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TBC Media undelineRev.pdf

April 2017




5:01 PM



Food Dudes go Basque at Pyrenees Cafe

The Condor Challenge climbing wall at California Living Museum

See what’s cooking at The Kitchen



Bakersfield Get out and enjoy springtime $3.95

Painting outdoors The Plein Air Festival

Dance lessons at Studio 9 Andrae Gonzales A vision for downtown

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When It Comes To Our Nurses, We’re All Heart. Competitive Pay – Great Benefits Family Atmosphere NEW GRADS WELCOME


Bakersfield Heart Hospital is currently seeking engaged, highly skilled and caring RNs to join our exceptional team. You put your heart into getting your nursing degree. We’ll put our heart into helping you make the most of it.


Over 50 Stores, Restaurants, Boutiques & Spas Stockdale Hwy. & Calloway Dr.

APRIL 2017



A once every 5 year event in Bakersfield!


• Hundreds of decision makers that shape the Oil & Gas Industry concentrated at one event • Over 100 technical papers will be presented • Engaging panel sessions with valley executives, market leaders, and regulatory experts • Hand selected continuing education / training courses


Keynote address from 2018 SPE President, Darcy Spady Exhibitors Black Gold, Blue River Analytics, Cannon, C&J Services, Clariant, Core Labs, Delta Screens, Dover ALS, Echo Meter, EXA, Flotek, Muth, Rare Petro, S&P Global Platts, SLB SLS, Summit ESP and still room for your company to be one.

Thanks to our sponsors

Get out and try some new things. For registration, sponsor, or exhibiting details: 6

Bakersfield Life Magazine

We highlight 15 activities in Bakersfield that you may not know about or haven’t thought about doing. It’s spring in Bakersfield! Let’s get out and enjoy the great weather.

Page 54 April 2017

“ United We Stand” / “Estamos Unidos”

Mexican National Team U-17 vs. CSU, Bakersfield Soccer Program “There is nothing more fulfilling than getting out into our community and supporting two teams uniting to celebrate their love and passion for the game.” -Daniel Rodriguez

Accidents I Personal Injury I Wrongful Death

(661) 323-1400 Best Lawyer Daniel Rodriguez

Best Law Firm Rodriguez & Associates

APRIL 2017

DEPARTMENTS Up Front – 13 Get tips on beating the IRS’ hobby loss limitations in “Money Matters” on Page 15.

Eat & Drink – 24

The Food Dudes visit Pyrenees Cafe. Read about their experience on Page 25.


Lifestyles – 32


We highlight five apps that encourage users to get out and get active on Page 37. Did you ever want to get out and learn how to dance? See where to start on Page 40.

Go & Do – 42

Get “Out and About” with the Kern County Plein Air Painting Festival. This multiday event has plenty going on; see for yourself on Page 44.

B Well – 48


Centennial High School partners with JJ’s Legacy in promoting organ, eye and tissue donation. See who won on Page 51.

44 Up Front 13 The Big Picture 14 Word on the Street 15 Money Matters 16 12 Things ... 17 In Season 18 Arts & Culture 19 Short Take 20 Happenings


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Eat & Drink 25 Food Dudes 28 Lunchtime Picks 30 What’s Cooking Lifestyles 32 On The Road 37 Tech Talk 38 What’s Haute

April 2017

People & Community – 68


40 Pastimes Go & Do 42 Entertainment 44 Out & About 46 Trip Planner B Well 48 Workout Moves

Explore the nonprofits of Kern County. We list some places to visit and get involved on Page 76. 51 Feature – “I Got the Dot” 52 Your Body 53 Love and Life People & Community 68 Bakersfield Matters 70 Millennial Voices 72 Personality 74 Talk of the Town

76 Philanthropy Matters 78 All-Star Athlete 80 Military Moments 82 History 84 Our Town 86 For A Cause 87 Prime Finds 88 SNAP! 94 Last Word

STAFF PICKS Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine April 2017 / Vol. 11 / Issue 7

Things we dig this month

Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by TBC Media Publisher Ginger Moorhouse Associate Publisher Virginia Cowenhoven


Nine-year-old Noah Walsh makes his way up CALM’s Condor Challenge outdoor climbing wall. Cover photo by Jonah and Lindsay

Sales Manager Tamarra Harms

Assistant Managing Editor Mark Nessia

Best Of, Top Seniors and Mother’s Day Gift Guide

To Advertise,

contact Joey Zachary at jzachary@bakersfield. com or 395-7363.

Specialty Publications Coordinator Laura Liera Art Director Glenn Hammett Graphic Designer Holly Bikakis

Top three posts on Instagram this month.

1 The sport of lacrosse is gaining a foothold in Bakersfield. Read about those making it happen on Page 17. 2 Spring is in the air and so are fresh ingredients. Check out The Kitchen’s grilled salmon with spring pea, mint and watercress recipe on Page 30. 3 We took a look at how training horses through the M.A.R.E. program are helping veterans on Page 80. For recaps of what’s happened and what we’re working on for upcoming issues, follow us on Instagram @bakersfield_life.

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 661-392-5777. Bakersfield Life Magazine

Sales and Marketing Director Joey Zachary

Market Research Jose Granados

Coming Next …


President/CEO Michelle Chantry

April 2017

Specialty Publications Intern Mayan Xitlaly Lara

“Even though this is an indoor activity, Bakersfield Escape Room is so much fun!” – Melissa Metras, recruitment account executive “Taking a bike ride on the bike path and enjoying the Kern River (with water in it).” – Holly Bikakis, graphic designer “Hart Park is the most beautiful spot in Bakersfield this time of year. I love to do a small hike to the top of the mountains in the park, then go for a long run on the trails.” – Elizabeth Sanchez, multimedia engagement coordinator “De Coeur Bake Shop bolstered its arsenal or decadent treats made from scratch with cupcakes and the vanilla salted caramel is to die for!” – Mark Nessia, assistant managing editor “One book that I fell in love with this month is “Damned” by Chuck Palahniuk. It is witty and entertaining as a “Breakfast Club”-esque group wanders around hell to confront the devil.” – Kate Leonard, contributing writer

Photography Felix Adamo, Henry A. Barrios, Casey Christie, Nick Ellis, Laura Liera, Jonah and Lindsay, April Massirio, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Michael Prince, Carla Rivas, Elizabeth Sanchez, Rod Thornburg, Brandon West

“Rancheria Road. This little-traveled, partly paved road off of Highway 178 near the mouth of Kern River Canyon offers solitude, wildflowers and stunning views making it a perfect spot for a spring run, hike or bike ride.” – Glenn Hammett, art director

Contributing writers Kristen Beall Barnes, Charmaine Cleveland, Nina Ha, Lisa Kimble, Kate Leonard, David Lyman, Stephen Lynch, Shelby Parker, Julie Plata, Leigh Pozas, Elizabeth Sanchez, Chris Thornburgh

“When my kids were toddlers, we visited almost every park in Bakersfield. Both children loved Campus Park South, a tiny park with a big rock and a rotating monkey bar. It’s still their favorite.” – Nina Ha, contributing writer

We want to hear from you – Send comments or letters to the editor to Mark Nessia at 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

• 3 Dimensional Designing • Full Service Remodels • Cabinetry

• Countertops / Backsplash • Flooring-Tile / Hardwood


EDITOR’S NOTE Jonah Long is a proud Bakersfield native who loves the outdoors and playing sports. After college, he traveled the world playing professional soccer and discovered his passion for photography and visual storytelling while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He is always looking to capture something new and exciting through his adventures. He owns a photography and cinematography business with his wife, Lindsay, and together they love to travel and capture the world around them. Lindsay Long moved to Bakersfield after college and now, after 10-plus years of being here, it feels like home! Lindsay loves capturing life’s exciting moments and telling visual stories of how she views the world around her. She has a B.A. in journalism and public relations from Biola University. Lindsay is passionate about showing people how beautiful they truly are. She loves people, adventure and overcoming life’s challenges. One of her favorite things to do is explore with her husband, Jonah. She loves reading, writing, singing in the shower and has a love-hate relationship with running.

LIFE HAPPENS OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE Being an introvert has its drawbacks. A quiet and shy persona can easily be mistaken for someone who is cold and aloof and once that impression is made, it can be quite difficult to undo. While I do enjoy meeting people, going out with friends and trying new things, it takes time before I build up the courage to venture outside of my cocoon where I’m usually bundled up with a book, the only physical activity consisting of walks to the fridge. The heart wants to go out more often, but the brain can be a mighty obstacle to overcome. While I will admit the homebody in me typically wins, Bakersfield has, on many occasions, pulled me out of my comfort zone with extracurriculars that are too appealing to pass up. Before moving to Bakersfield, I’ve never watched a hockey game; taken a cooking class; participated in a “paint night” event; attended a theater production; eaten food outside of American, Asian or Mexican cuisines; and so much more. In fact, the variety of restaurants in Bakersfield helped me overcome my fear of dining alone. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see me in one of the booths at Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar with only my Kindle to keep me company. Those who claim there’s nothing to do in Bakersfield just aren’t looking hard enough. After all, how can a city with nearly 400,000 residents not have anything keep them entertained? I believe people have merely adopted

the notion that there’s nothing to do because they hear everyone else around them saying so. Our intern, Mayan Lara, admitted to being guilty of this. Walking back to the office following her interview with David Gordon of The Arts Council of Kern regarding the third annual Plein Air Painting Festival, she mentioned that prior to her internship, she was one of those who believed there was nothing to do here but her time with the magazine has brought so many events and activities to her attention. What a difference a couple of months make! Others take a more proactive approach. When Debra Gonzalez saw a void in dance lessons for adults in town, she took matters into her own hands and opened Studio 9 Dance. Today, the space is filled with men and women of all ages learning new dances and forming new friendships. So try something different. Really look at what’s available in town because you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. Saying there’s nothing to do but not taking the time to see what’s actually out there seems rather contradictory. Kind of like trying to live life to the fullest without leaving your comfort zone.

Mark Nessia Assistant Editor 395-7383

Connect with us – Instagram/bakersfield_life 12

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017


Find out what’s happening in April on Page 20.

The Big Picture / Word on the Street / Money Matters / 12 Things / In Season / Arts & Culture / Short Take / Happenings

AMAZING RACE Bakersfield's Amazing Race contestants line up for the start of the race and best costume contests. Photo by Rod Thornburg



WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE? Compiled by Mayan Lara

“I like hiking. Nature is so pure.” – Andrea Medina

“Taking my daughter to the park.” – Casandra Flores

“Jogging. I feel like I’m running away from my problems.” – Denise Chavez

“Taking pictures and shooting video. I like to show people what’s happening.” – Jarad Mann

“Camping and fishing get me away from the chaos.” – Jason Feilzer


Celebrate Mother’s Day! Want to give mom a little something extra this Mother’s Day? Send your favorite mom photo to by April 7 and we’ll include it in our May issue. Make sure to include your names and why mom is special. It can be your grandma, your mom, your wife or your daughter. Title your email: Mother’s Day Celebration.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

“Swimming and going the beach. It’s clean and warm.” – Jessica Sanchez

“Hiking and shooting. I grew up doing it. It’s a huge stress reliever.” – Michael Bencivengo

“I like jumping on the trampoline with my niece and nephew.” – Priscilla Dauven

“I like walking my dogs. They need it as much as I do.” – Tom Hobbs

“I like to jet ski anytime and anywhere.” – Vanessa Corona


Beating the IRS’ hobby loss limitations By Chris Thornburgh

A hobby can be a blast, but not when the IRS gets involved. You are waving a big red flag at the IRS if your business claims a net loss for too many years or it fails to meet other requirements. Why is this? The IRS may classify your business as a hobby if you can’t prove a profit motive. If you are operating a business and incurring losses, the last thing you want is for the IRS to determine that your business is a hobby.

WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT HOBBIES? “Hobby” is a dirty word in the tax world. Hobby loss rules are some of the least taxpayer-friendly rules in the tax code. Income from a hobby is reported as gross income. However, you can only deduct your hobby expenses up to the amount of your hobby income. Adding salt to the wound, you must be able to itemize deductions on your tax return in order to deduct hobby expenses. It gets worse – you get a haircut on the hobby expenses since they are reduced by 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

KNOW THESE NINE FACTORS The IRS expects that you are in business to make a profit. If not, they may conclude you are deducting your hobby. Here are nine factors that the IRS is looking at: 1. The business-like manner in which you carry on the activity. 2. The expertise of you or your advisers. 3. The time and effort you devote to the activity. 4. The expectation that business assets may appreciate in value. 5. Your success in carrying on similar and dissimilar activities. 6. Your history of income or losses with respect to the activity. 7. The amount of occasional profits, if any, which are earned. 8. Your dependence on income from the activity. 9. The elements of personal pleasure or recreation. While enjoying the activity is rarely a critical factor in itself, it can be a tipoff. Auto racing losses, for example, are certain to wave the red flag instead of the checkered flag if you also have a well-paying day job.

Good records are one of the most important factors, including: • A business plan – even if it’s a brief one. • Budgets and projections of revenue and expenses (monthly is best if you have significant losses). • A ledger of revenue and expenses – QuickBooks or similar is smart. • Documentation of problems beyond your control. • Record of prospective clients and team members.

CONSULT WITH BUSINESS ADVISERS If your business is losing money year after year, the IRS expects that you will seek the advice of professionals to help turn business around. If you consult with a professional, be sure to document the meetings and advice.

KEEP A TIME JOURNAL A record of your time and effort can be an indicator of your intent to make a profit. Record the time you spend on ways to improve business. It will help defend the point that your activity is a business and not a hobby.

THE BOTTOM LINE If your business has lost money for multiple years, you may be on the radar. It takes a bit more work to build up a strong defense against the hobby loss rules. Make sure you’ve done all you can to protect your tax deductions.

PREVENTING RECLASSIFICATION AS A HOBBY When the IRS comes knocking and asks for proof that your business is legitimate, they want “businesslike” documentation. The more ways you can prove your profit motive, the better.

Chris Thornburgh

Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at or 324-4971. The views expressed in this column are her own.


Up Front

12 T H I NG S .. .

Lake Ming Compiled by Bret Haney, City of Bakersfield General Services Division Chief; Larry Swan, General Services Manager; and John Laybourn, Planner

containing a picnic table and fire ring. A dumpsite and restrooms are also available.

1 Lake Ming is formed by the Kern River County Park Dam on a tributary of the Kern River. The reservoir was created in 1959 and named after Kern County Supervisor Floyd Ming.

7 There is a bike path on the northern side of the lake that runs from Hart Park to Pyles Boys Camp to the east.

3 Lake Ming has a surface area of 104 acres. 4 Other facilities located at the lake include picnic areas, restrooms, drinking fountains and parking around the southern end. 5 There is playground equipment at the southeast end of the lake. There is also an additional large picnic area – Pyles Camp – located on top of a small hill east of the lake that may be rented or reserved for large group events. 6

West of Lake Ming is a 28-acre campground. It has 50 campsites, each


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

9 The primary fishes found at Lake Ming are largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, carp and stocked rainbow trout. A fishing license is required. 10 There are numerous species of wildlife that may be spotted during various seasons at Lake Ming. 11 Lake Ming is primarily a motor-

boat and water skiing lake. The National Jet Boat Association holds races at the lake throughout the year.

12 There is no swimming in the lake except during an authorized triathlon event.


2 Lake Ming is a reservoir used for recreational purposes and owned by the Kern County General Services Department. It has a length of 4,700 feet with a normal storage of 790 acre-feet.

8 There is a large shelter on the southern shoreline that, in the late 1960s, was used for large barn-style dances. This shelter is still available to reserve.


A BREAKTHROUGH SPORT Lacrosse enters Bakersfield with a purpose to stick


Lacrosse feels out of place for a city loyal to football, basketball and baseball. Yet, the ambiance during weekday afternoon practices at the Garces High School hill reflects the passion this city has for athleticism and sports. The turf at one of Garces’ practice fields is illuminated by a few generator lights during the week. As the night progresses, 20 or so high school students pick up and move the goal nets following the light. The Bakersfield Youth Lacrosse League was founded in 2013 and in its short four years, it has grown to more than 80 players. The league is run and coached by Andrew Zaninovich. Zaninovich played the sport himself, all through high school and then at UC Davis. “The friendships and the traveling that we did as a team in college really helped define the person I am now and it really solidified my commitment to this sport,” Zaninovich said. The teens that practice at Garces make the trip from different high schools in the city. The Rams Lacrosse Club is celebrating its first season this year – the first high school lacrosse program in Kern County. Most of the boys on the team have played football and baseball since they were kids. But when another contact sport came to light,


By Laura Liera

their athletic itch sparked an interest. For Carlos Rosales, 17, being a part of something new in Bakersfield was an influential factor in his decision to join the club. “I wanted to be a part of Bakersfield history,” said Rosales, one of three team captains. And history he’s made. Rosales scored the first goal during their first game. Although the Bakersfield team didn’t win its first two games, the games weren’t blowouts either. One game was decided by one goal, the other by two goals. The local league is playing against schools whose athletes have been playing lacrosse their entire lives in Northern and Southern California where lacrosse is a top sport. “On that first meeting, coach Zaninovich told us we had 30 days to learn the sport before our first game,” said

Cameron Garcia, 17. “And we were like, ‘OK.’” The first game against Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead was intense to say the least. “Everyone knows that we are new in the league, so that adds to the pressure,” Garcia said. “But we go out there and try to make the first impact.” While the first day of practice was brutal – few knew what a lacrosse stick looked like, let alone how to use it – their practices have improved and to someone who has never played lacrosse, the team looks like they’ve been doing this for years. Zaninovich looks at peace

during practices when he blows the whistle to signal either a correction in catching or transitions in a play. Bringing lacrosse to Bakersfield has been a dream come true, Zaninovich said. The league that started out with six kids playing catch at Jastro Park, now has three different age groups plus the high school division. Developing the sport in the Central Valley has even received attention from the U.S. Lacrosse Association, Zaninovich noted. “Bakersfield is a great community and there is tremendous loyalty,” he said. “But once they realize that this is a fun sport that will complement any athlete to get better at any sport, they will get to appreciate what this sport can do for them.”

Get involved Email: Find us on Facebook and Twitter


Up Front ART S & C U LT U RE



Marc Trujillo: Urban Ubiquity


How many ways can you make macaroni and cheese? Find out at the 4th Annual Macaroni & Cheese Festival, hosted at Cal State Bakersfield on April 22. Unwind, relax and enjoy live music as you sample more mac and cheese than your belly can probably take. Plus, there will be more than 20 wineries and breweries.


Feel free to bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Proceeds benefit the CSUB Roadrunner Athletic Scholarship Fund.

Meet artist Marc Trujillo and see his latest paintings at First Wednesday, presented by the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Trujillo paints subjects that are familiar to the American experience. His paintings may appear to be straight from a photograph, but each one is carefully constructed during the painting process to a create a unique scene.

When: April 22 Where: CSUB Amphitheatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway Time: 2 to 6 p.m. Price: $50 For tickets visit,

When: April 5 Time: 10 to 11 a.m. Price: $5 for nonmembers, free to members Where: Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St.


“Born in China”

“The Fate of the Furious”

“Going in Style”

“Smurfs: The Lost Village”

“The Circle” Source: Movie Insider


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017


RUNNING FOR A MISSION Attention Bakersfield residents: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to grab your running shoes and help raise funds for the 4th Annual Mission Possible 5K benefiting The Mission at Kern County on Saturday, April 15. But before you get discouraged that you must run, walking is completely OK. Even pets are welcome. The 3.1 miles will take place at CALM, running on a course that takes runners by Lake Ming. Jamie Durham, director of community development at The Mission, said that besides the family friendly event and all the

participant swag bags, there will be homemade food. Yes, you read that right: an on-thespot hot pancakes and sausage breakfast. Preregistration is $30 and day-of price is $35. Student pricing is $25. The race will kick off at 8 a.m. at the upper parking lot at CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. The Mission Possible 5K is the first of four annual fundraisers that help raise funds for The Mission. The goal is to raise $20,000. The Mission at Kern County provides hot meals, clothing, shelter and offers a free oneyear addiction recovery pro-

gram for men and women. Throughout the one-year program, members receive free food, free clothing, get help obtaining their GED, learn job training skills and receive guidance in finding their first job after addiction. “We also help them through transitional housing because we don’t want to just put them back into the environment they came from,” Durham said. “That’s why these fundraisers are important because The Mission is 96 percent donor funded.” To register for the event, visit or call 325-0863.




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

Kern Schools Community Recycling Day takes place April 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at 11500 Bolthouse Drive and is open to the entire community. The free community recycling day will accept the following items on behalf of local organizations: personal shredding (limit of three bankers boxes); recyclables such as cans, glass, plastics and paper; electronic waste such as computer monitors and towers, TVs and cell phones; gently used bikes; used shoes; unusable furniture and appliances; and more. However, lightbulbs, batteries, paint and oil will not be accepted. For more information, call 833-7900 or go to

Country and Craft Beer Festival

April 1 CASA Superhero Run, 7 a.m., The Park at River Walk, 11200 Stockdale Highway. $15-$30. Stewards Inc.’s Bakersfield Amazing Race, 9:30 a.m., Wall Street Alley. $35-$55. Country and Craft Beer Festival, 1 p.m., Central March 11 Park at Mill Creek, 21st de and R streets. $60-$120. Full Moon BikePaRi 7 p.m. at Beach rk Free Wine, Women and d an rk Pa ach The ride begins at Be ace. Lights Wealth, what it takes ends at the Marketpl urto be a successful co en gly on str and helmets are d at this entrepreneur, 3 p.m., aged! All are welcomeent. Bakersfield Music Hall family-friendly ev of Fame, 2230 Q St. $25$75.


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Free community recycling day

April 2017

April 2 Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert, 4 p.m., Highland High School, 2900 Royal Scots Way. $5-$10. bysorocks. org. La Arrolladora Banda el Limon, 7 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $32-$122. rabobankarena. com. 4th Annual Bakersfield Kids Get Messy, 10 a.m., Kern Pioneer Village, 3801 Chester Ave. Tickets are only $5, $10 wristband for the bounce houses. bakokidsgetmessy. com. Aztec Image 7th Annual Car Show and Super Hop, all day, Kern County Museum.

Kids Get Messy event

Custom cars, trucks, bikes, motorcycles, live music, entertainment and fun for the whole family. $15. April 5 Shinedown, 6:30 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $37.50-$49.50.

Boyhood home of Merle Haggard opens Kern Pioneer Village will open the newly restored boyhood home of country music legend Merle Haggard on April 9. The project will be showcased at the first Haggard Boxcar Festival, which will include live music by Ben and Noel Haggard, Merle Haggard’s sons. The Strangers, Merle’s band, will accompany them. Tours of the Haggard family boxcar home will be led by Kern Pioneer Village Curator of Collections Lori Wear and volunteer docents. Tickets are $20. Presale tickets can be purchased by calling Kern Pioneer Village at 437-3330 now through April 7.

April 7 Kern Kiwanis 9th Annual Golf Classic, 10:30 a.m., Sundale Country Club Golf Course, 6218 Sundale Ave. $150 entry fee per person or $600 entry fee for a foursome. Espinoza Paz, 7 p.m., Eagle Mountain Casino, 681 S. Tule Road, Porterville. $35. eaglemtncasino. com.

April 14 Air Supply, 7 p.m., Eagle Mountain Casino, 681 S. Tule Road, Porterville. $30.

April 12 Streets of Bakersfield, The Origins of Street Names, 6 p.m., Kern Pioneer Village. 3801 Chester Ave. Free

April 17 Golf Classic, hosted by the Kern County Farm Bureau, 10 a.m., Bakersfield Country Club, 4200 Country Club Drive. $250$2,500.

Beginning of the Amazing Race.


April 11 Kern County Library Pub Trivia, 6 p.m., Temblor Brewing Company. Free for ages 18 and older.

April 22 Mac and Cheese Festival, to benefit the Roadrunner Athletic Scholarship Fund, 2 p.m., CSUB Amphitheatre, 9083 Stockdale Highway. $50, 21 and over only. Greater Bakersfield Green Expo and Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Yokuts Park. Free April 28 Power of the Purse, to benefit the Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault, 6:30 p.m., The Bradford Home Stockdale Estates, 916 San Carlos Way. $100. Meet at the Water Tower, an event to help raise funds for the beautification of the BHS Water Tower, 5 p.m., Kern Pioneer Village, 3801 Chester Ave. $35-$55. Live music, barbecue from Miss Pat’s Mobile Kitchen.

Casino games and tequila tasting for a cause

Play a little poker and drink a little tequila at the second annual Aces & Agave event, benefiting the Weill Child Guidance Foundation on Saturday, April 29. The casino-style gaming will feature poker, pure 21.5 blackjack, and let it ride Texas Hold ’em tournaments. To keep you in the zone while playing, there will be a taco bar, appetizers and flavored tequila tastings, plus music and auctions. The event will be held at the Elements Venue, 3401 Chester Ave. Tickets are $60. It’s a 21 and over event. The Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic is a private nonprofit, outpatient mental health center for children and families. Since 1946, the clinic has provided individual, family and group counseling services for children, adolescents and families of Kern County. For tickets, contact Blanca at 322-1021 or visit


Eat & Drink FOOD DUDES


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

Facing page; Firecracker shrimp, shrimp cocktail and garlic shrimp. From left to right: Michael Bowers, Drake Massey, Bill Jeffries, Bob Smith and Chris Wilson (Bill and Bob are 2016 Food Dudes filling in for Anthony Galagaza and Gary Carruesco). Below: Basque setup dishes

PYRENEES CAFE A traditional burst of Basque flavor in every bite Compiled by Bakersfield Life

Photos by Greg Nichols

There is nothing more “Bakersfield” than trekking into Old Town and enjoying some fantastic Basque food in a historic building that has been around for more than 100 years. Pyrenees Cafe is a Basque restaurant where food comes at you in big waves, so you have to pace yourself. After enjoying the traditional cabbage soup, tender pinto beans and hot salsa, most of us were almost too full to continue with the entrees and desserts. Keyword being “almost.” Enjoy the traditional setup and get ready for a burst of flavors at this hometown spot.

APPETIZERS Chris Wilson on the garlic shrimp: I was served eight medium-sized shrimp that were lightly battered and fried to perfection. The shrimp were tossed in a tangy lemon-garlic sauce that complemented the shrimp. Drake Massey on the firecracker shrimp: I have to admit, I have had these little devils before and absolutely loved them. They arrived pleasantly presented on a bed of crisp lettuce and stacked high in a martini-style glass. The plump shrimp were crispy and smothered in a creamy red sauce and were sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onion. The sauce furnished the shrimp with just enough spice to tickle my taste buds. A perfect selection to start off the night. Bill Jeffries on the shrimp cocktail: This dish comes with seven chilled and tender jumbo shrimp served with a slice of lemon. The delicious cocktail sauce had a little kick of horseradish that was pleasing to the palate. It was definitely a great start to the night, and yes, I shared my appetizer.

Pyrenees Cafe 601 Sumner St. 661-323-0053 Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Find them on Facebook.

Continued on Page 26


Continued from Page 25

ENTREES Bob Smith on the lamb shank: The tender lamb shank is huge! It is served in a tomato-based sauce and is accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and pasta. There is enough food on this plate to pack up half and enjoy for a second meal at home the next day. Drake on the halibut in caper sauce: I was pleasantly surprised by the huge plank of halibut that landed in front of me. The texture of the fish was chargrilled to a firm texture but it flaked into nice bite sized pieces when I cut it with my fork. The halibut was covered in a creamy white sauce that included capers, artichoke hearts and mushrooms. The capers offered a perfect blend of tartness and salt to the sauce. The artichoke hearts added a slight nutty hint to the cream. Underneath the delicious sauce, I noticed a delightful seasoning, which the chef would only describe as a “secret seafood seasoning.” I respected the response and did not press him any further. Bill on the tempura-battered fish and chips: This entree comes with three large pieces of tasty, light and delicious

Right: Lamb shank Bottom: Halibut in caper sauce Facing page, top: Tempura-battered fish and chips Middle: Rack of lamb Bottom: Selection of ice creams

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

tempura-battered and fried codfish. The tartar sauce was mild and tasty, which complemented the fish. The coleslaw was tasty and included healthy carrots with some cranberries. Chris on the rack of lamb: The lamb was beautifully presented and roasted to perfection. It was served frenched, uncut and medium-rare with a thickened balsamic wine sauce.

DESSERTS Drake on the Saigon cinnamon and brown sugar

ice cream: I think the name says it all. They topped this delightful dish with candied walnuts. I like my ice cream with fresh black coffee. One word: Delish! Bill on the spumoni ice cream: Spumoni is a hard to find treat. It’s a molded ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors. The one at Pyrenees is a delicious chocolate ice cream that comes with nuts and dried fruit. It was smooth and tasty with a burst of flavors that topped off a great dinner.



Kamisama Ramen Simple, flavorful Japanese food tucked away in northwest Bakersfield

Top: Vegetable and tofu ramen Bottom: Unadon

Story and photos by Laura Liera

Ramen. The staple food for college students living on a budget. But in recent years, the noodle craft has evolved out of plastic foam cups and into a delicate steamed broth packed with more flavor than you could ever get packaged. The soup delight is found at Kamisama Ramen in northwest Bakersfield. If you’re on the prowl to have “real” ramen for the first time, this is the place to visit. If you’re undecided about what to order, owner Mike Yang and his staff are experts and can recommend something to your liking. Vegetable and tofu ramen ($8): Can we just take a moment and admire the array of bright colors of fresh vegetables in this hot, steamy bowl? If you’re ever feeling under the weather, this vegetarian option is the remedy you need to feel better. The ramen is tucked away at the bottom of the bowl, resting and absorbing the flavors of the broth and vegetables. You may need to dig in with your chopsticks to get a little bit of everything on that first 28

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bite. The chunks of cabbage and sliced carrots do not lose their crunch and they are definitely noticeable. Plus the tofu squares are a great addition to the dish. There are sprouts and green onions that really add another layer of texture to the ramen; something you wouldn’t expect in a soup. If you find yourself not taking breaks in between mouthfuls of this Japanese dish, don’t fret, it’s meant to be devoured hot and fast. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Unadon ($10): Fish isn’t really my go-to item on a menu, but let me say that Kamisama’s eel may have changed that moving forward. Unagi – freshwater eel – is a popular and luxurious fish in Japan. It is served on a warm bed of white rice and veggies. But what brings this entire dish together is the sweet eel sauce that is glazed over the top. The consistency of the fish itself is one I’ve never had before. It’s so tender that my chopsticks couldn’t really pick it up so I had to resort to a fork, which was totally OK. The eel is not fishy and it’s also a very light dish. The cabbage and carrots soak up the eel sauce and every single bite is exquisite.

Kamisama Ramen 1400 Calloway Drive, Suite 101 Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day 661-587-9202 Find them on Facebook.

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The Kitchen’s grilled salmon with spring pea, mint and watercress

INGREDIENTS: • 4 salmon filets, seasoned with salt and pepper • Kosher salt • Black pepper • 1 cup shelled fresh English peas • 1 cup sugar snap peas • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


Bakersfield Life Magazine

• ¼ cup chopped walnuts • ¼ cup chopped pitted dates or raisins • 1 to 2 sprigs of mint, torn • Handful of watercress • Pinch of cayenne pepper DIRECTIONS: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the English peas to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 2 to April 2017

3 minutes. Drain the peas and set aside to cool. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, dates or raisins, and cayenne pepper and cook until the nuts are slightly toasted, about 1 more minute. Add the snap peas and English peas. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, and mint and mix until well combined. For the salmon, heat saute pan to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When oil is hot, sear the salmon for 3 minutes on each side or until done. To plate, add a handful of watercress to the bottom of the plate and place the salmon right on the center. Add a spoonful of the pea salad right on top of the salmon. Garnish with lemon zest, fresh-cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.


2017 GENESIS G80 2017 Genesis G80 Starting MSRP $41,400. 2017 Lexus GS Starting MSRP $46,310. 2017 BMW 4-Series Starting MSRP $41,950. Based on comparison of manufacturer’s websites.



2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

By Glenn Hammett

Photos by Mark Nessia

It’s hard not to love Hyundai and what they have done with the 2017 Elantra Value Edition. Already recognized for delivering top-notch quality and a bevy of safety and technology features at an amazing price point, the company has taken it one step further by creating a new trim level that adds even more bells and whistles to the Elantra’s list of standard features, while keeping the sticker price well below that of its top-of-the-line Limited model. Blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, 7-inch touch-screen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, power sunroof, heated seats, LED running lights and hands-free trunk release are just some of the items which are typically found in costly option packages but are included in the Elantra Value Edition’s incredibly modest $21,365 price tag. It is basically like buying an Elantra with Hyundai’s optional popular equipment and tech packages and getting lane-change assist, power driver’s seat with lumbar support and the power sunroof (a $1,215 value) for free. Of course, all of the free options in the world mean nothing if the car isn’t economical, well-designed and fun to drive. The 2017 Elantra Value Edition gets high marks across the board. The Elantra’s 2.0-liter engine generates 147 horsepower and gets impressive EPA fuel economy ratings of 37 mpg highway, 28 city and 32 combined driving. Adding to the car’s cost-saving cache is America’s best warranty: five years/60,000 miles overall, 10

years/100,000 miles on the powertrain and five years/unlimited miles of roadside assistance. I have always been a fan of Hyundai’s approach to design. They establish a clear visual philosophy and apply it consistently across their entire product line. The 2017 Elantra’s exterior reflects the automaker’s companywide evolution from the swooping, flowing lines of its Fluidic Sculpture language, introduced in 2009, to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, which is marked by a more sophisticated and understated look. The large trapezoid-shaped grille is the focal point and gives the car a commanding presence. On the road is where the new Elantra really shines. Thanks to the aforementioned 2.0-liter engine and very responsive six-speed automatic transmission, the Elantra has surprisingly good acceleration, making it fun to drive, both on the freeway and on city streets. I was also impressed with the lack of road and wind noise in the cabin. This is no accident, as Hyundai has made improvements such as the use of adhesives and a higher percentage of high-strength steel in the chassis, creating a subframe to isolate the front suspension and using denser carpet foam and thicker door glass, all aimed at making the interior of the 2017 Elantra quieter. The 2017 Elantra is an affordable, handsome, exciting compact sedan that is packed with the latest safety and technology features. With the introduction of the Value Edition, Hyundai has found a way to throw in a few extras at no additional cost. You gotta love that.

It’s all in the details Price tag: Base: $20,250; as tested: $21,365 Fuel economy (mpg): 28 city/37 highway/32 combined Your five favorite features of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition: 1. LED daytime running lights 2. Moonroof 3. Blind-spot indicator 4. Heated seats 5. Cross-traffic alert What makes the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition stand out from other compact sedans? The Value Edition features usually come in a much higher-priced Limited trim. With the Value Edition, you’re paying only a fraction of the cost. Three words to describe the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition: Sporty. Value. Sedan. What do you like most about the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition? The Value Edition’s long list of standard features without having to pay $2,000 to $3,000 more. Source: Glen Han, sales consultant, Bakersfield Hyundai




2017 GMC Terrain Denali By Glenn Hammett

Photos by Mark Nessia

There is something comforting about driving the 2017 GMC Terrain Denali. Maybe it is its sturdy, monolithic appearance or its smartly designed interior that makes the buttons and controls feel as though they are all in just the right place. Or it could be its smooth, sure-footed ride. It is likely a combination of all of the above and the result of eight years of improving and refining the popular compact crossover SUV since it was introduced in April 2009. The exterior of the Terrain is bold and striking. Its blocky stature, bulging fender wells and sharp body lines give it a decidedly macho appearance. Other reviewers have labeled it “squared-jawed” and “polarizing.” One thing is certain, in a category where it can be hard to tell one brand from another without 34

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reading the nameplate, it definitely stands out. The Denali trim adds lots of satin chrome bling (door handles, side mirrors, roof rack, side rails and moldings) and a unique mesh grille. In contrast to its hard-edged exterior, the Terrain Denali’s interior is luxurious and functional. It also has generous amounts of leg and elbow room, both up front and in the rear seating area, which belie its compact SUV classification. The heated premium leather seats with contrasting side panels adjust eight ways and the rear bench seat can slide forward or back 8 inches, depending on your need for more rear seat leg room or more cargo area capacity. The dash and center stack are tastefully designed and solidly constructed with high-quality materials. I found the small sun visor above the 7-inch touch screen to eliminate glare – an especially thoughtful touch.

It’s all in the details Price tag: Base: $34,275; as tested: $35,165 Fuel economy (mpg): 21 city/31 highway/25 combined

Comfort-tuned suspension gives the Terrain a plush, smooth ride, soaking up bumps and vibrations. GMC has also added several noise-canceling features, reducing wind and road noise to a minimum and creating a quiet environment inside the cabin. In addition to GM’s OnStar with automatic crash response and navigation, the Terrain Denali is equipped with about every safety and technology feature under the sun. Forward collision, lane departure, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts; rear-vision camera; 4G LTE WiFi hot spot and hands-free smartphone integration are all standard. There are two engine options offered on the terrain. My test model was equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which performed solidly on the local freeways and surface streets. It generates 182 horsepower and gets an admirable 31 mpg on the highway. The other choice is a 3.6-liter V-6 that

Your five favorite features of the 2017 GMC Terrain Denali: 1. All-wheel drive 2. Surround vision cameras 3. Active lift gate sensor 4. Push-button start 5. Surround camera

puts out an impressive 301 horsepower, taking the Terrain from zero to 60 in 7.1 seconds and increasing its towing capacity from 1,500 to 3,500 pounds. If you own boat or a trailer or are planning to load up your Terrain and head for the mountains, the larger engine would be the way to go. The 2017 GMC Terrain Denali is a compact SUV that is more than capable of going off-road, especially with the larger engine and available all-wheel drive. But the real story here is comfort. With its smooth ride and plush, roomy interior, you’ll arrive at your destination peaceful and relaxed, no matter how rough the road.

What makes the 2017 GMC Terrain Denali stand out from other compact SUV crossovers? Apple CarPlay and 4G Wi-Fi connectivity. Target market: A family of four or more who love to go camping. Three words that best describe the 2017 GMC Terrain Denali: Spacious. Luxurious. Versatile. What do you like most about the 2017 GMC Terrain Denali? Surround vision cameras on the driver-side mirrors. Source: Ryan Benak, Motor City GMC product specialist



GET OUT AND GET ACTIVE Five apps that encourage users to leave the house By Mark Nessia

Nine months ago, pedestrian traffic crowded sidewalks in downtown Bakersfield and every park in the city. With the summer sun beating down on them, these men and women, boys and girls had their eyes locked on their mobile devices as they ventured to “catch ’em all.” One thing is certain: The polarizing “Pokemon Go” app drew millions of people out of their homes and got them moving. Smartphones give users access to a multitude of apps that encourage them to get out and explore their surroundings. Whatever tickles your fancy, chances are there’s an app designed to help you find it. Below are a few apps to get you out and about.

Strava (free)

Geocaching (free)

A social network for athletes, Strava is a GPSbased app that allows users to track their rides and/or runs, share photos and interact with other members, offering encouragement and kudos to great performances. The app can also connect to health devices, such as watches and head units, and track performance stats like distance traveled, heart rate, calories burned, etc. Perhaps the best feature is its archive of trails around the world. If it’s been run or ridden, you can find it on Strava.

Also known as modern-day treasure hunting, geocaching is the process of finding containers called geocaches that are hidden in the real world by means of GPS coordinates. Participants hide items big and small and challenge others to locate the objects using subtle hints and clues. The Geocaching app brings the geocaching community together and provides users with challenges all over the world. Networking capabilities allow members to work together to tackle more elusive targets.

Star Walk 2 ($2.99; free version also available) The Star Walk 2 app puts all the stars in the night sky at your fingertips – literally. With a swipe of a finger, users can learn the exact position of stars, planets, constellations and more. No internet connection is required and the app clearly displays all the twinkles in the sky even when light pollution or clouds shield them from view. Just point your device at the sky and discover the cosmos.

ChefsFeed (free)

Localeur (free)

While the number of cities in its database is on the small side, ChefsFeed is a great app for foodies searching for that next memorable meal. The app serves as a guide to all things food with top chefs like Michelin-starred Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Boulud calling all the shots. The app answers the question: What do chefs like to eat when they go out? ChefsFeed also contains entertaining videos and exclusive stories and columns. Unfortunately, ChefsFeed chefs have not made a trip to Bakersfield – yet.

Those with a case of wanderlust can feel right at home when they travel with Localeur, an app containing travel recommendations from locals. Localeur helps vacationers discover thousands of restaurants, bars and shops known only to a city’s residents, creating an authentic and unforgettable outing. Localeur is the perfect guide for those traveling solo, with friends or that special someone.




Privato Salon & Spa Services: • Haircuts • Color • Highlights • Keratin treatments • Blow thru bar • Balayage • Nails • Waxing • Hydrafacial MD • Tanning • Makeup applications • Yumi lash lift • Eyelash extensions • Air brush spray tanning

Stylist Kim Pollack has more than 16 years of experience and loves working with hair color. PRIVATO PRODUCTS

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Facebook: Privato Salon & Spa Instagram: @privatosalon


In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment & Antiques The only business of its kind in Bakersfield that allows you to recycle your wardrobe and home goods. You can buy, sell, trade and consign. Bring us your name brand clothing items in near new condition and we will pay you 30 percent of its resale value on the spot or offer you 50 percent on a store trade card so you can refresh your wardrobe. We will consign high-end handbags, sterling silver jewelry and unique items. Boutiques are invited to bring us your endof-season items and clearance for consignment and we’ll pay you 40 percent.

We accept wardrobe items Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and furniture and home decor consignments every Friday and Saturday. Call the store and let us know you are coming. We strongly encourage donations of items we do not accept to one of several local charities – we handle that for you. Buying, selling and trading at Wildest Dreams is something you can feel good about. You’re helping the environment and our community. So clean out your closet and we will see you soon! Check us out on Facebook and Instagram for deals of the day!

IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS CONSIGNMENT & ANTIQUES 1723 18th St. 661-324-6484 Facebook: In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment & Antiques Instagram: @wildestdreams1723



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Lucy Love Dress ................... $27 Energy Earrings ....................$20 True Religion Tank ............... $26 Free People Dress ................ $55 Miss Me Bell Jeans .............. $49 Marc Jacobs Bag .................$135 Cole Hahn Heels ...................$14 Coach Bag ............................. $55 Qupid Platform Sandal ....... $32





By Mayan Xitlaly Lara

Photos by Mark Nessia

Dancing has always been a passion for Studio 9 owner and founder Debra Gonzalez but finding the time to “shake it” was always a struggle. “I spent my whole life as a nurse and raising my children. I never really spent that much time on fun things for me,” Gonzalez said. Having a busy schedule can make it difficult for some to find 40

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time for the things they love, like dancing, and that’s where Studio 9 comes in handy. “It’s a safe and fun place and a more family atmosphere to learn how to dance,” Gonzalez said. Studio 9 is a dance studio located in central Bakersfield that offers evening dance classes Monday through Friday. The studio teaches various dance styles, such as club style and country two-step. “It’s a very friendly community, especially to beginners,” said

“Dancing is for everyone and it’s a great way to socialize while brushing up on your dancing skills.” – Cianne McGinnis

Studio 9 instructor Karina Villarreal. Villarreal teaches bachata every Monday night from 7:30 to

8:30 p.m. Students are encouraged to come with or without a partner. Instructors have students rotate partners various times throughout their classes, giving everyone a chance to dance and meet new people. “When we rotate partners, people smile, they introduce themselves and they never criticize each other, ever. They pat each other on the back,” said Cianne McGinnis, a dance instructor at Studio 9. McGinnis is one of six dance instructors at the studio. She has 35 years of experience and knows 16 different dances including ballroom, Latin, swing and country western. She teaches country twostep from 7 to 8 p.m. and nightclub two-step from 8 to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights. “It doesn’t matter about your age or reason,” McGinnis said. “Dancing is for everyone and it’s

a great way to socialize while brushing up on your dancing skills.” While most classes are offered in the evenings, the studio is also open during the day for private lessons. Studio 9 also offers social events for its students to show off new dances they have learned. “Just come to the classes. You’re not going to get good just sitting down,” said Chad San Juan, a regular at Villarreal’s bachata classes. Juan, 28, started taking dancing classes at Studio 9 in

December 2015. He made it a 2016 New Year’s resolution to learn and improve. Juan is originally from Delano and most of his friends are still in Delano so he got inspired to take classes to meet new people.

Dance students at Studio 9 Dance are encouraged to swap partners to truly benefit from the experience and improve their dance skills.

Studio 9 Dance 4000 Easton Drive, #9 Check website for class schedule. Regular classes are $10 a lesson. Four-week classes are $85 per couple and $50 per person.

BAKERSFIELD’S MUSIC DEALER for more than 37 years years 40 • Pianos and Keyboards • Band Instruments/ Rentals • Music Lessons • Acoustic/Electric Guitars • Piano Moving/Tuning • Repair Department • Sheet Music 100 Oak Street (corner of Oak/Stockdale) 327-5397 •



‘The Mermaid of Ming Lake’ tells untold story of what lives in the water By Shelby Parker

Photos by Michael Prince

Many, if not all, locals of Bakersfield are familiar with Lake Ming, a recreational area in town for motorboats, water-skiing and family time during the warmer months. But there’s a good chance they haven’t heard the story about “The Mermaid of Ming Lake.” The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre and Music Hall will tell the untold story till May 13. This production explores the tale of two unlucky 42

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campers from Oildale who are trying to make a better life for themselves but find a secret that the lake has been hiding for years. They are thrown into a world of mermaids and lake witches, and the two will stop at nothing to convince the town that there is a magical mermaid living in it. However, no one believes them. Time is running out, and they need all the help they can get to hopefully save the mermaid before it’s too late. “This is the biggest fish tale the Melodrama has ever told, and it’s sure to be one the whole family will

enjoy” is the best description for the theatrical show. So how did this show come about? “The title was actually suggested to us by an audience member about four years ago. I was really intrigued by it, so I wrote it down and pinned it to my wall in front of my desk,” said Artistic Director Michael Prince. “When I was putting this season together last summer, I thought now would be a great time to tackle this show.” Although he isn’t sure where the audience member came up with the idea, he was able to let her know they were running with her title idea. “I didn’t talk to her about it; I just let my own imagination run wild. I did run into her around Christmastime and she identified herself as the one who came up with the

idea,” Prince said. “She was beyond thrilled that we were doing it, so the pressure was on to make sure it exceeded it her expectations. We hope it does.” Prince says that the audience can expect a “very fastpaced, very funny adventure” and added that it is different than shows they’ve done in the past. “It’s a great mix of fantasy fairytale, with modern, local flare,” he said. The Gaslight Melodrama opened in 2005 and is currently in its 13th season with six shows per season and two children’s theater productions. “I think people keep coming back season after season because they see how much fun we’re having and that, in turn, allows them to have even more fun,” Prince said.

“The Mermaid of Ming Lake” Performances will run Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. No show on Easter Sunday, April 16. Adults: $25; seniors (60 and over) and active military: $23; children and students with valid ID: $14. To make reservations, call 661-587-3377. For more information, visit


Go & Do


Painting the town Plein Air Festival brings world-renowned artists to paint Bakersfield, Kern County

By Mayan Xitlaly Lara Photos by Brandon West

The Arts Council of Kern is presenting its third annual Kern County Plein Air Painting Festival April 3 to 8. This six-day painting festival is inviting 17 award-winning and world-famous plein air painters from around California to paint Kern County. “It’s a whole other animal than being in a 44

Bakersfield Life Magazine

studio because you have bugs, and wind, and cars, and weather, and the light changes all the time,” said Arts Council of Kern Executive Director David Gordon. The artists have five days to travel and complete three paintings of the various sights and landscapes that Kern County has to offer. Monday, April 3, they will spend the day at the Kern County Museum. Tuesday, April 4, they will explore Hart Park.

April 2017

Wednesday, April 5, they will travel along Highway 223 and the Bakersfield National Cemetery. Thursday, April 6, the artists get to choose between painting at Tejon Ranch or Wind Wolves Preserve. Friday, April 7, they will all gather during First Friday in downtown Bakersfield to paint one last time from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Once finished, their 17 paintings from that day will be auctioned off at Metro Galleries from 6:30

to 7:30 p.m. On the last day of the painting festival, Saturday, April 8, there will be a private awards and sales gala held at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The gala will celebrate the Plein Air Painting Festival with wine and hors d’oeuvres and a juror presentation by artist Patricia Chidlaw. Paul Kratter, who has participated since the festival started in 2015 said: “The patrons have followed us these first few shows and have been very

supportive of the artists painting in their backyards. It’s fun without being over the top.” “Kern County is huge and has a rich diversity of landscape. The mountains, the agriculture, the industrial sector, even the charming downtown, all offer great subject matter,” said returning artist Carolyn HesseLow. Although the first five days of the Kern County Plein Air Painting Festival are free and open to the public for live viewing of the plein air painters in action, the last day is not. In order to attend the awards and sales gala, a ticket will have to be purchased. “Every day is different and if you can’t make one thing but you’re really interested in it, maybe you can sneak away and go to another one,” Gordon said.

Third annual Kern County Plein Air Painting Festival Plein Air Painting – April 3 through 6 Paint-Out and live auction – April 7, 3 to 7 p.m. Awards and sales gala – April 8 Plein air painting is free to the public. Awards and sales gala tickets are $45. For tickets, contact the Arts Council of Kern at 661-324-9000 or at



EXPLORE the BAHAMAS Tips to enhance your cruise experience Story and photos by Elizabeth Sanchez

Swimming with dolphins has been on my bucket list since I was 7 years old when I went to SeaWorld for the first time. I was fascinated by the bond they created with their trainers and I wanted a chance to experience that for myself. So when I was invited on a cruise to the Bahamas in January, I hopped on board a ship named Allure of the Seas, hoping for a chance to meet a dolphin. And I did. Swimming with dolphins was just one of my favorite sharable moments on the trip. Here are a few recommendations based on my experience. Favorite excursion: Swimming with dolphins through Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island was my chance to build a bond, just like the SeaWorld trainers did. Although I didn’t quite get that intense and personal relationship, I met and played with a dolphin named Dot. I got to hug, feed and even dance with Dot. I also made a grand exit. I was told to lay flat on my stomach in the water, and two dolphins, Dot and Princess, swam up behind me, pressed their noses on the arches of my feet and propelled me out of the water. Tip: Ladies, wear a one-piece swimsuit or else you will lose your swimsuit bottoms, and nobody wants to see your bare bum.

Favorite beach: Beaches along the Central Coast are nice, but none 46

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April 2017

stack up to Blue Lagoon Island near Nassau. The white powder sand is softer than anything you’d dig your feet into at Pismo and the water is deep emerald green. The intimate island has hammocks, lounge chairs, umbrellas, beach volleyball, floating pool toys, an inflatable obstacle course in the water, and a restaurant and bar. Tip: Since your time on land is limited, stay on Blue Lagoon. There’s no need to explore Nassau because there isn’t much to see there.

Favorite drink: Don’t leave the Nassau port without a coconut drink. Try to find a small, wooden coconut stand on Woodes Rodgers Walk near Prince George Wharf, the port where cruise ships dock. For $12, you can get the coconut water and coconut meat blended with a splash of fresh pineapple served in a coconut shell. Tip: You’ll have the option to add alcohol to the drink. Don’t. It will just take away from the fresh and natural flavors.

Favorite food: A plate of fresh grilled fish tacos from Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill at Honeymoon Beach on Water Island was the best thing I ate on the trip. For $11, you get two tacos, which seems a bit pricy, but considering the quality and the view, it’s worth it. Tip: Heidi’s is cash only.

Favorite cruise activity: The musical “Mamma Mia” had amazing music (of course, it’s ABBA), talented singers and a hilarious story. Not all cruise ships offer the same

entertainment, but if they have shows, it’s a good way to take in a Broadway production without traveling to New York. Tip: Make reservations for shows before boarding the ship because they sell out.

While on the trip, I never felt bored on ship and on the islands. I gambled for the first time, snorkeled, competed in volleyball tournaments and a karaoke contest, and celebrated my 24th birthday. I probably won’t be heading back to the Bahamas, not because it wasn’t amazing (it was), but because I need to check off the next item on my bucket list. So what’s next on the list? Floating away in a yellow hot air balloon in Switzerland, preferably in the springtime.

Top: The Allure of the Seas cruise ship. Facing page top: Elizabeth Sanchez with her favorite coconut drink. Facing page bottom: Honeymoon Beach. Left: Seating area at Heidi's Honeymoon Grill on Honeymoon Beach. Above: A dolphin named Dot at Blue Lagoon Island.


B Well


PUT SOME SPRING IN YOUR STEP By Leigh Pozas Photos by Laura Liera

Keeping your workout interesting and fun is key in continuing success. I can’t count the times people have asked me, “What is the best kind of workout?”

My answer is always the same: “The one you will do.” We all need a combination of cardiovascular (aerobic and anaerobic), strength, and flexibility training. But there is not one perfect form of any of these. Spring is the perfect time to shake it up a little and take it outside!

GET OUTSIDE: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BIKE PATH 1) UP-HILL RUN: Run up and down a hill a few times to increase the heart rate then continue along your path and do it again. High-intensity interval training is extremely effective in increasing strength and endurance. This type of workout means that you increase and decrease the heart rate in intervals – even better when some strength training is included.




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April 2017



2) PLAYGROUND FUN: Use the playgrounds in the parks to add some strength training. Standing pushups and slanted pullups are a great exercise using this bar along the bike path. Keep the core tight and do three sets of eight or 10, then continue with a walk or run. 3) WALKING LUNGES: Break up your walk with walking lunges for lower body strength while maintaining and aerobic heart rate. Raising the arms overhead increases the intensity of the exercise as well. Count out 20 lunges, then jog or walk and repeat a few times.



Gables Residential Care Homes

Survival Skills 101 We’re all about getting outside this spring and enjoying an adventure. But we also want you to do it safely. Take this quiz and find out if you’ve got your survival skills down.

1 Why should you melt snow or ice before drinking it? a. To avoid cutting your mouth on sharp ice b. To avoid brain freeze c. To avoid dehydration 2

If you’re facing the sun at noon in the Northern Hemisphere, walking toward it will take you in what direction? a. North b. South c. East


Which of the following does not provide clues to help orient you toward true north? a. Moss b. Anthills c. Wind speed


How do you know when the bright side of the moon is in the west? a. When the moon is full. b. When the moon rises before sunset c. When the moon rises after midnight


Why should you try to avoid sleeping directly on the ground? a. To avoid bugs b. To eliminate the risk of contracting disease c. To keep from losing body heat

The Meadows • 10702 Four Bears Dr. RCFE No. 157204176


It’s a good idea to build your shelter near what? a. Cliffs b. Dry river beds c. A water source


If you’re looking for insects to eat, which ones should you avoid? a. Big ones b. Bright ones c. Ugly ones

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Which of these wild berries are safe when ripe and cooked, but can cause nausea when eaten off the bush? a. Golden currants b. Elderberries c. Raspberries


Which insect is the most popular edible insect in the world? a. Ant b. Grasshopper c. Beetle

10 How can you deter-

mine the distance of an oncoming storm? a. By the time between flashes of lightning and claps of thunder b. By the length of the lightning bolt c. By the loudness of the thunder

Answers: 1. C, 2. B, 3. C, 4. B, 5. C, 6. C, 7. B, 8. B, 9. C, 10. A Source:

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In these elegant, family homes, you will find: • Comforts of home in a beautiful surrounding • Caring and competent staff on duty 24 hours a day • Only six residents in each home – companionship with others • Personal assistance with activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, grooming, meals, medication supervision, transportation – whatever is needed. • Delicious, home-cooked meals and snacks • Lovely patios and secure walking paths • Alzheimer’s/Hospice Waivers



‘I got

the dot’ Centennial High School partners with JJ’s Legacy in promoting organ, eye and tissue donation STORY AND PHOTOS BY LAURA LIERA


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

wenty-two people die every day waiting for a transplant. And every 10 minutes, another person is added to the waiting list. These organ donation statistics were the themes in the inaugural Got the Dot Leadership Program, a collaboration between Centennial High School’s Interact Club and JJ’s Legacy. The mission: create organ, eye and tissue awareness among high school students before they get their license. Li Gibbs, the club adviser, said 38 students participated in the program out of nearly 80 club members. Students met every Thursday for six weeks and graduated on Feb. 23, where their final video project was judged by a panel. Throughout the six-week program, club members met transplant recipients and donors, including a former CHS student who lived because of organ donation. Interact Club President Katy Carrillo, 17, said hearing from guest speakers really made an impact in the importance of saying “yes” to the pink dot on a driver’s license. “If your organs can help some-


one, why not donate them?” Carrillo said. “Organ donation gives people a second chance at life.” A chance at life was a significant theme in the 10, two- to three-minute videos students created and presented for the first time to their peers and parents. Statements like, “It’s a tough decision but here’s why you should become a donor,” and, “One donor can save eight lives,” were told in different ways throughout the entertaining, yet informational videos. One team even had a pretend heart surgery transplant clip that created a few laughs among the audience. The first-place video “A New Life,” created by Azriella Del Rosario and Elmae Fredrick, told the story of a young girl who had a car accident and died. But because she was an organ donor, her organs saved the lives of many others. At the end of the video, a real-life kidney transplant recipient talked about her second chance at life. Although the two winners weren’t present at the event due to prior commitments, they were ecstatic when they received the news via phone. “We can’t believe this,” both girls said in unison over the phone.

There were a few more excited screams and bursts of jitters before Del Rosario said the two had worked long hours to create a compelling video that showed the importance of organ donation. The winning team received a $500 scholarship and the second-place team took home $250 each. As JJ’s Legacy founder Lori Malkin looked on to a crowd of students and parents at the end of the night, there was a sparkle in her eye that was undeniable. “It warms my heart that these kids took so much pride in the project,” Malkin said. “Because they learned about this so young, it will make a huge impact in their life.” Although Malkin doesn’t quite know where the program will go, the advisory team is inspired to have the program available in other high schools. And for graduating senior Carrillo, having more teens learn about organ, eye and tissue donation, would be life-changing like it was for her. “This was an amazing opportunity to partner with JJ’s Legacy,” she said. “It gave us the opportunity to be leaders and become a spokesperson for a cause that saves lives.”

Facing page: Members of the Centennial High School Interact Leadership Program pose for a picture with the judges and members of JJ’s Legacy. Left: Lori Malkin, founder of JJ’s Legacy, at the inaugural Got the Dot Leadership Program graduation held at Motor City Lexus. Middle: Winners Elmae Fredrick and Azriella Del Rosario. Right: Second-place winners (left to right) Olivia Dennis, Victoria Brookings, Kenna Dinsdale, Christian Munoz and Audra McLeod.



deaths occur every year in the U.S. because organs are not donated in time.

82 percent 33,600 of patients are in need of a kidney.

Number of transplants in 2016 that brought new life to patients and their families.


1 donor

transplants have taken place since 1988.

can donate up to eight lifesaving organs.

To sign up as a donor, visit or


B Well


When diets stop working and surgery becomes an option By Laura Liera

Losing weight is more complicated than cutting back on fatty foods and loading up on vegetables and lean meats. For some, even a complete lifestyle change can lead to a dead end. The World Health Organization now recognizes obesity as a chronic progressive disease resulting from multiple environmental and genetic factors. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011-2014 study, more than one-third, or 36.5 percent, of U.S. adults are obese. With the number of obesity rising, doctors like Nirav Naik, bariatric surgeon and founder of New Life Medical, are paying close attention to the hormonal and chemical change that happens in the body. “The latest data shows that surgery combined with comprehensive lifestyle change may be the most effective way to lose weight and keep the weight off,” he said. “When patients have unsuccessfully tried numerous diet and exercise programs ... then it’s time to consider a more effective solution.” Before deciding which bariatric surgery is the best choice, New Life Medical offers a free monthly seminar that covers all the lifestyle changes needed before the surgery, as well 52

Bakersfield Life Magazine

as a review of the surgeries and their risks. Reviewing a patient's medical history is critical before any decisions are made.

“The latest data shows that surgery combined with comprehensive lifestyle change may be the most effective way to lose weight and keep the weight off.”

– Dr. Nirav Naik

There is clear communication between Naik and a patient’s primary doctor and if needed, a cardioloApril 2017

gists and lung specialist. The most common bariatric surgery performed at New Life Medical is sleeve gastrectomy, with about 20 or so procedures done monthly, which reflects the nationwide trend. During a sleeve gastrectomy, about 75 percent of the stomach is removed leaving a “sleeve.” No intestines are removed. The procedure takes one to two hours to complete, an important advantage for patients with severe heart or lung disease. Surgery is done laparoscopically – with small incisions and an internal camera – which leads to faster recovery. The changes happen quickly, Naik noted. “Most patients are astonished by how good they feel afterward and how

rapidly they are changing,” he added. Patients do not spend too much time lying in bed after surgery. Naik encourages his patients to exercise as soon as possible, even just walking soon after surgery. A patient can be cleared to resume strenuous activity within two weeks post-surgery. But remember, surgery is not a solution by itself. Nutrition plays a crucial role in how a patient feels and looks after surgery. As Naik said, the right nutrition is even more important. “Changing prior bad eating habits and adopting healthier ways of getting in more protein and less sugar will help ensure long-lasting and effective weight loss after surgery,” he said.




In my early 20s, I had the honor of meeting Ms. Dorothy Egg, a then-87-year-old lady who was my next-door neighbor when I moved to Washington state for my first reporting job. Dorothy lived and breathed the outdoors, or the “out-ofdoors” as she would call it. She loved to cross-country ski, walk, run or do anything her body allowed her to do. At 85, she took her last ski run down the mountain. She would often hint that she would be more active if she were young and able-bodied like me. So I took her advice, and I’m so thankful I did. I think it made Dorothy happy knowing I was actually using the body that God gave me. So now, my husband and I try to liberate our family from the jaws of electronic devices, and be intentional about connecting with each other through the simple joys of nature. One of our favorite pastimes is biking, scooting, rolling and strolling with our new puppy around The Park at River Walk.

On clear, bright days, there’s usually a crowd of people picnicking, fishing, playing in the structures or just taking naps on the grass. Angela Diffee is a mother of three young boys. For her family, getting out is sometimes going no farther than out the front door. “I’m big on front yard play when they are elementary age,” she said. “Not only are they playing outside, they’re building community relationships with their neighbors.” My college roommate and friend San Juanita Sikola enjoys outdoor adventures with her family of five. She said: “On sunny days, we like to hike out by the sheriff's shooting range. Then we head out camping!” In Kern County, we’re surrounded by campsites, Wind Wolves Preserve, pick-your-ownfruit orchards and myriad parks. Dorothy eventually passed away at the age of 99, but her lessons will always stay with me. I imagine that if she were still alive, she would find so much joy in seeing all of us

laughing in the sun, running around with our kids, taking walks with our friends and soaking in the majesty of this world. So let’s all venture into the great out-of-doors. You can go far or stay in your own backyard. But do it for your health. Do it for your family and friends. And, if you’d like, do it for Dorothy.

Nina Ha


By Nina Ha

Top: The Ha family at The Park at River Walk. Bottom: Dorothy Egg in her heyday.

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha.


15 things to do in

Bakersfield 1

Anyone can cook –

Bakersfield is home to many unique and memorable restaurants and while it’s nice to treat yourself every now and then, there’s nothing quite like eating a meal prepared with your own two hands. With cooking classes held at The Kitchen, Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar and Cafe Med, even the most inexperienced cooks can create culinary masterpieces. For a sample of what’s cooking in The Kitchen, go to Page 30.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017



Root, root, root for the home team –

From state champions at the high school level, WAC champions at the Division I collegiate level to professional hockey that’s one step away from the NHL, one thing is clear: Winners reside in Bakersfield and locals have access to the best seats in the house.


Above: Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunner Jaylin Airington goes up for two points against New Mexico State. Left: Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar owner Nick Hansa cooks and entertains during the restaurant's cooking classes.





It’s better live

– Nothing compares to the experience of a live performance. From country music at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, classical music at Rabobank Theater or a stage play at one of Bakersfield’s community theaters, no matter what your preference, there’s a live show for it. Find out what’s playing at Gaslight Melodrama this month on Page 42.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017



Get artsy – Grab a brush and let your creative juices flow! “Paint night” events make for great evenings with friends and loved ones and local places like Brush & Blush, Corks & Strokes, and The Art Cellar make it a family friendly affair with classes for kids and/or adults.



Dance like no one’s watching

– Grab a partner or fly solo and learn a variety of dance styles like hip-hop, salsa and swing at Studio 9 or ballroom dancing at Debonaire Dancers. Learn more about Studio 9 on Page 40.



Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017




Get in the festive spirit

– The Bakersfield Jazz Festival, Country & Craft Beer Festival and Garden Fest are a few of the festivals taking place in April and there are plenty more held throughout the year. Check out the calendar on Page 20 for more events.


– The Condor Challenge at California Living Museum is Bakersfield’s only ropes challenge course and outdoor climbing tower, consisting of high- and low-rope elements reaching more than 35 feet and a 32-foot climbing wall. Condor Challenge’s trained facilitators tailor the experience to participants of all ages and ability levels.



Keep CALM and reach new heights


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017


Get into the swing of things –


With nearly a dozen golf courses to choose from, there’s no reason not to grab a set of clubs and play a round or two.

• Does not apply to previous sale. • See store for details 2300 Eye Street

(Across f rom Rite Aide)





Fulfill the need for speed – Gentle-

men (and gentlewomen), start your engines! Drivers can fulfill their dreams of racing down the straightaways into the 14-degree banks of the Kern County Raceway during the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience on April 9. Bakersfield Karting Experience is another way for speed demons to put the pedal to the metal with gokarts reaching up to 40 mph.


It’s a bird … it’s a plane … no, wait, it’s a bird –


Birding with the Kern Audubon Society is an activity all ages can enjoy. With field trips around Kern County held every month, it’s a fun and educational experience.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

We need your help to finish the fight. Join the American Cancer Society Relay For Life movement, the world’s largest event to end cancer. Because when we walk and fundraise together, we’re bigger than cancer.


The funds raised allow us to help people in every community and find cures to save more lives.


Join us. Thank you for voting Relay for Life as one of the Best Annual Events in Bakersfield.

Relay for Life of Bakersfield May 6 & 7 at Kern County Fairgrounds

Relax, recharge, rejuvenate –

A spa day, complete with full-body massage, keeps the aches and pains away.


Locally grown family fun –

Tractor-drawn wagon rides, a giant bounce pillow and a petting zoo featuring goats, fancy pigeons, sheep, peacocks, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys and a miniature horse are just some of the attractions found at Murray Family Farms. And that’s not including the abundance of fresh fruit ripe for the picking.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017





A test of wits and remaining cool under pressure, escape rooms pit groups in a race against the clock as they solve puzzles and gather clues before time runs out. Do you and your friends have what it takes to beat the clock?


Ride the bike path – Metropolitan Bakersfield boasts 203 miles worth of bike paths, lanes and routes, taking riders along the Kern River, through the heart of downtown Bakersfield, across the hills surrounding Hart Park and beyond. So what are you waiting for? Hop on your bike and take a spin around the city!

Go to your “hoppy place”


– Craft beer is thriving in Bakersfield with three local breweries serving up more than 35 original creations. The beer is the star of the show at Dionysus Brewing Co. while Lengthwise Brewing Company and Temblor Brewing Company offer full menus. Temblor also doubles as an entertainment venue, hosting bands and comedians on a regular basis.



A room like no other –


People & Community


Search for buried treasure City’s oldest cemetery home to local historical figures By Lisa Kimble

Not all of Bakersfield’s history is within the confines of the county museum or the library’s history room. Much of it lies buried 6 feet under the hallowed grounds of the Historic Union Cemetery at the corner of Potomac Avenue and South King Street in east Bakersfield. More than just the final resting place for many of the community’s early settlers, city fathers, outlaws, cowboys and other colorful characters, Bakersfield’s oldest cemetery welcomes the community to visit what it calls “a storybook of the American West.”

The names engraved on the headstones and crypts read like a who’s who of the area: Curran, Bimat, Banducci, Holtby, Rankin, Bertolucci, Harrell and Wickersham to name a few. In the mid-19th century, when Col. Thomas Baker, the city’s namesake, moved to the area, he chose his plot there as the place where he


Bakersfield Life Magazine

wanted to “lay my bones.” His burial in 1872 marked the beginning of Union. The two blocks at the southwest portion of the property known as the “Pioneer’s Section” was later declared a historic place by the local Preservation Commission. A visit to the historic graveyard might not be at the top of someone’s “get out and explore Bakersfield” to-do list, but it most certainly should. “We want people to come out here and get educated,” said Manager Jose Leyva. “It is fascinating. I’ve been here 20 years and I still get sidetracked when I walk the property.” Union’s website,, features biographies of its residents as well as a downloadable map for self-guided walking tours. “Just about everybody who died between the 1880s to 1935 is buried out there,” said historian John Codd, who has been leading free daytime tours for five years. The names engraved on the headstones and crypts read like a who’s who of the area: Curran, Bimat, Banducci, Holtby, Rankin, Bertolucci, Harrell and Wickersham to name a few. Besides Baker, whose plot is unremarkable given his prominence compared to the more stately monuments, others in the oldest section include Paul Galtes, who built a small grocery store into one of the most

April 2017

Col. Thomas Baker’s grave

successful ones in town. St. Francis Church got its start in a back room of the business. There are more than 100 Civil War soldiers who died after the battle buried there, as are two congressmen – including oil tycoon Charles Barlow, whose downtown home is now the Guild House. Bakersfield’s first banker, Solomon Jewett; its first postmaster, George Chester; and Kern County Land Company Manager Henry Jastro are also interred at Union. The tour also highlights the resting places of early California explorer

Capt. Elisha Stephens, who brought the first wagon train over the Sierra; Alexis Godey, who was a guide for the Fremont Party; Kern’s first Superior Court Judge Benjamin Brundage; and Faustino Noriega, who was part of the Basque immigration to this country and who, along with Fernando Etcheverry, established the famed restaurant and hotel. There are still a few remaining wooden markers to be seen on “Boot Hill” and one gets a deeper sense of the connection the descendants of prominent local pioneering families have for Bakersfield. “The headstones tell you a lot. There are many family groups there,” Codd added. Beautiful, serene, and a must-see for natives and newcomers alike, make plans to visit Historic Union Cemetery and take a stroll through our rich, local history.

Lisa Kimble

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.

Historic Union Cemetery 730 Potomac Ave. Gates open daily, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Office open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info and to download self-guided map, go to


People & Community



Celebrate the creativity, taste and ingenuity of Bakersfield


Millennials (and other generations) revel in the ‘Bakersfield Boom’

Since the early ’90s, Bakersfield has tripled in size, from 185,000 to well over 370,000, with a median age of about 30 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s a great time to be young in Bakersfield. Population diversity is also expanding, with 37 percent of Bakersfield residents being white, 45 percent Hispanic or Latino, 8 percent African-American, 6 percent Asian and around 2 percent American Indian. And with a little over 12,000 businesses established in Kern County right now, the real question is what aren’t we doing out here? Places like Temblor Brewing Company, Cafe Smitten and 1933: Speakeasy Bar & Grill earn a spot on my list of places knocking it out of the park this month. But that’s not all. Thrill-seekers can get their fix at the new Bakersfield Karting Experience, which opened in February, or try their hand hiking through the spring fauna at Wind Wolves Preserve.

By Charmaine Cleveland Left: Cafe Smitten Right: 1933: Speakeasy Bar & Grill


There’s always one question I anticipate when people from out of town hear I’m from Bakersfield: What do you do for fun out there? And for the longest time, I never knew the answer. Bakersfield isn’t a small city, but growing up here in the mid-’90s always had me wishing I could rack my brain for a place other than The Marketplace or Jerry’s Pizza – my two favorite haunts as a young adult. And now, as an active 20-something, I feel like I’m at a stage in my life where I always want to be busy – and to live in a town that keeps me that way. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to big cities. But after living in Washington, D.C., for a short while and Los Angeles for six years, I’ve come to realize that Bakersfield definitely has its perks. I mean, don’t get me started on the Obamas’ motorcade that doubled as my alarm clock back in 2013. Living three blocks from the White House had me up at 7 a.m. every morning to the smooth jazz of bulletproof Cadillacs roving down the street. So when I say I enjoy my quiet residential areas separate from the nightlife of downtown, I truly mean it. Bakersfield is quiet in all the right places. But lately Bakersfield’s been on a kick I can’t ignore. Over the last decade, our town has experienced a growth spurt I’ve been excited to watch.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

I no longer buy the fact that Bakersfield is the quiet, laid-back place it used to be. While I could never trade a quiet childhood at my local theater or watching my favorite band downtown, the last two years in my hometown have been the best years I’ve spent in Bakersfield. I no longer buy the fact that Bakersfield is the quiet, laid-back place it used to be. We’re seeing a daily expansion of the downtown area, a newly diversified selection of food and shopping, and a fresh perspective on how our residents spend their weekends. It’s time to start celebrating our creativity, taste and ingenuity as a city in an era I like to call the “Bakersfield Boom.” So whether you’re someone who enjoys a loud Saturday night or quiet, nature-filled weekend, Bakersfield has something for you. All you have to do is look.

Charmaine Cleveland

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Charmaine Cleveland.

People & Community


A downtown man with a plan City councilman helps make change in downtown, east Bakersfield

By Mayan Xitlaly Lara

that Bakersfield’s is really coming together, especially with so many new businesses popping up. Depending on how busy the day will be or what challenges he might face, one might find the councilman grabbing a cup of coffee at Dagny’s or sipping on a chai tea at Bakersfield’s newest modern coffee shop, Cafe Smitten. “I love spending time over there and reading a good book or getting together with a friend,” Gonzales said. He recommends heading over to Cafe Smitten to check out their outdoor area, which he says is a great place to hang out in the springtime. Revitalizing downtown Bakersfield and providing safer and cleaner neighborhoods are two of Gonzales’ top priorities. “I think Bakersfield is beautiful. There are places that are really PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDBERG PHOTOGRAPHY

Ward 2 Councilman, Andrae Gonzales

Bakersfield is full of things to do in the spring. One of Ward 2 Councilman Andrae Gonzales’ favorite things to do is take a walk around downtown Bakersfield. “We have an awesome downtown. We have a lot of great restaurants and great retail stores … a lot of hidden gems that you wouldn’t know about if you didn’t go out and explore,” he said. With his job, Gonzales gets to travel a lot to different cities. He has seen numerous cities’ downtown areas and believes


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

unique and there are things that our community has to offer that you can’t find anywhere else,” Gonzales said. “As someone who is part of this community, I am very proud of that.” He wants to continue to keep the Bakersfield community safe and clean while also enhancing the city, especially downtown. “I want to be part of that effort and help support all those folks who are trying to, in a very creative way, make our community a better place to live,” Gonzales said. Gonzales finds it very encouraging that Bakersfield has a lot of creative and ambitious people burrowed around town who really care about the community and are working very hard to try and make it even more beautiful. “If you talk to people, lots of people have similar goals and dreams about our community and I feel very fortunate to be the councilman of downtown because I think the future of our community is downtown,” he


School in East Bakersfield for the past three years,” Gonzales said. Every month, volunteers and families from Williams Elementary School come together to help pick up bulky waste. The next cleanup is on Earth Day, April 22.

said. Gonzales is a Bakersfield native who was born and raised in east Bakersfield and as Ward 2 city councilman, Gonzales spends a lot of his time in east Bakersfield where he sees a lot of beauty in the homes and the architecture in the neighborhood. He studied political science and public policy at UC Berkeley and lived in the Bay Area for five years and loved it but as college graduation was veering the corner, he knew that he wanted to move back home. He wanted to help make a change and still does. He has been involved with leading an effort called Keep East Bakersfield Beautiful, which is part of the Keep Bakersfield Beautiful project. “We’ve been organizing neighborhood cleanups around Williams Elementary

“I think Bakersfield is beautiful. There are places that are really unique and there are things that our community has to offer that you can’t find

anywhere else.” – Andrae Gonzales

“One mom told me that their daughter just loves the cleanup days,” Gonzales said. “They live right off of an alley – actually their front door is in an alley – and she just loves how clean it gets.” Heading over to Jastro Park and Hart Park are also on the councilman’s list of favorite things to do in the spring. Gonzales and his mother, aunts and cousins will often get together to have brunch at Hart Park. He enjoys being near the Kern River. “We all get so busy, it’s nice to get to reconnect,” he said. His family tries to catch up and reconnect a couple of times a year. With his birthday being this month, April 9, he feels like spring is his season. “I love the fact that everything is in bloom and that the weather starts getting nice,” Gonzales said.


People & Community


Take me (back) to the ball game


Baseball returns to Bakersfield with Train Robbers set to play in summer

By Stephen Lynch

Long-time Blaze official scorer Tim Wheeler will continue to sit in the Sam Lynn press box.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

It was a sad end of an era for a lot of local baseball fans when the Bakersfield Blaze decided to permanently close shop at the end of last season. The city of Bakersfield and Sam Lynn Ballpark had been Cal League fixtures for most of the past 75 years. Despite numerous name and Major League Baseball team affiliate changes over the years, Bakersfield’s Cal League franchise was a relied upon and convenient summer entertainment option for Kern County residents. Luckily for local baseball fans, the

void left by the departure of the Blaze has already been filled by another professional baseball franchise. The Bakersfield Train Robbers, a newly established Pecos League franchise, will take to the field at Sam Lynn Ballpark this summer, playing 45 home games, beginning with their season opener on May 25. The team will play 64 games in 66 days, with its final regular season game slated for July 29. “We’re real excited to move to Bakersfield because we like it there,” Pecos League CEO Andrew Dunn said. “There are going to be certain people that are going to want to go to Bakersfield Train Robbers games just because it’s baseball,

it’s entertainment and it’s in Bakersfield. They don’t want to drive a long way to go to a game.” The Pecos League, a 12team independent league on par with rookie league baseball in the minors, was founded in 2010 and features mostly former college players and ex-minor league players who were cut by their MLB organizations. All the players in the league must be 25 years old or younger when the calendar year starts, with one exception per team. Players are paid $50 to $200 per week and live with host families during the season. The Pecos League, which doesn’t utilize the designated hitter and is known for developing pitchers, has had two of its former players (Jon Edwards, Texas Rangers) and (Chris Smith, Toronto Blue Jays) go on and make a Major League team’s roster. The Train Robbers already began establishing their presence in town and on the internet. The large Bakersfield Blaze sign that hung at the entrance of Sam Lynn Ballpark on Chester Avenue has been removed and replaced with a big and colorful Bakersfield Train Robbers banner. The Train Robbers also have a website,, where people can get information about the team, including its schedule and purchase season or individual game tickets. While the Train Robbers are a completely new and separate entity from the Blaze, the new franchise will utilize the services of several of familiar faces. Long-time Blaze official scorer Tim Wheeler will continue to sit in the Sam Lynn press box and make all the difficult hit/error -like decisions and Dennis “Froggy” Gallion, a Blaze game day staffer, has

been hired by the Train Robbers to do specialty sales. Wheeler had a streak of working 1,439 straight games as the Blaze’s official scorer snapped in 2015 due to medical reasons. Wheeler has been involved in baseball in some capacity since he was 8 years old. “I’ve always said that baseball is my heroin,” Wheeler said. “So when the news came that the Blaze were going to be history, I felt like a junkie whose supply had run out. Now I get that next hit. I still get to stay involved in baseball.” The Train Robbers will be guided on the field by 71-year old manager Bill Moore. The veteran with 45 years of coaching experience, who led the Santa Fe Fuego to a Pecos League championship in 2014, is happy to be coming to Bakersfield. “I have more fun than anybody at the ballpark – players, fans, anybody.” Moore said. “I have a good time every night when I go. I get a little intense but that’s part of it.” Moore, who was the Pecos League Manager of the Year in 2014, believes that fans that come to the Train Robbers’ games will have as much fun at the ballpark as he does. “We’ll put an entertaining product on the field,” Moore said. “Fans should come out and watch us play. If they do, they’ll enjoy themselves.”


The Bakersfield Train Robbers’ season opener is May 25 at Sam Lynn Ballpark.


People & Community


Explore the nonprofits around Kern County California Living Museum (CALM)

By Kristen Beall Barnes


There are many nonprofit organizations here in Kern County working diligently to provide our community with opportunities to learn, grow and have fun experiencing this amazing place we call home. Think about what matters most to you. Is it having a natural place to play outdoors? Learning about our rich history? Fostering a love for animals? Teaching your children the importance of understanding our environment? Igniting a passion for the arts? Whatever it is, it’s easy to get out and find a nonprofit organization aligned with your values! Here is a list of places to visit and a few ideas you might consider supporting.

CALM’s Condor Challenge

East Bakersfield

A family friendly zoo displaying native California animals, plants, fossils and artifacts in interactive exhibits for education, recreation, conservation and research. Now featuring condors and the California Coast Room. •

China Lake Museum Mojave

A large variety of present and past U.S. Navy aircraft, weapons and technology displayed for close-up viewing. •

Kern Pioneer Village Downtown Bakersfield

Featuring historic homes and buildings dating back to the 1800s, exhibits on the oil industry and the Bakersfield Sound, and the interactive Lori Brock Children’s Discovery Center, the museum breathes life into the history of Kern County. •

Maturango Museum of Indian Wells Valley Ridgecrest

Highlighting the natural and cultural history of the northern Mojave Desert through research and education in science and art. •

Bakersfield Museum of Art (BMoA)

Wind Wolves Preserve

Downtown Bakersfield The museum and its art-filled gardens

South of Bakersfield

are beautiful places to visit. Featuring a permanent collection and traveling exhibits, children’s programming, artist interaction and evening events like Art After Dark and Theater in the Garden. •

Experience 93,000 acres of impressive land formations and habitats made accessible to the public through hiking trails, guided tours and community events. • windwolves.html

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History Downtown Bakersfield

A four-story, family friendly museum focused on geology, anthropology and paleontology. Visit and see the largest-known display of fossils from the Miocene period. •


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

Kristen Beall Barnes

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 are her own.

SUPPORT THESE ORGANIZATIONS Become a member As a member, you’ll likely receive some great benefits, including membership gifts, access to special events, news and publications, and more, all while providing critical financial support. Volunteer Get your hands wet and your boots dirty! Even if you only have a few hours, you can make a difference. Donate Nearly any asset can be donated to benefit your favorite organization. Participate Attending fundraisers and community events can raise needed support while having a great time. Tell your friends Simply spreading the word can have a huge impact on the great work happening in Kern County. Share your favorite organization’s social media posts with your friends. The bottom line? Find a local nonprofit aligned with your interests and get out and about, supporting them in any way that makes sense for you.

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People & Community


SISTERS IN ARMS Siblings enjoy success together playing water polo for CSUB By Stephen Lynch Nine years ago, Lauren and Lindsey Paulson gave up competitive swimming (temporarily) in favor of water polo. The two sisters, who are a year and a half apart in age, had become bored with the monotony of constantly swimming up and down the pool and were seeking a sport with a little more action. So, at the urging of their mother, Susan, a former high school water polo player in Santa Cruz, the two girls made the switch. It’s a move that has proven beneficial to both.  The two Stockdale High graduates are currently teammates on the Cal State Bakersfield women’s water polo team. Neither played high school water polo because Stockdale, like every other public school in town, doesn’t offer the sport.  Instead the two sisters got their water polo training by joining the Bakersfield Water Polo Club, run by CSUB coach Jason Gall, in 2009. The two girls played together on the same team at BWPC and developed a strong bond in the pool. “We always knew where each other was at in the pool,” Lindsey said. “We could always get each

other the ball when it was needed.” Along the way, the sisters also resumed competitive swimming and spent additional time together in the pool as members of the Mustangs’ girls team. Lindsey, the younger of the two, qualified for the Central Section Swimming Championships three times. She also had a lot of success in water polo, playing in seven National Junior Olympics for BWPC. Both girls were good enough for Gall to recruit them to play college water polo at CSUB. “We both had different options,” Lauren said. “We had other schools that were interested in us but both of us are very family oriented and both wanted to go to Cal State Bakersfield.” Gall was a big reason the two chose CSUB. “Neither Lauren or I applied to go anywhere else because we kind of already knew that we were going to go to Cal State because of Jason,” Lindsey said. Since joining the Roadrunners – Lauren in 2015 and Lindsey last year – the two sisters have combined for more than 50 goals. Lauren had 16 her freshman year and seven last season. Lindsey recorded 12 goals a year ago and had 16 through the Roadrunners’

first 15 games this year. The pair have been arguably even more impressive in the classroom. Both sisters were named to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-Academic Team last year. Lauren currently carries a 3.7 grade-point average, one of the highest in the country for an NCAA Division I women’s water polo player. The two young women hope before the season is over to help the Roadrunners break new ground and win a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game for the first time since joining the conference in 2013. Last year, CSUB was 13-21 overall and 0-7 in conference games. The Roadrunners began 2017 by winning half of it first 18 games. Eight of the nine losses came at hands of teams ranked in the top 15 at the time they played CSUB. “We do better every single year and I think this year we definitely have a chance to win one (MPSF game),” Lauren said. Despite their closeness in age, no sibling rivalry exists between the two sisters. “We just want the best for each other,” Lindsey said. “We support each other. Whenever Lauren scores a goal, I get really excited for her and vice versa.”


Lauren Paulson Born: Jan. 31, 1996 Major: Nursing Extracurriculars: Member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and currently serves as the financial vice president for the CSUB chapter.

Lindsey Paulson Born: June 18, 1997 Major: Liberal Arts Favorite leisure activity: Lindsey’s favorite leisure activities are napping and hanging out with friends. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CSUB ATHLETICS


Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017


Legendary quality is crafted into the most beautiful designs reflecting both the latest trends and the enduring classics

JANE’S JEWELERS Where Bakersfield Gets Engaged

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Top: Lauren Paulson, Bottom: Lindsey Paulson


People & Community


CREATING AN UNBREAKABLE BOND A look at how horses are helping veterans through a form of therapy Casey Schaubschlager and mustang Millie. Facing page: Joshua Burbaker Victor Alcocer with his horse Fiona.


Story and photos by Laura Liera

There are moments that happen right in front of your eyes that sometimes can’t be explained. Rather, they’re felt. For three local Marine veterans, the feelings are happening today, away from their deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Emotions aren’t easy to talk about, though. But sometimes words aren’t needed. When Casey Schaubschlager interacts with Mille, a mustang, at M.A.R.E. Therapeutic Riding Center every Thursday morning, the anxiety or frustration he may feel in the morning slowly washes away as the day progresses. “Working with her (Millie)

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

calms and relaxes me,” Schaubschlager said, as his four-legged pal stood off to the side, watching him. Getting Millie to be ridden is the main goal. She still has a lot of energy but M.A.R.E.’s executive director, Sonya Brewer, said the bond is slowly developing between the veteran and the horse. Trust is the main connection that has to be gained, from both. Millie feels when Schaubschlager is tense. She can tell when he’s standoffish. But when he takes a deep breath and relaxes, she’ll immediately change her demeanor. “It’s total body and mental awareness,” Brewer noted. During the first 10 to 15 minutes of interaction between Schaubschlager and Millie, it seems like the two will never get on the same

page. Millie is galloping in circles around the corral. But then a moment happens. As Schaubschlager extends his left arm, Millie senses the movement and slows down. She then starts trotting the opposite way. A verbal “whoa” leads Mille to stop completely as her human leader approaches. Schaubschlager extends his arm and allows Millie to slowly sniff his hand. She’s now allowing herself to be loved. “It’s calming and I feel this self-accomplishment when she is calm and listens to my direction,” Schaubschlager said. Across the corral where Millie is being trained are Victor Alcocer and his horse Fiona and Joshua Burbaker and his horse Duke. Before Burbaker was a Marine,

he was a cowboy. After a dismounted improvised explosive device left him as a double amputee, Burbaker often wondered how he'd get back to riding. “I knew I was going to ride again, it was just a matter of how, not so much of when,” Burbaker said. For Burbaker, equine therapy has given him a chance to get back to who he was. And his disability isn’t stopping him. “If I let my injury change who I am, both emotionally and physically, I pretty much let the people who did this to me win, and I refuse to let them win,” he said. “They may have slowed me down but they haven’t stopped me.” As Alcocer brushes down Fiona near the stables, he talks about the partnership that has made therapeutic riding possible in Bakersfield. About a year and a half ago, The Wounded Heroes

Did You Know? • Currently there are 99 therapeutic riding centers in California and Nevada and more than 35,000 disabled equestrians in the United States. • Equine therapy has been shown to be effective in treating patients, including combat veterans with PTSD, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit disorders, conduct disorders, dissociative disorders and other chronic mental illnesses.

Fund and M.A.R.E. collaborated in hopes of helping local veterans with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Three veterans have already been through the equine program and the hope is this form of therapy will pique the interest of more. “There’s a military brotherhood and then there’s a veteran brotherhood,” Alcocer said. “Whether someone is going through depression or PTSD, we are here to help.”

• The Wounded Heroes Fund is a service organization for those veterans and their families affected by the war on terror with a focus on facilitating a healthy transition to civilian life through support and appreciation. • Victor Alcocer and Joshua Burbaker are training for the Special Olympics World Games Equestrian Competition happening in July. For more information, visit www.thewoundedheroesfund. org.


People & Community


PLANTING THE SEEDS FOR THE ‘RITE OF SPRING’ Celebrating Bakersfield’s love of jazz

Dizzy Gillespie was one of the early performers at the Bakersfield Jazz Festival.

By Julie Plata

Thirty-one years ago, a CSUB music professor and composer coordinated a jazz festival in conjunction with Bakersfield College. Despite some early road blocks from Mother Nature, the Bakersfield Jazz Festival turned out to be a great success and has entertained thousands of spectators annually with jazz greats such as The Yellowjackets, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea and Delfeayo Marsalis. The Bakersfield Jazz Festival has also given back to the community in an immeasurable way through the granting of annual scholarships to CSUB students. The community’s love affair with jazz has endured since the genre’s inception. Five decades ago, the city of Bakersfield celebrated its first incarnation of a Bakersfield jazz festival. Un82

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April 2017

related to the current festival, but still important to the history of the city’s celebration of all that is jazz, the Bakersfield Junior Chamber of Commerce coordinated an event that was sure to become a community tradition. For three days during a balmy February weekend in 1963, Bakersfield became the jazz capital of the West. Visitors from across the state were expected to attend the first Bakersfield jazz festival at the Kern County Fairgrounds’ newly remodeled Albert S. Goode Auditorium. The Jan. 28, 1963 Bakersfield Californian placed the inaugural festival as on par with the famous Monterey and Newport Beach jazz festivals. In order to live up to the reputations of California’s famous jazz festivals, a great deal of preparation went in to making the hometown show the best Bakersfield had ever experienced. One of the state’s best designers, Keith Skidmore, was hired to draw up the plans

for the show. Skidmore had previously delighted Bakersfield’s crowds with his annual Christmas parade designs.

The Jan. 28, 1963 Bakersfield Californian placed the inaugural festival as on par with the famous Monterey and Newport Beach jazz festivals. Promoter Lou Southern, well-known in Hollywood for his choreography and for the creation of the Capital Jazz Festival in Sacramento, took the reins as the festival’s director. Art Tognini and Bill Elliot handled all technical aspects of the show.

The much-anticipated lineup included highly accomplished jazz performers such as Academy Award winner Andre Previn, the Cal Tjader Quintet, Julie London and Bobby Troup, bassist Red Mitchell, and Shelly Manne and his Men. Local artists also had the opportunity to exhibit their abstract and semi-abstract works keeping with the festival’s “far out” expression theme. The 1,000 reserved seats sold out quickly and fans greatly anticipated the return of the jazz festival in 1964. When the lineup for the second annual jazz festival was announced, the venue was also moved to the Civic Auditorium. As with the previous year, attendees were treated to a

17 18

showing of modern art from local artists and the chance to experience the latest in Hi-Fi and stereo equipment. The top billed artist, a return from the previous year, was the Cal Tjader Quintet. The crowds were also treated to the sounds of acclaimed jazz artists Les McCann, the Jazz Crusaders, Mike Melvoin and Gene McDaniels. One thing that is certain is music runs through the blood of the people of Bakersfield. The first incarnation of the Bakersfield jazz festival may not have continued as planned, as the festival came to an end after its second year, but, 23 years later, under the direction of Doug Davis, Bakersfield’s greatest jazz festival was born.

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People & Community



Top: Group photo of participants in the Great American Cleanup at Yokuts Park. Right: Volunteers at the Seeds of Inspiration community garden. Facing page: Tom Burch with his grandson at the annual city cleanup. Tom is a past “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” recipient.


There is a unique kind of pride that stays with you when you take the time to volunteer in your community. Whether it’s picking up trash around your neighborhood or painting over graffiti near a school, the feeling is like no other. For the past 16 years, Keep Bakersfield Beautiful has been on a continued quest to bring the community together to improve the ecological and aesthetic view of the city. Jessica Felix, community relations specialist with KBB, talked about the ongoing projects currently taking place.

GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP When the first Great American Cleanup in Bakersfield took place 16 years ago, about 500 volunteers showed up and helped clean two different areas in town. Last year, the number of volunteers was in the thousands and they spent time “beautifying” more than 50 different locations. “The day is about bringing people together to literally keep Bakersfield beautiful,” Felix said. “It’s for people to realize that there is beauty here to be maintained.” Volunteering is pretty easy. The sign-up form asks for a team captain, a co-captain and the total number of volunteers for a group. Free shirts are provided for participants. The cleanup runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is followed by a family fun gathering and the Bakersfield Green Expo at Yokuts Park. There

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017


By Laura Liera

will be volunteer appreciation swag, games, food and a high school student art competition with a chance to win scholarship money. The cleanup will be on Saturday, April 22.

COMMUNITY GARDENS They grow lettuce, kale, cilantro, peppers and other vegetables in a garden. The gardeners: neighbors and children. KBB has helped start up two community gardens – Seeds of Inspiration and Greenfield Walking Group – and their memberships continue to flourish. Felix said there is a waiting list at the Greenfield Walking Group garden near Stiern Park, a garden that used to be home to illegal dumping and heavy trash. “I’m so proud of what they have done,” Felix said. “The group had a vision that was carried out and the neighborhood really adopted the garden and embraced it.” Although KBB doesn’t start gardens themselves, if a neighborhood is interested in creating one on


OLD TOWN KERN A big change is happening in Old Town Kern. Revitalization and “beautifying” is the top priority in an area home to iconic Bakersfield spots like Wool Growers Restaurant and Pyrenees Cafe. The first step has already been made: a colorful mural in the parking lot of Wool Growers Restaurant that celebrates the French Basque heritage. Expect to see more murals, vegetation, improved sidewalks, lighting and art-decorated utility boxes, Felix said.

Also on this year’s KBB agenda is taking a closer look at the area near the Bakersfield Auto Mall. Felix said many people have been requesting different art projects, like murals, to reduce graffiti in the area. KBB is currently looking for sponsorships to help revitalize south Bakersfield.


an available area, the staff at KBB can help with the process. “We can have a site visit and share with them our experiences,” Felix added.

Great American Cleanup/Bakersfield Green Expo April 22 For more information, visit or call 661-852-2121. Facebook: Keep Bakersfield Beautiful Instagram: @keep.bakersfield.beautiful


People & Community


GIVE BIG KERN Give Big is May 2. Volunteer your time or donate money to local nonprofits at www. givebigkern. org.


Showcases the good that lies within Kern County’s borders By Kate Leonard

If you are looking to give back to Kern County, look no further. Give Big Kern gives residents the opportunity to give from the comfort of their own homes just by pulling out their mobile device or computer and logging onto the website. But if you were wanting to do more – get out there and help make a change – there are also volunteer opportunities for various nonprofits. Give Big Kern, now entering its second year, will be happening on May 2. It is a 24-hour event that aims to bring the county together and showcase the nonprofits participating and show the community what good lies within Kern County’s borders. Kern Community Foundation President/CEO Kristen Beall Barnes and a group of three are pushing for this year’s Give Big Kern to be bigger and better. According to Barnes, last year’s event “ended up generating $177,000 that went directly to the nonprofits. That was a combination of donations from existing support and new people. We also gathered 74,000 volunteer hours.” There is a lot that Kern Community Foundation

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April 2017

does to prep for the Give Big Kern event. The nonprofits that sign up for the event are able to do so at no cost. They provide the nonprofits with trainings that happen weekly starting in January and run till two weeks after the event. These are all free for those that sign up. The trainings range from how to control social media and getting their name out there; what to do after the event after they have been given funds and support; and how will they grow. The goal is to help bring a full circle to these causes to help them grow once they are given the right tools. “Nonprofit strengthening is one of our strategic initiatives,” Barnes said. “We know that there are thousands of nonprofits just here in Kern County and they play a vital role in our community. They really do amazing things, not only for the causes they care about, but if we think about it, they are an economic drive; they are a source of employment for hundreds of people and they really just speak to the heart of the community and make the community a better place.” Sponsorships range from bronze to diamond and help with promotions and opportunities to be seen at the Give Big Event and its website. For sponsorships inquiries, contact Rachel Evey at 616-2603 or rachel@


One-of-a-kind paintings by local artist “Mexicali” and “Jin Sushi” to name a few, will be in a one-artist show at Dagny’s Coffee Co. in April. Additional paintings will be at the Art Center, 1607 19th St. To contact the artist, Charlotte White, call 661-330-2676.

Unique Home Decor Farm Girls Vintage Finds 2113 Q St. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ever wonder what you can do to make a difference? Stop by Rags to Rescue and shop for a cause! You can help make a change. All proceeds support adoption as an option, spay and neuter to reduce overpopulation, and education to make a difference. So raise a paw and visit the store that makes a difference in the lives of unwanted pets! 234 H St. Open Tuesday through Saturday. Like us on Facebook,

Paint ceramic Easter eggs at home! Pick up this adorable “Bisque Bunnies” pack of eight, including glazes and brushes so you and your family can paint at home! What a fun and creative spring break activity or fun gift for your little ones! Check them out at Color Me Mine at The Marketplace, 661-664-7366 or www.

Crosses for Easter by Brighton Symbolize your faith with a beautiful cross for Easter. These meaningful crosses vow for both the fashionable and faithful. Find a wide selection of crosses by Brighton at Christine's. 4915 Stockdale Highway 661-834-3068

Wearable art by Lior Paris Upscale women’s designer dusters that incorporate contemporary fashion trends with bold patterns and unique design features. $179 Available at Sugardaddy’s, 5512 Stockdale Highway, 661-325-8300


Board Installation for KC Black Chamber of Commerce Date: Feb. 23 Held at: The Petroleum Club Photos by: Carla Rivas

Ernestine Lewis, Tiffany Powell, Katherine Jordan and Opal Hooks

LaMeka Ross, Lupe and Javier Lozano

Jacqueline Mimms and Evelyn Young Spath

Daisy Ruiz, Celina Hill and Gabriela Mello

Russail McGee and Don Kab

Gregory and Angela Glinton

Cynthia Garcia and Nikki Lopez

Dennis Stitt and Troy Hightower

Darren Gholston, Mandelyn Hobbs, Mary Tolliver and Don Factory 88

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

Guild House Bridal Fashion Show Date: Feb. 26 Held at: The Guild House Photos by: Carla Rivas

Jackie McDonald, Brenda, Sara and Paula Tremaine

Patty and Kellyn Bowes

Carol Kurtis and George Ann DeMarco

Renee Kinzel, Anthony and Carrie Goss

Kristina Straw, Luanne Santos and Lilian Santos

Gloria Fabbri and Ellen Plugee

Tara Bonas, Melissa Perkins and Lia Sherman

Katherine Tremaine and Mary McGrath

Hailey and Patrick Plugge

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Meet Your Brewer, hosted by the 20-30 Club Date: March 4 Held at: Lengthwise Brewing Company Photos by: Greg Nichols

Alex Balfour and Ken Greene

Steve Yarbrough, Tara Douhan, Rich Bettley, Emily Kerber and Eric Witt

Cassi Padgett, Jillian Salim and Crysten Grubb

Tarin Meadows, Anthony Masuda and Mattie Tietjen

Steve Davey, Russell Johnson, Eric and John Hansen

Joao Foresto, Daniel and Stefanie Wickensheimer

Chelsea Cooper, Dominic Rizzotto, Alyssa Irwin and Brooke Matlock

Wine & Paint Events Kids Art Classes Private Events Fundraisers Birthday Parties 2623 F STREET, SUITE M • 661-348-9860 90

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

Taylor White, Alex Balfour, Aaron Tenzer, Sebastian Bauge and Patrick Birchfield

Furry Paws and Foggy Nights Date: Feb. 24 Held at: The Petroleum Club Photos by: Carla Rivas

Diane and Scott Thatcher

Kathryn High and Denise Segrest

Breann Patten and Kathleen Bruce

Glenn Hodson and Lynn Larson

Jena Williams and Julie Johnson

Christopher Jones and Susan Greuter

Marci Diller, Ron LaValley and Jacquie Davis

Geri Antoine and Christine Miller

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BMoA Art Mix Date: March 2 Held at: Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by: Carla Rivas

Erin Tennant, Debbie Lewis and Laura Cattani

Cindy Meek, Katie Kirschenmann, Jenny Etchverry and Bronwyn Newnan

Tiffany and David Aderson and Jennifer Sampson

Marlene Heise and Marian Vigil

Melissa Fortune, Sylvia Cattani, Maureen Beccari and Mary Kay Atchison

Bill and Monica Jeffries

Ashleigh Pryor and Nathan Ladd

Daniel and Monica Cater and Melissa Watkins 92

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017

JJ’s Legacy Gala Date: March 4 Held at: Seven Oaks Country Club Photos by: Carla Rivas

Trina Rothermel and Lisa Belt

Bobbi and Mike Grigg

Robert and Joanie Haenelt, Dean Brown, Joe and Jan Drew

Joe Beck, Elena LaRoque and Grace Beck

Justin and Emily Salters, Vince Fong, Greg and Heather Frank, Courtney and Clayton Dunbar

Robin Mangarin Scott and Monsignor Craig Harrison

Chase Nicholas, Brian Ek, Suzan Andrews and Linda Jay

Spring Vegetables Are Ready

Good Selection of tomatoes

We have a good selection of Kellogg Products to amend your yard and get it ready for planting.


We also have Trees, Shrubs, Pottery and More. Need shade this summer? plant your trees now! Ryan and Amy Eberly, Jennifer and Derrick Miller

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People & Community


By David Lyman

The appreciative crowd at The Mark gives the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop band a hand following a number.


The news story was about two local fellows producing videos to counter the myth that there is nothing to do in Bakersfield. Nothing to do in Bakersfield? Really? Bakersfield is larger population-wise than the cities of Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Honolulu. If there is nothing to do in a city larger than Pittsburgh, St. Louis or Honolulu, imagine how desolate it must be in smaller places like, say, Visalia, Palm Springs or Monterey. At Visit Bakersfield, we promote all there is to see and do here. Our focus is not limited to visitors. After all, when friends and family come to visit, local residents are the ones who show them around. So how would locals find out what is going on? There are several resources. One is “The Month Ahead” feature in The Bakersfield Californian that previews events for the coming month. Another is Visit Bakersfield’s events calendar ( Also check out our Facebook page ( for updates on

Bakersfield Life Magazine

April 2017


NOTHING TO DO IN BAKERSFIELD? REALLY? local events and activities. In addition, we are always updating our in-house inventory of things to see and do here. For longtime Bakersfield residents, there are places and activities in Bakersfield even they might not know about. Here are a few: Bakersfield Jazz Workshops every Tuesday evening. Model train clubhouse every Saturday morning. Dewar’s candy factory tours Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Temblor Brewing Company tours Saturdays. Panorama Vista Preserve, rock climbing wall at Action Sports, walking tour of historic Bakersfield, downtown public art walking tour and lunch at Woolworth’s Luncheonette, any day. As I write this article, I looked at the upcoming events posted in the Visit Bakersfield lobby and saw these (some will have happened by the time you read this): Super Cruise Car Show, Super Import Cruise Show, Basque Crawl, Jewish Food Festival, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Workin’ Man Music and Arts Festival, Winter Exhibitions at Bakersfield Museum of Art. The idea that there is nothing to do made me think

back to years ago when I grew up in Bakersfield. In 1970, the population of the Bakersfield area was only about a third of what it is today. In that much smaller community, I do not remember having nothing to do. Now fast-forward to today, and I see my hometown, much larger as the ninth largest city in California, through the eyes of visitors. They never reflect a lack of things to do. On the contrary, they are surprised at the options we present to them. Their regret: having only a few hours or days to spend here. Our 62-page Official Bakersfield Arrival Guide has details on much, much more. The question, then, is not, “What is there to do?” The question, which we hear regularly from visitors is, “What will I not be able to do?” That’s why we say, in Bakersfield there really is more to explore!

David Lyman

David Lyman, Ph.D., is the manager of Visit Bakersfield. The views expressed in this column are his own.

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uying a home is often the largest decisions you will ever make, but over time, owning your home will prove to be a good decision. Owning a home is a dream come true! While lately the economy has presented some challenges with rising interest rates and higher priced homes, it has also helped us focus on what matters most. It’s reminded us that home is where you make memories, feel comfortable and secure, where

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36 months. $2999 due at signing.


Closed end lease for 2017 Accord Sedan CVT LX (CR2F3HEW) available from March 1, 2017 through May 1, 2017, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $24,130.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $19,684.93. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $7,164.00. Option to purchase at lease end $13,512.80. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by May 1, 2017. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/ year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.


Closed end lease for 2017 Odyssey 6 Speed Automatic LX (RL5H2HEW) available from March 1, 2017 through May 1, 2017, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $30,790.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $25,739.74. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $10,044.00. Option to purchase at lease end $17,550.30. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by May 1, 2017. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.


Barber Honda


Trust the Locally Owned Dealer who’s been Serving Kern County for Over 60 Years!



Featured Special Lease


Closed end lease for 2017 Civic Hatchback CVT LX (FK7H2HEW) available from March 1, 2017 through May 1, 2017, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $21,375.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $18,774.01. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $6,444.00. Option to purchase at lease end $13,252.50. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by May 1, 2017. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/ year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.




4500 Wible Road

at the Entrance to the Bakersfield Auto Mall

1-888-503-8891 Subject to prior sale.

Se Habla Español

Bakersfield Life Magazine April 2017  

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