bakersfield Marathon on Nov. 13. California State University, Bakersfield, will host the start and finish lines for the Bakersfield Marathon – a USA Track & Field-certified full marathon, half-marathon, two-person half-marathon relay and 5K fun runs. According to Michael Herman, CEO of California Classic Events and co-director of the Bakersfield Marathon, nearly 900 participants have already

signed up for one of the events with 30 percent of those participating in the marathon. The race organizers project that this event will easily exceed the 2,000-participant mark in its first year. “We are astounded at the level of interest from Bakersfield runners. Fresno took nearly three years to develop its marathon to the level that Bakersfield will accomplish in its first year,” Herman said. “Compared to Fresno, we are seeing three times the sponsorship dollars flowing in to support this marathon.” The outpour of sponsorships from Bakersfield businesses, in terms of financial and personnel support, has been huge. It takes a lot of money to put on an event that closes and protects nearly 19 miles of city streets, said Herman, who has been involved in directing running events since 2006. While it may be too soon to tell, there is early indication showing trends that lead race organizers to expect about 500 out-of-town participants

with nearly 50 of those traveling from other states, Herman said. This would create a nearly $100,000 economic impact in its inaugural year. And if projections hold true for the next five years, it is possible that the economic impact will exceed $1 million each year. “We are thrilled that this marathon has become a reality. Combined with its status as a Boston Marathon qualifier, the Bakersfield Marathon will attract runners from around the world and will generate a significant economic impact,” said Nicholas Ortiz, president and CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. “The organizers have focused on designing a high-quality race that showcases the best of our community. The chamber is a proud sponsor of the 2016 marathon, and we believe this event will continue to grow and become one of the premier running competitions in California.” To learn more about the event, visit runbakersfield.com. www.Bakersfield.com

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People & Community

FOR A CAUSE

A charitable union of two Kern County cultures Pyrenees Fiesta raises funds to help children, families battling life-threatening illnesses By Olivia Garcia A charity event that celebrates two rich Kern County cultures through food, music and more while raising funds to help local children and families facing life-threatening illnesses returns to Bakersfield on Saturday, Oct. 1. The 11th annual Pyrenees Fiesta will be held from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Station, 7900 Downing Ave., Suite D. It is the signature event for the nonprofit Mendiburu Magic Foundation, said founder Brian Mendiburu. “It is a casual and laid-back event that includes elements of the Mexican and Basque heritage that people love – wine, good food, music and good people,” Mendiburu said. “This year, we moved to a new venue, and The Station has been a great partner and so we look forward to our work together. We will feature great music, food from Jacalito Grill and Wool Growers, cornhole and live/silent auction.” One of the highlights will center on a family that will share a personal story of overcoming challenges and the role the foundation played in supporting them. MMF was founded in honor of Brian’s mother, Nancy Ann Mendiburu, who passed away in 2000 after a bout with cancer and it “adheres to a legacy of compassion, strength of character and a strong belief in right and wrong that embodies this great woman,” he said. “Yes, my mom taught me a lot about empathy and compassion and those always stand out for me,” he said. “I have had great family and community support and they are the ones that have really made this all happen the last 16 years. I cannot believe that we have been in operation since 2000 and it feels like just yesterday that my mom was alive and battling cancer. I was in my early 20s when she passed away and I wish that I was aware of how little time she really had. People mourn in different ways and we just wanted to honor her life and help others. As the Japanese poet Kenji

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Miyazawa says, ‘We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.’ Please understand that we have established this foundation to help people in need and impact lives.” In one example, the foundation impacts lives by creating separate Mendiburu Magic Funds (patient assistance) at various partnering medical organizations/hospitals in the state. These funds go toward Kern County children up to age 17 (and families affected by a catastrophic or life-threatening illness) who are approved/screened by social services staff or medical staff employed by a partner agency. “With decreasing public support, increasing financial burdens due to these medical conditions and the challenge of balancing all of these factors, our families are frequently stressed and overwhelmed,” Mendiburu said. “Our public-benefit organization tries to assist families by relieving these stressors and contributing toward healthy community strategy. We can help with small items (things that are immediate and may possibly fall through the cracks during necessary treatment), like home utility bills, gasoline for treatments, medication, incidentals and lodging.” And while the Pyrenees Fiesta is meant to be a time of celebration and fun, it is what helps make these funds possible to aid local children and families that meet the guidelines. Tickets to the event are $75 per person. Sponsorship is still available. People can also donate an auction item to assist in the event, or if they prefer, make a personal donation by visiting mendiburumagic.org. For more information, contact Valerie Mendiburu at valerie@mendiburumagic.org or Brian Mendiburu at 319-3081 or brian@mendiburumagic.org.

11th annual Pyrenees Fiesta When: Oct. 1, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Where: 7900 Downing Ave., Suite D Cost: $75 per person


PHILANTHROPY MATTERS

A CHANGING OF THE TIMES By Kristen Beall Barnes

Women lead the way for involvement and change. Women have traditionally been recognized as community volunteers but, historically, they have not been widely recognized as philanthropic donors. The times, however, they are a changin’. Today, women control 51 percent of the United States’ personal wealth, while representing majority ownership in 38 percent of private businesses. Increased wealth among women has resulted in a surge of committed women philanthropists who are fulfilling their desire for involvement and change – and it’s happening right here in Kern County! The relationship between women and philanthropy has evolved over the past 250 years. An early cause that women donated their time to was aiding soldiers and their families during times of war and disaster. In addition, assistance provided to widows and children, especially the poor, grew popular. Often, wealthy women were devoted volunteers and donors of these efforts. During the late 1800s, organizations that provided services specifically to women began to emerge. These organizations, such as the YWCA came into existence with the intention of improving education, offering support and providing training for women. In these early times, being a philanthropist was an acceptable role for a woman.

Women’s giving was often tied to their husbands’ or family’s wealth. Through philanthropy, women engaged themselves in public interest issues and built civic and social connections. They helped to shape family and society by offering their time, commitment and support. Fast-forward to the 1970s and a large number of organizations developed for and by women emerged. As women moved into the workforce and sought higher education, their power to gather together to promote women’s issues and interests increased. By the 1990s, these efforts translated into the creation of women’s funds or giving circles – a unique form of participatory philanthropy where groups of women donate their time, money and experience to a pooled fund; decide together which charity or community projects they wish to support; and, in doing so, increase their awareness of the issues and change their communities. Today, hundreds of these organizations have emerged around the country, engaging thousands of women while supporting a plethora of causes. One shining example of women working together to transform the lives of women and girls in Kern County is The Women’s and Girls’ Fund at Kern Community Foundation. Since 2005, a dedicated collective of women has worked diligently to educate the community and create awareness of women’s and girls’ needs unmet by

PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Women lead the way for involvement and change

current strategies, empower one another to become philanthropists and advocates of positive social change, and endow a permanent fund whose annual yield supports programs benefitting women and girls throughout Kern County. In more quantifiable terms, over the past 10 years, The Women’s and Girls’ Fund has grown to include more than 500 donors, built an endowment of just more than $1,250,000 and granted almost $250,000 into the community. By connecting with one another, these women become serious and thoughtful philanthropists who collaborate to assume responsibility for making our community a better place.

The Women’s and Girls’ Fund participants.

Kristen Beall Barnes, Ed.D., is the president and CEO at Kern Community Foundation. Contact her at Kristen@ kernfoundation.org or 616-2601. The views expressed in this column Kristen Barnes are her own.

www.Bakersfield.com

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People & Community

HOMETOWN HERO

BROTHERS IN ARMS Twins head out on similar, yet differing military paths

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE VALENCIA FAMILY

Tyler and Curtis Valencia

By Shelby Parker

For brothers Curtis and Tyler Valencia, a little sibling rivalry is not such a bad thing. Like most twins, they were occasionally grouped together and seen as a pair – often referred to as “the twins.” They wore the same shirt in different colors, were involved in

108 Bakersfield Life Magazine

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many of the same activities and ran around with the same circle of friends. And, like most brothers, they were a bit on the competitive side growing up. That furthered once they got to college. Now the two have found themselves on similar career paths, serving in the military. Curtis attended West Point Academy, while Tyler chose the Naval Academy.


Both guys said their parents instilled their love and the option of going into the military at a younger

age. Their stepdad was in the Air Force and talked to them about it. They would also visit Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s U.S. Service Academy Forum, which allowed them to speak with representatives and cadets from various branches. By high school, it became something they were both determined to do. Curtis was drawn to the Army because of its mission statement, which revolves around forming leaders. Tyler aspired to be a pilot when he was younger, which led him into the Air Force and Naval Academy. He wanted to be able to fly and land on ships and thought the Navy was the best fit. Curtis and Tyler graduated from their respective academies in May. While they’re just getting started with their

time in the service, Curtis and Tyler understand the importance of giving back to their country. “I think that service in all capacities is integral for our society and that military service is one of them,” Curtis said. He added that since graduating West Point, he feels that he’s on the edge of the diving board and he’s about to go out there and serve. Tyler has the “utmost respect for those who do serve” and he’s glad that he’s able to as well. “I don’t see myself doing anything else,” he said. Currently, Curtis is enrolled in the Engineer Basic Officer Leadership Course, where he’ll learn the basics of his position and will graduate at the end of January. He will advance to Fort Hood, Texas, and be part of the 36th Engineer Brigade. Tyler is on temporary duty assignment in the Navy and is waiting to attend flight school in Pensacola, Florida, which will take about two years to complete. When you’re with someone all the time, it’s easy to take him or her for granted. Now, that the brothers don’t get to see each other as often, they can appreciate the differences. “If you’re apart from anyone that you were close with, it brings you closer together,” Tyler said. “Once we were apart, I would say we got closer from that.” Continued on page 42 www.Bakersfield.com

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People & Community

INSIDE STORY

De Coeur Bake Shop Story and photos by Mark Nessia

For De Coeur Bake Shop owner Mai Giffard, wedding season never truly ends. Though the demand for wedding cakes peaks from September through January, she

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is fulfilling orders year-round. Giffard allowed Bakersfield Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cameras into the kitchen over the course of three days to document the time and effort that goes into making not only a delicious wedding cake, but a beautiful work of art as well.


From left to right, top to bottom: De Coeur Bake Shop owner Mai Giffard mixes wet ingredients, consisting of oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla extract, with flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. During the meringue process, sugar is slowly added to egg whites and whipped until it reaches stiff peaks. Batter is poured into pans of varying sizes for different tiers of the cake. Cake pans are put in the oven where they will bake for about 20 minutes. Buttercream, lemon curd and blueberries are incorporated during the building/filling stage for a chiffon blueberry-lemon wedding cake. Applying a solid basecoat of frosting can save bakers a lot of time. A bench scraper is used to smooth out the final coat of frosting. Stacking the cake is quite possibly the most stressful part of the baking process and must be done with extreme care.

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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HISTORY

PHOTO COURTESY OF PHYLIS ADAMS

People & Community

Top: This 1956 photo of the "Bloomer Girl" chorus girls, a show put on by the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield, was taken in the Tea Room of the Woman's Club. Facing page top: Home from war, Macbeth (Ken Burdick) greets his lady (Jan Hefner) in a scene from “Macbeth,” a recent play at The Woman’s Club. Facing page bottom: The Woman's Club of Bakersfield is located at 2030 18th St.

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Woman’s Club of Bakersfield brings culture to the community Patronesses of the arts By Julie Plata

Less than 100 members were on the roll sheet of the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield when it was incorporated on March 2, 1896. During the Woman’s Club’s 120 years of service, the expanded membership has been active in community issues, such as women’s suffrage, child welfare, the environment and education. The Woman’s Club has also served another important role: It has been pivotal in the artistic, literary and musical development of the community.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

On the club’s first anniversary, the May 15, 1897, Daily Californian reported on club President R. H. Stevens’ community address. She emphasized a solid foundation and the desire that the community’s “best citizens will uphold us in our efforts to raise the standard of excellence – intellectually, musically and socially.” Concerts, plays and displays of fine art were just some of the many programs the club diligently worked to provide the citizens of Bakersfield. Appearances by prominent musicians were common and monthly meet-

ings elevated artistic intellect through the discussion of topics such as the relation of poetry to music. During the dismal times of the Great Depression, the club’s book section provided a diversion through poetry readings and reviews. The March 2, 1934, Bakersfield Californian reported on a presentation of the poetic works of Robinson Jeffers, Edwin A. Robinson and Bayard Taylor by members Mrs. Meadows and Mrs. Wottring. One of the most important aspects of the club’s arts presentations was the promotion


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of local female artists. On Oct. 26, 1937, Bakersfield Californian columnist Mae Saunders reported on a one-woman art show presented by the club’s newly formed art section. Saunders exclaimed that local artist Oscar Winding “is at her best in her stilllife studies of flowers … her conceptions combine to give an exquisite quality of aliveness to her work.” The Woman’s Club’s goal of promoting women in the arts was furthered during a meeting of the book section in November 1941. The Bakersfield Californian reported on a Nov. 4 presentation that featured guest speaker Dorothy Bitner. Bitner spoke of the versatility and success of women in the field of literature. She stressed, “There is no age limit among women writers

that from 9 to 79 years their pens are busy in influencing thought and making history.” The clubwomen made history of their own in June 1955. Bakersfield’s citizens were treated to a production of “Bloomer Girl,” the Woman’s Club’s first jointly sponsored production with the Bakersfield Community Theatre. The twonight run of the musical comedy featured vocalist Suzie Stolzenfels and was complete with lively songs, humor and dance routines and was a smash! For the next 60 years, the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield has continued to remain faithful to the ideals of community service while promoting the artistic, literary and musical development of the organization and the community at large.

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People & Community

PRIME FINDS

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Choose your perfect hat Great fashion accessories can always be found at Sugardaddy’s. 5512 Stockdale Highway, 661-325-8300 www.facebook.com/sugardaddys

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Barks and boos To spook your bones. Shop to support the dogs in the night. Great buys to decorate your castle. Rags to Rescue 234 H St. Open Tuesday through Saturday. Like us on Facebook wwwfaccebook.com/RagstoRescue

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Paintings featuring Kern County scenes For your home or office, watercolor and oil paintings by local artist Charlotte White. To contact the artist, call 661-330-2676.

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Village Fest Date: Sept. 10 Held at: Kern County Museum Photos by Jan St Pierre

Evan and Kelly Demestihas

Allison and Ryan Cromwell

Jarred Carrillo, Arjun Ynostroza and Keara Johnsten

Mary Poole and Lisa Maxwell

Bryce Hinsch, Rachel Greenbach, Austin Pivarnik, Tanner Ottaway, Nick Marquez, Justin Fantasky and Payton Hallums

Oscar Camacho and Linda Parra

Myra Smith and Jeremy Nichols

Dan Patrick and Eric Hicks www.Bakersfield.com

121


People & Community

THE LAST WORD

FIGHTING BREAST CANCER

Words of encouragement from mother to daughter

By Elana Stafford

Being a single mother raising three daughters in this day and age is no small feat, but I have done so with an open mind while instilling within them a strong faith in God and self-worth, as well as being their fiercest protector. Throughout the years, there were many ups and downs but nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. After my eldest daughter left home to begin the next chapter of her life, I continued raising my remaining two daughters while completing prerequisites for nursing school and graduating from the BC nursing program in 2007. Life for my family was good until I received devastating news in 2010. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42, with 16-year-old and 3-year-old daughters to care for at home. I got the news seven weeks prior to my eldest daughter’s wedding date and plans were at a fevered pitch. I refused to let my diagnosis interfere with my daughter’s wedding. My surgery, a bilateral mastectomy, and stage one of the reconstruction process took place three weeks prior to the wedding and during my first recovery phase, I still managed to

122

Bakersfield Life Magazine

October 2016

complete more wedding tasks. The wedding was a complete success. Life, once again, was good. I had often thought that the most devastating news I could receive was my own diagnosis of breast cancer, but I was wrong. On June 27, six years after my diagnosis, I was at the doctor’s office with my eldest daughter Alecia. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. Nothing could have prepared me for this news and I was left speechless – but with a clear understanding of the journey she would now be taking. Later that month, we learned she tested positive for being a carrier of the ATM gene, which can predispose her to breast cancer and other forms of cancer. Some 5 1/2 weeks after receiving her diagnosis, my daughter underwent her bilateral mastectomy, including sentinel biopsy, revealing positive lymph node involvement. Two and a half weeks later, we met with her oncologist, Dr. Vinh-Linh Nguyen, who determined Alecia would undergo chemotherapy treatments once every three weeks for about four months. It was devastating news and not one we had hoped to hear. After crying most of the night and most of the next day,

I came to realize that in spite of the news, I still had my daughter and her children still had their mother. Due to early detection, the prognosis was not as bad as it could have been, especially after reflecting on mothers who have lost a child to cancer. My faith has led me to believe that my prior struggles with breast cancer were somehow a blessing in disguise, now being able to share my experiences with my daughter and help her understand the disease process as well as being her No. 1 advocate. The love and support of family and friends, as well as a strong, positive attitude, are completely necessary throughout this life-changing event. One of my greatest concerns lies with my two younger daughters and Alecia’s three children – ages 3, 10 and 12 – and the possibility of breast or other cancers occurring to them. But I can only instill in them the knowledge I have gained through all of this and the drive for them to take charge of their health with early proactive health screenings. That means doing self-exams every month, making yearly mammogram appointments and taking charge when something feels odd. Opinions expressed in this column are those of Elana Stafford.


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Bakersfield Life Magazine October 2016  
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