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TBC Media undelineRev.pdf

January 2017




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Sticking to New Year’s resolutions Experts weigh in

Local group has a passion for

Pingpong $3.95

App brings

hoop players together

Fog Run

celebrates 28th year

From left: Drs. Darshan Shah, Zach Barnes, Milan Shah and Brett Lehocky of Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine.



2017 FIE






Top Docs The results are in. Bakersfield Life Magazine conducted a survey in which doctors voted for their peers whom they would most trust with their loved ones. Congratulations to all! Page 52

Dr. Brijesh Bhambi

Stick it to 2017 Tips to help you reach those elusive New Year’s resolutions. Page 70


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017


DEPARTMENTS Up Front – 13 A new year is upon us so why not try out something new? Check out the list on Page 16 for some ideas how to shake things up.

Eat & Drink – 22 Meet the new Dining Divas for 2017. They start off the year by being pampered at Beautologie. See how it went on Page 22. PHOTO BY LAURA LIERA

Lifestyles – 30


Go “On the Road” with the new 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport. In a new section called “Tech Talk,” on Page 34, we highlight two locals who created an app for basketball enthusiasts.


Go & Do – 36



22 Up Front 13 The Big Picture 14 Money Matters 16 12 Things ... 17 Finding Fame 18 Arts & Culture 19 Short Takes 20 Happenings Eat & Drink


22 Dining Divas 26 Lunchtime Picks Lifestyles 30 On the Road 32 Pastimes 34 Tech Talk Go & Do

Bakersfield Life Magazine

36 Entertainment 38 Out & About 41 Trip Planner B Well 42 What Happen When You're ... 44 Feature – Yoga 46 Workout Moves

January 2017

From Broadway to Bakersfield, the musical “Annie” is coming to town.

Feel like getting out of Bakersfield? Read about Herb and Sue Benham’s trip to Amsterdam on Page 41.

B Well – 42

Yoga class brings joy, relaxation and inner peace –­­ and it’s free. See Page 44.

People & Community – 74

84 48 Your Body 49 Love and Life People & Community 74 Bakersfield Matters 75 Millennial Voices 76 Personality 78 Philanthropy Matters 80 Real People

82 All-Star Athlete 84 Talk of the Town 86 Our Town 88 History 90 For A Cause 92 Prime Finds 93 SNAP! 102 Last Word

Learn how Justin McCall is carrying on a family tradition of basketball excellence on Page 82. East High’s career academy continues to inspire youth in the medical field. See Page 86.

STAFF SHARES Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine January 2017 / Vol. 11 / Issue 4

What habit would you like to change in 2017?

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

ON THE COVER Photo by Mark Nessia Cover design by Glenn Hammett

President/CEO Michelle Chantry Chief Marketing Officer Mike Skrocki Sales Manager Joey Zachary Sales Manager Tamarra Harms

Coming Next … Singles, Pets and Fashion

Market Research Jose Granados

To Advertise, contact

Assistant Managing Editor Mark Nessia

Mike Skrocki at or 395-7563.

Specialty Publications Coordinator Laura Liera

While putting this issue together ...

1 Bakersfield Life moved on up... to the third floor that is. We are now nice and toasty in the newsroom enjoying a change of scenery.

2 Mark and Holly annoyed co-worker

Laura constantly of how great the chicken malai was at New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant. It was a “Lunchtime Pick” menu item and perhaps one of the best dishes ever.

3 Laura went to a yoga class on as-

signment and brought in a large yoga ball. Mark tried sitting on it and rolled back into a metal cabinet doing a fullon body slam in slow motion.

Art Director Glenn Hammett Graphic Designer Holly Bikakis Specialty Publications Intern Rhiannon Stroberg Photography Henry A. Barrios, Casey Christie, Nick Ellis, Nina Ha, Laura Liera, April Massirio, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Mira Patel, Carla Rivas, Rod Thornburg Contributing writers Teresa Adamo, Kristen Beall Barnes, Sue Benham, Charmaine Cleveland, Ellen Ewing, Diana Greenlee, Nina Ha, Lisa Kimble, Stephen Lynch, Richard Noel, Julie Plata, Leigh Pozas, Chris Thornburgh

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. 10

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

“Read more books, do fewer crossword puzzles.” – Glenn Hammett, specialty publications art director “Incessantly staying up too late.” – Spencer Hersom, web designer “I would like to get more sleep, drink more water and exercise more.” – Ellen Ewing, contributing writer “I would like to stop saying “like” in my vocabulary. Like, for real. No wait, this isn’t a good one. I can do better. I would like to stop second-guessing myself.” – Elizabeth Sanchez, multimedia engagement coordinator “I need to stop being such a homebody and get out more.” – Mark Nessia, assistant managing editor “My penchant for procrastinating!” – Lisa Kimble, contributing writer “I have mastered the excuses for not having the time to send a simple “hello” text or make a phone call to friends and family. But that stops this year. Life is too short. Nobody is too busy.” – Laura Liera, specialty publications coordinator “I often turn back the corners on my Cooking Light magazine but never make the recipes. This is the year to start eating healthier and try out some new dishes.” – Holly Bikakis, graphic designer

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

Here’s to New Beginnings with Old Friends.

Happy New Year from

Castle & Cooke California, Inc.

BRE# 01254164


CHEERS TO A BETTER YOU IN THE NEW YEAR Mark Nessia Assistant Editor 395-7383

It’s that time again! As 2017 supplants 2016, gyms will be packed, jogging paths will experience higher levels of traffic, salad sales will rise and social media posts claiming, “New year, new me,” will flood newsfeeds. There’s no better time for a health-themed issue than January and that is exactly what awaits you in the pages to come. The importance of one’s physical and mental well-being cannot be stressed enough; we’re only given one body and we should do everything we can to take care of it. Inside, you’ll find articles aimed to help you in the gym and in the kitchen, from debunking the myths surrounding muscle building to the ongoing war between natural and artificial sugars. We’re also launching our inaugural “Top Docs.” Bakersfield is home to many talented doctors, and they deserve their time in the spotlight. But instead of allowing patients, friends and family determine the results, we turned to the doctors themselves, their nominations and votes deciding the winners. These “top docs” have earned the respect of their peers and Bakersfield’s residents most certainly benefit from their passion and expertise. This edition also debuts a new column: “Millennial Voices.”

I’m particularly excited about this being a millennial myself. We can be a confusing bunch at times and this will hopefully shed some light on what it’s like living in one of the fastest-growing cities as a young adult. Unfortunately, not all news can be good. We had to say goodbye (for now) to Katy Raytis’ column, “Family Verdict,” as she devotes more time toward family and work. We will certainly miss her hilarious stories gracing the pages of the magazine but we know the stories she’ll accumulate during her hiatus will be worth the wait. A new year also means a new group of Dining Divas. Instead of dining at one of Bakersfield’s many restaurants, they were pampered at Beautologie, the top plastic surgery center in Bakersfield. Beautologie’s mission is to enhance the beauty naturally found in each person and I think that’s a great message for 2017. Too often people can get caught up with change for the upcoming year that they forget that all the work they put in at the gym or in the kitchen merely reveals what’s been there all along. Pounds will come and go but one thing will always remain consistent: you. So instead of change, focus on improving what’s always been there. New year, better me.

Connect with us – Instagram/bakersfield_life


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017


See what’s on the calendar for January in Happenings on Page 20.

The Big Picture / Money Matters / 12 Things / Finding Fame / Arts & Culture / Short Takes / Happenings

RAINY LEAVES Taken by staff photographer Casey Christie who has been with TBC Media for more than 30 years. We will miss your beautiful shots of nature and smiling face around the office. Enjoy your retirement!



New president, new tax law LONG-TERM CAPITAL GAINS

By Chris Thornburgh

As our new president steps into the Oval Office, many taxpayers are wondering what to expect during the next four years. One of the buzz phrases tossed around before, during and after the campaign was “tax reform.” This seemingly ambiguous phrase has many asking how they will be affected. While our incoming president’s proposed tax policies may change after taking office, here is a look at his proposed tax plan from his campaign and how it compares to status quo.

INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RATES AND FILING STATUS Currently for individuals, there are seven tax brackets and four filing statuses. Filing status options include married filing joint, married filing separate, single and head of household. Individual tax rates range from 10 percent to 39.6 percent. The proposed tax plan is a simplification. There are only two filing statuses – you are either married or single. Note that the head of household filing status would be eliminated. The number of income tax brackets is reduced from seven to three: 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent as shown in the table.

DEDUCTIONS AND PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS Under current tax law for 2017, individuals have the option of claiming the greater of itemized deductions or the standard deduction ($12,700 for married filing joint, $9,350 for head of household, $6,350 for single and married filing separate). Additionally, you may claim a personal exemption deduction for yourself and your qualified dependents, subject to phaseout limitations. For 2017, the personal exemption is $4,050. (Note that these 2017 figures are not applicable for your 2016 tax return preparation. See for 2016 amounts.) Under the new plan, personal exemptions would be eliminated. The standard deduction would increase to $30,000 for joint filers and $15,000 for single filers. Itemized deductions would be capped at $200,000 for joint filers and $100,000 for single filers.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

Currently, most long-term capital gains are capped at a 20 percent tax rate (not including the net investment income tax). Taxpayers in the 10 and 15 percent tax brackets pay no tax on long-term capital gains. Taxpayers in the 25 to 35 percent tax brackets pay 15 percent on long-term capital gains. There are no proposed changes to this portion of current tax law.

NET INVESTMENT INCOME TAX The net investment income tax is a 3.8 percent Medicare surtax on investment income. Taxpayers may be exposed to this tax if their modified adjusted gross income exceeds $200,000 if single or $250,000 if married ($125,000 married filing separate). Under the new plan, this tax would be repealed.

ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX Under current tax law, there is a supplemental alternative minimum tax imposed on certain individuals, corporations, estates and trusts that have circumstances that lower their regular income tax. Under the new tax plan, AMT would also be repealed.

BUSINESS INCOME TAX RATES The current corporate tax structure is tiered with the highest level of corporate earnings taxed at 35 percent. Under the proposed plan, corporation tax rates are capped at 15 percent. The proposed tax plan also contains a provision for a one-time deemed repatriation tax of 10 percent on any offshore funds.

THE BOTTOM LINE While it’s impossible to know precisely how Trump’s proposed tax reform will pan out, we can certainly plan for change. Trump’s proposed plan contains many additional provisions that will impact certain taxpayers. For more details and additional guidance on how you may be affected, it is wise to reach out to a tax professional.

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 .. .

6 Learn a new skill. Expand your horizons by learning a new language, participating in a cooking class, playing a new sport or taking music lessons – the possibilities are endless.


7 Volunteer for charity. Help make a difference in our community by supporting a worthy cause. Bakersfield is known for its generous nature and there are many local charities worthy of your time. Giving also benefits your health as Kristen Beall Barnes covers on Page 84.

To Do in 2017 1

mind-body connection. If you need further convincing, check out Laura Liera’s yoga experience on Page 44.


4 Train for a 5K. It’s the most popular race for a reason. Convenient, exhilarating and fun, a 5K can ignite a passion for running you didn’t even know you had.

3 Try a yoga class. Stress reliever, increased flexibility and greater

5 Support the local arts scene. First Friday, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, museums and local community theaters are just a few options worth checking out. Find more events in our Arts & Culture section on Page 18.

Compiled by Bakersfield Life

Get a physical. Your body should always be a priority. A physical can help prevent health problems by identifying potential risk factors. Travel. Let wanderlust take hold of you this year and explore new locales near and far. Travel with friends or family or fly solo and discover yourself as well as new destinations.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

8 Read more. If you’re reading this, you’re off to a great start! Keeping your brain active and engaged helps prevent decline and reading is a great way to stay sharp and entertained. 9 Adopt a shelter pet. Not only are you saving a life, you’re also saving money. Shelter pets are less expensive and are often spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. More importantly, your new addition will love you forever! 10 Unplug. Leave your mobile

devices at home and enjoy living in the moment. Just because you don’t post your activities on social media doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.


Invest in your future. It’s never too early (or too late) to start saving. Talk with a financial adviser to develop a plan.

12 Treat yourself. We deserve to

spoil ourselves every now and then. Whether it’s a new wardrobe, a fullbody massage or a new set of wheels, don’t be afraid to pamper yourself. You’ve earned it!



Amateur pool champion honed skills from early age Brian Parks

By Teresa Adamo

Brian Parks is proof positive that champions aren’t built overnight. He’s also proof positive that true champions are backed by longtime support from loved ones. And that support started early on for Parks – now a four-time U.S. amateur champion with the American Poolplayers Association. Parks is the only person to accomplish this particular “four-peat,” according to the APA. At the age of 12, while growing up in Kern Valley, Parks started playing pool at Mt. Mesa Lanes, a bowling alley with pool tables. By the time he was 15, Parks’ natural ability was apparent and he became a fixture at The Side Pocket pool hall in Lake Isabella, winning local tournaments on a regular basis. “So my parents (Gene Parks Sr. and Mary Ann Parks) put an addition on the house and got a 9-foot pool table for me – yes, I have the greatest parents ever,” said Parks, 40, who now owns Cue Ball Family Billiards in the Center Market Shopping Center on Rosedale Highway. As a teen, Parks refined his game through the teachings of two local pool players with prowess: Gonzalo Mendoza and Mike Francis, both since deceased. Francis, who Parks credited for his valuable mental skills in pool, was the previous owner of Cue

Ball. At one point, Parks would practice eight to 10 hours a day, emphasizing that it also takes a lot of heart to reach a high level in billiards. He added that the game is 15 percent physical and 85 percent psychological, so mental toughness is essential. “Practice very hard by yourself is key to improving fast,” he said. “Also, ask questions on how to improve or get better from the other top players in your area. … I don’t mind whatsoever helping the lower players or even other top players.” To compete for the championship, a player must win a local qualifier, which for this area takes place in Rancho Cucamonga or Fremont in September. Typically, 50 to 60 players compete at this first level. Of course, qualifiers are held throughout the U.S. – approximately 1,700 players vying to advance – but only 128 of them will make it to the U.S. Amateur Championships each November in Florida. Although Parks holds the APA record for the most U.S. amateur championships, he’s quick to credit the support of friends and family, especially his wife, Sarah. “I would like to thank Sarah for being so amazing for so long, even while battling cancer and helping raise our two kids (Madyson and Jordan) and working two jobs, she still continues to smile and stay strong,” Parks said. “In my eyes, she is the champion!”


Brian Parks’ accomplishments • 2016 U.S Amateur Champion • 2016 APA 9 Ball Singles Champion • 2016 Mezz West State Tour Top Gun Champion • 2013 U.S. Amateur Champion

• 2012 U.S. Amateur Champion • 2009 U.S. Amateur Champion • 2008 Rum Runner Champion • 2006 APA 9 Ball Singles Champion • 2005 APA 9 Ball Singles Champion

What’s next for the champ? • October 2017: Parks will compete in the APA’s U.S. Open. • November 2017: Parks automatically qualifies for next year’s champion- ship to defend his title.


Up Front ART S & C U LT U RE


Top 5 books of the month 1 “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur 2 “The Whistler” by John Grisham 3 “Cross the Line” by James Patterson 4 “No Man’s


“The Drowsy Chaperone” Hailed by New York Magazine as “the perfect Broadway musical,” the meta-musical pokes fun at all the metaphors that characterize the musical theater genre.

Land” by David Baldacci

5 “Tom Clancy:

When: Jan. 20 to Feb. 11 Where: Stars Theatre Restaurant, 1931 Chester Ave.

True Faith and Allegiance” by Mark Greaney

“Cabaret” When: Jan. 22 to Feb. 20 Where: The Empty Space, 706 Oak. St. Courtesy of Barnes & Noble Inc.


“Hidden Figures”

“Patriots Day”

“Underworld: Blood Wars”


“Gold” Source: Movie Insider


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017



Cutest pet contest in full effect

GBCC ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR BEAUTIFUL BAKERSFIELD AWARDS The glitz and glamour of award shows doesn’t just happen in Los Angeles. The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce has hosted the community’s own Academy Awards-style gala – the Beautiful Bakersfield Awards – for more than two decades. The awards celebrate the people, projects, businesses and organizations that make our community great each year.

Winners are chosen by commu nity members and will be honored at a gala on Saturday, June 3, at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Now is the time to nominate someone or something you think boosted Bakersfield’s quality of life in 2016. The deadline to submit nominations is Wednesday, Feb. 15, by 5 p.m. Nominations can be submitted at

Kern Medical, JJ’s Legacy open ICU comfort room Kern Medical, in partnership with JJ’s Legacy, announced the opening of the JJ’s Legacy Comfort Room at the hospital’s intensive care unit. The room provides a safe, private place for families to wait, rest and contemplate the difficult decisions faced when a loved one is in ICU, including possible organ and tissue donation. Lori Malkin founded JJ’s Legacy in 2009 in honor of her son who passed away at Kern Medical. Malkin faced

decisions about organ donation at her son’s bedside in ICU. The comfort room allows families a private space for such decisions. “The addition of the JJ’s Legacy Comfort Room at Kern Medical is one more step to help families feel comfortable and cared for at the hospital,” Malkin said in a release. “We are proud to partner with Kern Medical to honor donor families and recipients in Kern County.”

Get your cameras ready for this one! Bakersfield Life is looking for the cutest pets for our February issue and the search is officially on. Many of you have already started submitting photos and, well, let’s just say there have been a lot of “aaww” moments in our office. The cool perk this year is the winner will grace the cover of the magazine. Yes, that means your cat, dog, parrot, horse or maybe even your hamster will become a star in town. They’ll get their very own personal photo shoot and maybe even a few treats. All you have to do is submit your favorite pet photo – maybe even one that captures your pet’s personality. Include your name, your pet’s name and the best way to reach you to, with the subject line “Pet Contest.” The nomination period ends Jan. 6.



Upscale bridal show returns with big prize giveaways

Jan. 1 Christmas tree recycling, until Jan. 8. 8 a.m., Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. kerncountyfair. com. Polar Bear Plunge, 11 a.m., McMurtrey Aquatic Center, 1325 Q St. $5. 852-7430. Winterfest at Bakersfield College, through Jan. 5, 4 p.m., Bakersfield College, 1801 Panorama Drive.

One lucky bride will win a $10,000 wedding and others will win eight-day, seven-night honeymoons to any destination of their choice when the Ultimate Jan. 5 Bridal Event returns to Bakers“Annie,” 7:30 p.m., field Jan. 8 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at Rabobank Theater, the DoubleTree by Hilton. 1001 Truxtun Ave. $35-$65. Central California’s only upscale bridal show will feature beautiful flower arrangeJan. 6 ments, food and cake tasting, 60th Annual Whisaward-winning photographers, key Flat Kick-Off Dinner, live music, a fashion show and 5 p.m., social with 6 p.m. more for the sophisticated moddinner, Ewing’s on The ern bride with discerning taste. Kern, 125 Buena Vista A groom’s lounge with snacks Drive, Kernville. $30. and TVs will also be available. tickets are $15 dinner. and VIP tickets are $30. Wedding party tickets, which inJan. 7 clude the bride, groom and four 28th Annual Fog Run, guests, are $90. The bride who hosted by the Kern County brings the most guests will win Probation Auxiliary Couna special prize. ty of Kern, 6:30 a.m. regisFor more tration, 8 a.m. race. Lake informaMing. $30. ultrasigCondorstown tion, go to or contact ultimaOutdoor Classic Anita Ziegeler at tebridaHockey Game 868-7428. levent. Jan. 7, 6:00 pm sfield ker Ba at m diu com. Sta l Memoria Jan. 8 College. $37 to $67, allows ket Purchase of one tic the Hoppy Warrior admission to both 1 Yoga, proceeds the d an c ssi Cla or Outdo to benefit the N8 NHL alumni/celebrity Pediatric Brain Tumor hockey game. Foundation, 11 a.m. Temblor Brewing Company, 20

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

The annual Polar Bear Plunge at McMurtrey Aquatic Center has become a New Year's tradition.

3200 Buck Owens Blvd. $20. Entry includes one beer. Jan. 14 Thin Mint 5K, 8 a.m., The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. $25. runsignup. com. Jan. 20 TRAXXAS monster truck destruction tour, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $11-$40. Jan. 21 Michelada Madness, 1 p.m., Armory Hall, 705 S. Lexington St., Delano. $10. 505-9862. “The Price is Right” Live,

8 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, Eagle Mountain Casino, 681 South Tule Road, Porterville. $35. Jan. 28 Kern County rabbit breeders show, 8 a.m., Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. Free. La Sonora Dinamita with La Marcha, 7 p.m., Elements Venue, 3401 Chester Ave. $25-$50. Jan. 29 Kern County Bridal Association Bridal Show, 11:30 a.m., Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. $15-45.



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

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Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center A day at the spa is always welcome

The 2017 Dining Divas, clockwise from top left: Andrea Coldwell, Beatris Espericueta Sanders, Norma Rojas-Mora, Tamara Clark and Joanie Haenelt


Compiled by Bakersfield Life

Photos by Greg Nichols

If you’re looking for a place to disconnect and recharge from everyday stress, Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center is the place to book your next staycation. The staff and doctors are both attentive and professional. And the best part is treatments are designed specifically to address your individual needs. So whether you’re interested in skin care treatments or surgical procedures, Beautologie is a place where you’ll be taken care of in a comfortable and luxurious atmosphere.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

Beatris Espericueta Sanders on the Venus Freeze: I had the Venus Freeze done on my stomach. With temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius, this service uses radio frequency combined with heat to melt away fat cells. The temperature gradually increases and the closest treatment I can compare it to is a hot rock massage. I felt like it could be an easy treatment to maintain, it only took roughly 25 minutes. The next morning, I felt a firmness in the area treated and could imagine that if this was a weekly treatment, I might have some significant results over a couple weeks. I would probably use this treatment in the weeks leading up to bathing suit season.

Norma Rojas-Mora on the photo-rejuvenation treatment using the PiQo4 laser: This treatment was recommended to brighten my skin and help with some “freckles” that appeared over time. I was provided goggles to protect my eyes from the laser. My nurse, Liliana, let me know that I would experience minor discomfort – a prickling sensation as the laser was applied to the surface of my skin. A numbing cream was applied to my face to help minimize the pain, and after about 10 minutes, the procedure began. My nerves got the best of me when the laser first passed through my forehead – more than anything, it just caught me off-guard. The procedure didn’t take more than 10 minutes. My face felt warm after the treatment, which is completely normal. Liliana explained that my face would probably feel warm for a few days but recommended a good moisturizer to help with the discomfort and cold compresses if needed. Within a few hours of the treatment, I could see some brightening and softness to my skin. The results are more noticeable over time and I can expect to see full results within a couple of weeks. Tamara Clark on the prenatal massage: Beautologie sees their mission as “to enhance and refine the beauty that each patient already naturally possesses, in a safe and comfortable environment.” They believe that the quality of their work is measured by the satisfaction of their patients and are committed to meeting and exceeding the unique needs of every individual. That being said, being 22 weeks pregnant did not allow me to partake in any of the medical-based treatments my fellow Divas had the privilege of enjoying. However, Heather, the medical spa manager, had a surprise in store for me. The endermologie technician, Michelle, is also a licensed prenatal masseuse, and they went out of their way to make sure I was taken care of and pampered with a prenatal massage. Michelle would usually perform a procedure called endermologie, which uses a Cellu M6 Keymodule machine. The procedure was explained as a vacuum-assisted massage that reduces the appearance of cellulite and circumferential body measurements of treated areas. All I can say is sign me up after I have this baby in April!

Meet Dr. Milan Shah For patients in search of a nonsurgical way of enhancing their beauty or reversing the signs of aging, Dr. Milan Shah has many options. When you visit Beautologie, Shah will work with you to find a safe and effective treatment that will address your problem areas of concern. With many years of experience in working with various techniques, Shah is considered to be a world-renowned expert in the field. When you visit Shah and Beautologie for any of the treatments he offers, you will be able to boost your confidence and look your best.

Top: Beatris receives a Venus Freeze from registered nurse Gloria. Bottom: Norma receives a PiQo4 photo-rejuvenation.


4850 Commerce Drive 661-865-5009 Open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Continued on Page 24


It was very exhilarating. The procedure lasted about 20 minutes. Afterward, my face felt tighter, smooth and refreshed. I learned this treatment is only available at Beautologie. It was definitely an invigorating experience.

Left: Joanie receives cryotherapy facial treatment from Heather. Right: Andrea receives microneedling with growth factor from registered nurse Brittany.

Continued from Page 23

Joanie Haenelt on the cryotherapy facial treatment: This treatment involved a state-of-the-art machine that produces extremely cold temperatures. This intense cooling technique was applied in a relaxing circular motion, one section of my face at a time, using a wand-type instrument. The benefits are collagen production, cellular regeneration, pore closure and tightening. It was cold, but I was never uncomfortable. I felt like I was taking a brisk walk at Mammoth on a beautiful January day.

Andrea Caldwell on the microneedling, with the revolutionary mirco-pen: I selected to explore this treatment, described as an “advanced level of treatment; to go deeper into the facial layers, bring out extremities, help eliminate acne-prone areas, as well as minimize and define facial lines.” Let’s just say I was all in! The procedure started with a numbing gel, to aid in the possible discomfort of the needling pen. Next, a topical gel, to work with the needling pen in the application. The registered nurse used the needling pen to cover the entire face and neck areas. The feeling was comparable to a fine-razor feeling, yet bearable, during the 15-minute session. Following treatment, every six to eight weeks is recommended to maximize the effects of the treatment. I have to say, I saw and felt immediate results, including an improvement of the smoothness of my skin as well as a noticeable difference in a few days in my problem areas.

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

(Across f rom Rite Aide)



Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

Meet Your Dining Divas for 2017

TAMARA CLARK I was born and raised in Bakersfield and happily married to my high school sweetheart, AJ. I am the dean of instruction at Bakersfield High School where I’ve worked for the past 12 years, starting as a swim coach and member of the mathematics department. On my free time, I enjoy playing outdoors with my children, swimming competitively and cooking. If I wasn’t an educator, I would have likely pursued my other passions: cooking and eating. It’s safe to say, being asked to be a Dining Diva was a dream come true.

BEATRIS ESPERICUETA SANDERS I am the executive director of the Kern County Farm Bureau and feel very vested in farming being from a farm family in Shafter. I love the abundance of food we produce in Kern County and am a big “AGvocate” for local food and restaurants. Living in New York City for 11 years before returning to Shafter, I had my share of a very diverse food selection from around the world at every corner. My favorite hobby besides eating is running. I am a marathon runner, consuming many calories to keep up with long-distance running. I run to eat and eat to run.




I’m a full-time realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred. I was born and raised in Bakersfield. I enjoy traveling, but camping in the mountains or going to the beach are my favorite getaways. I’m active in community service organizations, such as Junior League, Rotary and J.J.’s Legacy. I do enjoy a good social event. I’m excited to be selected as a Dining Diva and look forward to a fabulous 2017.

I am the resident services director for the Housing Authority of the County of Kern, executive director of the Housing and Opportunity Foundation of Kern and president of Latina Leaders of Kern County. I serve on many boards and committees dedicated to empowering individuals and assisting them to become self-sufficient. Family is extremely important to me and their support and encouragement is what keeps me motivated to be so involved in the community.

I recently retired from the Kern County Department of Human Services after 20 years to pursue my eight-year mentor program, Stepping Stones Youth Development Program, full time. I wanted to devote my time to our young adult population to give them the exposure and services they deserve to grow and thrive.

Annette Mercado General Contractor, C.K.D. License # 865925

Michele Waugh

Showroom inside Artistic Surfaces 120 Union Avenue

588-8481 •



New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant

From left: Chef Pardeep Kumar, owner Pal Singh and chef Avtar Singh of New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant. By Holly Bikakis

Photos by Mark Nessia

Indian food is the bomb. It is a taste like no other. There are so many flavors going on in your mouth, but it all works together and makes for an outstanding meal. You may have tried an Indian dish in the past and thought it too spicy or too flavorful, but I highly recommend giving it a second try. Terms on an Indian menu are exotic and a little intimidating, but don’t worry, the staff at New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant can help you maneuver through the menu for a great meal. Owner Pal Singh has been in the restaurant business for more than 27

years. He offers a variety of items, some passed down from his family to new ones he has created. They opened their Ming Avenue location in November 2016 and I can tell you it is certainly worth the visit. Upon walking in the door, the smell is delicious and the atmosphere is nice, clean and relaxing. Chicken Tikka ($11.95): Served on a sizzling hot skillet, this one will leave your mouth watering. Slightly charred pieces of boneless chicken breast marinated in seasonings are juicy and flavorful. It’s garnished with green pepper, lemon slices, onions and cilantro. This is the base dish to the several side dishes you can order. Side dishes ($2.50 to $13.95): No Indian meal is complete without naan bread. We had the garlic naan bread ($2.50), which paired up nicely with everything else on our table. The outside has a light crunch with a chewy inside. Next, was the rice pilau ($4.95), a basmati rice cooked with green peas, pistachio pieces, red peppers and cilantro. It sounds like a lot going on for a rice dish, but once again, all the


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January 2017

flavors work together. Aloo gobi ($9.95) is a mix of potatoes and cauliflower cooked in herbs and spices. It’s from their extensive vegetarian menu and a delight. The chicken tikka masala ($13.95) is in the right copper pot pictured at the bottom. Marinated boneless white meat cooked in a clay oven and simmered in a tomato yogurt sauce. Eat it by itself or mix it in with other dishes – you can’t go wrong. I have saved the best for last. The chicken malai ($13.95) is in the left copper pot pictured at the bottom. Is it really possible to swim around in a sauce? You could put this on your cereal and it would taste good. This sauce is something my co-worker and I have talked about since we left. It’s white meat chicken marinated in yogurt, herbs and spices, cooked in a coconut and cream sauce in their clay oven. Truly a flavor explosion that is at the top of my list.

New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant 3805 Ming Ave. 661-834-7737 Lunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner: 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday brunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open seven days a week


and digestive systems, and certified to contain “live and active cultures,” delivering the best potential health benefits. Seasonal flavors and specials are also available so be sure to keep an eye open for red velvet and cinnamon bun throughout the month of January and February. In addition to its yogurt, Wild Berry also offers tea, slushies and smoothies.

Wild Berry Yogurt Story and photos by Mark Nessia

The mall may not be the best place to go for a healthy snack, yet near the heart of Valley Plaza is Wild Berry Yogurt. Providing a fresh and healthy alternative to sugary desserts, Wild Berry’s assortment of yogurt are lowfat or fat-free with no added sugars. There’s no shortage of options here. Wild Berry has 12 flavors, such as mango, butter pecan, chocolate and cheesecake, as well as six “twists,” mixed flavors like butter pecan latte (a combination of butter pecan and espresso) and chocolate Oreo (a combination of cookies ’n’ cream and chocolate). Wild Berry is no slouch when it comes to toppings, either, with

38 mix-in options and four sauces, providing customers with incredible selection and personalization. There are no “signature creations” here. You come in; fill your cup with whatever you want, as much as you want; and pay one fixed per-ounce rate. Want to go light on the yogurt and heavy on the toppings? No problem! Want to put four different yogurt flavors in one cup? No one’s going to stop you! The only limit is your imagination. What sets Wild Berry apart is what takes place behind the scenes. Instead of just pouring mixes in the machines, Wild Berry’s yogurt is made in-house from special recipes for unrivaled freshness. The yogurt contains several probiotics, which are beneficial to immune

Yogurt (46 cents per ounce): As an ice cream lover, I couldn’t resist trying Wild Berry’s butter pecan yogurt, keeping it simple with toppings of caramel and sprinkles. The yogurt maintains all that makes butter pecan so irresistible: sweet vanilla with a slight buttery flavor complemented by a subtle salty tang. The best part? It’s nonfat.

Left: Taro smoothie with boba Top: Butter pecan yogurt topped with caramel and sprinkles

Taro smoothie with boba ($3.95): This was a pleasant surprise. Nutty and sweet, but not overly sweet, the taro smoothie is a nice alternative to sugary shakes. The chewy boba at the bottom is a fun treat as well. It’s a healthy way to start off the day or a light dessert to close off a meal.

Wild Berry Yogurt

2701 Ming Ave. 661-833-2888 Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.



Los Tacos de Huicho Mexican food on the next level

flavors to your taste buds.

Story and photos by Laura Liera

Mexican food can be found in nearly every nook of the city. But there is a local spot whose iconic aqua-colored building is serving up the best tacos, quesadillas, tortas, sopes and other favorites, outside of my mom’s kitchen, that is. Los Tacos de Huicho on East 18th Street is a restaurant that has mastered the idea of simplicity without hindering authenticity. They don’t have a big menu. And they don’t need to. Because the chefs have created finger-licking food that may require you to reach for a few extra napkins. Torta This is a Mexican sandwich. The base consists of beans, shredded lettuce, tomato and onion slices. 28

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January 2017

For my meat choice, I chose al pastor – thin slices of pork shoulder. I’ve been to Huicho’s more times than I’m willing to admit but I have never had its al pastor. I’m an asada aficionado. But this torta might have given me a runner-up meat choice I will be ordering from now on. I can’t figure out how they can fit so much flavor into this meat – I’m sure it’s a secret they won’t tell me – but I’ll take extra meat on the side, please. Besides the meat, the bread, or telera, is a savory traditional bread that creates the ideal shell for all the delicious stuffing. If you’re like me, you like a little extra kick with your meals. Huicho’s has a pickled radish, onion and habanero side that goes great with anything, but I highly recommend you try it with this torta. It just gives it that extra crunch and kick you need to bring even more

Tacos There are tacos and then there are Huicho’s tacos. No other tacos in town come close to this iconic Mexican staple. I dare you to have just one. I had three: asada, al pastor and barbacoa. The meat-to-tortilla ratio is pretty spectacular. They don’t skimp on the meat. You get a bite of their savory stars in every bite. All tacos are served without toppings so you can add what you like and how much your heart desires. But to really get a sense of the quality of meat they use and the seasoning, I suggest trying a bite of the meats without any toppings. And if you can’t make up your mind on the kind of meat you want, order one of each. You have the choice of asada, cabeza, shrimp, chile verde, al pastor, barbacoa, tripas and fish.

Los Tacos de Huicho 123 E. 18th St. 661-328-9490 Open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day


Above: The 2017 Impreza marks the debut of Subaru’s new Global Platform. Opposite page, clockwise from upper left: Three LCD screens make any desired information readily accessible. The 2017 Impreza’s outward appearance is decidedly more sporty than previous models. The much-improved infotainment interface. The Impreza’s race-inspired seats.



2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport All-new compact is packed with high-end features. Did I mention that it is all-new? By Glenn Hammett

Photos by Mark Nessia

My initial assignment for this month’s “On the Road” column was the 2017 Subaru Legacy sedan. Though it’s handling and ride characteristics were considerably different than that of my 2015 Subaru Outback, I felt right at home behind the wheel, as the interior, controls and dash layout were nearly identical. The next morning, I was told that Sangera Subaru had just received an all-new 2017 Impreza and would rather I review that. It was immediately clear there was something different about this car. The exterior is sleeker and more refined than the previous-generation Impreza and the interior looked nothing like what I was accustomed to seeing in a Subaru. Many times, when as model is touted as allnew, it’s really no more than minor changes to the grille and headlights and a few added horsepower.

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January 2017

This is not the case with the 2017 Impreza. Subaru of America’s Todd Hill told Autoweek, “Every part – save your little clips, fasteners and bolts – every part is new. It’s 95 percent new.” I was given a tour of the Impreza by Sangera Subaru sales consultant Tyler and he was excited to inform me that the car marks the debut of the Subaru Global Platform, which will support all Subaru models in the near future. It is said to be 70 percent stiffer and absorb 40 percent more collision energy than the previous Subaru chassis, meaning Subarus will now be significantly safer and more stable. The striking new interior was designed with help of high-end audio company Harman International and features three LCD screens: one between the dashboard gauges that displays things like gas mileage, trip information and tire pressure; one on top of the center stack for time, outside temperature, driving conditions, and wa-

It’s all in the details Price tag: Base: $19,215 plus tax and license As tested: $26,769 plus tax and license Fuel economy: 27 city/35 highway/30 combined Name the five best features on the new 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport: A completely redesigned entertainment (head unit) system designed by Harman Kardon, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Keyless access with push-button start (standard on the sport model). Two-tone 18-inch sport design wheels. Rocker panel spoilers along the body for a sleeker look. Allnew direct injection and direct ignition added to the boxer engine for quicker response and performance.

ter and oil temperatures; and an 8-inch touch screen that controls a much-improved interface for the navigation and infotainment systems. The 2017 Impreza comes with a startling array of standard technology and safety features for a car at this price point, including keyless access, push-button start, lane keep assist, precollision braking and blind-spot detection with a large warning light on the inside frame of the side mirror, rather than on the mirror itself, making it much more visible. My favorite feature on the car is the 432-watt eight-speaker Karman sound system – crystal clear reproduction of any genre of music.

With its low center of gravity (five millimeters lower than last year’s model), sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels and torque vectoring all-wheel drive, the Impreza hugs the road and is super fun to drive. The Impreza’s 2.0-liter engine gets 35 miles per gallon on the highway and 27 in the city, churns out 152 horsepower and has plenty of zip, but the magic of the 2017 Impreza is in how it includes high-dollar luxury car safety and convenience features in a sporty, fun-to-drive, modestly-priced compact package. Subaru has taken a giant leap forward with the 2017 Impreza and it sounds like the rest of its lineup will soon follow suit.

What makes the 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport stand out from other compacts? It has been redesigned from the front to the rear, giving the vehicle a sportier, more aggressive look. With a newly tuned boxer engine delivering power and torque at much lower speeds and an all-new sporttuned suspension with a more rigid frame, the new 2017 Sport Impreza delivers an engaging experience. Paired with a stylish and intuitive entertainment system, the new 2017 Impreza puts the fun back in driving. Target Customer: The new 2017 Impreza’s target demographic are millennials, although it will appeal to any adventurous age group. Three words that define the 2017 Impreza: Engaged. Versatile. Stylish. What do you like about the 2017 Impreza? The new entertainment system is extremely user-friendly and the interior and exterior redesign look and feel like a much more expensive vehicle. Most importantly, the handling and drive performance of the new 2017 Impreza have exceeded my expectations. Source: Max Pierce, sales consultant, Sangera Subaru





Locals from all walks of life foster friendships through love of the game

A group consisting of (from left) Tom Saba, Kevin Suzewitz, Steve Saba, Steve Rempel, Pete Thrift, Mike Mathis, Marci Diller and Woung Trieu play competitive pingpong every Tuesday night at Thrift's home, which they dubbed “Pete’s Ping Pong Parlor.”


By Diana Greenlee Photos by Mark Nessia

Steve Saba says there are topics he and his pingpong buddies avoid. But when it comes to the game, they all agree. “It’s about fellowship, pingpong and having fun,” he said. The unlikely comrades come from all races, religions and walks of life; they’ve been meeting weekly for more than a decade at “Pete’s Ping-Pong Parlor” – a venue group founder Pete Thrift converted from a workshop into the cozy game room.

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January 2017

“We play doubles,” said Marci Diller, a Panama-Buena Vista Union teacher and CSUB adjunct professor. “We just cycle in and out.” Diller and Saba, a former assistant partner in the defunct Saba’s Men’s Store, are part of a core group of players along with Thrift, who’s a retired Social Security administrator. Thrift said he built the parlor because “most of my friends didn’t have a place to play.” Friendship and fun are the focus of this crowd, but Saba said they are competitive. As

the night winds down, you can cut the tension with a knife. “After close to 10 p.m., it will be down to four players, and it gets really intense,” Saba said. “It’s like Wimbledon to us.” That isn’t too much of a stretch for some players. Most of them have some athletic background in tennis, racquetball or other sports. Diller said she played tennis in high school but not pingpong. She’s learned from other players, including Mike Mathis, who came to the table with experience. “I was a real natural at it,”

she said. “I keep getting better.” A retired firefighter, Mathis has a number of tournaments under his belt, including several California Firefighters Olympics and World Police and Fire Games. His secret: professional paddles.

“After close to 10 p.m., it will be down to four players, and it gets really intense. It’s like Wimbledon to us.” – Tom Saba

2007,” Mathis said. The former firefighter said the best part of the weekly gathering is the fun and laughter they share – that’s their common thread. Thrift agreed. “I can’t get rid of them until 11 p.m. some nights,” he said with a grin.




Woung Trieu keeps his eyes on the ball as he readies a kill.





He says they’re designed to put spin and snap on the ball. He recalled his first tournament as the school of hard knocks. “We got paddles that came in

a box of four,” he said. “We knew we weren’t going very far. Mathis, Thrift’s friend since elementary school, said he joined the group a decade ago and has seen all of the members step up their games. “Everyone there is a quantum leap from where they were in



E R S’





3615 Mount Vernon Ave. (661) 871-3556


6417 Ming Ave (661) 396-9608



OUTLETS AT TEJON (661) 858-2425

4750 Coffee Road (661) 588-4700


502 County Line Rd. (661) 720-9214


4130 California Avenue 300 Lerdo Hwy. (661) 325-4717 (661) 746-9244





Play. Rate. Boost. Local basketball enthusiasts create app to bring players together

The HoopBoost app is currently available for Apple and Android devices.


By Mark Nessia

Basketball groomed Michael Lopez and Quin Miller into the men they are today. The sport has been their refuge, opening doors to numerous opportunities in their lives. Playing basketball at parks kept Lopez out of trouble and the game gave Miller the opportunity to go to college. The duo now seeks to give back to the sport that helped define them by bringing basketball enthusiasts together with what they call the “world’s greatest basketball app.” Designed with players, coaches and fans in mind, HoopBoost globally captures the basketball user experience by allowing them to connect with one another. “One of the problems you’ll see in the basketball community is no one knows exactly when other people are playing,” Lopez

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January 2017

said. “The information is so scattered across different platforms – text, email, Facebook. There’s no one place where people can find these games.” HoopBoost helps users find the exact locations of games being played using real-time GPS. But the app doesn’t stop at just bringing people together so they can play. Users can rate basketball content through the app as well, from uploaded photos and videos to the players themselves. Utilizing a five-star rating system, HoopBoost users can grade other players, which can be used as a scouting tool to determine the level of the competition. Players are then ranked based on their geographical location, giving them the recognition they deserve, with ratings resetting every 30 days. Want to increase your rank? Step your game up. “The application isn’t just for basketball players,” Miller said. “It’s also for the lovers of basketball.”

When users create a profile, they identify themselves as either a player, coach or fan, each with its own set of criteria. A product three years in the making, HoopBoost stemmed from a two-week trip Lopez made to New Orleans. By the fifth day, he was wondering where locals played basketball at. “I’ve been playing basketball since I was 5 or 6,” he said. “It’s a drug and I can’t get enough; I’m a junkie.” The app is available for Apple and Android devices and currently allows users to connect to one another via GPS, capture and upload photos and video, and rate one another. In the future, additional features will include the ability to give players “boost points” based on in-game performances, real-time proximity-based functions and an invitational basketball game for the top-ranked players in various regions to play against one another. “It’s really about connecting, capturing and rating the whole basketball user experience,” Lopez said.




Broadway to Bakersfield


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

By Shelby Parker

“Annie,” a story for the ages and the national tour, which began in 2014, is making its way to Bakersfield’s Rabobank Theater on Jan. 5. While the Tony Award-Winning Broadway production has been done – onstage and on-screen – many times over the years, its message of hope and optimism still rings true. The story of “Annie” started when director and lyricist of the musical Martin Charnin bought a collection of Harold Gray comic strips. Charnin planned to give them as a Christmas gift but decided to keep for himself after reading them. “When you feel that connected to something, that’s when you know you’ve got to do something with it or about it,” said Gilgamesh Taggett, the actor who plays Oliver Warbucks and the only cast member from the original ensemble in 2014. That’s just what Charnin did with the help of Charles Strouse on music and based on the book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway musical opened in 1977 and the rest is history. Like any adaptation, the two have their differences. But that doesn’t change the heart of “Annie.” “At its core – regardless of location changes or efforts people will make to make the story more accessible – it’s a story about optimism and hope and love,” Taggett said. Taggett explained that there are a million reasons why a play like this shouldn’t work – there are a lot of children in the opening scene, which lasts a bit longer, and there’s a dog. But “they captured lightning in a bottle” with it, he said.

“Annie” reminds the audience of a “simple, not overdramatic or overoptimistic fact – just the truth: The sun will come out tomorrow.” Sometimes, it really can be a “hard-knock life,” but rather than being down, “Annie” brings a fresh perspective to a situation.

“At its core – regardless of location changes or efforts people will make to make the story more accessible – it’s a story about optimism and hope and love.” – Gilgamesh Taggett

Taggett has met people of different ages all around the country, whether it was the 86-year-old cancer survivor and veteran or five generations of women, who have resonated and were touched by “Annie.” In the end, it isn’t about one character in particular but rather human values, whether that’s sadness, fear, the Great Depression or the opposites, which are hope, optimism and love. The audience in Bakersfield can expect a “fantastic time at the theater,” Taggett said, and he also has a warning for parents. He has come to realize that there are now two phases in a girl’s life: Before “Annie” and after “Annie” because they are transformed by it. “If you really listen, if you really just listen to what it’s telling you, it’ll change your life,” said Taggett.


Rabobank Theater 1001 Truxtun Ave. Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35, $55 and $65

Tickets range from $35 to $65. They can be purchased through The show starts at 7:30 p.m.




Go & Do

More than 800 runners participated in the 25th annual 5K and 10K Fog Run held at Lake Ming.

28th annual Fog Run benefits at-risk youth, families By Rhiannon Stroberg

The Probation Auxiliary County of Kern, a nonprofit organization associated with the Kern County Probation Department, is having its 28th annual Fog Run, Jan. 7 at 8 a.m., at Lake Ming that will benefit At-Risk youth and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. The Fog Run is a family friendly event that features a 5K and 10K race, with race medals for the top-three finishers available for all age 38

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January 2017

groups, ranging from 10 and under to 70 and older. Additionally, resource booths will be available to provide information and support for these causes. In previous years, the Fog Run was one of Kern County’s biggest fundraising events. Last year, the event had a very successful turnout of approximately 800 participants. They are hoping it will be a much bigger turnout this year. “What makes the event as successful and special is the support and help PACK receives

from their volunteers and sponsors that help support PACK with their mission to supply support and services to at-risk youths,” said Probation Volunteer Services Coordinator Anita Ziegeler. Sponsors and vendors for the event include the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, Bakersfield Police Department, Milan Institute, GNC and many more. There will also be a raffle in which various prizes, ranging from a family four-pack to Disneyland valued at $620, a family fourpack to SeaWorld valued at nearly $360, as well as an assortment of gift cards that will be available to prize winners. Race shirts will be given to the first 600 registrants and Too Fat Sandwiches will provide food for all participants. Registration opens up at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 7:30 a.m. Admission is $30. For more information, contact Ziegeler at 868-7428.

The Fog Run is a family friendly event that features a 5K and 10K race, with race medals for the top-three finishers available for all age groups, ranging from 10 and under to 70 and older.


NOMINATIONS For Bakersfield Life Magazine


Most Eligible Bachelors and Bachelorettes

1 2 3

BE FEATURED in the February edition of Bakersfield Life Magazine as one of the hottest singles in Bakersfield. Also, attend an exclusive gathering with the other nominees. TO BE NOMINATED, SEND US AN E-MAIL WITH YOUR: • Name • Age • Phone number • Photo • A short paragraph of why you should be one of our next Most Eligible Bachelor or Bachelorettes. SEND E-MAIL TO: by 01/06/2017


For more information, contact Bakersfield Life Magazine at bakersfieldlife@



Sue and Herb Benham at the best apple pie restaurant, Winkel 43. Scenes of charming boats and canals. The Amsterdam Duck Store


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Facing page: The Westerkerk (Western Church) in the Jordaan in Amsterdam.

January 2017


Top: Old buildings in Amsterdam.

WARMTH, BEAUTY AND APPLE PIE Plenty of reasons to visit, fall in love with Amsterdam


By Sue Benham

Apple pie at Winkel 43 is not the only reason to visit Amsterdam, but it’s a good one. So good, in fact, that on our recent four-day visit, we went there twice for delicious apple pie and afternoon coffee. Winkel 43 is located in the Jordaan neighborhood, a hub of intimate streets filled with restaurants, shops and galleries. The neighborhood is home to a vibrant Saturday market, Noordermarkt, where we selected cheese, organic bread and other supplies to enjoy during our stay. Amsterdam is a charming, walkable city, full of cultural treasures, elegant gabled architecture and international cuisine. Extensive canals and waterways are the city’s defining feature, with pretty bridges, waterside cafes and colorful boats offering picturesque views at every turn. Autumn is a lovely time to visit, when the red and golden leaves on the trees are reflected in every canal. We stayed in a VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) apartment in a canal house with large picture windows overlooking the Prinsengracht Canal and the Nooderkerk, a 17th-century church. Prinsengracht is part of the Grachtengordel. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a splendid semicircle of three canals and is the city’s signature characteristic. We visited three museums during our visit. The Anne Frank House is a profoundly moving museum, set in the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family before they were discovered and sent to their deaths by the Nazis. The family’s story is detailed in the actual rooms where they lived for 25 months before they were deported in August 1944. Advance tickets are available online and are strongly recommended to avoid the

long lines of visitors to this inspiring site. The Rijksmuseum, the magnificent national museum of the Netherlands, is known for its works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. The museum’s library is not open to the public but its beautiful interior and book collection can be seen from a viewing area. The Van Gogh Museum includes more than 200 paintings by the artist, representing a comprehensive view of his genius. Advance tickets to both these museums are also available online. Shopping highlights included the whimsical Amsterdam Duck Store, where shoppers are treated to an array of colorful rubber ducks, the perfect gift to bring to the little ones in your life. Kramer Kunst & Antiek offers a huge collection of exquisite blue and white antique tiles. This is a great spot for browsing even if you aren’t intending to invest in the beautiful pieces. No trip for us would be complete without delicious food. In addition to the aforementioned apple pie at Winkel 43, I can recommend the following: • Bo Cinq, at Prinsengracht 494: specializing in French Arabic cuisine. • Kartika, at Overtoom 68IV: Indonesian restaurant known for its “rijsttafel.” • Buffet van Odette, at Priinsengracht 598: wonderful canal-side cafe serving delicious and healthy choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is an easy walk from the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. • Noordwest, at Noordermarkt 42: Our favorite meal in Amsterdam, delicious and inventive Dutch cuisine with a warm welcome. Warmth, beauty and apple pie. Three among many reasons to visit and fall in love with Amsterdam.


B Well


Confused about sugar


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017


Gables Residential Care Homes By Laura Liera

It’s a war of sugars: natural versus artificial. There are people who say a Diet Pepsi is healthier than an original can. The truth is, they are both bad. Laurie Wallace, diabetes program manager at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, said neither is considered healthy. “If you have problems with blood sugar or obesity, you would probably be worse off with the corn syrup and calories,” she noted. It’s no secret that large quantities of sugar can harm the body. The American Heart Association recommends men consume no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day and no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for women. Natural sugars occur naturally in food, Wallace said. Foods like milk, fruit, honey, maple syrup and sugar cane are a few examples of natural sugars. Artificial sugars are man-made, like high-fructose corn syrup, sucralose, aspartame and sorbitol. “A high ‘added sugar’ diet has been very strongly linked to high blood pressure and heart disease,” Wallace said. The “added sugar” is very specific to the sugar added to food in process-

ing – not from people eating too much fruit or drinking milk, she noted. Examples of processed foods typically high in added sugar include fruit yogurt, breakfast cereal, granola bars, chocolate-covered pretzels, sauces and creamers. The truth is, the average American has been consuming way more sugar than they realize. The American Heart Association states there are four calories in one gram of sugar. Not keeping your sugar intake to a minimum per day, can significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine. A way to reverse those odds is to cut back immediately. “I encourage people to stop eating processed food, which typically limits eating anything a bag or box,” Wallace said. Preparing whole-food, plant-based meals at home is a start to dropping that sugar tooth. But it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a few sweets once in a while in moderation. “If you have to have one, go out and buy one,” Wallace said. “Don’t go to Costco and buy a month supply of something. Sugar can be very addicting.”

The next time you’re at the grocery store, watch out for these added sugars on labels: • Brown sugar • Corn sweetener • Corn syrup • Fruit juice concentrate • High-fructose corn syrup

• Molasses • Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose) • Syrup

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

Spruce Gardens • 13303 Nantucket RCFE No. 157206898

The Gables • 903 Spirit Lake RCFE No. 155801279

When living at home is no longer the best option for your loved one, visit the private homes of Gables Residential Care.

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



B Well



hey say yoga is a way of life. For a practice that has been around for more than 5,000 years, I walked into the Clerou Lecture Center at Mercy Hospital Downtown ready to find my inner self. I think I lost my soul halfway through the “chaturanga dandasana” pose – also known as low plank – but as I curled up in child’s pose at the end of the hour, sweat dripping from my face, it’s safe to say my soul returned. Although yoga has been around for many years, its popularity continues to grow with new yoga studios popping up


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January 2017

in different nooks of the city or classes being offered at local gyms. The class I attended at Mercy Hospital Downtown was free and open to anyone with or without yoga experience. I’ll admit I had taken a few yoga classes in college but I still felt intimidated when I saw a full class of nearly 30 people all ready to go with their mats. I made the rookie mistake of forgetting my mat. I know, I’m still shaking my head. But thankfully, the instructor, Nancy Nikkel – who teaches at Inner Body Works – had an extra one and I got to experience the class near the front of the

room. The intensity increased as the minutes passed by. But it never required me to lose my balance or accidentally kick someone in the face when we grabbed our big toes and spread our legs in the air. The soothing music that plays in the background definitely helps transport you to a different place. Maybe it’s also the dim lights that give you some kind of energy boost to hold a chair position for a little longer. Nikkel definitely knows what she’s doing. She walks around the room to help fix form to prevent injuries.



experience BY L A U R A L I E R A

I occasionally glanced at my fellow yogis when I didn’t quite understand what the yoga lingo meant, which helped prevent me from falling behind. Yoga is the place where you can copy the guy next to you and not get a snarl, but a smile instead. As Nikkel told me at the end of class: “You can see the benefits of yoga on everyone’s face. People are more relaxed, they feel more joyful and are more connected with themselves.” For that entire hour, I can honestly say I felt my stress level decline as did my nerves of falling over and causing a domino effect.

As Nikkel told me at the end of class: “You can see the benefits of yoga on everyone’s face. People are more relaxed, they feel more joyful and are more connected with themselves.”

The best part: those last minutes when you just lie on your back and focus on your breathing. It’s a moment when you’re not worried about the stress or responsibilities happening outside the doors. Finding that inner peace happened for me then. I was in that moment. Relaxed. Something we can all benefit from every now and then. So whether you’ve been thinking about trying yoga for the first time or need a place to decompress, check out the variety of health and wellness classes offered for free at Mercy and Memorial hospitals at


B Well


20-minute body blast By Leigh Pozas

Photos by Laura Liera

This year make getting FIT a HIIT! HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. HIIT is perhaps the most efficient and effective way of improving fitness and while it is getting a lot attention lately, it has been around for a very long time. The principle of HIIT is short bursts of high-intensity exercises followed by short rest periods. For this 20-minute workout, start with a threeto five-minute warmup such as walking, jogging slowly, marching in place, raising arms above head or light jumping jacks. Then start with two minutes of intense exercise, followed by two minutes of recovery (or as much time as needed to recover).


Jump Rope Jumping rope is an excellent high-intensity exercise and is also high impact. If jumping rope is too intense to begin with, start with a less impactful exercise such as fast walking, jogging in place or small jumps without the rope. Do this for two minutes then recover.


Kettlebell (or dumbbell) squat Hold a kettlebell, dumbbell or another heavy object in front. Place the feet wider than hip distance apart pointed slightly out. Let the kettlebell hang down and squat until legs are about 90 degrees at the knees, keeping the heels in contact with floor, then rise back up. Repeat this for two minutes, then recover and return to jump rope for two minutes.


Kettlebell (or dumbbell) squat lift Hold the kettlebell or weight in front of your chest. Place feet hip distance apart facing forward. Keep the weight in the heels as you sit into a squat, going no lower than 90 degrees. As you rise up, lift the kettlebell above the head. Bring the kettlebell down as you go repeat the squat. Repeat this for two minutes, recover and repeat the jump rope exercise.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

B Well


more muscle, sadly there’s body fat that we need to work on shedding first.


Building muscle Personal trainer breaks down the do’s and don’ts of bulking up By Laura Liera

Did you know? People with low muscle mass oftentimes will have low bone density, which can result in preosteoporosis?

January. It’s back. Another year. Another gym membership. But before you start to lose sight on the lifestyle change that awaits you, we wanted to crush some myths about muscle training and how a woman really can’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger a few months into lifting. Fit for Life owner Tim Gojich sat down with us and gave us the lowdown on what muscle really is and how both males and females can find their equal balance at the gym. For starters, muscle is a tissue. It functions mainly as a source of power and motion in the body. And while most of us would benefit from having

MEN If it seems like men can bulk up a lot faster than women, it’s because it’s true. Testosterone produces new growth hormones in men and, hence, it’s easier for a man to produce new lean muscle mass. But just like any other workout, consistency is key. Gojich recommends focusing on reps per set. “Eight to 12 reps is where you want to be,” he said. “Anything more than that could make the body think it’s endurance training and you won’t produce new lean mass.” Although balancing cardio and weight training throughout the week is the goal, rest is even more important. “Rest is one of the most important ingredients in muscle building,” Gojich said. “Plus sleeping seven to eight hours a night because that’s when the best repair to the body is being done.”


Incorporate this workout plan in your routine and watch the results.

MONDAY: Upper-body workout


There has been a stigma about women and weights for years. But Gojich said there is nothing to fear. “I would suggest weight training begins immediately,” he said. “Weight training in combination with cardio is really the way to go.” In fact, Gojich added, if a person is not adding cardio into their routine and simply lifting, they may look bigger and stronger but could still have that “chunky” look. Remember: Muscle shares the same space as fat. But as the body starts shedding body fat, the new muscle tissue will replace the fat that had once been there. A woman doing cardio five times a week with no weight training will see a reduction in muscle. That’s because the body starts to look at lean tissue as a fuel source. It’s not uncommon for Gojich to do a body fat test on a marathoner, for example, and get back a very high body fat percentage. “People training for a marathon spend so much time on cardio-based exercises, which reduces muscle, and, in turn, really raises body fat percentages,” Gojich said.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Tuesday: Lower-body workout

January 2017

Wednesday: Cardio




Upper-body workout

Lower-body workout



Staying healthy with the SUPERHAS Our family doesn’t consist of marathon runners, super athletes or fitness fanatics. We don’t have a set routine for working out but we enjoy having fun together, which oftentimes accomplishes that goal. Growing up, my husband and I played team sports, but it was tough maintaining that level of activity once adulthood took over and gave way to a more sedentary lifestyle. Since having children, we decided to be intentional about being active so we could be good role models for them. Instead of dragging everyone to the gym, we prefer to play our way to better health. When it’s too cold outside, our family likes to put on one of the “Just Dance” video games. Then, we pop, lock and boogie the night away. It keeps us mov-

ing while we laugh, dance and make memories. We’re also fans of winter sports like snowboarding and skiing. It took a while to get the hang of it for our little ones, but now they tear down the slopes faster than we do! We also love to bundle up and take family bike rides. At 11 and 9, the kids are able to keep up with us and ride independently, which really boosts their self-confidence, too. We often take their scooters to the park, go on walks and play on the structures. This summer, I’m sure we’ll set up residence by the pool and go water skiing. I think it’s important to not only encourage physical activity in your kids, but to do it with them. Many doctors believe the main key to staying healthy lies in the kitchen. My husband, Benjamin, is a family physician with Kaiser Permanente. He often says, “A whole-food, plantbased diet is a powerful prescription for

optimal health and wellness.” As a family, we focus on minimally processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, but enjoy meat and dairy on occasion. We’re very flexible with the kids so they stay healthy, but enjoy treats as well. No matter what you eat or how you exercise, it’s important that you love it, because finding healthy food you enjoy and fun activities that make you happy will ensure that you go back for more. So, for 2017, let’s all be good to the one and only body that God gave us. By the way, I walked 5 miles on my homemade treadmill desk while writing this article. Opinions expressed in this column are those Nina Ha of Nina Ha. PHOTO BY APRIL MASSIRIO

Story and photo by Nina Ha




akersfield Life is proud to debut the 2017 Top Doctors list. In a city that is home to hundreds of qualified physicians, it is our honor to highlight the men and women who have taken the medical oath to help the sick. The doctors included in the listing were selected through peer nominations. Congratulations to all Top Docs.

Aesthetic Medicine Dr. Milan Shah Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine 4850 Commerce Drive 661-865-5009

Allergy and Immunology Dr. Paula Ardron Kaiser Permanente Discovery Plaza Medical Office 1200 Discovery Drive 877-524-7373 Dr. Tonny Tanus Kern Allergy Medical Clinic 2121 17th St. 661-327-9693 Dr. Eric J. Boren Kern Allergy Medical Clinic Inc. 2121 17th St. 661-327-9693

Anesthesiology Dr. Justin Tobias Southern California Orthopedic Institute 2400 Bahamas Drive, Suite 200 661-328-5565 Dr. Moussa Tamer Premier Anesthesia Medical Group 2215 Truxtun Ave. 661-327-4647

Bariatric Surgery Dr. Nirav C. Naik New Life Medical 4817 Centennial Plaza Way, Suite C 661-447-4559

Cardiovascular Disease Dr. Brijesh Bhambi Central Cardiology Medical Center 2901 Sillect Ave., Suite 100 661-323-8384 Dr. Eric A. Peck California Cardiac Surgeons 3838 San Dimas St., Suite A100 661-327-0267 Dr. Sanjiv Sharma Central Cardiology Medical Center 2901 Sillect Ave., Suite 100 661-323-8384

Critical Care Medicine Dr. Alpha J. Anders Comprehensive Pulmonary and Critical Care Associates 2811 H St. 661-633-5474


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Brijesh Bhambi By Laura Liera


early 22 years ago, a major breakthrough happened in the world of symptomatic coronary artery disease. Bare metal stents, or BMS, were created to help blockage in the arteries. Dr. Brij Bhambi was a fellow at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and still remembers the metal mesh stents. Since then, there has been a growth on stent technology. From 1994 to about 2004, doctors realized that over time, tissue would grow around the BMS, causing coronary artery renarrowing. In 2004, drug-eluting stents, or DES, were approved. Drug-eluting stents are metal stents that have been coated with a drug that is known to suppress the reblocking of an artery after angioplasty. “The minimally invasive approach through angioplasty has improved in the last 12 years,” Bhambi, who specializes in coronary and vascular intervention at Central Cardiology Medical Center, said. The effect: The need for bypass surgery has decreased substantially. Patients are also being sent home a day or two after angioplasty surgery. Bhambi averages about 15 to 18 surgeries on a full day, all related to removing some kind of blockage in the body. “It could be a kidney blockage, a blockage in the arm or leg, we do it all,” he added. Staying on top of the latest technology and research is extremely important for Bhambi. Bhambi said the top three best advances in medicine have been aspirin, penicillin and statins. The most impactful being statins, medication that has been found to reduce January 2017

cardiovascular disease and mortality in those who are at high risk. “A paradox has happened,” Bhambi said. “As incidence of obesity and diabetes is increasing, the risk of a heart attack and heart disease has decreased.” Primarily due to statins. Putting technology and medicine aside, Bhambi harped on the importance of reversing heart disease. For starters, for a message to be effective, the messenger has to look like the message. That is why Bhambi eats right and exercises, advice he tells his patients on a daily basis. “Genetically speaking, if a person does not smoke, eats right and exercises, their probability of having a disease is cut down by 80 percent,” he said. “Cardiovascular disease is preventable.”

Dr. Jayaraman Chandrasekhar J Chandrasekhar MD 6001 Truxtun Ave., Suite 120A 661-837-7115

Paula Ardron By Laura Liera


llergies in Kern County are not uncommon. In fact, immune deficiencies are more likely to happen to Californians than other states. Dr. Paula Ardron, chief of allergy and immunology with Kaiser Permanente, has seen the ups and downs of Kern County’s battle with asthma and flu-like symptoms for nearly 20 years. “One of the challenges of California, just in general, because of our climate, people have the potential to have year-round allergies,” Ardron said. They can range from pollen allergies, like grass and trees, to issues with mold. In fact, mold is becoming a major allergen in the state because of the drought. Whenever there is dusty, windy weather, mold spores are dispersing at a much faster rate. This is when people with asthma may have a tougher time breathing or develop sinus problems. But specifically in Kern, Ardron said there are other issues. Industries like oil and agriculture add more pollution to the environment. And because Kern is located at the south end of the valley, our air is like a dumping ground for everything coming to us from up north. “Everything settles here and because we are surrounded by mountains, there is no place for it to escape,” she said. “Things just collect in this bowl-like area.” Over the years, Ardron and her colleagues at Kaiser have equipped patients with an Asthma Action Plan. As a patient’s symptoms start to flare, they know how to adjust their medicine at home. Ardron also noted that allergy and immunology is at an interesting time.



Dr. Rishma Khurana Healthy Smiles 3450 Stine Road 661-377-6453

Dr. Ishaan S. Kalha Kern Gastroenterology Medical Group 5959 Truxtun Ave., Suite 200 661-324-1203

Dr. Donald R. Montano Montano & Dentofacial Orthodontic Specialists 1010 Calloway Drive, #200A 661-665-7600

Dr. Paramvir S. Rahal Institute Advanced Gastroenterology 9802 Stockdale Highway, Suite 102 661-323-1200

Dr. Shirley Man 3600 De Souza Place 661-834-3600

Dr. Carlos Alberto Rodriguez Kaiser Permanente Ming Medical Offices 3700 Mall View Road 877-524-7373

Dr. Wade Logan Capital Dental Group 8701 Camino Media 661-861-8000

Dermatology Dr. Lindsey K. Bennett Kaiser Permanente Stockdale Medical Offices 3501 Stockdale Highway 877-524-7373 Dr. Jeffrey J. Crowley Bakersfield Dermatology 5101 Commerce Drive, Suite 101 661-327-3756

With a rise in food allergies, like peanuts, it’s been tough to pinpoint exactly why there has been an increase over the years. But one British researcher might be onto something. Ardron said the researcher visited Israel and was shocked to find that food allergies were extremely rare. The reason: Parents give peanut teething crackers to babies when they are 4 to 6 months old. “They are readily exposed to peanut, so they don’t develop an allergy,” Ardron explained. That window of time is something Ardron and other doctors didn’t have before. They are currently working with the pediatric and dermatology department at Kaiser to conduct their own research of a possible breakthrough. “At Kaiser, we emphasize on evidence-based medicine,” Ardron said. “If something changes, the science changes. Our group isn’t hesitant on deep diving into finding out why that change happened and how to implement it.”

Dr. William Farr Farr Medical Group 9880 Brimhall Road 661-587-8990

Dr. Robin A. Matuk Kern Gastroenterology Medical Group 5959 Truxtun Ave., Suite 200 661-324-1203

General Surgery Dr. Nirav C. Naik New Life Medical 4817 Centennial Plaza Way, Suite C 661-447-4559

Diagnostic Radiology

Dr. Edward Taylor Riverwalk Surgical Associates 3838 San Dimas St. 661-665-0505

Dr. Girish Patel Truxtun Radiology Medical Group 1817 Truxtun Ave. 661-325-6800

Dr. Hormuz Irani Bakersfield Surgical Associates 5959 Truxtun Ave. 661-638-0601

Dr. Steven Yu-Che Wang Kaiser Permanente Stockdale Medical Offices 3501 Stockdale Highway 877-524-7373

Dr. John A. Buxton Riverwalk Surgical Associates 3838 San Dimas St. 661-665-0505

Emergency Medicine Dr. Jagdipak Heer Kern Medical Center Outpatient 1700 Mount Vernon Ave. 661-326-2000 Dr. Kristopher L. Lyon 2615 Chester Ave. 661-395-3000

Endocrinology Dr. Jasleen K. Duggal Kern Endocrine Center 3008 Sillect Ave., Suite 220 661-748-1999

Hematology Dr. Abhay W. Risbud Kaiser Permanente Ming Medical Offices 2620 Chester Ave. 877-524-7373 Dr. David E. Kanamori Comprehensive Blood and Center 6501 Truxtun Ave. 661-322-2206 Dr. Vinh-Linh Nguyen Bakersfield Hematology and Oncology 9800 Brimhall Road 661-615-6800

Infectious Disease

Family Medicine

Dr. Carol Stewart-Hayostek Kern Medical Center 1700 Mount Vernon Ave. 661-326-2000 Dr. Don Tran Bakersfield Family Medical Center 3400 Calloway Drive, Suite 400 661-387-6000 Dr. Michelle S. Quiogue Kaiser Permanente Ming Medical Offices 3700 Mall View Road 877-524-7373

Dr. Rasha Kuran Kuran MD 3008 Sillect Ave., Suite 205 661-322-9200 Dr. Franco A. Felizarta Felizarta MD 3535 San Dimas St. 661-324-3128

Dr. Soe Win Kaiser Permanente Chester Avenue Medical Offices 2531 Chester Ave. 877-524-7373


Internal Medicine Dr. Ingrid Y. Wang Kaiser Permanente Ming Medical Offices 3700 Mall View Road 877-524-7373 Dr. William F. Baker William F. Baker, MD & Associates 3008 Sillect Ave., Suite 240 661-616-9300 Dr. Walter Ventayen 4580 California Ave. 661-327-4411 Dr. Saman N. Ratnayake Ratnayake MD 6001 Truxtun Ave., Suite 200 661-377-3777

Laser Vision Correction Dr. Daniel H. Chang Empire Eye and Laser Center 4101 Empire Drive, Suite 120 661-325-3937

Medical Oncology Dr. Abhay W. Risbud Kaiser Permanente Ming Medical Offices 2620 Chester Ave. 877-524-7373 Dr. Francesca M. Hoehne AIS Cancer Center 2615 Chester Ave. 661-395-3000 Dr. Ravi Patel Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center 1817 Truxtun Ave. 661-322-2206

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Dr. Gurvir S. Khurana Khurana MD 10408 Southport Grand Lakes Ave. 661-664-0790

Nephrology Dr. Harold Baer Central Nephrology Medical Group 5030 Office Park Drive 661-323-2847 Dr. Kevin P. Stiles Kaiser Permanente Stockdale Medical Offices 3501 Stockdale Highway 877-524-7373

Neurology Dr. Maheep Virdi 3008 Sillect Ave., Suite 100 661-432-7851

Obstetrics and Gynecology Dr. Bhavin R. Pandya Kaiser Permanente Discovery Plaza Medical Office 1200 Discovery Drive 888-956-1616


Dr. Sudha M. Reddy Kaiser Permanente Discovery Plaza Medical Office 1200 Discovery Drive 888-956-1616 Dr. Dana C. Edwards San Dimas Medical Group 100 Old River Road 661-663-4800 Dr. Rebecca Rivera Bakersfield Center for Women’s Health 2525 Eye St., Suite 110 661-637-0137

Ophthalmology Dr. David B. Hair Bakersfield Eye Institute 7508 Meany Ave. 661-589-9400 Dr. Daniel Chang Empire Eye & Laser Center 4101 Empire Drive, Suite 120 661-325-3937 Dr. Jennifer Lynn Ensminger Kaiser Permanente Chester Ave. Medical Offices 2531 Chester Ave. 877-524-7373

Optometry Dr. Cache Crawford Premier Eyecare Optometric Center 3911 Coffee Road, Suite B 661-588-8222 Dr. Vin T. Dang Empire Eye & Laser Center 4101 Empire Drive, Suite 120 661-325-3937 Dr. Laura Huggins Empire Eye & Laser Center 4101 Empire Drive, Suite 120 661-325-3937

Orthopedic Surgery Dr. Todd A. Shapiro Southern California Orthopedic Institute 2400 Bahamas Drive, Suite 200 661-328-5565 Dr. Anthony Devon Levins Kaiser Permanente Chester Avenue Medical Offices 2531 Chester Ave. 877-524-7373 Dr. Mark L. Schamblin Southern California Orthopedic Institute 2400 Bahamas Drive, Suite 200 661-328-5565

Otolaryngology Dr. Tung Trang Kern Medical Center 1700 Mount Vernon Ave. 661-326-2000

Pediatrics Dr. Juliana O. Opong Kaiser Permanente Stockdale Medical Offices 3501 Stockdale Highway 877-524-7373

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

Darshan Shah By Laura Liera


nowing if and when you’re ready for plastic surgery can turn into a daunting headache. Most patients, it turns out, don’t really know when they’re ready. With nearly 20 years of experience, Dr. Darshan Shah, plastic surgeon at Beautologie, has created the ultimate step-bystep guide in the book “Making the Cut: 10 Things You Should Consider Before Getting Plastic Surgery.” “I think a lot of people think they are ready when they come to see us but they really have a couple more steps they have to take,” Shah said. The first 10 chapters focus on the psychological and physical considerations for surgery, followed by 10 chapters dedicated to specifics of individual procedures. Before considering plastic surgery, the No. 1 question to ask yourself, according to Shah, is the timing. Scheduling surgery in between a hectic schedule is not recommended. A weekend to recover is not realistic. “Every single time I see someone that fudges their recovery time, they always end up extending it,” Shah said. “You have to remember it’s elective surgery and you need to make sure you’re doing it at the right time in your life.” Another common step people tend to overlook is their personal health. Many times, people are not in the right physical health to have a procedure done. Plastic surgery isn’t just about going under anesthesia and waking up magically

healthy. Sometimes it’s best to push off surgery in order to avoid any complications during the surgery. In correlation with feeling and being healthy, is the no smoking rule. “Everything about cigarettes is bad,” Shah said. “But that is multiplied by a thousand times when it comes to having any surgical procedure, especially plastic surgery.” Besides the physical considerations for surgery, the psychological reasons are as important. Knowing why you really want plastic surgery is key. There are conversations that need to happen between patient and physician to find the right reasons. “The goal is for you to look in the mirror and feel confident,” Shah said. “That’s what I love about plastic surgery because I experience that with my patients all the time.” Shah’s book will be available in the spring.

Daniel H. Chang By Laura Liera

Dr. Robert L. Laughlin Premier Medical Associates 3838 San Dimas St., Suite A250 661-323-5300

Dr. Fernando Fan Kaiser Permanente Ming Medical Offices 3700 Mall View Road 877-524-7373

Dr. Syed M. Alam 2901 Sillect Ave., Suite 202 661-324-7300

Dr. Jeffrey Suen Bakersfield Family Medical Center 4000 San Dimas St., Suite 1 661-322-3072

Dr. Ravi Patel Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center 1817 Truxtun Ave. 661-322-2206

Physical Medical Rehabilitation


ision is something we don’t really think about. When it works well, it’s an afterthought. That is until it starts declining and then suddenly we do everything in our power to make it better. For Dr. Daniel H. Chang, a board certified ophthalmologist at Empire Eye & Laser Center, it’s imperative that he stays on top of the latest technology to give his patients better choices and outcomes. “Studies have shown that people fear going blind more than they fear losing a limb,” Chang said. “That’s why I have dedicated my life to restoring and improving vision.” One of the ways Empire Eye & Laser Center has continued to stay on top of the latest research is through clinical trials. Chang said Empire is currently involved in two phase III trials, which are developing new products – one of which is secretly being stored inside a minifridge inside Chang’s office. “I can’t tell you what’s in there,” Chang said jokingly as he pointed to the fridge. “All I can say is that it’s a new cutting device for cataract surgery.” All clinical trials are controlled by the FDA and must go through rigorous requirements before they are approved and made available commercially. In July, the FDA approved Tecnis Symfony – an extended range of vision lens. It is the first lens approved by the FDA that is part of a new category: extended depth of focus. The idea is the lens gives patients a continuous range of vision, Chang explained, instead of the drift that happens

Dr. Alan F. Dakak Kern Pediatrics 3941 San Dimas St., Suite 101 661-864-7944

Dr. Alan Robert A. Inocentes Kaiser Permanente Discovery Plaza Medical Office 1200 Discovery Drive 877-524-7373 Dr. Bradford Anderson Bakersfield Family Medical Center 8701 Camino Media, Suite C 661-616-5726

Plastic Surgery Dr. Darshan R. Shah Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center 4850 Commerce Drive 661-865-5009 Dr. Vip Dev California Institute of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery 2901 Sillect Ave., Suite 201 661-327-2101

Podiatry with multifocal. During the clinical trial of Tecnis Symfony, Empire was one of 15 sites in the country to test out the new product. And Chang was the first surgeon on the West Coast and second in the country on the trial. “Clinical trials are a balance of trying to get new technology in the market and making sure that the technology is effective,” Chang said. “The most important thing during trials is the way it’s performing and if it’s causing any problems.” Besides clinical trials, Chang mentioned a new device that will be available in 2017 at Empire. The iDesign is a device that gives a higher resolution picture of the cornea, giving doctors both the surface curvature and overall focusing power of the eye. “Our overall goal is to get even better measurements and outcomes for our patients,” Chang said.

Dr. Brett V. Kesler 3941 San Dimas St., Suite 103B 661-323-0403 Dr. Craig T. Jex Foot and Ankle Institute 9300 Stockdale Highway, Suite 400 661-663-8483

Psychiatry Dr. Salvador R. Del Rosario Kaiser Permanente Behavioral Health Offices 4900 California Ave. 877-524-7373 Dr. Suzanne Keller Truxtun Psychiatric Medical Group 6001 Truxtun Ave., Suite 160 661-323-6410 Dr. Uzma Khan Kaiser Permanente Behavioral Health Offices 4900 California Ave. 877-524-7373

Pulmonary Disease Dr. Alpha J. Anders Comprehensive Pulmonary and Critical Care Associates 2811 H St. 661-633-5474 Dr. Aung K. Htoo Kaiser Permanente Chester Avenue Medical Offices 2531 Chester Ave. 877-524-7373

Radiation Oncology

Radiology Dr. Arthur Fontaine Bakersfield Heart Hospital 3001 Sillect Ave. 661-316-6000 Dr. Girish Patel Truxtun Radiology Medical Group 1817 Truxtun Ave. 661-325-6800 Dr. Russell Paul Quest Imaging 2700 Chester Ave. or 9602 Stockdale Highway 661-633-5000

Reconstruction Surgery Dr. Vip Dev California Institute of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery 2901 Sillect Ave., Suite 201 661-327-2101 Dr. Darshan R. Shah Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center 4850 Commerce Drive 661-865-5009

Rheumatology Dr. Kyaw K. Swe Kaiser Permanente Chester Avenue Medical Offices 2620 Chester Ave., Suite 310 877-524-7373 Dr. Jim Kim Advanced Rheumatology and Arthritis Center 2203 17th St. 661-716-0333

Sports Medicine Dr. Mark L. Schamblin Southern California Orthopedic Institute 2400 Bahamas Drive, Suite 200 661-328-5565

Urology Dr. Jeffrey G. Nalesnik Kaiser Permanente Chester Avenue Medical Offices 2620 Chester Ave. 877-524-7373 Dr. Robert L. Waguespack 2530 F St., Suite B 661-321-3303


We’d Like to Thank All of Our Dedicated Physicians and Congratulate Our Bakersfield Life Magazine’s

2017 “Top Doctors”

Dr. Jayaraman Chandrasekhar CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE


Dr. Gurvir S. Khurana N E O N ATA L M E D I C I N E

Dr. Carol Stewart-Hayostek FA M I LY M E D I C I N E



Doctor Profiles


S​ outhern California Orthopedic Institute How does Southern California Orthopedic Institute stay on top of the latest technology to offer exceptional orthopedic care to patients? SCOI is a leader in the orthopedic community, oftentimes pioneering state-of-the-art procedures. All our physicians are specially trained in different aspects of orthopedics and lead their respective fields in research and technique. What is the most common type of orthopedic injury that your practice sees and what procedures are offered for this specific injury? SCOI sees all aspects of orthopedics, including sports medicine, spine, hand, total joints, and foot and ankle. We specialize in minimally invasive techniques to improve outcomes and return our patients to active lifestyles.

Dr. Erfanian

Dr. Etcheverry

Dr. Hamilton

Dr. Saied

Dr. Schamblin

Dr. Schopler

Why is it important for a patient to not neglect any sharp pains or numbness they may be experiencing in their lower back? Patients should seek professional care with any symptoms that persist or significantly impact their activities. How does a patient prepare for upcoming surgery? Anytime a patient is undergoing a surgical procedure, they should be clearly aware of the procedure and expected outcomes. They should follow their physician’s recommendations to ensure a successful result. What makes Southern California Orthopedic unique? Operating in a state-of-the-art center, Bahamas Surgery Center, with an anesthesia provider who was also voted “top doc” for Best Anesthesiology, Dr. Justin Tobias. ​Top Docs results: Sports Medicine, Dr. Mark L. Schamblin; Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Todd A. Shapiro and Dr. Mark L. Schamblin.

​ outhern California Orthopedic S Institute 2400 Bahamas Drive, Suite 200 661-328-5565​​

Dr. Shapiro


Doctor Profiles


Dr. Jay Federhart Interventional Radiologist

How long have you been practicing medicine? I have been practicing medicine for 18 years. Where did you earn your degree and practice medicine? I went to Creighton Medical School in Omaha, did my residency at Oregon Health Sciences University and fellowship at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. What inspired you to practice medicine? I was inspired to practice medicine by several family friends who were physicians and a great anatomy and physiology teacher in high school. What do you enjoy most about your work as a physician? I enjoy being able to make a difference in people’s lives, to help other doctors in managing patients’ care, and to eliminate pain and suffering and to allay people’s fears. What does your job as an interventional radiologist entail? My job as an IR doctor entails taking care of patients in a minimally invasive fashion,


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

which typically is safer, less painful and has shorter recovery periods. What are your goals? My goals are to help as many people as possible and to keep learning new things every day. When you aren’t hard at work at your office, what do you do to relax? I enjoy cycling (both road and mountain), skiing, tennis and spending time in nature, hiking, camping and backpacking. I try to exercise regularly and play in several tennis leagues. Tell us a little about your personal life. I love doing things with my kids and traveling. I am divorced with two children.

Dr. Jay Federhart Kern Radiology 2301 Bahamas Drive 661-326-9600

Thank you to our readers for another great year celebrating the people, places, events, cultures and lifestyles that make our city a place we call home. See where it takes you.


Get the latest at BAKERSFIELDLIFE.COM and at ISSUU.COM

Doctor Profiles


Caleb Thompson, M.D. Interventional Cardiologist

native of the Central Valley, he continues to enjoy backpacking in the Sierra Nevada and travels home to Bakersfield often to visit family and spend time with his niece and nephew.

Meet Caleb Thompson, M.D. Dr. Thompson is the son of Joe and Cathie Thompson and the grandson of Fred Valentich. He graduated from East Bakersfield High school in 1995 and earned a degree in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley. He then returned to Bakersfield and taught for the Kern High School District before enrolling in medical school in 2003. Dr. Thompson completed his residency in internal medicine at UC Irvine and then moved to New Orleans to complete a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute. In 2014, Dr. Thompson moved to San Diego for a two-year subspecialty fellowship in interventional cardiology at the Scripps Clinic where he received advanced training in structural heart disease and peripheral vascular intervention. In July 2016, Dr. Thompson joined the Santa Barbara Cardiovascular Medical Group and is an attending cardiologist at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Being a 60

Bakersfield Life Magazine

What is interventional cardiology? Interventional cardiology is a subspecialty of cardiology that uses a catheterbased approach to diagnose and treat many heart conditions. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., and coronary heart disease – blockages in the arteries that supply the heart muscle – is the most common type of heart disease. Interventional cardiologists can often improve blood flow to the heart without the need for open-heart surgery by performing percutaneous coronary intervention using balloons and stents through the artery in the leg or wrist. Additionally, some interventional cardiologists are able to perform similar procedures for blockages in the arteries of the legs. Perhaps most exciting is that a select number of interventional cardiologists are now able to repair the mitral valve and perform aortic valve replacement using catheterbased procedures. What services does Dr. Thompson provide? Beyond general cardiology consultations, Dr. Thompson performs percutaneous coronary intervention for blockages in the heart arteries, which he prefers to accomplish through the artery in the wrist. He specializes in multivessel interventions as well as opening arteries

January 2017

that have been completely blocked for a long time. Dr. Thompson has a particular interest in structural heart disease and is one of a small number of cardiologists in California who have completed a formal training program in this field. He is certified to implant the Watchman left atrial appendage closure device for patients with atrial fibrillation who cannot tolerate blood thinners. Perhaps the most satisfying service he offers is performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement – replacing the aortic valve through the groin artery – for patients with aortic valve stenosis who cannot undergo open-heart surgery. Below is a partial list of Dr. Thompson’s skill set: • Complex percutaneous coronary intervention • Chronic total occlusion intervention • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) • Transcatheter mitral valve repair • ASD/PFO closure • Left atrial appendage closure (Watchman) • Peripheral vascular intervention

Caleb Thompson, M.D. Santa Barbara Cardiovascular Medical Group 2400 Bath St., Suite 201 Santa Barbara, CA 03105 805-682-7707 Now accepting new patients

Doctor Profiles


Alpha J. Anders, M.D., FCCP

Anders focuses on critical care medicine, which is the challenging phase where life support is required.

Pulmonary Medicine

What sets Dr. Anders and CPCCA apart from other health organizations? Our moto is: “Where caring is an art and healing is a science.” We get to know our patients. We investigate the presented symptoms. We look for the unexpected. We listen and we take the time to explain. We partner with our patients to achieve their best state of health and quality of life possible. We support a wide variety of community organizations, from the lung association, CSUB, AYSO and many worthy causes in between.

Who is Dr. Alpha J. Anders? Alpha Anders, M.D., FCCP, is triple board certified in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and internal medicine. He has lived in Bakersfield since 1991 – celebrating his 25-year anniversary – and raised kids who are thriving and excelling in the Alpha J. Anders, M.D., best academic institutions of the country, a FCCP testimony to Bakersfield being a great place to raise children. Dr. Anders enjoys riding his bike and keeping up with technology. He has been chief of staff for the Mercy hospitals, president of Kern County Medical Society and served on many different quality committees for Dignity Health and San Joaquin hospitals. What is Comprehensive Pulmonary and Critical Care Associates? In 1998, we chose to open a private practice that treats all aspects of lung conditions, from a persistent cough to Valley fever, asthma, interstitial lung disease, emphysema and so on. At the office, we provide personalized, old-fashioned care utilizing the latest diagnostic modalities and technology. At the hospital, Dr.


YEAR! Wishing you and your loved ones good health and happiness in the New Year!

(661) 635-3050 62

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What services are provided? The services are lung-related care, diagnosis and treatment, from pulmonary function testing and supplemental oxygen support to sleep-related interventions, Valley fever management, occupational exposure to airway irritants such as chemicals and dust, early detection of lung cancer and so much more.

Alpha J. Anders, M.D., FCCP Comprehensive Pulmonary and Critical Care Associates 2811 H St. 661-633-5474

Doctor Profiles


Dr. Jasleen Duggal Endocrinologist

Dr. Jasleen Duggal has been practicing in Bakersfield for five years. She is a Cedar Sinai fellow who came to the city of Bakersfield to help treat and improve the lives of our Kern County patients. With the help of her experienced physician’s assistants Carlos Flores and Bruce Dains, they are able meet the demands of the volume of endocrine patients in Kern County at the facility of Kern Endocrine Center. What does an endocrinologist treat? The endocrine system is made up of a network of glands. These glands secrete hormones to regulate many bodily functions, including growth and metabolism. The two most common endocrine disorders are the thyroid – hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules – and diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2 – which sometimes requires a pump. What other endocrine disorders do you treat? Some of the other disorders that we often treat are adrenal, pituitary, metabolic disorders, obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome. When should a diabetic make an appointment with an endocrinologist? Type 1 diabetics should always be followed by a specialist; they most likely require a diabetic pump. Type 2 diabetics should be seen by a specialist when their sugars run high and they are uncontrolled.


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January 2017

What is thyroid disease? A thyroid disease is a medical condition impairing the function of the thyroid gland. Different thyroid diseases include thyroiditis, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. These diseases have a large range of symptoms and affect all ages. Is your office accepting new patients? Yes, our office is accepting new patients. We are an extremely busy office due to the high volume of endocrine patients and lack of endocrine doctors. We accept almost all insurance. You can call your insurance carrier to verify if we are a preferred provider. Lastly, can you tell us about you and your family? I am married to Dr. Sarabjeet Singh, who is a cardiologist at Central Cardiology Medical Center, and we are blessed with two wonderful children.

Dr. Jasleen Duggal Kern Endocrine Center 3008 Sillect Ave., Suite 220 661-748-1999

Doctor Profiles


New Life Medical Who is eligible for weight-loss surgery? Patients who have a BMI over 35 with qualifying illnesses, mainly sleep apnea, high blood pressure and diabetes, and patients with BMI over 40 automatically qualify. Patients with a BMI between 30 and 40 may qualify for the gastric balloon. What happens during the first appointment with a doctor? The patient would have attended my weight-loss seminar, which gives a primer and general information on the different surgeries I offer. Therefore, the patient is already well-informed at the time of the consultation. At the consultation, the patient will have a thorough review of their medical records, a physical exam and a detailed discussion of their chosen procedure, including the alternatives, risks and benefits of surgery. At the end, I leave time for the patient to ask the questions they may have regarding preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care. The consult usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour. How long does a patient have to remain in the hospital after surgery? The patients are in the hospital between one to three nights. Most patients are well enough to go home the day after surgery. Should a patient exercise after surgery? Exercise is a vital part of recovery and lifestyle change. I encourage walking and stretching immediately after surgery. Most patients are clear for strenuous exercise by two weeks after surgery. What is the long-term benefit of weight-loss surgery? The benefits of weight-loss surgery are maximized when paired with a lifestyle change. The most notable benefits are an improvement and


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January 2017

elimination of life-threatening medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, weight-related cancers and sudden death. Weight-loss surgery patients live an average of 10 to 15 years longer than patients who do not lose their excess weight. What can you tell us about the new nonsurgical stomach balloon? There are two new FDA-approved balloon devices that are designed to make the stomach feel fuller and help control hunger. The balloon is placed endoscopically under sedation and removed in six months. Patients will lose 30 percent of their excess body weight when combined with diet and exercise. It’s designed for patients with a BMI of 30 to 40 who want a less invasive way to help lose weight.

Dr. Naik

Who is Dr. Nirav Naik? With over 15 years of experience and more than 10,000 successful procedures, Dr. Naik has the experience and knowledge to help get your excess weight off, and put you on the path to a longer, healthier life. Feel free to ask him any questions you might have regarding weight loss surgery and your journey to a new life. Who is Dr. Cyrus Moon? Cyrus Moon, M.D., completed his fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at UCSF Fresno in summer 2013. Since then, he has been performing bariatric surgeries at Delano Regional Medical Center and has served as the hospital’s bariatric program director since 2014. He takes interest particularly in the field of bariatrics for not only its effectiveness in helping with long-term weight loss and treating obesity-related medical problems, but also how minimally invasive surgery techniques have made bariatric surgery and other surgical procedures safer and less discomforting to patients as surgical techniques and technology has evolved.

Dr. Moon

New Life Medical 4817 Centennial Plaza Way, Suite C 661-447-4559

“ In this world nothing can be said to be certain, 68

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TELEPHONE (661) 664-0909 FAX (661) 664-0915

“Established in 1984, Wayne Long & Co. began operation as a sole proprietorship and has grown into a full service firm. We are one of the leading local providers of accounting and tax services in Bakersfield.”

except death and taxes” – Benjamin Franklin

Stick it to 2017 Tips to help you reach those elusive New Year’s resolutions Compiled by Bakersfield Life


t is said that the ancient Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions roughly 4,000 years ago during a 12-day religious festival known as Akitu. They made promises to the gods to pay off debts – the pre-


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January 2017

decessors to modern-day resolutions – and if they kept their word, the gods would bestow blessings upon them for the upcoming year. Failure to do so, would cause one to fall out of favor with the gods – something nobody wanted. The stakes aren’t as high

nowadays for failing to fulfill a New Year’s resolution, which may be the reason so many make the same ones year after year. With the help of local experts, Bakersfield Life compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help readers conquer the top-three resolutions made annually: exercising, eating healthier and saving money.

Exercise A telltale sign the new year is upon us is a crowded gym. For the first few weeks in January, everyone flocks to their local fitness centers eager to shed pounds, build muscle and achieve their dream bodies. Fast-forward to February and March and many of those gym rats are nowhere to be found. Consistency is key when it comes to exercise, says Pat Brown, owner of Lifetime Fitness. He notes that people tend to live by a “tonight we live, tomorrow we die” philosophy and that cannot be undone in 30, 60 or even 90 days. “Your body never has an ending,” he said. “It keeps on going.”


Start small. Aim for one to two pounds a week then work your way up from there. Setting your sights too high can often lead discouragement and failure. Find a workout buddy. People are more likely to stick to a routine if there is

someone else to hold them accountable. Know your limits. If you’re 40, don’t hit the gym like your 20. Live to work out another day. Get back on the wagon if you fall off. Everyone has an off day. Brush it off, learn from your mistakes and move on. Maintain a healthy diet. No workout in the world can outpace a bad diet. A healthy diet complements a regular gym regimen, allowing you to work smarter, not harder. Leave the phone behind. You’re at the gym to exercise. End of story. Consider the aid of supplements or a personal trainer. They can give you the extra boost you need to reach your goals.


Don’t become a weekend warrior. It will leave you ornery and in pain. Don’t postpone the start. The first step is always the hardest; the sooner you take it, the sooner you will reach your destination. Don’t starve yourself. It slows your metabolism and promotes overeating. Don’t spot train. It doesn’t work. Don’t forget cardio. Do your weights first, then cardio after for maximum fat burning.

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Eating Healthy Food is supposed to be good. Food is supposed to be enjoyable. That’s probably why so many eat too much of it. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing. Changing one’s eating habits is arguably one of the most difficult tasks but Muscle Grub co-owner Chelsey Hall says taking baby steps and a new approach can make the journey more feasible. The first step is education. “Fear is the biggest motivator,” Hall said. “If you know what your food is doing to your body, you’re going to be scared into eating healthier.” Muscle Grub is a weekly meal prep service that specializes in clean eating, cutting out the “junk” in food – salts, sugars, saturated fats and preservatives – while proving that healthy eating can also be delicious. Keep it simple. Clean eating is a great way to start.


Read “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” by Michael Moss about the long-term effects of consuming saturated fats, refined sugars and preservatives. You can’t start eating better until you have a firm understanding of how food affects your body and this book will change your outlook on food.


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January 2017

Limit your salt, sugar and fat intake. Eliminating them entirely is just not realistic. Have that slice of birthday cake. Don’t deprive yourself of the simple joys in life. Keep it in moderation and get right back on track after. Substitute refined sugars with natural sugars like honey, maple and coconut sugar. Get creative with your meals. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. If you like steak and potatoes, you can still have steak and potatoes – just come up with a creative sauce. Make sure you feel better. It’s not enough to see a difference and look better – you need to feel good about yourself as well. Save your “cheat meals” for when you go out. It’s difficult to eat clean and healthy when dining out but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it entirely.


Don’t diet. They don’t work because they take too much away leaving you with few options you want to eat. When your options are limited, you’re less likely to stick with it. Don’t eat small portions. You’re supposed to eat decent-sized portions – just cut out the junk. Don’t eat fried foods. Eat “good” fats. Don’t add salt to your food. Salt is naturally found in food so there’s no need to add more. Don’t put too much stress on the exercise side. The diet is the most important thing to get down. If you’re active and moving, everything will come together. Don’t say you don’t have time to eat healthy. There are options for even the busiest individuals. Meals at Muscle Grub are ready to eat in two to three minutes.

Saving Money Money provides flexibility and comfort. Having money in the bank for a rainy day provides peace of mind, knowing it’s there if you need it, but keeping that money in the bank is a challenge faced by many. Saving money is an uphill battle and to succeed, you must be in it for the long haul. “You can’t affect real change in less than six months,” said Scott Garrison, a registered investment adviser and owner of Sierra Capital Management. “If it took you a while to fall into debt, it’s going to take time to get yourself out.” Garrison has been in the investment management business for about 34 years, helping people plan for retirement as well as generate income afterward. He says when it comes down to it, it’s simple algebra. When saving money, particularly for retirement, it’s all about solving for X – the number you should set aside per month. Solve for X and work your way toward financial security.


Start small and gradually increase the amount over a period of time. Pay off debt. Create a spending log. Saving money isn’t fun – spending it is. But you can accomplish both by designating and tracking money going toward savings and money going toward fun. Want to go on a

vacation? Create a section in your records and put money toward it little by little. Have six months living expenses to protect you from life’s unexpected turns. Having this money to fall back on will help you stay afloat in the event of job loss or family emergencies. Optimize your retirement. Put money toward your 401(k). Some organizations match your investment up to a certain percentage allowing you to multiply your savings. Read to become informed. There is plenty of material designed to simplify the savings process and make it easier to understand.


Don’t forget to reward yourself. Work hard and save for three months, then take a month off and indulge a little. Don’t procrastinate. It’s never too late to start saving, but the sooner you start, the smoother the journey will be long term. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Excessive credit card use is guaranteed to distance you further and further away from your money-saving goals. Don’t spend on unnecessary items. Do you really need that cup of Starbucks every day? Don’t dip into your savings. This should be a last resort reserved for emergencies only.


People & Community


Dancers unite in the spirit of dance It is no secret that some of the greatest health benefits come from our own fancy footwork through dancing – stronger bones, muscle strength and endurance to name a few. Locally, there are some 50 dance programs whose genres span the dance floor, like ballroom, square, Scottish, Basque and ballet. Until recently, there was no real coordinated effort to link them all. Enter Kern Dance Alliance stage left. KDA, in the works for several years, launched as an official nonprofit in spring 2015. It was an outgrowth of the former Kern Classical Ballet Company started in 1996. For 10 years, KCBC heightened appreciation of the dance form through education and outreach. But area dance enthusiasts knew there was greater potential through advocacy. “We saw the fruits of dance at Bakersfield High School with retired instructor Georgia Peck,” said KDA President Andrea Hansen, who has a master’s in fine arts and was a former student of Peck’s. “The common denominator with all the studios is arts and culture in Kern County and how do we work together. We are not competing; we are supplementing.” Thirty-three-year-old Hansen, a Bakersfield native, began training with the Royal Academy of Dance when she was 7. A seasoned veteran of the dance floor and currently the leader of the Cal State Dance Team, she returned home four years ago on a mission. “I grew up dancing here. If we would have had a dancing organization like this, it would have been much healthier,” she said. “We know the arts and dance can transform lives.” And transformation is its goal. KDA aims to provide scholarships, grants, performance opportunities and access to master classes and professional development. “Every great city has an advocate on their behalf,” Hansen said. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t do so.” The crown jewel of KDA’s efforts so far is the SHINE program. SHINE is the acronym for: supporting local youth in education pursuits, harnessing self-esteem and confidence on stage and in the classroom, inspiring young women to pursue careers in the STEM fields, Kern Dance nurturing a love of math and empowering Alliance women across America. The nationally acboard claimed curriculum-based after-school promember gram is taught to middle-school-age girls in Andrea major cities across the U.S. Thanks to the Chesley, center, diligence of Hansen and others, Bakersfield teaches a is now home to the first West Coast branch. dance The formula is simple: math plus dance routine. equals success. “Kinesthetic learning is half the battle. 74

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By Lisa Kimble

The movement and muscle memory take over and our bodies remember. By plugging in dance, we are turning intangible qualities into something tangible,” Hansen added. For 13-year-old Maggie Gless, a member of the first local SHINE class, math came easy but she had no previous dance experience. “The games they introduced were creative and fun ways to learn math,” Maggie said. “Using my mind and body, concepts like positive and negative integers and angles were much easier to understand. The dancing and performance aspect increased my confidence.” She hopes to reapply, this time as a program mentor. “SHINE provided Maggie with the opportunity to practice life skills she wouldn’t have otherwise had sitting at a desk confined to the traditional learning environment of books, pencils, papers and lectures,” said her mother, Keri. “We are so grateful to KDA for bringing such an innovative program to our own backyard.” In less than two years, KDA has helped with Garden Pathways’ Summer Dance Camp, has plans to work with League of Dreams and partnered with Garces Memorial High School to create the school’s dance studio and program. “Garces has loved teaming with KDA because it paved the way for the community to be innovative,” said Garces Principal Myka Peck, whose mother, Georgia, taught Hansen at BHS. Georgia Peck has been instrumental in the Garces dance program. Her daughter – and Myka’s sister – Tiler Peck is a Bakersfield native and now a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. When time and travel have allowed, she has returned to her hometown to help with KDA and the Garces program. “Garces has opened up its doors welcoming the whole community,” Tiler Peck said. “Kern Dance Alliance is a unique organization that hopefully inspires individuals to join forces and participate in something that will bring joy for many generations to come.” For more information, visit kerndance. org. Lisa Kimble

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.


FIND HAPPINESS, your best self in something new

By Charmaine Cleveland

I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep – so I rarely make them at all. The same goes for New Year’s resolutions. I mean, why should I promise myself that I’m not going to binge on a dozen doughnuts while watching Netflix when that’s what I enjoy most about my weekends? Aren’t resolutions supposed to instill the sort of happiness and satisfaction in your life that you lacked the year before? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an underachiever. But if I’m going to make a resolution for myself this year, I’m going to set the bar low enough to trip on. I’m going to excel at being

absolutely ordinary. This was the thought process that propelled me to the front doors of Body Xchange Sports Club last month as part of my resolution for the new year to go to the gym. Not run a mile in under 10 minutes, not increase my upper body strength – just physically make it to the gym. The Mayo Clinic recommends around 2 ½ hours per week of moderate aerobic activity, so that’s what I set my mind to. No more and no less – but absolutely no more. And naturally, because I felt like the quickest way to washboard abs was the slow torture of a full body workout, I chose kickboxing. And boy, did that teach me some things about myself. First, martial kickboxing is a hybrid martial art that draws inspiration from karate, muay thai and boxing. The sport has become increasingly popular since the 1970s, contributing to the emergence of mixed martial arts and other ground-fighting techniques. It can be practiced for self-defense, general fitness or competitive sport and involves a combination of elements, one of which includes making sure your legs reach above your hips. What I thought it was: continuously roundhouse kicking a punching bag. But the workout was intense. Our instructor let us know the class was designed to burn at least 1,000 calories in less than an hour. The struggle was real and I found myself turning inward to ask myself what my goals this year really were. Was it really about going to the gym and getting in shape? Or was it about trying new things that make me happy? Blame my millennial spirit, but nowadays I don’t like committing to anything longer than it takes for me to scroll through my last 10 Instagram posts. So would I really be able to commit to a healthy dosage of kickboxing every week? Leaving the class was almost more of a struggle than getting there and I could sing sonnets of how sore I was the next day. But as I drove away from the gym, hair drenched in sweat, I had a realization: Living life isn’t about just doing the things that make you happy; it’s about trying the things that might. And you’ll never know until you stick with something long enough to find out. So laugh at yourself as you struggle, make yourself reach a little higher for the bar and excel at being your best self by finding happiness in something new.

Charmaine Cleveland

Charmaine Cleveland is a digital news assistant with TBC Media. She hopes to give a voice to millennials who are also a part of the emerging digital age and share their stories one click at a time. The views expressed in this column are her own.


People & Community

Above: Cindy Collier Right: Past Bakersfield College nursing students pose at a health clinic.

From the hospital to the classroom Nurse transitions from taking care of patients to taking care of students By Rhiannon Stroberg

Nursing was never something Cindy Collier planned on doing. In fact, growing up, she dreamed of being a doctor, but after coming from a long family line of nurses, it was only a matter of time before she became one herself. “I think being a nurse is an honor,” Collier said. “We are with patients at the moments in their life when they’re most vulnerable.” After 34 years as a nurse at Kern Medical and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Collier 76

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January 2017

began teaching part time as a clinical instructor at Bakersfield College in 1991 and like nursing, it was something she just fell in love with. “It really wasn’t something I ever planned on doing,” she said. “But I really liked teaching and a full-time position opened up in 1993 and I applied and got it.” In 2001, Collier became the director of the BC nursing program and she is in charge of the RN, LBN, CNA and EMT programs. Between 2008 and 2009, she accepted the dean-level position she currently holds.




TEACHABLE MOMENTS Transitioning from helping patients get better in a hospital setting to helping students advance toward careers in a learning environment wasn’t difficult for Collier. “In some way it’s very similar,” Collier explained. “Students and patients are both afraid; they’re both in an unknown world.” It’s not uncommon for a student to feel overwhelmed when they start their handson training at a medical facility, she added. The nursing faculty then uses these teachable moments throughout the semester to help students get over their fear of interacting with patients for the first time. Because at the end of the day, patients are people and it is important that they are treated as such. Collier recalled a time in which a student was speaking to a patient using technical terms. She used this as a teachable moment to inform the student that he would need to explain it in a way that the patient would understand. “That’s why I think the faculty is so special; (we) can bring it to a level that can help those students understand how to take it to patients so they understand,” Collier said.

THE PROCESS When it comes to selecting students to fill in the slots for the nursing program, BC uses what they call a modified lottery or a modified random process. Students have to meet a number of prerequisites before applying to the program. “We set our minimum score at 75 percent, so a student has to hit a 75 percent for them to be considered what we call ‘conditionally

enrolled,’” Collier explained. Once they have come up with a list of students who have met requirements, names are drawn from a hat and students are selected for the program. The selection process is considered exclusive because out of 300 qualified applicants, only 60 seats are available for the RN program. BC has also maintained a good reputation in the community, giving students an opportunity to get handson experience at places like hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, rehab hospitals, doctor’s offices and dialysis centers.

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

NURSING 101 Collier believes that television places a stigma on nurses by giving an inaccurate portrayal of the nurse’s role in a hospital setting. Many times, the public tends to have a false perception of what nurses really do in the hospital. “The success of the patient is based on, I think, how good the nurse is,” she said. Collier went on to explain that a good nurse must be able to analyze and critically think about what’s best for the patient so they can synthesize that data and information on a real-time, quick basis. After all, nurses spend the most time with patients and are there to be able to speak on the patients’ behalf, acting as the eyes and ears for the physician so they can decide whether treatment should be continued or discontinued. “We can’t control whether patients live or die,” she said. “But we can make that easier for them, we can educate them, we can comfort them, we can help people make choices that match their lives.”

100 Oak Street (corner of Oak/Stockdale) 327-5397 •

Now located at

Office of Edmund Fisher MD, FACS 661-323-6200 • 661-619-6836 5301 Truxtun Ave Ste 200, Bakersfield CA Appointments Now Available


People & Community


GIVING is good for your health By Kristen Beall Barnes

If you’ve ever volunteered your time at a local charity, donated money to a cause you love or helped someone on the street, I’m sure you felt happy afterward. But research is showing that the benefits of giving extend far beyond instant gratification. Giving can actually have positive long-term health benefits.

IT WILL KEEP STRESS IN CHECK Being stingy is linked with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to a study published by Scientific American. Social psychologists examined cortisol levels in response to giving away money and choosing to keep money for yourself. The more money people chose to keep in the experiment, the greater shame they felt – and the higher their cortisol levels were. In another study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, people who gave social support to others had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t.

YOU’LL ENJOY MORE YEARS OF LIFE Researchers from the University of Buffalo found a link between giving and unselfishness and having a lower risk of early death. The findings show that helping others – whether it be by helping to run errands, watching their children or giving them a lift somewhere – is linked with a decreased mortality risk. And according to a University of California, Berkeley, study, people who were 55 and older who volunteered for two or 78

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more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than those who didn’t volunteer – even accounting for many other factors including age, exercise, general health and negative habits like smoking.

IT’S BENEFICIAL TO THE GREATER GOOD Generosity trumps selfishness when it comes to success in the long run. According to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that in a strategic game involving multiple people, being generous – where there is coopera-

January 2017

tion and everyone benefits from working together – led to more success than being selfish. “You might think being generous would be a stupid thing to do, and it is if there are only two players in the game,” study researcher Alexander Stewart explained in a statement. “But if there are many players and they all play generously, they all benefit from each other’s generosity.”

IT PROMOTES HAPPY FEELINGS Biologically, giving can create a

2017 Resolution

“warm glow,” activating regions in the brain associated with pleasure, connection with other people and trust. There is some evidence that, during gift-giving behaviors, humans secrete “feel good” chemicals in our brains, such as serotonin (a mood-mediating chemical), dopamine (a feel-good chemical) and oxytocin (a compassion and bonding chemical). When researchers from the National Institutes of Health looked at the functional MRIs of subjects who gave to various charities, they found that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward center of the brain, releasing endorphins and creating what is known as the “helper’s high.” The moral of the story: Give as much as you are able. You don’t have to donate huge sums of money to benefit. Simple acts of kindness or volunteering at a local charity can all contribute to your health.

Kristen Beall Barnes

Enhance your beauty by making skin care a priority. Microdermabrasion: $75 TCA peel: $85 Glycolic peel: $65 Act now to have a fresh, smooth more radiant appearance.

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


Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Gala


June 3, 2017 DoubleTree by Hilton

Recognize the individuals, organizations and businesses for their efforts in 2016 that helped the community live up to its slogan of “Life as it should be.” View categories and submit your nominations online now through Feb. 15, 2017

Presented by

A program of Continued on page 42


People & Community


EMERGENCY care with compassion Paramedic provides comfort, hope to those in need

Rod Castillo’s gentle steadfastness, natural way of reassurance and compassion serves him well in his profession: He’s been in emergency medical services for 18 years. Each patient is surveyed on his or her care. Castillo has received more than 50 compliments each of the past three years. This year, he’s on track to receive 100. According to Mark Corum, director of media services at Hall Ambulance, that’s never happened before. Regardless of the profession, Castillo has always made it a habit to make others feel welcome and appreciated. Before his work as a paramedic, he was an elementary school custodian in Santa Maria. “I was a custodian for 16 years,” Castillo said. “I would meet and greet teachers in the morning, unlock the school, pick up trash, set up the cafeteria, interact with students and parents. That’s what I liked most about the job – the kids are always so excited and in a good mood.” For years, Castillo was practicing his friendliness and ability to connect easily with people. These skills, this genuine need to reach out to others, is what shaped him for a career change. “I had a new neighbor who was a paramedic, and that’s how I got introduced into EMS – just talking with him and learning about what he does and how he treats patients and actually making a difference in people’s lives,” Castillo said. “That’s what caught my


Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017


By Ellen Ewing

interest. That’s how it started.” With the support of his family, Castillo took the steps to change his career. After two years in the first level of care as an emergency medical technician, Castillo attended paramedic school in Los Angeles and became licensed and certified to work as a paramedic in 2000 in Santa Maria. A few years ago, Castillo relocated to Bakersfield, which was a shorter commute to his daughter who attends Cal State Northridge. Castillo was immediately drawn to Hall Ambulance. “I looked for so many different companies to work for in the LA area,” he said. “I couldn’t find any that meet or exceed what Hall Ambulance had to offer me.” Providing exceptional medical care while showing deep compassion comes naturally to Castillo. The company gives him the opportunity to serve his community full time. During one call for a gentleman having a heart attack, Castillo remembers how important it was for him to keep his patient’s wife informed. That call had a positive outcome, with Castillo’s skills helping to save the patient’s life. Some calls don’t always end that way. And yet

his compassion still shows. One of the biggest calls that stands out in Castillo’s head was a patient who was in cardiac arrest. They did everything they could on scene and took him to the hospital. Castillo had to explain the situation to the family. One of the family members shook Castillo’s hand and gave him a hug, thanking him for giving family members “a few minutes with our dad.” “I was able to provide that level of care and treatment for that patient and allow the entire family to say goodbye to their dad,” Castillo said. Castillo is also a relief supervisor and helps train new recruits at Hall Ambulance. He strongly encourages the trainees to tap into their own compassion, advising them to smile and comfort those during a time of need. “It makes a huge difference because you’re going to make a significant impact in their life and they’re going to remember this call for the rest of their life,” he said. It’s all part of what Castillo tries to provide on every call, every shift. “I love what I do,” he said. “I love my job. Being able to provide compassion for what I do, it’s just who I am.”

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People & Community


All in the family Justin McCall looks to continue legacy of basketball success It would be easy for Justin McCall to get lost in the shuffle among all the highly successful basketball players in his family. His father, Greg, was a team captain on Cal State Bakersfield’s 1991 NCAA Division II Final Four team and has served as the Roadrunners’ women’s coach for the past six seasons. His oldest sister, DeWanna Bonner, has played in the WNBA since 2009. She helped the Phoenix Mercury win WNBA championships in 2009 and 2014 and was chosen All-WNBA First Team in 2015. One of his other sisters, Erica McCall, is arguably the greatest girls high school basketball player in Kern County history. Now a senior at Stanford, she currently ranks among the top college players in the country. Despite having to follow in some extremely big footsteps, ones that would swallow up a lot of players, McCall has made a name for himself as a hoops standout in his own right. The 6-foot-5, 198-pound multitalented Ridgeview senior is one of the best high school players in Kern County. Last year, McCall averaged 15 points and 5.9 rebounds a game as he helped the Wolf Pack reach the Central Section Division II championship game. “Growing up in a basketball family really makes you want to work hard to be able to achieve the same amount of success as everyone else in your family,” McCall said. “My sisters are really successful in basketball Ridgeview and in life in general. High’s Justin They really paved the McCall gets a way for me. I just try first-half dunk. to follow right behind 82

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017


By Stephen Lynch

The Fine Art Of Jewelry Repair

Justin McCall

• Parents are Greg and Sonya McCall. • Has five siblings – four sisters and one brother. • Was only 5-foot-8 when he started high school. • Dunked for the first time at age 14. • During leisure time, enjoys hanging out with friends, playing video games and watching Netflix. • Plans on majoring in criminal justice at CSUB.

them.” McCall’s stellar play last season landed him a spot on the BVarsity All-Area First Team and a basketball scholarship from CSUB. McCall verbally committed to the Roadrunners in August and signed with them in November. “(CSUB) always had interest in me and you really want to go somewhere where you’re wanted,” McCall said. “You don’t want to go to a school just because of the name or just because they offered you. It doesn’t mean they really want you. I know they really want me at CSUB. That’s the main reason why I chose to go there.” This season, McCall has stepped up his game and is playing better than ever. Just five games into the campaign, he exploded for a career-high 40 points in the Wolf Pack’s 91-79 Lloyd Williams KSFCU Shootout semifinal victory over Liberty. One night later, he scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Ridgeview won the tournament championship with a 10-point win against Bakersfield High. McCall, who had a highlight-reel dunk during the championship game, was chosen as the tournament MVP. A three-year varsity starter, McCall possesses the size, skill and versatility to play any position on the court other than point guard

for the Wolf Pack. However, he’s projected to play shooting guard at CSUB. He says this year is about taking his game to the next level to prepare for the college, but he admits he still needs to improve his shooting and ball handling. McCall’s other big focus this season is to help Ridgeview win a section championship.

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JANE’S JEWELERS Where Bakersfield Gets Engaged

“Growing up in a basketball family really makes you want to work hard to be able to achieve the same amount of success as everyone else in your family.” – Justin McCall

“It would be a dream come true,” McCall said. “It’s everything I’ve been working for. Really, the biggest thing I want out of high school is a ‘valley’ championship. It would mean the world to me.” That doesn’t mean basketball and winning a section championship are the most important things in McCall’s life. “My dad always told me to keep God first, then school second and basketball third,” McCall said. “That’s what I live by.”

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People & Community




Bringing you an up-close-and-personal experience with MMA

By Laura Liera

They say you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. That’s why the team bringing locals the first ever Bakersfield Fight Club is ready to bring the “wow” factor on Jan. 26 at the Dignity Health Event Center, former home of the Bakersfield Jam. After selling the Jam to the Phoenix Suns, owner Stan Ellis wanted to bring a different type of entertainment to Bakersfield. And he got the entire package with Roy Englebrecht of Roy Englebrecht Promotions, 84

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

California’s third-largest fight promotions company. When Englebrecht first walked into the venue, he immediately saw it as the ideal spot to host the first mixed martial arts series. “MMA is the No. 1 sport for the generation next to millennials,” Englebrecht said. The first Thursday night show will feature five MMA fighters from Bakersfield. The audience will be sitting at ringside, up close and personal with the fighters. The only way one can be closer is to be fighting. “We wanted Jack Nicholson seats for all of our fans,” Ellis said.

And that personal experience is what Englebrecht envisioned the Bakersfield crowd should have. Watching MMA on TV is different than watching it live. “A live show completely

For season seats, suites, VIP lofts, and sponsorship information, contact Teresa Howard at 661-615-6550 or teresa@bakersfieldfightclub. com. Opening night is Thursday, Jan. 26.

changes people,” Englebrecht said. “When you are watching it live, you realize that these are very skilled fighters, something you lose at home on a 50-inch screen.” Besides the local talent, Bakersfield Fight Club will have a UFC-feel with moving lights, fighter walk-ins,

ring card girls, cornermen and, of course, the MMA cage. The six-night series will feature six pro bouts with one added amateur bout featuring the best two amateur fighters in Bakersfield. Englebrecht said many of the fighters participating are one or two

wins away from going to UFC or Bellator. Bakersfield Fight Club is like the Triple A of MMA. “You get to see the potential stars of tomorrow,” Englebrecht said. For tickets and more information, visit


People & Community


EXPERIENCING the real world East High’s career academy continues to inspire youth in the medical field

This page: Staff for the East Bakersfield High School Health Academy and student Daniela Gonzales. Facing page: Daniela Gonzalez, left, and Elizabeth Lopez look over their notes in anatomy class. Daniela Gonzalez, Selene Orozco and Elizabeth Lopez are seniors in the program. Brianna Silva looks over her notes in anatomy class.


Story and photos by Laura Liera

When Selene Orozco envisioned herself as an adult, she saw herself as a veterinarian. That was until the 17-year-old East High School senior job shadowed at a local vet’s hospital and found out it just wasn’t her calling. “I felt like the environment wasn’t for me,” Orozco said. “But I’m glad I found that out now, instead of later in college.” Orozco is one of about 100 students in the Health Careers Academy at East High School. It is the only academy left from the original 10 that were selected to become official state academies

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

back in 1993. The academy is funded by the California Partnership Academies, run by the California Department of Education. East High’s academy is the oldest standing academy, celebrating its 31st anniversary this year. Students like Orozco job shadow two hours a day, three days a week at either Kern Medical or other practices in the community. During those two hours a day of job shadowing, students get to see what being in the medical field is really like. Like LeAnne Means, career technical education teacher said, “You can teach kids all day in the classroom, but unless they

experience it themselves in the real world, it really doesn’t sink in until they have the hands-on experience.” Elizabeth Lopez, 17, has seen babies being born and has cared for preemies in the NICU. “We hold them, cuddle with them and change their diapers,” Lopez said. She admitted to feeling nervous and scared when she first started the job shadowing component of the academy her junior year. But being around nurses and doctors for nearly two years now has given her that extra boost of confidence in what she wants to do after high school.





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Lopez sees a future as a registered nurse. “It feels really good to be sharing the same space as doctors and nurses,” Lopez said. “It gives me hope that it could be me one day in the main position, not just job shadowing.” Robert Lewy, science teacher and academy director, said students are recruited their freshman year and start the academy as sophomores. There are 10 academy teachers. Students still take college prep courses only slightly geared toward the medical field. Classes like anatomy, medical terminology and

physiology are a few examples of classes students must take. “It’s kind of like Kern Medical is the reason to take the classes and the classes are the reason that you’re going to Kern Medical,” Lewy said. “It’s a good way to integrate math, science and English with the courses they take.” And like many students before them, the academy also gives students the opportunity to connect with possible mentors at the hospital. “Doctors share their experiences with you, of how tough it was to get to where they are,” said Daniella Gonzalez, 17. “It gives you hope that it is possible.”

The DreamMaker Team wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

661-837-1117 or visit us online at 5880 District Blvd. Suite 19 • Insured W.C./Liab. • Lic # 548785


People & Community

Although the county hospital and health department provide distinctly different functions, both functions were provided by one agency until 1931.



Service to the public for 150 Years Kern Medical, formerly Kern County General Hospital, a picture of health By Julie Plata

Kern County Hospital superintendent Franz Buckreus announced to the readers of the May 21, 1897, Daily Californian to, “Please keep your dog at home while visiting the hospital.” Twenty-five years later, the front

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

page of the Jan. 18, 1922, Bakersfield Californian announced “Kern County General Hospital to be finest on Pacific Coast.” Kern County General Hospital’s history began when Kern County was in its infancy. The first county hospital was established in 1867 as a oneroom adobe purchased from

H.D. Bequette for $200. As the population grew and the county seat was moved from Havilah to Bakersfield, the hospital relocated in 1875 to a modest one-story building constructed by M.W. McFarland at the corner of G Street (the current location of BHS). In 1894, a bond-supported

new county hospital was established on 19th and Oak streets. The much larger two-story facility was equipped with 40 beds, an operating room, a kitchen and offices. The hospital served the county well for 30 years, but the growing health needs of the community necessitated the construction of a new facility. Health officials recognized that a large number of the county’s residents could not afford the cost of hospitalization and initiated a plan to address the need. With the approval of the Board of Supervisors in 1922, a 27 ½-acre tract located on Flower Street was purchased for $500 an acre. No expense was spared in the construction of the new hospital to “bring into existence the very latest achievements of medical and surgical science.” Architect Charles H. Biggar and consultant Dr. R.G. Brodrick were contracted to design a hospital that The Californian stated “will be the last word and the best that money can buy.” After three years of planning and construction, the first patients were admitted to Kern General Hospital on Sept. 27, 1925. But the spending did not come without some controversy. The original estimate for the completion of the hospital was $500,000. By the time the facility was completed, costs soared to $1 million. The public demanded answers and a grand jury convened to investigate. Ultimately, the issue was resolved and over the next three decades, additional wings were added to the hospital. When the earthquake of 1952 damaged the older portions of the main building, the majority of what remained was demolished. Renovation of the damaged hospital started in 1954 and this incarnation of Kern County General Hospital expanded it into a modern accredited facility. Hospital administrator John H. Doubenmier proclaimed, “1956 will be hailed as the greatest in Bakersfield hospital history,” and it was as the newly renovated hospital made its public debut. The tours given to the public were out of the ordinary as hospital tours generally occur before it is occupied, but Kern General was already at full capacity! In a half century, Kern County General Hospital transformed from a 40-bed facility to one with 638 beds. Now known as Kern Medical, the tradition of service to the public health needs of the community continues.

With the approval of the Board of Supervisors in 1922, a 27 ½-acre tract located on Flower Street was purchased for $500 an acre. No expense was spared in the construction of the new hospital to “bring into existence the very latest achievements of medical and surgical science.”



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People & Community

William Howell Century Club members observe a C-arm, a piece of equipment purchased with their donations.

A history of giving Friends of Mercy continues philanthropic legacy of hospital founders By Mark Nessia

Philanthropy has always been a part of Mercy Hospital’s history. The reason the hospital exists today was due to a philanthropic act. When William Howell Sr. and other community leaders saw a need for a private hospital in Bakersfield, Howell recruited four 90

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

Sisters of Mercy from Los Angeles and brought them to Bakersfield to establish Mercy Hospital. The venture was made possible by a $45,000 grant given by William de Gana in 1910. That legacy of giving was formalized in 1988 when the Friends of Mercy Foundation was created, its goal to connect people with the hospital with the intent of raising money to improve the health care of the community.

The capital appetite of a hospital outweighs the amount of capital available to invest in technology and equipment and the foundation helps allocate some of the cost. “(The community) deserves and wants the best and so we need to provide that,” said Vice President of Philanthropy Stephanie Weber. “Philanthropy is the way to get there.” Weber has seen the foundation grow over the years, joining Friends of Mercy in 1989 and being appointed as head of the foundation in 1998. She saw a need for a core group of donors who give to the hospital on a regular basis and whom the foundation could interact with.

In 2005, the Catherine McAuley Society, a women’s giving group, was created, named after Catherine McAuley who founded the Sisters of Mercy. In 2010, a men’s giving group, the William Howell Century Club, was started. The newest giving group, the Legacy Circle established in 2013, features young upand-comers in their 20s and 30s helping pass the torch of philanthropy. “There’s a history of generational giving,” Friends of Mercy Chairwoman Pat Campbell said. “With this Legacy Circle, we’re getting these kids involved and there are multigenerational donors in families.” Collectively, the Catherine McAuley Society, William Howell Century Club and Legacy Circle have raised over $1.7 million. While the money raised is primarily used for technology and equipment for the hospital, the foundation’s influence extends beyond the walls. Through community outreach, Friends of Mercy helps more than 100,000 individuals every year who have suffered the effects of poverty. That is what the Spirit of Giving Club, another annual giving group comprised of hospital employees, chooses to fund. The group raised $176,000 in 2016 with $70,000 going toward outreach for the poor. “We don’t just do things inside the walls with technology; we help with community outreach – the disenfranchised, the poor groups in the community – which I think is amazing,” Weber said. Each group gets to choose which projects to fund and with no overhead costs, 100 percent of the donations go toward their intended goals. “Last year, we distributed $2.2 million to the hospital in forms of 36 pieces of equipment to nine different

departments,” Weber said. “That was more than what our normal capital allocation was for the year from the hospital. We almost doubled what they would have had just from their allocation.” Some of the equipment the Friends of Mercy Foundation purchased over the years include an endoscopic ultrasound, which is the only piece of equipment between Los Angeles and Fresno; C-arms; and special tables, which help make procedures like anterior hip replacement available in Bakersfield.

“(The community) deserves and wants the best and so we need to provide that.” – Stephanie Weber, vice president of philanthropy

“For a community hospital, I think it’s very important to be able to offer the majority of procedures for patients so it’s more convenient for them,” said Dr. Al Coppola, an orthopedic surgeon for Mercy Hospital and member of the William Howell Century Club. “I think through the foundation, they’ve been able to keep pace with the evolution of medicine, especially with orthopedics.” The foundation is even used as a recruiting tool to bring top doctors to Bakersfield. According to Weber, when physicians know there’s an organization that’s willing to raise money for equipment and technology, Mercy Hospital becomes a very attractive option to them. “Everything goes back to the patient and the patient isn’t treated by bricks and mortar; they’re treated by our caregivers and physicians,” Weber said. “To have physicians understand what we do, let alone, the value of what we do is incredibly inspiring.”


People & Community


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

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017


Light Up A Life Tree Lighting Ceremony Date: Dec. 6 Held at: The Marketplace Photos by: Carla Rivas

Victor Gonzales and Bradley Bias

Victoria Beck and Sully, Chloe Dollar and Ginger

Valerie Vasquez, Cynthia Banos, Vanessa and Grace Gonzales, Mari Breceda, Yazmine and Jose Banos, Jason Gonzales and Dhanessa Encinas

Harlan Casiva and Danette Feeney

Jackie Aguilar and Scarlet, Melissa Salazar and Drew, Sue Beal and Hunter, Angela Myers and Penny

Denise Avery and Robin Plumb

Kyleigh, Lacey, David, Steve, Savannah, Becki, Aiden and Bill Long

Kristin Lelewer and Clancy

Daniel Millet, Bob Dexter, Denise Millet and Cindy Dexter



JJ’s Legacy Comfort Room Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Date: Dec. 14 Held at: Kern Medical Photos by: Mira Patel

Supervisor Mike Maggard, Lori Malkin, Russell Judd and Sister Judy

Back row: Tim Osborne, Paul Anspach, Lori and Bob Malkin and Bruce Jay. Front row: Leigh Pozas, Nimisha Amin, Mellisa Poole and Sister Judy

Aaron Markovits, Lori Malkin and Eileen Spallino

Toni Smith, Cindy Norville, Linda Hartman

Angela and Nathan Trevino, Nimisha Amin and Melissa Poole

Jessica Pang and Aidee Cardenas

Bob Malkin, Tim Osborne and Paul Anspach


St. Francis Charity Wine Tasting Date: Dec. 1 Held at: St. Francis of Assisi Parish

Katie and Brian Kirschenmann, Mitch and Kristy Wetzel

Hugh McGowan, Monsignor Craig Harrison and Cheryl McGowan

Stacy Clarksean, Father Jude Eli, Gloria Minor and Katie Tate

Rita Antongiovanni, Frank DeMarco, Meir Brown, David and Katie Tate

Maryann Verderber, Maria Medina, Father Joseph Warnakulasooriya, Carla Sierra and Bianca Bravo

Ian and Catie Nickell and Scott Hashim

Photos by: Greg Nichols

Michele and Mike Ming and Beverly Camp

Mike and Rebecca Romero and Sean McNally


Cornhole for Charity Date: Nov. 21 Held at: Temblor Brewing Company Photos by: Greg Nichols

Miranda Whitworth and Jania Guerra

Brandon Stallings, Kevin Burton, Alex Balfour, Bo Lundy and Jeff Andrew

Alyssa Bryan, Zoe Zucker, Casey ,Dale, Maureen and Shane Bryan 96

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Matt Peinado, Sarah Cisneros, Dr. Pat Birchfield and Ryan Drakos

John Wood, Valerie Civelli, Paul Caudillo, and Rochelle Escobedo

Jon Wood, Greg White and Bryan Oberg

January 2017

Jennifer, Rob and Bre Singleton

Cameron Mahoney and Matt Damian

Bryan Chagoya, Noha Kamar, Jeremy Ballard and D.D. Boutros


33rd Annual Bakersfield Toy Run and Food Drive for the Salvation Army Date: Dec. 11 Held at: Beach Park Photos by: Carla Rivas

Lance Ortega and Steve Corpe

Walter and Susan Bowen

Robert Reese and James Reese

Brayden and Steven Lee

Debbie and Todd Bradford, Bob Atkinson and Kevin Pope

Amy and Miranda Swidecki and Trinidad DeLisle

Brian Stanton and Jim Griffith

Chewy Burkett, Gator Parks, Chatterbox Greenwell, Jerry Parks, Erick Baca, Denise Harvey and Georgia Parks



Beauty Bash Date: Dec. 13 Held at: Beautologie Photos by: Carla Rivas

Miriam Villanueva and Megan Black

Cassandra Martinez and Lydia Amaya

Kelly Goedhart and Heather Sullivan

Gaby Gonzalez and Cheryl Kimpo

Robin Mattingly and Dr. Milan R. Shah

Amy St. Amour and Dr. Brett Lehocky

Andrea Aguirre and Peg Filiaggi

19th & N Street, Downtown Bakersfield 98

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January 2017

(661) 325-8476


Pioneer Village Christmas Date: Dec. 11 Held at: Kern Pioneer Village Photos by: Greg Nichols

Kristy and Brooke Towle

Jerry Osborn and Mike Mortin

Gracelyn, Jeff, and Lauren Davis, Carol and Howard Wines

Lou and Sheryl Barbich

Rylee, Julie, Becca, Jordyn and John Popek

Ryan, Rob, Marley and Jamie Matthews

Alyssa, Leonard, Andrew, Sabrina and Anthony Ramos

Back row: Robert and Shiree Martinez. Front row: Adrian Martinez, Payden George, and Daniel Martinez

Angie Acosta, Alexz Martinez, Kathie Miranda, Heidi Jumique and Estefany Menriquez



Bike Bakersfield Holiday Lights Ride Date: Dec. 14 Held at: The Marketplace Photos by: Carla Rivas

Bruce Barrett and Clint Smith

Tuesday Ochoa, Emily Porter, Jesus Ochoa, Terry Smith, Jason, Joshua, Madison, Felicity, Emily, Trevor and Cason Porter

Brian, Bayleigh, Allison and Andruw Dinwiddie

100 Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2017

Joey, Audrea, and Joey Estrada

Tiffany Brewster and Chris Ruppel

Ismael Quintero, Aaron Whitehead, Hector Pacheco, Christian Quintero and Josh Whitehead

Jorge Sandoval and Joe Sandoval

Winston and Adam Kahler

Sean Smith, Jackson Bigbee and Kate Soren


Sangera Mercedes Christmas Event Date: Dec. 15 Held at: Sangera Automotive Group Photos by: Greg Nichols

Mercedes Leal and Judy Blanton

Gary Knerr and Howard Lee

Damon Culbertson and Hassan Halevy

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People & Community


Benefits of a healthy lifestyle


Create the most satisfying life for yourself regardless of age

Richard Noel, right, and his son Mike Noel

By Richard Noel

When I arrived to Bakersfield in 1971 as a fledgling psychology instructor at the new Cal State campus, I was fortunate to be invited to play tennis with most of the top local players – and there were many in those days. One of the best was Jack Lynch, who at that time was 55 years old. I remember thinking, “How could someone so ‘old’ play so well?” Fast-forward 45 years. At 72, I am nearly always the “old guy” on the court. At a recent national father-son tournament in La Jolla, even the referee couldn’t resist asking my age and, since he was also 72, remarking that it was inspiring for him. I don’t play tennis to inspire

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January 2017

others, but it can be a side benefit. I play because it is one of the best sports in the world for lifelong participation. It’s my best barometer for my level of health and fitness. If I begin losing, I know to step up my exercising, whether it be bike riding, water aerobics or gym workouts. It is a physically, emotionally and mentally challenging sport. The older I get, the more I realize the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. What you might get away with as a 40-year-old, for example, is not likely when you are in your 70s or older. The body tires too easily, injures too quickly and rehabilitates too slowly. What is a healthy lifestyle? It’s partly about the food and drink we ingest, the exercise we get, the amount of sleep and, for me, maintaining what psychologists

call “positive stress.” It’s about challenging myself mentally, physically and emotionally, even if these challenges are sometimes age-adjusted. For example, before having heart surgery in 2005, I had to switch from tennis to golf. After surgery, however, I returned to tennis with renewed enthusiasm. Of course, it would be nice to not have to deal with aging, yet that process itself can be an interesting challenge to work with whatever your body and mind have to offer. In tennis, I am forever trying new strokes, new strategies, new conditioning routines, along with the challenge of keeping up with youngsters. Upon retiring from teaching, I realized I could fashion a career as a professional digital accordionist. I market my programming internationally through the internet. I play locally as well as venues as far away as Australia. Along the way, I had to create new skill sets – programming, website development, marketing and expanding my repertoire to include at least 1,000 songs. The challenge is physical, mental and emotional, but I believe it’s all part of a healthy and satisfying lifestyle for me. A healthy lifestyle is a prerequisite for creating the most satisfying life I can create for myself, at whatever age. There’s a symbiotic relationship here – stay healthy and I can continue to do the things I enjoy; slip into unhealthy habits and performance suffers. Is it worth it to me to eat or drink to excess, avoid exercising, let my mind stagnate? No! Opinions expressed in this column are those of Richard Noel.

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Call or visit us at: 1-800-300-OMNI |

Style and Function. The 2016 Honda Fit Honda


on All Remaining 2016 Fits

This is four-wheeled fashion and function. Its body creates an aerodynamic profile for excellent fuel efficiency, but don’t worry, it still fits a kayak.


$ 2016 Fit CVT LX GK5H5GEW CVT AT Starting at:


1.5-Liter 16-Valve i-VTEC® 4-cyl 130-hp Aluminum-Alloy Engine, Drive-by-Wire Throttle System, Eco Assist™ System, Hill Start Assist, Direct Injection System with Immobilizer, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Sport Mode, MP3/Auxiliary Input Jack, Bluetooth® HandFree Link & Streaming Audio, USB Audio Interface, 160-Watt Audio System with 4 Speakers

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







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at the Entrance to the Bakersfield Auto Mall

1-888-503-8891 1. MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $835.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2017  

Top Docs Issue

Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2017  

Top Docs Issue