Page 1


June 2019


NEAR & FAR The 18hundred

Restaurant gives historic building new life

Elaina Rusk Meteorologist’s achievements put her in rare company

Dining with Dre

Journeys to Ventura Harbor Village

Media Music Jam

Local personalities raise money for cancer patients


Sequoia National Park’s dead tunnel tree in Tuolumne Grove


to be a three straight year selection to the Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star list (top 2 ½% of lawyers in California) and is recognized as one of Southern California’s “Top Attorneysâ€? as published in Los Angeles Magazine.

He is honored to be designated an “ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist� by the American Chemical Society having obtained the highest student score on the examination among all California lawyers.

PRIOR TO BEING RECOGNIZED as California’s Top Lawyer-Scientist,

Mr. Brehmer received specialized training and further education in standardized Ă?HOGVREULHW\WHVWLQJJDVFKURPDWRJUDSK\VROLGGUXJGRVHDQDO\VLV'1$DLUZD\ gas exchange, and is the only Kern County Defense attorney to be trained in drug recognition examinations. He is routinely asked to consult with both private and public attorneys throughout the country on issues of toxicology and pharmacology.

MR. BREHMER IS HONORED TO have presented multiple times to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Chemical Society, state and local public defender associations across the country, state defense bar conferences, law schools, and others associated with the forensic and legal community.


JEREMY BREHMER FELLOW AAFS In February 2016 Mr. Brehmer was recognized by the President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences for his substantial contribution to the Academy.



CO-AUTHOR OF SIX BOOKS RQWR[LFRORJ\UHODWHGVXEMHFWVLQDGGLWLRQ to other publications and those in process Mr. Brehmer has authored chapters about forensic science in criminal cases, search and seizure, pharmacology, drug detection limits, and discovery in several Aspatore/Thomson Reuters books. He is a contributing author on a blood alcohol analysis for West publishers, the co-author of the feature article for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers publication, the Champion, and is co-editor/author of Medicolegal Aspects of 0DULMXDQD&DOLIRUQLDHGLWLRQE\/DZ\HUVDQG-XGJHV3XEOLVKLQJ


Rick Sorci CKD Shawna Sorci General Contractor #905759

PROJECT NOTES: Cabinetry: Waypoint Painted Linen Counter tops: Brown Fantasy Appliances: Kitchen Aid Back Splash: Loft Super White Polished Glass


STAFF Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine June 2019 / Vol. 13 / Issue 9 Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by TBC Media Associate Publisher Virginia Cowenhoven Editor Jim Lawitz Advertising Director Cliff Chandler

On the Cover

Assistant Managing Editor

The dead tunnel tree in the Tuolomne grove in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is but one of the scores of great summer vacation destinations accessible from Bakersfield.

Mark Nessia Art Director

Art and Marketing Manager

Specialty Publications Intern

Coming up next …

Abbigail Kovac

The Food Issue and 20 Under 40

Contributing Copyeditor

Advertise, contact Cliff


Maude Campbell

Casey Christie, Ashley Ha, Alex Horvath, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Carla Rivas, Rod Thornburg

Subscribe to

Bakersfield Life Magazine for your home or office, go to www.tbcoffers. com/deal/blifeintro.

Contributing writers Asha Chandy, Sophia Gligorevic, Nina Ha, Lisa Kimble, Stephen Lynch, Jennifer Olague, Julie Plata,

Partner with us

Andrea Saavedra, Aaron Stonelake,

for your next event. Email Mark Nessia at or call 395-7383 for more information.

Chris Thornburgh

Connect with us – Instagram/bakersfield_life


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

Describe the most beautiful place you’ve ever been TUSCANY! The rolling green hills of wine country in Italy were BREATHTAKING! The sunset shined down on the vineyards, giving the grapes on the vine a majestic glow. Absolutely amazing! – Aaron Stonelake, contributing writer I love Sedona, Arizona. There is a beauty and a sense of calm you won’t find anywhere else. The red rocks are so majestic and Oak Creek has some great places to swim, like Slide Rock and Grasshopper Point. – Michelle Lanham, account executive

Glenn Hammett

Holly Bikakis

Chandler at cchandler@bakersfield. com or 395-7521.


Camp Nelson, above Springville, only has 14 camping spots in the middle of a giant redwood grove. You are surrounded by giant sequoias; fishing for trout in the south fork of the Tule River, which runs next to the grounds; and hiking among the redwoods. – Connie Uthenwoldt, account executive Portoferraio, an Italian town on the edge of the island of Elba. Its name means “iron port” in Italian and it is the capital of Elba. Considered the pearl of the Mediterranean, many of its buildings are on slopes of a tiny hill bordered on three sides by the sea. Enchanting, it was also home to Napoleon when he was exiled, adding to its allure. – Lisa Kimble, contributing writer After skydiving 12,000 feet over Perris Valley, I was free-falling through the sky when the parachute deployed, the air became still and I saw God’s majesty all around me. – Nina Ha, contributing writer

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

Contact us – 3700 Pegasus Dr. Bakersfield, CA 93308 661-395-7500

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

Heart Health Checkup




Not covered by most insurance plans.


- Screenings - Evaluation - Personalized Report


JUNE 2019

FEATURE 50 Whether you are looking for an outdoor experience, ocean views, arts and entertainment, or family activities, Bakersfield’s central location affords access to prime vacation destinations throughout the state.

Shell Beach

Yosemite National Park


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

June 2019

JUNE 2019


Readers share their favorite road trip destinations and why they love them. Page 13

Eat & Drink

“Dining with Dre” takes in the sights and eats of Ventura Harbor Village, sampling breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Page 16




Create beautiful wreaths that can stand up to the heat of Bakersfield’s summer at the succulent wreath workshop. Page 32

Go & Do

Temblor Brewing Company’s Under a Blood Orange Sky series offers up high-level comedy and musical acts in a casual setting. Page 38

36 Up Front 10 Editor’s Note 11 The Big Picture 12 Short Takes 13 On the Web 14 Happenings Eat & Drink 16 Dining with Dre 20 Bites 24 Best Thing We Ate This Month


Bakersfield Life Magazine

25 Dining Guide 26 Where We’re Eating Lifestyles 28 Money Matters 30 Home & Garden 32 Pastimes 34 Love & Life Go & Do 36 Arts & Culture 38 Entertainment

June 2019

32 40 Out & About 42 Trip Planner B Well 44 Ask the Doctor 46 Sarenaty 48 Feature – Healthy Eating on the Go People & Community 56 Business Profiles 58 Bakersfield Matters



B Well

New columnist Sarena Hess discusses the mental benefits of taking a vacation. Page 46

People & Community

Elaina Rusk is one of the few female chief meteorologists. Page 66 60 Be in Bakersfield 62 Study Hall 64 Our Town 66 Personality 68 History 70 All-Star Roundup 74 SNAP! 82 Last Word The Marketplace 72 Prime Finds



THE BEST PART ABOUT TRAVELING In early March, I went with some friends to a CicLAvia event in Culver City, which closed streets to cars and opened them up for people of all ages to ride, walk, stroll or run as they explore a variety of shops, restaurants, food trucks and more. Tina Louise, my loyal pug and partner in crime, joined us, riding in a trailer attached to my friend’s bike. She loved every bit of what they day had to offer, but toward the end, she was suffering from a bit of separation anxiety – even though I was literally 2 feet away. So I carried her for a bit and the look on her face was something I’ll never forget. It was pure bliss. She looked like there was no place she’d rather be than with me on my bike, her ears flopping in the wind. It was a trip full of stories we’ve told and retold in the months that followed, from the guy who offered us some tri-tip that he happened to have in his backpack, conversing as we rode side by side along the carless streets of Los Angeles County and getting lost for what seemed like ages because no one remembered where we parked. What I’m trying to say here is my favorite part of traveling is seldom the destination. It’s the people (and animals, of course). The people you meet along the way. The people you meet when you get there. The people by your side throughout the voyage. Traveling alongside those you care about strengthens bonds in a way that is unique and memorable. You discover things about each other that may go unnoticed otherwise – a common result of being stuck in each other’s company for extended periods of time. Usually, those findings are amusing and noteworthy. Other times, you come across things you wish remained unknown. Either way, they result in stories 10

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June 2019

that will be shared and revisited time and time again. Those are the best stories. The destination is merely the icing on the cake that is the company joining you on the journey.

Pug on board In an effort to re-create the CicLAvia experience, I ordered a K9 Sport Sack, a specially designed forward-facing backpack dog carrier. I wanted to be able to take Tina on more bike rides while sparing the strain on my arms because, frankly, I don’t have the upper-body strength to carry her for long periods of time. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak because I didn’t eat my fruits and veggies as a child – and as an adult. The purchase was a success! Despite being in the back instead of the front, Tina was able to revisit canine cycling euphoria. Mark Nessia Assistant Editor 395-7383


Find out what’s happening in June on Page 14

T h e B i g P i c t u re / Sh o r t Ta ke s / O n t h e We b / Ha p p e n i n g s


World-renowned graffiti artist Arlin Graff completed a colorful mural between Temblor Brewing Company and The BLVD in April. Animals are Graff’s principal theme, creating a species of synthetic nature fragmented by the influence of the modern technological world, and the kit fox, a local endangered species, was his inspiration.



Short Takes




The Fox Theater is kickin’ it old-school during the Legends of Funk Diabetes Awareness Concert June 29. Nine-piece soul-funk band Lakeside headlines the event and features performances by all-female funk band Klymaxx, Ohio funk group Slave and more. Some proceeds from the concert will go to diabetes awareness. General admission tickets range from $40 to $65 and VIP tickets, which include a meet-and-greet with performers, are $100. For more information, go to

The Mission at Kern County’s 7th Annual Top Sirloin BBQ returns June 14 at 6:30 p.m., at the Mission, 821 E. 21st St. The event features live music, raffles and powerful stories of men and women whose lives have been dramatically changed at the Mission. Tickets are $20 and tables for eight are $150. For more information, call 661-325-0863.

BAKERSFIELD WING FESTIVAL ONE OF THE MOST FLAVORFUL EVENTS IN TOWN One of the most flavorful events in town returns as the fourth annual Bakersfield Wing Festival takes over the Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St., June 1, from 3 to 7 p.m. The event will serve up wings that are smoked, fried, grilled, sauced, spiced and everything else imaginable and pair it up with beer samples, live music, contests, ven-


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

dors and more. Donating over $13,000 to local organizations the previous three years, proceeds will benefit the Bakersfield Police Activities League and Upside Academy Inc. General admission is $45 and VIP tickets are $85. Must be 21 to attend. For more information, email


On The Web We asked readers where their favorite road trip destination is and why. To participate in “On the Web” callouts and contests, follow Bakersfield Life Magazine on Facebook and Instagram. Couples Getaway: Big Sur, CA. More specifically Ventana Big Sur. This place is amazingly beautiful, serene, cozy, with a great restaurant and spa. No one under 18 is allowed, so it’s very quiet and suitable for couples. – Lara Heiser Ambrosini I just love to go to Santa Monica Los Angeles because I have sisters up there that we like to visit and I just love getting away from this heat in Bakersfield and just enjoying the nice cool weather and the beautiful scenery. – La Chancha Dona Panda My children and mom Connie Miller would say Disneyland. We had the best family trip there two years ago. We went in March before the Spring break crowd and had fantastic weather with a reasonable crowd. Everything basically fell into place just right. Living in the Central Valley does make travel ideal. Bottom line for me, any road trip is great especially if it involves a Sandy Beach. Good vibes to all! – Angela Watson Leathers Next trip will be at San Diego old town, will be dining at our favorite restaurant called OLD TOWN MEXICAN CAFE Best asada tacos, but there is soo much to do shops, historic building, and many restaurants around everything all walking distance no need to drive. – Maribel Hernandez Trail of 1000 Giants, the Sequoia Big Trees, a short drive in our backyard so to speak and so delightfully beautiful! All can enjoy this paved trail: young with strollers to pets on leashes

to elderly or the infirmed in wheelchairs, and these giant trees reciprocate blessings by cleaning our air and providing us oxygen. What a gift ! – Elizabeth Rodacker

San Diego’s Old Town

My favorite getaway attach a photo if I could. I destination has been driving always find myself in 100x out to Pismo Beach for our better mood after being there annual family camping trip. and watching the sunset with The view is amazing and some furry friends. once we arrive we like to – Destinee Sims stop at splash cafe and get a bowl of clam chowder before Our favorite place to go meeting up with my family at to is Ventura/Oxnard. The the campsite. Then we spend beaches are never packed the weekend just talking and and always nice. The Main making memories. It’s my Street in Ventura is gorgeous absolute favorite. with lots of things to do like – Crystal Hernandez antiquing, thrifting, ice cream, movies, palm reader etc. and Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach Resort is our absolute fave place to stay. Not to mention the hikes and gorgeous look out points. – Felicia Leigh Johnson For locals and tourists alike, Tehachapi, CA is an excellent place to cruise the highways: Cold Spring Tavern Go for the food, the scenery, On the way to Santa or the relaxation of a break Barbara taking a drive on old from a longer trip. stagecoach road to the Cold – Justin Patt Spring Tavern is like going back in time! It's a famous I love Palm Springs. Amazstagecoach stop on the San ing hiking trails, the gorgeous Marcos Pass. Here you can mountains that surround truly appreciate the ambience you. You can take the tram to of the Old West because it's the top of a mountain with as if time stands still. Great breathtaking views. Great food, live music, people Main Street to walk and have visiting from all walks of life. a great meal or do some fun Try traveling it by motorcycle, shopping. There’s a great enjoy! casino if you like to gamble. – Tammy Faye Walk on the Main Street and enjoy a great meal and do Dog Beach (Ocean Beach). some shopping too. It’s peaceful, and not overly – Steve Hollick crowded. The people are polite. Everything you could One of my favorite destineed is within walking disnation getaways is Ventura tance. The weather is great. Harbor. They always have The view is AMAZING. I’d different attractions going

Santa Monica pier on like mermaids, a carnival, boat lights and all sorts of fun things for my family to enjoy. It’s always a good time to go out and enjoy the sights and some good food. – Ralph Alcocer My family and I love to visit, Cambria! It’s so beautiful there and not so crowded. We love staying at the Cambria Pine Lodge. Beautiful place! They have a restaurant and serve delicious food. The butterfly garden is romantic to walk through. – Cassie Rector Downtown Los Angeles the hotel district, food scene, concert scene and museum scene is amazing. Beats the beach any day! – Miranda Whitworth Munoz San Francisco. Our family went about a year ago. My mom, me, my husband, my daughter and son-in-law, also 5 grandkids (ages 9 to 19). We had the time of lives. Would love to do it again. – Vicki Sinohui






Wine in the Wild



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June 1

4th Annual Bakersfield Wing Festival, 3 p.m. What: Live music, wing samples, beer samples, wing eating contests, “People’s Choice Award,” live music and tons of vendors. Location: Kern County Fair, 1142 P St. Admission: General admission $45, VIP $85 More info: www.bakwingfest. com An Evening with American Heroes, 5 p.m. What: The Wounded Heroes Fund, is hosting an event to highlight the service of local Marine Corps veteran Casey Schaubschlager. Cocktails, program/dinner, live auction and live music. Location: The Bender Residence Admission: $150 More info: or 661-3288600 14

Bakersfield Life Magazine

H.A.L.T. 5/10k Fun Run

H.A.L.T. Rescue’s 10th Annual “Black Tie Affair” 5/10K Fun Run, 7 a.m. What: Helping Animals Live Tomorrow Rescue is holding its 10th Annual “Black Tie Affair” 5K/10K Fun Run, with all proceeds benefiting the rescue. Location: Yokuts Park, 4200 Empire Drive Admission: Preregistration $25, late registration $30 More info: 661-395-3018

June 2

Jeff Dunham, 3 p.m. What: “Passively Aggressive” international tour Location: Rabobank Arena, Theater and Convention Center, 1001 Truxtun Ave. June 2019

Admission: $48.50 More info: www.raboban-

June 6

In Her Shoes Empowerment Breakfast, 7 a.m. What: Join us to learn about our mission to empower women and hear from some of the women we have served. The keynote speaker is Lynette Zelezny, president of Cal State Bakersfield. Location: DoubleTree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court Admission: $40 More info: bakersfield@ or 661748-1809 Erotic City/ Prince Tribute, 7 p.m. What: Calling all Prince

lovers! Erotic City is a tribute to Prince. Location: Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame, 2231 R St. Admission: $35 More info: California Living Museum’s 2nd Annual Wine in the Wild, 5:30 p.m. What: Features local restaurants and breweries, fine wines and champagne on the train, entertainment and silent auction. Location: California Living Museum, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway Admission: $75 More info:

Jeff Dunham “Passively Aggressive tour”

June 8

Artisan Festival sponsored by Tehachapi Arts Foundation, 10 a.m. What: Enjoy a full day with 45 handcraft and fine arts vendors and delicious foods. Admission: Free Location: Railroad Park, East Tehachapi Boulevard More info: www.galleryngifts. com

June 20

Aeromyth a Tribute to Aerosmith, 6 p.m. What: Aeromyth has toured all over the USA and internationally for the last 12 years. Location: Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame, 2230 Q St. Admission: $30-$35 More info:

June 14

RBRM, 8 p.m. What: Enjoy a live performance from RBRM featuring: Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins. Location: Spectrum Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway Admission: Lawn tickets $70, row tickets $156 More info:

June 16, 17

Sports Cars at the Museum Car Show What: Car show featuring sports cars; from Corvettes to Porsches and Ferraris. Location: Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. Admission: $5 More info: 559-760-1143

Aziz Ansari

June 27

Aziz Ansari: Road to Nowhere, 8 p.m. What: Actor, writer, producer, director, and comedian known for his role as Tom Haverford on the NBC series “Parks and Recreation.” Location: Fox Theater, 2001 H St. Admission: $72 More info:



Dining with Dre


Fun, sun and food aplenty at coastal destination

By Andrea Saavedra

Just as geese fly south for the winter, we Bakersfielders go west during the summer. Coastal is the way to go when trying to find some relief from Bakersfield’s blazing temps, so west I went, and a little south, right into Ventura Harbor Village. In my LA days, Ventura was the city I drove past to get to Santa Barbara. I never stopped in Ventura unless it for a Chevron break. Being a Bako newbie, I didn’t know that Ventura is a known hot spot for Bakersfielders and is also a city where many Bakersfield transplants grew up. I decided to spend the day there to see what all the fuss was about. Walking into the village was a “you had me at hel16

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June 2019

lo” moment. The combination of swaying palm trees, sun-glistening waters, the view of the marina and the sound of a folk singer with her guitar all topped with magical little bubbles flying through the air made me wonder if I was in a dream. It was 9 a.m. and the calming effect of the marina was overwhelming and begged for a cup of coffee as the cherry on top. You can’t go wrong with picking a spot to dine in the Village, as almost every restaurant faces the water. However, The Greek’s ivy-covered exterior spoke to me and in I went. Mediterranean cuisine isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind at 9 a.m., but after looking over the menu, I was pleasantly surprised. The Greek has some tra-

Watch Andrea explore the sights, restaurants, shops and more at www.bakersfieldlife. com.



Left: Mediterranean may not be what comes to mind for breakfast, but The Greek’s Monterey omelet is worth a stop. Top: A bloody mary kicks things off at Brophy Bros.

ditional Greek-flavored items, along with some California breakfast classics. I ordered their BLTA breakfast sandwich along with the Monterrey omelet and, boy, they did not disappoint. Their big portions also pack big flavors and these guys don’t skimp on the avocado. With bottomless mimosas on the menu and with their incredible patio view, I could hang out at The Greek all day. However, I wanted to see all that the Village had to offer, so I took one last bite of my sandwich, one last sip of coffee and off I went. I perused some of the shops and I also stopped to listen to the live duo for a while, and before I knew it, it was lunchtime. I strolled by The Copa Cubana’s lively patio and noticed that everyone was drinking mojitos, enjoying

live music, breaking bread – or in this case, empanadas – together and having a great time! I decided right then and there that this was my lunch spot. I was lucky enough to be waited on by the chef/owner Andres Fernandez, who gave me a full history of not only his restaurant but of Cuban cuisine and the Chinese influence based on years past. Not being an expert on Cuban cuisine, he walked me through the menu and brought out what he felt I would enjoy most. My top two items I tried were the Cuban Chinese fried rice and the empanadas. The empanadas were a great starter. Beautiful little pastries filled with seasoned ground beef and melted cheese. Yum! Not to mention the crust is to die for. It is Continued on Page 18



Dining with Dre

Top: Appetizer sampler from The Copa Cubana. Right: The Greek’s BLTA sandwich contains bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado. Continued from Page 17

flaky yet moist and holds the contents completely. Being very familiar with Latin cuisine, I’ve tried almost every variation of an empanada and The Copa Cubana’s take the trophy. THE BEST EVER. I loved chef Andres’ take on the fried rice. The fusion of Cuban and Chinese spices was a home run. I definitely need to come back here. After enjoying my lunch, I spotted Zoltar through the window of the Village’s arcade. I had to go in. Skee ball, air hockey and pinball machines occupied me for a couple


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

hours. I felt like a kid again! Though I was still completely stuffed from lunch, I couldn’t leave the Village without a stop at the famous Brophy Bros. for their happy hour. They boast fresh local seafood fare with a happy hour menu that’ll knock your socks off. The snapper ceviche did just that. The ceviche was a generous helping of bright flavors. Fresh red snapper, citrus, scallions, cilantro and tomatoes complemented my powerful bloody mary perfectly.

I also tried their creamy clam chowder and crab cakes that were equally as bright and merry as the ceviche. Their menu is spot on and has a marina view to match. My time at the village was coming to an end but there’s always room for dessert! Throughout my time at the Village, I walked by Coastal Cone quite a few times and noticed a large unicorn in the window with a sign advertising “magical unicorn poop.” Though the name is unappealing, my inner tomboy was begging me to try it. Who knew unicorn poop came in a variety of flavors, such as pineapple, dragon fruit, sweet potato and vanilla. It is also vegan, nondairy and gluten-free; comes with a little Hawaiian cocktail umbrella; and, to top it all off, it’s delicious. It’s like sorbet on a cone but more fun. Little did I know what I was missing out on all these years driving past Ventura. Ventura Harbor Village is now one of my must-go places this summer. It’s a beautiful spot filled with fun and sun, whether it’s for family time or a romantic date. Its countless restaurants have a flavor for every palate and scenic view from every direction. Andrea Start your summer here, BaSaavedra kersfield! I’ll see you there!

The mud pie from Brophy Bros. is a satisfying way to end a meal.

2019 Best “Made in Bakersfield” Product Chews Best Ice Cream / Frozen Yogurt


Favorite Place to Take Out of Town Guests




Sweet summer treats ary’s m e s o R Family ry Creame

LIZ’S TURTLE We don’t know who Liz is, but we know she has great taste when it comes to frozen treats. The Rosemary’s favorite that bears her name is a generous scoop of housemade vanilla ice cream in pecans, caramel made in-house and homemade whipped cream and places it on top of a pool of chocolate sauce also made on the premises. And don’t forget the cherry on top! – Rosemary’s Family Creamery, 2733 F St. 20

Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

The 18hundred

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY There are milkshakes and there are the cartoon-like concoctions served up at The 18hundred like “The Birthday Party.” The rim of a mug is frosted and adorned with sprinkles, then filled with smooth-blended vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and topped with a slice of rainbow cake baked in-house. It’s as refreshing and delicious as it is Instagram-worthy.




Dott x Ott

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE AND SWEET LEMON CURD Nothing heralds the beginning of summer like strawberry shortcake. Dot x Ott’s take on the traditional seasonal dessert includes sweet lemon curd, which adds a layer of brightness and complexity to the dish. The biscuit-like cake, made fresh in-house, is crisp and crumbly on the outside and flaky and tender inside. The cake is topped with a schmear of lemon curd, whipped cream and sliced strawberries, and the sequence is repeated in a second layer. The whole affair is artfully plated in a pool of lemon curd and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Taste, texture and presentation are all on point. - Dot x Ott, 930 18th St. 22

Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019



HIGHGATE SQUARE Designed for first-time buyers and young professionals. Six Castle & Cooke floor plans priced from the low $300’s.

HIGHGATE PROPER Designed for growing families and move-up buyers. Six Castle & Cooke floor plans priced from the high $300’s.

Breathtaking for off B h k private clubhouse l bh f residents d Highgate Square, Highgate Proper and Highgate Shires. Sparkling swimming pool, spa, fitness center, gourmet kitchen, meeting rooms, children's water spray park, tot lot playground, expansive park, amphitheater and basketball courts.

HIGHGATE SHIRES Executive-level living with enhanced privacy and larger lot sizes. Homes by Castle & Cooke, Dave Packer Custom Builder, Gaskill-Rose Luxury Home Builders and George Delfino Homes.

HIGHGATE REGENTS Stress-free, low maintenance, active adult living. Seven Castle & Cooke floor plans. Regency Club private swim and fitness center opening spring 2019 exclusively for Highgate Regents residents.

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Seven Oaks Country Club Membership Incentives Available* * Requires financing through Castle & Cooke Mortgage. Seven Oaks Country Club memberships subject to application approval.


Best Thing We Ate This Month



Fish and chips can be a finicky dish. So many things can go wrong with the iconic pairing that can leave diners disappointed. Cook it a little too long and the fish will be dry. Don’t cook it long enough and it lacks that satisfying crunch people come to expect. Get lazy with the coating and it can fall off after the first bite, leaving the rest of the fish naked and bare. Coconut Joe’s knows this, which is why their fish is always moist and coated with a crunchy batter that sticks and doesn’t go anywhere, so feel free to dip it in the creamy tartar sauce as much as you like. And let’s not forget the perfectly fried french fries, whose crisp exterior gives way to the warm and fluffy interior as you bite into them. Feeling extra hungry? Add on some plump, juicy shrimp as well. You won’t regret it. – Coconut Joe’s, 4158 California Ave.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019


Dining Guide



Best Thai Restaurant

Best Chef - Preeda Piamfa

Thai chicken salad

THE BLVD The BLVD has a thoughtfully crafted menu featuring gastropub-style farm-to-table cuisine. Shared plates include items ranging from ahi tuna poke stack to bacon jalapeno wontons. Guests who are interested in larger meals can choose from dishes such as signature hearth-oven pizzas with made-from-scratch pizza dough, beer-battered fish and chips, and handcrafted burgers! Available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the signature lunch menu features eats for $10 or select two items for $15.

Thank you Bakersfield for your continued support. We’re celebrating 8 Years!

WE HOST GRADUATION PARTIES WE CATER - We have two banquet rooms on site and also do full service offsite including bar set up.

The BLVD 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. • 661-873-4477



by the


AY ! Y T HU R S D E V E R M T O 9P M 7P


2019 w ww w ww. w..kc w kcst kcst stea eak eakh kh hou hou Romantic Restaurant


Steakhouse Restaurant


The Hits of Yesterday and Today with THEE MAJESTICS


Classic Rock and Blues Hits with BLONDE FAITH


High Octane Motown and R&B with FOSTER CAMPBELL & FRIENDS


Funk and Blues, the Age of Music with THE BYROM BROTHERS


Promotional Content



Where We’re Eating

SONDER BRAZILIAN ACAI BOWLS Tucked away in a small retail development on Calloway Drive just north of Brimhall, Brazilian Acai Bowls opened in the fall of 2016 and has since led many a northwest resident to discover the joys and health benefits of acai bowls. Though acai bowls can be eaten for lunch or, more commonly, for breakfast, I was in a sandwich kind of mood when I stopped by recently. The vegan chickpea sandwich started with hearty multigrain bread, generously filled with a mixture of chopped chickpeas, diced celery and red onions and what I assume was vegan mayo and mustard. The filling had the taste and consistency of egg salad, but with more character. Tender, fresh spinach leaves completed the package and I washed it all down with “The Glow,” a refreshing, tangy and not-too-sweet concoction of carrot, orange and ginger juices. – Glenn Hammett, art director

For many millennials, Sunday brunch is a weekend staple. Cliche? Yes. Basic? Arguably so. But there’s no denying the enjoyment of friends gathering for delicious food and stimulating conversation before returning to the daily grind. The news that good friends will be leaving for another city isn’t the greatest way to start brunch, but food and ambience can have a soothing effect and that’s why there couldn’t be a better place for a last hurrah than Sonder. The popular southwest Bakersfield restaurant, whose atmosphere is unlike any other in town, draws its name from a German word that refers to the realization that each passerby is living a life as vivid as your own. Every now and then, those passersby and their lives will collide with ours, leading to friendships and bonds that grow strong even when the distance between parties increases. This wasn’t a farewell gathering. It was a see-you-later get-together. Because when I think of how our paths crossed at just the right time, I’m convinced our journeys will intersect once again – while providing opportunities for new friends to join the pack. And that leaves me in profound sonder. – Mark Nessia, assistant managing editor

BRAZILIAN ACAI BOWLS 1400 Calloway Dr. 661-556-2106

SONDER 9500 Brimhall Rd #100 661-247-0000

ATHENA’S GREEK CAFE & GRILL “Opa!” I first tried Athena's Greek Cafe & Bakery in their northwest location after seeing them on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and had a great meal. So when I heard they were opening a location downtown just down the street from my house, I was super excited. Athena’s Greek Cafe & Grill menu offers a wide variety of foods from American fare to my favorite Greek foods and some with a twist. The Athena's Greek burger with Angus beef, red onion, tomatoe, feta cheese and thousand island dressing on a fresh toasted bun makes for a great quick meal. Try a gyro or some baklava at their location or order them online and experience a little bit of Greece. – Holly Bikakis, art & marketing manager

ATHENA'S GREEK CAFE & GRILL 1901 20th St. 661-800-5322


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019


Money Matters


By Chris Thornburgh

Many taxpayers who filed their 2018 tax returns are still seeing red. Even if their tax burden was lower than previous years, they discovered that they owed money to the IRS – sometimes painfully large amounts.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? The IRS changed the withholding tables back in February 2018 due to tax reform. Employers were then prompted to withhold less money from employees’ paychecks in anticipation of lower income taxes under the new law. While millions of workers enjoyed fatter paychecks last year, the shock of owing the IRS this past April is still raw for many. It’s clear that the IRS’ withholding tables did not account for the numerous changes entwined within the new tax law. Current year withholding is still inadequate for the same folks unless changes are made.

YOU MAY BE AFFECTED IF YOU ARE IN ONE OF THESE GROUPS It’s important for folks who fall into these categories to do a paycheck checkup: • You and your spouse both work. • You or your spouse held two or more jobs during the year. • Your circumstances changed or you expect they will change in 2019. • You claim the Child Tax Credit or will claim other available credits. • Your tax return is complex. • You weren’t happy with your refund or you paid too much with your most recent tax return.

WHAT YOU CAN YOU DO Now is the time to review your withholding if you have not done so already. There are several reasons why you want do a checkup. If your refunds are typically sizable, why give Uncle Sam an interest-free loan when you can make your money work for you all year? On the other hand, if you have too little withheld, you may face an unexpected tax bill with possible penalties.

THE NEW FORM W-4 To get it right, most employees typically complete the


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June 2019

IRS’ form W-4 and its related worksheets or simply guess how many exemptions they can claim. With tax reform, the W-4 form’s calculations are now far from accurate. Recognizing the need for revisions, the IRS plans to release a new W-4 that incorporates changes in the law. While the new form will be accurate, it will be a pain to complete and much like doing your taxes all over again. The final version will be released for use in 2020.

ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO CHECK YOUR WITHHOLDING There are still ways you can check your withholding without the new W-4. Perform your own paycheck checkup with the free withholding calculator at www.irs. gov. The calculator will ask you to estimate values of your 2019 income, the number of children you will claim for the Child Tax Credit and other items that will affect your 2019 taxes. To use the calculator, you will need a copy of your most recent tax return, along with your recent paystub and your spouse’s, if applicable. Keep in mind that the calculator’s results are only as accurate as the information you provide. If your situation changes during the year, revisit the calculator to make sure your withholding is still on track. While the withholding calculator works for most taxpayers, folks with more complex tax situations should consider reviewing their circumstances with a tax professional.

INFORM YOUR EMPLOYER Use your results from the IRS’ calculator to determine if you need to update your W-4 and, if so, what information to include on the form. Submit the completed W-4 to your employer as soon as possible.

THE BOTTOM LINE By doing a proactive checkup now, you have time to spread the changes out over several paydays. When in doubt, call a tax professional.

Chris Thornburgh

Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at or 661-324-4971. The views expressed are her own.

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Home & Garden



Add some color to your yard with a work of art By Holly Bikakis

I was on a trip in Las Vegas walking around a casino when I was stopped in my tracks. Before me was this beautiful mosaic and I just stared and marveled at this wonderful artistic work. That’s when I decided to learn how to do mosaics and, lucky for me, there’s a mosaic school in Oakland I could take some classes from. The first intro class was creating a mosaic stepping-stone and after that class, the love affair with mosaics began. It’s a great first project and there’s no wrong way to do it. They can be a summer craft to make with your kids or grandkids or beautiful garden art. If you enjoy it, there’s a whole world out there to mosaic, such as birdbaths, benches, garden pots and more!


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

DIY MOSAIC STEPPING-STONE INSTRUCTIONS Step 1: Pick out a cement stepping-stone. Usually, they come in round or square shapes. Step 2: Choose your design. There are hundreds of ideas if you surf around the internet looking at mosaic stepping-stones. Simple shapes of flowers, fruits, animals or geometric shapes are best to start out with. Step 3: Sketch out design on the stepping-stone. Step 4: Choose your materials. Colorful tiles, glass beads, millefiori, small stones and stained glass and found items like buttons, keys, etc. can be used. Step 5: Lay in your materials. Put your larger pieces on first, then use your tile nippers to cut smaller pieces to fit in the spaces. A tile stone can be used to smooth rough edges. For cleaner-looking projects, keep your tile edges straight and

parallel to each other. Step 6: Adhere the pieces. Mix up thin-set mortar in a bucket, according to instructions. The consistency should look like peanut butter. This can turn into a messy proposition with small pieces. A convenient way to apply is to put your thin set into a freezer Ziploc bag, seal it and cut a small corner tip off. Way cleaner. Pick up each piece, apply thin set and put back into place. Clean the bucket. Step 7: After thin set has fully dried, apply grout. This, too, is mixed up like the thin set to the same consistency in a bucket. Use a moist grouting sponge to scoop up grout and smear over tiles, getting into all the nooks. Once fully covered, use a clean sponge and water bucket to wipe off excess grout. A thin coat of grout will start drying with white film. Once dry, use paper towels to buff project clean and a toothbrush at this point can be a nice cleanup tool. Use plastic gloves if you don’t want your hands to feel like sandpaper.


From home improvement stores: • Cement stepping-stone • Thin-set mortar • Grout • Neutral colors, colored grouts found online • Tile nippers • Tile stone • 2 buckets, one for grout and thin set, one for water • 2 grouting sponges – one for grouting and one for cleaning off (the yellow polyurethane kind) • Plastic gloves From hobby stores: • Colorful tiles, glass beads, millefiori or stained glass pieces, whatever you like Additional items: • Freezer Ziploc bag (optional) • Paper towels • Toothbrush (optional)

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Create beautiful arrangements that thrive in the heat

Summer has arrived and so has the season for new, creative styles for home decor. As the temperature increases, garden decor seems almost impossible. However, House of Flowers’ succulent wreath workshop seeks to provide a hands-on opportunity for participants to introduce a splash of color to their homes that can weather the Bakersfield heat. One of the last workshops of the spring series, the June 6 succulent wreath workshop creates beautiful, long-lasting pieces for one’s home. For the last six years, House of Flowers has hosted up to four workshops each month to connect with its community and customers. With their workshops lasting up to two hours, it is a time to hang with friends and learn a new skill. “It’s a time to disconnect from everything and reconnect with each other,” co-owner Amanda Klawitter said. The inspiration that came for the succulent wreath workshop was the dreaded question Klawitter and others have wondered: “Do we suffer and not decorate at all or adjust to the weather?” Succulents are a desert-native plant, allowing them to be hardier in the heat. Each succulent holds water in its leaves that makes it more durable and long-lasting during the summer in Bakersfield. There are hundreds of succulent types, each with their own names. During the workshop, House of Flowers’ employees will be teaching the proper way to care for succulents. They will instruct guests on how to create a wreath with succulents, dried flowers and how to personalize it to their own liking. The workshop is located at the House of Flowers, 1611 19th St., and will begin at 6 p.m. Limited tickets are being sold at $55. Other upcoming June events from the House of Flowers include the moody floral workshop on June 1, a class for advanced design32

Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019


By Abbigail Kovac

House of Flowers co-owner Amanda Klawitter puts together a wreath using various succulents to demonstrate what guests can experience during its succulent wreath workshop June 6.

ers taking a twist from Dutch masters, and the bonsai Zen workshop on June 14, where you can create a gift for Father’s Day or even take the class together. To purchase tickets, visit The House of Flowers also hosts live music and art shows during First Fridays and Second Saturdays. “We are all about the experience here; the connection with our customers means everything to us,” Klawitter said.

Succulent Wreath Workshop June 6 House of Flowers, 1611 19th St. $55

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Love & Life




“There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle or as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

Mt. Haleakala sunrise

By Nina Ha

It was a scene out of a high-intensity thriller. We were stowaways in the back of a large SUV headed for the summit of Hawaii’s Mt. Haleakala. The national park, known for its unparalleled view of the sunrise 10,000 feet above sea level, had just denied our vehicle entry. My husband, Benjamin, and I had driven up to the top nearly two decades ago, but didn’t realize mandatory reservations had been enacted in 2017. It was our daughter Ashley’s 14th birthday, but even that wouldn’t change the mind of the National Park Service’s resident gatekeeper. Ben encouraged me to hop out of our car and ask random people whether the kids and I could catch a ride with them to see what would be an unforgettable birthday sunrise. The people in the first car were willing but had no space, and the second car didn’t have reservations. I was content for our family to stay together and catch what we could of the sunset elsewhere in Honolulu, but my other half insisted. We were too 34

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June 2019

close, got up too early and had driven too far to accept defeat. Nina Ha and the Ha Dogs at the summit. “Just one more car,” he said. The next family I approached rays of light that pierced their way in the predawn darkness of night through the sky. not only let us in their car, they also I was filled with gratitude for the wouldn’t accept the money we offered sweet family that allowed us to into pay their park fee. trude on their vacation. I was thankGordon, Christine, their son and ful for my husband who sacrificed his Gordon’s mom had rented a sedan for chance to see the sublime to ensure their Hawaiian vacation, but due to our rental car wouldn’t be towed. heavy demand, their selection wasn’t I stood among a large crowd of available. They were upgraded to a people sharing the collective expelarge SUV and this mishap allowed rience of a miracle, a sunrise that for them to provide a true blessing for occurs above the clouds, that fills the me, my daughter and son. beholder with wonder and delight. Once we pulled up to the kiosk, What I witnessed that day was huthe ranger confirmed the name on manity at its best: people willing to the reservation and motioned us help out even when there was nothing through. We were in. to be gained. At the peak of Mt. Haleakala, our I hope we can all do our best to new friends even offered us windhelp others in need, even those we breakers to fight the unredon’t know. As the sunrise lenting wind. settled into the morning, Then, I heard a gasp I hugged my kids tight, among the early risers as took in the moment and the warm glow of the sun thanked God for the kindstarted filling the horizon. ness of strangers. As the sun came up on the morning of our daughter’s Opinions expressed in birthday, I could feel the this column are those of Nina Ha Lord’s love and care in the Nina Ha.


Arts & Culture

Participants in last year’s Media Music Jam preparing for the show in front of Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace.

MEDIA MUSIC JAM Local media personalities gather to perform, raise money for Kern County cancer patients By Jennifer Olague

Bringing out local media personalities and community leaders is the annual Media Music Jam, which will be held on June 22. For the last six years, this annual event has found a home at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. The event brings out 30 media personalities and community leaders as they lend their talents and time for a greater good. MMJ has raised around $380,000 in the last six years at the Crystal Place, with all proceeds benefiting Kern County cancer patients through Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center’s Foundation for Community Wellness, the Kern County Cancer Fund and transportation program. The Kern County Cancer Fund provides financial assistance for qualifying Kern County cancer patients. The transportation program provides free transportation services to qualifying Kern County children and parents to their cancer-related treatments. “The Media Music Jam is my family’s effort to help families here in Kern County who are on their cancer journey,” said Steven Flores, the producer of the event. “There is a gap in services here in the community where there are people who sometimes have to choose between paying the rent or paying for chemo.” Although it has been six years since the event has found its home at Crystal Palace, MMJ has been happening for more than 25 years. Flores explains that it started off as a benefit for a friend, a local disc jockey, who became seriously ill and was unable to pay his medical bills. From there, they would benefit local causes, such as getting the East High marching band new uniforms. The last six years, MMJ has found its primary cause in 36

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June 2019

This year’s participants include: • Jim Scott, Nick James, Olivia LaVoice, Tabitha Mills and Alex Fisher of KGET • Elaina Rusk, Alyssa Flores and Danielle Kernkamp of KERO • Aaron Perlman, Rachelle Murcia, Sara Shouhayib and Steve McEvoy of KBAK • Tony Lee, Terry Maxwell and Ron Fisher of Alpha Media • Herb Benham and Robert Price of TBC Media • Casey McBride of KUZZ • Lori Lizarraga of KUSA 9 News/Denver • Danny Freeman of KNSD NBC 7/San Diego • Angela Barton of Barton Marketing Group • Sonya Christian of Bakersfield College • Rick Kreiser of Guitar Masters • Jason Galvin of CSUB • Robin Mangarin Scott of Dignity Health • Robert Rodriguez of California Highway Patrol • Donny Youngblood of Kern County Sheriff’s Office • Cynthia Zimmer of Kern County District Attorney’s Office • Barry Zoller of Tejon Ranch

helping Kern County cancer patients and their families. This is a cause that hits close to home for the Flores family, which discovered the Kern County Cancer Fund through Stevenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife, Susieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, cancer journey. She passed away six years ago. The event itself will have its special guests perform with Floresâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; band Thee Majestics. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The way I like to define the show â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not Kern has talent; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kern has heart. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s people who are willing to forgo their ego to go on the stage and do something they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do every day. To help raise money for people they will probably never meet or never know, who are on their cancer journey,â&#x20AC;? said Flores. Doors open at 5â&#x20AC;Żp.m. and the concert starts at 7. Ticket prices range from $35 to $45, plus services fees. Tickets will be available at the Crystal Palace and or online at

JUNE 17TH-20TH 6:00-8:00 PM



Media Music Jam June 22, 7â&#x20AC;Żp.m. Buck Owensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. Tickets range from $35 to $45.




Frank Caliendo Kyle Gass Band

T.J. Miller

Whitney Cummings

Louie Anderson


ENTERTAINMENT Under A Blood Orange Sky series presents high-level entertainment in casual setting By Asha Chandy

Why travel out of town to see great talent perform in high-end venues when Bakersfield already has a homegrown locale with tasty food and award-winning beers all housed at Temblor Brewing Company? For years, Temblor has brought headlining musicians and comedians to the homey 20-barrel brewhouse right off the 99 freeway and acts for 2019 are sure to keep you in high spirits. Coming June 27 is T.J. Miller, who stars in films like Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” Fox’s “Deadpool,” HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and alongside Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston in “Office Christmas Party.” It is not often that locals can be up close and even hang out with great acts, such as Frank Caliendo of “MADtv,” Kyle Gass Band of Tenacious D fame, Louie Anderson of 38

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June 2019

“Baskets,” “2 Broke Girls” co-creator Whitney Cummings and even stars like Nick Swardson of “Reno 911.” Temblor CEO Don Bynum explains how we are so lucky to have access to such great talent. “The Bakersfield market and the size of the venue – which seats 200-300 – is perfect for performers in LA who want to practice in front of a good crowd or warm up for a tour,” he said. “We’ve kind of hit the sweet spot with some pretty talented comedians and musicians.” It is typical for many small pubs and bars to have open mic nights, which Temblor does regularly, but the Under A Blood Orange Sky series provides high-level entertainment with that hometown, casual venue that only Temblor and Bakersfield can offer. Musicians and comedians are known to hang around just to relax in the warm, yet expansive, venue and enjoy some of the most unique and delicious craft brews with locals even after the show. The award-winning brews on tap are also a great draw

for both Angelinos and locals alike. Temblor’s El Cerrito Lager won Gold in the 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Under A Blood Orange Sky, a Belgian witbier, boasts a 3.6 out of 5 stars on the beer-ranking website Untappd, which is an amazing feat considering over 900 craft beer aficionados ranked the beer and built up the brewery’s notoriety. When a group of local talent creates something great that the world recognizes, headliners like those in the Under A Blood Orange Sky comedy and music series are just the cherry on top. “Compared to most comedy clubs, our hospitality is high-level. A lot of comedians feel like they are treated like family, which is what we do with anyone that comes to Temblor,” said Bynum. “We personally host talent and make sure it’s a unique experience for them. It’s all about a family friendly, relaxing atmosphere that makes it fun.” General admission tickets are $35 and VIP tickets, complete T.J. Miller with table and table June 27, 8 p.m. service, are $50. Doors Temblor Brewing Company open at 5:30 p.m. and 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. the show starts at 8. General admission $35, VIP $50 For more information, go to

Nick Swardson



Robert Ocegueda, left, and Victorious Secret team member Frankie Garza participate in the 2016 Mud Volleyball Tournament for the Epilepsy Society of Kern County.


Out & About

‘IT’S LIKE ONE HUGE FAMILY JUST MEETS ONCE A YEAR’ Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament raises funds, epilepsy awareness

As summer kicks off, don’t just prepare for the hot weather, be prepared for the messy fun that comes with it. This year marks the 27th annual Mud Volleyball Tournament hosted by the Epilepsy Society of Kern County, which takes place on June 22 at Stramler Park. The Epilepsy Society holds one fundraiser per year, which is the Mud Volleyball Tournament – an event so big it’s enough to keep the society going throughout the year. The Epilepsy Society’s main purpose is to give each other hope and encouragement for success, a place for others with epilepsy to lean on each other for support and bring about awareness for the condition. It is even a place for you and your family to get educated and meet new people. The event is open to the public and anyone could fill out the team application if they want to participate in the tournament. With a maximum of 120 teams, a trophy is given to the winning team at the end of the tournament. While the Mud Volleyball Tournament is a fun get-together and 40

Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

The Mud Volleyball Tournament is the Epilepsy Society of Kern County’s lone annual fundraising event.


By Abbigail Kovac

fundraiser, it also serves to spread awareness of epilepsy. The goal is to educate others and debunk myths about epilepsy and seizures altogether. “The problem is that people think there is one type

Splashy action from last year’s Mud Volleyball Tournament


Tired of Sinusitis Pain and Pressure?

of seizure,” volunteer office manager Doug Valdez said. “There are all sorts of types.” Valdez plans to teach others at the event the various types of epilepsy and the treatments available. It is an environment encouraging everyone to connect and learn more about each other and the world. “Kids meet other kids to know they are not the only ones with it,” Valdez said. The tournament has become a heart-touching event for those with the condition and their families. It’s a time for everyone to get together to share stories and to not feel alone. All the support lifts the spirits of everyone there. “It’s like one huge family that meets once a year,” Valdez said. Team registration is $375 through May 31, $425 through June 9 and $440 through June 22. All participants must be 18 years old and sign a release and waiver form. For more information, go to

27th Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament

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Trip Planner


BAKERSFIELD ESCAPE! Nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada foothills, just a two-hour drive north of Bakersfield, and very close to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, we found Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino – a nearly flawless combination of gaming, luxury and nature. They say Chukchansi is “where the winners play,” and with hundreds of spacious rooms and luxurious suites, thousands of slots and table games, multiple award-winning restaurants, a full-service spa and salon, world-class entertainment and more, it exceeded even our not-somodest expectations. There are a few categories that Chukchansi particularly excels at:

GAMING With an incredible 56,000-squarefoot gaming floor, nearly 1,800 slot machines and 36 table games, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is one of the most exciting gaming destinations in California. Guests are able to play with a Chukchansi Rewards Card to quickly earn points toward free extended play, cash, eCASH and other perks. Points are worth twice as much than at any other local casino and if 42

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June 2019

you sign up for their Rewards Card, you can receive up to $2,000 awarded as free play. Chukchansi offers popular progressive slots, single and multiline video poker, a variety of favorite reel and video reel slots and even the latest titles. Plus, the casino floor has ample space and a terrific ventilation system that keeps the entire casino filled with fresh mountain air.

HOTEL Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino seems to embody the ultimate in comfort, luxury, relaxation and excitement. We were inspired by the breathtaking views of the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills from their luxurious and well-appointed rooms and suites. Our stay definitely left us with a new appreciation for the gorgeous foothills they call home.

FULL-SERVICE SPA Serenity Springs, the Chukchansi full-service spa, includes a wide variety of services that are perfect for any occasion. From a single escape to pampering packages for brides and wedding parties, occasions are made even more special when the expert staff helps relax your muscles and mind with therapeutic massages, cleansing

body wraps and soothing facials.

DINING One thing Chukchansi has in spades (pun intended), aside from gaming, is tremendous dining options. From elegant specialty dishes to traditional casual favorites, their many unique restaurants offer award-winning cuisine that is sure to please any palate. Chukchansi’s nine distinct restaurants and cafes offer a wide variety of delicious dishes to tantalize the taste buds while guests dine in the peaceful surroundings of the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills.

BUSING FROM BAKERSFIELD Chukchansi also offers a charter bus line from Bakersfield, which leaves its Real Road origination spot at 8 a.m. and returns around 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Sunday. The bus does cost $15 to ride round trip, but Chukchansi gives riders $10 in free play and a $5 food voucher, which means the ride pays for itself. Whether your visit is for the day, overnight or even longer, based on what we’ve seen, we’re certain you’ll find Chukchansi to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable getaways you’ve experienced in ages! Promotional Content

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Ask the Doctor

OSTEOARTHRITIS MORE THAN JUST THE PAIN When Dr. Timothy Galan joined Mayo Clinic as an adult reconstruction fellow, he was involved in research looking into what causes pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis and how a knee replacement surgery can improve quality of life. He recently joined Dignity Health and sees patients at Mercy Hospital Southwest and Truxtun. His focus is to improve patient outcomes by utilizing new techniques and technology. This includes nonoperative management of hip and knee osteoarthritis. And when the surgery is the last resort, Dr. Galan utilizes computer navigation and robotics assistance to ensure the operation is accomplished with precision and accuracy. Dr. Galan is an experienced orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee osteoarthritis and joint replacement procedures. Dr. Galan is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction, but he also specializes in lower extremity injuries and fracture care.

SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States. Among adults 60 years of age or older, the prevalence of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis is approximately 10 percent in men and 13 percent in women. Osteoarthritis is also the most common reason for total hip and total knee replacement. Common symptoms of osteoarthritis are: • Pain • Tenderness • Stiffness • Loss of flexibility • A grating sensation when you use the joint



Dr. Timothy Galan, M.D., Orthopedic Joint & Revision Surgeon

History and physical examination of the patient as well as simple radiographs are all it takes to diagnose osteoarthritis. Patients typically endure pain for several months or even years before seeking medical attention. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. In osteoarthritis, the slick surface of the cartilage becomes rough. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, you may be left with bone rubbing on bone.

Knee and hip replacement surgery – also known as joint arthroplasty – can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee and hip joints. The procedure involves cutting away damaged bone and cartilage and replacing it with an artificial joint (prosthesis) made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers. “For most people, knee and hip replacement provide pain relief, improved mobility and a better quality of life. And most joint replacements can be expected to last more than 15 to 20 years,” said Dr. Galan.



Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time. Joint pain and stiffness may become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult. Some people are no longer able to work. When joint pain is this severe, doctors may suggest joint replacement surgery. People who need joint replacement surgery usually have problems walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. Some also have knee pain at rest.

Dr. Galan’s strongest piece of advice is not to wait until the condition is very debilitating and severe joint deformity is present. If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, talk to your primary care physician. It does not mean you will need surgery. Other nonsurgical alternatives to osteoarthritis can be utilized at early stages. Quality of life is important at any age, especially since we are able to improve and maintain it with modern medicine.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

Promotional Content

Dr. Tim Galan, M.D.

Orthopedic Joint & Revision Surgeon Dr. Galan is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in an array of minimally invasive techniques in joint replacement, preservation and revision. He has had comprehensive training in the field of adult orthopedic joint reconstruction. Prior to medical school, Dr. Galan worked as a nurse for four and half years. Dr. Galan obtained his post graduate education at the University of California San Francisco Fresno where he completed his orthopedic surgery residency. It was at UCSF Fresno where Dr. Galan served as the orthopedic surgery Chief of Trauma. He participates in several ongoing research studies on the evaluation and treatment of total joint replacements of the hip and knee and is credited in several peer review publications. Education and Accomplishments: • Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester, MN – Associates of Science Nursing • University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN – Doctor of Medicine • University of California San Francisco, Fresno Program, Fresno CA – Orthopedic Surgery Residency • Mayo Clinic Jacksonville – Adult Reconstruction Fellowship • American College of Surgeons – Resident Member • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons – Resident Member • American Association of Hip & Knee Surgeons – Candidate Member After completing his orthopedic surgery residency, Dr. Galan went on to complete his adult reconstruction fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida where he studied complex total joint reconstruction and revision surgery. Dr. Galan is new to the Bakersfield community and enjoys sports, travelling, community involvement, and spending time with his family. He also enjoys learning about history, different cultures, cuisines, and art. He is looking forward to providing comprehensive orthopedic care alongside his colleagues at the Mercy Orthopedic, Spine & Hand Center. Promotional Content

Specialties: • Hip and knee arthroplasty (Total Joint Replacement), featuring robotics and navigation techniques • Minimally invasive techniques in joint preservation and replacement, including anterior total hip arthroplasty • Failed total joint arthroplasty • Revision of total hip and total knee replacement • Non-surgical management of lower extremity (hip and knee) arthritis • Fracture care • Joint preservation

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Is travel a luxury or a necessity when it comes to your well-being? It’s easy to joke about “needing” a tropical beach and margarita in hand on a stressful day, but what can travel really do for our mental health? Travel, when done thoughtfully, can bring many benefits, including stress relief, a creativity boost and an opportunity to reinvent yourself. In daily life, there are plenty of obligations and to-do lists. On the other hand, travel reduces stress and anxiety due to the simple fact of literally leaving behind the things that stress you out – demands on the job, cleaning the house and maybe even your evil nemesis. According to Dr. Margaret J. King: “There are lots of 46

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psychological benefits from change of venue from home and work to ‘third places’ devoted to just experiencing the environment. ... Freed up from the complexities of ongoing projects and relationships, the mind can reset, as does the body, with stress relief the main outcome. Humans thrive on novelty, and travel offers the complete package with new faces, sounds and sights.” So next time you’re feeling stressed out, book that flight or fill up your tank. Another aspect unique to traveling is the increase of creativity through new experiences. It’s very common to fall into routine. The trouble, however, is when the routine changes to a rut. To put it simply, travel brings that spark back. But don’t just take my word for it. The smart people over at the Huffington Post say: “Neural pathways are influenced by environment and habit. … New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations and sights spark dif-

ferent synapses in the brain and may have the potential to revitalize the mind.” Travel pulls you out of everyday situations and opens your eyes to the entire world around you, revealing that there is more to life than the everyday worries. There is a beautiful orchestra of a world out there and the world you know is just one instrument to the symphony. As if it couldn’t get any better, travel also stirs up self-reflection by directly placyou in situations that are Travel, when done ing different than your “normal thoughtfully, can world,” suddenly being exbring many benefits, posed to different experiences, languages, cultures and including stress ideologies. relief, a creativity Here’s what a professional boost and an world traveler named Verdegaal says about experiencing opportunity to reinvent yourself. travel differences: “Different is not better or worse; it’s just different. But being confronted with these differences helps me to reevaluate my own principles and values and, sometimes, change them.” Travel inspires reevaluation of your current beliefs, relationships and experiences, which, in turn, bring a fresh perspective to tired old problems. If you’re looking for ways to bring anxiety down, increase creativity and reinvent yourself, then it’s time to pack your bags. Plan that vacation because your mental health needs it. Who knew that changing your life could be as simple as packing a bag to Pismo? To sum it all up, writer Patrick Rothfuss says it the best, “A long stretch of road can teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.” Sarena Hess

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Sarena Hess.

Meet Sarena Sarena Hess was born and raised in Bakersfield and is a confidence coach for women, a podcaster and a motivational speaker. Sarena’s main passion is to inspire and empower women to pursue greatness in their lives. By using Instagram and social media, Sarena has created a community for personal development and entrepreneurship. She is also the creator of a podcast called “Women For Greatness,” which highlights female entrepreneurs’ stories, from trial to triumph. Sarena’s most recent success has been the creation of her Confidence Course, a six-week online course for women to learn tangible skills and techniques to gaining confidence in their life. When she’s not working, you can find Sarena splitting sushi with her husband at Hi Sushi, chatting it up with a girlfriend at Rig City Coffee or with her nose in a book in the mountains of June Lake. Follow her @sarenahess.


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s summer approaches and our lifestyles get even more hectic, believe it or not, you can still eat healthy while on the go. As impossible as this may sound, there are ways you can sneak in healthy snacks and foods throughout the day that help


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

improve your health. Fast food has become a staple of our society and our health status as a country has diminished as a result. Diabetes rates have skyrocketed and obesity is at an all-time high. The following are tips to help include healthy eating into a fast-paced day:

1. Planning ahead is always key:

• Think about where you’ll be and what you could make or bring. • Shop healthy and smart with a list of the essentials. • Prep healthy staple foods such as brown rice, lettuce, whole-grain pasta, cut vegetables and cut fruit.


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• The more you are able to think ahead and anticipate your day, the better success you will have in providing yourself with healthy options wherever you go.

2. Incorporating some “portable” foods into your grocery list is always important, especially for snacking. Some portable food ideas include: • Trail mix • Fresh fruit • Chopped vegetables • Oatmeal – low sugar • Greek yogurt – low sugar These are some healthier alternatives to the many unhealthy snacks that readily make their way around society today. 3. Eat a balanced breakfast before you leave the

house. Have you ever heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? That is because breakfast provides you sustaining energy that will power your day. Incorporating protein into your breakfast is a very crucial component. Some healthy choices include: • Oatmeal – add nuts, dried fruit and spices to up the nutrient content • Greek yogurt – low sugar • Fruit • Whole-grain bread – spread with nut or seed butters for long-lasting energy • String cheese

4. If you are out on the town and takeout or fast food is a must, make wise decisions regarding your choice of food. Choose salads with lean protein and an oil-based dressing, avoiding creamy dressings. Look for broth-based soups rather than the thick, creamy choices. Choose nonfried foods and focus on incorporating beans and whole grains into meals whenever possible. Finally, choose water for your drink. Sodas, juices and other beverages are high in sugar content and only add extra calories to your meals. Being prepared and making smart choices can be the difference in your eating throughout the day, even when time is scarce. Using this information, you will be able to make healthier eating decisions on the go. Even with fast food or takeout, there is always a “better” decision to be made. These decisions can lead to better long-term health and decrease your risk for chronic diseases. Aaron Stonelake is the nutritionist for the Kern County public Health Services Department. For more on health resources and programs, go to

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near far

Vacation destinations

Fishermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wharf, San Francisco 50

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May 2019


une is the start of summer vacation for many locals and Bakersfield’s central

location provides myriad opportunities to beat the heat, take a break from the daily grind and escape. Whether it’s getting lost in nature, engaging in nightlife in cities that never sleep or disconnecting from DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM

our mobile devices and connecting with family, there’s a destination near and far for you. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg


Continued on Page 52


Continued from Page 51

• Lake Tahoe. There are over 20 campgrounds, plenty of hiking trails and fishing locations throughout the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin. Straddling the state line between California and Nevada, the largest alpine lake in North America has no shortage of memorable scenery that changes depending on the season you visit. Distance from Bakersfield: 380 miles. • Yosemite. Yosemite is a must-visit national park featuring giant sequoias, waterfalls and untamed wilderness across nearly 1,200 square miles. It’s no wonder nearly four million people visit on an annual basis. From barebones camping to luxury resorts and everything in between, it’s a destination that can be as rugged or easy as you like. Distance from Bakersfield: 170 miles.

beaches of Mendocino Headlands State Park to the west and the Russian Gulch State Park to the northeast. Hike surrounding trails, rent bicycles, or rent a canoe or kayak and explore the Big River estuary. Distance from Bakersfield: 429 miles. • CLOSE TO HOME: The Kern River. If you’re going to test the waters of the Kern River, we highly recommend you do so under the guidance of trained professionals. There are many organizations that provide training and safety equipment to experience the roaring rapids of the only river in the Sierra that drains in a southern direction. Distance from Bakersfield: up to 42 miles away.

• Death Valley. If lush forests and roaring rivers are too cliche, head on over to the unforgiving environment of Death Valley National Park. With temperatures reaching 120 degrees, the largest national park outside of Alaska contains 3.3 million acres of sand dunes, salt flats, rocks and sandstone canyons, attracting over 1.5 million visitors in 2018 looking to brave the heat. Distance from Bakersfield: 174 miles.

Lake Tahoe 52

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Death Valley


• OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Mendocino. A coastal community in Northern California, Mendocino is wedged between


Outdoor recreation

May 2019


Santa Monica

Ocean views • Santa Monica. There’s something for everyone at this popular beach destination, from the shops and rides on the pier, nearby restaurants and Ocean Front Walk that connects to other popular stops like Venice and Muscle Beach. Hop in the water, lounge on the sand or rent bikes and explore the surrounding area. Distance from Bakersfield: 112 miles. • Coronado. This San Diego-area beach is perfect for couples, families and pets. The walkable beach’s waves are manageable, the north end allows dogs to roam freely, and the adjacent boardwalk is peppered with various shops and restaurants. Distance from Bakersfield: 237 miles. • McClures Beach. This “hidden” beach is a bit of a drive, tucked away in the northwestern shoreline of Point Reyes National Seashore, but McClures Beach has a wild and remote feel with its colorful crumbling bluffs. Distance from Bakersfield: 333 miles. • OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Glass Beach. What was once a trash dump is now a hauntingly beautiful beach abundant in colorful sea glass polished by ocean waters. This is a great place for kids to explore or to capture that Instagram-worthy travel photo. Distance from Bakersfield: 446 miles.

Continued on Page 54


• CLOSE TO HOME: The Central Coast. With myriad beaches to choose from only a couple of hours away, it’s no wonder the Central Coast is such a popular getaway spot for Bakersfield residents. Whether you’re looking to surf, fish, lounge, camp, wine or dine, there’s a Central Coast location for you. Distance from Bakersfield: 121 to 221 miles. Coronado



Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach

Continued from Page 53

Arts & entertainment

• San Francisco. San Francisco seems to have it all, so it’s really a matter of finding something that tickles your fancy. Examine the internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, take a stroll back in time at the Walt Disney Family Museum, venture through Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze, learn and explore at the California Academy of Sciences or catch a show at one of the many local theaters and entertainment venues. Distance from Bakersfield: 283 miles. • Los Angeles. The sprawling, energetic city is home to countless museums, shopping destinations, top-notch theaters, restaurants and more. There’s really nothing you can’t find here and it’s just over the Grapevine. Distance from Bakersfield: 113 miles. • OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Laguna Beach. Not only does Laguna Beach host the annual Sawdust Festival, which showcases all forms of fine art and crafts, food and enter54

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June 2019

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles


• Las Vegas. There’s no shortage of entertainment in Las Vegas, from its energetic nightlife, exhilarating shows, mesmerizing exhibits and museums, theme parks and more. At four hours away, it can even be a daytrip destination for the truly bold. Distance from Bakersfield: 286 miles.

tainment June 28 to Sept. 1, it runs concurrent to the Pageant of the Masters, which recreates classical and contemporary works of art with real people July 7 through Aug. 31. Distance from Bakersfield: 178 miles. • CLOSE TO HOME: There’s absolutely no need to leave Bakersfield to get cultured and be entertained. From First Fridays, Second Saturdays and the constant productions and concerts held at local theater and event venues, the real question becomes what should you do tonight?

Families • Anaheim. It doesn’t get more family friendly than Disneyland. In addition to being home to the happiest place on earth, Anaheim is also home to Adventure City, a budget-friendly family theme park occupying just over 2 acres, making it one of the smallest theme parks in California, and close to Knott’s Berry Farm. Distance from Bakersfield: 138 miles.

• Santa Barbara. There’s something for all ages at this coastal city, from the MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation; Santa Barbara Zoo; Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History; Santa Barbara Mission; and more. Distance from Bakersfield: 147 miles. • OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Costanoa. For families looking to disconnect from the city and connect with nature, Costanoa provides multiple opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, from “roughing it” in traditional tents, camping in luxury in one of resort’s lodges or somewhere in between, whether in a cabin or bungalow. Outside, there are countless hiking and biking trails, kayaking, horseback riding, guided tours,


• San Diego. If variety is what you seek, San Diego features close to a dozen amusement parks, like SeaWorld, Legoland, Belmont Park, Inflatable World, Boomers! San Diego, Uptown Jungle Fun Park, Boardwalk and more. Distance from Bakersfield: 232 miles. Santa Barbara Mission

stargazing and more along coastal stretches and towering redwoods. Distance from Bakersfield: 271 miles. • CLOSE TO HOME: Buck Owens Boulevard is home to The BLVD, which features bowling, laser tag, arcade games and more; Flight Fit N Fun, which provides high-flying bounce-house fun; and Track House, which suits families with a need for speed. All are family friendly and just a hop, skip and a jump away from one another.

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Business Profile

Comfort Life is located at Ming and New Stine.

Massage chair specialists and technicians are always ready to serve customers.

Comfort Life owners Kenneth and Sussie Sohn have lived in Bakersfield 17 years.


‘JUST RIGHT’ TOUCH Before his retirement a few years ago, you may have met Kenneth Sohn and his cheerful smile at the Kern County Fair. Today, Kenneth and his wife Sussie own Comfort Lounge, a store that sells and services a variety of high-quality brand-name massage chairs in Bakersfield. He recently answered questions for Bakersfield Life Magazine about his new venture. Where are you and your wife from and what brought you to the U.S.? We’re from Japan and Korea. We moved to the United States Comfort Lounge to get a better 5135 Ming Ave. education for 661-213-3768 our children in California. Now 45 years old, my son is a lawyer in Los Angeles. My 43-year-old daughter is an architect in New York State Superior Court. What work did you do before retirement? I was engaged in the international trade business and nationwide fair business with the sales of health-related products for 40 years. 56

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June 2019

How many years have you lived in Bakersfield and why do you like living here? I’ve lived in Bakersfield for 17 years. I love this city because it is a located in the native nature and has less traffic than other cities. And I love the people here! What made you decide to open the Comfort Lounge? I retired seven years ago when I was 65 and have been looking for a new job to do for the period of my remaining life comfortably. Finally, I made a plan to open our massage chair store. What do you like best about what you do now? I really enjoy helping people. Everyone gets knots in their necks and backs. I like to see the look of relief on their faces as they try out the 10 massage chairs and eventually find one that feels just right, kind of like Goldilocks! What does the Comfort Lounge offer to customers? We offer competitive prices for the highest-quality massage chairs. Describe what makes one massage chair different from another. We picked up four leading major

manufacturers of massage chairs among the 56 of them worldwide and contracted as an exclusive distributor with them. And then, we selected the world’s top-10 models for our sales and furnished them at our trial room of aroma therapy. What makes your massage chairs different from an in-person massage? Our selected chairs have more advanced full-body functions of chair massage from head to toe. And those are made out of much more durable motors, pumps and other parts. Why do you have a trial room and what is it used for? We would like to provide more chances to experience the benefit of massage chairs to our customers with the added comfort of aromatherapy. What is the “free massage and lunch” on Wednesdays all about? For our future customers and sales representatives, we provide “free lunch and massage” every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon, by appointment. We call it our “Wednesday Comfort Lounge.” Promotional Content


Bakersfield Matters


MORRO ESTUARY ‘Sunset paddle’ an ideal romantic getaway By Lisa Kimble

Kern County, with its own lengthy list of fun getaways, is also the spoke in the California adventure wheel. Fan out a hundred miles or so and several hours’ drive in any direction and you’ve hit the excursion jackpot. Looking for a trip that won’t break the bank but will transport you to another world? Consider gliding across the pristine waters of Morro Bay with a kayak tour guide at sunset. It was our answer to the perfect romantic weekend getaway while discovering treasures in our own backyard. The bay, protected and cradled by a 4-mile-long sandspit, the iconic rock and a state park, has a certain allure at day’s end. 58

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There is a number of outfitters along the Central Coast. We chose Central Coast Outdoors in Morro Bay. They offer three reasonably priced packages with varying windows of time. We opted for the “sunset paddle.” On our visit, we arrived at A Kayak Shack at the State Park Marina where we were greeted by chamber of commerce weather and our expert nature guide Jen Henderson. She was warm, engaging and assured us and another kayaker that we were in good hands – with paddles. We were then equipped with life jackets and schooled on the proper way to propel with our oars. We were also given the option of enclosing our valuables – like cellphones (to send up an SOS perhaps, or better yet, grab

Instagram-worthy photos) and our identification should it be man (or woman) overboard – inside a sealed rubber waterproof bag to tuck underneath our legs in the hull. Getting into the kayak from the dock was cumbersome and inelegant, but we had already checked our vanity at the shack. Besides, we were finally on the water with lap blankets to shield our legs from a possible chill. Lucky for us on this trip, the tide was going out, making our migration toward the historic rock easier to navigate. Along the way, we skirted the shoreline of the state park and the bird-rich marsh. Our guide pointed out pelicans grazing for their next meal or holding court on boats abandoned long ago, as well as herons and

If You Go Central Coast Outdoors 805-528-1080 A Kayak Shack at Morro Bay State Park Marina, 10 State Park Road, Morro Bay Sunset paddle: 3.5 hours, leaves between 2:30 and 5 p.m., depending on sunset – $90 The Tab One night at Cambria Pines Lodge: $169 (seasonal rates up and down coast apply) Gas: $33 Kayak: $180 ($90 per person) Value: Priceless!

egrets. Morro Bay and estuary is home to diverse wildlife, including sea otters, harbor seals and sea lions. But its birdlife is extraordinary. Henderson was a veritable paddling environmental encyclopedia who had reduced the three of us to curious youngsters, eager to touch and feel the flora and fauna that she pointed out. As we made our way over to the sandspit, the sun had begun its descent. I had spent all the summers of my youth here, and many hours on this stretch of sand, yet I had never seen it doused in the splendor of the setting sun. Disembarking was awkward, and some of us needed assistance, but we were encouraged to walk the strand while Jen set up a makeshift happy hour table complete with a tablecloth, wine, glasses and hors d’oeuvres. Imagine standing on the shore as the sun slipped below the dunes into the technicolor horizon, sipping a crisp chardonnay and toasting each other – complete strangers a few hours earlier. As dusk gave way to nightfall, a stillness washed over us as we soaked in the environmental beauty of the estuary. But we were also on borrowed time with limited light to guide us back. The return trip took more muscle and hustle to keep up, but the feeling of skating on glass under a star-filled sky made the experience incomparable. “This is the most incredible thing I have ever done,” said our fellow kayaker Maria Allred, who had driven up for the day from Burbank. “This was so worth the threehour-plus drive up the coast.” The entire excursion takes about three hours, with two hours spent in the water. Once the sun has set, it turns chilly on the water so wear layers and don’t forget a hat and sunscreen. Prepare to watch in awe the living wonders of the wondrous national estuary. And if you go, tell them the magazine writer and her husband from Bakersfield sent you! Lisa Kimble

Opinions expressed are those of Lisa Kimble


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Be In Bakersfield


I’ll be the first to tell you, as much as I genuinely love being in Bakersfield, I love adventuring out of it just as much. I am a proud first-generation American who was born to be a citizen of the world. Both of my parents are globetrotters from different countries, so venturing off from home every chance I got was never a foreign concept to me. I never even had a particular dream trip because I dreamt of a lifetime of travel and I’ve always been determined to go everywhere and do everything. The moment I graduated from college, I had my sights set on working aboard cruise ships and traveling the world Just the Facts full time. I packed up Be in Bakersfield is a grass-roots my dorm room, sold movement aimed at changing the everything I owned, conversation around Bakersfield quit my job, and and activating positive change left everything and within our community. Visit us everyone I knew and online at loved behind to emor on Facebook and Instagram at bark on the journey @beinbakersfield. of a lifetime. I sailed my way throughout the Caribbean islands, the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, Australia, Alaska, Fiji, Tahiti, French Polynesia and everywhere in between. I explored the port cities of New Orleans, Seattle, Long Beach and Sydney and trekked my way through 60

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Thailand, Japan, Europe and Australia during my vacation time. Through all of these adventures, I realized more and more every day how much travel can teach you and change you for the better. I noticed myself becoming more patient, embracing humility and fully immersing myself in every moment. I learned to believe in the goodness of people — I was overwhelmed repeatedly with kindness and generosity from every corner of the globe. I learned that gratitude creates happiness and that experiences are forever more valuable than things. As I made new friends from different places, I learned time and time again that we are all not so different. Once you travel, you fully realize that the entire globe is striving toward the same goal: happiness.

During my travels, I met the love of my life, and he is a home and an adventure all at once. We chose to make Bakersfield our home base because there is so much adventure within and around this city. We love that we are never too far away from the beach or the mountains, and we never take for granted all the beauty we have in our own backyard. No matter where we go or where we’ve been, there’s nothing quite like coming home – and no place feels more like home than Bakersfield. I encourage you to go out into the world. Grow, expand and bring newfound life lessons and perspectives back home to change our community for the better. It is imperative to value your roots just as much as you value your wings – to have pride in where you come from while venturing out into the world and becoming your best self while you’re out there. You never know what amazing experiences, escapades or love stories await you. Let life take you to unexpected places and let love bring you home. Be adventurous in Bakersfield.

Sophia Gligorevic

Sophia is the marketing and research coordinator for the Kern Economic Development Corporation. She and her husband, Rado, are proud adventurers and world travelers with big hearts for Bakersfield. The views expressed are her own.

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In the oil and gas industry, “The Great Crew Change” is happening. Waves of workers are reaching retirement age and, during a time when the next generation is expected to take up the mantle, questions loom over whether there are enough qualified personnel to fill the void. According to a 2019 Global Energy Talent Index report by international workforce solutions provider Airswift, more than half of industry professionals across the globe believe the growing skills “Everyone’s always shortage is the biggest challenge the industry factalking about coles now and in the future. lege scholarships, In fact, according to the report, two-fifths of combut what about panies believe the talent trade schools? crisis is already here. They can provide, Locally, the San at times, a better Joaquin Valley chapter of the American Petroleum vehicle for someone to be a contrib- Institute is doing its part to provide opportunities to uting member of students looking to get into society.” STEM fields through its scholarship program. — Mike Handren, chairman For the past 50 years, of the San Joaquin Valley API has been awarding chapter of API scholarships to Kern County students as they prepare to become the next generation of workers in the petroleum industry. “There’s going to be a whole turnover from one gen62

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eration to the next, more so now than any other period in the whole history of the oil industry, so it’s critical to get people interested in oil because the veterans are leaving,” said Mike Handren, chairman of the San Joaquin Valley chapter of API. “You’ve got to bring in somebody to backfill for them.” This year, API plans to give away $100,000 in scholarship money to graduating Kern County high school seniors who will be attending college in the fall, while extending eligibility to include those taking online courses and students enrolled in trade schools. Since 2015, API has awarded $420,000 in scholarships. Requirements for API scholarship eligibility include being a Kern County resident and being high school senior or a full-time college student with at least 12 credit hours. In addition, lots of research was conducted to determine the equivalent of online courses and trade schools. “As students are looking at the increasing cost of college and amassing huge debt to get a college degree that might not get them a decent job, they can go a shorter period of time to a good trade school and end up not in debt and with a damn good job at the end of the day,” Handren said. “Everyone’s always talking about college scholarships, but what about trade schools? They can provide, at times, a better vehicle for someone to be a contributing member of society.” Two main fundraisers – the annual API Golf Tournament and Fall Fun Shoot – generate money for the scholarship fund, in addition to the money raised at API’s monthly dinner meetings where the chapter’s 750 members have the opportunity to enter opportunity drawings, raising about $1,000 a month. “We’re the largest chapter based on total membership,

total amount raised, scholarship amount given out of all API chapters,” said James McClard, 2019 chairman of the API scholarship committee. The scholarships are meant to be as inclusive as possible, not limiting the number of recipients each year or excluding applicants who are not entering the petroleum industry. “We pretty much encourage any major to apply,” said publicity chair Kaylene Rossi. “You can have a nursing major come in and say, ‘I live in Bakersfield, I’m staying in Bakersfield and I want to be the nurse who does people’s physicals before they go out into the field and work.’ It’s very applicable to what we do because I don’t think people quite comprehend the trickle-down effect that the industry provides – you don’t have to necessarily be a geologist or an engineer to be able to work in the industry. It’s pretty vast. We have a need for every single type of professional.” The ultimate goal is to make higher education more accessible. “There are straight-A students who have come to this country, learned to speak English, they’ve done everything right – their grades show it, their community involvement shows it – but because of the economic hardship, there’s no way their parents can afford college,” McClard said. “We get letters saying API made it possible. It’s not just giving out free money – it’s making a difference in people’s lives.”

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Mind your brain. When a stroke occurs, every moment matters. That’s why it’s reassuring to know that Dignity Health offers three Primary Stroke Centers in the region, recognized nationally for the quality care and outcomes they provide patients. And at the Sarvanand Heart & Brain Center at Memorial Hospital, patients have access to Kern County’s only dedicated Neuro Critical Care Unit, where they receive specialized treatment from our team of neurointensivists trained in stroke intervention and recovery. Don’t give stroke a fighting chance. Learn about the signs and symptoms of stroke and how you can reduce your risk at


Our Town

The mushroom Swiss burger

The 18hundred’s interior perfectly blends the building’s historical elements with more modern, personal touches.

The 18hundred’s philosophy is difficult to miss, stylistically etched into the building’s original brick walls to the left of the main entrance in paint and LED lights.


HISTORIC BUILDING The 18hundred believes the future of local dining is crafted by hand Story and photos by Mark Nessia

In 1910, Security Trust Bank opened on the corner of 18th Street and Chester Avenue, a showcase of neoclassical architecture, grandiose in scale and highlighted by its dramatic columns. But in the mid-20th century, many older architectural types fell out of favor in Bakersfield and the structure was covered in stucco to give it a more modern look as it hosted numerous businesses in the years that followed. And then, there was nothing. The building sat unoccupied on the busy intersection in the heart of downtown Bakersfield, an eyesore of sorts, and was once on the city’s demolition list. But Sam Abed began restoring the building to its former glory in 2014 after the original facade was discovered beneath the superficial shell. That caught the eye of Foti Tsiboukas, who would sell his Northridge home in 2017, moved to Bakersfield and 64

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June 2019

purchase the building to open up a restaurant with his wife, Maya. As the owners of Fabulous Burgers in north Bakersfield, the couple is no stranger to the restaurant business. But their vision for the historical building and highly anticipated restaurant in the middle of a revitalized downtown area had the potential to change how locals view food. Bakersfield finally got a taste of that vision when The 18hundred opened its doors in May. The 18hundred’s approach is difficult to miss, stylistically etched into the building’s original brick walls to the left of the main entrance in paint and LED lights – “handcrafted food and drink.” “Handcrafted food and drink means we are preparing items by hand,” Maya said. “We’re not buying prepackaged foods.” The kitchen meticulously prepares items big and small from scratch, from the sauces and syrups to veggie patties

and desserts in addition to sourcing local and organic ingredients from nearby farms. “I wanted to emphasize the fresh, handcrafted aspect of it because the local and organic produce is sort of a no-brainer,” Maya said. “Anyone can do that but not everybody is doing everything by hand.” As the Foti and Maya explored their new community, they let their findings dictate the identity of their restaurant – accommodating their offerings and operations based on the wants and needs of residents rather than a take-it-or-leave-it approach. The owners wanted the city to decide what the restaurant is going to be. The restaurant takes a fast-casual approach for breakfast and lunch, when time is limited and people are on the go, with customers ordering at the counter and food delivered to their table shortly after. But for dinner, the eatery transforms into a traditional sit-down restaurant with full service to help diners unwind and relax in an environment that perfectly blends the building’s historical elements with more modern, personal touches. “If we home in on the character and charm that’s already here, that would really improve the lifestyle and the offerings the city has to offer,” Maya said. “(Downtown Bakersfield) is the place to shop, to dine, to hang out. This is where you’re going to find the real heartbeat of the city.” And in the middle of it all is The 18hundred.

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ELAINA RUSK Hard work, dedication leads local news personality to rare but prestigious position By Jennifer Olague

What started off as a reporter job lead to a passion and love for a subject she thought she wasn’t good at. Elaina Rusk remembers a time where math used to terrify her – now she’s making history as the first woman to be named chief meteorologist at Channel 23. “Only 8 percent of chief meteorologists in TV news are women and so for Bakersfield to have two – myself and Alissa Carlson (at Channel 17) – that’s awesome,” Rusk said. “So I love that she and I are both paving the way and more girls can see us doing this and know, ‘Hey, I can do that too.’” Rusk started off as a reporter for Channel 23 over 10 years ago. She received her degree in journalism news editorial from California State University, Chico. From there, she did seven internships – two with radio, three with newspaper and two with TV. 66

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June 2019

Despite getting her degree in print journalism, she knew she wanted to do broadcast. “(My) first couple times on camera I was shaking in my boots,” Rusk said. “I could barely do it without a quiver in my voice.” Rusk’s road to chief meteorologist was an unexpected but rewarding path. Although she was a reporter for Channel 23, her goal was to be an anchor. Eventually, she was given the opportunity to anchor during the holidays. After a year, she was promoted to midday anchor and, from there, she started to fill in for weather. Eventually, she applied for the morning position and graduated from Mississippi State online with her meteorology degree three years later. Rusk uses her role in the community to give back and inspire young children to pursue science careers. “It’s an honor. I have a lot of pride. I have an overwhelming sense of responsibility to be a woman in a STEM career. I love using that to encourage other young

girls to pursue a STEM career if they feel an interest in it. Like I said, I let the math scare me and it shouldn’t have,” said Rusk. Rusk is a big part of the community. She participates in the Media Music Jam every year to help raise money for the Kern County Cancer Fund. She is also the chair of the Scripps Book Campaign where she works with her station to raise money to buy books to support the Kern Literacy Council. These are just a few of the things she’s involved with. “I am an incoming “I have an overboard member with the Junior League of whelming sense Bakersfield,” Rusk of responsibility said. “This will be to be a woman in my fourth year with the organization, I a STEM career. I believe. I love volunlove using that to teering, especially encourage othwith this organization, because they er young girls to concentrate so much pursue a STEM on youth and transition of foster children, career if they feel children staying an interest in it.” at the Bakersfield Homeless Center and local women. I get to have an organized place to put all that passion for helping people in the community. I’m also a board member for the Kern County Science Foundation, so I love serving there. Again, using that as a great way to reach young children – both boys and girls – to pursue STEM careers. Outside of that, I am a wife and mom. My family is everything.” She also makes time to visit schools and help children understand the weather through experiments and books. However, being a public figure has come with some negative comments directed toward her weather predictions and, at times, even her toward her body. “Especially because I’m not a skinny girl,” she said. “I never have been, so I get a lot of comments about my body and they don’t bother me much anymore. “I cried a lot. It was very hard, but thankfully my husband is very strong and he points out how healthy I am. … Why does it matter what anybody else thinks? … He’s like, ‘Your bosses believe in you; they promoted you.’ That’s what he reminds me of when I get discouraged.” Her support system has helped her through moments of self-doubt. In the end, she has fought very hard for the work that she does. Her advice is to take what you want. “If you want something, take it,” she said. “If you want that promotion, work hard for it. Make sure that your boss sees how hard you work, how determined you are. If you’re fundraising and getting this money together is going to help you do this cause that helps someone in our community, don’t take no for an answer.”








The leisure-time haven close to home

Water-skiers on Buena Vista Lake, circa 1970s.

By Julie Plata

A “staycation” is more of a modern term that has entered the American vernacular, but as summer approaches and the itch to get out of the house starts, sometimes a staycation is just what one needs. There are many places you can find locally to help recharge those summertime batteries, and if boating, fishing, water-skiing and camping are some of your favorite pastimes, you don’t need to look any further than the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area. Located between Bakersfield and Taft, the area offers all of the fun in the sun you could ask for. Introduced by Assemblyman John Williamson in February 1965, the California State Assembly officially adopted Concurrent Resolution 54 on May 26, 1965. According to the May 27, 1965, Bakersfield Californian, 68

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June 2019

the assemblyman assured readers that construction of the 2,000-acre Buena Vista area “would be developed immediately upon acquisition,” though it would take a few years for the project to actually break ground. In fact, there was a moment when it seemed that there might not be a Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area at all. By January 1967, plans for the development had yet to be approved, but Lake Buena Vista Committee Chairman Vic Killingsworth assured readers of The Californian’s Jan. 27 issue, “October of this year will be a very critical time for us because plans for the recreation complex are scheduled for finalization at this time.” Additionally, Killingsworth gave a conservative estimate of an opening date of 1970. The Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area was to include two lakes, 250 picnic sites, 112 camping sites and 9 miles of shoreline. Although the plan was to have area open as soon as possible, that day did not happen until 1974. The project

Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area, circa 1973.

found itself in an uphill battle as it ran over budget and faced some infrastructure issues. Additionally, the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to scrap the project in 1971. If not for the lone dissent and continued fight of Supervisor Vance Webb, the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area might have never come to fruition. The response to the By 1974, the headline of a story in the April 18 newest attraction was so positive that Californian asked, “Will Kern’s tiger be white by April 25, 1975, elephant?” But on April The Californian 30, 1974, the local press finally got a look at the reported that, according to County almost-completed project and soon the Buena Vista Parks and RecreAquatic Recreational Area ation Director Frank was ready for the public’s enjoyment. Stramler: “AttenThe response to the dance for the past newest attraction was 12 months totaled so positive that by April nearly 400,000, and 25, 1975, The Californian reported that, accordrevenue amounted ing to County Parks and to $237,427.” Recreation Director Frank Stramler: “Attendance for the past 12 months totaled nearly 400,000, and revenue amounted to $237,427. The resort is attracting overflow weekend crowds of up to 7,000 daily. Sunday is the biggest user-day.” Of that, just April 1975 accounted for 45,489 visitors – an increase of 300 percent from the same month the previous year. It seemed that Buena Vista was a success. Ten years later, on May 16, 1984, The Shafter Press ran an article encouraging readers to visit Buena Vista. The area had matured from the early days of “spindly seedling trees and sparse grass.” With Lake Webb for boating and water skiing, Lake Evans for fishing and sailing, and areas for picnicking, camping and playing, families were sure to find something to do for the day or longer. The staycationers of Bakersfield and the surrounding communities could agree with The Shafter Press that, “We now have cause to be proud of this welcome leisure-time haven so near our own home town.”

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June is here and the school year is over. But before the 2018-19 season came to end, several local high school and college athletes turned in outstanding performances during the spring sports season while in the pro ranks, history continued to be made.

Swimming & Diving Four local swimmers and two divers qualified for the CIF State Swimming Championships. Bakersfield Christian senior Nathan Roodzant earned his way into the event by finishing in second place in the 200-meter medley relay during the Central Section Swimming and Diving Championships. Freshman Page Taber became the first Independence swimmer to ever qualify for the state meet by posting an automatic qualifying time 70

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June 2019

of 51.58 seconds in the 100-meter free at the section championships. Centennial senior Alex Castro (50-meter free) and Liberty junior Slaytynn Simpson (100-meter fly) along with Garces divers Sophie Bouldoukian and Kim Miekle also earned berths in the state meet. Bouldoukian did so by taking first place at the section championships with a score of 399.25. Bakersfield College women’s swimmer Daran Towns capped off her stellar freshman season by taking third place in the 200-meter free, fourth place in the 100-meter free and fifth place in the 500-meter free at the CCCAA State Championships (May 2-4). In the process, the Centennial High product broke her own school record in two of the events, posting a time of 1:55.89 in the 200 and 5:13.59 in the 500. Earlier in the season during the Western State Conference Championships, Towns established

a new BC standard in the 100-meter free (53.03). Towns won all three of her individual races at the conference championship meet and was selected WSC Co-Female Swimmer of the Year.

Track & Field Last month, BC’s Daizhiana Ebert set a new school record in the women’s long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 6 ¼ inches. The previous best for a BC female in the event was 19 feet, 5 ¼ inches, set in 1997 by Aisha Harrison, who later competed at the University of Nebraska and was inducted into the CCCAA Hall of Fame.

Beach Volleyball Cal State Bakersfield beach volleyball pair Mattison DeGarmo and Briannah Mariner were named Honorable Mention All-Big West. The duo posted 10 wins during the season,


Jourdon Muro and Brooke Horack of Bakersfield College


All-Star Roundup

seven of which came against Big West competition. The Bakersfield College tandem of Morgan Townson and Penelope Zepeda took fourth place at the Western State Conference Pairs Championships in Santa Monica. The finish qualified them to compete in CCCAA Southern California Regionals.

Baseball & Softball The BC baseball and softball teams both won conference championships for a second straight year. Both squads earned lots of recog-

a Pacific Division title and the team’s first-ever trip to the Calder Cup playoffs in May, where they defeated the Colorado Eagles in the opening round, 3-1, in a best-of-five series. The Condors once again etched themselves into the record books with a four-overtime game against the San Diego Gulls to start the second round, marking the fifth-longest game in AHL history.

Hockey The Bakersfield Condors’ 17-game win streak – the second-longest in AHL history – helped propel them to

The Condors played in the Calder Cup Pacific Division Finals game.



Alejandro Murillo of Bakersfield College

nition when the conference awards were announced. Baseball coach Tim Painton was named the WSC-South Coach of the Year. Freshman pitcher Alejandro Murillo was selected conference Pitcher of the Year. Four other BC baseball players — Hector Ruvalcaba, Ashanti Ross, Kamron Willman and Nate Ortiz — joined Murillo on the WSC All-Conference First Team. Renegades softball coach Casey Goodman was named WSC-North Coach of the Year. Kylee Fahy was named conference Pitcher of the Year and Natilee Parrish was chosen as conference Player of the Year. Both were also CCCAA All-State selections. Four members of the BC softball team – Alex Venegas, Alexis Lopez, Atlantis Rede, and Savannah Gonzalez – earned WSC-North First Team honors.




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Last Word




Julie Plata’s dad, Danny, and his speedboat Elvira.

By Julie Plata

As the days start to get a bit warmer and the days seem a bit longer, I start to have summer on my mind. When Bakersfield Life Magazine Editor Mark Nessia contacted me about the history story for June, I already knew that I wanted to write about: the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area. Often the stories that I write bring back memories sometimes long forgotten, and thanks to some of the kind responses I’ve received, there are some great memories. For me, my


Bakersfield Life Magazine

June 2019

fondest summer memories are tied to Buena Vista – more specifically, the summers I went there with my dad. This past December, my dad, Danny, lost his four-year battle with cancer. My family has now started the process of acknowledging the “firsts” without him. This will be the first summer without him. As a child of divorce, that meant extended visits with my dad when summer came along. Every summer without fail, we would head to Buena Vista for some well anticipated fun in the sun. If you asked me the years, I can only estimate it to be the late ’70s and early ’80s. If you asked how long

Julie Plata and her dad when she got my master’s.

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we stayed there, that, too, would stump me. Summers as a kid felt like they lasted forever. They truly seemed endless. But what I can remember are the feelings of happiness and excitement. I can remember the smells of the barbecue and Coppertone. I remember the feel of the speed of my dad’s boat and the terror of thinking I was a goner every time I attempted to water-ski (for the record, I never did figure it out). I also remember being in the tent at night, still feeling the motion of the lake. But the most precious memories are the moments there with my dad. If there was one thing he probably loved just a little less than me, it was his speedboat that he lovingly named Elvira. It was blue, glittery, loud and I, too, loved everything about it! My dad had a late ’70s/early ’80s blue Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that matched Elvira perfectly. Boy, did we think we looked cool as we pulled up to our camping spot to the tunes of Earth, Wind & Fire! We were the gruesome twosome (my dad loved making up nicknames for everything – including myself and every one of my kids). The days we spent on the water were carefree, so much fun, and I never wanted them to end. But life is about continual change and when I was 13 my dad remarried. About the time my little brother came along, Elvira was sent packing. But those summer days will always be remembered. In fact, I am reminded every time I look in the mirror by a freckle I have smack dab in the middle of my nose due to a sunburn I got there! I miss you, Dad, but I know one day I will see you again and maybe I will finally learn to water-ski.

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