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June 2011

The results are in!

Best of Kern County 2011

In the trenches

The life of a Marine recruit

Escape to

Palm Springs



Our annual pick of college-bound seniors






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Best of Kern County

The votes have been counted and we have your local favorites with the results from The Bakersfield Californian’s 2011 Best of Kern County poll.


Top scholars

We selected 17 standout high school seniors from Bakersfield who are excited about attending prestigious universities like Cornell, UCLA and Georgetown. Find out how these scholars worked their way to the top.

Bakersfield Life

June 2011


A Marine’s life

An inside look into the Marine Corps and what life was like for two local Marines who just graduated from the toughest basic service training. From the first day on the yellow footprints to the graduation ceremony, read about their experience and the educational and lifetime benefits they can receive as a Marine.

Staff Sgt. Jonh A. Saracay stands tall before the Marine graduation ceremony.

Photo by Holly Carlyle


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1231 18th Street (18th and L Streets) 10:30am - 2:15pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 323-2500


9160 Rosedale Highway (Target Shopping Ctr.) 11:00am - 8:00pm Daily

Phone: (661) 587-1600


12 Up Front 16 Letters to the Editor 18 It "Manners" A Lot 20 Happenings 22 On the Road 24 Why I Live Here 26 Real People 28 Why I Serve

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9500 Ming Avenue (Just West of The Marketplace) 7:00am - 3:00pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 665-9990

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Favorite Deli!


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(Corner of Herndon and Willow - Target Shopping Ctr.) 11:00am - 8:00pm

Phone: (559) 323-0330 See our full menu and order online at

Thank you, Kern County for your continued support! 

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Photo by Greg Nichols

30 Dining Divas 34 Food and Wine 40 Sports Legend 42 Personality 62 It’s a Guy Thing

67 Tech Watch 68 Our Town 76 Pastimes 80 Business Profiles 88 Talk of the Town 96 History 98 Trip Planner 102 Snap!

110 The Last Word

Photo by Felix Adamo

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Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Features Associate Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Direction Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo Henry A. Barrios Holly Carlyle Casey Christie Jessica Frey John Harte Alex Horvath Jenn Ireland Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Michael Lopez Jan St. Pierre Ashley Reyes Carla Rivas Rodney Thornburg Jose Trevino Contributing writers Allie Castro Lois Henry Lisa Kimble Stephen Lynch Dana Martin Jeff Nickell Luz Peña Gabriel Ramirez Paul Ulrich Melissa Peaker-Whitten Advertising Lupe Carabajal 395-7563 Reader Inquiries Bakersfield Life Magazine P.O. Bin 440 Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440 395-7467 On the cover Some of this year's best and brightest high school seniors pose at Mill Creek Park. Find out their college plans and what makes them standout students in our feature on Page 44. Photo by Michael Lopez


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Graduation, a time for celebration


My two sons will reach a milestone this June when they graduate from sixth and eighth grades. They are both moving to the next level and inching closer to what many of us parents have been imagining: high school graduation. Graduations are a special time for families, especially those with children finishing off their senior years and stepping into the next phase of their lives: college, the military and an entry-level position. This month, many of our readers will find themselves sitting in the rows, flashing their digital cameras and cheering as 17and 18-year-olds cross the stage to receive their diploma while “Pomp and Circumstance” plays. I don't care how old you are, you just can't forget your high school graduation, or junior high or college graduation for that matter. These are priceless moments of celebrations, of hopes and dreams, and of symbolic medals of accomplishment. Many of our high school grads will continue on their educational journey to college. Because higher education offers so many new opportunities and dreams for our grads, Bakersfield Life decided to dedicate a special feature about it in this issue. We enlisted the help of writer Dana Martin to profile seniors from the various local high schools about their college plans and career dreams. She found some amazing kids. Reading through their stories makes me feel so proud of the high school seniors who have grown up in our community. They all have different stories to share; they come from different backgrounds and are headed to different parts of our nation. But there are common threads that tie them together, including hard work, determination, passion, optimism and initiative. It’s my hope that you can appreciate the caliber of our college-bound high school grads by reading about them. Much thanks goes to the parents and other relatives, mentors and teachers who were there for these talented students who are an inspiration for

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

June 2011 / Vol. 5 / Issue 9

children like my boys. I learned something new in this issue. Writer Stephen Lynch took us back to the day when local product Lonnie Shelton was on fire in the NBA. I never knew we had such great NBA talent in our own backyard until Stephen highlighted Shelton in our monthly local sports legend section. Find out more about him, who he played for, what NFL team his son plays for and more inside. Also, discover the winners of our signature Best of Kern County 2011. See who is the cream of the crop for our readers. And for the rock climber fans out there, discover four guys who have found excitement in the sport. You’ll learn a lot about rock climbers John Henderson, Jim Schrodt, Marc Schiffhauer and Scott Smith, including their first rock-climbing experience, if they ever had to deal with a fear of heights and the most challenging climb. If you are looking for a Mexican restaurant to explore, then we have two for you to add to your dining list. Our Dining Divas set out to explore Agave Mexican Grill and Cantina on Oak Street, and they have lots to share. Writer Allie Castro met with Alejandro Ocampo who talked about his dream behind Camino Real Restaurant on Truxtun Avenue. I have visited both places in the past. They will not disappoint. Check them out and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487

Tobias Realtors We Are Local Ownership With The Strength Of “The Rock”

Tammie Albitre

Deborah Alexander

Donna Barnes

David Bradshaw

Belinda Capilla

Ronnie Chassi

Sheila Cherry

Richard Clasen

Jessie Contreras

Jessica Duncan

Mike Dunn

Ryan Fox

Karen Fussy

David Gay

Lynda Grayson

Kristy Whitton-Hoover

Tara Hughes

Anna Juhl

Cindy Isaiz

Barbara Konnoff

Denise Martin

Leslie Miller

Jason Moss

Nora Nord

Lori O’Brien

Lori Ochoa

Diego Padedes

Joseph Ramos

Bradley Reese Jr.

Eddie Resendez

Maribel Resendez

Cheri Romero

Fred Rowan

Ben Ruelas

Angie Sanchez

Donna Schoen

Joel Segrest

Sandy Segrest

Scott Shaw

Frank Simon

Patrick Skrable

Courtney Smith

Randy Steinert

Mike Stott

Darlene Tobias

Dutch Toews

Diane White

Scott Tobias Broker

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UP FRONT It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

BC’s Grace Van Dyke Bird Library Bird’s successors would all be called president, so in 1976, the Kern Community College District Trustees conferred upon her the title of president emeritus. That same year, she was named Berkeley Fellow of the University for her lifetime of service to education in California. As the first to suggest the use of the term Grace Van Dyke community college rather Bird, left. than junior college, Bird argued that the term community was more descriptive and inclusive of the institution’s role. Some might call Grace Van Dyke Bird a woman ahead of her time, and certainly well before the women’s movement, for encouraging instruction in job skills and the quality of education for students transferring to four-year institutions. She died in 1986 at age 94. The school’s library has been called the Grace Van Dyke Bird library since the Panorama Drive campus was built in 1956. And by all accounts, those who knew her say she would surely approve of the use of technology and the community focus of the newer facility, which was built in 1996. Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum


Grace Van Dyke Bird, whose name graces the state-of-theart library at Bakersfield College, was a trailblazer for women in education. And, as the first woman to head a public community college in California, she used her groundbreaking role to champion the community college concept and its vital role in the state’s education. Bird was born in 1892 and attended the University of California Berkeley. After her graduation, she arrived at what was known then as Bakersfield Junior College in 1917 to begin her teaching career. It wasn’t long before her popularity on campus earned her many admirers of her leadership skills and innovative approaches to education. Four years later, Grace was appointed dean of the college. The promotion to the position equivalent of president made her the first woman to serve in that capacity at a community college in the state. So widely respected was Bird as an educator and administrator that her peers elected her president of the California Junior College Federation, an organization known today as the California Association of Community Colleges. Among her accomplishments, she is widely credited with building relationships of articulation between community colleges and high schools and the state colleges, particularly the University of California. In 1950, Bird was tapped for a post in the UC Office of Relations with Schools, with responsibility for community college affairs. She remained there until she retired in 1960.

Word On The Street

My dad is known for … “Constantly making up humorous stories that aren’t true.” — Cory McWilliams

“His ‘negotiating skills’ on everything.”

— Katrina Hoffman

“Subtly expressing the only cultural music he was exposed to as a child: KUZZ.”

“Singing Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck songs.” — Yvonne Ortiz-Bush 12

Bakersfield Life

— Stephen Bush June 2011

“Being nice, friendly, and funny.”

“Being friendly and helpful.” — Dwaine Dacasin

— Rodjan Zabat

“His great wisdom and unconditional love for me.” — Annette Placencia

“Perseverance. He is a hard worker and pushes through even when times are hard.” — Isaac Hedgemon

By the Numbers

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream 1978 Year 36 Number of flacompany was founded vors in scoop shops 1Jerry’sNumber of Ben & 5 Number of new in Bakersfield 2011 flavors (in scoop 34 Number of scoop shops in California


21,102 Weight, in pounds, of the world’s largest ice cream sundae that B&J’s built in Vermont in 1983

1988 Year that Ben & Jerry’s expanded internationally (opened in Canada)

1994 Year that Ben & Jerry’s 301 Number of scoop shops in the U.S.

expanded overseas (in the U.K.)

Current new flavors in stock include: Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream, Clusterfluff and Late Night Snack. Source: Kirsten Potegian, owner of Ben & Jerry’s East Hills Mall

793 Number of global scoop shops

5,800 Number of cones served on Free Cone Day at the Bakersfield store

4.7 seconds, the average time for one cone to be served on Free Cone Day


UP FRONT Short Takes

High school students honored for record-setting blood donations Competition helped inspire Kern County high school students to donate blood this academic year. But it was the students’ passion to save lives that resulted in a record-setting 6,620 units of blood being collected during high school blood drives. During a recent Houchin Community Blood Bank awards luncheon, students shared how important it was for them to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. “When I was 15, my best friend was dying from leukemia,” said Ridgeview High School senior Christian Flores. “As sick as she was, she motivated me to be strong. She taught me to have pride in myself and to never give up. “I refuse to believe my best friend is gone. She flows through my heart and in my veins. Every time I donate, everyone is getting a piece of me and a piece of her. So she still lives on, helping others.” Brandon Magno, 16, is a junior at Ridgeview and will be the student body president next year. He said he donates blood because of his older brother. “Many years ago, my brother had a mass in his lung that had to be removed. I was, too, young to donate at the time, but I knew when I grew up that I would eventually give blood,” Magno said. Houchin Community Blood Bank, which has helped organize high school blood drives for a decade, hosted the awards luncheon to honor donor students and recognize “top performing” schools. Twenty-seven schools participated; awards were given in two categories: large school with the most donors in their senior class and small school with the most donors in their senior class. South High and Ridgeview tied in the “large school” while Frazier Mountain High School won in the “small school” category. School winners receives a trophy and free lunch coupons for the entire senior class provided by Tahoe Joe’s. All 27 high schools received a heart-shaped “Key to Your Success” trophy. Sixty-four blood drives were conducted at area schools during the academic year. 14

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Ridgeview senior Christian Flores credits his best friend who died of leukemia as his motivation to donate blood. Donations of 6,620 units marked an increase of 38 percent over last year’s high school donations. Houchin Community Blood Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Gallion credits the ability of 16-year-olds to donate blood for much of this increase. These younger students donated 1,634 units of blood. California permits 16-year-olds to donate blood, but it was only last year that Houchin Community Blood Bank extended the opportunity locally. Emily Heber, a Bakersfield High School student, became Houchin’s first 16-year-old blood donor. Parental permission is required for a 16-year-old to donate. The blood bank must collect 117 pints of blood each day so every drop is vital, said Gallion. Each school appoints “ambassadors,” who coordinate the blood drives. “I like to help out and organize” these drives, said ambassador Mariela Tapia, a South High senior, who will be entering Bakersfield College in the fall to become a diagnostic medical stenographer. “The cause is so important.” — Maureen Buscher-Dang

Fernando Fan, MD Pediatrician



Fernando Fan, MD, is one of several great pediatricians at Kaiser Permanente in Kern County. As a part of our Kaiser Permanente family at our East Hills Medical Offices in Bakersfield, he brings smiles to the faces of our littlest members, helping kids in Kern County grow up healthy and strong.

Deeply rooted in Kern County, Kaiser Permanente has eight convenient locations near your work or home. Many of our physicians and health care practitioners have provided care to generations of families here. Our family works as a team—including primary care physicians, specialists, nurses, health educators, and others—to keep you and your family healthy. Many of them are bilingual and can provide care in your language. To find the Kaiser Permanente facility in Kern County that is closest to you, or to learn how to become a member, call us at 661-334-2005 or visit

UP FRONT Letters to the Editor Dear Editor,

Dear Editor,

April 2011 issue of Bakersfield Life magazine. Thank you for running this piece in your publication. It was enjoyable to read Sgt. Garcia’s comments regarding his views on military service and the fond words he had for his lovely wife, Lybia. One of my sons also serves in the U.S Army, and I know how having a family member serving in the military is both a source of pride and concern for families. We are fortunate as a community to have dedicated people like Sgt. Garcia wearing the uniform of our Armed Forces. You do a great service for our community by spotlighting individuals like him and sharing his accomplishments with those in our area. Once again, thank you and keep up the good work! Best Regards,

I was pleased to read the story highlighting Sgt. Chad Garcia in the

­­ Mike Maggard — Kern County Supervisor 3rd District

I would like to thank you, Sylvia Cariker, and Bakersfield Life magazine for the wonderful story on Patsy Romero. I have known Patsy all her life and when she told me she was diagnosed with cancer, I cried. She was so up that it made me feel better, but we still worried about her cancer. She had surgery and when we went to see her at the hospital she was so strong, she made us feel better again. She had to undergo chemo. She called me after her first treatment and told me she felt great. No loss of appetite, no headaches, she felt great! She is a pillar, she is a rock, and I am proud to say she is my sister! Love and luck with all my heart, — Al B. Gonzalez Jr.

The Bakersfield Californian publishes Bakersfield Life magazine monthly. If you have any questions or comments regarding our magazine, write to us at Bakersfield Life Magazine, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302, or e-mail us at bakersfield We’d love to hear from you.

To submit material

Letters to the editor: We publish all letters that are signed and deemed appropriate for our readership. Letters must be signed to be considered for a publication. Please type or print your name, as well as an address and a daytime phone number. E-mail should include the writer’s full name and city. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space. Please submit letters to Olivia Garcia, Editor, Bakersfield Life Magazine, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302. For e-mail, send letters to the editor to Calendar events: Please submit information in writing to Marisol Sorto, no later than the first of the month, two months prior to the month in which the event will take place. Contact her at Snapshots: Please submit event information for coverage consideration to Olivia Garcia and Glenn Hammett at least one month prior to the event. Send event name, date, location, time, name of contact person and phone number to

To advertise

Please call Lupe Carabajal, retail advertising sales manager, at 395-7563 or or

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Bakersfield Life

June 2011

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Here comes the bride

a casting call for another Dukes of Hazard remake. For men, slacks and a collared shirt are best for daytime. For ladies, young and old, the best rule of thumb is something along the lines of what one might wear to a place of worship, although nowadays even those By Lisa Kimble lines are more blurred than Lenten ashes. The focus of the attention Last month’s royal nuptials gave a global television audience should be on the bride, not the clown who doesn’t know he should of uninvited guests, glamorous video and photographs to relish, remove his 25-gallon cowboy hat, or the guest who looks like her and also served as an important reminder to anyone asked to wit- shift at the strip club just ended. The time of day will dictate the ness such an important occasion as the marriage of two people formality. Rules for women wearing black and white have relaxed – that everyone has an obligation of some sort. Being on time, over the years, but avoid wearing white. Regardless of how you not detracting from the bride and groom, and wearing appropriate may feel about the union, as long as you don’t dress as if you are in attire are but a few things guests should bear in mind heading into mourning, you can get away with wearing black. wedding season. When your invitation arrives, before circling the date on the Dear It Manners A Lot: We’ve been invited to a wedding calendar, take note of the names of invited guests on the envelope. we cannot attend. Do we still need to buy a gift? If it says Mr. and Mrs. Smith and family, then bring the kids. Dear Reader: If you cannot attend but still feel like sending By all means, don't forget to reply. An event such as a wedding a gift, do so, although you are not obligated. Invited guests who has been in the planning stages for months, or longer, with costs attend are, however, expected to give the bride and groom a wedcalculated down to the number of people expected to attend. The ding present. Ideally it should be delivered to the bride’s residence addressee should be specific. It’s not a come-one, come-all affair before the big day. to bring stray friends and co-workers to. When the bride begins her march down the aisle, give her a beaming smile should your Dear It Manners A Lot: I have a schedule conflict the day of eyes meet. Don’t whistle or wave to try to catch her attention. my neighbor’s wedding. Is it OK if I’m a little late? You’ll have plenty of time to share the love at the reception. Dear Reader: No! Arriving late is an insult to the Remember, an invitation to witness the union of two hosts of the affair. Wedding guests should participate people is an honor. Respect the privilege. After all, it in the celebration, not detract from the stars of the really does manner a lot. show – the bride and groom. It is doubtful the bride will enjoy the photographs of her at the Dear It Manners A Lot: Is it alright to wear back of the church, about to walk down the aisle black or white to a wedding? How formal is too on her father's arm, with her guests snapped in formal? the background trying to slip into the church. Dear Reader: I think the real question here in Once seated, guests should only acknowledge meat-and-potatoes country should be ‘how informal is friends and relatives with a smile and nod. Leave too informal’? I never cease to be amazed at how the high-fives for the reception. casual some people will dress for the most important of events such as a wedding. One Agree, disagree? Send your questions, doesn’t need to wear white tie and tails or comments or topics you’d like to read a long gown (unless the invitation speciabout to me at itmannersalot@ fies so), but jeans, T-shirts and pajama or visit itmannersalot. bottoms should never be seated. It isn’t Lisa Kimble


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Bakersfield Life

June 2011

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25 random things you didn’t know about ...

Guinevere PH Dethlefson She got her first taste of acting at age 7 when her older sister took her along on an audition for her high school’s “Music Man,” and she's been acting ever since. She acted at Stockdale High School and at Bakersfield College, where she was the assistant to the chair of the theater department. Most know her from her involvement I have three children: a son (age 12) and two daughters (ages 5 and 2).


I was born in Indianapolis,


affecting the connective tissue. It causes severe joint pain.

musicians are James Dethlefson and Cory Rickard.



My husband, James Dethlefson, really is my best friend.



I was a military brat. My dad was in the Army until I was 2. My step dad was in the Air Force until I was 8. I moved seven times between age 2 and age 8.

My favorite restaurant is T.L. Maxwell's, especially the wine lovers’ dinners!



My dad lived on five acres in Oklahoma about 20 minutes outside a little town called Harrah when I was 3 to 13 years old.

Every year I work with The Empty Space and VDay, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. To date, we have raised more than $22,000 for Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.



I prefer room temperature Dr. Pepper in a can to cold Dr. Pepper.


I perform singing telegrams for Fantasy Frocks.


I love Thai food but can never decide between green curry or red curry.


I love my Mac.


I have directed/co-directed more than 50 plays and musicals and acted in more than 60.


I make handmade soaps.


I love to dance, but am not really good at it.


I think that early childhood education is imperative.


I have EhlersDanlos, a disorder

theatre workshops at The Empty Space. She has spent time focusing on Meet Your Neighbors (, a committee that works with Kern Regional Center Foundation to promote inclusiveness for those with disabilities to get them more involved in the community.

My favorite two concerts in Bakersfield were both at the Dome: The Rentals and Helmet.


I believe that we should love one another and treat others the way we want to be treated.

I hated having red hair as a child because strangers would come up and touch my hair.


I adore my mother-in-law and am surprised when I hear people talking badly about their in-laws. I’ve been blessed with all my relatives-in-law!


I could never gain weight as a child and had to see a nutritionist. I just had a fast metabolism and now I wish I had that problem again!


My biggest pet peeve is when someone says they are going to do something and then they don’t do it.

21. I really want a Maine Coon kitten! 22. I love veggies — especially if I grew them in our garden.

Photo by Alex Horvath


with The Empty Space Theatre where she was a board member for nearly eight years, but she also worked as the School of Arts director at The Spotlight Theatre and School of Arts for years until being laid off in October 2009. Currently, she’s busy helping her husband run their company, Tonicism Productions, and has started doing


My two favorite



Find more community events at or submit yours via e-mail:



Can’t-miss events in June Wed. 1

Fri. 3

Fri. 3 - Sat. 4

Sat. 4

First Wednesday, special events and refreshments, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. $4 nonmembers. 323-7219.

First Friday Downtown, featuring live music, art openings, specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, artists will set up their artwork, 5 to 9 p.m., Downtown Arts District. 634-9598.

Rockin’ Roots Festival 2011, with about 100 bands, food, drinks and vendors, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Stramler Park, 3805 Chester Ave. $30; available at World Records, Outer Limits, Going Underground, Impact Streetwear, Stylz or tgptix. com.

Ninth annual Riders-N-Rods Car, Truck and Bike Show, with music, food, door prizes, vendors and more, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Chuy’s, 8660 Rosedale Highway. 303-2632.

Tues. 7 - Wed. 8

Sat. 11

Sat. 11

Sesame Street Live! “Elmo’s Healthy Heroes,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $10 to $23; limited number of $33 and $53 premium seats available. 852-7777 or

2011 Concert Series, with Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks, 8 p.m., Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway. $10. or call 800-745-3000.

Wine Fest 2011, premier winemakers from around California, live music, silent auction, food, 8 to 11 p.m., Kern County Museum. $60; $750 VIP table of 10. bakersfieldwinefest. com or 852-5020.


Thur. 16



Third Thursdays Faire in the Park, entertainment, barbecue, arts and crafts, games, contests, farmers market, 5:30 p.m., Central Park at Mill Creek, 21st and R streets. 3255892.


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Thur. 23


Bow Making Class, learn to make the perfect bow for decorating, gifts and bouquets, 6:30 p.m., Log Cabin Florist, 800 19th St. $20. 3278646.

“Back from the Future,” followed by the vaudeville revue “The Best Day Ever,” 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall, 12748 Jomani Drive. $12 to $23. 587-3377.

Sun. 26

Mon. 27

GradBlast, with Babybash, Tino Cochino, Rej3ctz and more, 2 p.m., Stramler Park, 3805 Chester Ave. $20. or 322-5200.

The Bakersfield Winds Concert, 7:30 p.m., Olive Drive Church, 5500 Olive Drive. $5. 323-7928.






1 at this exact payment; ID#5BLS01250. 39 Month Lease. Due At Signing: $3,995 cash down + Tax, License, Bank & Doc Fees & $2100 Factory Lease Cash. $0 Security Deposit. Based On $57,375 MSRP.

JIM BURKE JAGUA R 5 310 G A S O L I N E A L L E Y " 6 5 0 . " - -  t         B U R K E A U T O.C O M

Jaguar Platinum Coverage comes standard on all 2011 cars and includes all factory recommended scheduled maintenance for ďŹ ve years or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs ďŹ rst. Wear and tear items are limited to brake pads, brake discs, brake uid changes and wiper blade inserts based on factory speciďŹ ed wear limits or intervals. All work must be performed by an authorized Jaguar dealer. For well-qualiďŹ ed buyers as determined by approved lender. Residency restrictions apply. See your us for complete details, visit JAGUARUSA.COM or call1.800A. JAGUAR. Take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 5/31/2011. Lessee responsible for insurance, maintenance, excess wear and mileage over 30,250 miles at SO.30/mile. Lessee has option to purchase vehicle at lease end at price negotiated with dealer and approved lender at signing.


Living the dream 2011 Jaguar XF prowls in perfection, combines stealthy performance, elegance

The Jaguar XF’s aerodynamic design allows for reduced wind resistance.


By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Michael Lopez

I can officially say that I love three JAGs. The first two are my husband and preschooler son — both whose initials are J.A.G.; now there’s the Jaguar. When my husband and I began dating about 17 years ago, one of the things we shared with each other were our dreams. I wanted to finish college. He just re-enlisted and was looking to another four years of adventure and honor in the Marine Corps. We both loved the idea of marriage and children, a nice home and yes, a dream car. We named off a few cool cars in our dream-focused conversations, but the Jaguar topped the list, especially since its acronym stood for my then-boyfriend’s name. Over time, we saw our dreams come true. We eventually got married, had four boys, settled into a cozy home, successfully completed college and the military, and began our careers. The dream car, well, remained the dream car. But when I recently learned of the opportunity to test-drive the Jaguar XF, I was pretty excited and reminded of those dream discussions that Julio and I once shared. Maybe it was fate, giving us the chance to finally experience the dream car we’ve been missing. We took it out on our “date night” (married couples’ version


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June 2011

The color touchscreen controls major functions, including audio, climate control, trip computer and navigation.

It’s all in the details: The Jaguar offers a platinum coverage spanning for five years/50,000 miles and includes no-cost replacement of wear and tear items.

of spending quality time sans the kids). As part of date night, we joined my grandma, sister, aunts and cousins to see Spanish crooner of love songs, Vicente Fernandez, basically a Latino blended version of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, at the Rabobank Arena. In our test drive, one of the first features we immediately noticed was its power. This baby has kick! It’s the kind of sporty ride where you can’t help but admire its prowess as it moves without any pull. It almost feels as if the Jag is confidently telling you, “Just relax. It’s all under control.” Other sweet features: Blind spot monitor, Phosphor blue halo illumination and mood lighting, ergonomic drivemode rotary shift, panoramic glass roof, chrome detail and keyless entry/start. And did we say it can go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds? It was such a cool, elegant car that I had to show off to my girlfriends. I picked up my cousin Dina Ronquillo Calderon and girlfriends Sofia Ronquillo (one of Bakersfield Life’s Dining Divas) and Patty Gallego, and we headed to the Aztec Awards, a local nonprofit awards dinner that honored Jim Young, Kern Community College District emeritus chancellor, among others, at the Petroleum Club. Afterwards,

we stopped by Agave Mexican Grill and Cantina where we chatted with owner Omar Ruiz. (The Dining Divas paid a recent visit to the restaurant. See inside for more details.) The gals’ impression: “Very sleek and comfy. Love the touch-screen camera that makes reversing with so much ease,” said Dina. “It’s classy yet sporty with lots of power. A very smooth ride, not to mention, beautiful,” said Patty. Added Sofia, “Very sophisticated and elegant. The Jag got lots of attention.” Now I have driven in luxurious cars complemented with leather, but suede? Yep, suede. The Jaguar moves style up a notch as it combines Softgrain leather and Suedecloth headlining. While it is a car that targets people my age or older, the Jaguar XF has a way of drawing the attention of youngsters. My older sons, for instance, wanted to hang out with me more than regular, even on errands. Hmmm … was it spending time with Mom or chilling in the nice Jaguar that made the difference? I can say our dream car lived up to its expectation. For a car that has been around since the 1920s, the Jaguar has evolved and adapted, much like its feline counterpart, and that is what sets it apart from the rest.

Five best features of the 2011 Jaguar XF:

The refined ride; sporty handling; powerful V8 performance; stylish and well-crafted interior; and surprisingly reasonable pricing when compared to similar vehicles in its class.

Mileage and price tag:

You get 16 mpg in city and 23 mpg on highways. The Jaguar XF has a MSRP of $61,375

The Jaguar XF is perfect for:

“The driver who wants sports car styling and performance with the refinement, features and space of a luxury sedan. It embodies the Jaguar philosophy of creating beautiful, fast cars.”

What makes the Jaguar XF stand out:

A few things that make the new XF stand out over its predecessor: • The 5.0 liter engine delivers 85 more horsepower and 70 more foot-pounds of torque • It’s engineered to go longer between scheduled services; oil change interval is now 12 months or 15k miles. • It offers a breathtaking acceleration; it can go 0-60 in 5.5 seconds • The 2011 includes Jaguar Platinum Coverage, which offers best-in-class maintenance coverage for five years or 50k miles.

Jaguar XF’s ideal driver:

It’s someone who is looking for exhilarating performance without sacrificing the space, styling and amenities of a true luxury sedan.

Three words that define the Jaguar XF: Styling, performance and luxury.

What you like most about the Jaguar XF:

“It is a gorgeous car. It simply brings out positive emotions from people who really enjoy driving.” — Joe Hay, general manager, Jim Burke at the Automall



Sarah Ketchum

Sarah Ketchum stands in front of her favorite Bakersfield restaurant, Mama Roomba.


There’s so much to love about our city and each unique neighborhood, so this month we decided to do things a little differently. We wanted to focus on the entire city, rather than one specific area. We found Sarah Ketchum and asked why she lives in Bakersfield and what makes it special. Age: A lady never tells her age, let’s just say I’m in my 30s. I have lived in Bakersfield: Since 2005. I moved here from San Luis Obispo. I wasn’t born in Bakersfield, but I ended up here because: I followed my incredibly amazing boyfriend who is now my husband!

Photo by Felix Adamo

Financial adviser with Edward Jones

Favorite local restaurant: Without a doubt Mama Roomba — the calamari is incredible and they treat you like family. How I relax in Bakersfield: When it’s not 110 degrees outside, we like to take our kids for a walk in our neighborhood. How I keep cool during the summer: All my friends have a pool, so no mess for us to clean up and no crazy electricity bill. It’s wonderful! Best place for a family outing: CALM museum. My kids love the roadrunner — he’s so fast!

I have lived in: Rosedale since 2007 and I love it!

Best-kept secret in Bakersfield: The people! The people of Bakersfield are so welcoming and giving, I have never seen so many helping hands.

Three words that describe my neighborhood: peaceful, friendly and giving.

When I want to get out of town, I always go to: Nipomo. We go to see my in-laws — I love them to pieces!

Favorite Saturday activity: Watching my 5-year-old play Tball for the Northwest Giants. Sometimes they run the wrong way and it is comical.

What I like most about Bakersfield: People always say there is nothing to do in Bakersfield — that is ridiculous. Every weekend there is a function, a mixer, a fundraiser or a walk. There is always something to do in our great city!

Favorite community event: There are so many incredible organizations in Bakersfield, but the one that is nearest and dearest to my heart is The National Association of Professional Women’s luncheon we have once a month. My assistant Julie Ashford and I started the local chapter back in August. All the women are strong, beautiful and dynamic. They inspire me every time I see them. 24

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June 2011

Bakersfield is often negatively ranked on lists. The positive list I think we should rank near the top on is: We rank No. 1 on the most helping-hands list. We Bakersfieldians generously give, help and support our community and it’s what makes us so great!


Search and Rescue volunteer Swift Water team has unmatched desire to save lives, help others

Volunteer Aaron Lynam said he volunteers on the Search and Rescue team because it’s a way for him to give back.


By Melissa Peaker-Whitten

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

If a hero is someone who risks their life for others, then the members of Bakersfield’s Swift Water Search and Rescue Team are super heroes. Not only do they risk their lives to help others, they do it on their own time and without pay. When asked why he volunteers, longtime volunteer and team captain Aaron Lynam said it’s just his way of giving back to the community. A former Marine, Lynam said he became a volunteer because he was looking for a way to keep active outdoors. But after talking to him, you realize it has more to do with a genuine desire to help others. “It’s just a drive we have,” said Lynam of his team. “We care about the people in the community. We’ve got a lot of talent on the teams, and it’s good we can use it to help out the Sheriff’s Department and the community. It’d be expensive if we were all paid — we save the county millions per year.” The search and rescue team helps in many ways. “It’s a huge savings when it comes to the service they provide,” said Sgt. Mark Baldwin, Kern County Sheriff’s Department Search 26

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June 2011

and Rescue coordinator. “They’re doing it because they like to do it and want to give back.” There are 12 Search and Rescue (SAR) teams in Kern County, each specializing in a particular type of rescue. Both Bakersfield and Kern Valley have Swift Water Rescue Teams. Every volunteer receives a foundation of training that includes understanding the technology required to plot a course on a map, as well as how to use a compass and GPS tools to help locate missing persons. They also learn tracking skills, how to properly use rope and anchor systems for different rescue scenarios, and first aid, according to Baldwin. Once they have that foundation, each team sets up their own training regimen that is discipline specific and meets the State’s standards as outlined by the Office of Emergency Services (OES). The Swift Water Search and Rescue team is trained in rafting and boating, as well as hydrology, which helps them understand and read the water when they’re on the river, said Baldwin. During years when the water level is high, the demand for rescues increases. The river is a lot faster and can move as quickly as 4,500 cubic feet per second, according to Lynam. The rapids are also a lot more dangerous.

“If you’re stuck on a rock and the water is pushing against you, it’s like bench pressing 500 pounds,” said Lynam. “There’s also the risk of cardiac arrest or hypothermia because the water is so cold.” Summer 2005 stands out in his mind as an especially busy season. The team put in 7,500 hours between May and September on various rescue missions. “We had 12 members and had to split the team three ways,” said Lynam. “One weekend, we got 30 calls and we were beat, but we still did it.” Baldwin said he relies on each team. “Not only are they dedicated but they’re very humble,” Baldwin said, “there’s a quiet confidence about how they go about it and there’s also a lot of pride. It’s a neat partnership that the Sheriff’s Department enjoys.” Prospective volunteers must be at least 19 years old and have no convictions. After attending an in-house training meeting, an interview is then set up with the team board. If a candidate passes the interview process, the board schedules a swimming and hiking test. Potential members must carry a pack weighing a minimum of 17 pounds and hike three miles within an hour and a half. Then candidates must pass a background check as well as a medical exam. If they successfully complete all of those steps, they are sworn in as a volunteer and assigned a mentor for the first year, which is a probationary period. Upon completing probation, the existing team members vote and then the volunteer becomes a member of good standing.

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Nicholas J. Garcia United States Navy Age: 24 Family: Wife Kaila and daughter Layla Branch: United States Navy Rank: Petty Officer 3rd Class (E-4) Assignment: Builder Petty Officer 3rd Class, U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seven Stationed: Gulfport, Miss.

Favorite activity to do back home: Be with family and close friends. What I miss the most about my hometown: In-n-Out and Del Taco.

Garcia in Iraq.

Why I continue to serve: I have made a commitment to our action, despite the sacrifices my wife and daughter have to make. I want to do my part as an American patriot. My best military accomplishment or memory so far: I have been to both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, I was a .50 cal machine gunner for the lead vehicle for my battalion’s convoy security element, and I was the driver for a MK119 gun truck in Afghanistan. My biggest accomplishment is being able to leave two warzones and see my wife and daughter again.

U.S. Navy Builder Petty Officer 3rd Class Nick Garcia with his daughter, Layla.

Photos courtesy of Nicholas Garcia

Why I joined: After 9/11, I had felt this anger against those who attacked our country. I had never been very patriotic before, but this feeling I had couldn’t be shaken. I know what I am supposed to do, and that is my part to keep my family and country safe.

Message to my family back home: I miss all of my family back home, and I love you all. You understand why I do what it is I do, regardless of sacrifice, and I am lucky and grateful to have all of your support.

Something I’d like to do this year: This year I would like a transfer to a unit closer to home so I can see my brother Chad Garcia before his next deployment. It has been about three years since we have seen each other in person.

When I return to Bakersfield, the first thing I’m going to do is: Introduce my daughter, Layla, to the people in our family that she has not had a chance to meet yet.

— Know a Kern County native who is proudly serving in the military? E-mail us at with the message subject line: Why I Serve. Please include an e-mail, phone and/or Facebook link to reach the nominee.


Bakersfield Life

June 2011


Agave Grill and Cantina Photos by Greg Nichols

The Dining Divas — from left, Sofia Ronquillo, Sofie Zimmermann, Kim Jessup, Robin Noble and Lois Henry — sample Agave’s Super Margarita.

Great food and tequila a plenty Heel ratings (out of 5)

Overall Even if you’re not hungry, you have to stop by Agave Cantina and Grill just to hang out in their bar. Especially if you like tequila! It’s cool, cozy and comfortable with great Mexican decor, friendly staff and, oh yeah, did I mention the tequila? The Divas loved that bar so much, we almost didn’t make it to the dining room!

Service: Attentive and helpful

The basics

Pricing: Lots of bang for your buck!

Address: 250 Oak St. Phone: 322-4283 (32-AGAVE) Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., seven days a week. Cantina open until 10 p.m. daily, midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Extras: Tequila! More than 100 varieties. 30

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Atmosphere: Very fun south-of-the-border style

Food: Some conventional, some not, but all good How to dress: Jeans and a dressy top for date night, or shorts and blouse on a warm summer day.

Kim on cocktails In the words of Sammy Hagar — “Mas Tequila!” With more than 100 Agave varieties to choose from, the tequila aficionado will not be disappointed. If tasting is your pleasure then sit down with an ultra premium smooth tequila and enjoy. If you want it on the rocks or blended, just ask the bartender about their specialty drinks but be careful they are smooth and dangerous. As one Diva proclaimed “you forget there is alcohol in this drink.” The Divas indulged in a variety of drinks: Granada Margarita ($7), El Cubano ($6), 3 G's Margarita ($7), Paloma ($7), Agave's Super Margarita ($20), Havana Mojito ($6), Clase Azul Tequila ($12). The 100 percent AgaveTequilas are priced between $6 to $35. Once we finally toddled over to the dining room we were treated to a wide sampling of Agave’s best fare.

Robin on starters Once again this Diva overindulged on starters — specifically the seafood nachos ($9). Crisp tortilla chips topped with sauteed shrimp and crab, smothered with a delicious white cream sauce, melted jack cheese, tomatoes, beans, black olives and fresh guacamole. The white sauce was brilliant! This one didn’t last long as the Divas gobbled it up. We also sampled the chorizo fondue ($5) and fresh guacamole. The salsa was smoky

Santa Barbara stuffed chicken

chipotle and the fondue had just the right amount of chorizo, not overwhelming. Yum. OK, I was full and could have stopped at the starters!

Sofia on the steak tampiqueno ($14): I am a carnivore so I chose the juicy, 12-ounce rib-eye grilled and topped with caramelized onions, roasted poblano peppers and melted jack cheese. Secretly, I didn’t want to share with the rest of the Divas but unfortunately this big, bold steak caught their attention so I had to cut them a few (small) slices. I was also really impressed with the beans. Nobody makes them as good as my madre, but Agave ranked right up there.

Seafood nachos

Kim on the mole de pollo ($13) Can you say holy mole? Tender grilled chicken breast on top of Spanish rice, topped with a hint of chocolate smoky spiced mole sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and creamy refried beans, delicious to the last bite!

Mole de pollo

Sofie Z. on the lemon pepper tilapia ($12) This is an awesome choice for anyone wanting a healthy meal without feeling as if you are missing out. Tons of flavors! Perfectly cooked tilapia filet and mixed grilled veggies, seasoned with lemon pepContinued on page 32

Steak tampiqueno

Fried ice cream


Continued from page 31

per, served sizzling on a cast iron pan (fajita style) and topped with a light ranchero sauce. The strength of this dish was in the perfect texture of the fish. It was clearly prepared with care and by far one of my favorite Mexican-style fish dish. I will be coming back to this dish whenever I can.

Lois on the Santa Barbara stuffed chicken ($14): So savory and fresh. A tender chicken breast stuffed with sauteed shrimp, crab and sliced veggies, all topped with a white garlic cream sauce. Served with black beans and white rice. All the Divas agreed it was true comfort food.

Robin on fish tacos ($12): I needed to stay light and I chose the fish tacos. Two tacos filled with butter-grilled tilapia filet and seasoned with lemon pepper. Topped with cabbage, pico de gallo and a zesty lemon-lime vinaigrette. Served with black beans and white rice. You can also select shrimp or one of each. It was a light, fresh, seasonal meal — perfect for summer.

Sofie Z on desserts: Cheesecake flautas a la mode ($4.50)

Deep-fried cheesecake! Is that even legal? At the very least, I am sure it has to be some sort of sin. Cheesecake covered in a light pastry, deep-fried, then rolled in sugar and cinnamon, and served with ice cream. It was insanely delicious! The Divas devoured it but not without a few caveats like: “Wow! I should not be eating this!” and “I know I shouldn’t, but one more bite!” and lots of giggles. I

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Clase Azul tequila 32

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June 2011

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Cheesecake flautas a la mode quickly tossed aside any idea of calorie control and decided some things are worth the gluttony. Of course, I felt so guilty ... Monsignor Craig got to hear a full recount of this experience in confession! Fried ice cream ($4.50)

A traditional Mexican-style fried ice cream, served with sugar and cinnamon bunuelos. What can I say? The Divas have concluded that if something tastes good, deep fry it just to give it that over the top greatness! Yes, the Divas agreed, we would all need to go on a workout program after this!

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Sparkling wine In search of the perfect bubbly for June celebrations

By Paul Ulrich, wine columnist June is the month for weddings and graduations. Naturally, these are causes for celebration, and Champagne and sparkling wines are the traditional wines used to toast newly wedded couples and graduates. Sparklers are also a perfect match for much of the food served during the warmer months. Technically, Champagne is produced only in northern France. By convention, only this area is allowed to label their wine as Champagne, and most countries have respected this. Unfortunately, some of the lesser quality wines produced in the U.S.still are labeled Champagne. Don’t let this confuse you. California does have its share of producers of high-quality sparkling wine. They use the same grapes as the French, but do not label their product as Champagne. In fact, many of the California labels you may be familiar with are owned by Champagne houses in France. These include Chandon, Mumm Napa, and Roederer Estate. Sparkling wines made in other countries include spumante (Italy), cava (Spain), and sekt (Germany). Some tips to keep in mind: Look for the words methode champenoise on the label, especially for wines made in the U.S. This is the traditional way of producing Champagne, with a secondary fermentation in the bottle to produce the bubbles.


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June 2011

Most wines are labeled brut, which has a small amount of syrup (dosage) added to the wine after the secondary fermentation. You may also see names such as blanc de noirs (made from pinot noir grapes), or blanc de blancs (made from chardonnay grapes). Sparkling wine is the most versatile wine to accompany food as its acidity and flavor complement so many different foods. It goes well with cheeses, especially Brie, Chevre, mild cheddar and Gouda. I really enjoy this wine with foie gras. I can also suggest pairing sparklers with sushi and Asian dishes. Other natural matches are shellfish, oysters, stuffed mushrooms and poultry. You can also serve it with dessert (think of Champagne and strawberries). When it comes to serving sparking wines The winemakers have gone to great lengths to get the bubbles in the bottle. Those shallow, wide glasses are really not the best choice for Champagne. The bubbles are lost quickly with this type of glass. I suggest the use of tall, fluted glasses. They are more elegant and are made to retain the bubbles in the wine much better than the flat glasses. Although it is

fun to pop the cork off the bottle, it is better to hold the cork and slowly twist the bottle to remove the cork — probably safer, too. What to look for in the store Reliable California producers include Schramsberg, Iron Horse, Chandon, Roederer Estate, Mumm Napa, Gloria Ferrer and J Wine Company. I have also mentioned Laetitia in the past. This winery was originally started as a sparkling wine producer and still makes some fabulous sparklers. As something different, try some of the sparkling rose wines made by our California producers. Champagne is also widely available locally. Consistent producers are Moet & Chandon, Piper Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Louis Roederer and Veuve Clicquot. Some houses produce excellent prestige cuvees such as Dom Perignon (made by Moet) and Cristal (Roederer). One of my personal favorites is La Grande Dame, a vintage Champagne made by Veuve Clicquot. Check with your local wine merchant for special Champagnes that they have in stock. These higher-end wines are expensive, but worth the price for those once in a lifetime celebrations. Enjoy the moment!



Move over beer Bakersfield bartenders share suggestions on masculine drinks that are just as good — unless we’re talking layered beer By Allie Castro

Photos by Tanya X. Leonzo

At some point in our lives, we have relied on Dad to help us troubleshoot problems, give us some good pointers, hear our complaints, pass us a couple of bucks, teach us the “right way” of doing things, and the list goes on. But sometimes we forget to say, “Thanks, Dad.” Recognizing Dad for the hard work he has done for us couldn’t be more important than this month when we celebrate Father’s Day. So how do you thank your pops? That's easy. Have him relax and do what he enjoys best, whether it’s working on his car, watching a sports game on TV, or going hunting. A nice way to cap off the day (don’t ask him for help that day; it’s his day, remember) would be to offer him a nice cold one. Should it always be beer? Not really. We asked some of Bakersfield’s best bartenders who were willing to dispel the myth that beer is the only masculine drink around and suggested a few others that might work just as well.

Courtnee Hahn, Cafe Med “Men are creatures of habit, so whether it’s whiskey and coke or vodka and soda, the label might change, but the liquor doesn’t,” said bartender Courtnee Hahn. However she’s quick to clarify that this doesn’t mean that every man is asking her for the same drink. “Every few years some of the high spirits reinvent themselves, like Crown Royal’s Black, which you can mix with coke,” she added. “Crown Royal took their whiskey and aged it in an oak barrel to give it a more robust flavor.” Hahn says that the same can be said for other types of liquor. 36

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June 2011

Courtnee Hahn says that men are creatures of habit.

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The Padre Hotel's Adam Belter thinks layered beer is the perfect guy drink.

“For vodka sodas, the mandarin- and citrus-flavored vodkas are huge right now” among the male population, the reason being that they add a little flavor to the drink without falling under the category of "girly cocktail drink." She’s also noticed different generational trends in ordering, namely that the younger generation tends to mix less conventional liquors and flavors. “A popular drink with the younger crowd is a twist on the vodka and Red Bull,” she said. “I’m making lots of Grape Bombs, which is grape vodka, Grape Pucker, and Red Bull made into a shot or just a cocktail.” Hahn says that while men tend to stick with the staples, they’re definitely willing to branch out. “Vodka-and-whiskeys are probably the most called-for drinks here, so it’s just finding a way to twist it up with the flavors, ages, and barrels.”

Adam Belter, Padre Hotel Not only does he have the added insight of being a member of the population in question, Belter is a seasoned bartender who knows exactly what to do when it comes to finding the perfect guy's drink. His suggestions? “Layering beers. (We’ve) been layering a lot of stuff with Guinness,” he said. “Like a Dark Side of the Moon has Blue Moon on the bottom and Guinness on the top. Belter says the trick to making this drink is to put a spoon over the mouth of the Guinness bottle when you pour; if you pour it straight down the beers will mix.” Belter has also been making lots of drinks that use beer with a twist. One current crowd favorite involves “a bottom of Blue Moon with orange juice or Peach Schnapps with Guinness on the top. It’s like a fuzzy navel on the bottom with a beer on the top.” This allows for a little sweetness without making the drink overwhelming and has the added bonus of getting two different kinds of drinks for the price of one.

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Continued from page 37

Belter says that one drink that not only a more traditional man, but every man, should try, is the Crown Cask 16 or the Crown XR. Along with Crown’s higher-end whiskeys, he says that Pendleton whiskey is another great option. “It’s a really good, not very well known whiskey, and to the men around town who enjoy whiskey, they need to check that out for sure,” he said.

Margo Loman, Luigi’s Bartender Margo Loman says a good drink depends on other personal preferences. “We deal mostly with noon-drinkers here, so we make lots of High Sticks, or mix gin and vodka with iced tea” and there’s always the famous Margo’s Lemonade. She says that the variety in the orders she sees comes not from the liquor but from the mixers. “Young men tend to drink things like Jack or Crown and Coke. But seasoned drinkers … most of them drink soda water” as a mixer. She also says that she’s seen a lot of tonic drinkers shift to soda now that health is on everyone’s mind. “Sodas are supposed to have less calories

Vodka is the No. 1 drink at Luigi's, according to bartender Margo Loman.


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June 2011

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so (tonic drinkers) are now drinking that.” What drink does she see ordered most frequently across the board? Like Hahn, Loman said, “Vodka is the No. 1 drink. The high-end vodkas like Kettle, Absolut, Grey Goose or Stoli are about equal in the amount they’re ordered.”

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Emmanuel Cardenas, Goose Loonies Like Belter at the Padre Hotel, Cardenas’ double expertise has led him to mixing lots of beers and iced teas. “I’d say the Long Island, Long Beach, and Tokyo iced teas are the most popular. The Long Beach iced tea has cranberry juice in it instead of Coke, and the Tokyo tea has melon in it instead of Coke. All of them have the same basics: tequila, rum, vodka, gin and Triple Sec, except for the last topping.” Another popular drink for the men at Goose Loonies is the Silver Slipper, another great option in layered beer. “It’s mostly known as a Snakebite, but we call it a Silver Slipper here at Goose Loonies. It’s made with pear cider and Guinness on top. With this one, you can really see the layers because the cider is so clear. “We have another popular (layered beer), which is a Black and Tan. It’s made with Nell beer on the bottom and Guinness on top.” And like Luigi’s, Goose Loonies knows how to cater to the lunch crowd. “In this bar in the morning, we sell a lot of Greyhounds, vodka and grapefruit,” he said. “A lot of lawyers drink it. If you try it with salt on the rim, it’s pretty good.”

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Lonnie Shelton Former Foothill High athlete played 10 years in the NBA By Stephen Lynch Tough, aggressive, and relentless. Those are just a few adjectives that best describe the playing style that made Bakersfield native Lonnie Shelton one of NBA’s best and most feared power forwards during the late 1970s and early 80s. The 6-foot, 8-inch, 240-pound Shelton was a three-sport superstar at Foothill High School before going on to make his mark in college and at the professional level on the hard-court. Even now, 25 years since he last played, Shelton is still widely regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever come from Kern County.

Shelton facts Born Oct. 19, 1955 in Bakersfield. Middle name is “Jewel.” Graduated in 1973 from Foothill High School. Was a high school All American in football and track and an All State selection in basketball his senior year. He won the state discus title that year with a throw of 195 feet, 5 inches. Also recorded an impressive mark of 65 feet, 2 inches in the shot put. Averaged 16 points and 18 rebounds during

the last of three seasons of playing on the Trojans varsity basketball team. For his efforts was named Cal-High Sports State Athlete of the Year for the 19721973 school year. He also won the Jim Tyack Award as Kern County’s most outstanding senior athlete. After high school, Shelton played three seasons at Oregon State where he averaged 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game under the guidance of legendary coach Ralph Miller. Freshman season helped the Beavers upset defending NCAA champion and topranked UCLA (featuring Bill Walton and coached by John Wooden) 61-57. Selected following junior year by the New York Knicks with the 25th pick of 1976 NBA Draft. A year earlier, he was chosen in the ABA draft by the Memphis Sounds but decided to remain at OSU. Averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds in 10 NBA seasons with the New York Knicks (two), Seattle SuperSonics (five), and Cleveland Cavaliers (three). Led the NBA in personal fouls in 1976-77 and 1977-78. His totals those years, 363 and 350 respectively, rank No. 9 and No. 18 alltime for a NBA/ABA single season. Led Seattle past the Washington Bullets for the 1979 NBA title. Selected to the NBA all-defensive second team following the 1981-82 season. Earlier that season, Shelton scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds as a starter in the NBA All-Star game. Was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field for the losing West squad. On Feb. 14, 1984 was involved in a memorable on-court fight with New Jersey Nets


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

all-star forward Buck Williams. During the altercation the two exchanged punches before Shelton chased Williams into the stands. Shelton was fined $2,500 by the NBA because of the incident. In July 2008, he was picked by the Seattle Times as one of the 41 most memorable Sonics. He is just one of five basketball players to be inducted into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame. His eldest son, L.J., is a 12-year NFL offensive lineman who currently plays for the San Diego Chargers. Three other sons Marlon, Titus and Tim are or were all college basketball players. His nephew D.J. Shelton recently signed to play basketball at Washington State University.

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Fine art Local artist, teacher closing a chapter to begin a new one


Art Sherwyn in his studio.

By Lisa Kimble In the world of art, with the exception of photography, there is no such thing as over-exposure. So it came as a surprise when Art Sherwyn, longtime local artist, teacher and lover of life, expressed initial apprehension about being interviewed on the eve of his retirement from the Kern High School District. He worried the media attention would be “over-exposure” for the renown artist and author. Such unassuming modesty belies the story of the 60-yearold accidental artist. His work hangs in public and private spaces around the world and he is a sought-after lecturer who has mentored countless students, while learning alongside them for 37 years. Fresh out of San Jose State where he was an industrial arts major, Sherwyn was lured to Kern with the promise of a job as a coach. There was a hitch. He’d also have to fill five high school art periods. No problem, unless you have no formal background or training, and he knew doodling as a kid didn’t count. “I figured if I knew a little and learned and was nice, the students would be nice,” he laughed, recalling how he was thrown into the fire as a newly minted teacher. “Since I didn’t know art, I taught it the way I would coach.” The son of a cynic, Sherwyn became determined to learn and inspire. When it came to art, he began with pastels, favor-


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

ing the scenery of the Kern River, which led to drawing, which later blossomed into a love affair with acrylics, and as of late, a serious flirtation with smoke and fire and the use of micro stencils with his sketches. Like thousands of forehands and free throws, the practice began to perfect the true artisan within. “All of a sudden the dance of the thing came together,” he said. In the early 1990s, Sherwyn’s innovative spins on art instruction also gained him a fan base outside the classroom. Art educators across the country were attending conventions to hear this enthusiastic teacher with equal parts effusive personality and positive attitude deconstruct such haughty art-world stuff as breaking down Picasso. “And they wanted more,” Sherwyn said incredulously. He integrated a bicycle tire into another presentation on abstract art. “I didn’t want to run out my welcome and here I still didn’t have an art degree.” In 1995, the self-taught artist caught the attention of judges with the prestigious Disney American Teacher Award and was among their finalists. Sherwyn’s mission, according to his Web site, is to liberate the mind through the appreciation and practice of visual art. He doesn’t use oils, he sticks to just three colors, all his landscapes are painted on location and he plays

Photo by Henry A. Barrios


with fire and smoke and frolics with strokes of a lead pencil. Nor does he employ an agent for his motivational speaking engagements. It is all created inside the sacristy that is his home studio, where he would spend nearly all of his waking moments outside of school, working well into the night and surrounded by tools of his trade — discolored brushes, empty frames, his wooden easel and sketch pads. Despite the tall and imposing presence, Sherwyn is a cool cat, self-effacing, unaffected by and unpretentious about the acclaim his work has received. “There are a lot of egos in the art world. This gentleman is probably the most prominent artist in town and has no ego,” said Metro Galleries owner and friend Don Martin. “He really is a cool dude, and I enjoy hanging out with him and listening to his lectures.” Sherwyn is also living proof that artistry can be learned, embracing failure as a key to eventual success. “So many people try and give up too soon. The difference between someone with an innate artistic ability is they get it sooner. The rest of us, like me, just take a little longer.” That philosophy and his energy and passionate engagement with students will be missed at Stockdale High. Retirement, Sherwyn said, will afford him something more valuable than notoriety and profits: the luxury of being a full-time artist. He is currently working on a show slated for September at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. When asked what he wanted to be growing up, he is resolute now about what he didn’t know 40 years ago. “I couldn’t be anything else. One of the greatest things about art is that it is one of the few professions where you get better with age. For me, the best is yet to come and it has been an amazing run.” Not bad for a guy who still considers half his work to be inferior. Now that’s fine art!

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Local high school seniors about to make the transition to college life, from left: Adrian Arroyo, Allie Shafer Kirsten Albers, James Nguyen, Edgar Basave, Mackenzie Carter, Mark Van Kopp, Sukhmeet Gill, Bryce Keene, Rene Gone, Lloyd Jones, Shannon O’Brien, Sage Russinski, Tavia Rutherford and Thalia Marroquin. 44

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Photo by Michael Lopez

Finding their

Bakersfield’s 2011 outstanding seniors set out to achieve greatness

Outstanding seniors: a look back 2008

By Dana Martin Photos by Michael Lopez (except where noted)


Without a doubt, this year’s crop of college-bound seniors is unique. Each class has their similarities, and the 2011 graduation class is no different. Interviews usually reveal a common thread that binds these grads together, even though most of them have never met. In these 17 profiles, you will find future engineers, chemists, biologists and surgeons, but there are also sociologists, dieticians, singers and seamen. Although vastly different areas of study, these students share an unusual and fantastic similarity that is surprising considering the state of the current economy: They had choices. Students profiled received numerous acceptances to prestigious universities across the United States and had the luxury and option of choosing the one that was the best fit. In a way, they put in all the effort so that they could hold all the cards. And it worked. Each year, Bakersfield Life profiles one student from each city high school, an outstanding senior, who exemplifies the best and brightest of their generation. They are scholars, but they are also athletes, the faithful, humanitarians, thespians, the gifted and the humble. They may come from privileged backgrounds — or have struggled more than any high school student should. We take this moment to celebrate our youth and take pause. If these students can achieve such greatness before their 18th birthday, what might they do with a lifetime ahead of them? With hopeful hearts, their supportive community awaits.



Continued on page 46


Continued from page 45

James Nguyen North High School College: Cornell University Proposed major: East Asian studies Grade point average: 4.3

James Nguyen is an American of Vietnamese descent. Nguyen’s father was in the South Vietnamese Army and returned with the U.S. troops when they pulled out for America over 20 years ago; his mother fled North Vietnam, and the couple eventually met in America and started their family. Nguyen was never interested much in his heritage until, as a teen, he celebrated a traditional Asian New Year’s Eve with his mom. Nguyen fell in love, he says, with the activities, the environment, and architecture and the entire culture. It led him to his intended major, East Asian studies, and propelled him to accept Cornell University’s offer of a $45,000 grant to help him through their FALCON (Full-year Asian training Concentration) program. Nguyen says he will pursue a minor in foreign economics. “I can become a teacher in Japan and teach English. They will pay for your living and stay there,” he said. Nguyen is in North High’s Wild Life Club, CSF, Interact Club, and is self-taught in Japanese.

Shannon O’Brien West High School College: University of New Mexico Proposed major: Theater Grade point average: 4.0

Is it possible to wake up in one’s senior year of high school and decide to become an actor? That’s what happened to Shannon O’Brien, who says theater never occurred to her until this year, but that she always knew she wanted to do something spectacular. “I’ve always dreamed of being famous,” said O’Brien. “But who hasn’t?” O’Brien decided to enroll in Drama 1 at West High, and after one semester, her teacher moved her to Drama 2. By the end of the year, she had auditioned (and received) a lead role in Bakersfield Community Theater’s production of Bang Bang, You’re Dead. Now, she leaves in the fall for the University of New Mexico to study theater. The youngest of five siblings, she’s outgoing and outspoken, loves horseback riding and says she looks forward to the new experience of college and moving on to bigger and better things. O’Brien is in National English, Spanish, and Math Honor Societies and CSF.

Edgar Basave Golden Valley High School College: UC Santa Barbara Proposed major: Sociology Grade point average: 4.5 46 Bakersfield Life June 2011

James Nguyen For Edgar Basave, the desire to help people is the overriding motivation for selecting sociology as his major when he attends college in Santa Barbara in the fall. A self-professed “thinker,” Basave says he’s always been a contemplative person and considers “lots of things” in his mind. He enjoys helping people out, whether it’s grading papers for teachers or helping peers with their homework. Basave feels that earning his degree in sociology will help him fulfill his passion to assist humanity. Basave, who was born in Santa Barbara, is the first in his family to attend college and says that he feels a great responsibility to be successful. “My family has always told me to keep on studying, and because of their encouragement, I am going on to a four-year university and will be successful,” he said. Basave was on Golden Valley’s first decathlon team, CSF, Interact Club, French Club and played varsity tennis his senior year.

Rene Gone South High School College: UC Davis Proposed major: Chemical engineering Grade point average: 4.4

Lloyd Jones Independence High School College: UC Irvine Proposed major: Biology Grade point average: 4.0

Rene Gone comes from humble beginnings. His parents, both raised in Mexico, had no college training, but their lack of formal education did not stop them from instilling the values of working hard and getting good grades in their three children. It must have worked, because Gone, leaving for UC Davis in the fall to study chemical engineering, will follow two sisters: one at UC Irvine studying sociology and one at Santa Cruz earning her psychology degree. “My parents told me it was a priority to try my best in school. My siblings went to college and I see how great they’re doing now, and I know why. They enjoy the college experience and are working to make something of themselves,” said Gone, adding that he also received acceptance letters from UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara. Gone was on South High’s football, wrestling, and track teams and in NHS, CSF, Key Club and the AP Club. He also likes to play bass guitar.

Sometimes a catastrophic event can influence a student’s choice for their future, and it appears that is the case with Lloyd Jones, whose grandfather died from heart disease. Jones, who is in Independence High School’s first class of graduating seniors, will leave for UC Irvine in the fall with his heart set on a career as a cardiac surgeon. “Science is something I’m really good at. I’m interested in internal organs around the heart,” he said. Jones applied to UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego and received acceptances from both but says that he chose Irvine because it was closer to home. “I have two brothers and two sisters and another on the way,” he said. Jones said that his mom has put college in his head since he was a little boy. She didn’t get the opportunity to go, so she wanted him to. Jones was on the Independence football, wrestling, swimming, baseball and track teams.

Allie Shafer

Sukhmeet Gill

Centennial High School College: Brigham Young University Proposed major: Dietetics Grade point average: 4.5

Before most students’ alarm clocks blast them from their beds, Allie Shafer is already at seminary class every morning at her church before school from 6:15 a.m. to 7:05 a.m. See, she’s as passionate about her faith as she is about her chosen major, dietetics. “I’m really into healthy eating and have health issues that compel me to eat well. I want people to know that eating healthy is not just eating rabbit food,” says Shafer, the sixth of nine children in her family that have pursued their degree at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “My parents met at BYU, three of my siblings are in grad school, and two are still working at it,” said Shafer. Shafer says she wants to use her degree to work in schools so she can teach kids young to eat healthy. At Centennial, she participated in We the People, cross country, choir, NHS, CSF, and Interact Club. She plays piano and loves to cook. “I like Italian food a lot,” she said.

Ridgeview High School College: UCLA Proposed major: Chemistry Grade point average: 4.3

People like their sports teams. That much is true. But it isn’t often that a person chooses his college based on the college’s proximity to his favorite basketball team. Sukhmeet Gill didn’t pick UCLA just because the campus is a stone’s throw from Staples Center, but let’s just say that it didn’t hurt their chances any. Gill applied to UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Irvine, too—and was accepted by them all. But to his Lakers-loving heart, he felt UCLA was the only campus for him. Gill will study chemistry at UCLA and transfer to pharmacy school. “I always liked chemistry, and pharmacy has a lot to do with chemistry, so I think I might do well in that,” he said. Gill, who was born in England, moved to the United States shortly after his birth. Gill is in Ridgeview’s Asian Club, Mesa Club, CSF, Link Crew and Interact Club. And he also enjoys playing basketball in his free time and will be his family’s first college graduate. Continued on page 48


Joseph Chee Garces Memorial High School College: Catholic University of America Proposed major: Vocal performance Grade point average: 4.5

Photo by Felix Adamo

Because Joseph Chee has been singing and doing musical theater for most of his life, it seemed natural that he would pursue his life’s passion beyond high school and into college, but Chee is just following his heart. “I don’t really have a plan,” said Chee of choosing a career. “I’m just following my passion for music.” But that’s a good plan because Catholic University in Washington, D.C., is giving Chee a full tuition scholarship, and he gets to live on a sizeable campus and enjoy the full college experience — while pursuing his dream to sing. “I didn’t select a college where people with my grades usually apply. It was more than that. It was about finding the perfect fit for me,” he said. Chee’s faith in God played a big role in selecting his college. Chee scored a 2380 on the SATs, is in the Garces Link Crew, marching band, jazz band, field drums, the Garces players, and is the founding co-president of the Poetry Guild. While the high school district lists Chee’s GPA as the topped-out 4.5, Garces has measured Chee’s GPA at a nice 4.86.

Thalia Marroquin Mira Monte High School College: UC Merced Proposed major: Psychology Grade point average: 4.3

Adrian Arroyo

Adrian Arroyo Highland High School College: UC San Diego Proposed major: Mathematics/engineering Grade point average: 4.4

How can one student work 30 hours a week, be a Highland High scholar volleyball and softball player, and still maintain a 4.4 GPA? Better yet, how can she do it without a mother, father, or any type of nuclear home life? “My dad left (when I was three). I have no relationship with my mom. I’ve lived in multiple homes and gone to multiple schools. I’ve been supporting myself financially since I was 17,” said Adrian Arroyo, an optimistic, intelligent student who will be attending UC San Diego in the fall to pursue a degree in mathematics or engineering. “Everything I’ve been through has been motivation. I wanted to better myself so that I didn’t turn out like my family,” she said. Arroyo will live in UCSD’s dorms that stay open during spring, summer and holidays for students like her who must live independently. She considers college a chance to succeed in life and escape her past. Arroyo is in AVID, Key Club, CSF, Interact Club and is the president of the Highland Volleyball Club. 48

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June 2011

Born in Fresno, Thalia Marroquin is the eldest of the family’s three children. The youngest is just entering kindergarten next year, and they girls are close. But for Marroquin, the decision to leave her beloved sisters and return to Merced for college is an act of generosity and self-sacrifice. “I want to get my college degree and help financially support my mom and dad, and I think most importantly, I want to pay for college for my sisters,” she said. Planning to study psychology or English, Marroquin chose UC Merced because to her, it’s like going home. Mira Monte is the fourth high school she has attended due to moving around a lot, but Merced is where she considers home. Being in Mira Monte’s first graduating class is pretty special. “I like that we are leaving standards for the other classes,” Marroquin said. She is in Mira Monte’s Writing and Poetry Club,

We the People, and CSF.

Kirsten Albers Bakersfield Christian High School College: Georgetown Proposed major: International politics Grade point average: 4.5

Whether by nature or nurture, upbeat, energetic Kirsten Albers has developed a love for helping humankind that is fairly unsurpassed. She spent one summer in China, where she volunteered with children and discovered a love for Foreign Service. Last summer, she went to Kenya and lived in an orphanage. At Georgetown, Albers will study in the School for Foreign Service, from where she can work in the State Department or in the mission field. “I want to do something to impact people and be a world changer,” she said. Off to a good start, Albers is active in Ford Dream Builders, a Flood Graffiti Wash organizer, a Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness media campaign director, Jesus Shack volunteer, weekly volunteer at Champ Camp at Bakersfield Homeless Center … and the list goes on. She’s in CSF, NHS, Interact Club, Key Club, Philosophy Club and is her school’s ASB commissioner of community service. What else? “I’m planning to be quadrilingual one day,” she said. The list goes on, indeed.

Bryce Keene Stockdale High School College: United States Naval Academy Proposed major: Aeronautical engineering Grade point average: 4.5

If a teenage life could be compared to a deck of cards, then Bryce Keene was dealt a full house. If it isn’t enough that he is a scratch golfer and gets perfect grades in high school, Keene also possesses an innate desire to serve his country. “There’s a lot of things I think American people take for granted. I feel an obligation to serve our country. I feel like I should give back in return for the opportunities I’ve personally been given,” he said. After graduating from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Keene wishes to take his commission and join the Marines, where he would love to pilot a helicopter or join a Recon team. He’s in it until retirement, he says. Four Continued on page 50


Continued from page 49

time All-Area golfer, Keene will also play Division 1 golf for the Navy and currently enjoys leading the SWYL in lowest scoring average (74.1). He is in Stockdale’s Achieve Club, and Science Bowl and is the ASB commissioner of athletics. He has received acceptance letters to UCSD, UCLA, and UCSB.

Briana Tafoya Foothill High School College: UC Berkeley Proposed major: Microbiology Grade point average: 4.2

destination, so I’m enjoying every bit of it.” Part of that path is the road leading Carter to Cal Poly SLO, where she plans to study kinesiology with an eye on orthopedic surgery. A scholarship athlete, she will play Division 1 volleyball for the Mustangs in the Big West Conference and says she is looking forward to being a part of the team and family of athletics at Cal Poly. Accepted to Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, St. John’s and University of Oregon, Carter says Cal Poly was her one true fit.

Mackenzie Carter

Sage Russinsky

Photo by Alex Horvath

Sometimes all it takes to pique a student’s interest is an interesting TV program—or some lively conversation. That’s what Briana Tafoya discovered when her biology teacher began talking about genetic engineering. Tafoya had been a longtime fan of the Discovery network’s stable of shows that included Mystery Diagnosis and Untold Stories of the ER. Tafoya said that in time, she began favoring those programs over cartoons and would spend hours watching health TV. “My biology class started talking about genes, and I’ve always watched medical shows. It made me want to be in science,” she said. Neither of Tafoya’s parents went to college, but they impressed on their four children to be something, avoid drugs and gangs, and graduate from high school. It was Tafoya’s grandpa who said more. “Oh my gosh, mija… you should be a doctor!” he’d told her. Tafoya is in color guard, Spanish Club, Key Club, Astronomy Club and CSF and also plays on Foothill’s softball team.

East High School College: Indiana University Proposed major: Political science Grade point average: 4.0

Liberty High School College: Cal Poly SLO Proposed major: Kinesiology Grade point average: 4.5

Mackenzie Carter lives her life purposely; there is no doubt about that. On ASB for four years, varsity volleyball and swimming, Bible Club, Kern County Student Leadership, a Ford Dimension Dream Builder, in the Spanish and Math Honor Societies, three years of choir, CSF, Link Crew, and Key Club, it’s easy to wonder how she gets her motivation. “I’m always looking forward,” she says. “My mom always taught me to look at the path and not just the 50

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June 2011

Sage Russinsky

It isn’t that Sage Russinsky woke up one morning and decided to go to college, but it’s almost like that. She always knew she’d go to college, and even though her parents and grandparents all have college degrees, Russinsky says that college was always in her own plan. However, until August, the thought of going out of state hadn’t really occurred to her. “I’d taken the college board surveys, kept digging, and Indiana University kept popping up,” she said. Although she was accepted at UC Santa Barbara, Russinsky says that Indiana University is really the best fit for her—and not just because her grandparents met there. “It has everything I want, everything I need it to be. It is exactly what I want in a college.” Russinsky has been in East High’s choir for four years, is the senior class president and is in CSF. The only problem? “I’m scared of the snow!” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Continued on page 52

Tavia Rutherford

Continued from page 50

Mark Van Kopp

Frontier High School College: University of Sioux Falls Proposed major: Sports medicine Grade point average: 4.5

Bakersfield High School College: U.S. Military Academy (West Point) Proposed major: English/history Grade point average: 4.0

It was a good thing Mark Van Kopp began the process for admission to West Point before his senior year because gaining an acceptance letter to elite military colleges begins before most students have decided where they want to go. “I’ve had a file open since the beginning of my junior year,” said Kopp, who will fulfill a five-year commitment to the Army after receiving his commission at graduation. It wasn’t easy getting in, so Kopp realizes the honor an acceptance to West Point represents. “The biggest part was the congressional nomination I received form Kevin McCarthy. That really greased the wheels,” he said. A football captain at BHS, Kopp says he will likely play football for the Army, too. Kopp’s older brother is a second lieutenant in the Army, and although Kopp has had no military training, the leadership positions he’s had in sports is comparable. Kopp is in CSF, NHS, Forensics and on the swimming and football teams.


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Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Tavia Rutherford has enjoyed the high school experience to its fullest. She didn’t play just one varsity sport as a freshman; she played three varsity sports all four years in high school. And she isn’t just an athlete. Rutherford has a 4.5 GPA and will be attending the University of Sioux Falls free of charge. That’s right. Between a 50 percent athletic and a 50 percent academic scholarship, she will enjoy a college education well earned as a member of the Cougar women’s golf team. It’s important to note that she’ll be on the women’s golf team because Rutherford’s athletic family has a unique distinction. “My mom was the first female football player in Kern County at East High,” she said. Rutherford will be working toward a degree in sports medicine and would like to get a job as an athletic trainer on a professional sports team. Rutherford is Frontier ASB’s girls’ athletic commissioner, in FCA, Stem Club, CSF, and practices amateur photography in her spare time.

Two boats loaded with whitewater rafters make their way through the Ewing's rapids on the upper Kern River in the middle of May in Kernville. This year’s heavy rainfall and deep snow should make this a banner year for rafting on the Kern.

Photo by Casey Christie


An inside look into the

life of a

Marine The recruits wait to receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem, which is awarded after the completion of the Crucible and marks their status as Marines. 54

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Writer Hillary Haenes gets a taste of what recruits endure during training at Camp Pendleton.

By Hillary Haenes


Photos by Holly Carlyle (except where noted)

Honor, courage and commitment — the core values Marines carry with them forever. I recently learned why the meanings of these three words are so important. I was presented with the opportunity to attend a Marine Corps Educator’s Workshop in sunny San Diego, the home of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Camp Pendleton base, to get an exclusive look into what it takes to earn the admirable title of Marine. Going into this, I didn’t know what to expect, but figured a majority of the time would be consumed by watching educational videos and sitting through slideshow presentations. I was wrong. A mix of mostly educators, high school counselors, a probation officer, a handful of journalists and others from the Los Angeles and Seattle areas experienced what Col. Robert W. Gates called the condensed, “G-rated version” of a demanding 13-week recruit boot camp. The workshop is designed to give a hands-on experience with insight into the Marine Corps ethos. “It works to dispel many misconceptions, misunderstandings and plain lies about serving in our military. Many educators are exposed for the first time to the military lifestyle, and about the whole range of benefits and resources that are available to Marines,” said Staff Sgt. Pablo Avalos, a career adviser in east Bakersfield, who has been in the Marines for 12 years. During this brief, yet extensive four-day course, we got a taste of what it’s like to have a drill instructor scream orders at us, complete an obstacle course in a proper uniform and gear, take a peek inside a recruit’s barracks and visit the flight line at the Miramar Air Station. We were also fortunate to witness an emblem ceremony, take a tour of Camp Pendleton where we were officially the

first group of educators to fire a rifle. On the last day, we attended a graduation ceremony where Pfc. Horacio R. Carreon, of Bakersfield, was one of six Marines who graduated with honors. “For a lot of people, all they know about the Marine Corps is what they see in the movies. With this program, educators get to see firsthand what it is we do and get a better understanding of why we train the way we train,” said Sgt. Monique Wallace, marketing and public affairs representative in Van Nuys who has been a Marine for almost six years. Prior to this intensive workshop, I lacked knowledge of the rigorous training that these young recruits go through since none of my immediate family members have served in this military branch. Not only was I unfamiliar with the process of a civilian to a Marine, but I was unaware of the various educational programs and lifetime benefits the Marine Corps offers.

Benefits of joining Each person has a different reason for joining: some do it to challenge and prove themselves, many serve to honor their country or to travel the world, while others enlist to further their education. For the South High School graduate who received the Series Honor Graduate Award for his Platoon 2150 of 62 men. “My whole life I didn’t have a really good upbringing of life and I just wanted better for my family and for my future. It helps me better myself for my future,” said Pfc. Carreon, 19. Like a majority of the recruits, Pfc. Carreon and another recent local Marine are under age 20, having enlisted right out of high Continued on page 56


Continued from page 55

school. By joining at such a young age, the recruits mature quickly because they are given direction and the basic skills to live in an adult world, such as making decisions and conquering goals. “I just wanted to see what was out there and I didn’t want to stay here in town and be one of those people who complain that they don’t do anything with their lives, so I just went for the Marines,” said Pfc. Nydia Garcia, a 19-year-old Bakersfield High School graduate who just celebrated her achievement of graduating from Marine boot camp in Parris Island, S.C. College isn’t for everybody, and neither is joining the Marines. During a presentation, Maj. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey stated that being a successful Marine requires teamwork, and that becoming one is not for people who want to be individuals. The Corps believes teamwork builds leadership skills and one’s confidence, which is especially needed for the crucible during the end of recruit training and throughout one’s life. “I never sugarcoat anything for our applicants. They are told Marine Corps recruit training is the longest, most difficult and most demanding of the uniformed services,” said Avalos, who always asks those interested what they want to accomplish in life as far as their ambitions. Staff Sgt. Avalos said there are about 60 people per year who are recruited from Bakersfield. As for those interested in pursuing a college degree, the Marine Corps provides not only monetary assistance for tuition, but the skills to achieve in a classroom setting, even for Marines who never conStaff Sgt. Pablo Avalos sidered themselves to be outstanding students. The Corps advocates the importance of continual learning and has high expectations that each Marine will work hard to enhance his or her contribution to the Marine Corps. “We have a tuition assistance program, which enables Marines to go to school while on active duty. These classes can be online or in a classroom. We also have the Post 9/11 Montgomery GI Bill, which will pay for an individual to go to school and give them a housing allowance based off location. Every school is different, but typically using these two options, a person will not have to pay out of pocket,” Sgt. Wallace said, who joined the Marines after she graduated from college. To give you an idea of what these young men and women go through during recruit training, here’s what my schedule entailed at the workshop.

“I never sugarcoat anything for our applicants.”

Tuesday “Aye, aye sir!” One of the many terms we learned to use after our senior drill instructor Staff Sgt. Jonh A. Saracay ambushed the bus bright and early, barking commands at the top of his lungs. Puzzled looks on our faces only made his hoarse voice speak louder and faster, which further confused us. From our hotel, we were transported to the recruit depot where the bus came to a halt in front of the infamous yellow footprints. “You just have a lot of mixed emotions about what to expect. A lot of it is anticipation and nerves,” said Pfc. Carreon. Outside, more drill instructors waited for us to vacate the bus, 56

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Maj. Gen. Bailey shares his story of becoming a Marine. and as soon as we did, they were in our face. Spit flew in all directions as they screamed at us to get on the yellow footprints. “They expected us to catch on so fast. None of us had gotten any sleep and everything was so brand-new to us,” said Pfc. Garcia. After the commands and yelling subsided, we were graciously welcomed by Maj. Gen. Bailey, who’s been in the Marine Corps for 34 years. Capturing our attention with his wisdom and knack for storytelling, he shared his tale of becoming a Marine. Before being taken on a tour of the grounds, Staff Sgt. Saracay, in the Marines for 10 years, asked us to get into a four-by-four formation. Since there were 17 people in our group, there was one person who was left over, which happened to be me, so I automati-

cally became the guide for the Los Angeles group. This meant I was responsible in leading my group to and from places, and performing a head count as they filed onto the bus to ensure nobody was left behind. (I found it ironic that a group comprised of mostly educators couldn’t follow directions and form single-file lines.) We watched the combat water survival test, had chow with recruits in the galley and later took a tour of the extremely clean and tidy squad bay, observed recruit training and were schooled on some martial arts moves that were later used for those of us who wanted to experience an obstacle course. In teams of four, we were each supplied with a uniform, helmet and bayonet that had to be carried during the obstacle course that included crawling through tunnels, swiftly walking across a rope bridge and finally running at dummies while performing our new combat moves on them.

Photo by Greg Nichols


Pfc. Nydia Garcia

Although it was a low-key day, it was still very interesting. We were taken to Miramar and greeted by a panel of young Marines who told us about their jobs and experience. Then we visited the flight line to see different kinds of aircraft carriers. (We even got to board the plane and sit in the cockpit!) After a nice lunch where the Marine Corps band played several tunes, we took another visit to a squad bay and sat in on a senior drill instructor mentoring his recruits. We observed their mannerisms and heard how they referred to themselves in third person as “this recruit,” instead of saying “me” or “I.” “Taking a group of men that come from different walks of life and teaching them and mentoring them through one of the toughContinued on page 58

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est training they experience here in boot camp. Even though they come from different places, their goal is the same — become a Marine, and I have to take all of their differences and transform them into one — a United States Marine,” Staff Sgt. Saracay said about the most challenging aspect of being a drill instructor. At the end of the day, we visited the MCRD Command Museum that houses an extensive display of Marine Corps historical items — the arsenal room stores close to 300 weapons including swords, pistols, rifles and muskets.


Since this day was packed with activities, an early wake-up call was required — we had to load the buses at 5:15 a.m. to make our journey to Camp Pendleton. Once we arrived, Col. Christopher S. Dowling briefed us on weapons and field training since we would be the first group to fire a rifle. But before we arrived at the shooting range, we took a detour to watch as the tired recruits marched down the hill from the crucible, which is the culminating event of recruit training that defines whether a recruit is a basically trained Marine who applies the three core values. This 54-hour endurance event consists of 32 daytime events and two night events, concluding with a nine-mile hike with about 100 pounds of gear, and the recruits only receive three MREs and approximately a total of eight hours of sleep. When the crucible is over, this marks the day the recruit becomes a Marine and receives their Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem. For her crucible, Pfc. Garcia had to choose a drill instructor as a mentor, so she picked the one who was the toughest because she

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June 2011

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Learning to shoot a M16A4 at the Delta Range at Camp Pendleton. wanted an extra challenge and to feel like she actually earned her EGA. When handed her emblem, Pfc. Garcia’s eyes teared-up as she was congratulated and told that she had earned it. This was a special moment to witness. After the morning colors, silence took hold as the recruits, standing stoically in formation, were recognized as Marines. “I notice the confidence being stronger. Their ability to socialize in a leadership manner is better. They stand up taller. They carry a certain presence about themselves that most did not have when they first arrive. But most importantly, I notice their pride of being a United States Marine,” Staff Sgt. Saracay said about the changes he sees after training is complete. Next, we went to the 12-Stall at Edson Range, which is a mentally and physically demanding obstacle course that’s part of the crucible. Since time was a factor, we completed two obstacle courses and made our way to the indoor simulated marksmanship training facility where we practiced how to fire a rifle. Our next journey was to the Delta Range where we shot 10 rounds with a M16A4 rifle. After another lunch with recruits, we headed to the assault amphibious vehicle school.

Friday We awoke early and headed to the recruit depot to witness the morning colors and graduation ceremonies. Standing before us were six platoons of young men, proud in their dress blues, who had earned the title of Marine. “Coming out of boot camp, I’ve gained a lot of pride. When you have pride, it boosts your confidence. Everything they preach is true. You realize how much you learn to achieve after boot camp and it’s a great feeling,” Pfc. Carreon said about his greatest accomplishment. While Pfc. Carreon’s family is proud of their honor graduate, so is the person who recruited him. “I take a lot of pride into every individual that goes to Marine Corps boot camp and comes back successful, especially when

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Continued from page 59

someone that I had the opportunity to influence enough to be honorably recognized out of a whole company of recruits for doing an outstanding performance — it means a lot,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Karlsson, a Marine recruiter in west Bakersfield who’s been in the Marine Corps for eight years.

Life after recruiting boot camp

Pfc. Horacio R. Carreon carries his platoon's flag at the graduation ceremony.


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

The day of graduation, the Marines are free to go home with their families for a 10-day leave before they have to attend their Marine Combat Training, which is like a fourth part of boot camp, but gives Marines a little liberty. After the training, the Marines will be assigned their MOS (military occupational specialty) orders. Pfc. Carreon knows he’ll be training for field wireman while Pfc. Garcia will focus on supply and accounting. During his 10-day leave, Pfc. Carreon couldn’t wait to eat slow and taste his food because chow is roughly 20 minutes long. He longed for Chinese food since it isn’t served at boot camp. Now that the hard part of training is over, Pfc. Carreon sees how it has already changed his perspective on life. Pfc. Garcia was anxious to take long, hot showers; eat real food and not have to ask to use the head. She was sad to leave the friends she met at boot camp who were like her family for three months. On her first day back home, Pfc. Garcia went to the mall with her boyfriend and saw kids from high school who were acting immature and cracking jokes, and that’s when she realized she had changed herself for the better. Pfc. Garcia said she sees herself going to school during her four years and maybe re-enlisting to build a career as a Marine.

Marine lingo As you were: Disregard my last statement. Aye, aye: A term used by a subordinate to a senior in acknowledgement of an order, signifying that it is understood and obeyed. Bulkhead: A wall. Carry on: An order to resume previous activity after an interruption. Colors: The national flag; a ceremony that takes place when the flag is raised at 8 a.m. and lowered at sunset. Cover: Uniform headgear. Deck: The floor. DI: Drill instructor. EGA: Eagle, globe and anchor. Field day: A time set aside for scrubbing and general cleaning. Footlocker: A small storage compartment used to store all

personal belongings. Galley: A Navy or Marine Corps kitchen. Hatch: A door. Head: A bathroom. MRE: Meals ready to eat. Squad Bay: Open living quarters used during recruit training. Semper Fidelis: Always faithful. For more information about the Marine Corps, contact one of the Bakersfield locations. East Bakersfield 3501 Mall View Road, Suite 106. 872-5572. West Bakersfield 4725 Panama Lane, Suite D3. 835-9547.

“In the short time these two Marines have been in the Corps, you can see how it influences them by appreciating the small things in life, being respectful, developing a sense of responsibility and discipline, which sometimes can take a lifetime to achieve,” Staff Sgt. Karlsson said.

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Rock climbing — more than just an adrenaline rush These guys share the hobby of climbing to great heights in the outdoors to see the breath-taking views from the top Photos by Jessica Frey

Marc Schiffhauer Geoscience information specialist for Ivanhoe Energy Latin America 62

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

John Henderson Recreation supervisor for North of the River Recreation and Park District

Scott Smith New to Bakersfield

Jim Schrodt Thermal facilities design and operations adviser for Chevron


How did you get into rock climbing?

Henderson: I worked at a youth camp in Colorado early in my career where I was introduced to the sport. Schrodt: I started backpacking in boy scouts and would have climbed two years earlier at Philmont (Scout Ranch), but it was raining. When I was backpacking in the Tetons in the summer of 1974, between my junior and senior year of high school, I discovered the Exum school of mountaineering at Jenny Lake. I took three days of classes. Jim Donini was one my instructors, and I have been climbing ever since. Schiffhauer: I was first introduced to climbing through a girl I was dating about 10 years ago. Up to that point, I hadn’t even the slightest desire to try it. In fact, the thought of it scared me. But, that was all soon to change. Smith: I got into climbing when a friend took me to Vertical Ventures, a rock climbing gym in Tampa, Fla.


What was your first rock climbing experience like?

Henderson: My first experience was like a dream come true. As I look back on it now, the climb was very basic but at the time, I couldn't believe it was possible. Schrodt: My first rock climbing experience worth mentioning was climbing Royal Arches in Yosemite before the traverse log fell off of the route. I was just a beginner, and so was my partner, but it was our first “big wall” multi-pitch route that involved some route finding and significant exposure looking down on Yosemite Valley. Getting down via North Dome Gully was an adventure in and of itself. Schiffhauer: My first climbing experience was great. Despite being really nervous, as I knew nothing about climbing, I was with a handful of really skilled climbers who were exceptionally helpful and encouraging. In fact, I had such an incredible time that I climbed every weekend thereafter for over a year.

Smith: First time climbing was at Vertical Ventures on a Friday night. The gym has a live DJ and it’s always packed like a club. And like all climbing gyms, it was like a huge family.


Do you prefer to climb indoors in a gym or outdoors in nature?

Henderson: I prefer to climb outdoors in nature. For me, climbing is all about being outdoors; the rocks, the mountains, the trees, the views, camping, hiking and above all else, getting to the top of something. The view is always better from the top. I also prefer traditional climbing, where you place your own protection as opposed to sport climbing where you clip bolts. Indoor climbing is the best way to practice and stay in shape for climbing outdoors, especially now with gas prices above $4 per gallon. Schrodt: The gym is great for training and socializing. I climb at Action Sports on most Tuesday and Thursday nights, but the real climbing is outdoors on real rock. My friends and I built one of the first climbing gyms in a stadium alcove at the University of Houston before there were

any commercial gyms in Houston. Now the University of Houston has a great wall in their recreation center like many other universities. That’s how geographically deprived Houston is. The gym can accelerate the learning curve, but nothing in the gym is like climbing outdoors. I love the Sierra and I love climbing, hiking, kayaking and skiing in them.

Schiffhauer: I always have and will favor outdoor climbing. Half the experience of climbing while outdoors is the beauty of just being out there. I think for the average individual, though, climbing indoors is more or less a necessity in order to maintain any level of fitness. Most of us have to work, go to school, parent or any number of other responsibilities that keep us busy except for those one or two days a week when we can get outside. The climbing gym kindly fills that void. But, pulling on plastic, as it’s often referred to, will never match that of pulling on real stone in the outdoors. Smith: I prefer climbing outdoors in nature. Climbing outdoors — it’s just you and the rock — nothing else matters.


Were you afraid of heights before you started climbing?

Henderson: I was deathly afraid of heights almost all of my life. As a kid, I couldn’t jump off the high dive at the pool or even get all the way to the top of the ladder. When we visited the Grand Canyon, I stayed in the car. It has only been in the last five or six years that I have been able to deal calmly with the heights. Continued on page 64 www.BakersfieldLife.com63

Continued from page 63

Schrodt: No, the exposure encountered when climbing high is exhilarating. The adrenaline rush is addictive. Schiffhauer: I was definitely afraid of heights before I started climbing, and still am today. I don’t have a problem with it while I’m climbing, as I have faith in the equipment and my ability to use it. But, the exposure felt while freely standing at the top of cliff, building, tall bridge, etc., and looking down over the edge, well that still makes be cringe a bit. Smith: Not even close.


Do you think rock climbing is more of a mental or physical sport?

Henderson: The thing that makes climbing so difficult is the combination of mental and physical challenges. Schrodt: No, it is both all of the time. You can’t separate the decision-making and judgment required from the physical exertion necessary. Often when climbing, I find myself in the zone, completely focused to the extent that everything else is absent from my consciousness. Schiffhauer: There are both mental and physical aspects to climbing, all depending upon what it is you’re climbing. A route can be physically easy and mentally challenging, or vice-versa, or any combination in between. Smith: I think it’s more mental because you have to know you’re strong, know the rock won’t break, know your gear is good, know you won’t fall and know you have the best belay from someone like John Henderson. Every part of climbing is mental.

John Henderson 64

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Jim Schrodt


How do you mentally prepare yourself to climb?

Henderson: The best way to prepare mentally is to be well prepared physically. Check to make sure your harness is on properly. Check to make sure you’re properly tied into the rope. Make sure all of your equipment is in good condition. It is also helpful to have a partner in which you have confidence. It helps to be climbing a lot and be in good physical condition. When all that is done, you look out over the beautiful scenery, smile and remind yourself that there is no place on earth you would rather be. John Muir said, “It is better to be in the mountains thinking about God, than in church thinking about the mountains.” Schrodt: I just relax while getting ready. I look up and study the climb, decide what will be required while sorting gear and tying into the rope. Sometimes you lead on the sharp end of the rope, placing gear for protection as you go, while your partner belays, and other times you follow on top rope cleaning the gear the leader placed while he belays from above. It is customary to swing leads with your partner, but sometimes one partner will do most or all of the leading. The risk of falling is greater while leading as you will fall twice the distance — you are above your protection, plus stretch in the rope. When following or top roping, you only fall as far as the slack and stretch in the rope allows. Schiffhauer: I don’t think I really mentally prepare myself to climb. I guess if it’s going to be a spooky climb, I’ll try to stay calm and think about how fun or challenging it’s going to be. But in most cases, I’m just excited to climb. Smith: I don’t know that I prepare myself to climb. I just climb cause I love to.

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Where is your favorite place to travel to climb?

Henderson: My favorite place to go climbing would have to be Dome Rock. Our family spent many weekends camping and climbing in that beautiful spot. Schrodt: I don’t have to travel far because the California Sierra Nevada is my favorite place to climb. There are so many great destinations within the Sierra from the Needles, to Southern Yosemite, Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Mammoth Lakes and the Whitney Zone just to name a few. Schiffhauer: To pick one place that is my favorite to climb is tough, as so many destinations have such incredible rock, routes and scenery surrounding them, and are all unique in their own way. Locally, though, I would have to say Pine Mountain off of Highway 33. Here, at an elevation of 7,000 feet, you have a ridgeline several miles long strewn with high quality sandstone boulders, all nestled in a pine forest with a view of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. The setting alone is enough to move you, even if you don’t climb. The most memorable place I’ve climbed would to be on the island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. Here, you have an island just littered with immaculate granite boulders, surrounded by the blue waters of the Caribbean. Smith: My favorite place to climb is New Jack City. (San Bernardino County).

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The wait is over! The readers have spoken, and we are happy to announce your local favorites with The Bakersfield Californian’s 2011 Best of Kern County poll. What makes something a favorite? We may not be able to pinpoint that intangible element, but it’s clear that longtime local institutions Wool Growers, Today Cleaners and Log Cabin Florist have the answer. With their standout service and products, they’ve yet again topped the poll, which has been charting the best the county has had to offer for 18 years. And in an ever-changing world, it’s nice to know there are some things that never change, like Mexicali’s dominance of the best margarita, salsa and Mexican restaurant categories. It may have opened its doors late last year, but Juicy Burger made a strong first impression on local diners who named it best burger and best place to have lunch. On the

Antiques . .............................................6 Art gallery . ..........................................6 Auto service ........................................6 Bank/financial institution...................6 Bike shop .............................................6 Bookstore ............................................7 Bridal/formal wear..............................7 Camera shop........................................7 Carpet/flooring ...................................7 Cell phone/pager ................................8 Children’s apparel . .............................8 Chiropractor.........................................8 Customer service ...............................8 Department store ...............................8 Dentist/dental group...........................9 Doctor/medical group.........................9 Dry cleaner.........................................10 Electronics . .......................................10 Fitness/health club...........................10 Florist .................................................10 Funeral home ....................................10 Furniture store................................... 12 Hair salon . ......................................... 12 Home appliance store . .................... 12 Hotel ................................................... 12 Jewelry store ..................................... 13 Men’s apparel . .................................. 13 Motorcycle/off-road shop ............... 13 Mortgage company........................... 14 Music store......................................... 14 New car dealership .......................... 14 New home builder............................. 14 Nursery/garden store........................ 14 Office supplies .................................. 14 Optometrist . ..................................... 15 Pediatrician ....................................... 15 Physical therapist . ........................... 16 

other end of the spectrum, Emporium Western Store and Dewar’s, which have both been serving our community for more than 100 years, are among the recurring local favorites. This year, we added several more categories to the poll like best place for a first date and best place to people watch, so turn the page and see who won. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a newcomer looking for some new hotspots to try, this list is sure to get you thinking about where to shop, eat, visit or play.

Pool/spa.............................................. 16 Plastic surgeon ................................. 16 Real estate agent . ............................ 16 Real estate company ....................... 16 Shoe store ......................................... 17 Shopping center................................ 17 Sporting goods ................................. 18 Tile store ............................................ 18 Tire store............................................ 20 Travel agency ................................... 20 Used car dealership.......................... 20 Veterinarian . ..................................... 21 Western store ................................... 21 Women’s apparel ..............................22 Bar ......................................................22 Breakfast ...........................................23 Bakery ................................................23 Barbecue . ..........................................23 Basque ...............................................23 Business lunch .................................23 Burger................................................. 24 Catering ............................................ 24 Chinese ..............................................25 Coffee . ...............................................25 Deli . ....................................................25 Delivery ............................................. 26 Desserts ............................................ 26 Happy hour ........................................25 Health food store...............................25 Italian ................................................ 26 Lunch . ............................................... 26 Margarita .......................................... 26 Mexican restaurant.......................... 26 Microbrew selection ....................... 28 New restaurant ................................ 28 Overall restaurant . .......................... 28 Pizza................................................... 28

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Restaurant for kids/family ............. 30 Romantic restaurant ....................... 30 Salsa.................................................... 31 Seafood .............................................. 31 Senior special . .................................. 31 Steak .................................................. 31 Sunday brunch .................................. 31 Sushi/Japanese .................................32 Wine selection ..................................32 Community theater . ........................33 Family attraction ..............................35 Annual event .....................................33 Place to dance ................................. 34 Place to listen to live music............ 34 Local magazine..................................35 Weekend getaway ............................35 Day care facility ............................... 36 Golf course ....................................... 36 Hospital . ............................................37 Local website ....................................37 Park . ...................................................37 Place to have a birthday ................. 38 Private school .................................. 38 Retirement home/community ....... 38 Place to worship ............................. 40 Place to take out-of-town guests............................................ 40 Place for a first date......................... 40 Place to people watch..................... 40 Kept secret........................................ 40 Worthy cause.................................... 42 Drive-through.................................... 43 Local blog.......................................... 43 Newspaper columnist...................... 43 Newspaper journalist....................... 43 Pet supplies....................................... 43

Signature Properties, Signature Service

THANK YOU for voting for me, for your loyalty and for the opportunity to serve you, year after year!

Real Estate Agent

See my weekly Sunday Californian Newspaper Color ad for current property listings.

Luxury Homes & Estate Properties Specialist Celebrating 30 years of local real estate excellence to both buyers and sellers. Working with you to achieve your real estate goals with professional, personal service. LISTING • SELLING • NEW CONSTRUCTION • RELOCATION • HOME STAGING

www. Direct Cell

301-MARY (301-6279)

SHOPPING/SERVICES 3801 Chester Ave. 852-5000.


2424 Chester Ave. 833-7900.


Metro Galleries

Five & Dime Antique Mall Housed in the former Woolworth’s building, this antique spot is full of furniture, unique finds, movie memorabilia and plenty of worthy collectibles. 1400 19th St. 323-8048.

Favorites Great American Antiques 625 19th St. 322-1776.

Mill Creek Antique Mall 805 19th St. 324-1900.

Wells Fargo

1604 19th St. 634-9598.

Numerous branches within Kern County, including 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite M5. 396-2280.

Auto service

Bank of America

Bill Wright Toyota The business prides itself on making its customers and their satisfaction its ultimate goal for more than 40 years. 5100 Gasoline Alley Drive. 398-8837.

Favorites Three-Way Chevrolet 4501 Wible Road. 377-1100 or 578-5456.

Jim Burke Ford

Bakersfield Museum of Art For more than a half-century, this perennial award winner has supported local artists as well as showcased special exhibits of works from around the globe. 1930 R St. 323-7219.

Favorites Kern County Museum

2001 Oak St. 328-3600. 5300 Gasoline Alley Drive. 837-6400.

Bike shop Snider’s Cyclery For 13 consecutive years, residents have awarded this local shop known for its quality inventory and service. 2700 New Stine Road. 833-2700. 2700 Union Ave. 324-4759.

Favorites Action Sports

Bank/financial institution

9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 400. 833-4000.

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union

Finish Line

This popular institution has been recognized as the county’s No. 1 bank for 17 years in a row. Nine branches, including

8850 Stockdale Highway. 833-6268.







O R S’ C H O I C E P













YOU THANK Kern County for voting




Art gallery

Many branches including, 4480 Coffee Road. 695-6070.

O ’ C H O IC E P


Snider’s as the Best Bicycle Store!

Thank You Kern County!! For nominating us AGAIN for Best Antique Store







2005 OF




rs’ C h oice

20 E


1400 19th St • Bakersfield, CA (661) 323-8048








• 100s of Bikes to Choose From • Full Line of Parts and Accessories



















r s’ C h oi c e

Serving Kern County Cyclists For Over 106 Years

WOOLWORTH’S DINER Original ‘50’s lunch counter ~

Now open under New Management ~

Delicious burgers, fries, sandwiches, shakes ~

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life







2700 Union Ave Bakersfield 324-4750


2700 New Stine Bakersfield 833-2700

10-5 Mon. thru Sat. 12-5 Sunday EA





Little White Dress

Bookstore Barnes & Noble With story-time events and book and film clubs, this national chain took top honors again this year. 4001 California Ave. 631-2575.

Favorites Russo’s Books 9000 Ming Ave., Suite I-4. 665-4686.

Berean Christian Store 2140 Wible Road. 834-7227.

Bridal/formal wear David’s Bridal The nationwide retailer was the county’s top pick for formal attire, such as wedding dresses, bridesmaid gowns and accessories. 1210 Wible Road. 831-5400.

Favorites Little White Dress

In business for more than 50 years, Henley’s has seen it all from old-school lenses to hightech digitals. Residents trust this downtown Bakersfield business for all their camera needs and have declared it their favorite. 2000 H St. 324-9484.

Favorites Best Buy 8300 Rosedale Highway. 587-0675.

Costco 3800 Rosedale Highway. 852-2643. 4900 Panama Lane. 398-4740.


We carry multiple kinds of addorable party dresses to fit any occasion

For the sixth year in a row, Carpet Outlet Plus has been named Kern County’s favorite carpet and flooring business. 4301 Rosedale Highway. 323-3133.

AJ’s Tuxedo Junction

6301 District Blvd. 398-6000.

Henley’s Photo

I Do and Baby Too at Little White Dress.

We now offer something special for the little ones in your life. Come see us for clothes, gifts and toys for newborns, children and the parents-to-be.

Carpet Outlet Plus


Camera shop

at Little White Dress

We are happy to announce the arrival of our newest bundle of joy,


1800 21st St. 633-2318. 2527 F St. 325-2044. 3699 Ming Ave. 831-4114.

We offer...

Stockdale Tile Lowe’s Three locations in Bakersfield including, 1601 Columbus St. 889-9000. Continued on page 8 Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

SHOPPING/SERVICES Continued from page 7

Cell phone AT&T Wireless

It’s taken the top spot again. AT&T Wireless has been chosen as the primary carrier for cell phones with credit likely due to the popular iPhone and fast 4G network. Many locations in Kern County, including 4180 Truxtun Ave. 852-0100 or 800-331-0500.

Favorites Verizon Wireless Various locations including 1220 Oak St. 328-2226 or 800-922-0204.

as the place for stylish and affordable clothing for children. Four locations in Bakersfield including, 9100 Rosedale Highway. 589-0554.

Favorites JM’s 930 Wible Road. 834-7277.

Babies “R” Us 9280 Rosedale Highway. 587-0423.

Chiropractor Dr. Christopher Berry (Advanced Wellness Center)

Customer service In-N-Out Burger Not only does the old-fashioned burger company pride itself on serving quality food, but its reputation for friendly employees is the reason it was voted No. 1. 5100 Stockdale Highway. 2310 Panama Lane. 800-786-1000.

Favorites Costco 3800 Rosedale Highway. 852-2643. 4900 Panama Lane. 398-4740.


Numerous locations including 4208 Rosedale Highway, Suite 201. 327-5000 or 800-866-2453.

When it comes to back, neck and other joint aches, more residents rely on this business to ease the pain. 8501 Brimhall Road, Building 300. 410-9355.

Various locations including 9200 Rosedale Highway. 587-3661.

Children’s apparel


Local shoppers aim for the bull’s-eye to meet their needs at the chain selling apparel, home items, sporting goods and groceries. Four locations in Bakersfield including



Dr. Stuart A. Sultze

It’s known as the place to go for one-stopshopping, but this year it has been marked

Downtown Wellness

345 H St. 327-2588. 2901 F St. 374-4949.

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Department store Target

SHOPPING/SERVICES Favorites Capital Dental Group 8701 Camino Media, Suite A. 861-8000.

Adept Dental Group 8605 Camino Media, Suite 100. 664-1814.

Doctor/medical group Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center Kohl’s 11000 Stockdale Highway. 617-3657.

Favorites Macy’s 2601 Ming Ave. 832-5550.

Kohl’s 9400 Rosedale Highway. 588-4535. 5385 Gosford Road. 664-7410.

Dentist/dental group Dr. Thomas Frank It’s easy to show off your pearly whites when you’re confident with your smile, and that’s what Dr. Thomas Frank has done for his patients, who voted him the top local dentist. 4101 Empire Drive, Suite 100. 324-6511.

The plastic surgery specialists and staff at Beautologie are dedicated to helping people look and feel beautiful and providing personalized care and attention, so it’s no wonder they were voted as No. 1 for best medical group. 4850 Commerce Drive. 865-5009.

Favorites Dr. Vinod Kumar (Bakersfield Heart Center) 5020 Commerce Drive. 324-4100.

Continued on page 10

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life




In-Shape Health Clubs

Best Buy

Continued from page 9

Kaiser Permanente Ten locations in Bakersfield, including Stockdale Medical Offices, 3501 Stockdale Highway. 328-9831.

Since opening in 2005, Bakersfield’s Best Buy has retained the title as our primary electronics provider for our high-tech, gadget-savvy community. 8300 Rosedale Highway. 587-0675.

For 18 consecutive years, the largest dry cleaner in Kern County, which has been in business since 1986, again takes top honors. Ten locations, including 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite M11. 634-1210.

Favorites New City Cleaners Three locations including 600 Coffee Road, Suite O. 397-8900 or 324-9414.

Kleenerz Four locations in Bakersfield, including 9815 Hageman Road. 328-7000.

Three locations in Bakersfield including 3633 Rosedale Highway. 325-3600.

Log Cabin Florist


Today Cleaners

24-Hour Fitness



Dry cleaner

Five in Bakersfield including 2681 Oswell St. 371-2990.

3800 Rosedale Highway. 852-2643. 4900 Panama Lane. 398-4740.

Urner’s 4110 Wible Road. 396-8400.

As Bakersfield’s oldest flower shop, Log Cabin continues to be the community’s favorite place for floral arrangements for 17 consecutive years. 800 19th St. 327-8646.


Fitness/health club

Garden District Flowers

Body Xchange Since being founded in 2003, Body Xchange has provided a selection of amenities and spa services, and Bakersfield residents seem to agree that it’s “a gym for every lifestyle” by awarding the gym the top spot. Eight locations in Bakersfield, including 2749 N. Calloway Drive. 410-BODY (2639) or 615-6148.

8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite H1. 834-9200.

Mt. Vernon Florist 1519 Mount Vernon Ave. 871-7511.

Funeral home Greenlawn Mortuary & Cemetery Continued on page 12

THANK YOU KERN COUNTY for your continued loyalty and support.










FD # 779



NORTHEAST (661) 324-9701


Carl Saenger Linda Points Karen Kelty Sandra Cope


O R S’ C H O I C E P

SOUTHWEST (661) 834-8820 FD# 1347

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

3200 21ST STREET SUITE 500

Becky Saenger Tara Aherne Don Schambach DustyWagoner







O ’ C H O IC E P




















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Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life





Home appliance store

Mor Furniture for Less Continued from page 10

This business has been helping Kern County families say goodbye to loved ones for more than 70 years, so it’s no wonder Greenlawn has been chosen the best at assisting a family’s needs during trying times. 2739 Panama Lane. 834-8820. 3700 River Blvd. 324-9701.

Favorites Basham Funeral Care 3312 Niles St. 873-8200.

Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary 9101 Kern Canyon Road. 366-5766.

Furniture Weatherby’s Furniture All about value, the family-owned and operated Weatherby’s has been serving its customers for 90 years with a large selection of brand-name furniture. 620 Chester Ave. 327-2747.


2200 Wible Road. 833-4774.

For the 16th year in a row, Urner’s — one of Bakersfield’s oldest and most respected local businesses — wins first place for offering a large selection of the newest innovative home appliances. 4110 Wible Road. 396-8400.

Costco 3800 Rosedale Highway. 852-2643. 4900 Panama Lane. 398-4740.


Hair salon


Essentiels Spa Et Beaute This salon and day spa offers a true luxurious European spa experience, where customers can relax and unwind in a chic setting. With a variety of treatments and expert stylists, Essentiels delivers the highest quality in hair, skin and beauty products and services. 9000 Ming Ave., Suite K7. 654-0321.

Favorites Paragon Salon & Day Spa 4865 Truxtun Ave. 323-1861.

Great Clips Four locations in Bakersfield including 8430 Rosedale Highway, Suite 103.

Three locations in Bakersfield including 6200 Colony St. 699-1000.

Sears 3001 Ming Ave. 833-5399.

Hotel Padre Hotel The iconic downtown fixture has once again become the hotspot to hit on the weekends for a drink at the bar, during the week to pick up a coffee or to enjoy a fine dining experience, which is why it has been voted as Kern’s best hotel. 1702 18th St. 427-4900.

Relax. You’re at Great Clips.


Northwest Promenade 8430 Rosedale Hwy (Coffee & Rosedale, next to Payless Shoes)


Relax. You’re at Great Clips.


$2 OFF your next haircut

Offer expires 08/31/11. Not valid with any other offers. Limit one coupon per customer. At participating salons.

River Run Plaza 6077 Coffee Road (Olive & Coffee, Albertson’s Center)

661-588-4561 Stockdale Village 5620 California Ave. (Stockdale & California, near Starbucks)

661-859-1792 Shops @ Riverwalk 10930 Stockdale Hwy. (Next to Super Target)



Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

SHOPPING/SERVICES Knights Jewelers 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite D8. 397-5070.

Men’s apparel Snead’s for Men Since it opened in 1988, this upscale clothing store has been dressing Bakersfield men in the finest tailored threads and this year, Snead’s beat national retailers for the No. 1 spot. 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite D7. 832-4270.

Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center

Favorites Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center 801 Truxtun Ave. 323-1900.

DoubleTree Hotel

Since 1898, this jeweler has been providing exceptional products and superior service that keeps its customers coming back to the fifth floor for more. 3200 21st St., Suite 500. 325-5023.

3100 Camino Del Rio Court. 323-7111.



9500 Rosedale Highway. 589-5416.

The American Jewelry Co.

Rogers Jewelry Superstore

Favorites Kohl’s 9400 Rosedale Highway. 588-4535. 5385 Gosford Road. 664-7410.

Men’s Wearhouse 3006 Ming Ave., Suite A. 835-9378.

Motorcycle/off-road shop Bakersfield Harley-Davidson Continued on page 14




Thanks for voting us


Integrating Faith, Learning & Living 4901 California Ave. Bakersfield, CA For information or a school tour

(661) 327-3927

Pictured Left to Right: Laura, Connie, Brenda, Maribel, Christina, Natalie, Teri, Denise, Janet, Sandra, Jana (Not Pictured: Peggy, Patti)

2222 “E” Street. Suite 1 (Corner of 23rd and E) 327-2681 Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


SHOPPING/SERVICES Continued from page 13

It doesn’t set out to win awards; Bakersfield Harley-Davidson strives to satisfy its customers, so that everything else falls into place, which could explain why it has placed first for eight straight years in this competition. 35089 Merle Haggard Drive. 325-3644.

Favorites Valley Cycle and Motorsports 3917 Buck Owens Blvd. 324-0768.

Fred Cummings Motorsport

Bakersfield Harley-Davidson

2211 Chester Ave. 324-9695.

Mortgage company

New car dealership Jim Burke Ford

Nursery/garden store

One of the biggest Ford dealerships in the nation, this family-owned business continues to build lasting relationships through its excellent customer service, which may be the reason it came out on top this year. 2001 Oak St. 328-3600. 5300 Gasoline Alley Drive. 837-6400.

White Forest Nursery For more than 45 years, White Forest has helped locals maintain beautiful landscapes and gardens by offering a wide range of the most popular and unusual plants as well as great customer service and gardening advice. 300 Morning Drive. 366-6291.



Bill Wright Toyota

Bolles Nursery

5100 Gasoline Alley Drive. 398-8837.

1112 Wible Road. 398-8128.

Various locations including 9000 Ming Ave., Suite 110. 663-3080.

Three-Way Chevrolet 4501 Wible Road. 377-1100 or 578-5456.

Three locations in Bakersfield including, 7825 Rosedale Highway. 588-6420.

Music store

New home builder

Office supplies

Castle & Cooke

Office Depot

By learning about its customers, this home builder creates thoughtfully crafted communities that reflect people’s values such as their home, family and a sense of belonging, and that’s why its clients have voted Castle & Cooke the best in Kern County. 10000 Stockdale Highway, Suite 300. 664-6500.

From paper clips to printing needs, Office Depot is the preferred place for local patrons to purchase office supplies. 8800 Rosedale Highway. 588-7909. 5600 Stockdale Highway. 324-5457.

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union This home loan provider maintains its position for another year as one of the top mortgage companies. Nine branches, including 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite P. 833-7926.

Favorites Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Numerous branches within Kern County, including 5401 California Ave. 863-0234.

Bank of America

World Records When it comes to their tunes, music lovers head to the place “where music matters most,” awarding this local shop the preferred location to purchase records. 2815 F St. 831-3100.

Favorites Target Four locations in Bakersfield including 11000 Stockdale Highway. 617-3657.

Best Buy 8300 Rosedale Highway. 587-0675.




Favorites Stinson’s

8501 Brimhall Road, Suite 104. 664-7130.

1108 Baker St. 323-7611. 4500 Stine Road. 323-7611 (showroom by appointment only).



8700 Stockdale Highway. 836-8601.

3761 Ming Ave. 397-2666. 2635 Mount Vernon Ave. 871-8342.

Froehlich Signature Homes

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

SHOPPING/SERVICES 3800 Rosedale Highway. 852-2643. 4900 Panama Lane. 398-4740.

Dr. Gregory Stainer (Southwest Eye Care & Laser) 4649 Planz Road. 866-825-2199.

Pediatrician Dr. William F. Dinicola When it comes to their child’s health and well-being, more Kern parents put their trust in Dr. Dinicola as the best pediatrician in Kern County. 300 Old River Road, Suite 125. 663-3122. Castle & Cooke

Favorites Dr. Hitesh Shah (Southwest Pediatrics) team have taken top honors in local vision care. 2222 E St., Suite 1. 327-2681.

9802 Stockdale Highway, Suite 103. 6634444.

Dr. Stephen Ratty


500 40th St. 327-3784.

For the last eight years, Dr. Ratty and his



Dr. Sze Ho (San Dimas Petriatrics) Continued on page 16

We Couldn’t Be the Best Without You ER











Your Good Neighbor Day Florist


O R S’ C H O I C E P

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


SHOPPING/SERVICES Continued from page 15

Physical therapist Terrio Therapy-Fitness Last year’s reigning physical therapist retains its title because it finds a solution that’s best for its customer. Ten locations in Bakersfield, including 3400 Calloway Drive. 377-1700.

Favorites Glinn & Giordano Physical Therapy Six locations in Kern County including 1201 23rd St. 327-4357.

Pair & Marotta Physical Therapy Three locations in Bakersfield including, 1723 27th St. 634-9440.

Pool or spa store Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies Making a splash at the top of the list, this national chain has once again been chosen as the best place for pool and spa equip-


ment and accessories. Four locations, including 9901 Hageman Road. 829-2302.

Favorites Bakersfield Pool Supply 4300 Easton Drive, Suite 23. 978-7665 or 325-POOL (7665).

Rock Bottom Pools 2724 Landco Drive. 859-1700.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Darshan Shah (Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center)

Dr. Gordon Mitts 2525 H St. 324-7208.

Real estate agent Jon Busby (ReMax Magic) With a love for the community, Jon Busby has been diligent at helping meet the needs of local homebuyers and sellers by maintaining a positive attitude and strong work ethics. 201 New Stine Road, Suite 300. 410-SELL (7355).

Favorites Betty Byrom (People Realty)

With offices in Bakersfield and Malibu, Dr. Darshan Shah has earned the trust of his patients and proven himself to be at the top of his game, making national television appearances on “Today” and “Dr. Phil.” 4850 Commerce Drive. 865-5009.

3861 Stockdale Highway. 847-1050.


Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors

Dr. Vipul Dev 2901 Sillect Ave., Suite 201. 327-2101.

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Mary Christenson (Watson Realty) 9101 Camino Media. 301-MARY (6279) or 327-5161.

Real estate company With more than 30 years of local real estate experience, Coldwell Bank prides itself on the family-oriented atmosphere that has

SHOPPING/SERVICES Homeless program that has collected more than 30,000 pairs of shoes. Owned and operated by three generations, this shoe store guarantees to put its best foot forward, which accounts for its 16th win in a row. 2101 Chester Ave. 325-8751.

Favorites Famous Footwear 8920 Rosedale Highway. 589-7650.


Coldwell Banker

2601 Ming Ave. 832-5550.

9101 Camino Media. 327-5161.

4000 Ming Ave. 847-4800.

Shoe store Guarantee Shoe Center Since 1952, this locally owned store has not only catered to its loyal customers, but to the community with the Shoes for the

Valley Plaza Mall When we want to shop till we drop, we head to this Ming Avenue mainstay with more than 140 retailers for the best shopping spree around town where there’s a little something for everybody. 2701 Ming Ave. 832-2436. Continued on page 18










Watson Realty

Karpe Real Estate Center



Shopping center


strong ties to the Kern County community, so it’s no wonder it made the top of the real estate list. Three locations in Bakersfield, including 1820 Westwind Drive. 327-2121.


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Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


SHOPPING/SERVICES Continued from page 17

Favorites The Marketplace 9000 Ming Ave.

Northwest Promenade 8300-8700 Rosedale Highway.

Sporting goods Dick’s Sporting Goods This national chain opened its doors to Bakersfield customers last year, and obviously made a good first impression because it ranked No. 1 in offering the best sports equipment and workout apparel. 9300 Rosedale Highway. 588-8100.

Action Sports



Tile store

Action Sports

Bill Ray Ceramic Tile Center

9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 400. 833-4000.

Locally owned and operated for more than 50 years, Bill Ray Tile puts its customer first, and those satisfied customers have awarded it the premier tile store. 6301East Brundage Lane. 366-3255.

Big 5 Sporting Goods 3214 Ming Ave. 832-4161. 3203 Mall View Road. 872-4947.

Stockdale Tile 6301 District Blvd. 398-6000.

Bedrosians 4301 Ashe Road. 396-0555. Continued on page 20

Southwest Eye Care & Laser


Gregory A. Stainer, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Summer Special Top Seller of HUD homes in Bakersfield CA Since 1990 If you qualify: 1% down payment HUD pays closing costs Ask about additional Down Payment Assistance Programs!

We specialize in short sales and foreclosures.

We are now offering a special on the following:

Facial with Double Glycolic Peel




Gift Certificates Available FotoFacial™ • Laser Hair Removal • Dermal Fillers • Microdermabrasion • Age Spot Removal • Botox

We also offer: Laser Vision Correction, Eyelid Surgery, Erbium Laser Resurfacing, Dermaplaning

Call “People Realty” for a FREE Pre-qualification showing 7 days a week! Come by every Friday for a free HUD list at 3861 Stockdale Hwy! 18

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

4649 Planz Road (661) 833-4040

Jon Busby is honored to have served Kern County for 25 years offering exceptional customer service in resale, new construction, investment, and commercial real estate. We’re Honored To Be Nominated For


Thanks!! ’ C h oic




















rs’ C h oice




E R S’








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2 0 06






































R S’ C H O I C E P


Jon Busby • Kim Busby • Jennifer Busby • Jonathan Busby Annette Huston • Jeri Schueler • Lisa Anderson • Angelica Roquemore

661- 410-SELL (7355)

SHOPPING/SERVICES Continued from page 18

Tire store Big O Tires When it comes to tire needs, customers voted on “the team you trust” at Big O Tires. Four locations in Bakersfield, including 3648 Coffee Road. 588-1920.

Favorites America’s Tire Company 4940 Gosford Road. 665-7904. 8780 Rosedale Highway. 587-9770.

Big Brand Tire Three locations in Bakersfield including 1401 21st St. 327-9921.

Travel agency AAA With discounts, deals and emergency

Emporium Western Store

roadside assistance, the Automobile Club of Southern California eases the mind of travelers planning their vacations both near and far. 1500 Commercial Way. 327-4661.



Used car dealership

Kern Travel East Hills

Jim Burke Ford

3501 Mall View Road, Suite 104. 872-

Whether it’s used cars or new cars, Jim

Lambourne Travel 1230 17th St. 323-9031.

The Best Selection of the Best Product, Sold by the Best People to the Best Customers.

Home Appliance Store

Since 1919,,




Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


Open Daily at White Lane and Wible Road 396-8400 •

Jim Burke Ford

Three-Way Chevrolet 4501 Wible Road. 377-1100 or 578-5456.

Veterinarian Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital

Affordable Pet Hospital 8150 Hageman Road. 829-5904.

Western store Emporium Western Store

Thanks for Voting for Us! Friendly, Informative, & Supportive Services for You and Your Pets.

8150 Hageman Road (661) 829-5904






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Continued on page 22



The century-old business “where real cowboys shop” for cowboy hats, boots and belt buckles continues to keep its lasso hooked on its victory for 14 straight years. 1031 19th St. 325-8476.

Nominated Best Carpet/Flooring Store In Town


Animals both big and small have been treated with quality care by this service for 88 years, which is the reason it was voted the best of its kind.

3534 Coffee Road. 587-1976.


5100 Gasoline Alley Drive. 398-8837.

Coffee Road Animal Hospital


Bill Wright Toyota




8610 Harris Road. 327-4444. (small animals) 4408 Wible Road. 832-1150. (large animals)


Burke Ford gives the people of Kern County what they want and assists its customers with automotive needs. 2001 Oak St. 328-3600. 5300 Gasoline Alley Drive. 837-6400.


one else can say that!

Everyday is Sale Day! 4301 Rosedale Hwy 661-323-3133

(corner of Coffee & Hageman)

QUALITY PET CARE AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life21

SHOPPING/SERVICES Continued from page 21

Favorites Boot Barn 3913 Buck Owens Blvd. 327-6770.

Floyd’s General Store Various location, including 3650 Chester Ave. 327-5105.

Women’s apparel Forever 21 Budget-conscious fashionistas know they can shop for trendy clothes and accessories for less at this national chain, which recently underwent a remodel in the mall. 2701 Ming Ave. 832-2090.


24th Street Cafe


Kohl’s 9400 Rosedale Highway. 588-4535. 5385 Gosford Road. 664-7410.

Bar Padre Hotel

Macy’s 2601 Ming Ave. 832-5550.

The downtown boutique hotel draws a large crowd of all ages that enjoys the nightlife

at Brimstone and Prairie Fire where the mixologists strive to perfect their patrons’ favorite cocktail. 1702 18th St. 427-4900.

Favorites Sandrini’s Italian & Basque Restaurant

Thank you Bakersfield for your Votes All of us at Smith’s Bakeries wish to thank you for the opportunity, over the last 66 years, to prepare the best quality baked goods we know how to make. You expect us to use the best ingredients and our artisans enjoy the fact that baked goods made with a combination of their hands and hearts are still appreciated.



We look forward to offering you the same quality food & service. We appreciate your loyalty.

2 Locations

Kern County’s Only Certified Master Baker Smith’s Brundage

Bake Shop And Sales

2213 Brundage • 325-6941

2808 Union Ave. • 325-6357

Brookside Market

Green Frog Market

Coffee & Hageman • 588-2070

Alta Vista & Bernard • 322-0451

White Oaks Plaza

Decorating Dept.

6401 White Lane • 834-1916

2808 Union • 325-3411

Brookside Market

Green Frog Market

The Marketplace • 654-0858

3711 Columbus • 873-8244

631-18th Street • 327-3861

5601 California Ave. • 327-5201 22

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

& Bar 1918 Eye St. 322-8900.

RJ’s Bar & Grill 9440 Hageman Road, Suite C. 587-4723.


Favorites Sweet Surrender 6439 Ming Ave., Suite B. 835-8530.

victory all 18 years of this readers’ poll. Tradition, a family-oriented atmosphere and tasty Basque food continues to put this restaurant at the top of the list. 620 E. 19th St. 327-9584.

Pyrenees French Bakery 717 E. 21st St. 322-7159.

Breakfast 24th Street Cafe This cafe is a happy place for hungry people who like tasty food at affordable prices, which is the reason it was voted the spot for the best breakfast. 1415 24th St. 323-8801.

Favorites Cope’s Knotty Pine Cafe 1530 Norris Road. 399-0120.

Spencer’s Restaurant



Famous Dave’s

Benji’s French Basque Restaurant

This national barbeque chain that’s still fairly new to the local scene takes its third year in a row at the top for delivering some choice barbecue. 7777 Rosedale Highway. 829-2128.

4001 Rosedale Highway. 328-0400.



Champs BBQ & Catering

10437 Rosedale Highway. 589-0658.

35315 Merle Haggard Drive, Suite 110, 391-8334.


Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe

Smith’s Bakery

1710 Oak St. 322-6380.

For 18 years, this local bakery has placed first in this category with its signature cookies, doughnuts, cakes and pastries. Seven locations including 2808 Union Ave. 325-3411.


Noriega’s 525 Sumner St. 322-8419.

Business lunch When it comes to business lunches, Kern County is certain that this is the place to go. Whether it’s for finalizing deals or chatting with a co-worker over an order of half and half or one of its famous steaks on Friday, you’ll always find a winner here. 725 E. 19th St. 322-0926.


Wool Growers Like Smith’s Bakery, Wool Growers is another local business that has claimed

Cafe Med Restaurant

Continued on page 24

Thanks for the nomination,

Bakersfield! We’ve loved serving you for the past 40 years.

Thanks Again! 2828 Niles St., 9500 Brimhall Rd., & 4701 Wilson Rd. (661) 837-0270 (661) 588-7004 (661) 832-6112

Taste the difference and insist on Pyrenees!

Thank You to all our loyal customers for voting Luigi’s… LUNCH

717 East 21st Street • (661) 322-7159 R

























Open Mon. - Fri. 8a.m.-6p.m., Sat. 8a.m.-2p.m., Sun. 8a.m.-12p.m.,


Everything served in Luigi’s Restaurant Can be purchased in our delicatessen



725 EAST 19TH STREET 322-0926

Serving Kern County grocery stores and restaurants for over 66 years!



r s’ C h oi c e




E R S’




Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life23

Thank you for voting for us for the last 16 years, Bakersfield!

Continued from page 23

4809 Stockdale Highway. 834-4433.

Mexicali 631 18th St. 327-3861. 5601 California Ave. 3275201.

Best Chinese Restaurant

Best Delivery



Celebrating Our 73rd Anniversary 1203 18th St. - Established 1938 • 11AM - 10PM M-F • 11AM - 11PM SAT • 11AM - 10PM SUN



Best Place to Dance

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests

Best Sunday Brunch

Best Place to Listen to Live Music CRYSTAL PALACE STEAKHOUSE 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 661/328-7560


Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Burger Juicy Burger It opened late last year and has already been made the readers’ choice for the tastiest burger in town with its never frozen, 100 percent Harris Ranch beef and fresh cut fries, Juicy Burger has given In-and-Out Burger some competition. 1201 24th St., Suite D 130. 325-8429.

Favorites In-N-Out 5100 Stockdale Highway. 2310 Panama Lane.


Happy Jack’s Pie ’N Burger 1800 20th St. 323-1661.

Catering Hodel’s Country Dining Whether you’re planning a company picnic, wedding or fundraiser, keep in mind that Kern County voted Hodel’s, locally owned and operated for more than 40 years, as the restaurant to cater your next event. 5917 Knudsen Drive, 3993341.

Favorites Luigi’s 725 E. 19th St. 322-0926.

Coconut Joe’s 4158 California Ave. For catering 496-7945 and for restaurant take-out 327-1378.

DINING/FOOD strong cup of Joe from this Seattle-based chain that celebrates its 13th victory in our readers’ poll. Various locations including, 2701 Ming Ave. 834-8949.

Favorites Dagny’s Coffee Co. 1600 20th St. 634-0806.

The Filling Station 1830 24th St. 323-5120.


Juicy Burger

The Sequoia Sandwich Co.

Chinese restaurant

Restaurant 410 Union Ave. 325-3311.

Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks Conveniently located downtown, local favorite Bill Lee’s again tops this category with its famous family-style dinners and signature Mai Tai cocktails in the lounge. 1203 18th St. 324-9441.

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro



Great Castle Chinese

10700 Stockdale Highway, 664-8100.

For more than 10 years, Sequoia has been serving up quality sandwiches, side salads, soups and sweets to the downtown business crowd and beyond at its three locations. Three locations in Bakersfield, including 1231 18th St. 323-2500.



Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen

Like the rest of the country, Kern values a

9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 304. 588-7004.

Continued on page 26

Thank You Kern County for Nominating Us

Great Castle Chinese Restaurant Become a Fan on Facebook!

Our staff at La Costa Mariscos would like to take this opportunity to thank Kern County for your loyalty and support. Authentic & Fine Mexican Seafood

Locally Owned Since 1979

32 Years Of Exceptional

Chinese Mandarin Cuisine Thank you Bakersfield for Nominating Us Again! Open 7 Days a Week Gift Certificates Available

Catering Service Available

716 21st street • (661) 322-2655

410 Union Ave. • Phone (661)325-3311 Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life25

DINING/FOOD Continued from page 25

2828 Niles St. 873-0270.

Luigi’s 725 E. 19th St. 322-0926.

Delivery Rusty’s Pizza Parlor The pizza chain is again voted No. 1 for delivery. With a convenient one-number order system and eight locations around town, Rusty’s is always ready to deliver. Eight locations in Bakersfield including, 5430 Olive Drive. 835-5555. rustyspizza. com.

Favorites Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks

Sweet Surrender

1203 18th St. 324-9441.

RJ’s Bar & Grill

Juicy Burger

Restaurant Runner

9440 Hageman Road, Suite C. 587-4723.

It hasn’t even been open for a year and Kern has already claimed this burger restaurant as the hotspot for lunch. 1201 24th St., Suite D 130. 325-8429.

7800 Meany Ave., Suite E. 589-3400.

Desserts Dewar’s Family Candy and Ice Cream Parlor From ice cream treats to its homemade fine candy chews, Dewar’s has something to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s easy to understand how this longtime favorite has been in business for more than 100 years. 1120 Eye St. 322-0933. 9530 Hageman Road, Suite K. 587-2056.

Favorites Sweet Surrender 6439 Ming Ave., Suite B. 835-8530.

Moo Creamery

Health food store Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins Serving the community with fresh, organic foods and products as well as reliable nutritional knowledge, Lassen’s is the No. 1 health food store to visit. 4308 California Ave. 324-6990.


Favorites Luigi’s 725 E. 19th St. 322-0926.

Chipotle Mexican Grill 4950 Stockdale Highway. 335-0400.

Trader Joe’s


8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite C21. 8378863.


Cone’s Health Foods & Vitamins 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite B-3. 832-5669.


Whether you like it blended or on the rocks, Mexicali is the prime location to quench your thirst for the great margaritas. 631 18th St. 327-3861. 5601 California Ave. 327-5201.

Uricchio’s Trattoria


Since 1995, this downtown Bakersfield eatery has been dishing up Italian favorites in a warm and friendly ambiance. 1400 17th St. 326-8870.

Mauricio’s Grill & Cantina

Favorites Frugatti’s Italian Restaurant

Three locations in Bakersfield including 10618 Hageman Road. 679-7920.

600 Coffee Road, Suite L. 836-2000.

Mexican restaurant



BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

725 E. 19th St. 322-0926.

10750 Stockdale Highway. 241-5115.


Year after year, the popular restaurant has swept the best margarita, Mexican restaurant and salsa categories, proving the

4885 Truxtun Ave., Suite B. 861-1130.

Happy hour Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse With appetizers and drink specials along with a mellow atmosphere, Tahoe Joe’s earned top honors with the after-work crowd. 9000 Ming Ave. 664-7750.



Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

10700 Rosedale Highway. 589-5292. 6410 White Lane. 837-9570.

Jacalito Grill

Continued on page 28

A Bakersfield tradition for 57 years!

Panera Bread

Continued from page 26 AD






O ’ C H O IC E P





unwavering preference of local diners. 631 18th St. 327-3861. 5601 California Ave. 327-5201.














O R S’ C H O I C E P

Mauricio’s Grill and Cantina

Juicy Burger

716 21st St. 322-2655.

Microbrew selection Lengthwise Brewing Co.

Place To Take Out-Of-Town Guests


620 East Nineteenth Street Closed Sundays

Wool Growers Restaurant & COCKTAIL LOUNGE


Belvedere Room (at the Padre Hotel) 1702 18th St. 427-4900.

La Costa Mariscos

Overall Restaurant


Favorites 10700 Rosedale Highway. 589-5292. 6410 White Lane. 837-9570.


With selections like its Centennial Ale, popular brewery Lengthwise has topped this list for nine consecutive years. 6720 Schirra Court. 836-ALES (2537).

Favorites BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse 10750 Stockdale Highway. 241-5115.

1201 24th St., Suite D 130. 325-8429.

Overall restaurant Wool Growers For half a century, this local restaurant has been serving guests the best food from the Basque country, so it’s no surprise this iconic spot was voted as the best overall place to eat. 620 E. 19th St. 327-9584.

Favorites Cafe Med Restaurant 4809 Stockdale Highway. 834-4433.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

The Firehouse

10750 Stockdale Highway. 241-5115.

7701 White Lane, Suite A-3. 831-4688.


New restaurant Panera Bread This national cafe won the hearts of many locals who enjoy eating its gourmet sandwiches on freshly baked breads in Panera’s cozy environment. 10900 Stockdale Highway. 663-0355.

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Rusty’s Pizza For five straight years, Rusty’s has remained the popular pizza preference with its fresh ingredients and swift delivery service. Eight locations in Bakersfield including, 40 Bernard St. 835-5555. Continued on page 30

DINING/FOOD Continued from page 28

Favorites Plumberry’s 13001 Stockdale Highway, Suite E. 589-8889.

Tony’s Pizza Five locations in Kern County, including 4750 Coffee Road, Suite 101. 588-4700.

Restaurant for kids/family John’s Incredible Pizza Co. For more than a decade, John’s has reigned supreme as the fun place for kids’ birthday bashes and family night outings where there are all-you-can-eat pizza and arcade games. 3709 Rosedale Highway. 859-1111.

Favorites Chuck E. Cheese 3760 Ming Ave. 397-7855.


Mauricio’s Grill and Cantina

Moo Creamery 4885 Truxtun Ave., Suite B. 861-1130.

Romantic restaurant Belvedere Room (at the Padre Hotel) This grand room serves elegant nightly dinners in a quiet room that’s perfect for a party of two to share a romantic dining experience.

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

1702 18th St. 427-4900.

Favorites Uricchio’s Trattoria 1400 17th St. 326-8870.

Cafe Med Restaurant 4809 Stockdale Highway. 834-4433.




La Costa Mariscos


716 21st St. 322-2655.

Surprise! Locals can’t seem to get enough of this mouth-watering salsa that puts Mexicali on top every year. 631 18th St. 327-3861. 5601 California Ave. 327-5201.

Favorites Mauricio’s Grill and Cantina 10700 Rosedale Highway. 589-5292. 6410 White Lane. 837-9570.

Jacalito Grill

Senior special

head to this restaurant in The Marketplace. With a hopping happy hour, you won’t mind waiting for a table to feast on your wood-grilled sirloin or ribeye. 9000 Ming Ave. 664-7750.



Sea Breeze 2500 New Stine Road. 832-5261.

The diner that’s always open offers values for seniors throughout the day with an assortment of menu items at great deals. Eight locations in Bakersfield including 8710 Rosedale Highway. 587-5900.

Three locations in Bakersfield, including 10618 Hageman Road. 679-7920.



1300 Easton Drive. 322-4644.

Red Lobster For the eight years it’s been open, Red Lobster continues to lure locals in for not only lobster, but fresh fish fillets and shrimp, which is why it’s rated as the best seafood selection in town. 8180 Rosedale Highway. 589-9956.

KC Steakhouse 2515 F St. 322-9910.

Outback Steakhouse 5051 Stockdale Highway. 834-7850.

Sunday brunch


Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

IHOP Restaurant Three locations in Bakersfield including 9220 Rosedale Highway. 587-7090.

Hungry buckaroos know where the good stuff is served, heading here for some Southern comfort food with dishes like biscuits and gravy or country fried steak. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 328-7560.


Steak Tahoe Joes’s Famous Steakhouse For the best steaks in town, more locals

Hodel’s Country Dining Continued on page 32

Thank you Kern County! Birthday Parties, Team Parties, Play Groups, Field Trips, Summer Camp

661-392-8800 •

2841 Unicorn Rd., Ste. 103, Bakersfield, CA 93308

Although it’s open on the west end of Stockdale Hwy… Anyone from anywhere in Bakersfield is invited to enjoy the different tastes and textures of a Plumberry’s Pizza!

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


DINING/FOOD Continued from page 31

5917 Knudsen Drive, 399-3341.

Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery 3801 California Ave. 327-0477. 2631 Oswell St. 872-1051.

Sushi/Japanese Akira Japanese Restaurant The sushi is fresh, and the teppanyaki dining makes for thrilling entertainment at this local favorite. 4154 California Ave. 326-1860.

Favorites Tokyo Garden 4149 Ming Ave. 835-7874.

Love Sushi 3940 Coffee Road. 587-4245.

Wine Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant

Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant

With its lush wine bar and vast storage, Imbibe has been the favorite for the past

Thank you Kern County, for choosing the Bakersfield Museum of Art.

1930 R Street Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-323-7219 32

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

MISCELLANEOUS two years among local oenophiles. 4140 Truxtun Ave. 633-WINE (9463).

Tahoe Joe’s

mals like the adorable mountain lion duo Willow and Sage, CALM has been drawing local families since it opened to the public in 1983. 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. 872-2256.

9000 Ming Ave. 664-7750.


Favorites Cafe Med Restaurant 4809 Stockdale Highway. 834-4433.

Bakersfield Condors 1001 Truxtun Ave. 324-PUCK (7825).


Kern County Fair 1142 South P St. 833-4900.

Community theater Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall Since 2005, the Gaslight has packed its theater by encouraging audience members to boo for the villain and cheer for the hero, making it No. 1 for two straight years. 12748 Jomani Drive. 587-3377.

Favorites Stars Theatre Restaurant 1931 Chester Ave. 325-6100.

Annual event

Bakersfield Condors

Relay For Life

Bakersfield Community Theatre 2400 S. Chester Ave. 831-8114.

Family attraction California Living Museum Home to a variety of native California ani-

After years of being held at Cal State Bakersfield, this year’s Relay for Life was held at a bigger location and the community came together to raise more than $2 million, which makes this a much-anticipated annual event. Held at 11800 Old River Road. 327-2424. Continued on page 34

Best Family Attraction Best Kept Secret

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


MISCELLANEOUS Continued from page 32

Favorites HolidayLights at CALM 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. 872-2256.

Brews in the Village/Village Fest Held at Kern County Museum 3801 Chester Ave. 324-9653.

Place to dance Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace Line dance or do-se-do to country crooners and visiting bands at the house that Buck built, which remains the best place for a boot-scootin’ good time. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 328-7560.

Favorites Trout’s Nightclub 805 N. Chester Ave. 399-6700.

Fishlips 1517 18th St. 324-2557.

Brews in the Village

Place to listen to live music

the ultimate place to listen to live tunes. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 328-7560.

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace


With a lineup of country stars performing in front of the packed palace, this remains

1517 18th St. 324-2557.


• 27-hole of Championship Golf • Tennis Center Featuring Seven Lighted Courts • Two State-of-the-Art Fitness Centers & Fitness Classes • Jr. Golf & Tennis Clinics • Children’s Activities & Camps • Two Jr. Olympic Swimming Pools • Two Full Service Restaurants • Men’s & Ladies Locker Rooms with Steam Rooms, Saunas & Jacuzzis • Banquet Facilities Accommodating up to 400

For more information and a personal tour, contact our Membership Director, Gayle Tape, at 661-664-6404 34

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Fox Theater

The Fox Theater

2001 H St. 324-1369.

Kern County Family Magazine

Bakersfield Magazine

Pismo Beach









For more than a decade, this desired coastal destination has literally been the “cool” getaway that Kern residents voted as their favorite when the weather gets too hot.



Weekend getaway


With a focus on what makes our community great, Bakersfield Life continues to stay at the top of the list as a favorite publication that appeals to longtime residents and newcomers alike who are looking for a way to stay connected.


Bakersfield Life magazine


Local magazine


O R S’ C H O I C E P

Shopping Center

Place to People Watch

Las Vegas Continued on page 36 Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


Continued from page 35

Morro Bay

Golf course

Day care facility

The Links at RiverLakes Ranch

Little Red School House


Not only does this golf course provide relaxing scenery for practicing your drives or playing a round of 18 holes, but The Links at RiverLakes Ranch has a unique layout that creates a challenge to sink your shot. This year, it managed to sink a hole-in-one at the top of the list. 5201 Riverlakes Drive. 587LINK (5465).

A Good Time Out


For 14 years, this day care has been awarded the favored place for youngsters to learn and develop into a productive individual in our society. 4601 California Ave. 324LRSH (5774). 4601 Fruitvale Ave. LUVABCS (588-2227).

3400 Calloway Drive, Suite 501. 410-8463. agoodtimeout. net.

St. John’s Lutheran School & Children Center 4500 Buena Vista Road. 6657815.


Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Seven Oaks Country Club 2000 Grand Lakes Ave. 6646404. sevenoakscountryclub. com.

Bakersfield Country Club 4200 Country Club Drive. 871-4000. bakersfieldcountry-

MISCELLANEOUS Local website For local news, entertainment, events and more, turn to The Bakersfield Californian’s website, which has secured this spot for 12 years.



Southwest Mercy Hospital

The Park at River Walk This parcel of land next to the Kern River is big enough to host large community events as well as family gatherings, helping it maintain its title as the top local park. 11200 Stockdale Highway.

400 Old River Road, 663-6000.

Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield


The compassionate care and community outreach that the Mercy Hospitals provide is the reason it has been voted as a top choice among local hospitals. 2215 Truxtun Ave. 632-5000.

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital


Favorites Hart Memorial Park

420 34th St. 327-4647.

Located eight miles northeast of Bakersfield on Alfred Harrell Highway.

San Joaquin Community Hospital

Continued on page 38

2615 Chester Ave. 395-3000.

Founded in 1946, Lambourne Travel is a partner of The Travel Partners and specializes in escorted tours & groups to exciting world destinations.


BUY DIRECT & SAVE! Thank you Kern County for 55 years of faithful business. We will continue to offer the best selection, prices and best customer service in the Central Valley. Come by and see us soon.

Quality • Service • Experience

The COMPLETE Tile Store “One of the Largest Selections of Ceramic Tile On The West Coast”


(661) 366-3255 6301 E. BRUNDAGE LN. BAKERSFIELD, CA Between Oswell & Fairfax Rd.

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


MISCELLANEOUS Private school Continued from page 37

Mill Creek Park Located in downtown Bakersfield between 19th and 21st streets.

Place for a birthday party Pump It Up Known as “the inflatable party zone,” Pump It Up is the ultimate place to have a kid’s birthday bash. With a variety of activities and a fun atmosphere, no wonder it is still No. 1. 2841 Unicorn Road, Suite 103. 392-8800.

Favorites John’s Incredible Pizza 3709 Rosedale Highway. 859-1111.

Chuck E. Cheese 3760 Ming Ave. 397-7855.


Garces Memorial High School Kern County’s lone Catholic high school is back on top of the list this year. For more than 60 years, this school has provided an environment where students are challenged intellectually and can develop spiritually and socially. 2800 Loma Linda Drive. 327-2578.

Favorites Bakersfield Christian High School 12775 Stockdale Highway. 410-7000.

Pump It Up

Stockdale Christian School 4901 California Ave. 327-3927.

Retirement home/ community Glenwood Gardens With quality care in a peaceful environment, Glenwood Gardens is the choice for a senior living.

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

350 Calloway Drive. 587-0221.

Favorites Rosewood Senior Living Community 1301 New Stine Road. 834-0620 or 800-984-4216.

Carriage House Estates Continued on page 40

San Joaquin Community Hospital knows “firsts.” Hospital to have both a Nationally Certified Stroke Center, along with our Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center under the same roof. Hospital-based 64-slice CT scanner. Hospital to perform open-heart surgery. Nationally Certified, hospital-based Diabetes Education. Hospital-based Free Mobile Immunizations Program. Full-treatment Grossman Burn Center. Gold Standard Bariatrics Program.

Bakersfield’s Most Preferred Hospital

MISCELLANEOUS When your out-of-town guests drop by to walk the streets of Bakersfield, you voted the first stop is the Crystal Palace. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 328-7560.

Continued from page 38

8200 Westwold Drive. 663-8393.


Place to worship Valley Baptist Church A place of worship that spreads messages to encourage, challenge and strengthen one’s spiritual journey and offers specific ministries for all ages has been voted No. 1 this year. 4800 Fruitvale Ave. 393-5683.


Dewar’s Family Candy and Ice Cream Parlor

2300 E. Brundage Lane. 325-2251.

St. John’s Lutheran Church 4500 Buena Vista Road. 665-7815.

Dewar’s Family Candy and Ice Cream Parlor

Best-kept secret

Cafe Med Restaurant

Wool Growers

For more than 25 years, this zoo has been the home to many native California animals and plants such as mountain lions, roadrunners, bald eagles and albino kingsnakes. 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. 872-2256.


Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

920 34 St. 323-2771.

34th Street Deli (Car Wash Burger)

Providing Excellence in Catholic Education since 1947

Thank you Bakersfield for supporting Catholic education and for once again including Garces Memorial High School as One of the Best!


Place for a first date

620 E. 19th St. 327-9584.

1120 Eye St. 322-0933. 9530 Hageman Road, Suite K. 587-2056.

Place to take out-of-town guests

Best Of Logo Here

163 H St. 322-5965.

You won’t have those first-date jitters by sharing a chocolate sundae at Dewar’s with your date because Kern voted this the ideal spot to take the guy or girl you want to impress. 1120 Eye St. 322-0933. 9530 Hageman Road, Suite K. 587-2056.

California Living Museum

Valley Bible Fellowship

Country Rose Cafe

Accepting Enrollment Applications and Transfer Students for Fall 2011 (661) 327-2578

Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life

Favorites 4809 Stockdale Highway. 834-4433.

Bakersfield Condors Game 1001 Truxtun Ave. 324-PUCK (7825).

Place to people watch The Marketplace Whether you’re in the courtyard outside Continued on page 42

In Kern County, Julia Bae, MD, leads our group of physicians who are deeply rooted in the community - doctors providing care to generations of families. Our doctors work together with a health care team that includes specialists, nurses, health educators, and others - to help keep you and your family healthy. Thank you for nominating our doctors the “Best of Kern County� nine of the past ten years, and for voting for our doctors once again in 2011! We provide high-quality care at eight convenient locations near your work or home. To find a Kaiser Permanente facility closest to you, or to learn how to become a member, call us at (661) 334-2005 or visit

MISCELLANEOUS Continued from page 40

of Starbucks or planted in a seat near the fountain, you voted The Marketplace the best location to stare at strangers. 9000 Ming Ave.

Favorites Kern County Fair 1142 S. P St. 833-4900.

Valley Plaza Mall 2701 Ming Ave. 832-2436.

Worthy cause Relay For Life Each year, this event attracts more and more people to gather and celebrate, remember and fight back as a community. 1523 California Ave. 327-2424.

Favorites Bakersfield SPCA

Relay For Life

3000 Gibson St. 323-8353.


Best of Kern County 2011 by Bakersfield Life


Alliance Against Family Violence 1921 19th St. 322-0931.

not only keep you informed on local news, but make for an entertaining read, which is why you voted their blogs as No. 1.

years later he became the feature columnist, known for leaving you laughing, crying or just shaking your head.


Drive-through Andre’s Drive-In It was one of the popular spots to go cruising in the 1950s and ’60s, and decades later, this iconic spot is just as popular today, which is why it ranks No. 1. 1419 Brundage Lane. 322-0044. 1630 Niles St. 863-0930.

Favorites Sonic Ten locations in Bakersfield, including 8875 Rosedale Highway. 587-6161.

Favorites Breaking News Bakersfield Californian

Lois Henry Pete Tittl

Newspaper columnist

Pet supplies

Herb Benham


With a focus on personal experiences, Herb Benham has given many readers a good laugh through the years and shared life lessons on what to do — and sometimes what not to do — which is why readers voted him best columnist.

When it comes to our pets, we want to give them the best, which is the reason for PETCO being awarded the top-dog honors. 8220 Rosedale Highway. 587-1097. 5151 Gosford Road. 664-6874.



Lois Henry Heather Ijames

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3D TV Photos by Alex Horvath

New format raises the bar in watching programs


By Gabriel Ramirez First came color, then cable, recently high definition and now 3D. How you choose to watch TV is now up to you, but if you’re looking for a more realistic and thrilling experience, 2D will no longer cut it. According to the Urner’s Inc. sales team in Bakersfield, 3D TV has become very popular among movie buffs and gamers. “Sports fans have also shown a lot of interest as well. As 3D content evolves, and more becomes available, I think we’ll see a lot more people looking to upgrade to a 3D TV,” said Tom Downs, Urner’s manager. 3D TVs start as low as $799 and while some require you to wear 3D glasses, others don’t. Currently, there are two types of 3D available — passive and active 3D. Passive is the type of 3D theaters use and works well in a theater setting. It is also available for home use. The advantage to passive 3D is the cost. The glasses cost between $15 and $20 a pair. Active 3D is the better system, however. The glasses cost more, about $150 a pair but the 3D effect and picture clarity is much better. 3D TVs work by showing two pictures on

the screen at one time. The glasses then in a way “decode” the information so your brain sees a sharp 3D image. If you are wondering about content, there are currently a good amount of movies and video games in 3D and locally Brighthouse Networks Cable has two “On Demand” 3D channels, two occasional broadcast channels and offers “ESPN 3D Pass” programming. Urner’s believes that this 3D technology is popular because it pulls people into the action. David Yuan is a Bakersfield resident who was drawn in by the lure of 3D TV. “My rear projection TV died on me, so I decided to buy a new high-definition TV. After doing some research, it seemed that all the newest and best rated HD TVs were 3D as well,” Yuan said. “3D wasn't a feature I was specifically desiring, but it seemed to be pretty much a new standard. I had also noticed recently that many movies in the theaters are being made for 3D and I figured that if my TV was 3D capable, it would future-proof my purchase.” Yuan said the best thing about his new TV is the picture quality, but he also got a few additional features with his purchase. Yuan’s TV also came with free wi-fi

which allows it to access the internet and use features such as Netflix, YouTube and Google Maps. “It also automatically found my home desktop computer on the local network and streams my pictures, music and video. That was a nice surprise,” Yuan said. “It has a feature that I had not seen on other TVs called ‘2D to 3D conversion’ which does exactly what it says. It makes the regular 2D image on your TV into a 3D image. It does work, though the quality of the 3D is not as ‘accurate’ as what you'd see if the show were made for 3D.” Yuan’s LG 55-inch cost him $2,078 and while he got a lot of extra features, he said he also plans to invest a few more dollars in upgrading his cable to digital, purchasing a Blu-ray player and investing in a sound system because like any flat screen TV the sound quality is not the greatest. “I would recommend 3D TVs, but do your research first and become knowledgeable about the different varieties of TV and 3D technology available,” Yuan said. According to Urner’s 3D is here to stay and for the time being 3D will be used mostly for movies, gaming, sports and special events. www.BakersfieldLife.com67


From somber to festive Junior League’s building was once home to a mortuary


The massive renovation took six years to compete.

Photo by Glenn Hammett

It takes a pretty spectacular building to draw blushing brides and haunted history buffs alike. Given this accomplishment, it’s safe to say we can call the Junior League of Bakersfield building spectacular. The building that currently serves as the home of the JLB is both accommodating and quaint. It serves as the meeting place for monthly League meetings, plays host twice a month to seminars for the Girls Achievement Program, houses events for local nonprofits, and of course is a much-desired spot for birthday parties and weddings. But while its events are mostly festive ones these days, the building initially had a more somber pur-

Photo courtesy of Junior League of Bakersfield

By Allie Castro


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Continued on page 70

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pose, serving as a fully functioning funeral home during the early 1900s. The building was originally owned by the Payne family, who operated a mortuary business out of the bottom floor of the building, and made their home in the living quarters on the top floor. Oddly enough, the building’s two purposes appeared to collide in the top floor embalming room. Current Junior League of Bakersfield president Terri Collins said the purpose of the room “was still evident upstairs when we took over” more than 15 years ago, which is perhaps why the building is thought by some to be haunted. League members were surprised last year to discover an article in a 101-year-old copy of The Bakersfield Californian suggesting the building was not originally constructed to be a funeral home. The article told of a “fancy brick hotel on the corner of 19th and E.” “That’s us!” said Collins. “We never knew that before.” It appears the original builder — Bakersfield architect Orville Clark — had planned to make an upscale hotel in the Italian Renaissance-style. However, the Payne family ended up buying it for about $30,000 while it was still in the construction phase. League member Eva Burke says the building “was designed to resemble an elegant residence with matching parlors, (and has) a distinctive tiled lobby and extensive mahogany interior woodwork and trim.” Public records show that a 1941 renovation added additional flooring space and updated interiors.

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Bakersfield Life

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After the Payne family business moved out, the building sat neglected for many years. In 1997, The Wheeler Foundation generously donated the building to serve as the home of the Junior League of Bakersfield with the stipulation the building be renovated and restored. So the League undertook the fundraising efforts to raise the capital for what would turn out to be a massive overhaul. It took about six years to complete the renovations, and on April 3, 2003, Mayor Harvey Hall came down to cut the ribbon himself. Just a few years later, the building is almost ready for its finishing touches. Collins adds that they are currently completing the last room, which will serve as a training area both for the League and for other nonprofit organizations. Thankfully for the League, not to mention the guests of the many parties the building hosts, not a trace remains of the building’s former use. But some of the most desirable original features of the building have been preserved: the original tile in the lobby, the staircase that went to family living quarters, an original fireplace and an elevator shaft that served as a dumb waiter are some of the features that remain intact. Burke said, “It is absolutely beautiful! The side patio and the gardens are lovely; a perfect place for a spring party or an outdoor wedding.” Said Collins, “The main hall is fantastic for events; it is charming and homey.”

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By Jeff Nickell, Kern County Museum director

Natural park preserves habitat along the river Uplands of the Kern River Parkway to open June 22

T By Gabriel Ramirez

There are water spray parks and soccer parks. And there are parks to walk your canines or take your children to play in a nicely built tot lot. Yes, Bakersfield boasts a variety of green spaces for people to enjoy the outdoors. While many of Bakersfield’s parks are there to help people relax, explore nature or get some exercise in, a new recreational space is scheduled to open June 22 — and it will take parks to a newer level of meaning and appreciation. “The Uplands of the Kern River Parkway park is very important to the citizens of Bakersfield because it restores and preserves an area of the river while at the same time educates generations on the importance of the river, the canals, the natural habitats


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

and wildlife that thrive in those environments,” said Dianne Hoover, director for the City of Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department. “We envision school field trips, families coming for a quiet afternoon to learn and observe and couples relaxing on the overlooks just taking in the sunsets.” Called the Uplands at Kern River Parkway, the planned 10-acre park will be near Chester Avenue and Golden State Highway. The boundaries are from Chester Avenue, east along the Kern River Parkway until the railroad tracks, and between the bike path and the Kern River. Normal hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is paid for through a $1.4 million state grant. The city is roviding the walk bridge, parking area and temporary irrigation, with approximately $275,000 from the agriculture water fund and $314,000 from the park improvement fund.

The walk bridge over the canal is to allow visitors to cross from the parking area behind Sam Lynn Ballpark to the path and the new park, Hoover said. She added that the parking area is big enough for buses. “It is our intention for people to return again and again to observe, explore the various paths and learn about our heritage and our natural (as well as man-made) history,” said Hoover. “Children will be able to return to their classrooms and learn more about what they observed, or families can make a summer project out of taking what they learned at the park and expanding on it through research online or at the libraries.” Hoover said that as early as this fall and winter people will see birds and various small animals return to the area. As the years go on, the restoration of the natural habitat will continue to attract migrating birds and others. A quick visit to the proposed site provides a glimpse into the life taking shape there. The park will have six different overlooks to enjoy, each with different panels describing the river, the canals, the railroad and the wildlife that will be visible from the overlooks. Continued on page 74

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Walking trails will wind through the 10-acre park and connect all six overlooks. The new park will be accessible from three different points along the path — of course, the main one being directly across from the walk bridge and Sam Lynn Ball Park. Hoover said the park would be unique in many ways including the design of the overlooks, which have incorporated layers of earth that may have been there hundreds of years ago. “Most of all, this will be a special place in Bakersfield for relaxing, reflection, and restoring people’s perspective of how much nature plays into our everyday lives,” Hoover said. “This is a natural park and meant to be as such. No other amenities are needed – enjoy the natural setting and learn about the flora, fauna and water.”


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Photo by Felix Adamo

Construction on one of the six overlooks being built in the park.


From left, Dan, Kollin and Ian Chandler are working on a 1929 Model A that has been in the family since 1958.

All in the family Three generations restore treasure on wheels


By Lisa Kimble

Photos by Alex Horvath

It isn’t unusual for a car to have many owners over the course of its lifetime, but it is rare for one to have been bought and sold to and from four members of one family over the course of a half century. The Chandler family of Bakersfield has been in the auto body business for nearly fifty years and seen a lot of cars come and go. But they weren’t about to let a sweet 1929 Model “A” Coup slip away. Sixty-five-year-old Daniel Chandler’s


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

oldest brother Jack bought the car in 1958, and it’s been in the family ever since. Together they built it as a street rod in the 1960s until Daniel headed overseas with the Air Force in 1964. Jack then sold it to his brother Roger. Originally a sunfire hue, she was repainted canary yellow in the early 1980s when her ownership changed yet again with nephew Larry assuming title to the car. Almost a decade later, in 1991, Daniel finally got his hands back on the Model A, not to mention ownership after he bought it from his nephew Larry for $10,000. Daniel recently retired from Eagleson Bodyworks where his prized coup became somewhat of

a downtown fixture parked outside the business, his son Ian said. In 2000, father and son embarked on an ambitious restoration of the automobile. “We worked on everything from the bottom to the top,” Ian Chandler said. “My youngest son Kollin was just three when we started and now he’s 14 and helps my dad. My dad would only work on it after he got off work during the week but not on weekends,” Ian added. They began by fixing the frame, then the chasse and later an engine from Larry was installed. Ian’s brother James helped strip the paint off. Today, the special set of wheels is a two-tone silver and charcoal gray with candy-blue flames and a family affair and great source of pride. “It’s one of those family traditions. It was just a project I wanted to do,” said Daniel. Continued on page 78

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“He has worked at it religiously, as much as 15 hours a week times 52 weeks for 10-and-ahalf years, so it is hard to compute the value in labor.”

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FZ\Xe$M`\n;`e`e^ :_\Zbflkk_\n`c[c`]\fek_\YXpXe[\eafpb`[$]i`\e[cpd\elj`efliI\jkXliXek Xe[:X]\#n_\i\k_\j\X]ff[`jjljkX`eXYc\Xe[k_\d\eljXi\Zi\Xk\[Ypfli XnXi[$n`ee`e^Zlc`eXipgXike\i#Z_\]:`e[pGXncZpe% 9lpknf$[Xpk`Zb\kj]fik_\gi`Z\f]fe\[XpXkcfZXc_fk\cj% Jld\i^\k\Xhlˆ1dfek\i\pYXpXhlXi`ld%fi^&\jgXefc

Ian Chandler on the tme his father has put into their Model A project.


Continued from page 76

“We kept changing the way we had it designed. Each of us has restored it at least once or twice.” Ian estimates his father has spent more than $20,000 just in parts. “He has worked at it religiously, as much as 15 hours a week times 52 weeks for 10-and-a-half years, so it is hard to compute the value in labor,” Ian said. Jack Chandler died four years ago, so the car has more sentimental value to Daniel than anything else. With nothing but time on his hands to put the car back together, one bolt, door and fender at a time, Daniel expects to be finished by summer’s end and looks forward to taking the family treasure to car shows. “It is pretty cool. Dad’s had the car for 21 years, hasn’t driven it for 11 because he’s been restoring it since 2000, I think he’s ready to move on with his life and the car,” Ian said. So will the pressure now be on Ian and Kollin to carry on the family tradition with the Model “A” Coup? “There you go,” Daniel laughed.

Dan, Kollin and Ian Chandler look over the interior and discuss what needs to happen next.


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Watson Realty ERA

Ken Carter stands in front of the Watson ERA offices in southwest Bakersfield.

Watson Realty ERA At 47 years old, Ken Carter has owned Watson Realty ERA, the top Real Estate office in Kern County since 2003. After losing his mother to cancer in November 2009, the following year proved to be one of the most eventful and challenging years of Carter’s life. A new marriage, blending families, combined with the continued upheaval in the real estate market made 2010 both joyous and challenging. Now in 2011, a new set of joys and adversities have surfaced. This year, Carter’s father, local community leader Warren Carter, was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer nearly at the same time that Ken and Renee welcomed their new son into the world, Warren Andrew. How long have you been president of Watson Realty ERA and how did it come about? “I moved to Bakersfield in 1991 after a five-year career in politics that had me moving from Los Angeles to Tennessee to Chico to Santa Barbara and then back to the Valley. After six years at Watson and with experience in both sales and management, I became the president of my family’s business in 1997, and have been overseeing its operations since. 80

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Address: 9101 Camino Media Phone: 661.327.5161 Website: Contact email:

Photo by Felix Adamo


Tell us about Watson Realty ERA? What kind of business is it? “Watson Realty ERA is a full service Real Estate Brokerage — meaning, we list and sell all types of real estate property. We offer a myriad of services to the agents who call Watson home. We work very hard to make it a special place in which to conduct business, and I think we do a great job.” What is ERA, what part do they play in your company? “ERA is a well known national franchise company owned by the Realogy Corporation. Realogy is a franchisor of six of the most recognized brands in the real estate industry: Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, ERA® and Sotheby’s International Realty®, Coldwell Banker Commercial® and ONCOR InternationalSM.” NOTE: In 2010, Realogy was involved either through franchise operations of our franchisees or our company owned brokerages, in approximately 23 percent of all existing homesale transaction volume (sides times average sales price) for domestic transactions involving a real estate brokerage firm. This economy has been really tough on real estate. How has it affected Watson? “We have been hit pretty hard like most companies around the U.S. We have had to make some difficult decisions for our company that included some painful layoffs and restructuring of our staff. While 2010 was one of the most difficult years in our history, we

Have you had any regrets in your years of being the owner of Watson Realty? “Well, like many new business owners in a growing market, I immediately set out a plan for additional coverage in adjacent markets, soon after purchasing the company from my family. In hindsight, I would love to have those decisions to do over again. I can tell you that in 20 years, I am now one of the old guys. I’ve seen it all — decent markets, good markets, the greatest market ever, soon followed by the most crushing. It was very hard to keep one’s senses during the market explosion that we experienced. But I think really, we did a great job. As soon as the market began to retract, we immediately sought out another competitor, merged operations, scaled back our expenses and strategically located ourselves in the most active area of Bakersfield. So, yes, I would do some things over, but God has been gracious to me, my family and our business to still be here doing what we do best, helping folks buy and sell.” What are some things you enjoy about your job? “I enjoy the challenge of making it all work. Real Estate is constantly changing, and so from a marketing perspective, we are constantly moving and flexing to be what we need to be to remain relevant to our community. It is imperative to our business that we not only stay consistent, reliable and trustworthy in our real estate transactions, but that we also offer the products and services that best suit our clients’ needs and the needs of our community.” What are the things you appreciate about the real estate industry? “I appreciate its diversity. The market has changed tremendously over the years and there is never a dull moment. I admit, sometimes I wish there were a dull moment here and there, but it keeps me young and on my toes. I also appreciate the opportunity it gives so many people to make a substantial living. If you are ambitious and willing to work hard, you can be very successful in real estate… AND it puts you in touch with some really, really great people… agents, staff and customers. That’s probably the very best part.” What is something you would change about the Real Estate industry? “I miss the good old days. I think we have lost much of the best part of this business — when companies, agents, buyers and sellers all worked together for a common good — the customer! We attempted to recreate this with an independent listing service that was crushed by organized real estate and the bureaucrats at the local, state and national level, so I put my money where my mouth was and tried to promote and retain the best of this industry, but sadly much of that is gone. Technology, brokers with absolutely no local knowledge, agents with little experience, faceless banks that

Photo by Felix Adamo

have managed to retain our position at the top of our market, so that’s a huge accomplishment in and of itself, but the change in our economy has affected everyone in our industry. We have emerged through this time of uncertainty stronger and in a better position to respond when the market fully engages. We feel blessed to still be one of the best options for real estate agents and our customers. I keep one eye on Washington and Wall Street, and the other on the local pulse and keep putting one foot in front of the other. While many challenges remain for our customers, we do our best to help them navigate through these challenges, and also help the many buyers and sellers who didn’t get clobbered in this market take, advantage of the numerous opportunities that do exist here right now! 2011 looks to be a promising year for us, and I am optimistic about our future.”

“I enjoy the challenge of making it all work.”

literally control huge shares of the market and dictate the future of local families — it’s a sad state! However, there remains still those stalwarts and some upstarts. Brokers, agents and folks at the local, state and national level who are committed to doing the right thing, and sticking with this until the last foreclosure is sold, and we can get families and business going forward again.” Congratulations on your marriage to Renee Redmond, and the birth of a good looking baby boy, Warren Andrew Carter! “Thank you. Thank you very much! Seriously, all I can say is that God is good, and that I have been blessed beyond measure. I am grateful. I’m just sincerely grateful. In spite of my mom and my dad, and that sadness, I have a thankful heart, which has been a lifetime in the making. Renee and I have great kids, really great kids. We have great families, siblings, friends — it’s a full life.” Together, you and Renee have seven children. What has life been like for your family this last year? “It’s a full life! Between Renee, my folks, putting our families together and this crazy business, working through it all has been a full agenda. In one season, right after we were married, we had something like 10 athletic games in a week for a while there. What do you want Watson Realty ERA to be known for? “My passion for the company and its legacy is that we are regarded for the caliber of our agents, managers and staff. That we are recognized by our level of professionalism and integrity, and that we are measured by the number of happy families and clients whom we assist in making their real estate desires and dreams come true.” www.BakersfieldLife.com81


Photo by Felix Adamo

Stockdale Cabinetry Stockdale Cabinetry Address: 9101 Camino Media Address: 4500 Shepard St., Suite B2 Phone number: 834-3333 Website: Email:

Lynn Califf and Rick Sorci of Stockdale Cabinetry

What are the latest trends in kitchen and bathroom designs? We are finding that most of our remodels are in the kitchen to create a more open space and a place for the family to join together. Styles vary with the clients. It’s always interesting to see what the clients will choose and what design they will go with. We have been seeing more trends in simple, clean cabinetry with higher end appliances. A backsplash is a great way to add a punch of color and style to the kitchen space. In bathrooms a large shower with several shower heads and benches, utilizing more natural materials such as 82

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Photo by Felix Adamo

How did Stockdale Cabinetry get started? Growing up in a family cabinetry business just seemed logical to follow my passion. After studying and achieving the Certification of a Kitchen and Bath Designer through the National Kitchen and Bath Association, my wife and I felt it was time to bring an interactive design and construction company to Bakersfield. Before opening a showroom in Bakersfield, our clients had no option but to travel to Los Angeles and/or to northern California to receive design services from a certified kitchen designer. Our clients can work hand-in-hand utilizing the latest in three-dimensional design software. We found designing in front of our clients gives them the ability to be a part of the process of remodeling their space and in the end, they know exactly what they are getting, and it allows them to be part of the process. marble and travertine to give a timeless look with a spa feeling.

Finish this sentence “our company is known for”: Spending a lot of time with our clients with the design process to get every detail correct. Space and planning is not as easy as just putting the cabinetry on the wall, it is about the way you live, the function of and the way you entertain. Through the years, we have grown and I still measure and design all of my own projects. It’s the best part of my job and believe it or not, we do not charge for a

Photo by Felix Adamo

measure appointment. We are a little old school in the fact that we will earn your business than your referral.

What is your most-requested service? Kitchens are by far our most-requested service. Working with the best in cabinetry, countertops, flooring and backsplash material, along with partnering with wonderful local disturbers. We also assist you during this entire process of choosing materials, such as appliances and color selection of tile, paint, flooring, etc. One thing you’re excited about this year: We recently partnered with Waypoint Living Space, this cabinet line specializing in maple and cherry cabinets that are built in the U.S. This has given us a very competitive price point for beautiful cabinetry. It feels great when we tell our clients the cost of the cabinetry and they seem relieved and excited knowing they will now have more room in their budget to upgrade materials like higher-end granite, backsplash, hardwood flooring and appliances. Typically, the cabinetry should be about the budget for the kitchen, but with several lines to choose from, we can accomplish any style for just about any budget.

Photo by Felix Adamo

What feedback have your received from your customers? In doing such an extensive design service, our clients are excited to see their kitchen or bath coming together. Recently, I had a client that as the cabinetry was being brought in, she was directing where each cabinet went. This was her dream and being a strong part of the process of design, she knew where everything went. In the end, the best comment we get is ‘This is exactly what I wanted and even more beautiful than I imagined.’

What’s next for Stockdale Cabinetry? Stockdale Cabinetry has grown into way more than just a place to purchase cabinetry. The name is a little misleading because we handle full service remodeling projects, the design of the cabinetry, counter tops, backsplash and tile. We do much more than our name applies. We are looking forward to meeting our future clients and many of our past returning clients. This is the best compliment of our service when our clients return. It’s the people and the designs we accomplish together. This keeps us looking at the latest trends, and constantly training and keeping current with the styles of today. www.BakersfieldLife.com83


Camino Real Combining Mexican-inspired cuisine with California love

W By Allie Castro

Photos by Rodney Thornburg

When people first walk into Alejandro Ocampo’s restaurant and meet him, they’re shocked to hear they’re speaking to the owner of Camino Real. At the time of the restaurant’s opening in May 2008, Ocampo was barely 25 years old. It’s no surprise that people are amazed by his accomplishment since it’s not often that someone so young can maintain a thriving restaurant and bar, especially in the middle of a recession. But Ocampo is up to the task. After working for several years in local Mexican restaurants, Ocampo gained enough confidence to begin formulating his own idea for a restaurant that serves Mexican food with a twist. Once Ocampo had an idea of the direction he wanted to go, he felt it was the right time to put his plan to action. “I had built up a good clientele as far as people who knew my name and knew what I was doing, so I pitched idea to my parents and thankfully they agreed,” Ocampo said. His vision became the restaurant’s motto: “Mexican-inspired dishes with California love.” Ocampo said the motto “summarizes who we are: me, my brothers and my sisters, and I think a lot of Latinos or Mexican-born people identify with (the motto).” 84

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June 2011

Alejandro Ocampo shows off some of his favorite dishes from his family-owned business.

“I think what’s most important is that when we came into the restaurant we did it as a family.”

Camino Real is all about taking inspiration from Mexican food and culture and adding American twists, and of course his signature “California love” to the mix. This results in a unique menu, featuring the orange chicken burrito, fettuccini alfredo with pepper jack and jalapeno cream sauce and the Bako cheesesteak — tri tip, bell peppers and provolone on a French roll. But the epitome of Camino Alejandro Ocampo Real’s motto can be found in its original recipe for a Mexican pizza. Ocampo said, “It’s an actual pizza crust, and we use the salsa we use with our chips for sauce. The flavor is very different, and it embraces the Mexican-California love, with chorizo, bacon, jalapenos and three different types of cheeses.” Continued on page 86

Camino Real patrons enjoy the live entertainment.

Continued from page 84

His favorite personal dish though, was a happy accident. “We have a lot of vegetarian dishes, and one day we ordered a lot of spinach by mistake and I started playing with it. That’s pretty much what any Mexican food is; it’s food that you have and seeing what you can do with it. I ended up using spinach, garlic, wine, butter and then added shrimp. It was good, but it was missing something, so we added fresh crab meat and used a little bit of pepper jack sauce, put it in an enchilada with cheese and topped it with tomatillo sauce. The combination of the butteriness, the creaminess of pepper jack and freshness of spinach and tomatillo sauce, it gives you a round kick to the face,” he joked. With such an original menu, Ocampo said opening the restaurant, “was a huge gamble” and times were tough in the beginning. “It’s not a good thing when you know the PG&E guy on a first name basis,” he said with a laugh. However, he credits the support of his family and community for the restaurant’s ability to thrive in a tough economy. “I think what’s most important is that when we came into the restaurant we did it as a family.” Ocampo and his brothers and sisters all run the restaurant, and though his mom and dad still have regular jobs, they are always at the restaurant on their days off and don’t mind doing a little extra parenting while they’re there. Ocampo said they make sure to tell his siblings to respect their older brother. He added, “For me this has been the dream to open my own place, so to have my family be fully supportive of it … I’m just happy to be doing this every day.” He also praises the local community for their support. The restaurant has regulars that stop through on their way back to their homes in Los Angeles, and there are some who make a weekly trip down from Tehachapi. Perhaps one of his most dedicated customers is a man who lives in Texas, but owns a company in Bakersfield. 86

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Camino Real entrance. Ocampo said that the businessman used to make a trip or two out to Bakersfield every couple of months, but is now here around three times a month thanks to his cravings for Camino Real. Ocampo said that this past Mother’s Day also showed him how much the community supported him. “We had an outpour of support from a lot of our customers who were saying, ‘You went out of your way for us.’ or ‘You took care of our family so well.’ It’s nice to have people that actually say something. It takes a lot for someone to go out of the norm and approach someone and say, ‘This was very good, thank you so much for it.’ That’s just the best feeling in world.” “I don’t want to get rich quick, I want to be stable and maintain a good business,” he added. “I’ve never held back. You get one try, this is it, so that’s how we’re doing it.”


Jeff Konya CSUB Athletic Director Compiled by Stephen Lynch You’ve now lived here for four months. What are your impressions of Bakersfield: I really like it. When I came out here on the interview, it was everything I thought it would be in terms what I had read. It certainly has met my expectations. The people are wonderful. It's a vibrant community. It really reminds me a lot of San Antonio when I lived there. Of course, I haven’t been here in the summer yet. Everybody keeps warning me about that. But so far so good. It’s the people who make the place. I truly believe that, and I really enjoyed all the people I've met so far. Your bio shows that you have held jobs all over the country but where did you live during childhood: I was born in Detroit and so during my formative sports years I became a diehard Lions, Redwings, Pistons, and Tigers fan. My dad took a job when I was still in elementary school outside of Rochester, New York and that's where I went to middle and high school.

I’ve heard through the rumor mill that you are a guy that works a lot of long hours. What do you like to do when you don’t have your nose to the grindstone: I always say a career in athletic administration is a lifestyle choice not necessarily a job. I don’t want to boast but I probably on average work 14 hours a day plus some time on the weekends as well. In terms of down time, when I get the opportunity I enjoy traveling. I enjoy playing golf. I’m kind of a movie buff. And I don’t mind just kind of relaxing and taking my dog for a walk or run. Those are kind of the things that keep my mind fresh. Anything else of note about you that people might find interesting: I write in my spare time, creatively. I’m a published author and I’m currently working on a book entitled “Street88

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June 2011

Photo byFelix Adamo

Did you play any sports while growing up: My parents put me into everything you could possibly imagine. I remember when I was 12 they signed me up for swimming. The pool and I didn't really agree with each other but I pretty much tried every sport that was out there. As I got into high school, I really concentrated on football and basketball. Then I had the opportunity to play football at Princeton University and so that's kind of my athletic career.

ball.” It’s a very unique book. It involves conspiracy and game-fixing and most of the predominant characters are female. It's kind of male story with female lead-characters.

are good representatives of the campus and the community.

You are only the second Athletic Director in the history of Cal State Bakersfield. How difficult is it to come in and replace someone that held the position for 38 years: The difficult aspect is just replacing a man the character of Rudy Carvajal, a man who was really respected in the community and had really the pulse of the entire campus. But in a way it’s a little bit easier than one might think only because we've just made this transition to Division I and now we’re at a place in our athletics history where it almost begged for a little bit different of a platform. And so to come in on the front end of that transition makes it a little bit easier for me to truly put a stamp on this Division I experience.

I think our biggest challenge is we need more demonstrative ways to tell our story. We need more platforms to discuss all the good things that are going on at our school. Because I think once people hear the vision and some of the things we’re trying to build and then they give us a chance in terms of coming out and taking a look at our product, I think they are going to walk away impressed. And that’s the way we are going to be able to build a solid Division I program. It’s going to take a grassroots effort of the Bakersfield community.

Since you been here there have already been several coaching changes, some by your choice and some not. What goes into a decision to make a coaching change: There are three platforms that I want our coaches to hit. One is obviously athletic excellence. In a lot of ways, Division I is a business results-oriented industry. That may or may not be what the expectations have been even though in the Division II experience CSUB was very, very successful in terms of athletic performance. That said in Division I, wins and losses matter so that is one of the criteria. The second criteria is making sure the student-athletes are engaged academically, that they are on track to graduate, and they are in fact graduating. And then the third component is that were recruiting high-character student athletes who

What do think is the biggest challenge currently facing the CSUB athletic department:

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Photo by Jenn Ireland

Que delicioso! Annual menudo cook-off to showcase best of the best

Nora Perez shows off the ingredients that made her menudo unique at the 11th Annual Menudo Cook-off in 2009.

S By Luz Peña


Bakersfield Life

June 2011

can cuisine staple- menudo. Menudo is a brothy soup made with beef tripe, sometimes it's spicy and with or without hominy. Many claim it's the true cure for a bad cruda (hangover). “I feel the festival is an opportunity for the community to unite and share culture,” said Tamsi. “It's an event for the whole community and is truly a family event. Everyone will find something to do.” Besides a menudo-makCarmelita Martinez takes a ing contest, there's a boothtaste at last year’s event. decorating contest with trophies for first, second and third place. Do you love spicy chiles? Well there's a jalapeño-eating contest just for you. Guerra also sees the event as an opportunity to have a good Photo by Felix Adamo

Summer is quickly approaching, and Kern County residents' grumbling tummies are ready for their traditional feast a bowl of delicious menudo. This Sunday June 5 is the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce' s 13th annual Latino Food Festival and Menudo CookOff at the Kern County Fairgrounds. It will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. An estimated 75 contestants are expected to show judges and local residents why their menudo recipe is tops. The first place winner gets $500 and the bragging rights to making the best menudo in Kern County — or beyond (past contestants have driven in from other parts of the state to compete). Second place will win $300 and $200 for third place. This year's event is the fifth time Ruben Guerra will compete in the event. Guerra placed forth place in previous years. He's believes his menudo is a true contender. “I use the same recipe every year. You can't change perfection,” he said, boastfully. “People have told me I should open a restaurant but that's not easy.” Jay Tamsi, chairman of the KCHCC board, said the festival is a chamber fundraiser that promotes the Latino culture and the Mexi-

time, socialize and listen to some great music. This year's entertainment will not disappoint with Grammy Award-winning Lil Joe y La Familia that boasts Lil Joe's fusion of Tex-Mex, R&B and norteño music. Latin band Tierra will take attendees back with their smooth oldies hits. Don't miss local musicians and crowd favorites: Mariachi San Marcos and Mento Buru. Both will make sure no one is left standing on the dance floor. David Torres, a local criminal defense attorney, guarantees this year he and his family will be on the dance floor. Last year as a Menudo Cook-Off judge, Torres wasn't able to head to the dance floor as much as he would of liked. “Last year, I had to try 72 menudo samples and I couldn't dance. This year I told (Tamsi) I'm going to be getting my chanclazo (dancing) on,'” said Torres. “I come to this event to dance. My dad, me, my daughter, well my whole family comes out to dance and have a good time.” Torres, who has been coming out the event for several years, said one of his most memorable times was two years ago. This is when his family came down from Porterville to hang out, eat and dance all day. “It may be a little hot that day,” said Torres, with a laugh. “It's nothing a good cold beer can't fix.” Other food booths will include pastor and carne asada tacos, hot dogs, pizza, barbecue, and tri-tip sandwiches. There will be a play area for the kids and informational booths with local nonprofits and businesses. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. For more info, please call the KCHCC at 633-5495 or visit:

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Selfless in service Thirteen local citizens heralded as Kern County’s Red Cross Heroes for 2011

T By Dana Martin

The state of a state (or, in this case, a county) can, in some ways, be measured by the quality of its citizens. And, if a sampling of those citizens can speak for the overall health and spirit of an entire community, then Kern County must be doing all right. There are no finer representations of selfless service to humankind than what can be found in the San Joaquin Valley. For proof, we offer 13 stories. Each is a vignette, a brief impression of the person’s character and actions that serves as proof of their above-and-beyond acts of heroism. For the last nine years, the American Red Cross Kern Chapter has taken nominations from the community for anyone who performed heroic acts during the prior year. For 2011, the local chapter had to sift through 48 nominations but finally (and with great effort) narrowed the list to 13. The Real Heroes yearly event recognizes county residents who have acted with courage and selflessness in times of emergency in 2010. Read their stories and bask in their greatness. They represent the best in us all. Adult Role Model

Jeri Carreras

For most people, reaching the age of 75 means smoother sailing — time for retirement, travel, or maybe taking up a hobby they 92

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seldom had time for during harried years of raising children and working a job. Jeri Carreras would be an exception. Carreras is a foster parent, but not the kind that keeps average foster children (a selfless act in itself). No, Carreras goes a step further, fostering only the medically fragile children of Kern County — the babies who weren’t supposed to make it, the diseased, the stricken. While most people Carreras’ age are reaping the rewards of their golden years, she drives to specialists in Madera or Los Angeles, attends doctor appointments and advocates for the small voices who cannot speak for themselves. Seriously ill children blossom, grow, and heal under her care, and her selfless dedication to these fragile citizens has been ongoing for 30 years. Youth Role Model

Braylin Camp

If Braylin Camp epitomizes the next generation of youth in the 21st century, then we just might be all right. You see, while most girls her age are playing dolls or dressing up, this noble 9 year old is taking care of the city’s needy. It all started on a particularly cold winter morning when Braylin, then 8, noticed a child without a coat. Called to action, she gave away her own coat (she had more than one and counted herself lucky), but her innate philanthropy didn’t stop there; Braylin filled a trailer with coats, blankets, shoes and diapers for the needy and

vowed to do even more. She also started a business called Cupcakes for Cancer, through which she sells cupcakes and donates the proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Braylin, an avid cheerleader, swimmer and wearer of cowboy boots, has already raised almost $1,000, and the end isn’t anywhere in sight. Educator

Jim Wooster He isn’t a character in a major motion picture, but he could be. Coach Jim Wooster’s story has all the ingredients that make movies like Radio moving and memorable. Wooster, a physical education teacher in Bakersfield for more than 30 years, formulated an idea in 1981 for an adaptive track meet for disabled children. He saw a need. Until then, sporting events like the Special Olympics primarily served developmentally disabled children, so Wooster devised a track meet to allow physically disabled children from Bakersfield city schools to participate in activities like running, Frisbee toss and ball throw. A first-class operation, these track meets provide T-shirts and prizes and are assisted by Wooster-recruited local football players and athletes, who push wheelchair-bound participants during competition. Police and fire employees donate time, too, but are quick to acknowledge that they are the beneficiaries of Wooster’s invitation for their ringside seat to these life-changing events.

Law Enforcement

Officer Christopher Messick At 24 years old, most young adults are finishing college and contemplating a career. By the time Bakersfield police officer Chris Messick reached 24, however, he was on his third career; he’d already been a U.S. Army combat veteran, who served our country for four years and a National Guardsman for two years. Messick had been deployed to Afghanistan for 16 months. When he joined the Bakersfield Police Department in August of 2009, he had no way of knowing that just a year later he would suffer a wound in the line of duty that could have ended his life. Responding to a call of gunshots fired in a reputed gang area, Messick, along with other uniformed officers, encountered a suspect who opened fire on Messick and his partner. Both returned fire, but Officer Messick was struck in the leg by a 9-millimeter bullet. Messick relayed information to the other officers so they could eventually apprehend the suspect. He eagerly returned to work two weeks later. Emergency Services

George Baker

If being a leader means the ability to control a situation calmly when death is imminent, then paramedic George Baker fits the description of a leader. On Christmas morning in 2010, Baker, a 12-year veteran with Hall Ambulance, received a call to respond

Continued on page 94

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Continued from page 93

to the residence of a man experiencing chest pain. Baker and Unit 385 arrived to find the patient unconscious and soon in cardiac arrest, a fatal condition 95 percent of the time. Baker, recognizing the gravity of the situation, directed his team to administer advanced life support, including inserting a breathing tube into the patient’s airway to initiate rescue breathing. At once, Baker and his team began CPR, even as they loaded the patient into an ambulance and transported him to the Bakersfield Heart Hospital. Upon arrival, the patient’s heart began beating and soon had supportive blood pressure. Paramedic Baker’s quick decisions and his team’s efforts saved the patient’s life. Medical

Dr. Holly Spohn-Gross Here’s a recipe for what it takes to be a magnanimous humanitarian hero. In the quaint Kern River Valley (population just 17,000), Dr. Holly SpohnGross practices big philanthropy in a small town. Clearly feeling an urge to serve, Dr. Spohn-Gross’ flock is comprised mostly of low-income patients, and she’s dedicated to providing any service they need—from eyeglasses, shoes, socks, and transportation to paint, wood, and pet food. She makes house calls (free of charge). She directs staff to make anonymous deliveries of food or money, and for Christmas, Dr. Spohn-Gross treats her little community to gifts of hot food and holiday trimmings. She doesn’t stop there. Spohn-Gross also travels to Mexico to perform foot surgeries on strangers who’ve slept in long lines hoping to walk again, and she travels to India in an effort to eradicate Polio. Spohn-Gross proves that it doesn’t take a big community to make a difference. Just a big heart. Heroic Act

Jeff Cowan

medical field — almost. Now 88, Einstein has spent much of his “retirement” in dedication to the field of pulmonary diseases working at the Valley Fever Clinic at Kern Medical Center, the TB clinic at the County Health Department, and as the medical director for training respiratory therapists at San Joaquin Valley College. Einstein is a hero for dedicating virtually his life’s work to a field that recognizes him as a pioneer in the treatment and cure of a disease that has baffled scientists for 100 years, a disease commonly referred to as valley fever. In the 1950s, Einstein and coworkers found fungi-killing bacteria they manufactured and used as an effective drug against the disease. For his tireless efforts to find a vaccine for valley fever and for his dedication education that may lead to eventual eradication of the disease, Dr. Hans Einstein is a hero for a lifetime of service. Military

Jamin Moore Bakersfield native Jamin Moore was in his second year of college at CSUB when he took measure of his life. He wanted more. As a Hawk Honors student, his decision wasn’t about escaping the rigors of college; to the contrary, he was a top-tier student and was accustomed to hard work on Liberty High School’s football field. His wish was to serve in the Army, so he enlisted. A month after being deployed to Iraq, the Humvee Moore was riding in ran over a roadside bomb Dec. 4, 2007, killing three other soldiers and leaving Moore with burns over 60 percent of his body. PFC Moore then spent the next three grueling years recuperating and rebuilding his body at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he promoted eventually to a sergeant. Moore was honorably discharged from the Army and he returned to Bakersfield in 2010, where he enrolled at CSUB to finish his bachelor’s degree, earn his master’s, and exemplify the life of a true hero.

Just when you think super-human powers exist only in movies or on the pages of DC Comics, enter Jeff Cowan, 51, from Bakersfield. Armed with nothing but a bad back and a sense to help his fellow man, Cowan found himself in a position to rescue a family from a burning house in December 2010. Catching sight of telltale smoke, Cowen pounded on a neighbor’s door to alert occupants that their house was on fire. What he found was a surprised young woman, who told him that her mother was wheelchair-bound and asleep. Without hesitation, Cowan bolted to the bed and scooped up the elderly woman, placed her gently in the wheelchair and got her outdoors right as the fire consumed the home. He managed to save the family at great risk to himself. Cowan said he never thought twice about his bad back — perhaps in the way that Superman never thinks about Kryptonite. Such is the business of heroes.

Group Role Model

Life Service Award

Fallen Hero

In 1999, at the age of 76, Hans Einstein finally retired from the Bakersfield Life

If one hero’s efforts can help or enrich so many lives, what could over 200 heroes do? Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC) staff members include physicians, mid-level practitioners, nurses, medical assistants and front office workers, who volunteered hundreds of hours to Kern County cancer patients, survivors and caregivers in 2010. They dedicate their time to support Relay for Life, Links for Life, give free prostate screenings, free mammograms, and hold an annual New Year’s Dinner for the Homeless. Some CBCC staff volunteer their evenings and Saturdays as expert speakers for the CBCC Foundation’s “Ask the Provider,” “Cancer and You,” and “Prostate Cancer Forum” programs. Oh, and many are often spotted after hours making hospital visits or giving patients a ride home. Looking for job with CBCC? Don’t bother, unless the job title you seek is “Selfless Servant to the citizens of Kern County.” Heroes, indeed.

LCPL Joseph Lopez

Dr. Hans Einstein 94

CBCC Staff

June 2011

Joseph Lopez, 26, of Rosamond didn’t grow up wanting to be

a Marine. He played and coached youth basketball and cavorted happily with his four brothers. As the middle child, he was funny, he loved to laugh and he was passionate about his family. Lopez wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school — work in construction, take some college classes and perhaps even go into law enforcement. So, he joined the United States Marines in 2009 just to earn money for college. But when he got there, Lopez discovered that he loved it. Although it wasn’t always Lopez’s plan to be a Marine, he was prepared for the plan God had for him. Then in October 2010, as he was leaving for a mission in Afghanistan that would turn out to be his last, he sent his dad a text. The message? Lopez wanted his dad to know that he had a relationship with God, so if anything happened to him, he would be OK. Semper Fi. Fallen Hero

Sgt. Brian J. Pedro Sgt. Brian J. Pedro, 27, wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and stepfather by making the Army his career. He was doing that in April 2010, when he deployed on his second Afghanistan tour. Nearly a half a year later, Pedro died in an Oct. 2 attack on his unit in Pol-e-Khumri, and despite his family’s grief, Pedro’s mother said his grandfather and stepfather are proud he died doing what

he wanted to do. Pedro, who lists his hometown as Rosamond, graduated from El Camino High School in Oceanside in 2002. He enlisted in the Army in 2006 and had been a utilities equipment repairman. Based out of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, family says Pedro believed in what he was doing and believed in serving his country. He will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge, awards that only begin to signify the heroism of Sgt. Pedro. Fallen Hero

Spc. Brett Land An accomplished wrestler, an aspiring coach, a son, a husband, and a father to a daughter he would never hold, 24-year-old Spc. Brett Land of Wasco wasn’t ordinary. He began publicly proving his uniqueness at age 9, when, at just 50 pounds and wrestling for a midget-class title at the regional championships, he marched to the mat, did two back flips and pounded his chest. The idea was "to get warmed up and make the other people afraid of me," he told a Fresno newspaper reporter at the time, perhaps just the right amount of precociousness that eventually earned him a spot on the highly competitive Bakersfield High School championship wrestling team in 2004. Land was an infantryman when he was killed by a roadside bomb Oct. 30 in the Zhari district of southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province. Loved ones remember his perfectionism, love for friends and family, and always being the little guy with the big heart.

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How things have changed


By Jeff Nickell, Kern County Museum director The topic of high school graduations was brought up by a reader of Bakersfield Life. I am sure this is what they had in mind, but here I go. I do not consider myself to be old, but facts don’t lie – my daughter (the oldest of two children) graduates this year. It seems not that long ago she was just a toddler. Time goes so fast. After being offered admission to Arizona State, San Diego State, among others, she chose to go to the University of California at Merced where scholarships will pay a portion of her education. Okay, I will get off the proud dad kick and get to “How things have changed.” The first high school, as many of you know, was Bakersfield High. It was first known as Kern County High School and then Kern County Union High School. It was established in 1893. The first graduating class was in 1894 and was made up of a whopping three students May Stark, Adaline Nicholson and Ella Fay. According to the City of Bakersfield published by the Kern Valley Printing Works, in 1908 the school consisted of “two modern buildings” and a third new building (which I’m assuming was modern, too). The building and its equipment

Kern County High School in 1894. 96

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum

High School in Kern

were valued at $100,000. Enrollment at the time was more than 200 students. There are now multiple high school campuses. If you take the regular public high schools in Bakersfield, and add the two large private schools, that brings the total to 17. This does not include charter or other county high schools. The Kern High School District, including continuation students as well as Arvin, Kern Valley and Shafter High Schools, is the largest high school district in California with more than 35,000 students and 3,500 employees. Again this does not include charter or private schools. But let’s get back to Kern High School circa 1908. The “two modern” buildings were for academic and commercial study. In the academic building four year courses in literature, science and engineering were taught. Graduation from any of these subjects could lead to further study at the University of California. But don’t think the students were being taught just three subjects. They were also taught English, mathematics, Latin, French, and drawing. An interesting fact indicated in City of Bakersfield is that as long as the school was accredited by the university, graduates would be admitted without examination. The book goes on to say that in 1908, the commercial building taught two, two-year courses: bookkeeping and shorthand. Combining the two subjects meant receiving your diploma in three years. Due to the rapid growth of the high school, the Board of Supervisors approved a new

Photo courtesy of Bakersfield High School Archives

Kern High School's first graduating class in 1894: May Stark, Adaline Nicholson and Ella Fay. building and it was built for $50,000. It measured 65-foot by 150foot and included “recitation rooms, four laboratories, one lecture room, a large gymnasium with baths, a library room adjacent to the assembly hall and office and private rooms for teachers.” The article went on to say, “The department of manual training has just been added to the high school, consisting of wood and iron work for the boys and sewing and cookery for the girls…When completed, the course offered in manual training will be as thorough as that of-

fered by any other polytechnic high school in California.” I graduated in 1984 from East Bakersfield High School at a time when there were only eight large high schools in Bakersfield. Back then, East High had less than 1,500 students. The district was just getting into the GATE classification and many students not considered GATE took the same courses as those who were. This caused problems because the GATE students received one extra point per grade received (you can probably guess what category I fell into since I bring it up), and during the midst of my senior year separate classes were formed to alleviate the problem. Currently, the Kern High School District offers a wide variety of courses including GATE, Honors, Advanced Placement (where students upon completing the course can take a test to attain college credit for the course), special needs classes, as well as a wide variety of electives such as music, choir and photography. The number of clubs, organization and athletic teams the today’s teenagers can get involved with is amazing. The changes that have taken place point to a growing population. And with that, challenges occur not only in educating our youth but keeping them safe as well. I keep reading data about our students’ poor testing and that students’ achievement has dropped over the years. If that is the case, it is not because of the courses offered or the material being taught in the classroom. One thing has remained constant since the inception of Kern County High School - the classes offered give our students the best opportunity to be successful if they strive to work hard both in and outside of the classroom. And, as my daughter walks to Pomp and Circumstance in a few weeks with Gold Seal in hand (I certainly did not get one of those), I will look forward to more successes that all began with a good educational foundation that was formed in Bakersfield.

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The Spa Resort Casino

Little bit of sun, little bit of relaxing Ah, thank you, Palm Springs By Lois Henry


You know what’s fun to do in Palm Springs? Nothing. I mean absolutely nothing. No sight seeing, no hiking, no golfing, no shopping, no nuthin’. Which is weird for me because I rarely get a chance to do nothing. Nor do I usually like doing nothing. But during a spur-of-the-moment trip to Palm Springs in mid98

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

April, I did exactly that — nothing. And it was fabulous! I lounged by the pool with my book and relaxed totally into Palm Springs mode. It was still cool and a little wet that weekend in Bakersfield. But just a few hours’ drive to the southeast it was near 100 degrees, the sky was a brilliant blue and the jagged mountains (some still covered in snow!) provided a dramatic back drop to my very lazy visit. I never would have thought of going to Palm Springs had a friend not suggested it and I don’t know why. It’s a great getaway. And, yes, there is sooo much to do and see depending on your tastes. The spas, the golfing, the shopping, the casinos, the dining, even the hiking, yes, hiking, is all fantastic. The best way to plan your trip is by immersing yourself in the official visitor center Web site, here it's Just because I was a total veg on my trip doesn’t mean you have to be. Though, I’ve concluded that vegging by the pool is

highly underrated. OK, I actually did haul my lazy carcass to the Spa Resort Casino one night. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe not as many games as you might find in Las Vegas, or not as upscale? But it was great! And I’m not just saying that because I won $70 at black jack! Lots of game choices, very friendly staff and swank enough to dress up if you want or go casual. This resort is famous for its spa, which you might have figured out from the name. People go there to “take the waters.” I did also have to venture out, reluctantly, for sustenance. Saturday morning I had a wonderful egg and bagel sandwich at the Spunky Monkey Café. It’s a small, open-air place on 111 through town with really friendly staff. And while you can’t beat Bakersfield for Mexican food, the Blue Coyote, also on 111, came close. I made a late lunch-early dinner of their seafood salad. It was scrumptious and more than filling (well, the hot freshly made chips and guacamole helped!). On the way out of town Sunday I had brunch at the just opened Café Europa. They have a lovely shaded patio behind the restaurant which fronts busy Highway 111. I had an omelet and I’m not sure how they made eggs and a few other ingredients taste soooo good. But it was delicious! There are so many casinos, spas, restaurants and resort options you’ll have a great time just doing your planning. And don’t think it’s too pricey, there are tons of deals and all

If you go Start your Palm Springs trip at this site: The drive is about 4 to 4 1/2 hours so plan accordingly. Once you turn onto Highway 111 heading into town, look for the Visitor Center. It sits out on its own just north of town so it’s fairly easy to find and very much worth a stop. It’s also on the road to the Palm Springs Aerial Trammway, which takes you 8,500 feet above the desert floor into the Mount San Jacinto State Park. (Don’t worry it’s still Palm Springs enough to have restaurants and a gift shop at the top).

kinds of options for families. If you go on a Friday, I would recommend taking off a little early, around 10 or 11 a.m., otherwise you’ll hit weekend traffic, like I did, between Pasadena and San Bernardino. Oh, and for some reason, online mapping services want to put you on Interstate 5 all the way down to I-10, which cuts west to Palm Springs. I took I-210 to minimize my time on the 5 through Los Angeles. It was supposed to be shorter without traffic. Grrr! But I promise, all these pesky details and minor annoyances will melt once you’re poolside on that lounge chair, soaking up the Palm Springs sun.



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This 24-inch-tall, one-of-a-kind, papier mache, folk art piece is handcrafted by the finest Mexican artisans. $189.99 only at Kuka's., 325-0000.

A hand-painted, personalized 15-inch server for Dad’s barbeque adventures. $41 (includes studio time and firing) at Color Me Mine at the Marketplace. 664-7366.

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Buggy Shade

The Buggy Shady is the first shade that works on both your infant car seat and stroller, is stylish for mom and dual-layered for baby. Visit JM’s Just for Children at 930 Wible Road in Bakersfield.

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The World of Galatea

Every piece of Galatea jewelry is imbued with the artistic spirit of its creator. Was $1,275, now $995. Robson-Eiler's Jewelers at The Marketplace. 665-0411.

Robson-Eiler’s Jewelers 100

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

We love them!

Sam Edelman cleverly combines a youthful outlook with a wordly sensibility. Available in three colors: black, gold or silver. Fashionista, Boutique at the Fox, 2007 H St. 327-4466.


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Peppermint & Eucalyptus Soap-Filled Loofahs. Order one today at or stop by June Bug’s Gifts & Collectibles at 167 H St. view more of our products.

Sofie’s Soaps

Dress for summer

Lots of stylish sundresses starting at $24 now at Divaz Desirez, corner of Coffee and Hageman by BlockBuster in the Vons center. 679-7278.

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Houndstooth car harness FitFlop

Get a workout while you walk, increase leg and bottom muscle activity and absorb more shock. At Guarantee Shoe Center. 325-8751

A quick, easy and fashionable way to keep dogs secure in the car. $20 at Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa. 1617 19th St. 321-9602.

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Guarantee Shoe Center


Associated Builders and Contractors eighth annual Golf Tournament April 29 Held at Sundale Country Club Photos by Felix Adamo View these photos and more online at

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Bakersfield Life

June 2011

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CSUB Party in the Park May 6 Held at Cal State Bakersfield Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Rob Hopkins and Napier and Bart Hill

Terri Hicks and Kim Jones

Katie Price and Barbara Galland

Christina Ortiz and Gary Simmons

Maribel Ramirez and Rafael Gonzalez

Matt and Danay Jones and Rob Meszaros

Rene Novins and Beth Rienzi

Bill and Stephanie Van Skike 103

Kern Adult Literacy Council Read for Life Gala April 28 Held at the Bell Tower Club Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at

Kathy and Jamie Henderson

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Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Donna Hylton, Wayne and Lynn Deats

CASA’s Wine, Women and Shoes May 7 Held at the Stiers residence Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Whitney Rector, Aimee Williamson and Wendy Horack

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Junior League of Bakersfield’s Kids in the Kitchen March 26 Held at Junior League of Bakersfield Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at

Destiny, Christina and Briana Marler

Shelley Greene and Kimberly Whitaker

Nima Patel and Victor Martin

Aimee Reyes, Nataly Pulido, Amberly Reyes and Ally Reyes

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There is an option.

no shame. no blame. no names. Lisa, Ava and Tim Gojich and Lance Champion

Don’t abandon your baby. You can safely surrender your newborn baby (up to three days old) into the hands of any fire station or emergency room staff in Kern County.

Call 211 or 1-877-BABYSAF (222-9723) 106

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Push your body. Find your beat.

661-589-8950 • 800-FIT-IS-IT

Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Reserve 61st annual Awards Dinner March 19 Held at Bakersfield Elks Lodge Photos by Olivia Garcia View these photos and more online at

Chris Scott, Theresa Mollineaux and Kathy Burnett

RoseMary Wahl and Vicky Erickson

Carlie Agosta, Diana Kadel and Haley Light

Kaitlyn, Danny and Tracy Edgerle

Judge Michael Lewis and retired Sheriff Carl Sparks

Newcomers Club of Bakersfield A social club for women who are new to Bakersfield. Offering monthly luncheons and lots of activities including Bunco, Bridge, Book Club and Mah Jong. For more information, please contact:

Phyllis Hansen at 587-8292 Jason Horn, Jennifer Horn, Richard Frank, Pamelia Frank, Peggy Reynolds and Dwight Reynolds

Or email us at Or visit our website at

Roy and Chris Scott and Kathy and Scott Burnett 107

BHS Driller Hall of Fame Banquet May 13 Held at Bakersfield Marriott Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Hal Silverman and Jim Cowles

Jay Durant and Pam Morales

Tim Hartnett, Paul Golla and Pat Preston

Silas Nacita, Phillip Thomas and Zach Abe

Bob Schmidt and Kenneth Schwocho

Margaret and Timothy Lemucchi and Carl and Marian Bowser

Stan Greene, Jeff Buckey, Paul Pavletich and Brian Ronan

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Bakersfield Life

June 2011

Links for Life Gala May 14 Held at Seven Oaks Country Club Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at

Susan and Craig Bonna

Ashley George and Liz and Josh Dobbs

Robin Mangarin and Jim Scott Matt and Jennifer Henry

Tana and Larry Williams

Kids can now learn how to play golf the FUN and successful way! SNAG contains all the elements of golf but in a modified form. It allows for full shots, pitching, chipping, and putting.

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Doug Greener Fire Chief, Bakersfield Fire Department

Best accomplishment: Certainly, having a happy, healthy family is my greatest non career-related accomplishment. But being appointed as the fire chief of the Bakersfield Fire Department, working with the bravest and highest quality firefighters in the state, is definitely a career apex.

Photo by Casey Christie

Best part of my job: The best part of my job is the outcome of the service that the Bakersfield Fire Department delivers to the community. There is nothing better than helping someone in need or distress and ultimately making a difference in their quality of life. I feel very fortunate to have a career that allows me to serve in a profession that is truly fulfilling, challenging, worthwhile and to have that team effort result in lives or property or the environment being protected. Best piece of advice someone has given me: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. Something few people know about me: I’m a third-generation firefighter. My father and grandfather were both members of the Los Angeles City Fire Department. My father retired as a captain at LAFD Fire Station 105, and my grandfather retired as a pilot of Fireboat 4, the Bethel F. Gifford, located at LAFD Fire Station 49, on the harbor. My favorite getaway: Our family has spent every summer vacation in Mammoth Lakes, California for the last 30 years. We love it. The biking, running, hiking and fly-fishing are as good as they get anywhere. It’s a great family tradition. Portland, Oregon is another outstanding getaway to a high density, forested, urban area that supports outdoor activities, education, arts, public transportation and green living. Awesome place! On my bookshelf you will find: In my 110

Bakersfield Life

June 2011

office, you’ll find references on leadership, followership and firefighting—including a well-worn copy of a Fire Officer’s Handbook of Tactics, by John Norman. At home, River of Doubt, by Candice Millard, Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean are my favorites on the shelf. Also, there’s probably some dust, since I don’t read as much for enjoyment as I should these days. My favorite places to have lunch on the weekend: Lunch is my least often consumed meal, and I usually have it at home on the weekends. But when I do go

to lunch, you can’t beat Sequoia Sandwich Company or Too Fat Sandwiches — both great local businesses with very high quality menu offerings. Most influential person in my life: I’m influenced by my wife in some way, daily. But in terms of influence that has given me significant direction, my mother and father-in-law have been the most influential. They’ve always placed a high value on family, education, charity and hard work. They were my most significant role models when I was in my early 20s and continue to be influential mentors for our family.

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Announcing the All New 2012 Civic.

2012 Civic EX-L Sedan The ninth-generation Civic has been revealed for a sneak peek prior to its release later this year. Every model in the new Civic lineup will deliver enhanced fuel efficiency, with two vehicles estimated to achieve higher than 40 mpg on the highway[1]. An all-new model joins the lineup—the Civic HF. In the tradition of the Civic CRX HF, this new model will be the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-only-powered Civic in the lineup, with a targeted EPA-estimated highway fuel-economy rating of 41 mpg[1]. The all new lithium-ion battery-powered Civic Hybrid leads the way with a targeted EPA-estimated city/highway combined fuel efficiency of 45 mpg[1]. The Si returns with a stylish new look and even more power and better efficiency from its new 2.4-liter engine.

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FEATURED LEASE: Closed end lease for 2012 Civic Sedan 5 Speed Automatic LX (FB2F5CEW) available from May 3, 2011 through May 31, 2011, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees wil qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $19,405.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $17,499.67. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $6,804.00. Option to purchase at lease end $13,001.35. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by 05/31/2011. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.

4500 Wible Road

at the Entrance to Bakersfield Automall

834-6632 Se Habla Español [1]Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.


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Bakersfield Life Magazine June 2011  

Bakersfield Life Magazine June 2011