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February 2012

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bakersfieldlife.com

pet lovers reflect on man’s best friend

Valentine’s Day Chocolates, wine, jewels and love

On the Road

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New Dining Divas

There’s a new group of Dining Divas discovering delicious dishes, and their first stop was La Mina Cantina on Auburn Street.

48

Pets and their people

They are not only cute and cuddly, but a constant companion. Animals, especially dogs, are our best friends, and there is no exception for these eight well-known locals and their furry friends.

54

Valentine’s Day

To set the romantic mood, this issue has several stories dedicated to Valentine’s Day. With the inspiring love story of Milt and Doris Huggs, office-to-date-night looks from local boutiques, gift-giving quandaries along with advice and ideas on what to get your sweetheart, you can’t go wrong.

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Local veterans Jeremy Staat and Wesley Leon-Barrientos will embark on a ride across America to raise awareness and to unite all veterans. The two will take off in mid-February to bring attention to veterans’ causes.

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Ride across America

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Bakersfield Life

February 2012


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Thank you, Kern County for your continued support! 8

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

32 Food & Wine 38 Entertainment 40 For a Cause 42 Sports Legend 44 On the Road 46 Why I Serve

80 Foodie 84 History 86 Personality 88 Health and Wellness 90 Talk of the Town 92 Trip Planner

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

See our full menu and order online at


Cancer Care is Close to Home. I lost my 7-year-old son to cancer; my life changed that day. At the SJCH Cancer Center, our patients will receive the same compassionate care that I did. I’m Sandy Johnson, executive director of Mission and Culture. Join me in giving.

Give today. Visit www.sjchgiving.org or call 661-869-6570.


FEEDBACK Staff shares

Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine

Funniest pick-up line you have ever heard or used: Here’s one that I heard but I’m not saying that I ever used it ... “Tell me something, did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?” — Bryan Fahsbender, advertising director I don’t think I have ever used a funny pick-up line, but I have heard some that I consider cheesy but can border on funny. The funniest I would say is: “Do you have a quarter? ’Cause I want to call my mom and tell her I met the girl of my dreams,” which might seem outdated now since almost everyone has a cell phone. — Gabriel Ramirez, contributing writer “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” It worked! Six months later, that same guy at Guthrie’s Alley Cat asked me to marry him. — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer Once, (prior to Anita Hill), my boss approached my desk and said, “So, would you like to go to lunch and then to a hotel room?” — Dana Martin, contributing writer When I was in high school, a guy came up to me and said, “Hey baby, got a needle and thread? ’Cause I’m ripped,” as he flexed his arms. It was an awkward, but funny moment. — Annie Stephens, contributing writer

Facebook posts Readers share: “What is the most romantic Valentine’s Day gesture you did for your loved one or that your loved one did for you?” My fiance told me a story about how when he was a child, his grandmother kept a journal where she would write sweet things he said as a kid or little moments that were worth remembering, and then she gave him the journal as an adult. He appreciated what his grandmother did so much that I decided to keep my own journal of sweet moments we had together or kind words he said to me for an entire year. One Valentine’s Day, I filled a bucket with paper hearts and on the inside of each heart was a memory we shared together, an important moment in his life or a romantic thing he said or did for me! He was floored and so grateful! Now, every year I continue to keep a journal and on V-Day, I fill up the bucket with amazing memories! — Lina Christina I always book a weekend getaway for the both us. We have kids, so Valentine’s is the perfect time to treat ourselves and not feel guilty, especially since we like to splurge on the chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, a great dinner and an awesome hotel … usually beachfront. — Monica Contreras Mr. E. proposed. — Lisa Kimble Edmonston And Mr. B. proposed! Well, the day before, just to catch me by surprise. — Jennifer Burger 10

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

TM

February 2012 / Vol. 6 / Issue 5

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Vice President, Administration & Operations Nancy Chaffin Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Interactive Advertising Director Sally Ellis Interactive Sales Manager Lisa Whitten Marketing Manager Mira Patel Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Maria Ahumada-Garaygordobil, Henry A. Barrios, Casey Christie, Michael Fagans, Jessica Frey, Linda Hamilton, Marcia Hirst, Alex Horvath, Greg Nichols, Tanya X. Leonzo, Mark Nessia, Jan St. Pierre, Ashley Reyes, Brian N. Willhite Contributing writers Vicki Adame, Allie Castro, Kelly Damian, Gene Garaygordobil, Lois Henry, Lisa Kimble, Stephen Lynch, Dana Martin, Mark Nessia, Jeff Nickell, Gabriel Ramirez, Annie Stephens, Chris Thornburgh, Michael Wafford, Brian N. Willhite Intern Breanna Fields Advertising Lupe Carabajal lcarabajal@bakersfield.com, 395-7563 On the cover Luigi’s owner Antonia Valpredo and her lovely four-legged companions, Maggie and Princess Belle. Photo by Mark Nessia


EDITOR’S NOTE

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

Setting new goals

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487 ogarcia@bakersfield.com

I

I was at a local store the other day, picking up a pair of “girlie” weights when the cashier asked me, “Working on your new year resolution?” It didn’t hit me until then that maybe I was working on one. I recently bought my husband the P90X workout plan on DVD. No, it wasn’t because I thought he was too fat or anything. He told me he wanted to give it a try because getting leaner was a goal of his for 2012. He’s already in great shape — running with me and training with his SWAT buddies — but I can understand his desire. After all, getting fit is a goal for many of us. However, I didn’t realize that his P90X goal would become mine as well. I assumed this was going to be his deal, but the way he saw it this was a team

effort: him and me. I have to admit: I really don’t like to workout. I love to run — but lifting weights? Push-ups? Ab workouts? Uh, maybe another time? In the end, though, these are the things we do for our spouses. So here I am, a couple of days into it, buying weights and feeling sore in different parts of my body where I didn’t know muscles existed. But, hey, I am continuing to move forward since my partner is counting on me. Tony Horton will be my friend for awhile. So how is your resolution coming along? I’d love to hear about how you are meeting your 2012 goals. Email me at ogarcia@bakersfield.com and we can possibly run them in the next issue of our Letters to the Editor section.

Olivia’s picks — This month I’m loving ...

Kate Spade purse — Pastiche Landon ($222 on sale) I recently spent a day at the Camarillo outlets with girlfriends, checking out the sales. I love this place and the many stores it has, including Kate Spade. I think the three of us walked away with at least one item. OK, maybe two. But what gal can say no to Kate Spade? 12

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Nike Free Run ($99.99 ) Aside from purses, I love running shoes. For the past several months, I, along with my friend Kendall, have been training for our first marathon. Now, this was my resolution for 2012. As a pre-treat, though, my husband bought me a new pair of purpleyellow-black Nike Free Runs. These are among my favorite pair of running shoes for road races and great for those interested in the minimalist running movement.

Mumford & Sons ($9.99) First, let me say I love listening to all sorts of music. But if you love bluegrass, folk or alternative rock, then you must pick up a copy of British folk rock band’s Mumford & Sons album, “Sigh No More.” I listen to their tracks “The Cave” and “After the Storm” on long, steady runs. Very calming. Also, I discovered that their song “Timshel” was used in a recent episode of AMC’s “Hell On Wheels,” a new series set in 1865. Consider it another pick from me.


UP FRONT It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Chester Avenue stood. In August 1871, as part of an effort to put Kern County on the agricultural map, Julius, Livermore and James D. Johnston formed the California Cotton Growers Association. Julius was Chester Avenue its first president, while in 1890. Livermore remained in San Francisco and provided the funding. The holdings were eventually mismanaged, and the operation failed. Julius, considered the more entrepreneurial of the two, was also publisher of The Southern Californian from 1875 to 1879 when he surrendered ownership of what would later become The Bakersfield Californian. He returned to Northern California, according to his obituary, “for the benefit of his health.” Mounting debts and political opposition are also believed to have played a role in his relocation. Both men died childless. Julius succumbed to pneumonia in the spring of 1890. He was 59. Younger brother George, who remained in Bakersfield but also fell upon hard times, died in October 1903. Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum

From 7th Standard Road and Manor Street to south of Brundage Lane, Chester Avenue is one of the city’s longest thoroughfares, cutting through the heart of downtown Bakersfield. It was named after brothers Julius and George Barber Chester, early pioneer settlers whose scope of business dealings included a prosperous mercantile and livery, lumber, land, livestock, cotton, grain and even publishing. The pair earned a reputation for leveraging other people’s fortunes, and not always successfully. Records differ as to their years of birth, however, based on their ages at the time of death, Julius was born in 1831 and George in 1837, both in Groton, Conn. In 1854, they headed west to California in search of fortune and settled in Alameda County in the Bay Area where they took up farming. In the mid-1860s, they obtained the backing of Horatio Livermore, a wealthy San Francisco druggist, and moved south to Bakersfield flush with money and enterprising plans. Their company, Livermore & Chester, began in southern Kern County with a sawmill operation, which was integral to the development of new communities. The brothers also established Chester Land Co. that subdivided Chester Avenue where they opened an adobe general merchandise store, Chester’s Store, at the corner of 19th Street where Vest Drugs sits today. George operated the store and later became Bakersfield’s first postmaster and telegraph operator. The brothers also donated the land on which the first courthouse

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UP FRONT Word on the Street Compiled by Ashley Reyes

What is your favorite love story movie and why? “Pretty Woman” because it’s real life and it could actually happen.

“Love Actually” because it shows the different types of love: new, old, unrequited, lost, forbidden and love for your children.

Heather Pita

Debbie Spears

The Twilight Saga because the love between Edward and Bella is so strong and true. June Cockrell

Twilight Saga because it is so perfect!

“The Goodbye Girl” because they had a chemistry between them that was palpable.

The original “Shrek” because the story teaches us we must understand and accept ourselves before we can truly love another.

Dayana Ulloa

Eric Warnock

Roger Greaves

“Pretty Woman” because it is a princess story. She started as one type of person and ended up as another.

“Obsessed” because it showed the love of a man for his family.

“The Way We Were” because it captured love from afar, love found, love lost and love remembered.

Molly Lopez

Ron Cordova

Bonnie Grady

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Tone up that body for Bikini Season

By the Numbers

The Bra Shoppe 212 14 6 11

Black underwire bras sold

Red bra sets sold

Pink nighties sold

Animal print bras sold (Everyone should have a wild side)

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Push-up bras sold (Sometimes we need a little extra oomph)

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Number of items sold Feb. 1 to 14, 2011

February 2012

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15


UP FRONT

Photo by Felix Adamo

Short takes

Margaret Delfino and George Kimm are both longtime blood donors.

SeekingSitters releases safety book Safety is the No. 1 priority for SeekingSitters, a full-service babysitting referral company that’s sharing important information in a new book titled “S.T.Y.L.E. — A Complete Guide for Babysitting Success.” A book designed to inform parents and babysitters how to protect children at home and online, specifically on social media websites like Facebook. This guide will educate parents and sitters about what dangers can be encountered online, such as when someone tags a photo or “checks in” at a location, and how a predator can track and find a potential victim. This guide also includes personal and heartwarming stories from sitters across the country along with craft ideas. Purchase this book online at seekingsitters.com for $10.99. For more information about Bakersfield’s SeekingSitters, contact Abby Bryski at 444-4852. — Hillary Haenes

16

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Longtime blood donors share excitement in ‘new era’ for Houchin Margaret Delfino and George Kimm have a combined history of more than a century of giving from their hearts to help their families, friends and neighbors. Delfino, 93, and Kimm, 80, both began donating blood in the 1950s. They are still “going strong” today as regular Houchin Community Blood Bank donors — Delfino approaching the 27-gallon mark and Kimm contributing more than 32 gallons. “As long as I can, I will keep giving blood,” said Delfino. “It’s important to give. It’s the least you can do if you are healthy. It saves people’s lives.” Delfino began donating blood in 1954, to help a neighbor battling a life-threatening illness. Kimm began donating as a student at Cal Poly. Over the years, they became regular donors and encouraged their relatives to donate. Delfino’s donations were interrupted in 2001 when, at 81, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After surgery and chemotherapy, Delfino resumed donating blood in 2006 when she passed the five-year cancer-free threshold. Kimm’s march to his donor milestone was slow at the beginning — giving only occasionally as a student and during his service in the Army. But when he returned to Bakersfield in the late 1950s to manage Farmer John Eggs ranches, a doctor encouraged him to be a regular donor.

Like Delfino, Kimm has witnessed many changes in Houchin’s services. Automated systems have been added and other products, including platelets, are produced. “Medical procedures, such as cancer treatments, have advanced. Bakersfield has an increasing number of healthcare providers that specialize in these treatments serving many more patients,” said Greg Gallion, president and chief executive officer of Houchin Community Blood Bank, which opened in 1951. Houchin is ushering in a new era of service with its construction of a consolidated facility on Buena Vista Road, south of White Lane. The $10 million, 42,000-square-foot complex is made possible by a generous five-acre gift of land by Bolthouse Properties LLC in its Seven Oaks Business Park. When completed in the fall, the complex will include a full-service blood drawing site, and consolidate laboratory, quality assurance, manufacturing, distribution, information technology, community development, telerecruiting and transportation. Houchin’s Truxtun Avenue location will remain open for donations. Houchin has begun a fundraising campaign to help finance construction of the facility. Individual and corporate contributions are encouraged. Opportunities for “naming rights” are available. For more information, visit hcbb.com. — Maureen Buscher-Dang


Short Takes

Assistance League honors founding members Remembering a lifetime of service and the achievements of three women who were instrumental in building the Assistance League of Bakertsfield into the successful entity it is today will be the theme for the organization’s Founder’s Day celebration Feb. 15. Ruth Ann Montgomery, Jane Minch and Wini Davis who were perhaps best known for always working behind the scenes, are being honored posthumously as all passed away last year. Their efforts helped build the foundations that led to more than 50 years of community service for the people of Kern County, according to Barbara Sandrini, Assistance League community relations director. “We were certainly pleased to have them here because without them and the other ladies listed on the founder’s plaque, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Sandrini said, in a tone that emphasized her admiration for them. “It was their idea; it was their business sense to get us to where we are today, to what everything has built on since then.” In 1956, Montgomery formed the Volunteer Service Guild, which led to the organization becoming the Assistance League’s 23rd chapter. The signature program of the Assistance League is Operation School Bell, which was started by Montgomery in Bakersfield to assist children

and their families by providing quality clothes at no charge. In 1997, Operation School Bell was adopted as the national philanthropic program for all Assistance League chapters. Today, 122 chapters with budgets exceeding $11 million provide clothing, shoes, learning materials and personal hygienic items to more than 270,000 recipients through Operation School Bell, Sandrini said. The Assistance League also operates the Bargain Box thrift store, which was started in 1959, by Minch who wanted to be able to utilize the many donations that were given to them to further help fund its causes. The Assistance League provides other philanthropic programs for the community including a scholarship program for high school students; Operation Opportunity, which provides business attire for adults looking for work; Operation Share, which passes along goods to other local charity organizations and Operation Hugs, which provides stuffed bears for the Fire Department and the Highway Patrol intended for children in emergency situations. Volunteers are always welcome. If interested, contact them at 3230838 or bakersfield.assistanceleague.org. — Brian N. Willhite

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UP FRONT Short Takes

When fighting cancer, hope above all else If you’re going to join The C Club — as in C for cancer — get your game on! “It’ll be the fight of your life — literally,” said Mike Stier, 63, a longtime local businessman and cancer survivor. “You earn your stripes in The C Club … it’s not for sissies.” As the honoree of the American Cancer Society’s gala event Feb. 11 from at The Petroleum Club, Stier will share his story of hope, encouragement and survival. It’s a story he’s told many times. Especially now that he’s “paying it forward,” serving as an active support source for other members of The C Club. In October 2005, after a vigorous workout, Stier discovered a lump on his neck that wasn’t there before. It was only six months after he “retired,” though Stier remains president of Stier’s Leisure Vehicles Inc., which he founded in 1973. Other than that, Stier said he felt great, keeping up his exercise routine, thrice-weekly golf game as well as his philanthropic work. But Stier would soon discover that he was not well after all — far from it. “I was diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma, you can call it a tongue-based cancer, which had metastasized,” he said. “When someone basically tells you that you have a 25 percent chance

of living, talk about life-changing.” That included a huge impact on Stier’s entire family: wife Cathi, and Organized by The Ameridaughters Kaylee, 19, and Stevie, 17. can Cancer Society “It was definitely a frightening When: 5 to 11 p.m., Feb. 11. period in our family,” he said. Where: The Petroleum Although Stier was told surgery Club, 5060 California Ave. Tickets: $150 was a possible option — after further Details: 1-800-227-2345 consultation received at MD Anderson Cancer Center — he instead chose to fight his cancer with aggressive radiation and chemotherapy. As preparation for his treatment, Stier wanted to gain some weight. “Weight is your friend,” Stier said. “To get through the treatments, you need nutrition, you need your health.” According to Stier, who is now cancer-free, there is yet another crucial weapon against cancer. One that goes beyond science and beyond sustenance: hope. “You need hope,” he said. “Hope gets you through it.” — Teresa Adamo, senior marketing and communications coordinator at San Joaquin Community Hospital and member of the American Cancer Society’s gala planning committee Grand Hollywood Love Stories

Money Matters

Get to know the new tax rules for 2012 Editor’s note: Chris Thornburgh is a local CPA at Brown Armstrong. Given her expertise, we asked Thornburgh to provide monthly tips that can come in handy for individuals and businesses.

This year begins with one set of tax rules and will surely end with a different set. If you’re a planner, the one thing you can plan on is uncertainty. Congress has its work cut out with more than 50 expiring business and individual tax breaks. Being an election year, this will be fun to watch. Congress has been known to make tax laws retroactive. There are a few changing tax benefits worth mentioning: Businesses The two most important tax benefits are the bonus depreciation and Code Section 179 expensing election. For 2012, businesses won’t be able to write off as much for equipment purchases. • Bonus depreciation reduced. Businesses can write off 100 percent of qualified purchases through first-year bonus depreciation for 2011. For 2012, it has been reduced to 50 percent. • Section 179 deduction reduced. Businesses can expense up to $500,000 of qualifying property placed in service during 2011. For 2012, it has been reduced to $139,000. Certain ceiling limits apply on purchases. 18

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Individuals There are several tax benefits that disappear after the 2011 tax returns unless revived. A few worth mentioning include: • Tuition and fees deduction. This deduction for qualified educational expenses reduces taxable income by as much as $4,000. • Sales tax deduction option. Taxpayers can deduct the greater of their paid sales tax or state income tax. • Mortgage insurance premium deduction. Certain premiums can be deducted as home mortgage interest. •Alternative minimum tax (AMT) “patch.” This complex tax originally meant for the wealthy now affects most middle class taxpayers. Without Congress’ “patch,” an individual’s tax liability can increase hundreds to thousands of dollars. As we watch Congress battle over expiring tax benefits, we still have many tax breaks to work with. It’s worth seeking a tax adviser. — Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong CPAs. Email her at cthornburgh@bacpas.com or call her at 324-4971.


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

Mark Downing Compiled by Hillary Haenes He’s a waiter, web designer and Sinatra-style singer (not necessarily in that order). Mark Downing, 49, started singing at Sorella Italian Restaurant before he began waiting tables, which he’s done there for 15 years. When he’s not at Sorella, you can usually find him at Dagny’s enjoying a favorite blend of coffee or on the golf course. Downing has recorded at Capitol Records twice and has a session in the works to record with a 17-piece band. He has also designed more than 25 websites.

1. I love to take road trips. 2. I love New York. 3. I have a Mini

7. I hate waiting on unreasonable and mean people.

4. I’m a hopeless romantic. 5. Winona Ryder and Ashley Judd are my fa-

more than one occasion in Hollywood, and now I sing his songs in Italian thanks to my boss, Nancy (she taught me how to say the words properly).

Cooper.

vorite actresses and I think they’re both hot!

6. I have two famous musician friends: one is Brian Welch, formerly of Korn; and the other is Trace Adkins’ piano player, Jon Coleman, who is also from here.

8. I love going to the movies. 9. I got to meet Dean Martin on

10. I like animals and would love to go on a safari.

11. I always have to have the latest iPhone. 12. I live downtown in a really cool New

York-style apartment with hardwood floors, high ceilings and a great view.

13. I’m a Mac guy and my Twitter name is @appleguy7. 14. I’m a huge L.A. Clippers fan and maintain a website called clipperslive.com. 15. It’s common for me to play 72 holes of golf in one day.

16. I have a cousin

who ran for governor of Minnesota on the Republican ticket at age 35 and almost won.

17. I want to start a talent agency. 18. I like to Tweet! 19. I like hanging out in Holly-

wood on occasion.

20. I’m a risk-taker. 21. My favorite movie is “Planes,

Trains & Automobiles” followed closely by “Elf.”

22. I like going to Seattle and hanging out at the Pike Place Market eating fish and chips.

24. My favorite restaurant is Chez Nous in Toluca Lake and I eat there every two months. 25. I hope to visit England in the near future. 20

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Photo by Felix Adamo

23. I love Morro Bay and I like kayaking in the bay with the seals.


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HAPPENINGS

Find more community events at bakersfieldlife.com or submit yours via email: bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com

Can’t-miss events in February Fri. 3

Fri. 3

Sat. 4

Sat. 4

Kevin Smith: Live from Behind Podcast, featuring “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old,” 6:30 p.m. Edwards Cinema, 9000 Ming Ave. $15 plus fee and can be purchased online at fathomevents.com.

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

FLICS International Cinema Society, presents “Certified Copy,” 7:30 p.m. Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $5. flics.org or 428-0354.

KCHCC 27th annual Installation of Officers and Business Awards, Bakersfield Marriott downtown, $65; $500 table. 633-5495 or jtamsi@ kchcc.org.

The Art of Todd Nauck, audience Q&A and signing session ($15; $10 for members) artist workshop ($15; $10 for members), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bakersfield Museum of Art. bmoa. org or 323-7219.

Mon. 6

Wed. 8

Fri. 10

Sat. 11

“Fiore & Floret” floral photography exhibit by Bakersfield Californian photographer Felix Adamo. Opening Reception 5 to 7 p.m., Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar 3310 Truxtun Ave.

Organ Recitals, lunch at noon, recital from 12:30 to 1 p.m. every second Wednesday, First Presbyterian Church, 1705 17th St. Lunch available for $6 before recital or feel free to bring your own lunch. 325-9419.

Valentine’s Super Love Jam 2012, with Zapp, Evelyn Champagne, Blue Magic, MC Magic and more, 8 p.m. Rabobank Arena. $27.50 to $49.50. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Gentle Giants: Mozart, Strauss & Mahler, 8 p.m. Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave., $34 to $50 plus fee. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

WEEK 4

WEEK 3

WEEK 2

WEEK 1

Thur. 2

Sun. 12 Wed. 15 Thur. 16 17-19

Sat. 18

WWE Smackdown Live, 5 p.m. Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $23.80 to $80. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

CSUB Men’s Basketball, vs. San Diego, 7 p.m. Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $5 to $20. gorunners. com or 654-BLUE.

Bakersfield Community Concert Assoc. presents Jeri Sager in “Broadway by Jeri,” 7:30 p.m. Rabobank Theater. $60 (four concerts for 2011-2012 season). 205-8522 or 589-2478.

Mon. 20 24-26 Damn YankeesBroadway in Bakersfield, 7:30 p.m. Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $30 to $60 plus fee. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Central Valley Sportsmen Boat, RV & Outdoor Living, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Kern County Fairgrounds. $8 or $6 w/ canned food donation; children 12 and under free.

WEEK 5

Sun. 26

22

Dr.Seuss’ Birthday Read Across Bakersfield Celebration, 1 p.m., The Fox Theater. Jumpers, face painting, petting zoo, celebrity readers, a movie and more. Free tickets available at The Fox Theater and Russo’s Bookstore. Bakersfield Life February 2012

Harlem Globetrotters, 7 p.m. Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $28.90 to $115.65. ticketmaster. com or 800-7453000.

26th annual Bakersfield Home & Garden Show, noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Kern County Fairgrounds, $7; $4 seniors (Friday only); 12 and under free.


IT MANNERS A LOT

Meet the parents

I

By Lisa Kimble

A small gesture goes a long way

It seems like yesterday that I met my future motherin-law for the first time, appropriately so in a booth at the old John Bryan’s Tavern in 1988. Looking back, it was as smooth an introduction as one of her lemon crème pies. Everyone should be so lucky.

Don’t arrive empty-handed either. A small flowering plant or box of candy is a thoughtful hostess gift that your future in-laws will surely appreciate. Think of the meet and greet as a job interview of sorts. You needn’t arrive in a suit with a briefcase, but the first impression you make may be your last if you come dressed in little more than a paper towel and a cocktail napkin. You get the picture. “It is important to be yourself, and it is critical to dress for a successful meeting,” Brown added. “Good manners cost you nothing.”

Unfortunately, for many, the encounter more closely resembles a scene from the Ben Stiller-Robert De Niro 2000 comedic remake of “Meet the Parents.” Painful as a tooth extraction, awkward as your first kiss and as uncomfortable as a tax audit, the stress of the pending meet and greet can feel like the last seconds before going over the fall at Splash Mountain. And with good reason.

Do your homework

If this is the one, the introduction will have an important place in your history together. “It matters not if you are 20 or 50, meeting the parents can be intimidating,” said Katherine L. Brown of the nationally renown Bloomsbury Protocol Institute. “As with anything worth doing right, be prepared. Know their names and know some common interests to discuss.” That’s where your significant other can be most helpful. He or she knows his family and siblings better than anyone and also knows what topics to avoid. Ask him or her to be your 4-1-1 barometer on this one so you don’t walk into a minefield blindfolded.

Avoid the ‘dude’ type of attitude At the actual introduction, don’t be flip or casual, high-fiving the parents or calling them dude or by their first name. Start out the gate on the right foot by using Mr. and Mrs., after which they most certainly will ask that you call them by their names. If they don’t, stick with the former out of respect. At this point, you’ve only known them a minute or two. Lisa Kimble

Get involved in the conversation Be prepared for a night of a thousand questions covering everything from your educational background to any criminal background of your family tree. As you try to navigate the conversational waters, keep the talk light, engage with everyone by asking questions of them. And whatever you do, don’t criticize, share your religious or political views or wade into their family drama. Offer to help before and after the meal, but don’t insist. Pace yourself on the liquor, and if the visit includes an overnight stay, respect the accommodations and wishes of the parents. After all, it’s their home, and their favor that you are trying to curry.

The next day Don’t forget to write a thank-you note or phone your boyfriend or girlfriend’s mother to express your appreciation for the wonderful evening and how very much you enjoyed meeting everyone. If all goes well, including the inevitable awkward moments that will creep in, you both will look back on the gathering as the start of a new chapter in your lives. After all, it really does manner a lot. Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to itmannersalot@bakersfield.com or visit itmannersalot.blogspot.com.

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February 2012


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KELLY DAMIAN

Where the wild things are Photo by Michael Fagans

Collecting tangled wisps of bird nests, making teepees from branches, busting open rocks with a hammer; these are the first bits and pieces in the photo album of my memory. I remember that sharp pain of clay under my fingernails, the paralyzing cold of creek water, the inescapable smell of manure in the spring until it was replaced with summer alfalfa. In that small Utah town where we lived, the crises all seemed to involve large animals. The cow got out and broke up the steps of our newly built porch. A neighbor called with the news that our horses were seen running along the road toward town. Maybe it was this early contact with nature that has made me seek out the open space in whichever town I happen to live. In college at Irvine, I jogged through the swathes of undeveloped land around campus. Living in Lomita, I escaped to the equestrian trails of posh Palos Verdes. And in the Bay Area, I explored the Redwoods that pop up like a pleasant surprise in the middle of that urban landscape. Now in Bakersfield, I have logged hundreds of miles along the river that bisects our town. The bike path is a study in contrasts. There are trails straight out of a Frost poem: bright new grass, downed trees, curling leaves, two paths diverging, etc., while not 20 feet away roars traffic at highwaylike speeds. Fremont Cottonwoods border Lake Truxtun, green and gold, the sunflowers of fall. But just across the riverbed, like witches hands reaching out of the dirt, stand rows of dead trees. Animal life is of the small and skittish variety: rabbits, squirrels, lizards, birds and a beaver (briefly). One creature that will not run at a human’s approach is the grasshopper. It complains endlessly, squeaking to anyone who cares to listen as it pulls oil out of the ground. The middle portion of the 30-mile stretch is urban and industrial. It is bordered by broken concrete and the spheres and towers of the refinery, reminding you that this is a city and this bit of nature is a

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February 2012

temporary guest. The ends, though, open up into wetlands on one side and hills on the other. And you can forget for a while about the smog and the traffic and the acres of parking lots back in town. The trees, the birds and the rabbits, they all wait in anticipation for that capricious celebrity, the water. With it comes an air of excitement. People stand at its banks. White, long-legged birds walk through it with high, careful steps. Dogs barrel toward it as if they are on fire. The river glitters, it draws the eye, it is a necklace at the throat of our city until it is gone, leaving in its place a sandy, wrinkled scar. My daughters will not have the sylvan childhood I had, but I bring them on my bike path runs so they can catch lizards and count rabbits and collect rocks. On a recent excursion, my oldest daughter and I happened upon a tree, much like one that I spent hours in back in Utah. From the outside it looks like a giant bush, but walk past the leafy barrier and the limbs are low and twisting, perfect for climbing and balancing and scheming. This bike path tree, one can obviously see, has hosted all sorts of dangerous activity. Boards are nailed into some of the sides, allowing for easier climbing but leaving bouquets of rusty nails bursting from the trunk. A precarious plywood perch lies in an upper crook. Frayed, broken ropes hang from its branches. Upon inspection, a hammock slung from a limb revealed a black widow crawling across the striped canvas. This tree is dangerous and exciting, not made out of plastic and litigated into safety. There is no rubber padding to cushion any falls. My daughter was both enchanted and afraid. She climbed part way up, remembering, no doubt, a bad fall she had in Yosemite last year. She went as high as she could bear and jumped down, exhilarated. These open spaces, these wild places give us a sense of danger and discovery that we need. Something that no park, no matter how well-designed and no neighborhood, no matter how well-maintained, can ever offer. — Thank you to The Tree Foundation of Kern for helping to identify the Fremont Cottonwoods.

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DINING DIVAS

La Mina Cantina Northeast eatery perfect for new Divas’ initial outing Heel ratings (out of five)

F

The new Dining Divas, from left: Amanda Meszaros, Molly Clark, Lisa Verdugo, Katie Price and Tammara Newby at La Mina.

For the new group of Dining Divas, there was no better place to kick off the first gathering than at La Mina Cantina in northeast Bakersfield. This place offered the right kind of food, drinks and atmosphere, particularly so that one new Diva could get to know her newfound friends.

First meeting, first impression

Atmosphere

28

Food

Bakersfield Life

Price

Drinks Service

February 2012

Katie: For me, it was sort of like going on a blind date — with four dates. I was the only one of the five Dining Divas who didn’t know anyone in the group. And I didn’t realize that until I arrived at La Mina in northeast Bakersfield (at Auburn and Oswell Street). However,

since I’m not shy in the least, I wasted no time warming up to the other ladies, and I managed to eat myself to oblivion just fine. When we first sat down, I was praying they would serve us shrimp. And my prayers were answered! As you’ll soon find out, there was shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp! And it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill shrimp either. It was both unique and delicious. The other dishes were yummy as well, but the shrimp was the definite hit of the night. That, along with the three charming owners — Art, Alex and Omar Ruiz. Let me tell you, Manny, Moe and Jack have nothing on these three. They have combined their unique talents (Art is the money man, Alex the food guy and Omar


Triple shrimp appetizer

the drink guru). Together, they came up with a thriving restaurant (actually, there are five locations in Bakersfield) that is both comfortable and classy. We’d like to thank them for making our night so enjoyable! The night began with a sampling of some of La Mina’s famous signature drinks. They were all fabulous!

Simply delish

Lisa on the sexy alligator: Who couldn't love a drink with this creative of a name? It was a vodka drink made with Midori, Malibu and OJ. I found it to be sweet. Molly on the orange margarita: Wow! This was a very good drink! It combined Cazadores tequila, sweet and sour mix, triple sec and a splash of orange juice shaken over ice. It was very simple and, yet it definitely complemented the food that followed.

Amanda on the 50/50: This seemed like dessert because it was so yummy! It was comprised of whipped cream vodka, OJ, Onto the appetizer Triple Sec and a splash of liqueur. The comTammara on the triple shrimp bination made for a frothy, sweet concoction appetizer: This was by far the best part that I enjoyed very much. of the evening’s food selections. If Katie on the Cucumber Bloody you like shrimp, you will Mary and pomegranate margarita: definitely want to My first drink was the cucumber bloody give this a Mary, and it was to die for! It was mildly try! spicy with cucumber vodka, Clamato juice, A-1 steak sauce, salt, pepper and, of course, a slice of cucumber (instead of celery), along with green olives and a salted rim. It was shaken and served on the rocks. All of the Divas had to try it and agreed it was amazing! The pomegranate margarita was made with infused pomegranate mix, triple sec and salt on Camarones al the rim. It was a refreshing mojo de ajo twist on an old favorite. I was sort of disappointed when all the Divas wanted to try it because that meant less for me.

The sampler included four large coconut shrimp with a tasty chipotle ranch dipping sauce. It was so good. There were also four large bacon-wrapped shrimp with a sweet chili dipping sauce. When I see the words chili or chipotle, I am likely to run the other way because I automatically think it will be too hot for me. However, I took a chance and was pleasantly surprised. These two choices were just right on flavor and kick. The final part of this trio sampler was the most amazing shrimp nachos with cheese, crispy homemade chips and a rich white cream sauce like an Alfredo sauce with a twist. This is definitely a “meal” I would order again and again.

Dive into the main course Lisa on the shrimp mignon: This was a hands-down favorite of the entire group! It was a wheel of shrimp wrapped Continued on page 30

bakersfieldlife.com

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The new Dining Divas Molly Clark has been married for 10 years and has a 7-year-old son. She works commercial real estate developer Wilson Investments. Molly enjoys riding her bike, walking her standard poodle (“The Dude”) and spending time with her family and friends. She loves to cook, but also loves eating out! She assumes this is why she was asked to be a Dining Diva. Amanda Meszaros is a teacher at Stockdale Elementary School, a wife and mom of two. She was born and raised in Bakersfield and claims to be a Bakersfield restaurant junkie. She’s an avid runner who hits the pavement nearly daily so she can eat and enjoy some of Bakersfield’s best foods without guilt. Tammara Newby was born and raised in Bakersfield. She is a manicurist at Teaze Salon and the mom of a wonderful 7-year-old boy who constantly keeps life interesting. When she’s not with her son, Tammara enjoys spending her free time reading, sewing and getting together with friends. She recently ran in the Disneyland Half Marathon with her sister and had a blast! Katie Price, a former broadcast journalist, has worked as a counselor at Bakersfield High School for nine years. She has been married to Californian Opinion Editor Robert Price for 26 years. They have two children, Jill and Ben. She teaches public speaking at CSUB part time. Katie enjoys nothing more than a good meal (and wine) with good friends and family!

Shrimp mignon

Continued from page 29

in bacon served in a dijon mustard and garlic sauce and served with Yucatan rice. This dish was so tender and juicy that we kept pulling the plate towards us to get another bite! Molly on the tacos patron (otherwise known as premium steak tacos): I happen to love tacos, so this was the perfect dish for me. It came with two corn tortillas filled with New York steak cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with lemon, garlic and salt. To top off the meaty goodness was a flavorful pico de gallo salsa and avocado slices. The tacos were also served with another of my faves — cheesy refried beans and rice. As a dedicated taco aficionado, I can promise that the tacos patron will not disappoint.

Lisa Verdugo has been married for 12 years and has three wonderful children. She has been a hairstylist for 13 years and currently works at Essentiels where she is a network educator for the product Bumble and Bumble. She enjoys working out and loves to hang out with friends and to travel.

Chicken tiritas 30

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Vista del mar Katie on the camarones al mojo de ajo: This was a Mexican-style shrimp scampi, and it was as good as any of the best I’ve ever had (and believe me, I’ve had a lot). The shrimp was served in an inch-deep dish and was sauteed in butter, garlic, salt and cilantro. I’m no Julia


Past Dining Divas

Most recent Dining Divas: Sofia Ronquillo, Sofie Zimmermann, Kim Jessup, Robin Noble and Lois Henry. Cheesecake chimichangas

Rice and beans Child, but I think it was the cilantro that made this so good. On the side there were black beans (very tasty), a green salad and Yucatan rice. The worst thing about this dish was that it was served toward the end of the sequence, so I couldn’t eat as much of it as I would have liked. Amanda on the vista del mar (translation: View of the ocean): Although this wasn’t something I would typically order, I was pleasantly surprised by this sumptuous seafood offering. It had just the right touch of butter, garlic and white cream sauce, complemented by shrimp, halibut steak and crab. It was rich, but not so much so that I didn’t enjoy all the flavors. Grilled

bell peppers rounded out the mixture, giving me a sense I was eating on the healthy side. Amanda on chicken tiritas: Another dish that was a must-try was chicken tiritas — fajitas with a twist. It consisted of chicken strips with sauteed squash, zucchini, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. It included Mexican rice, refried beans, fresh guacamole and sour cream. Flour and/or corn tortillas served on the side. For dessert, we sampled the cheesecake chimichanga and the deepfried ice cream. Both were tasty treats, but the cheesecake was especially decadent. As Lisa put it, “OMG! It was wonderful and divine!” We should also mention that halfway through our meal, our gracious hosts served us the most scrumptious sangria. It was not too strong, yet had just enough punch to make it memorable. It went well with all of the dishes and added an interesting flare. All of the Divas decided this would be their perfect meal at La Mina: a cucumber Bloody Mary, the shrimp platter appetizer (with an emphasis on the shrimp nachos), the shrimp mignon and the cheesecake chimichanga for dessert. And if we could have the three Ruiz brothers as our waiters —the night would be more than perfect!

Dining Divas, second generation: Whitney Rector, Lori Ritchie, Aimee Williamson and Wendy Horack.

The original Dining Divas: Tracy Walker Kiser, Katie Kirschenmann, Lydia Rowles and Penny Rafferty. bakersfieldlife.com

31


FOOD AND WINE

Sugary sweets for your sweetheart Valentine’s dessert recipes from readers Compiled by Hillary Haenes

Nancy Olcott’s decadent chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ganache

32

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Photo by Felix Adamo

Readers wrote in to share their Valentine’s dessert recipes along with a special memory associated with it. Have fun deciding which one you’ll make for your loved one this Valentine’s Day!


Nancy Olcott’s decadent chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ganache

Decadent chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ganache 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I use chocolate from Trader Joe’s — make sure to use bittersweet — not unsweetened) 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces — you will need more butter to prepare the pan 4 large eggs 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup Frangelico liqueur 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons water 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder; sifted if lumpy (You will need a little more to prepare the pan.) Directions Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan and line it with a round of parchment paper. Lightly dust with extra cocoa powder and tap out any excess. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt for one minute and then stir with a rubber spatula. Continue at short time intervals (30 to 60 seconds) until mixture is smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, Frangelico and water. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is foamy, pale in color and doubled in volume, about two minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually pour in chocolate mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat until well-blended, about 30 seconds. Add the cocoa and mix on medium speed just until well-blended, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Test with a pick — should look slight wet and gooey. Don’t over-bake. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. If necessary, gently push the edges down with your fingertips to even out the layer. After 30 minutes, run a knife along the edges to loosen the cake, cover the cake with a wire rack and invert to remove. Remove the pan and parchment paper and let the cake cool completely. When completely cooled, transfer cake to a plate, cover and refrigerate until cake is very cold, six hours or overnight. Makes one nine-inch cake; serves 12 to 14 generously. Chocolate ganache 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped 1/2 cup heavy cream Directions Put the semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small pan, over low heat, until just hot to the touch. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Mix well with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts. Glaze the very cold cake with the chocolate ganache. The ganache will drip over the edges of the cake. Refrigerate the glazed cake for about an hour. Decorate the cake with your favorite berries. To serve, cut into slim slices using a warm knife if necessary.

Photo by Felix Adamo

Nancy Olcott made this flourless chocolate cake with a rich, fudge-like quality several times. She said it is perfect for the end of that special meal, but advises that it takes some time to prepare so make it the day before. Popular dessert: “The Nancy Olcott first time I made this cake, it was for an auctioned dinner for the American Cancer Society. The group who came for dinner raved about the dessert, so I have made it again for other dinners.”

Angene Grigg’s s’mores mud pie This is a recipe that she’s made for years. Angene Grigg loves to prepare the s’mores mud pie cake for her family of ice cream eaters. Not only does it look impressive and taste terrific, but can easily be made ahead of time. And it is a great way to top off a Valentine’s Day dinner. Funny memory tied to this recipe: “One year my son-in-law, Derek, wanted to be in charge of Angene Grigg browning the marshmallows under the broiler and the cake caught fire! Needless to say, we had to reapply fresh marshmallows and repeat that part of the recipe.” S’mores mud pie 2 packages (18 rectangles) graham crackers 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted 2 12-ounce jars chocolate fudge sauce 3/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped 1½ quarts chocolate ice cream 1½ quarts vanilla ice cream 2½ cups mini marshmallows Directions Grind graham crackers to fine crumbs and add melted butter. Press mixture into a nine-inch springform pan, coating the bottom and two inches up the sides. Freeze until solid (about 30 minutes). Next, spread one jar of fudge sauce over the crust and refreeze until solid. Stir chopped almonds and one cup of marshmallows into softened chocolate ice cream and spread mixture over frozen fudge sauce layer. Refreeze until solid. Spread second jar of fudge sauce over chocolate ice cream layer and refreeze until solid. Spread vanilla ice cream over frozen fudge layer and refreeze until solid. Place oven rack six inches from broiler and set. Top cake with remaining marshmallows and lightly toast under broiler. (This is a very fast process that takes maybe 30 seconds.) Return the cake to the freezer and refreeze until solid. Remove from springform pan when you are ready to serve.

Continued on page 34 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 33

Casey Zacks’ red velvet cake

Photo by Felix Adamo

Casey Zacks

Casey Zacks found this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine and it has become a favorite in her household. But the buttercream frosting is her own recipe. What this recipe means to me: “The night I met my husband was at a Christmas party, which I hosted. I made this recipe into cupcakes and I found out later that he ate several of them that night. Now red velvet cake reminds me of the night

we met.” Red velvet cake 3 eggs 3/4 cup butter 3 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup mini chocolate chips 2¼ cups sugar 1½ teaspoons vanilla 1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring (2 tablespoons) 1½ cups buttermilk 1½ teaspoons baking soda 1½ teaspoons vinegar Directions Let eggs and butter stand 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-by-1½-inch round baking pans; set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder and the salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time; beat on medium after each. Beat in food coloring on low. Add chocolate chips. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low-medium after each, just until combined. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter; beat just until combined. Spread in prepared

Kelsey Rosanne Smith’s heart-shaped buttermilk biscuits with strawberries and cream These biscuits topped with strawberries and cream are what Kelsey Smith calls a “buttery, sweet delight.” This recipe is perfect for people with a sweet tooth and the guys love it too because it is also a hearty dessert. Family favorite: “My youngest brother, Trey, is always begging for Kelsey Rosanne Smith me to make him biscuits and gravy, but I have a major sweet tooth, so strawberries and sugar are definitely my cup of tea! My family and friends are so gracious to let me “test” recipes on them (which usually ends in a brawl over who gets the next batch!). This one was a huge hit. Last year, I think I made over a dozen biscuits for five. And they were gone before I had time to stick the whipped cream back into the fridge!” 34

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February 2012

pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until pick inserted near centers comes out clean (cakes may appear marbled). Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool. Prepare buttercream frosting. Place layer flat side up on plate. Spread top with 3/4 cup frosting. Stack layer, flat side up; spread top with 3/4 cup frosting. Stack final layer, flat side down; spread remaining frosting on top and sides. Makes 16 servings. Buttercream frosting 2 pounds powdered sugar 1/2 stick of butter 1/2 cup shortening 3 tablespoons of Karo syrup 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup water Directions Beat softened butter and shortening until smooth. Continue mixing and add Karo syrup, vanilla and salt. Alternately add powdered sugar and water and mix on high for about eight minutes.

Buttermilk biscuits 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 teaspoons sugar (optional) 2 teaspoons baking powder 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces 3/4 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon cinnamon Pinch of nutmeg Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Cut the butter into the flour with your fingertips (or pastry blender). The pieces should be the size of small peas. Measure buttermilk; set aside 1 tablespoon. Add the remaining buttermilk to the flour, and stir with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Lightly knead the dough a few times in the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured board, and roll out about 3/4 inch thick. Cut Hearts with your cookie cutter out of the dough. Reroll the scraps, if necessary. Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet, and brush the tops with the tablespoon of buttermilk. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and done. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Strawberry topping 4 cups strawberries (hulled and sliced) 1/4 cup sugar Cinnamon to taste


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Directions Mix together in a medium bowl. Whipped cream 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoons sugar Directions Whip the cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form (don’t over-whip or it will turn to butter texture). Slice the heart biscuits in half, spoon strawberries and whipped cream onto bottom half and top with the other half of biscuit and sprinkle with powdered sugar. These also look just as delicious as two open face halves with toppings (for those of us who like extra berries and cream).

Continued on page 36

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Photo by Felix Adamo

Continued from page 35

Teresa Adamo’s be mine cupcakes To Teresa Adamo’s family, this recipe means instant happiness. She discovered the recipe several years ago, while she was an associate editor at MÁS Magazine. Readers clamored for more food stories with recipes, so she would review contenders for each month’s issue. And that’s Teresa Adamo how Adamo stumbled upon this chocolate cupcake recipe, knowing it would make a perfect Valentine’s Day treat for her valentine. Recipe made with love: “The first time I made a batch, they were actually a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband, Felix. I packaged them in a box that I decorated with various red and pink hearts. Of course, our two boys got to enjoy the treats as well. Especially on Valentine’s, I love to think of a “gift from the heart,” which often naturally involves food/cooking.” Be mine cupcakes 1¼ cups flour 1/2 cup cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla

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February 2012

3/4 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 6 large marshmallows, pulled apart in halves for 12 pieces total Directions Combine dry ingredients in one medium bowl. In another larger bowl, beat together sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. Alternate from whisking in the dry ingredients from the medium bowl, and adding the buttermilk, into the larger one, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop about 1/4 cup of mixture into muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Bake at 350 degrees in the lower half of the oven for 22 to 27 minutes, or until tops of cupcakes spring back lightly when touched. Let cool in pan on rack for about five minutes. Then, using a melon scoop, make a small indent in each cupcake center by removing a scoop-sized portion. (Tip: Save the “cake scoops,” crumble and store in a plastic container — they make a perfect topping for ice cream.) Insert one-half of a large marshmallow into each indent, pushing gently until it is even with the cupcake surface. They will melt slightly into the cupcake. Cool for another 25 to 30 minutes. Then frost completely over entire cupcake surface, hiding the marshmallow surprise. Makes one dozen. Chocolate buttercream frosting 1 cup butter, softened 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips melted and cooled. Another 1/3 cup of unmelted chocolate chips to use to top cupcakes. 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar Directions Blend until spreading consistency. This formula makes more frosting than needed (better than not enough) and can be stored and used for other items. After cupcakes have cooled, dollop one small spoonful of frosting on the cupcake center, spreading just short of the edges. Top with three or more chocolate chips and place in fridge until set.


Harlem Globetrotters Basketball legends bring their show to town Feb. 16

I

By Breanna Fields If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience the Harlem Globetrotters live when they’ve visited in previous years, now is your chance to get in on the action. Witness their flashy tricks and ball handling skills Feb. 16 at Rabobank Arena. Whether you’re a basketball enthusiast or a newcomer to the game, Bakersfield residents are invited to fill the stands for an unforgettable performance that is guaranteed to thrill and keep you on the edge of your seat. “We have an outstanding team,” said Fatima “TNT” Maddox, a recent addition to the Globetrotter team. Having joined the Globetrotters only four months ago, Maddox has had the opportunity to tour and participate in community service 38

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February 2012

Fatima “TNT” Maddox will be in Bakersfield with the Globetrotters Feb. 16.

Courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters

ENTERTAINMENT

programs such as C.H.E.E.R., a program designed alongside the U.S. Department of Education to promote character building for youth. Their philosophy of cooperation, a healthy mind and body, effort, enthusiasm and responsibility has been heard throughout hundreds of schools around the world since its debut in 2004. “Globetrotters are unique,” said Maddox, “They look for good people and players. Tricks are taught after you make the team.” Not only are these ambassadors of good will reaching out to schools, they also visit hospitals on a regular basis through a program called the Smile Patrol. Members of the team display their awe-inspiring abilities and techniques for children unable to attend the games. In an effort to battle childhood obesity, a growing problem in the United States, S.P.I.N. was created. The Globetrotters have visited a number of cities to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Children


are encouraged to take part in the President’s Challenge, which urges people of all ages to exercise and practice healthy eating habits. Spreading good will throughout the community has been a long-standing tradition of the Globetrotter’s. Starting as a competitive team, the first Harlem Globetrotters were formed in the 1920s by Abe Saperstein, a Chicago resident who coached, promoted, managed and even acted as a substitute player for the team. In a time when racial tension cast a shadow on the nation, Saperstein purposely chose to name the team after Harlem, a well-known African-American neighborhood in New York City. The original lineup included Byron “Fat” Long, Walter “Toots” Wright, Willis “Kid” Oliver, Andy Washington and Al “Runt” Pullins. The Globetrotters succeeded in winning 101 out of 117 games in their first season and by 1936 had more than 1,000 games under their belt. It wasn’t until the 1960s that they actually played a game in Harlem. They played their first championship game in 1939 when they lost to the New York Renaissance. That year marked the beginning of the Globetrotter’s signature showboating and ball handling tricks on the court, though only after establishing a solid lead did Saperstein recommend that the team display their acts of comedy.

“This is an ideal situation for me … I have the opportunity to play and give back to the community.” Fatima “TNT” Maddox

Credited for their history of pioneering and unique athletic abilities, the Harlem Globetrotters made their way into the Basketball Hall of Fame as they received their welldeserved induction in 2002. The current roster includes a number of key players with distinct personalities and skill. Paul “Tiny” Sturgess, the world’s tallest basketball player at 7 feet 8 inches, Jonte “Too Tall” Hall, the shortest Globetrotter at 5 feet 2 inches and “TNT” Maddox will be on the court with other teammates at the Bakersfield game. “TNT” Maddox, standing only 5 feet 6 inches tall, is the ninth female in Globetrotter history to make the team and the first since

1993. “As a woman you always feel like you have to prove yourself. This is an ideal situation for me. I have the opportunity to play and give back to the community,” said Maddox. She discovered basketball at the age of 13 during a “pick-up” game. Thirteen is relatively late to begin an athletic career, Maddox said. Having played on teams throughout junior high and high school (which includes the Boys & Girls Club), Maddox went on to attend Temple University in Philadelphia and was coached by Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medalist. “I got the opportunity to play two years of pro basketball in Sweden,” said Maddox, of her athletic career prior to joining the Globetrotters in September of 2011. Apart from her sports interest, Maddox enjoys drawing, poetry, and the occasional bowling game with fellow teammates. “I’m an artsy kind of person,” she said, “I’ve always been fairly good at it.” To catch a glimpse of these talented players and experience the excitement of a live game and performance, beat the crowd and get to the Rabobank Arena before doors open at 7 p.m. Grab your kids, buy some snacks from the concession and get ready to become a part of Harlem Globetrotter history.

JAN 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, FEB 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 Purchase tickets online, by phone, or at the Theatre Box Office

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39


Mikella’s Magical Evening

T

Mikella McAuley at Valley Children’s Hospital while undergoing treatment for leukemia in 2001.

By Michael Wafford

A fun evening with a goal I never really put the pressure of a goal because I know every dollar raised is helping. But we’d be happy to raise $50,000 to help local families. This is our sixth year of the event; we took a break a couple of years. But looking back on our financial records, we have made nearly $200,000 that has benefitted Houchin Blood Bank and Comprehensive 40

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February 2012

Blood and Cancer Center. Whatever we raise benefits local charities like these.

A fun-filled community event

Christa McAuley

Photo by Alex Horvath

The sixth annual Mikella’s Magical Evening will be held March 17 in Bakersfield. This year attendees can expect a few changes. The auction will be replaced by a casino night. The night will also feature a raffle that includes a private yacht dinner cruise and a trip to Las Vegas for two. Cocktail hour will kick-off at 6 p.m. at the Stockdale Country Club. Christa McAuley began the charitable event in memory of her daughter Mikella who passed away from leukemia. Ticket prices are $75 and include food for the night and script money. All proceeds will go toward the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center Foundation to help fund their transportation service. Bakersfield Life recently sat down with event organizer McAuley to talk about the upcoming event and her experiences.

Photo by Felix Adamo

FOR A CAUSE

The feedback I’ve gotten over the years is that my event is very memorable and fun. So if you’re looking to have fun and give to a meaningful cause, come to my event. Plus, everything here stays local because it’s helping Bakersfield’s patients.

Help with the healing process The event is very healing to me. As a matter of fact, this last year is probably the worst year of my life. And, this is the one thing that I look forward to. It is very healing. I think that’s why I’m in nonprofit — I love helping people. And I feel I will always be forever indebted to the Bakersfield community because when my daughter needed help


and was ill and going through what we were going through, Bakersfield, the whole community, just rallied around us so this is my little piece to give back to Bakersfield.

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A memorable moment My favorite memory would have to be a silent auction one year where Dr. Rabi Patel surprised me and had a photo of my family framed and he wouldn’t give it to me until someone bought it so he auctioned it off. It went for a little over $8,000 — a photo of my family, so that was exciting to me.

Transportation is key It’s a matter of life and death. There are some people that if they didn't have transportation to get to their doctor appointment they would just miss them. There are people who would ride the bus for hours. They would have to get up early in the morning and ride the bus down to L.A. for hours just to go to an appointment. Now they don’t have to. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re sick already and have to go through all that, it’s an added stress�

Helping the community means ... Knowing that you’re actually making a difference in someone’s life. They can get their treatment because they can actually get to their appointment. It’s not something that’s broadcast or made aware but last time I checked it was a minimum of 40 patients a week that are transported. And, to me, that’s 40 people that I’ve helped somehow even if it’s in a small way. Those interested in purchasing tickets can contact Susan Greer by phone at 832-0310.

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SPORTS LEGEND

A By Stephen Lynch

A love of sports led Dawn Dumble to take up track and field as a sixth-grader at Stockdale Elementary. But it was the Bakersfield native’s fierce determination that propelled her to become an all-time great in the sport. Told by numerous coaches that she was too small to be a thrower, the 5-foot-8 Dumble proved all the skeptics wrong with a brilliant high school career — one in which she won individual state titles in the discus (1987) and shot put (1988 and 1990) while leading the Bakersfield High girls track team to a pair of state championships. She then moved on to UCLA, racking up Pac-10 titles, NCAA championships, and All-American honors at a dizzying rate. “What I think makes me unique is that I just have unbelievable drive,” she said. “I have tunnel focus. I think that’s what allowed me to achieve as much as I did.” A student of the sport from early on in her career, Dumble constantly worked on perfecting her technique in the throwing ring. The results of her hard work were on display nearly every time she competed. Dumble won numerous big meets and accolades throughout her illustrious career. She came mere inches from making the United States Olympic team in 1996 and 2000. Despite those setbacks, Dumble retired from the sport in 2000 with no regrets and a place in Kern County lore as one of its greatest athletes ever. Her impact on the sport didn’t end with retirement though. She has since tutored several local athletes that have gone on to become among the best high school and college throwers in the country.

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Bakersfield Life

February 2012

ing for the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Born Feb. 25, 1972, in Panorama City, Calif.

Has represented the United States in the Goodwill Games and World Cup Championships.

Claimed first national title in the discus at age 12. Won two CIF state titles in the shot put and one in the discus during her prep career at the Bakersfield High School. A four-time high school All-American, she led the Drillers to the state track and field team championship in 1988 and 1990. Also played varsity basketball and volleyball at BHS. Three-time selection (1987, 1988, 1990) as The Bakersfield Californian’s Girls All-Area Track and Field Athlete of the Year. In 1991 won the USATF Junior and Pan American Junior discus throwing championships. Competed in college for UCLA where she won four NCAA Division I titles and seven Pac10 championships. Set a record for most points (81), which has since been broken, scored by man or woman in NCAA Track and Field Championship events. Earned college All-American honors 11 times. Her all-time personal best in the shot is 59 feet, 6 inches and 201 feet in the discus. Narrowly missed qualify-

Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA in 1995. Later earned a teaching credential from Cal State Northridge. Recently finished her master’s degree and counseling credential from the University of LaVerne. Has helped coach several state high school throwing champs, including Missy Faubus (Centennial), Anna Jelmini (Shafter), and Matt Darr (Frontier). Inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Bob Elias Hall of Fame in 2008. Spent two years (1999-2001) as the throws coach at Arizona State. Her brother David Dumble took over the job when she left and is still with the Sun Devils. Has been a local middle school teacher for the past 11 years. She currently teaches Social Studies (World History) at Freedom Middle School. Enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling in her spare time. Is married to Shafter track coach Matt Godbehere. The couple currently resides in Bakersfield with their two sons.

In 1995, Dumble won both the shot put and discus throw at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Californian file photo

Dawn (Dumble) Godbehere

Dawn Dumble facts


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Pure energy. That’s how you can describe the five-door hatchback 2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. No gas reliance here.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV combines comfort, eco-ingenuity and affordability

I

By Olivia Garcia Photos by Greg Nichols

I was pretty excited when I first discovered that I would get to test drive the Mitsubishi i-MiEV — this would be my first 100 percent electric car experience. And second, finally I had a cute little pearly white car that was close to my height. After reading about electric cars, I was curious to see how they compared to a gas-driven vehicle — something that I have relied on most of my life. First of all, the car has speed. (Some friends thought I wouldn’t be able to go faster than 35 mph. Not the case, amigo.) There were other features that impressed me about the i-MiEV.

Perfect for errands

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is made for errands around town. Plus in many parking lots, there is reserve parking for electric cars, much like ones for expecting families. One thing that makes me cringe about my SUV is that simple er44

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Need directions or have an iPod and want to hear your music? No problem.


Good-bye noise. One of the nice features of the iMiEV’s is its quietness. rands lead to lots of gas guzzling. In a couple of days, I had used up my full tank, just going from here to there. Where did the gas go? With the i-MiEV, you can drive around town in a “fully charged” tank and complete up to 112 miles of errands worth. Yeah, it might not work out for long out-of-town trips. In this case, it’s best to have the i-MiEV as a secondary or in-town car. The tank alert is similar to a regular gas tank, except it tells you how much energy, not gas, you have left to drive.

Show me the money Many of us are excited when we buy a car and save money through rebates, even if it’s a $1,000 or $2,000. Buying an i-MiEV means you will earn about $12,000 in federal, state and local rebates. How’s that for a cut in the price tag? Also, after talking with the Mitsubishi car pros, I learned that the annual electric cost is expected to be about $550. Now try adding in how much you spend in putting in gas — nearly every week, in my case. Never mind, I don’t want to think about it.

Just hook it up and go A neat thing about the iMiEV is the charging. My test drive included a “charging pump” that plugged into a standard 120v/15-amp household outlet. The i-MiEV I had needed about seven hours to refuel or “recharge” at 100 percent (think about it when you get home from work). Also the Mitsubishi i-MiEV comes with three driving modes, including one that helps The iMiEV’s charging pump. you manage energy use behind the wheel.

Best for the environment An interesting thing that I discovered while driving the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is that it prompted me to reflect on my life as a motorist and the carbon footprint I am leaving behind. The turning point occurred while I was driving near the Valley Plaza surrounded by a smoggy-looking sky and big trucks and bulky cars with smelly, fumy exhaust pipes. I realized then that if many of us drove electric cars, the world would be a better place. I know that’s a dreamy goal, but hey, it’s worth a shot, especially when high gas prices frustrate us pretty regularly.

It’s all in the details: Five best features about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV: 100 percent electric vehicle — no gas. Great vehicle rebates — federal, state and private. Excellent in town or second or third car choice vehicle. Most affordable vehicle of its kind. Simple to understand and drive.

City and highway mileage and price tag: Combined city/highway 112 mpge (miles per gallon electric equivalent). The i-MiEV can be purchased for $21,625 net MSRP.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is perfect for: Day-to-day in-town commuting.

What makes the Mitsubishi i-MiEV stand out from other vehicles? Affordability — lowest net msrp in its class. Simplicity, ease of use and no difficult technology to understand. Mitsubishi warranty and technology. Mitsubishi developed its first electric vehicle way back in 1970.

Target consumer: Anyone who’s concerned with the rising prices for petroleum-based resources and a cleaner environment.

Three words that define the car: Attractive, conservative and affordable.

What do you like most about the i-MiEV: The i-MiEV drives and handles just like a gasdriven vehicle. Very nimble and agile, it has decent horsepower for accelerating and merging for passing and freeway use. It comes with many upgrades like navigation and heated seats, which come in handy. Also there is a hook-up for your mp3 player/ media. Two thumbs up! Source: Franklin Simmons, internet sales/special finance manager, Bakersfield Mitsubishi

bakersfieldlife.com

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WHY I SERVE

Sgt. Santiago Kaites U.S. Marine Corps Age: 30 Occupation: Assistant station commander Assignment: Canvassing recruiter Stationed: Recruiting sub-station Bakersfield East I have been in the military for: 12 years. Why I joined: I wanted to do something

greater in my life than my family did. I was a poor kid all my life. My mom was a single parent with three kids. She didn’t graduate from high school and we were on welfare. I didn’t want my future family growing up the same way I did. Why I continue to serve: I love being a

Marine and the way of life. I don’t consider it just being in the military. It’s bigger than that — I feel like I’m part of a big family. Valuable advice I’ve learned as a Marine: Let go of what you used to be in

the past and don’t let it stop you from accomplishing something even greater than what you thought you can be. Everywhere you go, someone needs a leader, why shouldn’t it be you? Photo by Felix Adamo

I have been deployed to: Iraq three times. Something new I learned while on deployment: The true meaning of loyalty and friendship, the value of having that fellow marine watching your back. My favorite activity to do in Bakersfield is: Spending time on the weekend

barbecuing with friends and family. What I missed most about Bakersfield while on deployment: This town is very

My best military accomplishment or memory so far is: Sending my 100th per-

military friendly and is supportive of all the branches. While on deployment you tend to forget that.

Something I’d like to accomplish this year is: I would like to get promoted.

What I like most about my job is: I have the opportunity to change someone’s life.

If I had to choose a different career path, I would have become: Something that will

46

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

son into the Marines.

give me the same pride as being a Marine. — Know a Kern County native who is proudly serving in the military? Email us at bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com with the message subject line: Why I Serve. Please include an email, phone number and/or Facebook link to reach the nominee.


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Writer A specific nnie Stephens a ally their n own: Be d photographer ar Bear a chihua Mark Nessia kn ow hua, and Maggie a thing or two Jr. a pug about do . gs,

Dogs forever change our lives

Local residents refl ect on their relationships with their pets By Annie Stephens

Photos by Mark Nessia

They’re cute, cuddly and man’s best friend. Pets. And no matter how big or small, each holds a special place in our lives. Having an animal not only gives us our own personal companion, but it also gives us something to look forward to every day. It doesn’t take much to ignite an everlasting bond. That relationship can run so deep, that there is no way to prepare for the worst. Continued on page 50 48

Bakersfield Life

February 2012


Action Sports owner Kerry Ryan with his black Lab, Suki. bakersfieldlife.com

49


Bonnie Bartell at her Wishing Well Ranch with Kiki Something-Special.

But perhaps what is most important to Ryan is the love Suki gives to his daughter, Dylan. Every morning Suki goes into Dylan’s room and wakes her with kisses. “Dylan wakes up happy every day. I love the fact that she’s (Suki) just a great companion to my daughter,” Ryan said.

Opening your heart again when a pets dies

Kenny Reed, owner of Guthrie’s Alley Cat, with Cheeks.

Continued from page 48

A constant companion Kerry Ryan, owner of Action Sports, and his black Labrador, Suki, seem to be practically attached at the hip. When Ryan first came across Suki, she belonged to one of his employees. But tensions ran high between the employee’s other dogs and Suki. That’s when Ryan decided to take Suki into his home. Suki is a fixture at Action Sports. Having Suki come to work with him every day is just as much a highlight as any other activity, he said. “She is just as excited to come to the store. All my employees love her and also the customers,” Ryan said. 50

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

The relationship between Kenny Reed, owner of Guthrie’s Alley Cat, and his four-legged companion, Cheeks, a slick-coat border collie, didn’t come easily. After Reed lost his first dog, Haggis, to cancer, he wasn’t exactly ready to let another dog into his life. “When we brought this dog home I really had no interest. I was so devastated by the death of Haggis, I still cried for a year anytime we tried to talk about him,” Reed said. Unknowingly, Cheeks had already started a bond shortly after arriving at Reed’s home, only four days after the death of Haggis. “Like every pet, they will work their way into your heart regardless of the circumstances. The thing that makes every man’s pet special to them is the bond that you create with that dog,” Reed said. Like Haggis, Cheeks travels almost everywhere with Reed. Although Haggis and Cheeks were completely opposite dogs, they have one thing in common: Their owner has an everlasting love for them that cannot be broken. “The beauty is, unlike with people, animals are the


Ann Hamilton with her Labradoodle Dory.

Bob Smith walks his Airedale Chloe in Southwest Bakersfield.

And like any other family member, Dory helps around the house. Every morning Dory wakes Hamilton’s two nieces with dog kisses. She A home for the unwanted then goes outside and safely leads HamUnlike the average family, Bonnie ilton’s older dog back into the house. Bartell puts her efforts into more than Dory is currently learning which toys are just a few pets. Bartell currently owns hers and how to pick them up after playan animal sanctuary, known as Wishing ing with them. Well Ranch, where dozens of different Dory also accompanies Hamilton to animals can be found. The ranch is curBOB SMITH, ON HIS DOG, CHLOE work. According to Hamilton, Dory is rently home to numerous animals includa great client greeter and is always there to cheer up kids ing horses, wolves, dogs and cats. who may have just received bad news about their pet. Many of the animals have been abandoned or injured As a veterinarian, Hamilton believes when a dog is before being adopted by Bartell. welcomed in a home, it should always be treated like One of Bartell’s beloved pets is named Kiki Somefamily. She also believes it is important to not abandon thing-Special, a rescued poodle. When Bartell first took animals because of mistakes the dog made. Kiki in they had to go through extensive training to con“We chose a dog that’s friendly and outgoing and I trol her bad temper. think that those are things we have to educate our clients “She was just awful – bad temperament and just with,” Hamilton said. nasty,” Bartell said. Since then Kiki has received her Canine Good Citizen’s Award and can be touched by almost anybody. A retirement companion After years of service and work within the community, it’s not uncommon for many to want to relax upon retirA helping paw or four Ann Hamilton, veterinary medical director for Afford- ing. And a dog can make a great companion. Retired endodontist Bob Smith and his 11-year-old able Pet Hospital, is the proud owner of a Labradoodle Airedale, Chloe, enjoy daily long walks and beautiful named Dory. This extremely loving dog was rightfully scenery. When Chloe is not keeping watch of her backnamed after the friendly fish in Disney-Pixar’s “Finding yard, she can be found with Smith on the bike paths of Nemo.” Southwest Bakersfield that run alongside the river. Dory found her permanent home with Hamilton after constantly escaping from all her previous homes. epitome of unconditional love,” Reed said.

“She loves going on long walks. It keeps her energy level attenuated.”

Continued on page 52 bakersfieldlife.com

51


Luigi’s owner Antonia Valpredo with Maggie and Princess Belle.

Continued from page 51

“She is full of energy even in her adult years. She loves going on long walks. It keeps her energy level attenuated,” Smith said. Because Smith adopted Chloe as an adult, her personality and traits were already instilled. Although there are things you cannot change, she is still a very social, obedient and loving dog, Smith said.

An unexpected addition to the family

Brian Kiser watches as Chloe fetches a tennis ball. Valpredo’s young granddaughter helped name the newest addition by calling her Princess Belle after Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

Sometimes life happens and some Fur babies very unexpected pets come into our lives. The relationship between Brian Antonia Valpredo, owner of Italian and Tracy Kiser and their two Labrarestaurant Luigi’s, is also the owner of dors is unique. an Airedale named Maggie. When her Their first dog, Isabella, a chocosecond Airedale died, Valpredo was in a late Lab, was purchased at a fundraiser hurry to get another. She found an availby Tracy, and about two years ago able Airedale in Pennsylvania, and flew Brian gave Tracy a white Lab named there to pick up the 8-week-old puppy. Chloe for Christmas. What Valpredo didn’t expect was that Isabella, who is 8 years old, always she was going to be an owner of another has a happy-go-lucky personality and BRIAN KISER, ON HIS TWO LABS dog. It began with a minor car accident at wants nothing more than to lounge Luigi’s. The injured woman had a small around home all day. Chloe on the puppy with her but could not take it to the hospital. other hand has a special liking for tennis balls and can ofAfter emergency personnel on the scene said they ten be seen holding two tennis balls in her mouth at once. would be taking the puppy to the pound, Valpredo But these two dogs fill an important space in the insisted on keeping the dog and have the injured woman Kiser’s hearts and lives. come back for the puppy. “We don’t have kids, so these are our kids. That’s why “Three days went by, so I finally called her. She (the they’re really important to us. Just about whatever we initial owner) said: ‘I didn’t really want the puppy. My do they do with us,” said Brian, a rotational equipment boyfriend got it for me,’” Valpredo said. specialist. Just like that, Valpredo became the new owner of a Besides going from to the coast and traveling, the two small dog, whose breed is still a mystery. dogs often hang out at Tracy’s business, H. Walker’s Men’s

“We don’t have kids, so these are our kids. That’s why they’re really important to us.”

52

Bakersfield Life

February 2012


Clothing Co. According to Brian, there have been many customers that come in just to see the friendly Labs.

Keeping a family together When someone purchases a dog from a litter it’s not every day that the person is looking for more than one dog. It is a rare opportunity for puppies of the same litter to have the chance to grow up together. This was the case with David Cohn, a senior managing partner at Chain Cohn and Stiles Law Firm, and wife, Debby, who have two very outgoing sister Labradors. David initially found Modena, who is also known as “Mo,” when his daughter was looking for a specific looking dog after her previous dog died. After finding a Labrador puppy litter online they traveled to Halsey Canyon to pick one out. A few weeks later David decided to go back to the same litter and brought Mo’s sister Maya into the family. The two pups have gone on many adventures including snowshoeing in Shirley Meadows and a nine-mile hike in Mammoth while wearing their doggy hiking shoes called Muttlucks. What makes these sister dogs so special to David and Debby are their continuous, extremely happy personalities. “They’re just always happy to see us. They never have a bad day, and they just want to be with you 24/7,” David said.

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53


VALENTINE’S DAY

Office to date night looks

Compiled by Hillary Haenes

Photos by Henry A. Barrios

If you’re heading straight from the office to your date on Valentine’s Day, here are a few head-to-toe looks to consider that transition well from day to night.

Bella at the Marketplace “A leather jacket, neutral shoes and purse, and an initial necklace are a great way to accessorize a knit dress for a Valentine’s daytime look.” — Heather Abbott, co-owner

“Wear a purse and jewelry with a bit of sparkle and a high heel pump to transition a knit dress to a Valentine’s evening look.” — Heather Abbott, co-owner

Office

McGinn knit dress, $246 Pure Amici leather jacket w/ lace trim, $436 Bibi Lou rosette detail Invierno shoetie, $99 BCBGeneration snake envelope clutch, $58 La Vie Parisian pearl drop earrings, $44 A.V. Max initial coin necklace, $68 A.V. Max vintage style ring, $38

54

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Date night

McGinn knit dress, $246 Kelsi Dagger patent/suede detail Lorelle pumps, $145 BCBGeneration wristlet, $38 Jules ombre stone earrings, $25 Michelle Roy black onyx and semi-precious stone bracelets, $52 each


Christine’s “Frayed tailored jacket with black straight leg pants for the silhouette look of the season.” — Mary Kay Allen, fashion consultant

“Just slip your belt on, take off your jacket and you are ready for your romantic date with your sweetheart.” — Lori Malkin, owner

Office

Michael Kors jacket, $175 Trina Turk cowl neck top, $128 Lisette L. pull-on skinny black pants, $127 Brighton London Groove necklace, $88 Brighton Carly handbag, $260 Brighton Blaze shoes, $235

Date night

Trina Turk cowl neck top, $128 Lisette L. pull-on skinny black pants, $127 Brighton Andromeda necklace, $105 Brighton Galadriel chain belt, $65 Brighton Blaze shoes, $235 Brighton Anju large wallet (stored in purse during day that can be used as an evening clutch), $145


Fashionista “We believe every girl should own a strand of pearls — timeless elegance that can be worn dressed up or simply paired with a classic Tshirt and jeans.” — Amy Davis, co-owner

“A classic black blazer is an essential must-have for every girls’ wardrobe. It can be worn over a maxi dress, sequin dress or paired back with the classic T-shirt and jeans.” — Amy Davis, co-owner

Office

Date night

Mark Zoa embroidered romance blouse, $144 re:sound taupe convertible skirt/dress (worn as skirt), $158 Tiered pearl necklace with Waxing Poetic “Your Heart is Your Map — Spread Love” pendant, $88 to $225 Liz Palacios Swarovski crystal drop earrings, $68

re:sound taupe convertible skirt/ dress (worn as dress), $158 The Clothing Company black ruched bracelet sleeve fitted blazer, $88 Waxing poetic 18-inch necklace Realize True Riches heart charm $45 to $183 Waxing poetic 30-inch clear gems chain and antique brass insignia pendant $70 to $193 Waxing poetic 32-inch necklace Wing & A Prayer — Flaming Heart charm $65 to $223 Eliza B. python embossed leather clutch in bronze coin, $58 Sam Edelman boa-embossed black patent platform gladiator heels, $134

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February 2012

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57


VALENTINE’S DAY

Give the

gift of love

this Valentine’s Day Confused over what to give a certain loved one for that special day? We have answers! Compiled by Allie Castro

For someone you just started dating Even if you’ve been dating for years, picking out the perfect gift for your significant other is a stressful task. Finding a gift for a new someone requires a lot more thought, Sarah Appleton, especially if you’re working on a budget. therapist Marriage and family therapist Sarah Appleton skips the gimmicks and lavish ideas and goes straight for ones that will mean something years later. “Give the gift of time together. When you are on a tight budget, one of the best gifts you can give is time together. Sharing activities together away from the daily grind doesn’t have to be expensive, but can be a thoughtful gift,” Appleton said. Some unique Bakersfield ideas include going to CALM for a day with the animals, strolling the Kern County Museum or having a picnic at a local park. Pick up a bottle of wine, something delicious to eat and spend some time relaxing together. Appleton also suggests giving the gift of touch. “Physical affection is an important aspect of any romantic relationship, and a romantic massage can be the perfect gift. Simply pick up some scented lotions or oils, light a couple of candles and put on some soft music for a romantic getaway at home.” This gift could even be put together with items you have at home. 58

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

If you’re on a budget We’ve all been there (and if you’re like most of us, have stayed there for quite a while). You’ve got several gifts to buy, and a very limited budget to shop. Sherree Paggi of Sweet Sherree’s Sweets has a suggestion: go straight for the sweet Sherree Paggi, business owner tooth. For only $5, you can purchase Paggi’s specialty: almond toffee popcorn. “Most people are addicted to my almond toffee popcorn. It would be a cool gift to give someone to get them not only addicted to it, but addicted to you; everyone who eats it says it’s their addiction.” Paggi takes regular Orville Redenbacher popcorn, pours hot almond toffee over it and drizzles it with dark and milk chocolates. “It comes in a four-ounce bag, which is a pretty big serving per package and it’s enough for one person, but they’ll want more.” Sweet Sherree’s also provides sweets to please those with the strictest diets and most discriminating palates. Her line Smart Chocolates is “vegan, diabetic friendly, low-sugar, low-calorie (under 40 calories each), low- fat, low-carbohydrate, and uses all natural flavors and sweeteners.”

For the person who has everything

Carl Saenger, jeweler

This problem may arise for those lucky enough to afford it, or for the couples who favor purchasing one really spectacular gift. Jewelry, especially diamonds, is a gift everyone loves, including the person

who has it all. Carl Saenger of The American Jewelry Co., has years of experience as a jeweler, which has given him lots of expertise in this area. “When it comes to selecting a gift for a woman who has everything, you cannot go wrong with diamonds. The American Jewelry Co. suggests a Riviera style necklace, in platinum, set with 10 carats of perfectly matched, graduating brilliant cut diamonds,” said Saenger. “For the man, we suggest a gentleman’s Rolex president wristwatch in 18-karat red gold. Both of these gifts represent classic styling and beauty that will remind the recipients of an unforgettable Valentine’s Day!”


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bakersfieldlife.com

59


VALENTINE’S DAY

63 years of love Working together has produced a great relationship, a great family and business for Bakersfield couple

T

By Gene Garaygordobil

Photos by Maria Ahumada-Garaygordobil

To them, it seems like just yesterday that they met, but Milton and Doris Huggs celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary back in November. Milt said his dislike for English classes at East High School was a catalyst for meeting his future high school sweetheart, who was also in the drama class Milt opted for instead. And, the rest — as they say — is history. “She sat in front of me,” he said giddily. “And I had my eye on her. We started seeing each other, and from then on we became inseparable.” They both keep active, as Milt, 82, still goes to work almost every day to the two restaurants the couple owns, Milt’s Coffee Shop and the 24th Street Cafe. Their youngest son, Mark, runs both businesses. While Doris, who turns 82 in early February, continues to keep up the couple’s beautiful Stockdale area home, and belongs to local community groups. Both were not native Californians, Doris said. She came to Bakersfield from Missouri her senior year in high school, while Milt moved 60

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

from Little Rock, Ark., when he was 15. So, what’s the secret to such a long-lasting union? Milt jokes that Doris “ignores him sometimes.” But, in truth, the couple said their relationship is much like a job where “you have to work at it,” Doris said with a smile, even after six decades. “We stay busy, so there is no time for fighting,” Milt said. “It has been a lot of fun. She is really easy to get along with.” The couple said money was not much of a problem with them, mainly, because at the beginning of their marriage, they had so little of it, she said. Each worked multiple jobs to help keep the family afloat. At 19, Doris used her teaching credential to teach at a Lamont labor camp. While Milt got an advertising job at The Bakersfield Californian, and also began attending Bakersfield College. He then joined the Navy. Their proposal was more of a discussion between the young couple, rather than something planned, they said, because Milt had to return to the service. They got married while Milt was on leave. They were married Nov. 28, 1948, at the First Southern Baptist Church. And because they had very little money, their honeymoon consisted of a trip to Hollywood. They attended the big radio shows of the time, including “Queen for a Day,” where Doris received roses. After a quick stop in Santa Barbara, the couple came back to


Bakersfield and got to work, Milt said. “And we have been working ever since.� Doris eventually began working at Roosevelt Elementary School, teaching second grade. After returning to BC, and finishing his teaching credential at Fresno State, Milt joined his wife at Roosevelt, teaching fifth grade. He stayed there about six years, and then began working in the restaurant business. On Veteran’s Day, 1964, Milt opened Milt’s Coffee Shop along Highway 99, where it has remained a “beacon to hungry truck drivers and families alike and a happy place for hungry people.� Doris never joined Milt in the restaurant business. Milt said she was too smart for that. Instead, she taught for 15 years, raised the couple’s three children and also delved into real estate, among other things. The couple built a home and opened a restaurant at the same time, which kept him super busy. “My wife, she’s easy. Milt’s is like a marriage,� he joked. “Doris kept teaching, that was the best part,� he said. “She was at home taking care of raising our family when I was trying to raise a business.� Milt pointed to the array of photographs in the couple’s family room, showing his eldest daughter, Gayle, who now lives in Sun Valley, Idaho; their middle daughter Cheryl, who trains teachers who work with autistic children; their youngest, Mark; and, of course, the seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. “I was pretty lucky,� Milt said of his wife. “I have a caring wife, who always took care of the children, and always had a meal on the table.�

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Work at it. A marriage is a two-way relationship. Both sides need to work together. “Don’t just throw up your arms and run home to mom,� Milt said. Family vacation. The Huggs always tried to go on a family vacation, big or small, every year. Always have family time. They took their family to church and other activities.

Watch your finances. The couple agreed this was the top issue for today’s couples. “They should not do things they can’t afford to do,� Milt said. “They are trying to live too high beyond their means.� Keep a watchful eye on the children. “We worked together, and always knew what the children were doing,� Doris said. “We planned a lot of things for us to do with them.�

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VALENTINE’S DAY

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Bakersfield Life

February 2012

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VALENTINE’S DAY

Restaurant Runner

Why wait an hour in lines this Valentine’s Day? You can have a great meal from the restaurant of your choice, delivered right to your home. Go online to restaurantrunner.net or call 589-3400 and let Restaurant Runner deliver your favorite meal to you! Restaurant Runner delivers lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., from more than 40 of your favorite restaurants. Restaurant Runner has every type of food available in Bakersfield. Treat yourself or your sweetheart to dinner this Valentine’s Day while sitting in the comfort of your own home.

Petroleum Club of BakersďŹ eld

A Private Business and Social Club The Petroleum Club of Bakersfield invites you to enjoy a dining experience unlike any other. From the casual sophistication of our luncheon selection to the elegance of our evening offerings, the unique menu will delight the most discerning palate. Situated atop the Stockdale Towers on the 12th floor, our location provides a panoramic view of the entire city — at either a romantic or metropolitan side, depending on your mood! For more information about membership at Bakersfield’s premier private business and social club, visit thepetroleumclub.com or call 324-6561.

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VALENTINE’S DAY

Houston Jewelers Longtime local business is no diamond in the rough By Allie Castro Serving Kern County since 1974, Houston Jewelers offers one of Bakersfield’s most extensive fine and fashion jewelry selections. Not only does the store carry some of today’s biggest names like David Yurman, Omega and Baume & Mercier, but owner Steve Houston is there day in and day out to help his customers choose the jewels meant for that special person. For Houston, jewelry is as much about discovering a connection with a certain piece as it is about the carats. And no matter if you’re looking for him or her, Houston’s will help you find or create the perfect piece. What led you to Bakersfield and Houston Jewelers? I always say I was born in the L.A. area, but what I mean is Lamont and Arvin. I grew up in Lamont, went to Arvin High School and excelled at sports. After graduation, when I was trying to decide what college to attend and if I was going to play football or basketball, opportunity knocked. I was offered a job at a local downtown jeweler and I thought, “What could be better than working in a nice indoor atmosphere around beautiful things?” I jumped; I chose the jewelry business as my career almost 40 years ago because I wanted to work in an industry that would give me life-long opportunities.

What makes a piece of jewelry timeless? Any suggestions for buyers who want to invest in a timeless piece that they can wear all of their life? Memories are what make pieces timeless! Jewelry represents and signifies a special moment — an engagement, birth of a child, birthday or an66

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Photo by Casey Christie

How did you get into the industry? Was it a lifelong dream, a family trade, something you fell in love with later in life? To be honest, I have been working and had the entrepreneurial spirit since I was 10 years old. I grew up in a small town and loved the small town values: knowing that you had to work, that your word is your bond and that if you did that, success would follow. These are values I garnered from my youth and they are the building blocks of my career. Those values are very important to me and transcend to the jewelry business. My love for the business grew as my relationships with my customers grew. Knowing that people are happy, and how important these pieces are in their lives keeps me in love with this business.

Steve Houston, owner of Houston Jewlers.


niversary. Houston Jewelers has had the opportunity to share in these special events with our clients. We have recently worked with a client to custom design and create a 50th wedding anniversary bracelet with all of the names of the grandchildren on it. We also had the opportunity to redesign a family heirloom so that it could be passed down to one of the children. What are the most important things to know when picking out diamonds? What is most important when picking out diamonds or other jewelry is “Does it speak to me?” This is the question you should ask yourself when picking out a piece of jewelry. Like everything else, we are driven by emotion and jewelry is a very emotional decision. Does that piece represent what is loved about the person you are buying it for? Is this the perfect piece for the event you are celebrating? We also have a certified gemologist on staff who can discuss all of the technical aspects of what makes a great diamond or gemstone.

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Are there any trends you’ve seen lately? Trends change in jewelry all the time. But two significant new trends for women are the cuff bracelet and diamond hoops. Also, gold jewelry is seeing a resurgence. One line that we see on many celebrities and carry exclusively in Bakersfield is David Yurman fashion jewelry. His collections seem to always be trendy and very attainable. What’s your favorite piece you own? My favorite piece of jewelry is my platinum diamond wedding ring that I designed, created and wear everyday in honor of a very special occasion — the day Christine and I were married!

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Ride for America

Wesley Leon-Barrientos, left, and Jeremy Staat prepare for their journey across the country. 68

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Photo by Linda Hamilton

Uniting the country through a ‘simple’ bike ride


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By the time you finish reading this issue of Bakersfield Life, at least one United States veteran will have committed suicide. Perhaps that isn’t a great opener, but the aftermath of war isn’t pretty, either, and Jeremy Staat wants everyone to know it. Staat, an Iraq War veteran (and former National Football League player) is planning to ride a bicycle across the United States beginning Feb. 19, with the hope of bringing attention and understanding to a multitude of veterans causes as well as help develop unity among veterans of all ages. And suicide awareness is top on his list. According to Staat, 35, suicide is the No. 1 cause of death in veterans — in any conflict. “We are losing one vet every 18 minutes due to suicide,” he said, drawing from information collected by the 17 states that report to national awareness personnel. “From what I understand, we lost over 168,000 Vietnam veterans due to suicide, and from the current conflict we have lost over 7,000 veterans to suicide, which is more than we have lost in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “There isn’t a definite number, but if we add up all of the suicides since 2001, it adds up to more suicides than actual combat related deaths.” Staat attributes the current spike in suicides to timing. Prior to Sept. 11, he said, young men and women viewed the military as a means to an education — they’d enlist, mature a little and receive a college degree. Their mindset wasn’t on war. After Sept. 11, however, these same youngsters were handed M-16 rifles and sent to Iraq, a move Staat feels contributed to the fastest veteran suicide rate the nation has ever known. “They didn’t know what to do.” So, Staat, along with Wesley Leon-Barrientos, 27, will embark on the Wall to Wall Cross-Country Bicycle Ride for all veterans. Leon-Barrientos, a three-time Iraq War veteran, a three-time Purple Heart recipient and a double amputee, will ride a hand crank bicycle, while Staat will pedal a traditional bike. Starting at the Wall of Valor in Bakersfield and ending at the

Former Driller Staat throwing the discus for BHS.

Californian file photo

By Dana Martin

Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., the men’s trek will exceed 4,000 miles as they zig-zag to military bases, churches, veteran posts, sporting events, schools and memorials to draw attention to veterans’ issues, culminating their efforts on Memorial Day, the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam Wall Memorial.

Uniting all veterans Close your eyes. Now, visualize a veteran. What image do you see? Most who try this exercise see the same veteran — wrinkled and withered, gray hair, white stubbly beard, wearing an olive green jacket and squinting from beneath an old boonie hat. The image most people see is a Vietnam era veteran the way he looks today, but Staat and Leon-Barrientos will ride to remind people that the vet they’re picturing was a 25-to 26-year-old man when he came home from Vietnam. Today, more than 30,000 troops will be coming home to California, a state suffering an already tragic 12.5 percent poverty rate among veterans aged 18 to 34, a number that is double what it was 10 years ago. Continued on page 70

Pennsylvania Nevada

Illinois

Utah

Indiana

Ohio

Colorado Kansas

California Bakersfield

Oklahoma New Mexico Arizona

Planned route for the Wall to Wall Cross-Country Bicycle Ride, departing Bakersfield Feb. 19 and arriving in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day.

Texas

Missouri

West Virginia Virginia

Kentucky

North Carolina

Tennessee Arkansas Alabama Mississippi Louisiana

New Jersey Delaware Washington, D.C.

Md.

Georgia

South Carolina

Florida

bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 69

“We are trying to put a new face on what a veteran is,” Staat said. During the ride, Staat and Leon-Barrientos will work to unite a spirit of unity among all veterans — from Vietnam to the Gulf War to veterans of current conflicts, hoping to promote the perspective of having a unified voice for all. Some veterans can’t forget how they were treated after returning home from Vietnam, when they were not greeted with the same gratitude as the veterans filing back into the United States today. Staat and Leon-Barrientos consider all veterans as family and encourage using one voice of unity, not separate voices for different times or conflicts. “No, no brother, we’re together on this,” he’ll say. Staat and Leon-Barrientos believe that uniting all veterans will build a network of support. Through their nonprofit group The Jeremy Staat Foundation, the pair wants to provide a hub for veterans to find the help they need regardless of when or where they served. “If a guy is thinking about suicide, he should be able to talk about it with another veteran,” said Staat. “No vet is going to call a 1-800 number to try to get counseling. We advocate peer-to-peer counseling.”

The ride Staat and Leon-Barrientos did not choose the mild spring months for their cross-country ride. They will trek through snow, freezing temperatures and other inclement weather, which some people think the timing is crazy, Staat said. “What kind of discomfort is that? Thirty degrees is nothing. We’ve had vets lost on marches, POWs skinned alive and others who’ve lived with shame for 40 years,” he said. “There is no amount of discomfort that can compare to that.” Physically and metaphorically “bridging the gap” between the

Wall of Valor in Bakersfield and the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., Staat and Leon-Barrientos hope their ride will be a stepping stone in breaking the generational gap between the Vietnam veterans and those returning from current conflicts. “We want to unite the country through a simple bike ride,” Staat said. Not all that simple. The pair will travel 4,263 miles to 15 states in 100 days to bring awareness to veteran issues, particularly benefits. According to Staat, there are 1.2 million veterans in California, with the highest populace here in Kern County. “Kern County loves its veterans, but in California, criminals get treated better than our veterans,” he said, pointing to the medical benefits, dental care, gym memberships and brand name prescription drugs that prisoners receive. “Yet, it currently takes 290 days for the V.A. (Veterans Administration) to process a G.I. benefits claim. G.I. benefits shouldn’t be so difficult to receive. “We paid into it. We went and fought and did what we were supposed to do, and the G.I. benefits should be there for us.” Staat and Leon-Barrientos remain hopeful that their ride will put Kern County on the map for something good. “Not just where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s girlfriend lives,” Staat said. The pair would like to open the first privately owned veterans’ center in Kern County, so that they can make “whole people” again, spiritually and physically. And it starts on the ride. “What can we do to help vets, bring awareness to veterans’ issues and represent Kern County that no one has ever done? Everything we’re riding for — everyone can get on board with it,” Staat said. “If everyone loved America as much as their Xbox, cell phone and Starbucks, we’d be all right.”

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February 2012

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Katy Glentzer Realtor, Watson Realty

Age: 51 I have lived in Bakersfield for: 14 years. I wasn’t born in Bakersfield, but this is home: I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. (Go Tulare Redskins!) After living in Nashville, Dallas and Santa Barbara, we moved to Bakersfield to raise our daughter and be closer to my family. Bakersfield offers many cultural events without losing the small-town feel we love. When we lived in larger cities, it would take us an hour to get to an event. It is such a pleasure being able to see a great concert or a Broadway show and be home in five minutes. It has been a great fit for us. Three words that describe my downtown neighborhood: Diverse demographics, old-fashioned friendliness, beautifully messy-like life. I love the cracked sidewalks, big trees, old homes, front porches and the unique blend of people. Favorite Saturday activity: Walk downtown for breakfast. As a realtor, I’m in my car a lot, so I enjoy living where I can walk to many of my favorite places. If I’m

not showing houses, I often go to a matinee, and then grab a yogurt with a friend at Tutti Frutti or a coffee at Starbucks. It’s all about the arts: My favorite community event is First Friday. It is a great place to see friends and patronize local businesses. So many great food choices: During the work week, I like to go to Sequoia Sandwich Co. near The Marketplace for lunch. I like their chili and soups and they have a friendly staff. Weekends: 24th Street Cafe. I love the biscuits and gravy. For dinner: The Padre’s Brimstone or Prairie Fire because I am addicted to their artichoke! Oh my gosh, you must try it! My way of relaxing: Taking a walk by the river or downtown, browsing through a book store, visiting with neighbors, meeting family or friends at Imbibe or Dagny’s. Best place for a family outing: I haven’t gone in years since my daughter is grown, but Movies in the Park is a wonderful community event for families. Best-kept secret in Bakersfield: That Dagny’s coffee doesn’t just serve coffee. It’s a relaxing place to enjoy a beer after work.

Katy Glentzer has lived in Nashville, Dallas and Santa Barbara but, now lives in Bakersfield.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

WHY I LIVE HERE

My husband and I meet family or friends there often. My little getaway: The beach. I love Malibu and Del Mar. But since my daughter moved to NYC two months ago, I guess I will be heading East more often! Favorite Bakersfield story: It was 14 years ago when I was paying for three ice cream cones at Dewar’s. The total equaled what I was used to paying for one cone in Dallas. I explained to the waitress that I was paying for all three, and she said that was the total for all three. I was so surprised that I said, rather loudly, “Seriously, that’s all?” Everyone looked. I was embarrassed, and hoped they wouldn’t raise their prices after my comment. What I like most about Bakersfield: The air quality. OK, the people. Bakersfield often gets negatively ranked on lists, the positive list I think we should rank near the top on is: A wonderful place to raise a family. Bakersfield has affordable housing, good schools and cultural opportunities all wrapped in a community of caring people. — Vicki Adame bakersfieldlife.com

71


COMMUNITY

Our own stars Bernard C. Barmann Sr., Jerry Scott and Nancy Chaffin, who will be honored Feb. 18 by CSUB, are shown here at CSUB’s Alumni Park in front of the Walter Stiern Library.

CSUB Hall of Fame Ceremony inducts three community members

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Story and photos by Brian N. Willhite Cal State Bakersfield will once again honor outstanding members of the community during the sixth annual Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony. The black-tie affair, scheduled for Feb. 18, is a celebration of achievements and contributions by some of CSUB’s most distinguished graduates. The event will be held at the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield. In addition to recognizing the honorees, the ceremony also serves as a fundraiser for the CSUB Alumni Scholarship Fund. “It is an incredible event that highlights CSUB, the university’s graduates, and the university’s and the graduates’ impact on the community,” said Carol Sherrill, CSUB alumna and chair of the Hall of Fame Committee. Their efforts to give back to the community and stand out as leaders in their profession are what Sherrill feels propelled these three individuals’ selection. Their actions speak to the value of the university and to the movements of change that they inspire within our community, Sherrill said. “It’s really something to indicate to the inductees how pleased we are that they are here contributing to the community,” Sherrill said. Sherrill is looking forward to another great event. “Last year was a banner year, we raised over $15,000. We’ve set our goal a little lower this year considering the economy and the fact that we have three inductees this year instead of four, but are hoping for another great year.” 72

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February 2012

The 2012 inductees are: Nancy Chaffin, Jerry E. Scott and Bernard C. Barmann Sr.

Nancy Chaffin As one of the Alumni Hall of Fame's founding members and former chair, Nancy Chaffin played a key role in the selection process of previous inductees and recalls how joyful an experience it is to inform someone of their selection. However, when she found out of her selection to the Hall of Fame she was speechless and humbled by the honor. “It’s fairly humbling to join this group because I’ve been involved in selecting past honorees, so when I was asked it was totally unexpected,” Chaffin said. Chaffin's journey with CSUB began on challenging terms. The single parent of two re-entered college juggling a trio of responsibilities including work, school and being a mother; she credits her family and her employer, The Bakersfield Californian for working around her shifting schedules, in helping her achieve her goals. Over the years Chaffin has been a supporter of charity and advocate organizations such as CASA and A Life Interrupted, an organization dedicated to encouraging teen drivers to practice responsible driving. She became an advocate in 2002 when asked about using her son’s story, who was killed in a car crash in 2001 at the age of 20. Since then she has made supporting the cause a personal passion. She also works with numerous nonprofits, including the Kern Adult


Literacy Council and Girl Scouts of Southern California. Chaffin is thankful for the opportunities that CSUB has helped her reach and the ability to serve the community. "I want to stay involved with CSUB because I think it's so important and it's changed my life — simply, it changed my life."

Jerry E. Scott When Jerry Scott found out that he had been selected for the 2012 Alumni Hall of Fame class, he was taken back and surprised because it wasn’t something that he had anticipated but was humbled and honored by the recognition. “It's quite an honor. It's not something that I've ever strived If you go for nor is it anything that I would Single tickets are $100; a have ever imagined could happen table of eight is $700. to me," Scott said. "I think it's Social hour starts at 6 p.m., really starting to dawn on me how Feb. 18 with dinner and big of an accomplishment or recprogram following. ognition this whole thing is." Sponsorship levels range Scott is a three-time graduate from $500 to $10,000. of CSUB and was the first in his Proceeds benefit the CSUB family to earn a college degree. Alumni Scholarship Fund. Since then, he has been an inspirational leader involved in the community supporting many youth oriented activities as well as teaching students at all levels of education from elementary school to college. "Since I've graduated from Cal State Bakersfield I've been extremely active," Scott said of his efforts to assist in the needs of Bakersfield's youth. Scott is also an accomplished basketball official and has been calling games for over 35 years. He officiated Division 1 games in the PAC 10 for 11 years and for 20 years as a high school official. Scott was inducted into the Kern County Officials Association. He created basketball camps to provide alternative outlets for youths to get involved in and off the streets. He founded the Central California Officiating Camp in 1990 and directs a basketball camp in Hawaii. There are also two varsity boys’ tournaments as well as boys and girls tournaments he conducts. Scott received a bachelor's degree in physical education and a minor in English in '76, then a master's in education in '81 and his administrative credential in '92. He has served as superintendent of the Lost Hills Union School District for the past 11 years with this one being the final year before retiring. He has served on numerous community boards including the Mendiburu Magic Foundation and Michael Stewart Foundation. Scott looks forward to continuing his basketball camps and serving the needs of the community as well as his church.

Bernard C. Barmann, Sr. For Bernard C. Barmann Sr., being notified of his selection to the CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame was an unexpected but very humbling moment, especially considering the people within the group. "It's certainly a welcomed and pleasing honor to be recognized by the alumni and supporters of the university," Barmann said. "I think this one stands out as very important to me in that it comes from folks in the community who know me and what I have done or tried to do and have accomplished." When Barmann arrived at CSUB he had already accomplished

much in his life. His resume listed a Ph.D from Stanford and a juris doctorate from the University of San Diego but as he set on to the next phase of his life, CSUB was there to provide him with an opportunity to advance his credentials. "I found myself in a position where I needed to have some additional training along the lines of the practical world and that prompted me to seek an MPA at Cal State Bakersfield," Barmann said. In 1985, Barmann was appointed as the county counsel's chief civil attorney. He was also taking night classes to earn his degree. The biggest challenge was balancing quality time with his responsibilities and his family. Barmann says that one key point about him other than the legal background is his love for music. Together with his wife, a musician and music teacher, they are involved in local organizations that promote musical arts, including the Bakersfield Symphony and the Bakersfield Youth Symphony. Barmann is currently doing pro-bono work for non profits. He saw a need and felt a desire to help these organizations because of the high costs of legal fees and heavy restrictions that surround non profits. Barmann received his master's in public administration in '87. Now retired, he serves on the boards of the Kern County Bar Foundation, Valley Public Radio, Rotary Club of Bakersfield, and Kern County Academic Decathlon. He was an adjunct faculty member at CSUB for 12 years, and also taught literature at Ohio State University for three years where he won a teaching award. Barmann was also selected to be CSUB's commencement speaker in 2003.

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IT’S A GUY THING

Remote control racing

Matt Barton, 39

Farmer at Barton Farms

Photos by Jessica Frey

Q

How did you get into racing RC cars?

Rogers: I have been driving for about five years now. I saw that my dad had some when he was a kid, and I got him to put them back together for me, and I started racing without ever looking back. Mayhew: I have been racing RC cars for around 10 years now. I got into RC racing with my Dad. 74

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Zack Rogers, 19

Shop hand at FinishLine Signs and Raceway

Barton: Off and on for about 30 years. I was always interested in radio controlled cars and planes since I was a young child. My very first car was a toy grade truck. I played with it until it was completely worn out. I even tried to rebuild it. I started racing RC competitively when I was about 19 years old. My younger brother was racing at the time and he invited me out to the track to check it out. It was official — I was hooked. Maldonado: Since 1985. I bought one for my son for his birthday and decided it was fun for me also. Now my son lives in Texas and races there, too.


Louis Maldonado, 60+

Oil & gas landman at Anderson Land Services and owner of Off The Hook RC at A-Main Raceway

Q

David Mayhew, 29 owner of FinishLine Signs and Raceway

road nitro truggy. I also own three airplanes.

What kinds of RC cars do you own?

Rogers: The classes I race are 1/10th scale buggies made for offroad racing. I have four at the moment. Mayhew: I have way too many. I would say 10 or so of all different types of cars, trucks and buggies. Barton: I currently own and race two vehicles. A Mugen Seiki 1/8th scale off-road nitro buggy and a Mugen Seiki 1/8th scale off-

Maldonado: Oval and off-road. As far as how many, you don’t want to know.

Q

How much money have you invested in your RC cars?

Rogers: Before acquiring sponsors, I would invest about $5,000 a year, but now it is much cheaper. Continued on page 76 bakersfieldLife.com

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David Mayhew

Louis Maldonado

Continued from page 75

Mayhew: I wouldn’t want to know, but into the thousands for sure.

Barton: I will have to plead the fifth! Let’s just say I have lost track!

Q

Maldonado: In 27 years, it would be impossible to estimate.

Where do you race?

Mayhew: FinishLine Raceway, Papa Lou’s A-Main Raceway and Rainman’s Hobbies. Barton: I race all over California. I am currently helping out a new facility on N. Chester, Off the Hook RC. I am very happy to be a part of it. We look forward to some exciting things happening in the future! Maldonado: A-Main Raceway; Bakersfield FinishLine; Bakersfield Rainman’s Hobbies Raceway; Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugas, Calif; and TQ RC Raceway in Chino, Calif.

What RC racing competitions have you entered?

Rogers: Lots! I travel every other weekend out of town to different competitions, and I have been doing that for more than two years now. Mayhew: I have been to a few large races in Las Vegas and am planning a trip to Florida for a race in the next month. Barton: I race every weekend locally on a club level. I travel about once a month at the regional level. Club races are local 76

smaller races and are a lot of fun! Regional racing often brings a couple hundred races and is highly competitive.

Maldonado: National and state championships.

Q

What is it about RC racing that makes this hobby so enjoyable?

Rogers: I like the competition and the people that come with it. Everyone is having so much fun, from kids to adults.

Rogers: Locally. I race at Rainman’s Hobbies (formally know as Racers Haven), but I travel around the world for various big races.

Q

Zack Rogers

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Mayhew: I really like the competition that it brings and the bench racing that goes along with that. It really is a lot of fun. Barton: The people! I have made many great friends in the hobby! The hobby is family friendly! Anyone can do it! There are all levels of ability, products, age, gender, etc. You can get started in the hobby with just a couple hundred dollars or less. You can also enjoy a very competitive atmosphere at a high level of racing! Maldonado: Competition, meeting new friends and seeing old friends.

Q

What has been your crowning achievement?

Rogers: I would have to say placing top 40 at the World Championships in Vaasa, Finland. Although I didn’t even come close to winning, I was thrilled to be chosen as one of the USA drivers to attend that race. Mayhew: Just being able to spend time with all my friends and racing. I haven’t really won anything super special. Barton: For the past five years, I have been practicing a lot and trying to improve my ability. I have been racing a Southern California racing series, JBRL, (Jimmy Babcock Racing League) for the past three years, improving each year. I have been on the podium several times and I am proud to continue to better my abil-


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BIG PICTURE

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Bakersfield Life

February 2012


Conroy’s Flowers Conroy’s Flowers has more than just a perfect bouquet for Valentine’s Day. Aside from the stunning flower displays, Conroy’s has a large variety of chocolates, teddy bears, stuffed animals, bath and shower supplies, fruit baskets, cards and almost any other knickknack imaginable. A more than friendly staff is also there to serve any of your floral needs. Conroy’s has two busy holidays: Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. Conroy’s Flowers takes care of any wedding, prom and special event and even makes funerals a top priority. According to Ila Martin, a floral designer at Conroy’s, the most popular flowers for Valentine’s Day are roses, followed by stargazer lilies and tulips. For her, the artistic ability to make a bouquet look amazing is something that comes with time. For designer Farida Rasid, even though she and Ila decorate bouquets a different way, the end result is always great. Conroy’s is located at 3310 Truxtun Ave., Suite 100. For more information, call 325-8565 or go to conroysbakersfield.com.

F

Photo by Mark Nessia

— Annie Stephens

bakersfieldlife.com

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FOODIE

Mike Rubiy Men’s clothing store manager developed interest in food while working as a dishwasher at Bakersfield Country Club

With a whole filet in the foreground, Mike Rubiy turns his attention to a parmesan parsley pesto.

B

By Hillary Haenes

Bakersfield native Mike Rubiy developed an interest in food in the early ’60s, when he worked at Bakersfield Country Club as a dishwasher. Andre Anastay, the chef at the time, opened Rubiy’s eyes (and taste buds) to all kinds of cuisine. Prior to BCC, Rubiy’s mom and grandma were both culinary influences who taught him his basic kitchen knowledge. Today, when Rubiy is not managing Patrick James, a clothing store for men at The Marketplace, he remains active in the Executives’ Association of Kern County as well as the Bakersfield West Rotary. He also enjoys playing rounds of golf, water skiing and his latest hobby: yachting. Rubiy just bought a 52-foot power yacht in August and is busy restoring it. He may only own 10 cookbooks, but Rubiy confessed that he has about 300 magazines like Gourmet and Bon Appetit that have elements he really likes using for new dishes. 80

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Photos by Felix Adamo

Cooking How often do you cook? I used to cook every night, but it has slowed down a lot in the last few years. I enjoy cooking when I have people over. It is rather hard to cook for just one person. What feedback have you received from friends and family who eat your food? I do a wine fest at Terry Hill’s home up in Sugar Pine every year for about 100 people. It’s quite the challenge planning the menu and then cooking it with minimal equipment. But I always get raves and no one has gotten sick … yet. What is your ideal Valentine’s Day dinner menu? Goat cheese soufflé, salad, herb-crusted tenderloin, risotto with wild mushrooms, broiled asparagus and something gooey for dessert.


Rubiy's goat cheese souffles coming fresh out of the oven.

Why is food/cooking important to you? Cooking is one way of relaxing for me. I really enjoy watching people enjoy what I have prepared. Sometimes it’s a lot of work when you’re doing a complicated recipe. I always try and find a shortcut without taking away the food experience. What is one ingredient you love to use in your recipes? The one ingredient that I would never be without is garlic. Most recipes don’t use enough of it. It’s amazing what it will do to a dish. What is your favorite piece of cooking equipment? My food processor, along with very sharp knives. What is your favorite meal to cook? I have quite a few meals that are fun to cook, but the best is when you throw something together, along with your personal intuition of what works.

If you could spend a day with a famous chef or fellow foodie, who would it be and what advice would you ask them? Julia Child. She is an icon. She defied all the critics by taking the mystery out of cooking. She ate tons of butter, sugar and drank like a fish. She lived to a ripe old age, and had fun doing it. Do you have a disaster story about something you made? The worst disaster was a pork loin with grapes. I thought it sounded good, but I put in too much liquid (wine, etc.) and all it did was stew. Turned out tough and dry, but it looked impressive on the platter.

I buy this in bulk: beans from a Mexican market. Splurge at the grocery store: saffron spice. I always mess up: meringue. What’s your favorite show to watch on the Food Network? I enjoy Ina Garten’s show (“Barefoot Contessa”) along with Giada (“Everyday Italian”), but I hate watching her eat! I can never find: fresh basil. Worst kitchen injury: I tried to catch a jar of mayo, but slipped and cut my thumb and fell down. What a klutz. Ingredient(s) I avoid/dislike: I cook with things I don’t like; hence, I don’t avoid anything. Continued on page 82 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 81

Eating What is your favorite local restaurant and what do you order? My favorite local restaurant is T.L. Maxwell’s. Tom makes some incredible dishes and if I want to really treat myself, I go there. What is your favorite dish? There are so many wonderful dishes out there that it is hard to pick a favorite. But one evening, a friend and I had dinner at the original T.L. Maxwell’s on Auburn and had the rack of lamb. It was absolutely melt-in-your-mouthfabulous. Everything that we had was perfect and I have never forgotten it. What has been your most expensive meal? I think the most expensive meal I have had was at Relais & Chateaux property in Bermuda. We stayed at a hotel for a couple days to watch the Bermuda Ten-

Dinner is served at Mike Rubiy's table. Filet with baked potato, asparagus, salad and goat cheese souffle.

nis Open. We went to dinner at the hotel and had an awesome experience. They started off with green-lipped mussels in champagne, and finished it with a luscious key lime pie that was so flavorful and great that I asked

for it the next night. I was told that several people had asked for it and it was sold out. I think the meal was around $150 per person, but it was such a great experience that it was well worth it.

DRE#00624026

Starters

• Tempura battered stuffed artichoke hearts with a roasted garlic cream cheese filling. Served with a honey Dijon glaze • Shrimp stuffed with baked blue crab and bread crumbs with a roasted red pepper remoulade. • Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette.

Soup or Salad

• Roasted red pepper bisque • Mesclun salad with sliced Spanish olives, toasted almonds, roasted red peppers, shaved manchego cheese, and sherry vinaigrette.

Entrees

• Filet mignon with gorgonzola butter and crispy onions, crushed red potatoes, and braised artichoke hearts with garlic. • Grilled pork loin with a peach chipotle chutney, black bean rice pilaf, and roasted cherry tomatoes. • Shrimp and bay scallop fettuccini with a basil pesto sauce.

Desserts

• Cherry crème Brule with toasted coconut • Cheesecake with a nuttella and cream topping • Chocolate Sponge cake drizzled with Patron Café coffee liquor and topped with a dollop of Frangelico whipped cream.

A glass of wine from Hug Cellars is complimentary. Prices are $90 a couple, and $50 a single. Reservations are recommended. We are also previewing our select menu the evening of Sunday Feb.13th. 5025 Wible Road • (661) 833-9998

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Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Edward

Manager

Mery

Realtor

Betty

Broker/Owner

Shawn

Escrow Coord.


“I love to sit around and have a great conversation, good food and fabulous company.”

What is your favorite meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner? I really like dinner. I love to sit around and have a great conversation, good food and fabulous company. I enjoy lingering over my food, laughing and catching up on the day. Cake I ask for on my birthday: Anything not store-bought, unless it is champagne cake from Smith’s. Longest distance I’ve gone to for a meal: Visalia’s Vintage Press for dinner. Most surprising food I’m not crazy about: sour cream. I’m addicted to: chocolate.

Before I die, I want to eat: a Kobe steak in Japan. www.LSEnglandDesigns.com

Favorite comfort food: French fries from Wool Growers. Fast food? If so, what is it? As far as fast food, I’ll take a greasy cheeseburger from Fat T’s in L.A.

General Contractors Designing - Building Creating Your Vision

Ethnic food I like best: I crave Mexican food. Local restaurant I want to eat at that I haven’t yet: Steak & Grape. Favorite midnight snack: My all-time favorite midnight snack is a cigarette and a glass of water!

Over 30 Years Of Experience Lance & Sue England

Locally Owned & Operated

Visit Our Showroom

Mon-Fri 10-4, Sat 10-2 6600 Suite B District Blvd.

(661) 835-8000 Bakersfield 93313 Lic#605344


HISTORY

Valentine’s Day is every day A tribute to mom and dad, the greatest loving couple around By Jeff Nickell Photos courtesy of Jeff Nickell

W

When asked to write something about Valentine’s Day, I really struggled with thinking of something to write that would fit in with that topic and have a historic aspect as well. Then, it hit me. Though Valentine’s Day comes but once a year, it is really the affection a couple shows each other throughout the year or years. Having been married to my wife, Katie, for 22 years, I can say the above statement with a good deal of knowledge on the subject. But, this is not about me. I decided to write about a couple who has been married for nearly 60 years, 57 to be

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exact. This is about my parents, John and Linda Nickell. Both products of the Dust Bowl (or very close to it for my mother as my dad likes to say), they married young like many did in their generation. They had a traditional marriage with dad working in agriculture, then oil for more than 40 years and my mother working as a stayat-home-mother. Yes, like every relationship, there have been ups and downs. But, through everything they have worked as a pair to raise five children and now have a smattering of grandchildren. I really got this idea while driving my parents back to Bakersfield from LAX after picking up my older brother for the holidays in December. About two-thirds of the way home, the CD changer switched CD’s and when the music came on, our parents asked us to listen to song number nine, and said it was one of the songs they wanted played for them when it was their time to leave this Earth. If they hadn’t said anything, I may have skipped the song or listened to it and thought to myself that was a good song (I was driving and had control of the music selections — at least of what my parents had in the car). But, as my brother and I listened to the words, my eyes began to tear up because the song really told the story of what my parents mean to each other and what they believe. Actually, there was not a dry eye in the car. To paraphrase the song, by the Statler Brothers, its lyrics spoke of a person waiting on the other side drawing in the sand waiting for the other to join them, and what a happy day that would be. But, back to my theme of Valentine’s Day being really an everyday thing. I know Valentine’s Day is filled with cards, flowers, candy, a romantic dinner, for some diamonds or other gifts. Throughout the year, it is getting up early in the morning to head to work to make a living for your family. It is cooking breakfast and dinner and raising children. And, it is the look in the eyes of partners when they glance at each other. I use my parents as an example of what marriage should


be like, except the stay-at-home mother part. We live in such a different world and two parent incomes are the norm. I look back and ask myself, how did they do it raising five children on one income? But, really it is quite simple, they were frugal and spent money on things that were necessities. My dad never had a brand new car until he retired a few years ago. They always seemed to splurge at Christmas, mainly focusing on us kids. I do remember going with my dad to the COED Store on Niles Street on several occasions to buy a special dress or blouse for my mother. My dad has gotten more emotional as the years go by (he still reminds me a bit of the line from the Merle Haggard song, “The Roots of My Raising Run Deep,” where a verse includes, “Dad a quiet man whose gentle voice was seldom heard…” A couple of years ago he bought my mother 11 roses and played the song “Eleven Roses” by Hank Williams, Jr. My mother, on the other hand, has always been very vocal, speaking her mind. They blend together and it works. I had the pleasure to take a train trip with my parents and son this past summer, and was able to spend more time with them than I have since I got married. It was nice to see a seasoned love that has stood the test of time. They have made their own special history and it gives me something to look forward to as I get older. I guess what I am trying to concisely put into words is that showing your love toward your own special Valentine is a year-round thing. Stop and get flowers for no reason, not just because it is the time of year when you are supposed to do so. Basically, do something just because. I am fortunate to have had good role models who instilled in me what marriage is all about.

It’s all about caring for Mom At every milestone of my life I felt my mother’s eyes light up. And now that I have a family of my own I know what it means to be a Mom. So when my Mom needed daily help with normal activities of living we chose Glenwood Gardens. The personal comfort, care and levels of service provided are up to Mom’s high standards - and mine, too. Now when I see Mom’s eyes light up I know it’s because she feels at home.

Call today about our move-in specials and we will pay for your move! Independent Living Personalized Assisted Living Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Exceptional Experiences Every DaySM 350 Calloway Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93312

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Diane Caratan

Antonette Anich

Sweet success Friends minting family candy recipe

T By Lisa Kimble

Their families have helped put Delano on the grape industry’s international map. Now these farmers’ wives are harvesting a far different crop than what their ancestors first planted here generations ago, and even sweeter than grapes. Antonette Anich and Diane Caratan are hoping their family’s prized toffee recipe will make Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth a candy-coated success story and another popular Delano produce.

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Photo by Marcia Hirst

Photo by Marcia Hirst

PERSONALITY


Varieties produced by Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

Classic toffee

Hand-crafted in small batches, this is the original Aunt Mae recipe made every Christmas Eve, and treasured by family and friends alike. A rich, buttery Toffee base coated with a layer of sweet chocolate and sprinkle-coated with chopped, locally grown, finest-quality California almonds.

Pistachio toffee

The same classic Aunt Mae’s Toffee recipe with premium pistachios cooked inside the toffee. The toffee is then coated with a deep layer of creamy milk chocolate and finished off with a drizzle of sweet white chocolate.

In Delano, the grape, which is synonymous with this rural community, is king. But on a ranch off County Line Road, there’s another precious commodity being harvested and its farmers are hoping one day it will land Delano on the candy map as well, perhaps even securing them the title of sugar queens. Anich and Caratan, related by marriage and friends for 30 years, launched Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth ­— a gourmet English toffee candy business five years ago on a whim and a prayer. Their investment was small. But the foundation — Anich’s mother’s prized toffee recipe adored by friends and family for generations, soon sprouted sweet success. Mae Sandrini’s rich, creamy toffee was an annual Christmas tradition. Family and friends practically inhaled it. For years, Anich, her sisters and Caratan made the recipe as well. When Caratan’s doctor suggested she do something she enjoyed and was good at to combat her arthritis, she didn’t have to look far. “So it really started as a hobby,” she said. “Toffee was part of the holidays. Then Diane and I went to Las Vegas and on the drive back, Diane said she would like to make the toffee commercially,” Anich added. “Our first year we didn’t know what we were doing. We started out with each of us making it in our own kitchen. I would stir the pot at my office.” Anich would whisk the confection at her day job running Les Sandrini Farms, founded by her late father Lester Sandrini, where the candy’s almonds are grown. They made about five or six batches. Some had to be thrown out. By the third try, they had it down. A single batch produced 18 boxes, but had to be cooked and stirred for two hours. “My husband told me, ‘You are going to do what? No one is going to buy candy,’” Caratan laughed. But someone did. Fellow Delano grape grower Joe Campbell bought 100 boxes that first Christmas. “I was wrong,” George Caratan said. “I’m impressed.” Today, they make 150 pounds a day. And thanks to the discovery online of what they refer to as their “magic pot,” a professional candy pot, the stirring time has been reduced to 45 minutes. The women

Dark chocolate toffee

A bold kick of luscious dark chocolate flavor makes this variation of the classic Aunt Mae’s toffee creation an instant favorite with hard-core chocolate lovers.

White chocolate toffee

Classic Aunt Mae’s toffee with a sweet new look and taste with the addition of rich and creamy white chocolate.

Source: auntmaessweettooth.com

cook one day and box the next. “Before the pot, we would make a little at a time,” Caratan said. “Once we figured out how to work with the pot and the degree temperatures and timer, it is easier.” It isn’t quite like Lucy and Ethel in the famous “I Love Lucy” candy conveyor belt episode, but their operation is very assembly line. Diane cooks day and night. They use 48 pounds each of butter and sugar a day, and go through close to a thousand pounds of almonds a year. “We grow the almonds on the ranch,” Anich said. “We are sort of like a three ring circus, really.” On her lunch hour, she will join Diane and helpers to box the confections, and her son Gary helps make deliveries to Bakersfield. Mae Sandrini, affectionately called Aunt Mae by nieces and nephews, died in 2009, but not before seeing the launch of her namesake. “My mom was thrilled. We didn’t tell her until we knew what we were doing,” Anich laughed. Headquartered in Delano, the business command center and candy shop is a converted large walk-in where Diane’s husband, grape grower George Caratan used to make wine. “We kicked him out,” Diane laughed. In a room no bigger than 20 by 30 feet, the commercial grade kitchen is immaculate. The toffee is poured out onto jelly roll pans and then flipped. The rich chocolate sandwiched between the nuts. Large stainless steel tables make the cutting and hand-packaging of the candy easy. What began a generation or so ago as a holiday-only staple now has a production cycle that runs from September to June, and sometimes beyond, thanks to a website and online sales from coast to coast. Fresno’s popular Eddie’s Bakery stopped making their own toffee, in favor of Aunt Mae’s instead. Aunt Mae’s is available at 11 locations around Bakersfield, including Luigi’s, Olcotts and Sweet Surrender. As Anich and Caratan ponder the future, they recall their product’s mantra: Life should be so enjoyable. “I know my mom would be thrilled to walk into places like Luigi’s and see the candy boxes,” Anich said. “If you love something and are willing to work hard, it will happen. bakersfieldlife.com

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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Five ways to lead a heart-healthy life

S By Breanna Fields

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and February is American Heart Month, we thought we’d talk to a local cardiologist to find five ways to live a healthy life and be good to our hearts.

According to Dr. Supratim Banerjee, who specializes in invasive cardiology echocardiography and nuclear cardiology at Comprehensive Cardiovascular, the importance of consuming a healthy diet that consists of fruits, vegetables and lean meat is a critical part of maintaining heart health throughout life. Banerjee said that cooking with vegetable, canola or olive oil is the best option for those looking to make a change in their eating habits. Avoiding butter, lard and snacks that are high in fat is another way to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

2. Physical activity The American Heart Association encourages people to get at least a half hour of physical activity each day, five days a week. Staying active has not only proven to decrease the risk of heart disease, it also acts as an excellent tool for weight loss. Bakersfield residents have the opportunity to utilize and enjoy more than 50 parks in our local community as well the Kern River Parkway that extends 32 miles along a path paved specifically for walkers, joggers, cyclists and rollerbladers. Bakersfield Life

February 2012

The risk of heart disease is elevated for those who deal with obesity, according to Banerjee. Losing weight is often viewed as a difficult task, but through dietary changes and exercising for the recommended amount of at least 30 minutes each day, a difference can be made. According to the American Heart Association between 60 and 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Obesity is caused by taking in more calories than what is being used through daily tasks or physical activity. It is important that people are aware of their calorie intake and are able to find a balance between diet and physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

4. Stress management Dr. Banerjee

1. Nutrition

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3. Weight management

As the stress of daily activity takes its toll, it is important that we take a moment to step back and reflect on life. Lack of sleep, worrying and bad habits such as caffeine and smoking are factors that have harmful effects on our lives. Stress can be managed through relaxation and a variety of deep breathing techniques. Practicing a positive attitude or taking a walk when a situation becomes too stressful or difficult to handle is another method to stay calm.

5. Quit unhealthy habits Those who smoke are at a much greater risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. For smokers with a family history of heart disease, that risk is even higher. Genetics also plays a factor effecting heart health. Unlike smoking, it is not something that can be controlled. Banerjee urges people with a family history of heart disease to be vigilant about their health and get checked by a doctor as soon as possible to discover any developing issues so that they can be dealt with accordingly. Sources: Dr. Supratim Banerjee and The American Heart Association


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Vendors Featuring: • Medical Screening • Retail Shops • Product Samples Be An Exhibitor: • Call 395-7563 • healthybakersfield.com Sponsored by

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TALK OF THE TOWN

Rod Barnes Q&A with CSUB men’s basketball coach

R

Compiled by Stephen Lynch

Rod Barnes brought impeccable credentials and high expectations with him to his new job as the men’s basketball coach at Cal State Bakersfield. So far, the former Naismith Coach of the Year is living up to his advanced billing. The 45-year-old Mississippi native has quickly established the Roadrunners as a force to be reckoned with on the NCAA Division I level. CSUB began the season 5-2. And after bouncing back from losses to highly touted UNLV and New Mexico State at the start of the new calendar year, the Runners appear to be on track to post a winning record. Recently Barnes sat down and answered some questions regarding coaching the Runners this season and what lies ahead for the team.

Bakersfield is all about family I like it. It’s a little bit different than where I came from in Atlanta but similar to back in Mississippi. There’s some great people here. It’s family oriented. A lot of hard workers. It seems to be a close-knit community. It fits my personality, kind of a laid-back town. Not the big lights and that kind of stuff. It’s been great. It’s been a good adjustment for me and my family.

What keeps me going My wife, both of my boys, and my mom are here. I enjoy kind of just spending time with them. Also I like college football. We’ve been playing and practicing a lot on Saturdays, but I love watching college football on TV. Basically after that, I would normally spend a lot of time with the church and whatever they’re involved in. That’s something I look forward to doing once we find a place that we join as members.

I like to put pressure both ways. I would first say probably my strongest approach is defense because I believe defense is the thing that wins championships. You can have a great offense but I think you’ve got to defend. That’s huge for us. We play a lot pressure defense. At least that’s where we want to end up. We’re still trying to build it 90

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Rod Barnes came to CSUB with high expectations.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

My coaching philosophy


Your hearing is

Barnes’ passion for basketball is apparent to friends and players.

Photo by Casey Christie

our #1 priority

and develop it here. Make it the way we’re going play. Offensively, I wouldn’t say we’re a run-and-gun team. But we would be considered a semi up-tempo team. We’ll come down, shoot the three and try to get something quickly. But if not, we want to be disciplined in our offense.

The kind of coach I am Probably I would say a disciplinarian. Most players would probably tell you that I’m an old school guy. I just believe when we get to the floor, everybody dresses the same. I believe marching orders are taken the same way. I believe that if you don’t practice, you don’t play. I don’t like taunting and that kind of stuff. I think that for the players, most of the time when they’re playing for me; it’s kind of tough on them. But I think five to 10 years from now, they’ll be kind of appreciative to what I’ve tried to instill in them. I think for the most part, the players like me. But I tell them during the recruiting (process), I’m not here for you to like me. I’m not that kind of guy. I hope that you do. Hopefully, five to ten years from now, you appreciate me and you love me. And you’re a better man and better person.

at Wallʼs.

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Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences

The Original Hearing Aid Center of Bakersfield

4800 Easton Drive, Suite 108 Bakersfield, CA 93309

661-323-1612

© 2011 Starkey Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 6/11 03238-11_S9351

Mallik Thatipelli,

MD, FACC, FSVM, RVT Trained at world renowed Mayo Clinic Board Certified in: • Vascular Medicine • Endovascular Medicine • Phlebology

Building the foundation My expectation is to really just establish the way we play. Building a foundation. I am grateful for the (early-season) wins, but it’s a long-term process for me. I didn’t come here to make this a quick fix in the sense of just trying to have a great team, I’m trying to build a program, and those are two totally different things. When you’re trying to build a team, you can put a bunch of guys together and have a good season. When you’re trying program, it takes years. I kind of judge my performance as a coach by, “did we get better from the beginning to the end? Are we a better team? From a program standpoint, are the guys going to class? Are they getting out and doing community service?” That’s my big focus. But I do think we’re talented enough to win games and every year we want to have a winning record.

Live and breathe basketball The personality trait that I possess that helps me the most as a basketball coach is that I’m passionate about this game. I talk about it. I get excited about it. I get on the court and I’m pumped about it. I go home and I read about it. I’m constantly on the internet (looking at basketball-related stuff). I think when people are around me, they start to pick up that this guy is really into it. I think our players think the same thing.

California Vascular & Vein Center & California Wound Care Center (Center for Arterial & Vein diseases) 2808 F St., Suite A, Bakersfield, CA 93301 To schedule an appointment contact Candy @ T: (661) 873-4216 F: (661) 873-4218 • Varicose veins, spider veins Email: calvascular@gmail.com

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• Peripheral arterial disease: P.A.D • Comprehensive Vascular Lab • Leg pains, night cramps • Leg wounds • Leg swelling • Aneurysm • Stroke • Blood clots bakersfieldlife.com

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Get close to nature at

Alisal Ranch

I

By Lois Henry I’m torn between telling you about this incredible place I recently visited and keeping it a secret. It’s THAT cool. But since I’m a paid blabbermouth I guess I’ll have to give you all the details of the unbelievable Alisal Ranch near Solvang, about a three hour drive from Bakersfield. It’s 10,500 acres of pure heaven. (Fair warning, in my version of heaven the air is lightly scented with horse manure!) Even if there weren’t a single structure (such as the heated pool, fantastic restaurant/bar, fitness center, golf courses, plush accommodations, etc. etc.) on The Alisal property it would be an amazing place to visit with its varied terrain, natural springs and abundant wildlife. But The Alisal is definitely a guest ranch run by people who make you feel so welcome, you forget you’re just visiting. There’s so much to do on the ranch it’s hard to know where to start. But, for me, it was all about exploring the landscape on horseback. I went on two rides during my visit — one very early morning ride (7:30 a.m., yikes!) and the next at a more leisurely 9:30 a.m. Both were fantastic. They have rides for beginners, intermediate and advanced as well as children’s lessons that don’t leave the corral. Something for everyone. An absolute “must do” is the 7:30 a.m. ride, which includes a 92

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Horseback rides provide scenic views of Alisal Ranch.

Photo courtesy of Alisal Ranch

TRIP PLANNER

pancake breakfast, bonfire and real cowboy singing up at an old cabin the ranch hands call “the old adobe.” If you’re not up to riding, or have children under 7 years old, you can still come up on the hay wagon, which, I promise, is more comfortable than it sounds. On the way up to the adobe, our wrangler, Hannah, also showed us an ancient Chumash encampment, a secluded grassy area strewn with rock formations in which grinding holes are still visible. But I’d say the greatest highlight was our close encounter (sort of) with a pair of bald eagles who’ve made the ranch their home for the past five or six years. Hannah guided us back down the hills and around the ranch’s 100-acre lake to see the eagle’s nest, which was impressive at five or more feet across. As we meandered through the trees on the shoreline, Hannah turned and whispered, “There she is!” The massive female sat calmly at the top of a tree preening her feathers. We were literally slack-jawed as we stared up at her and tried not to make a sound. But it gets even better. As we were coming around the other side of the lake, still jabbering about the female eagle, a shadow crossed between our horses and the lake. Silent as a stealth bomber, the male flew past us at shoulder height, his wings spreading more than six feet tip to tip! With a flick of his white tail feathers he peeled off to the right


Photo courtesy of Alisal Ranch

The rooms at Alisal Ranch are inviting and cozy.

and lightly perched on a branch just below his mate. Amazing! We were still talking about it that night at dinner as we enjoyed a perfectly done steak and scrumptious butternut squash with polenta. The next day, we decided to do an ad-

vanced ride and explored a bit of the western side of the ranch, loping up its gentle hills and marveling at the vistas. We spotted two bobcats skirting through the trees! Of course, all of this isn’t cheap. But looking through the many packages offered by the ranch, I’d say it’s very doable if you

plan ahead a little. You can check out all the packages on their website at www.alisal.com. I think the best deal is the “round-up” vacation, which is $515 per night for two people and includes breakfast and dinner plus unlimited golf, horseback riding, tennis and fishing. There are some conditions and it’s mostly available September through May, but still an incredible deal for everything you get. And the Alisal is very family friendly. There’s only a minimal extra charge for children and so much for them to do from arts and crafts to egg gathering. On my visit, we met families that had been coming for generations. Given how spectacular the property is and how friendly the staff is, I can see why.

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Lake Tahoe From snowboarding to slots, Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone

There are seven world-class ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area.

Thinksotck.com

GET OUT OF TOWN

L

Located where California and Nevada meet, Lake Tahoe is the perfect place for those looking to get away and truly experience the winter season. With the lake spanning 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, Lake Tahoe is divided into North and South, each featuring its own forms of entertainment. From skiing and snowboarding, to gambling and hopping, Lake Tahoe has you covered. When the temperature begins to drop, Lake Tahoe becomes a winter wonderland. There are the usual snow activities – skiing, snowboarding, sledding – but for those looking for a truly memorable experience, a horse-drawn sleigh ride or dog sledding may be the answer. Borges Family Sleigh and Carriage Rides on the North Shore provide old-fashioned sleigh rides in European sleighs. The homemade sleighs are pulled by 2,000-pound Blonde Belgian Draft Horses with rides available for 30-minute or 1-hour sessions. If a sleigh ride through the meadow isn’t enough, dinner at LewMarNels is also available. The menu consists of steak, seafood, chicken, and pasta entrees. On the South Shore, Husky Express Dog Sledding lets you and your family experience the thrill of a lifetime. Veteran musher Dotty Dennis and her pack of dogs lead passengers on a one-hour ride through a wilderness setting in the scenic Hope Valley. The sleds have a load limit of 375 pounds. Box trail lunches are also available with advance notice. Lake Tahoe also provides plenty of shopping opportunities for those looking to take a break from the slopes. The Boatworks Mall on the North Shore is home to a diverse collection of stores, selling everything from kid’s games, fine jewelry, 94

Bakersfield Life

February 2012

The Opal Ultra Lounge in the MontBleu Resort Casino & Resort is the newest club on the South Shore.

Thinkstock.com

By Mark Nessia


clothing, gourmet chocolates and more. Overlooking the water’s edge on the north shore of the lake, the two-story, enclosed mall also boasts an observation deck and a waterfront restaurant - Jake’s on the Lake - that specializes in Californian cuisine. The Shops at Heavenly Village on the South Shore is home to more than 40 shops and eateries, as well as an eight-screen movie theater. With an 18-hole miniature golf course and ice skating rink on the grounds as well, there is no shortage of activities to keep everyone entertained. The shops offer a mixture of local and national brands, which should satisfy even the pickiest of shoppers. For those feeling lucky, Lake Tahoe’s 10 casinos are the answer. With five casinos on the North Shore and five on the South Shore (all on the Nevada side), gamers have plenty of options for ’roundthe-clock action. The Cal-Neva Resort on the North Shore was once owned by Frank Sinatra and has 220 guest rooms with views of the lake, lake view dining, and complete Euro spa. The Horizon Casino Resort on the South Shore has 539 hotel rooms, free live music and dancing, and an eight-screen movie theater, in addition to a gourmet restaurant and buffet. All casinos offer high- and low-stakes gambling, slot machines, Roulette, Craps, and more. When the sun goes down, Tahoe’s nightlife comes to life. The Crystal Bay Club & Casino hosts regular marquee music and offers 30 plasma televisions for watching your favorite sports while enjoying a few beverages. Bistro Elise provides healthy cuisines with an extensive coffee list, and the Steak and Lobster House pairs entrees, such as lobster, veal, duck, with the North Shore’s most extensive wine list. On the South Shore, the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa’s Opal Ultra Lounge is the place to be. The Opal Ultra Lounge features DJ David Aaron and go-go dancers. Drink specials include $1 drinks Thursday nights, ladies drink free Fridays, and bachelorette party night Saturdays where ladies come in free before midnight.

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Husky Express Dog Sledding takes guests on a one-hour ride through the scenic Hope Valley.

Whether coming with friends or taking the whole family, Lake Tahoe will ensure a fun time for all, leaving you with stories to share and memories to cherish.

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PRIME FINDS

Say it with sweets

Remember your sweetheart or friends by treating them to a delicious gift from Lil B’s Sweet Tooth. It’s a very tasty way to show them how much they mean to you. Lil B's Sweet Tooth at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., Suite H-4, 665-8500.

Lil B’s Sweet Tooth

Unique gifts for your valentine

Thundershirt

Sofies Soaps has bath melts, chocolate soap and more! Perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day. Available at June Bugs 167 H St. sofiessoaps.com

The drug-free solution for your dog’s anxiety, 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed. Come visit us at Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa for all your dog’s needs at 1617 19th St. For more information, call 3219602.

Sofies Soaps

Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa

Mouth-watering toffee Custom cabinet for your wine refrigerator

This beautiful wine cabinet is custom built to holds all your favorite things, like your wine. Call Munoz Cabinetry at 836-8747 or visit munozcabinets.com.

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Bakersfield Life

February 2012

Fine handmade English toffee made by Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth. Available at Luigi’s, Olcotts, Sweet Surrender and San Joaquin Hospital Gift Shop. Call 725-5200 or visit auntmaessweettooth.com.

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth


Paint your heart out

This year, try painting a personalized gift to melt the heart of your loved one! Color me Mine has the perfect item for your spouse or sweetie, mom or dad, teachers or co-workers. 9000 Ming Ave, 664-7366 or bakersfieldcolormemine.com.

Color Me Mine at The Marketplace

Valentine sweets

Show your love with hand made candies and chocolates from Sweet Sherree's Sweets. Find them in Imbibe, Olcotts, Lil B's, Cafe Med, Arina's, Cal Fruit Depot and KMC gift shops. 834-3160, sweetsherree.com.

A heart for art

Sweet Sherree's Sweets

Beautiful handcrafted wood heart by artist Teresa del Rito. Made completely from recycled materials. Only at Kuka’s! 1609 19th St., 3250000.

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Say it with Western

Earrings from Montana Silversmiths, belts from Justin or Nocona, or beautiful American West purses; perfect gifts for your special valentine or yourself. Emporium Western Store, downtown at 1031 19th St. 325-8476, emporiumwesternstore.com.

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Posh petals

Bakersfield's brand name for flowers. Experiance Uniquely Chic this Valentine’s Day. Call 588-7997 or visit us at uniquelychicflorist.com.

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Lamplight Tours Dec. 3 Held at Kern County Museum Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Sheryl Brians and Don Massoni

A.J., Arlene and Hailey Wade

Kendra and Kristan Herrera

Gary Flanagan and Brad Cloud

Nik, Hanah and Dawson Trower

Greg, Mackenzie and Maguire Flanagan and Deanna, Madison and Claudette Cloud

Melissa, Cassidy and Garrett Hafeli, Sarah and Zachary Riccomini and Pattie Otts


(855) 393-2840 www.motorcitywest.com

CSUB A Night of Champions

Ed Thomas, Linda Etienne and David Gay

Kim Morgan and Lisa Hammond

Nov. 29 Held at the home of Kevin Small Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Karen Langson, Lori Mendoza, Melanie and Louie Ascione

Franz Zaffeutrauger, Shannon Grove, Craig Tobin and Barbara Holmes

Zenda Fierro, Andrew Flores, Dan Cuestas and Abel Fierro

Onesimo Sixtos, Adriana Sixtos, Bill Bila, Tracy Hylton, Laura and Brian Skinner


Kids of Kern Art Show Dec. 3 Held at Kern County Fairgrounds Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Sara Grissom, Chris and Lauryn Earl

Jaime and Jamie Contreras

John Medrano and Jamie Kabonic

Jake Pritchard and Monique Robles

Zach Buddha and Melisa Parks

Jaime Contreras, Sueraine Valderrama, Taneil Geen-Wood and Micah Lewis

Lou Montezino, Chris Ybarra, John Giammona and Chase Fitch 5300 Lennox Avenue, Suite 103, Bakersfield, Ca 93309 661.325.6939

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Estampas De La Revolucion Mexicana opening

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Ron and Mary Cruz

Vikki Cruz and Ryan Reynolds

Lindsey Smith and Jason Watkins

Dec. 8 Held at Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Joe and Mimi Audelo, Judith Pratt and Beth Rienzi

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Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce mixer Jan. 11 Held at Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by Felix Adamo View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Sheri Miller, Kevin Harrer and Angela Barton

Gabby Fulmer, Gracie Ruiz and Josie Lopez

Steve Nettles and Rick Van Horne

Art and Priscilla Ruiz

Martha Franco and Maribel Zuniga

Larry Velasquez, Anna Portillo, Lucy Trancoso and Anker Fanoe

James Sykes, Dee Slade, Art Medina, Connie Perez and Mary Helen Barro

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Pediatric ICU Reception Jan. 12 Held at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com Gary Frazier and Janelle and Pete Capra

Dan and Sally Panero

Tracy Walker Kiser and Duane and Corey Keathley

Dr. Uma Varanasi, Dr. Sung Jung and Kimberly Burke

Ricki Foster and Rick Peace

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MEDICAL ASSOCIATES

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Glinn & Giordano Rio Bravo Rumble Jan. 14 Held at Rio Bravo Ranch Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Spring Bunting and Blaine and Jillian Heywood

Jim and Debbie Pappe

Nichole and Jason Davenport

Karis and David Sumner

Mike Jakovich and Derick Maynard

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February 2012

Christina Andrews, Sophia McKenzie, Sarah O’Connor and Gina Dao


(855) 393-2840 www.motorcitywest.com

Ultimate Bridal Event Jan. 8 Held at Rabobank Convention Center Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com Cortney Sloss and Melinda Simpson

Katie Wilkerson and Taylor Brady

Ashley Anders and Tawny Enriquez

Michelle Johnson and Elva Silas

Adrian Mendoza and Mayra Rosales

Cheryl Arias, Diane Adame and Kelli Arias

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Monday - Friday: 10-6 • Saturday: 10-5 bakersfieldlife.com

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INSIDE STORY Our exp

erts

Wines that say love With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many men are frantically trying to find the prettiest bouquet of flowers, the tastiest box of chocolates and the most shiny piece of jewelry, but what about the best wine? While wine may not at first scream Valentine’s Day, it can definitely complement a great dinner and mood setting for a nice night. We talked to two local wine experts to find out which wines would be best suited to celebrate this day of love.

Jeramy Co-own Brown e Restaura r, Valentien nt & Win Bar e

Josh Oc Manage hoa Wine an r, Imbibe Mercha d Spirits nt

Jeramy’s picks Roederer Estate, L'Ermitage Rosé, Anderson Valley, 2002 Wine type: Sparkling wine made from chardonnay and pinot noir

Predator, Lodi, 2009

Chateau Suduiraut, 2005

Wine type: Zinfandel.

Wine type: Sauternes, late harvest wine made from either Sémillon and or sauvignon blanc and or Muscadelle.

Pairs well with: Pizza, pasta carbonara, mole sauce with chicken.

Pairs well with: Strawberries, rose water desserts and ovenroasted Scottish salmon It’s special because: It is probably the most pure pairing that I can think of for a date. Feeding each other strawberries and sipping on rosé makes for an instant memorable evening.

It tastes so good because: This wine is decadent, silky and screams of chocolate-covered cherries. It’s for those couples who want a wine to match their intensity. It is great by itself or with food.

Pairs well with: Cheese or fresh seafood. It’s special because: Often thought of as an end of the meal wine in America, but can be perfect for a starter course instead. Intense in flavor and finish, my favorite pairing is with a true French aged cheese from either cow or sheep milk.

Domaine La Romanée-Conti, Grand Échezeaux, Burgundy Wine type: Pinot noir. Pairs well with: By itself. It’s special because: This is my out-of-thisworld, once-ina-lifetime wine. Again, this is me going way over the top, but this wine will come a close second to giving you the emotional feeling you get when you meet the love of your life. You have to taste it to believe it, and it will take your breath away, just as love can.

Josh’s picks Banfi Brachetto Rosa Regale Wine type: Sparkling wine. Pairs well with: Strawberries and chocolate. It’s special because: For those who like their bubbles with a hint of sweetness, the Rosa Regale is a match made in heaven. Filled with bright flavors of candied raspberries and strawberries, this bottling is fun and effervescent. Though this wine pairs amazingly well with sweets, it can also accompany almost any meal and still shine.

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Choco Vino

Rombauer

Wine type: Chocolate wine.

Wine type: Cabernet sauvignon.

Pairs well with: Chocolate or sweet desserts.

Pairs well with: Fine steaks or decadent confections.

It’s delicious because: For the chocolate-lover in your life, Choco Vino is a decadent marriage of smooth California red wine, creamy milk chocolate and velvety cream, and is the perfect bottle for those who love wine or are just getting into wine. Try this one on its own or with chocolate mousse!

February 2012

It’s special because: A very Californian-style cabernet that displays rich, jammy fruits that mingle with subtle spice and notes of creamy chocolate. Pair a glass or two with juicy cuts of beef or chocolatecovered berries and see why the Rombauer cabernet is a Bakersfield favorite.

Schramsberg Brut Rose Wine type: Sparkling wine. Pairs well with: Just about anything. It’s special because: It is the choice when you are looking for a bottle of bubbles that drinks like expensive French, without breaking the budget. Beautifully dry without the bitter aftertaste like many market brand sparklers, Schramsberg sparkling wines are the perfect way to start and end an evening.


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Closed end lease for 2012 Civic Sedan 5 Speed Automatic LX (FB2F5CEW) available from January 4, 2012 through 29, 2012, to well-qualified  February lessees approved by Honda Financial  Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with credit ratings. MSRP $19,425.00     lower (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $17,622.45. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $6,444.00. Option to purchase at lease end $12,043.50. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by February 29, 2012. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.

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FEATURED SPECIAL LEASE: Closed end lease for 2012 Civic Sedan 5 Speed Automatic LX (FB2F5CEW) available from January 4, 2012 through February   29, 2012, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services.  Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $19,425.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title fees, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $19,516.90. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $8,050.00. Option to purchase at lease end $12,043.50. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by February 29, 2012. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.

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Years of Serving Kern County

Special APR offer valid on new and unregistered 2012 Civic Sedan Models from January 4, 2012 through February 29, 2012, to well qualified buyers on approved credit by Honda Financial Services through participating dealers. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by February 29, 2012. Not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for buyers with lower credit ratings. Example for 2012 Civic: 0.9% for 36 months financing at $28.16 a month for every $1,000.00 financed. Dealers set actual prices. See your Honda dealer for details.


Bakersfield Life Magazine February 2012