Dr. Ajay M. Patel, Interventional Cardiologist Sharon Kimble, Bakersfield Heart Hospital Patient
GO RED Shining a light on
women's heart health
Readers share their favorite pet photos
Dining with Dre
Immersive dining experience at Stars Theatre
Bakersfield Art Crawl Compilation of noteworthy art venues, murals around the city
MR BREHMER IS THE ONLY CENTRAL CALIFORNIA DUI ATTORNEY to be a three
straight year selection to the Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star list (top 2½% of lawyers in California) and is recognized as one of Southern California’s “Top Attorneys” as published in Los Angeles Magazine. He is honored to be designated an “ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist” by the American Chemical Society having obtained the highest student score on the examination among all California lawyers. PRIOR TO BEING RECOGNIZED as California’s Top Lawyer-Scientist, Mr. Brehmer received specialized training and further education in standardized field sobriety testing; gas chromatography; solid drug dose analysis, DNA, airway gas exchange, and is the only Kern County Defense attorney to be trained in drug recognition examinations. He is routinely asked to consult with both private and public attorneys throughout the country on issues of toxicology and pharmacology.
ACS-CHAL FORENSIC LAWYER-SCIENTIST
JEREMY BREHMER FELLOW AAFS
In February 2016 Mr. Brehmer was recognized by the President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences for his substantial contribution to the Academy.
WWW.BREHMERLAW.COM | 447-4DUI
CO-AUTHOR OF SIX BOOKS on toxicology related subjects, in addition to other publications and those in process Mr. Brehmer has authored chapters about forensic science in criminal cases, search and seizure, pharmacology, drug detection limits, and discovery in several Aspatore/ Thomson Reuters books. He is a contributing author on a blood alcohol analysis for West publishers, the co-author of the feature article for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers publication, the Champion, and is co-editor/author of Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana, 2015 California edition by Lawyers and Judges Publishing. AS A DIRECTOR AND COMMITTEE CHAIR for the national DUI Defense Lawyers Association and as an instructor at Trial Skills University Mr. Brehmer is a firm believer that a rising tide lifts all boats. It is for this reason that he dedicates much of his time to help train other lawyers in the scientific aspect of criminal defense to fight that only valid science is presented in American jurispruidence. MR. BREHMER IS HONORED TO have presented multiple times to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Chemical Society, state and local public defender associations across the country, state defense bar conferences, law schools, and others associated with the forensic and legal community. Mr. Brehmer was recently selected to moderate the final jurisprudence session of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Florida. 1200 TRUXTUN AVENUE, SUITE 120 BAKERSFIELD, CA 93301 (661) 447-4384
RIO BRAVO MEDITERRANEAN 7 BEDROOM HILLTOP ESTATE on 1.46 acres in an exquisite setting! Custom built, this property is designed for dual family living and entertaining! Over 7300 sq. ft. of luxury living space--no expense spared! Spacious elegant rooms! A sweeping staircase graces the entry. Soaring ceilings with an abundance of east facing windows with views of the mountains! Marble and tiled floors, plush carpeting, crystal chandeliers, many sets of French doors and custom leaded glass windows. Big white kitchen w/dual Subzero fridges, stainless steel appliances. Huge game room, walk-in wetbar, formal living, elegant dining, office, library,6 fireplaces, balconies w/balustrades. Master suite-sized bedrooms with huge walk-in showers, huge closets, jacuzzi tubs--the list goes on! When only the best will do!
Dr. Ajay M. Patel, Interventional Cardiologist Sharon Kimble, Bakersﬁeld Heart Hospital Patient
GO RED Shining a light on
women's heart health
Dining with Dre
Readers share their favorite pet photos
Immersive dining experience at Stars Theatre
Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine March 2020 / Vol. 14 / Issue 7 Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian
Publisher Cliff Chandler
Bakersﬁeld Art Crawl Compilation of noteworthy art venues, murals around the city
Advertising Sales Manager Jesse Dillon
On the Cover
Editor Mark Nessia
Bakersfield Heart Hospital interventional cardiologist Dr. Ajay M. Patel and Bakersfield Heart Hospital patient Sharon Kimble.
Specialty Publications Designer Julie Mana-ay Perez Specialty Publications Intern Emerald Guthridge
— Photo by Mark Nessia
Photography Nina Ha, Alex Horvath, Julie Mana-ay Perez, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Mi-
Coming up next …
chael Prince, Carla Rivas, Felix Adamo
Ethnic Diversity Issue
Contributing Writers Teresa Adamo, Maureen Buscher-Dang,
Advertise, contact Jesse
Dillon at email@example.com or 661-395-7503.
Maude Campbell, Katie Cornford, Anna Marie Frank, Alex Garzaro, Jeremy Gonzalez, Nina Ha, Dianne Hardisty, Lisa Kimble, Stephen Lynch, Melissa
Bakersfield Life Magazine for your home or office, go to www.tbcoffers. com/deal/blifeintro.
Peaker-Whitten, Jordan Payne, Julie Plata, Andrea Saavedra
Partner with us
for your next event. Email Mark Nessia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 661-395-7383 for more information.
Connect with us – www.bakersfieldlife.com facebook.com/BakersfieldLifeMagazine Instagram/bakersfield_life twitter.com/BakersfieldLife
Bakersfield Life Magazine
SHARES What’s your favorite form of art? “While I love visual art and enjoy theater, music holds a special place in my heart. Music has helped get me through the lowest lows and made the highs even higher. There’s nothing like stumbling upon the perfect song for a particular moment and adding it to the soundtrack of my life.” — Mark Nessia, editor “I don’t think I can get through any day without either creating or looking at graphic art. I’m really into illustrations, abstract and computer graphics. The different ways graphic art is used, from color to texture, has a way of changing my mood and perception of life itself.” — Julie Mana-ay Perez, specialty publications designer “Graphic design, when crafted with artistry, is not only aesthetically satisfying, it also inspires creativity. My inner nerd dreams of becoming a typographer, creating new fonts for the world to see.” — Nina Ha, contributing writer “My favorite type of art would be dance. I believe it’s an awesome way to express yourself. Everyone has their own unique style.” — Rosita Gomez, advertising account executive “I love performance art. Such skill, courage and commitment.” — Anna Marie Frank, contributing writer
We want to hear from you – Send comments or letters to the editor to Mark Nessia at mnessia@bakersfield. com. Please include name, city and phone number. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and to excerpt them.
Contact us – 3700 Pegasus Dr. Bakersfield, CA 93308 661-395-7500
FEATURES 60 | Go Red The American Heart Association's Go Red campaign unites survivors, volunteers and advocates who wear red to show their support for the battle against stroke and heart disease in women.
Bakersfield Life Magazine
70 | Annual Pet Parade Itâ€™s raining cats, dogs and more, as readers share their favorite pet photos!
76 Up Front
8 Editor’s Note 9 The Big Picture 10 What’s Happening 12 On the Web 14 Calendar
Eat & Drink
18 Dining with Dre 20 Bites 24 Where We’re Eating 25 Best Thing We Ate This Month
Go & Do
28 Entertainment 29 Out & About 30 Trip Planner 32 Arts & Culture
36 Let’s Get Physical 37 Peace of Mind 38 Feature
42 Pastimes 43 Home & Garden 44 Love & Life 45 The Marketplace 46 Welcome Home 54 Business Profiles
People & Community 74 Bakersfield Matters 76 Our Town 78 Personality 79 Study Hall 80 History 81 All-Star Roundup 82 SNAP! 86 Last Word
NOTE TO THOSE WHO CREATE AND INSPIRE
Open Nominations MARCH 9 TO APRIL 12
The 20 Under 40 feature selects 20 locals who are under the age of 40 and are considered trailblazers in his or her professional career or schooling and known for giving back to our community in special ways. Winners will be honored in our July issue and at a special get-together. TO NOMINATE: Visit bakersfield.com/bakersfield-life/20-under-40 between March 9 and April 12.
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” The Joker said that in a “Batman” movie many years and several reboots ago. While the context revolved around disrupting order and causing chaos, his words ring true. It coincides with the saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” The idea of getting paid to do something you naturally enjoy is the goal of many but not always attained by all. But after seeing the work of many Bakersfield residents involved in the local arts scene, I feel there is a necessary, more important, half to the Crown Prince of Crime’s memorable quote. “If you’re good at something, never do it for free. But if you’re passionate about it, you’ll do it anyway.” That’s because many involved in the arts do it on a voluntary basis. These are full-time working professionals who make art and participate in local theater productions in their spare time. It’s a labor of love, requiring lots of dedication and sacrifice for the opportunity to do what they enjoy most — a chance to create and inspire that stems from early childhood. When we’re kids, we’re encouraged to engage our creative side. We’re pushed to try new things — take art classes, learn to play an instrument, take up dance — in an effort to stimulate our imaginations. Our drawings would be proudly displayed on refrigerator doors for all to see and performances and recitals recorded and shared with family and friends. But after a certain point, that optimism and support begins to fade away. Eventually, we’re told to “grow up” and get an education that will lead to a well-paying job. And many of us do — at the cost of our artistic endeavors. Once considered the “artist of the class” throughout elementary school, I’m now limited to the occasional doodle here and there, usually on a Post-it note. But I’ve met local artists and performers who didn’t let that creative spirit die, continuing to pursue their passions well into adulthood. These are the men and women who beautify our city with their work on public murals and adorn the walls of local art galleries, and the ones on the receiving end of standing ovations following a performance at one of Bakersfield’s many theaters. They add life and color to the community through their efforts — a dedication born out of love of the arts and a passion for the craft. Your work entertains us and stimulates our dormant imaginations. And for that, we thank you.
If you have any questions, contact Mark Nessia at email@example.com. Mark Nessia Editor 661-395-7383 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bakersfield Life Magazine
T h e B i g P i c t u re / W h a t â€™s H a p p e n i n g / O n t h e We b / C a l e n d a r
AS THE BUZZ FADES Matt Nissen of 5 Star Honey Farms checks on bee boxes at one of the 25 sites where they store bees. Healthy bees are a critical element to Kern's $1.2 billion almond harvest, and as of a few weeks before bloom, things are looking a little worrisome.
PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ LIVE AT MECHANICS BANK ARENA Fan favorites and talented cast members of the hit ABC show “Dancing with the Stars” will be gracing the Mechanics Bank Theater stage on March 31 when “Dancing with the Stars” live comes to Bakersfield. Get ready for a night you won’t forget, full of fun, full of flare and full of fantastic dance numbers that will surely make you want to move your feet. The show begins at 8 p.m. while doors open at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range between $35.50–$75.50 with the option to purchase accessible seating. For more information, visit www.axs.com.
STOP THE PRESSES! ‘NEWSIES’ COMES TO OVATION THEATRE “Newsies,” the Disney film turned Tony-winning Broadway musical hit that inspires everyone to fight for what’s right and seize the day, comes to the Ovation Theatre March 6 through April 5. When the titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, one boy rallies newsies from across the city to strike against unjust working conditions and fight for justice. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $15–$35. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 661-489-4601.
VENDORS TO GATHER FOR THE RUSTY ROOTS SHOW AT CSUB Get ready to uncover treasures and good deals because the Rusty Roots Show returns to Bakersfield for its annual spring market. The event will take place on March 7 at 8 a.m. at CSU Bakersfield on the Don Hart East lawn. Vendors from all over California will sell their best goods, such as antiques, farmhouses, industrial items, vintage items, crafts, art, handmade items, food and more. General admission is $5, early bird shopping is $10, and kids 16 and under are free. For more information, visit www.rustyrootsshow.com. 10
Bakersfield Life Magazine
PINT FOR PUPS! AT TEMBLOR Temblor Brewing Company celebrates its second annual Pint for Pups fundraiser and adoption event on March 28 at noon. All proceeds raised will go to Hand Me Down Dog Rescue, a local nonprofit. Not only will participants be able to support a good cause by drinking local beer but they will have a chance to meet some of the dogs that are up for adoption. A portion of the proceeds from 661 Beer purchases will go toward the Hand Me Down Dog Rescue. Admission for the event is free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.temblorbrewing.com.
NATIONAL DOCTORâ€™S DAY MARCH 30
TODD FARRER, MD Medical Director INGY AYAD, MD Hospice Physician
WARREN WISNOFF, DO Hospice Physician
DAVID SINE, MD Pediatrics
We appreciate our physicians and their compassionate care of our patients.
On the Web @BakersfieldLifeMagazine
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIAL QUIRKS ABOUT YOUR PET?
Jolie Brouttier The special quirks
about Ashes is she NEVER barks, not even GROWLS!
We asked, you answered on social media! Make sure to follow us to participate in our reader callouts for a chance to win prizes and be featured in the magazine!
Kristina Young Oliver is a 9 lbs,
2 month old rescue we got from KCAS. He was found roaming the streets of Oildale all by himself. He's been diagnosed with a few illnesses but he is resilient and happy! And that's what we love about him! He is so strong and playful and we're so happy we found him.
Alison Willow At 150 lbs he's
a big teddy bear! One time a tiny chihuahua got mad at yapped at him. Brian, terrified, quickly lay on his side in a submission! He also has an unhealthy obsession with balls and pool toys.
Angela Yoder Hernandez Timmy the tripod rescue dog likes to hide his toys under random beds! If he wants to play he brings them all out in a pile and barks letting you know it's time to play!
jennykay_pratt My favorite feature is her purr! She's so loud and affectionate and makes little kitty muffins and purrs all night long!
thelifeofkoda1 Our favorite feature of Koda is how loving and affectionate he is. We rescued him from the local shelter and he's my entire world. 12
Bakersfield Life Magazine
paigeccollier Our sweet, spunky deaf girl!
miss_lizet My favorite feature about Ruger are his eyes! He has one brown and one blue. Although he just turned one and I've only had him since late September, I appreciate his ball of energy and excitement when I come home.
Dinner Lunch Special Breakfast
Perfect Place For
a family get together! ther of Th T
Welcome to a perfect place for a family get together of Thai food. red wit wit ith ffe eattu e ture ur Our restaurant offers authentic Thai cuisine prepared with featured. ce Plea se ccome ome to find Cozy, family-friendly atmosphere and impeccable service. Please come to find flavors and enjoy all we have to offer! Jimmy, Owner of Blue Elephant
: (661) 833-8190 Breakfast: 7:00AM - 11:00AM Lunch: 11:00AM - 3:00PM Dinner: 4:30PM - 9:00PM
email@example.com www.BlueElephantCA.com 8200 Stockdale Hwy, Suite M-1 Bakersfield, CA 93311
Find more community events at www.bakersfield.com/events. Post your event there or submit via email to bakersfieldlife@ bakersfield.com.
KISS End of the Road World Tour, 7:30 p.m. What: Rock ’n’ roll hall of famers KISS say goodbye on a farewell tour with special guest David Lee Roth. Where: Mechanics Bank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Admission: $39.50–$100 More Info: www.mechanicsbankarena.com
72nd Annual Camellia Show, 1 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday What: The Camellia Society of Kern presents the annual Camellia Show, featuring novice categories and floral design. Where: Bakersfield Racquet Club, 1660 Pine St. Admission: Free More Info: 661-832-8180 A Chocolate Affair Fundraiser, 6 p.m. What: A fundraising event benefiting the United Way of Kern County showcasing the finest and most innovative uses of chocolate in the region. Where: The Westchester Hall, 2801 F St. Admission: $100 More Info: www.eventbrite. com
“Axel” by Cirque du Soleil, times vary What: A jaw-dropping blend of skating, acrobatics, music and graphics that only 14
Bakersfield Life Magazine
The annual Camellia Show showcases a variety of floral designs.
Cirque du Soleil can bring. Where: Mechanics Bank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Admission: $35–$130 More Info: www.mechanicsbankarena.com Baby Yoda Paint Class, 6 p.m. What: Margaritas and Masterpieces hosts an upbeat evening of art dedicated to “Star Wars.” Food, drinks, music and instructional painting will be provided. Where: Elements Venue & Banquet Centre, 3401 Chester Ave., Suite H Admission: $44.95–$170 More Info: www.mmartclass.com March 2020
Boat and RV Show Cornhole Tournament, 9 a.m. What: Sixty-four teams will compete in a cornhole tournament sanctioned by the National Cornhole Association and presented by the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation. Where: Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. Admission: $100 for a team of two More Info: www.eventbrite. com
Sip and Sew: Adult Sewing Workshop, 1 p.m. What: Learn the basics of using a sewing machine and create a custom canvas bag while enjoying a mimosa bar throughout the workshop. Where: The Studio, 2005 Eye St. Admission: $80 More Info: www.eventbrite. com Michelada Madness, 1 p.m. What: The biggest celebration of micheladas in Bakersfield. Where: Stramler Park, 4003
Chester Ave. Admission: $13–$55 More Info: 661-410-7199
Ultimate Bridal Event, noon What: Bridal show featuring everything you need to make your dream event come true. Where: The Gardens at Monji, 9401 Shellabarger Road Admission: $20–$25 More Info: www.ultimatebridalevent.com
Jojo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. The Tour, 7 p.m. What: Dancer-singer-actress Jojo Siwa comes to Mechanics Bank Arena with special guest The Belles. Where: Mechanics Bank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Admission: $36.50–$66.50 More Info: www.mechanicsbankarena.com
The Underwater Bubble Show, 7 p.m. What: A modern fairy tale with a major twist, inspired by childhood classics like “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Peter Pan.” Where: Fox Theater, 2001 H St. Admission: $15–$45 More Info: www.thebakersfieldfox.com
Dog Daze, 10 a.m. What: Experience a day out with furry friends, from obstacle courses to talent shows to a costume party and treats! Where: Murray Family Farms, 6700 General Beale Road Admission: $5.15–$10.30 More Info: www.murrayfamilyfarms.com An Evening with Amy Grant, 7 p.m. What: Contemporary Christian music artist Amy Grant performs at the Fox Theater.
Where: Fox Theater, 2001 H St. Admission: $38–$78 More Info: www.thebakersfieldfox.com
Red-Headed Strangers at Temblor Brewing, 8 p.m. What: A night of Willie Nelson songs by the RedHeaded Strangers. Where: Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd., #200 Admission: $15 More Info: www.eventbrite. com
Bakersfield Amazing Race 2020, 9:30 a.m. What: Teams of two to four solve clues and complete challenges while navigating the urban landscape on foot. Proceeds benefit Stewards, a local nonprofit serving disabled men, women and children, and the first-place team will win $400. Where: Wall Street Alley in downtown Bakersfield Admission: $20–$55 More Info: www.eventbrite. com Murder Mystery Fundraiser Dinner, 5:30 p.m. What: “Midnight at the Masquerade” murder mystery fundraiser dinner benefiting the Centennial High School girls basketball program. Where: Hodel’s Country Dining, 5917 Knudsen Drive Admission: $55–$60 More Info: www.eventbrite. com Foothill High School Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, 6:30 p.m. What: Hall of fame induction dinner and ceremony for Foothill High School. Where: Bakersfield Country Club, 4200 Country Club Drive Admission: $100 More Info: 661-599-2915
EAT & DRINK
D i n i n g w i t h D re / B i t e s / W h e re We ’ re E a t i n g / B e s t T h i n g We At e T h i s M o n t h
NOT YOUR AVERAGE NACHOS
Jalapenos, IPA cheese sauce, salsa, Sriracha cream, smoked bacon and pulled pork blanket a bed of golden-brown tater tots, making for a unique appetizer that’s meant to be shared. Find this at Bootleggers Craft Pub & Eatery and find out where else we’re eating on Page 24.
PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA
E AT & D R I N K
Dining with Dre
Charbroiled salmon with lemon butter sauce, roasted red potatoes and fresh-steamed vegetables.
DINNER AMONG THE STARS
STARS THEATRE RESTAURANT BRINGS NUMEROUS AVENUES OF THE ARTS UNDER ONE ROOF
By Andrea Saavedra
When someone asks you, “Are you a fan of the arts?” museums and galleries are probably the first things to pop up in your mind. Yes, galleries and museums are considered art locations, but to me the arts is everything from hipster galleries, street performers, singers, actors and even chefs. When I moved to Bakersfield, all I knew about it was that it was a farm town with a bunch of chain restaurants. But after doing some exploratory research in my dining journey, I came to find that Bakersfield is rich in the arts community as well! I’ve driven past many buildings with amazing street art that hug the sides, colorful downtown alleys and live music. I’ve also attended “The Nutcracker” at the Fox during the holidays and I came to find out that we have our own Bakersfield Museum of Art. I have been pleasantly surprised to see that an art community exists here in Bakersfield and that it is continually growing. So when I got an invite from a friend to see her perform at Bakersfield’s own dinner theater spot in town, I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought to myself: “Dinner theater? As in the cliche of dinner and a show? In Bakersfield? This is going to be interesting.” Needless to say, I was reluctant to go and prepare myself for 18
Bakersfield Life Magazine
mediocre “wannabe” acting and a less-than-appetizing dinner that was probably microwaved and a tiny portion that was not worth the $70 ticket price. But friends support friends, right? So off I went to Stars Theatre Restaurant. I came to learn that Stars Theatre Restaurant is the only dinner theater spot in Bakersfield and one of the few left in WEB EXCLUSIVE California. Its actors Go to www.bakersfieldlife.com and crew are mostly to see more photos of what Stars volunteer personnel Theatre Restaurant has to offer and that are there because get a behind-the-scenes look at what they love the arts. Stars goes on before a performance! boasts a 150-plus-seat dining area, a full bar and lounge, a patio and even a VIP booth. All of the dishes that their menu features are all made in-house and consists of starters, hearty entrees and even dessert. Walking into the theater is an experience in itself. The theater seating consists of tables with freshly pressed tablecloths, floral arrangements and formal place settings. The servers are formally dressed and are there to serve your every need. Plus, they were all so friendly! PHOTOS BY MARK NESSIA
The cast of “Annie” sings “Tomorrow” to close out a Saturday-night performance.
I couldn’t help but have a “Beauty and the Beast” “be our guest” moment as the server poured my wine and the live orchestra practiced in the background. Before the show began, I enjoyed my starter and entree, which were hearty and delicious. I was not expecting that. It was one of the best dinners in Bakersfield hands down (no, I’m not kidding). I wondered what the kitchen staff was like to feed a full theater with exceptional quality. To feed that many people and make it that delicious, I assumed that they had an army. I came to find out that the Stars Theatre kitchen staff is a small but mighty crew of five people. I was impressed! And this was all before the curtain rose! Once it did, and the show began, for a second I forgot I was in Bakersfield — the farm town — and felt as though I was seeing a play at the Pantages in Los Angeles. Stars’ team of actors are so talented. The cast ranges from children to baby boomers, and there is no question that they have passion and flame for this business called show Stars Theatre Restaurant business! 1931 Chester Ave. Before I knew it it was intermission, 661-325-6100 where I was served www.bmtstars.com a decadent slice of cheesecake with coffee per my request. By the end of the show, the entire theater was on its feet (myself included) giving a standing ovation! What a night! Stars Theatre Restaurant proved me wrong in my initial judgements about the arts potential in Bakersfield in the biggest clapback of all time. I fell in love with what Stars Theatre has to offer and frankly thought it was a steal for that $70 show ticket. I couldn’t tell you which was better — the food, the show or even the service. Stars Theatre has everything you need for a night to remember and it is perfect for celebrating any occasion or even if you just want to go and support the arts. Being a chef, I can appreciate all works of art outside of the food, but Stars Theatre Restaurant brings the different avenues of the arts together under one roof and synchronizes it together into a symphonic experience. And that deserves a true Andrea Saavedra standing ovation.
Chocolate toffee mousse cake
FOOD & DRINK
bi Punja a Dhab
Samosa chaat Recently featured in The New York Times, Punjabi Dhaba is no longer that hidden of a gem on South Union Avenue. Quietly tucked between an auto shop and a truck wash, this food truck’s surroundings in no way reflect the quality of the food. At first, the menu can seem intimidating for someone who is not very familiar with Indian and Pakistani food, outside more familiar items like samosas and butter chicken. The samosa chaat was covered in chole (chickpea curry), red and green sauce, 20
Bakersfield Life Magazine
yogurt sauce, chutney, red onions and cilantro. Between the flavor profiles and the authenticity of the food, it’s no wonder this roadside joint is becoming more popular among locals and passersby. Be warned — this is a cash-only spot. Punjabi Dhaba 2546 S. Union Ave. 661-578-9303 PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA
FOOD & DRINK
Asada torta Sometimes simple is better. In Los Tlaxcaltecasâ€™ case, they feature a simple menu of tacos, quesadillas, tortas and burritos. Their asada torta was served with diced pieces of asada meat layered with avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos and spread with mayonnaise served on a toasted telera bun. You can taste the moist flavor from the asada meat while PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ
crunching on the telera bread and everything in between. Add a little bit of their salsa verde sauce in between the torta to add a kick of spice to every bite. After eating at Los Tlaxcaltecas, youâ€™ll never think of another taco truck again. Los Tlaxcaltecas 912 New Stine Road 661-302-6743 www.BakersfieldLife.com
FOOD & DRINK
Personal pizzas There’s no shortage of places to get personal pizzas nowadays. However, pizza made fast tends to come at the cost of the crust, as a thin crust cooks faster than a traditional pizza crust. Enter Pizza Bob’s, a food truck that’s bucking the trend of thin-crust personal pizzas by serving up Detroit-style pizzas that are notorious for their thick crust, which sets them apart from their New York- and Chicago-style counterparts. While traditional Detroit-style pizzas are rectangular, Pizza Bob’s
Bakersfield Life Magazine
maintains a familiar round shape. Pizza Bob’s personal pizzas are quite the deal, starting at $6 for one topping and just 30 cents for each additional topping. Overly generous with the toppings and served piping hot, Pizza Bob’s is real pizza made real fast. Pizza Bob’s 401 34th St. 661-447-0009
PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA
FOOD & DRINK
Fit & Grub
Low-carb carne asada burrito Local food truck Fit & Grub offers both healthy and hearty options to get anyone through the 3 p.m. slump with a variety of options, from bowls and burritos to sandwiches and quesadillas. One of their most popular items, the carne asada burrito, can be found under the “fit” menu as well as the “grub” menu. The fit low-carb carne asada burrito remains healthy while also maintaining its flavor, containing carne asada, cheese, lettuce and sour cream — a combination of flavors settled nicely inside of a warm tortilla. Once you’ve had a fill of what Fit & Grub can offer, wash it down with a thirst-quenching strawberry lemonade containing slices of real strawberries. Whether it be a 16 ounce or a 24 ounce, the cool and refreshing drink pairs well with the bold flavors of the low-carb carne asada burrito. Fit & Grub 9001 Stockdale Highway 661-374-8278 PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA
FOOD & DRINK
Where We’re Eating
Bootleggers Craft Pub & Eatery By The Way Cafe By The Way Cafe is one of Bakersfield’s hidden spots located inside of a Bill Wright Toyota Service Center. The establishment serves a variety of choices on their menu, like breakfast foods, tacos, burritos, salads, burgers, sandwiches and barbecue. Their menu also has the option to substitute their meat items for a vegan option. By The Way Cafe’s chicken parm sandwich was served on a toasted
garlic butter bread with crispy Gardein chick’n. It was also topped with marinara sauce and Daiya’s vegan mozzarella cheese. I also recommend trying their iced green tea with honey — it’s refreshing with a subtle hint of sweet flavor. — Julie Mana-ay Perez, specialty publications designer By The Way Cafe 5700 Gasoline Alley Dr. 661-381-2222
Bootleggers Craft Pub & Eatery is a restaurant for diners who crave good food and drinks in a fun, laidback atmosphere. The menu pairs American classics, like burgers, steaks and ribs, and a few unique creations, like the “tot-chos” appetizer, with an extensive cocktail selection. The portions are overly generous and beg to be shared with others. To sweeten the deal, Bootleggers holds daily specials like “steal the pint” on Mondays, taco Tuesdays,
karaoke and $5 Moscow mules on Wednesdays, $5 OldFashioneds on Thursdays and $8 flights on Sundays. Whether coming in for lunch, dinner or to watch a game, Bootleggers is guaranteed to fill bellies, quench thirst and deliver good times. — Mark Nessia, editor Bootleggers Craft Pub & Eatery 955 Oak St. 661-322-2123
Sweet Surrender One of the pros of living near Sweet Surrender is having easy access to a wide array of decadent desserts. On the flip side, one of the cons of living near Sweet Surrender is having easy access to a wide array of decadent desserts. The popular bakery in southwest Bakersfield is renowned nationwide for its cupcakes, cakes, cookies — just about anything that comes out of the kitchen. More than just a bakery, Sweet Surrender’s boutique 24
Bakersfield Life Magazine
features a unique collection of items that you just can’t find anywhere else. It’s a personal favorite for finding gifts for friends and family that are fun and stand out. It’s a personal favorite for finding gifts for myself as well — the kind that come in the form of sugar-infused treats. — Mark Nessia, editor Sweet Surrender 6439 Ming Ave. 661-835-8530
FOOD & DRINK
Best Thing We Ate This Month
KAMISAMA RAMENâ€™S TONKOTSU RAMEN
Among some of the things we love in life are noodles of all shapes, sizes and origins. The tonkotsu ramen at Kamisama Ramen is composed of a creamy Japanese pork-bone broth topped with spinach, boiled eggs, mung bean sprouts, dried seaweed and kakuni, which is a tender braised pork. For an additional $3, you can add deep-fried chicken or pork kutsu to add another level of texture. From the tenderness of the pork and chicken to the richness of the broth and the velvety slurp of the noodles, this is a dish that will make you want more. PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ
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E n t e r t a i n m e n t / O u t & A b o u t / Tr i p P l a n n e r / A r t s & C u l t u re
LET’S GO SEE THE CIRQUE-US
Cirque du Soleil returns to Bakersfield with “Axel,” which tells the story of a young man with a passion for live music and graphic arts. The show blends the wonder and spectacle of the circus with the acrobatics audiences have come to expect from Cirque du Soleil and puts it all on ice. Read more on Page 32.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
GO & DO
Victoria Tiger (left) and Ali Dougherty (right) will co-star in a Melodrama production "The Duchess of Delano."
‘THE DUCHESS OF DELANO’
BRINGS CLASSIC MELODRAMA STORYTELLING TO THE STAGE By Julie Mana-ay Perez
In an enchanted land far away brings a Melodrama fairy tale about a damsel who falls in love with a duke from a rival kingdom. “The Duchess of Delano” is an original production written and directed by Gaslight Melodrama Theatre owner Michael Prince. Opening on March 20, the plot begins in a magical and enchanted land in Delano that has been ruled by the peaceful Delano family. When the encroaching McFarland clan attempts to lay claim to the Kingdom of Delano, the Delano family must use all the power they have to protect the crown jewel of their kingdom — The Duchess. The Duchess then falls in love with the Duke of McFarland, leaving a complicated calamity against both clans. Prince leaves the questions for the audience to find out if the Duke and Duchess get to live the life they want and if the Kingdom of Delano will ever be the same. Prince describes this upcoming production as one of his classic Melodrama fairy tales, like “Scary Poppins,” “Tarzan” 28
Bakersfield Life Magazine
and “The Mermaid of Ming Lake,” where all storylines have a common Disney-like theme. “‘Disney-like’ as in a sense of, most Disney stories are melodramas within themselves. They have very well-defined heroes, villains and sweethearts,” he said. “Plus you always have your whacky comic relief characters, as well. We also just really love Disney around here and try to incorporate that ‘Disney feeling’ into what we do.” He also mentions that many of his productions follow a style of “over-thetop” characters and a “good guy versus the bad guy” scenarios. All of Melodrama’s favorite performers will return onstage for this production, like Michael Kubik, Victoria Tiger, Adrian Francies and Ali Dougherty. The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre is also known to base its productions around Kern County and parody classic television series or movies. Prince also mentions he likes to revisit the classic fairy tale storyline because it makes the audience escape into a fantasy world. “The whole point of coming here is to take a break for a couple hours where you don’t have to worry about anything
outside this building. Hopefully, the audience can laugh their heads off with their friends and family, especially with a show like this,” he said. Prince said the audience can expect music and dancing throughout the show and wants to take the show to an 11 by infusing a happy experience among the crowd. “Something like this kind of story, where it starts with everyone happy on this magical land and here come the evil forces from outside that try to take everything away and so I think we can relate to those feelings,” he said. “The Duchess of Delano” is set to open on March 20 and run through May 2. Tickets range from $14–$25. For more information, visit www.themelodrama. com.
“The Duchess of Delano” March 20–May 2, 7 p.m. Gaslight Melodrama Theatre, 12748 Jomani Drive Tickets range from $14–$25 www.themelodrama.com
PHOTO BY MICHAEL PRINCE
GO & DO
Out & About LEFT: Last year's participants of Bakersfield Amazing Race show off their costumes while finishing the scavenger hunt. BELOW: Contestants start at a race and work their way through a scavenger hunt, obstacle course and trivia quiz.
BAKERSFIELD AMAZING RACE
A TEST OF BRAINS, BRAWN BENEFITING A GOOD CAUSE By Julie Mana-ay Perez
Grab some friends and get ready to explore the streets of downtown Bakersfield in a unique way as the Bakersfield Amazing Race returns on March 28 at Wall Street Alley. The Bakersfield Amazing Race is a scavenger hunt with not only a 5K run but an obstacle course and trivia challenges as well. Stewards Operations and Outreach Manager Nick Gonzalez said participants don’t have to be the fastest or strongest to compete and it is open to a variety of people looking for fun. The event will raise money for Stewards, a local nonprofit that helps vulnerable people in Kern County by advocating for homelessness prevention through connection to social services, resources and acting as an appointed representative payee service. Gonzalez said many of their clients are elderly, disabled or mental health patients who receive social security benefits and need help managing their money to live a stable life. All proceeds raised by the event will go back to Stewards so they can continue their mission to help their clients navigate their lives by staying off the streets, meeting their basic needs and planning for a bright future. The Bakersfield Amazing Race will consist of a race, a costume contest, and an Instagram and Facebook contest, where the best photo wins a prize. Gonzalez said the event usually has over 100 racers that will split up into teams of PHOTO COURTESY OF NICK GONZALEZ, CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO
two to four. Those teams will receive a set of 12 clues that they have to solve and perform different challenges all throughout the downtown area. Gonzalez hopes the Bakersfield Amazing Race continues to grow and wants people to see the value in it by not only bringing the community together but supporting a good cause. “It blends so many things together, like health, wellness and exercise but also using your brain. You have to be smart to win this race,” he said. “It’s a good team-building exercise.” People interested in registering for the race can do so at www.bakersfieldamazingrace.org. Registration is $20–$55 per person. The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m. and the race begins at 9:30 a.m. Gonzalez said participants can expect fun, adventure and a lot of physical activity. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes, study the downtown area and study pop culture references. “Mental reps are key to winning this race. Most importantly, be creative, whether it’s for your costume or for your strategy to win,” he said.
Bakersfield Amazing Race March 28, 9:30 a.m. Wall Street Alley $20–$55 per person www.bakersfieldamazingrace.org
GO & DO
WINE, BBQ AND THE OUTDOORS
UNCORKING MORE FOR LESS IN THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY Two hours west of Bakersfield lies the Santa Maria Valley. Nestled in the hills of the Central Coast, this wine and food hot spot is the perfect place to beat the heat and escape for a weekend. Here, you can uncork fun, food, adventure and more. Santa Maria Valley is the ideal weekend destination, where you can extend your recreation dollars further while escaping from the every day. You don’t need to break the bank to enjoy all that Santa Maria Valley has to offer — feast your eyes on a weekend getaway for two for just $500 (or less). First and Foremost: Wine! The Santa Maria Valley is a wine lover’s paradise. Travel Channel may have named Santa Maria a Top 10 City for Wine Snobs, but you won’t find any snobbery here. The region’s temperate Mediterranean climate allows grapes to spend extra time on the vine, producing exceptional
pinot noir, chardonnay and syrah. And our relaxed and approachable winemakers are present and welcoming, often pouring your glass themselves. Visitors can experience 34 winery tasting rooms (and you can take home a bottle for $20!) within a 30-minute drive of Santa Maria. The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, a 30mile stretch of vineyard-lined country road, is home to 13 wineries. One of the best ways to taste your way through the Santa Maria Valley wine region is on the hop-on-andhop-off Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley for only $20 per day. The Wine Trolley makes a loop to some of the region’s most popular wineries, including Presqu’ile, Costa de Oro and Cottonwood Canyon, from May through October. Be sure to show your hotel key card at participating wineries to receive a free wine tasting. Next Stop: Barbecue! While you’re here, don’t miss out on your chance to try a plate of classic Santa Maria-style barbecue ($200 will get you plenty of it, and then some!). This iconic culinary classic originated more than 150 years ago, when Spanish settlers would host feasts to celebrate the work of the local vaqueros — or cowboys — who worked on ranches around the region. Santa Maria style consists of meat, usually tri-tip or top block sirloin, grilled over red oak coals. The red oak grows native on the Central Coast and has been used for more than 150 years to give the meat its hearty flavor.
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Santa Maria-style barbecued tri-tip is paired with a side of pinquito beans, which also grow natively on the Central Coast; a fresh green salad; buttered garlic bread; and a chunky salsa. Pair your barbecue with a pinot noir from one of the local wineries to complement the smoky flavors of the barbecue. Last, But Not Least: Get Outside! The Central Coast’s climate makes it possible to enjoy the outdoors all year-round. Santa Maria Valley is home to the largest intact dunes ecosystem in the world, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, where you’ll find a host of outdoor activities. The preserve allows you to enjoy the beautiful coast climate while viewing and learning about native plant life, birds and other animals. Trek to Oso Flaco Lake and enjoy a 1.7-mile hike to the ocean. The trail is primarily along a boardwalk, making it a smooth and enjoyable hike. If you’re lucky, you may spot a rare western snowy plover. Plovers often make their nests along the beach from March to September. There are also dozens of free events each week throughout the region, from live music and comedy to trivia, karaoke and more. Santa Maria Valley is also home to 24 beaches, 15 hiking trails and nearly endless miles of cycling trails, making it easy to make the most of your trip to the coast. Be sure to check out the local lodging specials to see what additional deals your hotel can provide. Check out all of our hotel properties (find options from $125 per night!) and plan your trip to Santa Maria Valley today. Visit www.SantaMariaValley.com. www.BakersfieldLife.com
GO & DO
Arts & Culture
"Axel" merges the wonder and spectacle of circus and acrobatics in a Cirque du Soleil show.
THE HOTTEST SHOW ON ICE
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S ‘AXEL’ COMES TO BAKERSFIELD By Jordan Payne
Acrobats, fire and ice, oh my! Audiences can anticipate all this and much more from Cirque du Soleil’s newest ice show, “Axel,” which will be skating into the Mechanics Bank Arena on March 12 for five performances. “Axel” merges the wonder and spectacle of circus and acrobatics audiences have come to expect from Cirque du Soleil with an extra element of difficulty. Cirque du Soleil’s first frozen endeavor, “Crystal,” wowed Bakersfield audiences in March 2019, and now they’re back and better than ever. “The success of our first creation on ice has reinforced our ambition to further explore the extensive creative possibilities of a frozen playground,” said Daniel Fortin, vice president of Cirque du Soleil. “With Cirque du Soleil ‘Axel,’ we will offer a truly electrifying experience to all audiences, pushing the boundaries of creativity with the unique approach that has forged the reputation of Cirque du Soleil.” “Axel” follows a young musician and artist, his true love and his dynamic group of friends (including a giant puppet dog) on an exhilarating mission to fulfill their destiny. Their comic book-themed journey is set to the backdrop of live original compositions, as well as some familiar favorites from the Bee Gees, Radiohead, House of Pain and Rihanna, just to name a few. The main characters of “Axel” are members of a band 32
Bakersfield Life Magazine
The show will incorporate live music, LED panels and a spectacular show all on ice.
who play live music along their quest, which is sure to have audience members “from ages 7 to 77 out of their seats, dancing,” said Julie Desmarais, senior publicist with Cirque du Soleil. Axel, the story’s hero, is a graphic artist whose drawings come to life before his and the audience’s eyes. LED panels will be installed around the arena and visuals will be projected onto the blank canvas of the ice, transporting the audience even deeper into Axel’s frozen wonderland. This show incorporates technologies never before used by Cirque du Soleil, which is always endeavoring to PHOTO COURTESY OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
be innovative. A show this inventive and groundbreaking took nine months of research and development, according to Desmarais. Performers then arrived in Montreal and rehearsed for 3 ½ months, sometimes practicing for 10 hours a day, six days a week. Most who have seen a production from Cirque du Soleil are familiar with the aerial silks. The new discipline of “aerial chains” featured in “Axel” challenged acrobats as never before, adding aspects of difficulty and danger. The chains also posed a predicament for the costume designers, who had to hunt for a fabric that could withstand the friction of the metal chains. Also new for Cirque du Soleil, laser and pyro elements fuse to bring Axel’s world to life. There is something for every member of the family to enjoy. Combining the worlds of professional ice skating, jaw-dropping acrobatics “Axel” and rocking March 12–15 live music, Mechanics Bank Arena, 1001 Truxtun “Axel” will be Ave. sure to inspire Tickets range from $35–$130 and thrill www.mechanicsbankarena.com audiences of all ages. ￼
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RIVER WALK DUCKLINGS
Four-year-old Sawyer Capaldi feeds the birds at The Park at River Walk while his dad, Richard, fishes.
PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH
H E A LT H Y L I V I N G
Let's Get Physical
FIND YOUR STRIDE
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE ADDING RUNNING TO YOUR TRAINING PLAN By Alex Garzaro
You will never catch me running for fun — that is just crazy! Can you relate? That is what I used to say before I actually experienced the thrill, the sensation, the benefits of running. If you have never laced up to take a run, you are missing out. Here are a few things to know before you lace up and go after that half-marathon goal or simply want to add running to your training. Running has been proven to aid in your overall health — lowering cholesterol, increasing lung function, increasing happiness, building endurance and even aiding in weight loss. Plus you can do it anywhere and for free, I might add. Before we lace up, let’s make sure you have the proper equipment for your run. There are a few things you will want to invest in, but the most important piece of equipment to invest in is your running shoes. Not all shoes are created equal and you should not be using your training shoes for running. I made that mistake, and by doing so I went through shin splints and knee pain. When I realized that I needed to find a shoe that fit my stride, I headed over to Sole 2 Soul in The Marketplace and had my stride analyzed. I had no idea that there were four types of running shoes — stability, barefoot, cushions and neutral. Once I completed my free stride analysis at Sole 2 Soul, I was able to start looking for my perfect running shoes. When I found the pair I wanted, I bought them one size larger than my normal size. Why? Well, you see, when you start running, your foot will begin to swell because of increased blood 36
Bakersfield Life Magazine
flow. If your shoe is your regular size, you will find that the shoe becomes tight, causing foot issues like bunions or corns on your toes, numbness in your feet, aching arches, a tender Achilles tendon, and/or strain in your calves or knees. So to avoid these issues, buy your shoes half to a full size larger. Now that you have your perfect running shoe, you can start to hit the pavement. Below is a 15K training routine. Complete each week’s sequence two times in one week, either all in one day or split it up on different days. The goal is to complete the total miles for that week within a seven-day period.
WEEK ONE: 2 MILES
Quarter-mile walk Quarter-mile jog/run Quarter-mile walk Quarter-mile jog/run
WEEK TWO: 4 MILES Half-mile walk Half-mile jog/run Half-mile walk Half-mile jog/run
WEEK THREE: 6 MILES Half-mile walk One-mile jog/run Half-mile walk One-mile jog/run
WEEK FOUR: 9 MILES
Quarter-mile walk Two-mile jog/run Quarter-mile walk Two-mile jog/run Game plan set! Now hit the pavement and find your stride. Alex Garzaro is a lifestyle strategist, weight loss expert for women and transformational speaker. The views expressed are her own.
Alex Garzaro DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM
H E A LT H Y L I V I N G
Peace of Mind
TURN UP THE VOLUME
THE RIGHT MUSIC CAN STIMULATE, CALM AND INCREASE BRAIN FUNCTION By Anna Marie Frank
When it comes to improving brain health, music could be an element to enhance your brain function. At Happy Whole You, we use elements of music to stimulate, calm and increase brain function and you can do the same with your music. So what is the best music for your brain? Turns out that the gray matter in your brain prefers the same music you do. Researchers used to believe that classical music was the key to improving brain function through sound but this is not necessarily true. “In recent studies, they’ve found that people with dementia respond better to the music they grew up listening to. If you play someone’s favorite music, different parts of the brain light up,” said neuroscientist Kiminobu Sugaya in an article published in Pegasus magazine. “That means memories associated with music are emotional memories, which never fade out — even in Alzheimer’s patients.” So music can help our loved ones remember and help them feel at ease and less confused. Music is absolutely amazing. Music can trigger past memories, change our ability to perceive time, bring up a variety of emotions, reduce seizures, improve immune response, evoke memories and can even help make us stronger and smarter. When we listen to a nice song our brains produce the hormone dopamine. So if you are feeling down, turn on an uplifting song to get a dopamine dump in your brain. There has also been research that suggests listening to music while exercising can improve performance, too. Our brains can thrive with the right music. The desire to make and enjoy music is so strong for us huDEPOSITPHOTOS.COM
mans that it caused one of our ancestors over 60,000 years ago to fashion what archeologists have dubbed the Divje Babe flute out of a bone. Our bodies are built to listen to music. Our amazing ears are able to hear a wide range of sounds thanks to the more than 3,500 tiny hairs called stereocilia that help convert soundwaves into the music our brains recognize. What music are you listening to? How do your favorite songs make you feel? When was the last time you heard music played live? Take a moment this week and play one of your favorite songs from the past. See if you feel or experience memories from years ago. Identify those good feelings and enjoy them. Playing songs that you associate with joyful times or events is a quick way to bring you happiness right now. Music not only can transform an icky, dark day into a celebration, but it can comfort, calm and soothe the most savage of beasts or bad moods. Choose the music you like. Choose songs that evoke positive emotions in you. Just like when you choose your workout playlist or your evening walk soundtrack to motivate you, use music to lift your spirits and vibration for the entire day. Start enjoying the benefits of music right now and over the next three months seek out some live music performances in your city — you will not be disappointed. And who knows, you may even discover your love of dance and body movement with the right jam. Your brain, and your feet, will be happy you did.
Anna Marie Frank
Anna Marie Frank is a brain health and wellness expert, author, lecturer and human-potential coach. The views expressed are her own. www.BakersfieldLife.com
H E A LT H Y L I V I N G
By Katie Cornford
The main idea of being a reducitarian is being environmentally conscious about how you eat, but without the rigid commitments and labels of veganism or vegetarianism. Research shows that we can help the environment by eating more plants (fruits, veggies and grains) and fewer animal products (meat, dairy and eggs). Veganism is a commitment to not eating animal products at all and vegetarianism means not eating meat. By having a reducitarian mindset, you are committing to eat more plant-based. Reducitarianism is a flexible commitment, because it just involves you deciding to eat less meat, dairy and eggs than you were before.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE A REDUCITARIAN
Eating more plants and fewer animal products is great for the environment and your health! Research has shown that farming fruits, veggies and grains has a much smaller carbon footprint than farming animals does. Another environmental benefit is water conservation — it takes 1,500 more gallons of water to farm a metric ton of beef than to farm a metric ton of corn. Scientists stress the importance of reversing climate change and research has found that eating plant-based is an effective way for people to make a
Bakersfield Life Magazine
difference for the environment. Eating fewer animal products — like meat, eggs and dairy — has many health benefits as well. It is good for your heart: Limiting the amount of meat you eat can lower your cholesterol level and reduce your blood pressure. Plant-based diets can also reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer. Research shows that eating more plants and fewer animal products can reduce inflammation, increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Studies suggest that reducitarian diets can decrease your risk of diabetes and increase weight loss. The health and environmental benefits of a reducitarian diet will vary depending on how plant-based you are eating. Even small changes can make a big difference! Gradually, you can make your diet more plant-based.
FIVE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW TO MAKE YOUR DIET MORE REDUCITARIAN Commit to “meatless Mondays.” You can eliminate all meat for one day a week. This can get you into the habit of choosing meat-free meals. You can gradually add more meatless days to your week, or eliminate all animal products for at least one day a week. Switch to dairy-free milk. Dairy-free milk alternatives like almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk and coconut milk
are more environmentally friendly than cow’s milk. To make the healthiest choice, select a dairy-free milk that is unsweetened and has calcium and vitamin D. Meat only once a day. If you are looking to make more eco-friendly and heart-healthy choices but are accustomed to eating meat often, then you could try only eating meat once per day. For example, you could have plantbased breakfasts and lunches and reserve a serving of meat for dinner. Even reducing your meat consumption to once daily can have positive benefits for your health and the environment. Snack on plants. Many popular snack foods are highly processed with little nutritional value. Snack on plant foods instead. Swap out a bag of chips for apple slices and peanut butter or trade in cheese dip for hummus. Highfiber, plant-based snacks are nutritious and filling. Reduce red meat. Red meat — beef, pork and lamb — is the worst for both your health and the environment. You can opt for lean meats, like fish or turkey, or plant-based proteins, like nuts, beans, lentils or legumes. You will get more health benefits by choosing meat or proteins that are unprocessed. Katie Cornford works in Kern County Public Health’s Waste Hunger Not Food program. She received her B.A. in political science from UCLA in 2016 and her M.A. in political science from UCLA in 2018. She is working toward her teaching credential from CSUB. The views expressed are her own.
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JUST KEEP SWIMMING
Loki swims laps around the therapy pool inside Fur & Feathers Luxury Pet Resort at Mill Creek. Loki had difficulty moving around due to a medical condition and hydrotherapy has helped increase her mobility in her hind legs. Read more on Page 42.
PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA
DOGGY PADDLE HYDROTHERAPY OFFERS BENEFITS TO RECOVERING DOGS
By Dianne Hardisty
Jenny McDougle watched as her beloved Pembroke Welsh corgi grew weaker and weaker. The Bakersfield veterinarian knew too well that the outlook for Polo, her once playful pet, was bleak. “He has degenerative myelopathy, which corgis can be prone to,” McDougle said during an interview last fall. “It’s like ALS in humans, as far as its effects.” Polo died in November. “We are so missing him now,” McDougle said. “It’s a terrible heartbreak.” But McDougle, who grew up in Bakersfield and now works as a veterinarian for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, knew that in Polo’s final days she did everything she could to make him comfortable and control his pain. Polo’s hind end slowly became paralyzed. Her fun little dog could no longer run fast and play. Hydrotherapy, along with natural remedies, diet control and canine massage were recommended for his condition. Hydrotherapy uses water to relieve the joint and bone pain dogs may experience. It is used in such circumstances as recovery from surgeries and injuries, relief from chronic conditions or, as in Polo’s case, palliative care. Hydrotherapy allows dogs to use the main properties of water — buoyancy, viscosity, hydrostatic pressure and resistance — to exercise, repair injuries and relieve pain. “Overall, hydrotherapy is not widespread at this time. But it is definitely not a fad,” said McDougle, who worked in a Bakersfield veterinarian practice for several years before joining the staff of the CDFA’s Animal Health Branch. “If anything, I know more and more 42
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vets recommending it for post-surgery return-to-motion therapy, as well as degenerative conditions.” McDougle said hydrotherapy gives owners a sense of connection to their pets. It also helped her feel she was doing something to make Polo feel better. “I think we will see more veterinarians getting further education and certificates in the area,” she said, adding that there are few places in Bakersfield now offering hydrotherapy. “I think most people do the swimming portion in a tub, or their own pool, with a doggie life vest.” Recognizing the need, Sarah Sanders included an indoor pool when she recently remodeled and expanded her Fur & Feathers Luxury Pet Resort at Mill Creek, located at 408 21st St. in downtown Bakersfield. “I knew a couple of people, who had pools and it really seemed like the perfect addition to what we do,” she said, explaining she and her staff traveled to Seattle to complete a course in K-9 hydrotherapy. “We are slowly growing our pool business and taking our time with it. Some weeks we have a couple of swims and others we have up to 10 or so.” Sanders said pets are brought in for a variety of reasons. Some owners have pools and want their dogs to get used to being in the water. Fur & Feathers also receives referrals from local veterinarians. “We have some (dogs) recovering from injuries or surgery, who can only have low-impact exercise, so the pool is perfect. We have some older pets struggling with arthritis and losing some of their mobility, so exercising in the warm water is a great way to build strength. “We have a German shepherd pup who had a sudden paralysis/partial loss of use of her back end. We have been swimming for several months now — one or two times weekly — and she walks so
Sarah Sanders works with a dog in the pool at the Fur & Feathers Luxury Pet Resort.
much better. The sores on her feet have healed, since she no longer drags them. We also have some tripods who have come in because it is just a great way for them to exercise.” Sanders keeps the scheduling of her pool flexible to serve customers’ needs. “Some people drop their pets off for doggie day care and we just work them in during the day. It is not so busy yet that we have any issues. “We do not offer any swimming with the clients,” she said, explaining a trained staff member always accompanies pets into the pool. But veterinarians warn that hydrotherapy might not be suitable for all dogs. Health conditions, such as ear or skin infections, could be aggravated by swimming. Some dogs are afraid of being in the water and may be traumatized. Owners are advised to consult with their veterinarians before beginning hydrotherapy for their pets. Monitor the dog’s reactions and watch for aversions to the therapy. PHOTO COURTESY OF FUR & FEATHERS
Home & Garden
REMODELING 1950S-ERA BATHROOMS By Maureen Buscher-Dang
Alexis Roy grew up in the Olive Drive area, but she always had a special love for the homes in Westchester. This October, it will be 13 years since she and her husband, Michael, moved into their very own 1950s era-home there. “I grew up loving this area and feel fortunate this is where we settled,” recalled Alexis. “There are so many wonderful people in Westchester who care about the neighborhood. It’s a beautiful area of the city with majestic trees lining each street. It offers a different collection of homes, each with their own unique character to discover.” The Roys decided to remodel all three of their home’s bathrooms recently. “Our bathrooms were the originals and terribly outdated with inefficient layouts” noted Alexis. “In our master bathroom, my husband and I had to maneuver around each other with only one pedestal sink. “We wanted to remodel our master bathroom along with our son’s and daughter’s bathrooms. While the cabinetry and tile had been well done at the time it was installed, all three bathrooms looked 70 years old.” What concerned Alexis and Michael most was how to keep the personality of their house intact while changing the arrangement of the bathrooms and updating the finishes. The couple called Tim and Michelle Hardt at Hardt Construction Services. “We knew what we wanted, but were unsure of how to go about it,” noted Alexis. “Tim and Michelle were able to fully PHOTO COURTESY OF HARDT CONSTRUCTION SERVICES
optimize the layout of each bathroom. I like that they took ideas of what I liked on Pinterest to help narrow down the options.” The couple also appreciated being able to see the three-dimensional rendering of how everything would look before construction began. “Being able to see everything before construction started made us feel much more at ease about what the final outcome would look like,” said Alexis. “Because we could virtually walk through the space, we were able to provide additional input on details that we would otherwise have only thought of after the fact.” The master bathroom was reconfigured within the original square footage. This included dual sinks, a vanity area, shower, free-standing tub, lots of storage and a separate toilet room that provided the Roy family with muchappreciated privacy. Their son’s small bathroom was expanded to incorporate part of a hallway and access to an exterior door. This dramatically increased the space of the bathroom and allowed for entry from the backyard where a new pool was being built. Their daughter’s bathroom was very small. Space was maximized with the removal of a window. This allowed room for a full sink and counter area. When asked what the family was most excited about with their new bathrooms, Alexis responded: “My husband is most excited to have his own sink and space in the bathroom. I really enjoy the aesthetics of how beautiful they all turned out. And my daughter and son are happy to have bigger showers and counter space to use.” www.BakersfieldLife.com
Love & Life
TO HAMMY WITH LOVE
Alexander Hamilton "Hammy" Ha
By Nina Ha
Dear Alexandra Hamilton Ha, You are by far the most eccentric dog I’ve ever met, deserving of all your dubious nicknames. From your crooked nose to the way you sit on our couch like a tiny human, Hammy Hams from Hamsterdam, you are indeed one of a kind. Almost all hounds are born with the ability to play fetch, but apparently that talent somehow skipped you, Hammipotomus. Most animals love to spend time in the great outdoors, but you go outside only when nature calls and you have no other choice. You love burying yourself under layers of blankets, Hambone, to the point where it’s questionable whether you can even breathe. And you constantly stick your head underneath our hands so that we are forced to pet you. Who does that, Hammilstilskin? My husband and I can’t show affection for each other or you will stage a canine intervention, stat. If I’m working on a project, Hamchata, you grant me the pleasure of stepping all over my keyboard or papers. If our bedroom door is accidentally left open, you’ll pounce on me so hard that I’ll go from deep sleep to panic mode in 0.3 seconds. You lick anything and everything in sight, Hamster Ball, but you’ve only recently acquired your licker license. Ham on Rye, our relationship was built on deception. After our children pleaded for years for a cute wittle puppy, we finally caved. At Kern County Animal Services three years ago, you stood out among your peers. The other dogs barked incessantly, whereas you were quiet, gentle and graceful. Not one peep. I never wanted a dog, but our daughter was already in love. When we brought you home, not only were you immensely vocal, you were also an Olympic high jumper in disguise. 44
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After buying numerous pet fences, it was obvious you could leap over any barrier we erected. Thank you, Hammalopolis, for being the kind of dog who valiantly protects us from nonthreats. Strangers elicit no response from you, yet you machine-gun bark at close friends whom you’ve known for years. For some odd reason, Hammitosis, you’ve decided that I’m your human. You follow me around like a creepy shadow, mirroring my every move from morning to night, a perpetual sidekick I never asked for. So many things you do perplex and exasperate me. However, deep down inside, I know that you fit into our family perfectly. You love to take naps with me. Your snuggles help me slow down in my crazy life and just relish in the joy of petting you. You’re the best at yoga, Hambutcha, because you do a flawless downward dog. You make me feel safer when I’m home alone, especially when you randomly wink at me. Plus, the Ham and Cheese vacuum is the best. We never have to clean up dropped food. God made you the fifth member of our family and I’m grateful for you, MC Hammers. Like all good pets in this world, in loving us unconditionally, you teach us to love each other in the same accepting, nonjudgmental, unconditional way. I love you, Hammy. Thanks for imbuing our days with mischief, mayhem and love. #crazybutweloveher #dogpoundtreasure #rescueadogtoday Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha.
Nina Ha and Hammy PHOTOS BY NINA HA
Bakersfield Art Association
An original portrait of your pet
1607 19th St. 661-869-2320 www.bakersfieldartassociation.org Facebook and Instagram Art on display and for sale. Classes for adults/children. Paintings, prints, digitals, photography, sculpture, stained glass, dyed silk, crafts/woodwork/gourds. Artist: Doug Diggles-Turned Wood with Mineral Inlay
An oil or watercolor painting of your pet would be a great gift. Order now for March delivery. Meet the artist from 4 to 8 p.m. every First Friday at the Art Center, 1607 19th St. Commission accepted. To contact the artist, Charlotte White, call 661-3302676.
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Regency Club for Highgate Regents residents
HIGHGATE AT SEVEN OAKS The name Seven Oaks boasts an unparalleled heritage in Bakersfield. Highgate at Seven Oaks is the continuation of the 30-year legacy of Castle & Cooke master-planned communities that have redefined the west side of Bakersfield. Highgate at Seven Oaks is a private, gated community of five distinct neighborhoods that together create a unique new area of Seven Oaks at the corner of Ming Avenue and Allen Road. Continuing the legacy of Seven Oaks, Highgate encompasses all the features home buyers desire, like privacy gates, beautifully landscaped tree-lined streets, lush parks and resort-style amenities. Highgate Square features a unique enclave of homes that offers entry-level pricing in the low $300,000s. Six different floor plans give first-time home buyers a great opportunity to live in a gated Seven Oaks community. Highgate Proper features six distinctive floor plans starting in the high $300,000s. These larger floor plans offer a variety of customization options and amenities, giving move-up buyers and larger families the perfect opportunity to live behind the gates of Highgate at Seven Oaks. Highgate Shires offers buyers an executive-level lifestyle with enhanced privacy, large lot sizes and exceptional choices for creating custom and semicustom homes. Behind a separate gated entry, buyers in Highgate 46
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Shires can choose homes by Castle & Cooke or three of Bakersfield’s finest builders of custom and semicustom homes: Dave Packer Custom Builder, Gaskill Rose Luxury Home Builders and Delfino Homes. For buyers seeking the ultimate home customized to perfection, Highgate Estates is the natural choice. Highgate Estates is the newest addition to the Highgate community and includes over 40 unique home sites as large as 36,000-plus square feet situated behind a double set of privacy gates. Buyers can design their custom homes with some of Bakersfield’s best custom builders, including Dave Packer Custom Builder, Delfino Homes, Gaskill Rose Luxury Home Builders, Brandt Oliver Homes, Brian Rice Construction Inc. and Sweaney Custom Homes Inc. These Castle & Cooke-approved guest builders offer buyers a unique opportunity to build the home of their dreams. Recreational and social amenities abound in Highgate at Seven Oaks at the Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse, where all Highgate residents are welcome. Surrounded by a sparkling swimming pool and spa, an expansive park with picnic areas and amphitheater, children’s water spray park, tot lot and basketball court, the clubhouse features a soaring main room with a kitchen, outdoor patios and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse is a cornerstone of the community, offering residents a welcome escape from daily life while PHOTOS COURTESY OF CASTLE & COOKE
Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse pool
Custom model home by George Delfino
also connecting residents through events and activities hosted by an event coordinator and the Homeowner’s Association. Meeting the needs of America’s largest-growing segment of homebuyers, Highgate Regents is a continuation of Castle & Cooke’s dedication to creating active adult communities in the tradition of The Greens at Seven Oaks and Brighton Parks. This separate gated enclave within Highgate at Seven Oaks offers seven floor plans set among shady tree-lined streets that all lead to the Regency Club, with its pool, spa, pickleball courts and fully equipped fitness center. Families with children are especially excited about living in Highgate, now that ground has been broken and construction has begun on Highgate Elementary School, the newest school in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District. Located within Highgate itself, Highgate Elementary will be right next to the iconic Highgate clock tower and will give families a local school that their children can walk and bike to. From young professionals to growing families, from executives to active adults, Highgate at Seven Oaks has something to offer homebuyers at any stage of life. Castle
Clock tower in Highgate at Seven Oaks
& Cooke created Highgate to give more people access to a lifestyle centered around quality homes, beautiful surroundings, exceptional amenities and master-planned convenience. And now, after almost four years of building, Castle & Cooke is excited to announce that Highgate at Seven Oaks will be expanding further west on Ming Avenue. Visit Highgate today and learn how easily you can become a member of the Seven Oaks family.
Highgate at Seven Oaks Highgate Square: Designed for first-time buyers and young professionals. Six Castle & Cooke floor plans starting in the low $300,000s. Highgate Proper: Designed for growing families and move-up buyers. Six floor plans priced from the high $300,000s. Highgate Shires: Executive-level living with enhanced privacy and larger lot sizes. Highgate Estates: The ultimate customized-home experience. Highgate Regents: Stress-free, low-maintenance active-adult living with private swim and fitness center.
Patina is one of the six Belcourt neighborhoods with new home choices.
BELCOURT SEVEN OAKS
UNIQUE LIFESTYLES MEETS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES At Belcourt Seven Oaks, diverse new home designs, plan sizes and price ranges are just part of the story with this thriving enclave in southwest Bakersfield’s popular Seven Oaks. Equally notable is a vibrant lifestyle for all ages, said Todd Cunningham, president of Belcourt developer Woodbridge Pacific Group. “Belcourt’s fresh, upscale home designs attract young couples and families, maturing households and empty nesters,” said Cunningham. “All of them appreciate pairing their new home with the pleasures of walking and biking to their own club and a new public park and to easily reaching work centers, dining, retail, banks, food markets, parks and area events.” Buyers and residents also spread the word about Belcourt’s attractions, driving more than 400 sales since the 2016 grand opening of this Bakersfield bestseller. Neighborhoods include: WPG’s Mahogany, Patina, Tamarind and Veranda, and Westcott by John Balfanz Homes. Prices begin in the low $300,000s, and one- and two-story detached homes offer approximately 1,650 to 4,162 square feet of living space. Sterling features a selection of luxury homes by WPG and homesites of up to 14,000 square feet for those pursuing a custom home, working with a choice of notable local design/build companies. “Our buyers can craft their new home to their preferences and priorities, thanks to the amazing range of included and optional plan layouts we offer at Belcourt,” 48
Bakersfield Life Magazine
said Charlene Oliver, WPG senior sales counselor. “Super family rooms, extra bedrooms, home offices, casitas, flex rooms and expanded outdoor spaces are among the many choices of our varied collections.” Community amenities enrich the Belcourt lifestyle and include The Center Club, where 7,250 square feet holds a fitness center; multipurpose and community rooms; billiards room; and a catering kitchen. Outside is a resort-style pool and spa, a splash pad and an expansive furnished deck. The Center Club is open to all Belcourt residents and their guests. Most recently opened is Belcourt Park, which encompasses 8.3 acres and was created by the city of Bakersfield
Formal dining rooms highlight many new home designs at Belcourt. PHOTOS COURTESY OF AGPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
This spacious great room at Mahogany connects with a private outdoor space.
Belcourt residents can enjoy diverse indoor/outdoor delights at The Center Club.
The Center Club’s arrival clock tower is a notable Belcourt beacon.
and WPG. This public-use amenity includes covered picnic areas and play structures, a tot lot, tennis courts, an open field and an amphitheater. “This park is a wonderful addition to Belcourt’s growing network of paseos, trails and other amenities,” said Cunningham. “It’s key to the neighborly interface and easy connectivity that help define Belcourt’s unique village character. “These elements also reflect the great input shared by Bakersfield residents who participated in focus group sessions we hosted long before starting our first home here,” added Cunningham. “WPG is genuinely gratified to see Belcourt flourishing as envisioned.” Please see the info box for more on Belcourt new homes and amenities, schools and nearby attractions. Also visit www.belcourtsevenoaks.com. A privately held, selective developer/homebuilder, Woodbridge Pacific Group is committed to architecturally distinctive homes in premier locations. Visit www.woodbridgepacific.com.
Models and sales office hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, except Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Please call Charlene Oliver for Mahogany or Tamarind at 661-663-0500; Kathy Breeding for Patina at 661663-0600; and Kelly Allison for Westcott at 661-439-3502. Please call Chad Ross for Veranda at 661-477-5246. For Sterling opportunities, please call Patina. Prices: From the low $300,000s to the low $500,000s for four new home collections; Sterling homesites are from the $100,000s. Also available is a selection of luxury residences prices from the mid-$800,000s. Amenities: New home amenities vary per design collection. Please contact individual sales offices. Community amenities include The Belcourt Center Club and Belcourt Park. Schools: Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, 661-6659471; Earl Warren Junior High School, 661-665-9210; and Stockdale High School, 661-665-2800. Nearby: The Shops at River Walk Dewar’s Express Seven Oaks Business Park Seven Oaks Country Club
Welcome to Delfino Homes If you’re a Bakersfield native, you’ve no doubt heard the legendary Delfino family name. As a third generation Delfino, George knows this community and what’s important to the families that live here. Integrity, quality, craftsmanship, value and distinctive design—George knows that these attributes are what this community expects. Over the span of his career, George has been known as one of the elite custom builders in Bakersfield. Every home he builds is distinctive and built to last. His custom homes are individual works of art—the architectural design, interior planning, features and attention to detail are unlike those of any other builder.
Have you been in one of our custom built homes? If you haven’t, let me tell you what Delfino Homes offers! We specialize in building custom homes & luxury estates, with the help of only the best network of subcontractors, high quality building materials & knowledgeable staff. Our goal is to provide you with a beautiful dream home, that will stand the test of time!
Come see what we’re all about! Highgate at Seven Oaks, 13516 Faringford Lane, Bakersfield, CA 93311 Thurs.Sun. 11am-5pm or call for an appointment. Office: 661-587-6246 • Sales: 661-472-6133 13516 Faringford Lane firstname.lastname@example.org
The Enclave at Seabridge is an exclusive luxury waterfront collection of 42 new single-level homes.
THE ENCLAVE AT SEABRIDGE
WHERE THE NEXT CHAPTER OF YOUR LIFE BEGINS
Voted Oxnard’s “Best Condominium Complex of 2019,” The Enclave at Seabridge is an exclusive luxury waterfront collection of 42 new singlelevel homes featuring classic coastal architecture with views of the marina, Channel Islands and the Transverse Mountain Range to the north, all located within the award-winning master-planned community of Seabridge. The interiors at The Enclave have been thoughtfully designed with custom hardwood flooring and lighting, gourmet kitchen appointments that include top-of-theline stainless steel appliances and beautiful solid surface counters with custom European-style cabinetry, and a spacious master bedroom en suite with Kohler soaking tub and separate shower. The open floor plan designs at The Enclave allow an abundance of natural light throughout the living areas of each home. Step outside and enjoy the exclusive amenities The Enclave at Seabridge has to offer. Featuring a welldesigned outdoor entertainment area with two commercial-grade barbecues, beverage cooler and sink, outdoor fireplace and marina front 10-foot fire table with relaxed lounge seating, the “Resident Only” waterfront deck was 52
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specifically designed to entertain or to simply enjoy the panoramic views. Residents of the Seabridge community enjoy access to generous amenities that include a fitness center with pool and spa, spacious clubhouse for private gatherings of family and friends and communitywide full-time security. These artfully designed appointments complement the surrounding coastal influences, capturing both water and spectacular views. Located only steps away from the water’s edge, these exceptionally designed two- and three-bedroom single-level flats reflect a sense of timeless style featuring the latest comforts and conveniences expected in today’s world. Within just a short stroll from the property, the Seabridge community is alive with an abundance of retail stores and dining choices. Residents at The Enclave can embrace the comfort of home in a captivating marina setting that is bordered by miles of scenic, pristine coastline that affords an uplifting and invigorating quality of life. The charming seaside community of Oxnard is located on the beautiful Southern California coast and nestled by the Pacific Ocean with an active marina that sustains PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ENCLAVE AT SEABRIDGE
Promotional Content LEFT: The interiors at The Enclave feature gourmet kitchen appointments that include top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances and solid surface counters with custom European style cabinetry. BOTTOM LEFT: The Enclave at Seabridge offers views of the marina, Channel Islands and the Transverse Mountain Range to the north. BOTTOM RIGHT: The outdoor entertainment area features two commercial-grade barbecues, beverage cooler and sink, outdoor fireplace and marina front 10-foot fire table with relaxed lounge seating.
a uniquely vibrant quality of life. Home to more than 20 miles of spectacular scenic coastline, residents enjoy a temperate, Mediterranean-style climate year-round, with expansive and uncrowded white sand beaches perfect for volleyball, surfing or simply effortlessly lounging with a good book. The Channel Islands Harbor is the portal to the picturesque Channel Islands National Park and the heart of boating, sport fishing, kayaking and marine life and whale-watching excursions. The local communities around The Enclave boast an expanding cultural arts district, state-of-the-art cinemas, an outdoor shopping center, a growing retail sector and 40-plus international dining options. Famous for its bountiful strawberries, every summer the city of Oxnard hosts the California Strawberry
Festival, featuring vendors offering a wide variety of treats with this sweet berry as the main ingredient. Nearby downtown Ventura is culturally robust with summer concerts, art shows, live theater, festivals, dining and more. Visit us today and see why The Enclave at Seabridge was voted The Best of Oxnard.
The Enclave at Seabridge 4098 Tradewinds Drive, Oxnard Sales gallery and models open Tuesday through Sunday 11â€Ża.m. to 5â€Żp.m. or by appointment. Call 805-253-2754 to schedule a tour or visit our website at www.TheEnclaveOxnard.com.
PERFECT PATIO COVERS As the weather heats up in Bakersfield, residents are always looking for ways to cool down. Jarret Jamieson, owner of Perfect Patio Covers, answers questions about patio covers. His services include customizable patio covers, seamless rain gutters, patio drop-down shades and window solar screens. What are the most frequently asked questions that you get about patio covers? The most common question we are asked is whether Alumawood patios are better than wood patios. Alumawood is aluminum that looks like wood. The color is a baked-on enamel, so you truly have a lifetime product as opposed to regular wood where you would have to apply fresh paint every three years. My personal preference is Alumawood. It is long lasting and requires no maintenance once it’s completed. How long do your projects typically take? From the initial call and request for your free inhome estimate to the completed project, the process can be completed in as little as two weeks. Typically, the entire patio installation can be completed in one day, maybe two. Are there any extra costs that can be avoided when starting a patio project? Everything is priced out during our free in-home estimate, so once the price is conﬁrmed at your appointment, there are no surprise costs. It is helpful to consider what type of electrical work you would like to have done. We can take care of all of your needs at the time of installation so that you won’t need to have an electrician come out later. Are there permits that need to be considered when building a patio? Yes. All permitting is taken care of through our services. We can also help to complete any confusing homeowners association applications. What do you want the readers to know about your products? How beautiful our products are and how much they can complement your home. Once the project is ﬁnished, it is maintenance free. We are the only company that offers a full showroom so you can see our patios, as well as the various choices and options you have to complete the design and inspiration for your home. There are also photographs on our website, perecthomeproducts.net, of every service that we provide. You can also easily request a free in-home consultation and estimate for your project on the site. What are some compliments you have received from customers who have used your services? The most common compliments we receive are 54
Bakersfield Life Magazine
that we show up on time, we communicate well with our customers and the job is perfect once it is completed. Customer satisfaction is the greatest compliment a business owner can receive. It is what helps us stand apart from everyone else. What else would like our readers to know about you? We started in Kern County and I have owned the business for over 12 years. We take great pride in our work. Our team is experienced and will work to get your project completed on schedule and on budget. We have a beautiful showroom and are happy to come out for a free in-home consultation and estimate at your convenience. What are some of the benefits of having a completed patio? Our patio covers provide shade and comfort for outdoor spaces. Adding a patio cover also increases the value of your home signiﬁcantly. What sets you apart from your competitors? We have a strong record of customer satisfaction. We offer great quality and excellent service. We also back up all our work with a lifetime warranty. If there is ever a problem, we will come back and ﬁx it for free — covering labor and materials. This gives customers the peace of mind of knowing that Perfect Patio Covers if there is ever a problem, we are 7800 Meany Ave., #E happy to take care 661-800-4866 of it. www.perfecthomeproducts.net
Now Is The Time To See HIGHGATE at SEVEN OAKS
HIGHGATE SWIM & FITNESS CLUBHOUSE
HIGHGATE SQUARE Designed for first-time buyers and young professionals. Six Castle & Cooke floor plans priced from the low $300’s.
HIGHGATE PROPER Designed for growing families and move-up buyers. Six Castle & Cooke floor plans priced from the high $300’s.
Breathtaking off B h k private clubhouse l bh ffor residents d Highgate Square, Highgate Proper and Highgate Shires. Sparkling swimming pool, spa, fitness center, gourmet kitchen, meeting rooms, children's water spray park, tot lot playground, expansive park, amphitheater and basketball courts.
HIGHGATE SHIRES Executive-level living with enhanced privacy and larger lot sizes. Homes by Castle & Cooke, Dave Packer Custom Builder, Gaskill-Rose Luxury Home Builders and George Delfino Homes.
HIGHGATE REGENTS Stress-free, low maintenance, active adult living. Seven Castle & Cooke floor plans. Regency Club private swim and fitness center opening spring 2019 exclusively for Highgate Regents residents.
Professionally Managed, Gated Community From the Original Creator of Seven Oaks
661-664-6039 • Ming Ave. and Allen Rd. Monday- Saturday 10am - 5pm & Sunday 11am - 5pm HighgateSevenOaks.com
Seven Oaks Country Club Membership Incentives Available* * Requires financing through Castle & Cooke Mortgage. Seven Oaks Country Club memberships subject to application approval.
Rick Sorci CKD Shawna Sorci General Contractor #905759
PROJECT NOTES: Guest Bathroom • Medallion Cabinetry (Rushmore Raised Panel, Maple in Morel Raw Umber Glaze-Highlight and Rumberry Ebony Glaze-Highlight) in guest bathroom and hallway • Patagonia granite • Winter 8x24 in Gris on shower field and wainscot • Flooring Tuscany 8x8 in St. Grey
Jack and Jill • Medallion Cabinetry (Rushmore Raised Panel, Maple, in Rumberry Ebony Glaze-Highlight) • Patagonia granite • Shower walls and niche- Agenda 17x47 Ramie White Flooring- Velocity Tempo
Master Bathroom • Medallion Cabinetry (Rushmore Raised Panel, Maple in Rumberry Ebony Glaze-Highlight) in Master Bathroom • Patagonia granite • Decolav vessel Bathroom Sink • Brlzo Cocoa Bronze faucet
Thank you, Stockdale Kitchen and Bath, for giving us the best experience possible during the remodel process. Making the decision to start such a big remodel project was not made quickly, but the team at SKB were always there to answer our many questions. Rick Sorci was very patient with us during the design process and did a great job at listening to us in order to make sure we got everything we wanted, within reason. His design recommendations and attention to detail are outstanding. The kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room were well thought out prior to starting the remodel, which made the process go smoothly. This was because of the 3D color computer renderings and dimensional drawings that were created by Rick specifically for our project. The crews used throughout our project were all professional and each worked well with attention to detail. Our kitchen and other rooms turned out exactly as expected, are so beautiful, and are very functional. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Rick and his whole team. “Beautiful!” That is what everyone says when they walk in our home. Paul and Alina Trembush
Who Will Be Next? Call Today!
661-834-3333 4500 Shepard Street, Ste B-2 www.stockdalekitchenandbath.com
Kitchen Project Notes: Medallion Cabinetry- Rushmore Raised Panel, in Rumberry Ebony Glaze, Highlight on main run, and Morel Raw Umber Glaze, Highlight on island Kohler Apron Front Specialty Sink KltchenAid Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Cooktop and Double Ovens Patagonia granite installed on main run Petrified Wood Semiprecious (engineered stone) on Kitchen Island Backsplash-TrackArt Beige
Who Will Be Next? Call Today! 661-834-3333 4500 Shepard Street, Ste B-2 www.stockdalekitchenandbath.com
STROKE REHABILITATION THAT DELIVERS LIFE-CHANGING RESULTS What is a Stroke? A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood — and oxygen — it needs, so it starts to die. A stroke can result in difficulties in moving around, performing daily activities, and talking or understanding. The type and extent of the difficulties depends on the size and location of the stroke. What’s Next After a Stroke? A stroke patient’s greatest gains are usually made in the first 30 days following the stroke. Stroke rehabilitation consists of a coordinated interdisciplinary treatment plan developed and implemented by specialized physicians, therapists and nurses. At Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Bakersfield, we know that the effects of a stroke are as unique as each of our patients. That’s why we partner with each of our patients to personalize a treatment plan designed to achieve their unique goals. Our stroke rehabilitation program helps patients adjust to the emotional and physical changes following a stroke. Through innovative technology and comprehensive therapy programs designed to improve function and strength, our team works to return patients to their communities at their highest level of independence. Stroke rehabilitation at Encompass Health Bakersfield includes patient and family education, support groups, respiratory therapy, neuropsychology and a team of skilled therapists who use technology like the AutoAmbulator®, a robotic treadmill device that assists in replicating normal walking patterns, and VitalStim®, which electrically stimulates swallow function. Our functional approach to therapy also focuses on recovering the ability to complete day-to-day tasks that may seem daunting poststroke. 58
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Where You Go Makes a Difference According to the recent adult stroke rehabilitation guidelines released by the American Heart Association*, whenever possible, stroke patients should be treated at an in-patient rehabilitation facility rather than a skilled nursing facility. While at an in-patient rehabilitation facility, a patient participates in at least three hours of rehabilitation a day from physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. Nurses are continuously available and doctors typically visit daily. An in-patient rehabilitation facility may be a freestanding facility or a separate unit of a hospital. Be Prepared: Know the Signs While a stroke can happen quickly, it is still important to understand a stroke’s warning signs to get medical help immediately (call 911). Every second counts, as time lost is brain lost. Stroke warning signs include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, or trouble with vision. When it comes to a stroke, know the warning signs and take immediate action. Better yet, learn more about preventative measures you can take before one happens. If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke, please call 661-323-5500 to schedule an assessment to see if stroke rehabilitation is right for you. Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Bakersfield is an 86-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital that offers comprehensive rehabilitation services. Serving patients throughout the Bakersfield area, the hospital is located at 5001 Commerce Drive. *Source: American Heart Association Inc. Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Bakersfield 5001 Commerce Drive 661-323-5500 www.encompasshealth.com/bakersfieldrehab
BANDING TOGETHER TO
ne in three. That’s the price women pay for cardiovascular disease. While nearly 80% of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat, claiming the lives of 1 in 3. Heart disease and stroke can affect anyone at any age and new research shows heart attacks are on the rise in younger women. Nearly 45% of women age 20 and older are living with some form of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges women to know their risk and take action to reduce it by giving them
Bakersfield Life Magazine
PHOTOS TAKEN AT BUCK OWENS’ CRYSTAL PALACE BY MARK NESSIA
WIPE OUT HEART DISEASE the tools they need to lead a heart-healthy life. Go Red for Women also helps fund lifesaving research specific to women and close gender disparity gaps in clinical trial participation. This year, the American Heart Association will honor survivors of cardiovascular diseases at its Kern County Go Red for Women Luncheon and Fashion Show on Friday, March 6, at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center. More information on Go Red for Women can be found at www.kerngored.heart.org.
Kimberly Torella, Eric Camirand, Donna Stewart and Jasmine Sanders
fter spending a Saturday morning in 2018 at a Cub Scout meeting with her son Elliott, Kimberly Torella began experiencing a severe headache, nausea and tingling on the left side of her body. The symptoms continued to grow worse and soon her headache was so severe she had blurred vision. She went home and went to bed to rest. When she woke on Sunday morning, she was completely paralyzed on her left side. Confused and terrified, she called for help and was taken to the hospital. There, she learned that at only 29 years old she had suffered an ischemic stroke caused by an unexplained dissection and a clot in her cerebral artery. Like many women, Kimberly had been leading a busy life as a mom who was working full time. She ignored the initial warning signs that something was wrong with her body. After her stroke, she was focused on her recovery and determined to control and reduce her stress. She no longer wanted to take for granted watching her son grow, activities that brought her happiness, and spending quality time with friends and family. Through stroke rehabilitation, Kimberly learned to walk again and regained movement in her left arm. Once she knew she wouldn’t be permanently disabled, she was grateful to have more days ahead of her and made the decision to slow down and make the rest of her life the best of her life. However, a year and a half after her stroke, she suffered a transient ischemic attack, a brief strokelike attack caused when the blood supply to part of the brain is temporarily blocked. While her recovery wasn’t as lengthy this time around, Kimberly knew that her earlier ischemic stroke and family’s history of heart disease on her maternal side would always put her at risk for future strokes. Each year, about 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke, and of those patients approximately 200,000
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Once she knew she wouldn't be permanently disabled, she was grateful to have more days ahead of her and made the decision to slow down and make the rest of her life the best of her life. will have a second stroke. Since her stroke events, Kimberly has found new ways to reduce her stress, including taking art classes, volunteering with an animal rescue organization and spending time with new friends. She is also an avid crafter who loves the opportunity to get creative. She has made it a point to talk with her son about their family’s risk of cardiovascular diseases and has taught him how to read nutrition labels and
choose healthier foods to eat to support his own heart health. Today, Kimberly volunteers with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to help raise awareness about stroke prevention and recovery. Earlier this year, she was cleared by her medical team to return to work as an accountant for an oil company. Today, her mission is to share the importance of self-care with as many women as possible!
onna Stewart’s heart health journey began in August 2009 while she was on a road trip helping her daughter Kimberly and infant grandson Elliott move to Oregon. While driving, she felt extremely nauseous and had to keep pulling over to the side of the road to vomit. Her arm and jaw also began to hurt. Kimberly took over in the driver’s seat. Instead of following Donna’s navigation instructions, she followed the blue highway signs to the nearest hospital. At the emergency room, an EKG was performed on Donna and revealed she had mild blockage in one of her arteries. She had to be transferred by ambulance to a different hospital in nearby Medford, Oregon, that had the capacity to perform cardiac procedures. There, she received an emergency stent to open the clogged artery. She only spent one night in the intensive care unit followed by a week recovering at Kimberly’s home. For the next 10 years, Donna lived without any heart issues until a normal day in June 2019 turned out to be anything but. At her home in Bakersfield, Donna was walking down her long driveway to check her mail when she began to experience severe chest pressure and started sweating profusely. When she got home, she knew she needed help and immediately called 911. She remembers sitting on her couch saying, “Someone please help me,” repeatedly while she waited for paramedics to arrive. The next thing Donna knew, paramedics were putting her on a gurney, loading her into an ambulance and connecting her to an EKG machine. One told her she was having a heart attack. Donna said, “I have grandkids who still need me.” She was taken to the nearest hospital with an open cath lab. There,
Donna was diagnosed with a widowmaker heart attack. Nearly 100% of her left anterior descending artery was clogged. Blood clots had formed just below where her original stent was installed. She had to receive a second stent to return the blood flow to her heart. However, after the procedure, Donna was still experiencing pressure in her chest. Another examination revealed additional particles from the blood clots in her artery and her doctors performed another procedure to remove them. Donna has bounced back quickly after her second cardiac event. She was back at her job managing an after-school program by the end of the week. There was some permanent damage to her heart that required her
to do cardiac rehab, but today the only thing she must monitor is her blood pressure to make sure it doesn’t get too low. She is also participating in a yearlong Harvard clinical research program for a medication that could make patients’ hearts stronger after a cardiac event. Globally, women are underrepresented in research studies and clinical trials. Her participation is helping end this gender disparity in cardiovascular research. While Donna tires a little easier now, there are no limitations to what she can do. She is grateful for the research and technology funded by the American Heart Association that saved her life, made her recovery time quicker and gave her more time with her children, grandchildren and students. www.BakersfieldLife.com
Dr. Caleb Thompson, April Massirio, Jeannette Rodriguez and Maritza Jimenez
Top row: Dr. Micah Richardson, Ken Keller, Dr. Tommy Lee and Rick Montoya Bottom row: Sherri Born-Camirand, Roya Armon, Lesly Minney and Kelly Montoya
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Indi Castro, Dianna Amberg, Allison Roomsburg and Kristy Leitch
Stephanie Marina, Naomi Bransby, Michele Shain and Derek Jeffrey
Brian Harris, Dianna Amberg, Indi Castro and Lesly Minney www.BakersfieldLife.com
f you followed Lesly Minney’s social media pages in the past, you would have seen an extremely active, young empty nester who was living life to the fullest. Daily workouts and weekend hikes were her norm. She had changed her lifestyle after her doctor suggested she lose some weight. She shed 40 pounds and was feeling healthier than ever. Little did she know she was on the verge of a heart attack. The morning of Oct. 19, 2019, Lesly and her husband attended the American Heart Association’s Kern County Heart and Stroke Walk. There, she listened to a survivor her same age (48) tell his story. She couldn’t imagine going through such a scary experience. After the event, Lesly and her husband set off for a weekend of hiking and camping. On the hike, Lesly was having a lot of trouble breathing. Her chest was abnormally tight and she had pain in her upper back. She had to take several breaks along the way, but attributed the pain to the high altitude and wearing a heavy backpack. She camped that night still feeling unwell. The following Wednesday afternoon, Lesly headed to the gym after work. She was on the elliptical less than two minutes when the same chest pain she had while hiking returned. She knew something was off and thought she might be getting sick. She decided to do an electrocardiogram on her Apple Watch. Apple’s disclaimer states that the device does not detect heart attacks, but after Lesly had three “inconclusive” ECGs, her watch prompted her to seek medical attention. Lesly went home and took a baby aspirin, which made her feel a little better. However, later when she tried to go to bed the real pain set in. The crushing chest tightness had returned, her upper back hurt so bad that she couldn’t lie down. Suddenly, the pain went down her left arm and she decided it was time to go to the hospital, even though she worried she would just be wasting everyone’s time.
Bakersfield Life Magazine
What saved her life was knowing the signs of a heart attack and the fact that she ate healthy and stayed physically active. After many tests and lab work, Lesly discovered it clearly wasn’t a waste of time. She had been having a heart attack while hiking, at the gym and an almost fatal one at home. Her right coronary artery was 99% blocked. At the hospital, she under-
went a procedure to receive a stent to help improve blood flow to her heart. Lesly’s heart attack was caused by a combination of genetics and stress. What saved her life was knowing the signs of a heart attack and the fact that that she ate healthy and stayed physically active. Her heart was strong enough to work around the blockage for quite some time. Lesly’s message to women is “diet and exercise really do make a big difference; listen to your body and never be afraid to seek medical attention.” Today, her goal is to not only return to the level of working out that she was at before her heart attack, but to be even stronger. And, of course, to return to hiking soon, too!
n 2010, Dianna Amberg was a healthy 38-year-old who ate right and exercised. However, that summer she got sick. She was taking classes at Bakersfield College and could only walk a few steps without losing her breath. Her doctor eventually diagnosed her with pneumonia and then bronchitis, or bronchial asthma. One day she felt so bad that she decided to miss her class and called her husband to pick her up. On her way to meet him, she collapsed twice. Dianna thought the bad air quality that day was causing her symptoms to be more severe. Once she was home, Dianna’s heart felt like it was racing. Her husband encouraged her to check her blood pressure using the machine he had at home. Dianna’s blood pressure was high each time she checked. She made three different calls to her doctor’s office and explained her symptoms. Each time she was told her doctor would call her back. The last time she called, she was told to go to the emergency room immediately. At the hospital, a technician grabbed a doctor and told him “VTAC,” referring to a scan used to assess coronary artery disease. Dianna’s heart needed to be stopped and restarted. She spent the night and woke up the next morning to learn that a virus had entered her heart. She underwent surgery and received a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Research that led to this lifesaving technology was funded by the American Heart Association. For about four years, Dianna felt better and worked to return to normal life. However, from February to May 2014, her defibrillator shocked her on several occasions and she was in and out of the hospital. One day, she felt so sick she went to work with her husband because she didn’t want to be alone. By the end of that day she was back at the hospital with heart complications. At the hospital, Dianna underwent
an ablation surgery to correct the incorrect electrical signals that were causing her heart to have an abnormal rhythm, but her heart still couldn’t sustain itself. She had to be airlifted to a hospital in San Francisco. After 24 hours there, she went back into heart failure and her husband made the difficult decision for Dianna to undergo surgery to receive a left ventricular assist device to help her heart function. Afterward, she was in a medically induced coma for a month and a half and then spent another two and half months in the hospital doing rehabilitation to relearn fine motor skills and how to walk. On April 13, 2016, Dianna received the call that she had been approved for the heart transplant waitlist. Her daughter was getting married in Las Vegas three days later. She was cleared
by her medical team to make the trip. The day after the wedding, Dianna got the call that a new heart was ready for her and she needed to head back to San Francisco as soon as possible. The night before her surgery, she cuddled with her husband in the hospital bed and talked about the “what ifs.” Dianna believed whatever the outcome of the surgery, it was “God’s will.” Fortunately, the surgery was a success. Today, Dianna is focused on staying healthy for her new heart and her children and grandchildren. She is the president of the Bakersfield chapter of Mended Hearts, where she volunteers to help inform and comfort other heart patients during peer-to-peer visits. She hopes to one day connect with the family of the heart donor who gave her a second chance at life.
ndi Castro came into the world 26 weeks early after her mother, Nicole, was in a severe car accident. Her first few days of life were touch-and-go and doctors monitored her progress 24 hours a day. Nicole noticed her baby was having trouble breathing and wasn’t gaining weight. Indi’s nurses urged her parents to have her doctor check every part of her heart. Throughout what would become a terrifying and overwhelming ordeal, the nurses were a blessing, offering advice and comfort to firsttime parents Nicole and her husband, Daniel. Doctors eventually discovered that one of Indi’s heart valves wasn’t closing and she needed surgery. Her tiny body was airlifted to a hospital in Los Angeles and her parents met her there. The nurses once again came through for Nicole and Daniel and allowed them to spend the night before Indi’s surgery in a labor and delivery room that wasn’t in use so they could stay as close as possible to their daughter. Indi was only 2 pounds at the time of her surgery. Her surgeon had to operate through her lung from her back to get to her heart and close the faulty valve. Thanks to research funded by the American Heart Association, surgeons can operate on babies this early in life. Within a few weeks, she began to gain weight, her skin color came back and she started to flourish. Due to Indi’s prematurity, she had to stay in the hospital for just over three months before she could go home. Once she was home, Indi’s doctors remained cautious and vigilant. Gradually, as her body and heart got stronger, her cardiologist appointments became less frequent, going from every week to every two weeks to once a month. At 14 years old, her visits reduced to once a year. Despite the trauma and complica-
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Despite the trauma and the complications Indi experienced during her first days of life, she grew into an active and fierce young woman. tions Indi experienced during her first days of life, she grew into an active and fierce young woman. In addition to her heart condition, Indi has hemiplegic cerebral palsy on the lower half of her body; diabetes insipidus, an uncommon disorder that causes an imbalance of fluids in the body; and was growth-hormone deficient until two years ago. These medical conditions
are a result of her pituitary gland being damaged from the car accident that led to her premature birth. Today, Indi stays active. She is in year-round color guard at her high school and has enjoyed dance and swimming. She is also an eclectic eater and considers herself a “foodie,” always willing to try new and interesting dishes (octopus and quail eggs anyone?). By sharing her story, Indi hopes to let other women know they are not alone and that there is always another path to achieving your dreams. Her fearlessness and perspective on life continue to inspire her proud parents. The feeling of pride is mutual for Indi, who plans to go to college and someday work as an elementary school teacher just like her biggest champion — her mom.
aomi Bransby was born with Down syndrome. During her mother Frances’ medical exams leading up to Naomi’s birth, there had been some indicators of Down syndrome, but it mostly came as a surprise. Babies born with Down syndrome have a higher risk for heart defects, so they are screened at the hospital after birth. The results of Naomi’s screening gave her mother another surprise and this one was heartbreaking. Naomi had been born with an atrioventricular septal defect, in which there are holes between the heart’s chambers and the valves that control the flow of blood. She needed surgery to patch the holes and reconstruct her mitral valve but had to wait six months until her body was strong enough to withstand the operation. Baby Naomi’s heart defects caused her to sweat, turn blue and vomit during her feedings. She needed round-the-clock care. Frances had to bring Naomi to her pediatrician twice a week to be weighed and receive medication so her little body wouldn’t retain water. In family photos from that time, Naomi was noticeably smaller and her skin was more yellow than her cousins who had been born the same year. At six months old, Naomi weighed 13 pounds and her cardiologist determined it was time to perform the surgery. He referred Frances to Baby Naomi's the best heart heart defects surgeon he knew in Los caused her Angeles and to sweat, worked with turn blue and her health insurance to vomit during make it possiher feedings. ble for her to She needed see him since he was out of round-theher network. clock care. A date was set for the surgery
and Frances arranged for family to come in for support. The day of the surgery, other emergencies overwhelmed the hospital and caused Naomi’s operation to be postponed until the next day. On top of this, the surgeon whom Naomi’s family and cardiologist had jumped through hoops to secure was leaving on vacation the next day. Frances was devastated. She pleaded with the surgeon to help her baby. He agreed to rearrange his schedule and performed Naomi’s surgery early the next morning. The surgery took four to five hours but felt like a lifetime to Frances. As soon as Naomi was in the recovery room, she began thriving almost immediately and was able to eat 5 ounces of formula and keep it down.
Growing up, Naomi saw her cardiologist every two years, but still managed to live an active and happy life. She was a cheerleader and dancer in high school and has been dedicated to exercising daily ever since. Today, at 20 years old, Naomi has a leak in her heart’s mitral valve and will someday need surgery to replace it. She now sees a cardiologist every eight months to monitor the leakage. Naomi brings happy energy wherever she goes and hopes to inspire other women to stay active and healthy so they can achieve their dreams. She will turn 21 the day before the 2020 Kern County Go Red for Women Luncheon, a milestone she was able to achieve thanks to research on congenital heart defects funded by the American Heart Association. www.BakersfieldLife.com
Bakersfield Life's Timmy is a three-legged maltipoo rescue dog. Timmy loves to play with toys and the people who surround him. Before his owner, Angela Hernandez, adopted him, he was found the on the freeway by a Bakersfield police officer and taken to Pet Matchmaker. Like some disabled dogs, Timmy was left without a home for a year until he was matched with Angela. â€œI didn't know he had three legs until I met him and then at that point it didn't matter because he was so cute and so lovable,â€? Angela said.
Bakersfield Life's 2020 Pet Parade grand marshal Timmy.
Brigsby Disco Chibi Robo Gizmo
Dobby and Kreacher
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Brutus, Archie and Ernie
Ena, Trixie and Lucy
Cooper, Gypsy, Cookie and Lily
Frank, Chicken and Bruno
Kaiser and Cali
Moose, George and Plum
Skylar, Coco, Captain and Meyka
Made for more duets
We were all made for more. More weekends. More challenges. More hugs. More happiness. At Adventist Health, we’re all about helping you achieve total health. Because we believe every person’s healthy mind, body and spirit contribute to the health of the communities we serve. For you and all your family’s needs—across every age and stage of life.
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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY B a ke r s f i e l d M a t t e r s / S t u d y H a l l / P e r s o n a l i t y / H i s t o r y / A l l - S t a r R o u n d u p / S n a p ! / L a s t Wo rd
JAM WITH ME
Gail Garabebian, Jacquelin Smith, Bob Bergeron, Robin Frenette and Don Truby jam in the lobby of the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center for The Great 48 Jam.
PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
TEENS TACKLE VOTER APATHY
PROJECT AIMS TO INCREASE VOTER REGISTRATION AMONG YOUTH By Lisa Kimble
Huddled around a large dining room table inside a southwest Bakersfield home on a recent weeknight, a group of high school seniors brainstormed about an unlikely topic — ways to encourage their peers to register to vote. And they needed to pitch it in a way that would drive home its importance while making it fun and interesting to students whose biggest concerns right now are college acceptance letters and senior prom. “As a team, we wanted to find a unique way to impact the community and we felt that voting is an aspect of the American way of life that is often overlooked,” said Tom Zaninovich, part of the Jim Burke Ford Education Foundation’s Dream Builders student leadership class Team Aera. They began meeting in August with advisers, almost weekly and for countless hours, considering issues like hunger, illiteracy and homelessness. “Finally, we decided to focus on people in our age group and voter apathy,” said Benji Nixon. Young voter turnout nationally was unusually higher in the 2016 presidential election, but with the California primary just days away and another presidential election in the fall, the group felt the timing was right. “We thought if we could make youth aware of the power of voting, we could change the tide of the community for years to come,” said Jasmine Garza. “The further we researched we realized that since the 26th Amendment was passed in 1971 that gave 18-year-olds the right to vote, turnout in that age range has been low.” The group figured the best way to fight voter apathy and increase civic engagement was to take the message to campuses by hosting registration and preregistration drives. “Not only would we register them, but we would be able to educate them on their civic duty as an American as well,” Jake O’Connell said.
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Students engage with their peers by hosting registration and preregistration drives.
Two evenings after school, they filmed videos about the history and importance of voting and registration. Armed with those and registration forms, they visited the campuses of BHS, Liberty, Centennial, Independence, West, Highland and Golden Valley high schools and Cal State Bakersfield. Not surprising, nearly everyone on We The Teens Team Aera is either preregistered or registered to vote. Individuals who preregister automatically become registered once they turn 18. Research suggests getting teens to register as early as 16 works. “It has been refreshing to see high school students realize the importance of voting and how it does indeed make a difference,” said adviser Lowell Powell of project sponsor Aera Energy. Other advisers, including this writer, are equally impressed. “They may not realize it now, but this project will have a profound impact on them, their peers and Bakersfield,” said adviser Nicolette Eyherabide. Since 2003, the Dream Builders program, along with its yearlong sister curriculum for high-achieving high school seniors Ford Dimension, focuses on civic responsibility, life skills and leadership development through the creation of significant service projects. This spring, We The Teens and three other teams will present their projects. The winner will receive a check to be given to the charity of its choice. All will have the PHOTOS BY LISA KIMBLE
SPEND YOUR TAX RETURN ON
A GIFT YOU WILL OPEN
High school seniors brainstorm ways to encourage their peers to register to vote.
satisfaction of carrying on the program’s legacy of community engagement. With more than 74 million members of Gen Z in this country, the nation’s future rests in their hands, and We The Teens appears to be on point with its messaging. “We are America’s future leaders. We want to inspire our peers to understand their voice matters and they truly can make a difference,” Nixon added. Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble. Lisa Kimble
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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
BAKERSFIELD ART CRAWL
MURALS, GALLERIES, THEATERS AND MORE AROUND THE CITY NORTHWEST Gaslight Melodrama Theatre The old-time theater is a family owned business where all productions are based in the Kern County area.
Gaslight Melodrama Theatre
The Apricot Door mural on Rosedale Highway.
Bakersfield Community Theatre As one of the oldest community theaters in California, the Bakersfield Community Theatre still attracts many locals for a fun night in the city.
Project Oh! Mural located near the Walter W. Stiern library at CSUB.
CSUB murals, gallery and sculptures
The Martin Luther King Jr. sculpture at CSUB
Project Oh! provides a resource for artists to share their works of art, all while creating, collaborating and challenging their innovative efforts to engage the Bakersfield community.
Around the CSU Bakersfield campus, various forms of art can be found. CSUB's murals, sculptures and art gallery act as a beacon, bringing artists and the community together. The Empty Space
Todd Madigan Gallery 76
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Murals along the alley on Oleander and Verde streets March 2020
CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS
The Bakersfield arch on Buck Owens Boulevard
David Nelson Pocket Park
David Nelson Pocket Park In memory of Bakersfield police officer David Nelson, the park features a mural that was created by multiple artists with ties in east Bakersfield.
The BLVD mural
Cesar Chavez mural on Wall and 18th streets
The Ovation Theatre
Bakersfield Museum of Art
Metro Galleries Metro Galleries has a reputation for exhibiting paintings, sculptures, pottery and mixed-media works. The gallery represents artists who are from California and the West Coast.
Mural outside of Rio Acai Bowls on Chester Avenue
The Arts Council of Kern Founded in 1976, the organization promotes and supports the arts in Kern County through advocacy, education and technical assistance to local arts organizations.
The Idea Hive mural
Murals on 20th and Eye streets
Mural located outside The Kitchen on 20th Street. www.BakersfieldLife.com
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
A HEART FOR ART
KEEPS THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY THRIVING By Melissa Peaker-Whitten
For Bakersfield native Rachel Magnus, it took traveling to the other side of the globe to discover her true path. Although she had taken an art appreciation class at Bakersfield College before traveling abroad, it had never occurred to her that it could be a career. After spending time in both Italy and France, visiting several museums along the way, she had an epiphany. “Walking through a gallery in Rome, (I realized that) art had this incredible ability to document not just history but the human experience,” said Magnus. “(That’s when I) realized that’s what I wanted to do.” After returning to school, she declared her major as art history and earned a bachelor’s degree from CSU Bakersfield. She began working for the Bakersfield Museum of Art as an intern in 2011, eventually becoming its curator in 2015. Now in her ninth year, Magnus is as passionate as ever. “Once I had the opportunity to work at the museum, I realized how inspired I was about educating the community,” said Magnus. “It encapsulated everything I wanted to do. I’m very passionate about making sure Bakersfield has a living and thriving creative community.” Art has a way of transcending cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. It’s an equalizer, because anyone can come into the gallery. “(It’s) a very activated space, (and is) very vital to a growing, thriving community,” said Magnus. “We open the door through the arts, but it becomes more than that. We partner with different groups in the community that might not know there’s a museum but come in for a supplemental program. We create a space for people to embrace the arts and have a good time.” Magnus’ main role is program development, which entails planning and installing exhibits. She works with artists, gallerists and other institutions to develop exhibits for the museum. There are many elements to consider when choosing which works will be shown. Magnus looks for pieces that best represent an artist’s career, as well as what will tell the best story. “What I love most is actually thinking about the layout and activation of a gallery space,” said Magnus. “Visually laying it out, but also telling a story.” Their current exhibit, “One Night in California, Contemporary Nocturnes,” runs through April. The group show features over 20 California artists who created their interpretation of one night in California. “Nocturne painting has been around since caveman days,” said Magnus. “It’s a very historical genre, now interpreted 78
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Bakersfield Museum of Art curator Rachel Magnus
through a contemporary lens. Specifically, it’s how this genre has been interpreted by artists living and working in California.” Magnus was also integral in creating the Art After Dark program, now in its fifth year, aimed at attracting young professionals, a demographic that had been largely missing from the museum scene before. The recurring event is held the last Thursday of each month and features a different theme each time, incorporating food and drinks from local eateries, as well as live music and an art project. For Magnus, art is a means for not only learning about history but how it relates to us on a personal level. “Art tells us how people felt about certain periods,” said Magnus. “It’s an intersection of not just names and dates, but the personal experience — an avenue to understand different cultures. I love that part of my job. I’m often allowed to have conversations about difficult topics, to put a lot of different perspectives in the same room, but through art we’re able to start those conversations.” ￼ PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Mark Machuca, Manny Franco, Gibby Spuevelda, Sebastian Cardenas, Latanjah Crystian, Carlos Aguilar, Alvaro Isidiro and Edward Mitchell.
South High Robotics club members Alvaro Isidiro and Edward Mitchell at FIRST Robotics competition in Lancaster.
INNOVATE. INVENT. INSPIRE.
SOUTH HIGH ROBOTICS AIMS TO ENCOURAGE ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY AMONG PEERS By Julie Mana-ay Perez
South High Robotics takes their education to the next level by sorting a team that would lead to innovate and inspire other students to explore the world of robotics, a field that includes the creation of science, engineering, technology, design and construction. The robotics team at South High School was established in 2019 after then-junior and team captain Sebastian Cardenas attended California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science, where he experienced robot programming and website development. While there, Cardenas met a friend who introduced him to the idea of competing with a robotics team and he wanted to bring it back to his high school believing robotics would provide a great opportunity for engineering and technology to his peers. Cardenas said he wanted to end the stigma of students everywhere who limit their capabilities because of where they come from. He wanted to introduce robotics to his peers and give them a chance to experience it. “None of the students’ parents are engineers, so a lot of students doubt themselves and they come into robotics thinking that this is just for smart kids,” Cardenas said. South High senior Carlos Aguilar has also been a part of the robotics team since it was established in 2019 and said he and his team, who were all juniors and freshmen at the time, faced obstacles with their time management and teamwork. “It was a learning experience because I had to learn key components to succeed. We taught ourselves how to use the programs and design a robot. Every time we had an obstacle, we had to overcome it,” said Aguilar. Cardenas mentioned South High began a program for a robotics class last year but was only available to senior students. “My initial purpose of starting a club was that anyone that came to South High, no matter their grades or previous experience, can have experience in robotics,” he said. Though Cardenas and his team were optimistic going into PHOTOS COURTESY OF MANNY FRANCO
robotics, he admitted they struggled with time and organization. Club adviser and teacher Sean Davis said the debut of their club was nerve-racking because no one realized how much team effort needed to be contributed to be successful at their competitions. “It was our first year, things were going wrong and we couldn’t troubleshoot,” said Davis. Learning from their rough start, the team grew in numbers and began dividing the work amongst groups but still working as a team to be more efficient with deadlines. Davis admits the team’s biggest struggle was organization but has seen the team grow more than he expected in just a year. “For the most part, it’s them. They get more students in and teach them how to code. They really stepped up and they were able to rise to the challenge. This year they’re leaving a team behind that can control everything on their own,” said Davis. Not only is South High Robotics one of three teams in Kern County to participate in FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics, but their team took home the Highest Rookie Seed award and Rookie Inspiration award at the Aerospace Valley Regional in Lancaster, California. Their team will compete again in Lancaster on April 1. Cardenas hopes his team does better at the competition this year but ultimately wants the club to stay around for years to come. Both Cardenas and Aguilar said they allow newer members to get hands-on experience to pass on their knowledge after they graduate this school year. “We want to give our experience to underclassmen so that they can go on and continue after we graduate. It’s important to mentor them to make sure they know,” said Cardenas. Cardenas wants students to be mindful of their capabilities and encourage more students to get into activities they’re afraid to explore because of their backgrounds. “I think you have to break that stigma. Every person you bring to the door, you have to leave them with the mentality that they can do this but you also have to have the same confidence that engineering is something you can do,” said Cardenas. www.BakersfieldLife.com
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
FOR THE LOVE OF THE FANS
BUCK OWENS THANKS SUPPORTERS WITH FUN IN THE SUN COUNTRY MUSIC FAN APPRECIATION DAY
By Julie Plata
The late 1960s and early 1970s marked the beginning of the world’s fascination with music festivals. These festivals gave fans the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of their favorite artists all in one place. Although the artists were the draw, it was the love of the fans that made the events a success. In what might be considered Bakersfield’s own early version of Stagecoach, California’s largest country music festival, the Fun in the Sun Day celebrated the country and western music fans of Bakersfield. Buck Owens knew there was nothing more important than to show his gratitude to the fans — especially the hometown fans. He decided the best way to do this was with a free concert in the park. Organized by Owens and KUZZ Productions in 1965, 4,000 fans showed up to Hart Park on a warm August Sunday excited to enjoy a picnic and listen to the songs of their favorite artists. What started as a small local gesture of gratitude for local country-western fans soon grew, as fans from all over Kern County awaited the next Fun in the Sun. Eddy Briggs, national promotion director for Owens, stated to the Aug. 6, 1966 edition of The Bakersfield Californian that: “We thought country music lovers would like another chance at it. We expect to have close to 10,000 attending this year.” What the promoters did not expect was that the number 80
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of fans who showed up tripled from the previous year to over 12,000! The entertainment program that year included Owens and his Buckaroos, Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens, Joe and Rose Lee Maphis, Bobby Durnham, Jeannie O’Neal, Freddie Hart and Kay Adams. On July 4, 1967, fans once again turned out en masse for the third annual Fun in the Sun Country Music Fan Appreciation Day, but that year the festivities would also include an opportunity to participate in the city’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration in the evening. Originally scheduled to start at noon, the expectation of large crowd prompted the promoters to move the start time to 10 a.m. As anticipated, more than 15,000 showed up to Hart Park’s Area 7 to enjoy seven nonstop hours of entertainment. Joined by an all-star cast of country and western artists, Owens and his Buckaroos performed in front of the fans who came from near and far to attend the free event. Due to the popularity of the previous years’ shows, radio stations from up and down the West Coast brought fans to Bakersfield in buses specially chartered for the occasion. In 1969, the Fun in the Sun event entered its fifth year and continued to draw large crowds of country and western music fans. The festival had become so popular that, according to the June 14, 1969, Californian, “The country music extravaganza often draws artists and fans from throughout the county.” Fame cannot exist without the fans and Owens and his musical peers knew exactly how to thank them. CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
TAKE US OUT TO THE BALLGAME BASEBALL, SOFTBALL SEASONS IN FULL SWING
Sydney Hornbuckle of Stockdale High School
By Stephen Lynch
Spring isn’t quite yet in the air, but baseball and softball season are already upon us. It should be another exciting year for local fans of America’s pastime. A plethora of top local high school baseball and softball players are back for another year. The Highland High School baseball team, which went 29-2 and won the Central Section Division III championship, should once again be title contenders due to the return of a few of its most talented players. The Scots will once again feature the dynamic duo of Isiah Fajardo and Nick Salas. Fajardo was last year’s BVarsity All-Area Baseball Player of the Year after batting .484 and setting a section record with 57 runs scored. Salas, an All-Area First Team selection, hit .470 with 42 runs scored. Other local high school baseball players to keep an eye on this season include Liberty’s Jacob Tobias (.454 batting average, 47 RBIs in 2019) Kaleb Dickey (9 home runs and 46 RBIs) and Frontier pitcher Kris Anglin (6-3 with 3.18 ERA and 90 K’s in 55 innings pitched). The local high school softball scene is arguably even more loaded with returning star power than baseball. Defending Central Section Division I champion Stockdale High features the dynamic twin-sister batter-mates combination of Sydney Hornbuckle and Katelyn Hornbuckle. Sydney, the 2019 BVarsity All-Area CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS
Player of the Year, had a spectacular year in the circle, compiling a 19-3 record and 0.43 ERA while recording 157 strikeouts in 145 innings pitched. She also posted a .529 batting average. Katelyn, an All-Area First Team catcher, batted .430 with 20 RBIs. Other All-Area First Team players who are back this season include Independence’s Rylie Price (.519 batting average, 34 RBIs) and Elise Ontiveros (.460 batting average, 31 RBIs), Liberty’s Presley Hosick (.500 batting average, 31 runs) and Garces’ Jasmine Gorman (12 stolen bases, 26 stolen bases). The Bakersfield College baseball and softball teams both kicked off their seasons in late January. Both are attempting to win their third straight league championships this season. The Renegades baseball team, which finished with a 26-16 record last year, is led by Western State Conference-South Pitcher of the Year Alejandro Murillo. The former Stockdale High standout posted a sparkling 10-2 record in 14 starts last season. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound right-hander had a solid 3.31 ERA in 2019 and led BC in wins, innings pitched (84.1) and strikeouts (70). Murillo has looked even better so far this season, whiffing a career-high 15 batters and allowing no earned runs in a 9-inning no-decision against El Camino College in early February. The Renegades softball team features a pair of big-time power hitters in Natilee Parrish and Atlantis Rede. Parrish, last year’s Western State Conference Offensive Player of the Year, finished the 2019 season tied for sixth
Isiah Fajardo of Highland High School
in the state in home runs with 12. The hard-hitting first baseman paced BC in hits (47), runs (38), home runs (3), RBI (37), BB (21), OPS (.451) and SLG (.731). Rede, who mans the hot corner for the Renegades, led the team in batting average (.385), just ahead of Parrish (.362). The pair are already off to a big start to the 2020 season, combining for 34 hits, including five home runs, while driving in 38 runs during BC’s first nine games. Rede hit a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning before Parrish hit a walk-off home run in the 12th to beat Riverside City College 14-12 in the first game of a Feb. 8 doubleheader. It was Rede’s second grand slam of the young season. The Cal State Bakersfield baseball team began its 2020 season in midFebruary. The Roadrunners return several key players from a 2019 squad that went 2435 last year. Chief among them is senior third baseman Tyler Jorgenson, an All-WAC Second Team selection last year. Jorgensen batted .323 and led CSUB in hits (62), runs (34), RBI (30) and total bases (79). The CSUB softball team will attempt to improve on 15-32 record from a year ago. The ‘Runners’ top-returning player is All-WAC Second Team choice Cydney Curran. For a third straight season, the standout shortstop started every game last year, posting a team-leading .339 batting average while finishing second in the country in triples (10). www.BakersfieldLife.com
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Bakersfield Street Food and Craft Beer Festival Date: Jan. 18 Held at: Stramler Park Photos by: Greg Nichols
Brandon Cope, Ashlee Meyer, Brogan Kelly and Lindsey Hansen
Armand Ortiz, Stephanie Torres, Yesi Marquez and Karen Torres
Garrett Memering, Stephani Memering and Sonia Rodriguez
Mike Rodriguez, Ninette Randall, Cecil Zimmerman, Lindsey West and Ashley Rodriguez
Terina Clark, David Cooper and Rachell Edwards
Chad Ferola, Marissa Mercado, Sean Atkins, Megan Smith, Brett Tomlinson, Chris Marcotte and Shannon Beckwith
Nicole Henderson, Rae Henderson and Betzy Madrigal. 82
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Kate Penso and Anthony Penso
Miguel Barrera and Rob Morales
Diego Perez, Andrew Zendejas and Monica Alvarado
Roberta Afrifa, Jason Simank, Courtney Jobe, Daniel Jobe, Brad Brown and Scott Pearson
Alex Espinoza and Natasha Holland
Denise Gomez, Denise Patino, Nena Chavez and Sergio Morales
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Sherry Wade, Bruce Wade and George Granger
Louie Clerou and Kim Clerou
Harry Love and Kathy Love
Marc Trujillo, Karen Kandarian and David Camara
Isaiah Hernandez, Michael Robison, Douglas Carothers, Scott Farley and Abel Alvizo
Andre Gonzalez, Marilyn Maldonado, Lauren Marty and Amy Smith
Kristie Coons, Bob Coons, Lauren Doolin McMillen and Nancy Thomas
BMoA Winter Opening Date: Jan. 30 Held at: Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by: Carla Rivas
Taylor Frasnelly and Diana Gordon
Priscilla Kelly and Davida Delis
Emily Waite, Jan Thomson and Krista Sabo
Sandy Rudnick and Jerene Battisti
Jana Olivieri and Anthony Olivieri
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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
The Confidence Workshop Date: Jan. 25 Held at: The Idea Hive Photos by: Carla Rivas
Allie Perkins and Christie Ludwick
Nathaly Stewart, Manuela Torres and Jocelyn Dimaya
Lourdes Vazquez and Silvia Bermudez
Nathaly Stewart, Manuela Torres, Evelyn Dominguez, Sabrina Trevino Julie Villasenor and Amanda Shaffer
Jessica De La Garza, Amanda Gutierrez and Melissa Ambriz 84
Bakersfield Life Magazine
Kaylee Garber and Shanna Davidson
Gaby Ochoa, Kayla Polhamus and Chelsea Henry
Ashley Ekegren, Jade Thomasy and Sarajoy Cloud
Anne Bowen and Jennie Clark
Conchita Quarles and Amanda DiGiacomo
Shannon Kehrer and Cindy Reyes
Morgan Rogers, Sarena Hess and Jessica Neeley
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Kelly Gladden and Charles Walker
Maddie Janssen and Justin Janssen
League of Dreams Gala Date: Jan. 25 Held at: The Links at RiverLakes Ranch Photos by: Greg Nichols
Christy Marquez and Sandra Walker
Vince Fong, Jim Luff, Kelly Gladden and Glen Ephrom
Byron Young, Bea Young, Amy Sawaske and Justin Sawaske
Craig Holliday, Rosemarie Holliday and Bonnie Whiting
Stephanie Berry, Christopher Berry, Faith Zulfa and David Zulfa
Brooke Oscarson, Alisa Carlson-Schwartz, Leslie Aldridge, Dea Payette and Candy Caceres Marcus Brown, Nicole Brown, Jeremy Beard and Annie Beard
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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Project Oh! provides an avenue for local artists to showcase their work and take part in collaborative projects.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING LOCAL ARTISTS AN AVENUE TO SHOWCASE THEIR WORK
By Jeremy Gonzalez
Art has played a major role in my life ever since I was old enough to pick up a crayon. My mom likes to tell a story about discovering my first mural on the wall beside my bed when I was 3 years old. Instead of reprimanding me, she celebrated my masterpiece and decided to encourage my creative drive by providing me with more appropriate resources for expressing my artistic visions. I am fortunate to have had that encouragement; not everyone’s creative journey is met with the same embrace. Throughout my life I would continue to draw and create, with ideas of one day becoming a cartoonist. This path would take me through a variety of art classes, introduce me to a friend here and there, and, in darker times in life, provide me with a means of self-expression and catharsis. Later in life it started a journey into photography, which played a major role in me overcoming severe social anxiety. In 2012, I was on a personal mission to impact the world in some positive way, but I wasn’t quite sure how. I remembered a philosophy class I had taken in college in which we discussed the topic of impact. The concept was that you could have a larger impact by inspiring a small community that could inspire other small communities, rather than trying to inspire or affect the entire world at once. So my question to myself was: “How do I impact my small community in a way that is important to me by supporting something that doesn’t already have adequate support?” In 2013, a group of artists and I formed an informal organization of volunteers with the sole purpose of providing an avenue for local artists to showcase their work and participate 86
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in collaborative projects. Since then, we have had the privilege of sharing and showcasing the work of hundreds of artists of all ages. Our success comes from hearing the personal stories from many of the artists who discuss the emotional impact of being able to share their work in a public forum, many of whom are experiencing the feeling for the very first time. We’ve seen artists brought to tears by witnessing their work proudly displayed next to that of other local talents. We’ve seen the overwhelming joy and excitement from artists participating in art shows, watching their art being enjoyed by others. Opportunities like these are motivators. They provide a sense of validation and inspiration for artists to grow and create more work. They can provide that extra push to finish a project or to start on the next one. But most importantly, they provide an audience that empowers the artist to convey a message or a feeling that could in turn inspire others to create or connect. It is important to value and encourage all of our community leaders and organizations in their efforts to provide opportunities for artists to showcase their work. You never know what simple gesture could start someone on their own lifelong journey of personal discovery through art and what impact they could make on others in the future.
Jeremy Gonzalez is the founder of Project Oh!, an organization of volunteers dedicated to providing opportunities for Kern County artists to participate in collaborative projects, including publications, art shows, workshops and community meetups. The views expressed are his own. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEREMY GONZALEZ
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Last Word LEFT: Teresa Adamo and Jennifer Williams-Cordova collaborated to create “Indy, Oh Indy.” BELOW: “Bakersfield A to Z” is a guide to places and things about Bakersfield.
‘LOVES TO BE LOVED’
SHELTER DOG WANDERS INTO CHILDREN’S BOOKS, BAKERSFIELD HEARTS
By Teresa Adamo
“Loves to be loved.” Those were the words in the online description for the female terrier mix awaiting adoption at Kern County Animal Services. Talk about truth in advertising! Back in 2008, our family wanted to add a furry member to our pack. We knew we wanted to find a shelter dog that needed a home. In Bakersfield, especially at that time, there were no shortages of stray or lost animals. The online photo showed a frightened animal, but there was a sweetness in her face. Oh, and she was a “she.” In a house full of boys, I really wanted a girl dog. So I visited the shelter on my own — calling it “research” — just to see if this dog might be a match for us. I met her, pet her, spent some time with her, then left her. I still feel bad about that, but my family wasn’t with me and this was supposed to be a family decision. Or was it? Just two days later, there was a special pet fair at a local dog park, where I just happened to be helping with the setup. I knew that a team from Kern County Animal Services was coming out to provide low-cost rabies vaccinations — but they had no idea I would be there — so it seemed odd when they pulled up with a massive trailer. It turns out there was a last-minute decision — one that would forever change our family’s life — to bring their mobile “pet store” rig. After all, it was a nice day, likely to bring out families, so they packed up some cats and some dogs, including, you guessed it, Indy, Oh Indy! Yes, I adopted that sweet terrier mix (with some poodle PHOTOS BY FELIX ADAMO
in her, we say she’s a “terridoodle”) on the spot — sans family (they’ve since forgiven me). Flash forward 10 years: That dog is now the main character in a series of local children’s books — the first of which theorizes Indy’s preshelter travels on the streets of Bakersfield. We refer to our “Indy, Oh Indy” series as the little books about a “smedium” dog with a big love for Bakersfield. When I approached Jennifer Williams-Cordova, an amazingly talented graphic design artist in Bakersfield, about the idea for the book and the story I had written, there was a genuine creative spark. That spark ignited one book in the fall of 2018, followed by a second and a third in 2019. It also led to our “Indy, Oh Indy” school assembly program, where we get to share Indy’s story, promote responsible pet ownership and show how a book gets made — all while keeping local history alive! It’s a “paw-sitive” experience in so many ways. Meanwhile, our Indy Pack fans continue to warm —actually, melt — our hearts with their special notes, thoughtful tributes and sweet social media comments. We even got a photo of Kristen Bell of “Frozen” fame holding our book! Indy also receives fan mail and handmade gifts. At the center of it all? That adorable terrier mix who still “loves to be loved.”
Teresa Adamo and Indy
Teresa Adamo is the author of the “Indy, Oh Indy” series. She is married to retired photojournalist Felix Adamo; together, they have four sons and three granddaughters. Follow the “Indy, Oh Indy”s journey at www.IndyOhIndy.com and on Instagram and Facebook. The views expressed are her own. www.BakersfieldLife.com
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