Bakersfield Life Magazine May 2020

Page 1

May 2020

www.bakersfieldlife.com

Dagny's goes virtual

For open mic night

Best Of Hall of Fame

Take a look at the 2020 inductees

Best & Favorites

Results of the 2020 readers' choice poll are in!

$3.95

Dining with Dre

Does takeout with Luigi's


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 2 ½% of lawyers in California) and is recognized as one of Southern California’s “Top Attorneysâ€? as published in Los Angeles Magazine. He is honored to be designated an “ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientistâ€? 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 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.

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.

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 www.brehmerlaw.com

American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Florida.

CO-AUTHOR OF SIX BOOKS 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  �� � �  ­

AS A DIRECTOR AND COMMITTEE CHAIR for the national DUI Defense � € ‚ƒ „ … believer that a rising tide lifts all boats. It is for this reason that he dedicates much of … 1200 TRUXTUN AVENUE, SUITE 120 | BAKERSFIELD, CA 93301 (661) 447-4384



Dr. Ravi Patel  � �  � � � � � � �  ­

(661) 322-2206 | 6501 Truxtun Avenue, Bakers eld, CA 93309 | www.cbccusa.com | UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center TRIO-US Site


Dr. Cardall

We’re Honored to Be Voted

“Best Orthodontist”

“My smile looks even better than I thought it could”

Before

(661) 515-1234

After

FREE Consultations

CardallOrtho.com

No-Interest Financing

Most Insurances Accepted


STAFF May 2020

www.bakersfieldlife.com

Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine May 2020 / Vol. 14 / Issue 9 Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian

Dagny's goes virtual

SHARES What is your favorite food to make at home?

For open mic night

Best Of Hall of Fame

Take a look at the 2020 inductees

Best & Favorites

Results of the 2020 readers' choice poll are in!

$3.95

“You can never go wrong with the basic sandwich, except it’s not basic. I like to dress up my sandwiches with condiments like chipotle mayo, artisan bread and veggies.”

Publisher Cliff Chandler Editor

Dining with Dre

Mark Nessia

Does takeout with Luigi's

On the Cover

Specialty Publications Designer Julie Mana-ay Perez

The annual Best Of 2020 issue is a guide to Bakersfield's best and brightest that showcases everything from food and dining to community, services, retail and more.

Photography Loralee Bell, Nick Ellis, Emerald Guthridge, Alex Horvath, Julie Mana-ay Perez, Mark Nessia

“I’ve made the same breakfast every day for years — a slice of toast with unsweetened sunflower seed butter and blueberry jam. Paired with a mug of matcha latte, it sparks joy.” — Nina Ha, contributing writer

— Illustration by Julie Mana-ay Perez

Contributing Writers Maude Campbell, Melanie Farmer, Anna Marie Frank, Alex Garzaro, Emerald Guthridge, Nina Ha, Lisa Kimble, Julie

Coming up next …

Plata, Andrea Saavedra

“I make a lot of omelets at home — and not just for breakfast, either. It’s quick, easy and always delicious, morning, noon or night!” — Mark Nessia, editor

The Unity Issue

Advertise, contact Cliff

Chandler at cchandler@bakersfield. com or 661-395-7521.

“Anything that requires my new favorite small appliance — the pressure cooker!” — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer

Subscribe

to Bakersfield Life Magazine for your home or office, go to www.tbcoffers. com/deal/blifeintro.

Partner with us

for your next event. Email Mark Nessia at mnessia@bakersfield.com or call 661-395-7383 for more information.

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

6

— Julie Mana-ay Perez, specialty publications designer

Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

“Because I have such a big sweet tooth and love anything that has to do with breakfast, my favorite thing to cook is a brunch spread where the main star is the pancake.” — Emerald Guthridge, 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


Bakersfield Pediatrics 34th Street office, recipient of a 2016 Beautiful Bakersfield Award

Melody Recio FNP-C

Dr. Elsa Lavadia, MD

Dr. Michael Blyth, MD

Dr. Javier Bustamante, MD

Julie Buechel, FNP-C

Kristen Van Scharrel, CPNP

Misty Whitbey, FNP-C

Thank You Kern County! Bakersfield Pediatrics is proud to serve this community from two locations. Our team of doctors and nurses are working hard to make sure your family has access to the best healthcare. We will always be here with a smile and a seashell.

(661) 663-4700 - www.bakersfield-pediatrics.com 300 Old River - Suite 105- Bakersfield, CA 93311 - 1215 34th Street Bakersfield, CA 93301 Instagram - @bakersfieldpediatrics & Facebook: facebook.com/BakersfieldPediatrics Did you know? - We have virtual health options to give our patients the most comprehensive care.

The fastest rate of brain development occurs from birth to age three. At an early age it’s important to develop a strong parent-child bond so a child can have a great foundation for life. Follow us for more info and helpful child health tips.


FEATURES

54 | 2020 Best Of Results

The votes are in and our readers have spoken! Every year, thousands of people nominate and vote on what they think is the best in Bakersfield. In our

2020

annual readers' choice poll, you'll find a guide of Bakersfield's best and brightest — from food and dining to community, retail and more. This is your guide to the Best Of Bakersfield.

66 | Best Of Hall of Fame

Three more local institutions were inducted into the Best Of Hall of Fame for their longevity, service and commitment to the community. Take a look at this year's champions!

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020


MAY 2020

CONTENTS

44 74 46

40 Up Front

24

10 Editor’s Note 11 The Big Picture 12 On the Web 14 What We're Streaming

Eat & Drink

18 Dining with Dre 20 Bites 24 What's Cooking 27 Best Thing We Ate This Month

Lifestyles

80

30 Pastimes 32 Love & Life 34 The Marketplace 36 Business Profile

Go & Do

40 Entertainment 44 Out & About 46 Arts & Culture

Healthy Living

50 Let’s Get Physical 52 Peace of Mind

People & Community

72 Bakersfield Matters 74 Our Town 76 Study Hall 78 History 80 Personality 82 Last Word

www.BakersfieldLife.com

9


EDITOR’S

NOTE

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW I’m no psychic, but it’s safe to assume that you’re reading this at home, just like I wrote this at home. Well over a month has passed since the order was given for everyone to stay home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I have been working from my humble abode ever since. It’s difficult to put into words life as it currently stands. These are unprecedented times that will be ingrained in our memories — the focus of books, class lectures and case studies for years to come. We are living through a historical event. It’s frustrating having to put our lives on hold — to not be able to do the things that we want with the people we want. It’s difficult to not look ahead and wonder when this will all be over. But now’s the best time to think and reflect, to reassess our priorities and the things we value most. Because if there’s one thing we have more of right now, it’s time. In the past month and a half, I’ve realized that I need the boundaries established by working in the office and leaving after eight hours. Working from home, I’ve found myself in front of the computer before there’s a glimmer of light in the sky some days and not realizing the sun has set during others. I learned that dogs do in fact get sore, an eye-opening discovery that was the result of going out for too many walks. I’ve discovered that there is such a thing as too much frozen pizza. But more importantly, I realized that slowing down isn’t such a bad 10

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May 2020

thing. Our lives are lived at such a fast pace that we sometimes forget to enjoy them, going into autopilot as we follow the same routine each day. It’s not until we’re forced to deviate from the norm that we start to notice the areas that can be improved. And there’s no better time to address them than now. Now is the time to ask ourselves: Do we set enough time aside for the things that bring us joy? Do we do enough to let the people we care about know that we care about them? What’s preventing us from accomplishing the things we’ve always wanted? Are we appreciative of what we have in our lives? Is the way we treat others reflective of how we want to be treated? If we like where things currently stand, let’s keep doing the things that helped get us there. If not, let’s look for ways to remedy the situation. What our mindset and attitude will be like when we come out of quarantine is something we should be thinking about right now. I hope we all come out of this better people than when it started. Let us reenter the world with a newfound passion for life — one that has us loving harder, laughing louder, smiling wider and saying yes more often. Better yet, let’s start now.

Mark Nessia Editor 661-395-7383 mnessia@bakersfield.com


THE 661

T h e B i g P i c t u re

/ O n t h e We b

/ W h a t We ' re S t re a m i n g

Due to the ongoing stay-at-home order, events taking place in May have been postponed or canceled. For up-to-date information, go to www.bakersfield.com.

A PARADE TO LIFT SPIRITS

Math and science teacher Cristina Kelesides tries to attach balloons to her car before Ridgeview High School teachers held a parade for their students.

PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH

www.BakersfieldLife.com

11


THE 661

On the Web

WE ASKED OUR READERS WHAT THEY WERE DOING WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING.

From the bottom of our hearts, We would like to thank you for taking the time to vote for us. We appreciate you!

Jolie Brouttier and family Zooming.

Mike George | NMLS#226626

visit us at: www.agapemtgco.com

Koda social distancing at home.

661-324-2427 5001 California Ave., Suite 200, Bakersfield, CA 93309

Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. dba Agape Mortgage NMLS #1788. Licensed in California by the Department of Business Oversight under the Residential Mortgage Lending Act #417-0015.

CONVENTIONAL • VA • FHA PURCHASE • REFINANCE 12

Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

Maira Vilarreal's children playing outside.

Kevin Rector and Bob Rector playing chess.


MIRAMAR INTERNATIONAL,

Kern County’s Largest Real Estate Brokerage, would like to thank Bakersfield for Nominating us THE BEST Real Estate Brokerage. 6-years in a Row!

Search ALL HOMES in Kern County www.MiramarRealtyCA.com Visit one of our seven locations. Bakersfield, CA 93311 DRE Lic #01866121 @Miramar.International.HQ


THE 661

What We're Streaming “What We're Streaming” is a new section that will feature everything from music, movies, TV shows and more from the Bakersfield Life team! Tune in monthly to see what we're streaming.

RHYTHMS TO RISE TO Morning Pump Up! “The music I listen to varies on my mood throughout the day. This playlist embodies a positive and upbeat tune as I get ready for work in the morning, driving to work or ending my work day. In this playlist, you'll find indie-pop, pop and electronic music." — Julie Mana-ay Perez, specialty publications designer

Rock the Day “This short-but-sweet playlist contains songs about seizing the day and not letting past mistakes and misfortunes prevent you from starting anew. The songs are upbeat, energetic and catchy, reminding us to make the most of each day, keep our heads up when things get down and to not forget the people who bring joy to our lives. In other words, how we should approach each and every day that we are fortunate enough to wake up to." — Mark Nessia, editor

Morning Mix! “Listening to these songs, I feel like I can take on the day and whatever comes my way. It makes me feel energetic, alive and gets me a little bit in my feelings! My playlist genres include pop, old school and rap. Music is an expression and I feel these songs express the good, such as love and confidence!" — Emerald Guthridge, contributing writer

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

Scan our Spotify codes by pointing the camera at the photos on the left.!


Thank you, Bakersfield, for Voting 2018

Best Home Improvement Contractor

Rick and Shawna Sorci have been serving the local community since 2006 remodeling homes all over town. They provide great design solutions and, as a licensed General Contractor, can complete the entire project. Rick is a Certified Designer specializing in kitchen and bath remodeling. Rick says, “I believe it’s better to design projects in front of our clients to make sure they are getting exactly what they want. By designing together, the client really understands all aspects of their remodel and can make educated decisions regarding the design, material selection and overall project cost. Because of this we have extremely happy clients”. Both Rick and Shawna are involved in the process and love to add a personal touch into each project. Give them a call today to discuss your ideas and to set up an in-home design consultation.

LET’S GET STARTED

CALL (661) 834-3333 www.stockdalekitchenandbath.com


Giving you more

choices, healthier hearts,

happier

and

families

better lives.

When your heart is healthy, everything else just seems to fall into place. To help make that happen Bakersfield Heart Hospital is dedicated to bringing you more choices for better healthcare. Learn more about all these healthcare options at BakersfieldHeartHospital.com

Women's Heart Center Cath Lab

|

Center for Wound Healing

Cardiac Rehab Center Joint Replacement Center

|

Spine Program

Full-Service Emergency Department

3001 Sillect Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93308 852-6200 | BakersfieldHeartHospital.com


EAT & DRINK

D i n i n g w i t h D re / B i t e s / W h a t 's C o o k i n g / B e s t T h i n g We At e T h i s M o n t h

SUSHI-ME!

The yellow submarine roll and Bakersfield roll from Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant.Turn to Page 20 to explore different local takeout options.

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

www.BakersfieldLife.com

17


E AT & D R I N K

Dining with Dre

One of the take-home family dinners Luigi’s offers is ribs with salad, rolls and your choice of pasta. The dinners serve four people.

DRIVE UP, PICK UP, EAT UP

LUIGI’S FAMILY DINNERS, CURBSIDE PICKUP ALLOW FOR DELICIOUS DINING AT HOME By Andrea Saavedra

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But in this case, desperate times call for meal delivery and curbside pickups. With the ongoing pandemic we are all currently facing, restaurants and places of gathering have closed due to the fear of spreading COVID-19. The hospitality industry has taken a nose dive in sales, with many smaller establishments struggling to survive. Some have been forced to temporarily close — or even close for good. This absolutely breaks my heart, especially for those with small busi18

Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

Luigi’s family dinner with ribs and red pasta. PHOTOS BY MARK NESSIA


nesses here in town. When it comes to restaurants and dining, Bakersfield is a city of opportunity for families with a dream. Along with many chain restaurants, there are almost triple the amount that are family owned and operated. During this time of pandemonium, these families that feed our community are not going down without a fight! And I am here for it! With “Dining with Dre,� I try to support local with my features as much as I can. Though I can’t actually go “dine� anywhere and film an episode for you all, I am making it my duty to order from establishments that define the food scene of Bakersfield to help keep them afloat during this time of uncertainty. Many restaurants in town are offering “family meals� for pick up or delivery. This movement was put in place almost immediately by the most iconic restaurant in Bakersfield and many followed suit. Luigi’s set the tone for our hospitality community and became a fast favorite. I have only dined at Luigi’s once out of residential obligation, to be frank. It was good. I honestly didn’t think of it as anything special. Service was exceptional and the food was good. But nothing to write home about. But it was special enough as a historic and well-loved location that Luigi’s was one of the first on my list to support during this time. Once this pandemic hit, Luigi’s started offering family meals for curbside pickup. Upon picking up my order, I was met with a line of cars that wrapped around 19th and Baker streets. Once the box of food was in my car, the amazing aroma of ribs and red sauce overpowered my Febreze car stick and immediately made my stomach rumble. Considering I ordered something almost identical to this family meal during my first visit, I was surprised to be met with a much different and considerably more appetizing aroma. Luigi’s offered a feast of ribs, pasta, salad and rolls with butter. After serving my husband and myself, I couldn’t wait to dig in. After my first bite of the ribs and pasta, I realized Luigi’s came to play! Familiar flavors hit my taste buds, yet there was a follow-through in that hit that made it a home run. The ribs were tangy and sweet and the pasta’s red sauce was earthy with just the right amount of sweet that is the umami of Italian tastes. Luigi’s was fighting and fighting hard. They are a historic Bakersfield landmark that is now setting a different tone of what it means to fight for your life during hardship. I like this new fight. Luigi’s is what Bakersfield stands for in a hospitality establishment. Family, community, smalltown sweetness, rich in culture and provisions. This fight is beautiful to see and I’m ecstatic that many other restaurants are riding the same train. This is a food fight at its finest that translates to what our city ultimately is. Strong. Bakersfield restaurants: I hope to be back to enjoying your menus on your dining floor and filming your food to share with the community soon. But in the meantime, I will support you through ordering in and picking up where and when I can. I miss you and commend you for all you are doing. Once this is all over, I know you will be back with a vengeance. I will be Andrea Saavedra there to cheer you on! Stay safe, stay home and stay fed Bakersfield! This too shall pass.

All of us at Smith’s Bakeries wish to thank you for the opportunity over the last 75 years to prepare the best quality baked goods we know how to make. You expect us to use the best ingredients and our artisans enjoy the fact that baked goods made with a combination of their hands and hearts are still appreciated.

Bakery Bake Shop & Decorating: 2808 Union Ave - 325-3411 White Oaks Plaza: 6401 White Ln - 834-1916 Brookside at the Marketplace: 8803 Camino Media Blvd - 654-0858 Brookside Market: 4700 Coffee Rd - 588-2070 Grand Island Village: (Inside Sully’s Chevron Station) 11400 Ming Ave - 663-8611 Sully’s Olive: (Inside Sully’s Chevron Station) 9709 Olive Dr - 695-9713 Sully’s Stockdale: (Inside Sully’s Chevron Station) 250 Coffee Rd - 885-9705 Sully’s Stockdale 2: (Inside Sully’s Chevron Station) 4833 Buena Vista Rd - 885-6024

THANK YOU Kern County!

For Voting for us

19 Years in a

Row!

www.BakersfieldLife.com

19


FOOD & DRINK

Bites

DELIVERY & PICKUP OPTIONS Chef L

ino's Grill

Cuban sandwich Chef Lino’s Grill is a local Latin American eatery that serves steaks, seafood, salads and sandwiches, all Latin style. Their Cuban sandwich was based with buttered and grilled ciabatta bread with mayo and mustard smeared on its insides. It’s also layered with sliced deli ham, seared pork belly tender enough to tear apart, Swiss and Muenster cheese, jalapenos and pickles all served with a side 20

Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

of garlic Parmesan french fries. Customers can place an order for takeout or curbside pickup. Chef Lino’s Grill 6603 Panama Lane 661-885-8006

PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ


FOOD & DRINK

Bites

Su Casita Bakersfield

Frijol con queso pupusas Su Casita Bakersfield is an authentic Salvadoran restaurant serving up traditional dishes like sopas, costilla de res, pan con pollo and more. A classic item on its menu is pupusas. Su Casita’s pupusas come with options of different stuffing, like bean and cheese, pork and cheese, and veggies. The frijol con queso pupusa was stuffed with mashed pinto PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ

beans and melted cheese covered into a thick, stuffed tortilla. Pupusas come with a side of curtido, zippy cabbage relish that balances the heaviness of the pupusas and makes it a satisfying meal. Su Casita Bakersfield 3214 Stine Road 661-282-5005 www.BakersfieldLife.com

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FOOD & DRINK

Bites

shi o y i M nese a p a J rant u a t Res

Yellow submarine roll and Bakersfield roll With many local restaurants offering pickup or delivery services, variety is still plentiful. Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant’s full menu is readily available, in addition to family dinner platters that offer some of its top sellers. Two of Miyoshi’s most popular items are the yellow submarine roll and the Bakersfield roll. The yellow submarine features shrimp tempura, avocado with soy wrap and is topped with spicy tuna, green onion and spicy mayo, resulting in a roll that has nice crunch 22

Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

and a tasty kick. The Bakersfield roll contains spicy tuna and shrimp tempura on the inside and avocado, teriyaki and wasabi sauce on the outside, making for a wonderfully complex combination of flavors. It’s no wonder why these two rolls are so popular. Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite J 661-398-3397 PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA


FOOD & DRINK

Bites

ke Sha ’N s Bun

“The Bacon” and pastrami chili cheese fries Specializing in burgers, pastrami and shakes, Shake ’N Buns is grab-and-go dining at its finest. The humble drive-thru in south Bakersfield boasts a loaded menu that’s made to order and served piping hot. “The Bacon,” part of Shake ’N Buns’ Signature Series featuring burgers made from a unique blend of premium cuts of chuck and brisket, is simple on paper, containing just bacon, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise, but consuming this behemoth is PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

no easy task, especially when paired with a heaping order of pastrami chili cheese fries. It’s a gut-busting meal guaranteed to put a smile on your face — and perhaps require a nap afterward. Shake ’N Buns 2517 White Lane 661-835-1717 www.BakersfieldLife.com

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FOOD & DRINK

What's Cooking

CRIPTIO S E

N

D

“What's Cooking" is a new section this month that features what the Bakersfield Life team is cooking at home.

Ginataang hipon is a popular Filipino dish among most Filipino households. The word “ginataan” refers to anything cooked in coconut milk and there are many versions of ginataan that range from sweet to savory. The soup from the coconut milk seeps through the shrimp’s meat and adds to the sweetness of the dish. It’s hearty, creamy and smells good! — Julie Mana-ay Perez, specialty publications designer

GINATAANG HIPON INGREDIENTS (MAKES THREE SERVINGS): • ½ onion • 4 cloves garlic • Large shrimp • 1 can of coconut milk • String beans • Squash

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

DIRECTIONS: Saute the onion and garlic together, then fry shrimp along with it until the shrimp is cooked. It’s optional to peel the shrimp or leave the skin as it cooks. Remove the shrimp from the pan and put it on the side. Add the can of coconut milk May 2020

into the pan and let it simmer until the milk almost turns to oil with the garlic and onions. Add diced squash and cook it until it softens, then add the string beans. Add the cooked shrimp into the pan as the final step. Serve it with a side of white rice and enjoy!

PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ


FOOD & DRINK

What's Cooking

CRIPTIO S E

N

D

“EGGERS CAN'T BE CHEESERS"

Straight out of the pages of “The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book,” which provides “Burger of the Day” recipes from the hit TV show, the “Eggers Can’t Be Cheesers Burger” is a tasty burger that’s easy to make and utilizes ingredients readily found in most homes. The simple recipe is completely customizable, which offers room for improvement (I personally omitted the lettuce and would add bacon next time). And because it has an egg on it, the burger qualifies as a breakfast item!

INGREDIENTS (MAKES FOUR BURGERS) • 1 pound ground beef • 8 slices American cheese • 4 large eggs

• Butter • 4 English muffins • Green leaf lettuce • Salt • Pepper • Hot sauce (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Form the ground beef into patties and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook to desired temperature, adding two slices of cheese when just about done, and let rest for one to two minutes. In a frying pan, cook a sunny side up in some butter. Toast

the English muffins in the same pan once the eggs are removed. Assemble the burger, placing the egg on top of the cheeseburger and finishing with a dash of hot sauce if desired. Make sure to have napkins at the ready because things can, and will, get messy!

— Mark Nessia, editor PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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What's Cooking

CRIPTIO S E

N

D

FOOD & DRINK

A homestyle twist on a Cheesecake Factory favorite, this tasty dish is full of comfort and flavor. Pasta with a kick utilizes simple ingredients that can be found in at home, turning everyday spices and ingredients into something you’ll be craving again and again. This dish can be modified any way you like, whether it is switching up the pasta, adding more spice or making it extra, extra cheesy. While the recipe is made for two don’t be afraid to add on, making date night a family or friends’ night! — Emerald Guthridge, contributing writer

PASTA WITH A KICK INGREDIENTS (MAKES TWO SERVINGS) • 2½ cups bow tie pasta • 4–5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped • ½ onion, chopped • 4 mushrooms, finely chopped (optional) • 5 seed- and stemless mini sweet peppers, roughly chopped • 1½ cups of finely shredded Parmesan cheese

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

• 16 ounces heavy whipping cream • ½ cup chicken broth • ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning • ½ teaspoon onion powder • ½ teaspoon garlic powder • ½ teaspoon paprika • Pinch of salt • ½ teaspoon of pepper • ½ teaspoon creole seasoning May 2020

DIRECTIONS: Begin by sauteing the onions, garlic and mini peppers in a pot (mushrooms can be added if desired). Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth so that the vegetables and seasonings do not begin to stick to the bottom of the pot. Now it is time to add the heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese. Feel free to be generous with the cheese — the cheesier the better! Add the rest of

the seasonings; add more or less as you prefer. Now on to the pasta! Begin by boiling the water and adding salt and oil to the water (butter is also an option). Once the water begins to boil add the pasta. Once the noodles are done cooking, add them to the sauce. As the sauce begins to thicken, pop in a few pieces of garlic toast, bread, or knots — again, your choice. Serve and enjoy!

PHOTO BY EMERALD GUTHRIDGE


FOOD & DRINK

Best Thing We Ate This Month

SULLY'S KITCHEN'S

LOADED BREAKFAST BOWL

The loaded breakfast bowl from Sully’s Kitchen serves up the perfect combination of savory and comfort all in one bite. The loaded breakfast bowl was packed with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and seasoned country diced potatoes with biscuits and gravy piled on top. Customers have the option to choose between bacon, sausage, ham, chorizo or tri-tip to mix into the breakfast bowl. With a combination like that, it’s definitely loaded.

PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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Ask about water proof flooring.

best or fav logo goes here

Available Now!

THANK YOU KERN COUNTY FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

Carpet Outlet Plus 4301 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93308 (661) 323-3133 www.carpetoutletplus.com


LIFESTYLES

Pastimes /

L o v e & L i fe / T h e M a r ke t p l a c e / B u s i n e s s P ro f i l e

LET'S POMPOM IT OUT

Explore different DIY activities to do with your family while social distancing. Find out how to craft pompom flowers and a pompom tassel wallhanging on Page 30.

PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ

www.BakersfieldLife.com

29


LIFESTYLES

Pastimes

DIY CRAFTING PROJECTS

TO DO WITH THE FAMILY WHILE STUCK AT HOME

By Julie Mana-ay Perez

With many people now working from home or in isolation due to the spread of the coronavirus, there will be a time where your family will be bored senseless. These times of social distancing are perfect for exploring one’s creative side. Give the following DIY project a try!

THINGS YOU’LL NEED FOR A POMPOM TASSEL WALL HANGING: • Yarn • A stick or a pipe to act as a base

• A rectangular object to create the tassels • A pompom maker

1. Create as many tassels as the project needs. Cut a piece of yarn and lay it horizontally on one end of the object.

2. Hold the strand down, then start wrapping the yarn around the rectangular object about 20 times — the number of times wrapped around the object varies based on how thick you want the tassel to be. 3. Tie each end into a knot to secure the yarn.

4. Cut the yarn from the opposite end of the one yarn strand.

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5. Then cut another piece of yarn to create another tie to make a tassel. Repeat the process until have made several tassels for the project.

6. Make a few pompoms (it’s optional to create different sizes and colors).

See pompom flowers on Page 31 for

instructions on pompom making.

7. Tie pompoms and tassels to the wooden stick. Once its finished, cut two pieces of yarn, then tie one piece on each end to create a triangle. When the triangle is created, tie its end and hang on the wall for decoration. PHOTOS BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ


THINGS YOU’LL NEED FOR POMPOM FLOWERS:

• Pompom maker (or a fork as a substitute) • Sticks

• Yarn of choice • A vase 4. When the tie is created, remove the pompom from the maker and shape to its finishing form. You can either glue the stick on one end of the pompom or poke a stick through it, creating a pompom flower.

1. Start with winding the yarn around both ends of the pompom maker.

2. Once the yarn is covered on both ends, cut the yarn down the middle of the pompom maker.

5. Make a few different sizes and colors to create an arrangement and pair it with a vase.

3. After it’s cut, cut a long string of yarn and create a tie down the middle of the pompom maker.

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31


LIFESTYLES

Love & Life

A hope balloon

HOPE SHINES

PEOPLE RISING IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY RENEWS FAITH IN HUMANITY By Nina Ha

It’s there. You just have to look for it. It’s in the smiles of loved ones on a FaceTime call. It’s in the hearts of neighbors dropping off groceries for the elderly. It’s in a solitary walk as the sun sets at a nearby park. In the novel coronavirus world in which we live, hope is there. It may be packed underneath boxes of uncertainty, layers of doubt and a mountain of fear, but it’s existence is irrefutable. As we continue to assess the global economic, medical and psychological ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis, we realize that the world as we know it will never be the same. We’ve seen humanity at its worst with panic-induced buying, leaving many without necessities, and increased acts of violence against the Asian community. But this pandemic is not without its heroes: health care workers, grocery store clerks, restaurant staff, delivery drivers and many more. Their unwavering commitment to serving their patients, customers and the community gives us a sense that everything is going to be OK. Many people are rising up in the face of adversity, renewing our faith in humanity. When it became evident there was a shortage of personal protective equipment, people all over the world began sewing masks at home for frontline medical personnel. Bakersfield mom Joellyn Ma even enlisted the help of her friends. “I have a great group of people donating their talents, time and fabric,” she said. “What an awesome community!” 32

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May 2020

Countless support groups have emerged on social media to buffer loneliness and anxiety, aid those who need extra assistance, help restaurants and small businesses to survive or just be there to listen. Much like the downtown Marriott Hotel spelling out the word “HOPE” from its windows, family owned Paradise Balloon Designs also saw the need for a visual symbol of hope in our community. They began placing their creations at hospitals and various intersections all over town, hoping their random acts of kindness will lift the spirits of all who see them. Owners of vacant rental properties are offering them to hospital staff to protect their families from possible exposure. Local business Countryside Market and Restaurants gave all 400 of its employees a raise during this challenging time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by our devastating world situation: lives perished, jobs lost and human connection restricted. I’m trying my best to be grateful for the blessings in my life — a pause from my hectic schedule, the gift of time with kids who will all too soon leave our nest and a chance to recognize what truly matters. Although the road ahead is uncertain, my hope is that as long as we face the obstacles together, we will allow the best of humanity to shine through. Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha. Nina Ha PHOTO BY LORALEE BELL


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LIFESTYLES

Promotional Content

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Promotional Content

Business Profile

TODAY CLEANERS

Today Cleaners is a great example of “local”—we are a local company, local family, and we invest locally in our community. We believe Bakersfield is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. If I had to pick just a few things that describe the “best of” Today Cleaners, I’d focus on the words sustainability, investment, and customer service. Sustainability is an important goal these days, and Today Cleaners has always been a huge proponent of sustainable cleaning methods to care for your valuable garments. The perfect example of this is our GreenEarth Cleaning process. Instead of using harsh, toxic chemicals to clean clothes, our exclusive GreenEarth process uses liquid silicone, which is basically liquified sand. Not only is this process safe for the environment, it cleans without being abrasive or damaging to clothing. It literally helps your clothes last longer because it is gentle Jeff Newman Jr. on fabrics, dyes and trim. GreenEarth Owner also prevents fading; whites are whiter, and colors are brighter. Investment isn’t just about money. It’s also about time and creating opportunity for the people who work for us. Today Cleaners invests regularly in the most advanced 36

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May 2020

equipment to ensure the highest quality and best service possible. We also heavily invest in our employees, helping them to achieve their full potential at Today Cleaners. We firmly believe happy, knowledgeable, and well-trained employees are better able to serve our customers and help our business be successful. Investing in our community is also very important to us, and it is our honor to partner with several local organizations to impact the lives of those less fortunate. Giving back to our community makes it a better place for all of us. Finally, our customers are the most important part of our business, so we do everything we can to provide them the best service possible. Our friendly and efficient staff members, “In by 11, Ready by 4” service, Monday through Saturday, Express Service, with our express bags, 24 hour drop boxes and secure credit card on file pickup option, and our superior cleaning and finishing processes, are what has Today Cleaners made Today Cleaners the 8 convenient locations “Best of Bakersfield” for www.todaycleaners.com 27 years running. Thank you for trusting Today Cleaners to help you look your best!


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FROM CHAOS COMES HEROES!

No words seem adequate to express our admiration and gratitude for the brave men and women who run towards danger a huge thanks to the heroes on the front lines of this pandemic: doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel. They are the

ones who have faced this threat head-on, saving those who have fallen critically ill from it. Thank you to the hidden heroes from the grocery clerks, distribution centers, food suppliers, farmers, farm laborers, and anyone else who is on the front lines. We thank you for your commitment

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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 / A r t s & C u l t u re

HIT THE TRAIL!

A cyclist rides the bike path along Kern River Parkway. Read more on different ways to stay active on Page 44.

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

www.BakersfieldLife.com

39


GO & DO

Entertainment

NETFLIX AND CHILL AT HOME

MOVIES AND SHOWS TO WATCH WHILE IN QUARANTINE By Emerald Guthridge

To have a Netflix account is to have experienced the relentless rabbit hole that pulls you in, tumbling down, down, amid hundreds of titles that pique your interest as you aimlessly scroll on by. Even as you continuously search for something it’s as if you’ve been faced with a real “Sophie’s Choice” because, yes, deciding on something to watch is that difficult. Though it’s no “Alice in Wonderland” it can feel as if you’ve gone a little Mad … Hatter! From movies to TV, drama to documentaries, Netflix can be a one-stop shop. While its massive collection of hits, classics and everything in between is continuously growing, it doesn’t hurt to take in a few suggestions to get the ball rolling. Whether it’s a solo date, movie for two or family time, Netflix has got you covered. There’s nothing wrong with spending a little extra time with yourself, so why not dinner and a movie with these picks that will make you laugh, cry, cringe and binge? DATE-NIGHT MOVIES AND BINGE-WORTHY SHOWS MOVIES “Spenser Confidential”: Ex-cop and ex-con Spenser bands together with his motley crew to expose dirty cops and a sinister conspiracy. Full of action and laughs from beginning to end. “Candyman”: Say his name three times and those will be the last words that you ever speak. Packed with fear and thrills. Watch your back and stay in line or else Candyman will be coming for you next. 40

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May 2020

“Shawshank Redemption”: Framed for the murder of his wife and her lover, former banker Andy Dufresne faces a new life behind the cruel gates of Shawshank prison. “Police Academy” Series: A movie series centered around a hopeless crew of police academy graduates. Though they intend to help, what they succeed in is causing even more laughable damage. “47 Meters Down”: Trapped in a cage 47 meters below water, surrounded by relentless sharks and minimal oxygen, two sisters fight for their survival, turning from prey to predators. “Charlies Angels” 1 and 2: With beauty, brains and a vicious right hook, these girls bring the action and the fight. They might be called angels, but there is nothing sweet about them. “American Assassin”: On a quest for vengeance after the loss of a loved one, Mitch Rapp becomes an unexpected asset of the CIA. TELEVISION “Good Girls”: Three struggling suburban moms find work with the neighborhood drug dealer in order to establish independence and evade financial ruin. “The Office”: A hit comedy series that takes place in a dysfunctional workspace. Built around an office full of disgruntled office workers, there is no shortage idiocy and belly laughs. “The Haunting of Hill House”: A fractured family takes residence in a vacant and haunted mansion, where haunting memories and dangerous entities follow them in the past and the present. “Stranger Things”: A small town mistakenly uncovers sinister PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX MEDIA CENTER


secrets, including secret experiments, supernatural forces and a young girl who appears out of thin air and has the ability to save them all. “You”: A young guy in a desperate search for love looks for it in all the wrong places, resulting in murder, secrets and many broken hearts. “Dead to Me”: A widow goes on a determined search to find her husband’s hit-and-run killer. Watch as situations and lies unfold in a way you never would have expected. Now it won’t take much to turn your solo date into a plus one and experience the above movies together — a little scare can bring people together in a shared moment of panic. But if one would prefer to throw in a more laughs and romance when entertaining a special someone, give these flicks a try. ROM-COMS AND COMEDIES MOVIES “Monster-in-Law”: An office temp might have found her dream guy but there’s one catch: his overbearing mother! And turns out, they’re a packaged deal. “He’s Just Not That into You”: Follow along as love-hungry Baltimore inhabitants juggle the ups and downs of falling in love. “Always Be My Maybe”: Reunited after 15 years apart, two adults in different stages of their lives try to fight their undeniable connection as they struggle to find a place in each other’s worlds. “Hairspray”: A rom-com and musical all wrapped in one. Follow along as the various characters attempt to break down racial barriers and find love as they dance their way into your hearts. “Murder Mystery”: On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York couple finds themselves in the middle of a real life whodunit.

“Set It Up”: Two exasperated assistants team up to set up their overbearing bosses and get them to fall in love in hopes of a much-needed break from the madness. “Falling Inn Love”: When a newly jobless San Francisco exec wins an inn in beautiful New Zealand, she gets more than she bargained for when she finds love and a new place to call home. “First Wives Club”: Three disgruntled wives plan to take back their lives and what’s theirs as they plot to get back at their cheating ex-husbands. “Someone Great”: After a heartbreaking and unexpected breakup, journalist Jenny plans to get over her ex with one last wild ride with her three best friends before she comes face to face with a new beginning. Got kids? Netflix’s wide range of entertainment might even succeed at distracting even the most energetic little ones, even if it’s only for a short while during family time. FAMILY FRIENDLY ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES “Hook”: As the young Peter Pan grows up and leaves Neverland behind, it seems that Captain Hook has other plans as he kidnaps Peter’s children in hopes of forcing his return. “Space Jam”: Part live action, part animation, this film transforms basketball legend Michael Jordan as you’ve never seen him before as he goes head to head with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes crew. “Richie Rich”: A young billionaire heir has it all, except the one thing every kid wants: friends. See as Richie Rich steps into a new world and battles a scoundrel scheming to take over his

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GO & DO

Entertainment

Continued from Page 41 family empire. “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse”: After being bitten by a radioactive spider, a young teen discovers newfound abilities. Follow along as he discovers web-slinging, wall-climbing and an alternate dimension. “The Rugrats Movie”: A childhood television classic returns. Watch as Tommy and his pals attempt to navigate no longer being the center of attention with the arrival a new Rugrat, baby Dil Pickles. “Incredibles 2”: One incredible family with incredible abilities. It is up to them once again to save the world from evil geniuses all while attempting to maintain a nondysfunctional family dynamic. “The Karate Kid”: New to Beijing, a young boy falls victim to a group of bullies. Unwilling to take the treatment any longer, he begins lessons with a martial arts master, discovering a strength that he never knew he had. “It Takes Two”: The Olsen twins play opposite each other as two girls from very different backgrounds who look so identical it’s uncanny. Shocked and curious, the two take the opportunity to discover if the grass really is greener on the other side. “Big Fat Liar”: When a greedy and obnoxious Hollywood producer passes Jason’s story off as his own, it’s up to Jason and best friend Kaylee to prove just what a big fat liar he truly is. “Mary Poppins Returns”: She’s magical and mysterious and sure knows how to turn one’s world topsy-turvy. Watch as the beloved Mary Poppins returns to help bring life back into a society lacking in joy and sunshine. “Otherhood” (a movie dedicated to mothers): Three best friends and mothers travel to New York City to confront the children who have succeeded in making them feel forgotten. A movie that showcases how a mother’s love knows no bounds. While time indoors might not always be ideal, taking a moment to spend time with oneself and loved owns can provide some downtime you never knew you needed. So take a pause and press play on a good time. 42

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GO & DO

Out & About

Cameron Newsome and Fred Mitchell runs sprints up a hill at The Park at River Walk.

GET MOVING!

WAYS TO STAY ACTIVE DURING STAY-AT-HOME ORDER By Mark Nessia

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-athome order in mid-March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, also known as the new coronavirus, he also ordered “nonessential” businesses to close, which included dine-in restaurants (which can still operate through curbside pickup and delivery services), bars, clubs and gyms. When fitness studios started closing their doors, a meme about “gaining the COVID-19” went viral. The meme refers to the weight people will gain while in quarantine with no gym access, a variation of the “freshman 15” that refers to the amount of weight freshmen typically gain during their first year of college. But weight gain while in quarantine (or weight gain in general) is no laughing matter and is avoidable by staying active, whether indoors or out. STAYING ACTIVE AT HOME Fitness expert and Bakersfield Life Magazine columnist Alex Garzaro said it best: “Health is not canceled!” There are myriad options available for getting a workout in at home, from live virtual workouts that maintain a group setting to online programs and YouTube videos. Garzaro, in fact, launched a seven-day 44

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May 2020

bodyweight program that can be done at home with no equipment necessary. The 30-minute workouts can be found on www. bakersfieldlife.com. Yoga and cycling studios are also taking classes online. Y6 GO is an online subscription offered by Yoga Six that offers a variety of classes that replicate the studio experience and Rush Cycle offers bike rentals so users can participate in spin classes at home. Though the bikes sold out fast, a waitlist is available in the event of cancellations. Inquiries can be made by emailing bakersfield@rushcycle.com. Many YouTube fitness channels have also altered their programming to reflect the current situation, featuring at-home workouts that can be done with or without weights (for free), and online programs like Daily Burn are offering a free 60-day trial. Believe it or not, video games can also be a viable option for maintaining fitness. Games like “Ring Fit Adventure,” “Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games” and “Sports Party” for Nintendo Switch; “Beat Saber,” “BoxVR” and “Sprint Vector” for PlayStation 4; and “Zumba Fitness World Party,” “Shape Up” and “Kinect Sports Rivals” for Xbox One are fun ways to stay active that can get the whole family involved. “Just Dance” is another popular option that’s available on multiple gaming platforms. The best part is many of these games can be downloaded, which means no need to go outside! PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH


OUTDOOR RECREATION As of early April, outdoor recreation such as walking, jogging, hiking and cycling are still acceptable so long as social-distancing practices are implemented. Cyclists should consider solo riding to avoid riding in groups. If a group ride does take place, maintain a safe distance from other riders. In other words, no drafting! Many parks are still open for use, but it is strongly advised that children stay clear the playground (many have officially been closed off) and everyone should minimize contact with different surfaces, such as tables and benches. Bring plenty of water as well, as drinking fountains should also be avoided. Take to the trails in the hills of Hart Park and get a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings as well as a heart-pumping hike. The Kern River Parkway is still accessible, though it’s worth repeating that social-distancing practices should be followed as a courtesy to other users. While public basketball, tennis and pickleball courts have been closed, many golf courses are still open. Call or go online for more details. These options provide plenty of variety, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping it simple with a walk or run around one’s neighborhood. You’ll never know what you’ll find, like inspirational chalk drawings on the sidewalk. Staying at home doesn’t mean staying inactive. Events may currently be canceled, but health is not.

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45


GO & DO

Arts & Culture

Kelsey Sill hosts a virtual open mic with performers on Dagny's Instagram Live

DAGNY’S VIRTUAL OPEN MIC

BRINGS PERFORMERS, AUDIENCES TOGETHER WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING By Mark Nessia

When things don’t make sense to Kelsey Sill, she turns to music. Singing has always been a constant in her life and something that helped pull her out of a deep depression after she participated in her first open mic a couple of years ago at The Mark. She hasn’t missed an open mic since. That’s why when Dagny’s temporarily closed its doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sill took it upon herself to keep the Thursday night tradition alive. “It was life-changing for me,” said Sill, who took over open mic hosting duties at Dagny’s last April and became the popular downtown coffee shop’s manager in August. “My first open mic literally saved my life. I can’t imagine someone needing that space and not being able to find it because when I needed it and I found it, it pulled me out and gave me something to look forward to every week.” But with the new coronavirus forcing all nonessential businesses to close and residents urged to practice social distancing to minimize its spread, Sill had to take the show online to a virtual stage. She hosted the first virtual open mic via Instagram Live, giving participants the opportunity to perform for others from the safety of their own homes. 46

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“When I’m isolated, I feel like it’s that much more important to at least keep it going,” she said. “It’s just really important right now for all of us to find whatever normal we can.” One by one, performers took the virtual stage as viewers cheered via comments, emojis and “likes.” The rush of support and participation took Sill by surprise. “I was nervous, I won’t lie,” she said. “I don’t usually get nervous, but virtually, I was very nervous. I didn’t know what the reaction was going to be — if there was even going to be one. I was floored by the kindness and everyone’s openness to come on and do their thing. My face ached by the end of it because I just smiled and laughed the entire time.” The positive online environment mimicked its real-world counterpart at Dagny’s, which Sill said she worked really hard over the course of a year to build. “It’s really cool to see it translate to a virtual space,” she said. Dagny’s virtual open mic will continue every Thursday, from 6–9 p.m. Participants are required to send Sill a request and are limited to two songs or 10 minutes. Viewers can tune in simply by going to Dagny’s profile when the show goes live. The second virtual open mic, held March 26, was a


co-celebration of the event’s one-year anniversary under Sill’s supervision as well as her birthday. Over a dozen performers took part, including Sill, some first-timers and a participant from Spain. “I did it,� wrote Instagram user @emmanuelswithus. “That was a fear I needed to conquer. Thank you @dagnys_coffee and @storyofasongbird for having me on. Thank you to the community for the encouragement.� Another first-time participant said she does karaoke every Thursday at a local establishment but has been unable to do so with the quarantine in place. She said she looks forward to participating again in the future. In a time when residents are encouraged to practice social distancing, Dagny’s open mic community is still coming together in a virtual space. Whether a beginner or a career musician, Sill encourages anyone who is interested in performing to take the plunge like she did years ago. “I feel like if we all walk out of this the same people as when we walked into it, it was a failed pause button for us all,� Sill said of the stay-at-home order that was implemented in March. “If the one thing that changes for someone is they were terrified to come out before but now it’s more familiar and they’re able to find that courage and come share whatever they have with people after this, that’s a huge win. You only live once. So get on the stage and sing about it.�

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HEALTHY LIVING L e t ’s G e t P h y s i c a l / P e a c e o f M i n d

RIDING IN STYLE

Twenty-eight-year-old Demetrius Hanks successfully performs a poptail graf airwalk maneuver on his skateboard at the Beach Park skate park.

PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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H E A LT H Y L I V I N G

Let's Get Physical

FITNESS SUPPLEMENTS

WHAT ARE THEY, WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE THEM AND WHY By Alex Garzaro

Protein shakes, amino acids, creatine, L-carnitine, preworkouts — what are these? Should I be taking them? When do I take them? All valid questions. Fitness supplements can be extremely beneficial to helping you optimize your progress. When I first got into fitness, I did a lot of research on what to eat before and after workouts. I discovered that consuming protein post-workout would aid in the recovery and repair of muscles. Numerous fitness professionals have recommended that consuming protein post-workout during the anabolic window is the ideal time. The anabolic window is 15–60 minutes post-workout, when the muscles are known to be spongelike and would absorb the protein, creating an increased development in the muscle. I followed this theory for years and it was very beneficial. Until my lifestyle changed and the hour right after my workout needed to be dedicated to getting ready for my day, which led me to start consuming my protein shakes during my training sessions versus after. This simple switch not only provided an increase in strength but also in muscle growth, more so, than when I would consume protein shakes post-workout. Both of these methods were beneficial for me. If you are unsure whether to consume your shakes during or after, try both ways and monitor your progress to see which one your body responds to best. Protein shakes help build muscles and aid in recovery, but what if you still feel sore hours and days after your training sessions? One of the best supplements I have come across to reduce muscle soreness is amino acids, also known as BCAAs 50

Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

(branch chain amino acids). BCAAs will help prolong muscle breakdown, also aiding in muscle growth and reducing soreness. No more feeling like you were hit by a bus or skipping training days because you are too sore. Drinking BCAAs during training sessions is most common, which is great if you have prolonged workouts. Workouts lasting longer than an hour will decrease your glucose levels, causing fatigue, strength reduction and lack of focus. By consuming BCAAs during your prolonged training sessions, you will boost your energy levels, helping you to lift heavier, run faster, train longer and harder. However, if you are training to increase your muscle mass (size), researchers have recommended avoiding drinking BCAAs during training sessions. Reason being is that in order to create muscle hypertrophy, you will want to allow the muscle fibers to be broken down so that the body can naturally rebuild the muscles and increase the size of them during its repairing of these fibers. As BCAAs suppress the breakdown of muscle, according to research, it’s not that you will NOT experience muscle growth, you will simply experience less growth. Therefore, if optimal muscle growth is your goal, consuming BCAAs anytime throughout the day that is not your training time is ideal. So when deciding when to consume BCAAs, keep your goals in mind. Tune into next month, when I discuss pre-workouts, L-carnitine and creatine. Alex Garzaro is a lifestyle strategist, weight loss expert for women and transformational speaker. The views expressed are her own.

Alex Garzaro DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM


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Peace of Mind

STRESS AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

HOW TO CARE FOR YOURSELF DURING A TIME OF CRISIS By Anna Marie Frank

During these trying times our stress meter tends to tick up, but did you know increased stress levels will decrease your immune system? So what is one to do? Not only is it important to take care of our physical health (eat healthy, move your body, get rest and drink lots of water) but one must take care of their mental health. So how do we take better care of our mental health during this pandemic? 1. Be sure all physical health is taken care of. • Move your body • Eat nutritious foods • Take your vitamins • Get quality sleep 2. Be informed but then get off the news, social media and emails that are constantly reminding you of the stressors around you. 3. Boost your mindset with positive articles, books, music and post readings. 4. Stay connected with those you love. During this pandemic, we are self-isolating and practicing social distancing, but picking up the phone to have a conversation is A-OK! 5. Get outside and get fresh air! Getting some real sunshine and fresh air will do wonders for your mental health — just adhere to the CDC’s recommended 6 feet of distancing. 6. Use the flip-it mindset. Every time you have a negative thought, flip it into a positive thought. Rewire your brain to shift into positive thoughts. 7. Get that online health coach, life coach or fitness trainer you have always wanted to connect with. Now is a great time to have professional support to help you focus on improving your overall well-being and stay safe inside your home. When we are constantly in worry mode, our mindset triggers our stress hormones to rise. When our stress hormones rise, we switch into what is called “fight-or-flight” mode. When we shift gears into chronic stress mode, this causes inflammation in the body and the body can start damaging healthy cells, tissues and organs. This causes DNA damage and leaves scarring in the body. Chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation can lead to several diseases, leaving the body’s immune system weak and susceptible to illness. Limit stress to improve your health — all from the comfort and safety of your own space. Anna Marie Frank is a brain health and wellness expert, author, lecturer and human-potential coach. The views expressed are her own. 52

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Anna Marie Frank DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM


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The votes are in and the community has spoken! The annual Best Of Readers' Choice Poll showcases the best of the best — from food to shopping, services and

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more — as decided by those who call Bakersfield home, totaling 98 winners and 196 favorites. This is your guide to the Best Of Bakersfield.


Best Museum / Art Gallery: Kern County Museum

Best Annual Event:Holiday Lights at CALM

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Best Local Band

Best Annual Event

Filthy Truckers

Favorites

• Last Call • Johnny Owens and the Buck Fever

Holiday Lights at CALM

Favorites

• Voices of Inspiration — Hoffmann Hospice • George the Giant's Strange Museum of Oddities & Wonders October Pop-Up

Best Movie Theater

Best Community Theater The Fox Theater

Favorites

• Gaslight Melodrama Theatre • Bakersfield Music Theatre & Stars

Theatre Restaurant

Best Entertainment/Event Venue Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Favorites

• Mechanics Bank Arena • The Fox Theater CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS

Studio Movie Grill Bakersfield

Favorites

Best Community Theater: The Fox Theater

• Maya Cinemas Bakersfield 16 • Edwards Bakersfield Stadium

Best Place for Live Music

Best Museum/Art Gallery

• Fox Theater • Mechanics Bank Arena

Kern County Museum

Favorites

• Bakersfield Museum of Arts • Bubble Pop Gallery

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Favorites

Best Kid/Family Entertainment CALM California Living Museum

Favorites

• The BLVD • All Seated in a Barn www.BakersfieldLife.com

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COMMUNITY Best College/ Higher Learning Source California State University, Bakersfield

Favorites

• Bakersfield College • Taft College

Best Made in Bakersfield Product Dewars Candy Shop - Chews

Best Entertainment Venue / Event Venue, Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests and Best Place for Live Music: Buck Owens′ Crystal Palace

Favorites

• Smith’s Bakery • S’moore Soaps

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Favorites

• Wool Growers Restaurant & Cocktail

Lounge

• Luigi's

Best Place to Work Garces Memorial High School

Favorites

• Ulrich Barn Builders • Hoffmann Hospice

Best New Restaurant: The 18hundred

Best Place to Worship

FOOD & DINING

Valley Bible Fellowship

Favorites

• Valley Baptist Church • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church

Garces Memorial High School

Favorites

• Bakersfield Christian High School • St. Francis Parish School

Best Radio/News Personality Matt & Aaron

Favorites

Favorites

Wool Growers Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge

Smith’s Bakeries

• Benji’s French Basque Restaurant • Pyrenees Cafe

• Sweet Surrender • Sugar Twist Bakery

Best Breakfast

Favorites

• Belvedere Cocktail Lounge • Lengthwise Brewery Company

Favorites

• PorkChop & Bubba’s BBQ • Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe

Best Bakery

Favorites

Aaron Perlman

Favorites

Best Basque Restaurant

Tiki-Ko

Best TV Personality

Salty’s BBQ & Catering

• Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar • Blue Elephant

Best Bar

• Danny & Kait in the morning • Danny P

24th Street Cafe

Favorites

• Old River Grill • Cope’s Knotty Pine Cafe

Best Buffet

Hodel’s Country Dining

Favorites

• Bucks Owens’ Crystal Palace

• Alissa Carlson • Jim Scott Bakersfield Life Magazine

Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks

Favorites

Best Private School

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Best Asian Cuisine

Best Barbecue Restaurant

• Don Pericos Mexican Restaurant May 2020

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Now more than ever, we would like to

ALL HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS for their compassionate care for

OUR COMMUNITY

661.410.1010 Best Place to Work • Best Annual Event

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Best Seafood La Costa Mariscos

Favorites • Crab in a Bag • Coconut Joe's Beach Grill

Best Italian Restaurant Frugatti’s

Favorites

• Luigi’s • Sorella Ristorante Italiano

Best Steakhouse Restaurant

Best Mexican Restaurant: La Costa Mariscos

Best Coffee Cafe Smitten

Favorites

• Covenant Coffee • Cloud 9 Coffee

Best Family Restaurant Luigi’s

Favorites • Frugatti’s • La Costa Mariscos

Best Happy Hour Best Coffee: Cafe Smitten

Best Burger Happy Jack’s Hamburger & Pie Shop

Favorites

Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse

Favorites

KC Steakhouse

Best Mediterranean Restaurant Flame & Skewers Mediterranean Restaurant

Favorites • Hungry Hunter Steakhouse • Tahoe Joe’s Famous

Steakhouse

Favorites

• Mama Roomba • Athena’s Greek Cafe

Best Mexican Restaurant • La Costa Mariscos

Favorites

• Mexicali Restaurant • Don Pericos Mexican

Restaurant

Best Sunday Brunch Bucks Owens' Crystal Palace

Favorites • Hodel’s Country Dining • Don Pericos Mexican

Restaurant

Best Sushi Kan Pai

Favorites • Jin Sushi Japanese

• La Costa Mariscos • Wiki’s Wine Dive & Grill

Best New Restaurant The 18hundred

Best Ice Cream/ Frozen Yogurt

Favorites

Restaurant • Ichiban Sushi

• Dot x Ott • Angry Barnyard BBQ

Best Taco Tuesday

Dewar's Candy Shop

Birria Bros

• Woolworth’s

Favorites

Best Pizza

Favorites

• Moo Creamery

• Rosemary’s Family

Tony’s Pizza

Creamery

Favorites

• Vatos Tacos • Don Pericos Mexican

Best Buffet

• Moo Creamery

• Rusty’s Pizza Parlor • Slice of Italy

Restaurant

Hodel's Country Dining

Favorites • Bucks Owens’ Crystal Palace • Don Pericos Mexican

Restaurant

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

Best Lunch Spot Luigi's

Favorites • Coconut Joe’s • Victor’s Mexican Grill

May 2020

Best Sandwich/Deli Sequoia Sandwich Company

Favorites

• Caesars Italian Delicatessen • Jersey Mike’s Subs

Best Vegeterian/ Vegan-Friendly Restaurant Cafe Smitten

Favorites • Vida Vegan • The Hens Roost CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


HEALTH & WELLNESS Best Chiropractor

Best Dentist

Christopher Berry, DC — Core Chiropractic + Wellness

Dr. Chris Kiuftis — Brimhall Dental Group

Favorites

Favorites

• Vice Lujan — Chiro to Go • Randall Schulze — Schulze

• Dr. Riar • Dr. Jerry Woolf — Woolf

Family Chiropractic

Dentistry

Thank you for trus ng us with your Real Estate needs for over 25 years. - Laurie McCarty

Thank you to all our loyal customers for voting Luigi’s... Lunch Spot Family Restaurant

725 EAST 19 STREET 322-0926 TH

“Where Friends Meet�

Since 1910

DAILY SPECIALS AVAILABLE WWW.SHOPLUIGIS.COM

Italian Restaurant Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests

Thank You For Your Votes And Support. Join Us for Great Food 2515 F Street

Family Owned & Operated Monday: Thursday 11:00am - 10pm Friday: 11:00am - 12:00am

Saturday: 4:30pm - 12:00am Closed Sunday

themccartygroup.com 661.665.SOLD (7653) www.BakersfieldLife.com

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Best Ophthalmologist/ Optometrist Gregory A. Stainer — Southwest Eye Care & Laser

Favorites

• Stephen Ratty — Stephen

Ratty Optometrist • Daniel H. Chang — Empire Eye and Laser Center Best Urgent Care: Accelerated Urgent Care

Best Doctor/ General Practitioner Dr. William Farr

Favorites

• Dr. Rafael Huezo • Dr. Benjamin P. Ha

Best Hospital

Best Medical Group

Best Pediatrician

Farr Medical Group

Dr. Javier Bustamante — Bakersfield Pediatrics

Favorites

• Kaiser Permanente • Beautologie Cosmetic Sur-

gery & Medical Aesthetics

Favorites

• Dr. Onyinye E. Okezie • Dr. Rosanna Abary

Best Nurse

Adventist Health Bakersfield

Miraya Cruz

• Dignity Health — Bakers-

• Rebecca Malson-NICU-

field Memorial Hospital • Bakersfield Heart Hospital

• Jennifer Tougas-Genova

Favorites

Best Orthodontist Favorites

• Dr. Michael Thurman —

Thurman Orthodontics • Dr. Donald R. Montano —

Montano Elevated Orthodontics

Best Pediatrician

Favorites

Adventist Health Bakersfield

Dr. Wes Cardall — Cardall Orthodontics

Dr. Javier Bustamante — Bakersfield Pediatrics Best Hospital: Adventist Health Hospital

Favorites

• Dr. Onyinye E. Okezie • Dr. Rosanna Abary

Best Specialty Doctor

Vinod Kumar, MD, FACC

5020 Commerce Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93309 | 661-324-4100 | www.HeartandLeg.com 60

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CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


Best Physical Therapy Group

Best Urgent Care Accelerated Urgent Care

Terrio Physical Therapy & Fitness

Favorites

• Glinn and Giordano Physical

• Sendas Northwest Urgent

Therapy • Pair & Marotta Physical Therapy

Care

Best Veterinarian

Best Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Adam Landry — Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital

Favorites

• Kaiser Permanente Urgent

THANK YOU BAKERSFIELD

Care

Darshan Shah — Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Aesthetics

Favorites

• Dr. Travis Thurman —

Thurman Veterinary Center

Favorites

• Dr. Cooke — Cooke's

• Dr. Vipul Dev — California

Veterinary Hospital

Institute of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery • Dr. Michael B. Freeman

Best Specialty Doctor

Vinod Kumar M.D. — Heart Vascular and Leg Center

Favorites

• Ravi Patel — CBCC • Milan Shah-Beautologie

Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Aesthetics

Dr. Berry and the whole team at Core Chiropractic + Wellness would like to thank you for your continued support.

RETAIL Best Antique Dealer Woolworth’s Five & Dime Antique Mall

Favorites

• In Your Wildest Dreams Co. • The She Shed by The

WWW.CHIROPRACTORBAKERSFIELD.COM

Peachy Pig

661-410-9355

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www.BakersfieldLife.com

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SERVICES Best Automotive Service Bill Wright Toyota

Favorites • Motor City Buick GMC • Motor City Lexus of

Bakersfield

Best Bank/ Financial Institute

Best Shopping Center: The Shops at River Walk

Valley Strong Credit Union

Best Home Appliance & Electronics Store Urner’s

Favorites • Best Buy • Lowe’s Home Improvement

Best Jewelry Store Knights Jewelry

Favorites Best Antique Dealer: Woolworths Five & Dime Antique Mall

• American Jewelry Co. • Rogers Jewelers

Best Men′s / Women′s Apparel

Best Nursery/ Garden Store Bolles Nursery Landscape

Favorites

• White Forest Nursery • Robby’s Nursery

Best Pet Store/ Pet Service Self Serve Pet Spa

Favorites

• Chasin’ Tails Pet Grooming • Kushman’s Feed & Farm

Favorites • Chase Bank • AltaOne Federal Credit Union

Best Barbershop All American Barbershoppe

Favorites • The BlackBoard Barber Shop • His Touch Barber Shop

Best CPA/ Accounting Firm

Supply

Bowen Accounting & Tax

Best Carpet/ Flooring/Tile

Emporium Western Store

Best Shoe Store

Favorites

Guarantee Shoe Center

• Brown Armstrong • John D. Duffield CPA

Carpet Outlet Plus

• Sugardaddy’s Boutique • Bella at the Marketplace

• Emporium Western Store • Boot Barn

Best Day Care/ Preschool Facility

Favorites

• Stockdale Ceramic Tile

Center Inc. • Bill Ray Tile

Best Florist Log Cabin Florist

Favorites

• One of a Kind Designs • White Oaks Florist

Best Furniture/ Mattress Store Urner’s

Favorites • MOR Furniture • Ashley Furniture

Best New Business LVL Fitness

Favorites • The She Shed by

The Peachy Pig • Arctic Wellness Cryo & Float

Best New Car Dealer Motor City Buick GMC

Favorites • Bill Wright Toyota • Motor City Lexus of

Bakersfield

Favorites

Best Shopping Center The Shops at River Walk

Favorites

• The Marketplace • Northwest Promenade

Best Tire Store Clerou Tire Company Inc.

Favorites

• Big Brand Tire & Service • Costco

Best Used Car Bill Wright Toyota

Favorites

• Motor City Buick GMC • CarMax 62

Bakersfield Life Magazine

May 2020

Favorites

Little Red School House

Favorites • Lil’ Explorers Preschool • Stockdale Christian Schools

Best DJ DJ Wifey

Favorites • DJ Danny Hill • DJ Noe G

Best Dry Cleaner Today Cleaners

Favorites • Waterfall Cleaners • New City Cleaners CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


Thank You Kern County

For Supporting Us The Last 7 Years In A Row! • No Referral Necessary • FREE Consultations • No-Interest Financing

Donald Montano, DDS, MSD

661.665.7600 ElevatedOrthodontics.com

Best Private School

Best Place to Work

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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Best Real Estate Agent Sheeza Gordon — Watson Realty ERA

Favorites

• Janice Fisher — Coldwell

Banker Preferred, Realtors • Laurie McCarty — Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors

Best Real Estate Company Miramar International

Favorites

Best New Home Builder: Castle & Cooke

• Coldwell Banker Preferred,

Best Electrical Company A-C Electric Company

Favorites • Pavletich Electric &

Communications • Braun Electric Company Inc.

Best Funeral Home Greenlawn Funeral Homes & Cemeteries

Favorites

Best IT Services

Best New Home Builder

Grapevine MSP Technology Services

Castle & Cooke

Favorites • ARRC Technology • TRIS Technology Solutions

Best Law Firm Klein, DeNatale, Goldner

Favorites • Chain Cohn Stiles • Young Wooldridge LLP

• Hillcrest Memorial Park • Basham Funeral Care

Best Lawyer

Best Hair Salon

Julia Vlahos - Klein, DeNatale, Goldner

Rendezvous Salon

Favorites

Favorites • Sirens and Sage Hair Loft • Primary the Salon

Best Heating/Air Monarch Home Services

Favorites • Oasis Air Conditioning • Holders Heating & AC

• Tony Lidgett — Law Office

of Tony V. Lidgett • Robert J. Noriega — Young Wooldridge LLP

Best Local Insurance Agent • Elizabeth Lehr — State Farm

Favorites • Darlene Denison —

Best Home Improvement State Farm Building Contractor • Jo Ann Miller — Personal Stockdale Kitchen & Bath

Favorites

Express Insurance

• DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen

Best Mortgage Company

Bakersfield • John Balfanz Homes

The Mortgage House

Favorites • Agape Mortgage • Valley Strong Credit Union

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Favorites

• Froehlich Signature Homes • Brandt Oliver Homes Inc.

Best Pest Control Killian Pest Control

Favorites

• Bakersfield Pest Control • Clark Pest Control

Best Photographer

Realtors • Premier Realty

Best Solar Company SunPower by Sun Solar

Favorites

• Bland Company • Simple Power

Best Spa EuroPhoria Medical & Personal Spa

Favorites

Audriana Wolfe Photography

• Allure Aesthetics • Beautologie Cosmetic

• Allyssa Ashlee Photography • Joseph Estrada Photography

Surgery & Medical Aesthetics

Favorites

Best Specialty Service

Best Plumbing Service

Bossman’s Trash Hauling

Stan's Discount Rooter & Plumbing Repair Inc.

• Simply Chic Events by Irma

Favorites

• The Plumbing Doc • Payless Plumbing & Rooter

Specialist

Best Property Management Company

Favorites Green

• Alpha Technologies & Alarm

Systems Inc.

Best Tattoo Parlor Top Hat Art Collective

Favorites

Apex Management Group

• Third Energy Tattoo &

• Karpe Real Estate Center • Watson Realty Property

• True Grit Tattoo Company

Favorites

Management

Best Roofing Company

Piercing

Best Tutoring Service Sylvan Learning of Bakersfield

Favorites

BSW Roofing, Solar & Air

• Kumon of Bakersfield-River-

• All Weather Roofing • San Joaquin Roofing

• K & B Tutoring

Favorites

lakes

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


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We were all made for more. More love. More hope. More connection. And now more than ever, it’s important for us to stay connected. In times of uncertainty we pull together as a community, and together we can overcome anything.

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Made for more hope

To learn more about staying healthy, active and connected, visit AdventistHealth.org


Three more local institutions were inducted into the Best Of Hall of Fame for their longevity, service and commitment to the community. The following pages are dedicated to this year’s champions!

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Dewars first opened in 1901 by James H. Dewar.

Co-owners Michael Dewar, George Dewar and Heather Dewar Cook

DEWAR’S

Bakersfield’s sweet spot for over 100 years

I

f you’ve lived in Bakersfield for any length of time, you know that Dewar’s is a household name around here. The family run business was first opened in 1909 by James H. Dewar and has been a local staple for over 100 years. Their commitment to creating the highest-quality products, as well as their excellent customer service, has given them their staying power. George Dewar took over the shop from his father James A. Dewar in 1977 and is still an integral part of the business today, working alongside daughter Heather and son Michael. In spite of these unprecedented times, they are doing everything in their power to keep providing our community with the amazing products we have come to know and love. They have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community. “People are so grateful to still be able to get their Easter candy, during a time when so much is uncertain,” said Heather. “It’s the little things that really add up.” Attention to detail is exactly what the Dewar family exemplifies. “I think it’s the fact that we continue to do what we know how to do best, (our products are) made the same as they were 100 years ago. The recipes are still the same, we still use only the best ingredients,” said Heather. They recently released a new flavor of nondairy ice milk just in time for summer — watermelon. They also just introduced their first-ever sugar-free ice cream and topping. “We have spent so much time, especially on the sugar-free

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DEWAR’S, CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

ice cream, getting it to the point that it’s Dewar’s quality. We kept trying, kept fine-tuning, until everyone on our team said it was amazing,” said Heather. “We’d rather spend the time and do adequate experimentation (to create) a product we are proud to put on the market. We want to give customers the best product we can make.” That attitude of excellence extends to every aspect of their business, including their customer service. “We want to give customers the best product we can make. They know what they want and what they’re used to,” said Heather. “Our customers are loyal, so we feel an obligation to give them what they want. They don’t have to come to our store, they’re choosing to come here, so they should get exactly what they came for.” The Dewar family also believes strongly in giving back to their community and give to a large variety of organizations around town. One worth noting is their ongoing support of Tiger Fight, the Bakersfield chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They created the Tiger Chew, an orange-andwhite striped chew that tastes like a 50-50 bar, in honor of the organization. One dollar from every pound they sell goes back to LLS. “We give back to the community as much as we possibly can,” said Heather. “We are truly grateful to our community.” Dewar’s is currently offering curbside pickup, as well as mail-order options. Visit their website at www.dewarscandy. com.

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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Mercy Southwest Hospital′s groundbreaking ceremony in 1990.

Community members gather at the future location of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.

DIGNITY HEALTH MERCY AND MEMORIAL HOSPITALS Partners in caring for the community

I

n 1910, four young women, who were members of the Sisters of Mercy in Los Angeles, came to Bakersfield to care for the patients in what was then St. Clair Hospital. After determining the facility wasn’t adequate to meet the needs of the growing community, they were able to build a new hospital, thanks to the generous donation of local resident William de Gana. The original three-story structure, completed in 1913, had beds for 50 patients. Today, Mercy Hospital is able to accommodate 144 patients at its Truxtun location alone. The principles upon which the Sisters of Mercy founded that first hospital still guide them today. “As a hospital system, one of the most important aspects of who we are, are advocates for the underserved. That is truly essential to every single thing we do,” said Toni Harper, vice president of philanthropy for Mercy Hospital. “Everyone deserves the same excellent care and compassion.” Not only do they serve anyone who walks through their doors, regardless of their position in life, they also make sure those patients have the resources they need once they leave the hospital. “We wrap them up in service with our outpatient network,” said Harper. “(We work with) social services and medical services to (help) keep them out of the hospital.” They are also one of the largest social service providers in the community beyond the walls of the hospital. “Last year we had $93 million in community care — between Mercy and Memorial hospitals combined,” said Harper. “We serve 100,000 people per year beyond the walls of our hospitals in our outreach programs.”

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Dignity Health offers community health screenings, after-school homework programs, nutrition services and two outreach centers in underserved areas of our community. They also have a Wellness Center on G Street that offers health classes, a community kitchen, classes in pain management, heart disease and myriad other services. In the mid-1990s, Memorial Hospital realized the advantages of coming under the umbrella of a larger health care system, and after careful consideration, chose Dignity Health because of their shared philosophy. Even before they officially joined forces, Mercy and Memorial hospitals had a history of working together. When the 1952 earthquake destroyed the Mercy Hospital building, there was already a group of Bakersfield residents in the process of raising funds to build Memorial Hospital. Together, the two groups raised the capital needed and Memorial Hospital was completed in 1956. Continued expansion over the years has made Memorial the largest regional medical center in the Southern Valley. They also have the area’s only pediatric intensive care unit. Memorial is still community owned and governed by a board of directors from the community. Although individual entities, Mercy and Memorial hospitals’ shared values in caring for the community they serve make them perfect teammates. “I think it’s such an honor to be able to continue the legacy of all the community members before us that established Mercy and Memorial,” said Harper. PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIGNITY HEALTH, MEMORIAL HOSPITAL


The Luigi's family

The lunch counter in back of the grocery, the precursor to Luigi's.

LUIGI’S

A family affair built on customer service, teamwork and efficiency

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hen you’ve been a part of the community as long as the Lemucchi family, you become ingrained in its very fabric. Joe Lemucchi immigrated to California from Lucca, Italy, and opened his original cafe in 1906 on Sumner Street. He later married fellow Italian Emilia Degiuli and they moved to the current location on East 19th Street in 1910. Together, they raised four children, Louis, Lena, Harry and Helen, in the home behind the original store. Not only did Lemucchi cater to the culinary needs of the Italian community, he also built small cottages at the back of his property that he rented to Italian bachelor immigrants. The original grocery store and cafe was more than just a business — it was a gathering place where fellow Italians could exchange news and ideas in their native language. And there was always something hot to eat in the back of the store. It’s also where the now-famous Luigi sandwich was first created. After Joe’s death, Emilia and their son Louis continued running the business, eventually expanding to add a bar and restaurant. And Luigi’s was born. One of Bakersfield’s oldest continuously family operated businesses, today the deli and restaurant are run by the third and fourth generations of the family, Luigi’s daughter Antonia and her husband Monte Valpredo and their children Gino, Monica and Lanette. Toward the end of his life, when Louis was sick, Monte would go down to the restaurant early in the morning to learn his fatherin-law’s recipes before going to work on his farm, which was his livelihood at that time. In 1989, Monte and Antonia took over the business after her father passed.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LUIGI’S

“They inherited it shotgun style,” said Gino Valpredo, adding that his parents didn’t know much about running a business at that time, so they decided they would just treat people the way they would want to be treated themselves and that is still their guiding principle today. “We start our daily meetings with our motto — customerservice, teamwork and efficiency. If you take care of the customer service part of it, then it all falls into place. We’ve had so many great people here that have worked 20-plus years and (several) who’ve worked 10-plus years. The good people last,” said Gino. His parents are both still involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. Antonia does all the buying and spends a few hours a day arranging the deli and visiting with customers. Monte is usually next door in the warehouse creating Luigi’s signature seasoning that is sold in local grocery stores. Sister Lanette is the sommelier and manages the deli, and Monica helps with some of the buying for the shop. The family believes strongly in giving back to the community that has supported them for over 100 years. They donate to schools, churches and a variety of other local causes. Education is a big one, said Gino, who gives back to his alma maters Garces, Bakersfield College and Arizona State University. “We feel super blessed in this community,” said Gino. “We feel like we’re a big part of it. We have a lot of really loyal customers. We’ve watched kids grow up and now they’re bringing in their (own) kids.” Tradition is a big part of what makes Luigi’s so special. The family behind it and the families and community they have lovingly served for over a century. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY B a ke r s f i e l d M a t t e r s / O u r To w n / H i s t o r y / P e r s o n a l i t y

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CORONAVIRUS KINDESS

Animal Control Worker Samantha Haynes carries an Australian Cattle Dog to a vehicle in efforts to aid the Kern County Animal Services. The shelter has temporarily closed due to coronavirus. The community responded by temporarily fostering these pets at their own homes. See more acts of kindness on Page 74.

PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Bakersfield Matters

Garces Memorial High School coach and art teacher Mark Brown with his students.

THE ART OF RETIREMENT

GARCES’ LONGEST-TENURED TEACHER, COACH SIGNS OFF

Mark Brown in 1987

By Lisa Kimble

Leave it to beloved Garces Memorial High School coach and art teacher Mark Brown to saunter into retirement unconventionally. “Brownie,” as he is affectionately known, has always done things in his signature cool and easygoing way, although doing so under the dark cloud of a national emergency isn’t exactly what he envisioned. The school’s longest-tenured teacher in its history expected to walk across the graduation stage with his students for the last time after 42 years in mid-May. But little more than two months ago, the new coronavirus, a word that wasn’t part of anyone’s lexicon when the school year began, brought on-campus studies to a screeching halt, forcing faculty and students to utilize online instruction through the end of the semester. There will be no senior prom to chaperone. No senior sunset to oversee. No swim meets to coach. No ceremonial pomp and circumstance. Brown’s classroom, a shrine to more than four decades of teaching, remains as it was March 13 when the pandemic changed school life as he knew it. “Never has anything like this happened. I’m OK, but I’m sorry I can’t see anybody off — my students, my fellow teachers,” Brown lamented by phone. “It is such a bummer, my last year, to not see the graduation.” An institution at Garces, it will be hard to imagine the school without his larger-than-life personality come fall, whether it be in the classroom or the press box. “Mark Brown is woven into the culture on the Garces campus,” said athletic director Gino Lacava, calling Brown “irreplaceable.” “He has affected more students, athletes and

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May 2020

football fans than anyone since our establishment.” When Brown arrived, he was fresh out of college. The Illinois native, who was raised in the Bay Area, attended Cal State Bakersfield on a basketball scholarship and picked up his teaching credential at San Jose State. “I was just 22. I interviewed with Bob Carroll who was riding a tractor across campus and chewing tobacco,” he recalled. “He and Bob Garcia hired me in 1978. Mary Smile kicked me out of the office because she thought I was a student,” he laughed, recalling the school’s legendary typing instructor. “I was making about $649 a month, living in a studio apartment and driving a Volkswagen. That was a lot of money back then and I was in hog heaven,” he remembered. He met his wife, Marirose, two years later. Their children would go on to attend Garces. “I think I worked with 11 principals, different administrations and uncertain times the school faced,” he said. Brown says it was the kids who kept him going to work every day. As technology changed the way instructors taught, Brown kept things old-school. “I knew how to do roll call and enter grades, but that was about it,” he said. Over the years, Brown had a front-row seat to the campus’s physical improvements and he wore many hats. From barbecues, moderating clubs, coaching and football play-by-play, it seems there was nothing he couldn’t do. “I’ve spent two-thirds of my life at Garces. It’s my home,” he said. “To see the kids grow up, then teach their kids, the second generations, it’s been great.” One of those students, Johnny Soper, whose mother Marcie is also a graduate, remembers sharing the press box with Brown during home football games. “Mr. Brown is like an urban legend and a comedic machine. PHOTO COURTESY OF GARCES MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL


Often my stomach hurt from laughing at things he said during the games we called,� he said. Brown has been the voice of Rams Football for nearly 40 years, treating boosters to his trademark expressions like “holy Toledo sports fans!� “That was a good gig right there,� Brown said. “I had the best seat in town.� And it seemed there wasn’t a sports team Brown couldn’t take under his wing and leave his mark on. The Californian named Brown its All-Area Coach of the Year in 1989 for boys tennis. “The kids kept me young and it is the hard part of leaving,� he said. “They are like my own and I’m really going to miss them.� “Mark is a perfect example of what it means to be a part of the Garces family up here,� said principal Myka Peck. “His energy and love for this school and students will truly be missed.� Brown and his wife will relocate to Sacramento to be closer to three of their four children. He expects to fill his days with hunting, fishing, rounds of golf and yard work. And perhaps finding another swim club to coach. Brown says he began flirting with the idea of retirement a few years ago. “I thought 2020 might be a good number,� he said. “Guess that was a bad idea.� Undeterred, he promised to be back for the retirement party that was canceled and to check in on his Garces family. Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Our Town

Employees of Memorial Hospital waited to thank the Tejon Tribe during arrival. The Tejon Indian Tribe, led by Chairman Octavio Escobedo, donated 1,400 N95 particulate masks from the Tejon Indian Tribe Health Services to Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial hospitals.

CARE IN THE COMMUNITY

ACTS OF KINDNESS DURING A PANDEMIC

Complied by Bakersfield Life

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and many cities remain under stay-at-home orders, it can be easy for people to feel discouraged about what the future holds. Moments of kindness around Bakersfield have been spreading since the virus outbreak. In the face of crisis, residents have come together to volunteer and send messages of support to one another. Here are some inspirational moments from locals who provide hope during these difficult times.

Kathy Colbert fosters a couple terrier-mix rescue puppies that need to be bottle-fed as Kern County Animal Services temporarily closes its doors due to the new coronavirus. 74

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May 2020

West High cafeteria worker Concetta Costa hands out meals during Kern High School District's grab-and-go food giveaway at West High School. PHOTOS BY ALEX HORVATH, NICK ELLIS


St. Vincent de Paul distributed over 145 lunches to area homeless. St. Vincent de Paul, a daytime homeless shelter in Bakersfield, has been forced to close its doors and is now handing out hot breakfast and lunches at its front gate.

Patriot Elementary School teacher Mrs. McKee waves to students. Teachers and other staff of Patriot Elementary School took part in a car caravan parade for students.

THANK YOU KERN COUNTY FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT Ellen Theriault is fostering a pit bull-mix to aid the Kern County Animal Services.

West High cafeteria supervisor Brandi Lozano, right, and Mike Lomeli separate breakfast meals from lunch meals during Kern High School District's meal giveaway at West High School.

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Nutrition Coordinator Chelsea Dow looks for a reaction after distributing food to one family. To reduce the frequency that families have to leave their homes to pick up meals, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County are providing supper along with breakfast for the following day at each of their grab-and-go meal service locations.

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Study Hall

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

TEACHERS, STUDENTS ADJUST TO DISTANCE LEARNING DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

By Julie Mana-ay Perez

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools have been forced to take education online. The goal is making sure students and teachers work together, but recreating a classroom setting through an online portal is no easy task. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the closure of California schools through the end of the academic year. Together, teachers, classified employees, school boards, superintendents and principals must work together to provide distance learning to students as a result of school closures against the COVID-19 outbreak. While teachers and students everywhere have made this transition, some find it difficult to adjust to a virtual learning environment. Longfellow Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Lauren Paulson said it’s difficult working from home because she can’t help her students with assigned schoolwork or her students don’t have access to the tools they need to communicate with her. “I’ve been constantly reaching out to the parents via Class Dojo, Google Classroom and phone calls trying to get students to get on Zoom so we can communicate daily. I reach about 15 of my 28 students,” Paulson said. Leon H. Ollivier Middle School seventh-grade teacher Devon Halsell said she feels obsolete with distance learning. “I only hear from 10% of my students each day and have to wonder if the other 90% are doing the work, let alone understand it,” said Halsell. Both Halsell and Paulson use Zoom to connect with their students daily and said their districts are doing what they can to continue their students’ educational success. Not only do teachers feel like they can’t teach from home, but students are also trying to get accustomed to their new learning environment. CSU Bakersfield student Lola Jimenez is going through her final semester as an undergraduate this spring and expressed the challenge of transitioning from in-person learning to online. Jimenez said it’s difficult for her to focus on completing schoolwork while being at home. “Peace and quiet are not the easiest. I’m used to living in the 76

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May 2020

library and staying there from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. doing homework. I also had my own space and I could focus,” said Jimenez. “I have all these distractions at home, so focusing is really difficult.” Jimenez also acknowledged the struggles her peers at CSUB face, like not receiving enough help in classrooms or programs and software used to help them achieve success in classes. “School is a little harder now for some of my classmates because they were worried about how they were going to do schoolwork. I’m happy that CSUB was renting out Chromebooks or else a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to do homework,” said Jimenez. According to a news conference held by Newsom, thousands of California students who lack accessibility to a computer or internet will have the opportunity to rent a Google Chromebook to make sure distance learning does not create an educational barrier. Through this pandemic, Halsell said she misses her students and wants students everywhere to continue to stay positive. “Try to find something good about every day. If we take it one day at a time, we can all get through this together,” Halsell said. DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM



PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

History

BE KIND TO ANIMALS WEEK

CELEBRATING BAKERSFIELD’S FAITHFUL COMPANIONS By Julie Plata

Whether it is man’s best friend or a cat that you must constantly win over, for many people pets offer a source of comfort and companionship. No other time is this more important than in times of crisis and uncertainty. During these particularly difficult times, pets keep us grounded and sometimes attend the many virtual meetings many are now having to participate in. These constant and faithful companions deserve to be celebrated, and for over 100 years a special week dedicated to our furry, feathered and finned friends has occurred every spring. Started in 1915 by the American Humane Association, Be Kind to Animals Week is the United States’ oldest commemorative week and longest-running humane education campaign. Every year, events across the nation bring recognition to our faithful companions and exalt the importance of adopting shelter animals. The first Be Kind to Animals Week occurred across many American cities from May 16–22, 1915. It would not take long for Bakersfield to join in the celebration as a Be Kind to Animals Week first occurred in 1917. Each year, Bakersfield churches, schools and public officials participated in the efforts of the Kern County Humane Society, now the Bakersfield Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to bring awareness to the campaign of showing kindness to animals. During Be Kind to Animals Week, Sunday sermons in nearly every church were given on the importance of being kind to animals and schools across Bakersfield held special programs and activities. As the commemorative week became a tradition, the Bakersfield SPCA also took the opportunity to use the week to bring awareness to the importance of adopting from the shelter. These animals bring joy and love to many, and in doing so, the work of the Bakersfield SPCA not only saves animals, but humans too. The story of a spitz collie named Teddy illustrates the power of determination and love that can come from showing kindness to an animal. Just a few days shy of the 1937 Be Kind to Animals Week, Teddy found himself in a dire situation when he fell into a deep concrete-walled well. It is believed that he was trapped down there for three or four days without any food or water. To make matters worse, Teddy’s left foreleg was shattered. When he was finally discovered, it was not clear if he would make it. 78

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In the end, though, Teddy’s story had a happy ending. As chronicled by the April 21, 1937, Bakersfield Californian, once he was rescued, the Kern County Humane Society observed his “beauty and ability to ‘take it’” and was rushed to the Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital where Drs. Edwards and Edwards amputated the crushed leg. With “only three legs for locomotion,” the paper reported that Teddy “now hobbles around with perfect contentment and ease, his progress much resembling that of a man with a crutch.” Teddy was saved to bring joy to a lucky family ready to adopt him. As many of us shelter in place with our pets right now, it is important to remember the wise words of a young Shirley Temple from 1937: we “should be kind to horses, cows and all animals because animals are good to us and will love us if we are good to them.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF ONONDAGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, LOCAL HISTORY AND GENEALOGY DEPARTMENT



PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Personality

‘DEDICATED TO THE MISSION’

COMMUNITY, VOLUNTEERS COME TO THE AID OF LOCAL HOMELESS FACILITY By Julie Mana-ay Perez

The St. Vincent de Paul crew makes over hundreds of meals in a bag to support the homeless in the area.

LOGO

While most people on the street don’t have the option to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, they can turn to one of the few places in Bakersfield still working to aid their needs. On a normal day, St. Vincent de Paul Society serves 250 to 350 homeless individuals, providing a hot meal, a shower or a place to stay for those on the street. But with the nationwide emergency in place, the homeless facility was forced to shut its doors. Board chairwoman Deborah Leary said she and her board of directors made a decision to continue serving the homeless community upon shutting their doors. “That day Gov. Newsom sent out that notice that nonessential businesses would close, we closed our thrift store and closed the

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Deborah Leary, Chairman of the Board at St. Vincent de Paul asks patrons to space themselves six feet apart on Baker Street for the lunch program.

center,” said Leary. “When we closed the store, that meant no revenue coming in to support the center and the people we support — the homeless.” Because the homeless facility is a voluntary organization, it receives no federal, state or local agency funds. Leary said all of their funding comes from their thrift store located on Baker Street and their annual fall fundraiser. With no income from the thrift store, Leary felt worried about the future of the homeless community and the need of resources. With luck on their side, the Bakersfield community responded and provided donations to keep St. Vincent de

Paul’s operation afloat. “People showed up in their cars loaded with food; they were generous with things we needed,” she said. “I can’t thank the community enough for the support.” Leary also said that she shows up every day at St. Vincent de Paul’s facility, despite the spread of coronavirus in the county. “God is taking care of me and I want to be there to support my volunteers and staff workers. We follow all the procedures. They’re dedicated to the mission. We’re hanging in there together as a family,” she said. Leary wants the community to have hope going through this

pandemic. “We’re still here. Things are going to get better. We’re going to get through this. We’ll resume to our normal lives, but we’ve got to have hope and adhere to regulations that the government is asking us to — stay home and practice social distancing,” Leary said. Leary mentions that St. Vincent de Paul still needs help and resources to continue its mission to serve, feed and assist the homeless in Bakersfield. For more information, visit www.svdpbakersfield.org.

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Last Word

KC Steakhouse holds curbside pickup

Pyreness Cafe co-owner Julie Crawford

‘GREAT JOB TEAM!’

DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES, DBA WORKING HARD FOR BAKERSFIELD DURING PANDEMIC By Melanie Farmer

Since this article is being written during the most dreadful event in our lifetime, let’s focus on what the Bakersfield’s Downtown Business Association has been doing to help its loyal members, the fantastic businesses across the 300-square-block section at the heart of its downtown area. Many citizens have been asking about what has remained opened for some sort of a drive-up takeout system and also to help support these great restaurants during this very difficult time. It’s great to announce that some of these longtime businesses have toughed it out through the beginning of this pandemic and are serving the fine folks of Bakersfield, at least in the non-fast-food department. Kudos go to our members that are serving the community in the restaurant industry. Just to mention a few of them is Chester Avenue’s pizza sensation restaurant Jerry’s Pizza that has devised a system in which you, the consumer, are able to take home and bake your own pie. Great idea owner Corina Topete! Another that has been heralded as one of the city’s mainstays in the restaurant arena is the longtime staple on F Street KC’s Steakhouse. Unfortunately, the once-bustling crowds have become relegated to an order-by-phone and pickup system. For those who will use these drive-up systems, waiting for that incredible seared ahi tuna will be worth it. Staying with the longtime dining establishments is another staple, Pyrenees Cafe. The owners knew that their longtime customers would be disappointed if they couldn’t get their favorite food, so they, too, joined in the fun. From the incredible beef stroganoff to their grilled chicken sandwiches, among 82

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other fine dishes, the only thing missing was dining inside of their wonderful establishment. That's just a sampling of the restaurants and businesses that made some tough adjustments and kept their doors open. Coupled with a partnership with the always reliable Restaurant Runner, things seem to be running on most of their cylinders, so to speak. But aside from food, the leadership from the DBA, i.e., myself; Cathy Butler, director of community relations; and Carlin Jones, director of marketing, have been working diligently in making the communication and safety of all of the business members top priority. The first new system is the “Downtown Community Watch” program designed for social media so that the members can keep a sort of “neighborhood watch” on all of their neighbors. Previously, when members would call police to report vandalism or something amiss, they had their hands tied due to laws and codes. Now, the businesses can inform each other when things may go awry. Lastly, the team knew that “block captains” could work. This new system gave each block of businesses a sort of leader, or captain, to be the go-to contact person for the others to contact if the need arises for any concern. The reviews are in and it’s a rousing, “Great job team!” Melanie Farmer is the president of Bakersfield’s Downtown Business Association. The views expressed are her own.

Melanie Farmer

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DBA


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