Bakersfield Life Magazine August 2019

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August 2019


Adventures by land, air and water Ryan Alsop works to better Kern County Kern County residents moving to the city

Best of the Best Best Of Hall of Fame honorees profiled

Dining with Dre at Rosemary’s $3.95

Alex Balfour takes a break after hiking Kern County’s mountains.

Escaping the heat in Frazier Park


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-Scientist� by the American Chemical Society having obtained the highest student score on the examination among all California lawyers.

PRIOR TO BEING RECOGNIZED as California’s Top Lawyer-Scientist,

Mr. Brehmer received specialized training and further education in standardized Ă?HOG VREULHW\ WHVWLQJ JDV FKURPDWRJUDSK\ VROLG GUXJ GRVH DQDO\VLV '1$ DLUZD\ 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.


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.


0U %UHKPHU ZDV UHFHQWO\ VHOHFWHG WR PRGHUDWH WKH Ă?QDO MXULVSUXGHQFH VHVVLRQ RI WKH American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Florida.

CO-AUTHOR OF SIX BOOKS RQ WR[LFRORJ\ UHODWHG VXEMHFWV LQ DGGLWLRQ 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 0DULMXDQD &DOLIRUQLD HGLWLRQ E\ /DZ\HUV DQG -XGJHV 3XEOLVKLQJ


“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” —Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy At Mercy Hospitals, the legacy of Catherine McAuley is passionately furthered by the 140 extraordinary women who see past their own desire to care for those in our community with the greatest need. This year, their cumulative gift of $133,000 funded the Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy Device, which delivers focused radiation to a patient during

breast cancer resection surgery. For appropriate patients, this single 20-30 minute treatment replaces the 5 days a week for 6 weeks traditional radiation schedule. Given that one in eight women will have invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, the members of the Catherine McAuley society are indeed shining a light of hope, compassion and excellence to all of the women in our community. From the entire Mercy Hospital team, Board of Directors and most importantly the patients, we are deeply honored by your continued commitment to our mission. To join this group of amazing women supporting Mercy Hospitals, visit

2018/2019 Catherine McAuley Society Members Cherie Aaron Maureen Andrew Antonette S. Anich* Marcelle Ansolabehere* Rosemary Anspach* Sandy Banducci* Kay Beavers Edith Bianco Lynda Bittleston Tricia Bland Michele Borel Doreen Boylan-Abrams* Brenda Brown Alissa Buckey* Vicki Burger Sharon Bush* Beverly Camp Pat Campbell* Debbie Cappello* Naida Carlton Kaye M. Cartnal Sylvia Cattani* Susan Cerri-Buck Jennice Cerrina Julie Cesare

Becky Clark Terri Collins Janet Craft Kathy Crettol Sarah Crowley Jennifer Culbertson Linda Lee Dane Joan Dezember* Fern DiNicola* Gloria Dominguez Joyce Downs Jennifer B. Drake Simona Dulcich Adel M. Durando* Mesha Elliott Cherilee Ezell Gina Fanucchi Judith Fanucchi Kimberly Fiorini Melissa Fortune Debbie Fowler Marilyn H. Fowler Judy Franconi* Jan Froehlich Mary Gamboni

Catherine Gay Cynthia Giumarra Keri Gless Jan Glinn Carol Grumbles Toni Harper Catherine Haupt Jane Haupt Mikie Hay* Lauren Helper Kathy Hill Ann Hine Beth Hoffmann Patricia Houchin Debbie Hull* Christine Icardo Cynthia Icardo* Nancy H. K. Johnson Cindy Jones Germaine Kimm Lisa King Karen Krausse-Roesle Diane Lake* Valerie Lallo Dee Ann Lantz*

Marianne Laxague Lesa Mackessy Mary Mazzei* Ronda Mazzei Louise McCarthy Betsy McMurtrey Theresa McNally Cindy Meek Mary Ann Mulkay Lily Nahama Marjorie Nixon Nancy Nusbaum Cheryl Palla Beth Pandol Carolyn Pandol Mona Pankey* Laura Pascoe Barbara Patrick Robin Peer Patty Plank* Becky Porter Sandra Reider Mary C. Richardson Monique Roberts Linda Rojas

Arlene J. Roland Chris Romanini Erika Romanini Alexis Roy Barbara Sandrini* Florence Schroeder* Joellyn Schroeder Sandra V. Serrano Sandi Shepherd Juliet Smith Marcie Soper Karen Stanley Sheryl Stuhr Mora Tang Donna Toretta Brooke Trybul Jane Uhalt* Marilynn Unruh Patty Vignolo Joan Wallace Lynn Ward Kathy Wells Katie Werdel Sue Williams Donna Winkley

Agnes Wu, MD Patty Young Jennifer Zahry Dominique Zaninovich Katy Zaninovich Tammie Zaninovich* Theo Zaninovich Honorary Members Sister Cris Caballero Sister Sherry Dolan Sister Josie Gonzales* Sister Judy Morasci* Sister Mary Hope Sanchez Stephanie Weber*

Memorial Members Patty Bass Frankie Berchtold Bebe Burke Jacqueline Coppola Patricia Eagleson* ;QNCPFC )TKHƂVJU

Patty Plank* Margaret Philippe Joan Pracy Ruth Ann Montgomery* Judith Schwebel* Mary Lou Thomson Jane Toller* *Charter Members

Timeless Commitment to Local Healthcare “I have done nothing more than what I felt was my duty.” —William Howell, Sr., A Founder of Mercy Hospital Three times a year, a group of generous men gather to honor the legacy of William Howell, Sr., a leader who was instrumental for the religious, cultural, commercial and philanthropic communities in Bakersfield. Since 2010, the William Howell Century Club, and its 105 members have purchased $946,000 in state of the art equipment for

Mercy Hospitals. But what really matters is that it equates to hundreds of patients that they will never know being cared for with compassion and excellence, simply because they felt it was their duty to care for those in need. From the entire Mercy Hospital team, Board of Directors and most importantly the patients, we are deeply honored by your continued commitment to serve those most in need. To join this group of remarkable men supporting Mercy Hospitals, visit www.SupportFriendsof

2018/2019 William Howell Century Club Members Hal Aaron Steve Anderson Jeff Andrew* Kevin Andrew* Robert Anspach* Ariel Auffant Alan Avery Alex Balfour Tim Banks, II Antonio Beccari* Michael Beckwith* Leonard A. Bidart* Scott Black Glenn Bland Jeffrey Buckey Mike Burger William Bush* Javier Bustamante, MD* Jim Camp Mike Campbell* George Cappello* Fred Carlisle

P.R. Chandrasekaran, MD Jayaraman Chandrasekhar, MD Anthony Ciarolla, MD* Donald Collins Alfred J. Coppola, Jr., MD* Mark Costa Steve Del Papa* Tunde Deru Vipul Dev, MD William DiNicola, MD* David C. Dougherty, MD* Gordon Downs Franco Felizarta, MD Greg Gallion Ralph Garcia-Pacheco, MD David Gay Barry Goldner* Raj Gopal, MD Brandon Grimm Mike Hair* Kent Halley Christopher D. Hamilton, MD*

S.J. Hardy, MD Bruce Haupt* Steve Haupt* Brandon Hawkins, DPM Dan Hay Jeremy Helper Tom Hoffmann Ed Hopple* Donald Houchin Adam Icardo Gary Icardo* Kamalnath Iyer, MD Tom Jamieson* Ray Karpe* Gurvir Khurana, MD Geoffrey B. King Hemmal Kothary, MD Wayne Kress John P. Lake Ron Lallo Stephen D. Lantz Bill Lazzerini

Tony Lazzerini Angelo Mazzei Livio Mazzei Jarrad Merriman, MD Donald Montano, DDS* Mark Mulkay Joe Nahama Shyam Nair, MD Logan Newton Rodney Palla Ravi Patel, MD Andy Pederson Bruce Peters Dick Porter* Leopoldo Puga, MD Willy Reyneveld Randy Richardson* Joseph Roberts* Vincent Rojas Bob Severs* Robert Sheldon, MD* David Shepherd

Joe Smith, MD David Stanley Sandys Tang, MD Tim Terrio Trevor Townsend Uma R. Varanasi, MD George Wahba, MD Thomas H. Werdel, Jr. David Williams Jimmy Yee John Young, MD* Jon P. Zaninovich* Joe Ziemann*

Memorial Members Bob Abrams George Ansolabehere Ray Dezember* Harvey L. Hall* Warren Haupt Romain Clerou, MD

*Charter Members

STAFF Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine August 2019 / Vol. 13 / Issue 11 Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by Sound News Media

Cliff Chandler

“For me, the highlight of 2019 was visiting my oldest daughter up in Ashland, Oregon, recently. I hadn’t been up there in over 25 years, and although it’s changed in some ways, the best parts remain.” – Melissa Peaker-Whitten, contributing writer

Editor Mark Nessia

Art Director

Alex Balfour takes a break after hiking Kern County’s mountains. Balfour, who was raised in Tehachapi and loves the outdoors, now calls Bakersfield his home and appreciates the mixture of suburban and urban life.

Glenn Hammett

Contributing Copyeditor Maude Campbell


Photo by Kim Tran

Kern Life

Advertise, contact Cliff

McDaniel, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Carla Rivas, Kim Tran

Contributing writers

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

Erin Auerbach, Jorge Barrientos,

Subscribe to

Lisa Kimble, Stephen Lynch, Bob

Asha Chandy, Nina Ha, Sarena Hess,

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

Meadows, Jennifer Olague, Melissa

Partner with us

Svejda, Chris Thornburgh

Peaker-Whitten, Julie Plata, Andrea Saavedra, Aaron Stonelake, Alexia

for your next event. Email Mark Nessia at or call 395-7383 for more information.

Connect with us – Instagram/bakersfield_life

Bakersfield Life Magazine

“A midsummer mother-daughtersister cruise to Mexico, where our mother and maternal grandmother emigrated from. A slumber party on the high seas with fascinating family factoids for my daughters. I highly recommend it!” – Lisa Kimble, contributing writer

Glenn Hammett, Alex Horvath, Maia

Coming up next …


What has been the highlight of 2019 thus far? “We just returned from New York, where we saw my mom get baptized for the first time at the age of 66. Her beautiful testimony made everyone laugh and cry.” – Nina Ha, contributing writer

General Manager

On the Cover


August 2019

“Since getting my first road bike in March, I’ve ridden over 2,200 miles and will be participating in the Windmill Century, Cool Breeze Century, Tehachapi Gran Fondo and Lighthouse Century.” ­– Mark Nessia, editor “Watching Bakersfield Life Magazine overcome challenges and continue to thrive. The talent, ingenuity and passion of Editor Mark Nessia and key contributors like Nina Ha, Lisa Kimble and Andrea Saavedra leave no doubt that it will continue to do so.” ­– Glenn Hammett, art director

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

Rick Sorci CKD Shawna Sorci General Contractor #905759

· Waypoint Cabinetry, 650 Painted Square, in Linen · Appliances: KitchenAid duel fuel range dishwasher and refrigerator, and Sharp Microwave Drawer · Countertops: Quartzite, Color: Nuage · Backsplash 3 x 6 Glossy White Subway with a picture framed Arabesques tile behind range

I’ve lived in my house for years, and I’ve always had an idea of remodeling. With the help of Stockdale kitchen and bath, Rick Sorci designed my new Master bathroom, Powder room, my sons bathroom, Kitchen and laundry room. Rick and Shawna helped with shopping for appliances, and all my other materials. I did not have to move but I am now get to live in a brand new home. I am just thrilled about the final product. And all the responses I get from everyone who see it in person or on Stockdale Kitchen and Bath Facebook page . Stockdale Kitchen and Bath made my dreams of a bright and beautiful kitchen come true!” Aimee and Kenzer Small


-Sons Bathroom Diamond Cabinetry, Maple Square, Thatch Shower in white Subway Tile

www.sstockdalekitchenandbath.c com

August 2019

FEATURES Explore the adventures that await you in Kern County by land, air and water.



Bakersfield Life Magazine is honored to present the inaugural inductees to the Best Of Hall of Fame: Chain Cohn Stiles, Jim Burke Ford and Urner’s!

Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019





Great lawyers close to home. A top California legal team is right in your own backyard. Whether you are operating a business or need personal legal counseling, you can rely on local attorneys who have an unrivaled track record, depth of knowledge and experience unique to the San Joaquin Valley. From business litigation, transactions and counseling, to bankruptcy, intellectual property, estate planning and employment law issues, KDG works with you to meet your legal needs and achieve successful, cost-effective results.

B A KE R S F I E LD • F R E S N O • S A N DI E G O • K L E IN L AW. C OM





Comedians, country superstars, community events and more are in store during the month of August. Page 16.

Eat & Drink

Andrea “Dre” Saavedra visits Rosemary’s Family Creamery, where they’re serving up more than just frozen treats on Page 18.




Columnist Nina Ha experiences her first sensory deprivation float at Arctic Wellness Cryo & Float on Page 36.

Go & Do

Have you visited Frazier Park, Kern County’s other mountain community? Find out more on Page 40.

B Well

40 Up Front 12 Editor’s Note 13 The Big Picture 14 Short Takes 16 Happenings Eat & Drink 18 Dining with Dre 22 Bites 26 Dining Guide 28 Best Thing We Ate This Month 10

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Lifestyles 30 Money Matters 31 Home & Garden 32 Welcome Home 34 Pastimes 36 Love & Life Go & Do 38 Entertainment 40 Trip Planner 42 Arts & Culture August 2019

74 43 Out & About B Well 44 Ask the Doctor 48 Sarenaty 50 Feature – Saying “Na” to Sodium People & Community 70 Business Profiles 74 Bakersfield Matters



Explore the difference between self-indulgence and self-care on Page 48.

People & Community

Bakersfield lost one of its “biggest cheerleaders” in David Marcus, but his legacy of inspiration lives on. Page 72 76 Be In Bakersfield 78 Study Hall 80 Our County 82 Personality 84 History 88 All-Star Roundup 92 SNAP! 98 Last Word The Marketplace 90 Prime Finds

“Because of the quality of service that we receive from WMI/INSURICA, they now have every one of our policies and I can’t imagine changing. WMI/INSURICA, you have lasted 100 years because you care about your community and you care about the people you serve…don’t change a thing!” - Louis Gill

CEO Bakersfield Homeless Center / Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault

Specializing I n You Since 1919! C E L E B R AT I N G



CA Lic. #0D44424


NOTE THE END OF ONE CHAPTER AND THE START OF ANOTHER “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” Of all the motivational posters strewn on classroom walls throughout high school, that was the message that stuck with me because of how true it is. Sure, a vast majority of the events that occur during our lives are beyond our control, but, at the end of the day, we ultimately decide how we respond to them. I think we feel like we’re not in control when unforeseen circumstances affect the normalcy of our daily lives. We have a tendency to fall into a regular routine. We become dependent on this predictability, knowing that no matter what happens, we can at least count on certain things to be there. So what happens when one of those constants is taken away? Our natural response is to worry. After all, few things are scarier than the unknown. So when Glenn Hammett, Bakersfield Life Magazine’s art director for the past 10 years, announced he was “calling it a career” and leaving The Bakersfield Californian, it marked the end for one of the company’s longest-tenured employees and the one constant in the Specialty Publications department. Glenn actually joined The Californian in 1988 as the advertising graphics supervisor before working his way up to marketing coordinator and newsroom design editor, eventually joining the Specialty Publications department as its art director in 2009. He’s the reason the magazine looks amazing month in and month out.

He is the embodiment of my personal motto of “work hard, stay humble,” as nobody works harder and is more humble than Glenn. He’s also the last remaining staff member from when I joined Bakersfield Life as a contributor in 2011. Always cool and composed, he’s been there through some of the biggest moments of my career and, more importantly, helped me get through some of the hardest times. Where do we go from here? Only time will tell. Glenn leaves behind shoes that can never be filled. All we can do is try to maintain the standard that he and past members of the Bakersfield Life team have set before us. We couldn’t control their decisions to leave but we can control how we respond to them and the most appropriate reaction is one of gratitude. So to Glenn and past Bakersfield Life staffers Olivia Garcia, Jorge Barrientos, Rachel Cook, Hillary Haenes, Katelynn Camp, Laura Liera, Kasey Meredith, Allison Escobar, Holly Bikakis and Beth Shook, we say thank you for making the magazine what it is today. May the next chapter be one you can all be proud of.

Mark Nessia Editor 395-7383

The kindness of strangers A huge shoutout to cyclist Paul Salmon, who was kind enough to help me while I was stranded on the side of Round Mountain Road on July 13. While several riders asked if I was OK, Paul was the only one who actually stopped to assist. While my rear tire was beyond repair, Paul’s willingness to help made an unfortunate situation less unfortunate.


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August 2019


Find out what’s happening in August on Page 16.

T h e B i g P i c t u re / Sh o r t Ta ke s / O n t h e We b / Ha p p e n i n g s

FLOWERS FOR MOM Police officer Brandy L. Davis receives flowers from her 3-year-old daughter Elliot Davis after graduation ceremonies. The Kern County Sheriff's Office Regional Training Center graduated 21 in its Academy Class 2019-20 at Frontier High School last month. – Photo by Alex Horvath



Short Takes

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM AT ANNUAL CALM SOCIAL Humans and animals have a chance to escape the heat during CALM’s Ice Cream Zoofari Aug. 24, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. The event will feature train rides, animals and, of course, ice cream. All ages are welcome to this annual event that lets guests watch some of CALM’s animals eat ice cream themselves. Price of admission is $10 for CALM members and $8 for children 3 to 12 years old. For nonmembers, admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children. Admission includes entrance to the zoo, free rides on the Central California Children’s Railroad and ice cream. For more information, go to ice-cream-zoofari.

MEETINGS TO IMPLEMENT NEW WWII MEMORIAL IN BAKERSFIELD CONTINUE World War II Memorial Committee meetings continue with the goal of implementing a new WWII memorial in Bakersfield. The next session takes place Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. at American Legion Post 26, 2020 H St., with subsequent meetings taking place the fourth Tuesday of each month. The committee is looking for interested people to begin the process of designing, planning and implementing the memorial. For more information, call 661-487-0350.

KERN COUNTY LIBRARY PROGRAM HELPS PATRONS CLEAR FEES The Kern County Library’s Amnesty Program returns for the second year, this time lasting for the entire month of August, providing kids, teens and adults an opportunity to clear fees on their accounts. Amnesty programs help library systems promote the return of much-needed materials and increase use of services. Not only can fees be cleared by returning unreturned or lost books


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August 2019

to a local library branch, kids and teens can wipe the slate clean by picking up a “Read As Much As You Can” reading log. Donating items such as baby wipes, crayons, coloring books, paper plates, trash bags and napkins can also clear fees. The offer, however, does not apply to accounts already in collections. For more details on the Amnesty Program and a full list of accepted donation items, go to www.






Powered by


Find more community events at Post your event there or submit via email to

Valley Fever Walk

Aug. 1

survivors and children under 12 are free. More Info: www.valleyfever. com

Slightly Stoopid, 6 p.m. What: The “How I Spent My Summer Vacation Tour” presents Slightly Stoopid with special guests Tribal Seeds and Hirie. Where: Spectrum Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway Admission: $29-$46 More Info:

Aug. 23

Aug. 2 Cash’d Out, 9 p.m. What: Tribute band that’s the next best thing to Johnny Cash. Where: Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Slightly Stoopid Admission: $20 More Info:

Aug. 10 Valley Fever Walk 2019, August 2019

7 a.m. What: Annual walk to support valley fever awareness. Where: Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. Admission: $25; valley fever

Glow for a Cure, 5:30 p.m. What: Event benefiting Bags of Love, a nonprofit founded by 18-year-old cancer survivor Julian Castaneda. Where: A Royal Palace, 6720 District Blvd. Admission: $20 individual, $60 for family of four More Info: Toby Keith, 8 p.m. What: Country superstar Toby Keith performs at Rabobank Arena. Where: Rabobank Arena,

Toby Keith 1001 Truxtun Ave. Admission: $45-$147 More Info:

Aug. 24 State of She Union Youth Leadership Symposium, 11 a.m. What: Youth leadership symposium featuring speakers, panels, vendor booths and more. Includes lunch. Where: TBD Admission: $40 early bird, $50 late bird, $60 at the door More Info: www.eventbrite. com Ice Cream Social at CALM, 4:30 p.m. What: An evening of ice cream for guests and animals at CALM. Where: CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway Admission: $15 More Info: Kern Margarita Championship, 6:30 p.m. What: Inaugural Kern Margarita Championship hosted by the Josh Farler Foundation with food, live art demonstration and music by Mento Buru. Where: IBEW Local 428, 3921 Sillect Ave. Admission: $55; event limited to 300 guests More Info:

Aug. 27 World War II Memorial Committee Meeting, 7 p.m. What: Meeting to design, plan and implement new World War II memorial in Bakersfield. Where: American Legion Post 26, 32020 H St. Admission: Free More Info: 661-487-0350

Saturday September 7th 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Kern County Museum Presented by

Aug. 30 Jay Mohr, 7 p.m.

5 STAGES & 15 BANDS 60+ BREWERIES 25+ WINERIES 8Wa[hiÄ[bZL_bbW][<[ij$Yec Jay Mohr What: Comedian, actor and best-selling author Jay Mohr performs at Temblor Brewing Company. Where: Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. Admission: $30-$50 More Info:

TICKETS: $75* | $78 DAY OF THE EVENT* 8[d[Äjj_d]

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Dining with Dre

Andrea “Dre” Saavedra at Rosemary’s Family Creamery enjoying Steve’s banana split.



In the hot summer days that grace Kern County every summer, ice cream is definitely my go-to indulgence. In my LA days, going to grab some ice cream with friends always meant hitting up Salt and Straw. So when I was craving something sweet here in Bakersfield, I wasn’t sure where to go. I wanted something unique. So I did what any millennial would do and did


Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019

a quick Yelp search. However, I quickly realized that the only places that were coming up were, well, chains. I didn’t want ice cream from a place that mixed it on a stone or rhymed with “Laskin Bobbins.” If I wanted to find something unique, I needed to ask around. After speaking to a few Bako natives, one place was mentioned over and over again: Rosemary’s Family Creamery. “It’s a family creamery that’s been in Kern County forever,” they said.


Grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Family owned with some history? WEB EXCLUSIVE Sounded right up my alley. So off I Watch Dre’s trip to Rosemary’s went. Family Creamery at Walking into Rosemary’s is like walking into a time machine. The adorable corner ice cream parlor has gorgeous large windows, checkered blue-and-white floors, and garden bistro seating. The patron crowd varied from young to old, yet one thing was consistent all around: Everyone was smiling! Everyone seemed happy, enjoying something from their lunch menu or having one of Rosemary’s classic sundaes. I couldn’t wait to order something for myself to join the happy crowd. I ordered Roseanne’s profiteroles, the grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Steve’s banana split.

The profiteroles were huge! Three puff pastries stuffed with large scoops of housemade vanilla ice cream and drizzled with hot chocolate syrup. A spoonful of this dish is decadent and refreshing and will have you going back to lick the plate clean. My only complaint about this dish is that I wish the profiteroles were as fresh as the ice cream. The puff pastry itself was lackluster, a tad stale and left you desiring the doughy goodness that a puff pastry is known and loved for. Bottom line: The signature vanilla ice cream is the star of the dish that will keep you coming back for more. Rosemary’s grilled PB&J sandwich was a unique take on the after-school classic, solely due to the fact that it was grilled on the flat top. By adding the heat element to the sandwich, it made the jam and peanut butter taste sweeter than usual and the bread was perfectly toasted, which gave it the crunch factor that we never knew was missing in this American classic. Such a simple tweak that made Continued on Page 21



Dining with Dre

The classic grilled cheese sandwich is ooey-gooey, stretchy and delicious.

Be top of mind when people are thinking where to eat. 2019

2019 w ww w ww. w..kc w kcst kcst stea eak eakh kh hou hou Romantic Restaurant

Steakhouse Restaurant

Advertise in the Bakersfield Life Dining Guide. Call 661-395-7622 l email: 20

Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019

Continued from Page 19

all the difference. I loved it. I will definitely be trying that at home! The banana split was equally as gigantic, if not more than the profiteroles. I’ve never seen a larger sundae anywhere else. It almost came up to my chin! It contains three large scoops Rosemary’s Family of ice cream in Creamery classic Neapolitan fashion, hot 2733 F St. chocolate fudge, 661-395-0555 strawberry sauce, pineapple sauce, bananas (of course), sprinkled with toasted nuts and topped with house-churned whipped cream and a cherry on top. Se magnifique! It was absolutely delicious. I wouldn’t change a thing. Rosemary’s took a classic and kicked it up a notch in every way while keeping the integrity of the dish. Well done! Rosemary’s is the only place I’ve ever visited that can make every other ice cream place seem boring. Rosemary’s dishes go above and beyond in the best way possible. They keep everything traditional and classic

Roseanne’s profiteroles

while elevating it to their signature standard. Rosemary’s has been a successful family owned business in Kern County for 35 years and is nestled in downtown Bakersfield for everyone to enjoy. Though there’s nothing wrong with the “Chilly Stones” or “Laskin Bobbins” of ice cream, Rosemary’s is a place that will have you second-guessing ever visiting those places again. So if you want to stay cool this summer and sweeten up your day, visit Rosemary’s Family Creamery for some housemade goodness. Bring your friends and wear your Andrea stretchy pants! Saavedra

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Pizza Slice of Italy

THE BBQ SLICE When it comes to pizza, it doesn’t get more California than barbecue chicken. After all, the first barbecue chicken pizza was created in 1985 for none other than California Pizza Kitchen. Ever since, it’s become a staple on pizzeria menus across the nation. The original featured shredded chicken, homemade barbecue sauce, onions, cilantro and fontina cheese. Slice of Italy’s take features its own secret barbecue sauce, grilled chicken breast and 22

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August 2019

onions but adds cooked tomatoes, breakfast bacon and chopped jalapenos, which kicks it up a notch by finishing on a spicy note to complement the sweetness of a pie that is a crowd favorite. – Slice of Italy • 10524 Hageman Road • 2543 F St.

Tony’s Firehouse Grill and Pizza

TONY’S COMBO Salami, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, linguica and onions blanket a Tony’s combo pizza. You know a pizza is fully loaded when toppings fall off a slice and each bite still contains every ingredient. Tony’s Pizza doesn’t skimp out on toppings and that’s what makes them a local favorite. Tony’s crust is some of the best around, a perfect blend of crunch and chew – you won’t find uneaten crusts left behind. A pizza done Tony’s way is a combination that can’t go wrong. – Tony’s Pizza • 10701 Highway 178 • 4750 Coffee Road • 6417 Ming Ave. • 300 E. Lerdo Highway, Shafter • 502 County Line Road, Delano • 5701 Tejon Parkway, Tejon Ranch




’s Cataldo a Pizzeri

THE BROOKLYN There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to The Brooklyn from Cataldo’s Pizzeria on Stockdale Highway. Yes, the hand-tossed New York-style pizza is big. After all, a single slice fills up a 12-inch-by-12-inch box from corner to corner – that’s a box big enough to fit most small- and medium-size pizzas. But underneath the pepperonis and thick layer of cheese are even more toppings. We’re talking sausage, hamburger, bacon and linguica. This is a meat lover’s pizza that puts other meat 24

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August 2019

lover’s pizzas to shame. And given its large size, folding the slice in half won’t make the task of consuming this monstrosity any easier. But the free drink that comes with it during the lunch special from open to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, will help. For just $6.98, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better lunchtime value. – Cataldo’s Pizzeria RiverWalk • 13011 Stockdale Highway

M O R E FA S H I O N • M O R E F O O D • M O R E F U N

Over 50 Stores, Restaurants, Boutiques & Spas Stockdale Hwy. & Calloway Dr.


Dining Guide



The BLVD! 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. • 661-873-4477

The BLVD! has a thoughtfully crafted menu featuring gastropub-style farm-to-table cuisine. Shared plates include items ranging from nachos, sliders, mozzarella steaks and bacon jalapeno wontons. Guests who are interested in larger meals can choose from dishes such as our hearth-oven pizzas, beer-battered fish and chips, artisan burgers or craft their own pizza, calzone, pasta or burger! Available Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the Lunch Lane menu featuring eats starting at $8 or create a combo for $12.

The perfect setting for:

Weddings, Receptions, Quinceaneras, Company Parties, Meetings, Anniversaries, Conferences, Family Gatherings, Birthdays Seats 325 Tables & Chairs Included Tea Room also available. Seats 64-100. • Available Weekdays and Weekends • Affordable!! Event Planning Resources Available • Active Military Discount and Non Profit 501C3 Discount 2030 18th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-325-7889 option 1 Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9 AM to 2PM Website: email:



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August 2019

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Froehlich built, 6 bdrms, 4 baths, 3 separate bedroom wings for privacy. Large formal living, big separate dining, large granite island kitchen overlooks family room w/fireplace. Office off entry with built-in bookcase/desk cabinetry, closet. Private Master suite with fireplace. Covered patio, sparkling pool, grass play area & built-in BBQ.Two 2-car garages. N/S facing on cul de sac.

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Best Thing We Ate This Month



When it comes to cookies, chocolate chip is king. It’s a staple found in bakeries all over the world, drawing many back to early childhood, the aromas that fill the kitchen and the experience of eating a freshly baked homemade cookie turning the nostalgia factor up to 11. Not only is there an emotional element associated with chocolate chip cookies, they taste amazing as well. But when it comes to classics, very few are willing to take risks – to do things differently. That’s why Sweet Nine Bakeshop’s brown butter sea salt chocolate chip cookies stand out so much. The addition of brown butter elevates the cookie to gourmet status with its rich, nutty flavor, resulting in one extremely decadent cookie. The sea salt counters the sweetness, giving the cookie a wonderful balance. Find these gems at Dot x Ott while supplies last! 28

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August 2019



HIGHGATE SQUARE Designed for first-time buyers and young professionals. Six Castle & Cooke floor plans priced from the low $300’s.

HIGHGATE PROPER Designed for growing families and move-up buyers. Six Castle & Cooke floor plans priced from the high $300’s.

B h k private clubhouse l bh f residents d Breathtaking for off Highgate Square, Highgate Proper and Highgate Shires. Sparkling swimming pool, spa, fitness center, gourmet kitchen, meeting rooms, children's water spray park, tot lot playground, expansive park, amphitheater and basketball courts.

HIGHGATE SHIRES Executive-level living with enhanced privacy and larger lot sizes. Homes by Castle & Cooke, Dave Packer Custom Builder, Gaskill-Rose Luxury Home Builders and George Delfino Homes.

HIGHGATE REGENTS Stress-free, low maintenance, active adult living. Seven Castle & Cooke floor plans. Regency Club private swim and fitness center opening spring 2019 exclusively for Highgate Regents residents.

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Professionally Managed, Gated Community From the Original Creator of Seven Oaks

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Money Matters



By Chris Thornburgh

Mortgage refinancing is trending right now, but how do you know if it’s right for you? Thanks to low interest rates, refinancing your mortgage can save you money, but not in every situation. Before you join the race to refinance, there are a number of factors to consider. Let’s look at a few.

CLOSING COSTS When it comes to costs, there are two important things to know. First, refinancing has nearly as many costs as your initial mortgage. Beware of “no closing cost” loans if you are trying to reduce your monthly payments. Lenders likely recoup those fees by giving you a higher interest rate, thus defeating your goal. The second thing to understand is that closing costs vary according to your interest rate. If you want the lowest available rate, closing costs will be higher. Closing costs are typically lower if you accept a slightly higher rate. It’s important to determine if the refinance costs can be recouped from a lower interest rate.

CURRENT INTEREST RATE Buyers who took on mortgages in 2018 are prime candidates for a refinance, though they may not be paying attention. Borrowers who didn’t take advantage of the low rates from 2014 to 2017 may also find it financially feasible to refinance. Generally speaking, if you can shave off at least half to three-quarters of a percentage point, refinancing is worth checking out. That said, consider how long it will take you to recoup refinance costs. For example, if you paid $4,000 to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate and your payment dropped by $180 per month, it will take you just under two years to break even.

very high rate to a much lower one, or if you trade out-ofpocket closing costs for a higher interest rate that is still lower than your original rate.

LENGTH OF LOAN Many people refinance over and over again into a 30-year loan. At that rate, the loan will never get paid off. Request a loan term no longer than the number of years remaining on your original mortgage, if you can afford it. This allows you to pay off your mortgage on schedule with a lower rate. Check out refinancing into a shorter-term loan with an even better rate. It may only slightly raise your payment.

EQUITY Equity gives you options. If your loan-to-value is now under 80 percent and you are still paying for private mortgage insurance, refinancing may make sense if your lender will not remove it. Equity also gives you the ability to do a cash-out refinance if you need money. It’s not uncommon to see folks use their equity to pay off high-interest debt, finance home improvements or to cover the cost of a child’s college education. If you are considering a cash-out refinance to pay off credit cards, for example, take caution. You are mortgaging your home with what used to be unsecured debt. Also know that the related interest is no longer deductible. New tax rules get complex on cash-out refinances, so it is wise to seek the advice of a tax professional to confirm that it makes sense.

THE BOTTOM LINE Refinancing your mortgage into a lower rate is often a good idea. Before moving forward, review your situation with a professional to avoid financial missteps.

LENGTH OF TIME IN THE HOME This is important in terms of recovering closing costs before you move. If you aren’t planning to be in your home for at least two years, it’s probably not worth refinancing. In some cases, it still makes sense if you refinance from a 30

Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019

Chris Thornburgh

Chris Thornburgh is a certified public accountant. Contact her at The views expressed are her own.


Master bath after remodel with freestanding tub and glass shower.

Master bath before remodel with corner tub and tile enclosure.


Home & Garden


MASTER BATH MAKEOVER Shelly and Don Banks love their home. But after 14 years, they felt the master bathroom needed some serious updating. The couple wanted to make certain the new design was properly laid out so they hired Hardt Construction Services to handle the remodel. “It had a large corner tub with a tile enclosure around it, which took up a lot of space. We wanted it removed,” explained Shelly. “The tile in the shower had a few cracks and the cabinets needed painting.” The first thing they did was sit down with Tim and Michelle Hardt to discuss their ideas and toss around possibilities. “Shelly and Don had several ideas on how to they wanted to update their master bathroom,” said Michelle Hardt, who heads up design services for Hardt Construction Services. “We spent a lot of time together with them discussing a variety of options.” “Tim and Michelle suggested using quartz instead of tile and were very helpful with choosing new light fixtures, faucets and the design of a new cabinet piece we wanted added to the existing ones,” noted Don. Once all of Shelly and Don’s ideas were gathered together, the Hardts created a three-dimensional rendering of how everything would potentially look and showed it to them on a widescreen in their office. “We absolutely loved being able to see the design in 3D Promotional Content

before we started,” said Shelly. “You have an idea in your head what you want your remodel to look like but actually seeing it put into your space on the 3D program is great. It allows you the opportunity to change something before they start. It was extremely helpful.” One major goal was to have a more open feeling throughout the bathroom. “Ripping out the old tub and tile enclosure freed up a lot of space,” said Tim Hardt, who heads up the construction side of Hardt Construction Services. “We replaced it with a freestanding tub. It gives the illusion of more space. The open area beneath the tub can make the bathroom look bigger than it actually is.” There were other changes too. “All existing tile on the countertops and shower was removed and replaced with quartz,” recalled Don. “The cabinets were painted and new hardware installed. There are new sinks and faucets, plus a glass enclosure for the shower. “Hardt also built and installed a new cabinet piece and replaced all light fixtures along with adding extra lighting in the ceiling. The walls and ceiling are all painted and we have newly framed mirrors. All in all, we found their crew very friendly and professional.” Don and Shelly are enjoying their new master bath. “We love the openness that it created. The quartz on the countertops and in the shower is beautiful. It turned out exactly how we wanted it to.”



Welcome Home

The Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse is a cornerstone of the Highgate community.


HIGHGATE AT SEVEN OAKS The name Seven Oaks boasts an unparalleled heritage in Bakersfield. Highgate at Seven Oaks is the newest addition to the over 30-year legacy of Castle & Cooke master planned communities in Bakersfield: a private, gated community of five distinct neighborhoods that together create a unique new chapter of the Seven Oaks lifestyle. Continuing the legacy of Seven Oaks, Highgate encompasses highly desired features like privacy gates, beautifully landscaped tree-lined streets, lush parks and resort-style amenities. Highgate Square is a unique enclave of homes that offers entry-level pricing in the low $300,000s. With six different floor plans, Highgate Square gives first-time home buyers a great opportunity to live in a gated Seven Oaks community. Highgate Proper features six distinctive floor plans starting in the high $300,000s with a variety of customization options and amenities. These larger floor plans 32

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August 2019

Highgate at Seven Oaks is Castle & Cooke’s newest master-planned community.

offer move up buyers and larger families the perfect place to find their home behind the gates of Highgate at Seven Oaks. Highgate Shires buyers can expect an executive-level Promotional Content

A Dave Packer custom home in Highgate Shires.

The pool at the Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse.

lifestyle with enhanced privacy, large lot sizes and an exceptional choice of builders. Behind a separate gated entry, buyers in Highgate Shires can choose homes by Castle & Cooke or three of Bakersfield’s finest builders of custom and semi-custom homes: Dave Packer Custom Builder, Gaskill Rose Luxury Home Builders and Delfino Homes. For buyers seeking the ultimate home completely customized to perfection, Highgate at Seven Oaks has a neighborhood for you, too. Coming later in 2019, Highgate Estates will feature over 40 unique home sites as big as 36,000+ square feet behind a double set of privacy gates. Custom homes can be built by any Seven Oaks-approved guest builder, offering buyers a unique opportunity to create the custom home of their dreams. Residents of all Highgate at Seven Oaks neighborhoods are welcome at the Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse. Surrounded by a sparkling swimming pool and spa, an expansive park with picnic areas and amphitheater, a children’s water spray park, tot lot and basketball court, Promotional Content

the clubhouse features a soaring main room with kitchen, outdoor patios and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The Highgate Swim & Fitness Clubhouse is a cornerstone of the community, where residents can escape from daily life and enjoy opportunities to connect with other residents through events and activities hosted by the Clubhouse event coordinator and the Homeowner’s Association. If you’re ready to downsize and enjoy a more relaxing lifestyle, the gated community of Highgate Regents continues Castle & Cooke’s dedication to creating Active Adult communities in the tradition of The Greens at Seven Oaks and Brighton Parks. Highgate Regents features seven floor plans and meets the needs of the largest growing market of homebuyers in America. Shady tree-lined streets lead to the Regency Club with its pool, spa, pickle ball courts, putting green and fitness center in this separate gated enclave within Highgate at Seven Oaks. Whatever your stage in life, Highgate at Seven Oaks has something for you. From young professionals to growing families, from executive-level buyers to active Highgate at Seven Oaks adults, everyone Model homes are open in all comcan find a communities Monday through Friday, 10 munity to call a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. home in Highgate. to 5:00 p.m. Castle & Cooke created Highgate at Seven Oaks to give more buyers an opportunity to enjoy a lifestyle centered around quality homes, beautiful surroundings, exceptional amenities and master planned convenience. Visit Highgate today and learn how easily you can become a member of the Seven Oaks family.





In the summer months, the “Bake” in Bakersfield really makes its presence felt. But triple-digit temperatures won’t deter residents of all ages from enjoying the outdoors. From spray parks, fishing and recreational activities in and near the river (always remember: safety first), there’s plenty of fun to be had while beating the heat. The beach may only be a couple of hours away, but you don’t really have to go far to get in on some wet and wild fun!


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August 2019

Curtis Christian is a bit cooler after a bucket of water falls on him at the spray park at Jastro Park.


Locals take advantage of water activities during Bakersfield summer


Clayton Evans shows off a baby smallmouth bass he caught while fishing on Truxtun Lake.


A sailor maneuvers around Lake Ming powered by hot winds.


Two boys are silhouetted by the light of the setting sun reflected on the Kern River near the Park at Riverwalk.


Stand-up paddleboarders are framed by a large oak tree near French Gulch Marina on Isabella Lake.



Amelia and Isaac Santiz cool off at the spray park at Jastro Park.

Don Hardcastle of Bakersfield tries his hand at fly fishing in a beautiful spot on the upper Kern River.



Love & Life




Float therapy provides mental vacations in a local setting Nina Ha readies to enter the float pod.

By Nina Ha

It’s dark and I’m flying through space armed with nothing but my mind and my birthday suit. All I can hear is the distant rhythmic thumping of my heartbeat echoing through the salt water enveloping me. It was my first sensory deprivation float, a weightless, zero-gravity water experience that eliminates all the distractions of civilization for an hour of complete relaxation. Since every second of every day is accounted for in my chaotic life, I was intrigued by float therapy ever since its emergence. They’re hipster staples in major cities but a relatively nouveau concept in Kern County. Arctic Wellness Cryo & Float, which opened its doors in December 2018, has two state-of-the-art float pods. They’re essentially supersized bathtubs with lids. Filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, these body-temperature immersion pods provide an innovative method for selfcare. The salt granules allow for complete buoyancy in the water without even the need for you to lift your neck. Float enthusiasts say the benefits include reduced stress, improved sleep, better concentration, conditioned joints and even revitalized libidos. After taking a hot shower, smoothing some petroleum jelly over a paper cut and inserting silicone plugs in my ears, I stepped in, lied down and closed the lid. At 5 feet, 9 inches, I’m tall enough to touch each corner of the float pod with my arms and legs outstretched. I could feel the slightly filmy nature of the salt water on my skin as I explored my new environment. Some people immediately shift into a fight or flight panic inside the chamber filled with only 11 inches of water. I was relieved that the small enclosure made me feel protected and safe. 36

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Once I settled in, I started to feel my body completely relax. I leaned into the 1403 Allen Road, Suite 700 importance of what I 661-679-7732 was doing: pulling the emergency brake on a life lived with good intentions but severely lacking in respite or introspection. I was finally taking an intentional breath. And it felt exhilarating. I searched my mind asking God where I needed to make life changes and how I could learn from those around me. I sought to connect with the part of me that gets pushed to the to-do lists of tomorrow by the pickups, drop-offs and chores of today. Inside the chamber, completely devoid of time, I luxuriated in the practice of gratitude. I thanked the Lord for all the family, friends, triumphs, heartaches and blessings in my life. I thanked Jesus for the body, which has served me so well and nourished two babies. As I prayed and meditated, I was brought to tears by an overwhelming sense of joy, love and peace. I could feel my brain shifting into a theta state, where endorphins flowed and stress ebbed away. After some more internal evaluative work, I thought to myself, “I’m ready.” In that instant, I heard an instrumental version of “The Little Mermaid’s” “Part of Your World,” signaling the end of my float. My mental vacation left me thoroughly refreshed and ready to embrace my chaotic life once again.

Arctic Wellness Cryo & Float

Nina Ha

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha.

She is


She has accomplished so much and, still, she continues to give more. At Adventist Health Bakersfield, we put her well-being first. From primary care and maternity to cardiology and beyond, our women’s health experts provide comprehensive services for her unique needs at every stage of life. Quest Imaging, The Breast Center, The AIS Cancer Center, and countless other services are there to provide her – and all the amazing women in our community – with care that’s as amazing as they are.

Explore our women’s care services at



The Tehachapi Mountain Festival features carnival attractions, rides, food and more for all ages.

MOUNTAIN-HIGH FUN Tehachapi Mountain Festival a staple community event that draws thousands near and far By Asha Chandy

Don’t wait for the fair to come to town and end summer on a good note. The Tehachapi Mountain Festival, Aug. 16-18, is the perfect way to spend an August weekend avoiding the heat of the city. With temperate weather, delicious food and drink, and great recreational activities for the whole family to enjoy, the Tehachapi Mountain Festival is an all-inclusive weekend of entertainment that benefits this bustling town and its residents. Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce President Ida Perkins says the locals love the increase in traffic because the festival represents memories of family and their Tehachapi home. “The Mountain Festival weekend is homecoming for a lot of folks,” Perkins said. “There are high school and family reunions.” In its 56th year, the Tehachapi Mountain Festival is 38

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organized by the Greater Tehachapi Tehachapi Mountain Chamber of ComFestival merce and staffed by Aug. 16-18 volunteers. Upward For event listings and locations, of 40,000 people are go to www.tehachapimountainexpected to attend and brings families from all over the state while highlighting local businesses and community groups. Proceeds from food and merchandise sales from the festival benefit the Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, as well as nonprofit and community groups who use funds for programs and scholarships benefiting the community. “Service organizations have booths selling food and rotary club is doing an opportunity drawing,” Perkins said. “You can also get discounted rodeo and carnival tickets directly at the chamber office.” There will be carnival attractions and rides for kids,


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while the avid foodie will be stuffed to the brim with delicious barbecue, drinks and even a pancake breakfast by the American Legion Post 221. The perpetual art collector can spend hours at the curated arts and crafts festival or shopping downtown. There is even time for a good workout at the Mountain Gallop 5K/10K and for the family motorhead will get his or her fill of gleaming chrome. Convene the family each evening with professional rodeos and a rocking dinner and dancing led by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5948. Travel up the canyon to the festival in the mountains for a grand old time. Dubbed “Boots, Buckles and Spurs,” take your time enjoying the cool breezes and the western lifestyle of the high mountains.


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Trip Planner

Wild mustard was a common sight on McGill Trail.

FRAZIER PARK Beat the heat and restore your spirits in this nearby mountain community By Glenn Hammett

Escaping the summer heat doesn’t have to entail a two- to three-hour drive and a hotel room. The numerous trails and campgrounds in the Frazier Park area offer pristine air, lush pine forests, colorful wildflowers, breathtaking vistas and daytime highs 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Bakersfield – and you can be there in about an hour. Get up there early and you can enjoy a beautiful hike, get some lunch in Frazier Park on the way back and still have half the day left when you return to the city. That’s exactly what we did on Fourth of July, making 40

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the one-hour drive to McGill Campground and hiking the upper portion of McGill Trail. McGill Campground sits at 7,400 feet elevation and features 73 well-appointed campsites and a parking lot for day use ($10 fee). It is a 3-mile trek to the summit of Mount Pinos from the campground and the well-marked trail was splashed with colorful wildflowers, including purple lupine, bright-yellow wild mustard and deep-red Indian paintbrush. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash, as are mountain bikes. Many opt to start at the trail head 5 miles below the campground, making it a 16-mile round trip. On the return trip, we took the opportunity to try out

McGill Trail trailhead at McGill Campground.

Dogs are allowed on a leash on McGill Trail.

Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen is a hidden gem in Frazier Park.

Indian savory pancakes drizzled with coconut oil and topped with chutney.

the Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen in Frazier Park, a small, unpretentious place that has, for the last two years, been voted one of the top 100 restaurants in the country by Yelp. The interior of Red Dot is clean and quaint and the kitchen is separated from the dining area by just a counter and thin drapery, which adds a homey feel to the experience. Because it was a sunny 72 degrees and we had our dogs with us, we took advantage of the outdoor seating on the front porch under the pergola. The ancient grains kitchari, a stick-to-your-ribs savory porridge, is probably more appropriate for colder weather, but was delicious, nevertheless. Thick with finely chopped vegetables, quinoa, amaranth and millet, the generous serving was superbly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic and Indian spices. The Indian savory pancakes were made with chickpea flour, diced tomatoes, spinach, red and green onions, fresh cilantro and aromatic spices. They were drizzled with coconut oil and topped with what appeared to be a

Ancient grains kitchari is described on the menu as a healing and nourishing stew consisting of grains and pulses, balancing all three bio-elements of the body.

slightly sweet tomato-based chutney. Besides the delicious, lovingly prepared food and homelike atmosphere, there is a certain calmness about the place. Our server treated us more like familiar old friends than first-time customers and nothing felt rushed. We left there feeling satisfied, content and relaxed and made it home in time to catch up on yardwork and other chores. Bakersfield summers can zap your energy, test your endurance and tax your patience. Cool air, an alpine hike and a relaxing meal is the perfect recipe to take the edge off and restore your spirits – and it’s all just an hour away.



Arts & Culture



The Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival is rounding out Labor Day weekend at Circle Park in Kernville, Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, featuring handcrafted and antique merchandise mere steps away from the Kern River. When Kernville comes to mind, whitewater rafting and mountain biking usually are first in line. For Labor Day, think of Kernville to discover talented local and regional artists and works inspired by and crafted in California. Andy Alvarez, first vice president of the Kern River Valley Arts Association that organizes the festival, explains why this small town is the perfect home for artists to connect with others and sell their work. “Kernville is peaceful; it puts you in the right mind,” he said. “There has been a lot of younger generations moving and buying homes in Kernville and they really notice and are interested in collecting fine and handmade pieces. Now the scene is really growing.” The Kern River Valley Arts Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and supporting the local art scene, especially through this biannual festival. Started in 1963, the festival has grown to over 40 booths and many collectors and artists eagerly show their wares. Works are primarily regional and Western-style paintings, carvings, and handmade bath and beauty. 42

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Circle Park is the perfect place to enjoy a family weekend by the river while enjoying the finer things Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 life in Kernville has to offer, Circle Park, Kernville including local Native AmerFree admission ican tacos made with lent meat fillings on delicious fry bread. The town still offers action-packed essentials locals have come to know and love. There is always something for everyone in the family just in the vicinity of Circle Park, including mom-and-pop restaurants, antique stores, vacation rentals and the iconic Kern River Brewing Company, all of which are a stone’s throw from the mighty Kern River and Lake Isabella, some of the region’s most valuable and pristine natural features. The Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival juries and handpicks talent while supporting up-and-coming creatives by offering spaces for artists who might not be able to show otherwise. In its 54th year, the Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival brings makers and aficionados from around the state to the quiet little town tucked in the mountains of Kern. Locally based art aficionados can enjoy a stroll around this western town while curating their own art collection.

Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival


Out & About


Creating a relationship with local law enforcement can bring the community together, bringing a sense of comfort by providing an opportunity to see law enforcement in a different way. Once a year, law enforcement organizations around the country participate in National Night Out, an event that promotes building a relationship between the community and law enforcement. Participating in the event is the Bakersfield Police Department and Kern County Sheriff’s Office. “The Bakersfield Police Department has been participating in National Night Out for roughly 30 years,” said Carina Ortiz, community relations supervisor for the BPD. “The very first National Night Out was held in 1984 and this year marks its 35th anniversary. Every year since then, the event has been held in different locations, ranging from the Bakersfield Police Department, Bakersfield College, various city parks, neighborhoods and even business parking lots. We are looking forward to hosting our second indoor National Night Out inside the Rabobank Convention Center.” BPD will have community partners, exhibits and other first responders in attendance ready to engage with the community at the Rabobank Convention Center Aug. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office will also be participating in the event. This will be their third year back after taking a break for some time. “We’re inviting the community to come and meet our units,” said Elvie Martinez, crime prevention specialist for KCSO. “Meet all of our specialized units, our deputies and even some of the Kern County resources, such as probation, Department of Human Services.” Some of the specialized units that will be participating are search and rescue, K-9s, bombs, mounted patrol, crisis negotiation, OHV, SWAT and many more. The free event will also be held Aug. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m., at KCSO Headquarters, 1350 Norris Road. The event is kid friendly and most units will have an interactive experience for its attendees. Kids will be able to pet the horses and get in a SWAT truck. There will also be tours of the air support hangar and transport buses. Both events bring together the community in hopes to have a better relationship with law enforcement and each other.

National Night Out Aug. 6 Bakersfield Police Department, 1001 Truxtun Ave., 6 to 9 p.m. Kern County Sheriff’s Office, 1350 Norris Road, 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, contact BPD at 661-326-3053 and KSCO at 661-391-7559.



Ask the Doctor

FAMILY AND A PASSION FOR HELPING OTHERS DEFINE DR. AMOLIKA MANGAT’S MISSION As she was growing up in Riverside, Amolika Mangat, MD, heard countless stories about her sister, who died of a heart condition before Amolika was born. Missing the sister she could never know left a hole in Dr. Mangat’s own heart and made her decide at a young age to become a doctor. “I noticed a developing passion to practice internal medicine,” said Dr. Mangat, who ultimately became an internist. “Helping my patients makes up in part for the loss that will always be with me.” Her grandparents were also a strong influence. “My grandma was the first one people went to if they needed help, and she taught me the importance of being there for others,” Dr. Mangat said. “My grandfather, who passed away when he was 51, was the first physician in our family. People still remember him and I want to be known for continuing what he did: finding a way to make people feel better.” The best way to do that, Dr. Mangat believes, is taking enough time with her patients to understand their needs, mentally and physically. Her mission as a physician is simple: to provide the best care she can. “It’s very important to take care of the patient fully, rather than just focusing on the symptoms,” she said. “A lot of my patients don’t realize how stress can contribute to their health issues and that there are small changes they can make that will have a big impact on their health. It’s a puzzle and I work with each patient to put all the pieces together.” The pieces started falling into place for Dr. Mangat just after high school. A gifted student, she enrolled in medical school at age 16, attending Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in India, her parents’ native country. She moved back to the United States to complete her residency at the State University of New York in Brooklyn in 2013. Afterward, she settled in Bakersfield with her husband,


Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019

Dr. Amolika Mangat

Geeteshwar Mangat, MD, now a hospitalist in Bakersfield, whom she met in medical school. The couple has two sons, ages 10 and 6, and a daughter just 15 months. Today, as an internal medicine physician with Adventist Health Physicians Network, Dr. Mangat sees individuals 18 and older and often multiple generations within the same family. “It’s wonderful, because they bring Now accepting new me photos of their patients! kids and grandkids • Call 661-282-1584 to schedand I can catch up ule an appointment or visit on how everyone is doing,” she said. today. Dr. Mangat is also • Adventist Health Physicians passionate about Network Primary Care teaching her patients Coffee Road, 4909 Centennial about the imporPlaza Way tance of preventive care. She volunteers at community health fairs, in which she encourages women in particular to have their routine screenings done. “My greatest satisfaction is to see my patients well again,” she said. “Success for me means that when I go out in the community, my patients are happy to see me and proud to recognize me as their doctor. That means I’ve done something good for them.”

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Ask the Doctor

OSTEOARTHRITIS MORE THAN JUST THE PAIN When Dr. Timothy Galan joined Mayo Clinic as an adult reconstruction fellow, he was involved in research looking into what causes pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis and how a knee replacement surgery can improve quality of life. He recently joined Dignity Health and sees patients at Mercy Hospital Southwest and Truxtun. His focus is to improve patient outcomes by utilizing new techniques and technology. This includes nonoperative management of hip and knee osteoarthritis. And when the surgery is the last resort, Dr. Galan utilizes computer navigation and robotics assistance to ensure the operation is accomplished with precision and accuracy. Dr. Galan is an experienced orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee osteoarthritis and joint replacement procedures. Dr. Galan is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction, but he also specializes in lower extremity injuries and fracture care.

SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States. Among adults 60 years of age or older, the prevalence of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis is approximately 10 percent in men and 13 percent in women. Osteoarthritis is also the most common reason for total hip and total knee replacement. Common symptoms of osteoarthritis are: • Pain • Tenderness • Stiffness • Loss of flexibility • A grating sensation when you use the joint



Dr. Timothy Galan, M.D., Orthopedic Joint & Revision Surgeon

History and physical examination of the patient as well as simple radiographs are all it takes to diagnose osteoarthritis. Patients typically endure pain for several months or even years before seeking medical attention. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. In osteoarthritis, the slick surface of the cartilage becomes rough. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, you may be left with bone rubbing on bone.

Knee and hip replacement surgery – also known as joint arthroplasty – can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee and hip joints. The procedure involves cutting away damaged bone and cartilage and replacing it with an artificial joint (prosthesis) made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers. “For most people, knee and hip replacement provide pain relief, improved mobility and a better quality of life. And most joint replacements can be expected to last more than 15 to 20 years,” said Dr. Galan.



Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time. Joint pain and stiffness may become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult. Some people are no longer able to work. When joint pain is this severe, doctors may suggest joint replacement surgery. People who need joint replacement surgery usually have problems walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. Some also have knee pain at rest.

Dr. Galan’s strongest piece of advice is not to wait until the condition is very debilitating and severe joint deformity is present. If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, talk to your primary care physician. It does not mean you will need surgery. Other nonsurgical alternatives to osteoarthritis can be utilized at early stages. Quality of life is important at any age, especially since we are able to improve and maintain it with modern medicine.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019

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Dr. Tim Galan, M.D.

Orthopedic Joint & Revision Surgeon Dr. Galan is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in an array of minimally invasive techniques in joint replacement, preservation and revision. He has had comprehensive training in the field of adult orthopedic joint reconstruction. Prior to medical school, Dr. Galan worked as a nurse for four and half years. Dr. Galan obtained his post graduate education at the University of California San Francisco Fresno where he completed his orthopedic surgery residency. It was at UCSF Fresno where Dr. Galan served as the orthopedic surgery Chief of Trauma. He participates in several ongoing research studies on the evaluation and treatment of total joint replacements of the hip and knee and is credited in several peer review publications. Education and Accomplishments: • Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester, MN – Associates of Science Nursing • University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN – Doctor of Medicine • University of California San Francisco, Fresno Program, Fresno CA – Orthopedic Surgery Residency • Mayo Clinic Jacksonville – Adult Reconstruction Fellowship • American College of Surgeons – Resident Member • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons – Resident Member • American Association of Hip & Knee Surgeons – Candidate Member After completing his orthopedic surgery residency, Dr. Galan went on to complete his adult reconstruction fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida where he studied complex total joint reconstruction and revision surgery. Dr. Galan is new to the Bakersfield community and enjoys sports, travelling, community involvement, and spending time with his family. He also enjoys learning about history, different cultures, cuisines, and art. He is looking forward to providing comprehensive orthopedic care alongside his colleagues at the Mercy Orthopedic, Spine & Hand Center. Promotional Content

Specialties: • Hip and knee arthroplasty (Total Joint Replacement), featuring robotics and navigation techniques • Minimally invasive techniques in joint preservation and replacement, including anterior total hip arthroplasty • Failed total joint arthroplasty • Revision of total hip and total knee replacement • Non-surgical management of lower extremity (hip and knee) arthritis • Fracture care • Joint preservation

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LOVE YOURSELF Exploring the difference between self-indulgence and self-care By Sarena Hess

Millennials have a few things they obsess over, while other generations stand back and watch. If you’re a millennial reading this, raise your hand if you’re guilty of any of these trends: • Being obsessed with millennial pink • Going to Coachella • Getting brunch • Using the overused phrase “self-care” Wait, self-care? What is that really supposed to mean anyway? We’ve got a big problem with self-care in 2019. We put 48

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a flimsy Band-Aid over the meaning of self-care and refuse to dig in to real care for our emotional, physical and mental well-being. Is taking care of yourself really just roaming the aisles of Target to find the perfect candle? The idea floating around social media says taking care of yourself is getting a massage, manicure or buying a new outfit. But there are two things wrong with that thinking. The first is this type of pampering encourages spending more than anything else. Buy new shoes – after all, you deserve it. This method to reaching happiness won’t be your answer forever because buying more stuff doesn’t


2019 make people content long term. The second problem is that we are looking at shortterm instead of long-term fixes. For example, a quick Starbucks drink is a little burst of dopamine pumping through your body. But if that’s the only type of personal care that you have, it will not sustain you on a deeper level. The massage ends or your margarita runs out and you still have to deal with your health, emotions and mind. And even worse, the shorter the happiness lasts, the more frequent you will have to find something to fill yourself with again. After treating self-care like this for so long, it can be confusing to know what to do now. But here’s an idea: Make a list of the real self-care things that actually enhance your life – the things that make you a better human being. Ask yourself: What makes my life better or me a better person? How can I truly help others in this world? What is something that genuinely enhances my life in a positive way? What is something small I could do that will make my life and future better? Here are a few ideas: Spend time doing your favorite hobby or skill. Take a couple of minutes to clean up your home. Learn a new skill or language. Journal about what is really going on in your life. Getting to know yourself and doing the actual personal growth work is the ultimate form of self-care. It’s not the sheet mask. Self-care is not a short-term fix. Instead, it’s finding new hobbies and skills. It’s developing you as a person and understanding how you can change the world – those things that help us grow as a better human long term. In-the-moment distraction is fun, but to feel content and purposeful in life, we need something to fuel us, challenge us and grow us as humans. So please, put down the bath bomb and pick up the long-term self-love. Sarena Hess is a confidence coach for women and motivational speaker. She is also the creator of a podcast called “Women For Greatness,” which highlights female entrepreneurs’ stories, from trial to triumph, on her website, The views expressed are her own. Sarena Hess

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SODIUM A healthier lifestyle starts with reducing salt intake By Aaron Stonelake

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition that many people suffer from unknowingly. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that 1 in 3 Americans suffers from hypertension. There are several easy steps you can take to prevent hypertension and live a healthy lifestyle. 1. Visit your doctor and get your blood pressure checked. Most people who have hypertension are not aware that they do. Make an appointment with your doctor to get your blood pressure checked. Your doctor can provide information about the health impacts of hypertension, as well as ways to prevent high blood pressure. Blood pressure scores measure the pressure and force by which blood flows through your arteries and against your arterial walls. Normal blood pressure is a reading that is lower than 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension is a state of elevated blood pressure over an extended period of time. When left untreated, hypertension in50

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creases your risk of heart disease, stroke, heart attack and heart arrhythmias. 2. Track you daily sodium intake. You may be surprised how much sodium you consume! Sodium, or salt, plays a pivotal role in developing hypertension. Increased levels of sodium in your bloodstream put a strain on your blood vessels and raise your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. However, the average American consumes more than 3,400 mg of sodium per day – that is over 1,000 mg more than the recommended daily aver-

age. It is important to pay attention to the amount of salt you are consuming every day to avoid increasing your risk for developing hypertension. 3. Eat more whole foods. Dietary Approaches for Stopping Hypertension (the DASH Diet) recommends limiting sodium intake, as well as making fresh, whole foods staples in your diet. Eating whole foods regularly has been proven to prevent hypertension. Add these whole foods to your diet: • Fruits, especially berries • Vegetables, especially leafy greens and beets • Whole grains, especially oatmeal • Fish, especially salmon • Chicken • Beans • Nuts • Seeds • Vegetable oils 4. Read your labels! When shopping for food, check the nutrition label on the back of a product for sodium content. Always consider the number of servings in a container when evaluating the sodium level in a product. To know how much sodium there is in an entire container, multiply the sodium content by the number of servings. In the food label example pictured, there are 700 mg of sodium per serving and there are six servings in this container. In the entire container, there are 700 mg x 6 = 4,200 mg of sodium. That is almost double the amount of sodium that someone should consume in one day! Aim for reduced- and low-sodium products. Avoid these foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium: • Pork • Beef • Whole milk • Dairy • Coconut oil • Palm oil • Fast food • Processed food • Frozen food • Canned food 5. Make informed meal choices. Be aware of the sodium content in the food you cook at home and eat in restaurants. When cooking at home, be sure to check the sodium level in the ingredients you are using. Try to integrate low-salt recipes into your cooking routines to lower your sodium levels. When eating out, check to see if nutritional content is available on the restaurant’s menu or website. Many restaurants season their food with excess amounts of salt to enhance its flavor. This can help you can make informed decisions about the meals that you order. Apply these steps to decrease your risk of developing hypertension and live a healthy lifestyle! Aaron Stonelake is the nutritionist for the Kern County Public Health Services Department. For more on health resources and programs, go to

Are you heart smart? Take this blood pressure quiz and find out! 1. True or false? Only the elderly suffer from high blood pressure. 2. True or false? Most of the sodium in your diet comes from the salt shaker. 3. High blood pressure puts you at risk for which of the following? a. Stroke b. Heart disease c. Kidney disease d. All of the above 4. What can you do to prevent or control high blood pressure? a. Follow the DASH eating plan b. Reduce the salt in your diet c. Exercise regularly d. All of the above 5. Who has high blood pressure? a. Male, age 55, blood pressure 110/70 b. Female, age 40, blood pressure 130/85 c. Male, age 70, blood pressure 145/95 6. True or false? As long as you take your high blood pressure medication, you don’t need to worry about diet and exercise. 7. True or false? Data indicates that, among adults who are aware that they have high blood pressure, almost 65 percent do NOT have it under control. Answers: 1-True. 2-False. 3-D. 4-D. 5-C. 6-False. 7-True.


K Hikers make their way along the Pacific Crest Trail through eastern Kern County. 52

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ern County is a diverse region full of unique communities, wonderful people and beautiful sights. But one thing Kern County doesn’t get enough credit for is the myriad activities available for outdoor enthusiasts. Outside of beachside attractions, California’s thirdlargest county by area, spanning a whopping 8,163 square miles, features just about every outdoor recreational activity you can think of. Don’t believe us? Let’s show you the things you can do in Kern County by land, air and water.

by land, air and water


Kern County adventures



Numerous rock climbing areas along the Kern River attract climbers of all levels. 54

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August 2019


Trails abound in Kern County for those who prefer to explore by foot, bike or off-road vehicle. Hikers venturing through Wind Wolves Preserve in south Kern County earlier this year were treated to colorful displays of wildflower blossoms across over 90,000 acres. To the northeast, through the canyons of the southern Sierra Nevada, is a mecca for mountain bikers. Riders from all over the country flock to the trails around the Lake Isabella, Kernville, Wofford Heights, Keysville and the Lower Kern areas. How popular are these trails? Just ask the folks at Kern River Brewing Company, as they named one of their beers after one in the Just Outstanding IPA. Don’t fret, road cyclists, because Kern County has you covered as well! Not only does it feature a paved, uninterrupted bike path more than 30 miles long, there are offtrail routes that are just waiting to be ridden. Traversing the windy, mountainous roads of Breckenridge Mountain, Breckenridge Road will challenge brave cyclists with its challenging gradients over 25 miles of road but reward them with breathtaking views. Off-roaders can find everything they’re looking for and more at Jawbone Canyon in the Mojave Desert, which features a 17-mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail. During the winter, Alta Sierra is the place to be for skiing, snowboarding and more. For those who want to enjoy nature as it was intended, traditional campsites can be found all throughout Kern County – the only question is whether you want to spend your time in lush tree-lined forests, along the Kern River or in desert terrains.



Keysville Recreation Site, near Lake Isabella, is popular among campers and mountain bikers.

Challenging terrain and sparse traffic make Breckenridge Road a perfect spot for cycling. Wind Wolves Preserve is spectacular in the spring.



Off-roading at Jawbone Canyon.



Army veteran Arlene Aninion high-fives founder and Executive Director of Comrades and Canopies Bo Howard while boarding for her jump at Sky Dive Taft. 56

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August 2019


Seventy-four-year-old Vietnam veteran Jack Vetter is greeted with high-fives before boarding for his jump. Comrades and Canopies hosted a free skydiving experience for military veterans at Sky Dive Taft.


Gliders lined up at Skylark North in Tehachapi.


A glider soars above the wind turbines along the Tehachapi Mountains.



Daredevils looking for the ultimate thrill need look no further than Skydive Taft. Experience the beauty of Kern County from heights of 9,000 and 13,000 feet, freefalling at speeds up to 120 miles an hour before the parachute deploys and a tranquil descent welcomes you back to solid ground. We guarantee you’ll be signing up to do it all again real soon! For those looking to get a bird’s-eye view while staying in the aircraft, head up to Skylark North, a full-service glider flight school, in Tehachapi. Skylark offers sailplane rides, instructions and rentals, allowing you to enjoy Kern County from the air without having to jump out.

The thrill of skydiving is right in our backyard at Skydive Taft.



Rafters take on Ewing’s Rapids in the Kern River above Kernville. 58

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August 2019


Kayakers paddle on the upper serene Kern River on a spring afternoon.


Rafters hang on tight as they paddle through a whitewater rapid on the Kern River near Kernville.



It’s hard to talk water activities in Kern County without including the Kern River. After all, the 165-mile-long river runs through the heart of Kern County and is a popular destination for whitewater rafting and kayaking. However, we can’t mention the Kern River without addressing how dangerous it is. The “Mighty Kern” is to be feared as much as it is respected and admired. Please exercise extreme caution when venturing in or near the Kern River, wearing proper safety apparel and/or under the guidance of trained professionals. Farther downstream, when the waters are less turbulent, kayaks, inflatable rafts and paddleboards can be seen. In the opposite direction, boats, water skiing, tubing and more adorn the waters of Lake Isabella. And wherever there’s water, there’s an opportunity to fish! Kern County is full of opportunities yearround for those looking for a little adventure. The real challenge is figuring out what to do next. So get out there, start your next journey and enjoy the elements.

Kern River Fly Shop owner Guy Jeans fishes in the Kern River near Kernville in the early morning.


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n May, Bakersfield Life Magazine debuted the Best Of Hall of Fame, the culmination of over 25 years of publishing the community’s thoughts on what the best our city has to offer in our annual Readers’ Choice Poll. Each year, thousands of votes are cast, and throughout the community, Best Of certificates are proudly displayed on windows, walls, shelves and more – a badge of honor bestowed by those who call Bakersfield home. The Hall of Fame honors the men,

women, businesses and organizations that not only have a long history of excellence in their respective fields but give back to the community in impactful ways. Not only do they provide a much-needed service to the city, but their contributions and community involvement also benefit current generations and generations to come. Bakersfield Life Magazine is honored to introduce the inaugural inductees to the Best Of Hall of Fame: Chain Cohn Stiles, Jim Burke Ford and Urner’s!


Chain Cohn Stiles 85 years later, local ‘Hall of Fame’ law firm stays community focused

The current attorneys at Chain Cohn Stiles, from left: Doug Fitz-Simmons, Tanya Alsheikh, Matt Clark, David Cohn, Jim Yoro, Chad Boyles and Beatriz Trejo.

The year is 1934. The great Dust Bowl storm is sweeping across the Great Plains, Donald Duck premieres on television, and the FBI kills Bonnie and Clyde in a shootout. It’s also the year Morris B. Chain first set up shop in the Haberfelde Building in downtown Bakersfield. The Russian immigrant who grew up in Bakersfield had earned his law degree from the University of Southern California and struggled to find a law firm that would hire a fresh-faced attorney. It was, after all, during the Great Depression era, when “help wanted” signs were nowhere to be found. So he opened his own law practice and began 62

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laying the foundation for what would become one of Central Valley’s most prominent and longstanding law firms, one whose mission became to fight for the everyday workingman and woman during their time of greatest need. The firm’s name changed through the years, but several things remained constant – most obvious is the Chain namesake. Today, the firm is known as Chain Cohn Stiles. Another constant? For 85 years, the firm has been firmly cemented in downtown Bakersfield, dedicated to helping Kern County’s residents, not only through accident and injury legal work, but also through com-

From left: David Cohn, James Yoro, Timothy Lemucchi, John Tello, Milton Younger, David Stiles, Curtis Floyd and Heather Nichole.

Morris B. Chain

munity service. “We do what we do because we care about our community and the people in it,” said David Cohn, managing partner of the firm that today focuses on accident and injury law. “This is our hometown. We want to make sure we help our local residents in and out of our office.” Out of the office, attorneys and employees at the firm serve as members of committee and boards of directors for numerous local nonprofit and goodwill groups. The law firm is the presenting sponsor for the annu-

al MADD Kern County Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash, which since 2014 has raised more than $300,000 to fund MADD Kern County’s educational programs and victim services, raise awareness of our area’s DUI epidemic, and support local victims and survivors of drunken and drugged driving crashes. Partnering with local bicycle advocacy group Bike Bakersfield, they have given out thousands of free bicycle lights, helmets and safety lessons to promote bike safety throughout Kern County. Several years ago, Chain Cohn Stiles donated $200,000 to establish Adventist Health’s Burn Center and earlier this year donated $10,000 to the Bakersfield Homeless Center in an effort to combat our community’s homeless epidemic, benefiting the job skills training program and street cleaning team concentrated in downtown Bakersfield. Kern County appreciates the work. The firm has been selected in the “Best Law Firm” category in The Bakersfield Californian’s Readers’ Choice Poll each year since the category was introduced. Chain Cohn Stiles has earned honors for its legal work, too. The law firm was selected into the 2019 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, attorneys David Cohn and James Yoro were recognized in the “Best Lawyers in America” program, the oldest and among the most respected attorney-ranking services in the world. The firm is commemorating its 85-year anniversary in part by looking back at its local history of serving Kern County. In a series of videos, the current law firm partners David Cohn, Jim Yoro and Matt Clark share stories of the law firm’s origins and its values that remain true today. To watch them all, and learn more about the law firm’s anniversary, visit


Jim Burke Ford Inspiring growth through today’s youth

From left: George, Mikie, George, Joe and John Hay.

The heart of a community lies in the foundation set by organizations that inspires growth. Jim Burke Ford knows this and established two foundations, the Ford Dimensions and Dream Builders, each different but bringing a tremendous amount of inspiration to a community. Jim Burke Ford began in 1964 and is still family owned and operated, employing nearly 300 people and building a foundation on integrity, respect and professionalism en route to becoming one of the biggest Ford dealerships in the nation. Ford Dimensions began in 1975 with a group of four from West High School. The purpose of the program was to create a “youth connection” between the dealership and students, while teaching them about the enterprise system and the business community. However, over time, the program evolved into a 10-student panel that still focuses on the business com64

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August 2019

munity but with an added interest in volunteering, business ethics and career development. “Our student leadership programs are designed to help achieving youth understand the value of civic responsibility as a lifetime commitment,” said Mikie Hay, vice president of Jim Burke community affairs. “Every year, 22 Dream Builders and 10 Ford Dimensions students are divided into four teams and paired with corporate sponsors to develop a significant community service project. Additionally, they serve as youth mentors and attend monthly meetings designed to develop leadership, character, communication and career-building skills.” Now after 45 years of dedication to the community,

The Jim Burke Lincoln showroom at the Bakersfield Auto Mall.

she’s passed down the torch to Katie Werdel, the new director of student leadership for Jim Burke Ford. “I was a Ford Dimensioner in 1989-1990, my senior year at West High, then I’ve been on the Jim Burke Education Foundation for almost 20 years,” Werdel said. “I’ve been a Dream Builders team adviser for the inception of Dream Builders in 2003.” Both programs are almost interchangeable, explained Werdel. Aside from some special limitedseating events, both programs are involved in the same type of community action. “Before Dream Builders, it was Ford Dimensions, of course, and that was created by Jim Burke and Mikie Hay. She’s really been the one to carry out his vision of teaching student leaders how to show service over self,” said Werdel. Since then, a lot has changed, like the addition of 22 students that came with the inception of Dream Builders in 2003. Werdel said that it was Hay who came up to the Education Foundation and explained the need to expand the program in order to reach more high school students as Bakersfield continued to grow. In total, there are 32 students in the program. “Our main mission with these students is to teach them service over self, how important it is to get involved with your community and share your talents, and find needs in your community and help them,” said Werdel. One of the group’s biggest project is to be put in teams of eight – with a Ford community-minded company as an adviser – and implement a community project. Their job is to find a need in the community and

Through the Jim Burke Education Foundation, local high school students learn about leadership and giving back.

find a way to bring awareness. “This year, a team sponsored by the Garlic Company received the Beautiful Bakersfield Award – Youth Division for their project on human trafficking, “Hidden in Plain Sight.” We are very proud of our Ford family of student leaders and what they continue to achieve,” said Hays. This project, according to Werdel, will be part of curriculum the Kern High School District and will be shown in health classes. These organizations have become staples in Bakersfield a community. With a hands-on approach to tackling the needs in the community, these young leaders develop a new sense of community admiration through the program – one project at a time.


Urner’s All in the family since 1919

Three generations of Urner’s men, from left: David H. Urner, Steve Illingworth and Cameron Illingworth.

When David Urner opened his first store in 1919, he was a pioneer in the appliance business. A teacher and coach at the time for Kern Union High School, he and fellow teacher Errol Janes left education to start their own business. Their store featured one of the first major appliances on the market, the Blue Bird washing machine, according to Steve Illingworth, current president and CEO. Steve started working in the warehouse and doing deliveries for his stepdad David Jr. while he was still in high school. After earning a business degree at Cal State Bakersfield in 1978, he went to work for him full time and has been there for 41 years. Steve’s son Cameron Illingworth joined the company in 2003 and is the fourth generation to work in the store. He’s the vice president, appliance buyer and 66

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August 2019

oversees their cabinet division as well. Since its humble beginnings, Urner’s has persevered, despite several setbacks. The 1929 stock market crash and resulting Great Depression brought an abrupt end to the store’s 10year partnership. Errol went back to teaching, but David, undeterred, opened a new location, becoming a local leader in the industry. When the U.S. joined World War II in 1941, the store could no longer sell appliances, because all available metal went to support the war effort. So David reinvented himself once again, adapting to the times, selling toys, housewares, dishes and high chairs and providing appliance repair. Once the war ended, David presented new store plans to the War Production Board in Los Angeles and

When David Urner opened his first store in 1919, he was a pioneer in the appliance business.

was granted a permit to build their 21st and Union location. It opened in 1946, just in time to provide Bakersfield with the newest appliances coming onto the market. Soon after, they secured their first large order for a housing tract, as well as for several local high schools who were creating home economics classrooms. Just after the earthquake of 1952, David Urner Jr. returned home from his tour of duty with the Navy and joined the family business. He headed up the company’s sales to local home builders and eventually replaced his father as president in 1980. Over the years, Urner’s has brought many new products to Bakersfield, including the first black-andwhite TV in 1953, the first color television in 1961, the microwave oven in 1978 and RCA’s front-projection big-screen TV in 1981. “(We) continue to be on the forefront of industry innovations,” said Steve. Although the internet age has increased online competition, Urner’s believes their personal service and commitment to customer satisfaction set them apart. They strive to make lifelong customers and have developed relationships that span generations. They also believe in giving back to their community by supporting local charities, including the Mission at Kern County and Teen Challenge. “That’s the benefit of local businesses,” said Steve. “(We’re) more committed to the community by nature; it’s in our DNA.” They were recently added to the Congressional Record for being in business 100 years, which is a rare honor, especially in this day and age. “I would like to think the second hundred years would be easier, but I haven’t found any proof of that,” said Steve. “In the appliance and electronic (business), you have a fixed selling price (set by the

Urner’s in its 40th year. Today, the family owned business is 100 years old.

market) and somehow you have to find a way to keep (enough) volume to cover costs. That’s one of the biggest challenges for any business, especially local, you just hope future generations are as loyal as past generations.”


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COLDWELL BANKER PREFERRED, REALTORS The best wear blue and know that these four ingredients add up to a powerful story Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world. Recently, we embarked on the next chapter of the Coldwell Banker story. We firmly believe that our story has never been as powerful and compelling as it is today. We’re more than a blue box—we’re a global brand made up of 92,000 passionate people who bleed Blue and want to succeed. We’re a brand that’s not only lasted 113 years but one that has continually pushed the bounds for the whole industry. We pioneered the seller’s disclosure agreement; we created the first website to showcase listings; and we launched the CBx Technology Suite back when many of our competitors still thought AI stood for Allen Iverson. All of these firsts were made possible by creative people who used a little ingenuity to address the challenges that face our industry. That’s what sets us apart from the competition. Our network brings to life the core values that drive us: Home, Awesomeness, Ingenuity and Excellence. Home – We understand the value of home and the emotional side of home ownership. It’s our noble cause to help people find their way home. Our unrivaled network was involved in more than 700,000 home sale transactions last year. Awesomeness – Awesomeness is our culture, our vibe! It’s about giving it your best, then giving just a little more. That culture has allowed our Homes for Dogs Proj70

Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019

ect to succeed in finding homes for tens of thousands of adoptable dogs. It has raised millions of dollars in donations for charities as part of the Coldwell Banker Heroes program. And it means the Generation Blue Experience is the most unique real estate event in the industry. Ingenuity – Ingenuity is about always finding a better way. It’s about moving forward. It’s about getting better. It’s also about finding solutions others can’t find. Take CBx, for example. Leads generated through CBx Seller Leads are seeing a 5 percent conversion rate. That’s nearly three times the industry average. And it’s working – Coldwell Banker agents sell homes at an average sales price that’s 16 percent above the NAR national average. Excellence – Excellence is simple: Be your best. Every day. Our agents are the stars of real estate, and we have the numbers to back it up. Coldwell Banker agents handled 30,478 transaction sides of $1 million-plus homes. That’s more than any other brand in 2018. The best wear Blue – Our mission at Coldwell Banker is to help our network take their performance to the next level. We deliver on that promise by providing a brand that is beyond equal, a network of the very best agents in the business and a tool set designed to help them maximize their performance. Strength Begets Strength. Coldwell Banker agents are the elite. If you want to be the best, work with the best. – David Marine, Coldwell Banker Promotional Content


Business Profile

PERFECT PATIO COVERS As the weather heats up in Bakersfield, residents are always looking for ways to cool down. Jarret Jamieson, owner of Perfect Home Products, answers questions about patio covers. His services include customizable patio covers, seamless rain gutters, patio drop-down shades and window solar screens. What are the most frequently asked questions that you get about patio covers? The most common question we are asked is whether Alumawood patios are better than wood patios. Alumawood is aluminum that looks like wood. The color is a baked-on enamel, so you truly have a lifetime product as opposed to regular wood where you would have to apply fresh paint every three years. My personal preference is Alumawood. It is long lasting and requires no maintenance once it’s completed. How long do your projects typically take? From the initial call and request for your free in-home estimate to the completed project, the process can be completed in as little as two weeks. Typically, the entire patio installation can be completed in one day maybe two. Are there any extra costs that can be avoided when starting a patio project? Everything is priced out during our free in-home estimate, so once the price is confirmed at your appointment, there are no surprise costs. It is helpful to consider what type of electrical work you would like to have done. We can take care of all of your needs at the time of installation so that you won’t need to have an electrician come out later. Are there permits that need to be considered when building a patio? Yes. All permitting is taken care of through our services. We can also help to complete any confusing home owners association applications. What are some of the benefits of having a completed patio? Our patio covers provide shade and comfort for outdoor spaces. Adding a patio cover also increases the value of your home significantly. What sets you apart from your competitors? We have a strong record of customer satisfaction. We offer great quality and excellent service. We also back up all our work with a lifetime warranty. If there is ever a problem, we will come back and fix it for free — covering labor and materials. This gives customer the peace of mind of knowing that if there is ever a problem, we are happy to take care of it. 62 72

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What do you want the readers to know about your products? How beautiful our products are and how much they can complement your home. Once the project is finished, it is maintenance free. We are the only company that offers a full showroom so you can see our patios, as well as the various choices and options you have to complete the design and inspiration for your home. There are also photographs on our website,, of every service that we provide. You can also easily request a free in-home consultation and estimate for your project on the site. What are some compliments you have received from customers who have used your services? The most common compliments we receive are that we show up on time, we communicate well with our customers, and the job is perfect once it is completed. Customer satisfaction is the greatest compliment a business owner can receive. It is what helps us stand apart from everyone else. What else would like our readers to know about you? We started in Kern County and I have owned the business for over 12 years. We take great pride in our work. Our team is experienced and will work to get your project completed on schedule and stay on budget. We have a beautiful showroom and are happy Perfect Patio Covers to come out for 7800 Meany Ave., #E a free in-home 661-800-4866 consultation and estimate at your convenience. Promotional Content


Bakersfield Matters

David Marcus, center, surrounded by his family from left: Gloriann Aninion, Arlene Aninion, Leanna Rash and Virgil Aninion in a 2014 photo.


INSPIRATION Encouraging movement launched by a single photo loses its ‘biggest cheerleader’ By Lisa Kimble

One of the many things that distinguish life in Kern County is the unbounded support we give one another and the causes we believe in. Perhaps no greater example of that is the Thumbs Up cancer awareness campaign that began five years ago with a single photograph. KGET weatherman Kevin Charette could not have imagined then that when he posed for a picture with two friends, who were battling the disease and began asking others to do the same and post them on social media as a show of support, that it would spark a movement that caught on like wildfire. One of the men in that picture, 60-year-old David 74

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Marcus, championed the drive of encouragement with every bone in Sept. 14 his cancer-weary 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. body until earlier 1933 Event Center, this summer when 7900 Downing St. the most ardent For advance ticket purchase and supporter of the sponsor info, call 661-333-1332. nonprofit Thumbs Up Cancer Down lost his final battle with the disease. It was a tough blow to the organization’s founders and the thousands of people locally and around the country

Thumbs Up Game Night

who had hopped onto the social media Thumbs Up photo bandwagon, sharing their own pictures of the hand gesture, and in doing so, offering virtual heartening to others like Marcus. Within minutes of word of Marcus’ passing, local social media was flooded with condolences. “David was our greatest ambassador,” Charette said. The two spoke mere hours before Marcus’ death in late June. “David said, ‘I got my star,’” referring to the Fox Theater’s decision to place a star in his honor in front of the venue. “A nonprofit can never be about one individual and David always said

“A nonprofit can never be about one individual and David always said this is for everybody battling cancer. And that was David, always thinking about everyone else.” – Kevin Charette this is for everybody battling cancer,” Charette recalled. “And that was David, always thinking about everyone else.” Marcus, who was developmentally delayed, met Charette through their involvement with the local sports program for the disabled, League of Dreams. In the summer of 2014, Charette spotted a photograph on Facebook of Marcus offering thumbs-up in support of Naythan Bryant taken at Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center. Charette had been Bryant’s Northwest Baseball coach just four years earlier. On a visit to CBCC to see Bryant, Charette encountered Marcus, who was also receiving treatment that day. The three posed for the impromptu photograph with broad smiles and what would become the signature hand gesture. Charette later showed the picture to his husband, Dignity Health Marketing Director Cody Brutlag, who saw an opportunity to boost the morale of other cancer patients through the simple act of sharing similar images of encourage-

ment online. The couple trademarked the Thumbs Up Cancer Down phrase, and in 2015, filed papers to become a nonprofit. “Our mission is simple: to help those battling cancer. We (pose for pictures) put our thumbs up to knock cancer down,” Charette said. Everyone from President Donald Trump, celebrities and professional athletes to local television personalities, politicians and everyday folk have been inspired by Marcus’ positive attitude and shared their own images. “I know in David’s heart, this movement is what kept him alive,” Charette added. “I don’t know of anybody with such a positive outlook.” In addition to the photo campaign, the organization also distributes Power Packs to patients. In June, the group delivered 500 bags filled with simple items of comfort like blankets, beanie caps, diaries and hand sanitizers to area treatment centers. “This is a way to let people know they aren’t alone,” he said. “I have been blessed with good health. I get such satisfaction handing out the packs. If it puts a little hope in their lap, we’ve accomplished our mission.” Next month, the group will host its fourth annual fundraiser that supports the bag distribution. As for Bryant, today he is healthy and attending college at Cal Poly. Charette, who has been forecasting Bakersfield’s weather since he moved here in 2016, says he never dreamed he would create a nonprofit organization. Like him and Brutlag, Marcus wasn’t born here, but considered it his true home and the citizens his extended family. Deeply religious, his final Facebook post read, “God is good all the time.” Even in the face of his own mortality, he remained upbeat and positive, boosting the spirits of others and teaching us all that ordinary people can do extraordinary things by simply lifting one another up. Three amazing men. What legacies of inspiration!

Lisa Kimble

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Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble. KERNLIFE19



Be In Bakersfield


Their hometowns are Kern County cities and their hearts are in Bakersfield As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” That is, love and home go hand in hand. For Heather Pennella, her hometown of Lebec in south Kern County gave her a love of nature, the four seasons and small-town neighborly living. No one in her neighborhood locked their doors. She finished her schooling with the same group of close friends at El Tejon School. She looked forward to playing in the snow each year. “It was a magical place,” Pennella said.

Pennella says Bakersfield gave her education and opportunity. For high school, Pennella drove from Lebec to Bakersfield High School and then attended Bakersfield College. After studying at CSU Northridge, she moved to Bakersfield. Today, she is the alumni and donor relations manager at Bakersfield College Foundation. Her heart is now in a city with a social scene, access to arts and culture, abundant restaurants and ample opportunities. “I’m a single female who is a homeowner,” Pennella said. “In Bakersfield, a certain level of success is easily attainable.” Like Pennella, Alex Balfour was raised in the hills, al-

Alex Balfour takes a break after hiking Kern County’s mountains. Balfour, who was raised in Tehachapi and loves the outdoors, now calls Bakersfield his home and appreciates the mixture of suburban and urban life. He says he hopes to call Tehachapi his home again in retirement.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019


By Jorge Barrientos

though in eastern Kern. His parents traded city life in Southern California for the great outdoors of Tehachapi, where hiking trails, fishing and hunting are bountiful, where the pace of life is slower, the nights cooler and the feeling always peaceful. After graduating from Tehachapi High School, Balfour attended Bakersfield College, transferred to UC San Diego and finished at Cal State Bakersfield. Today, Balfour says he is enjoying this mixture of suburban and urban life in Bakersfield. The commercial real estate broker is married to Kathyrine, also from Bakersfield, and the two have a 1-year-old. When he retires, he hopes to call Tehachapi home again. “I love Bakersfield – I love to see it grow,” Balfour said. “I also love the outdoor life of Tehachapi. Luckily, it’s just a few minutes away.” Sean Hart’s heart is with family and community. His grandparents moved to Wasco during the Dust Bowl. Wasco, Hart says, is a place where you can run into 50 people you know in a day and catch up with each of them. After high school, Hart attended and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and began his career in banking in Bakersfield and Just the Facts Camarillo. The birth of Be in Bakersfield is a grassroots a special-needs movement aimed at changing child and sickness the conversation around Baof his wife Anna, a kersfield and activating positive fellow Wasco High change within our community. graduate, led him Visit us online at www.beinbato follow his heart. or on Facebook + “We really Instagram at @beinbakersfield. needed family close by, so we moved back to Wasco,” Hart said. “You’d be surprised how comforting it is to be in a place and with people so familiar when there are things happening in your life you can’t control.” Seven years ago, however, Hart and his family moved to Bakersfield permanently. “I didn’t think it was possible to have this sense of a community outside of a smaller town,” Hart said. “Bakersfield can be Wasco-esque.” As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” For these Kern County natives, their hearts are in Bakersfield. Be home in Bakersfield. Jorge Barrientos is the director of marketing and public relations for Chain Cohn Stiles in Bakersfield and a board member for The Hub of Bakersfield. Though he moved to Bakersfield when he was 10, and has lived in other places as an adult, he considers it his hometown. Jorge and his wife of nine years, Carla, have Jorge a Shih Tzu named Leon and a Barrientos 10-month-old baby boy, Julian.

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Study Hall


Rural Initiatives program makes higher education more accessible throughout Kern County By Erin Auerbach

During the school year, Christine Cruz-Boone drives throughout Kern County to help eliminate the distance barriers that may keep people in rural areas from educational opportunities. As a professor of communication at Bakersfield College, she primarily teaches at the school’s Delano campus and in Arvin, but she has also taught courses in McFarland, Shafter and other regions. “The students in the rural communities are just hungry to learn, and as a teacher, that is an exciting starting point,” Cruz-Boone said. When Sonya Christian became president of the college in 2013, she made a commitment to increase educational services and offerings to rural communities. Since then, the Rural Initiatives program at Bakersfield College, which aims to provide access to quality education for Kern County’s socially, ethnically and geographically diverse students, has continued to grow and thrive. Courses offered throughout these areas include traditional transfer-oriented classes as well as vocational and developmental instruction. Some areas, such as Delano, have a dedicated campus and more BC facilities are on the horizon. The program’s classes and services primarily 78

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Bakersfield College is committed to increasing educational services and offerings to rural communities in Kern County.

reach Delano, McFarland, Wasco, Shafter and Arvin, but efforts have been made to reach out to additional communities in Lamont, Lost Hills and Earlimart. “These initiatives were developed in response to community needs and concerns,” said Abel Guzman, executive director of the Rural Initiatives program. When community members in Arvin wanted college courses, BC began by offering a few classes at the high school. This fall, more than 20 classes and sections are scheduled in Arvin. Funds from the passage of Measure J in 2016 will also help build a dedicated Arvin campus, which is scheduled for completion by 2024. Guzman added that everything at BC connected with early and dual enrollment is happening in rural communities. In recent years, the Wonderful Academy and Wasco High School started partnerships with BC that resulted in 94 students graduating from high school while simultaneously earning their associate degrees in ag business or ag mechanics in 2019. Two cohorts in Arvin are on the early college path and about 40 of these high school students have already completed at least nine college units. The newest dual enrollment program, in which all incoming ninth-grade students will be on the early college pathway, launches this fall in McFarland.

“Really, what we’ve done is work with high schools in these communities to identify what pathway to put students on,” Guzman said. “For example, Arvin is doing a communication pathway. All (dual enrollment programs) will include general education requirements.” Grants are used to fund these programs as well as adult education, another important component of BC’s Rural Initiatives. Two program managers work with adult schools throughout Kern County to provide seamless educational transitions to higher education and career training opportunities. Guzman said the college’s leadership has played an integral role in Rural Initiatives’ growth. “Dr. Sonya Christian has really put an emphasis on rural communities and supporting the staff who are building these programs,” he said. Cruz-Boone agreed: “The rural team is small but there is nothing they won’t do for their students. I feel honored to be part of a team like that.”

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Rural Initiatives

It started with a text. California Assemblyman Rudy Salas was speaking with his fellow state leaders and brought up the idea of helping community colleges. He texted Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian, asking if she could send him a detailed list of how potential funds could be spent to help students. Within hours, Bakersfield College provided him with a proposal. Salas was able to procure the money that has helped BC Workforce Development programs such as HVAC training, implementation of a mobile welding program, and expansions and investments in the school’s Rural Initiatives programs. The first $1 million was spent in the last year, and thanks to Salas, there is an additional $1 million in the 2019-2020 state budget that will be invested in these BC programs. At a press conference held at Bakersfield College on July 15 to celebrate the funding, Christian thanked all of the community partners who helped cultivate these programs, which train students in rural communities in everything from welding to automation. She praised the early results of this investment in rural education, introducing Felix Dominguez, the first graduate of the HVAC program at BC’s Delano campus. A video shown featured student Moises Marin De Luna, who works in the fields and took an electronics class at BC. The class inspired his goal to earn a bachelor’s degree from BC’s industrial automation program. “The ripple effect (of this money) will hopefully last for generations, sparking that interest in education,” Salas said. “These programs are transforming lives.”

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Our County

Wasteland Weekend is a full-immersion event that makes festivalgoers feel like they’re inside a “Mad Max”-style movie.


California City desert transforms into wasteland for world’s largest post-apocalyptic festival By Alexia Svejda

I’m not too sure about the guy in line in front of me at Rite Aid. Dressed all in black, dusty, with a studded vest and collar, knee-high boots and hair reliving the punk era, he seems to be adjusting his armor. I say, “Hi.” He returns the greeting with a super-friendly smile. There are five people ahead of us; we strike up a conversation. “Is that car with the battering rams and gun mount yours?” “Yes,” he grins. I venture on, “So…?” “I’m here for Wasteland Weekend,” he answers. 80

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He asks if I am familiar with the movie “Mad Max.” He explained that a temporary city had been built in the desert of our city, complete with a Thunderdome, to mimic the post-apocalyptic world of “Mad Max.” This September marks a decade of Wasteland Weekend in our desert in and around California City. Last year 4,000 attended. Unlike most other desert parties, car shows or music concerts (and Wasteland is all three), this one requires all attendees to be in costume (even staff members and journalists). The idea is to create a full-immersion effect, making festivalgoers feel like they’re inside a “Mad Max”-style movie for five days. “We’re going to pull out all the stops for our 10th-year celebration,” explains Wasteland co-founder and event director Jared Butler. “It’s amazing that we’ve been able to have this home-grown post-apocalyptic fantasy world last

this long. It took a lot of hard work and dedication by our whole community and we want to celebrate that.” The event has sold out five years in a row and another sellout is certain for this year as well. The organizers have limited growth intentionally. Butler explains: “Wasteland is run by a small staff and an army of volunteers. We want those volunteers to grow their skills with the event, so that our staffing and infrastructure never get overwhelmed by the size of the


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population.” The other benefit is cited by the event’s Art Director and Chief of Operations Adam Chilson. “When we grow at a reasonable pace, it means veteran attendees always outnumber the newcomers,” Chilson said. “It helps the event keep the feeling of being one big returning family.” Many in Kern County may not know about this event, though it has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, LA Weekly, ABC News in Australia, Maxim, the Guardian UK, France 24, “Jay Leno’s Garage” and others. Over the years, I have looked forward to September and the arrival of some the nicest people that visit our town. I’ve met oncologists, mechanics, For more information stockbrokers, Go to models, engineers, moms, nurses and real estate agents. When you are at Wasteland, you shed all labels, leave the rat race behind and socialize on a level playing field. Don’t let the outfits and the cars, which are extensions of “the look,” fool you. Alexia Svejda is the president of the California City Chamber of Commerce.

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An avid runner, Ryan Alsop has participated in about 20 marathons and 20 half marathons.


RUN DEEP Ryan Alsop uses experience working in other communities to better Kern County By Melissa Peaker-Whitten

Although Ryan Alsop is a recent transplant to Bakersfield, he grew up here, attended Highland High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from CSU Bakersfield. He credits his college professors and early job experiences for sparking his interest in public service. Chris Frank was one instrumental person here locally. “I was recommended by a professor to Chris to fill a public affairs position at the (Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce), so that exposure and some of the work I did on behalf of area businesses, (as well as) dealing with governmental affairs work (contributed to that),” he said. 82

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He met his wife, Melissa, here, too. Although she grew up in Orange County, she ended up moving to Bakersfield for high school and also attended Highland, though the two didn’t connect until 1997. “We met at a bar called Jelly’s,” said Alsop. “She noticed me from across the bar and flagged me down and called me over to talk to her – she gave me her phone number on a check made out to me and I still have it.” Married 20 years, they have four children – Brie, Hannah, Lily and their youngest, Eoin, whose name was inspired by their love of Ireland. They honeymooned on the Dingle Peninsula and fell in love with the area. Over the years, they have built a community of friends there and try to visit at least every

other year. “We’ve been back more times than I can remember,” Alsop said. “It’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth.” Shortly after they were married, they moved to Washington, D.C., where he spent the next couple of years working full time and attending graduate school at night, earning a master’s degree in public policy from the American University School of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. Eventually returning to California, he has held several high-profile positions, including the director of external affairs for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was the director of government and public affairs for Long Beach Water when he got the call from Schwarzenegger, who had just been elected. “It was crazy and exciting,” said Alsop, who commuted weekly for about a year. However, his children were young and he felt he was miss“Having been born ing out on their lives, so he decided to return and raised here to his previous position closer to home. and moving away Before returning to for so long and Bakersfield, he served as assistant chief exliving in different officer for Los places, you realize ecutive Angeles County from 2009 to 2016. how things could Although his resume be with the right is impressive, when the investment and position in Bakersfield became available, he attention.” jumped at the chance to – Ryan Alsop serve the people in his hometown. He was appointed by the Kern County Board of Supervisors to serve as the county administrative officer on Jan. 2, 2017. “The idea of coming back to Bakersfield was something I was excited about,” said Alsop. “I have a real interest in moving this community forward and making sure the decisions that are being made and done here raise the bar, raise the quality of life. I was excited about that.” He traded a three-hour commute for the opportunity to drive positive change. “I really enjoy living here with all it has to offer. I’ve reconnected with old friends (and am) meeting lots of new friends, building a really fantastic friendship network here in town,” he said. Alsop believes living in different places has given him perspective. “Having been born and raised here and moving away for so long and living in different places, you realize how things could be with the right investment and attention,” said Alsop. Younger cities like Laguna Nigel, where his family lived for 10 years, was founded in 1989, and had the benefit of learning from everything that happened before their founding. Alsop wanted to bring that vision to Bakersfield. “Whether it’s the development of our parks, roadways, walkability or businesses – things that feed into the quality-of-life issues that everyone values – I’ve got a pretty healthy perspective given my background (that is) helpful

in helping manage the county,” he said. “It would’ve been different if I had not gone away and had the experiences I’ve had. I see it through my kid’s eyes too. They’re used to reclaimed water, trees and sidewalks everywhere – the challenges we have are because we’re an older community.” Two of his top priorities are diversifying Kern’s economic base and addressing the growing problem of homelessness. “We are working hard here to diversify our economy and create new jobs,” Alsop said. “Over the last three years, we’ve led efforts to create thousands of new jobs. We are also focused directly on the homeless here in Kern County and are working very hard to ensure the time and resources we are spending are being applied in ways that are resulting in real change.” With two of their children still at home, education was a big factor in determining where they would live when they returned to Bakersfield. Their 16-year-old, Lily, attends Garces High School and plays on their water polo team and their youngest attends Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Lily was already playing water polo in Orange County, so it was a good fit for her. They were also attracted to the school’s academic offerings, small class sizes and its community of teachers. “We are part of the Garces community and really enjoy living up there,” said Alsop. When he’s not working to make our community a better place, he loves to run and has participated in about 20 marathons and another 20 half-marathons. He’s considering running in the Bakersfield Marathon this fall. “Part of the course runs down my street, (so I could) show off for all my neighbors,” he joked. Whether he’s running our county, or the streets of Bakersfield, his passion for both is apparent.





Neil Armstrong with the X-15, ship #1, at Dryden Flight Research Center after a research flight.

MAKING ‘ONE GIANT LEAP’ POSSIBLE Kern County’s place in the space race helps man get to the moon By Julie Plata

On July 17, 1969, one day, eight hours, 50 minutes and 29 seconds into Apollo 11’s mission, Buzz Aldrin reported to Houston from 125,200 miles, at the speed of 4,486 feet per second: “It looks like there’s some clouds just to the west of the Sierras, northeast of Bakersfield a little bit, and crossing over into the Mojave from Bakersfield looks clear. And then as you get 84

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on further to the southeast of there, there’s a few clouds.” This past July marked the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission that made Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. the first two humans to step on the moon. Kern County’s involvement in that successful mission encompasses more than just a mention of the local weather. Some of the most important preparations for the exploration of the moon started on a dry lakebed in the Continued on Page 86

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Right: Lunar landing research vehicle in flight, 1965. Bottom: Neil Armstrong in the cockpit of the X-15.

Continued from Page 84

Mojave Desert. Located at the southeastern edge of Kern County, Edwards Air Force Base has served as an important test facility for the nation’s aerospace industry. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station was established in late 1946 and led the space race in the testing of atmospheric Earth and space science flight operations. In 1963, the Dryden Flight Research Center (renamed after Armstrong in 2014) became the site for the testing of manned landings on the moon. According to the Aug. 10, 1962, Bakersfield Californian, the tests, part of Project Apollo, were set to begin “following delivery of two research vehicles to simulate lunar landing conditions” and would be used to train the astronauts assigned to the Apollo project. The idea was that the craft would “allow studies of landing two astronauts by moon ferry or lunar ‘bug,’ from the Apollo spacecraft while a third astronaut orbits the moon in the command capsule.” This is exactly how the Apollo 11’s mission ultimately 86

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played out. A few years later in 1966, another notable test flight occurred when pilot John B. McKay flew an X-15 rocket plane out of Edwards at 260,000 feet to test a photometer to be used in the return maneuver by Apollo moon astronauts. Edwards also served as the site of early preparation of one of the mission’s famous astronauts. The headline of a July 6, 1969, Californian article read “Edwards training to aid astronaut” and that astronaut was Armstrong. Armstrong had established himself as one of the nation’s greatest test pilots. Donald (Deke) Slayton, one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, was the first to recommend Armstrong to lead the Apollo 11 crew. He believed Armstrong had the right stuff because of his lunar lander flight training and his experience as a civilian pilot at Edwards Air Force Base during the X-15 rocket plane flights. Over the years, the men and women who worked out of Edwards Air Force contributed to the continuing mission of NASA’s exploration of space. These unsung heroes helped make Armstrong’s famous “one step for man, one giant leap for mankind” possible.


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Train Robbers home games don’t start until 8 p.m. to allow the sun to drop behind Sam Lynn Ballpark’s centerfield wall.


Independent baseball finds home in multiple Kern County cities By Stephen Lynch

Baseball is a sport that has deep roots in Kern County. Bakersfield has fielded a professional baseball team in one form or another, with a couple of short interruptions, since 1941. Three years ago, the local pro baseball landscape shifted dramatically when Kern County’s Cal League team, the Bakersfield Blaze, was sold and moved to the Carolina League. The void left by the departure of the Blaze was quickly filled by the Pecos League, which established teams in Bakersfield and California City prior to the 2017 season. This year, the Pecos League, an independent professional league founded in 2010, added a third Kern County-based team, the Wasco Reserves. Currently, the Bakersfield Train Robbers, California 88

Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019

City Whiptails and the Reserves are three of five Pecos League teams stationed in California. The league’s initial venture into Kern County in 2017 was challenging, but most of the kinks in establishing the Train Robbers and Whiptails have now been ironed out, according to Pecos League Commissioner Andrew Dunn. “The first year was really tough,” Dunn said. “The second year was better, but the third year has been, by far, the best because the people that are out there want to be out there now. Everybody was so set in the Blaze and the (High Desert) Mavericks. … That was all we dealt with. Now, we’re finally past hearing the Blaze and the Mavericks. Finally, people aren’t saying are you the Blaze? Are you the Mavericks? You can only take that so much. Now we’re the Train Robbers and we’re the Yardbirds.” The Train Robbers, which play their home games at historic Sam Lynn Ballpark, won the league championship last year.


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Train Robbers pitcher Garrett Alvarez delivers a pitch in the 2017 Pecos League Pacific Division All Star game.


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This season, they are once again one of the better teams in the 12-team league. The biggest issues for the Train Robbers are the same ones that plagued the Blaze, Bakersfield’s stifling summer heat and a home stadium that faces the wrong direction, causing start times to be pushed back until nearly 8 p.m. so the sun won’t be in batters’ eyes. “That’s always going to be tough no matter how you cut the deck,” Dunn said. “Bakersfield is a wonderful city. If they had a venue where you could start at 7 o’clock, that would help immensely.” An advantageous ballpark situation is one of the reasons Dunn decided to put a team in Wasco. “Wasco is perfect for what we’re doing,” Dunn said. “The people are wonderful. The park is wonderful. … It’s a great place.” Whether it be in Bakersfield, Wasco or Cal City, Dunn believes the Pecos League provides a great way for Kern County baseball fans to get their baseball fix. Bakersfield home games on Mondays feature $1 tickets to the game along with $1 hot dogs and $1 beers. “It’s close, it’s good baseball, it’s affordable and it’s convenient,” Dunn said. “The baseball is good. It’s worth watching. It’s not the Cal League but it’s still good baseball.” Notes: Two former Pecos League players Jon Edwards (2014, Texas Rangers) and Chris Smith (2017, Toronto Blue Jays) have gone on to play in the major leagues. Two other former Pecos League players have played in MLB spring training games. Currently, two former Pecos League players Josh Tols (Philadelphia Phillies) and Eric Yardley (San Diego Padres) are playing in Triple-A.

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Prime Finds

Unique, custom-designed jewelry by Raul Zavala Raul Zavala does diamond resizing and most repairs done in one day while you wait. See Raul for special oneof-a-kind jewelry design. 5009 Stockdale Highway inside Lucky's Boutique & More 661-633-2278

Oildale Landmarks Meet the artist Saturday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. at Covenant Coffee, 1700 N. Chester Ave. “Bakersfield” oil paintings are on exhibit at The Art Center, 1607 19th St. Contact Charlotte White at 661-330-2676.

Our 5th Annual


“Meet me in Paris” Fashion Show

Benefiting the Lee and Krystyna Jamieson Home for Women with Children! If you would like to be a part of the solution by being a sponsor of our event or donating a silent auction item please contact: Cat Skow at 661-489-5538

Upscale Resale of Better Clothing and Accessories For Men, Women and Children at Affordable Prices! Tickets available at Encore Boutique and

1817 Eye Street, Downtown, Bakersfield FREE Parking at the 18th Street Garage M-F 10am-6pm and Saturdays 10-2pm (661) 489-5538 Donations Gladly Accepted. 90

Bakersfield Life Magazine

August 2019



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Snap! Kern County Farm Bureau’s Annual Charity Farmer’s Market Date: July 13 Held at: Chuy’s Photos by: Carla Rivas

Eric Tapia, Christina Rajlal and Lily and Sebastian Tapia-Rajlal

Matt Cushnyr, Aaron Flores, Brandon Gallardo and Eric Schoenheide

Christy, Rick and Ashley Machado

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Charley and Dana Kelly and Teri French and Wade Del French

Gloria Cleary, Charlet Johnstone and Tracy Shofner

Christine Ramirez and Orin Winslow

Chris and Harry Calvillo 92

Sylvia Picazo and Kevin Burton

August 2019

Adrian Zuniga and Ruth Gonzalez

Theresa and Zoey Sawyer

Snap! Tigerfight Casino Night Date: June 8 Held at: Padre Hotel Photos by: Carla Rivas

Nicole and Justin Lehrmann

Julie and Ken Lewis

Queta Vargas, Barbara DeMita, Tamar Karkazin and Stephanie Salazar

Christina and Omar Rodriguez, Samantha and Cody Johnson

Brad and Colleen Chambless

Kristy Martinez and Chamil Payne

Tangi Smith and Ryan Freeborn

Kristen and Andy Neuman, Susan and Rick Martin

Pedro and Chelsea Arredondo and Carla Leiran


Snap! Westchester Fourth of July Parade Date: July 4 Held at: Westchester neighborhood Photos by: Greg Nichols

Lily Raytis, with Goat Benji, Fletcher and Megan Thomas

Laura, Kyle and Jude Zachary

The Moses, Gabin and Killmer families

Ralph Wegis, George Ann Caratan and Sharon Wegis Bakersfield Life Magazine

Eleni and Tina Kiuftis, Arlene Carrillo and Julia Kiuftis

Annabelle Bridgman, Faith Jones, Bennett and Emma Bridgman, Jason Jones and Rosalie Bridgman

The Toler family


Nancy and Hailey Gordon

August 2019

Telma Nichols and Ester Adams

Snap! Bakersfield Burrito Project’s 10-year anniversary

Amelia, Royal, Kimberly, Diego, Lilah and Jesus NuĂąez Jr.

Date: July 7 Held at: Central Park at Mill Creek Photos by: Greg Nichols

Audrey Chavez and Noe G

Michael Wells and Leala Singleton

Alexander Ramirez, Lionel Jauregui, Makayla Stevens and Lily Thorpe

Susan Chan, Gia Murillo and Alexander Ramirez

Leala Singleton and Belinda Lopez Rickett

Natasha Felkins, Christian Guzman and Georgina Puentes

Emily Zambrano, Maribel Ruiz and Julian Duran

Darren, Lucas and Lily Thorpe, Yvette Flores, Jayden Smith and Neel Sannappa


Snap! Twilight at CALM Date: July 13 Held at: California Living Museum Photos by: Greg Nichols

Britny, Randall, Jayden, Kayden and Jakobe Gilchrist

Emily, Doris, Jorge, Emanuel and Allison Nunez

Melanie Cohen and Joshua Branch

Aaron Jimenez, Hannah, Jacob, Ava, Sophia Barron, Samantha Bugarin and Alyssa Ordonez

Maria and Jose Martinez 96

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Miguel, Melissa and Mikey Hernandez

LaDonna and Annie Bell and Alan Minear

Ana and Laith Montenegro August 2019

Tony, Toni and Chris Lopez

Gabriel, Gabriella, Eva and Gianna Medina

Snap! Philanthropy on Tap Date: July 2 Held at: Temblor Brewing Photos by: Greg Nichols

Bernadette Ferguson and Kelly Lightfoot with Squirrel and Posie

Lynn Hetrick and Alisia Sanchez with Posie

Hillary Haenes, Danette Rinehart and Angie Griffith

Joel Macias and Laura Sausina

Torie Beck, Michael and Kelly Lightfoot, Bernadette Ferguson and Liticia Singleterry

Pam Guseman, Abby Van Horn and Dustin Moody


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19th & N Street, Downtown Bakersfield

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Last Word


BAKERSFIELD BUBBLE Shafter used to seem so far away. Until I started working there. In nearly six decades of living in Kern County, every city outside of Bakersfield seemed that way to me at first. I have learned the distance is not that great, either physically or philosophically. I left a long banking career last October to become the business development director for the city of Shafter. It was my latest major life event since arriving in Kern County at the tender age of 5, courtesy of my dad’s transfer to Edwards Air Force Base. North Edwards was home when I graduated from Boron High School before heading to Bakersfield College, where I earned a journalism degree and met my wife, Vicki, a graduate of Kern Valley High School in Lake Isabella. Bakersfield has been home since 1973, except for one financially strapped semester at Fresno State that brought me back to work multiple jobs, including a year as a KUZZ reporter. Vicki and I got married the following year and began our banking careers. Though always based with Bakersfield banks, I also worked with offices in Delano, McFarland, Wasco, Tehachapi, Mojave, Arvin, Ridgecrest and Shafter, racking up serious miles on Highways 14, 58, 65, 99, 119, 178, 221 and 395. Today, it’s Highway 43 every day to City Hall in Shafter. It’s my shortest commute ever and true isolation from daily activities in Bakersfield. Lunch is no longer Uricchio’s, Sequoia or Luigi’s, but El Michoacano, La Imperial or Tin Cup. Great food, new ZIP code. Bakersfield is now where we find prospects for business expansion into Shafter. By the way, is there a patriotic display more deservedly acclaimed than Shafter’s 3rd of July Fireworks Show? At least 3,000 people attended this year’s event and, in that ensuing traffic jam, many were visitors headed back to 98

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August 2019

City councilwoman Cathy Prout welcomes you to Shafter.

Bakersfield. Our indisputable Kern County nexus is Bakersfield, with all the accompanying resources and responsibilities. I’m learning to appreciate their burden of operating one of the largest cities in America. However, I have also seen government leaders from Shafter, Delano, Wasco, McFarland, Arvin, Tehachapi and other cities demonstrate the grit behind the grind to get things done in their communities. Smaller cities have smaller staffs with more expansive duties, requiring them to be nimble, nifty and knowledgeable. I have developed a healthy respect for Kern County’s leaders and all county department staff members for the effort it takes to get results. I also more deeply appreciate the supportive expertise of Kern Economic Development Corporation. Though each city has inherent capabilities, community priorities and specific challenges, all our cities share


By Bob Meadows

the common pride of being in Kern County. Many leaders do collaborate and communicate because our cities don’t always compete. Although Bakersfield and the surrounding cities will always have differences and distances, none of us truly stand alone. We are all still Kern County and I pray that bond will keep us working and growing together for years to come. Bob Meadows became business development director for the city of Shafter in October 2018 after nearly 40 years in the banking industry. His extensive community involvement includes various local nonprofits. Bob won the 2018 Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Business Person of the Year. The views expressed Bob Meadows are his own.




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