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TBC Media undelineRev.pdf

March 2017




5:01 PM


Home &

Garden I S S U E


• Renovating a humble abode • The life of interior designer Sarah Ward

• History of Heritage Park’s fragrance garden • The latest in home security

Guitar Masters 6 years of virtuosity

Spring and summer

Kitchen remodel by Stockdale Kitchen & Bath $3.95

Divas dive in at

La Costa Mariscos

camps, activities for kids

y bank gives me the same sense of safety and security that our customers expect from us.�

B ROOK A NTONIONI President and CEO Trans-West Security Services, Inc. For more than 35 years, Trans-West has been supplying security services to local clients, helping them find peace of mind in their homes and businesses. Similarly, Brooke Antonioni finds security in her banking relationship with Valley Republic Bank. Banking locally gives her peace of mind knowing the relationships she has built with the bank are like those you form with a trusted friend. And to her, keeping money in the local economy is important.

Local. Responsive. Reliable. 5000 California Avenue, Suite 110 | 4300 Coffee Road, Suite A6 11330 Ming Avenue, Suite 400

661.371.2000 (VLLX)

What’s your


Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air within a building & how it relates to the occupants health & comfort.




Americans with





Time spent Indoors

Homes with IAQ problems

Gallons of air we Inhale each day

MARCH 2017



Renovating a humble abode

1 in 5

After 21 years, a local couple turns their aging house into their dream home.

Indoor air is worse than outdoor air

People have


Page 67

1) Have your air tested by a professional who uses an AirAdvice™ monitor 2) Install IAQ solutions for filtration, ventilation & humidity control as needed 3) Be sure to maintain your system as recommended by your contractor


Call Now! and schedule your in home IAQ assessment

Spring and summer fun Kids camps and activities to enrich, educate and enjoy.

Page 60 FINANCING OAC · CREDIT CARDS WELCOME Estamos Aqui Para Servirle · Locally Owned & Operated · CA Lic #297547

For the record: Immune deficiencies are rare and not common in California. What is on the rise are allergic diseases (allergic rhinitis, asthma and allergic conjunctivitis). Dr. Paula Ardron collaborates with dermatologists and pediatricians in her group to implement breakthroughs found in the medical literature. She does not conduct research in her office.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Rodriguez & Associates proudly represented the Munoz family in their $17,500,000 settlement. We worked hard to hold accountable those responsible for wrongfully taking the life of their husband and father.

It is believed to be the largest wrongful death settlement obtained by a Kern County law firm Accidents I Personal Injury I Wrongful Death

Best Lawyer Daniel Rodriguez

(661) 323-1400

Best Law Firm Rodriguez & Associates

2020 Eye Street Bakersfield CA 93301

Rodriguez&Associates DRodriguezLaw

MARCH 2017

DEPARTMENTS Up Front – 13 Find out how to convert your personal residence into a rental in “Money Matters” on Page 14.

Eat & Drink – 24 The Dining Divas take a dive into the variety of foods offered at La Costa Mariscos.


Lifestyles – 32


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017




Go & Do – 46

Drink for a cause at the third annual Country & Craft Beer Festival, which benefits children’s charities. Find out details on Page 46.


Up Front 13 The Big Picture 14 Money Matters 15 Finding Fame 16 12 Things ... 18 Arts & Culture 19 Short Take 20 Happenings

Go “On the Road” with the new 2017 Audi Q7 Quattro on Page 32. Check out “What’s Haute” at local boutiques on Page 40.

Eat & Drink 24 Dining Divas 28 Lunchtime Picks Lifestyles 32 On The Road 34 Welcome Home 38 Tech Talk 40 What’s Haute 42 Pastimes

Go & Do 44 Entertainment 46 Out & About 48 Trip Planner B Well 50 Workout Moves 52 Your Body 53 Love and Life

B Well – 50

Garden time is almost here; make sure your form is picture perfect on Page 50.

People & Community – 70 Words of wisdom from Dan Monji about your garden in the “Last Word” on Page 98.

People & Community 70 Bakersfield Matters 72 Millennial Voices 74 Personality 76 History 78 Real People 79 Philanthropy Matters 80 All-Star Athlete

82 Talk of the Town 84 For A Cause 86 Our Town 88 Prime Finds 90 SNAP! 98 Last Word

STAFF PICKS Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine March 2017 / Vol. 11 / Issue 6

Things we dig this month

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

ON THE COVER Kitchen remodel by Stockdale Kitchen & Bath. Photo by Mark Nessia

Sales and Marketing Director Joey Zachary Sales Manager Tamarra Harms Market Research Jose Granados

Coming Next …

Assistant Managing Editor Mark Nessia

Get Outside/15 Things To Do in Bakersfield

To Advertise,

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

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

Top three posts on Instagram this month.

1 Matt Barrett’s woodshop class at

Specialty Publications Intern Mayan Xitlaly Lara

2 Photos of the 2017 Splendid Sin-

Photography Henry A. Barrios, Elena Gloshen, Laura Liera, April Massirio, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Carla Rivas

Foothill High School. For the whole story, turn to Page 86.

gles preview party at 1933 Prohibition. Thank you to all who participated!


The Food Dudes’ trip to Lengthwise Brewery on their first outing of the year.

For recaps of what’s happened and what we’re working on for upcoming issues, follow us on Instagram bakersfield_life.

Subscribe – The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month and available with The Californian through its digital subscription. For business subscriptions, please call 661-392-5777. 10

President/CEO Michelle Chantry

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Contributing writers Kristen Beall Barnes, Diana Greenlee, Nina Ha, Dianne Hardisty, Lisa Kimble, Kate Leonard, Stephen Lynch, Dan Monji, Julie Plata, Leigh Pozas, Elizabeth Sanchez, Chris Thornburgh

“My favorite smartphone app right now is Wunderlist. You can compile grocery lists, todo’s, favorite movies, pretty much anything. The user-friendly interface makes me feel so nerdy and organized.” – Nina Ha, contributing writer “Muscle Grub is the answer for faltering New Year’s resolutions. It’s clean, healthy eating made simple – just heat and eat!” “For those who love thrillers, ‘Everything You Want Me to Be’ by Mindy Mejia is a mustread! The lines between innocence and culpability are blurred when details of a murder that shocks a small town are slowly revealed.” – Mark Nessia, assistant managing editor “Umbrellas. Forgot I owned any and almost forgot how to open it up. Forget what the rodent said, I hear and see signs of an early spring everywhere. Bring it! I’ll keep my umbrella handy, though, just in case.” – Lisa Kimble, contributing writer The rain. The foothills east of town have never been more green and lush, and the sunsets reflecting off of the now-flowing Kern River in the west are glorious. Pakistani cuisine. Combining elements of India, Afghanistan and Iran, it’s spicy, full of interesting, complex flavors and vegetarian-friendly. See Page 30. – Glenn Hammett, art director “When I work, I need to have music blaring in my ears in order to concentrate. I found this free music app called Noon Pacific and I hit the mother lode. It has a wide range of music, from hip-hop to the indie alternative to enjoy.” – Kate Leonard, contributing writer

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

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

• 3 Dimensional Designing • Full Service Remodels • Cabinetry

• Countertops / Backsplash • Flooring-Tile / Hardwood • Project Notes:

• Waypoint Cabinetry color: Hazelnut Glaze on main run, Cherry Chocolate Glaze on Island • Counter tops: Colonial White

• Backsplash: Royal Egret

• Sink: Kohler apron front with stainless appliances. • Floor: Light Travertine Versailles pattern.


EDITOR’S NOTE Mayan Xitlaly Lara is a 23-year-old communications major at California State University, Bakersfield. Her middle name might look hard to pronounce but it’s really quite simple. Here, we’ll sound it out for you: “see-clawlee.” She’s just your average little brown girl who enjoys drinking tea and collecting colorful pens. In her spare time, you might find her attempting to take artsy photos of anything and everything around her or trying to tame her thick head of hair. Elizabeth Sanchez is the multimedia engagement coordinator for TBC Media. She was born and raised in Bakersfield, attended Centennial High School and Bakersfield College, and graduated in 2015 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in political science and a minor in writing. Elizabeth enjoys running, eating tacos and, most of all, traveling the world. Charmaine Cleveland is a digital news assistant with TBC Media. Her interests include reporting on lifestyle, tech and culture. On a daily basis, she helps produce a local radio show on NEWSTALK 1180 KERN, develops news hits on local and trending stories, and tracks viral news pieces on the web. She’s also an active member in the entertainment and production scene. As a millennial, she is uniquely situated in an emerging culture of digital journalism. She believes that everyone has a story to tell and digital media means that sharing it is just a click away.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

A FEELING OF HOME Every March, I pack my bags and spend a week in Las Vegas. I don’t drink or gamble, however, so my trips probably differ from most. Last year, I ate at all three of Gordon Ramsay’s Vegas restaurants; I also read three books during my stay. I purchased some novelty gifts from a magic store for friends who were babysitting my pug, which was 3 months old at the time, and spent $5 trying to pass the first level of a “Star Wars” arcade game. I failed miserably. This year, I plan to catch a show or two and try a handful of new restaurants. Maybe I’ll take on the “Star Wars” game again because I’m stubborn like that. Every trip is different but near the end, I always look forward to going home. No matter the destination, no matter the duration, there will always be a point where we start missing home, wherever that may be. There’s just something about a place to call your own – whether it’s an entire house or just a room – that can’t be duplicated. The nicest hotel rooms, even staying with close friends, can’t match the feeling of being in your own space. That’s what home really is: a feeling. Home isn’t the walls that surround us or the roof that covers us; home is the feeling of sanctuary we get when we turn the key, open the door and walk inside – where our hearts are restored and we can shed the layers we sometimes put on for the outside world and truly be ourselves. Home is the people and ani-

mals we care about who pick us up when we’re down and whose embrace feels as if its sole purpose is to perfectly conform to our individual bodies. Many of us are fortunate to have multiple homes in that respect. For me, Bakersfield is home, but so is my old room in my mother’s house in Simi Valley. I feel at home when Tina Louise, my 1-year-old pug, stares at me with her big loving eyes and when my best friends from Lubbock, Texas, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, send me texts and Snapchat messages. The feeling of home is someone or something that brings solace – a tranquil asylum where your worries fade away and you can’t help but smile – and it’s more prevalent than you think. Keep that in mind the next time someone asks you where home is because the answer might not be so simple. Home is where we become whole again after life chips away at us. And that’s why there’s no feeling like it.

Mark Nessia Assistant Editor 395-7383

Connect with us – Instagram/bakersfield_life

March 2017


See Happenings on Page 20.

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

RELISHING THE RIVER Two kayakers enjoy the water in the Kern River west of the Calloway bridge. Due to the recent heavy rainfall, snow in the southern Sierras and an influx of water from the Friant-Kern Canal, the Kern River, normally a dry river bed, has been flowing through Bakersfield for the first time in several years. Photo by Elena Gloshen



assume your home’s FMV of $240,000 is less than its cost and the land portion is worth $40,000. Your basis for depreciation is $200,000 ($240,000 minus $40,000). Your depreciation deduction is $7,272 ($200,000 divided by 27.5 years).


Convert your personal residence into a rental By Chris Thornburgh

Ready to buy your dream home but can’t quite part with your starter home? Converting your personal residence into a rental rather than selling it may have crossed your mind. For some, this makes sense. Typically, homeowners convert their primary residence into a rental for one of two reasons. If the housing market is down, you can hold off on selling the property, rent it out to pay the mortgage and then sell it when values rise. Others see it as an investment opportunity and a chance to increase cash flow. In some cases, the rental property may be a better return on investment than the stock market. Regardless of your reasons, it’s important to understand the tax implications of converting your personal residence into a rental. Here are a few to consider.

TAX DEDUCTIONS AS A RENTAL When you convert your home to a rental, you are allowed several deductions that are otherwise disallowed as a personal residence. For example, repairs and maintenance expenses are not deductible for a personal residence but are deductible for a rental. For planning purposes, significant repairs 14

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

could be postponed until the house becomes a rental, allowing for the deduction of those expenses. Common expenses include: • Advertising • Association dues • Cleaning and maintenance • Depreciation • Gardening • Insurance premiums • Legal and accounting fees • Management fees • Mortgage interest • Pest control and lawn care • Property taxes • Supplies • Tenant credit checks • Utilities basis for your rental property Once you turn your primary residence into a rental, you need to know your basis for depreciation purposes. Depreciation will likely provide you with the greatest deduction against your rental income. Your basis for depreciation is the lower of your home’s fair market value at date of conversion or its purchase price plus the cost of improvements. Land does not qualify for depreciation, so you’ll have to back out its value before calculating depreciation. Residential rentals can be depreciated over 27.5 years. As an example, let’s

If you operate a rental and your expenses exceed income, you may not be able to immediately deduct your loss. Here’s the issue: Rental losses are “passive losses” and can only offset sources of passive income. Without passive income, your losses are suspended until you have passive income in later years or sell the property to an unrelated party. Know that it may be a while before you can deduct your losses. There are two exceptions. If your adjusted gross income is $100,000 or less, you can deduct rental losses up to $25,000 if you actively participate in the rental. The other exception applies to real estate professionals, who are completely exempt from the rules.

SHELTERING GAIN ON SALE The tax benefits of selling your personal residence at a gain disappear when renting long term. Married couples can exclude up to $500,000 of capital gains on the sale of their primary residence. Unmarried taxpayers can exclude up to $250,000. This tax break is available if you owned the property as your principal residence for at least two of the last five years. Once you’ve rented the property for more than three years, you lose your gain exclusion.

THE BOTTOM LINE Converting your principal residence to a rental can yield many benefits, but it’s important to understand the ramifications of your decision. Consult with a tax adviser to determine what’s best for your situation.

Chris Thornburgh

Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at or 324-4971.


MAKING BAKERSFIELD PROUD ON BROADWAY Local dancer shares his journey to the big leagues By Nina Ha

It’s a brisk day in New York City, but the barricades alongside the Richard Rodgers Theatre stage entrance on West 46th is already gridlocked with fans of “Hamilton: An American Musical,” the critically acclaimed breakout Broadway hit by Lin-Manuel Miranda. With playbills and Sharpies in hand, they eagerly await their chance to meet a star from the soldout musical about Alexander Hamilton, one of the brazen Founding Fathers of America. Unfazed by the crowd, a young man with an easy smile and exuberant laugh emerges from the quagmire. Bakersfield’s own Voltaire Wade-Greene, Hamilton’s co-dance captain and swing, has enjoyed tremendous success. He’s performed at the Tony Awards, hung out with A-list celebrities and even performed at the White House for the Obama family. “Hamilton” is a leviathan, and Voltaire, named after the French Enlightenment author, is one of the few original cast members still performing today. “It’s rare that you get to be a part of a cultural phenomenon and see the inner workings of it,” Voltaire said.

Being a part of the groundbreaking multicultural “Hamilton” cast is a dream come true. But, for Voltaire, fame didn’t happen overnight. He had to work for it and wait for it. Just as “Hamilton” recounts the life of an immigrant orphan’s rise to historical notoriety through his prolific writing, Voltaire’s own life has also been a narrative of struggle, hard work and cultivating a legacy. But, instead of writing his way out, Voltaire danced his way out. Growing up in Bakersfield, Voltaire was the oldest of three children raised by their single mother. His mom, Sharon, would take him to ballet, tap and jazz classes at Civic Dance Center when she wasn’t working. By 15, Voltaire earned a full scholarship to The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. He left high school behind, where he was bullied for his skills and joined an environment where being a guy who danced was normal. After moving to New York and landing his first big musical, Voltaire flew his mother out for opening night. But the show was canceled before Voltaire ever took the stage. He nearly quit his dream, but something in him knew he wasn’t done yet. Then, he met choreographer

Andy Blankenbuehler, which led to a project called, “The Hamilton Mixtape,” now ubiquitously known as “Hamilton.” Voltaire lives in Manhattan with his wife, Demetia, who is also an accomplished dancer. He credits his family, friends and teachers for his success. “I do it for all the people who consistently sacrificed and supported me,” he said. “Their efforts were not in vain.” And he has this message for anyone with a dream: Even when it seems like doors are closing, stay persistent because the times when you quit is right before things happen. The payoff at the end is worth it. And, like a seasoned New York performer, Voltaire was off to his next appointment. There’s always another opportunity on the horizon, and this dance virtuoso is not throwing away his shot.

Voltaire WadeGreene


• Voltaire performs eight fast-paced, emotionally intense shows a week with the company of “Hamilton.”

In addition, he also dances about 12-16 hours a week to solidify the choreography for himself and to teach others.

• Besides his family and friends, the thing that Voltaire misses the most about Bakersfield is Civic Dance Center’s “Nutcracker” performances.

• Voltaire, or Volt as his friends call him, jokes that he’s a grown man with a healthy fear of heights, snakes and the dark.

• Voltaire loves New York City’s diverse ethnic cuisines, from Indian to Thai, Japanese and Korean food.


Up Front

12 T H I NG S .. .

To know about home fire prevention Story and photo by Laura Liera

There is nothing like a refresher on fire safety – specifically, home fire prevention. As kids, we all learned the stop, drop and roll fire safety technique but as adults, and as homeowners, it’s a bit more complex. Bakersfield Fire Department Battalion Chief John Frando came up with the top 12 fire safety skills every homeowner should be aware of.

Bakersfield Fire Department Battalion Chief John Frando


Smoke detectors

Should be inside every bedroom, outside of sleeping areas and even basements. Test detectors monthly and replace batteries every seasonal time change.


Carbon monoxide detectors Installing CO detectors in homes became law in California as of July 1, 2011. Recommended to be mounted outside every sleeping area.

3 Home heating

Keep things that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators. 16

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Turn off or unplug portable heating devices when you leave the room or go to bed.

sweep at the base of the fire.


Cooking Turn handles away from the front of the stove. Do not walk away from the kitchen when you are cooking and keep children out of the kitchen to prevent injuries.

Properly secure matches and lighters Remind kids that matches and lighters are tools, not toys. The Bakersfield Fire Department’s Juvenile Fire-Setter Program teaches kids the dangers of playing with fire.

5 Purchase a



multipurpose fire extinguisher A multipurpose fire extinguisher can take care of ordinary combustibles like paper, wood, flammable liquids or electrical fires. Remember the acronym PASS: pull the pin, aim it, squeeze the handle and March 2017

Candles can start fires Should be placed in a sturdy base. Blow candles out before leaving the room or going to bed.


Smoking If you must, smoke outside, never inside. Put cigarettes out all the way, even run them under water before throwing them in a trash can.

11 Fireworks Safest way to celebrate with fireworks is to attend fireworks shows that are put on by professionals at a safe distance from people and property.


Pool safety Inflatable toys and flotation devices are no substitute for adult supervision. Pools must be secured by fencing and self-locking, self-closing gate, per local code.


Create defensible space Do not have trees or small shrubs within 30 feet of your home. Create an additional 70 feet of reduced fuel area.

12 EDITH (exit drills

in the home) Have at least two ways out of every room and practice the plan at least twice a year. Establish a meeting place at a safe location.


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

Up Front ART S & C U LT U RE


Entertainment Indulge in a night of art, signature cocktails and culinary treats at ARTMIX, a curated cocktail party at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Attendees can bid on artwork, floral arrangements and more during the silent auction. There will even be an “off the wall” art sale. If you’re interested in starting the party early, the benefactor champagne reception will give you first pick on your favorite art off the wall before anybody else. Plus, you’ll savor a “sophisticated culinary experience” only available

during the benefactor reception. Proceeds from ARTMIX benefit the museum fund, which supports all areas of the museum, including preservation of the museum’s permanent collection, visiting exhibitions, and youth art education and outreach. When: Thursday, March 2 Where: Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m., benefactor champagne reception; 7 to 9 p.m., general event Price: $125 member, $150 non-member for benefactor champagne reception; $50 member, $60 nonmember for general admission For more information, visit

Theater “Always ... Patsy Cline” When: March 10 to April 1 Where: Stars Theatre Restaurant, 1931 Chester Ave. For tickets and time, visit


“Beauty and the Beast”

“Kong: Skull Island”

“The Boss Baby”


“Power Rangers” Source: Movie Insider


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017


Golf, shoot and lunch with the Wounded Heroes Fund

Spend the day playing golf and clay target shooting with your local veterans at the 3rd Annual Bird and Birdie event hosted by the Kern County Wounded Heroes Fund and Honor Flight Kern County. The “bird” part of the event will take place at the Kern County Gun Club where teams will take part in a fun competition of clay target shooting on the morning of Friday, March 10. Following the gun club, participants will head over to the Buena Vista Golf Course and play nine holes of golf and try to get a “birdie.” There will be a cigar bar, drinks, snacks,

lunch provided by Salty’s BBQ and raffle prizes. A four-person team entry is $750. If there is a three-person team, a local veteran is available to take the fourth spot. Wendy Porter, founder and executive director of the Kern County Wounded Heroes Fund, said the annual event sells out and all proceeds stay in Kern County. The proceeds of the event will be split between both local organizations. The Wounded Heroes Fund was founded in 2009 and its goal is to offer support and appreciation to veterans returning to civilian life.

“We establish a new brotherhood for them here at home,” Porter said. The organization helps veterans and their families through outreach programs like financial budgeting workshops, marriage retreats, financial assistance grants and monthly hikes, among others. Honor Flight Kern County sends World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials built in their honor. To sign up, donate raffle prizes or for more information, call the Wounded Heroes office at 328-8600 or Jason Mundorf at 201-6704.




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

Lace up your sneakers and run on trails through the Panorama Vista Preserve and across the Kern River at the Field n’ Dale Fun Run on Saturday, March 18. The event will feature a 6K and 12K run. Runners will receive a T-shirt, raffle ticket, a gift card to Covenant Coffee and breakfast following the race. The staging area and start of the race will be at the parking lot at 901 E. Roberts Lane. Admission is $30 before March 8 and $40 after. All proceeds will benefit the Panorama Vista Preserve – a 936-acre native habitat preserve on both sides of the Kern River below the Panorama Bluffs. Habitat restoration and education outreach are the primary goals for the preserve. The Kern River Corridor Endowment and Covenant Coffee are sponsoring the run. For more information, visit

Xxxx xx x x xxx x x xxxxx

March 11

Mozart in the Jungle

March 1 Kern County Water Summit, 7 a.m., DoubleTree by Hilton, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. $75 per person or $600 for table of eight.

March 3 CIF State Wrestling Championships, 9 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $36-$69.

March 2 Louie Anderson Live, 7 p.m., Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. $30. temblorbrewing. com.

March 4 East Bakersfield High School Hall of Fame Dinner, 5:30 p.m., Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, 801 Truxtun Ave. $85. Tickets available at East High.

. 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m ist art t es Special gu h horn Kolio Plachkov, Frencter Rabobank Thea $20-$45 w. ww


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

March 5 23rd Annual Christian Youth Film Festival, 3 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $10.


Field n’ Dale Fun Run

March 8 Kern County Economic Summit, 7 a.m., DoubleTree by Hilton, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. $100. events.

March 10 The Warriors Cage, 7 p.m., Eagle Mountain Casino, 681 S. Tule Road, Porterville. $30 or $40 floor seating.

March 11 Michelada Madness, 1 p.m., Mercado Latino, 2105 Edison Highway, $10. 21st Annual Super Cruise Car Show, 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Kern County Fairground, 1142 S. P St. Food, live music, vendors, super raffle. Proceeds benefit Society of Disabled Children of Kern County. $10. For prices on vehicle and motorcycle registration, visit

March 14 Alton Brown Live, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $32-$127. March 16 California Guitar Trio, presented by Guitar Masters, 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame, 2230 Q St. $35. March 18 Field n’ Dale Fun Run, presented by the Kern River Corridor Endowment and Covenant Coffee to benefit the Panorama Vista Preserve, 8 a.m., Panorama Vista Preserve, 901 E. Roberts Lane. $30-$40.

SAY CHEERS TO CHARITY Attention beer enthusiasts, your time to sample all of Kern County’s craft beers under one roof is happening Saturday, March 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Meet Your Brewers tasting event, hosted by the 20-30 Club. The best part is your $20 ticket will not only get you dinner and five tastings (additional tastings are available for purchase), but you’ll also be donating to local causes. All proceeds will Elton John, 8 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $49.50-$149.50. 5th Annual INBA Central CA Muscle, Physique and Bikini Championships, prejudging at noon with main show at 6 p.m., East Bakersfield High School auditorium, 2200 Quincy St. $25 general admission or $35 VIP. 978-0150. March 25 22nd Annual Kern

be distributed to local children charities. The breweries involved are Lengthwise Brewing Company, Temblor Brewing Company, Kern River Brewing Company, Dionysus Brewing and LCB Tehachapi. The event will be hosted at Lengthwise Brewery, 7700 District Blvd. To purchase tickets, visit meetyourbrewer.

County Scottish Games and Gathering, 9 a.m. games, 6 p.m. ceilidh, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. $20 games, $15 ceilidh, $2 children 5 to 11 years old; $5 for parking. March 30 Wine & Craft Beer Tasting & Auction, to benefit Relay for Life and Campout Against Cancer, 5:30 p.m., Motor City Lexus, 5101 Gasoline Alley Drive. $60. 635-2315.

North High recognizes hall of fame inductees This year’s North High School Athletics Hall of Fame committee will recognize 13 former Stars at an induction dinner on Wednesday, April 1. The reception kicks off at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 6 p.m. and the presentation beginning at 7 p.m. inside Leddy Hall at Garces High School. North High’s 2017 inductees will be Darrell Rich, John Apperson, Dick Brown, Vance Fisher, Terry Hill, Lisa Johns, Lori Miller, Jimmy Mitchell, Stan Moe, Linda Ross-Van Solkema, Danny Saso, Skip Slayton and Lori Warkentin. Tickets are $75. They can be purchased by visiting


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


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

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

except death and taxes” – Benjamin Franklin


LA COSTA MARISCOS Traditional Mexican cuisine ventures beyond the standards Above: Seafood molcajete Right: Fried chicharrones


Compiled by Bakersfield Life Photos by Greg Nichols

When a restaurant takes the time to create a scenery that transports you to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, without actually being near the beach, you know the attention to detail when it comes to its food will take your taste buds on a pleasant journey. La Costa Mariscos is a

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Bakersfield favorite that makes you feel at home the moment you walk through its front doors. You’re bound to enter an exciting atmosphere any day of the week while people enjoy authentic Mexican flavors. So take a seat and enjoy the homemade chips and salsa but leave room for La Costa's savory dishes.

APPETIZERS Beatris Espericueta Sanders

Left: Dining Divas Joanie Haenelt, Beatris Espericueta Sanders and Norma Rojas-Mora enjoy chips and salsa at La Costa Mariscos. (Two Divas could not make the evening. Holly Bikakis from Bakersfield Life Magazine filled in.) Bottom left: Ceviche Below: Exterior signage at La Costa Mariscos

guacamole and sour cream make this a delicious appetizer for sure. Holly Bikakis on the ceviche: This was one of my favorite appetizers.



La Costa Mariscos




on the chicharrones: They are light and fluffy with just the right amount of salty flavor. The appetizer is served with a cabbage mix salsa that combines cabbage, tomatoes and cilantro with a squeeze of lemon. The crunchy chicharrones and the salsa make the perfect partnership. I dare you to just have one. Joanie Haenelt on the Jalisco fries: These are fun crisscrossed-shaped potato fries that are crispy and smothered in a bold Colorado sauce. Don’t be alarmed with the sauce. It’s not too spicy; it actually has the right amount of kick to it. The fries have a few added bonuses: diced chicken, pico de gallo and jalapenos. And to top it off, the melted cheese,

3401 Chester Ave.

500 FT

The combination of shrimp and fish is served with fresh avocado slices and a lemon wedge that you are encouraged to add to the bowl for an added explosion of flavors. The ceviche is light and refreshing without being filling. It’s so tasty, you almost want to keep ordering bowls and bowls of this savory appetizer. Continued on Page 26

La Costa Mariscos 3401 Chester Ave. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 661-322-2655 Find them on Facebook and Instagram @lacostamariscosbakersfield


Continued from Page 25

ENTREES Norma Rojas-Mora on the mi puerto: This is a breaded fish fillet stuffed with mushrooms, octopus and shrimp. It is topped with a creamy white sauce with a side of fresh vegetables, a fresh salad and

Top: Enchiladas poblanas Bottom: Mi puerto Opposite page: Fried ice cream

JANE’S JEWELERS Where Bakersfield Gets Engaged


9530 Hageman Road • 587-6242 Corner of Calloway & Hageman Tuesday - Friday 10:00 - 6:00 • Saturday 10:00 - 3:00 Closed Sunday and Monday Visit us on our website:

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

rice. The creamy white sauce was a pleasant surprise. The fish was very fresh and the breadcrumbs added the right amount of crispiness to the fish. Holly on the seafood molcajete: We are at a seafood restaurant, so bring it on. This was a bowl of goodness and the presentation makes you want to jump in. What makes this dish almost intimidating is the searing hot molcajete itself and how the seafood medley is actually cooked on this hot stone. Because the stone retains heat, the peppers, onions, seafood and two kinds of melted cheese will continue to sizzle for a while. The sauce that coats the veggies and seafood is creamy and creates the ideal bite every time. Beatris on the enchiladas poblanas: These enchiladas were stuffed to the max with perfectly cooked chicken. Your taste buds

can definitely pick up on the homemade mole sauce that covers every inch of the tortillas. Although the ingredients to the mole can vary, we did get a scoop on a few of those secret elements like chocolate, peppers and black beans. Joanie on the chili verde: Chili verde is one my favorite go-to Mexican meals. This one did not disappoint. The tender chunks of pork were simmered in a traditional chili verde sauce. I could detect the bold flavors of tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos and roasted green chilies. It was served with rice, pot beans and warm tortillas.

DESSERTS Joanie on the flan: This is your traditional Mexican desert. The vanilla custard had a very smooth and creamy texture. The best part was the caramel sauce. It was light, buttery and sweet. La Costa’s home-

made flan is the best way to end your experience at this local eatery. Holly on the fried ice cream: This is chocolate chip ice cream rolled in a combination of crushed cornflakes, honey, cinnamon and sugar. It is then deep-fried and makes the perfect shell for the stillcold ice cream. The way the spoon breaks into the crunchy shell gives the ice cream a moment to be a star. The texture balance between the creamy ice cream and the cornflakes, gives your taste buds a whirlwind of excitement. Good luck putting your spoon down. Beatris on the churros: One word: wow. I’m not even a fan of churros but I think La Costa has officially made me a churro enthusiast. The sugar-cinnamon coating is not overwhelming. The churros themselves are soft on the inside with just the right amount of crunch on the outside.

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

Michele Waugh

Showroom inside Artistic Surfaces 120 Union Avenue

588-8481 •



Shangri-La Asian Bistro & Bar

By Holly Bikakis

Top: Drunken noodles Bottom: Moo goo gai pan

Photos by Mark Nessia

There are many ShangriLas in history through songs, books and movies but there is only one in Bakersfield. Shangri-La Asian Bistro & Bar is a fusion of Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisines on Ming Avenue. Owner Mike Yang knows a thing or two about Asian foods as he also owns Kamisama Ramen and the Asian Market in town. He has

been the owner of Shangri-La for about two years. The staff was very friendly and attentive and made our dining experience pleasurable. They were kind enough to bring us out several dishes, which were good portions for great prices. Drunken noodles ($10): This dish had a nice balance between the sweetness of the basil and spiciness of the sauce. Wide rice noodles are the base with pieces of chicken, green onions and white onions piled on top. I like spicy but not light-my-hair-on-fire hot, so it’s nice that an image of a pepper appears on the menu when an item is spicy allowing you to dial the heat up or down according to your tastes. Moo goo gai pan ($8): The sauce on this dish is really delightful. Almost like a thickened chicken stock, it fuses the chicken, snow peas, mushrooms, carrots and green onions into a great combination. Add that with brown rice


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March 2017

and it made for a robust meal that was very satisfying and delicious. This is a lunch menu item that includes a choice of steamed, fried or brown rice and soup or salad. The great thing about ShangriLa is the variety. I feel like I just scratched the surface of all they have to offer. From dim sum to yakisoba and everything Asian in between, they have a full-sized menu to choose from. Check out the menu online and you’ll know what I mean. Next time you feel like exploring some new food options, take a trip to Shangri-La.

Shangri-La Asian Bistro & Bar 2217 Ashe Road 661-832-2288 Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Left: Chicken noodle pho Above: Grilled pork chop with steamed rice

Pho Vy Restaurant #2 Story and photos by Laura Liera

Pho. For anyone, like myself, who can’t figure out how to correctly pronounce this three-letter culinary delight, it’s pronounced “fuh.” Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about Pho Vy Restaurant #2 – the most authentic Vietnamese restaurant found in the city, in my opinion. When owner Jason Tieu arrived to Bakersfield in

2005, he saw the need for more Asian cuisine, specifically, authentic Vietnamese food. Fast-forward to today, and Pho Vy #2 is the second location in town. The original restaurant is still keeping busy, 2 miles south from downtown. The Stine Road location recently opened its doors at the Stine and White Crossings shopping plaza. The restaurant is large with comfortable seating and it’s a great spot for lunch or dinner.

Chicken noodle pho ($7.50 small; $8.50 large): Pho should be treasured. Not just because the steamy soup is a Vietnamese way of life, but because the large bowl filled with chicken broth, meat and noodles slowly embraces you in an aromatic hug. The presentation is mesmerizing. The transparent broth gives you a great view of the rice noodles and thinly sliced chicken. Cilantro floats at the top and adds a delicate taste to the pho. As good as the soup already is, you are encouraged to customize it from a variety of sauces and raw veggies like mung bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos and mint. Oh, and don’t forget to add a squeeze of lime juice; it highlights the flavor of the seasoned broth. And if you’re like me and like a little kick to your meals, squirt some Sriracha sauce and their caramel-like hoisin sauce for an even tastier pho. Slurping the broth as you take a bite of the noodles and chicken is totally acceptable – I hope. So, with my permission, slurp and indulge.

Grilled pork chop with steamed rice ($8.50): Juicy pork chops are great on the grill and the cooks at Pho Vy have perfected this cut of meat. Soaked for days in a secret rub and marinade, the two pork chops are moist and have the ideal golden-brown sear. Although the stars of the dish are the pork chops, the dish comes with an over-easy egg and white rice. I suggest cutting bite-sized pieces of both the pork chop and egg and scooping some white rice so you can give your taste buds an explosion of flavors and textures. Oh, and I can’t forget the fish sauce that comes with the dish. How the fish sauce is made is a secret – trust me, I tried getting that confidential recipe but failed. All I know is the sauce adds another distinctive layer of flavor to the pork chops.

Pho Vy Restaurant #2 4200 Stine Road, Suite A 661-735-5354 333 Union Ave., Suite 203 661-323-9888 Find them on Facebook: Pho Vy Restaurant



or overly creamy with an interesting combination of flavors – a perfect, refreshing finish for the intense, spicy flavors of the rest of the meal.

Masala Grill Photos by Mark Nessia

rant, which means it adheres to the dietary requirements of Islamic law.

Masala Grill is a real gem for Bakersfield and, for fans of authentic ethnic food, it’s a place that should not be missed. This quaint, family owned restaurant, tucked into the shopping center on the southeast corner of Stine and Planz roads, serves up dishes from Pakistan and northern India that are painstakingly prepared from fresh ingredients and bursting with interesting and complex flavors. Moiz Lakdawala, one of the owners, explained that Pakistani cuisine is generally more meat-based (though, as a vegetarian, I found plenty of options), spicier and, due to the fact that it relies more on fresh ingredients than dried and powdered spices, yields more subtle and complex flavors than typical Indian food. Masala Grill is also a halal restau-

Veg thaali ($7.99): Reviewed by Glenn Hammett The vegetarian plate, which included daal tadka (curried lentils), jeera rice, garlic naan bread, sabji (vegetables) and ras malai for dessert, offered a satisfying collection of complementary flavors and textures. The daal was smoothly pureed and extremely flavorful, with a spicy finish that kind of sneaks up on you. The rice, cooked with cumin seeds, was flavorful and moist enough to eat on its own or serve as a perfect base with the daal or sabji. The sabji, or vegetables, can change from day to day. Mine were delicious diced potatoes with a light, yellow curry glaze and chopped cilantro. Ras malai is a ball of paneer (cheese), similar in taste and texture to fresh mozzarella, in a chilled saffron and cardamom milk-based sauce. It’s not too sweet

Compiled by Bakersfield Life


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Chicken kati roll ($5.49): Reviewed by Mark Nessia A popular street food originating from Kolkata, India, kati rolls are portable and delicious, their ingredients working harmoniously together to create a delightful palate pleaser. An egg cracked onto a wheat paratha (Pakistani flatbread) and cooked together is filled with cheese, chicken, red onion, cilantro chutney and tamarind chutney then tightly wrapped. Each bite is packed with flavor, starting with the sweet and sour of the tamarind chutney, the bite from the red onion and finishing with a little kick from the cilantro chutney. The tender chicken, egg and cheese keep the heat in check so you can enjoy bite after bite without reaching for a beverage. If one is required, the cold coffee with ice cream ($3.49) is a refreshing fire extinguisher.

Masala Grill

3508 Stine Road Open noon to 8 p.m., every day 661-456-0786 bakersfield


Above: The newly designed exterior of the 2017 Audi Q7. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Strong horizontal lines of the dash give the interior a more spacious look. Seven-inch retractable screen. Rear passenger area climate control system. Audi’s virtual cockpit.



2017 Audi Q7 Quattro Seven-passenger SUV that behaves like a luxury sport sedan By Glenn Hammett

Photos by Mark Nessia

The mental picture I get when somebody says “seven-passenger SUV,” is one of a lumbering, gas-guzzling behemoth that can carry as much stuff as a 26-foot U-Haul truck and is about as nimble and fun to drive. That stereotype all melted away when I got behind the wheel of the newly redesigned all-wheel drive 2017 Audi Q7 Quattro. Audi’s conceptual work on the Q7 began in 2002 and it first arrived in showrooms in 2005. Besides a minor facelift in 2009, the model has basically been unchanged for 11 years. Car model redesigns typically occur

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

every four to six years. Speculation as to why Audi waited so long to part ways with the first-generation Q7 include the fact that the company replaced its development chief twice, that the new MLB Architecture of the 2017 Q7 was to serve as the prototype for all models moving forward and they wanted to be sure to get it right, and the first-generation Q7 continued to be a strong seller for the German automaker. Regardless of the reasons, it was well worth the wait. The 2017 Q7, the largest SUV in Audi’s lineup, is not only spacious enough to comfortably carry a growing family and a few of their friends, it boasts first-class comfort, a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a 474-pound weight reduction compared to the prior Q7 model. It is the perfect family hauler for the luxury-minded parent who doesn’t

It’s all in the details Price tag: Base: $49,000 As tested: $62,075 Fuel economy: 25 mpg highway, 20 mpg city, 22 mpg combined

want to sacrifice style or performance. The exterior of the new Q7 is marked by sharply creased bodylines and a prominent sculpted front end with a large, angular grille. Its stance is aggressive; its profile, sleek. The interior is exactly what you would expect from a German luxury car: plush, yet functional; superbly engineered; and flawlessly executed. The horizontally expansive dash adds to the spacious feeling of the cabin and the retractable display screen is an elegant solution. With the “virtual cockpit,” a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, you can control and display data on virtually any system in the car, all easily accessed through a very intuitive interface. The 2017 Q7 is crammed with cutting-edge safety and technology features.

Exit Assist, which alerts the driver before he or she flings the door open into the path of a car or bicycle approaching from behind, is my personal favorite, having been the unfortunate victim of such an event while riding my bike on H Street several years ago. There are also systems that prevent steering overcorrection and turning into the path of an oncoming car when making a left turn and one that scans speed limit and other road signs and displays them on the dash. Despite its size and passenger-carrying capacity, the new Q7 drives and handles more like a sports sedan than a boat. The steering is extremely responsive and I detected very little of the body sway through turns that is typical of large SUVs. With its all-wheel drive capability, luxury car comfort, sports sedan performance and an astonishing array of safety and technology features, the 2017 Audi Q7 completely changed my thinking about what a seven-passenger vehicle can be.

Your five favorite features of the 2017 Audi Q7. Quattro all-wheel drive system, 12.3-inch virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster, Google Maps, Audi Connect Wi-Fi and massaging seats. What makes the 2017 Audi Q7 stand out from other full-size luxury SUVs? Superior style. Target customer: Luxury-minded families. Three words that describe the 2017 Audi Q7: Luxurious, sporty, elegant. What do you like most about the 2017 Audi Q7? Driving and handling characteristics of a sports sedan. Source: Natasha Molovstvova, Audi executive sales




Tuscany A homebuyer’s dream community Compiled by Bakersfield Life

Photos courtesy of David Swann

Located in northwest Bakersfield, the Tuscany community by San Joaquin Valley Homes offers an array of choices in floor plans and exterior designs. Starting in the low $300,000s, these spacious homes range from 2,219 to 3,205 square feet and feature three to six bedrooms and two to 3.5 baths with the opportunity to personalize the home with additional room options. The homesites are also spacious, ranging from 8,500 to 16,000 square feet, allowing for diverse outdoor opportunities. 34

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March 2017

The three model homes, open daily for touring, are stunning inside and out. Built in the architectural traditions of French country, Tuscan and Italian, they display a classic European flair with thoughtful embellishments and handcrafted details such as keystone entryways, inviting carriage lights, full-height stone veneer and concrete tile roofs. Outdoor living spaces are complemented

with enchanting courtyards, covered patios and flexible plans include a porte cochere and a casita. The blend of aesthetic appeal with functional living spaces make these homes especially attractive. Expansive windows with a view in the great rooms and 9- to 10-foot ceilings throughout the first floors enhance the spaciousness of these elegant homes. Selective details such as naturally beautiful granite counters in kitchen and baths, tile flooring, hand-textured walls with two-tone paint, recessed lighting, custom-designed maple cabinetry, deluxe baseboards and door casings unify to create an ambience of luxury. The plans offered at Tuscany are the Carrera, Verona, Palazzo and Marsala. The Carrera is a single-story, splitwing design with 2,219 square feet featuring three bedrooms, two baths, an office and a two-car garage. It has an elegant and inviting tiled entry that extends into a gallery that opens to a large courtyard through french doors. The Verona has 2,470 square feet in the standard plan, which includes four bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a three-car garage. You can add a loft with a guest suite upstairs, increasing the living

space to 3,205 square feet. The two-story Palazzo features four bedrooms, a loft and 2.5 baths in its 2,659 square feet. An optional casita makes it a 3,011-square-foot home. A fifth bedroom or an office can be added in place of the loft. The large owner’s suite is conveniently located on the first floor.

Tuscany homebuyers can personalize their home at the onsite Design Center. The Marsala, a single-story home with 2,831 square feet, includes four bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a three-car garage. The large great room opens to the kitchen and dining areas and has a broad view and access to the backyard covered patio. A popular split-wing design provides additional privacy to the spacious owner’s suite that is set on one side of the home away from the other bedrooms. Tuscany has an onsite Design Center where buyers are able to personalize their home with a wide array of choices in colors, countertops, appliances, flooring, window coverings,

cabinets, fixtures and more. San Joaquin Valley Homes is prepared to accommodate all types of buyers. They have homes built in advance that are detailed with popular amenities for those looking to move into a new home quickly. For more information, visit the neighborhood sales office at Hageman and Renfro roads or call the managing realtor, Carrie Williams, with Chaddick Williams Realty: 301-8115 or 979-1999.

Tuscany Models and Sales Office Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Price: Staring in the low $300,000s Amenities: Granite counters; tile flooring; Whirlpool stainless steel appliances, including double oven; front yard landscaping; enchanting courtyards; covered patios; and spacious homesites. Parks: Close to many North of the River parks. Shopping: Northwest Promenade School District: Rosedale School District, Patriot Elementary, Freedom Middle School and Frontier High School





Highgate at Seven Oaks By Mark Nessia

Castle & Cooke’s fingerprints are found all throughout southwest Bakersfield. There’s the Seven Oaks Country Club, The Marketplace, Gosford Village, The Shops at River Walk and more than 5,000 homes in the legacy that is Seven Oaks. The newest addition – Highgate – promises to take high-end community living to new heights. 36

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March 2017

Developing on the southwest corner of Ming Avenue and Allen Road, the 443-acre lot will contain approximately 1,200 homes and homesites behind its massive gates and include a swim and fitness clubhouse, park and elementary school. The goal is to connect neighbors with neighbors. “If you build the community first and the house second … if you really build a neighborhood right, you will get people connected,”

said Castle & Cooke Vice President of Sales and Marketing Darlene Mohlke. Narrow roads help control traffic speed and tree-lined streets


provide plenty of shade, inviting residents to walk the neighborhood, even during the summer. When completed, Highgate will be a community within a community with Highgate Square, Proper, Shires, Estates and Regents neighboring one another – a first for a Castle & Cooke development. Six model homes are open with five more ready in the summer. By 2018, all model complexes will be available and prospective buyers can tour the whole master plan. Highgate Shires, which will open mid-2017, also features three custom guest builders with model homes: Dave Packer Custom Homes, Delfino Homes and Gaskill Rose Luxury Home Builders. Regents, an active adult community, is scheduled to open in the fall with models and its own private clubhouse. Highgate’s emphasis on community doesn’t mean the homes themselves

have been overlooked. The available models contain features and amenities that maintain Castle & Cooke’s high standards, including prepaid solar leases and Greenwise design, which keeps energy costs down by making the home more energy efficient. Seven Oaks Country Club member

incentives by invitation only are also available to Highgate residents, giving them access to a 27-hole championship golf course, tennis and fitness center, and five-star dining at the Oak Room. There is no doubt that Highgate was designed with its future residents in mind and the neighborhood is close to shopping, dining and entertainment options – many courtesy of Castle & Cooke. “We felt like socially integrating all the residents together would be a very good step and we spent lots of time researching other communities and how they were master planned,” Mohlke said. “We discovered that once they sell and move, they move up within the community. You may have them for life. “We’re expecting nothing but greatness as our legacy of Seven Oaks continues at Highgate.”

Highgate at Seven Oaks 1800 Hazelwick Drive Model homes open: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Homes starting in the low $300,000s. Community amenities: Gated community, Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse, tot lot, basketball court, amphitheater, clock tower and Seven Oaks Country

Club membership incentives for buyers. Parks: Highgate Park and The Park at River Walk Shops: The Shops at River Walk and The Marketplace Schools: (Coming soon) Highgate Elementary School, Ronald Reagan Elementary School, Earl Warren Middle School, Stockdale High School





Technological advancements have affected nearly every industry and home security is no exception. But with increased connectivity and support come new threats. The basic burglar alarm systems of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s have given way to cloud-based mobile home monitoring with plenty of options in between. “The protection concept has always been the same … but it progressed from the key to the touch pad,” said Morgan Clayton, founder and president of Tel-Tech Security Systems Inc., a Bakersfield-based company that has been providing safety and peace of mind for residents in 25 cities in California and Nevada for 35 years. Clayton credited companies like Microsoft and Apple for revolutionizing home security, taking consumers from the analog world to the network world where everything flows through the internet. Over the years, basic home monitoring migrated from phone line to cellular to radio to the internet and


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

consumers have a variety of options depending on the level of security they desire. Options ranging from full-service packages, complete with installation and command center connectivity to emergency services, to do-it-yourself security systems make home security accessible and affordable regardless of budget or type of home. “You can get as crazy as you want to get,” Clayton said. But unlike the past, home security isn’t limited to protecting one’s home and the contents within. With mobile technology allowing users to install apps that let them to view live video surveillance, open and close doors, activate locks, control heating and air conditioning, and much more on their phones, their mobile devices can be just as tempting a target for intruders as their homes. “Cyber security is a big thing today,” Clayton said. “Make sure the

companies you are dealing with have firewall departments that protect you from theft of data.” Cloud-based services can provide increased security. Because data is stored on remote servers rather than one’s mobile device, personal data will still be protected if the device is lost or stolen. Cloud-based home security also saves consumers money by reducing the amount of equipment needed because everything is handled through an internet connection, Clayton noted. One thing to consider when looking at home security is whether an organization is a full-service company. Clayton said most companies are actually retailers or dealers and the products and services offered are from third-party providers that may not be as reputable as others. Be wary of special deals, too; if an offer looks too good to be true, it usually is. Check with the Better Business Bureau, local law enforcement and check the security company’s command center if possible. Most importantly, make sure the person you talk to is really who they claim to be. “Online is great, texting is beautiful, but before you say yes, talk voice to voice,” Clayton said. “Make sure who you’re talking to is who you’re talking to in the security world.”

Only Castle & Cooke could create a legacy like Seven Oaks. And only Castle & Cooke could make it better.

Model Homes Now Open

Homes from the low $300's • 1712 - 2288 sq. ft.

Homes from the mid $300's • 2018 - 2646 sq. ft.

Gated Communities with New Homes by Castle & Cooke

Seven Oaks Country Club Membership Incentives Available*

661-664-6039 • • Ming Ave. and Allen Rd. BRE# 01254164

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




Apricot Lane Boutique Apricot Lane Boutique is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, uniquely designed and merchandised with the latest fashion apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories and gifts in the styles and trends customers are looking for. Apricot Lane Boutique, along with its highly managed and updated daily social media sites, creates a unique adventure and shopping experience that captures the look and vibe of the local area. Apricot Lane features today’s most sought-after styles and must-have pieces to embrace anyone’s individual taste, from mother to daughter. Offered in limited quantities with new arrivals almost daily, shopping at Apricot Lane is truly an affordable “unique boutique” experience. ​ MAKE A STATEMENT

4 1


3 1 Lace trim colorful tank 2 Flying Monkey jeans 3 Hobo clutch wallet 4 Sara Happ “Rosegold One” luxe gloss 5 Camel laser-cut open-toed booties 6 CANVAS wired beads teardrop earrings


5 40

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

APRICOT LANE | BAKERSFIELD The Marketplace 9000 Ming Ave., Suite J-1 661-665-8774


La Petite Day Spa & Boutique

Owner Jennifer Congdon and her oldest daughter Baylee.

Treat your body, mind and soul at La Petite Day Spa & Boutique. Options like a fusion massage or VitaSkin facial are catered to your needs. If you’re ready to be pampered a little extra, there are several packages that include both a body massage and facial. And with the most recent expansion and under new management,

La Petite Day Spa & Boutique is the place to relax and experience the ultimate escape from everyday tension. Owner Jennifer Congdon believes in creating a premium experience while using only the best skin care line on the market: Eminence Handmade Organic Skin Care. So go ahead, let yourself be pampered.




1 Must-have minis gift set 2 Some of our favorites by Eminence

LA PETITE DAY SPA & BOUTIQUE 5301 Office Park Drive, Suite 360 661-323-7700





Humans of a feather bird together Birding a favorite pastime for California City mother, daughter


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

By Mayan Xitlaly Lara

Grab your smart phone and a notebook and take a stroll around your neighborhood. Maybe you’ll hear a chirp, or a shriek or even a hoot. You might even find yourself face to face with a warbler or a California condor. This isn’t a pastime that has to be planned or researched. The beauty of birding is that you could do it anytime and anywhere. It also spans across generations. Alexia Svejda and her 14-year-old daughter, Nadia, who live in California City, often just go out to their backyard to eat breakfast and will stumble across birds of many kinds. California City is one of the top birding spots in Southern California. They started birding by just listening and seeing what kind of wildlife they have around their home. Before they knew it, they had spotted 178 different species of birds in just one year. This amazing discovery catapult-

ed them into the wonderful world of birds. It soon became a great bonding experience for the mother and daughter. The pair would wake up bright and early, sometimes around 4 a.m., to catch birds waking up and getting ready to start their days. “The best time to bird is right when the sun comes up or right before the sun goes down,” Nadia said. “When they’re all waking up and leaving or coming in.” Nadia, who has been seriously birding since she was 11 years old, has learned a lot from birding with her mother. She has learned to describe where things are and how they sound. She also enjoys and has noticed that every bird is different. “Different species seem to have different personalities,” Nadia said. “Some are oozing with character,” Alexia added. Alexia suggests that if anyone is going to go out and start birding, the best app to download is the eBird app.

The eBird app, which is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is a free mobile app that is a fast and accurate way for users to submit and track bird sightings.

Alexia suggests that if anyone is going to go out and start birding, the best app to download is the eBird app. All a birder would have to do is enter when, where and how they went birding and what birds they saw. The app lets you track local hot spots and make checklists of species and how many of each was sighted. This app is not only useful to birders but it helps inform researchers and conservationists worldwide. “It’s like one giant citizen science project,” Alexia said.

Locally Owned and Serving Kern County for more than 26 years!

When you or someone you love requires assistance in the home due to illness, surgery, or age, you can trust Alternative Care to provide the helping hands you need with carefully screened, qualified, compassionate caregivers. Free In-home Care Assessment • 24 Hour Service

661.631.2036 • 2029 21st Street KERN ALTERNATIVE CARE dba Alternative Care, Ca State License No. 154700004.



Bringing world-class guitarists to Bakersfield By Mayan Xitlaly Lara



Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017


Country, rock, jazz, you name it, Guitar Masters is an experience unlike any other with a variety of artists playing monthly. It offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Guitar Masters is a concert series that hosts master guitarists from around the world. Rick Kreiser, president of Carney’s Business Technology Center and mastermind behind the series, said, “You don’t have to be famous to perform; you just have to be very, very good.” While most of the guitarists are multiple-Grammy winners, and some even Oscar winners for soundtracks, not all of them are superstars in the music world. “You never have to worry if the artists are going to be any good or not,” Kreiser said. “I try to select musicians that are entertainers as well as quality musicians.” Kreiser has been leading Guitar Masters since he

founded the concert series back in 2011. Since then, he and his team have put on 44 shows. They promise 10 shows this year and no two are ever the same. March will bring the California Guitar Trio to Bakersfield on March 16 and Acoustic Eidolon on March 30. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 both days. With most of the concerts being held at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame, which seats 250 people, you get a close, intimate experience with each show. Since it’s more of a listening room than a concert hall, the hall also offers better acoustics than you would get in any other venue. The guitarists have been handpicked by Kreiser to give an excellent performance to an appreciative crowd. These shows are meant to give everyone, including the artists, a civilized show experience where everyone is

PATSY RETURNS! attentive. Guitar Masters is not meant to be just an amazing show for the people of Bakersfield, but also for the artists who come in from across the nation. Kreiser goes above and beyond to make sure that the artists leave with a positive impression of Bakersfield. When the guitarists come to town for a show, he helps them experience the best of Bakersfield. He has all the artists, no matter who they are, stay at the Padre Hotel and takes them out to restaurants in town that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, like Uricchio’s Trattoria or Noriega’s. “My part is to show them that this is more than just a country-western town and it’s more than just a stop on the highway,” Kreiser said.




Guitar Masters


American Idol, National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,, La Reve Las Vegas

March 16 and 30, 7:30 p.m. Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame, 2231 R St. General tickets are $35. Season tickets are $299.

(661) 325 25--6100 | |

Sophia Cummings Realtor

Cal BRE #02005274

#bmtstars ars


(661) 549-3947



Go & Do


Drinking for a cause


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017




Scenes from the 2016 Country & Craft Beer Festival.



3rd annual Country & Craft Beer Festival benefits children’s charities

By Mayan Xitlaly Lara

Nestled in the heart of downtown Bakersfield, food, craft beer, yard games and country music are scheduled to entertain the likes of many. The Active 20-30 Club presents its third annual Country & Craft Beer Festival. The event takes place Saturday, April 1, at the historic Central Park at Mill Creek. The club hopes to give attendees a “Coachella experience on festival-style grounds,” according to business owner and event chairman Vance Elmore. You don’t necessarily have to like country to attend this event. If you’re a beer connoisseur or a foodie, then this is an event for you. More than 40 different craft breweries and 30 different local restaurants are scheduled to attend. Participants include local breweries such as Lengthwise Brewing Company, which is sponsoring the event, and Temblor Brewing Company, as well as out-of-towners such as Firestone-Walker and Lagunitas. With each brewery, there will be a representative to pour and educate. Attendees will get unlimited samples of everything. The event is volunteer based and 100 percent of the proceeds go to children’s charities. “All of it is donated, which we really like to advertise,” Elmore said. While you drink for a good cause, there will be games

and live music available. You can enjoy playing giant Jenga and giant beer pong while local bands such as Lonely Avenue and Truxton Mile perform on the main stage and Texas country group JB and the Moonshine Band entertain on the VIP stage. The event is scheduled to host 1,500 people, 200 of which will be VIP guests. “We don’t want you to wait in lines,” Elmore said. VIP tickets are $120 and general admission is $60. It is highly recommended that attendees purchase tickets in advance as the event tends to sell out. Tickets are all-inclusive but with a VIP ticket you get some extra bonuses. VIP gets you an hour early admission, a private stage with special musical guests, a fully catered meal from the award-winning PorkChop and Bubba’s BBQ and a specialty beer tent where exclusive barrel-aged and sour beers will be poured. This is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Active 20-30 club. Last year, it raised more than $60,000. Some of the proceeds went to local charities such as the Boys & Girls Club and M.A.R.E. This year they hope to raise more. “It’s a lot of fun and we know that we’re helping a lot of underprivileged youth and that’s really what it’s all about,” Elmore said. If your children’s charity is interested in volunteering, send an email to the Active 20-30 Club at BeerFest@

Country & Craft Beer Festival April 1 Central Park at Mill Creek 1 to 5 p.m. (noon to 5 p.m. for VIP guests) General admission: $60, VIP: $120. Purchase tickets at any Lengthwise location or at

Lunch • Dinner • Catering • Sunday Brunch All of us here at the Red Pepper would like to send out a warm Thank You to our many customerfriends and family for their continued Support and Loyalty!! We look forward to seeing you all in the coming year and hope to add new friends to our family. Gilbert and Sharon would especially like to extend an appreciative Thank You to their staff - many are behind the scenes, but all have helped to build the “Pepper’s” success !Job Well Done!

2641 Oswell St # G, Bakersfield, CA 93306 Dining Room Hours: Monday –Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm Friday & Sat. 11:00am to 9:30pm • Sunday 10:00am to 8:30pm

(661) 871-5787



SPACE CAMP IS NOT JUST FOR KIDS U.S. Space and Rocket Center program lets participants reach for the stars By Dianne Hardisty Photos courtesy of U.S. Space and Rocket Center Houston, we have a problem. I was in command of the Space Shuttle Enterprise on final approach to Cape Canaveral when warning lights and sirens filled the cockpit. I looked over at my pilot and he seemed bewildered as he flipped through his manual. Houston, what were you thinking when you stuffed this husband and wife into a cockpit together? This could get ugly. Good thing we were only “flying” a simulator at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Adult Space Camp. Most people have heard about space camp, the science program for elementary and high school students. With the movie “The Mars Generation” scheduled to air this spring on Netflix, we will be hearing a lot more. The documentary follows a group of teenagers through space camp. But space camp is not just for kids. Adults also can experience the thrill of space at the iconic Huntsville, Alabama, camp. Space camp is the brain child of German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, who led the U.S. space program to its first manned landing on the moon in 1969. After World War II, Von Braun and other German scientists were relocated to the Redstone Army Arsenal in Huntsville, where they developed and tested rockets at what is now NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Recognizing the need to educate Americans about space exploration, Von Braun inspired the creation of the U.S. Space and 48

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Rocket Center, which opened in 1970 on Redstone land. A decade later, he helped found space camp for students 9 years of age and older. And in 1990, space camp opened its doors to the “young at heart” by offering three- and four-day adult and family camps. Go to www. for details. This would-be astronaut and her husband, Jack, recently attended a special two-day space camp offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. After we arrived on a Thursday afternoon, we toured the Severe Weather Institute and ate dinner with our group, before checking into the nearby Huntsville Marriott. (No, we did not sleep in space camp dorms and bunks.) The next morning, we assembled at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for breakfast, mission assignments and training, before spending the next two hours flying simulated space ships, donning space suits, performing robotic maneuvers and manning “mission control.” Surprisingly, the day was more stressful than I had imagined, as we all were expected to work as teams to handle “life and death” emergencies, with “Houston” calling the shots. Lunch was followed by a retired rocket scientist’s guided tour of the Davidson Center, which houses a massive Apollo-era Saturn V rocket. After graduation, most people rushed to a nearby airport to catch flights home. Pat Ammons, the center’s communications director, said people who attend adult space camp generally fall into three categories – people living out their childhood dreams, people fascinated by space

Travel: Many people attend adult space camp as a stop on a cross-country road trip. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is located about 2,000 miles from Bakersfield in Huntsville, Alabama. But it also is common for campers to fly into airports in Nashville, Tennessee, or Huntsville. Nonstop round-trip flights between Los Angeles International Airport and Nashville sell for as low as $348; one-stop round-trip flights to Huntsville sell for as low as $408. Add about $200 and an extra stop if you plan to fly from Bakersfield.

and teachers. “One teacher can come here and return as inspiration,” she said. They can give students “the spark they need” to pursue the sciences and math required to someday open deep space. Especially popular are the center’s family camps – two, three or more family members sharing the experience, including living in the dorms. “We get a lot of fathers and sons, grandparents and their grandchildren, uncles and aunts,” Ammons said. Adult space camps are offered year-round. Whether you want to fulfill a lifelong dream or better understand U.S. space exploration, adult space camp is a kick in the pants and worth a trip to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Facing page top and bottom: Dianne Hardisty tries on a spacesuit. Jack Hardisty at the controls. Top: Aerial view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Bottom: Apollo 16 capsule.

Cost: Adult space camps cost $549 for three days and $649 for four days. Family camp rates are $948 for two, $1,247 for three and $399 per person above three. The cost includes lodging in dorms and three meals a day. For $99 more, you can buy a really cool space camp flight suit, but all you really need to wear are comfortable clothes and enclosed shoes. Reservations: Go to www. to reserve a spot in adult space camp, which is offered year-round. The next two-day OLLI Space Camp will be offered May 4 to 5. Space is limited. The cost is $420 single occupancy and $335 double. Lodging at the nearby Huntsville Marriott and meals are included.


B Well


BACK TO NATURE WITH A HEALTHY BACK By Leigh Pozas Photos by Laura Liera

Spring is the time to get back to nature with outdoor activities such as gardening

and yardwork. The key is to get back to nature and keep a healthy back. Working in the garden or yard are great activities that not only keep you moving but help with relaxation,

stress, and provide a sense of accomplishment and creativity. But before you go out and take on a full day of gardening, check out these do’s and don’ts.

DO’S OF YARDWORK Remember: Never lean or bend over from the waist to pick something up, put it down, push, pull or when trimming. Use the larger leg and gluteal muscles and bend at the knees to squat down or push a rake or lawn mower.


If squatting or kneeling is difficult, invest in a portable garden kneeler. The one pictured can be found at Robby’s Nursery. It converts into a bench or a kneeling pad with handles to let you easily lower yourself down while holding on. Don’t forget to practice proper squats and lunges. They are workout moves that strengthen the legs, glutes and core, areas of the body that are essential for gardening and any other daily tasks.


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March 2017



Gables Residential Care Homes

March is Sleep Awareness Month; how many Z’s do you please?

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

Take the Sleep IQ Quiz 1 During sleep, your brain rests. True False 2 Sleeping just one hour less a night can prevent you from learning or functioning normally. True False 3 Boredom makes you feel sleepy, even if you have had enough sleep. True False 4 Resting in bed with

7 The older you get, the fewer hours of sleep you need. True False

9 If you’re sleepy, raising the volume of your radio is a great way to stay awake while driving. True False 10 Sleep disorders are mainly due to worry or psychological problems. True False

5 Snoring is not harmful as long as it doesn’t disturb others. True False

11 The human body never adjusts to night shift work. True False

every night. True False

RCFE No. 157206898

8 No matter how sleepy you are, you can force yourself to stay awake. True False

your eyes closed cannot satisfy your body's need for sleep. True False

6 Everyone dreams

Spruce Gardens • 13303 Nantucket

12 Most sleep disorders go away even without treatment. True False Answers: 1. F, 2. T, 3. F, 4. T, 5. F, 6. T, 7. F, 8. F, 9. F, 10. F, 11. T, 12. F

The Gables • 903 Spirit Lake RCFE No. 155801279

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

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



B Well


Controlling allergens How skin testing may help get to the bottom of pesky allergies

POLLEN • Avoid spending too much time outdoors when pollen counts are high. • Close windows and use air conditioning when possible. • After spending time outdoors, change your clothes. Bathe before going to bed to wash pollens away. • Limit outdoor activities on hot and windy days.

By Laura Liera

Watery eyes. Sneezing. Runny nose. The three most universal signs of your body telling you it’s about to give you a few rough days. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergic rhinitis affects between 10 to 30 percent of the population worldwide. Rhinitis – or nasal allergy – symptoms include itching in the nose and eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose and mucus in the throat. There are several types of rhinitis, including allergic rhinitis, caused by allergies to substances called allergens; seasonal allergic rhinitis, or “hay fever,” caused by a reaction to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds; or perennial allergic rhinitis caused by allergens that are present all year long like dust mites, mold, animal dander and cockroach debris. Dr. Paula Ardron, chief of allergy and immunology with Kaiser Permanente, said there are different tests to help find what allergens people are sensitive to. A medical history, along with symptoms, are important prior to a consultation, Ardron noted. Allergy skin testing is one way to figure out the allergens people are aller52

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How to limit exposure to common allergens

DUST MITES • Wash bedding and mattress pads every one to two weeks. Use hot water and a dryer set on high. • Encase pillows, mattress, and box springs. • Remove stuffed toys from bed. • Vacuum weekly.

gic to. But not everyone can have the test done. People with active asthma, eczema or on certain medications are advised to have a blood test done instead of the skin testing. “Our primary care doctors take the patient’s history … based on that referral we can then put them in the right kind of appointment and therefore determine the proper testing for them,” Ardron said. Finding out what a patient is allergic to is an important first step to an effective allergy treatment. Skin testing is often done on the back or arms. A small amount of an allergen is then put on the skin and a prick is made. The March 2017

Kaiser Permanente allergy practice tests about 35 allergens at a time. The skin is then checked for a reaction. “The type of reaction that we are looking for is hives at the site,” Ardron said. It could take up to 20 minutes for there to be a reaction. Depending on the number of positive reactions, Ardron will then talk to patients on ways to either avoid or treat those allergens. For someone whose allergies are triggered by dust mites, encasing pillows, a mattress and box springs, as well as washing the bedding weekly in hot water, decreases the exposure to mites by 70 to 80 percent.

ANIMALS • Restrict pet area to one area. • Keep pet out of patient’s room. • Wash your hands after touching a pet. MOLD • Keep doors and windows closed and use air conditioning. • Control moisture by repairing water leaks. • Clean and remove. contaminated materials by applying chlorine bleach or other mold cleaners. COCKROACH • Exterminate with pesticides. • Vacuum and wet wash home thoroughly. • Place trash outside of home every night. • Wash dishes daily. • Seal cracks and portals of entry.



Nina Ha’s home office, which is also her “Happy Place.”

SHE SPACES FOR SHEDDING STRESS Man caves have long dominated the interior design landscape, from sports team memorabilia to mirrored Jack Daniel’s logo art, pool tables, dart boards and beer dispensed from a home bar. Several female equivalents have cropped up in recent history: sewing spaces, craft rooms, and now, she sheds and woman caves. It’s a growing trend that’s gaining momentum throughout Pinterest land. Many women are erecting small cottages in their backyard as a means of escaping the pressures of life. The she sheds range from elaborate to simple, but its decor, paint, embellishments, and aesthetic are as unique as their owners. However, building a separate area can be too time consuming, costly, or both for most women. Enter the woman cave, mom cave,

power room, or whatever it is you want to call it. It’s a room in the house that can be used for more than just crafting or sewing. It’s like an indoor she shed where towering dishes, mammoth laundry, and feuding kids cease to exist in an exquisite suspension of time. I call mine “My Happy Place.” It’s our home office, which my gracious husband has allowed me to transform completely. It’s painted scarlet and adorned with retro superhero throw pillows, a homemade treadmill desk, custom art and photographs of loved ones. This is where I edit pictures, write stories, produce videos and challenge myself creatively. But I’m not alone. Local radio personality Becky Pelishek from Christian station Life FM has enjoyed her mom cave since 2010. Her retreat includes an inviting daybed, inspiring wall art and a computer armoire where she voice tracks her radio show. And, she says the best thing about her sanctuary is, “With

three kids ... quiet.” Patty Wonderly, who dedicates herself to volunteering for worthy causes, has had her Bakersfield she cave for eight years. It boasts a futon for reading and relaxing, a large desk on which to write her young adult fantasy fiction novels and decorations to galvanize her imagination. “When I’m stuck with my writing, I need only look around and my inner child gets fed,” she said. But even if you don’t have a she space, I believe that an emotional getaway can also be found in a hot cup of coffee, a morning quiet time, a sincere prayer or time with a good friend. No matter where we retreat, I hope we can all return to our lives refreshed, restored and reinspired.

Nina Ha


By Nina Ha

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha.


Business Profiles


Courts & Greens

What services does Courts & Greens provide? Courts & Greens is the industry leader in custom backyard basketball courts, multisport game courts, tennis courts, pickleball, bocce ball courts, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, home gyms and a variety of other court installation. If you can dream it, we can build it! Beyond custom court building, we also provide the most professional artificial turf installation in town. We can turn a section or your entire backyard into a maintenance-free, water-free haven. Installing synthetic turf/artificial grass in your backyard allows you to entertain anytime knowing that your grass area will always be ready when company arrives. How does the process of getting a custom court happen? The process begins by contacting the Courts & Greens Courts & Greens office to set up a free consulta3615 Gilmore Ave., Suite A tion where we can discuss the 661-587-4602 many surface and color options that will allow us to customize your court within your budget. Our sales and design professionals will work closely with you to make sure your dream comes to life! What makes artificial turf a smart option? The are many benefits to artificial turf: You never have to water it, you never have to mow it and it is always green! Artificial turf doesn’t fade 54

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over time. We offer different grades and colors, so if you’d like a little yellow color mixed in or a darker green, we can provide that. We have pet-friendly turf that does not absorb odors and is easy to clean. There is a 12- to 16-year warranty with each installment. What is the importance of establishing a good relationship with your clients? All of us at Courts & Greens believe that having a connection with our clients is the core of our business. We take care of our customers and have been doing so since 2003. We take pride in what we do and we truly care about your overall experience. Our ultimate goal is for you to have a custom area that you can enjoy with friends and family for years to come. About the owner: A Bakersfield native, Gerald Ogden has over 26 years of progressive experience in the concrete and demolition industry as well as managing large and small construction crews. He started Concrete Cutting Unlimited in 1989, which is still in operation today. Gerald, as well as his family and employees, are involved in organizations such as The Josh Farler Cancer Foundation, Hands of Mercy, Camp Hope and Church Without Walls and are proud supporters of the armed Gerald Ogden forces.

If you can dream it, we can build it



No matter the job, big or small, we are the guys to call.


“We can help you realize your dreams, find out how easy and affordable it is to install synthetic turf, backyard courts, or putting greens.” – Gerald Ogden, owner Courts and Greens • 3615 Gilmore Ave., Suite A, Bakersfield, CA 93308​ • License # 1016498

(661) 587-4602 ​​ w

Business Profiles


Hardt Construction Hardt Construction was first established in 1949 by Herb and Marge Hardt. The business started in the Los Angeles County area and moved to Bakersfield in 1957. In the ’80s, Tim and Michelle began their work in the construction industry and eventually started their branch of Hardt Construction Services. They are extremely proud of all their accomplishments past and present. Tim and Michelle have been married for 33 years. They were blessed with two wonderful sons, Michael and Steven. Both boys attended Garces High School as did their parents before them. Michael, their oldest, has created an exciting career perusing his love of the outdoors in Arizona. Steven, their younger son, has chosen to join the family business after returning from his service in the U.S. Army. Tim and Michelle are an unmatchable and unique team. With Tim in control of the construction and Michelle heading the interior design, they are truly a remarkable family. The Hardts have been outstanding members of the local community. Continuing active involvement and contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Bakersfield Police Activities League, The Boys & Girls Club, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, to name a few, they have always contributed and cared greatly about our community. 56

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Hardt Construction prides itself on having an outstanding work ethic and an extremely personable atmosphere. “When you choose to let us be a part of your project, whether it is a simple bathroom remodel or a brand-new custom home, we want our clients to not only feel important but know they are a priority,” Tim said. Did you know that Hardt Construction was featured in HGTV Magazine? Recognized for their unique style and bold use of color, the Hardts were beyond pleased. When asked about being published in such a prestigious magazine, Michelle’s response was: “When I found out our work was being featured in such a big magazine, I was beyond proud! What else could an interior designer ask for?” Working not only on residential but also commercial, you may have seen some of their handy work around town. Whether it’s at the upscale KC Steakhouse or the fun-and-casual Wiki’s Wine Dive and Grill, you can tell where the Hardts have made their mark. “The Hardts have been amazing to work with! From making improvements to our restaurant or having to call in the middle of the night about an emergency leak, they have not only made us feel like their top priority but like part of their family,” said Cassie Bittle, manager of KC Steakhouse.

March 2017

Hardt Construction uses only the highest-quality materials. They also guarantee satisfaction: “We work with only the best in the business and insure our all work is done above and beyond our clients’ expectations.” How many other companies can you say care so much about their clients on a professional and personal level? Hardt Construction is your one-stop shop. They are there to help every step of the way, from conception to completion. They will help move you and your family out for a big home renovation and help stage and move you back in when it’s all said and done! Few companies can offer amazing interior design services, completely included, in all projects. They have one of the quickest turnaround rates in the business and focus on getting your family in the home you deserve to live in. They will not only treat your home as theirs, they will also treat your family as part of their own. Don’t hesitate to contact Hardt Construction for your next project!

Hardt Construction 2900 E. Belle Terrace 661-333-7541

Business Profiles


Rigatoni & Robots What makes Rigatoni & Robots unique? As the nation’s first enrichment program to offer an award-winning culinary, science and STEM-based curriculum blend, Rigatoni & Robots offers an unparalleled opportunity to change the way we think about adding enrichment to the lives of our children. It’s not uncommon to walk into a class and find a group of kids learning to code in our tech center, another group assembling a smart robot or unearthing a replica fossil, while a third group sautes ground turkey or chops fresh basil for marinara to be part of their triple-layer lasagnas. And the best part? Every hour they all rotate to a new lesson, getting to take on the next fun, yet uniquely diverse, challenge. The fact that we’ve been able to make learning fun is the cornerstone to our company’s success. How does the academy work? Our enrichment academy involves monthly membership classes, summer camps and birthday parties, with our monthly memberships being our core offering. With nearly 200 members here in Bakersfield, our students come twice per month for a three-hour block each time. 58

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Our classes are drop-in, so parents don’t stay and we even offer valet-style drop-off and pickup for all classes and summer camps. Each class meeting, all students complete three one-hour rotations: a one-hour culinary rotation in our commercial-grade kitchen (desserts, entrees, appetizers, pies, pizzas, etc.), a one-hour STEM tech rotation (coding, engineering, art, math) and a final one-hour rotation involving your choice of elective – with children engaged in either science and engineering (robotics, Club Lego, geology/ fossils, green science, circuitry, etc.) or arts and crafts (painting, woodworking, soap/candle making, basic sewing, etc.). The great thing about the format of the classes is that you can customize the experience for each child, yet even siblings with diverse interests can attend the same session. Our summer camps offer similar formats, with culinary, science and Lego camps offered simultaneously – all mixed in with a chance for every child to experience a STEM tech rotation, plus either engineering or craft time. The summer portion allows kids to really experience a diverse weeklong program. What’s the best part of seeing the growth of each child? The best part of the business is truly seeing the kids evolve, change and grow

March 2017

over the course of them joining us. When we first opened 3 ½ years ago, the science and engineering portion was entirely boys and our culinary classes nearly all girls. When we switched to a format that allowed kids to customize their experience and choose what they wanted to do – versus what parents (and society) had typically thought they’d be interested in – something amazing happened: Our boys overwhelmingly chose culinary classes and the vast majority of girls chose to switch to science. There’s a dire need to engage our kids in STEM-based learning, yet very few programs have figured out how to actually make kids not only want to do it, but make it fun. We are proud to say that we’ve accomplished that goal. Our passion for teaching subjects in a fun, hands-on and engaging way has changed the way our students think, collaborate, and view their learning … and themselves.

Rigatoni & Robots 4300 Ashe Road, Suite 106 661-858-7398

Give your child a summer full of fun and enrichment... come join the fun at Rigatoni&Robots!

Summer camps 2017 For Boys and Girls: Age 6-12 Days/Time: Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Check out our awesome line-up of summer camps! DELECTABLE DESSERTS II


A “Walk on the Sweet Side” Culinary Day Camp CAMP DATES: June 12-June 16, June 26-June 30, July 17-July 21 REGISTRATION FEE: $225/per-week

An intricate model involving the iconic New York City skyline, as campers construct the Flatiron Building, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, One world Trade Center, and the Statue Of Liberty! CAMP DATES: June 19-June 23, July 10-July 14, August 7-August 11 REGISTRATION FEE: $215/per-week

TASTES OF THE WORLD A “Trip Around the Globe” Culinary Day Camp CAMP DATES: June 19-June 23, July 10-July 14, August 7-August 11 REGISTRATION FEE: $225/per-week

CRAFTY KIDS II A “Chance to Get Creative” Arts & Crafts Day Camp CAMP DATES: June 26-June 30, August 7-August 11 REGISTRATION FEE: $195/per-week

ROCKS, ROBOTS, & ROCKETS II Geology, Robotics, & Rocketry Science & Engineering Day Camp CAMP DATES: June 12-June 16, July 10-July 14, August 7-August 11 REGISTRATION FEE: $195/per-week

COLOSSAL CONTRAPTIONS An Awesome “Let’s Build Something” Science & Engineering Day Camp CAMP DATES: June 19-June 23, July 17-July 21 REGISTRATION FEE: $195/per-week

LEGO® MINECRAFT™ SNOW HIDEOUT From ice-block windows to the evil Snow Golem, ward off the exploding Creeper! CAMP DATES: June 12-June 16, June 26-June 30, July 17-July 21 REGISTRATION FEE: $195/per-week

4300 Ashe Road, Suite #106

LEGO® FRIENDS™ HEARTLAKE RIDING CLUB Train and care for your horses upon completion of this amazing 575-pc set, featuring a 2-story stable, jumps, exerciser, trophy case, saddle, and more! CAMP DATES: June 19-June 23, July 10-July 14, August 7-August 11 REGISTRATION FEE: $215/per-week

LEGO® MINECRAFT™ THE END PORTAL Don your diamond armor and grab your sword…as the eyes of ender have led you across a snowy mountainous landscape to a secret stronghold in a mission to activate the End Portal! CAMP DATES: June 12-June 16, June 26-June 30, July 17-July 21 REGISTRATION FEE: $215/per-week

LEGO® MINECRAFT™ THE JUNGLE TREEHOUSE Activate the secret trapdoor to surprise a roaming skeleton, lure the exploding Creeper, exit down a cool waterfall, and join forces with Alex to defeat the intruders as you secure your jungle treehouse! CAMP DATES: June 19-June 23, July 10-July 14, August 7-August 11 REGISTRATION FEE: $225/per-week

LEGO® DISNEY® BELLE’S ENCHANTED CASTLE Recreate classic scenes from Beauty and the Beast with this incredibly detailed model…complete with balcony, stained glass window, a revolving portrait, and your favorite characters in this cool building set! CAMP DATES: June 12-June 16, June 26-June 30, July 17-July 21 REGISTRATION FEE: $195/per-week

Phone: 661.858.7398

Kids Fun just want to have

Spring and summer bring warmer weather and loads of educational, fun and creative opportunities for kids.


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March 2017


Pioneer Village Summer Camp What’s going on? History. Art. Science. Technology. Campers will enjoy lessons in magic, puppetry, arts and crafts, photography, dance, theater, cooking and museum arts, such as printing, archaeology and archival sciences. Who’s invited? Kids ages 5 to 12 When does the fun start? June 5 to Aug. 11 Location: Kern Pioneer Village, 3801 Chester Ave. Contact: 661-437-3330 or


Just for Fun

Respawn – Tactical Laser Tag What’s going on? Enjoy an exciting session of tactical laser tag! Our state-of-the-art wireless weapons system is designed to simulate your favorite modern video games brought to life. Create a call sign to track all of your progress and unlock upgrades and more. Food and drinks are available on-site. Please visit our website for more information! Who’s invited? Kids ages 8 and up Cost: $12 for one session, two for $20 or three for $25 per person. Thirty-minute sessions; three to five missions per session. When does the fun start? Open daily Location: 1901 Mineral Court Contact: 661-679-4412 or

Visual/Performing Arts

CSUB Learn to Swim

Color Me Mine

What’s going on? Summer will be here soon and the CSUB swim team is set to begin the 21st season of its Learn-ToSwim program. It’s designed to promote a fun learning experience for all swimmers of all abilities. Students learn skills from basic swimming essentials to competitive swimming skills, along with personal water safety. We will be adding adult lessons this year. Small class sizes. Experienced instructors. Who’s invited? Kids and adults who are ready to learn to swim. When does the fun start? March 27 Location: CSUB’s John S. Hillman Memorial Aquatic Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway Contact: 661-654-2071 or

What’s going on? When it’s hot, hot, hot ... what a great way to stay cool by creating functional or just-for-fun ceramic pieces. No SPF required! Color Me Mine offers multimedia workshops, kids’ night out events and mommy-and-me painting activities for toddlers and preschoolers, too. Or just bring in your kids and paint a memory together. Ceramic painting is a wonderful activity that kids, moms, dads and grandparents can all have fun doing together! No reservations required. Who’s invited: Any age When does the fun start? Open daily Location: The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Contact: 661-664-7366 or




Spring Fling at CALM American Kids What’s going on: New theme every week. Huge variety of activities, programs for all ages. Half days and full days. AKSC is pleased to offer the most exciting day camp in town. Make this summer memorable and exhilarating as your children play, explore and learn in our state-of-the-art facility. Who’s invited? 4 years and up When does the fun start? June 5 Where do I sign up? Online, by phone or in person Location: Two locations in Bakersfield at 3622 Allen Road and 4401 Ride St. Contact: 661-589-2100,,

What’s going on: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. FREE admission for children up to 12 years old. Four wildlife “Keeper Chats” each day. Visit the new California Coast Room Exhibit, open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Central California Children’s Railroad will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day (weather permitting). Train tickets are $1. The Condor Challenge Climbing Tower will be FREE and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food and beverage booth available – but you can bring your own picnic! Who’s invited? Everyone When does the fun start? April 8-15 Cost: $9 adults; $7 seniors (60+); children up to 12 years old are FREE and must be accompanied by an adult. Location: 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway (between Lake Ming and Hart Park) Contact: 661-872-2256 or or visit us on Facebook

Just for Fun


Garces Summer School What’s going on: Garces summer school offers all kinds of academic, athletic and fun enrichment classes. In addition to some of our more popular classes, we’ve recently added band, ukulele lessons, drama, Rollercoaster STEM, fencing, dance and online courses. Who’s invited: All students entering fifth through 12th grade When does the fun start: Registration begins March 6 and classes begin Monday, June 5. Where do I sign up: Visit our website at Location: Garces Memorial High School, 2800 Loma Linda Drive Contact info: Steve Garcia, director of summer school, or 661-327-2578, ext. 146


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Battlefield Live What’s going on: This is a completely mobile live gaming laser combat adventure serving Bakersfield and surrounding areas. Imagine your very own battlefield in your backyard or local park. If you ever wanted to play paintball or airsoft, but were afraid of getting hurt, now you can experience the thrill in a safer atmosphere. Our team will do everything possible to make your event unique and unforgettable. Games can be played indoors, outdoors, rain or shine, day or night. Book your next birthday party, corporate, team building, school carnival or special event today. Ready ... aim ... fun! Contact: 661-588-7410

Quality Healthcare at 18 Kern County Locations Buttonwillow 277 E. Front St.

Brimhall 1014 Calloway Dr.

Brimhall #2 1022 Calloway Dr.

Delano 1001 Main St.

Delano Dental 1215 Jefferson St.

Lost Hills 21138 Paso Robles Hwy.

Ming Ave. 4131 Ming Ave.

North Chester 210 N. Chester Ave.

Oildale 525 Roberts Ln.

Panama Lane 4600 Panama Ln.

Ridgecrest 1111 N. Chelsea St.

Rosedale 3401 Calloway Dr., Building 300

Shafter 655 S. Central Valley Hwy.

Shafter Women’s 320 James St.

Taft 1100 4th St.

Tehachapi 161 N. Mills St.

Wasco 2101 7th St.

White Lane 4151 Mexicali Dr.

Walk-in or call to schedule your appointment: 1-800-300-OMNI (66 64) w w w. O m n i F a m i l y H e a l t h . o r g


Just for Fun

Buena Vista Museum

Jameson Ranch Camp

What’s going on: Summer science camp with 12 sessions of hands-on science enrichment, sharks, dinos, astronomy, weird science, kitchen science, robotics and CSI. The main focus on making science fun! Sessions run from Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to noon. Mid-morning snack included and all materials for class provided. Space is limited to 24 students per session. Who’s invited? Children going into the first grade through sixth-graders When does the fun start? First session starts Monday, June 26, and ends Aug. 10 Where do I sign up? Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science Cost: $85 per student Location: 2018 Chester Ave. Contact: 661-324-6350 or

What’s going on: Jameson Ranch Camp knows that the most important things in life are friends, community and family. In today’s world, it can be challenging to find reliable friends, role models to emulate and inviting communities. At JRC, we understand the pressures facing youth and have created a space where kids can be kids and where positive relationships are cultivated. We value self-sufficiency, the chance to live simply and responsibly and the ties of community. Who’s invited? Kids ages 6-15 When does the fun start? Four two-week sessions mid-June through mid-August Where do I sign up? Cost: $2,550 Location: Glennville, CA Contact: Erica Jameson at 661-381-1572



Roadrunner Aquatics What’s going on: Looking for a fun summertime activity for your kids? Roadrunner Aquatics is a competitive year-round USA swimming and diving team dedicated to enhancing the sport of swimming and diving in Bakersfield and the surrounding areas. Roadrunner Aquatics also offers a summer recreational swim team that competes as part of the Kern County Recreational Swim League. Who’s invited: Kids with swimming ability When does the fun start: Online registration opens March 13, practice starts May 1 Where do I sign up: Visit our website at Location: CSUB’s John S. Hillman Memorial Aquatic Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. Contact info: 661-335-1708 or roadrunnerrecswim@gmail. com


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Bakersfield SPCA Kids & Critters Day Camp What’s going on: Learn about pet responsibility by working with a shelter dog for week. Many fun and exciting craft projects. Unique program designed with the pet companion in mind, including training, health issues and companion animal education. Who’s invited? Girls and boys between 8 and 12 years old When does the fun start? Four one-week sessions beginning July 10. Where do I sign up? Bakersfield SPCA, 3000 Gibson St., or call 323-8353, ext. 2 Cost: $210 per week Location: 3000 Gibson Street


County Christian School’s Summer School Programs What’s going on: One of our programs is a concentrated six-week reading-only course in Simply Phonics. This program is recommended for children struggling with reading and spelling. We also offer a three-in-one, six-week course incorporating reading, math and computer lab for first- through sixth-graders who need to maintain their academic progress and have a love for learning. Who’s invited: Children in kindergarten to sixth grade When does the fun start? These courses are 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, June 6 through July 15 Location: 2416 Dean Ave. Contact: 661-589-4703

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


abode A humble


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

An intimate view inside an interior renovation By Laura Liera


Photos by Mark Nessia

erhaps it’s the exterior glass designed french doors that make the Emersons’ home in the Rosedale area stand out from the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. But one thing is for sure, when the doors open, you feel like your stepping into a real-life picture-perfect home. From the subtle wall colors to the modern mirrors and bar area, this home has a “wow” factor that speaks for itself. Homeowners Russell and Karla Emerson have spent 21 years in their humble abode but it wasn’t until 2015 when they began to give the interior a different face. Their office turned into a bar, one of Russell’s favorite rooms. It’s a place where he can enjoy a drink and unwind in a room with comfortable seating and natural lighting – a reoccurring theme around the entire home. The granite countertop in the kitchen remodel was followed by wood-look floor tile. Then came interior designer Sarah Ward of Red Door Interiors who suggested sprucing up the kitchen cabinets with some color, with the help of Steve Elmore of Best Cabinets. While the Emersons still have a few other projects in mind – giving their bathrooms a complete makeover – for now, they’ll kick up their feet and snuggle with their furry friends and be completely at peace. Continued on Page 68


Continued from Page 67


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017


People & Community


ArtReach Art museum, city schools enter ‘artnership’ By Lisa Kimble

Every Tuesday morning inside Jessica Fletcher’s fifth-grade classroom at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, her 27 students have full creative license to let their imaginations run wild. Some will cut dragons from construction paper, others will go to outer space aboard paint brushes. And many will unleash inner talents they didn’t know existed. All agree, though, that ArtReach, a partnership between the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the Bakersfield City School District, is their favorite 45 minutes of the school week. Educators see this new “artnership” as a model for the future at a time when arts education in California schools has become an endangered species.

This year, the program was implemented districtwide for every fifth-grader. “Before this, the students were only taught what teachers were able to integrate into their curriculum,” Fletcher said. “The kids really enjoy it.” Three years ago, thanks to the state’s local control funding formula, moneys 70

Bakersfield Life Magazine

made their way to local school districts. “This was our window to start infusing art education again,” said BCSD Visual & Performing Arts Program Coordinator Michael Stone. The following year, BMoA launched ArtReach at some of the city’s schools. The success was resounding. This year, the program was implemented districtwide for every fifth-grader. “We travel to 31 schools in the district throughout the fall and spring semesters, seeing about 120 classrooms and reaching approximately 3,500 students,” said BMoA Education Coordinator Andrew Hawley. The instructors – or “arts partners” – provide lessons alongside the credentialed multisubject teacher that include a short lecture on a notable artist and medium along with a hands-on art project. Students learn key elements of art and principles of design, as well as the museum’s growing permanent collection and exhibitions. “The real gift is the children have role models – professional artists side by side with their teachers making for a real connection and they are able to develop a real rapport,” Stone added. Angie Horton has been an ArtReach instructor since the beginning of the school year. “It is wonderful to see March 2017

some of the students’ reactions and knowing it is the highlight of their week,” Horton said. “The goal is to get to every school that doesn’t have an art program.” At the beginning of a recent lesson, student Franklyn Cardoza expressed frustration as he began to draw. “I didn’t think I could do it,” Franklyn said. But he was able to work through it with the help of Horton. “It was a learning moment for us. We were able to talk about growth mindset,” Fletcher recalled. Franklyn delighted in his accomplishment and the fun he experienced, flashing a grin as wide as his artwork. The students’ works

since the beginning of the semester are displayed on the classroom walls and cabinets, including a collage by Lina Jobah, an ESL student. Inside a tiny heart of construction paper, she had written the words “I love art.” “When I hear that there will be art class, I get so happy,” Lina said, her face lit up with a smile. In the universal language of art, it is something she can relate to, and it speaks volumes.

Lisa Kimble

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.

People & Community


HOMEOWNERSHIP CAN WAIT Travel, education, career take precedence for many millennials

By Elizabeth Sanchez

You’ve probably figured by now that March is the “Home and Garden” issue. But since this is a millennial column, you would be safe to assume I have neither a home nor a garden of my own. Yes, I am one of those millennials still living at home with their parents but I know I’m not alone. More than 30 percent of millennials still live with their folks, according to a Pew Research Center study. Does that mean we’re entitled? I don’t think so. Does it mean we’re lazy? Absolutely not. People constantly give millennials a hard time for not flying the nest, but it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. It’s actually a pretty sweet setup. Living at home means I can save money to pursue my own priorities, which might be different from the ones other generations had at my age. And I shouldn’t be criticized for that. Since when has any generation lived by stan72

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

dards set by previous generations? Sure, they are drawbacks to living with mom and dad, like a total lack freedom, but I’m willing to be home by my midnight curfew if that means I can save money to do the things I find important, like traveling. Traveling is my No. 1 priority in life right now, and because I live with my parents, money isn’t holding me back from seeing the world. I’ve explored Thailand, I’ve cruised in the Bahamas and I’ve planned a trip to Bali for next summer, all within a year. If I owned my own house at this age, I’m not sure if I would be able to afford these adventures. Of course, it would be unfair to assume all millennials share the same priorities. There are plenty of people around my age who are ready to buy a home and that’s great. Eula, a nurse, just bought her first house at age 23. I couldn’t be happier for her and proud of her for taking such a big step at such a young age.

Then you have these people: • Micaela, a teacher, who moved out of state to Hawaii at age 23 to teach her first class full of first-graders. Scary. • Navi, a student, is almost done with his second year of law school at age 23. Intimidating. • And Brian, the animator, who is pursuing his dream of working for Pixar at age 24. Bold. Unlike Eula, the other three don’t own their own homes. Micaela lives in an apartment because Hawaii is only temporary. Navi also lives in an apartment because law school won’t last forever. And Brian, like me, lives at home, because he isn’t going to settle for anything less than his dream job, which he has yet to find, but I know he will. Clearly, there is no set standard for us. But that’s the beauty of being a part of a generation that marches to the beat of its own drum. We take risks. We don’t travel because it’s what we’re expected to do as young ’uns. We don’t buy houses because of the standard set for us. We don’t move across the ocean because it’s comfortable and we certainly don’t pursue art because it’s stable. We do these things because it’s what excites us. It’s where we find meaning in life. And it’s what makes us happy. So, I will continue to enjoy my time with experiences of a lifetime, save money while I can and, one day, use that money to buy a home I can call my own – just as all the previous generations once did. The only difference is my home might come a little bit later in life. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go. I’m late for mom’s home-cooked dinner.

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez is the multimedia engagement coordinator at TBC Media. The views expressed in this column are her own.

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People & Community


Dedication and gumption Real estate appraiser’s commitment, integrity leads to fulfilling career

Gary Crabtree's career in real estate appraisal spans 55 years and counting.


Fifty-five years seems like a long time to be in the real estate appraisal business in Kern County, but for Gary Crabtree, it is something that he is still dedicated to day after day. The success of Crabtree’s own real estate company is only part of his story of dedication and gumption to making sure that with whatever he comes in contact with, he does his absolute best. Crabtree entered the world of real estate appraising shortly after being discharged from the Navy from an airborne early warning squadron out of Hawaii. He was introduced to his profession by a good friend who saw that Crabtree’s intelligence could be put to good use in the field. “And, obviously, it makes more money than what I was doing,” Crabtree said. “So I thought I would give it a try – and that was in 1962.” But as most stories go, there is always some opposition. Crabtree has faced challenges but he didn’t let adversity stop him.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017


By Kate Leonard

– Gary Crabtree

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no local education for this particular field. So I ended up taking most of my education from UCLA and American Savings and Loan Institute. That was a challenge because I was working as an appraiser and taking advance courses from UCLA at night school. So my boss would let me off at 4 in the afternoon so that I can do that drive to UCLA and sit in class from 6 till 9 and then get in the car and make the drive back to Bakersfield.” Driving back and forth at the beginning of his career wasn’t his only devotion. As the years went on and Crabtree built his business, his conviction to his craft has kept him honest. One day he was helping out a company that was relocating an employee.

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“The biggest challenge was education because education for real estate appraisers is specialized and, obviously, there was no local education for this particular field.”

He accidentally stumbled upon something bigger than looking at houses. He noticed that something was not right with the numbers on a house in an area he was looking up. They just weren’t adding up. Crabtree and a couple of employees from the local newspaper dug deeper and found more houses with numbers not matching up from the same company, Crisp & Cole Real Estate and Tower Lending. Getting in contact with the FBI, he helped with ending a case of massive mortgage fraud. This was a struggle to his business. People became nervous to work with Crabtree, wondering if he would be trustworthy and loyal to them. But Crabtree knew that double-checking his work was the only way to go. He decided that this is how he is to conduct his business and was not ashamed of it. Honesty was his priority. When he’s not working, Crabtree finds time to unwind. “I am an avid golfer. I started to play golf when I was 10 years old. I played competitively in the amateur ranks for some time till I became too old to play competitively,” Crabtree said. He laughed when asked about going to the pros. He kept his expectations realistic when it came to the dreams that he wanted to pursue. “I had visions until I got whipped,” he said. “I realized I wasn’t that good so I gave that up.” After 55 years, you would expect Crabtree to slow down. But he doesn’t see that at all. He is still excited for the new day ahead of him.


He started working for a local company, Paramount Savings and Loan Association, while driving back and forth to UCLA for night classes for his newfound career. “The biggest challenge was education because education for real estate appraisers is specialized and, obviously, there was



People & Community


A DELIGHT TO THE SENSES Fragrance garden at Heritage Park broadens the world for Bakersfield’s visually impaired

By Julie Plata

On a late summer day in September 1954, the members of the Evergreen Garden Club embarked on their most ambitious project to date. The 25 members of the club, established in 1947, started planning for a fragrance garden for the blind and visually impaired to be installed at Heritage Park. Under the direction of project Chairman Jack Murphy, and in collaboration with Kern County Parks and Recreation and county landscape architect Lance Hopper, plans were drawn for the construction of the garden. These special gardens were designed for the senses of scent and touch. The blind are afforded the opportunity to experience the beauty of the garden that goes beyond the mere colors of its plants and flowers. Fragrance gardens for the blind and 76

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March 2017

visually impaired were fairly new when the task was started in Bakersfield. In the spring of 1939, the first fragrance garden opened to the public in the Belmont Pleasure Grounds in Exeter, England. California’s first garden for the blind was installed in 1952 at Lafayette Park in Los Angeles. The March 26, 1955, Bakersfield Californian informed readers that Bakersfield was soon to join London and Los Angeles as one of three cities in the world to have a special garden for the blind. When the garden committee members set forth with their plans, they followed the blue prints of the architects before them. It was decided that the garden would contain shrubs, plants and bulbs planted at fingertip-high levels to allow visitors to feel the textures. Additionally, plaques with botanical and common

names in Braille were to be placed next to each specimen. Hopper also took special care to ensure the fragrant flowers chosen could thrive in Bakersfield’s climate.

The March 26, 1955, Bakersfield Californian informed readers that Bakersfield was soon to join London and Los Angeles as one of three cities in the world to have a special garden for the blind. After a year of planning and planting, Heritage Park’s fragrance garden

for the blind was officially dedicated on Nov. 20, 1955. The Evergreen Garden Club’s labor of love was aided by several of Bakersfield’s community members, clubs and civic organizations through the years. In 1955, the various Lions Clubs of Bakersfield donated concrete benches that were constructed by Rev. O.W. Motley. Each bench was 8 feet long by 18 inches wide and stood chairheight high. Brownies of Troop 185 presented the “official Girl Scout rose bush” to the garden in March of 1963. When the Juniors of Girl Scout Troop 494 presented a magnolia tree to

the garden in 1967, students who attended classes for the blind at the Beardsley School showed their appreciation with a musical number. The fragrance garden provided an opportunity for Bakersfield’s blind and visually impaired citizens to enjoy the beauty of nature. When writing of the first fragrance garden installed by our friends across the pond, the Dec. 3, 1949, Illustrated London News reminds us, “Scent is a far more subtle thing than colour. A mere passing whiff of scent can conjure up half a lifetime of memories, with a vividness that colour could never achieve.”

Note: The present state of the fragrance garden at Heritage Park is not much to see other than the sign that tells of what used to be.


People & Community


Sarah Ward shares a few design tips for homeowners • If you have room in your master bedroom, add some seating, like a bench at the foot of the bed; it adds coziness. • Add a rug if you have hard surface floors. • Add colorful art to your walls. • Don’t hide a fireplace. Add an ottoman in front of the area. • Get into the habit of decluttering around the home.

Sarah Ward, an interior designer at Red Door Interiors

A love for beautiful things Interior designer shares voyage through the design world Story and photo by Laura Liera

The love for color, art and design encompassed the life of Sarah Ward at the young age of 10 years old. Colored fabric was her favorite toy. She’d collect fabric scraps from her grandmother’s sewing projects and create original pieces. Perhaps it was her grandmother’s artistic teachings that influenced Ward into the interior design world. Art and color became her longing. “Color evokes an emotion; it makes you feel,” Ward said. “And that’s what I try to do in design … evoke an emotion like artists do.” For the past 20 years in the business, she has spent 15 as an interior designer at Red Door Interiors. Although she describes her style as eclectic with a Spanish modern flair, when it comes to designing 78

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March 2017

projects with clients, her goal is to bring out their personal style and not necessarily bombard them with her style. “I’m pretty good at reading people and figuring out their taste,” Ward said. “It’s about giving them a style that ultimately reflects them.” Projects can range from remodeling an entire home to maybe just one room. And on average, Ward is juggling anywhere from 10 to 15 tasks at a time. “Thank God for my iPhone and my iPad to take pictures and keep myself organized,” Ward said laughing. When Ward takes on a new project, she gets inspiration from the architecture of the home and any already existing decorations a client may have and love. Focusing on neutral wall colors and adding pops of color in a room is Ward’s preferred style. Being aware of a room’s size

and not overpowering it with large pieces of furniture is another detail Ward talks to clients about. “Know your focal points,” Ward said. “I try to come up with creative plans so that people can have seating that can be moved around to have different conversation areas.” One of the perks of doing interior design in today’s day and age is technology. When Ward started her career 20 years ago, she was sketching designs to help clients visualize the redesigned space. Now, it only takes a few keywords and the ability to swipe. Ward’s favorite interior design platform is Houzz – a place to browse thousands of remodeling and design pictures. “It’s all about visually seeing the design,” Ward said. “I also think if you buy something that is fabulous that you love, it’s going to look good in your house.”



Planting a garden or investing in a home requires us to look to the future and consider possibilities. In the world of philanthropy, we often remind donors to consider ongoing support for the causes they care about. Planned or legacy giving simply means planning now to leave a gift after your lifetime and it is often easier than you think. Consider giving through your will. A bequest is the simplest way for many donors to make gifts to their favorite charity and reduce the federal estate tax due at the donor’s passing. If you find it difficult to determine what size donation makes sense, consider directing a percentage or even the remainder or residual of your estate to your designated charity in your will. Bequests offer both flexibility (you can change your mind at any time) and versatility (gifts can be a specific item, a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate and can even be contingent upon a certain event). Or use your life insurance policy or all or part of your IRA/retirement plan to make a charitable gift. Name your favorite charity as a beneficiary or as a partial beneficiary of your insurance policy, 401(k) or IRA. You don’t part with a single penny today – and you protect your estate from taxes later. A simple change of beneficiary form will allow you to direct these charitable gifts and, in most cases, you can download the form easily from your plan administrator’s website.

A bequest is the simplest way for many donors to make gifts to their favorite charity and reduce the federal estate tax due at the donor’s passing. Consider receiving income now to help a charity in the future. With a charitable gift annuity, you can make a gift of cash or appreciated assets to purchase an annuity, which, in turn, provides you with fixed payments for life and an immediate tax deduction. After your lifetime, the remaining amount of your annuity goes directly to your designated charity. With a charitable remainder trust, you use cash or appreciated assets to fund a charitable trust and decide on the size of the payments (within IRS limits) to yourself and/or others you choose. The trust assets remaining at the end of the beneficiary’s lifetime go to his or her designated charity. You can provide cash flow now

life insurance

gifts plan

cash give bequest

charitable trust



and receive numerous tax advantages. Perhaps you’d like to help a favorite charity now and leave money to your heirs. A charitable lead trust can support the causes you care about while also taking care of specific individuals. You can use cash or appreciated assets to establish the trust, which will make periodic payments to your designated charity. At the end of the trust’s specified time period, the remaining assets will be distributed to the individual(s) of your choice. A charitable lead trust allows you to transfer assets to your heirs at a reduced gift and estate tax cost because the assets in the trust are removed from your taxable estate. The reality is, just as a vibrant spring garden or quality home improvement project requires planning, long-term, impactful philanthropy relies upon some form of planned giving.

Kristen Beall Barnes

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


People & Community




By Stephen Lynch Corbin Burnes, a Bakersfield native, is one of the Milwaukee Brewers’ top pitching prospects.


Six years ago, Corbin Burnes was an undersized high school middle infielder with faint hopes of ever playing professional baseball. Now, after a position change, some substantial physical growth and a lot of hard work, the Bakersfield native is one of the Milwaukee Brewers’ top pitching prospects. Last year, Burnes, a Centennial High and St. Mary’s College of California product, was drafted in the fourth round by Milwaukee and went on to post a 3-0 record and 2.27 ERA in six combined Rookie

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

League and Low-A starts. Burnes won’t find out where he’s going to start this season until after spring training, but big things are expected from the 6-foot-3, 205-pound, hard-throwing right-hander. “I’m really excited,” Burnes said. “This will be the first spring training that I get to go to. I’m happy to be part of the Brewers organization and ready to get going my first full season.” Armed with a repertoire of four outstanding pitches, including a fastball that reaches as high 97 mph on the radar gun, Burnes has the potential to be pitching in the Major Leagues within the next

couple of years. That’s been a dream of his ever since he was a youngster playing tee-ball on the baseball fields next to Sam Lynn Ballpark. An injury kept Burnes from playing his junior season at Centennial. However, completely healthy for his senior year, Burnes finally got his chance to show what he could do on the mound by posting a 9-4 record and 2.23 ERA in 22 appearances. Despite those stellar numbers, Burnes wasn’t drafted out of high school, but he did garner a handful college scholarship offers. “I was behind the curve behind pretty much everyone because



Corbin Burnes Born: Oct. 22, 1994. Family: Parents Rick and Kandi and younger brother Tyler. Biggest highlight of high school career: Sophomore year playing into section championship game against nationally ranked Clovis-Buchanan. High school baseball accolades: Co-MVP of Southwest Yosemite League senior year. College career totals: 16-11 record and 3.50 ERA. Favorite hobby: Playing golf.

I missed my junior year,” Burnes said. “I was small in high school. I was a very underdeveloped kid. It wasn’t until my freshman or sophomore year of college that I started to grow and get the strength that I needed.” Burnes struggled initially at St. Mary’s. His freshman year he was 0-4 with a 6.18 ERA. The following season, Burnes was much improved. Serving as the Gaels’ regular Saturday starting pitcher, he finished the year 7-5 with 3.74 ERA. Burnes took another huge step forward in his progress as a pitcher his senior year, when he was 9-2 with a 2.48 ERA and had a team-high 120 strikeouts in 101.2 innings pitched. “In high school, pitch-

ing was pretty easy for me,” Burnes said. “I threw pretty hard so I would just basically get on the mound and throw the ball by guys. When I got to college things were a little bit different. … That first year, I really got knocked around. I was still going out there throwing as hard as I could and guys were hitting me. I had to learn how to pitch.” According to Burnes, he learned a lot about the art of pitching and also tuned his mechanics from playing one summer during college in the Hamptons Collegiate League and another in the Cape Cod League. “That’s when things really started to click,” Burnes said. “I found some things mechanically that helped me stay in line better. Pound the strike zone more with a lot more strike efficiency. Since I had only been pitching for a couple of years, it was just learning how to pitch.” The highlight of Burnes’ college career was St. Mary’s winning the West Coast Conference Tournament and earning an NCAA Regional Tournament berth his junior year. “Helping take a school that had historically been a lower-level D-I (program) to its first regional appearance ever was pretty special,” Burnes said. “That was cool.” Burnes’ immense talent and potential caught the eye of MLB teams, including the Brewers, who selected him early during the second day of the draft. “To get that call was pretty awesome,” Burnes said. Burnes hopes now to move through the Milwaukee farm system as quickly as possible. “I have no idea what the Brewers’ plan is for me,” Burnes said. “I just have to go out and give 100 percent effort every time I step on the mound.”

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People & Community


Folks facing East Hills Mall transformation with trepidation, enthusiasm as plans unfold

By Diana Greenlee

The style for the new East Hills Mall will be a contemporary take on mid-century modern architecture.


Although a pleasant breeze sweeps through northeast Bakersfield, the winds of change are harsh for Ruth Prado these days. Prado, 76, has been selling Tupperware and Avon products at the East Hills Mall for more than a decade. Her business, The General Store, is one of the displaced retailers in the tomb-like mall. On a wet Tuesday evening, Prado and family are packing up lotions, perfumes and other merchandise in preparation for the move to a store in Oildale. Many of the spaces in the mall are bare – locked tight, giving the building a post-apocalyptic feel. The business owner waxes nostalgic standing in the place that has been her second home. “When the kids were little, it was the best mall in the world,” she said. “There was a buffeteria where you’d pay 10 cents per year for the kids – and we have six

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

kids.” Prado said she was in shock when she got a notice in January that they’d need to relocate. She says the mall has changed hands a number of times and they’ve learned not to panic.

“We have major retailers who say, ‘We have been waiting for this for years.’ The interest has really been encouraging; we believe we will get this leased quickly.”

– Kari Sturgeon

“They’ve sold it at least five times and nothing’s ever happened,” she said. But this time is different. Last December Craig and


Winds of change

Grant Carver of C & C Properties Inc. and Chris Hayden and Mark Shuman of MarkChris Investments purchased the property and are working with Senior Directors/Principals Duane Keathley and Vince Roche of Cushman & Wakefield along with Associate Director Josh Sherley and Administrator Kari Sturgeon to bring the project to life. And they’re just getting started. “The definitive site plan hasn’t been finalized,” Sturgeon said. “We are entertaining two different scenarios.” Sturgeon says the Harris-Gottschalks building will stay in both of the current plans, but they’ll demolish the rest and build an open-air facility. The second option provides for two of the current anchor buildings to remain. “Either scenario will include beautiful movie theaters, a fountain and pedestrian-friendly areas,” she said. According to Sturgeon, northeast Bakersfield is underserved in

Preliminary site plan

terms of retail, and tenants are excited to come to town. “We have major retailers who say, ‘We have been waiting for this for years,’” she said. “The interest has really been encouraging; we believe we will get

this leased quickly.” Some neighbors are also pretty jazzed. GameStop manager Monique Ruby, 26, said she believes the increase in traffic from the new stores will bring more folks into their adjacent store.

Now located at

Brian Melgar, 23, a guest adviser echoed Ruby. He said he’s hoping for bigger and better merchants in the new facility. “If we had better stores and atmosphere, I would never go across town to Valley Plaza,” he said. In the meantime, Prado and a host of other owners are on the move. She said they must vacate the buildings by early March and she’s stressed. Although she suffers with diabetes and heart problems, she worries most about her husband, Henry, 80, who has “a little bit of Alzheimer’s.” Ruth said: “Change is hard for him.”

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People & Community


A home for those who have none Bakersfield shelter offers refuge for girl victims of trafficking, abuse, exploitation

By Mark Nessia Photos courtesy of Global Family Care Network

A call to help those in need led Jennifer Jensen and her family to pack their bags and relocate to India in 1999. There was a lot of need around them – a lot of children and families who needed aid. A couple of years after relocating, Jensen’s husband, Clark, came across a boy who had been sold to a village as a slave, a common occurrence when parents can’t afford to care for their children. The village did not want the boy anymore and asked Clark if he would take the 84

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

child with him. The experience of trying to figure out what to do was the inspiration for Global Family Care Network. “We wanted to create an organization that would take children without biological family support and find family care, not institutional care,” Jennifer said. In 10 years, Global Family has installed operations in eight countries: India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Canada and the U.S., including Bakersfield. Its most notable program is the Daughter Project, a sustainable, asset-based approach to the preven-

tion of girl child trafficking and systematic abuse. According to Jennifer, the issue of human trafficking in California has been present for a long time and while there is an issue of girls coming from overseas, there is a lot of movement taking place domestically. Kern County’s central location between large cities, as well as the Mexican border, and open space make it easy to take girls through the area. The Global Family shelter in Bakersfield will house girls ages 12 to 17 who have been classified as commercially sexually exploited children. “We’re the only major county in California that does not have a shelter like this yet,” Jennifer said. “It means a lot to us, personally, because this is where we’re from. Before we left Bakersfield in the ’90s, my husband and I worked in different parts in Bakersfield that weren’t so nice. ... For us coming back to Kern County and realizing that a lot of those communities haven’t changed very much and the issue of trafficking right here, it means a lot to open this (shelter) and it really means a lot to this community.” The shelter contains eight beds in apartmentstyle rooms for girls in the foster care system who have been classified as CSEC

MAKING A DIFFERENCE • More than 800 girls cared for in Global Family shelters. • More than 70,000 educated about the risk of trafficking and abuse. • More than 53,000 volunteer hours. • Nearly 1,200 children reunited with their families. • Twelve shelters launched.


Visit or www.

who can stay for six to 12 months. An additional four beds are available for girls who need immediate crisis intervention, from girls picked up by police to those who need a place to stay for a night or two – no questions asked. Those beds are accessible for 21 days. The 24-hour facility, complete with three live-in staff, also has a full kitchen, activity room, library and safe room. The Bakersfield shelter is the latest step toward the mission Jennifer and Clark set out to accomplish nearly 20 years ago: providing love and homes to those who have neither, locally and domestically. “Every child deserves a family,” Jennifer said.

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People & Community


WOODSHOP: More than a class elective When skills high school students learn go beyond building with wood


Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Story and photos by Laura Liera

The smell of wood being sanded wafts through the air in building H2 at Foothill High School. And the sound of high-powered machines being used adds to the dramatic scene. This isn’t your regular classroom setting. Students are wearing protective goggles. They stand in front of band saws, cutting out wood designs. They make their way around the woodshop like experts. It’s almost like a dance – where you might end up covered in sawdust. But the messy dust is worth it – as long as you remember not to wear black. As 16-year-old Magie Carriedo said, while she plied two pieces of wood together for her monster

truck project, the choice to build something herself will always beat having someone else do it for her. “My first elective choice was going to be art but I actually wanted to build stuff and not depend on someone else to do something for me,” Carriedo said. As a girl in woodshop class, Carriedo said she initially felt intimidated in a “boys-type of class” but when she saw other females in the class, it eased her nerves. Matthew Barrett, the woodshop teacher, said between his six classes, girls make up 25 to 50 percent of the overall number of students. In a classroom like this, where it’s 99 percent hands-on, everyone starts off at the same level. Most students have never worked with professional wood-cutting machines. Some have done a few

projects around the house. But never using big machines. For Edward Hurd, 16, being in woodshop class was an elective he was looking forward to since he started high school. He even took a PE class last summer in order to fit woodshop into his schedule this semester. “I like working with my hands,” Hurd said, holding a heart shaped box he had just finished building. “I had helped my grandpa on small things around the house but I had never sanded things or cut things.” The skills these high school students are learning in this class go far beyond knowing how to build a bread box or a stool. They are using math to figure out the correct measurements for building a sturdy monster truck that rolls forward. They are communicating with

each other, helping one another when an extra hand is needed to sand corners of wood. When Barrett announces it’s cleanup time, they all grab a broom or duster and clean the area. It’s those hidden skills that could give students an advantage after they graduate high school. “The skills they are learning are skills they can use in a real-world job,” Barrett said. The Wood 3 and 4 combined class is currently building cabinets for a local church. They have helped build a Habitat for Humanity house in the past. Students in the higher-level woodshop classes are working with nearly $3 million machines, thanks to local shops like Skyline Cabinet and Millworks and California Custom Laminate Inc. “These kids can join an industry and know how to use these machines,” Barrett noted.

Facing page clockwise: Matthew Barrett is the woodshop teacher at Foothill High School. Magie Carriedo working on her monster truck project. A monster truck example. This page left to right: A close-up of a wheel for a monster truck being formed using a band saw. Barrett, right, critiques Eduardo Hurd’s heart-shaped box. An example of a student’s heartshaped box.

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People & Community


Souvenir of Truckapalooza Charlotte White created two watercolor paintings of two mini trucks during this historic event. The paintings will be on exhibit for the first time on First Friday, March 3 at the Art Center, 1607 19th St. To contact the artist, call 661-330-2676.

Just add color Like an adult coloring book, Color Me Mine has designs for you to “just add color” to make your own unique version of the “Hitch Up Some Happy” design on this sweet ruffled tray! Color Me Mine at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., 661-664-7366.

Get your spring on! Find some great outfits to put a spring in your step with our fresh lineup at Sugardaddy’s. 5512 Stockdale Highway 661-325-8300.

Treasures and bargains to delight any shopper! Visit Rags to Rescue, 234 H St. Your purchase supports the spay, neuter and adoption of homeless pets through HALT Rescue. Visit us on Facebook.

One-of-a-kind items Farm Girls Vintage Finds 2113 Q St. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 88

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

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17th Place Townhomes Ribbon Cutting Date: Jan. 27 Held at: 1001 18th St.

Elizabeth Hyder, Austin Smith and Jon-Lee Hawarden

Photos by: Greg Nichols

Jenny Rodriguez, Blair Budai, Gilbert LaRoque, Dan Webb, Richard Guzman and Joe Simpson

Eric Payne and Jacquie Sullivan

Victor Martin, Karen Goh and Mariah Schultz

Nancy Willis and Ellen Jannino

Bob Smith and Harvey Hall

Cathy Butler, Peggy Dewane-Pope and Craig Pope

Keandra Sandifer and Kristopher Evans






Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction Date: Jan. 27 Held at: Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame

Elena LaRoque, Jay Mitchell, Melanie Farmer and Gilbert LaRoque

Scott Meza, Cynthia Lake and David Gage

Darrell and Rose Robertson

Bruce Cox and Madaline Cox

Photos by: Carla Rivas

Bobby and SanDee Durham

Dan and Bj Langdon

Pinder Behniwal and Kim Ungar

Carl and Laurie Jeffries

Robert and Grace Martin



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Winter Exhibition Opening Date: Jan. 26 Held at: Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by: Carla Rivas

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Bob and Sharon Kolbrener

Brenna Uimari, Charlotte Smith and Amy Smith

Rachel Magnus and Janeen Smith

Nataliya Belikova and Greg Stanley 92

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

Pat Fields and Jinny Hamisch

Sri Seralathan and Laura Cattani

Miriam Vigil and Susan Stussy


KC Hispanic Chamber Dinner Date: Feb. 11 Held at: DoubleTree by Hilton Photos by: Carla Rivas

Ana and Jesse Rojas

Nancy and Eduardo Vargas

Melanie Farmer, Tere Quintana and Loretta Leon

Tiffani Alvidrez and Amanda Frank

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Robbie Burns Supper, Scottish Society Date: Jan. 28 Held at: American Legion Hall Photos by: Carla Rivas

Denise and Thomas Powell

Keith and Cindra Cochrane, Cari and David Campbell

Pastor Nancy and Ken McMaster

Jan and Gary Lockhart

Kelly and Tommy Calhoun, Kelly and Ron Palmer

Kevin and Kristin Briley

Leticia and Craig Davidson

Travis Combs, Linda Snoddy and John Partanen 94

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March 2017

Sponsored by

Open Nominations MARCH 13 TO APRIL 14 The 20 Under 40 contest selects 20 locals who are under the age of 40 and are considered a trailblazer in his or her professional career or schooling and known for giving back to our community in special ways. Winners will be honored in our July issue and at a special get-together.

TO NOMINATE: Visit and click on the 20 Under 40 button between March 13 and April 14. Submit a few comments about nominee and a photo.

If you have any questions, contact Mark Nessia at


Rio Bravo Rumble Date: Jan. 14 Held at: Rio Bravo Ranch Photos by: Greg Nichols

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

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People & Community


EMBRACING THE CHANGE When change is inevitable, let the garden inspire you

By Dan Monji

Understanding garden design is much like understanding high fashion. Trends begin seemingly out of nowhere and change just as dramatically. For more than 60 years, Monji Landscape Companies has embraced change. Looking for what is next, has allowed our company to continue its fiery passion of creating beautiful environments in our community and across the United States.

WORDS OF WISDOM “If you sit in the garden and listen, she will tell you want she wants.” Those words of wisdom echo throughout our projects every day. A lot of what we do, as designers, is simply based on the intuition to understand what the 98

Bakersfield Life Magazine

March 2017

environment wants. That should always be the first step in designing a landscape. Sit in the space, take in everything you see and then begin your design. Take the time to allow the design to come to you. If you’re designing your own garden, this might take a few hours and lots of scratch paper, but the result will be well worth it.

SEEK OUT INSPIRATION Traveling is the best way to seek out new designs. This is especially true when visiting one of the many beautiful botanical gardens throughout the country. Here in California, our favorites are Lotusland (in Montecito) and the Huntington Botanical Garden (Pasadena). Walking through these spaces allows you to see up front the planting combinations, the colors and textures of hardscape use and unique water features.

THE DIGITAL AGE Seeing a garden on a tablet screen before it is created in the ground is something we never dreamed of. But now, with advances in 3-D software, we are able to walk through a space far before construction even begins. Websites like Pinterest cannot be understated. Now you have access to literally millions of photos of inspiring projects at your fingertips. Although garden styles have changed dramatically, the one constant is that change is always coming and you must be looking for what is around the corner.

Dan Monji

Dan Monji is the CEO of Monji Landscape Companies. The views expressed in this column are his own.

Bakersfield Life Magazine March 2017  

Home & Garden, Camps for Kids

Bakersfield Life Magazine March 2017  

Home & Garden, Camps for Kids