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February 2013




wonderful women of Bakersfield


Meet the new

trends for 2013

Dining Divas Romantic specials

Women of the symphony

Local restaurants’ Valentine’s Day menus

Fashion & beauty

San Joaquin Hosp. gate fold

Be-Freeze - 2 FREE Endermologie Treatments ($180 value), with the purchase of any Venus Freeze Package*

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The 2013 Chevy Cruze shown in Crystal Red Tintcoat (extra-cost color.)

New 2013 Chevrolet

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One at this price

N6@K,A ;/>78Q.E7 D8C9 N6*7 D8G9 N)>7 C8I NK.SE2K < -)*/?6@@A ;/>78Q.E7 F8F9 N6*7 D8J :6.*, < ;/>78Q.E7 F8G9 N6*7 D8J

JI53 ME4@K O079 +6BK.,HK@0 P D558F5G81F5I P LR6=6)*/?/*ESK72/? All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Prices and incentives on retail deliveries good thru 02/28/13.

“Integrity isn’t expensive... it’s priceless!”

y t l a e R r e i m e r P f o s e i Lad Cathie Paulovitz

Ann Olcott

Beth Shanley

Diana Aronson

Adoree Roberson Kym Plivelich


Gayle Hafenstein

Rhonda Anderson Michelle Aldean Eva Martinez Ronda Chaffin Jackie Putman Leann Newfield

Kathy Keener

Dottie Patterson Lezlie Chaffin Rhonda Lewis Karen Vanderhurst Stacy Harrison Rachael Newell

Sonia Sides

Amy Short Beauty Beduya

Becky M. Brooks

3977 Coffee Road, Ste. C, behind Chicago Title | 661.588.6600 |

F E A T U R E S Gift Cards Make Great Valentine’s Day Gifts!

February 2013

CoolSculpting We’re proud to be the exclusive provider in the area to offer this revolutionary new body contouring treatment. CoolSculpting is proven to deliver undeniable results - 20-25% reduction of fat in just one 1-hour treatment!

February 2013

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38 Valentine’s dining 64 Wonderful women of Bakersfield

Kern County’s largest Botox & Juvederm Provider

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Bakersfield Life honors eight local women — nominated by local leading women — who are making a difference in our community. See who they are, and read about the great things they’re doing.

74 Fashion & beauty Check out the latest women’s looks from Bakersfield’s own shops and boutiques.


Browse the menus of five local restaurants, and see what they have planned for you and your loved one on V-Day.

Signature Properties, Signature Service

D E P A R T M E N T S February 2013

Mary Christenson 31 years of local real estate professional service

S pecializing

13 30 32 34 38 44 46 50 54 56

in Luxury Homes, Estate Properties and Golf Course Communities

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Up Front It Manners a Lot Kelly Damian Dining Divas Food and Wine Entertainment Foodie On the Road Hometown Hero All-Star Athlete


S e ve n O a k s S h o w c a s e I V 2 5 0 1 Ta r b e t C o u r t $3,500,000

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


116 120 122 124 128 134

Fit and Fresh Trip Planner Health and Wellness Business Profiles SNAP! Inside Story PHOTO BY JESSICA FREY

58 Talk of the Town 62 For a Cause 90 Pastimes 92 Home and Garden 96 Why I Live Here 98 History 100 Our Town 102 Community 104 Neighborhood Spotlight 106 Ladies Who… 110 Personality 114 Real People

SEVEN OAKS Magnificent Golf Course Estate spreads across two lots -over an acre of land--at end of cul de sac. Elegant and serene ambiance! Over 10,000 sq. ft. of luxury living: 7 bdrms, 7 baths, fully equipped theatre room, gym, office, abundant storage. The ultimate master suite! No expense spared. Travertine marble floors throughout all main areas, ornate wrought iron staircase, granite and marble bath and kitchens, fully equipped theatre room, gym, office-more! Private showings by appointment.

For the record: Pastor Antonio M. Alfred of St. John Missionary Baptist Church baptized Jeremy Wright during his wedding with Danielle Wright and prayed for the couple. Alfred’s role in the wedding, and Danielle Wright’s name, were incorrect on Page 119 of the “It’s a Guy Thing” section in the January 2013 issue. 8

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013


What’s the best Valentine’s Day gift you’ve received? “I received a framed Michael Jordan poster. Best gift ever. After 14 years or so, it still hangs on my wall.” — Michael Lopez, contributing photographer

bouquet of lilies, sunflowers, lotuses and tulips. It was an amazing mix of beauty and grace. These are my favorite flowers, and he knew that.” — Olivia Garcia, editor

“A marriage proposal. My husband asked me to marry him during a romantic Valentine’s dinner of sushi and sake in 1989. We wed nine months later.” — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer

“Best Valentine’s Day gift I ever received was a homemade dinner featuring a heart-shaped steak. It’s true what they say: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” — Mark Nessia, contributing photographer

“Trips to the Central Coast with my wife since our birthdays bookend Valentine’s Day.” — Jeff Nickell, contributing writer

“Receiving my children’s handmade Valentine cards … priceless. Now that they are teenagers, I realize how even more priceless those cards are. Glad I kept

“This sounds corny, but after 16 wonderful years, every day is still Valentine’s Day, so we normally just enjoy a nice dinner at a happy place. And this year, it’s my turn to choose.” — Gregory D. Cook, contributing photographer and writer

“I remember Valentine’s Day 2013 like it was tomorrow. My beautiful wife gave me a box of See’s peanut brittle, dinner at Mama Tosca’s, a wine-tasting weekend in Napa Valley, and a Lexus LX … I hope.” — Kevin McCloskey, contributing writer

“As it should be, Valentine’s is all about the wifey. So I’m typically the one giving gifts. The wife’s happiness is enough of a gift for me ... is that too cheesy?” — Jorge Barrientos, assistant managing editor

Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine February 2013 / Vol. 7 / 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. To advertise, contact Lisa Whitten at or 395-7563. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Vice President, Administration and Operations Nancy Chaffin Director of Display Advertising Roger Fessler Interactive Advertising Director Sally Ellis Advertising Sales Manager Lisa Whitten Advertising Traffic Manager Shauna Rockwell Marketing Manager Mira Patel Distribution and Marketing Representative Patrick Wells Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Managing Editor Jorge Barrientos Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Dior Azcuy, Sally Baker, Henry A. Barrios, Jaclyn Borowski, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook, Jessica Frey, Lois Henry, Brian Kirschenmann, Michael Lopez, April Massirio, Greg Nichols, Mark Nessia, Sarah Reingewirtz, Carla Rivas, Jan St Pierre, Brian N. Willhite Contributing writers Katie Avery, Sally Baker, Allie Castro, Gregory D. Cook, Kelly Damian, Breanna Fields, Jason Gutierrez, Lois Henry, Lisa Kimble, Katie Kirschenmann, Stephen Lynch, Kevin McCloskey, Gabriel Ramirez, Michael Russo, Chris Thornburgh, Brian N. Willhite

them!” — Chris Thornburgh, contributing writer

Interns Matilde Ruiz, Jeneal Wood

“Tough question! My husband spoils me with great gifts, but I’d say it was when he went beyond the traditional roses route and gave me a 10

Bakersfield Life Magazine

On the cover Photo by Henry A. Barrios. Kim Albers, executive director at Garden Pathways, plays with some of the children at the facility at 3509 Union Ave.

February 2013

Introducing The All New



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For illustration purposes only

2012 Mitsubishi GALANT

For illustration purposes only

2012 Mitsubishi ECLIPSE

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For illustration purposes only For illustration purposes only *Lease payment examples include required refundable security deposit. *2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV at 24 month lease: $221/Month. MSRP$30,525 plus $795 destination charge. 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer ES at 24 month lease: $159/Month. MSRP $18,285 plus $825 destination charge. 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport at 36 month lease: $189/Month. MSRP $21,530 plus $825 destination charge. 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander 7 Passenger at 36 month lease: $229/Month. MSRP $24,140 plus $825 destination charge. Excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, insurance and the like. Available through Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America, subject to approved credit and insurance. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. Other lease terms/details apply. May not combine with factory cash rebates. 12,000 miles per year at $0.15 over. Offers valid through 1/13/2013. Prices plus government fees and taxes, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. All offers are on approved credit. Prices good through close of business on date of publication. Expires 02/28/13.

Bakersfield MITSUBISHI 4600 Wible Rd

In The Bakersfield Automall


Editor’s Note


Love is in the air

Dear Editor, My name is Mike Kochanski, and I am on the board of directors for the California Highway Patrolman’s Club of Kern County, also known as the Bakersfield 420 Club. I was informed about the latest issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine that featured an article on celebration venues (“Celebration venues,” January 2013 issue). Our facility is mentioned on Page 85, and it is appreciated. My concern is inaccurate information was mentioned about our facility. The writer obtained incorrect information in regards to our rental rates and other costs. What is printed is damaging to our business. Our rental rate is $1,200, plus a $500 security deposit, for a total of $1,700 out of pocket. It is not $2,200, with $500 of that for a deposit, as the article states. In addition, we do include the use of our tables and chairs as part of the rental fee. We do not charge for this. All of this information is available on our website, What was printed could potentially hurt the 420 Club because interested individuals or groups wanting to utilize our facility will be under the impression it will cost them more than what is actually charged. We are a registered nonprofit, and we rely on our rental income to get through the year. We would like a correction. — Mike Kochanski, 420 Club Treasurer


Bakersfield Life Magazine

I heart this month. After all, it includes one of the most romantic holidays of the year, Valentine’s Day. It’s a time to remind your significant other why she or he means the most to you. And I get extra special treatment thanks to not only my husband, but also my boys, who still draw or write me special Valentine’s Day cards. Makes my heart melt. I hope you too can think of special ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and if you are looking for ideas, then look inside. We give readers ideas where to go if you are thinking about having a nice, romantic dinner. We also have a special section focusing on women’s fashion. This might be a great feature to browse through if you are thinking of treating your sweetheart to a wardrobe makeover. I love fashion, and this issue does a fabulous job at showcasing some great fashion attire sold in local boutiques and stores. Thanks to our beautiful models and also our photographers, April Massirio and Jessica Frey, for having fun with this project. Another feature in this magazine that inspires me is the tribute to eight inspiring local women. Each year, Bakersfield Life likes to honor a selection of women who are achieving greatness through their profession, home life and community work. This year, Bakersfield Life received the nominations from a previous group of women we featured in the magazine. The 2013 inspiring women are: Kim Albers, Brooke Antonioni, Nancy Chaffin, Lana Fain, Cynthia Giumarra, Patricia Marquez, Maria Paine and Cynthia Pollard.

Take a look inside and get to know these wonderful women. I also wanted to thank readers for becoming our fans on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. If you haven’t done so, please join us on both social networking sites to chat, and for chances to win special prizes and giveaways. This month, we are hosting a contest where readers can win a pair of tickets to see Menopause the Musical in March, and we will be announcing the details on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, I want readers to begin thinking about their own local heroes in the community, under 40 years old. Bakersfield Life will soon launch it’s “20 Under 40” contest asking readers foro nominations. There will be certain guidelines to meet before entering. Watch for the next issue where I will unveil all the details.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487 •

OLIVIA’S PICKS Nike Dri-FIT gloves It’s been a bit chilly in the morning, and if you like taking walks or jogs around your neighborhood, then consider getting some nice gloves to keep your fingers warm. I usually wear Nike DriFIT because they are snug and hold cold at bay. They come in men and women styles, and you can find them at any local sporting goods store.

February 2013

Paperless My calendar pretty much controls my life by planning out my day. It works great with my iPhone. However, the Paperless app is pretty neat because it allows me to create a checklist of items to handle that day. I like that because my personal todo items will no longer clog my appointment calendar.

Nashville If you are a fan of Connie Britton, who played the role of Tami Taylor in “Friday Night Lights,” then you will love seeing her as an amazing country singer named Rayna James in the television show, “Nashville,” on ABC. And yes, she can sing. I downloaded a few of the tracks from the Nashville soundtrack and was very pleased.

Up Front

WORD ON THE STREET Compiled by Brian N. Willhite

What Bakersfield woman inspires you and why? Christine McDaniel Mom Shirley Boggess: “She is the best person I know and has overcome a lot to be where she is today. She’s an angel.”

Roberto Rosario Friend Maria Alice: “She’s a great woman. A good mother, a good friend — everything about her is amazing!”

Muhammad Muzaffar Wife Laraib-Mahmood Muzaffar: “Her innocence inspires me to be a better person, and I admire her for that.”

Whitney Nicholson Friend Tamera Dobbs: “I admire her because she’s a successful woman that can do it all — and she has a rock hard-body, too!”

Angelina Cruz Sister Rosie Alba: “My sister has the best heart in the world. She’s been through a lot in her life and came out on top, and I admire her for that.”

Nichol Maytubby Mom Denise Maytubby: “She’s a strong, independent woman, and she taught us the true meaning of what it means to give and be patient.”

Tammy Ketelhut Friend Sherrill Young: “She’s an inspiration, an amazing woman, and just a beautiful person inside and out.”

Ramiro Cruz Wife Angelina Cruz: “Through all the ups and downs in our lives, it’s great that we have become best friends.”

Lonnike James Mom Teria Lewis: “My mom inspires me because she made me the man I am today.”

Only 5% of the lawyers in the state are named . Daniel Rodriguez has been selected by Southern California’s Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the Top Attorneys for the last three years in a row!

When you need a REALLY good lawyer!!

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Up Front



Go Red for Women brings awareness to heart disease

Local students nominated for prestigious U.S. service academies

The American Heart Association is inviting Kern County residents to wear red along with millions of other Americans on Feb. 1, for the sake of women’s health. The purpose of the annual Go Red for Women campaign is to empower women to take charge of their heart health, as well as to work together to wipe out heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women that is more deadly than all forms of cancer, according to the association. In Bakersfield, the association’s Kern County Chapter is inviting the public to post pictures on the chapter’s Facebook page of residents “painting the town red.” “It’s great for women to take care of their health, and have fun while meeting other people and find out about the risk,” said Belinda Gordillo, a communications and marketing director at American Heart Association. “Bakersfield is on the top list of highest heart disease. It is important for local women to become informed.” Joining forces with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the association created the National Wear Red Day in 2003 to raise awareness. Heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing about one woman every minute. An estimated 43 million women in the United States are affected by it. This year, Go Red For Women will feature a luncheon and fashion show on Feb. 7, at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, with local women serving as models. It will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online until Feb. 6. “A lot of women who attend are normally leaders in the community who will take the initiative to pass down the information they have learned to their friends,” Gordillo said. The event will raise money for research, and programs for heart disease and stroke. To reserve your tickets for the luncheon, go to If you wish to volunteer, contact Julie Lebel at — Matilde Ruiz 14

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Congressman Kevin McCarthy recently nominated four area students to attend U.S. service academies, including a Highland High School student. The four will have first dibs in enrolling in some of the most prestigious universities with some of the lowest acceptance rates in the country. McCarthy, RBakersfield, has called the service academy nominees the “future leaders in our armed services.” Receiving prinAsaad cipal nominations were Jibraun Asaad, of Lancaster, to U.S. Air Force Academy; Aidan Farrell, of Paso Robles, to U.S. Naval Academy; Clark Cali, of San Ferrell Luis Obispo, to U.S. Military Academy, West Point; and Bryan Bumgarner, of Bakersfield, to U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Cali Bumgarner attends Highland High, where he is a four-year member of the swim team and president of the Interact Club. His major is undecided, but Bumgarner has a strong interest in mathematics, science and technology, he said. Nominees are selected after a competitive process from a pool of students in the 22nd Congressional District, which covers parts of San Luis Obispo, Kern and Los Angeles counties. McCarthy also nominated several competing alternate nominations for each academy, and they are ranked by

the selection board, which includes Bakersfield Life editor Olivia Garcia. They will be admitted into the academies at the academy’s discretion. Bakersfield high school students selected include: • U.S. Air Force Academy: Madison Boynton, Frontier High; Natrelle Demison, U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School; and Austin Medeiros, Liberty High. • U.S. Military Academy: David Newton, Stockdale High; and Nathan Scharpenberg, Stockdale High. • U.S. Naval Academy: Nathan Scharpenberg, Stockdale High; and Prisilla Ybarra, Cal State Bakersfield. • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy: Andrew Fierro, Bakersfield High; and Prisilla Ybarra, Cal State Bakersfield. — Bakersfield Life Magazine



Museum ‘embracing diverse voices’ with new exhibit Not only is the Bakersfield Museum of Art exhibiting a beautiful collection of work, spanning several mediums and styles, but the current exhibit — “Embracing Diverse Voices: 80 Years of African Art” — is displaying a collection of culture and history for the community to embrace. The exhibit is organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Kalamazoo, Mich. “Embracing Diverse Voices” explores the diversity of experience and artistic expression among American artists of African descent. “This traveling exhibition was selected because of its content, variety of artwork, and caliber of artists participating,” said museum curator Vikki Cruz. “The exhibit contains more than 65 works by 30 artists and explores the diversity of experience and expression among American artists of African descent through paintings, photography, sculpture, book arts and prints. The exhibit will run through March 10, and will be on display during Black History Month, another reason why it was selected for the winter run of exhibits.” Artists include Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Richard Hunt, Lorna Simpson, Hughie Lee-Smith, Charles Henry Alston, James Van

Der Zee, Kara Walker, Charles White and Ernest C. Withers, plus Jacob Lawrence’s complete “Legend of John Brown” series. These artists define their identity through such varied factors as gender, culture, history, race and social status. Also being exhibited are “You, Me, Them” works by Mequitta Ahuja and Robert Pruitt, two contemporary artists of African descent whose work examines cultural identity through portraiture. “I first took notice of Robert Pruitt’s work during a trip to Houston. Claire Putney and I were reintroduced to his work during a gallery visit in Culver City, where we were both able to view an extensive body of his work in person,” Cruz said. “Both Claire and I agreed that his portraiture work would compliment Mequitta’s work and would be a perfect fit to the exhibit.” The exhibition runs through March 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Bakersfield Museum of Art is at 1930 R St. For more information: 323-7219 or — Jason Gutierrez


“Women know what Women want.”

Call the gals from Blue River Cabinetry to design and install your new kitchen or bath.

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Michele Waugh

588-8481 • Showroom inside Artistic Surface • 120 Union Avenue


Up Front


Writer’s note: I met Helen Rankin in 1993. I had been assigned to do a news story on the ranch for KERO-TV Channel 23. Also that day, four very renowned romance novelists arrived for their annual retreat in which they would immerse themselves in all things “western” for their individual books. At the end of the stay, I suggested the Rankins write a book on the Rankin Ranch. They did! “Heartbreak Ranch” was published by Harlequin Books in 1997, two years after my assignment on the ranch won an Emmy Award.


he sprawling 31,000-acre Rankin Ranch in the hills above Bakersfield — one of the oldest and largest family-owned working cattle ranches in the state — traces its roots back to the mid-1860s. But it was Helen Rankin, the wife of the founder’s grandson, who envisioned a way to preserve the agriculture legacy while attracting tourists from around the world on the promise of a “Wild West” experience in wide open spaces. Today, the famed dude and guest ranch, tucked in the valley of Walker Basin between Havilah and Caliente, is celebrating 150 years in business, 48 of them as a vacation destination. It has been the subject of award-winning television pieces and inspired at least one book. No wonder. Time stands still here amid the grand oaks, pens, and warm, western hospitality. Walker Rankin, a native of Pittsburgh, was lured West in 1854. He settled in Walker Basin and founded the Quarter Circle U Rankin Ranch in 1863. He began raising cattle and imported the first purebred Hereford cattle to the area. Five years later, he married Lavinia Estelle Lightner, whose father


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

had been a successful gold miner in nearby Keysville. The couple had six sons and a daughter. By the 1870s, Rankin Ranch had become a stage stop for the overland mail route. The old barn where the teamster’s horses were tended to still stands, and is used for hay storage. After Walker’s death, his widow continued to run the ranch with the help of their son Lee and his wife, Julia. On Christmas Eve 1929, Lee and Julia were killed in a car accident. Their two sons moved in with their grandmother, Lavinia, who sent them to Kern County Union High School. After a couple of years away at college, Leroy and Billy Rankin returned to the family ranch and formed Rankin Brother Cattle Co. Leroy married Helen Cross, whose ancestors were also California pioneers, in 1936. They raised their three children — Julia, Patty and Bill — on the ranch. In 1954, Leroy Rankin died suddenly. He was only 42 years old. Although Helen had helped with brandings, she kept busy raising their children and maintaining the household and knew very little of the day-to-day operations of the cattle ranch. Despite wellmeaning advice from friends to sell the property, Helen Helen Rankin Rankin decided to hold on to the historic ranch, and began to school herself in the cattle business. By 1965, Helen recognized the need to diversify the ranch to improve cash flow and fully utilize the asset of the prized land. Since she and her late husband had always entertained large groups of friends, she decided to add a “guest ranch” to the operations, and helped pioneer the field of agri-tourism. Helen’s lovely demeanor belied a sharp business acumen that helped shape Rankin Ranch into one of the most sought-after destinations in the country by writers, musicians and everyday folk yearning for a romance with the Old West. Helen Rankin was a charter member of the Kern County Cowbelles, served as its president in 1950, and was named Cowbelle of the Year in 1988. She was 89 years old when she died in 2003, but not before turning the reigns of the ranch to son Bill and his wife, Glenda. Today, their children and grandchildren help manage the cattle and dude ranch operations. In 1994, a KERO-TV Channel 23 feature about a writers’ retreat to the ranch won a regional Emmy Award. Three years later, “Heartbreak Ranch,” written by the same writers and based on the ranch, was published by Harlequin Books. This April, the family plans to kick off its sesquicentennial celebrations with a series of “history” days. — Lisa Kim ble PHOTO BY SARAH REINGEWIRTZ

Rankin Ranch sprawls over 31,000 acres in Walker Basin, east of Bakersfield.


Rankin Ranch


2013 “Best of” Bakersfield Voting for the 20th “Best Of” contest continues with the last round ending Feb. 3. Readers of this magazine and The Bakersfield Californian (publisher of Bakersfield Life) get to once again select their favorite local people, places and businesses in town. The winners of “Best Of” will find out the news in Bakersfield Life’s May issue, delivered to homes, businesses and news racks on April 27 throughout Bakersfield. To vote, go to or and click on the “Best Of” buttons or visit

Bakersfield Wellness Magazine Bakersfield Life’s sister magazine, B Well, will be published and delivered to Californian subscribers Feb. 10. Read articles on men’s health and heart health from local contributors, and check out B Well’s Get Fit Weight Loss Challenge. Also, visit the website: Be sure to drop by the website to check out contests and giveaways, a podcast of staff highlighting the newest issue, videos of feature stories (including of the new Dining Divas visit to Pappy’s Down South BBQ), more SNAP! photos, or to read the entire issue on your smart phone, iPad or tablet.


‘Fiscal cliff’ averted, but now what? Congress pulled a page from reality television’s playbook when it saved us from the “fiscal cliff” on New Year’s Day. Tired of the drama but wondering how their newly-passed tax law affects you? In a nutshell, the 157-page law makes “permanent” the lower tax rates enacted under President George W. Bush. Of course, “permanent” is a misnomer since a new bill could change the tax rates. Included below are highlights — or lowlights — of the new tax law. Individual income tax rates: A top rate of 39.6 percent (up from 35 percent) will be imposed on individuals earning more than $400,000 a year and $450,000 for married couples filing joint. Dividends and capital gains: Rates on capital gains and qualified dividends remain at 15 percent for most taxpayers but increase to 20 percent for those in the new 39.6 percent bracket. Two percent Social Security reduction gone: The two percent payroll tax “holiday” was not extended. This results in a reduction in take-home pay for employees, consultants and the selfemployed. Alternative minimum tax fix: AMT isn’t going away, but thanks to Congress’ fix, the tax “bite” isn’t as big. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions limited: Itemized deductions and personal exemptions are subject to a phase out beginning for those with incomes of $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for married couples. Other individual deductions and exclusions. These noteworthy deductions and exclusions are extended through 2013: • Cancellation of debt on qualified principal residence exclusion. • $250 deduction for educator expenses. • Mortgage insurance premiums treated as residence interest. • Deduction for sales tax. • Above-the-line deduction for tuition.

• Tax-free distributions direct from Individual Retirement Accounts for charitable purposes (plus special provisions allow transfers made in January 2013 to be treated as made in 2012). Individual tax credits. Many tax credits are extended or made permanent including: • Child tax credit is permanently extended. The maximum amount of the child tax credit is $1,000. The partially refundable portion of this credit is only extended through 2017, however. • Dependent care tax credit is permanently extended. Daycare expenses up to $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more children qualify for the tax credit. • American Opportunity Tax Credit for higher education expenses is extended through 2017. Business deductions. Popular business deductions were extended, including: • Bonus depreciation extended through 2013 • Section 179 deduction limitation is $500,000 for 2012 and 2013. Estate Tax. The top estate tax rate increases from 35 percent to 40 percent. Most estates will continue to be exempt from estate taxes as the tax doesn’t kick in until beyond the first $5 million in inheritance. This list of tax changes is certainly not comprehensive. A professional tax adviser can determine how the new law benefits you. — Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at or 324-4971


Up Front


Student taking part in crosscountry bike, build journey For some people, participating in a long-distance bike ride is a personal achievement they want to do for themselves. Bike & Build allows young adults to do just that — but with a bigger purpose. The charitable group organizes crosscountry bike trips and participants build affordable housing along the way. Bike & Build was established in 2002 and has engaged more than 1,750 riders, donating more than $4 million and 120,000 hours to affordable housing groups throughout the country. Participants can average riding 70 miles Jill Burnett in one day. In about 70 to 75 days, they stop

in about 13 communities to build homes that could be in any stage of the building process. There are eight different routes that start at the East Coast and end on the West Coast, including Maine to Santa Barbara, and North Carolina to San Diego. Jill Burnett, a 23-year-old Cal State Bakersfield student, will participate in the Northern U.S. tour that begins June 21 in New Hampshire, and ends in Vancouver, Canada, on Aug. 30. She will bike more than 3,700 miles and volunteer at 15 building sites across the country. “I have never participated in Bike & Build before, but I am thrilled to have the opportunity to see the United States in such an interesting way, all while finding myself in the service of a great cause,” Burnett said. Burnett must raise $4,500 to qualify for her tour, which will go directly to support affordable housing efforts. If you would like to donate to her cause, go to, click donate, find Jill Burnett’s name and choose your amount. — Jeneal Wood


Awards salute Hispanic chamber stars A group of local business professionals will be recognized for their success and community contributions during the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual installation banquet and business awards 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center. The Hispanic Chamber awards will recognize the following: • Business Woman of the Year: Connie Perez of Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. • Business Man of the Year: Salvador Cervantes of the Hispanic Media Group

The 2013 Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive board, back, from left: Denise Ornelas, Carlos Navarro, Blodgie Rodriguez and Jay Tamsi. Front, from left: Adam Alvidrez, Olivia Garcia and David Alanis. 18

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

• Large Business of the Year: Agave Mexican Grill & Cantina • Small Business of the Year: Ed Herrera Insurance Agency • Corporation of the Year: Rabobank, N.A. • Nonprofit of the Year: Kern County Sheriff’s Reserves Association • Community Service Award: Ruben Guerra • Chairperson’s Recognition Award: Georgina Puentes, MTC/Taft Correctional Institution

In addition, the event will salute its 2013 board, which is as follows: Denise Castaneda-Ornelas, La Bonita, Inc. (chairwoman); Blodgie Rodriguez, realtor (chairwoman-elect); Adam Alvidrez, Chevron (vice chairman); Carlos Navarro, Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center (treasurer); Olivia Garcia, Bakersfield Life Magazine (secretary); and David Alanis, Career Services Center/EDD (past chairman); Ernie Pineda, Wells Fargo; Nick Ortiz, Western States Petroleum Associates; Sal Brito, State Farm; Mari Perez-Dowling, Bright House Networks; Eva Ramirez, Kaiser Permanente; Robert Mendez, Univision; Jose Guerrero, attorney; Valerie Mendiburu, Verizon; Donna Hollingsworth, AltaOne Federal Credit Union; Dave Whisler, Primetime Signs; Ed Herrera, Ed Herrera Insurance Agency; Donna Hermann, American Cancer Society; and Joe Serrano, Serrano's Investigative Services. The keynote speaker will be David Torres, attorney and member of California State Bar Board of Trustees, District 5. Cost to attend the event is $75 per person; $550 for a table of eight. For more information, call the Hispanic chamber office at 633-5495.

— Bakersfield Life staff

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Up Front


Carol Rodgers


arol Rodgers and her husband, Tom, have owned a few Hallmark stores since 1976. They owned two stores in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma, before permanently moving to Bakersfield in 1983. Tom worked as an accounting manager with Texaco when they moved to Bakersfield in 1980, for a one-year job assignment. The couple loved it so much, Tom asked Texaco for a permanent position.

1 I love the color blue. 2 I have three daughters, and they are all five years apart in age. 3 I was born in San Luis Obispo, but moved to Oklahoma at three months old. Now you understand the accent. 4 I graduated from a very small high school. There were 65 in the entire school, and 13 in my graduating class. But I loved every minute of it. 5 I love my iPad! It has opened up a whole new world to me. I am fascinated with Google Earth, taking pictures and Ustream. I can watch my grandson play baseball live for the Cal State Fullerton Titans, and I find Djuma Waterhole Cam so interesting. 6 Favorite restaurant: Sorella Italian Ristorante. I order the chicken marsala — yum! 7 Best concert ever: Celine Dion in Vegas. Most concerts are not as good as the artist’s recordings, but hers was so good. The stage settings and her sharing with the audience made it so memorable. 8 Favorite getaway spot is Hume Lake. I love to take a picnic lunch and sit by the lake, read a book, enjoy the quiet and fish if the fish are biting. Otherwise, I read and relax. 9 I enjoy small group Bible studies. 10 My favorite movie is “Dances With Wolves.” I’m a big history buff. I love movies that bring periods of history to life. 11 I have a chocolate Lab, and her name is Rylee. 12 I have five grandchildren and one greatgrandson. One is entering nursing school in the spring, one is getting married in the summer, one plays shortstop for the Fullerton Titans, one really enjoys motocross dirt biking, and one is an awesome soccer player for the Bakersfield Roadrunners club soccer team. 13 I love Splash Café in Pismo. I always need my clam chowder bowl. It is just my go-to place when I can be at the beach. 14 My biggest pet peeve is the postcard-size advertisements between the pages of maga-


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

So three years later, a position opened up and the Rodgers officially became Bakersfield residents. In 1987, they opened Bobbi’s Hallmark with friends, Bob and Bobbi Williams (thus the name “Bobbi’s”). After a few years, the Williams decided to retire, and the Rodgers became sole owners of the gift store. “I love the diversity of the business,” Carol, 68, said. “It’s exciting to shop the markets for the perfect home decor or wonderful gifts.”

zines. I rip them out before I can enjoy the magazine. 15 My favorite singing groups are Selah and Casting Crowns. 16 I love to spend time at home cleaning out closets, cooking some comfort food for dinner, and just enjoying my surroundings for the day. 17 After 14 years of marriage, our youngest daughter and her husband are expecting their first child in May. 18 I enjoy spontaneous road trips. We have made a couple of car trips to Chicago and back, and of course, trips to Oklahoma to visit family and friends. I love traveling with no agenda in mind, just enjoying the scenery and stopping when we want to. 19 I love teenagers. I love talking to them and getting their perspectives on life. 20 My favorite drink is Diet Dr Pepper. 21 I’m afraid of heights and have a hard time visiting the Grand Canyon. 22 I love reading business trade magazines. 23 I enjoy Sunday mornings at church and taking an afternoon nap. 24 One of my granddaughters is getting married in June. Lots of planning to do! 25 My most treasured relationships are with God and my family.


Compiled by Hillary Haenes

Up Front


Snow dusting A winter storm gave the mountains â&#x20AC;&#x201D; along Bear Mountain Boulevard, State Route 223 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a fresh dusting of snow on Jan. 10.

Photo by Megan Anderson


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013


Up Front


Heidi Gray Camera Compiled by Hillary Haenes Photos by Felix Adamo



eidi Gray has been selling homes since 2003. Being a Realtor and broker associate at Miramar International Inc. means having a career where sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constantly on the go and using her cellphone. Gray, 33, uses her Facebook account on a daily basis for both business and personal matters. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gotten several leads off of Facebook to help people buy and sell homes. Usually, Gray said, she will have four to eight different texting conversations going at any given moment. She has several apps on her iPhone she uses while out on the job and at home for her kids, who use apps for their math and science homework.

This is used to keep track of my mileage, lunches and dinners, or other categories I need for business purposes. When I leave my house, I enter the beginning mileage and then when I get home, I enter my ending mileage for the day. It then totals how much of a deduction I will get for that particular trip on my taxes. It separates the logs by my clients. If I am out showing houses and we stop for lunch, I can add that expense in this app under a specific client and can take a picture of the receipt.

Mortgage Calculator This app is used to help give my clients a rough idea of what their mortgage payment could be at different price ranges.

Shazam I use this app weekly to find out what song is playing on the radio or to find lyrics to songs.

Flixster I use this to look up what movies are playing at what times at different locations in Bakersfield and what the reviews and ratings are.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

I use the camera on my phone when I am at a listing appointment, or if I am out showing houses, and there is an issue with something at the property. I can take a picture and send it to the listing agent, so they can see exactly what is wrong. I also use the camera for personal use, including for vacations and birthday parties.

LogMeIn This remote access and remote desktop software is used if I go out of town, or I am out showing homes and need to access my home computer.

Maps This helps me to get to different locations throughout the day.

Favorite Deli! BAKERSFIELDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S


Bakersfield women 184,906 total women

55 percent of women are married

48 percent of total Bakersfield adults

53 percent have children in their

are women


13 percent are ages 18 to 24 20 percent are 25 to 35 years old

Bakersfield womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top activities

19 percent are 35 to 44 years old

46 percent gardening

19 percent are 45 to 54 years old

27 percent jogging, running

15 percent are 55 to 64 years old

26 percent swimming

15 percent are 65 and older

25 percent photography

35 percent have had some college

25 percent volunteer work


15 percent adult continuing education

15 percent are college graduates 27 percent work full time 22 percent are homemakers, or not

Source: Scarborough Research, September 2012, Base: Bakersfield Adults


15 percent are business professionals or in management

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Up Front


Paul Cartwright By Jeneal Wood



chool performances, music camps and the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra were all part of Paul Cartwright’s childhood. Playing music is what he’s done for years, and it’s what got him to where he is today — performing for television shows and video games that are watched and played by millions around the world. In fact, Cartwright picked up his first instrument when he was just 3 years old, thanks in part to his father who owned a music store and was a well-known guitar player here. He started taking lessons in violin at age 6, and by his junior year in high school he was in the Bakersfield Sym-

Bakersfield native Paul Cartwright has performed music for television shows and video games that are watched and played by millions around the world. 26

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

phony. “I was surrounded by music all the time, and so naturally I was drawn to it,” said Cartwright, 31. Cartwright attended Cal State Northridge on music scholarships, and it was there where he discovered jazz, and developed his skills in other instruments. Besides violin, his instrument repertoire includes acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, trombone, electric bass, viola, drums and piano. After college, he joined a band with his uncle. That is where he met people who helped begin his career. You’ve heard his music on several shows including “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead,” “Hell on Wheels” and “Battlestar Galactica.” For gamers, you’ve heard his instrumentals on “Assassin’s Creed” and “Call of Duty 4.” He has also appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late show with band Father John Misty, and as an opening act on guitarist Brian Setzer’s Christmas extravaganza. But of all of those glamorous gigs, Cartwright said his favorite was when he played at the Hollywood Bowl, because he had never played there before, and best of all, his mom was in attendance. His mother and sister still live in Bakersfield, and he tries to visit every month, or every other month. That’s not as often as he would like, he said, but it’s as often as he can. Cartwright also comes to town to play at shows with his friends. He plays with The Abbey Roadies, a Beatles tribute band that frequents Sandrini’s and other local venues. Cartwright said he enjoys playing classical music, but he really loves to play jazz. “It’s hip and relevant to my age group,” he said. Cartwright more recently toured with the pop burlesque troupe Totsy for a special holiday tour. Totsy cofounder and longtime colleague Brett Boyett, recently told The Bakersfield Californian that Cartwright’s musical ability was “phenomenal.” “I think people are blown away when they see him playing five instruments, and all of them extremely well,” Boyett said. “He’s a bit of a freak of nature. You don’t always come across a person with that kind of talent too often.” Now, Cartwright said he is looking forward to what the new year brings. He married his wife, Sara, on Sept. 22 last year, and they are planning to move to El Sereno, Calif. As far as his career goes, Cartwright said he was “most psyched about getting more involved on the creative side.” He’s working on music for an independent film, as well as working with other musicians, including a duet with a cellist, and plans to host a concert sometime in March — details are still being figured out. And Cartwright wants to create his own solo album. “This year I am hoping to do something of my own,” he said. “I have some really great friends that think I should make my own record. I need to do my own thing.” — Do you know someone from Bakersfield who is finding fame, or is representing Bakersfield while in the spotlight? Please let us know. Email us at with the subject line: Finding Fame. Please include contact information if possible.

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Up Front

Find more community events at or submit yours via email:

Happenings: Can’t-miss events in February 8522 or 589-2478.

Fri. 1 First Friday featuring live music,

Thur. 14 Harlem Globetrotters, 7 p.m.,

art openings, specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, and artists will set up their artwork, 5 to 9 p.m., Downtown Arts District. Email or Guild House First Friday, music by Ken Fahsbender and Larry Peal, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Guild House, 1905 18th St. $10, includes light appetizers, dessert, one glass of wine. 325-5478.

Sat. 2 Clint Black, 8 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $39.59-$59.50 plus fee. or 322-5200. CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. Utah Valley, 7 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $5-$50. or 654BLUE.

Fifth annual Sterling Silver Dinner, gourmet six-course meal designed by William BloxsomCarter, executive chef at the Playboy Mansion West in Los Angeles, 6:30 p.m., Bakersfield College, in the John Collins Campus Center, 1801 Panorama Drive. $175 per person. 395-4850.

Mon. 4 Styx, 8 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $39 to $65 plus fee. or 322-5200.

Wed. 6 CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. Wyoming, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $5-$50. or 654-BLUE.

Fri. 8 FLICS International Cinema Society presents “Sidewalls,” 7:30 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $5. or call 428-0354. Intocable, 8 p.m., Eagle Mountain Casino, 681 S. Tule Reservation Road, Porterville. $25 general; $35 reserved. Tickets online at or 559-7886220.

Sat. 9 “A Life of Love” Valentine’s Book Signing, and art exhibit with artist and author Aliza McCracken, 1 to 3 p.m., Russo’s, 9000 Ming Ave. A portion of all proceeds benefits local educational programs. 665-4686.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $21-$103 plus fee. or 800-745-3000.

Fri. 15 Bill Cosby, 7:30 p.m., Fox TheAliza McCracken “Willy Wonka,” 2 p.m., Bakersfield High School, in Harvey Auditorium, 1241 G St. $20 adults; $10 children 12 & under. 325-6100.

Art Laboe Freestyle Explosion, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $36.80 to $48.50. or 800745-3000.

Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra presents “Verdi & Wagner: 200th Birthday Celebration,” 8 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $34 to $50; fulltime students half price. or 323-7928.

CSUB Athletics Casino Night and Auction, 6 to 10 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $35 pre-sale; $40 at the door. Must be 21 to attend. Proceeds benefit the CSUB studentathlete scholarship fund. or 654-3473. Sylvia Browne, 8 p.m., Eagle Mountain Casino, 681 S. Tule Reservation Road, Porterville. $25 general; $35 reserved. Visit or 559-7886220.

ater, 2001 H St. $44-84 plus fee. or 322-5200. Furry Paws & Foggy Nights, fine dining, music, live and silent auctions, 6 to 10 p.m., The Petroleum Club, 5060 California Ave. $100; $750 table of 8. 323-8353 ext. 2. Whiskey Flat Days, Wild West encampment, carnival rides, frog jumping contest, food and crafts booths, gold panning, music, games, noon to sundown Friday; 9 a.m. to sundown Saturday; 9 a.m. to sundown Sunday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Kernville. Free. 760376-2629.

Sat. 16 Color Me Rad 5K, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S P St. $50 by Feb. 13. Visit races/bakersfield.html or 833-4917.

to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. $7; $4 seniors (4 to 7 p.m. Friday only); 12 and under free. or 800-655-0655.

Sat. 23 CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. Pacifica College, 7 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $5-$50. or 654-BLUE.

Jeanette Rogers-Erickson Heart Walk 2013, registration 7 to 8:30 a.m., walk 9 a.m., Kern Valley Hospital Foundation, 3340 Erskine Creek Road, Lake Isabella. $10 includes lunch. 978-8712.

Jr. Roller Derby Scrimmage Fundraiser, carnival games, food, live band, prizes, scrimmage 10 a.m. to noon, carnival noon to 4 p.m., Rollerama, 1004 34th St. $5; 50 cents each for carnival tickets. Search Facebook Jr. Skaters for Life. Kids Free Day, CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. 872-2256. Reckless Kelly, 7 p.m., Buck Owens Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $13.50 to $19.50. or call 322-5200.

Seventh annual CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner, 6 to 9 p.m., The Petroleum Club, 5060 California Ave. $100; $700 per table.

Wed. 20 CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. South Dakota State, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $5-$50. or 654BLUE.

Sun. 10 Thur. 21 OLPH’s Mardi Gras FundraisFree admission day, 10 a.m. to

er, games, booths, entertainment, snacks, food, noon to 6 p.m., Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S P St., Building No. 3. Barbecue steak or chicken dinner will be served from 2:30 to 5 p.m., $17 adults; $7 children 10 and under. 323-3108 or 872-1543.

Society presents “Shun Li and

Mon. 11 Tom Rigney & Flambeau pre-

the Poet,” 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $5. or call 428-0354.

sented by Bakersfield Community Concert Association, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $60 for four remaining concerts. or 205-

February 2013

4 p.m., Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, 2018 Chester Ave. 324-6350.

Fri. 22 FLICS International Cinema

Fri. 22-Sun. 24 27th annual Bakersfield Home and Garden Show, noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.

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It Manners a Lot By Lisa Kimble

Let’s turn off the lights on pajama parties


xactly when we began to lower the standards of what is acceptable to wear in public, including nightclothes, is unclear. Perhaps it was sometime between the 1980s, when Madonna popularized undergarments, and today’s prevalent look of oversized trousers belted around the thighs. The fad of donning pajamas for everyday wear isn’t new. Eccentric Howard Hughes, John Lennon and Yoko Ono glamorized the look years ago, and silky haute couture versions by big fashion houses, like Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo, are still coveted by the fashion elite. Unlike those fabulous designer duds, you aren’t likely to find a flannel set on the pages of Italian Vogue. Yet, these days one can’t grab a quart of milk, gas up the car or drop kids off at school without encountering someone in flannel pajama bottoms, often accessorized with dirty and worn fuzzy bedroom slippers. I missed the memo on this. But if a quick scan of Wal-Mart shoppers is any barometer, apparently pajama bottoms have become the new track suit! If it is the “just-rolled-out-of-bed” look people are after, they are missing their mark. The pajama party look reeks of plain laziness, and screams “I don’t care — about you, me or anyone around me.” This latest sad commentary on our society has reached the point in some parts of the country where, as in Louisiana, there is a movement to enact an anti-pajama ordinance. Shreveport Caddo Parish commissioner Michael Williams

has suggested enforcing such a code after encountering a group of young men at a Wal-Mart wearing their PJs in 2011. According to Williams, one of the men’s private parts was exposed as the result of the lounge wear. To its credit, Shreveport is on a roll. The city already has a no-saggy pants law. Williams told the Wall Street Journal last year, “the moral fiber in America is dwindling away. What is it going to be tomorrow? Walking around in your underwear?” (memo to Williams: Madonna already took care of that). Besides, any remaining singed fibers of morality can be found on the set of the MTV show, “Jersey Shore.” Several years ago, the principal of St. Matthew’s Primary School in Belfast, Ireland scolded parents in a scathing letter for picking up their children in sleepwear and slippers, calling it “slovenly and rude.” It came on the heels of a decision by a supermarket in Wales to prevent customers from shopping in their nightwear. According to London’s Daily Mail, the reasoning behind the ban, as noted on signs posted at the store’s entrance, was “to avoid causing embarrassment to others.” If only those signs had been posted at the Shreveport WalMart. Maybe it is high time the matter is taken up locally. According to a 1929 New York Times article, under the headline “Court Sanctions Pajamas in Street,” pajama-lovers are no strangers to persecution. A New Jersey barber named Samuel Nelson had made a bet that he could walk from Newark to Irvington in pajamas without being arrested. Of course, he was wrong. He was arrested and jailed before a judge freed Nelson, stating the arrest was “both asinine and stupid.” He admonished the arresting officer: “Neither you nor I are censors of modern fashion here,” he said. We are a long way from New Jersey and the colorful Roaring 20s. But I, for one, will be keeping a keen eye on Commissioner Williams’ idea. Making a U-turn on the freedom of expression highway to drive down the road of censorship of any kind is a bad move. But I say it’s time to turn the lights out on this ridiculous pajama party that has young and old parading around in public in their sleepwear. After all, it really does “manner a lot!” — Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to me at itmannersalot or visit

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

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Take your relationship with plastic seriously


lastic is everywhere. It has made hospitals cleaner and cars lighter. It holds tons of strawberry yogurt and “fresh scent” laundry detergent. It encases untold amounts of vital information inside of cellphones and computers. Our children chew on it, play in it and float upon it. Plastic has entwined itself into our modern world. It is a part of us. And yet, with all of this progress and convenience, there is one small problem. This substance is going to be around for a long, long time. When plastic breaks down, it does not biodegrade. It photodegrades. This means it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. Plastic’s petro-polymers are so small, they can easily float in our water, and become part of our soil. Plastic has simultaneously made our world safer and more dangerous. It is the perfect metaphor for the modern world. Last year, Americans used about 100 billion plastic bags. About 12 percent of those were recycled. So what becomes of the 88 billion bags that don’t make their way to the recycling plant? Some are sealed in landfills, blooming like stalagmites in an underground Tartarus of trash. They float on the breeze, dangle on power lines, and stack up against buildings like modern day tumbleweeds. They go on a holiday at the beach and end up bobbing peacefully in the ocean, impersonating jellyfish, becoming toys for dolphins. And eventually they break into bite-sized pieces, 32

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February 2013

wiggling their way into our food chain. Animals eat the plastic, we eat the animals, and the magical chemicals that become plastic become a part of us. As a citizen of the modern world, I benefit from thousands of advances in science and chemistry. At the same time, I am threatened by thousands of chemicals and pollutants. In this modern conundrum, what is a concerned citizen to do? One small thing I do is take my plastic use seriously. I consider each container with the knowledge that it’s never going away. Whenever possible, I skip individual-sized products and go for bulk. I avoid buying bottled water as much as possible. I recycle as much as possible. And I do not use plastic shopping bags. As numerous as they are, plastic bags are a small piece of the environmental picture, but they are an incredibly easy thing to get rid of. I have a collection of reusable bags that I keep in the back of my car. Every trip to the grocery store, I use my own bags instead of plastic. I have found that this makes unloading the car much easier as a typical trip results in four reusable bags, instead of 15 plastic bags. Also, many stores offer a fivecent credit for every bag you bring. In my purse, I carry a reusable bag that rolls up to the size of a large pack of gum. This works well for when I am running small errands that don’t merit my giant grocery bags. Even so, my pantry is somehow full of plastic bags. My newspaper arrives every morning encased in plastic, and my husband’s dry cleaning is always accompanied by a clear billowing sheet. Add to this the produce bags, the plastic that encases toilet paper, bread bags and air pillows that protect items during shipping. These grow in my pantry into soft plastic clouds until I remember to drop them off for recycling at the grocery store. Taking plastic use seriously is a small thing. I have no illusions that it will change the course of the world. But life is a collection of small things. And sometimes, once in a while, a small thing matters. — To read more, visit or follow Kelly on Twitter @kellydamian2.

Dining Divas

Pappy’s Down South BBQ New group of Dining Divas explore Southern-style barbecue Photos by Greg Nichols


e think it’s the best barbecue in Bakersfield! Welcome to Pappy’s Down South BBQ, which opened in 2007. After years of working on their recipes, Chris and Brittney Papion wanted to share their passion for real, slowcooked barbecue. So the married couple decided to venture from catering and open Pappy’s restaurant. “We cook for love, not for money,” Chris said. Using quality ingredients, Brittney takes pride in cooking from scratch. Every day, Old Faithful (their barbecue smoker) is put to work using charcoal, oak and hickory wood to bring slowly cooked barbecue to their customers. In the back corner of the restaurant sits a first-place trophy for their brisket from the 2012 Biggest, Baddest BBQ contest. Not only is the food cooked Southern-style, but Chris and Brittney’s friendly hospitality and generosity made us feel like we had walked into a small family restaurant in Louisiana. From the welcome greeting and excellent service, to the excitement of sharing their experiences and treating us like Divas, this was good ol’ Southern hospitality at its finest! (Note: Divas Mai Giffard and Stephanie Pickering were unable to attend Pappy’s. Look for them at the Divas’ second trip.)

Pappytizers Andrea: We looked at the variety of food offered on the menu, and it was difficult to narrow it down because we couldn’t consume everything. We started with the pulled pork nachos — a heaping mound of crisp, homemade tortilla chips piled high with tender pulled-pork, gooey nacho cheese, and topped with guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo that was drizzled with homemade barbecue sauce. The chips stayed crisp and light under all of the barbecue sauce, while the pulled pork 34

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February 2013

Pappy’s Burger

Pappy’s Down South BBQ Location: 4725 Panama Lane, Suite D13 Phone: 735-3984 Website: Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; live music on Thursday’s at 6:30 p.m. Catering is available for any event.

Video From left: Marlene Morales, Chris Papion, Andrea Ames, Brittney Papion and Denise Ornelas. Chris and Brittney are the owners of Pappy’s “Down South” BBQ.

gave the nachos a unique sweet and smokey kick. Denise: Then came a Louisiana favorite — the red beans and rice. It was the perfect combination of white rice smothered with red beans, spices, smoked pulled pork and Andouille Cajun sausage that kept us wanting more. Marlene: The deep-fried pickles were coated in a seasoned breading and fried to perfection. The crispy, golden fried spears were crunchy, warm, juicy and perfect for dipping into a homemade mustard sauce. Yum, yum, good!

Southern specialties Andrea: Next up, we tried the house specialty — barbecue spaghetti! This was something I had never even heard of. Aldente spaghetti was served with pulled pork and barbecue sauce, which gave it a sweet and savory flavor. Very unique to Bakersfield, indeed! Denise: The Pappy’s burger is their signature. You can’t believe how tall this burger is: thick burger topped with cheese, bacon, pulled pork, barbecue sauce and coleslaw all layered between grilled buns. We had to cut into it with a knife and fork. This burger has great flavors and textures. It was tender, and the chewy bacon and savory pork gave it a smokey flavor, while the coleslaw added some crunch and sweetness. On each table there are four choices of homemade barbecue sauces: regular, sweet, hot and Carolinastyle. The regular sauce was really good with the burger.

Hungry for more, or want to know a little more about these Dining Divas? Check out the video of the Dining Divas’ visit to Pappy’s Down South BBQ on

teams hope to smoke rivals”) when he submitted it for the barbecue contest. The steak was served with the best baked potato I have ever eaten — perfectly baked with a smokey flavor, stuffed with pulled pork and topped with cheese and sour cream. You won’t find any bacon bits served here! Andrea: Dad, you’ve got some competition! These ribs were served with homemade macaroni and cheese, fried okra and cornbread. The meat was thick, but so tender that it just fell off the bone. The sweet and savory barbecue sauce was flavorful, but not overpowering. Yes, extra napkins were a must! The macaroni and cheese was hearty, and baked with a good consistency along with the right combination of Southern spices, which made it very comforting! The fried okra was crispy and delicious to dip into ranch. Denise: Golden crisp fried chicken was served with a side of sweet potato fries and homemade maple butter for the dipping sauce, a side of collard

Chicken Fried

Continued on page 36

Marlene: Rib-eye. Did I say rib-eye? I generally do not eat steak; however, I would eat this steak all day, every day! An amazing marinated, tender, cut of meat with a burst of wonderful flavors. Chris said you can find his recipe for the marinade online at The Bakersfield Californian’s website (“Kern County's


the grilled garlic sourdough bread and cornbread that is served with all the barbecue combos. Both are outstanding, but if I had to choose one, I would select the grilled garlic bread. Yummy!

Dessert Andrea: Marlene and I were not shy about asking for the homemade peach cobbler. It was the best crust I have ever had. Not your traditional, thick biscuit-style crust. This was light, flaky and thin. It complemented the peaches and you could taste the nutmeg and cinnamon. The cobbler was topped with creamy vanilla ice cream, and it was hard for us to put our spoons down. It was quite the Southern treat.

Peach cobbler

Conclusion Continued from page 35 greens and grilled garlic bread. The chicken was excellent! Crispy and crunchy on the outside with the meat tender, moist and cooked to perfection. The collard greens were seasoned with just enough smokey pork, which gave them a little kick. The Divas all agreed that the sweet potato fries dipped in maple butter were a must-order. Marlene: Being the “carb Diva” that I am, I had to rate

From the moment we walked in, Chris and Brittney’s Southern hospitality greeting and homemade Southern comfort food made us feel like we were at a family barbecue. There was a kot of love that was put into the preparation of the food. It’s sinful to eat this mouth-watering, delicious, finger-lickin’ barbecue. However, they do have a lighter side menu with salads and grilled entrees that sound tasteful, too! We all plan on returning Pappy’s to share our memorable experience with family and friends.

Entertaining, meeting, working or just relaxing ...with impeccable style.


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February 2013


Meet the 2013 Dining Divas MAGAZINE Andrea Ames juggles a busy schedule with two children, Emily and Colin. She teaches first grade at Old River Elementary, and is happily married to Sam Ames. Sam keeps this family busy with several bicycling events throughout the year. Living in the northeast provides quick access to the hills and bike path for jogging, and being outdoors together. Bakersfield has an outstanding tennis community for adults. Andrea’s competitive USTA team has played together for five years and has traveled throughout Southern California, including Indian Wells for championship matches. The Ames family loves traveling and, of course, eating out with their good friends at local restaurants. Marlene Morales is the director of marketing, public relations and business development for Chain Cohn Stiles Law firm. She is committed to serving the community of Kern County, and is involved in many nonprofit organizations. Marlene is a native of Bakersfield, and is a graduate of Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield. Marlene is a tomboy at heart. She enjoys playing golf, watching and attending sporting events, betting the ponies and jogging. She lives by the motto, “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift!” Denise Ornelas is the marketing director at La Bonita Tortilla Co., a 50-year-old, familyowned local business led by her husband, Albert. In addition, Denise owns Allure Beauty Salon, and is the 2013 chairwoman of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Com-

Original Divas

merce. Denise and Albert are proud parents to Gabriel, 15, and Jessica, 14. Denise’s hobbies include deaf education, Driller football, and of course, taking the family on new restaurant adventures. She jokes that her son is on a mission to travel the world to explore every restaurant he sees on the Food Network. Mai Giffard, pastry chef and co-owner of De Coeur Bake Shop, is a graduate of The Art Institute of California-Orange County, trained in classic French cuisine. She’s worked at Roy’s, SusieCakes and staged at Chez Panisse. She moved to Bakersfield in 2010, in support of her husband Jason’s career, and has most recently worked at the Padre Hotel. She grew up eating Vietnamese and French food at home, and loves to cook for friends and family. Stephanie Brooks Pickering is a native of Palm Springs, but moved to Bakersfield in March 2010. She is principal and owner of Mention Communications, a boutique communications collective based in Bakersfield. Stephanie is a graduate of The Thatcher School in Ojai, and holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in public communications/public relations from American University. Stephanie’s career includes more than 17 years of experience in marketing, communications, public relations and special events, including work for Fortune 500 companies in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as health-related philanthropic institutions in Chicago and California. She is a member of the Junior League of Bakersfield, and in 2012, she was appointed to the Kern County Board of Trade and Film Commission. Stephanie is married to Jeff Pickering, and has two active children, Colin and Olivia.


 Bakersfield Life needs your help to recognize local up-and-coming superstars under the age of 40 to highlight for a special future edition. Do you know someone who is: • Committed to professional excellence or is a champion in our community? • A successful up-and-coming leader? • Making a difference in his or her career or school?

Second Divas group

Stay tuned for the next issue for further details or “Like” our Facbook page to stay updated. Third Divas group

Fourth Divas group


Food and Wine

Wine and dine your Valentine Five local restaurants revved-up for romance By Kevin McCloskey



or those looking to celebrate Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day with a quiet and romantic dinner for two, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve assembled a short list of local restaurants that can create a memorable night for you and your sweetheart. Choose to spoil your loved one with an Italian, steak or seafood fare as well as many different decadent desserts from these classy restaurants. Since this is such a busy evening for most restaurants, be sure to call a couple of days in advance for reservations or any special arrangements.

Filet mignon and lobster from Cafe Med 38

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February 2013


Salmon with artichoke from Mama Tosca's

Café Med A visit to Café Med for Valentine’s Day is almost a nobrainer. With their elegant menu, excellent and extensive wine list, and live entertainment, you are sure to leave wellfed, well-served and very satisfied. Visitors on Feb. 14 will be presented with a paired down menu of Café Med favorites, along with two specials: filet mignon and prawns ($54.95) or filet mignon and lobster ($79.95). To satisfy your chocolate cravings, be sure to try the hot lava cake, or their most popular decadent crème delight, a flourless chocolate cake topped with crème brulée and covered in chocolate. Chocolate-dipped strawberries are also available, but be sure to order them when making your reservation. “If you are going to splurge on a big dinner, Valentine’s is the day to do it,” manager Stacey Howard said. And if you are struggling to find a babysitter or want to have a truly intimate dinner at home, Café Med is offering its specials with all of the side dishes to go. — 4809 Stockdale Highway; 834-4433;

Mama Tosca’s Ristorante Italiano No one will take care of you like the family and staff at Mama Tosca’s. They understand and appreciate the sacrifice you make when you choose to go out for a nice meal, and nowhere is that appreciation more evident than in the service you receive, and the care they put in each and every meal. Doubly so on a night like Valentine’s. With a select menu for the evening, you will be sure to find one of your favorites such as the lobster cognac, osso bucco, or the salmon with artichoke hearts, pan-sautéed in olive oil and garlic, with fresh tomato, artichoke hearts, white wine and capers, finished off in the oven. Other recommendations include the rack of lamb, scampi Mama Tosca and a February favorite, chateaubriand for two. Mama Tosca’s selection of fine desserts is always tempting, and as the saying should go, “There’s always room for zabaglione,” which is owner Luigi Reinzo’s fabulous version of the traditional Italian custard. “Valentine’s Day is a very special day for couples, and

Continued on page 40


Continued from page 39

Sorella Italian Ristorante

to spend with your loved ones,” Reinzo said. “And focusing on customer service and quality food is always our top priority.” — 9000 Ming Ave., Suites K2-K3; 831-1242;

Regulars at Sorella’s are well-acquainted with their homemade pasta dishes, such as the manicotti or lobster ravioli with a quattro formaggio sauce, and its hand-cut steaks, — two features that are becoming increasingly rare in restaurants today. Make your reservations for Valentine’s Day, and you may be tempted to stray from your favorites for one of its steak and seafood specials. Choose between an 18-ounce rib-eye steak, porterhouse or New York steak with a side of shrimp scampi on fettuccini or sautéed scallops over angel hair pasta, with sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Other specials include walnut-stuffed salmon and an Italian baked lamb shank (with potatoes, carrots, bell pepper and onions). Pair the salmon with the Placido pinot grigio ($20), while the lamb deserves a velvety Chianti like the Ruffino Chianti Classico ($25). In-house desserts like the tiramisu and the chocolate cannoli may entice you to suspend any resolutions from the New Year for just one night. Sorella’s own singing waiter, Mark Downing, will be performing Frank Sinatra hits to elevate the romantic mood, and as owner Annunziata Cristallo succinctly puts it: “There is nothing more romantic than Italian food for Valentine’s Day, and that’s amore!” — 7800 McNair Lane; 396-8603;


T.L. Maxwell’s Restaurant and Bar

Steak and scampi from Sorella Italian Ristorante


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

In addition to its fantastic regular menu, T.L. Maxwell’s will have four “red” specials for Valentine’s Day, including, a one-pound lobster tail and red Russian scampi, sautéed shrimp, flambéed with vodka and served with a spicy, house marinara over a bed of linguini. This scampi dish pairs very well with its Napa Valley Duckhorn sauvignon blanc, or the Carpe Diem pinot noir. Known for its homemade desserts, be sure to try the Malva pudding (also known as Terry’s South African sponge cake) and Paula’s turtle. Based on the popular turtle candies, owner Terry Maxwell starts with roasted pecans, caramel and graham crackers for the crust. Next comes a layer of pure vanilla butter cream, followed by a layer of roasted pecans and caramel. It’s topped with a dark chocolate grenache. This delight will satisfy any sweet tooth. “We do not overbook for Valentine’s Day,” Maxwell said. “And we leave two tables open for transitioning patrons. We take reservations seriously, and our customer’s experience is much more important than squeezing in an extra seating or two.” — 1421 17th Place; 323-6889

Continued on page 42


Red Russian scampi at T.L. Maxwell’s

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Each lady dining at the Belvedere Room on Valentine’s Day will be presented with a rose.


Belvedere Room at The Padre Hotel Fine dining with impeccable service is an important component to your Valentine evening, and the Belvedere Room at The Padre Hotel has it covered. The traditional menu will be offered for the evening, which is just fine, as it has everything needed for your special night out. Seared scallops, poached Maine lobster, and the pacific wild salmon will satisfy your seafood desires, while their custom “off the grill” selections will allow you to pull together your perfect steak dinner. Choose your cut (tenderloin, rib-eye, New York, chicken or lobster), select a rub (like truffle butter or tri-peppercorn), add a sauce (bourbon demi, cider jus), and pick your two favorite side dishes. Guests for the evening will each be presented with a glass of champagne, along with a rose for every lady at the table. Top your meal off with their delicious chocolate spice cake or the sorbet taster if your entree got the better of you. Reservations can be made by phone, online through (the link is also available on, or with the Open Table app for your Android or iPhone. — 1702 18th St.; 427-4900;

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February 2013

‘Menopause The Musical’ Hot flashes, mood swings a comedic focus for critically-acclaimed production heading to Fox Theater

By Breanna Fields


hen “Menopause The Musical” hit the stage for the first time as a small production based out of a beauty shop in Orlando, no one could have foretold the success that writer and producer Jeanie Linders would soon encounter. While menopause has been deemed an unwelcomed occurrence for many middle-aged women, Linders envisioned a musical performance that would highlight what were previously considered unspoken topics. From hot flashes to mood swings, this critically-acclaimed stage production has provided some common ground for women in more than 15 countries during the last 10 years. On March 1 and 2, “Menopause The Musical” will make its way to Bakersfield’s Fox Theater for a night filled with comedy and tasteful humor. Set in Bloomingdale’s, the show features a cast that 44

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

“Menopause The Musical” is coming to the Fox Theater on Mar. 1 and 2.



appears throughout the play named after specific characteristics or stereotypes. There’s the Iowa housewife, professional woman, Earth mother and the aging soap star. The songs featured in this musical are parodies of classic hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Director Seth Greenleaf was enlisted to work on the production as it expanded, and he, too, witnessed the enthusiastic response from the crowd. “People reacted so strongly to it,” Greenleaf said. “It went everywhere ... there were women who needed to see it.” Greenleaf first began working alongside Linders in 2004. He gained an understanding and appreciation of women who endure “the change,” he said. “It was only 10 years ago that menopause was an unspoken topic — even confusing to people,” Greenleaf said. “‘Menopause The Musical’ gave women a channel to express their experience, their hope and their strength.” Greenleaf is also the artistic director and partner of GFour Productions, a growing production and manage-

Coming Soon to... ment company that has won more than 30 Tony Awards for its various productions, including “The Rink,” starring Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli, “Grand Hotel,” “Big,” “Catskills On Broadway” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now ‘Menopause The Change.” Musical’ The addition of “Menopause The MusiShowtimes: 8 p.m. March 1; 2 cal” was followed by p.m. March 1; and 8 p.m. March 2 “Motherhood The Musical,” a comedic stage Cost: $45 to $115 for “Premiproduction that delves um VIP” into the challenges and Tickets, information: rewards of motherhood. Celebrating the phases of Win a pair of tickets: Email us womanhood can be a your funniest menopause rewarding experience, story. Send it to with the especially when shared subject line: Menopause. Winwith other women. ner will be chosen at random. “It’s a symbol of a new phase of life that allows them to bring focus back to themselves,” Greenleaf said. “They start asking questions: ‘What else do I want to accomplish outside of parenthood?’” It is questions like these that spark an interest in the minds of many women and encourage new faces to join the ranks among the “Menopause The Musical” sisterhood.

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Troy Weatherford Louisiana native cooks up Cajun, Creole cuisine

Foodie Troy Weatherford specializes in Cajun and Creole food. Here he holds blackened catfish and dirty rice. 46

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Chicken and sausage gumbo 1 to 3 pounds of skinless chicken thighs. They have the most flavor. 1 pound smoked sausage 1 cup oil and 1-1/2 cups of flour if you know how to make a roux from scratch. If not, skip the oil and flour and use dry instant roux mix available at grocery stores. 2 cups diced onions. 2 cups diced celery 1 cup diced bell peppers You can also use blends from the frozen section for the diced veggies, onions, celery and bell peppers. It cuts off some of the prep time. 1/4-cup minced garlic. You can substitute garlic powder, and only season to taste. 3 quarts chicken stock, or three 32-ounce boxes or cans. 2 cups sliced green onions 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon chopped basil Salt and cracked black pepper to taste Louisiana Hot Sauce or Crystal Hot Sauce (not Tabasco) to taste 1/2-cup chopped parsley Steamed white rice Directions: Cut chicken thighs into quarters and leave a few in halves. Cut smoked sausage into 1/2-inch slices and set aside. In a 2-gallon or that black iron pot you have, heat a small amount of oil over medium-high heat. Brown your chicken and sausage. You want the chicken and sausage to stick to the pot some. Once it is brown, add in your seasonings blend and begin to saute your veggies. Saute for 5 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are wilted. You may need to adjust heat to medium to not burn the veggies. Once they are nice and clear, and very soft, add chicken stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Add the instant roux to thicken as you desire. I like my gumbo more watery than thick. I only use roux to color up the sauce, and it has some seasoning to it. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to simmer and cook approximately one hour. Skim any fat or oil that rises to surface. Stir in mushrooms, green onions, bay leaf and basil. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook an additional one to two hours if necessary, until chicken is tender and falling apart. Stir in parsley and adjust seasonings. Serve over steamed white rice.

Weatherford cooks shrimp that will be poured over blackened catfish and dirty rice.

Weatherford blackens the catfish filets.

By Bakersfield Life Magazine

Phots by Jessica Frey


roy Weatherford is crazy about Cajun and Creole cuisine. After all, he is originally from Louisiana. The 44-year-old now lives in Bakersfield and works as an electrical construction consultant for a local oil company. When he’s not working, he’s cooking up some gumbo, jambalaya, and other Cajun and Creole specialities. “I grew up in Louisiana where we love to cook and have really large outdoor cooking gatherings,” he said about the famous crawfish, crab and shrimp boils. “It bonds family and friends.” He shared with Bakersfield Life a little more about his passion for food.

Cooking advice When I developed an interest in cooking: At a young age, but really in my late teens when you begin to understand the ingredients in those wonderful Cajun dishes. My first experience in the kitchen: My dad teaching me how to make a roux at age 12. He was cooking for some rig workers, and I wanted to know why he was stirring the pot so long. My disastrous kitchen story: When I was 20 years old, I

learned about glassware. I cooked a pot roast — it was so tender, and the roux was perfect. I decided to heat it up, so I placed it in a glass-serving dish and placed that on the electric stove. After a few minutes, it exploded and glass went everywhere. We had to order pizza that night. Everything goes better with: Wine. I always mess up: Deep-fried chicken. I have to pan fry it. I rock at making: Pork, chicken and sausage jambalaya, shrimp Creole and seafood gumbo. One of my cooking secrets: When you cook in a black iron pot or skillet, it’s OK to fry the meat until it sticks to the bottom. When you add the onions and let them sauté for a few minutes, turn the fire off and put the lid on it for 15 minutes. After that, start the fire and stir the onions. They will wipe the bottom clean and also give you that nice dark brown color for your jambalaya and gumbos you need to have. How I find inspiration to create a new dish: Trying different things from other cities but adding the Cajun flare to it. If I could spend a day with a famous chef or fellow foodie, it would be: Chef John Folse, Emeril Lagasse or Paul Prudhomme. They all have different cooking styles that I like. Advice I would ask them: I want to start my own cooking show. I would like pointers on what not to cook live. Some things just don’t look good,but taste fantastic, like turtle soup.

Tools of the trade My favorite piece of cooking equipment: Black iron skillets and pots. Must-have kitchen tools: Sharp knives — very sharp knives. Go-to cookbook: “The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine” by John D. Folse. Ingredients that I avoid: Sassafras (also known as “file gumbo”) and cumin.

Continued on page 48


Globe-trotting Favorite neighborhood restaurant and my order: Ralph and Kacoo’s in New Orleans. I get the shrimp platter with lump crab meat salad. Favorite specialty food shop: Best Stop Supermarket cajun meat butcher in Scott, La. Favorite bakery: Gambino’s Bakery is famous for their king cakes and also Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter for their beignets.

A few of my favorite things: Weatherford puts the finishing touches on his Cajun meal.

Continued from page 47 I buy this in bulk: Nothing in bulk, unless it’s for crawfish boils. Then it’s 100 to 200 pounds. Dream kitchen appliance: Viking gas stove with an indoor charbroiler. Cooking show I watch: Justin Wilson from a long time ago.

Favorite meal to make: Chicken and sausage jambalaya. Favorite cuisine: Boiled crawfish. Best food memory: When I learned how to not burn the roux. Best culinary destination: New Orleans or Maryland for blue crabs and crab cakes. Always in the fridge: Crystal Hot Sauce. Weirdest food I like: Sucking the crawfish heads. I’m addicted to: Fried catfish. Comfort food: Hamburger. Dessert: Banana pudding. My splurge at the grocery store: Popcorn. New Years food-related resolution: No more beignets. Favorite Valentine’s dinner: Filet mignon and red wine.

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February 2013

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On the Road

Warm winter drive 2013 Infiniti M37 delivers comfortable, luxurious and powerful ride

Bakersfield Life’s Assistant Managing Editor Jorge Barrientos drives the Infiniti M37 around the Garces Circle.

By Jorge Barrientos

Photos by Michael Lopez


t’s been cold in Bakersfield. Better get yourself an Infiniti M37. I was warm and cozy when I test drove the 2013 M37. Each time I stepped into the luxury sedan, I turned a dial to heat up the comfortable black leather seats, pushed a button to heat my steering wheel, and set the car to a comfy temperature using a nifty temperature control system. Within seconds, I was warmer than a belly full of scotch. Even though the vehicle’s system alerted me of a “freeze warning” in my area, I almost couldn’t tell it was winter while inside of the M37. Of course, the new Infiniti M37 offers more than just a comfortable ride. This car has serious power, state-of-the art features, and style upon style upon style. The Infiniti M37 was redesigned in 2011, and in 2012 merged with the other Infiniti M model. It’s the Infiniti’s flagship, which also comes in hybrid, sport, and all-wheel drive models. Standard, the M37 flaunts a 330-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 50

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engine, with 270 pounds-feet of torque; seven-speed transmission with manual shift mode and options for driving modes; heated, leather-appointed seats; dual zone temperature control system with heated, and cooling seats; Infiniti Intelligent Key (no need to stick a key in the ignition); 7-inch color display with rearview monitor, SiriusXM Satellite Radio free for three months; and Bluetooth hands-free phone system. My M37 was also stocked with goodies: • A killer audio system with 16 (that’s right, 16!) Bose speakers, including two speakers each at shoulder level on the driver’s and passenger’s seats. I couldn’t even find all of the speakers! • A hard drive navigation system that finds everything you need — gas stations, restaurants... you name it — and tells you of weather and traffic reports. • Japanese Ash wood trim, a power sliding glass moonroof, and USB connections. Several M37 reviews have already called this model an Infiniti standout, “worth considering for a vehicle to drive for more than just one year.” In fact, out of the dozens of used vehicles in Infiniti of Bakersfield’s lot, I couldn’t make out any

You can control many of the features in the Infiniti M37 using just the steering wheel, which can be heated.

It’s all in the details

Infinitis. “Infiniti stays in the family,” said Stephen Mann, sales consultant with Infiniti of Bakersfield. “People don’t give up Infinitis.” Mann also touted the safety features. It received a government five-star safety rating for front, side and rollover crash tests. The car’s front end, he explained, crumples upon impact, and the hood is constructed in a way where it would never fly at your windshield in the event of a head-on collision. “You don’t take the hit,” Mann said. “The car does for you.” That was comforting to think especially when — before Mann gave me the keys and sent me on my way — he showed me firsthand how powerful and fast the car was, as he went from 0-60 mph in under six seconds. Perhaps sensing my nervousness, he said, “this is a big boy’s car.” That may be, but I was perfectly fine cruising around the wintery Bakersfield streets at a comfortable speed in the M37, warm and cozy.

This Infiniti M37 features a black leather interior, with heated and cooling seats, too.

Mileage 21 mpg fuel economy (18 city, 26 highway) Price Tag Starting at $48,700 (test drive model price: $57,795) What makes the 2013 Infiniti M37 stand out from others? Bold and aggressive styling; low cost of ownership; five-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety rating; available in hybrid. We're also proud of Infiniti's ongoing industry leadership in advanced safety technologies, such as Blind Spot Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention, forward collision warn-

ing, and the new Backup Collision Intervention. Target customer Infiniti M buyers generally fit this profile: median age is 51, 75 percent are male; 84 percent are married; 34 percent have children at home; median household income is $164,895. Three words that define the 2013 Infiniti M37 Bold. Luxury. Performance. What do you like the most about the 2013 Infiniti M37? The absolute thrill of driving it. Source: Brandon Reed, sales manager, Infiniti of Bakersfield


Hometown Hero

Evan Morgan U.S. Marine Corps Compiled by Jeneal Wood


Marine Evan Morgan was on his second tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by a roadside bomb. He lost both legs in the explosion. Since returning to Bakersfield, he has exemplified the community’s generosity, unity and support for its veterans who have suffered life-altering injuries. Age: 29 Former assignment: 0352 Anti-tank Assaultman (shot at tanks with TOW missiles). I served in the military for: Four years, the last one in hospitals and rehabilitation. Why I decided to join: I was inspired by my older brother who joined the Marine Corps when I was 8 years old. From then on, it was all I wanted to do.

Where I was stationed: Twentynine Palms, Calif. Thankfully, I spent more time in Iraq. What I missed most about Bakersfield when I was deployed: Jillian, my beautiful then-girlfriend, now beautiful wife of seven years. My best military accomplishment: No one under my direct charge was injured. That’s all that counts. If I had to choose a different career path, I would have become: I’m still trying to figure this one out. There was never any question as to what I would do. The future is wide open now. My favorite memory of the military: I’d have to say that I’ll always treasure that entire period of my life — every single day of it! Valuable advice I learned as a Marine: Never be beaten by an inanimate object. And never shake with the left hand. What I do to stay active in the community: The way this town supports its veterans, there is no way for me not to be active! I try my best to repay the generosity and appreciation that I have been shown by helping other veterans. I currently work at the Bakersfield Vet Center, and I am a board member of the Wounded Heroes Fund. How I stay positive: I would credit this with my upbringing and a strong support system. I am not the type to dwell on anything, so that helps. But really it’s those around me that keep me up. My favorite activity in Bakersfield: I love to spend time at Lengthwise Brewery, and conversely, the gym. I’m really a homebody though, so just hanging out with my friends and family is my idea of perfection — at Lengthwise. Something I would like to accomplish this year: I’d really like to get the LS6 motor that is currently sitting in my garage swapped into my Chevrolet Suburban finally.

Wounded veteran Evan Morgan plays at the Salute To Our Local Heroes event in 2011. 54

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My long-term goals: Solve a Rubik’s Cube, shake hands with Clint Eastwood, raise good kids, meet my grandkids, visit Carnegie Hall and die happy.

All-Star Athlete

Cassidy Bell By Stephen Lynch



Bakersfield Life Magazine

Cassidy Bell Born Aug. 2, 1991 in Bakersfield Family includes parents John and Stacey Bell and two siblings, James and Hailey Played softball competitively since third grade. Chosen following senior year of high school as First Team All-State, First Team All-Area, Southeast Yosemite League MVP, Liberty High MVP, and Kern County All-Star Game MVP. Led Central Section in batting average (.587) and was Liberty High MVP as a junior. Competed along with softball in cross country and soccer in high school. Achieved honor roll status all four years of high school. Won Penn State softball team’s Iron Lion Triathlon (300-yard swim, 5.2 mile bicycle ride, 2 mile run) in record time of 40 minutes and 39 seconds in October. Earned a 3.09 GPA and is scheduled to graduate later this year with a degree in kinesiology. Hopes to play softball professionally in Europe after finishing college eligibility.

Bell hit .423 in her junior year at Penn State. February 2013


n emergency appendectomy almost prematurely ended Cassidy Bell’s junior season at Penn State. But instead of ruining the good thing the former Liberty High softball standout had going, it only propelled her to a record-breaking year. The hard-hitting outfielder set new school marks in batting average (.423) and slugging percentage (.784) on the way to being the only field player to earn unanimous All-Big Ten First Team honors. Bell, who posted the second highest single-season on-base percentage (.529) in school history, was also a NFCA All-Great Lakes First Team selection. Forced to miss 18 games to recover from the surgery, Bell nearly decided to take a medical redshirt and sit out the year. However, just as the Big Ten season was about to begin, she was finally cleared to play again. Bell credits the surgery for helping her have a big year at the plate. “I think that it kind of helped because I was like, ‘I had surgery, so whatever I do doesn’t matter’,” Bell said. “If I do bad, I had surgery. If I do good, then whatever. I feel that (because of the surgery) I didn’t put as much pressure on myself.” The three-year Nittany Lions starter was coming off a sophomore year in which she hit .280 after altering both her approach at the plate and her swing. Bell said those changes were another big reason for her lofty junior-season batting numbers. “My sophomore year I was still getting the hang of it,” Bell said. “And then my junior year I was able perfect it, make it a little better. I didn’t have to think as much.” The results proved to be impres-


Bell attributes her success to instincts and her changed attitude following surgery.

sive in every way. Not only did Bell raise her batting average by 143 points, she also smacked a career-high nine home runs despite missing nearly one-third of the season. Bell believes her biggest strength as a softball player is how she plays the game. “I feel like I understand the game really well,” she said. “I don’t have to think about anything. I can just go out and play. I know some girls; their downfall is that they think too much, or they don’t just play. They overanalyze everything. When I get out on the field, I know what I’m going to do when I get the ball. I think I have good instincts on the field.” Bell, a .330 career hitter, was Penn State’s offensive player of the year as a freshman. As a sophomore, she was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team. Impressive feats, but they pale by comparison to what the Bakersfield native accomplished in 2012. Now all that is left it to see what she will do for an encore. “I’m just playing to try to keep the same mind-set, the same focus and forget about last year and do my best,” Bell said of her approach to the upcoming season. “Don’t think about numbers. Don’t think about anything. Just stick to what I know I can do and relax, and just keep going.”


Talk of the Town

Mary Bedard New Auditor-Controller-County Clerk

Bedard shared with Bakersfield Life a little more about her new job and her personal life.

By Bakersfield Life Magazine

What do you hope to bring to your new position? In my career with the county, I have worked at various county departments, first as an accountant and later as a business manager, before moving to the Auditor-Controller’s office. So I believe I can bring an understanding of the issues and problems that are faced by the departments, and we can work together on resolving them.

Mary Bedard is the new Auditor-Controller-County Clerk. 58

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How will your role change from your current job in the special accounting division to your new job? Currently, I oversee the county’s payroll and accounts payable sections, as well as the auditor-controller’s responsibilities regarding property taxes. As the Auditor-ControllerCounty Clerk, I will also be responsible for the county’s financial reporting, internal auditing and the county clerk/elections functions.



n Jan. 7, Mary Bedard will take over as the leader of the Auditor-Controller-County Clerk’s office, following the retirement of Ann Barnett. Bedard, who started working for Kern County in 1981, was appointed by the Kern County Board of Supervisors and is expected to fill Barnett’s remaining term. More recently, she was the chief of the special accounting division in the Auditor-Controller-County Clerk’s office, which processes payroll for more than 9,000 county employees, and reviews and approves more than 100,000 expenditures a year by the county and various districts. The native New Yorker, who has lived throughout the world and served in the Peace Corps, has called Bakersfield home for decades and raised her three boys here.

Do you expect any changes will be made while you're serving the rest of Barnett’s term? Right now, I expect the focus over the next two years will be continuing the implementation of the time, reporting and account costing system (TRACS) that Ann began. Your office garnered national media attention several years ago when Barnett announced the office would stop conducting marriage ceremonies following the state Supreme Court's legalization of gay marriage (voters later blocked gay marraige by passing Proposition 8). What’s your stance? Given the budget situation of the past few years, we no longer have the staff to handle weddings. We have had to focus on our core mission throughout the office. Issuing marriage licenses is a required part of our mission, but conducting wedding ceremonies is not. Besides, the rooms that were used for weddings have been shifted to other uses. In addition, county clerk and elections share a lobby and office area, and now with early voting going on for several weeks before each election, we need to have space available to function as a polling place. At this point, it would take some major remodeling of the office to accommodate both the need for space and security on the elections side and the openness and accessibility that would

be required for weddings. We do make available to couples who get a marriage license a list of people who are able to perform weddings, and I am not aware of anyone having difficulty finding someone to perform a wedding ceremony. At this point, we need to devote our limited resources to the functions we are required to perform. For county clerk, that means issuing marriage licenses but not performing wedding ceremonies. Please tell us about this new software and system to automate county payroll and financial work. How is this going to make life easier? In the past, the record keeping for payroll has been very decentralized. Although some departments have been using a basic electronic timekeeping system for several years, many continue to use paper timecards. The information then has to be entered by the departmental payroll clerks into the county’s mainframe payroll system. In addition, many departments have other systems that they use in order to be able to report data to federal or state agencies, or to meet various grant requirements. In many cases, these systems do not interact with the county’s system. This results in employees having to enter the same information multiple times into the different sys-

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Continued from page 59 tems. Also, some of the departments’ systems are 15 or 20 years old. With the new TRACS system, our programmers have worked with the individual departments to try to make our system flexible enough to meet their reporting needs, so they may not need their separate systems. Where that is not possible, the departments should be able to upload the data from one system to the other, eliminating the need for duplicate entries. In addition to providing greater efficiencies for each department, the new system will provide more timely information and greater reporting capabilities for decisionmaking by the departments and the Board of Supervisors. What do you like to do when you're not working and serving Kern County? For quite a few years, it has seemed like I’ve spent my spare time chauffeuring my three sons around to their various activities. But my oldest graduated from Cal State Bakersfield last spring, another is a senior at UCLA, and the youngest is a freshman at Loyola Marymount. So I am looking forward to the empty nest stage and having time to try all sorts of new things. But at this point I don’t know what those are going to be. What's your New Year's resolution? To exercise more. Isn’t it everyone’s?

Tell us about your time in the Peace Corps. I was assigned to the Western Samoa Treasury department, where I set up accounting systems and trained their staff. I also got the chance to teach an accounting class for the Western Samoa Society of Accountants, which I really enjoyed. During my Peace Corps training, I lived with a family in a small Samoan village while learning the language and customs. Once I began working, I lived in the capital of Apia. But I enjoyed going back to the village and visiting with my Samoan family. I also enjoyed traveling to some of the smaller islands in Samoa. It was while I was in the Peace Corps that I met my husband, another Peace Corps volunteer. He has a degree in entomology and was working on mosquito eradication. We got engaged while in the Peace Corps. You've lived in Kern County and in other parts of the world. Why settle in Bakersfield/Kern County? After we returned from the Peace Corps, my husband was offered a job with an alfalfa seed company in Bakersfield. We originally planned to stay only a few years, but after moving here we decided we really liked it. I’m originally from upstate New York, and after two years in Samoa, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to the snowy winters. I don’t even mind Bakersfield’s summers. My husband and I enjoy being able to get to the coast in a few hours, and Bakersfield has been a great place to raise our family.

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Kern Autism Network Nonprofit group is bringing awareness, help to local families

By Matilde Ruiz


he Autism Society, founded in 1965, focuses on improving the lives of those affected by autism, a treatable developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. The local chapter, Kern Autism Network, aims to do the same for our local autistic community members. K.A.N is the perfect abbreviation for the local nonprofit group that strives to make it possible for family members, professionals and teachers to feel they can succeed together with an individual challenged with autism. “We try to do our best to help the autistic community by providing support groups, workshops and conferences, and we advocate at a state level for services to continue. We bring awareness to the area of Kern County as a whole,” said Ramona Puget, president of Kern Autism Network, and mother of a 21-year-old son with autism. “We try to help our families to be aware of what is out there in their own community, services wise; and if it is not out there, we will help 62

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February 2013

Ramona Puget and Holley Arbeit of Kern Autism Network.


For a Cause

them by bringing it to them.” Kern Autism Network first started in 1995 and is managed by volunteer parents, grandparents, professionals and others interested in autism. They work together to help support our local autistic community. “One thing that stays very true to the organization is that it doesn’t push one agenda. It truly gives an opportunity for people to learn all different methods and organizations in our community, and it doesn’t give judgment for which is good or not,” said Holley Arbeit, speech-language pathologist at Stockdale High School and facilitator of the network’s Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism support group. “Parents, grandparents, care takers and professionals have the opportunity to learn what are the current concerns, and also voice their opinions of what the community needs; for example, more employment opportunities for adults with autism.” Annual conferences are important to the network. With the help of local sponsors and vendors, the group is able to plan these conferences for the community. The conferences


are a great avenue to raise money and awareness about autism. All board members are volunteers, and are interested in autism or know an individual with autism. Local community members can relate to them, and get advice from them as they advocate for research, education and inclusion for those facing autism. This year, the group will be hosting its 18th annual autism awareness conference, titled “Bullying and Autism,” on March 1 at Hodel’s Country Dining. Tickets are $105, and seating is limited. All proceeds will go toward next year’s conference, which they plan ahead to make it affordable for families and professionals to attend. “(The conference) is our way of providing autism information to our families, teachers-administrators, physicians and professionals,” Puget said. “Each year we bring in top speakers in the field of autism who are not local, but speak around the world on everything autism.” “Bullying and Autism” will focus on bullying — a major concern for those affected with any type of disability — how to recognize the signs, and know how to help someone who is a victim to bullying. Bullying was the major concern Kern Autism Network heard from local families, and figured it was important to address this issue. To purchase tickets, go to kernaustism2013confer-

Dominic Puget, who is autistic, sits with one of his high school teachers, Concetta Argentino. Puget’s mother Ramona is the president of the Kern Autism Network. To volunteer for the conference, email, or call 588-4235.To become a member or attend a Kern Autism Network support group, visit or


Patricia Marquez 64

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Wonderful women of Bakersfield

These 8 have been picked by leading local women for their positive impact in our community

By Lisa Kimble and Jorge Barrientos


n 2010, Bakersfield Life Magazine featured several local women who are making a tremendous positive impact in our community. This year, we’ve revisited some of those women. For this “Women’s Issue,” some of the 2010 honorees have nominated a new group of ladies who are devoted to giving back to our community, and represent it with class and professionalism. Meet this year’s group. The 2010 honorees were: Diane Hopkins, Ginger Morehouse, Judi McCarthy, Mikie Hay, Sheryl Barbich, Sheryl Chalupa, Cathy Abernathy, Mary K. Shell, Barbara Smith, Judi McCarthy, Mary Christenson and Rosa Corona.

Patricia Marquez Most of Patricia Marquez’s peers are still trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Not this enthusiastic community cheerleader. This young woman on a mission is luring businesses and prosperity to Kern as the marketing and communications specialist for the Kern Economic Development Corporation, and infusing a youthful passion into Bakersfield’s branding. Marquez, a 28-year-old CSUB graduate, joined the Greater Bakersfield Vision 2020 Image committee several years ago. She brought with her plenty of fresh ideas on “measurably improving the image of Bakersfield,” helping to update the “Life as it Should Be” mantra and companion merchandising effort.

The result was the “I Love Bakersfield” slew of products now available across town. “She also believed that if we could educate our community about the positive aspects, they would become advocatesambassadors and spread the positive message,” said Sheryl Barbich, president of Barbich Consulting. Marquez took to social media and created the wildly popular Facebook page, “Who Knew? Bakersfield.” Every week she posts quirky factoids about our town, and collaborated with Advance Beverage Co. to create coasters with the tidbits of trivia. In fact, 250,000 are expected to be distributed throughout the community in the coming months. In addition to promoting all things Bakersfield, and helping recruit new businesses to Kern with KEDC, Marquez has been involved with Houchin Community Blood Bank’s community-wide blood drives, Garden Pathways, and mentored a teen in foster care. “I had a single moment where I realized it isn’t just important to give back, it’s something that I must require of myself,” Marquez said. “I should be doing far more to help others with all the opportunities I’d been handed in my relatively easy life.” Marquez said her motivation boils down to integrity. “Always tell the truth and make yourself someone that others can trust and count on,” she said. Admirers like Barbich see Marquez as an inspiration for other local young adults.

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“Hopefully her example will encourage younger people to help create change,” Barbich said. But even Marquez, an avid runner, admits to feeling overwhelmed from time to time. “When I start thinking that I may make the choice to slow down on my community involvement, I re-read a small note taped to my computer monitor which says, ‘the more you give, the more you will have’,” she said. “It reminds me that as long as I keep giving to others and to my community, I’ll have everything I need, including the energy to keep giving!”

Kim Albers

Kim Albers Kim Albers, Garden Pathways’ executive director, is Bakersfield’s tech-savvy Mother Teresa. Her fingerprints are on nearly every organization in town dedicated to helping the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Bakersfield Californian columnist Lois Henry once called Albers “as tenacious as hell.” Albers, 44, agrees. The turning point for the co-founder of Flood Bakersfield Ministries, Inc. came seven years ago while she nursed her mother back to health. “As I sat there in the hospital, I had lots of time to think about the value of human life and relationships,” she said. “I had the opportunity to meet some people experiencing homelessness. My heart broke for them. I truly believed I could make a difference in their lives by being present, listening and loving.” Described as a consummate problem solver, her commitment to advocacy led to the formation of Flood Ministries in 2008. 66

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“Community transformation through the power of relationships is my passion,” she said. In June 2010, Flood's Board of Directors officially hired her as its executive director, and after Garden Pathway’s director Karen Goh joined the Kern Board of Supervisors, Albers was the obvious choice to take over. She is as relentless as she is tenacious. Albers is a powerful voice on the Kern County Homeless Collaborative, the mayor’s “A Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness,” and Bakersfield Safe Streets Partnership, among others. According to Albers, more than 4,000 individuals are served annually between Flood Ministries and Garden Pathways. “There are so many people hurting and in need it is very motivating,” she said. “I walk in confidence that this is where I am to serve.” Goh has described Albers as having a “heart of boundless compassion for the hurting, the vulnerable, and the marginalized. Kim deeply feels their pain. She is moved by their suffering, but beyond emotion, Kim resolutely translates her compassion into purposeful action.” In Kim Albers’ world, everyone should have a roof over their head. Until then, she presses on “as if lives are at stake, because they are,” she said. “We all have to do something.” Fellow community activist Judi McCarthy called Albers’ Facebook page “a window on her soul.” “Here she shares her passion for her community work, her concern for our community’s homeless, her love for her family, and her deep faith,” McCarthy said. “Postings from other Facebookers demonstrate how admired she is by so many in the community.”

Cynthia Pollard If Cynthia Pollard — the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce’s new president and CEO — faces a bit of a learning curve upon returning home, it isn’t likely to be a steep one. Despite a four-year absence, the Bakersfield native, who honed her public relations skills over many years here and earned wide respect from the business community, was the perfect fit to replace retiring CEO Debbie Moreno. Board chairman Tim Terrio, on announcing Pollard’s selection, likened her to a “rock star” in the world of business advocacy. “She can speak to the plight of small business owners, but also has connections with big business,” Terrio said at a news conference last August. At 54, Pollard’s sterling resume would make most green with envy. A graduate of the University of Southern California, she went on to receive her master’s degree from the University of LaVerne. Her first job out of school was with Walt Disney Productions. “My experiences there helped shape my beliefs in business, and standards for customer service delivery,” Pollard says. She launched her own public relations firm in the 1980s helping a broad spectrum of businesses both large and small, including the mammoth Bakersfield Business Conference and PG&E. She also managed government relations for the Central Valley for the public utility, and worked on the Hink-

Cynthia Pollard



Maria Paine

ley Chromium Remediation project. Married for nearly 31 years to her high school sweetheart, Mark Pollard, the couple has raised two grown sons. She credits her mother, Judy Keyes, for helping her juggle the demands of a growing business while raising her family. “I can’t count the times that while they were growing up, my mom would leave dinner on the stove at our house so that my husband and I could share a home-cooked meal with our sons,” she said. Long a familiar face in the local business establishment, Pollard has given much of herself to local nonprofits as well, including California Living Museum, United Way and the Girl Scouts. “Her enthusiasm is catching, which leverages those activities she champions,” said local businesswoman Sheryl Barbich. “It is the only way that we can continue to strengthen our community and build upon the quality of life for the people who live here,” Pollard said. “This community provided the foundation that allowed me to pursue my dreams, so it is only fair that I help sustain the community that has given me so much.”

Maria Paine By the time many women are just beginning their day, 52-year-old Maria Paine has already run circles around most. She wakes in the predawn darkness at 3:45 a.m. to exercise, energize, and prioritize by attending Mass daily. “I do that so my head and heart are focused on serving others instead of myself,” Paine said. “My goal is that each day, I have made a difference to someone.” Then she is off to her day job as vice president of human resources at Jim Burke Ford Lincoln Jaguar where her coworkers warm to her grace and compassion. Paine oversees the dealership’s employee charity, and serves as a facilitator for Lead Like Jesus with friend and mentor Holly Culhane. Beyond the office, Paine sits on the Friends of Mercy Foundation board and assists with the Distinguished Young Women of Bakersfield, formerly Bakersfield’s Junior Miss pageant. “I believe we must all be good stewards of the resources and gifts we have been given so giving back to the community is my way of being thankful,” Paine said. “We should all strive to make our community better.” A native of DeKalb, Ill., Paine is one of seven children and a graduate of Illinois State University, with degrees in organizational management and psychology. Now a Kern transplant, this is where Maria Paine’s heart is, bettering her adopted community and ministering at St.

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Continued from page 67 Philip the Apostle Church. She strikes the right balance with the help of a supportive family, including her husband of nearly 28 years, Ed. “My husband and I were also insistent that our children be involved in the community at an early age,” she said. “We participated in many service opportunities as a family, and now my husband and I serve together when we can.” Her volunteer ethic has found a fan in Mikie Hay, vice president of community affairs at Jim Burke. “Maria’s life is framed by faith, family, and a commitment to service over self,” Hay said. “Her clear values translate into a sense of fairness and clarity of purpose for all employees, and she has a contagious smile and upbeat personality that make everyone’s day just a little brighter.”

With her leadership, and from the generosity of our community, the effort has raised more than $100,000 to fight against human trafficking of youngsters. “I feel that I have just begun to fight and intend to do all God calls me to do to help rescue as many girls as possible from this unspeakable abuse,” Giumarra said. Giumarra is still an active member of the State Bar, but she retired as the assistant general counsel for Chevron in 1999. She is now a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God. On a weekly basis, she meets with a small group of women to pray for our community — our government officials, those in law enforcement, the judiciary and media, as well as our social workers and the children in foster care. “We believe prayer changes things!” she said. In the last several years, she has connected with nonprofit organizations dealing with matters from drug abuse, to unexpected and teen pregnancies, to family care and foster care, among others. More recently, she has advocated for the Global Family Care Network and its Daughter Project on human trafficking. “I am at a time and place in my life where I can answer the calls to help people in need,” she said. “As a Christian, I believe that not only do I have a responsibility to help, but more significantly, I have the privilege to serve and give to the people in ‘my community’ as much as possible of the time and gifts that God has given me.” Political, marketing and legislative consultant Cathy Abernathy said Giumarra “devotes her time and endless energy to make positive changes in lives, both in Bakersfield and around the world.” Her frequent words of inspiration, Abernathy said, define her attitude toward our city, such as, “We must knit our hearts together across our city and county.” “Cynthia is one of the most humble people you will meet,” Abernathy said. “She cares deeply about each person she greets, and her every conversation helps a world thirsty for encouragement.”


Nancy Chaffin

Cynthia Giumarra

Cynthia Giumarra Cynthia Giumarra battled in court when she practiced law for more than 20 years. Today, her fights are outside of the court room, doing what “God calls me to do,” she said. Serving as volunteer as director of women’s ministries at Canyon Hills Assembly of God Church since 2000, Giumarra leads Bible studies and group activities, mentors and counsels women, and supports those who have been impacted by abuse. Among her biggest efforts this past year, Giumarra and volunteers have aimed to raise awareness of human trafficking of young girls while raising funds for two ministries in India. 68

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Nancy Chaffin sees our community as an extension of her home. It’s natural, therefore, for her to care deeply for it, and give back. Chaffin — a Bakersfield native and The Bakersfield Californian’s vice president of operations and administration — sits on several committee boards including board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Central California South and the Girl Scouts Women Influencing Girls program committee; board of directors for Kern Adult Literacy Council; Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership Advisory Council; and American Lung Association leadership board and holiday poinsettia committee. “We take care of our home cleaning, improving and making (our home) a comfortable and beautiful place to live,” said Chaffin, 57. “I see Bakersfield as my bigger home. Bakersfield has been very good to me, and it is my way of saying, ‘Thank you.’” But, as Chaffin explains, “a tragedy almost beyond comprehension opened the door for me to make perhaps the greatest impact.” In 2001, Chaffin’s son Jeff was killed in a car crash, and sever-


Nancy Chaffin

al months afterward she was approached by law enforcement about a collaborative teen driving program they were developing. She agreed to share her son’s story, and since 2002 has spoken to thousands of teens and numerous community groups about driving while distracted, reckless or under the influence. “You never get over losing a child but my hope is to save at least one promising life and spare the heartbreak to another parent,” said Chaffin, who sits on the board of directors for “A Life Interrupted” program. “How could I not do this if the door opened to give me a chance to save a life?” Chaffin received her business administration degree from Cal State Bakersfield, and last year was named to CSUB’s Alumni Hall of Fame (CSUB called her a “tireless community servant”). She sat on CSUB Alumni Association’s board for 16 years, and is still involved with the CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame committee. She’s received the California Women Lead’s Women of Distinction Award in 2011 and three Beautiful Bakersfield awards. Other previous involvements include serving on the board of directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates, and Junior Achievement of Bakersfield, and others. She said she is fortunate to have worked and received

Continued on page 70

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Continued from page 69 professional development from several companies including PG&E, ARCO, Texaco, Chevron, and of course, The Bakersfield Californian. Californian Publisher Ginger Moorhouse said Chaffin is making Bakersfield a better place â&#x20AC;&#x153;through (her) contributions to the community, and dedication to our city, giving back.â&#x20AC;? Said Chaffin: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get any better than working for a company whose middle name is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bakersfield!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?


Lana Fain

Lana Fain

All of Lana Fainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent career paths have one thing in common â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the goal in each job was to make Bakersfield and Kern County that much better. She has worked for the Kern County Board of Trade, encouraging the film and tourism industry to do business here; about a decade with the Bakersfield SPCA as public relations coordinator, helping the homeless animals in our community; and now she is the zoo manager at California Living Museum. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I grew up here, so I am proud that all of my career choices helped make Bakersfield, and Kern County, a better place,â&#x20AC;? said Fain, 56. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you love your community, it is only natural to give more than you take.â&#x20AC;?

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Continued on page 72


Through CALM, widely considered a jewel for Kern County, Fain and staff have reached out to schools, service organizations and other nonprofits — like the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House, which has its annual Walk on the Wild Side benefit at CALM. Among Fain’s favorites is the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ annual Kid’s Spree that provides clothes for kids in need. “All of our signature events at CALM — such as HolidayLights, Boo at the Zoo, Spring Fling, and the many birthday parties and school tours — would not happen without Lana,” said Steve Sanders, chief of staff at KCSOS and CALM administrator. “She loves her job at CALM, and it shows.” Fain grew up on a farm near McFarland, and graduated from Bakersfield College and CSUB. Her lovs include photography, reading, learning about new things, and of course, animals. At CALM, Fain watches after 14 acres and more than 80 species of animals who are injured or who cannot survive in their native environment. The facility displays native California animals, plants, fossils and artifacts, and aims to teach a respect for all living things through education, recreation, conservation and research.

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Continued from page 71 “The thing I respect most about Lana is her passion for animals and her commitment to the important educational mission of CALM,” said Kern County Superintendent of Schools Christine Frazier. “This comes through in the many roles Lana performs at CALM, and our local zoo would not be as successful without her.” Said Lana: “I feel blessed to have the wonderful job I have, and to be recognized for what I love to do is icing on the cake.”

Brooke Antonioni In 2010, Bakersfield Life highlighted Sheryl Chalupa, president and chief executive of Goodwill Industries of South Central California, for her lifetime of service to local nonprofits. If she says she’s impressed by a person’s dedication to the community, you know that person is doing something good. That’s the case with Brooke Antonioni. “I think she is one of our community’s young leaders,” Chalupa said. “One who will have the opportunity to positively impact on our community for years to come.” Antonioni, 36, is the president and CEO of TRANSWEST, a local business that provides private security, and commercial and industrial cleaning, and employs 500 peo-

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

ple. Before TRANS-WEST, she worked at Court Appointed Special Advocates, and in the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ Child Development and Family Services Division as the liaison to the foundation board. She was also responsible for grant writing, fundraisers and other special projects and community events. But it’s her work outside of the office that has garnered attention. She has served as a member of Rotary Club of Downtown Bakersfield, the board for the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and Tree Foundation of Kern County, and as a trustee on the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation and Bakersfield Vision 2020 Task Force. She also serves as a committee member for Links for Life’s Lace’n It Up Walk, CSUB Council 100 and the United Way Women’s Leadership Council. Antonioni said she believes community involvement should extend beyond herself, and involve family, too. Her husband and 6-year-old twins participate along with her, planting trees, ringing bells for the Salvation Army or supporting events for board and groups she’s involved in. “We believe there is no better way to model how to become a positive part of this community and society than to include them in these activities,” she said. The Bakersfield native added: “I am proud to raise my family here, and want to make a positive difference so my girls enjoy an even better Bakersfield.”

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fashion & beauty TRENDS


From dresses with feminine floral prints to tops with bold, zig-zag stripes, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely an ecletic mix of looks for women of all ages this spring season. Fourteen local boutiques and salons have styled models for Bakersfield Life with their favorite fashion and beauty trends. Among some of these looks include: sleek ruffles on a vintage polka dot dress, sheer blouses with cutouts, back-to-basics in classic black and white, fun eyeliners in green and blue hues, bright fuschia-colored lips and lots of layered accessories. Turn the pages to get fresh ideas for new spring outfits, hair and makeup.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Apricot Lane Boutique


“Tami’s look is classic yet hip. At Apricot Lane, we can take you from work to weekend in a flash. We are always on trend and ready to take on the town.” — Stephanie Wilson, manager Tami Calderwood is wearing: white cami, $12; mint skirt, $46; Chiqle denim jacket, $64; silver fashion jewelry: bangles, $28; flower ring, $14; coral bubble necklace, $30. Hair by Serenity Salon & Spa. 9000 Ming Ave., Suite J1; 665-8774; Facebook search: Apricot Lane Boutique


Bella at The Marketplace “A floral print blouse paired with colored jeans presents a cheerful display of spring fashion. The neutral accessories complement the bright outfit exhibiting a beautifully on-trend look for the upcoming season.” — Heather Abbott, owner


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Kelly Geis is wearing: BCBGeneration floral print slit sleeve blouse, $88; Free People ombre denim, $78; Dolce Vita two-tone Jobin wedge, $84; Rebecca Minkoff swing bag, $330; Sugar Bean Love ring, $75; Jules bangles, $20; Jules earrings, $20; A.V. Max cuff, $38. Hair by Serenity Salon & Spa. 9000 Ming Ave., Suite K6; 664-4974;

February 2013

Essentiels Spa et Beauté


“Essentiels Spa et Beauté is a full-service salon, day spa and beauty boutique offering a true European spa experience in an urban chic setting. Kelly’s look is sassy, yet sophisticated, with warm and natural highlights.” — Dee Dee Todd, owner Kelly Garcia has an asymmetrical a-line cut, her fringe is shattered and side swept, and her hair color is a cool, rich brown by L’Oréal Professional. Kelly’s makeup is a signature Flawless Face by Laura Mercier with Winks by Georige lashes for bold and beautiful eyes. Hair by Lauren Grippi and makeup by Frank Anthony. 9000 Ming Ave., Suite K7; 654-0321;

Continued on page 82


E Aveda Salon|Spa “E is Bakersfield’s only Aveda lifestyle salon and spa exclusively carrying Aveda’s full line of allnatural beauty and wellness products and services. Azure’s evening look is perfectly classic and romantic.” — Dee Dee Todd, owner


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Azure Ross’ dark chocolate hair color with subtle red, cool tones puts a fun modern twist on a classic ’20s style. Her hair color was done by Caneel Aguilar and Misty Fincher, and styled by Erica Rodriguez. Azure’s makeup was done by Tawnie Dorsett using Aveda Mineral Makeup to give her a confidently feminine and sexy look. 10930 Stockdale Highway, Suite 104; 654-0317;

February 2013



“The color-blocking trend is even stronger this spring from this classic sweater by Tribal to the cobalt blue handbag by Brighton. Jag jeans are also available in fashion colors.” — Victoria Diffee, owner Brianna Rogers is wearing: Tribal sweater jacket, $89; Jag jeans, $79; Brighton boots, $330; Brighton handbag, $290. 9000 Ming Ave., Suite K4; 665-8300;


Pappagallo “Pappagallo is for the modern, sophisticated, mature woman — a woman who is comfortable with herself and style! Women who appreciate personal service in a boutique setting will love shopping here.” — Nancy Jennings, owner


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Bridget Short is wearing: Joseph Ribkoff jacket, $236; Pendleton pants, $148; Brighton Rouge shoes, $198; Brighton purse, $140; Brighton bangle bracelets, $82 and $48; Brighton earrings, $48. 4817 Stockdale Highway; 832-9054

February 2013

The American Jewelry Company


“Inspired for the modern contemporary woman who expresses herself through her own individual style. We strive to present the latest in fashion so that you too, can create your own unique sense of design tailored to your personal budget.” — Carl Saenger, owner Lauren Costa is wearing: Alexis Bittar lucite bangle bracelets, green, $295; garnet, $295; quilted gray, $225; gray, $155; Marco Bicego necklaces and earrings, 18-karat yellow gold 47inch mixed colored stoned necklace, $6,550; 18-karat yellow gold 36-inch mini mixed colored stone necklace, $4,875; 18-karat yellow gold dangle earrings, $1,970; Roberto Coin 18karat yellow gold amethyst ring, $1,900. Hair by Serenity Salon & Spa. 3200 21st St., Suite 500; 325-5023;


Full Bloom “C&C Hardware is locally handcrafted using authentic coptic crosses, WWI victory medals, semi-precious stones and crystals. Each piece is one of a kind and is available exclusively at Full Bloom.” — Todd McCabe, owner


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Becky Janssen is wearing: C&C Hardware jewelry shown in photo ranges from $55 to $400. 4909 Stockdale Highway; 831-1751; Facebook search: Full Bloom Bakersfield

February 2013


Christine’s “What is new is how you wear your accessories. Give your imagination free rein — add on layers and color, and you will multiply the impact. This spring, more is more.” — Lori Malkin, owner Brighton model is wearing: Brighton Santa Fe 2013 collection. 4915 Stockdale Highway; 834-3068;


Bikersfield “Bikersfield has everything from bling jeans to bling purses and jewelry. We carry kid sizes 1 to 16, women’s higher waisted jeans sizes 1 to 15, and regular junior and plus sizes from 0 to 21. Every $50 you spend, you get a $5 chip off your next purchase.” — Kelly Woodhouse, owner


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Meaghan Pollard is wearing: a lacy longsleeve Vocal top, $39.99; bling belt, $45; LA Idol jeans, $110; Milwaukee boots, $110. 2622 Fairhaven Drive; 3219882;

February 2013

Simply Me


“The fit and flair dress is a must-have for this season. This season’s fashion emphasizes great patterns and colors. At Simply Me we offer unique, affordable and trendy fashions.” — Crystal Aronson, co-owner Kylie Bittle is wearing: print dress with belt by Honey Punch, $48; Stella wedge shoes, $36; Good Works bracelet, $44; Tickled Pink earrings, $16. 4021 Calloway Drive; 588-2775; Facebook search: Simply Me Bakersfield


In Your Wildest Dreams Antiques & Consignments “An eclectic mix of new, contemporary designer labels and vintage items make for an individual style and the perfect mix for any occasion.” — Dixie Brewer, owner


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Alissa Stephens is wearing: Eva Franco ruffled and belted dress, $89; Gucci stilettos, $75; vintage chain and rhinestone bracelet, $15; vintage cameo necklace, $16; vintage gold and black pearl necklace, $25; skeleton key double ring, $10; Cole Haan handbag, $135. 1723 18th St.; 324-6484;

February 2013


Ilitchi Boutique “Be bold this spring and wear bold prints like our favorite paisley boho blouse over beige spandex pants and a good pair of leather Cuadra boots. You’ll be sure to stand out and look great this coming season.” — Nadia Nunez, owner Nadia Nunez is wearing: paisley boho blouse, $89; spandex pants, $49; Cuadra boots, $290; bracelets, $38; earrings, $18; ring, $28; necklace, $29. 205 E. 18th St.; 396-1609;


Ladies and Gents Bridal “The sequin strappy gown is a popular formal wear choice for formal events or pageants. It’s all about the low backs this year and, of course, it’s always about the sparkle.” —Laura Wageman, owner


Bakersfield Life Magazine


Caitlin Colebrook is wearing: Scala dress, $318; Special Occasions shoes, $98; Hera’s Gems necklace, $190. 124 Oak St.; 325-7911;

February 2013


Bonding with bridge From left: Friends Sara Abromaitis, Harriet Kellenberger, Kathy Hansen and Alison Umfress have been playing bridge together for 24 years.

Card game brings local women together for friendly competition

By Breanna Fields

Photos by Gregory D. Cook


any different card games can be played with a group of friends — solitaire, blackjack and, of course, poker. The game of bridge is a similarly challenging, fun and rewarding, but also an exercise for the mind. Locally, bridge games can be found all throughout town,

Bridge is a fast-paced game played with a 52-card deck. 90

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February 2013

bringing together local women with a common interest. Bakersfield resident and veteran bridge player Alison Umfress meets once a month with three other women to play the card game. Meetings are often held at one of the women’s homes, or at the Brighton Parks clubhouse in the Castle & Cooke housing community. Umfress began playing bridge back in 1955, when her husband was in the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Ga. Encouraged by an officer’s wife, she started playing and joined a club group. To learn the basics of bridge, she bought her first “how to” book, and has been playing the game ever since. “The best part about playing bridge is that every bridge hand dealt is a different challenge,” Umfress said. “We love to play for the fun of the game, and don’t take it too seriously, but we do love to win.” Bridge is a fast-paced four-player card game played with a standard 52-card deck. You can find groups of women playing bridge at several places around town, including the Guild House on 18th Street. This beautiful vintage home built in 1909, serves lunches Monday through Friday, and makes for the perfect place for a bridge gathering, without the hassle of having to clean or cook for guests, said Lillian Maloney, a regular volunteer and hostess at the Guild House. Maloney plays in several bridge groups, and said some groups play at Guild House every day. “It is centrally located, and they provide the cards, tallies, score cards, lunch, coffee, water — whenever you need,” Maloney said. “It’s better than entertaining at home.” Typically, players older than 55 years old attend the

games. Most are retired and learned to play bridge while in college, and have continued to play throughout their lives. “It’s definitely a sisterhood. Women from different groups play with other groups, and learn from each other,” Maloney said. “You do not have to play with the same partner every time. Playing with different partners improves your game.” Ruth Goertz, another dedicated player who often attends bridge meetings at the Guild House, said she learned the game in college. After retiring in 2007, she picked up the game again, but this time decided to take it to another level. She currently plays in five groups, five days out of the week, and is a volunteer at the Guild House. She also attends games at the DoubleTree and Bakersfield Community House, a nonprofit activity center for men and women ages 50 and older. — Alison Umfress “I play with groups that meet to have fun,” Goertz said. “Sometimes we talk a lot and other times we really concentrate and play the game. It all depends on the group I am with.” Locals can learn to play bridge by taking lessons at the Bridge Center. How-to books are also available at local bookstores, and on the web.

We love to play for the fun of the game, and don’t take it too seriously, but we do love to win.

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Home and Garden

Gas inserts are legal to use on “no-burn” days, and come in a variety of styles.

Feeling the heat Keep your home warm and cozy while saving cash on heating bill Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook


lthough Bakersfield is known for its blistering hot summers, winters here can be a nuisance, too. Keeping your home warm and cozy in the cold months can also put a strain on your wallet. This month, we consulted with some local experts to give you some tips on making your home more energy efficient through the winter months.

Getting in the zone One of the drawbacks of traditional forced-air heating is that it has to heat the entire house to a certain temperature instead of focusing the heat on where it is needed most. That’s where “zone heating” with a natural-gas insert for a fireplace can lower your heating bills. “Gas inserts are the most efficient and comfortable way 92

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

you can heat,” said Greg Flanagan, general manager of Econo Air. “And that’s because you are zone heating only the parts of the house where you need it.” By installing a natural-gas insert into an existing fireplace, you are able to turn down the thermostat for the rest of the house and just heat the area where you need it more efficiently. “Operating a gas insert costs about a third or a fourth of what it costs to heat the whole home,” Flanagan said. “And you increase your comfort as well because a gas insert is a radiant heat source.” Natural-gas inserts radiate heat like a normal fireplace, but they can be used on “no-burn” days and are much more efficient than a traditional fireplace. Gas inserts are available in a number of different shapes and styles to match the needs of most consumers, and even the smallest units are able to effectively heat more than 1,000 square feet. They can also be operated by remote controls with built-in thermostats to ensure consistent temperature.

Improvements in upkeep Another important step in reducing wintertime heating costs is to make sure the furnace has been properly installed, is regularly maintained and the system and home are as effi-

Tips to save money on your heating bill

Most manufacturers state that an air conditioning and heating unit should last at least 10 to 15 years. cient as possible. A recent study by Pacific Gas and Electric Company showed that more than half of the furnaces in California are operating at 54 percent — or less — of their possible efficiency. “Anytime your heater comes on, it’s going to cost you money to run,” said Scott Akers, a certified analyst with Oasis Air Conditioning. “The way you save money is by making sure that the energy it uses is not just being wasted.”

• Insulate ceilings to proper levels. • Caulk windows, doors and anywhere air leaks in or out. Do not caulk around water heater and furnace exhaust pipes. • Weatherstrip around windows and doors. • Set the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, health permitting. Three to 5 percent more energy is used for each degree above 68 degrees. • If your old air conditioner is on its way out, replace it with Energy Star labeled model. • Replace old windows with new high-performance dual pane windows. • Clean or replace furnace and air conditioner filters regularly, following manufacturer's instructions, or more often in dusty environments. • Close the damper when the fireplace is not being used. Try not to use the fireplace and central heating system at the same time. • Do not close heater vents in unused rooms. This can cause back pressure in the ducts causing air flow problems and put undue strain on the system’s blower motor. Source: PG&E

Continued on page 94

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ings are going to come from.” Making sure that your home’s duct work is properly matched to your unit and in good condition can also translate into big savings on your monthly energy bill, especially in older homes. A state-run program can help defer the costs of upgrading the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. Energy Upgrade California, has the goal of bringing the efficiency of older homes up to the level of modern construction, and provides rebates that can cover a substantial amount of the costs of improvements. Preforming routine maintenance can save you money. Safety devices in the heating system should be regularly checked, too. Most professionals recommend having your unit serviced twice a year, in the spring and the fall, before the heavy usage seasons. And, of course, dirty filters are still one of the most overlooked maintenance items. “If you have a dirty, clogged air filter, it restricts the air flow,” Akers said. “That means the blower has to work harder and use more energy.”

One benefit of natural gas inserts is the ability to design home heating options that depart from the traditional look and style of a normal fireplace.

Continued from page 93 This can be accomplished by ensuring that the home is properly insulated and weather sealed, the duct work is in good condition and that the unit itself is well maintained. “Insulation and air sealing are huge,” Akers said. “That doesn’t cost a lot of money, and it’s where most of your sav-

When it's time to upgrade Eventually, everything wears out. “An air conditioner or heater can last forever; it just depends on how much money the client wants to keep

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

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spending,” said Mark DeVries, owner of One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. “But most manufacturers claim the useable life of a unit is between 10 and 15 years.” At that point, motors begin to wear out, and efficiency begins to drop. With improvements in technology, newer air conditioning and heating units have become much more efficient in recent years, and over the long term, replacing an old unit can actually save more money than the new unit would cost. Advancements in blowers, thermostats and even insulation also help make today’s new furnaces more efficient, translating into lower energy bills. That, combined with available financing, means a new heating and air conditioning system may not be as far out of reach as many consumers may think.

The bottom line Whether you are looking to completely overhaul your home’s heating and air conditioning system, or just shave a few dollars off your monthly power bill, there are a lot of options out there. But the first step should always be to find a contractor you can trust. “All manufacturers agree that the most important day in the life of an air conditioner is the day it's installed,” DeVries said. “If it's not installed correctly, it might be putting out hot and cold air, but you aren’t going to see the maximum savings that you could be getting.”


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Why I Live Here

Sara Mendez Compiled by Jeneal Wood

Photo by Felix Adamo

Age: 29 Career: Owner of Mendez Media Marketing, Inc. Hometown: Hanford How long I have lived in Bakersfield: Four years Three words that describe Bakersfield: Community, family, friendly Where you can find me eating lunch or dinner: Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe for lunch and Uricchio’s Trattoria for dinner. Jake’s is an office favorite, and my two boys — Aydin, 6, and Blake, 5 — choose Uricchio’s anytime we give them the choice. For a date night out, I have to say Steak & Grape. How I relax in Bakersfield: I spend time at home with my family, or playing ball with my boys at the nearby park. My favorite Saturday activity: During hockey season, we attend as many Condors games as we can, as my 5-year-old Blake is the biggest fan. Outside of hockey, Saturday is usually our run around, go out to dinner day where we just drive around, shop and take it all in. When I want to get out of town, I go to: Most of the time we end up going to Los Angeles, or specifically Manhattan Beach. It’s a little bit of L.A., but once you are there, still a very small town. There are no real chain shops or restaurants in the city itself, so everything is unique, restaurants are old favorites, and the people walk and ride bikes everywhere. We take the kids and walk along the beach, eat near the water, and play in the sand. What surprises me most about Bakersfield compared to other places I have lived: I have never experienced the kind of community friendliness and support this town offers. My husband, kids and I moved here four years ago thinking it would be somewhat short-term, and we have just fallen in love with it. People welcomed us with open arms, and businesses here have been so kind and good to 96

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

us. The business is going well, and I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. My clients have become some of my very best friends, and more like family than people I work with. I just love the people here. A place is only as good as the people in it, and Bakersfield is among the very best. I am proud to call Bakersfield home. What I think Bakersfield is most famous for: As soon as we moved here, there were a few “staples” I was told were a must-experience. One was Luigi’s, another was Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, and then there was the great downtown experience, and learning about all the underground tunnels. Bakersfield was known to me, even before I moved here, as being family-friendly, a big town with small town feel, and having more community than anywhere else. My best memory of Bakersfield: I would have to say my favorite memories so far include my boys — their Christmas programs at school, or watching them learn to ride their bikes in our front drive as my husband Robert pushed them up the hill; or possibly having our family and friends at our home for our annual holiday party each year. What I enjoy most about living here: I love that it’s home, it’s quaint, but still close enough for the big city experience, shopping, food or the beach. We can go to Disneyland in a day, or the beach, or even the occasional trip for mom and dad to escape to Las Vegas. Two words that describe my neighborhood: Beautiful and home. You feel at home as soon as you drive in. Because Bakersfield often gets negatively ranked on lists, the positive list I think Bakersfield would rank near the top on is: Bakersfield has some of the best unique stores and boutiques, locally owned restaurants, and the best people around. My favorite community event: I now have quite a few I have become involved with that I just love. They include the Broadway shows that come to Rabobank Theater, the Bakersfield Jazz Festival and Cal State Bakersfield Party in the Park. They’re always so much fun.




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Trailblazers Women who helped shape Kern County A flier for a women's softball all-star game in 1951 featured pitcher Wilda Mae Turner, who attended Bakersfield High School.

By Jeff Nickell

Photos courtesy of Kern County Museum


ern County has been fortunate to have so many women who have made an impact with groundbreaking effects. Countless articles have been written on local women in history; however, they seem to touch on the same women over and over again. And though those women are more than deserving of the accolades, here are just a few who also should not be forgotten. Honorable Ellen Quarnstrom Ellen Miller was born in Greer, S.C. in 1912, and moved to California in 1928. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of the West Los Angeles and passed the State Bar in 1936. Miller married Arthur Quarnstrom in 1938. She practiced law in Long Beach for a law firm and then for Superior Oil Co. Her husband’s career as an engineer led the family to move to Bakersfield. After years of being a housewife, Ellen Miller decided to take up practicing law again, becoming the first known female attorney in Bakersfield in 1950. She applied to be judge of the Weedpatch Judicial District Ellen Quarnstrom and said in The Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 20, 1956, “I believe I am fully qualified, and there is a place for women in the Kern County court system.” In 1957, she was appointed to the post and became Kern County’s first female judge.

Myrnie A. Gifford, M.D., M.P.H.

Wilda "Willie" Mae Turner was the first woman inducted into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame 98

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

The Valley Fever Vaccine Projects of the Americas’ November 2002 newsletter included a memorial honoring Dr. Myrnie Ada Gifford’s efforts towards the Valley Fever problem. It stated she was the first person to put “two and two together, figuring out that two separate diseases being treated in Kern County were actually different aspects of the same disease caused by the organism Coccidioides immitis.” The “One-Hundred-Year Biographical Directory,” 1837-1937, of Mount Holyoke College stated Gifford

Myrnie Ada Gifford made tremendous efforts toward recognizing the Valley Fever problem. She is pictured here in 1937.

Louise Snow, right, became the first woman from Kern County to play in the Wimbledon tennis tournament. She is pictured here in 1945. attended Stanford University from 1915 to 1920, and also attended the UC Berkeley in 1921. Gifford worked at San Francisco Hospital from 1919 to 1921, working as an intern and then house director. She then served as a physician in the Bay Area from 1921 to 1923, and was also a clinician before moving to Kern County. Gifford joined the staff of the Kern County Department of Health in August 1934. When Gifford first came to Bakersfield, the link between the benign “Valley Fever” and the often fatal disease “coccidioidal granuloma” had not yet been established. It was Gifford who noticed the same characteristic rash in patients with both diseases, made the connection and established the link. The discovery is documented in “a special study of available data on Coccidioides Fungus Infection 1901-1936.” In fact, even to this day, scholarly articles on the subject — including the U.S. Army Medical Department — refer to the work she created by herself, and with others in Kern County. The Kern Public Health Services Department library on Mount Vernon Avenue in east Bakersfield is named after Gifford “who wanted to know the why of things,” said Valley Fever Vaccine Projects Director Dr. Richard Hector, in the newsletter.

Louise Snow Kern County has produced many top tennis players, but it was Louise Snow who became the first woman from Kern County to play in the Wimbledon tennis tournament. She played in the tournament in the 1950s and reached the round of 32 in 1956. The points she earned during her play ranks her 1,776 all-time in points earned using both amateur and professional statistics compiled by Snow also was the 1944 Hard Courts National Champion in

both singles and doubles. She honed her talents at the renowned Bakersfield Racquet Club. Other women from Kern County have attained higher status, such as Camille Benjamin and Marianne Werdel-Witmeyer — both reached semifinals of Grand Slam tournaments — but Snow was the first to achieve such high status.

Wilda “Willie” Mae Turner Although she was born in Tulare, Wilda Mae Turner attended Bakersfield High School. She was the first woman inducted into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame, in 1975. Turner was a phenomenal softball pitcher, gaining world-wide accolades. According to the Elias Hall of Fame, Turner played for the Mears Lumber Company team at the age of 11. She also played for Coca Cola, and at the age of 14 played in the World Softball Tournament for the Progressive Optical team. In 1938, at the age of 16, she began playing for the J.J. Krieg’s World Amateur Alameda team. She had consecutive winning streaks of 46 and 102 games. According to Bakersfield High School’s archives program, Turner was a member of the Krieg’s world championship team while a student at the school. Turner turned professional playing for the Parichy Bloomer Girls of Chicago, where she won 153 games in six years. In 1946, she threw a perfect game and was featured in Life Magazine with the headline, “Wilda Mae Turner’s Speed and Control Baffle Batters.” She was one of the greatest softball pitchers of all time, and pitched 104 consecutive scoreless innings in 1948. In her time playing for Chicago, she made the all-star team every year. Willie, as she was known, finished her career with an astounding 0.14 earned run average. This is not a misprint — a 0.14 ERA. Upon retirement, she became the first female manager in Women’s Professional Softball League. Wilda Mae Turner was probably the most dominant athlete to ever come out of Kern County. — Jeff Nickell is a coordinator at Kern County Superintendent of Schools, and former director at the Kern County Museum. This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting important women in Kern County's history.


Our Town

‘Litter: It’s Beneath Us’ Campaign raises awareness, increases efforts across town, city officials say By Jeneal Wood


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

According to a study commissioned by Keep America Beautiful, 91 percent of littering is done on purpose.



hree years ago, an anti-litter campaign was created to help clean up Bakersfield. Today, city officials say efforts are making a difference, though work is far from over. “Litter: It’s Beneath Us” is a campaign that provides an organized way to encourage citizens to improve our town by keeping it clean and beautiful. It started in 2010 by the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, along with the Public Works Solid Waste Division, with a slogan contest. The Bakersfield Californian Editorial Page Editor Robert Price’s slogan was chosen in 2011, and ever since, efforts to clean up Bakersfield have been growing. “‘Litter: It’s Beneath Us’ has grown from an urgent idea to an ongoing, expanding effort that is gaining public awareness every step of the way,” said Jessica Felix, community relations specialist for the city’s Solid Waste Division. Television and radio advertiseOrigins: “Litter: It’s ments promote litBeneath Us” ter awareness. Signs Richard Beene had an item in up and down the his column about how an elebike path have mentary school in Bakersfield been posted, had a system set up whereby thanks to a coneach class in turn would patrol the playground after lunch and cerned Eagle Scout. pick up candy wrappers, sandRecently, The wich bags, etc. One student’s Californian won mother heard about this and first place in the called the school. She demandbusiness/profesed that her child not be forced to do the work of school janisional organization tors. "Picking up trash is category in Keep beneath my child," she said. America Beautiful’s Not long after this, Keep BakNational Awards for ersfield Beautiful announced the slogan contest. I took speits participation in cial pleasure in turning that the campaign. mother's statement around. Besides coming up — Robert Price with the logo, other Californian staffers helped, too — designer Glenn Hammett designed a logo and artist Dave Vanderpool designed advertising content. That award will officially be bestowed Jan. 29 during the Keep America Beautiful’s national conference in Washington, D.C. “I am so honored The Californian has received this award,” Californian publisher and chairman of the board Ginger Moorhouse said. “I hope we can live up to it and


inspire our community to be free from litter.” Unfortunately, when driving or walking around throughout town, it is apparent that littering is still a problem. There is more that can be done to further the efforts of the campaign, Felix said. “More enforcement of litter fines, and the use of cargo tarps could help discourage litterbugs from trashing our city,” Felix said. Dianne Hoover, director of the city’s Recreation and Parks, said there is a need for more education and awareness “of how careless acts of throwing things out car and truck windows hurts our city.” “Children are great advocates, and many efforts are now in place to educate the children and to instill a sense of pride in our community,” she said. Felix said the public has been venting its frustrations with litter. Keep Bakersfield Beautiful has seen an increase in volunteers, and more people and businesses have been interested in taking advantage of Adopt-a-Highway and Adopt-aBlock/Street programs, too. Keep Bakersfield Beautiful and other anti-litter committee members organize regular cleanups throughout town. Mayor Harvey Hall, who has made it a priority to clean up Bakersfield, holds a litter cleanup on Highway 99 at least twice per month. And every week, residents can volunteer for litter cleanup activities.

Margaret Benedict, right, and her daughter, Gabriella, clean up the trash while participating in the Great American Cleanup. Residents with their own groups can also call 326-3539 to set up a time to volunteer. Events can be found online at


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The local Sigma Alpha sisters take part in the recent Santa letter charity fundraiser.

Sigma Alpha Sorority Local sisters unite to benefit charities By Breanna Fields


ne hundred years ago, the Sigma Alpha sorority was formed by six women with a vision — to work together for the sake of philanthropy. This organization continues to grow worldwide and has become an integral part of Bakersfield that brings women together for the purpose of sustaining friendships, personal growth, and social and philanthropic commitments. Five local chapters with 70 members are proud to call themselves Sigma Alpha sisters and serve the community through acts of kindness and charity. They have received sev-


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013



eral honors, including a proclamation made by Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall, and former mayors Bob Price and Donald Hart who declared the second week in November “Sigma Alpha Week.” “It’s fulfilling to see recognition for all the hard work these women have done over the last 100 years and continue to do,” said Sigma Alpha historian Natalie Barrick. During Sigma Alpha Week, members get together to celebrate the past and plan community efforts for the following year. In recent years, the group has participated in charity events for national and local causes. Nationally the group has donated to Heartspring in Wichita, Kan. — a nonprofit organization that helps children with special needs live an independent life. Locally, the sisters have raised money for the Kern County Autism Center, Hearts Connection and M.A.R.E — a local equine therapy stable. And since 2000, the group has also supported the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life with its team, Sigma Alpha Bosom Buddies “We enjoy any event where we can have fun together and help our community,” Barrick said. Barrick’s involvement with the sorority began in 2009


Local Sigma Alpha sisters Billie Schantz, left, and Maxine Bartone attend the national convention in Milwaukee in June 2011.

after visiting several events with longtime friends who belonged to Sigma Alpha. As the council historian, she is responsible for the preservation of history books and works to continue documenting Bakersfield chapter’s history, as well as report happenings from the chapter to the national council. This group of charitable women is led by Crys O’Kane, Bakersfield’s Sigma Alpha council president and member of 20 years. O’Kane served on the national board for five years and served as the national president in 2003-04. Her mother, Doris, has also belonged to the sorority for many years. “We are not just members of the same organization; we are sisters,” O’Kane said. “Our lives are busy and making time can be difficult. But there is no better pick-me-up than being together and planning the next project or event that will extend a hand to someone ... Sigma Alpha is rewarding and joyful.” The Bakersfield area — Eikostos Protos Council — is extremely active, O’Kane said. In fact, nationally Bakersfield is second only to the San Diego area in fundraising for the national charity. Members range in age from 20 to 94 years old. In November, the group celebrated sisters who have reached membership milestones of 10, 25 and 50 years. “The number of years that members have remained active and committed says a lot about Sigma Alpha,” O’Kane said. Upcoming charity events that local Sigma Alpha sister will host include “Gathering of the Goddesses,” a fashion show and luncheon on March 3 at the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield aimed to raise funds for the national council charity, Heartspring. The Sigma Alpha sisters will also meet for their annual bunco party for their Relay for Life team on April 16 at the David Head Community Building in Lamont.

We are not just members of the same organization; we are sisters.


Neighborhood Spotlight

Olde Stockdale By Katie Avery


n 1896, William S. Tevis bought acres of swamp land miles away from downtown Bakersfield with dreams of turning it into a grand estate. Stockdale Country Club now stands where the Tevis mansion once stood, and the former swampland is now home to one of Bakersfield’s best kept secrets, the Olde Stockdale community. But the luxurious country club community of Olde Stockdale is not just for Bakersfield’s oil and agriculture tycoons. It is essential in the telling of Bakersfield’s story. “It’s just so full of history,” said Wade Aldean, a realtor with Premier Realty who has sold many homes in the area. “It’s intriguing as all can be.” Bart and Betsy Wallace have been living in Olde Stockdale for nearly 30 years and could not dream of living anywhere else, they said. She spent most of her life in Olde Stockdale

All custom homes built by many different builders gives Olde Stockdale a unique mix of architectural styles. 104

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February 2013

and her grandparents were some of the founding members of the country club. “Everyone who grows up here seems to want to stay,” Betsy Wallace said. “It’s a nice place for children to grow up.” Olde Stockdale is famous primarily for its country club, which offers an 18-hole golf course, several tennis courts, a fitness center, fine dining and hosts special events, including weddings, for its members. But one does not need to be a member of the club to become a special part of Olde Stockdale. The people in the community make it special, resident say. “Everybody cares about everybody out here,” Bart Wallace said. “We feel part of a community here.” The Wallaces said they like the quiet isolation of Olde Stockdale and love that they always felt safe there. They appreciate how everyone looks out for each other, which is evident by their excellent neighborhood watch program. They couldn’t be happier with Olde Stockdale’s location — close to downtown, close to the Marketplace, and close to the Northwest Promenade, among other hot spots. One of the favorite activities of the Wallaces is to take


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Fairway Dr.

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walks around the neighborhood and admire the scenery. Olde Stockdale is within the boundaries of Kern County and not the city of Bakersfield, and most people living there prefer it that way. When officials held a vote to make it part of the city, the people of the area unreservedly turned it down. The community may not have all the amenities the city provides, but Olde Stockdale residents like to do things their own way and are proud to be independent. And they like that they don’t have to follow a homeowners association’s rules that some gated communities have. “We don’t want big street Olde Stockdale lights, and we Stockdale Hwy. don’t want anyMesa Verde Wy. body telling us what we can and KrollWay cannot do,” Betsy Wallace said. One of the Stockdale El Verano Dr . Country features people Club Camino like most about . ay Dr Media w ir Olde Stockdale a F Kearsarge are all of the Way unique homes. Realtor Aldean THE CALIFORNIAN said since there are no track hous• 240 single family homes ing units, and • 92 percent of households have there have been incomes of $75,000 or more many different • 95 percent are homeowners builders, no home • 83 percent have lived in the home looks quite the for six years or more same as the other. • 85 percent of the households have Plus, children a head of household at age 50 years or older in the neighbor• Schools: Panama-Buena Vista Union hood can attend School District and Bakersfield High one of the topSchool ranked schools in Source: The Bakersfield Californian Bakersfield, Market Research Department Stockdale Elementary. And each home takes pride in its individuality. Younger generations of homeowners have started to buy houses in the neighborhood, and made them their own homes. The Wallaces were raised here and raised their own children, and now they’re seeing the next generation come in to keep the tradition alive. Despite the apparent exclusivity of the place, the Wallaces have never met such down-to-earth people, they said. Where other wealthy areas might be home to social climbers and one-uppers, the Wallaces feel that all the neighbors in Olde Stockdale can be themselves. Everyone knows and respects each other. “There is a more confluence of wealth here, but nobody acts like it. That’s the difference,” Betsy Wallace said. — Have a particular neighborhood you want us to feature? Email us at with the message subject line: Neighborhood Spotlight. Please briefly explain why the neighborhood deserves a spotlight.

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Ladies Who…

... are performers in the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra These long-tenured musicians have shared their gifts of music locally for decades Compiled by Matilde Ruiz

Photos by Mark Nessia


he Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, led by Maestro John Farrer, has been hugely successful for decades. Much of the credit can go to the symphony’s musicians, who have wowed local crowds with their beautiful music. These four women have been performing with the symphony for more than a combined 150 years. Each adds a special touch to the orchestra with her instrument, and they have the ability to teach the newer members skills to better their performances. The orchestra’s season continues Feb. 9 at Rabobank Theater with the “Verdi and Wagner 200th birthday celebration.”

Mary Moore Mary — the orchestra manager, librarian and first chair clarinet — is the longest playing member of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, playing for 53 seasons. What was your first instrument, and how old were you? I played the violin at age 3, wasn’t really interested, and began piano in grade school. But as soon as I was old enough to play an instrument, which was fifth grade, I dropped piano. What do you enjoy about being part of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra? Being a member is a very rewarding experience. It gives me the chance to play unlimited musical literature, to play my instrument as a professional, and enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow musicians. 106

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Mary Moore

What is your favorite music piece to perform? I cannot say I have a favorite piece of musical literature, but I do have favorite composers, especially those who write well for the clarinet: Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Sibeliius, Mahler and many more. Can we find you performing anywhere else outside of the orchestra? Yes, I play in the Masterworks Orchestra, my clarinet quartet, and choir. And also at various churches and several workshops in California and Oregon.

What has been your best memory with the orchestra and why? It is that adrenalin high we all get during a concert. It is a feeling like no other and the satisfaction of a concert well played.

Becky Brooks Becky is the concertmaster and first chair violin for the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. She moved here in 1963 from Cheney, Wash., joined the symphony in 1964, and has been playing with it ever since.

Becky Brooks

What do you enjoy about being part of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra? I enjoy and love playing music and enjoy working with Mr. Farrer, the music director. And there are social aspects: all of my friends play instruments and are in the orchestra, and it is privilege to play music to the community. What is your favorite song to perform? Probably the Brahms symphony. Johannes Brahms wrote four of them, and I enjoy performing them because they really explore what the violin can do. I get to play loud and soft, and fast and slow with my violin. What has been your best memory with the orchestra? Well, of course, I enjoy being a soloist with the symphony. I have played soloist about four times, and they were the most exciting times. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nerve-wracking, but definitely fun! What would be your advice to a musician interested in joining the orchestra? They really have to be prepared. The music is hard and we have to learn it quite fast, which means they have to spend a lot of time practicing. But it is a lot of fun. We get the music two weeks before the concert, and we have to learn it before the rehearsals

start, which is one week before the concert. Can we find you performing anywhere else outside of the orchestra? My husband and I have had a string quartet for a long time, and we play for weddings. My husband is a great piano player, and we have given concerts together at the Bakersfield College, and local churches. He plays his piano and I play my violin.

Amy McGuire Amy is the first chair, second violin in the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. She joined the symphony at age 17, in the 1970s, when she met Maestro John Farrer. Although she has a teaching career, she has always been available to play with the orchestra. What was your first instrument, and how old were you? I began playing the violin in my public school music program in fourth grade. I looked up to my older sister, Jeanene, and she played the violin, too. Also, my music teacher, Mr. Tesovnic, had an Austrian accent that I just loved. He became my mentor as I grew up to become a music teacher as well â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Continued on page 108

Amy McGuire


Continued from page 107 without the Austrian accent, I’m afraid. What do you enjoy about being part of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra? I enjoy performing for a live audience, making music and playing with friends. On a deeper level, the interpretation of great works of art and the passion of personal expression feed my soul. On a lighter note, I enjoy carpooling with concertmaster Rebecca Brooks as we share cooking secrets and cure the problems of the world. What would be your advice to a musician interested in joining the orchestra? It’s a wonderful opportunity. Performing with 80 fellow musicians can be magical. You won’t make a lot of money, but you will love it. I would invite you to audition and prepare by practicing sight reading, and learning how to play “inside your section.” There are three golden rules for success: be on time, know your part and follow the conductor. I guess that is true in all walks of life. If you could choose another instrument to play what would it be? As a music educator, I play all of the instruments of the band and orchestra. But if I were to perform on something other than the violin, it would be the electric bass guitar I have waiting for me in my studio. It seems there is never enough time to rock out, but then I think the orchestra is not ready for Amy’s candy-apple red

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February 2013


REPLACEMENT WINDOWS bass guitar, anyway. Can we find you performing anywhere else outside of the orchestra? I enjoy playing chamber music with my symphony friends, and travel to play in chamber music workshops all throughout the state. Also, I love playing music with my husband and keyboardist, Dan McGuire. We play weddings and private parties, where I get to play classical, and a little pop, blues and jazz.

Elvira Arambula Elvira is part of the violin section and has been playing with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for 13 years. The Russian native said she loves to perform here. What was the first instrument you played and how old were you? I grew up in a small town in the eastern part of Russia. When I was 6 years old, I was first introduced to violin and fell in love with it. After a rigorous competition, I was accepted into a music school for children, where I started taking violin lessons. I continued my studies at the school for eight years, after which I completed my education at the Ekaterinburg State College of Music. What do you enjoy about being part of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra? I enjoy sharing my passion and love for music, and a wonderful performance experience with many good musicians in the orchestra. I also enjoy the leadership and artistry of our conductor John Farrer. What has been your best memory with the orchestra? My recent greatest memory includes a performance of the second piano concerto by Sergei Rachmaninov with the Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. It was one of the most touching and powerful interpretations. I will never forget how warmly the audience received the pianist and his playing. Many listeners had tears of joy, and it was very heartwarming for me. If you could choose another instrument to play what would it be? In addition to violin, I also play piano. My next choice would be harp. What would be your advice to a musician interested in joining the orchestra? I would recommend any good musician to join our orchestra. The experience for me is life-enriching and fulfilling. It also stretches my boundaries as a performer and exposes me to a variety of repertoire. Each member of the orchestra has a unique personality, high standards and adds greatly to our unified team that is led by our maestro, John Farrer.





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Homegrown good will


Local woman Carolyn Pandol aids disaster victims near and far

Carolyn Pandol stands in the office of American Red Crossâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Kern Chapter. 110

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

R By Lisa Kimble

Erase 5 years in 55 minutes!


akersfield resident Carolyn Pandol is in the calm between storms. But the homemaker and mother of two, whose family has dubbed her â&#x20AC;&#x153;storm chaser,â&#x20AC;? knows she is just a phone call away from another mission of goodwill. It may sound like the plot of a great action adventure, but it is the real life drama of helping disaster victims near and far through the American Red Crossâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Kern Chapter that has given the Kern native and empty-nester renewed purpose. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is all about helping people,â&#x20AC;? said Pandol, 52. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You get out of it as much as you give.â&#x20AC;? Earlier this month, her team deployed to Taft in the wake of a school shooting. Last year, she and her fellow volunteers were hot on the heels of natural disasters that left plenty of collateral damage. The granddaughter of cotton pioneer Wofford B. Camp, this former Kern County â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maid of Cottonâ&#x20AC;? said she never imagined herself sleeping on a cot among strangers, thousands of miles from the comforts of home. Now she canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fathom doing anything else. With her children off to college, Pandol said she was looking for a way to get involved in the community again. She and her husband, third-generation grape grower Jack Pandol, Jr., had been deeply involved in the capital campaign and establishment of Bakersfield Christian High School, among other philanthropic projects. In the fall of 2011, she said she spotted a meeting notice in the newspaper for prospective volunteers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was immediate. I knew that was what I wanted to do,â&#x20AC;? Pandol said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was nothing that I had ever been involved in, nor was I aware how the Red Cross is right here in our community 24/7, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Carolyn Pandol everyday of the year.â&#x20AC;? In addition to classroom training and online courses, she received a lot of on-the-job instruction. She began as a trainee on the disaster action team. A year ago, she was dispatched to Lindsay where an apartment fire had destroyed a special-needs complex. Her group provided hope in the form of food, clothing, shelter and a plan. Last summer, Pandol and other volunteers were sent to Tampa, Fla., ahead of an erratic Hurricane Isaac. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the storm veered west, our team flew to Houston. Then we drove to Louisiana to open a shelter for two weeks,â&#x20AC;? she said of what she called the â&#x20AC;&#x153;great adventureâ&#x20AC;? of deployment, and the chance to see other parts of the country. But it would be another storm, Sandy, that strengthened her resolve and commitment to the Red Cross. She was one of nine local volunteers deployed in early November, first to man a shelter on Long Island before moving to a two-story community college gymnasium in Garden City, N.J. At the height of her relief work, there were 900 â&#x20AC;&#x153;clients,â&#x20AC;? Pandol said. Volunteers stayed in another shelter nearby, taking 12 hours shifts. Eventually, exhaustion set in as everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good intentions collided. Most people were gracious and appreciative. But some


Like the John Wooden quote, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t truly lived until you have helped someone who can never repay you.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; These are people I will never see again.

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were understandably bitter, and at the end of their ropes. “It is difficult for people to have to share their space,” she said. “We are trained to know people are stressed and to not take it personally, but it is hard not to. That is where my Red Cross team came in. We look out for each other and step in if someone is showing signs of frustration.” Shelters must be staffed with nurses and mental health experts as well. “There are real mental health issues that come into play when your whole world is turned upside down,” she said, recalling a particularly trying day in New Jersey when an elderly man who had reached his breaking point clashed with her over the choice of sandwiches. “Like the John Wooden quote, ‘You haven’t truly lived until you have helped someone who can never repay you.’ These are people I will never see again.” The price paid for the dedication to serving others is long stretches of time away from home. Volunteers must be able to leave for as long as two to three weeks and on a moment’s notice. “You get a phone call and must let them know within five minutes. You then have 24 hours (to pre-


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

From left: Carolyn Pandol, Diane Ellison and Elena Abreu — from the American Red Cross, Kern Chapter were housed in Old Westbury, New York while they worked in the client shelter in Garden City.


Continued from page 111


Residential streets in Long Beach, New York, following Hurricane Sandy. pare to leave),” she said, adding that her family fully supports her. “We are paying it forward because if we are going to have a big quake here, we all may be in need of the Red Cross’ help.” Locally, most calls involve single-family dwelling fires. While disaster team volunteers like Pandol are on call 24-7, the Red Cross is still in desperate need of more help in many areas. “I would encourage people to get involved locally,” she said. “There are so many ways besides deploying, such as fundraising.” The local Red Cross is nearly 98 percent volunteer-run and operates on a shoestring budget, said Kern Chapter’s CEO Holly Arnold. About 150 people are in their database, with a third of them considered active. “Everything we have has been donated,” Arnold said. “People think we are a government agency, but we are a volunteerled group trying to meet the immediate needs.” This year, as the organization marks its 95th year, Kern will become the first Central Valley chapter to have a “Tiffany Circle,” the American Red Cross’ national women’s leadership giving society established in 2006. “The Tiffany Circle is all about women, and we are about philanthropy and helping in their community,” Arnold said. “It restores your faith in humanity and America that so many people are willing to do this for strangers.”

Real People

Roofer No limits: Donna Amparano stays busy roofing despite major setback Compiled by Hillary Haenes

Photos by Casey Christie


onna Amparano says the roofing business chose her. “I wanted a business where I had no limits to what I could make,” Amparano said. “Roofing picked me. I didn’t pick this path, but I really liked it.” Amparano, 49, has been in this field since 1995. This mother of five and grandmother of four still operates Amparano Roofing despite a major setback. Nine years ago, she lost one of her legs. What is a typical day like for you? My day starts with phone calls before I even leave the house. Sometimes I’m stressed before I make it to the first job site. I have multiple jobs at a time, and I visit up to 20

sites a day. There are times when I’m on a roof, and my notes are written up and down my arms. Most days my truck’s dash substitutes as an office. I run household errands between jobs, sometimes having to pick up grandkids from school. I go home and do my bids and billing in my pajamas while cooking dinner. I usually take the trucks and trailers to the dump on weekends. Vacations are hard because no matter how good I plan a few days to myself, my phone always rings, something goes wrong, or it rains. What’s it like working in what is typically a maledominated industry? When I was hired by a local roofing company, the owner said, “Let’s give it a week, and we’ll talk about you staying.” He didn’t think I could do it. We never had the talk, and I stayed working for him for eight years before going on my own. People will call and ask to speak to my husband, but I don’t have one! Sometimes when I have to meet with homeowners, they are shocked to see me. When I went to the Small Business Association, they advised me to pick another career. What does owning this kind of business entail? I get most of my jobs from referrals from previous cus-

Donna Amparano works on a vent on a new roof her company had just put on this building on California Avenue.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Donna Amparano owns Amparano Roofing.

tomers and realtors. I do not advertise. I stay busy year-round. I have to plan ahead to stay on top of things and budget for equipment failures and non-payments on jobs. I have to stay ahead of the roofers to get materials on the jobs and schedule all of the new construction. You have to have the next job ready to go to on the days workers are waiting for an inspection or loaded by a supplier. If you haven’t planned well, workers are at home not working. What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on? The most interesting job was at Canyon Hills Assembly of God. It is a huge church with EnergyCAP roofing material. The reflective white roofing was blinding, like standing on snow. We had to wear sunglasses. What are some obstacles you have had to overcome? In 2004, I was hit by a semi-truck and broke my back, pelvis and leg. I was told I was finished and was given a wheelchair, prosthetic leg and sent home. I was so bored that I did crafts for a couple months and was going crazy. I had kids in college and a home they didn’t want to give up. I wasn’t about to change the way we lived. I called everyone I had been working for to find work. Burlington Homes was the only one who called me back to work. The rest didn’t want me. Anyway, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Piece of cake … I’m doing it. What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy being outside. I like being up high on a roof. I love my jobs being in different places, with different customers. I have met some very nice people. 4560 Coffee Road 661-588-7503

— Do you know a local person who deserves recognition for the job they do? Let us know. Email your idea to with the message subject line: Real People.

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Fit and Fresh

Cycle through blossoms, run in town throughout March Fun, healthy events, plus workout tips for new mommies By Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann

Sally Baker: The 24th annual Kings River Blossom Bike Ride will take place on March 2 at Reedley College, hosted by Reedley Lions Club. The ride starts and finishes at the college, rain or shine. There are several rides to choose, from the 10mile family ride, or a 20-mile, 40-mile, or the more challenging 63-mile route. All routes will pass through fragrant pink and white fruit blossoms and end with lunch, included with registration. Cost is $40 for pre-registration, or $50 on the day of the event. More information:

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013


Cycling through the blossoms

March 16 in Hart Park and offers 5K, 10K, and 10-mile races. All courses take you along beautiful trails close to the Kern River with nice views of surrounding mountains. More information:

Gender-specific saddles can eliminate the pain and discomfort many new riders experience. bike saddle, they will know that it can be a pain in the butt — literally. A few of my friends have even been deterred from the sport because of the pain until they discovered it could be much more pleasant with the right bike seat. Sitting on a hard saddle can cause intense pain and discomfort for both men and women, and it is really worthwhile purchasing a gender specific saddle to allow for correct body weight distribution between the glutei and the lower section of the pelvis, providing ventilation and blood flow promotion while minimizing pressure. Saddles vary in design, size and price — from $30 to $300 or more. Talk to an informed cyclist salesman in a local bike store and find one that fits your frame and weight.

Thin Mint 5K Baker: Support our local Girl Scouts by attending the Thin Mint 5K on March 2 at Sole to Soul Sports in The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Cost is $25 for adults, $30 on race day. More information:

Kern River Trail Run

Baker: Diverticulitis affects 50 percent of people older than 60 and many younger than that. In the last couple of decades, within the running and cycling community, it is a word I have heard often, especially with my female running friends. There have been many concerns voiced as to whether there is a bathroom on our running routes, and occasionally we have had to take detours in search of one. Usually a result of insufficient fiber in the diet, marble size pouches can form in the inner lining of the intestinal tract, trapping fragments of stool, which may become infected or inflamed. The good news is that exercise, particularly the aerobic type, such as running or hiking hills, helps reduce pressure inside your colon responsible for constipation. So, ladies, make sure your diet is high in fiber, low in fat and processed foods, and get out there and perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day to keep your colon in good shape. Also, getting up a little earlier in the morning before you run is a great idea to take care of the “important business.”

Finding time Katie Kirschenmann: Oh momma! Finding the time to exercise with small children is a challenge. Juggling babies, your household and work is no small task. More often than not we moms put our lives on the back burner to manage our families. Sometimes the most exercise we get is running after the toddler, or lifting the baby out of the crib. It is important to remember that we are our children’s first role models for health and a wellness. Though it is a challenge, finding the time to exercise and eat right it is truly important. The easiest way to get fit with small children is to incorporate your tots

Baker: This year, this great race will take place on

Continued on page 118



Exercise and diverticulitis

Find ways to incorporate your family into your workouts.


Continued from page 117 into your workout regime. What is important to you should be important to your children, and at the top of that list is your family’s health. Sally has taught me a great deal about family exercise. More often than not, you can find one — if not all three — of Sally’s beautiful daughters on a long run with her. Exercise is a wonderful way to build family strength. Here are few fun ideas to fit exercise into your family’s schedule: • Stroller derby: Plop your little one, or little ones, in a stroller. If you have a small baby, she needs to have good control of her head and neck before you can do this safely. Start with a half an hour walk and ramp up your time and speed as you gain strength. Take a friend. Exercise is always easier with the support and conversation of good friends. Make sure you bring plenty of water and diapers. Your baby will get used to the stroller and really enjoy the time outside. • Take a hike: For more of a challenge, put your baby in a baby carrier and find an easy trail. There are so many wonderful and safe baby carriers on the market now. Even dad can get in on the action; encourage dad to wear baby on a hike with you. If you have an older child, take the opportunity to introduce nature hikes to your family. Big kids love outdoor adventures, and you will love the calorie burn. • Take it to the mats: While your baby is in between feeding and naps, play with her. Roll out your yoga mat or a

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blanket, and exercise with your bundle of joy. If your baby has good head and neck control, prop her up on your tummy and legs and try some easy crunches. Lie down and lift your baby up. While socializing and bonding with your baby, you will also get a little strength training. If you are a yoga veteran, practice some easy positions and poses while your baby enjoys tummy time. My two baby girls love this. They smile and coo as I attempt to get a little tone back in my arms. Always remember, safety first. Make sure baby is secure and comfortable, and you are physically able to resume mat exercise. • Comeback kid: Don’t be hard on yourself. Getting your pre-baby body back does not happen overnight. Set realistic and attainable goals that are measurable without being too strict. I am comfortable with the fact that I am not going to run a marathon this month. That would not be a realistic goal. Take it easy and always talk to your doctor and pediatrician before starting a diet and exercise regime. Sally and I are just beginning to run together again after getting the OK from my doctor. Starting slowly and working my way toward a half marathon is a goal I can measure and enjoy accomplishing without stress. And incorporating your family into your health and wellness creates doubled rewards. You will benefit from their support and encouragement, and they will benefit from your happiness and increased self-esteem.



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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

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Trip Planner

China Peak Mountain Resort Powdery slopes offer something for all experience levels, skiers and snowboarders

Story and photos by Lois Henry


inally! The snow gods have decided to smile on us after weeks and weeks of waiting. The snow is absolutely gorgeous right now so make your plans and head to the hills. I lucked out and went to China Peak Mountain Resort early in December, right after one middling storm. They do a lot of snow making up there, and I hit it just right with cool enough temperatures that they had a little more than half of the mountain open. I can’t brag about China Peak enough. It was my hometown hill, as I grew up in Fresno, so I feel like I know every nook and cranny of the resort. But every time I go, I see they’re doing something new and interesting. So it’s not just fond memories that keep me coming back. It’s not that much of a drive — about three hours, more or less — so it’s in the wheelhouse for us B-town folks. Most importantly for families, they have a lot of options for kids, with two beginner areas near the lodges and several lesson packages that accommodate children of different levels. And, though it’s not my thing, the resort is really ramping up its parks for snowboarders. If you’re just starting out, there’s the Burton Progression Park. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, they moved the main park back to Tollhouse, served by 120

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

China Peak the resort is ramping up its parks for snow boarders, like this one ready to go down the mountain.

Chair 4. The website touts stuff I’m too old to understand such as “a variety of boxes and rails, as well as bigger jump lines, hips, spines, etc.” Sounds like an orthopedic misadventure waiting to happen, but I’ll leave that to the kids. Oh, and when I was up there I did see “the bus,” also in the main boarder park. I’m not sure what it’s all about, but the website beckons boarders to be sure and check it out — which makes me think it must be something you moms out there will cringe at and the youngsters will love! If you’re old school, like me, still schussing down the hill on two sticks, you will find every level from easy peasy to bone chilling. Now that they got a good clobbering of snow, everything is open including China Bowl for powder seekers, and the Face for suicidal types. “Don’t fall,” my sister used to tell me, “or you won’t stop til the bottom.” Comforting words. And I see they’ve even opened the backside of the mountain (seriously, double black diamond!). My more insane friends used to ski that back in our fearless teenage years and raved about it. Because I went in the early season, I was able to get a room at the China Peak Inn for a good price, plus they threw in a lift ticket as well, making it irresistible. On nonholiday, mid-week dates you can get the same deal so be sure to check their website. The economy room gets you one free adult lift ticket. All

If you go China Peak Mountain Resort:

A view of Huntington Lake at China Peak Mountain Resort in Lakeshore. other rooms get you two adult lift tickets. Mid-week means Sunday through Thursday nights, and the lift ticket is valid for the day following your stay. We're past the main holiday season now, but Feb. 15 to 17 is considered a holiday, so plan accordingly! Keep checking the website for mid-week pricing and other money savers. But above all, get out there and enjoy the snow while we have it!



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Health and Wellness

Start the New Year with happiness Local experts share how to avoid stress, get happy, and stay happy By Allie Castro


e’ve all heard the horror stories of what can happen when a person has too much stress and too little happiness in their lives: heart attacks, high blood pressure, weight gain — the list is long. Then there are the more subtle side effects, like strained relationships, poor job performance or even an almost imperceptible slide from unhappiness to depression. To start your New Year off right, we spoke to local experts who shared some advice on how to get happy and stay happy.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Erin McNally says that one of the most important things a person can do for their mental health is to start evaluating their emotional, spiritual, physical and relational lives to see which parts are going well and which ones could use a little work. To McNally, this means taking seriously the saying, “Happiness is an inside job.” “This saying suggests that we need to go into the interior of ourselves and take a look,” she said. “When we’re younger and less experienced, we think that other people are going to be the solution to our happiness. But if we are unhealed in areas where there is injury or dissatisfaction, those things will really get in the way of us being happy.” Psychologist Dr. Nick Garcia agrees, saying that one of the most essential steps to happiness is being mindful of one’s actions and evaluating whether or not they are consistent with our values and beliefs. Garcia advises to use that newfound awareness to set reasonable goals. While he encourages setting long-term goals with a big picture in mind, he advises to set short-term goals as well, to avoid becoming discouraged during the process, as the end goal can often seem too far away or too daunting to be achievable. Regardless of whether it is a long-term or short-term

Tips for reducing stress • Accept that there are events that you cannot control. • Keep a positive attitude; rather than defaulting to negatives. Give yourself positive messages. • Halt stress in its tracks. If you feel overwhelmed, take a walk or drive in the slow lane to avoid getting angry at other drivers. • Manage your time. Give yourself time to get things done. Set your watch so you have more time to prepare for an event. • Do things that are pleasurable, like reading or gardening. • Take 15 to 20 minutes every day to sit quietly and reflect. Learn and practice relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

• Exercise regularly by bicycling, walking, hiking, jogging or working out at the gym. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.

• Eat healthy, wellbalanced meals. • Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. • Seek out social support. • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs; and don’t smoke. Source: Stress Management Health Center, WebMD

Erin McNally



goal, Garcia said, each goal needs to be specific, meaningful and flexible. McNally also emphasizes a flexible approach to happiness. “I thinking having expectations that are too high and are unreasonable, can lead to a lot of disappointment,” McNally said. “We find that we can undermine our happiness by having unrealistic expectations.” Instead of immediately trying to eradicate all unhappiness and all bad habits at once, slowly decrease the bad habits or behaviors while slowly increasing the good ones, she said. “Sometimes it’s about a gentler approach,” McNally said. Nick Garcia Once a person has begun making changes to their life, Garcia suggests focusing on the process instead of the goal, and living in the moment. “When I see anxiety and depression, it’s when a person focuses on the past, or lives in the future, and not in the moment,” Garcia said. “When we’re in the process of trying to achieve our goals, we should focus on what’s before us, not what’s down the road.” Throughout the whole process, taking stock of our

actions and feelings to make sure we are living a healthy and balanced life remains crucial. “There are many parts to ourselves,” McNally said. “If we’re only operating out of one part of our life, often we’re neglecting other things.” But take heart, she said: “Nobody in this life does it perfectly. It’s about that journey, that process.”

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Business Profile

Thurman Orthodontics What kinds of services does your practice offer? Being a specialty orthodontic practice allows us to focus only on what we do best: creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites. We offer a full range of orthodontic services for both children and adults, including Invisalign, Invisalign Teen and braces. What do you enjoy most about your job and practicing in Bakersfield? Our motto is, “Changing lives one smile at a time.” We strongly believe that a beautiful, more attractive smile improves the quality of life for our patients. Being a part of such positive, life-changing Thurman experiences is extremely rewarding for us as a Orthodontics team, and makes coming to work every day Address: 1851 Oak St., fun, fulfilling and enjoyable. All of us live and Suite B have families, right here in Bakersfield, and Phone: 395-0698 we are proud to deliver world class, state-ofWebsite: the-art orthodontic care to so many great families. We also feel very strongly about giving back to our great community in any way possible. This year, our Thanksgiving food drive allowed us to donate more than 200 pounds of food to the Bakersfield Homeless Center for Thanksgiving dinner, and our “Treats for Troops” contest collected an incredible amount of treats, which we sent to our local military troops serving abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, this year we will be starting a program where one tree will be planted in our community for every patient who starts treatment with braces or Invisalign. Giving back is not just something we enjoy doing; it’s one of the 124

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Dr. Michael Thurman and his staff.



core values of our company. What makes your practice stand out among other local orthodontists’ offices? We’ve created a practice environment where our patients become part of our family. We take time to get to know each of our patients on a personal level throughout their treatment, and each patient is seen by Dr. Thurman at every visit. We do not have a big, impersonal clinic environment where patients are just a number; that’s not who we are. We pride ourselves on not only delivering the highest quality orthodontic care available anywhere, but by offering an unparalleled level of customer service unmatched in any industry. What is the best age for a child’s first orthodontic exam? Age 7. Seeing children at this age allows us to screen for developmental issues, such as undesirable jaw growth patterns, or missing, impacted or fused (ankylosed) permanent teeth, which do not always show up on the typical check-up X-rays taken by your general dentist. These developmental problems, if not recognized and corrected early enough, can complicate the orthodontic treatment making it more difficult and costly in the future. Dr. Thurman’s philosophy is to provide the highest quality care in the shortest amount of time possible, with the fewest number of visits for today’s busy families. We do not believe in putting braces on a patient until that patient is absolutely ready. By closely following your child’s development from an early age, we can help them get the treatment they need, when they need it.

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Here's how... 1. Go to our Facebook page 2. Post on our wall telling us why your favorite teacher is the best and how they’ve made a positive impact on your life. 3. Encourage your friends & family to "like" your post. The post with the most likes will get an extra 20 tickets!!

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3 ‘Hug me’ heart doggy sweater Show your pet you love them on Valentine’s Day. Get them the perfect gift. Visit Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa, 1617 19th St., 321-9602.

Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa

4 Something special for your valentine With many Valentine’s Day inspired pieces to choose from, we can help you create a fabulous gift. We also have items already painted for purchase. 9680 Hageman Rd., Suite D, 588-7107.

Color Me Mine at The Marketplace.

7 Eco-friendly Valentine These repurposed vases, made out of reclaimed alcohol bottles from Bottlehead, are perfect for your Valentine. Shop , 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. 4821 Stockdale Highway, 834-6477,


8 I love Tutti Frutti! Your Valentine will love you when you take them to Tutti Frutti on Stockdale Highway. The shop has 16 flavors, 45 toppings and no sugar added flavors. Visit Tutti Frutti Bakersfield on Facebook for daily flavor updates. 8300 Stockdale Highway, 396-8000.


Tutti Frutti on Stockdale Highway

Creation Craze Studio

5 Valentine’s Day is coming!

9 Python handbag

Clothing sizes from small to 3X, and jeans from size 0 to 19. Jewelry, purses, hats, scarfs, belts and more. Body wraps, Nerium AD and Herbalife are also available. Stockdale Fashion Plaza at 5009 Stockdale Highway, 472-4818.

The Python bag has beautiful, black carved designs and handmade seams exported from Mexico, exclusive to Ilitchi Boutique. It's perfect for any everyday casual wear. 205 18th St. near Union Avenue, 396-1609.

Eva’s Boutique 126

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

Ilitchi Boutique



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Holiday Lamplight Tours Dec. 1, 2012 Held at Kern County Museum Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Willow, Tessa, Arizona and Sierra Pilgrim

Ramon Perez, Ashley Robinson, Victoria Villanueva and Patricia Fuentes

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Sidney, Alison and Jason Harp


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Hannah, Nick and Dawson Trower

February 2013

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Dec. 5, 2012 Held at Kern Adult Literacy Council Photos by Casey Christie View these photos and more online at

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Holiday Mixer Dec. 20, 2012 Held at Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Photos by Tony Moreno and Spencer Schluter View these photos and more online at

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Jeff Hayward and Ron Nelms

Cindy Harper, Joanne Coston, Marlene Morales, Kevin Keyes and Michael King

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Mark, Debbie and Tony Moreno and Bill and Monica Jeffries

Shari and Mike George 130

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Janet Usery and Jen Abercrombie

February 2013

Leigh Ann Cook and Karen Goh

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(855) 393-2840

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mixer

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Jan. 9, 2013 Held at Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by Felix Adamo View these photos and more online at

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First Friday Downtown Jan. 4, 2013 Held at Metro Galleries Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

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Farmers Market

Karen Barnes and Dawn Peace

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Jan. 12, 2013 Held at Brimhall Road and Calloway Drive Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more online at

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Inside Story

Woman’s Club of Bakersfield Compiled by Gabriel Ramirez

Photos by Gregory D. Cook

History: The Woman’s Club of Bakersfield was incorporated on March 2, 1896 — two years before the reincorporation of Bakersfield in 1898 — as a nonprofit organization for the development of women, along the lines of literature, science and the arts. It is celebrating its 117th birthday this

Photographs of every president of the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield, since the club’s inception in 1896, line the wall of the hall’s entry area.

Built in 1921, the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield’s Reception Hall is a historical landmark located on the corner of 18th and D streets. March. The organization’s motto is “From Possibility to Reality” and is housed in a historical colonia-style building, which was completed in 1921; it is located on the corner of 18th and D streets. The first president of the club for the first five years of the organization was Lucretia Stevens. Stevens was a distant relative of Dr. Lucinda H. Stone, along with Emma Willard. The first female to register to vote in Bakersfield in 1911, Sibyl Curran Chenoweth (who registered along with Sarah E. Bedinger), was a clubwoman. The first known club calendar, dated 1897 to 1898, lists more than 100 female members. Membership was exclusive to women, with men and husbands allowed to attend public events, not closed club meetings. Other early members included Mrs. Alfred Harrell, Mrs. A. T. Lightner, Mrs. Maude, Mrs. Planz and Mrs. Jameson. The club has been recognized for its contributions to Bakersfield’s first public library and educational opportunities for early residents of Bakersfield, along with the 134

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2013

preservation efforts for the Chester Bell/Clock tower. The club’s members now work on a variety of projects, including packing boxes for local troops, sewing quilts for wounded warriors, knitting baby caps and booties for local hospitals, and sewing heart-shaped pillows for cancer patients recovering from breast cancer; they also collect hygiene products for different agencies. But it is not all work and no play for these ladies — the majority of which enjoy playing bridge twice a month, learning about genealogy, religion, and arts and crafts. The ladies also take road trips and play Bunco and in 2012, started its Junior Section made up of women 18 to 30 years old. The Woman’s Club also supports the community through scholarships awarded to graduating high school seniors and local college students and donations to organizations such as Golden Empire Gleaners, M.A.R.E., Ronald McDonald House, Alliance Against Family Violence and the local Salvation Army.

Woman’s Club facts: • The club currently has 188 members. • The oldest member is 93. • The youngest member is 22. • In the past three years, the club has made 300 Quilts of Valor. • In the past 16 years, the club has awarded more than $325,000 in scholarships and charity money to local students and organizations. • To date, more than 950 boxes of goodies have been sent to local troops serving in war zones. • The building housing The Woman’s Club of Bakersfield can be rented for any special occasion and has been used to celebrate events, such as weddings, receptions, anniversaries, class reunions, high school proms, birthdays and quinceaneras for the past 82 years. • The building can seat up to 325 people.

Source: Darrelyn Kundinger, president of The Woman’s Club of Bakersfield; and Melinda Crisler, Cal State Bakersfield History Department graduate student

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Years of Serving Kern County

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Bakersfield Life Magazine February 2013  

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