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April 2011

Athletes of spring Local products excel in college sports

I’m A Soldier

New feature profiles local service members

Dining Divas at Cafe Med

Wine Women & Shoes CASA fundraiser unites ladies for great cause

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Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Wine Women & Shoes

CASA of Kern County is bringing the popular fundraiser and luxury social event to Bakersfield. A fun night of wine tasting and designer shoe shopping will help raise money for the hundreds of abused and neglected children in our community.


Spring athletes

Hit the track with three Bakersfield natives who are excelling on the University of Washington women’s track and field team, then cross the country with a couple of college softball pitchers before heading closer to home to meet a Fresno State baseball player who's wowing the crowds.

Photo by Jose Trevino


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Page 74

12 Letters to the Editor 14 Short Takes 18 It "Manners" A Lot 20 Happenings 22 On the Road 24 Entertainment 26 Why I Live Here Photo Michael Lopez

in Luxury Homes, Estate Properties and Golf Course Communities

See 50 photo visual tours of property listings, and search for homes at:


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FAVORITE 2010 California State Governor

Bakersfield Life



E R S’


April 2011



Photo courtesy of Chad Garcia


28 Dining Divas 32 Going Green 40 Real Estate

42 On the Red Couch 46 Pastimes 50 Talk of the Town 62 It’s a Guy Thing 66 Tech Watch 68 Personality 70 Our Town

72 Community 74 I'm A Soldier 76 Food & Wine 80 History 82 Trip Planner 88 Snap! 98 The Last Word



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 Gabriel Luis Acosta Felix Adamo Henry A. Barrios Holly Carlyle Casey Christie Brian Drake Scott Eklund Jessica Frey Maria Ahumada-Garaygordobil Lois Henry John Harte Alex Horvath Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Michael Lopez Danielle Radon Carla Rivas Rob Sumner Rodney Thornburg Jose Trevino Contributing writers Sylvia Canter Angel Carreras Allie Castro Gene Garaygordobil Lois Henry Lisa Kimble Stephen Lynch Dana Martin Jeff Nickell Luz Pena Gabriel Ramirez Advertising Lupe Carabajal 395-7563 Reader Inquiries Bakersfield Life Magazine P.O. Bin 440 Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440 395-7492 On the cover Bakersfield Life Dining Diva Sofia Ronquillo gets into the spirit for the upcoming CASA Wine, Women & Shoes charity event.


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Spring into an edition of fun


Finally, my favorite season of the year has arrived. For one, this is the time of Easter. As part of the celebration, we asked the Rev. Antonio Alfred of St. John Missionary Baptist Church to reflect on the meaning of this special time. Also inside, we share a few places planning Easter egg-hunting fun for the children. Spring draws many of us to hit the outdoors more than wintertime. It’s a great time to enjoy Bakersfield’s natural scenery and spend time with loved ones. As part of this issue, our features associate Hillary Haenes has a reason for you to take advantage of the beautiful outdoors: a springtime picnic. Read her story as she shares some delicious picnic food you can pick up on your way to a nice spot around town. Writer Stephen Lynch gives us a rundown on one of our prized possessions: our away-at-college spring athletes. If you thought we had students blazing trails in the fall, get a look at the number of collegiate athletes training for this season’s sports. There are plenty of reasons to be proud. And if we missed your pride and joy by accident, then please send me an email and I’ll be sure to add his or her name, college and spring sport in the next issue. This is the time to also make a difference in our community. Longtime American Cancer Society volunteer Sylvia Cariker writes about the annual Relay for Life. This is a huge event that many of us support in honor of cancer survivor loved ones and friends. Relay for Life takes place at 11800 Old River Road, from 9 a.m. April 30 to 9 a.m. May 1. Because it will be held at a new location, it’s a good idea to check out what Sylvia has to say in the article on Page 72. There’s also a new charity event coming to town this spring. CASA, a local nonprofit that is familiar to many of us and does lots of good

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

April 2011 / Vol. 5 / Issue 7

work on behalf of children caught in the system, is holding a great fundraiser, Wine, Women & Shoes, from 2 to 6 p.m. May 7 at the home of the Stiers. It’s going to be a wonderful event where they will have plenty of high-end shoes, wine, jewelry and more all in the name of helping CASA youth. Read Allie Castro’s piece for more details. Special thanks goes to Dining Diva Sofia Ronquillo, for being the subject of this month’s Bakersfield Life cover photo to promote the event, and, of course, to photographer Holly Carlyle. Speaking of the Dining Divas, these gals took a stroll over to Café Med and, boy, did they have an awesome time. You must look inside to learn about some of the dishes and sweets they explored. Did you know that Madera’s best-kept secret is its wineries? Writer Lois Henry has all the details in this issue. Read all about it. Might make a nice weekend getaway.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487

Photos of Emily by Ryan Jones

Photo by Thomas Milne

Most kids stay healthy, but all kids need a doctor. Sometimes a kid needs a hospital. And sometimes that doctor or hospital says they need something more. When that happens, Children’s is ready to help. We’re a hospital with child-specific doctors and nurses, equipped with the tools and technology to treat kids who need advanced care. We are one of the biggest children’s hospitals in California, and we’re one of the ten-largest hospitals of our type in America. Our doctors and nurses have won some of the top honors in the nation, and we’re right here in the Valley, on the river bluffs just north of Fresno.



California Children’s

UP FRONT Short Takes

Read for Life Gala to support literacy efforts


It’s that time again for the annual Read for Life Gala Reception and Auction, which raises funds to benefit the Kern Adult Literacy Council. Executive Director Donna Hylton and the Read for Life Gala committee are busy preparing for another successful event. The gala, which draws plenty of community leaders and supporters, will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 at The Bell Tower Club. At the gala, Bright House Networks will be honored as the Literacy for Life Award recipient. The council annually honors a business or professional who has contributed in many ways to local literacy efforts and literacy council programs. Past honorees include Kern Community College District Chancellor Sandra Serrano and The Bakersfield Californian. Aside from the award, the gala will feature more than 500 auction items up for grabs. Some of the hot items include 50yard line tickets to a San Francisco 49ers game; an eight-day, seven-night condo dream vacation to Australia, Mexico, Europe, Canada or Hawaii; a birthday party at the downtown fire station; Dodgers tickets behind home plate; four one-day park hopper

tickets for Disneyland; and a weekend stay at a condo on the coast. The gala is a signature event for the council as it raises funds to support its programs. Among the council programs is the Family Literacy Program, which offers literacy instruction to county families at no charge. In addition, the council offers general educational development tutoring for students preparing for the GED exam and runs the adult basic education program that offers tutoring in basic skills, such as reading, writing, arithmetic and other skills necessary in today’s workplace or home life, Hylton said. “It is because of community support, the council keeps our four literacy programs going with over 3,000 students at over 50 sites in Kern County,” Hylton said, noting that the gala has raised more than $1 million in the last 10 years for the council. The gala event allows the council to serve more students and continue in its efforts to improve literacy in the county and the lives of local families. Sponsorships and individual tickets are still available. For more information, contact Donna Hylton at 324-3213.

Letter to the Editor Dear Editor,

I suppose I could just not say anything about the cover picture of the March 2011 issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine and quietly seethe in disgust and disappointment. As you can see, I have chosen not to sit quietly, but rather to share my disappointment in your choice to depict men in this way. “The Man Issue” — really? Bakersfield’s manliest men surround themselves with “models” that seem to be posing as hookers for this “manly” man, Mr. Gary Branker, who brags about punching, as was printed, a “midget”? Ms. Garcia, in your editor’s note, you said that your female readers would find this male-centric issue enjoyable. Well, I’m obviously not amused. I am a mother of three sons, ages 21, 16 and 6. I don’t find the man on your cover or how he is presenting himself representative of the men in my life. Why not show this man with his beloved car on the cover? Why you have chosen to represent men in your “Man Issue” in this way is in12

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

compressible and archaic. Perhaps choosing a man such as Bradley Vaughn, who’s not only an amazing athlete but a man who serves his country with vigor, has great mental capacity, and loves and cherishes his wife would have been a better choice. Or perhaps George Sturges Jr., whose father taught him at an early age valuable life lessons that would carry through to manhood. He supports his family every day in ways both measurable and immeasurable. I’m doubly disappointed that as a female editor you have chosen to perpetuate this outdated image of men that continues to flood the media in all of its forms. I expect more from a magazine that represents a city that claims to be family-oriented and progressive. Furthermore, as a local business owner who frequently advertises in Bakersfield Life magazine, I will be reconsidering where to place my advertising dollars. Sincerely, — Josie Kouyomjian

The Bakersfield Californian publishes Bakersfield Life magazine monthly. If you have any questions or comments regarding our magazine, write to us at Bakersfield Life, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302, or e-mail us at 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, 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

To advertise

Please call Lupe Carabajal, retail advertising sales manager, at 395-7563 or lcarabajal@ or bakersfieldlife@bakersfield. com.


By the Numbers

Bakersfield Scottish Games and Gathering

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At last year’s 15th annual Scottish event …

5,000 14 Scottish fiddlers Estimated number of 1 Sword swallower people who attended the Scottish games 168 Pounds — the heaviest wood2,500+ en caber tossed Number of plaid kilts worn 6 Approximate gal400+ Number lons of Irn-Bru soft of non-plaid kilts worn drinks sold 73’2” Furthest the haggis was tossed 7 Bands that enter527 for the men’s haggis tained People who hurl attended 8 Scottish games the Ceil33’1” played idh (proFurthest the nounced haggis was Kay-lee) 43 Bagpipe tossed players for the women’s 3 People dancing haggis hurl at the end of the night 251 People Source: David Stroud, chieftain of the Kern County Scottish Society

who considered themselves to be dancing at the end of the night

7 Belly dancers

that appeared on Ceilidh stage out of nowhere

16th annual Bakersfield Scottish Games and Gathering • April 2; Games and Gathering 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Ceilidh 6 to 10 p.m. or later • Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. • $15; $12 seniors (60-plus), students with ID, military with ID; free for children 10 and under free when accompanied by a paid adult; Ceilidh: $15; games and Ceilidh $25; purchase presale tickets at World Records; tickets are also available at the door. • Contact the Kern County Scottish Society, 374-4944 or visit


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UP FRONT Short Takes

Ballet folklorico group from Mexico to perform in Bakersfield

Photo by Alberto Guadarrama

Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli de Veracruz Mexico will return to Bakersfield in a performance at Liberty High School April 26.


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Spring will bring more than the pastel colors of Easter eggs this year. This month, Bakersfield residents will have the opportunity to enjoy the bright colored outfits, vibrant sounds and soul moving performance of Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli de Veracruz Mexico. Felisa Patino-Guadarrama, Spanish teacher at Liberty High School and M.E.Ch.A. Club adviser, and the Liberty High School M.E.Ch.A. Club are responsible for bringing the group to Bakersfield. Quetzalli will have one full-length show open to the public on April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Liberty High School Performing Arts Center, 925 Jewetta Ave. There will also be two school assemblies for students at Shafter and Liberty High Schools. Tickets for the full-length show are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Money

raised from the event will go toward senior scholarships and field trips to college campuses. Patino-Guadarrama said that performances from big name groups like Quetzalli benefit the community and the youth who get the opportunity to see them. “Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli takes back with them to Mexico and wherever they perform in the world, their experience of being here in our small, close-knit and growing city of Bakersfield,” she said. “These performances are extremely important for our youth. Students and youth need to see the arts, dance and music through the eyes of other cultures and countries. It shows students the beauty and richness that everyone has to offer no matter what their background is.” Mayor Harvey Hall will attend the

performance and present the dance troupe with a proclamation for their efforts for sharing and bringing their talents to Kern County and for being ambassadors for their country. Quetzalli has been to Kern County six times before and has given performances at local high schools and CSUB. “Bakersfield is a very important city for us. When we tour through California, it always gives us great pleasure to perform there,” said Hugo Betancourt Morales, troupe director. Morales said these performances are a great way to teach the youth about their roots, and to be proud of themselves and where they come from. “In today’s day and age, it is very difficult to maintain traditions given the advancements in communications/technol-

ogy, but we still try to maintain tradition without turning folklore into a multimedia show,” Morales said. Troupe dancer Carlos Soto said attendees will leave with an unforgettable experience. “It will be a special night where they will feel a part of the happiness and a part of our traditional customs,” he said. Quetzalli will be performing to live music, which Patino-Guadarrama feels makes them truly unique. “Everything just comes to life with the musicians accompanying them. The music is vibrant, the costumes are beautiful and their performance just infuses the music right into your soul and it makes you love Mexico, its history and its people,” said Patino-Guadarrama. — By Gabriel Ramirez

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UP FRONT Short Takes

CSUB students studying abroad Education does not stop at the classroom door, nor does it come solely from a book or lecture. Co-curricular programs that complement classroom learning, while preparing students for the real world, are also essential, experts say. One such program is the CSU International Programs. Locally, there are eight students currently enrolled in the program at CSUB. Dagmara Karnowski, who oversees International Programs at the university, is eager to see more students take advantage of the opportunity, which she says has many benefits. “Studying abroad can help students learn about themselves,” said Karnowski. “By leaving their safe zones, students get a wonderful chance for personal development.” Going abroad will help a student acquire international skills and a good understanding of global affairs, which can enhance their degree, she added. That is exactly what attracted CSUB senior Myriam Valdez to the program. She is

CSUB senior Myriam Valdez visiting Stonehenge. currently studying in London. As a political science major, Valdez feels it is essential for her career to learn about how nations work and interact and has received invaluable insight that will supplement her studies back at CSUB. “We (the U.S.) are seen as both a world leader, and we are also seen as selfish,” she

said. “I am proud to be an American and I offer my humble perspective of what life is like in America and where I agree and disagree with my classmates during seminar. They love hearing me as much as I love hearing them. “There are perspectives you simply are not exposed to in American universities.” Karnowski says there is a misconception that studying abroad is out of reach for many students due to finances. The average cost for a single student studying abroad is $21,145 per year compared to an estimated $21,329 per year for a full-time CSUB student who lives off-campus. Costs vary from country to country and some programs are actually less than at a CSU. Karnowski said that in addition to financial aid — which a significant number of students are eligible for and can apply to their international studies — there are also many scholarships available to students who wish to study abroad. — By Rob Meszaros

What is your spring break tradition?


Bakersfield Life

“Take the family to the beach and Six Flags.”

“I go to Pismo Coast Village with my family and friends.”

“It’s a special time for family get-togethers, and our main focus is Easter Sunday when we attend church to celebrate the rising of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

— Allison Fernandes

— Diana O’Neal

— Lydia Cervantes

“I go with my family and friends to Pismo Beach. We’ve been doing this for the last 14 years.”

“Barbecuing and floating down the river with friends and family.”

“Our spring break tradition is the annual family barbecue and Easter egg hunt.”

— Brandon Johnson

— Erica Murdock

— Melanie Bautista

“Florida. The beach, volleyball and the sun is awesome, man!”

“Me and family go to the coast for the week.”

“Being together as a family is “spring break” in our family. This year, we are all visiting my sister in Bermuda.”

— Chris Percival

— Kristina Hawk

— Sharon Roxburgh

April 2011

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

Tiler Peck When the 22-year-old updated us on her plans for the rest of the year, she was on tour in Hong Kong performing with the New York City Ballet. This dancer left her hometown in 2005 to attend ballet school and has practiced perfecting her pirouettes that will soon land her dancing onstage at the very prestigious Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater in Russia. In June, she’ll be a guest on a TV show, which unfortunately can’t be named because it might spoil the surprise. Peck will also tour all over Italy this summer performing with a small group of dancers from NYCB.

1 I have a pet maltipoo named Cali. 2 I love watching football (my father



15 16

used to coach college football).

I moved away from home and to New York at the age of 14 to pursue a ballet career.


I am obsessed with high heels.


I used to be on a traveling rollerblade dancing team when I was 9.


The place I most want to visit is Venice, Italy.


I was in the “The Music Man” on Broadway when I was 11 years old.


My grandmother used to drive me two and a half to three hours, three or four times a week for dance training in Los Angeles.

Of all of the places I have been, Madrid and Paris are my two favorite cities.

I hosted Barbie’s 40th anniversary in New York with Dick Clark and Melissa Joan Hart.


I have had the same best friend since the first grade.


Christmas is my favorite holiday because I get to spend it with my family.


Even though I have lived in New York for seven years, I love California and am still a true Cali girl!


I like to go to the movies with my boyfriend (who is from Spain).


My first acting job was a Toys “R” Us commercial when I was 6 years old.

23 My celebrity crush is Josh Duhamel. 24 My favorite person to hang out with is my sister, Myka.


My favorite kind of food is pasta. I got into the New York City Ballet when I was 15 years old.

13 Photo by Felix Adamo

I always look forward to coming home and going to eat at Red Pepper, Togo’s and Sequoia ... yum!

I am a student at Fordham University.


9 My mother owns a studio called Bakersfield Dance Company, and she was my first dance teacher! 12

I love Dr Pepper!


I broke a 27-year-old high-jumping record at Cal State during elementary school.


I have superstitious habits when it comes to picking out my pointe shoes the night before a performance.



Roadway incivility

E By Lisa Kimble

Exactly when civility on the road made a sharp U-turn is hard to say. But one thing is certain — road rage appears to be racing through society at break-neck speed. Those once happy trails are now menacing commutes that boil over in the form of high blood pressure, fender-benders or worse. It seems everyone’s in a hurry, blazing through almost-red lights or honking the horn. Motorists seldom extend courtesies to each other or pedestrians anymore. Who hasn’t tried to change lanes, only to have the other motorist speed up, or tried to enter traffic from a parking lot but to no avail? It isn’t the rising cost of gas that’s to blame, and there is a serious tailspin to this: According to a Harvard Medical School study, an estimated 8.6 million adults experience Intermittent Explosive Disorder, marked by recurrent angry outbursts seen in road rage. But if drivers in NASCAR country — the South — can carry civility to their cars, so can the rest of us. Imagine how much more pleasant the time on the asphalt jungle would be if we let the other driver in ahead of us? Give it a try. You’ll feel a little better, your blood pressure may even drop, and you will have extended a random act of kindness to a stranger. Dear Manners A Lot: I got ‘flipped off’ by an older driver experiencing a bit of road rage today. My son said, “Hey Mom, he’s saying you’re No. 1.” I loved my son’s humor, but I honestly didn’t know how to react. Dear Reader: How unfortunate for your young passenger to witness such incivility. Last time I checked, driving while in pantomime using hand and finger gestures does not speed travel. Sadly, the waving of the middle finger Lisa Kimble

out the window like a Caltrans flag has triggered violent altercations resulting in loss of life. You were wise to ignore the offender without engaging further. Especially with older children who will one day have a driver’s license, something like this is a good opportunity to drive home the importance of not inciting further rage, and minding manners behind the wheel. Dear Manners A Lot: Everyone seems to be in such a rush. Whatever happened to the gesture of appreciation when someone gives you the go-ahead? Dear Reader: How frustrating indeed to extend such a courtesy to another driver, only to have it go unrecognized. They needn’t stop their car, get out and give you a hug, but it takes just a second to raise a hand in appreciation. Most people wouldn’t dream of saying nothing when someone holds open a door for them. Yet some will ignore the same thoughtfulness on the road or in the crosswalk? Anyone on the receiving end of a simple gesture should nod or wave in thanks. It’s that simple! Dear Manners A Lot: Every afternoon on my way home from work I encounter the same situation at a four-way stop. The other drivers are so eager to get through the intersection first. Any advice? Dear Reader: It is pitiful watching drivers jockey for mid-intersection position, regardless of who had the right-of-way. The rules of the road in California are clear: A motorist already in the intersection or a pedestrian in the crosswalk has the right-of-way. One thing you should never do, however, is to assume that the other drivers will cede that right to you. Like a well-oiled car, let’s keep civility going, especially out on the road, because it "manners a lot"! Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to me at or visit itmannersalot.


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Bakersfield Life


February 2011

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


Can’t-miss events in April Fri. 1

Fri. 1

Sat. 2

Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament, check-in 11 a.m., shotgun at 12:30 p.m., Rio Bravo Country Club, 15200 Casa Club Dr. $175 per player; $600 team of four. Includes lunch, cart, green fees. 325-3730.

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.

KCHS All-Star Basketball Game, presented by U.S. Army, 3 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $6 plus fee. or 800-745-3000.

Fri. 8

Sat. 16

Sat. 16

20th annual Dinner at the Derby Fundraiser, 6 p.m., Seven Oaks Country Club, 2000 Grand Lakes Ave.

CASA of Kern County Rio Bravo Run, 10K, 5K and onemile walk, check-in 7 to 7:45 a.m., races begin at 8 a.m., Rio Bravo Ranch, 15701 Highway 178 . $20$35. or 631-2272.

Sat. 9

Seventh annual Garden Fest, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bakersfield College, Environmental Horticulture Renegade Park, 1801 Panorama Drive. Free. 395-4446

Ninth annual Ryan Sheets Arm-Wrestling Tournament, weigh-in 9 to 11 a.m., wrestling noon, Norris Road Veterans Hall, 400 W. Norris Road. or 301-2477 or 3991155.





Red & White Wine & Food Festival, 5 to 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield College, North Stadium lawn, 1801 Panorama Drive. $50 advance; $60 at the gate. 3954800 or 395-4273.

Sat. 9


Bakersfield Life

Sun. 24 Wed. 27

Thur. 28

Fri. 29

Sat. 30

Happy Easter!

Read for Life Gala, reception and silent auction, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Bell Tower Club, 1200 Truxtun Ave. All proceeds benefit the Kern Adult Literacy Council. 324-3213.

Ninth annual Spring Social & Casino Night, presented by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 6 to 11 p.m., Golden West Casino, 1001 S. Union Ave. $30. 633-5495

Uncle Kracker, 7 p.m., Buck Owens Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $34.50 to $44.50. or call 322-5200.

April 2011

Chris Young, 7 p.m., Buck Owens' Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $23.50$31.50. or call 322-5200.


The new face of hybrids Sporty compact Lexus CT 200h — the right fit for eco-conscious drivers

Talk about green, the CT 200h includes the use of plant-based plastics that are used for the rear deck sides, deck board trim and floor mats.

W By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Michael Lopez

We didn’t plan it this way, but this is the perfect issue for tackling a review of a hybrid because we have a few articles focused on local green efforts. And what better hybrid to test drive than the new Lexus CT 200h? I’ve always favored the brand for its luxury and style. Who wouldn’t? But I knew little about its green cars. This was my first time test-driving a hybrid, and my friends, I think I have seen the light. Hybrids are so the way to go if you want to save tons of cash on gas and drive a car that generates less emissions, making this town a less polluted place. Walking outside your house and looking up to the smoggy sky on a beautiful spring day is just not the way to go. I learned that good part of the CT 200h is made of recyclable material. Five gold stars for green. Now when I first sat in the driver’s seat, I felt a bit intimidated when I first looked at the car’s driving controls and advanced operational set-up.


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

For those iPod or iPhone lovers, there’s a place that easily accommodates it on the center console. It also can be adjusted for a variety of other devices.

It’s all in the details Five best features of the Lexus CT 200h: It’s aerodynamic with the large roof spoiler and small wing-link fins on the rear undercover helping control the flow of air under, over and around the body.

Here is a car that featured a blue and red color-changing ECO, Normal, Sport drive model selector dial and Nav System remote touch controller that felt more like a mouse. Was this car smarter than a geek like me? The knowledgeable Jashan Bal of Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield (his title is product specialist), however, made me feel relaxed once he walked me through a number of the system features, such as the push-button to turn the car on or off; voicecommand system to answer those emergency calls via Bluetooth or get directions if you are lost; and dual suspension when you are in sports driving mode. Don’t let hybrids fool you. This Lexus CT 200h has power. But if you are in ECO driving mode, it almost feels as if you are cruising through town. No need to rush on life’s matters. I sure know the feeling though. I took this car for a spin at a time when one of the most common chatters in the news and on Facebook was people complaining about the price of gas left and right. I would have been right there with them had I not been driving the CT 200h, which, get this, gets you about 40 miles a gallon! I drove all over Bakersfield when I had this car, not because I wanted to but I had a number of commitments: the photo shoot, my sister’s 21st birthday dinner, a commu-

nity awards dinner, my son’s track meet, an ice cream pit stop with my other son, and a trip to Target (when you have kids, Target becomes your best friend). Product specialist and my new friend, Bal estimated that you could drive for about 500 miles before you needed a fillup. Just imagine traveling to San Diego and having about a half tank left. This could be a driving factor for people to buy the CT 200h. I know it came in handy when an unnamed friend ran out of gas downtown, and I was able to give him a lift to his next appointment and returned him back to his Jeep where another friend was waiting with a small jug of gas. These days, how many of us are driving our cars on “E,” putting off the dreading pit stop at the station where we drop a couple of $20s in the tank? I know I am just as guilty. But that wouldn’t be the case with the CT 200h. It is a cute, sporty car — a five-door hatchback that can easily carry gear or travel items. The audio system is a treat as well, complemented by bamboo charcoal-based resin diaphragm speakers. If I were a college student, a newlywed or a single working professional, I’d snag this car in a heartbeat. It makes senses on many fronts.

• Highly distinctive, sharp-edged appearance that initiates intrigue • Highest combined fuel-efficiency rating of any luxury vehicle • Lexus prestige at a low price • Superior aerodynamics that provide a well controlled ride and exceptionally quiet interior • Cutting edge technology and safety features that break away from convention

City and highway mileage and price tag:

The CT 200h offers an incredible 42-MPG city and 41-MPG highway. Starting at only $29,120, the newest vehicle in the Lexus lineup offers luxury vehicle ownership to a whole new audience.

The Lexus CT 200h is perfect for:

…those who want to experience the darker side of green. This hybrid is made to match your different moods (modes). Sport mode is built on thoroughbred inspired racing suspension and EV mode runs on battery power alone giving you a little more pizzazz that you’ve been wanting in a hybrid.

What makes the Lexus CT 200h stand out from its older version? Joining our four other Lexus Hybrid models, the CT 200h is all-new for 2011!

Target consumer?

A hybrid vehicle for all generations. The Lexus CT200h is for any environmentally conscious buyer that is not willing to sacrifice comfort, style and luxury. Save gas while saving the planet!

Three words that define the Lexus CT 200h: The CT 200h redefines the word Hybrid: Hip, Affordable and OMG MPG!

What do you like the most about the Lexus CT 200h?

With its exceptional fuel economy, ultralow emissions, dynamic handling, and urban styling, the CT 200h is a car that doesn’t sacrifice excitement for efficiency. Source: Lezley Pumphrey, Marketing Manager, Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield



Big month at the Fox Country singer Darius Rucker among the artists performing this month historic theater By Angel Carreras


Take heed, Bakersfieldians! This coming April, the likes of Bryan Adams, REO Speedwagon, and Darius Rucker will be frequenting the legendary Fox Theater for what will surely be a very memorable month. Kicking things off on April 10, Bryan Adams comes to town in support of his album Bare Bones with a tour of the same name. A live album, Bare Bones has been certified Gold and praised by fans and music critics alike. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of writes, “Backed by just his acoustic guitar and sometimes a piano, Adams sounds lean, his voice wearing handsomely, his charm put to the forefront…” Sounds like a must-see for Bryan Adams fans. If acoustic guitar and soft-and-soulful crooning isn’t your thing, don’t fight that feelin’ anymore and go see REO Speedwagon! Known for such hits as “Keep on Lovin’ You” and “Take it on the Run,” the legendary rockers bring their classic rock styling to Bakersfield Sunday, April 17. Don’t let their age worry you. These guys can still jam! Last but not least, April 28 brings the country music musings of former Hootie and The Blowfish singer, Darius Rucker. Rucker has been flying solo since 2001 and has spawned successful singles, many of which that have appeared in the Billboard Hot 100. Known primarily as the rock front man for Hootie and the Blowfish, Rucker is actually a very successful country musician, being the first African American to win a CMA New Artist of the Year award. Rucker will be touring in support of his Charleston, SC 1966 country album. If music is your mistress, this April will be quite the affair to remember. From musical genres spanning country music to classic rock, there’s a little bit of something for everybody. So, what exactly are you waiting for? Head on down to the Fox Theater or visit for tickets and additional information.


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

REO Speedwagon

Bryan Adams

Darius Rucker

Tevis Ranch The Smith family

The Smiths, from left: Amy, Christopher, Charlotte and Zane

Photo by Greg Nichols


There’s so much to love about our town. From the Panorama bluffs to the streets of Rosedale, each neighborhood has its supporters. This month, Bakersfield Life asked the Smith family what makes living in their southwest neighborhood special.

What attracted you to the neighborhood: We drove through the neighborhood at night and it was quiet and well lit. We also researched school districts and were impressed with the neighborhood schools.

The Smith household consists of: Zane, Amy, children Christopher and Charlotte and our dog Max and cat Bella.

Has the neighborhood changed since you lived there? There has been a lot of development — more houses, churches and shopping.

How long have you lived in your neighborhood? We have lived in Tevis Ranch for 14 years. Three words that describe your neighborhood: Quiet, convenient and affordable. Our home is conveniently located near: Our kids’ schools, a park, shopping, friends and family. Best neighborhood memory: When we first moved here from Long Beach, our grandparents in Long Beach bought a house a couple of blocks away to be close to our kids. Favorite neighborhood activity: Halloween and the kids trick-or-treating with friends. What you like most about your neighbors: Even though we have a house sitter while away, they still keep an eye on our house. 26

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April 2011

What you would change about your neighborhood: A mini storage was built a few years back right by the entrance. I wish we still had the field and the white fence that little owls used to perch on. What you like best about your home: It is big enough to give everyone their own space, but small enough that we know where everyone is. Best-kept secret about your neighborhood that you’re willing to share: If I shared the secret, I would be in real trouble! Anything else: It’s nice to live in a neighborhood where my children have grown up with the same friends they had in kindergarten… It gives it a real small town feel.

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Café Med

The Dining Divas, clockwise from bottom left: Lois Henry, Sofia Ronquillo, Kim Jessup, Sofie Zimmermann and Robin Noble with Cafe Med owner Meir Brown.

Heel ratings (out of 5) Atmosphere: nice, relaxed, can be a bit crowded on weekends. Service: the Diva treatment you deserve.

Pricing: a little higher than most B-town restaurants but worth it.

Food: most excellent and everything is made in house. How to dress: This is a Bakersfield institution (laid back), so jeans and dressy top all the way to up to stiletto glam is OK here. 28

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April 2011

Overall: Cafe Med is Bakersfield’s “go-to” restaurant for excellent food, wine and service. But don’t let its whitetablecloth quality fool you. You can dress it up or down as much as you like and still fit in with the “in” crowd. We were treated to such a wonderful experience. It will be hard for any of the Divas to go back to regular dinners out. Cafe Med gave us a taste of all their best. It was a tremendous undertaking, but the Divas were up to the challenge. Well, once they were done chatting, flirting and posing for photos!

The basics Cafe Med is owned by Meir and

Kathy Brown and has been serving happy customers since 1991. Address: 4809 Stockdale Highway Phone: 834-4433 Hours: M-Th, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; F-Sat, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun., noon to 9 p.m. Happy hour: 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., seven days a week. Appetizers half off and $4 well drinks and house wine. LOTS of extras: A private dining room for up to 10 guests. Family style dinners to go for 4-5 people. Patio seating (with heaters!). Monthly cooking classes for $50. Gourmet wine dinners. Wine tasting events for $25 the last Friday of every month. Central Coast tours (check for dates). Plus their gourmet shop and deli right next door.


Café Med makes lasting impression Photos by Greg Nichols

Kim on wine This wine Diva was like a kid in a candy store. Cafe Med’s wine list has everything your little heart desires! By the bottle or glass, it accommodates every budget. Not sure what to order? Ask your server. Don’t forget to check out the wine in the Gourmet Shop to take home. • Grey Wolf Cellars “South Paw” 2008, Paso Robles ($45). A white Rhone blend of viognier, grenache blanc and rousanne. Paired well with all of our appetizers. • Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa Valley ($60). The Divas love their reds, and this wine did not disappoint. Dark red fruit flavors, cocoa, ripe cherry, good layers and a nice finish. A true crowd pleaser. • Alban Vineyards syrah “Patrina” 2008, Edna Valley ($63). Rich, sumptuous, big syrah with plenty of fruit. This wine got better as it opened up, a nice match with our leg of lamb and steak. • Grahams 10-year-old Tawny Port, Portugal ($51 bottle/$8 glass). Perfect with dessert.

Kim on appetizers You had me at duck confit! ($13.95) With the crisp crostini, tender seasoned duck, mushrooms, carmelized onions and a

thin slice of melted brie on top, it was hard for this Diva to move on. Large spice-rubbed shrimp, ($14.95) grilled tender and flavorful presented in a martini glass with a house-made cocktail sauce. Perfect start to a great evening. Can you say hot, crispy homemade fries? ($7.95) The Divas devoured these golden gems served with three delicious dipping sauces. Finger-licking good and gone in 60 seconds!

French fries

Robin on starters Once again, I’m covering starters and once again, I filled up too soon! The strawberry vinaigrette salad ($11.95 large, $7.95 small) was a Diva favorite. Mixed greens topped with strawberry vinaigrette, fresh strawberries, candied pecans and gorgonzola cheese. (One Diva makes a special trip to The Deli at Cafe Med weekly for this sweet, salty, tangy perfection!) I’m a Greek salad ($8.95 large, $5.95 small) fan, and this really delivers. A crisp blend of veggies tossed with lemon juice and olive oil topped with Feta cheese and olives. Simple, clean, delicious! House salad ($7.95 large, $5.95 small) is a Mediterranean style slaw. Shredded cabbage, fresh greens, tossed with the chef’s

Strawberry vinaigrette salad

Continued on page 30

Baklava Rib-eye steak


Continued from page 29

special dressing. Nice. Who doesn’t love a spinach salad ($13.95 large, $5.95 small)? Tender spinach leaves, red onions, tomato, hard-boiled egg, candied pecans, blue cheese, tossed with a warm balsamic vinaigrette. I saved the best for last. Clam chowder (served Fridays)! Cafe Med’s is a welcome relief from the heavy, flour-thickened soup we’ve come to expect. This has a light, creamy broth, vegetables and tender clams. The magic ingredient is their in-house smoked applewood bacon. I recommend ordering a vat.

Lois on escolar I know, I order fish a lot. (Mostly, because I think it gives me carte blanche on the desserts.) I had the escolar, which was a special that night (market price) and my, my was it special. So light and moist with a sweet soy miso sauce offset by a smokey charred flavor. The chef must have had the grill sizzlin’ hot and just spanked the fish on either side. Spanked happy, the Divas declared. This lucky gal had the pleasure of rating the house special kleftiko ($17.95). The kitchen slow roasts a leg of lamb in a red wine rosemary sauce. The moist, succulent meat is then chunked and served with grilled asparagus, couscous and a cucumber yogurt dipping sauce (tzatziki). Five heels!

Sofie on the chicken Florentine This is Cafe Med’s newest item ($21.95). It’s a tender chicken breast stuffed with asparagus, mushrooms, prosciutto, and havarti cheese, served with a cream of basil sauce, fresh tomatoes, smashed red potatoes and grilled asparagus. All the Divas loved it. What a good combination of juicy chicken and fresh veggies! It tasted so good I was in danger of forgetting it’s considered a healthy choice. God knows, (after all this food lately) I could use a healthy choice right now. Escolar

Bakersfield Life

Sofia on the tuna My dish was the seared ahi tuna ($25.95), which is one of Cafe Med’s signature dishes. It was fresh and seared beautifully, served with Asian slaw and sweet spicy noodles. Yummy!

Kim on rib-eye steak

Robin on kleftiko


Hot lava cake

April 2011

The special of the evening was the 24-ounce prime bone-in rib-eye ($49.95, or $31.95 for the regular 16-ounce), served with house-made french fries, sauteed vegetables and a foie gras butter. The steak was perfectly grilled to medium-rare, excellent flavor and the decadent fois gras butter was to die for. Could be shared by two, or a table full of Divas!

Resident dessert maven Sofie The hot lava cake ($7.95) was an absolute home run. It’s chocolate cake filled with

hot chocolate sauce! One touch of the fork and sauce oozed out in chocolate goodness. It’s served with creme anglaise, fresh raspberries and whipped cream. OK, you know how the smell of a freshly baked cake causes your children to magically appear in the kitchen? Apparently, it works on Diva’s as well. They had all ventured off, socializing throughout the dining and bar areas. But when that cake hit our table — bing! bing! bing! — Divas popped up out of nowhere. This chocolate lovers dream was not long for this world. Baklava ($6): A tradtional Mediterranean dessert made with phyllo dough, crusted walnuts, pistachios, butter and sugar. After it’s baked, syrup is immediately poured over the pieces allowing so it’s absorbed through each crispy layer. Served with fresh raspberries, this dish was well balanced, not overwhelmingly sweet. I have tried Baklava several times; this was the best yet. It was great to enjoy such a well-done traditional dessert. Creme brulee ($7.95): Oh, Mr. Creme Brulee, why must I love you so? Done perfectly with the crème custard under a hard caramelized sugar crust. Again, it was pointed out by another Diva that I needed to share! (Actually, it was the same Diva, control issues perhaps?) A controlling Diva? Say it isn’t so!


Greener state waste standards

To achieve the measure’s objective, an additional two to three million tons of materials annually will need to be recycled from the commercial sector by the year 2020 and beyond. “Waste management is working with refuse haulers and the various chambers of commerce to develop commercial recycling programs throughout the unincorporated area,” Rush said. “The county Fees will make paint, carpet producers will coordinate its efforts with the various cities.” more responsible for recycling Rush said when it comes to commercial recycling the big benefit being intended is to meet the mandates of climate change and ultimately decrease the greenhouse gas effect. By Gabriel Ramirez “Recycling will happen if we make it easy,” Rush said. “ConveA new year brings new waste management laws. And the Kern nience is the key.” County Waste Management Department is working toward impleThe paint extended producer responsibility law relieves the burmenting these laws intended to improve recycling efforts and stop den that local jurisdictions and household hazardous waste programs climate change. endure in paying for the cost of paint recycling. The new law also “These new laws will ensure that businesses have a greater envi- provides funding and expands opportunities for paint recycling. ronmental ethic,” said Aurora Rush, the department’s special projects It will implement a fee at the time of purchase, which gives the manager. paint industry responsibility to develop cost-effective recycling There are four new waste management laws: programs to help offset existing program costs and expand paint-re• Mandatory commercial recycling cycling opportunities. • Architectural Paint Stewardship program Rush said this new law could save • Product Stewardship for Carpet Kern County approximately $80,000 • The 2010 California Green Building Standards Code per year. The Mandatory Commercial Recycling Measure is deSimilarly, the carpet producer signed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting waste law looks to place more responsibilfrom landfills and recovering recyclable items. ity on the carpet industry to develop The commercial sector generates more than half of the cost-effective recycling programs. solid waste in California, according to 2008 Statewide Waste Discarded carpet is one of the Characterization data. As a result, the measure focuses on 10 most prevalent waste materials increased commercial-waste diversion to reduce greenhouse in California landfills, equaling 3.2 gas emissions. percent of waste by volume dis-

A 32

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posed of in California in 2008. Fortunately, numerous products can be manufactured from recycled carpets, including carpet backing and backing components, carpet fiber, carpet underlayment, plastics and engineered materials and erosion control products. “With the paint and carpet things are a little more straight forward. Now the responsibility of disposal falls back on the manufacturer,” Rush said. “It’s a take-back program in which they are ultimately responsible for the lifecycle of that material. Manufacturers will have to think about how they make products, which will have huge environmental benefit.” Finally, the 2010 green building standards is an effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and fight against climate change by mandating more energy efficiency, water efficiency and resource conservation measures for all newly constructed commercial and residential projects. Builders will have to recycle or reuse 50 percent of construction waste and 100 percent of tree stumps, rocks, vegetation and soil resulting from land clearing along with filling a construction waste management plan for approval by the local building department. The plan must identify the materials to be recycled, state if materials will be sorted on-site or mixed, specify where materials will be taken for recycling and list the amount of materials to be recycled. “The CalGreen law is intended to stop climate change through recycling efforts,” Rush said. “With these new laws, a lot of businesses will have to think about how they build, which will benefit our planet.”

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Gold Star Construction Name: Eugene A. Winter Name of business: Gold Star Construction Inc. Address: 13061 Rosedale Highway, Suite G212 Phone: 281-6107 Website: E-mail:

Gold Star Construction uses appliances that have an Energy Star rating and 94 percent efficient tankless water heaters.

How long has Gold Star Construction Inc. been around? Five years. What housing developments has your company built? We have primarily built custom higher end homes. We have built in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming. When did your company “go green?” There was no change for us. Most everything we have always tried to include as standard is just now considered to be “green.” Some of these standards include: 34

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April 2011

2-by-6 exterior walls; full perimeter sheathing on all exterior walls; 5/8-inch drywall on the inside of the home; high-efficiency spray foam insulation; Low-E Pella windows; and multi-stage, variable speed HVAC systems that are custom engineered and designed for each home. What steps does your company take to protect the environment? We try to be conscientious about everything we do with regard to the environment and always have. Whether it is recycling our project debris or the careful selection

of materials, suppliers and vendors are also conscientious about the environment. We don’t believe in spending money just to say we are “green.” What’s the biggest selling point for your company? We are engineering and building extremely energy-efficient custom homes. Our homes are the most energy-efficient and cost effective that you will find with standard features such as foil back sheathing on the roof to reflect heat, integrating solar panels on roof tiles to help offset power usage, installing appliances that

have an Energy Star rating and incorporating 94 percent efficient tankless water heaters. Three popular items or services offered by your business: We offer a knotty alder wood trim finish, reclaimed timbers and recycled glass counter tops. Finish this sentence ‌ Our company is known for: energy efficient designs coupled with natural and reclaimed materials. With all of the items that get integrated into our homes, we create a home that takes very little energy to heat

and cool. Heating and cooling your home is what takes from 60 to 75 percent of your energy costs. In the future, what green elements would you like to incorporate in your homes? In short, only the ones that makes sense! What feedback have you received from your customers? We are seeing potential clients and customers ask very thoughtful questions about the design and energy efficiency of their home. On aver-

age, they are surprised at what we can offer as a standard feature. One thing we are excited about this year: The grand opening of Lakeview at Rio Bravo! What’s next for Gold Star Construction? Continue to work on providing energy-efficient products and designs that are feasible and make sense for our clients. We are currently working with potential clients that want us to build homes for them outside of California.


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GET by the numbers

459,461 District population (2009/10)

23,826 Daily ridership 7.3 million Yearly ridership (2009/10)

160 District size in square miles 88 Number of buses 65 Number of base buses 70 Number of peak buses 19 Number of GET-A-Lift vehicles

How are you making this city a greener place to live? “I recycle plastic, cans, and glass since I’ve been in California for the past five years now. It’s good for the environment, and I like the extra money.”

“I have been recycling cans, bottles, and newspapers for about four years now.” — Justin Massey

— Amber Troupe

“Our family has a blue trash can. As a family, we have always recycled. My mom is crazy about recycling and has influenced others to recycle. Even students and co-workers now recycle because of my mom.”

“I recycle paper at work and recycle cans and plastic. I have a brick in the toilet so only half of the water is wasted. I take short showers. I also save boxes. — LyNysa James

— Austin Wood “Our family plants a garden each year and buys local produce. We also decided not to purchase a second car. Instead, I ride a small scooter to work each day.” — Jon Shimeall 38

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April 2011

“I recycle cans and take shorter showers. I also turn water off when I’m brushing my teeth and I pick up trash at my high school at lunch.” — Mariah Zamora

“Our parents own a liquor store, and we’ve been recycling aluminum cans for as long as I can remember.” — Michelle Chi

“My family has committed to using the blue recycling bins provided by the city. This has encouraged everyone to really pay attention to the many things that can be recycled. It’s so easy and clean.” — Suzanne Devers “We recycle glass, cans and plastic. We also use the reusable grocery bags at the grocery store. We have changed out the shower heads to help with shorter showers and the wastefulness of water.” — Tasha Cowan

Photo courtesy of Castle & Cooke


Castle & Cooke Housing options are available for almost every income

O By Gene Garaygordobil

One of the biggest misconceptions in Bakersfield is that you can’t afford a Castle & Cooke home, says Darlene Mohlke, vice president of sales and marketing. “We have options for every price point buyer,” Mohlke said. “We are a land development company that provides a unique footprint wherever we go.” The company currently has five different developments geared toward different Bakersfield residents – from the mid $100,000s to the mid-$400,000s, she said. “You can always tell a Castle & Cooke community,” she said. “Some are intimidated, thinking they can’t afford it, but we have so many options. “You can buy a home anywhere,” Mohlke said. “But you can’t buy a community lifestyle everywhere.” Castle & Cooke also has one of the best infill projects in Bakersfield, she added, with University Park at Ming Avenue and Gosford Road. “We don’t just build for the elite,” she said. “These gated homes are from the high $100,000s.” Another thing about the developer’s homes are their aspect


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April 2011

of community and the care given to every neighborhood. “We think through social aspects,” she said. “It’s important to feel safe and happy, with things oriented outside, with other neighbors – outside and exercising.” She pointed to the “connectivity” at Castle & Cooke’s Village Green, where the neighborhood has had Friday night wine-tasting, concerts in the park and their very popular trick or treating event. “You just don’t find connectivity in new home projects that often,” she said. “But it starts with a vision when building, which makes us unique.” The motto is simple: Plan the land. “We ensure that the original Haggen Oaks is as beautiful as when it started,” Mohlke said. “Seven Oaks is also still beautiful. And there is that sense of community.” She spoke of Brighton Place’s tree-lined streets, started 10 years ago, and sold out five years ago. “But it looks better now than it did when it was brand new,” Mohlke said. The architectural style and natural vegetation used in each development provides a unique feel, and not “just a bunch of

stucco boxes.” “At the end of the day, you have neighborhoods and a community,” she said. “It’s about social capital.”

Castle & Cooke community opportunities for Bakersfield residents: University Park Founded on the principles of culture, community, and healthy living, University Park is a gated community of single-family and garden-court homes radiating from a central pool and recreation center. University Park appeals to active young professionals and families that value convenience. Surrounded by The Marketplace shopping and entertainment center, River Walk Park and the Shops at River Walk, Seven Oaks Country Club, Mercy Southwest Hospital and Cal State University Bakersfield, University Park offers a lifestyle that is both dynamic and refined. Meandering tree-lined walkways and private parks complete this unique west side community. Homes are sized from 1,471 to 2,191 square feet and start in the high $100,000’s. University Park is at the corner of Ming Avenue and Gosford Road. There were 217 homes at build out. More information: 661-663-3810.

Village Green On Bakersfield's rapidly growing west side, Village Green is an architecturally diverse gated community inspired by the enduring values of home, family, community and environment. A large Central Park is the community focal point and features picnic areas, a resort-style swimming pool, children's water spray park, playground and expansive areas of lush green grass. Nestled throughout the community are pocket parks and walking paths, creating informal gathering places for friends and family. With shopping, restaurants and a major university and hospital within minutes, this master-planned community has a traditional village feel while maintaining easy access to every modern convenience. Homes range in size from 1,458 to 2,653 square feet and start in the low $200,000's. Village Green is at Stockdale Highway and Renfro Road. 337 homes at build out. Info: 661-387-6427.

way of the Seven Oaks Country Club golf course, this intimate gated community of classic California-style Castle & Cooke homes offers a unique opportunity to live life at a casual pace. Tree-lined streets, lush landscaping and golf course views create a beautiful resortlike living environment while the convenience of The Marketplace, The Shops at River Walk, Cal State University and Mercy Hospital Southwest are within easy reach. Homes range from 2,189 to 3,300 square feet and start in the mid $400,000's. The Villas at Seven Oaks is at Ming Avenue and Grand Lakes Avenue adjacent to the Seven Oaks Country Club. 29 homes at build out. Info: 661-665-0683.

Liberty At Silver Creek Liberty at Silver Creek offers new homebuyers an opportunity to own an affordable, quality Castle & Cooke home in a convenient southwest location. Floor plans are specifically designed to accommodate growing families. Silver Creek Park, with its tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pool and recreation center, is just around the corner. And local shopping, dining and entertainment destinations are continually growing. When you own a home in Liberty you'll enjoy the lifestyle of the Silver Creek Master Plan and the peace of mind that comes with Castle & Cooke quality. In Liberty at Silver Creek home ownership isn't someday, it's today. Homes are 1,248 to 2,051 square feet and priced from the mid $100,000's. Liberty is on Declaration Way off Panama Lane just one block east of Ashe Road. 107 homes at build out. Info: 661-836-6623.

Brighton Parks Brighton Parks is the standard by which active adult communities are judged. Behind its gated entry life is a bountiful garden that uplifts the spirit. Every tree-lined street leads to the central Brighton Park and its 4,000 square-foot recreation center featuring swimming, spa, exercise room, billiard room, game room and more. The homes of Brighton Parks integrate perfectly into the park-inspired setting, creating an indoor/outdoor lifestyle for homeowners 55-plus years old. With 32 parks and greenbelts totaling more than 7.5 acres, this is a coveted garden community. Eight different floor plans are designed to meet your interests and tastes, ranging from 1,403 to 2,485 square feet and starting in the low $200,000's. Brighton Parks is just north of Stockdale Highway on Jewetta Avenue. 425 homes at build out. Info: 661-829-1775.

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On the path to protect children April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Michelle Collier Prevention services facilitator, Kern County Superintendent of Schools

Photos by Henry A. Barrios

Your agency is represented in the Kern County Network for Children. How do you help educate the community on this issue? Collier: As chair of KCNC Children’s Advocacy Committee, I work with a group of diverse community members that strive to educate and involve Kern County residents on child abuse prevention efforts and develop monthly strategies/themes in the “Kern Cares Calendar.” Each month a topic is addressed such as: teen pregnancy, sexual abuse and safe sleeping for infants. We invite the public to visit to access resources and educational materials. Golich: Child Abuse Prevention is everyone’s responsibility. I am both a Governing Board member for the Kern County Network for Children as well as a member of the Child Advocacy Committee. We strive to educate the community about issues facing our children today, and that includes child abuse. Child abuse can come in many forms; it can be physical, emotional or sexual. As a community we need to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and speak out on behalf of the children, because it is everyone’s responsibility to take action. Pilkington: Being a parent is a dif42

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Leslie Golich

Director of hospitals and healthplan operations, Kaiser Permanente

Danielle Pilkington

Resource development coordinator, HEARTS Connection Family Resource Center

Pat Cheadle

Director, Kern County Department of Human Services

ficult job. When you add the complexity of raising a child with special needs, you are confronted by a situation where parents need all of the information and resources that they can get in order to provide a healthy, supportive environment in which their child can thrive. H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection seeks to fill the need for resources by providing as much information, education and advocacy as possible to parents who may otherwise be struggling to provide this environment for their children. In some cases, child neglect and abuse may be prevented if the parents are equipped with the appropriate supports and resources.

Cheadle: We utilize every opportunity we can to educate the community about issues related to the safety and well being of children. Collaboratively, we work with numerous agencies to prevent child abuse and neglect in our community. Together we have sponsored several educational campaigns that focus on topics such as promoting safesleeping practices, never leaving your child alone in the car, safely surrendering newborns and the impact of substance abuse. Continued on page 44


Continued from page 43

How did you decide to go into your field of work? Collier: After spending my early career in private business and sales, I developed a passion for improving our community and advocating for our most vulnerable residents; abused/neglected children and youth in foster care. Therefore, I moved into a career in public service as a social worker and finally to my current position with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools. Golich: As a healthcare professional, we touch the lives of people and at Kaiser Permanente, we believe we are here to make lives better. Although I do not provide direct patient care, our members are the reason I love my job. If we can touch the lives of others and make them healthier, then it is not only a win for Kaiser Permanente but for the community as a whole. Through our Community Benefit programs, we are able to provide resources to community based organizations that care for our most vulnerable citizens; many of them are children and come from homes where they experience abuse and neglect. Pilkington: I became involved with H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection after I received invaluable help from them over issues I was having regarding my son’s educational rights. I am very passionate about the services we provide to the community because I know firsthand what a difference they can make in families’ lives. I began as a volunteer and was elected to the Executive Board of Directors. The Resource Development Coordinator position became available, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to work for this amazing organization. Cheadle: I have always known that I wanted to be in the helping profession and received my undergraduate degree in sociology from UCSB. Shortly after graduating, I received a job with the State Employment Development Department and I was assigned to a pilot project entitled the “Employment Preparation Program”: working with families who received public assistance AFDC benefits to remove barriers to employment and family self-sufficiency. At that time I knew I was destined to work in social service programs helping individuals, families and children in need. Many years later I had the opportunity to join the County of Kern Human

Danielle Pilkington 44

Bakersfield Life

Pat Cheadle April 2011

Services Department to lead the Welfare-Reform efforts and to work with children and families in our Public Assistance and Child Welfare Service Programs.

What exactly do you do with the agency that you work for? Collier: In addition to chairing the KCNC Children’s Advocacy Committee I also work in the area of teen pregnancy prevention focusing on foster youth living in group homes. Golich: I am responsible for a number of operational departments at Kaiser Permanente. I love my job and it is very rewarding. The one role that I truly enjoy is when I have the opportunity to represent Kaiser Permanente in the community and align those opportunities with my personal philosophies about reaching out to those in need. A warm smile and compassion for the needs of the less fortunate truly enriches the lives of those who reach out to lend a helping hand. Pilkington: I am responsible for staff training, developing programs and community outreach. I work directly with other agencies serving children and the special needs community, such as Kern Cares and the Medically Vulnerable Infant Workgroup, strengthening relationships and developing links to resources. I am in charge of generating sponsorship and funds to sustain everyday operation as well as the coordination of gatherings for special needs families linked with H.E.A.R.T.S Connection. I also coordinate fundraising activities such as our annual bunco tournament. Cheadle: I have served as the director for the past three and a half years providing administrative oversight for the department, which provides services to children and families in our community. Services include public assistance programs such as CalWorks cash assistance and welfare-to-work, food assistance through SNAP and access to medical care through the Medi-Cal program. The department also administers programs related to child protective services including responding to allegations of abuse or neglect, court services, family services including foster care and independent living skills for foster teens, transitional services for emancipated youth and adoption services. The Jamison Children’s Shelter is also administered by the Human Services Department.

Leslie Golich

Michelle Collier


Women’s history and awareness Event focuses on ‘Politics and the Personal’ By Allie Castro


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Althea Williams plays the lead role of Sojourner Truth in “A Woman Called Truth.”

Photo courtesy of Danielle Radon


Though Women’s History Month has been celebrated at Bakersfield College with campus events beginning in the 1980s, this year’s slate of events will focus on an extra-special lineup to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in California. While BC started hosting Women’s History Month events more than 20 years ago, behavioral sciences professor Patricia Thompson said by the late 1990s planning for the month’s events had fallen by the wayside. It was at this time that she decided to head up the committee — comprised of a handful of professors and a community representative — that to this day organizes a month’s worth of events each March ranging from lectures to movie showings to food tastings, live performances and everything in between. Considering the total turnout for the inaugural Women’s History film showing was only two people, it’s clear the event has come a long way. “I kept at it, and every year it grew bigger … and the last few years more and more faculty have wanted to participate in the planning, I'm happy to say,” Thompson said. She is also happy to report that the audience has gone from those two people, to full houses at some of the events. “I think one of our greatest successes was Dr. Phillipa Levine (then at USC). She was speaking about the prostitution laws in Britain in the 19th century,” Thompson said. “I remember her telling me that she had given a lecture at UCLA a few weeks earlier, and had seven people in the audience. She was very impressed by the BC students who asked questions, and by the sheer size of the turnout.” For the centennial celebration this year, the committee has created a schedule that mixes lectures, movie showings, a live-actor performance, and a moderated panel discussion to highlight this year’s theme of “Politics and the Personal.” Women's History and Awareness Month committee member and current BC reference librarian Dawn Dobie said of the theme, “It’s about how politics affect women’s personal lives. “For example gaining the right to vote gives each woman who uses right the power to have more say so in her personal life, in what kinds of laws can be enacted and in what people represent her,” Dobie said. The first event this year will be a lecture given by profes-

sor Ann Weiderrect and will discuss how women won the right to become more involved in the community and to raise their hand and vote by a state constitutional amendment. The second event will put their name up to serve on the school committee, or get appointed draw upon the arts with an actress portraying Sojourner Truth, the to local board, or walk a community when an election is coming up,” famous abolitionist and advocate for women’s rights. Dobie expects Dobie said. “There are all kinds of ways to get involved.” the third event, a showing of the short film “Raging Grannies,” will Dobie said the events were chosen to “inspire our students to draw one of the bigger crowds this year. become involved in the places where they live and to see the power of Next will be a discussion of infertility treatthe individual. We think that these programs can ments with a discussion headed by Patricia Jenopen doors into history and help people appreciate nings, associate professor in the sociology and the great strides women have been able to accomsocial services department at CSU East Bay. plish over the past years, and also engage them “Jennings explores the nature of these in appreciating what’s around them — last year markets, the social inequalities associated with women in arts, this year (the) political life women them, and the effects of the trade on the women can have.” who participate,” Dobie said. “Using a reproThompson added: “I'm so happy that WHAM ductive justice model, she offers ways of thinkhas become a tradition at BC largely because we ing about the issue that move beyond the liberal have lost the women's studies program. Students feminist narrative of ‘choice.’” still get just a smattering of women's history and/ The last — and perhaps most personal or a feminist perspective in their courses unless Dawn Dobie, committee member — event will be the panel discussion featuring they take one of the few classes offered specifisome of the most prominent and active women cally on women or gender. in the community. “For many students their only exposure to the disciplinary study Panelists will include Sue Benham, Bakersfield City Councilof women will be through a WHAM event they happened to attend,” woman; Barbara Patrick, California Women Lead and former she said. Kern County supervisor; Norma Rojas-Mora, special projects and Dobie called it a great opportunity for the community as a whole supportive services program manager for the Kern County Housing to get involved as well. All events are free and open to the public, Authority and president of Latina Leaders of Kern County; and will and participation in both attending and planning the event is highly be moderated by The Bakersfield Californian’s Olivia Garcia. encouraged. “Our goal with the panel discussion is not just to highlight “It’s just meant to make Bakersfield a more interesting and bet(the panelists’) contributions, but also to inspire students at BC to ter place to live,” Dobie said.

“It’s just meant to make Bakersfield a more interesting and better place to live,”

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From left: Shaun Romans, Jeremy Roberts, Terry Trimble, Jason Hillis, Gary Zuber, Aaron Groves, Terry Palmer, Glenn Pruett, Dick Taylor, Robert Kilgore and Ahmed G. Dawlatly.

Trail of brotherhood Annual trip to great outdoors forges friends’ bonds

F By Lisa Kimble

Photos by Jose Trevino

For more than 20 years, a group of men from Bakersfield has been ascending the crest of the Sierra Nevada every summer in search of heaven on Mother Earth and male bonding. “These guys are like brothers to me, straight shooters,” says organizer and retired probation officer Glen Pruett. “We have more fun than we should be allowed to have.” At times, the 10 fun-loving buddies take themselves about as seriously as their nicknames. For three nights and four days, Zoo, The Beav and Pinkie, among others, leave their cares behind on the valley floor to embrace the splendor of the great outdoors while hiking trails of brotherhood. “Believe not anything they may say,” Pruett, aka Sgt. Major wrote in jest in an e-mail. “In theory, we are the manly men, and I would go to the mat for any of them.” Pruett was part of the original group. “Over time, most dropped out and we picked back up again around the summer of 2000.” They haven’t missed a summer since. They 48

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Camping, fishing, hiking and brotherhood define the annual trips with good friends, including Robert Kilgore.

range in age from 30 to 60-plus, and nearly all have considerable military experience and/or some association with the Probation Department. Exactly where they go is a closely guarded secret. “The location’s remoteness and ruggedness really appealed to me,” says 55-year-old Dick ‘the Dickster’ Taylor, also a former Marine. “If you had to handpick a group of guys who are former military and law enforcement fellas to share the backcountry with, miles from civilization who don’t take unnecessary risks or do anything to endanger the group, and who talk fondly of their wives, these are the best of the best.” And make no mistake, City Slickers this is not. They aim for mid- to late-July, depending on the weather. Their drive takes them up Highway 395 on the back side of the Sierra where they park and hike in. The vicinity of Mount Langley, at 10,000 feet above the Owens Valley and in the shadow of Mount Whitney, serves as their base camp and vista to the world. There they pitch tents. Although everyone brings their own provisions, sharing is part of the experience. They may not pack the kitchen sink, but some, like Taylor, are known to haul upwards of 90 pounds of their comforts of home on their backs on this annual ‘Manly Men Camping Trip.’ Taylor’s backpack load includes a full-size camping reclining lounger. “We aren’t completely without luxuries.” There is no cell phone reception. Days are spent hiking and fishing, and nightfall gathers them around a crackling campfire where they are immersed in good old- fashioned fraternization. “Generally we go to air out the brain, relax, not work, and have fun," Glen says. "It has built really strong friendships and camaraderie." Tucked in the high-elevation basin with pockets of glistening Alpine lakes, others, like 44-year-old Shaun “Sin” Romans, can’t help but get swept away by the brilliance of the area. “We’re not the rowdy-guy, car-camping bunch. We like to get out there and do real camping in the real woods and just enjoy this wilderness setting,” says Romans, who joined the group six years ago. “It is a place the exact opposite of Bakersfield in the dead of summer that isn’t everyday for us. The days are long, and the water is warm enough to take a dip.” Looking like astronauts in shorts in need of a shower, standing on a lunar surface at the edge of the world, the ‘manly men’ release their worries into the thin, clean mountain air; their wit and wisdom are as entwined with campfire conversations and tales as their fishing lines caught between slick boulders. “It is a paradise of lakes and magnificent landscape. My first trip left such a lasting impression of majestic mountains, bluffs and the distinct topography that gives the area so much character,” Romans added. With 2011’s trip already penciled in on their calendars, these ‘manly men’ look forward to their traditional communion with nature. “There is that commonality, the principles of why we entered the armed forces, that binds us all and that is a great thing,” Taylor said. For Romans and others, the trip is also as much about the return home as it is the rejuvenation it provides. “It really brings things into perspective and every year we try to dedicate ourselves to being better men on our return home.”

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Antonio M. Alfred Pastor, St. John Missionary Baptist Church Compiled by Gabriel Ramirez What are some major issues facing families today and how can Easter serve as a way to help families cope? I believe that forgiveness and reconciliation is one of the biggest issues facing families today and Easter serves to remind us of God’s willingness to forgive us our sins and reconcile with us. How does your congregation plan to celebrate Easter? We plan to celebrate Easter with a drama depicting the change that Jesus can make in a person’s life. What is your favorite part about Easter? My favorite part about Easter is when Jesus ascends from Mt. Olive on a cloud back to heaven and the angels proclaim the promise that He is coming back the same way He left. Thus, I am looking for Him to descend on a cloud to receive us unto Himself. Has Easter gone commercial? How? I believe it has, but God uses it to our good and His glory. That is, it provides the church the opportunity to talk about Jesus’ saving grace and the Gospel. What spiritual lessons are to be drawn from Easter? That in this world you must be committed to do good even when it seems that everything is going wrong. The way to maintain this commitment is the hope in the fact that good will conquer evil. Jesus was good and yet was hung on a cross. However, He rose from the dead conquering evil, death and the grave. Like the song says, because He lives (rose from the dead) I can face tomorrow. What is your favorite verse about Easter? Matthew 28:6 (NKJV) “He is not here; for He has risen.”

What message should be shared with high school and college students about this significant event? Life gets harder as you get older. There are difficult decisions to make and the wrong choices come with a price. However, if they believe in Jesus Christ, God is making the difficult situations and even the consequences of wrong choices work in their favor. Keep trusting and obeying the Lord. 50

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Photo courtesy of Antonio Alfred

What should children under 10 understand about Easter? That God loves them and wants them to be with Him in heaven. That even though they do bad things (sin), God still loves them. He wants to forgive them and have them and their family live with Him in heaven. He wants them to believe that He gave His Son Jesus to die for their sins and that He came back to life.

We are the Martinez family, and this is our take… Two precious little girls, dressed in matching pink-accented ensembles, their parents lovingly holding them, while big sister succeeds in getting a dual set of giggles. It’s the perfect picture of a healthy, happy family – but one Johanna and Michael Martinez weren’t always sure would be in their future. Complications began early on in Johanna’s pregnancy with twin girls, and it soon became clear this would be a high-risk situation. Of course, the couple, along with everyone who loves them, hoped and prayed for a happy ending. However, they would first have to deal with one challenge after another. Every step of the way, they would have the support of their second family at San Joaquin Community Hospital’s Maternity Care Center. “I thought they would be sick of me,”” Johanna Joha Jo han nna said. “I was there e all all the the time ttim ime e and they were so nice … We still go to San San Joaquin. Joa J oaquin. We love it.”


Bakersfield’s Bakers ersfiel field’s d’s Most Most Preferred Pr ferred Hospital Pre


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

The perfect

trio for the


charity CASA to unveil its first Wine Women & Shoes fundraiser to unite the ladies for a great cause By Allie Castro


Wine. Women. Shoes. Just three words that elicit another three words: “Count me in!” This nationally recognized, sophisticated event generates excitement everywhere it goes, and CASA of Kern County is bringing it to Bakersfield. Wine, Women & Shoes combines whimsical wine education with something else women understand well — shoes. The event features wine tasting, auctions, fashion show and a walk-around designer fashion marketplace. Created by women for women, all who enjoy fine wine, great style, female camaraderie and supporting a noble cause, Wine Women & Shoes is one of the fastest-growing luxury event series in the country, organizers say. Officials at CASA of Kern County are thrilled to bring this event to Bakersfield and work alongside Wine Women & Shoes’ expert

Photos by Holly Carlyle

team. Wine Women & Shoes is the brainchild of Napa Valley vintner Elaine Honig, who for 21 years ran marketing, branding and communications at Honig Vineyard & Winery. Honig has organized a long list of wineries and shoe designers who are willing to donate their time and products to each event, allowing attendants to purchase California’s finest wines and the country’s most fashionable shoes in support of CASA of Kern County. Colleen McGauley, CASA executive director, said, “This is a unique event. You are not going to see other Wine Women & Shoe events in Kern County.” Honig agreed. “Not every charity is the right fit,” she said. “They need to have event expertise, a strong local base, a staff large enough to assist and a strong committee.” Continued on page 54


Wine Women & Shoes Change your shoes, change a child’s life. • 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 7 • Stiers residence • Tickets are $125 • For more information, call 631-2272 or visit

Continued from page 53

While this event is geared toward women, Honig added, “Guests are encouraged to bring their ‘sole mates.’ Men do attend our events and have just as much fun as the women.” The event is a feast for the senses, incorporating a walk-around wine and food tasting, designer marketplace, live auction and glamorous fashion show that all come together for a few fabulous hours of fundraising, camaraderie and shopping. Tempting guests with their charm, good looks and a single shoe on a silver platter, Shoe Guys, local men from the community, are a highlight of the event. They are there to help generate sales and excitement, and they will happily explain why a strappy silver sandal goes well with a sauvignon blanc, or how a cabernet sauvignon pairs with a black stiletto pump, organizers say. While McGauley said she’s excited for the event itself, what she is most excited about is what she can do with the funds raised. “CASA advocates for about 500 abused and neglected children in our community each year,” she said. “Judges have said they give us the most difficult cases and they use us as special resources.” She explained that CASA’s process is different from social work in that it relies primarily on the work of volunteers. “When we recruit, screen and train community volunteers to become CASAs, we take someone from community who cares about the kids, and we put them through thorough screening and training.” While each CASA commits their time and talents free of charge, 54

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

there is still the cost of the extensive training program each CASA undergoes to learn how to best serve the children they are advocating for. Each CASA volunteer is assigned to one child, or a small sibling group, and is responsible for knowing the ins and outs of that particular foster child’s life. McGauley explained that the ability to really know the children and become a consistent adult in their life is what makes CASA successful. She said that much of the trouble with the foster care system comes with the overwhelming number of children who need help, making it easy for individuals to become lost in the shuffle. By having one CASA per child or sibling group, the advocate gets to know the child to the point that they are able to recommend to a court what the child needs. McGauley said that this one-on-one system is not only a great way to provide court recommendations in the best interest of the child, but “we provide consistency in a foster child’s life, which is fraught with inconsistencies. “We get to become experts on that child’s life and because of that, a majority of the children we serve get out of the foster care system.” CASA of Kern County’s Wine Women & Shoes event is anticipated to be one of our most popular annual fundraisers. “We’re asking people to attend the event, buy a great pair of shoes, taste some wine, nibble some delectable bites, and that can radically change the life of an abused child in Kern County,” McGauley said.



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A look at some of our talented local products who are away at college, excelling in their sports

By Stephen Lynch Nearly 900 miles separate Bakersfield and the University of Washington campus. But for Taylor Nichols and Alana Alexander, the two places are connected by just a hop, skip and a jump. The two triple jumpers are among three Bakersfield natives currently on the Huskies women’s track and field team. The other is Dominique Lauderdale, a talented sprinter, who spent her first year of college at the University of Arkansas before making the move to the Pacific Northwest. Lauderdale (Ridgeview), Nichols

Taylor Nichols competing at the 2011 MPSF Championships. 56

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Photo by Rob Sumner

Spring collegiate athletes

goals for the indoor season. “Lauderdale also high hopes for the outdoor season in which she’ll run the 100-meter dash. “I don’t let negative things get in my way,” Lauderdale said. “I know what I can do. Staying positive is the key thing.” Nichols is just hoping to have an injury-free junior season. “I have very specific goals as to how far I hope to jump, but my main goal this year is to just stay healthy,” Nichols said. “If I can do that then that will allow me to reach my other goals.” Lauderdale, Nichols, and Alexander weren’t the only athletes from Kern County to shine at the MPSF meet. Former Shafter High standout thrower Anna Jelmini - now a red-shirt freshman at Arizona State - placed third in the shot put with a mark of 53-09.75 feet. Jelmini, the 2008 and 2009 California high school state champion in both the shot put and discus, is only just beginning her college career. But for Nichols, 2011 could be the end of the line despite being only a junior athletically. “This will probably be my last year competing unless the coaches want me to stay another year,“ Nichols said. She is scheduled to graduate from Washington this spring and plans afterward to pursue a career in graphic design. “I'm really into commercial arts and designs,” Nichols said. Lauderdale, who is majoring in sociology, plans on racing for the Huskies through 2012, before going on to graduate school and then eventually becoming a social worker. But track and field isn’t the only sport where college athletes from Bakersfield are expected to shine this spring. Below is a small sample of some others. One of the best of the group is Ensely Gammel (Centennial) a pitcher for the University of Florida softball team. Gammel, The Bakersfield Californian’s All-Area Player of the Year in 2008, was 13-2 with a 2.44 earned run average in helping the Gators reach the College World Series last year. In the process, she became just the second pitcher in University of Florida softball Photo by Rob Sumner

(Stockdale), and Alexander (Centennial) are among numerous athletes to graduate from local high schools that are currently excelling in spring sports at colleges and universities all around the country. Lauderdale and Nichols, friends since the age of 9, went to Warren Junior High School together before heading off to rival high schools. But because the two girls specialized in different events, they never competed against each other except for an occasional relay race. Now the two women live in a house together with six other roommates. Despite a two-year age gap, Nichols and Alexander did go against each other several times during their prep careers. “We weren't really close then, but we had a sort of a opponent-type friendship,“ Nichols said. “But as soon as she came Alana Alexander here on her visit, we got closer, and ever since she's been here, we've been training together. We also have some of the same interests academically, so she's come to me for advice on certain courses. We have bonded quite a bit since she has been here.” Lauderdale says all three girls have become tight due to their shared experience of growing up in the same city. “Just the fact we’re all from Bakersfield means we can all relate and talk about things back home,” she said. Conversely, the trio has also given their family friends back home plenty to talk about with their solid performances to begin the 2011 season. Lauderdale posted the third fastest 60 meters time (7.48 seconds) in school history during the finals of the Husky Classic, back in mid-February. Two weeks later during the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Dempsey Indoor Facility in Seattle, Lauderdale posted a time of 7.50 seconds en route to a fourth place finish. At the same meet, Nichols took second in the triple jump with a personal record of 40-07.50 feet. Meanwhile, Alexander finished 11th with a jump of 38-10.25 feet. “I just want to keep running fast, keep running hard and hopefully qualify for at Nationals in Texas,” Lauderdale said of her

Continued on page 58 57

Photo by Scott Eklund

Dominique Lauderdale, right, competing for the Washington Huskies at the 2011 MPSF Championships.

Continued from page 57

history to post a perfect record in their first 10 career decisions. Another softball pitcher to shine as a freshman last year was Carly Hummel (Ridgeview). The University of Memphis hurler was 15-10 with a 1.74 ERA. She also struck out 210 batters and was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. 2007 All-Area Player of the Year Mackenzie Oakes (Stockdale) pitched two-no hitters including the 14th perfect game in Fresno State softball history in 2010. The junior right-hander was 11-8 with a 2.94 ERA in the circle in last year. That after posting a sparking 8-1 mark as a freshman. Oakes isn’t the only local athlete making an impact at Fresno State. Dusty Robinson (Centennial) started every game in the outfield for the Bulldogs baseball team last season. The 2007 All-Area Player of the Year hit .308 with 11 doubles, 4 triples, and 16 home runs as a sophomore at FSU. Those numbers were good enough for him to be selected firstteam All-WAC for a second straight year. 58

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Local athletes participating at four-year colleges Baseball Zach Arneson (Liberty, BC, CSUB): senior, Lewis-Clark State College; pitcher Joe Bell (Garces): freshman, University of Redlands; catcher Aaron Brown (North): sophomore, Cal State East Bay; catcher Kyle Desimone (Stockdale): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; infielder Joe Etcheverry (Centennial): senior, Northern Illinois; infielder Greg Fowler (Bakersfield, BC): junior, New Mexico Highlands University; pitcher Jeremy Gonzales (South, BC): senior, Northern Illinois; pitcher Keven Inman (Garces): senior, Pepperdine University; pitcher Thomas Lee (Liberty): junior, Sonoma State; pitcher Andrew Letourneau (Liberty, BC): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; outfielder Nick Lopez (Highland): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; catcher Travis Morgan (Liberty, BC): senior, Fresno Pacific; infielder

Dylan Nasiatka (Stockdale, BC): junior, Junior, Hofstra University; catcher-infielder Christopher Neal (Liberty): sophomore, Biola University; outfielder Imaad Nuriddin (Stockdale, BC): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; outfielder Justin Parks (Frontier): freshman, Roanoke College; Pitcher Mitch Porwoll (BCHS): junior, Christian Brothers University; pitcher Joe Ramirez (South, BC): junior, Lee University; shortstop Dusty Robinson (Centennial): sophomore, Fresno State; outfielder Tyler Shryock (Tehachapi): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; shortstop Xavier Tavorn (Garces, BC) junior, New Mexico Highlands University; pitcher Jacob Valenzuela (Garces, CSUB): junior, Cal State Los Angeles; pitcher Kirk Walker (Liberty): senior, Oklahoma City University; infielder Korie Walkley (Centennial): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield, pitcher/Infielder Sam Westendorf (Centennial/BC): freshman, Portland University; outfielder

Kevin Younger (Liberty): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; outfielder

Stanislaus; Guard Daniel Monnier (Bakersfield Academy): freshman, Pacific Union College; forward Korey Thiele (West): freshman, University of Portland; guard Tyler Wooldridge (Bakersfield Adventist Academy): freshman, Andrews University; guard

Women’s basketball

Men’s basketball Zach Bryant (BCHS): sophomore, William Jessup University, wing Jordan Burris (Stockdale): freshman, University of Nevada; guard Stephon Carter (Garces): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; guard


Sam Marcus

Photo by Gabriel Luis Acosta

Marissa Bruce (Stockdale): freshman, Whittier College; guard Caty Huntington (Liberty): junior, Northern Arizona University; Guard Jalei Kinder (Stockdale): freshman, Fresno State; guard Britney McGee (West): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; guard Britt Peters (Centennial): senior, Cal State Fullerton; guard Alexi Smith (Stockdale, BC): sophomore, Southern Oregon University; forward Jana Smith (Tehachapi): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; forward Melissa Sweat (Stockdale): freshman, San Diego State; guard Cheyenne Wallace (Stockdale): senior, Concordia University, Irvine; forward Tianna Ware (Ridgeview): junior, University of Montana; guard

Luis Gomez (Delano): senior, Texas A&M International; guard Marcus Hall (BCHS, CSUB): sophomore, Humboldt State University; guard Colby Herron (BCHS): freshman, Holy Names University; guard Taylor Kelly (Centennial): sophomore, Vanguard University; guard Sam Marcus (Liberty): freshman, Cal State

Cassidy Bell (Liberty): sophomore, Penn State University; Outfielder Deidre Cardozo (West): junior, Doane College, second base Amy Charpentier (Highland): senior, Loyola Marymount University; infielder Amanda Flores (North, BC): junior, Cal State Monterey Bay; infielder Ensley Gammel (Centennial): sophomore, University of Florida; pitcher Kristina Gonzalez (Liberty): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; outfielder Tori Hoffman (BCHS): sophomore, Abilene Christian University; third base Carly Hummel (Ridgeview): sophomore , University of Memphis: pitcher Brooke Keeter (Frontier): freshman, Friends University; catcher Lauren Kotz (Stockdale): freshman, University of Oregon: outfielder Vanessa Medina (Centennial): sophomore, Lipscomb University: catcher/first base

Continued on page 60

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Women’s swimming and Wrestling diving Ricky Alcala (Arvin); graduate Student, IndiErica Becker (BHS): freshman, George Washington University; freestyle Allison Duran (Liberty): senior, Concordia University, Irvine; back/fly Karlee Grundeis (East): sophomore, Grand Canyon University; freestyle/IM Emily Irvin (Stockdale): junior, Boise State University; breaststroke/IM Emily Myers (Stockdale): freshman, Alma College; breaststroke/IM Katerina Prasser (BC): senior; Cal State Bakersfield; freestyle Olivia Ramos (Stockdale): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; fly/free Jordan Reed (Liberty): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; diving Sara Rutter (Stockdale): junior, The College of Idaho Katrina Thomas (Golden Valley): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; freestyle Kori Thomas (Golden Valley): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield, breast/IM

ana University; 285 Anthony Box (Bakersfield): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; 149 Jonah Cruz (BHS): freshman, Cal State Fullerton; 149 Roman Flores (Stockdale): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield, 165 Christian Hernandez (BC): junior, Bacone College; 133 Seth Hicks (Centennial): freshman, Liberty University; 141 Frank Lomas (Bakersfield): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; 125 David Morgan (Centennial): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; 285 Elijah Nacita (Bakersfield): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; 141

Men’s swimming

Women’s tennis

Vance Elmore (Centennial): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; freestyle David James (Liberty): freshman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; freestyle, Michael Schwartz (Liberty): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; back/fly Mark Silvius (Liberty): junior, Cal State Bakersfield, freestyle Jacob Tittl (Liberty): freshman, University of La Verne; diving Dan Wickensheimer (Stockdale): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; fly/free


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Women’s ice hockey Kristi Kehoe (Liberty): senior, Northeastern University; forward

Korina Barefield (Stockdale): senior, Cal State Bakersfield Lyndsay Cooke (BCHS): freshman, Wheaton College Julie Hutton (Stockdale): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield Estefania Limpias (Liberty): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield

Men’s tennis David Mossman (BHS): sophomore, Biola University

Dana Arneson

Photo by Felix Adamo

Kasie Muro (Tehachapi): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; Catcher Mackenzie Oakes (Stockdale): junior, Fresno State; Pitcher Lyndsie Roberts (Stockdale): senior, Biola University; Pitcher/First base Brooke Sampson (North): sophomore, Doane College; Outfielder

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Continued from page 59

Women’s rowing Allie Rutgers (Garces): freshman, Sacramento State; port Jessica Smith (Highland): freshman, Sacramento State, stbd

Women’s golf Dana Arneson (Centennial, BC): senior, Cal State Bakersfield Kaylee Jarvis (West): senior, Cal State Bakersfield Tammy Park (Stockdale): sophomre, Cal State Bakersfield Katie Walker (North): senior, Cal State Bakersfield

Men’s golf Pete Fernandez (BHS): freshman, UC Irvine Chase Goodvin (Frontier): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield Matt Hammons (Highland): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield Stephen Hale (Garces): senior, UC Berkeley Kirk Harper (Liberty, BC): senior, Cal State Bakersfield Connor Huser (BHS): freshman, Oregon State University Chris McCracken (Stockdale, BC): junior, Cal State Stanislaus

Women’s track and field Alana Alexander (Centennial): freshman, University of Washington; jumps Jorey Braughton (Centennial): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; middle distance

Melisa Cruz (West): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Alyson DeLaRosa (Frontier): freshman, Fresno State Amanda Duket (Bakersfield): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; middle distance Julia Fitch (Liberty): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; jumps Sharena Gonder (Stockdale): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; sprints Monica Guzman (Garces): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Taylor Jackson (Frontier): freshman, Fresno State; Anna Jelmini (Shafter): freshman, Arizona State; throws Connie King (Ridgeview): senior, Cal State BakersCooper Thompson field; middle distance/ hurdles Dominique Lauderdale (Ridgeview) senior, University of Washington; sprints Cecilia Lopez (North): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Candace Nichols (South): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; sprints/ jumps Taylor Nichols (Stockdale): junior, University of Washington; jumps Ashley Nolasco (Stockdale): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Lina Nunez (East): Senior, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Courtney Parker (South): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; sprints Katrina Parker (Liberty): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Samantha Pounds (BC): sophomore, Dickinson State University; distance Emily Schnell (Tehachapi): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Yesmin Tanguma (Ridgeview): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; distance Ashlee Thomas (Centennial): junior, BYU; distance Megan Thompson (Taft): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; middle distance Brushay Wandick (Bakersfield): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; sprints Catherine White (Garces): senior, UCLA; throws

Men’s track and field Ismael Arzola (BC): senior, Dickinson State University; middle distance David Charleston (West): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; jumps/sprints Matt Darr Frontier (Frontier) freshman, University of Tennessee; throws Collin Ellis (Bakersfield): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; throws Brandon Gooden (Bakersfield): junior, Tabor College Rickey Joy (Stockdale): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; jumps/sprints Thomas Judge (Garces): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; throws Richard Maestre (South): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; hurdles/ sprints David Mitchell (Stockdale): junior, Cal State Bakersfield; sprinter Ryan Nichols (South): senior, Cal State Bakersfield; jumps/sprints Matthew Turkington (Centennial): freshman, Cal State Bakersfield; sprints Cooper Thompson (Garces, BC): junior, USC, javelin Seth Vlach (North): sophomore, Cal State Bakersfield; jumps/sprints

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Perfecting the art of skeet shooting This fierce foursome spends its free time firing shotguns at the Kern County Gun Club and travels great distances for skeet competitions.

Photos by Jessica Frey


When did you take up skeet shooting and what has been your greatest accomplishment? Cagle: Started skeet shooting in 1998. My greatest accomplishment would be winning the California State Skeet Championship in the 28-gauge in 2004. Jennings: Four years ago. At 66 years old and starting so late, I feel just doing it reasonably well is an accomplishment. Binns: I started skeet shooting in 1988 at the Kern County Gun Club. In 1996, I achieved AAA ranking in all four gauges and competed against some of the top shooters in the world. I also won first place on the husband and wife team with my wife in the 28-gauge at the world championships last October. Buoni: Last year was my first year shooting in competitions. My greatest accomplishment was making the all-American first team. I also shot my first 100 straight in the 12-gauge at my fourth competition.


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Wayne Cagle Retired fire captain, Kern County Fire Department

Frank Buoni Owner/operator of Buoni’s Custom Spraying


What’s your favorite firearm?

Cagle: My favorite firearm is my Krieghoff K-80 with a custom JL Dockwiller stock. My favorite gauge is the 28-gauge. Jennings: Just purchased a Blaser, which is a German gun and like it a lot. It is adaptable to shoot four gauges.

Bruce Binns Criminal defense investigator, Indigent Defense Program

Stephen Jennings Owner of Major Engineering Marine Inc.

Binns: In 1990, I purchased an old Winchester Super X-1. I had this shotgun restored and shot it for 20 years. In the last year, I purchased another very rare Winchester Super X-1, Mississippi Flyway that I compete with now. Winchester stopped making this gun in 1984, and I believe this is the finest semi-auto, 12-gauge shotgun ever built. Buoni: My favorite gun isn’t a shotgun; it is my custom-built deer rifle. It’s a 280 Ackley Improved. As far as a shotgun goes, it would have to be my 1100 auto 12-gauge. Continued on page 64 www.BakersfieldLife.com63


Continued from page 63

How often do you practice and enter tournaments?


How far have you traveled to shoot in tournaments? Where has been your favorite tournament location?

Cagle: I practice twice a week or about 10,000 rounds a year. I average eight to 12 tournaments each year.

Cagle: I’ve traveled to the world shoot in San Antonio, Texas. My favorite tournament location is Poor Boy Skeet Range in Pumpkin Center.

Jennings: Practice three to four times a week and enter about approximately eight tournaments a year.

Jennings: Stockton, Calif. No favorites so far.

Binns: I try to practice three times a week, and the skeet season starts late February to October in which I enter tournaments about once a month. Buoni: I practice three to four times a week and shoot about 10 tournaments a year.


What's the best thing about the sport?

Cagle: The best thing about skeet is the fierce competition with good camaraderie and the great barbecues after. Jennings: Enjoy the new “like-minded” friends I have made since starting the game.

Binns: My favorite tournament is the World Skeet Championships, which is held in San Antonio, Texas. Texas is the furthest I traveled to a tournament. Buoni: I went to the Zone 7 NSSA Championship last year in Denver, Colo. I enjoy shooting at any California club. However, my favorite is my own club that I built for my family on my dad’s farm. We call it Section 3 Gun Club after the name of the ranch.


If you had to choose between your wife and your favorite shotgun, which would it be and why?

Cagle: I’d have to choose my wife because she lets me buy all the shotguns I want! Jennings: My wife takes care of me much better.

Binns: In skeet shooting, you compete in classes against other shooters at your same skill level, and move up based on your averages. You can also compete in your age group, on a two-man team, five-man team or as husband and wife team.

Binns: I am very fortunate that my wife and son are very involved in shooting sports also, and we shoot as a family. I really don’t have to choose, but I do have a few extra Winchester Super X’s that my wife may not be aware of.

Buoni: The best thing about the sport is that I have four kids who shoot with me: three boys and one girl. I have enjoyed making new friends all across the state.

Buoni: It’s my wife. With all the out-of-state deer hunts I go on and all the weekends I spend practicing, she never gives me any problems with it. She has been very supportive through it all.

Bruce Binns 64

Bakersfield Life

Frank Buoni April 2011

Stephen Jennings

Wayne Cagle



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Why did you choose the Droid over the iPhone? I’ve been a happy Verizon subscriber for years, and I wasn’t about to play the waiting game with Apple that was exclusively with AT&T until recently. I held out as long as I could and went with the Droid. I searched for reviews from some of my most techsavvy friends. Droid got the most votes for its functionality, free apps and sturdiness — which for me is very important since I’m always dropping my phone. How has the Droid made your life easier? No more carrying my laptop everywhere I go! Working in the media as a journalist and Web editor, it helps me stay on top of my daily plans with e-mails, texts, sending and receiving documents and updating all my social networking websites: Bakotopia. com, etc. And that’s just the beginning. Being a bandleader, I have to stay in touch with seven Mento Buru band members, sending quick collective show updates as they arrive. Most importantly, I can stay in touch with 66

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

my two kids — Kaitlyn and Mark — who, like most teenagers, live on their phones. I can’t even remember what life was like before my Droid. What is the coolest thing you can do on your Droid? A few things: The photo quality is really good. I’ve snapped up some pretty good shots, some of which have made it to print. Also, the video and voice recording capabilities have enabled me to multitask on so many levels. As you can probably imagine, I work a lot. Watching YouTube videos on the Droid is also as enjoyable as any desktop viewing. What would you say makes the Droid superior to other smartphones? I haven’t had much experience with many other smartphones, but as far as my own experiences: You can customize the phone to suit your needs. The touch screen works great. They offer regular updates throughout the year, good battery life and durability.

What are the best and worst things that smartphones have contributed to our society? Best things: allows us to stay “wired” to the world from anywhere, and communication has become less expensive for families who live in distant lands. Worst thing: less human interaction. (I’m guilty, too.) What are your top 5 favorite apps and why? 1. DoubleTwist Player: It’s basically iTunes for Android. It imports all your iTunes music from your computer. 2. Google maps: I love the accurate and easy to follow navigation. 3. Facebook: This is a no brainer, and MySpace is over. 4. Prankdial: I’ve been a prankster at heart. Just pick a prank, type in a friend’s phone number and dial. You get to choose the number they see on their phone, so you go undetected. 5. Rotten Tomatoes: I’m a hardcore movie buff, and this is where I get all the reviews of upcoming flicks and showtimes.

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Curious George

Photo by Felix Adamo

Local sideshow man wows audiences around the world


By Lisa Kimble In the carny world of bearded ladies, two-headed cows, fire-eaters and sword swallowers, there stands Bakersfield native George McArthur who, at 7’4”, towers over the odd and bizarre as he travels the world shocking and wowing audiences and helping to revive the traditional carnival sideshow. Larger than life not just in stature alone, George the Giant as he is known is widely considered to be one of the few complete sideshow performers around. “There aren’t very many county fairs doing sideshows anymore like there used to be,” McArthur lamented. The youngest of five children, McArthur grew up around the stage. His parents were involved with the Bakersfield Community Theater, and his mother, Marilyn Baird, helped bring back BCT’s Youth Theater. “We were brought up as theater performers, and I really enjoyed performing,” he added. When he was 12, his father took him to the Kern County Fair’s sideshow. The experience piqued his curiosity and sparked an interest. “I was amazed at what the human body could do.” But it was a near-tragedy nine years later that served as the cata-


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

lyst for George’s career. An assailant broke into his brother’s home, tied the older sibling up and set him on fire. George was just 21, and emotionally scarred from the incident that left him afraid of fire. “Today he is one of my biggest fans and very proud,” McArthur said of his brother who survived the ordeal. Determined to overcome his fear of fire the way he had conquered his fear of heights by bungee-jumping, he contacted Bobby Reynolds, the sideshow performer that day at the fairgrounds in 1981. “He [Reynolds] really helped me. Interestingly, his performance was the last time a sideshow was featured at our fair,” said the 41-year-old performer. By day, George McArthur is a security officer with Kern Security. “They have been very accommodating and supportive of my work.” The rest of the time George the Giant, billed as the world’s tallest sword swallower, travels throughout the United States, Canada and Turkey as a human pin cushion, an escape artist, performs stunts on beds of nails and walks on glass, all the while flirting with danger. “People, of course, think I am insane. But I am a performer who loves to subject my audience to something they would never consider doing themselves or watching,” he said.

Nor does he consider what he does to be dangerous. “It is part of the business,” he said of his occupational hazards. Until recently when he punctured his esophagus with a sword, he’d only seen a doctor twice in 20 years of performing, both times because of beds of nails. “These are calculated risks. I just make sure I don’t get hurt.” McArthur said his fetes are all supported by at least a year of research. In outsmarting risk of injury, McArthur’s astonishing stunts have landed him in Guinness World Records and earned him roles in such films as “Big Fish” and “Tough Luck,” and he’s appeared on television shows like “According to Jim” and “Touched By An Angel.” Two years ago, he cracked the top 40 of “America’s Got Talent,” besting a talent pool dominated by singers and dancers. “I love entertaining people, to bring a sideshow to them and to watch their eyes and the expression on their face is priceless,” he said. The more perilous the better, he says, adding that he is unfazed by what most people might consider freaky or outlandish. “I have worked with a bearded lady, with a lobster girl with claws for hands and I don’t see freaks, I see friends,” McArthur said. “These people are like family. I’d rather be in a room with people perceived as weird because I see what is on the inside.” George, as passionate about the revival of the classic sideshow as he is thick-skinned, is also intent on not only showcasing what the human body can do, but on drawing in the history of the sideshow into his acts. “I enjoy what I do. I was always told I wouldn’t be able to do what I do,” he said. “But I have traveled the world doing this and making a living at it and I consider myself lucky.” And lucky to still be alive.

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The French Connection Local families host teens in international exchange program


Left to right: Allan Fetters, Liliane Mouche, Jill Fetters and Courtney Fetters.

Photo by Greg Nichols


By Dana Martin

Allan Fetters awoke one Sunday morning to a great idea. He saw an article in the newspaper that mentioned a local company seeking families to host French students for 10 days in February. Foreign exchange programs were something he had thought of before, so he decided to share the idea with his wife, Jill. “Our daughter, Courtney, is taking her third year of French, and she will be going to Paris for spring break,” said Allan. “Our son had graduated and left the house, so we had extra room and thought it would be something unique. We contacted Susan and started the process.” Susan Peninger is the local coordinator for Horizons du Monde, a nonprofit travel organization that promotes quality homestay programs, encouraging intercultural friendship, among other things. Their goal is to provide a rich and rewarding experience for students and host families. Peninger says that recruiting good families like the Fetters is a big part of her job. “To recruit, you just want people who are 70

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

willing to open their homes for the experience and to be an ambassador to the United States and to Bakersfield,” said Peninger. “It’s an educational experience for the family, so if they are willing to embrace the program, then that’s who we want.” Jill Fetters’ only concern was whether a busy family could contribute enough to a student’s American experience. “I’m a teacher. I work full time,” said Jill. “Allan works full time. Could we get a student to the places she needed to be? Could we spend enough time with her to make her feel at home?” According to 18-year-old Liliane Mouche, they did quite well. Mouche, a senior at her boarding school in Paris, is the student Peninger placed with the Fetters family for her 10-day trip to the United States. Fluent in English that is tinged with a heavy French accent, Mouche explained she had wanted to explore the lifestyle, culture and traditions of American families. “I also wanted to improve my English and meet new people,” she said.

For Jill Fetters, it was a match made in heaven. “We got to help choose our student. We looked through the student profiles to make sure we were compatible,” said Jill. “We are a very athletic family in marathons and triathlons. Liliane skis competitively, so she’s very athletic also. And she is going to medical school to be a doctor, so she’s strong in the math and science pathway. Courtney wants to be a food scientist, so we thought they would be a good match.” They were right. Courtney, a junior at Stockdale High School, said she enjoyed Liliane’s company, especially in the evenings when the two could practice their language skills. “We had little French lessons,” Courtney, 16, said. “I had to practice on my pronunciations because I couldn’t say the words quite right. It’s very embarrassing. It’s Liliane’s native language, and for me, it’s a second language, and I have an American accent.” Mouche is one of 31 students who traveled to Bakersfield from their Paris boarding

school, and each of them (plus adult escorts) needed to be hosted by local families. Peninger says the interview process is short but necessary and ensures that the local families understand what the program expects of them. Besides basic requirements (like a designated bed for the student), Peninger likes to make sure there are very few surprises. “I tell them to just be yourself. If you don’t go out to dinner every night, don’t take these kids out to dinner every night. The students want to come and experience life the way you experience it,” said Peninger. Besides living as an American for almost two weeks, the French students also made frequent trips to Southern California to visit typical tourist attractions, including a daylong trip to Magic Mountain, where they found the rides “faster” than Disneyland, the only amusement park in Paris. That wasn’t the only difference. “It’s cooler here,” said Mouche, referring to the “hipness” of American families. “The food, the houses, and the people. It’s all cooler.” Mouche was surprised by the Fetters’ high ceilinged house and explained that she lives in a house with three “floors” (then corrected herself to say “stories” after her host family erupted in laughter). The Fetters had formed a special bond with their newest daughter. “To me, it’s been a joy. Liliane has been like having another daughter, and we only have our older son and daughter, so for Courtney, it’s been like having a sister,” said Jill. “We treated her as a daughter. She’s been a total joy, and we will miss her.” “You, too,” answered Mouche quickly and with a warm smile. International relations had never been better.

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Relay for Life Local cancer society volunteer undergoes own treatment for the disease

By Sylvia Cariker


Patsy Romero knows about cancer, because as one of the American Cancer Society’s most energetic and dedicated volunteers, she can quote statistics or share stories of survivorship that touch and inspire. Right now, she’s the regional ambassador lead for advocacy for the Great Valley Region; she’s on the California Division diversity team and on the Great Valley Region Council. Mix in Patsy’s local volunteerism and you have a busy lady committed to finding a cure for cancer and a staunch advocate for patient rights. She’s always been one of the first Relay For Life steering committee members lined up to hand out medals to survivors crossing the finish line following the survivor’s lap. This year, someone will place a medal around Patsy’s neck, because just months ago she had a mastectomy. “Let me tell you, it was unbelievable,” said Romero. “I know all the stats — 400 women projected to be diagnosed in Kern County in 2011 and I kept thinking ‘I can’t be one of the 400!’ but, bottom line, I also know that one in three women will be told she has cancer in her lifetime and one in two men and I kept saying, I’m one in three now.” Even though Patsy received regular mammograms she didn’t find a lump because her invasive lobular carcinoma more often causes a thickening of the tissue or fullness in one part of the breast. Had she been a younger woman her cancer would have been more aggressive but as it was there were three tumors, the largest was 5.5 centimeters. Because of that, and even though her lymph nodes were clear, radiation and chemotherapy are still the protocol 72

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Patsy Romero, faithful longtime Bakersfield American Cancer Society volunteer, holds the title of regional ambassador lead for advocacy for the Great Valley Region.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios


though she’s waiting for one last test result that will determine the appropriate treatment. Now she’s seeing firsthand how her work in advocacy is paying off. “Even though I did a lot of research online, (the doctors) gave me books because that’s the law and it’s because of ACS advocacy,” Romero said. “I see advocacy working everywhere. Because of it, we have a right to a second opinion and the books they have to give you by law. I’m looking at everything completely different now.” Telling her three daughters about her cancer was difficult, because now they’re at greater risk for becoming the ‘one in three’ but, in typical Patsy Romero fashion, she sees her cancer as making her stronger. “We are making a difference,” she said. “I’m gonna work harder now, smarter and better.”

Location, location, location The Bakersfield Relay will be moving this year and logistics chair Brad Webb welcomes the challenge. “Kudos to California State University Bakersfield for all the years that they allowed us to use their field, and we leave with a heavy heart but we’ve outgrown the site,” Webb said. “Our new location has more room, so we can grow the event.” That new location is on Old River Road, just 1.6 miles south of Taft Highway, about seven miles south of the CSUB location and 10 minutes by car. Webb’s committee has to find room for more food vendors with the task of providing them power and facilities.

“People will also be able to purchase 2011 Relay For Life food,” Webb said, “and When: 9 a.m. April 30 to to 9 a.m. May 1 I understand that we’re offering food for sale Where: 11800 Old River Road for the folks who are *Teams: 309 just out visiting and *Participants: 3,298 not part of a team.” Online Chair Contact: Amanda Webb also promises Diaz, larger campsites for the Event schedule 400 teams expected to Opening ceremony: 8:30 a.m. participate. April 30 The biggest chalSurvivors lap: 9 a.m. April 30 lenge will be the sheer Luminaria ceremony: 8:30 p.m. size of the new location. April 30 “We’ll be getting Fight back/closing ceremony: our feet wet while we 8:30 a.m. May 1 figure out how to make *As of press deadline it all come together,” said Webb. “We’ll have to fence the entire area, fence the parking area, find a place for the big diamond vision screen at one end of the field so folks there can watch what’s going on live on stage so, yes, it’s a challenge.” Relay will have bigger lots and closer parking, and there’ll be more RV spaces available for a small charge with that fee donated back to Relay. Webb said his committee has already made several visits to the new location and plans to start weeks earlier this year. “We want everything perfect for the kick-off on April 30.”

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Chad Phillip Garcia Age: 28 Family: Wife, Lybia; daughter, Skylar Rank: Just promoted to sergeant Assignment: Airborne Infantry Stationed: Currently on assignment to 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry (Airborne) Fort Richardson, Alaska

Favorite activity to do back home: Spend time with friends and family. What I miss the most about my hometown: I have been lucky to be stationed close to home for the past few years. But as I'm packing up and headed to a new assignment outside of California, I'm going to miss the people of Bakersfield the most. My family, best friends, the patriotic support, and uniqueness that Bakersfield natives have are all admired and appreciated by me. It’s what I miss most when I am away. When I'm in town, whether I go to a restaurant, a local hangout, the movies, or wherever, the people are awesome. It’s what I love most about this town. Why I joined: The main reason I joined in 2001 was of course, 9/11. But I have since re-enlisted twice. And each time for new reasons. Mostly because of the duty. I love really love my job and what it stands for. But I do it because I care deeply about the freedoms, values and traditions of this nation. Many people take advantage of these things, which are their rights and choice. But I at least want to help, along with all my fellow service members, to ensure these liberties live on and are protected. Why I continue to serve: Because I love this country. It’s given me everything. I want to give back. But my wife is my strength and support. Without her, I could not do any of this. She is so beautiful inside 74

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

U.S. Army airborne infantryman Sgt. Chad Garcia. Below: Chad Garcia with his wife, Lybia.

Photo courtesy of Chad Garcia

U.S. Army

family, my in-laws and friends of more than 17 years is a blessing. I love them all very much.

and out. She is there in the bad times and good. When I am far and away. She has dealt with me and this occupation for over seven years. My wife is an amazing person. Only 1 percent of Americans choose to join the military. Out of that, one-third of those people are married. A military spouse, in my eyes is the toughest person in the world. They know the dangers, the sacrifice, and they are the true heroes of this country. My best military accomplishment or memory so far: Passing Airborne and Sniper School. When I return to Bakersfield, the first thing I’m going to do is: Call my family and friends. Spending time with my

Something I'd like to do this year: I’m looking forward to driving from California to our new duty station in Alaska. We have done the drive from Fort Bragg, N.C., to here and really enjoyed seeing this country from coast to coast. But to drive from California to Alaska in summer should be beautiful and fun. Another thing I'm looking forward to doing this year is attending BAR (Basic Airborne Refresher) when I arrive at my new Airborne unit in Alaska. I requested to be stationed here in California for the past few years, and this unit is not an Airborne unit. They don’t jump out of planes. Since I have gone awhile not jumping, I have to attend a refresher course to get me familiar again with the steps and procedures. And let me tell you ... I can't wait. — Know a Kern County native who is proudly serving in the military? E-mail us the nomination to with the message subject line: Why I Serve. Please include an e-mail, phone and/or Facebook link to reach the nominee.


The perfect picnic

The Sequoia Sandwich Co.’s roasted ham and turkey sandwiches.

Enjoy a spring picnic with local deli delights

N By Hillary Haenes

Photos by Michael Lopez

Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to take advantage of the warm weather, and what better way than with a picnic in a patch of wildflowers, at a park or near the river. Before taking a short, but romantic day trip out of town or to a nearby scenic spot with the entire family, head to your favorite local deli and load your picnic basket with some goodies. Five iconic delis weighed in on what sandwiches, beverages and treats to pack for the perfect afternoon picnic. Be sure to not forget a blanket or chairs, something to keep the kids occupied, plates, napkins and the right utensils. And most importantly, enjoy the picturesque views and delicious recommendations. Roasted turkey or ham sandwich

The Sequoia Sandwich Co., three locations at 9160 Rosedale Highway, 1231 18th St. or 9500 Ming Ave.

To co-owner Gary Blackburn, turkey or ham is the American standard when it comes to sandwiches, and it’s no surprise turkey is the most requested among customers. “We were told by a former deli owner before we ever opened our first Sequoia store that turkey would be the most popular — and he was right — it outsells everything on the menu,” Blackburn said. Not only is it a healthy alternative because it’s low in fat, but it appeals to a wide group of picky eaters, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Sequoia’s roasted turkey sandwich comes 76

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April 2011

on squaw bread, which is a soft, dark bread that’s flavored with molasses to give it a slightly sweet taste. Similar to regular Swiss, baby Swiss cheese provides more of a creamy texture to complement the mayo, avocado, lettuce and tomato that tops this sandwich. “You can also spice things up a little by using Cajun turkey or cracked pepper turkey instead of plain,” Blackburn said. As for the ham sandwich, it comes on fresh sourdough bread from our local Pyrenees French Bakery (who also bakes the squaw bread), and has baby Swiss cheese, but is topped with a sweet and tangy honey mustard, lettuce and tomato. For your sides, try Sequoia’s potato salad with Yukon Gold potatoes or the pasta salad tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. Fresh fruit is another great option, especially red seedless grapes, apples or bananas because they are easy to transport and eat with no mess or cutting required. The deli’s Zapps brand chips are made in Louisiana and add a great crunch in flavors such as Cajun or jalapeno. Dessert lovers will love the variety of fresh baked cookies made with real butter, from chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin to peanut butter, sugar, Snickerdoodle and oatmeal-chip-nut. “I think you can kick a plain picnic up a notch with special bottled sodas instead of cans. We carry the Thomas Kemper line of gourmet sodas, which comes in orange-cream, root beer, cream soda and black cherry. Also, fresh brewed tea in a big Gott jug or lemonade is great for a picnic, but be sure to bring ice,” he said. To ensure your food tastes just right, Blackburn suggested bringing a cooler with ice packs to keep items like a side salad cool. As for a location, he mentioned the mountains to get a view of the wildflowers, Yokuts Park near the Kern River or a nice city park like the one in Haggin Oaks in the southwest because it is

Does “WOW”

describe your kitchen?

Brookside Deli’s lunchbox

quaint and few people know it’s there. Plus, it’s a place for the kids to play while the adults can partake in a leisurely game of tennis. Brookside lunchbox

Brookside Deli at the Oaks, 8803 Camino Media

The Brookside lunchbox is a complete meal that includes any regular deli sandwich such as turkey, salami or roast beef plus a choice of homemade macaroni salad or red potato salad, cookies, chips and a drink that is conveniently packaged in a little box. Brookside offers numerous sandwich toppings like Continued on page 78

April 30, May 1 and May 7

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lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, red onion, peppercinis, black olives or fresh avocado. “This is a popular item with our customers because they can phone in the order ahead for any number of boxes desired,” said deli manager Chrisy Keplinger. She also suggested a fresh fruit bowl of watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe and red grapes, along with a nice bottle of wine from the newest wine selections from Clautiere Vineyards of Paso Robles. The Deli at Cafe Med’s Gourmet Club well as lots of flavored teas and juices. When it’s warmer, Waters suggested refreshing wines and beers. Wines like pinot grigio, spumante and prosecco sparkling wines and lighter beers such as lagers, hefeweizens and IPAs sell fast and pair nicely with lunch. Also, don’t forget to pack extra water. “If you decide to take a trip to the mountains, between the fresh, clean air and beauty, it will always accentuate great deli food,” Waters said. For an ideal picnic spot, Waters recommended a place called Rush Creek in the June Lake Loop area. It’s a long drive, but you’ll see stunning scenery that’s more adequate for a relaxing picnic. There’s also Lake Isabella that has lots of outdoor activities like fishing and camping and be sure to stop by the Kernville Brewery for a beer. Gourmet Club The Deli at Cafe Med, 4801 Stockdale Highway

Country Club Liquors & Delicatessen’s White Cadillac

White Cadillac

Country Club Liquors & Delicatessen, 3737 Columbus St.

Country Club’s signature sandwich, the White Cadillac, got its name after an elderly woman accidentally drove her Cadillac through the deli’s front doors and into the deli area. “The name came to me whilst diving to avoid the stainless steel Amtrak as it slammed into our deli case,” said co-owner Ryan Waters. With what feels like almost two pounds of meat and cheese, it’s no wonder the White Cadillac is the most popular sandwich on the menu, which is a creation of freshly sliced ham, turkey, salami, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper. The frequently ordered pasta salads include the turkey ranch, regular and red potato salad, pickled tongue and tortellini. “If traveling, never hesitate to ask for anything on the side, especially vinaigrette as it can saturate the fresh Pyrenees rolls. Don’t order a hot sandwich to go — you pay more taxes and it’s cold when you get to your destination,” Waters said. Micro-brewed root beers are a huge hit at Country Club as 78

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

A moist and flavorful chicken breast with bacon, avocado and sun-dried aioli on a homemade rustic roll is a satisfying sandwich that brings the savory combination of unique tastes together. To complement the Gourmet Club sandwich, try a Greek salad or the deli’s popular strawberry salad with strawberry-infused vinaigrette. Not in the mood for a sandwich? Try a fresh baked baguette with a nice gourmet cheese like the soft and creamy Port Salut. “You could start with our fresh baked pita bread and homemade dips called Zehog and Turkish salad, otherwise known as the red and green stuff,” said co-owner and marketing director Kathy Brown. Beverages that Brown recommended were San Pellegrino sparkling water in orange or lemon, or the Sweet Leaf Green Tea that comes in assorted flavors. If you want to imbibe some wine, try Far Niente chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc for under $20 and you can also find various domestic and foreign beers. Make sure to include an ice chest to chill your drinks and Brown hinted chocolate-covered strawberries would be a great dessert would complement the wine. Caesar’s Special Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen, 9500 Brimhall Road and 2828 Niles St.

Owner Anthony Belluomini suggested the Caesar’s Special because it’s a customer favorite packed with flavor and consists of two kinds of salami, ham, mortadella, pepper jack cheese, with lettuce, peppers and a special sauce on a Pyrenees roll. No wonder this tasty sandwich has been a consistent popular request for the past 40 years.

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“I would choose one or two salads: the bowtie pasta with shredded parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach in a light parmesan vinaigrette; or the red, white and blue salad with red potatoes, bacon and blue cheese in a creamy dressing. I may also grab some chips and definitely a lemon bar or chocolate truffle bite for dessert,” Belluomini said. Another item that must be packed is either Sicilian or Kalamata olives. And if you have time to get out of Bakersfield, drive to Denner Vineyard in Paso Robles, which would be a idyllic day trip offering amazing views in the spring.

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The Lopez-Hill House was originally built in the early 1900s


By Jeff Nickell, Kern County Museum director It’s spring-time and that means folks are looking for things to do. Well, I have a suggestion for you. There are dozens of parks in Bakersfield, but none of them will give you the experience you will get at Pioneer Village. Yes, Bakersfield has one of the best outdoor museums in the United States that many of you may not know about, or have heard about but have never been to visit. Of course, there are many of you who have seen our facility and know that it is a first class operation with things for people of all ages to do. Why did I liken it to a park? It is because of the lush trees and plants that adorn the village. In fact, forty volunteers just helped spruce up the village trimming bushes and planting new flowers. Amidst all the greenery are 57 historic buildings that tell the story of not only Kern County, but the west and the United States. You may be saying…boring about now, but is simply not the case. Allow me to peak your curiosity. Pioneer Village has everything from an 1868 log cabin built par80

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Photo by Casey Christie

Springtime at Pioneer Village

tially from wood that floated down the great flood of the Kern River in 1867 to a 1936 Union 76 gas station that once stood on Sonora Street near Union Avenue when that road was the main thoroughfare through Bakersfield. I was told years ago by a good friend the museum is static and nothing ever changes. Well, that is simply not the case. It is a fact that the objects stay the same inside each of the 57 historic buildings, but that is because the museum is trying to stay true to the time period each building represents. It used to be visitors would walk around the village with a small visitor’s guide that told you about some of the buildings and some of the buildings had a few words telling general history on wooden signs. In other words, you missed a-lot. Now, there are signs with history and photos in front of each building (signs like you would see at some of our national parks). In addition, museum staff gives tours of the 1891 Howell House and early 1900s Lopez-Hill House twice every day. We are also in the process of installing new weather-resistant benches throughout the site so visitor’s can relax and take in the view from several

Photo by Casey Christie

One of the many sights to see at Pioneer Village, a 1936 Union 76 gas station that once stood on Sonora Street near Union Avenue. vantage points. I mentioned earlier you can learn about U.S. History at the museum. Did you know that one of our homes – the Pinkney House – belonged to African-Americans who were the first and second generations to be born outside of slavery and that three other houses were lived in by veterans of the Civil War? William Henry Pinkney was born in South Carolina and moved with his parents to Bakersfield in 1884 to pick cotton on a oneyear contract. Eventually, William worked as a cattleman and for the City of Bakersfield Roads Department. His wife Amanda (her grandfather was a slave) was born in Kansas, a territory established as a state in 1861 which further escalated the division between the north and the south as they argued and fought over whether the state should be free or slave-holding. The story continues with the Barnes Log Cabin. Thomas Barnes was born in North Carolina and came to Kern County after being injured while serving for the Confederacy. Thomas, his wife Jane, and seven children lived in the cabin. On the other side of the village is the Metcalf House. Thomas Metcalf, born in St. Clairsville, Ohio, enlisted to fight for the Union Army as a private during the Civil War. He built the Eastlake style home that is now in Pioneer Village in 1885 (or at least the first part of it as we have uncovered that the home was added onto over the course of time). A second tier to the home’s inhabitant’s history is his daughter Modena (Maud) was one of the early school-teachers in this area who also served as president of the Bakersfield Woman’s Club in 1938-39. The third home with a Civil War connection is the Weller Ranch House. There is so much you can do at Pioneer Village, like enjoy a picnic lunch (you have to bring that), just get some exercise by walking the museum’s sixteen acres, or visit our tremendous exhibits – Black Gold: The Oil Experience – a 10,000 square-foot interactive exhibit that tells the history, geology, process, and chemistry of oil in Kern County, or the Lori Brock Children’s Discovery Center. The Discovery Center has undergone renovation the past couple of years with the addition of taxidermy animals behind exhibit glass in the Lewis & Clark: Exploration & Discovery exhibit. The other exhibit Kid City has new murals, now includes a Pet Hospital and will soon have an Automobile Repair Shop complete with a minicar kids can get into. In addition, many of the murals have been

repainted. This is a great place for kids to play and learn while they are doing it. It will also wear them out so they will take good nap! Lastly, for some time, the museum’s Native American Display has been in storage while museum staff renovated a building for artifact display. The Carpenters Local 743 recently built two exhibit walls for us, All American Glass installed large glass panels, and a security system was added to allow visitors access to this exhibit. The building is also climate controlled for the protection of the baskets and other artifacts on display. As you can see there are lots to do at your museum. So, come check it out and use the half-off coupon included in this issue of Bakersfield Life.


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TRIP PLANNER Follow the beautiful

Madera Wine Trail

By Lois Henry


Photo courtesy of the Madera Vintners Association

When you think of Madera, I’m betting fine wine isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Yeah, me neither. But after a recent jaunt on the “Madera Wine Trail,” I’m here to tell you, it’s worth a trip. My sister-in-law gets credit for the idea after she saw an advertisement for an event in February featuring Madera wineries through the Madera Vintners Association. And what an event — wine and chocolate. How could I say no (plus she offered to drive!)? Tickets were $20 in advance, which got you a commemorative wine glass and unlimited tastes at eight wineries, which each had food to sample or buy, art on display, crafts, gourmet olive oils, snacks and more. Oh yeah, and all the wine, already very reasonably priced at between $10 and $30 a bottle, was discounted for the two-day event. Win-win! We grabbed one of my sis-in-law’s best friends, a map of the official “wine trail” and headed north. Our first stop was Cru Wine Company, just off Highway 99 at Avenue 20. Gotta love these creatively named rural roads. They were pouring two whites, a rose and three reds. But we almost missed the wine as we got stuck at the tables of chocolate samples, including the most scrumptious little cupcakes courtesy of the Frosted Muffin of Visalia. YUM. Vineyards of the Madera wine region.


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Photo by Lois Henry

A patron enjoys a tasting at Cru Wine Company during the “Wine and Chocolate” event in February put on by Madera Wine Trail.

My overall rating for all the wines we tasted that day (and remember, I’m just a nobody amateur so take it for what it’s worth) would be “good.” These aren’t the sophisticated, nuanced wines of Napa Valley or Paso Robles. To me, these wines tasted young and still a little unrefined, with one exception, which I’ll get to. But that’s OK. The wines were good and will only get better with time. OK, back on the wine trail, we traveled south to San Joaquin Wine Company owned by Cindy and Steve Schafer who had been growing wine grapes and sending them to Paso for decades before they decided to stomp their own, so to speak, starting in 2006. Though Cindy apologized for their “tasting room,” really a warehouse dressed up for the event that was part of the fun. All the wineries were low-key, non-stuffy, jeans-and-T-shirts kind of places. Over at Quady (pronounced quwadee) Winery, we were treated to some really interesting art — sculptures, paintings and even some “electronic” art playing inside several giant wine tanks that had been emptied and cleaned out. Then there was Chateau Lasgoity and Birdstone Winery, which both had endless crafts (way cool furniture made from old wine kegs) and great food. Continued on page 84

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Continued from page 83

And, of course, we hit Ficklin Vineyards, which is probably the best known of the Madera Wineries famous for its port. This is that exception I mentioned earlier. Ficklin has been making wine here for 50 years and the experience definitely shows, err, tastes. I’m not usually a fan of port, but I did try their ha• Check out the wineries and zelnut port, which upcoming events at was superb. htm The wineries • The next weekend wine trail on the official trail event is May 14 and 15. Tickets aren’t the only are $25 in advance. places to visit, as • This is a very popular event so we learned when make your plans soon! we stopped at Ap• Also, Touch of Class Limousine pellation: CaliforService will have special packages for this event. 888-575-4667 nia. Appellation is a tasting center, not a winery, so it’s not part of the “wine trail” event. But it got into the spirit anyway, offering free tastings from Fasi Estate, Twin Pomegranates and J. Wulf Cellars. There were two other wineries on the trail that we didn’t get to, Westbrook Wine Farm and Idle Hour Winery, which are both up Highway 41 toward Bass Lake. Next time!

Madera Wine Trail















. EX











April 2011



Bakersfield Life





7104 Golden State Hwy. Bakersfield, CA 93308 Showroom Hours: MON-FRI 9am - 6pm SAT 10am - 4pm 393-3782 •

The Largest Gun, Home, and Office Safe Display in the Valley

PRODUCTS AROUND TOWN Easter Bunny surprises!

With a variety of Easter chocolates and candies to select from, Lil B's Sweet Tooth has what you're looking for to delight your family and friends. Choose from an array of prepackaged baskets or have us customize a basket with that special someone's favorites. Lil B's Sweet Tooth, the "Sweetest" spot at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., Suite H4, 661-665-8500.

Lil B’s Sweet Tooth

Spring is here!

No need to make those long trips to Los Angeles for your See Thru Soul, Kut From The Kloth or Cailey 22 fashions. They are now available at Divaz Desirez. That’s right, available right here in Bakersfield. Come by and see these and many other spring fashions and accessories now at Divaz Desirez, 4560 Coffee Road (Coffee and Hageman by Blockbuster in the Vons center) 679-7278.

Divaz Desirez Boutique

Everyone likes to go for a stroll!

Come see our new “Pet Gear” Strollers. Your pet can be safe and secure while zipped inside or you can make it convertible by unzipping the front of the stroller. There are many colors to choose from. Price is $195. Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa, 1617 19th St., 3219602,

Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa

Hop in to Color Me Mine!

Color Me Mine has a huge selection of Easter and Passover items. The kids will have fun painting a giant egg box to hide treasures in. They have baskets, bunnies, and Seder plates, too! Bring in the whole family to paint eggs (that will never go bad) or paint a special Easter platter for yourself by turning your kids’ feet and hands into precious little bunnies! Located in The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Phone 664-7366 or bakersfield.

Color Me Mine 86

Bakersfield Life

NAOT Foot Cream Hypo-Allergenic

Soothe your soles and coddle your calluses with mild, yet highly effective NAOT Foot Cream. Enriched with therapeutic Dead Sea-minerals and softening Silicon, this soothing treatment pampers your entire foot. At the same time, its anti-bacterial Tea Tree Oil disinfect and prevent painful cracking and itching. Rapidly absorbed after application, NAOT Foot Cream is gentle enough for daily use. Available at Guarantee Shoe Center, 2101 Chester Ave.

Guarantee Shoe Center April 2011

Handmade English toffee

shionista ExclusivooelmyquataliFa ty jewelry

Heirl . ured and collected to be worn, treas r te ea Th x Fo Boutique at The 66 2007 H St. 327-44


Antonette and Diane started out making Aunt Mae’s fine handmade English toffee for close family and friends, and once friends tried it they were hooked. The special combination of ingredients and the cooking process results in a rich candy that is mouth-watering, delectable and crunchy. This delicious English toffee, available from October to May, can be found at Luigi’s, Flourishing Art, Olcott’s and Sweet Surrender in Bakersfield. Call 725-5200 or visit auntmaessweettooth. com for direct orders, other locations and information. Gorgeous gift boxes are available in various sizes.

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

All new Wrinkle Concentrate

Exclusivey at Lashes and Mustaches only — all new Winkle Concentrate from bareMinerals Skincare! Complex and youth-restoring peptides with skin-loving benefits that helps to visually diminish lines and wrinkles. Want brighter, smoother younger-looking skin? Experience the extraordinary results of the new bareMinerals Skincare. Shop Lashes and Mustaches in the Stockdale Tower, 5060 California Ave. #100. 8369775.

Lashes and Mustaches

Baby K’tan Baby Carrier

Voted Best Baby Carrier of 2011, the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier is the newest in soft baby carriers. This uniquely designed product is made with 100 percent organic cotton and does not use buckles, snaps, rings or hardware. It provides eight different positions with no wrapping involved, is made to comfortably carry infants to toddlers and is ideal for premature and special needs babies. The Baby K’Tan Baby Carrier is available at JM’s Just for Children, 930 Wible Road in Bakersfield.

JM’s Just for Children

THE PROMENADE Where Pianos are our ONLY business!

Music School


Voted Best Music Lessons by 97.7 The Breeze Radio Station In The Mom’s Choice Awards!

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6200 LAKE MING ROAD, STE. A7 (661) 871-0088

19th & N Street, Downtown Bakersfield (661) 325-8476

(661) 665-8228

5381 Truxtun Ave.

(1 block East of Mohawk St.)


Junior Diabetes Research Foundation Winefest Feb. 10 Held at Metro Galleries Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Felicia Keller, Chris Mabry and Karen Keller

Julie Dodge and Rhonda Flores

Linda Witt, Dawn Smith and Mark Augustine

Jack Gripp and Spark Boemi

Monina Viloria and Barbara Wesson

Steve Fenton, Cliff Popplewell and Marco Patino

Liz and Mike Blaine

Allison Perkins-Thomas, Sandra and Gino Valpredo and Sylvia Moskovitz

Daron and Brenda Hobson, Andrea Clark and Stacy and John Knight 88

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Bakersfield Mitsubishi grand opening Feb. 15 Held at Bakersfield Mitsubishi Photos by Rodney Thornburg View these photos and more online at

Zari Bashirtash, Mana Bashirtash, Turk Darehshori and Hossein Salasi

Jasmine Ibarra, Steve Summers and Shelly Owens

Jim Pennington and Larry Champagne

Steve Schnieider and Matt Smyth

Franklin Simmons and Tim Soto

Dora Valenzuela and Diane Sanchez

Ali Bakoo and Mo Hosseini

WATSON Realty #1 Sales Team in 2010

Is your home value up side down? Short Sale -vs- Foreclosure CALL FOR FREE ADVICE Sheeza Gordon 661-472-2761


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Special Services Include: • Colonoscopy • Endoscopy • Video Capsule Endoscopy • ERCP • Cancer Screening Esophageal pH & Motility Study • Treatment fo Liver Diseases • Ambulatory Endoscopy Center 9870 Brimhall Rd. #100 Bakersfield, CA 93312 (661)588-8725 Fax (661)588-8749

20041 Hwy 202, Valley Blvd., Unit 3, Tehachapi, Ca 93561 (661) 822-0377 Fax (661) 588-8749 www.BakersfieldLife.com89

American Cancer Society Grand Hollywood Gala Feb 5 Held at the Petroleum Club Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Doug and Megan Pierce

Sylvia and Dan Lozano

Jeanne and Scott Tunnicliffe

Thuy-Vivu and Vinh-Linh Nguyen

Joey and Linda Etienne

Lin and Linda Frasier and Jessica and Ted Nicholas


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Marti and David Lari and Cheryl and Bruce Biggar


Admin Team Kylie W and Jakie T Clinical Team-Jim V (LCSW) Lesley S (Director of Nursing) Charlotte C (Register Dietician) Ron L (Master in Social Service)

2. Treatment Team Maria M, (CNA), Tammy R, (LVN), Lorena G (LVN) Adrian M (OT/PT Maintenance director) Genna R (OT/PT maintenance) Carlos A (OT/PT maintenance Training Team: Anthony S, Jessica N, Fabiola G, Carolina C, Maria G, Erica U, Shelly H

3. Sherri R (BS in Social Worker) Ana M (Master in Social Worker) Tasha J (BS in Social Worker)

4. Clinical Team Zienna (Physical Therapist) Sabrina K (Occupational Therapist)


Rope for Hope Breast Cancer Fundraiser Feb. 27 Held at Kern County Fairgrounds Photos by Felix Adamo View these photos and more online at

Nichole Leishman and Tyler Thomson

Zach Birks and Spencer Bolin

Cierra Smith and Kristen Levandoski

Blake Foulk and Calli Grant

Shelly Naworski, Cher Hunter and Jan Runia

Richard McClean, “Doc,� Mitchell Thomson (holding dog) and McKenzie Cooper

4817 Stockdale Highway 832-9054 92

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Amy Powers, Krystal Rose, Amber Rose and Virginia Rose

Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Celebration March 6 Held at the home of Gene Tackett and Wendy Wayne Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at Wendy Wayne (served in Kenya) and Gene Tackett (served in India)

Mary Jane and Dan Brown (Dan served in Venezuela)

Steve (served in Venezuela) and Deidre Schilling

David and Katy Mechtenberg (David served in Turkey), Harriet and David Schaad (both served in Iran)

Polly and Bruce Hargreaves (served in Malawi)


Good Cars Pat Cowles (served in Malawi), Andrea Rivas (served in Niger) and Donna Bell Sanders (served in Niger)

starting at only




Katy Mechtenberg, Bryn Randolph (served in Chad), Clarice Hammett (served in Mauritania) and Jim Cowles (served in Malawi)

23rd and Chester Ave. MICHAEL STUART 661-978-5621


JERRY HERNANDEZ 661-331-5952 Hablo Espa単ol


Bob Elias Hall of Fame Banquet Feb. 17 Held at the Marriott Hotel Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Hank and Kim Pfister

Erin and Joyce Baldock and John Neumann

Margo and Bill Perry

Bob Covey and Rick Hitchcock

Bob and Pat Engel

Pat Mills, Joey Hansen, Mayor Harvey Hall, Bob Hampton and Billy Satterfield

Dorothy, Msgr. Craig and Don Harrison

Push your body. Find your beat.

661-589-8950 • 800-FIT-IS-IT 94

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Katya, Jason and Jenna Buhagiar

2011/2012 Prevention Calendar

FRI May 6 Stramler Park All Ages Pre-Party 4PM-Doors 6PM

Tickets avail @ World Records, Out Limits, Impact (Valley Plaza Mall), Wavelengths (California Ave), Hoggs (by Trader Joes), True Grit, Going Underground, Valentino始s (Fresno) And online at More info go to FACEBOOK.COM/TIMGARDEAPRESENTS




Child Abuse Prevention

Teen Pregnancy Prevention



Severe Injuries to Children

Gang & Youth Violence



Keeping Kids Safe in and Around Cars

Suicide Prevention



Safe Sleeping for Infants

Methamphetamines & Youth



Foster Parent Support

Sexual Abuse Awareness



Safely Surrender Baby

Kids Home Alone /Safety Tips

Visit each month to learn important prevention information and access free resources. The mission of the Kern County Network for Children (KCNC) is to protect and enrich the lives of children in Kern County thro th roug ughh th thee co comm mmititme ment nt ooff al alll co comm mmun unitityy partners by helping to build and sustain healthy families.


Kern County Human Relations Commission Winter Mixer Feb. 22 Held at Bakersfield Marriott Photos by Tanya X. Leonzo View these photos and more online at

Uduak Ntuk and Laura Wolfe


Bakersfield Life

April 2011

Nancy Romero and Thomas Machuca

Dee Slade and Art Powell

Charlie Rodriguez and Genine Flores

Karla Young, Joyce Miller and EJ Callahan

CSUB Hall of Fame Banquet Feb. 19 Held at the Petroleum Club Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Susan Hopkins and Patricia Keefer

Doug and Lori Greener

Jon and Phillis Van Boening

Ben and Lisette Stinson and Mel Atkinson

Louis Wildman and Kathy Knutzen

Start tthe he NEW Year with w ith a NEW Look!

Vic Comaianni, Joan and Steven Van Alstyne and Gary Frazier • Improve Flexibility • Relieve Stress

• Create A Strong & Lean Body • Develop A Strong Core


• Mat Classes Opening • Small Class Sizes

• Personal Mentoring • Quality Instruction

Look Better • Feel Better Call for Grand Opening information

Tiersa, John and Christine Frazier and Alaina Frazier Kelley

Monday: 12:15pm & 5:30pm Tues & Thurs: 8:30am, 9:30am & 5:30pm Wednesday: 12:15pm Friday: 9:30am & 12:15pm

1405 Commercial Way, Ste. 110 • 661-324-7848



Debbie Moreno

Photo by Alex Horvath

President and CEO, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

My best accomplishment throughout my 21 years working for the Bakersfield chamber: Being selected for the position of CEO six and a half years ago, when my predecessor, Chris Frank, retired. She was a hard act to follow.

in our garage, so I could practice and teach the neighbor kids to dance. I think they paid me a quarter per lesson, and I was about 13 years old. I actually began teaching ballet classes at a real dance studio for a real pay check when I was 16.

Favorite part of my job: Unbelievable variety of the work from day to day, and being a part of so much going on in our community. My time is fairly evenly split between oversight of the organization and representing the chamber on community collaboratives. Giving back to the chamber industry is also very important to me, and I have really enjoyed serving in leadership positions in the chamber industry in California, the western states and on a national level.

Something few people know about me: I’m an HGTV (Home and Garden Television) nut. If all of my creativity hadn’t been in my toes (see previous answer about my first job) I think I would have liked to be a designer.

Best piece of advice someone has given me: “Try not to take your work home with you.” It’s a hard one to achieve. When you are responsible for running a large organization, and your work is so intertwined with the entire community, it’s hard to get away from it. My first job: I was a ballet dancer when I was young and my dad set up a dance studio 98

Bakersfield Life

April 2011

My favorite getaway: My husband, Tony, and I have three — Ragged Point on Highway 1 about 20 minutes north of San Simeon, The Wine Country Inn in Napa Valley (St. Helena) and the Red Rock country of Sedona, Ariz. — we return to all three often. On my bookshelf, you’ll find: At work — typical business books including two of the latest from our chamber corporate training speaker last year, Patrick Lencioni. At home — novels (and lots of them!) from mystery, to suspense to comedy. Sometimes light reading is the best way to wind down after a busy workday.

My favorite place to have lunch on the weekend is: Home. In the chamber world, so many days include lunch meetings. I eat in restaurants and have catered lunches all the time, so a nice lunch at home is a luxury. Most influencing person in my life: I have two. My mom who always put her family first (and still does), and my husband, Tony, who always has common-sense solutions and can drill down to what’s really important when I share problems and issues of the day. Three things that define Bakersfield to me: First, is the community’s size. I’ve lived in metropolitan Los Angeles and a community of only 5,000 and for me, Bakersfield is just the right size — big enough to have most everything we need, but small enough so that it has a small-town feel. Next would be the spirit of the people of Bakersfield — their friendliness and their willingness to help out when there’s a community need. Last, believe it or not, would be the weather. I love living in four seasons and the dry climate is awesome. I couldn’t live in a humid environment.

Bakersfield Life Magazine April 2011  

Bakersfield Life Magazine April issue.