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®

September 2016

A ME MBER OF THE

TBC MEDIA FAMILY

SPECIAL

Kern Life ISSUE A lot to love about our county History of $3.95

heroes Kern County’s first responders

Food Dudes indulge at

Salty’s BBQ

bakersfieldlife.com


You Can. We Can. Beat Cancer.

You don’t have to leave Bakersfield to get high quality cancer care. The AIS Cancer Center provides your family with academic-level medicine without a trip over the Grapevine. • The most experienced cancer specialists – including the area’s first board-certified female breast surgeon. • Kern County’s first 3D mammography – proven to be 41% better at detecting breast cancer. • An exclusive partnership with UC Davis that gives our patients access to the latest advancements in cancer care.

THINK OF US FIRST

WeCanBeatCancer.org


2


It’s time to fall in love with a Castle & Cooke community all over again. Introducing

New Homes by Castle & Cooke California, Inc. GATED PRIVACY | SWIM & FITNESS CLUB | PRIVATE PARKS

Schedule a Personal Model Homes Tour Call 664-6039 Today Open Wednesday – Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM Ming Ave. and Allen Rd. For the latest information join our interest list at HighgateSevenOaks.com


SEPTEMBER 2016

FEATURES Kern Life Take a daytrip to these quaint local towns and immerse yourself in the culture and dining experience that make Kern County the place we call home. Page 46

The history of heroes A look at the origins of Kern County’s first responders. Page 66

Going above and beyond the call of duty When the calls come in, these local heroes are at the ready. And when they aren’t on duty, they are volunteering to help those in need. Page 74

Pulling together for a preventable problem Kern County businesses, locals come together to raise awareness of community’s DUI problem. Page 82 6

Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016


Rodriguez & Associates makes $200,000 donation to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital for new Burn Center and Neuro Intensive Care Unit. Serious injuries sometimes need specialized care.

Too often in the past, we’ve had to travel outside of Kern County to get this type of treatment. Now, we’ll have top notch, world class treatment right here at home. We at Rodriguez & Associates are happy and honored to have helped in our own small way. Hospital President Jon Van Boening

- Daniel Rodriguez

Accidents | Personal Injury | Wrongful Death

(661) 323-1400

www.rodriguezlaw.net Best Lawyer Daniel Rodriguez

Best Law Firm Rodriguez & Associates


SEPTEMBER 2016

DEPARTMENTS Up Front – 15 How fast can an ostrich run? Find out in “My Pet.” Are you renting to relatives? You’ll want to know these taxsaving tips.

Eat & Drink – 26 Meat eaters unite! The Food Dudes visit Salty’s BBQ & Catering. Hope you’re hungry. The Dining Divas take on Red Pepper Restaurant.

PHOTO BY GREG NICHOLS

Lifestyles – 36

PHOTO COURTESY OF SKYDIVE TAFT

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42

Go “On The Road” with the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe SE Ultimate. Read how Hyundai has arrived at a new level of sophistication and luxury. Check out “What’s Haute,” a new section featuring local shops.

Go & Do – 42 Feel the adrenaline in Kern County. Three exhilarating attractions are a short drive from home.

People & Community – 96

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Where did McMurtrey Aquatic Center get its name? Meet the man who made it all possible.

110 Up Front 15 16 18 20

8

Named After Money Matters My Pet 12 Things You Didn’t Know About ...

106 S FUL CITRU F WONDER URTESY O CO TO O PH

22 Happenings

Lifestyles

People & Community

Eat & Drink

36 On the Road 39 What’s Haute

26 Dining Divas 30 Food Dudes 34 Lunchtime Picks

Go & Do

84 96 97 98 102

Bakersfield Life Magazine

42 Out & About

September 2016

Business Profiles Bakersfield Matters Family Verdict Personality For A Cause

104 106 110 114 116 122

Philanthropy Matters Inside Story History Prime Finds SNAP! Last Word

“Inside Story” goes into the Halos plant in Delano. Find out where all that “pure goodness” comes from. A waterslide, a roller coaster and Kern River Railroad in Bakersfield? Yes, it was true in the heyday of Hart Park. Our beloved park has gone through many changes over the years including its name.


bakersfieldlife.com

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STAFF SHARES Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine

Where in Kern County do you like to take out-of-town visitors?

September 2016 / Vol. 10 / Issue 12 Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by TBC Media.

Publisher Ginger Moorhouse

Associate Publisher Virginia Cowenhoven

“We don’t often have friends willing to visit Bakersfield, but when we do, we feed them! Moo Creamery. Luigi’s. Wool Growers. Crystal Palace. KC Steakhouse. Dewar’s.” – Katy Raytis, contributing writer

President/CEO Michelle Chantry

oN ThE covER

Chief Marketing Officer

Scenes from Kern County. Cover design by Glenn Hammett.

Sales Manager

Mike Skrocki

Joey Zachary

Sales Manager

Coming Next …

Tamarra Harms

Weddings, Women & Art

Jose Granados

Mark Nessia

To Advertise,

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

Specialty Publications Coordinator Laura Liera

Art Director Glenn Hammett

Graphic Designer

While putting this issue together ...

Holly Bikakis

1

Photography

Mark Nessia, our assistant editor, willingly allowed himself to be tazed. See footage on our Instagram page. Ouch!

Felix Adamo, Henry A. Barrios, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook,

2

In the spirit of the Olympic Games, the Bakersfield Life crew did a speed walking course around The Bakersfield Californian building, navigating some pretty tight turns. Laura Liera is our reigning champion.

If the mood strikes you for an ostrich burger after you read the “My Pet” story about Indian Point Ostrich Ranch in Tehachapi, no worries. You can try one at the Burger Spot in Tehachapi, which is supplied by them.

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“Old Town Kern for a quick, edible tutorial on our Basque-American community, among the largest settlements in the United States.” – Lisa Kimble, contributing writer

Market Research

Assistant Managing Editor

3

“It would be a food tour. Dewar’s for ice cream, Luigi’s for lunch and a Basque place for dinner.” – Holly Bikakis, graphic designer

John Harte, Tim Kupsick, George Gilbert Lynch, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Steve Rengers, Carla Rivas, Nick Smirnoff, Rod Thornburg

Contributing writers Teresa Adamo, Kristen Beall Barnes, Olivia Garcia, Diana Greenlee, Andrew Kehe,

“If they visit on a Sunday, brunch at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is a must! Driving through the canyon to Lake Isabella is also a memorable outing.” – Mark Nessia, assistant managing editor “Kern County Museum’s Black Gold exhibit about the oil industry is a hidden gem full of history, intrigue and nostalgia. Any visitor would love the experience and the air conditioning.” – Nina Ha, contributing writer “Hiking up the Mill Creek Trail in the Kern River Canyon. Clean air and stunning views are less than 45 minutes from home.” – Glenn Hammett, art director “To eat: Wool Growers, Noreiga Hotel or Crystal Palace. To visit: Kern County Museum. All great places to show off a little of what Bakersfield has to offer!” – Linda Petree, advertising account executive

Lisa Kimble, Julie Plata, Katy Raytis, Chris Thornburgh

Subscribe –

We want to hear from you –

Contact us –

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

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

1707 Eye St. Bakersfield, CA 93301

Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016

661-395-7500


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

Actual Remodels


SEPTEMBER 2016

EDiToR’S NoTE

ThiS iS KERN liFE I’ll never forget my first month in Kern County. It was the middle of June and the air conditioner in my car stopped working.

Mark Nessia Assistant Editor 395-7383 mnessia@bakersfield.com

I just moved from Simi Valley, which tends to be at least 10 degrees cooler, and immediately questioned my decision. “Don’t worry,” I told myself. “You’ll only be here for a few years then you’re gone.” That was eight years ago, and I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon. I’ve found that my story is actually quite common. Many residents in Bakersfield and the surrounding area who came from other cities don’t plan on a prolonged stay, yet here they are years later establishing roots in a place that was supposed to be a temporary stop. That’s the Kern County effect. There’s a lot to love here. Take a look at Lisa Kimble’s love letter to Kern for a reminder why California’s thirdlargest county is so appealing. Outsiders may not understand but that’s OK. They don’t need to. In this issue, we celebrate Kern County, which turned 150 years old this year. We highlight notable features in Bakersfield, Delano, Frazier Park, Kernville, Ridgecrest, Taft, Tehachapi and Wasco for Kern County natives and visitors alike. These are by no means all-inclusive lists. There are too many things to see, do and eat in these cities – and those not mentioned – to fit in a single magazine. But hopefully, it’s

enough to encourage readers to get out and discover (or rediscover) the beautiful sights, delicious food and fun activities found across Kern County’s 8,163 square miles. We also salute first responders, who work tirelessly day in and day out to serve the community. Writer Julie Plata explores the history of organizations like the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Kern County Fire Department and Hall Ambulance and Laura Liera focuses on their respective programs that benefit residents young and old. These brave men and women go above and beyond the call of duty and they deserve our gratitude. Living in Kern County tends to leave a mark on people – something that stays with them even if they move. Just ask Andrew Kehe, who lived in Kern County for 23 years before moving to Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 2008. Despite living in the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” he has yet to find something that rivals George’s Special from Dewar’s. Again, that’s the Kern County effect. We tolerate the scorching summers and not-so-great air quality because the people, food and convenience compel us to stay. We know that the sense of community that exists in a county this size can’t be found anywhere else. Sure, we’ll complain from time to time. It happens. No place is perfect. But this is where we call home and that’s pretty darn close.

Connect with us – bakersfieldlife.com facebook.com/BakersfieldLifeMagazine instagram/bakersfield_life twitter.com/BakersfieldLife

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016


Tax | Audit | Consulting | Bookkeeping

Keep more of your hard earned dollars

Find out what the right accountant can do for you Bakersfield | Fresno | Pasadena | Stockton


oN THE wEb

FiRST DAy oF School We asked our readers to send in photos of their first day of school. Good luck this year!

Kevin Rector, fifth grade Vincent Vallejo, first grade

Janice D. Quezada, junior Jolene M. Quezada, first grade Julissa S. Quezada, freshman Kenzie Rose Allen, preschool Nevaeh Allen, first grade

Natalie Reyes, freshman

Briana Villarreal, seventh grade

Jose Villarreal, seventh grade

Joaquin Garcia, fourth grade Mateo Garcia, senior Cruz Garcia, second grade

Next issue:

Weddings Are you celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary or starting off as a newlywed? To celebrate our next issue of Weddings, Women & Art, please share with us your wedding or anniversary photo. Send your photo to bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com titled “Weddings” along with your names and how long you’ve been married by Sept. 5.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016


UP FRoNT

Check out the next year of events in Happenings.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Named After / Money Matters / My Pet / 12 Things / Happenings

KERN RivER California’s third-largest county at nearly 8,200 square miles, Kern County got its name in 1866 from the Kern River, which was named after Edward Kern, a topographer during Gen. John C. Fremont’s 1845

expedition, who nearly drowned in the river’s unruly waters. Census estimates 882,176 people call the area home with roughly 373,640 living in Bakersfield, the state’s ninth-largest city.

bakersfieldlife.com

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Up Front

M o N E Y M AT T E R S

RENTiNG To RElATivES? You want to know these tax-saving tips By Chris Thornburgh

Renting a residence to relatives can provide peace of mind knowing they will care for your property. However, doing so isn’t without risk. If you are renting or are considering renting a home to a relative for use as their personal residence, the following information will help you avoid disastrous tax consequences.

REQUIRE FAIR RENT It is natural to want to give your relatives discounted lease terms. However, renting at less than fair rental value to relatives will jeopardize your tax deductions. Fair rent basically means the rent that a reasonable landlord would charge an unrelated party in an arm’s length transaction. For rental property rules, relatives include your spouse, siblings, half-siblings, ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) and lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.). Failure to charge relatives a fair rent will result in the property’s reclassification from a rental to your second home. If your property is reclassified as a second residence, say goodbye to the rental tax deductions you claimed on the property (other than mortgage interest and property taxes), such as depreciation, insurance, utilities, lawn maintenance, repairs and other rental expenses. To add salt to the wound, if the home is reclassified as a second residence, not only have you lost your rental deductions mentioned above, you must still claim the rental income. Just ask the Langleys, who lost their tax court case to the IRS. The Langleys purchased a home to remodel and later sell for a profit. Unable to sell the home, they rented it to Mrs. Langley’s mother for $600 per month. Upon audit, the IRS determined the fair rental value was $800 to $1,100 per month. While the Langley’s argued that the IRS’ figures were “premarket crash rates,” the Langley’s failed to establish that the property was leased for a fair rental value during the rental period. All rental deductions were thrown out. Adding further salt to the wound, when the Langley’s sell the home at a loss, they may not deduct the loss since it is considered a “second home” and not a rental. If they sell the home at a gain, they pay taxes on the gain.

AVOID A TAX DISASTER Before renting to relatives, prove the rent rate is fair and

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016

keep proof in your files. Information can be found where similar properties are listed for rent in the neighborhood, such as Craigslist, Zillow or Trulia. To back up your rates, you can also get written quotes from a property manager, realtor or independent appraiser. What if your relatives can’t afford fair-value rent and you gift a partial amount to them? The IRS is one step ahead. Making gifts to relatives to help them pay the rent will backfire. The gift may be deemed as rent reduction, putting it below fair rental value and will jeopardize your tax deductions. Still looking for an angle? The IRS Tax law allows you to charge relatives a slightly lower rent based on the “goodtenant-discount.” You may consider a good-tenant discount of 10 percent. Arguably, there is no need for a rental management company and you are passing the savings to the tenant. Lastly, make sure the property is your relative’s personal residence. If your relative only uses it a couple months out of the year and maintains a separate residence, your rental could be unintentionally reclassified as your second home rather than a rental property.

BOTTOM LINE If you are considering renting to relatives, review your facts with a tax adviser to ensure the greatest tax advantages and best financial outcome for your situation. Unintentional conversion of your rental to a second home may cost you thousands of dollars.

Chris Thornburgh

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


Up Front

MY PET

A MAN AND hiS

Ostriches

Ostrich fun facts

By Laura Liera Photos by Mark Nessia

Joel Brust swapped his suit and ties for jeans and boots. And he went from a computer software world to an ostrich ranch in Tehachapi. That life-changing decision was made nearly 26 years ago and he’s never looked back. Sitting in a patio chair, overlooking Tehachapi and his Indian Point Ostrich Ranch on a breezy summer day, Brust talked about the work that went into building one of the most unique attractions in the valley. After restoring the historical land site, once owned by Milo and Marjean Sprinkle of the Sprinkle Brother Cattle Company, Brust said he wanted to incorporate animals into the ranch in some way. Cattle, potbelly pigs and alpacas didn’t make sense for Brust. And then came the ostrich. After visiting an ostrich ranch, Brust used his corporate background to create computer models on breeding the large, flightless bird and acquired his first animals in 1992. Fast-forward to 2005, and the ranch was breeding more than 125 ostriches. “We would hatch some, hold some back to build flock and then sell some eggs,” Brust said. Brust studied ostriches and their ancestors in order to bring giant, friendly birds that are easy to manage to the ranch. As much as Brust has

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

• Ostrich breeding season is April through September. • An ostrich hen can lay 40 to 50 eggs during breeding season. • Ostrich don’t put their head in the sand like they do in cartoons. When they see something coming toward their nest, the ostrich simply lays its long neck flat on the ground to protect its eggs. • Ostrich can see for 4 miles in any direction. • Ostrich can run 40 miles an hour. • An ostrich egg shell is 1/8 inches thick. It usually takes a good whack with a heavy object to crack the shell. • It takes two hours to boil an ostrich egg for an egg salad. That means having to add more water before it evaporates. • An ostrich egg tastes like a chicken egg.

enjoyed keeping the ranch open, he is ready for retirement. He is currently looking for buyers of the ranch. “This is our last season,” he said. “We’ll be around until we get a buyer.” For now, the ranch is still open seven days a week. Admission to the ranch is free but a donation is suggested. For a minimal fee, you can

September 2016

feed a few ostriches and get the perfect Kodak moment. Throughout the tour, you’ll even get to hold an ostrich egg. Remember, these aren’t your typical store-bought eggs. Weighing about 3 pounds, an ostrich egg looks like a small dinosaur egg. One single egg is equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs. Now that’s a lot of egg salad.

• Ostrich meat tastes like beef and cooks like beef but only has 2 percent fat. • Ostrich oil is an amazing source of omega-3, 5, 6, 7 and 9, essential fatty acids known to be vital for cell growth, division and recovery. Naturally rich in vitamin F, A and provitamin A, ingredients known for skin rejuvenating benefits.


Up Front

12 T H i N G S Yo U D i D N ’ T K N ow A b o U T …

lATiNATioN

1

Left: “Sirena Con Sus Pajaros” by Alberto Herrera. Right: “Trata De Tias” by Susan Roussel

The name Latination is a blend. I created it by putting various words and blending them together. Latination sounded best.

2

The first year we had 36 entries. In 2015, we had more than 200.

3

Mento Buru has performed at every Latination. The first year, they did it for free to help get the exhibit established.

4

The show is a juried exhibit, which means all the entries are reviewed by a jury and select the top 40. Those top 40 are exhibited. 20

Bakersfield Life Magazine

5

Unlike most art exhibits that are juried, our panel consists of local people from all walks of life. I feel it’s a community exhibit and rather than just “art types” selecting the work, I want the panel to reflect our overall community.

6 Three people have been judges every year: Lisa Kimble-Edmonston, Kim Jessup and Richard Beene. 7 The exhibit installation is the most difficult out of the nine exhibits I do a year. It takes me three

September 2016

Eight years ago, Don Martin and Olivia Garcia discussed a way to salute and acknowledge the contributions of the Latino population to Bakersfield and Kern County. It took them 15 minutes to come up with the title: Latination. Every year since, artists throughout the West Coast participate in the event, producing works of art that portray their concept of the Latin experience. Notable Latination participants include Alberto Herrera, Nancy Putney, Jesus Fidel and Patti Doolittle. Each year, the event grows and gets better. Martin attributes that to art’s effect on people. “Latination shows people what art really is,” he said. “It touches you; it creates an emotion.”

days of perfecting the layout and flow of the show. It’s very difficult to make 40-plus pieces of art by different artists with different styles look visually pleasing.

8 Our friend Luis Aguilar from El Pueblo Restaurant in Lamont has donated the food for the opening reception every year. 9 A highlight each year is when Luis makes a huge, oversized margarita with lit sparklers and brings it out and presents it to me. I usually hand it to the clos-

est table and give the group six straws to drink it up!

10 Latination is far and above the biggest exhibit we do a year. In 2015, more than 6,000 people saw the exhibit during its run. More than 2,000 came through on opening night. 11 Alberto Herrera is the only artist ever to win the Best of Show award more than once (three times). 12 This exhibit has inspired a piece of public art that will be unveiled in the Arts District in 2017.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DON MARTIN

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Compiled by Bakersfield Life


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Up Front

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

Annual Events

Nov. 13

ld Bakersfie & n Half Marathoathon Mar ! ole family

Kern County Fair

Kern County Builders’ Exchange 64th annual BBQ

2016 SEPTEMBER

Latination

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Embark on a journey to “Find Your Passion and Brand Your Life” at the 27th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference on Sept. 29 at Rabobank Convention Center. The festivities start at 7 a.m. with breakfast and morning warmup speaker, local singer and mentor Amy Adams will begin at 8 a.m. Country music icon Naomi Judd will be the keynote speaker and closing out the conference is Chic Events founder and author Rachel Hollis. There will also be workshops for everyone, including topics that will highlight health, marketing, finance, education, career changes and more. Be sure to register in advance – individual tickets are $105 or $800 for a table of eight, plus a processing fee. Visit bakersfieldwomen.org or any Vallitix Outlet to purchase tickets. For more questions, please email bakersfieldwomen@gmail.com. – Bakersfield Life

PHOTO BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

BAKERSFiElD WoMEN’S BUSiNESS coNFERENcE

Sept. 2, 5 p.m., Metro Galleries, 1604 19th St. themetrogalleries.com.

Wasco Festival of Roses

Sept. 8-10, Barker Park, h 1280 Poplar Ave., Wasco. a for the w An event field Marathon is , n Activities include rose rs The Bake ified full maratho rt n parade, children’s rose show, USATF-ce rathon, two-perso rose queen pageant, rose a half ma arathon relay field tours, pancake breakfast . half m family run and barbecue. ci.wasco.ca.us or and a 5K 758-3081.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

Sept. 8, 6 p.m., Stramler Park, 3805 Chester Ave. $25. kcbex.com.

Sept. 10, 6:30 a.m., The Park at River Walk., 11298 Stockdale Highway. $25 before Sept. 7, $35 after. hinapatelfoundation.com.

The Beach Boys

Village Fest

Sept. 9, 8 p.m. Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway. $27.50-$77.50. axs.com.

September 2016

Sept. 9, 6 p.m., Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. $25. eventbrite.com.

Meet Me in Paris Fashion Show Sept. 10, 10 a.m., The Mission at Kern County, 816 E. 21st St. $25-$35. eventbrite.com.

Sept. 10, 6 p.m., Pioneer Village, 3801 Chester Ave. $73. 21 and over. vallitix.com.

POW-MIA Remembrance Program

Sam Outlaw 8th annual Latination Art Exhibit opening

Sickle Cell 5K/10K Run

Sam Outlaw

Sept. 10, guest speakers, barbecue, music, 6 p.m., VFW Post 97, 5350 S. Union Ave. $12 for barbecue. 4964672.


Homeless Center, 6:30 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $75. eventbrite.com.

Victims, 8 a.m., The Links at RiverLakes Ranch, 5201 Riverlakes Drive. $85. 587-5465.

OCTOBER Kern Schools Recycling Day Sept. 24, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, 11500 Bolthouse Drive. Drop off personal shred, recyclables, e-waste, large bulky items and more! For more information, visit www.ksfcu.org.

Sept. 15, 7 p.m., Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. $25 presale or $30 at the door. temblorbrewing.com. PHOTO BY FELIX ADAMO

Diamonds & Denim Sept. 15, 6 p.m., The Petroleum Club, 5060 California Ave. $75. eventbrite.com.

Beer Dinner SeriesAlmanac Beer Co. Sept. 15, 7 p.m., Prairie Fire at the Padre Hotel, 1702 18th St. $65. eventbrite.com.

GranFondo Pasta Fest Sept. 16, 6 p.m., Centennial Plaza, 110 S. Green St. in Tehachapi. $22. eventbrite.com.

Kern County Fair Sept. 21 to Oct. 2, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 P St., Bakersfield. kerncountyfair.com.

Wine, Women and Shoes Oct. 1, 2 p.m. location given at registration. $125 or $175 VIP. kerncasa.org.

Marty Stuart, Ben Haggard and Noel Haggard Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $40-$100. etix.com.

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference Sept. 29, 7 a.m., Rabobank Theater and Convention Center, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $112 per table seat. bakersfieldwomen.org.

The Octonauts Live Sept. 29, 7 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $33-$48. ticketmaster.com.

Boots & Bachelor Auction

Riverlakes Summer Classic Golf Tournament

Sept. 23, to benefit Bakersfield

Sept. 30, to benefit Erskine Fire

Walk to Defeat ALS

Oct. 1, 8 a.m., The Park at River Walk, 11298 Stockdale Highway. 304-4945.

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

Continued on page 24

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Tim Meadows

13th Annual Walk to Defeat ALS

17th Annual boots & bachelor Auction The annual charity event that turns into a party, all to benefit the Bakersfield Homeless Center, is back. The 17th annual Boots & Bachelor Auction is happening Friday, Sept. 23, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Bakersfield Homeless Center. The annual fundraiser is critical for the center. It falls under unrestricted dollars, which means it can cover emergency situations like a leaking pipe or aid a program when funding is lost. Last year, the auction raised more than $100,000. Although the 14 bachelors that will be at this year’s event are single, you don’t actually have to date your prize. Each bachelor is representing a date package. Whether it’s movie tickets or an evening in Los Angeles, there are a variety of prizes that come with each bachelor. Tickets are $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com. – Bakersfield Life

bakersfieldlife.com

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HAPPENiNGS

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAKERSFIELD MUSEUM OF ART

Up Front

Via Arte

Tehachapi Apple Festival

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Party in the Park

Oct. 8, to benefit Kern County Law Enforcement Association, 8 a.m., Bakersfield Harley Davidson, 35089 Merle Haggard Drive. $18. eventbrite.com.

Via Arte Oct. 15-16, Italian street painting festival, The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. viaartebakersfield.com.

California City Renaissance Festival Oct. 15-16, California City Central Park, 10460 Heather Ave. $8 adults. calcityrenfair.org.

Party in the Park Oct. 21, 6:30 p.m., CSUB Alumni Park, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $20-$60. 21 and over. 654-3211.

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California City Renaissance Festival

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

The ninth annual Mick Asbury ALS Shootout, Sporting Clay Tournament will be held Oct. 22 at 5 Dogs Range. All proceeds go to the ALS Association to help continue research and support those affected by the disease. Entry is $100 and includes breakfast, lunch and a gift. Check-in is at 8 a.m. For more information, call 303-8669 or go to themickasburyalsshootout.com. – Bakersfield Life

Sikh Riders of America Ride

PHOTO COURTESY OF CSUB ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Sporting clay tournament for ALS

Oct. 8-9, 10 a.m. pie-eating contest, apple drop, carnival, vendors, food, music. Rail Road Park in downtown Tehachapi. Free. 771-2423.

September 2016


Lilac Festival at Pine Mountain Village

Whiskey Flat Fall Festival

Whiskey Flat Fall Festival Oct. 29-30, live music, costume contest, pumpkin patch, petting farm, food, vendors. Circle Park in downtown Kernville. 760-376-2629.

Harvest Holidays in Delano Oct. 6-8, the fall festival starts off with a golf tournament, softball tournament and 10K run. The Grand Marshal and Queen Barbecue is held on Oct. 9 after the Kiddie Parade. The Grand Parade is on Oct. 10. Four-day carnival. Most events take place at Memorial Park, 100 Lexington St., Delano. delanochamberofcommerce.org.

NOVEMBER Autism on the Run 2K/5K Nov. 5, 9 a.m., CSUB, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $30-$40. csub.edu.

late January. bakersfieldprayerbreakfast.com.

6th Annual League of Dreams Gala Jan. 28, 6 p.m., Hathaway Ranch, 16073 Highway 65. $125. 616-9122.

Annual Victim/Witness Auxiliary Fog Run Usually scheduled in early January at Lake Ming. Proceeds benefit crime victims of Kern County. bakersfieldtrack club.org.

FEBRUARY Anthony’s Seeing is Believing 5K Feb. 4, 8 a.m., The Park at River Walk, 11298 Stockdale Highway. Registration opens in November. anthonysseeingisbelieving.com.

Glennville Rodeo Roundup

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Third weekend of May. Activities include lilac festival parade, acrobatic skydivers, food, music, golf, horseshoe tournaments, children’s activities and more. pmclilacfestival.com.

JUNE Annual Glennville Rodeo Roundup Weekend-long event, usually the first or second weekend in June. GMVA Rodeo Arena, 196 Pascoe Road, Glennville. glennvillerodeo.org.

JULY 2017 Philippine Weekend in Delano Monthlong activities that culminate toward the end of the month for a big three-day weekend celebration: pork adobo cook-off, Saturday and Sunday; grand parade (Saturday only); barrio fiesta; basketball tournament; cultural entertainment; live performances; dance and singing contest; and bingo. Most events take place at Cecil Park, 17th Ave., Delano. Free. 679-9698.

MAY Breakfast with Santa Dec. 3, 8 a.m., Applebee’s, 9000 Ming Ave. $10.

Holiday lamplight tours Dec. 10, 4 p.m., Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. Prices TBA.

2017 JANUARY Annual Prayer Breakfast Rabobank Convention Center, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Usually in

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in Delano Kicks off at the beginning of the month with a four-day celebration. Carnival, food, games, live entertainment, parade. Most events take place at Memorial Park, 100 Lexington St., Delano. delanochamberofcommerce.org.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

DECEMBER

MEET ME iN PARiS FAShioN ShoW High fashion is coming to Bakersfield. For the second year, The Mission at Kern County’s Ladies Guild will be hosting the Meet Me in Paris Fashion Show. Jamie Durham, director of community development at the mission, said there will be eight female and two male models strutting the runway on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. Models are from the mission’s One-Year Discipleship Program. The show will feature summer, fall and evening wear – all outfits from Encore Boutique, a downtown boutique providing job training for women in the One-Year Discipleship Program. Accompanying models down the runway will be a few fourlegged critters from Marley’s Mutts, Durham said. Besides the fashion show, there will be a silent auction with gifts that range from brand name purses to a $250 Mexicali gift basket. There will also be live music and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $25 to $35. For Bakersfield Life readers, the mission is offering $5 off your ticket purchase, simply use the code: Bakersfield Life Rocks. Visit thebrm.org to purchase tickets. – Bakersfield Life

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Eat & Drink

D I N I N G D I VA S

Red Pepper Restaurant Above, from left: Chile en nogada

Innovative menu creates experience beyond that of traditional Mexican food

Chile verde quesadilla

Compiled by Bakersfield Life

Surf and turf

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Photos by Greg Nichols

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ed Pepper Restaurant chef Gilbert Sabedra has taken traditional Mexican dishes and infused more flavor in each bite than you could ever imagine. If you’re ready to take your taste buds on an appetizing adventure, make a stop at this northeast restaurant on your next date night.

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September 2016

APPETIZERS Kathryn Mears on the guacamole rico: It was one of the best guacamole that I have ever had! It is a tasty blend of cream cheese, chunks of fresh avocado, jalapeno, tomato and onion seasoned with garlic and topped with roasted pine nuts. I loved the pine nuts! It also came with chips and three types of salsas: salsa verde, roasted rojo and spicy salsa. This classic appetizer was transformed into an exquisite must-have starter. The wine selected for this dish was a Tlo dry rose wine. Carla Barrientos on the chile verde quesadillas:

The chile verde pork quesadillas were beyond delicious. The were stuffed with chile verde, poblano chiles and


OSWELL ST

Dining Divas Kathryn Mears, Carla Barrientos and Nima Patel enjoy the festive atmosphere at Red Pepper.

MAIL V IEW

Oaxaca cheese. The cheese was gooey and plentiful. Although I ordered it as an appetizer, it could have easily been a meal. The perfectly toasted quesadillas were accompanied by several slices of fresh avocado. I added a bit of their roasted rojo salsa for a spicy kick. Finding really good chile verde can be hit or miss around town, but at Red Pepper, it was definitely a hit.

ENTREES Nima Patel on the camarones con queso: To say the dish was amazing is an un-

derstatement. It comes with four large succulent shrimp, rice, beans and your choice of soup or salad. It absolutely melts in your mouth with its rich flavors. The shrimp are layered with feta and cream cheese and swim-

ming in a tomato chili sauce. This dish is everything – sweet, tangy, spicy and just layered with goodness. Carla on the chile en nogada: I’ve always considered myself well-versed in the flavors of Mexico, but I can truly say I’ve never had a dish like the chile en nogada, which is a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with ground beef and pork, pine nuts, raisins and other dried fruits. Every bite revealed a new and appetizing flavor. The pepper, topped with pomegranate seeds, also had a walnut crema sauce that brought even more delightful flavors to the dish. Not only is it absolutely mouthwatering, but it is also presented beautifully on the plate. The dish comes with pot

AUBURN ST

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BERNARD ST

Red Pepper Restaurant

PICO AVE

2641 Oswell St. 1,000 FT

Red Pepper Restaurant 2641 Oswell St. Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sunday www.bakersfieldredpepper.com

Continued on page 28

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This page, clockwise from top left: Lamb lollipops Camarones con queso Red pepper soup and chicken tortilla soup Sea bass Facing page: Flan

Continued from page 27

beans and are some of the best I’ve had in Bakersfield. Kathryn on the surf and turf: It’s a shrimp, threecheese creamy mac and cheese topped with the most tender slices of filet mignon medallions and the sweetest half lobster tail with garlic bread toast to sop up all the yummy cheese sauce. Carla on the walnut-crusted sea bass Acapulco:

This is a phenomenal dish for those who do not want a heavy meal but still want to leave satisfied and full. The sea bass was covered in a crunchy walnut crust, placed on a jalapeno-creamed spinach potato cake. It was delectable. The first cut of my knife revealed the flaky sea bass, cooked to perfection. The succulent fish was gone before I knew it. A truly divine dish.

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DESSERTS Nima on the double chocolate brownies: This dessert is big enough for the entire table. You get two large decadent brownies sandwiched between a thick caramel sauce and a toasted-walnut sauce topped with a melted Mexican chocolate drizzle. These brownies do not disappoint and are anything but ordinary. They are rich and moist, made with chipotle and Grenache, and the mix of the different sauces makes it another unique Red Pepper item. I suggest getting this dessert a la mode or with a warm cup of coffee; you can thank me later. Kathryn on the flan: You can’t go wrong warm caramel sauce over a nice slice of exquisite homemade flan and whipped cream. The recipe was handed down from the grandfather of the Red Pepper’s own Favian Sabedra. The night was truly marvelous.


Red Pepper is a Bakersfield tradition with not-so-traditional Mexican food. They have one of most innovative and creative repertoire of dishes and wine pairings. You can taste the chef’s TLC in each unique dish and the time spent in selecting local wines that complement their dishes. Red Pepper is more like an experience than just a meal.

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Eat & Drink

FOOD DUDES

Salty’s BBQ & Catering

worlds together. Owner Jeff Salters has mastered the unique Salty’s barbecue style and after that first bite, good luck not coming back for more.

Local mainstay gains national attention with unique BBQ style

ENTREES

Compiled by Bakersfield Life

T

Photos by Greg Nichols

hose who watch “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on Food Network are already familiar with Salty’s BBQ & Catering, a joint that gained national recognition through Guy Fieri’s visit. But Bakersfield has been enjoying this barbecue mecca since 2012. This local gem brings the best of the grilling and smoking

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September 2016

Dustin Knepp on the brisket: This is the true marker of a skilled pit master. Don’t be fooled by the other meats; brisket is the one to try. It takes patience and skill to create a perfectly cooked brisket. Jeff uses a nontraditional rub (lemon pepper, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, etc.) on most of his meats. It provides a distinct flavor profile from barbecue I’ve had in other parts of the country. Salty’s cooks with the tried-and-true low-and-slow method, but deviates by smoking the brisket with almond wood for a uniquely local

Continued on page 32


Facing page: Salty’s Special Top: Food Dudes from left: J.R. Flores, Dustin Knepp, Tony Mosley, Bill Jeffries and Bob Smith. Left: Owner Jeff Salters barbecuing. Bottom left: Hot link sandwich Bottom right: Salty’s was visited by Guy Fieri of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2015.

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Salty’s BBQ & Catering WHITE LANE

SCHIRRA CT

Salty’s BBQ & Catering 6801 White Lane DISTRICT BLVD 500 FT

6801 White Lane 9425 Rosedale Highway Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day at the Rosedale location. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, at the White Lane location.

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Continued from page 30

Top: Tri-tip sandwich Bottom: Brisket Facing page, top: Salty’s Sampler Facing page bottom: Salty’s brownie s’more

flavor. The brisket had a nice bark without too much smoke. Bob Smith on the grilled chicken: The chicken is grilled over a red oak fire after having a dry rub prep, followed by a lemon and orange juice overnight marinade. It was a very tasty and moist chicken. I liked that it isn’t slathered in barbecue sauce. As my side, I enjoyed the coleslaw, which is fresh and crunchy, slightly sweet and tangy. Tony Mosley on the pork spare ribs: These ribs had a mild smoke flavor and were seasoned very well with Salty’s own in-house dry rub made up of lemon pepper, garlic and basil. They were delicious. Bill Jeffries on the pulled pork sandwich: This sandwich is served on a fresh Pyrenees roll. The generous portion of meat filled the roll, topped with their delicious homemade barbecue sauce. The meat is prepared with dry rub, which brings out the taste of the meat, slow cooked in the smoker for up to 11 hours. Almond wood is used as the fuel for cooking the pork. The pork is chopped to minimize being stringy. The meat

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September 2016


was tasty, tender and the barbecue sauce was outstanding with hints of being sweet, smoky and seasoned with some heat. I chose the green beans as my side. The blanch green beans had butter and garlic with Salty’s secret spices and made for a great combo with the pulled pork sandwich. J.R. Flores on the tri-tip: Salty’s uses their special rub and lets the meat marinate overnight. It was juicy and tender and cut just right – against the grain. We were privileged to taste a little of the rub and I wanted to take some home and use it myself on a few choice cuts. Have I mentioned they serve this in a sandwich on a fresh Pyrenees roll? I think this just became my favorite barbecue spot in town. My choice of side was the spicy mac and cheese that was made with pepper jack. Simply put, I could eat here every day.

DESSERT Bob on the Salty’s brownie s’more: We all had this delicious three-layered creation of graham cracker crust, chocolate brownie and toasted marshmallow topping. It was very rich and appropriately sweet. The only thing missing was a glass of cold milk!

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Our recommendation is to bring a couple of friends, get the sampler platter and enjoy trying a range of barbecue options until you find your favorite. Just be sure to get plenty of sauce for dipping. You won’t be disappointed. bakersfieldlife.com

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Eat & Drink

LUNCHTIME PICKS

Casa Tequila Bar & Grill Quick, delicious lunchtime option Above: Tequila chicken

By Holly Bikakis

Below: The lunch buffet

Photos by Mark Nessia

C

asa Tequila Bar & Grill is a great place to go if you are craving some Mexican food for lunchtime. The festive atmosphere transports you somewhere else and feels like a mini getaway in the middle of the day. The staff was very welcoming and friendly and immediately served us some fresh guacamole made at our

table with chips that were light and crunchy. Adriane Castanada is the manager of Casa Tequila, which opened in June of this year. He said they got their name because they offer more than 30 different types of tequila. They have a full-sized menu of traditional dishes that has something for everyone. In addition to serving up great lunches, they offer everything from Sunday brunch, to Taco Tuesday specials, to Karaoke Thursdays and more. Tequila Chicken: $11.95 This is a house favorite. The star of this plate is the lightly breaded chicken marinated in fresh lime juice and sauteed with a splash of tequila. It’s served with fresh vegetables cooked just right, fresh avocado slices and rice. The taste is light and refreshing without being too heavy.

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September 2016

Lunch Buffet: $7.95 For $7.95, this is a great deal. It’s served in the main courtyard Monday through Friday with traditional menu items that rotate on a daily basis. On the day of our visit, they offered items such as beef mole, chicken fajitas, chile verde, enchiladas, ceviche, diced potatoes and chorizo, rice, beans, fruits, salad items and dessert. If you’re lunchtime is short, this is a great option; there is something for everyone. Next time you need a staycay in the middle of your workday, come by Casa Tequila Bar & Grill. The staff will take care of you and the lunchtime prices will keep you coming back for more.

Casa Tequila Bar & Grill 4646 California Ave. 661-374-8678 Check out Casa Tequila on Facebook Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday


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Lifestyles

Above: The 2017 Santa Fe is both stylish and versatile.

ON THE ROAD

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe SE Ultimate Sophistication of luxury SUV indicates just how far brand has come

Opposite page, clockwise from top left: The well-designed cockpit features an 8-inch touch screen and large, easy-toread buttons. The third-row seating folds flat for additional cargo space. The multiview camera system includes an overhead view. Panoramic sunroof

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By Glenn Hammett

Photos by Mark Nessia

H

yundai has experienced an interesting and unlikely evolution in the American automobile market over the past 20 years. Once a cheap import that was somewhat of a laughing stock (Jay Leno once said that you could double the value of a Hyundai by filling it up with gas), Hyundai steadily improved its products until 2008 when John Krafcik took over as CEO. Over the next five years, the company focused on value, fuel efficiency and groundbreaking design and experienced exponential growth in sales and market share. In 2012, Krafcik famously stated

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September 2016

that, moving forward, Hyundai would be transitioning from a “value brand to a valuable brand.” This signaled the next step in the Korean automaker’s evolution. No longer content to make cars that people bought only because they were inexpensive, Hyundai set its sights on building efficient, dependable and stylish vehicles, brimming with all of the comforts, amenities and technology found in the world’s leading brands. After driving the 2017 Santa Fe SE Ultimate for a day, I can say that Hyundai has fulfilled its mission. The newest version of Hyundai’s top-of-the-line Santa Fe is a premium midsized SUV crossover that holds its own against the best in this

highly competitive segment. Heated and cooled leather seats, panoramic sunroof, 8-inch touch screen, multiview camera system, hands-free smart auto-opening lift gate, blind spot detection and premium Infinity sound system are just a few of the features that come standard on the Ultimate model. The car I tested was also equipped with the Ultimate Tech Package, adding adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. I found the tech features extremely easy to navigate. Bakersfield Hyundai’s cheerful and knowledgeable sales consultant Astred Zetina walked me through the features and controls and synced my


Rear window sun shades are standard.

It’s all in the details Price tag: Base price: $38,700. As tested: $42,435 MPG: 17 city, 23 highway, 20 combined Five best features on 2017 Santa Fe Ultimate: Automatic emergency braking Lane departure warning Blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert Lane change assist What makes the 2017 Santa Fe Ultimate stand out from other midsized SUVs? Premium features at an affordable price. You will get power, comfort and style, along with the industry’s best warranty. Target customer: The Santa Fe Ultimate is best for families that are looking for more total interior volume, excellent safety and reliability.

phone to the car in a matter of seconds. There is also an easily employed third row of seats that give the Santa Fe the ability to carry seven people. They fold flat when not in use, so as not to obstruct the spacious cargo area. The exterior is smartly designed and has been given a minor facelift from the previous year’s model – the primary changes being to the headlights, grille, and front and rear bumpers. Hyundai only offers one engine option on the Santa Fe: a powerful 3.3-liter direct injection V-6 that puts out 290 horsepower. Though I didn’t test it on

any mountain passes, the power and acceleration exceeded my expectations for a midsized SUV. I was also impressed with how quiet the cabin was, even on the roughest of roads. Both engine and road noise were barely perceptible. The 2017 Santa Fe Ultimate offers seating for seven; plenty of power; a smooth, quiet ride; and a dizzying array of comfort, convenience and safety features all in an attractive, well-styled package. Proof positive that Hyundai has arrived.

Three words that define the 2017 Santa Fe Ultimate: Innovative, luxurious and reliable. What do you like most about the 2017 Santa Fe Ultimate? The 2017 Santa Fe Ultimate has taken the standard backup camera feature to a whole new level by giving us an impressive 360-degree parking camera system. This multiview camera feature is a must have, making it easier to park. Source: Astred Zetina, Bakersfield Hyundai sales consultant

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More than 5 at this offer. Payment plus tax and license. 36 month lease through HMF on approved credit. No security deposit required. 12k miles per year with $0.25 thereafter. $0 due at signing. Expires end of month.

661.952.7234 5300 Wible Rd. | Bakersfield, CA 93313

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ยกHablamos su idioma!


W H AT ’ S H A U T E

SUGARDADDY’S • Women’s clothing store from high fashion runways to your closet • Women’s sizes from small to curvy • Layaway available

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JOSEPH RIBKOFF FLORAL EVENING DRESS – $243 BLACK EVENING BAG WITH CLEAR CRYSTALS – $33 JIMMY CRYSTAL HAND SET SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL EARRINGS – $36 ONEX HANDMADE SILVER-AND-BLACK SWAROVSKI-STUDDED HIGH HEEL SLIDE – $143

Address: 5512 Stockdale Highway Phone: 661-325-8300 Facebook: www.facebook.com/sugardaddys Instagram: @sugardaddys_boutique Store hours: M-F: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat.: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,

Sun.: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Lifestyles

W H AT ’ S H A U T E

OPULENT DAY SPA Bakersfield’s newest luxury day spa Located on the corner of Ming Avenue and Buena Vista Road, Opulent specializes in hair, skin and nail. Opulent also carries the finest products to come into market. Call 661-4731000 for more information or to schedule your service.

SAMPLE OF OPULENT PRODUCTS SHU UEMURA ESSENCE ABSOLUE Multiuse hair oil that moisturizes and protects without weighing down even the finest of hair. $69 SHU UEMURA WONDER WORKER Air dry/blow dry primer that instantly hydrates, detangles, smoothes, conditions, boosts radiance, tames frizz and adds silkiness to all hair types. $33 IMAGE SKINCARE THE MAX-STEM CELL NECK LIFT Anti-aging cream designed for the neck that firms and tightens skin, leaving it looking noticeably smoother. $80 KERASTASE BAIN DENSITE Bodifying shampoo that is a gentle but thorough cleanser for stressed hair, leaving it with more substance, resilience and strength. $40 KERASTASE DENSITE TREATMENT Energizing shampoo for thinning hair that revitalizes, cleanses and promotes a healthy scalp. $35 SKINCEUTICALS PHYTO CORRECTIVE MASQUE Facial mask that restores your skin’s natural radiance and smoothness and soothes and replenishes skin reactivity. $55 KEVYN AUCOIN Sensual skin enhancer (multipurpose face makeup). $48

Address: 11420 Ming Ave. Phone: 661-473-1000 Website: www.opulentdayspa.com Store hours: M-F: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat.: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun.: closed

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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 bakersfieldlife.com

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OUT & ABOUT

PHOTO BY TIM KUPSICK

Go & Do

James Zoppe of American Jousting Alliance lances a ring during the Frazier Mountain Spring Jousting Tournament.

Feel the adrenaline in Kern County Exhilarating attractions are a short drive from home By Laura Liera

A

s summer vacation comes to an end, it’s normal to have vacation withdrawals. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun as you get back to the daily grind. Why not have a fun, weekend getaway with family or friends? We’ve put together a few fun and exhilarating attractions you can enjoy, just a short drive from home.

THE AMERICAN JOUSTING ALLIANCE Be a knight for a day at this hidden gem in Frazier Park! Don’t worry, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this medieval tradition in a safe and fun environment.

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James Zoppe, founder and director of The American Jousting Alliance, has been training people and horses for more than 30 years. Since the age of 10, Zoppe spent time on a ranch, training ponies and horses. That led to riding bareback and helping round up cows from the field and woods. After graduating from high school, Zoppe moved to Dallas, Texas, where he trained and eventually presented his own rosinback act. There were acrobatic tricks involved, like doing somersaults on a galloping horse. His jousting career took form in 1979. At the ranch in Frazier Park, some of Zoppe’s training school students have gone on to professional or semiprofessional jousting careers.

The adrenaline rush is just one of the perks of trying out the sport. There are day trainings that run from an hour and a half to two hours. Or you can train for more days. Plus there is a youth camp for your little ones. If jousting isn’t your thing, the ranch offers horseback riding lessons to people of all ages. You learn how to balance properly and have control of the horse. To plan your visit or for more information, visit jameszoppe.com.

SKYDIVE TAFT If you’re ready to check “jump out of an airplane” off your bucket list, the place to do it is less than 40 miles away. Skydive Taft has been giving people a thrilling ride for more than 20


PHOTO COURTESY OF SKYDIVE TAFT

Tandem skydiving is great for first-time jumpers.

At Skydive Taft, you will reach speeds of up to 120 mph.

structor on the jump. You’ll reach speeds of up to 120 mph and enjoy the Kern County view from above. Now, you won’t be able to take selfies as you are free falling, but the instructors at Skydive Taft document every moment of your Continued on page 44

PHOTO BY SHELBY MACK

years. For those planning on simply jumping out of an aircraft 5,000 feet in the air, then tandem skydiving is what you’ll want to check out. It’s great for first-time jumpers. There is a brief training involved. And don’t worry, you’ll be harnessed to a highly skilled in-

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adventure with two cameras, one for video and one for stills. If you’re interested in jumping solo, Skydive Taft does offer skydiving classes, which can eventually get you your own USPA “A” License. So invite your friends to jump with you or watch you fall from the sky. Skydive Taft is open Friday to Sunday but if you call and make a reservation, you may be able to make a jump during the week. To reserve a spot or for more information, visit skydivetaft.com.

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PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Thousands of tourist flock to the world-class rapids of the Kern River, adrenaline ready. There are various river trips, or levels, you can decide to experience. For those who want just enough of a rush, the Lickety Split, the Double Split and the Lickety Fun Run give you the perfect rapids for inexperienced rafters and children. Now, if you want more rush from the river, there are levels that promise to give you outrageous rapids. The staff at Kern River Tours encourages people to do multiday trips to experience river life. There are secluded riverside camps where you can rest and relax before your next day’s adventure. For specials, packages or more information, visit kernrivertours.com.

Continued from page 43


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631-18th Street • 327-3861 • 5601 California Ave. • 327-5201

60 Years

“S E R V I C E”

1956

Est. 1956

LE CE

BRATIN

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60

2016

YEARS Experience Come and visit Kern County’s Best Tile Store for a huge selection and competitive pricing. 60 Year’s Experience “EXPERIENCE” THE SUPER TILE STORE 6301 E. BRUNDAGE LN. • BAKERSFIELD, CA. (661) 366-3255 Between Oswell & Fairfax Rd.

“Q U A L I T Y”

n these sacred grounds lie early pioneers, city founders, soldiers of the Civil War on both sides, and the man for whom our city is named. Historic Union Cemetery is more than a memorial park. It is the storybook of the American West. We invite you now to tour our web site. And to come and tour our unique memorial park as it continues to serve the families of Bakersfield now and well into the future. Jose Leyva Manager/Director of Operations


There’s a lot to love about

Kern

County I ts affordable cost of living and close proximity to beaches and popular destinations are noteworthy but it’s the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures of the cities that dwell within its borders that truly make it a unique place to live. Bakersfield Life has compiled a list of prominent locations and activities found in Bakersfield, Delano, Frazier Park, Kernville, Ridgecrest, Taft, Tehachapi and Wasco that will hopefully entice Kern County residents and visitors to check out the surrounding area. This is not an all-inclusive list for Kern County or for the cities featured; it’s something to pique one’s interest and encourage them to explore a county that may be third largest in the state but No. 1 in our hearts.

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PHOTO BY STEVE RENGERS

The foothills of Breckenridge Mountain

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Bakersfield T

• ArtWalk at First Friday – A family friendly arts event that showcases Kern County’s best artists in the heart of downtown Bakersfield. Takes place on the first Friday of each month along Eye Street between 18th and 20th streets. • Bakersfield Condors – Future stars of the NHL take to the ice at Rabobank

• Bakersfield Museum of Art – A venue that inspires and engages audiences through a broad spectrum of visual arts, educational programs, community outreach and special events. 1930 R St. • Bakersfield Speedway – Dubbed “the West’s fastest 1/3-mile high-banked clay oval,” the track draws fans and drivers from all over and hosts races each weekend from March to October. 5001 N. Chester Extension

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• Fox Theater – This historical venue does it all, from showcasing some of the biggest names in entertainment to hosting local events and holding viewings of foreign films during the FLICS season. 2001 H St. • Kern County Museum – Founded in 1941, the Kern County Museum features historical objects that bring the story of Kern County to life. 3801 Chester Ave.

• Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace – A restaurant, museum and concert venue all under one roof, the Crystal Palace is a must-see for Bakersfield visitors and residents alike. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd.

RECREATION

• Collegiate athletics – The town’s best collegiate athletes take to the courts and fields for CSU Bakersfield and Bak-

The Bakersfield Condors enjoy a strong hometown following.

• Festivals galore – From culture, music, food and craft beer, if you can think it, there’s probably a festival for it. Notable events include the Country and Craft Beer Festival, Bakersfield Jazz Festival, Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival, Basque Festival, Kern County Nut Festival and Greek Food Festival.

• Bike Bakersfield – Encouraging the community to bike for recreation and transportation, Bike Bakersfield educates riders on bike maintenance, bike safety and promotes healthier lifestyles. 1708 Chester Ave.

One of two mountain lions at CALM.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Arena providing fast-paced hockey action the whole family can enjoy. Regular season runs from October to April.

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

he largest city in Kern County and the ninth largest in the state, Bakersfield is home to more than one-third of the county’s population. Named after Col. Thomas Baker, “Baker’s Field” was a stopover for travelers in the 1860s. Oil was discovered in the valley and Bakersfield and Kern County soon became the most productive oil county in the nation, in addition to being the fourth-most productive agricultural county by value. Bakersfield also has a large Basque community, which is reflected in numerous Basque restaurants and annual Basque Festival.

ersfield College in a variety of sports, from football, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, wrestling, swimming and diving, water polo and much more.


• Kern County Fair – A safe, friendly environment for education, cultural and entertainment experiences that celebrates the Kern County community, featuring rides, games, shows and livestock. 1142 S. P St. The Marketplace is both a shopping and an entertainment destination.

• McMurtrey Aquatic Center – A multiuse facility that contains an 8,551square-foot recreation pool, 50-meter competition pool, double water slides and more. 1325 Q St. • Rush Air Sports – A 40,000-squarefoot indoor athletic entertainment facility, Rush Air Sports provides adventure, excitement and challenges for kids and adults alike. 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. SHOPPING

• Downtown antique malls – Downtown Bakersfield is home to the city’s antique district with close to a dozen stores, each with a unique inventory of vintage items. • The Marketplace – The Marketplace is a shopping and entertainment destination, with numerous shops and restaurants to choose from as well as a movie theater. 9000 Ming Ave. • Northwest Promenade – National retail chains like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Home Depot and Kohl’s occupy the nearly mile-long shopping area along Rosedale Highway. 8400 Rosedale Highway • The Shops at River Walk – The southwest shopping center houses wellknown retailers like Target, Nordstrom Rack, Sprouts Farmers Market and BevMo as well as a variety of eateries. 10000 Stockdale Highway • Valley Plaza – More than 140 specialty stores spread across more than 1 million square feet of space, Valley Plaza is home to some of the finest retailers in the country. 2701 Ming Ave.

RESTAURANTS

• Speakeasy at 1933 – Bakersfield’s newest restaurant and club takes diners back to the Prohibition era. 7900 Downing Ave. • 24th Street Cafe – A downtown staple for breakfast or lunch, 24th Street Cafe is a “happy place for hungry people!” 1415 24th St. • Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace – No other establishment in town offers guests a chance to dine on mouthwatering steaks while enjoying live music and exploring the history of the Bakersfield Sound. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. • Cafe Med – Bakersfield’s “original Mediterranean restaurant” celebrates 25 years of culinary flair. 4809 Stockdale Highway • Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar – A popular spot for lunch or dinner in downtown Bakersfield, Chef’s Choice offers a predominately Thai menu with a few Japanese, Vietnamese and fusion items for variety. 1534 19th St. • Coconut Joe’s – Burgers, chicken, tritip and seafood with a Hawaiian twist! 4158 California Ave. • Crest Bar & Grill – One of Bakersfield’s best kept secrets, this fine-dining establishment is nestled inside the Bakersfield RV Resort. 5025 Wible Road • Dagny’s – This favorite downtown coffee house is known for its trademark coffees and teas but also carries a selection of wine and beers. 1600 20th St. • Dewar’s – Known throughout Bakersfield and across the nation, this candy shop is famous for its taffy chews and soda fountain experience. 1120 Eye St.,

PHOTO BY JOHN HARTE

• California Living Museum (CALM) – Sitting on 14 “park-like” acres, the zoo displays more than 80 species of California native animals, plants, fossils and artifacts and hosts the annual Holiday Lights at CALM. 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway

2700 Calloway Drive, 11320 Ming Ave. • El Portal West Mexican Grill & Cantina – Authentic Mexican flavors start with the chips and salsa and this is the place to experience fresh, bold Mexican flavors. 1100 Calloway Drive, #300 • Goose Loonies – Greek and American cuisine come together at this downtown tavern and grill. 816 18th St. • Frugatti’s Italian Eatery – The slogan says it all: “Real Italian by real Italians.” 600 Coffee Road • Hungry Hunter – This steakhouse is known for its prime rib. Is it the best in town? You decide! 3580 Rosedale Highway • KC Steakhouse – Established in 1939, this American eatery serves up traditional steak, seafood and burgers with homestyle sides. 2515 F St. • La Costa Mariscos – Hacienda-style eatery with a nautical theme. 3401 Chester Ave., Suite B • Lengthwise – The city’s longest-running microbrewery boasts 14 beers on tap complemented by a pub menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, “stinky” fries and more. 7700 District Blvd., 2900 Calloway Drive, 9000 Ming Ave. • Mexicali – Famous for its enchiladas, salsas and award-winning margaritas, Mexicali has been serving Bakersfield with a plethora of Mexican dishes for more than 70 years. 631 18th St., 5601 California Ave. • Narducci’s Cafe – Enjoy steaks, chops, pastas and sandwiches at this oldschool restaurant with a hopping bar. 622 E. 21st St. • Noriega Hotel – Traditional Basque cuisine served in a casual, cafeteriastyle atmosphere. 525 Sumner St. Continued on page 50 bakersfieldlife.com

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Wool Growers is a landmark Basque restaurant in Bakersfield.

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PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Continued from page 49

• Pyrenees Cafe – Serving up Basque cuisine and American fare with live music on select nights. 601 Sumner St. • Salty’s BBQ and Catering – Bakersfield barbecue of national fame, bringing the best of the smoking and grilling worlds to hungry diners. 9425 Rosedale Highway, 6801 White Lane • Sequoia Sandwich Company – Bakersfield’s premier sandwich shop uses only premium-quality ingredients on its handcrafted sandwiches and baked goods. 1231 18th St., 9160 Rosedale Highway, 9500 Ming Ave. • Temblor Brewing Company – Locally brewed craft beer, pub grub, and live music and entertainment make for good times at this brewpub. 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. • The Belvedere Room – Located inside

the historic Padre Hotel, the elegant dining room marries old-world style with modern tastes for an experience that’s hard to top and impossible to forget. 1702 18th St. • Uricchio’s Trattoria Italian Restaurant – This Italian restaurant in the historic Haberfelde Building in downtown Bakersfield offers wonderful food and exceptional service in a unique setting. 1400 17th St. • Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar – French cuisine fused with California freshness combined with an extensive wine list make for a dining experience you can’t find anywhere else. 3310 Truxtun Ave., Suite 160 • Wiki’s Wine Dive and Grill – Bakersfield’s only casual gourmet restaurant and wine bar. 11350 Ming Ave. • Wool Growers – Basque restaurant serving dishes of southern France and northern Spain since 1954. 620 E. 19th St.


PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Sequoia Sandwich Company has become one of Bakersfield’s favorite lunch spots.

Mike George

Allyn Medeiros

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Jasmine School is located at the Delano Heritage Park Museum.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF DELANO HISTORICAL SOCIETY

• Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – Celebrate Mexican culture with live entertain-

September 2016

ment and a carnival at Memorial Park. Enjoy traditional Mexican food and dress up in your green, red and white colors to commemorate Cinco de Mayo. • Delano Heritage Park Museum – 330 S. Lexington St. • Harvest Holidays Kiddie Parade – Dress up your little ones for this parade that’s been going on for the past 71 years in Delano. Sponsored by the Delano Union Elementary School District and city of Delano, this kiddie parade lets the young ones be the stars for a day as they wave to the crowds down Main Street. • Harvest Holidays Queen Show – To celebrate the Delano crop harvest, this community event brings everyone together to nominate and pick a Harvest Queen. Event admission is $7 and location varies every year. • Philippine Weekend Celebration – Three-day weekend celebration in July that includes a pork adobo cook-off (Saturday and Sunday), grand parade (Saturday only), barrio fiesta, basket-

Delano residents have celebrated Philippine Weekend for more than 40 years.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

nown for strong community leaders like Cesar Chavez, Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Dulay Itliong, Delano is a quaint city 30 miles north of Bakersfield. Founded on July 14, 1869, as a railroad town, Delano is home to more than 50,000 people, according to the United States Census Bureau. The small-town feel is still visible as you take a stroll through the downtown area, better known as Main Street. Banks, hair salons, jewelry stores and food joints line this nook of the city. But with a growing population comes a modern change. Just off southbound Highway 99, on Woollomes Avenue, you can find the Delano Marketplace inaugurated in August 2013. You can shop at Wal-Mart Supercenter, rue21, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Ross, Dollar Tree, dd’s DISCOUNTS and grab a bite to eat at several fast food restaurants. Development is ongoing.

ball tournament, cultural entertainment, live performances, dance and singing contest, and bingo. Most events take place at Cecil Park. RECREATION

• The Aviator Casino – Friendly card room playing popular table games in a relaxed environment. 1225 Airport Drive • Delano Golf Course – Family friendly nine-hole golf facility located in Memorial Park. 104 S. Lexington St.

Lake Woolomes, near Delano, is a popular destination for fishermen and those wanting to get outdoors for a few hours.

PHOTO BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

Delano K


• Delano Skate Park – Concrete skate park for skateboards and in-line skaters. 1630 Madison St. (on the south side of Cecil Park) • Lake Woollomes – Located 3 miles southeast of Delano, the recreation area features picnic tables, barbecue grills, boat dock, launching ramp, playground and fishing. SHOPPING

• Delano Marketplace – Delano’s one-stop shopping center. Southbound Highway 99 on Woollomes Avenue • Main Street shopping • Delano Village Shopping Center – 1700 High St. • Paris Boutique – Women’s clothing boutique. 929 Jefferson St., Suite B RESTAURANTS

• El Charro Mexican Food – More Mexican food for your buck. 1131 Main St. • Jennie’s Cafe – Delicious Mexican food served by a friendly staff in a relaxed atmosphere. 1001 Ellington St.

PHOTO BY GREG NICHOLS

The Aviator Casino features card tables and great food.

• New China Restaurant – All your favorite Chinese dishes for dine in, takeout or delivery. 1021 Cecil Ave. • Oishi – Family owned Japanese restaurant serving sushi and teriyaki. 1420 Main St. • Super King – Burgers, sandwiches, fries, ice cream and Twisters. 728 Main St. • Fil Bake Shop – Baking up Filipino pastries since 1981. 441 Cecil Ave. • Perko’s Cafe – Family friendly restaurant serving an all-day menu of classic American cuisine. 2343 Girard St. • L R’s Pizza – A place for good pizza and good times. 707 High St. • The Aviator Bar & Grill – The sky is the limit when it comes to options, from steaks, seafood, pastas, build-yourown-burger options and much more. 1225 Airport Drive • La Barca Famous Tortas – Locally owned family restaurant cooking up fresh, quality Mexican food since 1983. 1302 High St. bakersfieldlife.com

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• Fantasy of Lights Holiday Faire – Food, live music, vendors, parade and Santa Clause himself. • Fiesta Days – Festivities include a parade, live entertainment, a carnival,

• Ridge Route Communities Historical Society and Museum – Preserving the history and collecting artifacts in the mountains south of Bakersfield. 3515 Park Drive RECREATION

• Frazier Mountain Park – Large park with barbecue and picnicking facilities, fishing, basketball court, softball field and community hall.

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September 2016

• Big John’s Mountain Grill – Family owned full-service restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. 3121 Mount Pinos Way • Caveman Cavey’s Pizza – A go-to spot for locals craving more than just pizza. 3620 Mount Pinos Way • Coffee Cantina – Organic fare served in a cool coffee house setting. 3011 Mount Pinos Way

• Hungry Valley State Vehicular Area – Overnight facilities and more than 1,900 acres for off-road vehicles. South of Frazier Park area near Gorman

• Falcon’s Nest – Frazier Park’s hometown hamburger stand. 3216 Mount Pinos Way

• McGill Trail – This is a great beginner’s trail. The 3.4-mile hike is enough to get your heart rate going with a steep

• La Sierra Mexican Restaurant – Homestyle Mexican food. 3500 Mount Pinos Way

Fiesta Days attracts visitors from north and south of Frazier Park.

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RESTAURANTS

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

• Mount Pinos – This 8.7-mile out-andback trail near Frazier Park is great for hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing. The views are breathtaking and the incline is low to moderate.

vendors, pancake breakfast, pet show, family races, queen contest and fishing derby at Frazier Park pond.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

riginally a settlement of the Chumash Indian people, Frazier Park is a mountain community in the Tejon Pass. Their summer village was located in an oak grove at the base of the mountain they called “Toshololo.” The area became known as “Campo del Soldado,” or Soldier’s Field, in the mid-1850s when men from Fort Tejon established a lumber mill to provide lumber for a new military post. The next influence to the area were William, Warren and Edgar Frazier, who established a profitable gold mine on the south slope of the mountain that soon bore their name.

enough incline. The trail is the first of three connected trails that take you to the very top of Mount Pinos Recreation Area. Located at the bottom of Mt. Pinos

Hungry Valley State Vehicular Area is a playground for off-road enthusiasts.


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• The Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen – Serving delicious, healthy vegetarian and vegan dishes. 3221 Mount Pinos Way

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• Mike’s Pizza Co. – Pizza, pasta, salads and Mike’s

• Spacious accommodations in an outside stateroom or French Balcony • Fine Dining with all meals on board • Complimentary local wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner • On board entertainment • Complimentary Wi-Fi and in-room internet access • Fitness room & whirlpool • Variety of shore excursions in EVERY port - INCLUDED!

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• Los Pinos Mexican Restaurant – Cozy restaurant serving familiar Mexican dishes and margaritas. 133 Frazier Mountain Park Road

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

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Kernville riginally called Whiskey Flat, a place for those in search of fortune in the Big Blue Gold Mine in the southern Sierra Nevada in 1860, the community was renamed Kernville four years later after artist Edward Kern, whom the Kern River is also named after. The area serves as a tourist destination centered on whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping and fishing. Kernville also serves as the gateway to the Trail of 100 Giants.

• Whiskey Flat Days – Held every President’s Day weekend, Whiskey Flat Days is a trip back to Wild West times, featuring a parade, rodeo, carnival rides, contests, food, drinks, line dancing, art shows, gunfighter skits and so much more.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

RECREATION

• Kern Valley Museum – In operation for more than 40 years, the museum preserves and communicates the rich and colorful history of the region. 49 Big Blue Road

• Audubon Kern River Preserve – Protecting birds, wildlife and the habitat that supports them, the preserve engages people of all ages in positive conservation experiences. Located alongside the South Fork of the Kern River

Future whitewater rafting river guides train on the upper Kern River north of Kernville.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016

interested public. 2600 Highway 155 • The Reel Cinema – Big-city movies at small-town prices. 6742 Wofford Heights Blvd.

SHOPPING

• The Creative Crafter – Bringing a wide range of creative activities to the Kern River Valley and helping visitors find their creative side. 12301 Highway 178 • Dress Your Soul in Kernville – Women’s clothing, makeup, accessories and more. 115 Piute Drive • Kern River Fly Shop – Everything you need, from fishing gear to instructional classes. 11301 Kernville Road • The Motherlode – Rustic, chic Old West antique mall, featuring collectibles, craft supplies, clothing and accessories. 16 Tobias St. RESTAURANTS

• Kern Valley Golf Course – A nine-hole regulation-length golf course with a beautiful mountain area as the backdrop. 9472 Burlando Road

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

• Nuui Cunni Cultural Center – Preserving, restoring and teaching Native American culture, history and traditions in a facility available for educational, ceremonial and social activities for Native Americans and the

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• Trails – Dozens of biking and hiking trails can be found in Kern Valley and the surrounding area for all ages and experience levels.

• Cheryl’s Diner – Serving home-cooked meals with friendly service for more than 25 years. 11030 Kernville Road

Kern River Brewing Company has developed an impressive array of award-winning beers.

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

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• River rafting – Experience the adventure of whitewater rafting through the Kern River surrounded by the natural beauty of the Sequoia National Forest.


• Cracked Egg Cafe – A local favorite for breakfast and lunch. 16 Big Blue Road • Kern River Brewing Company – Great beer, great food and great people come together for an ideal craft beer experience. 13415 Sierra Highway

• Starlite Lounge – Bringing amazing wines and fresh, homemade food to the Kern River Valley. 13423 Sierra Way

A red-winged blackbird among the reeds at the Audubon’s Kern River Preserve.

Thousands turn out for the annual Whiskey Flat Days parade in Kernville.

bakersfieldlife.com

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

• Pizza Barn – Offering pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches and desserts since 1994. 11401 Kernville Road

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

• McNally’s Fairview Lodge – Home to giant steaks cut to order, McNally’s continues the tradition of good food and good times established in 1936. HC 1 Sierra Highway

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riginally established as a farming community called Crumville in 1912 and renamed in 1941, Ridgecrest is located in the northeast corner of Kern County and surrounded by four mountain ranges – the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Coso Range on the north, the Argus Range on the east and the El Paso Mountains on the south. The city evolved and grew during the 1950s and 1960s and was vital to the mission of the Navy as a support community. The China Lake Naval Weapons Center, China Lake Air Weapons Station and Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division are all located in Ridgecrest and is a major source of employment for its residents.

and the history of the development of Navy technology. 1 Pearl Harbor Drive

• Community Light Opera and Theatre Association – The first community theater organization committed to producing musicals and plays each year – typically one musical and two nonmusicals. 1425 N. Inyo St. • Desert Community Orchestra Association – A nonprofit orchestra sharing the gift of classical music with the community through concerts and special guest performers.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

• Maturango Museum – Founded in 1962, the museum features the natural and cultural history of the upper Mojave Desert in addition to exhibit galleries. 100 E. Las Flores Ave.

• China Lake Museum – The U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology was established to document, preserve and display China Lake’s history

• Ridgecrest Chamber Music Society – Promotes education, awareness and opportunities to experience chamber music in Ridgecrest.

The Tornado GR4 takes off from the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.

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RECREATION

• Farris Aviation – Flight training and aviation consultation as well as scenic flight tours. 140 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. • Kerr McGee Community Center – Multipurpose facility that has a gymnasium, two racquetball courts, aerobics room, showers, lockers, banquet rooms, meeting rooms and a kitchen. 100 W. California Ave. • Leroy Jackson Park Sports Complex – Fifty-six acres adjacent to Leroy Jackson Park with three softball fields, three regulation soccer fields and six tennis courts. 302 E. French St. • Rademacher Hills Trail – An 8.5-mile trail that extends through desert terrain on the south side of Ridgecrest open to hiking, jogging, horseback riding and mountain biking.

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Ridgecrest O

• Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival – Family event featuring tours of Native American rock art dating back 10,000 years, Native American music and dance, educational lectures and street fair.


A so-called shaman panel in Little Petroglyph Canyon.

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

of books, gifts and reading space. 206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.

• Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse & Burrow Corrals – Sitting on 57 acres on Randsburg-Wash Road off Highway 178, the facility is available for individual and group tours. • Sgt. John Pinney Memorial Pool – Public pool that’s open during the summer and also available for private pool parties and swim lessons. 205 N. Warner St. SHOPPING

• Botany’s Desire Boutique – Specialty lifestyle boutique offering a unique combination of modern and organic living essentials for body and home. 245 Balsam St. • Frey’s Gun Shop – Family owned business that offers high-quality custom gunsmithing and gun building. 200 S. Richmond Road, Suite C • Jewelry to Go – Ridgecrest’s go-to jeweler for 30 years, offering diamonds, colored gems, gold, silver, engagement and wedding rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches and more. 115 E. California Ave. • Pure Healing Foods – Bringing nature’s most powerful healing foods, vitamins, proteins, antioxidants and minerals to help you stay well. 972 N. Norma St. • Red Rock Books – Ridgecrest’s only new and used bookstore – 7,000 square feet

• Romancing the West – Gift shop carrying unique and fun items. 237 Balsam St. • Tender Cut Meats – Family owned and operated butcher shop established in 1979, featuring ready-to-cook items, fresh produce, organic freerange meats and more. 1111 W. Graaf Ave, #D RESTAURANTS

• Casey’s Steaks & Barbecue – Known for its original barbecue sauce and blue cheese dressing, this restaurant is a favorite with locals and passersby. 1337 N. China Lake Blvd. • The Grape Leaf – Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and American cuisine handcrafted using the finest ingredients. 901 N. Heritage Drive, Suite 102 • Kristy’s Family Restaurant – New and traditional American dishes available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 430 S. China Lake Blvd. • Mon Reve – Hearty, rustic French dishes served in an intimate, bistro-style setting. 126 Balsam St. • Olvera’s Restaurant – Authentic Mexican food made fresh and with care. 120 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. • Roaming Dog Kitchen – Food truck that offers specialty dogs and sausages paired with a variety of toppings for a fresh twist on an American classic. 105 E. Graaf Ave. • Saigon Flavor – Classic Vietnamese dishes from pho, duck, spring rolls and more. 819 N. China Lake Blvd. bakersfieldlife.com

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lack-and-white photos of pioneers standing near oil rigs in Taft shed light into the town that was founded in 1910, when Lakeview spewed nearly 50,000 barrels of precious crude a day. Early settlements resembled mining towns, with tent cities and a few roughly made structures. With the pioneers, came women and children who had a vision for Taft. Schools, churches, services and neighbors were the foundation of the town named after the 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft. Today, Taft is home to more than 9,000 people and is thriving in businesses, education, community events and jobs.

• The West Kern Oil Museum – Exhibits range from the ancient Native Americans to cutting-edge trends in the oil industry. The 75-foot rebuilt landmark wooden derrick that sits on the museum grounds can’t be missed. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits. 1168 Wood St. RECREATION

• A Street Park – Seven-acre park complete with basketball courts, baseball diamonds and a new playground. A and Hillard streets

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

• The Fort – It’s a replica of Sutter’s Fort

Buena Vista Golf Course’s 10th green.

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• Taft Skate Park – Concrete skate park complete with ramps and rails. 10th and Kern streets (southeast corner of the Community Center Park) • Natatorium – A premier swimming pool facility consisting of two pools, a water slide and water park area for guests of all ages. 4th and Warren streets RESTAURANTS

• Asian Experience – Authentic Thai food and gourmet pizza of Food Network fame. 215 Center St. • Chicken of Oz – Taft’s premier family restaurant known for its chicken and tri-tip. 1107 West Side Highway • Dari Delite – Burgers, sandwiches, chili, ice cream and shakes. 540 Finley Drive

• Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area – Manmade lake offering numerous aquatic opportunities. 13601 Ironbark Road • Buena Vista Golf Course – Eighteenhole public golf course known for its large, fast greens and unique first hole. 29338 Golf Course Road

PHOTO BY FELIX ADAMO

• Skydive Taft – Free fall thousands of feet from the air as you take in the excitement and thrill of a lifetime. You free fall harnessed to a professional instructor, reaching speeds of 120 mph or more. 500 Airport Road

• Franklin Field Complex – A 27-acre park that includes three softball diamonds, a BMX track, picnic sites and 18-hole disc golf course. 119 and Cedar streets

• Jo’s Restaurant – Family restaurant serving up traditional American breakfast and lunch. 510 Kern St. • Original Hacienda Grill – Mexican grill and cantina. 1015 4th St.

Mussels from Asian Experience.

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Taft

in Sacramento, built in 1940 with adobe bricks by the government as a Depression-era project. The landscaped grounds are used for weddings and civic events. Provides rental space for business offices and retail shops. It was designated a historical landmark by Kern County in 1980. The complex consists of an auditorium, gazebo and the McKittrick jail, which was moved to The Fort in 1988. 910 N. 10th St.


PHOTO COURTESY OF SKYDIVE TAFT

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Tehachapi T ucked away in the mountains at 4,000 feet elevation lies the quiet community of Tehachapi. Occupied by the Kawaiisu Native American tribe for thousands of years, Tehachapi was established in the 1860s, its name meaning “hard climb” in the Kawaiisu language. Often seen as a “hidden gem for a healthy getaway,” Tehachapi houses wineries and ranches that are open to the public as well as numerous hiking trails and equestrian facilities. Foodies will feel right at home with 45 restaurants offering something for every craving and the town’s annual festivals draws visitors from all over. The “land of four seasons” is known for its beautiful scenery found yearround. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

• BeeKay Theatre – Originally a movie house built in 1932, the venue was renovated into a live theater in 2008 and provides Tehachapi with quality productions for adults, teens and children. 110 S. Green St.

progression over the years. 310 S. Green St. RECREATION

• Downtown murals – These historic murals showcase the rich history of Tehachapi throughout the downtown area. • National Chavez Center – Built around the renovated wood-frame building where Cesar Chavez worked from 1971 to 1993, the center preserves and promotes his legacy. 29700 Woodford-Tehachapi Road • Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum – Housing several large collections of historic railroad artifacts, the museum shares the stories of the men and women who built the railroad and the lives of those affected by it. 101 W. Tehachapi Blvd. • Tehachapi Mountain Festival – Traditionally held on the third weekend in August, Tehachapi’s largest family event has provided the community with quality entertainment for 53 years.

• Tehachapi Museum – Trace back Tehachapi’s roots back to when the Kawaiisu arrived in the region 1,500 years ago and follow the community’s

• Brite Lake – Aquatic recreational area providing year-round camping, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. 22902 Banducci Road • Golden Hills Equine Center – Horseback riding lessons for beginners and advanced riders interested in a variety of disciplines, including jumper, Western pleasure, gymkhana and horsemanship. 22347 Woodford-Tehachapi Road • Horse Thief Golf Course & Country Club – An 18-hole championship course surrounded by Tehachapi’s clean mountain environment. Open to the public. 28950 Horse Thief Drive • Skylark North Glider Flight School – A full-service glider flight school offering instruction, rides and rentals. 16332 Harris Road • Vineyards – Three local wineries – Souza Family Vineyards, Triassic Legacy Vineyards and Dorner Family Vineyard – offer amazing wines and spectacular views. • Windswept Ranch – Home to a collection of gentle creatures living peacefully in a natural environment. Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road • Woodward West – The “sister” camp to the original Woodward in central Pennsylvania, Woodward West is one of the largest action sports and gymnastic facilities in the west. 28400 Stallion Springs Drive

The Signal Garden of the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF TERESA PERRY

SHOP

• Auntie Em’s Antiques – Selling antiques, furniture, gifts and jewelry “from shabby to chic.” 225 W. Tehachapi Blvd. • The Butcher Shop – Custom butcher shop serving quality cuts of Harris Ranch beef and specializing in handmade sausages. 20601 State Highway 202


• The Dressing Room – Tehachapi’s largest and most complete women’s clothing store with seasonal fashions and accessories for young girls to mature women. 112 E. Tehachapi Blvd. • Gold Coast Station – A train lover’s delight, Gold Coast Station is arguably the best model train store, period! 426 N. Curry St. • Kohnen’s Country Bakery – Authentic German bakery that makes everything from scratch on the premises. 125 W. Tehachapi Blvd., #D • Tehachapi Christian Store – Full-service Christian store that carries Bibles, greeting cards, new and used books, music and DVDs, clothing and jewelry. 108 E. Tehachapi Blvd.

• Blue Ginger Pho Vietnamese Cuisine – Vietnamese casual cuisine available for lunch and dinner. 1121 W. Valley Blvd. • Don Juan’s Latin Fusion Cuisine – A culinary adventure of Latin-American flavors that go far beyond enchiladas, rice and beans. 20700 South St. • Henry’s Cafe – Serving traditional American homestyle meals for breakfast and lunch in a warm, friendly atmosphere since 1991. 550 Tucker Road • Jake’s Steakhouse – Bringing the most tender steaks, freshest seafood and sweetest desserts to Tehachapi. 213 S. Curry St. • Midori Sushi – With traditional and specialty rolls, ramen, salads and bento options from the grill, this restaurant has something for everyone. 414 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

RESTAURANTS

• Big Papa’s Steakhouse & Saloon – Great food, cold drinks and live entertainment come together at this local restaurant. 1001 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

• Pacino’s Spaghetti Factory – Signature Italian dishes made from scratch with “a little bit of Hollywood” and “a whole lot of New York.” 1100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

Midori Sushi co-owner Jun Kim carefully plates pieces of nigiri.

PHOTO BY GREGORY D. COOK

• Canine Creek Pet Wash & Boutique – A one-stop shop to bathe and spoil your pet with self-serve bathing stations, pet food, toys, crates and carriers, and much more. 798 Tucker Road, Suite 5

PHOTO BY NICK SMIRNOFF

Brite Lake offers many recreational opportunities.

• Petra Mediterranean Deli & Restaurant – Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxed, pet-friendly environment. 200 S. Green St. • Red House BBQ – Real country cooking lives here with hickory-woodsmoked barbecue and handcrafted sides made fresh daily. 426 E. Tehachapi Blvd. • The Shed – Formerly known as the Apple Shed, The Shed’s focus is on quality handcrafted food at affordable prices. 333 E. Tehachapi Blvd.

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Wasco W

asco dates back to 1897, when the Santa Fe Railroad laid tracks through the area. The town was originally named Dewey and then Deweyville. When it was discovered that a town named Deweyville already existed, William Bonham, a settler from Wasco County in Oregon, proposed the city be renamed Wasco and, in 1900, the post office recorded its new town name. Agriculture has always been Wasco’s primary economic base. In 1916, long white potatoes, destined to be the root of Wasco’s economy, were planted. Cotton was introduced in 1918 and the city was incorporated in 1945. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

• Festival of Roses – Considered one of the largest producers of roses in the world, Wasco dedicates three days every year to celebrate the colorful flowers. The festival begins with the Rose Queen pageant followed by family fun activities like rose field tours, a pancake breakfast, a barn dance, an art show and a children’s rose show. • Wasco Historical Society Museum – Take a look at Wasco in the 1930s, as you glance over a selection of photos that will take you back in time. Besides photos, the museum has a collection of old dentist equipment and an antique kitchen area you can admire. RESTAURANTS

• Carol’s Dari Freeze – Delicious burgers, fries and shakes. 1501 CA-46 • Catrina’s Mexican Grill & Cantina – Excellent Mexican food and handcrafted drinks. 1345 F St. A tractor works in a field of garden roses on McCaffrey Farms in Wasco.

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September 2016

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

• Blue Sushi – A small-town treasure serving up delicious sushi and teriyaki plates. 947 7th St.


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

The annual Wasco Festival of Roses includes three days of activities.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

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The Meadows • 10702 Four Bears Dr. • Hong Kong Restaurant – A modern interpretation of classic Chinese dishes using high-quality, fresh ingredients. 912 7th St. • Hoyett’s Sandwich Shop – Oldfashioned burgers, sandwiches and breakfast. 727 6th St. • La Cabanita – Big servings of homecooked Mexican food. 1609 CA-46 • La Fonda – A hidden gem serving Mexican classics for break-

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The history of

William B. Ross was elected as Kern County’s first sheriff and tax collector on July 12, 1866.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY MUSEUM USED BY PERMISSION

HEROES


PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

The Kern County Fire Department, Kern County Sheriff’s Office and Hall Ambulance join forces to help an accident victim.

E

ach and every day, Kern County’s first responders put on their respective uniforms and devote themselves to serving the community. These brave men and women do their jobs seeking no praise or glory, some even make the ultimate sacrifice for those they’ve never met but whose lives will be forever changed by their selfless actions. As Kern County celebrates its 150th anniversary, it’s important to recognize those who swore to protect and serve throughout the years and remember that not all heroes wear capes.

By Julie Plata

Kern County Sheriff’s Office For 150 years, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office has worked to protect and serve the community. On July 12, 1866, two months after the county’s founding, William B. Ross was elected as the county’s first sheriff and tax collector. He served in more than five judicial townships at Havilah, Linn Valley, Claraville, Tehachapi and Kern River Valley. The sheriff department’s long and

storied early history is filled with tales about bandits, man hunts and rowdy saloons. Like something out of a Western movie, the Daily Californian reported on a deadly shootout on the streets of Havilah. The man left standing, Newt Walker, became a wanted man. Although conflicting stories later arose, Sheriff John W. Kelly was immortalized on the April 25, 1905, front page as the man who lead the posse on the “murder’s trail.” In January 1913, the Morning Echo reported that Sheriff Thomas A. Baker,

son of Bakersfield’s founder, cleaned up the streets of Whisky Row, warning proprietors to “confine their energies to the saloon business, strictly, and eliminate illegal gambling and dissolute women altogether.” Over the years as the county expanded to its current size of 8,163 square miles, the community has elected 23 lawmen as Kern County’s sheriff. The department continuously strives to secure the safety, security and quality of life for the people of Kern County. Continued on page 68

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Continued from page 67

Kern County Fire Department On July 23, 1938, The Bakersfield Californian heralded, “Kern County’s fire department is held up to the United States as a model for county fire prevention organization.” The department had come a long way from the one-man operation it started as just 11 years prior. Kern County’s fire department was established in 1927 as a cooperative between the state and county. Prior to its inception, the California State Board of 68

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Forestry and the California Division of Forestry were placed in charge of fire protection services on state lands. Although volunteer firefighter’s serviced the county, the County Board of Supervisors realized the necessity of a more organized department and facilitated an agreement between the state and Kern County. On June 27, 1927, Ranger Roger V. Wood was hired to run the county’s operation. The following year, two more fire wardens were hired, and in 1929, the first fire truck was purchased. That same year, Fire Warden Harold Bowhay took over operations. During the next 16 years, the department established stations in Bakersfield,

September 2016

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Kern County Fire Department personnel lead a dramatic rescue effort in the Kern River Canyon.

Kernville, Arvin, Highland Park, Keene, Lebec, Wasco, Taft, Buttonwillow, Lost Hills, Delano, Tehachapi, Shafter, McFarland and Mojave. In 1945, the county assumed all department operations and Warden Bowhay became the first chief of the Kern County Forestry and Fire Department. The department received praise for its superior training methods, efficient operations and innovative equipment, including the use of tanker-pumpers, a concept pioneered by the Kern County Fire Department. By 1969, fire officials from across the United States adopted the department’s training program and manual.


Hall Ambulance On Feb. 10, 1971, Hall Ambulance, Kern County’s largest medical transportation provider, started out of Harvey L. Hall’s home with a $15,000 loan and two Cadillac ambulances. Hall’s journey into ambulatory service started in 1960 when he ran into an ambulance attendant who was an old

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Harvey Hall, right, in front of Hall Ambulance Services in a 1983 file photo.

friend. He dared Hall to go for a ridealong and the positive experience inspired him to apply for an ambulance attendant job the very next day. From 1960 to 1971, Hall learned every aspect of the business. The defining moment in his journey of service to Kern County occurred in April 1967, when he lost a heroic 24-minute battle to save a 3-year-old crash victim. His

actions were commended, and four years later, he decided to start his own ambulance company. By 1975, Hall Ambulance was the only provider of paramedic care to service the county. On March 11, 1975, The Californian announced that Hall Ambulance was now electronically linked to San Joaquin Hospital as part of a 24hour paramedic service. Hall stated that “his paramedic program now in use eventually will ‘prove its worth’ to the community.” Hall Ambulance employees, Dan Trost and Tom Ingram, also completed the necessary state mandated training period to become Bakersfield’s first certified paramedics. Operations grew and by 1977, three facilities operated out of Bakersfield. Service also expanded the outlaying communities of Kern County. Forty-five years later, Hall Ambulance continues to provide the highest level of care to 90 percent of Kern County. Continued on page 70

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PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Bakersfield Police Department Chief Eric Matlock talks with the media in 2004 regarding the Vincent Brothers murder investigation.

Continued from page 69

When the city of Bakersfield was first incorporated in January 1898, Thomas A. Baker was chosen to serve the people as the city marshal. From 1898 until 1915, the Bakersfield police department fell under the authority of the city marshal. In 1915, it was decided by the city trustees that the city government was in need of reorganization under a new charter. The police department would no longer fall under the jurisdiction of the city marshal but instead the city trustees would assume responsibility over the police and other city departments. On Feb. 27, 1915, the Bakersfield Police Department was officially founded and three months later, Jacob Horace Dupes was named the chief of police. During the department’s 100-year history, it has strived to clean up vice in the city. Aside from keeping the citizens of Bakersfield safe, the department worked to remain innovative and efficient. In December 1915, the city clerk approved the purchase of a kit to establish the

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

Mary Holman Dodge, retiring police lieutenant, receiving induction into Bakersfield High Big B Society in 1965.

department’s first identification bureau. The $800 kit (approximately $19,000 today) included a camera, a fingerprinting kit, scales and other items used to identify suspects. Two-way radios were installed for the first time in police vehicles in 1937 and, in 1975, the city approved “sporty patrol cars.” One of the department’s greatest advancements occurred in 1941 when Mary Dodge was hired as the first female officer. The department came a long way from Sept. 1, 1911, when then Mayor

September 2016

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Bakersfield Police Department

William Matlock was asked by a Bakersfield Californian reporter if a female applicant to the department “proved to be thoroughly efficient,” whether or not the board would give her a job. He unequivocally answered “of course not.” The Bakersfield Police Department has a long tradition of service and efficiency in crime prevention that, according to the July 8, 1938, Bakersfield Californian, “reveals a devotion to the public trust reposed in it and the highly important services the members have pledged themselves to discharge fearlessly.”


On July 13, 1889, just one week after a major fire ravaged 15 square blocks in the heart of Bakersfield, the Kern County Californian proclaimed, “Not many towns, it in true, could survive such a disaster, but Bakersfield will.” And survive it did. The “big fire” of 1889 illustrated the challenges faced by the Bakersfield Fire Department. The quickand-efficient service residents are used to today was not always the case. When Baker first laid out the boundaries for Bakersfield, the town’s only fire protection was a single wagon loaded with barrels of water. The system quickly proved inefficient when several costly fires ravaged the town during 1872 and 1873. As a result, the Bakersfield Fire Company was formed on Oct. 17, 1874. The small group of volunteer firefighters worked to protect the mostly wooden buildings with six hand fire

Residents survey the remains at 18th and Chester after the “big fire” in 1889.

extinguishers and a bucket brigade. On May 13, 1877, the Bakersfield Fire Company was reorganized into the Bakersfield Fire Department. Under the direction of Chief James McCumber, the department now included the Eureka

PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY MUSEUM USED BY PERMISSION

Bakersfield Fire Department

Engine Company, the Alert Hook & Ladder Co., and the Neptune Hose Company. Over the years, inadequate water supply posed a multitude of problems Continued on page 72

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Continued from page 71

for the fire department. Two major fires nearly destroyed Bakersfield, including the 1889 fire and the Hochheimer fire of 1919. Wooden structures, coupled with little water resulted in the loss of homes and businesses.

Even in the face of such adversity, the city’s fire department never wavered from its task of protecting Bakersfield’s citizens. Improvement of the city’s infrastructure to address water issues, modernization of equipment, and highly trained and efficient crews helped earn the Bakersfield Fire Department top honors in 1966.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016

PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY MUSEUM USED BY PERMISSION

Alert Hook & Ladder Co., shown here in 1882, was a part of the original Bakersfield Fire Department that was formed in 1877.

The words written by Chief Philip C. Pifer in The Bakersfield Californian on Aug. 20, 1966, still holds true for the for the Bakersfield Fire Department: “As long as this spirit prevails in our community then surely may we expect our defenses against fire to continue to improve in the future as they have in the past.”


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PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

CHP Public Information Officer Robert Rodriguez seems to be having as much fun as the kids getting a new toy at the CHiPs for KiDS Toy Drive.

Going

above and

beyond the call of duty 74

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September 2016

Organizations take ‘protect and serve’ to a whole new level


CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

The Kern County Sheriff’s Activities League in East Bakersfield offers youths a place to play and learn.

By Laura Liera

T

hey are the heroes among us. Whether they are sporting a blue, tan or white uniform, Bakersfield’s first responders are always at the ready. Long hours at work, missing birthdays and even holidays are all a part of the job. Outside of their day-to-day duties, many of these organizations have been providing a safe haven for kids and teens for many years. Others are giving locals an opportunity to excel in a patient care career. Bakersfield Life hopes you enjoy this tribute to those we call when we need help the most.

Kern County Sheriff’s Activities League Step inside the Kern County Sheriff’s Activities League on the corner of Flower and Virginia streets and you immediately feel like you’re stepping

into a part of history. Since the late ’90s, the Sheriff’s Activities League has been offering boxing classes, tutoring services and community service projects throughout the school year for kids 7 to 17 years old. “This gives kids an outlet,” said Senior Deputy Paul Sanchez, director of the activities league. “If they aren’t doing something productive, they are probably doing something destructive.” The open-door policy is for all kids of the city, not just those who live in east Bakersfield. All it takes is a parent consent form. One of the bigger draws of the league is its boxing program. There can be between 35 to 45 kids at a time training for the sport. Sanchez said kids are divided into groups and while one group is doing CrossFit training, the other group is learning boxing skills from a local ex professional boxer who volunteers as

the coach. Although the boxing ring is worn down, Sanchez said it does the job. “It’s an amazing experience to see them grow up and meet their accomplishments,” he said. To broaden their minds and experiences, the league kids do at least one field trip and one community service project a month. Whether it’s picking up trash, removing graffiti or spending time with the elderly, they are involved in giving back to the community. “The more community service, the more points they get for our trips,” Sanchez said. That means being able to enjoy trips to places like the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the Museum of Tolerance, a campus tour of Cal Poly University or the Santa Barbara Zoo. Continued on page 76 bakersfieldlife.com

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PHOTO COURTESY OF HALL AMBULANCE

Hall paramedic Ken Donkersgoed interprets an EKG from the cardiac defibrillator while EMT Eric Evans places a blood pressure cuff on the patient.

Continued from page 75

The number of people who joined the EMT program with Hall Ambulance increased after 9/11 and the program has had a steady group of applicants since. The six-week academy is offered in the fall and spring and is in collaboration with Bakersfield College. Hall EMT Academy recruits are full-time employees and receive a training wage of $11.07 an hour. “In essence, you go from having zero knowledge to actually working in the Hall Ambulance 911 system,” said Mark Corum, director of media services for Hall Ambulance. During the six weeks, instructors take students through the coursework of an EMT program. Once the classroom training is completed, students must pass the National Registry Test and are licensed as EMTs. Corum said after the graduation ceremony, licensed EMTs begin another six-week field training with Hall Ambulance. An EMT’s main responsibility is the safe operation of driving an ambulance, which could require a Code 3 response with lights and sirens. If EMTs prove they are providing exemplary patient care and want to continue progressing in emergency medical services, they have an opportunity to apply for sponsorship by Hall and go through the BC paramedic program for free. The sponsorship includes tuition assistance, books and they receive their regular hourly wage while they are going through the program, Corum said. “We need people that want to help and want to care for others,” he added. The base rate for an EMT at Hall Ambulance is $29,500 to $60,000 plus overtime opportunities. The base rate for a paramedic at Hall Ambulance is $40,000 to $80,000. 76

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September 2016

Hall EMT Academy student Aaron Scruggs receives his Certificate of Completion from founder and President Harvey Hall.

PHOTO COURTESY OF HALL AMBULANCE

Hall Ambulance Service EMT Academy

Bakersfield Fire Department Burn Foundation In 1991, the Bakersfield Fire Department saw a need to take care of its own. To serve as more than just first responders, the Burn Foundation was founded as a nonprofit organization. The foundation is made up of active and retired city firefighters, medical professionals, burn survivors and other community members. Trever Martinusen, battalion chief and executive director of the Burn Foundation, explained why the foundation is so important to the team. “It completes the entire circle,” he said. When a 911 call goes out and a crew responds to the scene, they treat the patient and take care of the house that has burned down but firemen never know what happened to


PHOTO COURTESY OF BAKERSFIELD FIRE DEPARTMENT

The Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation sponsors local burn survivors to Champ Camp, a weeklong summer camp.

those they aided. That’s where the Burn Foundation seals the gap. The Burn Foundation gets a phone call from the hospital for patients who have received second- and third-degree burns. It helps families with clothing, hotels, fuel cards and other necessities. Martinusen said 40 percent of the local burns occur to children under the age of 3, mirroring national numbers. And 65 percent of all kid burns are scalds – like hot coffee poured or hot baths. “As a fire department, we have great programs in schools for stop, drop and roll, and fire safety escape routes,” Martinusen said. “But we are learning the importance of educating the parents.” Thanks to a PG&E grant, the fire department – in collaboration with United Way of Kern County – will be sending every new mom home with a baby thermometer to test bath water and brochures on scald burning prevention. For the burn foundation, a perfect year would include no burn injuries. But in the meantime, they are helping burn survivors, both children and adults, regain their confidence. At Champ Camp, a weeklong summer camp for burn survivors 5 to 16 years old, kids have the opportunity to make new friends and enjoy a fun setting. “Some of these kids are 85 percent burned but they are able to swim among their peers, something that probably wouldn’t happen right away at the city pool,” Martinusen said.

In the last 10 years, more than 150 kids have gone to Champ Camp. There is no charge for the child but the fire department has to raise $750 per kid to attend the camp. Firemen are stepping outside of their comfort zone in order to raise money for the burn foundation, Martinusen said. This is the second year a few firemen have posed for a calendar photo shoot. Last year they raised $25,000. “As firemen, we want to give back,” Martinusen said. “We want to be able to help and serve the community.”

Bakersfield Police Activities League Kids who live within the one-mile radius of the neighborhoods east of Union Avenue on 4th Street have a safe place they can walk to every day after school. It’s a place where they can get extra help with schoolwork or burn energy and get in shape while playing a sport. And the best part of it all: It’s free. Since 1994, the Bakersfield Police Activities League – a nonprofit organization – has been giving at-risk youth a place to call home for a few hours after school. “The Bakersfield police officers and community leaders that founded the organization wanted to offer the youth an alternative to violence, gangs and drugs,” said Sgt. Frank Gonzales, BPAL executive director. BPAL’s first location was a small room at the Martin Luther King Community Center on East California Avenue. It Continued on page 79 bakersfieldlife.com

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Now located at 78

Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016

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

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Bakersfield Police Activities League held its annual Shop with a Cop event at Wal-Mart in east Bakersfield.


CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Jorge Ruiz, 10, listens to advice from his coach between rounds at the Police Activities League boxing tournament.

Continued from page 77

then moved to the projects, before making its final move in 1998 to its current location. The facility was purchased by Jim Burke Ford and donated to BPAL. Kids can roam through the 1-acre facility and play outdoor sports on about 4.5 acres of grass. Basketball, indoor soccer, boxing and jiujitsu are coached by police officers who volunteer their time with the kids. The connection and bond building between police officers and kids are vital components of the organization. “We are trying to build that positive relationship between officers, parents and children,” Gonzales said. And the key lies in spending time with one another. “A lot of the problems we see in our community, we can’t arrest our way out of problems,” Gonzales added. So when parents trust BPAL with their kids, knowing they will be safe and learning a skill, that’s moving forward. “I’ve been with the BPD for 21 years and I’ve spent 14 years working in these neighborhoods,” Gonzales said. “It’s rewarding Continued on page 80 bakersfieldlife.com

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Kern County’s first responders In case of an emergency, dial 911.

Bakersfield Police Department 1601 Truxtun Ave. 661-327-7111

Kern County Sheriff’s Office 1350 Norris Road 661-391-7500

Delano 661-721-3800

Wasco Ridgecrest 760-384-5919

Tehachapi County 661-823-6060

Frazier Park 661-245-3440

California Highway Patrol 4040 Buck Owens Blvd. 661-864-4444

Delano Police Department 2330 High St. 661-721-3377

Taft Police Department

The Kern County Fire Department has been supporting the local Make-A-Wish Foundation for nearly five years.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT

661-758-7266

320 Commerce Way 661-763-3101

Ridgecrest Police Department 100 W. California Ave. 760-499-5100

Kern County Fire Department 5642 Victor St. 661-391-7000

Bakersfield Fire Department 2101 H St. 661-326-3911

Hall Ambulance Service 2001 O St. 661-327-4111 (paramedic)

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when I see kids that were in PAL as kids now bring their kids.” Nearly 125 kids 8 to 17 years old, walk through BPAL’s doors Monday through Thursday during the school year. In the summer, there is a summer day camp, for a fee of $40. Although sports are a big attraction of BPAL, especially its boxing program that has a waiting list, Gonzales said they focus on education. “We really push academics,” he said. “We tell our kids that education is something that no one can ever take from them.” Their tutoring classroom is significantly large and can seat more than 30 students. It is divided by subject so tutors can focus on a certain subject instead of

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September 2016

moving back and forth from writing to math, for example. “Being the first college graduate in my family, it’s important to show these kids that there is something beyond these neighborhoods,” Gonzales said.

Kern County Fire Department In times of need, two local county and city firemen came together to raise money for children with lifethreatening illnesses. When Ryan Wiggins was diagnosed with leukemia at 4 years old, her parents knew her only wish was to visit Disney World. During her treatment, Ryan’s dad, Matt, a county firefighter, and her grandpa, Ken, a retired city firefighter, had the idea of bringing both fire departments together through an annual donor drive that would


raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Heroes & Helmets for Hope was founded in 2010. Catherine Anspach, Kern community director of Make-A-Wish, said the fundraiser has grown to include drives in Tehachapi, Taft and Tejon. “With their own personal firefighter helmet, past and present Make-A-Wish kids look forward each year to coming out to help collect the much-needed funds to grant wishes,” Anspach said. Ryan, now 12 years old and entering seventh grade, is cancer free. Her wish was granted four year ago and had a trip of lifetime at Disney World with her family. The Kern County Fire Department has raised between $20,000 and $50,000 every year. This year’s fundraiser will be Nov. 10 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the KGET-TV 17 Studios, 2120 L St. There will be a drivethru lunch for $7. County firefighters will be stationed at Olive and Knudsen drives and city firefighters will be at Stockdale Highway and Gosford Road.

CHiPs for KiDS Toy Drive The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without the annual CHiPs for KiDS Toy Drive, hosted by the Bakersfield area California Highway Patrol. The toy drive benefits disadvantaged and hospitalized children in Kern County. For the past four years, CHP has partnered with The Bakersfield Californian and toys fill the parking lot during the allday event. The toy drive was founded in 2009 by CHP Officer Angela Molinar and CHP Public Information Officer Robert Rodriguez. During the holiday season, many families can’t afford to buy gifts, so the CHP has made it a tradition to give thousands of children an opportunity to pick out their own Christmas gift. Once all gifts have been gathered, CHP works with local organizations and family resource centers countywide that focus on children of low-income families. Toys are distributed at a later date to children who receive a poker chip and invited to receive a gift. Other than toys for kids, items for teens up to 16 years old are also welcome. That could include blow-dryers, cologne, shaving kits, straighteners, makeup and jewelry.

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Pulling together for a

Kern County’s businesses, groups come together following tragic deaths to raise awareness of community’s DUI problem

preventable problem

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avinder Claire, Jackie Kvasnicka and Jessica Magee went from co-workers to friends while working at Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. On Magee’s birthday, Kvasnicka surprised her friend with a decorated workstation, Magee said. On other days, Claire and Magee enjoyed shopping and joking together at Valley Plaza. “We were all really close friends,” Magee said. So when Kvasnicka received Bakers-

field Blaze playoff tickets, naturally Claire and Magee joined. After watching the postgame fireworks show that Aug. 30, 2014, night, the three drove home together in Kvasnicka’s car. Everything changed that night at the intersection of Rosedale Highway and Verdugo Lane, when a drunken driver slammed into the back of their car. Claire, 22, and Kvasnicka, 27, died in the crash. Magee, 21 at the time, survived after she was rescued from the car by California Highway Patrol officers and good Samaritans, but suffered serious burns throughout her body.

Several hundred turned out for the 2014 Mothers Against Drunk Driving fundraising event.

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In an instant, countless lives were forever changed with one tragic, 100 percent preventable crime. But it brought Kern County together – including our local business community – in hopes of preventing such tragedies from ever happening again.

‘Overwhelming’ support Word began to spread the next day about what happened, and co-workers began to show up at the hospital where Magee was placed. “It was overwhelming at the time, but nice to have the support,” Magee

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

By Jorge Barrientos


Coming together

Members of the MADD Kern County’s Advisory Board and the planning committee for Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K. Front from left: Elizabeth Cox, Lisa Sorenson, Andrea Pflugh, Carla Pearson. Back from left: Ron Sheldon, John Martinho, Jessica Magee, Michael George, John Kvasnicka, Jorge Barrientos, Brandon Stallings, Neil Gehlawat and Matt Clark.

The crash happened just a few weeks before the inaugural “Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K” hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kern County. The annual event aims to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving and raises funds to help innocent victims and families of DUI crashes – like Claire, Kvasnicka and Magee. More than 100 employees from Kern Schools signed up to walk or run in the event, shifting schedules on Saturday to make sure as many people could attend. “We wanted to do everything we could to bring awareness to this problem and to show our support,” George said. “To say, collectively, we don’t want these tragedies to happen again.” Family and friends of Claire and Kvasnicka also attended, many of them wearing matching team shirts. Determined, Magee also showed up in a wheelchair, covered head to toe to protect her sensitive skin. “It’s really touching to see everyone that was there come together for a good cause,” Magee said, “and to give back to our community.”

to local victims and survivors of drunken driving crashes. Those funds help provide services to help victims through the court process, high school presentations to heighten awareness and victim impact panels, where convicted drunken drivers hear directly from victims to prevent multiple offenses. Unfortunately, the funds are needed year after year. In 2015, Kern County law enforcement made 4,223 DUI arrests – nearly 12 per day. DUI crashes resulted in 121 cases of injuries and 10 vehicular homicides, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. Joining as business sponsors this year are Kern Schools, FedEx, Wells Fargo and State Farm, as well as nonprofits like Clinica Sierra Vista, local legal groups and law enforcement agencies. Chevron, another sponsor, is involved because it cares about safety in our community and its employees, who log thousands of miles each year on Kern County roads, said Chevron spokesman Adam Alvidrez. “We want everyone to get home safely,” Alvidrez said. “These crashes can all be prevented by planning ahead and making the right decision.”

Group effort

Ending drunken driving

Thanks to the support of local businesses, Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K that year raised just under $50,000, and in the last two years has raised more than $100,000 to provide support

The presenting sponsor for third Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K on Sept. 24 is Chain | Cohn | Stiles, which year after year helps innocent families involved in crashes maneuver through

3rd Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K When: Saturday, Sept. 24 (check-in starts at 6:30 a.m.; ceremony at 7:30 a.m.; walk/5K starts at 8 a.m.)

Where: The Park at River Walk, 11298 Stockdale Highway

PHOTO COURTESY OF MADD KERN COUNTY

said. “Everyone was trying to see how they could help.” In the days that followed, Kern Schools Vice President Michael George kept in touch with Magee’s family to see how the business could help – bringing meals, for example. At the credit union branches, co-workers were devastated. “Drunk driving is something everyone is aware of, but you don’t realize the impact it has until it affects you personally,” George said. “And for us, it happened to three very loved team members.” But the deaths also impacted others throughout town, including at Wells Fargo and FedEx where Kvasnicka’s and Claire’s families worked.

the civil litigation process. The law firm also helps organize the event through a planning committee that has grown each year to include local enforcement leaders, the Kern County District Attorney’s office, volunteers, victims and sponsoring representatives. “We’re all in this together,” said Matt Clark, attorney and partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles who also sits on the event planning committee and the newly established MADD Kern County Advisory Board. “We’re all tired of seeing our neighbors, friends and family’s lives affected by such a preventable crime.” The committee also includes Magee, who since the crash has graduated from Cal State Bakersfield and speaks out about her experience in hopes of ending drunken driving in Kern County once and for all. “To see families, friends, business and other people in town come together to try to make a difference and give back to our community is amazing,” Magee said. To join them, get involved, register, start or join a team, and help end drunken driving in Kern County, visit walklikemadd.org/bakersfield. — Jorge Barrientos is the chairman of the planning committee for Bakersfield’s Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K, member of the MADD Kern County Advisory Board, and director of marketing and public relations for Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

What: Victim 5K walk, chip-timed 5K run with medals awarded, kids’ fun run, vendors, information booths, games, much more.

Register/Donate: www.walklikemadd.org/bakersfield Sponsorships: 661-334-4948, jbarrientos@chainlaw.com

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Business Profile

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The history of IBEW Local 428

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hartered by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on July 21, 1903, Local 428 has been the mainstay of the electrical industry in Kern County for over a century. From its humble beginnings, which included eight linemen – all employees of the Sunset Telephone and Telegraph Company – to its current local membership of nearly 700, Local 428 has played an important role in shaping our community. Working in what was then – and still remains – one of the most dangerous trades within the construction and maintenance industry, those early pioneers banded together to ensure that safe and fair working

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conditions were provided to all as they set out to electrify the county. Building and maintaining the necessary infrastructure that brought lights to the cities of Bakersfield and Sumner, they understood the importance of unity in bettering their cause. In 1962, in partnership with the Kern County Chapter of NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), the Local established the area’s first electrical apprenticeship training program. The cornerstone of any trade union, an apprenticeship trains and educates craftsman both in the classroom and on the job – an education model that has worked for generations and is still the pride of the industry.

All aspects of our local economy have at one time or another been touched by the members of Local 428. Edmonston Pumping Plant, the most powerful water lifting system in the world, could not have been built without the hardworking members of Local 428. From the cement plants east of town, which have literally provided the building blocks of California, to the power houses – most built after the deregulation of the power industry – and almost every school, hospital and detention facility within Kern County has been built or maintained by Local 428 electricians. Add to that Edwards Air Force Base, China Lake Naval Weapons Center, the windmills through the Tehachapi Mountains


and the many solar plants checker boarding our deserts, and you can easily see the magnitude of the effect Local 428 and its members have had on our local economy. Aside from its industrious accomplishments, IBEW Local 428 has always operated with a great sense of community here in Kern County. Whether it’s the countless hours donated to such worthy causes as Habitat for Humanity or a concerted effort of putting our nation’s veterans to work, the members of Local 428 have always done their part in helping make Kern County a better place for all. Serving the community for more than a hundred years, IBEW Local 428 is proud to have played such an important role in Kern County’s past and is excited to remain at the forefront of its electrical industry for many years to come.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 3921 N. Sillect Ave. 661-323-2979 www.ibew428.org

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Business Profile

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Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors

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stablished in 1990, Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors, began its legacy of being the leader of the Kern County real estate community. Over the years, we have experienced many changes in our market and industry, even in how business is conducted. While changes may be a part of our industry, we take care to maintain our professionalism and diligence in caring for our customer and client needs on a daily basis. Every real estate transaction is made up of a million moving parts, including law revisions on a state and national level. We hold our company and agents to the highest standard of service through enhanced and continuous training. When working with a Coldwell Banker agent, one is guaranteed an entire team of experts who have a full grasp of the challenges throughout the process. We pride ourselves on the resources we have available to address even the most difficult issues within the transaction. When someone lists a home with us, they are assured maximum exposure. Our digital and print advertising has been recognized as some of the best in the indus86

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try on both a local and national level. We have one of the highest average sales prices in the local market and we maintain the highest percentage of opened to close rates compared to any of our local competitors, giving both the buyer and seller the assurance that we finish what we start. Because changes occur frequently in the market, it is important to work with a professional who understands the home buying process. Our agents have the skills needed to negotiate the purchase contract. During the escrow process, buyers encounter inspections, disclosures and many other overwhelming factors, and our agents are prepared to answer those questions and explain the process. Working with a Coldwell Banker agent means our clients can expect the buying process experience they deserve. We are committed to a global presence through the services of our Relocation Department and its Advanced Agent Team. Working with all major employers, our Relocation Department has strong relationships within this network. Years of experience have given us the unique ability to understand the criteria and demands

September 2016

of this unique clientele. In addition, we offer other departments to assist our agents with their transactions ensuring the highest quality of service. Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors, is a locally owned company with a deep kinship within our community, and for us, serving this community goes beyond houses. In 2015, Coldwell Banker partnered with adoptapet.com, assisting in more than 20,000 adoptions. Locally, Coldwell Banker Preferred has partnered with local rescue organizations Marley’s Mutts and the Bakersfield SPCA. Year to date, we have helped place nearly 50 pets in their forever homes. Relay for Life, Helping Hands, Toys for Tots and the PAL After School Program, to name a few, have all been beneficiaries of our commitment and service to Kern County.

Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors, has two locations: 3820 Coffee Road, Suite 1, in northwest Bakersfield 9100 Ming Ave., Suite 100, in southwest Bakersfield


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Business Profile

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Dr. Tina Basak Diagnostic Radiologist

Where did you earn your degree and practice medicine? I went to the University of Southern California for my undergraduate degree in biology and Tina Basak social sciences. I earned my medical degree from Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. How long have you been practicing medicine? Since graduating from medical school in 2010. I completed a transitional year internship at HarborUCLA medical center, four years of diagnostic radiology residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center and then a one-year fellowship in musculoskeletal imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. When you aren’t hard at work at your office, what do you do to relax? I enjoy practicing yoga and staying fit. I also love to read. How do you practice living a happy, healthy life? I am very close to my family and love spending time with them. I also believe in eating healthy and regular exercise.

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What inspired you to practice medicine? I always had an inclination for biology, ever since I was a little girl. When choosing a career, I realized that medicine would be the only career I would truly enjoy. What are your goals? Work hard and keep learning. I enjoy learning. The more I learn, the better physician I become and the more I can help people. Why did you want to practice medicine in Bakersfield? A close friend was working in Bakersfield as a physician and told me about how wonderful her patients were and about the breadth of interesting cases she has seen since starting her work here. What do you enjoy most about your work as a physician? That every day, the work I do makes a small contribution in helping treat a patient and making a difference in their life.

Kern Radiology 4500 Morning Drive, Suite 202 661-324-7000 www.KernRadiology.com


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Dr. Megan Fitzpatrick Women’s Imaging and Diagnostic Radiologist How long have you been practicing medicine? I earned my medical degree in 2010. Where did you earn your degree and practice medicine? I earned my medical degree in 2010 from Loma Linda University School of Medicine. I completed my internship in internal medicine and residency in diagnostic radiology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. I concluded my training at Baylor Dallas with a fellowship in breast imaging. What inspired you to practice medicine? In college, I joined a medical ministry club called Healer’s Hands that assisted in providing medical care to underprivileged communities in San Diego and Mexico. As I experienced the compassion of medicine and the opportunity to affect lives in tangible ways, I knew that I wanted to pursue it as a career. Why did you want to practice medicine in Bakersfield? I was born in Bakersfield and attended Olive Drive Elementary School before my family moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, when I was in the third grade. Bakersfield has always held a spot in my heart as my original hometown. When the opportunity arose to return to Bakersfield to be closer to family (who all live here again as well) and to work in a city that is continuing to invest in its community, I jumped on it.

What do you enjoy most about your work as a physician? I consider my position as a physician a great privilege, and I honor that by providing the highest level of care for every one of my patients. As a breast imager, I enjoy meeting my patients in their time of need and providing them with diagnostic accuracy, clear communication and compassionate care. What does your job as a breast imager entail? As a fellowship-trained breast imager, I specialize in all modalities of diagnostic imaging pertaining to the breast, including mammography, breast ultrasound and breast MRI. I also perform breast-specific procedures, such ultrasound-guided biopsies, stereotactic-guided biopsies, MR-guided biopsies and needle localizations. What makes your practice special? I really take pride in the care I show my patients. If you are a patient of mine, I am committed to showing you the same respect and level of care that I would provide for someone in my own family. What are your goals? My goal is to see Kern Radiology continue its history of excellence in providing the highest level of imaging in Kern County. I look forward to contributing to the positive impact that Kern Radiology has had on Bakersfield as I bring my spe-

cialization in breast imaging to the community. When you aren’t hard at work at your office, what do you do to relax? My biggest joy in life is spending time with my family – my husband of 10 years and our two daughters, a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old. Our time together often includes trips to the local park, swimming together, time with our church family or visits to the bookstore. How do you practice living a happy, healthy life? Family keeps me happy. Whether it’s spending time with my husband and daughters or grilling hamburgers by the pool with our extended family who also live here in Bakersfield. I am most at peace when I am with those who call me mommy or auntie.

I also do my best to stay healthy by participating in dance, Pilates and spin classes. Tell us a little about your personal life. Faith plays a big part of who I am as an individual and who we are as a family. My husband is a pastor, so we often enjoy conversations that bridge the worlds of faith and science. As a pastor-physician combo, we joke that I promote the physical healing while he promotes the spiritual healing. He, too, is thrilled to be in Bakersfield where he is starting a brandnew Free Methodist Church.

Kern Radiology 4500 Morning Drive, Suite 202 661-324-7000 www.KernRadiology.com

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Dr. Jeff Nalesnik Kern Medical’s Chief of Urology

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he statistics don’t lie: A health crisis is looming for men living in the Bakersfield area. For Dr. Jeff Nalesnik, chief of urology at Kern Medical, the facts are all too familiar: • One in seven men will develop prostate cancer. • The average age at diagnosis is 66. • More and more baby boomers are passing that threshold every day. Dr. Nalesnik and his two urology colleagues (Dr. Shahab Hillyer and Dr. Vinh Trang) at Kern Medical find themselves facing a rapidly growing issue and they’re doing everything possible to provide positive outcomes for our community. State-of-the-art da Vinci robotic surgery technology adds to their skills as physicians in caring for prostate cancer and other urologic conditions. It’s making a surgery once known for its adverse side effects much more patient-friendly. Prostate health is one topic that makes grown men cringe. Few want to think about it, much less talk about it. And that’s a problem. In its early stages,

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prostate cancer usually has no symptoms. The only way to spot it early is with an annual PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam of the prostate by a family doctor or a urologist. By the onset of symptoms – blood in the urine, changes in urination patterns and bone pain – prostate cancer will often have a head start on treatment. For about 85 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, a robotic prostatectomy – removal of the walnut-sized prostate gland– is the recommended treatment, Nalesnik said. He and his partners – Drs. Hillyer and Trang – all are skilled and experienced in robotic surgery and are the only surgeons performing this high-tech operation on the most modern robot (the da Vinci Xi) in Bakersfield. The use of the da Vinci robot gives the surgeons improved vision – about 10 times better, Nalesnik said – as they cut to cure this prevalent disease. High-resolution cameras and microsurgical instruments give surgeons the tools they need to be more precise. That means less damage to adjacent

September 2016

nerves that control a host of systems including the bladder, the bowel and sexual function. Dr. Nalesnik brought his team to Kern Medical in January, where he now serves as vice chair of surgery and director of robotic surgical services. He received his medical training at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, under an elite scholarship awarded by the United States Air Force. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 17 years as a urologist and flight surgeon. During his military career, he served as chief of urology at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in western Germany, the largest American hospital outside of the United States,

and at the Air Force combat hospital in Balad, Iraq. Dr. Nalesnik and his family have now lived in Bakersfield seven years and he is active in free community cancer screening events and as well as the Basque Club with his wife. Dr. Nalesnik and his team are seeing patients at Kern Medical’s new Stockdale offices as well as at the Mount Vernon campus. With the opening of a new outpatient surgery center at Stockdale this fall, the urologists will be able to perform an even wider range of the most modern minimally invasive and laser surgical services there – from treating kidney stones to resolving many male and female voiding and incontinence issues.

Kern Medical For an appointment, call 664-2200.


Sam’s dad had a stroke at the age of 45.

W h en Sam t u rn ed 4 5 , a h o s p i t a l t es t f o u n d

s i g ns of heart dis ea s e bef o re i t wa s t o o l a te .

Today, Sam is grateful because someone still

c a l l s him dad.

Ker nMedic a l.c o m

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Dr. Tung Trang Chief of Head and Neck Oncology at Kern Medical

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mprovements in imaging technology and better access to sophisticated medical care right here in Bakersfield are making the prospect of thyroid disease – and even thyroid cancer – a little less

scary. Dr. Tung Trang, chief of otolaryngology and head and neck oncology at Kern Medical, says he’s seeing an increase in cases in which imaging reveals suspicious conditions. And that’s a good thing, he emphasizes. Spotting problems early makes treatment easier and more successful. Thyroid problems are most prevalent in women under the age of 40. The gland at the base of the neck regulates the metabolism. Both overactive and underactive thyroids produce symptoms – fatigue, mood swings, weight changes, sleep issues – that usually trigger a visit to the doctor. Most imbalance cases can be identified by blood tests and handled by medications or in some cases removal of the thyroid followed by hormone replacement therapy. Thyroid cancer is trickier – it has no symptoms. Dr. Trang, who specializes in surgery on complex head and neck conditions, says patients are most often referred to him after they feel a suspicious lump in their neck or an ultrasound or CAT scan done for another condition spot a suspicious growth. He performs 100 to 125 complex head and neck surgeries a year, making him the most experienced surgeon in the area for these conditions. His expertise extends to neck dissection – a process that adds to removal of thyroid cancers by excising the adjacent lymph nodes that might be compromised. It’s an important differentiator in treatment that requires special training and skills, he explains. He’s the only doctor performing that surgery in Bakersfield and he handles referrals from other physicians and hospitals. 92

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He also handles about 50 goiter surgeries a year. Goiters are thyroid growths that most commonly result from an autoimmune condition. Separating the goiter from healthy neck tissue is a challenge for surgeons. Dr. Trang works with two endocrinologists and together they form a powerful Kern Medical team that can handle the full range of thyroid care, no matter where that leads doctors and patients. In fact, Kern Medical earned a spot among America’s best rural hospitals in ear, nose and throat surgery, according to U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. Statistics suggest a 95 percent survival rate for patients who are diagnosed before the age of 40. Even in advanced cases, where the thyroid cancer has spread into the lungs, survival rates are high. Dr. Trang did his internship and residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland and stayed on to become chief of the Division of Head and Neck Oncology in the Department of Otolaryngology at MetroHealth Medical Center, Case School of Medicine, in Cleveland. He was recruited by Kern Medical in 2009, specifically to handle complex head and neck oncology cases. The decision to move west was a no-brainer, he jokes. His wife, a Californian, wanted to be closer to home. The couple lives in Bakersfield. He sees patients three days a week at Kern Medical’s Stockdale offices, where he can perform diagnostic imaging on-site. He also sees patients at the medical center’s Mount Vernon campus. The endocrinologists – Dr. Harshit Shah and Dr. Sangeeta Chandramahanti – see patients at Kern Medical’s Truxtun offices and the Sagebrush Medical Plaza.

Kern Medical For an appointment, call 664-2200.


At age 8, Tommy was hospitalized for whooping cough.

At 18, he sustained a kidney injury

playing high school football.

Today, he got a clean bill of health after undergoing

chemotherapy for colon cancer.

Ker nMedic a l.c o m

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Business Profile

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Lady Justice Law School Bakersfield’s newest and only law school Apply now for fall 2016 starting Sept. 10

Owner Molly Brown

Why Lady Justice? The Lady Justice symbol – typically a blindfolded woman holding a sword in one hand and the scales of justice in the other – is universally accepted and used as a symbol for justice and the justice system for centuries. The symbol of Lady Justice has been used in Western countries like America, Australia, Canada, many countries in Europe, and is also used in Iran and Japan, among many other places. There are countless representations and interpretations of Lady Justice in sculpture and paintings used in courthouses and arenas concerning justice. Because Lady Justice is accepted worldwide, she is not a prejudiced or offensive symbol in and of herself. She stands for unbiased justice and equality under the law, just as our school will strive to educate men and women who stand for true justice. We love her! We believe she represents our law school perfectly. What is the program? Graduates from our law program will be granted the Juris Doctor degree and will then be eligible to take the California bar exam to become a lawyer in California. What are the requirements to enroll? Applicants are required to have a minimum of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units toward a bachelor’s degree. Because the State Bar of California requires this minimum, Lady Justice requires this minimum. We strive to make law school as accessible as possible to qualified applicants. How long is the program? Four years. After the first year,

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students are required to take and pass the First-Year Law Students’ Exam and then complete three more years of law study. Is it affordable? Yes! We are surprisingly affordable. We are probably the best bargain for a legal education in California. In addition, financing is available. What’s the schedule? It is our pledge to always offer classes in the evenings so our students do not have to quit their day jobs to pursue their desire to become a lawyer. Besides teaching the black letter law, will your college offer hands-on training? Yes. We will offer internships.

Students can also become certified law students, which will enable them to make court appearances and provide legal services under the supervision of a licensed attorney. We will also have several legal clinics supervised by our dean with assistance from local volunteer attorneys and operated by the students. Persons with legal problems could come to one of our clinics and receive legal assistance. This would be free of charge. Our students will gain the hands-on practical experience they desire while helping people in our community.

Lady Justice Law School 7460 District Blvd., Suite C 661-735-8088 www.ladyjusticelawschool.com


NOW IS THE TIME TO ENROLL! Molly Brown, Owner

Classes Start September 10th • Flexible Schedules • Affordable • Hands on Training

Stan Blyth, Dean

Judy Chavez, Professor

Patrick Bowers, Professor

Max Gradowitz, Professor

Lady Justice Law School 7460 District Blvd. Ste C 661.735.8088 Guideline 2.3 (D) in Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules: The method of instruction at this law school for the Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) Degree Program is principally in physical classroom facilities. Students enrolled in the J.D. degree program at this school who successfully complete the first year of law study must pass the First-Year Law Student’s Examination required by Business and Professions Code 6060(h) and Rule VIII of the Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California as part of the requirements to qualify to take the California Bar Examination. A student who passes the First-Year Law Student’s Examination within three (3) administrations of the examination after first becoming eligible to take it will receive credit for all legal studies completed to the time the examination is passed. A student who does not pass the examination within three (3) administrations of the examination after first becoming eligible to take it must be prompted disqualified from the law school’s J.D. degree program. If the dismissed student subsequently passes the examination, the student is eligible for reenrollment in this law school’s J.D. degree program, but will receive credit for only one year of legal study. Study at, or graduation from, this law school may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or to satisfy the requirements for admission to practice in jurisdictions other than California. A student intending to seek admission to practice law in a jurisdiction other than California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding the legal education requirements in that jurisdiction for admission to the practice of law.

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People & Community

B A K E R S F I E L D M AT T E R S

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

By Lisa Kimble

A love letter to Kern Fall in love with our community all over again

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t has been a few years since I penned a love letter to Kern, usually in conjunction with this publication’s Kern Life issue or on occasion when a well-known out-of-towner blows through and maligns this place we call home. It is easily done in the first few days of fall, when, like leaves, the temperature drops and we are reminded that we are a land of four distinct seasons. Composing such a missive at summer’s high, on the other hand, when triple digits have quadrupled our misery and the sound of silence from neighborhood to neighborhood is punctuated by the whir of air conditioning units, is a challenge. As it is with any relationship worth its salt, there are moments when we can’t live with each other. When the searing heat forces us into the arms of a cooler locale. And there are days when we can’t live without each other – when a crisp February morning calls for an extra comforter and the sky is an azure blue. Kern County, we’ve been together a very long time – more than a half-century. Enough time for me to see your population swell to nearly 900,000 residents. That’s a whole lotta love! So how do I love thee? More ways than I count, but here are a few. After all these years, you still take my breath away. All 8,163 square miles of you. From the coastal range where cattle graze to the eastern Sierra and high desert, from the southern-most corners of the San Joaquin Valley where we ascend the grapevine to the vineyards at the county line in Delano – your landscapes are unparalleled and extraordinary.

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And you are easy, too, in a good way, only a few hours drive from some of the most desired destinations in the country – Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. It’s true, we’ve had our ups and downs – devastating earthquakes and headline-grabbing news events, some of which have made us the butt of one too many jokes. But, Kern, your place in the history of the West is undeniable. You produce much of the world’s food basket and your prominence in the oil and agriculture industries makes you a major force on the global stage. You’ve also exported a musical genre revered around the world – the Bakersfield Sound, fine-tuned by the late, famed native sons Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. They, along with Olympians, powerful politicians, policymakers and educators credit their success to their early foundations built on you. And thousands of others who discover when they visit or plant roots here that there is a sense of belonging, a heart and soul in this special place that isn’t found in other places of our size. Basque-Americans found it when their ancestors began migrating here in the 1800s, eventually establishing one of the largest Basque communities in the nation. Kern, you and I have also spent time apart. I couldn’t fully appreciate your beauty and uniqueness without living elsewhere. But we always got back together. Sure, we’ve both changed, you more so than I. And you have aged well, despite so much more urban sprawl. But through thick (air quality and midsections) and thin, we’re still together, after all these years. Every day with you is like the first, and I fall in love with you, Kern County, all over again! Lisa Kimble

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.


FA M I LY V E R D I C T

By Katy Raytis

A testament to his generation Mac McMurtrey leaves mark on Bakersfield in pursuit of American dream

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATY RAYTIS

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e lived a life you find in history books, from a generation that will never be replicated and is marked by traits like hard work, humility, sacrifice and selfreliance. Those very words also describe N.C. “Mac” McMurtrey, but you’d want to throw in “funny,” too. Born in Stella, Missouri, in 1919, Mac was the youngest of eight children, never meeting the father who died before his birth. He spent his youth in Missouri, farming the family’s fruit farm with his older brother John, though he said, “We didn’t know the first thing about farming.” He graduated from high school in 1936, in a class of 12, and promptly hopped a freight train in search of the American dream. He was 17. If you spent an hour with Mac, he won’t tell you about the auto parts business he built from a single store in 1956 to a company he would later sell with seven warehouses and 60 stores throughout California. He doesn’t talk about the small fortune he donated to the Bakersfield community for projects like the McMurtrey Aquatic Center. Nor does he mention the countless automotive organizations he joined, sponsored and subsidized. He actually told me: “I was mostly just good at joining. I don’t think I ever did much.” Instead, Mac will tell you a funny story – perhaps about Dick and Deck, the two farm horses he inherited from his brother-in-law only because Deck wasn’t expected to survive

Stella and N.C. “Mac” McMurtrey

the winter. When Deck miraculously healed himself after being turned out on the farm for four months, Mac convinced his brother-in-law that Deck and Dick belonged together. He closed the deal and doubled his horse inventory overnight. Mac hopped freight trains and worked odd jobs during the Depression. At one point, he ended up in Sacramento working at a peach-canning factory, where his leather-soled shoes would slip across the juiceladen floor. “I had to have cleats put on the bottoms of my shoes because I couldn’t walk through the place,” he said. “But then I felt ridiculous whenever I went anywhere besides work because those stupid shoes kept clicking on the ground.” In another story, he hopped a train in Arkansas, fell asleep and woke to discover that his boxcar had been unhitched from the train during the night. He found himself stuck in Joplin, Missouri, and hadn’t eaten in days. A man at the train yard gave him some bread that Mac toasted over an open

fire. He named that meal “Joplin Toast” and swears it was the best thing he ever ate in his life. Mac eventually made his way to Bakersfield, a town he chose because he had a brother working in the Kress Building. Donning his only suit, he headed down Chester Avenue in search of a job. Smith’s Market at 21st and Chester wasn’t hiring, but Pioneer Mercantile at 20th and Eye said he could work in their basement. He took the job, without knowing how much it paid, and stayed for 18 years. “I had to walk outside to see the name on the building to see where I worked because I didn’t look when I walked in,” Mac said. In Bakersfield, Mac met and married his wife of 78 years, Stella Polverari. Together, they raised three boys: Jon, Don and (my favorite) Gene. The engagement ring cost $12. They lived on $65 a month. They bought their first house (still standing on what later became Ming Avenue) for $3,775. In 1942, Mac joined the Navy. He claims that he never knew his own first name until he had to provide his birth certificate in order to enlist. He remembers being handed a document, reading the name “Noble Carson McMurtrey” and then asking, “Who the hell is that guy?” Mac returned to Bakersfield following the war and began building Southern Auto Supply, a company that would later become part of the worldwide auto parts empire known as CarQuest. His business plan

was simple: be honest, treat people fairly and work hard. He says there wasn’t a job or customer that he ever turned down. Hard work paid off. From his three sons sprang a family of 12 grandchildren, 43 greatgrandchildren and eight greatgreat grandchildren – almost all were born, raised and still live in Bakersfield. That’s quite a legacy. Mac spent his retirement taking weekly trips around Kern County with his lifelong friend (the late Ed Powell), tending to his farm in Tehachapi and playing golf with friends (a pastime he says he thoroughly enjoyed mostly because they always cheated). Life hasn’t stopped and he’s looking forward to his 80th wedding anniversary in 2018, when, God willing, he and Stella will both be 99. To Bakersfield, he is the king of auto parts, a benefactor of our community and a local legend. But to me, he is Papa Mac. Smiling in his recliner and making jokes like, “I tried to get the hospice folks to talk to Stella, but they keep saying she’s fine.” My grandpa. Successful. Funny. A little mischievous. Always larger than life. I’ll take those genes. They say history repeats itself. I sure hope they’re right.

Katy Raytis

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Katy Raytis.

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People & Community

PERSONALITY

Playing to the right tune in students’ lives Delano’s Arnold Morrison inspires youth through musical teachings

By Olivia Garcia Photos by Mark Nessia

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rnold “Arny” Morrison’s life could be told through the sweet sound of music. Ever since he was a little boy, Morrison developed a keen ability to hear, write and arrange music, usually just by ear. The discovery began when his mother brought home a piano in the 1960s. He was about 8 years old. “I was tinkering around with it and she noticed I could hear things,” 98

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said the longtime Delano resident and instrumental music teacher. “I got a piece of paper and wrote out my own song. I have a really good ear.” And a really good heart if you ask his students in Delano. “He’s an inspiration,” said Sylvia Rios Mendoza, Morrison’s former student who now teaches kindergarten in Delano. “He loves what he does.” For 38 years, Morrison has taught instrumental music to elementary students in Delano. Currently, he is

the instrumental music teacher at Fremont and Albany Park elementary schools, teaching young musicians in third, fourth and fifth grades, whether it’s a flute, clarinet, trombone, saxophone, drums – you name it (and yes, that means Morrison has mastered several instruments). Most of his students are novices, unfamiliar to the world of reading notes, listening to sounds and perfecting the instrument’s tune. That’s where Morrison comes in. Through his passion, humor and patience, he engages the students to


master their instrument and understand the value of music. Teaching music to students has “taught me that the best gift you can give anybody is to help them out, whether it is music or being there as support. These kids are young and it’s tough when you are growing up … but the kids at this age have such a positive attitude. “Instruments can be cumbersome for someone that small. You really have to be patient, but if you keep things positive, you would be amazed what they can accomplish.” And there’s much that Morrison has accomplished as well. He’s been known as the music teacher who’s loaned out instruments over the years to children who couldn’t afford to buy one so they can practice at home. He’s made

musical CDs or uploaded musical programs onto family computers so the students can improve. Mendoza knows firsthand. As a young elementary student, Mendoza showed up in Morrison’s class not knowing a thing about the instrument she was about the pick up: the flute. She became so interested in music that she moved on to learn the saxophone. Morrison saw her determination and repaired a saxophone and loaned it to her so she could practice at home. After those instruments, she went on to learn the piano. “He inspired me to be a teacher,” said Mendoza who incorporates music – playing the flute and singing songs – into her teaching. “He’s always

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Continued on page 100

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valued his students.” Morrison credits that philosophy to his high school band director who influenced him to follow a similar career path. “My high school music teacher (Warren Balfour) was totally awesome,” Morrison said. “He solidified my decision to become a teacher. It was just the way he inspired me. He instilled a lot of confidence in me.” As a side note, Balfour remains friends with Morrison. The two stay in touch via Facebook. In fact, Morrison’s Facebook has reached the 5,000-friends limit and as a result, he has an additional 2,000 who are “followers” of his Facebook. Many are former students. Intent on pursuing music, Morrison, who was born in Hollywood and grew up in rich coastal Southern California, left for school and studied at Chapman University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music with a minor in physical chemistry in 1979. Another Chapman achievement: Morrison wrote the Chapman alma mater hymn. That same year, he landed his first

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teaching career in Delano – and he never left. “I came from a rich area of Los Angeles (Bel Air) and here I was in a small town,” said Morrison, who is also serving his third term on the board of trustees for the Delano Joint Union High School District. “But I really enjoyed the small-town atmosphere and slower pace of life.”

Many kids who learn the discipline of music find that it transfers to other subject areas.

– Arnold Morrison

To earn extra money during his first teaching years, Morrison became a private lesson music instructor and that experience allowed him to get to know more families and their young students. “I got an idea of what life was like here,” said Morrison, who later earned a master’s degree in secondary education from CSU Bakersfield in 1981. “I took all


that in and that’s why I fell in love with Delano. I just felt needed here. They made me feel welcome.” Morrison also met the love of his life – Suzanne Villaruz – in Delano. The year was 1986 and her daughter Nicole was a student in his music class. Love struck and they have been together ever since. “My wife and daughter have been very supportive of me,” he said. And there’s much to be supportive about. Outside of teaching, Morrison is active in the community. Some of his proud achievements include directing the community music group known as the Delano Clarinet Choir and creating a flute choir known as Fluteworks, both made up of his former students. He’s been a member of Kiwanis Club of Delano for 30 years, most notably serving as president and as the “Easter Egg” chairperson since he has volunteered with dyeing more than 5,000 eggs for the Annual Kiwanis Easter Egg hunt since 1983. He also volunteers to video record or photograph many events in Delano and posts them on his Facebook page or

his YouTube channel, DelanoEvent. Morrison’s community involvement has earned him several awards, including being honored as grand marshal for Cinco de Mayo in Delano and Philippine Weekend, said Jay Tamsi, president of the Filipino Community of Delano Inc. – and a former student. “As a teacher, he always wanted the best for his students, whether it was marching in a band or performing at a concert,” Tamsi said. “He is truly genuine and cares about his students and the community of Delano. In fact, Arny, his wife Suzanne and daughter Nicole, who I went to school with, truly have a gift. The three of them together make Kern a greater place to live, work and raise a family.” Morrison credits his parents for instilling a sense of caring for others in him from day one. The 60-year-old plans to retire after this academic year, leaving behind a huge mark in connecting students to the art of music. “This is my last year, but it doesn’t mean I will go away. I will probably volunteer or work at one school part time,” said Morrison, who is easily spotted in

town driving in Honda Silverwing scooter or his GEM Car electric car. Yet he will miss the day-to-day interactions. “Many kids who learn the discipline of music find that it transfers to other subject areas,” Morrison said. “Most of my former students who were struggling academically were going from C’s and D’s to A’s and B’s after being in music class for just a short while. They learned that if you really work hard at something you like, it will inspire you to do better at everything.” Nevertheless, his impact remains as strong as ever. “He was very instrumental in my choice to dedicate my life and career in the visual field and directly cultivated my creative and aesthetic approach,” said Anthony Peraza, a professional photographer who was a former student of Morrison’s. They still keep in touch. “Just a few days ago, we chatted about the current state of progressive rock and great video game composers. I am very lucky to know someone as profoundly vested in the community and others.”

Bakersfield Music Theatre & Stars Theatre Restaurant 1931 Chester Avenue | Bakersfield, CA, 93301 www.bmtstars.com | Box Office: (661) 325-6100 bakersfieldlife.com

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People & Community

FOR A CAUSE

Rockin’ and rollin’ on the river Kern River Rock ’n’ Blues Fest to benefit local veterans By Diana Greenlee

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he dog days of summer are winding down, but you can still have a hot time at the Bud Light Kern River Rock ’n’ Blues Fest, Sept. 22-25, at Frandy Campground in Kernville. Notorious Entertainment event producer Orion Sanders said he organized the jamboree six years ago to fund a memorial walkway adjacent to the Bakersfield National Cemetery; the walkway is now in planning. Raised in Lake Isabella, Sanders said proceeds from the event this year will support members of VFW Post 7665. It’s a cause that hits close to home. “My dad (Ray Sanders) is a Korean War vet,” he said. “Because of some medical issues, I wasn’t able to serve. It’s really my way of being able to give back.” Sanders said the four-day event leads with a kickoff party on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Kernville Saloon; a VIP party follows on Friday at the campground. He said they’ve coordinated with local businesses to extend entertainment hours. “We have a sound curfew of 10 p.m. in the campground,” he said. “But when we are done on the main stage (in the campground), we’ve booked bands at the local participating establishments to play from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.” At least 13 bands pulled from regional, national and touring circuits will play the gig, along with several Kern County bands. Lead singer for local band Blonde Faith, Tamera Mahan, said they are excited to participate in the function. “This is one of my favorite festivals to play,” she said. “Anything for vet102

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Johnny Mastro

erans, police or firefighters – we like to support them as much as we can.” VFW members will be running the beer tap during the

event, and Sanders said in addition to the music, there will be a wine bar, photo booth and a variety of vendors. “In the past we’ve had everything from T-shirts, jewelry and knives to snow cones,” he said. According to VFW Post 7665 Canteen Manager Valerie Larkin, the association assists more than 250 vets in Lake Isabella – many of them seniors – by providing meals and limited financial relief. She said the benefit couldn’t have come at a better time. “Right now the profit we are making is going for the veterans who were victims of the Erskine Fire,” she said. “We had a lot of displaced veterans due to the fire.”

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People & Community

P H I L A N T H R O P Y M AT T E R S

The strands that bind

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBBY KATE

Nonprofits ensure tightly knit, stronger communities

Top left: The dogs are dressed for the pet adoption event at the SPCA. Top right: Betsy West rides Mrs. Beezlee for the M.A.R.E. 25th anniversary. Facing page: Quincy Vaughn concentrates in the computer lab during the Boys & Girls Club Summer Camp.

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onprofits embody the best spirit and values of our community. They help hundreds of individuals and families daily. Nonprofits give shape to our boldest dreams, highest ideals and noblest causes. They turn our beliefs into action – as promoters of democracy, champions of the common good, incubators of innovation, laboratories of leadership, protectors of taxpayers, responders in times of trouble, stimulators of the economy and weavers of community fabric. Have you ever thought about how your life is better because of a nonprofit? Consider first an often ignored way that nonprofits make our lives better, the basic economics of the nonprofit industry. Nonprofits enhance and bolster the economy, representing 15 percent of California’s gross state product, while ranking as the fourth largest industry in California by employment. According to a report from the California Association of Nonprofits, “Causes Count,” the state’s nonprofit industry employs nearly 1 million people and produces more jobs than the construction, finance or real estate industries. What’s more, volunteers contribute an additional $24.7 billion in unpaid labor each year, the equivalent of 450,000 full-time jobs. This data suggests that virtually every effective nonprofit creates economic value for our community and generates valuable resources. Next, consider that nonprofits know no barriers – they work to provide essential services to everyone from the most vulnerable to the most resource secure. In fact, some things we take for granted were first introduced by a nonprofit. Like the white lines on the side of the road that have

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September 2016

been shown to save thousands of lives each year – an idea that grew to become an initiative of the Dorr Foundation in the 1950s and was ultimately adopted nationwide. There are many other white lines that we can thank nonprofits for, like the programs offered to ensure our children have quality, productive time while their parents are at work or the things that make life beautiful – art, music, parks and theater. We should also add to the list the ways nonprofits create vibrant, livable communities; an educated workforce; and a civically engaged public, all while ensuring that families have access to services contributing to safe, healthy and enriched lives. Every one of these white lines created by nonprofits are like strands woven together that make up our community fabric. The more tightly knit, the better and stronger our community. To learn more about the large variety of nonprofits that are woven into Bakersfield’s community fabric, check out the “2016 Giving Guide” on Kern Community Foundation’s website (kernfoundation.org). There you will find descriptions and pictures of more than 130 charitable organizations working tirelessly to make all of our lives better. And the next time attend a youth sporting event or adopt a new puppy or visit a local museum or nature preserve, remember that you are helping to strengthen the fabric that makes our community so unique.

Kristen Barnes

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


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People & Community

A ‘Wonderful’ part of Kern County Delano facility distributes Halos throughout the nation

Story by Mark Nessia Photos courtesy of Wonderful Citrus

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ouseholds throughout the country have a little bit of Kern County in them and they don’t even know it. The No. 1 brand in the country, Halos have become synonymous with mandarins and its central hub is located in Delano. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the season, which runs from late October to May, the Halos facility – one of the largest, if not the largest, mandarin processing centers in the world – harvests, washes, grades, packages and distributes 4 billion mandarins throughout the nation. One-third of U.S. households that purchase mandarins choose Halos. Continued on page 108

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I N S I D E STO RY


Clockwise from top left: In order to be called Halos, fruit is carefully grown and selected to be the finest mandarins in the world. Wonderful Citrus has constructed a new building adjacent to its plant that looks like a giant box of Halos. Complete with an 80-foot-high facade that surrounds the entire 11,000-squarefoot structure, the building can be seen prominently from I-99. On some days during harvest, Halos can fill between 80 to 100 delivery trucks per day. In the San Joaquin Valley, there’s a citrus grove that stretches as far as the eye can see. This is where Halos mandarins are grown. Halos are inspected five different times before shipment for color, sweetness and freshness.

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Continued from page 106 To make sure every single fruit meets Wonderful Citrus’ high standards, the company uses only the most advanced systems. Multiple control points ensure accurate grading, high-speed optical technologies check the sweetness of fruit before packing and full-time quality control experts supervise the process every step of the way.

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“We are very proud that we produce a piece of fruit that is good for you and kid friendly,” said Wonderful Citrus President David Krause. “There’s a lot to be said to be nationally known and hail from Kern County.” Easy to peel, sweet, seedless and shareable, Halos have developed a reputation as the “perfect snack.” Most importantly, it’s healthy. And that doesn’t come by accident. “A significant amount of work and effort goes in to ensure the quality is right, whether (customers) buy it in October or in May,” Krause said. “Kern County should be proud.”

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September 2016


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CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

People & Community

Hart Park’s heyday Above: Raging waters from top of the water slide in 1984.

Full of slides, rides and visitors

Facing page top: Paddle boats.

eslie Torrigiani’s childhood memories of Hart Park in northeast Bakersfield go far beyond the wide-open spaces, fishing holes and giant shade trees that remain today. For Torrigiani, it was a little train that gave her the biggest joy. After all, her maternal grandfather, Joseph Van Cleave, helped bring the Kern River Railroad to the collection of actual amusement rides once featured at Hart Park. “It’s always been a special part of our family’s history,” Torrigiani said.

Facing page bottom: The wooden roller coaster.

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By Teresa Adamo

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“My mom (Jackie Van Cleave) loved to share stories about being on the very first ride for the train because her dad was a mechanic and helped build it and lay the tracks. It was a very big deal!” Newer, non-native residents may be surprised about the amusement rides, but for a time, they were quite a draw for the popular northeast Bakersfield park. On Nov. 7, 1921, Kern County paid $20,673.66 for 338 acres of the old Baker Ranch, according to local historian Gilbert Gia. Kern River Park (renamed “John O. Hart Memorial Park” in 1947 to honor the former

park superintendent) came about thanks, in great part, to community demand for more recreational sites. There was also an organized effort to increase access to the “healing powers” of mineral springs in the area, Gia said. By 1926, the Bakersfield Woman’s Club petitioned the Kern County Board of Supervisors to capture the mineral spring already flowing down a hillside into Kern River Park because it was easier to reach than other sites in the surrounding mountains. According to Gia’s research for the article, “One Hundred Years at the Park, 1890-1990,” Gus and Pearl


CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

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Robert Provencio Music Director

“Sharing musical perspectives”

5 CONCERT SEASON Balasis ran the park’s concessions and, by 1940, incorporated the amusement rides. The lineup would eventually include a wooden merry-goround, a wooden roller coaster and a Ferris wheel. Gia interviewed the Balasises’ son (also named Gus), learning from the younger Gus that his father later added a metal roller coaster, the train, electric bumper cars, a tilt-awheel and other kiddy rides. The Kern River Railroad took passengers on a meandering half-mile route through the park, over a bridge, along the Kern River and even

through a tunnel. In 1946, the Balasis family sold their interest in the amusement park and concessions to Paul Woollomes, who operated the business for the next 60 years, according to Gia. At the height of Hart Park’s popularity – especially after WWII rations ended and people could drive their cars for leisure again – an average Sunday would see 20,000 visitors. By the 1970s, though, park attendance began to dwindle and over the next decade, Woollomes began to sell off Continued on page 113

An 84 year tradition of chorale excellence and music inspiration to young and old. Reduced ticket prices and advance ticket pricing.

For information and ticket pricing visit our website:

www.BakersfieldMasterChorale.org Or call Robin at (661) 831-1735 bakersfieldlife.com

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Did you know? Kern River Park was renamed John O. Hart Memorial Park in 1947 to honor the former park superintendent.

Left: The rock John Hart found in Kern River Canyon, now displayed in Hart Park. PHOTO BY GEORGE GILBERT LYNCH

Right: This Californian file photo shows the Hart Memorial dedication on May 5, 1937. In attendance were most of John Hart’s relatives.

An all-in-one restaurant, museum and theatre focusing on the rich history and sounds of country music. Outstanding food, fascinating memorabilia and great live music including the Buckaroos and special guests most Friday and Saturday nights.

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L I V E M U S I C N I G H T LY Call for concert & entertainment information.

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(661) 328-7560 112

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September 2016


Continued from page 111

the amusement rides, one by one. When asked if the rides could ever make a comeback at Hart Park, Gia said he doubted it. “Maybe for nostalgic reasons, but I would say there is just too much competition,” Gia said. And while Torrigiani would love to see the return of the little train and the other rides to Hart Park, she realizes her fond memories will have to be enough. “Sure, it would be nice, but I’m glad my mom and all of our family had those experiences with the rides as kids,” she said. “Sometimes, it’s OK when the past is just the past.”

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People & Community

PRIME FINDS

Find a piece of the past Shop Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday hours open at 10 a.m. All items have been repurposed to support H.A.L.T Rescue dogs seeking a forever home. Rags to Rescue 234 H St. 661-809-5555 Follow us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/haltragstorescue

A handprint you won’t want to wash off! They won’t always be this little, so commemorate this special occasion in your child’s life by painting this adorable handprint plate! Color Me Mine at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. 661-664-7366, www.bakersfield.colormemine.com

Anuschka coin pouch

Metal-footed containers Kamille Hughes Farm Girls Vintage Finds 2113 Q St. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.farmgirlsvintagefinds.com

Each coin pouch is individually hand painted and made with only the finest grade of soft supple cowhide. Find the bag of your choice at Sugardaddy’s. 5512 Stockdale Highway 661-325-8300 www.facebook.com/sugardaddys

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

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Clear skin boot camp summer program Start school in the fall with clear skin! Our program works by putting together the right products for your type of acne and the right treatments for your skin. A program designed by Nondy Llewellyn, licensed esthetician and certified acne specialist. Bakersfield Acne Care 4949 Buckley Way, #103, 661-319-3568 www.bakersfieldacnecare.com

Iconic at heart As Brighton’s signature logo, the heart represents the passion that our designers and artisans have for every item we create. Christine’s 4915 Stockdale Highway 661-834-3068

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First Friday Street Fair Date: Aug. 5 Held at Downtown Arts District Photos by Greg Nichols

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Date: Aug. 4 Held at Kern County Fairgrounds Photos by Henry A. Barrios

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Baby Cafe Fundraising Dinner Date: Aug. 4 Held at Coconut Joe’s Photos by Carla Rivas

Stefanie, Jeffrey and Charlotte Bye

Haley and Cash Mebane, Kassadi, Tucker and Talyn Nylander

Erin and Mara Saldana

Patty Reis, Kate and Claire Stanley

Jacob and Ellen Ewing and Lori Pesante

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Korrine, Emma and Andy Stanley


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Alpha Canine Sanctuary Fundraiser Date: Aug. 11 Held at Imbibe Photos by Carla Rivas

Carol States and Vicki Lamont

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877.314.7511 BakersfieldHyundai.com

Valley Fever Walk Date: Aug. 13 Held at Kern Pioneer Village Photos by Carla Rivas

Maria Martinez, Javier Rangel, Sabrina, Paul and Dolores Hernandez

Kim and Kate Champness

Natalie and Amy Maxwell and Jessica Bonsness

Evie, Jessica, Paula and Ann Einstein and Sheryl Tynes

Cammy Saulnier, Shane, Brystal and Patty Kangas

Gretchen and Frances Morales, Juany Melendez, Yenei Perez, Evelyn Velasquez, Yazmin Irizarry, Kimberly Moreno, Ricardo Bernal and Madelyn Madera

Amber and Scarlett Caudel, Joe Anderson, Jack Sloss, Denise Connor, Calleen Sutton-Jones, Lilli and Grace Anderson, Kylie Quezada, Griffith Caudel, Megan and Faith Anderson and Jacob Brewer

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Jazmin and Justin Whitney

Bakersfield Life Magazine

September 2016


877.314.7511 BakersfieldHyundai.com

Ultimate Bridal Event Date: Aug. 14 Held at Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center Photos by Carla Rivas

Rita Garcia, Andrea Almanza and Naomi Espinoza

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Sherry and Whittany Bennett and Jasmine Noldon

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Your Business Real Estate Goal I S Our Business Office | Industrial | Retail Multi-Family | Investment Land | Agriculture 5060 California Avenue, Suite 1000 Bakersfield CA 93309 661 327 2263 www.paccra.com

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People & Community

LAST WORD

What I miss about Kern County From Pennsylvania with love By Andrew Kehe

M

exican. That’s what I miss about Kern County: Mexican food. I love me some Mexican. Even average Mexican. You have no idea. The East has as many good Mexican joints as Kern County has luxury resorts. I mean, there’s Boron, but other than that … Don’t know where they’ve all gone, or if there ever were any. I should put the Russians on it. Yes, yes of course I miss my friends, my house, my pool, my old colleagues, drinking from the cup with my hockey teammates. But a lot of what I miss about Kern revolves around food. I’m in Hershey, Pennsylvania, now, the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” where chocolate spews from garden spigots. But I’m still searching for a rival out here to George’s Special from Dewar’s, a hot pastrami on a hard roll at Luigi’s, steak and chicken combo at Coconut Joe’s, brunch at the Crystal Palace, catfish platter at J’s Place, 2 a.m. breakfast at Milt’s, a cheeseburger at the Kernville Airport Cafe – so meaty it could ground a Piper Cub. A Double-Double at In-N-Out. Don’t care if it’s not unique to Kern. 122

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Can’t get one here. I want one. I tease Boron. Unwarranted because they have great Mexican. But I’m not booking anytime soon a week’s stay there or any other Kern hamlet. What I would pitch to anyone is doing the whole region as a two-day junket. One of my favorite days ever spent in Kern was the nine-hour convertible motor tour I took for a story with Californian photographer Felix Adamo, exploring the back roads, the culture, the people, the sights and smells of one of California’s most underrated playgrounds. To say there is no place like it would be reckless, but how do you not miss the miles and miles of unspoiled vistas, the canyon road going up to Lake Isabella, the breathtaking Walker Basin, Caliente Creek Road as it winds through Twin Oaks and beyond, Woody, Glennville, the Kern River and all it offers? Then there’s the experiences and the stories. I miss them, too. God, the stories. Kern County, for all its flaws, is a news junkie’s paradise. Spend 10 minutes with a Californian reporter and they’ll fill your head with whoppers. My contribution would be the Bakersfield woman who dropped her false teeth into a trick-or-treater’s bag or

maybe the story about a woman sitting upright on her couch cloaked in cloth and so dead that she was mummifying, her feet in buckets to catch the oozing fluids. What’s not to miss about that? What else? I miss wide streets, Dead Man’s Curve, cheap golf. I miss the Condors and their fans. I miss them booing me. I miss cooling off in a 55-degree skating venue when it’s 105 outside as much as I enjoy warming up in a 55degree skating venue when it’s minus 5 here. I wish I could say I miss the nice new baseball stadium they built for the Blaze. But there she still sits, Sam Lynn, facing into the sun with all her crumbling, awkward glory. That might be a “what I miss” story for next year’s Kern Life. I miss messing with readers. Andrew Kehe was a reporter, editor and sports columnist at The Californian for 23 years before moving to Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 2008. He and his wife, Lara, are houseparents to underprivileged boys at the Milton Hershey School. The views expressed in this column are his own. Andrew Kehe


The Bakersfield Police Department would like to recognize our community partners in appreciation for their support and collaboration in serving the citizens of Bakersfield. Thank you for helping us build a more community oriented police department and a safer place to live. 34th Street Neighborhood Partnership A Life Interrupted A Sign Factory Advanced Beverage Company Alliance Against Family Violence American Red Cross-Kern County Chapter Assembly Member Shannon Grove Assembly Member Rudy Salas Bakersfield Association of Realtors Bakersfield Breakfast Lions Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Bakersfield City Attorney’s Office Bakersfield City Council Bakersfield City Fire Department Bakersfield City School District Bakersfield Code Enforcement Bakersfield College Bakersfield Fire Arson Enforcement Bakersfield Homeless Shelter Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall Bakersfield North Rotary Bakersfield Police Activity League Bakersfield Police Department Community Liaison Group Bakersfield Rescue Mission Bakersfield Safe Streets Partnership Benny Jacobs and Tabitha House Bessy Owens Primary and Intermediate Betty Ong Foundation Brightwood College Bridge Bible Church Broken Yolk Cafe California Highway Patrol California Living Museum California Resources Corporation California State University Bakersfield Cal-Trans Centennial High School Chevron Christ First Ministries Compassion Christian Center Congressman David Valadao Community Action Partnership Cooks From the Valley Cornerstone Mortgage Councilmember Maxwell and TL Maxwell’s Restaurant Christ First Ministries Disabled Children’s Network of Kern County Domestic Violence Advisory Council Downtown Business Association Downtown Business Development Corporation East Bakersfield Community Collaborative East Bakersfield High School Ebony Counseling Center Emerson Middle School Employers Training Resource

Endless Summer Salon Faith in Action Flood Ministries Franklin Elementary Fraternal Order of Eagles Post 93 Friendship House Frito Lay Garden Pathways Golden Empire Transit Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (GBLA) Greenfield HELPS Collaborative Group Home Coalition Harlem and Beyond Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic Heritage Park Association Independence High School Junior Police Academy Kaplan College KBAK 29 Kegley Institute of Ethics (CSUB) Keep Bakersfield Beautiful Committee Kern Chief Law Enforcement Officers’ Association Kern County 999 Foundation Kern County District Attorney’s Office Kern County Fair Kern County Fifth District Supervisor Leticia Perez Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation Kern County Library-Kids and Police Officers Reading Program Kern County Mental Health Kern County Museum Kern County Network for Children Kern County Probation Department Kern County Public Health Kern County Raceway Park Kern County Safe Surrender Coalition Kern County Sheriff’s Office Kern County Superintendent of Schools Kern Family Health Care Kern High School District Kern Leadership Alliance Kern Medical Center KERO 23 KGET 17 Kingdom Builders Ministry Leadership Bakersfield Lie’N’Den Restaurant Luigi’s Restaurant Martin Luther King Jr. Center McDonalds McKinley School Mendiburu Magic Foundation Miramar International Realty Mt. Zion Baptist Church Murray Farms National Association for the Advancement

of Colored People National Brotherhood Association New Life Center North High School Old Town Kern Business Watch Oleander Neighborhood Watch Operation Soulwinner Panama Buena Vista Unified School District Pandol Family Pyrenees Bakery Rabobank Raymond’s Trophy and Awards Retail Crimes Partnership River Lakes Community Church Roosevelt Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown Salty’s BBQ Senator Jean Fuller Sonny Patel and Quality Inn and Suites South High School Southeast Neighborhood Partnership Sparkletts Water Sparkling Image Carwash Special Olympic World Summer Series St Francis St George Greek Orthodox Church St Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries Standard School District State of California Alcohol Beverage Control Starbuck Family Starbucks Starr Family State of California Alcohol Beverage Control Stay Focused Ministries Stop the Violence Target Terrio Physical Therapy and Fitness The Bakersfield Californian The People’s Missionary Baptist Church Uncle’s BBQ Univision United Way of Kern County Upside Productions U.S Congressman and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Valley Plaza Visitors Convention Bureau Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Wal-Mart Wasco Rotary Wendell Davis Foundation W.A. Thompson West High School Westec William Penn Youth Leadership Bakersfield


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Bakersfield Life Magazine September 2016  

Kern Life

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